Thursday, August 30, 2018
Monday, August 27, 2018
Meet the Economist Behind the One Percent’s Stealth Takeover of America
MAY 30, 2018 | HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT
Nobel laureate James Buchanan is the intellectual linchpin of the Koch-funded attack on democratic institutions, argues Duke historian Nancy MacLean
Ask people to name the key minds that have shaped America’s burst of radical right-wing attacks on working conditions, consumer rights and public services, and they will typically mention figures like free market-champion Milton Friedman, libertarian guru Ayn Rand, and laissez-faire economists Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises.
James McGill Buchanan is a name you will rarely hear unless you’ve taken several classes in economics. And if the Tennessee-born Nobel laureate were alive today, it would suit him just fine that most well-informed journalists, liberal politicians, and even many economics students have little understanding of his work.
The reason? Duke historian Nancy MacLean contends that his philosophy is so stark that even young libertarian acolytes are only introduced to it after they have accepted the relatively sunny perspective of Ayn Rand. (Yes, you read that correctly). If Americans really knew what Buchanan thought and promoted, and how destructively his vision is manifesting under their noses, it would dawn on them how close the country is to a transformation most would not even want to imagine, much less accept.
That is a dangerous blind spot, MacLean argues in a meticulously researched book, Democracy in Chains, a finalist for the National Book Award in Nonfiction. While Americans grapple with Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency, we may be missing the key to changes that are taking place far beyond the level of mere politics. Once these changes are locked into place, there may be no going back.
An Unlocked Door in Virginia
MacLean’s book reads like an intellectual detective story. In 2010, she moved to North Carolina, where a Tea Party-dominated Republican Party got control of both houses of the state legislature and began pushing through a radical program to suppress voter rights, decimate public services, and slash taxes on the wealthy that shocked a state long a beacon of southern moderation. Up to this point, the figure of James Buchanan flickered in her peripheral vision, but as she began to study his work closely, the events in North Carolina and also Wisconsin, where Governor Scott Walker was leading assaults on collective bargaining rights, shifted her focus.
Could it be that this relatively obscure economist’s distinctive thought was being put forcefully into action in real time?
MacLean could not gain access to Buchanan’s papers to test her hypothesis until after his death in January 2013. That year, just as the government was being shut down by Ted Cruz & Co., she traveled to George Mason University in Virginia, where the economist’s papers lay willy-nilly across the offices of a building now abandoned by the Koch-funded faculty to a new, fancier center in Arlington.
MacLean was stunned. The archive of the man who had sought to stay under the radar had been left totally unsorted and unguarded. The historian plunged in, and she read through boxes and drawers full of papers that included personal correspondence between Buchanan and billionaire industrialist Charles Koch. That’s when she had an amazing realization: here was the intellectual linchpin of a stealth revolution currently in progress.
A Theory of Property Supremacy
Buchanan, a 1940 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University who later attended the University of Chicago for graduate study, started out as a conventional public finance economist. But he grew frustrated by the way in which economic theorists ignored the political process.
Buchanan began working on a description of power that started out as a critique of how institutions functioned in the relatively liberal 1950s and ‘60s, a time when economist John Maynard Keynes’s ideas about the need for government intervention in markets to protect people from flaws so clearly demonstrated in the Great Depression held sway. Buchanan, MacLean notes, was incensed at what he saw as a move toward socialism and deeply suspicious of any form of state action that channels resources to the public. Why should the increasingly powerful federal government be able to force the wealthy to pay for goods and programs that served ordinary citizens and the poor?
In thinking about how people make political decisions and choices, Buchanan concluded that you could only understand them as individuals seeking personal advantage. In an interview cited by MacLean, the economist observed that in the 1950s Americans commonly assumed that elected officials wanted to act in the public interest. Buchanan vehemently disagreed — that was a belief he wanted, as he put it, to “tear down.” His ideas developed into a theory that came to be known as “public choice.”
