Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
(Luke 6:38)

Shaken Together

Dear Friends,

Thank you for visiting People of the Keys. We very much value your readership over the years and your notes of encouragement, questions, and support.

A close friend and colleague of ours, Simon Peterson, contacted us recently concerning a project he is interested in producing.

Simon has been a faithful missionary for many, many years having spent the past sixteen years in Uganda with his wife and family.

Simon hosts a daily Gospel oriented radio program in Uganda called “Nightlight”. An international edtion of this program is also enjoyed by listeners all around the world.

Simon has recorded audio books of the King James Bible and many classic Christian daily devotionals. He is also overseeing the recording of a number of audio Bibles in East African languages that have never before had a Bible.

In the 1990's Simon also narrated and produced two widely acclaimed documentaries that were translated into numerous languages and seen by millions around the world, "Countdown to Armageddon” and “Beyond Armageddon”.

Simon now has two new projects which he described in a recent news letter.

An ambitious project for 2015 is to produce one or two new End time videos. Joseph
Candel is already working on a completely updated “Countdown to Armageddon” script.
This will be a completely new video, with new narrations and video footage.

The other video we are praying about would be something like “Beyond Armageddon”, but more centered around Jerusalem, its history, its present situation, and most importantly, its future. It would be filmed in Jerusalem later this year. I’ve invited Robert (of “People of the Keys”) to collaborate with me on the scripting and possibly even the filming of this video. The working title for the documentary is “Oh, Jerusalem!””

In our recent conversations with Simon, we have decided because of the world situation that sooner rather than later would be advantageous. We are now hoping to film in mid April and complete the filming some time in May.

We are therefore making an appeal to you, our readers. We could use help to make this possible. Anything you could donate to help cover the costs of this project would be tremendous.

We will send a copy of the completed DVD of either “Oh Jerusalem” or the updated version of “Beyond Armageddon” to all who are able to help in the production of this project.

We thank you in advance for helping to bring this project to fruition.

You can donate via PayPal via the link on People of the Keys, or if you need a physical address we will be happy to send you one.

Together we can help get God's End Time message and hope out to a confused and frightened world.

Thank you and God bless you.


End Of The American Dream

Signn Of Judgment? Total Solar Eclipse On March 20th Falls In The Middle Of The Four Blood Red Moons

By Michael Snyder, on February 26th, 2015

The total solar eclipse on March 20th falls on Nisan 1, which is the first day of the first month of the Biblical calendar. According to Jewish tradition, a solar eclipse on Nisan 1 is a sign of judgment. And this has certainly been true in the past. For example, there was a solar eclipse on Nisan 1 in 70 AD. Later that year, the Romans attacked Jerusalem and completely destroyed the Temple. What makes all of this even more interesting is the fact that the solar eclipse on March 20th falls right in the middle of the blood moon tetrad, and it also happens to fall during the Shemitah year. If you are not a believer, you may be tempted to dismiss all of this as some sort of extremely bizarre coincidence. If you are a believer, you also might be skeptical. But by the end of this article, at least you will understand what so many people are talking about right now.

In the Scriptures, we are told that God created the sun and the moon, and that he intended for them to act as “signs”. The following comes from Genesis chapter one…

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

So specifically how can the sun and moon be “signs” as God originally intended?

Well, one minister has discovered that eclipses on important Biblical dates have been associated with key world events throughout history. His name is Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries, and he has pointed out that total eclipses do not take place on any other planet in our solar system…

Total eclipses don’t take place on any other known planet, point out intelligent-design scientists. They only take place on Earth, the finely tuned planet where life exists that can actually view them. Biltz points out that the Bible says in Genesis that the sun, moon and stars were created specifically as signs for mankind, so His creation would know about the feasts (or appointed times) to have relationship with their Creator.

A number of years ago, Pastor Biltz discovered that a series of four blood moon eclipses would occur on important Biblical dates during 2014 and 2015. This kind of “blood moon tetrad” is very rare. It fact, it has only happened seven times before since the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This current blood moon tetrad is the eighth occurrence.

And according to Jewish tradition, blood red moons are an omen of war for Israel. The following comes from my previous article on the blood red moons…

Is Israel going to be involved in a war during the blood red moons of 2014 and 2015? According to ancient Jewish tradition, a lunar eclipse is a harbinger of bad things for Israel. If that eclipse is blood red, that is a sign that war is coming. And blood red moons that happen during Biblical festivals seem to be particularly significant. There was a “tetrad” of blood red moons that fell during Passover 1967, the Feast of Tabernacles 1967, Passover 1968 and the Feast of Tabernacles 1968. And of course the 1967 war during which Israel took full control of Jerusalem took place during that time period. There was also a “tetrad” of blood red moons that fell during Passover 1949, the Feast of Tabernacles 1949, Passover 1950 and the Feast of Tabernacles 1950. If you know your history, you already are aware that the Israeli War of Independence ended on July 20th, 1949. So does the blood red moon tetrad of 2014 and 2015 signal that another season of war is now upon us?

We already witnessed a war between Israel and Hamas in 2014, but personally I am convinced that more war could soon come to the Middle East.

But what I want to talk about now is the total solar eclipse that is coming up on March 20th. The chart below comes from, and it shows that it falls right in the middle of this series of blood red moons…

As I mentioned above, when a solar eclipse falls on Nisan 1 it is traditionally considered to be a sign that judgment is coming to the world…

“Our Rabbis taught, when the sun is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for the whole world. This may be illustrated by a parable. To what can this be compared? To a human being who made a banquet for his servants and put up for them a

lamp. When he became wroth with them he said to his servant, ‘Take away the lamp from them, and let them sit in

the dark’. It was taught: R. Meir said, whenever the luminaries [moon] are in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel since they are inured to blows. This may be compared to a school teacher who comes to school with a strap in his hand. Who becomes apprehensive? He who is accustomed to be daily punished. Our Rabbis taught, When the sun is in eclipse it is a bad omen for idolaters; when the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel, since Israel reckons by the moon and idolaters by the sun…”

—Succah 29a

Of course Jewish tradition is not Scripture, but it is very interesting to note.

And what we do know is that we have seen this kind of pattern before.

On Nisan 1 in 70 AD, there was a total solar eclipse. But that was not the only eclipse during that time period. In fact, there were a whole series of eclipses that took place on key Biblical dates before and after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem.

The following information comes from a book authored by Pastor Mark Biltz entitled “Blood Moons“…

October 18, 69 AD (Sukkot): partial solar eclipse

March 30, 70 AD (Nisan 1): total solar eclipse

April 14, 70 AD (Passover): penumbral lunar eclipse

Temple destroyed 9th of Av, 70 AD

September 21, 70 AD (Rosh Hashanah): annual solar eclipse

October 8, 70 AD (Sukkot): penumbral lunar eclipse

March 4, 71 AD (Purim): partial lunar eclipse

March 20, 71 AD (Nisan 1): hybrid solar eclipse

September 12, 71 AD (Rosh Hashanah): hybrid solar eclipse

Now we find ourselves in the middle of a similar series of eclipses.

So could it be possible that this total eclipse on March 20th is a sign of judgment?

