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Posts posted by suchandra


    in hindu thought reincarnation or tansmigration of souls,karmic law,moksha,bhakti etc forms the basis of philosophy.it is not possible to get a clear idea within a small time.regular study and practice will make things easier.


    a soul passes on through numerous bodies before attaining a human birth,which,according to the shastras is a chance to realise god.some utilises this chance and some dont.as a soul passes through millions of bodies he gathers experience slowly bit by bit.he continues his material enjoyment or bhoga.after innumerable birth when he has finished experimenting with most material pleasures he turns to god.then begins his true spiritual quest.


    it might be that your quest have just begun.that is why you are in doubt and confusion.in hinduism religion has to be felt and not just believed.belief or fath is the first step in solidifying your conceptions.so i would suggest not to read any atheistic texts or suchlike philosophies for the time being,so that you dont turn confused again.ofcourse you can read those after developing a firm belief in god.


    and it is of utmost importance to find a proper spiritual teacher who can help you in this path.be carefull,avoid the dogmatic ones.


    moral lifestyle increases your punyakarma and makes your next life materially comfortable.but it contributes nothing to self reslization.but when moral lifestyle is used as an accesory to the the main ideal of god realization then it can help a lot.such spirituality induced morality creates purity in heart and helps immensely to destroy false pride and ego,both of which is very necessary for self realization.


    start extensive reading to get a primary idea.

    In order to get a direct idea one probably has to associate with advanced devotees and study the symptoms.

    Like for example Uddhava - "Uddhav get's the taste of Love with Krishna From Gopi's"



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    Debt and deflation produce a powerful downward spiral


    The downward spiral is across many areas and will inevitably encompass most of American life. Consumers and businesses slash spending and lay off workers, leading to fewer consumers with money to spend at the businesses, resulting in the need to lay off more workers and so on. Mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures bring on selling of more real estate, driving the prices lower and lower. These falling prices then bring on more mortgage defaults. Fear of bankruptcy forces selling of stocks in companies, and the selling of stocks brings on more bankruptcies. It is the inevitable unwinding of the good times that lasted for 30 years. It will take awhile for all this unwinding to play itself out. The unwinding of the Great Depression took 10 years and the debt overhang was nothing like it is today.


    Source for facts about the Great Depression:

    Kimberly Amadeo, “What is a Depression?”, About.com US Economy.

    It should be clear that when our politicians "surrendered" to globalization and allowed all the products to be imported from China, that the cash flow would also move to this region of world.


    Economic View: The world's authorities must recognise the eastward shift in financial power


    <!--proximic_content_on-->'Will people really buy a new car just because they're paying less tax'<!--proximic_content_off-->

    <author>Hamish McRae</author>

    Sunday, 16 November 2008



    If you want one measure of the shift in global power, consider this: all the economic growth that will take place next year is forecast to come from the emerging economies, not from the present developed world. This point hangs over the Group of 20 meeting in Washington this weekend, a group that includes the main developing countries as well as the old developed ones. If you want growth, you won't find it here.

    <!--proximic_content_off--> <!--proximic_content_on--> The economic background to the meeting is provided in the new International Monetary Fund forecasts for the world economy. The alarming thing is not that it is forecasting the main economies will shrink next year – most of us knew that was on the cards – but rather the scale and swiftness of the downgrade. The previous numbers were done in October, so in just a month the IMF has shifted from expecting slow growth for the major economies next year to actual contraction. The main figures are shown in the graph and for me two other points stand out: the speed of the collapse in growth and the burden now on the big emerging economies to keep the world economy moving next year.

    What is happening is twofold. There is the cyclical downturn that has so expanded the lexicon of normal speech. Everyone now seems to be familiar with economic terms such as the inter-bank rate, sub-prime, toxic debt, negative equity and so on. It is only two years since someone patiently explained to me what a collateralised debt obligation was and told me that I should worry about CDOs, not hedge funds. And there is the debate about the shape of the downturn: will it be a deep "V" or a shallow "U" and so on. At any rate, that is all the stuff of the cycle.

    But there is also the structural change and that is the shift to the emerging world. The cycle speeds up the structural shift. Back in the early 1990s, when the developed world experienced its last recession, the Chinese and Indian economies were tiny relative to the developed world. So the fact that China in particular was growing more swiftly than Europe or North America did not really change the power balance much. Now it alters the balance radically. This year, in all probability, China has overtaken Germany to become the world's third-largest economy; if not this year, certainly next.

    So the debate that is starting in Washington, and will continue probably for the next year or so, is partly about efforts to jack up the economy now but also about how to rethink global economic management to run things better next time. Part of that will inevitably mean giving the fast-growing nations a greater say in what should be done.

    As far as the next few months are concerned, this issue will be what is the most effective way to rekindle growth. Low official interest rates help and we will doubtless get lower ones yet in the UK and the eurozone. But they are already so low in the US that further cuts would not make much difference – and that leads to a further concern. Yes, the Bank of England can cut rates further, but if money is not available then there is not much point in doing so.

    As far as fiscal policy is concerned, some sort of boost will happen in most economies, but there are obvious questions to ask about the wisdom of this. For example, can it really be right for the UK Government to be borrowing £100bn a year, or whatever number Alistair Darling proposes for 2009-10 in next week's pre-Budget report? And there is an even more alarming possibility – that all this additional borrowing may not be very effective.

    Will people really rush out and buy a new car just because they are paying a few hundred pounds less in tax? They might be wiser to pay off their credit card bills instead. Japan's experience of running a huge fiscal deficit in the 1990s is discouraging. The country managed to postpone recession for about five years, but when it came in the late 1990s, it was a serious one. And Japan's ageing population is now saddled with the largest debts of any major developed country.

    Fortunately, economies left to themselves are usually self-healing and there is therefore a reasonable hope that growth will resume in 2010. The main duty of the policy-makers is not to make matters worse. As growth does resume, however, the world will be different from the past five years. There will be obvious differences in that banks will be very cautious in their lending and companies will make sure they are bullet-proof in their finances.

    Beyond this, the shift of power to Asia will mean that there will be reforms of the system itself. One idea being discussed is for China and Japan, both of which have huge reserves, to increase the funds available to the IMF, so that the IMF has more firepower to help countries in financial distress. But in the medium term, there is the question of how the central Washington-based institutions need to change their voting procedures, their management structures, their core mission and so on.

    It is a huge subject and needs reflection rather than knee-jerk changes, but the bottom line is that the IMF and World Bank will have to reflect the reality of economic power now, rather than economic power a generation ago. On present trends, China overtakes the US as the world's largest economy in about 20 years' time, maybe 25, and the IMF and World Bank will have to take that on board.

    Meanwhile there is one really important issue. This is how in trying to reflate the world economy we avoid making the mistakes of the past: how we avoid, for example, creating another credit bubble; or how we avoid the US being so dependent on Asian savings. There will always be some sort of economic cycle. We are not clever enough to avoid that. But we ought to be able to mitigate its most serious effects, both on the downward swing into which we are now heading, and then on the upward movement that will come, let's hope, in 2010. Memo to the world's monetary authorities: could do better.

    Are we watching the last hurrah for glitzy philanthropy?

