If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
(John 8:36)

Make You Free

DENISON FORUM

TATTOOED JESUS: BLASPHEMY OR BLESSING?

Published: Tuesday, 15 October 2013 04:45

Written by Jim Denison

Imagine you're driving down the highway today and see a billboard about Jesus. That's not unusual in these days of "billboard wars" between atheists and Christians. But this one is different: it depicts our Lord tattooed with the words "Outcast," "Addicted," and "Jealous," among others. What would be your first thought?

An anonymous group called "Jesus Tattoo" has erected 59 such billboards all over Lubbock, Texas. Some find them "very derogatory" or "blasphemous." By contrast, a pastor describes them as "cleverly done" visuals of "Jesus taking the sins of people and . . . giving them a new start, which is what the gospel is about." I agree.

The Jesus Tattoo website features a video in which a shaggy-haired man working as a tattoo artist replaces the negative tattoos of his customers with positive ones. "Fear" becomes "trust," "outcast" becomes "accepted," and so on. At the end of the clip he takes off his shirt to reveal their negative tattoos, now covering his own body.

I'm impressed by the effectiveness of the campaign. The video has gone viral and is displayed prominently on Huffington Post, a website not known for advancing conservative values. Jesus Tattoo is proving that God's word "shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11).

And I'm impressed by the selflessness of the group sponsoring the campaign. They say of themselves: "We are a small group of people humbled by the love of Jesus. We are not a church. We are not selling anything. We encourage you to tell as many people as possible. That's it." The website adds, "This is not an effort to raise money or support any specific organizations." John the Baptist's motto seems to be theirs: "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).

Most of all, I'm impressed by the metaphor they are using. Like a tattoo, every sin we commit leaves a permanent mark on us. It is more visible to the world than we may know. Our efforts to remove it will only leave more scars. But Jesus does what we cannot. He removes our sin from us, separating it from us "as far as the east is from the west" (Psalm 103:12), casting it "into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19) and remembering it no more" (Isaiah 43:25). Is there a tattoo you need to bring to him today?

He will redeem it, transforming it into something which glorifies his Father. He never wastes a hurt. Every mistake you've made can be used to help others avoid or redeem the same failure in their lives.

But here's the most powerful part of the metaphor to me: Forgiving and redeeming our sin costs Jesus more than we can possibly imagine. God "made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).


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WND

3,000-YEAR-OLD BIBLE MYSTERY ANTICIPATES STOCK COLLAPSE?

Warning comes as major investors dump holdings

Published: September 14, 2014

JEROME R. CORSI

NEW YORK – Is it possible that a 3,000 year-old text warns of a major crash of the U.S. stock market next month?

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of the New York Times bestselling book “The Harbinger,” has written a sequel, “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” in which he documents a historical cycle he believes portends a painful stock-market collapse that would mark the beginning of a major economic decline.

The Shemitah, or sabbath year, is the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the land of Israel.

Cahn’s warning comes as savvy investors such as Warren Buffett dump stocks of companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods, complaining of “disappointing performance.” Meanwhile, fellow billionaire John Paulson, who made his fortune betting on the subprime market meltdown, is dumping stocks from his hedge fund, Paulson & Co. He has shedded 14 million shares of JPMorgan Chase and dumped his entire stock investment in discount retailer Family Dollar and consumer-goods maker Sara Lee.

The widely read financial blog ZeroHedge.com adds to the list of billionaire investors preparing for a market crash, including Sam Zell, chairman of Equity Group Investments; George Soros; and Carl Ichan.

Cahn writes of market collapses as the “ancient mystery moves cross the globe,” from the New York Stock Exchange to major exchanges worldwide, “in one vast colossal Shemitah, nullifying, canceling, wiping clean and transforming the financial realms of nations.”

“Shemitah” also just reached the New York Times Best Seller list, placing it at 6th, just about a week after release.

It would wipe out a stock-market boom fueled by debt as a consequence of the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing, in which it has bought trillions of dollars of U.S. Treasury debt since the end of the George W. Bush administration.

WND has repeatedly reported that a major stock-market downward correction becomes more likely if interest rates rise as the Federal Reserve “tapers” QE borrowing with a plan to end all Fed purchases of Treasury debt by the end of the year.

“The majority of the greatest point crashes in [stock-market] history just happen to take place in a very small period of time that comes around once in seven years, which also just happens to be on the same biblical calendar for manifesting the massive financial repercussions of the seventh year,” Cahn warns.

Cahn advances his investigation by correlating a series of stock-market charts dating back to the stock-market collapse in 1973 under President Jimmy Carter with the biblical seven-year cycle, arguing it is more than coincidence.

He concludes:

  • The greatest financial turning points, peaks and long-term collapses of the past 40 years have taken place within the biblical Year of the Shemitah or its autumn wake.

  • When there has been both a financial collapse and an economic recession, the period connecting their starting points has fallen within the biblical Shemitah 100 percent of the time.

  • Thus, from the 40-year period beginning in 1973, every single one of the five greatest financial and economic peaks and collapses have taken place according to the set time of the Shemitah.

Cahn begins to decipher the 3,000-year-old mystery by applying the biblical admonition to keep the Sabbath a holy day reserved to prayer and worshiping God not only on the seventh day of the week – traditionally observed on Saturday in the Jewish calendar, beginning at sundown Friday – but also the seventh year in a cycle.

“During the Sabbath year, the people of Israel were to leave their fields, vineyards and groves for the poor,” Cahn notes.

“For the duration of the year the land belonged, in effect, to everyone. And whatever grew of its own accord was called hefker, meaning ‘without an owner.’ So during the Sabbath year the land, in effect, belonged to everyone and to no one at the same time.”

Cahn elucidates a biblical admonition that the last day of the Sabbath year a sweeping transformation took place in ancient Israel in which everyone who owned a debt was released and the nation’s financial accounts were wiped clean in what amounted to “Israel’s day of nullification and remission.”

He pointed out the original Hebrew command ordains that every creditor should “make a Shemitah,” which translates as a command to “grant a release.”

“The word Shemitah is most often translated as ‘the release’ or ‘the remission,’” he writes.

“The idea of a nation ceasing all work on its land for an entire year is a radical proposition. No less radical is the idea of a day in which all credit and debt are wiped away. The ramifications of these two requirements are so great that concerns arose in later generations as to the Shemitah’s financial and economic consequences. These concerns were intensified when the Jewish people returned to the land of Israel in modern times.”

Cahn concludes the Shemitah, according to biblical admonitions, “declares that God is first and above all realms of life, and must therefore be put first and above every realm. During the Shemitah, Israel was, in effect, compelled to turn away from these earthly or worldly realms and return to their spiritual.”

