Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Subduing and Controling Women in Alabama

An Abhorrent Law - Let's vote Republicans out...
Why you all want to control our bodies, I will never ever know.Alabama state Sen. Vivian Davis Figures (D)
Figures, one of just four women in the Alabama Senate, told her Republican counterpart that there isn’t a single law in the country that decides “what a man can or cannot do with his body.” She also acknowledged she isn’t sure whether she would get an abortion herself, but said she believes it should up to women to make their own decision. 
“I will have to be honest with you: I praise God every day that I was never, ever put in that situation to make that choice,” Figures said. “I don’t know what choice I would have made. I really don’t. And that is why I so firmly believe that it should be a woman’s choice, that a woman knows what she’s up against, she knows what she has to do ― whether she can or cannot provide for that child.”
“You are playing God, in my opinion, because you’ve already decided what needs to be done,” she added. “You all don’t rule the world. I mean, you may think you do, but you don’t.”
Read the whole story in the HuffingtonPost:

Friday, May 10, 2019

Monsanto’s Roundup, Alzheimer's, and Autism

The Horrific Truth about Roundup:  Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide May Be Most Important Factor in Development of Autism and Other Chronic Diseases.

Dr. Mercola: "In recent months, we have learned some very disturbing truths about glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup, which is generously doused on genetically engineered (GE) Roundup-Ready crops."

GE crops are typically far more contaminated with glyphosate than conventional crops, courtesy of the fact that they are engineered to withstand extremely high levels of Roundup without perishing along with the weed.

A new peer-reviewed report authored by Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant, and a long time contributor to the Vital Votes Forum, and  Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, reveals how glyphosate wrecks human health.

In the interview above, Dr. Seneff summarizes the two key problems caused by glyphosate in the diet:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Systemic toxicity

Their findings make the need for labeling all the more urgent, and the advice to buy certified organic all the more valid.

The Horrific Truth about Roundup
In 2009, a French court found Monsanto guilty of lying; falsely advertising its Roundup herbicide as "biodegradable," "environmentally friendly" and claiming it "left the soil clean."

Mounting evidence now tells us just how false such statements are. I don’t believe that Monsanto is one of the evilest companies on the planet for nothing.  The company has done absolutely nothing to improve its worldwide influence on human and environmental health.

In a video, Jeffrey Smith, author of the bestseller Seeds of Deception, says Monsanto, during some reflective moment, must have asked: “What would Darth Vader do?” Because what they have come up with is a way of pretending that they’re beneficial and then insinuating themselves into the food and agriculture industry, and now it turns out that what they have is very, very dangerous.

Indeed, according to Dr. Seneff, glyphosate is possible "the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies,” including but not limited to:

  • Autism
  • Gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, 
  • chronic diarrhea, colitis and Crohn's disease
  • Obesity
  • Allergies
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Infertility
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • ALS, and more

How Glyphosate Worsens Modern Diseases
While Monsanto insists that Roundup is as safe to humans as aspirin, Seneff and Samsel’s research tells a different story altogether.  Their report, which was published in the journal Entropy1, argues that glyphosate residues, found in most commonly consumed foods in the Western diet courtesy of GE sugar, corn, soy and wheat, “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease.”

Interestingly, your gut bacteria are a key component of glyphosate’s mechanism of harm.
Monsanto has steadfastly claimed that Roundup is harmless to animals and humans because the mechanism of action it uses (which allows it to kill weeds), called the shikimate pathway, is absent in all animals.  However, the shikimate pathway IS present in bacteria, and that’s the key to understanding how it causes such widespread systemic harm in both humans and animals.

The bacteria in your body outnumber your cells by 10 to 1. For every cell in your body, you have 10 microbes of various kinds, and all of them have the shikimate pathway, so they will all respond to the presence of glyphosate!

Glyphosate causes extreme disruption of the microbe’s function and lifecycle. What’s worse, glyphosate preferentially affects beneficial bacteria, allowing pathogens to overgrow and take over. At that point, your body also has to contend with the toxins produced by the pathogens.