    There have been so many casualties of the credit crunch that the impact on the charitable community has slipped by unnoticed. Charities that rely on endowments may be worse hit by the fall in asset prices than commercial companies. Some of the big US foundations, such as those funded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, may be fine, but there will be others that are in trouble.

    For example, it seems that some US universities have lost one-third of their endowment, while some providers of scholarships in Britain are having to withdraw offers as they are unable to fund them. There may be a particular problem for charities that have put money into less conventional investments, including hedge funds, but actually the pressure is pretty universal.

    In the UK the loss of dividend income from the banks is particularly serious, because while foundations may be able to look through capital losses and assume that markets will eventually recover, they can't manage without dividend income if they are to maintain their present level of disbursements.

    There is a further issue. Leave aside what is happening to existing endowments and ask what will happen to philanthropy generally. Will the present boom continue? A book will be published this month called Philanthrocapitalism, by Matthew Bishop of The Economist and Michael Green, a Department for International Development official writing in a personal capacity. You can catch its big idea from the sub-title: "How the rich can save the world and why we should let them".

    The thesis is that very rich people can mobilise resources – not just money but skills and connections – more effectively than governments. Bill Gates' efforts to tackle malaria are a good example of this drive to fix a problem where governments and international agencies have failed. The authors argue that "a web of wealthy motivated donors has set out to change the world".

    That web includes those who have created fortunes but also a supporting cast of rock and film stars (Bono and Angelina Jolie) and former politicians (Bill Clinton and Tony Blair). Though the financial resources may be small (in the US 1.67 per cent of GDP is given to charities and in the UK 0.73 per cent), the glitz gives big donors clout.

    But it raises many questions. Some will worry if a few famous people should have such power. Those who welcome the phenomenon – as I do – can't help worrying that we may be seeing some high point in philanthropy and that tougher times (and higher taxes) will choke its growth. If we are moving towards an era of big government, that may leave less room for the "social investors" that Bishop and Green rightly celebrate.

  3. Looks like our leaders are taking care and things wont fall apart.




    The Washington Post

    11:41 PM EST November 15, 2008


    President George W. Bush, right, listens to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson during a session at the G20 emergency meeting on Saturday.


    Shake-up ahead in world financial structure


    © Reuters

    World leaders holding an emergency meeting to combat the economic crisis agreed Saturday to a far-reaching action plan that, over the next 4 1/2 months, would begin to reshape international financial institutions and reform worldwide regulatory and accounting rules.

    The leaders' 11-page statement spoke of broad principles, leaving the details to be worked out by lower-level aides before another summit meeting in April, after Barack Obama assumes the presidency. But the gathering in Washington of the nearly two dozen nations - from every region of the world - reflected the new balance of power emerging in the aftermath of a financial crisis that has devastated even well-run economies, a wrenching process that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has dubbed "the birth pangs of this new global order."

    Under the plans outlined by the leaders, countries such as China, Brazil and India would gain greater roles and responsibilities as part of a restructuring of the international financial system, while European leaders won a commitment to new regulations and controls on banks, rating agencies and exotic financial securities. The leaders also agreed that a dramatic failure of market oversight in "some advanced countries" was among the root causes of the financial crisis, an implicit rebuke of the United States.

    "I'm a free market person," President Bush told reporters after the summit ended, "until you're told that if you don't take decisive measures then it's conceivable that our country could go into a depression greater than the Great Depression."



    full article: http://news.mobile.msn.com/en-us/articles.aspx?afid=1&aid=27742573



    Austrian Government Study Confirms Genetically Modified (GM) Crops

    Threaten Human Fertility and Health Safety



    Advocates Call for Immediate Ban of All GM Foods and GM Crops


    IMMEDIATE RELEASE (November 13, 2008)

    (Los Angeles, CA.) - A long-term feeding study commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, managed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health, Family and Youth, and carried out by Veterinary University Vienna, confirms genetically modified (GM) corn seriously affects reproductive health in mice. Non-GMO advocates, who have warned about this infertility link along with other health risks, now seek an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world.

    Feeding mice with genetically modified corn developed by the US-based Monsanto Corporation led to lower fertility and body weight, according to the study conducted by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. Lead author of the study Professor Zentek said, there was a direct link between the decrease in fertility and the GM diet, and that mice fed with non-GE corn reproduced more efficiently.

    In the study, Austrian scientists performed several long-term feeding trials over 20 weeks with laboratory mice fed a diet containing 33% of a GM variety (NK 603 x MON 810), or a closely related non-GE variety used in many countries. Statistically significant litter size and pup weight decreases were found in the third and fourth litters in the GM-fed mice, compared to the control group.

    The corn is genetically modified with genes that produce a pesticidal toxin, as well as genes that allow it to survive applications of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup.

    A book by author Jeffrey M. Smith, Genetic Roulette, distributed to members of congress last year, documents 65 serious health risks of GM products, including similar fertility problems with GM soy and GM corn: Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce. Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells. The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning. Several US farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed on GM corn varieties. Additionally, over the last two months, investigators in India have documented fertility problems, abortions, premature births, and other serious health issues, including deaths, among buffaloes fed GM cottonseed products.

    The principle GM crops are soy, corn, cottonseed and canola. GM sugar from sugar beets will also be introduced before year’s end.

    Mr. Smith, who is also the Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology says, “GM foods are likely responsible for several negative health trends in the US. The government must impose an immediate ban on these dangerous crops.” He says, “Consumers don’t need to wait for governmental action. They can download a free Non-GMO Shopping Guide at www.HealthierEating.org.”

    Monsanto press offices in the UK and USA were unable to provide a comment on the findings for journalists yesterday.

    The Institute for Responsible Technology’s Campaign for Healthier Eating in America mobilizes citizens, organizations, businesses, and the media, to achieve the tipping point of consumer rejection of genetically modified foods.

    The Institute educates people about the documented health risks of GMOs and provides them with healthier non-GMO product choices.

    The Institute also informs policy makers and the public around the world about the impacts of GMOs on health, environment, the economy, and agriculture, and the problems associated with current research, regulation, corporate practices, and reporting.





    Institute For Responsible Technology

    Media Contact: NJ Jaeger

    Expert Contact: Jeffrey M. Smith

    Email: njmail@cox.net

    Phone: +1-310-377-0915

    Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety

    Corporate Communication: Univ.-Doz. Ingrid Kiefer

    Tel: +43 50 555-25000; E-Mail: ingrid.kiefer@ages.at


    Austrian Study: http://www.ages.at/ueber-uns/presse/pressemeldungen/klarstellung-zu-neuen-er

    Institute for Responsible Technology: http://responsibletechnology.org

    Non-GMO Shopping Guide: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/DocumentFiles/144.pdf

    Genetic Roulette: http://www.geneticroulette.com



    Jesus came to this planet about 2000 years ago.. Correct?

