By Anna Von Reitz
By Anna Von Reitz
By Anna Von Reitz
Picture then-President Obama and the UN Bankruptcy Trustees sitting around a conference table.
By Caitlin Johnstone | 5 October 2018
MEDIUM — Journalist David Sirota has just published an excellent op-ed titled “America’s new aristocracy lives in an accountability-free zone”, which begins with the observation that “Enron executives were among the last politically connected criminals to face any serious consequences for institutionalized fraud.” Sirota goes on to remind readers how there was never any attempt by either mainstream political party to bring accountability to anyone responsible for monstrous offenses ranging from the disastrous invasion of Iraq to the ecocidal manipulations of fossil fuel plutocrats to the Wall Street plundering which led to the 2008 global financial crisis.
Sirota’s argument is solid: there is an aristocratic class which has successfully neutered all the institutional mechanisms which were meant to protect the powerless from the powerful. The government is bought and owned by the plutocrats and so is the media, as the continued forgiveness of unforgivable transgressions which those institutions have been bestowing upon the aristocracy clearly reflects. This means that the only thing left protecting the populace from the powerful is the populace itself.
A couple of years back I read a Shaun King article titled “Stop asking black victims of white violence if they forgive their victimizers”, about a bizarre trend in which the black survivors of police shootings and racially motivated terrorism were consistently finding themselves barraged with questions about forgiveness. King wrote about how “before her son, Philando, had even been buried, his body riddled with bullets from a Minnesota police officer, Valerie Castile was asked live on CNN if she forgave the man who shot him,” which is a truly demented thing to ask someone in such a situation. Why would a newscaster bring up forgiveness when a horrific injustice has just been inflicted and no measures of any kind have even been taken to rectify it? […]
Dr. J. Landowski was a physician in Soviet Russia who, in 1938, was called upon to witness and record the interrogation of Christian G. Rakovsky during the trials of the Trotskyists. Ravosky was one of the founders of Soviet Bolshevism, the first chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Ukrainian SSR and the Soviet Ambassador to both the U.K. and France. Dr. Landowski later compiled his record of Rakovsky’s interrogation into a book titled “Red Symphony.”
To facilitate cooperation with the interrogation, Dr. Landowski said he slipped into Rakovsky’s beverage glass a “wonder drug” to induce energy and a good mood. Interrogators called the drug “enlightened stimulation.” Rakovsky was described as an expert conversationalist. His speech is exact, elegant and even decorative.
The interrogation was recorded on an apparatus hidden behind a wall. Afterward, Dr. Landowsky translated the recording into Russian and made two copies: one for Joseph Stalin, dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) from 1929 to 1953; and one for Gabriel Interrogato. Secretly, the doctor made an extra carbon copy of the transcript and hid it away.
Among his many other titles, prisoner Rakovsky — whose Jewish birth name was changed from Rachower — was also a Bulgarian official of the Comintern and a Rothschild-Warburg agent and ally of Leon Trotsky (not Stalin). Rakvosky survived the ’38 purge; but, on Sep. 11, 1941, he may have executed along with other political prisoners for “defeatist agitation” in the Medvedev Forest massacre.
After reading “Red Symphony,” I must say that if it’s a fraud, it’s an intellectual masterpiece. The book is a product of a hyper-intelligent and cunning insider mind. In no way could it be compared to the tawdry and often-stupid hoaxes we analyze on our pages. The book is heavy with information, but I’ve selected some parts to share that are most interesting to me personally. Amazingly enough, the book has not yet been memory-holed and is still available at Amazon and also here.
As the interrogation of Rakovsky began, interrogator Gavrill Gavrilovitch Kus’min issued him a warning (p. 10).
“Now, we are concerned with the real truth, Kus’min said, not the “official” truth. The demands of international politics will force us to hide the whole truth, the “real truth,” he stated, adding that Stalin must also know the real truth.”
Rakovsky explained with great insight just how and why the international bankers were behind international communism — and Leon Trotsky in particular. After Stalin ousted Trotsky, the bankers made moves to counter Stalinist communist nationalism. “Red Symphony” states that Jewish financiers were promoting “real” communism — not Stalin’s “Bonapartism.”
The general tenor of Rakovsky’s remarks is that usury capitalism and terroristic communism are both tools of the same forces and serving the same purpose and masters. To wit, the financier is just as international as the communist. Both, with the help of differing pretexts and differing means, struggle with the national bourgeois state and deny it. There is a clear similarity individually between communist-internationalists and financial-cosmopolitans; as a natural result, there is the same similarity between the communist-international and the financial-international.
Note: “Financial-cosmopolitans” is Rakovsky’s term for what I call the Crime Syndicate.
Rakovsky then bluntly reveals the source of the financial-cosmopolitans’ mythical power: “They had acquired for themselves the real privilege of coining money. A great part of the money circulating — money for big affairs, as representative of all national wealth; money, yes, money — it was being issued by those few people about whom I had hinted. Banks, the stock exchanges and the whole world financial system — is a gigantic machine for the purpose of bringing about unnatural scandals.”
Rakovsky made it clear that the more well-known figures among financial-internationalists — the bankers and politicians — are only men of straw (fronts). But when queried about who “they” are, Rakovsky offered up a list and a caveat that, sitting in prison, he didn’t have access to his card index. He qualified that he had an intimate time reference of 1917, and said, “Understand that ‘they’ are not a state. ‘They’ are that which the International was before 1917.”
He mentioned Walter Rathenau (1867 – 1922) as a Crime Syndicate intermediary with whom both Trotsky and Rakovsky had hands-on dealings. Rathenau was Germany’s Weimar foreign minister and a Jewish internationalist. Before he was assassinated, he was a top-ranked Crime Syndicate Illuminatist. Afterward, the Crime Syndicate shifted gears back to the use of fronts rather than top kingpins.