When God is removed from the equation, as is increasingly happening in modern, secular America, then a removal of God’s blessings inevitably follows.

“The Shemitah thus deals with a particular flaw of human nature – the tendency to divorce the blessings of life from the Giver of those blessings, to divorce the physical realm from the spiritual,” he continues.

“It then seeks to compensate for the loss of the spiritual by increasing its claims over the physical world, pursuing more and more things, increase, gain – materialism. The increase of things, in turn, further crowds out the presence of God. The Shemitah is the antidote to all these things – the clearing away of material attachments to allow the work and presence of God to come in.”

Cahn sees major stock-market downturns as fulfilling God’s law by nullifying financial accounts.

Cahn calculates the next Shemitah begins this month, Sept. 24, and ends at sunset on Sept. 25, 2015. He believes a major stock-market downturn could begin early as next month.

But he cautions on taking the dates too literally.

“Nothing significant has to happen within the Shemitah of 2014-2015,” he writes.

“The phenomenon may manifest in one cycle and not in another, and then again in the next. And the focus of the message is not date-setting but the call of God to repent and return. At the same time, something of significance could take place, and it is wise to note the times.”

Cahn’s message is that the judgment of God is inevitable for any nation like America that forgets its blessings come from God.

“The warning here is this,” he concludes. “If America continues on its present course, its place as the head of nations will fall and the American age and global order will be allowed to collapse.”

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ARUTZ SHEVA

MK Feiglin Warns of a New Intifada in Jerusalem

The abandonment of the Temple Mount and the lackluster results of Operation Protective Edge are coming home to roost, says MK.

By Hezki Ezra, Ari Yashar

First Publish: 9/12/2014, 8:13 AM

Moshe Feiglin at targeted Jerusalem gas station

MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) visited eastern Jerusalem and the Temple Mount on Thursday with members of the Internal Affairs Committee, where he told Arutz Sheva that he is convinced the wave of terror in the capital will only increase in coming days.

"The loss of control over Jerusalem, and by continuation also over Gaza, started on the Temple Mount," Feiglin said, while at the French Hill gas station that Arab rioters tried to explode on Sunday.

Feiglin's comments come in the wake of the dismantling of a new access ramp to the Temple Mount in a folding to Jordanian pressure, and recommendations by MKs, including those of the Jewish Home, to maintain the status quo of de facto Jordanian Waqf (Islamic Trust) control.

"The one who controls the Mount controls the land, and first of all (controls) Jerusalem," emphasized Feiglin to Arutz Sheva. "Whoever thought that they could abandon the Mount for over 40 years to Hamas and extremist Islam and conquer Jerusalem through the Zionist method of 'another sheep another dunam' (i.e. building) - I think we must understand now that they were wrong."

Feiglin stressed that the Temple Mount is the center of Jerusalem, warning that many "still think we can take our Zionist actions in reverse, and that the Israeli leadership that ignores the Mount will advance us in the process of redemption and everything will be okay."

However, the abandonment of the Mount and "depressed" ending of Operation Protective Edge, in which decisive military action to remove the Hamas threat was not recorded, will only spur terror in Jerusalem according to the MK.

"Hamas in its mind won the war, its standing in the Muslim world was increased enormously, and what we did to them in Gaza interests (Hamas leader) Ismail Haniyeh about as much as last year's snow," remarked Feiglin.

"After the Six Day War there was quiet here, and also after the Yom Kippur War," reminded the MK. "The fact that a new intifada is starting here in Jerusalem is a direct continuation of the depressed result of Protective Edge. These two processes - the abandonment of the Mount and the result of Protective Edge, join together into a threatening intifada."

Indeed, reports on Monday revealed that in the past few months terror attacks in Jerusalem have been growing exponentially, with 152 terror attacks and incidents in July and August, a stark rise from previous months.

"There is no 'settler' that suffers more in all of Judea and Samaria than the 'settler' here in the very heart of Jerusalem," stated Feiglin. "It's already throughout the country, but as usual - its more pleasant for Israelis to ignore (the reality)."

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Arutz Sheva

Crowdfunding Campaign for Third Temple Close to Goal

More than $70,000 raised to draw up blueprints for the Third Temple, as campaign to restore Judaism's holiest site goes viral.

By Tova Dvorin

First Publish: 9/17/2014, 8:38 PM

A crowdfunding initiative to rebuild the Third Temple in Jerusalem has gained steam, the Temple Institute stated Wednesday, and is close to reaching its $100,000 goal.

The indiegogo campaign has reached close to $71,000 in fifty days, according to the Institute, and is expected to surpass the target before the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) next week.

Over 700 pledges have come in from more than 25 countries worldwide, it said; the campaign page itself has received 10,000 shares on Facebook, while the promotional pitch video, which depicts a digital rendition of the Holy Temple on the modern day Temple Mount has been viewed by over 150,000 people.

The funds raised from the Indiegogo campaign will be used to continue the research of the Institute and to commission additional architectural plans.

The architects, the Institute says, will combine Jewish law with modern technology to prepare for a fully modern third Temple, Kosher to the letter of the law but including modifications like underground parking, heating and computerized washing stations that minimize water waste.

This is the third annual campaign the Temple Institute has launched for its project to draw up architectural plans, which began three years ago with the Chamber of Hewn Stone. An online 3D video rendition of the Chamber can be viewed below.

Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute, explained why they chose the novel approach of fund raising through crowed funding.

"We are constantly looking for ways to include as many people as possible in our mission to rebuild the Holy Temple," Rabbi Richman said. "This is not about one group or organization; it's about bringing about a spiritual reunification of mankind, today with the help of the internet our message is resonating across the globe."

"Our decision to use Indiegogo for this campaign was an extension of our success on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter," he added.

This year's initiative is part of its wider campaigns to train kohen-priests for Temple duties and rebuild the instruments in the priestly services.

Crowdfunding for the blueprints ends next week, on September 25.


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HUFFINGTON POST (Edited from much longer article. Shows where the world is headed. Largest online news organization on the Internet.)

Some Atheists and Transhumanists are Asking: Should it be Illegal to Indoctrinate Kids With Religion?

Zoltan Istvan Visionary; Philosopher; Author of award-winning & bestselling novel 'The Transhumanist Wager'

Visionary; Philosopher; Author of award-winning & bestselling novel 'The Transhumanist Wager'

Some Atheists and Transhumanists are Asking: Should it be Illegal to Indoctrinate Kids With Religion?

Posted: 09/15/2014 4:38 pm EDT Updated: 09/15/2014 4:59 pm EDT

Religious child soldiers carrying AK-47s. Bullying anti-gay Jesus kids. Infant genital mutilation. Teenage suicide bombers. Child Hindu brides. No matter where you look, if adults are participating in dogmatic religions, then they are also pushing those same ideologies onto their kids. 

