A non-profit news blog, focused on providing independent journalism.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Assisted suicide and the slippery slope towards eugenics

euthanasia supporters

With last week's vote on A2270, New Jersey's Assembly approved physician assisted suicide. Oregon, Washington and Vermont have also passed AS (Assisted Suicide) laws.

State courts in Montana and New Mexico have affirmed the rights to physician assisted suicide.

What's wrong with that, you might well ask. If a person is terminally ill and wishes to end his or her suffering, why should this not be permitted?

In fact, this issue is not as clear cut as some might wish you to believe. The effect of such legal permissions, as seen in other countries which have historically permitted doctor assisted suicide, is worth reviewing.

Before we look at how this issue has played out in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium, let's first define our terms. Euthanasia is also called "mercy killing," and is defined as the act of putting to death painlessly or allowing to die, as by withholding extreme medical measures, a person (or animal) suffering from an incurable disease or condition. The law generally differentiates between active and passive euthanasia. As defined in Wikipedia, "Passive euthanasia entails the withholding of common treatments, such as antibiotics, necessary for the continuance of life. Active euthanasia entails the use of lethal substances or forces, such as administering a lethal injection, to kill and is the most controversial means."

Assisted suicide, on the other hand is defined as follows: "Suicide facilitated by another person, especially a physician, who organizes the logistics of the suicide, as by providing the necessary quantities of a poison."

Switzerland became the first country to legalize assisted suicide in 1942. In the 1980s, the law was reinterpreted to allow the existence of organizations to provide aid in dying. There are now six organizations in Switzerland which, for a fee, will help you to die. According to a recent study in the Journal of Medical Ethics, about six hundred people a year - many of whom are foreigners - avail themselves of these services in Switzerland. Hence the term - "suicide tourism."

In 2002, Netherlands passed the Termination of Life on Request and Assisted Suicide Act, which legalized euthanasia and physician assisted suicide in specific cases, and for people twelve years old and up. In 2004, the Groningen Protocol came into effect, which allows doctors to euthanize infants, who are obviously not able to request or consent.

According to EPC-Europe, "In the Netherlands the number of deaths by euthanasia has increased by 64% between 2005 and 2010 ... In comparison, the Dutch population grew by less than two percent over the same period. Yet the Dutch are now discussing the extension of euthanasia to people with dementia despite huge concerns about proper consent." In addition, euthanasia is now being performed on psychiatric patients in the Netherlands, with 42 such cases reported in 2012.

We have seen the expansion of the concept of relieving a person's pain to apply to emotional and psychiatric problems. Recently, an 89-year-old retired art teacher took her life at Dignitas in Switzerland. In an interview given to the London Times, she stated that she couldn't adapt to modern life and found that other people were acting increasingly like "robots." She had no terminal illness.

Dignitas also recently accommodated the end-of-life wishes of an 85-year-old Italian woman, who was depressed that she was "losing her looks." Oriella Cazzanello had no terminal illness and, other than wounded vanity, had been in excellent health.

There is a slippery slope through which assisted suicide is becoming acceptable for those with emotional rather than terminal physical pain. This incurs uncomfortable recollections of the treatment of psychiatrically ill people in medieval times. Modern medicine seemed to go a great distance to reverse the perceptions and fate of those who were mentally ill, only to have a contemporary pathway carved out for their termination, via "choice."

Belgium's laws have also raised concern. In recent reports, at least 32% of the euthanasias in Belgium appear to have been done in the absence of a request. It is of concern that these "unrequested euthanasias" are not being investigated as possible murders. In addition, a great number of euthanasias are considered to be unreported. Many of the unreported assisted suicides are apparently being done by nurses. Belgium's law explicitly prohibits this.

Earlier this year, Belgium lifted the ban on child euthanasias and now allows children to request to be euthanized.

The intersection between adult guardianship and AS needs careful attention. Under the law in many venues, guardians may make end-of-life decisions for their wards. The potential for abuse here is undeniable. The guardian may sign a "do not resuscitate order" for her client, and may order an assisted suicide without the individual's knowledge or consent.

This scenario, as alarming as it may seem, is becoming quite common in guardianships throughout the US. In one publicized case, a guardian in Southern California, Melodie Scott, ordered that the physician for Elizabeth Fairbanks not provide her client with needed antibiotics when Fairbanks came down with pneumonia. Fairbanks succumbed to a treatable illness due to the decisions made by Melodie Scott, decisions which were in fact protested by Fairbanks' adult children. Fairbanks was under a mental health guardianship.

It was subsequently revealed that Fairbanks' bank accounts had nearly run dry. As guardian of person and estate, Melodie Scott was paid by Fairbanks' savings.

In another recent case in California, a probate attorney, J. David Horspool, put his father under a guardianship and promoted the appointment of one of his sisters, Margaret Updike, as the guardian. Updike decided not to have the batteries replaced in her father's pacemaker and to let him die of heart failure.

J. David Horspool's law office then reported that Raymond Horspool's Will had been "misplaced." Raymond Horspool's daughter, Barbara Howard, has sued for wrongful death. The case is winding its way through court.

In an Illinois guardianship case, Alice Gore's teeth were mined for their gold content prior to her demise

Margaret Dore, a Seattle based attorney and anti-AS activist, raised concerns about the New Jersey bill. In a recent article on her website, choiceisanillusion.com, Dore writes, "...there will be pressure to expand 'eligibility' to broader groups of people who are not close to death."

She cites the debate ongoing in the State of Washington, where there are now discussions recommending the extension of euthanasia to people who do not have the funds to support themselves. Dore also cites a recent Washington Post article, which states that there "appears to be a surge in hospices enrolling patients who aren't close to death."

With advancements in medicine, the spectre of suffering unbearably while one is in the process of dying is pretty much a thing of the past. The current state of palliative care has largely erased that concern. So the rallying cry for "Death with Dignity" must be carefully scrutinized. Particularly when those who may profit from the death of others are waving this banner.

The New Jersey Bill now goes to the Senate. A petition is being circulated asking New Jersey Governor Christie to veto the bill.

AS bills are pending legislative consideration in several other states. The UK, Canada, France and Germany are also considering legislation.

Why Putin is winning the new Cold War


© Tehelka.com

Mat finish-If history has taught us anything, it is that Russia has a habit of grinding down its enemies.

There are 7.2 billion people on this planet but the United States fears only one man - Vladimir Putin. That's because on virtually every front of the new Cold War, the Russian president is walloping the collective challenge of the West. Fear can make you do strange things - for the second year running, magazine has named Putin as the world's most powerful person.

It is said about the Russians that they take a long time to saddle their horses, but they ride awfully fast. After patiently nursing the collapsed Russian economy back to health from 1999 to 2007, Putin started pushing back against the western encirclement of his country. In Syria, Crimea and Ukraine, the West has faced humiliating setbacks and melted away at his approach. In the high-stakes game of energy, it will be Russian - not western - pipelines that will dominate the Eurasian landmass.

But instead of scorekeeping, a more instructive exercise would be to try and understand how Putin has managed to keep Russia ahead in the game.

More than any other leader, the Russian president by virtue of his KGB experience understands how the US operates. The American modus operandi - in sync with the British - is to organise coups, rebellions and counter-revolutions in countries where nationalist leaders come to power. Iran, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama and Ukraine are the classic examples.

John Perkins writes in (2004) how he and other 'hitmen' like him were sent to developing countries as consultants to bribe or coerce diplomats, economists, administrators and politicians to do the bidding of the US. Often they succeeded, but if they failed then the CIA would send in the 'jackals' - professionally trained assassins who would engineer the deaths of those who stood in the way of complete American domination.

(Chilean prime minister Salvador Allende's assassination - the result of a request by PepsiCo chairman Donald Kendall to the company's former lawyer president Richard Nixon - is a classic example of a CIA jackal job.)

This one-two punch by economic hitmen and assassins was so effective in creating banana republics that the US rarely had to up the ante. Among the rare occasions the US had to use the military in pursuit of commercial aims was in Iraq, and to a limited extent in Libya.

Putin knows the US has attempted - and will continue to attempt - regime change in Russia. As a former KGB general stationed in East Germany, he knows the hitmen are looking for an opportunity. That's precisely why he kicked out rogue agencies such as USAid and the British Council, both of which are fronts for Anglo-American secret services.

"One of the things to understand is that he in particular studied counter-intelligence which is key in understanding why he's the critical player," writes Joaquin Flores in the Center For Syncretic Studies website. "Counter-intelligence is not just finding spies, but it's actually countering the work of other agents who are embedded or whose work involves embedding themselves to destroy institutions from within."

Putin vs Obama

© Tehelka.com

Parallel to American black ops is naked war. The US economy - and that of its sidekick Britain - is a war economy. Kremlin adviser Sergei Glazyev said at a June round table in Moscow: "The Americans have gained from every war in Europe - World War I, World War II, the Cold War. The wars in Europe are the means of their economic miracle, their own prosperity."

The ongoing skirmishes in Ukraine are clearly a pretext to pull Russia into a direct military confrontation with the Ukrainian armed forces, in order to create a regional war in Europe.

