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Goodbye Democracy And Capitalism – It Was Fun

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Shifting to new paradigms to replace dysfunctional ones.

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This is an attempt to look at current global problems from a perspective digging deeper into the root of the system. For as Einstein said, “A problem cannot be solved from the same level of consciousness as created it.” It is also an attempt at phrasing it so, that it builds the better arguments to challenge the conventions and offer alternatives that shift the paradigm.

Disclaimer: It will not be perfect. You may disagree at times, find imperfect arguments and or reasoning. I ask you to help me improve or build your own new ideas aside, on top, underneath it. Stories that liberate us from current stuck paradigms are desperately needed and hopeful alternatives offered. I know world wide many already are doing so. Many things are improving. There is hope! Yet, somehow what makes sense for us, doesn’t yet make sense for the majority. They have yet to begin to see or accept the stuckness in a damaging system.

This piece was written by Floris Koot and was originally posted on Medium. It was reposted with permission under creative commons license.

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Perhaps biggest current problems of our planet are:

Ravaging of our ecological systems for the profits of parties who’ll do anything to keep their profits rising. Yeah, corporations consciously deliver stuff of which 85% is garbage in the making. Either it is produced to be outdated, break, or out of fashion soon. And we, we buy it and ask for more.

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Poisoning of seas and systems. So who is really busy stopping the amount of plastic in our oceans, soon to be on nano level in all our food? Who stops the amount of oestrogens (estrogens in American) rising in our systems, damaging fertility of men? Who stops the rising amounts of waste, that leak and endanger humans and nature? I don’t hear no governments crying out loud. It can’t be just the tragedy of the commons.

Widening gap of poor and rich. The poor either turn to crime, ravaging what few resources still available or turn aggressive to those believed to be competitors. The answer can’t be harsher laws or corporate owned prisons. And the promise of more jobs when you vote the right person isn’t really addressing the core of the issue.

Wars instigated by elites for interests that only benefit a few (read themselves). For instance Syria has been instigated because of a gas pipeline, that would either benefit the Russian Elite or the Western Elite. Who will get the right to sell us stuff (gas in this case) for what price? Why don’t we protest our own side more, rather than fear the other?

The playing out of differences between populations, through means of religion, nationality, race, gender, etc. ‘Leaders’ love this. And anyone with (imposed) fears, low self esteem, racial bias, endangered jobs, strict beliefs may follow the leader. Because disagreeing may make you outcast or traitor.

The rise of depression and disconnectedness from life and meaning. Most work is organized around process and efficiency, rather than around meaning, healthiness for natural systems, being of real service to real needs, rather than boosting sales for profit. But we want a career, so we don’t have time to challenge this idea. We rather secretly feel the pain. In careers which rationale condones damaging people and planet for profit in return for bonuses.

The danger of financial system collapse. Isn’t it scary and totally ridiculous that when the financial system collapses millions will go poor and probably hungry, while there is enough food, manpower and means to provide for everyone? That means the whole system is built on the wrong assumptions and rules. That means you have to play along to prevent banks from falling. Hmm.

Perhaps the biggest problem of the future, and probably already is, will be our lack of adaptation. Rather than change our ways big corporations will sell us medication to treat the symptoms. It’ll be as a overweight smoking junk food eater buying expensive medicines, but not changing his behavior. And the side effects of the medicine will bring new medicines. But hey, if you sell medicine, true healing means no sales, right? Exactly, thus the assumptions beneath our whole profit based outlook is sick as well.

Recognize these problems and how hard they seem to solve or even address?Why aren’t enough people doing something about it? We have to consider that most people on our planet just want peace, a hopeful future for their children and have a warm family life. So they should care. But of course challenging the way things are is scary, because you don’t know what you’ll get in return. Yet for a secure future this is clear: Being connected to nature is essential. Having enough nature, living blooming systems flourishing around us, is key to feel at peace, build trust and know we are part of a living system. We are nature. So how to support our role within and for nature and the whole system called mother Earth? How to shift the system so we provide for future generations as well?

How Our Old Solutions Don’t Work:

1-SXLSxSTiHyZmsfo4FIsuEgWe tried kingdoms. Didn’t work. Great kings and queens inspired their people with ideals (of national power, mmm). Children of great kings can be awful. And one ruler taking all decisions is already a bad idea.

