Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sustainable Future: Search results for water

Trees for Water

Forests play a major role in the water cycle and help stabilize water tables and maintain freshwater supplies. They do this by promoting precipitation, providing shade and mulch to reduce surface evaporation, and slowing down rain run-off (giving it time to soak into the soil).

"Trees regulate water supply, keeping it available for their own needs and for those of other plants, for humans and other animals. The roots of the great forest trees penetrate deeply into the earth and draw up great quantities of water which pass through the trees and out through the leaves to create "oceans of the air". Thus the water is kept available for rain. Trees may deprive plants grown immediately beneath but help those at a distance. Forest height and the cooling effect of the water transpired by the leaves can promote rain in the same way as mountain ranges that force the rain clouds to rise and cool. Paul Schreiber, the meteorologist, estimated that a region covered with forest increased rainfall to the same degree as elevating it 350ft.

When rain falls on forest canopies, its force is broken by the leaves and branches so that it seeps gently through the forest debris to replenish the water tables below. Sinking wells where there are no tree belts in the area to maintain water tables can be a dangerous living off capital. Water running off of bared hillsides carries away the soil, not only depriving the uplands but also silting up dams and reservoirs and causing rivers to flood." -- from the essay Trees for a Future

Daily Kos: State of the Nation

There are alleged "food safety" bills in Congress right now (HB 875, HB 814, SF 425 and possibly soon, HB 759) which are - to put it plainly and truthfullly - the death of organic farming and independent farming in America.

One, at least, merges the USDA and FDA, immensely corrupted agencies, into a more powerful, centralized agency [how soon we forget the danger of centralizing intelligence agencies] that gives even more power to Monsanto and other corporations which already have control over those agencies. These bills merging the of USDA and FDA were introduced one week after Vilsack in a press conference said they weren't thinking of doing that yet.

With great excitement, Merrigan is seen as a victory for progressives who have been waiting way too long for any. The great shame, the danger even, is they aren't noticing what is happening off to the side that is the very thing they should most fear.

HB 875, which is the larger and appears to be the central one, looks innocuous. It is that surface we are encouraged to concentrate on. The surface is "food safety" and the hope is government finally acting to protect us. Below that surface are two things - that those who cause the dangerous food are running this show, and that "food safety" has been used before and is being used here again to destroy the only people who actually provide it.

Wanting food safety and more muscle behind that seems logical, until you look at the agencies being given more power.

"The thing that bugs me is that people think the FDA is protecting them. It isn't. What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks it's doing are as different as night and day.”
Dr. Herbert Ley, Commissioner of the FDA. (San Francisco Chronicle, 1-2-70).

What is the FDA doing?

"First, it is providing a means whereby key individuals on its payroll are able to obtain both power and wealth through granting special favors to certain politically influential groups that are subject to its regulation. This activity is similar to the 'protection racket' of organized crime: for a price, one can induce FDA administrators to provide 'protection' from the FDA itself.

"Secondly, as a result of this political favoritism, the FDA has become a primary factor in that formula whereby cartel-oriented companies in the food and drug industry are able to use the police powers of government to harass or destroy their free-market competitors.

"And thirdly, the FDA occasionally does some genuine public good with whatever energies it has left over after serving the vested political and commercial interest of its first two activities." - G. Edward Griffin, World Without Cancer.

FDA tactics.

"The hearings have revealed police-state tactics...possibly perjured testimony to gain a conviction,...intimidation and gross disregard for the Constitutional Rights...(of) First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments, (by the FDA)

"Instance after instance of FDA raids on small vitamin and food supplement manufacturers. These small, defenseless businesses were guilty of producing products which FDA officials claimed were unnecessary."

"If the FDA would spend a little less time and effort on small manufacturers of vitamins...and a little more on the large manufacturers of...dangerous drugs..., the public would be better served." - Senator Long from various Senate hearings.

As late as November of 2008, scientists at the FDA revolted against its corrupt managers, submitting a letter to Congress.

Dingel charged FDA bureaucrats with "gross violation of laws and regulations..."

FDA and drugs.

FDA is at the center of "a national controversy over [its] ability to protect the public against unsafe medicines. As associate director for science and medicine in the FDA's Office of Drug Safety, Graham told Congress last month that FDA's problems with ensuring drug safety were "immense in scope" and left the nation "virtually defenseless" against the chance that unsafe drugs will reach consumers.

FDA - in regard to food, both as they relate to harming safe local farming and actually greatly decreasing safety to the sole advantage of industry and immense risk to the public :

  1. FDA instituted HACCP [coming in through Carol Tucker Forman, representing Monsanto at the same time] wiped out 72 local meat processors in Kansas (please imagine the loss of jobs, of food security, of community in those places, and then multiplied across state after state) who had had no problems with e-coli, while creating a vastly more centralized "industrial" (corporate) system in which inspections fell and food safety problems increased.

"HACCP [was] the keystone of President Clinton's globalization strategy to restrict the ability of Congress and of citizens at risk of health to make safety a political, or policy issue." FDA's HACCP made "feces" an approved part of the American diet."

  1. American cherry growers got money from the the USDA for an independent study which showed that cherries were potentially ten times stronger than aspirin and ibuprofen for controlling pain (separate from being incredibly high in anti-oxidants). FDA, exceeding its regulatory authority immediately forbade them from even putting a link on their websites to the peer reveiwed study) while allowing NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: aspirin, tylenol, aleve ...) which cause thousands of deaths a year and well over a hundred thousand hospitalizations and those figures do not even include over the counter deaths and serious illnesses. Yet there appear to be no deaths by cherry.

And the USDA?

"The organic food industry made the mistake of asking the USDA to regulate it, since there were many unscrupulous "organic" farmers who sold food that was not really organic, as organic. In 1998, there was a major consumer effort to stop an agribusiness takeover of the industry, and the battle is not finished. [My emphasis.]

"” is a misnomer, as the movement is more of an effort to counter the agribusiness mentality, with its artificial fertilizers, genetically engineered life, radiating food, and so on, and get back to natural methods.

"Agribusiness companies control the USDA, just as the drug companies control the FDA. ... An internal USDA memo that Mother Jones obtained in 1998 showed that the USDA was influenced by the biotech companies, which was why its original standard classified genetically engineered food as organic."

"The USDA's originally proposed standard would have eliminated organic food as it is known today. ... It is as if Lucifer himself is writing the law. Is the USDA really that blind, or do they know exactly what they are doing?"

The examples of both the USDA and FDA favoring industry to the literal destruction of small farmers or small businesses though their products are safer, are many and continuing. The USDA and FDA have worked to eliminate all non-corporate, less expensive, more healthy, green, and local alternatives to industrial food and industrial drugs under the aegis of food or drug safety, while passing and protecting and promoting dangerous corporate products such as rBGH and Vioxx.

The innocuous looking HB 875 brings these two corrupt agencies together, and with immensely more power. In recognizing the large international corporate moves being made to take over food , one can begin to appreciate where this and the other bills fit in.

Hillary Clinton ran on a platform to create this centralized "food safety-actually-the-opposite" department (just as Bill Clinton wanted an "organic" label that would absurdly include genetically engineered and irradiated food and sewage sludge as fertilizer). Both promoted a twisting of reality - dangers with a positive label slapped on top. Her long-time advisor (and perhaps his) has been Mark Penn, head of Burson-Masteller, one of the largest and most reviled PR firms in the world which represents Monsanto, Blackwater, ExxonMobil (they helped cover up the spill), Union Carbide after Bhopal (minimizing the disaster there), the Argentinian junta, and more.

We all know what PR firms do. They stage things, they time things just right for the introduction of something, they create atmosphere they want, they dress things up to look good for the camera which are in fact rotten or dangerous. And they can make people and things which are good, look bad. In short, they manipulate public opinion by manipulating the truth. And when they work for one of the most evil corporations on earth, Monsanto, the degree to which they can pull that off is the degree to which we are all subjected to extreme dangers.