    You might also remember that Jesus taught, "Thou shall not kill" (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17), and today this is forgotten. Therefore Prabhupada says the Christians have to be reminded what Lord Jesus was actually teaching. On the otherhand, if Jesus wasn't an advanced devotee who taught to glorify God, the great acarayas would have mentioned this. The opposite is right, the acaryas make comments like,



    Just like Lord Jesus Christ, he was crucified, but he never protested because he had no bodily consciousness at all. So when one is spiritually advanced, there is no bodily consciousness. But we should not imitate. That requires advancement, as we have mentioned. Nothing has to be done in hasty. But if you follow the rules and regulation, then someday it will be experienced that how we have spiritually advanced.


    Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.6.3

    by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda

    Montreal, June 16, 1968



  6. Man's desire to be deathless is realized only in the spiritual world. A desire for eternal life is a sign of dormant spiritual life. The aim of human civilization should be targeted to that end. It is possible for every human being to transfer himself to that spiritual realm by the process of bhakti-yoga. It is a great science and India has produced many scientific literatures by which the perfection of life may be realized.

  7. Michael Hudson is a former Wall Street economist specializing in the balance of payments and real estate at the Chase Manhattan Bank, now JPMorgan Chase & Co., Arthur Anderson, and later at the Hudson Institute.


    The New Kleptocracy



    By Dr. Michael Hudson – via Peter Myers October 8, 2008



    Guns and Butter Interview on KPFA radio- Part One , and Part Two


    “Considering that there is an $800 billion giveaway, to be followed by another trillion and another trillion after that, this is the biggest giveaway since the land giveaway to the railroads in the mid-nineteenth century and just as that giveaway created a power elite that would rule America for a century and a half, this is creating a new power elite that has changed America from a democracy into an oligarchy. And as Aristotle said, ‘what is democracy but the stage immediately preceding oligarchy?’” --

    I’m Bonnie Faulkner (BF): Today on Guns and Butter, Dr. Michael Hudson. Today’s show: “The New Kleptocracy”. Dr. Hudson is a Financial Economist and Historian. He is President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trend, a Wall Street Financial Analyst and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His 1972 book “Superimperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire” is a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank. He is also author of “The Myth of Aid” and “Global Fracture: the New International Economic Order”.

    Dr. Hudson has written several articles on the recent Wall Street meltdown and Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson’s Plan. These articles have included, Financial Bailout: America’s Own Kleptocracy--the Largest Transformation of America’s Financial System since the Great Depression. The Paulson/Bernanke Bailout: Will the Cure Be Worst than the Disease? Financial Fraud: Mr. Paulson and the New Yazoo Land Scandal. And Thinking the Unthinkable: a Debt Write Down and Jubilee Year Clean Slate.

    BF: Dr. Michael Hudson, welcome again.

    Michael Hudson (MH): Thank you very much, Bonnie.

    BF: Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson’s $700 billion so-called bailout, first called “The Plan”, was defeated in the House. Then a modified version called “Troubled Asset Rescue Plan or (TARP)” was passed by Congress in its “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008”. Still others refer to this legislation as “Cash for Trash”. What would you call it?

    MH: Cash for trash is exactly what it was, and the emphasis should be placed on “Emergency” for Emergency Plan. It was rushed through without giving any opportunity to debate. Dennis Kucinich protested, for instance, that this was the first time a major plan that was going to create the equivalent of 700 billionaires, people who are going to become the next power elite to govern America for the next century --that this act was done without any hearings, without specialists--despite hundreds and hundreds of major economists throughout the world saying that it was a disaster and a giveaway. It is cash for trash. It will not resolve the problems. The dollar will plunge. The stock market already plunged. It is purely a giveaway to Mr. Paulson’s colleagues on Wall Street and a giveaway to Mr. Obama’s and Mr. McCain’s campaign contributors. The Democrats were the major supporters of Mr. Paulson while even the Republicans sought to dissociate themselves from the plan so they couldn’t get blamed when the inevitable failure of the plan shows that all that was done was a giveaway of $700 billion to Mr. Paulson’s colleagues and pals on Wall Street.

    BF: Well, now what and who are being bailed out? People now are saying it’s a $700 to an $850 billion revolving money fund.

    MH: The Secretary of the Treasury said that he really just picked the amount out of the air. There will be another $700 billion next month, another $700 billion after that. Trillion after trillion will go to create a financial elite of kleptocrats. What’s happened here by Mr. Paulson of Goldman Sachs is almost a mirror image of what the other Goldman Sachs’ Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin did in Russia: he’s creating and endowing a class of kleptocrats by giving them liquid treasury securities in exchange for basically worthless junk. It’s actually called the “Worthless Assets Recovery Program, (WARP)”. This is pretty much what was done in Russia to create Russian kleptocrats. In Russia’s case they gave State ownership of raw materials and fuels, oil, other assets to individuals who then diversified their portfolios by selling as much as they could to the West and taking their money out and putting them into dollars and sterling and euros. What’s happening here is that the Wall Street beneficiaries are going to take the money and run and put it in safe economies such as Russia, China and any other non-US economy they can find: the result will be a huge capital outflow, a capital flight that will put downward pressure on the dollar.

    BF: You know Dr. Hudson, I was just about to ask you what the difference is between the Russian Kleptocrats and the American Crony Capitalists? Is there any difference at all that you see?

    MF: Only that the Russian Kleptocrats were supported by Clinton’s Democratic Administration and the American’s Kleptocrats are supported nominally under a Bush Administration but primarily by Mr. Obama and the Democrats led by Barney Frank in the Congress, and Nancy Pelosi and by Reid. These are Democrats that must go and if there is any sign of Mr. Obama keeping them on then you know that the Democratic Party has been firmly captured by the Democratic Leadership Committee, i.e. Wall Street’s lobbying group within the Democratic Party.

    BF: Well now, since you’ve brought up Barack Obama, he was the one that lobbied “for” the passage of this, isn’t he?

    MF: That’s correct and the amazing thing was that McCain did too. Last Friday I was attending the American Monetary Institute Conference in Chicago and we had some of the smartest financial brains around at that. It was at Roosevelt University and we all went down to the Student Union to watch the debate. And let’s take a look at what happened last Friday. The previous Thursday Mr. McCain had said there might not be a Friday debate because he was going to suspend the campaign until he could straighten out Washington regarding the bailout. So he went to the White House. There was reportedly not much very much that he said during the meeting but the Republican Congressional Leader Boehner made some very good suggestions. He suggested instead of the bailout the government use the money to set up a bank insurance fund of say anywhere from $250 billion to the $700 billion that was mentioned. The insurance fund would lend money to banks in exchange for their preferred stock. This fund would be financed by levying an insurance charge on the entire US banking system, just like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation levies insurance rates on the banks. And the rates that would be levied, under the Republication proposal, would have reflected the actual risks involved. So that if the banks got together and lobbied politicians and supported the political campaigns of politicians who wanted to deregulate the industry that’s’ fair enough but let them pay the risks. Let them pay 1% or 2% or even 3% of their deposits for this because that’s what it would take the government to bail out policies that Alan Greenspan and others have supported. Instead of supporting this plan and instead of saying that he’d come to Washington to save American taxpayers from the giveaway, Mr. McCain did absolutely nothing. He was blamed by the media on Friday morning (Friday afternoon too) for saying, “Oh he’s come to disrupt a done deal. Look what happened. He went to the White House. Now you have the Congressional Republicans opposing it.” Mr. McCain could have said, “Absolutely,” that’s just what he’s done because he’s a maverick and he’s going to protect American taxpayers from the bipartisan attempt to both reflect the campaign contributions of their largest contributors--Wall Street. And he’s not going to let it happen. He could have jumped in front of the parade. Jumped in front of the opposition to the Act, that reportedly 90% of voters were supposed to oppose, and this would have put Mr. Obama on the defensive. McCain could have said, “I’m opposed on the giveway and supporting taxpayers. Mr. Obama is the man who is giving it all way to Wall Street and his major campaign contributors. Look at what’s happening with Mr. Rubin, there’s no difference at all between his financial advisor Robert Rubin and the Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson.” Instead Mr. McCain shifted gears, reversed himself, gave in and said, “now I’m supporting the plan too”. So the result of the Friday debate, if you remember the first half hour, Mr. Lehrer kept trying to press both presidential candidates on ‘how do you feel about the bailout, what do you think? ‘ And they talked about anything else. Mr. Lehrer tried to be more polite and finally he was laughing, and he said, “Aren’t either of you guys going to answer my question?” And they both of them said, “No.” Now when they refused to give their position to the bailout to the American people. When they refused to take a position on a plan that most voters “overwhelmingly” opposed and then they support the plan this shows they’re just in the hands of their financial backers.

