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Daniela Penha, Mongabay
Waking Times

At first sight, the Córrego das Almas farm in Piumhi, in rural Minas Gerais state, seems to be a model property. “No slave or forced labor is allowed,” reads one of several signs that display international certifications — including one linked to the U.S.-based company Starbucks corporation. But investigators have found that laborers on the farm’s coffee plantations were working under degrading conditions and living in substandard housing without sewerage or drinking water. A Ministry of Labor team inspection conducted at the site rescued 18 rural workers in conditions analogous to slavery.

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The farm, locally known as Fartura (Portuguese for Abundance), also boasts the UTZ seal – a Netherlands-based sustainable farming certificate considered one of the most prestigious in the coffee industry. That seal of approval was suspended after the certifier was questioned by Repórter Brasil about the case.

The farm also holds the C.A.F.E. Practices certification — owned by Starbucks in partnership with SCS Global Services. After hearing of the raid, the two companies responsible for issuing the seal said they would review the farm’s quality certificate. The certifiers verify commodity supply chains in order to assure ethical purchases, good labor practices, and other criteria required by Starbucks and other retailers.

Starbucks coffee shop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of Starbucks’ certifiers gave a seal of approval to a farm found to be operating with working conditions analogous to slavery. Upon hearing about the raid, Starbucks is investigating the farm and its certification. Image courtesy of Starbucks.

Evidence found at Fartura shows that the farm’s operating standards were far below those expected at a certified agricultural facility. “There were lots of bats and mice. We’d buy food and the mice would eat it. Then we had to buy it again,” said one of the workers rescued.

“We weren’t paid for holidays, Sundays, nothing. And we worked from Monday to Saturday with no record of the hours. During the week, we would start at 6 am and only stop at 5 pm,” says another former employee rescued from the farm, where workers received payment according to the amount of coffee they picked.

The employees lived in collective lodgings without drinking water. According to the inspectors, sanitation was so precarious that it put workers’ health at risk. The rescued group reported that dead bats were often found in the water tanks, which had no cover. This water was used for cooking and drinking.

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In addition, the inspectors collected farm reports indicating that accounts payable were rigged. “We’d harvest and they’d leave it [the beans] there to be weighed the next day. When we arrived there, the coffee was gone. And then we were humiliated: we complained and they laughed in our faces,” said one of the rescued workers.

“I’ve always harvested coffee, and I’ve never been through something like that in my life. I wasn’t even able to send money home,” adds another.

Ministry of Labor investigators rescued 18 workers laboring in conditions analogous to slavery on coffee farms in the state of Minas Gerais; one of those farms held international certifications. Image by Adere.

It was also reported that, for workers to cash their pay checks or to buy food, they had to pay R$ 20 for a “clandestine bus” – in the words of one laborer – to go from the farm to the nearest town. “We had to pay in order to get paid,” he explained.

UTZ said the seal´s audit of the farm occurred in February 2018, and the certificate was issued in April. After Repórter Brasil questioned the organization, the certification was suspended and the group said their team would look into the conditions at the farm.

“Workers’ rights and wellbeing are of the utmost importance and are an integral part of our standard. We take those issues very seriously because something like that would violate the UTZ standard. Whenever we receive reliable evidence of breaches on UTZ certified farms, we take immediate action, which includes conducting a thorough investigation,” the organization said in a statement.

According to Starbucks, the Fartura farm has been certified since 2016, but the firm denied having “purchased or received any coffee from this farm in recent years. It said it is starting a process of investigation to re-evaluate the seal. “We are already investigating this matter and will continue to pay very close attention to issuances from the Ministry of [Brazilian] Labor and Employment and communicate expectations to our suppliers that no farm on the list may supply coffee to Starbucks,” the statement said.

SCS, a Starbucks partner on the C.A.F.E. seal, reported that inspections and audits are conducted before certifications are granted and that no signs of slave labor were detected when the process was conducted at Fartura: “Forced labor is considered a point of zero tolerance, therefore farms with forced labor would not be eligible for the status in the program.”

In addition to these two seals, another sign at Fartura suggests its certification by the 4C Association of the Coffee Assurance Services (CAS), a worldwide organization. However, the indications at the farm were that this seal was still under analysis, and “the final decision on the license has not yet been made.”

The discovery of slavery-like conditions on this particular farm points to flaws likely to be present elsewhere in the coffee certification process: “This is not the first or second time, and it will not be the last time a certified farm is charged with employing slave labor and violating labor rights,” said Jorge Ferreira dos Santos, who heads the Coordination of Rural Employers of Minas Gerais (Articulação dos Empregadores Rurais de Minas Gerais, Adere-MG) and who accompanied the Labor Ministry inspectors. The certification system is weak and not transparent, he added, and fails at “taking workers’ views and reality into account.”

The Fartura Farm is currently caring for 3 million coffee trees, while also raising so, and cattle; it has 151 employees. The property is leased and managed by Fabiana Soares. In a statement, her lawyer, Amanda Costa Ferreira, claimed that the property owner learned about the inspection “with shock” since slave labor is not the company’s “work philosophy.”

“Our farm has been operating in the coffee market for many years and has always sought to comply with all legal requirements, that includes obtaining all certifications, licenses and awards whose requirements are extremely strict,” the statement read.

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Living conditions at the Córrego da Prata farm, where workers were rescued from illegal labor conditions. The farm belongs to the sister-in-law of state deputy Emidinho Madeira. Image by Adere.

Second raid rescues 15 workers

Another inspection in Minas Gerais, in the town of Muzambinho, rescued 15 workers in conditions analogous to slavery from a farm owned by Maria Júlia Pereira, the sister-in-law of a state deputy, Emidinho Madeira. The workers there included a 17-year-old.

The laborers questioned reported that they were forced to buy their own equipment, so ended up owing the farm owner R$ 2,500-3,000 before even beginning harvesting. The group also told Repórter Brasil that they were required to work 90 days straight, without a single day off. Coffee harvesting only paused on rainy days, with work generally continuous from 6 am to 8 pm, one laborer said.

“And if we stopped, the boss got angry,” added another. “It was exhausting.”

Pereira was not charged, but the workers said that she paid severance. Her lawyer Thiago de Lima Dini, issued a statement explaining that Pereira acquired the farm at the end of 2016 and that she leased it to Elias Rodrigo de Almeida in December of the same year, “ignoring any procedures and occurrences on that property.” The lawyer, who also represents Almeida, said that he “used subcontractors to hire workers” and that he is “a victim, just like other workers.”

The Córrego da Prata Farm was cited for 34 violations and paid R$ 87,000 (US$ 20,000) to the workers in damages. The Fartura farm received 27 notifications and paid R$ 71,000 in severance.

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This story was produced via a co-publishing partnership between Mongabay and Repórter Brasil and can be read in Portuguese here.

Like Waking Times on Facebook. Follow Waking Times on Twitter. The Reality of Consumerism – Starbuck’s Certified Coffee Plantation Busted Using Slave Labor was last modified: December 13th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Phillip Schneider, Contributor
Waking Times

ADHD is one of the most common issues with children these days. According to 2016 data from the CDC, approximately 2.4 million children ages 6-11 have ADHD in the US and that number tends to increase over time. Seeing as though it’s very hard to treat and affects so many kids, wouldn’t a better solution be to prevent it altogether?  Ridding the world entirely of ADHD might be a bit of a stretch but learning what causes it and minimizing exposure is a much more reasonable solution. Some causes may be obvious, such as head injuries or genetics, but others may be less conspicuous such as exposure to the sodium fluoride found in most tap water. 

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A new study from the University of Toronto is shedding light on the impact that water fluoridation may have on rates of childhood ADHD. According to the study, there is an association between the levels of fluoride found in pregnant mothers and “ADHD-like symptoms” in the Children once they become school-age, around 6-12 years old. 

“Our findings are consistent with a growing body of evidence suggesting that the growing fetal nervous system may be negatively affected by higher levels of fluoride exposure.” – Dr. Morteza Bashash, Study Author 

The study recruited researchers from some a diverse range of institutions, including the University of Toronto, the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico, University of Michigan, Indiana University, the University of Washington and Harvard School of Public Health. 

After controlling for a series of variable including birthweight, birth order, sex, maternal marital status, smoking history, age at delivery, education, and socioeconomic status, the team found that the parents who had higher exposure to fluoride still reported higher levels of ADHD in their children compared with other parents who did not have as much exposure. 

“Our findings show that children with elevated prenatal exposure to fluoride were more likely to show symptoms of ADHD as reported by parents. Prenatal fluoride exposure was more strongly associated with inattentive behaviours and cognitive problems, but not with hyperactivity.”

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More Studies Link Pre-Natal Fluoride Exposure to Neurological Ailments 

This is also not the first time that exposure to fluoride has been linked with ADHD. In 2015, a study from the Journal of Environmental Health concluded that “state prevalence of artificial water fluoridation in 1992 significantly positively predicted state prevalence of ADHD.” 

“Parents reported higher rates of medically-diagnosed ADHD in their children in states in which a greater proportion of people receive fluoridated water from public water supplies. The relationship between fluoride exposure and ADHD warrants future study.” – Ashley J. Malin, Study Author 

Another study from 2017 examined the rates of urinary fluoride of pregnant women in Mexico and found that the more fluoride they were exposed to, the lower the intelligence of their children, measured in IQ. 

“In this study, higher prenatal fluoride exposure, in the general range of exposures reported for other general population samples of pregnant women and nonpregnant adults, was associated with lower scores on tests of cognitive function in the offspring” – Morteza Bashash, Study Author 

Does it Make Sense to Continue Water Fluoridation for Entire Populations? 

The reasoning behind fluoridated water is that it helps maintain strong teeth. However, other health effects of fluoride are rarely taken into consideration by lawmakers who decide whether their water is fluoridated.  

If you think about it long enough, you may agree that inserting chemicals directly into the drinking water is truly an act of forcibly medicating the public. Not only is it expensive to filter all your tap water for fluoride, but the most vulnerable to fluoride exposure are pre-natal babies and young children who don’t even have teeth. Does it really make sense to forcibly medicate babies for body parts that don’t even exist yet, with chemicals that researchers are finding increasingly harmful?

Maybe not, but that’s the system we have in place today.

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About the Author

Phillip Schneider is a student and a staff writer for Waking Times.

This article (Canadian Study Links Fluoride to Increasing Rate of ADHD in Children) was originally created and published by Phillip Schneider and is reposted here with permission.

Like Waking Times on FacebookFollow Waking Times on Twitter. Canadian Study Links Fluoride to Increasing Rate of ADHD in Children was last modified: December 13th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch
Waking Times

first-of-its-kind map has unveiled widespread environmental damage and contamination of the Amazon rainforest caused by the rise illegal mining.

The survey, released Monday by the Amazon Socio-Environmental Geo-Referenced Information Project (RAISG), identifies at least 2,312 sites and 245 areas of prospecting or extraction of minerals such as gold, diamonds and coltan in six Amazonian countries—Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. It also identified 30 rivers affected by mining and related activities.

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“The scope of illegal mining in the Amazon, especially in indigenous territories and protected natural areas, has grown exponentially in recent years, with the rise in the price of gold,” said Beto Ricardo, head of the RAISG, in an accompanying report about the map.

Survey reveals more than 2,000 points and 200 illegal mining areas in six Amazonian countries.RAISG

The map is a compilation of primary information from RAISG partners, analysis of satellite images and news stories published in the six countries up to 2017.

“The problem is worse than at any other time in history,” Alicia Rolla, one of the coordinators at RAISG, told theNew York Times. “We wanted to give visibility to the enormity of an issue that doesn’t respect borders.”

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Of the 245 identified extraction areas, 110 sites were in Peru’s Madre de Dios region—ground zero of the country’s gold rush, and home of the massive and rapidly expanding “La Pampa” illegal gold mine. This formerly lush Amazonian department contained the “most pronounced degradation caused by gold prospecting,” the report said.

Small-scale gold mining operations involves the use of mercury to separate gold from grit. When the toxic metal is released into the soil or bodies of water, it can enter the food chain and lead to health problems for local and indigenous communities, as Reuters noted.

“Illegal mining can kill us,” Agustin Ojeda, an indigenous leader of Venezuela’s Shirian people, said in the RAISG report.

“The mining wells allow for the reproduction of mosquitoes that bring diseases, such as malaria. The effect of mercury on water isn’t taken seriously either. It not only contaminates water but also the fish we eat,” he explained.

According to the RAISG report:

“In Peru, preliminary results from a study by CINCIA reveal that mercury levels in fish are 43 percent higher in wells abandoned by gold mining than in areas where there is no gold prospecting. Samples of fish were collected in seven lakes in the abandoned mining areas of Maze, Tambopata, Madre de Dios and Inambari. In addition, fish samples were collected in two lakes or riverside lagoons and a river in the Manu National Park, as a control area with no mining activity.”

Nilo D’Avila, campaigns director at Greenpeace Brazil, told the Guardian that the RAISG map confirmed his own research showing garimpo—or artisanal mining for gold and other minerals in Amazon forests and riversis increasing.

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“There is a garimpo epidemic in Brazil,” he said. “We are talking about impact on biodiversity and forests, we are talking about the use of mercury, we are talking about stealing riches from indigenous people and from Brazil.”

The illegal La Pampa gold mine, seen here in 2017, has devastated the Peruvian Amazon and spread poisonous mercury. Planet Labs

One of the affected most affected by mining is Yanomami territory, which extends between Brazil and Venezuela. It contained 55 illegal mining sites in protected areas, the map showed.

The map was released just weeks before Brazil’s president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, takes office next month. Environmental groups have raised concerns about what his presidency could mean for the future of the Amazon, as Bolsonaro has promised to open more of the rainforest to development.

“Illegal mining is a serious threat to the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous peoples who call it home,” Moira Birss, spokeswoman for Amazon Watch told Reuters.

“This report provides important new data and clearly demonstrates the scope of the problem, and as such is a call to action to regional governments and the companies that purchase the illegally-mined minerals to take bold, concrete action to stop the destruction.”

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Like Waking Times on Facebook. Follow Waking Times on Twitter. Unprecedented New Map Unveils Illegal Mining Destroying Amazon was last modified: December 12th, 2018 by WakingTimes

John W. Whitehead, Rutherford
Waking Times

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”—Thomas Jefferson

We are approaching critical mass, the point at which all hell breaks loose.

The government is pushing us ever closer to a constitutional crisis.

What makes the outlook so much bleaker is the utter ignorance of the American people—and those who represent them—about their freedoms, history, and how the government is supposed to operate.

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As Morris Berman points out in his book Dark Ages America, “70 percent of American adults cannot name their senators or congressmen; more than half don’t know the actual number of senators, and nearly a quarter cannot name a single right guaranteed by the First Amendment. Sixty-three percent cannot name the three branches of government. Other studies reveal that uninformed or undecided voters often vote for the candidate whose name and packaging (e.g., logo) are the most powerful; color is apparently a major factor in their decision.”

More than government corruption and ineptitude, police brutality, terrorism, gun violence, drugs, illegal immigration or any other so-called “danger” that threatens our nation, civic illiteracy may be what finally pushes us over the edge.

As Thomas Jefferson warned, no nation can be both ignorant and free.

Unfortunately, the American people have existed in a technology-laden, entertainment-fueled, perpetual state of cluelessness for so long that civic illiteracy has become the new normal for the citizenry.

It’s telling that Americans were more able to identify Michael Jackson as the composer of a number of songs than to know that the Bill of Rights was the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

In fact, most immigrants who aspire to become citizens know more about national civics than native-born Americans. Surveys indicate that half of native-born Americans couldn’t correctly answer 70% of the civics questions on the U.S. Citizenship test.

Not even the government bureaucrats who are supposed to represent us know much about civics, American history and geography, or the Constitution although they take an oath to uphold, support and defend the Constitution against “enemies foreign and domestic.”

For instance, a couple attempting to get a marriage license was recently forced to prove to a government official that New Mexico is, in fact, one of the 50 states and not a foreign country.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Here’s a classic example of how surreal the landscape has become.

Just in time for Bill of Rights Day on December 15, President Trump issued a proclamation affirming the importance of the Bill of Rights in guarding against government abuses of power.

“The Founding Fathers understood the real threat government can pose to the rights of the people… That is why those first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, among others, protected the right to speak freely, the right to freely worship, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and the right to due process of law. As a part of the Constitution, the supreme law of the land, the Bill of Rights has protected our rights effectively against the abuse of government power for 227 years… Since there will always be a temptation for government to abuse its power, we reaffirm our commitment to defend the Bill of Rights and uphold the Constitution.”

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Don’t believe it for a second.

The government doesn’t want its abuses checked and it certainly doesn’t want its powers restricted.

For that matter, this is not a president who holds the Constitution in high esteem.

After all, Trump routinely rails against the rights enshrined in the first ten amendments to the Constitutiondecrying the free speech rights of protesters, denouncing the media (which enjoys freedom of the press) as the enemy of the people, supporting government efforts to seize private property through asset forfeiture and eminent domain, refusing to denounce the use of internment camps to detain American citizens, sneering at due process, and encouraging police officers to use excessive force against suspects.

As law professor Garrett Epps notes:

Donald Trump ran on a platform of relentless, thoroughgoing rejection of the Constitution itself, and its underlying principle of democratic self-government and individual rights. True, he never endorsed quartering of troops in private homes in time of peace, but aside from that there is hardly a provision of the Bill of Rights or later amendments he did not explicitly promise to override, from First Amendment freedom of the press and of religion to Fourth Amendment freedom from ‘unreasonable searches and seizures’ to Sixth Amendment right to counsel to Fourteenth Amendment birthright citizenship and Equal Protection and Fifteenth Amendment voting rights.”

To be fair, it’s not all Trump’s fault.

Indeed, we wouldn’t be in this sorry state if it weren’t for Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush and the damage their administrations inflicted on the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights, which historically served as the bulwark from government abuse.

In the so-called named of national security, since 9/11, the Constitution has been steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded to such an extent that what we are left with is but a shadow of the robust document adopted more than two centuries ago.

