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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

SOTT FOCUS: EMF pollution: The health impacts of wireless RF radiation

This article is part three in a series of articles on electromagnetic field (EMF) pollution. Part one is available

. This article will focus on wireless RF radiation and systemic EMF health effects.

Chronic diseases have many potential causes, including genetics, deficient diet, toxin exposure, and repressed emotional expression. Research has mounted over the past two decades in support of adding EMF exposure to the top-level list of causes of chronic disease (including genome/DNA damage). It's likely that a chronic disease condition results from a unique and individual combination of these top-level stressors, so EMF exposure should be considered in the context of other source causes, as suggested in Figure 1.

In his book Living Safely with Electromagnetic Radiation2, Jim Waugh relates the experience of Dr. George Carlo:

Waugh goes on to relate more recent concerns voiced by numerous doctors and health researchers:

It is amazing that after so many scientists, doctors, epidemiologists, and researchers expressed their concerns, the cell phone industry (and media) has sustained public doubt and ignorance over the dangers of cell phones, and wireless devices in general (examples shown in Figure 2).

This general attitude towards cell phone safety has contributed to the proliferation of wireless devices we see in homes today. All of these devices have been implicated in the health issues of both people and animals. Anecdotal accounts are useful because they describe real-life situations in the presence and absence of these devices. Here are a few from Waugh's book

  • An article in The Independent on Sunday, April 22, 2007, reported that the new owner of a house in Bath, England, moved in and found 30 nests of bees in the attic. The bees seemed to be everywhere, in the shower, the widows, and the light fixtures. On two separate occasions the owner solicited the help of professional exterminators, but the bees kept coming back. When the owner installed a Wi-Fi system in the home, the bees left and never returned.
  • A dairy-farming couple living in the Midwest of the United States experienced considerable suffering over a period of 12 years when a cellphone tower was installed on a neighbor's property, approximately 240 meters (800 feet) from their house. Over a period of months, the cows became emaciated and agitated, their coats rough to the touch. The couple's children developed skin rashes and unusual raised hot spots. They also experienced recurring kidney infections. While the younger two children became dramatically hyperactive, the older children complained of foggy thinking and concentration problems. The adults began to suffer with sleep difficulties and the mother developed joint pain. Following informed advice, the couple moved away from their farm and the cellphone tower that had become a hub for the entire state. Three months after moving everyone began to feel better, including the heifers they had kept after selling the rest of the herd. For financial reasons the family subsequently returned to their farm and the suffering started all over again. The children lost weight and two of them began to lose their hair. A son born after the move was born with birth defects that did not fit any particular syndrome. Calves, too, were born with defects, such as front legs shorter than the back and deformed hooves, and some were born with huge tumors. The couple, their children and their cows are doing well after leaving their farm again and buying another in an electromagnetically safe area.
  • A dog was lame in the two front legs and a hind leg. An acupuncture diagnosis revealed stress typical of radio- frequency radiation. When the cordless phone was removed from the home the lameness disappeared. The dog suffered a relapse when he was taken to a house with a cordless phone for a short time but quickly recovered when he was returned home.
  • A horse suffered with lameness in the right ankle and X-rays showed no arthritis. An acupuncture examination pointed to radio-frequency radiation as a probable cause. When the cordless phone was removed from the house, the horse's symptoms subsided within a few days and did not return.
  • A young dog suffered with chronic diarrhea and dysfunction of the thyroid gland. A number of different treatments were unsuccessful. As a test, the cordless phone was removed from the home and the dog's health returned. Blood tests were taken to confirm the normal functioning of the thyroid and the diarrhea has not returned.
  • A cat was being treated for a skin disease on the outside of the ear with a variety of salves and treatments to no avail. A few days after the removal of the cordless phone from the home the skin condition began to heal, followed by a full recovery.
  • A cat owner reported increasingly aggressive behavior which calmed considerably when the cordless phone was disconnected.
  • For a number of years some of the animals in a stable suffered with chronic diarrhea. The usual suspects were addressed including a change in feed, a check for parasites and an analysis of the drinking water. An acupuncture analysis of the horses indicated possible radio-frequency-radiation problems. The diarrhea disappeared when the cordless telephones nearby were removed.
  • In a presentation to the Beekeepers Association in Glastonbury, England, in 2008 Barrie Trower, a physicist, teacher and microwave research scientist stated, 'It seems that this scenario follows the worldwide proliferation of the Communications Industry. I can no longer find a trouble-free country where mobile phones, Wi-Fi, TETRA, Bluetooth, etc, are being used.'
One study clearly showing the footprint of cell-related EMF health effects (including electronic smog - ES) was conducted by a group of medical doctors in Oberfranken4, Germany, who were interested in a clustering of confusing symptoms among their patients. The number of people participating in the study was 356. Radio frequency (RF) cell tower power density (including DECT cordless phones) was measured at each residence, and this data was correlated with reported symptoms, broken into seven groups.

Figure 3 shows the results in compact form. The symptoms at the bottom of the figure show grouping by pathology in the seven groups, with the first group categorized as 'no symptoms'. The remaining six groups list symptoms that are generally recognized as ES-related when they occur together in some individuals. The study produced data for the percentage of reports in these symptom groups as a function of exposure to four ranges of measured RF power density. The bar chart below is color coded for ease of interpretation. The four measured ranges varied from less than 10 microW/m2 to greater than 1000 microW/m2 (spanning 3 orders of magnitude). The color code to the right of the bar graph indicates the number of participant residences exposed to that range of RF power density.

Looking at the four bars in Group 1, we see that 70% of the 37 individuals reported no symptoms for power densities less than 10 microW/m2 (green bar). The remaining 30% reported symptoms in one or more of the other groups, with the notable exception of Group 6 [note: the percentages do not add up to 100% since an individual might report symptoms in two or more groups]. Looking at those four Group 1 bars again, the drop in symptom-free reports with increasing RF power density is dramatic - at levels greater that 1000 microW/m2 (red bar), the symptom-free reports drop to 2% (with 99 participants in that group). Groups 2 through 7 show significant increases in symptom reports that are highly correlated with the RF power density of exposure. The two highest symptom groups reported are Groups 2 and 3. These are the most common symptoms associated with all EMF exposure and are often reported together. Figure 3 clearly shows the EMF footprint for cell phone base station radiation, and provides rationale for an RF exposure limit of 10 microW/m2 (this is .001 microW/cm2, or 1 nanoW/cm2 and corresponds to an electric field strength of .06 V/meter).

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Figure 3 Results of a study conducted by a group of German doctors to investigate the connection between cell base station power density and common symptoms among their patients. [Adapted from powerwatch.org 4]

    
Dr. Cornelia Waldmann Selsam, representing this group of German medical doctors, sent these results in report form, and as an Open Letter5, to Edmund Stoiber, Prime Minister of Bavaria in Germany. In the Forward to this Open Letter she states:

"These reports show that the people for years have been ill due to pulsed high frequency electromagnetic fields, without the treating doctors recognizing the cause. For that reason, people who are receiving the high frequency at home or at work have suffered and are suffering and they receive no therapy. The deciding [effective] therapy is to end the exposure.

The continually repeated assertion in the media by the Radiological Protection Commission (Strahlenschutzkommission), that there is no proof for health risks under the present valid limits, has had the consequence that most doctors, (including myself until a year ago) have not drawn a relationship between the many unexplained illness patterns and high frequency radiation. The doctors do not know that at not one single mobile phone base station have investigations into the health-state of the people been carried out. Thus, the evaluation of the Strahlenschutzkommission in 2001 has no scientific basis."

Two prominent German doctors joined Selsam in authoring another Open Letter, dated Feb 12, 2009, to the US President, Congress, Senate, and the American People titled Warning Against Adverse Health Effects from the Operation of Digital Broadcast Television Stations (DVB‐T)6. Obviously it did not make headlines in the US nor did it slow the (now complete) installation of pulsed HDTV broadcast stations throughout the US.

EMF Mechanisms and Negative Actions on the Body/Mind

In Selsam's Open Letter6 to the US, she made reference to a 1992 statement by Rüdiger Matthes:

"In 1992, Dipl.‐Ing. Rüdiger Matthes, member of ICNIRP and of the German Radiation Protection Agency (BfS), emphasized the preliminary status of the exposure limits in a hearing on the health risks of electromagnetic radiation: '...They (electromagnetic exposure levels) are several orders of magnitude higher than the natural background radiation levels of nontechnical sources...In parallel to this development, findings of scientific studies according to which long‐term exposure to such fields may trigger adverse health effects keep accumulating....In this context, it is also important to recognize that there are large differences in exposure levels within a given population. A small child, for example, absorbs much more RF energy than an adult person...There are several findings on low‐level exposures, which are considered scientifically validated because they have been reproduced often but which are rather difficult to interpret. The impact of mostly pulsed or ELF modulated RF radiation on cell metabolism, for example, counts among them. It has been observed that the efflux of certain ions (e.g. calcium) from a cell increases during exposure to such fields. The occurrence of this effect is described almost completely independent of the actual field strength. It can be found at extremely low absorption levels....With all the currently available scientific findings, there remain some crucial questions unanswered. ...There are gaps in the so‐called body of evidence. That means that the biological effects, for example, have only been investigated for individual frequencies. Data (e.g. effect thresholds) on the various biological effects across the entire frequency spectrum are not available.'."

