I don’t agree with many of the positions of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and self-described socialist Christopher Hedges but I do have to admit that he does frequently challenge the depredations of the Washington Empire and Crony Capitalism. Fortunately for those of us who want to hear alternative voices and opinions such as Hedges, Russia Today has provided him the program On Contact in which he frequently conducts thoughtful, in-depth interviews with persons of note who challenge the “narrative” of those in power.

On May 25th 2019, RT Posted Hedges’s interview with Professor Stephen F. Cohen; I recently wrote an article for LewRockwell.com about an excellent in depth series of video interviews with Professor Cohen on The Real News Network; however, Hedges program is more focused on the dangers of what Professor Cohen has termed “Intelgate” and the deepening tensions with Russia and his new book, War with Russia? Lasting for twenty-eight minutes the program can be viewed at one sitting.

Their conversation starts with Professor Cohen discussing the demonization of Putin, long before Trump entered the scene. They discuss the devastation of Russia by America’s policies in 1990’s, a greater depression than America’s in the 1930s, devastation comparable to a war. He explains that the reason Washington turned against Putin was because he turned out not to be a sober Yeltsin, i.e. by implication a docile puppet that allowed Russia to be plundered and subservient to Washington’s dictats. Hedges discusses that John Brennan’s accusation of President Trump for being a traitor is “unprecedented” and notes that despite the Mueller Report, the narrative of Trump being Putin’s agent is a narrative that continues to this day.

Professor Cohen in the early portion of the show makes the following statement, which we should all keep in mind to keep the perspective on the dangers related from the promulgation of the Russiagate fraud:

“These people who created Russiagate are literally saying, and have been saying for three years, that the President of the United States is a Russian agent, or has been compromised by the Kremlin. Now, we kind of grin, because it’s so fantastic. But the Washington establishment, mainly the Democrats, but not only, have taken this seriously for nearly three years.

“But I wake up every day and I have to remind myself what the underlying accusation is: that President Trump is controlled by the Kremlin. I don’t know that there’s been anything like this in American History. Let me just say that accusation does such damage to our own institutions—to the Presidency, to the electoral system, to the Congress, to the American Main Stream Media—not to mention the damage it’s done to American Russian relations and something that’s been overlooked: the damage it’s done to the way Russians, both elite Russians and young Russians, look at America today. This whole Russiagate has not only been fraudulent, it’s been a catastrophe.”

This is riveting television for the twenty-first century; all the more important to watch since legacy media no longer allows Professor Cohen’s voice to be heard at all.

(For those who don’t want to view on YouTube, and this works as well with my Amazon Fire TV Stick also this is the link to view on the RT Website.)

I recently saw the documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, an account by English soldiers of their experiences in the Great War of 1914-1918. Culled from hundreds of hours of colorized actual wartime footage, it’s a beautiful and heart wrenching film. It’s also a superb antiwar film, simply through its graphic and accurate depiction of mass death and casualties across blood-soaked European battlefields.

Refreshingly, the film relies solely on audio transcripts from about 200 English soldiers who fought in World War I. There is no script, and no narration. The viewer simply hears the gravelly, aged voices of the soldiers themselves, never identified by name or rank. They are anonymous, but judging by the towns from which they hailed and the farm or factory jobs they left, most were enlisted men.

Though commissioned by the BBC, producer Sir Peter Robert Jackson has no political axe to grind. This is a story of men, of human beings and their oftentimes horrific experiences in perhaps the savagest of modern wars. It has little to say about particular battles, commanding officers, politicians, or any of the events surrounding the war. It stands apart from most war documentaries precisely because Jackson strenuously avoids any filter between the soldiers’ recollections and the viewer.

From the outset we see the naivete of young men, many no more than 15 or 16. They hear vague rumors about the assassination of Franz Ferdinand. They see activity in their small towns and villages, with soldiers bustling about setting up enlistment stations. They read newspaper reports about Germany threatening Europe, and feel both pressure and pride compelling them to join the war effort. Though the official enlistment age is 19, many of the taller boys lie and are readily accepted.

For almost all of them, signing up is simply the thing to do. They join the fight for their mates, for their families, and for the approval of the girls and older people in their towns. Still teenage boys, they have no capacity to imagine or justify what will come. Questions of politics and ideology, questions about just or unjust war, are simply outside of their thinking at the time. Joining the war, and defending England, are obviously the right thing to do.

Training is scant, and often local. A few older men in their 30s and 40s with military experience set up barracks and begin teaching basic formations and physical fitness. Quartermasters dole out ill-fitting uniforms and stiff boots, all fated to become rotted and waterlogged in trenches. Well-used Enfield rifles are issued, heavy and quite foreign to many of the boys who have never fired a gun. And after just a few weeks, the boys head off to the beaches, woods, and fields of France, Germany, Prussia, Belgium, and beyond—scarcely removed from their school boy or farm boy days. Anyone with a young teenager can imagine how their parents felt.

The battle scenes are gruesome, and intense. The film does not spare viewers. Dead and dismembered bodies feature frequently, but the sheer horror and bloodshed are moving rather than gratuitous. Humanity in wartime isn’t an abstraction, but the real and abject collection of flesh, bone, organs, blood, and tissue of the soldiers who were running beside you a moment ago. War is violence, and They Shall Not Grow Old never strays from reality.

Motorized military transport was less common then, so horses were ubiquitous among officers. But the equines too are slaughtered, and some post-battle scenes show a staggering number of dead and injured horses, some still braying and flopping in misery.

Battlefield medicine and medical corps were rudimentary by today’s standard, and the fighting is often too intense or lengthy to allow for removal of dead and injured comrades. Many soldiers lie horrifically injured for hours or even days, writhing in pain and often bleeding to death before help could arrive. During lulls in fighting, the soldiers do the best they can to walk among the bodies and search for signs of breathing or movement, and in some terrible cases make the decision to shoot a suffering man who clearly won’t survive as an act of mercy. With the sheer number of dead, and the constant need to advance against the enemy, mass burials on the fly are commonplace. Chaplains do their best to hold brief services, with the ragtag survivors doffing their helmets and allowing themselves a moment of quiet.

Privation is as constant as the fighting. Most of the troops eat only when they can, mostly dried meat and hard tack from an English tin (an early version of today’s MREs). Many only weigh 10 stone. Coffee or tea is a luxury, requiring a heating fire. Oftentimes trenches fill with water, soaking their legs and leading to savage rot and infection in their lower extremities. Water borne diseases run rampant, shaving and haircuts become more and more difficult, and dental care is almost nonexistent—as made clear by the gray and jumbled grins the soldiers sometimes manage to flash for cameras.

As German forces retreat, and victory becomes more likely, the English troops begin taking prisoners. This part of the film is especially hopeful, as it shows the common humanity between working class enlisted soldiers on both sides. German combatants (though sometimes not the hated machine gunners) who put their hands up and their rifles down are taken into impromptu custody and fed. The English soldiers recognize the Germans as boys just like them, though skinnier and provisioned more badly. Some captors speak German, some prisoners speak English. Cigarettes and coffee are spoken by all. The Germans are pitied, not hated. They all lament the damnable war, and talk about going home.

But going home is not so easy, and at the end of the film surviving soldiers recount their jarring experiences returning to their old lives. Though there has been rationing and hardship across England, their families and friends can’t relate to what they’ve been through. Ludwig von Mises experienced this too, upon return to Vienna from his time in the Austro-Hungarian army: only other soldiers could truly understand what they had seen and done. The economy in post-war England is wrecked, and many returning soldiers find their old jobs gone and their former employers less than sympathetic. There are no ticker tape parades to welcome them home and no GI bill to get them back on their feet. It’s hardly surprising many rebelled against the English class system during the interwar years, no longer content “down on the farm” as the famous song went.

Memorial Day observes and seeks to remember the wartime deaths of American soldiers. Observation, not celebration, differentiates it from Armistice Day (now Veteran’s Day). We should observe and memorialize death, but celebrate the end of war. Anyone who watches They Shall Not Grow Old will do both, and feel intense gratitude for the relative peace we enjoy today in the West.

The film invites all of us to reflect on the pettiness and minor irritations of our easy lives. It inspires us to recommit ourselves to peace, and to challenge those who advocate for endless US wars. Most of all, this great film will make you angry at the politicians and generals who sent those young boys off to slaughter 100 years ago.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

After posting a video of a young recruit talking to the camera about how service allows him to better himself “as a man and a warrior”, the US Army tweeted, “How has serving impacted you?”

As of this writing, the post has over 5,300 responses. Most of them are heartbreaking.

“My daughter was raped while in the army,” said one responder. “They took her to the hospital where an all male staff tried to convince her to give the guy a break because it would ruin his life. She persisted. Wouldn’t back down. Did a tour in Iraq. Now suffers from PTSD.”

“I’ve had the same nightmare almost every night for the past 15 years,”said another.

Tweet after tweet after tweet, people used the opportunity that the Army had inadvertently given them to describe how they or their loved one had been chewed up and spit out by a war machine that never cared about them. This article exists solely to document a few of the things that have been posted in that space, partly to help spread public awareness and partly in case the thread gets deleted in the interests of “national security”. Here’s a sampling in no particular order:

“Someone I loved joined right out of high school even though I begged him not to. Few months after his deployment ended, we reconnected. One night, he told me he loved me and then shot himself in the head. If you’re gonna prey on kids for imperialism, at least treat their PTSD.”

~

“After I came back from overseas I couldn’t go into large crowds without a few beers in me. I have nerve damage in my right ear that since I didn’t want to look weak after I came back I lied to the VA rep. My dad was exposed to agent orange which destroyed his lungs, heart, liver and pancreas and eventually killing him five years ago. He was 49, exposed at a post not Vietnam, and will never meet my daughter my nephew. I still drink to much and I crowds are ok most days but I have to grocery shop at night and can’t work days because there is to many ppl.”

~

“The dad of my best friend when I was in high school had served in the army. He struggled with untreated PTSD & severe depression for 30 years, never told his family. Christmas eve of 2010, he went to their shed to grab the presents & shot himself in the head. That was the first funeral I attended where I was actually told the cause of death & the reasons surrounding it. I went home from the service, did some asking around, & found that most of the funerals I’ve attended before have been caused by untreated health issues from serving.”

~

“My dad was drafted into war and was exposed to agent orange. I was born w multiple physical/neurological disabilities that are linked back to that chemical. And my dad became an alcoholic with ptsd and a side of bipolar disorder.”

~

“i met this guy named christian who served in iraq. he was cool, had his own place with a pole in the living room. always had lit parties. my best friend at the time started dating him so we spent a weekend at his crib. after a party, 6am, he took out his laptop. he started showing us some pics of his time in the army. pics with a bunch of dudes. smiling, laughing. it was cool. i was drunk and didn’t care. he started showing us pics of some little kids. after a while, his eyes went completely fucking dark. i was like man, dude’s high af. he very calmly explained to us that all of those kids were dead ‘but that’s what war was. dead kids and nothing to show for it but a military discount’. christian killed himself 2 months later.”

~

“I didn’t serve but my dad did. In Vietnam. It eventually killed him, slowly, over a couple of decades. When the doctors were trying to put in a pacemaker to maybe extend his life a couple of years, his organs were so fucked from the Agent Orange, they disintegrated to the touch. He died when I was ten. He never saw me graduate high school. He never saw me get my first job or buy my first car. He wasn’t there. But hey! Y’all finally paid out 30k after another vet took the VA to the Supreme Court, so. You know. It was cool for him.”

~

“Chronic pain with a 0% disability rating (despite medical discharge) so no benefits, and anger issues that I cope with by picking fistfights with strangers.”

~

“My parents both served in the US Army and what they got was PTSD for both of them along with anxiety issues. Whenever we go out in public and sit down somewhere my dad has to have his back up against the wall just to feel a measure of comfort that no one is going to sneak up on him and kill him and and walking up behind either of them without announcing that you’re there is most likely going to either get you punch in the face or choked out.”

~

“Many of my friends served. All are on heavy antidepressant/anxiety meds, can’t make it through 4th of July or NYE, and have all dealt with heavy substance abuse problems before and after discharge. And that’s on top of one crippled left hand, crushed vertebra, and GSWs.”

~

“Left my talented and young brother a broken and disabled man who barely leaves the house. Left my mother hypervigilant & terrified due to the amount of sexual assault & rape covered up and looked over by COs. Friend joined right out if HS, bullet left him paralyzed neck down.”

~

“My cousin went to war twice and came back with a drug addiction that killed him. My other cousin could never get paid on time and when he left they tried to withhold his pay.”

~

“It’s given me a fractured spine, TBI, combat PTSD, burn pit exposure, and a broken body with no hope of getting better. Not even medically retired for a fractured spine. WTF.”

~

“Y’all killed my father by failing to provide proper treatments after multiple tours.”

~

“Everyone I know got free PTSD and chemical exposure and a long engagement in their efforts to have the US pay up for college tuition. Several lives ruined. No one came out better. Thank god my recruiter got a DUI on his way to get me or I would be dead or worse right now.”

~

“I have ptsd and still wake up crying at night. Also have a messed up leg that I probably will have to deal with the rest of my life. Depression. Anger issues.”

~

“My grandfather came back from Vietnam with severe PTSD, tried to drown it in alcohol, beat my father so badly and so often he still flinches when touched 50 years later. And I grew up with an emotionally scarred father with PTSD issues of his own because of it. Good times.”

~

“Hmmm. Let’s see. I lost friends, have 38 inches of scars, PTSD and a janky arm and hand that don’t work.”

~

“my grandpa served in vietnam from when he was 18–25. he’s 70 now and every night he still has nightmares where he stands up tugging at the curtains or banging on the walls screaming at the top of his lungs for someone to help him. he refuses to talk about his time and when you mention anything about the war to him his face goes white and he has a panic attack. he cries almost every day and night and had to spend 10 years in a psychiatric facility for suicidal ideations from what he saw there.”

~

“My best friend joined the Army straight out of high school because his family was poor & he wanted a college education. He served his time & then some. Just as he was ready to retire he was sent to Iraq. You guys sent him back in a box. It destroyed his children.”

~

“Well, my father got deployed to Iraq and came back a completely different person. Couldn’t even work the same job he had been working 20 years before that because of his anxiety and PTSD. He had nightmares, got easily violent and has terrible depression. But the army just handed him pills, now he is 100% disabled and is on a shit ton of medication. He has nightmares every night, paces the house barely sleeping, checking every room just to make sure everyone’s safe. He’s had multiple friends commit suicide.”

~

“Father’s a disabled Vietnam veteran who came home with severe PTSD and raging alcoholism. VA has continuously ignored him throughout the years and his medical needs and he receives very little compensation for all he’s gone through. Thanks so much!!”

~

“I was #USNavy, my husband was #USArmy, he served in Bosnia and Iraq and that nice, shy, funny guy was gone, replaced with a withdrawn, angry man…he committed suicide a few years later…when I’m thanked for my service, I just nod.”

~

“I’m permanently disabled because I trained through severe pain after being rejected from the clinic for ‘malingering.’ Turns out my pelvis was cracked and I ended up having to have hip surgery when I was 20 years old.”

~

“My brother went into the Army a fairly normal person, became a Ranger (Ft. Ord) & came out a sociopath. He spent the 1st 3 wks home in his room in the dark, only coming out at night when he thought we were asleep. He started doing crazy stuff. Haven’t seen him since 1993.”

~

“Recently attended the funeral for a west point grad with a 4yr old and a 7yr old daughter because he blew his face off to escape his ptsd but thats nothing new.”

~

“I don’t know anyone in my family who doesn’t suffer from ptsd due to serving. One is signed off sick due to it & thinks violence is ok. Another (navy) turned into a psycho & thought domestic violence was the answer to his wife disobeying his orders.”

~

“My dad served during vietnam, but after losing close friends and witnessing the killing of innocents by the U.S., he refused to redeploy. He has suffered from PTSD ever since. The bravest thing he did in the army was refuse to fight any longer, and I’m so proud of him for that.”

~

“My best friend from high school was denied his mental health treatment and forced to return to a third tour in Iraq, despite having such deep trauma that he could barely function. He took a handful of sleeping pills and shot himself in the head two weeks before deploying.”

~

“Bad back, hips, and knees. Lack of trust, especially when coming forward about sexual harassment. Detachment, out of fear of losing friends. Missed birthdays, weddings, graduations, and funerals. I get a special license plate tho.”

~

“My son died 10 months ago. He did 3 overseas tours. He came back with severe mental illness.”

~

“I’m still in and I’m in constant pain and they recommended a spinal fusion when I was 19. Y’all also won’t update my ERB so I can’t use the education benefits I messed myself up for.”

~

“My dad served two tours in middle east and his personality changes have affected my family forever. VA ‘counseling’ has a session limit and doesn’t send you to actual psychologists. Military service creates a mental health epidemic it is then woefully unequipped to deal with.”

~

“My best childhood friend lost his mind after his time in the marines and now he lives in a closet in his mons house and can barely hold a conversation with anyone. He only smokes weed and drinks cough syrup that he steals since he can’t hold a job.”

~

“After coming back from Afghanistan…..Matter fact I don’t even want to talk about it. Just knw that my PTSD, bad back, headaches, chronic pain, knee pain, and other things wishes I would have NEVER signed that contract. It was NOT worth the pain I’ll endure for the rest of life.”

~

“My cousin served and came back only to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and ptsd. There were nights that he would lock himself in the bathroom and stay in the corner because he saw bodies in the bathtub. While driving down the highway, he had another episode and drove himself into a cement barrier, engulfing his Jeep in flames and burning alive. My father served as well and would never once speak of what he witnessed and had to do. He said it’s not something that any one person should ever be proud of.”

~

“I was sexually assaulted by a service member at 17 when I visited my sister on her base, then again at 18. My friend got hooked on k2 and died after the va turned him away for mental health help. Another friend serving was exploited sexually by her co and she was blamed for it.”

~

“I spent ten years in the military. I worked 15 hour days to make sure my troops were taken care of. In return for my hard work I was rewarded with three military members raping me. I was never promoted to a rank that made a difference. And I have an attempt at suicide. Fuck you!”

~

“I actually didn’t get around to serving because I was sexually assaulted by three of my classmates during a military academy prep program. They went to the academies and are still active duty officers. I flamed out of the program and have PTSD.”

~

“My father’s successful military career taught him that he’s allowed to use violence to make people do what he wants because America gave him that power.”

~

“While I was busy framing ‘soliders and families first’ (lol) propaganda posters, my best friend went to ‘Iraqistan’ but he didn’t come back. He returned alive, to be sure, but he was no longer the fun, carefree, upbeat person he’d previously been.”

~

“My husband is a paraplegic and can’t control 3/4 of his body now. Me, I’ve got PTSD, an anxiety disorder, two messed up knees, depression, a bad back, tinnitus, and chronic insomnia. I wish both had never served.”

~

“This is one of the most heartbreaking threads I’ve ever read.”

~

“I am so sorry. The way we fail our service members hurts my heart. My grandfather served in the Korean War and had nightmares until his death at 91 years old. We must do better.”

~

“My Army story is that when I was in high school, recruiters were there ALL the time- at lunch, clubs, etc.- targeting the poor kids at school. I didn’t understand it until now. You chew people who have nothing at home up and spit them out.”

~

“I was thinking about enlisting until I saw this thread. Hard pass.”

~

“I hope to god that the Army has enough guts to read these and realize how badly our servicepeople are being treated. Thank you and god bless you to all of you in this thread, and your loved ones who are suffering too.”

~

There are many, many more.

This is a poem I wrote a while back called “Naughty Little Boys”:

That little boy’s mum is going to be so upset.
He hasn’t combed his hair,
and his clothes are filthy.
And what’s he gone and done with his legs?
Where are your legs, little boy?
Better go and find them before your mum sees you.
Those legs are very important to her.