We tried communism. Great to be liberated from a self serving elite..to be replaced by a new one?? Didn’t work, because everyone had to agree to (be) the same. And you can’t plan the future. 5-year plans made up by an elite make millions suffer. And the distribution of needed goods sucked.
We are still trying capitalism. The distribution is great. As is the marketing that it’s all great. It isn’t. It doesn’t work, because everybody fending for himself damages the system as a whole. The promise that competition will improve products and service for everyone is clearly a lie. We can’t trust our food and we can’t trust our medicines anymore, as profits seem more important than consequences for people, nature and the planet. And the corporate lobbies turning governments into their advertisers (TTP!?) promises an even more ravaged planet for a superrich elite. The danger of a Corporate Dictatorship is real, perhaps even already begun.

We are still trying democracy. Oh, the nice promises. Yet, what we have is the choice between a few preselected candidates of..an elite. Also democracy doesn’t work as long as people vote for their own shopping list and the ‘leaders’ seek to win (by promising you dreams, rather than caring for the whole). And most leaders serve the hands that feed them, read mostly huge corporations. Have you seen any government really addressing one of the issues above? Well other than blaming ‘them’ and then using your vote to strengthen their side, while not solving any real issue?

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The Root of The Problem

What is clear is that a small minority of humans are willing to lie, cheat, manipulate all others for power and riches. Many people are caught in damaging paradigms that result of this. They too will support the manipulative ones. They endorse ideas like: ‘It’s either us or them’. ‘My believe is so much more worth than yours, so your voice may be silenced if you threaten my position (or even just speak out)’. Ideas often reshaped into ‘Make me, rich or more powerful, and you’ll benefit from it.’ or ‘Let us raise our profits and it will prove to enrich everyone.’ ‘Buy this thing or idea and become happy/safe/rich/powerful.’ And since these ideas currently provide the best jobs, anyone in a great office and view, will be securely locked up in this rationale until the shit hits the fan, like in some banks in 2008.

Because most people are willing, collaborative, positive kind people, they assume what others promise them is to be trusted. We slowly see better and better, not all promises are in our interest. From corporate commercials to political adverbs we are being sold a dream or fears, in return for money, transferral of power and loss of safety (both military as in quality of food and healthcare). Be even a bit more suspicious of NGO’s. What? Yes, they get funded to heal the effects of the system, but never really change the root of the trouble. Greenpeace protests pollution, Unicef helps children. Neither solves the unchecked greed that allows for pollution or child labour.

Our ‘leaders’ made it normal to frame success as your capability to join their ranks and paradigms. Failing to do so, or dropping out makes you a loser. Everything is economized, which means if you don’t increase profit to the system, read are old, sick or unemployed, you are ballast to society. As if the millions of non earning humans, think volunteers and activists, taking care of elderly, sick, refugees and nature are ballast!? As if a tree standing in a forest has no value for the whole, even when we don’t know how it exactly enriches the whole system. As if indigenous people are the barbarians. It’s us, the industrial society ravaging the planet who are the barbarians. It’s us defending ‘our way of life’ who are denying others theirs.

Even worse perhaps is that most of us, think within these paradigms too. Most Americans are stuck between choosing one bad candidate to prevent the other bad candidate from winning. As if there are no other options. As if it isn’t clear the system is broken, not just one or both of the candidates.
Changing leaders will change little. When crooks, let alone leaders of damaging paradigms are replaced, others take their place and nothing really changes. So don’t expect any next president to be a solution.

The one big shift needed is to transcend such limiting ‘us vs them’ beliefs, including, hahaha, the my own about ‘those leaders’. Yes, because many leaders and their cronies, eh, sorry, read managers, really worry too. Sadly, since they seek solutions within the system or with them not losing power, their attempts are doomed to fail. Even tribal as we still are, whistle blowers, and people stepping out, are seen as traitors instead of people seeking to support a bigger value, than their organizational interests.

The (corporate) media aren’t helping either. They advertise and sell consumerism and success stories within the current paradigm. They don’t inform on real needs, real issues that would challenge the interests of their advertisers. The big media hardly mention the rise of the change makers. Yes, the amount of people around the globe working on improvement of the whole, let alone current issues is stunning. People inventing non corporate solutions for healthy care, agriculture, permaculture, transition towns, peace, equal rights, ending slavery, ending torture, ending poverty is downright stunning. So where are the change 500? The hopeful 500? The solution 500?

