Should Kids Avoid This Kind of Milk?

Plant-based milk has become increasingly popular. Once regarded as a fringe product geared toward “health nuts,” it’s now gone mainstream and is available at many supermarkets and coffee shops. The health benefits, if any, of alternative milks are debatable, and new health guidelines released by a group of health organizations suggest most young children should not consume it.

Childhood nutrition sets the stage for optimal development and lifelong health. What your child drinks is part of this equation, as is what your child does not drink. It’s widely known that sugar-sweetened beverages and even fruit juice should be limited or avoided, but milk is largely considered to be a go-to beverage option for children. However, not all milk is created equal.

Most Young Children Should Avoid Plant-Based Milk

A panel of experts with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association prepared the healthy beverage consensus statement, “Healthy Beverage Consumption in Early Childhood.”1

For infants aged zero to 12 months, the panel stated plant milks are not recommended. For those aged 1 to 5 years, plant milks were also not recommended for exclusive consumption in place of dairy milk. This includes plant milks and nondairy beverages such as rice, nut and seed milk, or milk made from coconut, oats, peas or blends of these ingredients. The rationale, according to the statement:2

“Plant-based milks are growing in popularity, but it is important to note that they are not nutritionally equivalent to cow’s milk. They have varying nutritional pro les based on their plant source and many often contain added sugars.”

Two studies were cited that compared the nutritional value of cow’s milk with nondairy beverages. One found that cow’s milk has higher protein content and quality compared to most nondairy milk beverages.3

The other concluded, “[I]f the goal is to provide a beverage nutritionally similar to cow’s milk for growing children, then, with the exception of soy, NDMAs [nondairy milk alternatives] are not nutritionally similar to cow’s milk and are not a good substitute.”4 The expert panel noted:5

“Although plant milks may be fortified to attain similar nutrient levels as cow’s milk, it is not known whether the bioavailability of these added nutrients is comparable to that of their naturally-occurring counterparts in cow’s milk.

These studies concluded that cow’s milk should not be removed from the diets of young children unless there is a medical indication or specific dietary preference, and that non-dairy milk beverages should not be considered adequate nutritional substitutes for cow’s milk until nutrient quality and bioavailability are established.”

Almond and Soy Milk Are Not Healthy Options

Almond milk is loaded with oxalates and should be avoided. Not only can oxalates increase your risk of kidney stones but there is increasing evidence that high oxalate consumption can cause a wide variety of disorders and there is pretty clear evidence that oxalates can cause excess oxidative stress and increase mitochondrial dysfunction.

The panel made an exception for soy milk; however, this beverage is not a healthy choice for children or adults. Most soybeans in the U.S. are genetically engineered to be herbicide tolerant. They are doused with toxic glyphosate, a chemical linked to cancer and other health risks. Soy is also high in antinutrients called lectins, including soybean agglutinin (SBA), which may alter intestinal health and gut flora.6

Other antinutrients in soy include saponins, soyatoxin, phytates (which prevent the absorption of certain minerals), oxalates, protease inhibitors, estrogens (which can block the hormone estrogen and disrupt endocrine function) and goitrogens (interfering with your thyroid function) as well as a blood clot-inhibiting substance called hemagglutinin.

The expert panel noted that children with allergies may choose to consume plant milks, but even in these instances, soy milk is not a healthy choice. It’s also not a safe choice for infant formula either, in part because it exposes infants to hormone-mimicking substances. As noted in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives:7

“Early-life exposure to estrogenic compounds affects the development of the reproductive system in rodent models and humans. Soy products, which contain phytoestrogens such as genistein, are one source of exposure in infants fed soy formula, and they result in high serum concentrations.”

Are Plant Milks Ever Healthy?

One major problem with plant milks, particularly if you’re giving it to a child as a significant portion of their diet, is that they don’t offer much nutrition. Almond milk, for instance, may contain only 2% almonds.8 The rest of the beverage may be made largely of water, sugar and other additives, like carrageenan, a highly inflammatory additive that may cause inflammation in your gastrointestinal system and related problems.9

Rice milk is also problematic due to potential arsenic contamination, which may surpass the maximum levels allowed in drinking water.10 That being said, if you choose unsweetened, organic options, most plant milks aren’t necessarily harmful, but they’re not going to provide children with the nutrition their growing bodies need.

