the land shall be a desolation; and they shall serve among the
Gentiles seventy years. And when the seventy years are fulfilled, I
will take vengeance on that nation, and will make them a perpetual
They Shall Serve
Greetings! This week we are starting off with two interesting articles, one from Haaretz titled Ancient tablets disclose Jewish exiles’ life in Babylonia, 2,500-year-old said to be the most important ancient Jewish archive since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The other article is from the Huffington Post titled 2,500 Year Old Jewish Tablets Discovered in Iraq. Both articles deal with the same subject; the tablets help to describe everyday life concerning the Jewish nation while in Babylonian exile.
The most important point brought out in these articles is that “Put simply, the tablets corroborate the Biblical tale” and “This discovery is a remarkable confirmation of the historical reliability of the Biblical text.”
Both articles are below which include some commentary and verses concerning the subject matter.
Have a great week ahead.
Ancient tablets disclose Jewish exiles’ life in Babylonia
2,500-year-old said to be the most important ancient Jewish archive since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
By Nir Hasson | Jan. 29, 2015 | 10:55 PM
A little known collection of more than 100 clay tablets in Cuneiform script, dating back to the Babylon Exile some 2,500 years ago, was unveiled this week, allowing a glimpse into the everyday life of one of the most ancient exile communities in the world.
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit.
Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters -- that you may be increased there, and not diminished.
And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace.
For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: do not let your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, nor listen to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them, says the LORD.
For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.)
Prof. Wayne Horowitz, one of the archaeologists who studied the tablets, says this is the most important ancient Jewish archive since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The tablets are on display in an exhibition entitled “By the Rivers of Babylon” that opened this week in the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.
The collection consists mainly of administrative certificates – sales bonds, contracts and addresses, engraved in Akkadian Cuneiform script on clay tablets, some of which were fired in kilns.
Thanks to the Babylonian custom of inscribing each document with the date, according to the monarch’s years in power, the archaeologists could date the tablets to 572-477 B.C.E. The earliest tablet in the collection was written some 15 years after the First Temple’s destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, the Chaldean king of the neo-Babylonian era, who deported the Jews to Babylon. The latest was written some 60 years after the return of some of the exiles to Zion, which was enabled by Persia’s King Cyrus in 538 B.C.E.
Now in the first year of Cyrus king of the Persians, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremias might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of the Persians, and he issued a proclamation through all his kingdom, and that in writing, saying, thus said Cyrus king of the Persians, The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has given me a charge to build him a house in Jerusalem that is in Judea.
Who is there among you of all his people? for his God shall be with him, and he shall go up to Jerusalem that is in Judea, and let him build the house of the God of Israel: he is the God that is in Jerusalem.
And let every Jew that is left go from every place where he sojourns, and the men of his place shall help him with silver, and gold, and goods, and cattle, together with the voluntary offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.
Then the chiefs of the families of Juda and Benjamin arose, and the priests, and the Levites, all whose spirit the Lord stirred up to go up to build the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem. And all that were round about strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with cattle, and with presents, besides the voluntary offerings.)
Little is known of how the collection was discovered. Archaeologists assume it was dug up in the 1970s in southern Iraq and surfaced in the international antiquities market. It was divided into three parts. Collector David Sofer bought 110 tablets, about half of the collection, which pertains mainly to the Jewish community. Sofer lent the tablets to the Bible Lands Museum.
Two books about the collection were recently published – “Documents of Judean Exiles and West Semites in Babylonia in the Collection of David Sofer” by Prof. Laurie Pearce (CDL Press), who also translated the tablets into English, and “By the Rivers of Babylon,” by Horowitz, Yehoshua Greenberg and Peter Zilberg, published by the Bible Lands Museum and the Israel Exploration Society.
The documents reflect a settlement bloc of several villages between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. One of the villages is named in the tablets as Al-Yahudu, a term Babylonian sources use to describe Jerusalem.
“This is ‘Babylon’s Jerusalem,’ just as New York is the new York,” says Horowitz. Al-Yahudu’s residents are Jews, as their names indicate – Gedalyahu, Hanan, Dana, Shaltiel and Netanyahu. Some of the names appear to be inspired by Cyrus’ declaration allowing the return to Zion, like Yashuv Zadik or Ya’aliyahu, he says.
Until now very little had been known about the life of the Judean community that had been uprooted from Jerusalem and deported to Babylon. The collection also corresponds with the Biblical text in which the prophet Ezekiel writes “as I was among the captives by the river Chebar” (chapter 1, verse 1). The “river Chebar” or “river Chebar village” appear several times on the tablets.
The tablets reflect trade transactions, leasing houses and fields, addresses, inheritances, etc. Certificate 31, for example, is of a deal between Yirpa Ben Dohah and Ahikam Ben Refa’iyahu, in which the former trades a “trained, five-year-old bull” for “one gray jennet.” In certificate 52 a man called Ikisha sold his female slave for “three pieces of silver.” In another document, Neriayu Ben Ahikam rents a house for “10 silver shekels ... half given at the beginning of the year and the rest in the middle of the year.” The tenant undertook in the agreement to pay for damages, if any, from the foundations to the roof.
On some tablets, ancient Hebraic letters appear beside the Akkadian details. The researchers assume these were intended for cataloging and tracing. On tablet 10, for example, which deals with a bond for barley, the name Shalemiyahu appears in Hebraic. “These are the most ancient Hebraic letters from the Babylonian exile,” says Horowitz.
The estimated 80,000 Jews who remained in Babylon – Iraq – after the return to Zion formed what was to become one of the most ancient exile communities in the world, existing for some 2,500 years continuously until 1948.
2,500 Year Old Jewish Tablets Discovered in Iraq
Posted: 02/03/2015 10:35 am EST Updated: 02/03/2015 10:59 am EST
As we watch horrific images of beheadings from the country formerly called Iraq - a country that is disintegrating into various tribal fiefdoms before our eyes - it is easy to forget that it was once the cradle of civilization. In point of fact, Arabs are latecomers to the area. They are first mentioned in the mid 9th century BCE as a tribal people subjugated by the Assyrians. Way before that, the area was home to the Babylonians. First records indicate that Babylon was established as a city around the 23rd century BCE. It stood about 50 miles south of modern Baghdad. The city is mentioned in the Biblical Book of Genesis (11:9) as the home of the infamous Tower of Babel.
In 587 BC, it was the Babylonians, under King Nebuchadnezzar II, who destroyed Jerusalem, the capital of the Kingdom of Judah. They also destroyed the Temple of Jerusalem - the "House of God" - built by King Solomon, as the centrepiece of Jewish faith. It stood on Jerusalem's Mount Zion for almost 400 years.
(ll Kings KJV lV Kings Septuagint
And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, that Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon came, and all his host, against Jerusalem; and he encamped against it, and built a mound against it.
And the city was besieged until the eleventh year of king Sedekias on the ninth day of the month.
And the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.
And the city was broken up.
And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month (this is the nineteenth year of Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon), came Nabuzardan, captain of the guard, who stood before the king of Babylon, to Jerusalem. And he burnt the house of the Lord, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every house did the captain of the guard burn. And the force of the Chaldeans pulled down the wall of Jerusalem round about.) After the destruction, the legendary Ark of the Covenant, that had once housed the Ten Commandments, disappeared. According to Jewish tradition, it was hidden by the prophet Jeremiah. It has never been discovered.
(ll Maccabees 2:1-6
“It is also found in the records, that Jeremy the prophet commanded them that were carried away to take of the fire, as it hath been signified: And how that the prophet, having given them the law, charged them not to forget the commandments of the Lord, and that they should not err in their minds, when they see images of silver and gold, with their ornaments. And with other such speeches exhorted he them, that the law should not depart from their hearts.
It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God. And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door.
And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it. Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them unto mercy. Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud.”