Russia's response is two-pronged. One, by refusing to get into a shooting war with the Ukrainian thugs, it keeps the Americans frustrated. Washington's inaction in Ukraine was brilliantly described by a Chinese general as a symptom of America's strategic "erectile dysfunction".

Secondly, Putin is employing asymmetrical strategies to stop - and ultimately bring down - the American empire. A key element of this strategy is to strike at the key pillar of American power - the dollar. Russia - with support from fellow BRICS members China, India, Brazil and South Africa - is moving away from dollar-denominated trade, a step that will seriously impact the barely growing American economy.

According to financial portal Zero Hedge, "Glazyev's set of counter-measures specifically targets the core strength of the US war machine, i.e., the Fed's printing press. Putin's adviser proposes the creation of a 'broad anti-dollar alliance' of countries willing and able to drop the dollar from their international trade. Members of the alliance would also refrain from keeping currency reserves in dollar-denominated instruments. An anti-dollar coalition would be the first step for the creation of an anti-war coalition that can help stop the US' aggression."

Ukraine could eventually turn out to be the catalyst for Europe's divorce from the US. This is because sanctions against Russia are threatening business houses in Germany and other western European countries, which have over the past two decades developed deep links with the Russian economy. "Somewhat surprisingly for Washington, the war for Ukraine may soon become the war for Europe's independence from the US and a war against the dollar," says Zero Hedge.

Moscow is also pushing for institutional changes. The $100 billion New Development Bank, co-owned by the BRICS, will not only counter the influence of western lending institutions but also stop the flow of cash from the developing countries to the West.

The current lending system is skewed in favour of western countries because loans by the World Bank and IMF come with a basketful of conditions. For instance, when these two outfits offer a loan, it can be used to purchase goods and services only from the West. Or the loan can be used only for building dams but not on, say, drinking water utilities.

Of course, the expertise and material for building dams will have to come from the US and Europe. And when the drinking water supply remains poor, it creates demand for - mostly western-owned - colas and bottled water. The new bank will, therefore, hit the West where it hurts most - in the pocket.

Even as Putin has been making all the right moves on the geopolitical chessboard, his opponents aren't sitting idle, watching their empire fold up. The Russian ruble is getting hammered even as the price of oil is being driven into the ground by the Saudis at the bidding of their American overlords. No surprises here - the Americans will relentlessly try to weaken Russia as it is the only country that stands between Washington and world domination.

However, Putin is a judoka who knows how to use his opponent's force against the opponent itself. He knows the West's salad days are over and it is not in a position to take on the Russian military. He's content to watch the Americans commit strategic overreach - taking on Russia and simultaneously trying to contain the irresistible rise of the BRICS.

Putin is fortunate that his heavyweight partners in the BRICS continue to back Russia in its tussle with the West. Both India and China agree Moscow has legitimate interests in Ukraine and Crimea. Recently, the BRICS ticked off Australia for its foolhardy proposal to ban Putin from the G20 summit.

Such assurances of support have emboldened Putin to show the West the finger. In 2012, he nonchalantly skipped the G8 summit, and earlier this year, he merely shrugged when the G8 went back to G7 - the pre-Cold War configuration. (With members such as Canada, the G7 is a joke anyway.)

If history has taught us anything, it is that Russia has a habit of grinding down its enemies

(This is an updated version of an article that appeared in the Moscow-based Rossiyskaya Gazeta Group's Russia & India Report)

German govt: Turn off lights during sex to stop global warming - Better idea? Stop breathing, politicians!

Are you doing YOUR part to stop the evil menace of global warming?

Out with boring public information leaflets and in with flashy TV ads. The German Ministry of Environment has come up with a series of commercials on the problems of climate change, featuring sex and zombies in the message.

The scene: A young girl arrives home late one night and is confronted with the awkward situation of finding her parents engaged in the act inside a brightly lit room. After uttering a meek, "Hi," the teenager proceeds to switch off the lights in the room.

The lesson learned, as the female narrator says: "The world says thanks. 5 percent less energy consumption in German households makes one coal power plant redundant. Together it's climate protection."

[embedded content]

The video stirred the internet with many saying "that was awkward!" and others wondering if it's customary for Germans to do it fully dressed.

"According to the video, it seems so. Perhaps the German Ministry of Environment has also decreed sex only in unheated rooms," P Gosselin wrote on the NoTricksZone website.

It could be added that not only are the lights burning away needlessly, but the curtains are wide open, inviting an unwanted draft of air. Oh, those naughty Germans!

The German Ministry of Environment paid €1.5 million on creating and producing the 30-second videos, according to ARD public television.

[embedded content]

In another clip dripping with sexual innuendo, a hefty man at the gas station - complete with a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle and a jet ski - attempts to impress a woman on her bicycle. After he blotches his effort, losing his car keys in the process, the commercial ends with the man sitting directly behind the girl on the bike, leaving the polluting vehicles back at the station.

The message, aside from acting asinine apparently attracts females: "The climate says thanks. The climate is happy about every single bicycle ride," the narrator says.

[embedded content]

And finally, in a switch from a sexual-themed ad to one overtly gruesome, a woman is seen shutting her window so as not to hear the screams of her husband as he's being mauled by zombies in the yard.

The narrator chimes in: "The world says thank you. Stop leaving the windows open in the wintertime. Airing out the house all at once for a short time is better for the climate."

For the critics of these taxpayer ads, this is the government attempting to control every aspect of our lives.

"This is the nanny state at work," argues Gosselin. "But here the nanny in charge obviously has really gone completely idiotic." However, in this case, the "nanny" is not German Chancellor Angela Merkel, since it wasn't her Christian Democratic Union party that financed the productions.

Comment: If carbon emissions are such a problem, German politicians would do the world a favor by holding their breath - indefinitely. Just think of all the carbon dioxide expelled each day by politicians who fund the kind of asinine, juvenile, crass garbage seen above!

The world thanks you! Stop allowing useless politicians to breath up valuable air for no good purpose, if all they produce is more carbon dioxide and lie after lie after lie. Airing out the halls of power every 100 years or so is better for the health of humanity.

But of course, carbon emissions are not the problem. Never have been, never will be. But then again, it's possible that our global climate - and our imminent collapse - just turn out for the better if all politicians suddenly stopped breathing! For more on that comforting idea, see SOTT editor Pierre Lescaudron's book, .

Bird Bomb? Afghan police kill bird wearing antenna and explosives

Afghan police said they are investigating how a wild bird came to bear an antenna, electronic devices and explosives. Police came across the strange sight around 8 a.m. in the northern Faryab province, a volatile region ravaged by Taliban violence. When police spotted the white bird - which isn't native to the area and appeared larger than an eagle - walking along a highway, they noticed it had an antenna and decided to shoot it, provincial police chief Maj. Gen. Abdul Nabi Ilham told NBC News on Saturday. The bird then exploded, he said, and "suspicious metal stuff" scattered around.

"We are gathering all the stuff, but found parts of what looks to be GPS and a small camera," Ilham said. He added that this was the first time police have made such an encounter. Police added that it is possible the bird had been "deployed" on a surveillance mission. Using animals in warfare or for suicide missions is unusual but not unheard of. Hamas militants reportedly put explosives on a donkey and pushed it in the direction of Israeli soldiers as fighting intensified this summer in Gaza.

The path to tyranny: The Nazi's Gestapo and the US police state

© Unknown

Michael Brown's murder is not the only incident that sparked riots. There have been other similar incidents involving police brutality such as the Rodney King beating by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1991 that also sparked riots. The Police used excessive force against the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York and other anti-Establishment protests across the U.S. In 1997, NYPD officers sodomized a Haitian immigrant by the name of Abner Louima with a broken-off broom handle after he was arrested during an altercation between the police and patrons outside a Brooklyn nightclub. He was hospitalized and most of the police officers involved were not found guilty because of insufficient evidence, except for one of the officers who received a 30-year sentence.

Following the verdict of the Michael Brown case, another African-American man was recently shot and killed by an NYPD officer in a housing project in East New York, Brooklyn. White Americans have also been victims of police brutality. In 2012, Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man with schizophrenia was beaten to death by two veterans of the Fullerton Police Department in California. Both men were acquitted by the grand jury. Although statistics do show that minorities are more likely to get harassed (by Stop and Frisk in NYC for example), arrested and even murdered by the police. The issued a report on human rights abuses in the United States which included the epidemic of police brutality. It stated:

Excessive use of force by law enforcement officials

The Committee is concerned about the still high number of fatal shootings by certain police forces, including, for instance, in Chicago, and reports of excessive use of force by certain law enforcement officers, including the deadly use of tasers, which has a disparate impact on African Americans, and use of lethal force by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the United States-Mexico border

Another report just released by , published by the

"urged the United States on Friday to fully investigate and prosecute police brutality and shootings of unarmed black youth and ensure that taser weapons are used sparingly" the report said. "The committee decried "excruciating pain and prolonged suffering" for prisoners during "botched executions" as well as frequent rapes of inmates, shackling of pregnant women in some prisons and extensive use of solitary confinement."

Stop and frisk.

