Recent comments by aleister perdurabo

Q: But the Saudi role in this instance was to stir things up.
HUGHES: Well, their view was that their interests were served by having two Yemens which
could be played off against each other rather than one united Yemen with 14 or 15 million
people. There was a tremendous amount of antipathy between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Of
course, the Saudis were on the side of the Royalists during the Yemen Revolution, '68 and '67,
and Egyptians came in on the side of Grecians, so it became kind of a Egypt-Saudi war. But an
enormous amount of popular antipathy, because in 1934 the Saudis had taken three historically
Yemen provinces in the North because of some claims and confusion in Yemen. Historically
Yemen had been less a strongly governed country than [a tribal society], but still there's the
historic identification of being Yemen. But the three provinces, which were quite good
provinces, were taken by Saudi and are still Saudi. So there's a lot of popular resentment against
Saudi Arabia. And the Saudis have a policy of direct involvement, pay subsidies, and there have
been occasionally allegations of plots by Saudi Arabia. But as it turned out, the Saudis did buy
them such things as MIG 29s, the Southerners, and sent them a fair amount of supplies and so
forth, and this all went to an air field in the South called Arvion, which is down by Kulla. When
there was almost no resistance, that all collapsed very quickly after Aden collapsed, and the
forces from the government captured file cabinets with all the records of deliveries, where they
came from, who paid for them, all that stuff. I think it's a mark of a maturity of judgment that
they held all this stuff to negotiate with the Saudis and other Arab States which supported their
breakaway, to negotiate arrangements and modus ovendi as opposed to just releasing it and
attacking. That was very wise on their part frankly.
Q: Who was the government getting most of its support at this time?
HUGHES: The government in Sanaa?
Q: Yes.
HUGHES: Well, I think the most important thing is that the kind of government which Allis Ali
Abib and the others ran in the South was not a popular government. Even though it was the
People's Democratic Republic, they did some awful things, absolutely awful things, and there
was a popular feeling, "Why should we fight for Abib?" Now, then you get involved in some
tribal stuff, even a bit of fundamentalist, nonfundamentalist stuff. I talked with a military
commander from Wadi Hidramow, and he said, "We had no interest in fighting for Abib, but
when the Northern troops started sacking [others], then we had to defend just our homes, so to
speak." And that was pretty well understood by Sala and people in the North that came in. But
that's the main thing. One of the things that was useful too was right when the war stopped I told
the Yemenese I wanted to go Aden immediately. I wanted to see what really happened, because
there was a barrage of propaganda and information that Aden was really just treated horribly and
so forth, and even during the war it was shelled. So I got a call back - this was the Minister of
Interior whom I was talking with - and said, "Okay, Sala will give you his helicopter to go down
there." I said, "Okay, I'll go tomorrow, because I'm going back to the States to tell Washington
what's going on and decide what we're going to do, also to get my daughter married." I felt a little
trepidation, because they had a lot of Soviet helicopters, which sometimes had a tendency to fall
down. So I went out to the airport. I was glad it was a Bell helicopter and I knew the American
company that maintained them, and so I had a sigh of relief actually.
So we flew down to the airport and right over the main stronghold base that the Soviets h

Q: During your period in Yemen, I would be interested as to the degree of Congressional interest
in the post. Did you have visitors?
LANE: That's a good question. In two and a half, almost three years in Yemen, we had two
Congressional visitors that I can remember. One was Senator Percy who came early on, primarily
I think, because his brother-in-law was head of the Save The Children Fund - the American Save
The Children Fund headquartered in Connecticut, and Save The Children was doing some things
in Yemen. So he heard about the Yemen that way, and he and his wife came out to visit on
Thanksgiving with us, as I recall, the first year we were there. Very pleasant people, very nice.
The other Congressional visitor was Congressman Solarz from Brooklyn who came with a staff
of several people who were interested in the Jews in Yemen - how many Jews were there left,
where were they, how did they live, were they being persecuted, could he and his staff go visit
them? That was less pleasant because the Yemenis were not about to roll out the red carpet for
the Solarz group to go visit the Jews of Yemen. There weren't very many left. Almost all of the
Yemenis Jews went to Israel in 1948 as the result of the famous Operation Flying Carpet which
was mounted at that time. There may be three or four hundred living in certain isolated villages,
and I really do believe that they're no more maltreated than anybody else. Their life is no
different. There is sort of a tradition in some Yemeni villages that the Jews are the peace-makers
because the Muslim tribes won't trust each other but they trust a Jew to be fair between the two
Muslim tribes. But those were the only two Congressional visitors really in two and a half years,
and this was the period when they were just flooding into Saudi Arabia. In '78 to '81 Saudi
Arabia was the place to go.
Q: What about relations with the U.S. military? Were there U.S. Naval visits? Were there any
active sort of military programs?
LANE: Yes. We had a Military Assistance Advisory Group, which was called the ODC, the
Office of Defense Cooperation; a couple of people, and then there were some more people who
came on TDY. For a while there in 1979, we had two Air Force pilots teaching the Yemenis how
to fly the F-5 at Sanaa airport in the morning, and the Soviets were teaching them how to fly the
Sukoy in the afternoon - at same airport, different pilots. That program, I think, still goes on. I
think the F-5 program - the F-5 was a good airplane, a good plane for the Yemenis to have. And
we had some people also working with their ground forces; not much in the way of Naval visits.
We had a couple but not a lot.
Q: Now you mentioned the Soviets having a military assistance program, a training program
there. Was there any dimension of the cold war during your tenure there?
LANE: Yes, yes, very much so really. The first Soviet Ambassador, when I first arrived, was a
wonderful old Bolshevik, who looked like a combination of Khrushchev, and a dissipated W.C.
Fields - a short stocky guy who drank too much, and was a real aggressive fellow. The Soviets
had had a long relationship with the Yemen, supplying weapons, and helping the Egyptians who
helped the Yemenis in the Yemeni civil war. So they had 200 military advisers or so in the