Like some other atheists and transhumanists, I join in calling for regulation that restricts religious indoctrination of children until they reach, let's say, 16 years of age. Once a kid hits their mid-teens, let them have at it--if religion is something that interests them. 16-year-olds are enthusiastic, curious, and able to rationally start exploring their world, with or without the guidance of parents. But before that, they are too impressionable to repeatedly be subjected to ideas that are faith-based, unproven, and historically wrought with danger. Forcing religion onto minors is essentially a form of child abuse, which scars their ability to reason and also limits their ability to consider the world in an unbiased manner. A reasonable society should not have to indoctrinate its children; its children should discover and choose religious paths for themselves when they become adults, if they are to choose one at all.

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YAHOO NEWS

Pope says world's many conflicts amount to piecemeal World War Three

By Stefano Rellandini

September 13, 2014 6:49 AMi

Reuters

REDIPUGLIA Italy (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Saturday the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a "piecemeal" Third World War, condemning the arms trade and "plotters of terrorism" sowing death and destruction.

"Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep," Francis said in the homily of a Mass during a visit to Italy's largest war memorial, a large, Fascist-era monument where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried.

The pope began his brief visit to northern Italy by first praying in a nearby, separate cemetery for some 15,000 soldiers from five nations of the Austro-Hungarian empire which were on the losing side of the Great War that broke out 100 years ago.

"War is madness," he said in his homily before the massive, sloping granite memorial, made of 22 steps on the side of hill with three crosses at the top.

"Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction," he said.

In the past few months, Francis has made repeated appeals for an end to conflicts in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Gaza and parts of Africa.

"War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying," he said. "Greed, intolerance, the lust for power. These motives underlie the decision to go to war and they are too often justified by an ideology ...," he said.

Last month the pope, who has often condemned the concept of war in God's name, said it would be legitimate for the international community to use force to stop "unjust aggression" by Islamic State militants who have killed or displaced thousands of people in Iraq and Syria, many of them Christians.

In his homily, read at a sombre service to thousands of people braving the rain and which included the hauntingly funereal sound of a solitary bugle, Francis condemned "plotters of terrorism" but did not elaborate.

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GOVTSLAVES

Pope Assassination Imminent, Iraq Ambassador To Vatican Warns

(Athena Yenko) ISIS is planning to kill the Pope in one of his overseas trips, Iraq Ambassador to Vatican Habeeb Al Sadr warns. He said that the terrorist group had spoken of its plan to assassinate the pope as he was vocally supporting U.S.’ intervention in Syria and Iraq. He underlined that the ISIS has foreign members – Canadian, American, French, Britain and even Italians. The group can instruct these members to kill the pope when the opportunity arises.

“What has been declared by the self-declared Islamic State is clear – they want to kill the Pope. The threats against the Pope are credible,” Al Sadr said during an interview with Italian newspaper La Nazione.

Al Sadr’s warning come before the Pope’s visit to Albania on Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Christianity from the destruction of Communist dictator Enver Hoxha. In 1967, Hoxha had declared Albania as the world’s first atheist state. Pope’s Sunday visit is a way of showing that Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims could live in peaceful co-existence.

According to Al Sadr, the ISIS is priding itself of having their caliphate to Rome and would one day have their black flag erected at St Peter’s Basilica. He said that ISIS’s bragging should not be disregarded. The group had already destroyed places of worships in Iraq.

“This band of criminals does not just issue threats…They have declared that whoever is not with them, is against them. Either convert or be killed. And they are doing it – it is a genocide,” Al Sadr told the newspaper. If ISIS’ attempt at the Pope failed in Albania, then he could be targeted in Turkey in November, he added.

The Vatican security, on the other hand, said they knew no information of an assassination attempt and hence will not be changing the Pope’s itinerary in Albania. Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said that there are no apparent reasons to fear for the life of the Pope, nor credible information about the ISIS’ plan of assassination. The security will conduct its normal precautionary behaviour. The Pope had even requested a set up where the ordinary people can meet him conveniently.

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TRUTHOUT

Meet the Frackers: Right-Wing Billionaire Brothers’ Biblical Ambitions

BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Monday, 08 September 2014 09:42

(Photo: David Ball)

A few years back, Forbes magazine called them “undercover billionaires.” Meet Farris and Dan Wilks, who, after selling their fracking business and becoming generous donors to right-wing causes, politicians, and the Republican Party, are no longer “undercover.” While claiming that Christians are under attack, the Wilks brothers’ are "using the riches that the Lord has blessed" them with and are dedicating themselves to getting the Bible back in schools.

The brothers began by working in their father’s masonry business, operating mostly in Oklahoma and Texas. In 1995, the brothers founded their own company called Wilks Masonry. However, they “really hit the big time when they got in on the ground floor with fracking, the controversial natural gas drilling technique that has boomed over the past decade,” People for the American Way’s Peter Montgomery recently pointed out in a report titled “The Wilks Brothers: Fracking Sugar Daddies For The Far Right.”

In 2002, the Cisco, Texas-based Wilks brothers – who share the #352 spot on Forbes list of billionaires -- “entered the energy industry with the founding of hydraulic fracturing and oil field services firm Frac Tech,” Forbes magazine pointed out in a September 2011 article. In May 2011, the brothers sold Frac Tech to a “group of investors led by Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund” for $3.5 billion. According to Forbes, the brothers are worth $1.4 billion each.

In addition to purchasing massive amounts of real estate -- “extensive land holdings in Texas, Kansas, Idaho and Montana, real estate that is currently used for farming, ranching, and wildlife management” -- the brothers are, as the Christian Post headlined a story about them last month, throwing their “fortune behind getting [the] Bible back in schools and other conservative causes.”

Farris Wilks, the older brother, is pastor of his family church in Rising Star, Texas, called Assembly of Yahweh (7th Day), which believes: "That the Bible, as originally given, was true and correct in every scientific and historical detail. Every translation of the Bible is not necessarily one hundred percent correct, however." According to PfAW’s report, the church “combines biblical literalism with a heavy emphasis on the Old Testament: The church celebrates its Sabbath on Saturday, follows the dietary rules laid down in Leviticus, and celebrates Jewish holidays but not ‘the religious holidays of the Gentiles,’ which include ‘Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, White Sunday, Good Friday, and Halloween.’”

Up until recently, the Wilks brothers have been media shy and not well known. People for American Way’s Peter Montgomery learned about them shortly after a conservative gathering in Iowa that was organized by David Lane, a GOP activist described by Montgomery as “a political operative who uses pastors to mobilize conservative Christian voters.” The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody aired a short video clip of comments made by the Wilks brothers. CBN’s Brody reported, “The Wilks brothers worry that America’s declining morals will especially hurt the younger generation, so they’re using the riches that the Lord has blessed them with to back specific goals.”