    BF: Could you just briefly explain again how this insurance proposal would have worked and why it would have been preferable?

    MF: The government would have set up a fund and the fund’s money would have been provided to banks on the term that Warren Buffet earlier that week had made--a $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs. It would have leant money to banks on the condition that number one, it wipes out the stockholders--if any bank would have borrowed from the insurance fund that meant it was doing so as a life or death matter and either it would have sacrificed its common stock or it would have made its common stock subordinate to repaying the government for the risk. The government would have charged a high rate of interest and a high fee for making the insurance payment (as any insurance company would have done). And instead of printing new treasury bonds to give away in exchange for these bad mortgages it would have established simply a line of credit which at first would have been the same thing but the credit would have been repaid not only by the banks that borrowed but by all the banks in the country paying insurance—essentially bank insurance. Instead of being an insurance fund for depositors like the FDIC is, it would have been an insurance fund for the bank owners themselves. The banks have been acting almost as a financial gang in pressing not only to support the Federal Reserve chairman who is a deregulator (and the Federal Reserve is supposed to essentially represent the interests of the commercial banking system), but the banks also now have supplied the Treasury Secretary and the Treasury Secretary is not supposed to represent the banks. The Treasury Secretary is supposed to represent the public interests. And instead, Mr. Paulson is representing the banking interests, Wall Street, not the public interest and so there is an inherent conflict of interest and the system of checks and balances that are supposed to prevent a giveaway like this have been broken.

    BF: That’s right. And you mentioned Warren Buffett and I’ve noticed you’ve mentioned the $5 billion he was putting into Goldman Sachs and other investments. He’s set it up where he’s got a good deal and he gets 10% back every year and other things.

    MH: Yes. And he says the government should have done the same thing. And the Republican congressmen actually voted according to their ideology not according to their campaign contributions because they realized that what’s the point of getting a political campaign contribution if voting for the giveaway is going to result in their voters voting against them anyway and voting them out of office. Their corruption in changing their votes has been so egregious that no amount of television advertising can wipe away the fact that the voters now know that they’re bought and paid for. They’re trying to pretend that they did it in order to help the upper middle class by insuring bank deposits not only for $100,000 but for $250,000 so all your listeners up there that thought they were worried that had more than $100,000 in the bank can now rest a little bit more secure. And there were a few other giveaways to the upper middle class. They had to have the pretense of doing something as an excuse for changing but really the giveaway remains in place and most American voters realize that this has been a giveaway with no quick pro quo.

    BF: One commentator noted after the modified plan passed the Senate, that most of the senators that voted against it were up for re-election in November.

    MH: That’s right. If they want votes they have to represent the popular position and according to all the press reports and the statements out of Washington there has never been so much of a voter protest as there has been against this giveaway. The people seem to know very clearly when they’re being given a line that just isn’t true. And no amount of apology and pretense can cover up this obvious fact.

    BF: Now is the government buying real assets or just worthless toxic junk?

    MH: Well no real assets will be bought at all, although the government will end up foreclosing on them. Let’s say what the real problem is: the real problem is that the volume of mortgage debt far exceeds the ability of debtors to pay and the willingness to pay. Mr. Paulson’s pretense, which is an absolute lie and which should lead him to criminal prosecution because he knows it’s a lie, is that the problem here is a liquidity problem. But its not a liquidity problem, it’s a bad debt problem. Suppose that people bought a house for $125,000 and have a full mortgage on it for that price and suppose the house has fallen to $80,000. I know a number of houses like that. I know a professor in western Illinois that had a house that she bought for $125,000. The highest bid she has it on: $80,000, fully mortgaged. Dennis Kucinich tells me that the house next door to him in Cleveland, Ohio was bought for $125,000 and now it’s only worth $80,000. So this is typical. Now imagine a bank responding to a borrower who wants to say, “Well gee, I want to be able to pay my mortgage can you lend me enough money to pay my mortgage?” What bank can be expected, when already the house is 50% over-mortgaged… who is going to lend more mortgage than a property is worth? That era is over! No bank any longer is going to lend more money than a house is worth. And already Mr. Paulson said that 5 million Americans are in arrears and facing foreclosure. The figure was then corrected by other economists to 10 million Americans in the coming year are going to lose their homes! Now no amount of liquidity is going to provide them with the money to stay in if already they can’t afford the mortgage. And in fact the government is now supposed to make money “quote” for taxpayers “unquote” by coming in and acting as debt collector. Now, in order to make money for taxpayers, the government now has to come in and say, “We’re going to enforce the Adjustable Rate Mortgages that are exploding in interest rates. You are now going to have to pay much higher interest rates. Penalty rates. Back fees and penalties or we’re going to throw you out of your house because we have to make money for the taxpayers. We are now the collecting agents not Countrywide Financial or Fannie Mae or Washington Mutual or the others. So the debts of homeowners will remain in place. The debts of cities and municipalities will remain in the place and all that happens is that people who have the mortgages are supposed to be bailed out now because under Mr. Paulson’s plan as he wrote it and the plan that the house originally rejected, the terms were that the government would buy the bad mortgages and bad debts from the banks and other investors and insurance companies for what they had paid for them. In other words insurance companies will not take a loss for their bad investments. Banks won’t take a loss for their bad investments. Hedge funds won’t take a loss for their bad investments. Now how many of your listeners would love to be able to say, “geez I made a bad stock investment. I’d like the government to buy back these stocks that I bought that have gone down.” That’s not what the government is doing because these aren’t the major campaign contributors. So this is the asymmetry. The inequity. And the irony is that the Democrats have supported this so strongly. A week ago last Thursday in the Wall Street Journal, Hillary Clinton of all people came out with a wonderful wonderful plan. She said that the government should insist on rewriting the bankruptcy laws. She said the government should rewrite the mortgages down to the current market price and the government should replace exploding interest rate mortgages with normal interest rates or the teaser rates that had been signed. So she obviously knew what the right thing to do was. And that’s the plan that would have worked. And yet she went and voted for the plan as it came out of the Senate when they passed it on Thursday. So she met the criterion of evil that Milton described in Paradise Lost: somebody who knows the right thing and yet does the wrong thing knowingly. That is also the definition of a crime. A criminal has to knowingly and consciously be making a mistake. And Hillary, and the other democrats, Obama… just about all the democrats who supported the bill said, “We don’t like it. We know its wrong but we’re voting for it because it’s an Emergency and if we don’t vote for it the stock market will go down.” Well as you saw on Friday the stock market did go down and it will continue to go down because foreign investors realize that this money that is being given away is going to flow out of the country very quickly and that’s going to put downward pressure on the dollar. And even if housing prices only fall another 20% or so, if the dollar declines by more they’re going to take a heavy loss that they basically can’t afford to take.







