Tuesday, April 14, 2015


April 8, 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: headlinedigest.com
IMAGE SOURCE: headlinedigest.com
By Anita Stewart for Challenging the Rhetoric and Wise Women Media
US arms exports have increased since Obama took office and lately most of them have gone to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf countries. The current arms deals include weapons that have been sold to Saudi Arabia that in turn have been used to bomb targets in Yemen and threatening and killing Americans there in addition to innocent women, children and elderly. Hence, a proxy war and Yemen is now in a “collapse” situation.
Saudi Arabia got 46 million in new weapons agreements from the US. And 500 million dollars worth of weapons have been “lost” or “misplaced” in Yemen and are probably being used by both sides in their civil war. So the reality is this: the US is funding and providing military hardware to all sides of this conflict. This means big profits for the weapons manufacturers.
Let’s Talk About Drones
Drone operations are being conducted in a huge way in Yemen and have been for some time. Other military theatres in the Middle East/Persian Gulf are also being monitored or citizens are being killed in similar operations.
As of yesterday, the US Military announced a new pay scale and bonus structure for drone pilots.
From the site: “…[This] was also established as a temporary fix until the Air Force came up with aviation continuation pay similar to that given pilots of manned aircraft.”
Some of these pay and bonus structures include amounts as high as $225,000.
So this pay structure is based on active duty military members sitting in comfy desk chairs in front of computers queued up in cubicles at bases in Saudi Arabia and other locales while they are killing indiscriminately or conducting reconnaissance by remote control. (Just like in video games). Also, no boots have to be on the ground.
The drone pilots will be getting pay raises at the similar scale as combat pilots who take the life and death risks when flying real missions? Does this in any way seem logical?
Americans Being Left Behind?
The US has three Navy ships in the vicinity of Yemen yet surprisingly has not conducted operations to rescue American citizens of an undetermined number who may be trapped there. Other countries have successfully evacuated their citizens: China, Somalia, India and Pakistan, for example.
The US State Department did not have any employees that would speak on the record and it has evacuated all it’s staff from Yemen after stopping embassy operations on February 11, 2015.  Those that would speak off the record stated that any US citizens still in Yemen were “on their own.” Americans were advised to find overland travel to get out of the country even though that has many risks and roads are impassable in places. The Indian Military has offered to help US citizens to evacuate.
The Stuck in Yemen website was created to force a strong hand on the US State Department so they would start assisting American citizens who may be trapped there.
And On The Ground…
Hooria Mashhour, a Yemeni Human Rights activist and former post-revolution Human Rights Minister was interviewed by MintPress News and stated the following:
“Over the past two weeks an estimated 500 people have died — 60 were children. Some sources have put the number of dead at over 2,000. It is really difficult to tell at this stage, but the death toll is mounting. Hundreds of people have been injured, and schools, universities, hospitals even have had to close their doors. People do not have access to electricity and fuel is no longer available. The situation in Yemen is very bad indeed.”
Just like a video game, the US’s Proxy War for Ultimate Empire continues on. And the US and Al Qaeda are on the same side.


April 8, 2015

IMAGE SOURCE:  secretaryclinton.wordpress.com
IMAGE SOURCE: secretaryclinton.wordpress.com
By Anita Stewart for Challenging the Rhetoric and Wise Women Media

I have never heard her say anything worthwhile,” ~ Ilona Watzlawick

There is an ongoing battle and deepening divide between feminists these days. There are gay and straight feminists, liberal and radical feminists, feminists that are armchair warriors or keyboard cowgirls telling everyone else what they should be doing. Others are in the corporate world working the nine to five. This article is peppered with comments from women who consider themselves to be feminists but won’t vote for a woman just because she is a woman. What’s more is they are definitely not voting for Hillary in 2016.

Well Hillary is certainly not my favorite choice, simply because she is so entitled all the way to her blue blooded bones! I also dislike her because she is so mainstream ingrained..her fairly basic core conservatism…even though she appears to be a liberal. I don’t like her because I’ll bet the bitch has never done her own hair in her life!” ~ Sarah P.