So all the way back in 1992 there were warnings that even very low levels of pulsed RF radiation could detrimentally affect subtle metabolic functions at the cellular level. It was also known that growing children absorb far more of the RF energy than do adults. And yet this information was not enough to motivate application of the Precautionary Principle to stem the tide of commercialization of our RF environment.

Although German scientists and doctors have lead the way in identifying pulsed RF exposure as a cause for human illness, Germany today is no better off with regard to the proliferation of pulsed RF communications. In October 2002 a large group of German physicians and medical professionals (now comprising 3,000 endorsements) signed the Freiburger Appeal7. This was prepared, in part, to address the irresponsible "safety limits policy", with respect to pulsed RF communications, of the German Government, and the fact that the German courts were led to regard the danger as "purely hypothetical". Reproduced in full, the Appeal states:

"Out of great concern for the health of our fellow human beings do we - as established physicians of all fields, especially that of environmental medicine - turn to the medical establishment and those in public health and political domains, as well as to the public.

We have observed, in recent years, a dramatic rise in severe and chronic diseases among our patients, especially:

  • Learning, concentration, and behavioural [sic] disorders (e.g. attention deficit disorder, ADD)
  • Extreme fluctuations in blood pressure, ever harder to influence with medications
  • Heart rhythm disorders
  • Heart attacks and strokes among an increasingly younger population
  • Brain-degenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer's) and epilepsy
  • Cancerous afflictions: leukemia, brain tumors
Moreover, we have observed an ever-increasing occurrence of various disorders, often misdiagnosed in patients as psychosomatic:
  • Headaches, migraines
  • Chronic exhaustion
  • Inner agitation
  • Sleeplessness, daytime sleepiness
  • Tinnitus
  • Susceptibility to infection
  • Nervous and connective tissue pains, for which the usual causes do not explain even the most conspicuous symptoms
Since the living environment and lifestyles of our patients are familiar to us, we can see especially after carefully-directed inquiry a clear temporal and spatial correlation between the appearance of disease and exposure to pulsed high -frequency microwave radiation (HFMR), such as:
  • Installation of a mobile telephone sending station in the near vicinity
  • Intensive mobile telephone use
  • Installation of a digital cordless (DECT) telephone at home or in the neighborhood [sic]
We can no longer believe this to be purely coincidence, for:
  • Too often do we observe a marked concentration of particular illnesses in correspondingly HFMR-polluted areas or apartments;
  • Too often does a long-term disease or affliction improve or disappear in a relatively short time after reduction or elimination of HFMR pollution in the patient's environment;
  • Too often are our observations confirmed by on-site measurements of HFMR of unusual intensity
On the basis of our daily experiences, we hold the current mobile communications technology (introduced in 1992 and since then globally extensive) and cordless digital telephones (DECT standard) to be among the fundamental triggers for this fatal development. One can no longer evade these pulsed microwaves. They heighten the risk of already-present chemical/physical influences, stress the body's immune system, and can bring the body's still-functioning regulatory mechanisms to a halt. Pregnant women, children, adolescents, elderly and sick people are especially at risk.

Our therapeutic efforts to restore health are becoming increasingly less effective: the unimpeded and continuous penetration of radiation into living and working areas particularly bedrooms, an essential place for relaxation, regeneration and healing causes uninterrupted stress and prevents the patient's thorough recovery.

In the face of this disquieting development, we feel obliged to inform the public of our observations especially since hearing that the German courts regard any danger from mobile telephone radiation as 'purely hypothetical' (see the decisions of the constitutional court in Karlsruhe and the administrative court in Mannheim, Spring 2002).

What we experience in the daily reality of our medical practice is anything but hypothetical!

We see the rising number of chronically sick patients also as the result of an irresponsible 'safety limits' policy, which fails to take the protection of the public from the short- and long-term effects of mobile telephone radiation as its criterion for action. Instead, it submits to the dictates of a technology already long recognized as dangerous. For us, this is the beginning of a very serious development through which the health of many people is being threatened.

We will no longer be made to wait upon further unreal research results - which in our experience are often influenced by the communications industry while evidential studies go on being ignored. We find it to be of urgent necessity that we act now!

Above all, we are, as doctors, the advocates for our patients. In the interest of all those concerned, whose basic right to life and freedom from bodily harm is currently being put at stake, we appeal to those in the spheres of politics and public health.

Please support the following demands with your influence:

New health-friendly communications techniques, given independent risk assessments before their introduction and, as immediate measures and transitional steps:

  • Stricter safety limits and major reduction of sender output and HFMR pollution on a justifiable scale, especially in areas of sleep and convalescence
  • A say on the part of local citizens and communities regarding the placing of antennae (which in a democracy should be taken for granted)
  • Education of the public, especially of mobile telephone users, regarding the health risks of electromagnetic fields
  • Ban on mobile telephone use by small children, and restrictions on use by adolescents
  • Ban on mobile telephone use and digital cordless (DECT) telephones in preschools, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, events halls, public buildings and vehicles (as with the ban on smoking)
  • Mobile telephone and HFMR-free zones (as with auto-free areas)
  • Revision of DECT standards for cordless telephones with the goal of reducing radiation intensity and limiting actual use time, as well as avoiding the biologically critical HFMR pulsation
  • Industry-independent research, finally with the inclusion of amply available critical research results and our medical observations.
This is a powerful statement, made all the more powerful by the 3,000 German physicians and medical professionals that have endorsed it since October 2002. Here the German doctors have outlined the major diseases they have encountered, as well as a host of symptoms that have (since) been clearly linked with EMF exposure.

Waugh2 ,summarizing many past studies, has this to say regarding the cellular-level and immune system reactions to pulsed RF:

  • The cell senses electromagnetic radiation from a cellphone or a wireless device of a frequency that does not occur in nature and considers itself to be under attack.
  • The cell adopts a defensive posture and proceeds to close down the active transport channels that allow nutrients in and waste out.
  • The cell becomes nutrient deficient, which leads to energy deficiency and the inability to communicate with the cells around it, resulting in a disruption of intercellular communication, impairment of the immune system and acute symptoms.
  • The cell is unable to expel waste material and a buildup of highly reactive molecules, known as free radicals, develops.
  • Free radicals disrupt the functioning of the mitochondria (where respiratory functioning of the cell takes place) and the cell is unable to do its job properly. For example, dysfunctional cells in the blood-brain barrier protecting the brain cause leakage of toxins into the brain's pristine habitat.
  • Free radicals then interfere with DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) repair inside the cell and micronuclei are formed from the pieces of DNA, which then form membranes around themselves and have no further purpose.
  • Micronuclei are not harmful if they are kept within the cell; however, if during programmed cell death the cell membrane collapses, the micronuclei are expelled into the interstitial fluid between the cells.
  • If everything were working as it should and intercellullar communication was good, the immune system would be able to deal with the wild DNA.
  • With the intercellular communication disrupted the micronuclei are free to clone and proliferate in the nutrient-rich interstitial fluid, which is the mechanism for the formation of a tumor, chronic disease and cancer.
In a recent paper by Dr Magda Havas8,

"Recent studies have demonstrated that radio-frequency fields can have a multiplicity of carcinogenic roles by directly influencing DNA damage, inhibiting the DNA repair mechanism, affecting gene expression, and increasing the permeability of cells to allow a greater uptake of harmful materials."

Regarding EMF effects on the nervous system, Waugh summarizes:

"Laboratory studies and field observations show that the nervous system, the brain, and nerves leading to various parts of the body, in both humans and animals, are sensitive to low- and high-frequency electromagnetic radiation. People exposed to cellphone radiation can experience a change in brainwave activity. Studies have shown that radiation exposure at these frequencies can affect memory and learning and low-level radiation can change behavior in humans and animals. There is strong and relatively consistent evidence of a link between these radiation frequencies and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and motor neuron disease. In the case of Alzheimer's disease, it has been found that exposure to low-frequency radiation can increase levels of amyloid beta in the brain. ... Power- and radio-frequency radiation is also thought to suppress the function of the pineal gland, a small gland located deep within the brain that secretes the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is believed to protect the brain against damage leading to Alzheimer's disease and inhibit the growth of cancer in the body, among other benefits."

