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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Cops go car to car in traffic jam, issue $18,000 in fines for cellphone use at a near dead stop

© The Free Thought Project

Honolulu, Hawaii - Writing tickets was like shooting fish in a barrel for Honolulu police earlier this month when they went car to car issuing citations for cell phone use.

According to motorists, police moved into the middle of the street during the worst traffic jam in years and began a ticket writing assembly line that made them over $18,000. In total, 65 drivers were given tickets that amounted to $290 a piece.

In an extreme traffic situation like this, it is understandable for people to use their phones to contact loved ones and rearrange their plans. This is especially important for those who are responsible for taking care of children or elderly people.

Police representatives admit that the ticketing strategy was unfair, but they claim that this operation was pre-planned and that the officers were not opportunistically taking advantage of the traffic jam. In fact, police representatives told local reporters that they were totally unaware of that the highway was in gridlock. This is despite the fact that it should have been obvious to the individual officers in the street, as well as their superiors back at headquarters.

"This cop was walking the highway and motioned for all these cars to move into the gas station parking lot, and they had an assembly line of cops giving tickets," commuter Tiffani Breeden told reporters after she was ticketed by police.

Honolulu Police Department Assistant Chief Clayton Kau said that the whole thing was just one giant misunderstanding.

"At the time, that they were doing that, they weren't aware of the traffic problem. When they were notified, at that point, they ceased enforcement action," Kau said.

Breeden, however, is not buying their story. "I knew about it at noon, in my office in Honolulu, and I'm not even a cop patrolling the streets. How are they unaware of street conditions?" she said.

During a press conference earlier this month, Captain Darren Izumo admitted guilt, saying that the operation should have been cancelled.

"I'll take the hit for that, in that we were concentrating on getting the westbound traffic flowing, so I failed to cancel that operation,"he said.

Even after admitting that the tickets should not have been issued to begin with, the police department is still refusing to cancel them. Instead they are asking the commuters to fight the tickets in court and take their chances with the judge.

UK politician Greville Janner excused from prosecution of 22 sexual offenses against 9 children after timely onset of 'dementia'

© Heathcliff O'Malley
Labour Lord Greville Janner

As Oskar Groening, the so-called Accountant of Auschwitz, goes on trial at the age of 93 for his complicity in war crimes, the 86-year-old Labour peer Greville Janner is excused prosecution for 22 alleged sexual offences against nine boys in his Leicestershire constituency, from the 1960s to the 1980s, because he is suffering from "severe dementia".

How terribly convenient. Powerful elderly men have form when it comes to losing their memory when there are things it would not be helpful to remember. Think of Ernest Saunders. In 1991, a consultant psychiatrist told the Court of Appeal that Saunders, formerly the chief executive of Guinness, was unable to recall three numbers backwards or use a door.

Saunders had been jailed for five years in 1990 for financial wrongdoing. His lawyers contested the sentence, saying that a term of incarceration would only exacerbate the pre-senile dementia of which poor Ernest was displaying the early symptoms.

Saunders shuffled about looking like the simpleton played by Peter Sellers in . His sentence was duly cut in half and he served only 10 months.

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One evening, not long afterwards, Himself and I were wandering down St James's when who should we see, across the street, but one Ernest Saunders. Dressed in a smart suit, he was getting money out of a cashpoint. With that public spiritedness for which your columnist is renowned, I shouted: "Having any problems remembering your pin number, Ernest?"

Evidently not. Saunders, it seemed, had made a remarkable, nay unprecedented, recovery from Alzheimer's. Not bad for a fellow who couldn't recall three numbers backwards, eh?

So please forgive my cynicism at the timely onset of Lord Janner's "dementia" in 2009. It hasn't prevented the peer from attending the House of Lords, and he has sufficient marbles left to have claimed more than £100,000 in Parliamentary allowances and expenses during that period. Janner even signed a letter saying he wished to remain a peer just a week before he was ruled unfit to face the child sex charges.

If a man who is non compos mentis can vote in the House of Lords, how can he not be fit enough to stand trial and at least give his alleged victims some chance of catharsis?

The Crown Prosecution Service actually admits it should have prosecuted Janner on three previous occasions, but the investigations were "botched". Leicestershire Police has led the chorus of disbelief having handed over video evidence to the CPS apparently showing Janner taking part in "some of the worst crimes imaginable".

Yesterday, 11 leading figures from seven political parties reflected general outrage, signing an open letter saying that Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, is "damaging public confidence" with her ruling.

Other people argue that it would be unfair and inhumane to drag a vulnerable, elderly man before a court.

What, as unfair and inhumane as letting powerful men pick off small boys in a children's home for their own delectation and then allegedly covering up that wickedness because the poor and defenceless shall have no voice and the Establishment will take care of its own?

Cow 'starts eating sheep' on Kenya farm

© Suleiman Mbatiah/Nation Media Group
A dairy cow bites a merino sheep at Miti Mingi Village in Elementaita, Nakuru County, on April 22, 2015. The strange behaviour by the cow has left villagers and the owner in shock.

A farmer in Kenya says one of his cows has given up its usual vegetarian diet and started eating sheep.

Charles Mamboleo, who runs a farm in south-western Nakuru County, discovered the cow feeding on a sheep one morning, having apparently gored it to death, the Daily Nation website reports. Fresh food and water couldn't tempt the cow, and another sheep met its end the following day, the report says.

"After the first incident, we thought the cow was starving, so we increased the supply of fodder and water, but it still continued chasing after sheep," says Mr Mamboleo.

While cows are herbivores, developing a taste for meat could be a sign of a nutrient deficiency, according to a local agricultural officer. "The dry season, which has just ended, has seen most animals lack minerals found in green grass," Albert Kabugi tells the site.

In 2007, a calf in India's West Bengal region was filmed eating chickens. A local vet said he suspected a lack of vital minerals was also to blame in that case, noting that it could happen in "exceptional" circumstances.

Cook who serves some of the most powerful people on earth needs food stamps to feed his family despite working 70 hours weekly

© Jason Reed/Reuters
Tell us this, Mr Senator: when will all federal contractors be paid a living wage?

Every day, I serve food to some of the most powerful people on earth, including many of the senators who are running for president: I'm a cook for the federal contractor that runs the US Senate cafeteria. But today, they'll have to get their meals from someone else's hands, because I'm on strike.

I am walking off my job because I want the presidential hopefuls to know that I live in poverty. Many senators canvas the country giving speeches about creating "opportunity" for workers and helping our kids achieve the "American dream" - most don't seem to notice or care that workers in their own building are struggling to survive.

I'm a single father and I only make $12 an hour; I had to take a second job at a grocery store to make ends meet. But even though I work seven days a week - putting in 70 hours between my two jobs - I can't manage to pay the rent, buy school supplies for my kids or even put food on the table. I hate to admit it, but I have to use food stamps so that my kids don't go to bed hungry.

I've done everything that politicians say you need to do to get ahead and stay ahead: I work hard and play by the rules; I even graduated from college and worked as a substitute teacher for five years. But I got laid-off and I now I'm stuck trying to make ends meet with dead-end service jobs.

American voters should ask themselves: if presidential candidates won't help the workers who serve them every day, will they really help the millions of low-wage American workers who they don't know or see? I'm a Bible-believing Christian, just like a lot of the candidates. Scripture says to "Love your neighbor" and "Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you". It's a shame too few candidates follow the guidance of the book in which they say they believe.

My employer, Compass Group, is renewing its contract with the US government today - but none of the senators or government officials to whom we serve food asked me or my co-workers whether this multinational corporation, headquartered in the United Kingdom, is treating American workers right. No-one bothered to check if the company that makes billions in profits is paying workers a living wage and offering decent benefits so we don't have to use public aid programs to meet our basic needs. We the workers sure have an opinion when it comes to federal contract renewals - but no one cared enough to ask us.

President Obama and each presidential hopeful should have to tell all Americans whether they will stop giving US contracts to extremely profitable companies who pay their workers so little that we have to rely on public assistance programs like food stamps. Otherwise, all their rhetoric about wanting American workers to get ahead is just empty words.

