Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Something Old, Something New

by Richard Aleman




G.K. Chesterton once said trade, which by its very nature is a secondary thing, has become a primary thing.

Case in point, the portrait of an unnatural matrimony between government and the powerful elites of business and finance. What happens when big government and big business collaborate? For one, justice becomes –to put it bluntly– empty. Judges order billionaires to “go to their room” after robbing fifty billion dollars, while the average criminal sits in jail for stealing $50 from a 7-Eleven.

In the public sector, the American people have been treated to the latest round of corrupt officials and Senate nominations. Recently, a former governor was impeached after the discovery of a connection between a Senate seat appointment and his own lucrative ambitions. The unoccupied position belonged to former Senator and now President of the United States, Barack Obama. Another illustration in corruption, almost negligible in contrast, is the tale of a governor and a wealthy American “aristocrat” with a famous last name seeking a vacant Senate seat in New York.

I don’t know what is worse, a politician acting in typical fashion, or an inexperienced rich woman nearly buying a Senate seat. Both almost succeeded in their own way. But if they did, it would be simplistic to say greed was their only excuse. I would argue their ambitions were nearly clinched due to their hubris. They believed they could get away with this, nonchalant. But are they as dumb as we think or is the joke on us? After all, any man convinced he can sell a Senate seat from the “privacy” of his home or office telephone must be confident enough in a sleepy press, a powerless law enforcement, and an idle public.

This is Just Nuts
In the private sector, Peanut Corporation of America files for bankruptcy amidst a salmonella contamination, which led to at least nine deaths and 636 cases of poisoning. “Turn them loose,” was the response from CEO Stewart Parnell after learning about the contamination at his plant. Sitting in front of Congress, Mr. Parnell pleaded the fifth in the tradition of Enron. Even after his lack of concern for the safety and well being of the public, he stands defiant, unapologetic, and unwilling to take responsibility.



Thank You, FDA
Those militant regulators for “the family,” the Food and Drug Administration, recently gave the green light to cloned meat. The FDA has a history of rubberstamping products that should never pass inspection. Remember Vioxx, the nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drug? During a Senate Hearing following the Vioxx/Merck controversy, the FDA was charged with rushing drug approval, ignoring red flags, delaying the addition of cardiovascular labeling, and ignoring feedback that questioned regulatory decisions.

Revolving Doors
The Food and Drug Administration also has a history of “revolving doors,” in other words, some of their regulators previously held positions in the companies they are supposed to keep tabs on. The conflict of interest is obvious, but not to the FDA.

No greater example has been made in recent history of the danger of revolving doors, than the relationship between Dick Cheney and his former employer, Halliburton the Energy Services Group. By the time Dick Cheney left Halliburton, he was CEO. Once Cheney was elected Vice-President and the nation went to war, Halliburton acquired contracts to provide services for our military bases stationed in Iraq. Mr. Cheney also received stock options and deferred compensation while still Vice-President of the United States.

The same revolving doors exist for Democrats. Bill Clinton has received many donations for his not-for-profit, The William J. Clinton Foundation, and Hilary Clinton has intervened on behalf of his contributors and business interests numerous times.

One doesn’t need to be Father Brown to see the problems involved with “revolving doors.” Perhaps we should send the FDA some copies.

If Only Cows Had Guns
Although they have relatively short and poor test studies, biotech companies like Monsanto, responsible for Agent Orange, rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone), and for operating 90% of all GMOs (Genetically Modified Organism), are generally given carte blanche by the FDA.

One example of this is Posilac or “rBST,” which is a synthetic hormone that when injected into a cow’s blood stream, excites the natural hormone IGF-1 used for milk production, found in both humans and cows. It restricts mammary cell death in cows, by manipulating their natural chemistry so nearly 10% increase in overall output may be achieved. The stimulation of IGF-1 has been controversial, as IGF-1, an ingredient in breast milk, has been rumored to have adverse effects on non-infants, specifically in accelerating breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers. rBST has been banned in Japan, the European Union, New Zealand, and Australia.

Is there a link between cancer and rBst? Or perhaps I should ask, would you bet your children’s lives on the results of a 90-day trial conducted by the FDA…on rats?

The following clip comes via the documentary, “The Corporation” and involves two former Fox News whistleblowers, prevented from airing their controversial expose of the Monsanto Corporation.



Monsanto lobbyists, including large Dairy conglomerates, have successfully swayed lawmakers that the labeling of organic milk as “rBST-free” has damaged their right to maximize on profits. From 1995-2001, Dan Glickman was the United States Secretary of Agriculture under Bill Clinton. In the following video clip from the documentary, “The World According to Monsanto,” French filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin interviews the former Secretary about the collusion between government and Agribusiness.



The concentration of power and the alliance of government and business is just one consequence of trade usurping its natural order in the world. The Socialist finds these results one more reason to throw out the baby with the bath water, and control the private sector. Of course, history proves those Socialists are indeed the very Capitalists using government to eliminate their competition. The Distributist response must be to create a parallel economy and restore our farmlands. Already many like-minded organizations have begun the hard, long road toward recuperating our land and we must join them.

Friends, remember that with every night, there is always one dawn.

Interview with Thomas Storck

On Cooperative Ownership

John Médaille Interview in Romania

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