By Tim Bryant
Backpacking can mean many things, but the idea of embarking on an open-ended journey into new unexplored lands, living minimally through a backpack and one’s own instincts, is the basic premise. People don’t always get it, as it doesn’t fall anywhere in society’s predestined plan: high school, college, “real” job, marriage, house, kids, and death. Far too many people fall into this trap then wake up one day wondering what happened. There is however, much more to life, and embarking on a backpacking trip around the world might shed some light on a few of the missing pieces.
Obviously not everyone is fortunate enough to travel, and hopefully this will improve over time. Unfortunately in the U.S. just over 1 in 3 Americans own a valid passport. This is substantially higher than in 1989, when it was only 1 in 30, but it pales in comparison to Canada and Australia, which are around 60-70%. However, this stat is inflated due to the fact that U.S. citizens are now required to have a passport when traveling to their top two destinations, Mexico and Canada, beginning in 2007.
It’s not hard to see why most Americans prefer to travel within the United States; it’s much cheaper and easier to plan given our ridiculous commitment to work. Americans put more work hours in than any other industrialized country, yet are the only industrialized country without a federal law requiring paid sick days. To put that into perspective, Americans work roughly 500 more hours a year than the French, yet receive an average of 13 days paid vacation compared to 31 days for the French.
The United States is also very unique geographically and demographically as it is very large and diverse, allowing for extensive travel within its borders. It is home to vast array of climates, cultures, and people. The U.S. is truly blessed and owes much of its historical prestige to this unique variety of landforms and communities, but getting caught in the bubble of America can limit ones growth and causes narrow-mindedness.
To have a truly open-minded perspective, a country must periodically travel outside itself and look back in. How can a people know who they truly are until they step outside the bounties of their creature comforts and reflect back? This allows for self-reflection on a new level and if interpreted correctly (learned from), can transform individuals and society at large.
It’s especially important for the United States to embrace a culture of travel; it not only has the wealth and resources to do so, but it plays arguably the largest role in international geopolitics. It has massive influence all over the world as it’s home to the largest military, consumer market and stock exchange. U.S. foreign policy affects more than its own people, so it’s crucial its citizens be properly informed and cultured if moral decisions are to be made.
Unfortunately, the United States has been at war for 225 out of 242 years since its inception in 1776. Just take a moment and let that sink in… Why does there always seem to be an enemy of the United States and why is this country so quick to attack? Think of the message this sends.
Backpacking can play an important role in reconnecting the U.S. to the rest of the world. There is something to be said for going to a foreign country, especially a country that’s known to be dangerous, and actually being in the presence of the local people, on their turf. This includes laughing with them, listening to their stories, and feeling the many ways in which they are just like the rest of us. Not only would one become smarter and more compassionate, but the connection between individuals and countries transforms the relationship from a superior-inferior relationship to that of equals. Agreement might not always be reached on every issue, but new seeds are planted and mutual understandings begin to form, making the idea of war seem unimaginable.
Backpacking can also play a crucial role in helping people realize what’s actually important in life. To be without the luxury of ones own room, food, car, and array of personal items, forces one to live on only the basic necessities of life. Things once thought to be essential and desirable are broken down and re-evaluated. It’s incredibly liberating and humbling knowing you’re able to relish the fullness of life with only a backpack and a few belongings to your name.
The key is walking directly into new experiences with few possessions and an open mind to see what happens. There are varying degrees of how open one can be, and each person must decide on their own personal tolerance, but it’s essential that there is some conflict along the way. For some, this may be simply going to a new city in Europe for the first time; while for British man Graham Hughes, it meant visiting all 201 countries in 1,426 days without using a plane on a budget of roughly $100 a week!
Growth only happens through conflict, and conflict only comes through stepping outside one’s comfort zone into the realm of the unknown. International backpacking is the ultimate unknown because it involves journeying into foreign countries where cultures, ideas, food, and languages are often different. While this may create a considerable amount of stress, remember that this is the point, and is what makes it a truly exciting and unique life-experience. One could be floating down a river in Laos, or choose to get lost in the rich history of the European cities. Better yet, maybe even journey off the beaten path to places few westerners have even heard of, let alone seen.
Whatever it is, the canvass is blank and the time is now. Humans are not machines. We have incredibly resilient minds with the ability to feel a vast spectrum of emotions that transcend physical reality. Only through the constant expansion of preconceived boundaries can one truly see the infinite amount of color life has to show. Don’t sell yourself short with limiting thoughts of disbelief and pity. Life is what you make it; so wake up, get out, and be free to explore this beautiful planet called Earth. If you only have one life then why would you not?
“Not all who wander are lost.” – J.R.R Tolkien
About the author:
An avid free-thinker, Tim has set out on a mission in search of the truth in whatever form it may come. Ever since his awakening several years ago, his passion for knowledge and justice has led him on a journey into deep research, cultural travel, and complete expansion of the mind. Tim feels as if the information freely flowing into the hands of the public, due to the dawn of the Internet, cannot be stopped at this point, so he has made it his goal to help facilitate and breakdown this complex stream of information, so that others can accelerate their own awakening and be part of the inevitable change happening in society.