What was deeply concerning for the committee was New York City's controversial which effects mainly African Americans and Latinos and to a lesser extend whites is a policy that reflects what happened during Nazi Germany as former congressman and former mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner was once quoted as saying that:

Last year more than 700,000 people in New York were stopped, the overwhelming majority of them were young men of color; 97 percent of them did nothing wrong. And the mayor stood up and said 'wait a minute, statistically this' and 'statistically that.' Well, you can have a 100 percent statistical reduction in crime if you stop everybody. You could have 1938 Germany, because everyone has to show their papers

Weiner was correct to point out the dangers behind although the media criticized his comments because he was accused of comparing New York City to Nazi Germany, but the policies that allow the NYPD to stop you based on suspicion is Nazi-like. U.S. law enforcement in the U.S. has been heading towards what Germany became, a totalitarian police state. Why such a stark comparison? Not only police brutality is a major problem, but there are other factors to consider. The history of the Gestapo has many parallels to what

© AP

Nazi Heinrich Himmler helped form the template for what is today's U.S. Police State

the U.S. law enforcement on the federal and local level has become. After Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, he appointed Hermann Göring as Interior Minister of Prussia allowing him to become head of the largest police force in Germany. Göring filled the ranks with Nazis in both the political and intelligence sections of the police. By 1933, Göring merged both units to form the Gestapo. He was soon head of the Gestapo in 1934 and extended the agency's authority under Hitler's leadership. Then Göring gave the command of the Gestapo to Heinrich Himmler that same year. Hitler then appointed Himmler as the chief of all German police outside Prussia. Then Reinhard Heydrich was named chief of the Gestapo by Himmler on April, 22 1934. On June 17th, 1936, Hitler unified all of the police forces in the Reich and named Himmler as Chief of German Police.

The Gestapo became a national state agency and gained authority over all of Germany's uniformed law enforcement agencies and had the authority to investigate alleged acts of treason, espionage and other activities seen as crimes against Germany, in particular against the Nazi Party. The Gestapo operated without any judicial review by state imposed law, putting them above the law, relatively speaking. The Gestapo used Schutzhaft or "protective custody" to imprison people without judicial proceedings. The system was that the prisoner was ultimately forced to sign their own Schutzhaftbefehl, an order to allow themselves imprisoned out of fear that agents would personally torture or even execute them. Thousands of political prisoners throughout Germany and occupied territories under the disappeared under the Gestapo. The Gestapo's tactics rooted out political opponents of the Nazi Party. Communists and religious groups who attended church were spied upon. The communists, working-class people, and even far-right conservative organizations covertly fought against the Nazi's which led to mass arrests. "Racially undesirable elements" such as the Jews, criminals, homosexuals, and the Romani people were also sent to concentration camps or were executed. Student protests were crushed. Businessmen, office workers, teachers, and others that resisted the Nazi party were in danger of Gestapo informants and agents if they held rallies opposing the Nazi party which in fact is a familiar pattern in the U.S. today. The main stream media, specifically The New York Times reported that "The federal government has significantly expanded undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least 40 agencies posing as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and even doctors or ministers to ferret out wrongdoing, records and interviews show." The campaign in New York City is a "Snitch" program to root out terrorism. But the question is who is a terrorist? According to an analysis by explains in the how the "Snitch Mentality" operates:

This is America today. "If you see something, say something." It doesn't matter if you see something that means nothing. The man in the Ohio Walmart store that was killed by the SWAT team for carrying around an "assault weapon" which ended up being an empty pellet gun taken off the rack at the store is a good example. Maybe they should have given the person who called it in a key to the city for such a courageous act. He could share it with those brave trained killers who understood the situation no more than he did.

The snitch mentality appears to be popping up everywhere these days, even when the informant doesn't get anything out of it. How much worse will it be when they do?

When the dollar collapses and the people who didn't see it coming are caught totally unprepared, what are the chances that they will rat out those who did? I'm sure that their masters will be happy to reward them by giving them some of their neighbor's supplies once the "prepper" has been taken away to the FEMA camp.

But I suppose that we shouldn't be surprised. When living in a country that has never learned to mind its own business concerning the affairs of people in other countries, how much less will it tolerate the affairs of others in their own?

Not only is the federal government has covert operations and "Snitch" programs directed against the public, a report by the Center for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) titled 'US police get antiterror training in Israel on privately funded trips' explained what were the motives behind Israel's security apparatus training U.S. law enforcement:

The clouds of tear gas, flurries of projectiles and images of police officers outfitted in military-grade hardware in Ferguson, Missouri, have reignited concerns about the militarization of domestic law enforcement in the United States.

But there has been another, little-discussed change in the training of American police since the 9/11 attacks: At least 300 high-ranking sheriffs and police from agencies large and small - from New York and Maine to Orange County and Oakland, California - have traveled to Israel for privately funded seminars in what is described as counterterrorism techniques.

The collaboration between American Police Departments and Israel's training seminars is disturbing development especially since the Israeli Security forces has committed numerous human rights abuses against the Palestinians for decades. The report also stated which police departments had participated in the seminars:

The U.S. program began less than a year after 9/11, when the Jewish Institute brought nine American police officials to Israel to meet with Uzi Landau, Israel's public security minister at the time. Participants represented the New York and Los Angeles police departments, the Major County Sheriffs' Association, the New York and New Jersey Port Authority police and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority police. Recently, the seminars drew attention during the Ferguson protests because the former chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, who retired in January, had participated in a 2011 trip to Israel sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League

Rashid Khalidi, a professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University said "If American police and sheriffs consider they're in occupation of neighborhoods like Ferguson and East Harlem, this training is extremely appropriate - they're learning how to suppress a people, deny their rights and use force to hold down a subject population" the report stated.

Civil Rights and the Militarization of Police

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also has numerous reports concerning police brutality, but it goes a step further and analyzes which particular groups are particularly affected when it comes to the police in the United States. Mathew Harwood wrote a piece for and described how SWAT teams were using force when executing search warrants. He also mentions what the ACLU found in a report titled on raids conducted between 2011 and 2012:

In more than 60% of the raids the ACLU investigated, SWAT members rammed down doors in search of possible drugs, not to save a hostage, respond to a barricade situation, or neutralize an active shooter. On the other side of that broken-down door, more often than not, are blacks and Latinos. When the ACLU could identify the race of the person or people whose home was being broken into, 68% of the SWAT raids against minorities were for the purpose of executing a warrant in search of drugs. When it came to whites, that figure dropped to 38%, despite the well-known fact that blacks, whites, and Latinos all use drugs at roughly the same rates. SWAT teams, it seems, have a disturbing record of disproportionately applying their specialized skill set within communities of color.

Think of this as racial profiling on steroids in which the humiliation of stop and frisk is raised to a terrifying new level

The reported that during the Obama administration police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft." The parallels of the U.S. and Nazi Germany policing methods are too similar to ignore. A retired Philadelphia police captain, Ray Lewis who joined Ferguson Protesters told Al Jazeera:

For one, I want to give the residents of Ferguson the knowledge there are some police that do support them. The second thing, I want to try to get a message to mainstream America that the system is corrupt, that police really are oppressing not only the black community, but also the whites. They're an oppressive organization now controlled by the one percent of corporate America. Corporate America is using police forces as their mercenaries

Captain Ray Lewis statement reflects on what happened to the Occupy Wall Street movement when the NYPD used to remove the protesters. The tragic death of Michael Brown and the actions taken by the Ferguson Police department and the Missouri National Guard is what the Gestapo would have done against any protests that would oppose the rule of law of the Nazi Party. The U.S. has been an Orwellian police state for a very long time, with the Jim Crow Laws in the South followed by the FBI's COINTELPRO program to the NSA spy scandal today, the Gestapo comes to mind. History is actually repeating itself.

Mysterious explosions and loud bangs heard all over UK: Listen to the recording and learn to recognize an overhead explosion

Last night, Britons from Aberdeen to Devon were left baffled by a series of mysterious explosions which shook windows and disturbed sleeping children.

Hundreds of Twitter users reported the sounds between around 9pm and 11pm last night, with many describing the noise as sounding like 'distant fireworks'.

But despite suggestions of RAF jets, meteors and aliens flooding the social media site today, no one has been able to explain what was heard. Even the MoD has said it is stumped.

Now a recording of the 'loud bangs', taken by a woman as she sat at home in Croydon, south London, might shed light on what is really behind the unexplained noise.

Some suggested that unusual weather conditions might be the source, but the Met Office today dismissed the claims.

Others on Twitter suggested that it could be traced back to controlled explosions or military exercises. Meanwhile, conspiracy theorists took to social media to claim that aliens were to blame.

Claudia Angiletta said that she was watching TV at home when the unexplained sounds started.

She told MailOnline: 'I was just at home watching TV when I couldn't hear the program due to the loud noises. It was very distracting as it went on for ages.

'I went out to look for fireworks but I couldn't see anything in the sky. That's when I recorded the clip to send to my family to see if they could hear the same thing.'

The 27-year-old said that her family, who live roughly seven miles away in Norbury, south London, could also hear the sounds, which lasted for about 30 minutes. She then turned to Twitter to see if anyone could explain what they were.

Many suspected sonic booms similar to ones which shook Kent last month when two RAF jets intercepted a Latvian cargo plane in British airspace.

