By Anna Von Reitz
The title of this new book is somewhat tongue in cheek, it’s true.
By Anna Von Reitz
The title of this new book is somewhat tongue in cheek, it’s true.
By Tyler Durden | 14 March 2018
“I say kill the mayor of London and you’ll be rid of one Muslim terrorist,” Khan quoted to the audience. “I’d pay for someone to execute Sadiq Khan.”
Kahn, the first Muslim mayor of a Western capital, implored tech companies to censor “hate speech,” – which has recently become a catchall from everything from death threats to opposing longstanding symbols of actual oppression, such as hijabs.
The London mayor said he didn’t want to be “portrayed as a victim” or “ask for sympathy.” Instead, he wants to tech companies to police people’s feelings by going further in “making the internet free of hate speech.” […]
14 March 2018
DEMOCRACY NOW — Former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou personally knew CIA director nominee Gina Haspel when he worked at the CIA. But their careers have taken very different paths over the past decade. Haspel, who was directly involved in torture at a secret CIA prison in Thailand, has been promoted to head the agency. Kiriakou, who blew the whistle on the torture program, ended up being jailed for 23 months. For more, we speak with John Kiriakou, who spent 14 years at the CIA as an analyst and case officer.
AMY GOODMAN: As we continue to talk about the latest shake-up in the Trump administration, let’s bring into this conversation former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who personally knew CIA director nominee Gina Haspel when he worked at the CIA. But their careers have taken very different paths over the past decade. Haspel, who was directly involved in torture at a secret CIA prison in Thailand, has been promoted to now head the agency. Kiriakou, who blew the whistle on the torture program, ended up being jailed for almost two years.
John Kiriakou, welcome back to Democracy Now! Can you respond to President Trump’s decision to fire Rex Tillerson and replace Tillerson with Pompeo as secretary of state? Pompeo, head of the CIA, would be then replaced by the deputy director of the CIA, Gina Haspel.
JOHN KIRIAKOU: Well, so many of us believed a year ago that Rex Tillerson was going to be the adult in the room at the White House. That turned out to be the case, in a way, but he was so disrespected by this president and those around him that he was probably doomed from the beginning. […]
By Anna Von Reitz
There are some very well-crafted and well-reasoned videos out on the market that analyze the status of ancient Biblical prophecies. Those prophecies indicate that “Mystery Babylon” will suffer the loss of power— as in electrical power due to some eventuality like an EMP attack. She will go dark and into darkness.
By Dr. Mercola
Raising cows on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to produce beef is one of the most environmentally destructive practices on the planet. Unfortunately, while far healthier and environmentally friendly grass fed beef has the potential to solve many of the problems that CAFO meats have caused, CAFOs remain the primary method of livestock agriculture in the U.S. Rather than quickly phasing out their use to stave off environmental and public health decline, their use is actually growing.
From 2002 to 2012, the total number of livestock on the largest U.S. factory farms rose by 20 percent, according to data released by advocacy group Food & Water Watch, producing 369 million tons of manure —13 times the amount produced by the entire U.S. population.1 Further, livestock production contributes close to 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions to the environment, which is more than the transportation industry.2
In a revealing investigation by The Guardian, using methodology created by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), it’s noted, “The top 20 meat and dairy companies emitted more greenhouse gases in 2016 than all of Germany, Europe’s biggest climate polluter by far.
If these companies were a country, they would be the world’s seventh largest greenhouse gas emitter.”3 In stark contrast, switching to grass fed beef not only can cut greenhouse gas emissions but also offset them completely by helping to sequester carbon into the soil.
By mimicking the natural behavior of migratory herds of wild grazing animals — meaning allowing livestock to graze freely and moving the herd around in specific patterns — farmers can support nature’s efforts to regenerate and thrive. This kind of land management system promotes the reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) by sequestering it back into the soil where it can do a lot of good. Once in the earth, the CO2 can be safely stored for hundreds of years and adds to the soil’s fertility.
Adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing is a certain type of rotational grazing that allows cattle to graze in one paddock at a time, while other paddocks have a chance to grow and regenerate at an accelerated pace. It focuses on short periods of grazing in one area, then moving on to the next. According to Standard Soil, which is aiming to reinvent agriculture by growing better soil, “AMP grazing works because it actively regenerates soil by capturing more sunlight”:4
“Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) grazing uses high livestock densities for short durations between long periods of forage rest to catalyze accelerated grass growth. The system is not scheduled or prescriptive, but moves the animals in response to how land and life respond. AMP grazing is thus highly observant and adaptive. The system mimics the natural pattern of dense herds of wild ruminants moved frequently by the forces of predation and food availability.