When asked if U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was one of “them,” Rakovsky replied: “I do not know if he is one of ‘them’ or is only subject to ‘them.’ What more do you want? But I think that he was conscious of his mission. …
“Others were Lionel Rothschild, institutions — the Bank of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., of Wall Street; to this bank belong the families of Schiff, Warburg, Loeb and Kuhn; I say families in order to point out several names, since they are all connected among themselves by marriages; then Baruch, Frankfurter, Altschul, Cohen, Benjamin, Strauss, Steinhardt, Blom, Rosenman, Lippmann, Lehman, Dreifus, Lamont, Rothschild, Lord, Mandel, Morgenthau, Ezekiel, Lasky.”
Rakovsky then dwells on who is in charge [p. 26]: “It is a well-known fact that Marx and the highest chiefs of the First International – already the open one – and among them Herzen and Heine, were controlled by Baron Lionel Rothschild, whose revolutionary portrait was done by Disraeli (in Coningsby) the English Premier, who was his creature, and has been left to us. He described him in the character of Sidonia, a man, who, according to the story, was a multi-millionaire, knew and controlled spies, carbonari, freemasons, secret Jews, gypsies, revolutionaries etc., etc. All this seems fantastic. But it has been proved that Sidonia is an idealized portrait of the son of Nathan Rothschild. Winter Watch Note: we put lots of color on this! See: The Hidden World of Benjamin Disraeli, a Made Man and Opportunist
Next comes the cosmic punchline for understanding the grand design: WAR IS THE ULTIMATE METHOD OF HOW SATANIST’S RULE
Rakovsky: “Remember the phrase of the mother of the five Rothschild brothers: “If my sons want it, then there will be no war.” This means that they were the arbiters, the masters of peace and war, but not emperors. Are you capable of visualizing the fact of such a cosmic importance? Is not war already a revolutionary function? War – the Commune. Since that time every war was a giant step towards Communism.
Statements from Leon Trotsky himself and from Ravovsky suggest that socialism and central banking is the bankster’s favorite tool to increase government power because a socialist state requires massive centralization. When something is centralized and top heavy, it’s easy to control if you can put your man at its head.
With the exile of Trotsky in 1929, Rakovsky became the acknowledged leader of the “left opposition” inside the Soviet Union.
Trotsky freely acknowledged the role of freemasonry and the Illuminati in his book My Life: The Rise and Fall of a Dictator [Thornton Butterworth Limited, London 1930]; the paperback edition is My Life [Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1975].
[quote] [hbk p. 106, pbk p. 124] It was during that period that I became interested in freemasonry. … [hbk p. 107] In the eighteenth century freemasonry became expressive of a militant policy of enlightenment, as in the case of the Illuminati, who were the forerunners of the revolution; on its left it culminated in the Carbonari. Freemasons counted among their members both Louis XVI and the Dr. Guillotin who invented the guillotine. In southern Germany freemasonry assumed an openly revolutionary character, whereas at the court of Catherine the Great it was a masquerade reflecting the [pbk p. 125] aristocratic and bureaucratic hierarchy. A freemason Novikov was exiled to Siberia by a freemason Empress. …
[hbk p. 108, pbk p. 126] I discontinued my work on freemasonry to take up the study of Marxian economics. … The work on freemasonry acted as a sort of test for these hypotheses. … I think this influenced the whole course of my intellectual development [p. 127]
Trotsky in his autobiography tells of a “British financier,” who in 1907 gave him a “large loan” to be repaid after the overthrow of the tsar. Arsene de Goulevitch, who witnessed the Bolshevik Revolution firsthand, has identified both the name of the financier and the amount of the loan. In private interviews, he said, “I have been told that over 21 million rubles were spent by Lord [Alfred] Milner in financing the Russian Revolution.” Winter Watch separately discussed Milner in The Real Joker: Warmonger Extraordinaire Alfred Harmsworth aka Lord Northcliffe and Cecil Rhodes and His Warmongering Buggery Hegemony.
Rakovsky pointed out that elite bankers magically avoided the Marxist revolutionary bloodbaths of the twentieth century, which terrorized every other sector of the so-called ‘bourgeoisie’ – from shopkeepers to peasants ploughing their own land.
Ravosky reveals connections of Trotsky through his wife to Jewish elite international bankers. The primary text on Trotsky and the Russian Revolution is well covered in Richard Spence’s book Wall Street and the Russian Revolution: 1905-1925. Winter Watch put up a condensed post on this: Firebrand Bolshevik Leon Trotsky: Fully Backed by International Banksters and the Pederast British War Party
Per Ravosky: “Together with him there arrives in Russia his wife – Sedova. Do you know who she is? She is associated with Zhivotovsky, linked with the bankers Warburg, partners and relatives of Jacob Schiff, i.e. of that financial group which, as I had said, had also financed the revolution of 1905. Here is the reason why Trotsky, in one move, moves to the top of the revolutionary list
“As far as Trotsky’s ties to the world financial elite are concerned, they were well-known long before the publication of The Red Symphony. In 1919 the French government received from its informer in Washington a detailed report [1618-6 No. 912], where “Red Leon’s” New York banker-sponsors were listed. It was noted that Trotsky established his connections with the financiers after his marriage to the daughter (Natalya Sedova) of banker Abram Zhivotovsky.
According to the Spence’s book, Zhivotovsky was Trotsky’s uncle, making Natalya Sedova his second cousin. So clearly we have very strong familial associations.
Hitler, National Socialism, Predicts Operation Barbarossa
Rakowsky reveals that Wall Street signalled and gave financial support to Adolf Hitler personally at a crucial moment in July, 1929, with the stated motive being restoring balance of power against France, and getting Germany back in business economically. At least that’s what they told Hitler. It was not revealed to Hitler that Paul Warburg was behind the support, nor did Hitler ask- he just accepted the considerable largesse that put his Party over the top..
