CHD’s New ‘Medical Racism’ Film Exposes Long-Standing Experimentation on Minorities
Watch the trailer now! Medical Racism, premiering March 11, chronicles the medical cartel’s history of targeting minorities for unethical experiments, the acquiescence of regulatory agencies and medical ethicists, and the silence of physicians who allow these atrocities to continue today.
Children’s Health Defense, in conjunction with Centner Productions and the Urban Global Health Alliance, along with co-producers Rev. Tony Muhammad and author-historian Curtis Cost, today released the trailer for their upcoming documentary, “Medical Racism: The New Apartheid.”
“Medical Racism,” which premieres March 11, illuminates the shocking history of government health regulators and private pharmaceutical companies conducting human experiments on Black Americans.
“Though many Americans are familiar with the history of medical atrocities committed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at Tuskegee, by the father of American gynecology, Dr. J. Marion Sims, on South Carolina slave girls and the continuing medical larceny against Henrietta Lacks, most people are likely unaware of the routine medical barbarism committed against Africans that persists today,” said Curtis Cost, the film’s co-producer.
The documentary, directed by Academy Award nominee David Massey, chronicles the medical cartel’s long history of targeting minority populations for unethical experiments, the acquiescence of regulatory agencies and medical ethicists, and the silence of physicians who allow these atrocities to continue today.
According to “Medical Racism” producer Kevin Jenkins of the Urban Global Health Alliance: “These racially targeted experiments have been hiding in plain sight for decades. It’s time to expose the truth and end inhumane and barbaric forms of racism by the ‘respected’ medical establishment.”
“The high levels of medical mistrust in the Black community are a rational response to routine callousness and systemic savagery toward Blacks by medical professionals and pharmaceutical interests,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman of Children’s Health Defense. “Our hope in producing this film is to learn from past misdeeds, so we can avoid their future repetition.”
For more information and to register to receive a notification on where and how the film can be seen when it’s released, visit medicalracism.org.
Why Is Africa Ripping Apart? Seismic Scan May Tell
Charles Q. Choi, OurAmazingPlanet Contributor
Date: 19 June 2013
This radar image highlights portions of three of the lakes located in the Western Rift of the Great Rift Valley, a geological fault system of Southwest Asia and East Africa: Lake Edward (top), Lake Kivu (middle) and Lake Tanganyika (bottom).
Arrays of sensors stretching across more than 1,500 miles in Africa are now probing the giant crack in the Earth located there — a fissure linked with human evolution — to discover why and how continents get ripped apart.
Over the course of millions of years, Earth’s continents break up as they are slowly torn apart by the planet’s tectonic forces. All the ocean basins on the Earth started as continental rifts, such as the Rio Grande rift in North America and Asia’s Baikal rift in Siberia.
“Yet, in spite of numerous geophysical and geological studies, we still do not know much about the processes that tear open continents and form continental rifts,” said researcher Stephen Gao, a seismologist at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Mo. This is partly because such research has mostly focused on mature segments of these chasms, as opposed to ones that are still in development, he explained.
Geodynamic models suggest that below mature rifts, a region called the asthenosphere is upwelling. The asthenosphere is the hotter, weaker, upper part of the mantle that lies below the lithosphere, the planet’s outer, rigid shell. So far, there are two contenders for what might cause this upwelling: anomalies deeper in the mantle or thinning of the lithosphere due to distant stresses.
To help find out which of the two different rifting models is correct, the Seismic Arrays for African Rift Initiation (SAFARI) project installed 50 seismic stations across Africa in the summer of 2012, each spaced about 17 to 50 miles (28 to 80 kilometers) apart.
“One of the techniques that we will use to image the Earth beneath the SAFARI stations is called seismic tomography, which is in principle similar to the X-ray CAT-scan technique used in hospitals,” Gao told LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet. “The only differences are that our sources of the ‘rays’ are earthquakes and man-made explosions, and the receivers are the seismic stations such as the 50 SAFARI stations.”
Altogether, these arrays encompass a length of about 1,550 miles (2,500 km) and are located in four countries — Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.
“I think the project has a positive impact on local communities,” Gao said. “Some of our 50 SAFARI seismic stations are on local schools, and the teachers and students were excited and were proud about the fact that their school was selected for a high-tech scientific instrument. We believe that this project showed some kids that the outside world is different and even fascinating.”