What they will do is fill up the child, making them less likely to eat the foods they need, like healthy fats and vegetables. The panel stated:11

“For 0 to 12-month-olds, plant milks/non-dairy beverages should not be used as a substitute for breast milk or infant formula. Use of alternative beverages as a major component of the diet during this period has been associated with malnutrition.”

Certain plant milks, particularly coconut milk, can provide some nutrition, but you’re almost always better off choosing the whole food instead, especially for children. So instead of serving a child almond milk, choose a handful of organic almonds.

Is Cow’s Milk a Healthy Choice?

The assumption that all children need milk to grow up strong is outdated. The calcium and protein found in milk can be consumed via a variety of dairy sources, vegetables and other foods. It’s not necessary to give children milk, provided they’re consuming a healthy, whole-food diet otherwise.

If your child feels ill after drinking dairy milk, a lactose intolerance, casein allergy or another type of dairy sensitivity may be present, and regular cows’ milk may be better off avoided. If you’re still looking for a dairy beverage, keep in mind that some people who have problems drinking regular dairy do fine when drinking raw, organic grass fed milk, which is far easier on your digestive system. Raw, grass fed A2-only milk may be even more ideal.

Due to the unique needs of their developing bodies, it is important to ensure children are getting the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, as well as sufficient amounts of high-quality fat and protein, on a daily basis. However, this can come from a number of healthy sources, not necessarily milk.

Have You Heard of Cockroach Milk?

Speaking of milk alternatives, one of the most outrageous to surface is cockroach milk — but when you learn about the potential benefits, it doesn’t sound so outrageous after all. The female Pacific beetle cockroach is the only known cockroach species to be viviparous, meaning they give birth to live young and nurse their offspring.

As cockroach embryos drink their mother’s milk, it concentrates inside their guts and forms tiny crystals, which are considered a complete food with proteins, fats and sugars. Because cockroach milk has quadruple the nutrition value in comparison to cow’s milk, it may in the future be tapped to feed the world.12

What Are the Healthiest Beverage Choices for Children?

Healthy beverage choices are an important component of an overall healthy diet, particularly in childhood. As the panel explained:13

“Establishing healthy dietary patterns in early childhood (0 to 5 years) is important to help prevent future diet-related chronic diseases, as well as to support optimal physical and cognitive growth and development and overall health.

Healthy beverage intake is critical in early childhood as beverages can make a significant contribution to dietary intake during this period, and thus may serve as important sources of essential nutrients.”

If cockroach milk is too “out there,” and plant milks aren’t really healthy, what should you give your children to drink? From zero to 6 months, infants need only breastmilk. At 6 to 12 months, breastmilk along with a small amount of pure water (one-fourth to 1 cup a day) can be given.

For those older than 12 months, the panel recommended a combination of pure water and milk, along with a small amount of fruit juice (no more than 0.5 to 0.75 cups daily)14 — an addition I don’t recommend due to the high sugar content. And, while the panel recommended the water you give your children be fluoridated, I don’t recommend that either, as research confirms that fluoride lowers children’s IQ levels.

Perhaps most notable are the beverages the panel does not recommend for children aged zero to 5, which include:

Plant milks and other nondairy beverages, unless medically indicated

Flavored milk, such as chocolate or strawberry milk

Toddler milk, which often contains added sugars

Sugar-sweetened beverages

Beverages with low-calorie, or artificial, sweeteners

Caffeinated beverages

Unfortunately, many children are consuming far too many unhealthy beverages and not enough pure water, putting them at risk of diet-related chronic diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes and dental caries. The panel stated:15

  • Many infants consume milk and 100% juice prior to their first birthday, which increases the risk of nutrient deficiencies and anemia
  • Among 2- to 5-year-olds, 44% consume a sugar-sweetened beverage daily
  • The prevalence of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption increases throughout childhood

To replace sugar-sweetened beverages, many children enjoy homemade smoothies made from kefir (fermented milk) and berries. If you’re having a hard time getting your child to drink water, try adding in some healthy flavor, such as fresh lemon or lime juice, cucumber slices or crushed mint leaves.