Rakovsky: “In direct negotiations with Hitler they agreed as to the financing of the National-Socialist Party, and the latter received in a couple of years millions of Dollars, sent to it from Wall Street, and millions of Marks from German financiers through Schacht; the upkeep of the S.A. and S.S. and also the financing of the elections which took place, which gave Hitler power.” This was extremely important in the depth of the Depression because the Nazis provided food and shelter to many of their supporters.
The interrogator asked: And Hitler believed it? Rakovsky – We do not know. That was not so important, whether he did or did not believe our explanations; our aim was to provoke a war …, and Hitler was war. Do you now understand? Every sincere Communist imitating his idol Lenin and the greatest revolutionary strategists must always wish for war. Nothing is so effective in bringing nearer the victory of revolution as war. This is a Marxist-Leninist dogma, which you must preach.”
The secondary goals of supporting Hitler and a stronger Germany was stoking nationalist flames in Europe, and countering Stalin Bonapartism (not real Communism). Hitler in the early years was a Zionist ally, and the Anglo-American-Zio banksters had no problem with him putting Germany’s Jewish population in motion and on the move reinforcing the US, Britain and the early Israel project.
Little did they know Hitler would jettison central banking, print his own money and bring Germany back from the brink far too quickly. It seems the banksters (then and now) could set events in motion, but not really totally control them. Rakovsky explains how the international banksters plan went off the rails,
CR: “Hitler, this uneducated and elementary man, has restored thanks to his natural intuition and even against the technical opinion of Schacht, an economic system of a very dangerous kind [see Gottfreid Feder]. Being illiterate in all economic theories and being guided only by necessity he removed, as we had done it in the USSR, the private and international capital. That means that he took over for himself the privilege of manufacturing money, and not only physical moneys, but also financial ones; he took over the untouched machinery of falsification and put it to work for the benefit of the State.”
The 1930’s British Policy of Appeasement was probably designed to encourage Hitler’s expansionist tendencies and to provoke war. Douglas Reed, the (London) Times Correspondent in Berlin, was first tipped off to something fishy when his newspaper suppressed his warnings of the Hitler menace.
During the January 1938 interrogation, Rakovsky stated, “I consider the attack of Hitler on the USSR to be inevitable.” Rakovsky’s rationale: “Hitler is impelled towards it by all those Capitalist States which had allowed him to re-arm and to take all the necessary economic and strategical bases. This is quite obvious. The Hitlerist attack on the USSR is, in addition, a dialectical necessity. Winter Watch note: That attack came in June, 1941. One of the few predictions Rakovsky missed is that Stalin would be liquidated within a year of the invasion.
Rakovsky advised his interrogator that western bankers wanted to force a war between Germany and Russia and that the best way of avoiding this was to sign a non-aggression pact with Hitler so as to get him tied up in wars with other countries. This suggestion was surprising, but made sense, and Stalin adopted it in August, 1939. Incredibly [p.42], if the Soviets and Germany carved up Poland, Rakovsky predicted the democracies will declare war only on one aggressor, and that will be Hitler.
Winter Watch Takeaway on Hitler and National Socialism: Red Symphony clears up a lot of random noise. Hitler was not a stooge, or even a Crime Syndicate made man, but more selected and promoted, with a jujitsu agenda in mind. AH took the help, figuring he was above it all. But there were hidden hand forces dictating and influencing events leading up to WWII. Rakovsky makes it clear the Soviet Union was maneuvered into the line of fire as well.
On Bolshevik Revolution
A series of organized defeats in WWI led to the Revolution.
Kerensky was to surrender the State fully to Communism, and he does it. Trotsky has the chance in an “unnoticed manner” to occupy the whole State aparatus. What a strange blindness! Well that is the reality of the much praised October revolution. The Bolsheviks took that which “They” gave them.
G.- You dare to say that Kerensky was a collaborator of Lenin?
R. – Of Lenin – no. Of Trotsky – yes; it is more correct to say – a collaborator of “Them.” Believe me: despite the statues and mausoleum – Communism is indebted to Kerensky much more than to Lenin. Yes to me that is quite clear. Understand that I personally took part in all this
Do you know who financed the October revolution? They financed it, in particular through those same bankers who had financed Japan in 1905, i.e. Jacob Schiff, and the brothers Warburg; that means through the great banking constellation, through one of the five banks who are members of the Federal Reserve, through the bank of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., here there took part also other American and European bankers, such as Guggenheim, Hanauer, Breitung, Aschberg, the “Nya Banken” of Stockholm.I was there “by chance,” there in Stockholm, and participated in the transmission of funds. Until Trotsky arrived I was the only person who was an intermediary from the revolutionary side.
[p. 29] Who arranged it? The same people who had succeeded that Lenin passed through Germany. Yes, “They” were able to get the defeatist Trotsky out of a Canadian camp to England and send him on to Russia, giving him the chance to pass freely through all the Allied controls; others of “Them” – a certain Rathenau – accomplishes the journey of Lenin through enemy Germany. If you will undertake the study of the history of the revolution and civil war without prejudices, and will use all your enquiring capabilities, which you know how to apply to things much less important and less obvious, then when you study informations in their totality, and also study separate details right up to anecdotal happenings you will meet with a whole series of “amazing chances.”
From the time of his arrival in Petrograd Trotzky was openly received by Lenin. As you know sufficiently well, during the interval between the two revolutions there had been deep differences between them. All is forgotten and Trotzky emerges as the master of his trade in the matter of the triumph of the revolution, whether Stalin wants this or not. Why? This secret is known to the wife of Lenin – Krupskaya. She knows who Trotzky is in fact; it is she who persuaded Lenin to receive Trotzky. If he had not received him, then Lenin would have remained blocked up in Switzerland; this alone had been for him a serious reason, and in addition he knew that Trotzky provided money and helped to get a colossal international assistance, a proof of this was the sealed train.