    Jayapataka Maharaj wanted to speak today but due to the effect of the stroke and cerebral aneurysm 17 days ago, it was not possible for him at this time.


    There seems to be a few big contradictions here: One day Jayapataka Swami is vastly improving, he is wide awake, fully conscious, indeed he is talking, joking and asking people to read for him, and he is moving his limbs etc., the next day - he cannot speak, move any limbs at all, or even breathe on his own, he is unconscious, and he has to be rolled over and over in bed to avoid bed sores, in short he is connected to a ventilator and his condition is "critical."


    Somehow it seems: we are not getting the real story.




    Suchandra, please specify what did you mean by this statement




    The birth details are correct for both of them, then how come vedic astrology says something else compared to western?




    Vedic astrology means astrology that it is based upon real knowledge.

    I dont see how this is correct astrological knowledge that the powerful Indian astronomers lodge told the astrologers to count back 30 degrees.

    Especially when it is obvious like people who speak to a whole nation, Mahatma Gandhi,




    According Western astrology he has Libra rising and Mercury also in Libra, element Air, a good speaker, with good temper to speak in public.


    In so called "vedic astrology" Mahatma Gandhi has Virgo rising and Mercury in Virgo. Any neophyte astrologer can understand that such a person would never be able to speak in front of an audience with Ascendant in element Earth and Mercury in element Earth.

  10. <!--- blog body --->

    From Our Srila Prabhupada, A Friend to All, "Early Contemporaries Remember Him," this part told by Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Goswami Maharaja:




    "…Later Abhaya Caranaravinda Prabhu wrote another dramatic article — this time about some of the leaders in the Gaudiya Matha. The article explained how the institution was coming apart after Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada's departure. Grihasthas were giving up their wives and loving others' wives, and in the name of developing the mission, some were putting all the money collected into their own pockets.

    Sannyasis, even those who had been with their Prabhupada, were making buildings and sending all the money to their sons in their former homes to go to high school and university, or to go to England and America to study law and other things. He wrote about this situation and the first part was published in our Bhagavata-patrika and Gaudiya-patrika. At once a big storm broke out in the whole Gaudiya Mission. Although only about three pages were printed, letters began to come from many Gaudiya Mathas.

    "It was like a revolution. Our guru maharaja and Abhaya Caranaravinda Prabhu were talking and smiling very secretly together. Prabhu said, ..We should publish more of it. Why not?' Guru Maharaja was also in favor of publishing it. However many of the God brothers exclaimed, 'Oh, Kesava Maharaja, what are you doing, printing this? Then everyone will know and will criticize the Gaudiya Matha. These are our private family matters.' Even Pujyapada Srila Sridhara Maharaja, who was highly respected by all, was consulted. Many God brothers came to Mathura at that time and Abhaya Caranaravinda Prabhu was residing here in our matha. Srila Tirtha Maharaja and other devotees asked, 'What are you going to do? If you print this then our present institution will be smashed.' Guru Maharaja and Abhaya Caranaravinda Prabhu were smiling and asking each other, ..Oh, what to do?' But when requested by so many godbrothers they decided, ..Later on we may publish the articles, but for now we should obey their orders.'


    Not a hoax but certainly a colossal waste of time.
    and money. These scientists surely have intermediaries in the governments and media who sell the necessity of so called scientific research to the people.


    After all it is tax money what is being used for all these useless experiments.

    Because people are not informed, clueless, they let it all happen uncommented and even pay for it with tax money.


    What exactly is your objection?.They are called scientists for a good reason.They do what they set out to do.

    Thanks Chandu, good point, many scientists believe that the DNA molecule holds the ultimate key to life.


    It is their genuine hope that once this DNA molecule, the so-called master molecule, is assembled step by step from its constituent atomic elements -- carbon ©, hydrogen (H), nitrogen (N), oxygen (O) and phosphorus (P) -- their goal of synthesizing life in the test tube will be achieved.


    This will finally prove that life is, after all, nothing but a complex system of chemicals. Now we know the DNA molecule and the mapping of the human genome is done. But have we known life? Is DNA life?


    That sums it up. Even trying to wake up one single materialist seems like the most difficult thing in the world I could ever imagine. Don't know how the Hare Krishnas even function at all, the stress of trying to wake all these people up would be too much for me to handle.


    The Hare Krishnas are basically doing nothing, they believe that Krishna does everything. But gradually the materialists should also find out where they're.



  14. There are lately more and more striking broadcasts all over the EU - "science channels" - fooling people that modern science is able to create simple forms of life.


    So called scientists explaining that they have full control over the DNA and are about to increase life up to 200 years.


    Since modern science cannot analyze all the data stored in the subtle body it seems they only know things concerning the gross body.


    And this also cannot be complete because many functions of the gross body depend upon the talents stored in the subtle body, subtle talents which are nowhere to be found within the gross DNA molecules.




    HH Svarupa Damodara Goswami: No matter how complex they may be, all molecules or collections of molecules, including DNA and RNA, are simply dead matter. What scientists know and agree upon is that the majority of the molecules playing vital roles in living systems are extremely complex. This much is correct. We question only their further conclusion that if complex molecules can somehow be made from simple molecules, then life will arise from these complex molecules by virtue of their proper combinations. Let us briefly examine the chemistry of the cellular DNA molecule. It consists of tow intertwined strands of complementary structures forming a rectangular double helix. From X-ray crystallographic studies, the diameter of the helix is found to be approximately 20 Å, and each strand makes a complete turn every 34 Å (or every 10 nucleotides). Strings made of alternate groups of phosphate and sugar (deoxyribose) form the backbone of the two strands. Each phosphate group links to deoxyribose, a five-carbon chain sugar. The sugar in turn links to one of two possible bases of purine (guanine or adenine) or two possible bases of pyramiding (thymine or cytosine) through hydrogen bonds. Adenine (A) is always paired with thymine (T), and guanine (G) with cytosine ©, for conformational reasons and because of the donor acceptor natures of the hydrogen bonding groups. As a stereo chemical consequence of this strict base pairing, the two polynucleotide chains run in opposite directions. Although hydrogen bonding between other base pairs is possible, it leads to nucleotide pairs which have the wrong external geometry and do not fit into the regular double-helical structure. This article is an excerpt from Dr. T.D. Singh’s book Life, Matter and Their Interactions. Tune in next month for more.


    source: Bhaktivedanta Institute, Online Publications

  15. Seems like the materialists don't understand the actual crisis, that we are eternal spirit souls but presently stuck in a material body which eventually has to face death. This crisis can only be solved by vedic knowledge, and yes, why not invest in vedic knowledge?