Sparkling mineral water can add some variety, but the fact remains that, once you’re past 6 to 12 months and no longer breastfeeding, your body needs pure water, and plenty of it. Swapping out sweetened beverages, plant milks and artificially sweetened drinks for pure water will go a long way toward protecting your child’s health, both now and in the years to come.

Suicide and Murder — Side Effects of Medication

According to a 2017 study,1 1 in 6 Americans between the ages of 18 and 85 were on psychiatric drugs in 2013, most of them antidepressants. Of them, 84.3% reported long-term use, and having filled three or more prescriptions during the study year.

Despite such pervasive antidepressant use, we’ve not seen any improvement in depression rates. On the contrary, it just seems to be getting worse, and the highest rates of depression are now reported among 18- to 25-year-olds.2

Suicide rates are at an all-time high as well. Statistics reveal suicide rates rose 31% between 2001 and 2017.3 In 2017, nearly 47,000 Americans committed suicide, making it the 10th most common cause of death that year.

While antidepressants are routinely used as a first-line treatment for depression, evidence suggests they cause more problems than they solve. Several studies have shown their effectiveness is on par with placebo,4,5 and some of the worst side effects have long been ignored, or worse, hidden.

Among them is the risk of violent acts against oneself and others. Research shows the proportion of adults taking at least one drug where suicide is a potential side effect hit 23.5% as of 2013, up from 17.3% in 2005,6,7 and 38.4% of American adults were in 2014 on one or more medications that can cause depression as a side effect.8,9,10,11,12

Unfortunately, doctors are more likely to prescribe an antidepressant than do the detective work required to determine whether the depression might be caused by a drug you’re on. Aside from antidepressants, some 200 different drugs have been identified as having depression as a side effect,13,14 including birth control pills and drugs for heartburn, allergies and pain.

Psychiatric Medication and Violence

Many studies have noted that psychiatric drugs can destabilize patients to the point of suicide or homicide. In a June 4, 2019, article,15 “The Depression Pill Epidemic,” professor Peter C. Gøtzsche highlights some of his own research that showed antidepressants “double the occurrence of events that can lead to suicide and violence in healthy adult volunteers.”

Other research16 has shown antidepressants “increase aggression in children and adolescents by a factor of 2 to 3 — an important finding considering the many school shootings where the killers were on depression pills,” Gøtzsche writes.17

In 2017, Wendy Dolin was awarded $3 million by a jury in a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Paxil. Dolin’s husband committed suicide six days after taking his first dose of a Paxil generic, and evidence brought forth in the case convincingly showed his suicide was the result of the drug, not emotional stress or mental illness.18

In fact, according to Dolin’s legal team, Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman, GSK’s own clinical placebo-controlled trials revealed subjects on Paxil had nearly nine times the risk of attempting or committing suicide than the placebo group.19

An internal GSK analysis of its suicide data also showed that “patients taking Paxil were nearly seven times more likely to attempt suicide than those on placebo,” Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman reports, adding:20

“Jurors in the Dolin trial also heard from psychiatrist David Healy, one of the world’s foremost experts on Paxil and drugs in its class … Healy told the jurors that Paxil and drugs like it can create in some people a state of extreme ’emotional turmoil’ and intense inner restlessness known as akathisia …

‘People have described it like a state worse than death. Death will be a blessed relief. I want to jump out of my skin,’ Dr. Healy said. Healthy volunteer studies have found that akathisia can happen even to people with no psychiatric condition who take the drug …

Another Paxil side effect known to increase the risk of suicide is emotional blunting … apathy or emotional indifference … [E]motional blunting, combined with akathisia, can lead to a mental state in which an individual has thoughts of harming themselves or others, but is ‘numbed’ to the consequences of their actions. Drugs in the Paxil class can also cause someone to ‘go psychotic, become delirious,’ Dr. Healy explained.”

Eli Lilly Hid Prozac’s Dangers

Another antidepressant notorious for its adverse mental health effects is Prozac, made by Eli Lilly. A scientific and medical expert for over 100 plaintiffs suing Eli Lilly over violence and suicide in the early ’90s was Dr. Peter Breggin. In his blog, Breggin talks about the first case brought before the court:21

“Joseph Wesbecker was on Prozac in September 1989 when he walked into his workplace, a Louisville, KY printing plant, shot dead eight colleagues, wounded 12 others, and killed himself. Survivors and relatives of the dead took Lily to court in 1994. They claimed that Wesbecker’s violence was due to Prozac.”