They sent the little boys up into the sky
and over the ocean to go play soldiers.
They gave them toy guns
full of toy bullets,
and they screamed toy screams,
and bled toy blood,
and cried toy tears,
and had toy nightmares,
and called out for their mums
in the desert.

The man on the TV keeps calling them heroes.
Don’t call them that, TV man,
you’ll only encourage them.
These are little boys,
and they’re being very naughty.
They are worrying their mums sick
and it’s time for them to go home.

Find your legs, little boy,
and go be with your mum.
Find your hands and your face too;
she’ll miss those as well.
Find your mind and bring it back
from that dark, scary place.
You’re not there anymore.
You are home.
Stop screaming toy screams
and crying toy tears
and go tell your mum that you’ve had
a bad dream.

The century-old tradition that the Espionage Act not be used against journalistic activities has now been broken. Seventeen new charges were filedyesterday against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. These new charges make clear that he is being prosecuted for basic journalistic tasks, including being openly available to receive leaked information, expressing interest in publishing information regarding certain otherwise secret operations of government, and then disseminating newsworthy information to the public. The government has now dropped the charade that this prosecution is only about hacking or helping in hacking. Regardless of whether Assange himself is labeled a “journalist,” the indictment targets routine journalistic practices.

But the indictment is also a challenge to fundamental principles of freedom of speech. As the Supreme Court has explained, every person has the right to disseminate truthful information pertaining to matters of public interest, even if that information was obtained by someone else illegally. The indictment purports to evade this protection by repeatedly alleging that Assange simply “encouraged” his sources to provide information to him. This places a fundamental free speech right on uncertain and ambiguous footing.

A Threat To The Free Press

Make no mistake, this not just about Assange or Wikileaks—this is a threat to all journalism, and the public interest. The press stands in place of the public in holding the government accountable, and the Assange charges threaten that critical role. The charges threaten reporters who communicate with and knowingly obtain information of public interest from sources and whistleblowers, or publish that information, by sending a clear signal that they can be charged with spying simply for doing their jobs. And they threaten everyone seeking to educate the public about the operation of government and expose government wrongdoing, whether or not they are professional journalists.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers, head of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, told reporters after the indictment that the department “takes seriously the role of journalists in our democracy and we thank you for it,” and that it’s not the government’s policy to target them for reporting. But it’s difficult to separate the Assange indictment from President Trump’s repeated attacks on the press, including his declarations on Twitter, at White House briefings, and in interviews that the press is “the enemy of the people,” “dishonest,” “out of control,” and “fake news.” Demers’ statement was very narrow—disavowing the “targeting” of journalists, but not the prosecution of them as part of targeting their sources. And contrary to the DOJ’s public statements, the actual text of the Assange Indictment sets a dangerous precedent; by the same reasoning it asserts here, the administration could turn its fervent anti-press sentiments into charges against any other media organization it disfavors for engaging in routine journalistic practices.

Most dangerously, the indictment contends that anyone who “counsels, commands, induces” (under 18 USC §2, for aiding and abetting) a source to obtain or attempt to obtain classified information violates the Espionage Act, 18 USC § 793(b). Under the language of the statute, this includes literally “anything connected with the national defense,” so long as there is an  “intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation.” The indictment relies heavily and repeatedly on allegations that Assange “encouraged” his sources to leak documents to Wikileaks, even though he knew that the documents contained national security information.

But encouraging sources and knowingly receiving documents containing classified information are standard journalistic practices, especially among national security reporters. Neither law nor custom has ever required a journalist to be a purely passive, unexpected, or unknowing recipient of a leaked document. And the U.S. government has regularly maintained, in EFF’s own cases and elsewhere, that virtually any release of classified information injures the United States and advantages foreign nations.

The DOJ indictment thus raises questions about what specific acts of “encouragement” the department believes cross the bright line between First Amendment protected newsgathering and crime. If a journalist, like then-candidate Trump, had said: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the [classified] emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” would that be a chargeable crime?

The DOJ Does Not Decide What Is And Isn’t Journalism

Demers said Assange was “no journalist,” perhaps to justify the DOJ’s decision to charge Assange and show that it is not targeting the press. But it is not the DOJ’s role to determine who is or is not a “journalist,” and courts have consistently found that what makes something journalism is the function of the work, not the character of the person. As the Second Circuit once wrote in a case about the reporters’ privilege, the question is whether they intended to “use material—sought, gathered, or received—to disseminate information to the public.”  No government label or approval is necessary, nor is any job title or formal affiliation. Rather than justifying the indictment, Demers’ non-sequitur appears aimed at distracting from the reality of it.

Moreover, Demers’ statement is as dangerous as it is irrelevant. None of the elements of the 18 statutory charges (Assange is also facing a charge under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) require a determination that Assange is not a journalist. Instead, the charges broadly describe journalism–seeking, gathering and receiving information for dissemination to the public, and then publishing that information–as unlawful espionage when it involves classified information.

Of course news organizations routinely publish classified information. This is not considered unusual, nor (previously) illegal. When the government went to the Supreme Court to stop the publication of the classified Pentagon Papers, the Supreme Court refused (though it did not reach the question of whether the Espionage Act could constitutionally be charged against the publishers). Justice Hugo Black, concurring in the judgment, explained why:

In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government’s power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.

Despite this precedent and American tradition, three of the DOJ charges against Assange specifically focus solely on the purported crime of publication. These three charges are for Wikileaks’ publication of the State Department cables and the Significant Activity Reports (war logs) for Iraq and Afghanistan, documents which were also published in Der SpiegelThe GuardianThe New York TimesAl Jazeera, and Le Monde, and republished by many other news media.

For these charges, the government included allegations that Assange failed to properly redact, and thereby endangered sources. This may be another attempt to make a distinction between Wikileaks and other publishers, and perhaps to tarnish Assange along the way. Yet this is not a distinction that makes a difference, as sometimes the media may need to provide unredacted data. For example, in 2017 the New York Times published the name of a CIA official who was behind the CIA program to use drones to kill high-ranking militants, explaining “that the American public has a right to know who is making life-or-death decisions in its name.”

While one can certainly criticize the press’ publication of sensitive data, including identities of sources or covert officials, especially if that leads to harm, this does not mean the government must have the power to decide what can be published, or to criminalize publication that does not first get the approval of a government censor. The Supreme Court has justly held the government to a very high standard for abridging the ability of the press to publish, limited to exceptional circumstances like “publication of the sailing dates of transports or the number and location of troops” during wartime.

A Threat to Free Speech

In a broader context, the indictment challenges a fundamental principle of free speech: that a person has a strong First Amendment right to disseminate truthful information pertaining to matters of public interest, including in situations in which the person’s source obtained the information illegally. In Bartnicki v. Vopper, the Supreme Court affirmed this, explaining: “it would be quite remarkable to hold that speech by a law-abiding possessor of information can be suppressed in order to deter conduct by a non-law-abiding third party. … [A] stranger’s illegal conduct does not suffice to remove the First Amendment shield from speech about a matter of public concern.”

While Bartnicki involved an unknown source who anonymously left an illegal recording with Bartnickilater courts have acknowledged that the rule applies, and perhaps even more strongly, to recipients who knowingly and willfully received material from sources, even when they know the source obtained it illegally. In one such case, the court rejected a claim that the willing acceptance of such material could sustain a charge of conspiracy between the publisher and her source.

Regardless of what one thinks of Assange’s personal behavior, the indictment itself will inevitably have a chilling effect on critical national security journalism, and the dissemination in the public interest of available information that the government would prefer to hide. There can be no doubt now that the Assange indictment is an attack on the freedoms of speech and the press, and it must not stand.

During a recent conversation with a friend, a fellow Roman Catholic who not only attends church regularly, but who often serves in Mass as both a reader and a Eucharistic minister, she revealed, to my surprise, that her quest for Truth has so far led her to put into question some of the most fundamental of Christian teachings.

She is not alone.  Unfortunately, as I have gathered from my own experience as a college philosophy professor—a Christian professor who for the last 20 years has almost always taught at secular institutions—many, and perhaps most, self-identified Christians are either confused as to the ideas traditionally affirmed by their religion or they have outright repudiated them.

The first and most fundamental misconception that must be addressed prior to attending to any of the others is that surrounding the concept of God.

People, and especially self-declared Christians (at least those living in the West), are put off by the exclusivity of the claims that distinguish each religion from the other.  On what basis, so goes the common question, can Christians claim to know that their God is the one true God when the adherents of countless other religions make similarly exclusive claims regarding their gods?

This question is misplaced, for it reflects a gross misunderstanding of the nature of monotheism.  The latter differs from polytheism not in degree, but in kind.  They are in different leagues.

In affirming the existence of one God, the monotheist doesn’t mean to deny (or affirm) that there are other deities within the world.  As a monotheist, it isn’t immanent, but ultimate, reality with which he is concerned.

The God of the monotheist is a Deity that transcends the world, a Deity in whose absence there could be no world.

This means at a minimum four things:

First, the monotheist does not intend to affirm the reality of a “higher being.”  It’s popularity notwithstanding, the terminology of a “higher being” is fundamentally irrelevant here, for in suggesting that the “higher being” is a being in the world, it implies that between this “higher being” and all of the other beings of which the world is populated there is a difference only of degree.

Second, neither, then, can God be the highest being, as this descriptor too implies that God is but one more being among all others, differing from others only in terms of degree.

Third, following this same chain of reasoning, it should now be clear that, common usage aside, referring to God as “the Supreme being” is also inaccurate: The Supreme being would be only another being that happens to be superior to all other beings.

Fourth, God is not a being standing over and above the world, a set of beings distinct from the set of beings that we know as the universe.

Just as Taoists say of the Tao—the Way, that which pervades, orders, begets, and sustains all things—that it is beyond being and non-being, so too can the God of the monotheist be said to be beyond being.  Yet the God of the monotheist is beyond being only insofar as God transcends every conceivable universe of beings.

The monotheistic concept of God has several implications.

(1)God is infinite.

God must be unlimited.  Now, “infinite” and “infinity” are terms that can indeed mean more than one thing.  In the case of God’s infinity, however, we clearly can’t be talking about either infinite space or infinite time.  In the case of the former, God would have to be a body, for only bodies are in space.  And if God was an infinite body, this would mean that there are no other bodies, for bodies delimit one another, and an infinite body would leave no room for any others.

If God’s infinity pertained to infinite time, then God would have to be in time, unfolding chronologically like any other temporal being.

So, because God cannot be limited by space or time; because God must transcend the flux of time, God’s infinitude is His timelessness. 

Thus, when it is said of God that God is eternal, His eternality is not, as the ancient Greeks envisioned it, endless time.  The eternality of God is the timelessness of God.

Since God is the Ground of all that exists, “the infinite wellspring…in whom all things live and move and have their being,” as David Bentley Hart, writing in First Things and quoting the book of Acts remarks, it is best to view God, not as a being, but as Being.  God is unadulterated, unrestricted Being in that God “is the inexhaustible source of all reality, the absolute upon which the contingent is always utterly dependent,” and “the unity underlying all things.”

(2)God is omnipotent, omniscient, & omnipresent.

God is infinite, but infinite in what?  God must be unlimited in His power, knowledge, and Being.

Thus, it is no exaggeration to characterize the deists from Aristotle to Thomas Jefferson and many extraordinarily bright men in between as having been scandalously confused:  Not only is it impossible for the God of the monotheists to be as distant from the world as the deists imagined Him to have been; it is impossible for the God of the monotheist to be distant from the world at all. 

This last point is but another way of saying that…

(3)God is immanent.

While some, including such geniuses as Aristotle (who was convinced that he had proven the existence of God, his “First Mover,” through reason alone), deny that God can be both transcendent and immanent, in truth it is precisely because God is transcendent that He must be immanent. The eternal, infinite Being must be fully present…everywhere.

And if God is immanent, as He must be, then…

(4)God is personal.

God is not a “that” or a “what.”  God is and can only be a Who.

The power and knowledge essential to Being are characteristics unique to, not impersonal forces or phenomena, but persons, to beings with intelligence and will.

The personal nature of God leads to another implication of the concept of God:

(5)God is morally perfect.

Because God is, and must be, personal, God must be morally perfect.

That God is morally perfect means that God is the source of all meaning.  The cosmos is rich with meaning, objective meaning, because it is produced by and suffused throughout with God.

To put this last point another way, moral excellence, beauty, justice, truth—these are all intrinsic features of the world within which we live.  They are not, in other words, subjective projections or social constructions, but part of the furniture, as it were, of the world.

Moral, aesthetic, and ontological values are real.

The existence of God guarantees them.

During my lectures on philosophy of religion, students have often asked something like, “Well, who says that God must be as Christians and other traditional monotheists have depicted him?” Or, in seeking to convey the same point, they’ll say, “Maybe I have something else in mind when I imagine God!”

What I’ve been at pains to establish here is that remarks of this kind are the function of ignorance:

Just as no person or persons “say” that a square must have four sides, or that red things must be colored things, or that something can’t be and not be in the same respect and at the same time, so no person or persons “say” that God must be eternal; unlimited in power, presence, knowledge, and goodness; and both transcendent and immanent.

Nor can an individual have in mind an alternative conception of God that doesn’t include these features.

It is the very logic of the concept of God—the monotheistic concept of God—that inescapably entails the constellation of properties that constitute God.

This concept of God entails that if the world that we take for granted is real (as we all assume it is), then the values and virtues, the meaning, that we discern in the world is really, objectively, present.

There is one final point:

In denying God’s existence, as atheists do, they are not, as they would have everyone, including themselves, think, merely denying the existence of a being—like Big Foot or the Abominable Snowman. The atheist’s position is every bit as metaphysical as that of the theist’s. It implicates an entire worldview that is fundamentally and radically at odds with that of the monotheist.

The atheist affirms a cosmology that is necessarily materialist.  His denial of God commits him to a world in which value and meaning are not to be found.  Rather, whatever value and meaning human beings experience they have created.  It isn’t just beauty that is in the eye of the beholder in the atheist’s universe, but goodness, evil, justice, injustice, virtue, vice, and every other value.  Indeed, from Dostoevsky to Sartre (and beyond), both theist and atheist alike have noted that the very concept of truth itself becomes dubious in a cosmos that ultimately boils down to matter in motion.

And when the agnostic shrugs his shoulders and purports to suspend judgment as to whether God exists or not, the agnostic is purporting to suspend judgment as to whether his universe is pregnant with meaning, purpose, and value, on the one hand, or, on the other, whether it is just a brute, physical fact.

When we consider all that is at stake in choosing to affirm or deny God’s existence, it couldn’t be clearer that Blaise Pascal was correct when he remarked that the question of God’s existence is the single most important of all human questions.  Pascal knew something of which far too many of us are ignorant: How one answers the question concerning God’s existence will inevitably impact every other aspect of one’s life.

Yet in order to choose wisely, we must first think clearly.

In our continuing effort to educate folks to the vast array of healing agents found in the natural world around us, we are excited to feature peppermint, a member of the aromatic mint family that you may already have squirreled away somewhere in your kitchen cupboard. While most have experienced peppermint as a flavoring agent, or perhaps as a comforting cup of herbal tea, few are aware of its wide range of experimentally confirmed therapeutic properties.

The ancients certainly were aware of the mint family’s medicinal value, having been used as herbal medicines in ancient Egypt, Greek and Rome thousands of years ago.[i]  Dried peppermint leaves have even been found in several Egyptian pyramids carbon dating back to 1,000 BC.

Today, modern scientific investigations are revealing an abundance of potential health benefits associated with the use of different components of the peppermint plant, including aromatherapeutic, topical and internal applications.

Most of the human research on peppermint performed thus far indicates this plant has great value in treating gastrointestinal disorders, including:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Since the late 90’s it was discovered that enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules are safe and effective in the treatment of this increasingly prevalent disorder.[ii]  This beneficial effect extends to the pediatric community. In one children’s trial 75% of those receiving peppermint oil had reduced severity of pain associated with IBS within 2 weeks.[iii] Another 2005 trial in adults concluded that “Taking into account the currently available drug treatments for IBS Peppermint oil (1-2 capsules t.i.d. over 24 weeks) may be the drug of first choice in IBS patients with non-serious constipation or diarrhea to alleviate general symptoms and to improve quality of life.”[iv]  In another 2007 trial 75% of patients receiving peppermint oil saw an impressive 50% reduction of “total irritable bowel syndrome score.”[v] Most recently, a study published January of this year found that peppermint oil was effective in relieving abdominal pain in diarrhea predominant irritable bowel syndrome.[vi]
  • Colonic spasm – Peppermint oil has been studied as a safe and effective alternative to the drug Buscopan for its ability to reduce spasms during barium enemas.[vii] [viii]
  • Gastric Emptying Disorders – Peppermint has been found to enhance gastric emptying, suggesting its potential use in a clinical setting for patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders.[ix]
  • Functional dyspepsia – A 2000 study published in the journal Ailment Pharmacology and Therapy found that 90 mg of peppermint oil and 50 mg of caraway oil resulted in 67% of patients reporting “much or very much improved” in their symptoms of functional dyspepsia. [x]
  • Infantile Colic: A 2013 study found that peppermint is at least as effective as the chemical simethicone in the treatment of infantile colic.[xi]

Other studied applications include

  • Breastfeeding Associated Nipple Pain and Damage: A 2007 study found that peppermint water prevented nipple cracks and nipple pain in breastfeeding mothers.[xii]
  • Tuberculosis: A 2009 study found that inhaled essential oil of peppermint was able to rapidly regress tuberculous inflammation, leading the authors to conclude: “This procedure may be used to prevent recurrences and exacerbation of pulmonary tuberculosis.”[xiii]
  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever): A 2001 preclinical study found that extracts of the leaves of peppermint  inhibit histamine release indicating it may be clinically effective in alleviating the nasal symptoms of allergic rhinitis.[xiv]
  • Shingles Associated Pain (Post-Herpetic Neuralgia): A 2002 case study found that topical peppermint oil treatment resulted in a near immediate improvement of shingles associated neuropathic pain symptoms; the therapeutic effects persisted throughout the entire 2 months of follow-up treatment. [xv]
  • Memory problems: A 2006 study found that the simple aroma of peppermint enhances memory and increases alertness in human subjects.[xvi]
  • Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea: A 2013 study found that peppermint oil was found to be effective in reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea, and at reduced cost versus standard drug-based treatment.[xvii]
  • Prostate Cancer: Preclinical research indicates that peppermint contains a compound known as menthol which inhibits prostate cancer growth.[xviii] [xix]
  • Radiation Damage: Preclinical research indicates peppermint protects against radiation-induced DNA damage and cell death.[xx]  [xxi]
  • Herpes Simplex  Virus Type 1: Peppermint has been found to have inhibitory activity against acyclovir-resistant Herpes Simplex virus type 1.[xxii] [xxiii]
  • Dental Caries/Bad Breath: Peppermint oil extract has been found to be superiorto the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine inhibiting Streptococus mutans driven biofilm formation associated with dental caries.[xxiv] [xxv] This may explain why powdered peppermint leaves were used in the Middle Ages to combat halitosis and whiten teeth.

Peppermint is actually a hybridized cross between Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) and Spearmint (Mentha spicata),[xxvi] the latter of which has also been researched to possess remarkable therapeutic properties, such as the ability to exert significant anti-androgenic effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome[xxvii] and ameliorating the related condition of mild hirsutism, marked by excessive hair growth in females.[xxviii]

Like all plant medicines, extreme caution must be exercised when using extracts and especially essential oils.  Also, remember that more is not always better. A recent study on the use of rosemary in improving cognitive performance in the elderly found that a lower ‘culinary’ dose (750 mg) was not only more effective in improving cognition (as measured by memory speed) than a higher dose, but the highest dose (6,000 mg) had a significant memory impairing effect.[xxix] This illustrates quite nicely how less can be more, and why an occasional nightly cup of peppermint tea may be far superior as preventive strategy than taking large ‘heroic’ doses of an herb only after a serious health problem sets in.