We educate our youth to be part of the problem!! I could have written this quote by Shelly Ostroff. It is, to me an such essential statement: “When children are forced to sit still at their desks in crowded classrooms they become disconnected from their bodies, nature and life. They are not given an opportunity to develop their instincts, intuition, or critical thinking. They are not educated to become creative and caring problem solvers willing to contribute to their larger environment.”

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What I Think is The Deeper Root

(Skip this part if you want the solutions now! It’s a unproven theory by me.)
For centuries mankind walked the earth in small groups. These small groups suffered and enjoyed nature to its fullest powers, until mankind started to use its brain to find solutions. Diversity within tribes also grew. Healers, leaders, caretakers, mentors, makers arose. Biology also added psychopathic tendencies in about 6% (I think) of the population. In small groups the rest can balance such a person. And they are handy when killing, or setting broken bones of an horrible looking wound needs to happen. That means almost every group of about 25 people, had at best one or two of them, probably of different generations.

In many indigenous peoples we see, that solving challenges without controlling nature is quite possible. Yet few tribes sought control over and sought domination over nature and others as well. This ‘solution’ was countered by many tribes to increase power as well. Populations grew. And while our biology and deepest social conditioning was for small groups, tribes became empires. Suddenly within these groups you’d have small groups of psychopathic individuals starting to work together. They could and would plan takeovers. They could and would plan manipulation to gain control with conscious planning. Hence the birth of the elites and perhaps even religious customs.

And be aware, many psychopaths are well adjusted citizens, like surgeons, being able to cut into your body, without freaking out. Or pilots staying calm when everything seems lost. Be happy they are there too. Yet in board rooms or as leaders of peoples who are anxious, self serving psychopaths are totally the wrong leaders. And our whole educational system keeps teaching us, to be like them to succeed. We mistakenly have been taught decisiveness is better .What we really need is considerate, caring, world serving doubters, who think twice about consequences of their decisions. People that will consider the whole system, rather than a minority within the ‘us’.

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So Where To Go?

We have to explore how to include all voices, enrich the diversity (read let nature and poor populations flourish) and how our endeavors can help the whole web of life grow richer. What system will let everybody and everything win? What system will provide enough for everyone on the planet? And there is proof enough that there is enough.

The beautiful thing is that life itself shows us. Our bodies are a superrich collaboration. Nature is the most delicate network of teeming diversity. Nature doesn’t have cancer, where some things grow too much, without restraint. Human civilization has. From cancers in our bodies, to huge corporations that affect the planet as a cancer by gobbling up natural reserves. We need a system that is medication, not more of the same.

So how does nature really work? The survival of the fittest concept has, by now, been shown to be the survival of the most adaptable. Those turning the world to their wishes might be the least adaptable, as they don’t accept things as they are. The majesty of concrete jungles are dangerously incapable providers of food in times of need and huge contributors to global warming. Acceptance, adaptability, integration of the natural world into our cities, agriculture that enriches the soil rather than depleting it, and dare I say, love, care and compassion for all could become part of a new paradigm. Or if you’ve been looking around longer, very old paradigms rediscovered.

All the old, may have new uses.

The New System

Oops. Yes, it’s still in the making. Many voices around the world talk about this. Here are some of my suggestions to include:

Science has to embrace the new realities it is discovering. If everything is intricately connected in a delicate system, then science can’t continue being of service to big corporations, creating lump solutions to drive profit. True science should be: How is it all hanging together? And more importantly: What impact would this ‘solution’ have for the whole system of life on this planet?

Just bringing new products to the market for fast profits has to lose out to making choices that help heal, improve the whole web to flourish. Better saws to cut trees, agricultural chemicals, GMO’s and cheaper plastics would get way more scrutiny before even slightly considered. We’d see that such ideas are not science at all. The question of what gain will we get from this, might sooner mean charlatanic rape, ravaging and murder of our natural world and would not be seen as science (the acceptance and discovery of reality as it is) at all. Because it excludes and tramples reality as we now understand it.

Bring in a bigger diversity of voices bringing in wisdom and more perspective before essential choices are made. No one with elderly, children, people of all faiths, and colours present will as easily make unjust laws. Healthy normal children will cry and protest if forests are cut or other children bombed. And kick self serving psychopaths out, however great their story sounds or how the threaten you. That’s what they’re good at.