You can connect with Tim at:
Recommended reading by Tim Bryant:
- The Lonely Road of the Free Thinker
- Truth Seeking: A Calling Far Greater Than Our Subjective Experience
- Activism: Starve the Beast, Feed the Light
- 5 Solutions for a New World
- The Coming Revolution — A New Vibrational Reality
- How Do the People of Truth Win the Current Information War?
- The Lost Art of Entertaining the Thought
- We Have The Same Enemy Yet We Are Still Divided
- The Awakening Goes Deeper Than You Think
- The Art of Maintaining Core Frequency in Life
Respect and gratitude The Last American Vagabond, where this article first appeared.
Even though more people than ever are switching to organic food and other healthier choices, the American diet in general remains very unhealthy. With obesity and its related health problems reaching epidemic proportions, many people wonder why Americans continue to make such bad choices when it comes to food.
The problem cannot be blamed on a lack of information, especially not in the Internet Age. While some people still remain largely ignorant when it comes to the dangers of GMOs, for example, most people in the year 2016 realize that junk food is not good for their health.
Other people say that it’s a lack of money that drives people to make poor food choices, with people able to stretch their money a lot further on the McDonald’s $1 menu than in the organic section of a supermarket. This could be part of it, although other calculations have shown that the average amount of benefits provided by food stamps is sufficient for a healthy diet. Organic produce can also be grown at home cheaply, even without a yard.
Some say it’s because Americans are too busy working to make a wholesome meal from scratch, so they just grab whatever prepackaged foods they can find. While that might be true for some people, it doesn’t explain why someone in search of a snack would grab a bag of chips over a banana, solely in the interest of saving time.
Others posit that it’s largely an issue of taste, with people preferring the flavor of potato chips to that of spinach, for example. Again, it seems reasonable, but anyone who has ever taken a serious approach to a clean diet can tell you that there are many flavorful choices out there that do not put your health at risk.
Junk food is addictive, plain and simple
Nevertheless, the idea that it’s a matter of personal preference ties into one of the most compelling reasons people eat junk food: It is highly addictive from a scientific standpoint. In fact, a series of studies have shown that rats can become so addicted to a junk food diet that they would rather starve than eat healthy food, mimicking the addictive pattern that nutritionists see in humans who eat junk food despite knowing better.
Junk food is actually engineered to make people want more, which is why the Lay’s potato chip slogan promising that “No one can eat just one!” is so alarmingly accurate.
Junk food is engineered to trigger overeating
Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Tricked Us author, Michael Moss, says that Doritos and Coca-Cola are largely successful because of their complex formulas that taste very good but do not have one single prominent flavor that triggers the brain to stop eating.
Meanwhile, he says that Cheetos contain a remarkable number of attributes that make the brain crave more, not the least of which is their ability to melt in your mouth, which tricks your brain into thinking they don’t contain any calories and makes you want to keep eating them. Food companies employ teams of chemists, neuroscientists and physicists to get the ratio of sugar, salt and fat just right to keep people coming back for more.
A study from UNSW’s School of Medical Sciences found that feeding junk food to rats caused them to lose interest in novel foods, an effect that lasted even after being put back on a diet of healthy food. This could be one reason that people who eat a lot of junk food can’t get out of their rut – trying healthier alternatives no longer appeals to them, as they’ve lost their natural preference for variety.
Processed food also tends to contain a lot of sugar, even the savory choices. Americans eat 152 pounds of sugar every year on average. With sugar being eight times more addictive than cocaine, it’s easy to see why so many people are struggling to kick the habit.
As long as food companies keep pumping their foods with chemicals that keep people coming back for more, America’s junk food obsession is not going to go away.
Original Post: http://www.naturalnews.com/2016-12-04-why-do-americans-continue-to-choose-junk-food-over-healthy-food.html
Author: Isabelle Z.
By Dr. Mercola
About 40 percent of American teens have dental fluorosis,4 a condition referring to changes in the appearance of tooth enamel—from chalky-looking lines and splotches to dark staining and pitting—caused by long-term ingestion of fluoride during the time teeth are forming.
In some areas, fluorosis rates are as high as 70-80 percent, with some children suffering from advanced forms.
The former recommendation called for a fluoride level of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of water. The new upper limit set by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is 0.7 mg/L, to prevent these visible signs of toxic overexposure.
Why Is a Drug Added to Water When the Dose Cannot Be Controlled?
It’s quite clear that when you add fluoride to drinking water, you cannot control the dose that people are getting, and fluoride is in fact not only a non-essential mineral but a toxic drug. This alone is one of the reasons why fluoride shouldn’t be added to drinking water at any level.
If a doctor somehow managed to force a patient to take a drug with known toxic effects and failed to inform them of the dosage and frequency, and never monitored their health outcome, they would be medically negligent and liable to legal and medical board action.