Resources

[i] A. Sustrikova, I. Salamon, Essential oil of peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.) from fields in Eastern Slovakia., 2004: Zahradnictvi Horticultural Science 31(1): 31-36

[ii] J H Liu, G H Chen, H Z Yeh, C K Huang, S K Poon. Enteric-coated peppermint-oil capsules in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a prospective, randomized trialJ Gastroenterol. 1997 Dec;32(6):765-8. PMID: 9430014

[iii] R M Kline, J J Kline, Di Palma J, G J Barbero. Enteric-coated, pH-dependent peppermint oil capsules for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome in childrenJ Pediatr. 2001 Jan;138(1):125-8. PMID: 11148527

[iv] H G Grigoleit, P Grigoleit. Peppermint oil in irritable bowel syndromePhytomedicine. 2005 Aug;12(8):601-6. PMID: 16121521

[v] G Cappello, M Spezzaferro, L Grossi, L Manzoli, L Marzio. Peppermint oil (Mintoil) in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a prospective double blind placebo-controlled randomized trialDig Liver Dis. 2007 Jun;39(6):530-6. Epub 2007 Apr 8. PMID: 17420159

[vi] M S Alam, P K Roy, A R Miah, S H Mollick, M R Khan, M C Mahmud, S Khatun. Efficacy of Peppermint Oil in Diarrhea Predominant IBS – A Double Blind Randomized Placebo – Controlled Study. Mymensingh Med J. 2013 Jan ;22(1):27-30. PMID: 23416804

[vii] M J Sparks, P O’Sullivan, A A Herrington, S K Morcos. Does peppermint oil relieve spasm during barium enema? Br J Radiol. 1995 Aug;68(812):841-3. PMID: 7551780

[viii] T Asao, H Kuwano, M Ide, I Hirayama, J-I Nakamura, K-I Fujita, R Horiuti. Spasmolytic effect of peppermint oil in barium during double-contrast barium enema compared with BuscopanClin Radiol. 2003 Apr;58(4):301-5. PMID: 12662951

[ix] Masahiko Inamori, Tomoyuki Akiyama, Keiko Akimoto, Koji Fujita, Hirokazu Takahashi, Masato Yoneda, Yasunobu Abe, Kensuke Kubota, Satoru Saito, Norio Ueno, Atsushi Nakajima. Early effects of peppermint oil on gastric emptying: a crossover study using a continuous real-time 13C breath test (BreathID system). J Gastroenterol. 2007 Jul;42(7):539-42. Epub 2007 Jul 25. PMID: 17653649

[x] B May, S Köhler, B Schneider. Efficacy and tolerability of a fixed combination of peppermint oil and caraway oil in patients suffering from functional dyspepsiaAliment Pharmacol Ther. 2000 Dec;14(12):1671-7. PMID: 11121917

[xi] João Guilherme Bezerra Alves, Rita de Cássia Coelho Moraes de Brito, Telma Samila Cavalcanti. Effectiveness of Mentha piperita in the Treatment of Infantile Colic: A Crossover Study. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012 ;2012:981352. Epub 2012 Jul 12. PMID: 22844342

[xii] Manizheh Sayyah Melli, Mohammad Reza Rashidi, Abbas Delazar, Elaheh Madarek, Mohammad Hassan Kargar Maher, Alieh Ghasemzadeh, Kamran Sadaghat, Zohreh Tahmasebi. Effect of peppermint water on prevention of nipple cracks in lactating primiparous women: a randomized controlled trial. Int Breastfeed J. 2007;2:7. Epub 2007 Apr 19. PMID: 17442122

[xiii] V A Shkurupiĭ, O A Odintsova, N V Kazarinova, K G Tkrachenko. [Use of essential oil of peppermint (Mentha piperita) in the complex treatment of patients with infiltrative pulmonary tuberculosis]. Virol J. 2009 Jan 20;6:8. PMID: 17128800

[xiv] T Inoue, Y Sugimoto, H Masuda, C Kamei. Effects of peppermint (Mentha piperita L.) extracts on experimental allergic rhinitis in rats. Biol Pharm Bull. 2001 Jan;24(1):92-5. PMID: 11201253

[xv] Simon J Davies, Louise M Harding, Andrew P Baranowski. A novel treatment of postherpetic neuralgia using peppermint oil. Clin J Pain. 2002 May-Jun;18(3):200-2 PMID: 12048423

[xvi] Mark Moss, Steven Hewitt, Lucy Moss, Keith Wesnes. Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang. Nutr Cancer. 2006;55(1):53-62. PMID: 18041606

[xvii] Z Tayarani-Najaran, E Talasaz-Firoozi, R Nasiri, N Jalali, Mk Hassanzadeh. Antiemetic activity of volatile oil from Mentha spicata and Mentha× piperita in chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.Ecancermedicalscience. 2013 ;7:290. Epub 2013 Jan 31. PMID: 23390455

[xviii] Eun-Jung Park, Su-Hwa Kim, Byung-Joo Kim, Sung-Young Kim, Insuk So, Ju-Hong Jeon. Menthol Enhances an Antiproliferative Activity of 1alpha,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D(3) in LNCaP Cells. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2009 Mar;44(2):125-30. Epub 2009 Feb 28. PMID: 19308266

[xix] Su-Hwa Kim, Joo-Hyun Nam, Eun-Jung Park, Byung-Joo Kim, Sung-Joon Kim, Insuk So, Ju-Hong Jeon. Menthol regulates TRPM8-independent processes in PC-3 prostate cancer cells. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Apr;1770(4):659-65. Epub 2006 Nov 23. PMID: 18955132

[xx] Hanaa A Hassan, Hani S Hafez, Mona S Goda. Mentha piperita as a pivotal neuro-protective agent against gamma irradiation induced DNA fragmentation and apoptosis : Mentha extract as a neuroprotective against gamma irradiation. Cytotechnology. 2013 Jan ;65(1):145-56. Epub 2012 Sep 21. PMID: 23011739

[xxi] Ravindra M Samarth, Meenakshi Samarth. Protection against radiation-induced testicular damage in Swiss albino mice by Mentha piperita (Linn.).Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2009 Apr;104(4):329-34. PMID: 19320637

[xxii] Silke Nolkemper, Jürgen Reichling, Florian C Stintzing, Reinhold Carle, Paul Schnitzler. Antiviral effect of aqueous extracts from species of the Lamiaceae family against Herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in vitroPlanta Med. 2006 Dec;72(15):1378-82. Epub 2006 Nov 7. PMID: 17091431

[xxiii] A Schuhmacher, J Reichling, P Schnitzler. Virucidal effect of peppermint oil on the enveloped viruses herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in vitro. Phytomedicine. 2003;10(6-7):504-10. PMID: 13678235

[xxiv] Iraj Rasooli, Shojaedin Shayegh, Massoud Taghizadeh, Shakiba Darvish Alipoor Astaneh. Phytotherapeutic prevention of dental biofilm formation.Phytother Res. 2008 Sep;22(9):1162-7. PMID: 18729251

[xxv] Shojaedin Shayegh, Iraj Rasooli, Massoud Taghizadeh, Shakiba Darvish Alipoor Astaneh. Phytotherapeutic inhibition of supragingival dental plaque.Nat Prod Res. 2008 Mar 20;22(5):428-39. PMID: 18404563

[xxvi] The Complete Illustrated Book of Herbs, Alex Frampton, The Reader’s Digest Association, 2009

[xxvii] Paul Grant. Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti-androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome. A randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res. 2009 Jul 7. PMID: 19585478

[xxviii] Mehmet Akdoğan, Mehmet Numan Tamer, Erkan Cüre, Medine Cumhur Cüre, Banu Kale Köroğlu, Namik Delibaş. Effect of spearmint (Mentha spicata Labiatae) teas on androgen levels in women with hirsutism. Phytother Res. 2007 May;21(5):444-7. PMID: 17310494

[xxix] Andrew Pengelly, James Snow, Simon Y Mills, Andrew Scholey, Keith Wesnes, Leah Reeves Butler. Short-term study on the effects of rosemary on cognitive function in an elderly population. J Med Food. 2012 Jan ;15(1):10-7. Epub 2011 Aug 30. PMID: 21877951

Originally published: 2018-08-31

Articule updated: 2019-05-21

This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC.

Secret FBI tapes that accuse Martin Luther King Jr of having extramarital affairs with ’40 to 45 women’ and even claim he ‘looked on and laughed’ as a pastor friend raped a parishioner exist, an author has claimed.

The civil rights hero was also heard allegedly joking he was the founder of the ‘International Association for the Advancement of P***y-Eaters’ on an agency recording that was obtained by bugging his room, according to the sensational claims made by biographer David Garrow – a Pulitzer prize-winning author and biographer of MLK.

Writing in British magazine Standpoint, Garrow says that the shocking files could lead to a ‘painful historical reckoning’ for the man who is celebrated across the world for his campaign against racial injustice.

Along with many US civil rights figures, King was subject to an FBI campaign of surveillance ordered by Director J Edgar Hoover in an effort to undermine his power amid fears he could have links to the Communist Party. 

The FBI surveillance tapes detailing his indiscretions are being held in a vault at the U.S. National Archives and are not due for release until 2027.

But David Garrow, a biographer of King who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1987 book Bearing the Cross about the Baptist minister, has unearthed the FBI summaries of the various incidents.

In an article to be published in Standpoint, Garrow tells how the FBI planted transmitters in two lamps in hotel rooms booked by King in January 1964, according to The Sunday Times.

FBI director J Edgar Hoover ordered the surveillance of King in an effort to undermine his power amid fears he could have links to the Communist Party.

The intelligence service carried out surveillance on a number of civil rights figures and suspected communists and they had an interest in smearing their reputation.

The recording from the Willard Hotel near the White House shows how King was accompanied his friend Logan Kearse, the pastor of Baltimore’s Cornerstone Baptist church who died in 1991, along with several female parishioners of his church.

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Cured yesterday of my disease, I died last nite of my physician.
–Matthew Prior, 1664-1721 AD Columbia Book of Quotations 1996

A terrorist could not kill more people than American medicine has.  We think of a fanatic pouring some deadly toxin in our water supply or wiping out millions of lives with some superbug.  But these assassins come in white coats and are paid by insurance companies.  Needless care is one thing, but death by doctoring is another.  Once prescription medicine becomes an income stream its purveyors will overlook death to sustain their income stream.  In the U.S., even if there is no effective treatment, doctors will find some way to bill insurance.

A conspiracy theorist might believe the number of people who meet their early demise in America is by covert design.  Such suspicions are not explained by population control as the U.S. is in negative population growth and has to rely upon undocumented migrants crossing its borders to use young workers payroll deductions to restore funds to the pay-as-you-go Medicare Trust Fund.  Such a hidden agenda would be better explained as culling the population to spare Medicare from bankruptcy.

An irony is that if all 34.3 million smokers, who die ten years earlier than non-smokers, decide to give up smoking and therefore live longer, Medicare goes up in proverbial smoke, not to mention the $13.53 billion government wouldn’t collect in tobacco taxes.

One way to prevent the insolvency of Medicare would be to pare down the population of retirees.  You probably can’t imagine that is going on in the U.S., but if you want to look it up it goes by geriatric euthanasia.  There is more than suspicion of that in the U.K. where water is withheld from the institutionalized elderly to produce fingerprint-proof death-by-dehydration in order to stave off financial collapse of the medical care delivery system there.

Disease is felt, but health not at all.

British physician Thomas Fuller (1732 AD) said: “Sickness is felt, but health not at all.”  So, we wait for diseases to arise and then take this and that drug for each and every ailment we experience, as if sickness is a drug deficiency that needs correction.  What can we do to maintain health and avoid disease altogether?  That is a question modern medicine doesn’t want to answer.

Caution: do not enter

The first thing you can do to stay healthy is to avoid the American health care system altogether.  It is a disease-care system.  Preventive medicine is practiced in name only.  In fact, public health authorities by virtue of their Food Pyramid low-(carbohydrates, sugars) and fat-phobic diets, keep Americans fat and sick, coerce problematic vaccines on the public (watch this video if you think vaccine phobia is something embraced by eccentric weirdos), ignore widespread environmental toxins (lead toxicity is one example), and shun dietary supplements, the nemesis alternative to prescription drugs.

Most chronic health problems are rooted in bad diets.  Better than 80% of the food choices in the grocery store are unhealthy (example: bacon, peanut butter and cereals are laced with high fructose corn syrup).  The diabesity epidemic encircled the globe via its inclusion as a sweetener in soda pop.  When the most often purchased vegetables are potatoes and tomatoes presented as French fries and catsup, America is in trouble health-wise.

Grocers like to sell processed foods because they cause consumers to eat more.  Ice cream makes more profit so it occupies more shelf space, broccoli not so much.  The American public is oblivious to the fact it is being gamed for disease.

If you don’t believe all this, ask why the so-called best health care system in the world doesn’t produce the longest life expectancy.  America is ranked 26th in the world in that department.

Cures are hidden

Futurist Ray Kurzweil has said the speed of information is now exponential. We should have cured cancer by now.  Kurzweil says most diseases can be “wiped out” by the year 2030.  But does modern medicine have the willpower to put itself out of business?

There are answers to perplexing health problems.  Our society needs to study why people are healthy rather than why they are diseased.

This kind of information is catastrophic to the plans of drug companies that forecast sales growth for their expensive elixirs.

At every turn, modern medicine is trying to drum up business.  Try to stay off of the conveyor belt of modern medicine.

Skip annual exams?

If you haven’t abandoned annual physical exams by now, perhaps you should.  Harvard Medical School says: “Careful reviews of several large studies have shown that these annual visits don’t make any difference in health outcomes. In other words, being seen by your doctor once a year won’t necessarily keep you from getting sick, or even help you live longer.”

An estimated 44 million American adults undergo preventive physical exams each year.  A review of this practice suggests all these exams do is drum up more unnecessary tests.

Wellness exams are simply fishing expeditions to find more disease to treat, more vaccines to administer, more pre-disease states to worry about.

Blood tests

Your blood tests are normal but you have got just as much chance of experiencing a mortal heart attack as you walk out of the doctor’s office as any other individual unless your doctor checked your potassium and magnesium blood levels.  That is because most (74%) sudden-death heart attacks are electrical storms induced by a lack of “electrolyte” minerals that control your heart beat.

Your chance of having a mortal heart attack from elevated cholesterol is almost zero.  Statin cholesterol-lowering drugs only reduce the risk for a non-mortal heart attack by ~1% over a 5-year period.  Cholesterol control is modern medicine’s shell game.

Elevated cholesterol and blood sugar levels may just be a result of stress in your life that drugs cannot fix (stress releases sugar and fat stores into the blood circulation).

Blood pressure reading

Even an elevated blood pressure reading at the doctor’s office is unreliable because of a phenomenon known as “white coat hypertension.”  We often have unconscious fears the doctor will tell us we have cancer or something like that, so our blood pressure is elevated during the office visit.  Take your blood pressure at home (or a local pharmacy often offers to do this), and you often find your blood pressure is normal.

And I don’t know how many people I’ve talked to on the phone who are needlessly taking side-effect ridden blood pressure drugs when their doctor didn’t calculate for their age.  If you are over 65 years of age, your risk for death from a stroke doesn’t rise till your heart pumping pressure (systolic pressure) is 160 or above.  Doctors often try to place adults on drugs when their pressure is over 140.  A daily magnesium/potassium pill will do as well as any blood pressure medication.

But what about that abnormal blood test?

But, you insist, what about that abnormal blood test?  There are too many false “positives.”  Get a second test before you start to typecast yourself as being diabetic or pre-diabetic, or whatever.

Oh, your blood test was out of the normal range, called the “reference range.”  But what if everybody has an unhealthy level of something?  Then “unhealthy” is normal. 

For example, literally everyone except vitamin supplement users has an unhealthy-low vitamin C blood level.  That is because humans have a universal gene mutation and no longer secrete vitamin C as a hormone.  Long ago Irwin Stone, a noted biochemist, said humans would need to take 1800-4000 milligrams of vitamin C spread out over the day to make up for that broken gene.  A tiny fraction of Americans do so.

Public health authorities claim all a healthy person needs is 60-90 milligrams of vitamin C a day to avert symptoms of scurvy (an orange provides ~60 milligrams of C).  The average daily vitamin C intake in the U.S. is 110 milligrams.  So, one would mistakenly conclude you don’t need vitamin C pills.  But, surprisingly, 11-15% of U.S. adults have worrisome low levels of vitamin C (below 11.4 micrograms per blood sample).  That should arouse a call for mass food fortification, but there is no impetus for that.

Even avid vitamin C supplement users are unlikely to fully correct for this gene mutation.  This is due to lack of stomach acid with advancing age.  Stomach acid is needed to absorb vitamin C.  The incidence of achlorhydria (absence of stomach acid) is reported to be 19% in the fifth decade of life and 69% in the eighth decade of life.  Most senior Americans don’t secrete enough stomach acid to properly absorb water soluble vitamins like C.  And to make matters worse, a bacterium that shuts off stomach acid secretion, Helicobacter pylori, is highly prevalent (35+%) in the population.  Given that far less vitamin C is absorbed than consumed, public health agencies should recommend target blood concentrations of vitamin C be achieved instead of intake levels.

Another example, it is well documented that thousands of patients walk in and out of a doctor’s office with a vitamin B12 deficiency symptom (short-term memory loss, burning feet, fatigue, chronic cough, backache, neuropathy –numbness, tingling) yet has a normal B12 blood test.  Consumption of supplemental B12 often quells these symptoms despite B12 being in the “reference range.”

Lesson: you can be misled by a blood test.

Top causes of death

You’ve probably seen the list of top “causes” of death.  It includes diabetes, heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, high blood pressure-induced strokes, Alzheimer’s, the usual suspects.  But all of these are not causes, they are maladies that emanate from causes.  What causes cancer, diabetes, heart attacks?

Here is my list of what causes premature death in the U.S.  By not accurately pointing out what causes death, we miss how to avert or delay it.

The Real Leading Causes Of Death In America

  1. Lead poisoning 700,000+ deaths* (est.)
  2. Unhealthy diet /diabetes, cancer, heart disease/ 678,000 deaths (2016 data)
  3. Psychiatric drugs 500,000+ deaths (elderly; pneumonia) * *
  4. Smoking 480,000 deaths
  5. Sudden cardiac death 356,000 deaths (2019 data) * * *
  6. Medical errors 251,000 deaths (2016)
  7. Prescription drugs 218,113 deaths (2001)
    Drugs (properly prescribed, administered by a nurse in a hospital) 106,000 deaths (2000 data)
  8. Accidents 161,374 deaths
  9. Infectious disease 108,764-117,942 deaths (2014 data)

*Heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, suicide, strokes

* * Represents culling of the elderly ?

* * * Due to lack of potassium and magnesium electrolytes

Aging is the mother of all disease

Aging is the mother of all disease.  It encompasses most chronic disease.  Whatever slows or delays aging will produce indefinitely long and healthy lifetimes.  The idea of an anti-aging pill is anathema to modern medicine.  In 2004 the Rand Corp. think tank penciled in an anti-aging pill into future Medicare budgets.  That forgotten idea has been thrown under the rug.

Maintaining health is a challenge.  It is more of a challenge with advancing age.  Doing nothing about aging is like standing on the railroad tracks and ignoring the blast from the oncoming train horn.