What this would mean is that during the time of Herod's Temple the Ark of the Covenant did not exist in the Holy of Holies in the Temple. This is very important because this is how the Jewish people received remission for sin.) The Biblical books of 2 Chronicles and 2 Kings describes how the Babylonians took the elite of the Jewish people into captivity.
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes; Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.
And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king.
Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.) Psalm 137:1 records the anguish of the captives: "By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept, when we remembered Zion". After the Babylonian empire was defeated by the Persians from modern Iran, the prophets Ezra and Nehemiah led a minority of Jewish exiles back to Jerusalem, motivated by an ancient version of Zionism.
Now for the first time, one hundred and ten, 2,500 year old Babylonian tablets have been discovered in Iraq which provide a glimpse of Jewish life in Babylonian exile. Put simply, the tablets corroborate the Biblical tale. They describe a town called Al-Yahudu i.e., "the village of the Jews", by the river Chebar, mentioned in Ezekiel 1:1. They also attest to Judaic names such as "Gedalyahu", "Hanan", "Dana", "Shaltiel" and a man with the same name as Israel's current Prime Minister, "Netanyahu". The "yahu" ending to these names is called "theophoric", meaning, they attest to a belief in the God of the Torah, by including part of God's name in people's personal names. The tablets also record everyday business transactions and witness to the Jewish return to Jerusalem (Nehemiah 6:15-16), as commemorated in personal names such as "Yashuv Zadik", meaning, "the righteous shall return [to Zion]".
This discovery is a remarkable confirmation of the historical reliability of the Biblical text. It is also a reminder that many people once lived in Iraq. Today, there are still remnants of some of these people: Jews, Christians, Mandeans (the last remaining followers of John the Baptist) and Yazidis, an ancient people whose beliefs combine elements of Zoroastrianism, the pre-Islamic religion of Persia, early Christianity and Judaism. All these ethnic survivors are now facing massacres, crucifixions, rape and decapitation.
Do we dare let them disappear?
Number of Jewish visitors to Temple Mount up 92 percent since 2009
Posted on January 27, 2015 by JNS.org.
(JNS.org) The number of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount has increased by 92 percent since 2009, according to Israeli police statistics released after a freedom of information request by the Jerusalem-based Temple Institute.
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
According to the figures, 5,658 Israeli Jews visited the Temple Mount in 2009. Then the number rose steadily year by year to a high of 10,906 in 2014.
Israel gained eastern Jerusalem along with its holy sites from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War. But the Temple Mount is administered by the Islamic Waqf, a Muslim trust overseen by Jordan that limits non-Muslim visitation and bans Jewish prayer.
The increase in Jewish visitors has been led by Jewish activist groups such as the Temple Institute that have been calling for greater access to the Temple Mount.
“The official figures indicating that Jewish visits to the Temple Mount have almost doubled in recent years clearly demonstrate that the Jewish people are undergoing a spiritual awakening, and reconnecting—not only to their most holy site, but to their own destiny," said Rabbi Chaim Richman, international director of the Temple Institute.
Tensions over the Temple Mount increased late last year after several Arab leaders spoke out about Jewish visitation, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who called for Muslims to “prevent” Jews from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
“We [Muslims] should all remain present at the Noble Sanctuary [Temple Mount],” Abbas said in a speech on October 17, 2014. “We must prevent them [Jews] from entering the Noble Sanctuary in any way. This is our Al-Aksa and our church. They have no right to enter and desecrate them. We must confront them and defend our holy sites,” Abbas said.
These tensions ignited violent Arab protests in and around Jerusalem as well as several terror attacks.
Iceland to build first temple to Norse gods since Viking age
A modern version of Norse paganism has been gaining popularity in recent years as followers see the stories as metaphors for life not worship of the gods
High priest Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson and fellow members of the Asatru Association attend a ceremony at the Pingvellir National Park near Reykjavik. Photograph: Reuters
Reuters in Reykjavik
Monday 2 February 2015 10.54 EST
Icelanders will soon be able to publicly worship at a shrine to Thor, Odin and Frigg with construction starting this month on the island’s first major temple to the Norse gods since the Viking age.
Worship of the gods in Scandinavia gave way to Christianity around 1,000 years ago but a modern version of Norse paganism has been gaining popularity in Iceland.
“I don’t believe anyone believes in a one-eyed man who is riding about on a horse with eight feet,” said Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, high priest of Ásatrúarfélagið, an association that promotes faith in the Norse gods.
“We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology.”
Membership in Ásatrúarfélagið has tripled in Iceland in the last decade to 2,400 members last year, out of a total population of 330,000, data from Statistics Iceland showed.
The temple will be circular and will be dug 4 metres (13ft) down into a hill overlooking the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, with a dome on top to let in the sunlight.
“The sun changes with the seasons so we are in a way having the sun paint the space for us,” Hilmarsson said.
The temple will host ceremonies such as weddings and funerals. The group will also confer names to children and initiate teenagers, similar to other religious communities.
Iceland’s neo-pagans still celebrate the ancient sacrificial ritual of Blot with music, reading, eating and drinking, but nowadays leave out the slaughter of animals.
Zero Hedge :
The Entire Oil Collapse Is All About Crushing Russian Control Over Syria
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/04/2015 10:45 -0500
While the markets are still debating whether the price of oil is more impacted by the excess pumping of crude here, or the lack of demand there, or if it is all just a mechanical squeeze by momentum-chasing HFT algos who also know to buy in the milliseconds before 2:30pm, we bring readers' attention back to what several months ago was debunked as a deep conspiracy theory.
Back then we wrote about a certain visit by John Kerry to Saudi Arabia, on September 11 of all days, to negotiate a secret deal with the now late King Abdullah so as to get a "green light" in order "to launch its airstrikes against ISIS, or rather, parts of Iraq and Syria. And, not surprising, it is once again Assad whose fate was the bargaining chip to get the Saudis on the US' side, because in order to launch the incursion into Syrian sovereign territory, it "took months of behind-the-scenes work by the U.S. and Arab leaders, who agreed on the need to cooperate against Islamic State, but not how or when. The process gave the Saudis leverage to extract a fresh U.S. commitment to beef up training for rebels fighting Mr. Assad, whose demise the Saudis still see as a top priority."
Said otherwise, the pound of flesh demanded by Saudi Arabia to "bless" US airstrikes and make them appear as an act of some coalition, is the removal of the Assad regime. Why? So that, as we also explained last year, the holdings of the great Qatar natural gas fields can finally make their way onward to Europe, which incidentally is also America's desire - what better way to punish Putin for his recent actions than by crushing the main leverage the Kremlin has over Europe?
Because at the end of the day it is all about energy. We made as much very clear one month later when in mid-October we said "If The Oil Plunge Continues, "Now May Be A Time To Panic" For US Shale Companies." The panic time has long since come, but only after we laid out the problem clearly enough for all to grasp:
... while we understand if Saudi Arabia is employing a dumping strategy to punish the Kremlin as per the "deal" with Obama's White House, very soon there will be a very vocal, very insolvent and very domestic shale community demanding answers from the Obama administration, as once again the "costs" meant to punish Russia end up crippling the only truly viable industry under the current presidency.
As a reminder, the last time Obama threatened Russia with "costs", he sent Europe into a triple-dip recession.
It would truly be the crowning achievement of Obama's career if, amazingly, he manages to bankrupt the US shale "miracle" next.
Of course, all of the above was purely in the realm of the conspiratorial, because the last thing the administration would admit is that the tradeoff to its bargain with Saudi Arabia to implement a (largely failed) foreign policy regarding ISIS (which has grown in size since the coalition campaign) was to put at risk the entire US shale miracle, a miracle which is evaporating in front of everyone's eyes. And all thanks to that "closest" of US allies in the middle east: Saudi Arabia.