Once the chronic inflammation sets in, you are well on your way toward chronic and potentially debilitating diseases. In the interview, Dr. Seneff reviews a variety of chronic diseases, explaining how glyphosate contributes to each condition.

The Overlooked Component of Toxicity
The research reveals that glyphosate inhibits cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, a large and diverse group of enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of organic substances. This, the authors state, is “an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals.” One of the functions of CYP enzymes is to detoxify xenobiotics—chemical compounds found in a living organism that is not normally produced or consumed by the organism in question.
By limiting the ability of these enzymes to detoxify foreign chemical compounds, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of chemicals and environmental toxins you may be exposed to.

But that’s not all. Dr. Stephanie Seneff has been conducting research at MIT for over three decades. She also has an undergraduate degree in biology from MIT and a minor in food and nutrition, and I have previously interviewed her about her groundbreaking insights into the critical importance of sulfur in human health. Not surprisingly, this latest research also touches on sulfur, and how it is affected by glyphosate from food.

“We show how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport,” the authors write.

“Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.  ...

The Roundup-Autism Connection
For the past 30 years, Dr. Seneff has been passionate about teasing out potential causes of autism, after seeing what it was like for a close friend whose son was diagnosed. She points out the clear correlations between increased glyphosate use over recent years (the result of genetically engineered crops causing weed resistance, necessitating ever-larger amounts to be used) and skyrocketing autism rates.

The rate of autism has risen so quickly, there can be no doubt that it has an environmental cause. Our genes simply cannot mutate fast enough to account for the rapid rise we’re now seeing. The latest statistics released by the CDC show that 1 in 50 children in the US now falls within the autism spectrum 2,3, with a 5:1 boy to girl ratio. Just last year the CDC reported a rate of 1 in 88, which represented a 23 percent increase since 2010, and 78 percent since 2007. Meanwhile, I remember when the incidence of autism in the US was only 1 in 10,000—just short of 30 years ago!

Dr. Seneff identified two key problems in autism that are unrelated to the brain yet clearly associated with the condition—both of which are linked with glyphosate exposure (starting at 10 minutes into the interview, she gives an in-depth explanation of how glyphosate causes the many symptoms associated with autism):

Gut dysbiosis (imbalances in gut bacteria, inflammation, leaky gut, food allergies such as gluten intolerance) disrupted sulfur metabolism/sulfur and sulfate deficiency...
Interestingly, certain microbes in your body actually break down glyphosate, which is a good thing. However, a byproduct of this action is ammonia, and children with autism tend to have significantly higher levels of ammonia in their blood than the general population. Ditto for those with Alzheimer’s disease. In your brain, ammonia causes encephalitis, i.e. brain inflammation.

Another devastating agent you really do not want in your body is formaldehyde, which a recent nutritional analysis discovered is present in genetically engineered corn at a level that is 200 times the amount that animal studies have determined to be toxic to animals. Formaldehyde destroys DNA and can cause cancer.

Other research backing up the Roundup-autism link is that from former US Navy staff scientist Dr. Nancy Swanson. She has a Ph.D. in physics, holds five US patents and has authored more than 30 scientific papers and two books on women in science. Ten years ago, she became seriously ill, and in her journey to regain her health she turned to organic foods. Not surprisingly (for those in the know) her symptoms dramatically improved. This prompted her to start investigating genetically engineered foods.

She has meticulously collected statistics on glyphosate usage and various diseases and conditions, including autism. A more perfect match-up between the rise in glyphosate usage and the incidence of autism is hard to imagine...

When Food Is Poison...
What the biotech industry, spearheaded by Monsanto, has managed to do is turn food into poison... quite literally, and in more ways than one. Here, we’re just talking about the effects of Roundup. There are plenty of indications that the genetic alteration of a crop itself can pose significant health concerns. So with the vast majority of GE crops, you have no less than two potentially hazardous factors to contend with, glyphosate toxicity being just one part of the equation.