My co-workers and I are on strike because we want the current president - and those running to succeed him - to make sure that federal contracts are preferentially awarded to good American companies that pay workers a living wage, offer decent benefits like paid leave and allow us to collectively bargain so that we don't need to strike to have our voices heard.

Most of the candidates know where to find me. I'll be eagerly awaiting a response.

Massive magma chamber hiding beneath volcanic system of Yellowstone National Park

© Mark Ralston, AFP/GETTY IMAGES
The 'Grand Prismatic' hot spring in the Yellowstone National Park, home of a massive underground supervolcano.

A massive chamber holding enough magma to fill the Grand Canyon more than 11 times over is hiding beneath the steaming volcanic system of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

We knew of a smaller magma chamber closer to surface, holding some 10,000 cubic kilometres of magma and feeding heat upwards. The newly discovered reservoir sits under it and has a volume of 46,000 cubic kilometres. Together, the two form the largest known magma reservoir in the world.

"We can't say definitively that this is the biggest magma reservoir in the world, but we currently don't know of any other that has been imaged that is as large as the two we see beneath Yellowstone," says Fan-Chi Lin of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The discovery of the much larger reservoir at a depth of 20 to 50 kilometres helps to solve a long-running puzzle relating to the carbon dioxide spewing out from the huge steaming caldera volcano at Yellowstone, creating ripples of tiny earthquakes it does so. The problem is that the upper magma chamber is much too small to account for the 45 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide discharged daily.

"If you combine the upper and lower crustal magma reservoirs, it better accounts for the amount of carbon dioxide coming out of the ground at Yellowstone," says Lin.

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Mantle plume

It also solves another mystery: how molten material from much deeper down makes it to the surface. The main source of magma feeding Yellowstone is a mantle plume found around 60 kilometres deep, fanning out like a huge pancake.

"This transports heat and magma-containing fluids to the crust above," says Lin.

Geologists had been puzzling over how this molten material could travel all the way between the plume and the upper magma reservoir, which is just 5 to 16 kilometres down.

The newly discovered reservoir is the missing connection between the two, interlinking with them via narrow vertical and horizontal channels respectively called dykes and sills.

"Now we have a much better understanding of how the entire magmatic system beneath Yellowstone works, from the mantle to the surface," says Lin.

The other good news is that despite the massive magma find, the risk of an supervolcano eruption remains unchanged. The last huge eruption there happened 640,000 years ago, forming the current Yellowstone caldera, 60 kilometres long and 40 kilometres wide.

The findings can be applied to other volcanic systems around the world to help identify imminent volcanic activity and the risk of eruptions, says Lin.

Under the radar

So how did we not notice this chamber before?

To visualise underground structures, geologists look at the way seismic waves from earthquakes pass through the areas of interest. Some types of rock - particularly molten material - slow down the waves, so when the wave speeds are measured by detectors at the surface, geologists can work out rock profiles below ground. "It's analogous to a medical CT scan," says Lin.

Features at the depths where the new chamber was found have been difficult to study because the speed of waves from below are dictated by rock closer to the surface. Lin's team got round this by combining readings from local, shallower, and distant, deeper tremors, allowing the distorting effects of the rocks nearer the surface to be filtered out.

"This allows us to simultaneously image both shallow and deeper crustal structures," says Lin. Altogether, they analysed data from 4520 local and 329 distant quakes.

Other volcanologists say the results finally prove what was long suspected, that there was another source of heat and magma beneath Yellowstone.

"This newly-discovered magmatic body supplies the heat and volatile gases essential to account for how the Yellowstone system functions," says Luca Caricchi of the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

"These results advance significantly our ability to identify the global distribution of volcanic systems with the potential to produce extremely large volcanic eruptions, which may have very large impacts on society," says Caricchi.

Good places to look for similar systems to Yellowstone include Toba in Indonesia, the Taupo volcanic zone in New Zealand, and the southern Rocky mountains in the US, he says.

Walled off: In non-rebel eastern Ukraine, frustrations mount with Kiev

© Fred Weir/The Christian Science Monitor
Col. Alexander Kruk, commander of Kharkiv region border guards, stands amid a completed section of the planned border wall. On one side, barbed-wire topped fence, watchtowers with cameras and motion detectors. On the other, berms and tank traps to slow down invading forces.

He says it will stop smugglers, illegal immigrants, subversives and, in a pinch, slow down an armored assault for a few minutes. "It's a border. It has to be defended, doesn't it?" he says.

It's been nicknamed the "Great Wall of Ukraine." Its planned combination of barbed-wire fences, watchtowers, berms, and tank traps along Ukraine's 1,300-mile border with Russia look like something you'd find on one of Israel's borders with its hostile neighbors.

If it's ever completed, the wall will seal a frontier that, until last year, had always been wide open. Inaugurating construction here last fall, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk indicated that much more than just a physical barrier was intended. "This will be the eastern border of Europe," he said.

But in nearby Kharkiv, an overwhelmingly Russian-speaking city of one-and-a-half million, mention of the wall is mostly greeted with snorts of irritation. The idea of splitting permanently and irrevocably from Russia wins virtually no acceptance. Many people here have family and friends in Russia, the local economy is heavily dependent on trade with Russia, and some say they just can't wrap their heads around the idea of a frontier being there in the first place.

"The Russian city of Belgorod is an hour's drive away; until recently there were almost no border formalities. It's a scene of my childhood; I love that place," says Yury Smirnov, a taxi driver. "Now the border inspections take hours, and it's humiliating. Belgorod might as well be on the moon."

The tension between Kharkiv and Kiev is all too obvious these days. While pro-Kiev patriots are visible - groups of activists tore down three prominent Soviet-era monuments under cover of night last week - most conversations with people quickly reveal varying degrees of anger and disillusionment with the new revolutionary government. Everybody here, on both sides of the barricades, agrees that they are horrified by what's happening in next door Donbass and do not want to see the war come to Kharkiv. But experts from both sides of the argument admit it will be an uphill slog for Kiev to win their hearts, in part because of the economic crisis that many here blame on a government they never voted for.

"People in the western Ukraine are inclined to tighten their belts and think 'we're at war with Russia, of course there must be sacrifices.' But people here say, 'we lived better under [deposed President Viktor] Yanukovych, before these new people came,'" says Alexander Kirsch, a deputy of the Rada, Ukraine's parliament, who is from Kharkiv and an adviser to Prime Minister Yatsenyuk.

A balancing act

People here overwhelmingly voted for Mr. Yanukovych in 2010. When he was overthrown, separatists started raising their banners and occupying buildings even before unrest broke out in Donbass, where the rebel oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk lie. But the city's popularly elected mayor, Gennady Kernes, after briefly flirting with separatism, started strongly advocating reconciliation with the new government, and passions calmed.

Still, when parliamentary elections were held last October, barely 45 percent of people here turned out to vote - remarkably, nowhere in the entire Russian-speaking east and south of Ukraine did voter turnout reach 50 percent. And those who did mostly backed the newly recreated version of Yanukovych's party, now known as the Opposition Bloc.

In a still unsolved assassination attempt, Mr. Kernes was shot while jogging in Kharkiv a year ago. He spent several weeks recuperating in Israel but, now in a wheelchair, he is back at the city's helm and more than ever at loggerheads with the Kiev authorities. Later this month he faces trial on charges of abduction brought by the Kiev prosecutor. His supporters insist the charges are without foundation and were trumped up to punish the mayor for his independent stance.

He may be in even more trouble over his defiance of a resolution unanimously passed in January by the Rada that makes it illegal to deny that Russia is an "aggressor" state. Asked point blank by a journalist whether he agrees, Kernes answered, "Personally, I do not consider Russia to be an aggressor."

Due to his ill health, Kernes was not available to talk with the recently. But the spokesman for the pro-mayor city council, Yury Sidorenko, said the mayor is doing his best to keep the lid on in a city where people are not only being battered by the most severe economic crisis since the 1990s, but are also being riled up by Kiev initiatives that they do not see any need for.