Or is all of this just a giant coincidence?

Either way, at least now you understand what so many people are talking about.



Amid killings and kidnappings, can Christianity survive in the Middle East?

By Greg Botelho, CNN

Updated 2:51 PM ET, Fri February 27, 2015

Christians light candles last month in the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.

(CNN)Christianity was born in Bethlehem, in what's now the West Bank. It took root among people like the Assyrians, who flourished in ancient Mesopotamia. It soon found a home in places like modern-day Turkey.

In other words, Christianity traces its past squarely to the Middle East.

But do Christians have a future there?

Recent headlines provide ample evidence for skepticism. It's hard to ignore the depravity of ISIS beheading 21 Egyptian Christians on a beach in Libya. Nor can one shake off stories of women and children among the 262 Christians captured by ISIS in Syria, one of several horrors faced by Christians in that nation and neighboring Iraq.

They're not just feeling the heat from Islamic extremists: Just this week, police in Jerusalem said they suspected radical right-wing Israelis were to blame for defacing a Greek Orthodox seminary in Jerusalem with slurs maligning Jesus.

All this strain, all this chaos has shrunk the percentage of the Middle East's once-sizable population of openly practicing Christians.

While no one is saying what's happening -- especially given the savagery of ISIS -- isn't alarming, that doesn't make it surprising. The Middle East has changed a lot since the first millennium A.D. for Christians. It has also changed a lot over the past century: The percentage of Christians relative to the Mideast's overall population has gone from 13.6% in 1910 to 4.2% in 2010, and it's expected to drop even further, according to religious demographers Todd Johnson and Gina Zurlo.

"What we're seeing right now," said Baylor University historical theologian Philip Jenkins, "is the latest phase of something that has been going for 100 years, pretty much."

This isn't to say Christianity itself is dying out.

It is growing in places like Africa, Asia, South America and -- believe it or not -- some of the most dogmatic, restrictive nations in the Middle East.

This is thanks to migrants who travel from places like the Philippines and Africa to oil-rich countries where Islam is a state-sponsored faith. According to the World Religion Database, places like Qatar and Bahrain have seen their Christian ranks surge from basically nothing a century ago to 10% and 13% of their respective populations.

Some of these countries are relatively permissive. The United Arab Emirates lets Christians do most everything but evangelize, for example, and Bahrain has top Christian and Jewish officials.

On the other end of the spectrum is Saudi Arabia, which doesn't allow the practice of anything but Islam. Religious police in Saudi Arabia try to make sure that's the case. David Curry, whose nonprofit group Open Doors USA helps persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries, calls Saudi Arabia's control on religious matters "complete."

"You're not allowed to go to church, you're not allowed to have a Bible, you're not allowed to think for yourself," Curry said.

Yet that hasn't stopped Christians from coming for a simple reason: jobs. They'll likely keep coming, with the World Religion Database projecting Saudi Arabia will have more than 1.5 million Christians by 2025.

And they don't necessarily stop believing and professing their faith once they cross the border.

"There are home churches (where people are) practicing their faith in private," says Zurlo, who helps manage the database and is assistant director of the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. "... Some of them come as guest workers, but they see themselves as missionaries."

Still, such migrant workers are in the shadows and under threat of deportation, and more, if caught praying openly or communally. They haven't been in the Middle East long, and there's no guarantee any one of them will stay long, either.

That's in contrast to other Christian communities that have been in the Middle East for centuries.

They're people like Assyrians, whose ancestors were part a cradle of modern civilization. They began converting to Christianity within years of Jesus' death and have kept the faith despite the growth of Islam in their homeland and, most shockingly, the Assyrian genocide of the 1910s and early 1920s.

Now those Assyrians in Iraq and Syria are under fire again.

Last August, ISIS militants overran Qaraqosh, a historic Assyrian community of about 50,000 people and Iraq's largest Christian city. And in recent days, the terrorist group stormed Assyrian villages in northeastern Syria, taking some 262 people hostage, said Assyrian Human Rights Network founder Osama Edward. Others fled for their lives, including about 600 taking refuge in St. Mary's Cathedral in al-Hasakah, Syria.

"We pray, we pray all the time," Romel David, who has 12 relatives thought to be among those kidnapped, told CNN affiliate KCRA. "What we've heard is it was like a sea of black uniforms marching through all the villages, burning down the churches, desecrating the crosses and wreaking havoc."

ISIS has targeted other Christians in the region as well, like those in Mosul, Iraq, who were told last July to convert to Islam, pay a fine or face "death by sword." Curry calls ISIS' actions against Christians "genocide." Yet it shouldn't obscure the fact that, even before this group's emergence, the number of Iraqi Christians was on the decline.

Some of that's due to a weak Iraqi central government and general instability. Christians might also be hurt by their historic affiliation with the Baath Party, once led by deposed Saddam Hussein (with the Syrian branch led by embattled President Bashar al-Assad). Another factor is the rise of militias and politicians who make Islam more central to their missions, to the exclusion of others.

Curry, from Open Doors USA, said Iraq had about 1.5 million Christians just over a decade ago. That number is now under 150,000, something that he attributes to family influences, government actions, communal pressure and targeted violence from militant groups.

"In 10 years from now," Jenkins added, "I expect Christians in Iraq will be gone."

A Pew Research Center report released this week found that, in 2013, that Christians faced harassment in 102 countries. Muslims got similar treatment in 99 nations, and Jews faced harassment in 77, a seven-year high.

Five of the 18 countries with "very high government restrictions on religion" were in the Mideast, according to the same study. That means that groups like Christians have a tough time in that region, but it's not the only place nor are they the only ones persecuted. And there isn't anything novel about people of one faith being pitted against another.

Still, even when strife involves people from different religions, that doesn't mean the discord is all about faith. It can also be about power, with leaders using religion in part to curry popular support and lure recruits. Jenkins notes a "combination of religious hatred and organized crime" is particularly dangerous, as when hostages are held for ransom or "tax" revenues are solicited from minorities. When this happens, any "other" group -- Christians included -- can become a target.

ISIS and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, are prime examples. Religion for them is almost a means to an end, as a way to create a sense of superiority, rationalize violence and spawn an "us vs. them" mentality while reaping rewards and amassing territory, said John Esposito, the founder of Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

"You appeal to religion both to legitimize what you're doing and to mobilize people," Esposito said.

So what can be done about Christians' plight in the Middle East?

Some of it likely can't be helped, according to Zurlo. With or without ISIS, their number will continue to fall -- something the Massachusetts-based religious demographer asserts is "not very unusual in the history of Christianity."

"Christianity has a serial nature: It goes in an area and it thrives, then it (declines)," Zurlo said. "It thrived in the Middle East for a very long time."

According to Esposito, one key to slowing this drop or, at least, to making life easier for those Christians who want to be in the Mideast is changing the Muslim world. A vast majority of Muslims denounce extremists like ISIS, but there are still enough who join such groups because they're angry at their government or others and do not feel they have any better outlet or purpose. When that happens, it's bad for Christians.

