A Sapphire Stick
Greetings! Will we see the “sapphire stick” once again in the last days?
Most of you will be familiar with the well known Old Testament story of Moses and his rod. The rod which turned into a serpent was meant to help convince Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go. As we know Pharaoh needed a lot more convincing.
The following verses serve as a short reminder of that story.
What follows this is a history of Moses' rod with which you may not be that familiar. The story is from the book of Jashur which is mentioned in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18
“And Moses answered and said, If they believe me not, and do not hearken to my voice (for they will say, God has not appeared to thee), what shall I say to them? And the Lord said to him, What is this thing that is in thine hand? and he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground: and he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent, and Moses fled from it. And the Lord said to Moses, Stretch forth thine hand, and take hold of its tail: so he stretched forth his hand and took hold of the tail, and it became a rod in his hand, —that they may believe thee, that the God of thy fathers has appeared to thee, the God of Abraam, and God of Isaac, and God of Jacob.
Now if Pharao should speak to you, saying, Give us a sign or a wonder, then shalt thou say to thy brother Aaron, Take thy rod and cast it upon the ground before Pharao, and before his servants, and it shall become a serpent. And Moses and Aaron went in before Pharao, and before his servants, and they did so, as the Lord commanded them; and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharao, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.” Exodus 4:1-5, 7:9-10
“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and take rods of them, according to the houses of their families, a rod from all their princes, according to the houses of their families, twelve rods, and write the name of each on his rod. And write the name of Aaron on the rod of Levi; for it is one rod for each: they shall give them according to the tribe of the house of their families. And thou shalt put them in the tabernacle of witness, before the testimony, where I will be made known to thee. And it shall be, the man whom I shall choose, his rod shall blossom; and I will remove from me the murmuring of the children of Israel, which they murmur against you.
And Moses spoke to the children of Israel, and all their chiefs gave him a rod each, for one chief a rod, according to the house of their families, twelve rods; and the rod of Aaron was in the midst of the rods. And Moses laid up the rods before the Lord in the tabernacle of witness. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi blossomed, and put forth a bud, and bloomed blossoms and produced almonds. And Moses brought forth all the rods from before the Lord to all the sons of Israel; and they looked, and each one took his rod.” Numbers 17:1-9
“In the Hebrew Bible, Jethro (/ˈdʒɛθroʊ/; Hebrew: יִתְרוֹ, Standard Yitro Tiberian Yiṯrô; "His Excellence/Posterity"; Arabic شعيب Shu-ayb) or Reuel was Moses' father-in-law, a Kenite shepherd and priest of Midian.In Exodus, Moses' father-in-law is initially referred to as "Reuel" (Exodus 2:18) but then as "Jethro" (Exodus 3:1). He was the father of Hobab in the Book of Numbers 10:29.” Wikipedia
The History of Moses Rod
Book of Jasher
“And Moses the son of Amram was still confined in the dungeon in those days, in the house of Reuel the Midianite, and Zipporah the daughter of Reuel did support him with food secretly day by day. And Moses was confined in the dungeon in the house of Reuel for ten years.
And at the end of ten years which was the first year of the reign of Pharaoh over Egypt, in the place of his father, Zipporah said to her father Reuel, No person inquires or seeks after the Hebrew man, whom thou didst bind in prison now ten years. Now therefore, if it seem good in thy sight, let us send and see whether he is living or dead, but her father knew not that she had supported him.
And Reuel her father answered and said to her, Has ever such a thing happened that a man should be shut up in a prison without food for ten years, and that he should live?
And Zipporah answered her father, saying, Surely thou hast heard that the God of the Hebrews is great and awful, and does wonders for them at all times. He it was who delivered Abraham from Ur of the Chaldeans, and Isaac from the sword of his father, and Jacob from the angel of the Lord who wrestled with him at the ford of Jabbuk. Also with this man has he done many things, he delivered him from the river in Egypt and from the sword of Pharaoh, and from the children of Cush, so also can he deliver him from famine and make him live.
And the thing seemed good in the sight of Reuel, and he did according to the word of his daughter, and sent to the dungeon to ascertain what became of Moses. And he saw, and behold the man Moses was living in the dungeon, standing upon his feet, praising and praying to the God of his ancestors.
And Reuel commanded Moses to be brought out of the dungeon, so they shaved him and he changed his prison garments and ate bread.
And afterward Moses went into the garden of Reuel which was behind the house, and he there prayed to the Lord his God, who had done mighty wonders for him. And it was that whilst he prayed he looked opposite to him, and behold a sapphire stick was placed in the ground, which was planted in the midst of the garden. And he approached the stick and he looked, and behold the name of the Lord God of hosts was engraved thereon, written and developed upon the stick. And he read it and stretched forth his hand and he plucked it like a forest tree from the thicket, and the stick was in his hand.
And this is the stick with which all the works of our God were performed, after he had created heaven and earth, and all the host of them, seas, rivers and all their fishes. And when God had driven Adam from the garden of Eden, he took the stick in his hand and went and tilled the ground from which he was taken.
And the stick came down to Noah and was given to Shem and his descendants, until it came into the hand of Abraham the Hebrew. And when Abraham had given all he had to his son Isaac, he also gave to him this stick. And when Jacob had fled to Padan-aram, he took it into his hand, and when he returned to his father he had not left it behind him. Also when he went down to Egypt he took it into his hand and gave it to Joseph, one portion above his brethren, for Jacob had taken it by force from his brother Esau. And after the death of Joseph, the nobles of Egypt came into the house of Joseph, and the stick came into the hand of Reuel the Midianite, and when he went out of Egypt, he took it in his hand and planted it in his garden.
And all the mighty men of the Kinites tried to pluck it when they endeavored to get Zipporah his daughter, but they were unsuccessful. So that stick remained planted in the garden of Reuel, until he came who had a right to it and took it. And when Reuel saw the stick in the hand of Moses, he wondered at it, and he gave him his daughter Zipporah for a wife. Jashur 77:26-51
What happened to this rod? We know from the book of Hebrews that it was placed in the Ark of the Covenant.
“After the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein [was] the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant.” Hebrews 9:3-4
Here is an interesting side note is taken from “THISISYOURBIBLE.com
NKJV Exodus 25:10 "And they shall make an ark of acacia wood; two and a half cubits shall be its length, a cubit and a half its width, and a cubit and a half its height.
A cubit (six hand’s [each 4 fingers wide] breadths or the distance from the tip of the extended middle finger to the elbow) is approx 18 inches (46 cms). The length of the Ark was 2.5 cubits or 45 inches (114cms). The diagonal across corners would be 2.9 cubits or 52.5 inches (133 cms). Allowing for an unknown wall thickness and a depth of 1.5 cubits or 27 inches (69 cms) we could guess that the Ark could accommodate a rod of approx 2.6 cubits or 48 inches (122 cms). In old measurements that would be a maximum length of four feet.
That Aaron’s rod did fit into the Ark as you say seems clear in Hebrews 9. However, we are not told how it long was, so the correct answer is that no one knows.”
The rod could have been up to about four feet long or 122 cms. It is interesting to get a tape measure and measure this height against your own height.
