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Friday, 13 February 2015

BEST OF THE WEB: NATO: Atlantic bridge is falling down... we can only hope

Washington created something called NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949 to weld Western Europe firmly to the future foreign policies of Washington, however destructive that might prove to the genuine interests of Germany, France, Italy and the other nations of Europe. In 1986 the twelve nations of the then-European Economic Community modified the 1957 Treaty of Rome and signed the Single European Act. That mandated the creation of a single EEC market by end of 1992, and set forth rules for European Political Cooperation, the forerunner of the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Then on November 9, 1989, an event of historic dimension intervened to disrupt the EEC strategy for a single market. Gorbachev's USSR surrendered the German Democratic Republic to the West. The Cold War was de facto over. Germany would be reunited. The West had apparently won. Most Europeans were jubilant. Many believed the decades of living on the brink of possible nuclear war were over. The emerging Europe seemed proud, confident of the future. NATO was an entity created by Washington, in the words of its first General Secretary, Lord Ismay, to "keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down."

European Defense Pillar or US NATO?

The Maastricht Treaty, a document with fatal flaws, was introduced at a meeting of the EEC in December 1991. A shocked Helmut Kohl was told by France's Mitterrand and Britain's Margaret Thatcher that Germany must agree to creation of a single currency to control the Bundesbank. That became today's Euro and an independent supranational European Central Bank. It was blackmail as precondition for their accepting German unification. The Germans swallowed hard and signed.

What was little discussed at the time was that the Maastricht Treaty also included a section mandating establishment for the first time of a Common Foreign and Security Policy. The twelve nations signed the treaty and intense discussions were underway of establishing a European defense pillar independent of NATO. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the raison d'être for NATO was gone. The Warsaw Pact had dissolved. Washington had assured Gorbachev that NATO would never extend to the east.

Bush Destroys EU Defense Pillar

US President George H.W. Bush was a man who left a blood-soaked legacy, from his early years in Washington that likely included playing a key role as CIA agent in Dallas Texas in November 22, 1963 in the assassination of JFK. He went on to head the CIA in the 1970's and to lure Saddam Hussein to occupy Kuwait in 1990 to provide the excuse for a bloody war Operation Desert Storm against Iraq.

As President, Bush also set in motion the events that would result in the destruction of Yugoslavia beginning the 1990's, much as Washington is destroying Ukraine today. The central purpose behind that US-incited war that ravaged the Balkans for a decade, was to make clear to the EU nations that NATO, under US Pentagon control, would remain and, in fact, would go east. In effect, he used the Yugoslav war to destroy the emerging threat of an independent EU defense capacity, the EU defense pillar. As US Presidential adviser and Trilateral Commission former founder, Zbigniew Brzezinski openly described Washington's view of Germany, she was a "vassal" of US imperial power, not a sovereign nation.

In 1999 Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic were officially invited in Washington to join NATO as the dismemberment of Yugoslavia was capped by President Bill Clinton's shameful and illegal bombing of Serbia in the so-called Kosovo War that year, with the even more shameful participation of German Foreign Minister, the Hungarian butcher's son, Joschka Fischer.

By 2004 Washington was gleefully bringing NATO to Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia. It was also secretly preparing its now infamous Color Revolution coups in Georgia and Ukraine that would being in US-chosen candidates, the corrupt Viktor Yushchenko in Kiev's so-called Orange revolution and Mikhail Saakashvili in the Georgia Rose Revolution. Both presidents pledged to join NATO as part of their campaign. Little wonder that by 2007, as Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld announced the Pentagon would install ballistic missile devices in Poland and the Czech Republic aimed de facto at Russia, Moscow was becoming more than a little uneasy about being choked on its strategic perimeter by NATO and a military alliance that ultimately brought the world's sole superpower to the gates of Moscow.

A German French Ukraine intervention

When the foreign ministers of Germany and France intervened in a desperate last-minute effort to broker a compromise in Kiev on February 21, 2014 to avoid civil war there they explicitly excluded one interested party from the talks—the US Government. They won a compromise that lasted less than 48 hours before CIA-backed snipers in Kiev ignited riot and panic causing the democratically-elected (a forgotten point in the slavish German media version of events) President, Viktor Yanukovich to flee for his life.

The next day, the Obama Administration, led by State Department hawk Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland, US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, and legions of CIA operatives inside the Maidan Square protests openly installed their hand-picked puppets, using overt neo-nazis of Pravy Sektor and Svoboda Party to do so. George Friedman, head of Stratfor, a US strategic consultancy whose clients include the Pentagon and CIA, as well as Israeli agencies, told the Russian Kommersant in a December interview, the US-organized coup d'etat in Ukraine was "the most blatant coup in history ."

When Washington spat in the face not only of Germany and France and the EU, but in the face of Russia and of Ukraine itself, by dictating the persons to run the new Kiev coup regime, headed by their choice of Prime Minister, reputed high-ranking Scientologst, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Germany and France swallowed hard. They groveled behind the lead of the Washington warhawks in the Obama Administration. The EU unanimously voted US-dictated sanctions repeatedly against Russia after the March, 2014 referendum on Crimea. German industry protested openly. Merkel's government bowed before NATO and Washington, and the German economy began to go into recession along with the rest of the EU.

Now something highly unusual is taking place. France and Germany are openly again defying Obama's Washington. On the night of February 4, Merkel and French President Hollande quickly decided to fly together to Moscow to meet Russia's Putin. The purpose, as Putin spokesman stated was that the, "leaders of the three states will discuss what specifically the countries can do to contribute to speedy end of the civil war in the southeast of Ukraine, which has escalated in recent days and resulted in many casualties."

The most interesting part of the quick trip is that the "vassal" heads, Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande did not ask permission from Washington first according to a French government source. Announcing the spontaneous Moscow trip, Hollande told the press, "Together with Angela Merkel we have decided to take a new initiative ."

More interesting, their "new initiative" comes as US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Kiev meeting President Poroschenko to discuss possible US weapons deliveries to Kiev, Washington's preferred brand of "diplomacy" at the moment. The Moscow talks between Putin, Merkel and Hollande reportedly followed "secret" talks between Paris, Berlin and Moscow.

In early December, Hollande made a surprise visit to Moscow to meet with Putin on Ukraine. At that time the French President declared, "I believe that we have to avoid having more 'walls' that separate us. At this moment we have to be able to overpass the obstacles and find solutions ." Washington was not at all happy with that. There is strong suspicion in certain circles that the January 7 false flag attack on the Paris Satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo was the reply of the Washington-Tel Aviv war faction to the Hollande diplomacy.

The latest joint German-French diplomatic moves as John Kerry was in Kiev discussing US weapons for Ukraine. Le Nouvel Observateur journalist Vincent Jauvert says Hollande and Merkel's suddent decision to talk with Putin in Moscow came as an attempt "to get ahead of the Americans who are trying to impose their solution to the problem on Westerners: a transfer of weapons to Ukraine." He said the two leaders went to Kiev straight after Kerry, as they "distrust the American administration," and want to "present their diplomatic solutions just before US Vice President Joe Biden presents the US plan of sending lethal weapons to Kiev at the Munich security conference on Saturday."

The coming weeks will clearly be decisive for world peace. To parody an old children's song I sang as a kid, Atlantic Bridge is Falling Down, Falling Down, Falling Down...(To be sung to the melody of London Bridge is falling down). It is time for a new, stable bridge in its place, but that won't come from the Munich Security Conference message of Joe Biden.

"New Eastern Outlook".