The Bill of Rights—462 words that represent the most potent and powerful rights ever guaranteed to a group of people officially—became part of the U.S. Constitution on December 15, 1791, because early Americans such as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson understood the need to guard against the government’s inclination to abuse its power.

Yet the reality we must come to terms with is that in the America we live in today, the government does whatever it wants.

Make no mistake: if our individual freedoms have been restricted, it is only so that the government’s powers could be expanded at our expense.

The USA Patriot Act, passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, drove a stake through the heart of the Bill of Rights, violating at least six of the ten original amendments—the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Amendments—and possibly the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well. The Patriot Act also redefined terrorism so broadly that many non-terrorist political activities such as protest marches, demonstrations and civil disobedience were considered potential terrorist acts, thereby rendering anyone desiring to engage in protected First Amendment expressive activities as suspects of the surveillance state.

Since 9/11, we’ve been spied on by surveillance cameras, eavesdropped on by government agents, had our belongings searched, our phones tapped, our mail opened, our email monitored, our opinions questioned, our purchases scrutinized (under the USA Patriot Act, banks are required to analyze your transactions for any patterns that raise suspicion and to see if you are connected to any objectionable people), and our activities watched.

We’ve also been subjected to invasive patdowns and whole-body scans of our persons and seizures of our electronic devices in the nation’s airports and at border crossings. We can’t even purchase certain cold medicine at the pharmacy anymore without it being reported to the government and our names being placed on a watch list.

Government surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, eminent domain, overcriminalization, armed surveillance drones, whole body scanners, stop and frisk searches (all sanctioned by Congress, the White House, the courts and the like), etc.: these are merely the weapons of the police state.

The power of the police state is dependent on a populace that meekly obeys without question.

Remember: when it comes to the staggering loss of civil liberties, the Constitution hasn’t changed. Rather, it is the American people who have changed.

Those who gave us the Constitution and the Bill of Rights believed that the government exists at the behest of its citizens. The government’s purpose is to protect, defend and even enhance our freedoms, not violate them.

It was no idle happenstance that the Constitution opens with these three powerful words: “We the people.” Those who founded this country knew quite well that every citizen must remain vigilant or freedom would be lost. As Thomas Paine recognized, “It is the responsibility of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”

You have no rights unless you exercise them.

Still, you can’t exercise your rights unless you know what those rights are.

“If Americans do not understand the Constitution and the institutions and processes through which we are governed, we cannot rationally evaluate important legislation and the efforts of our elected officials, nor can we preserve the national unity necessary to meaningfully confront the multiple problems we face today,” warns the Brennan Center in its Civic Literacy Report Card. “Rather, every act of government will be measured only by its individual value or cost, without concern for its larger impact. More and more we will ‘want what we want, and [will be] convinced that the system that is stopping us is wrong, flawed, broken or outmoded.’”

Education precedes action.

As the Brennan Center concludes “America, unlike most of the world’s nations, is not a country defined by blood or belief. America is an idea, or a set of ideas, about freedom and opportunity. It is these ideas that bind us together as Americans and have kept us free, strong, and prosperous. But these ideas do not perpetuate themselves. They must be taught and learned anew with each generation.”

There is a movement underway to require that all public-school students pass the civics portion of the U.S. naturalization test100 basic facts about U.S. history and civics—before receiving their high-school diploma, and that’s a start.

Mind you, it’s only the first of many steps.

If there is to be any hope for restoring our freedoms and reclaiming our runaway government, we will have to start by breathing life into those three powerful words that set the tone for everything that follows in the Constitution: “we the people.”

People get the government they deserve.

As David Fouse writes for National Review, “A government by the people, for the people, and of the people is only as wise, as just, and as free as the people themselves.

It’s up to us.

We have the power to make and break the government.

We the American people—the citizenry—are the arbiters and ultimate guardians of America’s welfare, defense, liberty, laws and prosperity.

It’s time to stop waiting patiently for change to happen. Do more than grouse and complain.

We must act—and act responsibly.

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Get outraged, get off your duff and get out of your house, get in the streets, get in people’s faces, get down to your local city council, get over to your local school board, get your thoughts down on paper, get your objections plastered on protest signs, get your neighbors, friends and family to join their voices to yours, get your representatives to pay attention to your grievances, get your kids to know their rights, get your local police to march in lockstep with the Constitution, get your media to act as watchdogs for the people and not lapdogs for the corporate state, get your act together, and get your house in order.

In other words, get moving.

A healthy, representative government is hard work. It takes a citizenry that is informed about the issues, educated about how the government operates, and willing to make the sacrifices necessary to stay involved, whether that means forgoing Monday night football in order to attend a city council meeting or risking arrest by picketing in front of a politician’s office.

Don’t wait for things to get as bad as they are in France, where civil unrest over a government  proposal to raise taxes on gas has turned into violent clashes between protesters and the police.

Whatever you do, please don’t hinge your freedoms on politics.

No election will ever truly alleviate the suffering of the American people.

No matter which party controls Congress or the White House, the government as we have come to know it—corrupt, bloated and controlled by big-money corporations, lobbyists and special interest groups—remains largely unchanged. And “we the people”—overtaxed, overpoliced, overburdened by big government, underrepresented by those who should speak for us and blissfully ignorant of the prison walls closing in on us—continue to trudge along a path of misery.

Remember what Noam Chomsky had to say about politics? “It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars.

In other words, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we’re being sold a carefully crafted product by a monied elite who are masters in the art of making the public believe that they need exactly what is being sold to them, whether it’s the latest high-tech gadget, the hottest toy, or the most charismatic politician.

It’s just another Blue Pill, a manufactured reality conjured up by the matrix in order to keep the populace compliant and convinced that their vote counts and that they still have some influence over the political process.

Don’t buy any of it.

The Constitution is neutral when it comes to politics. What the Constitution is not neutral about, however, is the government’s duty to safeguard the rights of the citizenry.

“We the people” also have a duty that goes far beyond the act of voting: it’s our job to keep freedom alive using every nonviolent means available to us.

As Martin Luther King Jr. recognized in a speech delivered on December 5, 1955, just four days after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery city bus: “Democracy transformed from thin paper to thick action is the greatest form of government on earth.”

Know your rights. Exercise your rights. Defend your rights. If not, you will lose them.

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About the Author

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute, where this article (A Crisis in the Making: Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them) was originally published. He is the author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State and The Change Manifesto.

Like Waking Times on FacebookFollow Waking Times on Twitter. A Crisis in the Making: Know Your Rights or You Will Lose Them was last modified: December 12th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Rosanne Lindsay, Contributor
Waking Times

They say karma is a bitch. But that’s true only when you are.

Karma is the philosophy of What Goes Around Comes Around. And karma is created with each choice we make. An action for an action. In Hinduism and Buddhism, karma is defined as an action, work or deed.  It refers to the principle of causality where the intent and actions of an individual influences the future of that individual.

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The idea that past lives dictate current reality is a belief system that ties us to past lives in a negative feedback loop to repay past sins. We have to be leery of any belief system. This belief system also causes us to worry about the future consequences of our current actions. It is a dictate that mirrors the ideology of the Catholic Church that tells us to repent for our sins. It is a mindset that takes us out of our truth as co-creative beings.

Knowing who we really are is powerful. We co-create through our own energy just by being present. Everything is energy and energy flows as a waveform, as color waves, sound waves, thought waves, atomic waves, and love. Love is energy. We originate from love which comes from the Creator.

Everything is vibration. Just as an atom is mostly empty space – energy vibration – so are we. We may know the physics of energy, that is, energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can only change form. But we are here to recognize that we are eternal energy beings here to be of service to others.

Instant Karma

In this life, each of us makes choices that determine our personal reality. Together, with others, we co-create our collective reality. Individual reality ties to the greater reality since we are all connected through consciousness and to the Creator. We are individual sparks of the Creator Source that seeks knowledge to know itself.  No one is above another but we are tested to know what our unique truth is. The more that each of us can align body, mind, soul, and spirit, which comes through the heart, the closer we come to that truth.

Each of our actions or deeds, taken together, then amplifies the outcome for all of us.  If we are each focused in fear, we co-create a collective reality of fear. Fear breeds contempt, ignorance, and repression. It keeps whole nations stuck repeating cycles of repression. Just open a history book. That is the physics of karma.

We need take the word karma back and create a new narrative to create a new outcome. Karma is created in every choice we make. And we are the sum of our choices. What we choose to do now will bring us to a new reality that benefits everyone. If we choose it. But we have to know we have a choice. And that others don’t hold the keys. Other people’s opinions are none of your business.

This idea of “instant karma” is a tool in life’s toolkit that shows us that each of us alters our life experience by being fully aware of our choices and the consequences of those choices.  You can choose to see, feel, and act on life in the negative or the positive. And you will create more of the same. Based on your choice, you either see fear-based karma playing out as a judgement of your actions, or you see love-based karma playing out as a gift for your soul’s growth. There is no good or bad experience.  There is only experience. You reap what you sow. And these experiences continue as life lessons here in our Earth suits until the soul learns them and is ready to move on.

Are you ready to move on?

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Propaganda and Consent

The power to play out the life we choose is not outside of us, even though we have been conditioned to believe that it is. This comes through the systems of education, politics, medicine, religion, and the media, as propaganda, by authorities, who attempt to tell us who we are and then proceed to save us from ourselves.

President James Madison believed that individual citizens could not always be trusted to make decisions to control government and that the United States should set up a republic form of government so decisions could be made through representatives of the people. The intent and action of government sought to subordinate the people, and the people consented.

We all allow government to control our lives because we consent through our silence to what is happening around us. We consent through our own ignorance, by not understanding how man’s laws work and what they mean. We are not aware of how words are used against us and that the words “citizen” and “person” are legal terms that turn people via their given names into artificial persons, or nonhuman entities.

Related Legal Terms: JURIDICAL PERSONARTIFICIAL PERSONNATURAL PERSONFATUOUS PERSONKEY PERSONIN PERSONTHIRD PERSONREASONABLE PERSON,INTERESTED PERSONEXISTING PERSON

Ignorance is no excuse in the Age of Information.

In the world of allopathic medicine, if you become a psychiatric patient, a medical doctor makes your health decisions for you because you consent . You sign your body, your property, over to another. If you are a cancer patient, a judge can reject a family’s request to stop chemotherapy of a teen with cancer in remission. You are owned. By your consent, you become a slave. To the extent the legal and medical processes are flawed, we have all allowed it to continue to benefit the few at the expense of the many.

recent survey conducted by Reuters revealed that most Americans base their choices not on the soundness of any policy, but on whether or not it comes with the backing of their chosen political party. We consent to allow others to do the thinking for us. And that action, or inaction, gets woven into our karma to become sovereign beings or slaves. These are not only physical contracts, but to a large extent, they are also soul contracts, because we are more than the physical. We are metaphysical.

Owning Your Karma

The moment we choose to listen to our intuition, that inner calling or gut feeling, and take action, that is the moment we undo history and change our personal realities. That is the moment we awaken to reclaim our power from those who have taken more than their fair share for too long.

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The fact that we now see overt power grabs of our individual freedoms reflects an awakening of human consciousness on a mass scale. Although power grabs have been happening since pre-biblical times, the tables have turned, and those in power are seeing their karma return to them much like what happened when a trophy hunter was trampled to death by the young bull elephant he was hunting for his tusks. Based on your intentions and interactions with others, you make your story happen.

Try the Karma Cleanse:

  1. Be grateful
  2. Act with love
  3. Check your motives
  4. Watch your attitude
  5. Forgive

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About the Author

Rosanne Lindsay is a Naturopathic doctor and Tribal healer under the Turtle Island Provider Network. She is a writer, Earth keeper, Health Freedom advocate, co-founder of Wisconsin For Vaccine Choice, and author of the books The Nature of Healing, Heal the Body, Heal the Planet.and  Free Your Voice, Heal Your Thyroid, Reverse Thyroid Disease Naturally. Find her on Facebook at Rosanne Lindsay and Natureofhealing. Consult with her (Skype or Zoom consults available) at natureofhealing.org. Subscribe to her blog at http://www.natureofhealing.org/blog/.

Like Waking Times on FacebookFollow Waking Times on Twitter. The Physics of Karma You Never Learned in School was last modified: December 12th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Vic Bishop, Staff Writer
Waking Times

“…the time has come to awaken from this nightmare of our own making and remember the truth about ourselves.” ~Graham Hancock

Such chaotic and divisive times these are. Corruption, stress and strife are chipping away at our happiness, clouding our purpose, and keeping us from re-connecting to what it means to be part of the human family.

But there is a messenger of truth in this world, found in the Amazonian shamanic plant medicine ayahuasca. It has a unique way of challenging those who have the courage to look deep within and attempt reconcile the real you with the person whom you pretend to be. In this is the power to transform into your greatest self, and when the individual awakens and transforms, then we can have hope for the world.

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Author and researcher Graham Hancock has been a leader in the global movement to expand consciousness, and after taking a three year break from drinking ayahuasca due to unrelated health concerns, he recently returned to ceremony, leaving us with a hopeful note about the condition of the human race on planet earth.

Here he reflects on the incredible transformative power of ayahuasca, pointing out that it has the profound capacity to remind us of who we really are.

A Message to Humanity

From Graham Hancock’s blog, December 1st, 2018:

I have witnessed the almost miraculous effects that Ayahuasca has had on many members of our group during this week. There have been such profound realisations, such life-changing and life-affirming experiences, such beauty, such joy and such love. It is as though my closest family has suddenly expanded to encompass this wonderful new soul family that I have been integrated with through the enchantment of the brew and the magic of the ceremonies. There are people here from many different walks of life and from many different nations and ethnicities and what we have all found is the common ground that unites us.

 

Would it could be so, always, for the entire human family! There is so much division in the world today, so much hatred, so much fear, so much suspicion and so much greed that our species seems close to tearing itself apart and rendering the Earth uninhabitable in the process.

 

What fools we are to allow such a state of affairs to persist, and to allow politicians and religious mis-leaders – for their own short-term gain — to divide us from one another in order to rule us.

 

Brothers and sisters, wherever we are, no matter on which land or under which political or religious system chance brought us to be born, the time has come to awaken from this nightmare of our own making and remember the truth about ourselves — that we are all members of one family, no matter how widely scattered, that none of us have the slightest justification to claim superiority over any other, and that we all share the same hopes, fears, courage, fragility and capacity for love.

 

United we stand. It is just plain madness to continue to allow ourselves to be divided and defined by the artificial barriers of nation, race or creed. We must remember our common humanity, remember that we are one family, and put that realisation first before all other considerations if our species is to survive the challenges of the coming years and return once again to being good stewards of this precious garden of a planet.

Read more articles by Vic Bishop.

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About the Author

Vic Bishop is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.

This article (Graham Hancock Recently Drank Ayahuasca and Returned with This Important Message for Humanity) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Vic Bishop and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio and internal links. 

Like Waking Times on FacebookFollow Waking Times on Twitter. Graham Hancock Recently Drank Ayahuasca and Returned with this Important Message for Humanity was last modified: December 11th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Gary Z McGee, Staff Writer
Waking Times

“We should go and proclaim without cease and remind people at every step of what we are: that our capacity for self-delusion has no limits and that anybody who believes anything is mistaken.” ~Czesla Milosz

Authentic growth requires conflict. Your precious beliefs must come up against a question mark as sharp as Occam’s Razor, or you will inadvertently fall into a prison of intellectual and spiritual stagnation.

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Allow the razor-sharp question-mark to slice and dice its way through the beliefs you cling to for dear life. Allow it to shed the superfluous-certainty away from the juicy-uncertainty of what you believe to be true. The alternative is remaining stuck in fixed and rigid thinking. The alternative is being buried in all the bullshit.

Why is it all bullshit? Simply because we live in a meaningless universe. Now, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t create our own meaning despite this fact, it just means that despite whatever meaning we manage to create, we will still always be living in a meaningless universe. No matter the created meaning, that meaning will always be “bullshit” (some things less bullshit than other things, of course) in the grand scheme of things. And that’s okay. It must be okay if we are to get out of our own way as a species and progressively evolve in a healthy way. We just have to keep it in perspective that it’s all bullshit to some degree or other.

But don’t take my word for it. Do your own research. Be imaginative. Do your own deep questioning. Find your own epistemological crisis. Discover your own reason to use Occam’s Razor.

I’d lend you McGee’s Guillotine but I’m using it to write Self-inflicted Philosophy. So far, I’m only certain about the last sentence of the thousand-page treatise on the human condition. And it’s this: Then again, I could be full of shit.

Question your delusions:

“The human mind is a delusion generator, not a window to truth. The best any human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day.” ~Scott Adams

We’re all delusional to some degree or another. But some people are more delusional than others. Those who are more delusional tend to get caught up in their delusions. They tend to codependently cling to them and become rigidly dogmatic.

But some people are less delusional than others. They are the ones who make a point of questioning their own delusions first and the delusions of others second. They are strategically skeptical and openminded, using logic, reasoning, and the law of probability like scalpels on the confused psychology of the human condition.

As far as allowing the journey to be the thing, the difference between questioning rather than clinging to one’s delusions is vital.

Don’t be a clinger. Be a questioner. Be curious about the human condition. Have a sense of humor about it. Keep your question-mark sharp and ready to cut through any amount of bullshit that comes at you. Especially your own.

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Cull the cult of positivity:

“These mountains that you’re carrying, you were only supposed to climb.” ~Najwa Zebian

Happiness is overrated. “Good vibes only” is just plain laziness. Get out from underneath the burden of needing to be happy and positive all the time. That’s too much weight to be carrying around. Take it easy on yourself. Stop being so damn serious all the time. Especially about happiness, positivity, and love. You’re not perfect and you never will be.

Your “love & light” could use a little “tough love & darkness.” Forcing yourself to be positive and happy all the time is just an ego trap set up by the scared-shitless part of you that doesn’t want to face the shittyness of life. It’s a strategic safezone propped up by your cowardice and weakness.

