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It's the Surreal Thing


It's the Surreal Thing

Russell Mokhiber

We’re number one.

In obesity.

West Virginia is in a dead heat (emphasis on dead) with Mississippi. That’s according to the most recent ranking (2013) from the Trust for America’s Health — up from number four in 2012.

That’s an obscenity.

What can be done?

The West Virginia School of Public Health Should be taking the lead.


Surreal, indeed... but the list extends WAY beyond Coke. Let's add to it:

  1. Monsanto's genetic contrivances--each of them an insult to, and assault upon--basic cellular biology
  2. Corn syrup (see above) added to just about everything
  3. Additives that enhance food's "shelf life"
  4. Radiation that hides the bacterial breakdown of meat
  5. Fake sugars like aspartame added to so many "diet" foods
  6. Fast "food" in general, particularly its pink goo
  7. Hormone residue in beef
  8. Antibiotics residue in pork and beef
  9. Arsenic residue in chicken
  10. The pesticide built into the plant served up as Soy products
  11. Insecticide residue on most vegetables and fruits, particularly apples
  12. Preservatives added to foods with names so complex, they can't even be pronounced
  13. ALL other "soft" drinks
  14. Alcohol (it is the product of fermented sugar)
  15. All that remains hidden--a trend that will no doubt escalate if TPP and TIPP (and treaties like these horrors) pass

Taken together, the overload to human bodies is astounding. No wonder so many are succumbing not just to obesity, but also to Depression, Cancer, Autism, Diabetes, and other ailments.

"Better living through chemistry" was one of the 10 greatest (and most dangerous) lies ever told.


Dr. Hand told the Times that “as long as everybody is disclosing their potential conflicts and they’re being managed appropriately, that’s the best that you can do.”

That's plain untrue. You do not need to be a scientist in anything to understand the mechanism by which pseudo-science is bought and sold. From that position it is a small step to view any supposed scientific findings with due scepticism – especially when it is obvious that such science has been designed to find a predetermined result rather than investigate impartially.

“I can’t think of any way that professors can accept corporate funding for their research and maintain academic integrity, but ...” Stop right there! (The but is incidental.) Corporates have a legal obligation to maximise profits. So science funded by corporates is - albeit circuitously - legally compelled to find in the corporate's favour.


And add in the issue that whatever is written on the label certainly cannot be trusted as an honest breakdown of ingredients. I've worked in packaging and know that you simply cannot trust labels. Recently it was found that even when the product title was BEEF WHATEVER, it was found to be HORSE or CHICKEN WHATEVER. So what's going on with all those weird ingredients which, as you say, no one can even get their tongue around - so to speak?!?!?


Good point... and what you point out is about to get worse.

With so much food and medicine and goods coming in from China, India, and other unregulated ports of commerce, and with so few inspectors "checking the goods" on the U.S end, the same mentality that figured it was cheaper NOT to repair the faulty car part and pay possible legal damages is also at work in this nefarious global trade calculus. The working theory seems to be--don't let the public know... until a court of law forces the issue (if it should come to that).

Worse still, what we know of the TPP and TIPP verbiage, paths of citizens' redress will close like castle doors held fixed against the serfs (during the Feudal era).

Most readers know that I am learned in the misunderstood field of Astrology. With that being said, it's worth mentioning that the planet considered the greatest purveyor of deception happens to be Neptune. As true both in astrology and astronomy, Neptune follows an orbital trajectory of 165 years. That means it only returns "home" to its sign of dominion once in 2 centuries. And that time happens to be now.

I often think in terms of myth--or how persons who may survive well into the future will view our era. Personifying Neptune as the god Poseidon, imagine his shock upon returning to his dominion--the vast oceanic kingdoms--to note their state? Dead zones, bleached coral reefs, massive losses of species, military tests ruining whales' hearing, and an entire continent of plastic trash.

On a different level, following Carl Jung's explanation of the "collective unconscious," this cognitive pool mirrors the vast oceans in that, like water, it lacks a natural boundary. What is poured into that collective consciousness factors into human perception, belief, and behavior. And that's where Neptune's penchant for deception comes into the mix.

My understanding of Biblical scripture is that the chief tool in Evil's arsenal happens to BE deception. Thus great evil is underway in everything from food's false labeling, to news stories that read like fake Hollywood scripts, to elected representatives of The People selling out the public's best interests, to the state of just about everything.

Forty years ago when I was in college I put together a photo-essay that explored the degree to which the False World was being force-fitted over all that is real, natural, genuine, and of worth. And when I dusted it off a few months ago, I couldn't believe that everything I sought to say then is just as relevant (and in need of major healing & transformation) now.