The arrays will image the areas under the Okavango, Luangwa and Malawi rifts, the southwest and southernmost segments of the East African Rift system. These so-called incipient rifts are not yet mature and could thus shed light on why and how rifting occurs.
“This is the first large-scale project to image the structure and deformation beneath an incipient rift,” Gao said. “The Okavango rift in Botswana is as young as a few tens-of-thousand years, while most other rifts such as the Rio Grande and Baikal rifts are as old as 35 million years.”
Upwelling or thinning?
If thermal or dynamic anomalies deep in the mantle are responsible for rifting, then upwelling from the asthenosphere should already be occurring beneath these incipient rifts. In contrast, if thinning of the lithosphere is the cause of rifting, then any levels of upwelling should be insignificant because the lithosphere should not have thinned adequately for major upwelling to occur yet.
A magnitude-5.6 earthquake in November near the northern end of the Indian Ocean’s mid-ocean ridge sent out seismic waves that were more than 1 second slower than predicted. This supports the idea that the mantle layer beneath Southern Africa is hotter than normal, perhaps due to a jet of magma known as a mantle plume that geologists have proposed exists beneath this area.
To image the structures beneath these rifts and pin down what the rifting mechanism in Eastern Africa is, researchers need data from more than just one event. The seismic arrays will be deployed for 24 months, and each station will sample the Earth for seismic waves 50 times per second.
“We are anxious to see if there are melted rocks in the mantle beneath the rifts, if there is convective mantle flow that is driving the rifting process, and how much the crust has been thinned in different portions of the rifts,” Gao said. “But this cannot be done until next summer, when all the data recorded by SAFARI are processed.”
The scientists detailed their findings to date in the June 11 issue of Eos, the online newspaper of the American Geophysical Union.
Witches’ broomsticks are considered similar to any heavier-than-air transportation device that is airborne, reports The Star.
Broomstick-flying witches to be brought down in Swaziland
Times LIVE | 13 May, 2013 10:53
Fictional wizard Harry Potter riding his broomstick. Image by: HO
Witches flying broomsticks in Swaziland above 150 metres will be subject to arrest and a hefty fine of R500 000, civil aviation authorities said, according to a report.
“A witch on a broomstick should not fly above the [150-metre] limit,” Civil Aviation Authority marketing and corporate affairs director Sabelo Dlamini told the newspaper.
No penalties exist for witches flying below 150 metres.
The report said it was hard to say how serious he was, but witchcraft isn’t a joking matter in Swaziland, where the people believe in it.
The statute also forbids toy helicopters and children’s kites from ascending too high into the country’s airspace.
Dlamini was asked by the Swazi press to explain the country’s aviation laws following the arrest of a private detective, Hunter Shongwe, for operating a toy helicopter equipped with a video camera, of which he boasted using to gather surveillance information similar to the way a drone aircraft operates.
The detective was charged with operating an unregistered aircraft and for failing to appear before his chief to be questioned by traditional authorities about his toy drone, the first of its kind in Swaziland.
Swazi brooms are short bundles of sticks tied together and do not have handles. Swazi witches are known to use them to fling potions about homesteads – but not for transport.
Claiming that the continent of Africa is to this century what North America was to the 19th, U2 frontman Bono has become one of the biggest supporters of the recently announced G8 initiative that’s sending $22 billion dollars in aid, supplied mostly by multi-national corporate conglomerates, to “lift Africa out of poverty” over the next ten years. One of the biggest tools being leveraged in this plan will be the use of controversial agricultural practices-mainly non-native genetically modified crops and the accompanying fertilizers and pesticides-under the moniker The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. Companies that have pledged their dollars and support through NAFSN include: DuPont, Monsanto, Cargill, Syngenta, Kraft, and Unilever.
According to the White House, the G8’s announcement of NAFSN represents the “next phase of our shared commitment to achieving global food security.” Under the guise of working with Africa’s leaders to develop transparent “country-regulated” policies for food security, in his G8 speech, his ONE organization’s blog, his interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, and in an article he wrote for TIME magazine aptly titled “The Resource Miracle,” Bono repeatedly and not-so-subtly hints to the wealth of minerals laying just underneath the feet of Africans.