First appeared:http://bit.ly/1F8xrq4

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Partners in crime: Public health scientist and the sugar industry

Public health scientists and a government committee working on nutritional advice receive funding from the very companies whose products are widely held to be responsible for the obesity crisis, an investigation by reveals today.

Findings from the special report raise important questions about the potential for bias and conflict of interest among public health experts as the UK faces a growing obesity epidemic.

Recipients of research funding from sugar and other related industries include members of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), which is currently updating official advice on carbohydrates consumption, and researchers working for the Medical Research Council's Human Nutrition Research unit (HNR).

HNR scientists have received research funding and funding in kinds from companies including Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestlé, Sainsbury's, the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, Weight Watchers International and others.

As a former HNR researcher, Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at the University of Oxford and chair of the government's Responsibility Deal Food Network, received support for her work from Coca-Cola, Sainsbury's, Cereal Partners and Rank Hovis McDougal, among others. Between 2008 and 2010, Coca-Cola donated £194,000 to one research study on which she was the principal investigator.

Listed as sole or co-principal investigator on 10 industry supported research projects between 2004 and 2015, Jebb attracted funding worth £1.37 million to the HNR unit. Some of the companies that supported her work at HNR, including Unilever and Coca-Cola, are now members of the Responsibility Deal, which Jebb chairs.

Jebb told that all of her research was analysed and reported independently of industry, and added: "Everything I do, whether in my research or as chair of the responsibility deal, is to try to improve public health."

Similarly, research carried out by members of the SACN has been supported by companies including PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Mars and Nestlé.

An analysis of the annual declarations of interest by SACN members shows that between 2001 and 2012 there was an average of 45 declarations each year involving companies from the food, drinks and pharmaceutical industries.

Of the 40 scientists affiliated with SACN between 2001 and 2012, only 13 have had no interests to declare.

David Stuckler, professor of political economy and sociology at Oxford University, says the engagement of companies such as Coca-Cola with the work of public health organisations "falls into the category of efforts to crowd out public regulation, to try to weaken public health by working with it."

The BMJ also reports evidence that the Responsibility Deal is not working. Not only do industry's pledges made under the deal not add up to the government's target of a 5% reduction in calorie consumption, but the UK's most comprehensive survey of shopping habits shows that between 2006 and 2014 the number of calories in the national weekly shop has increased by almost 12 %.

Journal Reference:

  1. J. Gornall. Sugar: spinning a web of influence. , 2015; 350 (feb11 20): h231 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.h231

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Culinary culprits of bizarre and disturbing dreams

Drawing inspiration from the early 1900's comic of the same name, a recent research article entitled "Dreams of the rarebit fiend: Food and diet as instigators of bizarre and disturbing dreams" investigates the common belief that foods can influence our nightly dreams (Nielsen & Powell, 2015). The comic was known for its depiction of a particular spicy cheese dish, Welsh rarebit, as the continual culprit to the nocturnal misadventures of its protagonist. Thus begging the question, could cheese really be to blame for disturbing dreams? Apparently, this belief is so wide-held that in 2005 the British Cheese Board conducted one of the only studies to date attempting to empirically assess the effects of food on dreams, in an effort to absolve cheese from its nightmarish image. That this singular report was both unpublished and biased is reason enough for further inquiry. Hence, the above-mentioned study is a long-awaited scientific foray into the realm of food and dreams.

The study itself used a variety of questionnaires aimed at assessing food-dependent dreaming, along with general sleeping, eating, and dreaming experiences in 396 first year Canadian University students averaging 21.5 years of age. A 3-item open-ended questionnaire was used to specifically probe participants' beliefs of whether certain foods influence dreaming. The first question asked whether participants had ever noticed food leading to disturbing dreams, and if so to identify which foods, while the second question asked about bizarre dreams. The third question asked participants whether eating late at night had ever affected their dreams, and if so, how.

The authors found that 68 of 382 (17.8%) participants claimed that either particular foods or eating late at night influenced their dreams. Of those who believed food could influence dreams, the most frequent food mentioned as causing both disturbing (44%) and bizarre (39%) dreams was, in fact, dairy, including cheese, milk, and ice cream. Spicy foods were the next most common food mentioned as causing disturbing dreams (19%), though sweet foods were associated more with bizarre (27%) than disturbing dreams (13%). Further, 26 subjects reported that eating late affected dreaming; eating late was most commonly associated with disturbing or nightmarish dreams (47.2%), but was also associated with bizarre dreams (22.2%).

What this all boils down to, it would seem, is that a spicy cheese dish before bedtime could be the perfect recipe for a nightmare, just as illustrated by the comic. Could Welsh rarebit be the fiend after all?

Nonetheless, the authors are more cautious in interpreting their results. In lieu of over-speculation, they provide several possible explanations for their findings and encourage future lab-based research to more stringently assess causal links between food consumption and dream content.

The most tempting interpretation, of course, is that food really does impact dreaming. This is perfectly reasonable when you consider that the nutrients in food can affect many things such as mood or alertness during the day, or even sleep quality at night. In this case, the changes would most likely be of a general nature, perhaps increases in dream affect or vividness, due to general effects of food on mood and cognition. If a dash of cayenne pepper can perk you up after a meal, why shouldn't it also affect your dreams?

A related possibility is that food influences dreams indirectly due to poor metabolism or digestive intolerances. For instance, eating too late at night could negatively affect metabolism and sleep quality, thence seeping into your dreams. And of course dairy, most often cited as altering dreams, is a very common dietary sensitivity. Perhaps that bad dream is really just an upset stomach yelling at you to wake up!

On the other hand, the perceived link between food and dreams may actually be a false belief held by people, perhaps due to long standing cultural folklore. These beliefs could then be reinforced by individuals misattributing their own bizarre and disturbing dreams to food. For example, if local folklore says that pizza will give me nightmares, and one morning after having eaten pizza I awaken with a nightmare, I will more likely attribute that nightmare to having eaten pizza. Further, people are more likely to remember what they ate if it was close to bedtime, so eating late may increase chances of misattributing dream experiences to food.

Thus, while the authors did find evidence that people believe food can instigate bizarre or disturbing dreams, most commonly accusing dairy, whether these dreams are indeed caused by "the power of cheese," or simply based in misheld beliefs, remains to be seen.


Nielsen, Tore & Powell, Russell A. (2015). Dreams of the rarebit fiend: Food and diet as instigators of bizarre and disturbing dreams. .

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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There is nothing trendy about not vaccinating your child...

Not vaccinating your child is not something you take lightly as a parent. The bombardment of vaccine propaganda is in your face everywhere you look and some are scared to even let others know that they don't vaccinate because they don't want their children to face the stigma of going against the crowd. Going to the doctors can be a battleground where you are berated and belittled for not conforming to the status quo. The simple act of going to the emergency room because your child broke their arm always starts with the question "Is your child up to date on their immunisations?" and you think to yourself - here we go again!

So there really is nothing trendy about not vaccinating your child...

But do you want to know what IS really trendy right now? It is the demonising and current witch-hunt against parents who choose not to vaccinate their children.

The world has become a bully's wonderland right now. You can harass and be hateful towards 'anti vax' parents and no one will even consider it to be bullying.

You can tell them how crap they are as parents!

You can tell them to go and take their disease-ridden brats away from your [fully-vaccinated] children!

You can tell them how they are stupid, selfish, moronic, irresponsible, tin foil hat wearing, rabid 'anti vaxxers' who are child abusers and whose children should be taken away from them!

You can even tell them that you hope that they and their children die to clean out the stupid from the gene pool!

