People of conscience rightfully condemn the Nazi looting of art and cultural artifacts from Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and from homes and museums around Europe. People also rightfully condemn the berserk destruction of cultural and historical treasures in Iraq and Afghanistan by ISIS and the Taliban.
There is a growing body of international law that condemns and demands reparations on the part of former colonial powers like Britain, France, Belgium and The Netherlands whose military and “explorers” looted cultural and historical treasures of Greece, Egypt, Iraq, India, Indonesia, Africa and elsewhere in their Empires. The Spanish are certainly near the top of any list of looters of cultural and historical artifacts with their centuries-long conquest and domination of the Indian civilizations of Latin America.
And of course it can hardly be disputed that the Americans top the list of looters with their genocide against Native Americans and blatant theft of their ancient homelands, along with widespread looting of their cultural and historical artifacts, desecration of their graves, and theft of their cultural heritage. When this history is combined with the destruction and enslavement of entire African civilizations, and the forced obliteration of not only whole families and tribes but whole histories, Americans are definitely at the top of any list of historical and cultural criminals.
All of the victims of these various exercises of colonial avarice, hatred and slaughter are at some stage in seeking reparations. The Greeks want their temples back from the British. The Egyptians want the bones and treasures of their ancient Kings returned. Native Americans are demanding the return of their sacred objects and the bones of their ancestors from the Smithsonian. The Iraqis who have seen their Mesopotamian heritage scattered to the winds for centuries are currently being victimized by a blow-dried reincarnation of Jim & Tammy Faye in the person of the “Christian” owners of the tacky little “Hobby Lobby” chain in the US that is charged with large-scale looting on ancient artifacts in the Middle East. These elaborately coiffed smiley-face Oklahomans of course deny everything, pleading that they had no idea that these little ole’ tiles were invaluable cultural artifacts.
Cultures worldwide are demanding the same of museums in France, Belgium and The Netherlands. The Chinese are demanding the return of cultural and historical treasures looted by the American-backed Chiang Kai Shek. American Black people are demanding reparations for the theft and brutalization of their families, cultures and history. Latin American cultures are demanding that Spain , Portugal and the Catholic Church return the wealth in gold, silver, culture and history stolen from them over the centuries of Colonial domination.
However, in the midst of all this worldwide outcry against theft of cultural and historical heritage by force and stealth, at least one enormous crime against Native People has been completely overlooked, and I am proposing that the people of Bolivia and Peru, who are the victims of this particular crime, organize and pursue legal remedy under the same body of international law that has begun to recognize the rights of other Native People worldwide.
The crime I am referring to is the theft of the Coca Plant by the European pharmaceutical industry that, since the 1840’s, has made hundreds of billions of dollars from the theft of this Sacred Plant of the Incas and has not paid one penny in reparation or shared any of the huge profits that this industry has enjoyed for over 150 years. Specifically, I am suggesting that Bolivia and Peru jointly sue the German Pharmaceutical company Merck, which was responsible for first looting Coca Plants from Bolivia and Peru and then extracting the alkaloid Cocaine from those plants, and then making Cocaine the core of the company’s fortunes as it grew into the globally dominant pharmaceutical giant of today.
The Coca Plant is indigenous to only one place in the world – the southern Andes – so Merck cannot claim that they took a plant that was readily available worldwide and simply exercised their scientific genius in producing Cocaine. The plants that Merck used to create mountains of gold from a few green leaves came from only one place, and were the cultural and historical heritage of only one People – the Native peoples who today live in poverty in Andes, remote from even a handful of the wealth so jealously guarded by the German pharmaceutical industry and others worldwide who profit from the cultural heritage of the Incas – companies like Coca Cola, who should also be named in any lawsuit for reparations brought by representatives of the Native People of Bolivia and Peru.
The art looted by the Nazis is being returned to the rightful owners under the law, and the families and descendants of those owners are rightfully being compensated. The stolen art, artifacts and bones of ancient civilizations in Greece, Egypt and elsewhere are gradually being pried loose from the talons of the museums erected by Colonial powers to display their loot. Even the American Smithsonian is finally, reluctantly recognizing that it has no right to make the corpses of Native Americans part of their “display”, and are, while doing a lot of foot-dragging, gradually returning the bones and cultural and historical loot stolen from the Native American people. And although there is enormous opposition among the elite and their toadies toward paying reparations to American Black people, at least there is some movement among American Black people themselves to reclaim parts of their stolen cultural and historical heritage.
So why shouldn’t Merck, Coca Cola and others that have profited from the theft of the heritage of the Incas be taken before the bar of international justice and stripped of at least a major portion of the profits that they have made from the theft of the cultural/historical heritage of the descendants of the Incas? The court of jurisdiction would also be responsible for assuring that the money recovered in the name of the descendants of the Incas was not re-looted by politicians in those countries, and instead went into a closely supervised non-profit international organization that was severely limited in the salaries it could pay and the administrative overhead it could charge.
