Greg Kellogg

"I am a witness to history.

"I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history.

If you remember the plot of the Sound of Music, the Von Trapp family escaped over the Alps rather than submit to the Nazis. Kitty wasn't so lucky. Her family chose to stay in her native Austria. She was 10 years old, but bright and aware. And she was watching.

"We elected him by a landslide - 98 percent of the vote," she recalls.

She wasn't old enough to vote in 1938 - approaching her 11th birthday. But she remembers.

"Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force."

No so.

Hitler is welcomed to Austria

"In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25 percent inflation and 25 percent bank loan interest rates.

Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn't want to work; there simply weren't any jobs.

"My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people - about 30 daily.'

"We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany, where Hitler had been in power since 1933." she recalls. "We had been told that they didn't have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living.

"Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group - Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone in Germany was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back.

"Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.

"We were overjoyed," remembers Kitty, "and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and

everyone was fed.

"After the election, German officials were appointed, and, like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.

"Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn't support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been re- quired to give up for marriage.

"Then we lost religious education for kids

"Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school.. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler's picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn't pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang 'Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,' and had physical education.

"Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail."

And then things got worse.

"The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free.

"We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.

"My mother was very unhappy," remembers Kitty. "When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn't do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun - no sports, and no political indoctrination.

"I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing.

"Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time, unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler.

"It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn't exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.

"In 1939, the war started, and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn't work, you didn't get a ration card, and, if you didn't have a card, you starved to death.

"Women who stayed home to raise their families didn't have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.

"Soon after this, the draft was implemented.

"It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps," remembers Kitty. "During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys.

"They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines.

"When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat.

"Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.

"When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers.

"You could take your children ages four weeks old to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, seven days a week, under the total care of the government.

"The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.

"Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna..

"After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything.

"When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full.

"If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.

"As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80 percent of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families.

"All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.

"We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables.

"Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn't meet all the demands.

"Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.

"We had consumer protection, too

"We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the livestock, and then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.

"In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated.

"So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work.

"I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van.

"I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months.

"They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.

"As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.

"Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law-abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long afterwards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.

"No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.

"Totalitarianism didn't come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom."

"This is my eyewitness account.

"It's true. Those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity.

"America is truly is the greatest country in the world. "Don't let freedom slip away.

"After America, there is no place to go."

***

Democracy Now

Sen. Rand Paul Ends 12-Hour Brennan Filibuster over Drones

Republican Senator Rand Paul held up Senate proceedings for more than 12 hours on Wednesday with an attempt to filibuster the confirmation of CIA nominee John Brennan. Paul challenged Brennan’s bid over the Obama administration’s use of drones in targeted killings, singling out the White House refusal to rule out strikes on U.S. soil.

Sen. Rand Paul: "I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court."

Paul began the filibuster shortly before noon and lasted until after midnight, noting he would fall well short of Senator Strom Thurmond’s record 24-hour attempt to block the Civil Rights Act in 1957.

Sen. Rand Paul: "And I would go for another 12 hours to try to break Strom Thurmond’s record, but I’ve discovered that there are some limits to filibustering, and I’m going to have to go take care of one of those in a few minutes here.

***

The Guardian

Don't mention the Iraq war, William Hague tells cabinet

Tory foreign secretary's directive not to discuss legality of war ahead of 10th anniversary sparks anger from Liberal Democrats

February 28, 2013

The then British leader Tony Blair addresses troops in Basra in May 2003, two months after the Iraq invasion began. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/AP

William Hague has provoked a bitter row within the coalition by privately writing to other members of the cabinet urging them not to discuss the case for, or the legality of, the Iraq war in the runup to the 10th anniversary of the invasion later this month, the Guardian can reveal.

In a confidential letter, the foreign secretary told senior members of the government they should not be drawn on the controversial issues that drew the UK into a politically divisive conflict that led to the death of almost 200 British troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis.

But the instruction from Hague last week has infuriated Liberal Democrat ministers within the government, who intend to defy the edict.