Recent research into the health effects of artificial sweeteners deliver yet another blow to safety claims. The animal study,1,2,3,4,5 published in the journal Molecules, found all artificial sweeteners currently approved and deemed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cause DNA damage in, and interfere with the normal and healthy activity of, gut bacteria.
The artificial sweeteners included in this study included:
|Artificial sweetener||Brand name(s)|
NutraSweet, Spoonful, Canderel, Equal, NatraTaste Blue
Splenda, Zerocal, Sukrana, SucraPlus, Candys, Cukren and Nevella
Sweet ‘N Low, Sweet Twin, Sugar Twin, Necta Sweet
(No brand names)
Sunnette, Sweet One, ACE, ACE K, Sweet ‘N Safe
As reported by Business Insider,6 the research team concluded that all of these sweeteners “had a toxic, stressing effect, making it difficult for gut microbes to grow and reproduce.” While the authors do not directly refer to them as having antibiotic effects, when something is killing bacteria, that’s essentially what’s happening.
According to the researchers, the effects on your gut health may in turn affect your body’s ability to process regular sugar and other carbohydrates. According to this study, the toxic limit for these artificial sweeteners appears to be around 1 milligram per milliliter (mg/mL).
Ariel Kushmaro, Ph.D., professor of microbial biotechnology at Ben-Gurion University and lead author, told Business Insider, “We are not claiming that it’s toxic to human beings. We’re claiming that it might be toxic to the gut bacteria, and by that, will influence us.”
While, overall, all six artificial sweeteners were found to have toxic effects on gut bacteria, there were individual differences in the type and amount of damage they produced. For example:
Previous studies have also revealed an extensive list of safety concerns for sucralose (a synthetic organochlorine sweetener), some of which are very similar to those found in the featured study, including:7
Genotoxicity (DNA damage) and potentially adverse epigenetic effects
The generation of toxic compounds (chloropropanols) when heated
Alterations in glucose, insulin and glucagon-like peptide-1 levels and responses,10 which raises the risk for diabetes
Decreased red blood cells, a sign of anemia, at levels above 1,500 mg per kilo per day
Increased male infertility by interfering with sperm production and vitality, as well as brain lesions at higher doses
Kidney enlargement and calcification
Significantly increased risk for miscarriage (in rabbits, spontaneous abortions affected nearly half the rabbit population given sucralose, compared to zero aborted pregnancies in the control group)
Significantly increased death rate (a 23 percent death rate in rabbits, compared to a 6 percent in the control group)
Potential drug interactions12
Other recent research13,14 adds to the ever-growing evidence pile showing that artificial sweeteners raise your risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes to the same or greater degree as sugar. The study in question explored how different sweeteners — including glucose, fructose, aspartame and acesulfame potassium-k — affect energy usage, energy storage and vascular functioning.
According to the authors, both high amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners caused vascular impairment and other effects “that may be important during the onset and progression of diabetes and obesity.” The artificial sweeteners, however, accumulated in the blood, thereby harming the blood vessel lining to a greater degree.
Of the two artificial sweeteners included in this study, acesulfame potassium appeared to be the worst. As noted by lead author Brian Hoffmann, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering at the Marquette University and Medical College of Wisconsin:15
“Sweeteners kind of trick the body. And then when your body’s not getting the energy it needs — because it does need some sugar to function properly — it potentially finds that source elsewhere,” Hoffman says.16
One alternative sugar source is muscle and, indeed, evidence of protein break down was found in the animals’ blood. Essentially, the rats were burning muscle as a source of energy when given artificial sweeteners. Hoffman also notes that this research is different from previous attempts to conclusively tie artificial sweeteners to health problems:
“Most of these sweeteners were approved well before we had the technology to perform studies like my lab is doing. So they weren’t able to look as in-depth at some of the potential effects being caused.
By knowing what biochemical changes these are causing through these large-scale studies, we can take an unbiased approach and see what’s changing to give us a better direction. What I like to tell people is that most things in moderation are going to be fine …
It’s when people start to chronically consume these [drinks] — say, a person drinks two, three, four … every day — that we should start to be concerned. Because you’re starting to introduce these biochemical changes and the body has no time to recover.”
Research published over the last three decades has also convincingly shown that artificial sweeteners stimulate appetite, increase cravings for carbs, and produce a variety of metabolic dysfunctions that promote fat storage and weight gain.
As early as 1986, a study17 that examined nearly 78,700 women for one year found women who used artificial sweeteners were significantly more likely to gain weight compared to those who did not use them, regardless of their initial weight.
According to the researchers, the results “were not explicable by differences in food consumption patterns. The data do not support the hypothesis that long-term artificial sweetener use either helps weight loss or prevents weight gain.”
Similarly, the 25-yearslong San Antonio Heart Study,18 published in 2005, found those who drank diet soda were significantly more likely to gain weight compared to those who drank regular soda. On average, for each diet soft drink the participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese.
In 2010, an important scientific review19 was published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. It summarized the epidemiological and experimental evidence available on artificial sweeteners’ effects on weight, and explained those effects in light of the neurobiology of food reward.
More than 11,650 children aged 9 to 14 were included in this study. Each daily serving of diet beverage was associated with a BMI increase of 0.16 kg/m2. It also showed the correlation between increased usage of artificial sweeteners in food and drinks, and the corresponding rise in obesity. According to the authors:
“[F]indings suggest that the calorie contained in natural sweeteners may trigger a response to keep the overall energy consumption constant … Increasing evidence suggests that artificial sweeteners do not activate the food reward pathways in the same fashion as natural sweeteners … [A]rtificial sweeteners, precisely because they are sweet, encourage sugar craving and sugar dependence.”