Yet water utilities administer this drug without a prescription, at the behest of the government, without any idea of who will get what dose and for how long, and without monitoring for side effects.
Fluoride is added to drinking water to, in theory, prevent a disease (tooth decay), and as such becomes a medicine by FDA definition. While proponents claim this is no different than adding vitamin D to milk, fluoride is not an essential nutrient. Moreover, fluoride isn’t even approved by the FDA for the prevention of cavities.
We now know that at a limit of 0.7-1.2 mg/L causes a great many people to overdose on the drug. Will an upper limit of 0.7 mg/L protect everyone forced to drink fluoridated water?
Considering the fact that people also get fluoride from toothpaste, dental rinses, processed foods, and beverages, the chances of overexposure are still present, even at this lowered level.
Many Will Still Be at Risk for Overexposure at Lowered Fluoride Level
At the previous level, 40 percent of US teens became “collateral damage.” What will the allowable damage be at the new level? The HHS said it will evaluate dental fluorosis rates among children in 10 years to assess whether they were correct about this new level.
Let’s say dental fluorosis goes down to 20 percent. Is 20 percent an acceptable level of harm? How about 10 percent? Who decides what the acceptable level of collateral damage is?
Remarkably, the Sacramento Bee5 reports that: “Recent unpublished federal research found there’s no regional differences in the amount of water kids drink. So it makes sense for the same levels to be used everywhere, health officials said.”
I’d be very curious to review that study, because I have a hard time imagining that kids everywhere drink the same amount of water!
It’s also a ludicrous assumption unless every single child is also exposed to the same amount of fluoride from other sources besides drinking water… and weighs the same… and has the same health status… and we know that’s simply not the case.
According to the HHS, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “uses the 90th percentile of drinking water intake for all age groups to calculate the relative contribution for each fluoride source.”
What this means is that if you drink more water than the 90th percentile, you are not protected by this reduced level. People most likely to fall into that category include infants receiving formula mixed with fluoridated water, people working outdoors (especially in hot climates), athletes, and diabetics.
Dental Fluorosis Is NOT the Only Risk of Water Fluoridation
Barbara Gooch, a dentist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told NPR6 that “The only documented risk of water fluoridation is fluorosis, and it is primarily a cosmetic risk. Fluorosis in the milder form is not a health risk.”
This hints at a really deficient understanding of the available science on fluoride’s health effects. Dental fluorosis is the most visible form of fluorosis, but it’s far from being “just cosmetic” and of no further concern.
It can also be an indication that the rest of your body, such as your bones and internal organs, including your brain, has been overexposed to fluoride as well.
In other words, if fluoride is having a visually detrimental effect on the surface of your teeth, you can be virtually guaranteed that it’s also damaging other parts of your body, such as your bones. Skeletal fluorosis, which isn’t visible, is very difficult to distinguish from arthritis. Symptoms indicative of early clinical stage skeletal fluorosis include:
- Burning, prickling, and tingling in your limbs
- Muscle weakness
- Chronic fatigue
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Reduced appetite and weight loss
The second clinical stage of skeletal fluorosis is characterized by:
- Stiff joints and/or constant pain in your bones; brittle bones; and osteosclerosis
- Calcification of tendons, or ligaments of ribs and pelvis
- Osteoporosis in the long bones
- Bony spurs may also appear on your limb bones, especially around your knee, elbow, and on the surface of tibia and ulna
All of this has been known since the 1930s, so it’s rather disingenuous to proclaim that dental fluorosis is the only documented risk of water fluoridation. If 40 percent of American teens have dental fluorosis, how many people suffer from skeletal fluorosis as a result of chronic fluoride overexposure? In one previous study, bone fracture rates also rose sharply with increasing severity of dental fluorosis. Studies have also demonstrated that fluoride toxicity, caused by overexposure, can lead to:
Increased lead absorption Disrupted synthesis of collagen Hyperactivity and/or lethargy Muscle disorders Bone cancer (osteosarcoma) Increased tumor and cancer rate Arthritis Skeletal fluorosis and bone fractures Genetic damage and cell death Damaged sperm and increased infertility Inactivation of 62 enzymes and inhibition of more than 100 Inhibited formation of antibodies, and immune system disruptions
Fluoride Has No Benefit for Teeth When Swallowed
You are beyond naïve if you believe that fluoride somehow selectively goes to your teeth when you swallow it. Rather, it accumulates throughout your body’s bones and tissues. What little benefit fluoride may have is achieved through topical application. Both the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) have noted that there is no discernible difference in tooth decay between developed countries that fluoridate their water and those that do not.7
The decline in tooth decay the US has experienced over the last 60 years, which is often attributed to fluoridated water, has likewise occurred in all developed countries, most of which do not fluoridate their water. So declining rates of dental decay is not in and of itself proof that water fluoridation actually works. It’s also worth noting that well over 99 percent of the fluoride added to drinking water never even touches a tooth; it simply runs down the drain, into the environment, where you can be guaranteed it’s doing nothing that is beneficial…
Source: KK Cheng et al. BMJ 2007.8 Rates of cavities have declined by similar amounts in countries with and without fluoridation.