To this day, it was the worst mass shooting in Kentucky history. The Wesbecker case also turned out to be more dramatic than expected. So much so, Breggin wrote a book about it, “Medication Madness,” published in 2008.

His incentive for writing the book was the fact that it was later determined that the trial was rigged. Eli Lilly won the Wesbecker case. The jury decided Prozac was not at fault for the devastating loss of life. However, the judge later discovered Eli Lilly “had paid the plaintiffs to throw the trial by withholding damaging evidence,” Breggin writes.22

According to a September 12, 2019 article23 in the Louisville Courier Journal (a USA Today publication), the payoff amount in question was $20 million. Surprisingly, the damaging evidence plaintiffs agreed to withhold was not about Prozac but, rather, another Eli Lilly drug called Oraflex.

However, the agreement between Eli Lilly and the plaintiffs in the case also resulted in many of the documents Breggin evaluated and testified about from ever being known outside the courtroom. (PDFs of the key documents are available on Breggin’s blog24.)

“After the trial, with its secret agreement between the plaintiffs and the drug company, the documents once held by plaintiffs’ attorney Paul Smith could not be recovered by other attorneys or their experts. Their disappearance was so thorough that other attorneys in the consortium of combined Prozac suits … apparently did not know that they ever existed …

I … continued to cite them as a medical expert in product liability lawsuits against Eli Lilly. However, the drug company has reached sealed settlements in every Prozac product liability case in which I have been an expert. In this manner the company has avoided making the documents public in a trial,” Breggin explains.25

BMJ Accuses Eli Lilly of Hiding the ‘Smoking Gun’

The vanished documents didn’t become public knowledge until 2004, when they were anonymously sent to the BMJ, which published them along with an article. “Though criticizing the BMJ for saying that the company had in effect hidden the smoking guns, Eli Lilly never actually contested the allegations surrounding the documents,” Breggin writes.26

Just what did the vanished documents show? That Prozac significantly increased the risk of suicide. In a letter to the BMJ, Breggin authenticates the documents and explains their importance:27

“The second group of documents is a 1985 in-house analysis by Eli Lilly in which the company found a large statistically significant increase in suicide attempts for patients taking Prozac during their placebo controlled clinical trials.

Twelve suicide attempts were found in the Prozac group and only one each in the control group and the comparison drug, a tricyclic antidepressant. Even after the company winnowed out six of the suicide attempts, the remaining 6:1 ratio was alarming.

Furthermore, Eli Lilly hid many of their Prozac-related suicide attempts under false categories (see ahead). Like the activation study, Eli Lilly withheld the suicide study and did not turn it over to the German regulatory agency or to the FDA.

The third group of documents involves a study conducted by the FDA concerning increased spontaneous postmarketing reports of ‘hostility’ and ‘intentional injury’ on Prozac. The FDA used a comparison antidepressant, trazodone, as a control.

The FDA found a relative increase of reports of hostility and intentional injury per prescription of Prozac compared to trazodone. The spike in Prozac reports occurred even before any public controversy surrounding Prozac and violence. After the Wesbecker trial, I repeatedly attempted to obtain the FDA study through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The FDA finally told me that these documents were lost.

The fourth group of documents includes in-house Eli Lilly memoranda showing that the company consciously hid Prozac-induced suicidal acts under misleading categories, such as ‘no drug effect,’ so that they remained undisclosed to the FDA. In one memo, an Eli Lilly employee expresses shame and regret about hiding this data.”

Prozac Victims Paid to Shield Damaging Data on Another Drug

As for the $20 million payoff, that was, as mentioned, to prevent plaintiffs from bringing out damaging evidence about Oraflex — a different drug entirely. As explained by the Louisville Courier Journal:28

In exchange for the payment, the plaintiffs — eight estates and 11 survivors — agreed to withhold damaging evidence about the arthritis drug Oraflex that Lilly withdrew from the market.