HB 875 is called a "food safety" bill and it looks "nice." But it includes coded words that make other very "not nice" things become suddenly operative, things that are not mentioned directly in the bill but are buried in multiple other places, as simple lists or as regulations which have never been debated by law makers or voted on by the public, but inserted into agency documents, frequently by industries which are supposed to be regulated by those very industries.

The coded words around "tracing" trigger NAIS [please watch this video by the Organic Consumers Association] and any words around "best farming practices" would unleash a slew of absolute government controls over (but not limited to) things such as what the farmers must feed their animals (one assumes it will be GMO feed from Monsanto Bt-corn and Bt-soy) and when, what medical regimen they must follow (one assumes it will be the drugs Big PHARM and Big PHARMA sell), what kind of spray (one assumes it will be the pesticides Monsanto sells) and when and where farmers must apply it.

It is clear from those three items alone (what the animals eat, what drugs they are subject to, what is done to the soil and plants) that "best farming practices" and many more anti-farming practices) would industrialize every farm and destroying all organic farms.

But it is worse than that because we are looking at the actual industrial enslavement of our once free farmers by government. They would be forced into a system in which they would not only be ordered what to do and when, but become "captives" to purchasing mandated products from the very industry that has taken over our tax-payer-funded agencies and is imposing this farm-and-health-destructive regime. The only farmers producing safe food would be paying taxes to be personally destroyed by the centralized USDA/FDA "food safety" department.

Monsanto influences both agencies. It gets more power and more control. It gets data banks to oversee all farmers and even to take DNA from their animals. It gets mandated purchase of its products. It gets to kill organic farming and food.

"Best farming practices" also include not having animals and crops on the same farm. Could these farming regulations get any more bureaucratically distant from real farming or thus more insane?

As tricky and corrupt as it seemed Bill Clinton's proposal to label Monsanto's genetically engineered crops and animals "organic," the centralized "food safety" department proposed by Hillary Clinton leaves such single layered, transparent wrong-doing in the dust. For now now it is not a fake label being proposed, but an entire fake (as to providing "food safety") agency being called for and timed to seem "in response to" deaths and with all its threats hidden in multiple places.

So while Bill Clinton's proposal would have only hidden what we eat under a lying label, removing all voluntary choice and trapping us into their dangers through enforced ignorance, these "food safety" bills hide the hand of and the greatly multiplied power of Monsanto, hide the death of all independent (non-corporate) and organic farming, and hide the literal take over the entire US food supply.

Hard to get more clever than that.

It is also hard not to notice both Bill and Hillary Clinton's long standing connections to Monsanto, how much Monsanto already influences both agencies to its own advantage and how much it gains from these bills.

Buried many layers deep within "best farming practices" are a list of "sources of seed contamination."

Agricultural water
manure (not chemical fertilizers and pesticides)
transporting, harvesting and seed cleaning equipment
seed storage facilities

Seed cleaning equipment, I understand, has already been made illegal this year though there have been no illnesses related to it. A farmers said he may still clean seed but he would need a million to a million and a half dollar building and equipment to do so now.

Seed storage facilities are also listed. One sees the direction this is going.

Seed storage facilities would be declared illegal as well, as sources of "seed contamination." All the wonderful seed banks around the country put together by devoted and hard working people to preserve biodiversity for all of us, threaten the absolute monopoly over seeds and food that Monsanto seeks. Oh, one could still have a seed bank but they'd need a million or two million or five million dollar "facility" to meet "food safety" requirements.

Monsanto and the biotech industry want no more farm-saved seed (or individual saved seed). In the EU, seeds not on the official seed list (which costs thousands of pounds to be on) may not be sold to the public.

Seeds are life to all of us. Seeds are freedom to survive.

Yet Monsanto is aggressively doing all it can to put normal seeds out of reach , (making it a crime for farmers in Iraq to use their own seeds, for instance) and attempting to make saving of normal seed illegal here. The insertion of harmless seed cleaning equipment and seed storage - both essential to organic and independent farming - as a threat to "food safety" is a tip-off to Monsanto's hand in this and its sleight of hand in destroying organic farming in these kinds of unanticipated ways.

The left is being massively played. Even if this appointee would be good, there will be no organic farming to oversee. All the laws coming out of HB 875 and the other bills will already have destroyed it.

Good bye seed banks. Good bye biodiversity which is critical to survival. Good bye human control over seeds which are the basis of all life ... which are our biologic inheritance and most fundamental human right. Good bye to a country full of independent farmers ... the floor under any democracy,

Instead, we have illusion. Burson-Marsteller, a major, major PR firm, works for corporations to cover up the literal deadly harm they do. We are being encouraged to watch a show. Look behind the curtain. Monsanto is there.

"We need the World Bank, we need the International Monetary Fund, we need all the big foundations, we need all the governments to admit that for 30 years we all blew it, including me, when I was President. We blew it. We were wrong to believe that food is like some other product in international trade. And we all have to go back to a more environmentally responsible, sustainable form of agriculture."
Former US President Bill Clinton, in a keynote address for World Food Day on 23 October 2008

Monsanto now is talking "sustainable." It's PR . They also used Bollywood actors to sell Bt-cotton to Indian farmers but non-PR reality flowed from that. 182,000 Indian farmers have committed suicidesince Bill Clinton and the IMF and the World Bank forced India's door open to Monsanto and Big Ag.

The bills in Congress, dressed up as "food safety," are in fact the death of organic and independent farming in our country and a vast intensification of globalization as part of a plan for tight international corporate control over our food.

Progressive rejoicing at Kathleen A. Merrigan's appointment to the USDA as a major win is surely making Monsanto and Big Ag cronies in their boardrooms laugh and pass around cigars over their well-crafted plan to thoroughly deceive and distract the left so HB 875, HB 814, SF 425 and (later) HB 759 can move ahead in Congress just as planned.

Tags: Obama USDA appointment, Merrigan, Monsanto, faking out the left, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, organic farming, HACCP, HB 875, HB 814, SB 425, HB 759, sleight of hand (all tags) :: Previous Tag Versions

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Here’s Your Chance to Change the FDA - I Need Your Help on This One - articles -

“FDA Science and Mission at Risk” was released by the FDA. In this report, the agency admitted that it lacks the competency and capacity to keep up with scientific advances.

The FDA now admits that Americans are suffering and dying because the FDA does not have the scientific ability to ascertain if new drugs are safe or effective or to evaluate scientific claims.

These failures affect the health of all Americans. Good drugs are not approved or approved after interminable delays. Even after new drugs are shown to be safe, doctors cannot use them with terminally ill patients whose cases are otherwise hopeless. Bad drugs are approved -- often on the basis of a recommendation by panels whose members include drug company consultants.

The record with the food supply is almost as bad as with drugs. When fresh food turns out to be contaminated, the only solution the Agency can come up with is to "nuke" it with radiation. What does this do to food? The FDA certainly does not know.

The FDA pushes forward, approving faulty and dangerous drugs and medical devices by the thousands and approving toxic chemicals for use in baby formula, baby bottles, and prescription drugs. Meanwhile, the FDA pursues what can only be described as a harassment campaign against those who want to rely on wholesome foods, dietary supplements, and lifestyle changes to achieve natural good health.

A veritable revolution is taking place in the science of food, food extracts, and food supplements. Food producers would like to tell the American public about it. Millions of lives could be saved as a result. But the FDA will not permit it. The Agency ignores first amendment protections and censors the communication of valid scientific information.

The epidemics currently plaguing this country -- cancer, obesity, diabetes, asthma and allergies, and many other debilitating disorders -- are linked to manmade products and processes that the FDA has approved and promoted. These failures have resulted in the sickest generation in the history of this country. The agency seems to have lost sight of its mandate to protect the public and has instead come to see itself as the guardian of corporate interests. It is time to end the many conflicts of interest linking the FDA to the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, conflicts of interest that betray the public and harm so many American consumers.