No one will even pull you up for those cruel and despicable comments because 'anti vaxxers' deserve it, right?


No loving parent and especially their children, deserves to be treated like lepers and outcasts. Whether they vaccinate or not is irrelevant, and frankly I am astounded at the hate speech that has been allowed to flow freely since the Disneyland measles outbreak. (for example, Jail 'anti-vax' parents and Measles Can Kill, And It's Spreading. Sue Parents Who Didn't Vaccinate? Absolutely

You cannot shame a parent in to harming their child and yet, that is what you are asking us (especially the parents of vaccine injured children) to do.

All the bullying, vilifying, suing, incarcerating or (completely illegally) making their names and addresses publicly available to the world, will not change a thing. By the way Joe Matthews (the author of the afore-mentioned article), the whole sticker idea to show who the outcasts of society are? That's already been done before. The last time, they were made to wear yellow stars. I guess tyrannical minds think alike.

It also shows how very little you know about parents who choose not to vaccinate. Let's get one thing straight. I do not choose to inject pharmaceutical products in to my children's bodies anymore because vaccines hurt them and caused not just "a week of hell", but a lifetime of hellish challenges.

I don't blame others for my children's health issues, I realise that we are all just trying to do the best we can for our children. Anyway I am too busy trying to heal my children's bodies to run around pointing fingers.

My choice to not be informed about what I was injecting in to my babies caused them numerous health issues and robbed three of my children of ever being able to live an independent life, of being able to fall in love or able to have a family of their own and those facts will haunt me for the rest of my days.

There is nothing in this world you could do to me to make me forget this no matter how much I want to, because you cannot the damage done to your child.

I cannot unsee having to search for my child when she absconded from my parent's back yard and then find her running down the middle of a busy street surrounded by cars beeping their horns and yelling at her to get off the road, because she has no sense of danger.

I cannot unsee waking up in the early hours of the morning to see my other daughter covered head to toe in her own faeces that she ate while smearing it all over the walls.

I cannot unsee my son trying so hard to speak so that he could play with the other children in the playground but all he could do was scream, till they ran away.

I cannot unsee the vast difference in health between my vaccinated and unvaccinated children and not know that it is my fault.

There is nothing you could do that would ever make me vaccinate them again. I would rather die than see them be hurt. Luckily I have found that there is a better way to raise healthy children and my children have thrived because of it. It is called taking responsibility for the health of your own children. Learning how to naturally support and boost their immune systems and not expect other parents to put their healthy children at risk of injury or death just because you believe that that will protect yours.

You want to know the most important reason why I and many other parents don't vaccinate their child? We do it because we love them, just like you love your child and no amount of legislation or shaming tactics will ever overcome that.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Federal bill announced to eliminate all vaccine exemptions for Head Start

© livingwhole.org

Vaccine Liberation Army reports:

Senator Barbara Boxer (D) and Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), have proposed federal legislation that would for the first time impose Federal, as opposed to State, vaccine mandates to attend an educational program. The legislators' bill entitled A Head Start on Vaccinations Act would require all children enrolled in Head Start to get all of the vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) according to the CDC's timetable. There would be no exemptions for religious or personnel beliefs. Read More...and Take Action

Indeed, reports the ladies' plan to introduce the federal bill next week. Alto tried to exercise her comedic abilities when she said, "This bill is a 'booster shot' for our nation's vaccine policies and will mitigate the spread of deadly disease." Get it?

They swooned "the genius" of American scientists for creating vaccines to eradicate polio and emphasize that this bill is necessary making sure over a million "of our children" are protected from deadly disease. But repeating the term "deadly disease" does not wipe out the fact that zero people have died from measles since the early 2000s, that many of the people who got measles from California were vaccinated, and that 108 people that we know of have died after getting measles vaccines. And the tragic results of the polio vaccine are a whole other story. And another.

Medical exemptions would still be allowed under the federal bill, but those are extremely rare and difficult to obtain.

Since writing about California's proposal to eliminate any school children vaccine waivers for personal beliefs - it turns out, multiple states have either passed, or are in the process of moving similar bills through. Many of them surround tightening exemptions by requiring the parents to submit to a medical consult (intimidation, warning) before being allowed to opt their children out. Again, this is setting the stage for things to come. Exemptions were always viewed as "loopholes" from the start, with time limits set to "close the loop."

© Mother Jones Magazine

And while New York has taken steps to expand exemptions, a federal bill can easily undo all of that.

Isn't it interesting how an outbreak of measles, now on its way out in California, could have so many lawmakers at the helm ready to "take swift (permanent) action"? The infamous historical battle cry that precedes the complete loss of human rights and gains of abuse: We have to do something NOW! Because of A we must do B - it's for the children! They sure do write quickly when they need to accomplish something.

One woman writing for Thinking Mom's Revolution summarized some reasons why proposals for such new mandates are unsurprising, and why so many people never get to hear important medical information - my emphasis added:

One word: Profit. As of 1988, vaccine makers and the doctors who administer vaccines bear no liability for vaccine injury (23) . They cannot be held accountable by law for adverse events from vaccination. In fact, the entire adverse event reporting system (VAERS) is voluntary! This means that the more aggressive our vaccine schedule, the more profitable it is for vaccine makers. But what about the Centers for Disease Control, don't they direct the vaccines our children Please note that the CDC uses worldwide disease data to formulate our policies, which makes no sense at all. How could one possibly compare a malnourished child living in unsanitary conditions and subsequently exposed to illness to a child exposed to that same illness in a first-world country? I invite parents to take a look at the resumes of some of the heads of pharmaceutical companies and members of the CDC like this one (24) . One can very clearly see those in charge of vaccine policy have a dangerous conflict of interest with those who profit from that policy. Remember, pharmaceutical companies contributed $34 million dollars in campaign funds in 2014 (25) . It would behoove anyone attempting office these days to err on the side of 'big pharma.'

What a sweet gig! As Vaccine Liberation Army points out, there are over 200 new vaccines in the pipeline - do parents really want to risk losing the ability to refuse future potentially mandated vaccines? By corralling the public, and closing all exits, the government in tandem with pharmaceutical corps and their medical community underlings would have carte blanche over your body.

Add to that, the fact that nearly all media - currently spewing forceful vaccine tripe - in the U.S. is owned by "The Big Six" corporations. Who are some of their sponsors? And if Comcast finally succeeds in the planned merger with Time Warner, wouldn't that take our big six down to "The Big Five"?

Media outlets have thrown any thin veil of credibility out the window. For instance, USA Today introducing the idea of jailing or suing parents for not vaccinating their children by posing it as a question in a headline. Before, no one would have thought to ask that. Even doctors with all of their prestige, cannot "opt-out" of playing ball. "Revoke the license of any doctor who opposes vaccination" says a widely-circulated op-ed. Those media polls are to gauge YOU - and your reactions. So, it should come as no surprise that people who were merely in the thinking, searching, and health conscious kind of way, suddenly find themselves painted as a fabricated neo-conspiracy theorist.

Marxists like to comment on "the tyranny of choice" for consumers. Don't you mean the illusion of choice? An American can barely choose what information they are allowed to hear, let alone a medical procedure they want - or don't want.

About the author

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Declassified report reveals U.S. helped Israel develop hydrogen bomb

© Reuters / Eliana Aponte

Conceding to a federal lawsuit, the US government agreed to release a 1987 Defense Department report detailing US assistance to Israel in its development of a hydrogen bomb, which skirted international standards.