Lilly pleaded guilty to 25 criminal misdemeanor counts for failing to report adverse reactions that patients suffered from the drug, and the drug company feared that the Prozac jury would be more inclined to rule against the drugmaker if it learned of it. The plaintiffs agreed that if the jury found Lilly liable, they would not seek damages, nor would they appeal the verdict if they lost.”

The payoff was made without the knowledge of the judge, John Potter, and when he discovered it, Potter fought for the disclosure of the details of the agreement, including the amount. Louisville Courier Journal reports:29

“Two of the victims recently told the Courier Journal that the payment totaled $20 million, worth about $41 million in today’s dollars … The two victims told the Courier Journal they felt compelled to accept the money because they suffered egregious injuries that kept them from working again and they needed it to survive …

Lilly publicly trashed Potter and his investigation and won an order from the Kentucky Court of Appeals blocking it. Potter appealed, and the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled in his favor in 1996, allowing him to press Lilly for details of the deal.

‘In this case, there was a serious lack of candor with the trial court, and there may have been deception, bad-faith conduct, abuse of the judicial process or perhaps even fraud,’ the court said. ‘We cannot tolerate even the possibility of such conduct.’

Potter set a hearing at which he intended to require attorneys for both sides to testify under oath. Lilly accused him of conducting a vendetta, and he recused himself. The judge who inherited the case let the matter drop, and Potter’s questions were never answered.”

The Tale of Eli Lilly and a Governor of Indiana

As noted by Louisville Courier Journal30 in the years since the Wesbecker case, Eli Lilly has used the acquittal “to tout that Prozac had been proved a safe and effective antidepressant,” which clearly was not the case if you’re looking at science-based evidence.

But the story doesn’t end there. Mitch Daniels, who served as governor of Indiana from 2005 to 2013, was a top executive at Eli Lilly from 1993 until 2001. Once governor, he also brought several other senior Eli Lilly staffers into his administration.31

At the time of the Wesbecker trial, he was the president of Eli Lilly’s North American Pharmaceutical Operations, a position he held between 1993 and 1997.

In 2005, then-governor Daniels rammed a mental health mandate through the Indiana legislature — Senate Enrolled Act 529, Indiana Code 20-19-532 — requiring all Indiana children up to the age of 22 to undergo mental health testing.

The lawmakers didn’t even know they’d voted for this mandate as it was pushed through on the last day of their “long” session. What’s more, the writing of the plan wasn’t even completed by the time it came up for vote.

Opponents of the state-directed “Children’s Social, Emotional and Behavioral Health Plan”33 such as Dr. Karen Effrem,34 argued the bill threatened parental autonomy with regard to the mental health care of their children, and would promote the use of “dangerous, ineffective psychiatric medication” as a result of misdiagnoses.

A 2011 article35 by Public Integrity points out that Daniels’ career at Eli Lilly was marked by thousands of lawsuits filed by injured patients and legal settlements in the billions of dollars.

“In the decade that Daniels climbed the corporate ladder at Eli Lilly, the company was illegally marketing its leading osteoporosis drug, Evista, as well as its blockbuster antipsychotic, Zyprexa, putting tens of thousands of patients in harm’s way.

Lilly pleaded guilty to two criminal misdemeanors, paid more than $2.7 billion in fines and damages, settled more than 32,000 personal injury claims … Daniels became increasingly influential as he rose through the company’s ranks in positions that involved polishing the drugmaker’s image and then shaping its policies …

Daniels was Lilly’s president of North American operations in 1996 when the FDA approved Zyprexa. Within a year, he rose to senior vice president for corporate strategy and policy as the company aggressively — and illegally — marketed the drug.”

Public Integrity also points out that Daniels received “at least $80,000 from top Lilly executives in the 2004 and 2008 election cycles,” and that the Eli Lilly political action committee donated $86,750 to Daniels’ campaigns.

In short, it would appear the former Eli Lilly executive cum governor used his newly acquired political clout to significantly increase the use of psychiatric drugs in children — a trend that has only gotten more indefensible with each passing year as other states have followed suit with similar mental health screening programs aimed at young children.