STUTESMAN: But I mean, weren't the American companies literally going to be moved out
after a period of time?
Q: I'm not sure. It was sort of an open question, I think.
STUTESMAN: In any case, it was an open question. At a minimum, it was not conclusive.
Anyhow, that's my reaction looking back. I could be mistaken.
Q: Shortly after the talks ended, the U.S. gave the Iranian Government another grant in aid,
some time in the fall of '54, the summer of '54, perhaps. I'm not sure. To what extent did the U.S.
link acquiescence to the consortium plan with additional assistance?
STUTESMAN: I have no idea. I don't know.
Q: One of the last issues to be settled was a question of which U.S. companies would play a part
in the consortium. The smaller companies, independents, originally wanted, I guess, a 33% share
in the consortium on the grounds that they had supported the boycott of Iranian oil for the most
part, and they should be rewarded for their observation of the international boycott against
Mossadegh's oil. How much support did the independents have in the State Department? Was
there much sympathy for their position at State?
STUTESMAN: I don't remember. I just don't remember.
Q: Apparently, Ralph K. Davies played a major role in getting the independents some share of
the consortium.
STUTESMAN: Did he, really?
Q: It was a minor share, but they got a share, like 4% or 5%, something like that.
STUTESMAN: Was Alton Jones around there? Why am I so familiar with that name? Was he
involved with this? He was an independent, certainly.
Q: I think he might have had a share of the share. I'm not sure. Did you know Davies or have
contact with him?
Q: You just know the name.
STUTESMAN: I know the name.
Q: After the consortium agreement was reached late in '54, the Shah came to the United States
for a state visit, to meet with Eisenhower and Dulles, among others. What was your role in the
preparation for a state visit? What kind of role did the country desk play?
STUTESMAN: I'll answer it by telling you a story about when the Shah came, not incognito, but
not on a state visit. He and his new wife, the German girl, the Bakhtiari girl, I can't think of her
name, a beautiful woman, they came and they had a good time up in New York (Laughs). He
walked into one of those big car sales places up near Columbus Circle. He's not a very
impressive-looking man in civilian clothes, and he had a rather shabby-looking aide with him.
The salesman didn't even come over for a while. Some salesman came over, and the Shah, by this
time, had looked around the showroom enough, and he said, "I'd like that, but in a sort of orange
color, and I'd like two of those." (Laughs) And then he got arrested, speeding on the New Jersey
turnpike, and we had to fix that up.
Then he came to Washington, and there were no particular plans. Of course, I was involved with
meeting him. He said, "I'd like to ride." So he and I rented some horses at Rock Creek Park, and
went riding in Rock Creek. Christ, when I think about it today, the Shah of Iran and the terrorists
and all this stuff, here the two of us were, just riding along in Rock Creek Park, chatting away.
I took him dancing. My wife and the Shah and Soroya, that was her name, we went dancing in
one of the big old hotels there. All I did was call up and got a table. I didn't tell the maitre d’ who
was going to be there. Soroya dances very well, I'll tell you that. It was all very cheerful. Kim
Roosevelt got very upset, because he felt that we ought to be doing more. So he got Herbert
Hoover, Jr., to have a little soiree. When I think about it, it's all so pastoral, so halcyon.
Q: A level of informality that wouldn't have existed 20 years later

Q: As a basis for stability.
STUTESMAN: Yes, and less concerned with making a deal for the oil companies. The two are
inextricably connected, but if you have to give way to one side or another, my recollection is that
the weight ran more to, "Okay, Mossadegh's gone, there's a new government there, there's a new
chance. Let's help it work." Of course, also they could pretty much push the British to the side. I
mean, we were in the lead now.
Q: I want to take a few steps back to the question of the coup and the CIA's role in the coup. On
the basis of the information that you had been able to get at the desk in the following year or
two, could you say how important the U.S. role was in the overthrow of Mossadegh was? Was
the U.S. role decisive or incidental? How would you characterize that?

STUTESMAN: I've heard it described in a number of different ways by Mr. Henderson, by Kim
[Kermit Roosevelt], by others. I believe that its success is evidence that it was based on natural
forces. There were broad forces which supported the idea of a more stable government, a
government which could open up connections again to the West, and the Shah was popular. I do
not think, however, that it would have happened then without outside instigation. And the two go
Q: A few months after the coup, Vice President Nixon met with the Shah in Iran during the
course of a long trip through Asia.
STUTESMAN: I'd forgotten that.
Q: Did his visit have any special political significance, the Vice President stopping to see the
Shah during the course of a tour of the Near East and the Far East?
STUTESMAN: I don't remember that at all, but I think it's a good idea, and certainly the Shah
must have gotten a good deal of self esteem out of it.
Q: A show of political support by the U.S.
STUTESMAN: Oh, yes. A senior official. I mean, the President's the only next one in their eyes.

People are generally ignorant of the history of our relations with Iran.

I dislike Kentucky. It's like losing to two top 5 basketball teams at the same time.