Dan Wilks told Brody: “I just think we have to make people aware, you know, and bring the Bible back into the school, and start teaching our kids at a younger age, and, uh, you know, and focus on the younger generation.” Farris added: “They’re being taught the other ideas, the gay agenda, every day out in the world so we have to stand up and explain to them that that’s not real, that’s not proper, it’s not right.”

According to Montgomery, Farris Wilks’ foundation “has become a source of massive donations to Religious Right groups and to the Koch brothers’ political network. Farris also funds a network of ‘pregnancy centers’ that refuse, on principle, to talk to single women about contraception (married women need to check with their husband and pastor).”

Both Wilks brothers and their wives have established foundations through which they channel their money: Farris and his wife Joann created The Thirteen Foundation, while Dan and his wife Staci started Heavenly Father’s Foundation. “The Thirteen Foundation has become a major funder to Religious Right organizations and to right-wing political outfits that are part of the Koch brother’s network,” Montgomery reported.

“In 2011, Farris and Joann each put $50 million into The Thirteen Foundation, and they started writing huge checks. In 2011 and 2012, the last year for which giving records are publicly available, the foundation gave away more than $17 million,” with a chunk of it going to mostly longtime right-wing organizations opposed to gay rights, are anti-abortion, and are closely associated with Tea Party operations, including: Media Revolution Ministries (Online for Life), $2,242,857; American Majority Inc., $2,114,100; State Policy Networks, $1,526,125; Focus on the Family, $1,400,000; Franklin Center for Gov't and Public Integrity, $1,309,775; Life Dynamics Inc., $1,275,000; Liberty Counsel, $1,000,000; Heritage Foundation, $700,000; Family Research Council, $530,000; Texas Right to Life Committee Education Fund, $310,000; Texas Home School Coalition, $250,000; Heartbeat International, $197,000; Wallbuilders Presentations, Inc., $85,000; National Institute of Marriage, $75,000.

PFAW’s report pointed out that “American Majority, the Franklin Center, the Heritage Foundation, and the State Policy Networks are all part of the Koch brothers’ right-wing political network, promoting policy attacks on public employees and their unions, outsourcing public resources for private profit, privatization of public education, and more.”

Dan and Staci Wilks “each gave $55 million to their Heavenly Father’s Foundation, according to the group’s 2011 990 form.”

The Wilks brothers and their wives are casting a broad political net, having poured money into the Romney Victory Committee, and to Republican Party candidates in Montana and Texas. They have also contributed to the campaign of Republican Rob McCoy, who is running against Democrat Jacqui Irwin, in the 44th California Assembly District.

In November 2012, after the re-election of President Barack Obama, Farris Wilks told parishioners: “I do believe that our country died that Tuesday night, to all that’s honorable, that’s good, that’s ambitious, and that has justice. The old way of life that we will take care of ourselves, we will be self-sufficient as much as we are able, the pride in pulling your own weight, or paddling your own canoe.”

According to Peter Montgomery, Farris “said he was ‘refreshed’ by biblical texts about the End Times, speculating that the election went the way it did ‘because maybe it’s time to wrap up some things, maybe it’s time to move on to the next one thousand years.’ And he warned of persecution against Christians.”

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THE INDEPENDENT

Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God

When asked if he ever doubts God's existence, Archbishop Justin Welby replied "Yes. I do"

ROSE TROUP BUCHANAN

Thursday 18 September 2014

The Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted to feeling doubts over the existence of God.

In a recent interview at Bristol Cathedral, Archbishop Justin Welby said on a recent morning run with his dog he had questioned why God had failed to intervene to prevent injustice.

“The other day I was praying over something as I was running and I ended up saying to God ‘Look this is all very well but isn’t it about time you did something – if you’re there.’”

Earlier in the interview, when asked if he had moments of doubt, Archbishop Welby replied: “Yes. I do, in lots of different ways.”

“There are moments, sure, when you think is there a God, where is God?”

In the mostly light-hearted interview, the Archbishop later conceded later his views as the leader of the Church of England are “probably not what the Archbishop of Canterbury should say.”

Citing his love for the Psalms, especially Psalm 88, which is “full of doubt” Archbishop Welby defended his comments about faith, saying: “It is not about feelings, it is about the fact that God is faithful and the extraordinary thing about being a Christian is that God is faithful when we are not.”

One in four people in Britain regards themselves as belonging to the Church of England. 1.7 million people take part in a church service every month, according to statistics from the Church of England.

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RT.com

The Satanic Temple has announced that it will provide pamphlets on Satanism to students in Florida, following the school board’s decision permitting the distribution of religious materials.

Among the materials that are set to be distributed are pamphlets on the philosophy, practice of Satanism, the Satanic Temple’s tenets. Also, the sect tells school children about their legal rights to choose to practice Satanism, according to the official press release.

Earlier this month, the school system made a decision to let any religious and atheist materials be provided in schools.

The Temple said that although it does not agree with the school board’s decision to allow religious materials in schools, it will continue “to ensure that pluralism is respected whenever the Church/State division is breached.”

Temple spokesperson Lucien Greaves explains: “We think the responsible thing to do is to ensure that these students are given access to a variety of differing religious opinions, as opposed to standing idly by while one religious voice dominates the discourse and delivers propaganda to youth.”

“I am quite certain that all of the children in these Florida schools are already aware of the Christian religion and its Bible, and this might be the first exposure these children have to the actual practice of Satanism. We think many students will be very curious to see what we offer,” Greaves added.

The Satanic Temple came into the media spotlight after announcing it is going to erect a seven-foot Baphomet statue next to a Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol. It also unveiled plans to build a chapel in Detroit…

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abc news (Edited from longer article.)

Sierra Leone to Shut Down for 3 Days to Slow Ebola

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — Sep 18, 2014, 7:19 PM ET

By CLARENCE ROY-MACAULAY Associated Press

In a desperate bid to slow West Africa's accelerating Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone ordered its 6 million people confined to their homes for three days starting Friday while volunteers conduct a house-to-house search for victims in hiding.

At an emergency meeting, meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council unanimously called the crisis "a threat to international peace and security" and urged all countries to provide experts, field hospitals and medical supplies. It was only the second time the council addressed a health emergency, the first being the AIDS epidemic.

During the lockdown in Sierra Leone, set to begin at midnight Thursday and run through Sunday, volunteers will try to identify sick people reluctant or unable to seek treatment. They will also hand out 1.5 million bars of soap and dispense information on how to prevent Ebola.

Authorities have said they expect to discover hundreds of new cases during the shutdown. Many of those infected have not sought treatment out of fear that hospitals are merely places people go to die. Others have been turned away by centers overwhelmed with patients.