But a Ministry of Defence spokesman told MailOnline she had no records of any jets being scrambled last night.

The denial only served to fuel an outpouring of Saturday night speculation on social media.

Within minutes Twitter users had started spreading hashtags from the straightforward (#loudbangs) to the slightly melodramatic (#omgwereallgoingtodie).

Many of the reports were picked up by Twitter user Virtual Astronomer, who said space debris re-entering the earth's atmosphere could have been responsible.

'Space debris such as old satellites and things can cause sonic booms heard over very large areas,' he told MailOnline.

'It's the same for big meteors or rocks that come in.

'There are also some rare meteorologic phenomena that can cause rumbling or bangs apart from thunder.

'The only other explanation could be supersonic aircraft. There was very little wind last night so conditions were perfect for sound to travel very long distances.'

Science writer David Dickinson was among the experts who dismissed the theory.

He told MailOnline that there was one piece of debris from Russian satellite Kosmos 2251 scheduled for re-entry, but said that the timing was 'not a good fit' for it to have been over the UK.

He added: 'I do not think it was a meteor or a piece of space-junk, as the noises mentioned spanned a large segment of time. Plus, unless it was cloudy over the U.K., there would've been visual sightings.

Others thought that the loud noises might be due to unusual weather events, such as space weather, electrical storms or ferocious thunder storms.

But the Met Office said today that there had been no reports of such weather last night.

A spokesman told MailOnline: 'It definitely wasn't meteorological'.

Other conspiracy theories revolved around whether the noises could be the testing of a secret jet.

Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists, said: 'If an aircraft is responsible, then it's worth noting that it may not be local at all.

'Because the sound wave that causes the boom can be reflected by the stratosphere, the source of the event could conceivably be hundreds or thousands of miles away from the place where it is heard on the ground.

'I don't know how to interpret the sound itself, or whether certain sound patterns would correspond to certain types of aircraft engines.'

Dozens of the reports focused around Croydon, south London, where baffled Twitter users were asking each other what had happened.

The Metropolitan Police said that a fireworks display in Croydon could have been the source.

But that does not explain why other noises were heard in Bedfordshire, Glasgow, North Devon, Leicestershire and West Sussex.

Dave Reed, who lives in Fareham, Hampshire, said his dogs 'went crazy for a couple of minutes' after hearing what he had assumed were fireworks.

The noises prompted conspiracy theories and immediate claims of a 'media blackout'.

Twitter user Carrie Proctor wrote: 'This is how we'll find our that WW3 has begun. It'll be a Twitter hashtag long before any official announcement!'

The Trews: Anarchy, psychopaths in business, and other assorted wonders

E-mails sent to Sott.net become the property of Quantum Future Group, Inc and may be published without notice.

Only one out of one thousand men helped by prostate cancer screening

Joe Weatherly, DO, are family medicine residents in St. Petersburg, Fla. Together, they co-produce the podcast Questioning Medicine, where they deconstruct issues confronting today's clinicians. In this guest blog, Buelt gives his take on the overuse of prostate cancer screenings.

prostate exam

© dreamstime

Let the Prostate Be

As prostate cancer awareness month just ended, prostate cancer screening seemed a fitting subject for this week's blog.

Those who know the evidence might think this argument pits European practices against our own domestic actions. Almost like a Ryder Cup for prostate screening. However, I recently saw that almost 50% of patients admit to undergoing lubed finger insertions and blood tests, which we know to be fairly inaccurate, in the last 12 months.

In a Research Letter in by Sammon et al., the fact that so many physicians are still screening for prostate cancer makes my evidence-based medicine soul cringe. In a 2012 survey, the authors found that among 114,544 respondents, 37% had undergone screening. Higher socioeconomic status nearly doubled a man's odds of being screened (odds ratio 1.91, 95% CI 2.69-3.34).

Prostate cancer screening has been placed in the no-go category by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the Choosing Wisely campaign, as well as by many other major medical associations.

Even the American Urological Association, which stands to lose the most money from reduced screening, states, "Men ages 55 to 69 ... should talk with their doctors about the benefits and harms of testing ...." In my opinion, they deserve a standing ovation for speaking to the evidence and not to the money, as the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists has with pelvic exams.

I suppose some physicians will try to argue that rectal exams are not unpleasant or uncomfortable for the patient, as many did in the comments section of my pelvic exam post. However, if you really believe that, it's probably been a while since your last rectal exam.

The Screening Process

There are two parts to prostate screening: the digital rectal exam (DRE) and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. Guided by evidence, here's a look at harms and benefits.

First, is the index finger so sensitive and accurate that it can really detect cancer with the DRE? A little common sense would tell us "no chance," and the evidence seems to support that.

In a study published in the by Richie et al., among 644 asymptomatic men, 241 had an abnormal DRE or elevated PSA. And of the 163 who underwent further ultrasound or biopsy, 77% were found to have normal results.

A retrospective analysis of 14 studies by Hoogendam et al. suggested that the positive predictive value of the DRE was only 28% (95% CI 0.20-0.36), meaning that out of 100 men who were diagnosed by their physician's finger, 72 did not actually have cancer. Plus, according to an analysis by Collins et al., 25% of the time when cancer was found after DRE, the biopsy located it in a different part of the prostate!

So unless your patient has a fecal impaction there is probably very little reason to perform a DRE.

What about the PSA blood test? Its accuracy is also riddled with way too many false positives and false negatives. This is one of those tests that has led to serious rates of overdiagnosis.

Only about 24% of those who undergo prostate biopsy because of elevated PSA actually have prostate cancer (Studer and Collette). The study included 162,243 men, and about 76% of those with a PSA over 3 ng/mL were false positives.

In a study published in the , which reported the results of The Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial, Andriole et al. found barely any benefit with PSA screening and DRE. The cumulative mortality rates in the intervention arm were 3.7 compared to 3.4 per 10,000 person-years in the control arm.

Authors of the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) found a 20% reduction in prostate cancer deaths with PSA. Yet, when you look at actual numbers, it paints a much different picture. The ERSPC study estimated that 1,410 men would need to undergo screening, and 48 more cases of prostate cancer would need to be treated, for one life to be saved. Meaning 48 men will possibly endure erectile dysfunction or urinary incontinence for life, for every one life saved.

When the USPSTF looked at the evidence, they found for every 1,000 men screened for 10 years, roughly 220 had a positive result. About 110 subsequently get a true diagnosis of prostate cancer, 50 get a complication from treatment, and at most one life is saved.

I'll repeat the most important part of that rant: one out of a thousand is saved! At least 50 men will have a serious complication and about 100 will have to undergo anxiety and sleepless nights for a disease they don't even have.

Just under half of those in a different study with a positive screen and negative biopsy, 40%, admitted to worrying about prostate cancer "a lot" or "some of the time." This could qualify as harmful to a man's mental health.

Better Left Unchecked

Finally, in an estimate by Draisma et al., almost 50% of those diagnosed with prostate cancer would have never developed any symptoms of disease had they been left unchecked. Too often people will argue a 10 to 12 years' increase in survival with those screened for prostate cancer.

The problem is the very small or almost nonsignificant increase in mortality. I do not care if my patient survives longer with a disease, as long as the age of mortality remains the same.

After all, the reason we treat hypertension, high cholesterol, or screen for cancer is to have people live longer; not to die at the same age.

Of course, there are physicians out there with anecdotal evidence of catching life-threatening prostate cancer in early stages during a routine DRE or PSA, and will therefore insist they are great tests, just like the pelvic exam.

What shouldn't be forgotten is all of the men who now wear a diaper, can't get an erection, or can't sleep from high anxiety.

So why even have the test available? Possibly if the patient has a positive family history. It seems to increase the patient's risk two or three times above the standard rate of incidence, according to Whittemore et al.

Thus, instead of one out of 1,000, it is 2.5 out of 1,000. At that point, it might be worth at least a conversation. It is also decent to trend the success of prostate cancer treatment. However, as a screening tool it's like swimming with a shark: rarely will it kill you, but it will likely to leave you mentally or physically scarred, feeling vulnerable, and with high anxiety.

German-made 'miracle' machine turns water into gasoline

Gasoline machine

© Still from Ruptly video

There is as yet no method to mimic Jesus Christ and turn water into wine, but German chemical engineers have proved they can perform miracles of alchemy. They are now finalizing the assembly of a rig that changes water into gasoline.

The German company says it has developed an engineering installation capable of synthesizing petroleum-based fuels from water and carbon dioxide. The 'power-to-liquid' rig converts gases extracted from water into liquid hydrocarbon fuels.

"I would call it a miracle because it completely changes the way we are producing fuels for cars, planes and also the chemical industry," Nils Aldag, Chief Financial Officer and co-founder of Sunfire GmbH told RT's Ruptly video agency.

The Dresden-based company expects the technology to have a big impact on the future fuel market.

The electrically-powered installation uses a process known as Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis, first developed by German chemists Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch in 1925.

The Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) reaction converts colorless, odorless, incombustible carbon dioxide gas (CO2) extracted from water, and hydrogen gas generated from water vapor, by electrolysis into liquid fuels such as diesel, jet kerosene and other chemical products.

