MOM: “How come the organic milk lasts so much longer?”

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One of the changes I’ve made since being diagnosed with cancer is that I only buy organic products, including milk. My mom, who usually just buys regular pasteurized milk, recently noticed that the organic milk seems to last so much longer. She asked me why.

“It’s the pus…” I answered. She looked at me a little confused.

Most people don’t know that the non-organic dairy industry is legally allowed up to 750,000 pus cells per ml of pasteurized milk. This means an 8-ounce glass of pasteurized milk can legally  contain up to 180 million pus cells.

PUS CELLS? Yep. The industry likes to call them ‘somatic cells,’ but this is just another name for pus – the same kind of pus that pops out of a zit on your face.

How does the pus get into the milk? Because non-organic dairy cows are raised in such crowded and unsanitary conditions that they are riddled with infection, particularly in their udders. Ever wonder why the non-organic dairy industry feeds their milk cows daily doses of antibiotics? Because of all these infections. But by using antibiotics so regularly, they can’t clear the infections in the cows. They can just keep them somewhat less threatening, producing less puss than if they just let the cows go untreated.

Organic milk comes from cows that aren’t treated with antibiotics. So why don’t they produce pus? Because they aren’t raised in conditions that result in infection. So when you pour yourself a glass of organic milk, you aren’t drinking down a pus milk-shake. Nor are you drinking down any antibiotic residue, which contributes to antibiotic resistance in humans.

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Pretty sick, right? But it’s true. Read on.

The problem of antibiotics being fed to livestock like dairy-producing cows is such a serious problem that the World Health Organization, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics expressed their concerns in an open letter to Congress: “The evidence is so strong of a link between misuse of antibiotics in food animals and human antibiotic resistance, that FDA and Congress should be acting much more boldly and urgently to protect these vital drugs for human illness. Overuse and misuse of important antibiotics in food animals must end.”

The FDA has announced plans to “phase out” use of antibiotics in livestock, but for now things remain the same. And unless dairy producers find better ways of protecting the health of their milk producing cows, taking them off antibiotics will result in more infection, not less. That’s more PUS…
Here’s an interesting video for those who like to get grossed out – but it illustrates the point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKTfkFIiQUw
And for a great article about the politics and problems of getting non-organic dairy producers to stop using harmful antibiotics click here:

ANYTHING IS A BLESSING: SMALL HOMES and SMALL SETBACKS

SMALL HOMES:

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Many people think that the OCCUPY movement dried up and disappeared like dust, but OCCUPIERS have just moved into other areas of action and change.

OCCUPY MADISON is building small homes for those in need of one. Take a look at the following  local news report from NBC affiliate WMTV (Madison, Wisconsin.

VIDEO LINK OF NEWS BROADCAST:

http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/Group-builds-tiny-homes-for-local-homeless-218449881.html

SMALL SETBACKS:

My cancer came back. It’s still treatable. I’m meeting with a new oncologist on Thursday to discuss options.

And if that isn’t enough, I’m writing this from the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs where I’ve been hospitalized with Pneumonia (just the regular community acquired kind, nothing fancy or antibiotic resistant). Treatable and now being treated intravenuously with Levaquin, a strong antibiotic.

I’m still just so glad to be alive and thinking and dreaming and writing. I take the greatest pleasures in the simplest of things.

As I was driving myself to the E.R. this afternoon I came up behind this old hippie-style van with the following message painted on the back:

ANYTHING IS A BLESSING

And so it is. I really brought that into my soul and heart as I drove the final few miles to the hospital. “It will be a blessing to watch the doctors and nurses do what they do best,” I told myself. “It will be a blessing to  give them an opportunity to demonstrate their skill and expertise.”

It was a blessing to be able to drive myself to seek the appropriate care for my body. And as I continue my stay here at the hospital It will be a blessing for me to interact with everyone along the way – by expressing thanks and appreciation., engaging with questions and encouragement. Smiling. Laughing. Giving a friendly nod.

It is a blessing to be reminded not only of the fragility of life, but also of the sacredness and beauty of it. And to be reminded of how precious it still is to me. Though I sometimes face limits and challenges I could never have imagined, I still am grateful every morning for another day of life. And in that sense, yes, ‘anything’ and ‘everything’ is a blessing. Even the chance meeting of my truck and the van which told me so.

IN THE NEWS: CORPORATE “CREEP” INVADES THANKSGIVING AND COP19, REVEALING SOCIOPATHIC TENDENCIES

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” Corporate Logos Slyly Turned Into Anti-Consumerism Messages” posted by  Paul Mic at

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You may have noticed that corporations “creep” like vines, growing into everything and everybody unless they are somehow done in by their own malfeasance (think of the Enron collapse) or pruned by outside forces.

We are already expecting the vines to grow thicker and deeper into our national Thanksgiving Holiday this 2013, with national corporate retailers scheduled to open their doors earlier than ever before, and some not even bothering to close at all. And this week, in Warsaw, Poland, for the first time in nineteen years  the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP19) has corporate sponsorship and is overrun with lobbyists all trying to weaken commitments to curb output of carbon dioxide.