Iron: the malignant spirit of aging

The primary cause of aging is accumulation of iron and copper and deposition of calcium after full childhood growth is achieved (~age 18) in males and then later in life among females as they cease disposing of iron in their monthly menstrual flow.

Adult males need to ease up on eating iron-rich red meat; ditto for women after the onset of menopause.  Dairy products should be minimized after the demand for calcium to build bones subsides as full childhood growth is achieved.

Male adults accumulate ~~1 excess milligram of iron per day of life after age 18 and by age 40 have twice as much iron and four times as much calcium stored in their body and will incur double the rate of diabetes, cancer and heart disease as a 40-year old female.  An early hysterectomy and women will prematurely develop the same rate of disease as males.

Most (~90%) of the iron stores in the body are in red blood cells.  Therefore blood-letting has been proposed as a cure-all for senior adults.  Or, as an alternative, fasting to reduce the intake of metallic minerals.  Or as a third option, daily use of mild-dose natural mineral chelators (key-lay-tors) such as resveratrol (copper), quercetin (iron) or rice bran IP6 (iron, lead, all heavy metals, and calcifications).  These natural molecules are known as molecular mimic of a calorie-restricted diet.

Estrogen replacement (bio-identical hormones) and/or resveratrol (a weak natural estrogen) helps to restore the signal to hold calcium in bones instead of releasing it into the blood circulation to stiffen arteries.  Calcium supplements should be avoided as they only increase the amount of calcium deposited in arteries.

Ferritin: the overlooked blood test

The blood test you should be asking for, which is not included in a complete blood count, is ferritin – – your iron storage number.  The healthy range for ferritin is 20-90 nanograms/milliliter blood sample.  (Be aware, you may experience a false high ferritin test result if you have an underlying infection or inflammation as the body binds up iron in these instances.)

Japan reports the highest healthy life expectancy, a low death rate for heart disease (30 per 100,000 vs 106.5 per 100,000 in the U.S.), a very low rate of obesity (3.2%) versus 30.6% in the U.S., an incredibly low intestinal disease death rate of 0.88% versus 7.35% in the U.S., despite 30.3% of its population smoking tobacco versus 17.5% for the U.S.  The reason for such unusual health may be the difference in body iron load among the Japanese.  The median ferritin (iron storage) level among patients undergoing blood dialysis in the U.S. is 718 nanograms/milliliter blood sample, versus 405 in Europe and just 83 in Japan.

How to beat modern medicine at its own game

In 2002 I self-published a book entitled THE COLLAPSE OF CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE.  Since then we have lived through an era marked by antibiotic resistance, the ruse of cholesterol, the growing problem of diabesity, the continued failure to find a cure for cancer or Alzheimer’s, the rise of autoimmune disease, the unwanted side effects of psychiatric drugs, an unexplainable increase in autism, and now the opioid epidemic.  More than 70% of the population is on prescription drugs and 20% take 5 or more drugs.  Does that sound like progress?

Don’t become another victim of modern medicine.  Some of the machinations practiced in the medical industry appear very heinous.  We are looking at evil when we examine the healthcare industry from behind the curtains.  You can live long and healthy.  But health is not on modern medicine’s menu, treatment is.  It’s what’s not on the menu that will keep you well.  Treatment guidelines are written by the pharmaceutical companies.  Study health and not disease. You will have to navigate the health/disease landscape on your own.  When consuming health care, don’t sit at the wrong table.

Since 1945, it’s been claimed that adding fluoride to drinking water is a safe and effective way to improve the public’s dental health. Since then, many have bought into this fallacy hook, line and sinker, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

One of the reasons why it’s so important to eliminate water fluoridation is because this chemical is very difficult to filter out. You can remove some or a significant amount using distillation, reverse osmosis and special filtration media, but the vast majority of water filters that people have access to will not remove fluoride.

As a result, you might filter your water, thinking you’ve purified it, but you haven’t eliminated fluoride. This is particularly problematic for low-income parents of small children, who need to use fluoride-free water for mixing baby formula. Fluoridated water contains 200 to 250 times more fluoride than mother’s milk,1 significantly raising the child’s risk of fluorosis and other health problems.

Fluoride Can Wreak Havoc on Health

Scientific investigations have revealed fluoride is an endocrine-disrupting chemical,2 and have linked it to the rising prevalence of thyroid disease,3 which in turn can contribute to obesityheart diseasedepression and other health problems.

Even more importantly, fluoride has been identified as a developmental neurotoxin that impacts short-term and working memory, and contributes to rising rates of attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)4 and lowered IQ in children.5

Many of these studies have found harm at, or precariously close to, the levels millions of American pregnant women and children receive. In all, there are more than 300 animal and human studies demonstrating fluoride can cause:6

  • Brain damage, especially when coupled with iodine deficiency
  • Reduced IQ
  • Impaired ability to learn and remember
  • Neurobehavioral deficits such as impaired visual-spatial organization
  • Impaired fetal brain development

Help Eliminate Water Fluoridation in the US

In the featured video, Paul Connett, Ph.D., a toxicologist, environmental chemist and the founder and current director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), provides an update on FAN’s lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop water fluoridation nationwide, along with the history behind and the science underpinning it.

Over the past 19 years, FAN has facilitated the removal of fluoride from the water supplies of hundreds of communities across North America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. This week, we’re helping FAN raise funds to make sure that FAN wins this lawsuit, and I encourage you to make a donation to this important cause.

The lawsuit has been led by attorney Michael Connett, a former executive director of FAN who has an encyclopedic knowledge of the science of fluoride. He is also the son of Paul and Ellen Connett. He is a practicing attorney in a firm that specializes in toxic injury cases.

Over the past year Michael has traveled across the USA and the world, working with leading experts to develop the case that EPA must regulate fluoridation chemicals to prevent known or expected harms. In essence, that means the end of fluoridation.

The gathered scientific evidence for the case is unprecedented in scope and the authority of the people behind it. Legally, the case breaks new ground by using a section of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that allows anyone to file suit to compel EPA to regulate any toxic chemical so as to prevent harm from that chemical.

EPA has tried legal maneuverings to stop or constrain the lawsuit, but the court has sided with FAN every time. So, the case is scheduled for trial that will last two weeks or longer in the federal district court of San Francisco. Thousands of pages of testimony have already been gathered in preparation for the trial.

The science and law are on our side. Please consider donating to this history-making lawsuit. If you have already donated, please consider an additional donation. Your donation can help end fluoridation once and for all. Donations are tax deductible.+

Back History of Lawsuit Against EPA

November 22, 2016, a coalition including FAN, Food & Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, Moms Against Fluoridation and several individuals, filed a petition7,8 calling on the EPA to ban the deliberate addition of fluoridating chemicals to U.S. drinking water under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

As explained by Connett, the TSCA allows citizens and nongovernmental organizations to petition the EPA to remove toxic substances found to pose a threat either to the general population or a subset of that population.

The petition was made on the grounds that a large body of research demonstrates fluoride is neurotoxic at doses within the range now seen in fluoridated communities, and included over 2,500 pages of scientific documentation detailing these health risks.

The EPA denied the petition9 February 27, 2017, on the grounds that it had failed to present “a scientifically defensible basis” to conclude that anyone had in fact suffered neurotoxic harm as a result of fluoride exposure. In response, FAN and its coalition partners filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, legally challenging the EPA’s denial of their petition.

Victories Along the Way

As one might expect, the EPA filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Fortunately, United States District Judge Edward M. Chen denied the EPA’s motion10 on December 21, 2017, thereby allowing the case to move forward.

Next, the EPA sought to limit the coalition’s scope of discovery. Not only did they try to prevent coalition attorneys from obtaining internal EPA documents, but they also wanted to prohibit coalition experts from referring to studies published after the November 2016 petition was submitted.

This included a landmark U.S. government-funded study11,12 published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in September 2017. This study is critical in demonstrating that fluoride is neurotoxic and has no place in the public water supply. Fortunately, on February 7, 2018, Chen denied13 this motion as well.

“By and large, we’ve succeeded in getting all the interviews and depositions that we needed,” Connett says, adding, “Our lawsuit is much stronger than the original petition because of science which has taken place since September 2017.”

The History of Fluoridation Science

In the featured video, Paul Connett provides a summary of the history of the science underpinning the lawsuit:

“In 1996, when I first got involved, it coincided with the first two intelligence quotient (IQ14) studies from China, which found that children in high-fluoride communities had lower IQ than children in low-fluoride communities,” he says.

“By 2006, when the National Research Council looked at all the health issues from toxicology of fluoride,15 they found six IQ studies. They concluded, based only on those six studies, that fluoride did in fact pose a threat to the brain. Of course, these human studies were backed up with many dozens of animal studies …

By 2008, we were up to 18 studies. The reason it jumped from six to 18 was that my son, Michael, who spearheaded much of this … research into neurotoxicity, had translated many of the Chinese studies …

By 2010, when we published our book ‘The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep It There,’ which I published with Dr. James Beck from Canada and Dr. Spedding Micklem from Scotland, the number [of studies] had risen to 23 …

Then in 2012, a distinguished team, partly from Harvard University, did a review16 of 27 of the IQ studies; 25 of those were from China and two were from Iran. Now, they pointed out many weaknesses in the study designs. They didn’t feel they had enough information in many of those studies.

But they also concluded that the consistency of these 27 studies was overwhelming … These 27 studies were done over a period of 21 years. They were done in two countries, China and Iran. They were done in different geographical areas of China. They were done by different research teams.

Despite all that variety of research, 26 of the studies showed that the children with the higher fluoride exposure … had lower IQ than the children with the lower fluoride exposure … Very striking indeed. The proponents of fluoridation have done their best to dismiss these and other studies …

Over 60 studies have been done. At least 57 now show this difference of lowered IQ with higher fluoride exposure. But the proponents have said, ‘Oh well, these studies are from China and these other countries. You can’t trust those. They didn’t do them in fluoridated communities. This is natural fluoride’ …

They also said that the concentrations were ridiculously high, much higher than in fluoridated communities … The promoters of fluoridation have always confused concentration with dose.”

As explained by Connett, it’s not the concentration of fluoride in the water (measured in mg per liter) that is significant for health. What matters is the dose you get in mg/day and the dosage (mg/day divided by the individual’s body weight) and these depend on a variety of fluctuating factors, such as:

  • The concentration of fluoride in the water
  • How much water you drink
  • How much fluoride you get from other sources
  • Your body weight

The body weight issue is of critical importance, for a given dose in mg/day it is worse for a child than an adult; worse for an infant than a child and much worse for a fetus than an infant, a fact that was made very clear in a landmark U.S.-government funded study published in 2017.

Landmark Study Published in 2017

An international study effort led by professor Howard Hu, who at the time of the study’s publication was at the University of Toronto. The study is known as the “Bashash study” after the lead author, Morteza Bashash, Ph.D. The team also includes researchers from McGill, Harvard, Mount Sinai, Michigan, Indiana and the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico.

Funding for this research came from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the EPA. The finalized study17,18 was published in the September, 2017 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

“It was a 12-year study. It was funded by the U.S. government. We had top researchers and topnotch methodology. They controlled for every conceivable factor,” Connett says.

“They found a strong relationship between the level of fluoride in pregnant women’s urine and the subsequent IQ of their offspring. Individual measurements of exposure … is important because it’s independent of the source of fluoride.

It doesn’t matter if the fluoride came from water, from salt, from pollution or [any other source]. [They measured] the total dose … Sure enough, they found lowered IQ in the offspring at 4 years of age, and then again between 6 and 12. The higher the fluoride levels of the urine of the women, the lower the IQ of the children.”

2017 Study Predicts Significant IQ Loss at Current Exposure Levels in US

The 2017 Environmental Health Perspectives study19 is important for FAN’s legal case because it demonstrates the anticipated IQ loss from fluoride exposure at current levels in the U.S. is significant.

It revealed that a child of a mother who drinks water with 1 part per million (ppm) of fluoride can be predicted to have an IQ that is 5 to 6 points lower than a child born to a mother who drinks fluoride-free water. Equally important was the finding that there was no threshold below which fluoride did not affect IQ.

In a nutshell, as the level of fluoride in urine increased, IQ decreased, and this remained true across the entire range of exposures, from lowest to highest. So, the extent of the damage is really just a matter of degree.

As noted by Connett, an important feature of the 2017 Environmental Health Perspectives study was that they measured fluoride in urine, as this is a far more accurate indicator of total fluoride intake than simply measuring the concentration of fluoride in drinking water and then calculating how much water is being consumed.

The researchers also controlled for a wide range of factors — including lead, mercury, socioeconomic status, smoking, alcohol use and pregnancy-related problems — that could potentially skew the results or produce a false effect. Importantly, they were able to largely rule out the influence of these confounding factors. Connett notes:

“Again, the proponents of fluoridation say, ‘This is not relevant to water fluoridation. They don’t have water fluoridation in Mexico.’ [This is a] completely useless argument, because [the level of fluoride in the urine is a measure of the women’s total exposure of fluoride regardless of the source of fluoride].

Subsequent to this study, in 2018 a study20 [was] done in Canada. They found the same levels of fluoride in the urine of pregnant women in Canada as in Mexico City. To be precise, the average in pregnant women in Canada is 0.87 ppm. The average in Mexico City was 0.91 ppm, so about the same. Also … they found twice the level [of fluoride] in the urine in fluoridated communities compared to non-fluoridated communities.

There have been more studies since then … [In 2018], Bashash, et al., also looked at attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). They found more symptoms of ADHD amongst the children with the highest fluoride exposure in their mothers than the lower ones.21 That was important.

There’s been another very important study22,23by Ashley Malin … She found that for women who were already low-iodine or borderline iodine-deficient, exposure to fluoride made their hypothyroidism worse, as measured by TSH … Millions of people in Canada and the United States are borderline or outright deficient in iodine. This is a very important finding.

It’s also important to relate the two issues. When a fetus comes into existence, it has no thyroid gland. It is totally dependent on the mother’s production of thyroid hormones as to its development. Critical in that development is mental development.

It’s well-known that if a woman is hypothyroid, there’s an increased risk for the child to have a lower IQ. You can see the possible explanation for what’s happening with pregnant women. It may well be this increased risk of hypothyroidism.”

Fetal Exposure Is Extremely Worrying

As noted by Connett, the sum of the research suggests American children are indeed being harmed by current levels of fluoride in drinking water. In the featured video he cites one Chinese study in which they found 1.4 milligrams (mg) of fluoride per day was associated with a lowering of 5 IQ points in children.

The recommended fluoride level in the U.S. is 0.7 ppm. To reach 1.4 mg of fluoride a day, a child would need to drink just 2 liters of water at 0.7 ppm, Connett says, adding “And that’s before you’ve even introduced the notion of fluoride from swallowing toothpaste, from food, from pesticides and so on. It’s clear that many, many children are being overexposed to fluoride as far as their mental development is concerned.”

Importantly, the 2017 Environmental Health Perspectives study24 shifts the focus of concern from childhood exposure to fetal exposure in utero. For a fetus, the toxicity of any given dose is far more significant than for an infant, young child or an adult. The developing brain of a fetus is very vulnerable to toxic influences, which fluoride has clearly been demonstrated to be.

“It really makes no sense of putting this known neurotoxic substance into the drinking water for every pregnant woman and every child,” Connett says. “That’s what we’re trying to end with this lawsuit.”

Why is this lawsuit so important? Why are we raising money for this lawsuit? Well, the lawsuit is important because as important as we believe these studies are … the major media in this country have not covered it. The New York Times has not said a word about the neurotoxicity of fluoride. They, like many other mainstream media, are still promoting fluoridation and treating us as idiots, as crazy people. It’s sad, but that’s the truth.

Unfortunately, professional bodies and health departments are still trapped by the paradigm that fluoridation is safe and effective. They go crazy whenever a study shows that tooth decay is going up if you stop fluoridation. Many of these are fallacious studies, but they get excited about that as if the whole concern about the body is the tooth …

It’s a very myopic view of the human being, and certainly the development of the fetus and the child. But that’s the establishment’s attitude. They either ignore these studies or they find a way of attacking them. The beauty of our lawsuit is the lawsuit under TSCA, it’s in the hands of a federal law judge.

In this particular [legal] case, [because it is being tried de novo25] the EPA cannot trump the science with authority. They can’t say, ‘Well, we are the agency that the U.S. government has set up to review these issues like this. We have determined that fluoride is safe’ … They can’t get away with using authority. This lawsuit will be a battle between the sciences: Our science … and their science, which I assume will attempt to destroy each study.

But they’re going to have hard job because there are over 300 studies. Over 60 human studies now show that fluoride damages the brain at levels at which the fetus is exposed in fluoridated communities. I believe this lawsuit … is our best chance of ending fluoridation in the United States. If we end it in the United States, we end it worldwide. It is incredibly important.”

Sources and References

Just because society experiences turmoil doesn’t mean your personal life has to. And a depression doesn’t have to be depressing. Most of the real wealth in the world will still exist—it will just change ownership.

What is a depression?

We’re now at the tail end of a very long, but in many ways a very weak and artificial, economic expansion. At the same time we’ve had one of the strongest securities bull markets in history. Both are the result of trillions of new dollars created over the last decade. Right now very few people are willing to consider the possibility of tough times—let alone The Greater Depression.

But, perverse though it may seem, this is the very best time to think about it. The U.S. economy is a house of cards, built on quicksand, with a tsunami on the way. I urge everyone to read up on the topic. For now, I’ll only briefly touch on the nature of depressions. There are at least three good definitions of the term:

  1. A period of time when most people’s standard of living drops significantly.
  2. A period of time when distortions and misallocations of capital are liquidated.
  3. A period of time when the business cycle climaxes.

Using the first definition, any natural disaster can cause a depression. So can living above your means for long enough. But the worst kind of depression has not just economic effects, but economic causes. That’s where definitions 2 and 3 come in.

What can cause distortions in the way the market operates, causing people to do things they’d otherwise consider unreasonable or uneconomic? Only government action, i.e., coercion. This takes the form of regulation, taxes, and currency inflation.

Always under noble pretexts, government is constantly directly and indirectly inducing people to buy and sell things they otherwise wouldn’t, to do things they’d prefer not to, and to invest in things that make no sense.

These misallocations of capital subtly reduce a society’s general standard of living, but the serious trouble happens when such misallocations build up to an unsustainable degree and reality forces them into liquidation. The result is bankrupted companies, defaulted debt, and unemployed workers.

The business cycle is caused mainly by currency inflation, which is accomplished today by the monetization of government debt through the banking system; essentially, when the government runs a deficit, the Federal Reserve buys its debt, and credits the government’s account at a commercial bank with dollars. Using the printing press to create new money is largely passé in today’s electronic world.

Either way, inflation sends false signals to businessmen (especially those who get the money early on, as it filters through the economy), making them overestimate demand for their products. That causes them to hire more workers and make capital investments—often with borrowed money. This is called “stimulating the economy.”

Inflating the currency can actually drive down interest rates for a while, because the price of money (interest) is lowered by the increased supply of money. This causes people to save less and borrow more, just as Americans have been doing for years. A lot of that newly created money goes into the stock market, driving it higher.

It all looks pretty good, until retail prices start rising as a delayed consequence of the increased money supply, and interest rates skyrocket to reflect the depreciation of the currency.

That’s when businesses start failing. Stocks fall. Bond prices collapse. Large numbers of workers lose employment.

Rather than let the market adjust itself, government typically starts the process all over again with a new and larger “stimulus package.” The more often this happens, the more ingrained become the distortions in the way people consume and invest, and the nastier the eventual depression.

This is why I predict the Greater Depression will be … well … greater. This is going to be one for the record books. Much different, much longer lasting, and much worse than the unpleasantness of 1929-1946.