Thank you for adding your personal experience as it lends weight to the authenticity of your comment.


I find this especially depressing and disgusting as a citizen of WV, and mother of a WVU alumnus. I recall that WVU was also one of the recipients of Koch money for fossil fuel "research", where there were strings attached and the Kochs got to veto hiring decisions and such...


The obesity problem is multi-faceted:
The sedentary nature of most "work" and "play" causes too many of us to sit around on our rear ends for too long a time and this can cause all manner of circulatory and elimination problems.
The pollution of processed foods with all manner of chemicals puts dangerous substances into the human body over extended periods of time leading to all manner of physical degeneration.
The constant bombardment by visual and auditory advertising for junk foods and their serving in amounts far beyond the needs of anyone to satisfy real hunger causes excessive and compulsive eating and drinking.
The good news here is that Coca Cola and other purveyors of junk food have seen their sales dropping dramatically in the US as more and more people catch on to just how dangerous their products really are . Now they are desperate enough to seek to buy whatever academic whores might be for sale to try to provide some legitimacy for their shoddy wares.
If you want to drop the excess weight and the health complications it produces, may I suggest the following:

Eliminate "fast food" from your diet. I am not just talking about hamburger, pizza, and fried chicken, but also the mountain of prepared foods designed to go from freezer to microwave. Buy bulk ingredients, get a good cook book, and learn how to prepare your own food from scratch.

Drink water primarily and make sure that you have run it through a reverse osmosis or other filtration system to remove the impurities and chemicals needed to keep it from carrying disease. (Most supermarkets have machines that do just that and can fill your gallon jug for about 30-35 cents.)

If you can do so safely, walk around the neighborhood for at least two miles 5 days a week. Or swim laps for about 20-30 minutes a day five days a week. Or ride a bike for 45 minutes 5 days a week. Finding someone else to do this with also makes it more enjoyable. Otherwise get one of those walking DVD's and do it in your living room.

Stop watching TV and listening to radio (especially in the car while driving). the visual and auditory images projected by them distract your concentration and feed the habit of overeating.

These suggestions work but they take time just like excessive weight took time to acquire. Check your weight once a month. Implement the following suggestions for the next twelve months and you will see a change in your energy level and weight.


Interesting that you focus on deception. Humans appear to be masters of that art in a very self-destructive manner.

The technology that we have developed to screw up the physical world seems to be paralleled by mind technology that allows us to screw up our spiritual world. The cunning know how to exploit the gullible.

Our abstract thinking seems like an evolutionary dive off the deep end on two counts. As long as we do not admit that power of deception openly within our cultures and address it as a twin demon to our technological madness, we will fail to move beyond this global impasse. But just think if people suddenly saw through all the BS they are fed!

... with apologies for using the WE frame ... but at a certain level in progress our differences must be shed as we realise what we have in common rather than what divides us.


You just utilized deception in fostering a conclusion that was 100% opposed to the meaning and intention of my comment.

I did not say HUMANS. There are entities among the human family that are committed to ritualistic deception that serves their own ends, chiefly in the form of fulfilling lust, greed, and power "needs."

Many here either sincerely hold the view, or otherwise feign it--that individuals are all 100% free to behave as they wish or will.

This belief suggests that social conditioning, religious indoctrination which starts early in the lives of millions (if not billions) of persons, educational objectives that serve paternalistic powers, and the rather new insertion of constant mass media programming were all superfluous to this idea of the individual as sovereign "isle in a stream of madness."

I studied psychology and sociology in college and I am well-aware of the constructs that underlie both fields. I happen to see things that extend beyond both, too: like the significance of the birth blueprint or natal chart, reincarnation and its karmic carryovers, and the overwhelming imprint of the Anglo-European male view posited as the ONLY reality, and so forth.

The bottom line is that individuals carry quite various levels of sovereignty, agency over their own destinies, intellectual capacities for determining the conditions around them, and so forth. As goes without saying, in a capitalist society structured on the basis of its own caste system where what you earn or own determines your alleged worth, those at the bottom of this pyramid have far fewer options than those at the top.

Leaders are usually held accountable for poor decisions. The trend of late is to reverse the paradigm of accountability by blaming "a few bad apples." A few days ago I pointed out a number of examples of how this works.

In other words, when it's deception that is procured and curried about from high places, "the fish (will) rot(s) from the head."

The kid who was "just following orders" whether in Nazi Uniform or one worn more recently a Guantanamo is guilty of immorality, but more guilty in my view is the one with the AUTHORITY to give that order.