Earlier this week at the COP19 two activists unfurled a small “unapproved” banner with an environmental message on it. They didn’t disrupt anyone. They unfurled it as attendees were applauding a speech. Nevertheless, they were escorted out past numerous “approved” corporate banners that hung virtually everywhere inside the conference space.  The two activists punishment? They were booted out of the conference altogether and forbidden to return. But the corporate banners, and corporate lobbyists, of course, could stay.

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The COP19 official poster, and a poster at the conference sporting corporate sponsor logos, including Emirates and Ikea (photo sources: 1. United Nations 2. http://www.theecologist.org)

“How does a corporation get pruned?” you might ask. That’s a good question. It’s a concept that we’re no longer familiar with in this post-economic meltdown age of “Too Big to Fail” and enormous tax-payer bailouts. But pruning corporations that got too big for their breeches used to be the norm in the good old USA. Government recognized the dangers of monopoly (it’s not just a board game) and enforced anti-trust law to guard against it. Take the example of AT&T. Not so many decades ago,  the AT&T Corporation controlled almost all of the telephone service in the United States under the umbrella of the Bell System. In 1974, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against AT&T alleging that they were operating a monopoly in violation of antitrust law.

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The Bell System logo

After lengthy court battles the Department of Justice finally won, and in 1982 the Bell System was broken up into seven separate companies. That’s how they used to handle corporations that got “Too Big to Fail.” They broke them apart. If Microsoft and Facebook and Monsanto had been around in the 1970’s, government would have taken a sledgehammer to them.

But we live in a different time today. Corporations are now people, and since obesity is on the rise it just makes sense that our Corporations would get bigger and bigger and bigger. But people getting bigger and bigger isn’t healthy or sustainable, and corporations getting bigger and bigger isn’t either.

But let’s go with the Supreme Court’s decision that a corporation is a person. If corporations are people, then they aren’t normal, healthy, functional human beings with moral centers, good character, and a strong conscience. They aren’t right where they need to be size-wize, according to the BMI chart for companies. They are overweight and amoral at best. If they are people at all, they most resemble the sociopath and/or psychopath. You should think of them like a Serial Killer. That’s right. Like a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy.

Now before you decide I’ve gone too far and click quickly to another favorite blog of yours, consider my argument.

What about all the money corporations give to help the unfortunate? What about their green initiatives and all that other good stuff they do?

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Famous BTK serial killer Dennis Rader, now serving 10 consecutive life sentences for his crimes (image nbcnews.com)

It’s true. Corporations engage in good public relations. But Serial Killers do too. They engage in the same kind of public relations behavior to hide what they are really up to and buy themselves time to allow for the maximum number of victims possible. Take the case of Dennis Rader, more famously known as the BTK Killer. He was married for 34 years, a respected member of his community, an active member of Christ Lutheran Church and President of its’ Congregation Council. He was also secretly killing or attempting to kill scores of  women, all the while bragging of his crimes in anonymous letters sent to police departments and the media.

When neighbors and friends and fellow church-goers of Dennis Rader first found out about his secret life they were shocked and claimed they’d had no idea. But as time went on and people thought about it, there were early signs that something strange was going on inside. As a child he had often tortured animals. And during a stint working as a dog catcher for the local animal shelter he showed an almost obsessive interest in the euthanization of animals. He was always a little bit “off,” despite putting up a good front.

Sounds just like a corporation to me. You think Walmart is all good and fun and then you find out what they are paying their workers.

Dennis Rader showed signs, no matter how hard he tried to convince those around him that he was just like everybody else. How many lives could have been saved if people had just given credence to the signs that were already there, instead of giving poor Dennis the benefit of the doubt.

Similarly, we shouldn’t be fooled by the “benevolent” front put out by corporations. We always need to look for the signs. They reveal a corporations true sociopathic colors.

And the signs are always there. Just look at what’s happening this week and next:

1. Some of the world’s biggest polluters are at work in Warsaw at the U.N. Convention on Climate change, putting their corporate brands on the walls and swag bags and infiltering every discussion with the sickly sweet smiles of lobbyists determined to thwart any real progress on one of the most important issues of our time.

2. Corporate retailers are hijacking Thanksgiving, our one fall holiday where it’s about family and friends and not about buying and selling and giving THINGS. One almost imagines some corporate P.R. jerk coming up with the term THINGSGIVING and turning our November tradition into an all-day shop-athon at the mall.

You probably don’t have to think that hard to come up with many more instances of the corporation acting as psycho/sociopath. Big Pharma, perhaps?

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Corporate Creep. Corporate Creeps (otherwise known as lobbyists). Sociopaths. Psychopaths. Serial Killers.

I rest my case.

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Protesters at COP19 (www.theguardian.com)

To read the excellent article “CORPORATE LOBBYISTS FLOOD WARSAW CLIMATE TALKS” by Amy Goodman click http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2013/11/21/corporate_lobbyists_flood_warsaw_climate_talks