HHS Still Ignores Major Safety Concerns
According to Fluoride Action Network9 (FAN), in finalizing its new fluoride recommendation, the HHS has whitewashed a number of safety issues, failing to address recent research showing adverse effects ranging from lowered IQ in children (found in no less than 43 studies), underactive thyroid,10 and ADHD.11
For example, one recent study12 linking fluoridated water to higher prevalence of ADHD created a predictive model showing that every one percent increase in the portion of the US population drinking fluoridated water in 1992 was associated with 67,000 additional cases of ADHD 11 years later, and an additional 131,000 cases 19 years later.
FAN points out that the HHS even “resorted to deceit” when it dismissed research showing reductions in IQ. The HHS stated that “A recent meta-analysis of studies conducted in rural China… identified an association between high fluoride exposure (i.e., drinking water concentrations ranging up to 11.5 mg/L) and lower IQ scores…” First of all, there are in all 43 studies reporting a relationship between fluoride exposure and reduced IQ. The study mentioned by the HHS only looked at 27 of them.
But more importantly, when you seek to protect an entire population you have to look at the lowest level at which harm becomes apparent, not the highest. By noting only the upper level of the fluoride concentrations found in this study, it appears the HHS was trying to offer misleading reassurance that their recommended level is well beneath any level where risk may be present. But the lowest level at which IQ reductions were noted in that study was 0.88 mg/L, which isn’t that far from the new recommended upper limit of 0.7 mg/L.
Add fluoride from other sources, and you may very well get into the range of hazard. Interestingly, a number of studies13,14,15,16 have specifically shown that children who have moderate or severe dental fluorosis score lower on tests measuring cognitive skills and IQ, suggesting that if 40 percent of our kids have fluorosis, the water fluoridation scheme in the US is likely affecting our children’s IQ as well. As noted by FAN:
“In addition, in toxicology, it is not the concentration of fluoride (mg/liter) that is the relevant parameter but the dose in mg/day (how much you drink), and such a dose has to be compiled from all sources. In the case of the Chinese children in rural villages in these studies, they did not have two sources that US children commonly have: typically they are not bottle-fed and they do not use fluoridated toothpaste.
So, it is likely that some American children are getting higher doses than some of the Chinese children who had their IQ lowered… Because fluoride is an endocrine disruptor and has the potential to lower IQ in children, FAN urges HHS to adopt the Precautionary Principle and end fluoridation now.”
They Got It Wrong—HHS Does Not Consider the Fact That Fluoride Is an Endocrine Disruptor…
According to FAN:
“HHS also stated in its press release that a report on the toxicology of fluoride by the National Research Council of the National Academies (NRC, 200617) ‘found no evidence substantial enough to support effects other than severe dental fluorosis at these levels.’
What HHS failed to state is that the NRC report of 2006 stated18 for the first time that fluoride is an ‘endocrine disruptor,’ which means it has the potential to play havoc with the biology and fate of humans and animals. This is far more significant than severe dental fluorosis.”
In 2011, FAN submitted a number of concerns to the HHS, and none of them have been adequately addressed, FAN says. These concerns include:
Mass medicating the population via the water supply is unethical The benefit and safety of ingested fluoride has never been proved by accepted medical standards Any benefits of fluoride are primarily topical, not systemic Americans will still be over-exposed to fluoride at 0.7 ppm Infants will not be protected. Babies who receive formula made with fluoridated water will still receive 175 times more fluoride than breast-fed infants African-American children and low-income children will not be protected Fluoride as an endocrine disruptor, which the HHS still has not taken into consideration HHS has not considered or investigated rates of skeletal fluorosis in the US
To Protect Your Health, Avoid Fluoride
No matter which scientific studies you examine or which population trends you view, the rational conclusion is that fluoride’s health dangers far outweigh the marginal dental benefits it might offer. Dental caries can be effectively prevented with means other than fluoridation, thereby avoiding the adverse effects of fluoride.
It’s important to realize that fluoride is a cumulative toxin, which over time can lead to serious health concerns, from hypothyroidism to skeletal fluorosis and much more. The neurological effects are particularly disconcerting. Even scientists from the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.”
Water fluoridation needs to stop. The question is how. Despite all the evidence, getting fluoride out of American water supplies has been exceedingly difficult. After all, the US government has promoted it for over half a century. Were it to admit that they were wrong all along, and have in fact been poisoning everyone all this time, the ramifications could be enormous. It’s not impossible to abolish water fluoridation, however, as evidenced in areas that have successfully done it.
According to the late Jeff Green, national director of Citizens for Safe Drinking Water, a repeated theme in the cases where communities successfully removed fluoride from their water supply is the shifting of the burden of proof.
