About stuartbramhall

Retired child and adolescent psychiatrist and American expatriate in New Zealand. In 2002, I made the difficult decision to close my 25-year Seattle practice after 15 years of covert FBI harassment. I describe the unrelenting phone harassment, illegal break-ins and six attempts on my life in my 2010 book The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee.

Russia Has Dumped Its Entire US Bonds Portfolio — $100 Billion in Two Months

The Treasury bonds referred to are issued when the US government borrows money to increase its debt levels.

AGR Daily News

Russia Has Dumped Its Entire US Bonds Portfolio — $100 Billion in Two Months

But wait, it gets better, because as Trump continued to jawbone about more sanctions targeting Russia, Putin did not stop and in May he continued what was an outright liquidation of Russia’s TSY holdings, which plunged by another $40BN, or 82%, from $48.7BN to just $9BN in May. Keep in mind this was over $100BN at the start of the year.

It appears that When Putin warned he would diversify Russia’s state reserves  -out of Treasurys – he was serious.

And this is what a very politically motivated liquidation of Treasury holdings looks like.

via russia-insider Russia Has Dumped Its Entire US Bonds Portfolio — $100 Billion in Two Months

What does Putin know that no one else does?

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China signs defence agreement with South Korea as US angers Seoul with demand for $5bn troop payment

An editorial in Monday’s edition of The Korea Times warned that the security alliance between the two countries [US and South Korea] “may fall apart due to Washington’s blatantly excessive demands”. Mr Trump has previously threatened to withdraw US troops if his demands are not met, with the editorial accusing the president of regarding the Korea-US mutual defense treaty “as a property deal to make money”.

Counter Information

By Julian Ryall

November 19, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –  The defence ministers of South Korea and China have agreed to develop their security ties to ensure stability in north-east Asia, the latest indication that Washington’s long-standing alliances in the region are fraying.

On the sidelines of regional security talks in Bangkok on Sunday, Jeong Kyeong-doo, the South Korean minister of defence, and his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, agreed to set up more military hotlines and to push ahead with a visit by Mr Jeong to China next year to “foster bilateral exchanges and cooperation in defence”, South Korea’s defence ministry said.

Seoul’s announcement coincided with growing resentment at the $5 billion (£3.9bn) annual fee that Washington is demanding to keep 28,500 US troops in South Korea.

That figure is a sharp increase from the $923 million that Seoul paid this year, which was an 8 per…

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UN torture envoy demands ‘full accountability and compensation’ after Sweden drops rape probe against Assange

In a document tweeted by Melzer, the envoy accuses Sweden of “actively and knowingly” contributing to Assange’s torture, and accuses prosecutors there of working in tandem with Britain’s Crown Prosecutorial Service to keep the case against Assange alive in the face of exculpatory evidence.

Tales from the Conspiratum

UN torture envoy demands ‘full accountability & compensation’ after Sweden drops rape probe against Assange
The UN’s Special Rapporteur on torture has called for a “full investigation” into the role Sweden played in driving WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange into asylum and eventual custody, after the rape case against him was dropped.

Swedish prosecutors announced on Tuesday that they would drop a dubious rape inquiry against Assange, as oral testimony against the publisher had “weakened,” and corroborating evidence was not strong enough to pursue a case. A Swedish arrest warrant was issued against assange in 2010, and a British court upheld a decision to extradite him in 2012. Threatened with what many saw as a politically motivated extradition, Assange sought refuge in London’s Ecuadorian embassy.

“Today’s collapse of Sweden’s #Assange investigation was inevitable,” rapporteur Nils Melzer tweeted on Tuesday. “Given…

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The Hidden History of East German Privatization


East German Privatization and the Difficult Legacy of the Treuhand

DW (2019)

Film Review

This documentary provides a detailed timeline of the four-year privatization of East Germany following the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. The privatization was overseen by the Treuhand Trust. Originally appointed in 1990 by the East German Council of Ministers, it was ultimately run by West German corporate and political elites. Following reunification in August 1990, it was the responsibility of the West German government in Bonn to oversee Treuhand. However the Bundestag provided no oversight at all until a massive Treuhand corruption scandal erupted in 1992.

During its four-year existence, Treuhand privatized 10,000 state-owned East German enterprises, put three million East Germans (70% of the workforce) out of work and permanentlyy deindustrialized East Germany.