Three years later, a report20 published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism highlighted the fact that diet soda drinkers suffer the same exact health problems as those who opt for regular soda, including excessive weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.21 The researchers proposed that frequent consumption of artificial sweeteners may induce metabolic derangements.
Right around 2013, research started emerging detailing some of the reasons for why zero calorie sweeteners can make you gain weight. A study in the Journal of Physiology22,23 showed that when you eat something sweet, your brain releases dopamine, which activates your brain’s reward center.
The appetite-regulating hormone leptin is also released, which eventually informs your brain that you are “full” once a certain amount of calories has been ingested. When you consume something that tastes sweet but doesn’t contain any calories, your brain’s pleasure pathway still gets activated by the sweet taste, but there’s nothing to deactivate it, since the calories never arrive.
Artificial sweeteners basically trick your body into thinking that it’s going to receive calories, but when the calories fail to arrive, your body continues to signal that it needs more, which results in carb cravings.
The following year, 2014, another important study24 was published in the journal Nature. It was, for the first time, able to clearly show causality, revealing there’s a direct cause and effect relationship between consuming artificial sweeteners and developing elevated blood sugar levels.
People who consumed high amounts of artificial sweeteners were found to have higher levels of HbA1C — a long-term measure of blood sugar — compared to nonusers or occasional users of artificial sweeteners.
Seven volunteers who did not use artificial sweeteners were then recruited, and asked to consume the equivalent of 10 to 12 single-dose packets of artificial sweeteners daily for one week. Four of the seven people developed “significant disturbances in their blood glucose,” according to the researchers.
Some became prediabetic within just a few days! The reason for this dramatic shift was traced back to alterations in gut bacteria. Some bacteria were killed off, while others started proliferating. Which brings us back full circle to the featured study in the journal Molecules, which showed that all artificial sweeteners currently on the U.S. market have the ability to impair and/or kill gut bacteria.
Considering what we now know about the gut microbiome and its influence on health and disease, it’s becoming easier to see how and why artificial sweeteners are able to wreak havoc on your health.
If you’re overweight and/or have insulin resistance or Type 2 diabetes, it’s really important to understand that artificial sweeteners are not going to help matters. They’re probably only going to make it worse.
If you have to choose between two evils, regularly-sweetened beverages are likely less hazardous in the long run, since your body at least knows how to metabolize fructose, even if it is processed.
That said, I firmly believe ditching soda and other sweetened beverages is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your weight and health. Remember, pure water is a zero-calorie drink. You cannot find a beverage that contains fewer calories.
If you want some flavor, just squeeze a little bit of fresh lemon or lime into mineral water. In instances where your cooking, baking or beverage needs a little sweetener, be mindful of your choice. For more information, see “Sugar Substitutes — What’s Safe and What’s Not.”
The world’s oceans are under assault from multiple enemies — plastics, chemicals and overfishing among them. With fish, human exploitation, including overfishing, is the major cause of declining marine species, with some declining in numbers by 74 percent between 1970 and 2010.1
Demand for seafood, meanwhile, continues to increase, with global per capita fish consumption rising to more than 20 kilograms (about 44 pounds) for the first time in 2016 — double the level of the 1960s, according to a Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) report.2
The FAO urged “more work to rein in overfishing,” noting that one-third of commercial fish stocks worldwide are being fished at biologically unsustainable levels, which is triple the level of 1974. The methods used for fishing can make a difference in their impact on nontarget species, and one that’s embroiled in controversy is electric shock fishing, otherwise known as “pulse fishing.”
Dutch fishing vessels have been found using the electrocution method in a marine sanctuary called Dogger Bank, located in the North Sea. Dogger Bank is a protected marine area under EU law because it’s home to a wide variety of sea life and habitats.
Pulse fishing is primarily used to catch flatfish, such as sole, which live in the seabed. Conventionally, beam trawling, which involves the destructive practice of dragging chains across the seabed to cause flatfish to jump up into waiting nets, has been used for this purpose.
Pulse fishing, which involves electric pulses to shock the fish, causing them to leap into nets above them, is widely touted as a more sustainable method that causes less disruption to the seafloor, requires less fuel to tug the electrodes and also reportedly reduces bycatch because sole are more susceptible to the electric shocks than other marine species.3
However, Bloom Association, a French environmental group, pointed out in a January 2018 report that this method of fishing is banned in much of the world, as it was in Europe until 2006, when the EU decided to allow it for “experimental purposes” in 5 percent of the fleet.
“This ruling went against scientific advice, only to satisfy the pressure exerted by a private interest group: the Dutch industrial beam trawl fleet. The use of electricity in the wild has serious environmental and socioeconomic consequences: Not only is the seabed impacted by huge industrial nets, but all marine life is now electrocuted,” Bloom reported.4
While the Dutch fleet was supposed to be allotted 15 vessels for the experimental pulse fishing method, their numbers have ballooned to more than 80, which catch 92 percent of sole caught by Dutch trawlers.
“There is nothing experimental about this fishery, it is a full-fledged commercial operation and its environmental impacts, while under-researched, are potentially very harmful,” Charles Clover, executive director of Blue Marine Foundation, told The Epoch Times:5
“The mind boggles as to how the Commission and European Fisheries Ministers have permitted electric fishing on the Dogger Bank, which is legally protected under EU law because of its unique and important habitat.”
The Blue Marine Foundation and Bloom filed a complaint with the EU Commission, alleging that the Dutch vessels are illegally trawling in the Dogger Bank, putting vulnerable marine life at risk. Jeremy Percy, executive director of the Low Impact of Fishers of Europe (LIFE), told The Times:6
“It is a travesty that powerful vessels, using a fishing method that is banned in many parts of the world, are not only permitted under a dubious derogation to use this gear to fish in UK waters but also in marine protected areas.