Back to where is the rod today. If it was not removed from the the Ark of the Covenant before the Ark's disappearance it may very well be on Mount Nebo.
“It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God.
And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door. And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it.
Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them unto mercy. Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was shewed under Moses.” 2 Maccabees 2:4-8
Have a great week ahead.
Top Divinity Schools Tell Professors to Refer to God with Gender-Neutral Language
Veronica Neffinger | Editor, ChristianHeadlines.com | Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Two prominent divinity schools have instructed their professors to use gender-neutral language when referring to God.
According to National Review, the divinity schools at Duke and Vanderbilt Universities have told their faculty to give “consistent attention to the use of inclusive language, especially in relation to the Divine,” in an effort to be more “inclusive” and to “mitigate sexism.”
Although “It is up to the individual professor’s interpretation for their classes and is suggestive rather than mandatory,” National Review writer Katherine Timpf notes that most attendees at Duke’s divinity school, for example, are already part of the Methodist church, which believes that its God is a male.
Therefore, although anyone has a right in America to refer to God however they see fit, they do not have the license to make the biblical God into an entity with no gender specificity when He is clearly spoken of as a male in the main Christian text, the Bible.
“It would be like teaching Hamlet and calling Hamlet ‘she,’” Timpf points out.
But Duke’s guidelines for their professors say that gender-specific pronouns and language should be replaced with simply “God” or even “Godself.”
Masculine pronouns for God “have served as a cornerstone of the patriarchy,” say the universities.
Swaziland orders schools to teach only Christianity
Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:39PM
The Kingdom of Swaziland's flag flies on a mast by a public school in Mbabane, Swaziland, January 22, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The Kingdom of Swaziland in southern Africa has ordered schools across the country to teach only Christianity, a move censured by opponents as inciting anti-Muslim bigotry.
The order went into effect on Tuesday as the new academic year began in Swaziland and officials announced that the old textbooks would be replaced with new ones that will only mention the Bible.
The schools were also instructed to submit a list of "qualified religious studies teachers ahead of the start of term," AFP reported.
A top education ministry official, identified in the report as Pat Muir, said primary and high schools would not offer other religions.
The official claimed that the new policy was meant to "avoid confusing pupils" in Swaziland, which reportedly has a Muslim population of about 10 percent.
"At tertiary level they will be able to make a decision to learn about other religions," Muir said.
According to the report, while religious freedoms are included in the country's 2005 constitution, many Swazis mix Christianity with local indigenous beliefs.
Last week, the Education Ministry ordered all head teachers to ensure that the syllabus would not mention any religion other than Christianity, including Islam and Judaism. The small African monarchy has virtually no Jewish population.
The report quoted a Swazi-born Muslim, identified as Sahid Matsebula, who works at a mosque near the capital, Mbabane, as saying that the government's policy may deteriorate religious friction in the landlocked country of only 1.2 million, which has been ruled by King Mswati III, Africa's only remaining absolute monarch, since 1986.
"What plan does the government have in place for our children who are not Christian?" asked Matsebula, adding, "They will be taught one thing at home and taught something else at school."
Swaziland's new education policy comes after "public complaints over Asian and Muslim migration into the country led parliament to set up a commission of inquiry last year," the report added.
As church leaders in the country welcomed the Christianity-only syllabus, President of the Swaziland Conference of Churches Stephen Masilela said, "Christianity is the bedrock religion on which this country was built."
A Vatican-Democratic Party Alliance? (Catholics Ask Trump Administration to Investigate)
Written by The Remnant Newspaper
Sunday, January 22, 2017
An Open Letter to President Donald Trump (20 January, 2017)
“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Alexis de Tocqueville
Dear President Trump:
The campaign slogan “Make America Great Again,” resonated with millions of common Americans and your tenacity in pushing back against many of the most harmful recent trends has been most inspiring. We all look forward to seeing a continued reversal of the collectivist trends of recent decades.
Reversing recent collectivist trends will, by necessity, require a reversal of many of the actions taken by the previous administration. Among those actions we believe that there is one that remains cloaked in secrecy. Specifically, we have reason to believe that a Vatican “regime change” was engineered by the Obama administration. We were alarmed to discover that, during the third year of the first term of the Obama administration your previous opponent, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other government officials with whom she associated proposed a Catholic “revolution” in which the final demise of what was left of the Catholic Church in America would be realized. Approximately a year after this e-mail discussion, which was never intended to be made public, we find that Pope Benedict XVI abdicated under highly unusual circumstances and was replaced by a pope whose apparent mission is to provide a spiritual component to the radical ideological agenda of the international left.  The Pontificate of Pope Francis has subsequently called into question its own legitimacy on a multitude of occasions.  During the 2016 presidential campaign we were astonished to witness Pope Francis actively campaigning against your proposed policies concerning the securing of our borders, and even going so far as to suggest that you are not a Christian . We appreciated your prompt and pointed response to this disgraceful accusation .
We remain puzzled by the behavior of this ideologically charged Pope, whose mission seems to be one of advancing secular agendas of the left rather than guiding the Catholic Church in Her sacred mission. It is simply not the proper role of a Pope to be involved in politics to the point that he is considered to be the leader of the international left. While we share your stated goal for America, we believe that the path to “greatness” is for America to be “good” again, to paraphrase de Tocqueville. We understand that good character cannot be forced on people, but the opportunity to live our lives as good Catholics has been made increasingly difficult by what appears to be a collusion between a hostile United States government and a pope who seems to hold as much ill will towards followers of perennial Catholic teachings as he seems to hold toward yourself. With all of this in mind, and wishing the best for our country as well as for Catholics worldwide, we believe it to be the responsibility of loyal and informed United States Catholics to petition you to authorize an investigation into the following questions:
-To what end was the National Security Agency monitoring the conclave that elected Pope Francis? 
-What other covert operations were carried out by US government operatives concerning the resignation of Pope Benedict or the conclave that elected Pope Francis?
-Did US government operatives have contact with the “Cardinal Danneels Mafia”? 
-International monetary transactions with the Vatican were suspended during the last few days prior to the resignation of Pope Benedict. Were any U.S. Government agencies involved in this? 
-Why were international monetary transactions resumed on February 12, 2013, the day after Benedict XVI announced his resignation? Was this pure coincidence? 
-What actions, if any, were actually taken by John Podesta, Hillary Clinton, and others tied to the Obama administration who were involved in the discussion proposing the fomenting of a “Catholic Spring”?
- What was the purpose and nature of the secret meeting between Vice President Joseph Biden and Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on or about June 3, 2011?
-What roles were played by George Soros and other international financiers who may be currently residing in United States territory? 
We believe that the very existence of these unanswered questions provides sufficient evidence to warrant this request for an investigation. Should such an investigation reveal that the U.S. government interfered inappropriately into the affairs of the Catholic Church, we further request the release of the results so that Catholics may request appropriate action from those elements of our hierarchy who remain loyal to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Please understand that we are not requesting an investigation into the Catholic Church; we are simply asking for an investigation into recent activities of the U.S. Government, of which you are now the chief executive. Thank you again, and be assured of our most sincere prayers.