And then there are those feminists that don’t attach a label to themselves but are quietly doing the work that feminists do. For example: working within their communities helping other women and families, aiding the poor and sick, working in community gardens, volunteering at their churches, fighting for equal wages and fair working conditions. These women are calling out inequality when they see it.
Recent Feminist History
It’s important to not forget the pioneers of feminism. Those that have led the way doing great work like Gloria Steinem and Eve Ensler. Let’s also give kudos to Sandy Oestreich who has been working on the Equal Rights Amendment for years (an amendment that needs only three more states to sign on in order for it to become law) … shouldn’t today’s feminists make sure these other women’s work is done? Indeed, some younger women (millennials for the most part) think that this work has already been completed.

Vince Foster and Benghazi are the top 2 reasons I will not be voting for her…and the list goes on,” ~ Ella M.

Wouldn’t all women like to be making the same wages as their male counterparts? In most US households, the women are the bread-winners, after all!

No way. She has sold out to Monsanto and Israel. She is onboard with the TPP and supports the continuation of resource theft and the loss of life that goes with it, across the globe,” ~ Michelle Dalnoky, RN, BA.

One of the widest divides with feminists these days is based on the following question: “Are you in?” Simply a popular and recycled meme from the Obama 2012 re-election campaign. And these: are you a feminist? Or: are you voting for Hillary in 2016?

Not voting for Hitlery, Jeb Bush, Cruz, or any other Rockefeller/Rothschild mass murdering puppets!” ~ Elaine Dietrich-Nichols

Some feminists think that voting for Hillary is a good thing; that it will “shatter the glass ceiling,” while unrealistically thinking Hillary will work on women’s rights and equality issues if she takes office.

“Hillary is just another cog in the perpetual machine that has been destroying humanity and reaches to destroy all life on the Earth Mother… for profits held in greedy hands of few. War is their ultimate tool of statecraft.” ~ Gwendolyn Holden Barry

Others, are vehemently against voting for her. They would like to vote for a woman, “but not THAT woman!”

Let me start by stating the obvious for anyone who knows me. I am decidedly over the Democratic Party. That said, I look at every candidate according to their merit, not the letter by their name. I will not be voting for Hillary Clinton for myriad reasons. First of all, the trend of legacy voting – entitled families that seem to be revered as “born rulers” – is eerily reminiscent of the Nobles of old, if not the tradition of Royalty.  Bushes, Clintons…out of the millions of great minds that could contribute to this country, why do these certain clans have an edge? Second, I will not be exploited by gender-baiting. This society still carries gross inequality for females, but equality means being judged by merit – and Hillary has made her bona-fides by bowing to the patriarchal, capitalist, militaristic rule that all feminists should revile. I will not be fooled by her false tears, cookie making comments, or any other acting she does to reach women. She is about power, she is about personal power at any cost. It is not an admirable trait in any gender; it is a dangerous trait in a leader. Third, and most important is her record. She started as a Young Republican through college, and her voting record pretty much stays true to the course she then steered. She is an absolute HAWK when it comes to foreign policy. She actually was more aggressive than Gates, pressing for more escalation in Afghanistan, intervention in Syria (arms and money) and attacking Libya. She has no empathy for the Palestinians and staunchly supports the far-right regime in Israel. She may as well sing along with McCain on the horrible rendition of “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran!” Her contributors read like a who’s who of the Military Industrial Complex. Domestically, she is staunchly for the surveillance state, and wants Edward Snowden’s head on a platter. She was for every “welfare for the rich” bailout there was. She often is called for paid speaking engagements at our largest financial institutions, where she charms them and assures them she is on their side. Personally? I think that playing the good cop/bad cop game has no validity.  A baseball player doesn’t play for your team, he plays for the owners. You can see that after every trade. Our politicians are much the same. It is time to vote [Third Party] or have these parties and the people invested in them lose their own egos and combine into a People’s Party, no matter the name and vote for people who truly have all of our best interests in mind. I have to vote my conscience. Hillary is a snake. I cannot, will not. Ever.” ~ Diane Gee.