What I did in order to meet a lot of younger people, I started meeting them at sports activities, I
started meeting them because they came to the consulate, or I'd meet one who would introduce
me to others; but what I also did, the consulate had a huge swimming pool, an Olympic-size
swimming pool, dressing room, bathrooms, etc. Now my predecessors had always used it either
for themselves or they had used it for the foreign community. There was a small British
community especially that used to love coming over to the consulate and using the pool and the
tennis courts. I thought this was a bit silly. I saw no reason at all to run the American consulate
for the benefit of the British expatriate community. So what I did was to get in touch with two
swimming coaches from the local high schools, and I turned over the whole section of the
consulate recreation facilities, the swimming pool, the wading pool for children, the tennis court,
which was separate from the house - I turned that over to these guys and opened it up to people in
the community. We passed out word in the immediate geographic area of the consulate that
anyone who wanted to use the pool, the tennis court, could do so on certain days of the week. I
think it was on four days of the week. And we had family days and we had bachelor days because
Iranian families, married women, etc., young women could not mix with Iranian bachelors. So I
had it set up differently, and basically turned it over to the coaches to run, with a lot of help, of
course, from the FSN staff, who were aghast that I had done this. And the British community was
not only aghast but desolated and incensed that I had done this. But because of this I had a
constant stream of young, old, every type of Iranian coming into the consulate grounds and using
the recreational facilities. I figured I couldn't use the pool at all - I was always in the office - so
why have it filled with all those cubic tons of water. It worked out well. It was used for a long
summer, a very, very long summer, a beautiful summer, and 50 or 60 young kids from the area,
according to the coaches, learned how to swim in that period.
Q: Well, we're going to stop in a minute, but I just thought I'd fill in this. What would you reply -
now here you are, you're the American representative in this area, people are getting more and
more... as more and more discontent, our official policy was strong support of the Shah and all,
and the Shah and the embassy were far away - what were you saying?
METRINKO: And I was getting precious little guidance. Basically, I was trying to play it cool. I
would sit and listen. If they were very, very close friends - and this means if they were friends I
had had from Peace Corps days, because my Peace Corps site had been in that district, too, and
they were people I really liked and trusted - then I would tell them how I felt about the Shah. But
if I gave American policy it was support for the government and people of Iran. It got to be a bit
embarrassing towards the middle of the year, but that was the American policy.
Q: Well, Mike, we'll stop at this point, and just to put where we are, you've taken us up to really
through well certainly through almost through '78, would you say? Or when did Khomeini come
METRINKO: Khomeini came back in February of 1979. We want to talk about a couple of
things that went before then.

Q: How did things develop, then?
METRINKO: In what sense?
Q: Well, I mean you were going to have a revolution and you were going to end up in jail in a
while, and I mean how did things -
METRINKO: Why did it go from the rosy rose garden to -
Q: Yes.
METRINKO: I keep asking myself. I was promised a... The demonstrations spread. There was
extreme dissatisfaction with the Shah. People thought initially that Carter was opposed to the
Shah. People in Iran who disliked the Shah saw this as an opportunity. I think if you were a
revolutionary it was basically serendipity. The Shah was losing it. He was feeling uneasy because
he knew he had cancer - maybe. His family's ability to be corrupt had reached a saturation point.
His brothers and sisters were scraping every dollar they could get out of everybody. The channels
of communication were improving, which meant that, I think, a lot of people were getting
information that they hadn't had access to. And there must be a certain point at which, when
you've sent a lot of your country's students overseas, point of return at which what they've learned
there has started to have a real effect on them and on their peers back in Iran. Enough thousands
of students have left Iran and had returned with very different feelings about the Shah's
government, perhaps, than when they had left Iran, that it was all reaching a bubbling point. And
you had this very charismatic, very strong religious figure in Iraq, the Ayatollah Khomeini, who
was there to pick up the reins. So it was all coming together.
Q: Well, were you seeing a change?
METRINKO: Oh, sure, yes. More and more open comments by people, a lot of open com

Notre Dame looking pretty respectable vs Kentucky right now.

signment. He was leaving to go to another city in Iran as principal officer, and Tabriz required
a principal officer. They looked at me and asked me if I'd be interested in going out there since I
spoke Turkish and Persian, and I agreed. And off I went to Tabriz.
Q: Well, let's talk first about when you arrived in '77 in Tehran. What was the political situation
like at that time?
METRINKO: Political situation, do you mean inside the embassy?
Q: No, the political situation outside.
METRINKO: The political situation outside the embassy depended upon who was looking at it.
If you were the ambassador, if you were the ambassador's Political Section, if you were the
DCM, everything was bright and rosy. If you had any contact with the people of Iran, it was not
so bright and rosy. In fact, it was bloody awful, but since so few people over in the front office or
the Political Section or the Econ Section of the embassy spoke Persian, and since they had such
limited contact with normal Iranians, they didn't seem to realize this. I'll give you and example.
Shortly after I got there, I started getting in touch with my old friends, and in the course of a few
weeks I saw an old student of mine who had become a police officer, and he was also on the
escort for the Shah. His roommate was one of the Shahs "Immortal Guards," one of the Shah's
personal bodyguards. That was one. I got in touch with the former head of my school. I had been
a teacher just outside of Tehran, and the president of the school invited me out for dinner one
night, and we had a nice long talk about the situation. And the third one was a visa applicant who
had come in requesting a visa and claiming he wanted to go to the United States so that he could
dispose of his art collection.
The three cases are interesting. The police officer, who was a member of the establishment,
closely tied to the Shah's entourage, security, the first night that we met and many, many times
thereafter, gave me a large number of anecdotes about how people disliked the Shah, how he
disliked the Shah, how there was a tremendous rift in security services that were supposed to be
protecting the Shah, how some of the police had an agreement with leftists, opponents of the
Shah, to not interfere with each other, basically a hands-off policy one from the other, and how,
as he said, "I wouldn't kill the Shah myself, but if I saw somebody else pulling the trigger, I
would turn and look in the other direction." That's coming from one of the Shah's guards.