Scientific studies have documented the potential for AMP grazing methods to capture and hold material volumes of both carbon and water in improved soil, and thus simultaneously improve both quantity and quality of forage. We thus maximize sunlight capture throughout the year in reliable quantities of high quality plant biomass, and then monetize that forage via antibiotic and hormone-free beef raised on eating nothing but grass in open pastures.”
Grass fed beef produced using AMP grazing show great promise to cut pollution. Researchers from Michigan State University and the Union of Concerned Scientists conducted a life cycle analysis to compare AMP grazing with standard CAFO, or feedlot, systems in the upper Midwest. On-farm beef production and emissions data were combined with a four-year soil carbon analysis to reveal that AMP can sequester large amounts of soil carbon (C).
In fact, after including soil organic carbon and greenhouse gas emission (GHG) footprint estimates, emissions from the AMP system were reduced to a negative amount whereas feedlot emissions increased due to soil erosion. “This indicates that AMP grazing has the potential to offset GHG emissions through soil C sequestration, and therefore the finishing phase could be a net C sink,” the researchers wrote, adding, “Emissions from the grazing system were offset completely by soil C sequestration.”5
It makes perfect sense that Standard Soil states AMP grazing is so effective because it regenerates soil, as soil is an incredibly efficient carbon sink.
Elizabeth Candelario, managing director for Demeter, a global biodynamic farming certification agency, explained a French initiative called the 4 per 1,000 Initiative,6 which found that if we were to increase the carbon (the organic matter) in all agricultural land around the world by a mere 0.4 percent per year, the annual increase of CO2 in the atmosphere would be halted, because so much carbon would be drawn from the atmosphere. Sequestering carbon in the soil can help:
Regenerate the soil
Limit agricultural water usage with no till and crop covers
Increase crop yields7
Reduce the need for agricultural chemicals and additives, if not eliminate such need entirely in time
Reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels
Reduce air and water pollution by lessening the need for herbicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers
Industrial agriculture is touted as the most efficient way to feed the world’s growing population, but this is a deceptive myth. More than half of the world’s calories (close to 60 percent) come from wheat, rice and corn, which is not only unhealthy but unsustainable.8 As noted by bioGraphic:9
“The Green Revolution of the 1950s and 1960s introduced higher-yielding wheat and rice, hybrid maize, fertilizers and novel pesticides to farmers. The changes brought life-saving jumps in crop productivity, most profoundly in Asia. But globally, they drastically reduced the types of crops being grown.
Hundreds of edible species were marginalized in favor of a few calorie-rich grains. And within a few decades, agriculture had been transformed from a complex, diverse, regional enterprise to evermore simplified, industrial production.”
Unfortunately, as farmers increasingly plant mostly wheat, rice and corn (including for animal feed), more than 75 percent of crop genetic diversity has disappeared since the 1900s, “And that relentless march toward monoculture,” bioGraphic noted, “leaves the homogenous fields more vulnerable to devastation by drought, pests and disease.”10 Philip Lymbery, chief executive of Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), noted that ending the practice of grain-feeding animals could actually feed another 4 billion people.
He pointed to the U.N.’s FAO data, which found the crops harvested in 2014 could have fed more than 15 billion people, calorie-wise, which is double the world’s current population, had it not been largely wasted and funneled into animal feed.11 Writing for The Guardian, Juliette Majot, executive director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), and nonprofit organization Grain researcher Devlin Kuyek further asserted:12
“[T]he world’s largest meat and dairy companies … explain that their production is necessary for world food security, and that they should therefore be let off the hook, or better yet, get incentives for tinkering with their greenhouse gas emissions. This is not true. These companies produce a vast amount of highly subsidized meat and dairy in a handful of countries where these products are already overconsumed.
They then export their surpluses to the rest of the world, undercutting the millions of small farmers who actually do ensure food security and bombarding consumers with unhealthy processed foods …
They will say that the only way to effectively reduce emissions is by squeezing out ever more milk from each dairy cow or by bringing beef cattle to slaughter ever more quickly. Such ‘solutions’ would only compound the industry’s horrific treatment of workers and animals and exacerbate the environmental and health crises caused by the industry.”