Stop sugarcoating your bullshit. Stop demonizing sadness. You cannot be happy all the time. Happiness, like sadness, is a passing storm across the sky of the Self. Some storms are refreshing and invigorating, like happiness. Some are painful and rough, like sadness. Both can be overwhelming. And both are merely information. They just happen to be information that you “feel.”

As far as information goes, pain and sadness will teach you more than comfort and happiness ever will. Use that information to make yourself healthier, and happiness will become a convenient biproduct of your self-improvement. The best you can do is hope for the best and be prepared for the worst. And nothing prepares you for the worst better than the vital information gleaned from pain and sadness.

Transform your “triggers” into curiosity:

“When an honest man realizes that he is mistaken, he will either cease being mistaken or cease being honest.” ~Unknown

Are you a precious little snowflake who gets triggered all the time (perhaps even the word “snowflake” triggers you)? Perhaps shock value art triggers you? Perhaps satire triggers you? Perhaps anything “the other side” says triggers you?

Transform your triggers into curiosity. Ask yourself: why do I feel so emotional about this petty little thing in the grand scheme of things? Is it merely a knee-jerk reaction due to my cultural conditioning, political bias, or religious brainwashing? Am I experiencing cognitive dissonance, or any number of other psychological fallacies? Am I reacting out of fear, cowardice, ignorance? Have I lost perspective that it’s all bullshit, especially my own beliefs? Am I capable of being brutally honest with myself?

Dig deep. Be playful about it. Have a sense of humor. Being curious about something, rather than just triggered by it, is always more rewarding. You will always gain more from a curious experience over a triggered one.

It’s a kind of emotional alchemy. Feel the trigger, honor it, let it fill you with petty anger and misguided rage, and then turn the tables on it by becoming curious about why it makes you feel so raw. Feel triggered, just act with curiosity. You may discover something about yourself that being triggered alone would never have revealed.

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Don’t take it personal, make it motivational:

“Never relinquish your ability to doubt, reflect, and consider other options –your rationality as an individual is your only protection against the madness that can overcome a group.” ~Robert Greene

Do you have the tendency to take yourself or your beliefs too seriously? Do you cling to the precious bullshit of your beliefs so tightly that you feel injured at the slightest bit of pushback from other more questioning, nondogmatic, outside-the-box thinkers?

Get over yourself. Full stop! Get out of your own way. Let go of your ego’s attachment to your beliefs. Your current belief system is a rickety bridge built on quicksand at best. It’s stopgap pretense at worst.

But, and here’s the rub: that’s okay! Have a laugh at yourself. It’s okay to admit that you don’t have it figured out and neither did the fallible humans who came before you and created the flimsy structure of your belief.

Nobody has anything figured out. We are all fumbling, stumbling, fallible, imperfect beasts with big brains vainly attempting to pigeonhole our beliefs into untenable boxes that we lord over each other with ignorant terms such as “sacrilege” and “Satan” and “my god is the one true god.”

Bullshit!

The key to staying ahead of the curve when it comes to bullshit (whether it’s yours or someone else’s) is to realize, deep down—balls to bones, ovaries to marrow—that nobody has anything solid figured out about the universe and the way it works. No religion, ideology, philosophy, or politics has the answer. It’s all questionable. It’s all precarious.

Question it all. Don’t take it personally. Make it motivational instead by daring yourself to question things to the nth degree. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Self-improve instead. Keep your bullshit and the bullshit of others in perspective by constantly reminding yourself that nobody (no matter how “enlightened”) and no ideology (no matter how “sacred”) will ever have the answers. Realize that the only “answer” is to question all answers (including this one, ad infinitum).

Read more articles by Gary ‘Z’ McGee.

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About the Author

Gary ‘Z’ McGeea former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.

This article (It’s All Bullshit – But Knowing it Sets You Free) was originally created for The Mind Unleashed and is published here with permission. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution and author bio.

Like Waking Times on FacebookFollow Waking Times on Twitter. It’s All Bullshit – But Knowing it Sets You Free was last modified: December 11th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Caitlin Johnstone, Contributor
Waking Times

Why do mainstream media reporters within ostensibly free democracies act just like state media propagandists? Why are they so reliably pro-establishment, all throughout every mainstream outlet? Why do they so consistently marginalize any idea that doesn’t fit within the extremely narrow Overton window of acceptable opinion?Why does anyone who inconveniences western establishment power always find themselves on the losing end of a trial by media? Why are they so dependably adversarial toward anything that could be perceived as a flaw in any nation outside the US-centralized power alliance, and so dependably forgiving of the flaws of the nations within it?

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The way I see it there are only two possible explanations for the unanimous consensus in mass media on these issues:

Explanation 1: The consensus exists because the mass media reporters are all telling the truth all the time.

OR

Explanation 2: The consensus exists because there is some kind of system in place which keeps all mass media reporters lying to us and painting a false picture about what’s going on in the world.

Those are the only two possibilities, and only one can be true, since any mixture of the two would result in the loss of consensus.

Most mainstream westerners harbor an unquestioned assumption that Explanation 1 is the only possibility. The things they see on CNN, the BBC and the ABC are all accurate descriptions of what’s really going on in the world, and the consensus in their descriptions exists because they’re all describing the same objective reality.

But what would that mean exactly? Well, for starters if the mainstream media reporters are telling us the truth all the time it would mean that the same power institutions which slaughtered millions in Vietnam and Iraq for no good reason are actually virtuous and honest. It would mean the positive, uncritical picture that is consistently painted of those same institutions which wage nonstop campaigns of bloodshed and oppression to ensure the profit of economic manipulators and war profiteers is due to those institutions possessing merits which are overall so positive that no criticism of them is needed. It would mean that the status quo of climate destruction, steadily growing wealth inequality, an increasingly Orwellian surveillance system, an increasingly militarized police force, increasing internet censorship, and crushing neoliberal austerity measures are all things people voted for using the excellent democratic political system the mainstream media defends, based on the accurate information the mainstream media gave them about what’s in their best interests.

Explanation 1 sounds improbable in that light. We know that the system is spectacularly screwed up, and we know that the political establishment which these mainstream outlets always defend does unforgivably evil things, so we should expect to see a lot more critical reporting and a lot less protecting of the status quo. But we don’t. We see war crimes ignored, oppression justified, the two-headed one-party system normalized, dissident narratives smeared as fake news conspiracy theories, and unproven assertions by government agencies with a known history of lying reported as unquestionable fact.

But that leaves only Explanation 2. How could that be right?

This part of a 1996 interview between Noam Chomsky and the BBC’s Andrew Marr describes a foundational element of Explanation 2: that there is a system in place which ensures that all the reporters in positions of influence are there not to report factually on the news of the day, but to sell a particular narrative that is friendly to the state and the status quo.  Chomsky describes a “filtering system” which ensures that only those loyal to power rise to the top within the plutocrat-owned media, to which Marr objects and insists that his peers are brave truth-tellers who hold power to account. Subsequently, the following exchange takes place:

Chomsky: Well, I know some of the best, and best known investigative reporters in the United States, I won’t mention names, whose attitude towards the media is much more cynical than mine. In fact, they regard the media as a sham. And they know, and they consciously talk about how they try to play it like a violin. If they see a little opening, they’ll try to squeeze something in that ordinarily wouldn’t make it through. And it’s perfectly true that the majority – I’m sure you’re speaking for the majority of journalists who are trained, have it driven into their heads, that this is a crusading profession, adversarial, we stand up against power. A very self-serving view. On the other hand, in my opinion, I hate to make a value judgement but, the better journalists and in fact the ones who are often regarded as the best journalists have quite a different picture. And I think a very realistic one.

 

Marr: How can you know that I’m self-censoring? How can you know that journalists are..

 

Chomsky: I’m not saying your self censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.

“If you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”

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It is an obvious fact that mainstream media outlets are owned by the extremely wealthy, as has been the case for a very long time. Owning media is in and of itself a profitable investment, “like having a license to print your own money” as Canadian television magnate Roy Thomson once put it. So when it comes to the news media outlets which form people’s perceptions of the world, what incentive would a powerful plutocrat have to platform anti-establishment voices on those outlets and help sow ideas which upset the status quo upon which said plutocrat has built his empire? It certainly wouldn’t make him any more money, and if anti-establishment ideas like socialism, anarchism, non-interventionism or skepticism of government agencies gained popular footing in public consciousness, it could upset the foundation of the plutocrat’s dynasty and cause him to lose everything.

Plutocrats have put a lot of energy into influencing government policy in order to create legislation which ensures the continued growth of their wealth and power. A whole lot of maneuvering has had to happen over the course of many years to create a political system wherein government bribery is legal in the form of campaign finance and corporate lobbying, wherein deregulation of corporations is the norm, wherein tax loopholes are abundant and tax burdens are shifted to the middle class, wherein money hemorrhages upward to the wealthiest of the wealthy while ordinary people grow poorer and poorer. What incentive would these powerful oligarchs have to risk upsetting that delicate balancing act by helping to circulate ideas which challenge the very governmental system they’ve worked so hard to manipulate to their extreme advantage? And how many incentives would they have to keep everyone supporting the status quo?

How hard would it be to simply decline to give anti-establishment voices a platform, and platform establishment loyalists instead? How easy would it be for a wealthy media owner or influential investor to ensure that only establishment loyalists are given the job of hiring and promoting editors and reporters in a mainstream media outlet?

If you’ve ever wondered what motivates all those blue-checkmarked corporate media journalists to spend so much time on Twitter defending the powerful and attacking the disempowered, this is your answer. They spend their own free time smearing Jill Stein, calling Jeremy Corbyn an antisemite, attacking Julian Assange, supporting longtime neoconservative war agendas against Russia, Syria and Iran and uncritically reporting intelligence agency assertions as fact not because there’s a CIA officer hovering over their shoulder at all times telling them exactly what to tweet, but because they’re auditioning for a job. They’re creating a public record of their establishment loyalism which current and future employers will look at when weighing hiring and promotion decisions, which is why both journalism schools and journalism employers now encourage journalists to cultivate a social media presence to “build their brand”, i.e. their public resume.

So it’s very easy to fill mass media jobs with minds which are not predisposed toward rocking the boat. A pro-establishment consensus is artificially built, and now you’ve got an environment where someone who stands up and says “Uh, hey, so we still haven’t seen any actual hard evidence that Russia interfered in the US election in any meaningful way” or whatever is instantly greeted by a wall of shunning and shaming (observe Aaron Maté‘s interactions with other journalists on social media for a good example of this), which can be psychologically difficult to deal with. 

Anyone who’s ever gone to high school can understand how powerful the social pressures to seek peer approval and fit in can be, and anyone who’s ever worked a normal job anywhere can understand the natural incentives that are in place to behave in a way that is pleasing to one’s bosses. In any job with any kind of hierarchy, you quickly learn the written rules, and you pay close attention to social cues to learn the unwritten ones as well. You do this in order to learn how to avoid getting in trouble and how to win the approval of your superiors, to learn which sorts of behaviors can lead to raises and promotions, and which behaviors will lead to a career dead-end. You learn what will earn you a pat on the back from a leader, which can be extremely egoically gratifying and incentivizing in and of itself.

It works exactly the same way in news media. Reporters might not always be consciously aware of all the pro-establishment guidelines they’re expected to follow in order to advance their careers, but they know how the reporters who’ve ascended to the top of the media ladder conduct themselves, and they see how the journalists who win the accolades behave. With the help of editors and peers you quickly learn where all the third rails and sacred cows are, and when to shut your mouth about the elephant in the room. And for those rare times that all these filtration devices fail to adequately filter out dissident ideas, you see the example that gets made of those few who slip between the cracks, like CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill for his defense of Palestinian human rights or Phil Donahue for his opposition to the Iraq invasion.

So plutocrats own the mass media and platform status quo-friendly voices, which creates an environment full of peer pressure to conform and workplace pressure to advance establishment-friendly narratives. Add to this the phenomenon of access journalism, wherein journalists are incentivized to cozy up to power and pitch softball questions to officials in order to gain access to them, and things get even more slanted. It’s easy to understand how all this can create an environment of consensus which has nothing to do with facts or reality, but rather with what narratives favor the US-centralized empire and the plutocrats who control it. But all those dynamics aren’t the only factors going into making sure a consensus worldview is maintained. Remember that hypothetical CIA officer I mentioned earlier who isn’t actively leaning over every journalist’s shoulder and dictating what they tweet? Well, just because he’s not dictating every word produced by the mass media machine doesn’t mean he’s not involved.

Secretive and unaccountable government agencies have an extensive and well-documented record of involving themselves with news media outlets. It is a known and undisputed fact that the Central Intelligence Agency has been intimately involved in America’s news media since the 1950s, and it remains so to this day. In 2014 it was a scandal when reporter Ken Dilanian was caught collaborating with the CIA in his publications, but now veterans of the US intelligence community like John Brennan and James Clapper openly fill out the line-up of talking heads on MSNBC and CNN. Just recently the Guardian published a lie-filled smear piece on Julian Assange which was almost certainly the result of the outlet’s collaboration with one or more intelligence and/or defense agencies, and when that article caused an outcry it was defended as the likely result of Russian disinformation in an evidence-free article by a CIA veteran who was permitted to publish anonymously in Politico. The Washington Post is solely owned by Jeff Bezos, who is a CIA contractor, and who we may be certain did not purchase the Post under the illusion that newspapers were about to make a lucrative comeback. Secretive government agencies are deeply involved in the workings of western news media, in many ways we know about, and in far more ways we don’t know about.

Taking all of these factors into consideration and revisiting Explanation 1 and Explanation 2 from the beginning of this article, it should be obvious to you that the most logical explanation for the uniform consensus of support for pro-establishment narratives in the mass media exists because there is indeed a system in place which keeps all mass media reporters lying to us and painting a false picture about what’s going on in the world.

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This doesn’t mean that these news media outlets lie about everything all the time, it means they mostly provide half-truths, distortions and lies by omission whenever it benefits the agendas of the powerful, which is functionally the same as lying all the time. I sometimes get people telling me “Caitlin! The MSM lies all the time, and they say global warming is real! That means it’s false!” But it doesn’t work that way; if the TV tells you a celebrity has died then it’s probably true, and if they say it’s about to rain you should probably roll up your car windows. If they lied about everything all the time they would instantly lose all credibility, and their ability to propagandize effectively would be lost. Instead, they advance evidence-free narratives asserted by opaque government agencies, they avoid highlighting inconvenient truths, they ignore third parties and dissident ideas except to dismiss them, they harshly criticize the misdeeds of governments which oppose the US-centralized empire while sweeping the misdeeds of imperial members under the rug, and when there’s an opportunity to sabotage peace or support war, they seize it. They distort only when they have to, and only as much as they need to.

In this way the powerful have succeeded in controlling the people’s narratives about what’s happening in their country and their world. This is the system of narrative manipulation we are up against when we try to sow dissident ideas into public consciousness, and as the old adage goes, it is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.

And yet we are gaining ground. The manipulators have been losing control of the narrative, which is why the mass media have been acting so weird and desperate since 2016. The unelected power establishment failed to manufacture support for its would-be Syria invasion, it failed to get the public to buy into the Russia hysteria, trust in the mass media is at an all-time low, and it’s continuing to plummet. More and more people are waking up to the fact that they are being lied to, which is good, because the only thing keeping them from pushing for real change is the fact that there are all these screens in everyone’s lives telling them that real change isn’t needed.

The liars are against the ropes, and they’re starting to look winded. A populist information revolution is looking more winnable than ever.

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About the Author

Caitlin Johnstone – Rogue journalist. Bogan socialist. Anarcho-psychonaut. Guerrilla poet. Utopia prepper.

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list for her website, which will get you an email notification for everything. Her articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast, throwing some money into her hat on Patreon or Paypal, or buying her book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

**This article (How Plutocratic Media Keeps their Staff Aligned with Establishment Agendas) was originally featured at CaitlinJohnstone.com and is reposted here with permission. 

Like Waking Times on FacebookFollow Waking Times on Twitter. How Plutocratic Media Keeps their Staff Aligned with Establishment Agendas was last modified: December 11th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Julian Rose, Contributor
Waking Times

One must go back further than religion. That is the starting point of the great reassessment we undertake in freeing ourselves from the burden of false knowledge. Freeing ourselves from unquestioned assumptions of truth. We need to get back to the roots of mankind, and in so doing, re-establish a direct and reciprocal relationship with nature and the universe, of which we are a part.

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Religion is a man-made and once removed interpretation of the life force – and a false one at that. Whereas the life force (nature and the universe) works directly through man. There is no place for a ‘middle man’ to censor our experiences.

Religion placed an invisible wall between man and nature and between man and God, setting conditions for ‘orderly behaviour’ according to a doctrine of obedience. So now, as these walls crumble, we should stand proud in saying “Nature not religion.”  “Truth not dogma”.

But that is merely the first step in our journey of a thousand miles. As the scales fall from our eyes we do not only recognise the truth ‘nature not religion’, we also recognise God to have given birth to nature. We recognise nature as an expression of the Creator. So with nature as our base, our next step up is to strive to come ever closer to our Creator. To realise the God within us. These are the stepping-stones of our emancipation as human beings.

“We must go down to the very foundations of life. For any merely superficial ordering of life, that leaves its deepest needs unsatisfied, is as ineffectual as if no attempt at order had ever been made”. ~I Ching, The Well

In terms of historical time, that event which is called ‘pagan’ came before religion and is superior to it, in that it encompassed a direct response to nature. So the progression I favour, moves through pagan to the state of higher consciousness we call Godly – leaving out religion completely. Let there be no barriers to the free-flow of the energetic life force as it gathers momentum in a universal quest for divine expression.

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We humans are a vector for this divine energy. It is we who stand at the mid-point between the dawn of life on Earth and the supreme realisation of the potentiality contained within that dawn.

We are beings of pure movement and we are beings of pure stillness. We are a Divine Paradox. We juggle universality of spirit with red-blooded earthiness. Our drama unfolds as a journey through the myriad expressions of the eternal exigence we call Life.