While Tony Blair's decision to launch the invasion against Saddam Hussein was strongly supported by the Tories at the time, the Lib Dems have consistently argued that the case for war was flawed and contrived, and the invasion flouted international law.

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, is expected to make a speech about Iraq before the anniversary on 19 March.

In the correspondence, Hague stated that ministers should await the findings of the much delayed public inquiry led by Sir John Chilcot, which has been considering the UK's involvement in Iraq for three years, but is unlikely to report until the end of the year.

The Foreign Office said it could not discuss confidential ministerial correspondence, but Whitehall sources confirmed the letter was sent. They denied that it was intended as a way of gagging ministers on what remains a toxic political issue.

"The foreign secretary has written to colleagues to remind them that the agreed position of the coalition government is not to comment on the case or justification for the war until Chilcot has reported," said a source close to Hague.

"This is about allowing the inquiry to reach its conclusion, not having the government prejudge them. In opposition, the foreign secretary strongly supported establishing an inquiry, so it would be ridiculous to suggest he is trying to limit or stifle debate or discussion."

Hague's letter to the cabinet made clear that "not prejudging Chilcot should not prevent [ministers] acknowledging the sacrifices of the armed forces".

Sir Menzies Campbell, the former Lib Dem leader, said: "With the exception of some courageous individuals, the Conservative party supported the ill-conceived military action against Saddam Hussein. Indeed, there were some occasions when the [Tory] leadership almost seemed more enthusiastic about the action than the government itself.

"It has been 10 years since the momentous events which led to our being embroiled in Iraq. It is perhaps not surprising that the Conservatives are reluctant to discuss their role in what is generally regarded as the biggest foreign policy blunder since Suez.

"The Liberal Democrat position was then and remains now totally clear. This was an illegal war based on alleged intelligence which was later found to be without foundation. I can see no reason why in 2013 these issues should not be canvassed fully so that we can learn from the mistakes of the past."

A senior Lib Dem source said: "William Hague is entitled to his views on what should be said about the Iraq war but he can't force them on the Lib Dems. The idea that Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats will be mute on the 10th anniversary of the war in Iraq will get very short shrift indeed. The party called it right on the Iraq war a decade ago. The Lib Dems won't shirk from our views on this illegal and unjust conflict a decade on.

Chilcot's report will be a million words long but, despite the suggestion in Hague's letter, it is by no means certain he will make a definitive ruling on the legality of the war. Instead, the report is likely to set out the arguments from both sides, without drawing any conclusion.

With a panel of four experts, Chilcot's investigation has provoked opposition in Whitehall to the disclosure of key documents relating to the invasion of Iraq, notably records of discussions between Blair and the US president George Bush.

Last year, Chilcot made it clear in a letter to David Cameron that he and his fellow panel members had become deeply frustrated by Whitehall's refusal to release papers, including those that reveal which ministers, legal advisers and officials were excluded from discussions on military action. The papers still kept secret include those relating to MI6 and the government's electronic eavesdropping centre, GCHQ.

Giving an update on the progress of his report, Chilcot said: "There are a number of particularly important categories of evidence, including the treatment of discussions in Cabinet and Cabinet committees and the UK position in discussions between the prime minister and the heads of state or government of other nations to be addressed."

The inquiry held 18 months of public hearings between 2009 and 2011. A succession of witnesses, ranging from former cabinet secretaries to military commanders, sharply criticised the way Blair and his advisers took decisions without consulting senior ministers and the then attorney general, Lord Goldsmith.

Chilcot has said Blair's claim that MI6 established "beyond doubt" that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction was "not possible to make on the basis of intelligence".

***

The Independent

Hugo Chavez's death is a body blow for the poor and oppressed throughout Latin America

Under Chavez's revolution quality social housing became the norm and more than 90 per cent of Venezuelans ate three meals a day for the first time in the country's history.