It was conspiratorial, that is, until today, when thanks to the far less "tinfoil" NYT one more conspiracy theory becomes conspiracy fact, following a report that "Saudi Arabia has been trying to pressure President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to abandon his support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, using its dominance of the global oil markets at a time when the Russian government is reeling from the effects of plummeting oil prices."
From the NYT:
Saudi Arabia and Russia have had numerous discussions over the past several months that have yet to produce a significant breakthrough, according to American and Saudi officials. It is unclear how explicitly Saudi officials have linked oil to the issue of Syria during the talks, but Saudi officials say — and they have told the United States — that they think they have some leverage over Mr. Putin because of their ability to reduce the supply of oil and possibly drive up prices."
As we predicted, correctly, in September: it was all about Syria:
“If oil can serve to bring peace in Syria, I don’t see how Saudi Arabia would back away from trying to reach a deal,” a Saudi diplomat said. An array of diplomatic, intelligence and political officials from the United States and Middle East spoke on the condition of anonymity to adhere to protocols of diplomacy.
So what would it take for the price of oil to finally jump? Not much: Putin's announcement that Syria's leader Bashar is no longer a strategic ally of Russia.
Any weakening of Russian support for Mr. Assad could be one of the first signs that the recent tumult in the oil market is having an impact on global statecraft. Saudi officials have said publicly that the price of oil reflects only global supply and demand, and they have insisted that Saudi Arabia will not let geopolitics drive its economic agenda. But they believe that there could be ancillary diplomatic benefits to the country’s current strategy of allowing oil prices to stay low — including a chance to negotiate an exit for Mr. Assad.
"Russia has been one of the Syrian president’s most steadfast supporters, selling military equipment to the government for years to bolster Mr. Assad’s forces in their battle against rebel groups, including the Islamic State, and supplying everything from spare parts and specialty fuels to sniper training and helicopter maintenance."
Will Putin relent?
"Mr. Putin, however, has frequently demonstrated that he would rather accept economic hardship than buckle to outside pressures to change his policies. Sanctions imposed by the United States and European countries have not prompted Moscow to end its military involvement in Ukraine, and Mr. Putin has remained steadfast in his support for Mr. Assad, whom he sees as a bulwark in a region made increasingly volatile by Islamic extremism."
Actually that's not it: Syria, as we have been explaining for nearly two years is the critical transit zone of a proposed natural gas pipeline, originating in Qatar, and one which would terminate somewhere in central Europe. The same Qatar which was the "mystery sponsor of weapons and money to Syrian mercenary rebels" who eventually became ISIS. The same Qatar which is now directly funding ISIS. Of course, if Putin were to handover Syria to the Saudi princes (and to Qatar), he would effectively shoot himself in the foot by ending any leverage Gazprom has over Europe.
This too is very well known to Putin. For now he has shown that he has no intention of abdicating Syria, and losing critical leverage when it comes to being the provider of last resort of European gas:
The Saudis have offered economic enticements to Russian leaders in return for concessions on regional issues like Syria before, but never with oil prices so low. It is unclear what effect, if any, the discussions are having. While the United States would support initiatives to end Russian backing for Mr. Assad, any success by the Saudis to cut production and raise global oil prices could hurt many parts of the American economy.
After the meeting in Moscow in November between Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, and Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, Mr. Lavrov rejected the idea that international politics should play a role in setting oil prices.
“We see eye to eye with our Saudi colleagues in that we believe the oil market should be based on the balance of supply and demand,” Mr. Lavrov said, “and that it should be free of any attempts to influence it for political or geopolitical purposes.”
Which, in retrospect puts the Ukraine conflict, and the western isolation of Russia in a very simple spotlight - the whole point is to inflict as much pain as possible, so Putin has no choice but to hand over Syria.
Russia is feeling financial pain and diplomatic isolation because of international sanctions stemming from its incursion into Crimea and eastern Ukraine, American officials said. But Mr. Putin still wants to be viewed as a pivotal player in the Middle East. The Russians hosted a conference last week in Moscow between the Assad government and some of Syria’s opposition groups, though few analysts believe the talks will amount to much, especially since many of the opposition groups boycotted them. Some Russia experts expressed skepticism that Mr. Putin would be amenable to any deal that involved removing support for Mr. Assad.
Saudi Arabia’s leverage depends on how seriously Moscow views its declining oil revenues. “If they are hurting so bad that they need the oil deal right away, the Saudis are in a good position to make them pay a geopolitical price as well,” said F. Gregory Gause III, a Middle East specialist at Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service.
As for Assad, the Syrian president "has shown no inclination to step aside. He said in a recent interview with Foreign Affairs magazine that the true threat in Syria comes from the Islamic State and Qaeda-affiliated groups that, in his words, make up the “majority” of rebellion. American and Arab officials said that even if Russia were to abandon Mr. Assad, the Syrian president would still have his most generous benefactor, Iran. Iranian aid to the Syrian government has been one of the principal reasons that Mr. Assad has been able to hold power as other autocrats in the Middle East have been deposed.
And as a major oil producer, Iran would benefit if Saudi Arabia helped push up oil prices as part of a bargain with Russia.
“You are going to strengthen your enemy whether you like it or not, and the Iranians are not showing any flexibility here,” said Mustafa Alani, an analyst at the Gulf Research Center who is close to the Saudi royal family.
But the military aid that Russia provides to Syria is different enough from what Damascus receives from Iran, its other major supplier, that if “Russia withdrew all military support, I don’t think the Syrian Army could function,” a senior Obama administration official said.
A number of Arab nations have been pushing for the Saudis and Russians — polar extremes in their positions toward Mr. Assad — to find common ground on the matter as a step toward ending the carnage of Syria’s civil war, now almost four years old. But, as one Arab diplomat put it, “This decision is ultimately in Putin’s hands.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what the great oil collapse of 2014/2015 is all about. For those who want to know when to buy oil, the answer is simple: just after (or ideally before) Putin announces he will no longer support the Assad regime. If, that is, he ever does because that act will effectively destroy all leverage Putin may ever have over Europe, and in the process, also end - quite prematurely - his career.
Until then, every single HFT-induced spike in oil is one to be ultimately faded, because as the past few months have shown, it is the Saudis who set the price, and they will not take no for an answer, even if it means crippling the entire US shale, and energy, industry in the process.
Caught On Tape: Dijsselbloem To Varoufakis: "You Just Killed The Troika"
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/31/2015 11:58 -0500
Amid 'turmoiling' stock markets on Friday, CNBC's Simon Hobbs summed up the status quo's thinking on the new Greek leadership when he noted, somewhat angrily and shocked, "The Greeks are not even trying to reassure the markets," seeming to have entirely forgotten (and who can blame him in this new normal the world has been force-fed for 6 years) that political leaders are elected for the good of the people (by the people) not for the markets. Yesterday saw the clearest example yet of Europe's anger that the Greeks may choose their own path as opposed to following the EU's non-sovereign leadership's demands when the most uncomfortable moment ever caught on tape - the moment when Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem (he of the "template" foot in mouth disease) stood up at the end of the EU-Greece press conference, awkwardly shook hands with Greece's new finance minister, and whispered..."you have just killed the Troika," to which Varoufakis responded... "wow!"
As Keep Talking Greece reports,
The joint press conference was concluding, when Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis droped a last bombshell. “…and with this if you want – and according to European Parliament – flimsily-constructed committee we have no aim to cooperate. Thank you.” Varoufakis was referring to the famous Troika, the country’s official creditors consisting of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank..
After concluding with a “Thank you” Varoufakis gives the word to Eurogroup Chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who wants to hear the translation first. Then he takes off the ear phones, he stands up and sets to leave. An enforced-looking shaking of hands delays the departure of the Dutch FinMin.
Dijsselbloem quickly whispers something to Varoufakis’ ear, he briefly replies back and the Eurogroup chief leaves the press conference hall as soon as it was possible.