Reprinted with permission from International Man.

Donald Trump’s foreign policy relies heavily on putting to use to the tools available to the Empire: economic terrorismthreats of wardiplomatic pressuretrade wars, etc. But in resorting to tried-and-true imperialism, it is isolating itself internationally from traditional allies and raising tensions on the global chessboard to an unprecedented level.

Threats of war against Venezuela, North Korea, Syria and Iran are now repeated on a daily basis. Economic measures involving tariffs or duties, in many ways comparable to declarations of war, are now habitual, whether directed at friends or allies. Iran and Syria are under sanctions, while Pyongyang is even prevented from docking one of its ships in its ports, thereby finding itself de facto placed under US embargo, such as was threatened against Venezuela.

China and Russia are daily fighting to support the multipolar world through diplomatic, economic and sometimes military means, offering to Washington’s enemies some kind of shield with which to withstand the outrageous slings and arrows of the Trump administration. Beijing and Moscow carry out their resistance with an eye to their long-term objectives, given that in the short term their actions will inevitably invite the implacable hostility of Washington and her lackeys.

The fate of the new multipolar world order essentially depends on how well China and Russia will be able weather Washington’s storm. It is naturally in the interests of the rest of the world that the chaos of Washington’s unipolarity will be brought to a close in the least chaotic and destructive manner.

Washington’s European allies are sanctioned for Iranian oil imports, are unable to participate in the reconstruction of Syria, are asked to abandon joint projects with Russia (Nord Stream II), are asked to cut technological imports from China, are requested not to become involved in the largest project the world has ever known, known as the Belt And Road Initiative (BRI) – all these requests come at a time when Donald Trump keeps undermining the international globalist order on which US allies have come to rely on to maintain the status quo. US allies are obliged to comply with Washington’s requests even as it hurts their business interests and poses grave consequences in the medium to long term. This is essentially the motivation behind European countries seeking to diversify their international trade and exchanges through a currency not controlled by Washington, thereby effectively de-dollarizing their economies. It will be quite some time before such an ideal can be realized, demonstrated by the failure of the efforts to import Iranian oil by circumventing the US embargo through such mechanisms as Instex.

Recent weeks have seen international affairs swing from one worrying scenario to another, from the failed summit between Trump and Kim, to the support for Guaido’s attempted coup in Venezuela, culminating in the continuous threats directed towards Iran after designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.

With little rhyme or reason, with an administration divided among several factions, we see constant changes in strategy and approach that only end up weakening Washington’s international stature.

Military planners at the Pentagon fear an open conflict with Iran or Venezuela, but only for purely propagandistic reasons. Washington’s formidable firepower would probably be able to overwhelm whatever defenses Tehran or Caracas would be able to offer, but at what price? The site of Washington’s latest-generation aircraft falling from the sky at the hands of air-defense systems from the Soviet period would have a devastating effect on the image America’s military-industrial complex likes to project of itself.

It would damage the prestige of American systems, which cost considerably more than their Russian counterparts. (An American F-22 Raptor, for example, costs about $150 million, whereas a Russian Su-35 only costs about $55 million.)

This embarrassing reality is currently being highlighted in Syria to some degree, where the anti-aircraft defenses of Damascus, combined with Russian capabilities, have foiled dozens of Israeli, US and Saudi attacks. The hitherto venerable US cruise missiles have had to genuflect before the legendary S-300/S-400 systems that have now become (as a defensive and not offensive weapon) a symbol of peace.

The myth of the invincibility of US weapons is being challenged by Moscow’s defensive capabilities deployed in Syria and Venezuela. These same capabilities are readily available to Tehran in the event that Washington decides to attack the Persian country. But the likelihood of such a war becomes less and less likely with every passing day, with Pentagon military planners fearing a far worse scenario for the United States than Iraq. Iran is three times the size of Iraq and would require about 1.2 million US troops to occupy the country on a permanent basis.

Iran, moreover, is one of the top 15 world powers and Washington would be confronted for the first time with an opponent of high capabilities, something that Americans have been trying to avoid for decades, fearful of revealing the vulnerability of their weapons systems as a result of corruption and wrong strategic decisions. Hollywood movies have served to build up in the public mind the myth of US military prowess, being a form of extreme propaganda for the purposes of disguising the reality of military ineffectiveness.

Pentagon planners have no intention of revealing their military vulnerabilities in a war with Iran. The loss of US military prestige would also show to countries hitherto under Washington’s thumb that this dog has more bark than bite, making it all the more difficult for the US to browbeat countries with the threat of military force in the future.

What Trump seems to find difficult to understand is that his foreign policy is slowly eroding the superpower status of the US. The free pass Trump has given to the neocons and the pro-Israel and pro-Saudi lobbies have only served to bring the US the brink of a new war with Venezuela, the DPRK, Iran or Syria. With Trump not really committed to any war himself, this will only lead to a humiliating backdown.

A commitment to no further wars seems to be one of the last election promises Trump wants to remain faithful to.

These continuous threats, never followed up by real actions, are a very short-lived tactic, given that they do not bear any strategic result. The DPRK did not get rid of its nukes, Venezuela still has Maduro as president, and Iran will never sit down with the US to discuss a new nuclear deal.

International attitudes are cooling towards the US, even among allies, who are subjected to absurd impositions on imported goods and punitive measures resulting from industrial cooperation with Russia, China and Iran (the three main opponents of the Israeli-Neocon-Saudi triad). Threats to Germany for the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline are not dissimilar to the threats to Turkey for seeking to acquire the S-400, or to Italy for accepting Huawei 5G technology, or to India for importing Iranian oil.

Opponents of Washington share a lot in common and are increasingly coordinating their efforts economically, diplomatically and militarily to limit the chaos and damage brought on by the Trump administration’s rampage on the global stage.

The doctrine of America First, combined with the need to grant a free hand to the Israeli-Saudi neocons, has been disastrous, particularly to the US. The rest of the world watches with mounting amazement and wonder how Washington, Riyadh and Tel Aviv are determined to paint themselves into a corner, just so that they can satisfy particular lobbies, powerful factions and warmongers like Bolton, Netanyahu, Mohammed bin Salman and Pompeo.

Trump is able to deceive his base due to their lack of interest in international affairs, the failing Democratic party, and Fox News’ tricky propaganda. But internationally, the role of Washington is becoming less and less relevant, with the figure of Trump serving to unite both friends and enemies of the US alike in a type of temporary pact as they wait out the Trump presidency. Once Trump is out of the way, then issues of fundamental importance for world trade (the Belt and Road Initiative) and the stability of crucial areas like the Middle East and North Africa can be dealt with, even though US adversaries are fully aware that US foreign policy isn’t decided by the President of the United States, rather from the ‘Washington consensus’ driven by ‘US Exceptionalism’.

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

One myth that Americans live by is the separation of church and state. Some like the idea; others hate it; but the irony is that church and state were not separated at the founding of the United States and are not separate now. In fact, they were united in the sense that the state is a church — the Church of America — and you can’t separate a thing from itself. The religion this church administers is not Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, or anything else that comes to mind when most people think the word religion. It’s Americanism, a species of nationalism. Nationalism and religion are cut from the same cloth. ~ Sheldon Richman

The American civil religion has been defined as “the shared reverence for sacred symbols drawn from a nation’s history” or “certain common elements of religious orientation that the great majority of Americans share that are expressed in a set of beliefs, symbols, and rituals.”

Here are some of the sacraments of the American civil religion:

  • Voting
  • Enlisting in the military
  • Singing hymns of worship to the state in church on the Sunday before national holidays.
  • Singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic in church anytime
  • Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Honoring veterans on Veterans Day
  • Flying the American flag outside of your house the week before and after national holidays
  • Thanking veterans for their service
  • Decorating the graves of veterans with flags for Memorial Day
  • Offering discounts to veterans and active duty military personnel
  • Having a special military-appreciation Sunday at church
  • Having a special law enforcement-appreciation Sunday at church
  • Having a military chaplain deliver the Sunday church sermon
  • Calling a soldier a hero
  • Decorating the church grounds and church building with flags on the Sunday before national holidays
  • Listing the names of veterans in the church in the church bulletin on the Sunday before Veterans Day
  • Placing a “Support the Troops” sign outside of your business
  • Singing the national anthem before sporting events
  • Having a military color guard walk down the main aisle at the beginning of the church service on the Sunday before a national holiday
  • Wearing an American flag lapel pin
  • Wearing a combination American flag and Christian cross lapel pin
  • Letting county governments use church facilities as polling places
  • Praying in church for U.S. troops to be kept out of harm’s way

Like any religion, the American civil religion considers certain things to be acts of blasphemy:

  • Not supporting the government space program
  • Objecting to military flyovers at sporting events
  • Denouncing Abraham Lincoln
  • Not being patriotic
  • Calling Social Security an intergenerational, income-transfer, wealth-redistribution welfare program
  • Calling Medicare and Medicaid socialized medicine
  • Not celebrating MLK Day
  • Flying a Confederate Flag
  • Not being in awe at the sight of a U.S. soldier in his uniform
  • Calling the Civil War the War for Southern Independence or the War of Northern Aggression
  • Saying that the Civil War was not just about slavery
  • Not trusting the police
  • Encouraging young people to not join the military
  • “Cheating” on your taxes
  • Not reverencing the Constitution
  • Not supporting the troops
  • Opposing a flag burning amendment to the Constitution
  • Not wanting to hear Lee Greenwood sing “God Bless the U.S.A.”
  • Saying that the U.S. military is a global force for evil

The American civil religion is a false religion. There is nothing Christian about any of its sacraments. And there is nothing anti-Christian about any of its supposed blasphemies.

Justin’s note: Tensions are flaring in the Middle East.

If you read yesterday’s Dispatch, you know what I mean. In short, the U.S. and Iran have been exchanging words lately, even threatening one another with force. And neither side’s backing down.

But this is more than just tough talk. The U.S. recently sent a carrier strike group to the region, along with bombers.

It’s quite serious. In fact, Doug Casey thinks the situation could easily spiral out of control… and even lead to something resembling World War III. He explains why in today’s interview…


Justin: Doug, how do you see the situation in the Middle East playing out? Do you think we’re on the verge of a major shooting war?

Doug: The way the U.S. is antagonizing Iran is stupid, criminal, dangerous, and counterproductive.

Right now, one or more carrier groups are sitting in the Persian Gulf. Presumably to intimidate the Iranians – which makes no sense. It amounts to bullying, going out of your way to pick a fight. The U.S. had better hope this adventure doesn’t spin out of control, because the Gulf is a narrow, shallow sea. Those ships are sitting ducks. A number of them, including a $15 billion carrier, could wind up as a new artificial reef.

How can that happen? U.S. carrier groups are well defended with all kinds of advanced weaponry. But every country today, absolutely including Iran, has supersonic sea-skimming missiles. In addition to ballistic missiles. Even poor backward places like North Korea, with the gross domestic product the size of a medium U.S. city, is a dangerous opponent.

Taking out a carrier in the Gulf, which Caesar would have called a “narrow and difficult” place, won’t be hard. But there won’t just be one missile approaching at 2000 mph from perhaps 30 miles away. They’ll launch them by the hundreds, and quantity has a quality all its own.

That could happen if the U.S. provokes the Iranians. And if that happens, the U.S. will feel obligated to counter attack. The cat’s out of the bag at that point. This could go in any direction, unpredictably, and get completely out of control. It could lead to something resembling World War III. It’s criminally stupid to go looking for trouble – pointlessly – on the other side of the world. The Iranians pose no threat to anyone. In fact, they have cordial relations with everyone in the region, and the world, except the Israelis and the Saudis.

Justin: What about the economic sanctions that Trump imposed on Iran?

Doug: It amazes me that Trump has not just precluded Americans from trading with Iran. He’s also given orders to the Russians, Chinese and everybody else in the world, telling them they’re not allowed to buy Iranian oil.

They aren’t going to abide by that. So, this is not only asking for trouble with Iran, but a complete catastrophe with the rest of the world as well. One consequence is that it will speed up the inevitable dethroning of the U.S. dollar. Nobody wants to use it; they understand the dollar is the unsecured liability of a bankrupt government. And they don’t like the fact their payments all have to clear through New York. There will soon be an alternative to the SWIFT system, probably using gold. The Chinese, the Russians, the Indians, the Iranians – none of them trust each other’s currencies either. But the big loser will be the dollar, and the U.S. Whose major export is actually the dollar.

Iran is an ancient culture. I’m no fan of the Iran regime. But it’s important to understand what your adversary thinks, and why. They resent the U.S. replacing their democratically elected government in 1953 with a puppet, the Shah. They resent the U.S. backing Saddam – its BFF at the time – in a decade-long war that killed a million people. They remember the USS Vincennes shooting down Iran Air flight 655 in 1988, an Airbus A300 on a scheduled run to Dubai. True, the place is controlled by Medieval theocrats who despise and fear the U.S. But so is our current BFF, Saudi Arabia – which is actually far worse in every way. Iran is a danger to no one, not even the Israelis or the Saudis. And absolutely not the U.S. Let it go its own way and do its own thing. Trying to provoke them into something that could turn into World War III is beyond insane. It’s the type of thing I would have expected from Hillary – not from Trump, based on his non-interventionist rhetoric before he was elected.

I’m very happy Trump beat Hillary, but I’m not a great fan of Trump. The man has no philosophical core whatsoever. And, so far as he does, he’s not a libertarian – far from it. He’s an authoritarian who flies by the seat of his pants. He’s capable of doing anything, unpredictably.

Trump has shown extraordinarily bad judgement with the people he’s chosen to surround himself with, particularly National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. But frankly almost everyone he’s appointed to his cabinet, from Day One, is a member of the Deep State.

Bolton is probably the most dangerous man to have been around a president since Henry Kissinger. He’s a pathological professional warmonger.

What Trump’s doing is similar to poking a small but potentially dangerous animal like a wolverine with a stick. If you poke it enough, the chances are excellent that it’s going to attack because it feels like it has no alternative.

Justin: So I agree that the stakes are high. But what are the chances of an actual shooting war breaking out?

Doug: Anything can happen. It’s got a better chance of spinning out of control than what almost happened with North Korea. Of course the U.S. is also playing chicken with Russia and China, among others. It’s as if Trump still thinks he’s on his reality show.

I’m pleasantly surprised that the disasters that the U.S. government has created in the Middle East haven’t spiraled out of control – so far, anyway. They’ve remained disastrous local wars. They’ve made us lots of fervent enemies, and no friends. Except for some fickle cronies who benefit from the billions the U.S. government has shoveled into these hellholes.

Unfortunately, I missed my big opportunity to visit Iran a few years ago. I was still living in New Zealand and I was invited as part of the Kiwi team by the Ambassadors Polo Club of Iran, all expenses paid, to play in three cities. I greatly regret not going, but it was physically impossible just then. So I haven’t been there personally.

But my impression is that the average Iranian has zero animosity towards Americans. In fact, they’re pro-America. They like all the good things about America. They like the culture. They like the music. They like the movies. They like the lifestyle.

The average Iranian doesn’t dislike the average American. They love what America represents – or used to represent, at any rate. Just like people everywhere, however, they’ll go shoulder-to-shoulder to fight against the enemy, if they’re attacked. But the U.S. isn’t just antagonizing the Iranians. It’s also antagonizing the Chinese, the Russians, and lots of others. So, things could get very serious.

Justin: Would a war with Iran even be winnable?

Doug: No. The Americans couldn’t win that war. But the U.S. government has learned nothing since its disastrous adventures in Korea in the ’50s and Vietnam in the ’60s and ’70s. They’re losing their almost 20-year-long war after their completely unprovoked attack against Afghanistan. They’ve managed to create a disaster with their unprovoked attack against Iraq. They created ongoing disasters in Syria and Libya. I’m waiting for something to spin out of control in Africa, where it has combat troops in a dozen countries – unbeknown to 99.9% of Boobus americanus. They could all be Somalias in waiting. That adventure is still paying dividends, in the form of something like 200,000 penniless Mohammedan migrants that have been imported from there since then.

But attacking Iran isn’t going to amount to another sport war. It could turn into a major conflict, with consequences that you can’t predict.

Again, what they’re doing is criminally stupid. They’re creating zero friends and lots of new enemies for the U.S. while bankrupting the country in the process. This is an ill wind that blows no good whatsoever – except to Deep State types in Washington.

Justin: How do you think the markets would react to a major conflict with Iran?

I imagine oil and defense stocks would rally if that happens. But what about the overall market? Would a war with Iran bring it down?

Doug: It amazes me that people think war is a good thing. This way of thinking started with the ridiculous notion that World War II drew the country out of the Great Depression. If you define a depression as a period of time when the general standard of living goes down, then the Great Depression really lasted from 1929 to 1946.

There’s nothing like turning a bunch of cities into smoking ruins to lower not just the local standard of living but the global standard of living. The stock, bond, and real estate markets are already on the edge of a precipice. They’re floating on a sea of debt. Even a light breeze – forget about a financial hurricane – could send them into free fall.

The last thing that we need is a major war. There’s no good consequence whatsoever that could come out of the game of chicken the sociopaths around Trump are playing.

Justin: Thanks for speaking with me today, Doug.

Doug: You’re welcome.

Reprinted with permission from Casey Research.

The food-exporting superpowers are easy to identify.

As my esteemed colleague Michael Snyder chronicled in a recent Zero Hedge post, world agricultural production is under assault from extreme weather and diseases such as African swine fever. Floods & Drought Devastate Crops All Over The Planet; Is A Global Food Crisis Be Coming?

Everyone understands extreme weather is a danger to food production. The overuse of antibiotics is less well understood. As this article explains, most antibiotics are given to livestock, which then become breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant microbes, which are known as superbugs once they develop immunity to all conventional antibiotics.

Are antibiotics turning livestock into superbug factories?

Almost 80% of all antibiotics in the United States aren’t taken by people. They’re given to cows, pigs, and chickens to make them grow more quickly or as a cheap alternative to keeping them healthy. These drugs could give rise to superbugs—bacteria that can’t be treated with modern medicine—and things are only getting worse. In 2013, more than 131,000 tons of antibiotics were used in food animals worldwide; by 2030, it will be more than 200,000 tons.

Here’s the problem with superbugs: you can’t kill them with standard-issue antibiotics. They spread like wildfire through monoculture crops and livestock yards and kill with indiscriminate alacrity.

The only solution, poor as it is, is to kill every animal that might be infected–tens of millions or hundreds of millions in the case of African swine fever.

Pigs and chickens are breeding grounds for diseases that jump the low barrier between livestock and humans. So the superbug that starts out killing animals can, with generally modest genetic modifications via variability, start infecting and killing humans with the same alacrity.

Super scary: animal agriculture linked to global ‘superbug’ threat

How industrial farming techniques can breed superbugs

Superbugs to Kill More People than Cancer if Industrial Agriculture Doesn’t Ditch Antibiotics and Pesticides

How Drug-Resistant Bacteria Travel from the Farm to Your Table Antibiotic-resistant bacteria from livestock pose a deadly risk to people. But the farm lobby won’t let scientists track the danger.

A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy The rise of Candida auris embodies a serious and growing public health threat: drug-resistant germs.

While these articles focus on the dangers of superbugs to livestock and humans, superbugs are equally dangerous to cereal and other commodity crops. Blights, fungal pathogens and other plant disease vectors can arise that cannot be controlled by herbicides. Insects undergo genetic modification and become resistant to pesticides. As pesticides become more toxic, more systemic and more ubiquitous, they start killing or weakening the “good” insects global agriculture depends on–the pollinating insects.

Superbugs don’t respect national or ideological borders. Every agricultural economy based on monocultures and mass use of antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides is vulnerable to superbugs.