It is time to reform the FDA!

10 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer Now - Switched

10 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer Now - Switched: "There is nothing more frustrating on this Earth than a slow computer -- especially in these tough economic times, when running out and buying a new high-end PC is not necessarily an option. But here's the good news: There is plenty you can do yourself, right now, that'll speed up your computer. We've compiled a list of 10 tips and tricks you can easily implement on your existing computer. Some involve just a few quick steps, while others are more involved, but rest easy: We've included directions for everything. Take a look by clicking on 'Next' below, and get ready for the fast times!"

RFID chip

The RFID chip makers started looking for markets for their injectable chip as soon as it was invented. I've been following their info for years. Very scary, Orwellian even (as in 1984, the book). These guys sell human scanners that look just like the metal detectors used in libraries and department stores. These systems have been sold to South America dictators who have chipped prisoners in their prisons. This is very real, not an illusion and, in my opinion, if they could get their way, we will be chipped too. Animal shelters are chipping dogs & cats, NAIS is chipping farm animals. Many companies chip their products. I wonder how the animals feel and what they think about being made a part of the computerized Matrix, property of the machine world. Grosses me out completely. In our other group I've posted updates on RFID research and implementation a number of times, trying to alert folks to this insidious plan to track (and eventually control) everything. Pure evil. The new nano-electronic chips are far smaller than the grain of rice sized chips currently being injected into animals and human prisoners. They are small enough to be inhaled or swallowed in a drink without you even knowing it. If you get chipped you can fry the chip with high voltage static electricity (stun gun or electric fence). I hope people here don't think I'm "just being paranoid". Maybe it's best to simply provide my link collection on the topic. Some of these links are probably dead by now but others should still work. Unfortunately, due to a computer crash a couple of years back, I lost the links to the earlier research and implementation of the RFID chip, so all the detail is not presented: verichip. pl
http://www.greatdre htm
http://www.epic. org/privacy/ rfid/
http://www.spychips .com/press- releases/ verichip- hacked.html
http://shop. toolsforhealing. com/Magnetic_ Pulser_MPG5_ p/st-mpg5. htm
http://www.rense. com/general69/ vfid.htm
http://www.spychips .com/
http://www.stopanim whatis.php
http://www.schneier .com/blog/ archives/ 2005/05/real_ id.html
http://www.epic. org/privacy/ id_cards/
http://www.unrealid .com/
http://writ. news.findlaw. com/leavitt/ 20050509. html
http://www.rense. com/general65/ realid.htm
http://arstechnica. com/news. ars/post/ 20060113- 5974.html
http://www.news10. net/storyfull2. aspx?storyid= 16091
http://blog. index.php? /archives/ 22-Real-ID- Privacy-Nightmar es.html
http://www.spychips .com/press- releases/ verichip- immigration. html
http://globalguerri llas.typepad. com/globalguerri llas/2006/ 01/weapons_ the_rfi.html
http://rfidzapper. wiki/index. php/Hands_ On
http://www.dhbolton .com/articles/ diy-emp-generato r.html
http://www.smartcod newsroom/ 13-01-04. asp
http://www.globalre index.php? context=va& aid=10097
http://www.wethepeo plewillnotbechip n/news.php

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Strategy for Brain and Mental Health

Dr. Mark Hyman's "UltraMind" Strategy for Brain and Mental Health

Mental illness is on the rise, and conventional medicine cannot cure it. That's the message from Mark Hyman, MD, who offers an alternative answer in his new book, The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First. He notes that an epidemic of "broken brains" affects millions of people worldwide, taking many forms -- anxiety, depression, dementia, addictions, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, etc. The common model for addressing these disorders is drug therapy... but drugs alone fail to address the underlying causes of mental disease.


The real cure for brain disorders lies outside the brain, Dr. Hyman explains. If you suffer from depression, for example, you are not suffering from a "Prozac deficiency" in spite of the fact that doctors may prescribe it or other antidepressants. Mainstream medicine's approach is to make a diagnosis based on symptoms, then suppress those symptoms with a medication rather than identifying the cause and fixing that. For example, many cases of depression are actually rooted in nutritional deficiencies or imbalances, including vitamin D, B-12, an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency, or a problem with digestive function or some other biological deficit. And, just about all these can be corrected without antidepressants. In fact, Dr. Hyman points out that most people who take antidepressants find that they offer only partial relief, lose effectiveness over time or simply don't work. These drugs also cause side effects such as weight gain and loss of sex drive, and more than half of people who take them quit within months.

In reality, everything that affects the body affects the brain, since it is one of the most vital organs of the body, and everything that affects the brain affects the rest of the body. Simply taking an antidepressant for depression -- or Ritalin for ADHD, or an anti-anxiety medication and so forth -- fails to take this basic body-mind connection into account. In Dr. Hyman's opinion, a new paradigm for mental illness must take a wider view of a person, not merely focus on the brain, since there are myriad causes of mental illness. This view should replace the shortsighted approach to treatment where a doctor marks down a diagnostic code on a patient's chart and prescribes the corresponding pill.


According to Dr. Hyman, there are seven key influences affecting your brain, your memory, attention, mood and behavior -- nutrition, hormones, inflammation, digestion, detoxification, energy metabolism and the mind-body connection. When one or more of these are thrown off-kilter, imbalances develop, which can manifest in mental and/or emotional illness. Identifying and addressing imbalances thusly enables the body's natural healing mechanisms to take over, bringing about dramatic improvements in mood, memory, attention, concentration, cognition and other brain functions.

Dr. Hyman recommends a three-pronged strategy for brain wellness: His book has quizzes to help identify which of your seven underlying systems isn't working... suggestions on how to fix the underlying problem causing the imbalance... and ways to nourish all these aspects so they can function optimally as an integrated system. We took a brief look at how each of the seven key systems affects mental health, and what you can do to help keep them in balance.

  • Are you eating right? Inadequate nutrition is at the root of many illnesses, both mental and physical. If your diet is loaded with fatty fast foods, processed foods and refined carbohydrates (e.g., white bread and pasta) you're not only missing the nutrients your brain requires to function properly, but also creating other chemical imbalances. To restore balance, eat a diet based on a variety of whole, unprocessed foods.
  • Is there a hormonal issue? Improper diet is among the factors that can lead to a hormone imbalance -- specifically, eating sugar and refined carbohydrates causes the body to pump out an overload of the hormone insulin into the bloodstream. Too much insulin can cause mood swings and behavior disturbances such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia. Other hormonal imbalances are caused by swings in sex hormones, which can be a natural result of aging, or an improperly functioning thyroid gland, etc. See your physician to identify and treat hormonal issues.
  • Do you need to cool down inflammation? If the body is inflamed, the brain is too. Brain inflammation is implicated in nearly every brain disease, from Alzheimer's to autism to depression to schizophrenia. Sources of inflammation include refined carbohydrates, food allergens, stress and anxiety -- but on the bright side, Dr. Hyman reminds us that these are all fixable problems. In addition to eating healthier whole foods, getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, and taking steps to control stress, you can also add anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, ginger and rosemary to your diet.
  • Is there a digestive problem? One of the most powerful ways you can fix your brain is to fix your gut, says Dr. Hyman. For example, if your digestive enzymes malfunction, undigested gluten from wheat or casein from milk can harm brain function. Strategies to resolve digestive problems might include eliminating food allergens, considering digestive enzymes and taking probiotics to bring digestive colonies of microbes back into proper balance.
  • Do you need to detox? Toxic chemicals in the environment such as mercury and lead underlie many neurological diseases. Limit exposure to these toxins to the greatest degree possible. For example, do not eat (or rarely eat) large fish such as swordfish or tuna that is likely to contain higher levels of mercury. If you live in an older house, be sure the water and paint are not contaminated with lead.
  • How's your energy metabolism? Mitochondria are the miniature energy factories in your body's cells, including those in the brain. The single most important thing you can do to support your mitochondria and boost your energy is to exercise. For energy problems specifically related to stress, toxicity or aging, Dr. Hyman prescribes supplements such as Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Alpha-lipoic acid, Coenzyme Q10, magnesium, riboflavin and niacin.
  • Are you stressed out? Closely examine your life, Dr. Hyman urges. Stress robs you of energy, so take action to more effectively manage it. For instance, make a promise to yourself that this week you will eliminate one thing that causes anxiety and add one that helps you heal and thrive.