"To prevent the recruits, you have to get at the root causes," said Esposito, a former consultant to U.S. and other governments. "And even if you wipe out ISIS, unless those conditions change, you're going to have other groups that emerge."




by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.2 Mar 2015

In a rare interview, the head of the Vatican police force, or “Gendarmerie,” Commander Domenico Giani, said this weekend that the Islamic State (ISIS) threats against Pope Francis are “real” and not just media propaganda. “This is what emerges from the talks I have had with Italian and foreign colleagues,” he said.

Threats against the Pope and the Vatican go beyond the institutional Islamic State, said Giani, and extend to the risk of lone wolves, “which are more dangerous because they are unpredictable.” This includes everything from fanatics to the mentally disturbed to individuals who simply choose the Vatican as a venue for the media coverage that they can get, he said.

Giani has stood at the helm of the Vatican police for the past nine years, but he now faces an especially tense period in the face of the dramatic news coming from the Middle East and North Africa and explicit ISIS threats against the Pope and Rome.

According to the commander, Pope Francis is fully aware of the risk but “is not compromising the style of his pontificate, based on closeness to the people, that is, on personal contact with the greatest number of people possible.” Even as Pope, he said, Francis remains “the priest who does not want to lose touch with his flock.”

“We are the ones who have to adjust to him, and not vice versa,” Giani said. “We have to do everything we can so he can continue to carry out his ministry as he wants and believes he should.”

Giani says that the Pope is “well aware of the threats on his person,” but his only concern is “for the faithful.”

In terms of moments of extreme tension, Giani likens the present situation to 2006, when Pope Benedict gave his famous speech in Regensburg, Germany. He said that if we reread the Pope’s address today, it appears “prophetic” because of its firm denunciation of the “degeneration of extremist forms of Islam.” The address, he said, sparked protests and vehement threats against the Pope.

Under Giani’s command, the Vatican Police have joined Interpol and begun to exchange information with the intelligence services of other countries. He said that even from many Islamic countries he has received valuable information, as well as signs of esteem and admiration for the Pope. “I can say that today the Pope is seen and respected by Islam as the most influential moral authority in the world,” Giani said.

For years before serving the Vatican, Giani worked for the Italian government but says that his task now is the “highest of all.” As a believing Catholic, Giani says, “I protect the Vicar of Christ on earth,” which is “an honor and a joy that compensate every sacrifice, even the risk of my life.”

Yet even as a Catholic, Giani believes that the use of force has its place. “During his journey back from a visit to South Korea,” Giani said, “the Holy Father said it is permissible to stop unjust aggression,” though this should never be taken lightly. “Even for us Gendarmerie, weapons should be used only as the last resort,” he said.

There are currently 138 Vatican police, which, according to Gianni, are too few. “Budget constraints and austerity have hit the Vatican as well,” he said. There is no lack of interest however. In the last hiring, he said, in which 20 new seats were available, a thousand applicants showed up to be interviewed.

According to Giani, 20 of the 138 Vatican police have received “special training” that makes them suitable also for “anti-terrorist actions.” Some of these men, he said, “accompany the Pope during his international travels.”

Giani also clarified the distinction of tasks between the Swiss Guard and the Vatican Police. The Guard, he said, made up of 110 soldiers, has “the task of defending the person of the Holy Father and his residences.” The Vatican Police, on the other hand, is responsible for dealing “with the overall security of the Vatican City State, and the Holy Father’s movements. It also performs the functions of the judicial police,” he stated.

According to Giani, the Vatican makes use of the latest security technology and has an operational center “of high technological level,” which is supplied by “thousands of surveillance cameras” installed in Vatican City, as well as in extraterritorial Vatican properties.



NASA Brings Scientists & Theologians Together To Prepare World For Extraterrestrial Contact

September 25, 2014 by Arjun Walia.

A couple of months ago top US astronomers gathered in front of congress to let them know that extraterrestrial life exists without question. Their main argument was the size of the universe, emphasizing that there are trillions of stars out there, with one in every five most likely harboring an Earth-like planet. It’s also important to keep in mind that planets do not have to be “Earth-like” in order to harbor life.

The number of habitable worlds in our galaxy is certainly in the tens of billions, minimum, and we haven’t even talked about the moons. And the number of galaxies we can see, other than our own, is about 100 billion.” – Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at California’s SETI Institute (source)

This time, NASA and the Library of Congress have teamed up bringing together scientists, theologians, philosophers and historians from around the globe for a two day symposium in order to discuss how to prepare the world for extraterrestrial contact, whether it be microbial organisms or intelligent beings.

We’re looking at all scenarios about finding life. If you find microbes, that’s one thing. If you find intelligence, it’s another. And if they communicate, it’s something else, and depending on what they say, it’s something else! The idea is not to wait until we make a discovery, but to try and prepare the public for what the implications might be when such a discovery is made. I think the reason that NASA is backing this is because of all the recent activity in the discovery of exoplanets and the advances in astrobiology in general. People just consider it much more likely now that we’re going to find something — probably microbes first and maybe intelligence later. The driving force behind this is from a scientific point of view that it seems much more likely now that we are going to find life at some point in the future.” –Astronomer, symposium organizer and former chief NASA historian, Steven J. Dick.

One of the theologians present was Brother Guy Consolmagno, who is the new president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. This is what he had to say:

I Believe [alien life exists], but I have no evidence. I would be really excited and it would make my understanding of my religion deeper and richer in ways that I can’t even predict yet, which is why it would be so exciting.”

He is urging the public not to be so surprised when extraterrestrial life is discovered, because it will be discovered. He even said that he would be happy to baptize them, if it’s intelligent extraterrestrial life that’s discovered. The Vatican has been very open to the idea of intelligent extraterrestrial life, and they’ve expressed these views for a very long time.

Earth is not the center of the universe, it’s not flat, and it’s looking very likely that the next major paradigm shifting revelation will be the fact that we are not alone in the universe.

It’s great to see the mainstream world gather, discuss and prepare for this possibility and ultimate reality, and it’s a great seg-way to create more awareness about the world of secrecy, the world’s within our world that deal with projects the human race knows nothing about.



People walk in front of the snow capped Dome of the Rock in the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City December 12, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Jerusalem Court Rules Police Must Allow Jewish Prayer On Temple Mount

5:01 PM 03/03/2015


In a historical ruling, Judge Malka Aviv decided that police must allow Jews to pray at the Temple Mount, the holiest Jewish site in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The court case, Yehuda Glick vs. the Israeli Police, was brought forth after Rabbi Yehuda Glick was banned from visiting the Temple Mount after he was seen giving a Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount on television.


Prior to this decision, Israeli police prohibited Jews from praying on the Temple Mount for security reasons. The police ban even included silent prayer, or mouthing the words to a prayer to oneself. According to Israeli police, non-Muslim prayer at the Temple Mount would incite Islamic violence.

Glick has been actively involved in movements to return Jewish prayer to the Temple Mount and he is no stranger to the violence regarding the controversial subject. At an event about the future of the Temple Mount, Glick was the target of a failed assassination attempt by an Islamic militant. Despite the threat to his life, Glick continued to campaign for the ability of Jews to pray freely.