[embedded content]

The conversion process takes place in a series of reactors at temperatures between 150 and 300 degrees Celsius.

However, the F-T fuel technology "will always be more expensive" than getting conventional liquid hydrocarbon fuels from oil or coal, Aldag warned.

"What is important is that the value creation happens at the place where you use the fuel," he said. So there will be no crude oil transportation costs and expensive infrastructure. "You are producing the fuel right where you are actually going to use it," Aldag stressed.

One might think that much cheaper conventional fuels will always be a sure bet, but this depends on the given conditions. The Pentagon has already been working in this direction.

The US military has spent up to $150 per gallon on alternative jet fuels made from algae, which is a good bit more than the approximately $3 per gallon that traditional jet fuels currently cost in the US.

Although $150 seems a lot for a gallon of gas, the US has spent a fortune on fuel during its 13-year campaign in Afghanistan. The military themselves estimate that the cost of delivering fuel to remote bases is $400 a gallon.

Sunfire believes the technology will be refined, and after obtaining regulatory permission they hope to offer it for commercial exploitation by 2016.

While Nils Aldag considers the technology has a bright future, the will to use it needs to gain momentum.

"I think in a very long time it will actually have an impact on geopolitics. What you always have to know is that the quantities that are required in these industries are so big that it would be difficult for such a technology to make a significant impact in a short period of time," said Aldag.

The "Potsdam gravity potato" shows variations in Earth's gravity

Earth’s gravity field_2


The Earth’s gravitational model (aka the “Potsdam Potato”) is based on data from the LAGEOS, GRACE, and GOCE satellites and surface data.

People tend to think of gravity here on Earth as a uniform and consistent thing. Stand anywhere on the globe, at any time of year, and you'll feel the same downward pull of a single G. But in fact, Earth's gravitational field is subject to variations that occur over time. This is due to a combination of factors, such as the uneven distributions of mass in the oceans, continents, and deep interior, as well as climate-related variables like the water balance of continents, and the melting or growing of glaciers.

And now, for the first time ever, these variations have been captured in the image known as the "Potsdam Gravity Potato" - a visualization of the Earth's gravity field model produced by the German Research Center for Geophysics' (GFZ) Helmholtz's Center in Potsdam, Germany.

And as you can see from the image above, it bears a striking resemblance to a potato. But what is more striking is the fact that through these models, the Earth's gravitational field is depicted not as a solid body, but as a dynamic surface that varies over time.This new gravity field model (which is designated EIGEN-6C) was made using measurements obtained from the LAGEOS, GRACE, and GOCE satellites, as well as ground-based gravity measurements and data from the satellite altimetry.

Compared to the previous model obtained in 2005 (shown above), EIGEN-6C has a fourfold increase in spatial resolution.

Earth’s gravity field_1


The 2005 model, which was based on data from the CHAMP and GRACE satellites and surface data, was less refined than the latest one.

"Of particular importance is the inclusion of measurements from the satellite GOCE, from which the GFZ did its own calculation of the gravitational field," says Dr. Christoph Foerste who directs the gravity field work group at GFZ along with Dr. Frank Flechtner.

The ESA mission GOCE (Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer) was launched in mid-March 2009 and has since been measuring the Earth's gravitational field using satellite gradiometry - the study and measurement of variations in the acceleration due to gravity.

"This allows the measurement of gravity in inaccessible regions with unprecedented accuracy, for example in Central Africa and the Himalayas," said Dr. Flechtner. In addition, the GOCE satellites offers advantages when it comes to measuring the oceans.

Within the many open spaces that lie under the sea, the Earth's gravity field shows variations. GOCE is able to better map these, as well as deviations in the ocean's surface - a factor known as "dynamic ocean topography" - which is a result of Earth's gravity affecting the ocean's surface equilibrium.

Earth’s gravity field


Twin-satellites GRACE with the earth’s gravity field (vertically enhanced) calculated from CHAMP data.

Long-term measurement data from the GFZ's twin-satellite mission GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) were also included in the model. By monitoring climate-based variables like the melting of large glaciers in the polar regions and the amount of seasonal water stored in large river systems, GRACE was able to determine the influence of large-scale temporal changes on the gravitational field.

Given the temporal nature of climate-related processes - not to mention the role played by Climate Change - ongoing missions are needed to see how they effect our planet long-term. Especially since the GRACE mission is scheduled to end in 2015.

In total, some 800 million observations went into the computation of the final model which is composed of more than 75,000 parameters representing the global gravitational field. The GOCE satellite alone made 27,000 orbits during its period of service (between March 2009 and November 2013) in order to collect data on the variations in the Earth's gravitational field.

The final result achieved centimeter accuracy, and can serve as a global reference for sea levels and heights. Beyond the "gravity community," the research has also piqued the interest of researchers in aerospace engineering, atmospheric sciences, and space debris.

But above all else, it offers scientists a way of imaging the world that is different from, but still complimentary to, approaches based on light, magnetism, and seismic waves. And it could be used for everything from determining the speed of ocean currents from space, monitoring rising sea levels and melting ice sheets, to uncovering hidden features of continental geology and even peeking at the convection force driving plate tectonics.

Further Reading: GFZ

Rap News: The New World Order

[embedded content]

The New World Order: They control the world's governments; THEY rule over all of us from the top of the pyramid. And WE are the victims. Right? Today we blow open the truth about the NWO in order to shed light on this widespread conspiracy which has frequently been invoked to explain the state of our world. Join intrepid host Robert Foster as he takes control of the lever of critical inquiry, alongside special guests Russell Brand, conspiracy guru Terrence Moonseed, and NWO representative William De Berg, in order to ask: who is the New World Order? And how can we stop it?

Swiss Gold Referendum Fails: 78% Vote Against "Protecting The Country's Wealth"

© Unknown

A ballot box is emptied at a voting center in Zurich today.

Whether as a result of an unprecedented scare campaign by the Swiss National Bank (most recently reinforced by Citigroup), or due to confidence that Swiss gold is as safe abroad as it is at home, or simply due to good old-fashioned "hanging chads", today's most awaited event has come and gone and the result - according to early projections by Swiss television SRF -is that the Swiss population overwhelmingly rejected a referendum to force the Swiss National Bank to hold some 20% of its reserves in gold in a landslide vote, with about 78% voting against what AP politely termed "protecting the country's wealth by investing in gold."

As reports, the proposal stipulating the Swiss National Bank hold at least 20 percent of its 520-billion-franc ($540 billion) balance sheet in gold was voted down by 78 percent to 22 percent, according to projections by Swiss television SRF as of 1:00 p.m. local time. The initiative "Save Our Swiss Gold" also would have prohibited the SNB from ever selling any of its bullion and required the 30 percent currently stored in Canada and the U.K. to be repatriated.

A map showing the breakdown of the Swiss vote by canton: none of the 23 Swiss regions had a majority vote for the gold initiative.

That said the decision will likely not come as a surprise because while early polls gave the yes camp a surprising lead, subsequently polling showed a marked shift in public opinion, and forecast the initiative's rejection.

The biggest winner, of course, is the Swiss central bank: SNB policy makers warned repeatedly that the measure would have made it harder to keep prices stable and shield the central bank's cap on the franc of 1.20 per euro. That minimum exchange rate was set three years ago, with the SNB pledging to buy foreign currency in unlimited amounts to defend it.

"The SNB can feel confirmed in its policy," said Martin Gueth, economist at LBBW in Stuttgart. "By rejecting the gold measure, voters have come out in favor of its current stance."

Referendums are a key feature of Switzerland's system of direct democracy, and are held nationally and at a municipal level several times a year. The gold initiative was launched by a handful of members of the European Union-skeptic Swiss People's Party. Uneasy about the more than 100 billion euros the SNB holds, they contend their initiative will strengthen -- not weaken -- the central bank's credibility.

However, SNB President Jordan labeled the initiative "dangerous" and his fellow board member Fritz Zurbruegg said accepting the measure meant the room for maneuver "on currency reserves would be dramatically restricted, with negative consequences for the Swiss economy."

The central bank, based in Bern and Zurich, would have faced a three-year deadline for repatriating its bullion from abroad and five to meet the 20 percent benchmark. With the European Central Bank poised to enact more stimulus to boost feeble growth and inflation, economists surveyed by in a poll published on Nov. 19 had expected the SNB to maintain its ceiling on the franc into 2017.

The question now is what will happen to the Swiss Franc, which recently rose to a 26-month high against the euro. For many the concern that a successful gold referendum served as a catalyst to avoid going all in the CHF, as gold purchases would have weakened the currency. "If the euro crisis doesn't get worse, then the minimum exchange rate will be defendable, said David Marmet, an economist at Zuercher Kantonalbank. Had the initiative been accepted, ''instruments such as negative rates that don't widen the balance sheet" would have been an option, he said.

With the referendum out of the way, the CHF may paradoxically find itself with a situation in which the inflows in the CHF force it to double down on defending the cap: economists have questioned whether the SNB will now find itself having to reinforce its cap with a negative interest rate on the cash-like deposits commercial banks keep with the central bank, making good on its threat to take further steps "immediately" if necessary.