Learn values from indigenous people, about relationships with nature. Learn from the Zapatistas and tribal Africans how to spread leadership around, how to grow local resilience. Learn from grassroots movements how to go really green in a way that can sustain everyone. Accept that care for the whole outranks any corporations economical interests…by far.

Dare to fire CEO’s that damage the planet. Dare to stop huge corporations that damage the planet. Dare to criminalize destruction of natural resources. Include all exterior costs of companies back into them, so we pay real prices. Stop funding and subsidizing powers that be, for everything more healthy, more green, more promising for the whole. And stop anyone from being able to deciding their own salary or bonus. Really. Customers should decide, to start with, then the workers at the bottom.

Teach every child more body awareness, more critical thinking, more eco awareness. Support every child that challenges school and or current paradigms to explore alternatives. Strengthen ideals and values of young people so they don’t lose idealism, rather expand it with knowledge while growing up. Arm them against brainwash and manipulative sales.

End (debt) slavery and poverty. End homelessness near empty houses (whomever accepted this idea, houses rotting away, with people living on the streets needing one?). People who do have a choice, will not stay working in meaningless jobs or unhealthy conditions. For instance with basic income all work has to be designed to have meaning and be pleasurable. It would change the face of human society.
Make cities green and self sustaining. France recently made it law to use every flat rood for either plants or solar panels. Good idea. More green in cities will clean the air, provide more food, reduce global warming, bring back bees, etc. There’s no reasons not to do it, but the trouble or fallen leaves and increase of insects. Hey it’s nature. Nature is life. Embrace it.

Develop economical systems that won’t stop people from working on essential things, when the money system breaks down. In the Netherlands thousands of people work every day to keep Dutch heads above water. This is an essential reality and no financial situation should be able to endanger it. Same goes for food, safety, health, nature for people all around the planet.

Develop yourself. Breath. Play. Venture into nature. Find meaningful work or service. Express your dreams. Ignore marketing and advertising. Celebrate beauty in the moment, not products from a shelf. Relate to and with your body. Learn to listen to its needs and messages. Develop intuition. Be deep, become wise. Become human and alive.

Develop visions of governments that will enrich the planet and all life on it. Develop paradigms that include nature and its needs as fundament. Develop ideas that solve root causes of poverty, war, destruction and pollution rather than addressing the effects. Develop space for diversity of ideas and voices, so no few radicals can push large groups towards violent ideas. And perhaps most of all, as Christopher Chase, calls it: ‘Accept you are part of nature.’ We must, as our cells surrender to our role within the whole of nature (and not human society alone) To do otherwise means becoming cancer. We need nature. We are nature.

Help me, help yourself, help the peaceful majority, help the planet to shift. We will only win, when everyone wins.

Support the Gentle Revolution, be developing what should come after. Innovate onwards.

Most of this post was written in one session after an inspiring online talk with Christopher Chase (see his blog CreativeSystemsThinking) and fired up chat with Shelley Ostroff (see her blog TogetherInCreation). And finally the new science paradigm was born in a short talk with Jan-Henk Bouman. Thank you all for your time and inspiration.

The Gentle Revolution is also on facebook.

More on what you can do. How to help.

More on how to change education.

This piece was written by Floris Koot and was originally posted on Medium. It was reposted with permission under creative commons license.

A Quick Important Notice:

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

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Some Cities Now Threatening Jail Time & Fines For Kids Over 12 Who Go Trick-Or-Treating

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Some cities in Virginia have reminded the public of the laws associated with Halloween night. Children over 12 caught trick or treating can be fined or receive jail time.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we robbing the innocence of children and their fun with laws like this? Is this truly a law we want to have in place? Will it lead to even more liberty loss? Are these laws a result of the fact they are happening in 'The Bible Belt' of America?

Halloween has adapted over the ages from once being an ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain (marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year) to being ‘Christianized’ in the west as a time that begins the three day observance of All Saints’ Eve (Halloween), All Saints’ Day (All Hallows’) and All Souls’ Day, that dates between October 31st to November 2nd. This trifecta is a time intended to remember the dead, including martyrs, saints, and all faithful departed Christians.

Of course today, most in society have strayed far from the intended traditional sense of the day to a more commercialized, fun having approach.

We now choose to participate in Halloween as a family friendly time, dressing up and going door-to-door in our neighbourhood and accepting candy, otherwise known as trick or treating. Aside from the chemicals laden in the candies that are dished out, this time of the year can be pretty harmless for a child, given they are accompanied by an adult and not trotting around in a dangerous area.