According to the filmmakers, some of this disastrous outcome stemmed from the rigid neoliberal bent of Trehand managers; some from bribery and corruption; some from from incompetence; and some from the avarice of West German entrepreneurs who bought West German businesses that competed with them and shut them down. East Germany experienced massive public protests and even a hunger strike as thousands of factories closed and millions of East Germans became jobless.

Some factors contributing East Germany’s financial collapse were beyond Treuhand’s control. At the time the two Germany’s reunited, East Germany lost most of its export market as the Communist regimes in other Eastern bloc countries collapsed. To prevent the East German mark from collapsing, the Bundestag introduced the Deutschmark into East Germany in July 1990. This led to massive price inflation of German consumer goods, leading East German residents to reject them in favor of cheap West German products. With no sales revenue, East German companies were forced to turn to Treuhand for loans and subsidies to pay their staff.

In 1992-93 when the Bundestag intervened, Treuhand was forced to preserve designated East German industries by providing loans and subsidies to businesses willing to modernize.

One-hundred-fifty convictions resulted from the Treuhand corruption scandal. As in the former Soviet Union, East German were promised shares in their state owned enterprises as they were privatized. These shares never materialized.

The Greek documentary Catastroika provides a somewhat different perspective on Treuhand’s role in the wholesale privatization of East Germany’s state-owned industries: See Privatization and the Theft of the Commons

This documentary, which can’t be embedded, can be viewed free at Privatizing East Germany

New Zealand baby food contained nearly 800 times more pesticides than baby food in Europe – SafeFood Campaign Incorporated

Analysis of a government study shows more than 30% of New Zealand baby food contained pesticide residues whereas less than 1% (0.04%) of European baby food did so.

AGR Daily News

New Zealand baby food contained nearly 800 times more pesticides than baby food in Europe – SafeFood Campaign Incorporated

New Zealand baby food contained nearly 800 times more pesticides than baby food in Europe, according to a recent analysis. This evidence and why this is a risk to New Zealand babies will be presented tomorrow to the Primary Production Committee by Dr Meriel Watts of the Pesticide Action Network Aotearoa and Alison White of the Safe Food Campaign(*).

Their oral submissions are in support of a petition presented to parliament earlier this year calling for zero tolerance of pesticides in baby food.

“We want New Zealand to follow the European directives which basically stipulate a zero tolerance policy”, stated Ms White. “Three of the pesticides found in New Zealand baby food are hazardous for young children and babies in the womb. Kiwi babies deserve the same level of protection as…

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China, USA and the Geopolitics of Lithium

In terms of lithium, China so far dominates the global new Great Game for control. Chinese entities now control nearly half of global lithium production and 60 percent of the electric battery production capacity. Within a decade, Goldman Sachs predicts China could supply 60 percent of the world’s EVs. . . in Feb 2019 Bolivia, with the largest lithium reserves in the world, signed an agreement with China’s Xinjiang TBEA Group Co Ltd who will hold a 49 percent stake in a planned joint venture with Bolivia’s state lithium company YLB.

Counter Information

Global Research, November 18, 2019

For several years since the global push to develop mass-scale Electric Vehicles, the element Lithium has come into focus as a strategic metal. Demand is enormous in China, in the EU and in the USA at present, and securing control over lithium supplies is already developing its own geopolitics not unlike that for the control of oil. 

China Moves to Secure Sources

For China, which has set major targets to become the world’s largest  producer of EVs, developing lithium battery materials is a priority for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period. Though China has its own lithium reserves, recovery is limited, and China has gone to secure lithium mining rights abroad.

In Australia Chinese companyTalison Lithium, controlled by Tianqi, mines and owns the world’s largest and highest grade spodumene reserves in Greenbushes, Western Australia near Perth.