As discussed above, glyphosate has a number of devastating biological effects. So much so that it may very well be one of the most important factors in the development of a wide variety of modern diseases and conditions, including autism.
In summary, these detrimental effects include:

  • Nutritional deficiencies, as glyphosate immobilizes certain nutrients and alters the nutritional composition of the treated crop. 
  • Disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids (these are essential amino acids not produced in your body that must be supplied via your diet).
  • Increased toxin exposure (this includes high levels of glyphosate and formaldehyde in the food itself)
  • Impairment of sulfate transport and sulfur metabolism; sulfate deficiency
  • Systemic toxicity—a side effect of extreme disruption of microbial function throughout your body; beneficial microbes in particular, allowing for overgrowth of pathogens
  • Gut dysbiosis (imbalances in gut bacteria, inflammation, leaky gut, food allergies such as gluten intolerance)
  • Enhancement of damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and environmental toxins as a result of glyphosate shutting down the function of detoxifying enzymes
  • Creation of ammonia (a byproduct created when certain microbes break down glyphosate), which can lead to brain inflammation associated with autism and Alzheimer’s disease

How to Protect Yourself and Your Family from This Systemic Poison

It's important to understand that the glyphosate sprayed on conventional and genetically engineered crops actually become systemic throughout the plant, so it cannot be washed off.  It's inside the plant.

For example, genetically engineered corn has been found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate, compared to zero in non-GMO corn. At 13 ppm, GMO corn contains more than 18 times the “safe” level of glyphosate set by the EPA. Organ damage in animals has occurred at levels as low as 0.1 ppm. If that’s not reason enough to become a label reader to avoid anything with corn in it, such as corn oil or high fructose corn syrup, I don’t know what is.

Stop using Roundup around your home, where children and pets can come into contact with it simply by walking across the area.

Until the US requires genetically engineered (GE) foods to be labeled, the only way you can avoid GE ingredients is to make whole, fresh organic foods the bulk of your diet, and to only buy 100% USDA certified organic processed foods.  Meats need to be grass-fed or pastured to make sure the animals were not fed GE corn or soy feed.


Friday, May 3, 2019

Do You Really Need a Literary Agent?

Many writers ask whether they need a literary agent. It truly depends on your unique circumstances – and the quality of the agent. And it is much more important for an author in the US and UK to have representation than it is in Canada or Australia. This is partly a reflection of the market size and also partly a reflection of culture.
Don't Send the Manuscript
Sending your (partial) manuscript into the online slush pile is a waste of time. Most writers with a finished manuscript don’t mind too much whether they get an agent before a publisher, or skip straight to the publisher. They just want to see their book out in the bookstores of the world. So the tips that follow apply equally to finding an agent as they do to finding a publisher.
Research, Research, and Research Even More
There’s a lot of information hiding in plain sight if you know where to look. Start with your own library: what have you read that has something in common with your manuscript – such as genre, subject, historical time period?
The Imprint page
. This is the page at the very beginning of the book that details the publishing house that has produced it. It’s useful to note down the different imprints that belong to the same publishing house. For example, Penguin Random House is the huge behemoth publishing house, but within its universe, you will find imprints such as Viking and Michael Joseph. Familiarise yourself with which books are published under which imprint because these are conscious commercial decisions publishers make. Agents and publishers need to feel that your manuscript would be a great fit with a particular imprint.

The publisher’s website will contain numerous pages devoted to each of its imprints. Study these to determine which imprint/s your work aligns with. You will be amazed at the education this gives you (or at least the number of fresh questions about the publishing process you’ll have), and at how impressive you will be to a prospective agent or publisher.
Literary agent website submissions guidelines. I feel this needs to be listed separately because unpublished authors regularly feel free to ignore submission guidelines posted on literary agents’ websites. Those guidelines are there for a reason...
Find a lot more tips by Virginia Lloyd, a former literary agent: