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Dr. Mercola, Guest
Waking Times

Dollar stores such as Dollar General and Dollar Tree (which also owns Family Dollar) are becoming a primary source of food for many families. The chains feed more Americans than Whole Foods,1 which isn’t surprising when you consider there are 30,000 Dollar General and Dollar Tree stores across the U.S. — outnumbering Walmart’s and McDonald’s’ combined — compared to 446 Whole Foods locations.

The dollar store chains also claim to have their sights on yet another 20,000 locations. The problem with this trend is that dollar stores typically do not carry fresh food; it’s primarily ultra-processed packaged foods and canned foods, which we know is a recipe for ill health in the long term.

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Sadly, dollar stores specifically target urban neighborhoods and small towns where economic struggles are commonplace,2 turning these areas into food deserts as they push out smaller, already struggling grocers. As reported by Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR):3

“Although dollar stores sometimes fill a need in places that lack basic retail services, there’s growing evidence that these stores are not merely a byproduct of economic distress. They’re a cause of it.

In small towns and urban neighborhoods alike, dollar stores are leading full-service grocery stores to close. And their strategy of saturating communities with multiple outlets is making it impossible for new grocers and other local businesses to take root and grow.”

Driving this trend is the U.S. government’s subsidy of processed food, both through the Farm Bill and through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This sets the stage for discount stores to monopolize the food market, which subsequently leads to poorer diets, higher disease rates and associated health care costs.

In truth, food subsidies and health care really cannot be separated, as the nation’s diet is a primary contributor to chronic disease and therefore drives our health care expenditures. The idea that big box stores and dollar stores are doing Americans a favor by making inexpensive food more available is a twisted one, as it’s really just making people sicker.

Racial Discrepancies

ILSR also notes that dollar stores tend to target areas based on race rather than income. Using Tulsa, Oklahoma, as an example, ILSR shows how these stores are congregated in census tracts with more African-American residents, even though there are low-income Caucasian areas as well.

“One reason for this link might be that dollar stores see an easier revenue stream in places that lack competing grocery stores,” ILSR writes. “In the case of Family Dollar, for example, ‘Food deserts’ are its sweet spot,” notes Ann Natunewicz, an analyst at Colliers International.

The absence of grocery stores is, in turn, a direct result of a history of racial discrimination by banks that have been less likely to lend to African American entrepreneurs and by supermarket chains that have tended to bypass black neighborhoods.”

How a near-total diet of ultra-processed food affects health and longevity can be seen in the city’s mortality statistics. Life expectancy in north Tulsa, which is predominantly black, is a staggering 14 years lower than that of the south. In an effort to address this disparity, Tulsa’s city council has enacted a dollar store ordinance that limits dollar stores in the northern part of Tulsa and provides incentives for full-service grocers instead. As reported by ILSR:4

“This is the first ordinance in the country to specifically target dollar stores, and its passage is being felt both locally and nationally. It’s marked a new era of political inclusion and grassroots power for the city’s African American residents. It’s also focused national attention on the growth of dollar stores and inspired other cities and towns to take steps to check their spread.

Who Benefits From Government Food Subsidizes?

In the U.S., 12.4 percent of the population, some 40 million in all as of 2017,5 live at or below the poverty line and rely on a monthly allotment of food stamps through SNAP to cover their food bill. Today, these monies are doled out once a month via electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards.

Disturbingly, the fastest-growing group of people on food stamps are people who have jobs and work year-round. Ironically, many of them work in the very same big box stores and discount outlets that profit from the SNAP benefits their employees are forced to use due to low wages.

In 2017, the program distributed $76 billion worth of EBT transfers, and across the country there are about 240,000 retailers approved by the federal government to accept EBT cards (i.e., food stamps).

A 2014 article6 in Slate Magazine addressed a little-discussed facet of the food stamp subsidy — which stores actually profit from this program, funded by tax dollars, and how much. As it turns out, this data is actually kept confidential.

“Even basic facts such as how many food stamp dollars go to a particular store in a particular location are not publicly available,” Slate notes. “In what stores and neighborhoods are the most food stamp dollars spent? What kinds of foods do those stores promote and sell? What are the store’s business and labor practices?

The answers to those questions might help you see how food stamp subsidies are serving a community — if they’re doing what they were meant to do.”

Discount Stores Likely Gain the Most From SNAP

The confidentiality of SNAP sales information is in sharp contrast to other government programs, where you can find out how much a participating business is getting paid. What is known, however, is that sales of staple items typically spike on days when SNAP benefits are distributed, both at grocers and discount stores.

Walmart’s annual report for 2014 listed cuts in SNAP payments as a potential risk factor for declining sales, as that same year the U.S. government cut SNAP by $8 billion over the next decade.

And, according to Slate, Walmart likely receives about 18 percent of all food stamp spending in the U.S., based on the company’s own estimates, making it “the biggest single corporate beneficiary of SNAP.”7 Other players include Target, Costco, 7-Eleven and, of course, dollar stores. Slate notes:

“It’s a paradox that the more people are struggling to get by, the more valuable food stamps become for business. In 2009, the CEO of Family Dollar told shareholders that expanding in to the multibillion-dollar food stamp market represented a ‘significant opportunity’ that would help the company weather the bad economy.”

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By Encouraging Junk Food, Government Subsidies Drive Rising Health Care Costs

As mentioned at the beginning, by encouraging dollar stores and other discount stores to accept EBT, the food stamp program has become a driving force of ill health. Poor people receive money to buy food, but if all that’s available in their neighborhood is dollar stores, the food they buy will be limited to ultra-processed foods that cannot support optimal health.

As a result, they get sick, and must rely on more government aid to receive health care, which then drives up those costs. The U.S. government also subsidizes junk food ingredients — commodity crops such as corn, soy and wheat — over healthy foods via the Farm Bill, despite dietary guidelines calling for healthy portions of fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.

Considering this is what farmers get paid to grow, it’s no wonder that processed corn, soy and wheat products such as bread, soda, pizza, pasta, cookies and doughnuts account for a majority of calories in the U.S. diet.

Considering these foods are a primary driver of weight gain, it’s also not surprising that people who consume the most subsidized foods have a far greater risk of obesity — 37 percent greater, according to research published in 2016.8

As noted by Integrative Nutrition,9 “While the subsidies were initially implemented to support struggling farmers and to secure America’s food supply, the subsidies program has unintentionally supported the creation of a health epidemic.”

Food Subsidies Cannot Be Separated From Health Care

A September 2017 article10 in The Conversation by Dariush Mozaffarian, professor of nutrition at Tufts University, hit the nail on the head, pointing out that in order to fix America’s health care, we must make food a priority.

Cost is one of the primary challenges of most health care related issues, be it access or the expansion of Medicaid. But changing how care is delivered is never going to solve the problem of how we’re going to afford to care for everyone. We really have to shift our focus to food, as poor diet is the primary driver of chronic ill health, both in children and adults.

Research11 has shown as much as 40 percent of American health care expenditures are for diseases directly related to the overconsumption of sugar (a key staple in processed and ultra-processed food). Time magazine12 cites data13 showing food insecurity incurs $77.5 billion in added health care expenditures.

Children in food-insecure homes are also less likely to perform well academically, thereby perpetuating the cycle of poverty. Adding insult to injury, once you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, you’re less likely to be able to manage your condition well if you cannot afford real food.

According to Mozaffarian, his research suggests poor diet is the cause of nearly half of all deaths from heart disease, stroke and diabetes in the U.S. “To put this in perspective, about twice as many Americans are estimated to die each year from eating hot dogs and other processed meats (~58,000 deaths/year) than from car accidents (~35,000 deaths/year),” Mozaffarian writes, adding:

“It’s hard to fathom how much our country actually spends on health care: currently $3.2 trillion per year, or nearly 1 in 5 dollars in the entire U.S. economy. That’s almost $1,000 each month for every man, woman and child in the country, exceeding most people’s budgets for food, gas, housing or other common necessities …

Yet, remarkably, nutrition is virtually ignored by our health care system and in the health care debates … Traveling around the country, I find that dietary habits are not included in the electronic medical record, and doctors receive scant training on healthy eating and other lifestyle priorities.

Reimbursement standards and quality metrics rarely cover nutrition. Meanwhile, total federal spending for nutrition research across all agencies is only about $1.5 billion per year. Compare that with more than $60 billion spent per year for industry research on drugs, biotechnology and medical devices.”

Ultra-Processed Junk Food — A Sick Idea That’s Making People Ill

About 90 percent of the money Americans spend on food goes to buy processed food,14,15,16 which matches up nicely with data17 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which suggests 90 percent of Americans don’t eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables to maintain good health.

While that’s bad enough, research18 reveals nearly 60 percent of the food Americans eat is not just processed but ultra-processed, defined as:

  • Food products containing several ingredients that are not traditionally used in cooking
  • Besides salt, sugar, oils and fats, they can include artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners and other additives “used to imitate sensorial qualities of unprocessed or minimally processed foods”
  • These ingredients may also be added “to disguise undesirable qualities of the final product”
  • Products containing preservatives and chemicals that give them an unnaturally long shelf-life

Less than 1 percent of daily calories comes from vegetables. Those ultra-processed foods account for 90 percent of the added sugar consumption in the U.S., and the dangers of eating too much added sugar have been well-established.

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Research has even suggested refined non-vegetable fiber carbs such as potatoes, bagels and breakfast cereal are as risky as smoking, increasing your risk for lung cancer by as much as 49 percent.19

The 2015-2020 U.S. dietary guidelines20 even recommend limiting your sugar intake to a maximum of 10 percent of your daily calories.21 (No sugar limit was ever included in earlier guidelines.)

The difference between processed foods and ultra-processed foods in terms of sugar content is quite dramatic. The researchers found that about 2 percent of the calories in processed foods came from added sugars. By definition, unprocessed or minimally processed contained none. Ultra-processed foods, meanwhile, got 21 percent of their calories from added sugars!

Protect Your Health by Eating Real Food

There’s no doubt we have serious health epidemics on our hands — and that a majority, if not all of them, are linked to our government’s subsidy of junk food over real food, and a system that encourages the use of SNAP benefits in discount stores selling nothing but ultra-processed food.

There are no quick and easy answers here. All you can do is remember that your diet really is the foundation upon which your health is built, and that eating a processed food diet is a recipe for long-term disaster. Studies have repeatedly shown that real food is more expensive than processed fare, and there’s no denying the fact that there are areas where the only food retailers available are dollar stores and gas stations.

Still, if you have access to real food, I encourage you to take the time to learn how to cook from scratch and make the most of any leftovers. Also consider growing some of your own. To learn more, see my previous article on creating edible gardens in small spaces. I’ve also written about how you can garden during the winter. This clearly requires a bit more dedication and planning, but it can be done if you have the will.

One of the easiest foods to grow at home, even if you’re new to gardening and have limited space, is sprouts. A highly-concentrated source of enzymes, vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals, sprouted seeds are a true superfood that many overlook. In fact, the protein, vitamin and mineral content of many sprouted seeds far surpass that of organic homegrown vegetables.

Also emphasize foods high in healthy fats, such as avocados, coconut oil, butter and nuts. The high fat content will provide you the calories you need despite smaller portions and keep you satiated longer (opposed to high-sugar, low-fat meals which will have you craving more food in a matter of hours). Healthy fats will also promote efficient fat burning and support mitochondrial health, which is essential for cellular functioning.

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Rosanne Lindsay, Contributor
Waking Times

As we close out 2018, and welcome in 2019, we as a humanity can create a world of chaos or peace. But before we begin, we need to be able to understand how we co-create one over the other.

In Gematria, the word “chaos” reduces in numerology to the number 19.   The practice of coding words into numbers and numbers into words is known as Gematria in Hebrew, and Isopsephy in Greek.

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In his book, Letters and Numbers, Zachary Hubbard writes:

In Kabbalah, the central belief is God created the world with language, by combining the number with the letter with the word. This is expressed in the foundational text of Kabbalah, the Sepher Yetzirah, or in English, The Book of Formation. In its opening paragraph, it states, in reference to God creating the world, “He created His Universe by three forms of expression: Numbers, Letters and Words”. This belief about creation from The Book of Formation is in line with the beginning of the Holy Bible, which begins with Genesis, where God speaks the world into existence over the course of six numbered days, before resting on the seventh day and making it holy. If you have not read the story of creation from Genesis, God begins each day by making a verbal command, “And God said”, then bringing something new into the world, from light, to water, to land, to stars.

Hubbard writes that everything about the Bible is numerically coded. “In the Bible, where the code is based, it concludes with Revelation, where one of its most known verses, Revelation 13:18, pertains to the number of the beast and the number of a man. That number is 666.”

The word gematria means geometry within language.

Gematria goes back to Babylon and Freemasonry. It is the language in use by Freemasons today in the media. Members of Freemasonry are commonly called masons (builders of Temples). They are scholars of the Bible, especially the Torah, based in Kabbalah, as admitted by notable members and authors of the fraternity, such as Albert Pike and Manly P. Hall, both of the 33rd °, a top honor in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

News headlines are all coded in the language of Gematria by those who control the narrative where words are spells as a way to promote an elite ruling class who control what plays out in the world.  Words have frequencies, just like thoughts and actions have frequencies. The media is a Playbook where All the world is a stage.  

What if all the stories in the media are all scripted for a purpose?

Google the word chaos under “news” and find hundreds of stories using this word in the last week. Also notice that the major news networks, such as CNN and FOX, have adopted this descriptor in the last week.

Cultural Programming

Those who control the news media also control the banks, national sports, elections, and entertainment. Entertainers are owned, and national sports are rigged. In his book, Zach Hubbard writes, “What you’ll find again and again, is how box scores and what’s being reported on the boob tube and in the papers, will secretly code numbers that are in tribute to these numerology paths, as well as the day count of the calendar year, and the number of days remaining from that date in the year.”

Why bring up the value of Gematria? Because if you are tired of being deceived and led astray in a planned conspiracy for cultural programming then it is important to understand how the world stage runs so that you can perceive in new ways to make the changes happen that need to happen.

Does one group of elite deserve to rule over the masses and run the show through deception where we all blindly create a world of chaos? Under the current system, do actions speak louder than words or is that words speak louder than actions?

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Change the Narrative

How do we find peace in chaos?

Is it time to take back the narrative and co-create a world that serves everyone. Most of us want to create a world where no one is above another, where there is true unity instead of uniformity. Most of us would not choose a world based in consumerism if we knew that it is our energy that is being consumed.

Words and their meanings deserve our focus and attention. Energy flows where attention goes.

As I’ve written before, there is a short list of common sense actions we can embody where words become irrelevant.

  1. Understand the power of words and their use through Gematria
  2. Turn off the Tel-A-Vision
  3. Unplug from Hollywood and The World of Sports
  4. Unplug from electronics as much as possible
  5. Tune into your connection with your True Self through meditation and/or prayer.
  6. Focus on the heart. The heart is more powerful than the mind. From the heart flows love, the most powerful frequency of creation.
  7. Stop the divisive narrative. Choose to be human instead of a political party, a race, a religion, or any denomination.
  8. Embody peace and those elements you wish to bring into the world. Let go of chaos.

All life is not determined through words but through relationship with others and with our environment. We must be know who we are and be aware of how words are used to deceive because we all co-create this world with our thoughts, words, and actions. May we all find peace in the new year.

There are two types of people in our world. Those who get caught up in the chaos and those who choose to separate themselves from it.

Which one are you?

Visit Gematria Effect News, Zach Hubbard’s Youtube channel for more information.

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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/.

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The U.S. could tap into a vast offshore wind energy resource and better steward its marine environment by galvanizing large-scale research and fostering public-private partnerships, according to a report by the Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Research (POWER-US). The report draws lessons from past industry-transforming initiatives and concludes that similar approaches can be taken to greatly expand the ability of the wind energy industry to generate power and jobs for the U.S. economy.

*Inspired by an original article on Reset.me.*

Humans have a unique appetite for experiencing altered states of consciousness, and this inclination is evident in many facets of social culture today, such as our attraction to alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, psychedelics, and more.

But is it possible to access these altered states without the help of a substance? Do we all possess the inner mechanisms to heal our latent traumas?

Dr. Stanislav Grof, a 83-year old Czech-born psychiatrist fascinated by the healing capabilities of non-ordinary states, has just the answer to these questions.

Stanislav teaches a powerful technique called holotropic breathwork, a practice he’s been developing and teaching to clients since the mid-70s.

What makes holotropic breathwork particularly fascinating is its remarkable ability to induce psychedelic states.

The process itself is quite simple: it combines accelerated breathing with evocative music in a special setting. While laying on a mat with their eyes closed, each person uses their own breath and the music in the room to enter a non-ordinary state of consciousness.

This state activates the natural inner healing process of the individual’s psyche, bringing him or her a particular set of internal experiences. With this inner healing intelligence guiding the process, the quality of the experience and the content brought forth is unique to each person, and to that particular time and place. While recurring themes are common, no two sessions are ever alike.

How LSD Inspired The Holotropic Breathwork Technique

Stanislav Grof, M.D., began his research into the psychotherapeutic uses of LSD in 1960 at the Psychiatric Research Institute in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He is the founding president of the International Transpersonal Association, and has taught and lectured in academic and workshop settings worldwide. His Holotropic Breathwork technique has been known to help people heal their physical and emotional traumas, with over 600 trained facilitators practicing in over 36 countries.

During the early stages of Stanislav’s career, LSD had just exploded into the realm of scientific research and psychotherapy.

While working with LSD, Stanislav developed a theoretical framework for prenatal and perinatal psychology and transpersonal psychology in which LSD trips and other powerfully emotional experiences were mapped onto a person’s early fetal and neonatal experiences.

Nevertheless, his work was halted after LSD and other psychedelics were banned in the late 1960s under the Controlled Substances Act. Stanislav knew that these altered states had a profound power to help people, and this knowledge fueled him to develop a technique that would allow people to access these states without drugs.

Enter holotropic breathwork, a technique which could be seen as Stanislav’s magnum opus.

Why Try Holotropic Breathwork?

It is said that subconscious traumas of our past hide in the deep corners of our psyche. Here, they fester, eventually surfacing as physical or emotional ailments later in our lives, but often masked by our egos.

This is where holotropic breathwork comes in handy. The technique has been , or premenstrual tension, support recovery from addiction, receive intuitive insights, or simply provide clarity in troublesome areas of our lives.

In addition, participants report that it has helped them find meaning and purpose in their life, let go of negative thoughts, diminish their fear of death, release accumulated stress and trauma, as well as feel a sense of greater connection with physical, emotional,
and spiritual parts of themselves.

Furthermore, research into HB has been substantial over the past 3 decades. These studies and analyses have provided positive results in the potential of HB. To see what peer-reviewed journals are saying about HB, see Stanislav’s HB website.

What To Expect During A HB Session?

A holotropic breathwork session encompasses 2-3 hours of deep breathing techniques along with the guidance of evocative music. Each participant has a ‘sitter’ close by in case any assistance is needed.

The process involves a participant and a ‘sitter’. The sitter’s job is to simply be available for the participant, but otherwise does not bother them. The same goes for the facilitator who gently leads the session with music.

The participant lies down on a mat, and is first taken through deeper and deeper levels of relaxation. Then the facilitator will help guide the beginning of the breathwork, advising them on their breathing pace while also encouraging them to find their own rhythm.

For the next 2-3 hours, participants experience various levels of altered states as the evocative music takes them deeper and deeper into their own psyche. Some sit still, others rock, cry, or move to the music.

Experiences can include a variety of physical sensations, deep feelings of joy or serenity, “yogic sleep,” or meditative states. Some re-experience trauma or the birth process, while others report encounters with mythic or archetypal storylines, past-life experiences, or direct spiritual or religious awakenings.

Many see emotionally charged visual images, feel energy moving through their bodies, receive intuitive insights, and clarify troublesome issues in their lives.

As you can see, holotropic breathwork provides each participant with a unique experience.

HB May Be The Right Tool For You

With over 619 facilitators trained and certified by Grof Transpersonal Training, offering workshops in 36 countries, experiencing the benefits of HB is possible for many.

Be sure to check out the website for the international association for holotropic breathwork for more information.

What are your thoughts on this technique? Do you know of other ways to induce altered states of consciousness without the use of a substance?

The Takeaway, A Note From CE

Psychedelic substances have become quite popular, but we are losing sight of what they actually do and what their true purpose is to some extent. There is no such thing as a shortcut to enlightenment. We might think that because we gain insight during an experience, that the journey is done. The reason why this is not the case is because it’s what you do with that insight that makes all the difference.

With various consciousness expanding methods available to us, you may get a glimpse of what it is like beyond the mind, but if we do not practice being in the heart, we are not going to change from the experience and challenges we have with any of these substances, or any other methods for that matter.

You can read more about our thoughts regarding psychedelics in the article linked below:

Why Psychedelics Are Not A Shortcut To Enlightenment

Gary G. Kohls, MD, Contributor
Waking Times

“…and the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lame; And on each end of the rifle we’re the same” ~John McCutcheon

104 years ago something happened in the fifth month of the “War to End All Wars” that put a tiny little blip of hope – which was cruelly and rapidly extinguished by the pro-militarism powers-that-be in both church and state – in the historical timeline of the organized mass slaughter that is war.

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The event was regarded by the professional military officer class to be so profound and so disturbing that strategies were immediately put in place that would ensure that such an event could never happen again.

“Christian” Europe was in the fifth month of the war of 1914 – 1918, the so-called Great War – that finally ground to a mutually suicidal halt after four years of exhausting trench warfare, with almost all of the original participants dead or permanently wounded (in the case of the front line soldiers) or financially, spiritually or morally bankrupt (in the case of the involved nations).

British, Scottish, French, Belgian, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, German, Austrian, Hungarian, Serbian and Russian clergymen from church pulpits in those Christian nations were doing their part in creating a decidedly un-Christ-like patriotic fervor that would result in a holocaust that destroyed four empires, killed upwards of 20 million soldiers and civilians, physically wounded hundreds of millions more and caused the psychological decimation of an entire generation of young men whose spiritual care was supposed to be the responsibility of those very clergymen.

Christianity, it should be remembered, began as a highly ethical pacifist religion based on the teachings and actions of the nonviolent Jesus of Nazareth (and his pacifist apostles and pacifist followers). Christianity survived while refusing to use violence against its supposed enemies and actually thrived despite widespread persecutions. It became the largest religion in the Roman Empire by the time Constantine “the Great” became emperor (in 313 CE). Constantine and his pro-imperialistic clergymen followers cleverly usurped the religion’s non-violent members into becoming OK with the homicidal violence of warfare, upon which Rome had relied in order to achieve its wealth, territory and power.

Ever since the Constantinian coup, the nations that professed Christianity as their state religion have never allowed the mainline churches to truly promote the radical peacemaking of the original form of Christianity as the nonviolent Jesus had so clearly taught and modeled, starting with the Sermon on the Mount teachings.

So, contrary to the ethical teachings of Jesus, most modern Christian churches by the time of the First World War, have refused to become active resisters to its particular nation’s militarist or imperial aspirations, its nation’s aggressive wars, its nation’s war-makers or its nation’s war profiteers. Instead, the church has, by and large, become a bloody instrument of the satanic in support of whatever pro-war Defense Department, political warmongers or war-profiteering corporations are in power.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see that the religious leaders on both sides of World War I were convinced that God was on their particular side and therefore not on the side of those professed followers of Jesus on the other side of the line of trenches. The incongruity of believing that the same god was blessing the lethal weapons and protecting the doomed sons on both sides of No-Man’s Land failed to register with the vast majority of “Christian” combatants or their spiritual counselors.

So, early in the war, pulpits and pews all over Europe reverberated with flag-waving fervor, sending clear messages to the millions of doomed warrior-sons that it was their Christian duty to march off to kill the equally doomed Christian soldiers on the other side of the line. And for the civilians back home, it was their Christian duty to purchase the war bonds, “support the troops” and honor the memories of those who were destined to return home dead or wounded, psychologically and spiritually broken, disillusioned – and, for the survivors, newly faithless.

A mere five months into this frustrating war (featuring trench warfare, artillery barrages, withering machine gun fire, and, soon to come, unstoppable armored tanks, aerial bombardment and poison gas), the first Christmas of the war on the Western Front offered a respite to the exhausted, freezing and demoralized troops.

The Christmas Spirit of Peace on Earth and Good Will to All Doesn’t Apply to War

Christmas was the holiest of Christian holidays and every soldier in the frozen trenches was slowly coming to the realization that war was NOT glorious (as they had been led to believe). After experiencing death, dying, bad food, hunger, frostbite, sleep deprivation, shell shock, traumatic brain injuries and homesickness, the traditional spirit of good will to all and peace on earth had a special meaning for the troops.

Christmas reminded the soldiers of the good food, warm homes and loving families and friends that they had left behind and which – they now suspected – they might never see again. The soldiers in the trenches desperately sought some respite from the misery of the rat, lice and smells of the corpse-infested trenches.

Trench Warfare in 1914

In the excitement leading up to the war, the frontline soldiers on either side had been convinced that God was on their side, that their nation was pre-destined to be victorious and that they would be “home before Christmas” where they would be celebrated as conquering heroes. (Interestingly, that myth seems to live on to the present day, with all the evidence to the contrary being conveniently ignored.)

Instead, each frontline soldier found himself at the end of his emotional rope because of the unrelenting artillery barrages against which they were defenseless. If they weren’t killed or physically maimed by the artillery shells and sniper fire, they would eventually be emotionally destroyed by the “shell-shock” (now known as combat-induced posttraumatic stress disorder – PTSD).

The soldier-victims that witnessed a multitude of examples of battlefield cruelty logically suffered various depths of depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, suicidality, hyper-alertness, horrifying nightmares and flashbacks (which was usually misdiagnosed as a “hallucinations of unknown cause”, a reality that would condemn millions of future soldiers to be mistakenly diagnosed with schizophrenia and thus mistakenly treated with addictive, brain-altering, suicidality-inducing psych drugs).

Among the other common war-induced “killers of the soul” included the malnutrition, the dehydration, the infections (such as typhus and dysentery), the louse infestations, the trench foot, the frostbite and the gangrenous toes and fingers. If any of the tormented survivors got back home in one piece, they often resented being treated as military heroes in Memorial Day or Veterans Day parades staged in their honor. They knew – if they were being totally honest – that they were not true heroes. Rather, they were the victims of a delusional, militarized culture that glorified war and killing but soon abandoned their wounded after they made it home barely alive. Hiding away the most disfigured war—wounded veterans continues to be standard operating procedure in every nation after every war.

Poison gas attacks from both sides, although started by the scientifically-superior Germans, didn’t begin for a few more months. Allied tank warfare – which was a humiliating disaster for the British innovators of that new technology – wouldn’t be operational until the disastrous Battle of the Somme in 1916.

One of the most lethal realities for the frontline soldiers was the frequent, futile, “over the top” infantry assaults that went up against the opposition’s machine gun nests. Those suicidal assaults were ordered by the over-aggressive new lieutenants at the front who took their orders from the rear-echelon generals who were in charge of their obsolete military strategy. Of course, those generals were also in safe bunkers far from the front. Such suicidal assaults were complicated by the presence of shell holes in the muck of No-Man’s Land and rows of coiled barbed wire that often made sitting ducks of the attacking soldiers. Artillery barrages from both sides liquified the soil and commonly resulted in tens of thousands of casualties in a single day.

The “over the top” assaults sacrificed hundreds of thousands of obedient lower-echelon soldiers in the futile efforts to gain ground. Those assaults were stupidly and repeatedly ordered by senior officers such as Sir John French and his replacement as British Commander-in-Chief, Sir Douglas Haig. Most of the old-timer generals who had fought wars in the previous century refused to admit that their outdated “horse and sabre” cavalry charges across No-Man’s Land were both hopeless and suicidal.

The General Staff planners of the various attempts to end the stalemate were safely out of range of the artillery. Britain’s political war-planners were safely back in Parliament, and Germany’s aristocrats were back in Berlin, busily looking over their two-dimensional maps. All the war-mongering generals were comfortable in their warm and dry headquarters far away, eating well, being dressed by their orderlies, drinking their tea and claret – none of them at any risk of suffering the lethal consequences of war.

Screams of pain often came from the wounded soldiers who were helplessly hanging on the barbed wire or trapped and perhaps bleeding to death in the bomb craters between the trenches. Often the dying would linger for days, and the effect on the troops in the trenches, who had to listen to the desperate, unanswerable cries for help was always tormenting. By the time December 1914 came and the winter freezing weather began, troop morale on both sides had hit rock bottom.

Christmas in the Trenches

So on December 24, 1914, the exhausted troops settled down to their meager Christmas meal with, for the lucky ones, gifts from home, special food, special liquor, special chocolate bars and the hope for peace, if even for one night.

On the German side, a magnanimous (and deluded) Kaiser Wilhelm sent 100,000 Christmas trees with millions of ornamental candles to the front, expecting that such an act would boost German troop morale. Using the precious supply lines to the front for such militarily unnecessary items was ridiculed by the most of the hardened officers, but nobody suspected that the Kaiser’s Christmas tree idea would backfire – becoming a catalyst for an unplanned-for and unauthorized cease-fire, that was orchestrated by the front line troops. The event was unheard of in the history of warfare, and the mutiny was censored out of mainstream history books for most of the next century.

The Christmas Truce of 1914 was a spontaneous event that happened at a number of locations all along the 600 miles of triple trenches that stretched across Belgium and France, and it was an event that would never again be duplicated, thanks to the war-profiteers, professional militarists and saber-rattling journalists in the media, Christian Bishops and Members of Parliament who glory in their nation’s “pseudo-patriotic” wars.

”Joyeux Noel”

Thirteen years ago, the movie “Joyeux Noel” (French for “Merry Christmas”) received a well-deserved Academy Award nomination for best foreign film of 2005. The movie is the moving story that was adapted from the many surviving stories that had been told in letters from soldiers who had participated in the truce. It is regarded by some as a miracle that the truth of that remarkable event survived the powerful censorship.

Courageous German soldier Singing in No Man’s Land (image from Joyeux Noel)

As depicted in the movie, a German soldier started singing the beloved (and easily recognizable in all languages) Christmas hymn “Stille Nacht”. Soon the British, French and Scottish soldiers on the other side of No Man’s Land joined in with their versions of “Silent Night”. Other Christmas songs were sung, often as duets in two tongues. Before long, the spirit of peace and “goodwill towards men” prevailed over the demonic spirit of war, and the troops on both sides began to sense their common humanity. The natural human aversion to killing other humans broke through to consciousness and overcame the fear, patriotic fervor and pro-war brain-washing to which they had all been subjected.

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Soldiers on both sides courageously dropped their weapons, came “over the top” in peace to meet their former foes face-to-face. To get to the neutral zone, they had to climb over barbed wire, walk around shell holes and over frozen corpses (which were later to be given respectful burials during an extension of the truce, with soldiers from both sides helping one another with the gruesome task of burying their comrades).

Graves in No Man’s Land

 

Mutinous French, German and Scottish Lieutenants

The spirit of retaliation had been replaced by a spirit of reconciliation and the desire for real peace. New friends shared chocolate bars, cigarettes, wine, schnapps, soccer games and pictures from home. Addresses were exchanged, photos were taken and every soldier who genuinely experienced the emotional drama was forever changed. Suddenly there was an aversion to killing fellow humans who all deserved to be treated as they had been taught in Sunday School: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

And the generals and the politicians back home were appalled at the unexpected Christ-like behavior of the front-soldiers.

Fostering Peace on Earth in Times of War is an Act of Treason for Conscientious Humans

Fraternization with the enemy (as well as refusing to obey orders in time of war) is universally regarded by military commanders(and courts of law back home) as an act of treason and a serious crime deserving of severe punishment. In most wars throughout history, such “crimes” were often dealt with by severe beatings or firing squad. In the case of the Christmas Truce of 1914, most commanding officers feared mutiny among the soldiers if severe punishments were carried out and, also not wanting to draw public attention to any punishment that could modify the war fever back home, they censored home-bound letters and basically ignored the episode.

War correspondents were forbidden to report the truce to their papers. Some commanding officers threatened courts martial if fraternization persisted. They understood that getting to know and befriend a supposed enemy was bad for the carefully-orchestrated killing spirit of war.

There were punishments that were carried out against some of the most conscientious soldiers who refused to fire their rifles. The troops of both French Catholic and United Kingdom Protestant persuasions naturally began questioning the moral legitimacy of the decidedly un-Christlike war and so those troops were often re-assigned to different – and less desirable – regiments.

German troops were either Lutheran or Catholic, and the consciences of many of them had been revived by the truce. Refusing to obey their orders to kill, many of them were sent to the Eastern Front where there were much harsher conditions. Separated from their Western Front comrades who had also experienced the true spirit of Christmas, they had no choice but to fight and die in the equally suicidal battles against their Russian Orthodox Christian co-religionists.

Very few soldiers, either Allied or German, who experienced the Christmas Truce of 1914 survived the war. Essentially none of soldiers directly involved in the truce lived to tell the story. Perhaps the only ones who experienced the spirit of the truce were the soon-to-be wounded who made it home by were somehow never sent back to the front.

If humanity is truly concerned with the barbaric nature of militarism, and if our modern-era false flag-generated wars of empire are to be effectively derailed, the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 needs to be retold over and over again – and then taken to heart.

The satanic nature of war is obvious to anyone who has experienced war up close and personal, especially those who have experienced the brutality and chaos of close combat and dealt with the casualties. And all war-mongers, war profiteers and flag-waving patriots (civilians and veterans alike) try really hard to cover up those same unwelcome truths by telling embellished stories of military heroism trying to glorify what is blatantly inglorious.

Both ancient and modern wars have been falsely glorified in every nation’s history books but, if civilization is to humanly survive, war needs to be exposed as the demonic reality that it is.  Violence begets violence. Wars are contagious, universally futile, and never truly end, even if there is a truce; and their extremely high costs always results in a very poor return on investment – except for the banks and the weapons-manufacturers and the “lifers” who are guaranteed lucrative pensions that put all war-mongering nations deep into debt.

Modern American wars are now being fought by thoroughly indoctrinated, post-adolescent, Call of Duty-type first person shooter gamers who liked the adrenalin high of killing virtual “bad guys” in a videogame. Sadly, unbeknownst to them, they are at high risk of having their emotional and spiritual lives negatively and even permanently altered by the physical, mental and spiritual damage that always comes from participating in actual – or virtual – homicidal violence.

Combat war can easily doom its participants to a life overwhelmed by the large variety of wounds of war. Those wounds include PTSD, sociopathic personality disorder, suicidality, homicidality, loss of religious faith, traumatic brain injury, malnutrition from the highly processed military food and the many post-vaccination autoimmune disorders caused by the military’s over-vaccination programs with neurotoxic aluminum-containing vaccines, especially the unproven-for-safety series of anthrax shots that were injected into many Gulf War I and II soldiers). The mainstream media is now actually writing about the many long-term drug-induced disabilities, suicides and overdoses that have resulted from the widespread prescribing of dangerous and addictive drugs to soldiers and veterans. This phenomenon is especially true of opioids and psychiatric drugs, whether they were ultimately obtained legally or illegally. What is important to understand is that most of the adverse effects of such drugs and vaccines are iatrogenic (doctor-, vaccine- or prescription drug-caused) and therefore preventable – although not necessarily treatable because their iatrogenicity is never acknowledged (and therefore never diagnosed) by the prescribing physician.

Christian Church Leadership has an Ethical Duty to Warn About the Potential for Spiritual Suicide of Cannon Fodder Soldiers if They Participate in Combat War

It seems to me that it would be helpful if moral leadership in America, especially its church leaders and its Christian parents, would discharge their duty to thoroughly warn their children that are in their sphere of influence about all of the serious consequences of being in the killing professions. Jesus, who commanded his followers to “love your enemies”, would surely approve.

Without such countervailing truths being told by a nation’s moral leaders, war planners have an easy time bamboozling potential soldiers from recognizing the humanity of those that are being demonized and accused of being enemies, whether they are Yemenis, Turks, Syrians, Chinese, Palestinians, Russians, Iranians, Iraqis, Afghanis, Vietnamese, Chinese or North Koreans.

I have been repeatedly told by anti-war military veteran friends of mine that their military chaplains – who are supposed to be nurturers of the souls of the soldiers that are in their “care” – never bring up  in their counseling sessions or sermons – the Golden Rule, Jesus’ clear “love your enemies” commands. Neither do they mention Jesus’ many ethical teachings in his Sermon on the Mount or the biblical commandments that say “thou shalt not kill” or “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s oil”.

The Church’s Theological Blind Spots When Pro-War Flag-waving Begins

One theological blind spot about war was nicely illustrated near the end of the “Joyeux Noel” movie. In a powerful scene depicting a confrontation between the altruistic, Christ-like, antiwar Scottish chaplain and his pro-war aristocratic Anglican bishop. As the humble chaplain was mercifully administering the “last rites” to a dying soldier, he was reproached by the bishop, who had come to chastise the chaplain for fraternizing with the enemy during the Christmas Truce. The bishop summarily relieved the simple pastor of his chaplaincy duties because of his “treasonous and shameful” Christ-like behavior on the battlefield.

The authoritarian bishop refused to listen to the chaplain’s story about his having performed “the most important mass of my life” (with enemy troops participating in the celebration during the Christmas Truce) or the fact that he wished to stay with the soldiers that needed him because they were losing their faith in God. The bishop angrily denied the chaplain’s request to remain with his men.

Christmas Eve Mass, France

The bishop then delivered a rousing pro-war, jingoistic sermon to the newest troops (which was taken word-for-word from a homily that had actually been delivered by a real Anglican bishop later in the war). The sermon was addressed to the fresh troops that had to be brought in to replace the veteran soldiers who had suddenly become averse to killing and were refusing to fire on the enemy.

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The image of the dramatic but subtle response of the chaplain to his sacking should be a lesson to Christian church leadership – both clergy and lay – of every militarized, so-called “christian” nation. The chaplain, after listening to the bishop’s sermon, simply hung up his cross and walked out of the door of the field hospital.

“Joyeux Noel” is an important film that deserves to be annual holiday viewing. It has ethical lessons far more powerful than the traditional holiday movies such as “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol”.

One of the lessons that the Christmas Truce tells is summarized in the concluding verse of John McCutcheon’s famous song about the event: “Christmas in the Trenches”:

 

“My name is Francis Tolliver, in Liverpool I dwell.

Each Christmas come since World War One, I’ve learned its lessons well:
That the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lame
And on each end of the rifle we’re the same.”

 

Check out the video of McCutcheon singing his song:

A critical scene from the movie is at:

Additional scenes from the movie, with the narration of a letter from one of the soldiers involved can be viewed here:

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About the Author

Dr. Kohls is a retired family physician from Duluth, MN, USA. Since his retirement from his holistic mental health practice he has been writing his weekly Duty to Warn column for the Duluth Reader, northeast Minnesota’s alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns, which are re-published around the world, deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, malnutrition, Big Pharma’s over-drugging and Big Vaccine’s over-vaccination agendas, as well as other movements that threaten human health, the environment, democracy, civility and the sustainability of all life on earth.  Many of his columns have been archived at a number of websites, including the following: http://duluthreader.com/search?search_term=Duty+to+Warn&p=2; http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/gary-g-kohlshttp://freepress.org/geographic-scope/national; and https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles.

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Marilyn Wedge Ph.D., Psychology Today
Waking Times

In the United States, at least 9 percent of school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and are taking pharmaceutical medications. In France, the percentage of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than .5 percent. How has the epidemic of ADHD—firmly established in the U.S.—almost completely passed over children in France?

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Is ADHD a biological-neurological disorder? Surprisingly, the answer to this question depends on whether you live in France or in the U.S. In the United States, child psychiatrists consider ADHD to be a biological disorder with biological causes. The preferred treatment is also biological—psycho stimulant medications such as Ritalin and Adderall.

French child psychiatrists, on the other hand, view ADHD as a medical condition that has psycho-social and situational causes. Instead of treating children’s focusing and behavioral problems with drugs, French doctors prefer to look for the underlying issue that is causing the child distress—not in the child’s brain but in the child’s social context. They then choose to treat the underlying social context problem with psychotherapy or family counseling. This is a very different way of seeing things from the American tendency to attribute all symptoms to a biological dysfunction such as a chemical imbalance in the child’s brain.

French child psychiatrists don’t use the same system of classification of childhood emotional problems as American psychiatrists. They do not use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM. According to Sociologist Manuel Vallee, the French Federation of Psychiatrydeveloped an alternative classification system as a resistance to the influence of the DSM-3. This alternative was the CFTMEA (Classification Française des Troubles Mentaux de L’Enfant et de L’Adolescent), first released in 1983, and updated in 1988 and 2000. The focus of CFTMEA is on identifying and addressing the underlying psychosocial causes of children’s symptoms, not on finding the best pharmacological bandaids with which to mask symptoms.

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To the extent that French clinicians are successful at finding and repairing what has gone awry in the child’s social context, fewer children qualify for the ADHD diagnosis. Moreover, the definition of ADHD is not as broad as in the American system, which, in my view, tends to “pathologize” much of what is normal childhood behavior. The DSM specifically does not consider underlying causes. It thus leads clinicians to give the ADHD diagnosis to a much larger number of symptomatic children, while also encouraging them to treat those children with pharmaceuticals.

The French holistic, psychosocial approach also allows for considering nutritional causes for ADHD-type symptoms—specifically the fact that the behavior of some children is worsened after eating foods with artificial colors, certain preservatives, and/or allergens. Clinicians who work with troubled children in this country—not to mention parents of many ADHD kids—are well aware that dietary interventions can sometimes help a child’s problem. In the U.S., the strict focus on pharmaceutical treatment of ADHD, however, encourages clinicians to ignore the influence of dietary factors on children’s behavior.

And then, of course, there are the vastly different philosophies of child-rearing in the U.S. and France. These divergent philosophies could account for why French children are generally better-behaved than their American counterparts. Pamela Druckerman highlights the divergent parenting styles in her recent book, Bringing up Bébé. I believe her insights are relevant to a discussion of why French children are not diagnosed with ADHD in anything like the numbers we are seeing in the U.S.

From the time their children are born, French parents provide them with a firm cadre—the word means “frame” or “structure.” Children are not allowed, for example, to snack whenever they want. Mealtimes are at four specific times of the day. French children learn to wait patiently for meals, rather than eating snack foods whenever they feel like it. French babies, too, are expected to conform to limits set by parents and not by their crying selves. French parents let their babies “cry it out” (for no more than a few minutes of course) if they are not sleeping through the night at the age of four months.

French parents, Druckerman observes, love their children just as much as American parents. They give them piano lessons, take them to sportspractice, and encourage them to make the most of their talents. But French parents have a different philosophy of discipline. Consistently enforced limits, in the French view, make children feel safe and secure. Clear limits, they believe, actually make a child feel happier and safer—something that is congruent with my own experience as both a therapist and a parent. Finally, French parents believe that hearing the word “no” rescues children from the “tyranny of their own desires.” And spanking, when used judiciously, is not considered child abuse in France. (Author’s note: I am not personally in favor of spanking children).

As a therapist who works with children, it makes perfect sense to me that French children don’t need medications to control their behavior because they learn self-control early in their lives. The children grow up in families in which the rules are well-understood, and a clear family hierarchy is firmly in place. In French families, as Druckerman describes them, parents are firmly in charge of their kids—instead of the American family style, in which the situation is all too often vice versa.

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Abut the Author

Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D., is a family therapist with twenty-seven years of experience helping children, adolescents and families. She is the author of three books on child therapy. Her latest book is A Disease Called Childhood: Why ADHD Became an American Epidemic (Avery/Penguin)Her previous books, published by W. W. Norton, are: In the Therapist’s Mirror: Reality in the Making, and Suffer the Children:The Case against Labeling and Medicating and an Effective Alternative (published in paperback with the title: Pills are not for Preschoolers).

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.

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Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project
Waking Times

The Matrix movie series was one of the most revolutionary works of art to ever come out of Hollywood. Its pro-humanity, anti-authoritarian message instantly made it a classic and it has since become the subject of internet memes and (red pill) movements alike. At the center of this silver-screen revolution is Keanu Reeves whose real-life heroism makes his role as Neo that much more incredible.

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It is no secret that Keanu Reeves is Hollywood’s biggest low-key real-life hero, but did you know that he also secretly funds children’s hospitals? We didn’t, and most people probably wouldn’t either as the upcoming star of the sci-fi thriller Replicas is not exactly boastful of his contributions to society—unlike many other Hollywood celebrities.

Reeves is so modest that he runs a private foundation which aids cancer research and children’s hospitals around the country. This Hollywood superstar is so unpretentious that he’s actually only talked about it one time and in an interview with a women’s magazine who had an inside track and asked him about it.

Reeves desire to help those with cancer could possibly come from the fact that his sister was diagnosed with leukemia around 1991. After battling it for nearly a decade, Kim Reeves went into remission in 1999.

“I love Kim,” Keanu said to Woman’s Day in 1999. “She’s so brave, and I want the very best for her. You can star in hit movies, but that’s nothing compared to going through what Kim’s been through.”

“Keanu helped me so much through my illness,” Kim told the magazine in the interview.

“When the pain got really bad, he would sit with me and hold my hand, and keep the ‘bad man’ from making me dance. He was supporting me and comforting me all the time, even when he was away.”

In 2009, ten years after the Woman’s Day interview, Reeves spilled the beans about his charitable work with children’s hospitals. In a Ladies Home Journal article published in 2009, he said he had started a private charitable foundation years ago:

“I have a private foundation that’s been running for five or six years, and it helps aid a couple of children’s hospitals and cancer research. I don’t like to attach my name to it, I just let the foundation do what it does.”

Reeves financing a network of children’s hospitals and cancer research should come as no surprise as he’s been ‘caught’ doing remarkably humane deeds over the past years.

Below is a list TFTP reported last year that was Redditors compiled of testimonials from people who claim their lives have been touched by Reeves and noted ten times this Hollywood legend has lived up to the “Bill and Ted’s” motto of “be excellent to each other.”

1. Reeves would routinely buy lunch for all the workers on the sets of his movies. 

“Back in the late 90s and fresh out of college I got my first job as an assistant prop designer on the set of Chain Reaction (Keanu was a supporting actor with Morgan Freeman). EVERY DAY for the last few weeks of filming, Keanu treated the stage hands and “grunt workers” (including myself) by taking us out for free breakfast and lunch. He was genuinely a very nice guy to work with.

 

“Since then, I’ve worked on about 30 different sets and have never met an actor as generous and friendly as him. Most actors I’ve seen and worked with are total douches who always think they are better than us. Keanu on the other hand, at the very least, was socially approachable and definitely kindhearted.

 

“That was one example (that involved me directly), but (on the same set), I remember him going out of his way to give my friend a ride to the repair shop to pick up his car… I’ll write more as I remember, but its been a while.” — bo2dd2

2. Reeves reportedly gave $20,000 to a crew member of the Matrix because he knew he was having family trouble.

“A family friend builds movie sets, doesn’t design, is one of the poor dudes that just builds. Anyways he worked on the set for the Matrix and Keanu heard about family trouble he was having and gave him a $20,000 Christmas bonus to help him out. He also was one of the only people on the set that genuinely wanted to know peoples names, would say hello and mean it, and would talk to people as they were his peers and not below him just because they were practically making nothing to build a set. I’ve never heard anyone say Keanu is douche, seems like the nicest person in Hollywood from a second hand experience.” — kahi

3. Reeves was reported to have driven a woman 50 miles out of his way because her car broke down.

“A friend of mine told me that she was once stranded on the side of a highway outside LA when her jalopy broke down. She had no cell phone (that was before most people had cell phones) and no way to call for help. Then a nice black porsche pulls over and as you can guess, it was Keanu. He tried to help her jump start the car and when it didn’t work, he called AAA for her. When they towed her car, he offered her to drive her home, which she accepted. He drove about 50 miles out of his destination just to drive her home. She told me she hoped he would hit on her but he didn’t, he was just a gentleman, dropped her at her house, gave her his phone number and told her to call him if she needed further help.”— lovemyax

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4. Reeves was alleged to have bought Harley Davidson Motorcycles for the entire special effects crew on the Matrix.

“I had a few friends working special effects jobs on the Matrix movies, he bought all of them fucking HARLEYS for Christmas during the shoot for the second one.

 

“One of those guys, Paul, said that Keanu was the most sincere, humble and lovely dude he’d ever met. Said he eschewed contact with the cast in favour of hanging out with the crew, was the only guy the martial arts coaches respected out of the whole cast, and was the bravest man he’s ever met. That scene in the first Matrix film, the assault on the office tower lobby – Keanu turned down earplugs for all the charges blowing everywhere taking ‘bullet holes’ out of pillars, walls etc, just for authenticity. When he turns and hides behind a pillar which explodes with bullets hitting it on both sides, Paul said ‘the entire crew was about 15 metres away, with ear protection, and all flinching anyway when the charges blew – Keanu just took it like a complete badass.’”

5. When he’s not buying people things, giving them rides, or starting a revolution, he is a genuinely nice person who makes everyone around him happy.

“My brother works at a coffee shop in New York, it’s got pretty alright coffee but the real draw is that they roast their own beans and all the beans are sucked through pneumatic tubes into a machine that grinds and brews all at once. It’s a bunch of bells and whistles, and doesn’t necessarily make for the best coffee ever. Anyway, Keanu comes into the store and orders a coffee, asks my brother how the whole system works and immediately after he finishes, he pauses, looks surprised and says ‘Whoa.’ It was perfect. And it seemed like he was actually interested and impressed by the fancy nature of the coffee shop.”

6. Reeves stands accused of being a regular guy, who likes to chill and who may also be a mythological being.

“So my neighbor was out camping and met Keanu Reeves who was also camping (I guess he likes dogs because he came up and said ‘I love these dogs!’ about her rottweiler) and she said she thought she was crazy for a minute because no one else knew he was there and it turns out Keanu was just there chilling with a one-man tent and a cooler and his little Dodge car and every time someone looked at him he’d just turn his face away and it’s kind of just solidified in my mind that Keanu Reeves is a cryptid.”

While the above testimonials could be mere rumors, they are backed up by some of the examples below as Reeves was captured on video and in images being a great person.

7. Reeves was captured on video simply being a friend to a homeless man.

One of the most famous stories surrounding Keanu Reeves took place back in 1997, when he was spotted hanging out with a homeless person. Apparently, he was just minding his own business on the streets of Hollywood and chanced upon this man. He then shared some drinks, snacks, and listened to the man’s stories, even lying down on his back, clearly interested in what the man had to say. All of this might have gone unrecorded had some paparazzis not stopped by and noticed the two deep in conversation.

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8. Reeves put his own money back into the Matrix movies so he could ensure the employment of the crew.

Although there is a false internet myth that Keane Reeves gave tens of millions to the crew of the Matrix, he would indeed make deals to take lower pay so the employees of the movie could have jobs.

As Roger Friedman explained, Keanu Reeves never wrote a personal check to anyone. The back-end deal basically put some of his money back into the franchise to ensure that the special effects and costume crew could continue working on the franchise for the duration of the trilogy. It’s more akin to what Keanu did on The Devil’s Advocate and The Replacements, which was to give up part of his asking price so that the studio could afford to hire Al Pacino and Gene Hackman in those respective films.

9. The Hollywood legend has been recorded giving up his seat on the subway—because he’s a gentleman.

Not only would other Hollywood stars never be caught riding a subway, but some of these types are reportedly so arrogant that even if they had to ride on the subway, they would likely never give up their seat. But these other stars aren’t Keanu Reeves.

Reeves was seen on video—not doing a PR stunt—jumping out of his seat to give it to a woman who’d just boarded the train.

10. Reeves would rather wait in the rain than inconvenience others or cause a scene.

As Page Six reported at the time:

Keanu Reeves was more like his chill character from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” than any pampered movie star Friday when he waited patiently in the rain for 20 minutes to get into his own wrap party for “Daughter of God.” Chauffeur Ronny Sunshine — once known as the “Mad Limo Czar” for driving bands including The Beatles, he claims — was also on the scene outside Chelsea lounge the Leonora. “Keanu was really patiently waiting,” the driver told us. “I don’t think he said anything to the bouncer, like, ‘I’m Keanu.’ No one recognized him.”

 

Sunshine added: “Keanu looks very ordinary. It was raining, but he just waited for his two friends to come. He didn’t act like he had money. I just thought he was a rock ’n’ roller.” The club’s owner Noel Ashman told us: “I didn’t know he was kept waiting, and he didn’t say anything to me.” He added, “He’s a very relaxed person.” Once inside, Reeves even announced from the DJ booth he’d found another guest’s credit card on the ground and wanted to return it. Totally excellent!

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About the Author

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on TwitterSteemit, and now on Facebook.

**This article (Keanu Reeves has Been Running a Secret Cancer Foundation to Fund Children’s Hospitals) was originally featured at The Free Thought Project, and is re=posted here with permission.**

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Gentleness and kindness will make our homes a paradise upon earth. C. A. Bartol

As we enter into the ‘silly season’ I felt inspired to write about what I wish Christmas could mean for everyone.

In a world where we have so much focus on material goods, (and never is this more obvious than at Christmas time)  I think its time to touch on something that is far more important.

And that is, have you ever thought about what exactly the true meaning of Christmas might be? What do you think it is?  Being with family and friends? Eating a lot of good food or going away somewhere nice?  Yes it can be all of that, but for me, it is more about giving.

Not the giving of expensive presents to family members and friends, but instead, giving to those that need it most.

Yes, I know that is a cliche, but its a valid one, and it is so very important right now.

Only We Will Make The Changes Needed

Looking at the state of the world, with all of it’s chaos, more and more people are suffering.  Homelessness is reaching unprecedented levels in many ‘first world’ countries, there are more than 114,000 people living on the streets alone in California (with likely even more since those terrifying fires a few weeks ago), and in the UK, it has recently been reported that 1 in 200 people are homeless.   Hungary have recently declared that homelessness is a crime.

We are countries with access to enormous wealth, yet our governments are cutting funding for important programs to look after our most vulnerable people.

A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men. Thomas Carlyle

Seeing that this has become a global problem, and one that is not improving,  it has become clearer to me, that only WE can really make the differences needed now.  It truly sits on our shoulders as individuals to make more of a conscious effort to help those around us.

We have to stop waiting for others to sweep in and make these changes, we have to help do it ourselves.

I know, many may say ‘I am struggling myself to survive’ or ‘ I don’t have any spare money’, but kindness to others can be totally free.

For inspiration, please watch this beautiful and touching clip below that really lets you feel the power of kindness.  I am sure that even by watching this clip, many of you will be inspired now to go and do something for someone in need.  I was inspired to write this article after viewing this clip and I know it will create a domino effect!

You know, it’s not actually that hard to be kind.  You just have to have your mind ready to see an opportunity for being helpful to someone else.

Being kind to others, is actually a gift to yourself, the joy you feel in your heart when you do something nice and thoughtful for others, is a truly amazing feeling. It literally gives your heart a big happy bursting feeling. It feels like real love.

Science Shows Kindness Is Good For You

There actually is scientific evidence that being kind is very good for your own health, and for the other people who experience your kindness.  Kindness can also create a domino effect, and your act alone could end up helping many people, perhaps hundreds of event thousands.

Giving beats any short lived feeling you get from buying something material when you know that you have made a difference to someone else, especially when it helps them when they are at their lowest point.

If I have spare change in my bag, I do try and give to homeless people, (or instead buy them a meal) and despite that some will say ‘we shouldn’t encourage it’ I feel this is very unfair, as we never know their back story and how they ended up on the streets.

I think many of us turn our backs on them (like I used to) because if we really thought about it, we are probably petrified that we could end up like that.  For this reason alone, if you can, give, because would you not hope that people would help you if you were in the same position?

A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money. John Ruskin

Kindness unites people like nothing else can and it is what we desperately need to bring our fractured societies back together.   With so much division between us now, what can heal this is our acts of kindness.

Everyone Matters

Every single person wants to feel that they matter, it’s embedded into our consciousness.  When a stranger does something kind for someone they don’t know it is even more special, because it was their way of saying ‘I see you, I don’t know you, but I care and you matter to me’

I have had many people be kind to me, in times of severe depression, where I nearly ended my life, I always had people show me that I mattered to them and not to give up.

I know this is what got me through those very dark times.  Their acts of kindness, made me realise I wasn’t worthless or truly alone, which brought me to be here today.

I am very lucky now to have this opportunity here at Collective Evolution to now be able to share important things with millions of readers around the world.

The Takeaway

What if no one had of been kind to me when I was so low and in a desperate place? Would I not be here today? I really believe no, that I wouldn’t be.  We all are capable of creating positive ripple effects that can literally go around the world.

This is the power we all have, that you have, to impact someone else’s life positively, and maybe even many other peoples lives.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

Kindness comes in so many forms, and we are all capable of doing many of them.  You just have to open your heart and want to make the effort to do it.

I hope this Christmas you experience kindness in action, and could maybe even consider making a pact to continue this long after the festive season is over.

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. Og Mandino

CE by no means promotes eating wild amanita muscaria, at all.

As a child, the Christmas season always represented great things. The holiday cheer, the familial celebrations, and most exciting of all, presents. But as I grew into adulthood, the sparkling veil of the Christmas season soon revealed it’s true form – a religious-based, commercial lie meant to perpetuate consumerism and materialism.

I eventually let go of my jaded view of Christmas, and created my own meaning for the holiday season, which now saw the end of the year as a dedicated time to spend with the ones I love, and to reflect on the experiences and lessons of the previous year. Not that Christmas is the only time to do this, but let’s face it, life has a tendency to otherwise keep us preoccupied.

But recently my views on Christmas were challenged once again, after reading up on the pre-Christian history of Santa Claus and his ‘magical’ reindeer. I was shocked to hear a proposed theory of the story’s origins, which explained how Santa may have originally been a northern Eurasian shaman who used the psychedelic mushroom amanita muscaria, and that many of the well known Christmas symbols, such as the tree, the star, and the gifts, were actually inspired by esoteric practices involving the red and white magic mushroom.

A Siberian Shaman With A Bag Of Special ‘Gifts’

Could the story of Santa actually be inspired by Shamanistic practices out of Northern Europe and Asia during the pre-Christian era?

In his articleMagic Mushrooms May Explain Santa & His ‘Flying’ Reindeer, author Douglas Main explains how the story of Santa and his flying reindeer can be traced to an unlikely source: hallucinogenic or “magic” mushrooms. Speaking with John Rush, an anthropologist and instructor at Sierra College in Rocklin, California, Main learned more about Santa’s story.

“Santa is a modern counterpart of a shaman, who consumed mind-altering plants and fungi to commune with the spirit world,” said Rush.

According to the theory, the legend of Santa derives from shamans in the Siberian and Arctic regions who dropped into locals’ teepee-like homes with a bag full of hallucinatory mushrooms as presents in late December.

As the story goes, up until a few hundred years ago these practicing shamans or priests connected to the older traditions would collect Amanita muscaria (the Holy Mushroom), dry them, and then give them as gifts on the winter solstice,” Rush told LiveScience. “Because snow is usually blocking doors, there was an opening in the roof through which people entered and exited, thus the chimney story.”

The Christmas Tree Connection

In his book, Mushrooms and Mankindlate author James Arthur points out that amanita muscaria, also known as fly agaric, lives throughout the Northern Hemisphere under conifers and birch trees, with which the fungi —which is deep red with white flecks — has a symbiotic relationship. This partially explains the practice of the Christmas tree, and the placement of bright red-and-white presents underneath, which look like Amanita mushrooms, he wrote.

Was the Christmas tree tradition based off of ancient Northern European symbology? Painted by Oluf Olufsen Bagge.

Why do people bring pine trees into their houses at the Winter Solstice, placing brightly colored (red and white) packages under their boughs, as gifts to show their love for each other … ?” he wrote. “It is because, underneath the pine bough is the exact location where one would find this ‘Most Sacred’ substance, the Amanita muscaria, in the wild.”

Author Dana Larsen elaborated on the pre-Christian symbology of the Christmas tree in her article, The Psychedelic Secrets of Santa. She explains how the ancient northern European people, including the Lapps of modern-day Finland, and the Koyak tribes of the central Russian steppes, believed in the idea of a World Tree. The World Tree was seen as a kind of cosmic axis, onto which the planes of the universe are fixed. The roots of the World Tree stretch down into the underworld, its trunk is the “middle earth” of everyday existence, and its branches reach upwards into the heavenly realm.

The North Star was also considered sacred, since all other stars in the sky revolved around its fixed point. They associated this “Pole Star” with the World Tree and the central axis of the universe. The top of the World Tree touched the North Star, and the spirit of the shaman would climb the metaphorical tree, thereby passing into the realm of the gods” wrote Larsen.

“So Up To The House-Top The Coursers They Flew”: Breaking Down The ‘Flying’ Reindeer

Perhaps one of the most memorable aspects of Santa Claus mythology are his co-pilot counterparts, his flying reindeer.

Reindeer are rampant in Siberia, and are also known to include various fungi in their diet, as seen in the BBC Weird Nature video below.

Donald Pfister, a biologist who studies fungi at Harvard University, suggests that Siberian tribesmen who ingested fly agaric (amanita muscaria) may have hallucinated into thinking that reindeer were flying.

At first glance, one thinks it’s ridiculous, but it’s not,” said Carl Ruck, a professor of classics at Boston University. “Whoever heard of reindeer flying? I think it’s becoming general knowledge that Santa is taking a ‘trip’ with his reindeer,” Ruck said.

Controversy Over Linking The Pre-Christian Santa To The Modern Day Version of St. Nick

As convincing as the theory may be, many historians and anthropologists disagree with the Amanita shamanic version of Santa Claus, and claim that our current depiction of the jolly old man has in fact evolved from a 4th century Greek-Christian bishop named Saint Nicholas, who was known for his generous gifts to the poor.

Then, in 1823, a New York City aristocratic academic by the name of Clement Clarke Moore wrote the infamous poem, “A Visit From St. Nicholas” (which later became “Twas The Night Before Christmas“), which was thought to have been inspired by the Christian bishop, and which envisioned an entirely new portrayal of St. Nick.  Throughout the next few centuries, the image of Santa Claus became ubiquitous throughout Western culture, and was re-sculpted and refined by clever marketing organizations such as Coca Cola. Hence the fat, bearded character we know today.

But Germanic folklore tells an even different story of the true origins of Santa Claus. Prior to Christianization, the Germanic peoples celebrated a midwinter event called Yule. With the Christianization of Germanic Europe, numerous traditions were absorbed from Yuletide celebrations into modern Christmas. During this period, supernatural and ghostly occurrences were said to increase in frequency, such as the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky. The leader of the wild hunt is frequently attested as the god Odin, who bears the Old Norse names Jólnir, meaning “yule figure” and the name Langbarðr, meaning “long-beard.”

In this later 1881 illustration by Thomas Nast named “Merry Old Santa” the modern Santa character really begins to take shape. Present is the jolly rotundity and the all important red of the suit.

James Arthur wrote that at the very least, Santa’s sleigh and reindeer are references back to various related Northern European mythology. For example, the Norse god Thor (known in German as “Donner”) flew in a chariot drawn by two goats, which have been replaced in the modern retelling by Santa’s reindeer.

So Where Does Santa Really Come From?

The true origins of the pre-Christian Santa are convoluted to say the least, however, one can only consider that the version we see of Santa today is a conglomerate of folklore and mythology from multiple Eurasian cultures of the past. Therein lies the issue of tracing Santa’s true beginnings.

That being said, investigating Santa’s past is amusing at the very least, and I think the shamanic version of the story stands as the most fascinating of all. What are your thoughts on the origins of Santa and his reindeer? Do you think the Amanita muscaria legend could be true?

The Takeaway

Ultimately, the real origins regarding the story of Santa may be virtually untraceable, but it’s interesting to look at just how many versions of the story there are. Today, society has drifted far from any real meaning during Christmas, as it seems to have become a time of mass marketing, extreme buying, and nothing but gift giving. That being said, every year at this time we are reminded that giving is receiving, and service to others is what really fulfills us and makes us happy on the inside. Let us feel this way, everyday, and strive to live our lives recognizing that we are one part of a massive whole, and we’re all in this together.

Changing the world starts with you, with your life, how you treat others and overall just being a ‘good person.’ Our human experience today is one where many are still suffering needlessly, there is much we need to change about our planet and Christmas time is a great reminder for everybody that it’s great to think about others. This shouldn’t be practiced once a year, but every single day. To be perfectly honest, Christmas should have nothing to do with presents.

Alex Pietrowski, Staff Writer
Waking Times 

Within the past twenty years, studies have been showing that girls and boys are beginning puberty earlier in life than at any other time in history. Not coincidentally, the world has been inundated with a slew of toxic chemicals in products that we use everyday and practically everywhere.

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A recent study is raising the alarm over this issue, pointing out that some of these common chemicals may be disrupting a child’s development even while they are still in the womb before they are born.

“We know that some of the things we put on our bodies are getting into our bodies, either because they pass through the skin or we breathe them in or we inadvertently ingest them. We need to know how these chemicals are affecting our health.” ~Kim Harley, lead author of the study and associate adjunct professor in the School of Public Health at Berkeley

Recently published in the journal Human Reproduction, a new report sheds light on this complex issue. Using data collected as part of the Centre for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS), which followed 338 children from birth into adolescence. The findings suggest that early environmental exposures may indeed impact childhood physical and mental development.

The study focused primarily on the presence of phthalates, parabens and phenols:

“The chemicals in question — phthalates, parabens and phenols — are known as endocrine disrupters, which may mimic hormones and lead children to mature well before their natural time. As the study noted, exposure to these chemicals is widespread, which is why it’s crucial parents be made aware of the findings.”

Indeed, the chemicals are widespread:

“Phthalates are used as fixing agents in scented products like deodorants and perfumes, and to prevent cracking in nail polish. They are also common in plastic packaging.

 

Parabens are a family of compounds that are widely used as preservatives. Meanwhile, phenols, notably triclosan and benzophenone, are used to enhance the durability of some products and as antimicrobial agents.” [Source]

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The conclusions of the study are paraphrased here by PubMed:

“In girls, we observed earlier onset of pubic hair development with prenatal urinary MEP concentrations and earlier menarche with prenatal triclosan and 2,4-dichlorophenol concentrations. Regarding peripubertal biomarkers, we observed: earlier breast development, pubic hair development and menarche with methyl paraben; earlier menarche with propyl paraben; and later pubic hair development with 2,5-dichlorophenol. In boys, we observed no associations with prenatal urinary biomarker concentrations and only one association with peripubertal concentrations: earlier genital development with propyl paraben.” [Source]

Here, WebMD comments on the ubiquitousness of just phthalates in the products we consume daily:

“You can’t see, smell, or taste them, but they’re in hundreds of products you use every day. They’re also in the food you eat. Phthalates (THAL-ates) are chemicals that make plastic soft and flexible. You can find them in:

  • Cosmetics and personal care products, from perfume, nail polish, and hair spray to soap, shampoo, and skin moisturizers
  • Medical tubing and fluid bags
  • Wood finishes, detergents, adhesives, plastic plumbing pipes, lubricants, solvents, insecticides, building materials, and vinyl flooring
  • Food, especially meat and dairy products and fast food

They’re also in your body. Nearly all Americans have phthalate byproducts in their urine, says Ami Zota, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University.” [Source]

Final Thoughts

Early puberty has also been linked to increased chances of mental health disorders, ovarian and breast cancer in girls, and testicular cancer in boys. And sadly, hormone disrupting chemicals are here to stay, but if these chemicals are to blame, as the research suggests, then improving this situation begins with switching to all-natural, chemical household and personal care products.

Read more articles by Alex Pietrowski

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About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.

This article (Warning: Chemicals Common in Toothpaste and Personal Care Items are Causing Early Pubertyoriginally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com

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Jerry Coyne, The Conversation
Waking Times

As the West becomes more and more secular, and the discoveries of evolutionary biology and cosmology shrink the boundaries of faith, the claims that science and religion are compatible grow louder. If you’re a believer who doesn’t want to seem anti-science, what can you do? You must argue that your faith – or any faith – is perfectly compatible with science.

And so one sees claim after claim from believersreligious scientistsprestigious science organizations and even atheists asserting not only that science and religion are compatible, but also that they can actually help each other. This claim is called “accommodationism.”

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But I argue that this is misguided: that science and religion are not only in conflict – even at “war” – but also represent incompatible ways of viewing the world.

Opposing methods for discerning truth

My argument runs like this. I’ll construe “science” as the set of tools we use to find truth about the universe, with the understanding that these truths are provisional rather than absolute. These tools include observing nature, framing and testing hypotheses, trying your hardest to prove that your hypothesis is wrong to test your confidence that it’s right, doing experiments and above all replicating your and others’ results to increase confidence in your inference.

And I’ll define religion as does philosopher Daniel Dennett: “Social systems whose participants avow belief in a supernatural agent or agents whose approval is to be sought.” Of course many religions don’t fit that definition, but the ones whose compatibility with science is touted most often – the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam – fill the bill.

Next, realize that both religion and science rest on “truth statements” about the universe – claims about reality. The edifice of religion differs from science by additionally dealing with morality, purpose and meaning, but even those areas rest on a foundation of empirical claims. You can hardly call yourself a Christian if you don’t believe in the Resurrection of Christ, a Muslim if you don’t believe the angel Gabriel dictated the Qur’an to Muhammad, or a Mormon if you don’t believe that the angel Moroni showed Joseph Smith the golden plates that became the Book of Mormon. After all, why accept a faith’s authoritative teachings if you reject its truth claims?

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Indeed, even the Bible notes this: “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”

Many theologians emphasize religion’s empirical foundations, agreeing with the physicist and Anglican priest John Polkinghorne:

“The question of truth is as central to [religion’s] concern as it is in science. Religious belief can guide one in life or strengthen one at the approach of death, but unless it is actually true it can do neither of these things and so would amount to no more than an illusory exercise in comforting fantasy.”

The conflict between science and faith, then, rests on the methods they use to decide what is true, and what truths result: These are conflicts of both methodology and outcome.

In contrast to the methods of science, religion adjudicates truth not empirically, but via dogma, scripture and authority – in other words, through faith, defined in Hebrews 11 as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” In science, faith without evidence is a vice, while in religion it’s a virtue. Recall what Jesus said to “doubting Thomas,” who insisted in poking his fingers into the resurrected Savior’s wounds: “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

And yet, without supporting evidence, Americans believe a number of religious claims: 74 percent of us believe in God, 68 percent in the divinity of Jesus, 68 percent in Heaven, 57 percent in the virgin birth, and 58 percent in the Devil and Hell. Why do they think these are true? Faith.

But different religions make different – and often conflicting – claims, and there’s no way to judge which claims are right. There are over 4,000 religions on this planet, and their “truths” are quite different. (Muslims and Jews, for instance, absolutely reject the Christian belief that Jesus was the son of God.) Indeed, new sects often arise when some believers reject what others see as true. Lutherans split over the truth of evolution, while Unitarians rejected other Protestants’ belief that Jesus was part of God.

And while science has had success after success in understanding the universe, the “method” of using faith has led to no proof of the divine. How many gods are there? What are their natures and moral creeds? Is there an afterlife? Why is there moral and physical evil? There is no one answer to any of these questions. All is mystery, for all rests on faith.

The “war” between science and religion, then, is a conflict about whether you have good reasons for believing what you do: whether you see faith as a vice or a virtue.

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Compartmentalizing realms is irrational

So how do the faithful reconcile science and religion? Often they point to the existence of religious scientists, like NIH Director Francis Collins, or to the many religious people who accept science. But I’d argue that this is compartmentalization, not compatibility, for how can you reject the divine in your laboratory but accept that the wine you sip on Sunday is the blood of Jesus?

Others argue that in the past religion promoted science and inspired questions about the universe. But in the past every Westerner was religious, and it’s debatable whether, in the long run, the progress of science has been promoted by religion. Certainly evolutionary biology, my own field, has been held back strongly by creationism, which arises solely from religion.

What is not disputable is that today science is practiced as an atheistic discipline – and largely by atheists. There’s a huge disparity in religiosity between American scientists and Americans as a whole: 64 percent of our elite scientists are atheists or agnostics, compared to only 6 percent of the general population – more than a tenfold difference. Whether this reflects differential attraction of nonbelievers to science or science eroding belief – I suspect both factors operate – the figures are prima facie evidence for a science-religion conflict.

The most common accommodationist argument is Stephen Jay Gould’s thesis of “non-overlapping magisteria.” Religion and science, he argued, don’t conflict because: “Science tries to document the factual character of the natural world, and to develop theories that coordinate and explain these facts. Religion, on the other hand, operates in the equally important, but utterly different, realm of human purposes, meanings and values – subjects that the factual domain of science might illuminate, but can never resolve.”

This fails on both ends. First, religion certainly makes claims about “the factual character of the universe.” In fact, the biggest opponents of non-overlapping magisteria are believers and theologians, many of whom reject the idea that Abrahamic religions are “empty of any claims to historical or scientific facts.”

Nor is religion the sole bailiwick of “purposes, meanings and values,” which of course differ among faiths. There’s a long and distinguished history of philosophy and ethics – extending from Plato, Hume and Kant up to Peter Singer, Derek Parfit and John Rawls in our day – that relies on reason rather than faith as a fount of morality. All serious ethical philosophy is secular ethical philosophy.

In the end, it’s irrational to decide what’s true in your daily life using empirical evidence, but then rely on wishful-thinking and ancient superstitions to judge the “truths” undergirding your faith. This leads to a mind (no matter how scientifically renowned) at war with itself, producing the cognitive dissonance that prompts accommodationism. If you decide to have good reasons for holding any beliefs, then you must choose between faith and reason. And as facts become increasingly important for the welfare of our species and our planet, people should see faith for what it is: not a virtue but a defect.

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About the Author

 is professor emeritus of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago.

**This article was originally feature at The Conversation and is re-posted here under a creative commons license.

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Victoria L. Dunckley M.D., Psychology Today
Waking Times 

Children or teens who are “revved up” and prone to rages or—alternatively—who are depressed and apathetic have become disturbingly commonplace. Chronically irritable children are often in a state of abnormally high arousal, and may seem “wired and tired.”That is, they’re agitated but exhausted. Because chronically high arousal levels impact memory and the ability to relate, these kids are also likely to struggle academically and socially.

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At some point, a child with these symptoms may be given a mental-health diagnosis such as major depressionbipolar disorder, or ADHD, and offered corresponding treatments, including therapy and medication. But often these treatments don’t work very well, and the downward spiral continues.

What’s happening?

Both parents and clinicians may be “barking up the wrong tree.” That is, they’re trying to treat what looks like a textbook case of mental disorder, but failing to rule out and address the most common environmental cause of such symptoms—everyday use of electronics. Time and again, I’ve realized that regardless of whether there exists any “true” underlying diagnoses, successfully treating a child with mood dysregulation today requires methodically eliminating all electronics use for several weeks—an “electronics fast”—to allow the nervous system to “reset.”

If done correctly, this intervention can produce deeper sleep, a brighter and more even mood, better focus and organization, and an increase in physical activity. The ability to tolerate stress improves, so meltdowns diminish in both frequency and severity. The child begins to enjoy the things they used to, is more drawn to nature, and imaginary or creative play returns. In teens and young adults, an increase in self-directed behavior is observed—the exact opposite of apathy and hopelessness.

It’s a beautiful thing.

At the same time, the electronic fast reduces or eliminates the need for medication while rendering other treatments more effective. Improved sleep, more exercise, and more face-to-face contact with others compound the benefits—an upward spiral! After the fast, once the brain is reset, the parent can carefully determine how much if any electronics use the child can tolerate without symptoms returning.

Restricting electronics may not solve everything, but it’s often the missing link in treatment when kids are stuck.  

But why is the electronic fast intervention so effective? Because it reverses much of the physiological dysfunction produced by daily screen time.

Children’s brains are much more sensitive to electronics use than most of us realize. In fact, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take much electronic stimulation to throw a sensitive and still-developing brain off track. Also, many parents mistakenly believe that interactive screen-time—Internet or social media use, texting, emailing, and gaming—isn’t harmful, especially compared to passive screen time like watching TV. In fact, interactive screen time is more likely to cause sleep, mood, and cognitive issues, because it’s more likely to cause hyperarousal and compulsive use.

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Here’s a look at six physiological mechanisms that explain electronics’ tendency to produce mood disturbance:

1. Screen time disrupts sleep and desynchronizes the body clock.

Because light from screen devices mimics daytime, it suppresses melatonin, a sleep signal released by darkness. Just minutes of screen stimulation can delay melatonin release by several hours and desynchronize the body clock. Once the body clock is disrupted, all sorts of other unhealthy reactions occur, such as hormone imbalance and brain inflammation. Plus, high arousal doesn’t permit deep sleep, and deep sleep is how we heal.

2. Screen time desensitizes the brain’s reward system

Many children are “hooked” on electronics, and in fact gaming releases so much dopamine—the “feel-good” chemical—that on a brain scan it looks the same as cocaine use. But when reward pathways are overused, they become less sensitive, and more and more stimulation is needed to experience pleasure. Meanwhile, dopamine is also critical for focus and motivation, so needless to say, even small changes in dopamine sensitivity can wreak havoc on how well a child feels and functions.

3. Screen time produces “light-at-night.”

Light-at-night from electronics has been linked to depression and even suicide risk in numerous studies. In fact, animal studies show that exposure to screen-based light before or during sleep causes depression, even when the animal isn’t looking at the screen. Sometimes parents are reluctant to restrict electronics use in a child’s bedroom because they worry the child will enter a state of despair—but in fact removing light-at-night is protective.

4. Screen time induces stress reactions.

Both acute stress (fight-or-flight) and chronic stress produce changes in brain chemistry and hormones that can increase irritability. Indeed, cortisol, the chronic stress hormone, seems to be both a cause and an effect of depression—creating a vicious cycle. Additionally, both hyperarousal and addiction pathways suppress the brain’s frontal lobe, the area where mood regulation actually takes place.

5. Screen time overloads the sensory systemfractures attention, and depletes mental reserves. 

Experts say that what’s often behind explosive and aggressive behavior ispoor focusWhen attention suffers, so does the ability to process one’s internal and external environment, so little demands become big ones. By depleting mental energy with high visual and cognitive input, screen time contributes to low reserves. One way to temporarily “boost” depleted reserves is to become angry, so meltdowns actually become a coping mechanism.

6. Screen-time reduces physical activity levels and exposure to “green time.”

Research shows that time outdoors, especially interacting with nature, can restore attention, lower stress, and reduce aggression. Thus, time spent with electronics reduces exposure to natural mood enhancers.

In today’s world, it may seem crazy to restrict electronics so drastically. But when kids are struggling, we’re not doing them any favors by leaving electronics in place and hoping they can wind down by using electronics in “moderation.” It just doesn’t work. In contrast, by allowing the nervous system to return to a more natural state with a strict fast, we can take the first step in helping a child become calmer, stronger, and happier.

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About the Author

Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D., the author of Reset Your Child’s Brain, is an award-winning integrative child psychiatrist who specializes in children with complex or treatment-resistant mental health conditions. For more on this topic, check out her new book, Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen Time.

Like Waking Times on Facebook. Follow Waking Times on Twitter.

his article was written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Greenmedinfo.com. His work is reproduced and distributed here with the permission. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? You can sign up for their newsletter here

A new study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases titled, “Statins and the risk of herpes zoster: a population-based cohort study,”[i] reveals a hitherto unknown association between statin drug use and increased risk of herpes zoster (shingles).

Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital, Ontario, Canada, conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study of Ontario residents 66 years of age or older, with a study period of thirteen years.  They matched 494,651 individuals treated with a statin to an equal number of individuals not treated with one. Their results were reported as follows:

“In the main analysis, the rate of herpes zoster was higher among users of statins relative to nonusers of these drugs (13.25 versus 11.71 per 1000 person-years, respectively; hazard ratio 1.13, 95% confidence interval 1.10 to 1.17). The attributable fraction of exposed individuals was 11.6%. In a prespecified analysis, we found a similar risk of herpes zoster among statin users in the subgroup of patients with diabetes (hazard ratio 1.18, 95% confidence interval 1.09 to 1.27). As expected, we found no association between statin use and knee arthroplasty (hazard ratio 1.04, 95% confidence interval 0.99 to 1.09). Conclusions. Among older patients, treatment with statins is associated with a small but significantly increased risk of herpes zoster.” [emphasis added]

While a 13% increase in the relative risk of developing shingles in statin users may seem small, it may reveal something concerning not on the radar of most clinicians, nor their patients, namely, the potent immunosuppressive and/or immunotoxic properties of statin drugs.

It has been long known that statin drugs have a multitude of physiological effects beyond their much-touted ‘cholesterol-lowering’ properties; these so-called ‘pleomorphic’ properties include ‘anti-inflammatory’ and ‘immune system modulating’ effects.  However, far from therapeutic, many of these side effects are disease-promoting, with the biomedical literature teeming with evidence that this class of drugs has over 300 adverse health effects, many of which are life-threatening, including – ironically, cardiotoxicity or damage to the arteries and heart muscle.

As is the case with many patented xenobiotic chemicals that have received FDA drug approval and are recklessly foisted upon the public in order to aid drug manufacturers in making astronomical profit, many of the drugs have adverse physiological effects that are marketed to the consumer/patient as ‘therapeutic’ effects, e.g. the side effect of ‘drowsiness’ is marketed as a sleep aid, or an immune destroying agent as a drug for autoimmune diseases.

An example of a statin side effect marketed as a ‘beneficial effect’ is the way in which these chemicals are believed to down-regulate inflammation and/or destructive immune responses within damaged arteries.  Atherosclerosis – the progressive narrowing of the arteries – has an autoimmune component whereby the immune system in response to persistent injury from environmental exposures such as smoking, infection or eating oxidized polyunsaturated fats, snowballs out of control.

When the inner lining (endothelium) of the blood vessels is damaged and the immune system responds in order to attempt to heal the damage, this process can spiral out of control, resulting in fulminating inflammation and immune cell infiltration at the site of damage, usually within the middle region of the artery known as the intima media. This mostly silent process, which can go on for decades without acute symptoms, leads to the formation of plaque that eventually causes lethal obstruction.

It is believed that because statins suppress the system they may down-regulate this harmful autoimmune process, resulting in reduced inflammation and the slowing of the pathological process in the arteries.  This ‘side benefit,’ however, comes at a price. While the arteries may benefit to some degree from these immunsuppressive properties, the body as a whole may experience interference in immunosurveillance, which could result in increased risk of infection and cancer, and is one reason there is a concerning association with low cholesterol and increased risk of cancers at all sites. Additionally, even though statin drugs may slightly reduce inflammation or autoimmune infiltration associated atherosclerosis, they have direct and indirect cardiotoxic effects to the heart muscle. And so, some patients may be trading in the lipid modulating and mildly anti-inflammatory properties of these drugs for statin-induced cardiomyopathy or heart failure — a quicker path to death and disability that atherosclerosis. And this is all the more tragic when one considers that dietary and lifestyle interventions are far more effective at reversing this process than the administration of a pharmaceutical. [see 7 Ways To Prevent and Even Reverse Heart Disease With Nutrition]

This new study adds further weight to the hypothesis that statin drugs, in suppressing the immune function, are increasing the risk of immune-related disorders such as herpes zoster – a far more debilitating form of the chicken pox virus (varicella) that the adult body is usually adept at keeping inactive.  Ultimately, this is just one more nail in the coffin for the global statin propaganda machine. Learn more by watching my colleague Justin Smith’s film Statin Nation or view our extensive database on statin drug adverse effects.

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.

[i] Tony Antoniou, Hong Zheng, Samantha Singh, David N Juurlink, Muhammad M Mamdani, Tara Gomes. Statins and the risk of herpes zoster: a population-based cohort study. Clin Infect Dis.2013 Nov 13. [Epub ahead of print]

 

 

Christina Sarich, Contributor
Waking Times

Anybody can cook, even if it’s only a fried egg – but not just anyone has the discipline to fast. This ancient practice of abstaining from eating for a day, or sometimes even a week or more has a history of curing a whole host of health problems, but even a brief fast can completely re-boot your immune system.

This practice isn’t without criticism by modern nutritionists and unbelievers, but research implies that when the body is hungry in short spurts, it can kick-start stem cells into producing new white blood cells.

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White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, are the cells which the immune system uses to fight against foreign invaders like viruses and bad bacteria.

Scientists at the University of Southern California found that fasting could be particularly beneficial for people suffering from damaged immune systems, such as cancer patients on chemotherapy, or people with auto-immune disorders.

Intermittent fasting even triggers stem cells to regenerate!

Valter Longo has conducted a body of scientific research about fasting which is absolutely astounding, as well.

He published a fascinating paper in the Journal of Cell Biology based on work he did on yeast cells.  The results were considered so unlikely he almost didn’t get his paper published.  What Longo discovered was that when he starved a colony of yeast cells, about 95% of the cells would commit suicide, using the controlled death mechanism of apoptosis. They would disassemble their proteins, dissolve the cell membranes, and turn themselves into food for the remaining 5%.

Longo’s work suggests that if the fasting body is able to rejuvenate and multiply the bone marrow cells that are responsible for blood and immunity (hematopoietic stem cells), then it is obvious that the body could do this as well or better when it has plenty to eat.

Ancient Fasting Techniques

Moreover, in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is understood that our body’s metabolism and digestion are often under strain form the foods we put into our bodies on a daily basis.

For Buddhist monks in the Theravada tradition, all eating is confined to the morning hours, implying a daily fast of 16 hours, since they don’t consume food just before bed or while sleeping. The idea is that the body has plenty of time to process the food we put into it.

Sikhs often abstain from eating to heal the body and as a spiritual practice of rejuvenation.

We eat when we are stressed. We eat on the run, and we eat things that we know the body doesn’t really want. Other times we skip meals, causing a drop in our blood-glucose levels, or we eat bad food combinations. Our poor digestive system has barely had a chance to fully digest the last meal we’ve eaten before we put the next one in!

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What Fast is Right for You?

There are few choices if you want to reboot your whole immune system with a brief fast.

Selective Fasting

Selective fasting means that you abstain from only certain foods or for certain hours of the day.

Water Fasting

In this fasting diet, you consume only water for a specified duration. It not only helps you to feel full, but also helps to cleanse toxins form the entire digestive tract as you abstain from food.

This might be one of the more difficult fasts to complete, because you are consuming zero calories, but it has hailed as a cure-all for chronic pain, arthritis, migraines, and more.

Intermittent Fasting 

Intermittent fasting is often confused with dieting, but it more closely resembles making a conscious decision to skip certain meals. You fast and then feast on purpose, (consuming only healthy foods). Intermittent fasting means that you eat your calories during a specific window of the day, and choosing not to eat food during the rest. This is similar to what the Theravada Monks practice.

Working Out on an Empty Stomach

You can also do a half-day fast and add a moderate workout. This combination of fasting and exercise maximizes the impact of cellular functions which break down fat and free up glycogen for energy-use. It forces your body to burn fat without eating up muscle. A word of caution, though. You might not have as much energy to do a hard-core workout as when you have eaten.

Caveat: fasting can be harmful. If you have any serious health conditions, and you’re seriously thinking of trying this, you should consult your doctor first.

Read more articles by Christina Sarich.

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About the Author

Christina Sarich is a staff writer for Waking Times. She is a writer, musician, yogi, and humanitarian with an expansive repertoire. Her thousands of articles can be found all over the Internet, and her insights also appear in magazines as diverse as Weston A. PriceNexusAtlantis Rising, and the Cuyamungue Institute, among others. She was recently a featured author in the Journal, “Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and Healing Arts,” and her commentary on healing, ascension, and human potential inform a large body of the alternative news lexicon. She has been invited to appear on numerous radio shows, including Health Conspiracy Radio, Dr. Gregory Smith’s Show, and dozens more. The second edition of her book, Pharma Sutra, will be released soon.

This article (Research: Fasting for 72 Hours Can Regenerate The Entire Immune System) was originally published at The Mind Unleashed and is re-posted here with permission.

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Isaac Davis, Staff Writer
Waking Times

Most people really have no idea how this country is legally constructed and how this affects our relationships with other nations in the world. So much of what we have been taught to believe about the so-called ‘democracy’ is utterly false, and in order to truly understand why things are the way they are, with so much debt, war and tyranny, you need to know these 30 facts.

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This list was compiled and edited by A. True Ott, PhD, and was originally posted at his site, here.

In order to understand what is REALLY going on covertly, “behind the curtain” in America – one needs to internalize and understand the following 30 basic facts about “The Powers That Be”.  (TPTB).

1. The IRS is NOT a U.S. Government Agency.  It is an Agency of the IMF.
Sources: Diversified Metal Products v IRS et al. CV-93-405E-EJE
U.S.D.C.I.
Public Law 94-564
Senate Report 94-1148, pg 5967
Reorganization Plan #26
Public Law 102-391

2. The IMF is an Agency of the U.N. and was organized in 1944 at Bretton Woods, N.H.   well before WWII was concluded.
Source:  Black’s Law Dictionary 6th Ed. Pg 816

3. The United States has NOT had a Treasury since 1921.
41 Stat. Ch. 214 page 654

4. The U.S. Treasury is now the IMF.
Presi dential Documents Volume 29 No. 4 page 113
Source: 22 U.S.C. 285-288

5. The U.S. does not have any employees because there is no longer
a United States.  No more reorganizations.  After 200 years of  bankruptcy it is finally over.
Source:  Executive Order 12803

6. The FCC, CIA, FBI, NSA and all of the other Alphabet Gangs were
never part of the U.S. Government, even though the ‘U.S. Government
held stock in said ‘Agencies’.
Sources:  U.S. v. Strang, 254 U.S. 491
Lewis v. U.S., 680 F.2d, 1239

7. Social Security Numbers are issued by the UN through the IMF.  The application for a SSN is the SS5 form.  The Department of the Treasury (IMF) issues the SS5, not the ‘Social Security Administration.  The new SS5 forms do not state who publishes them while the old form states they are Department of Treasury.
Source: 20 CFR Chap. 111 Subpart B 422.103 (b)

8. There are NO Judicial Courts in America and there have not been any in America since 1789.
Judges do NOT enforce Statutes and Codes. “Executive Administrators” enforce Statutes and Codes.  Thus, the “Uniform Commercial Code” is the supreme law of the courts, NOT the U.S. Constitution.
Sources:  FRC v. GE, 281 U.S. 464
Keller v. Potomac Elec. Co., 261 U.S. 428
1 Stat. 138-178

9. There have NOT been any ‘Judges’ in America since 1789.
There have only been “Executive Administrators”.  (Now you know why “judges” will hold you in “contempt” if you cite the U.S. Constitution in their presence.)
Sources:  FRC v. GE, 281 U.S. 464
Keller v. Potomac Elec. Co., 261 U.S. 428
1 Stat. 138-178

10. According to GATT provisions, you MUST have a Social Security Number.
Source: House Report 103-826

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11. New York City is defined in the Federal Regulations as the “United Nations”.  Rudolph Guiliani stated on C-Span that “New York City is the Capital of the World”.  For once, he told the truth.
Source: 20 CFR Chap. 111 subpart B 422.103 (b) (2) (2)

12. Social Security is NOT insurance nor is it a binding contract.  Nor is there a “Trust Fund”.
Source: Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619
Steward Co. v. Davis, 301 U.S. 548

13. Your Social Security check comes directly from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which is a “for profit corporate agency” of the United Nations.  Examine one SS Check: top-left should be written ‘United States Treasury
see 2-4 above.

14. You actually own NO property. Slaves can’t own property, you see. Read carefully the Deed to the property you think is yours.  You are listed as “a TENANT”.  Often times the Mortgage Holder or the State is listed as “Seised in demesne as of fee”.
Source:  Senate Document 43, 73rd Congress 1st Session

( What is “Seised in demesne as of fee” and what does this Latin Legal term mean?  This is the strict technical legal expression used to describe the ownership in “an estate in fee-simple in possession in a corporeal hereditament”.  The word “seised” is used to express the “seisin or owner’s possession of a freehold property”; the phrase ‘in demesne’, or ‘in his demesne’, (in dominico suo) signifies that he’s seised as owner of the land itself, and not merely of the seigniory services; and the concluding words, ‘as of fee, import that he is seised of an estate of inheritance in fee-simple.  Where the subject is incorporeal, or the estate expectant on a precedent freehold, the words ‘in his demesne are omitted. Source: (Co. Litt. 17a; Fleta, 1.5, c. 5,    18; Bract. 1.4, tr. 5, c. 2,    2) Brown.  “Black’s Law Dictionary
Fourth Edition, page 1523.

15. The most powerful court in America is NOT the United States Supreme Court, but the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Source: 42 Pa. C.S.A. 502

16. The King of England financially backed both sides of the Revolutionary War.
Source: Treaty of Versailles.  Signed  July 16, 1782
Treaty of Peace 8 Stat. 80

17. You CANNOT use the U.S. Constitution to defend yourself because you are NOT a party to it.
Source: Padelford Fay & Co. v. The Mayor & Alderman of the City of Savannah, 14
Georgia 438, 520

18. America is a British Colony.  The ‘United States’ is a corporation, not a land mass and it existed before the Revolutionary War and the occupying British Troops did not leave until 1796.

Sources: Respublica v. Sweers, 1 Dallas 43
Treaty of Commerce 8 Stat 116
Treaty of Peace 8 Stat 80
IRS Publication 6209
Articles of Association October 20, 1774

19. Britain is owned by the Vatican.
Source: Treaty of 1213

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20. The Pope can therefore abolish any law in the United States.
Source: Elements of Ecclesiastical Law Vol. 1, 53-54

21. A 1040 Form is for Tribute paid to Britain.
Source: IRS Publication 6209

22. The Pope claims to own the entire world through the laws of Conquest and Discovery.(Ever wonder why an Attorney, who is an often unwitting Agent of the Pope through the International Bar Association, wants to do “discovery” with you?)
Source: Papal Bulls of 1495 & 1493

23. The Pope has ordered the genocide and enslavement of Millions of people.
Source: Papal Bulls of 1455 & 1493

24. The Pope’s ‘Laws’ are obligatory on everyone on the earth.
Source: Bened. XIV., De Syn. Dioec, lib, ix, c. vii., n.4. Prati, 1844
Syllabus prop 28, 29, 44

25. We are SLAVES and own ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  Not even what we think are “our children”.
Source: Tillman v. Roberts, 108 So. 62
Van Koten v. Van Koten, 154 N.E. 146
Senate Document 43, 73rd Congress 1st Session
Wynehammer v. People, 13 N.Y. Rep 378, 481

26. Military Dictator George Washington divided up the States (aka Estates) into Districts.
Source: Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Volume 1 page 99
1828 Dictionary definition of ‘Estate

27. ‘We, The People” does NOT include the General Populace, or what you THINK is ‘We, The People”.
Source: Barron v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 32 U.S. 243

28. It is NOT the ‘duty of the police to protect you.  Their job is simply to protect THE STATE OR LOCAL CORPORATION and arrest “Code Breakers”.
Sources: Sapp v. Tallahassee, 348 So.2nd. 363
Reiff v. City of Philla., 477 F.Supp. 1262
Lynch v. NC Dept. of Justice, 376 S.E.2nd. 247

29. Everything in the ‘United States is up For Sale: Bridges, Roads, Water, Schools, Hospitals, Prisons, Airports, “Federal Lands”, “State (estate) Lands” etc.
Did anybody take time to check who recently bought Klamath Lake and the Arizona State Capital?
Source: Executive Order 12803

30. ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ are HUMAN CAPITAL – aka as “Goyim” to the rulers of the world.
Source: Executive Order 13037

The U.N. has financed the operations of the ‘United States Government for over 50 years and now ‘owns’ every man, woman, and child in America.  The U.N. also holds all of the land of America in Fee Simple.

Why is the above so difficult for most people to understand? Simple: words like ‘person’, ‘citizen’, ‘people’, ‘or’, ‘nation’, ‘is’, ‘fact’, ‘authority’, ‘truth’, ‘nation’, ‘crime’, ‘fraud’, ‘charge’, ‘right’, ‘statute’, ‘preferred’, ‘assume’, ‘prefer’, ‘constitutor’, ‘creditor’, ‘debtor’, ‘debit’, ‘discharge’, ‘payment’, ‘law’, ‘United States’, and hundreds of other words do NOT mean what you think they mean and you were never taught the ‘Legal Definitions’ so you would ‘Understand that you DON’T understand’.

Don’t let this information alarm you because without it you cannot ever HOPE to be free.

You have to understand that all slavery and freedom originates in the human mind.  As the philospher Goethe wrote: “No man is more hopelessly enslaved than he who WRONGLY BELIEVES that he is free.”

When your mind allows you to accept and understand that the United States, Great Brittan and the Vatican are Corporations which are nothing but fictional entities which have been placed in your mind, you will understand our slavery remains primarily because we believe in false fictions.

The Illusion is MUCH larger than the irrefutable 30 points above, and the 30 points above are not even the tip of the tip of the iceberg.  But it is, at least a starting point.  For more information, see:www.atgpress.com
www.TheAmericanVoice.com
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=IRS+is+a+Fraud
www.ZeitgeistMovie.com
www.FreedomToFascism.com
http://www.myspace. com/KC7AQK
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=911+Truth+Movement
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klwWcp9eiPw&feature=related

Read more articles from Isaac Davis.

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About the Author

Isaac Davis is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and OffgridOutpost.com Survival Tips blog. He is an outspoken advocate of liberty and of a voluntary society. He is an avid reader of history and passionate about becoming self-sufficient to break free of the control matrix. Follow him on Facebook, here.

This article (30 Startling and Little Known Facts About Americawas originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Isaac Davis and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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Candace Owens is known as an American commentator and political activist. She is well known for her criticism of Black Lives Matter as well as the Democratic party. She is the Director of Communications at the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA. In a recent talk she was giving to black youth (see video below), she responded this way to a disruptive group of audience members that represented Black Lives Matter:

I have yet to meet an Asian-American that walks around talking about the internment camps, and yet you will always find a black person talking about slavery…What is happening in the black community right now is, there is an ideological civil war happening. Black people that are focused on their past shouting about slavery and black people that are focused on their futures, ok? That’s really what it comes down to.

I can guarantee you what you’re seeing happening is victim mentality vs victor mentality…Victim mentality is not cool, I don’t know why people like being oppressed…, “we’re oppressed…four hundred years of slavery, Jim Crow…” which, by the way, none of you guys lived through, your grandparents did, and it’s embarrassing that you utilize their history and you come in here with more emotion than they ever had when they were living through it. It’s embarrassing, you’re not living through anything right now, you’re overly privileged Americans…I’m so ashamed at the way you guys are acting and the fact that you love being oppressed, I don’t get it…You’re not going to ever make me think that oppression is cool.

Trying To Help People Break The Illusion

She is trying to help the black community, and references the Black Lives Matter movement as an example of promoting a victim mentality. She states that these members are pawns for the Democratic Party and that they don’t even realize it, while in the process they are ruining their lives for something they don’t understand and which is “fundamentally false.”

It’s not hard to see how these movements have been used as a political ploy, in the same sense Russia has been used with regards to hacking the election, ultimately to slander and discredit Donald Trump. It’s a false accusation many have bought into it.

I’m not even going to go into the Democratic Party at this time, more specifically the DNC which has participated in unfathomable corruption to the point where they should not be associated with Democrats or Republicans at all.

Candace is truly a breath of fresh air, and her message is something Collective Evolution has been writing about for a long time. A victimhood complex does absolutely nothing positive, and benefits nobody unless the victims are trying to use that complex as some sort of means to an end. That’s why we see this so much in our politics, which is infused with fraud and corruption and operates mainly in self-interest rather than for the benefit of all.

Others just seem to love taking on that role and jumping on the bandwagon, without even thinking about it. What’s worse is that these groups have tremendous support from mainstream media, which means the populace and the masses will follow with that perception.

Is this our domain of change? If so, if we keep participating in it every single year it doesn’t seem that it’s going to benefit anybody.

Movements Co-Opted By The Establishment

I believe movements like Black Lives Matter, as well as others like the Me Too movement, may have started out for noble reasons, but were easily co-opted to be used by the establishment in ways that divide people.

The War On Terror, for example, is a war that’s been exposed as being based on false premises. While terrorism to some extent exists, the connection between these ‘terrorist’ groups and rogue parts of our government and intelligence agencies, as well as the whole entire western military industrial complex, is strong. The war on terror is used politically to impose our will on others. 9/11 is a perfect example, and so is what’s transpired in Syria.

Our hearts are used and sparked to support movements like this, but if you really look at the outcomes, they ultimately do nothing but create more chaos and division. The polarities in these movements are not what they are presented to be, but created by those who cause chaos in order to propose their brand of solution. Without these problems existing, the United States would not be able to set up hundreds of military bases around the world and impose their political will on other governments.

Another example is the Black Panthers Movement, which has a long history of infiltration by intelligence agencies, in order to further spread more hate, separation and chaos. Any of these things create conflict, and justify a heightened national security state, among other things. It’s well known that the American government actually hired black people to infiltrate these movements, not only to find out more and shut it down, but to stir up conflict as well and create issues within it as well, not to mention using racism like they’ve used religion.

The Black Lives matter is no different in this sense: it’s not about equality and fairness, it’s something that’s beamed out and supported by the mainstream media in order to fulfill a political agenda, and also to create further divide amongst people. Such movements eventually are driven by the same hate, anger and attitudes as that which they claim they are fighting against.

The Rise Of Identity Politics

One profound strategy on the part of the establishment was to learn about and promote identity politics, which has served and continues to serve many useful purposes for them. Here is a quote from Mark Crispin, a professor of media studies from New York University:

It’s interesting to note that Ford and Rockefeller and the other foundations with strong CIA connections started giving grants in the early 70s to study race and gender. It was a sudden move towards identity politics by these organisations and the theory is that the reason they did this was to balkanize the left and to prevent it from pursuing any kind of a class or economic analysis. (source)

Another important point made by Crispin is that rather than empowering a ‘class’ identity which supports unity, major academic institutions are instructed to promote the primacy of race and gender, to ensure that the establishment’s agenda of ‘polarization’ is always fuelled.

New York University (NYU), one of the most prestigious and expensive institutions in the United States, likes to present itself as liberal and “diverse,” and as an “institution without walls.” Many of the school’s departments, including history, sociology or anthropology, count leading representatives of postmodernism and identity politics among their faculty, and the promotion of race and gender as having primacy over class is, in many ways, the official school ideology.

However, behind this surface of “diversity” lie extensive ties to big business, the Democratic Party and the military. As this series will demonstrate, NYU is now closely integrated into the preparations for war against both Russia and China, and, along with that, in the efforts of both the state and the major corporations to conduct mass surveillance and censor free speech on the Internet.

It’s a common tactic the global elite use, they take our good hearts and our desire for a better world, and use us as pawns to further prevent us from getting there. (source)

So you can see, there is a big issue to be discussed here that’s hardly ever talked about, yet alone known, by those who support these movements, many of whom may be operating from a good place within. Jordan Peterson from the University of Toronto takes the side of Candace Owens for bringing attention to this mindset which he feels the universities should take much of the blame for:

Candace is commenting about the danger of adopting a victimization oppressor narrative, and it’s a narrative that the hard left has really been pushing, everyone successful is an oppressor, and everyone else is a moral victim. To look at the world through a group identity lens, puts us back in a tribal situation and will produce conflicts…Candace is objecting to that, and rightly so, it’s an unbelievably pernicious ideology, and the universities are to blame for distributing it in large part. (source)

Does Racism Even Exist?

Does racism exist today? Sure it does, but it’s not nearly as bad as it’s made out to be by mainstream media. People are not becoming enraged due to their own experience, but rather in-raged from what they are constantly viewing on television. Racism in our world is not at all comparable to what it once was. Being a minority myself, I have never experienced racism and I urge all those who question me to think about how many times in their own lives they’ve experienced oppression. Legit oppression, not something that’s speculative.

Racism is also a learned behaviour, the only reason why some people are racist towards Muslims, for example, is because they think some are terrorists. Again, we all know where that narrative comes from.

Here’s a great quote from Richard Enos, a colleague here at CE. I retrieved it from an article he published regarding the Antifa topic.

I personally don’t know of anyone who supports White Nationalists, White Supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, or other hate groups. Ideally, we should be completely ignoring any violent groups with such extremist ideologies. But there is a reason we have a hard time doing so. It is because it is these groups that get to star in the mainstream media circus and in the political discourse, at the exclusion of the vast majority of citizens who are moderate, reasonable, and have legitimate grievances. Isn’t it farcical that we are still talking about the Ku Klux Klan? That they still supposedly ‘exist’ on their archaic agenda?

To be perfectly honest, I’m not even sure if many of the people that go out to protest and counter-protest in public are necessarily ardent supporters of their respective group’s fundamental ideologies. I believe many are paid mercenaries. Others may be looking for an opportunity to vent their own suppressed anger.

We live in a world full of opportunity, and to assume everybody who is not part of your ‘race’ in a higher position is constantly scheming against you and not providing you with opportunity is ridiculous. Again, this does not mean racism does not exist in our world, but the extent it’s been taken too is completely false and ridiculous.

The prison system, for example, might be a great way to create awareness about “racism and slavery,” not pointing fingers at someone like Donald Trump who is clearly not racist.

We must start seeing how much of what the government (or in this case the deep state) is doing with regards to violent protests, and counter-protests is complicit with the way these protests are being used to prevent us from actually dealing effectively with real issues. The way black oppression is presented by the mainstream media is not a real issue, and seems to be a complete distraction. Protesters in this case might be creating problems, instead of combating them.

Programmed To Be Offended

You cannot even have a conversation with most members of these groups about it, because if you bring up this narrative, they instantaneously become offended, and are not willing to listen to nor think about what you have to say. Founder of Collective Evolution Joe Martino wrote an article about how we’re systematically being trained to be offended by everything we see:

There is also a role being played by the Deep State and the media, who want to maintain control over the population as we become more self aware. To prevent us from raising these deeper internal questions, the focus is being brought back to the external. It’s being brought to things like race, gender, our appearance, the words we use, who’s right, who’s wrong, and who we can judge and for what reason. We’re being systematically taught how NOT to change. And it’s being done through innocent memes, articles, videos, and even loving intention at times, all lacking deeper thought.

Can we see how much of what the government is doing with regards to violent protests and counter-protests is complicit with the way these protests are being used to prevent us from dealing effectively with the real issues?

Perpetuated By Media

The only reason so many people are talking about problems of racism is because most of mainstream media has perpetuated it. A statement from Morgan Freeman comes to mind here, one of the best ways to combat racism is to stop talking about it. We need to stop referring to people as black, white, Jewish, etc, and simply refer to them as human beings.

Making gender, race, and other factors like these highly significant is a tool for the global elite to continue to their campaign of massive perception manipulation. They’ve even used religion as an excuse to prolong war, maintaining control while putting money and in their own pockets. This is evident by the ongoing promotion through mainstream media of the supposedly organic, self-created ‘Islamic State,’ which in fact is a pure creation of investment dollars, equipment, and training by the CIA and the western military alliance. Have we finally figured out that these rich, well-funded groups are not grassroots organizations that represent some kind of domestic agenda?

Related CE Article: Declassified CIA Documents Show Agency’s Control Over Mainstream Media & Academia

Time To Drop The Polarities

The truth is, with regards to any issue in your life, if you have an “us and them” mentality you will not progress, but instead will only create more hardships in your own life, and a response from an opposing side, thus creating more opposing views. Life begins when we start looking at our hardships as opportunities for growth and development. What’s worse is that a lot of these hardships that many are apparently facing in America, don’t even exist as we are made to believe they do.

The world is full of wonderful people, and today, most of these people are not racist, and are very accepting. Ask yourself, how many racist people have you met in your own life, and how often have you experienced racism? We must be careful in our advocacy for quality among different races/genders, as our minds are constantly manipulated about the issue. In fact, we must be suspicious of ALL attempts to make us ‘choose sides,’ to engage in the fight, to identify with a certain polarity. Below is video of Joe going into some important points a little deeply with regards to political labels and race issues.

The Takeaway

The takeaway here is to recognize how media is trying to manipulate us and use race and gender issues to simply further their agenda. What’s worse is that our own hearts and our own perception is constantly manipulated, and people are somewhat brainwashed while at the same time being inspired to get involved in something they believe is a just cause.

How much of what we do is dictated by the media? How many of our beliefs are generated by mainstream media when it comes to certain issues and events? How much do the global elite actually care about these issues, when they seem to only be using them for political gain and reputation-bashing?

While racism and sexism are not to be condoned, our world is not as violent, racist, and sexist as it’s made out to be in 2019. This is a perception fostered by mainstream media for a certain agenda, and the more widely we realize this, the less power the establishment will have over our perception.

Mike Ludwig, Truthout
Waking Times

Environmentalists are warning the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that its draft plan to continue allowing oil and gas companies to dump unlimited amounts of fracking chemicals and wastewater directly into the Gulf of Mexico is in violation of federal law.

In a letter sent to EPA officials, attorneys for the Center for Biological Diversity warned that the agency’s draft permit for water pollution discharges in the Gulf fails to properly consider how dumping wastewater containing chemicals from fracking and acidizing operations would impact water quality and marine wildlife.

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The attorneys claim that regulators do not fully understand how the chemicals used in offshore fracking and other well treatments — some of which are toxic and dangerous to human and marine life — can impact marine environments, and crucial parts of the draft permit are based on severely outdated data. Finalizing the draft permit as it stands would be a violation of the Clean Water Act, they argue.

The EPA is endangering an entire ecosystem by allowing the oil industry to dump unlimited amounts of fracking chemicals and drilling waste fluid into the Gulf of Mexico,” said Center attorney Kristen Monsell. “This appalling plan from the agency that’s supposed to protect our water violates federal law, and shows a disturbing disregard for offshore fracking’s toxic threats to sea turtles and other Gulf wildlife.”

The Center has a history of using legal action to stop polluters and challenge the government to enforce environmental regulations, so the letter could be seen as a warning shot over the EPA’s bow. Earlier this year, lawsuits filed by the Center and another group won a temporary moratorium on offshore fracking in the Pacific Ocean, and the groups are currently preparing to challenge fracking in the Santa Barbara Channel under the Endangered Species Act.

Offshore fracking involves pumping water, chemicals and sand at extremely high pressure into undersea wells to break up rock and sand formations and clear pathways for oil and gas. Offshore drillers also treat wells with corrosive acids, such as hydrochloric acid, in a process known as “acidizing.”

The technologies have been used hundreds of times to enhance oil and gas production at hundreds of Gulf wells in recent years, and environmentalists say use of the technology could increase in the future as the industry seeks to maximize production in aging offshore fields. Still, little was publicly known about these “well treatments” until Truthout and environmental groups began filing information requests with federal regulators.

Regulators and the fossil fuel industry say offshore fracking operations have a good safety record and tend to be smaller in size compared to onshore operations, but environmentalists continue to worry about the chemicals used in the process because many of them are known to harm marine wildlife. Plus, dolphins and other species in the Gulf are still suffering from the lingering effects of the 2010 BP oil spill.

Under the EPA’s current and draft permits, offshore drillers are allowed to dump an unlimited amount of fracking and acidizing chemicals overboard as long as they are mixed with the wastewater that returns from undersea wells. Oil and gas platforms dumped more than 75 billion gallons of these “produced waters” directly into the Gulf of Mexico in 2014 alone, according to the Center’s analysis of EPA records.

These large volumes of wastewater cannot contain oil and must meet toxicity standards, but oil and gas operators are only required to test the waste stream a few times a year. Monsell said these tests could easily be conducted at times when few or no fracking chemicals are present in the wastewater.

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The EPA expects these chemicals to have little impact on the environment because the large volumes of wastewater and the ocean dilute them, but the Center points out that much of the EPA’s data on the subject comes from studies prepared in the 1980s and 1990s. Offshore production technology has advanced since then and hundreds of frack jobs have occurred in the Gulf in the past five years alone.

“All they have to do is ask the Interior Department for this information, because they just compiled it all for us,” said Monsell, referring to the thousands of documents recently released to Truthout and the Center under the Freedom of Information Act.

These documents, released under a legal settlement between the Interior Department and the Center, show that regulators approved more than 1,500 frack jobs at over 600 Gulf wells between 2010 and 2014 with permit modifications that were exempted from comprehensive environmental reviews.

Monsell said the EPA’s permit is just another example of a federal agency “rubber-stamping” permits for offshore fracking without taking a hard look at how the technology impacts the environment. The EPA, she argues, should prohibit the dumping of hazardous fracking chemicals and other wastes directly into ocean altogether.

“It’s the EPA’s job to protect water quality from offshore fracking, not rubber-stamp the dumping of the wastewater from this dangerous, disgusting practice,” Monsell said.

The draft permit does prohibit the dumping of oil in the Gulf and proposes a new rule that would require oil and gas operators to keep an inventory of the fracking and acidizing chemicals kept on board. This inventory must be made available to regulators upon request. The government’s most up-to-date list of offshore fracking chemicals is now 15 years old, and the Interior Department regulators are currently working to update it.

Monsell worries, however, that these inventories would not track how much of the chemicals are dumped overboard, and the public will not be able to access them unless the EPA or Interior Department requests copies first. Even then, watchdogs may have to wait on the government to process more information requests in order to make those inventories public.

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Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project
Waking Times

France — As the “gilets jaunes” or “yellow vests” protests continue to take place across France, the government has been slowly acquiescing to the demands of citizens. However, the concessions have not been enough and so they’ve stayed in the streets although mostly calm. Also in the streets are the French police, who, according to reports, are also growing wary with the French state.

The protests have been ongoing for around a month now and the police force is tiring out—and they aren’t getting paid for it. Police in France have racked up a massive 23 million hours of overtime as they work protests and not a single one of them have been paid for it.

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Once the union realized that their officers were not being paid the money they were owed, the Alliance Union called on officers across France to only handle emergencies only as they negotiated with the interior ministry over their compensation.

On Wednesday, activists called on police to cross the line and join them. Police did not rule this option out and they went so far as to threaten the French government with doing just that.

Negotiations between three unions—Alliance, UNSA-Police and Unity-SGP-FO—and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner on Tuesday failed to reach a settlement, according to Newsweek.  As talks resumed on Wednesday, France 24 reported that activists were calling on forces across the country to commit to a “slowdown” and only respond to emergencies until the dispute had been settled.

The slowdown took place and yet the government still failed to address their concerns. So, police held a “black day for the police” protest on Wednesday. Now, they are threatening Act II, and even Act III. Using the term ‘Act’, the police are aligning themselves with the yellow vests as this is a similar tactic used in the current demonstrations.

“Despite our repeated appeals to the President of the Republic to announce an emergency plan for the security forces, so far nothing has been said,” the union said this week.

The Interior Minister, Christophe Castaner claims that paying the officers what they are owed will “take time” and finding the money isn’t easy.

“It is in a spirit of dialogue and mutual trust that we will provide concrete responses to our security forces,” he said.

However, the police do not appear to be buying into the rhetoric and a “blue vest” protest now appears to be imminent.

Although many police officers and protesters have been clashing—often violently—over the past few weeks, many of the officers have found compassion for the yellow vests.

“Most cops have ‘yellow vests’ among their close circles or at least people who sympathize with the movement, it’s not easy to be on the other side of the barricade every day,” a police source told Le Monde newspaper.

Backing up this notion is the fact that police have been seen on video removing their helmets and joining in with the yellow vests in solidarity.

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As TFTP reported earlier this month, despite the violence, many of the police officers in France understood the anger coming from the citizens. Instead of clashing with the peaceful protesters, many of the officers were seen joining them in solidarity.

In at least two different cases, police were seen on video removing their helmets to show the people that they were on their side.

BREAKING: WATCH: Paris: A group of French police officers remove their helmets to show solidarity with the French people against President Emmanuel Macron, as anti Macron protests continue throughout France. #GiletsJaunes pic.twitter.com/viNsNmBpvy

— BNL NEWS (@BreakingNLive) December 2, 2018

In both cases the protesters erupted with applause and began singing La Marseillaise, the national anthem of France.

When the enforcement arm of the state—the police—refuse to obey their masters, and instead join the citizens they once oppressed, a revolution is at hand. The irony of police revolting after not being paid to act as the enforcement arm of the state—to quell dissent among the citizens—is golden, and hopefully it leads to a “blue” revolution in which police go back to protecting the people, instead of their masters.

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About the Author

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on TwitterSteemit, and now on Facebook.

**This article (Game Changer: French Police to Join Yellow Vests After Finding Out Gov’t is Ripping Them Off Too) was originally featured at The Free Thought Project, and is re=posted here with permission.**

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Heather Callaghan, Contributor
Waking Times

Kyrgyzstan Parliament just announced its 10-year plan to phase out all non-organic farming and switch to 100 percent organic agriculture. The country that relies heavily on its agriculture has put the final nail in the coffin of Big GMO.

Dastanbek Djumabekov, the Chairman of the Jogorku Kenesh (Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament), has directed the government to implement the 100% organic agricultural plan over the next 10 years. The country plans to only use natural fertilizers in the future.

Kyrgyzstan is only the second country in the entire world to implement a 100% organic agriculture plan. Bhutan is the first, more on that in a second. Additionally, Kyrgyzstan virtually kicked all GMOs to the curb in 2014 – keep reading.

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Living in an Organic Paradise

Remember when organic food wasn’t differentiated by the special term “organic”? Remember when it was just called “food”? That’s what Kyrgyzstan is trying to achieve. An organic farming paradise that is actually just a reprisal of traditional farming and nutritional food.

The Central Asian country, nestled in between China and Kazakhstan, is encased by mountainous terrain and is apart of the historic Silk Road. The agricultural sector is one of the largest economic sectors for Kyrgyzstan and makes up around 40% of its 6 million population.

In fact, a lot of the farms have already been growing fruits and vegetables without chemicals, so why not make it official?

Azernews reported:

Speaker of the Parliament Dastanbek Dzhumabekov sent a corresponding instruction to the government. It states that the production of agricultural products throughout the country should become organic within ten years.

 

Farmers should not use agrochemicals, pesticides (toxic chemicals), synthetic substances, hormones, growth regulators, feed additives, GMOs, antibiotics and additives other than biological preparations for plant protection and organic fertilizers.

Implementation of Krygyzstan’s 100% organic agriculture plan was entrusted to the Committee on Agrarian Policy, Water Resources, Ecology and Regional Development of the Parliament.

24.kg reported:

Earlier, MP Kenzhebek Bokoev said that the specialists of the Ministry of Agriculture should work better, and recommended to help farmers in Talas region with the sale of beans, to hold a campaign in the region about the benefits of this product.

 

The parliament members blamed the Ministry of Agriculture for the fact that there were still no so-called organic farms in the republic where fruit and vegetables were grown without chemicals.

News of the organic farming campaign could possibly be a sign of the government’s increased concern over health. Coincidentally, the government just announced a plan to put scary, graphic images on alcohol bottles in an effort to curb over-drinking.

Kicked GMOs Out in 2014

Back in 2014, Kyrgyzstan became one of the first countries to banish all GMO products. That is, the country banned genetically engineered crops and also the import and sale of all GMO foods.

Sustainable Pulse reported at the time:

The Kyrgyz Members of Parliament approved the third reading of the bill ‘On the prohibition of cultivation, production, import and sale in Kyrgyzstan of products containing GMOs’.

It was reported that following the adoption of the law there is set to be a GMO testing laboratory built before 2015, where not only food coming from abroad, but also food grown in the country will be checked for GMO contamination. The Ministry of Economy noted that to prohibit the importation of GMO products on the ground will be difficult but possible.

Since then, however, the country laxed on its GMO contamination inspection, but only a little.

A recent report by Sustainable Pulse states:

In 2014 Kyrgyzstan also became one of the first countries in the world to ban the cultivation of GM Crops alongside the import and sale of all GMO products. This ban was later changed to allow for low levels of GMO contamination (0.9%) in imports.

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Kyrgyzstan’s 100% Organic Plan Follows Bhutan

Bhutan was the first country in the world to begin implementing a 100% organic agriculture plan. And it may be fully implemented by 2020!

Dr. Appachanda Thimmaiah, associate professor of sustainable living at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, served as the organic agriculture consultant to Bhutan from 2008 to 2013. He is the reason Bhutan is nearly finished with their 5-year 100% organic plan. Note: the country already utilizes natural and local food but chemicals and industrialization started creeping in during the 1980s. Yet, it looks like they are making a remarkable conversion to organic.

His secret is the utilization of cows and cow urine. When asked about potential criticism of keeping cows and the whole methane release, he replied:

We are talking about the small cows, not the high-yielding milking cows which are fed with grains and genetically modified crops and stuff like that.

 

We are talking about small, miniature cows which are designed by nature to consume the locally available fodder and convert that to a very nutrient-rich manure. You don’t need a large dairy for organic farming. You just need one cow which is sufficient for 25 to 30 acres.

Incidentally, Bhutan is considered one of the happiest nations in the world according to the Gross National Happiness scale.

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If they can make the switch to organic, why can’t we?

Russia, seated above Kazakhstan which is the country bordering Kyrgyzstan to the north, is known for its local and organic dacha gardens that can feed communities with the most fresh, nutrition imaginable. Neither Russia nor Syria have embraced genetically engineered crops. Russia has responded to Western food sanctions by becoming more independent with its country’s agriculture. Even China is starting to encourage “tenant gardens” for residents of apartment complexes.

If Russia, war-torn Syria, Bhutan, and Kyrgyzstan can hang on to organic crops, then why can’t the Western world allow organic crops to thrive?

Because there are too many corporate and entangled interests involved. Yet, we can see that other countries are feeding their nations with homegrown organic and perhaps doing so without some of the price manipulation that goes on in the U.S. economy.

With more support from the U.S. government perhaps through parity farming, and continued consumer demand, we may see more organic crops in America’s future. We applaud the recent developments in Kyrgyzstan with their concrete plan to create a 100 percent organic agriculture to support their nation.

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About the Author

Heather Callaghan helps people emotionally heal by using metaphors. She’s a consultant, independent researcher/writer, speaker and food & health freedom advocate. She is the Editor and co-founder of NaturalBlaze as well as a certified Self-Referencing IITM Practitioner. She has written over 1,200 articles and wants readers to empower themselves to take back their health! Get a nifty FREE eBook – Like at  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This article (Kyrgyzstan to Switch to 100% Organic Agriculture) was created by and appeared first at Natural Blaze and is reposted here with permission. 

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John W. Whitehead, TRI
Waking Times

“Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child’s cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven’t forgotten that night down the centuries. We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts… We forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. It’s his birthday we’re celebrating. Don’t let us ever forget that. Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most. And then, let each put in his share, loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.”—The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

What a year.

It feels as if government Grinches and corporate Scrooges have been working overtime to drain every last drop of joy, kindness and liberty from the world.

After endless months of gloom and doom, it’s hard not to feel like Charlie Brown in A Charlie Brown Christmas as he struggles to feel happy and find the true meaning of Christmas in the midst of rampant commercialism, political correctness and the casual cruelty of an apathetic, self-absorbed, dog-eat-dog world.

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Then again, isn’t that struggle to overcome the darkness and find the light within exactly what Christmas—the celebration of a baby born in a manger—is all about? The reminder that we have not been forgotten or forsaken. Glad tidings in the midst of hard times. Goodwill to counter meanness. Innocence in the face of cynicism. Hope in the midst of despair. Comfort to soothe our fears. Peace as an answer to war. Love that conquers hate.

As “fellow-passengers to the grave,” we all have a moral duty to make this world (or at least our small corners of it) just a little bit kinder, a little less hostile and a lot more helpful to those in need.

No matter what one’s budget, religion, or political persuasion, there is no shortage of things we can each do right now to pay our blessings forward and recapture the true spirit of Christmas.

For starters, move beyond the “us” vs. “them” mentality. Tune into what’s happening in your family, in your community and your world, and get active. Show compassion to those in need, be kind to those around you, forgive those who have wronged you, and teach your children to do the same. Talk less, and listen more. Take less, and give more. Stop being a hater. Stop acting entitled and start being empowered. Learn tolerance in the true sense of the word. Value your family. Count your blessings. Share your blessings. Feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and comfort the lonely and broken-hearted. Bridge bridges, and tear down walls. Stand for freedom. Strive for peace.

One thing more: make time for joy and laughter. Shake off the blues with some Christmas tunes, whatever fits the bill for you, be it traditional carols, rollicking oldies, or some rocking new tunes. Watch a Christmas movie that reinforces your faith in humanity.

Here are ten of my favorite Christmas movies and music albums to get you started.

First the movies.

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946). An American classic about a despondent man, George Bailey who is saved from suicide by an angel working to get his wings. This film is a testament to director Frank Capra’s faith in people. Sublime performances by James Stewart and Donna Reed.

The Bishop’s Wife (1947). An angel comes to earth in answer to a bishop’s prayer for help. Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young help energize this tale of lost visions and longings of the heart.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947). By happenchance, Kris Kringle is hired as Santa Claus by Macy’s Department Store in New York City for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Before long, Kringle, who believes himself to be the one and only Santa Claus, has impacted virtually everyone around him. Funny, witty and heartwarming, this film is stocked with some fine performances from Maureen O’Hara, John Payne and young Natalie Wood. Edmund Gwenn won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his role as Saint Nick.

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A Christmas Carol (1951). This is the best film version of the penny-pinching Scrooge’s journey to spiritual enlightenment by way of visits from supernatural visitors. Alastair Sim as Scrooge gives one of the finest film performances never to win an Oscar. The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) provides a wonderful glimpse into how Charles Dickens came to write A Christmas Carol.

A Christmas Story (1983). Ralphie is a young boy obsessed with one thing and only one thing: how to get a Red Ryder BB-gun for Christmas. Ralphie’s parents are wary, and his mother continually warns him that “you’ll shoot your eye out.” Based on Jean Shepherd’s autobiographical book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, at the heart of this timeless comedy is the universal yearning of a child for the magic of Christmas morning. A great cast, which includes Darren McGavin, Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon and a voice-over narrative by Shepherd himself.

One Magic Christmas (1985). If you grew up in a family where times were tough, this film is for you. A guardian angel comes to earth to help a disillusioned woman who hates Christmas. This tale of redemption and second chances is a delight to watch. And Harry Dean Stanton makes a first-class offbeat angel.

Prancer (1989). This story of an eight-year-old girl who believes that an injured reindeer in her barn is actually one of Santa’s reindeer is one of the most down-to-earth Christmas films ever made. It’s a testament to the transforming power of love and childhood innocence. Sam Elliott and Cloris Leachman are fine in supporting roles, but Rebecca Harrell shines. Filmed on location in freezing, snowy weather, this film is a treat for those who love Christmas.

Home Alone (1990). Eight-year-old Kevin, accidentally left behind at home when his family flies to Paris for Christmas, thinks he’s got it made. Hijinks ensue when two burglars match their wits against his. A funny, tender tribute to childhood and the bonds of family.

Elf (2003). Another modern classic with a lot of heart. Buddy, played to the hilt by Will Ferrell, is a human who was raised by elves at the North Pole. Determined to find his birth father, Buddy travels to the Big Apple and spreads his Christmas cheer to everyone he meets. This film has it all: Santa, elves, family problems, humor, emotion and above all else, a large dose of the Christmas spirit. One of the best Christmas movies ever made.

The Christmas Chronicles (2018). The story of a sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about. Kurt Russell’s star turn as Santa makes for movie magic.

Now for the music.

Out of the hundreds of Christmas albums I’ve listened to over the years, the following, covering a broad range of musical styles, moods and tastes, each in its own way perfectly captures the essence of Christmas for me.

It’s Christmas (EMI, 1989): 18 great songs, ranging from John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” The real treats on this album are Greg Lake’s “I Believe in Father Christmas,” Kate Bush’s “December Will Be Magic Again” and Aled Jones’ “Walking in the Air.”

Christmas Guitar (Rounder, 1986): 28 beautifully done traditional Christmas songs by master guitarist John Fahey. Hearing Fahey’s guitar strings plucking out “Joy to the World,” “Good King Wenceslas,” “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,” among others, is a sublime experience.

Christmas Is A Special Day (The Right Stuff, 1993): 12 fine songs by Fats Domino, the great Fifties rocker, ranging from “Amazing Grace” to “Jingle Bells.” The title song, written by Domino himself, is a real treat. No one has ever played the piano keys like Fats.

Christmas Island (August/Private Music, 1989): “Frosty the Snowman” will never sound the same after you hear Leon Redbone and Dr. John do their duet. Neither will “Christmas Island” or “Toyland” on this collection of 11 traditional and rather offbeat songs.

A Holiday Celebration (Gold Castle, 1988): The classic folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary, backed by the New York Choral Society, sing traditional and nontraditional holiday fare on 12 beautifully orchestrated songs. Included are “I Wonder as I Wander,” “Children Go Where I Send Thee,” and “The Cherry Tree Carol.” Also thrown in is Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

The Christmas Album (Columbia, 1992): Neil Diamond sings 14 songs, ranging from “Silent Night” to “Jingle Bell Rock” to “The Christmas Song” to “Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Diamond also gives us a great rendition of Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” A delightful album.

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A Charlie Brown Christmas (Fantasy, 1988): 12 traditional Christmas songs by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. The pianist extraordinaire and his trio perform “O Tannenbaum,” “The Christmas Song” and “Greensleeves.” Also included is the Charlie Brown Christmas theme.

The Jethro Tull Christmas Album (Fuel Records, 2003): If you like deep-rooted traditional holiday songs, you’ll love this album. The 16 songs range from “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” to Ian Anderson originals such as “Another Christmas Song” and “Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow.” With Anderson on flute and vocals, this album has an old world flavor that will have you wanting mince pie and plum pudding.

A Twisted Christmas (Razor Tie, 2006): Twisted Sister, the heavy metal group, knocks the socks off a bevy of traditional and pop Christmas songs. Dee Snider’s amazing vocals brings to life “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” “Deck the Halls,” “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” among others—including “Heavy Metal Christmas (The Twelve Days of Christmas).” Great fun and a great band.

Songs for Christmas (Asthmatic Kitty, 2006): In 2001, independent singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens set out to create a Christmas gift through songs for his friends and family. It eventually grew to a 5-CD box set, which includes Stevens’ original take on such standards as “Amazing Grace” and “We Three Kings” and some inventive yuletide creations of his own. A lot of fun.

Before you know it, Christmas will be a distant memory and we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming of politics, war, violence, materialism and mayhem.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, there may not be much we can do to avoid the dismal reality of the American police state in the long term—not so long as the powers-that-be continue to call the shots and allow profit margins to take precedence over the needs of people—but in the short term, I hope you’ll do your part to “spread a smile of joy” and “throw your arms around the world at Christmastime.”

As Frank Cross, the Scrooge character in Scrooged (1988), remarks:

“I’m not crazy. It’s Christmas Eve! It’s the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be! It’s a sort of a miracle because it happens every Christmas Eve. And if you waste that miracle, you’re gonna burn for it. I know what I’m talking about. You have to do something. You have to take a chance. You do have to get involved. There are people that are having trouble making their miracle happen. There are people that don’t have enough to eat, and there are people that are cold. You can go out and say ‘hello’ to these people. You can take an old blanket out of the closet and say, ‘here.’ You can make ‘em a sandwich, and say ‘Oh, by the way, here!’ And if you give, then it can happen. Then the miracle can happen to you. It’s not just the poor and the hungry, it’s everybody that’s gotta have this miracle! And it can happen tonight for all of you! If you believe in this pure thing, the miracle will happen and then you’ll want it to happen again tomorrow! You won’t be one of these bastards who says, ‘Christmas is once a year and it’s a fraud.’ It’s not! It can happen every day! You’ve just got to want that feeling! And if you like it and you want it, you’ll get greedy for it. You’ll want it every day of your life, and it can happen to you! I believe in it now. I believe it’s gonna happen to me now. I’m ready for it! And it’s great. It’s a good feeling. It’s really better than I’ve felt in a long time. I’m ready. Have a Merry Christmas, everybody.”

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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 (Say No to Government Grinches and Corporate Scrooges) was originally published. He is the author of A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State and The Change Manifesto.

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