According to Aviv, this decision will “ensure that Jews are able to pray on the Temple Mount, and not to act sweepingly to prevent Jews from praying on the Temple Mount.” From now on, Israeli police can no longer implement a blanket ban on Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount to try to keep Jewish visitors safe.


Former Mossad head urges Israeli voters to oust Binyamin Netanyahu

Meir Dagan says prime minister’s policies are ‘destructive to the future and security of Israel’

Binyamin Netanyahu has said he believes that his speech is necessary to strengthen opposition to a potential nuclear deal with Iran being negotiated by the US and key allies. Photograph: Abir Sultan/AP

Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem

Friday 27 February 2015 14.09 EST

Last modified on Friday 27 February 2015 19.07 EST

A former head of Israel’s foreign intelligence service Mossad is urging voters to oust Binyamin Netanyahu in the next general election, accusing the prime minister of endangering the country’s security with his stance on the Iranian nuclear programme.

Meir Dagan, a vocal critic of Netanyahu’s Iran policy since stepping down as Mossad chief four years ago, is to be a keynote speaker at a rally in Tel Aviv next weekend, calling on the public to turf the prime minister out of office on 17 March.

Netanyahu was due to fly to Washington on Friday.

In a trenchant critique of Netanyahu’s leadership, delivered in a long interview in Israel’s biggest-selling newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, Dagan said the prime minister’s policies were “destructive to the future and security of Israel”.

Netanyahu’s planned speech has brought the already uncomfortable state of relations with the Obama administration to a new low amid suspicion that the speech – at the invitation of Republican house speaker John Boehner – was designed to enhance the Israeli prime minister’s electoral prospects.

Netanyahu has said he believes that his speech is necessary to strengthen opposition to a potential nuclear deal with Iran being negotiated by the US and key allies.

The intervention by Dagan – who ended his tenure as the head of Mossad in 2011 – is doubly significant because he shares the prime minister’s view over the risk posed by a nuclear Iran and is regarded as generally hawkish on defence and security matters.

Netanyahu has made security and the Iranian nuclear programme – and the US-led negotiations to contain it – his key election issue.

Recent days have also seen anonymous criticism of Netanyahu’s speech from serving intelligence officers as well as from former diplomats and political figures in Israel, including Isaac Herzog, the leader of the opposition.

Saying that he was aware that Israel was already “paying a high price” over the confrontation with the Obama administration – albeit in ways he could not disclose – Dagan said: “The person causing the most strategic harm to Israel on the Iranian issue is the prime minister.

“As someone who has served Israel in various security capacities for 45 years, including during the country’s most difficult hours, I feel that we are now at a critical point regarding our existence and our security.

“Our standing in the world is not brilliant right now. The question of Israel’s legitimacy is up for debate. We should not erode our relations with our most important friend. Certainly not in public, certainly not by becoming involved in its domestic politics. This is not proper behaviour for a prime minister.”

Insisting he held no personal animus towards Netanyahu, who had helped him get a liver transplant, he said: “I have no personal issue with the prime minister, his wife, his spending and the way he conducts himself. I’m talking about the country he leads.

“An Israeli prime minister who clashes with the US administration has to ask himself what the risks are. On the matter of settlements, there is no difference between the two [US] parties. And even so, they provide us with a veto umbrella. In a situation of a confrontation, this umbrella is liable to vanish, and within a short time, Israel could find itself facing international sanctions.

“The risks of such a clash are intolerable. We are already today paying a high price. Some of them I know and cannot elaborate.

“I would not have confronted the United States and its president. Netanyahu may get applause in Congress, but all the power is in the White House. What will Netanyahu gain by addressing Congress? I just don’t understand it. Is his goal to get a standing ovation? This trip to Washington is doomed to failure.”

Dagan’s intervention follows that of fellow former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit and the former head of the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit who are among scores of former commanders involved in a video published on Facebook calling for Israel to replace Netanyahu.

Netanyahu’s determination to push on with his speech has seen unusually critical remarks from senior US administration officials in the last week who have gone out of their way to express their displeasure.

Among them was John Kerry, the secretary of state, who openly questioned Netanyahu’s judgment on the issue, and Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice who warned that it was “destructive to the fabric” of US-Israeli relations.

Netanyahu’s plans to speak to Congress have also irritated many Democratic party members who view the speech as a partisan intervention in US politics on the side of the Republican party, prompting a number of Democrats to say they would not attend the speech.

The speech is also being snubbed by Obama and Joe Biden, his vice president.

After leaving Mossad, Dagan went public with his criticism of Netanyahu’s Iran policy, saying a military attack on Iran was “the stupidest thing I have ever heard”.



Microchip hand implants offered to Swedish office staff - video

A new office block in Sweden is offering workers the chance to have a microchip implanted under their skin to allow them to access to various services within the building. The tiny chip, the size of a grain of rice, is implanted in employees hands, allowing them to open doors, or use the photocopier, without a traditional pass card.



Connected Phone, Connected House, Connected Car...Connected Body?

LONDON, February 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

As the Internet of Things evolves and becomes the Internet of Us, security expert Kaspersky Lab has teamed up with Swedish bio-hacking community BioNyfiken to uncover the realities of connecting our bodies to the Internet

Once confined to Hollywood blockbusters and sci-fi novels, in 2015, the number of humans upgraded by technological devices is increasing in number. Thanks to the invention and wide-spread adoption of implantable aids such as pacemakers, insulin pumps, hearing aids and deep brain stimulation systems, the world is filling with humans who could be considered part machine.

But recent media reports describe another breed of upgraded human, people who implant technology in their bodies not for medical reasons, but simply because of greater convenience in everyday life; people with smart implants that allow them to control door locks, make purchases and gain access to computer systems with the wave of a hand. The question then arises, when we allow our bodies to contain increasing amounts of personal, hackable data, is there cause for concern?

BioNyfiken, a Sweden based bio-hacking community, is leading the charge in normalising the chipping phenomenon and bringing it to the masses. Their view is that having a smart sub-dermal implant is not so different from wearing an earring or having a tattoo, and that an increasing number of people will choose to have NFC-compatible implants containing an array of information.

Patrick Mylund Nielsen, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab, said, "The trend within the Internet of Things has been to create products and get them to market fast. Security is often an afterthought, if it's even a thought at all. And although bio-augmentation has been the topic of science fiction for as long as we can remember, not many stories dealt with its everyday implications: What happens when our private keys are under our skin? Can somebody become a virtual copy of me by shaking my hand? Who might be following me everywhere I go? "Nyfiken" means curious in Swedish, and when it comes to answering these questions, indeed we are."

"The technology is already happening," says Hannes Sjoblad, one of the founders of BioNyfiken. "We are seeing a fast-growing community of people experimenting with chip implants, which allow users to quickly and easily perform a variety of everyday tasks, such as allowing access to buildings, unlocking personal devices without PIN codes and enabling read access to various types of stored data.

"I consider the take-off of this technology as another important interface-moment in the history of human-computer interaction, similar to the launches of the first windows desktop or the first touch screen. Identification by touch is innate for humans. PIN codes and passwords are not natural. And every additional device that we have to carry around to identify ourselves, be it a key fob or a swipe card, is just another item that clutters our lives."