GEORGE GALLOWAY

Tuesday 5 March 2013

The death of Hugo Chavez at just 58 is a body blow for the poor and the oppressed, throughout Latin America and the wider world. The most elected leader in the modern era, Chavez transformed Venezuela by the force of his will and a popular revolution which encompassed the marginal, the ethnic minorities, the workers, and key sections of the progressive intelligencia who saw in him a veritable Spartacus.

He rallied an army of not slaves, but those despised by the oligarchy as hewers of wood and drawers of the oil which previously made only the rich richer. Under Chavez' revolution the oil wealth was distributed in ever rising wages and above all in ambitious social engineering. He built the fifth largest student body in the world, creating scores of new universities. More than 90 per cent of Venezuelans ate three meals a day for the first time in the country's history. Quality social housing for the masses became the norm with the pledge that by the end of the presidential term, now cut short, all Venezuelans would live in a dignified house.

Chavez' ambitions were not limited to Venezuela alone. He fostered Latin American unity promoting democratic and socialist movements throughout the continent. He founded a Bank of the South, a University of the South, even a television station of the South - Tele Sur. And further afield he championed the Palestinian cause, giving citizenship to stateless Palestinian refugees. When Israel invaded Lebanon, from where I write, in 2006 he expelled the Israeli ambassador from Caracas - relations which remain severed. He stood up to North American hegemony and with the victims of imperial domination everywhere.

I knew him as a warm gregarious bear of a man, a force of nature.

My wife and I spent almost two weeks working in his presidential campaign late last year. It is heartbreaking to be writing what amounts to his obituary so soon after yet another of his great political triumphs. He will be remembered as a man who lived and died for his people, as a paratrooper, a tank commander, a president. Hasta siempre Comandante. Presente.

***

***

The Telegraph

Italy paralysed as Grillo plots exit route from euro

Italy plunged deeper into political chaos this weekend after Beppe Grillo, the quixotic former comedian who holds the balance of power in parliament, suggested that the country may have to abandon the euro and return to the lire.

Mr Grillo warned that 'if conditions do not change' Italy 'will want' to leave the euro and return to the lire Photo: Getty Images

By Nick Squires, Rome, and Andrea Vogt in Bologna

02 Mar 2013

The rebel comic's warning came amid a growing rebellion among grass-roots supporters of his Five Star Movement, with 150,000 signing a petition calling for him to open up dialogue with the centre-Left Democratic Party, the biggest force in parliament.

With the country in political paralysis, there were also questions over his eccentric behaviour, after the surreal public appearance of a man, either Mr Grillo or one of his supporters, with his face obscured by a zipped up puffer jacket and a pair of ski goggles.

The bizarre figure, resembling a human fly, waved at photographers from the deck of Mr Grillo's beach house at Marina di Bibbona on the coast of Tuscany.

In an interview with a German magazine, Mr Grillo warned that "if conditions do not change" Italy "will want" to leave the euro and return to the lire. The 64-year-old comic-turned-political activist also said Italy needs to renegotiate its €2 trillion debt.

At 127 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), it is the highest in the euro zone after Greece. "Right now we are being crushed, not by the euro, but by our debt," he told Focus, a weekly news magazine. "When the interest payments reach €100 billion a year, we're dead. There's no alternative."

He said Italy was in such dire economic straits that "in six months, we will no longer be able to pay pensions and the wages of public employees".

The comments will further hamper efforts to resolve the crisis caused by Italy's general election last week, in which Mr Grillo's web-based, anti-establishment movement won more than a quarter of the vote .

He is refusing to contemplate any sort of power-sharing deal with the centre-Left Democratic Party, which has shaky control of the upper and lower houses of parliament but lacks a big enough majority to form a government.

In the Focus interview, he said that an accord with the big parties would in theory be possible if they acceded to key parts of his movement's agenda, including limiting MPs' parliamentary service to two terms, an overhaul of the election system and the slashing of the lavish perks enjoyed by politicians. "But they will never do that," he said. "They are trying to make us believe that they will, just to gain time."