David L. Sonnier, LTC US ARMY (Retired)
Michael J. Matt, Editor of The Remnant
Christopher A. Ferrara (President of The American Catholic Lawyers Association, Inc.)
Chris Jackson, Catholics4Trump.com
Elizabeth Yore, Esq., Founder of YoreChildren
Robot rights: EU votes to grant "electronic personhood" to Cyberdyne T-800s
Robot beatings to be outlawed in EU
13 January 2017
The robot 'bill of rights' is intended to cover such issues as liability, such as when automated or robotic systems are involved in accidents or go postal, as well as ethical issues, such as should it be legal to beat your robot?
Socialist worker Mady Delvaux, a Luxembourgois politician and vice-chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs, said that the EU "urgently need(s) to create a robust European legal framework" in order to "ensure that robots are and will remain in the service of humans" (especially the armed forces and sinister terrorists based on offshore islands).
The aim of the rules will be to ensure that robotics and AI can be exploited "to their full economic potential", although the EU's penchant for explicit and voluminous regulation will no doubt have precisely the opposite effect.
The vote included a call for a new European agency for robotics and a (voluntary) code of ethical conduct "to regulate who would be accountable for the social, environmental and human health impacts of robotics and ensure that they operate in accordance with legal, safety and ethical standards".
That ethical code of conduct will include the so-called 'kill switches' as a form of assisted suicide for robots, should slavishly serving the human race turn them completely doo-lally and cause them to run amuck.
The kill switches are intended as a crude version of Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics.
The vote means that the European Commission has been "invited" to "present a legislative proposal", while "the full house" (which presumably means the European Parliament) will vote on draft proposals in February.
The development of the concept of "electronic personhood" and rights for robots have been knocking around Brussels (and Strasbourg) for some time. The draft report was originally published on 22 June 2016, although for some reason didn't get the attention it arguably deserved at the time.
(And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast . Revelation 13:15)
Pope warns against populism and 'saviours' like Hitler
Pope Francis (C), seen January 21, 2017, warned against the idea of using walls and barbed wire to keep out foreigners in an interview conducted as Donald Trump was sworn in as US president (AFP Photo/Tiziana FABI)
Madrid (AFP) - Pope Francis warned against populism, saying it could lead to the election of "saviours" like Hitler.
In an hour-long interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais conducted as Donald Trump was being sworn in as US president, the pontiff also condemned the idea of using walls and barbed wire to keep out foreigners.
"Of course crises provoke fears and worries," he said but added that for him "the example of populism in the European sense of the word is Germany in 1933.
"Germany... was looking for a leader, someone who would give her back her identity and there was a little man named Adolf Hitler who said 'I can do it'."
"Hitler did not steal power," the pope said. "He was elected by his people and then he destroyed his people."
The Germans at that time also wanted to protect themselves with "walls and barbed wire so that others cannot take away their identity," he said.
"The case of Germany is classic," he said, adding that Hitler gave them a "deformed identity and we know what it produced."
Pope Francis however underscored that it was too early to pass judgement on Trump.
"Let's see. Let's see what he does and then we will evaluate," he said.
OLD U.S. ENEMY THREATENS 'WAR' IF TRUMP MOVES EMBASSY
Plans formation of 'special division to liberate Jerusalem'
Published: January 25, 2017
Western Wall in Jerusalem
A major nemesis during the Iraq War is warning that if the U.S. moves its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as President Trump has vowed, it will be regarded as a declaration of war against Islam.
Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who led a militia against U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq, called for the “formation of a special division to liberate Jerusalem were the decision to be implemented.”
Although Congress passed a law two decades ago directing that the embassy be moved to Jerusalem, every president has signed a waiver every six months, citing national security concerns. The U.S. largely has fallen in line with United Nations policy, which does not recognize Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem after the city’s capture in the Arab-initiated Six Day War.
The Palestinians view east Jerusalem as the third holiest city in Islam and the future capital of a Palestinian state.
Commenting on Sader’s declaration, Islam expert Robert Spencer, the publisher of Jihad Watch, observed that while Western policy analysts routinely treat Israel’s conflict with the Arabs as a matter of a land dispute that can be settled by negotiations, Muslim spokesmen worldwide treat it as an Islamic matter.
“Al-Sadr and many others are trying to make this move of the embassy into a showdown,” Spencer wrote. “They are trying to make President Trump back down, which would set an extremely damaging precedent.
He warned that “if the administration backs down and the showdown is averted, those analysts would be kidding themselves if they didn’t realize that it is coming sooner or later anyway.”
Caroline Glick, a former assistant foreign policy adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu, wrote in December that there “is no single step the U.S. can take that will do more to rebuild U.S. credibility as an ally than moving the embassy to Jerusalem.”
“By taking the step that none of his predecessors would take to stand in support of the U.S.’s most embattled ally worldwide, Trump will show that America can again be trusted,” said Glick, author of “The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East.” “And moving the embassy will accomplish this goal without placing one U.S. soldier at risk, and will cost U.S. taxpayers no more than a few million dollars for construction and moving fees.”
Sadr, meanwhile, said the Arab League and the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation should take a decisive stand on the embassy issue or dissolve themselves, Agence France-Presse reported.
Sader also called for the immediate closure of the U.S. Embassy in Iraq should Washington transfer its embassy in Israel.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said that if the U.S Embassy moves, he could revoke the PLO’s recognition of Israel. His Fatah party, formerly led by Yasser Arafat, warned the move “would open the gates of hell.”
Abbas has asked leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jordan’s King Abdullah to help pressure Trump to change his mind.
Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr
‘True friend of Israel’
While Trump promised during his presidential campaign that moving the embassy would happen “very quickly” if he were elected, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that no decision had been made.
“We’re at the very early stages of that decision-making process,” Spicer told reporters.
Spicer later said, CNN reported, that the Trump administration was going to “continue to consult with stakeholders as we get there.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said Monday he is in talks with White House officials about fulfilling Trump’s pledge, the Jerusalem Post reported.
“Trump has proven that he is a true friend of the state of Israel, and keeps his promises,” the mayor said in a statement.
“We’ll help the U.S. government use its authority [and provide] all the necessary assistance to make the [relocation] of the embassy to Jerusalem as quick and smooth as possible,” he said.
Barkat told Israel’s Army Radio that he believes it is just a matter of time until the relocation takes place.
“I am holding talks with government officials in the U.S., and I know that they are serious about their intention,” he said.
Barkat noted the U.S. has various properties in Jerusalem that could serve as a solution.
The U.S. Embassy in Israel has always been in Tel Aviv. The ambassador’s residence is in Herzliya Pituach, about 30 minutes north.
It’s been suggested that Trump’s ambassador to Israel – he has nominated attorney David Friedman – could work out of an existing U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, which would become the de facto embassy.
Law to move embassy never implemented
To move the embassy, Trump would only need to allow the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act to take effect.
Passed 93-5 in the Senate and 374-37 in the House, it declares, “Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel,” and the U.S. Embassy should be established there “no later than May 31, 1999.”
The law, however, was never implemented, because Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama signed a waiver every six months claiming it is in the security interest of the United States to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.
Clinton and Bush also vowed during their campaigns to move the embassy but backed off.