The whole afternoon, Greek and international media were trying to find out “What the hell did they two men said to each other!?”
Eurogroup chief whispered to Greek FinMin’s ear “You just killed the Troika” and that Varoufakis replied with a simple “WOW!”
I don’t quite understand why Dijsselbloem is sour. I’m sure that Varoufakis told him the same things when they had their 2-hour face-to-face talks.
Unless they were talking about Gouda and Feta and the Greek FinMin surprised him when he said at the press conference, that the Greek government will not negotiate with the Troika.
And furthermore, why is he offended? He is chief of the Eurogroup, he does not represent the Troika…
Most probably he was expecting a Yes-Man behavior like in the past with HOHOHO-jocker Jean-Claude Juncker, when he was Eurogroup head.
SPUTNIK (kings of the east? Revelation 16:12)
China Announces New 'Silk Road Through Russia, India
20:09 02.02.2015(updated 20:54 02.02.2015)
China's Foreign Minister announced that China is ready to cooperate with Russia and India to create an economic corridor that benefits all parties.
MOSCOW, February 12 (Sputnik) — China is ready to develop economic cooperation with Russia and India as part of the "One Belt and One Road" strategy, the building of a new Silk Road, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced on Monday.
"We call for mutual benefits over a zero-sum game, over confrontation. China created the 'One Belt and One Road' initiative. We want to continue the tradition of the Silk Road and give it with a new meaning in a new century," he told journalists after the trilateral Russia-China-India Foreign Minister talks.
According to Yi, China is ready to cooperate with all countries located along the economic corridors that connect China with Europe.
"This is not a Chinese solo, this is a symphony for all our partners," Yi noted, stating that China will cooperate with all interested parties, above all Russia and India to achieve mutual benefits in the 21st century.
In 2013 the Chinese government ratified the "One Belt and One Road" strategy, an economic belt that passes through the countries of the Silk Road which once connected China with Europe through East and Central Asia.
Britain Votes to Allow World's First 'Three-Parent' IVF Babies
British Parliament approves '3-parent' baby bill
LONDON — Britain voted on Tuesday to become the first country to allow a "three-parent" IVF technique which doctors say can prevent some inherited incurable diseases but which critics see as a step toward creating designer babies. Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the technique, called mitochondrial donation, which is also known as "three-parent" in vitro fertilization (IVF) because the babies would have DNA from a mother, a father and from a female donor.
The treatments, which are still at the research stage in laboratories in Britain and the United States, are designed to help families with mitochondrial diseases — incurable conditions passed down the maternal line that affect around one in 6,500 children worldwide. Proposed new laws allowing the treatments to be carried out in the U.K. still have to be approved by Britain's upper house, which commentators expect to endorse parliament's support.
Here's How Teens Describe The Anguish Of Being Without Their Phones For 24 Hours
The following post is an excerpt from "The Teenage Brain" by Frances E. Jensen, MD.
An experiment began in the spring of 2010 when two hundred students in a basic media literacy course at the University of Maryland were asked by their professor to do something unusual: go without their digital tools and toys—all media, in fact—for twenty-four hours.
The results of the experiment, picked up by news outlets all over the world, prompted the professor, Susan Moeller, to conduct a second, much wider experiment.
Both began with a simple request:
Your assignment is to find a 24-hour period during which you can pledge to give up all media: no Internet, no newspapers or magazines, no TV, no mobile phones, no iPod, no music, no movies, no Facebook, Playstation, video games, etc.
If you lapse by mistake (i.e. you answer a phone call without realizing it), do not then “give up.”
Note the mistake and go on to finish your 24 hours. If you do NOT make it the full 24 hours, be honest about it. How long did you make it? What happened? What do you think it means about you? Although you may need to use your computer for homework or work, try to pick a time when you can go without using it—which may mean that you have to plan your work so that you can get it done before or after your 24-hour media-free period. You will not be judged on whether you went 24 hours, but we expect that you all will make it through the entire time without using any forms of media.
Moeller, who is a member of the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA) at the University of Maryland, partnered with the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change to conduct the second survey. They asked close to one thousand students in twelve countries, including the United States, to write about their experiences after their twenty-four-hour period of media abstinence was over, and when the students did, they poured out their angst:
“I began going crazy.”
“I felt paralyzed—almost handicapped in my ability to live.”
“I felt dead.”
Across the globe, the same feelings were expressed again and again:
From the United Kingdom
“Emptiness. Emptiness overwhelms me.”
“Unplugging . . . felt like turning off a life-support system.”
“I feel paralyzed.”
“I sat in my bed and stared blankly. I had nothing to do.”
“The feeling of nothing passed into my heart . . . I felt like I had lost something important.”
“I felt like there was a problem with me.”
“I counted down minute by minute and made sure I did not exceedeven a single second more!”
“I felt so lonely.”
“The anxiety continued for the rest of the day. Various scenarioscame to my head, from kidnapping to extraterrestrial invasions.”
From the United States
“I went into absolute panic mode.”
“It felt as though I was being tortured.”
This story comes from "The Teenage Brain" by Frances E. Jensen, MD.
Many of these students borrowed the language of substance abuse when they likened their media habit to an addiction and their self-imposed abstinence to drug and alcohol withdrawal.
One US student wrote, “I was itching, like a crackhead, because I could not use my phone.” A student in Mexico wrote, “It was quite late and the only thing going through my mind was: (voice of psychopath) ‘I want Facebook.’ ‘I want Twitter.’ ‘I want YouTube.’ ‘I want TV.’ ” A college student in the UK wrote, “It’s like some kind of disorder, an addiction. I became bulimic with my media; I starved myself for a full 15 hours and had a full on binge: Emails, texts, BBC iPlayer, 4oD, Facebook. I felt like there was no turning back now, it was pointless. I am addicted, I know it, I am not ashamed.”
Amusingly, the online media outlets whose headlines screamed addiction and warned about the all-consuming “technobsession” of the young provided multiple links, platforms, and interactive choices to “Follow” or “Share” or “Like” it on Facebook; to tweet it, “Get Alerts,” and “Contribute to the story”; to send corrections, tips, photos, videos, or comments. No wonder that in trying to be media-free for a full day, many students also found themselves emotionally and psychologically distraught:
“I was edgy and irritated.”
“I got really anguished and anxious.”
“I was anxious, irritable and felt insecure.”
“I felt a strange anxiety.”
Moeller is neither a psychiatrist nor a neuroscientist, and her survey was more sociological than scientific. Still, it’s hard not to read the responses of the experiments’ subjects and wonder exactly what is going on inside the brains of young people who have been raised on digital technology.
According to a 2011 study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 95 percent of all young people, ages twelve to seventeen, use the Internet, and 80 percent use social media. Ninety-three percent have Facebook accounts, and 41 percent have multiple accounts. In an article written for a weekly teen publication, two Chicago high school students reported on the popularity of smartphones and the degree to which students will go to hide them from teachers and administrators.
One student interviewed said, “Back in my sophomore year, I snuck my phone in as a biscuit sandwich in the morning. I covered it in [a] brown napkin and put it in between the biscuit buns. I would simply come to school and put my lovely cup of orange juice and tasty ‘Bisquick biscuit’ sandwich on top of the metal detector and walk right through.”
Another student said she would wrap her long hair into a bun before school and hide her phone inside. “Whenever the metal detectors beeped, they couldn’t find my phone,” she said. The level of attachment between teens and smartphones is so extreme, one high school senior told the authors of the teen publication article, “My phone has my whole life in it. If I ever lost it I think I would die.”