Buchanan’s view of human nature was distinctly dismal. Adam Smith saw human beings as self-interested and hungry for personal power and material comfort, but he also acknowledged social instincts like compassion and fairness. Buchanan, in contrast, insisted that people were primarily driven by venal self-interest. Crediting people with altruism or a desire to serve others was “romantic” fantasy: politicians and government workers were out for themselves, and so, for that matter, were teachers, doctors, and civil rights activists. They wanted to control others and wrest away their resources: “Each person seeks mastery over a world of slaves,” he wrote in his 1975 book, The Limits of Liberty.
Does that sound like your kindergarten teacher? It did to Buchanan.
The people who needed protection were property owners, and their rights could only be secured though constitutional limits to prevent the majority of voters from encroaching on them, an idea Buchanan lays out in works like Property as a Guarantor of Liberty(1993). MacLean observes that Buchanan saw society as a cutthroat realm of makers (entrepreneurs) constantly under siege by takers (everybody else) His own language was often more stark, warning the alleged “prey” of “parasites” and “predators” out to fleece them.
In 1965 the economist launched a center dedicated to his theories at the University of Virginia, which later relocated to George Mason University. MacLean describes how he trained thinkers to push back against the Brown v. Board of Education decision to desegregate America’s public schools and to challenge the constitutional perspectives and federal policy that enabled it. She notes that he took care to use economic and political precepts, rather than overtly racial arguments, to make his case, which nonetheless gave cover to racists who knew that spelling out their prejudices would alienate the country.
All the while, a ghost hovered in the background — that of John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, senator and seventh vice president of the United States.
Calhoun was an intellectual and political powerhouse in the South from the 1820s until his death in 1850, expending his formidable energy to defend slavery. Calhoun, called the “Marx of the Master Class” by historian Richard Hofstadter, saw himself and his fellow southern oligarchs as victims of the majority. Therefore, as MacLean explains, he sought to create “constitutional gadgets” to constrict the operations of government.
Economists Tyler Cowen and Alexander Tabarrok, both of George Mason University, have noted the two men’s affinities, heralding Calhoun “a precursor of modern public choice theory” who “anticipates” Buchanan’s thinking. MacLean observes that both focused on how democracy constrains property owners and aimed for ways to restrict the latitude of voters. She argues that unlike even the most property-friendly founders Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, Buchanan wanted a private governing elite of corporate power that was wholly released from public accountability.
Suppressing voting, changing legislative processes so that a normal majority could no longer prevail, sowing public distrust of government institutions— all these were tactics toward the goal. But the Holy Grail was the Constitution: alter it and you could increase and secure the power of the wealthy in a way that no politician could ever challenge.
Gravy Train to Oligarchy
MacLean explains that Virginia’s white elite and the pro-corporate president of the University of Virginia, Colgate Darden, who had married into the DuPont family, found Buchanan’s ideas to be spot on. In nurturing a new intelligentsia to commit to his values, Buchanan stated that he needed a “gravy train,” and with backers like Charles Koch and conservative foundations like the Scaife Family Charitable Trusts, others hopped aboard. Money, Buchanan knew, can be a persuasive tool in academia. His circle of influence began to widen.
MacLean observes that the Virginia school, as Buchanan’s brand of economic and political thinking is known, is a kind of cousin to the better-known, market-oriented Chicago and Austrian schools — proponents of all three were members of the Mont Pelerin Society, an international neoliberal organization which included Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek. But the Virginia school’s focus and career missions were distinct. In an interview with the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), MacLean described Friedman and Buchanan as yin and yang:
“Friedman was this genial, personable character who loved to be in the limelight and made a sunny case for the free market and the freedom to choose and so forth. Buchanan was the dark side of this: he thought, ok, fine, they can make a case for the free market, but everybody knows that free markets have externalities and other problems. So he wanted to keep people from believing that government could be the alternative to those problems.”
The Virginia school also differs from other economic schools in a marked reliance on abstract theory rather than mathematics or empirical evidence. That a Nobel Prize was awarded in 1986 to an economist who so determinedly bucked the academic trends of his day was nothing short of stunning, MacLean observes. But, then, it was the peak of the Reagan era, an administration several Buchanan students joined.