Sierra Leone's government said it has prepared screening and treatment centers to accept the expected influx of patients after the shutdown.

"Today the life of every one is at stake, but we will get over this difficulty if all do what we have been asked to do." Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma said in an address late Thursday.

As shoppers rushed to buy food and other items ahead of the deadline, some merchants worried about how they would feed their own families after losing three days' income. Much of Sierra Leone's population lives on $2 a day or less, and making ends meet is a day-to-day struggle.

"If we do not sell here we cannot eat," said Isatu Sesay, a vegetable seller in the capital. "We do not know how we will survive during the three-day shutdown."

The U.N. Security Council resolution was co-sponsored by an unprecedented 130 countries, reflecting the rising global concern.

"This is likely the greatest peacetime challenge that the United Nations and its agencies have ever faced," said Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO chief.

She added: "None of us experienced in containing outbreaks has ever seen, in our lifetimes, an emergency on this scale, with this degree of suffering, and with this magnitude of cascading consequences."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a 20-fold increase in aid totaling almost $1 billion to deal with the crisis.

Several countries promised aid even before the resolution was adopted.

Leader of Fukushima Study: “Intense exposure” headed toward US west coast; Plume traveling very fast via oceanic jet — “High concentrations” to impact California coastal areas; Prolonged period of radioactive upwelling expected

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TIME

How Apple Is Invading Our Bodies

Lev Grossman @leverus Matt Vella @mattvella Sept. 10, 2014

TIME Photo-illustration. Hand: Milos Luzanin–Alamy

The Silicon Valley giant has redrawn the line that separates our technology and ourselves. That may not be a good thing

With the unveiling of the Apple Watch Tuesday in Cupertino, California, Apple is attempting to put technology somewhere where it’s never been particularly welcome. Like a pushy date, the Apple Watch wants to get intimate with us in a way we’re not entirely used to or prepared for. This isn’t just a new product, this is technology attempting to colonize our bodies.

The Apple Watch is very personal—“personal” and “intimate” were words that Apple CEO Tim Cook and his colleagues used over and over again when presenting it to the public for the first time. That’s where the watch is likely to change things, because it does something computers aren’t generally supposed to: it lives on your body. It perches on your wrist, like one of Cinderella’s helpful bluebirds. It gets closer than we’re used technology getting. It gets inside your personal bubble. We’re used to technology being safely Other, but the Apple Watch wants to snuggle up and become part of your Self.

This is new, and slightly unnerving. When technologies get adopted as fast as we tend to adopt Apple’s products, there are always unintended consequences. When the iPhone came out it was praised to the skies as a design and engineering marvel, because it is one, but no one really understood what it would be like to have it in our lives. Nobody anticipated the way iPhones exert a constant gravitational tug on our attention. Do I have e-mail? What’s happening on Twitter? Could I get away with playing Tiny Wings at this meeting? When you’re carrying a smartphone, your attention is never entirely undivided.

The reality of living with an iPhone, or any smart, connected device, is that it makes reality feel just that little bit less real. One gets over-connected, to the point where the thoughts and opinions of distant anonymous strangers start to feel more urgent than those of your loved ones who are in the same room as you. One forgets how to be alone and undistracted. Ironically enough experiences don’t feel fully real till you’ve used your phone to make them virtual—tweeted them or tumbled them or Instagrammed them or YouTubed them, and the world has congratulated you for doing so. Smartphones create needs we never had before, and were probably better off without.

The great thing about the Apple Watch is that it’s always there—you don’t even have to take it out of your bag to look at it, the way you would with an iPhone. But unlike an iPhone you can’t put the Apple Watch away either. It’s always with you. During the company’s press event the artist Banksy posted a drawing to his Twitter feed of an iPhone growing roots that strangle and sink into the wrist of the hand holding it. You can see where he was coming from. This is technology establishing a new beachhead. To wear a device as powerful as the Apple Watch makes you ever so slightly post-human.

What might post-humanity be like? The paradox of a wearable device is that it both gives you control and takes it away at the same time. Consider the watch’s fitness applications. They capture all data that your body generates, your heart and activity and so on, gathers it up and stores and returns it to you in a form you can use. Once the development community gets through apping it, there’s no telling what else it might gather. This will change your experience of your body. The wristwatch made the idea of not knowing what time it was seem bizarre; in five years it might seem bizarre not to know how many calories you’ve eaten today, or what your resting heart rate is.

But wearables also ask you to give up control. Your phone will start telling you what you should and shouldn’t eat and how far you should run. It’s going to get in between you and your body and mediate that relationship. Wearables will make your physical self visible to the virtual world in the form of information, an indelible digital body-print, and that information is going to behave like any other information behaves these days. It will be copied and circulated. It will go places you don’t expect. People will use that information to track you and market to you. It will be bought and sold and leaked—imagine a data-spill comparable to the recent iCloud leak, only with Apple Watch data instead of naked selfies.

The Apple Watch represents a redrawing of the map that locates technology in one place and our bodies in another. The line between the two will never be as easy to find again. Once you’re OK with wearing technology, the only way forward is inward: the next product launch after the Apple Watch would logically be the iMplant. If Apple succeeds in legitimizing wearables as a category, it will have successfully established the founding node in a network that could spread throughout our bodies, with Apple setting the standards. Then we’ll really have to decide how much control we want—and what we’re prepared to give up for it.


apple watch

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Natural Society

Mad Science: ‘Genetically Modified Micro Humans’ to be ‘Farmed’ for Drug Testing by 2017

by Christina Sarich

September 12th, 2014

Updated 09/12/2014 at 4:46 am

Developers of artificial micro-humans, or ‘mini GM humans,’ are hoping to release their technology on the market by 2017. No this isn’t a sci-fi joke. Scientists are developing artificial humans in the same vein as GM plants with the hope that these creations will replace the need for using animals in laboratory testing.

Artificial humans will be ‘farmed’ with interacting organs that can be used in drug tests, speeding up the process of FDA and other government regulatory approvals, and supposedly without damaging rats or other animals currently used in laboratories. The GM humans will contain smartphone-sized microchips that will be programmed to replicate up to 10 major human organs.

Each GM human will be tiny – roughly the size of a microchip itself, simulating the response of humans to substances inhaled, absorbed in the blood, or exposed to in the intestinal tract.

Early versions comprising an artificial kidney, heart, lung or gut are already being used by the cosmetic industry and to observe the use of chemical drugs on non-GMO humans.

The Times of India reported that researchers said this could replace up to 90 million animals each year in labs. Uwe Marx, a tissue engineer from Technische Universitat Berlin and founder of TissUse, a firm developing the technology said:

“If our system is approved by the regulators, then it will close down most of the animal-testing laboratories worldwide.” said.