"Kiev is risking a social explosion here," Mr. Sidorenko says. "It's as if they have no understanding whatsoever in Kiev of how people think and feel in Kharkiv. They behave like revolutionaries, treating us like putty to be molded into their new form. They don't have the vaguest idea of how badly they are aggravating things here."

Grim outlook

A new set of laws passed earlier this month will ban Soviet-era symbols and grant "hero of Ukraine" status to anti-Soviet fighters whom east Ukrainians have been brought up to think of as enemies. It will also add May 8 - World War II "Victory in Europe" Day - to the traditional May 9 Victory Day celebration.

"We are really dreading May 9 this year," Sidorenko says. "There are many thousands of people who are Red Army war veterans, their children or supporters, who are going to march, and they are going to be carrying Soviet symbols and flags. This is usually a happy day. But this year it could be trouble."

The longer term outlook is even worse. Like most cities of the eastern Ukraine, Kharkiv was tightly integrated into the Soviet industrial machine. Trade with Russia has fallen by almost half amid mutual sanctions over the past year. The city has a huge plant that makes electrical turbines, most of which were formerly sold to Russia. An assembly plant for Antonov aircraft is near bankruptcy, with most workers furloughed, for similar reasons. The only local factory that does seem to be prospering is the Malyshev Works, which makes tanks for the Ukrainian army.

"The war in Donbass will be over one day, and normalizing relations with Russia will be a priority," says Vadim Karasyov, director of the independent Institute of Global Strategies in Kiev. "But by that time, we may have lost our industrial base. Ukraine had positions in aviation, space industry, and we were a big arms producer. All of it depended heavily on the Russian market. The way things are going, a one-time great industrial power is going to end up joining Europe as an agricultural country."

But Mr. Kirsch, the only member of the prime minister's party to get elected in the entire eastern Ukraine, says these industries are part of Russia's stranglehold on Ukraine, and they must be broken up and sold off so that smaller, independent businesses can grow amid their ruins.

"Deindustrialization is not the goal. The point is to make business profitable and efficient. The market will decide," he says. The huge and badly paid work forces of those dying factories, along with their corrupt managers, are holding Ukraine back, he says. Yes, it will be painful. "But the alternative, to leave everything as it was and remain friends with Russia, is much worse."

Unlike many Kiev officials, Kirsch admits there is a sharp public split between east and west Ukraine, and it may prove very difficult to heal.

"Since the beginning of the war, changes in attitude have occurred, but it's happening too slowly," he says. "We're all headed toward Europe, but Kharkiv is bringing up the rear, and griping all the way."

BEST OF THE WEB: Paradise Stolen: The Myth of Terrorism

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

Russia and Argentina seal energy package, $3 billion in deals


© RIA Novosti / Alexey Druzhinin
Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner seen during the ceremony of signing joint documents on the results of Russian-Argentinian talks in the Kremlin, April 23, 2015.

Russia plans to invest $2 billion in Argentinian nuclear power plants, and Russia's Gazprom has signed a deal to explore oil and gas fields in Argentina, a project worth another $1 billion.

Argentinian President Cristina de Kirchner and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a renewed energy pact at a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.

Russia's state nuclear energy company, Rosatom, said it will provide funds to build a sixth reactor at the Atucha nuclear power plant in Buenos Aires province.

"The amount of Russian investment is about $1.9 billion," Putin said.

Russia's Inter RAO Group signed a letter of intent for the construction of the Chihuido-1 hydroelectric power plant on the Neuquen River - a project worth $2 billion. Russia's VEB bank will provide $1.2 billion of the needed investment, reported. The power station will have a capacity of 637 megawatts. The company also expressed its interest in building the Chihuido-2 plant with a 296 megawatt capacity.

President de Kirchner signed a nuclear power deal in July 2014 when President Putin visited Argentina before the BRICS summit in Brazil.

The high-level talks were not only fruitful in hydroelectric power, but also in gas.

"Gazprom is preparing a master plan to develop the Argentine gas industry, and is considering the possibility of setting up a joint venture to develop hydrocarbon deposits in Argentina," the Russian president said.

Russia's largest gas producer Gazprom signed a memorandum of cooperation with Argentinian energy company YPF to explore the Vaca Muerta oil and gas fields in southern Argentina. According to the Argentine Ministry of Industry, the project could cost $1 billion.

It's estimated to be one of the largest shale reserves in the Western hemisphere. If the fields are properly developed they have the potential to double Argentina's energy output within 10 years, Reuters reported Wednesday.

At present, more than 20 percent of Argentina's energy is produced with Russian technology and equipment.

The two heads of state signed over 20 documents and established an "all-encompassing strategic partnership" across sectors such as agriculture, trade, and military cooperation, as well as memorandums to boost environmental protection and fight drug trafficking.

At the talks Putin assured de Kirchner that her country has Russia's support in its territorial dispute with Great Britain over the Malvinas (Falkland) Islands. The Russian President also urged for the work on a GLONASS station in Argentina to be sped up.

Putin said that the Russian heavy machinery company Uralmash, "plans to set up a joint venture with Argentine partners to produce oil equipment in Argentina."

Another major deal relates to transport: Russia will supply 40 trolleybuses to Argentina in June.

Poor diet causes more disease than lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol combined, say doctors


Exercise all you like, but if your diet is bad, it won't protect you from disease

Doctors have blamed excess sugar and carbohydrates for the surge in obesity - not the lack of exercise.

They said poor diet was now recognised as being responsible for more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined.

Yet, said the experts led by cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, the public wrongly believed that obesity was due to a sedentary lifestyle.

The doctors claimed that obesity has rocketed in the past 30 years, despite little change in physical activity levels.

'This places the blame for our expanding waistlines directly on the type and amount of calories consumed,' said Dr Malhotra.

'Let us bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity. You cannot outrun a bad diet.'

In the British Journal Of Sports Medicine, the doctors added that the 'false perception' on the cause of obesity stems from corporate marketing 'chillingly similar' to that used by the tobacco industry.

They cited Coca-Cola associating its products with sport 'suggesting it is OK to consume their drinks as long as you exercise'.

Dr Malhotra, who works at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, is an adviser to the campaign group Action on Sugar. Around two-thirds of Britons are overweight or obese.

The clinical impact of Vitamin C: My personal experiences as a Physician


© phys.org

Is the healing power of Vitamin C too good to be true? Can this inexpensive and convenient vitamin improve and heal the toughest of ailments?

My ongoing relationship with vitamin C now spans a full 20 years, when I first met Dr. Hal Huggins, a pioneering dentist who opened my eyes to a wide array of clinical approaches to different diseases with hitherto unheard-of clinical results at his clinic in Colorado Springs. I can honestly say that my first visit to his clinic began the most meaningful part of my medical education. Nothing has been the same since. My office where I practiced adult cardiology ended up being shuttered shortly after that first visit. And I have never looked back.

While there are many things I learned from Dr. Huggins, and there were many areas I then ended up exploring because of what he taught me, the single most important thing I learned from him was the incredible ability of vitamin Cto improve or heal so many conditions. Without exception, seriously ill patients, often with such diseases as Parkinson's, ALS, Alzheimer's, MS, and atherosclerosis, almost always had extensive dental toxicity in the form of root canal-treated teeth, infected dental implants, mercury amalgams, extensive cavitational osteonecrosis, and/or advanced periodontal disease. Each of these individuals had anywhere from three to five sessions of extensive dental work, typically involving a great deal of dental surgery along with the inevitable exposure to the toxins associated with anaerobic dental infections and the inescapable assimilation of some mercury vapor if amalgams were being removed. However, all of these patients received 50-gram (50,000 mg) infusions of vitamin C administered continuously before, during, and following the dental sessions. In patients with diseases that I had been led to believe could not really be improved upon, dramatic clinical improvement was routinely apparent immediately following the dental sessions.