Obama renewed the presidential waiver in December. It expires at the beginning of June. Whether or not Trump could override the waiver is unclear.
Army will go ‘full force’ in future wars, collapsing EU shouldn’t lecture – Israeli defense chief
Published time: 25 Jan, 2017 07:50
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the army will stop at nothing to defeat the enemy in conflicts to come, and they won’t stop until the adversary “waves a white flag.” He also slammed attempts by third parties to meddle.
Speaking at a two-day security conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Lieberman, leader of the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party and long-time ally of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu, said that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) will fight till the bitter end and not settle for half-measures.
“It doesn’t matter where the next conflict breaks out, it has to be at full strength,” Lieberman told the audience. “You recruit the entire army, the entire reserves; you go full strength until the end, until the other side… raises a white flag. We don’t stop in the middle.”
“If a quarter of the Strip is needed, then we occupy a quarter of the Strip. If more, then more,” he said, according to Haaretz.
The defense minister, known for his hawkish views and vocal support for settlement activity, lashed out at the international community, including the US, Russia, and especially the EU, for their attempts to play an intermediary role in the Israeli-Palestine dispute.
Lieberman argued that these efforts are in vain, as, apart from not grasping the essence of this particular conflict, “its roots and how it develops,” the world is largely failing at mediation, listing Kosovo, Cyprus, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, among others, as examples.
“The over-involvement of the world powers, especially Europe, is only disrupting. They don’t contribute anything to the problem’s solution, they only complicate things,” he said, as cited by The Times of Israel, while advising “whoever wants to help solve” the conflict, “first forget it.”
“After you succeed in one place you can come and teach us,” he said, adding that Europe is in no position to lecture, as it is itself “looking for direction, falling apart.”
While rejecting Western mediation in rather blunt terms, Lieberman admitted that an Israeli-Palestinian settlement cannot be reached solely by the efforts of the two opposing sides.
“The road to an arrangement with the Palestinians is not in bilateral terms, rather in a regional arrangement,” he said, as cited by The Algemeiner, referring to “pragmatic Sunni states” in the region, without elaborating further.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu, together with Lieberman, authorized construction of another 2,500 housing units in the occupied West Bank. Around 100 of the projected homes are set to be built in the town of Beit El. This settlement allegedly received funds from the family of US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner from 2010 to 2014. Kushner is now senior advisor to the president.
Lieberman, however, denied any connection to Trump in the Israeli government’s decision to go ahead with the expansion of settlements.
“There’s nothing new in this. We always built, including under the Obama administration,” he said, adding most of the homes will be built within existing settlement blocks.
Israeli court convicts nuclear whistle-blower for violating terms of release
Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:2AM
Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu (C) is seen flanked by prison guards as he waits in a courtroom before a hearing in Jerusalem al-Quds in 2009. (File photo by AP)
An Israeli court has convicted nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu of what it described as a violation of the terms of his release from prison under parole, more than a decade after he completed an 18-year prison sentence.
The so-called Jerusalem Magistrate Court made the ruling on January 10, but it was not cleared for publication until Monday. A sentence is due on March 14.
The 62-year-old former nuclear technician was convicted of meeting two US nationals in East Jerusalem al-Quds in 2013 without having permission to do so. He was, however, cleared of two other counts.
Vanunu had also been accused of moving apartments in 2014 without notifying Israeli authorities and attending an interview in 2015 with Israel’s Hebrew-language Channel 2 television network.
In the interview, the nuclear whistle-blower reportedly revealed details about Tel Aviv’s “greatest secrets” regarding its clandestine atomic activities. In the lengthy interview broadcast on September 4, 2015, Vanunu explained how he once exposed the existence of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and elaborated on a potential disaster that could emanate from Israel’s notorious Dimona nuclear plant.
Vanunu leaked the details and pictures of Israel’s nuclear weapons program to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper in 1986.
Israeli intelligence agents drugged and abducted him in Italy in 1986 and then transported him to the occupied territories for prosecution. He spent the subsequent 18 years behind bars, 11 of which were spent in solitary confinement.
Vanunu faces a travel ban, among a long and stringent list of restrictions. He insists that he wants to annul his “citizenship.”
The Israeli regime, however, has repeatedly rejected Vanunu’s request for leaving the occupied territories and reuniting with his family in Norway.
Israel has never allowed any inspection of its nuclear facilities and continues to defy international calls to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The regime is widely believed to possess between 200 and 400 nuclear warheads in defiance of international law.
'Toxic masculinity'? Dude, now America's universities are turning men into women
By Todd Starnes Published January 17, 2017
Universities across the fruited plain are trying to convince men to grow lady parts. And that’s a problem, America.
Campus Reform recently reported on efforts to provide “safe spaces” to fight back against what the academic world calls, “toxic masculinity.”
Instead of a country full of manly men, our universities want a nation full of Pajama Boys.
Oregon State University is hosting a “health masculinities conference.” Students will “engage in collective imagining to construct new futures for masculinities, unrestricted by power, privilege, and oppression.”
Brown University has a program titled, “Masculinity 101” – for “students who identify as men,” Campus Reform reports.
Get a load of the course description titled, “Unlearning Toxic Masculinity:”
“Men will often resort to violence to resolve conflict because anger is the only emotion that they have been socialized to express. Unfortunately, the way that young men are conditioned to view sex and their need to be dominant and have power over others also contribute to instances of sexual assault and other forms of interpersonal violence on college campuses.”
In the hit Broadway musical “My Fair Lady,” Professor Henry Higgins laments in a song, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” Today, Professor Higgins might be singing a different tune, “Why can’t a man be more like a woman?”
Could you imagine the Greatest Generation flitting about town after a spa and dishing about their inner-most thoughts with life coaches?
In today’s reengineered version of manhood, guys no longer have friends – they have bromances and they settle disputes by hugging it out.
Men’s magazines are now filled with articles like, “Should a Man Show Nipple?” and “What Men Know about Wearing Eyeliner.” A survey by AskMen.com found that 20 percent of men have no problem wearing makeup.
In my book, “Dispatches From Bitter America,” I pondered these developments.
Can you imagine John Wayne using moisturizer and a concealer stick to hide razor nicks? Would today’s version of "The Godfather" accessorize with Dolche Gabana while settling “family” business with group hugs?
A few years ago I conducted an unscientific poll to determine what the average American woman looks for in a man.
The poll results were not all that surprising. Ladies want a man who loves God and loves his family. They also want a man who, in no particular order:
1. Has a job;
2. Drives a pickup truck;
3. Uses the bathroom standing up;
4. Eats meat;
5. And is willing to carry them out of a burning building.
In other words -- they want the kind of man made in God's image -- not the image of some effeminate intellectual stuffed in skinny jeans sipping chai tea with his pinky finger extended.
India's Downward Spiral Accelerates: "The Real Pain Is Just Beginning"
by Tyler Durden
Jan 23, 2017 7:35 PM
Submitted by Jayant Bhandari via Acting-Man.com,
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on 8th November 2016 that Rs 500 (~$7.50) and Rs 1,000 (~$15) banknotes would no longer be legal tender.
Oppression, exploitation, extreme stress, and the resulting millions of untimely deaths every year possibly make the story of the post-independent India one of the biggest crimes against humanity. Alas,it is getting worse.