Currently, this type of technology is already used on artificial organs like hearts and livers, but the results must be verified on a ‘live’ being – animals in a lab, for instance, to prove that substances are safe when interacting with a living being with real organs.

The problem with current testing, and obviously this proposed ‘solution,’ is that artificial organs, like animals, won’t respond the same way as a human body. We have already observed unforeseen side effects during human trials after animal trials that are far from ‘safe’ – GM crops are a perfect example of this phenomenon.

Organs cannot be divided into ‘fake’ computerized components. They interact with one another, the endocrine system, the brain, the nervous system, environmental cues, emotions, and according to advanced research, even our energetic bodies.

This reminds me of how genetically modified humans are planned to be the next venture for biotechnology companies working with the United States military, with the admitted goal of producing a ‘super soldier’ that does not require food or sleep to perform Olympic-style physical feats. The genetically modified humans, or ‘super soldiers’, will even be able to regrow limbs that were destroyed by enemy fire and live off of their fat stores for extreme lengths of time.

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DARPA Funds Project to Speed Up Super Soldiers

By Susanne Posel – September 13, 2014

Susanne Posel ,Chief Editor Occupy Corporatism | The US Independent


Professor Thomas Sugar and Jason Kerestes, designer robotic engineer with the iProject: 4MM (4 minute mile) from Arizona State University (ASU) has been granted monies from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to create a “jetpack to increase a soldier’s speed and boost a PT record to that of a four minute a mile.”

Kerestes and Sugar’s experiment has been able to “cut some twenty seconds off of the test runner’s time so they still have another minute to hack.”

This jetpack weighs approximately 10 pounds which calls into play the fact that runners need to “expend less energy over” time to run faster.

Questions abound as to why DARPA would need to improve soldier’s running abilities:

• Chasing insurgents up rocky hills?


• Improve short distance sprints across roadways?


• Assist in mobility during urban combat?



Nearly a year ago, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are building an Iron Man suit for the US Army Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM).

Called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS), this suit will “provide superhuman strength with greater ballistic protection.”

With 360 degree cameras and night vision capabilities, sensors in the visual apparatus will detect injuries and apply wound-sealing foam to protect the soldier until he or she can get to a medical team.

A bullet-proof exo-skeleton comprised of magnetorheological fluids can change from liquid to solid in second when a magnetic field or electrical current is applied.

Gareth McKinley, professor at MIT explained that this suit is modeled after Iron Man.

McKinley said: “The other kind of things that you see in the movies I think that would be more realistic at the moment would be the kind of external suit that Sigourney Weaver wears in ‘Aliens,’ where it’s a large robot that amplifies the motions and lifting capability of a human.”

The advantages of TALOS are:

  • Advanced armor with ballistic protection

  • Exoskeleton improves soldier’s agility and endurance

  • Sensors enhance soldier’s perception of the tactical environment

  • Command, control, communications and computers (C4) include wearable antennae and computers

  • Combat ready displays that can utilize the soldier’s thoughts and environment for personalized information

  • Self-power

  • Thermal management

  • Medical monitoring of soldier’s oxygen levels and other vitals

McKinley points out: “The acronym TALOS was chosen deliberately. It’s the name of the bronze armored giant from ‘Jason and the Argonauts.’ Like all good superheroes, Talos has one weakness. For the Army’s TALOS, the weak spot is either the need to carry around a heavy pump for a hydraulic system, or lots of heavy batteries. We don’t have Iron Man’s power source yet.”



DARPA has been on a mission to improve soldier’s abilities, working with the human genome to manipulate certain gene expressions. In experimentation, DARPA and the military industrial pharmaceutical complex are using natural abilities that are enhanced through genetic engineering.

The definition of human enhancement pertains to everything that “encompasses a range of approaches that may be used to improve aspects of human function (e.g. memory, hearing, mobility). This may either be for the purpose of restoring an impaired function to previous or average levels, or to raise function to a level considered to be ‘beyond the norm’ for humans.”

Some of the medical feats DARPA would like to enhance are the ability of military soldiers to regrow limbs destroyed in battle.

By eliminating empathy, the Department of Defense (DoD) hopes to “enhance” a soldier’s ability to “kill without care or remorse, shows no fear, can fight battle after battle without fatigue and generally behave more like a machine than a man.”

Scientists are researching the construction of soldiers that feel no pain, terror and do not suffer from fatigue as tests on the wiring of the human brain are furthered by Jonathan Moreno, professor of bioethics at Pennsylvania State University. Moreno is working with the DoD in understanding neuroscience. The Pentagon allocated $400 million to this research.

Further study could be passed onto the general public in order to maximize profits as well as enhance the drug’s effectiveness.

According to Joel Garreau, professor at Arizona University, DARPA is learning how to genetically modify human fat into pure energy by rewiring the metabolic switch which would create soldiers that require less food. By using gene therapy and combining enhancements to alter the color of the human eye is a blending of mutations that have no basis in the natural world.

Roger Pitman , professor of psychiatry at Harvard University is experimenting with propranolol which is a beta blocker that is believed to erase “terrifying memories”, soldiers are subjected to more research while serving to alleviate the psychological effects of war.

Moreno explains: “The problem is: what else are they blocking when they do this? Do we want a generation of veterans who return without guilt?”

Allan Snyder, professor of neuroscience in Australia, has been working to understand how transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can effect higher mental processing with the use of magnetic fields to promote unfettered reasoning.

The US Academy of Sciences reported in 2009 that they expected to be successful in using TMS against soldiers to “enhance [their] fighting capabilities.” Moreno reveals that TMS helmets could be used in battlefields to expand a soldier’s technical expertise and become a more proficient marksman and master electronics used in training exercises.

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Mass media faking it!

Here is the same photograph used in the news broadcasts by three TV stations from three different countries:

  • Ukraine: “Russia deals a blow”.


  • Russia: “Ukrainian death squads fire at their own citizens.”


  • Al Jazeera: “Israel launches airstrikes in Gaza.”

    ***

    THE INDEPENDENT

    Ukrainian politician is forced into a bin outside parliamentary building

    Vitaliy Zhuravskiy was filmed being forced into the bin by activists

    NATASHA CULZAC

    Tuesday 16 September 2014

    Extraordinary footage has emerged of a Ukrainian MP being chucked in to a bin by protesters.

    Vitaliy Zhuravskiy can be seen wearing a suit and holding his briefcase as he’s ushered to the large refuse bins by a handful of men before being thrown in head first.

    The incident happened outside the building of the Ukrainian parliament – Verkhovna Rada – with Mr Zhuravskiy stuck in the wheelie bin, while was also being angrily pushed in it by activists.