CAFOs are known to destroy communities, polluting waterways, creating toxic air pollution and sickening area residents. Property values plummet when CAFOs are built, as does the local economy. While CAFOs often tout increased tax revenue when trying to venture into new regions, the reality is that they drain resources from the community, while purchasing supplies from outside the area and paying workers low wages, thus providing little to no economic stimulation and, in return, devastating environmental damage.13
In stark contrast to industrial agriculture, organic agriculture benefits local economies, according to research published in Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.14 The study found that clusters of counties with high numbers of organic operations (organic hot spots) had a lower county-level poverty rate and a higher median household income compared to general agriculture hotspots.
The findings were so strong the researchers described hotspots of organic production as “local economic development tools” and said policymakers could focus on organic development as a way to promote economic growth in rural areas.
There is hope that change is near, as even restaurant giant McDonald’s is dabbling in regenerative farming, helping to fund a study on the impacts of AMP grazing on U.S. farms and ranches.15 Perhaps favorable findings could significantly alter the way that all of McDonald’s ranchers raise their cattle, which would be a game-changer in the industry.
Grass fed animal products are not only better for the environment, they’re better for the animals and public health. Levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) increase by two- to threefold when cattle are grass finished as opposed to grain finished, for instance.16
This is a significant benefit, as CLA is associated with a lower risk of cancer and heart disease and optimized cholesterol levels. The ratio of dietary fats is also healthier in grass fed beef. According to Back to Grass: The Market Potential for U.S. Grassfed Beef, a report produced by a collaboration between sustainable agriculture and ecological farming firms:17
“Although the exact physiologic mechanisms behind these benefits are not completely understood, grassfed beef (and dairy) can provide a steady dietary source of CLAs. The optimal ratio of dietary omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids is believed to be between 1-to-1 and 4-to-1. Seven studies that compared the overall fat content of different beef types found that grassfed beef had an average ratio of 1.53, while grain-fed beef had a less healthy average ratio of 7.6.”
Grass fed meat is also higher in antioxidants like vitamins E and A, the report noted, along with the enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase, which mop up free radicals that could otherwise hasten oxidation and spoilage. Grain feeding cows also encourages the growth of E. coli in the animals’ gut, as it leads to a more acidic environment. Grain-fed cows live in a state of chronic inflammation, which increases their risk of infection and disease, and necessitates low doses of antibiotics in feed for disease-prevention purposes.18
This isn’t the case with grass fed cattle, which stay naturally healthy as they’re allowed access to pasture, sunshine and the outdoors. In a Consumer Reports study of 300 raw ground beef samples, grass fed beef raised without antibiotics was three times less likely to be contaminated with multidrug-resistant bacteria compared to conventional (CAFO) samples.19
The grass fed beef was also less likely to be contaminated with E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus than the CAFO meat. So while giving you more nutrition, you’re also less likely to be exposed to drug-resistant pathogens when eating grass fed food.
The majority of animal foods sold in the U.S. are raised on CAFOs, not grass fed farms. You can make a significant difference in your health and that of the environment and local community by seeking out foods from small farmers using AMP grazing and other regenerative agriculture practices.
Toward that end, I encourage you to look for the American Grassfed Association (AGA) logo on meat and dairy, as it ensures the animals were born and raised on American family farms, fed only grass and forage from weaning until harvest, and raised on pasture without confinement to feedlots.20 By buying grass fed or pastured animal products, including beef, bison, chicken, milk and eggs, it means you are making a solid choice toward protecting, not polluting, the planet.
By Dr. Mercola
In 1986, public health officials stated that MMR vaccination rates for kindergarten children were in excess of 95 percent and that one dose of live attenuated measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) would eliminate the three common childhood diseases in the U.S.1 In 1989, parents were informed that a single dose of MMR vaccine was inadequate for providing lifelong protection against these common childhood diseases and that children would need to get a second dose of MMR.2
In some states, the MMR vaccination rate is approaching 100 percent.5 Despite achieving the sought-for MMR vaccination rate for more than three decades, which theoretically should ensure “herd immunity,” outbreaks of both measles and mumps keep occurring — and many of those who get sick are children and adults who have been vaccinated.
As recently reported by Science Magazine6 and The New York Times,7 mumps is making a strong comeback among college students, with hundreds of outbreaks occurring on U.S. campuses over the past two decades. Last summer, the Minnesota Department of Health reported its largest mumps outbreak since 2006.8
According to recent research,9 the reason for this appears to be, at least in part, waning vaccine-acquired immunity. In other words, protection from the MMR vaccine is wearing off quicker than expected. Science Magazine writes:
“[Epidemiologist Joseph Lewnard and immunologist Yonatan Grad, both at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston] compiled data from six previous studies of the vaccine’s effectiveness carried out in the United States and Europe between 1967 and 2008. (None of the studies is part of a current fraudulent claims lawsuit against U.S. vaccine maker Merck.)