IF we lived in a true Democracy where ALL persons had equal agency, influence, power, intelligence, resources, and opportunity... then this idea of a hierarchy of responsibility would be irrelevant. The case, however, is that when some persons endowed with financial clout and influence purchase media in order to control content, and THEY prey upon the many who are not literate, or were too inculcated to faith-based beliefs at too tender of ages to understand the degrees to which they are being lied to, then the SIN of deception (which is Evil, in sophisticated attire) goes to them. That's quite different from your attempt to slime it all around universally in keeping with the forum contributors' Number 1 meme: that of setting blame universally.

How better to protect the trespassers and keep in place the pretense that "all are equal" before the law and in terms of their actual (typically circumscribed by numerous circumstances) manifested destinies.



I dream of the day when all sentients beings can live peacefully with each other without the illusion of separation.


Isa 11:6-9 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down
with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
and a little child shall lead them.
And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth
shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.


Lets add this one ignroing the health damage to our own bodies these Corporations promote and focusing on Nature itself.

Enbridge has actually suggested that if they are allowed to build pipelines across Canada it will be BETTER for the Caribou herds as it will enhance their habitat.


One of those added preservatives in our foodstuffs is bromine.

Bromine prevents the absorption of Iodine. North Americans have a severe iodine deficiency, An iodine deficiency can leads to all manner of health concerns from weight gain to cancers. What is interesting is some few decades ago Iodine was added to our foods because the health community knew how important it was. Many of those food manufacturers then substituted in Bromine for Iodine as it from the same "group" , yet Bromine actually negatively affects the operation of the thyroid.

Many fruit flavored drinks have bromine. Much of our breads have it. Bromine allows breads to "keep longer on the shelf" and is used as a preservative for many stroe bought goods. It is really hard to avoid so it suggested people find other sources of iodine. It key to operation of the Thyroid and once the Thyroid starts failing all manner of ailemnts follow which have nothing to do with excercise,


"Dr. Marion Nestle is a professor of nutrition at NYU ..." Easy to see there's more than one way to promote the anti-human corporate message while appearing not to, right, Dr. Nestle?
Thanks for this supreme instance of surrealism.


There is no point on posting on this or any other forum unless you (as in one) are as receptively open as you expect others to be to whatever you post yourself. What does it matter if you didn't say human or not? Any post is obviously its writer's ideas, and not necessarily some homage to the person they reply to. In this respect I point out that I did use the word human as you mention, but I did not state that we are equally to blame or guilty of deception, as you infer. You deceived yourself there.

Having said that, unless we try to discover what unites us, rather than sit amidst one of the countless us-and-them or goodies-versus-baddies paradigms, we might well win some intellectual battle... but lose the battle for humanity. I think we all have the power to deceive - but I have no argument with your position that the degree to which people deceive varies enormously. Moreover, deception is only one aspect of the problem. Maybe a more general term would be exploitation.

I too studied psychology and sociology but I'm afraid I found the academic flavour profoundly stupid. Like all academic pursuits, it is itself a means by which society justifies inequality. Intellectuals exploit others who are made to feel less knowledgeable. Or is it that those people allow themselves to feel lesser people? These are tricky questions and the whole idea of cause and effect that underlies blaming people is not the simple affair you imply.

You speak at length about socialisation at a young age and the profound lifelong impact that early influences have. Many people would agree. So, given that most of us have that going on in infancy before we know what is happening, how can you declare yourself judge and jury over who is to blame for what? Does such socialisation only impact victims but not perpetrators?

If may say so, I think you cling to the blame culture because, as your posts suggest, you consider anyone doing anything else is necessarily trying to slime it all around and muddy the waters as paid shills for something or another. It is simply not like that. Some of us happen to believe that meaningful change has no need for that culture of blame.


Avoiding commercial bakery products and investing time, money and energy into alternatives such as steamed whole grains and ground alternative flours such as rye, oat, corn or spelt (delicious) and making your own bread is certainly worthwhile. Most wheat varieties are so altered it would be best to avoid them.

Bladderwrack, a seaweed, is a great source of iodine and helps thyroid function but better to know its source.


Isiah: probably the most "cosmic" book of the Bible. And certainly my favorite as pure literature.


It is for us to move beyond the stage of dreaming...


"... deception. Humans appear to be masters of that art in a very self-destructive manner."

i determined very early, before i was 10 years old, that humans' greatest skill is the ability to fool yourself. People do it all the time, for all kinds of reasons. It's a widely applied practice.


This is really good, thanks.