The White House Years And Beyond
Why do some think Hillary Clinton is anything close to a feminist? Before the White House she was an attorney succeeding in a man’s world and she had many skeletons in her closet. Once in the White House she was “standing by her man,” even though his out of marriage liaisons and public cheating were legendary and all over media. Anything that came to her after the White House years — such as her elected positions and her previous run for president in 2008, were only remarkable because she seemed to move comfortably within the good ‘ole boy network and was known for her hard-line take on the issues, her corporate alliances and her unwavering support for the wars and occupations.
What We Won’t Get By Voting For Her
The general consensus among many women, including so-called feminists, is that voting for Hillary in 2016 will just bring us more of the same that we’ve had over the past years; more war, more corporate favoritism, more hand-outs and bail-outs to the rich, and more poor, sick and suffering. A lack of human rights, healthcare, clean water, pure food, breathable air, a green environment, renewable energy and so much more are still the things we need.
Women — especially those who consider themselves to be feminists [of any label] should be concerned. Why would women want to vote en masse for another woman who seems to have few concerns for the issues that are so important to us?


April 7, 2015


IMAGE SOURCE: controversialtimes.com (Bergdahl’s parents with President Obama)

By Anita Stewart for Challenging the Rhetoric and Wise Women Media
In one of the most politicized stories in any war time theatre involving prisoners of war, prisoner exchanges and releases, the story of Bowe Bergdahl haunted us in the spring of 2014 when his release and the subsequent prisoner exchange of Taliban members became corporate media’s story “du jour.”
Bergdahl left his unit at a remote Afghanistan outpost in June 2009 and then was captured by the Taliban aligned Haqqani network where he remained a prisoner of war for almost five years. Bergdahl was finally released on May 31, 2014 in exchange for five Taliban prisoners that were incarcerated at Guantanamo.
It was a big story then and it’s back on the corporate media radar now due to the publication and release of The Army Report which had remained in limbo on a General’s desk since October 2014. It was finally released to corporate media this past March. Now Bergdahl is being charged with Desertion and Misbehavior Before the Enemythe latter considered a catch-all regulation that can be applied to just about any transgression, however minor.
Bergdahl faces life in prison if convicted.
Some Media And Fellow Troops Say He Is A Deserter
IMAGE SOURCE: kttc.com

Stories have been published in The Daily Beast and USA Today by troops deployed in units that were near Bergdahl’s. These articles claim Bergdahl deserted his unit. Wikipedia has printed the text of an email exchange between Bergdahl and his father that was sent before Bergdahl left — which if true, is evidence that Bergdahl deserted his unit, but he did so as a ‘conscientious objector.’ His thoughts expressed in the email revealed sympathy for the Afghani people.
Congress however, had never been informed of any email exchange or notes while discussing the terms of Bergdahl’s release and the Taliban prisoner releases and exchange.
The politicizing continued on both sides of the aisle with the House Armed Services Committee conducting a hearing on the prisoner swap. President Obama defended the prisoner swap and made Bergdahl a hero in a speech delivered at the White House while he was accompanied by Bergdahl’s parents.
But Wasn’t Bergdahl A Whistleblower?
He had already spoken to his team leader about the repercussions of going off base while in possession of army equipment such as night vision goggles or his weapon. His team leader told him he would be in trouble and action would be taken against him if that happened. So Bergdahl left almost all of his army equipment behind. Only his compass, a thermos and a knife went missing.
Bergdahl’s attorney, Eugene Fidell said Bergdahl left his unit to report irregularities to the Commander. We do not know the details of those irregularities Bergdahl was allegedly going to report on. They have not been released to the public.
Perhaps he had witnessed war crimes or wrongdoings? If they weren’t wrongdoings, why are they being kept secret? Is Bergdahl facing recrimination from his unit’s chain of command for attempting to tell the truth to the commanding officer in the area?
Myth And Truth
One of the biggest myths in this story is that a search detail deployed to look for Bergdahl after he went missing and that troops were killed during that detail and the others that followed.
According to Fidell, there is no evidence that this ever occurred. Casualties noted from this time period appear to be caused by routine military operations in the area and not as a result of specific searches for Bergdahl.
Opinions on details of what happened differ depending on the news network reporting it. One’s own political party also seems to come to play in an opinion. This was presented as a partisan story from the beginning and even Bergdahl’s family members have been targets of the hype created by corporate media and their fans. Now the pundits have taken over and the narrative is being controlled regardless of what the truth may be.
Is Bergdahl a would-be whistleblower? Or, is he a conscientious objector? Did he truly desert his unit? Or is this a concerted effort to bury public knowledge of more potential war crimes? Will we ever know?


