I was asked by a friend of the blog to read a book and report on it … it was my intent to do so, but it is so out of the ordinary for me, that is, I don’t want to simply read a book and report its findings as if every word were true. So I decided that I would highlight the book for blog readers, and suggest they too read it, and pass along some thoughts.
The book is called A Bitter Fog: Herbicides and Human Rights, by Carol Van Strum. It is available on Kindle for free – I don’t own one and so downloaded it for a few bucks.
The book was first published in 1983, and recounted a long battle between local residents of Oregon and the Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Dow Chemical, local government about the use of chemicals containing dioxin (including but not limited to 2-4-5-T and 2-4-D, the former known as “Agent Orange” when used in Vietnam.)
The destruction of forests and harm to people and animals, as outlined in this book, is distressing. The fact that the same chemicals keep appearing under new names equally distressing, but more than that, I found the same story I encountered when I read about AIDS, and AZT, Zika, climate change … systemic and deep corruption. I will outline just a few aspects:
- The government agencies appointed to oversee and enforce laws are bought and sold, mere subsidiaries of the industries they are supposed to regulate. Oregon residents were surprised to learn that EPA was not on their side, but at least knew at the outset that the US Forest Service was their enemy, as it was the agency blithely spraying the deadly chemicals.
- Companies that introduce chemicals (and drugs) on the market use certain labs for testing knowing in advance that those labs will arrive at results that verify the safety of unsafe chemicals and drugs. If by chance an honest lab does honest work, as happened with the chemicals listed above, those test results have a way of disappearing. It takes years and a Freedom of Information search to find them.
- Studies done, supposedly double-blind and objective, have a way of backing up the people who are financing the studies. Money dictates outcomes.
- Groupthink prevails everywhere … people in the professions – scientists, forest service workers, doctors, professors – are afraid to step out of the flow for fear of losing their jobs or chances for advancement. To alleviate stress caused by unrelenting dishonesty they simply do a mind meld.
- It is said that carpenters can hide their mistakes behind wall board, doctors behind stitches. Industry as a whole uses Public Relations to lie to us about anything and everything. If it were simply a matter of lying, lies could be uncovered. But they are much too clever for that. They use misdirection, controlled opposition, clever and misleading advertising. Their object is to convince people that lies are truth, and they are very good liars, the best in the world.
- News media, as is well-known here on this blog, is useless.
Just one example, and my understanding of the situation after long ago having read Jon Rappaport about the Zika virus – here is an article he wrote that is not behind his pay wall. Zika is most likely a harmless passenger virus, if it exists at all. But there was another problem emerging in Brazil, as early as 1993 when Noam Chomsky wrote about a new subspecies of humans, pygmies, or people suffering from microcephaly – shrunken heads. The problem, according to Rappaport, is industrial chemicals in widespread use, just as in Oregon in Van Strum’s book.
The public relations problem was how to spare Monsanto, Dow, etc., liability for the effects of their products. This is why I suggested above that mere lying does not get the job done. Misdirection is far more useful. The answer to their problem? Zika.
Of course, they cannot just assert that a virus is the culprit – it takes far more than that, and for this reason I refer you once again to the list above that facilitate corruption. Zika is treated as real by every news outlets, and scientists assert that it is indeed the cause of not only microcephaly, but now Barr Epstein (mononucleosis) as well. I urge readers to search for “Zika” and see how many pages you must go in before you find one voice speaking out in protest about the hoax. Zika was dredged up, I imagine, by a PR firm hired to get Monsanto off the hook
But that is how it is done. How on earth can regular people overcome corrupt government agencies, indifferent (and even stupid) news reporters, prevailing groupthink, public relations and corrupt science and laboratories? It is difficult. Our friend Steve Kelly has been doing it for years, and winning small battles in the larger wars. He writes about it on occasion – follow his articles using this link.
Anyway, that is my take on A Bitter Fog and the so-called “Poison Papers,” a treasure trove of documents that point a finger of guilt at all of the above. It is nice to have small victories now and then. But in a country as corrupt as ours, it is hard to wish for more, as the odds are overwhelmingly against us.