We have long campaigned to have this method banned on the basis of the firsthand accounts of other fishermen . . . who have witnessed the devastation the use of it causes as it shocks fish into the nets of these trawlers.”
While there’s no doubt that beam trawls cause immense damage to the seafloor, the use of electric pulse fishing as a sustainable alternative is highly debatable. While proponents tout its efficient nature and lower fuel requirements (compared to tugging heavy chains), this, opponents say, is part of its downfall.
“Reducing costs in a situation of chronic overexploitation is a seductive argument to convince European fishers to equip their vessels with electrodes. Unfortunately, this fishing method is so effective that above all, it promises to accelerate the exhaustion of marine resources and ruin the fishing sector in the medium term,” Bloom reported.7
Electric pulse fishing has already been banned in China, Vietnam, Brazil, the U.S. and Uruguay because of concerns that it harms or kills most fish while degrading habitat. Again, proponents paint pulse fishing as using weak electric pulses to gently startle fish into nets. The reality, however, is much more severe; the current used is the same as that used by electroshock weapons like Tasers.
According to Bloom, “This type of current causes such violent, uncontrolled convulsions that 50 to 70 percent of large cods are left with a fractured spine and internal bleeding after the shock.”8
Reportedly favorable research supporting pulse fishing has focused on the economic performance of fishing vessels (i.e., reduced fuel costs) while ignoring the potentially devastating consequences on ecosystems. Research suggests, for instance, that electricity may:9
As for being a more “selective” form of fishing, as proponents claim, Bloom explains, “[E]lectric ‘pulse’ trawlers are not selective at all. For 100 kg (220 pounds) of fish caught, 50 to 70 kg (110 to 156 pounds) are discarded (including plaice, dab and soles). In comparison, sole netters discard only 6 kg (13 pounds) of fish per 100 kg of fish caught.”10
The EU has issued far more licenses for electric pulse fishing than its initial 5 percent limit would bear. “At this level this is essentially permitting a commercial fishery under the guise of scientific research,” the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) stated.11
What’s more, public subsidies totaling at nearly 6 million euros (about $6.9 million) have been used to develop pulse fishing fleets in the Netherlands. “These public subsidies have been abusively granted for ‘research’, ‘innovation’ and ‘better practices,'” according to Bloom. “European institutions and member states need to stop using public funds for ecologically and socially harmful fishing practices.”12
The amount of electricity being used on the pulse fishing vessels isn’t being monitored, either, to ensure the currents used aren’t excessive. Already, fraudulent activity like using smaller netting than is allowed or fishing in zones that are supposed to be closed for the season, have been reported.
The practice also threatens small-scale fishers, which were once the only outlets that could operate in areas close to coasts. The electric pulse vessels are lighter than other trawlers, allowing them access to previously inaccessible areas. “This unfair and unreasonable competition is worrying, because it rings the death knell for small-scale fishing,” Bloom noted.13
It’s estimated that within the next 10 years, farm-raised fish will make up the majority of fish consumed by humans. There are already 100 species being farmed,14 and while this may sound like a sustainable alternative to catching wild fish, it poses many of the same problems plaguing industrial land-based livestock operations, or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
Fish farms are basically CAFOs of the sea, subject to overcrowding, concerns over marine animal welfare and disease transmission, including to wild fish. Sea lice, tiny parasitic crustaceans that feed on salmon skin and mucous, are just one problem. At one fish farm in Scotland, it’s estimated that up to 80 percent of the salmon were suffering with sea lice.15
Sea lice spreading on fish farms is putting wild salmon stocks at risk. Wild salmon from Blackwater River, which is near the Scotland fish farm, have been found to be heavily infested with sea lice, for example. Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland has blamed the industrial farm for the infestations, as the salmon must pass by the farms on their way back from the Atlantic Ocean.
The Scottish Salmon Company has attempted to block the public release of photos showing their diseased salmon and even claimed losses of more than $1.3 million in 2016 because of sea lice and other disease. Despite this, they reported profits of over $38 million in 2017.16
Piscine reovirus, or PRV, is another salmon disease that is devastating farmed and wild salmon. PRV causes heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) disease, which can be deadly to salmon. One study of salmon in British Columbia, Canada, revealed the proportion of PRV infection in wild fish was related to exposure to salmon farms.17
Even land-based salmon farms are problematic,18 as the facilities pump water from rivers into their hatcheries, then pump it back out to the river once it’s contaminated with dissolved organic matter (DOM) — a mixture of liquid excrement, food residue and other salmon excretions, along with disinfectants and antibiotics.
Nutritionally speaking, farmed salmon are also a far inferior choice to the wild variety. For starters, their pens are often placed near shore, which means they’re close to land-based sources of pollutant runoff. In addition, they’re fed a diet of ground-up fishmeal, which may lead to concentrated levels of PCBs.
In a global assessment of farmed salmon published in the journal Science, PCB concentrations in farmed salmon were found to be eight times higher than in wild salmon.19 Farmed salmon also lack the correct ratio of healthy fats that many people are seeking when eating a “healthy” fish meal.
Because much seafood is polluted, I only recommend eating safer seafood choices such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel and herring. All of these are at low risk of contamination, yet are high in healthy omega-3 fats. You’ll also want to opt for sustainably harvested wild-caught fish as well.
One of the best options toward this end is to look for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) logo, which features the letters MSC and a blue check mark in the shape of a fish. The MSC logo ensures the seafood came from a responsible fishery that uses sustainable fishing practices and meets the following standards:20
The Dutch pulse trawl, sole and plaice fishery applied to be assessed against the MSC Fisheries Standard, but it fell short on meeting the second standard (minimum ecosystem impacts).