With regard to Wi-Fi, Waugh cites Dr Magda Havas:

"According to Dr. Havas, biological effects have been documented at radiation levels well below those that are able to heat body tissue, including increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier, increased calcium flux, increase in cancer and DNA breaks, induced stress proteins and nerve damage. She asserts that exposure to this type of radiation has been associated with altered white blood cells in schoolchildren; childhood leukemia; impaired motor function, reaction time, and memory; headaches; dizziness; fatigue; weakness; and insomnia."

Havas8 also showed extreme heart rate variability (HRV) in some subjects exposed to a DECT cordless phone signal at power densities only 0.5% of Canadian and US guidelines (3-5 microW/cm2). From the paper's abstract:

"Aim: The effect of pulsed (100 Hz) microwave (MW) radiation on heart rate variability (HRV) was tested in a double blind study. Materials and Methods: Twenty-five subjects in Colorado between the ages of 37 to 79 completed an electrohypersensitivity (EHS) questionnaire. After recording their orthostatic HRV, we did continuous real-time monitoring of HRV in a provocation study, where supine subjects were exposed for 3-minute intervals to radiation generated by a cordless phone at 2.4 GHz or to sham exposure.

Results: Questionnaire: Based on self-assessments, participants classified themselves as extremely electrically sensitive (24%), moderately (16%), slightly (16%), not sensitive (8%) or with no opinion (36%) about their sensitivity. The top 10 symptoms experienced by those claiming to be sensitive include memory problems, difficulty concentrating, eye problems, sleep disorder, feeling unwell, headache, dizziness, tinnitus, chronic fatigue, and heart palpitations. The five most common objects allegedly causing sensitivity were fluorescent lights [AC magnetic fields], antennas, cell phones, Wi-Fi, and cordless phones.

Provocation Experiment: Forty percent of the subjects experienced some changes in their HRV attributable to digitally pulsed (100 Hz) MW radiation. For some the response was extreme (tachycardia), for others moderate to mild (changes in sympathetic nervous system and/or parasympathetic nervous system, and for some there was no observable reaction either because of high adaptive capacity or because of systemic neurovegetative exhaustion. Conclusions: Orthostatic HRV combined with provocation testing may provide a diagnostic test for some EHS sufferers when they are exposed to electromagnetic emitting devices. This is the first study that documents immediate and dramatic changes in both Hearth [sic] Rate (HR) and HR variability (HRV) associated with MW exposure at levels well below (0.5%) federal guidelines in Canada and the United States (1000 microW/cm2)."

From the same paper8:

"Our results clearly show a causal relationship between pulsed 100 Hz MW exposure and changes in the ANS [autonomic nervous system] that is physiological rather than psychological and that may explain at least some of the symptoms experienced by those sensitive to electromagnetic frequencies. Dysfunction of the ANS can lead to heart irregularities (arrhythmia, palpitations, flutter), altered blood pressure, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, sleep disturbances, profuse sweating and fainting spells, which are some of the symptoms of EHS. When the SNS [sympathetic nervous system] (fight or flight response) is stimulated and the PSNS [parasympathetic nervous system] (rest and digest) is suppressed the body is in a state of arousal and uses more energy. If this is a constant state of affairs, the subject may become tired and may have difficulty sleeping (unable to relax because of a down regulated PSNS and/or up regulated SNS). Interestingly, Sandstrom found a disturbed pattern of circadian rhythms of HRV and the absence of the expected HF [high frequency] (parasympathetic) power-spectrum component during sleep in persons who perceived themselves as being electrically hypersensitive. If the dysfunction of the ANS is intermittent it may be experienced as anxiety and/or panic attacks, and if the vagus nerve is affected it may lead to dizziness and/or nausea. Our results show that the SNS is up regulated (increase in LF [low frequency]) and the PSNS is down regulated (decrease in HF) for some of the subjects during provocation. The greatest increase is in LF2, which is the adrenal stress response, although LF1 also increases. We do not know the degree to which this is due to the 100 Hz pulse, the MW carrier, or their combination."

These are deeply disturbing results because they show effects at the very heart of our regulatory systems; circadian, adrenal, fight/flight, nervous/brain, etc. This is likely to make a neuro-chemical mess of us if the exposure becomes long-term (as is increasingly the case today). It certainly seems to serve the medical-industrial complex, which is only too happy to produce pills to buffer all the headaches, dizziness, and insomnia.

In the spring of 2004 the community of Rimbach (Lower Bavaria) received cell service for the first time with the installation of a cell base station on Buchberg Mountain9. Some prescient researchers decided that this was an ideal opportunity to study the residents both before and after the installation. The total number of participants was small (60) but the testing was extensive, and the results clearly show the long-term effect of the base station's presence. Figure 4 shows the before/after symptom response of the residents associated with the dates January 2004 and July 2005 (more than a year after installation of the base station).

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Figure 4 Symptoms reported by all participants both before and after activation of the cell base station – also shown are the measured power densities at the residences. [Adapted from Buchner 9]

    
All 60 participants fell into roughly equal groups of three power density levels as shown in the figure. Again, we see clearly the increase in reported symptoms after base station activation. This is very significant since the base station had, at that point, only been operational for about 16 months. The bound on the lower range of power density at the residence is 60 microW/m2 or .006 microW/cm2 (or 6 nanoW/cm2).

The most important results of their study were found in the periodic blood tests of the participants. From their paper9(emphasis mine):

"This follow-up of 60 participants over one and a half years shows a significant effect on the adrenergic system after the installation of a new cell phone base station in the village of Rimbach (Bavaria).After the activation of the GSM base station, the levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline increased significantly during the first six months; the levels of the precursor dopamine decreased substantially. The initial levels were not restored even after one and a half years. As an indicator of the dysregulated chronic imbalance of the stress system, the phenylethylamine (PEA) levels dropped significantly until the end of the study period. The effects showed a dose-response relationship and occurred well below current limits for technical RF radiation exposures. Chronic dysregulation of the catecholamine system has great relevance for health and is well known to damage human health in the long run. [...]

There is a wide range of evidence to interpret the newly emerging microwave exposures as an invisible stressor. Microwaves are absorbed by living tissue. The frequencies used for cell phone technologies have a half-life penetration depth of several centimeters, whereby cell membranes constitute no obstacle. Microwaves cause enzymes to malfunction directly by, for example, monomerization. Thus, it is conceivable that enzymes of the catecholamine system could be affected directly.

In industry, more and more microwave devices are being used for chemical peptoid syntheses, which allow for a 100 times faster and more precise production even without any measurable heating [Current US exposure limits are based on threshold heating of the flesh]. The toxic effects of free radicals formed by microwaves are used in such technical applications as water purification.

In several studies, the chronic symptoms of residents near cell tower antennas were described. Interestingly, the expansion of wireless networks corresponds with the increase in prescription expenses for methylphenidate, a drug whose chemical structure is related to PEA and which is indicated in cases of attention deficit disorder (ADD). ... (Note 1: Decreased PEA levels can be found in a large portion of ADD/ADHD patients. As therapy methylphenidate is used, a substance that is structurally related to PEA. Between 1990 and 2004, the boom time of cell phones, prescription costs for this medication had increased by a factor of 86.)

Long-term studies over five years suggested an increased cancer incidence due to microwave exposure. Since the catecholamine system is directly linked with the nervous system within the psychoneuroimmunological framework beside its organ-specific effects, the observed increase in cancer incidence can now also be understood from a pathophysiological perspective." [see their paper9 for detailed references]

And their conclusion:

"Thus, the following hypothesis is proposed: Although participants maintained their usual lifestyle, they developed chronic stress with a primary increase in adrenaline/noradrenaline and a subsequent decrease in dopamine in response to the microwave exposure from the newly installed cell phone base station. During the stage of counterregulation, the "trace amine" PEA decreases and remains decreased.

This is of considerable clinical relevance because psychiatric symptoms also exhibit altered PEA levels. In Rimbach, the increase in sleep problems, cephalgia, vertigo, concentration problems, and allergies could be clinically documented after the cell phone base station had been activated. The newly developed symptoms can be explained clinically with the help of disturbances in the humoral stress axis.

After having exhausted the biological feedback mechanisms, major health problems are to be expected. The possible long-term consequences of remaining caught in the exhaustion stage have already been described by Hecht and Selye.

Thus, the significant results presented here not only provide clear evidence for health-relevant effects in the study subjects of Rimbach after a new GSM base station had been installed there, but they also offer the opportunity to carry out a causal analysis. This has already been successfully done in the "shut-down study" of Schwarzenburg, Switzerland. In Rimbach, the documented levels should return to normal once the relevant base station is shut down."