And then there is the question of what happens to the tension in the gold swap market: as noted last week, the 1 Month GOFO rate had tumbled to the most negative in over a decade. It was not clear if this collateral gold squeeze was the result of Swiss referendum overhang or due to other reasons. The market's reaction on Monday should answer those questions.

Ebola: Fear, lies and the evidence (VIDEO)

Ebola - not stopping.

Just about everything we've been told about Ebola since the beginning of the outbreak in west Africa, is wrong. The means of transmission, the incubation period, its persistence on surfaces, available treatment methods have all been systematically misrepresented. That's an extreme claim, and extreme claims must bear the burden proof, so let's take a look at the evidence.

[embedded content]

In Air Transmission of Ebola

The corporate media, the CDC and other "authorities" have repeatedly insisted that Ebola can only be contracted by direct contact with an infected person or their bodily fluids and that it does not and cannot not spread through the air.

This is false, and the U.S. government has known that it's false for quite some time now.

This 1995 study conducted by the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRID), entitled "Lethal experimental infections of rhesus monkeys by aerosolized Ebola virus" clearly warned of Ebola's ability to spread through the air.

The abstract concluded by saying:

Demonstration of fatal aerosol transmission of this virus in monkeys reinforces the importance of taking appropriate precautions to prevent its potential aerosol transmission to humans.

(Cached version here)

In 2010 a study entitled "The survival of filoviruses in liquids, on solid substrates and in a dynamic aerosol" was conducted by the British government's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Full doc here). The study found that Ebola Zaire can be viable at infectious levels in aerosols for at least an hour and half at temperatures just above freezing. They also discovered that in that same temperature range, Ebola could persist on glass and plastic surfaces for over three weeks and on glass surfaces for at least 50 days. Previous research conducted at FSU had established that Ebola could live on surfaces for at least 6 days.

The fact that temperature plays such a key role in the durability of the virus could have significant implications for containment in colder climates.

Also see this study conducted in 2004 by USAMRID entitled "Marburg and Ebola viruses as aerosol threats." Download the full document here.

Another study conducted in 2012 showed that Ebola was able to travel between pigs and monkeys that were in separate cages and were never placed in direct contact.

One of the scientists involved, Dr. Gary Kobinger, from the National Microbiology Laboratory at the Public Health Agency of Canada, told BBC News that he believed that the infection was spread through large droplets that were suspended in the air.

"What we suspect is happening is large droplets; they can stay in the air, but not long; they don't go far," he explained. "But they can be absorbed in the airway, and this is how the infection starts, and this is what we think, because we saw a lot of evidence in the lungs of the non-human primates that the virus got in that way."

Here is the original Canadian study that the BBC was referencing.

The website of the Public Health Agency of Canada made a statement dating back to at least October 28th 2011 which also confirmed that Ebola was capable of spreading through the air. The page stated that "1 - 10 aerosolized organisms are sufficient to cause infection in humans". They also stated that "In the laboratory, infection through small-particle aerosols has been demonstrated in primates, and airborne spread among humans is strongly suspected". (Secondary cached version here)

The Canadian government stood by that statement for three years, but for reason they changed the page sometime between August 22nd and August 27th of 2014 and they remove the references to airborne spread among humans. Fortunately Archive.org has multiple cached versions of the page.

We also have this article from CIDRAP (The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy) which states the following:

We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not face masks.

Interestingly Ebola's ability to spread through the air has also attracted the interest of the U.S. military. This article from the Army Times confirms this.

Filoviruses like Ebola have been of interest to the Pentagon since the late 1970s, mainly because Ebola and its fellow viruses have high mortality rates - in the current outbreak, roughly 60 percent to 72 percent of those who have contracted the disease have died - and its stable nature in aerosol make it attractive as a potential biological weapon.

That statement is interesting on a number of levels.

Now when a virus can be transmitted via aerosols what this means is that it can spread through coughing and sneezing.

Virus researcher Charles L. Bailey, who supervised the government's response to an outbreak of Ebola Reston in 1989, recently made the following statement to the L.A. Times :

"We know for a fact that the virus occurs in sputum and no one has ever done a study disproving that coughing or sneezing is a viable means of transmitting." Unqualified assurances that Ebola is not spread through the air, Bailey said, are "misleading."

About 3,000 aerosol droplets are expelled in a single cough. These droplets fly out of the mouth at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. A single sneeze can expel up to 40,000 droplets. The vast majority of the droplets are less than 100 microns across (that's the width of a human hair). Many are so tiny that they can't be seen with the naked eye. Droplets which are five microns or less across can stay airborne almost indefinitely as they are lifted up and dispersed by airflow. When a person is sick, the droplets in a single cough may contain as many as two hundred million individual virus particles.

Now remember, in the original version of their page on Ebola the Public Health Agency of Canada stated that "1 - 10 aerosolized organisms are sufficient to cause infection in humans."

You'll hear people downplay this risk by referring to the fact that the current strains of Ebola don't actually cause coughing or sneezing. True, but does Ebola make people immune to the common cold, the flu or seasonal allergies? It doesn't matter what triggers the cough or the sneeze. Even a smoker's cough would be sufficient to project infected aerosols.

Now I've reported on the fact that Ebola spreads through the air since the very beginning of the outbreak in Guinea. The reason I knew to search for the evidence that we referred to was because in high school I read the "The Hot Zone", and that book documented at least two cases where in air transmission was suspected. You'll find these references on pages 91 and 316 (or on the Kindle version at locations 1091 & 3355).

In middle October of 2014 the CDC finally put out a document admitting that Ebola could travel through the air in droplets, and that it could last for several hours on surfaces (of course admitting Ebola can actually be viable for over a month on surfaces would scare people, so the truth is out of the question). At this point they claimed that these droplets could only travel three feet, but this three foot limitation is completely fabricated. This document was originally at this url, but since then they replaced the pdf.

A study conducted by MIT in early 2014 found that aerosolized droplets from coughs or sneezes can travel 200 times farther than scientist previously believed (scientists previously believed that the limit was 6 feet). So that's 1200 feet! The MIT study demonstrated that the smallest droplets can easily span the entirety of a room, and travel through ceiling ventilation units.

The CDC's latest claims that Ebola can only spread three feet through the air on the other hand are not based on any study. In fact if you look at the CDC's own website describing how the flu is transmitted they clearly state that it is spread through droplets as well, but on that page they say that 6 feet is the limit. Furthermore, this half-baked backpedaling comes after seven months of telling the public that the disease could not travel through the air at all.

(The CDC later took down the document claiming that the droplets could only spread 3 feet and replaced it with one that said it could spread 6 feet (original document location here). They also admitted that Ebola could be spread by sneezing).

People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

This is serious. There are people who are dead because they made the mistake of taking the CDC at their word.

As of October 16th, 2014 427 Ebola aid workers had been infected By October 22nd, just six days later that number had risen to 443. These are people who are following the official protocol. They are wearing goggles and face masks, and are covered from head to foot with plastic.

The first Ebola transmission in the U.S. was to a nurse who was wearing full protective gear as well.

Oh they'll come up with excuses, they'll talk about mishaps and breaches of protocol, but the real answer should be obvious: their protocol is wrong.

How Contagious is Ebola?

When confronted with this evidence, you'll find some people will respond by asking "If Ebola is really so contagious then why hasn't everyone who spent time with infected individuals gotten sick?"

Have you ever had one person in your house come down with the flu without spreading it to everyone else? Of course you have, and your entire household wasn't dressed up in full protective gear were they?

This is actually a fair comparison.

Scientists have measurement that they use to describe how contagious a pathogen is. It's called the R0 or R-Naught number. The R-Naught for the flu is 1.3 on average. The R-Naught for this current Ebola outbreak has been estimated to stand at around 1.7 (though some estimates put the number high as 2).

The R-Naught number represents the average number of people one sick individual will infect. These numbers can and do fluctuate over time with environmental conditions, viral mutations, and public health response.

The reality of the matter is that even with Ebola the strength of your immune system is a variable, your personal hygiene and sanitation are variables, your age is a variable, even your genetic makeup plays a role.

In that context keep in mind that Ebola's R-Naught number is where it is in spite of an extreme effort to contain it. This containment involves preventing Ebola patients from mingling with the general population as they do with the flu. Without these containment measures the R-Naught for Ebola would be much higher.

Now you'll hear some people downplay the danger posed by this Ebola outbreak by comparing the death toll in its early stages to other more established diseases like the flu. This is broken logic.

Ebola's mortality rate as a percentage of total infections is many hundreds of times higher than the flu (we'll show you how much higher later in this presentation). The only reason the flu has killed more people than Ebola (so far) is because the flu is already endemic. The flu is firmly established all over the globe, while Ebola has historically been limited to tiny regional outbreaks that burn themselves out in a matter of weeks or months.

This outbreak in west Africa has broken that precedent. It's not burning itself out like a grass fire and containment methods that worked before are no longer working. Why?

Though increased population density and modern transportation are certainly major factors, we now know that there is another significant variable which is contributing to the level of contagion (but almost no one is talking about it).