Iran – Evacuation

Tehran (1981-1983)

Michael John Metrinko was born in Pennsylbania in 1946. He graduated from
Georgetown Uniersity in 1968. After entering the Foreign Service in 1974, his
postings have included Ankara, Damascus, Tehran, Tabriz, Krakow, Kabul, Tel
Aviv and special assignments in Yemen and Afghanistan. Mr. Metrinko was
interviewed in 1999 by Charles Stuart Kennedy.

Today is May 31, 2000. Mike, so 1977. You're off to Iran. I think you talked about how you got
the job, didn't you?

METRINKO: Yes, I got the job because the personnel system made a mistake. I think I did talk
about this.
Q: I think you did. So well then, when you arrived in 19. . . Did you get any briefing or anything
else at all.
METRINKO: About Iran?
Q: About Iran.
METRINKO: No, I never had area studies either. Of course, I didn't really need them.
Q: I mean were you picking up anything in the corridors about the situation there, whither Iran
and all that?
METRINKO: I was a lowly untenured officer going off to the visa section in Tehran. It's not
likely that anybody would even have spoken to me. The did not give briefings in those days to
untenured junior visa officers. I went to Iran. I wanted to go there because I'd liked the country so
much in the Peace Corps, I had lots of friends there, thought I could have a good interesting time
there. And also thought that I could be a pretty decent officer since I spoke the language, spoke
two of the languages of the country, and knew a lot about the country. I arrived in Tehran in
March of 1977 and was assigned to the visa section as a visa officer. It was a very different kind
of consular work than I had done in Syria, certainly very different from my rather gentlemanly
approach to consular work in Ankara. Tehran was almost a factory type visa situation, a "visa
mill," with many, many hundreds of Iranians every morning lining up to get into the visa section.
I think we got to 900-1000 on many days, too.
Q: Who were they?
METRINKO: Everybody. We had a huge military exchange program with Iran, so Iranians were
being sent off to the United States for training. Iranians had now gotten access to oil money.
They were getting scholarships, fellowships from the Government of Iran, and their own families
had the money to send them off to school in the United States. The Iranian school system could
not handle the population of graduated high school seniors, and for each person who went you
had a mother, a father, a brother, or a sister who wanted to visit. So we were up in the high
thousands of visa applicants every year. And getting deluged by it. Needless to say, the
Department had not kept up with the anticipated demand. There were very few consular officers
at the post - very few State officers. There were a couple of Agency officers who were also
assigned to the visa section. But I was one of, I think, three regular State officers assigned to the
visa section, and for the first several months, from March until I think July or so, I worked in the
visa section. It was an interesting job. It caused me some problems. I saw one side of the Foreign
Service that I thought was rather sad. I got involved in a fraud investigation of my own boss at
the time, and she was moved out of the section because of the implications of fraud in her

Q: What happened? I mean, I'm trying to figure out how the Department in those days dealt with

METRINKO: Handle it? Cases like this - I won't use names - but what happened is shortly after I
arrived in the section I was introduced to the Consular Section "expediter" (quote-unquote), who
worked out at the airport and basically helped people from the embassy process through the
airport. He would come in every day with several up to a stack of passports and request visas for
various people and claim they were all given to him by the head of the airport, the head of
security at the airport, or various important people for us at the airport. We were under orders to
process these as quickly as possible because it was important for the embassy, orders directly
from the head of the visa section. That was fine. I didn't like the expediter. None

Regular Coffee consumption reduces liver cancer risk caused by regular alcohol drinking: New Study

The recent discovered benefit that coffee offers to its avid fans would certainly put a smile on the faces of the alcohol aficionados. People who are fond of drinking alcohol are at risk of liver cancer, but there is a research that has been conducted recently that says drinking coffee regularly will lessen the damage in liver caused by regular drinking of alcohol.

In a latest survey published by researchers of World Cancer Research Fund, the consumption of three or more alcoholic drinks every day may significantly increase the risk of having a liver cancer.

The findings can be seen in the Liver Cancer 2015 report that has been furnished by WCRF. The report hinged on the analysis of around 34 scientific studies, painstaking research works composing health data from over 8 million men and women and 24,600 cases of liver cancer.

The same multitude of studies will show a positive correlation between three daily alcohol consumption and liver cancer, and decreased risk of liver cancer caused by regular coffee drinking.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant, detergent and emulsifier used in thousands of cosmetic products, as well as in industrial cleaners. It is present in nearly all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents and bath oils/bath salts.

Although SLS originates from coconuts, the chemical is anything but natural.

The real problem with SLES/SLS is that the manufacturing process (ethoxylation) results in SLES/SLS being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic byproduct.

SLS is the sodium salt of lauryl sulfate, and is classified by the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Skin Deep Cosmetics Database as a "denaturant, surfactant cleansing agent, emulsifier and foamer," rated as a "moderate hazard."