In the Rimbach data, once again, we have a rare study that clearly shows the wireless EMF footprint in the development of pathological disease conditions - as well as some detailed mechanisms.

Henshaw10, in an effort to qualify and quantify the mechanisms responsible for the rich epidemiological evidence in the open literature, has conducted extensive research and analysis into the biological effects of AC magnetic field exposure. He summarizes these potential mechanisms as follows:

Image
    
In a presentation summary10, Henshaw states:

"Many life forms evolved to detect MFs [magnetic fields] and use them for navigation; acute adverse health effects are associated with GM [geomagnetic] storms (all below some levels from the electricity supply). Both magnetite clusters and the RPM [Radical Pair Mechanism] can transduce power frequency MFs at common public exposure levels. The demonstration that human cryptochromes are magneto-receptive, has implications for circadian rhythm disruption in humans and one possible model to explain health effects associated with ELF MF exposure."

Image


Simplified diagram of the physical mechanism for health effects of AC magnetic fields. [Henshaw 10 with permission]

    
In a concluding statement, Henshaw writes:

"In my estimation, official review bodies have cited less than 10% of the available scientific evidence relating to ELF-EMF effects. In some areas, none of the literature has been cited."

So what we have among the biological mechanisms of long-term EMF exposure are:
  • Overwhelm of the natural Earth/ionosphere EMF sense
  • Neurotransmitter concentration alteration
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Melatonin disruption
  • Circadian disruption
  • Production of protein stressors (inflammation)
  • Adrenal performance
  • Free radical production
  • DNA destruction and altered expression
  • Immune system disruption
  • Nerve and brain damage
  • Unnatural stimulation of fight/flight response

Conclusions

These are truly deep systemic impacts on human physiology, and help explain the wide range of symptoms and chronic disease conditions that have been linked to long-term EMF exposure. [Note: these effects/mechanisms are particularly devastating in children where cells are rapidly dividing/specializing as part of the growth process.] It is no wonder that the spectrum of symptom and disease conditions is so broad, particularly when contributing factors such as genetic predisposition, lifestyle, diet, and exposure to chemical toxins (and many prescription drugs) are factored in. In fact, diet deficiencies and exposure to toxins have been linked to many (if not all) of these systemic mechanisms. This suggests that the approach to recovery from disease and the maintenance of good health is three-pronged, as shown in the image below:

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Figure 5 The effects of chronic EMF exposure are difficult to quantify outside the context of poor diet and exposure to chemical toxins.

    
Simply addressing a single area in Figure 5 may not be sufficient to prevent chronic disease or maintain health. Hippocrates' statement "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food" was good guidance for past times devoid of man-made chemicals and EMF. But today, we must apply our knowledge of these two additional areas in actions and decisions that will truly give us the best chance of recovery and maintenance of our health. There is much evidence that negative conditions in these three areas (Figure 5) can and do interact with devastating health impact - just like two relatively benign drugs that, when combined, produce serious systemic malfunction.

That deteriorating health due to these three areas necessarily equates to mental and emotional dysfunction - affecting even our most basic thinking processes - is often overlooked (or actively suppressed). This is intentional (both the suppression and dysfunction) and supports higher level agendas of manipulation and control of the human populace. An examination of the components of Figure 5 reveals that it is the multinational-industrial complex, in concert with government puppets (politicians, regulatory agencies, etc), that set the stage for a proliferation of poisonous consumables which, outwardly, bear the look of positive technology enhancement, but which in reality slowly rob us of our physical and mental health. The sad fact is that, in our ignorance, collectively, we fund this nightmare by demanding these consumables in ever-increasing quantity, and ascribe to this power complex a benevolence that is entirely fictional. The antidote to this condition is knowledge and the will to act on it. In this sense, knowledge really does protect.

In today's world there is no way to avoid EMF exposure entirely - just as there is no way to avoid a degree of chemical toxic exposure, or eat an exclusively ancestral diet consistent with human evolution (or to even know precisely what that diet is). But we can test and apply our knowledge on all three fronts to give our bodies the best chance of conquering disease and maintaining the best possible health.

Notes and References

1. Denis Henshaw, Professor Emeritus (retired), School of Physics, University of Bristol
2. Waugh, J, Living Safely with Electromagnetic Radiation, Castle Mountain Publishing, 2010.
3. Henshaw DL, Re: Use of mobile phones and risk of brain tumours: update of Danish cohort study. Frei, et al. 343:doi:10.1136/bmj.d6387, http://ift.tt/1KyVAck
4. http://ift.tt/VKqQyh
5. OPEN LETTER, Foreword - Documented Health Damage under the Influence of High Frequency Electromagnetic Fields Dr. Cornelia Waldmann Selsam, Karl-May-Str.48, 96049 Bamberg (see also 4)
6. OPEN LETTER, Bamberg, February 12, 2009 http://ift.tt/1KyVAsA
7. Interdisziplina re Gesellschaftfur Umweltmedizine. V. ,Freiburger Appeal, October 9, 2002. http://ift.tt/1KyVC3J
8. Havas M, et al: Provocation study using heart rate variability shows microwave radiation from 2.4 GHz cordless phone affects autonomic nervous system, Eur. J. Oncol. Library, vol. 5, 2010.
9. Buchner K, Eger H 2011 Changes of Clinically Important Neurotransmitters under the Influence of Modulated RF Fields—A Long-term Study under Real-life Conditions, Umwelt-Medizin-Gesellschaft 24(1):44-57 (Original study in German) For English see http://ift.tt/1KyVAsD
10. Henshaw DL, "The interaction of magnetic fields with biological systems - trying to understand the diversity of reported health effects", http://www.electric-fieldshttp://.bris.ac.uk/henshaw_arr_june_2011.ppt.

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This Is How Much Of Your Life The US Has Spent At War

With the US spiraling quickly towards a maritime conflict with China over the latter’s “construction projects” in the disputed South China Sea and with NATO doing its best to match Moscow’s Eastern European sabre-rattling on the way to facilitating the most serious confrontation between Russia and the West in decades, we thought it as good a time as any to bring you the following graphic which shows the percentage of your life that the US has been at war.

Simply put, if you were born before in 1992 or later, America has been at war for at least two-thirds of your life and if you were born after 2001, well... you have never known life in the US without war.

More from The Washington Post:

 

 

Using somewhat subjective definitions of "at war" -- Korea counts but Kosovo doesn't in our analysis, for example -- we endeavored to figure out how much of each person's life has been spent with America at war. We used whole years for both the age and the war, so the brief Gulf War is given a full year, and World War II includes 1941. These are estimates.

But the beginning of the conflict in Afghanistan in (late) 2001 means that anyone born in the past 13 years has never known an America that isn't at war. Anyone born after 1984 has likely seen America at war for at least half of his or her life. And that's a lot of Americans.

Given

recent events

in Iraq and Syria, this isn't likely to change anytime soon.

Caught On Tape: Self-Driving Car Ploughs Into Journalists

While there is much debate whether the latest and greatest Apple fad is a dud...

or a hit...

... Apple has, in case the fading wearables mania is the former, a Plan C: a self-driving car

Or maybe not, because for a company built on the successful creation, execution and marketing of gadgets with a two year average lifespan, the worst thing that can happen is for the world to glimpse the unpleasant reality behind the glitzy, futuristic facade for sale every day (usually with a 4-6 weeks delivery delay) in Cupertino.

Such as this video, taken in the Dominican Republic, showing a self-parking Volvo XC60 reversing itself, waiting, and then slamming into journalists who were gawking at the "fascinating" if somewhat homicidal creation, at full speed.

As the Independent reports, the horrifying pictures went viral and were presumed to have resulted from a malfunction with the car.

Only it wasn't a malfunction.

Instead, in what is perhaps the most epic "option" in the history of automotive history, Volvo decided to make the special feature known as “pedestrian detection functionality” cost extra money.

It gets better: the cars do have auto-braking features as standard, but only for avoiding other cars — if they are to avoid crashing into pedestrians, too, then owners must pay extra.

“It appears as if the car in this video is not equipped with Pedestrian detection,” Volvo spokesperson Johan Larsson told Fusion. “This is sold as a separate package.”

 

The feature uses a radar and camera to see pedestrians.

 

“The pedestrian detection would likely have been inactivated due to the driver inactivating it by intentionally and actively accelerating,” Larsson said. “Hence, the auto braking function is overrided by the driver and deactivated.”

 

The blog that uploaded the video said that the two men “were bruised but are ok”. They said that “sources” had told them that “the drivers forgot to turn on ‘City-Safe’ mode”.