    In the midst of an "economic Pearl Harbor," Warren Buffett is signaling that now may be a good time to invest. <nobr>(Carlos Barria/Reuters)</nobr>


    Like J.P. Morgan, Warren Buffett braves a crisis




    By Steve Lohr

    Published: October 6, 2008




    In the midst of a financial crisis, a towering figure of American business steps forward with his reputation and financial resources for public good and personal gain.

    Their times and personalities are vastly different, of course. But J. Pierpont Morgan's role in the Panic of 1907 has its echo in Warren Buffett's actions during the current financial troubles.

    "What Buffett is doing is similar in ways to what Morgan did in 1907," said Richard Sylla, an economist and financial historian at the Stern School of Business at New York University. "It's what you might call profitable patriotism."

    Comparing the two men and their moves in periods of market turmoil, just more than a century apart, reveals how much some things have changed over the years and how other things have not, according to business historians and finance experts.

    Morgan was 70 during the financial crisis of 1907, in the twilight of his career. Buffett is 78. Like Morgan so long ago, Buffett now finds himself "at the center of things; he draws headlines and he inspires confidence," said Robert Bruner, dean of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, and a co-author with Sean Carr of "The Panic of 1907: Lessons From the Market's Perfect Storm" (Wiley, 2007).

    In the last two weeks alone, Buffett has exercised his influence mainly by investing in embattled blue-chip companies, committing a total of $8 billion to Goldman Sachs and General Electric. He drove hard bargains and invested on favorable terms.

    Buffett has been fielding many phone calls recently because of his cash, his reputation and his ability to act quickly. The GE investment, for example, was put together in a matter of hours, after GE reached out to Buffett through his longtime banker at Goldman Sachs, Byron Trott.

    "In the last few weeks, everyone who has been in trouble or thought they were in trouble has called him," said Alice Schroeder, author of "The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life," a biography released last week by Bantam. Schroeder, a former Wall Street analyst, is the first Buffett biographer to receive his cooperation, and she said she talked to him regularly.

    The companies benefit from the credibility dividend that comes with the Buffett endorsement. Last Thursday, the day after he announced his investment in GE, the company raised more than $12 billion in a public sale of shares.

    Buffett is also the largest shareholder in Wells Fargo, which last Friday swept in with a $15 billion bid for another banking company, Wachovia, offering seven times what Citigroup did at the start of the week.

    Buffett is the world's richest person, topping this year's ranking of billionaires by Forbes magazine with $62 billion. Buffett has pledged to give most of that fortune to charity upon his death.

    Yet even more than money, Buffett brings the reputational capital that comes from being a peerless long-term investor, revered for his acumen and sound judgment.

    "So there is immense signaling power to Buffett's moves, showing others that now may be a good time to invest," Bruner said.

    Morgan wielded his power over the financial markets more directly than Buffett, though his personal wealth lagged the early 20th century industrial titans John Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie.

    In 1907, the United States had no central bank. The financial crisis began that year because trust companies handling wills and estates — firms long synonymous with safe investment — exploited legal loopholes and became wild speculators in the stock market. When those investments soured, the collapse of the trusts threatened the financial system.

    Morgan stepped in and functioned as America's central bank. The United States Treasury handed him $25 million (more than $550 million today) with the blessing of President Theodore Roosevelt — who was not a natural Morgan ally, given his aversion for big business and its leaders, memorably deriding them as "malefactors of great wealth."

    But those were dire economic times. Morgan gathered his fellow financiers at his New York mansion and hammered out a rescue plan. After a few rocky weeks, the panic subsided.

    "In 1907, Morgan was not only committing some of his own money but also organizing the entire financial community to join in the rescue," said Ron Chernow, a business historian and the author of "The House of Morgan" (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990).

    Indeed, Chernow said, one motivation for creating the Federal Reserve in 1913 was that Morgan would not be around forever. Morgan died that same year.

    Morgan also used the power of his personality and public statements to try to sway market behavior and psychology. In the current crisis, when authorities became concerned that short-sellers were accelerating the stock-market swoon, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a legal order prohibiting short-selling in the shares of roughly 800 companies.



    These, see article below, are the exact points by many genuine Vaishnavas and even Lord Krishna Himself. The list of Vaishnava acaryas has many diksha guru gaps in it, because Lord Brahma's sampradaya is mainly a siksa/preachers/ instructors parampara. The siksa devotees are sometimes called preachers and priests i.e. persons who preach "on behalf" of the parampara.



    This is exactly what Srila Prabhupada ordered when he said, initiating "on my behalf." So finally the Gaudiya Matha has concluded that Gaudiya-Vaishnavas are mainly a siksa line. Why are they suddenly stressing the siksa concept? Do they feel forced to admit that we are mainly supposed to act as siksa devotees and not artificially adopt the role of saksad-dhari, being worshiped as good as God?



    Concluding that Srila Prabhupada had only made siksa devotees and not diksa devotees. In sum, Gaudiya Matha seems to learn better than present ISKCON.




    Siksa Guru Parampara






    Nov 06, AUSTRALIA —
    Radhavallabha dasa Prabhu's article about Guru Parampara, "
    ", presents very good philosophical points, but I believe the actual historical facts are a little different from what he put forward. My understanding is that if you were to list the diksa-parampara of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, it would be like this: Sri Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati > Srila Gaurkishore Das Babaji > Some Unknown Person.


    The unknown person was almost certainly a jati-goswami (caste-goswami) brahmin in the lineage of Sri Nityananda Prabhu or in Sri Advaita Acharya's family. But Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura taught that ritual connections with caste-goswami Vaishnavas was of negligible importance in contrast with the importance of the transcendental siksa connection to Mahaprabhu that existed, primarily, through Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur.


    Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati intentionally chose not to mention the name of the diksa guru of Srila Gaurkishore Das Babaji. The name wasn't written in Srila Saraswati Thakurs' books, and he didn't talk about it with disciples living with him in Mayapur. The reason? Srila Saraswati Thakurs' close disciples all understood his teaching about Guru-parampara very, very well. The Guru-parampara is primarily a connection with siksa-gurus such as Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur and Srila Jagannatha das Babaji, who provided inspiration and guidance in addition to the guidance being given by Srila Gaurkishore Das Babaji.


    Radhavallabha dasa Prabhu wrote:
    • "In regards to parampara, if it were up to diksa alone, the parampara on most ISKCON/Gaudiya Matha altars would look like this: Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (and/or the present Gaudiya Matha acarya), Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, Srila Gaura-kisore Dasa Babaji, Srila Bhagavat Dasa Babaji, Srila Jagannatha Dasa Babaji, Srila Madhusudana Dasa Babaji."