Buchanan’s school focused on public choice theory, later adding constitutional economics and the new field of law and economics to its core research and advocacy. The economist saw that his vision would never come to fruition by focusing on whorules. It was much better to focus on the rules themselves, and that required a “constitutional revolution.”
MacLean describes how the economist developed a grand project to train operatives to staff institutions funded by like-minded tycoons, most significantly Charles Koch, who became interested in his work in the ‘70s and sought the economist’s input in promoting “Austrian economics” in the U.S. and in advising the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.
Koch, whose mission was to save capitalists like himself from democracy, found the ultimate theoretical tool in the work of the southern economist. The historian writes that Koch preferred Buchanan to Milton Friedman and his “Chicago boys” because, she says, quoting a libertarian insider, they wanted “to make government work more efficiently when the true libertarian should be tearing it out at the root.”
With Koch’s money and enthusiasm, Buchanan’s academic school evolved into something much bigger. By the 1990s, Koch realized that Buchanan’s ideas — transmitted through stealth and deliberate deception, as MacLean amply documents — could help take government down through incremental assaults that the media would hardly notice. The tycoon knew that the project was extremely radical, even a “revolution” in governance, but he talked like a conservative to make his plans sound more palatable.
MacLean details how partnered with Koch, Buchanan’s outpost at George Mason University was able to connect libertarian economists with right-wing political actors and supporters of corporations like Shell Oil, Exxon, Ford, IBM, Chase Manhattan Bank, and General Motors. Together they could push economic ideas to public through media, promote new curricula for economics education, and court politicians in nearby Washington, D.C.
At the 1997 fiftieth anniversary of the Mont Pelerin Society, MacLean recounts that Buchanan and his associate Henry Manne, a founding theorist of libertarian economic approaches to law, focused on such affronts to capitalists as environmentalism and public health and welfare, expressing eagerness to dismantle Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare as well as kill public education because it tended to foster community values. Feminism had to go, too: the scholars considered it a socialist project.
The Oligarchic Revolution Unfolds
Buchanan’s ideas began to have huge impact, especially in America and in Britain. In his home country, the economist was deeply involved in efforts to cut taxes on the wealthy in 1970s and 1980s and he advised proponents of Reagan Revolution in their quest to unleash markets and posit government as the “problem” rather than the “solution.” The Koch-funded Virginia school coached scholars, lawyers, politicians, and business people to apply stark right-wing perspectives on everything from deficits to taxes to school privatization. In Britain, Buchanan’s work helped to inspire the public sector reforms of Margaret Thatcher and her political progeny.
To put the success into perspective, MacLean points to the fact that Henry Manne, whom Buchanan was instrumental in hiring, created legal programs for law professors and federal judges which could boast that by 1990 two of every five sitting federal judges had participated. “40 percent of the U.S. federal judiciary,” writes MacLean, “had been treated to a Koch-backed curriculum.”
MacLean illustrates that in South America, Buchanan was able to first truly set his ideas in motion by helping a bare-knuckles dictatorship ensure the permanence of much of the radical transformation it inflicted on a country that had been a beacon of social progress. The historian emphasizes that Buchanan’s role in the disastrous Pinochet government of Chile has been underestimated partly because unlike Milton Friedman, who advertised his activities, Buchanan had the shrewdness to keep his involvement quiet. With his guidance, the military junta deployed public choice economics in the creation of a new constitution, which required balanced budgets and thereby prevented the government from spending to meet public needs. Supermajorities would be required for any changes of substance, leaving the public little recourse to challenge programs like the privatization of social security.
The dictator’s human rights abuses and pillage of the country’s resources did not seem to bother Buchanan, MacLean argues, so long as the wealthy got their way. “Despotism may be the only organizational alternative to the political structure that we observe,” the economist had written in The Limits of Liberty. If you have been wondering about the end result of the Virginia school philosophy, well, the economist helpfully spelled it out.
A World of Slaves
Most Americans haven’t seen what’s coming.