The 386-page report, "Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations," likens top Israeli nuclear facilities to the Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories that were key in the development of US nuclear weaponry.

Israelis are "developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level," said the report, the release of which comes before Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's March 3 speech in front of the US Congress in which he will oppose any deal that allows Iran's legal nuclear program to persist.

"I am struck by the degree of cooperation on specialized war making devices between Israel and the US," Roger Mattson, a formerly of the Atomic Energy Commission's technical staff, said of the report, according to Courthouse News.

The report's release earlier this week was initiated by a Freedom of Information Act request made three years ago by Grant Smith, director of the Washington think tank Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. Smith filed a lawsuit in September in order to compel the Pentagon to substantially address the request.

"It's our basic position that in 1987 the Department of Defense discovered that Israel had a nuclear weapons program, detailed it and then has covered it up for 25 years in violation of the Symington and Glenn amendments, costing taxpayers $86 billion," Smith said during a hearing in late 2014 before Judge Tanya Chutkan in US District Court for the District of Columbia.

Smith described in his federal court complaint how those federal laws were violated by the US in the midst of Israel's budding nuclear program.

"The Symington Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 prohibits most U.S. foreign aid to any country found trafficking in nuclear enrichment equipment or technology outside international safeguards," Smith wrote.

"The Glenn Amendment of 1977 calls for an end to U.S. foreign aid to countries that import nuclear reprocessing technology."

In November, Judge Chutkan asked government lawyers resistant to the report's release why it had taken years for the government to prepare the report for public consumption.

"I'd like to know what is taking so long for a 386-page document. The document was located some time ago," Chutkan said, according to Courthouse News Service.

"I've reviewed my share of documents in my career. It should not take that long to review that document and decide what needs to be redacted."

image from the report “Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations"

The government's representatives in the case -- Special Assistant US Attorney Laura Jennings and Defense Department counsel Mark Herrington -- initially said confidentiality agreements required a "line by line" review of the Defense Department's report. They later shifted, arguing that its release is optional and not mandatory, as "diplomatic relations dictate that DoD seeks Israel's review."

Smith and the US agreed that the government would redact sections of the report on NATO countries, though the passages on Israel remain intact.

"The capability of SOREQ [Soreq Nuclear Research Center] to support SDIO [Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, or "Star Wars"] and nuclear technologies is almost an exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories," said the report, written by the Institute for Defense Analysis for the Department of Defense.

"SOREQ and Dimona/Beer Sheva facilities are the equivalent of our Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories...[and have] the technology base required for nuclear weapons design and fabrication."

The report's authors Edwin Townsley and Clarence Robinson found that Israel to had Category 1 capability regarding its anti-tactical ballistic missile and "Star Wars" weapons programs.

"As far as nuclear technology is concerned the Israelis are roughly where the U.S. [w]as in the fission weapon field in about 1955 to 1960," the report said. "It should be noted that the Israelis are developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs."

In a statement on the report's release, Smith said Thursday, "Informal and Freedom of Information Act release of such information is rare. Under two known gag orders -- punishable by imprisonment -- U.S. security-cleared government agency employees and contractors may not disclose that Israel has a nuclear weapons program."

Hamas rockets target #Israel Dimona nuclear reactor#IsraelUnderFire http://bit.ly/1D6l0dU @http://bit.ly/1Cqyqfx http://bit.ly/1CqyqvN

— Hotpage (@HotpageInfo) July 10, 2014

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's planned address before the US Congress was controversially arranged by Republican leadership without consultation of congressional Democrats or the White House.

The speech will occur weeks before Netanyahu will seek reelection, and is to center around his opposition to any agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, a deal the US -- while levying heavy sanctions on Tehran -- has pursued despite protests from its preeminent ally in the Middle East, Israel.

Tehran's nuclear program is legal under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty , to which Israel is one of the few United Nations members that is not a signatory.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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On Minsk agreement, Putin wins and Obama loses

The only way that U.S. President Barack Obama can win in Ukraine now is by negotiating subsequent details to become deal-breakers to the February 12th draft agreement, such that for Russian President Vladimir Putin not to accept Obama's proposed details would mean that no deal will be signed. This could happen, because the prestige of both leaders is on the line in this new draft deal on Ukraine.

The agreement is only basic principles, which can be found here. The announcement of the agreement opens as follows:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin; President of Ukraine, Peter Poroshenko; French President Francois Hollande; and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel, confirmed full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. They firmly believe in the inevitability of peaceful resolution."

U.S. President Barack Obama is not mentioned there; but, for him to reject their deal, and to send lethal weapons to Ukraine now and so escalate the war and its massive bloodshed — which has already cost "up to 50,000" dead and millions of refugees — would be extremely embarrassing for the United States: no American "boots on the ground," just tens of thousands of Ukrainian corpses under it, in a war that Obama himself had initiated (and even the founder of Stratfor, the "private CIA" firm, says that the February 2014 overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which started the war, was "the most blatant coup in history," which it certainly was , and is increasingly recognized as having been ).

If, during coming days, Putin does nothing that causes Merkel or Hollande to say Putin is violating what had been understood between the negotiants, then Putin will be essentially in control on those crucial remaining details too, and the U.S. position (which favors more war) (and this is so not only from Obama but also from the Congress) will go down in flames. The next few days and weeks will thus be crucial, and Merkel and Hollande hold the top cards, because Obama needs to avoid an open break with them — something that would be an open break with the EU itself, which America's aristocracy very much don't want to happen (since America's aristocracy would then lose their enormous influence over the EU).

The U.S. position has been for war against Russia from the start, which goes back at least to before 20 November 2013, when it was revealed in Ukraine's parliament or "Rada" that the U.S. had already very skillfully set to spring a Euromaidan movement to bring down the Ukrainian Presidency of Viktor Yanukovych, which "Euromaidan" then started the very next day, when President Yanukovych announced that Ukraine had received a better economic offer from the Eurasian Economic Community than from the European Union, and that therefore it would be in the best interests of the Ukrainian people for Ukraine to join with the EEC (which the people in eastern Ukraine wanted), than with the EU (which the people in western Ukraine wanted) and that this joining of the EEC would now happen. The Euromaidan protest, which had been organized by America's CIA, began on 21 November 2013. Its mass-members were regular western Ukrainians, but its leadership, the people who were armed, were Ukraine's nazis , a special group of western Ukrainians, who viscerally hate ethnic Russians and actually want to exterminate them (thus making these people ideal for Obama's purposes of crushing Russia).

Immediately after the coup when Yanukovych was overthrown, the EU sent an investigator, Urmas Paet, to find out whether the extremely violent overthrow of Yanukovych had been due to Yanukovych, or else to "someone from the new coalition [meaning the EU and U.S.]," and he reported, on 26 February 2014, to the EU's foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, that it was due to "someone from the new coalition [our side]." This information shocked her. (As Obama's chief agent controlling the coup, Victoria Nuland, had said on 4 February 2014, preparing the coup, "F—k the EU!" In that same phone call, she also selected Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the person who would take over the Ukrainian Government after the coup, which he did, 22 days later. Anyone who denies that it was a coup is either ignorant or lying, because this is the first coup in history that was fully documented on live videos.) However, rejecting Ukraine as a new candidate for the EU didn't fit Ashton's job-description, and she could do nothing about the matter anyway; so, she accepted it, and tried to make it work, as peacefully as possible.