"That's why we felt it was crucial to work alongside a leading security expert that really understands the technology to help us analyse the risks. Kaspersky Lab is the ideal research partner for BioNyfiken. They are not only highly regarded security experts and thought leaders, but have been at the forefront of emerging technologies and cutting edge research from their inception."

"We look forward to working alongside Kaspersky Lab experts in an open research project to explore the vulnerabilities of these chips in everyday, human-user situations and if vulnerabilities are found, it will of course be necessary to identify ways to tackle them."

Further to its research with BioNyfiken, Kaspersky Lab will be co-hosting events with the broader bio-hacking community in Sweden and across Europe, aiming to put security and privacy aspects on the agenda. There are already a number of hi-tech buildings in Sweden, such as Epicenter, catering to forward thinking business where NFC implants are regularly used for a range of activities, replacing additional devices.

Eugene Kaspersky, chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, remarked: "Personally, I'd rather not be chipped. I do however understand that technological progress cannot be hindered and there will be innovators who are ready to accept the risk and test the limits of technology by experimenting on their own bodies. I'd just rather they did this with their eyes open and with security at the forefront of their minds, instead of as a retrofit after-thought, as so often occurs."

"That's why I'm pleased that BioNyfiken has chosen us to work with on investigating the security implications of connecting our bodies to the web. It might be that our researchers find no concerns, but if people are going to have NFC chips inside them, I'd want to be sure that the experts had thoroughly investigated all the ramifications."


Activist Post

Google gives new meaning to “Orwellian” - Becomes Ministry of Truth

Jon Rappoport

Sunday March 1, 2015

“…if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth.” (1984, George Orwell)

The New Scientist has the stunning story (2/28/15, “Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links,” by Hal Hodson):

“THE internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free ‘news’ stories spread like wildfire. Google has devised a fix – rank websites according to their truthfulness.”

Great idea, right?

Sure it is.

The author of the article lets the cat out of the bag right away with his comment about “anti-vaccination” websites.

These sites will obviously be shoved into obscurity by Google because they’re “garbage”…whereas “truthful” pro-vaccine sites will dominate top ranked pages on the search engine.

This is wonderful if you believe what the CDC tells you about vaccine safety and efficacy. The CDC: an agency that opens its doors every day with lies and closes them with more lies.

The New Scientist article continues: “A Google research team is adapting [a] model to measure the trustworthiness of a [website] page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the [ranking] system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. ‘A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,’ says the team…The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score.”

468x60, created 6/30/10

Right. Google, researchers of truth. Assessors of trustworthiness. Who in the world could have a problem with that?

Answer: anyone with three live brain cells.

Here’s the New Scientist’s capper. It’s a beaut:

“The [truth-finding] software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.”

Right. Uh-huh. So Google, along with its friends at the CIA, will engineer a new and improved, greater flood of (dis)information across the Web. And this disinfo will constitute an overwhelming majority opinion…and will become the standard for measuring truth and trustworthiness.

Think about what kinds of websites will rise like foul cream to the top of Google page rankings:

“All vaccines are marvelously safe and effective, and parents who don’t vaccinate their kids should be prosecuted for felonies.”

“GMOs are perfectly safe. ‘The science’ says so.”

“The FBI has never organized a synthetic terror event and then stung the morons it encouraged.”

“Common Core is the greatest system of education yet devised by humans.”

“People who believe conspiracies exist have mental disorders.”

In other words: (fake) consensus reality becomes reality. Which is the situation we have now, but the titanic pile of fakery will rise much, much higher.

Also, think about this: the whole purpose of authentic investigative reporting is puncturing the consensus…but you’ll have to search Google for a long time to find it.

In the field of medical fraud, an area I’ve been researching for 25 years, the conclusions of standard published studies (which are brimming with lies) will occupy page after page of top Google rankings.

Let me offer a counter-example to the Google “knowledge team.” Here is a woman who has examined, up close and personal, more medical studies in her career than the entire workforce of Google. She is Dr. Marcia Angell. For 20 years, she was an editor at The New England Journal of Medicine.

On January 15, 2009, the New York Review of Books published her stunning statement:

It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.

In two sentences, Angell carries more weight than 20,000 blowhard “science bloggers,” to say nothing of lying drug companies and that criminal agency called the FDA.

Angell torpedoes an entire range of medical literature, based on her hard-won experience.

But you can be sure that when it comes to “medical facts,” the Google “truth team” will ascribe absolutely no merit (ranking) to her conclusion or its implications.

You may say, “But these search engines are already slanting the truth.”

The new Google program is going to double down. It’s going to set up its own Ministry of Truth. It’s going to standardize algorithms that unerringly bring about officially favored lies.

Stories on vote fraud?

Stories contradicting the official line on mass shootings?

Stories on the US government funding terrorist groups?

Stories on the hostile planetary intentions of Globalists?

Stories on corporate criminals? Secrets of the Federal Reserve?

Stories on major media censoring scandals?

Counter-consensus stories on 9/11, the JFK assassination, the US bankers and corporations who funded both sides in WW2? All anti-establishment versions of history?

After Google launches this Ministry of Truth program, you’ll have to put on diving gear and go deep underwater to find any trace of them.

Welcome to a new day.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” (Opening line, 1984, Orwell)

Let’s take all this one step further. Google’s director of research is Ray Kurzweil, who many people know as the promoter of a “utopian” plan to hook the population up (through direct brain-machine interface) to a vast super-computer.

The super-computer will pass along virtually all human knowledge. Kurzweil believes such a momentous breakthrough will endow humans with a mystical level of consciousness.

Even if this technological wet dream could be realized, we can now see what “connecting to all human knowledge” means:

It means accepting all official knowledge. Being blind to counter-knowledge.

It’s time to reverse AI (Artificial Intelligence) and call it IA (Intelligent Androids).

IAs would be humans who are programmed to be androids. IAs accept truth as it delivered to them by official sources.

Google makes its contribution by promoting official sources.

And hiding other sources.

Yes, this surely seems like Nirvana.

You will be fed the Good and protected from the Evil.

Sound familiar?

Thank you, Google. When are you going to apply for non-profit status and open your Holy Church of Information?

“Today’s sermon will be delivered by the director of the CIA. It is titled, ‘Data: everything you need to know, everything you must not believe.’ Breathe deeply. Your neuronal circuits are now being tuned to our channel…”

Jon Rappoport is the author of two explosive collections, The Matrix Revealed and Exit From the Matrix, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world



Chile Volcano Eruption Sends Lava Shooting Into the Sky

Mar 3, 2015, 3:27 AM ET


Chile's Villarrica volcano erupted overnight, sending lava shooting into the night sky.

The amazing display was visible from miles away.

PHOTO: The Villarica volcano erupts near Pucon, Chile, March 3, 2015.

The volcano erupted at about 3 a.m. local time, according to the National Emergency Office, which issued a red alert and ordered evacuations.

PHOTO: Chile's Villarrica volcano can be seen erupting, March 3, 2015.

The 9,000-foot volcano is located in Chile's central valley about 400 miles south of Santiago.



Head of £2.3 billion trust says wealth preservation is the key


Lord Jacob Rothschild has warned investors that the world is mired in the most dangerous geopolitical situation since World War II.