Drugs can provide a temporary fix for brain problems, says Dr. Hyman, but these are not the long-term solution. As usual, it takes more work than popping a pill, but in the long run a healthy mind and body are worth it.


Mark Hyman, MD, author of The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First (Scribner), UltraMetabolism (Atria) and The UltraSimple Diet (Pocket). Dr. Hyman is founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, and the former co-medical director at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts. Visit his Web sites at, and

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Hidden Link Between Factory Farms and Human Illness

The Hidden Link Between Factory Farms and Human Illness

By Laura Sayre

You may be familiar with many of the problems associated with concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. These “factory farm” operations are often criticized for the smell and water pollution caused by all that concentrated manure; the unnatural, grain-heavy diets the animals consume; and the stressful, unhealthy conditions in which the animals live. You may not be aware, however, of the threat such facilities hold for you and your family’s health — even if you never buy any of the meat produced in this manner.

Factory farms are breeding grounds for virulent disease, which can then spread to the wider community via many routes — not just in food, but also in water, the air, and the bodies of farmers, farm workers and their families. Once those microbes become widespread in the environment, it’s very difficult to get rid of them.

A 2008 report from the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, a joint project of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, underscores those risks. The 111-page report, two years in the making, outlines the public health, environmental, animal welfare and rural livelihood consequences of what they call “industrial farm animal production.” Its conclusions couldn’t be clearer. Factory farm production is intensifying worldwide, and rates of new infectious diseases are rising. Of particular concern is the rapid rise of antibiotic-resistant microbes, an inevitable consequence of the widespread use of antibiotics as feed additives in industrial livestock operations.

Scientists, medical personnel and public health officials have been sounding the alarm on these issues for some time. The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have recommended restrictions on agricultural uses of antibiotics; the American Public Health Association (APHA) proposed a moratorium on CAFOs back in 2003. All told, more than 350 professional organizations — including the APHA, American Medical Association, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the American Academy of Pediatrics — have called for greater regulation of antibiotic use in livestock. The Infectious Diseases Society of America has declared antibiotic-resistant infections an epidemic in the United States. The FAO recently warned that global industrial meat production poses a serious threat to human health.

The situation is akin to that surrounding global climate change four or five years ago: near-universal scientific consensus matched by government inaction and media inattention. Although the specter of pandemic flu — in which a virulent strain of the influenza virus recombines with a highly contagious strain to create a bug rivaling that responsible for the 1918 flu pandemic, thought to have killed as many as 50 million people — is the most dire scenario, antibiotic resistance is a clear and present danger, already killing thousands of people in the United States each year.

People, Animals and Microbes

From one perspective, picking up bugs from our domesticated animals is nothing new. Approximately two-thirds of the 1,400 known human pathogens are thought to have originated in animals: Scientists think tuberculosis and the common cold probably came to us from cattle; pertussis from pigs or sheep; leprosy from water buffalo; influenza from ducks.

Most of these ailments probably appeared relatively early in the 10,000-year-old history of animal domestication. Over time, some human populations developed immunity to these diseases; others were eventually controlled with vaccines.

Some continued to kill humans until the mid-20th century discovery of penicillin, a miracle drug that rendered formerly life-threatening infections relatively harmless. Other antibiotics followed, until by the 1960s leading researchers and public health officials were declaring that the war on infectious diseases had been won.

Beginning in the mid 1970s, however, the numbers of deaths from infectious diseases in the United States started to go back up. Some were from old nemeses, such as tuberculosis, newly resistant to standard antibiotic treatments; others were wholly novel.

“In recent decades,” writes Dr. Michael Greger, director of public health and animal agriculture for the Humane Society of the United States and author of Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching, “previously unknown diseases have surfaced at a pace unheard of in the recorded annals of medicine: more than 30 newly identified human pathogens in 30 years, most of them newly discovered zoonotic viruses.” (Zoonotic viruses are those that can be passed from animals to humans.)

Why is this happening? There are many reasons, including the increased pace of international travel and human incursions into wild animals’ habitats. But one factor stands out: the rise of industrial farm animal production. “Factory farms represent the most significant change in the lives of animals in 10,000 years,” Greger writes. “This is not how animals were supposed to live.”

Chicken and pig production are particularly bad. In 1965, the total U.S. hog population numbered 53 million, spread over more than 1 million pig farms in the United States — most of them small family operations. Today, we have 65 million hogs on just 65,640 farms nationwide. Many of these “farms” — 2,538, to be exact — have upwards of 5,000 hogs on the premises at any given time. Broiler chicken production rose from 366 million in 1945 to 8,400 million in 2001, most of them in facilities housing tens of thousands of birds.

On a global scale, the situation is even worse. Fifty-five billion chickens are now reared each year worldwide. The global pig inventory is approaching 1 billion, an estimated half of which are raised in confinement. In China and Malaysia, it’s not unheard of for hog facilities to house 20,000 or even 50,000 animals.

The Mechanics of Resistance

“Concentrated animal feeding operations are comparable to poorly run hospitals, where everyone is given antibiotics, patients lie in unchanged beds, hygiene is nonexistent, infections and re-infections are rife, waste is thrown out the window, and visitors enter and leave at will,” write Johns Hopkins researchers Ellen Silbergeld, Jay Graham and Lance Price in the 2008 Annual Review of Public Health. By concentrating large numbers of animals together, factory farms are terrific incubators for disease. The stress of factory farm conditions weakens animals’ immune systems; ammonia from accumulated waste burns lungs and makes them more susceptible to infection; the lack of sunlight and fresh air — as well as the genetic uniformity of industrial farm animal populations — facilitates the spread of pathogens.

The addition of steady doses of antibiotics to this picture tips the balance from appalling to catastrophic. Poultry producers discovered by accident in the 1940s that feeding tetracycline fermentation byproducts accelerated chickens’ growth. Since then, the use of antibiotics as feed additives has become standard practice across much of the industry. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that non-therapeutic animal agriculture use (drugs given to animals even when they are not sick) accounts for 70 percent of total antibiotic consumption in the United States.

The medical community has been cautioning for years against irresponsible antibiotic use among people, but in terms of sheer numbers, livestock use is far more significant. It’s a simple scientific fact that the more antibiotics are used — especially prolonged use at low doses as in factory farms — the more antibiotic-resistant microbes will become. Bacteria and viruses are also notoriously promiscuous, swapping genes across species and even across genera, creating what the Johns Hopkins researchers call “reservoirs of resistance.” “In some pathogens, selection for resistance also results in increased virulence,” they note. In other cases, otherwise harmless microbes can transfer resistance genes to pathogenic species.

There also are indications that factory farm conditions make animals more likely to excrete pathogenic microbes — suggesting another mechanism by which conversion to more humane farming methods would offer greater protection for human health.

Routes of Transmission

Most so-called bio-containment procedures for confinement livestock operations are more concerned with protecting the crowded animals from disease outbreaks than from preventing human pathogens from escaping into the wider environment. As the report from the Pew Commission points out, every step in the industrial farm animal production system holds the potential for disease transmission, from transportation and manure handling, to meat processing and animal rendering.