Times, Laws, & Guidelines For Halloween in Hampton Roads Virginia

HrScrene is a website considered to be a hub for the people who reside in the Hampton Roads area in Virginia that keeps residents up to date on any happenings in local cities or important information news and even information. Earlier this month, hrScene notified Virginia of the local guidelines that residents are expected to abide by on the night of Halloween.

Each of the nine city’s guidelines explicitly state that no child above the age of 12 is allowed to participate in trick or treating and that no child can trick-or-treat after 8pm. A child of 13 years of age is allowed to accompany a ‘younger child’ but cannot participate in anything remotely similar to trick or treating, including dressing up if you’re living in Newport News,

Sec. 28-5. – Prohibited trick-or-treat activities.

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(a) If any person beyond the seventh grade of school or over twelve (12) years of age shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, such person shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting any parent, guardian or other responsible person having lawfully in his custody a child twelve (12) years old or younger, from accompanying such child who is playing “trick or treat” for the purpose of caring for, looking after or protecting such child. However, no accompanying parent or guardian shall wear a mask of any type.

In Portsmouth, if any child under the age of 12 is out trick-or-treating after 8pm, they can be guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor, a fine of not more than $500, while most of the other city’s will delve out a class 4 misdemeanor, a fine of no more than $250.

(b) If any person shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any name whatsoever after 8:00 p.m., he shall be guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor.

In the City of Hampton, on the night of October 31st, if you’re under the age of 18 it is considered unlawful to be out past 10pm an in some cases 11pm.

It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of fourteen (14) years to be present on any street, road, alley, avenue, park or other public place in the city, or in any vehicle operating or parked thereon, between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by his/her parent or guardian or unless such minor is on an emergency errand or legitimate business directed by his parent or guardian or is engaged in a lawful employment or going directly to the place of such employment or returning directly to his place of residence from the place of such employment.

It shall be unlawful for any person over the age of thirteen (13) years but under the age of eighteen (18) years to be present on any street, road, alley, avenue, park or other public place in the city, or in any vehicle operating or parked thereon, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by his/her parent or guardian or unless such minor is on an emergency errand or legitimate business directed by his parent or guardian or is engaged in a lawful employment or going directly to the place of such employment or returning directly to his place of residence from the place of such employment.

Perhaps one of the worst city codes is that of Chesapeake, if you’re over 12 years old and/or 12 years old and still trick or treating after 8pm, you can potentially be confined in jail for up to six months.

Sec. 46-8. – Trick-or-treat activities.
(a) If any person over the age of 12 years shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than six months or both.

(b) If any person shall engage in the activity commonly known as “trick or treat” or any other activity of similar character or nature under any name whatsoever after 8:00 p.m., he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10.00 nor more than $100.00 or by confinement in jail for not more than 30 days or both.

If you’d like to read the full list, click here.

Will This Actually Be Implemented?

Naturally, this information has a lot of parents and other young adults rearing in confusion. Since when was a 13 year old not considered a child, or even a 16 year old for that matter? Who decided that it was unacceptable for young people to participate in the most known Halloween tradition of trick or treating?

In my first year of college, a friend and I decided that instead of going to a party the night of Halloween, that we could instead go trick or treating. We threw together some form of a costume and trotted from door to door and were always met with happiness. We assumed this was because we were adults, not a likely sight to see on a doorstep reciting, “trick or treat!”

In none of the codes does it include what would happen in a scenario where a teenager with an intellectual or developmental disability went trick or treating. It also doesn’t mention whether a minor is expected to have a form of ID on them. Does this put children at risk of being interrogated and being fearful of law enforcement rather than allowing for a child to get a sense of community by witnessing their town coming together to celebrate Halloween?

Law enforcement of York County assured a mother who recently moved to the area that they will not be arresting anyone the night of Halloween, further confirming the lunacy of these laws.

I decided to question why these laws would be implemented to begin with. Virginia does fall into the ‘Bible Belt’ an “informal region in the Southern United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism plays a strong role in society and politics. Christian church attendance across these denominations are generally higher than the nation’s average,” according to Wikipedia’s definition. Christians seem to be divided when it comes to whether or not they should celebrate Halloween,  but Thessalonians explicitly states,

Abstain from all appearance of evil.

And then I thought to myself, well, perhaps these areas are considered ‘unsafe’ and known for teenagers wreaking havoc on the night of October 31st.