In his speech at the G8 summit held in May in Chicago, Bono jokingly refers to the African continent as “richer than rich; like 19th century America with elephants,” adding that “the continent that contains the most poverty also contains the most wealth.” Be that precious metals, gems or even (god help us) more oil-the message is a simple one to decode: Feed Africans and they will make you lots of money. (Besides, the Chinese are already over there doing it.)
Wal-mart, says Bono, has already invested more than $2 billion in development in Africa. And while he consistently avoids talking specifically about the plans NAFSN has to tackle the poverty issue, he does say the efforts are “way, way smarter” due to “the advances in science and technology.” One only need to look at the companies funding the plan to read between the lines.
African countries have slowly begun opening the door to genetic modification in recent years. Just 40 years ago, African nations exported more than 1 million tons of food, but now, due to drought, war and famine, the continent must import more than 25 percent of its food supplies. And once staunchly resistant to the technology, countries including Kenya and South Africa now permit GMOs to help tackle their poverty and starvation issues. The multinational biotech companies, of course, see dollar signs all over the continent-not just in being able to sell peasant farmers patented gene technology and companion products-but also in the many resources Bono speaks to: Sixty percent of Africa is arable land, which could make it one of the premier biotech testing grounds in the world. What lies underneath the soil-the metals, minerals and oil-all have uses for the industry as well, from petroleum-based fertilizers to pesticide development and fuel for the trucks that transport and spray them.
If history is any indicator, what has happened to other areas of the developing world when genetically modified organisms are introduced as a means to sidestepping poverty, malnutrition and disease is no miracle. Hundreds of thousands of Indian cotton farmers have (and continue to) commit suicide because of failure to meet crop yield expectations and therefore failing to pay Monsanto and Bayer CropScience for what is, effectively, a highly faulty product.
More than 5 million Brazilian farmers are currently in the midst of a lawsuit tangle with Monsanto over unrealistic royalty expectations on crops, including genetically modified soy and corn, which have quickly outpaced the growth of non-GMO crops in the South American country, but at a cost the farmers claim was misrepresented and unrealistic. Not to mention that the rapid growth of GMOs in Brazil have been intrinsically linked with irreparable destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the vital species and cultures that have thrived in the world’s most important ecosystem since it first sprouted eons ago.
Hybrid Monsanto seeds given to post-earthquake Haiti failed to produce crops and led to uprisings in the streets with protestors burning the faulty Monsanto seeds. Even here on American soil, farmers repeatedly find themselves struggling to meet yield expectations, battling Monsanto lawsuits over seed-saving or patent infringement if crops drift from neighboring farms, all while pests and weeds become more and more resistant to the harmful pesticides that the farmers were told they’d be able to decrease use of over time.
Over the last three decades, Bono has built a reputation as a humanitarian, an environmentalist, and a responsible artist. He helped build the ONE organization, which according to their website, is “a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.” He and his wife were pioneers in environmentally-friendly clothing (Edun) that encourages ethical trade in Africa, and even his band’s music has come to overtly encourage listeners to live compassionate, authentic, and joyful lives-overcoming personal and global transgressions together.
Intending to combat the extreme conditions in Africa-drought, blights, poor soil quality, etc-the NAFSN roster of corporations continually make claims that GMO crops can handle these very issues, when similar circumstances repeatedly prove otherwise. This is why it’s most confusing that Bono would be so vocal about supporting such controversial agricultural methods. When the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced support of biotechnology, it was disheartening, yes, but almost expected. The Microsoft guru is known for glitchy software and a generally geeky level of oversight.
But Bono was once the voice for the counterculture. He encouraged rising against the forces-political or corporate-that won’t ever really take anyone’s best interest to heart, no matter what kind of pandering they do. So why isn’t he supporting organic farming and the further development of empowering community models like Fair Trade-both of which have shown tremendously effective and long-lasting results-instead of faulty, toxic and greedy mechanisms like genetically modified crops?
In his TIME article, Bono writes, “If I’ve learned anything in more than 25 years of making noise about this stuff, it’s that partnership trumps paternalism,” but that’s exactly what he’s supporting: a paternalistic corporate-political blunderbuss of misinformation and misguided intentions. Bono once asked the anthemic question, “How long must we sing this song?” Longer still, it seems…longer still.