    A second video, also uploaded today, shows the latter half of the incident where camouflaged police appear to come to his rescue as dozens of people jostle to film and photograph the melee.

    Mr Zhuravskiy is understood not to have made a formal police complaint, reports local Ukrainian news outlets.

    According to RT.com, MPs were dumbfounded by the actions of the activists because Mr Zhuravskiy was behind the drafting of a lustration bill that the protesters had gathered to support.

    The bill, which was ratified yesterday, forces any MPs who worked under former President Viktor Yanukovich to quit parliament and prevents them from occupying seats in the future.

    The official had had liquid and tyres thrown on him while in the bin, in an episode which has since attracted apologies from Maidan activists.

    Mr Zhuravskiy is reported as saying: "I am still shocked by what has happened.

    "I take this incident as a hit by my competitors, running for the vote in the Zhitomir region. I don't think that's the way Maidan people could have treated me, it can't be true, I simply don't believe it."

    ***

    Leader of Fukushima Study: “Intense exposure” headed toward US west coast; Plume traveling very fast via oceanic jet — “High concentrations” to impact California coastal areas; Prolonged period of radioactive upwelling expected

    ENENEWS

    Gov’t Scientists: “Something very unusual occurring” off west coast of US, Canada — “Unprecedented in historical record” — “Will dramatically reduce productivity” in 6,500 sq. miles of ocean — Anomaly extends “across Pacific to Japan” — “Who knows what will happen?” (MAP)

    Fishletter Issue 335, July 24, 2014 (emphasis added): There is a massive pool of warm water in the Gulf of Alaska, NOAA scientist Nate Mantua said in an email. It is unprecedented in the historical record, he added… the past year is way out of the historical range — “so who knows what will happen?“
    Sept. 2014: Scientists across NOAA Fisheries are watching a persistent expanse of exceptionally warm water spanning the Gulf of Alaska that could send reverberations through the marine food web. The warm expanse appeared about a year ago and the longer it lingers, the greater potential it has to affect ocean life… “Right now it’s super warm all the way across the Pacific to Japan,” said Bill Peterson, an oceanographer with NOAA… “it’s a very interesting time because when you see something like this that’s totally new you have opportunities to learn things you were never expecting.” Not since records began has the region of the North Pacific Ocean been so warm for so long… The situation does not match recognized patterns in ocean conditions such as El Niño Southern Oscillation or Pacific Decadal Oscillation… “It’s a strange and mixed bag out there,” Mantua said… warm temperatures are higher and cover more of the northern Pacific than the PDO typically affects… cold near-shore conditions in the Pacific Northwest also don’t match the typical PDO pattern.

    ***

    Ancient Origins

    Icelandic government commission announces legendary sea monster exists

    14 SEPTEMBER, 2014 - 23:59 APRILHOLLOWAY

    A government investigation carried out by the Fljotsdalsherao municipal council in Iceland has ruled that a legendary sea serpent named Lagarfljotsormurinn, which is rumoured to inhabit Lake Lagarfljot, actually exists. According to the Discovery News, the commission ruled that a 2012 video of what is claimed to be Iceland’s most famous lake monster is authentic.



    The Lagarfljótsormur, or ‘Lagarfljót worm’ is an Icelandic lake cryptid which is purported to live in Lagarfljót, a freshwater, glacial-fed lake in Egilsstaðir. The earliest recorded sightings of the Lagarfljótsormur date back to the Icelandic Annals of 1345, and have continued into the 21st century. However, sightings increased exponentially after a home video shot in 2012 went viral. The home video shows what looks like a long, serpentine form swimming in the glacial lake in eastern Iceland.

    The Lagarfljótsormur is typically described as being 90 metres in length with many humps, and has also been reported outside the water, lying coiled up or slithering into the trees. In ancient times, sightings were considered to precede a great event such as a natural disaster.

    In their book “Icelandic Folk and Fairy Tales,” folklorists May and Hallberg Hallmundsson describe one origin tale of the beast:

    "At one time, long, long ago, there was a woman living on a farm in the Lagarfljót district, close by the stream where it broadens into a lake. She had a grown daughter. Once, she gave her daughter a gold ring.” The woman instructed her daughter to catch a snake and keep the gold ring underneath it in her linen chest (as, apparently, one did long ago in rural Iceland). She did so, “but when the girl went to look at her ring again, the snake had grown so large that the chest was beginning to come apart. Then the girl was frightened and she picked up the chest with everything in it and threw it into the lake. A long time passed, and gradually people became aware that there was a serpent in the lake, for it was beginning to kill both people and animals crossing the waters."

    In 1963, the head of the Icelandic National Forest Service, Sigurður Blöndal, reported seeing the giant worm, and in 1998 a teacher and students at Hallormsstaðir School also claimed to have witnessed the legendary creature.

    In February 2012, the Icelandic national broadcaster, RÚV, published the home video thought to show the Lagarfljót Worm, however, skeptics claimed that the video simply depicts an inanimate object moved by the rapid current. Undeterred by skeptical explanations, the Fljótsdalshérað municipal council established a 13-person ‘truth commission’ to determine whether the video shot by Hjörtur E. Kjerúlf was authentic. The inquiry has just completed its investigation, and has determined that the video is authentic and recommends further investigation and research into the Lagarfljótsormur. The commission may have also been somewhat ‘motivated’ by the burst of tourism caused by the 2012 video. A sightseeing boat named Lagarfljótsormurinn, which operates on the lake, seeks to preserve the traditions of the Lagarfljót Worm for cultural and tourism purposes.

    If the video is authentic, and actually depicts a living creature, it may not be as monstrous as the legends say. Many species of fish have been found which resemble ‘sea monsters’ described in mythological tales, for example, the frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus), and the giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne). It might just be that a similar species may inhabit Lake Lagarfljot, leading to the development of legendary tales over the centuries.

    A frilled shark, image source.

    A giant oarfish. Image source.

    ***

    SurvivalBackpack

    Norwegian Scientists Warns Against Eating Farmed Salmon

    Posted on September 17, 2014

    Women, children and adolescents should avoid eating farmed salmon, according to Norwegian doctors and international experts. The reason is that salmon feed contains harmful pollutants.

    Talking to VG, specialist Anne-Lise Birch Monsen and Physician and professor of medicine, Bjørn Bolann say that it is uncertain in both the amount of toxins and how they affect children, adolescents and pregnant. They point out that the type of contaminants that have been detected in farmed salmon have a negative effect on brain development and is associated with autism, AD / HD and reduced IQ.

    A large European study involving about 8,000 newborns, shows that pregnant women with high levels of toxins in the body have children with lower birth weight, which may have an adverse effect on child health.

