Being Palestinian Got Me Barred from Visiting Palestine

“What is your father’s name?”

“What is your father’s father’s name?”

“Where was he born?”


“You have Palestinian passport?”

“You have American passport only?”

“You have family in Ramallah?”

“You don’t have family there?”

“Who do you know in Ramallah?”

“You were born in Ramallah but you don’t know anybody there?”

“You JUST TOLD ME you were born in Ramallah.”

A phone call in Hebrew I don’t understand a word of. A hostile glare.

I tell her I’m sorry, that I misheard her, I thought she was asking where my grandfather was born. He was born in Ramallah. I was born in Detroit. I have only an American passport. I am telling her this calmly, but in my mind, I am thinking I am fucked and this would all go so much more smoothly if the Israeli woman with the bad eyebrows behind the counter didn’t know my grandparents were from Palestine. Of course, the irony of the situation does not escape me. Being Palestinian is making it impossible for me to visit Palestine.


This is my first time at the Israeli-controlled border between Palestine and Jordan. I am traveling with 15 young Arab-Americans, mostly Palestinian, to do community service work and connect with our heritage and homeland.​ We have arrived at the Allenby Bridge anxious & apprehensive, having heard countless stories of harassment by Israeli soldiers, and deeply exhausted from a long weekend of delayed flights, desert nights, and the Dead Sea. Our trip was cancelled due to increased violence in the West Bank, and re-planned after the participants wrote a letter stating their determination and commitment to experience life in occupied Palestine, even if that meant putting ourselves in danger. But despite all this, I am thrilled to be returning to Palestine after months of planning, years of dreaming. Tucked in a corner of my wallet are directions to my grandparents’ homes. Nothing, not even the chills of anxiety the Israelis’ intimidation is sending down my spine, can extinguish the flame that was lit when I decided to return.

She gives me a Visitor Information Form to fill out, sends me to a grid of cold metal benches, separated by thick metal bars from the rest of the people waiting to cross into the West Bank. I don’t know why the Israelis need to know my father’s middle name, the location of my workplace in Michigan, or the address of the second cousin of the brother of the doctor of the shop owner who lived on the same street as the sister of the woman my great-great-grandfather might have met once, but I complete the form. It isn’t long before the rest of my group joins me. And not long after that, interrogation starts.

They take J. first. I am silently praying that she can stay strong, because I know she doesn’t know what to expect. Almost an hour later, she emerges from the tiny room, shaking, wiping tears from her eyes. They yelled at her. Accused her of lying. Told her she could be arrested. She is terrified, but she kept her composure. Already, I am full of this strange but familiar combination of rage and pride, the internal swell and crash of injustice and resistance, of indignity and resilience, of being Palestinian.

They call each of our names. They are the hardest on our boys. A. is shuttled between three different rooms, screamed at and threatened by three different officers. T., who has been leading delegations to Palestine for twenty years, warned us while we were still on the bus leaving Jordan: “Stay calm, don’t let them get to you.” We are trying. We are laughing, joking, and playing games in the waiting area as the minutes tick by, as one by one, we are asked the same questions and the Israelis get the same answers. We wait, and talk, and dream of Palestine. We wait.

A baby-faced boy dressed in olive green, with a rifle slung across his shoulders, chooses to sit in the waiting area with us instead of taking C. to the interrogation rooms. “I’m sorry about this,” I hear him say. “I’m sorry you have to go through this.”

“I don’t even understand why we’re doing this, to be honest.”

“I’m 20. This is only my second week in the IDF.”

I sigh. He’s my age; seems like a sweet kid. But this is Israeli occupation, so because he is Jewish and we are Palestinian, he holds the gun and asks the questions. We can do nothing but wait.

(When it is time for iftar, for Muslims to break their daily fast during Ramadan, Baby Face sneaks N. and R. a bottle of water. We do not see him again.)

They take J. again; the same narrow-eyed woman beckons impatiently. “You know, you’re scaring her,” T. tells her.

The Israeli woman rolls her eyes, turns around. “That’s not us. That’s her personal experience. That’s personal, if someone is scared.”

We have been detained at the Israeli border crossing for hours, interrogated, accused of crimes, lied to, and threatened. There are men with guns casually wandering back and forth. The lines at the gates fill and empty, fill and empty, as we watch, waiting to be granted permission from military occupiers to enter our own homeland. That’s personal.

It is 8:30 by the time my name is called last and frankly, I’m wondering what took them so long. The woman with flat blond hair, the one who made J. cry, beckons me to follow her into a tiny room. I wink at my friends as I leave our waiting area.

She is coldly professional. I am polite. “Have a seat.” “Thank you.”

“This will be quick and easy,” she says. Great.

“What is the purpose of your visit?”

“What is the group you are with?”

“What will you be doing?”

“Where will you be staying?”

“Will you be going anywhere else?”

“Will you be going to Ramallah?”



“Will you be going to any refugee camps?”

“Have your leaders told you to say any specific information?”

“Was there anywhere else they said they might go?”

“Who do you know in Israel?”

“What are you doing here?”

My heart is pounding but I smile, answer calmly. Tourism; a Christian youth group; visiting holy sites; Jerusalem; maybe Bethlehem—you know, holy sites—So you’re Christian?—Yes—That’s personal; I don’t know; I don’t know; no; no; not that I know of; nobody; excuse me ma’am but what are YOU doing here? Did your great-grandparents walk this earth? Did your grandfather tell you the exact location of the fig tree he planted as a child? What are YOU doing here? Is this your home, your history? Didn’t think so.

“Are you sure,” she asks, “because the consequences depend on your answers.”

I’m sure.

I am dismissed, told to stand outside with three other travelers. The blonde woman mutters to a stern-looking man, who instructs us to cross to the other side of the gate, where we cannot see or hear the other members of our group. He points for us to sit. So we sit. And we wait.

T. wanders back to our side, now with a grey sweatshirt on over the Bedouin-via-China dress she bought in Petra. “I think they’re going to deny our entry.”

I am staring down at a spot on the tile floor, a speck missed by the Black man who pushed the cleaning machine around us earlier. I know how Israel treats its African asylum seekers, and it doesn’t escape my notice that the white, European Israelis hold positions of relative power while every Black person I see has been cleaning. We have been sitting on the same metal bench, separated from the rest of our group, for at least an hour. Nobody has told us what is going on. The Israeli officer, who seems to have nothing to do but sit and watch us, spoke only to tell us not to talk to each other, the note in her voice too harsh not to defy—of course we talk to each other. We make sure she hears us laugh. Every small act of defiance feels like resistance to this occupation.

We are still waiting. T. and J. drift back and forth. They are calling the State Department, the Consulate General, waiting for our paperwork, waiting for what? It’s cold inside the Allenby border crossing, and we are tired. The Israelis eventually offer us cheap snacks. How benevolent, how generous they are.