While I knew the removal of dental toxicity was very important in their clinical improvements, watching these patients perk up after their first vitamin C infusion was extraordinary. Most healthy people I knew just wanted to go to bed after hours of extensive dental work. On at least one memorable occasion, after the first vitamin C infusion was complete, one especially sickly patient immediately began talking with her caregiver about what restaurant they could go to that evening to enjoy a meal. This patient had several teeth extracted, but was still looking forward to attacking a steak with the remaining teeth in her mouth. On a few priceless occasions, I even saw some wheelchair-bound patients take a few steps, with assistance, before they finished their two-week treatment period at the clinic.

Seeing was believing, and I realized the entire way that I approached patient care simply had to change. I needed to learn a lot more about the intravenous delivery of this molecule known as ascorbic acid, or ascorbate. I resolved to research this vitamin as completely as possible, learn the nuances of that research as best I could, and then proceed to spread the word on the application of this incredibly potent, inexpensive, and non-toxic substance.


Many of the "leads" that I followed in accumulating the many thousands of abstracts and articles came from the 1972 ground-breaking book by Irwin Stone entitled, The Healing Factor: "Vitamin C" Against Disease. Stone obtained forewords for his book by the renowned Nobel Prize winners, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, who had discovered vitamin C in 1932, and Linus Pauling, who pretty much put vitamin C into the public eye as nobody else has been able to do.

In order not to miss any significant information published in the medical literature about vitamin C since the publication of Stone's book, I entered the term "ascorbic acid" into the search engine of PubMed, and list of about 24,000 articles appeared. I gave all of these articles careful consideration in documenting the many clinical effects and laboratory effects of vitamin C. What began to emerge as I proceeded to review these thousands of articles was that vitamin C is more important than any other treatment for infection or exposure to toxin. Probably most impressive was the fact that vitamin C in test tube experiments had always neutralized any toxin to which it was exposed, regardless of the chemical structure of the toxin.

The validation and enormous importance of much of this test tube research came from the work of Frederick Klenner, MD in North Carolina. His clinical experience demonstrated how vitamin C was just as effective in the body as in the test tube in neutralizing or negating the toxic impact of whatever toxin the patient was exposed to. Snake venom, heavy metals, pesticides, cyanide, alcohol, carbon monoxide were all neutralized. The results that Dr. Klenner reported with infections were also astounding, as vitamin C, properly administered, proved to be the ultimate virucidal agent, curing all acute viral infections. These viral infections remain incurable by the standard approaches of modern medicine today. Furthermore, Klenner showed that vitamin C was also very effective in the treatment of many non-viral infections, improving the efficacy of treatment by antibiotics and other medications administered today. While I have seen but a fraction of the types of conditions that Dr. Klenner described, I fully believe the accuracy of everything Dr. Klenner published. I have applied vitamin C treatment to many patients with conditions similar to those treated by Dr. Klenner, along with several other conditions that Dr. Klenner did not have the opportunity to treat. With the perspective of this clinical experience, I have little reason to doubt any of the fabulous outcomes that he reported.

What I Have Witnessed

I recall here some of the most dramatic anecdotes about the healing power of vitamin C in the hope of conveying to the reader what an extraordinary addition it can be to the clinical options of any medical doctor. Shortly after the vitamin C book was completed and published, I began a limited clinical practice with a few colleagues. The circumstances were pretty much ideal for me, as I was able to give or prescribe intravenous vitamin C as needed.

Severe Influenza

In 2003 Denver was in the middle of a flu epidemic that infected over 6,000 individuals and ended up killing more than ten children and infants. In this setting, a slender but healthy 26-year-old woman developed a persistent fatigue that continued to progress. After a month of this ongoing fatigue she fell severely ill very quickly, with the classical flu-like symptoms of fever, chills, muscle aches and pains, headaches, and nausea. She tried in vain to deal with her symptoms and still go to school. However, after about a week of these symptoms and trying to maintain a normal level of activity, she only had the energy to stay in bed.

She remained in bed for the next ten weeks. Even her short trips to the bathroom depleted what little energy she had, as the out-of-bed excursions would cause her to feel feverish and would worsen her headaches. When I first saw her, she had lost 20% of her body weight, going from 100 pounds down to about 80 pounds. In response to a plea from her caregiver, I made a house call to her with my office manager/assistant, and we administered her first vitamin C IV there. I found her primarily just emaciated and appearing very malnourished. There was no evidence of liver enlargement or enlarged lymph nodes. Her bloodwork suggested a past Epstein-Barr virus infection, and it was reasoned that this chronic viral infection had just made her all the more susceptible to the epidemic of flu that was working its way through Denver and the rest of Colorado.

Her first IV consisted primarily of 50 grams of vitamin C as sodium ascorbate in 1,000 cc of lactated Ringer's solution infused slowly over a period of about three hours. Six grams of glutathione was added toward the end of the infusion. The next five infusions contained 100 grams of sodium ascorbate, completed by the six grams of glutathione.

The morning after the first IV she was free of headaches for the first time in three months, and she felt much stronger. However, by the second infusion, she was able to walk a bit around the house. By the morning after the third infusion, she was able to walk outside and enjoy a little sunshine. She was able to walk into the clinic for her fourth infusion and subsequent treatments. She felt completely normal the day after the fourth infusion, but two more infusions over two more days were administered to prevent the possibility of relapse. An oral regimen of supplementation was started, and she was discharged from regular care.

Of particular importance in understanding the amount of vitamin C needed to effectively cure this patient's chronic/acute viral syndrome is to note the patient's weight of 80 pounds when first seen. 100 grams of vitamin C in a 80-pound patient is equivalent to 250 grams in a 200-pound patient. Further, the efficacy of the vitamin C was enhanced by the glutathione administration. Our conclusion from many similar cases was that any viral syndrome not resolving with vitamin C was almost always due to inadequate total dose, along with the virus not being readily accessible by the molecules of vitamin C, as in chronic hepatitis. A terminal (not early stage) case of a dangerous virus such as Ebola in a nutrient-depleted body might require even higher doses of vitamin C for clinical resolution, depending upon body size.

H1N1 Influenza

A New Zealand farmer contracted H1N1 influenza in 2009. Well-documented on New Zealand's version of 60 Minutes, this individual had progressed to the point of being on life support, and the doctors had nothing further to offer.

A family member contacted me to ask what to do, and I advised intravenous vitamin C, 50 grams or more daily, immediately. However, I did not think there was any chance that the hospital or doctors would allow such treatment.

After an enormous struggle, the family finally got the doctor in charge to give vitamin C before "pulling the plug." 25 grams of vitamin C was given intravenously the first day, 50 grams the second day, 75 grams the third day, and then 100 grams daily for 4 to 5 more days. At that point a new doctor in charge of the case discontinued the vitamin C completely, for unclear reasons, even though the patient was clearly responding, waking up, and dramatically clearing up the previous "white-out" state seen in chest X-rays of his congested lungs. A full week later, intravenous vitamin C was restarted at a mere one gram twice daily. But for the docs who thought the vitamin C was a foolish intervention, the proof of its efficacy was already at hand.

Pulmonary Embolism

While visiting Colombia, South America, I had the opportunity to see a 30-year-old woman who was bedridden and appearing to be in imminent danger of dying. She had been diagnosed with pulmonary embolism, and both of her legs were tender and swollen, appearing ready to set loose further emboli that would seal her fate. She was already on Coumadin anticoagulation, and her blood tests indicated the thinning of her blood was optimal.

Since I had brought some supplies with me on this trip in order to give a few selected friends (as well as myself) some intravenous vitamin C, I decided to try to help this individual out as best I could. While I was concerned about the vitamin C neutralizing the anticoagulant effects of the Coumadin, I was hoping to relieve her suffering a bit. I proceeded to give her 50 grams of vitamin C over about three hours. She tolerated the infusion well.

The following afternoon I returned to give her another vitamin C infusion. Her improvement was nearly miraculous. She was sitting up in bed and combing her hair, as she had just gotten out of bed and taken a shower on her own.