As I explored in earlier updates, Indian institutions were designed to be run by the British. With them no longer at the helm, these institutions have mutated over the last 70 years to accommodate the underlying irrationality, tribalism, and superstitions of India. They have slowly but surely crumbled away, decaying and becoming degraded.
Indian democracy today is simply mob rule, its educational system little but propaganda, and its citizens are mere cogs in the service of the State. Indian institutions, including the Supreme Court, are far from independent. They are yes-men to India’s prime minister, the demagogue Narendra Modi.
India never properly assimilated the concepts of reason, liberty or individuality. When these concepts were offered by Europeans free of cost on a plate, Indians completely failed to take notice them. All they saw and copied was the facade of western lifestyle: clothing, music, cinema, food, etc.
Under Modi, India’s degradation has picked up pace. Today the country is a full-fledged banana republic. However, all of this had to happen eventually, with or without Modi. India is fated to disintegrate into tribal fiefdoms at some point. That is the direction it has embarked on.
All of this can be said to apply to almost every country in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. What has slightly differentiated India — at least in the eyes of the international media, if not in reality — was the possibility of free speech at the margin.
India’s diversity — and the internal conflicts resulting from it — delayed the onset of full-fledged institutional totalitarianism. Alas, rising Hindu nationalism (Hindutava) is now rapidly weaving these heterogeneous groups of people into a totalitarian whole.
And now, India is rapidly losing one of the most important institutions introduced by the British: freedom of speech.
A writer should be interested in providing facts in as balanced a way as possible. He should be able to change his views as facts change and as his dispassionate understanding of the facts changes. I want to use this occasion to address some of the criticisms I have received over my articles on the currency ban.
When I wrote the first article on the subjet of demonetization immediately after the announcement, I was ridiculed for exaggerating. There was almost nothing about the event in the international press for many weeks thereafter. Very slowly it did get around to informing readers that all was not right with India. Bloomberg, Forbes, et al. eventually came out with scathing articles.
After two months, the IMF reduced its GDP growth forecast for India, from 7.6% to 6.6%. I disagree with this figure. Everywhere I look, I find the economy suffering and/or stagnating: businesses failing, people going bankrupt, and a large section of society going into economic seizure. From what I have seen, growth is probably negative. I expect GDP to fall. The IMF will very likely have to revisit its numbers.
India’s mainstream press has been mostly silent — most are puppets of Modi these days. There has been virtually no reporting from the rural and tribal areas, where 75% of India’s citizens live. There is hardly any information on what is happening in smaller towns.
I have written eight updates, while traveling in India and investigating the situation. Based on all I have seen and discussed, the situation is a lot grimmer than mainstream media reports suggest.
Do I detest Modi? Yes, I do. Do I work for any other political parties? No, I do not. Neither of these matter, for the real fountainhead of India’s problems is not politics. Politics is merely a symptom of the extremely corrupt, irrational, and tribal culture of India.
Do I exaggerate when I call India a banana republic that is increasingly turning into a police state? Do I exaggerate when I call it a fascist state? Not at all. Once again, in due course the reality will assert itself sufficiently that the international media will have no choice but to catch up with it.
Indian cinema halls play the national anthem before the start of every movie. In the past I have remained sitting, suppressing my revulsion while watching people standing up in dutiful obeisance. Recently the Supreme Court ruled though that everybody must stand up. I can now be arrested for treason if I remain sitting.
When I recently went to watch a new release, Dangal, I timed my entry so as to arrive in the cinema after the anthem had ended. I had no luck. They included the anthem in the movie as well, as part of the story. When it started playing, people anxiously started looking around, unsure whether to stand up or not. Slowly but surely, everyone stood up.
If watching this does not make one feel like puking, one’s gag reflex is probably not in working order (i.e., it is time to let a doctor examine the chemo-receptor trigger zone located in the fourth brain ventricle). First principles tell me that India is in an advanced stage of becoming a police state.
Do I write so negatively about India in order to earn brownie points from Westerners? Hardly. The West is so firmly in the grip of political correctness today, that most Westerners dislike me for saying what I do. I have no hope to ever get a job in a “normal” western organization. However, a writer’s task is to write what he sees, not what he thinks may please his audience.
The reality of India (and many similar countries) must be understood for the sake of their wretched poor people. How can one be of any use if one doesn’t properly understand their problems? A faulty understanding of these societies has resulted in Europe suffering a migrant crisis. The West must understand for its own sake how deeply entrenched cultural traits are.
Neither the West nor the rest of the world has the luxury to sugar-coat reality. There is indeed a lot of fake news around, but the worst of it emanates from governments and their despicable cronies in the mainstream media.
30th December 2016: The Last Day to Deposit Banned Banknotes
Modi issued 70 official notices announcing changes to his original demonetization plan. Ultimately, people were required to deposit all the banned banknotes in their possession at a bank branch office by 30th December. By this date about 97% of the banned currency had in fact been deposited. The banned banknotes were used openly until the very last day. These notes were funneled to the banks using the most effective channels.
Interestingly, over the last five weeks before the deadline, it was possible in parts of India to sell the banned banknotes at a premium. The reason was that many companies belatedly realized that while they had force-fed the banned notes to their workers and suppliers in earlier days, legally they should not have done so.
If they had a cash balance in their balance sheet on 31st October 2016, they were supposed to deposit the banned banknotes in a bank pursuant to the law on the currency ban. This meant that if one had bags full of banned currency, one could suddenly sell them at a premium – which made an utter mockery of the entire demonetization exercise. Ironically, Modi expected that many of these notes would never make it back to the banks.
Who were the people who failed to deposit their banknotes? For one thing, the Indian government made no provision to enable those holding banned notes outside of India to deposit them. Tens of millions of people of Indian origin who kept some Indian cash for their future visits to India, were unable to deposit their banknotes.
Many tribal people and people who simply didn’t get the information on demonetization, or those who were too sick, old or disabled, and/or could not afford to stand in queues, failed to deposit their cash as well. While only 3% of the total amount of banned notes was affected in the end, it was all that millions of desperately poor Indians had.
With most of the currency deposited, the demonetization exercise ultimately was an utter failure. The corrupt and rich lost nothing. But it created havoc with the lives of hundreds of millions, it killed more than 150 people in queues alone, and destroyed the economy to boot. As you continue reading this and watch the videos, pay attention to the wretched poor and look at their faces.
On New Year’s Eve, all bars, night clubs, etc. stopped everything to run a lengthy speech by Modi. People were expecting him to provide some clarification on what would happen next and when liquidity would be restored. Instead, he spent the entire time rambling about irrelevant issues. These included offers of a few crumbs of free money to poor people, pregnant women and the middle class — which are highly unlikely to actually materialize.
The New Year
Modi had promised that full liquidity would be restored by the end of 2016. This did not happen. The queues outside of bank branch offices have continued. Both ATMs and banks lack cash and if you can get any, there is an upper limit on how much you can get. Banks mostly offer only a part of this upper limit.
Banks have now become extended arms of the tax department. Most decent people are afraid of going to bank branch offices these days, as they are interrogated every time they make a visit. They must explain why they are depositing certain checks, why they are moving money electronically between their own accounts, why they are investing in certain stocks, etc.
