Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - Jan 21, 2023
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
I have mentioned in the past my original visit to China was to explore the use of herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Herbs were part of the curriculum at collage and I was co-writing articles with an Herbalist. It was the late 1980's and there were severe restrictions on providing information regarding herbal treatments to the general public. Language needed to be very specific to avoid consequences. Some physicians were being disciplined for using vitamin therapy in their practices. Remember a state of Washington physician's office raid by federal officers was attributed to giving injectable vitamin B shots to patients.
In 1994 a grassroots campaign for "health freedom" the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was passed. The alternative treatment industry growth exploded as more treatment modalities and information became available to the general public. Market abuses yes, harm to some individuals yes, but in my opinion outweighed by healthful trends in selfcare.
A comment by Janis B brought attention to another attempt by a Western country to reverse health freedoms. If tried in one country similar changes in laws and regulations will be tried in the other countries.
NZ Government Reaches for Total Medical Control via a Therapeutic Products Bill New Zealand Doctors Speaking Out With Science Jan 18, 2023
If a Natural Health Product is found to benefit a serious illness (such as lemons which benefit scurvy), according to the Bill it should be classed as a medicine. Consequently, according to the letter of the new law, only doctors will be allowed to prescribe lemons. Joking apart, most foods benefit serious illness. You might think there is no need to pass a law classifying them as medicines, but according to the government you would be wrong.
80% of drugs are in fact derived from the properties of plants. For years pharmaceutical companies have been trying to patent medicinal plants and secure a monopoly of their supply and use. But this effort largely failed in the patent courts. The remedy for pharmaceutical companies is contained in the Bill being introduced by our Labour government. If a plant is used to make a medicine or the molecular structure of any of its compounds is mimicked by a medicine, then the use of the actual plant should be restricted.
For this reason, in 2016, a bevy of well-paid Ministry of Health experts (???) produced an idiotic list of common plants that they envisioned should be restricted. Natural products in this list included cinnamon, eggplant, almond, mustard, tea (yes you did read that correctly), coconut, and many many others. The present Bill (the third attempt over the years to get this past Parliament) sets up the same conditions that prompted the 2016 list of restricted plants.
This Bill represents an attempt to impose a modern medical/pharmaceutical straight jacket on the process of medical choice. A straight jacket that will no doubt be administered by people who are unfamiliar with and even opposed to natural medicine. The apparent intention is to drive people towards pharmaceutical-based medicine. It is worth noting that modern medical misadventure and misprescription is the third leading cause of death—hardly a direction that deserves a monopoly.
What the Bill Doesn’t Do
Gradually over the last few years, synthetic flavours and additives have been turning up in processed supermarket items. If you are buying vanilla ice cream, it is now usually labelled as containing natural vanilla flavour. This is not in fact made from natural vanilla beans, it is a synthetic flavour. The use of the term “natural” is intended to disguise this fact. In 2016 our Ministry of Health approved over 3,000 synthetic ingredients, many of them without safety testing.
Nor will the Bill encourage the distribution of information about natural approaches to health that studies show are very beneficial in controlling common serious health conditions. Advice for example about diet, exercise, and the curbing of unhealthy habits such as smoking, excessive drinking, or ultra processed foods.
It appears leadership in The Philippines is working on reducing the risk of being a direct target if conflict breaks out between China and the US with it's Allies. Any country or island caught in the crosshairs will probably suffer damage to enviornment, property and population.
Philippine President Rules Out Reopening Former US Military Bases in Country Sputnick News Jan 20, 2023
Speaking with British media on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Marcos said that reopening former US military bases is against the constitution of the Philippines, which forbids foreign bases on its territory.
Bradley Blankenship has a couple of interesting articles on Taiwan's methods of influence in the United States.
US lawmakers’ support for Taiwan’s bid to become independent from mainland China would be non-existent without powerful lobbying and influence groups. One such group is the Global Taiwan Institute in Washington, DC, which I wrote about before. Another is the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), also a major non-profit in the States pushing for “Taiwan independence.”
Founded in San Francisco in 1982, FAPA lobbies for this cause directly on Capitol Hill. Its founder was Peng Ming-min, known as the “Godfather of Taiwan independence” and its first president was Chai Trong-rong, who returned to Taiwan to found Formosa TV and joined the DPP to be elected as a legislator for five terms.
FAPA’s mission is 1) to promote international support for the right of the people of Taiwan to establish an independent and democratic country and to join the international community; 2) to promote relations and cooperation between Taiwan and the United States; 3) to protect the right of self-determination for the people of Taiwan; 4) to promote peace and security for Taiwan; and 5) to advance the rights and interests of Taiwanese communities throughout the world.
To get a sense of this organization’s significance, it has as many as 44 chapters throughout the US, covering every state and major city – and there are as many as 2,500 members. Its lobbyists are almost all US citizens, which helps them significantly in terms of legal burdens to perform their activities. This layout facilitates lobbying efforts by allowing FAPA members to influence more legislators in their district and even politicians at the local level.
It is also likely that FAPA was instrumental in creating the Taiwan Caucus in Congress. The Caucus was launched in 2002 by Congressman Steve Chabot and others and was the largest congressional member organization in the US Congress, with 229 members as of the last Congress. In addition, FAPA was involved in the passage of the 2018 Taiwan Travel Act, which allows high-level US officials to visit the region since as early as 2004.
Global Taiwan Institute (GTI) is a nonprofit in Washington, D.C.
https://www.rt.com/news/569067-influence-us-scholars-taiwan/ Russia Times Jan 7, 2023
That’s where the GTI comes into play. Just four months after Taiwan’s so-called President Tsai Ing-wen began her first term, the DPP and those in the diaspora community in the US launched the GTI in Washington, D.C., which is both the capital of the US federal government and the main forum for the country’s think tanks. The GTI reportedly has access to more than $20 million in funds and has a ritzy $3 million office in Washington’s Dupont Circle.
GTI is one of about 390 think tanks in the capital but is the only one dedicated solely to Taiwan issues.
The GTI’s normal operations are based on three main pillars: Biweekly Global Taiwan Briefs, public seminars, annual academic conferences, and annual reports, in order to achieve the institution’s mission of providing a voice for Taiwan and strengthening bilateral relations between the US and Taiwan. In addition, the institute supports the academic development of the younger generation of U. scholars by providing scholarships and research positions in order to cultivate a new generation of ‘Taiwan-literate’ scholars.
I wonder how many hidden doors are in our Southern border wall. It took significant time for these doors to become public knowledge.
Ancient Hidden Doors Found in Great Wall of China Sputnik News Jan 16, 2023
Researchers studying China’s largest and probably most famous landmark - the Great Wall - have discovered the remains of over 130 concealed doors dotting this monumental fortification.
These passages were apparently designed for scouts sent on missions beyond the wall, even though they could have also been used for other purposes.
Records from the time of the Ming Dynasty, which reigned in China from 1368 to 1644, suggest that nomadic tribes were sometimes allowed to use these entrances to move their cattle to areas suitable for grazing, according to Chinese media.
What is on your mind today?