Since I heard we may be denied entry, I am curled in my metal seat, refusing to let the words settle.

I knew before I boarded a plane to Amman that the Israeli border control could simply decide, for any or no reason, not to let me into Palestine. This is the reason I am careful in everything I do, careful to make sure I am never photographed, that I am un-google-able, that my name is not associated with Palestine solidarity activism in any way. I know they harass activists. They harass everybody. I avoid cameras and journalists. I know I am overly paranoid, but staying as anonymous as possible is just a precaution; it can’t hurt, and it sets my father’s mind at ease, as he worries constantly that even my modest activism will get me in trouble. I knew, but I didn’t think I had much to worry about. I expected questioning; I expected to be detained. This much is standard. To be denied entry is extreme, but not unheard of. So I worry, and I wait.

And I wait. The border crossing is still open, and we see a few families pass, a few single men. We are still separated from the rest of our group and from any access to information about why this is taking so long. There is nothing to do but try to make light of the dread, the weight of anxiety, the uncertainty simmering.

Finally, a young woman with a stud in her nose approaches, holding a stack of passports. N. trails behind her, catches my eye, shakes her head. Mouths the words “we’re not going.”

The Israeli woman clutches the stack of American passports, calls out a few names. Tells them they are going with her to get their luggage. Tells the rest of us to wait for our passports. More officers follow, holding our passports hostage, tell us to collect our bags & that we’re leaving. Not leaving the freezing, hostile border crossing to enter the holy land, but leaving through the door we entered from, leaving back to the no-man’s-land between the West Bank and Jordan. “You’re leaving.”

At this point, deportation doesn’t come as much of a surprise. As the words settle, as yet another thin, blonde Israeli woman approaches with my passport, J. emerges from the other side of the gate, biting her nails.

“We’re banned for five years,” she says.

Five years.

I stop breathing.

Banned from the place my grandparents were born, that I’ve heard endless stories and seen countless photos of, that I’ve dreamed of returning to. Forbidden to see the holy land for five years, a sentence handed down arbitrarily by bored officers who don’t know and don’t care what this means. They are laughing, flirting, leaning back in their chairs, killing time until they get off work, when they can travel freely wherever they want within historic Palestine. Our devastation is nothing to them.

I collect my bags. Later, in a hotel in Amman, I will find that the Israelis have searched my luggage and neatly folded all of my clothing, arranged my t-shirts and bras. The woman returns my passport, opened to page 9 to reveal a new scar.

Entry Denied. Not one but two ugly rectangular red stamps on a formerly clean page of my passport.

Entry Denied.

Five hours of waiting, of interrogation, of reassuring each other the border closes soon, they can’t keep us here forever, they just want to scare us, this is normal. Three hours is nothing. Four, average. Five, entry denied.

Banned. From my own homeland. For five years.

Standing on the street waiting for a bus to take us back to Jordan, I unwrap a piece of gum to mask the bitter taste rising in the back of my throat. A man in a plaid blue shirt and jeans lifts a semiautomatic rifle as he sees me move. Clicks the safety off. I snap a photo, trying to be discreet, as he stands with his finger on the trigger. Not discreet enough. He turns his eyes on me.

Suddenly two men appear on either side of me, speaking Hebrew-accented Arabic, switching to English when they see my blank stare. “Get your passport. Come with me. Give me the cell phone.”

I wait. “Why? Can you tell me what the problem is?” As if I don’t know the problem is the photo, the problem is the potential of sharing Israel’s brutality with the world with a click of a button.

“The security guard gonna ask you a few questions.”

I’m too tired to argue, so I let them lead me away, tell them “I’m sorry, I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to take a photo, it’s just that I’ve just never seen anything like that in America.”

“Okay, erase the photo.”

“You’re holding my phone. You erase the photo.” He does. “Maybe you took a video too?”

“You’re holding my phone. If I took a video, you’d see it there.”

He thanks me, and in some bizarre attempt to ease the tension, casually asks “So, you going back to Jordan?”

Something in me snaps.

Of course I’m going back to Jordan. Where else am I supposed to go? You and your people just TOLD me I had to go back to Jordan. Because of you—

T. grabs my arm, pulls me away; “stay calm, don’t let them get to you,” murmured in my ear for the thousandth time today.

The man thanks me again with a smirk. I can do nothing but stare back at him.

The next few hours are surreal, blurred memory of chaos and calm. We are silent in our devastation as the reality of what has just happened settles; we are shaking with anger, jaws aching from holding back furious tears; we are finally crying, trying to console each other, realizing some of us may never see our elderly grandparents in Palestine again. The Jordanian tour bus wants to charge us $300 for the drive from the Israeli border across no-man’s-land back to Jordan—hardly more than one mile. We need new Jordanian visas to reenter, though we were only out beyond Jordan’s borders for a few hours. The Jordanians check our passports; we wait; they check our luggage; we wait. Chaos and calm. Rage and disbelief. Exile and acceptance.

Eventually, the Jordanian officers show some sympathy, and taxis arrive to take us back to Amman. At some point during the hour’s drive, to break the heaviest silence I have ever felt, H. points out at some distant hills. “Hatha Amman?” Our driver jerks his lead to the left, “la2, Amman hon.” Amman is over there. And on the right, where she pointed? “Hatha Falasteen.” We are so close, separated from home by just a few miles. Minutes away, but it will be years before any of us can return.

In Amman, we flip through Arabic television channels, desperate for news. Though I can’t understand a word of the anchor’s formal Arabic, I recognize images of Palestine. A photo of a teenage boy wearing a baseball cap flashes across the screen, followed by footage of protests. Muhammad Abu Khdeir has been kidnapped and murdered by Jewish settlers. Israeli soldiers are shooting at protestors in Ramallah and Jerusalem. They have begun airstrikes over the Gaza Strip. It is now 3:00 in the morning, and I am exhausted, struggling to understand; struggling to carry the weight of exile, the burden of my Palestinian blood.

As bombs fall over Gaza, and keffiya-clad youth throw stones at their occupiers, my bones ache to be across the border. To be home.

Source : Alternet

This entry was posted in Health.

VIDEO: The 10 Best and Worst Campaign Ads of 2014 (So Far)

The 2014 campaign is well under way, and the ads have been flying. Most spots are unmemorable, but there are a few that stick out. Some of them offer a compelling and memorable case to voters, either in a primary or general election. Others … don’t.

What follows is a look at 10 spots from up to this point in the 2014 cycle. Five of them are good, and five of them have a serious flaw. There are plenty of great and terrible ads that didn’t get included. These 10 spots were chosen because each offers a lesson in political messaging, and they are worth learning from.

Let’s start with the above commercial, a spot that is almost universally mocked.