MacLean notes that when the Kochs’ control of the GOP kicked into high gear after the financial crisis of 2007-08, many were so stunned by the “shock-and-awe” tactics of shutting down government, destroying labor unions, and rolling back services that meet citizens’ basic necessities that few realized that many leading the charge had been trained in economics at Virginia institutions, especially George Mason University. Wasn’t it just a new, particularly vicious wave of partisan politics?
It wasn’t. MacLean convincingly illustrates that it was something far more disturbing.
MacLean is not the only scholar to sound the alarm that the country is experiencing a hostile takeover that is well on its way to radically, and perhaps permanently, altering the society. Peter Temin, former head of the MIT economics department, INET grantee, and author of The Vanishing Middle Class, as well as economist Gordon Lafer of the University of Oregon and author of The One Percent Solution, have provided eye-opening analyses of where America is headed and why. MacLean adds another dimension to this dystopian big picture, acquainting us with what has been overlooked in the capitalist right wing’s playbook.
She observes, for example, that many liberals have missed the point of strategies like privatization. Efforts to “reform” public education and Social Security are not just about a preference for the private sector over the public sector, she argues. You can wrap your head around those, even if you don’t agree. Instead, MacLean contends, the goal of these strategies is to radically alter power relations, weakening pro-public forces and enhancing the lobbying power and commitment of the corporations that take over public services and resources, thus advancing the plans to dismantle democracy and make way for a return to oligarchy. The majority will be held captive so that the wealthy can finally be free to do as they please, no matter how destructive.
MacLean argues that despite the rhetoric of Virginia school acolytes, shrinking big government is not really the point. The oligarchs require a government with tremendous new powers so that they can bypass the will of the people. This, as MacLean points out, requires greatly expanding police powers “to control the resultant popular anger.” The spreading use of pre-emption by GOP-controlled state legislatures to suppress local progressive victories such as living wage ordinances is another example of the right’s aggressive use of state power.
Could these right-wing capitalists allow private companies to fill prisons with helpless citizens—or, more profitable still, right-less undocumented immigrants? They could, and have. Might they engineer a retirement crisis by moving Americans to inadequate 401(k)s? Done. Take away the rights of consumers and workers to bring grievances to court by making them sign forced arbitration agreements? Check. Gut public education to the point where ordinary people have such bleak prospects that they have no energy to fight back? Getting it done.
Would they even refuse children clean water? Actually, yes.
MacLean notes that in Flint, Michigan, Americans got a taste of what the emerging oligarchy will look like — it tastes like poisoned water. There, the Koch-funded Mackinac Center pushed for legislation that would allow the governor to take control of communities facing emergency and put unelected managers in charge. In Flint, one such manager switched the city’s water supply to a polluted river, but the Mackinac Center’s lobbyists ensured that the law was fortified by protections against lawsuits that poisoned inhabitants might bring. Tens of thousands of children were exposed to lead, a substance known to cause serious health problems including brain damage.
Tyler Cowen has provided an economic justification for this kind of brutality, stating that where it is difficult to get clean water, private companies should take over and make people pay for it. “This includes giving them the right to cut off people who don’t—or can’t—pay their bills,” the economist explains.
To many this sounds grotesquely inhumane, but it is a way of thinking that has deep roots in America. In Why I, Too, Am Not a Conservative (2005), Buchanan considers the charge of heartlessness made against the kind of classic liberal that he took himself to be. MacLean interprets his discussion to mean that people who “failed to foresee and save money for their future needs” are to be treated, as Buchanan put it, “as subordinate members of the species, akin to…animals who are dependent.’”
Do you have your education, health care, and retirement personally funded against all possible exigencies? Then that means you.
Buchanan was not a dystopian novelist. He was a Nobel Laureate whose sinister logic exerts vast influence over America’s trajectory. It is no wonder that Cowen, on his popular blog Marginal Revolution, does not mention Buchanan on a list of underrated influential libertarian thinkers, though elsewhere on the blog, he expresses admiration for several of Buchanan’s contributions and acknowledges that the southern economist “thought more consistently in terms of ‘rules of the games’ than perhaps any other economist.”