Mr Grillo, renowned for his blistering attacks on Italy's established political caste, last week called Pier Luigi Bersani, the leader of the Democratic Party "a dead man talking".

In the interview published yesterday he predicted the annihilation of both the centre-Left and the centre-Right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi, the 76-year-old playboy who has been prime minister three times. They would be around for another "six months" but then they would be "finished", he said.

He also insisted that his party would not take part in any "horse-trading", describing the overtures from the Left as "the usual whorish way of doing politics."

But he faces a growing clamour among his grass-roots supporters, however, to open up dialogue with the Democratic Party in order to break the log jam and form some sort of credible government.

An online petition begun on Wednesday by Viola Tesi, a 24-year-old member of the Five Star Movement from Florence, had by yesterday gathered nearly 150,000 signatures.

Miss Tesi wrote an open letter to Mr Grillo on the website, www.change.org, appealing to him not to "waste" her vote but to give a confidence vote to the Democratic Party so that a reforming government can be formed.

Grillo supporters should harness their unexpected triumph at the polls to compel the centre-Left to adopt the policies that would make Italy a better country, she said. "We should embrace the challenge and start changing Italy straight away, for the benefit of all," she wrote in the letter.

But with Mr Grillo apparently ignoring those appeals, the three-way deadlock has raised fears about Italy's ability to maintain desperately needed economic reforms initiated by Mario Monti, the former technocrat prime minister.

The comedian has said that his movement will remain outside any government, voting on individual bills in parliament on a case-by-case basis.

Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that Mr Grillo refuses to talk to Italian journalists or to appear on current affairs television talk shows.

Italian reporters who have telephoned him and asked to speak to the general secretary of the party claim he has told them: "Hang on, I'll just pass you to my 12 year old son."

The new parliament has to meet by March 15 at the latest, after which formal talks with Giorgio Napolitano, the octogenarian Italian president, are scheduled to begin on the formation of a new government.

In the space of just three years, Mr Grillo's movement has come from nowhere to place him in the role of kingmaker. During the election campaign he travelled Italy in a camper van in what he dubbed his "Tsunami Tour", filling piazzas with cheering supporters as he railed against entrenched political and business interests.

One prominent supporter is Dario Fo, the 86-year-old playwright and satirist, whose best known works include Accidental Death of an Anarchist and We Can't Pay, We Won't Pay - an apposite title given Mr Grillo's threats regarding Italy's debt.

Mr Fo said yesterday: "Satire can uncover big ideas and bring about huge upheavals. Beppe Grillo is a man of satire, that's where he came from, and that is his strength."

Mr Grillo's success means his party is poised to send more than 160 members into parliament's two chambers. Many are in their twenties and thirties and very few have any political experience, raising fears of legislative chaos if a government is eventually formed.

The "Grillini", as they are known, include nurses, teachers, students, lawyers, engineers, molecular biologists, bank clerks, and architects.

Some are unemployed. All are under 50 - a novelty in a country in which many politicians are well into their seventies.

Critics say they will be clueless in parliament and that their reliance on internet-based democracy to determine policies will be a recipe for disaster. Mr Grillo says their lack of political experience means they are untainted by corruption and cynicism.

One new MP, Ivan Catalano, 26, who works at a metal machining factory north of Milan, told The Sunday Telegraph: "I am a normal citizen like any, who thanks to this new way of doing politics, will enter into parliament.

"The message is that change is possible. We don't have to put up with the same old methods, and the same old people."

He acknowledged there were differences of opinion within the movement but denied it was an open schism. "It is a healthy dialogue," he said.

The movement's policies include tax cuts, a big increase in health spending and investment in the "green economy", but it has struggled to explain how this will be paid given Italy's mountain of debt.

Mr Grillo also wants deep cuts in defence spending and the scrapping of a high-speed rail link to France beneath the Alps.