• MI-Sen: Terri Lynn Land(R): This may go down as the most memorable ad of the cycle, and not in a good way. Republican Terri Lynn Land decided to counter Democratic attacks that she favors policies that hurt women by … drinking coffee. Seriously. Land concludes the ad by declaring that as a woman, she may know a little more about women than her Democratic opponent Gary Peters.

Republican pollster Frank Luntz memorably called it “the worst ad of the political process,” and it’s not hard to see why. The spot is trying to use humor to point out what it thinks is an absurd idea, that a woman could be part of a war on women. Only it’s not at all absurd: Peters and his allies have attacked Land for opposing policies like equal pay for women and abortion rights. By saying nothing to counter the attacks in her spot, Land is actually giving them more credibility.

What we can learn: Don’t just assume that voters will immediately take your side when you’re being attacked, even if you think the attacks are ridiculous. Also, don’t spend two-thirds of an ad doing nothing.

• AK-Sen: Put Alaska First (D): The Democrats have been running a ton of good ads supporting Sen. Mark Begich, but this one still stands out. It features a cancer survivor describing how she was denied health insurance for a pre-existing condition: Begich took on the insurance companies and got her the insurance she needed.

What we can learn: Ads featuring individual stories about how a candidate helped someone are nothing new, but they can still be incredibly effective. Little stories like these are easy to understand and offer something many voters can relate to.

• CA-33: Wendy Greuel (D): This spot isn’t terrible, but it makes the mistake a lot of campaign ads make: It tries to cram far too much into just 30 seconds. Greuel introduces her family and then lays out a long list of priorities in a very short amount of time, making it very hard to remember anything Greuel actually said. Had Greuel focused on one issue or theme, this spot would have done a better job making her stand out. Greuel ended up narrowly losing in the crowded June primary to state Sen. Ted Lieu.

What we can learn: Cramming too many positive ideas into one spot makes it very hard to really remember any of them, or allow the candidate to stand out from the rest of the field.

• VA-08: Don Beyer (D): Here’s a good example of how effective it can be to focus on just one idea. Beyer declares his support for a carbon tax, arguing that it’s essential to protecting the earth for today’s children. Like Greuel, Beyer also ran this spot in a crowded June Democratic primary. While Beyer was always the favorite in large part due to his name recognition and superior resources, spots like this probably helped him stand out from the pack and easily win.

What we can learn: Zeroing in on one issue that’s important to the electorate is often a very effective way to get voters to remember you, especially in a crowded race.

• AR-Gov: Mike Ross (D): Most of this spot is fine: Ross defends himself from a recent Republican attack on his ethics, before portraying GOP rival Asa Hutchinson as unethical.

However, the ad does one thing really wrong: It repeats the original accusation, with the narrator declaring, “There was never a Justice Department investigation.” The big problem with this is it helps keep the original attack in circulation while it’s trying to counter it. As Brad Phillips of Mr. Media Training put it in a very good article about these types of “quotes of denial,” “The problem is that the defensive-sounding negative word or phrase tends to linger longer in the public memory than the word ‘not.’” (See Richard Nixon’s “I’m not a crook” for a famous example).

There are better ways to push back on these types of attacks. Had the narrator said something like “Mike Ross is always ethical,” it would have been a good way to push back on the GOP attackwithout repeating it. However, viewers who had never seen the Republican ad are likely to start to wonder “What’s this I hear about Mike Ross being investigated by the Justice Department?” and people who had seen it are likely to just have the Republicans’ accusations reinforced.

What we can learn: When trying to push back on an attack, don’t repeat it.

• IA-Sen: Joni Ernst (R): Ernst started the Republican primary as a little-known state senator, but this spot helped her get national attention. Ernst declares she grew up castrating hogs on a farm, so she’ll know how to cut pork. Ernst then calls for cutting spending. Pretty much all the Republican contenders were talking about cutting spending, but Ernst was the only one who did it memorably: She easily won the GOP nomination.

What we can learn: When talking about an issue that every else is talking about, find some way to make it memorable.

• IA-Sen: Bruce Braley (D): Once Ernst won the Republican nomination, her Democratic opponent Bruce Braley had a variety of issues he could have hit her with. In a debate days before the primary Ernst voiced opposition to the Farm Bill, the Clean Water Act, and the minimum wage, and called for privatizing young workers’ Social Security.

So Braley immediately attacked her on … wasteful spending, completely ignoring everything else. To make matters worse, the spot weirdly compares Ernst to a bird. The Ernst team immediately accused Braley of sexism by calling her a chick. Braley has since gotten a new media consultant.

What we can learn: If your opponent has very controversial views, don’t attack them on something much more mundane. Also, don’t compare your female opponent to a chick.

• WI-Gov: Mary Burke (D): Using an opponent’s own words against them is nothing new, but Burke does it well in her race against Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The spot features Walker pledging 250,000 new jobs, and saying he “absolutely” wants to be held to it. The narrator then describes the state’s poor job growth. The spot seizes on an issue people care about and does a great job hitting Walker for not fulfilling it.

What we can learn: Hire a good opposition research team.

• VA-07: Eric Cantor (R): Almost everyone was caught by surprise when then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was unseated in his primary by little-known professor Dave Brat, but Cantor’s team actually did see Brat as a threat months before the primary. However, their response may have done a lot more harm than good. Cantor ran a spot accusing Brat of being a liberal adviser to then-Democratic Gov. (and now Sen.) Tim Kaine. The evidence they gave was pretty thin: Brat served on the Council of Economic Advisers when Kaine was trying to raise taxes.

Cantor’s team thought this was a good way to disqualify Brat before he could respond. However if anything, all they did was increase Brat’s name recognition. The fact that the attack was so weak may have even made Cantor look all the worse. With Cantor so unpopular among voters, his campaign could have at least attempted to raise his approval ratings, but they didn’t even try. Instead, all they did was provide Brat with more name recognition.

What we can learn: Always be careful when attacking a little-known opponent, as it can backfire badly.

• OK-Sen-B: James Lankford (R): Rep. James Lankford won a surprisingly decisive victory in the June Republican primary against former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon. There were a lot of reasons for Lankford’s big win, but ads like this were a part of it. On paper, Lankford’s service in the House should have been a liability. Congress is utterly despised and Lankford had taken some votes anathema to the GOP base like raising the debt ceiling. Shannon seemed to offer voters the chance to choose a Washington outsider over an insider. However, Lankford cleverly turned his time in Congress into a positive.

The spot shows Lankford saying good-bye to his family and leaving his Oklahoma home early in the day and driving to the airport, as the narrator describes how Lankford is going to Washington to fight the Obama administration. The ad does a good job depicting Lankford as a real Oklahoman who is leaving home to fight the good fight in Washington, rather than as a creature of the capitol. The narrator also has an effective final line that further turns Lankford’s incumbency into an asset: “While other conservatives talk about what they would do, James Lankford is already doing it.” It’s a good way to remind primary voters that Lankford is already fighting Obama, their common enemy.