Research studies on SLS have shown links to:

Irritation of the skin and eyes
Organ toxicity
Developmental/reproductive toxicity
Neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicology, and biochemical or cellular changes
Possible mutations and cancer
1,4 dioxane, a byproduct of ethylene oxide, received a "high hazard" rating from EWG's Skin Deep, and it is commonly found in shampoo and other personal care products. Even baby shampoo often contains this cancer-causing toxin.

On the CDC site, 1,4 dioxane is described as "probably carcinogenic to humans," toxic to the brain and central nervous system, kidneys and liver. It is also a leading groundwater contaminant.

Diethanolamine or DEA
In a recent FDA report, approximately 42% of all cosmetics were contaminated with NDEA, with shampoos having the highest concentrations. DEA also readily reacts with nitrite preservatives and contaminants to create nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), a known and potent carcinogen.

This is a big problem because DEA seems to block absorption of the nutrient choline, which is vital to brain development. Pregnant women actually require extra choline so they can pass it on to their fetus.

An associate dean for research at the UNC School of Public Health mentioned that choline is necessary to help provide proper nutrients for a healthy baby; stating that, "At this point it is a caution. But it would probably be prudent to look at labels and try to limit exposure until we know more."

Propylene Glycol
This active ingredient is found in engine coolants and antifreeze, airplane de-icers, tire sealants, rubber cleaners, polyurethane cushions, paints, adhesives, enamels and varnishes, and in many products as a solvent or surfactant.

And guess what? Despite the fact the material safety data sheet warns users to avoid skin contact with propylene glycol as it is a strong skin irritant and can also cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage, it's more than likely in your shampoo.

Parabens, which are used as preservatives, may be listed on the label as methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, butyl paraben, isobutyl paraben or E216. They have shown particularly troubling links to cancer.

Studies have shown that parabens can affect your body much like estrogens, which can lead to diminished muscle mass, extra fat storage, and male gynecomastia (breast growth). Other studies have also linked parabens to breast cancer, as researchers found traces of parabens in every sample of tissue taken from 20 different breast tumors.

The EPA has linked methyl parabens in particular to metabolic, developmental, hormonal, and neurological disorders, as well as various cancers.

"The dose makes the poison" is an adage first expressed by Paracelsus intended to indicate a basic principle of toxicology. It means that a substance can produce the harmful effect associated with its toxic properties only if it reaches a susceptible biological system within the body in a high enough concentration (i.e., dose).

We estimate that Americans eat about 1.5 g of
natural pesticides per person per day, which is about 10,000
times more than they eat of synthetic pesticide residues (see
below). As referenced in this paper (see refs. 16-21 and
legends to Tables 1 and 2), there is a very large literature on
natural toxins in plants and their role in plant defenses. The
human intake of these toxins varies markedly with diet and
would be higher in vegetarians. Our estimate of 1.5 g of
natural pesticides per person per day is based on the content
of toxins in the major plant foods (e.g., 13 g of roasted coffee
per person per day contains about 765 mg of chlorogenic acid,
neochlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and caffeine; see refs. 22
and 23 and Table 2).
Phenolics from other plants are estimated
to contribute another several hundred milligrams of
toxins. Flavonoids and glucosinolates account for several
hundred milligrams; potato and tomato toxins may contribute
another hundred, and saponins from legumes another hundred.
Grains such as white flour and white rice contribute
very little, but whole wheat, brown rice, and corn (maize)
may contribute several hundred milligrams more. The percentage
of a plant's weight that is toxin varies, but a few
percent of dry weight is a reasonable estimate: e.g., 1.5% of
alfalfa sprouts is canavanine and 4% of coffee beans is
phenolics. However, the percentage in some plant cultivars
is lower (e.g., potatoes and tomatoes).

Reading summary accounts on advocacy websites, it would appear that glyphosate is a gun pointed to the head of consumers. March Against Monsanto, for example, headlined its article: “Top Medical Journal, WHO Confirm: Monsanto’s Flagship Product Probably Causes Cancer.” But that’s not what the agency concluded.

IARC did not conclude or even suggest that glyphosate is likely to harm anyone; in fact there was no evidence of that. It did find that there is a remote risk that extended exposure to the chemical in occupational settings and in laboratory animal epidemiological studies raised risk concerns.

Case-control studies of occupational exposure in the USA, Canada, and Sweden (that) reported increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma that persisted after adjustment for other pesticides.

In male CD-1 mice, glyphosate induced a positive trend in the incidence of a rare tumour, renal tubule carcinoma. A second study reported a positive trend for haemangiosarcoma in male mice. Glyphosate increased pancreatic islet-cell adenoma in male rats in two studies. A glyphosate formulation promoted skin tumours in an initiation-promotion study in mice.

Setting aside the debate over the validity of those studies, there was no indication–zero–that consumers faced any real world harm. The finding that glyphosate posed a likely cancer puts it in the illustrious company of such dangerous substances as coffee and alcohol–known cancer causing substances. Unlike coffee, alcohol and many other known cancer-causing substances, however, which consumers gulp down in voluminous amounts every week, people don’t regularly consume glyphosate. In other words, there is no evidence that the minuscule amounts of glyphosate particles that consumers are exposed do poses any harm.