The 78-year-old chairman of RIT Capital Partners, a £2.3bn trust, used the organization’s annual report to caution savers that the focus of the firm would be the preservation of shareholders’ capital and not short term gains.

Rothschild said that “a geopolitical situation perhaps as dangerous as any we have faced since World War II” has created a “difficult economic background” of which investors should be wary.

Rothschild, whose business associates include Warren Buffett and Henry Kissinger, blamed the fraught climate on, “chaos and extremism in the Middle East, Russian aggression and expansion, and a weakened Europe threatened by horrendous unemployment, in no small measure caused by a failure to tackle structural reforms in many of the countries which form part of the European Union”.

“RIT is popular among private investors thanks to its excellent track record and its conservative approach to conserving capital,” notes the Telegraph’s Richard Dyson. Rothschild and his daughter Hannah jointly own shares in the trust worth approximately £160m.

Rothschild’s warning follows reports from January’s Davos Economic Forum during which it was revealed that the wealthy are purchasing secret hideaways in remote locations in order to escape social upheaval and possible riots.

Economist Robert Johnson made headlines when he divulged that “hedge fund managers all over the world….are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.”

Johnson cited income inequality and the potential for civil unrest and riots as the reason for the panic.

“A lot of wealthy and powerful people are quite afraid right now – they see us on an unstable trajectory,” said Johnson. “As the system doesn’t have proper resources, as it doesn’t represent people, things are getting more and more dangerous as say Ferguson, Missouri brings to bear.”

Realtors in New Zealand subsequently confirmed the flight to safety by the elite, noting that “paranoia” and concerns about personal safety and global crises were driving the trend.



Putin's Cyprus deal gives Russia a foothold in the EU: British MPs blast island's decision to let Moscow's navy use its ports

  • The EU member already hosts two British bases with 3,200 troops

  • Kremlin may have engineered the deal through bail-out to hard-up Cyprus

  • British officer says it's another sign we are creeping back to Cold War


PUBLISHED: 19:32 EST, 26 February 2015 | UPDATED: 06:01 EST, 27 February 2015

Russia has gained a military foothold in Europe after Vladimir Putin signed a controversial deal with Cyprus to dock warships there.

British MPs said Nicosia’s decision to let the Russian navy, including heavily armed frigates, use its ports for counter-terrorism and anti-piracy was ‘worrying and disappointing’.

Cyprus, an EU member, thrashed out the agreement despite already hosting two British military bases and 3,200 troops. President Putin insisted the deal ‘should not cause worries anywhere’.

But Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who was visiting Moscow, hinted Russian warplanes could also be allowed to use a military airbase in Paphos, on the south-west coast of the island.

The deal raised eyebrows as tensions between the West and Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine continue to rise.

It will be watched warily by the UK, which has led calls for a string of punishing economic sanctions against Moscow for arming pro-Kremlin separatists who have taken over huge swathes of territory.

On Tuesday, Britain announced it would deploy 75 troops to Ukraine as trainers – a move certain to have infuriated Putin. Russian bombers have recently buzzed UK airspace in a show of strength.

The latest agreement fuelled speculation that the Kremlin had engineered the deal by putting together a multibillion-pound package to bail out debt-ridden Cyprus. The two countries, which have long had close economic ties, signed protocols including fresh financial deals between Cyprus and the Central Bank of Russia.



US Navy successfully test devastating new laser weapon

A NEW devastating laser weapon has been successfully tested by the US Navy that could change modern warfare.

Published: 17:40, Thu, March 5, 2015


ATHENA was able to immobilise a truck from over a mile away

Weapon experts Lockheed Martin developed the new laser gun which can destroy targets with minimal damage to human life.

The weapon, named Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA), was able to immobilise a truck from over a mile away on a recent test performed by the US Navy.

The truck was hit by the a 30kw laser and was able to slice through the bonnet and melt the engine in a matter of seconds.

ATHENA incorporates a 30-kilowatt fibre laser developed by the company in Bothell, Washington and is based on the Area Defence Anti-Munitions (ADAM) laser weapon system.

The laser weapon has also been proven effective in demonstrations against small airborne and sea-based targets.

Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin chief technology officer said: “Fibre-optic lasers are revolutionising directed energy systems

“We are investing in every component of the system – from the optics and beam control to the laser itself – to drive size, weight and power efficiencies.

"This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks.”



Hungary Prime Minister rejects immigration, multiculturalism

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban delivers his annual state of the nation speech in Budapest, Hungary, February 27, 2015.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has condemned liberalism and multiculturalism and promised to battle rising immigration, saying it is turning his country into a "refugee camp."

"(A Hungarian) does not want to see throngs of people pouring into his country from other cultures who are incapable of adapting and are a threat to public safety, to his job and to his livelihood," The Associated Press quoted Orban as saying during his annual state of the nation speech in the capital Budapest on Friday.

"The Hungarian man is, by nature, politically incorrect. That is, he has not lost his common sense," he added.

The European Union member state has seen an influx of migrants this year, many of whom are from Kosovo and trying to reach Germany and western countries.

The prime minister also referred to a multicultural society as "a delusion" and went on to defend the Hungarian government’s efforts to dump "liberal social policies" which he claimed rejected Christian culture.

Orban’s last year declaration that he wished his nation to be an "illiberal" state sparked censure from Western countries.

He also hailed the Hungarian government’s irregular economic policies, some of which have drawn criticism from investors because they levy higher tax rates for banks and non-domestic companies.

"Hungary has become an economic success story, which is slowly being recognized by Europe," he said, referring to the country's 2014 estimated growth rate of 3.5 percent.


Maduro: “US Human Rights Abusers Not Welcome in Venezuela”


Caracas, March 2nd 2015

The Venezuelan government has responded to increased pressure from Washington by revoking visa rights for former US politicians such as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, described by President Nicolas Maduro as “terrorists against the peoples of the world” on Saturday.

“I have decided on a prohibition list for people who will not be permitted visas and who can never enter Venezuela, for a set of chief US politicians who have committed human rights violations. They have bombed the people of Iraq, the people of Syria, the people of Vietnam… It is an anti-terrorist list,” declared the head of state to an impassioned crowd.

The statements were part of a rousing speech delivered by the president on Saturday to thousands of marchers who had taken to the streets of Caracas to reject White House interference in the South American country. The march was a direct response to a string of further US sanctions enacted against the Venezuelan government in early February and to what Maduro characterised as a “moment of increased aggression” from the Obama administration. The head of state went on to call for a “global rebellion against US imperialism”.

“The US thinks it is the boss, the police of the world… Something happens somewhere, let’s say in Asia, and a spokesperson for the US comes out saying that the US government thinks that such and such a government shouldn’t do such and such a thing in Asia… Are we going to accept a global government? Enough of imperialism in the world!” stated an incensed Maduro.

During his speech, the head of state also announced a slew of new diplomatic measures against the US which include the implementation of visa requirements for all US citizens visiting Venezuela.

“They must pay what Venezuelans pay when they want to travel to the United States,” said the president.