Rather than citizens taking on the burden of proving that fluoride is harmful and shouldn’t be added, a more successful strategy has been to hold those making claims, and the elected officials who rely on them, accountable for delivering proof that the specific fluoridation chemical being used fulfills their health and safety claims, and is in compliance with all regulations, laws, and risk assessments already required for safe drinking water. To learn more, please see this previous article, which discusses these strategies more in-depth.
The Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to end water fluoridation not only in the US, but worldwide, but they need your support to succeed. Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs, and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So, please, protect your drinking water and support the fluoride-free movement by making a tax-deductible donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.
Recent Victories in the Fight Against Water Fluoridation
There have been a number of recent victories in the fight against water fluoridation that are worth celebrating, including the following:
- Clarksburg, West Virginia19—Water Board members voted 2-1 in April to end fluoridation due to the growing number of studies showing negative side effects. The decision by the Clarksburg board end fluoridation for over 25,000 citizens, including residents of Bridgeport and a number of other smaller communities20.
- Oneida, New York21—On May 5th the Common Council voted 5-1 to reject fluoridation for the third time since 2002. For months, the council has held public hearings and debates on fluoridation, listening to an array of experts on both sides of the issue, including FAN’s Dr. Paul Connett and NY Dept. of Health’s Dental Representative Jay Kumar, who is a long-time promoter of fluoridation. Despite an aggressive lobbying campaign by the fluoride-lobby, the council and community couldn’t be tricked into believing that the practice was safe, effective, or necessary. The decision will protect the water for over 21,000 residents.
- Kingsville, Ontario22—This Canadian City Council, representing over 20,000 citizens, passed a motion in April reaffirming its stance in opposition to fluoridation. The issue was raised by the former Deputy Mayor, who urged the council to pass the motion to send a message to the provincial government, which is considering mandating the practice. The community of Lakeshore, Ontario23 also recently publicized their opposition to fluoridation, and will be sending a letter to provincial officials opposing a mandate.
- Carl Junction, Missouri24—Councilors voted to end fluoridation in April after considering a number of concerns they had regarding the effectiveness and safety of the practice. The community, which is home to approximately 8,000 residents, started fluoridating the water supply in 2005 after voters approved the use of the additive. Carl Junction isn’t alone in making this decision. According to a recent article,25 “over the past five years, [at least] seven cities and towns in Missouri have removed fluoride from their municipal water systems, and a half-dozen more have put the matter to vote.”
- Bennington, Vermont26–Despite aggressive campaigning by a well-organized and well-funded pro-fluoridation coalition, in March residents of this community of 16,000 voted 1,539 to 1,117 in opposition to fluoridation in an advisory referendum vote. This is at least the fifth time Bennington residents have voted down fluoridation since the 1960s.
- Gilford, Pennsylvania27–Gilford Water Authority officials have decided to end fluoridation after more than 60 years of practicing it. The authority sent a letter to water customers stating, “We believe we should not put anything into the water that is not required by regulation to maintain the potability and pH balance of your water.”
- Sonoma City, California28—In March, City Councilors voted 3-2 to oppose a proposal by the County government to add fluoride to the city’s drinking water. The council will be sending a letter of opposition to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.
Help End the Practice of Fluoridation
There’s no doubt about it: fluoride should not be ingested. Even scientists from the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.” Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41 percent of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis—unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride. Clearly, children are being overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why?
The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of water fluoridation in the first place. Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to END water fluoridation worldwide. Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs, and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So, please, protect your drinking water and support the fluoride-free movement by making a tax-deductible donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
I encourage you to visit the website of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) and visit the links below:
- Like FAN on Facebook, follow on Twitter, and sign up for campaign alerts.
- 10 Facts About Fluoride: Attorney Michael Connett summarizes 10 basic facts about fluoride that should be considered in any discussion about whether to fluoridate water. Also see 10 Facts Handout (PDF).
- 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation: Learn why fluoridation is a bad medical practice that is unnecessary and ineffective. Download PDF.
- Health Effects Database: FAN’s database sets forth the scientific basis for concerns regarding the safety and effectiveness of ingesting fluorides. They also have a Study Tracker with the most up-to-date and comprehensive source for studies on fluoride’s effects on human health.
Together, Let’s Help FAN Get the Funding They Deserve
In my opinion, there are very few NGOs that are as effective and efficient as FAN. Its small team has led the charge to end fluoridation and will continue to do so with our help!
Please make a donation today to help FAN end the absurdity of fluoridation.
Alarming video footage from a U.S. Marines training drill which took place in Arizona last month shows armed troops chasing down unruly citizens inside a mock internment camp while role players chant for food and water.
The exercise, which involved U.S. Marines from 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, took place on April 18 in Yuma, Arizona and revolved around “assault support tactics” training.
The drill was part of, “standardized tactical training and certification of unit instructor qualifications to support Marine Aviation Training and Readiness,” according to the description accompanying the video.
In plain English, the exercise was about subduing, arresting and incarcerating irate citizens during a martial law-style scenario.
The video shows Marines landing in helicopters on a field next to a busy highway. Locals watch the exercise behind a perimeter fence while role players prepare to take part in the drill.