The movement's newly-elected MPs and senators will meet one other for the first time in Rome on Monday to discuss whether to ignore their leader and support some sort of coalition.

Italians are divided as to whether the movement promises fresh blood for an anaemic, corrupt system, or political and economic disaster for a country already mired in recession.

"Beppe Grillo is a pistol pointed against Italy's head," was the front cover headline in last week's edition of Panorama, a conservative news magazine. Another news weekly, Oggi, ran a photograph of Mr Grillo with the words "Now what?"

***

Waking Times

20 Ingredients To Memorize and Avoid In Any Food You Consume

March 4, 2013 |

Marco Torres

Artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, emulsifiers, sweeteners have saturated the food supply for more than four decades. We are on the precipice of discovering what our toxic food industry has done to our bodies and our environment. There is a heightened awareness and a sense of caution on the minds of most grocery shoppers, so let's make it easier for them. Here are 20 of the most common toxic ingredients you must avoid in foods. The discovery of even one of these ingredients on a food label means "stay away."

This list is by no means all inclusive as there are dozens of other culprits, but these are the most commonly used by the food industry with little regard to consumer's health.

1. Artificial Flavors

Artificial flavorings are derived from chemicals made in a laboratory and offer absolutely no nutritional value and are a magnet for processed foods. They show up in almost everything today, including bread, cereals, flavored yogurt, soups mixes, and cocktail mixers, so they can be hard to avoid. Every single artificial flavor in the food industry has some kind of detrimental health effect. These include neurotoxicity, organ, developmental, reproductive toxicity and cancer.

2. Enriched Wheat

Wheat is already one of those grains that should be avoided, but the key word to watch out for is 'enrichment'. That means niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, and iron are added after these and other key nutrients are stripped out in the first place during the refining process. That applies to whether it's wheat, rye, or other grains. Enriched flour is really just refined flour that has had a few nutrients re-added to it, but not enough to make any food made from this nutritionally worthy.

3. Hydrogentated or Fractionated Oils

Fractionating oil is a process most often used on palm and palm kernel oil that involves heating the oil, then cooling it quickly so that it breaks up into fractions (hence the name). The key thing is that the filtration process separates out most of the liquid part of the oil, leaving a high concentration of solid unhealthy fat behind which is terribly toxic for human consumption.

Hydrogenated oils are oils that are often healthy in their natural state, but are quickly turned into poisons through the manufacturing and processing they undergo. They take these naturally healthy oils such as palm, kernel, soybean, corn oil, canola oil or coconut oil and they heat it anywhere from five hundred to one thousand degrees. They then become fantastic preservatives because all the enzymatic activity in the oil has been neutralized during the hydrogenating process. Hydrogenated oils are the closest thing you can get to plastic sludge running through your body. If you see "hydrogenated" anywhere on an ingredient list, run like the wind.

4. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

The food additive "MSG" is a slow poison which hides behind dozens of names, such as natural flavoring, yeast extract, autolyzed yeast extract, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, caseinate, textured protein, hydrolyzed pea protein and many others. Currently, labeling standards do not require MSG to be listed in the ingredient list of thousands of foods.

MSG is not a nutrient, vitamin, or mineral and has no health benefits. The part of MSG that negatively affects the human body is the "glutamate", not the sodium. The bound glutamic acid in certain foods (corn, molasses, wheat) is broken down or made "free" by various processes (hydrolyzed, autolyzed, modified or fermented with strong chemicals, bacteria, or enzymes) and refined to a white crystal that resembles sugar.

There are a growing number of Clinicians and Scientists who are convinced that excitotoxins play a critical role in the development of several neurological disorders, including migraines, seizures, infections, abnormal neural development, certain endocrine disorders, specific types of obesity, and especially the neurodegenerative diseases; a group of diseases which includes: ALS, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and olivopontocerebellar degeneration.