Maduro explained that the changes were designed to “protect” Venezuelans, after a number of US citizens were discovered to be taking part in acts of espionage by Venezuelan authorities.

One of the most recent detections includes the pilot of a US airplane who was stopped and questioned by authorities on the border last week. A number of US citizens were also detained last year for their participation in the armed barricades or Guarimbas which sought to bring down the government and led to the deaths of at least 43 Venezuelans.

Despite the latest measures, Maduro emphasised that Venezuela continued to value its relationship with US citizens.

“You can count on the fact that the people of Bolivar respect the people of the US, and recognise in you a brother peoples, these decisions are against the imperialist elite,” he stated.

The new measures will see the number of staff at the US embassy in Caracas significantly reduced and US representatives obliged to inform Venezuelan authorities of any meetings that they intend to hold.

The diplomatic institution currently has over 100 employees, in comparison to just 17 who work at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington. Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, has explained that the US diplomatic mission will be obliged to reduce its staffing numbers to 17 over the next 2 weeks.

Tense Relations

Recently the US embassy in Caracas has become embroiled in a diplomatic altercation with the Maduro administration which has intensified since the discovery of a planned coup against the government in February. The Venezuelan head of state has accused the White House of conspiring against his government and charged embassy personnel with having advanced knowledge of the coup plot, which was allegedly being funded in US dollars from Miami.

Prior to the discovery of the coup, the US embassy was reported to have attempted to bribe senior military and government officials to partake in insurrectionist actions against the government. US Vice-president Joe Biden also made a series of statements accusing the Venezuelan government of repression following a meeting with the wife of jailed opposition leader, Liliana Tintori.

Current opinion polls suggest significant support amongst the population for government actions against the US. According to a February poll conducted by opposition aligned think tank, Hinerlaces, 92% of Venezuelans oppose any kind of foreign intervention while 62% think that the US should not be allowed to pass judgement on the country’s internal affairs.

In 2014, the US government issued 103 statements against Venezuela and another 65 since the start of the year. Just a few weeks ago, the Obama administration also approved increased funding for Venezuelan opposition groups and Non-Governmental Organisations.



Zero Hedge

The Chinese Buy Billboards Announcing The Renminbi As "The New World Currency"

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/04/2015 22:34

Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog,

When I arrived to Bangkok the other day, coming down the motorway from the airport I saw a huge billboard - and it floored me.

The billboard was from the Bank of China. It said: “RMB: New Choice; The World Currency”

Given that the Bank of China is more than 70% owned by the government of the People’s Republic of China, I find this very significant.

It means that China is literally advertising its currency overseas, and it’s making sure that everyone landing at one of the world’s busiest airports sees it. They know that the future belongs to them and they’re flaunting it.

And it’s true. The renminbi’s importance in global trade and as a reserve currency is increasing exponentially, with renminbi trading hubs popping up all over the world, from Singapore to London to Luxembourg to Frankfurt to Toronto.

Multinational companies such as McDonald’s are now issuing bonds in renminbi, and even sovereign governments are issuing debt denominated in renminbi, including the UK.

Almost every major global player out there, be it governments or major multinationals, is positioning itself for the renminbi to become the dominant reserve currency.

But here’s the thing. Nothing goes up and down in a straight line. And China is in deep trouble right now. The economy is slowing down and the enormous debt bubble is starting to burst.

A lot of people, including the richest man in Asia, are starting to move their money out of the country.

So while the long-term trend is pretty clear – China becoming the dominant economic and financial superpower – the short-term is going to look incredibly rocky.



Officials ‘Alarmed’ at Press Conference on Dam with Nuclear Plants Downstream: ‘Movement’ in foundation 100s of feet underground; Rock dissolving — “Sinkhole is indication of bigger problem” — “Urgency of issue is obvious” — Examining “every possible type of failure”

Published: February 27th, 2015 at 1:30 am ET

Follow-up to: Fissures in earth suspected under dam upstream of nuke plants — “There’s plenty of rumors” — Speculation problem to go on for years (VIDEO)

Tennessee Valley Authority, Feb 26, 2015 (emphasis added): [There is] recurrent sediment seepage near an earthen embankment of Boone Dam. The safety of downstream communities, industries… is our top priority… erosion may be occurring within the foundation… raising the level of the lake could potentially increase the rate of erosion... it’s important that we take the proper steps now to prevent the possibility of more damage.

Bristol Herald Courier, Feb 26, 2015: The sinkhole is not the problem, said Jim Hopson, TVA public relations manager. The sinkhole is an indication of a bigger problem, he said. The urgency of the issue is obvious since contractors are working in the snow and cold weather, he added. A short-term fix will include putting grout… below the dam… Hopson [said] “Right now we don’t have all the answers but we have a lot of people working to find out.”

Johnson City Press, Feb 26, 2015: [TVA said there's] a deeper problem… “long-term [we're] going to be injecting grout into these voids that are caused by sinkholes and the movement in the karst,” [TVA's John] McCormick said… the state of the foundation beneath the dam is a cause for concern, McCormick added… “It’s what is under the surface of the dam that is giving us alarm… We’re talking about hundreds of feet below the normal surface level.”

TVA News Conference (excerpts), Feb 26, 2015:

  • John McCormick, TVA: All of East Tennessee is very heavy with karst as a foundation… Karst is really the dissolution of soluble rocks [that] forms voids which cause sinkholes. Those voids, over time, will have water flowing through them and cause more erosion of the foundation.

  • McCormick: Seeping into the waterway is uncommon. That caused us to notify a whole series of events… It’s what’s under the surface of the dam that’s giving us alarm… We’ve bored 29 holes into the dam… We use remote operated submarines… looking for sinkholes… We use lasers to tell us if we see any movement, and that’s continually monitored… Long-term repair is going to be injecting grout into these voids that are caused by the sinkholes and erosion.

  • McCormick: Bringing the water level down… lessens the amount water downstream if there’s an event… Our overriding priority is the safety of those folks downstream.

  • Question: It sounds like there are multiple gaps in the limestone… Jennifer Dodd, TVA: What we found in our investigations are evidence of some seepage pathways and some voids, so its more complicated… McCormick: We’re talking about the substructure of the dam… 100s of ft. below the normal surface… We’re trying to… understand what those voids are… We’ve looked at every possible type of failure.

McCormick: “We need to look downstream and understand the potential impacts downstream, and that’s what I’m focused. I’m focused to ensure the stability and soundness of that dam.”




We Quit Our Jobs, Built A Tiny House On Wheels And Hit The Road

March 4 by Jenna Spesard

Two years ago my partner, Guillaume, and I were both burdened by high rent, a multitude of belongings, college debt and careers that allowed us to maintain that lifestyle. I was beginning to believe I’d never be able to pursue my passion for writing and Guillaume felt the same way about his photography. Then we came across tiny houses. These artistically designed tiny dwellings inspired us to upend our lives and pursue our dreams. We came up with a game plan: 1) Build a tiny home, 2) Travel around North America for one year, and 3) Create a travel journalism portfolio about alternative lifestyles. He’d photograph. I’d write.