What we can learn: It’s often better to try and put a positive spin on a potential liability rather than try and pretend it doesn’t exist.

With Labor Day here, the campaign ads are going to start flying, and it’s quite likely that some of 2014′s most remembered ads haven’t even been envisioned yet. But there’s a lot to learn from these spots, both good and bad.

Source : Alternet

This entry was posted in Health.

New Experiment Will Answer Some Mind-Bending Questions On Whether We Live In a Hologram

The Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is completing a unique experiment called the Holometer which has recently started collecting data to answer some mind-bending questions about our universe–including whether we live in a hologram.

Much like characters on a television show would not know that their seemingly 3-D world exists only on a 2-D screen, we could be clueless that our 3-D space is just an illusion. The information about everything in our universe could actually be encoded in tiny packets in two dimensions.

Take a look around you. The walls, the chair you’re sitting in, your own body – they all seem real and solid. Yet there is a possibility that everything we see in the universe – including you and me – may be nothing more than a hologram.

All physical matter, everything we have around us is the result of a frequency. If the frequency is amplified, the structure of the matter will change. This self-contained system is a hologram. Change any one aspect of the hologram, and you change the entire system.


All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.

Get close enough to your TV screen and you’ll see pixels, small points of data that make a seamless image if you stand back. Scientists think that the universe’s information may be contained in the same way, and that the natural “pixel size” of space is roughly 10 trillion trillion times smaller than an atom, a distance that physicists refer to as the Planck scale.

Theoretical physicists Leonard Susskind and Gerard ‘t Hooft in the past decided to explain the idea: if a three-dimensional star could be encoded on a black hole’s 2D event horizon, maybe the same could be true of the whole universe. The universe does, after all, have a horizon 42 billion light years away, beyond which point light would not have had time to reach us since the big bang. Susskind and ‘t Hooft suggested that this 2D “surface” may encode the entire 3D universe that we experience – much like the 3D hologram that is projected from your credit card.

Theoretical physicists have long suspected that space-time is pixelated, or grainy. Since a 2D surface cannot store sufficient information to render a 3D object perfectly, these pixels would be bigger in a hologram. “Being in the [holographic] universe is like being in a 3D movie,” says Craig Hogan of Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois. “On a large scale, it looks smooth and three-dimensional, but if you get close to the screen, you can tell that it is flat and pixelated.”

“We want to find out whether spacetime is a quantum system just like matter is,” said Hogan. “If we see something, it will completely change ideas about space we’ve used for thousands of years.”

The Holometer team comprises 21 scientists and students from Fermilab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago and University of Michigan. The science team includes Hogan and Stephan Meyer, who are both professors in astronomy & astrophysics at UChicago.

Quantum theory suggests that it is impossible to know both the exact location and the exact speed of subatomic particles. If space comes in 2-D bits with limited information about the precise location of objects, then space itself would fall under the same theory of uncertainty. The same way that matter continues to jiggle, as quantum waves, even when cooled to absolute zero, this digitized space should have built-in vibrations even in its lowest energy state.

Essentially, the experiment probes the limits of the universe’s ability to store information. If there are a set number of bits that tell you where something is, it eventually becomes impossible to find more specific information about the location–even in principle. The instrument testing these limits is Fermilab’s Holometer, or holographic interferometer, the most sensitive device ever created to measure the quantum jitter of space itself.

Now operating at full power, the Holometer uses a pair of interferometers placed close to one another. Each one sends a one-kilowatt laser beam, the equivalent of 200,000 laser pointers, at a beam splitter and down two perpendicular 40-meter arms. The light is then reflected back to the beam splitter where the two beams recombine, creating fluctuations in brightness if there is motion. Researchers analyze these fluctuations in the returning light to see if the beam splitter is moving in a certain way–being carried along on a jitter of space itself.

“Holographic noise” is expected to be present at all frequencies, but the scientists’ challenge is not to be fooled by other sources of vibrations. The Holometer is testing a frequency so high–millions of cycles per second–that motions of normal matter are not likely to cause problems. Rather, the dominant background noise is more often due to radio waves emitted by nearby electronics. The Holometer experiment is designed to identify and eliminate noise from such conventional sources.

“If we find a noise we can’t get rid of, we might be detecting something fundamental about nature–a noise that is intrinsic to spacetime,” said Fermilab physicist Aaron Chou, lead scientist and project manager for the Holometer. “It’s an exciting moment for physics. A positive result will open a whole new avenue of questioning about how space works.”

A positive result would challenge every assumption we have about the world we live in. It would show that everything is a projection of something occurring on a flat surface billions of light years away from where we perceive ourselves to be. As yet we have no idea what that “something” might be, or how it could manifest itself as a world in which we can do the school run or catch a movie at the cinema.

Source : Preventdisease

This entry was posted in Health.

Back to school: 3 effective ways to protect our kids

Starting classes, meeting new kids and teachers, playing sports, after school activities plus band practice – some parents are exhausted simply thinking about what’s ahead for the new school-year shuffle.  But, no matter what, our kids rely on us for the self-care practices that help keep all of this in check.

Beyond supporting kids with organic, pesticide and GMO-free superfood-packed lunches and quality sleep as well as immune protecting supplements like vitamin D3, probiotics and essential fatty acids, here are three integrative wellness practices I suggest in private practice to help protect child and adolescent immunity all year long.

A time-honored, proven way to boost immune function

Acupuncture: As both a facilitator and receiver, I can speak directly to the healing power of monthly acupuncture sessions. Acupuncture stimulates natural killer cell activity when necessary and regulates other immune activity.

And, yes, acupuncture is ideal for children because of this – it offers in-the-moment acute care for any type of immune concern as well as long-term prevention to keep the immune system strong. New to acupuncture and think your child will shy away from needles? Don’t worry, the single-use, sterile needles are hair thin and are gently placed along the skin’s surface.

A great way to protect your child’s emotional wellbeing

Cranial osteopathy: Remember, whether your child is just entering kindergarten or about to graduate high school, the beginning of the school year can be a stressful time. Signs of your kid’s emotional stress will show up differently – you may notice attention and focus issues, excessive fatigue, mood fluctuations or irritability, asthma, headaches and susceptibility to infection.

Cranial osteopathy, often called cranial therapy, works by helping to re-establish the connection between the nervous system and primary respiration. When communication between the para- and sympathetic nervous systems aligns, emotional wellness can thrive.

Let’s not forget the obvious for optimal health

Drink fresh, organic juices. While you may already be juicing – are your kids enjoying the benefits yet? They already see you throwing vegetables, fruits and herbs into the juicer daily, so why not get them involved?

For example, our daughter enjoys the same immune promoting juices we prepare fresh on a daily basis. If your kids are new to it, start with familiar favorites such as watermelon.