On the fourth day, following the third infusion, she was smiling and very pleased to report how good her legs were feeling. I was very pleased, but I was also concerned over the possibility of relapse, as I could not continue the IV infusions. She did continue to improve, however, as I left her with several months worth of vitamin C powder, taken at 2,000 mg daily.

West Nile Virus

I have treated two cases of West Nile virus, and both responded very dramatically. A Colorado man in his 60s had already been sick for a month or two when he went to his local hospital and ended up testing positive for West Nile virus. His symptoms included persistent headaches, a bit of disorientation, and a low-grade fever. Upon arrival at my clinic, he was given 75 grams of vitamin C intravenously followed by 6 grams of glutathione intravenously. He was also given a hyperbaric oxygen treatment. By 36 hours post-treatment, he felt completely normal and remained so.

Another man in his 50s contracted the West Nile virus and presented with a history of chronic virus-associated symptoms over the preceding six months. He received three infusions of vitamin C on consecutive days and reported having no further symptoms after the completion of the third infusion. There was no clinical relapse, and the cure was complete. He commented that the whole experience seemed "like a miracle."

Infectious Mononucleosis

Two college students presented with chronic infectious mononucleosis. Both had been sick for months, primarily with severe fatigue, and they had already dropped out of their classes, not having the energy to continue. Both received several 50-gram infusions of vitamin C and had prompt, complete resolution of their chronic infections and persistent symptoms.

Acute Lyme Disease

A young woman in Pennsylvania was bitten by a pathogen-carrying tick, developed the classical Lyme-associated rash, and proceeded to get very ill over the next seven to ten days. She received several infusions of vitamin C at her house. The first infusion was 100 grams, and her caregiver reported that she seemed much improved upon the completion of that infusion. Five more infusions of 50 grams each were given over the next two days. By the time that 72 hours had passed, she was completely well, never having a clinical relapse or any chronic Lyme symptoms.

Chronic Lyme Disease

A woman with a 12-year history of chronic Lyme disease, documented by blood testing, desired having regular and prolonged high-dose intravenous vitamin C therapy for her condition. Under the aegis of a prescribing physician who had attended one of my presentations of vitamin C, a nurse practitioner was able to give the patient what she wished.

This individual had already been taking liposome-encapsulated vitamin C and glutathione orally without a significant improvement in her condition. On four consecutive days, she received infusions of 25, 50, 75, and then 100 grams of vitamin C. Then, for 19 more days, she received 5 or 6 infusions weekly of 100 grams of vitamin C in each infusion. Until day 23, she felt no improvement. However, she was determined to continue in spite of the lack of improvement and the increasing expense of the whole process. On day 23, the nurse practitioner reported that she looked like a new person, and that it was like a "switch was flipped" and she was well. At her request, the patient received another week of 100 gram daily infusions to be sure her condition was truly resolved, a very good idea on her part. About a month later, her Lyme blood testing was completely negative.

A physician reported to me similar experiences with a series of Lyme patients, who showed no positive clinical response after an extended number of vitamin C infusions, then had a dramatic, abrupt clinical resolution of their condition, very much as described above.

Final Notes

Vitamin C is truly Nature's gift to health and healing. Virtually all medical conditions are associated with increased oxidative stress, and the relief, or at least partial relief, of this oxidative stress with the vigorous administration of vitamin C and other quality antioxidants, will always help. The oxidative stress caused by disease and environmental toxins can deplete the body's level of vitamin C and other antioxidants. In serious illness, the body's reserve of vitamin C goes to zero because the rate at which the body regenerates it is far lower than the rate of depletion. This can require huge doses to bring it back to normal. Even if you are taking antibiotics or other prescription medicines, bringing your levels of vitamin C in your body back to normal, or temporarily supranormal, will virtually always result in profound benefits.

The treatment is effective and, compared to the expense of conventional treatment, it is inexpensive. Few medicines and therapeutic interventions are more affordable than, and as non-toxic as, vitamin C. Even though something as extraordinarily beneficial as vitamin C might seem too good to be true, that's definitely not the case.

About the author

Dr. Thomas Levy is a board-certified cardiologist as well as an attorney. He is the author of several books, including Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins.

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Could a tragic chapter of Australian history be unwittingly repeated in a seasonal 'flu vaccination campaign' for First Nations children?

© Unknown


There was a forced vaccination campaign in 1970-1 in the Northern Territory where forced vaccinations had a 50% fatality rate. This was reported by Dr Archie Kalokerinos, who was there during that time. He later wrote a book on it, called .

The writer's 3 children and 4 grandchildren have been immunised, and I am not an anti-vaccine campaigner. I am a 'vaccine, only with adequate checks and balances', advocate.

Below the links is what happened to Aboriginal children in the 1970's as a result of a previous campaign, as told by a highly experienced doctor practising during that time in the region of NSW with the highest infant death-rate.

In 1974 Dr Archie Kaolkerinos wrote a book entitled , published by Thomas Nelson (Australia) Limited. The forward to that book was written by Dr Linus Pauling, Nobel Prize Winner and Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University, California. The author initially described how prior to white settlement, the Aboriginal population survived only on a fairly wide range of traditional food sources. The newcomers brought foreign diseases e. g. influenza, German measles, tuberculosis, measles, small pox etc to which the Aboriginal inhabitants had no immunity.

Many in the First Nations population died. When white man succeeded in Anglicising the population to a large extent and settling them near to townships, they were provided with a diet of white flour, white sugar, white bread, jam, tea and sausages; a far cry from their natural diet. They were no longer permitted to hunt and gather. This created subsequent generations of malnourished nursing mothers.

Dr Kalokerinos, as a 6 year trained medical graduate (Sydney) and 6 year trained surgeon (London), accepted a position at Collarenebri Hospital in 1957.

The region's then incidence of infant mortality was the highest in the State, which hadn't been brought to his attention, though council officials were aware of it. A search of the Registry of Deaths revealed that 20 white children in every 1,000 died in infancy.

In the Aboriginal population that number was 100+ per 1,000. Initially he saw many Aboriginal children suffering first from ear infection, upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), gastroenteritis, malnutrition and pneumonia. Most suffered continually from the first and second mentioned illnesses, and in those days anti-biotic treatment was always prescribed. Frequent infant deaths continued into the 1960's.

At autopsy changes in the liver, visible to the naked eye, were detected. Further observations = more patterns, which led him to eventually conclude that URTI opened the door for secondary bacterial infections, and also caused inflammation in the mucous membranes in gastrointestinal tracts, irritated by oral anti-biotics, and malnutrition could be explained by malabsorption of nutrients. Pneumonia tended to be the end of the line.

One patient survived long enough to be referred to a Tamworth Specialist who diagnosed scurvy and administered Vitamin C by injection. The child recovered.

When infants were then admitted in a poor state (with subclinical scurvy) Kalokerinos would administer vitamin C by injection and their survival rate greatly increased. According to him, there are major variations in an infant's utilisation of vitamin C, depending on general health. Vitamin C is rapidly depleted at times of infection, or when the immune system is assaulted in other ways including during teething and post vaccination. The next common factor to emerge was liver tenderness. This was more severe in those who were already ill, but mild tenderness was also indicator of an incubating infection.

At that time, the author also noted, "Aboriginal infants... have a faulty immunological response in the gastrointestinal mucous membranes that permits parasites to thrive.... At a certain age, perhaps 5-10 years, immunological responses become normal and the parasites are thrown out". He also found that other more complex biological factors could come into play causing anti-biotic resistance. Dr Kalokerinos was vilified, insulted, isolated and ridiculed by some of his peers, who were not willing to admit the validity of his findings. Despite this, with the assistance of a team of bio-medical scientists from Victoria he developed simple field tests for Vitamin C and mineral deficiencies, produced by a US laboratory.

In 1971 he was approached by a former patient, the then Minister for the Interior. The Minister advised that in 1970 in NT the Aboriginal infant death rate had doubled, gone higher in the first half of 1971 in some areas reaching 500 of every 1,000 infants - Every Second Child. NT government authorities were unco-operative toward the Minister's recommendations to have Dr Kalokerinos visit, despite his successes in Collarenebri.