Before religion, we were on our way in that expression of eternal exigence. After religion, we are once again on our way. But during religion we were trapped in a cul-de-sac of tantalising truths, authoritarian lies and dogma. How they clung to our skin. How they pasteurised our appetite. How they brought us to our knees. How they shamed our ecstasy. How they shackled our true God!

These chains are falling away now; you feel it don’t you? The links are rusting and disintegrating, even as the shoots of new life push upwards to embrace the call of the infinite.

Do not be afraid of your earthiness; fear not your free flying spirit. Rejoice in the downward pull of gravity; dance with the up-thrust of aspiration.

In our pagan days we saw and explored the beauty and power of nature; named gods after the forces that moved through water, plants, trees and seas. We performed rituals in honour of the changes of the seasons; decorated our bodies; wove colourful wreathes around our heads. We leaped with the flames of the fire and ran with the current of the wind. We meditated in quiet earnest; we danced in ecstasy.

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“Yes” I hear you say “Then we were just a few thousand on vast tracts of unspoiled land – look at the world today!”

Yes, I look, and what I see is the devastation brought about by our turning away from the life force that offered – and continues to offer – such bounty. I see deserts of sterility where once fecundity was dominant. I see division within humanity where once was community. I see fear where once was joy.

But thankfully, I do not only see these failings of the human race. I also see long dormant seeds reawakening once again. I see the Great Spirit of nature and the universe being rediscovered within more and more aspirants of something so much more uplifting than the standard working week. I see and feel the power of that which is ‘beyond religion’ seeping ever deeper into the cracks of a failed status quo. Rising, Phoenix like, out of the dying embers of the old order’s decaying dogma. Spreading outward, penetrating the darkness of unawareness; lifting the spirit and casting light on the outlines of the world to come.

For at the centre, within each one of us, is that eternal agitator for the realisation of all latent potential. The infinite spark of creation, itself forever urging us on. So if you should find yourself still vainly clutching at the apron strings of a worn-out dogma, release your hold. Experience yourself as that which was – Is – and always will be. That which soars way beyond the great deviation from truth that goes under the title ‘religion’.

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About the Author

Julian Rose is an early pioneer of UK organic farming, a writer, actor and international activist.

Julian Rose is an international activist who, in 1987 and 1998, led a campaign that saved unpasteurised milk from being banned in the UK; and a ‘Say No to GMO’ campaign in Poland which led to a national ban of GM seeds and plants in that country in 2006. Julian is currently campaigning to ‘Stop 5G’ WiFi. He is the author of two acclaimed titles: Changing Course for Life and In Defence of Life and is a long time exponent of yoga/meditation. See Julian’s web site for more information and to purchase his books www.julianrose.info

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Catherine J. Frompovich, Contributor
Waking Times

Scientifically, it’s been documented children continually are exhibiting lower IQs, aka the Flynn effect, decade after decade.

Jun 14, 2018 – IQ scores have been steadily falling for the past few decades for those born after 1975. [Paraphrased from 1]

Fluoride exposure in drinking water has been blamed, as have neurotoxic chemicals in vaccines. Both can be classified as epigenetic effects, not genetics!

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However, not much exposure has been given to a certain classification of agricultural pesticides known as Chlorpyrifos, first manufactured in 1965 by Dow Chemical Co., now known as DowDuPont after a 2017 merger with DuPont.

The chemical Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate pesticide that affects the nervous system of insects by inhibiting acetyl cholinesterase, a key enzyme for neurotransmission. It apparently can have similar effects in children’s brains, especially during gestation, i.e., pregnancy.

Question: Will the chlorpyrifos saga go the route of Monsanto’s Roundup® after Bayer merged with Monsanto, who apparently got a “pig in a poke” with all the thousands of lawsuits being filed against Roundup? That remains to be seen.

However, the following information should convince consumers to avoid chlorpyrifos-treated crops and opt for organically-grown food.

According to Earth Justice,

Chlorpyrifos is used on a wide variety of crops including apples, oranges, strawberries, corn, wheat, citrus and other foods families and their children eat daily.

 

In fact, over half of all apples and broccoli in the U.S. are sprayed with chlorpyrifos. USDA’s Pesticide Data Program found chlorpyrifos residue on citrus and melons even after being washed and peeled. By volume, chlorpyrifos is most used on corn and soybeans, with over a million pounds applied annually to each crop. [2] [CJF emphasis]

Other food crops include almonds, cotton [seed oil used in processed foods], grapes, broccoli, sugar beets, peaches and nectarines, according to the Organic Consumers Association[3]

Beyond Pesticides adds, “It is also commonly used for mosquito-borne disease control, and on golf courses.” [4] Additionally, Beyond Pesticides says, “[As] a neurological toxicant, chlorpyrifos damages the brains of young children: impacts of exposure, even at very low levels, include decreased cognitive function, lowered IQ, attention deficit disorder, and developmental and learning delays.” One more reason to purchase organically-grown baby food!

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“On Aug. 9, 2018, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that EPA must finalize its proposed ban on chlorpyrifos within 60 days, based on undisputed findings that the pesticide is unsafe for public health, and particularly harmful to children and farmworkers. “The Court ended EPA’s shameful actions that have exposed children and farmworkers to this poison for decades,” said Earthjustice attorney Marisa Ordonia. “Finally, our fields, fruits, and vegetables will be chlorpyrifos-free.” [2]

However, according to Organic Consumers Association,

The revelation comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is duking it out in the legal system over a court ruling that the agency finalize a ban on chlorpyrifos that was proposed under the Obama administration, but overturned after Trump took office. On September 24, the EPA—the agency charged with protecting us from environmental contaminants—asked the courts to re-hear the case. [Yuk!] [5]

Beyond Pesticides has an online pdf file Widely Used Pesticide in Food Production Damages Children’s Brains EPA science on chlorpyrifos ignored as agency reverses decision to stop insecticide’s agricultural use,” which I encourage consumers to study carefully with regard to the following:

Chlorpyrifos effects on children’s brain function Studies have documented that exposure to low levels of chlorpyrifos during pregnancy can impair learning, change brain function and alter thyroid levels of offspring into adulthood, especially in females. 1,2,3,4 [CJF emphasis]

  1. Haviland et al. 2009. Long-term sex selective hormonal and behavior alterations in mice exposed to low doses of chlorpyrifos in utero. Tox. 29(1):74–9.
  2. Abou-Donia MB, et al. 2006. In utero exposure to nicotine and chlorpyrifos alone, and in combination produces persistent sensorimotor deficits and Purkinje neuron loss in the cerebellum of adult offspring rats. Arch Toxicol.; 80(9):620–31.
  3. Abdel-Rahman A, et al. 2003. Increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein in cerebellum and hippocampus: differential effects on neonatal brain regional acetylcholinesterase following maternal exposure to combined chlorpyrifos and nicotine. J Toxicol Environ Health A.; 66(21):2047–66.
  4. Icenogle LM, et al. 2004. Behavioral alterations in adolescent and adult rats caused by a brief subtoxic exposure to chlorpyrifos during neurulation. Neurotoxicol Teratol; 26(1):95–101.

The Organic Consumers Association is encouraging everyone to TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to ban—now—this pesticide [Chlorpyrifos] that damages children’s brains.

As OCA says, “It’s high time for the EPA to stop stalling, and start protecting kids and farmworkers instead of chemical companies like Dow.”

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About the Author

Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.

Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.

Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.

Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process(2008)

References:

[1] https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/13/health/falling-iq-scores-study-intl/index.html
[2] https://earthjustice.org/features/what-you-need-to-know-about-chlorpyrifos
[3] https://www.organicconsumers.org/blog/did-dow-chemical-fake-safety-studies-brain-damaging-chlorpyrifos#close
[4] https://beyondpesticides.org/dailynewsblog/2018/12/california-criticized-for-adopting-inadequate-measures-to-restrict-the-highly-toxic-chlorpyrifos/
[5] OCA’s Organic Bytes email 12-8-18

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Julian Wash, Contributor
Waking Times

Today I would like to return to your awareness an aspect of the Human condition that adheres to the abstract nature of belief. Beliefs come in many shapes and sizes and yet all share something in common— they’re elusive and intangible.

Although we cannot “touch” a belief, it certainly has a way of touching us. Our belief modifies the way we think, how we act and feel. I take my tinfoil hat off to those who invented this system of social order so many moons ago. What a concept indeed. Imagine sitting around a stone-age conference table discussing this idea. I surely would have laughed it off. “You mean you can get people to accept something as truth even if it’s not real? C’mon man. I tell you what’s real— something called fire! Now that’s something you can believe in!”

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Oh my, how I would have missed the boat. Not only did the concept grow legs, it sprouted wings. Turns out everyone wants to believe in something. For one thing it’s kind of fun. What would Christmas be like without Santa Clause? For another it makes us feel special somehow. But how does one find truth in a belief? The answer is really quite simple. We pretend.

In the following paragraphs I’ll take a somewhat playful (if not cynical) look at some of the hermetically-sealed belief systems that dominate in our lives. There’s a circuitous path one must navigate that divides our place of knowing from a world of make-believe. This trail can get a little precarious and downright slippery at times. So let’s saddle up our loyal mustangs and see where they take us. These majestic creatures are sure-footed, certain and most graceful in their stride. More than that, I sense they may know something we have forgotten.
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Born to Run

This I can tell you about the mustang— they were born to run and we were born to ride. Where the trail ends, a new one begins and the sights and sounds are something to behold. The rider learns the way of the horse and the horse the way of the rider. It’s a relationship of balance and harmony. There’s a transfer of energy from one entity to another as our thoughts begin to roam free with wild abandon and the mustang gently restrains in courtesy of the saddle. On this journey, it’s not where you go— but where it takes you.

We are freedom-loving beings. You, me and the people we never meet or see because they live an ocean away. At the deepest level we are all free spirits. To this end we are not unlike the mustang. But I sense there’s a trifle few who would suggest we’re not deserving of this freedom. I believe they gain very much from the belief structures we submit to. And so we are encouraged to believe in those ideas and concepts that place cuffs on our hands and feet. We unlock our mind and hand another the key. Not because we’re foolish, but because we are trusting.

One may believe it is warm outside or that the words of another are true. But belief takes a giant leap forward when invested in an outside ideology or institution. These beliefs must be taught and learned. Can you see how someone might be stirred remotely by the belief system they follow? It’s here where we find the chasm between the spiritual and the believers. The spiritual mind seeks truth and spends many, many lonely nights pondering and wondering. It’s not enough for a lesson to be taught and handed to them— it must be felt at the very core of their being.

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External influences are everywhere. We’ve all been conditioned into “believing” that we’re just a tiny speck in the macrocosm. Okay, to them I say— try removing that “speck” and see what happens. You’ll find it leaves a hole in this macrocosm, a tear in the ethereal fabric of all that is and will ever be. The tear would surely be the center of attention for all to notice. There is nothing insignificant about that.

And we must “believe” freedom is not free, they say. That’s not what the mustang tells me. And we must “believe” in a fabricated religion or face consternation or eternal damnation. We must “believe” in our teachers and the concepts of higher education. Most of all, the belief-makers want us to believe in all things outside ourselves. That’s the true societal doctrine. We must believe that without our loyal adherence to those synthetic constructs that mold us, we are very small and insignificant. Indeed, join the Army and be part of something bigger than yourself— or so they will tell you. But I will tell you again and again— there is nothing “bigger” than the beautiful, singular you.

The Concept of Religion

The late rock legend John Lennon perhaps said it best. In his song aptly titled, “God” he states “God is a concept by which we measure our pain.” Exactly what was meant by this verse is of course a matter of interpretation. But referring to God as a “concept” is what I find particularly intriguing. Lennon goes on to mention many ideologies and icons he doesn’t “believe” in. Even The Beatles made the list. Near the end of the track he writes, “I just believe in me… and that reality.” These are profoundly insightful words from someone who clearly understood the illusions that blind and bind us. When we believe in something outside ourselves we subordinate to the authority of that belief. Somebody is in control of that belief system and it’s not you.

“So you see I have come to doubt all that I once held as true.” These are the powerful words of Paul Simon from “Kathy’s Song.” Simon goes on to say “I stand alone without beliefs— the only truth I know is you.” The songwriters of yesterday came to our poetic and philosophical rescue. Music was perhaps the last conduit for elevating the masses into a higher consciousness. We’ve since moved on to a different sound and a different message. It would seem the philosophy belongs to a bygone era of the children of World War II and the veterans of Vietnam. The music I hear today is often brooding and complex or unmercifully adolescent. It too provides a snapshot of where we are today, but offers little antidote or resolution. The new sound seems to concede to the idea that we’re already screwed. They might be right.

In the most fundamental sense, as long as we believe in an external authority then we knowingly or unknowingly yield to those who govern it. This gives power to an entity outside of you. As in the case of a religious structure, we find not only individual power but the collective power of millions. Why does this concern me? Do we trust the wisdom of those who command this power and influence? We know there is an ongoing concern about religious improprieties. Collusion with nefarious governments, horrendous inquisitions, child rape and murder and a whole host of other unspeakable atrocities should offer one some pause and reservation. Personally, I will have nothing to do with institutions that serve as agents for Divine intervention. If there is a devil— in such a house you would find him. My thoughts belong to me. I’ve not been assigned my way of thinking.

Education and Government

Institutionalized education teaches us how to be compliant. Do not think for a moment that there is any real purpose beyond this. I once had a grade school teacher candidly admit, “You’re all empty minds needing to be filled.” Yes there is rudimentary instruction that loosely qualifies as teaching. But the real goal is to indoctrinate and enforce submission and turn the populace into working bees. There are many gifted children who ultimately fall out of this system because they have issues with compliance. I have nothing but disdain for modern education. Those who ultimately earn an advanced degree will be well-seasoned and attuned to the conformity and compliance of this institution. These are the same people who are ultimately chosen to effect major policy changes in society.

To what extent should we believe? Devices such as propaganda have long been used by government to influence the masses. People “believe” in what they’re told because they have submitted to this external authority. This power is so persuasive it can encourage people to enlist in the armed services. They are told they’re the defenders of “freedom” and yet they must give up much of their own freedom in order to serve in this capacity.

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Dynamics of Belief

What I believe may not be what you believe and I am okay with that. In fact, I’m grateful for it. We are entitled to believe in what we want, but we should understand that beliefs are not the same as truth. Beliefs are malleable and can change over time. Truth is universal and will withstand the ages. The problem seems to be that many hold belief in the same light as truth. How did this happen?

Once surrendered to an external belief system, we’re honor-bound to serve it. In the simplest sense, that means if you call yourself a Mormon, then you must also say goodbye to coffee. That would surely spell my demise as I drink the stuff as if my life depended on it. So be it. My belief permits it. I abstain from meat— the Mormon does not. I would advise this ideology to not lecture me on matters of morality. If perhaps they are open to true enlightenment, I would suggest they close their book and open their mind. If they do, they will see how their structure is not unlike the others. Like all faiths, they preach peace and love as they march their children to war. There is such hypocrisy and deceit behind the velvet pulpits of shame.

Spirituality is also a belief system albeit a personal one. This means you’re the authority of it. You are not relinquishing your power to another. It does not suggest your belief is the right one or the only one. It does however suggest that you have found a belief that serves your needs—and that’s powerful indeed. You live with an inner-knowing and an inner-peace. You can separate yourself from the spectacle that surrounds you. From this vantage, all the rumblings of the world play out on stage. You may feel like one of the actors at times, but the spiritually aware are more attuned as observers. They may feel captivated and moved by the story, but they know it’s just a show.

Final Thought

My reality did not come pre-wrapped in a package with a pretty bow on it. I was not captured by a flowering sermon or summoned by a Bible-pumping preacher pimping fear. I fought long and hard for the truth and the philosophy I live by. I had to first unlearn what had been sewn into my young psyche at such an impressionable age. Not an easy task by any measure. I had to forgive and forget the Catholic teachings and extricate myself from the labyrinth that held me. I had feelings of guilt which were not unlike the pain of divorce. I learned to let go.

I believe in you and I believe in me. Much beyond that is a real reach in my world. What we call belief is merely a presumption, opinion or an understanding. On the other hand, the word “truth” suggests a state of knowing, a resonance in harmony at the very core of who and what we are. And yet we use these words freely and interchangeably.

Ah, alas, I see we’re back. There were a couple of slippery parts there— but your mustang held on and stayed true to course. When the rider bonds with their horse, there’s a synergy that benefits both. You really had nothing to fear as the path withered and narrowed into a new trail of your own making.

The moon is high now, the sage silvery and sweet, but the shadow from a Saguaro conjures the image of a wounded man. And I think to myself, if only he could see the light on the other side. If only.

-Until next time

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About the Author

There is a certain obscurity that follows Julian Wash. After all, any writer that starts off with “Dear Humans” might be a little hard to nail down. We sense he’s benevolent, a little crazy and we think rather enjoyable to read. Email: jwash@rattlereport.com

**This article was originally published at The Rattle Report.**

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Azriel ReShel, Uplift
Waking Times

Some years ago while staying at the ashram of the Indian saint, Ramana Maharshi, nestled at the foot of the forest covered mountain of Arunachala, I read the great sage’s sacred words, etched above a doorway: “Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try as you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to prevent it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.”

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His words are a key to karma and destiny. As someone who would try and make things happen, forcing outcomes and who struggled with surrender, these words were like magic. I have never forgotten them and I think reading this wisdom, while steeped in the stillness that the great saint’s presence has imprinted on the area he lived, helped the words to land deeply in my soul.

On a personal level, the words mean a lot to me as I can directly see how karma impacted the course of my life very early on. As a baby I was given up for adoption, and it’s always seemed to me that my life at that point was like a river with multiple tributaries branching out in different directions, depending on the lottery of which parents took me home with them. And really, it’s a bit like that for all of us. We are born into certain circumstances, cultures, places on earth, wealth or poverty, with specific genetics, talents and drawbacks. We don’t have any control over these circumstances… or do we?

Nothing raises more questions, or is more misunderstood than the notion of karma. Karma is a Vedic Science, with roots in India, and is a central teaching of many spiritual traditions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikkhism, Taoism and Jainism.

The wheel of karma is the idea that everything in our life takes place due to past actions and that present actions affect future lifetimes. Karma is linked to rebirth. Each and every action we take in life ripples out from us like a stone hitting the water. The ripples have untold effects on others, and will flow back to us at some point in the future. The fruit of our previous actions are like echoes, and they cannot be escaped. Karma is intricately linked to causality. Once you become conscious and access the higher stages of awakening and enlightenment,becoming no longer identified with the “self”, then you can step off the karmic wheel of life, that endless cycle of rebirth, and your personal karma goes.  This is the aim of spiritual practice.

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What is karma?

The principle of karma or “law of karma” is the notion that all of life is governed by a system of cause and effect, action and reaction, in which your deeds have corresponding effects on the future. Karma is a precise science.

It is a universal law, in the same way that gravity is a law of nature. If you jump off a skyscraper, you will very likely die, and if you harm someone, you will be hurt at some point. Science has discovered that everything in nature obeys laws. These natural laws are impartial and indiscriminate.

The law of karma states that as you sow shall you reap, but a hundred times over. The tennis ball hitting the wall, has to rebound. Every single action we take, is like a little seed we plant.  The seed will eventually grow and, just as in nature, some seeds flourish more quickly than others. Some seeds will ripen fast, and others could take decades or lifetimes.  But, one thing is certain, the seed will ripen and we will have to face the result of our actions. Your world is 100% the result of your previous actions, words and thoughts.

The consequence or effects of one’s karma can be described in two forms: phalas and samskaras. A phala (fruit or result) is the visible or invisible effect that is typically immediate or within the current life. In contrast, samskaras are invisible effects, produced inside the person, because of the karma, transforming and affecting his or her ability to be happy or unhappy in this life and future ones. In this way, karma is a principle of psychology and habit. Karmic habits or seeds, create the nature of humans, influencing your self perception and thus your life experience.

The science of karma is further complicated by different levels of karma. We have personal karma, family and ancestral karma, societal karma, national karma and so on. All of these levels of karma interact with each other.

In Vedanta and Yoga teachings, there are three types of karma: Prarabdha karma – karma experienced during the present lifetime, Sancita karma – the store of karma that has not yet reached fruition, and Agami karma – karma sown in the present life that will come to fruition in a future life.

Karma works through a process of various rebirths. Good or bad actions create impressions (samskaras) or tendencies (vasanas) in the mind, which in time will result in more action and karma. The seeds of karma are carried in the subtle body, or energy body, in which the soul transmigrates.The physical body is the field in which the fruit of karma is experienced and where we create more karma. Maybe the hell that many religions speak of is simply the unbearable and painful situations we create for ourselves by our past bad actions.

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.  – Buddha

Why do good things happen to “bad” people and bad things happen to “good” people?

Karma is a way of explaining misfortune in the world, for those who do not appear to deserve it. Could their misfortune be due to wrong actions in their previous life? Through this lens, we can understand why one person in a car accident survives and all the other passengers don’t.

There was a story about a mother who was breastfeeding her baby during an earthquake when a pillar collapsed, killing her. Yet, her tiny baby survived and was discovered unharmed in the wreckage, lying at her breast. There is no logical explanation for this event and people drive themselves crazy trying to understand why certain things happen the way they do. Understanding karma can help to end this mental torture. Karma is also a way to explain things like child prodigies, who are exceptional artists or musicians at a young age, with little to no training.

Have you ever found yourself thinking, or saying: never mind, karma will get them?  I know I have. In moments of anger, betrayal, hurt, I have definitely thought ‘don’t get so worked up about this, karma will seek them out’. But, as I deepened in my spiritual practice and yoga studies, I began to understand that karma is not this bogeyman with a big stick, beating you up for your misdemeanours to even the score. Yes karma is a universal law, but it is far more significant and meaningful for our own awareness and success in human life than I first imagined. Understanding karma more deeply, helped me to move from being a victim to being more empowered.

The real meaning of karma

If you truly understand karma, so much can fall away. Repetitive negative thoughts about your life drop away when you realise that you have absolutely created and caused EVERYTHING that is happening to you right now. At some point in your life, you chose it, by your actions. This is very sobering on the one hand, and yet, can be equally liberating. It means you have the power of a positive response, no matter what the situation. It’s not about blaming yourself, or others. Nor is it about casting judgement when someone is ill, or has something bad happen to them. It’s more like a humility, an understanding that perhaps you have hurt someone else, perhaps you have betrayed another, or taken something from someone else, in a forgotten time. Understanding karma is about opening your heart to greater compassion and kindness, for yourself and others. I try to remind myself, when someone betrays me, that it is hugely possible that I have betrayed them in the past. And so, instead of reacting angrily, it would be better to deal with my own hurt, consider the situation deeply before responding, and not create further bad karma for myself. This is in no way endorsing being weak, or not standing up for yourself. It’s about being aware. I think this is what Ramana is speaking about when he says it’s best to remain silent!

“When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realise that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” ~Dalai Lama

Understanding karma is a key to living well. You can use the laws of karma to create success in your life. For example, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, then genuinely help others to become entrepreneurs. This will create positive karma for you, and sow the seeds for the opportunities you are creating for others, to arise for you. If you want to heal something in your own life, help others to heal. The law of karma is about choice.

Sometimes we can’t control what is happening in our world, but we can absolutely control how we respond to what is happening. This is hugely challenging when in the heat of an argument, or when you’ve been rejected or wronged. But, if we can stop and be aware in that moment and respond with wisdom, we can very likely save ourselves from the endless cycle of hurt and loss. Whether you believe in karma or not, it is affecting you and the principles can help you live a better life.

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Some helpful practices

Beyond good karma, there is akarma, devotional service, which brings the ultimate freedom from karmic entanglement. Some practices that can support the ability to balance karma, and find inner peace, are Loving Kindness Meditation or Metta, and the Buddhist practice of Tonglen.

In Loving Kindness Meditation, you open your heart to send prayers and good wishes out for all beings. Beginning with yourself you can pray: May I be well, May I be happy, May I be at peace. Then you move onto friends and family members, repeating the phrases, while visualising your loved ones. Finally you move onto someone you are having difficulties with, bring them into your mind and repeat the heartfelt prayers that they be well, happy and at peace. You can also use Loving Kindness Meditation to pray for groups of people, animals, or the whole world.

Tonglen is a more advanced practice and is also called giving and receiving as it is a practice of breathing in suffering and breathing out peace or healing. Coming to a meditative space, you connect with your feelings, breathing in any fear, agitation, resistance, accepting what is there for you, with kindness, then breathe out compassion and healing for yourself or all beings. Tonglen is used to take on and transmute the suffering of others, so for example you could breathe in the suffering of refugees and send out hope, love and peace. As you breathe in and out you hold the wish to take away the suffering and then the wish to send comfort and happiness. These practices can help you open your heart, go beyond the ego, and discover a broader perspective on life.

So often I’ve mused over the meaning of Ramana’s words, and each time my awareness cracks open a little more to understand the silent emptiness his wisdom conveys. The words journey with me and have given me great comfort, saved me countless hours of worry and brought deep peace. His wise words are not a call to inaction. On the contrary, they are a call to inner action, to introspection, and acceptance. In the stillness we unravel the past, without creating more drama for ourselves in the future. We discover our heart and the meaning of life, which is to help others and love one another.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself” ~George Bernard Shaw

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About the Author

Azriel ReShel is a writer, editor, yoga Teacher & healing facilitator.

This article (The Universal Law of Karma) was originally posted at Uplift Connect, and is reposted here with permission.

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The Universal Law of Karma was last modified: December 9th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Dr. Mercola, Guest
Waking Times

The HPV vaccine Gardasil was granted European license in February 2006,1 followed by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval that same year in June.2 Gardasil was controversial in the U.S. from the beginning, with vaccine safety activists questioning the quality of the clinical trials used to fast track the vaccine to licensure.3 Merck, which manufactures and distributes the HPV vaccine Gardasil, has worked with a global health group called PATH4 to get the vaccine approved worldwide.

Lauded as a silver bullet against cervical cancer, the vaccine has since wrought havoc on the lives of young girls across the world.

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“Manufactured Crisis — HPV, Hype and Horror,” a film by The Alliance for Natural Health, delves into the all too often ignored dark side of this unnecessary vaccine, interviewing families whose lives have been forever altered after their young daughters suffered life-threatening or lethal side effects following Gardasil vaccination. Says Barbara Loe Fisher, president and cofounder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC):

“The tragic story of Gardasil vaccine is one that is playing out in real time in the homes of trusting parents, who thought they were doing the right thing to try to make their daughters ‘one less,’ and in the 21st century cyberspace forum of public opinion as well as on television.”

Gardasil, a Global Catastrophe Wrecking Lives Worldwide

Serious adverse reactions reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in relation to Gardasil include but are not limited to:5

Anaphylaxis Guillain-Barre Syndrome Transverse myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord) Pancreatitis Venous thromboembolic events (blood clots) Autoimmune initiated motor neuron disease (a neurodegenerative disease that causes rapidly progressive muscle weakness) Multiple sclerosis Sudden death

According to the film, there have also been cases of 16-year-old girls developing ovarian dysfunction, meaning they’re going into menopause, which in turn means they will not be able to have children. Despite such serious effects, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and FDA allege the vast majority, or even all, of these tragic cases are unrelated to the vaccine, and that Gardasil is safe. In the film, Laurie Powell, a former pharmaceutical marketing executive says:

“I would come home feeling like I just wanted to take a shower, because I couldn’t believe the amount of spin and just utter deception that goes on behind the scenes, all funded by pharma. It’s not about patient well care, it’s about making money.”

Gardasil and Autoimmune Problems

Many of the more serious side effects of Gardasil vaccination are immune-based inflammatory neurodegenerative disorders, suggesting something is causing the immune system to overreact in a detrimental way, sometimes fatally.6,7 One of the leading theories revolves around the use of aluminum as an adjuvant.

Chris Exley, Ph.D., professor of bioinorganic chemistry and a leading expert on aluminum, notes that all the available evidence indicates aluminum is toxic to living systems. He, like many others, suspect it’s the aluminum adjuvant in vaccines that cause the majority of severe adverse reactions.

The filmmakers tested several samples of Cervarix (pulled from the U.S. market in 2016, ostensibly due to low demand8) and Gardasil at two separate laboratories to ascertain and compare their aluminum content.

Interestingly, Cervarix contained 2.6 times more aluminum than stated on the label. And, while the amount of aluminum found in Gardasil was within the range stated on the label, it was 2.5 times higher than the stated amount in Cervarix. In the end, both products were found to contain right around 1,000 parts per million of aluminum.

While government authorities claim this level of aluminum in vaccines is safe — based on estimated safe levels for ingestion — animal research reveals neurological and immune responses can be triggered. When injected, you bypass the filtering system of your gastrointestinal tract, allowing the aluminum access to vulnerable parts of your body far more easily than were you to ingest it.

The high immunogenicity of Gardasil was also addressed in my 2015 interview with Lucija Tomljenovic, Ph.D., a research scientist at the University of British Columbia. In it, she explains that by triggering an exaggerated inflammatory immune response, vaccine adjuvants end up affecting brain function.

In collaboration with a team led by Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld, a world expert in autoimmune diseases who heads the Zabludowicz Autoimmunity Research Centre at the Sheba Hospital in Israel, Tomljenovic has demonstrated how the HPV vaccine can cause brain autoimmune disorders.

Cochrane Researcher Highlights Problems With Most Recent Safety Review

The filmmakers interview a number of vaccine and medical experts and researchers, including Dr. Peter Gøtzsche, who helped found the Cochrane Collaboration in 1993 and later launched the Nordic Cochrane Centre. Cochrane publishes hundreds of scientific reviews each year, looking at what works and what doesn’t.

Earlier this year, Cochrane published a surprisingly favorable review9 of the HPV vaccine, concluding “There is high-certainty evidence that HPV vaccines protect against cervical precancer in adolescent girls and women who are vaccinated between 15 and 26 years of age,” and, ”The risk of serious adverse events is similar in HPV and control vaccines.”

Two months later, Gøtzsche, along with Cochrane-affiliated researchers Lars Jørgensen and Tom Jefferson, published a scathing critique10 of the review,11 pointing out methodological flaws and conflicts of interest. Shortly thereafter, Gøtzsche was expelled from the Cochrane governing board.12,13

According to Gøtzsche, the review “missed nearly half of the eligible trials,” and “was influenced by reporting bias and biased trial designs.” In the film, he notes that the reviewers simply accepted the conclusions of the studies — all of which were done by industry — and didn’t look at how the studies were actually conducted.

Importantly, all but one of the 26 trials included in the HPV vaccine review used active comparators, meaning aluminum-containing vaccines, which can significantly skew results by hiding neurological and other adverse effects.

Making matters worse, the reviewers incorrectly described these active comparators as “placebos.” By definition, a placebo is an inert substance, and an aluminum-containing vaccine is anything but inert. Results may also have been skewed by the exclusion of women who had a history of immunological or nervous system disorders.

According to Gøtzsche and his team,14 “These exclusion criteria lowered the external validity of the trials and suggest that the vaccine manufacturers were worried about harms caused by the adjuvants.” They also noted the review “incompletely assessed serious and systemic adverse events” and ignored “HPV vaccine-related safety signals.”

Conflicts of Interest May Have Tainted Cochrane’s 2018 HPV Vaccine Review

What’s more, not only were all 26 studies funded by industry, three of the four reviewers also had conflicts of interest. As noted by Gøtzsche:15

“The review’s first author currently leads EMA’s ‘post-marketing surveillance of HPV vaccination effects in non-Nordic member states of the European Union,’ which is funded by Sanofi-Pasteur-MSD that was the co-manufacturer of Gardasil.”

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One of the clearest conflicts of interest involves Dr. Lauri Markowitz, one of the authors of the HPV vaccine review protocol,16 meaning the individuals who designed and determined the scope of the review. Markowitz’s history with the HPV vaccine include:

  • Currently being the HPV team lead for the division of viral diseases at the CDC17,18
  • Being part of the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) HPV working group in 2006, which recommended Gardasil for routine vaccination of girls 11 to 12 years old
  • Being the designated correspondent on ACIP’s HPV vaccination recommendation issued in March 200719

Considering the U.S. government’s financial interest in the sale of HPV vaccine, this is about as clear a conflict of interest as you can get, yet Markowitz was allowed to be part of the team that designed the scope and parameters of the review.

Risk Benefit Analysis

In the film, Norma Erickson, president of Sanevax, Inc., an “international HPV vaccine information clearinghouse” in Troy, Montana, points out that while the cervical cancer rate in the U.S. is 12 per 100,000, by Merck’s own admission, Gardasil may cause 2,300 serious adverse events per 100,000.

Is it really reasonable to risk 2,300 serious adverse events — which includes sudden death — in the hopes of preventing 12 cases of cervical cancer out of 100,000?

Trial data from Merck also shows that Gardasil vaccinations may actually increase your risk of cervical cancer by 44.6 percent if you have been exposed to HPV strains 16 or 18 prior to vaccination.20 (The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made this document inaccessible, but we’ve saved a copy of it for posterity.)

Professor Marcos Mazzuka, a pediatrician specializing in vaccine injuries in Madrid, Spain, agrees that the HPV vaccine is not safe, and is not worth the risk, as side effects are not limited to rash or fever but are severe and long-lasting.

“We’re talking about more than 300 girls who have died, around the world,” he says. “We’re talking about 46,000 girls who have very, very serious side effects.”

Gardasil Is by Far the Most Dangerous Vaccine on the Market

The film also features Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., whose research reveals Gardasil is one of the most reactive vaccines on the market, producing far more adverse reactions than other vaccines given at the same age. For example, in her sampling, Gardasil had a death toll of 35, compared to just seven from other vaccines given to young girls. According to Seneff:

“There’s no way that the risk benefit ratio [for Gardasil] comes out in favor of benefit, particularly since they have not demonstrated that it actually protects against cervical cancer.”

Similarly, in its 2009 Gardasil versus Menactra risk report,21 NVIC compared the number and severity of adverse events for the two vaccines reported to VAERS through November 30, 2008.

Results show that death and serious health problems such as stroke, blood clotscardiac arrest, seizures, fainting, lupus and challenge/rechallenge cases (i.e., a similar adverse reaction occurs after another dose of vaccine is given) were reported three to 30 times more frequently after Gardasil vaccination than after meningococcal (Menactra) vaccination.

In the film, Robert Verkerk, scientific and executive director of the Alliance for Natural Health International, points out that data obtained via freedom of information requests from the British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MRHA) also reveal that the number of adverse event reports following Gardasil vaccination is several times higher than for any other vaccine, and that this information was not being shared in any way.

“There were some 8,000 serious adverse events sitting in an MHRA database that were not being communicated to the medical professionals, and certainly not communicated to parents or children who were at the point of making a decision about vaccination,” Verkerk says.

Other Gardasil Facts

These seem like extraordinary risks just to prevent an infection that is cleared by more than 90 percent of people without a problem.22 As noted in the film, the HPV vaccine’s underlying technology was originally developed by National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers, then sold to Merck23 and fast-tracked to licensure, despite the fact the vaccine failed to fulfill two of the criteria for fast-tracking.

In their paper, “Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines as an Option for Preventing Cervical Malignancies How Effective and Safe?” Tomlijenovic, Spinosa and Shaw point out questionable surrogate markers for efficacy were used.24,25

It’s also important to realize that Gardasil was approved after being tested in fewer than 1,200 children under the age of 16,26 and that bioactive aluminum “controls” are being used in clinical HPV vaccine trials,27,28,29,30 thereby masking neurological symptoms.

Gardasil is also pushed by pediatricians who are shielded from legal accountability for vaccine injuries and deaths — just like vaccine manufacturers are shielded from civil liability in U.S. courts.31Many doctors, as noted in the film, are completely unaware of the fact that Gardasil had generated nearly 30,000 adverse reaction reports to the U.S. government, including 140 deaths32 by December 13, 2013.

By October 14, 2018, there had been 54,123 adverse reaction reports made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), including 331 deaths following administration of either the four-strain or nine-strain Gardasil vaccine.33

While that sounds like a lot, that’s just a fraction of the real numbers of Gardasil reactions, injuries and deaths that have actually occurred, as most doctors either do not report them to the government, or they instead make reports directly to Merck (which are not made public).34,35,36 In fact, less than 1 percent of adverse vaccine reactions are reported to VAERS.37

The facts surrounding the HPV vaccine are such that they raise many questions. Yet those who dare ask them are unfailingly attacked as “anti-vaxxers” or “vaccine deniers.”

It’s a sad fact that you cannot get an accurate picture of the situation from mainstream media, as the press is “held hostage,” as it were, by drug advertising dollars. They simply won’t report both sides of the story as this will result in the loss of millions of dollars in advertising.

It’s also difficult to get a clear view by looking at the medical literature, as there’s a tremendous amount of censorship going on there as well. In the film, Dr. Sin Hang Lee, a pathologist known for using cutting-edge DNA sequencing for molecular diagnoses and director of Milford Molecular Diagnostics, comments on this, saying most of his papers on the HPV vaccine and its potential adverse effects have been rejected by the medical journals. “It’s editorial censorship,” he says.

Shocking Revelation: Gardasil Safety Trials Were Not Designed to Detect Safety Problems

There are a few rare exceptions to the muzzling of the press though. One of them was a December 17, 2017, Slate article38 in which Frederik Joelving exposed egregious flaws in Gardasil’s testing.

The public was told that the three HPV vaccines marketed in the U.S. were tested on tens of thousands of individuals around the world, without any compelling evidence of serious side effects having emerged. While that reads well on paper, the shocking truth appears to be that these trials were never designed to detect and evaluate serious side effects in the first place.

According to Joelving, “An eight-month investigation by Slate found the major Gardasil trials were flawed from the outset … and that regulators allowed unreliable methods to be used to test the vaccine’s safety.”

Contrary to logic, serious adverse events were only recorded during a two-week period post-vaccination. Moreover, during this narrow window of time, trial investigators “used their personal judgment to decide whether or not to report any medical problem as an adverse event,” Joelving reports.

Importantly, and shockingly, most of the health problems that arose after vaccination were simply marked down as “medical history” rather than potential side effects — a tactic that basically ensured that most side effects would be overlooked. No record was made of symptom severity, duration or outcome.

Even with this gross reporting flaw, at least one Gardasil trial of the new nine-valent vaccine reported nearly 10 percent of subjects experienced “severe systemic adverse events” affecting multiple system organ classes, and over 3 percent suffered “severe vaccine-related adverse events.”39 Joelving writes:

“In an internal 2014 EMA report40 about Gardasil 9 obtained through a freedom-of-information request, senior experts called the company’s approach ‘unconventional and suboptimal’ and said it left some ‘uncertainty’ about the safety results.

EMA trial inspectors made similar observations in another report, noting that Merck’s procedure was ‘not an optimal method of collecting safety data, especially not systemic side effects that could appear long after the vaccinations were given.’”

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HPV Vaccine Is Unnecessary

As noted by Hang Lee in the film, cervical cancer is one of the least concerning types of cancer “because it takes 15 to 30 years from the point of infection with HPV to [develop into] cancer, and if you catch the precancerous changes, you can always do something about it.”

In the U.S., cervical cancer declined more than 70 percent after pap screening became a routine part of women’s health care in the 1960s. As of 2018, about 13,240 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed, and about 4,170 will die from it.41

The reason why the mortality rate is so low is because your immune system is usually strong enough to clear up this kind of infection on its own, and does so in more than 90 percent of all cases. According to the film, the vast majority of those who die have not had a Pap smear in the last five years.

According to Shannon Mulvihill, a registered nurse and executive director of Focus For Health in Warren, New Jersey, if you get regular pap smears, your chances of dying from cervical cancer is 0.00002 percent.

Is it really worth sickening thousands at the off-chance the vaccine might save a handful of people from dying from cervical cancer? The fact is, PAP smears prevent cervical cancer deaths far more effectively than the HPV vaccine ever will. In the film, Hang Lee provides the following data, showing just how minuscule the potential benefit of Gardasil really is:

  • HPV vaccines target 70 percent of HPV strains affecting human populations, though new versions target more strains
  • IF these vaccines were 100 percent effective, ONE death would be prevented for every 100,000 vaccinated women, or 1.3 deaths out of 100,000 for the newer vaccines covering a greater number of HPV strains
  • The average cost of Gardasil vaccination in the U.S. is about $700 per person, which means the cost to vaccinate 100,000 girls — in the hopes it will save a single person among them from dying from cervical cancer — is $70 million

That single death can easily be avoided by more regular screening, “So, why add another $70 million for no clear benefit?” Hang Lee says.

HPV — A Manufactured Crisis

As noted by Gretchen DuBeau, executive and legal director for Alliance for Natural Health, USA:

“This vaccine is not safe, it’s not financially rational and it’s not necessary. So, essentially, we’ve manufactured a crisis and created a solution that’s very lucrative for many but harms our children. We’ve looked at over 300 studies that show children between the ages of 3 and 11 have the HPV virus in their bodies.

Some studies show they have it at birth, others, you’re looking at children that are preschool age, but the point is that we have a lot of … unanswered questions about the possibility of this virus being transmitted from mother to child at birth.

This is critical because when one is vaccinated with this vaccine and that person already has the HPV virus, it increases their chances of developing cervical and other cancers.

So, we are putting our children not only at risk in all of the ways we’ve already seen with the adverse events … the autoimmune conditions … but we’re also looking at the possibility of increasing, down the road, the likelihood that many of these children could develop additional cancers because of this vaccine … This is a huge issue. We have to ask these questions; we have to study this more carefully.”

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Like Waking Times on Facebook. Follow Waking Times on Twitter. Manufactured Crisis – HPV, Hype and Horror was last modified: December 9th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Sayer Ji, Green Med Info
Waking Times

Besides hemp, there are few if any plants that produce as much food, shelter, and medicine as the coconut palm. 

A new scientific review on the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera), referred to as “the most naturally widespread fruit plant on Earth,” reveals its various constituents, which include husk, root, oil, water, and flesh, together possess the following 20 biological effects:

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  • Analgesic (Pain-Killing)

  • Antibacterial

  • Anti-diabetic

  • Anti-fungal

  • Anti-hypertensive

  • Anti-viral

  • Anti-parasitic

  • Anti-Leishmanial

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Antioxidant

  • Antifungal

  • Anti-malarial

  • Anti-triochomonal

  • Anti-tumor activities

  • Bone supportive

  • Cardioprotective

  • Depressant & Anticonvulsive

  • Kidney Protective

  • Liver protective

The table below reveals in detail what parts of the coconut palm are responsible for producing these aforementioned biological effects.

Click to view the fully enlarged versions of the table here.

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In support of these findings, the GreenMedInfo.com database presently contains research on the coconut palm’s potential therapeutic value in preventing and/or treating over 50 different conditions, and expressing 16 different beneficial biological effects. You can view the supporting studies on our coconut research page.

The new study, titled “Cocos nucifera (L.) (Arecaceae): A phytochemical and pharmacological review,” also reviewed the toxicity literature on the coconut palm’s various constituents and found there was no evidence of acute toxicity, and only low toxicity associated with chronic exposure.

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The study summarized the story of the coconut palm’s fascinating spread around the world as follows:

The plant is originally from Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines) and the islands between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. From that region, the fruit of the coconut palm is believed to have been brought to India and then to East Africa. After the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope, this plant was introduced into West Africa and, from there, dispersed to the American continent and to other tropical regions of the globe.”

The review also summarized the traditional healing applications of the coconut palm. This is an important, complementary data set, because though many of the traditional uses have not yet been tested and validated by science, they may actually work exceptionally well for these conditions in actual practice. Below is a table showing many of these traditional uses:

The traditional uses were also summarized in the following paragraph:

In Brazil, extract from the husk fiber of C. nucifera is used to treat diarrhea (7). In Papua New Guinea, the leaves and roots of young plants are chewed as treatment for diarrhea and stomachaches (8,9). In Fiji, coconut oil is used to prevent hair loss and coconut water is used to treat renal disease (10). In Ghana, people use coconut milk to treat diarrhea (11). In Guatemala, the husk fiber extract is used as an antipyretic, to reduce renal inflammation, and as a topic ointment for dermatitis, abscesses, and injuries (12). In Haiti, a decoction of the dry pericarp is used for oral treatment of amenorrhea, and the oil is applied as an ointment to burns (13); an aqueous extract from the husk fiber is also used for oral asthma treatment (14). In India, infusions made with the coconut inflorescence are used for the oral treatment of menstrual cycle disorders (15). In Indonesia, the oil is used as a wound ointment, the coconut milk is used as an oral contraceptive, and fever and diarrhea are treated with the root extract (16–18). In Jamaica, the husk fiber extract is used to treat diabetes (19,20). In Mozambique, the fruit is consumed by men as an aphrodisiac (21). Peruvians use the aqueous extract of the fresh coconut fiber orally for asthma, as a diuretic, and for gonorrhea (22). In Trinidad, bark extract is used orally for amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea, and bark tea is used to treat venereal diseases (23). In Mexico, coconut is used to treat various disorders associated with urogenital tract infection by Trichomonas vaginalis (24). A decoction of the white flesh of the fruit is used in rural Malaysia to treat fever and malaria (25). In Kenya, the fruit is used to relieve skin rash caused by HIV infection (26).

The study concluded,

Cocos nucifera is a widely dispersed plant that has important pharmacological effects with low toxicity. Furthermore, medicinal use of C. nucifera has an environmental appeal, since this plant is widely used in the food industry and use of discarded plant parts will reduce waste and pollution. The pharmacological effects of the plant differ according to the part of the plant or fruit used. Antioxidant activity predominated in the constituents of the endocarp and coconut water. In addition, the fiber showed antibacterial, antiparasitic, and anti-inflammatory activities. Only the ethanolic extract of the root had depressant and anticonvulsant action on the central nervous system. Coconut water seems to have protective effects, e.g., on the kidney and heart, and antioxidant activity, as well as a hypoglycemic effect.

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About the Author

Sayer Ji is founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

**© [12/03/18] GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.**

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.

Like Waking Times on FacebookFollow Waking Times on Twitter. Coconut – The Earth’s Most Widespread Medicinal Fruit Plant was last modified: December 6th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Rosanne Lindsay, Contributor
Waking Times

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion of freedom. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” ~Frank Zappa

We fall under the illusion of freedom when we consent to be governed. We believe we live in a fair and democratic society yet we fail to grasp the true meaning of words such as democratic, republic, inalienable, and consent. When we decipher the words, we find that we live in a reality of inequity; a ‘world for the taking’ by a few at the expense of the many. Only when we know who we are— a spiritual being having a human experience— will the system of slavery be changed.

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Weaponized Words

The illusion of freedom happens when we consent to the language. We are convinced that paper documents and laws grant us certain inalienable rights, those being life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Yet we overlook how unalienable was changed to inalienable in the final version of the Declaration of Independence. Unalienable rights are rights which cannot be sold or transferred, whereas inalienable rights can be! Unalienable rights are yours and yours alone. Without them, we are subjects of the government.

We have been told that our power and our rights come through a representative government; a government structured of and for the People. However, the ratification of the U.S. Constitution abolished all common law courts, the court of the people. As it abolished black slavery, the U.S. Constitution made all citizens slaves.

It is through our consent to be citizens that waives our rights to life and liberty. Inherent rights become null and void. As George Washington points out in his letter penned to Alexander Hamilton in 1783, CITIZENS HAVE NO ENDOWED RIGHTS. This has been part of the law since day one of structured government.

“It may be laid down, as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every citizen who enjoys the protection of a free government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency.” ~George Washington; “Sentiments on a Peace Establishment” in a letter to Alexander Hamilton (2 May 1783); published in The Writings of George Washington (1938), edited by John C. Fitzpatrick, Vol. 26, p. 289.

George Washington was a 33rd degree Scottish Right Freemason. Freemasonry not only influenced the presidency, with at least 14 Freemason presidents, but also began the U.S. Supreme Court. Freemasons came to America three hundred years ago from The United Grand Lodge of England in 1717 and goes back to the Jesuits and Noachites, the descendants of Noah. The purpose? To control people through the structure of government, its laws, its  language (Gematria), and symbology. In the 99 degrees of Freemasonry there are no women.

As a citizen-subject you can be ordered, via militia duty, to train, fight, and die on command.  By your consent to be governed, you give up a portion of your property— estate, taxes, your body, and your children. Any presumption to the contrary is not supported by law or by court ruling.

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Citizens, like the founders, have pledged their lives, property and sacred honor in service to the government. ONLY Non-citizen nationals— people who did not consent to be governed — retain their endowed rights. The only document referring to inherent rights is the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence

In his 1863 Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln embraced the Declaration of Independence as a true expression of the American spirit and the foundation of the Republic — not the U.S. Constitution. When Mr. Lincoln said: “Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” he referred to the Declaration. He declared the new nation, the very first of its kind, was founded ‘under God,’  according to the ‘Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,’ as Thomas Jefferson wrote.

Make no mistake!
The Declaration says : YOU have an endowed right to life.
But citizens have no inalienable (endowed) right to life.
The Declaration says : YOU have an endowed right to natural and personal liberty.
But citizens have only civil and political liberty.
The Declaration says : YOU have an endowed right to absolutely own private property (upon which you can pursue happiness without permission of a superior).
But citizens have no private property, absolutely owned… a portion can be claimed by the government.

Inherent Rights vs. State Rights

Thomas Jefferson considered the only function of Government was to safeguard the rights of its citizens. From a Jeffersonian viewpoint the only reason for the existence of Government is to secure the inherent rights of those who elected it, and the only basis for the authority of Government is that it has the consent of the governed.

“To secure these rights [to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness], governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” ~Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, 1776

 

“It is to secure our rights that we resort to government at all.” ~Thomas Jefferson to Francois D’Ivernois, 1795

Know Thyself

The people are sovereign beings, powerful without representation. We each hold inherent rights and liberties that are granted to us through the Creator by virtue of our birth. As sovereign beings we abide by a hierarchy of laws under Nature. Natural Law applies to each human as body, mind, soul, and spirit, to do no harm. Inherent rights are not protected by the Constitution, as the courts would suggest:

“The rights of the individual are not derived from governmental agencies, either municipal, state or federal, or even from the Constitution. They exist inherently in every man, by endowment of the Creator, and are merely reaffirmed in the Constitution, and restricted only to the extent that they have been VOLUNTARILY SURRENDERED BY THE CITIZENSHIP to the agencies of government. The people’s rights are not derived from the government, but the government’s authority comes from the people. The Constitution but states again these rights already existing, and when legislative encroachment by the nation, state, or municipality invade these original and permanent rights, it is the duty of the courts to so declare, and to afford the necessary relief. The fewer restrictions that surround the individual liberties of the citizen, except those for the preservation of the public health, safety, and morals, the more contented the people and the more successful the democracy.” ~City of Dallas v Mitchell, 245 S.W. 944

In current reality, the world is split in two, between the Haves and the Have-Nots. Government was purposeful in its construction and direction in order to achieve the division that exists today. Over time this split has widened into a chasm as we witness our children and property being openly kidnapped by hospitals and police. These thefts appear to be legal since they have the consent of the government and courts, seemingly without recourse by helpless citizens.

The Pauper’s Oath Nullifies Constitutional Limits

Do you consent or do you not consent to having your property (i.e., children) forcibly removed from your home?

The consent of the governed is a foundational principle of democracy. Consent implies you have a choice and that you know the meaning of words and the foundation of government. However, consent does not equal assent. You don’t have to make a formal denial in order for authorities to accept your consent. Your silence and inaction will qualify as consent. Consent can be achieved when you do nothing.

In 1933, a State of Emergency was declared by FDR. Under Emergency Powers, the government could side-step constitutional limitations and requirements. FDR extracted lawful money from circulation and replaced it with Federal Reserve notes, a debt instrument (fiat) to create a debt economy. Because fiat money has no intrinsic value, it is worthless, so no one can pay off the debt. (See: Art. 1, Sec. 10, USCON). Everyone who signed up for FICA voluntarily became paupers at law, and owns NOTHING to trigger the protections of the rules of the common law (7th amendment). The Pauper’s oath is this:

“I do solemnly swear that I have not any property, real or personal, exceeding $20, except such as is by law exempt from being taken on civil process for debt; and that I have no property in any way conveyed or concealed, or in any way disposed of, for my future use or benefit. So help me God.”

According to Jeff Ganaposki, when you sign up to get your SSN, “the net result is a nation of “voluntary” paupers, deadbeats, and bankrupts that the overworked munificent State must care for, for their own good. By voluntary participation in Social Security, Americans surrender their sovereign birthright, freedom and independence, in exchange for access to charity from the public treasury (entitlements) that reduce their status to paupers at law. As “status criminals” we are no longer protected, and the US Constitution is bypassed by our consent. We come under the authority of the Secretary of Treasury / aka / U.S. Governor of the “Bank” and “Fund.”‘ In fact, the Secret Service, as the Treasury Department’s army, was established to protect the money, not the president. Any president who goes against the almighty dollar will find himself unprotected.

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Based on pre-1933 court cites, whatever government does to paupers is “constitutional.” The Social Security Act of 1935 compels every citizen to pay the government’s claim. An un-numbered American cannot open an interest-bearing bank account. Exemptions to this rule apply only for religious and secular organizations that provide for their members.”

“[Very] soon, every American will be required to register their biological property in a national system designed to keep track of the people and that will operate under the ancient system of pledging.  By such methodology, we can compel people to submit to our agenda, which will effect our security as a chargeback for our fiat paper currency. Every American will be forced to register or suffer being unable to work and earn a living. They will be our chattel, and we will hold the security interest over them forever, by operation of the law merchant under the scheme of secured transactions.” ~Edward Mandell House, 1900s,in private meeting with President Woodrow Wilson

When we are ignorant of full disclosure, of words and of language, we no longer have true choice. Without full knowledge of the facts, we grant permission to entities to rule over us. When we consent to be citizen-slaves, we unknowingly give up our power to those who use words against us.

Victim of Deception No More

Only by knowing our true status as soul beings do we have the ability to withdraw consent and say “no” at any time. With this knowledge we have the ability to act on our own behalf, without re-presentation. We have the ability to stop being of victim of their deception when we awaken and shift our perception and mindsets. How do we do that?

  • Withdraw consent by withdrawing your participation in the Social Security system.
  • Stop choosing sides of duality that divide: Blue vs. Red, Black vs. White, Democrats vs. Republicans, Good vs. Evil.
  • End the vote. Stop voting. If we know we have inherent rights, do we need to beg for more?
  • Do not beg the State for rights via petitions as these are only privileges that can be taken away.
  • Know who we are. Each individual is the value.
  • Be the sovereign, powerful beings we are. Only by consent, can government go beyond “securing rights.”
  • Reestablish a true Republican form of government as promised to the American people.
  • Revoke the SSN and bank account and tax liability.
  • Understand that Nature’s law is above man’s law.
  • Work in harmony with Nature.
  • Grow our own food.
  • Form bartering communities.
  • Reclaim responsibility on a soul level and embody freedom.

No document can ensure freedoms. The only freedoms we have are the ones we embody and defend with our words, our actions, and our lives. When we take full responsibility for all the freedoms we are granted by our birthright we become the change we wish to see. We create a new reality.

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About the Author

Rosanne Lindsay is a Naturopathic doctor and Tribal healer under the Turtle Island Provider Network. She is a writer, Earth keeper, Health Freedom advocate, co-founder of Wisconsin For Vaccine Choice, and author of the books The Nature of Healing, Heal the Body, Heal the Planet.and  Free Your Voice, Heal Your Thyroid, Reverse Thyroid Disease Naturally. Find her on Facebook at Rosanne Lindsay and Natureofhealing. Consult with her (Skype or Zoom consults available) at natureofhealing.org. Subscribe to her blog at http://www.natureofhealing.org/blog/.

Like Waking Times on FacebookFollow Waking Times on Twitter. The Illusion of Freedom was last modified: December 5th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Gary Z McGee, Contributor
Waking Times

“Power is required for communication. To stand before an indifferent or hostile group and have one’s say, or to speak honestly to a friend truths that go deep and hurt, these require self-affirmation, self-assertion, and even at times aggression.” ~Rollo May

This is your life. Not your parent’s. Not your teacher’s. Not your government’s. Not your president’s. It’s yours and yours alone. Nobody else can live it for you. Only you have the power to allow someone to influence your life or not.

Understand: power is not evil. Like with all things, it only becomes unhealthy when it becomes immoderate. It’s only when power becomes extreme, overreaching and entrenched that it tends to corrupt. Up until that point, power is a vital tool one can use to leverage health and love into a world where entrenched power smothers health, love, and the empowerment of others under its boot.

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A person’s power only becomes corrupt if it is not questioned by the power of others. So, it is vital that you empower yourself to question the power of others. Here are five ways to empower yourself by turning the tables on entrenched power…

1.) Ignore the “infallible” legend and focus on the fallible human:

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” ~Abraham Lincoln

Power can mystify even the most circumspect of people. Whether that power is coming from a group of people or a single individual, it is important that you empower yourself to question their power by realizing that nobody is off the hook for being a fallible human being. Especially not those in positions of power.

Whether the person in power is the president of the United States, the Queen of England, or your shitty boss, turn the tables on their power by realizing that they are just another scared shitless human being who has fuckall figured out about anything at all. They are imperfect flesh and blood human beings who are probably wrong about a great many things. So be it.

Their power does not get them off the hook. If anything, it should put them even further on the hook. And it’s your responsibility as an empowered table-turning individual to make sure of it.

The same applies to groups of people with power. Whether the group is a government or a nation state, turn the tables on their power by realizing that no matter what system they have in place it will always be flawed in some way.

Just as no human is infallible, no system is infallible. The only “perfect” system is an imperfect system that is in a constant state of healthy change and progressive improvement. This requires people to brutally and fiercely question any systems in place.

2.) Diminish them by focusing on the scared child within them:

“You must see the frightened child within, terrified by anything unpredictable. In this way you cut them down to size, diminishing their ability to intimidate you.” ~Robert Greene

Nobody is that far removed from the scared child they once were. Not you, not the queen, not the president, not your boss. We are all just a kid from somewhere propped up by a plethora of outdated myths and delusions that get us through the day.

Whether those delusions are religious, political, nationalistic, or even delusions of grandeur, the only people who are ahead of the curve are the ones who are questioning their own delusions first, and then doubling down on their empowerment by questioning the delusions of others second.

As Scott Adams wisely stated, “The human mind is a delusion generator, not a window to truth. The best any human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day.”

It is vital, as a courageous and audacious table-turner, that you keep the delusion-generating human condition in perspective by having a deep understanding of how much fear drives human action and opinion.

By realizing that those in power are just fearful kids beneath layers of “adulthood” and “authority” given to them by other fearful kids beneath layers of “adulthood,” you will have the advantage of a keen bird’s eye view, outside the box thinking, and an outside-looking-in perspective.

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You stay ahead of the curve by realizing that we are all on the curve. No exceptions.

3.) Focus on their actions and your strategies, not on your emotions:

“Where there have been powerful governments, societies, religions, public opinions, in short wherever there has been tyranny, there the solitary philosopher has been hated; for philosophy offers an asylum to a man into which no tyranny can force its way, the inward cave, the labyrinth of the heart.” ~Nietzsche

Don’t allow the powerful to play on your emotions. Break the spell. Turn the tables on their power by focusing on strategies of open-mindedness and emotional alchemy. Focus on their actions—past, present and future. Are they a decent human being? Is their moral compass off kilter? Do they have a history of shady deals and amoral one-upmanship?

Honor your emotions. Respect the information your emotions are giving you. But then rise above your emotions by focusing on healthy action. The first step to turning the tables on power is to turn the tables on your emotions. Transform kneejerk reactions to the whims of those in power by deeply analyzing why you feel the way you do and then act smartly.

Feel fear, act with courage. Feel envy, act with emulation. Feel insecure, act with confidence. Feel vengefulness, act with forgiveness. Feel anger, channel it into fierce art. Alchemize it until you actualize it.

Be proactive. Get out from underneath the puppeteer’s shadow by focusing your power on self-empowerment and self-improvement, despite their power.

4.) Be skeptically enigmatic not unquestioningly sycophantic:

“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.” ~H. L. Mencken

Don’t be a puppet hanging on the strings of those you perceive to have power over you. Don’t be a lemming walking over cliffs with other lemmings. Don’t be a lamb being led to the slaughter by the entrenched power of wolves and overreaching sheepdogs. Turn the tables on puppets, lambs, lemmings, sheepdogs, and wolves by becoming a courageous lion among men.

The best way to show your lion-teeth is to speak truth to power by shoving the first amendment down everyone’s throat. Especially down the throats of those in power.

Do this by questioning authority to the nth degree. Take all “answers” from such questioning into deep consideration but never settle. Use the “answers” as steppingstones into higher states of questioning. Stay ahead of entrenched power by always questioning power and never settling upon any particular state of power.

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On a long enough timeline, only the person who questions and forces moderation on allpower (especially their own) will become more powerful.

5.) Make a mockery of their power through high humor and high art:

“Make noise for the love of noise and questioning.” ~Stanley Moss

Be strategically insurgent through unexpected angles of nonviolent attack. The best nonviolent attacks are found in high humor (social leveling mechanisms) and high art.

There’s nothing those with too much power hate more than those with too little power questioning and checking their power. Especially if it’s done through satire, art with shock value, and strategic civil disobedience.

Think of it as an updated way of counting coup.

In healthy cultures, namely indigenous cultures, there is the vital role of the sacred clown. For example: the heyoka is a kind of sacred clown in the culture of the Lakota of the Great Plains of North America. Heyokas are contrarians, jesters, and satirists, who speak, move and react in an opposite fashion to the people around them.

The main function of a sacred clown is to deflate the ego of power by reminding those in power of their own fallibility, while also reminding those who are not in power that power has the potential to corrupt if not checked and balanced by other forces—namely with humor.

Sacred clowns are constant reminders of the contingency and arbitrariness of the social order, poking holes in anything taken too seriously, especially anything assuming the guise of power. They are a conduit to forces that defy comprehension, and by their absurd, backwards behavior, they are merely showing the ironic, mysterious dualities that exist within the universe itself.

As a courageous table-turner, it is vital that you assume the role of the sacred clown and poke holes in the inflated and obese power constructs entrenching themselves inside our “tribe.” The system cannot be fixed by the system. It can only be fixed by empowered and courageous individuals with the audacity to check entrenched and overreaching power constructs. No other force can do this for us. It is up to us.

It’s your life. It’s your culture. It’s your world. Don’t let it be destroyed by the corrupt power of others. Keep the powerful in check by becoming a relentless force that questions any and all systems that would ever allow power to corrupt.

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Read more articles by Gary ‘Z’ McGee. About the Author

Gary ‘Z’ McGeea former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.

This article (5 Ways to Empower Yourself in Any Situation) was originally created for The Mind Unleashed and is published here with permission. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution and author bio.

Like Waking Times on FacebookFollow Waking Times on Twitter. 5 Ways to Empower Yourself in Any Situation was last modified: December 5th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Dr. Mercola, Guest
Waking Times

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency compile and keep a current list of chemical substances manufactured or processed in the U.S. That list1 currently includes about 85,000 chemicals.

Among them are 10,000 chemicals allowed to be added to food and food-contact materials in the U.S., either directly or indirectly, yet few have been properly tested for safety.

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An evaluation of nearly 4,000 additives intentionally added to food revealed 80 percent lacked enough information to determine how much could be safely eaten and only 6.7 percent had reproductive toxicology data.2 And that’s just food chemicals.

In recent years, researchers and scientists have raised warnings about mounting toxic exposures, leading to efforts to rein in the use of chemicals known to be hazardous to human health. Unfortunately, many companies are still failing in this regard.

Report Card Reveals Most Toxic Retailers

Three years ago, the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ Mind the Store campaign started publishing a report card on retailer actions to eliminate toxic chemicals. The third annual report3,4 reveals which retailers have made strides to protect its customers from toxic chemicals in the products they sell, and which ones have not. This year, chain restaurants were also included for the first time.

About half of the 40 companies evaluated have made “slow but meaningful progress at improving the chemical safety of the products, food and packaging they sell,” while the other half, including all restaurant chains, have not made any discernible efforts to reduce toxicity. According to the report, published November 14, 2018:5

“Four retailers received the highest grades for their work to protect customers from toxic products and packaging, setting the pace for the industry: Apple (A+), Target (A), Walmart (A-) and IKEA (A-).

In 2018, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Amazon were ranked ‘most improved’ with all three companies announcing sweeping chemical safety policies over the past two months.”

Mike Schade, campaign director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families commented on the results:6

“Companies can prevent harm and protect public health by taking commonsense steps to phase out toxic chemicals in everyday products. Retailers have an important role to play — they have both the power and the moral responsibility to eliminate and safely replace toxic chemicals to ‘mind the store.’ They should stop letting chemical corporations put public health at risk.”

Which Retailers Scored Failing Grades in 2018?

In all, 19 of the 40 retailers, grocery and fast food restaurant chains included in the review received an “F” in 2018 for “failing to announce policies or publicly report progress to assess, reduce or eliminate toxic chemicals in the products or packaging they sell.” As noted by Tracy Gregoire, project coordinator for Learning Disabilities Association of America’s Healthy Children:7

“Learning and developmental disabilities now affect 1 in 6 children. Over a quarter of these disabilities are linked to toxic chemical exposures. Prenatal and early childhood exposure to harmful chemicals in consumer products and food packaging can lead to lifelong impacts and chronic health conditions.

Major retailers have both the opportunity and the responsibility to become industry leaders by keeping toxic chemicals out of products and packaging to protect children’s minds and bodies.”

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While some of the companies that received an “F” would seem like “givens,” even companies like Trader Joe’s and Publix are on this list.

Companies that received a Failing Grade for 20188

Macy’s Ulta Beauty Ahold Delhaize Nordstrom Trader Joe’s Panera Bread Office Depot Sally Beauty McDonald’s Starbucks Subway Restaurant Brands International Dollar General TJX Companies Yum! Brands Ace Hardware Sobeys 99 Cents Only Publix

Executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, Mike Belliveau, a coauthor of the report, said:9

“The food we buy should nourish us, not expose us to toxic chemicals from packaging and processing. Restaurant chains are serving up a recipe for poor health by failing to slash the use of toxic chemicals in food packaging and other food contact materials.

Toxic industrial chemicals like phthalates and PFAS don’t belong in the food we eat. Consumers expect a lot more leadership from food retailers in getting toxic chemicals out of the food supply chain.”

Key Findings

According to the report, this year’s analysis reveals five key findings:10

1.Retailers are making an effort to remove certain toxic chemicals from their products — Examples given include phthalates, parabens and formaldehyde in beauty and personal care products, and oxybenzone in sunscreens.

Rite Aid is planning to eliminate two types of phthalates from its private label products by 2020, and will phase out nine others. By the end of 2022, Home Depot will also prohibit two phthalates and seven other chemicals in any household cleaning products they sell.

Ten retailers — Lowe’s, Sherwin-Williams, The Home Depot, Walmart, True Value, PPG Paints, AutoZone, Kelly-Moore Paints, Canadian Tire and Home Hardware — have all vowed to cease selling paint strippers containing methylene chloride and NMP by the end of 2018.

According to the report, “At least three paint stripper brands have recently announced new products coming to market that are free of methylene chloride and NMP, showing the power of retailers to drive the development of safer solutions.”

2.Retailers are strengthening or adopting new policies to address toxic chemicals — Aside from Walgreens, Rite Aid and Amazon — which reported the most significant improvements in this regard — Target, Lowe’s, Costco, Kohl’s and Sephora also improved.

3.Retailers are “aligning around a common list of chemicals of concern” — primarily the beauty and personal care stewardship list,11 created by the Forum for the Future in collaboration with The Sustainability Consortium, which is a subset of a larger list12 containing several thousand chemicals with suspected toxicity, developed by government agencies in the U.S., Europe and other regions.

4.Food retailers, on the other hand, “seriously lag behind,” having been slow to adopt policies to reduce or eliminate known toxins such as phthalates and PFAS from their packaging and materials that come into contact with the food.

5.Despite progress, “too many” retailers are still not addressing the chemical safety of their products — “Almost half the retailers evaluated lacked even the most basic public chemicals policy,” the report states.

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American Academy of Pediatrics Calls for Reduced Exposure to Chemicals

The fact that all food retailers received a failing score is disturbing, considering their overall impact on an individual’s day-to-day chemical exposure. As noted by Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Environmental Health and lead author of the AAP’s policy statement on toxic food chemicals issued earlier this year:13

“There are critical weaknesses in the current food additives regulatory process, which doesn’t do enough to ensure all chemicals added to foods are safe enough to be part of a family’s diet. As pediatricians, we’re especially concerned about significant gaps in data about the health effects of many of these chemicals on infants and children …

Chemicals that affect the endocrine system, for example, can have lasting effects on a child since hormones coordinate complex functions throughout the body. Even small disruptions at key moments during development can have lifelong consequences.”

In July 2018, the AAP, a group of over 65,000 pediatricians in the U.S., issued a policy statement urging parents to limit their children’s exposure to plastic chemicals known to leach into food from packaging, as well as chemical food additives, warning the chemicals may damage their children’s health for years to come.14 In a policy statement, the AAP expressed concerns related to:15

“[T]he use of colorings, flavorings and chemicals deliberately added to food during processing (direct food additives) as well as substances in food contact materials, including adhesives, guys, coatings, paper, paperboard, plastic and other polymers which may contaminate food as part of packaging or manufacturing equipment …”

Some of those chemicals include phthalates, nitrates and bisphenols. Experts fear these chemicals have a range of side effects in humans, including metabolic dysfunction, thyroid and other endocrine disruption, impaired brain development, increasing risk of obesity and decreased birth weight.16Synthetic hormones may also disrupt how calories are processed and ultimately how they are converted, contributing to metabolic dysfunction.

World Health Organization Has Also Issued Warnings About Food and Plastic Chemicals

A 2013 joint report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Program17 also warned that an all-out ban on endocrine disrupting chemicals may be needed to protect the health of future generations.

This report is one of the most comprehensive on endocrine disrupting chemicals commonly found in plastics and food additives to date, and highlights a wide variety of problems, including undescended testicles, breast, prostate and thyroid cancer, nervous system defects and the development of attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.18

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Like Waking Times on Facebook. Follow Waking Times on Twitter. The Most Toxic Retailers on the Planet was last modified: December 5th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Sayer Ji, Green Med Info
Waking Times

In recent years, we’ve focused heavily on educating our readers about the still relatively unknown role that cancer stem cells play in cancer, both in terms of conventional cancer treatment failure and the exceptionally promising role that natural interventions play in targeting these highly malignant cells.

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It is encouraging to witness a growing awareness that cancer has been completely misunderstood, and that in order to make progress against the global epidemic we will have to go back to the wisdom of the ancients by using foods and spices instead of toxic chemicals and radiation to fight a disease that should be classified more as a survival mechanism unmasked than an inexorably lethal, genetically-driven condition. Even the National Cancer Institute now admits that it had been wrong for decades about “early stage” breast (DCIS) and prostate (HGPIN) “cancers,” and that they should be reclassified as indolent or benign lesions of epithelial origin, i.e. not “cancer” at all! Essentially, therefore, millions were overdiagnosed and overtreated for cancers they never had. Even now, despite this admission, the vast majority of conventional doctors have yet to account for, acknowledge, or integrate this radically different definition of cancer and its implications for treatment into their “standard of care.”

Only last week, we featured a new review on natural therapies that target cancer stem cells, many of which included common foods and spices. You can view it here. But one substance conspicuously absent from the list was cannabis, which is the herb we now turn to to give it a fair representation in the context of this topic.

A recent article published in the Journal Neuroimmune Pharmacology titled, “The Antitumor Activity of Plant-Derived Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids,” reviewed the therapeutic potential of a non-psychoactive class of phytochemicals found in cannabis known as cannabinoids. Unlike THC, cannabinoids do not activate the cannabinoid 1 and cannabinoid 2 receptors in the central nervous system in any significant way, making their activity less controversial as they do not produce changes in perception and sensation associated with “recreational” and/or “psychedelic” drugs. There are actually over 60 cannabinoids in cannabis, but the second most abundant one, cannabidiol (CBD), has been found to inhibit and/or kill a wide range of cancers in the animal model, including gliobastoma (a difficult-to-treat type of brain cancer), breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancer. There have been a wide range of mechanisms identified behind these observed anti-tumor activities, including anti-angiogenic (preventing new blood vessel formation), anti-metastatic, anti-cell viability, but the one we wish to focus on in this report is its ability to to inhibit the stem-like potential of cancer cells.

Stem cells are unique within the body as they are capable of continual self-renewal, theoretically making them immortal relative to regular body cells (somatic cells), which die after a fixed number or replication cycles. In their normal state of function they are essential for healing and bodily regeneration, as they are capable of differentiating into the wide range of cells that make up the body and need to be regularly replaced when damaged.

This so-called pluripotent property of stem cells is also observed in tumor formation and maintenance, as cancer stem cells are capable of producing the entire range of different cells that make up a tumor colony. Unlike regular tumor cells, cancer stem cells are uniquely tumorigenic because they are capable of breaking off from an existing lesion or tumor and forming a new tumor colony of cells. In this sense, they are “mother cells” at the heart of cancer malignancy, whose ability to colonize other tissues by producing all the “daughter cells” necessary to form a new tumor make their existence highly concerning from the perspective of cancer prevention and treatment. Radiation and chemotherapy, while capable of reducing the size of a tumor, actually enrich the post-treatment residual lesion or tumor with higher levels of cancer stem cells, and in some cases transform non-cancer stem cells into cancer stem cells, ultimately making the post-treatment state of the treated tissue far worse than its pre-treatment condition. This is why identifying and using natural, safe, effective and affordable ways to target cancer stem cells versus the non-tumorigenic tumor cells in a lesion or tumor is the only rational way to treat cancer, and should be the primary focus of present day cancer treatment approaches.

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The new review discussed the way that cannabidiol targets and/or inhibits the cancer stem cell subpopulation in cancers such as the highly treatment-resistant form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma, which is widely considered by conventional medicine as “incurable.” A 2013 study,1 mentioned in the review, found that patient-derived glioblastoma cells when exposed to cannabidiol saw a significant down-regulation of the genetic tumor marker Id-1, which has been closely correlated with brain cancer cell invasiveness. They also found that cannabidiol was capable of inhibiting neurosphere formation (a sign of cancer stem cell tumor formation), as well as was capable of inhibiting glioblastoma tumor invasiveness in an animal model.

The results of this preclinical study were so compelling that the researchers concluded cannibidiol might make an ideal adjunct treatment:

With its lack of systemic toxicity and psychoactivity, cannabidiol is an ideal candidate agent in this regard and may prove useful in combination with front-line agents for the treatment of patients with aggressive and high-grade glioblastoma tumors.

Integrative approaches often focus on using natural interventions as “adjuncts” to conventional, inherently toxic approaches like chemotherapy and radiation, we believe that another possibility exists, namely, that cannabidiol in combination with a wide range of other natural substances studied for targeting glioblastoma is more effective (and certainly far safer) than a combination approach. To view other anti-glioblastoma substances, view our database on the subject.

Another highly relevant study published in 2007 titled, “Cannabinoids induce glioma stem-like cell differentiation and inhibit gliomagenesis,”2 found that cannabinoids target the stem-like properties of glioma cells, encouraging their differentiation into functioning, non-tumorigenic cells, and inhibiting the dysregulated increased production of glioma cells.

A more recent 2015 study,3 found that glioblastoma cells treated with cannabidiol inhibited their self-renewal by down-regulating “critical stem cell maintenance and growth regulators.”

Another study, published last month, found that cannabidiol inhibits glioma stem-like proliferation by inducing autophagy, a natural form of programmed cell death.4

Consider, finally, that the cancer stem cell targeting and killing properties of cannabidiol are only one of a wide range of potential mechanisms through which cannabis as a whole plant, comprised of hundreds of different phytochemicals and phytonutrients, can treat cancer. We have indexed hundreds of studies on cannabis’ therapeutic properties, a good subset concerning its ability to prevent, kill, or regress a wide range of different cancer types. You can view them all on our cannabis research database.

Research on cannabis and brain cancer has only just begun, but considering the abject failure if not also sheer violence of conventional approaches, waiting for sufficient quantities of Pharma or government capital to flow in the direction of a non-patentable substance already saddled with archaic laws in some cases criminalizing its possession is a no win proposition. Anecdotes of healing with cannabis are not uncommon. One such report can be viewed on our colleague Dr. Jeffrey Dach’s website, titled, “Cannabis Oil Brain Tumor Remission,” demonstrating just how powerful cannabis and its cannabinoids may be for accomplishing what conventional approaches can not. Last year, we reported on a similar case of temporary remission in childhood leukemia using cannabis extract. Also, consider reports like this one, where a woman clearly being victimized by conventional medicine was able to replace 40 different medications through using raw cannabis juice.

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The short of it is that the future of medicine, if it is to continue to advertise itself to be concerned with alleviating human suffering and being guided by “evidence,” must incorporate this safe, time-tested, affordable and effective healing agent into its standard of care. Failing to do so will not de-validate cannabis, rather, but the medical system itself. One might ask, if cannabis can treat “incurable” brain cancers, and is safer and more effective than chemotherapy and radiation, shouldn’t withholding it or information about its healing properties be considered criminal? Instead we still live in a time and age where simply possessing it or using it is in some jurisdictions classified as a criminal offense of dire if not irreparable consequence to our civil liberties. Perhaps we are at a critical turning point now and the aforementioned research will lead us all forward to a more enlightened medical ethos that respects the right of a patient to choose his or her treatment as long as it does no harm to others.

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References:

1Soroceanu L, Murase R, Limbad C, Singer EL, Allison J, Adrados I, Kawamura R, Pakdel A, Fukuyo Y, Nguyen D, Khan S, Arauz R, Yount GL, Moore D, Desprez PY, McAllister SD (2013) Id-1 is a Key transcriptional regulator of glioblastoma aggressiveness and a novel therapeutic target. Cancer Res 73:1559–1569

2 Tania Aguado, Arkaitz Carracedo, Boris Julien, Guillermo Velasco, Garry Milman, Raphael Mechoulam, Luis Alvarez, Manuel Guzmán, Ismael Galve-Roperh. Cannabinoids induce glioma stem-like cell differentiation and inhibit gliomagenesis. J Biol Chem. 2007 Mar 2;282(9):6854-62. Epub 2007 Jan 2.

3 Singer E, Judkins J, Salomonis N, Matlaf L, Soteropoulos P, McAllister S, Soroceanu L (2015) Reactive oxygen species-mediated therapeu- tic response and resistance in glioblastoma. Cell Death Dis 6:e1601

4 Nabissi M, Morelli MB, Amantini C, Liberati S, Santoni M, Ricci-Vitiani L, Pallini R, Santoni G. Cannabidiol stimulates Aml-1a-dependent glial differentiation and inhibits glioma stem-like cells proliferation by inducing autophagy in a TRPV2-dependent manner. Int J Cancer. 2015 Oct 15;137(8):1855-69. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29573. Epub 2015 May 8. PubMed PMID: 25903924.

About the Author

Sayer Ji is founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

**© [12/01/18] GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.**

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of WakingTimes or its staff.

Like Waking Times on FacebookFollow Waking Times on Twitter. If Cannabis Can Kill ‘Incurable’ Brain Cancer, Why is it Criminalized? was last modified: December 4th, 2018 by WakingTimes

Jon Rappoport, Guest
Waking Times

Big media attacks “fake news.” Independent reporters rightly point the finger at big media as the predominant purveyor of fake news.

Here I want to comment on one of the most devious forms of MSM fake news: the limited hangout.

When necessary, news outlets will do a PARTIAL EXPOSURE of a hidden crime. The assumption is, once the story is published and broadcast, everyone will shake their heads and say, “That’s terrible,” and move on. The whole thing will be forgotten in a matter of days, as if the whole truth has been revealed. Limited hangout.

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From media’s point of view, a limited hangout means: “We won’t do any further digging. We’ll shut down further investigation.” Vital questions won’t be asked:

Why did the criminals do what they did? Why are they still at large? Who is refusing to press charges and make arrests? What deeper crimes are still secret?

The mainstream press could set their hounds loose and build a story into a huge wave. Over time, they could bring hidden players out into the open and expose them and wring confessions out of them. They could get some of these players to roll over and point to higher-level criminals. The story could achieve tsunami status, at which point the government would have to make arrests and lay on trials in open courtrooms.

But that doesn’t happen. Limited hangout rules the day.

I’m going to present a story about a crime now. It’s big. Very big. It was covered, to a degree, by the mainstream press. The coverage seemed to be significant. But it was a limited hangout.

As you read on, imagine what might have happened if the press had decided to go in with guns blazing and investigate all the way, over a period of months, releasing new revelations as they discovered them. Imagine the repercussions. Imagine the public outcry. Instead of a limited hangout, we would have seen…well, I’ll leave it to you to fill in the blanks.

In 1975, the US signed on to an international treaty banning the production, use, and stockpiling of biological weapons. Ditto for chemical weapons, in 1993. Another treaty.

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Here’s a quote from the Washington Post (9/4/13, “When the US looked the other way on chemical weapons”): “…The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of numerous items…including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague…”

Between 1985 and 1989, a US 501C3 firm, American Type Culture Collection, sent Iraq up to 70 shipments of various biowar agents, including 21 strains of anthrax.

Between 1984 and 1989, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control!) sent Iraq at least 80 different biowar agents, including botulinum toxoid, dengue virus, and West Nile antigen and antibody.

This information on the American Type Culture Collection and the CDC comes from a report, “Iraq’s Biological Weapons Program,” prepared by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).

Then we have a comprehensive article by William Blum (one of the good investigators in this whole story) in the April 1998 Progressive called “Anthrax for Export.” Blum cites a 1994 Senate report confirming that, in this 1985-1989 time period, US shipments of anthrax and other biowar agents to Iraq were licensed by…drum roll, cymbal crash…the US Dept. of Commerce.

Blum quotes from the Senate report: “These biological materials were not attenuated or weakened and were capable of reproduction. It was later learned that these microorganisms exported by the United States were identical to those the United Nations inspectors found and removed from the Iraqi biological warfare program.”

This 1994 Senate report also indicates that the US exported to Iraq the precursors for chemwar agents, actual plans for chemical and biowar production facilities, and chemical-warhead filling equipment. The exports continued until at least November 28, 1989.

Blum lists a few other biowar agents the US shipped to Iraq. Histoplasma Capsulatum, Brucella Melitensis, Clostridium Perfringens, Clostridium tetani—as well as E. coli, various genetic materials, human and bacterial DNA.

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Blum also points out that a 1994 Pentagon report dismissed any connection between all these biowar agents and Gulf War Illness. But the researcher who headed up that study, Joshua Lederberg, was actually a director of the US firm that had provided the most biowar material to Iraq in the 1980s: the American Type Culture Collection.

Newsday revealed that the CEO of the American Type Culture Collection was a member of the US Dept. of Commerce’s Technical Advisory Committee. See, the Dept. of Commerce had to license and approve all those exports of biowar agents carried out by the American Type Culture Collection. Get the picture?

Now, as to other US companies which dealt biowar or chemwar agents to Iraq—all such sales having been approved by the US government—the names of these companies are contained in records of the 1992 Senate hearings, “United States Export Policy Toward Iraq Prior to Iraq’s Invasion of Kuwait,” Senate Report 102-996, Senate Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs, 102d Congress, Second Session (October 27, 1992):

Mouse Master (Georgia), Sullaire Corp (Charlotte, North Carolina), Pure Aire (Charlotte, North Carolina), Posi Seal (Conn.), Union Carbide (Conn.), Evapco (Maryland), BDM Corp (Virginia), Spectra Physics (Calif.).

There are about a dozen more.

This also from the Blum article: “A larger number of American firms supplied Iraq with the specialized computers, lasers, testing and analyzing equipment, and other instruments and hardware vital to the manufacture of nuclear weapons, missiles, and delivery systems. Computers, in particular, play a key role in nuclear weapons development. Advanced computers make it feasible to avoid carrying out nuclear test explosions, thus preserving the program’s secrecy. The 1992 Senate hearings implicated [Hewlett Packard, Palo Alto, CA — among others].”

Hewlett Packard said that the recipient of its shipments, Saad 16, was some sort of school in Iraq. But in 1990, the Wall St. Journal stated that Saad 16 was a “heavily fortified, state-of-the-art [Iraqi] complex for aircraft construction, missile design, and, almost certainly, nuclear-weapons research.”

If you review and think about all these WMD shipments from the US to Iraq, you understand there were many US officials and corporate employees who knew about them. Knew about them then, in the 1980s, and knew about them later, during 2 US wars in Iraq, when American soldiers were sent to Iraq, and could have been exposed to the bio/chem weapons.

And these officials and employees said nothing.

Officials at the CDC and the Dept. of Commerce said nothing. People at the American Type Culture Collection said nothing. People at the Pentagon and the CIA and the NSA said nothing. Presidents said nothing. Employees of the corporations who supplied germs and chemicals said nothing.

—Now imagine the NY Times and the Washington Post releasing their hounds to dig deeper into this boggling story. Interviews with the players. Investigations into the role of the CDC. The cover-ups. After a year of relentless probing and publishing, this would have built into an unstoppable tidal wave. The whole country (and the world) would have been agog. Prosecutions would have followed.

But it didn’t happen.

Instead, the story dissolved and went away.

The history that could have been made…

Wasn’t made.

This is fake news at its finest; by omission. By limited hangout.

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About the Author

Jon Rappoport is the author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALEDEXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29thDistrict of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Exit From The Matrixclick here.)

This article (Mainstream Fake-News: the Devious Limited Hangout) was originally created and published by Jon Rappaport’s Blog and is re-posted here with permission.

Like Waking Times on FacebookFollow Waking Times on Twitter. Mainstream Fake-News: the Devious Limited Hangout was last modified: December 4th, 2018 by WakingTimes

John Vibes, Guest
Waking Times

In a study published earlier this year by researchers at the National Institute of Scientific Research at the University of Quebec, cannabis can actually help counteract the harmful effects of alcohol to some degree.

The study found that cannabis use significantly lowered the odds of liver diseases like hepatitis, cirrhosis, steatosis, and even hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.  Researchers formed these conclusions based on the medical records of roughly 320,000 patients who had a history of alcoholism.

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According to the study:

“Abusive alcohol use has well‐established health risks including causing liver disease (ALD) characterized by alcoholic steatosis (AS), steatohepatitis (AH), fibrosis, cirrhosis (AC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Strikingly, a significant number of individuals who abuse alcohol also use Cannabis, which has seen increased legalization globally. While cannabis has demonstrated anti‐inflammatory properties, its combined use with alcohol and the development of liver disease remain unclear.”

Researchers have not determined why alcoholics who used cannabis had less of a chance of developing liver disease, but many suspect that it has something to do with the proven anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis.

These findings support the results of another study last year which concluded that cannabis helps with non-alcoholic liver disease as well.

According to last year’s study:

“It can be hypothesized that marijuana use may have potential beneficial effects on metabolic abnormalities such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Whether marijuana use plays a role in NAFLD pathogenesis via modification of shared risk factors, or by an independent pathway remains uncertain. In this population-based study, we assessed the association between marijuana use and NAFLD in the US.”

Despite the proven health benefits of cannabis and the fact that it becoming legal in new states every year, lawmakers and mainstream media pundits refuse to give up on the reefer madness hysteria that they built their careers on.

Just after these studies were published, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control banned the sale of cannabis-infused alcoholic beverages, totally ignoring the science that this actually makes the alcohol less harmful.

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This attitude can be seen in the hysteria that was created when Elon Musk took a hit of cannabis on the Joe Rogan Podcast, after spending two hours drinking liquor. Of course, even though the herb is legal in the state where they recorded, and it is far less harmful than alcohol, people decided to focus on the cannabis use because of the stigma against it.

A 2015 study, published in the journal, ‘Scientific Reports,’ suggests that smoking cannabis is roughly 114 times safer than drinking  alcohol. Ironically, out of all the drugs that were researched in the  study, alcohol was actually the most dangerous, and it was the only  legal drug on the list.

Just behind alcohol, heroin and cocaine were listed as the next most  dangerous, followed by tobacco, ecstasy, and meth. The criteria that  these drugs were arranged by, was according to the likelihood of a  person dying from consuming a lethal dose.

“The results confirm that the risk of cannabis may have been  overestimated in the past. At least for the endpoint of mortality, the  [margin of exposure] for THC/cannabis in both individual and  population-based assessments would be above safety thresholds (e.g. 100  for data based on animal experiments). In contrast, the risk of alcohol  may have been commonly underestimated,” the report states. “Currently, the MOE results point to risk management  prioritization towards alcohol and tobacco rather than illicit drugs.  The high MOE values of cannabis, which are in a low-risk range, suggest a  strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition  approach,” the report continues.

While this is not the first study to rank marijuana very low in terms of danger, it comes at a time when the debate surrounding marijuana legalization is more heated than ever before, with more and more people agreeing that it is time to end prohibition.

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Largest Study of its Kind Finds Cannabis Helps Prevent Alcohol-Related Liver Damage was last modified: December 4th, 2018 by WakingTimes

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