According to the article These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Virginia For 2019, published October 11th 2018, 3 of the 9 cities enforcing these laws (Portsmouth, Norfolk, Newport News) are considered ‘dangerous’. The basis of criteria they used to determine which city was most dangerous was violent crimes per capita and property crimes per capita.

Portsmouth made the top of the list by being number 1 with property crimes and number 2 with violent crimes. But when it comes to the night of Halloween, the worst they’ll give out to a child trick treating after 8pm or one trick or treating over the age of 12 is a class 3 misdemeanour.

The worst penalty, in my opinion, is that of the city of Chesapeake. The law suggests a child could actually go to jail if they don’t abide by the codes being enforced which would lead me to assume it’s probably not a safe place to live except that this article, Is Chesapeake Virginia A Safe Place To Live? actually uses the word ‘boring’ to describe the nature of the town, or more so, fighting that notion.

The Takeaway

The issue isn’t so much about these ordinances but rather what route our youth are being led to. Media today is exposing our children to a world that is hyper-sexualized and overtly emotional. The internet often pokes fun at millennials with memes giving examples of how awkward they were when they were 12 or 14, and how today’s youth is skipping that stage and going right into adulthood.

We don’t have to look hard to see how the innocence of a child is being hijacked by societal ‘norms.’ These codes being enforced is alarming because it’s exposing how obvious this governmental objective truly is. Should we have to fight for children to be children? Halloween is just the beginning and it’s up to us on whether not we’d like to participate in the robbing of our children’s innocence.

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A Jury’s $289 Million Verdict Against Monsanto Might Be Overturned By The Judge

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dewayne Johnson was the first lawsuit alleging glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial. He ended up winning and was awarded nearly $300 million. Now, the judge is threatening to overall the decision made by the Jury.

  • Reflect On:

    How can corporations like Monsanto and government regulatory agencies constantly approve products that an uncountable amount of research and science has shown is harmful to human health as well as the environment.

Not long ago, school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson became involved in the very first lawsuit to go to trial alleging glyphosate causes cancer. The case made global headlines when the jury at San Francisco’s Superior Court of California deliberated for three days before finding that Monsanto had failed to warn Johnson and other consumers of the cancer risks posed by its weed killers. We’ve seen the same issue with similar substances like DDT, which was sprayed for years before it was finally banned decades ago. The unfortunate thing is that DDT is still highly present in the environment and in our soil, and is a catalyst for many diseases. Are we seeing the same thing with Glyphosate?

The court ended up awarding $39 million in compensation and $250 million in punitive damages. It’s also vital to mention that Monsanto, now a unit of Bayer AG following a $62.5 billion acquisition by the German conglomerate, faces more than 5,000 similar lawsuits across the United States.

Grounds For Reversal?

Now, just two months after jurors made the decision in favor of Johnson, who is dying of cancer, the judge suddenly has an issue with the amount and might overrule the decision. Again, Johnson is one of the thousands of cancer patients that are taking Monsanto to trial. The judge is apparently calling for a new trial, and she has now granted Monsanto a request for a JNOW on a tentative basis. A JNOW is a judgement notwithstanding the verdict. This is basically when a judge in a civil case overrules the jury’s decision.

This is extremely confusing, isn’t it? What prompted the judge to do this, and did Monsanto have anything to do with it? And even if the judge denies Monsanto’s request to drop the $250 million fine, the Court would grant a new trial on the grounds of ‘insufficiency of evidence’ to justify the award for punitive damages–this after the evidence was found to be quite sufficient at the time.

Even the jurors are speaking out, according to CTV news:

Jurors who found that agribusiness giant Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer contributed to a school groundskeeper’s cancer are urging a San Francisco judge not to throw out the bulk of their $289 million award in his favour, a newspaper reported Monday.