The Mutation

If you read news reports about this outbreak carefully you will often see people referring to the virus as Ebola Zaire. This is false, and they've known that it's false for some time now. This is a new strain and it is more dangerous than Ebola Zaire.

In our previous video on the topic entitled "Ebola What You're Not Being Told" we reported on the fact that Ebola Zaire had mutated, but at the time it was uncertain whether this mutation was contributing to the unprecedented speed at which the disease was spreading. However now we have new information.

Peter Jahrling, chief scientist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently told reporters that he sees evidence that the new strain has mutated in such a way that enables it to spread more easily.

"viral loads are coming up very quickly and really high, higher than they are used to seeing."

What this means is that this new strain of Ebola replicates faster than previous strains. This makes it more contagious for two reasons: because fluids, and droplets from the patient contain more virus, and because the viral load most likely gets high enough to be contagious slightly sooner. (It's worth noting that Peter Jahrling was one of the scientists who worked on USAMRID's 1995 study on aerosolized Ebola virus.)

And this new strain is continuing to mutate. A recent study found that new variants are rapidly appearing (more than 300 mutations had occurred by August 28, 2014) and overall Ebola is mutating almost as fast as the seasonal flu. Scientists agree that this will eventually lead to a meaningful adaptation, however Peter Jahrling's statements indicate that already has.

the rate of nonsynonymous mutations suggests that continued progression of this epidemic could afford an opportunity for viral adaptation (Fig. 4H), underscoring the need for rapid containment.

This also means that Ebola vaccines are currently being developed may offer no long term protection at all (but that doesn't mean that pharmaceutical companies won't push them).

Apparently there was a new mutation in June that is spreading even faster.

The Screening Protocols Are Broken

Since the very beginning of this outbreak we've been told that Ebola has an incubation period of 21 days and that those who are infected are never contagious until they present certain symptoms specifically a high fever. We now know that both of these assumptions are false.

It turns out that the incubation period for Ebola isn't always 21 days. According to the WHO, 5% of those infected fall outside of this. As of October 14th they now claim that 95% show symptoms within 21 days, and 98% show symptoms within 42 days.

But what about the other two percent? That isn't clear from their article, however it might have something to do with the fact that some individuals can carry Ebola without showing any symptoms. This was reported on in 2000 by the New York Times.

The Risk of a Global Pandemic

"Either we stop Ebola now, or we face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we do not have a plan."

- Tony Banbury (Head of U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response)

For the majority of this outbreak Ebola's spread has been exponential with the number of cases doubling approximately every 24 days. These numbers fluctuate, and this leads to some confusion. This is partly due to bad reporting. It is estimated that the actual number of infections is 2.5 times higher than the number of confirmed cases, and some witnesses claim that local health officials are deliberately downplaying the number of cases.

As a result depending on which source you refer to, and when, you may alternately come away with the impression that the worst is behind us and the situation is normalizing or that the crisis is just getting started and that there is a real risk that the disease will not only become a global pandemic, but will also become endemic.

For example in late October of 2014 the world breathed a sigh of relief following an announcement made by the WHO that the number of cases in Liberia seemed to be slowing. This news was enough to overshadow reports indicating that the situation in Sierra Leone was deteriorating, the number of new cases in Guinea had begun to accelerate, and by mid November Mali was experiencing a new flare up of cases as well. (Also see this cached article that ABC news since took down.)

It's also important to note that this reported slow down in came right after the WHO significantly altered their calculation method to only include data from each of the countries' situation reports.

But even with this questionable accounting, by November 14th, the rate of new infections in Liberia was already on the rise in Liberia (this according to a report by the U.N.) So why did the U.S. government announce that it was going to begin to shut down Ebola clinics in Liberia just 5 days later?

To put this into context, in August of 2014, when the death toll stood at 826, some scientist claimed that the outbreak was already starting to lose momentum. This optimism was obviously premature.

The operative term here is endemic. Will Ebola become established in enough places to put its complete eradication or even containment out of reach? That's what's really at stake here.

Though many media pundits will hype up each case that lands in a first world country and squeeze every last bit of sensational reporting out of them, the real danger isn't likely to come from a few infected travelers from Africa that slip into the United States or Europe. In first world countries when infections are happening one or two at a time, the level attention placed on each case is so high, that containment is probable, even when you do have epic failures like we saw in Dallas.

However, the longer the epidemic in West Africa continues the more likely it becomes that it will spread to developing countries, countries in Africa, Asia or Latin America. Consider for example what would happen if Ebola reached a crowded slum in India, or one of the densely populated ghettos of Mexico City (I'm not the only one concerned about this possibility, see this New York Times article and this one).

Note: this has come close to happening already.

It should be obvious that in countries that are already struggling with basic healthcare and sanitation issues, Ebola would easily get a foothold and begin to spread. This would force the already insufficient aid effort to divide itself geographically and containment would rapidly become impossible.

IMPORTANT: The following section is NOT a reflection of my political stance on immigration. If you review the content we've put out up to this point you will find that we do not harp on illegal immigration or "securing the border" at all.

Now anybody care to guess what will happen if Ebola becomes firmly established in Latin America?

Well, that constant flow of migrants across the southern border of the U.S. would suddenly become more than a political football.

Illegal immigrants don't enter through official channels, they don't pass through airport screening. Most either cross the border on foot, or are smuggled in with by men referred to as coyotes.The journey involves long stretches where dozens of people are tightly packed into trucks or vans and when they arrive they usually end up sharing small overcrowded living spaces with other workers.

Illegal immigrants do their very best to avoid attracting the attention of authorities. Aid workers attempting to identify and isolate the infected would have to contend with both language barriers and patients who are afraid of getting caught.

The same principle applies to for any countries which have heavy flows of undocumented workers from poor countries (Spain for example).

The first clusters would begin in the poorest neighborhoods and would spread out from there. Outbreaks would arrive in waves, and before it was even clear what had happened, the U.S. would have a full blown epidemic on its hands. As you can imagine this would awaken latent xenophobia and racism a massive scale. However this fear and anger would be misdirected. Targeting immigrants wouldn't do any good at all. If this virus is going to be stopped it must be stopped in Africa, now.

The people of Africa need to know how this disease spreads. Show them the evidence.

We are NOT Ready

Those who think that the U.S. or Europe could brush off thousands of simultaneous Ebola cases are wrong The facility in Nebraska is the largest, and it can only handle 10 patients at a time, and even this would strain their resources. The current system simply is not ready for something like this.

There are only 4 hospitals in the U.S. with full isolation units capable of properly containing pathogens which can spread through the air. These facilities are located in Missoula, Montana; Bethesda, Maryland; Atlanta, Georgia; and Omaha, Nebraska. The facility in Nebraska is the largest, and it can only handle 10 patients at a time, and even this would strain their resources. The current system simply is not ready for something like this.

The danger here goes beyond the disease itself. People would to start panic long before Ebola reaches their city. Stock markets would also panic, economies would destabilize, and constitutions and civil liberties would be suspended as governments scramble to contain the epidemic (we know this based on what we've seen in affected countries so far).

In fact people will be literally begging the government to take away their freedoms. The calls for a complete, militarized border lock down, and travel bans would reach a fever pitch, however those calling for these measures would be caught off guard by what they get.

In the context of the economic fallout that would accompany a true outbreak, countries like the United States which are already sitting on powder kegs of internal division, inequality and discontent would almost certainly see widespread social unrest. If you think that this will all be handled in an orderly fashion you might want to take a look at what happened during hurricane Katrina.

Ebola Treatments

We've been told that there are no readily available treatments for Ebola, and that our best hope lies in the development of new vaccines which are in the works. Fortunately this too is false.

In September of 2014 a doctor in rural Liberia used an HIV anti-viral called Lamivudine to successfully treat Ebola patients. Apparently 13 out of 15 of those he treated survived. The two patients who died received the medication very late into the illness. This suggest that if administered early on Lamivudine may offer a higher survival rate.

You would think that once this information went public they would be shipping this stuff into Africa by the truckload, but for some reason that's not happening. In fact no one is even talking about this drug as an option. Why not?

There are other treatments that also show promise but they aren't being talked about either. One of them is colloidal silver.

A study entitled "Interaction of silver nanoparticles with Tacaribe virus" which was conducted by researchers at the Applied Biotechnology Branch of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base demonstrated that silver nanoparticles are not only antibacterial, but they are also antiviral. It inhibits virus replication within cells. The study specifically mentions the fact that the virus they tested with has a similar replication cycle to other important viruses, such as filoviruses. Ebola is a filovirus.

Now two of the doctors who worked on this study, Janice Speshock and Saber Hussain, produced a document entitled "Nanotechnology-based Antiviral Agents Silver nanoparticle neutralization of hemorrhagic fever viruses" which was released by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The document indicates that nanosilver (also known as colloidal silver) was tested on Ebola virus-like particles and was found to have the same effect as was demonstrated in the first study. This document is no longer available on any government server that we can find, but it can be downloaded from a number of other locations, including here.