We began our tiny house build with zero construction experience and a “we’ll learn as we go” attitude. What we didn’t realize was that we weren’t just building a home, we were also challenging ourselves to rethink the idea of “home” altogether. After dozens of mistakes, life lessons and a brutal downsize, we hit the road with our one-of-a-kind tiny house on wheels!

Six months and 10,000 miles later, our tiny abode has taken us on a wild adventure. Along the way, we’ve met numerous like-minded people who build and reside in small structures such as: tiny homes, tree houses, yurts, homemade house boats, etc. Guillaume photographs these alternative lifestyle pioneers in their innovative dwellings, while I write down their stories.


Medical Daily

Is Garlic Good For You? 7 Surprising Benefits Of Garlic For Optimal Health

Mar 3, 2015 09:00 AM By Lizette Borreli @lizcelineb

The smelly superfood is more than just a spice; the natural medicinal ingredient can treat hair loss and the common cold. Victoria Rachitzky Hoch, CC BY 2.0

Garlic does more than just invigorate your palate and ward off vampires; it’s also a smelly superfood health aid. The spice is a highly nutritious vegetable with very few calories, containing trace amounts of other nutrients that contribute to its universal status of a powerful, beneficial healer. The natural medicinal ingredient, both as a fresh plant and supplement, can strengthen immune function and boost overall well-being.

Garlic’s delicious flavor and health benefits have led to a steady increase in demand. The average garlic consumption per capita per year is . A healthy adult can safely consume up to four cloves of garlic each day, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, with each one weighing about a gram.

The body-strengthening effects of this herb are thought to be due to its active ingredient allicin. This is what gives garlic its distinctive taste and smell. Whether you take your garlic powdered, salted, or minced or in supplement form, you can reap the surprising benefits of this multipurpose herb for optimal health.

1. Treats Acne

This herb may not be found in acne products’ list of ingredients, but it can serve as a natural topical treatment to get rid of blemishes. Allicin, the organic compound in garlic, has the ability to stop the damaging effects of radicals and kill bacteria, according to a 2009 study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. In its decomposed form — sulfenic acid — allicin produces a fast reaction with radicals, which makes it a valuable herb for treating acne scars, skin diseases, and allergies.

2. Treats Hair Loss

A head full of hair that smells like garlic could help in the treatment of hair loss. The herb’s extremely high sulfur content contains keratin, the protein hair is made of. This stimulates fortification and growth. A 2007 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venerology and Leprology found the use of a garlic gel added to the therapeutic efficacy of topical betamethasone valerate for alopecia areata treatment can be effective to induce hair re-growth.

3. Fights Common Cold

Garlic’s allicin can serve as a health aid during times of illness. Rene Ficek, a registered dietician and a lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating in Illinois told Medical Daily in an email: “Garlic cloves contain a healthy dose of allicin, but you may still need a few cloves per day to feel the effects.” However, garlic supplementation can also be used to ward off viruses.

A 2001 study published in the journal Advances In Therapy found a daily garlic supplement can reduce the number of colds by 63 percent compared to not taking supplements. Moreover, the average length of cold symptoms was also reduced to 70 percent, from five days in the control group to 1.5 days in garlic supplement group. These findings suggest the allicin-containing supplement has a protective effect against the common cold.

4. Lowers Blood Pressure

A garlic supplement a day may help keep your blood pressure at bay. Its active compounds can significantly reduce blood pressure comparable to the effects of prescribed drugs. Aged garlic extract between 600 to 1,500 milligrams (mg) was found to be just as effective as the drug Atenolol prescribed for hypertension in a 24-week period, according to a 2013 study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Garlic is believed to activate the production of the endothelium-derived relaxation factor, according to Ficek, due to the herb’s high amount of polysulfides — sulfur — containing molecules. This leads to smooth muscle relaxation and vasodilation (widening of blood vessels), following the relaxation of the smooth muscle in the vessel wall. Garlic supplements can achieve these effects efficiently without the bad breath compared to raw garlic.

5. Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Garlic can help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering total LDL cholesterol. A 2000 study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found the effect of garlic on total cholesterol level in people with elevated levels moderately reduced cholesterol levels. Vandana Sheth, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics told Medical Daily in an email that this is achieved by “diminishing the activity of main cholesterol-producing enzyme in the liver.” Garlic supplements can enhance the body’s ability to dissolve blood clots that would otherwise increase the risk of heart attacks by closing the arteries.

6. Enhances Physical Performance

Garlic can help increase exercise capacity and reduce exercise-induced fatigue. “[G]arlic has a long history of being used in ancient cultures to reduce fatigue and enhance the work capacity of laborers,” Ficek said. Garlic oil has been shown to improve the exercise capacity of people with heart disease. A 2005 study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found participants with heart disease who took garlic oil for six weeks saw a reduction in peak heart rate by 12 percent. This was accompanied by an improvement in their physical endurance during a treadmill exercise.

7. Improves Bone Health

The alkalizing vegetable is filled with bone-healthy nutrients such as zinc, manganese, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Risa Groux, a holistic nutritionist and ChazzLIVE expert told Medical Daily in an email: “Garlic is really high in manganese, which contains enzymes and antioxidants that facilitates the formation of bones and connective tissues, bone metabolism, and calcium absorption.”

Garlic may help reduce bone loss through the increase of estrogen in females. A 2007 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found garlic oil was able to preserve the skeletal health of rodents when under a hypogonadal situation. In other words, garlic contains nutrients that act as building blocks for healthy, strong bones.

Garlic can be a flavorful addition to your dish and also double as a valuable aid to your health.


Little girl feeds crows; in return, they bring her gifts

Eight-year-old Gabi Mann loves her corvid friends, and they reciprocate with small trinkets.

Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 08:59 AM

Gabi's "treasures" include a blue paper clip, a Lego piece, a rusty screw and a pearl-colored heart. (Photo: The Bittersweet LifeTwitter)

Like many kids her age, 8-year-old Gabi Mann from Seattle has an interesting collection of treasures. A yellow bead, one blue earring, a tiny light bulb, a paperclip and a rusty screw. But unlike many kids her age, Gabi didn't collect these treasures herself. They were brought to her by crows.

Yes, you read that right. Like Cinderella, Gabi has bird friends that bring her gifts on a regular basis.

It all started quite by accident. As a toddler, Gabi was prone to dropping her food as she walked along. Soon, the crows were keeping an eye on her, and swooping in to pick up the pieces whenever she dropped a morsel. As Gabi got older, she began sharing her school lunch on the way to the bus stop. It didn't take long before the crows lined the street to greet her bus each day.

Then, in 2013, Gabi decided to do more than just share the scraps of her lunch. Each morning, she began filling a birdbath with fresh water, and setting out food — peanuts, dog food and general leftovers — for the birds to eat. It was then that the gifts from the crows started to appear.

Her collection also includes a miniature silver ball, a black button, a faded black piece of foam and a blue Lego piece. She stores the treasures that the crows bring to her in a bead container, with each gift carefully itemized and labeled.

What's Gabi's most prized treasure? A pearl-colored heart. Because Gabi says that's the one that shows just how much they love her.

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

Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that [is] before Jordan. And it shall be, [that] thou (Elijah) shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.”
(1 Kings 17:3-4)