The problem was circumvented by going to the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. Faith Bandler arranged for him to go to Alice Springs as a Council representative. Like a bolt from the blue a statement the Minister for the Interior had hit Kalokerinos between the eyes, "we have stepped up the immunisation campaigns", he said. The author realised, "A health team would sweep into an area, line up all the Aboriginal babies and infants and immunise them.

There would be no examination, no taking of case histories, no checking on dietary deficiencies. Most infants would have colds. No wonder they died.

Some would die within hours from acute vitamin C deficiency precipitated by the immunisation. Others would suffer immunological insults and die later from 'pneumonia', 'gastro-enteritis', or 'malnutrition'. If some babies and infants survived, they would be lined up again within a month for another immunisation.

If some managed to survive even this, they would be lined up again. Then there would be booster shots, shots for measles, polio and even TB, Many died and it's amazing any of them survived".

When he arrived at Alice Springs Hospital the Medical and Health Department hierarchy refused to meet him. One female doctor in charge of school health provided a further piece for the puzzle.

Many children she examined though not showing signs of illness had severe ear infections. The author described them as 'silent infections', which sometimes resolved themselves. At times these conditions deteriorated very rapidly. He concluded that, "...if infants with silent infection are immunised, they run an increased risk of serious illness and even death". During this visit he witnessed Aboriginal mothers trying to run, carrying their babies, away from officials. They were pursued on foot, or in Landrover's, and the children forcibly immunised, against parental will.

When visiting the US to addressed a Conference in Mexico, Dr Kalokerinos learned that zinc deficiency causes loss of appetite, something he had observed in his infant patients, and which he strongly suspected was a factor. It emerged that a missing enzyme in Aboriginal physiology was linked to zinc deficiency. This prevented the liver from being able to detoxify itself. Then another discovery, infants were prone to anaemia, due to a fall in haemoglobin levels, so the US laboratory was asked to produce another field test. Professor Fred Hollows, the famous Australian Eye Surgeon, helped Dr Kalokerinos to sort out much of the information he had gained during his trip to the US.

In the final chapter, 'What Must Be Done', Dr Kalokerinos emphatically states, ".... Infants who are suffering from infections, even mild colds, should not be immunised. Infants who are under-weight for age should be carefully examined. In fact, all infants should be examined in case asymptotic colds are found (as indicated by asymptotic otitis media {ear infections}).

Infants who have suffered repeated infections should not be immunised. Ascorbic acid or vitamin C status should be determined by a knowledge of dietary intake or by measuring urinary levels of the vitamin. Infants who are borderline or doubtful should not be immunised. Routine BCG vaccinations (for TB) should be abandoned. Only those infants under special risk should receive this material.

A lot of work? Yes. But remember that stepping up immunisation campaigns in the Northern Territory, without proper controls, doubled the infant death rate". Seasonal Flu Vaccinations were not administered to children during the timespan covered by this book, which is now out of print. Dr Kalokerinos passed on in 2012. Google "Dr Archie Kalokerinos" if you want more information.

Seasonal flu vaccination of Australian children is not compulsory. As parent/carer, you get to decide if this is right for the child. Your doctor has the best interests of your family at heart, and should have no objection to examining your child thoroughly prior to administering his/her flu vaccination. We all need reassurance that our child has a clean bill of health, before we vaccinate, and only a qualified doctor can accept responsibility for providing that.

Though others (health care workers, nurse practitioners or pharmacists etc. ) may be authorised give a flu shot, they may miss some vital sign that only your doctor has the experience and qualifications to accurately diagnose.

If there's doubt about your child's general health you, and/or your doctor, may wisely decide to delay vaccination until later. If you are seeing a new doctor, be sure to tell him/her about your child's medical history, especially about any recent illnesses, symptoms or reactions to earlier vaccinations.

This information is very important. I wish you and your children the very best of health.

Becoming aware of internalized and societal oppression

Many Western therapeutic models suggest that ongoing emotional/psychological discomfort and dysfunctional relationships originate in individual traumatic life experiences. Addressing such personal hurts through individual healing methods is certainly helpful and necessary. Yet there are other traumas that we—and everyone - suffers from. We cannot separate ourselves from the collective wounding caused by oppression, and the disconnecting impacts of racism, sexism, and other oppressions.

Oppression grants some of us advantaged statuses associated with being white, male, heterosexual or middleclass, etc. However, none of us as children consented to living in a world of racial, gender, sexual, or economic inequality, or to being members of a dominant social group. And if we were asked, we probably would say, "No!" Children - and grown-ups - have a deep longing for fairness and connection with others. Oppression* thwarts this innate longing. It breaks our hearts.

Nevertheless, without our consent we were born into a world where our light skin or gender or income means "better than" and we are taught to accept and take for granted the pervasive overvaluing of our social group and the undervaluing of the "other." Through conditioning and socialization, we learn to accept oppression and internalize dominance.

Oppression is essentially unfairness. Each form of oppression is a cycle of unfair treatment made possible by a lack of presence/empathy. This cycle is self-perpetuating: it arises from lack of awareness and presence, an inability to see and empathize with those who are different from us. Out of this obliviousness comes unfair treatment of the "other," and a need to numb ourselves to the harm we are causing. Numbing ourselves reinforces the lack of empathy and awareness, and perpetuates the cycle of oppression.

This type of unfairness looks like someone or some group having basic needs met while others do not, some being harmed while some are protected, some being given skills or membership, inclusion, and special treatment while those skills and membership, inclusion, special treatment are withheld from others, simply because they don't belong to the "in" group.

One way to picture oppression, using the example of racism, it is to imagine a wide teeter totter, with a group of white folks in the "up" position, taking it easy, enjoying the view. And on the ground, holding down the other end of the teeter totter are a group of people of color, waiting for their turn to be "up." And their turn never comes. In real life, people of color keep white people "up" with their effort and energy. Looking up at white folks all the time, it's easy for people of color to feel exhausted, to start believing they are lesser than. And way up high, taking in the sights and resting, it's easy for white people to be unaware of the people of color at the bottom who are straining and suffering.

If you are a person who belongs to a minority group because of your race, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, etc., or if you can remember what it was like being a small child in a world controlled by adults, then you probably already can empathize with the experience of being the one at the bottom of the teeter totter.

Any child could tell you this teeter totter situation isn't fair or fun, and that it cannot last. So why do children put up with unfairness? Well, they don't. At first; they resist. We have to work very hard to teach children to accept oppression, but eventually, everyone succumbs. It's either that or be cast out, and no child can survive that.

Children do not control the social norms and rules, so they don't have much choice. Instead of risking the connection and safety of their community, children from the dominant group learn to "fit in" and tolerate unfairness.

The process of learning and accepting the "one up" position at the expense of a whole group of people is wounding. One example of this wounding, using the example of heterosexism and transphobia, is the common experience of heterosexual and gender conforming children or teenagers being expected to avoid or end friendships with lesbian, gay or transgender peers. These situations lead to terrible choices and ruptures of trust and connection with family and friends.

At the same time, participating in cruelty and unfairness towards the "other" conflicts with our human inclination to care and connect. Oppressing others dehumanizes and wounds us, shuts us down and limits our ability to connect with ourselves, other people and spirit. We learn to numb ourselves to avoid feeling these painful losses and betrayals of our humanity. We develop blind spots in our perceptions, numb spots in our bodies. These layers of armor shut out the pain and loss.

We have all been conditioned to tolerate/accept unfairness towards ourselves and others. We have all come to accept being oppressed and oppressing in order to survive in an oppressive culture. And this has hurt us, intimately and personally.

The antidotes for this collective wounding that we all participate in and suffer from need to be both personal and collective. To approach this healing process skillfully, we need to know what we are up against.