The increasingly globalized nature of the farm animal production system means that live animals, as well as fresh and frozen meat, are constantly crossing international borders, ensuring that diseases present in one location will soon spread elsewhere. But the biggest transmission route is waste: Confined livestock operations in the United States produce three times as much waste each year as our country’s entire human population — and yet all that manure is much more loosely regulated and handled than human waste. Antibiotic-resistant microbes, as well as the antibiotics themselves, are now widely present as environmental contaminants, with unknown consequences for everything from soil microorganisms to people. Canada’s largest waterborne disease outbreak, which infected 1,346 people and killed six, was traced to runoff from livestock farms into a town’s water supply. The U.S. Geological Survey found antimicrobial residues in 48 percent of 139 streams tested nationwide from 1999 to 2000. Other studies have detected resistant bacteria in the air up to 30 meters upwind and 150 meters downwind of industrial hog facilities.

A wealth of evidence links industrial meat and poultry directly with foodborne illness. When dioxin-contaminated chicken feed led to the removal from the market of all chicken and eggs in Belgium for several weeks in June of 1999, doctors there noted a 40 percent decline in the number of human Campylobacter infections. Repeated studies have concluded that as much as 80 percent of retail supermarket chicken in the United States is contaminated with Campylobacter. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Salmonella-contaminated eggs caused 180,000 cases of sickness in the United States in 2000. E. coli O157:H7 is blamed for 73,000 illnesses in this country each year, including about 2,000 hospitalizations and 60 deaths.

Although thorough cooking and careful handling can minimize your risks, antibiotic resistance raises the stakes when someone gets ill: “One in two human cases of Campylobacter, and one in five cases of Salmonella are now antibiotic-resistant,” says Steve Roach, public health program director for the Food Animal Concerns Trust and a member of the executive committee for the Keep Antibiotics Working coalition. “And when you have antibiotic resistance, you have more complications, more blood infections, more mortality.”

In fact, public health experts are beginning to suspect that a whole host of infections not previously thought of as food-related may ultimately be linked to the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture. Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley, for example, traced a multi-state outbreak of urinary tract infections among women in 1999 and 2000 to contamination with a single strain of drug-resistant E. coli found in cows. Dr. Lee Riley, lead author of a paper on the findings published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, cautioned that the findings indicated that “the problem of foodborne disease is much greater in scope than we had ever previously thought.”

And then there’s methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. Previously confined largely to hospitals, MRSA is now killing more people in the United States each year than HIV/AIDS. A series of recent studies in Europe have demonstrated a strong causal link between MRSA and intensive pig farming in the Netherlands, Germany and France. Little or no data are available on MRSA in animals in the United States, but the bacterium is widely present on pig farms in Canada, which sells millions of live pigs to the United States annually, so it seems pretty likely it’s in U.S. pig factories, too.

All in all, the CDC reports that 2 million people in the United States now contract an infection each year while in the hospital. Of those, a staggering 90,000 die — a toll higher than that from diabetes. Numbers such as that are prompting some medical investigators to suggest that we may be entering a “post-antibiotic era,” one in which (as a paper published in Environmental Health Perspectives in 2007 put it) “there would be no effective antibiotics available for treating many life-threatening infections in humans.”

Connections such as these aren’t always easy to prove, however, especially for drugs that have already been in widespread use for decades, which is one reason why regulations to reign in the non-therapeutic use of antimicrobials have so far been largely lacking in the United States. The pending approval of an antibiotic called cefquinome to treat respiratory diseases in cattle offered a recent test case. Cefquinome is similar to cefepime, a last-resort antibiotic used to treat serious infections in people. (Both are fourth-generation cephalosporins, one of the small number of new antibiotics developed in recent years.) The FDA’s Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Medical Association, recommended against approval, warning that using cefquinome for animals would almost certainly render cefepime less effective for humans. But the FDA has apparently caved to industry pressure, claiming it lacks the authority to deny the drug companies’ request.

The Way Forward

Fortunately, there is a better way. No one wants high-quality food to be unaffordable, but increasingly it appears that as a human species we need to strike a better balance between cheap food and safe food. Sweden and Denmark have led the way over the past two decades in the development of commercial farming methods that minimize antibiotic use. Alternative management strategies include improving animals’ diets, changing weaning practices for pigs, cleaning facilities thoroughly in between groups and being more careful about mixing animals coming from different locations.

Scandinavian producers weren’t necessarily happy when their countries’ ban on non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics was put in place, but they’ve come to realize that they can still run profitable operations without them. Researchers in this country have shown that the same is true here: In 2006, a team at Johns Hopkins used data from poultry giant Perdue to show that the small advantage in weight gain associated with non-therapeutic antibiotic use was canceled out by the cost of the drugs. Organic farmers in many parts of the world have also shown that livestock can be raised profitably and humanely without the use of antibiotics.

“This is not a necessary problem,” says Lance Price, scientific advisor for Johns Hopkins’ Center for a Livable Future. “If you look at all the stakeholders in this equation — you and me, the doctors and hospitals, the producers — everyone but the drug companies can entertain alternatives. The only group that stands to lose from a more responsible use of antibiotics is the drug companies.”

A bill introduced in Congress in 2007, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, was one attempt to address these issues. Sponsored by Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., the only microbiologist in Congress, and Senate Health Committee Chairman Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., the bill would have withdrawn approvals for feed-additive use of seven classes of antibiotics of value to human medicine and required producers of agricultural antibiotics to provide data to public health officials on the usage of the drugs they sell.

The costs associated with continuing industrial farm animal production are enormous. If it’s allowed to continue, industrial production as currently practiced could eventually eliminate a lot of other farming options (in addition to making a lot of us sick). As one Midwestern organic farmer explained to me, it’s simply not possible to raise pigs organically if you live too close to a confinement facility: The pathogen pressure is too intense. “Iowa has become a sink for pig diseases,” he said. They’re just in the air, and you can’t avoid them.

5 Nasty Microbes Linked to Factory Farming

Campylobacter: This is the most common cause of foodborne diarrheal illness in the United States, causing an estimated 2 million cases each year. Most don’t require medical treatment, but a small number (approximately 50 per year) end in death. Chicken and turkey are the usual sources: Studies have shown that most conventional chicken is contaminated when it leaves the processing plant. Rising numbers of Campylobacter infections resistant to a class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones led the FDA, in 2000, to seek to ban fluoroquinolone use in U.S. poultry production. The ban was held up in court by drug maker Bayer, but was finally put in place in 2005.

MRSA: Staphylococcus aureus is a bacteria widely present in our environment and usually harmless, but in susceptible individuals it can cause life-threatening infections. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA (pronounced “mir-sah”), used to be primarily a problem in hospitals, but these days, cases of MRSA are increasingly likely to be “community-acquired,” and evidence suggests that factory farms are a source. MRSA can be spread by human or animal carriers with no signs of illness; a recent study found that nearly half of Dutch pig farmers, and 39 percent of pigs in Dutch slaughterhouses, were carriers of MRSA.

Salmonella: This is another bacteria causing frequent and sometimes serious foodborne illness, with an estimated 1.4 million U.S. cases each year, including 18,000 hospitalizations and 600 deaths. Salmonella can contaminate beef, poultry, eggs and even vegetables. Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella is on the rise: One strain, known as DT104, is resistant to five major antibiotics used in humans.

E. coli O157:H7: Most Escherichia coli bacteria are harmless, but a few strains, including the notorious O157:H7, can be deadly. Ground beef is the most common contaminated food source for people, but as the spinach scare of 2006 showed, other foods can also be affected. The toxic strains are linked to conditions in beef feedlots.

Enterococcus: Enterococci are a widespread group of intestinal bacteria that can cause serious infections in other parts of the body. Antibiotic resistance is a major concern with Enterococcus faecium, the strain most commonly associated with illness in people. In Europe, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) is a widespread environmental contaminant, where its emergence has been linked to agricultural use of avoparcin, an antibiotic closely related to vancomycin. In the United States, VRE is more often found in hospitals, and doctors are running out of treatment options: About 4 percent of VRE patients no longer respond to the antibiotic Synercid, a last-defense drug which is unfortunately related to virginiamycin, widely used in U.S. animal agriculture.

