Daily Archives: April 7, 2021

President Bush’s Foreign Policy

Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics

Published on Apr 7, 2021

President Bush’s Foreign Policy Date: Wednesday, April 03, 1991 – 07:00PM More video info at https://iop.harvard.edu/node/3112

Returning Nazi-Looted Art

The Agenda with Steve Paikin

Published on Apr 7, 2021

Efforts to return artwork stolen during the Holocaust to their rightful owners has been building. But the restitution process has minimal rules, requires painstaking research, is characterized by uncomfortable exchanges, lawsuits, and sometimes reluctant museums. Earlier this year, controversy surrounded the return of one piece from the Art Gallery of Ontario, potentially to the wrong family. As many commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day, The Agenda puts a lens to returning Nazi-looted art.

Pandemic Profiteers: Hospitals Sued Patients over Medical Debt While Getting Billions in Relief Aid

Democracy Now!

Published on Apr 6, 2021

We look at pandemic profiteering in the medical system as a new report by Kaiser Health News reveals some of the nation’s richest hospitals recorded hundreds of millions of dollars in surplus over the past year after accepting federal healthcare bailout grants. This comes as hospitals in New York have sued thousands of patients during the pandemic, and Northwell — which is run by a close ally of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo — has faced intense criticism for practices like billing patients at its Lenox Hill Hospital over $3,000 for COVID tests — more than 30 times the typical cost. “There’s a lot of talk in our healthcare system about putting patients first, … but this is not doing that,” says Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president of health initiatives at the Community Service Society of New York and co-founder of the Health Care for All New York campaign. “Suing patients ruins their lives.” We also discuss how Biden’s CARES Act made 3.7 million more people eligible for the Affordable Care Act’s premium subsidies.

African Indigenous Medical Knowledge and Human Health: Charles Warnbebe

Despite the relevance of and empirical evidence for African Traditional Medicine, based on African Indigenous Medical Knowledge (AIMK), research and development of new phytomedicines from this continent has been slow. African Indigenous Medical Knowledge and Human Health aims to provide a catalyst for health innovations based on the rich African biodiversity and AIMK. The book documents some of the success stories from the continent related to AIMK and serves as a one-step reference for all professionals interested in the research and development of medical interventions – including pharmacognosists, ethnobiologists, botanists, phytochemists, pharmacologists and medical scientists.

About the Author

Professor Charles Wambebe obtained his PhD in Neuropharmacology from Ahmadu Bello University in 1979. He served briefly at Georgetown University Medical Center as Visiting Professor of Pharmacology and worked with the World Health Organization. He was consultant in Traditional Medicine to UNDP, UNIDO, African Union, Economic Community for Africa and African Development Bank. Professor Wambebe was the Pioneer Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Bingham University. His initial research focus was on the physiological roles of dopamine in the brain. He also published research articles on the neuropharmacological effects of plant extracts. Upon his appointment as Pioneer Director-General/CEO of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Abuja, Nigeria, he switched his research interest to development of phytomedicines based on African Indigenous Medical Knowledge (AIMK). During his tenure at NIPRD, he initiated and directed the research and development of Niprisan; a standardized phytomedicine for the prophylactic management of sickle cell disorder. It was a ground breaking research that earned Professor Wambebe The World Academy of Science Award in Medical Sciences (TWAS). Niprisan is generally regarded as clinically safe and effective. In recognition of his academic achievements, Professor Wambebe was elected Fellow of TWAS, African Academy of Sciences , Nigerian Academy of Science, etc. Professor Wambebe has published over 150 peer reviewed articles in international journals and contributed chapters to books. His current research interests involve development of phytomedicines from AIMK using African Food Plants. Professor Wambebe is currently serving as Professor Extra-Ordinary (Pharmacology) at Tswane University of Technology, Pretoria and Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, South Africa.

  • Publisher : CRC Press; 1st edition (February 1, 2018)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 246 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1138038105
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1138038103
  • Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6.25 x 0.75 x 9 inches

Foodies and Factory Farmers Have Formed an Unholy Alliance   | WIRED – Ideas

Robert Paarlberg 08.11.2020 08:00 AM

Foodies and Factory Farmers Have Formed an Unholy Alliance

One surprising result of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a spike in consumer demand for imitation meats. According to a Nielsen report, during the first nine weeks of the crisis in the United States, grocery store sales of faux-meat products increased 264 percent. The reasons included concerns about illness at meatpacking plants, the possible spread of disease from industrial livestock operations, and even fears about the animal origins of Covid-19 itself.

This new boom in plant-based imitation meats is doubly surprising, since it came without any support at all from the leaders of America’s progressive “food movement.” Well before Covid-19, this movement had taken a stance against the new imitation meats. The reasoning behind this stance deserves a closer look.

Innovations always force new choices, and sometimes rearrange the political landscape. Getting into bed with a former adversary is fine, as long as both partners are getting an equal benefit. But the food movement’s opposition to imitation plant-based meat has put them in bed with the livestock industry—the producers of real meat, and a traditional food movement foe. Particularly in the Covid era, is this such a wise choice?