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Stock Drop

Shares in Bayer, which bought Monsanto as mentioned earlier, dropped immediately after the original decision and hasn’t risen since. It’s still trading at approximately 30 percent below its pre-verdict value. The statement given by Bayer after the initial decision does its best to restore confidence in their product:

The jury’s decision is wholly at odds with over 40 years of real-world use, an extensive body of scientific data and analysis…which support the conclusion that glyphosate-based herbicides are safe for use and do not cause cancer in humans. (source)

This statement strongly goes against the statements made by thousands of scientists across the world.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014) article ID 179691

Keep in mind that the use of glyphosate rose 1500% from 1995 to 2005, and that 100 million pounds of glyphosate is used every year on more than a billion acres. (Cherry, B., “GM crops increase herbicide use in the United States,” Science in Society 45, 44-46, 2010) (source)

Years Of Activism

The alarming thing is that for decades, scientists, activist groups and environmental/health awareness groups have been creating awareness and presenting the science explaining how and why Monsanto’s glyphosate (the main ingredient in their Roundup herbicide) causes cancer, among other diseases. Despite the fact that this has been happening for years, the political stranglehold these corporations have on governmental regulatory agencies has prevented this information from being taken seriously.

If the truth was widely known it would result in an unfathomable drop in profit for Monsanto’s products which contain glyphosate, but mostly in North America. Many countries have completely banned the ingredient and other Monsanto products, due to clear links to diseases like cancer and kidney disease, for example. In fact, most of the products manufactured by Monsanto and other giant North American biotech companies are completely banned and illegal in many other countries.

It makes you wonder how such a substance can go through the review process, whatever it is, and still be approved for use. Monsanto has been sued many times; in fact one lawsuit unearthed documents showing how Monsanto misled regulators and scientists to speed up approval for the development of genetically modified foods. You can read more about that here. So, the science itself becomes subject to fraud when power and money are applied. Roundup herbicide is over one hundred times more toxic than regulators claim. And a new study published in the journal Biomedical Research International showed how Roundup herbicide is 125 times more toxic than its active ingredient glyphosate studied in isolation. You can read more about that here.

We are talking about clear hormone disrupters and clear catalysts for cancer. Decades of science and scientific fraud that’s been exposed has forced the World Health Organisation, a major hub of the establishment that seems to regulate the shady industry of health, to finally admit that glyphosate, like cigarettes, processed foods and meats, is carcinogenic.

Clear Injustice

This judge’s reversal will end up having enormous financial and reputational repercussions for the corporation, and it seems obvious that she has been influenced by power and money. The truth is, if you take the scientific evidence, as well as clear evidence of scientific fraud and corruption by these corporate and government agencies (who are constantly in collusion with one another), there is no jury on the planet that would not reach a guilty verdict. That’s because the evidence is quite clear, which is why if this decision was going to be reversed, it would have to be the Judge over-ruling the jury’s decision.

This verdict proves that when ordinary citizens, in this case a jury of 12, hear the facts about Monsanto’s products, and the lengths to which this company has gone to buy off scientists, deceive the public and influence government regulatory agencies, there is no confusion.”  Ronnie Cummins, International Director of the organic consumers association

At the end of the day, we are the ones using these products and we are the ones voting with our dollar. That being said, it completely goes against our free will and interests for products to be approved that are obviously completely unsafe. It’s unfortunate that those who choose not to use these products or be near them, still end up with it in our system. The fact that Monsanto can still somehow fight this and provide evidence means our work is not yet done.

The Takeaway

The work of many brave activists has brought awareness to the severe health risks of glyphosate and Roundup, but to honor all their efforts we must continue to spread awareness about these corporate crimes until the time comes when these chemicals have been removed from all corners of the Earth.

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Alternative News

The Man The CIA Wants You To Forget

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Former LAPD Narcotics Detective and whistleblower Michael Ruppert spent years speaking out against the CIA for allegedly running drugs throughout the USA. He was found dead in 2014 by an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do we continue to give credibility to agencies like the CIA who have been caught abusing their power time and time again? Who's watching the watchers? What can we do to better protect whistleblowers when they come forward?

Michael C. Ruppert was an ex-LAPD Narcotics Detective and whistleblower who came out against the CIA in the late 70’s. He claimed they tried to enlist him in protecting and helping to facilitate their drug running practices. When Ruppert declined involvement and came forward he said he was threatened, wrongly discredited, and even shot at, but that didn’t stop him from speaking up.

“I will tell you, director Deutch, that as a former LosAngeles police narcotics detective that the agency has dealt drugs throughout this country for a long time.” – Michael C. Ruppert

At a now infamous town hall hearing in LA, he faced off against the chief of the CIA with a packed room of people from the South-Central area cheering him on from the crowd. It was not only the unlawful behavior Ruppert wanted to expose, but also the incredible hypocrisy of the CIA and the LAPD for bringing cocaine and other drugs into the community, and then locking up small-time drug dealers and users.