The EU's reason for wanting Ukraine is chiefly economic, for its gas and agricultural resources. The chief reason that America's aristocracy want Ukraine is as a launching-pad for NATO missiles against Moscow, because Russia is the world's main military hold-out against control by the U.S. aristocracy, and America's aristocracy are eager to use taxpayers' money, which is to say the U.S. military, to bring Russia to heel and within their economic control — it's then a freebie to them.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin is primarily concerned to avoid Ukraine having a Government that wants U.S. strategic (i.e., aimed against Moscow) missiles; in other words: he wants to avoid Ukraine's becoming a member of NATO — the anti-Russian military club of nations, which now surrounds Russia. The only way that he can achieve this crucial objective is for the far-eastern region of Ukraine, Donbass (the region shown in dark purple on this map), which had voted 90% for Yanukovych and 10% for America's candidate (Yulia Tymoshenko) in the 2010 Presidential election (the last election in which all parts of Ukraine voted), to remain as being voters in Ukrainian national elections, so as to counterbalance the anti-Russian northeastern half of Ukraine and thus avoid any more nazis being elected to national power in Ukraine.

Donbass is the region where Obama's Ukrainian Government is trying to exterminate the residents (whom they call 'Terrorists' and try to kill in their "Anti Terrorist Operation" there, fooling the western Ukrainian public that those are "Terrorists" instead of simply Donbass's residents, the people who live there). If Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, or whomever the U.S. supports, doesn't succeed at exterminating or else driving out the residents in Donbass, then Ukraine's Government will probably not be able to join NATO and bring in its strategic missiles aimed at Russia — which is what this is all about, from the standpoint of Barack Obama: it's part of surrounding Russia with NATO missiles .

Looking at that draft agreement, it seems to meet Putin's basic national-security needs for Russia. Doubass's people would retain their right to vote for Ukraine's President.

In order for him to do this, it is essential for the breakaway region to stay within Ukraine as regards the voters there participating in future elections for Ukraine's President. As I headlined on 19 September 2014, "Russia's Leader Putin Rejects Ukrainian Separatists' Aim to Become Part of Russia." The current draft agreement meets this Russian-national-security need. As I commented at that time: "Perhaps Putin's declining to accept Ukrainian territory into Russia is part of an agreement between the two leaders in which Obama is, for his part, declining the urgings from congressional Republicans and conservative Democrats for the U.S. to provide weapons to the Ukrainian military to expedite their ethnic cleansing campaign." However, if U.S. President Obama goes ahead with the Republicans' position, of sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, then the United States will end up becoming internationally isolated, unless either Merkel, or Hollande, or both, declare that Putin is failing to comply with the new agreement, and rejoin with the United States in its ethnic-cleansing effort to eliminate the residents in the separatist region, "Donbass," which includes the Donetsk and Luhansk republics.

So, although Putin has won this opening round of obtaining a new peace agreement, Obama still yet can win in the later stages and increase the ethnic cleansing, if either Merkel or Hollande abandon Putin.

The draft agreement also includes other features that would be necessary for the economic reconstruction of the Donbass region, which the Ukrainian Government has been bombing in its ethnic cleansing campaign. For the first time (if the initial statements from the IMF become borne out in additional 'loans' actually taxpayer donations, to Ukraine), Western taxpayers will be contributing to that economic reconstruction, which will be vast, especially considering that around 50,000 civilians and soldiers have probably thus far been slaughtered in Obama's ethnic-cleansing campaign there, and more than a million residents have fled and become refugees (mainly in Russia), and the cities and villages have been bombed and even firebombed. So, while some aristocrats may have gained from Obama's coup, taxpayers in the West will now be paying tens of billions to undo some of the economic damage that Obama and the U.S. Congress (especially Republicans there ) have caused in Ukraine by means of the coup and of its essential ethnic-cleansing aftermath. Since 'we' taxpayers (the public) caused the war (from which only some international aristocrats might benefit — and those were the people behind it), we (and not those aristocrats) shall be cleaning up from it — if the current deal doesn't fall apart and the damages from the war thus soar even further.

But, at least in the first draft of this agreement, Putin has won, and Obama has lost.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of , and of .

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Health conscious? You are the new "Conspiracy Theorist"

Remember when the fictitious notion of "conspiracy theorist" was supposed to represent the lone wolf weird lunatic in a dark basement? Believe it or not, this stereotype character never actually existed. That's right, the basement lunatic conspiracy theorist was a fictional character invented by government, media and Hollywood ( ).

The propaganda began at least a century ago, accelerated after the creation of the CIA and became more pronounced targeting American people after the JFK assassination as described in CIA document 1035-960. Specifically the techniques, which we see employed today all the time by mainstream media and CIA assets/online trolls, include:

  • No significant new evidence has emerged which the [Warren] Commission did not consider.

  • Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others.

  • Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States.

  • Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it.

  • Oswald would not have been any sensible person's choice for a co-conspirator.

  • Such vague accusations as that "more than ten people have died mysteriously" [during the Warren Commission's inquiry] can always be explained in some natural way e.g.: the individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes.

Today of course, we need only to remove the references to JFK in this document and insert the current issue of the time and this document comes to life nicely. Remember, government and its globalist masters sit around and have meetings to decide what topics will fall under the banner of "conspiracy theory" and which will not. To anyone wide awake it's much simpler to understand it this way: If a story or accusation interferes with the final new world order plans then it's a "conspiracy", if it doesn't then it's a different point of view or a debate.

The first thing everyone should understand about conspiracy theories is that you don't get to decide what topics fall under this category, they do. And because they (government) decide, we've now seen the subjective, fictitious, propaganda-based definition of "conspiracy theorist" morph dramatically over the last few decades. As mentioned before, we were first led to believe that conspiracy theorists were lunatics in basements separated from society, claiming things that were not proven while actually being wrong about everything. These people were supposed to have been essentially mentally diseased.

The conspiracy theorist then evolved into anyone who questioned 9/11 or any other new world order related false flag event. For years CIA's mainstream media had worked hard to give the perception that "conspiracy theorist" represented a tiny percentage of Americans. But as the years went by, millions all over the U.S. and the world started waking up, and now the government and its media mouthpiece started feeling the pressure. The dilemma was, and still is, how to portray this growing number of awakened individuals / "conspiracy theorists" as an insignificant small group of people, while at the same time adding more and more people to the group by deliberately expanding the topics that make you a conspiracy theorist.

The dilemma of this situation was finally addressed by CIA's in a desperate article by Kurt Eichenwald May of 2014 entitled . In the article, Eichenwald, with seeming foreknowledge of the measles vaccine dilemma that was coming later in the year as a result of CDC whistleblower Dr William W Thompson's testimony admitting the measles vaccine link to autism in African American children, had this to say about the measles (exposed) vaccine:

In 2008, no one in America caught measles and 13,278 people contracted whooping cough. By 2013, measles infected at least 276 people in the U.S. and there were more than 24,000 cases of whooping cough. Medical experts attribute this trend to declining numbers of people being vaccinated, in large part fueled by a belief that doctors and pharmaceutical companies are hiding the dangers of immunizations to protect profits, even though earnings in this niche are so comparatively small that six out of seven companies have dropped out of the business in the past 35 years. Now, because of this false belief advanced by scientific frauds and celebrities, vaccine-preventable diseases that were once on the brink of extinction are roaring back.

Eichenwald rolls on explaining:

George W. Bush murdered thousands by orchestrating 9/11. Barack Obama is a Kenyan national and holds the presidency illegally. Education standards developed by state governors are part of an anti-Christian communist plot that will turn children gay. Unemployment rates and the reported numbers for Obamacare sign-ups are lies engineered by the White House. Water fluoridation doesn't prevent cavities in children and has been adopted for a range of nefarious purposes. And on and on they go.