The rules of the game are now clear.
Research like MacLean’s provides hope that toxic ideas like Buchanan’s may finally begin to face public scrutiny. Yet at this very moment, the Kochs’ State Policy Network and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that connects corporate agents to conservative lawmakers to produce legislation, are involved in projects that the Trump-obsessed media hardly notices, like pumping money into state judicial races. Their aim is to stack the legal deck against Americans in ways that MacLean argues may have even bigger effects than Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court ruling which unleashed unlimited corporate spending on American politics. The goal is to create a judiciary that will interpret the Constitution in favor of corporations and the wealthy in ways that Buchanan would have heartily approved.
“The United States is now at one of those historic forks in the road whose outcome will prove as fateful as those of the 1860s, the 1930s, and the 1960s,” writes MacLean. “To value liberty for the wealthy minority above all else and enshrine it in the nation’s governing rules, as Calhoun and Buchanan both called for and the Koch network is achieving, play by play, is to consent to an oligarchy in all but the outer husk of representative form.”
Nobody can say we weren’t warned.
Saturday, August 25, 2018
In 1865, the French priest Bernard Petitjean discovered that almost all the Urakami villagers were Christian. Between 1869 and 1873, over 3600 villagers were banished. During their exile, 650 died. The persecuted Kakure Kirishitan (Hidden Christians) came back to their home village after 7 years exile in 1873, and decided to construct their own church.
Construction of the original Urakami Cathedral, a brick Neo-Romanesque building, began in 1895, after a long-standing ban on Christianity was lifted. They purchased the land of the village chief where the humiliating interrogations had taken place for two centuries. The annual "fumi-e" interrogations required those present to tread upon an icon of the Virgin Mary or Jesus. They thought the place was appropriate considering their memory of the long persecution. Construction of the building was started by Father Francine and was completed under the direction of Father Regani. The frontal twin spires stood 64 meters high were constructed in 1875. When completed in 1925 (Taishō 14), until its destruction in 1945, it was the largest Christian structure in the Asia-Pacific region.
The atomic bomb that fell on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 detonated in Urakami only 500 m (1640 ft) from the cathedral, completely destroying it. As the Feast of the Assumption of Mary (August 15) was near, Mass was held on the day and was well attended. The resultant collapse and heat-wave cindered and buried all those present in the Cathedral. The destruction of the cathedral hit the religious community of Nagasaki the hardest, as they viewed it as a loss of spirituality. It had such an impact, that noted playwright Tanaka Chikao wrote his most successful play, Head of Mary, about the efforts of Christians in Nagasaki to reconstitute their faith by rebuilding the Virgin Mary.
A replacement was built in 1959, after a serious debate between the city government and the congregation. The city government suggested preserving the destroyed cathedral as a heritage site, and offered an alternate site for a new church. However, Christians in Nagasaki strongly wanted to rebuild their cathedral on the original site, as a symbol of their persecution and suffering. In 1980 it was remodeled to more closely resemble the original French style.
Statues and artifacts damaged in the bombing, including a French Angelus bell, are now displayed on the grounds. The nearby Peace Park contains remnants of the original cathedral's walls. What remained of the cathedral is now on display in the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum.
Seventy years ago, the only wartime use of nuclear weapons took place in the Aug. 6 attack on Hiroshima and the Aug. 9 attack on Nagasaki by the United States.
The Hiroshima attack killed around 80,000 people instantly and may have caused about 130,000 deaths, mostly civilians. The attack on the port city of Nagasaki killed about 40,000 instantly and destroyed a third of the city.
Four Jesuits were nearby the hypocenter of the attack on Hiroshima, but they survived the catastrophe, and the radiation that killed thousands in the months following had no effect on them.
The Jesuits priests Hugo Lassalle, Hubert Schiffer, Wilhelm Kleinsorge, and Hubert Cieslik were at the rectory of the church of Our Lady of the Assumption, one of the few buildings that resisted the bomb blast.
Father Cieslik wrote in his diary that they only sustained minor injuries from the broken windows – but nothing resulting from the atomic energy that was unleashed.