Based on these data, they estimated that immunity to mumps lasts about 16 to 50 years, or about 27 years on average. That means as much as 25 percent of a vaccinated population can lose immunity within eight years, and half can lose it within 19 years … The team then built mathematical models using the same data to assess how declining immunity might affect the susceptibility of the U.S. population.
When they ran the models, their findings lined up with reality. For instance, the model predicted that 10- to 19-year-olds who had received a single dose of the mumps vaccine at 12 months were more susceptible to infection; indeed, outbreaks in those age groups happened in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1989, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added a second dose of the vaccine at age 4 to 6 years. Outbreaks then shifted to the college age group.”
According to public health officials, the proposed solution to boosting vaccine-acquired mumps immunity in the U.S. population is to add a third booster shot of MMR vaccine at age 18.
Unfortunately, adding a booster for mumps means giving an additional dose of measles and rubella vaccines as well, as the three are only available in the combined MMR vaccine or combined MMR-varicella (MMRV) vaccine. At present, a third MMR shot is routinely recommended during active mumps outbreaks, even though there is no solid proof that this strategy is effective.
Considering two doses of the vaccine are failing to protect young adults from mumps, adding a third dose, plus two additional doses of measles and rubella vaccines, seems like a questionable strategy, especially in light of evidence that the mumps vaccine’s effectiveness may have been exaggerated to begin with.
According to a lawsuit filed eight years ago, the manufacturer of mumps vaccine — which is also the sole provider of MMR vaccine in the U.S. — is accused of going to illegal lengths to hide the vaccine’s ineffectiveness. So, might this resurgence of mumps simply be the result of using a vaccine that doesn’t provide immunity to begin with?10 And, if so, why add more of something that doesn’t work? After all, the MMR vaccine is not without its risks, as you’ll see below.
In 2010, two Merck virologists filed a federal lawsuit against their former employer, alleging the vaccine maker lied about the effectiveness of the mumps portion of its MMR II vaccine.11 The whistleblowers, Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski, claimed they witnessed “firsthand the improper testing and data falsification in which Merck engaged to artificially inflate the vaccine’s efficacy findings.”
According to Krahling and Wlochowski, a number of different fraudulent tactics were used, all with the aim to “report efficacy of 95 percent or higher regardless of the vaccine’s true efficacy.”12 For example, the MMR vaccine’s effectiveness was tested against the virus used in the vaccine rather than the natural, wild mumps virus that you’d actually be exposed to in the real world. Animal antibodies were also said to have been added to the test results to give the appearance of a robust immune response.13
For details on how they allegedly pulled this off, read Suzanne Humphries’ excellent summary,14 which explains in layman’s terms how the tests were manipulated. Merck allegedly falsified the data to hide the fact that the vaccine significantly declined in effectiveness.15 By artificially inflating the efficacy, Merck has been able to maintain its monopoly over the mumps vaccine market.
This was also the main point of contention of a second class action lawsuit, filed by Chatom Primary Care16 in 2012, which charged Merck with violating the False Claims Act. Both of these lawsuits were given the green light to proceed in 2014,17,18 and are still pending.
In 2015, Merck was accused of stonewalling, “refusing to respond to questions about the efficacy of the vaccine,” according to a court filing by Krahling and Wlochowski’s legal team.19 “Merck should not be permitted to raise as one of its principal defenses that its vaccine has a high efficacy … but then refuse to answer what it claims that efficacy actually is,” they said.
This certainly isn’t the first time vaccine effectiveness has been questioned. While herd immunity is thrown around like gospel, much of the protection vaccines offer has actually been shown to wane rather quickly. The fact is, vaccine-acquired artificial immunity does not work the same way as the naturally-acquired longer-lasting immunity you get after recovering from the disease.
A majority of adults do not get booster shots, so most of the adult population is, in effect, “unvaccinated.” This calls into question the idea that a 95 percent-plus vaccination rate among children achieves vaccine-acquired “herd immunity” in a population. While there is such a thing as naturally acquired herd immunity, vaccine-induced herd immunity is a total misnomer.
Vaccine makers have simply assumed that vaccines would provide the same kind of longer-lasting natural immunity as recovery from viral and bacterial infections, but the science and history of vaccination clearly shows that this is not the case.