As I’ve often noted here, centralization itself creates systemic vulnerabilities.A handful of industrial-scale super-farms raising monoculture crops and livestock are exquisitely vulnerable to the rise of superbugs. A thousand smaller farms and livestock operations that manage diseases without antibiotics and chemicals are more resilient, just as matter of distance from each other and the variability of genetic lineages in their crops and livestock.

As many others have pointed out, oil and food production are now essentially one system: industrial-scale agriculture depends on industrial fuels and petrochemical fertilizers; no oil and natural gas, no food.

But we can’t eat oil. A nation might have the financial means to buy energy or be blessed with energy resources within its borders, but if superbugs wipe out much of its cereal and other commodity crops and its livestock, its people will go hungry.

And hungry people topple governments. Governments can lie about all sorts of statistics such as unemployment, GDP, inflation and so on, but a government that claims food is abundant when it is actually scarce is a government on its way to the dustbin of history.

The Bastille was torn down by a raging mob in Paris as bread prices skyrocketed beyond the reach of the poor.

Read the Whole Article

This week Rush Limbaugh repeated a quote from James Comey in a  New York Magazine interview:

“I’d moved from Communist to whatever I am now. I’m not even sure how to characterize myself politically. Maybe at some point, I’ll have to figure it out.”

It’s hard to pin too much on that quote.  Perhaps Comey was joking by calling his vote for Jimmy Carter a vote for a Communist, in mockery of his supposedly fellow Republicans.

Joking about support for Communism is not all that funny in the Obama administration. Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan actually did vote for a Communist presidential candidate.  Brennan and Comey are two of the central players in the Russia Collusion Hoax.

Obama choose Communists and Marxists for the highest, most powerful positions in our land, including his closest political advisors, and his head of the CIA.  These facts are not in dispute.  Most are openly admitted by the people in question, as necessary damage control.  Our press chooses not to report them.

Professor Paul Kengor has extensively researched the Chicago communists whose progeny include David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, and Barack Hussein Obama.  Add the openly Marxist, pro-communist Ayers, and you have many of the key players who put Obama into power.

John Brennan

Brennan (who was sworn in as CIA director on a draft of the US Constitution, without the Bill of Rights, instead of a Bible) said that while he had voted Communist, he wasn’t an official member of the Communist Party – and was relieved that he had been accepted into the CIA.

Barack Hussein Obama

His Kenyan father was a communist, who met Obama’s mother, a radical leftist, in a Russian language class.  Stanley Dunham, Obama’s white grandfather, chose a notorious member of the Communist Party to be Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis.

Obama wrote in his memoir that in college, he sought out Marxist professors.  A Marxist student at Occidental College, John Drew, confirms that Obama was a revolutionary Marxist in college.  Drew recounts:

Obama… believed that the economic stresses of the Carter years meant revolution was still imminent. The election of Reagan was simply a minor set-back …As I recall, Obama repeatedly used the phrase “When the revolution comes….”  …”There’s going to be a revolution,” Obama said, “we need to be organized and grow the movement.”  In Obama’s view, our role must be to educate others so that we might usher in more quickly this inevitable revolution. …Obama seemed to think their ideological purity was a persuasive argument in predicting that a coming revolution would end capitalism.

Obama tells us the radical socialist conferences he attended before law school gave him his road map in life, i.e., their plan to put a stealth black candidate in the White House.  Obama’s biggest job and his political career in Chicago were launched by self-avowed communist Bill Ayers.  Obama’s run for state representative was as the hand-picked successor of a socialist state representative, who was publicly active in communist circles.  Obama’s calling in life was work as a hard-left Alinskyite radical agitator.  Until he became president, Obama was a 20-year member of an openly Marxist church whose members had to take a pledge against the middle class.  When did Obama reject Marxism?

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Elon Musk has just announced he’s going into the insurance business with Liberty Mutual – a partnership as natural as the getting-together over coffee of the Gambinos and Columbos.

They’re really going into the data-mining and mobility control business; the insurance business is merely the storefront.

The plan, according to Elon, is to offer “compelling” premiums . . . by compelling policyholders to let him (and the sickly-named Liberty) monitor their driving via real-time telemetry – just like the Apollo program.

And surrender it, too – by turning that over to his infamous auto-pilot system.

Which for the record hasn’t exactly got a great record.

Several auto-piloted Teslas have already piloted themselves into fixed barriers and other vehicles as effectively as any reckless human driver.

There have been losses – including of human lives.

At least two lawsuits are currently in process – including one filed by the family of Walter Huang of California, who was killed when his Tesla wandered out its travel lane and then accelerated into a lane divider – without Huang having touched the accelerator pedal or the steering wheel.

Will Elon surcharge himself for this risk?

Shouldn’t the general risk presented by every auto-piloted Tesla be accounted – for since all of them use the same known-to-be-faulty automated driving system that has already resulted in several fatal wrecks?

Doubtful.What’s likely is that everyone driving a Tesla will find themselves paying more to Elon.

This time for the “coverage” rather than for the car. Which is why Elon’s is itching to offer this “compelling” coverage. He needs to figure out a way to generate cash to offset the cash he’s losing on the cars he can’t sell for what it costs him to make them – even with all the subsidies he’s managed to rent-seek from the government.

Which of course gets the money it gives to Elon from us.

But he needs more green – so to speak – and now he has a plan to get it from us directly. The government hasn’t yet issued a fatwa that we have to buy electric cars; we’re just forced to help other people buy them.

But insurance is mandatory.

It’s another form of telemetry – a mainline from our wallets to the coffers of the insurance mafia.

Read the Whole Article

Not long ago, few Americans of the thinking persuasion might have imagined that such a well-engineered republic, with its exquisite checks and balances, sturdy institutions, and time-tested traditions would end up as so much smoldering goop in a national dumpster fire, but such is the sad state-of-the-union moving into the fateful summer of 2019. The castle of the permanent bureaucracy is about to be torched by an uprising of deplorable peasants led by a Golden Golem made furious by relentless litigation. It’s Game of Thrones meets the Thermidorian Reaction with a Weimar-flavored cherry on top — really one for the ages!

There’s perhaps a lot to dislike about Donald J. Trump, US President No. 45. Despite all the grooming and tailoring, there’s little savoir faire there. He tweets not like a mellifluous songbird, but in snorts like a rooting aardvark. His every predilection is an affront to the refined Washington establishment: his dark business history, his beloved ormolu trappings, his Mickey-D cheeseburgers, the mystifying hair-doo.

Even so, the bad faith of his antagonists exceeds even Mr. Trump’s defects and vices. The plot they concocted to get rid of him failed. And, yes, it was a plot, even a coup. And they fucked it up magnificently, leaving a paper trail as wide as Interstate-95. Now all that paper is about to fall over the District of Columbia like radioactive ash, turning many current and former denizens of rogue agencies into the walking dead as they embark on the dismal journey between the grand juries and the federal prisons.

Hence, the desperate rage of the impeachment faction, in direct proportion to their secret shameful knowledge that the entire RussiaGate melodrama was, in fact, a seditious subterfuge between the Hillary Clinton campaign and a great many key figures in government up-to-and-including former president Barack Obama, who could not have failed to be clued-in on all the action. Even before the declassification order, the true narrative of events has been plainly understood: that the US Intel “community” trafficked in fictitious malarkey supplied by Mrs. Clinton to illegally “meddle” in the 2016 election.

Most of the facts are already documented. Only a few details remain to be confirmed: for instance, whether international man-of-mystery and entrapment artist Josef Mifsud was in the employ of the CIA, and/or Britain’s MI6, and/or Mrs. Clinton’s Fusion GPS contractor (or Christopher Steele’s Orbis Business Intelligence company, a subcontractor to both Fusion GPS and the FBI). Questions will now be asked — though not by The New York Times.

The evidence already public indicates that Robert Mueller must have known as early as the date of his appointment (and likely before) that the predicating evidence for his inquiry was false. After all, his soon-to-be lead prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, was informed of that in no uncertain terms by his DOJ colleague, Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, in 2016. Justice may seek to know why Mr. Mueller did not inform the target of his inquiry that this was so. The answer to that may be that Mr. Mueller’s true mission was to disable Mr. Trump as long as possible while setting an obstruction of justice trap — which also failed tactically.

Notice that Mr. Mueller declined to testify before the House Judiciary Committee last week. Chairman Jerrold  Nadler (D-NY) was a fool to invite him. Did he not know that minority members of his committee get to ask questions too?

In an interesting turn of the screw last week, polling showed that a majority of those asked were in favor of investigations into the origin of the RussiaGate story. The FBI, being an agency under the direct supervision of the Attorney General, will be hosed out for sure. The CIA, on the other hand, has a sordid history of acting as a sovereign state within the state — hence the derivation of the Deep State. They are renowned for protecting their own. Remember, the Senate Minority Leader, Mr. Schumer, snidely told the incoming President Trump at the get-go that the Intel community “has six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” I guess we’ll finally get to see about that because the CIA’s former director, the wicked Mr. Brennan, is grand jury bound. I suspect he will not be protected by his former colleagues. His downfall may presage a more thorough cleanup, and perhaps a major reorganization, of this monstrous agency.

The indictment of Julian Assange adds a big wrinkle to these upcoming proceedings. Apart for what it means to First Amendment protection for a free press (no small matter), Mr. Assange is the one person who actually knows who handed over the “hacked” DNC emails to Wikileaks. Perhaps getting the answer to that question is the real reason that the DOJ is throwing the book at him. The trial of Mr. Assange is sure to be a humdinger.

I’m convinced, personally, that all this melodrama will play out against the background of a cratering global economy, tanking financial markets, and epic disruption of the established international order. Consider laying in some supplies.

Reprinted with permission from Kunstler.com.

Today’s political and military leaders have no choice but to project technology and strategic conditions into the future while they develop their forces today. However, before such multi-billion dollar investments are made, critical questions should be answered.

What is the real mission set? In other words, whom do we fight? Where do we fight? How do we fight? And how do we get there? On Memorial Day, we must take a step back to properly address these questions because right now it’s not so clear. What we do have is a military spending strategy that is out of whack with reality and setting us up for failure when real threats arise.

The United States is primarily a global maritime and aerospace power, not a global land power. Washington is known for exaggerating threats, but is the notion of spending to fight a near-simultaneous war with Russia and China in 2030 a realistic goal? Wars with continental powers like Russia, China, or even Turkey or Iran, demand the persistent employment of large and powerful ground forces projected over thousands of miles. U.S. military advantages at sea and in the air are relegated to supporting roles as seen in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

Long before U.S. forces entered World War II in 1942, the British Empire and the Soviet Union fought for years and sustained millions of casualties. Who are Washington’s allies today? How many field capable forces would be able to assist us in the field? How many are just military protectorates seeking to shift the burden of their defense to Washington?

Throughout the 20th century, strong majorities of Americans opposed involvement in all wars overseas. President John F. Kennedy’s statement that Americans “would pay any price, bear any burden…oppose any foe in order to assure the survival and success of liberty,” was false the moment JFK made it.

The answers to the questions above should align the structure and use of U.S. military power with strategic, technological, and fiscal realities. But in the senior ranks of the armed forces—especially in the U.S. Army and Marines—aligning military power with reality is sacrificed to the protection of “service equities,” meaning warfighting structures, equipment sets, and missions from unwanted changes in warfare wrought by technology.

As Under Secretary of the Navy, Robert Work identified the problem in the context of future amphibious operations: “The Navy-Marine team will never contemplate littoral maneuver until an enemy’s battle network, capable of firing dense salvos of guided weapons, is suppressed…Thus far we have only argued that some capability to conduct theater-entry operations and littoral maneuver must be retained. But it is fair to ask how much amphibious capacity is needed.”

In other words, the Marine Corps’ slow, soft-skinned, virtually defenseless amphibious carriers, auxiliaries, and VTOL/STOL airlift with their fragile cargoes of Marines cannot operate against the Chinese until the U.S. Air Force and Navy eliminate China’s air and naval forces from most of the Pacific. It’s not realistic, and building more amphibious carriers won’t help. The proliferation of persistent surveillance, air defense, and precision strike technologies consign amphibious operations to the ash heap of history.

Read the Whole Article

Here are the three things which have most shocked and disgusted (though not surprised) me about the European Elections.

They are all manifestations of the same problem: a bullying, corrupt, self-serving, dishonest, arrogant, politically correct, anti-democratic, left-liberal Establishment which is prepared to do almost anything to stop its entrenched powers being handed to the people.

Electoral Commission raids Brexit Party offices on a mission to seek out accounting irregularities 

The Electoral Commission is supposed to be a politically neutral organisation whose job is to ensure fair and honest practice during elections. In fact, it is quite outrageously Remain-biased and since the EU Referendum appears to have been abusing its powers to harass and intimidate Brexit backers and activists.

Its decision to raid the Brexit Party headquarters this week in search of accounting irregularities — it found none — prompted Nigel Farage to describe Britain’s political establishment as “rotten to the core.” I think Farage is right. You hardly need to be a conspiracy theorist to worry about Britain’s Deep State: its grubby fingerprints are over everything.

I grew up believing that the United Kingdom is a nation of fair play. But too many of our institutions – from quangos like the Electoral Commission to public bodies like the police and the Civil Service – are now so heavily in thrall to the politically correct values of the liberal elite they are quite incapable of giving fair treatment to those who don’t share their progressive politics.

I can certainly understand why, at his final Brexit Party rally in London last night, Farage promised that if ever his party gains power, institutions like the Electoral Commission are going to be seriously revamped.

Milkshake attacks (and worse) on pro-Brexit candidates

Did you read all those shocking reports of Chuka Umunna, Anna Soubry, Professor AC Wailing, Alastair Campbell, Gary Lineker and sundry other Remoaner loons being doused in milkshake while campaigning to defy the democratic vote and keep Britain stuck in the EU?

Me neither, because they didn’t happen. All the ugliness in this nasty, brutish, short election campaign has derived from people on the Remain side of the argument. Independent campaigner Tommy Robinson has been attacked at least twice; UKIP’s Carl Benjamin was attacked four times; Nigel Farage was attacked two days ago.

As significant as the attacks themselves has been the response of Remainers, far too many of whom have either defending the attacks as a joke – or, in some cases, urging that they should be escalated to the use of half-bricks or acid.

What this tells us, I would suggest, is that sympathisers of the liberal-left, pro-Brexit elite which runs Britain are quite incapable of making their case on its merits. Spoilt bullies that they are, they find it easier to intimidate and silence their opposition than they do to engage them with arguments.

Read the Whole Article

Whether you’re studying for an exam or revising for a presentation, a quiz on identifying different learning methods promises to help you maximise the amount of information you can retain.

Formed of ten questions, the quick quiz by Tutor House asks participants to consider how they would respond in a series of scenarios.

This technique reveals if they would benefit most from visual, auditory, read and write or kinesthetic (interactive) learning methods.

Created by Tutor House in partnership with educational experts, the quiz considers the widely used VARK (Visual, Aural, Read/write, and Kinesthetic) learning styles developed by Fleming’s in 1987. 

Visual learners are likely to respond to visual stimuli like photos and videos to remember things.

Meanwhile auditory learners prefer listening to instructions, while read/writers prefer to write things down and recite them.

Finally, Kinesthetic people learn best by getting hands on with their learning, employing a more tactile and interactive approach.

Speaking about how the quiz can benefit each individual, the founder of Tutor House Alex Dyer, said:  ‘Exam season is not an easy time of year, so we’re happy to help students work out the best way for them to revise.

‘Every individual is different, and I think it’s important that we acknowledge that not everyone absorbs information the same way.

‘Unfortunately most schools do not cater to different learning styles, so a lot of the time it’s up to the students themselves to adapt their learning.’

So are you using the best revision style for your personality?

Take the Quiz

Rachel Maddow has aired a segment condemning the new indictment against Julian Assange for 17 alleged violations of the Espionage Act.

Yes, that Rachel Maddow.

MSNBC’s top host began the segment after it was introduced by Chris Hayes, agreeing with her colleague that it’s surprising that more news outlets aren’t giving this story more “wall to wall” coverage, given its immense significance. She recapped Assange’s various legal struggles up until this point, then accurately described Assange’s new Espionage Act charges for publishing secret documents.

“And these new charges are not about stealing classified information or outsmarting computer systems in order to illegally obtain classified information,” Maddow said. “It’s not about that. These new charges are trying to prosecute Assange for publishing that stolen, secret material which was obtained by somebody else. And that is a whole different kettle of fish then what he was initially charged with.”

“By charging Assange for publishing that stuff that was taken by Manning, by issuing these charges today, the Justice Department has just done something you might have otherwise thought was impossible,” Maddow added after explaining the unprecedented nature of this case. “The Justice Department today, the Trump administration today, just put every journalistic institution in this country on Julian Assange’s side of the ledger. On his side of the fight. Which, I know, is unimaginable. But that is because the government is now trying to assert this brand new right to criminally prosecute people for publishing secret stuff, and newspapers and magazines and investigative journalists and all sorts of different entities publish secret stuff all the time. That is the bread and butter of what we do.”

Maddow carefully explained to her audience that these new charges have nothing at all to do with the 2016 election or any of the Russiagate nonsense the MSNBC pundit has been devoting her life to, correctly calling what the Trump administration is doing with Assange “a novel legal effort to punch a huge hole in the First Amendment.” She tied this in with Trump’s common references to the mass media as the “enemy of the people”, finally taking mainstream liberalism into a direct confrontation with Trump’s actual war on the press instead of nonsense about his tweeting mean things about Jim Acosta. She rightly highlighted the dangers of allowing a president with a thick authoritarian streak the ability to prosecute journalists he doesn’t like, and discussed the possibility that the UK may not comply with this new agenda in extradition proceedings.

“I think these 17 espionage charges against the WikiLeaks guy are a huge deal, and a very dark development,” Maddow concluded. “Chris Hayes this evening called it a ‘four alarm development’, and I absolutely share that.”

“And, you know, I know you,” Maddow continued, pointing to the camera. “Given everything else that we know about the WikiLeaks guy, I can feel through the television right now your mixed feelings about what I am saying. I can feel what may be, perhaps, a certain lack of concern about Julian Assange’s ultimate fate, given his own gleeful and extensive personal role in trying to help a hostile foreign government interfere in our election in order to install their chosen president with WikiLeaks’ help. Okay? I know. Okay, I feel ya. I got it. But, it is a recurring theme in history, heck, it is a recurring theme in the Bible, that they always pick the least sympathetic figures to try this stuff on first. Despite anyone’s feelings about this spectacularly unsympathetic character at the center of this international drama, you are going to see every journalistic institution in this country, every First Amendment supporter in this country, left, right and center, swallow their feelings about this particular human and denounce what the Trump administration is trying to do here. Because it would fundamentally change the United States of America.”

Wow. Make no mistake, this is a hugely significant development. This isn’t just some columnist for the New York Times or the Guardian, this is Rachel effing Maddow, the Queen Mother of all tinfoil pussyhat-wearing Russiagate insanity. This same pundit was just a couple of months ago not just smearing but outright lying about Assange, deceitfully telling her audience that the new legal rings closing around Assange were about his 2016 publications then instructing viewers not to Google anything about it because they’ll get computer viruses. Now that she’s recognized that this could actually hurt her and her network directly, she’s finally feeding her audience a different narrative out of sheer enlightened self-interest.

The fact that such a hugely influential figure in mainstream liberal media is now pushing back against Assange’s prosecution, and doing so in a way that her mainstream liberal anti-Trump audience can relate to, cannot be over-appreciated. Maddow’s credulous audience would eat live kittens if she told them to, so the way she’s pushing back against a dangerous legal precedent in language they can understand will make a difference in the way American liberals think about Assange’s predicament. It won’t make them like him, it won’t make them value the things he’s done, but it will get them to finally begin resisting something that badly needs to be resisted. And that’s huge.