Talison Lithium Inc. is the…

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ADHD: Alarms Raised; Risks Ignored

November 19, 2019

ADHD: Alarms Raised; Risks Ignored

By the Children’s Health Defense Team

When the American Psychiatric Association (APA) released its first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1952, many of today’s most common pediatric diagnoses had yet to be invented. “Attention deficit disorder” (ADD) did not make its first DSM appearance until 1980, when the APA established it as a pediatric neurobehavioral disorder characterized by problems with inattention, impulsivity or hyperactivity. (ADD’s DSM precursor, “hyperkinetic reaction of childhood,” focused mostly on excessive motor activity.) In 1987, the APA replaced ADD with “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder” (ADHD), which is now the most commonly diagnosed childhood neurodevelopmental disorder. The most recent DSM also allows for a dual ADHD-autism diagnosis, recognizing that anywhere from one-fifth to one-half of children with ADHD meet the criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

How many American children currently have an ADHD diagnosis? Estimates range from a low of 5% (cited in the last DSM) to as high as 16% (cited in a 2015 study of elementary-school children). Prevalence is at least twice as high for boys as girls; by high school, about one in five boys has an ADHD diagnosis versus one in 11 girls. Community studies place the male-to-female ratio closer to four to one.

Prevalence has increased dramatically over time. From 2003 to 2011, according to CDC research, ADHD diagnoses rose by 42% among children and adolescents ages 4-17, translating into an average annual increase of 5%. Another group of researchers analyzed national survey data over an even longer period of time—two decades—and reported a steady rise in ADHD rates (again in 4-17 year-olds) since 1997; overall prevalence went from 6.1% in the late 1990s to over 10% by 2016 (14% versus 6.3% for boys and girls, respectively, in 2016). This “consistent upward trend” held true “across subgroups by age, sex, race/ethnicity, family income, and geographic regions,” indicating a “continuous increase in the prevalence of diagnosed ADHD among US children and adolescents.”

While acknowledging that genetics likely play a role, few dispute that environmental factors have a lot to do with ADHD’s hijacking of so many young children’s lives. Recent studies have zeroed in on culprits that include lead and other heavy metals, fluoride, pesticides and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Heavy metals

It is well established that “excessive metals are detrimental to neurodevelopmental processes and have neurotoxic effects that impair cognitive function.” Research from the U.S., Mexico, China, eastern Europe and elsewhere points to strong associations between heavy metals and ADHD symptoms. The majority of studies have focused on the risks of lead exposure. For example, a Boston-based study of almost 1500 mother-infant pairs found that elevated blood lead levels in early childhood increased the risk of ADHD by 66%, particularly in boys—and nearly 9% of the children had elevated lead levels.

Researchers also have linked ADHD risks to other metals, including mercury, cadmium, antimony and manganese. Of concern is the “growing evidence that co-exposure to multiple metals can result in increased neurotoxicity compared to single-metal exposure, in particular during early life.”


Accumulating research is making it more difficult for public health officials to deny that fluoride has neurotoxic effects on cognition and behavior. Studies show that neurotoxic impacts readily result from the levels of fluoride exposure that North American children typically encounter in municipal water supplies.

In studies published this year in JAMA Pediatrics and Environment International, Canadian researchers reported:

  • A strong association between maternal exposure to higher fluoride levels during pregnancy and lower IQ scores in children, even among women exposed to “optimally fluoridated water”; and
  • A strong association between fluoride in tap water and an increased risk of ADHD symptoms and diagnosis, especially among adolescents.

Another recent study of Mexican children between 6 and 12 years of age—funded in part by the U.S. government—sought to characterize the association between prenatal fluoride exposure and outcomes that included ADHD symptoms. Study strengths included extensive longitudinal follow-up as well as the capture of “high quality individual biomarker exposure across multiple developmental time points” and “detailed assessment of ADHD-like behaviors.” The researchers found an unequivocal association between higher prenatal fluoride exposure and behavioral symptoms of inattention (though not ADHD symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsivity). Despite the U.S. government funding, the Mexico-based research went unmentioned by virtually all the major U.S. media.

Pesticides and endocrine disruptors

A number of pesticides and other chemicals in widespread use operate as endocrine disruptors, interfering with natural hormone function. Research has linked many of these substances to both ADHD and ASD via their disruption of thyroid hormone function and an important neurotransmitter called GABA. Endocrine disruptors specifically linked to an increased risk of ADHD include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorpyrifos, bisphenol-A (BPA), polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), certain phthalates and other chemicals. Prenatal and postnatal exposure to chlorpyrifos—a ubiquitous organophosphate insecticide—has likewise been linked to ASD, even at the lowest detectable doses  […]

© Nov 19 2019 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.