These imported drugs were ripping apart communities with widespread effects like addiction, increased crime and gang activity, overdose deaths, and many incarcerations that broke up families leading to cycles of crime that spanned generations. You can see the video of the emotional town hall meeting below.

He Didn’t Stop There

Michael Ruppert spent most of his life trying to expose criminality at the highest levels. Tackling everything from the peak oil crisis to the military industrial complex. He also believed that 9/11 was allowed to happen by the Bush administration.

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” 9-11 was a predictable event and it was motivated precisely and solely by Peak Oil and nothing else.” – Michael C. Ruppert (source)

Ruppert became a published author and gained more notoriety for his controversial book “Confronting Collapse: The Crisis of Energy and Money in a Post Peak Oil World.”  That ended up inspiring the eye-opening documentary “Collapse”, which is a worthwhile watch to start understanding the deep levels of corruption and cover-up that has been taking place around the globe.

No matter your thoughts on the legitimacy of Ruppert’s claims, it’s clear he wasn’t afraid of taking on the Goliaths of the world but for doing so was branded by many throughout the mainstream media as a wild conspiracy theorist.

“All corporate-owned and publicly-traded media is our first and foremost immediate enemy.” Michael C. Ruppert

Redemption?

It’s 1996 and in comes Gary Webb. A very well respected Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who begins investigating the ties between leaders of the Nicaraguan Contra Rebel organizations and the CIA. Webb wrote a 3 part investigative series that got published in the San Jose Mercury News. This caused a public uproar, especially from people in poorer communities where the crack-cocaine epidemic was destroying families.

The publicity from Webb’s scathing piece of journalism against the CIA is what allowed Ruppert the chance to finally be heard on a larger scale, and Webb’s conclusions even launched a federal investigation into the issue. While many people believed him, Gary Webb ended up losing his publisher, getting smeared all over the mainstream news for exaggerating and was even called an outright liar. Alongside Ruppert, Webb was outspoken in saying there was massive media manipulation around the issue.

“The government side of the story is coming through the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post. They use the giant corporate press rather than saying anything directly. If you work through friendly reporters on major newspapers, it comes off as The New York Times saying it and not a mouthpiece of the CIA.” – Gary Webb (source)

Tragic Ending

Gary Webb was found dead in his home in 2004 with two gunshot wounds to the head. His death was ruled a suicide but there is still some speculation considering the fact that it’s uncommon for a person to pull the trigger twice in a suicide but to be fair it has happened in the past. There was a suicide note and his wife has stated he was depressed for a while about no longer being able to get a job at any major newspaper.

An eerily similar fate was met by Michael Ruppert. He was found dead in his home in 2014 with one gunshot wound to the head. He also left a note and his death was ruled a suicide. Just like Webb there was mystery around Ruppert’s official story, some believe it was a hit for saying too much or that maybe he was onto another big story, some believe the suicide was staged and he went off the map to get a fresh start, and others take the story at face value and think that maybe he’d just had enough of fighting, of always looking over his shoulder. As a man that spent his life questioning the mainstream narrative, it seems fitting that many conspiracy theories have formed around his death.

The Takeaway

If you check out the video above you can hear from Michael Ruppert himself about some of his story and see him in action at the town hall meeting where he challenged the CIA. His question to the chief is a powerful one, asking if he comes across information of illegal activity but it’s classified, will he report it?

Are these organizations we give the power to enforce the law and/or to protect us above the law? Are there circumstances where illegal activity by some organizations is justified, say if the information is a threat to public safety? Why could none of the CIA’s internal investigations find any hard evidence of the claims against them? Who’s watching the watchers? One of the final sentences of Ruppert’s suicide note reads:

“I do this for the children, may it bring love and light into the world.” – Michael C. Ruppert (source)

That seems like a cause that we can all get behind. Working together to build a world worth leaving to future generations. Let’s leave it better than we found it, I know we’re capable of it. Whether you agree with Michael Ruppert’s beliefs or not we can learn from him because I feel that he was trying to do just that, leave the world a better place. Love and light!

A Quick Important Notice:

The demand for Collective Evolution's content is bigger than ever, except ad agencies and social media keep cutting our revenues. This is making it hard for us to continue.

In order to stay truly independent, we need your help. We are not going to put up paywalls on this website, as we want to get our info out far and wide. For as little as $3 a month, you can help keep CE alive!

SUPPORT CE HERE!

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