A variety of obstacles deter dominant group members from recognizing the oppression and privilege operating through us and around us, or taking steps to counter them. The major obstacle we face is that it is painful! Undoing this tolerance/acceptance of the status quo requires starting to feel more. This means facing and feeling your own and others' fear, confusion, shame, grief, anger, excitement and joy. A useful metaphor for this thawing out process is that "pins and needles" feeling you get when circulation returns to a numb hand or foot—it is uncomfortable! By the same token, uncovering the vivid emotions and sensations of the body that are our birthright as humans is difficult. We need to be prepared for discomfort; we need a great deal of support.

Support comes in the form of companionship and community. We need other members of our social group to travel the path with us, people who are committed to a just world. Such community helps us feel safe to take risks, and sustains our journey of learning about and challenging oppression. When we feel our allies standing with us, it feels much safer to access our innate empathy, feeling, and presence.

Support also comes in the form of tools and practices that help us to stay self-loving, resilient, and persistent when things get tough. The most powerful practices that I have found are embodied (grounded in the body) compassion and awareness practices. Both compassion and awareness are essential to sustain the daily practice of allying with racial, economic and gender justice struggles.

Compassion helps soften denial, allowing us to perceive the suffering the dominant social system inflicts on people of color, working class and/or queer and transgender people. Compassionate awareness supports empowered action.

And compassionate awareness awakens our hearts to our connection with all beings. This personal and collective healing journey gradually leads to a reawakening of our childlike sense of justice and fairness, and our innate qualities of trust, curiosity and connection to all beings. We become able to listen with open hearts, perceive injustice wherever it is occurring, and act with fierce love to challenge it.

This is an adventure worth embarking on!

*Oppression constitutes individual, cultural and institutional policies, laws, practices, attitudes that reward and support individuals and communities with more social status and power and simultaneously limit and harm individuals and communities with less social status and power. Oppression takes the form of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, classism, anti-immigrant policies, etc)

Human embryos modified in controversial first

© Dr. Yorgos Nikas/SPL
Human embryos are at the centre of a debate over the ethics of gene editing.

Scientists have genetically modified a human embryo for the first time. Junjiu Huang, a gene-function researcher at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, confirmed that his team has modified the gene responsible for a potentially fatal blood disorder in non-viable embryos — ones that cannot result in a live birth.

They reported their work, which up until now was merely a rumor, in this week's online journal

The results will no doubt reignite an already highly contentious debate between those who think editing the genome of a human before it's born could prevent genetic disease and those who believe the unpredictable effects could be devastating to humankind.

Huang's team used a technique well known in genetic science called CRISPR/Cas9. Essentially, scientists inject an embryo with an enzyme of the same name that can be programmed to bind and splice DNA at a specific gene location.

During the process, another molecule is introduced to that location to repair genetic damage.

Until now, no one has reported trying this technique on a human embryo.

The Chinese team tried it on not just one human embryo, but 86. These were obtained from fertility clinics and were unviable because they all contained an extra set of chromosomes after being fertilized by two sperm.

After injecting the enzyme into the embryos, the team waited 48 hours, enough time for the enzyme to splice the gene, for the molecule to replace the missing DNA and for the single-celled embryos to grow to about eight cells each.

Seventy-one embryos survived, and of those, 54 were tested and of those, only 28 showed a successful splice. Even more disconcerting, only a fraction of the 28 embryos contained the replaced molecule.

Huang admitted that the experiment was not a success — closer to a 100 percent success rate would be needed for such a procedure — and as a result, the team stopped, calling the technique immature.

Even with a 100 percent success rate, however, plenty of scientists warn that this kind of technique would be unethical. Genetic changes to an embryo are passed along to offspring and the effects on future generations are unpredictable.

But Huang is not shelving the experiments. According to , he will consider alternative strategies for tweaking and/or administering the enzymes.

And apparently he isn't alone. David Cyranoski and Sara Reardon reports in that at least four groups in China are pursuing gene editing in human embryos.

Governments are hiding aliens, claims former Canadian defence minister


A former defence minister has accused world leaders of concealing aliens. Paul Hellyer, who was a Canadian minister from 1963 to 1967, is urging world powers to release what he believes to be hidden data on UFOs

A former defence minister has accused world leaders of concealing the presence of aliens.

Paul Hellyer, who was a Canadian minister from 1963 to 1967, is now urging world powers to release what he believes to be hidden data on UFOs.

'Much of the media won't touch [the documents]', he said during a keynote speech at the Disclosure Canada Tour at the University of Calgary.

'You just have to keep working away and hope that someday you get a critical mass,' he said, according to a report by CTV.

'[The public] will say, in one way or another, "Mr President or Mr Prime Minister we want the truth and we want it now because it affects our lives."'

Hellyer, 91, first went public with his belief in aliens on Earth in 2005, becoming the first high ranking politician to do so.

[embedded content]

He claims that the aliens have 'been visiting our planet for thousands of years' and are unimpressed with how we live.

'We spend too much time fighting each other, we spend too much money on military expenditures and not enough on feeding the poor and looking after the homeless and sick,' he said.


In this image, secretary of defense at the time, Robert McNamara (right) talks at the pentagon, in Washington with his Canadian counterpart, Paul Hellyer (left), in 1963. Hellyer is the first high ranking politician to publicly state that aliens are real

Watch the full interview here

Last year, the former Canadian defence minister declared on Russian TV that aliens are walking among us.

But he said they are refusing to share their advanced technologies until we change our polluting and warring ways.

He told Russia Today's program there are 80 different species of extra-terrestrials some of whom 'look just like us and they could walk down the street and you wouldn't know if you walked past one.'

In the bizarre interview, Hellyer made a series of pronouncements about aliens which grew increasingly outlandish and sounded closer to the plot of Star Trek.

'We have a long history of UFOs and of course there has been a lot more activity in the last few decades since we invented the atomic bomb,' he said.

'They are very concerned about that and that we might use it again, because the whole cosmos as a unity, and it affects not just us but other people in the cosmos.

'They are very much afraid that we might be stupid enough to start using atomic weapons again.'

However Hellyer told that most of the aliens want to help rather than destroy us.

'I would say that nearly all are benign and benevolent and they do want to help us, there may be one or two species which do not,' he said.

Hellyer believes aliens are responsible for some of our modern technology including the microchip, LED light and Kevlar vest, he said.

He says he has never met an alien, but has seen a UFO near his cabin on Ontario's Lake Muskoka.

Hellyer described several types of aliens including 'Tall Whites' who are working with the U.S. air force in Nevada.

'They're able to get away with that; they had a couple of their ladies dressed as nuns go into Las Vegas to shop and they weren't detected,' he claimed.

Another group of aliens are called 'Short Greys' who have very slim arms and legs and are about five feet high with large heads.

A third group are called 'Nordic Blondes' and Hellyer said that if you meet one you'd probably say, 'I wonder if she's from Denmark or somewhere.'


Most aliens come from other star systems, although there are some living on Venus, Mars and Saturn's moon.

There have been four species of aliens visiting our planet for thousands of years.

There are between two and twelve total species of aliens (although some place the number closer to 80).

Some look just like humans, while others appear more like the creatures portrayed in popular culture.

Most alien species have benevolent intentions toward humanity, although a handful have ulterior motives.

One alien species, known as the 'Tall Whites' is working with the U.S. Air Force in Nevada and has been known to pass for humans in public.
The 'federation' of alien species has vowed not to intervene in human affairs unless they are invited to.

The federation is disappointed in the way humans have treated the planet.

Alien technology is far more advanced, but has given us LED lights, microchips and Kevlar vests.

Strong earthquake 5.3 magnitude hits Aleutian Island, Alaska



A moderate earthquake magnitude 5.3 (mg/mb) was reported Friday, 74 kilometers (46 miles) from Buldir Island in Alaska.

The temblor was reported at 02:57:30 / 2:57 am (local time epicenter) at a depth of 55.98 km (35 miles). Global time of event 23/04/15 / 2015-04-23 14:57:30 / April 23, 2015 @ 2:57 pm UTC/GMT. A tsunami warning has been issued near Buldir Island in Alaska, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Exact location of event, longitude 176.3821 East, latitude 51.7467 North, depth 55.98 km, unique identifier, us200028ka.