April 8, 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: ysamarsinsights.wordpress.com
IMAGE SOURCE: ysamarsinsights.wordpress.com
By Anita Stewart for Challenging the Rhetoric and Wise Women Media
We don’t do body counts,” said General Tommy Franks in 2003, in the early days of Gulf War II, you know, “Shock and Awe.”
What followed that bold statement were countless reports and news stories from corporate and independent media on just how the counts were conducted, but no one knew for sure how this huge endeavor was being carried out.
Franks’ statement was the catalyst for the creation of the website [that is still live] IraqBodyCount.net. The data on the site is full of stats and is rather macabre, but if people reviewed it and saw the casualties for themselves perhaps this data would change the public opinion about wars and occupations? 
Democracy Now had one of the first reports on the General’s statement and the website that was one of the first sites about the Iraq War itself; one that you to share the casualty data by inserting a widget box onto other pages, blogs and websites. It was quite brilliant.
 The Body Count Report 
Not reported by corporate media and sadly forgotten or under-reported by alternative/independent media, “The Body Count Report: Casualty Figures After 10 Years of the “War on Terror” is 101 pages that was released in March of 2015 and included information from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. It should have made international news and front pages everywhere.
Data was collected by the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), thePhysicians for Global Survival (PGS) and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and included stats from September 11th, 2001 up until the end of 2013. The report is linked here for download as a PDF file.
Omission Of The Facts Means They Don’t Exist
Officially ignored are casualties, injured or killed, involving enemy combatants and civilians…” wrote Doctor Hans-C. Von Sponeck in his preface to the Body Count Report.
Von Sponeck is a former UN Assistant Secretary General and UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.
“…This, of course, comes as no surprise. It is not an oversight but a deliberate omission. The U.S. authorities have kept no known records of such deaths. This would have destroyed the arguments that freeing Iraq by military force from a dictatorship, removing al-Qaeda from Afghanistan and eliminating safe havens for terrorists in Pakistan’s tribal areas has prevented terrorism from reaching the US homeland, improved global security and advanced human rights, all at ‘defendable costs.’”
IMAGE SOURCE: cursor.org
IMAGE SOURCE: cursor.org
The Report Doesn’t Exist If YOU Can’t Find It
Independent researcher and American, David Peterson — co-author of ‘The Politics of Genocide,’ noted the following a week ago:
 “I just ran a Factiva database search (on MediaLens) for mentions of the (Body Count) report. As best I can tell, within the universe of wire services and newspapers archived by the Factiva database, only four different English-language media have reported the existence of this document, and in these cases, two reports were picked up by twomedia.”
The Real Numbers [Add Up]
Per the report around a million casualties would be considered a conservative estimate. More than two million would be more realistic. Not counted would be numbers of casualties submitted from other Middle East countries and some of those displaced and living in refugee camps. The UN and NGO’s also have provided some of the data.
The real numbers are not provided to the general public because “collateral damage” is not considered technically as bad as a ‘casualty.’ The pogroms, endless wars and occupations must continue in order for corporations to profit. How much are you depositing today?


April 1, 2015

By Anita Stewart for Challenging the Rhetoric and Wise Women Media
Dr. Patrick Moore was being questioned about golden rice for a documentary being filmed for Canal+ when the interviewer asked him about Monsanto’s weed killer product, Roundup. The following discussion took place and is on the video linked below. Monsanto claims that Dr. Patrick Moore does not speak for them or represent them in any capacity.
Last week it was established by a working group from the World Health Organization that Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup is indeed a carcinogen.
Video and transcript by SM Gibson and originally published on the ANTIMEDIA.ORG website: CLICK HERE
Dr. Patrick Moore: “You can drink a whole quart of (Roundup) and it won’t hurt you.”
Canal+: “You want to drink some? We have some here.”
Moore: “I’d be happy to, actually…. Uhh…Not.. Not really. But I know it wouldn’t hurt me.”
Canal+: “If you say so, I have some glyphosate, have some.”
Moore: “No. I’m not stupid.”
Canal+: “So, it’s dangerous, right?
Moore: “No, People try to commit suicide with it and fail; fail regularly.”
Canal+: “Tell the truth, it’s dangerous.”
Moore: “It’s not dangerous to humans.”
Canal+: “So, are you ready to drink one glass?”
Moore: “No, I’m not an idiot. Interview me about golden rice, that’s what I’m talking about.”
Canal+:  “We did.”
Dr. Moore then calls the host a “complete jerk” and walks out of the shot.