Arabian Artifacts May Rewrite ‘Out of Africa’ Theory
Charles Choi, LiveScience Contributor
Date: 30 November 2011 Time: 05:40 PM ET
The stone artifacts found in Oman were likely made by striking flakes off flint, leading to distinctive triangular shapes. This is the first time this particular stone tool technology has been found outside of Africa.
CREDIT: Yamandu Hilbert
Newfound stone artifacts suggest humankind left Africa traveling through the Arabian Peninsula instead of hugging its coasts, as long thought, researchers say.
Modern humans first arose about 200,000 years ago in Africa. When and how our lineage then dispersed has long proven controversial, but geneticists have suggested this exodus started between 40,000 and 70,000 years ago. The currently accepted theory is that the exodus from Africa traced Arabia’s shores, rather than passing through its now-arid interior.
However, stone artifacts at least 100,000 years old from the Arabian Desert, revealed in January 2011, hinted that modern humans might have begun our march across the globe earlier than once suspected.
Now, more-than-100 newly discovered sites in the Sultanate of Oman apparently confirm that modern humans left Africa through Arabia long before genetic evidence suggests. Oddly, these sites are located far inland, away from the coasts.
“After a decade of searching in southern Arabia for some clue that might help us understand early human expansion, at long last we’ve found the smoking gun of their exit from Africa,” said lead researcher Jeffrey Rose, a paleolithic archaeologist at the University of Birmingham in England. “What makes this so exciting is that the answer is a scenario almost never considered.”
The international team of archaeologists and geologists made their discovery in the Dhofar Mountains of southern Oman, nestled in the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula.
“The coastal expansion hypothesis looks reasonable on paper, but there is simply no archaeological evidence to back it up,” said researcher Anthony Marks of Southern Methodist University, referring to the fact that an exodus by the coast, where one has access to resources such as seafood, might make more sense than tramping across the desert..
On the last day of the research team’s 2010 field season, the scientists went to the final place on their list, a site on a hot, windy, dry plateau near a river channel that was strewn with stone artifacts. Such artifacts are common in Arabia, but until now the ones seen were usually relatively young in age. Upon closer examination, Rose recalled asking, “Oh my God, these are Nubians — what the heck are these doing here?”
The 100-to-200 artifacts they found there were of a style dubbed Nubian Middle Stone Age, well-known throughout the Nile Valley, where they date back about 74,000-to-128,000 years. Scientists think ancient craftsmen would have shaped the artifacts by striking flakes off flint, leading to distinctive triangular pieces. This is the first time such artifacts have been found outside of Africa.
Subsequent field work turned up dozens of sites with similar artifacts. Using a technique known as optically stimulated luminescence dating, which measures the minute amount of light long-buried objects can emit, to see how long they have been interred, the researchers estimate the artifacts are about 106,000 years old, exactly what one might expect from Nubian Middle Stone Age artifacts and far earlier than conventional dates forthe exodus from Africa.
“It’s all just incredibly exciting,” Rose said.
Finding so much evidence of life in what is now a relatively barren desert supports the importance of field work, according to the researchers.
“Here we have an example of the disconnect between theoretical models versus real evidence on the ground,” Marks said.
However, when these artifacts were made, instead of being desolate, Arabia was very wet, with copious rain falling across the peninsula, transforming its barren deserts to fertile, sprawling grasslands with lots of animals to hunt, the researchers explained.
“For a while, South Arabia became a verdant paradise rich in resources — large game, plentiful fresh water, and high-quality flint with which to make stone tools,” Rose said.
Instead of hugging the coast, early modern humans might therefore have spread from Africa into Arabia along river networks that would’ve acted like today’s highways, researchers suggested. There would have been plenty of large game present, such as gazelles, antelopes and ibexes, which would have been appealing to early modern humans used to hunting on the savannas of Africa.
“The genetic signature that we’ve seen so far of an exodus 70,000 years ago might not be out of Africa, but out of Arabia,” Rose told LiveScience.
So far the researchers have not discovered the remains of humans or any other animals at the site. Could these tools have been made by now-extinct human lineages such as Neanderthals that left Africa before modern humans did? Not likely, Rose said, as all the Nubian Middle Stone Age tools seen in Africa are associated with our ancestors. [Photos: Our Closest Human Ancestor]
It remains a mystery as to how early modern humans from Africa crossed the Red Sea, since they did not appear to enter the Arabian Peninsula from the north, through the Sinai Peninsula, Rose explained. “Back then, there was no land bridge in the south of Arabia, but the sea level might not have been that low,” he said. Archaeologists will have to continue combing the deserts of southern Arabia for more of what the researchers called a “trail of stone breadcrumbs.”