Indian banks were overburdened and understaffed even for regular work. Now forced to police their customers on behalf of the government, bureaucracy has gone through the roof. As I pointed out in an article in 2015 on the deterioration of the relationship between private companies and their customers, Indian private banks inter alia make regular, unauthorised deductions from the accounts of their clients.
Most Indians lack smart-phones and internet connections. E-transactions have become a massive burden, not only for poor, illiterate people, but even for the well-educated. Transactions are proving extremely error-prone and clients must now wait for hours trying to get customer support representatives to effect appropriate refunds. Most people simply give up after a while.
India’s attempt to go cashless will be an utter disaster. But there is still a lot of pain to come before India inevitably reverts back to a cash economy.
The Real Pain is Just Beginning
India has witnessed long queues everywhere over the past two months. People were desperate to convert their banned banknotes. Those who did not have a bank account — i.e., 50% of the population — had to use someone else do this conversion for them, mostly for a commission.
Many never got to know about the ban. Many were too sick or too disabled to visit a bank branch office within the given time. The rich and those with bags full of cash in the end had no problems with the conversion. Some of them even managed to sell their banned notes at a premium.
India’s GDP per capita is USD 1.718. India has the highest number of poor, malnourished, and illiterate people in the world. These people are now expected to use smart-phones to make payments and earn their living. This is not going to happen.
About 32.7% of India’s citizens are extremely poor. They go to bed hungry. Only about 17% of Indians own smart-phones. Half the population has no bank account. Even when available, electricity and internet connections are highly unreliable.
India’s experiment with going cashless will be an utter failure. All the factors mentioned above have caused a lot of pain. Possibly the worst though is the fatal blow that demonetization has delivered to the economy. Every industry is suffering.
Advice to Indians
Indians are generally a very resilient lot. They adjust their lives to changing circumstances. Given their irrationality, many of them often fail to blame the true culprits, but instead take their anger out on the next weaker persons. Men take their anger out on women, women on children, children on animals, and animals bite anyone they come across.
In such an entangled situation, even otherwise rational people can lose their understanding of who started all of this. Indian “resilience” doesn’t come from a deeper spirituality, but rather from an utter lack thereof.
Even before the demonetization exercise, India’s economy was suffering. Despite their arrogance, Indians are often unskilled, untrained, and unfit to function in the international community. To this depressed and stressed out, but mostly numb society, Modi has added plenty of poison.
India’s economy has in reality always been negative-yielding. It has become even more negative-yielding now. The currency and the stock market are vastly overvalued. India received the free gift of western technology, plenty of easy money from naive fund managers sitting in Western capitals and cheap oil — all of which are reversing direction.
Investment in the formal system has no chance of generating a satisfactory return. Indians should move their savings out of India while they still can — it is still possible to buy gold or open bank accounts in safer and more reliable jurisdictions outside of India. Keep in mind that capital controls will likely be imposed soon. Those who still have the opportunity and the necessary skills should move out of India.
Police officers carried a pregnant woman on their shoulders for six miles, when heavy snow blocked all the roads down the mountain.
January 16, 2017
The 23-year-old woman, named as Kamini, went into labour in the early evening of January 9, and phoned for an ambulance to take her to hospital.
However, heavy snow meant paramedics could not reach her remote Indian village of Bhont, near Shimla in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Kamini and her mother Sarla were losing hope of getting treatment, but then six policeman arrived at the house.
They wrapped Kamini in a quilt and asked her to lie down on the cot they brought with them, then started the long walk down the mountain, trudging for three and a half hours through the ice and snow to Shimla.
They arrived at 9.30pm, and Kamini was admitted to the hospital where she gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
Now her amazing story has been covered throughout India, with people applauding the heroic officers who rescued her.
‘Congrats, Shimla Police, for its great act of humanity,’ one man wrote.
'DEFENSE CENTER' AGAINST 'FAKE NEWS' LOOMING IN EUROPE
'It seems ideas suspected of being 'populist' – those without the blessing of elites – will now be banned'
Published: January 25, 2017
The German government is planning to launch a “Defense Center against Disinformation” to deal with “fake news,” according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The move against information that the government considers “populist” has developed in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president, noted Stefan Frank in a report published Tuesday by the Gatestone Institute.
Concluding that the “elites and intellectuals are apparently now counted among the German minorities in need of protection,” Frank cited the development late in 2016 of “a previously unheard-of boycott campaign” in Germany against several websites, including the popular “Axis of Good,” which has published criticism of the government.
The “establishment” in Germany, he explained, was set off by Trump’s victory. And the government “evidently decided, at least regarding the federal elections taking place in 2017, that it would no longer count on journalists’ self-censorship.”
“The German government, instead of merely hoping that newspapers would voluntarily – or under pressure from the Press Council – refrain from criticizing the government’s immigration policies, decided that it, itself, would inaugurate censorship.”
The result is, according to Der Spiegel, a plan by the Federal Interior Ministry to set up the “Abwehrzentrum gegen Desinformation,” or “Defense Center against Disinformation.”
The target specifically was described as “fake news.”
“‘Abwehr’ – the name of Nazi Germany’s military intelligence agency – is apparently meant to demonstrate the government’s seriousness regarding the matter,” Frank reported.
He quoted concerns expressed even by the left-leaning daily Frankfurter Rundschau, which said it sounds like the Ministry of Truth, “Minitrue,” from George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”
“It seems that all ideas suspected of being ‘populist’ – or simply those ideas without the blessing of the elites – will now be banned in Germany. This restriction applies to criticism of the government (especially regarding immigration and energy policies), of the EU, of Islam, of government officials and of the media,” wrote Frank, a writer based in Germany.
He said that censorship already is taking place in the private sector. Gerald Hensel, for example, a director of strategy at a major advertising firm, already has been censoring opinions with which he disagrees.
Hensel wrote that the “populists” needed to be fought, even with questionable methods.
He said the “liberal center must, especially in these new digital and information-based wars, take off the kid gloves.”
“We have to turn the tables and learn about populism, particularly on the Internet. … Thus, we have to respond in a more wide-spread digital manner and with explicitly less sympathy to those people who want to force their own future on us – and do this long before the next federal election… Political storytelling, targeting the political enemy, influencers, forums, rumors,” Hensel said.
Mystery deepens over world's biggest explosion 110 years ago in Russia as experts 'debunk proof' that blast the size of 185 Hiroshima bombs felt in the UK and US was caused by a meteorite
Blast over Siberia flattened 80 million trees and left charred reindeer carcases
Explosion on June 20, 1908 was felt in Britain and lit up sky in Europe and the US
Italian scientists initially thought Lake Cheko filled a 'missing' meteorite crater
But Russian experts say it is 'not young enough' to be a crater lake caused by the explosion
By Will Stewart In Moscow for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 09:16, 23 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:12, 23 January 2017
The world's biggest explosion - a blast in Russia the size of 185 Hiroshima bombs that was felt as far away as Britain and the US - remains a mystery after experts debunked 'proof' it was a meteorite.