Commercial glyphosate-based formulations most commonly range from concentrates containing 41% or more glyphosate to 1% glyphosate formulations marketed for domestic use. They generally consist of an aqueous mixture of the isopropylamine (IPA) salt of glyphosate, a surfactant, and various minor components including anti-foaming and colour agents, biocides and inorganic ions to produce pH adjustment

Schumer Paid His Way To The Top - The Daily Beast

Schumer, the third ranking Democrat in the Senate, gained visibility and allies when he was chairman of the DSCC from 2005 to 2009. He helped Democrats take control of the Senate in 2006. Despite his role as favorite —Reid is backing him—he is actually outranked by Durbin, who is No. 2.

The New York senator’s ascension would be good news for Wall Street—his top three contributors from 1989 through 2014 were the employees and political action committees of Goldman Sachs ($543,000), Citigroup Inc. ($484,000) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. ($365,000) according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The securities and investment industries are by far his top donors having given more than $10.4 million over that time frame.

Schumer serves on the Senate Finance Committee as well as the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

When it comes to the remote control of civilian aircraft, President Bush stated in late September 2001 that he would devote federal funds to developing new technologies for combating the threat of hijacking…including remote control technology.

How to Steal an Airplane: From 9/11 to MH370 : The Corbett Report

But even at that time, remote control technology had been successfully demonstrated for commercial jetliners for nearly two decades. This is actual footage of a joint NASA / FAA experiment conducted in 1984 at Edwards Air Force Base in which a Boeing 720 was remote controlled through multiple takeoffs and landings before being crashed in a “controlled impact demonstration.”

In August of 2001, this technology was further demonstrated by Raytheon, which successfully took off and landed a Boeing 727 six times at Holloman AFB in New Mexico without a pilot on board. Raytheon also developed a sensor suite for the Air Force’s Global Hawk drones and Raytheon Network Centric Systems has recently won multiple contracts to help develop advanced communications systems for the E-4B, the US government’s so-called doomsday plane that was spotted above the White House shortly before the strike on the Pentagon and which has since been confirmed was one of four functioning Doomsday Planes operating in the skies on that day.

Curiously, on 9/11 itself Raytheon employees with ties to the company’s electronic warfare division, including a man described as the company’s “dean of electronic warfare” and multiple senior engineers for electronic systems, were among the listed passengers on each of the three planes that hit their targets that day. Raytheon also had an office in WTC2 on the 91st floor, and despite the fact that there were only four survivors from the Twin Towers who were above the impact zone at the time of the plane hits, no Raytheon employees died in the office that day.

Report Says “False Equity is on the Rise” in Housing Market - Developments - WSJ

Home prices in some U.S. markets are rising much faster than rental incomes or what it would cost to build new houses in those markets, according to a new study by a real estate valuation firm.

The growing gap between sales prices, on one hand, and rents and so-called “replacement cost” on the other is evidence of markets that are over-heating, said the report by Jacksonville, Fla.-based Smithfield & Wainwright. “The build-up of false equity is on the rise again,” the report states.

Using inflation-adjusted data, the firm concluded that recent sales prices of single-family homes in 13 states and the District of Columbia are 10% more on average than what the homes would have been appraised for using two other methods.

I saw Sheila Jordan and Cameron Brown tonite. Had a very interesing discussion on theoretical jazz. Sheila said I should listen to this youtube cut. Very, very interesting:

George Russell Sextet - You Are My Sunshine (The Outer View, 1962) - YouTube

"The top end of the luxury real estate market is booming like never before."
Can we expound on this?

The White House is For Sale - YouTube

The Millennials’ Money (part 3) - New Economic PerspectivesNew Economic Perspectives

The unstated assumption here is that the sovereign spending of new fiat dollars will simply pump additional money into the Private Sector economy without creating new goods and services that people can buy with the additional injected dollars. This certainly is a choice that could be made—to simply “give” people dollars for doing nothing at all. And doing so very likely would, after a period of time, begin to significantly devalue the dollars everyone is using.
The Millennials’ Money (part 3) - New Economic PerspectivesNew Economic Perspectives

We’ve already seen and understood that the value of fiat money, relative to the actual goods and services available in the Private Sector markets, is something that needs to be monitored and controlled. What is important to keep up front in the inflation argument, however, is that as long as sovereign spending actually creates real public goods and services the new fiat dollars will not be inflationary. This is especially true if the particular public goods and services created are the kind that enable more people to subsequently participate in the creation of private goods and services as well. (This is something we’ll discuss further on in part 4.) Sovereign spending directed in such a way will, instead of creating inflation, grow the economy, raising employment and wages toward the goal where every able citizen is comfortably supporting themselves and their family either with their labor, their talent, and/or by their entrepreneurial efforts.

Only when full employment is truly reached—that is to say, when virtually every able citizen is earning at least a living-wage performing some task that is useful to or entertaining for others—would we expect that additional sovereign spending might bring inflationary pressures on the money system. No BGXer could argue that we do not have a long way to go before reaching that happy moment—or deny that the goal-line, in fact, is continuously being moved ahead by technology advances which eliminate the need for human participation in the production of goods and services.

San Diego police to investigate officer who killed dog -

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego's police chief says an officer's fatal shooting of a pit bull is being reviewed internally to determine if authorities acted properly.

Shelley Zimmerman said Friday that such internal reviews are done for any shooting involving a police officer. She didn't elaborate on the shooting but her department has said the officer shot the dog as a last resort to prevent himself from being bitten.

The department says officers responded last Sunday to a domestic violence call involving allegations of strangulation in the city's Pacific Beach neighborhood. It says the owner failed to restrain the dog after trying to block the animal from leaving the resident.