From The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults by Frances E. Jensen and Amy Ellis Nutt. Copyright 2015 Frances E. Jensen and Amy Ellis Nutt. Reprinted courtesy of Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Cancer epidemic underway in Fukushima — Rates up 6,000% says head of cancer research center — “This is definitely a holocaust… everything’s being swept under the rug” — “Very, very frightening… my family members are brainwashed”
(translated by Carole Hisasue), Jan 24, 2015 (emphasis added):
At 8:00 — Already, 85 children have had surgeries for thyroid cancer, there are 112-113 children who are suspected of having cancer. When children get cancers it progresses very quickly. The former person in charge of health, Yamashita Shunichi, said it would be only a 1 in a million chance of children getting any kind of cancer because of radiation. But he was lying. Right now, it’s like 1 in 3,000 — it’s an epidemic… The head of the National Cancer Research Center estimated right now in Fukushima the rate of cancer has gone up 61 times. And yet the gov’t and also the hospitals related to the gov’t are saying this is not because of radiation… How long does the gov’t think that we’ll be silent about this? In light of this epidemic, my anger will never die down. And then to think about the parents of the small children – how worried they must be.
At 12:00 — It’s not only children. There are many things happening to adults as well. Increased rates of thyroid cancer, heart attacks, leukemia, cataracts – many, many health problems, where they are wondering… there’s something definitely wrong.
At 16:00 — I can’t forgive the gov’t, they’re murderers. This is definitely a holocaust.
At 20:00 — Media won’t report on it. Everything’s just being swept under the rug.
At 26:00 — A TV program called ‘Hodo Station’… they went to Fukushima City to interview people and they also came to my clinic… The director that made this program also made a follow up show and contacted one of the interviewees telling her, ‘We’ll be airing it soon.’ But before it was aired, it was taken off the program. This director died. This director apparently told one of the interviewees, ‘If you do hear that I died, please believe that it was not a suicide, no matter what you might hear.’ There is no truth in the media in Japan today. There are all sorts of these mysterious events happening that are still unexplained and uninvestigated.
At 43:00 — Even today the gov’t is insisting the rise in pediatric thyroid cancer rates are not due to the accident…Why are they being so insistent? It’s because the moment they admit the reality of what’s going on, then they obviously can’t restart any of the nuclear plants and must change their entire nuclear policy.
Carole Hisasue, translator (at 1:15:00): It’s disappeared from the media, it’s disappeared from people’s consciousness. There’s this big culture of denial going on outside of Fukushima. They want to pretend like it never happened. I can’t talk to my own family about radiation contamination… They don’t want to hear it. They go, ‘You don’t understand because you don’t have to live here, we have to live here.’… It’s like ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’… just trying to ignore it and pretend life is the way it was before 3/11. It’s frightening, it’s very very frightening… [My sister-in-law] is completely brainwashed by the gov’t who says, ‘Oh no, it’s fine, fine, fine’… she believes it, even though her son suffers from a lot of nosebleeds — and I think that’s a serious problem. If I mention it to her, or even to my own mother, they get very offended. They go, ‘Oh no, no. He’s always been like that. It’s nothing to do with radiation.’ Talk about denial, it just hurts my heart.
Health Impact News
Arizona Cardiologist Responds to Critics Regarding Measles and Vaccines
Dr. Jack Wolfson. Image from WolfsonIntegrativeCardiology.com
Why All the Anger?
by Dr. Jack Wolfson
Special to Health Impact News
I recently did an interview which was aired on NBC Phoenix. I was asked my opinion on vaccinations in response to the current measles outbreaks that have occurred at Disneyland in California. My reply has generated quite a bit of anger in thousands of people.
There has also been a tremendous amount of support to my comments and opinions. In short, The Society Against Injecting Our Kids With Chemicals (TSAIOKWC for short) has a lot of followers.
I want to address all this misguided anger and see if we can re-direct it where it belongs.
Be angry at food companies. Sugar cereals, donuts, cookies, and cupcakes lead to millions of deaths per year. At its worst, chicken pox killed 100 people per year. If those chicken pox people didn’t eat cereal and donuts, they may still be alive. Call up Nabisco and Kellogg’s and complain. Protest their products. Send THEM hate-mail.
Be angry at fast food restaurants. Tortured meat burgers, pesticide fries, and hormone milkshakes are the problem. The problem is not Hepatitis B which is a virus contracted by drug users and those who sleep with prostitutes. And you want to inject that vaccine into your newborn?
Be angry at the companies who make your toxic laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. You and your children are wearing and breathing known carcinogens (they cause cancer). Call Bounce and Downy and let them know. These products kill more people than mumps, a virus which actually doesn’t cause anyone to die. Same with hepatitis A, a watery diarrhea.
Be angry at all the companies spewing pollution into our environment. These chemicals and heavy metals are known to cause autism, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease and every other health problem. Worldwide, these lead to 10’s of millions of deaths every year. Measles deaths are a tiny fraction compared to pollution.
Be angry at your parents for not breastfeeding you, co-sleeping with you, and stuffing your face with Domino’s so they can buy more Tide and finish the laundry. Breastfeeding protects your children from many infectious diseases.
Be angry with your doctor for being close-minded and not disclosing the ingredients in vaccines (not that they read the package insert anyway). They should tell you about the aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, aborted fetal tissue, animal proteins, polysorbate 80, antibiotics, and other chemicals in the shots. According to the Environmental Working Group, newborns contain over 200 chemicals as detected by cord blood. Maybe your doctor feels a few more chemicals injected into your child won’t be a big deal.
Be angry with the cable companies and TV manufacturers for making you and your children fat and lazy, not wanting to exercise or play outside. Lack of exercise kills millions more than polio. Where are all those 80 year olds crippled by polio? I can’t seem to find many.
In fact, be angry with Steve Jobs and Bill Gates for creating computers so you can sit around all day blasted with electromagnetic radiation reading posts like this.
Be angry with pharmaceutical companies for allowing us to believe living the above life can be treated with drugs. Correctly prescribed drugs kill thousands of people per year. The flu kills just about no one. The vaccine never works.
Finally, be angry with yourself for not opening your eyes to the snow job and brainwashing which have taken over your mind. You NEVER asked the doctor any questions. You NEVER asked what is in the vaccines. You NEVER learned about these benign infections.
Let’s face it, you don’t really give a crap what your children eat. You don’t care about chemicals in their life. You don’t care if they sit around all day watching the TV or playing video games.
All you care about is drinking your Starbuck’s, your next plastic surgery, your next cocktail, your next affair, and your next sugar fix!
This post was created with love and with the idea of creating a better world for our children and future generations. Anger increases your risk of suffering a heart attack. Be careful.
About the Author
Dr. Jack Wolfson is a board certified cardiologist in Phoenix. He is known as The Paleo Cardiologist and The Natural Cardiologist.
Here are 8 invented diseases Big Pharma is banking on
MARTHA ROSENBERG, ALTERNET
03 FEB 2015 AT 00:01 ET
Since direct-to-consumer drug advertising debuted in 1997, pharma’s credo has been When The Medication Is Ready, The Disease (and Patients) Will Appear. Who knew so many people suffered from restless legs? Now pharma is back to creating new diseases, patients, risks and “awareness campaigns.” Check out these eight new diseases they’ve invented.
1. SERM deficiency
A pill to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis packs the “magic three” of drug sales– fear, forever and faith–since you never know if it’s working or you need it but fear stopping. But 15 years after women began swallowing bisphosphonates like Boniva and Fosamax because pharma-planted bone density machines in medical offices revealed they had “osteopenia,”* bisphosphonates are linked to jaw bone death, esophageal cancer and causing the fractures they were supposed to prevent. Sorry about that. Now pharma is hawking Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) like Evista and Tamoxifen to prevent osteoporosis and even some cancers. Unfortunately they can cause others…
2. Statin Deficiency
If it seems like the whole world is on statins, it’s not your imagination. Last year the FDA approved AstraZeneca’s Crestor for children as young as 10 and in March it approved Crestor for 6.5 million people who have no cholesterol or heart problems at all! (See: fear, forever and faith.) Many say, since lead investigator of the Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention study Paul Ridker of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is co-patent holder/inventor of the C-reactive protein (CRP) test which “proves” Crestor’s effectiveness, there’s a conflict of interest. Others say, since CRP isn’t necessarily even a marker for heart disease and statins can cause Type 2 diabetes, it’s bad science along with a conflict of interest.)