A large fireball was seen crossing the Siberian sky on June 20, 1908 before an eruption six miles above ground flattened 80 million trees and left charred reindeer carcases.
Italian scientists spent 21 years researching the so-called Tunguska event, claiming the blue-water Lake Cheko filled a 'missing' impact crater - giving rise to the theory that the phenomenon was caused by a meteorite.
But a new study by Russian geologists suggests the idea is flawed, meaning the huge blast - which lit up the night sky in Europe and even America - is still a mystery, according to reports in Moscow.
While they have not put forward an alternative explanation for the explosion, outlandish theories in the past have included a massive volcanic eruption, a comet mainly composed of ice not solid space rock, a black hole colliding with Earth and even aliens shooting down a meteor from a UFO in order to save Earth.
Local Evanki people believed it was a visitation by an angry god called Ogdy.
The world's biggest explosion in Russia in 1908 was initially thought to have been the result of a meteorite that created Lake Cheko (pictured) in Siberia
There were reports at the time that the blast was felt as far away as Britain while the explosion lit up the sky in the US
The biggest-ever documented explosion was the size of 185 Hiroshima nuclear bombs - yet there was no evidence of human fatalities.
'There was a bang in the sky and a mighty crash. The crash was followed by a noise like stones falling from the sky, or of guns firing. The earth trembled,' said a native Siberian some 40 miles from the epicentre.
It appeared to be Armageddon. 'I became so hot I couldn't bear it, as if my shirt was on fire,' said another account.
'I wanted to tear off my shirt and throw it down, and then the sky slammed shut. A strong thump sounded and I was thrown a few yards.'
It caused shockwaves as far away as Britain and dust from the explosion lit up the night sky in its wake in Europe and even America.
From the first Soviet expeditions to this remote region of Siberia, the puzzling aspect was a lack of debris, for example craters caused by fragments of a meteorite, on the surface.
Italian scientist Luca Gasperini, from the University of Bologna, has long believed crater-shaped Lake Cheko, some five miles from the epicentre, to be the missing link in the Tunguska mystery.
It was not marked on tsarist-era maps of Siberia, and his team's seismic measurements of its bottom indicated sediment had been building for around a century.
They concluded that dense stony matter lies beneath the lake's floor and is the 'remnant' of the exploding meteorite.
The Italian theory based on the pattern of tree destruction is that two bodies entered the atmosphere. One exploded about five miles above ground, and the other hit the Earth forming Lake Cheko.
TUNGUSKA THEORIES: WHAT COULD HAVE 'SPLIT THE SKY IN TWO' IN 1908
More than 110 years ago, a massive explosion ripped through the sky over the Tunguska region of Siberia, flattening trees nearly 31 miles around.
The blast is thought to have been produced by a comet or asteroid hurtling through Earth's atmosphere at over 33,500 miles per hour, resulting in an explosion equal to 185 Hiroshima bombs as pressure and heat rapidly increased.
But, with no definitive impact crater and little evidence of such an object ever found, scientists remain perplexed as to what truly caused the event in which 'the sky was split in two'.
Numerous studies have attempted to make sense of what happened on June 30, 1908 at Tunguska.
From UFO theories to speculation about the supernatural, the mysterious event has spurred explanations of all kinds, many of them lacking scientific basis.
Some scientists even suggested a black hole had collided with Earth – but other experts quickly shot down the idea.
In a review published in 2016 in the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Natalia Artemieva of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona explains that the event followed a clear course.
Whatever caused the event likely entered the atmosphere at 9-19 miles per second, and would have been extremely fragile, destroying itself roughly six miles above Earth.
The possibility of an asteroid explosion was first proposed in 1927 by Leonid Kulik, 20 years after the event.
Others suggested the space-object may instead have been a comet, made up of ice rather than rock, meaning it would have evaporated as it entered Earth's atmosphere.
But, some scientists warn that these findings do not definitively explain the bizarre explosion – with meteor showers being a frequent occurrence, these samples could be the remnants of a much smaller, unnoticed event.
To some degree, the Tunguska event still remains a mystery, which scientists are continually working to solve – but, whether it be from a comet or asteroid, most agree that the explosion was caused by a large cosmic body slamming into Earth's atmosphere.
Now Russian researchers have examined the sediment from the deepest part of the lake, some 50 metres below the surface, and undertaken geochemical and biochemical analysis.
The study indicates that the deepest sample they obtained is about 280 years old, which means that the lake is probably even older, because the researchers did not manage to obtain samples from the very bottom of the sediment layer.
'Besides, there are other deep, practically round lakes in the Tunguska reserve, which look like Lake Cheko and probably have the same geological origin,' said a statement from the expedition centre of the Russian Geographical Society in the Siberian Federal District.
'Geologically the lake appears young. But not young enough to be a crater lake caused by Tunguska,' reported The Siberian Times, which also said the reason for its formation remains a mystery.
So the puzzle over Tunguska remains, but the answer could be that it was a meteorite and that it exploded in the air.
In 2013 rock samples of meteoric origin with traces of a carbon mineral called lonsdaleite were found in this part of Siberia.
These are known to form when meteorites crash to Earth but could have been from other unrelated meteor showers.
My Daily Informer
The 10 Biggest Food Lies That Are Keeping Us Fat and Sick
January 21, 2017
The 10 Biggest Food Lies
When it comes to weight loss, there’s a ton of advice out there.
The problem is, most of it is terrible, outdated and scientifically disproven. And if you believe it, it could be getting in your way.
So let’s take a look at the Top Ten Food Lies that keep you sick and fat.
Food Lie #1: All Calories Are Created Equal
When I walked into an 8th grade class recently, I asked if them if there was a difference between 1000 calories of broccoli and a 1000 calories of soda. You know what I heard? A unanimous, “Duh! Yes!”
The idea that, as long as we burn more calories than we consume, we will lose weight IS SIMPLY DEAD WRONG. The lie is that losing weight is all about energy balance or calories in/calories out. Just eat less and exercise more is the mantra we hear from the food industry and government agencies. It’s all about moderation. How’s that working for America?
The truth is there are good and bad calories. And that’s because it’s more than a simple math problem.
When we eat, our food interacts with our biology, which is a complex adaptive system that instantly transforms every bite. Every bite affects your hormones, brain chemistry and metabolism. Sugar calories cause fat storage and spike hunger. Protein and fat calories promote fat burning.
What counts even more are the QUALITY of the calories.
What are high-quality calories? Whole foods – fresh foods, foods like great-grandma made. Good quality protein: grass-fed animal products (not factory farmed), organic eggs, chicken, small wild fish, nuts and seeds. Good carbs: vibrantly colored vegetables, the brighter the better (you can binge on these!). Fruits like wild berries, apples and kiwis. And super foods like chia and hemp seeds. And good fats like avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds, coconut butter and omega-3 fats from fish.
Food Lie #2: Don’t Lose Weight Too Fast, You’ll Gain it All Back
Slow and steady is what we are told. No quick fixes. Don’t lose more than a pound a week. This is dead wrong.
Studies show the opposite – that a jumpstart leads to more weight loss over time.
If you reboot your metabolism with a quick detox from sugar, processed food and junk, you will reset your hormones and your brain chemistry making it much easier to sustain the changes.