Our juicing expert, here at NaturalHealth365, Linda Kordich suggests juicing watermelon with the rind for maximum nutritional value. With pumpkin season right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to introduce your kids to juicing. Juicing experts, like Linda, agree that by removing toxins from the body and promoting gut health, susceptibility to infections decreases while overall immune health is enhanced.

About the author: Christine M. Dionese L.Ac, MSTOM is an integrative health expert, medical journalist and food writer. She’s dedicated her career to helping others understand the science of happiness and its powerful effects on everyday human health. Christine practices, writes and speaks on environmental functional medicine, epigenetics, food therapy and sustainable living.

Source : Naturalhealth365

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Citronella-Based Bug Sprays Being Banned In Favor of Toxic DEET

Despite citronella essential oils being used for decades to counter mosquitoes, Health Canada is pulling the last of citronella-based bug sprays off the shelves by the end of December because of “the absence of adequate safety data.”

The move has left scientists who advised Health Canada on the issue befuddled by the ban. So are many consumers who prefer natural bug sprays over ones with synthetic chemicals like DEET.

Repellents essentially fall into two categories. The first category is “chemical,” which means that they’re synthetic or man-made. The chemical repellents sold in the United States are DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) and IR3535. In a laboratory study that we did with a particular species of mosquito, DEET was found to be the most effective commercially available repellent.

The second category is the so-called plant-based insect repellent. The most common repellents that are botanical in origin are based on citronella. Oil of citronella, which has a somewhat lemony smell, was originally isolated from a couple of cultivated grasses. It is used in skin repellents as well as candles. It’s been in used in this country as a repellent since about 1948, but very variable efficacy has been reported with its use.

Pharmacologist Mohamed B. Abou-Donia found frequent and prolonged use of DEET, the most often recommended and most common mosquito repellent ingredient, caused brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats.

The health threat posed by DEET (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) to humans is still being studied, but Abou-Donia said his 30 years of research on pesticides’ effects on the brain clearly indicate that people need to be cautious about their use of DEET.

Children are especially vulnerable to subtle brain changes caused by chemicals in the environment. That’s because their skin more readily absorbs such chemicals, which have more of an impact on a child’s developing nervous system.

Nevertheless, DEET is being given a pass while the harmless and natural essential oil of citronella is being banned.

No Basis For Ban

“It’s the basis of the ban that I don’t really understand,” says toxicologist Sam Kacew.

Insect repellents are considered pesticides so they must meet strict safety standards. Small manufacturers who couldn’t afford to submit detailed safety data saw their lines discontinued at the end of 2012. Those who submitted what data they could and tried to challenge the ban are now to see their products phased out at the end of this year.

In 2005, Kacew sat on an independent scientific panel to review Health Canada’s position. He says the panel believed the study that led the government to question citronella’s safety was flawed, in part because it examined what happened when rodents ingested the oil. “Humans are not going to drink citronella,” he says.

The department told CBC that “the panel supported Health Canada’s approach,” but Kacew refutes that. He says the team of scientists concluded that citronella was safe as long as it didn’t contain methyl eugenol, an impurity that could be a potential carcinogen. “In general, most of these citronella oils that were available for us to examine did not contain impurities, and they were regarded by us to be basically safe,” he says.

Companies Pay the Price

Montreal company, Druide, has been selling government-approved citronella sprays and lotions since 1995.

“Where I am very sad is, in the end, [Health Canada] doesn’t have anything against citronella, except questions about it,” says Druide’s owner, Alain Renaud.

He says he spent five years proving to Health Canada that his repellent didn’t contain methyl eugenol.

But Renaud says that as soon as he won that battle the government “came back and said we still have questions and we need a complete toxicological report on many generations of animals.”

That may be a standard approach, but Renaud eventually gave up his fight because his company doesn’t believe in animal testing, and didn’t have the estimated $1 million needed to fund a large-scale scientific study.

Druide’s citronella-based bug spray was a bestseller for the company, which manufactures organic personal care products.

Renaud says he’s had to lay off five employees because of the ban and has lost up to a million dollars spent on marketing his product and providing research for Health Canada. “At the end of maybe, five, 10 years of fighting, [Heath Canada] gets all our energy,” he says.

DEET passed Health Canada’s scrutiny because the manufacturers provided the required safety data. But citronella — an extract from lemon grass — has never been patented, which makes it an unattractive investment for costly studies.

“If the market was such that this product was generating millions of dollars, then the industry would have done something re-active to try and get [citronella] back on the market,” said Kacew.

That’s the problem withother essential oils as well. They may be effective as bug repellents, but no one has yet funded the studies to prove they’re safe.

DEET Affects Successive Generations

The animal’s DNA sequence remains unchanged, but the compounds change the way genes turn on and off — the epigenetic effect studied at length by WSU molecular biologist Michael Skinner.

While Skinner’s earlier research has shown similar effects from a pesticide and fungicide, this is the first to show a greater variety of toxicants — including jet fuel, dioxin, plastics and DEET.

“We didn’t expect them all to have transgenerational effects, but all of them did,” Skinner said.

Biologists have suspected for years that some kind of epigenetic inheritance occurs at the cellular level. The different kinds of cells in our bodies provide an example. Skin cells and brain cells have different forms and functions, despite having exactly the same DNA. There must be mechanisms–other than DNA–that make sure skin cells stay skin cells when they divide.

This tells researchers that the ability to promote transgenerational disease is “not simply a unique aspect for a unique compound” but a characteristic of many environmental compounds.

When DEET and sunscreen agents are combined, there’s a marked increase in the rate of absorption through the skin. University of Manitoba pharmaceutical researcher Dr. Xiaochen Gu says this could mean the side effects of the chemicals may be heightened when they’re used together.

Natural Products Being Shut Down

Tracey TieF made and sold a natural bug spray with essential oils including lavender and rosemary for seven years before Health Canada shut her down recently.

The problem was that she hadn’t registered her product and done any safety studies.

“I can’t afford to run my own trial,” says the certified health practitioner. “I feel afraid and I feel sick about it, actually, because for me, this is a passion.”

TieF now puts that passion into teaching others how to make natural bug sprays. In a tiny room at Karma Co-op in Toronto, she passes out bottles, essential oils and recipes. “I’ll teach people until [Health Canada] stops me,” she vows.

Aimee Alabaster says she joined the class because she wants a natural bug spray for her children. “Everything out there for the most part contains DEET, and I don’t want to put DEET on my kids.”

Research has suggested DEET could be harmful to the central nervous system. But Health Canada states on its website that “registered insect repellents containing DEET can be used safely when applied as directed.”

Come 2015, citronella bug sprays won’t be entirely out of reach, you will just have to cross the border. The product will still be available in the U.S.

In 1998 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a re-registration standard for DEET, to ensure that it met newer, more stringent, safety requirements. After looking at the results of many studies that it required, the EPA did not feel that they had to change the labeling requirements based on the new data.