    But Srila Bhagavat Das Babaji Maharaj gave Srila Gaurkishore Das Babaji his babaji-vesha (clothes) and there was no mantra initiation. He wasn't his diksa guru. Also, it was Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Goswami who instituted the process of giving mantra at the time of giving sannyasa or babaji-vesha. Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati gave babaji-vesha and mantra to Radha-Govinda das Babaji (the father of Ananta-Vasudeva das) and others. But in earlier times when the babaji became a babaji, he simply accepted babaji-vesha and agreed to follow the unspoken vow of renunciation.


    Srila Jagannatha das Babaji Maharaj was the initiated disciple of Sri Jagadananda Goswami of Vrindaban. He was initiated by Sri Jagadananda Goswami as Jagabandhu das and received the title "Jagannatha das" when he became a babaji. His siksa gurus were Sri Krishnadas Babaji of Govardhana and Siddha Madhusudana Das Babaji of Suryakunda. There is no diksa-parampara connection whatsoever between Srila Jagannatha das Babaji Maharaj and Baladeva Vidyabhusana and there is a gap of about one hundred years as well.


    Looking at the Guru-Parampara list at the end of the introduction of
    Bhagavad Gita As It Is
    , we also see that Baladeva's predecessor, Visvanatha Cakravarti, is listed as the successor of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura. If the Parampara was a diksa-guru lineage then the list should be like this: Narottama das Thakura > Ganganarayana Cakravarti > Krsnacarana Cakravarti > Radharamana Cakravarti > Visvanatha Cakravarti. There is a gap of almost one hundred years here too, between the disappearance of Narottama and the appearance of Visvanatha.


    The names of the intervening diksa-gurus (Ganganarayana Cakravarti, Krsnacarana Cakravarti and Radharamana Cakravarti) are not listed in the Guru-parampara. The Guru-Parampara list we have today was written by Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati in his Parampara song; he mentions Visvanatha and Narottama but leaves out the others.


    Why was the recluse Srila Gaurakishore das Babaji's name listed in the Guru-Parampara song, but there is no mention of the spiritual masters Ganganarayana Cakravarti, Krsnacarana Cakravarti and Radharamana Cakravarti? Some people think the Parampara list is simply a list of great preachers. What someone might call Sampradaya Acaryas. Yet the name of Syamananda Thakura is not included in the list and Syamananda Thakura probably gave initiation to more disciples than any other Gaudiya Acharya. Syamananda Thakura is supposed to have given initiation to about 250,000 people in Orissa, as he journeyed back and forth preaching the message of Mahaprabhu. A devotee once asked my Guru Maharaj about all this…
    • Devotee:
      "Between Baladeva Vidyabhusana and Jagannatha Dasa Babaji is a gap of almost a hundred years. How is it that between the two of them no one is listed in our guru parampara?"

      Srila Sridhara Maharaja:
      "We have to forget material consideration when we consider the spiritual line. Here in this plane, the spiritual current is always being disturbed and interrupted by material obstructions. Whenever truth is interrupted by a material flow and becomes mixed or tampered with, Krsna appears to again reinstate the truth in its former position of purity (
      yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata
      ). That attempt is always being made by the Lord and his devotees."



    Muralidhar das (SCSMath)





    Is the Sun Changing?


    © November 2008 Ted Twietmeyer









    For many months our nearest star has been incredibly quiet with regard to sunspot and CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) activity. Proton and electron flux has also been quiet. This is somewhat strange, since in 2012 it will reach the peak (solar max) of the 11 year solar activity cycle. Strangely enough, we haven’t observed a corresponding increase in sunspot activity which was expected to increase about a year ago.


    The chart below shows just how quiet and relatively uneventful proton and electron emissions have been:


    Fig. 1 – combined satellite measurement chart from GOES 11 and GOES 12 data. (The higher the Kp value the further south of the North pole that the Aurora will be visible.)


    Fig. 2 – solar magnetic field as measured by GOES 11 and GOES 12 satellites. The sine-wave like pattern is a normal pattern and shows few disturbances.


    Fig. 3 – x-ray flux from the Sun. White circled area shows a flat line of activity. This chart has for shown several months shown flat line activity - prior to Nov. 2. Suddenly X-Ray activity has greatly increased even although sporadically.


    Fig. 4 – No large solar flares have been visible to create the increased X-ray activity. Red boxed area above shows strange right-angled patterns on the solar surface. Satellite mage was taken in the X-ray band at 19.5nm.

    X-ray activity is of particular interest to those aboard the Space Station. When X-rays reach potentially hazardous levels, astronauts aboard the station retreat to a “safe area.” This area is not lead lined, but instead uses plates charged with high voltage charged to limit X-rays exposure.

    Quite often, increased X-ray activity is often linked to sunspots and solar flare activity. The same satellites that take these images like Fig. 4 also make the other measurements. Yet we so no real increase in sunspot activity. There are however, very unusual right-angled patterns that have appeared with no explanation.

    Ted Twietmeyer


  18. EWG Research


    Bottled Water Quality Investigation: 10 Major Brands, 38 Pollutants


    Bottled water contains disinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue, and pain medication


    October 2008




    Authors: Olga Naidenko, PhD, Senior Scientist; Nneka Leiba, MPH, Researcher; Renee Sharp, MS, Senior Scientist; Jane Houlihan, MSCE, Vice President for Research


    The bottled water industry promotes an image of purity, but comprehensive testing by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) reveals a surprising array of chemical contaminants in every bottled water brand analyzed, including toxic byproducts of chlorination in Walmart’s Sam’s Choice and Giant Supermarket's Acadia brands, at levels no different than routinely found in tap water. Several Sam's Choice samples purchased in California exceeded legal limits for bottled water contaminants in that state. Cancer-causing contaminants in bottled water purchased in 5 states (North Carolina, California, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland) and the District of Columbia substantially exceeded the voluntary standards established by the bottled water industry.

    Unlike tap water, where consumers are provided with test results every year, the bottled water industry does not disclose the results of any contaminant testing that it conducts. Instead, the industry hides behind the claim that bottled water is held to the same safety standards as tap water. But with promotional campaigns saturated with images of mountain springs, and prices 1,900 times the price of tap water, consumers are clearly led to believe that they are buying a product that has been purified to a level beyond the water that comes out of the garden hose.

    To the contrary, our tests strongly indicate that the purity of bottled water cannot be trusted. Given the industry's refusal to make available data to support their claims of superiority, consumer confidence in the purity of bottled water is simply not justified.

    Laboratory tests conducted for EWG at one of the country’s leading water quality laboratories found that 10 popular brands of bottled water, purchased from grocery stores and other retailers in 9 states and the District of Columbia, contained 38 chemical pollutants altogether, with an average of 8 contaminants in each brand. More than one-third of the chemicals found are not regulated in bottled water. In the Sam's Choice and Acadia brands levels of some chemicals exceeded legal limits in California as well as industry-sponsored voluntary safety standards. Four brands were also contaminated with bacteria.

    Walmart and Giant Brands No Different than Tap Water


    Two of 10 brands tested, Walmart's and Giant's store brands, bore the chemical signature of standard municipal water treatment — a cocktail of chlorine disinfection byproducts, and for Giant water, even fluoride. In other words, this bottled water was chemically indistinguishable from tap water. The only striking difference: the price tag.