Conspiracy theories have been woven into the fabric of American society since before the signing of the Constitution. But what was once dismissed as the amusing ravings of the tin-foil-hat crowd has in recent years crossed a threshold, experts say, with delusions, fictions and lunacy now strangling government policies and creating national health risks. "These kinds of theories have the effect of completely distorting any rational discussion we can have in this country,'' says Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center who recently wrote a report on the impact of what is known as the Agenda 21 conspiracy. "They are having a real impact now."

Experts say the number and significance of conspiracy theories are reaching levels unheard-of in recent times, in part because of ubiquitous and faster communications offered by Internet chat rooms, Twitter and other social media. "Conspiracy narratives are more common in public discourse than they were previously,'' says Eric Oliver, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago who has published research on the phenomenon. "We seem to have crossed a threshold."

The fears about Agenda 21 are a prime example. The name refers to a nonbinding statement of intent signed in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush and 177 other world leaders. The idea was simple: Under the auspices of the U.N., those countries expressed their interest in managing urban development and land-use policies in ways that minimized the impact on the environment. At the time, mainstream conservative and liberal politicians considered the concept to be fairly inconsequential.

As can be seen, the article identifies such a wide spectrum of beliefs under the new "conspiracy theory" umbrella that one might suspect this could arguably represent 75-99% of Americans. The list is long and includes anyone who doesn't agree with Agenda 21, Common Core, the Bin Laden death hoax, the dangers of cell phones and more. So many are the topics that the average American could and would potentially find at least one belief to agree with on the list, thus officially making them a "conspiracy theorist".

The only strategy Eichenwald and the CIA fall back on is the notion that, yes, we admit a lot of people are suffering from the mental disease of conspiracy theories (translation: waking up), and because this large amount of people (who are waking up) are starting to represent a possible majority, they are a "danger" to America (translation: The new world order plans). Thus, in this article the globalists and their CIA-approved writer are on the one hand admitting that everyone is waking up, while at the same time still appealing to their audience that essentially everyone is crazy and dangerous but you can still be "normal" by obeying.

This is proof that a lot more people are awake than the media is willing to admit. Sadly, the ongoing agenda of CIA's mainstream media and government is not letting up by any means in 2015 and beyond as can be seen by the media almost psychopathic attack on those who want to seek a healthy lifestyle.

We are regularly now seeing those who DON'T want to ingest fluoride into their bodies accused of being conspiracy nuts. Anyone who understands the compounds in vaccines admitted by the CDC and doesn't want those toxins to go into their body is now a conspiracy theorist nut. Anyone who doesn't want to eat genetically modified organisms and damage their own DNA, or even take the chance of damaging their own DNA is now a conspiracy theorist. Just the element of not having faith in corporate cronies and dirty lying corrupt politicians is enough to get you on the conspiracy theorist list.

The definition of conspiracy theorist has in fact reached new levels never imagined by the average person. Simply wanting to eat only natural food and not take in any known toxins into your body of any kind (above and beyond vaccines), according to CIA's mainstream media and government, is enough to get you labeled as a conspiracy theorist nut.

Yes, we are finally reaching a point in history where it is almost officially impossible to not be a conspiracy theorist unless you agree to being poisoned! This is what happens when a state who has open plans for a new world order and massive stated depopulation goals can control reality with their ministry of truth propaganda media.

If there is anything good to take from all this it is that with stupid moves like this the corporate media will hopefully turn more and more people against it. Obviously everyone wants to live a happy, healthy life. Why would we not? If there is even a tiny chance that genetically modified foods and vaccines with known toxins in them could harm you, why would we not want to exercise our own personal judgment on whether or not we want this for our kids, our loved ones and ourselves??

Reason for hope

The pure insanity of the new world order psychopaths is truly upon us and we are seeing them in action in real-time. So many of us are awake and we all know we will never go along with any of this monkey business. Our duty is, therefore, to continue waking up as many people as possible. Our voices are strong and getting stronger every day, while their voices (the mainstream media) are dying.

Spread the word, tell your family and friends that they are all "conspiracy theorists" if they believe in health. Let's make sure this is the (hopefully) final Intelligence blunder of the globalists. The blunder of thinking they could take over our own bodies, tell us what to eat and even what to inject into our own bodies. Hopefully the magnitude of this personal psychological insult will be the final straw to break the new world order's back.

Hopefully humanity is observing, reading, learning and taking notes. We are all now getting a blueprint for tyranny. We've seen all the steps in slow motion. We now know all their moves. Let's take advantage of this bold yet ridiculous expansion of "conspiracy theorist" and see how far we can take the awakening process this time. Most important of all, let's not forget that this battle of information does have an ending date. Perhaps this is the beginning of the end for the Orwellian empire of deceit that seeks permanent world power.

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The Century of the Self.

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Mega-drought: US Southwest faces worst water shortage in 1,000 years

dried up crops

© www.nature.com

The future of Southwestern farming?

Southwestern USA could be set for its worst drought in 1,000 years because of climate change. Numerous states have experienced severe water shortages, with 64 million people affected. Researchers say things could get worse.

The arid conditions in the southwest of the United States and the Great Plains have been caused by higher temperatures, while ground water supplies are shrinking. Studies by scientists using computer models show that the US could be in for its worst droughts since the 12th and 13th centuries.

drought chart

© earthobservatory.nasa.gov

Progressing drought regions of Southwest USA.

"The 21st-century projections make the [previous] mega-droughts seem like quaint walks through the Garden of Eden," said Jason Smerdon, who was a co-author of the paper, which was published in the journal and is also a climate scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Ben Cook, from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, also helped to write the paper added that Americans may have to get used to droughts as a way of life. "These mega-droughts during the 1100s and 1200s persisted for 20, 30, 40, 50 years at a time, and they were droughts that no one in the history of the United States has ever experienced," he said in a press release. "The droughts that people do know about like the 1930s 'dustbowl' or the 1950s drought, or even the ongoing drought in California, and the southwest today - these are all naturally occurring droughts that are expected to last only a few years or perhaps a decade. Imagine instead the current California drought going on for another 20 years," Cook added.

To aid their research, the scientists used data which they retrieved from tree rings. They were able to determine how much precipitation had fallen and how much moisture was in the ground as the rings were wider during wetter years. "The surprising thing to us was really how consistent the response was over these regions, nearly regardless of what model we used or what soil moisture metric we looked at," Cook said in the press release.

It has long been accepted by scientists that the southwest and the Great Plains will become arid during the second half of the 21st century as a consequence of climate change. However, this process is being accelerated due to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Precipitation levels can be misleading the authors of the report said. Rainfall levels could remain the same as non-drought years, but an increase in temperature means more water is evaporated.

California saw record amounts of rainfall in December 2014, though this has not been enough to fill up water supplies across the state. Crucially, snowfall amounts have been low, which has made it difficult to replenish reservoirs and underground aquifers. NASA says satellite images show the Sierra Nevada range snowpack is half the amount of past estimates.

According to the United States Geological Survey, California uses around 2.5 trillion gallons of water per year, which equates to around 181 gallons per person, per day. However, NASA says 11 trillion more gallons needs to enter the water supply to help elevate the current water shortages the population is experiencing.

"All the things we were hoping wouldn't happen five to 10 years ago are happening and I don't think we have sounded the alarm fast enough, said Stephanie Castle, a researcher at the University of California-Irvine, told . The problem is only likely to get worse in the southwest due to increasing demands for water, which will put an increased strain on low underground water supplies.