The vast majority of the DEET-based repellents that you see have a DEET concentration of between 5 percent and 15 or 20 percent. There are some products that go up to 35 percent concentration. And then, there are a few 100 percent DEET repellents still sold. When people go to buy DEET insect repellents, one of the biggest problems is the natural tendency to buy the highest concentration.

Source : Preventdisease

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This entry was posted in Health.

Why Humanity Must Come Through

Need I say it, we are living in – and through – an apocalyptic time. Disintegration and destruction manifest at an accelerating pace as our World is buffeted by a jumbled combination of opposing energies: the distorted man made toxic ones as well as the universal vibratory waves that are an integral part of great cosmic changes.

Nothing we have experienced up until now quite compares with this. There is little that could prepare us for our journey through this collision of forces, aside from an emerging awareness that they are both external and internal manifestations. Manifestations of human and universal energies seeking to redefine and rebalance their shared essence.

Consider for a moment the contribution that our own specifically ‘man made’ toxic cocktail makes to this confusion: electromagnetic smog; atmospheric aerosol pollutants; HAARP inspired weather engineering; leaking radioactivity from  nuclear power plants; a highly destructive and continually active war machine; blanket agrichemical pesticide contamination of both air and soil; transgenic crops and animals; unprecedented number of highly contaminating oil spills/leaks; chemical assisted fracking for gas; pharmaceutical and industrial pollution of air water and food; and – not least – the dark side’s deliberate distortion of human energies and the mindless splashing around of these energies by its unaware recipients.

The extremity of this multi-pronged violence enacted upon our living planet, its peoples, plants and animals, has led to the suggestion that humanity will pay the ultimate price and be wiped out. Destroyed by its own hand; its own uncontrolled hubris. Its failure to overcome its own blinkered shortcomings.

Some say the World, battered and bruised as it is, will be better-off without man. That freed from its chief oppressor, Gaia will more assuredly survive and heal; will find her equilibrium anew and come through – restored.

It is quite easy to sympathize with this view, not least because it seems to provide an answer to those who feel closer to nature than to their fellow humans – and can see no redemption for a mankind so determinedly set on the path of self destruction.

Yet, even when taking into account the tragic mismanagement of humanity’s journey thus far, I do not consider this to be any kind of answer. For, it is my contention, that with man out of the picture, the advancement of universal equilibrium – however erratic – will be completely arrested. On the macro-cosmic level, I believe a world without human beings would constitute a major set-back for the entire universe. And at the micro-cosmic level, a major set back for the plant, animal and insect kingdom as well.

Why do I say this?

Imagine for a moment the vast arena we call the cosmos. It is a vibrant intelligent life force. Intelligent, because it is at once self governing and on the move. It is in a state of permanent transition – never static. As it expands (and it still is expanding) it discovers itself … just as we discover ‘ourselves’ as we gain awareness and experience. We share with the cosmos a common intelligence which is without limitation, except in as much as it is held in check by counter productive forces of entropy.

So humanity draws down unto itself the intelligence which is manifest in all elements of the cosmos. While standing behind that cosmic intelligence – and informing it – is the omnipotent, omnipresent source of Supreme Consciousness; a characteristic of which is an infinite creativity and unquenchable curiosity.

The intelligent cosmos is an expression of Supreme Consciousness’s passionate exigence. But the Supreme Consciousness cannot experience who or what He/She/It is until those exigencies solidify and take on form; offering a reflection of that which goes into them.

How do we know this?

Because it is in us that these Source based exigencies take on earthly expression. We are the earthly torch bearers of the Divine spark. It is in us that those Divine exigencies take form. And to the degree to which we earth bound beings in turn start sending back to the intelligent cosmos our own exigencies  – expressed as love, joy, pleasure, pain –  so Source gains greater or lesser degrees of awareness concerning (His) creation. In us, Source sees a third density reflection of (His) divine exigencies! But not in us alone of course. In every living being, rock, tree and sea – as they are all expressions of that same Supreme Consciousness.

However, out of the great diversity of beings and matter that compose our planet, man has emerged as the best equipped to consciously recognise in himself – that infinite exigence which has its source in the Supreme Consciousness. Not only to recognise it, but to respond intentionally to its call: that pull we call ‘aspiration’. That wonderful upwardly reaching joyous impulse which is the inherent (unblocked) birthright of all humanity.

Were this force to be wiped off the face of the planet – a great vacuum would be left in its place. For the plant and animal kingdoms cannot ‘consciously’ respond to the call of the intelligent cosmos, they can only act as reflexive recipients of its energies and act as mirror-like re-transmitters. Yet we see and experience in plants and animals a special kind of purity – because they are uncorrupted reflections of divine intelligence – and in this way – a permanent source of inspiration to homo sapiens.

The plant and animal kingdoms do not have the free will and the evolved powers of self determination that humanity possesses. So should humanity be destroyed – or destroy itself – the plant an animal kingdoms would lose their stepping stones towards acquiring states of self determination and consciousness. Homo sapiens represents this stepping stone – the next rung up the ladder of cosmic consciousness for the animal and plant kingdoms.

The fact that the great majority of mankind has so far failed to exercise its potential of cosmic consciousness is not a valid reason to conclude that it should be nullified.

We humans provide a link between the Supreme Consciousness and all other living and animated features of Gaia. It is just a small minority who set out to deliberately distort that link – and set themselves up in its place as the false gods of engineered hubris.

In our undistorted state, we are pulling on an invisible rope of which all living beings are attached. Next in line may be the dog which develops a strong affinity with its loving master/mistress. It maybe will have the chance to return to Earth as a human in the next spirit cycle. The courageous cat or the sensitized horse likewise, and so on  along the chain. Even rocks will eventuality get their transformation chance. But, critically, only as long as all of life retains its spiral of forward and upward momentum – which it can only do if we humans fulfill our role in contributing our dynamic to that movement.

Everything on that jostling, energetic chain of life is aspiring towards becoming an ever more subtle form of itself. We included. Continuously aspiring to once again become one with Supreme Source. Yet as the evolutionary energies move ever onward – and not simply in a repeating circle – that which we come from is itself also further evolving. What we yearn to return to is itself in movement, continuously evolving and metamorphosing. However its omniscient essence is retained throughout and will be instantly recognized as ‘home’.

We humans occupy a pivotal point in all this. One which draws upon that which is below and aspires to that which is beyond. This places man in an unique position of responsibility towards the evolution of both Earth and Universe.

We humans have inherited powers that, when used wisely and creatively, can positively determine the future direction of Life both on the microcosmic and macro-cosmic levels. And equally, when used unwisely and destructively, can retard that same evolution. That is our gift from Divine. We are entrusted with responsibility for this planet – and ultimately the entirety of universal evolution.

We are even gifted with the potential to influence the ongoing composition of that which our Creator imagined into existence. The Creator does not cling to power as the delusional Illuminati do – but passes on the gift through us.