March 30, 2015

IMAGE SOURCE: Photo by Anita Stewart at March Against Monsanto October 2013 in Tampa
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo by Anita Stewart at March Against Monsanto October 2013 in Tampa
By Anita Stewart for Challenging the Rhetoric and Wise Women Media
When one does an internet search and goes back far enough, there are plenty of articles accusing Monsanto and it’s products — such as Round-up and Agent Orange, of causing all kinds of diseases, genetic mutations and deformities; to include Cancer and Diabetes, the latter on the Veterans Administration’s own website. Did you know  Veterans, who were stationed in Vietnam do not even have to prove their illnesses have any connection to Agent Orange to get disability? It’s true, it is automatically presumed to be the cause.
More About The Conditions
The tolls taken by the Vietnamese people during the US Military’s widespread use of Agent Orange as a defoliant, were and still are heavy. These same weighty tolls are also paid by our own veterans and their families, generation after generation. For instance, the current the rate of Diabetes is at 24% for veterans while only 8% for the general population. No doctor has been able to explain the large disparity.
Agent Orange — RoundUp — Monsanto. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, has been linked to Autism. Autism itself is on the rise, as are a host of other diseases.  At the going rate, projections show half the children born by 2050 will have Autism.
What is even more frightening are the amounts of the product being used. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has estimated the United States’ agricultural use of Roundup in 2012 was more than 283 million pounds. This number is way up from 110 million pounds logged just 10 years before. 
Discrediting And Science For Sale
Unless one has been living under a rock, this is all old news and the “GMO-deniers” continually say that some of these claims and reports are based on “junk” or  “pseudo” science and there seems to be a concerted effort in media [both corporate and alternative] to discredit doctors that speak out against Monsanto; particularly female doctors. Is it the “good ‘ole boy” network at work?
Our medical system and our health itself has been hijacked. Corporations and money rule. Like everything else in the land of oligarchy and corporate rule, science with all of it’s facts, data, reports, peer reviewed papers and studies can be bought for a price.
IMAGE SOURCE: fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net
IMAGE SOURCE: fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net
Getting The Facts Right And Outright Lies
Very quietly, two weeks ago a World Health Organization’s (WHO) working group, called the The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), published a report stating that Monsanto’s RoundUp and other company’s products containing, Glyphosate “probably” can cause Cancer. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world.
Other notable scientists have expressed their same concerns such as Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Dr. Vandana Shiva, world renowned author, public speaker, advocate and scientist.
One of the most untrue statements was that glyphosate was so safe for humans, it could be consumed just like lemonade.
A lobbyist for Monsanto, Dr. Patrick Moore (who Monsanto claims is not an official lobbyist or spokesperson for their company) found himself in a tight spot when stating during an interview for a French documentary that glyphosate was completely safe for humans and drinkable but refused to drink a glass of it when offered.
The Latest Developments
Monsanto has asked for WHO/IARC to retract their study this week saying such studies are not valid. Critics however, say the studies merit attention.
Philip Miller who is Monsanto’s vice-president of global regulatory affairs, told Reuters:
We question the quality of the assessment,” and “The WHO has something to explain.”
Miller claimed that the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was given detailed information by Monsanto with specifics on glyphosate’s safety and that it ignored the data.
Dave Schubert, the head of the cellular neurobiology laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, said:
There are a number of independent, published manuscripts that clearly indicate that glyphosate … can promote cancer and tumor growth, it should be banned.
Russia has banned genetically modified foods and Monsanto products and the company is regrouping after they sued and lost a lawsuit in a county in Hawaii that established a similar ban. Other countries have carried out restrictions and bans and many more are expected to follow suit.
On May 23rd, 2015, another global March Against Monsanto event is scheduled. Monsanto is killing us slowly. This is a real war. We cannot allow Monsanto to win as a global superpower. 
IMAGE SOURCE: washingtonsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Monw.jpg
IMAGE SOURCE: washingtonsblog.com