3. Circadian Dysrhythmia
Insomnia is a gold mine for pharma because everyone sleeps — or watches TV when they can’t. But Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata and Rozerem have reached market saturation, so pharma is rolling out subcategories like nocturnal, middle-of-the-night (MOTN) and terminal insomnia and sleep eating, sleep walking and sleep sweating (yes sweating) to boost the franchise. Meanwhile another demo is swelling Circadian Dysrhythmia numbers: Thanks to restless legs syndrome, sleep apnea, shift work sleep disorder, people who skimp on sleep and of course insomnia meds themselves, there’s an epidemic of excessive sleepiness! Enter Provigil –”a mood-brightening and memory-enhancing psychostimulant which enhances wakefulness and vigilance,” — Adderall and Vyvanse, known in the days of Lenny Bruce — also an “excessive sleepiness” sufferer — as speed.
4. Adult Autism, ADHD and Refusal to Play Nicey
Having marketed adult diseases like depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in 4-year-olds to death, pharma is now finding childhood diseases in adults. Adults with ADHD have hyperactivity, impulsivity, “executive function deficits” and “difficulty with organization and time management,” says Harvard Medical School’s Joseph Biederman, in a 2004 JAMA. The disease, found in most people’s brother-in-laws, requires “lifelong” medication says Biederman, who was accused of pushing Risperdal and hiding pharma income by Congress in 2008. Adults may suffer from autism too says a 2008 article in Psychiatric News, if they’re “unsociable, extremely rigid, given to angry outbursts” and “acutely sensitive to light, heat, and pain.” Luckily, in two studies “SSRI antidepressants led to a decrease in repetitive behaviors and to somewhat more socializing,” in adults with autism says Psychiatric News.
5. Asthma That Requires “Two Drugs”
Leave it to pharma to develop an asthma drug–the long-acting beta2-agonists (LABAs)– that triples the rate of asthma deaths, especially in African-Americans. And leave it to the FDA to approve LABA’s on the basis of a trial, the 2003 SMART trial (Salmeterol Multicenter Asthma Research Trial), that was stopped early because of so many deaths. In March, after more deaths, especially in children, a sheepish FDA recast LABAs as a last resort medication with or without use of a concomitant inhaled steroid. But AstraZeneca doesn’t want to stop selling its LABA with a steroid, Symbicort — and GSK its LABA with a steroid, Advair — just because they’re correlated with death. So the LABA drugs are being billed as safe and able to treat “both” causes of asthma (see: Vytorin) and projected to earn billions this year.
6. “Treatment Resistant” Conditions
If an engine additive or laundry product didn’t work, who would chase it with another product–or two– because the manufacturer told them to? Who would pay $300 to $900 a month out of their pocket for antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers and mood brighteners some of which don’t work? (see: fear, forever, faith.) Increasingly, pharma is approving drugs as add on or “adjunctive therapy” like AstraZeneca’s antipsychotic Seroquel, approved last year “for patients who had failed to respond adequately to an antidepressant alone.” Also last year, the FDA approved Eli Lilly’s Symbyax, a combination of the SSRI antidepressant Prozac and controversial antipsychotic Zyprexa — do patients gain 100 pounds but feel great? — for “treatment resistant depression.” Why are diseases “treatment resistant” instead of the drugs “ineffective” or diagnoses “wrong”?
7. Low T
Men are you feeling run down and over the hill? Is your hair falling out, skin wrinkling and abdomen developing its own zip code? Have you lost interest in sex or worse, has your partner? (With you?) Do you need reading glasses, dental implants and heel splints? You’re not getting old, you just have Low T and are ready for the aging-is-really-just-low-hormones con that women have lived with for 60 years: hormone replacement therapy. Like 50 million women before you, you can be Forever Masculine even though, to (quote hormone giant Wyeth) you have outlived your testes if you start replacing your lost testosterone. You’ll get both kinds of zips back in your life, and it won’t change your prostate-specific antigens. Pharma promises.
8. “Spectrum” Disorders
Nothing proves pharma’s when-the-medication-is-ready credo better than the legions of people who have fibromyaglia now that Cymbalta, Savella and Lyrica are available to treat it. Still, a “grassroots” pharma front group is conducting a Fibromyalgia Is Real awareness campaign like it did for depression and bipolar disorder, just to make sure. Pharma has also rolled out the term “depression spectrum disorder” for fibromyalgia to make sure patients who have some but not all of the symptoms seek treatment. And speaking of spectrums, “Epilepsy Spectrum Disorder” was rolled out in January’s JAMA — a disorder which is not just about seizures anymore but has “shared mechanisms” with “depression, autism.., and other cognitive comorbidities.” Spectrum disorders are Real–which is pharma for Reimbursable a pharma contrivance like “perimenopause” to widen the patient pool
Health Freedom Alliance
Aspartame: By Far the Most Dangerous Substance Added to Most Foods Today
Samantha HemmingwayChemical "Foods", Food Crisis, Food Science, Food Toxins
Aspartame is the technical name for the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. It was discovered by accident in 1965 when James Schlatter, a chemist of G.D. Searle Company, was testing an anti-ulcer drug.
Aspartame was approved for dry goods in 1981 and for carbonated beverages in 1983. It was originally approved for dry goods on July 26, 1974, but objections filed by neuroscience researcher Dr. John W. Olney and consumer attorney James Turner in August 1974, as well as investigations of G.D. Searle’s research practices caused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put approval of aspartame on hold (December 5, 1974). In 1985, Monsanto purchased G.D. Searle and made Searle Pharmaceuticals and The NutraSweet Company separate subsidiaries.
Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious, including seizures and death. A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as part of aspartame dangers are:
Loss of taste
According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame:
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. The bookPrescription for Nutritional Healing, by James and Phyllis Balch lists aspartame under the category of “chemical poison.” As you shall see, that is exactly what it is.
What Is Aspartame Made Of?
Aspartic Acid (40 percent of Aspartame)
Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, a professor of neurosurgery at the Medical University of Mississippi, recently published a book thoroughly detailing the damage that is caused by the ingestion of excessive aspartic acid from aspartame. Blaylock makes use of almost 500 scientific references to show how excess free excitatory amino acids such as aspartic acid and glutamic acid (about 99 percent of monosodium glutamate or MSG is glutamic acid) in our food supply are causing serious chronic neurological disorders and a myriad of other acute symptoms.
How Aspartate (and Glutamate) Cause Damage
Aspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters in the brain by facilitating the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate or glutamate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals, which kill the cells. The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate and glutamate is why they are referred to as “excitotoxins.” They “excite” or stimulate the neural cells to death.
Aspartic acid is an amino acid. Taken in its free form (unbound to proteins), it significantly raises the blood plasma level of aspartate and glutamate. The excess aspartate and glutamate in the blood plasma shortly after ingesting aspartame or products with free glutamic acid (glutamate precursor) leads to a high level of those neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain.
The blood brain barrier (BBB), which normally protects the brain from excess glutamate and aspartate as well as toxins, 1) is not fully developed during childhood, 2) does not fully protect all areas of the brain, 3) is damaged by numerous chronic and acute conditions, and 4) allows seepage of excess glutamate and aspartate into the brain even when intact.
The excess glutamate and aspartate slowly begin to destroy neurons. The large majority (75 percent or more) of neural cells in a particular area of the brain are killed before any clinical symptoms of a chronic illness are noticed. A few of the many chronic illnesses that have been shown to be contributed to by long-term exposure to excitatory amino acid damage include:
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
The risk to infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and persons with certain chronic health problems from excitotoxins are great. Even the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), which usually understates problems and mimics the FDA party-line, recently stated in a review that glutamic acid should be avoided by women of childbearing age.