What You Can Do

Reduce the amount of meat in your diet. Industrial farm animal production is driven by rising global demand for meat. Healthy protein alternatives include whole grains, beans, nuts and dairy products. Think of meat more as a seasoning (as in soups and stews), not an essential, three-meals-a-day main course.

When you do eat meat, buy from local farmers practicing humane, sustainable methods. Seek out meat and dairy products labeled as “raised without antibiotics,” and tell your local market manager you’d like to see more such products on store shelves.

Contact your Congressional delegation and ask them to support legislation to limit antibiotics in livestock feed, such as the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act, introduced to Congress in 2007.

Friday, February 20, 2009

All tangled up | The Intention Experiment

All tangled up

February 20th, 2009 by Lynne McTaggart

The hardest thing to get your mind around with quantum physics is that the smallest units of the universe like electrons or photons aren’t a solid and stable thing, but a potential of any one of its future selves – or what is known by physicists as a ‘superposition’, or sum, of all probabilities. It’s all its possible selves – all at the same time.

At its most elemental, physical matter isn’t solid and stable – indeed, isn’t an anything yet.

Tangled by entanglement
Another strange feature of quantum physics is a feature called ‘non-locality’, also poetically referred to as ‘quantum entanglement’. The Danish physicist Niels Bohr discovered that once subatomic particles such as electrons or photons are in contact, they remain aware of and influenced by each other instantaneously over any distance forever, despite the absence of the usual things that physicists understand are responsible for influence, such as an exchange of force or energy.

When entangled, the actions – for instance, the magnetic orientation – of one will always influence the other in the same or the opposite direction, no matter how far they are separated.

Modern physicists have demonstrated decisively that once two subatomic particles have connected, the measurement of one photon instantaneously affected the position of the second photon. The two photons continued to talk to each other and whatever happened to one was identical to, or very opposite of, what happened to the other. Today, even the most conservative physicists accept non-locality as a strange feature of subatomic reality.

Although modern physicists now accept these effects as a given feature of the quantum world, they console themselves by maintaining that this strange, counter-intuitive property of the subatomic universe does not apply to anything bigger than a photon or an electron or to anything alive. The prevailing view is that quantum effects are only seen in laboratories with non-living systems at temperatures close to absolute zero.
Once things gets to the level of atoms and molecules, to the hot and wet world of the living organism — which in the world of physics is termed ‘macroscopic’ — the universe starts behaving itself again, according to predictable, measurable, Newtonian laws.

At the heart of biology
However, the latest evidence demonstrates that quantum effects like entanglement could be at the very heart of biological processes. A multi-center study carried out by the University of California at Berkeley. Washington University at St. Louis, Missouri and the Institute of Physics of Charles University in the Czech Republic, discovered that quantum processes inside of green sulfur bacteria drives the essential process of converting solar energy into oxygen and food.

The researchers tracked the workings of the protein network connecting the external solar collectors, or chlorosomes, to energy centers inside each cell by hitting these proteins with ultrafast laser pulses and following the trail of the light through the cell structure and into its reaction centers, where the conversion of light into oxygen and carbohydrates takes place.

To the amazement of the researchers, the light traveled in several directions at once – much as an electron does when travelling undetected in its superposition state. The researchers believe that this energy in a sense ‘tries out’ various pathways before finally choosing the most efficient.

This stunning finding suggests that the most basic and fundamental of all biological processes, responsible for most of life on earth in the form of oxygen supply and food source, is driven by a quantum process.

Quantum green tea
Another study by a group from the Autonomous University of Barcelona discovered that the antioxidant effects of green tea, which counteract the effects of free radicals, have to do with an effect in which, electrons in a molecule somehow are able to jump over and adhere to a second molecule, even though the laws of classical physics says that electrons are bound together too tightly ever to do such a thing.

This phenomenon of jumping ship from one molecule to the next is known as ‘quantum tunneling’. The Spanish researchers have discovered that electrons from the antioxidants, called catechins, in the tea engage in a mopping up exercise of free radicals, which produce an extra electron. The catechin electrons are able to tunnel to a free radical electron, binding it up and preventing it from damaging cells in the body.

In fact, entanglement is now easy to achieve in large ‘macroscopic’ systems in the lab. Physicist Vlatko Vedral of the University of Leeds, working with a team from Portugal and Austria, was able to show that photons from a laser can be entangled with the crystal lattice of a mirror and that this relationship would persist at high temperatures.

Tied up in the Canaries
In several flamboyant gestures, the famous Austrian quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger and his team have most recently entangled a pair of photons between two islands in the Canaries separated by 144 km metres of sea. Zeilinger and his co-workers have also transferred money securely between an Austrian Bank and Vienna City Hall using pairs of entangled photons produced by a laser and distributed via optical fibers. They even showed that non-local links could be established in space by bouncing laser pulses off a satellite to a receiving station on Earth.

The implications of these discoveries are staggering. They suggest that scientists must drastically modify their understanding of reality, particularly biological reality.

By accepting these quantum effects as a natural facet of nature we are acknowledging that two of the bedrocks on which our world view rests are wrong: that influence only occurs over time and distance, and that particles, and indeed the things that are made up of particles, only exist independently of each other.

They suggest that we have to ask ourselves a very fundamental question, perhaps the most fundamental of all: does anything exist before we perform a measurement on it? Or to put that another way, if quantum entities, which are so impossible to define before measurements are taken, drive all our basic life processes, does anything exist as an actual something independently of us?
Suddenly the idea that thoughts can affect the physical world doesn’t seem so strange.

Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What Is the Evidence? -- Davis 44 (1): 15 -- HortScience

Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What Is the Evidence? -- Davis 44 (1): 15 -- HortScience: "Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What Is the Evidence?
Donald R. Davis1,2,3

Biochemical Institute, The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712; and Bio-Communications Research Institute, 3100 North Hillside Avenue, Wichita, KS 67219

Three kinds of evidence point toward declines of some nutrients in fruits and vegetables available in the United States and the United Kingdom: 1) early studies of fertilization found inverse relationships between crop yield and mineral concentrations—the widely cited 'dilution effect'; 2) three recent studies of historical food composition data found apparent median declines of 5% to 40% or more in some minerals in groups of vegetables and perhaps fruits; one study also evaluated vitamins and protein with similar results; and 3) recent side-by-side plantings of low- and high-yield cultivars of broccoli and grains found consistently negative correlations between yield and concentrations of minerals and protein, a newly recognized genetic dilution effect. Studies of historical food composition data are inherently limited, but the other methods can focus on single crops of any kind,"

What Are NutriCircles?

What Are NutriCircles?: "NutriCircles were developed at the University of Texas, Austin by Donald R. Davis in collaboration with Roger J. Williams for his book, The Wonderful World Within You (1977, 1998). They show the nutritional quality of foods in a diagram that is far easier to grasp than a long list of numbers. They illustrate how Nature helps us get the nutrients we need, if we cooperate with her in our food choices. Similarly, they help us understand the value of limiting certain man-made foods that unfortunately dominate most Western diets.

NutriCircles are bar graphs bent into a circle so that the bars are like the petals on a flower. Each bar represents one nutrient in a food, and its length shows the amount of that nutrient. The amounts are expressed in amounts per calorie (known as nutrient density). This method shows the basic quality of a food, which does not depend on serving size."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chakra Chart: Chakras versus Endocrine Glands | Bright Eyes

Chakra Chart: Chakras versus Endocrine Glands

Here is an incredible chakra chart with endocrine glands shown along:

Chakra Chart

As you can see in it, chakras are shown to have very close proximity with the hormonal glands responsible for secreting hormones so essential to keep the vital body functions running in a smooth way keeping the two bright eyes intact on our face!