The Marines then practice apprehending unruly citizens, one of whom is carried away on a stretcher.
One of the role players simulates attempting to escape the enclosure before he is chased down and handcuffed by an armed Marine.
Other role players are then heard chanting “food and water” while rattling the perimeter fence as Marines look on. The video then shows more role players being chased and hauled away. One of the role players is subsequently heard to shout, “let me out!”
More physical struggles and chases ensue between role players and Marines before some of the citizens receive mock medical treatment, with one Marine heard describing one of the injuries as “gunshot wounds to the chest.”
Some of the victims are then loaded onto the chopper before the video clip ends.
The Marines will undoubtedly claim that these exercises are to prepare for overseas combat and occupation missions, but U.S. Army manuals have made it clear that such operations also apply to the Continental United States (CONUS), and will be used against American citizens during a national emergency.
Concerns over such exercises have been raised after the announcement of Jade Helm, a nationwide military exercise set to begin in July during which troops will operate undercover amongst local populations.
Innumerable videos showing similar drills taking place across the United States have emerged in recent months, although this footage is easily the most alarming.
Another video out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida which emerged in March also showed military and law enforcement practicing the internment of citizens during martial-law style training.
Author: Paul Joseph Watson
A new Reuters poll indicates that a significant chunk of the American population believes that the President is a threat to the safety of the nation.
When asked ‘How much of a threat does President Barack Obama pose to the United States?’ 29% of respondents said he poses an ‘imminent’ (18.3%) or a ‘serious’ (10.6%) threat to the nation.
A further 11.9% said they believe Obama poses a ‘moderate’ threat, while 12.2% said they feel the President is a ‘minimal’ threat to the US. A further 11.3% said they were ‘not sure’.
The threat ratings were ranked on a scale of 1-5, with ‘imminent’ being 5 and ‘no threat’ being 1.
Only 35.7% offered the opinion that Obama is no threat at all.
Interestingly, rather than focus on these figures, Reuters choose to make Republicans the focus of their story on the findings, running with the headline ‘Republicans see Obama as more imminent threat than Putin’.
In reality, a significant chunk of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, believe that Obama constitutes a threat.
Findings also ignored by Reuters in the write up include only 23% saying the CIA poses ‘no threat’, only 15.7% saying the NSA poses ‘no threat’, only 9% said that ‘the collapse of nation states’ is no threat, and almost half saying that illegal immigration is an imminent or serious threat to the US.
There is no context offered within the survey, as to why Americans feel Obama is threatening to the nation. However, one might suggest that his support of Saudi Arabia in illegally invading Yemen, and his lifting of a military aid freeze against Egypt, also involved in the bombardment of Yemen, are two such examples.
In a phone call on Tuesday, Obama informed Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah al Sisi that American F-16 fighter jets, missiles and M1A1 tank kits would once again be delivered, after a two year freeze, in the wake of a military coup in 2013.
Reinvigorating Egypt’s military, Obama also affirmed that $1.3 billion in military aid to the country will now continue unimpeded.
Author: Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.
Barack Obama won’t name the enemy. At least not in so many words. Because the enemy is us.
Giuliani was too polite when he said Obama does not love America. I’ll take it a step further: Obama hates America.
And that hatred is starting to consolidate itself and express itself in increasingly threatening ways.
Most recently, two different departments in the administration released images and statements that signify an overt attempt to manipulate how Americans perceive their neighbors and their communities.
The Department of Homeland Security created a map of the United States called “Sovereign Citizen Extremist Violence 2010 – 2014.” In classic “Look! Squirrel!” fashion, the map identifies two dozen “right-wing” terror hot spots.
CNN’s coverage of the story begins (italics are mine):
They’re carrying out sporadic terror attacks on police, have threatened attacks on government buildings and reject government authority.
A new intelligence assessment, circulated by the Department of Homeland Security this month and reviewed by CNN, focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists and comes as the Obama administration holds a White House conference to focus efforts to fight violent extremism.
Some federal and local law enforcement groups view the domestic terror threat from sovereign citizen groups as equal to – and in some cases greater than – the threat from foreign Islamic terror groups, such as ISIS, that garner more public attention.
As long as we’re going to be given maps of malicious marauders, how about showing Americans these graphics?
The location of some of the 35 Muslims of America jihadist training compounds in the United States. (For complete list, see here.)
Or this map of Islamic Terror Groups in America published at Bare Naked Islam.
Or this one published by Global Security:
Or what about a mental map you can create based on the knowledge that there are more than 2,100 mosques in the United States (many of them mega-mosques) and that 80% of them promote jihad. (List of mosques here.)
(Largest mosque/potential military outpost in the United States, located in Dearborn, MI.)
Or how about a map of the location of all the Muslim Brotherhood front groups operating across the country – groups designed to carry out the MB’s stated goal of destroying America from within. (List of MB front groups broken down by state, here.)
You get the picture.
By avoiding real threats and publishing the Sovereign Citizen Extremist Violence map, the Obama administration moved beyond Saul Alinksy and advanced to Joseph Goebbels.