Indeed: a "self-driving" parking car which conveniently has an optional extra that stops the car from smashing into people.

In other words, unless you can fork over the extra couple thousand bucks, the future "self-driving" car becomes a war truck right out of Mad Max, filled with an insatiable desire to mangle and crush any carbon-based life forms that have the misfortune of crossing its path.

Just like in the video below. Presenting: the future.

The Police Chiefs Assoc. wants a national drone policy

CONFIRMED, there is a national police drone surveillance program:

Over a week ago, I reported on how DHS is using police departments to set up a

national drone surveillance program

. Then like 'magic' the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) announces a national drone policy! Was it a coincidence? For those who didn't already know it, they're part of Homeland Security, that's right every police chief is working with DHS. They proudly boast how their

Board Of Directors works with DHS

.

"The IACP Committee on Homeland Security entered its current, final incarnation in 2003, although the committee arose out of the IACP’s response to 9/11 and the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).'

Click

here

,

here

and

here

to read more.

What's not well known is the IACP's and DHS's close ties with private security across the country!

Everyone should assume that every security guard is working for DHS! Mall security guards are using

facial recognition software to spy on everyone

! Click

here

and

here

to read how security guards have become America's secret surveillance force .  

DHS is training security guards nationwide.Did you know that a bill, HR 658, the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act, authorized the use of 30,000 spy drones in 2012?  Think about the enormity of this for just a second... 30-THOUSAND spy drones flying overhead spying on everyone. If you divide that by 50 states, that's 600 drones per state!

Yesterday the mass media reported on how surveillance drones are needed to IMPROVE public safety:

"Police agencies across the nation are increasingly using drones to improve public safety, but need clear operations policies and limits to win public trust, experts said at a law enforcement conference in San Diego."

This is utter B.S.! The public doesn't need limits put on their usage we don't want them and they should be BANNED!

A university professor who's also a deputy is working with DHS to promote a national drone surveillance program:"Alan Frazier, a Grand Forks County part-time sheriff’s deputy and also an associate professor for the University of North Dakota’s Department of Aviation.""Frazier said his sheriff’s agency has used its drones 18 times across the state in the past two years. He said they have helped search flood zones, photograph homicide scenes and track felony suspects."Dozens of universities

are working on profitable drone surveillance programs to be used to spy on Americans! Click

here

 &

here 

to read more.

In 

2011 the ACLU

 warned drones would have high-powered zoom lenses, night vision, see-through walls imaging, video analytics to identify "suspicious" movement patterns, and distributed video drones that can look at an entire city and stay up in the air for two weeks at a time.

Drones can collect huge amounts of data that can "

track people and vehicles from altitudes above 20,000 feet

." Take a look at some "

crowd captures

" and zoom in for serious detail.  Other drones are equipped with

"live-feed video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar."

The EFF warned drones can monitor our activities constantly, both in public and-through the use of heat sensors or other technology-inside our homes!

The use of drones creates a police state! It's an invasion of our personal privacy. Here's the IACP's suggested policy on the use of surveillance drones – or UAV's:

The IACP also issued a

drone policy in 2012

.

A couple of weeks ago the Illinois State Police announced that the FAA has authorized what it calls its 'Unmanned Aircraft System Program'.

It's a F***ING surveillance drone program, for god's sake! DHS/Police are trying to mask what it really is, by calling it an '

Unmanned Aircraft System Program'

.

The State Police are avoiding the word 'drone' because 'it carries the perception of pre-programmed or automatic flight patterns, and random, indiscriminate collection of images and information.'The announcement says the program 'is not being implemented for surveillance purposes.'

Does anyone really believe they'll be used sparingly? Wake up America, the American Police State is out of control!

Former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell: Drones Do Radicalize But “No Other Alternative”

Pentagon chief hints at shift in US policy in war with ISIS

Image

© M.Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

    
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter declared in a television interview broadcast Sunday that Iraqi forces were routed at Ramadi because they lacked the "will to fight," not because they were outgunned by the Sunni-based insurgent group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

In the harshest public criticism of the performance of Iraqi government troops since their collapse last summer in Mosul, Carter said, "What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered but in fact they vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight. They withdrew from the site."

Carter sought to deflect blame from the Obama administration for the debacle in Ramadi, which has led to mounting calls in Congress and much of the media for a more aggressive US intervention in Iraq and Syria, including the possible deployment of ground troops.

The Pentagon chief stuck to the position of the White House, that it was up to the Iraqis to do the fighting on the ground, not the United States: "They're the ones that have to beat ISIL and then keep them beaten. We can participate in the defeat of ISIL but we can't make Iraq run as a decent place for people to live. We can't sustain the victory. Only the Iraqis can do that, and in particular, in this case, the Sunni tribes to the west."

Carter then continued, in words that were widely commented on and replayed throughout the American media on Sunday: "If there comes a time when we need to change the kinds of support we're giving to the Iraqi forces, we'll make that recommendation."

This came in response to a question about expanding the role of US forces in Iraq to include forward air controllers and other ground personnel who would participate in combat more directly than the 3,000 troops already there, who are mainly in an advisory or training role.

Carter was hinting not only about the possibility of recommending ground troops - echoing comments made last fall by General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - but about a radical change in the way US military supplies are delivered to Iraqi fighters.

The Pentagon appropriations bill that just passed the House of Representatives calls for direct US military aid to both Kurdish peshmerga forces in northern Iraq and Sunni tribal militias in the west, without routing the aid through Baghdad. The bill bypasses a longtime legal ban on such aid to nongovernmental forces by designating both Kurdistan and the Sunni tribes as "nations" for the purpose of supplying military equipment, an action that sparked protests from the Shiite-dominated Iraqi central government.

Carter's reference to "the Sunni tribes to the west" was a clear signal to Baghdad that the Obama administration is preparing a shift in policy that could lead, relatively quickly, to the dismemberment of Iraq along sectarian lines.

In a joint appearance on interview program "State of the Union," which broadcast the brief comments by Carter, two US representatives, a Democrat and a Republican, gave their backing to the proposal to arm the Sunni tribes directly, without Baghdad's approval.

Republican representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois backed a call by Senator John McCain for 10,000 US troops in Iraq (which the former Republican presidential nominee repeated during appearances on several Sunday interview programs). This policy has also had the backing of numerous congressional Republicans and Republican presidential candidates, the editorial board, and U.S. Navy Adm. James Stavridis, who retired in 2013 as NATO's supreme allied commander.

Democratic representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, an Iraq War veteran, said, "the Iraqi government actually does have a choice. They have a choice by arming directly the Sunni tribesmen." She added that she had cosponsored the amendment to the military spending bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, to approve direct US military aid to the Kurds and Sunnis.

Gabbard suggested that the Shiite militias were just as dangerous opponents of the US government as ISIS, citing the remarks of Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr threatening to target US interests if the military aid bill for the Sunnis and Kurds was adopted.

This was essentially the same line espoused by the neoconservative war hawk John Bolton, UN ambassador in the Bush administration, in an appearance on . Bolton took it to the extreme, however, calling for the outright partitioning of both Iraq and Syria, with the US supporting Kurdish and Sunni states and cutting off all military aid to Baghdad.

"I think our objective should be a new Sunni state out of the western part of Iraq, the eastern part of Syria run by moderates or at least authoritarians who are not radical Islamists," he said. "What's left of the state of Iraq, as of right now, is simply a satellite of the Ayatollahs in Tehran. It's not anything we should try to aid."

While the representatives of American imperialism debated policy in the wake of the Ramadi defeat, ISIS continued to press its offensive operations in both Iraq and Syria. reported that ISIS fighters seized the al-Waleed crossing on the border between Syria and Anbar province in Iraq on Sunday, giving them control of both main east-west roads between Syria and Iraq.

There was heavy fighting throughout the area between Ramadi and Fallujah, both cities now held by ISIS, as the Islamists sought to consolidate the territory under their control and mop up the remaining pro-government forces in eastern Anbar province. Shiite militias entered this battle, their first since the Baghdad government ordered them into Anbar province. US warplanes made repeated airstrikes in the area and the outcome of this fighting remains uncertain.

To the north, fighting raged around the largest Iraqi oil refinery at Baiji, with one report - citing unidentified US officials - that a small number of Iranian troops have entered the battle, helping Shiite militias by operating artillery and other heavy weapons. The official US military statement described airstrikes around Baiji and made no mention of an Iranian role in the fighting.

There were dozens of other airstrikes throughout Anbar and Nineveh provinces, including the cities of Mosul and Tal Afar, as well as on the outskirts of Kirkuk, the center of oil production held by Kurdish forces.