I think that this is the right thing to do, and I think it should be done beginning now. Are you listening, President Morales? You have an historic opportunity to force the greedy capitalists of Merck, Coca Cola and other evil corporations to crawl on their knees dragging wagonloads of stolen wealth back to the people who are its rightful owners.
Just do it. Por favor.
Who hasn’t heard the story of Mount Vesuvius and the immolation of thousands of people in Pompeii? The petrified remains of those people, posed forever in their death agonies, are a popular tourist attraction. “Gosh, look at the pain and suffering on that poor woman’s face. Just imagine ….”
Meanwhile, life goes on in the shadow of the great volcano. Of course Neopolitans are aware that at any moment Vesuvius can and no doubt will erupt again, but meanwhile la dolce vita trumps worries over an event that is in the future somewhere and, anyway, can’t be prevented.
Those of us who are fascinated by stories of the world’s great volcanos have recently been alerted to an even bigger story than the lively magma circulating underneath Vesuvius – the largely ignored story of a huge caldera on the other side of the Bay of Naples named Campi Flegrei.
Do you think that the projections of global winter if Yellowstone erupts, as many believe that it will, are accurate? Well friends and fellow disaster aficionados, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Yet life goes on.
We’re worried about war in the Middle East. We’re disturbed by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We’re tired of hearing about Iraq. We’re eager to see some kind of resolution to Iran’s aggression. We’re afraid that Pakistan and India are going to nuke each other. We’re unhappy over China’s world-class pollution. We’re hoping that the murderous situation in the Philippines will end soon. We’re fed up hearing about the crime and violence in Mexico and Central America. We’re nervous that the San Andreas fault may let go. We don’t trust anything we read in the MSM. And the new American administration either horrifies or excites us. And don’t even get us started on the Heroin epidemic, evil bankers, rampant obesity and lurking terrorists.
Yes indeed, bad shit is happening all over the world
Funny thing though – it’s all irrelevant if Campi Flegrei lets loose. Even though the few headlines that have appeared lately are pretty ominous in that regard, they are NOTHING compared with what the scientists who have been studying Campi Flegrei for the last several decades have to say.
But hey, who has the time to read long-winded scientific studies? Well, maybe you do, and if you do, you might want to set aside an hour or so and really, really focus on this one. Because if these guys are right – and their data looks REALLY solid, then it isn’t going to be long before all those worrisome trouble spots listed above shrink to insignificance underneath the world-wide cloud of fire and ash from Campi Flegrei.
You may want to pay special attention to how closely the data from Campi Flegrei match up with similar gas composition, flow and sequence data from other mega-volcanos that have been studied before they blew. Not on the massive scale of this one, when and if she blows, but the data curves from several previous big, bad boys are eerily close and point to something happening soon.
Beginning with the biggest eruption since the age of the (end of) Dinosaurs, exploding underneath the Bay of Naples, and spreading fire, poisonous gas and ash over most of the Northern Hemisphere in a week or so, this will be an extinction event to end all extinction events.
Global nuclear war? Fuggedaboutit. GNW would be quick and relatively painless compared to the years of freezing, dark, hopeless death by starvation that would be the fate of virtually everyone north of the equator. And no amount of prepping will change fate one little bit except by extending the suffering of the prepared ones. That’s if Campi Flegrei blows while you and I are still among the living. If we are not, we would be able to count ourselves among the lucky ones, if we could.
So, why am I writing a post like this in a blog dedicated to uplifting the spirit of Mama Coca? Because it’s just possible that the Andes mountains that are the home to Mama Coca and her people might survive the extinction of the people of the North, and if that happens then I hope that the Spirit of Mama Coca will keep her people safe, keep them from hunger and sickness, and perhaps enable them to re-build a human civilization that is more human and less satanic than the so-called civilization that the people of the North have inflicted on the world for far too many generations.
If you read what these scientists say, the moment when Campi Flegrei accomplishes what all the wars in history have never achieved is not too far off. And it will happen, when it happens, in the blink of an eye.
The true translation of the famed “Eat, drink and be merry” Epicurean creed is “Eat, drink, and enjoy all the pleasures of the flesh, for after death there will be no more desire.” True, that.
Have a nice day, every day.
For my readers who want to check out the full story, and all the data, here is the citation
Chiodini, G. et al. Magmas near the critical degassing pressure drive volcanic unrest towards a critical state. Nat. Commun. 7, 13712 doi: 10.1038/ncomms13712 (2016)
Eat, enjoy, pump.
Well, at a minimum I suppose its better than fingers down the throat because at least you don’t damage your esophagus barfing up all that stomach acid.