“The fishery is therefore not recommended for certification,” MSC wrote in 2016, adding “the draft assessment concludes that there is currently insufficient knowledge of the impacts of electric pulses on seabed ecosystems to state with certainty that pulse fishing does not have any significant impacts.”21
In Great Britain, 0.7 percent of all milk sold is raw. It may not sound like a lot, until you consider that it can only be sold on the farm. The fact is that people value raw milk and are willing to seek it out for a multitude of reasons — health, taste, animal welfare and the environment, for example — even if doing so requires more than a simple trip to the grocery store.
You may also consider raw milk to be a thing of the past, something that was consumed out of necessity because pasteurization hadn’t yet been invented. But raw milk is making a comeback and is increasingly popular among those looking for natural, whole and unprocessed foods in a form that’s as close to nature as you can get, i.e., raw.
In the video above, Mark McAfee, founder and chairman of the Raw Milk Institute (RAWMI), explains why raw milk is like no other food— a powerful food that’s the first food of life for many creatures.
McAfee explains that while pasteurized milk has a lack of value added, there’s innate value added in raw milk, including its rich beneficial bacteria counts, that can’t be faked. When thinking about the first food of life for humans — breast milk — it’s always consumed “raw.”
Pasteurizing this perfect food would destroy many of the properties that make is so life-sustaining, and yet, milk from cows is considered different. As McAfee puts it:
“Raw milk is the first food of life and builds immunity and strength. Yes, a mother’s milk is raw milk. It is an optimal first nourishment but also has been the focal point for vicious food fighting for more than 110 years. With the discovery of the human biome and human genomics, raw milk comes center stage.
Now we have the possibility to assure that raw milk is safe, yet stays unchanged and whole. It is now fostering the health of our immune systems that have been suppressed and weakened by antibiotic abuse, GMOs, preservatives, pesticide and herbicide exposure and sterilized foods. It is time to embrace the farmer and strengthen and heal thyself gut biome first!”
For thousands of years, humans have depended on milk from camels, sheep, goats and cows in order to survive. The milk was available immediately, with no hunting, fishing or growing required, and it was portable, able to travel with the people.
As long as the animals had access to grass, rain and the sun, they could provide a whole food in the form of raw milk, rich in biodiverse bacteria (which only increased if the milk was fermented), along with food to feed these bacteria (prebiotics). It’s now known that high levels of bacteria, along with biodiverse bacteria and prebiotics to feed them, are essential for optimal health.
“Pasteurization destroyed that,” McAfee said, and while yogurt brings some of the benefits back (with only three or four bacterial strains), it can’t compare with the complexity of raw milk. Breast milk, for example, contains 700 different types of bacteria and 2,500 proteins and pathogens, which give infants’ immune systems a chance to develop.
Raw milk, which is a living food, is also incredibly complex, and its benefits come in the fact that it’s not sterilized like so many “dead” processed foods are today.
There was a period of time, from 1860 to the 1920s, when raw milk went through what McAfee describes as a “dark age.” The cows’ diets, combined with unsanitary conditions, raw sewage mixed with water and lack of refrigeration, led to the spread of disease like tuberculosis and typhoid. A lot of people died from raw milk that came from these unsanitary distillery dairies raising malnourished cows.
The cows were brought from the countryside into urban environments, fed unusual diets that cows are not meant to eat, and raised in unclean conditions. The outcome was milk that killed up to 40 to 50 percent of those who drank it.
The beginning of pasteurization started around this time and was hailed as a panacea because you didn’t have to worry about the milk being clean anymore. Even milk riddled with pathogenic bacteria could be safely consumed once it was heated to high temperatures. It wasn’t until decades later that it began to be understood how much was lost during the process.
“There is a dark period. That dark period has been amplified and made into a political mantra against raw milk, when in fact it was never raw milk’s problem. It was mankind and what we did to the cows and the environment that was the problem,” McAfee said.
The underpinnings that led to the dark ages of raw milk are still found today in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where most commercial dairy is produced. On CAFOs, milk can be produced in filthy conditions, then heated until all the pathogens are gone.
Never mind that, along with killing “germs,” pasteurization kills off beneficial organisms in the milk and prevents natural souring (while naturally soured milk can still be consumed, pasteurized milk past its prime will quickly go bad).1 According to RAWMI:2
“Raw milk is a living whole food that contains: enzymes, a biodiversity of beneficial bacteria, sugars, proteins, fats, minerals, antibodies and other essential elements needed to nourish a growing baby.
Raw milk also contains a complementary immune system that provides an environment that tends to suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria in favor of beneficial lactic acid producing bacteria. Raw milk inside of the animal generally does not contain bacteria; however, as the milk exits the breast or teat canal, protective resident bacteria join the raw milk to complete its genome.”
Today, however, there are two kinds of raw milk produced. One is the type produced on CAFOs, which is intended to be shipped to a creamery for pasteurization. This type of milk is regulated according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), which has no requirement that the milk be tested for pathogens.
“PMO raw milk is permitted to contain high levels of bacteria. This is because this milk will be pasteurized by heat treatment. Milk produced under the PMO is collected from many dairies and combined together at the creamery for processing and the production of final processed dairy products,” RAWMI notes.3 It has to be pasteurized, as drinking this type of CAFO milk raw could easily make you sick.
The other type of raw milk is that produced with the intent of being directly consumed by humans. While there are no national regulations for human consumption raw milk, individual states may have their own. RAWMI has also created standards to ensure its quality and safety.
“Our Common Standards set a benchmark for national raw milk production and safety. Raw milk for human consumption always comes from one dairy that works very hard to assure that the milk they produce is safe and clean. Human consumption raw milk is never combined with other dairies’ raw milk,” according to RAWMI. The Common Standards include:4
Have a Risk Analysis and Management Plan (RAMP) for raw milk production; this is a basic food safety plan that includes risk assessment and mitigation for milk handling, manure management, feed sources, human factors (such as health of the milking team), nutritional management of the cow, cleaning protocol, health screening of animals and much more.