Vaccination and exposure to a given disease produce two qualitatively different types of immune responses. To learn more about this, please see my previous interview with Barbara Loe Fisher, cofounder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). As explained by Fisher:
“Vaccines do not confer the same type of immunity that natural exposure to the disease does … [V]accines only confer temporary protection… In most cases natural exposure to disease would give you a longer-lasting, more robust, qualitatively superior immunity because it gives you both cell mediated immunity and humoral immunity.
Humoral is the antibody production. The way you measure vaccine-induced immunity is by how high the antibody titers are. (How many antibodies you have.) The problem is, the cell mediated immunity is very important as well. Most vaccines evade cell mediated immunity and go straight for the antibodies, which is only one part of immunity.”
It’s quite clear the MMR vaccine does not work as well as advertised in preventing mumps, even after most children in the U.S. have gotten two doses of MMR for several decades. Public health officials have known about the problem with mumps vaccine ineffectiveness since at least 2006, when a nationwide outbreak of mumps occurred among older children and young adults who had received two MMR shots.20
In 2014, researchers investigated a mumps outbreak among a group of students in Orange County, New York. Of the more than 2,500 who had received two doses of MMR vaccine, 13 percent developed mumps21 — more than double the number you’d expect were the vaccine to actually have a 95 percent efficacy.
Now, if two doses of the vaccine have “worn off” by the time you enter college, just how many doses will be needed to protect an individual throughout life? And, just how many doses of MMR are safe to administer in a lifetime? Clearly there is far more that needs to be understood about mumps infection and the MMR vaccine before a third dose is added to the already-packed vaccine schedule recommended by federal health officials for infants, children and adolescents through age 18.
Poor effectiveness could also be the result of viral mutations. There are a number of different mumps virus strains included in vaccines produced by different vaccine manufacturers in different countries. The U.S. uses the Jeryl-Lynn mumps strain in the MMR vaccine developed and sold in the U.S. by Merck. There’s significant disagreement among scientists and health officials about whether the mumps virus is evolving to evade the vaccine.
Two years ago, Dr. Dirk Haselow, an epidemiologist with the Arkansas Department of Health said,22 “We are … worried that this vaccine may indeed not be protecting against the strain of mumps that is circulating as well as it could. With the number of people we’ve seen infected, we’d expect 3 of 400 cases of orchitis, or swollen testicles in boys, and we’ve seen 5.”
A 2014 paper written by U.S. researchers developing a new mumps vaccine also suggested that a possible cause of mumps outbreaks in vaccinated Americans could be due to ” … the antigenic differences between the genotype A vaccine strain and the genotype G circulating wild-type mumps viruses.”23
If a vaccine is indeed highly effective, and avoiding the disease in question is worth the risk of the potential side effects from the vaccine, then many people would conclude that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the risks. They may even be in favor of an additional dose.
However, if the vaccine is ineffective, and/or if the disease doesn’t pose a great threat to begin with, then the vaccine may pose an unacceptable risk. This is particularly true if the vaccine has been linked to serious side effects. Unfortunately, that’s the case with the MMR vaccine, which has been linked to thousands of serious adverse events and hundreds of deaths. According to NVIC:24
“As of March 1, 2018, there had been 1,060 claims filed in the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for injuries and deaths following MMR or MMR-Varicella (MMRV) vaccinations … Using the MedAlerts search engine, as of February 4, 2018, there had been 88,437 adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in connection with MMR or MMRV vaccines since 1990.
Over half of those MMR and MMRV vaccine-related adverse events occurred in babies and young children 6 years old and under. Of the MMR and MMRV vaccine related adverse events reported to VAERS, 403 were deaths, with over 60 percent of the deaths occurring in children under 3 years of age.”
Keep in mind that less than 10 percent of vaccine adverse events are ever reported to VAERS.25 According to some estimates, only about 1 percent are ever reported, so all of these numbers likely vastly underestimate the true harm.
A concerning study published in Acta Neuropathologica in February 2017 also describes the first confirmed report of vaccine-strain mumps virus (live-attenuated mumps virus Jeryl Lynn, or MuVJL) found in the brain of a child who suffered “devastating neurological complications” as a result. According to the researchers:26
“This is the first confirmed report of MuVJL5 associated with chronic encephalitis and highlights the need to exclude immunodeficient individuals from immunization with live-attenuated vaccines. The diagnosis was only possible by deep sequencing of the brain biopsy.”