This remarkable invention is evidently clean and santiary too. Your chewed and swallowed food is pumped right out before it can be digested. Of course you better be standing by the toilet or have a bucket handy.
Just think – no more nasty bowel movements. Chew, swallow, pump, flush. The savings on TP alone might be worth the implant!
And if you have pets there could even be some big savings there too. The phrase “doggie bag” unfortunately comes to mind.
On the other hand, wouldn’t a nice cup of Coca Leaf tea a few times a day be a little less, um, complicated? After all, there’s plenty of evidence that Coca Leaf tea can be a safe, natural way to treat obesity.
Far Out! I’ve been writing about the superiority of Cannabis as a natural treating and healing medicine since 1969, and I love this kind of research. By adding another dimension to the usefulness of Cannabis in enhancing quality of life and natural health, this long-distance runners research once again emphasizes the huge difference between Cannabis and most synthetic pharmaceutical industry products.
Where Cannabis Flowers can treat, heal and improve many different body and mind functions, including long-distance running, and can be called a true Natural Existential Medicine, Pig Pharms’s drugs are better called Synthetic Mechanical Medicines.
Pig Pharma manufacturers share the same strategy – they spend Billions to design chemicals that target specific body parts and processes in specific ways that accomplish the enthusiastically-advertised goal of their “medicine”. These “Mechanical Medicines” have what the industry cheerfully calls “side effects”, referring to the damage these drugs cause as they slash and burn their way through the human body and mind in mindless pursuit of their molecular goal. Pig Pharma takes full advantage of the natural human tendency to focus on positive messages and pretty images while they recite the litany of hellacious side-effects in a soothing voice that slips underneath most people’s attention while serving its real purpose of covering Pig Pharma’s ass – we warned you!
An excellent example is bisphosphonates, a class that includes alendronates like Fosamax, chemicals that are packaged, advertised & prescribed widely for osteoporosis. These chemicals are advertised by the manufacturers to build strong bone and to stop bone loss. Of course that sounds like just what a person whose bones are losing mass would want.
But what people don’t know, and aren’t told by their doctors, or by the manufacturers, is that these chemicals work by poisoning cells called osteoclasts that remove old, dying bone and allow the body excrete it. If the osteoclasts are killed off, no old bone cells are removed. It’s like shooting the garbage collector – your garbage piles up and starts to stink pretty quickly.
But, just like the ads promise, the person taking these chemicals goes to the doctor after a few months and now, like a miracle, they are told by their doctor that they “aren’t losing bone mass”. What great news! Of course, we just won’t mention that it’s because the old dead bone cells are backing up in their bones rather than being excreted by their body. And if you block a natural excretion process, like sweat or urine or feces, all kinds of bad things tend to happen. But hey – nobody said there weren’t going to be some side-effects, right?
Can’t you hear these guys bragging – “We were looking for an osteoporosis drug, and when we focused on some of the natural processes in human bone, we saw that there were specialized cells called osteoclasts whose job is the removal of old dead and dying bone, and we realized that if we could stop that old bone removal by poisoning the cells doing the removal, then we could claim that our drug is “building bone”. Pure genius! We are making Billions, and nobody can sue us because we warned them there might be side-effects like cancer, heart disease and death. And anyway, they love our ads and their own doctor prescribed our brand name shit specifically for their osteoporosis, and it “works” – so what’s not to like?”
But …. the heinous behavior of Pig Pharma isn’t why I titled this post “Not Fair”, believe it or not.
What I wanted to draw attention to is that as long as we are now so advanced in society that we’re testing the benefits of Cannabis for long-distance runners, how about a side-by-side test of Coca Leaf Tea? As long as those of us who love and understand Cannabis now feel free to drive a spike through the heart of the “War on Drugs” why not act now together to liberate the Coca plant as well? Is Coca Leaf less worthy than Cannabis as a natural medicine? Does it not also offer human beings great benefits at little cost? Shouldn’t Coca Leaf belong to the People, as Cannabis now does?
Let’s let the long-distance runners decide. Coca Tea for half, Cannabis for the other half. Let the race begin! Everybody is a winner even before it starts. Now that would be fair.
“The Intercept” has just run an excellent piece outlining the lobbying efforts of the Opioid Manufacturing sector of the Pharmaceutical Industry to scuttle new Federal regulations that would attempt to make it harder for doctors to prescribe Opioid drugs like Oxycontin. The major manufacturers involved in the lobbying are Purdue, Cephalon, Endo, and Janssen (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson).
The efforts of these parasitical manufacturers to maintain open season on the wholesale addicting of new “patients” while at the same time keeping up the flow of millions of tablets of these drugs that somehow manage to leak into the street market ( who, us?), is symptomatic of the thug-like nature of virtually the entire pharmaceutical industry.