Aspartic acid from aspartame has the same deleterious effects on the body as glutamic acid isolated from it’s naturally protein-bound state, causing it to become a neurotoxin instead of a non-essential amino acid.
Aspartame in diet sodas, or aspartame in other liquid form are absorbed more quickly and have been shown to spike plasma levels of aspartic acid.
The exact mechanism of acute reactions to excess free glutamate and aspartate is currently being debated. As reported to the FDA, those reactions include:
Fatigue (blocks sufficient glucose entry into brain)
One common complaint of persons suffering from the effect of aspartame is memory loss. Ironically, in 1987, G.D. Searle, the manufacturer of aspartame, undertook a search for a drug to combat memory loss caused by excitatory amino acid damage. Blaylock is one of many scientists and physicians who are concerned about excitatory amino acid damage caused by ingestion of aspartame and MSG.
A few of the many experts who have spoken out against the damage being caused by aspartate and glutamate include Adrienne Samuels, Ph.D., an experimental psychologist specializing in research design. Another is Olney, a professor in the department of psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University, a neuroscientist and researcher, and one of the world’s foremost authorities on excitotoxins. (He informed Searle in 1971 that aspartic acid caused holes in the brains of mice.)
Phenylalanine (50 percent of aspartame)
Phenylalanine is an amino acid normally found in the brain. Persons with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria (PKU) cannot metabolize phenylalanine. This leads to dangerously high levels of phenylalanine in the brain (sometimes lethal). It has been shown that ingesting aspartame, especially along with carbohydrates, can lead to excess levels of phenylalanine in the brain even in persons who do not have PKU.
This is not just a theory, as many people who have eaten large amounts of aspartame over a long period of time and do not have PKU have been shown to have excessive levels of phenylalanine in the blood. Excessive levels of phenylalanine in the brain can cause the levels of serotonin in the brain to decrease, leading to emotional disorders such as depression. It was shown in human testing that phenylalanine levels of the blood were increased significantly in human subjects who chronically used aspartame.
Even a single use of aspartame raised the blood phenylalanine levels. In his testimony before the U.S. Congress, Dr. Louis J. Elsas showed that high blood phenylalanine can be concentrated in parts of the brain and is especially dangerous for infants and fetuses. He also showed that phenylalanine is metabolized much more efficiently by rodents than by humans.
One account of a case of extremely high phenylalanine levels caused by aspartame was recently published by the Wednesday Journal in an article titled “An Aspartame Nightmare.” John Cook began drinking six to eight diet drinks every day. His symptoms started out as memory loss and frequent headaches. He began to crave more aspartame-sweetened drinks. His condition deteriorated so much that he experienced wide mood swings and violent rages. Even though he did not suffer from PKU, a blood test revealed a phenylalanine level of 80 mg/dl. He also showed abnormal brain function and brain damage. After he kicked his aspartame habit, his symptoms improved dramatically.
As Blaylock points out in his book, early studies measuring phenylalanine buildup in the brain were flawed. Investigators who measured specific brain regions and not the average throughout the brain notice significant rises in phenylalanine levels. Specifically the hypothalamus, medulla oblongata, and corpus striatum areas of the brain had the largest increases in phenylalanine. Blaylock goes on to point out that excessive buildup of phenylalanine in the brain can cause schizophrenia or make one more susceptible to seizures.
Therefore, long-term, excessive use of aspartame may provide a boost to sales of serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac and drugs to control schizophrenia and seizures.
Methanol a.k.a wood alcohol/poison (10 percent of aspartame)
Methanol/wood alcohol is a deadly poison. Some people may remember methanol as the poison that has caused some “skid row” alcoholics to end up blind or dead. Methanol is gradually released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin.
The absorption of methanol into the body is sped up considerably when free methanol is ingested. Free methanol is created from aspartame when it is heated to above 86 Fahrenheit (30 Centigrade). This would occur when aspartame-containing product is improperly stored or when it is heated (e.g. as part of a “food” product such as Jello).
Methanol breaks down into formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. An EPA assessment of methanol states that methanol “is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde.” They recommend a limit of consumption of 7.8 mg/day. A one-liter (approx. 1 quart) aspartame-sweetened beverage contains about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy users of aspartame-containing products consume as much as 250 mg of methanol daily or 32 times the EPA limit.
Symptoms from methanol poisoning include headaches, ear buzzing, dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, weakness, vertigo, chills, memory lapses, numbness and shooting pains in the extremities, behavioral disturbances, and neuritis. The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems including misty vision, progressive contraction of visual fields, blurring of vision, obscuration of vision, retinal damage, and blindness. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication and causes birth defects.
Due to the lack of a couple of key enzymes, humans are many times more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than animals. Therefore, tests of aspartame or methanol on animals do not accurately reflect the danger for humans. As pointed out by Dr. Woodrow C. Monte, director of the food science and nutrition laboratory at Arizona State University: “There are no human or mammalian studies to evaluate the possible mutagenic, teratogenic or carcinogenic effects of chronic administration of methyl alcohol.”
He was so concerned about the unresolved safety issues that he filed suit with the FDA requesting a hearing to address these issues. He asked the FDA to:
“…[S]low down on this soft drink issue long enough to answer some of the important questions. It’s not fair that you are leaving the full burden of proof on the few of us who are concerned and have such limited resources. You must remember that you are the American public’s last defense. Once you allow usage (of aspartame) there is literally nothing I or my colleagues can do to reverse the course. Aspartame will then join saccharin, the sulfiting agents, and God knows how many other questionable compounds enjoined to insult the human constitution with governmental approval.”
Shortly thereafter, the Commissioner of the FDA, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved the use of aspartame in carbonated beverage. He then left for a position with G.D. Searle’s public relations firm.
It has been pointed out that some fruit juices and alcoholic beverages contain small amounts of methanol. It is important to remember, however, that methanol never appears alone. In every case, ethanol is present, usually in much higher amounts. Ethanol is an antidote for methanol toxicity in humans. The troops of Desert Storm were “treated” to large amounts of aspartame-sweetened beverages, which had been heated to over 86 degrees F in the Saudi Arabian sun. Many of them returned home with numerous disorders similar to what has been seen in persons who have been chemically poisoned by formaldehyde. The free methanol in the beverages may have been a contributing factor in these illnesses. Other breakdown products of aspartame such as DKP (discussed below) may also have been a factor.
In a 1993 act that can only be described as “unconscionable,” the FDA approved aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items that would always be heated to above 86 degree F (30 degree C).
DKP is a byproduct of aspartame metabolism. DKP has been implicated in the occurrence of brain tumors. Olney noticed that DKP, when nitrosated in the gut, produced a compound that was similar to N-nitrosourea, a powerful brain tumor causing chemical. Some authors have said that DKP is produced after aspartame ingestion. I am not sure if that is correct. It is definitely true that DKP is formed in liquid aspartame-containing products during prolonged storage.
G.D. Searle conducted animal experiments on the safety of DKP. The FDA found numerous experimental errors occurred, including “clerical errors, mixed-up animals, animals not getting drugs they were supposed to get, pathological specimens lost because of improper handling,” and many other errors. These sloppy laboratory procedures may explain why both the test and control animals had 16 times more brain tumors than would be expected in experiments of this length.
In an ironic twist, shortly after these experimental errors were discovered, the FDA used guidelines recommended by G.D. Searle to develop the industry-wide FDA standards for good laboratory practices.
DKP has also been implicated as a cause of uterine polyps and changes in blood cholesterol by FDA Toxicologist Dr. Jacqueline Verrett in her testimony before the U.S. Senate.