Progressives in the food movement have long been among the harshest critics of the livestock industry, mostly due to its reliance on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), commonly referred to as “factory farms.” These facilities are highly productive, but too often at the expense of animal welfare, and they place human medicine at risk through an excessive use of antibiotics. This is also the same livestock industry that supplies the red meats and processed meats Americans consume to excess, increasing the rates of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.

On the environmental side, runoff from livestock farms in the United States pollutes rivers and streams, degrading large bodies of water like Lake Erie and the Chesapeake Bay. The livestock industry is also a significant emitter of climate-warming greenhouse gases, contributing nearly 15 percent of such emissions around the world.

If imitation meat products from plant materials could begin replacing some of the real meat in our diets, all of these problems might be diminished. The fashion industry has learned to substitute imitation fur for the real thing; the shoe industry has learned to use imitation leather; imitation ivory has helped save elephants; and some imitation egg and dairy products are already a commercial success. Plant-based milks (made from almonds, oats, soy, or coconuts, for example) now account for 14 percent of retail milk sales in the United States. If plant-based burgers could replace this much real ground beef in the coming decade, the needle could begin to move on a number of valuable goals.

Despite this important opportunity, most food movement leaders have rejected plant-based meat imitations. Burgers assembled from plant materials, with chemicals added, do not conform to their preference for traditional “whole foods” with minimum processing and no added ingredients. Mark Bittman, previously a food columnist at The New York Times and a prominent food movement spokesperson, faults imitation meats on these grounds: “If you’re combining a bunch of powders and turning it into something that looks like meat, I’m not sure you’re doing anybody any good. I don’t think it moves people in the direction of real food—which is the ultimate goal.”

Progressive food service companies and retailers join in criticizing the processed nature of plant-based imitation meats. Brian Niccoil, CEO of Chipotle, says he won’t serve plant-based meats “because of the processing.” Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, despite being a vegan himself, has a similar reaction: “If you look at the ingredients, they are super, highly processed foods.”

The livestock industry is now borrowing these food movement complaints about processing and additives to slow the uptake of plant-based imitations. The Center for Consumer Freedom, an organization that fronts for the meat, restaurant, and alcohol industries, put a full-page ad in The New York Times in October 2019, warning readers that “fake meats are ultra-processed imitations with dozens of ingredients including methylcellulose, titanium dioxide, tertiary butylhydroquinone, disodium inosinate.” They said it was fake meat, but with “real chemicals.” The CCF then paid for a 2020 Super Bowl ad that featured a young spelling bee contestant having trouble with the word “methylcellulose,” which the moderator identified as “a chemical laxative that’s also used in synthetic meat.”

…(read more).


Robert Paarlberg is an associate in the Sustainability Science Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and the author of Resetting the Table: Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat (Alfred A. Knopf, October 2020)

Virtual Event: Examining the State of Community-led Development Programming


Streamed live 5 hours ago

Community-led development (CLD) is a complex human change process. Join us as we dive into the Movement for Community-led Development’s State of CLD Programming report to understand what organizations are doing when they say they are implementing community-led development programs. Which characteristics are most prevalent in this work and which areas need more emphasis? How are these programs being funded? How does the practice change with program duration and context?

This groundbreaking report, which was developed by a collaborative research with a team of 35 Program and Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Specialists from 23 organizations, answers these and other questions critical to improving the implementation and sustainability of community-led programming based on a study of 173 programs across 65 countries.

Opening Remarks

Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI Speakers

Holta Trandafili, Research, Learning and Analytics Manager, World Vision USA Gunjan Veda, Senior Advisor, Global Collaborative Research (MCLD) Martha Cruz Zuniga, Chair of Economics, Catholic University Discussants

Scott Guggenheim, Adjunct Professor, Global Human Development (GHD), Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University Neha Kumar, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI Moderator

Charlotte Hebebrand, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, IFPRI

Trump donor’s brother: It was some sort of a scam

CNN – Apr 5, 2021

The New York Times is reporting that former President Donald Trump’s campaign tried to make up a fundraising gap during the 2020 election cycle by signing up one-time online donors for repeat donations without their knowledge.

All A Scam: Trump 2020 Exposed For Defrauding Own Fans, Echoing Trump U. Debacle – YouTube

MSNBC – Apr 5, 2021

Donald Trump is under fire for conning over $100 million dollars from his most loyal supporters. The New York Times has released a new bombshell report busting his re-election campaign for a scheme mixing some of Trump’s oldest con artist tricks with his desperation during the election when he was clearly trailing Biden in the money race. MSNBC’s Ari Melber explains Trump’s latest grift and discusses the significance of this deception with journalists Max Boot and Joan Walsh. (This interview is from MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber, a news show covering politics, law and culture airing nightly at 6pm ET on MSNBC. http://www.thebeatwithari.com​). Aired on 04/05/2021.

NRA Fights To Declare Bankruptcy As NY AG Lawsuit Threatens To Dissolve Organization | Rachel Maddow

MSNBC – Apr 7, 2021

Rachel Maddow reports on a lawsuit by New York Attorney General Letitia James seeking to dissolve the NRA’s very existence, the NRA’s peculiar effort to declare itself bankrupt, and the excesses of the NRA’s leaders that are being exposed in the process. Aired on 04/07/2021.