In 2014, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a mental health watchdog group, highlighted data36 showing that in 2013, an astounding 274,000 babies under the age of 1 were given psychiatric drugs. Of these, 249,699 were on anti-anxiety meds like Xanax; 26,406 were on antidepressants such as Prozac or Paxil, 1,422 were on ADHD drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall, and 654 were on antipsychotics such as Risperdal and Zyprexa.

In the toddler category (2- to 3-year-olds), 318,997 were on anti-anxiety drugs, 46,102 were on antidepressants, 10,000 were prescribed ADHD drugs and 3,760 were on antipsychotics. Among children aged 5 and younger, 1,080,168 were on psychiatric drugs. These are astounding statistics. How could children that young possibly be diagnosed with serious mental health issues requiring the use of such potent and dangerous drugs?

The TeenScreen Debacle

In 2005, Indiana also became the center of national attention when a lawsuit was filed against an Indiana school and mental health agency in connection to their use of TeenScreen — a mental health screening test developed at Columbia University and administered through school systems in at least 40 states — to “diagnose” mental illness in the schools’ students.37

The lawsuit was initiated by the parents of a student diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder — all because she preferred to study than party, and liked to keep things clean.38

A report39 on the dangers of TeenScreen was written by Effrem in 2014, detailing the test’s exceptionally high rate of false diagnoses, and the devastating effects such a misdiagnosis can have.

In one heart-wrenching case, a 13-year-old girl was removed from her parents and forcibly restrained and medicated with a dozen different drugs (some of which were not approved for her age group) for five months after the TeenScreen test “diagnosed” her as being at high risk for suicide.

While the Indiana law is still on the books, TeenScreen closed down in 2012,40 but is now making a comeback — a trend Effrem warns against in a 2018 article41 in The National Pulse. In it, she points out that the dramatic increase in psychiatric drug use among children and teens with “less severe or no impairment” is a direct result of widespread use of TeenScreen and similar mental screening instruments that are misdiagnosing them with serious mental health problems.

What’s worse, it appears that universal mental health screening of children in schools could soon be getting a national push, as illustrated by a 2017 article in Health Research Science42 laying out a blueprint for implementing such a program. Citing the need for funds, policy changes and strategies to collect data on this, as well as general support for the testing, study authors said:

“Universal mental health screening in the school setting is an important tool for gathering these data; however, the issues that are prompting the need for policy change are the same issues that make it difficult to implement these screening procedures.

Therefore, funding for studies such as we describe … plays an important role in achieving greater advocacy for meaningful school behavioral health policy change by providing a means to gather universal screening data.”

In other words, the only things keeping school-based mental health testing from being implemented nationwide are funding and support on the part of schools and staffs to pull it off. Unfortunately, if universal testing is implemented, it may very well take them right back to the problems Indiana had when they tried it: diagnoses resulting in incorrect or unnecessary treatment.

While depression and other mental health problems need to be diagnosed and taken seriously, psychiatric drugs should be the option of last resort, not the first. Again, one very serious side effect associated with at least 25 different psychiatric drugs is violence.

The 2014 U.S. Senate report,43 “A Review of How Prescribed Psychiatric Medications Could be Driving Members of the Armed Forces and Vets to Acts of Violence & Suicide” by Citizens Commission on Human Rights International, drives home the clear danger posed by these drugs. The report notes, in part:

“There are 22 international drug-regulatory agency warnings about these medications causing violent behavior, mania, psychosis and homicidal ideation. There are almost 50 international drug-regulatory agency warnings about psychiatric drugs causing suicidal ideation …

Prescriptions written for antipsychotic drugs for active-duty troops increased 1,083 percent from 2005 to 2011 … A total of 841 Service members had one or more attempted suicides reported … for CY 2012 …

Potentially up to 50 percent of those committing suicide had at some point taken psychiatric drugs and up to nearly 46 percent had taken them within 90 days.”

If you, your child, or another family member is on a psychiatric drug, I urge you to educate yourself about the true risks, and to consider switching to safer alternatives. You can learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of depression and anxiety in the following articles: “How Exercise Treats Depression,” “Alternative Treatments Effective for Depression,” “Anxiety May Be an Inherited Trait” and “Anxiety Overtakes Depression as No. 1 Mental Health Problem.”