The danger has always been that this fatal blow to journalism would be meted out with total compliance and support from a population hammered into docility by the ongoing narrative war which has been waged on Assange’s and WikiLeaks’ reputations with the help of the mass media. There was a very real danger that thought leaders like Maddow were going to choose their feelings over reasoning when the foot finally fell and the charges that criminalize journalism as “espionage” were finally put into play. I don’t think anyone would have been surprised if she’d applied that giant intellect of hers into making it possible to ignore it without upsetting her audience and try and figure it out later when it was too late and the legal precedent was set. It would have been so easy to keep feeding into the dominant “Assange is bad so everything bad that happens to him is good” sentiment, but she didn’t. She directly contradicted it.

She actually chose to do the right thing. I’m gobsmacked, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that my hope for humanity sparked up a little today.

If the resting smugfaced apex of liberal psychosis is getting this one right, then many more will surely follow. And indeed, many already are. In addition to Hayes’ coverage of the story, MSNBC’s Ari Melber also did a segment harshly criticizing the implications of Trump administration’s new charges. We’re seeing multiple segments from CNN about the grave dangers of the legal precedent that is being set with the superseding indictment, as well as urgent warnings about the new charges from major publications like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Guardian. The outlets which have been smearing Assange relentlessly are now finding themselves forced to defend him.

A typical comment under Maddow’s YouTube share of this segment reads “This is very strange. Very alarming! There we go again. The GOP is preparing the country for a Dictatorship.” And okay, that’s not exactly what is happening (this has been a bipartisan push and it’s not just preparations, we’re in full swing), but whatever, now this viewer can actually see the monster’s outlines. Finally the Maddow crowd which has been fruitlessly expending all their energy so far on punching at Russian shadows will actually be attacking a real thing.

And I’m quietly excited about that. I’m eager to see what happens to the #Resistance if it actually starts #Resisting something. It doesn’t matter that this is only happening because mainstream liberal media outlets realized that they might be next on the chopping block; it matters that it’s happening, period.

For years mainstream liberals have been fixating on the fake Russiagate psyop and rending their garments about Trump’s rude tweets while commentators like me desperately implored them to pay attention to the actual dangerous agendas that this administration is actually advancing. They’ve been in a holding pattern of adamantly refusing to do that, and now, because it’s threatening them personally, we’re suddenly seeing a sharp deviation from that holding pattern.

As Bill Murray said at the end of Groundhog Day, something is different. Anything different is good.

________________________

Everyone has my unconditional permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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After a stroke felled Woodrow Wilson during his national tour to save his League of Nations, an old rival, Sen. Albert Fall, went to the White House to tell the president, “I have been praying for you, Sir.”

To which Wilson is said to have replied, “Which way, Senator?”

Historians are in dispute as to whether Wilson actually said it.

But the acid retort came to mind on hearing that Nancy Pelosi, hours after accusing President Donald Trump of “engaging in a cover-up,” a felony, piously volunteered, “I pray for the president of the United States.”

For, by now, the hostile investigations of Trump by Pelosi’s House are becoming too numerous to list.

Subpoenas have been issued to the IRS demanding Trump’s tax returns. New York has enacted a law to gain access to Trump’s state tax returns, to pass them on to the comrades on Capitol Hill. Democrats are not seeking these records for guidance on how to reform the tax code.

House committees want the files of his accountants. Subpoenas have been issued to lending institutions where Trump borrowed, such as Deutsche Bank, going back to the last century.

The Mueller investigation found that neither Trump nor anyone in his campaign colluded with the Russians in 2016. Yet that exoneration is insufficient for the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler. He wants public hearings with present and past White House aides under oath to put on a show trial for a national TV audience.

The euphemism for this swarm attack is “Congressional oversight of the executive.” And Trump is not wrong to see in it a conspiracy to bring down his presidency and impeach and remove him.

And if Trump believes, not without reason, that Pelosi’s caucus is out to kill his presidency, should he cooperate with the co-conspirators or use all of the actual and latent powers of his office to repel them?

These are the alternatives the president faces.

Out in the Rose Garden, Trump declared there would be no further cooperation on a legislative agenda with Democrats until a halt is called to their investigations:

“I told Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to do infrastructure. I want to do it more than you want to do it. … But you can’t do it under these circumstances. So get these phony investigations over with.'”

Where, then, are we headed?

To gridlock first, then almost surely down the impeachment road.

For if Trump continues to defy subpoenas and denounce those who issue them, and Pelosi cannot deliver on the Democrats’ agenda, the louder will be the clamor of the Democratic base to remove Trump. At some point, Pelosi will have to go along or lose control of her rebellious caucus.

Consider Trump’s immigration plan, which was introduced to no great enthusiasm among his supporters.

In April in Las Vegas, after 75,000 asylum seekers had crossed the U.S. border in February and 100,000 in March — an average of a million crossers a year — Trump declared:

“There is an emergency on our southern border. … It’s a colossal surge and it’s overwhelming our immigration system, and we can’t let that happen. … We can’t take you anymore. … Our country is full.”

But if the country is “full,” and we cannot stop the illegal crossings swamping the southern border, how can we take in and hand out green cards to another million legal immigrants every year?

What is the carrying capacity of a country whose debt is larger than its economy and whose social welfare system is overflowing with applicants?

Given the lukewarm reception among Republicans, the refusal of Democrats to back an immigration bill that does not put millions of undocumented migrants on a path to citizenship, and the animosity that has arisen between Trump and Pelosi, the bill seems stillborn.

Pelosi and her leadership in the House, it is said, do not want impeachment. They see it as a dead end. And understandably so.

For if the House holds hearings and fails to impeach, Democrats would be seen as impotent. And if they did impeach the president and the Senate swiftly acquitted him, House Democrats would be seen a having wasted their two years, only to make Trump a political martyr.

Still, as Emerson wrote, things are in the saddle and ride mankind.

The left and its media allies are demanding more subpoenas, and Trump is growing more defiant. And if Pelosi continues to argue that impeachment is not justified now, the anti-Trump sentiment in her party could turn against her.

The left’s ultimatum: Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Impeachment is how a democratic republic does regicide, the dethroning and beheading of a sovereign like England’s Charles I.

For the left, Trump’s fate is decided. The only lingering question is whether proceeding with impeachment now is premature for the progressives’ cause in 2020.

Is this another story that will be heavily censored, and possibly even branded as fake news? It’s not unlikely, and it’s quite reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984, a classic book depicting a populace ruled by a political regime that persecutes individualism and independent critical thinking as “thoughtcrimes” that must be enforced by the “thought police.” Today, the thought police are the global elite, who are using social media platforms like Facebook to censor information, no matter how well presented, sourced and truthful the information is. This is because information, in several different areas, is threatening multiple corporate, political and elitist interests.

So, who are these fact checkers? Well, NewsGuard is one of them, which is funded by Clinton donors as well as big pharma and the Council on Foreign Relations. These organizations are also heavily tied to mainstream media outlets like The New York Times. Mainstream media outlets are owned by a small group of powerful people. These groups also have very close ties to multiple corporations and intelligence agencies like the CIA. Although these days it doesn’t seem very hard to recognize this, mainstream media is still used to sway the minds of the masses on certain topics by ridiculing them and failing to address and counter the points made by others. The latest example of this is with regards to 5G.

The 5G wireless technology rollout has been happening for a long time. We’ve seen a lot of marketing and information detailing how this type of technology will make our lives better and speed up the process of anything wireless. President Donald Trump recently described the 5G rollout as a “race” that “America must win.” The Canadian Prime Minister has also been quite outspoken about 5G, but has completely ignored anything regarding the health consequences, like most politicians have done so far.

A recent article in The New York Times, a major mouthpiece for the establishment, is a fiction piece on the topic of 5G masquerading as news. The piece was written by William Broad titled“Your 5G Phone Won’t Hurt You But Russia Wants You To Think Otherwise.” The paper claims that the health risks associated with 5G technology are a crazy “conspiracy theory” without even acknowledging all of the concerns being brought up by hundreds of scientists and doctors, not to mention all the peer-reviewed research and the considerable number of papers that have been published on the subject over the years. If 5G technology is so safe, why don’t we simply put it through appropriate safety testing to ease everyone’s minds? The answer is simple: It’s an obvious threat to human health, and if the corporations who control this technology, which unfortunately seem to control our government health regulatory agencies, actually did put it through transparent safety testing, there is no way these technologies would be allowed to come out. It’s truly a crime against humanity.

Furthermore, it’s quite comical how the essay blames Russia. Too long has Russia been used as a tool to simply cast blame on, the latest example would be hacking the 2016 US presidential election. There was no evidence for that, and it seems to be a narrative that was made up out of thin air by the elite, using mainstream media as their tool.

“As a patriotic loyalist of Russo-paranoia, Broad has dreamed up a hallucination that Russia is preparing to outpace the US’s strategy to dominate the global “internet of everything” in the race to launch 5G technology globally. Aside from Broad’s otherwise corporate friendly stances supporting hydrofracking, genetically modified foods, and the myth that vaccines do not contribute to neurological disorders, he has produced some excellent work about Yoga culture and North Korea. Yet these are hardly topics that would enable a person to speak intelligently about electromagnetic frequency’s (EMFs) biomolecular effects on living organisms.”  – Richard Gate, Executive Producer of the Progressive Radio Network and a former Senior Research Analyst in the biotechnology and genomic industries, & Dr. Gary Null, the host of the nation’s longest running public radio program on alternative and nutritional health and a multi-award-winning documentary film director including Poverty Inc and Deadly Deception (source)

A Belgian government minister recently announced that Brussels is halting its 5G plans due to health concerns.

The statement was made by Céline Fremault, the Minister of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Housing, Quality of Life, Environment and Energy. From an interview last Friday, with L’Echo:

“I cannot welcome such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizen, are not respected, 5G or not. The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt.”

– Céline Fremault, Minister of the Government (Brussels-Captial Region)

There are more than 10,000 peer-reviewed studies that confirm 5G’s measurable adverse effects on human biology. Again, the Times completely ignored this and simply implied that these health concerns are a conspiracy theory. Meanwhile, as far back as 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)  classified EMFs as possibly carcinogenic to humans. This was based on research showing a direct correlation between glioma tumors — a malignant brain cancer — and wireless mobile phone use. The Agency falls under the umbrella of the WHO, a cesspool compromised of corporate conflicts of interests and biased influence. It’s important to mention that the former chair of the IARC group, Anders Ahlbom, who’s also the co-founder of Gunnar Ahlbom AB, a Belgian lobbying firm providing public relations services to the telecom industry, was responsible for evaluating the epidemiology and carcinogenicity of mobile phone radiation. The IARC is completely biased, yet it still admits that 5G is “possibly” carcinogenic, even though the science shows that it clearly is carcinogenic.

Between August 2016 and September 2018, over 400 new studies on electromagnetic radiation risks were compiled by public health professor Joel Moskowitz at the University of California at Berkeley. These studies cover earlier generation technologies, whereas 5G will be everywhere and far less safe. Compared to 4G technology, which is commonly used today, every 5G base station will contain hundreds of thousands of antennas, each aiming lasers like microwave beams to all devices. In an urban area, base stations could be installed as little as 100 meters (328 feet) apart.

Those studies show a myriad of risks, including damage to DNA, damage to sperm, neuropsychiatric damage, and much more. For example, a study titled “Microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produce widespread neuropsychiatric effects including depression” published in the Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy outlines this quite clearly, and it’s only one of thousands of peer-reviewed studies raising multiple concerns in regards to this type of technology.

Dr. Martin L. Pall, PhD and Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University, is another academic who has gathered a number of studies and compiled them together. Taken from his report titled “5G: Great risk for EU, U.S. and International Health! Compelling Evidence for Eight Distinct Types of Great Harm Caused by Electromagnetic Field(EMF) Exposures and the Mechanism that Causes Them,” he states that:

“Putting in tens of millions of 5G antennae without a single biological test of safety has got to be about the stupidest idea anyone has had in the history of the world.”

According to Dr. Marin Blank from Columbia University’s Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics,  with regards to wireless radiation in general:

“We have created something that is harming us, and it is getting out of control. Before Edison’s light bulb there was very little electromagnetic radiation in our environment. The levels today are very many times higher than natural background levels, and are growing rapidly because of all the new devices that emit this radiation. Putting it bluntly they are damaging the living cells in our bodies and killing many of us prematurely.”

If you want to dive deeper into the science of this stuff and see just how obvious it is, you can find a lot of research that’s been published over the years linked at the Environmental Health Trust. It’s a great resource.

Furthermore, we’ve covered this topic in depth, and you can read some of our other related articles if you’re interested. They’re listed below:

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Completely Ignores Serious 5G Health Hazards

5G: “The Most Censored Story of 2018” – Journalist Masterfully Educates Houston City Council

Veteran MD Drops Bombshell At Michigan’s 5G Small Cell Tower Legislation Hearing

UN Staff Member & Whistleblower: “5G Is A Global Health Catastrophe”

Multiple Countries Ban Wifi & Cell Phones Around Schools, Young Children & Fetuses

Watch: Firefighters Report Neurological Damage After Cell Tower Installation Near Their Station

Reprinted with permission from Collective Evolution.

Presidential aspirant Kamala Harris promises to compel private companies with more than 100 employees to disclose what they pay employees to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. Companies that don’t pay women “enough” will pay fines until they demonstrate an acceptable level of gender parity. South Bend, Indiana’s “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg thinks America needs a federal “Equality Act” to make up for past racism, sexism, and homophobia. Senator Elizabeth Warren champions direct cash payments to black Americans as reparations for slavery. And all of the 2020 hopefuls take great pains to characterize income and wealth disparity as the defining issue of our time.

The ostensible thread connecting all of these public policy ideas is equality. Millions of Americans firmly believe the proper role of government is to make us more equal, and thereby make society more just. Old-fashioned liberal ideas about private property and natural rights barely register in this worldview. And it won’t be changed by an election or politician; egalitarianism as an animating political, economic, and social principle is firmly entrenched across the West today.

Are these proposals rooted in justice, or hatred and envy? Are they presented as an appeal for restitutionary justice, however far-fetched and far-removed? Or do they represent a gross display of cynical politics, an appeal meant to divide? We hate to play amateur psychologist. But after more than a century of progressive claims of good intentions, the results speak for themselves: capitalism and markets increase freedom and prosperity, while political engineering is zero-sum and antagonistic.

Ludwig von Mises explained so much of what still plagues us today in his underrated classic The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality. Written in the early 1950s, toward the end of Mises’s long career, this short book exhibits easier language and faster pace than his earlier works. Having been in the US for more than a decade at this point, one senses a change in Mises’s written English. He’s more comfortable in his diction and syntax, and utterly unconcerned with staying in his lane as an economist.

For Mises, capitalism is private property and markets. It is the engine of civilization, and the hallmark of any society with a natural and healthy “urge for economic betterment.” It is the only way to organize society that comports with human nature, promotes peace and social cohesion, and advances material well-being.

So what accounts for its constant vilification? Capitalism’s critics, no less self-interested than anyone else, must be explainable by their unease and dissatisfaction with life. And envy, no less than a biblical sin, is the source of that unease and dissatisfaction. So while Mises much earlier advanced the concept of “felt uneasiness” in his explanations of praxeology, he goes much further here into an outright examination of the psychological source of that uneasiness.

Why do intellectuals, particularly university professors, resent capitalism? Simple, Mises explains: they resent the higher incomes and prestige of the risk-taking, entrepreneurial widget makers they look down upon.

Why do working class voters resent capitalism? Capitalism provides freedom, Mises tells us, but also imposes responsibility for one’s lot in life (a suggestion for which Jordan Peterson is deeply resented on the Left). A more successful sibling or neighbor serves as a reminder of one’s failings, and every day presents an opportunity to advance or fall back. This is hardly comforting.

Why do literary and artistic elites, including Hollywood and Broadway, resent capitalism? The consuming public’s taste is fickle and fleeting. The sensitive artist’s work may go completely unappreciated by middlebrow mass audiences, and even the successful actor may become forgotten after a poorly received film or two.

Capitalism produces bad art? Who is to say, Mises asks, how the tired working class spend their leisure time and money? And with the plenitude capitalism provides, every taste is satisfied. Over time, particular genius like Shakespeare tends to emerge and prevail—albeit not always in time for wealth and fame in the artist’s lifetime.

But doesn’t capitalism result in other kinds of impoverishment, by making us less happy, more unequal, and crassly materialistic? Again, Mises unapologetically stands his ground: materialism is worthy of celebration; as today’s luxuries are tomorrow’s affordable middle class necessities. Inequality is meaningless until we grapple with scarcity, the starting point for any economic analysis. Capital accumulation is the only way to alleviate the scarcity that defines our natural world. Happiness is perhaps undefinable and un-measurable, but who among us should have the right to deny an automobile or refrigerator to satisfy a consumer’s wish? Why do the anti-capitalists want to forbid the common man his “daily plebiscite”?

Of course Mises’s account of the anti-capitalist mindset did not go unchallenged by critics. The infamous former Soviet spy Whittaker Chambers took to the pages of National Review for a denunciation of the book’s “know-nothing conservatism.” The Economist magazine (was it ever good?) lambasted Mises’s “sad little book” and its caricature of liberalism by a debater of “Hyde Park standard.”

But in the intervening 65 years, has Mises’s identification of “envy, conceit, ignorance, and dishonesty” among western anti-capitalists proved correct? Did events in the second half of the 20th century, particularly the collapse of Soviet communism, tend to vindicate him?

Certain sentences like “Under capitalism…everybody’s station in life depends on his own doing,” and “Under capitalism, material success depends on the appreciation of a man’s achievements on the part of the sovereign consumers” will strike some readers as depicting an overly rosy view of American meritocracy. But again, Mises’s conception of capitalism is unfettered, not the mixed system of political patronage in the US then and now. His larger point stands: markets and property present the individual with opportunities never before known in human history, while state planning makes us all cogs in a wheel.

Ultimately, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality is a defense of dynamic capitalism against the doctrines of both progressives and conservatives. The former would deny average people that most unique and cherished American opportunity, the chance for upward class mobility. The latter seek to protect their own status against the nouveau riche the market disruptors. Both seek to keep people in their place, whereas unbridled capitalism—warts and all—gives them hope with responsibility.

Mises understood this. Politicians should read him.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

The global arrogance displayed by the President of the US Donald Trump was not just unbecoming of a great country like the USA, it displayed hubris on an astounding scale.

Amid an ongoing war of words between Washington and Tehran, Trump threatened that if actual fighting breaks out between the two countries, Iran will be destroyed.

If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran,” he warned on Twitter on Sunday. “Never threaten the United States again!

To tweet such a threat of implied nuclear annihilation at a significant Islamic country can only increase instability in an already rocking global environment where “first use” has never been eschewed by the US which is in the process of withdrawing from the limited treaty obligations of the INF with Russia and which earlier unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.

The threat to wipe Iran off the face of the earth makes no sense either.

Though he may not know it, nuclear fall-out knows no boundaries and his closest friends in the Persian Gulf would be as equally affected as would Iran’s neighbors elsewhere, making this threat one capable of unleashing uncontrollable world war.

It is an open invitation for Iran to get its retaliation in first, on the oilfields of its closest neighbors and in the Straits of Hormuz through which most of the world’s oil flows, acts which would make the US president’s threat a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It constitutes a clear and present danger to the safety of Trump’s closest international partner, Israel, surely well within the range of current Iranian military technology.

Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in response to Trump’s threats. “Economic terrorism and genocidal taunts will not ‘end Iran’,” he added.