In Syria, there were airstrikes near al-Hasakah, Dayr Az Zawr, Kobani and Tadmur. The last-named town is adjacent to Palmyra, the crossroads city and location of historic pre-Islamic ruins, which fell to ISIS fighters last week.

Kiss your pension fund goodbye

Image
    
I have warned for some time that government was eyeing up pensions. There is about $19.4 trillion dollars in private pension funds. How will they justify taking over these funds to the people? This is the question debated in secrecy behind the curtain. I have warned that if government seizes pension funds, it will come after 2015.75. The Supreme Court, without any justification constitutionally, just determined how that will be accomplished.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week in the unanimous 8-page decision, ,stating that employers have a duty to protect workers in their 401(k) plans from mutual funds that perform poorly or are too expensive. That is simply astonishing since there is no constitutional requirement for even government to provide social benefits. The Supreme Court held in the 1980 case , that there is no duty imposed upon the state to provide a public program, for that would convert the constitution from a restrain upon government to a obligation to provide for everyone.

If we take the fact that the constitution is NEGATIVE, and was a restrain upon government, then this latest ruling is completely unfounded. Monday's unanimous ruling sends a warning to employers that they now must improve their plans, as it is now an obligation to protect employees. This comes just in time for the next step is government to seize private funds and prosecute employers who poorly chose a fund manager. This fits perfectly, and is just in time for the Obama Administration's next assault as they prepare a landmark change of its own by issuing rules requiring financial advisers to put the interest of customers ahead of their own. This creates a very grey area wide enough to justify public seizure of pension funds under management.

This ruling will have a dramatic impact upon investment management. We have already received calls asking about using our model for management purposes, since it has one of the longest verifiable track records in the industry. What this ruling imposes is a tremendous duty upon the plan fiduciary who must now backup his decision with proof. This may also have the impact of foreclosing new fund managers from entering the business since they will lack the track record.

Yet this decision is even deeper. It sets the stage to JUSTIFY government seizure of private pension funds to protect pensioners. When the economy turns down and things get messy, they place measures to eliminate money in its physical dimension by closing all tax loopholes and shutting down the world economy with FATCA. They are preparing for the final straw of Economic Totalitarianism with the Supreme Court reversing its entire construction of the Constitution to impose a duty upon employers to ensure the 401(k) plans perform in a world where interest rates are going negative. You really cannot make up this level of insanity.

The message here is not that all 401(k) plans are bad or too expensive. In fact, costs have fallen 30% over the past decade as more plan sponsors turn to low-cost passive investing options. However, this can be highly dangerous, for to lower costs they turn to government debt where there is no need for fund management decisions. Yes, when I did hedge fund management, the cost was 5% annually plus 20% performance. That cost went to staff around the world that had to monitor positions of the world economy on a 24 hours basis. You also paid NOT to trade, for most losses took place when traders were bored and tried to make money when there was nothing to be done. Our track record was the very best in the industry with the lowest drawn down, perhaps in fund management. But that risk reduction cost money.

Today, costs vary widely. Plans with more than $100 million in assets usually have total annual costs below 1% whereas the biggest plans usually are below 0.50%. In small plans, the costs can be as high as 2% today. The focus is now on cost - not performance.

Financial service companies can charge a range of management, administrative, marketing, distribution and record-keeping fees for 401(k) plans. Plan sponsors can assume the costs, but employees are paying at least 85% of all fees typically. It is true that most workers do not know they pay the bulk of the share of costs. A 2011 AARP survey found that 71% of retirement savers do not think they pay any investment fees at all. It is true that the fees make a huge difference in returns over time. However, this drive to lower costs has also lowered the quality of funds management.

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that a 1% point difference on a current account balance of $25,000 will reduce total accumulations by 28% over 35 years, assuming average returns of 7% and no further contributions. The focus is all on these management fees without any consideration of the problem. Trying to manage money varies according to the size of the fund. Often the more you gather, the lower the performance, because the markets are not unlimited. You can pick up the phone and say, "Sell at the market!" when you have a $100 million fund, but you cannot do that with a $100 billion fund. So the management fee was also a means to reduce the number of clients; it was never a question of unlimited capacity to trade. The numbers on performance would decline with greater amounts of money under management for the manager lost flexibility.

The Supreme Court case clearly shows a lack of understanding of the industry, yet the battle centered on the 401(k) plans use of retail-class mutual funds when less-expensive institutional shares are available. The difference between those classes typically is 25 basis points. This will now put pressure on large plans to cut costs further, but it will not have much impact on smaller plans. This is because the big plans have the buying power to negotiate better deals, but at the same time they are an easy target for lawyers, making them much more attractive targets for litigation.

Cutting management fees to the bone may in fact set the stage for massive losses, for many of the older better traders are now just resigning. The quality of fund management is more likely than not going to decline noticeably.

Between the court ruling and the Obama Administration's push for stronger fiduciary rules sends a strong message that government can easily seize the pension fund management industry, of course to "protect the consumer".

Right-wing Bishop says women are sinning by doing yoga exercises

© Facebook

    
Seriously, what the hell is wrong with these anti-yoga right-wingers?

A conservative Catholic Bishop in Nebraska has issued a warning to women claiming that they are sinning if they practice yoga, and says they should find a different way to exercise.

Retired Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of the Lincoln Diocese sent a letter to Women of Grace Ministry calling yoga a dangerous practice and "a pagan religion based on heathen beliefs and false doctrine of revelation involving such things as transmigration of souls, and so forth."

That's right. This Catholic Bishop thinks over 20 million Americans are living in sin because they are practicing yoga, which exercises the body and mind through controlled breathing, stretching and meditation.

But because yoga originates from India and is associated with Hinduism, conservative "Christians" around the country have targeted yoga in vicious attacks that include proposals to ban women from wearing yoga pants.

"Certainly, if one wants to engage in physical exercises to strengthen one's body, such a practice would be morally neutral, and would not, in itself, involve anything detrimental to our Catholic faith," Bruskewitz continued.

"The practice of yoga...eventually morphs into an acceptance of points of view, and even doctrinal and moral matters that are distant from Catholic truth and from genuine and authentic Christian revelation.

In our time there are innumerable ways and methods by which appropriate and proper exercise of the human body can be undertaken that present no real danger to our faith or to our Catholic beliefs and commitments. It would be most desirable for persons who are Catholic to abstain from the practice of yoga and use other methods to exercise. We are never allowed to place our Catholic faith unnecessarily in any danger, and certainly the practice of yoga could be an occasion of serious sin."

If conservative Catholics are really worried about succumbing to "pagan" religions just because they adopt a practice originating from another religion, perhaps they should also stop using Christmas trees, mistletoe, or celebrating Christmas on December 25th, which were all adopted from "pagan" religions. It's really the only way to not be a hypocrite.

And conservatives wonder why more Americans than ever before are refusing to identify as Christians. It's because of embarrassments like Bruskewitz and other Christian leaders.

.

Russia digs 100 km ditch along border with south-eastern Ukraine

Image

© RIA Novosti/Valeriy Melnikov
Izvarino border crossing point in Lugansk Region, Ukraine.

    
Russia has erected 40km of fortified walls, and more than 100km of defensive trenches on its border with the rebel Ukrainian regions of Lugansk and Donetsk.

"The engineering fortification of the state border is aimed at ensuring stability in the Rostov region, and preventing the illegal circulation of firearms," Russia's border service said in a statement.

The government agency said that it intercepted over 60 illegal weapons shipments across the border since the beginning of the year. In doing so, it confiscated 40 firearms, 200 grenades, 100 shells and 40 landmines.

The border service said it had to arrest more than 400 people for either illegally crossing the border or approaching the secure zone next to it, and open fire on five occasions. Occasional media reports have surfaced in recent months about spillover from the restive region, locked in a stand-off with the central government in Kiev for the past year, including a report of a Donetsk man illegally trying to cross into Russia in a Soviet-era off-road vehicle.

Following the announcement, Kiev accused Russia of trying to seal in Russian fighters who have been drawn to the ranks of the rebel republics. Moscow strenuously denies that there are any Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine.

"If the mercenaries decide to try to get back into Russia from Ukraine on their armored vehicles, their entry will be blocked. This is a clear signal to the mercenaries in Donbass - they might have come here, but they are not going back. At least, they aren't going back out alive," said government spokesman Andrey Lysenko.

Ukraine itself is spending $200 million to build what has been termed the European Bulwark on a different segment of its 2,200-km border with Russia, further up north. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

The power of uncertainty


Image
    
I dislike uncertainty as much as the next person, perhaps even more. My reaction to it can cause deep anxiety that negatively impacts my health, wealth and overall enjoyment of life. Yet, despite uncertainty's bad rep, I have learned that: no matter what we tell ourselves or how we arrange our circumstances, we can never be free of it, and learning to embrace it can lead to incredible possibilities that I didn't even know was on my radar. As long as we are living, breathing beings we will always live with uncertainty. Knowing how to manage and respond to it can make all the difference between a rich, fulfilling life and one that is always fraught with the anxiety of what "bad" things could happen.