New Feminist Monopoly Game Gives Women Unfair Advantage, Because… Equality?

Equality of opportunity is a value that most recognize as a good thing, helping to neutralize unfair situations in society.

However, setting up the system so some people have more resources than others arguably hinders equality of opportunity. The new feminist monopoly game gives female players more starting money and rewards than male players.

What message does this send young women in an already arguably unfair world?

Read Entire Article »

20 Keanu Reeves Quotes to Help You Create Beauty from Tragedy

Here are 29 quotes by the acting legend himself.

By Flavia Medrut,

Reported to be one of the most generous actors in Hollywood, Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and was raised in Toronto, Canada.Reeves began his acting career at the age of nine and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure was the first movie to bring him major recognition. However, playing hero Neo in sci-fi extravaganza The Matrix, made him an international superstar.Throughout his life, Reeves has been no stranger to hardship. His father left him and his mother when he was only 2 years old and was later imprisoned for selling heroin. His mother went on to marry three more times and they moved a lot.In 1999, Keanu’s longtime girlfriend Jennifer Syme, gave birth to a stillborn baby girl, and after 18 months she also died in a car crash. Remarkably, all these tragedies couldn’t stop him from becoming the awesome person that he is today.

Compared to other glamorous celebrities, Reeves lives a quiet and calm way of life and didn’t even own a house until 2003. He battles his demons with grace and shows nothing but kindness by supporting many good causes.

Here are 20 Keanu Reeves quotes to help you create beauty from tragedy.

I was raised to treat people exactly how I would like to be treated by others. It’s called respect.


If you have been brutally broken but still have the courage to be gentle to other living beings, then you’re a badass with a heart of an angel.

Money doesn’t mean anything to me. I’ve made a lot of money, but I want to enjoy life and not stress myself building my bank account. I give lots away and live simply, mostly out of a suitcase in hotels. We all know that good health is much more important.

Grief changes shape but it never ends.

You have to change your life if you’re not happy, and wake up if things aren’t going the way you want.

The person who was holding me back from my happiness was me.

Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget to take the time out to enjoy the beauty in life.

When I don’t feel free and can’t do what I want, I just react. I go against it.

I guess living without love, without experiencing it or being able to give it is pretty strong punishment.

Every struggle in your life has shaped you into the person you are today. Be thankful for the hard times, they can only make you stronger.

The simple act of paying attention can take you a long way.

When you truly understand karma then you realize you are responsible for everything in your life. It is incredibly empowering to know that your future is in your hands.

Art is about trying to find the good in people and making the world a more compassionate place.

Even in the face of tragedy, a stellar person can thrive. No matter what’s going on in your life, you can overcome it! Life is worth living.

Sometimes enemies are our best teachers, people can learn from their mistakes, destruction sometimes means rebirth.

It’s fun to be hopelessly in love. It’s dangerous, but it’s fun.

If you can make a woman laugh, you’re seeing the most beautiful thing on God’s earth.

Falling in love and having a relationship are two different things.

In my quiet, I was working something out.

I cried over beauty, I cried over pain, and the other time I cried because I felt nothing. I can’t help it. I’m just a cliché of myself.



Flavia Medrut is a freelance writer, researcher and part-time psychologist. She believes music, long walks and a good sense of humor are imperative in keeping one’s sanity. Kindness and kittens make her heart melt.




“Flat-Out False”: WaPo Calls Out Adam Schiff For Lying About Whistleblower

(Zero Hedge) House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) was called out by the Washington Post for claiming last month that his panel had “not spoken directly with the whistleblower” – a CIA employee whose second-hand account of a phone conversation between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky sparked impeachment proceedings. 

The post “Flat-Out False”: WaPo Calls Out Adam Schiff For Lying About Whistleblower appeared on Stillness in the Storm.

Conspiracy? New York times Reports Whistleblower Met with Schiff’s Staff Prior to Filing the Report

(Sean Walton) A New York Times report revealed Wednesday that the whistleblower met with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) staff just days before the CIA officer filed a whistleblower complaint.

The post Conspiracy? New York times Reports Whistleblower Met with Schiff’s Staff Prior to Filing the Report appeared on Stillness in the Storm.