    In both brands levels of disinfection byproducts exceeded safety standards established by the state of California and the bottled water industry:


    • Walmart’s Sam’s Choice bottled water purchased at several locations in the San Francisco bay area was polluted with disinfection byproducts called trihalomethanes at levels that exceed the state’s legal limit for bottled water (CDPR 2008). These byproducts are linked to cancer and reproductive problems and form when disinfectants react with residual pollution in the water. Las Vegas tap water was the source for these bottles, according to Walmart representatives (EWG 2008).<!-- br-->
    • Also in Walmart’s Sam’s Choice brand, lab tests found a cancer-causing chemical called bromodichloromethane at levels that exceed safety standards for cancer-causing chemicals under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65, OEHHA 2008). EWG is filing suit under this act to ensure that Walmart posts a warning on bottles as required by law: “WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer."<!-- br-->
    • These same chemicals also polluted Giant's Acadia brand at levels in excess of California’s safety standards, but this brand is sold only in Mid-Atlantic states where California’s health-based limits do not apply. Nevertheless, disinfection byproducts in both Acadia and Sam’s Choice bottled water exceeded the industry trade association’s voluntary safety standards (IBWA 2008a), for samples purchased in Washington DC and 5 states (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and California). The bottled water industry boasts that its internal regulations are stricter than the FDA bottled water regulations(IBWA 2008b), but voluntary standards that companies are failing to meet are of little use in protecting public health.

    Figure 1. Pollutants in Walmart and Giant Bottled Water Exceed Industry and California Standards


    The California legal limit of 10 parts per billion (ppb) for total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) in bottled water has been set by the California Health and Safety Code, Division 104, Part 5 (Sherman Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law, CDPH 2008). The industry standard, Bottled Water Code of Practice, published by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA 2008a), also sets a limit for TTHMs at 10 ppb. Two of the TTHM chemicals, bromodichloromethane and chloroform, are regulated in California under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, also known as Proposition 65 (OEHHA 2008). For bromodichloromethane, a concentration above 2.5 ppb exceeds a cancer safety standard, as established by the state of California (OEHHA 2008). The standard is based on the Proposition 65 No Significant Risk Level for bromodichloromethane at 5 micrograms per day. For a water consumption rate of 2 L/day (Title 27, California Code of Regulations, Article 7, Section § 25721), this corresponds to a contaminant concentration in water of 2.5 ppb. The concentration values indicated by the bars correspond to findings from the specific brand purchased at the specific location. For the entire dataset, see section Walmart and Giant Water Exceeds Safety Limits. Two independent samples of Sam's Choice water were purchased in Oakland, CA, with total trihalomethane levels at 21 and 23 ppb and levels of bromodichloromethane at 7.7 and 8.5 ppb. Two independent samples of Acadia water were purchased in Stafford, VA with total trihalomethane levels at 22 and 23 ppb.

    Broad Range of Pollutants Found in 10 Brands


    Altogether, the analyses conducted by the University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory of these 10 brands of bottled water revealed a wide range of pollutants, including not only disinfection byproducts, but also common urban wastewater pollutants like caffeine and pharmaceuticals (Tylenol); heavy metals and minerals including arsenic and radioactive isotopes; fertilizer residue (nitrate and ammonia); and a broad range of other, tentatively identified industrial chemicals used as solvents, plasticizers, viscosity decreasing agents, and propellants.

    The identity of most brands in this study are anonymous. This is typical scientific practice for market-basket style testing programs. We consider these results to represent a snapshot of the market during the window of time in which we purchased samples. While our study findings show that consumers can't trust that bottled water is pure or cleaner than tap water, it was not designed to indicate pollutant profiles typical over time for particular brands. Walmart and Giant bottled water brands are named in this study because our first tests and numerous followup tests confirmed that these brands contained contaminants at levels that exceeded state standards or voluntary industry guidelines.

    The study also included assays for breast cancer cell proliferation, conducted at the University of Missouri. One bottled water brand spurred a 78% increase in the growth of the breast cancer cells compared to the control sample, with 1,200 initial breast cancer cells multiplying to 32,000 in 4 days, versus only 18,000 for the control sample, indicating that chemical contaminants in the bottled water sample stimulated accelerated division of cancer cells. When estrogen-blocking chemicals were added, the effect was inhibited, showing that the cancer-spurring chemicals mimic estrogen, a hormone linked to breast cancer. Though this result is considered a modest effect relative to the potency of some other industrial chemicals in spurring breast cancer cell growth, the sheer volume of bottled water people consume elevates the health significance of the finding. While the specific chemical(s) responsible for this cancer cell proliferation were not identified in this pilot study, ingestion of endocrine-disrupting and cancer-promoting chemicals from plastics is considered to be a potentially important health concern (Le 2008).

    With Bottled Water, You Don't Know What You're Getting


    Americans drink twice as much bottled water today as they did ten years ago, for an annual total of over nine billion gallons with producer revenues nearing twelve billions (BMC 2007; IBWA 2008c). Purity should be included in a price that, at a typical cost of $3.79 per gallon, is 1,900 times the cost of public tap water.<sup>1</sup> But EWG’s tests indicate that in some cases the industry may be delivering a beverage little cleaner than tap water, sold at a premium price. The health consequences of exposures to these complex mixtures of contaminants like those found in bottled water have never been studied.

    Unlike public water utilities, bottled water companies are not required to notify their customers of the occurrence of contaminants in the water, or, in most states, to tell their customers where the water comes from, how and if it is purified, and if it is merely bottled tap water. Information provided on the U.S. EPA website clearly describes the lack of quality assurance for bottled water: "Bottled water is not necessarily safer than your tap water" (EPA 2007b). The Agency further adds following consumer information:



    Some bottled water is treated more than tap water, while some is treated less or not treated at all. Bottled water costs much more than tap water on a per gallon basis... Consumers who choose to purchase bottled water should carefully read its label to understand what they are buying, whether it is a better taste, or a certain method of treatment (EPA 2007b).


    In conjunction with this testing program, EWG conducted a survey of 228 brands of bottled water, compiling information from websites, labels and other marketing materials. We found that fewer than half describe the water source (i.e., municipal or natural) or provide any information on whether or how the water is treated. In the absence of complete disclosure on the label, consumers are left in the dark, making it difficult for shoppers to know if they are getting what they expect for the price.

    Figure 2. Walmart and Giant Are Bottling Tap Water


    The municipal water sources of the Walmart’s Sam’s Choice and Giant’s Acadia bottled waters were identified through contact with Walmart representatives, their bottled water manufacturer, and city/utility officials; or from the label (Giant). Data on the levels of disinfection byproducts (total trihalomethanes or TTHMs) in these municipal water sources were obtained from Notla Water Authority in Blairsville, Georgia; Las Vegas Valley Water District; and Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. These data were from tap water tests carried out in 2007, which the water utilities disclosed to their customers in an annual report. For every utility the range of values from lowest to the highest represents the concentrations of TTHMs that were found in the tap water over the course of the year. Notla Water Authority provided a single value for TTHMs, not a range.

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