The doctors who took care of them afterwards warned them that the radiation they received would produce serious lesions, as well as illness and premature death.The diagnosis never materialized. No disorders ever developed, and in 1976 Father Schiffer attended the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia and told his story. He confirmed that the other Jesuits were still alive and without any ailments. They were examined by dozens of doctors some 200 times over the course of the following years, without any trace of the radiation being found in their bodies.
The four religious never doubted that they had been blessed with protection by God and the Blessed Virgin Mary. “We were living the message of Fatima and we prayed the Rosary every day,” they explained.
Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi of Niigata said Aug. 6 that Japan can contribute to peace “Not with new weapons, but with the noble activities that have a long history in the growth of the world, and in a particular way in developing countries.”
Bishop Kikuchi added that “this contribution to development, which brings about full respect for human dignity and its fulfillment, would be very appreciated and respected by the international community.”
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immaculate_Conception_Cathedral,_Nagasaki AND
Friday, August 24, 2018
Socially engineering a nation is not difficult when the participants are unaware of the eventual implications for which they have voluntarily subscribed to - especially when children have no say or voice in that decision.
In three-score and something more we have experienced the impact of the woman’s movement, destruction of the family unit, secularism, sexual liberation, abortion rights, consumerism, a deteriorating educational curriculum, and transgenderism. Now technology, artificial intelligence and trans-humanism continue to mould societal consciousness into the abyss. We have arrived at the precipice of an artificially managed society as our technocrats continue to rip at the skeletal remains of humanity, yet few understand the implications.
The LGBQT and Transgenderism movement is not about society being accepting of an individual’s sexual identity , but rather priming society to fully eliminate gender and family altogether, and eventually accepting the protocols of trans-humanism. You MUST understand that Mankind was created via genetic manipulation and that process has continued for millennia. We have renamed the creative process with modern terms such as CRISPR, synthetic DNA and neural lace, just to name a few.
Transgenderism, homosexuality or sexual preference have become mainstream issues in our modern times, yet they are no different than the chimeras noted in Homer’s “Odyssey” or hybrids noted in The Book of Enoch. Confusion over sexual identity is not a function of natural laws. Our children are being genetically engineered with the use of vaccines, chem-trails, genetically modified foods, fluoride, nanotechnology and media mind control techniques. In the near future we will have nanotechnology control every aspect our of lives as well as monitor our biological form. The end game is an “asexual society” where human offspring is controlled and conditioned according to the will of a globalist agenda.
The sex-ed curriculum is simply another brick in the wall of human destruction. It’s not about teaching our kids the basics of human interaction and reproduction, but rather the initial steps into sexual perversion - which will include pedophilia, beastiality, sexual slavery and ultimately no sex at all.
Why has sex become so important and the curriculum has not? One must acknowledge two important facts: a) Educational excellence, based on OECD findings, is found only in Asian countries, Italy, Germany and Austria, and b) our children are victims of incompetent teachers. If this was not the case then why has there been an explosion in the use of private tutors. Education is an “industry” designed to harvest mediocrity (both in teachers and children) so the veiled agenda of suppressing the truth and one’s ability do not impact the globalist agenda.
If you don’t think the framework for mutating Mankind was not preordained long ago then listen to the words of someone who has come to embody the definition of evil in our recent history (all fiction should one explore the true history of WWII - the holocaust is complete fiction):
'The real destiny of Man is something that ordinary men could not conceive and would be unable to comprehend, even if given a glimpse of it. Our revolution is a final stage in an evolution that will end by abolishing history. It is my ultimate aim to perform an act of creation, a divine operation, the goal of a biological mutation (trans-humanism) which will result in an unprecedented exaltation of the human race and the appearance of a new race of heroes, demi-gods and god-men. My party comrades have no conception of the dreams that haunt my mind, or of the grandiose edifice of which the foundations, at least, will have been laid before I die. The world has reached a turning point, and will undergo an upheaval which the uninitiated cannot understand.’ Adolf Hitler
I suggest that many of you read the works of Joseph P Farrell to truly understand the impact WWII Germany had on modern society. The Josef Mengele of today resides at the "Singularity Hub" and "Singularity University" - and the many secret testing facilities around the world.