But while on the subject of Obama’s map intended to distract and mislead, the CNN article noted that most of these attacks by “sovereign citizens” were against the police.
You’d think at that point, CNN’s coverage would cite recent attacks against the police by leftists, including Ferguson protestors, Occupy Wall Street protestors, as well as the New Black Panthers (named by the FBI as a domestic terror organization), among others. (A few examples can be found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, as well as a link to information about the officer shot this week-end in MN where there appears to be an Islam factor, here.)
Instead, CNN cites the exception to the rule (a favorite ploy of the left):
They’ve lashed out against authority in incidents such as one in 2012, in which a father and son were accused of engaging in a shootout with police in Louisiana, in a confrontation that began with an officer pulling them over for a traffic violation. Two officers were killed and several others wounded in the confrontation. The men were sovereign citizen extremists who claimed police had no authority over them.
So we’ve got the United States government setting up a malicious scenario to incite suspicion and hatred toward “right wingers” (labeled “Violent Extremists”) while the State Department has also found a way to make their own contribution to this madness.How?
By urging Americans to be vigilant about what’s going on in their communities. And by this they don’t mean vigilance about Islamic supremacism.
This is the graphic that invites us to focus on our community in the fight against “Violent Extremism” (a term now capitalized by the children currently in control). And per the Obama administration, this extremism is synonymous with “conservative” and/or “right wing.” (The DOD, via their training materials, also jumped on this bandwagon years ago.)
(Notice how there is no symbol for a religious institution on the idiotic State Department graphic. In Obama’s America, religion is no longer relevant. Unless it’s Islam, in which case Obama is quite enthusiastic, defending it at all cost.)
When you put it all together – the stupid sovereign citizen map, the focus on communities to fight the ever-nebulous-and-never-named actual threat, and the DOD naming conservatives as extremists – a picture emerges of a government enticing its citizens to look upon one another with suspicion. But most specifically, to view conservatives as the enemy. (Christians is implied, if not also directly identified.)
I have an idea.
How about if we speak the truth, name the actual threat we are facing (Islam), and take the State Department up on their offer to be aware of what’s going on in our communities?
Find out what’s being taught in your local schools and do all you can to shine a light on lessons on Islam that are religious in nature and/or that whitewash it. Know who’s on the School Board and get involved. Consider running for office. Same goes for the City Council. Be aware of plans for new mosque construction in your community and fight tooth and nail to block it. Get involved in your place of worship, educating leaders and members of the congregation. Encourage elected officials who are speaking the truth. Apply pressure on those who aren’t.
Never give up.
Lord knows, the left won’t. Especially with a president who has a very clear idea of who the enemy is.
We the people.
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook
LIKE CLOCKWORK: Pension plans to be looted nationwide as Congress okays institutional theft of funds
On April 2, 2013, in an article entitled Economics 101: Production, coercion and theft, I wrote about the coming looting of pension plans, stating:
When societies approach collapse, coercion shifts to outright theft: Stealing money right out of your bank account, for example, like we recently witnessed in Cyprus. Government also routinely target pension funds and even private retirement accounts, attempting to keep itself afloat by any means necessary.
Just like clockwork, that looting of pension plans is now about to commence. “Congress could soon allow the benefits of current retirees to be cut as part of an agreement to address the fiscal distress confronting some of the nation’s 1,400 multi-employer pension plans,” writes Michael Fletcher of the Washington Post.  The Post continues:
“This proposal would devastate retirees and their surviving spouses,” said Karen Friedman, executive vice president of the Pension Rights Center, a nonprofit group. “The proposal would also torpedo basic protections of the federal private pension law … that states that once benefits are earned, they can’t be cut back.”
All the pension benefits that have been promised government retirees, in other words, are about to be stolen back from retirees.
This is precisely what I’ve long warned Natural News readers was coming. And this is merely the very beginning of the true destruction of the financial collapse headed our way. When the next market crash arrives, billions of dollars in retirement funds will be destroyed virtually overnight, and pension funds nationwide will be wiped out.
A “declaration of war” against the American worker
The fact that this wholesale theft of pension funds is now under way has not escaped union workers and retirees.
As WashPost also reports:
“This is nothing less than a declaration of war by Congress on American retirees,” said R. Thomas Buffenbarger, international president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
Indeed, “war” is exactly how most people are going to perceive this… especially when retirement checks are the primary source of income for many retirees who are just barely getting by.
For millions of Americans, when those checks stop coming, it spells instant financial disaster. Many won’t be able to pay their mortgages or rent payments, and we are sadly going to see a massive wave of new American homeless coupled with a glut of vacant homes owned by banks teetering on financial collapse.
As pension funds are increasingly looted and stolen from retirees, more and more of America is going to resemble Detroit: a city that once shined with innovation but now — thanks to outrageous corruption, taxation and the endless expansion of government — has collapsed into third-world status that even lacks running water for many of its residents.
Back in 2013, I warned about all this in an article entitled “Production, Coercion and Theft.”