Since the turn of the millennium, parts of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas have all experienced drought like conditions for 11 of those years. According to NASA, as many as 64 million people have been affected by a lack of water. This could have a knock-on effect of not just inconveniencing people's lives through the introduction of water rationing and hosepipe bans, but could also affect key economic areas such as farming and agriculture in the Great Plains.

"Human populations in this region, and their associated water resources demands, have been increasing rapidly in recent decades, and these trends are expected to continue for years to come. Future droughts will occur in a significantly warmer world with higher temperatures than recent historical events, conditions that are likely to be a major added stress on both natural ecosystems and agriculture," the report concluded.

A report published in the journal of the stated that average annual temperature is expected to increase by up to 5 percent by 2100, with a corresponding increase in water reduction of 30 percent.

"I was honestly surprised at just how dry the future is likely to be," said another co-author Toby Ault, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University. "I look at these future mega-droughts like a slow moving natural disaster. We have to put mega-droughts into the same category as other natural disasters that can be dealt with through risk management."

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Saffron: The ancient flower that heals the human soul

So ancient a love affair exists between humans and saffron, that it can no longer reproduce without our help. Could its antidepressant and health-promoting properties be an example of saffron 'returning the favor'?

"Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul." ~ Luther Burbank

A alluring clue to how ancient the love affair between our species and saffron goes is that the plant known in Latin as cannot reproduce without human assistance. Sterile, incapable of producing viable seeds, its bulb-like, starch-storing organ (clustered in what are known as corms), must painstakingly dug up, broken into individual bulbs, and replanted by hand.

As we discussed in a previous article about this truly magical flower,

"50,000 year-old depictions of prehistoric places in northwest Iran contained saffron-based pigments, indicating the human relationship with saffron is as old as time itself."

A Minoan goddess supervising saffron use

What would have inspired this relationship? What would have compelled ancient farmers and herbalists to perpetuate, unbroken, this plant's life cycle for thousands of generations? Is this an example of co-evolutionary interdependence?

Still today, it takes a Herculean effort to produce enough saffron to meet the global demand, that is barely met. One hundred and fifty hand-picked flowers still yields just 1,000 mg (0.035 oz) of dry saffron threads, and costs approximately $1,000 U.S. dollars a pound on the global market; there is no questioning that our motivation to engage saffron as a primary plant ally is as powerful today as it was a thousand years ago.

There must be more to the human desire to produce and acquire saffron than its culinary role as a seasoning alone. Perhaps saffron possesses powerful medicinal and or psychoactive properties, capable of alleviating human suffering and/or brightening the human condition, that we are only now beginning to rediscover through the optic of modern scientific research....

Saffron: Plenty of Evidence for Appreciating Its Role as a Medicine Botanical

Indeed, our ongoing research indexing project at Greenmedinfo.com reveals saffron has over 40 therapeutic applications in medicine, preventing and/or treating conditions such as erectile dysfunction, macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, and even clinically diagnosed depression.

Notably, many of the conditions saffron seems to ameliorate are psychiatric, that is, address imbalances in the human psyche, soul.

"Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Flowers embody something truly wondrous about the design of the universe. They are what I would call an example of the universe's intrinsic superfluity (definition: "an unnecessarily or excessively large amount or number of something"), embodying a seemingly unnecessary excess of beauty. Flowers remind us that the fabric of reality is comprised of more than just atoms. There is poetry, abundance, and aesthetic inspiration built into the structure of things, as long as we have the eyes and sense to perceive it.

After all, reproduction - especially as described mechanically by modern biological science - doesn't need erotic engagement, scent, the simultaneity of touch, ecstasy, and all the synesthetic experiences associated with the first-hand experience of love-making; nor did Nature need color, scent, and the visually enchanting qualities of flowers for plants to fulfill their role in producing the next generation.

Saffron, I believe, is a perfect example of the 'benevolent excess,' as well as intelligence and compassion, built into the relationships between diverse species on this planet. When come to appreciate the divine order of things inscribed within the web of life, and the way in which species have spent hundreds of millions of years depending upon, appreciating, and supporting one another, clearly saffron's unique properties to ameliorate physical and psycho-spiritual suffering in humans should not be that surprising.

For additional evidence that plants express a type of compassion towards the human species, read my article: Turmeric's Healing Power: A Physical Manifestation of Compassion?

Why We Need Flowers

A 2005 human study performed at Rutgers University in NJ, titled " ", revealed that all study subjects responded positively in behavior and emotion to receiving flowers. As summarized by HortiDaily , the 10-week study revealed:

  • Flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. All study participants expressed "true" or "excited" smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.

  • Flowers have a long-term positive effect on moods. Specifically, study participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.

The paper itself provides an interesting co-evolutionary explanation for why flowers have such a powerful mood-enhancing effect:

"Our hypothesis is that cultivated flowers fit into an emotional niche - their sensory properties elicit human positive emotions. The flowering plants are thereby rewarding to humans and in return, the cultivated flowers receive propagation that only humans can provide. Demonstration of such a phenomenon fills several gaps in the literature. It supports the basic significance of emotion for survival. As a corollary it supports the adaptive function of positive as well as negative emotion. Finally it opens an area of investigation into the psychological relationships between humans and other species through their sensory properties that have been relatively neglected."

The paper also draws an interesting parallel between flower-human and flower-dog co-evolution:

"We hypothesize that as flowers moved into the new niche created by agriculture there was an increase in variation and the more pleasing and attracting flowers were allowed to remain. At some point humans might have moved from merely tolerating these weedy species to actively saving and sowing the seeds. It has not escaped our attention that the scenario we present for the evolution of flowers is very much like the scenario that Budiansky (1994) presents for the evolution of dogs. Flowers may be the plant equivalent of companion animals." [emphasis added]

The Evidence For Saffron As An Antidepressnt Drug Alternative

So, what is the evidence to support the notion that flowers, and saffron, elevates the human spirit, contributes to happiness and well-being?

There is a rather extensive body of human clinical literature on its role in treating depression, with a recent meta-analysis of the literature concluding: [1]

Also, a study reported about on Life Extension reveals that saffron is as at least as effective as the blockbuster pharmaceutical drug Prozac for treating mild to moderate depression:

At the close of the 6-week, double-blind, randomized trial, saffron was found to be as effective as Prozac® in the treatment of mild to moderate depression. There were no significant differences in unwanted reactions.

How Can A Flower Can Do This?

I believe that saffron's power to lift the human spirit may demonstrate the intelligent design woven into the co-evolutionary relationship between certain interdependent species. After all, mammals and angiosperms (the flowering plants) which comprise about 250,000 species and include most of the plants that provide the modern world its diet, co-evolved for at least 200 million years together, eventually rising to become dominant life forms on this planet. In other words, we are designed to need one another, and in one another's absence, something goes missing -- a piece of ourselves, our psyche, without which we can not be whole, healthy and holy [all 3 words share the same etymological root].

Regardless of the exact mechanical explanation operative between saffron and human physiology, we now have the optic of modern experimental and clinical research to confirm that ancient plant medicines like saffron are effective at alleviating suffering. Considering that saffron is a culinary herb, safely used the world over, and can be used as a spice in everyday cooking, it would best to incorporate it not as heroic herbal intervention long after depression has established itself as a diagnosed disorder, but beforehand as a preventive to enjoy and appreciate in meals lovingly prepared and shared.