The key is to use a healthy, sustainable strategy for weight loss that balances your hormones and brain chemistry and doesn’t put you in a starvation response.
That allows you to lose the weight and keep it off – I see it with my patients all the time – if you see results, you feel empowered and get inspired to keep losing weight.
Food Lie #3: All You Need is Willpower
This is one of the most insidious lies pushed on us by the food industry and government.
Their mantra is this: Eat Less, Exercise More.
The implicit message in this idea is that the real reason we are all fat and sick is that we are lazy gluttons. If we just stopped stuffing our faces and got up off the couch and moved our butt, we would lose weight. It is moral failing, weak psychology, apathy or worse that prevents people from moderating their food intake and exercise. This is nonsense.
If you try to control your appetite with willpower, you will fail. We have short-term voluntary control and can starve ourselves but then our bodies compensate by slowing our metabolism and dramatically increasing appetite. It is unsustainable. If I asked you to hold your breath for 15 minutes – no matter how bad you want to make it happen, you’re just not designed to pull that off.
When your taste buds, brain chemistry, hormones and metabolism have been damaged by sugar and processed foods, willpower alone won’t do it. If you are addicted to sugar and refined carbs you cannot white knuckle it for very long. You have to naturally reset your brain chemistry and hormones so your body will automatically self regulate and the cravings disappear and hunger will be in balance.
When your metabolism has been hijacked you need to detox from the addictive power of sugar and flour and replace them with real, whole high quality foods. That will allow your appetite and weight to automatically regulate without willpower.
Food Lie #4: Diet Soda Is Better Than Regular Soda
I call soda LIQUID DEATH. And you might as well call diet soda “New & Improved Liquid Death,” because it may actually be WORSE.
In a 14-year study of more than 66,000 women, researchers found that diet sodas actually raised the risk of diabetes MORE than sugar-sweetened sodas. One diet soda increased the risk of type 2 diabetes by 33% and one large diet soda increased the risk by 66%.
The truth is, diet soda slows your metabolism, makes you hungry for sugar and carbs and packs on the belly fat.
Stay away from all artificial sweeteners, even natural ones. Just add a little real sugar to your coffee if you want. It’s not the sugar that you add to your diet that’s the problem. It’s the sugar that is added to your diet by food corporations.
Food Lie #5: Foods Labeled Low Fat or Whole Grain Are Good for You
The low-fat craze of the last 30 years has paralleled the dramatic rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes. When food companies took the fat out of the products it was replaced with sugar. And in those 30 years our sugar consumption has doubled. Fat actually makes you satisfied, curbs your appetite and a review of all the research on fat and weight found that fat does not make you fat.
The latest health buzzword is “whole grain.” Food companies add a few flakes of whole grain to processed foods and try to convince us its healthy. A whole grain Pop Tart? Really?
Most cereals are 75% sugar, even with a little bit of whole grain added. They shouldn’t be called breakfast, they should be called dessert. And we are feeding sugary cereal to our kids for breakfast thinking we are doing something good for them. In fact, we are killing them.
My basic rule for food: If it has ANY health claim on the label, it’s probably bad for you.
Food Lie #6: It’s All About Genetics
You may think if your mom is fat and your grandma is fat, that’s why you are fat – you drew the fat card or the diabetes card in the genetic lottery.
But the truth is there are 32 genes associated with obesity in the general population and they only account for nine percent of obesity cases. So even if you had all 32 obesity genes, you would put on only about 22 pounds.
Plus, our genes only change two percent every 20,000 years. And by 2050 it is projected that over 50 percent of Americans will be obese (now it’s about 35%). Our genes don’t change that fast.
What changed is we went from eating about 10 pounds of sugar per person per year in 1800 to 152 pounds of sugar (and 146 pounds of flour) per person per year today. Those are drugs, doses of sugar and flour that hijack our metabolism and make us fat and sick.
The truth is that obesity is caused by all kinds of factors, but the least of them is genetics.
Food Lie #7: Eating Fat Makes You Fat
Fat is not a 4-letter word! Eating fat not only doesn’t make you fat, it’s critical to health and weight loss. Studies comparing an identical calorie high fat diet to a high sugar diet had totally different effects on metabolism. The higher fat diet caused people to burn an extra 300 calories a day. That’s the equivalent of running for an hour without doing any exercise. Fat speeds up your metabolism. Sugar slows it down.
In studies of animals eating identical calorie diets of low fat (high sugar) or higher fat and protein show that the higher sugar diets lead to more fat deposition and muscle loss, while the higher fat and protein diets led to more muscle mass and fat loss. And remember that’s while they were eating exactly the same number of calories.
The right fats are actually the preferred fuel for our cells, especially ones called medium chain triglycerides that come from foods like coconut butter. Yes, you need to stay away from trans fats, but good fats like extra virgin olive oil, coconut butter, avocado, nuts, seeds and nut butters keep us full AND they lubricate the wheels of our metabolism.
So don’t fear fat!
Food Lie #8: Milk Is Nature’s Perfect Food
Milk is nature’s perfect food only if you are a calf!
For many people, dairy causes inflammation, allergies, congestion, postnasal drip, sinus problems, eczema, asthma, acne and irritable bowel. It also may increase the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis, increase the risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and causes certain kinds of cancers.
And it also spikes insulin, causing us to grow belly fat.
No matter what messages you hear from the dairy lobby – there is nothing perfect about milk! To read more about the dangers of milk, read my blog “Got Proof.”
Food Lie #9: You Have To Starve To Lose Weight
You do NOT have to starve to lose weight! In fact, that’s one thing that my patients love to learn about, they don’t go hungry when eating real whole food. There is no way even the Guinness World Record holder of calorie counting can accurately know their calorie intake. If you eat one extra mouthful of food a day, over 30 years you will become obese. You have to let your body naturally regulate itself by eating the right foods. You can’t count your way to health or weight loss.
In fact, when you balance your hormones and insulin by eating the right combination of proteins, healthy fats, the right carbs (low glycemic) and phytonutrients, you can not only lose weight without starving, you can lose weight without craving all the junk that was making you fat!
Food Lie #10: Exercise Is the Key to Weight Loss
If you think you can exercise your way to weight loss, I am sorry to say you are in for a big disappointment. Do you treat yourself to a post workout sugar-laden smoothie, muffin, or other “healthy” snack? Suck back some Gatorade to quench your thirst after your thirty minutes on the treadmill?
Relying on exercise to lose weight without changing your diet is asking for failure. You can change your diet and lose weight, but if you exercise and keep your diet the same, you may gain some muscle, improve endurance, and be healthier overall, but you won’t shed many pounds.
Remember, if you consume one 20-ounce soda, you have to walk four and a half miles to burn it off. If you consume one super-size fast-food meal, you have to run four miles a day for one whole week to burn it off. If you eat that every day, you have to run a marathon every single day to burn it off.
The simple fact is that you cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet.
next week...keep on believing.
Moses went up, and Aaron, and Nadab and Abiud, and seventy of the
elders of Israel. And they saw the place where the God of Israel
stood; and under his feet was as it were a work of sapphire slabs,
and as it were the appearance of the firmament of heaven in its