10 High-Fat Foods That Are Super Healthy for You
Kris Gunnars January 29, 2015 12:45 pm
Ever since fat was demonized, people started eating more sugar, refined carbs and processed foods instead.
As a result, the entire world has become fatter and sicker.
However, times are changing. Studies now show that fat, including saturated fat, isn’t the devil it was made out to be (1, 2).
All sorts of healthy foods that happen to contain fat have now returned to the “superfood” scene.
Eggs with cheddar cheese baked in fresh avocados and garnished with chives. Photo credit: Shutterstock
Here are 10 high-fat foods that are actually incredibly healthy and nutritious.
The avocado is different from most other fruits.
Whereas most fruits primarily contain carbs, avocados are loaded with fats.
In fact, avocados are about 77 percent fat, by calories, making them even higher in fat than most animal foods.
The main fatty acid is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. This is also the predominant fatty acid in olive oil, associated with various health benefits.
Avocados are among the best sources of potassium in the diet, even containing 40 percent more potassium than bananas, a typical high potassium food.
They’re also a great source of fiber, and studies have shown that they can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising HDL (the “good”) cholesterol.
Even though they are high in fat and calories, one study shows that people who eat avocados tend to weigh less and have less belly fat than those who don’t.
Bottom Line: Avocados are a fruit, with fat at 77 percent of calories. They are an excellent source of potassium and fiber, and have been shown to have major benefits for cardiovascular health.
Cheese is incredibly nutritious.
This makes sense, given that an entire cup of milk is used to produce a single thick slice of cheese.
It is a great source of calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium, and contains all sorts of other nutrients.
It is also very rich in protein, with a single thick slice of cheese containing 6.7 grams of protein, same as a glass of milk.
Cheese, like other high-fat dairy products, also contains powerful fatty acids that have been linked to all sorts of benefits, including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Bottom Line: Cheese is incredibly nutritious, and a single slice contains a similar amount of nutrients as a glass of milk. It is a great source of vitamins, minerals, quality proteins and healthy fats.
3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is one of those rare health foods that actually taste incredible.
It is very high in fat, with fat at around 65 percent of calories.
Dark chocolate is 11 percent fiber and contains over 50 percent of the RDA for iron, magnesium, copper and manganese.
It is also loaded with antioxidants, so much that it is one of the highest scoring foods tested, even outranking blueberries (13).
Some of the antioxidants in it have potent biological activity, and can lower blood pressure and protect LDL cholesterol in the blood from becoming oxidized.
Studies also show that people who eat dark chocolate 5 or more times per week are less than half as likely to die from heart disease, compared to people who don’t eat dark chocolate.
There are also some studies showing that dark chocolate can improve brain function, and protect your skin from damage when exposed to the sun.
Just make sure to choose quality dark chocolate, with at least 70 percent cocoa.
Bottom Line: Dark chocolate is high in fat, but loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. It is very effective at improving cardiovascular health.
4. Whole Eggs
Whole eggs used to be considered unhealthy because the yolks are high in cholesterol and fat.
In fact, a single egg contains 212 mg of cholesterol, which is 71 percent of the recommended daily intake. Plus, 62 percent of the calories in whole eggs are from fat.
However, new studies have shown that cholesterol in eggs doesn’t affect the cholesterol in the blood, at least not in the majority of people.
What we’re left with is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.
Whole eggs are actually loaded with vitamins and minerals. They contain a little bit of almost every single nutrient we need.
They even contain powerful antioxidants that protect the eyes, and lots of choline, a brain nutrient that 90 percent of people don’t get enough of.
Eggs are also a weight loss friendly food. They are very fulfilling and high in protein, the most important nutrient for weight loss.
Despite being high in fat, people who replace a grain-based breakfast with eggs end up eating fewer calories and losing weight.
The best eggs are omega-3 enriched or pastured. Just don’t throw away the yolk, that’s where almost all the nutrients are found.
Bottom Line: Whole eggs are among the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Despite being high in fat and cholesterol, they are incredibly nutritious and healthy.
5. Fatty Fish
One of the few animal products that most people agree is healthy, is fatty fish.
This includes fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring.
These fish are loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, high quality proteins and all sorts of important nutrients.
Studies show that people who eat fish tend to be much healthier, with a lower risk of heart disease, depression, dementia and all sorts of common diseases.
If you can’t (or won’t) eat fish, then taking a fish liver oil supplement can be useful. Cod fish liver oil is best, it contains the omega-3s that you need, as well as plenty of vitamin D.
Bottom Line: Fatty fish like salmon is loaded with important nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Eating fatty fish is linked to improved health, and reduced risk of all sorts of diseases.
Nuts are incredibly healthy.
They are high in healthy fats and fiber, and are a good plant-based source of protein.
Nuts are also high in vitamin E, as well as magnesium, a mineral that most people don’t get enough of.
Studies show that people who eat nuts tend to be healthier, and have a lower risk of various diseases. This includes obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Healthy nuts include almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and numerous others.
Bottom Line: Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, protein, vitamin E and magnesium, and are among the best sources of plant-based protein. Studies show that nuts have many health benefits.
7. Butter From Grass-Fed Cows
Butter is almost pure fat, over half of which is saturated.
It was demonized in the past, but has now been making a comeback as a health food.
Butter, especially from grass-fed cows, contains important nutrients like vitamins A and K2.
It also contains butyrate and CLA, bioactive fatty acids that have been linked to numerous health benefits.
In countries where cows are grass-fed, consumption of high fat dairy products like butter is actually linked with reduced risk of heart disease.
A review study published in 2012 also found that consumption of high-fat (but not low-fat) dairy was linked to reduced risk of obesity.
Bottom Line: Butter is very high in saturated fat. Even so, studies show that high-fat dairy products are linked to reduced risk of obesity, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in countries where cows are grass-fed.
8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Another fatty food that almost everyone agrees is healthy, is extra virgin olive oil.
This fat is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet, which has been shown to have numerous health benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil contains vitamins E and K, and is loaded with powerful antioxidants.
Some of these antioxidants can fight inflammation and help protect the LDL particles in the blood from becoming oxidized .
It has also been shown to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol markers and have all sorts of benefits related to heart disease risk.
Out of all the healthy fats and oils in the diet, extra virgin olive oil is the king.
Bottom Line: Extra virgin olive oil has many powerful health benefits, and is incredibly effective at improving cardiovascular health.
9. Coconuts and Coconut Oil
Coconuts, and coconut oil, are the richest sources of saturated fat on the planet.
In fact, about 90 percent of the fatty acids in them are saturated.
Even so, populations that consume large amounts of coconut do not have high levels of heart disease, and are in excellent health.
Coconut fats are actually different than most other fats, and consist largely of medium-chain fatty acids.
These fatty acids are metabolized differently, going straight to the liver where they may be turned into ketone bodies.
Studies show that medium-chain fats suppress appetite, helping people eat fewer calories, and can boost metabolism by up to 120 calories per day.
Many studies show that these types of fats can have benefits for people with Alzheimer’s, and they have also been shown to help you lose belly fat.
Bottom Line: Coconuts are very high in medium-chain fatty acids, which are metabolized differently than other fats. They can reduce appetite, increase fat burning and provide numerous health benefits.
10. Full-Fat Yogurt
Real, full-fat yogurt is incredibly healthy.
It has all the same important nutrients as other high-fat dairy products.
But it’s also loaded with healthy, probiotic bacteria, that can have powerful effects on your health.
Studies show that yogurt can lead to major improvements in digestive health, and may even help fight heart disease and obesity.
Just make sure to choose real, full-fat yogurt and read the label.
Unfortunately, many of the yogurts found on store shelves are low in fat, but loaded with added sugar instead.
It is best to avoid those like the plague.
Until next week...keep on believing.
“The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel; saith the Lord, that stretches out the sky, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.”