Ignorance is bliss... sort of.

Simply put, anxiety is fear of the future whether known (if that's actually possible) or worse, unknown. It's a cliché to say that we all live in uncertain times. When I hear someone say that my first reaction is to ask Which is ludicrous when you think about it. Given not that not to long ago (in the grand scheme of things) you were lucky to make it to your 40th birthday. However, the fact that we have unprecedented instant access to all the news, scientific studies and pundit theories as to all the ways we won't make it as a species, I can see how this generation may be feeling a tad bit more anxious. It's the hyper-awareness of all the things that may do us in (or at least, severely cramp our lifestyle) that seems to be causing massive pharmaceutical industry profits in chemically treating our collective malaise. So, it seems that anxiety due to uncertainty is more a function of how many things could go wrong rather than the going wrong itself. From this perspective ignorance is truly bliss, until you are taken out by something you ducked your head in the sand about.

Different circumstances, different kinds of uncertainty.

In my previous career I made a lot of money. And, I remember often thinking Did having a lot of money eliminate my uncertainty, hardly. Uncertainty is like a water bed, you push it down in one corner and it will pop up someplace else. There is simply no escaping it. The desire to escape it however can be overwhelming and in some cases cause us to do really stupid and sometimes incredibly damaging things. Dictators attempt to eliminate uncertainty by oppression and removal of all threats by any means they deem necessary. Wall Street attempts to eliminate uncertainty by rigging the game in their favor as evidenced by the recent scandal of major banks manipulating the currency markets. An even more interesting twist is how ideologies, whether political or religious, seek to eliminate uncertainty by showing zero tolerance for any individual or group that does not agree with their point of view.

A fear ignored is far worse than one faced head on.

Perhaps one of the more rational approaches to dealing with uncertainty is insurance. While it doesn't eliminate uncertainty, it can mitigate its impact. Yet all of this begs the question as to why is uncertainty so universally reviled by our species? I personally think it boils down to one simple thing: survival. When you don't know what's coming, or worse, you think you know what's coming but feel powerless to stop it, there is this deep sense of impending doom that can ruin your day. And, we are hard wired to avoid that at all costs.

How to re-wire our response to uncertainty.

Fortunately for all of us, we have a free will (at least I'm sort of certain about that). And that means we have the ability to consciously "re-wire" our response to uncertainty. The best way I've found to do this is to:

  1. Face the fear of uncertainty - uncertainty gets the best of us when we try to pretend it's not there. A fear ignored is far worse than one faced head on. Acknowledging it fully is the first step.
  2. Get skilled in being present - uncertainty is all about the future and therefore cannot touch you if you are fully in the present moment. While it is not practical to live in the moment all the time, knowing how to put yourself there quickly when the ugly head of anxiety shows itself will go a long way to help you conquer the hold uncertainty has over you. In this Age of Distraction, learning to be in the moment is one of the most important skills you can acquire.
  3. See uncertainty as the threshold to possibility - I can honestly say that the best things in my life came about as a result of embracing uncertainty and jumping head first into the abyss of the unknown. How different would your life be if you viewed uncertainty as a powerful force for incredibly good things in your life, and not just a sign of danger?
Uncertainty is always going to be with us, no matter what our circumstances. Fortunately we all have a choice on how to respond to it. Popping pills or using distractions to hide from it is one way. The other is fully embracing it and seeing what kind of adventure it will take you on. Not really much of a choice, is it?

Today marks the 15th anniversary of US Government planning for 9/11

© waterfordwhispersnews.com

    
A huge milestone in recent history was recognised today in Washington DC as former US president George W. Bush, along with former vice-president Dick Cheney and former secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld as they made the journey back to the Whitehouse for an official state dinner with President Barack Obama.

The 15th anniversary of the decision to plan 9/11 was marked in typical grandeur and style with Beyoncé flying at the request of President Obama to sing the national anthem.

The large banquet attended by key figures from the Pentagon and the CIA represented one of the few occasions the American political and security personnel elite honoured the key people involved in the planning of 9/11, which unofficially began in May 2000.

"I'll be accused of mawkishness but I will hand the stage over to the great orchestrators of such a huge piece of American history and simply applaud," Barack Obama said as he handed the stage to George W. Bush, who looked visibly moved after encountering rapturous applause from the private security industry.

President Bush thanked everyone in attendance and begrudgingly praised the hard work of conspiracy theorists who he said "had elevated their field above the silliness of the moon landing to something greater".

Bush then took the time to make a special mention of avid conspiracy video uploader, Youtube user IlluminaMe IlluminaYou69, who was tragically killed in an incident set up to look exactly like a believable accident. The moment of silence requested by Bush was peacefully observed.

A memorial was then unveiled on Capitol Hill, which sought honour all those involved in making the inside job possible.

Dick Cheney spent much of the night by his official 9/11 Was An Inside Job merchandise stand at the back of the room which sold a number of slogan T-shirts, tote bags and buttons.

'Measuring stick' for human gene sequencing unveiled

© Gerald Barber, Virginia Tech University
Is this a static TV screen? Nope! It's the end result of the DNA sequencing.

    
In an attempt to ensure that gene sequencing, medical diagnoses, and personalized therapies of the future are as accurate as possible, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the first human DNA "measuring stick" to serve as a point of reference.

According to Engadget, the sample genome was thoroughly tested, and will serve to let scientists know whether or not they are making basic mistakes and that their findings can be trusted. NIST hopes that the reference material will enhance the accuracy and reliability of genetic research.

Officially known as NIST RM 8398, the reference material can let a laboratory ensure that the equipment, chemistry, and data analysis involved in determining the patterns in a person's DNA are performing adequately, the Institute said. It also establishes technical benchmarks needed to enable the widespread clinical application of whole genome sequencing.

A prototype version of NIST RM 8398 is already in use. Created in November 2013, the reference genome has been used by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to certify and approve one of the first commercially available high-throughput DNA sequencers.

Reference material could eliminate biases and blind spots

The new reference material also marks a significant advancement in addressing the needs of the FDA when it comes to evaluating next-gen gene sequencing and genetic testing. Using NIST RM 8398 as a benchmark will also increase the confidence levels of scientists as they report true positive, false positive, true negative, and false negative results.

"DNA sequencers take long strings of a person's DNA and randomly chop them into small pieces that can be individually analyzed to determine their sequence of letters from the genetic code (A, C, G, and T representing the four key components of DNA that code for protein production in living organisms: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine)," NIST explained.

"The sequenced pieces can then be compared to a defined 'reference sequence' to identify differences in the two codes. The differences reveal where mutations have occurred in specific genes," they added. "However, biases and 'blind spots' for certain sequences contribute to uncertainties or errors in the sequence analysis. These biases can lead to hundreds of thousands of disagreements between different sequencing results for the same human genome."

The new reference material is said to be the first complete human genome to have been extensively sequenced and re-sequenced by multiple techniques, and to have the results carefully analyzed and weighted in order to eliminate as much variation and error as possible. It was also the topic of a paper published in the March 2014 edition of the journal .

The NSA's Technotyranny: One nation under surveillance

"The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control."—William Binney, NSA whistleblower

© truthalerts.com
William Binney

    
We now have a fourth branch of government.

As I document in my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this fourth branch came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum, and yet it possesses superpowers, above and beyond those of any other government agency save the military. It is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. It operates beyond the reach of the president, Congress and the courts, and it marches in lockstep with the corporate elite who really call the shots in Washington, DC.

You might know this branch of government as Surveillance, but I prefer "technotyranny," a term coined by investigative journalist James Bamford to refer to an age of technological tyranny made possible by government secrets, government lies, government spies and their corporate ties.

Beware of what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, and with whom you communicate, because it will all be recorded, stored and used against you eventually, at a time and place of the government's choosing. Privacy, as we have known it, is dead.

The police state is about to pass off the baton to the surveillance state.

Having already transformed local police into extensions of the military, the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the FBI are preparing to turn the nation's soldier cops into techno-warriors, complete with iris scanners, body scanners, thermal imaging Doppler radar devices, facial recognition programs, license plate readers, cell phone Stingray devices and so much more.

This is about to be the new face of policing in America.

The National Security Agency (NSA) has been a perfect red herring, distracting us from the government's broader, technology-driven campaign to render us helpless in the face of its prying eyes. In fact, long before the NSA became the agency we loved to hate, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Administration were carrying out their own secret mass surveillance on an unsuspecting populace.