5. Sugar

The single largest source of calories for Americans comes from sugar.Sugar is loaded into your soft drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, and hidden in almost all processed foods - from bologna to pretzels to Worcestershire sauce to cheese spread. And now most infant formula has the sugar equivalent of one can of Coca-Cola, so babies are being metabolically poisoned from day one if taking formula. Sugar changes metabolism, raises blood pressure, critically alters the signaling of hormones and causes significant damage to the liver -- the least understood of sugar's damages. These health hazards largely mirror the effects of drinking too much alcohol, which they point out in their commentary is the distillation of sugar. If it's not a natural sugar, it doesn't belong in your food.

6. High Fructose Corn Syrup

A few years ago, the Corn Refiners Association petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow the term 'corn sugar' as an alternative label declaration for high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The reason? Too many people were finding out how lethal HFCS was for the human body.

HFCS causes insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, increased weight gain, and not to mention manufactured from genetically modified corn.

7. Potassium Benzoate and Sodium Benzoate

Sodium Benzoate can convert into lethal carcinogenic poison when combined with absorbic acid. Professor Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology, tested the impact of sodium benzoate on living yeast cells in his laboratory. What he found alarmed him: the benzoate was damaging an important area of DNA in the "power station" of cells known as the mitochondria. "These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it: they knock it out altogether." he stated.

Potassium benzoate often shows up in seemingly innocuous foods such as apple cider, low-fat salad dressings, syrups, jams, olives, and pickles. It is just as hazardous as Sodium Benzoate so read your labels.

8. Artificial Coloring

Food colorings still on the market are linked with cancer. Blue 1 and 2, found in beverages, candy, baked goods and pet food, have been linked to cancer in mice. Red 3, used to dye cherries, fruit cocktail, candy, and baked goods, has been shown to cause thyroid tumors in rats. Green 3, added to candy and beverages, has been linked to bladder cancer. The widely used yellow 6, added to beverages, sausage, gelatin, baked goods, and candy, has been linked to tumors of the adrenal gland and kidney.

9. Acesulfame-K

Acesulfame-K, also known as acesulfame potassium, represents one of the food additives used for sweetening aliments and drinks. It is approved by the FDA, but there are several potential problems correlated with consumption of this food additive. Even though there are many studies that attest its safety, acesulfame potassium is still suspected of causing benign thyroid tumors. In rats, the development of such tumors took only 3 months, a period in which the concentration of this additive in the consumed food was between 1 and 5 percent. This is a very short period of time, so the substance is believed to have significant carcinogenic properties. Methylene chloride, a solvent used in the manufacture of acesulfame potassium, is the substance that may give the food additive its potential carcinogenic characteristics.

10. Sucralose 

Splenda/sucralose is simply chlorinated sugar; a chlorocarbon. Common chlorocarbons include carbon tetrachloride, trichlorethelene and methylene chloride, all deadly. Chlorine is nature's Doberman attack dog, a highly excitable, ferocious atomic element employed as a biocide in bleach, disinfectants, insecticide, WWI poison gas and hydrochloric acid. Chlorocarbons are never nutritionally compatible with our metabolic processes and are wholly incompatible with normal human metabolic functioning. Sucralose is a very common additive in protein mixes and drinks so beware all of you who love to add these into your smoothies.

11. Aspartame

The sale of aspartame, with only four calories per gram and 200 times sweeter than sugar, is sold under the trademarks NutraSweet and Equal. Results indicate that aspartame is a multi-potential carcinogen, even consumed daily at 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. That is a lower quantity than the maximum recommended by the FDA. It's one reason you should never purchase major brands of chewing gums.

12. BHA and BHT

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are used to preserve common household foods. Any processed food that has a long shelf life is often filled with BHA. They are found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. They are oxidants, which form potentially cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.

13. Propyl Gallate 

Another preservative, often used in conjunction with BHA and BHT. It is sometimes found in meat products, chicken soup base, and chewing gum. Animals studies have suggested that it could be linked to cancer.