Therefore, should humanity be erased off the face of this Earth who will carry on the great experiment?

We are the ones to whom the baton of life has been passed and in whose hands its future rests. We are awaking to the realisation that ‘to be human’ means that we occupy a pivotal role in furthering the work of Creation. That is a gift which surpasses all other blessings with which we are endowed.

So precious is it that we cannot but totally commit – and fully embrace our calling. And that means fully embracing the inclusivity of planetary diversity as expressed through all its multifarious species; the poverty or richness of whose lives is inseparably linked with the poverty or richness of our lives – and whether we are able or unable to fulfill the quest to realise that potential with which we are all endowed.

So for the sake of that which we call Creation, mankind must come through. Humanity must prevail.

Source : Wakingtimes

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This entry was posted in Health.

America Is So Over Home Ownership: Why the Shift to a Renting Economy Might Actually Be Good

Between 1970 and 1990, the population of Philadelphia shrank by a quarter, dropping from 1.95 to 1.59 million. Like many American cities, it seemed caught in a downward spiral.

Since then – like many American cities – Philadelphia has stabilized. The population now appears to have bottomed out at the millennium, and has been regaining residents over the past decade. But as it rebounds, Philly is becoming a different kind of city.

In the two most recent decades, which comprise the bounce of the city’s population curve, owner-occupied housing dropped even more steeply than in the ’70s and ’80s. Between 2000 and 2012, the percentage of Philly houses and apartments inhabited by owners dropped from 59 to 52, the second-sharpest decline among big U.S. cities during that time.

Meanwhile, renter-occupied housing exploded. More units are rented today in Philadelphia than in 1970, despite 400,000 fewer residents. According to a report from Pew Charitable Trusts, the size of the Philadelphia rental stock has grown by 37,000 since the millennium — a gain of more than 10 percent.

Philadelphia is a concentrated case of a larger trend in American housing: We are increasingly renting instead of buying our homes. Rental household growth is rising at double the rate it has in previous decades. Developers are building more multi-family units than they have in years. Last month, the homeownership rate fell to a 19-year low, down to 64.7 percent from a peak of 69.2 percent in 2004.

This is bad news, insofar as it demonstrates that Americans are struggling to buy homes. It’s bad news for the housing industry, whose greenfield development machine has less fuel. But as a long-term development, it signifies an emerging model of American life released from the cult of homeownership. It would make Americans more mobile (as we once were), and more able to adapt to economic changes. Jordan Rappaport, a senior economist at the Kansas City Fed, elucidates some benefits of the shift from single-family to multi-family housing (which is closely related to the owner-renter shift):

It will shift consumer demand away from goods and services that complement large indoor space and a backyard toward goods and services more oriented toward living in an apartment. Similarly, the possible shift toward city living may dampen demand for automobiles, highways and gasoline but increase demand for restaurants, city parks and high-quality public transit.

For the moment, though, Americans are renting across the spectrum of the built environment, in cities (long skewed toward renters), suburbs (shifting in that direction) and exurbs. Wall Street has taken notice: The Blackstone Group, a private equity shop, now owns and rents some 45,000 homes. At one point, the firm’s housing division was spending $150 million a week buying houses to rent.

But academics, politicians and homeowners have long been suspicious of tenants. Increasing the homeownership rate has been a foundational goal of American politics at the federal level for most of the past century. In fact, it’s older than that: Most states had property restrictions on voting well into the 19th century.

“For a man who owns his home acquires with it a new dignity,” Sen. Charles Percy said in 1966. “He begins to take pride in what is his own, and pride in conserving and improving it for his children. He becomes a more steadfast and concerned citizen of his community. He becomes more self-confident and self-reliant. The mere act of becoming a homeowner transforms him. It gives him roots, a sense of belonging, a true stake in his community and well being.” The tax code is engineered to support that viewpoint, however off-key it may sound to the millions of Americans mired in foreclosure proceedings.

“Homeownership and Neighborhood Stability,” a 1996 paper by planning professor William M. Rohe from which the Percy quote comes, offers what might now be seen as the established academic perspective on renters. Rohe and co-author Leslie Stewart found that the homeownership rate does indeed have a positive correlation with various social and economic attributes of a “good” neighborhood. It wasn’t just that homeowners kept the paint fresh and the lawn mowed. Their status led “to greater social interaction within, and psychological identification with, the neighborhood.”

But a significant amount of doubt remains about cause and effect. The increase in “neighborhood stability” (which, per the authors, includes resident tenure, property values, and physical and social conditions) “may be the result of the types of households drawn to homeownership” rather than the experience itself. And since homeownership is closely tied to income, family size, marital status and age, it can be hard to separate those variables. Self-selection, the authors write, is “a confounding factor.”

How might things be changing today, with homeowners under duress and a whole new class of former and future owners thrust into the rental market?

Back in Philly, a recent survey of renters conducted by the city found unexpected levels of social engagement. Planners were surprised by how many renters knew their neighbors, participated in neighborhood events and helped maintain the physical environment through volunteer work.

Philadelphia, however, despite the recent shift toward a renter city, is still more than half homeowners. Of the country’s 10 largest cities, most (running across typical urban typologies) have higher percentages of renters: Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, San Diego and Dallas all have lower homeownership rates than Philly. Nearly seven in 10 New York City units are rented. How does NYC maintain any semblance of community with such a large population of “transient” neighbors? Rent control and stabilization, which cover 1 million New York City apartments.

Most economists don’t like rent-control programs, arguing that they harm the housing stock and drive up prices for newcomers. But a city with rents rising just as rapidly as the renter population risks becoming a kind of deck of cards, shuffled every 12 months when leases expire and landlords target a new stratum of the population. Unfortunately, that’s now a description that could apply to a number of American cities – not just San Francisco and Boston. Even in Houston, famous for its low cost of housing, rent is rising at a record rate. Evictions are up 43 percent in Milwaukee since 2010.

Cities like Philadelphia have already cut property taxes to help longtime homeowners (who, by the way, stand to make a windfall off gentrification) stay put in their neighborhoods. But help for renters remains politically charged, in part because renting is still seen as a transitory stage — a life-step to be tolerated but not encouraged.

But this is not a universal perspective. In Germany, for example, renting is the norm — and people are quite happy with the situation. France, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands have similar renter-owner breakdowns.

Is America moving in that direction? If so, it’s worth asking ourselves why we’d rather not have renters for neighbors — and in the cases where there’s some truth to the stereotype, what we can do about it.

Source : Alternet

This entry was posted in Health.

Michigan Residents No Longer Able to Farm in Own Backyards

One would imagine that keeping small livestock on a small farm is well within their God given rights, but somewhat recently, the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development voted to strip families of the right to feed themselves. Small farmers and backyard food growers will have to repeal the urban farm attack that once protected them under the Right to Farm Act.