Just about every branch of the government—from the Postal Service to the Treasury Department and every agency in between—now has its own surveillance sector, authorized to spy on the American people. Then there are the fusion and counterterrorism centers that gather all of the data from the smaller government spies—the police, public health officials, transportation, etc.—and make it accessible for all those in power. And of course that doesn't even begin to touch on the complicity of the corporate sector, which buys and sells us from cradle to grave, until we have no more data left to mine.

The raging debate over the fate of the NSA's blatantly unconstitutional, illegal and ongoing domestic surveillance programs is just so much noise, what Shakespeare referred to as "sound and fury, signifying nothing."

It means nothing: the legislation, the revelations, the task forces, and the filibusters.

The government is not giving up, nor is it giving in. It has stopped listening to us. It has long since ceased to take orders from "we the people."

If you haven't figured it out yet, none of it—the military drills, the surveillance, the militarized police, the strip searches, the random pat downs, the stop-and-frisks, even the police-worn body cameras—is about fighting terrorism. It's about controlling the populace.

Despite the fact that its data snooping has been shown to be ineffective at detecting, let alone stopping, any actual terror attacks, the NSA continues to operate largely in secret, carrying out warrantless mass surveillance on hundreds of millions of Americans' phone calls, emails, text messages and the like, beyond the scrutiny of most of Congress and the taxpayers who are forced to fund its multi-billion dollar secret black ops budget.

Legislation such as the USA Patriot Act serves only to legitimize the actions of a secret agency run by a shadow government. Even the proposed and ultimately defeated USA Freedom Act, which purported to restrict the reach of the NSA's phone surveillance program—at least on paper—by requiring the agency to secure a warrant before surveillance could be carried out on American citizens and prohibiting the agency from storing any data collected on Americans, amounted to little more than a paper tiger: threatening in appearance, but lacking any real bite.

The question of how to deal with the NSA—an agency that operates outside of the system of checks and balances established by the Constitution—is a divisive issue that polarizes even those who have opposed the NSA's warrantless surveillance from the get-go, forcing all of us—cynics, idealists, politicians and realists alike—to grapple with a deeply unsatisfactory and dubious political "solution" to a problem that operates beyond the reach of voters and politicians: how do you trust a government that lies, cheats, steals, sidesteps the law, and then absolves itself of wrongdoing to actually obey the law?

Since its official start in 1952, when President Harry S. Truman issued a secret executive order establishing the NSA as the hub of the government's foreign intelligence activities, the agency—nicknamed "No Such Agency"—has operated covertly, unaccountable to Congress all the while using taxpayer dollars to fund its secret operations. It was only when the agency ballooned to 90,000 employees in 1969, making it the largest intelligence agency in the world with a significant footprint outside Washington, DC, that it became more difficult to deny its existence.

In the aftermath of Watergate in 1975, the Senate held meetings under the Church Committee in order to determine exactly what sorts of illicit activities the American intelligence apparatus was engaged in under the direction of President Nixon, and how future violations of the law could be stopped. It was the first time the NSA was exposed to public scrutiny since its creation.

The investigation revealed a sophisticated operation whose surveillance programs paid little heed to such things as the Constitution. For instance, under Project SHAMROCK, the NSA spied on telegrams to and from the U.S., as well as the correspondence of American citizens. Moreover, as the Saturday Evening Post reports, "Under Project MINARET, the NSA monitored the communications of civil rights leaders and opponents of the Vietnam War, including targets such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohammed Ali, Jane Fonda, and two active U.S. Senators. The NSA had launched this program in 1967 to monitor suspected terrorists and drug traffickers, but successive presidents used it to track all manner of political dissidents."

Senator Frank Church (D-Ida.), who served as the chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence that investigated the NSA, understood only too well the dangers inherent in allowing the government to overstep its authority in the name of national security. Church recognized that such surveillance powers "at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide."

Noting that the NSA could enable a dictator "to impose total tyranny" upon an utterly defenseless American public, Church declared that he did not "want to see this country ever go across the bridge" of constitutional protection, congressional oversight and popular demand for privacy. He avowed that "we," implicating both Congress and its constituency in this duty, "must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."

The result was the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and the creation of the FISA Court, which was supposed to oversee and correct how intelligence information is collected and collated. The law requires that the NSA get clearance from the FISA Court, a secret surveillance court, before it can carry out surveillance on American citizens. Fast forward to the present day, and the so-called solution to the problem of government entities engaging in unjustified and illegal surveillance—the FISA Court—has unwittingly become the enabler of such activities, rubberstamping almost every warrant request submitted to it.

The 9/11 attacks served as a watershed moment in our nation's history, ushering in an era in which immoral and/or illegal government activities such as surveillance, torture, strip searches, SWAT team raids are sanctioned as part of the quest to keep us "safe."

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush secretly authorized the NSA to conduct warrantless surveillance on Americans' phone calls and emails. That wireless wiretap program was reportedly ended in 2007 after the New York Times reported on it, to mass indignation.

Nothing changed under Barack Obama. In fact, the violations worsened, with the NSA authorized to secretly collect internet and telephone data on millions of Americans, as well as on foreign governments.

It was only after whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations in 2013 that the American people fully understood the extent to which they had been betrayed once again.

What this brief history of the NSA makes clear is that you cannot reform the NSA.

As long as the government is allowed to make a mockery of the law—be it the Constitution, the FISA Act or any other law intended to limit its reach and curtail its activities—and is permitted to operate behind closed doors, relaying on secret courts, secret budgets and secret interpretations of the laws of the land, there will be no reform.

Presidents, politicians, and court rulings have come and gone over the course of the NSA's 60-year history, but none of them have done much to put an end to the NSA's "technotyranny."

The beast has outgrown its chains. It will not be restrained.

The growing tension seen and felt throughout the country is a tension between those who wield power on behalf of the government—the president, Congress, the courts, the military, the militarized police, the technocrats, the faceless unelected bureaucrats who blindly obey and carry out government directives, no matter how immoral or unjust, and the corporations—and those among the populace who are finally waking up to the mounting injustices, seething corruption and endless tyrannies that are transforming our country into a technocrized police state.

At every turn, we have been handicapped in our quest for transparency, accountability and a representative democracy by an establishment culture of secrecy: secret agencies, secret experiments, secret military bases, secret surveillance, secret budgets, and secret court rulings, all of which exist beyond our reach, operate outside our knowledge, and do not answer to "we the people."

What we have failed to truly comprehend is that the NSA is merely one small part of a shadowy permanent government comprised of unelected bureaucrats who march in lockstep with profit-driven corporations that actually runs Washington, DC, and works to keep us under surveillance and, thus, under control. For example, Google openly works with the NSA, Amazon has built a massive $600 million intelligence database for the CIA, and the telecommunications industry is making a fat profit by spying on us for the government.

In other words, Corporate America is making a hefty profit by aiding and abetting the government in its domestic surveillance efforts. Conveniently, as the Intercept recently revealed, many of the NSA's loudest defenders have financial ties to NSA contractors.

Thus, if this secret regime not only exists but thrives, it is because we have allowed it through our ignorance, apathy and naïve trust in politicians who take their orders from Corporate America rather than the Constitution.

If this shadow government persists, it is because we have yet to get outraged enough to push back against its power grabs and put an end to its high-handed tactics.

And if this unelected bureaucracy succeeds in trampling underfoot our last vestiges of privacy and freedom, it will be because we let ourselves be fooled into believing that politics matters, that voting makes a difference, that politicians actually represent the citizenry, that the courts care about justice, and that everything that is being done is in our best interests.

Indeed, as political scientist Michael J. Glennon warns, you can vote all you want, but the people you elect aren't actually the ones calling the shots. "The American people are deluded ... that the institutions that provide the public face actually set American national security policy," stated Glennon. "They believe that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change. But ... policy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions."

In other words, it doesn't matter who occupies the White House: the secret government with its secret agencies, secret budgets and secret programs won't change. It will simply continue to operate in secret until some whistleblower comes along to momentarily pull back the curtain and we dutifully—and fleetingly—play the part of the outraged public, demanding accountability and rattling our cages, all the while bringing about little real reform.

Thus, the lesson of the NSA and its vast network of domestic spy partners is simply this: once you allow the government to start breaking the law, no matter how seemingly justifiable the reason, you relinquish the contract between you and the government which establishes that the government works for and obeys you, the citizen—the employer—the master.

Once the government starts operating outside the law, answerable to no one but itself, there's no way to rein it back in, short of revolution. And by revolution, I mean doing away with the entire structure, because the corruption and lawlessness have become that pervasive.

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