When one sees the panic induced by Saddam’s ancient scarcely guided Scud missiles thirty years ago, and the entirely unguided firework displays from Palestinian factions behind the fence in the Gaza Ghetto one can only imagine the results of Iranian missiles raining down on Tel Aviv.

And it underestimates too the zealotry of the Iranian leadership and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards for whom death whilst fighting the “Great Satan” would be a ticket to Paradise no less.

In short, it may have been the most alarming Tweet in history – and certainly fell way out of the rules of Twitter.

It must also constitute a considerable escalation of the risks of a “false-flag” attack on the US or her friends, either perpetrated by the US themselves – like the Gulf of Tonkin which turned Vietnam into a conflagration consuming millions of lives – or by other state actors seeking to provoke the United States in to war with Iran, or indeed by non-state actors with same goal in mind. Or even by hardline factions within the Iranian state themselves.

Never forget that Hitler, using the fake news media of the day, actually claimed Poland had invaded Germany.

It is long past time for President Trump to wind his neck in and disable his Twitter account before it becomes a weapon of mass destruction.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Reprinted from RT News.

The global gold fever, led by Russia which is diversifying its foreign exchange reserves, is the right thing to do as the US dollar’s value is being diminished, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital Peter Schiff told RT.

The greenback’s role as a reserve currency is going to be questioned soon, according to Schiff.

“I think what Russia is doing or other central banks are recognizing is that they need to increase their gold reserves because of the impending dollar crisis. Ever since the US led the world off the gold standard, the world has been on a dollar standard. That was fine when the dollar was backed by gold but now the dollar is backed by nothing…” said Schiff.

“Up until now that hasn’t been a problem because people have still perceived the value of the dollar but I think that’s going to change,” he added.

Russia obviously wants to buy as much gold as it can while the price is still relatively cheap, Schiff said, adding: “That allows it to build up a bigger hoard of gold to replace the diminished value that the dollar is going to play as a reserve currency.”

The next recession of the US economy will occur when “the Fed goes back to zero and we launch QE4,” according to the expert. “The dollar’s role as a reserve currency will be questioned then,” Schiff said, noting that the central banks will need an alternative. “The only viable alternative to back up their currencies is real money which is gold.”

While other countries back their currencies with dollars, the US can’t do the same, and the problem is that “we [the United States – Ed.] don’t have enough gold relative to all the currency that we’ve been creating and are going to be creating.”

Schiff suggested that no country likes that the “US uses the dollar as a weapon.” So, to move away from the greenback they increase their gold reserves now while “gold is still cheap because when the dollar really starts to tank the price of gold will soar.”

With its actions Washington is pushing countries toward accumulating gold, Schiff said, explaining that this is in fact what the US is “doing now with China with this trade war.”

Reprinted from RT News.

The Reformation is a paradox: a religious revolution that led to the secularization of society.

Rebel in the Ranks: Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts That Continue to Shape Our World, by Brad S. Gregory

What does Gregory mean by “secularization”?

…[secularization] refers specifically to the declining influence of religion in public life…politics, law, economics, education, social relationships, family life, morality, and the culture at large.

This secularization is described by Gregory as the broadest and most far-reaching outcome of the Reformation.  A major impact of this secularization is the loss of any ability for the Church (or some form of unified Christianity) to stand as a decentralizing force in governance.

Gregory points to two other unintended consequences: first, the proliferation of versions of “Protestants.”  I would say that they multiplied like rabbits, but then one of you would make a Catholic joke and all hell would break lose in the comments section.  So I take that back.

Second is the relationship of Magisterial Protestantism (Lutherans and Calvinists) and Catholicism; they agreed that non-Lutheran and non-Calvinist Protestants had to be done away with.  Neither Catholic nor Protestant leaders intended to divide Christendom or bring on recurrent violence.  It seems to me that this could be true of much of the clergy given the number of councils and other attempts at reconciliation over many years.

The Reformation cemented heresies as far as the Catholics were concerned; it also gave new life to the Antichrist (as far as Protestants were concerned) in Rome.  It resulted in religion being controlled by politics, as opposed to informing politics and providing a check on power.  Religion became an individual matter, which meant it would play no institutional role in society.

Intellectually, theology had to be separated from philosophy and the investigation of the natural world.  I don’t even know how the former is possible; as to the latter, it only means artificially limiting the definition of the term “natural world” by introducing the concept of the supernatural (as if all of the “natural” in the universe can be comprehended by man).

It is no accident that modern philosophy and the Enlightenment emerged in the seventeenth century as intellectual reactions to the problems of the Reformation era.

Two of the major thinkers of this Enlightenment, René Descartes and Thomas Hobbes, were directly and adversely affected by the so-called wars of religion: the former as a soldier during the Thirty Years’ War and the latter who took refuge in Paris during the English Revolution.  They would attempt to base morality on reason alone – reason devoid of religion and tradition.  As Gregory describes this effort: “Or at least that was the plan.”

The plan has seen its fruits in the twentieth century, and is now being replace by a new plan – a post-modern plan, where there is never such a thing as a knowable objective truth.  New atheists are attempting to combat this with the same tools used by Descartes and Hobbes: reason devoid of religion and tradition.  Edward Feser has examined the claims of these new atheists and found them lacking.

In the Dutch republic, religion was restricted and in its place commerce was unleashed.

According to the Union of Utrecht (1579), the Dutch republic’s most important founding document, each province is allowed to address religion as it sees fit, without interference from other provinces, “so long as each person shall be permitted to remain free in his religion and that no one shall be permitted to be investigated or persecuted for reason of religion.”

Shortly thereafter and as a result of the continuing wars with Spain, Catholic worship is outlawed altogether.  Meanwhile, the southern provinces establish the Union of Arras, which mandates Catholicism as the established religion.  Protestant refugees flee to the north.

With numerous religions and sects present, the one thing that binds the Dutch community is trade.  Trade is open to all: Calvinists, Arminians, Lutherans, Mennonites, Catholics, and Jews are all represented in the wealthier class.  Yet magistrates continue to monitor religion, out of a concern that some might decide to get overly political.

It turns out that regardless of their religion, almost everyone likes more and better material things.

This mix still works as at the time, because for the most part, Christians are Christian.  They share much more in common than they are divided by their differences.  Marriage, family relationships, responsibilities to others, civic duties, and a common sense of morality remain; differences regarding interpretation of scripture, grace and salvation, the sacraments, etc., are pushed to the rear – at least as far as political life is concerned.

Within about a century, the Dutch are replaced by the English as a global trading empire.  The English have learned something about religious toleration and commerce from the Dutch, with London replacing Amsterdam as Europe’s leading commercial city.

John Locke publishes his Tolerations, arguing for a sharp separation between church and state; Isaac Newton’s discoveries inspire a new variety of Protestantism – Deism: God created the universe and set its laws in motion, then took a long nap from which He is yet to wake.  Scripture might be useful for moral teaching, but nothing more – even here, it is good for moral teaching that conforms to reason derived absent scripture!  Which eventually pretty much renders scripture useless.

America’s founding documents make clear that religion is completely separable from the rest of life.  There is no publicly supported church – at least at the federal level; many states, for a time, offer such support.  Madison and Jefferson continue in the Dutch tradition:

Religion has to be construed as something that will not disrupt public life or divide citizens.  That means its scope has to be restricted, and what it applies to has to be limited.

Jefferson famously offered: “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god.  It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”  Easy enough to say when virtually all Americans were Christian of some sort, although it took the horrors of almost two centuries of European conflict to get to even this point.

The modern Western understanding of religion succeeds in the early decades of the United States, but not because Americans are rugged religious individualists, each eager to go her or his own way.  It succeeds because most of them are Christians, especially English-speaking white Protestants, who continue to share so much in common despite the disagreements that divide their churches.

It is best that I have no comment to any of this….

Conclusion

We look at the founding documents as establishing some form of common culture: “America is an idea,” we are often told.  This is not correct.  The founding documents presupposed a common culture; it was this common culture that was the foundation for the ideas in the documents.

What happens to the ideas in the documents when even the remnants of this common culture are lost?  Are the documents any longer of functional use, or are they merely museum pieces?  And then what?

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

Can you name the major west coast city that has become a rotting, decaying hellhole and is being completely overwhelmed by rats, drugs, crime, piles of garbage and hordes of homeless people?  Of course San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, “all of them” and “any of them” would all be correct answers, but in this article we are going to talk about Los Angeles.  Once upon a time, millions of young Americans flocked to “sunny L.A.” in order to experience “the California Dream”, but these days Los Angeles seems to be on the cutting edge of many of our most critical societal problems.  L.A. has been known for Hollywood, the porn industry and world class traffic congestion, but now it is also becoming famous for “rat-infested piles of rotting garbage”

Rat-infested piles of rotting garbage left uncollected by the city of Los Angeles, even after promises to clean it up, are fueling concerns about a new epidemic after last year’s record number of flea-borne typhus cases.

Even the city’s most notorious trash pile, located between downtown LA’s busy Fashion and Produce districts, continues to be a magnet for rats after it was cleaned up months ago. The rodents can carry typhus-infected fleas, which can spread the disease to humans through bacteria rubbed into the eyes or cuts and scrapes on the skin, resulting in severe flu-like symptoms.

Today, approximately 18.7 million people live in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and many fear that the rat population may exceed the human population at this point.

When garbage and filth are everywhere, rats can breed exceedingly quickly.  In fact, under ideal conditions two rats can become 482 million rats in just three years.

So you would think that L.A. would want to get this rat problem under control, but an NBC Los Angeles investigation discovered that “there is no plan or program to control the growing rat population”

But in Los Angeles, the I-Team learned there is no plan or program to control the growing rat population that feasts at trash piles like the one on Ceres Avenue.

“It’s something that we’ll look into,” said Pepe Garica, of Los Angeles’ bureau of sanitation.

Lovely, eh?

In a previous article, I noted that the rats have now even conquered Los Angeles City Hall

Officials at Los Angeles’ City Hall are considering ripping all of the building’s carpets up, as rats and fleas are said to be running riot in its halls.

A motion was filed by Council President Herb Wesson on Wednesday to enact the much needed makeover amid a typhus outbreak in the downtown area.

Wesson said a city employee had contracted the deadly bacterial disease at work, and now he’s urging officials to investigate the ‘scope’ of the long-running pest problem at the council building.

Meanwhile, the homeless population continues to multiply as well.

The number of homeless people living in L.A. has risen by at least 75 percent since 2012, and authorities cleaned up nearly 15,000 homeless encampments last year alone…

Nearly 15,000 homeless encampment cleanups were conducted last year in Los Angeles, a process that begins with officers clearing people from the area before sanitation workers remove trash and other items.

The cleanups cost taxpayers millions of dollars, but some residents who live near the encampments said they are usually repopulated soon after sanitation crews are done. It’s a seemingly endless cycle that leads neighbors to ask whether there are better ways to spend that tax money.

In other words, Los Angeles is cleaning up an average of 41 homeless encampments every single day.

Overall, Los Angeles spent a whopping 619 million dollars on the homeless problem last year, but it just continues to get even worse.

Of course wherever there is homelessness there is crime, and those that live in downtown L.A. are getting fed up

“Everyone living, working in, or visiting downtown has noticed the rapidly deteriorating conditions,” downtown resident Catherine Tomiczek told the committee. She said a friend was beaten and robbed on the street and a neighbor was stabbed in her building.

Councilman Paul Krekorian, who heads the committee, said he would request the information sought by the group. Major crimes downtown increased 6.7 percent this year compared with the same period in 2018, according to LAPD crime data through April 13.

Much of the violent crime is fueled by the drug trade, and according to DEA agent Bob Thomas Los Angeles is definitely a national hub for drug activity…

In a middle class neighborhood in Los Angeles a house is surrounded by crime tape. A young man had lost his life to drugs inside.

It’s happened a record 72,000 times last year in the United States and Los Angeles is a big part of the problem.

“Drug cartels send their stuff to LA, where it’s distributed across the nation,” DEA agent Bob Thomas said.

Further up the California coastline, northern California is being absolutely overwhelmed by a meth epidemic that is completely out of control.  Just consider these shocking numbers

Since 2011, emergency room visits related to meth in San Francisco have jumped 600% to 1,965 visits in 2016, the last year for which ER data is available. Admissions to the hospital are up 400% to 193, according to city public health data. And at San Francisco General Hospital, of 7,000 annual psychiatric emergency visits last year, 47% were people who were not necessarily mentally ill — they were high on meth.

“As California goes, so goes the nation” is a phrase that people like to use, but we better hope that it isn’t true, because California is going down the toilet.

And as our planet continues to become increasingly unstable, scientists assure us that it is only a matter of time before “the Big One” hits the state.  Earlier today, northern California was shaken by a magnitude 3.8 earthquake, and one of these days a truly catastrophic quake is coming.

In recent years, approximately five million people have packed up and moved to another state, and you can’t really blame them for leaving.

At this point I can’t really think of any reason why anyone would want to live in California.

Can you?

Reprinted with permission from The Economic Collapse.

One of the first things Americans need to understand about Democrats is that virtually every piece of legislation they propose is misnamed.

For instance, Obamacare — officially called “The Affordable Care Act” — made healthcare unaffordable for millions of Americans and far more expensive than it previously was for tens of millions more.

And the recently-passed “Equality Act” is not about ‘equal rights.’ It is actually about creating inequality among Americans by conveying extra rights onto a small subset of people who are already protected under the civil rights laws…at the risk of rights of the vast majority of all other Americans.

Last week, all Democrats in the Dem-controlled House, along with eight Republicans, voted in favor of the Equity Act. By a vote of 236-173, the act, if it passes the Senate and is signed by POTUS Trump (neither of which seems likely), will “broaden the definition of protected classes to include sex, sexual orientation and gender identity,” according to a tweet from Roll Call.

As reported by TownHall, if a person only read the title of the legislation, passage would seem like a shoe-in. But once you dig deeper into the bill, as many Republicans did, you discover:

The legislation would add sexual orientation and gender identity to characteristics protected by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. To Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the bill is “a top priority because equality for the LGBTQ community is a top priority” for the party.

The GOP disagrees, however. The bill will mandate “top-down, government-led discrimination against all Americans who hold a differing view of human sexuality and gender,” Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) said at a press conference on Thursday.

Thus, a vote for the act “is a vote against parents, it’s a vote against women, it’s a vote against doctors, it’s a vote against educators, it’s a vote against children.”

“The Equality Act represents the absolute worst of the radical-left’s pro-infanticide, anti-conscience agenda,” Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) said in a statement. “By amending the definition of ‘sex’ in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this legislation codifies a fundamental right to an abortion up until the moment of birth. It also ensures that American taxpayers foot the bill for these abortions by effectively eliminating Hyde protections – protections I recently pledged to uphold in a letter to Speaker Pelosi.”

Read the Whole Article

As Congressional Democrats insist on conducting post-Mueller probes into President Trump and those around him, much of the recent infighting and backpedaling we’ve seen from former Obama intel chiefs is starting to make sense.

Appearing with Fox News‘s Sean Hannity Tuesday night, The Hill‘s John Solomon revealed that according to his sources (and Hannity’s as well), President Trump will begin declassifying ‘Russiagate’ documents in the next 6-7 days.

Among those will be the so-called “Bucket Five” – documents which were originally presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016, which included everything the FBI and DOJ used against Trump campaign aide Carter Page – including the FISA surveillance application and its underlying exculpatory intelligence documents which the FISA court may have never seen.

And as ‘Sundance’ of the Conservative Treehouse notes, the release would presumably include the transcripts from FBI wiretaps of George Papadopoulos, who was listed in the Carter Page FISA. Also noted by CT is that declassification would be on target to occur between Trump’s upcoming state visit to Japan (5/25 – 5/28) and his state visit with the UK (6/3 – 6/5).

Via the Conservative Treehouse

No-one really knows the extent of the current documents and/or information that may be subject to a Trump declassification request.  However, this is the original list as outlined in September 2018, and the agencies who would be involved in the declassification process:

  1. All versions of the Carter Page FISA applications (DOJ) (DoS) (FBI) (ODNI).
  2. All of the Bruce Ohr 302’s filled out by the FBI. (FBI) (ODNI)
  3. All of Bruce Ohr’s emails (FBI) (DOJ) (CIA) (ODNI), and supportive documents and material provided by Bruce Ohr to the FBI. (FBI)
  4. All relevant documents pertaining to the supportive material within the FISA application. (FBI) (DOJ-NSD ) (DoS) (CIA) (DNI) (NSA) (ODNI);
  5. All intelligence documents that were presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016 that pertain to the FISA application used against U.S. person Carter Page; including all exculpatory intelligence documents that may not have been presented to the FISA Court. (CIA) (FBI) (DOJ) (ODNI) (DoS) (NSA)
  6. All unredacted text messages and email content between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok on all devices. (FBI) (DOJ) (DOJ-NSD) (ODNI)
  7. The originating CIA “EC” or two-page electronic communication from former CIA Director John Brennan to FBI Director James Comey that started Operation Crossfire Hurricane in July 2016. (CIA) (FBI) (ODNI)

♦ President Trump can prove the July 31st, 2016, Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence operation originated from a scheme within the intelligence apparatus by exposing the preceding CIA operation that created the originating “Electronic Communication” memo. Declassify that two-page “EC” document that Brennan gave to Comey.  [The trail is found within the Weissmann report and the use of Alexander Downer – SEE HERE]

♦ Release and declassify all of the Comey memos that document the investigative steps taken by the FBI as an outcome of the operation coordinated by CIA Director John Brennan in early 2016.  [The trail was memorialized by James Comey – SEE HERE]

♦ Reveal the November 2015 through April 2016 FISA-702 search query abuse by declassifying the April 2017 court opinion written by FISC Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer. Show the FBI contractors behind the 85% fraudulent search queries. [Crowdstrike? Fusion-GPS? Nellie Ohr? Daniel Richman?]  This was a weaponized surveillance and domestic political spying operation. [The trail was laid down in specific detail by Judge Collyer – SEE HERE]

♦ Subpoena former DOJ-NSD (National Security Division) head John Carlin, or haul him in front of a grand jury, and get his testimony about why he hid the abuse from the FISA court in October 2016; why the DOJ-NSD rushed the Carter Page application to beat NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers to the FISA court; and why Carlin quit immediately thereafter.

♦ Prove the Carter Page FISA application (October 2016) was fraudulent and based on deceptions to the FISA Court. Declassify the entire document, and release the transcripts of those who signed the application(s); and/or depose those who have not yet testified. The creation of the Steele Dossier was the cover-up operation. [SEE HERE]

♦ Release all of the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages without redactions. Let sunlight pour in on the actual conversation(s) that were taking place when Crossfire Hurricane (July ’16) and the FISA Application (Oct ’16) were taking place.  The current redactions were made by the people who weaponized the intelligence system for political surveillance and spy operation.  This is why Page and Strzok texts are redacted!

♦ Release all of Bruce Ohr 302’s, FBI notes from interviews and debriefing sessions, and other relevant documents associated with the interviews of Bruce Ohr and his internal communications. Including exculpatory evidence that Bruce Ohr may have shared with FBI Agent Joseph Pientka. [And get a deposition from this Pientka fella] Bruce Ohr is the courier, carrying information from those outside to those on the inside.

♦ Release the August 2nd, 2017, two-page scope memo provided by DAG Rod Rosenstein to special counsel Robert Mueller to advance the fraudulent Trump investigation, and initiate the more purposeful obstruction of justice investigation. Also Release the October 20th, 2017, second scope memo recently discovered.  The Scope Memos are keys to unlocking the underlying spy/surveillance cover-up. [SEE HERE and SEE HERE]

Reprinted with permission from Zero Hedge.