Police say the officer tried to retreat before firing the gun.

Formaldehyde in Alcoholic Beverages: Large Chemical Survey Using Purpald Screening Followed by Chromotropic Acid Spectrophotometry with Multivariate Curve Resolution

As we had previously conducted in-depth research into acetaldehyde content of alcoholic beverages [9, 10], we were recently asked if we had similar data on formaldehyde and if this compound may pose a risk to consumers in addition to the risk of ethanol [11]. We had no such data, because formaldehyde cannot be analyzed along with the other volatiles (e.g., acetaldehyde and methanol) during a typical gas chromatographic reference method [12]. For this reason, a separate assay has to be developed. It quickly became clear that instrumental techniques such as GC [13–20], HPLC [21–30], or flow-injection fluorimetric analysis [31–33], which require extensive sample preparation and derivatization steps, in addition to having costly and complicated instrumental requirements, would not be feasible for the economic and time-efficient survey of a large number of samples.

In contrast, the commonly applied AOAC reference method 931.08 [34], based on the chromotropic acid reaction first described by Eegriwe [35], appeared to be applicable (Figure 1). However, it is a comparatively time-consuming method, which meant that the sample throughput would not have been large (our aim was to analyze at least 100 samples to provide a valid exposure assessment for consumers). Therefore, we had the idea to preselect samples for the AOAC procedure by first using a rapid colorimetric screening test for formaldehyde. A number of these tests are available for screening of aldehydes (e.g., Fehling's, Tollen's and Schiff's reagents, see summary by Brandl [36]), but these classical tests suffer from their low specificity. However, as late as 1970, a new test using purpald reagent (4-amino-3-hydrazino-5-mercapto-1,2,4-triazole, CAS# 1750-12-5) was developed, which is remarkably sensitive and specific for aldehydes [8, 37, 38]. The purpald reaction is based on a condensation of formaldehyde with the reagent to form an aminal, which then reacts under aeration (facilitated by vigorously shaking of the solution) to form a purple coloured oxidation product (Figure 2). The reaction is sensitive for aldehydes, as ketones are oxidized to an uncoloured product [

Our survey of about 500 products showed that only 1.8% of the samples had formaldehyde levels above the WHO IPCS tolerable concentration. A 60 kg person would need to consume 0.8 L of alcohol at 14.37 mg/L daily to exceed the US EPA RfD of 0.2 mg/kg bodyweight/day, which is extremely unlikely even in this worst-case scenario. While a more detailed population based risk assessment is needed, which also should include other foods, we preliminarily conclude that formaldehyde is unlikely to pose an additional risk for the alcohol drinking population.

Myth busting: Are synthetic pesticides, used with some GMOs, more dangerous than natural ones? | Genetic Literacy Project

The list is very long. In 1990, Bruce Ames published a paper entitled “Dietary pesticides (99.99 percent all natural)”. In it, he and his coauthors outline that we eat an estimated 1.5 grams of natural pesticides a day, “which is about 10,000 times more” than the amount of synthetic pesticide residues we consume. This amount would be significantly higher in vegetarians and vegans. As an example, the authors provide a list of 49 different pesticides found in cabbage alone. The concentrations of these pesticides are in parts per thousand or parts per million, whereas the amount of synthetic pesticides we find on our food are in the parts per billion range.

Despite the vast amount of toxins in our diet, only a handful of these have ever been tested (note that the paper was written in 1990, but the point still stands). Of all the chemicals tested for chronic cancer tests in animals, only 5 percent have been natural pesticides and half of these were carcinogenic.

Think about that for a moment. While there’s an uproar about parts per billion amounts of synthetic pesticide residues on our food, there are more concentrated compounds in fruits and veggies actually known to cause cancer. In addition, some of the more commonly used pesticides in agriculture have mechanisms of action that are specific to the pests their targeting, making them far safer than many natural pesticides, which is on reason why they’ve gained popularity in the past half century.

What happened to all the public drinking fountains that abounded everywhere when I was a yout?

They replaced them with phone booths.

Old People Saw White And Gold, And More Insights From A 23andMe Study Of #TheDress | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Sathirapongsasuti says his research found that up until the age of 20, respondents were split evenly between what colors they saw. But as respondents aged, the proportion of white-and-gold sightings increased until the age of 60. At that point, more than 75% of respondents said they saw white and gold colors in the dress. This effect was even stronger in male respondents. He told Fast Company that was the most surprising part of the study to him. At and above age 70, however, slightly more than half of respondents saw blue and black.

Don't forget about the arsenic in your wine.


In classifying glyphosate as potentially cancer-causing, the international research agency cited studies of occupational exposure to glyphosate in the U.S., Canada and Sweden, which they wrote showed “increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma” along with a positive trend for some ailments in mice in separate studies. Though the researchers cited “limited evidence” that glyphosate was a carcinogen for humans, they classified it as probably carcinogenic to them, according to the article.

We estimate that Americans eat about 1.5 g of
natural pesticides per person per day, which is about 10,000
times more than they eat of synthetic pesticide residues (see
below). As referenced in this paper (see refs. 16-21 and
legends to Tables 1 and 2), there is a very large literature on
natural toxins in plants and their role in plant defenses. The
human intake of these toxins varies markedly with diet and
would be higher in vegetarians. Our estimate of 1.5 g of
natural pesticides per person per day is based on the content
of toxins in the major plant foods (e.g., 13 g of roasted coffee
per person per day contains about 765 mg of chlorogenic acid,
neochlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and caffeine; see refs. 22
and 23 and Table 2).