John McAfee: SOCIAL MEDIA IS DESIGNED TO CENSOR AND CONTROL THE POPULATION - The technocrats know exactly what they are doing.
I will conclude by saying “wake up”.
1080, the Killer Poison: What You Need to Know
Sodium fluoroacetate, commonly called 1080, is a poison used extensively to kill so-called “pest” species, such as foxes, rabbits, wallabies, cats, feral pigs, and wild dogs.
It is colourless, odourless, and tasteless and is therefore easily ingested by companion animals as well as native species. Its victims – intended or otherwise – experience a slow, agonising death.
Here are facts you need to know to keep your animal companions safe and to speak up for the native animals who are being poisoned.
IS IT SAFE?
1080 is toxic to all living species, including microbes, plants, insects, birds, and humans. In mammals, it causes birth defects, reduced fertility, and damage to the reproductive system, brain, heart, and other organs. Anecdotal evidence indicates that its use may be linked to an increased risk of developing cancer. There are reports that the Nazis considered using the poison on Jewish prisoners in concentration camps but decided not to because of the danger to the guards.
1080 is usually put down by hand or dropped from aircraft over areas where populations of certain “target” animals are found. Although attempts are made to limit the species affected, animals who feed on poisoned corpses can be killed, too. Humans are also at risk if they ingest the chemical.
In addition, poisoned animals may contaminate nearby waterways. Faecal contamination of waterways by wallabies killed by 1080 has been raised as an issue in parliamentary enquiries. Since the poison is highly soluble, it spreads very quickly through water and up food chains. And because its presence is difficult to detect, it could be a plausible weapon in bio terrorism.
WHERE IS IT USED?
1080 is still used in Australia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and New Zealand. It is banned in most countries, including the US, where it was outlawed in the early 1970s because of civilian deaths.
DOES IT WORK?
1080 certainly causes a great deal of suffering, but there’s no proof that it offers a real solution to environmental damage from introduced or “pest” species. The so-called “culling” of animals is neither a suitable nor an effective method of limiting populations. In fact, it can often lead to an increase in the number of animals present in a given area, as it creates a more suitable habitat for increased reproduction.
WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE?
Humane, long-term population-control techniques do exist. Possible solutions include immunocontraception for target animals. In one European study, a long-lasting fertility suppressant succeeded in establishing an 89 per cent reduction in the fertility of feral female goats that lasted for at least two years after treatment. And immunocontraception has already been used on companion dogs in some situations.
Other humane methods include reducing the availability of appropriate shelter and placing exclusion fencing at appropriate points.
SYMPTOMS OF 1080 POISONING?
In dogs, the signs of poisoning are usually noticeable within half an hour of ingestion but can take more than six hours to show. Symptoms include vomiting, anxiety, disorientation, and shaking. These quickly develop into frenzied behaviour with running and screaming fits, drooling, uncontrolled paddling, and seizures, followed by total collapse and death. This agony may go on for up to 48 hours.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your animal companion, seek medical attention immediately.
If you know that 1080 is being used in your local area, it’s best to walk your dog in an alternative location.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP OTHER ANIMALS AFFECTED BY 1080 USAGE?
Councils will often place signs in the area to notify residents when the poison is being used. You may also see its usage reported in local media. If you discover that your local council is using it, please speak out. Urge the council to concentrate its resources on non-lethal methods rather than poisons.
Inform other local residents about the issue, and urge them to speak out, too. You could even share this post on local Facebook groups. The more people who take a stand, the more likely it will be that councils will make the decision not to use 1080.
Torturing and killing animals will never restore balance to the natural environment.
The only reasonable solution is either to make the land itself inhospitable to them or to control their populations by reducing their fertility.
Using chemicals that leave dogs and other animals to die slowly in agony is not an acceptable practice. Please, share this post with everyone you know and encourage people to speak out against 1080 poison.