Did you feel it?

Leave a comment or report about shaking, activity and damage at your home, city and country. Read more about the earthquake, Seismometer information, Date-Time, Location, Distances, Parameters and details about this quake, recorded in: 74 km SSE of Buldir Island, Alaska.


SOTT Exclusive: U.S. troops and mercs bringing glory to Ukraine, protecting Poroshenko from his own troops

About 250 US troops are now in western Ukraine for the purpose of 'training' Kiev's poorly trained, demoralized, and significantly reduced 'reserve' of cannon fodder for US perfidy and belligerence. President Petro "PeePee" Poroshenko had this to say: "My decision, as the commander-in-chief, to build a new quality army, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, is beginning to become a reality with the help of our American partners." Yep, that's right. Until now your army has been anything but 'quality' - evidenced by the fact that both Minsk agreements only came about because your joke of an armed forces got themselves surrounded by the ex-miners and laborers making up the bulk of the militias in Donetsk and Lugansk. In fact, the most effective Ukrainian fighters have been the nationalistic, fascist, Bandera-worshiping nutjobs in the nazi volunteer battalions.

The Americans plan to stay for the next six months, understandably angering the Russians. Who can blame them? While they are constantly, and falsely, accused of sending troops into east Ukraine - and sanctioned based on these false claims, not to mention demonized in the Western press - the U.S. sends troops there, no doubt to prolong the conflict, and no one so much as raises an eyebrow. Oh, America, you 'exceptional nation', you! How dare anyone presume - even if only in your sick, fantasy version of reality - to usurp your monopoly on foreign interference, violent proxy warfare and all-around thuggery.

But Donetsk and Lugansk may not have to worry too much about a revived, "quality" Ukrainian Armed Forces. Just take a look at the quality and level of training they're receiving from the American 'experts':

[embedded content]

But when they're not training Ukrainians to "kill more Russians", these troops are apparently doing something genuinely useful and necessary, given conditions in Ukraine: protecting President PeePee from his own troops. At least, that's the conclusion of the representative of the Union of Paratroopers of Russia, Valery Yuriev:

According to him, Poroshenko can not trust the Ukrainian army, therefore, must seek protection from it.

"I think it's just a unit that will provide security for the leadership of the country. This is a combat unit, and no instructors. Personal security of Poroshenko because he has no confidence in his own army," - said Yuryev.

Let me remind you that Poroshenko has already been accused of being guarded by American security, who don't even speak the Ukrainian language.

Makes sense. He needs some protection, especially after legitimizing Yarosh's Right Sector butchers and torturers.

But these clowns may not be the only US troops in Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed a report from ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov that U.S. troops are training Ukrainian forces not only in western Ukraine "as Ukrainian TV channels show, but directly in the combat zone in the area of Mariupol, Severodonetsk, Artyomovsk and Volnovakha". The Pentagon laughably and predictably denied this "ridiculous" claim. (Note for the naive: whenever the Pentagon says something is ridiculous, it isn't - in fact, it's most likely true. When you can't rationally deny something - with evidence and logic - just call it ridiculous.)

Nope, Moscow's claim is just a "ridiculous attempt to shift the focus" from Moscow doing exactly what they're accusing the US of doing, according to Pentagon mouthpiece Eileen Lainez:

"Russia continues to supply lethal weapons, training and command and control support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine, in blatant violation of Moscow's Minsk commitments and Ukraine's sovereignty."

Yawn. We've heard it all before, Eileen, and it's clear to anyone with a semi-functioning mind that the US is the nation with a track record of supplying, training, and supporting proxy armies all over the world, lying about it, and psychopathically projecting blame on countries they don't like. Buy a new playbook, because the one you're using is old and boring.

But never to let the truth get in the way of a good propaganda opportunity, the US decided they might as well go the road of the 'reverse preventative hyperbole offensive'. Yesterday, the reported on a stream of psaki harf issuing from the mouth of our favorite US State Department troll, Marie Harf:

Russia has sent arms and drone aircraft into eastern Ukraine and is concentrating troops along the tense border, a buildup that is raising concern about a new escalation in the conflict, the State Department said Wednesday.

The Russians and separatists are conducting increasingly complex training missions that leave "no doubt" that Russian troops are present in eastern Ukraine, despite Moscow's denials, the statement said.

The Russians and their separatist allies "continue to violate the terms" of a cease-fire agreement signed Feb. 15 in Minsk, Belarus, Harf said.

The cease-fire sought to end months of fighting between the Kiev government and the separatists. But the cease-fire has been violated repeatedly, and Western officials are worried that Moscow is planning to again escalate the conflict.

Excuse, Ms. Harf, but you conveniently neglected to mention that it's Kiev doing the violating. Not only did they fail to remove all heavy artillery from the front, they have been sending more, and have continued to shell residential areas.

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It's good to keep in mind that the US military machine is built on a foundation of mendacity, murder and money. So the following statement from the DPR defense ministry can't easily be dismissed as 'ridiculous'.

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Harrison Koehli (Profile)

Harrison Koehli hails from Edmonton, Alberta. A graduate of studies in music performance, Harrison is also an editor for Red Pill Press and has been interviewed on several North American radio shows in recognition of his contributions to advancing the study of ponerology. In addition to music and books, Harrison enjoys tobacco and bacon (often at the same time) and dislikes cell phones, vegetables, and fascists.

Not 'one iota' of exercise is needed to lose weight, says scientific study


Obesity crisis has been generated through a worsening of our diets – rather than a rise in sedentary lifestyles

The cause of obesity is a bad diet rather than a lack of exercise, according to a group of international experts.

In an article discussing whether food, sedentary lifestyles or a combination of the two are responsible for the rapidly growing obesity epidemic, doctors said the obesity crisis had almost nothing to do with the amount of exercise we take part in.

They say that while frequent physical activity is vital in reducing the risk of the developing heart disease, dementia and a number of other conditions, it "does not promote weight loss."

Writing in the authors, who include cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, an outspoken critic of the food industry for a number of years, claim that food and soft drink companies have incorrectly emphasised how physical activity and sport can prevent people from obesity.

"In the past 30 years, as obesity has rocketed, there has been little change in physical activity levels in the Western population. This places the blame for our expanding waistlines directly on the type and amount of calories consumed.

"Members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a 'healthy weight' through calorie counting, and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise.

They likened the actions of the food industry as "chillingly similar" to those used by the tobacco industry and said that endorsements of sugary drinks and the association of junk food with sport must stop.

"Let us bust the myth of physical activity and obesity. You cannot outrun a bad diet," the authors say.

They go even further in challenging conventional ideas eating trends as they say that athletes and those looking to avoid excess weight gain should adopt a diet that is high in fat but low in both sugar and carbohydrates.

"Fat, including ketone bodies, appears to be the ideal fuel for exercise. It is abundant, does not need replacement or supplementation during exercise, and can fuel the forms of exercise in which most participate."

The piece also calls for celebrities to forego their promotion of sugary drinks, calls on health clubs and gyms to stop selling them and denounced "manipulative marketing" for the sabotage of government efforts to introduce taxes on sugary drinks and to ban junk food advertising.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Malhotra said that an obese person does not need to do "one iota of exercise to lose weight," they just needed to "eat less."

However, Professor Mark Baker, of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, which recommends "well balanced diets combined with physical activity," said that it would be "idiotic" to rule out the importance of physical activity.

Professor Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at Oxford University, told the : "The authors fail to note that that weight loss programmes which combine diet and physical activity are the most successful route to weight loss in both the short (three to six months) and medium term (12 months)".

Catherine Collins, of the British Dietetic Association, said that the authors had "incomplete evidence" for their claims and that the doctors had downplayed the metabolic and physical health benefits of undertaking even moderately intense exercise.

According to a 2014 study obesity is reaching global "crisis proportions".

The Mckinsey Global Institute said that the disease cost the UK £47billion in annual costs, including treatment and losses in productivity.