[1] Heather Ann Hausenblas, Debbie Saha, Pamela Jean Dubyak, Stephen Douglas Anton. Saffron (.) and major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. J Integr Med. PMID: 24299602

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Which is the greater threat? Measles or the Measles Vaccine?

© EU Observer

A recent measles outbreak at Disneyland of at least 70 cases (Jan 2015) has created quite a stir in the media. Five of the cases were fully vaccinated, indicating the measles vaccine confers only temporary immunity. Clearly there is no "failure to vaccinate", as measles has broken out in highly vaccinatedpopulations. It is obviously a failure of the vaccine. Unlike the vaccine, real measles infection confers life-long immunity.

In 2008, a similar resurgence in measles cases was reported. An increase in reported cases of measles from 42 to 131 prompted a 2008 editorial warning of re-emergence of "many diseases" if vaccination rates drop. A quote from the :

"If confidence in all vaccines were to drop precipitously, many diseases would re-emerge and cause far more harm than could possibly result from vaccination."

Confidence in Vaccines Has Been Lost

Unfortunately, confidence in vaccines has already been lost according to Shona Hilton in her article,"Who do parents believe about MMR". According to Shona Hilton, young parents are mistrustful of the media and the pediatricians who have financial incentives to push vaccines.

What is the Evidence for an Autism/ Vaccine Link?


Hannah Poling and father courtesy of Scientific American

The Hanna Poling Case

In the case of Hannah Poling, the federal vaccine court has agreed to compensate Poling's family, conceding that her autism was caused by vaccination. The federal court has already paid out more than $1.5 billion for vaccine related injury or death.

Italian Court Conceded MMR Caused Autism

In 2012, the Italian Health Ministry conceded the MMR vaccine caused autism in nine-year-old Valentino Bocca. Exactly how many other cases exist is unknown because court records are usually sealed from public view.

Abnormal MMR Antibody Response in Autistic Kids

An important finding was found in a 2002 report in by Dr. Singh entitled .

The authors found elevated antibody levels to MMR (Measles Mumps Rubells Vaccine) in 60% of autistic children, none in controls. The elevated MMR antibodies in autistic children detected "measles HA protein", which is unique to the measles subunit of the vaccine. Over 90% of the autistic children with elevated MMR antibodies, also had elevated MBP (myelin basic protein) antibodies, suggesting a strong association between MMR and CNS autoimmunity in autism. The authors state:

"Stemming from this evidence, we suggest that an inappropriate antibody response to MMR, specifically the measles component thereof, might be related to pathogenesis of autism."

"In light of these new findings, we suggest that a considerable proportion of autistic cases may result from an atypical measles infection that does not produce a rash but causes neurological symptoms in some children. The source of this virus could be a variant MV or it could be the MMR vaccine."

A second paper in 2003 by the same group confirmed these findings: Singh, Vijendra K., and Ryan L. Jensen. 28.4 (2003): 292-294.

Bernadine Healy MD

According to Bernadine Healy MD, Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) in 1991, there is credible published, peer-reviewed scientific studies that support the idea of an association between autism and vaccines. Rather than oppose all vaccinations, Dr Healy suggests modifying the vaccination schedule to make them safer.

How to Make the Vaccine Schedule Safer?

Don Miller MD in this article on Lew Rockwell, provides a safer vaccination schedule. For example, the vaccination schedule can be made safer by waiting until child's immune system is better developed after age 2, by moving from the combined MMR shot to individual doses, avoiding thimerosol, and avoiding the live vaccines.

Which is the Greater Threat Autism or Measles?

While the number of autism cases are increasing, measles cases are decreasing.

Measles Mortality Decreasing

© wikimedia

Left chart Increasing autism cases:Reports of autism cases per 1,000 children grew dramatically in the U.S. from 1996 to 2007.

Mortality from measles decreased in US and UK from 1900 to 1963, even before first vaccines were introduced in 1963. (see below charts courtesy of Measles and measles vaccines fourteen things to consider by Roman Bystrianyk )

Mortality from measles in the US.

Mortality from measles in the UK

Introduction of the measles vaccine in 1963 was successful. The measles vaccine (live virus) reduced the number of measles cases, and prevented about 100 deaths per year. Prior to 1963, mortality from measles had already dropped to low levels from improved living standards, better nutrition, and and sanitary measures.

Regressive Autism Caused by the MMR Shot - Dr Don Miller

Don Miller MD writes,

"Since the measles vaccine came into widespread use in this country this disease has virtually disappeared, and it has prevented 100 deaths a year. But now, instead, several thousand normally developing children become autistic after receiving their MMR shot. Termed "regressive autism," it accounts for about 30 percent of the 10,000 to 20,000 children who are diagnosed with autism in this country each year."

A User Friendly Vaccine Schedule from Don Miller MD:

  1. avoid vaccines containing thimerosal, which is 50 percent mercury.

  2. avoid vaccines that contain live viruses. This includes the combined measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine; chickenpox (varicella) vaccine, and the live-virus polio (Sabin) vaccine.

  3. Wait until age of two to start, then vaccinate no more than once every six months, one at a time, in order to allow the immune system sufficient time to recover and stabilize between shots.

Vitamin A and measles

Numerous medical publications have shown health benefits for Vitamin A in treatment of measles.


Clearly, there is a trade off in terms of benefits and risks of vaccines. Rather than deny the adverse effects of vaccines, we should be openly discussing how to make the vaccine schedule safer, as Don Miller MD and Bernadine Healy MD suggest.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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Arson not ruled out in fire at Islamic center in Texas

© Screenshot from youtube video by amazing videos

A building at an Islamic institute in Houston, Texas burst into flames shortly before members began arriving for morning prayers at the campus' mosque. Now investigators are trying to determine whether arson is to blame for the blaze.

The fire broke out in a vacant building on the Quba Islamic Institute campus in southeast Houston early Friday morning. Heavy smoke filled the air as flames flared from the roof.

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Kenyatta Parker, a spokesman for the Houston Fire Department, said up to 25 firefighters responded to the 5:35 a.m. alarm, extinguishing the flames by 6:20 a.m.

"We got it before it got out of control," Parker said. No injuries were reported, he told the .

The institute had recently bought the building, and was planning to turn it into a community center and a place for children to study Islam, Zahid Abdullah, the mosque's imam, told KHOU.

When asked about a potential cause for the blaze, Parker replied, "We have no idea yet."

This early in the investigation, officials have no reason to believe the fire was intentionally set, Parker said.

But members of the Islamic center said that arson is suspected.

Ahsan Zahid, the 25-year-old son of Quba's imam, told the that arson investigators with the Houston Fire Department told him that an accelerant was used in the fire.

There are currently two working theories that are being pursued, Zahid said: Either the fire was started to intentionally damage the building or it was started by a homeless person who broke into the building because of the cold.

Prayers were set to begin at the institute at 6:15 a.m., as they do every day, according to the Quba website. Firefighters turned members away from the mosque.

"It says right on the sign Quba Islamic institute. We are not hiding ourselves," Hala Saadeh, a mosque member, told , wondering if the fire was started deliberately.

"A lot of people think like that, but like I said we don't know yet. Nobody knows actually. So once they clear here, we will find out," said another mosque member.

Zahid said he was hopeful that the facility was not a target for hate crime. Leaders there are concerned that they may have been victims of Islamophobia, citing the recent shooting deaths of three Muslims in North Carolina, the reported.

Mosque members said that the fire would not deter them.

"We are a strong community, we'll just figure out what to. Build again," Yousuf Silah told .

Local arson investigators and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were at the scene to gather evidence and determine the cause.

Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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