When you look at the numbers you see that pills are the main “Opioid” killers, not Heroin, not Morphine, and certainly not Opium from the Poppy, and for all the hype about synthetic Opium pills like Oxy, the job they do of relieving pain is no better than a pipe of good opium. Of the 47,000+ drug overdose deaths counted by the CDC in 2014, 8800 were due to Heroin, which leaves +38,000 due largely to pills.
The single justification for the “Opioid” pill industry’s existence is that their products are claimed to be safer than natural Opium, Morphine, or Heroin. If you want to find the reason for the industry’s panic at the increase in Opioid pill deaths, look at the ratio between deaths from the dreaded slayer of youth Heroin and the supposedly safe if used as directed wonder pill.
If a huge part of your industry’s claim to fame is that your product is safer than the juice of the poppy then you have to be pretty upset when people are finally realizing that your pills are killing users nearly 5:1 compared to the fruits of the little flower.
Consider for a moment two possible tracks for our society – the one we are on and the one that could have been, and yet might be.
The track our society has taken is to turn our health, just like we’ve turned most of the other key aspects of our lives, over to highly intrusive institutional management. Most of us no longer have any management role in our food, our children’s education, our family and community security, our finances, or our privacy. One of the results of our capitulation to pervasive institutional management of our lives is that the exponentially-growing health industry, always quick to spot (or make) an opportunity, responded by creating vast numbers of expensive, enormously profitable drugs for all those astounding new diseases of modern society that patients are required to take by their doctors who give no natural options in place of the medical management system’s proprietary pharmaceuticals.
The second track, which might have been, is that all of the medical knowledge gained by doctors, patients and society at large in the 1700s and especially the 1800s regarding three of the great natural drugs – Opium, Coca and Cannabis – might have been kept and nurtured rather than discarded and largely forgotten. Had those three natural medicinal drugs not been demonized and outlawed as part of the warped spiritual movement of the early 1900s that gave birth first to Prohibition and later to the War On Drugs, these three great natural drugs would be available today as a part of the :People’s Pharmacy” just like hundreds of other herbal, natural medicines.
The industrial pharma industry would still have developed, and a lot of people would still be victims of their concoctions, but without the legal framework lovingly erected over decades by authoritarian conspirators there would be a whole segment of the Medical industry devoted to the use of all natural medicines, not just those permitted by the state as part of its role in enforcing the monopoly of Industrial Pharma over medicinal products.
Even more important, a nationwide, community-bases network of natural medicine practitioners would have evolved – people in every community who knew how to grow all of the ancient medical herbs and who utilized the advances of technology to produce ever-more effective but still natural medicines.
Of course we have a great model for this system in the network of Medical Cannabis growers and patients who are finally emerging after the long night of Prohibition – which is still in the very earliest stages of dawning – to point to and see what might have been for ALL the great natural medicines and not just Cannabis, and not just in a few states in the US and a few countries in the world.
In a society where those who wanted any form of any natural drug could grow and prepare it for themselves, or could go to a reputable dispensary or belong to a regulated collective, then we would certainly have some addicts among these people, but they would be able to lead as normal a life as they chose to live without the constant suffering, pain, and jeopardy of addiction to “illegal drugs” and all the horrors that go with that scene.
People with little income would not be driven to prostitute themselves and do violence to feed a drug habit if the drugs they wanted were freely available in safe, natural forms. It is possible, is it not, that given access to natural drugs in a climate free of violence and exploitation many if not most people could use drugs and still lead a normal life even if trapped in circumstances of poverty.
I believe that centuries of recorded experience in societies worldwide shows that the overwhelming problem with addiction is how society treats addicts. If an addict is free to lead an otherwise productive and normal life, many will do so, and those who won’t would have been lost whether drug laws made them criminals or not.
Perhaps what makes addiction so awful for so many people isn’t what the drug does to them, it’s what society does to them as a consequence of their addiction. The popular image of addiction is what is used to sell all the prevention/intervention programs that flourish around addicted people. Human degradation in every form is shown as a consequence of drug addiction, and many people buy that and think no further. But consider the number of people who are technically addicted who lead normal, productive lives in comparison with those whose lives are supposedly ruined by addiction, you begin to realize that plenty of people are addicted to drugs and other substances and don’t descend to street prostitution, emaciation, bleeding scabs and sleeping in alleys. It seems that one begins to see that maybe it is circumstances and not the drugs themselves that determine the direction that addiction takes. Remove all the harsh punishments for addiction and I wonder – what would happen to addiction?
If the illegal status of drugs and the consequences for addiction were removed, at least drug addiction would no longer be part of the trap that ensnares millions of people in the US. Poverty and exploitation would continue in other ways – unless of course (you never know) some kind of new dynamic was released in poor communities by removing the key role of criminalized drug addiction in keeping the iron collar of poverty and exploitation firmly clamped around their necks.