Raw milk shall not contain zoonotic pathogens including salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter and listeria.
Testing for coliform bacteria, with a target rate of less than 10 coliforms per milliliter (ml) raw milk over a three-month average.
Testing for Standard Plate Count, with a rolling three-month average of less than 5,000 per ml raw milk.
Sell raw milk for direct human consumption only from their own farm (not comingled with raw milk from other dairies).
Provide documentation and assurance that herds are tuberculosis (TB) free and tested once per year or meet local TB requirements.
Provide documentation or assurance that herds are brucellosis free.
RAWMI even provides additional training to further ensure quality raw milk, including farm biosecurity (how to protect the herd), basic microbiology and preventive herd health medicine. RAWMI adds:5
“These standards are not a guarantee of perfectly safe food. However, when followed diligently, these guidelines will dramatically reduce the risk of illness from consumption of raw milk and improve the safety of raw milk. The Common Standards serve as the basis for RAWMI farmer listing, and are a portal to a world of continued learning.”
While it’s long been said that “you are what you eat,” a more accurate description might be “you are what your microbes eat.” There are more bacteria and other microorganisms in your body than there are human cells, and your unique microbial community is constantly changing in response to your environment, including your diet.
McAfee describes the research of Bonnie Bassler, Ph.D., a molecular biologist with Princeton University, which revealed bacteria communicate with each other using a chemical language called “quorum sensing.” Every type of bacteria secretes small molecules, which allow the bacteria to “count” how many of its own kind there are, as well as measure the strength of competing colonies.
Once the colony reaches critical mass, the bacteria spring into action as a synchronized group, based on the group behavior programmed into its genes. So the microorganisms living in your digestive tract form a very important “inner ecosystem” that influences countless aspects of your health.
More specifically, the type and quantity of organisms in your gut interact with your body in ways that can either prevent or encourage the development of many diseases and mental health problems, and eating microbial-rich foods like raw milk, raw milk cheese and kefir are one way to support the bacterial communities in your body.
McAfee believes there’s a breakdown in understanding among scientists, most of whom will argue that breastfeeding is incredibly important for infants, yet fail to make the connection that breast milk is raw milk. After breastfeeding ends, the next logical step, he says, is to continue drinking raw milk.
At least 16 peer-reviewed studies have detailed the benefits of drinking raw milk, yet still include a disclaimer at the end that the scientists can’t recommend drinking it because of the risks. RAWMI was created for this purpose, McAfee says, to show that raw milk isn’t high risk at all but is actually very low risk, with proven health benefits. Among them is alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme found in raw milk, that’s known to be anti-inflammatory.
“[I]ntestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP), a potent endogenous anti-inflammatory enzyme, is directly stimulated by various components of milk (e.g., casein, calcium, lactose and even fat),” researchers wrote in Medical Hypotheses,6 “… and detoxifies pro-inflammatory microbial components … making them unable to trigger inflammatory responses and generate chronic low-grade inflammation leading to insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, Type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity, known risk factors for CVD [cardiovascular disease].
Milk alkaline phosphatase is present in raw milk and dairy products but deactivated by pasteurization. “If confirmed, this “alkaline phosphatase” hypothesis will highlight the protective effects of milk alkaline phosphatase and promote the consumption of (microbiologically safe) raw milk and dairy products,” the researchers concluded.7
Other research has found children who drink raw milk have a lower risk of developing allergies and asthma.8 And, early human studies suggested raw milk was superior to pasteurized milk in protecting against infection, diarrhea, rickets, tooth decay and tuberculosis.9
Raw milk also contains protective components that aren’t found in pasteurized milk, including antibodies and beneficial bacteria that help to kill pathogens in the milk, as well as compounds that prevent pathogen absorption across the intestinal wall. There are a variety of immune-strengthening components in raw milk as well, including lymphocytes, immunoglobulins and growth factors.10
Raw milk and pasteurized milk are entirely different foods, with different outcomes in your body. While raw milk is noninflammatory and inhibits MAST cell release of histamines, pasteurized milk is the most allergenic food in the U.S., McAfee notes. He also points out that pasteurized milk is often associated with lactose intolerance and is often not digestible by children, whereas raw milk is highly digestible and gut friendly.
Anecdotal reports of customers drinking raw milk suggest recovery from a variety of conditions, from ear infections, asthma and eczema to dental problems, ulcers, lactose intolerance and depressed immunity. There are cultural differences, too, as while many Europeans are free to enjoy a glass of crisp raw milk anytime they like courtesy of self-serve vending machines, in North America selling raw milk is often forbidden.
In the U.S., efforts continue to expand access to raw milk — the ONLY food banned from interstate commerce — and, in so doing, protect people’s right to eat and drink what they please. If you’re interested in raw milk, in states where the sale of raw milk is legal, RAWMI lists farmers on their website who have gone through their training program and demonstrated, through testing, that their milk is consistently clean and safe.11
In other states, those wishing to purchase raw milk often purchase a share of the cow or herd directly from a raw milk farmer. As with all foods, source matters, and this is just as true with raw milk as any other food, so be sure to review these tips for finding high-quality raw milk sources.
A week-long undercover sting targeting human trafficking and online prostitution in Polk County ended with 277 arrests that included doctors, pharmacists and law enforcement officers.
"That's the most we have ever arrested in the history of the sheriff's office," Sheriff Grady Judd said.
"Operation No Tricks, No Treats" started last Tuesday, October 10 and ran through Monday, October 16. During that time, undercover detectives posted fake ads or profiles online posing as prostitutes or someone who solicits prostitutes. Other detectives responded to profiles and ads posted by prostitutes.