The scientists detailed their findings online Nov. 30 in the journal PLoS ONE.
Climate Change and Food Security: Out of the Mouths of Babes
Posted: 10/16/11 05:36 PM ET
Climate change skeptics would have you believe that global warming is an abstract theory, a dispute between scientists with differing interpretations of computer models, temperature data and ice measurements. So when the conversation turns to real people facing real hardship on the frontlines of climate change, it’s no surprise that they redirect the conversation back to the abstract.
Take a look at the 171 arguments of climate skeptics compiled by Skeptical Science. You can count on the number of fingers it takes to make a peace sign the arguments about the immediate directly observable impacts of climate change (and one of these is about polar bears).
Today is World Food Day, a perfect moment to reflect on what the very real impacts of climate change mean for those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. It comes at a time when millions of people are struggling to survive in East Africa where the worst drought in 60 years is devastating millions of lives and livelihoods.
Those on the frontlines are convinced that climate change is responsible.
As UN Humanitarian Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, says, “We have to take the impact of climate change more seriously… Everything I’ve heard has said that we used to have drought every 10 years, then it became every five years and now it’s every two years.”
A 2009 report by the World Food Programme, which describes itself as the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger, explains:
By 2050, the number of people at risk of hunger as a result of climate change is expected to increase by 10 to 20 percent more than would be expected without climate change; and the number of malnourished children is expected to increase by 24 million – 21 percent more than without climate change. Sub-Saharan Africa is likely to be the worst affected region.
Think about it. 24 million additional kids — that’s roughly equivalent to a third of US children.
But it’s not just a question of changing climate and weather patterns; it’s also about the resilience of communities to withstand such changes. As Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) explained to the Huffington Post in July, “There’s no question that hotter and drier growing conditions in sub-Saharan Africa have reduced the resiliency of these communities. Absolutely the change in climate has contributed to this problem, without question.”
On that front, it’s not all bad news. Investments in community resilience projects show a promising way forward. See for example the success of the Morulem irrigation project in Kenya originally funded by World Vision more than 10 years ago.
If you’ve ever looked at the labels identifying the origin of the food on the shelves of your local supermarket (grapes from Chile, apple juice from China, rice from Thailand) you’ll know that the global food supply system is complex. In a warming world there will be winners and losers across a range of factors. Higher temperatures and more CO2 in the atmosphere may lead to higher crop yields in some parts of the world, and lower in others. But in an increasingly interconnected world other factors will be equally important and the net result doesn’t bode well.
Creative Commons: International Foundation of Red Cross
(These kinds of things just add more questions to the whole question of origins)
African fossils put new spin on human origins story
By Jonathan AmosScience correspondent, BBC News
Professor Chris Stringer, with the help of a cast of a fossil skull, describes the similarities that this species has with modern humans
The ancient remains of two human-like creatures found in South Africa could change the way we view our origins.
The 1.9-million-year-old fossils were first described in 2010, and given the species nameAustralopithecus sediba.
But the team behind the discovery has now come back with a deeper analysis.
It tells Science magazine that features seen in the brain, feet, hands and pelvis of A. sediba all suggest this species was on the direct evolutionary line to us – Homo sapiens.
“We have examined the critical areas of anatomy that have been used consistently for identifying the uniqueness of human beings,” said Professor Lee Berger from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg
“Any one of these features could have evolved separately, but it is highly unlikely that all of them would have evolved together if A. sediba was not related to our lineage,” the team leader informed BBC News.
The female’s right hand is missing only a few bones
It is a big claim and, if correct, would sideline other candidates in the fossil record for which similar assertions have been made in the past.
Theory holds that modern humans can trace a line back to a creature known as Homo erectus which lived more than a million years ago. This animal, according to many palaeoanthropologists, may in turn have had its origins in more primitive hominins, as they are known, such asHomo habilis or Homo rudolfensis.
The contention now made for A. sediba is that, although older than its “rivals”, some of its anatomy and capabilities were more advanced than these younger forms. Put simply, it is a more credible ancestor for H. erectus, Berger’s team claims.