    Conservative party (Høyre) economic policy spokesman Svein Flåtten asks fisheries minister to respond in the Parliament on whether Norwegian farmed salmon is dangerous to eat for children and pregnant women.

    I want to know what she can do to make Norwegian consumers and society sure that Norwegian farmed salmon is a healthy and clean product. That’s what we’ve been hearing from researchers for years, says Flåtten to NTB.

    He believes there is reason to take seriously the warning raised by doctors.

    - There is no doubt that such claims may have a negative effect on salmon industry. Therefore, it is important to clarify this quickly. I expect the health authorities to look closely at the findings discussed, he said.

    If you eat seafood, unless you catch it yourself or ask the right questions, the odds are pretty good it comes from a fish farm. The aquaculture industry is like a whale on steroids, growing faster than any other animal agriculture segment and now accounting for half the fish eaten in the U.S.

    As commercial fishing operations continue to strip the world’s oceans of life, with one-third of fishing stocks collapsed and the rest headed there by mid-century, fish farming is seen as a way to meet the world’s growing demand. But is it really the silver bullet to solve the Earth’s food needs? Can marine farms reliably satisfy the seafood cravings of three billion people around the globe?

    This article looks at aquaculture and its long-term effects on fish, people, and other animals. With this industry regularly touted as a paragon of food production, whether you eat seafood or not, you should know these nine key facts about farmed fish.

    1. Farmed fish have dubious nutritional value. The Omega-3 Levels are Not What You Think

    Here’s a frustrating paradox for those who eat fish for their health: the nutritional benefits of fish are greatly decreased when it’s farmed. Take omega-3 fatty acids. Wild fish get their omega-3’s from aquatic plants. Farmed fish, however, are often fed corn, soy, or other feedstuffs that contain little or no omega-3’s. This unnatural, high-corn diet also means some farmed fish accumulate unhealthy levels of the wrong fatty acids. Further, farmed fish are routinely dosed with antibiotics, which can cause antibiotic-resistant disease in humans.

    2. The farmed fishing industry robs Peter to pay Paul. Small Prey Fish May be Driven to Extinction

    While some farmed fish can live on diets of corn or soy, others need to eat fish – and lots of it. Tuna and salmon, for example, need to eat up to five pounds of fish for each pound of body weight. The result is that prey (fish like anchovies and herring) are being fished to the brink of extinction to feed the world’s fish farms. “We have caught all the big fish and now we are going after their food,” says the non-profit Oceana, which blames aquaculture’s voracious hunger for declines of whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, tuna, bass, salmon, albatross, penguins, and other species.

    3. Fish experience pain and stress.

    Contrary to the wishful thinking of many a catch-and-release angler, the latest research shows conclusively that fish experience pain and stress. In one study, fish injected with bee venom engaged in rocking behavior linked to pain and, compared to control groups, reduced their swimming activity, waited three times longer to eat, and had higher breathing rates. Farmed fish are subject to the routine stresses of hyperconfinement throughout their lives, and are typically killed in slow, painful ways like evisceration, starvation, or asphyxiation.

    4. Farmed fish are loaded with disease, and this spreads to wild fish populations.

    Farmed fish are packed as tightly as coins in a purse, with twenty-seven adult trout, for example, typically scrunched into a bathtub-sized space. These unnatural conditions give rise to diseases and parasites, which often migrate off the farm and infect wild fish populations. On Canada’s Pacific coast, for example, sea lice infestations are responsible for mass kill-offs of pink salmon that have destroyed 80% of the fish in some local populations. But the damage doesn’t end there, because eagles, bears, orcas, and other predators depend on salmon for their existence. Drops in wild salmon numbers cause these species to decline as well.

    5. Fish farms are rife with toxins, which also damage local ecosystems.

    You can’t have diseases and parasites infecting your economic units, so operators fight back by dumping concentrated antibiotics and other chemicals into the water. Such toxins damage local ecosystems in ways we’re just beginning to understand. One study found that a drug used to combat sea lice kills a variety of nontarget marine invertebrates, travels up to half a mile, and persists in the water for hours.

    That’s right, fish poop too. Farmed fish waste falls as sediment to the seabed in sufficient quantities to overwhelm and kill marine life in the immediate vicinity and for some distance beyond. It also promotes algal growth, which reduces water’s oxygen content and makes it hard to support life. When the Israeli government learned that algal growth driven by two fish farms in the Red Sea was hurting nearby coral reefs, it shut them down.

    6. Farmed fish are living in their own feces.

    That’s right, fish poop too. Farmed fish waste falls as sediment to the seabed in sufficient quantities to overwhelm and kill marine life in the immediate vicinity and for some distance beyond. It also promotes algal growth, which reduces water’s oxygen content and makes it hard to support life. When the Israeli government learned that algal growth driven by two fish farms in the Red Sea was hurting nearby coral reefs, it shut them down.

    7. Farmed fish are always trying to escape their unpleasant conditions, and who can blame them?

    In the North Atlantic region alone, up to two million runaway salmon escape into the wild each year. The result is that at least 20% of supposedly wild salmon caught in the North Atlantic are of farmed origin. Escaped fish breed with wild fish and compromise the gene pool, harming the wild population. Embryonic hybrid salmon, for example, are far less viable than their wild counterparts, and adult hybrid salmon routinely die earlier than their purebred relatives. This pressure on wild populations further hurts predators who rely on fish like bears and orcas.

    8. See: the Jevons Paradox.

    This counterintuitive economic theory says that as production methods grow more efficient, demand for resources actually increases – rather than decreasing, as you might expect. Accordingly, as aquaculture makes fish production increasingly efficient, and fish become more widely available and less expensive, demand increases across the board. This drives more fishing, which hurts wild populations. Thus, as the construction of new salmon hatcheries from 1987 to 1999 drove lower prices and wider availability of salmon, world demand for salmon increased more than fourfold during the period. The net result: fish farming cranks up the pressure on already-depleted populations of wild fish around the world.

    9. When the heavy environmental damage they cause is taken into account, fish farming operations often are found to generate more costs than revenues.

    One study found that aquaculture in Sweden’s coastal waters “is not only ecologically but also economically unsustainable.” Another report concluded that fish farming in a Chinese lake is an “economically irrational choice from the perspective of the whole society, with an unequal tradeoff between environmental costs and economic benefits.” Simply put, aquaculture drives heavy ecological harms and these cost society money. In the U.S., fish farming drives hidden costs of roughly $700 million each year – or half the annual production value of fish farming operations.

    (We need to remember to pray over our food. There is actual power in our hands when we place them over our food when you pray.)

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    Until next week...keep on believing.
    Almondtree Productions

    And they gave him (Jesus) a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.”
    (Luke 24:42-43)


    http://www.missionarychristian.org