These are the associations:

  • The root chakra and the testes responsible for producing sperm (spermatozoa) male sex hormones including testosterone in the male body
  • The sacral chakra and the ovaries responsible for producing ovum in the female body
  • The solar plexus chakra and the pancreas plus adrenal glands responsible for producing insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin plus adrenaline respectively.
  • The heart chakra and the thymus gland responsible for producing T cell repertoire
  • The throat chakra and the thyroid gland responsible for producing thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3)
  • The third eye chakra and the pineal gland responsible for producing melatonin
  • The crown chakra and the pituitary gland responsible for producing oxytocin, antidiuretic hormone and melanocyte-stimulating hormone

We shall be able to draw important inferences from these associations in our posts to come.

Chakras and the Body Mind Interface:
What's a Chakra?

Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel, or vortex, and it refers to each of the seven energy centers of which our consciousness, our energy system, is composed.

These chakras, or energy centers, function as pumps or valves, regulating the flow of energy through our energy system. The functioning of the chakras reflects decisions we make concerning how we choose to respond to conditions in our life. We open and close these valves when we decide what to think, and what to feel, and through which perceptual filter we choose to experience the world around us.

The chakras are not physical. They are aspects of consciousness in the same way that the auras are aspects of consciousness. The chakras are more dense than the auras, but not as dense as the physical body. They interact with the physical body through two major vehicles, the endocrine system and the nervous system. Each of the seven chakras is associated with one of the seven endocrine glands, and also with a group of nerves called a plexus. Thus, each chakra can be associated with particular parts of the body and particular functions within the body controlled by that plexus or that endocrine gland associated with that chakra.

All of your senses, all of your perceptions, all of your possible states of awareness, everything it is possible for you to experience, can be divided into seven categories. Each category can be associated with a particular chakra. Thus, the chakras represent not only particular parts of your physical body, but also particular parts of your consciousness.

When you feel tension in your consciousness, you feel it in the chakra associated with that part of your consciousness experiencing the stress, and in the parts of the physical body associated with that chakra. Where you feel the stress depends upon why you feel the stress. The tension in the chakra is detected by the nerves of the plexus associated with that chakra, and transmitted to the parts of the body controlled by that plexus. When the tension continues over a period of time, or to a particular level of intensity, the person creates a symptom on the physical level.

The symptom speaks a language that reflects the idea that we each create our reality, and the metaphoric significance of the symptom becomes apparent when the symptom is described from that point of view. Thus, rather than saying, "I can't see," the person would describe it as keeping themselves from seeing something. "I can't walk," means the person has been keeping themselves from walking away from a situation in which they are unhappy. And so on.

The symptom served to communicate to the person through their body what they had been doing to themselves in their consciousness. When the person changes something about their way of being, getting the message communicated by the symptom, the symptom has no further reason for being, and it can be released, according to whatever the person allows themselves to believe is possible.

We believe everything is possible.

We believe that anything can be healed. It's just a question of how to do it.

Understanding the chakras allows you to understand the relationship between your consciousness and your body, and to thus see your body as a map of your consciousness. It gives you a better understanding of yourself and those around you.

What else is there?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Closing the Achievement Gap

"Dr. Donna Elam, a senior research associate at the University of South Florida and Barth presented the report of the study.

In their findings, Barth stated that there are diverse and deeply rooted reasons for the gap in test scores and graduation rates between white students and African Americans and Latino students, as well as between middle class and low-income students. Elam stressed that a multitude of problems exist in the education system because teachers lack cultural competence."

Project ELECT
Donna Elam, Ed.D.

Scientists stop the ageing process

Scientists have stopped the ageing process in an entire organ for the first time, a study released today says.

Published in today's online edition of * Nature
Medicine*<http://www.nature. com/nm>,
researchers at the Albert Einstein College of
Medicine<http://www.aecom.>at Yeshiva
University <http://www.yu. edu/> in New York City also say the older organs
function as well as they did when the host animal was younger.

The researchers, led by Associate Professor Ana Maria Cuervo, blocked the ageing process in mice livers by stopping the build-up of harmful proteins inside the organ's cells.

As people age their cells become less efficient at getting rid of damaged protein resulting in a build-up of toxic material that is especially pronounced in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative disorders.

The researchers say the findings suggest that therapies for boosting protein clearance might help stave off some of the declines in function that accompanies old age.

In experiments, livers in genetically modified mice 22 to 26 months old, the equivalent of octogenarians in human years, cleaned blood as efficiently as those in animals a quarter their age.

By contrast, the livers of normal mice in a control group began to fail.

The benefits of restoring the cleaning mechanisms found inside all cells could extend far beyond a single organ, says Cuervo.

"Our findings are particularly relevant for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, " she says. 'Misbehaving proteins'

"Many of these diseases are due to 'misbehaving' or damaged proteins that accumulate in neurons. By preventing this decline in protein clearance, we may be able to keep these people free of symptoms for a longer time."

If the body's ability to dispose of cell debris within the cell were enhanced across a wider range of tissues, she says, it could extend life as well.

In healthy organisms, a surveillance system inside cells called chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) locates, digests and destroys damaged proteins.

Specialised molecules, the "chaperones" , ferry the harmful material to membrane-bound sacs of enzymes within the cells known as lysosomes.

Once the cargo has been "docked", a receptor molecule transfers the protein into the sac, where it is rapidly digested.

With age, these receptors stop working as well, resulting in a dangerous build-up of faulty proteins that has been linked, in the liver, to insulin resistance as well as the inability to metabolise sugar, fats or alcohol.

The same breakdown of the cell's cleaning machinery can also impair the liver's ability to remove the toxic build-up of drugs at a stage in life when medication is often part of daily diet.

In genetically modified mice, Cuervo compensated for the loss of the receptors in the animals by adding extra copies.

"That was enough to maintain a clean liver and to prove that if you keep your cells clean they work better," she says. Settles debate

The study goes a long way towards settling a sharp debate in the field of ageing research.

Leading Australian ageing researcher David le Couteur, Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Sydney <http://www.usyd.>, says the paper is a major breakthrough.

"She has single-handedly shown that lysosome function is a crucial part of the ageing process," he says.

Cuervo has also shown, he says, the critical role the lysosomal receptor molecules play in keeping the liver clean of damaged proteins.

While her paper does not show increased survival rates among the mice, le Couteur, who has advised her recently on the research, says Cuervo does have data on improved survival rates which she intends to publish.

He also says she is now working with pharmaceutical companies to identify drugs that will turn the receptors on, or make them more active.

Cuervo believes maintaining efficient protein clearance may improve longevity and function in all the body's tissues.

It is also possible that the same kind of "cellular clearance" can be achieved through diet, she says.

Research over the past decade has shown that restricted calorie intake in animals, including mammals, significantly enhances longevity.

"My ideal intervention in the future would be a better diet rather than a pill," she says.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fw: What's Your Love Type? Take the Test

The Four Love Personalities
Helen Fisher, PhD
Rutgers University
W hen your spouse does things that mystify you or drive you crazy, you probably wish he/she would behave more reasonably. Yet your partner may not be "programmed" to behave any other way.

My research suggests that each of us has a "love personality" -- how we are naturally inclined to behave with a romantic partner -- that may depend on the particular chemicals dominant in one's brain. This research comes from my analysis of existing genetic and pharmaceutical studies, as well as from my work as chief scientific adviser to the Internet dating site I devised a series of questions to establish to what degree we express specific chemicals in the brain and collected data on 28,000 men and women.

I determined that love personalities can be divided into four main types, based on which brain chemicals -- serotonin, dopamine, estrogen and testosterone -- are predominant. Some people show characteristics of one type... others are a combination. The four types...


Serotonin promotes orderly, cautious behavior and respect for authority. More than the other three types, Builders enjoy planning far ahead. They are literal and predictable, fastidious about their possessions, conscientious and dutiful. They tolerate routine well.