Additional studies have confirmed the antiviral properties of colloidal silver against Hepatitis B, Monkey Pox, Herpes, and even HIV (also see this study)

Now obviously we have no guarantees, but if colloidal silver slows down Ebola's replication cycle even slightly this could help improve the survival rate, and colloidal silver, unlike proprietary pharmaceuticals, can be purchased in your local health food store, ordered online, or you can even manufacture it yourself. It's an option that doesn't place you at the mercy of health officials, or a drug supply chain


Given that this current strain of Ebola kills approximately 70% of those infected, and finishes off its victims in a rather gruesome fashion, the fear factor in this crisis is considerable, and for those living in affected regions, the danger cannot be ignored. However fear is a danger in and of itself, especially when it grips the mind of the crowd.

Remember fear shuts down the logical and rational parts of our brains. You haven't seen stupid, till you've seen stupid meets scared.

If you are facing real danger you need to have your head on straight to take action, if you are being lied to you need to be thinking clearly to sort it out, but if you're scared stupid that's not going to happen.

We cannot afford to succumb to fear ESPECIALLY in a time of crisis.

So be wary of anyone who tells you that you should be afraid (regardless of what you are being told to fear) especially when commercial interests are involved. And be on the look out for the redirection tactic. If someone tells you that you shouldn't be afraid of topic A, but that you should be afraid of topic B instead, and therefore should take some action that they recommend (often involving a product or service of some kind), that's emotional manipulation.

Let's look at an example. Lately it has become quite common to hear media pundits hype up the threat posed by seasonal flu. You'll even hear them say that it is more dangerous than Ebola.

If you watched Shep Smith's video on the topic (which went viral in some circles) he pointed out that 52,000 Americans died from the flu last year, so obviously you should get a flu shot to protect yourself.

Ooh, 52,000, that's a really big number! Scary stuff... at least for people who are incapable of performing basic math.

You see, according to the U.S. government between 5% and 20% of U.S. residents get the seasonal flu each year. With a total population of 319 million this translates into somewhere between 15.9 and 63 million people infected on a yearly basis. The CDC estimates that between 1976 and 2007, yearly flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000. On average around 90% of those who died were adults 65 and older.

So if you have an unusually cold winter one year and 52,000 people die out of a total of 63 million infected, what is the kill rate? Do the math and what you get is 0.082%, and remember 90% these deaths are people over the age of 65. If you were to run the numbers based on how many people under 65 the flu kills each year, the number would be 0.008%. So, if you are under the age of 65, and you get the flu you have a 0.008% chance of dying. This is before even factoring in variables like your general health. It's categorizing smokers and heroin addicts in with people who take care of themselves, so the real number for you is probably much lower.

Oh and the vaccines these people are telling you to get to protect yourself from this dire threat... it turns out they don't work very well. Flu vaccines are believed to have an efficacy of about 59% for adults under the age of 65 when the strains in the vaccine and those in circulation are well matched, but because the virus mutates constantly, the strains are often not well matched, so the real number is lower. Furthermore, these same vaccines are only 9% effective for people over 65 (and remember 90% of those killed by the flu are over 65). If all that wasn't enough, a study by the University of Michigan demonstrated that getting a flu shot two years in a row actually lowers your protection.

And all of this is before even taking into consideration the potential side effects. I challenge you to go to your local pharmacy and ask them for a copy of the ingredients list for the flu vaccine. Then take that list home and look up each of the chemicals and their respective properties.

If you can be scared into getting a vaccine that doesn't even work in an attempt to avoid a mild sickness like flu which kills very small percentage of those that it infects (as 40% of U.S. residents apparently are each year), then quite frankly, you'll fall for anything.

I really sincerely don't say that to insult you. I say that as a warning. Intellectual laziness is dangerous, and the stakes are about to get much, much higher.

Plan B

The so called "main stream media", the CDC and rest of the U.S. Government, have proven time and time again that they cannot be trusted. (This doesn't just apply to the topic of Ebola. Look at what they've been up to in Ukraine and Syria.)

Some believe that this is merely the result of mass synchronized incompetence, the failings of a crumbling bureaucratic empire that is leaking money, geopolitical influence, and legitimacy. Others believe that malfeasance is involved, or a combination of the two.

The topics that that question opens up are a source of a great deal of controversy, and we do not have time to address them properly here (follow us on our various outlets if you want to hear the rest). In the real world it may not end up mattering at all. At this point mother nature is rolling her dice with every replication cycle of the virus, and no one can predict where those dice are going to land, no one, and they certainly can't control it. (The governments of the world are way out of their league here.)

Now, the vast majority of humanity doesn't want to see Ebola become endemic in multiple regions. But will they take intelligent action (and on time), or will they put their faith and their lives in the hands of these bumbling bureaucrats? Like it or not there's a good chance that that decision will affect you and your family.

It's generally a good idea to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. This means having a plan B, and maybe even a plan C.

Until Ebola has several clusters in one or more developing countries outside of west Africa we should stick to plan A. Plan A is to get the truth about the means of transmission, incubation time, persistence on surfaces and alternative treatment options out to as much of the public as possible, especially to those in countries that are already fighting the disease.

Put pressure on these people and force them to tell the truth. You succeeded in doing this with the topic of in air transmission.

Plan B is your family and community's isolation and containment plan. If Ebola gets established in your area and public health officials continue to spread false information, then it will be in your interest to take your safety into your own hands. However in order to succeed, some precautionary steps should be taken before a crisis seems imminent. Rethinking your location is one of these steps.

You do not want to find yourself in the middle of a densely populated city surrounded by panicked crowds who expect the government to ride in and save the day. If you have the means to do so, it would be wise to consider relocating to a rural area.

Living in a rural area provides a buffer between you and the epicenter of the crisis. It also opens up food and water sources which are not dependent on the system. This principle doesn't just apply to Ebola. Given the level of instability we are seeing around the world right now, transitioning into a rural lifestyle is good idea no matter how you cut it.

If getting out of the city isn't an option for you, then at the very least you need to make sure that you have enough food and water stored up to self isolate for long periods of time. This is a good idea regardless of whether this crisis escalates or not. Having a back up supply of food and water for emergencies is just wise.

Now taking a step back, perhaps an even more important question (a question that many are hesitant to ask) is whether you would want to ride out a crisis like this with the government you are currently living under. If not then you need to have the means to leave, and that means that at the very minimum, you need a passport. You also need to know what you would carry with you if you had to leave on short notice. You need to have those items ready, and have the luggage to carry them.

If you have been planning to leave your country, don't put it off . Getting established in a new culture, and learning a new language is difficult and stressful. It takes a long time to get your bearings. Though this crisis will likely take many months to escalate you would don't want to put off international travel till the last minute.

Now getting established in a foreign country is also very expensive if you travel like a tourist, staying in hotels and renting cars. For many people this places such a drastic move out of reach. There is however a way to get a foothold in a new country with minimal cost. There is a work exchange program called World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (or WWOOF) which enables you to spend months working in rural areas all over the world with room and board covered.

This is interesting on a number of levels. It gets you out of the city, it gets you instantly immersed in the language and culture, and it gives you the chance to learn farming and construction skills. This option is especially well adapted for young people.

Now no matter which location you choose, it is going to be in your interest to have those around you understand what is happening. The more people who know that Ebola can travel through the air, can persist for long periods of time on surfaces, can have an incubation period that last up to 42 days, and be spread by people who don't have a fever, and the more doses of alternative antivirals available, the better your community's chance of containment will be.

Containment only works when the protocols are based on accurate information. If health authorities continue to spread false information and defend their faulty protocol then it's up to you to set the record straight.

You have permission to download this video, translate it and redistribute it in any format commercial or noncommercial under the condition that the content is not shortened, altered or added to in any way (translation is the only alteration that we are ok with).

Closing Statement

  1. We are fully aware that we are completely out of sync with the mainstream news cycle by releasing this video right now (at the end of November 2014). You may be inclined to believe that we are arriving late to the party (some seem to be of the impression that what is happening in Africa is less important than the few cases that have arrived in first world countries so far), but the evidence we have assembled indicates that we are actually early (I hope we are wrong).

  2. I personally am not at all comfortable with the information I am presenting here. During the entire process I have struggled with two contradictory fears: a. the fear of making an error (hence the ultra long research period) and b. the fear of being right. In the end I would have probably refrained from diving into this topic right now if it weren't for the fact that getting this information out could help those in affected regions. As such I feel compelled to speak out on this even if it is not well received at first. This is also why when the main news cycle was focused on the isolated cases in Dallas and in New York we instead made a video on the topic of fear. It seemed clear to me at that time that the primary lesson exposed by the first round of this crisis was the public's propensity to panic.

  3. We poke fun at a large number of people in this video. Some will be insulted, but this really isn't our intention. Though the broken logic being mocked is real, the main purpose for the mockery is to lighten the psychological effect of the information we are presenting. If you observe closely you'll notice that I poke fun at myself as well.

  4. There was a great deal of information that we could not fit into this video. At one point the total length was approaching an hour, but some of the topics that we touched upon in these early versions really needed a much more in-depth treatment. We decided that it was better to trim it down to 33 minutes and save the other issues for future videos (follow us on our various social media outlets to be kept up to date). We did however embed numerous subtle references to those topics in the animations. You will need to watch the video several times and press pause at various points to catch everything.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at http://fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.