14. Sodium Chloride

A dash of sodium chloride, more commonly known as salt, is the culprit that the mainstream media and medical community claim we should stay away from. They're right, but only because it's not real salt. Common table salt (sodium chloride) has almost nothing in common with traditional rock or sea salt. If a food label lists salt, or sodium chloride as an ingredient, that's the bad stuff and you need to avoid these foods wherever possible.

15. Soy

Although it's often lauded as a healthy, cholesterol-free, cheap, low-fat protein alternative to meat, soy is NOT a health food. Any foods that list soy in any form as an ingredient should be avoided. Soy protein, soy isolate, and soy oil are present in about 60 percent of the foods on the market and have been shown to impair fertility and affect estrogen in women, lower sex drive, and trigger puberty early in children. Soy can also add to the imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

The only soy products fit for human consumption are fermented and organic and I can guarantee you will never find this type of soy in any processed foods. The majority of soy is GMO and you can't get around this. Regardless of who I am speaking with, soy is one of those foods I use to gauge the nutritional IQ of others. You would not believe how many health practitioners and even Naturopathic Doctors still think soy is a health food. Please don't touch this stuff.

16. Corn

We are at the point where all corn products, including fresh corn should be avoided. The percentage of genetically modified corn is just far too high. You will never know if you are actually consuming organic corn. Modified cornstarch, dextrose, maltodextrin, and corn oil should all be avoided. All are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can promote inflammation, cancer, and heart disease. While your body needs both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to perform at its full potential, most experts recommend an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 1:1 - currently most Americans consume about 15-20 times more omega-6 acids than omega-3s.

17. Potassium Sorbate

As one of the most prolific preservatives in the food industry, it is difficult to find an ice cream without potassium sorbate. However, it is not only recommended to avoid this chemical, it's a necessity to eliminate it from our foods. The food industry and its scientists will parrot endless myths that potassium sorbate is not a health threat because of its safety record and non-toxic profile. This could not be further from the truth.

Food and chemical toxicology reports have labeled potassium sorbate as a carcinogen, showing positive mutation results in the cells of mammals. Other studies have shown broad systemic and toxic effects on non-reproductive organs in animals. No long term studies have ever been initiated on either animals or humans, so there is simply not enough evidence to theorize what could happen after years of ingesting this preservative. However, based on short-term carcinogenic and toxic effects, is it worth the risk to find out?

18. Soy Lecithin

Soy Lecithin has been lingering around our food supply for over a century. It is an ingredient in literally hundreds of processed foods, and also sold as an over the counter health food supplement. However, most people don't realize what soy lecithin actually is, and why the dangers of ingesting this additive far exceed its benefits.

Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a "degumming" process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides. The toxic hexane extraction process is what is commonly used in soybean oil manufacture today. Another big problem associated with soy lecithin comes from the origin of the soy itself. Look out for this emulsifier in ice creams, chocolate and many processed creams.

19. Polysorbate 80

Polysorbate 80 has been found to negatively affect the immune system and cause severe anaphylactic shock which can kill. Food and Chemical Toxicology has shown that Polysorbate 80 causes infertility. It accelerates maturing, causes changes to the vagina and womb lining, hormonal changes, ovary deformities and degenerative follicles. What is very suspicious about this ingredient is its addition to vaccines. Scientists are obviously aware of its ability to cause infertility yet it continues to appear in children's vaccines. You will also commonly find this in a child's favorite treat, ice cream.

20. Canola oil

Canola or rapeseed oil is poisonous to living things and is an excellent insect repellent. It is an industrial oil, not a food. It is a genetically modified plant designed through intensive breeding and genetic engineering techniques. The Canadian government and industry paid the FDA $50 million dollars to have canola oil placed on the (GRAS) List, "Generally Recognized As Safe". It is becoming increasingly difficult to find products that do not contain Canola oil. Please do not buy any food product containing canola oil.

About the Author

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

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Until next week...keep on believing.

Almondtree Productions

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
(Isaiah 40:31)

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