Many small farms will be shut down due to this police-state mentality. The Right to Farm Act previously said that local ordinances could not prohibit a homeowner’s right to keep small livestock. This right was also protected through the Michigan’s Generally Accepted Agriculture Management Practices (GAAMP).

Now, these rules have been thrown out, and homes that are located within 1/8 of a mile proximity to 13 neighboring homes, or that are 250-feet away from a single neighboring home, can not expect protection under the Right to Farm Act.


This is clearly an act of war by Big Ag to take the rights of small farmers away – making US citizens solely reliant on corporate food monopolies who would sell us contaminated chicken and hormone-pumped beef, GMO produce, and pesticide and herbicide-laden fruit and vegetables.

One small farmer, Michelle Regalado Deatrick, told MLive that half of her 80-acre farm may be zoned out of use as it falls into “Category 3,” which is described as “generally not suitable for livestock production facilities.”

Kim White, who raises chickens and rabbits, said:

“They don’t want us little guys feeding ourselves. They want us to go all to the big farms. They want to do away with small farms and I believe that is what’s motivating it.”
This is just another attempt for corporate farming to destroy millennia-old farming practices passed from grandfather to granddaughter, from Texas to Michigan, California to Maine. Small farms would completely eradicate many of the problems currently associated with large monocrop farming practices, including:

  • The clear-cutting of over 260 million acres of U.S. forests to create feed for livestock.
  • The sustained monopolies over our food supply. Now just 10 companies control over 70% of all seed sold in the world (Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, and DuPont are among them.)
  • The need for growing GMO corn and soy, 70% of which feeds Big Ag livestock.
  • The waste of water – 2,400 gallons of clean water is needed to produce one pound of Big Ag meat.
  • The destruction of the Amazon Rainforest, 2.9 million acres of which were destroyed to grow crops to make chicken feed.
  • The elimination of 80% of ammonia-waste from Big Ag animal production. Atmospheric ammonia can disrupt aquatic ecosystems, ruin soil quality, damage crops, and jeopardize human health.

Source : Naturalsociety

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Antibiotics Becoming Useless — Here’s What’s Happening

It appears after too much use on humans, and even more so with farm animals in factory farming, that antibiotics are becoming useless. Is this a curse or a blessing?

Margaret Riley, Ph.D professor of biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst considers taking a course of antibiotics analogous to ingesting a hydrogen bomb that indiscriminately kills everything in its path.

Riley explains that antibiotics kill not only the bad and the ugly (bacteria), but also the good. They are not smart bombs or laser-guided missiles that only destroy a designated target. And it’s the good bacteria that keep the bad bacteria in check and even signal other areas of our immune systems to release anti-pathogenic “killer cells”.

If you want to see how terrible antibiotic side effect adverse reactions can be, ask fluoroquinolone antibiotic victims those who have taken) Cipro, Leviquin, Avelox, and Floxin). These sufferers even have multiple forums dedicated to the huge issues that can be caused.

The AMA, Big Pharma, and even the media claim these drugs were responsible for the eradication of the raging killer infectious epidemics of the previous centuries like: the plague, cholera, scarlet fever, yellow fever, and typhoid.nBut antibiotics were not available until the 1940s and 1950s. By then, improved nutrition and sanitation had boosted folks’ inner terrains (immune systems) sufficiently to ward off most of those diseases.


While antibiotics certainly offer some solutions, we simply need to move toward a different healing medium.

Antibiotic Propaganda Contradicted

“Deaths from common infections were declining long before effective medical intervention was possible,” says Thomas McKeown, MD, author of The Role of Medicine. That includes mortality from tuberculosis, pneumonia, bronchitis, influenza, and whooping cough.

Ironically, because of the rampant, overuse of antibiotics, we are now battling antibiotic-resistant diseases like: tuberculosis, gonorrhea and MRSA, which are responsible for many deaths, especially in our hospitals and nursing homes.

According to the CDC, during 2013 in the USA approximately 2 million people become infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria and 23,000 people die each year from these infections, while others die from complications related to antibiotic-resistant infections.

Science and history tell us that while we are living longer than our ancestors, it’s not necessarily the result of modern medicine, but rather improved sanitation, hygiene, cleaner water, better sewage management, and adequate nutrition.

Rene Dubos a Nobel Prize-winning microbiologist states:

“… the life expectancy of adults is not very different now from what it was a few generations ago, nor is it greater in areas where medical services are highly developed than in less prosperous countries.”

A little publicized historical fact is that homeopathy gained popularity in the USA and Europe during the 19th century because it was so successful in treating infectious epidemics without toxic, side-effect laden chemicals.

In his book Quantum Healing, Dr. Deepak Chopra, MD, shares a study where the influenza virus was isolated and implanted directly onto the mucous membranes of a group of subjects, and only 12% of them got the flu. The study clearly demonstrated that a strong immune system and the “inner terrain” is the key to health and prevention of disease.

The Post-Antibiotic Era is fast approaching. That’s bad news for the 23 billion dollar antibiotics industry, but what about the rest of us? Dr. Tim O’Shea, DC, of sums it up:

“The paramount issue in health and survival will then be the immune system. (…) What will people turn to in order to strengthen their immune system? Answer: Alternative Medicine, just like before all of this went down. Actually, it’s already started.”

Source : Naturalsociety

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Culinary Herbs for Glucose Control

Type 2 diabetes affects more than 8% of Americans and costs the United States approximately $175 billion a year. Food scientists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been researching the viability of popular culinary herbs in diabetes treatment. Their findings, published in the July edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggest that culinary herbs may be able to manage type 2 diabetes in the same manner as prescription diabetes drugs.


The Dangers of Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the non-insulin form of diabetes that develops gradually when too much sugar hangs out in the bloodstream. Obesity and high sugar diets contribute to the prognosis of the disease. Symptoms manifest as extreme thirst, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue, slow healing skin infections, and dark patches on the skin. If not regulated, type 2 diabetes can lead to eye and kidney damage, heart attack, stroke, or a diabetic coma.

Herb Magic

According to this most recent study, rosemary, oregano, and marjoram may offer a natural way to keep blood glucose levels stable. Researchers tested both greenhouse-grown and commercially purchased dried forms of the herbs. They were looking to measure their effect on two enzymes involved in type 2 diabetes. The enzyme DPP-IV (or DPP-4) helps to control insulin secretion, and the enzyme PTP1B plays a role in insulin signaling.

Results showed that the greenhouse-grown herbs were the most nutrient dense, with the highest concentration of antioxidant polyphenols and flavonoids, and had the most effect on the DPP-IV enzyme. The commercially purchased dried herbs had the most inhibitory impact on the PTP1B enzyme, an enzyme notoriously difficult to suppress with prescription drugs.

More studies need to be determined for a definitive assessment, but it looks like adding some culinary herbs to your diet could be a great recipe for glucose control!

Source : Undergroundhealthreporter

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