What the Builder brings to a relationship: Builders are good at forming strong networks and run businesses and households with great efficiency. A Builder will never keep you waiting, forget to fill the gas tank or write down the wrong flight departure time.

Sources of stress: Builders are stubborn -- if you helpfully suggest to a Builder a better way to mop the floor, you may find yourself in an argument. Builders can be moralistic and overly rule-bound. They are suspicious of new experiences and ideas -- in fact, they will be quick to point out all the reasons why an idea might not work.

Sex and fidelity: Builders are most likely to be attracted to other Builders. They are serious when they court. Sex may become routine, but Builders like routines, and two Builders will rarely fight about their life in the bedroom. Highly loyal, Builders are unlikely even to consider divorce.

Living with a Builder: Let the Builder do things his way, even if you're convinced there is a better way. If you crave more adventure than the Builder, map out a new experience beforehand so that it doesn't look like a risk... or let the Builder plan the details.


High dopamine activity is associated with curiosity, spontaneity, risk-taking, novelty-seeking, irreverence, mental flexibility and optimism.

What the Explorer brings to a relationship: Explorers are enthusiastic and full of energy. Charming and creative, Explorers don't like to be told what to do -- they chafe at rules, plans and schedules. They can be extravagant gift givers.

Sources of stress: The Explorer's impulsiveness can grate on someone who would like to know what time to be ready for dinner or who prefers to buy theater tickets in advance. An Explorer doesn't like repetitive tasks, so you shouldn't depend on an Explorer to take out the garbage every night.

Sex and fidelity: Explorers tend to be attracted to other Explorers, and they make exciting sex partners. Instead of discussing the deep meaning of a relationship, an Explorer would rather make love or go out together for a good time. Big fights may be followed by passionate lovemaking. It is important to have adventures with an Explorer, lest he decide to find someone else to share his experiences with.

Living with an Explorer: Don't try to keep an Explorer from doing what interests him. Instead of imposing rules, find parameters that the Explorer can live with.

Example: A Builder husband and Explorer wife had repeated showdowns over the Explorer's chronic lateness. They finally agreed that the Explorer would call her husband when she was running late... and that the Builder would go ahead with plans instead of waiting for his wife, who would join him later.


Men, as well as women, can have high estrogen activity in the brain, promoting connection-seeking.

What the Negotiator brings to a relationship: Negotiators are highly verbal, agreeable and good at reading people. They are skilled at coming up with the right thing to say to make others feel valued. Negotiators have rich imaginations and think holistically -- they see creative and unusual connections between disparate pieces of information. They are flexible and willing to change their minds.

Sources of stress: The ability to see many sides of an issue can make it difficult for Negotiators to reach decisions. They are so imaginative about possibilities that they may create constant anxiety for themselves. Because Negotiators want everyone to be happy, they don't always say clearly what they need or mean, leading to confusion and misunderstanding.

Sex and fidelity: Negotiators tend to be most attracted to Directors (see below). The Negotiator needs the Director's logic, forthrightness and decisiveness to get things done.

Negotiators seek deep intimacy with their partners -- they want a soul mate -- so they will be patient, forgiving and compassionate. But if a Negotiator feels that he won't ever "reach" you to share an intimate life together, he may eventually turn elsewhere for the romance he craves.

Living with a Negotiator: Recognize that what sounds to you like endless processing is a way for the Negotiator to address the needs of everyone involved. Don't rush the Negotiator's decision. Trust that once he has examined all the angles, the solution will make a lot of people happy, including you.


Both women and men can have high testosterone activity in the brain, leading them to be competitive, straight-forward, logical and pragmatic.

What the Director brings to a relationship: You don't have to second-guess Directors -- they say what they mean without nuance. Because of their ambition and competitiveness, they are dedicated to their work and typically well-paid. Directors like to focus very deeply on a few subjects and learn everything about them.

Sources of stress: Directors can alienate people with their bluntness, coming across as dictatorial and aloof. They get impatient when others are not as focused as they are or don't immediately grasp their ideas. They have a hard time leaving work behind -- at the beach, the Director is the one checking e-mail.

Sex and fidelity: Directors are most likely to be attracted to Negotiators. The Director relies on the Negotiator's people skills. Sex is a genuine form of intimacy for them. They tend to be loyal, but if they cannot get the physical connectedness they need, they will seek it elsewhere.

Living with a Director: Don't give a Director hints or make gentle requests -- the message will not get through. Instead of "Would you have time to... " say, "I need you to do this by Friday." During disagreements, appeal to logic ("This would be more efficient") rather than emotion ("This makes me frustrated").

To get Directors to relax outside work hours, encourage activities that are absorbing, challenging or competitive enough to distract them, such as joining a tennis league or a book club.

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Bottom Line/Personal interviewed Helen Fisher, PhD, research professor of anthropology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, and chief scientific adviser to the online dating site She is author of four books on human sexual and social behavior, including, most recently, Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love (Holt). She is working on a fifth book about why we fall in love with one person rather than another.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Fw: Brain or Mind Meditation?

In the spring of 1979 a 26 year old student at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom walked into the university doctor's office with complaints of a cold.

The doctor on staff noticed that the student, who held a first-class honors degree in mathematics, was rather normal except he had a slightly larger than average head. Curious, the doctor sent the student to James Lorber who was part of a world-leading spinal surgery team at Sheffield Children's Hospital.

What Dr. Lorber found was almost unbelievable!

The student, with a reported IQ of 126 had no signs of any mental deficiency. Yet, when Dr. Lorber X-rayed the student's head he discovered he had almost no brain tissue to speak of. His head was filled with fluid. What little brain matter he had was crushed against his spinal cord, a measly few millimeters thick rather than the typical CENTI-meters.

This condition is called hydrocephalus. It results when cerebral fluid expands and fills the brain causing the cortex to be squashed against the inside of the skull.

There have been many other reported cases where normal functioning people have been found to have virtually no brain matter.

In this particular case Lorber calculated the man's entire brain weighed about 100 grams compared to the average adult brain weighing 1500 grams. 100 grams is little more than the average weight of a dog's brain and this from an honors student in mathematics!

Let's pause and think about this for a moment. How many dogs do you know who have an honors degree in mathematics? Can't think of any? Neither can I. How was the student capable of functioning on the level that he was?

Lorber asked himself a similar question and it begged him to wonder whether the brain was even necessary at all. In 1980 the journal Science headlined with the discovery and the rest is history.

The history lesson may go back farther than you think. To ancient spiritual yogi's.

Many scientists have been quietly but steadily growing in suggesting the brain is more of a receiver than the total warehouse storing our consciousness. This leads to another unusual question. If the brain is a receiver what is sending the signals?

The answer is one we have been hearing from mystics for thousands of years.

You are not flesh. You are an energy being using a physical body to interpret and explore this reality.
By reflecting on that knowledge you have been given power because now you can work to affect your energy body. If you are not aware of it how can you help it?

Like your physical body, your energy body needs food. Albert Einstein said that energy can never be destroyed; only transformed. If you learn to absorb energy you will begin to awaken and strengthen your energy mind.

So, the question is when you meditate, reflect, make decisions… which 'mind' are you going to use to do these tasks? The slow, organic brain or the energy mind?

Well, listen to this next session for some answers…

Good Journeys,
Higher Balance

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Caroline Casey's Coyote Network News

Caroline Casey's Coyote Network News:

David Blume January 29, 2009 Show
Download : mp3 Streaming mp3 : Listen
Alcohol Can Be a Gas!

Caroline welcomes long-time permaculture bio-fuels teacher activist genie, David Blume, Executive Director of the International Institute for Ecological Agriculture, dispelling objections with gleeful informed ingenuity, David opens the door for us all to go through into an ingenious and witty democratic community future (composting corporate tyranny as a bi-product)."