How to reduce your heating bill:

Remains found in wood stove in cooking show finalist's death | Miami Herald Miami Herald

Human remains were found inside a wood stove at the North Carolina home of a man charged with killing a contestant from the TV show "Food Network Star," her husband and their unborn child, a sheriff said Friday.

Cristie Schoen Codd, and her husband, Joseph "J.T." Codd, were likely killed three days before they were reported missing, Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan said at a news conference. He said investigators aren't ready to discuss a motive for the crime.

The sheriff also released search warrants that showed deputies took 11 knives and a saw blade as well as "debris from wood stove" and "debris from yard" from two of Robert Jason Owens' homes near Asheville.

Read more here: Remains found in wood stove in cooking show finalist's death | Miami Herald Miami Herald

Free Money for Everyone! What’s the World Coming To? » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Basic Income is one very practical example of a universal human right. It is not just an economic measure to eradicate poverty but an income paid by the State to each member or accredited resident of a society, regardless of whether he or she wishes to engage in paid employment, or is rich or poor, independently of any other sources of income and irrespective of cohabitation arrangements in the domestic sphere. The fact that everyone receives a Basic Income doesn’t mean that everyone gains: the rich lose. How to finance it is as important as the quantity involved and we favour progressive tax reform which redistributes wealth from the rich to the rest of the population. Precisely the opposite of recent trends. In guaranteeing the most basic right of all, that of material existence, it would bring a host of side benefits, as many studies show. In the case of work, for example, it could have a major positive impact, not only in this regard but also in other spheres.

German police have arrested 350 people, as thousands of protesters descended on Frankfurt today to demonstrate against austerity measures and capitalism.

10,000 protesters took to the streets but as clashes with police intensified, violence erupted leading to hundreds being detained. German police have said that 14 officers and 21 demonstrators have been hurt, while 16 people have been charged with disturbing the peace or arson.

The organisers behind the protest, Blockupy, an alliance of 90 activists groups including the second-largest German labor union, Ver.di, and Syriza, the ruling political party in Greece, focused their protests on the opening ceremony of the new headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.

Tom Cotton: 'There's Not Going to Be a Palestinian State' - Bloomberg Politics

Senate Republicans who welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attack on President Barack Obama's efforts to strike a nuclear deal with Iran are dismissing his about-face on support for a Palestinian state, a central under-pinning of U.S. policy.

"I think it's simply a statement of fact that there's not going to be a Palestinian state,'' Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton said Tuesday during a breakfast with Bloomberg News. Last week, Cotton orchestrated a letter signed by 46 of his Republican colleagues aimed at thwarting ongoing negotiations with Tehran.

With polls showing a close race as Israelis headed to the polls to decide whether Netanyahu's Likud party will retain a majority control over government, the Israeli prime minister declared Monday that he would not attempt to negotiate a two-state solution if re-elected.

Republicans Seek to Avoid Pentagon Spending Cap Using War Funds - Bloomberg Politics

(Bloomberg) -- House Republicans will try to ease their party’s tension over a tight Pentagon spending cap by budgeting at least $90 billion for a special war-funding account that isn’t subject to the limit.

The plan, part of a House Republican budget due for release Tuesday morning, could bridge the difference between Republican spending hawks, who don’t want to raise the annual cap, and Republican defense hawks, who are anxious about planned cuts to Pentagon funding.

“The biggest issue has been defense spending. We want to remain under the caps but defense spending is a very important priority for a lot of us,” Representative Marlin Stutzman, an Indiana Republican, said. “It’s a tight needle to thread.”

The attempt to do that puts Republicans at odds with President Barack Obama, who has proposed reducing the war-funding account to $58 billion in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 -- compared with $73 billion this year. His budget, released in February, was designed to pressure Congress into boosting annual defense and domestic spending in tandem, in part by cutting the war-funding account.

Funding the Overseas Contingency Operations account “in excess of $90 billion would allow Congress to essentially match the president’s request which proposed to spend $37 billion above the defense cap, with the difference being that the president’s budget explicitly raised both defense and non-defense caps and offset the increase, whereas this approach pretends to comply with caps and doesn’t require offsets for increased spending above caps,” Lorenzen said.

Congressional budget resolutions are non-binding, but they help frame the battle with the White House over spending and taxing.

Mike Porcaro, bass player for pop group Toto, dead at 59 - Chicago Tribune

MIke Porcaro, who was the son and brother of prominent musicians and carved out a long, successful career as the bass player for the Grammy-winning pop group Toto, has died at age 59.

Porcaro died Sunday, Toto's publicist Keith Hagen told The Associated Press.

No cause was given, but he had suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease for several years. He left the group in 2007 because of declining health.

Lou Gehrig's disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, attacks the cells that control muscles.

Toto - Rosanna - YouTube

Mitt Romney to box Evander Holyfield for charity

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — We won't see Mitt Romney battling in a presidential race in 2016, but it looks he will be going up against Evander Holyfield in a boxing ring in the near future.

Yup, Romney will fight the former heavyweight champ at a charity event in Salt Lake City May 15.

The 2012 presidential nominee told The Salt Lake Tribune, "It will either be a very short fight, or I will be knocked unconscious. It won't be much of a fight. We'll both suit up and get in the ring and spar around a little bit."

For the win who said:
"You'll reincarnate if you know what's best for you"

Shirley MacClaine?