It’s time to revisit that article, so here it is:
Flashback: Production, Coercion and Theft
I’d like to share a lesson in economics today, and I call it the “Production, Coercion and Theft” lesson.
There are only three ways to accumulate money and wealth in world (other than stumbling across a hidden treasure and actually finding money, that is):
#1) Production: Offer something of value in exchange for money voluntarily traded by recipients
#2) Coercion: Confiscate money (or stores of value) by claiming authority over those who earn it
#3) Theft: Steal money (or stores of value) from those who already have it
Every person in society today acquires money in these three ways (with “gifting” being a fourth way that’s in a separate category because it’s passive, not active). The office worker, the entrepreneur, the laborer, the weekend burglar and even the professional politician all acquire money in one of these three primary ways.
Production means offering something of value to another party who is willing to trade you dollars for it. It can include both goods and services. A 9-5 office worker, for example, offers the value of their time and effort, and in exchange they are compensated at an agreed upon pay rate.
Production can also mean adding value to physical goods. We do this at the Natural News Store by sourcing organic superfoods from around the world and packaging them in pouches and cans for retail in the USA. This is a classic example of value-added production.
Out of the three methods of money accumulation covered here, production is the only one that adds abundance to the economy. The other two methods reduce wealth and ultimately promote poverty.
Coercion means forcing someone to give you money. This is the default method of all government bodies, from your local property tax collector to the federal IRS. Coercion means extracting money from someone in a non-mutually-agreed (i.e. “non-voluntary”) way.
Being mugged is a lot like being taxed
A mugging is money extraction via coercion. Ironically, it is almost identical to taxation: There is a threat of force stated or implied, followed by a request for a certain amount of money: “Give me your wallet” or “Pay $12,453.24.” Your compliance results in the source of the coercion taking your money then moving on to their next victim. Non-compliance results in you either being shot, stabbed, arrested at gunpoint or stripped of other possessions you may own.
Theft is different from coercion in that there is no interaction at all between two parties. Theft is when someone breaks into your house and steals your flat screen TV when you’re not even there. Or it’s when someone breaks into your online bank account and transfers all your money to an offshore crime haven in Nigeria.
Theft is what recently happened in Cyprus, where banksters stole 40% or more of private account balances, later stealing 60% or more of many business accounts. It wasn’t coercion because there was no threat of force, nor any compliance on your part. You simply wake up one morning and find that your bank account, your truck, your wallet or your laptop computers is missing. That’s theft… and that’s how the global banking system fundamentally functions.
Another advanced kind of theft is committed by the Federal Reserve. By printing new money, it steals the value of all the money you currently hold. This is called “currency theft” but a full discussion of it is beyond the scope of this lesson. For now, let’s stick to simple theft and coercion.
The illusion of compliance
Governments typically shy away from engaging in outright theft. Why? Because they hope to create the illusion of voluntary compliance. By coercing you into giving up your money “voluntarily,” they avoid the appearance of outright stealing money or property from you. You “agreed” to pay your taxes, didn’t you?
In certain cases, of course, the government does engage in outright theft. This is called “eminent domain” and it means the government simply claims ownership of something you own (usually some land or a building), then decides how much money to pay you for it. The government claims the right to steal from you for “the common good,” implying that the benefit of some is more important than protecting the private property rights of all.
Theft is also carried out through misrepresentation and fraud. If a used car salesman sells you a 2005 Chevy pickup with “only 25,000 miles” on it, but it turns out they hacked the odometer and the vehicle actually has 300,000 miles on it, that’s misrepresentation and fraud.
This is very common in the food industry where “extra virgin olive oil” often turns out to be cut with GMO canola oil. Or where “tuna fish” actually isn’t from tuna. In the health supplements market, misrepresentation and fraud is also common among heavily-hyped “miracle” supplements that claim impossible results. Acai weight loss pills are a good example.
Misrepresentation and fraud is how virtually the entire system on Wall Street operates, by the way. It’s all a numbers game where investment houses sell stocks short while telling their customers to buy. The ratings are faked, the customers buy the stock, the investment brokers sell it short and wait for the stock to tumble from its artificial high, after which they rake in the profits.
Why governments prefer coercion to theft
By and large, governments far prefer coercion to theft. The IRS, for example, continues to insist that paying federal tax is a “voluntary” act. “Compliance is voluntary,” they admit. But this brand of volunteerism comes with the heavy hand of coercion. A typical warning letter from the IRS threatens the recipient with losing all his property and spending years in jail if they refuse to comply.
So yes, paying the IRS is “voluntary” as long as you don’t mind the consequences: Years in prison and the forfeiting of everything you own. That’s classic coercion.
By the same token, a Chicago mafia goon could walk into a popular night club in 1929 and say, “You’s gonna volunteer to pay us 20% of your profits, okay?” (Say that in your head with a cartoonish mob accent for better effect.) Followed by: “It would be a real shame to see a nice joint like this burn to ashes, y’know?”
This is not unlike the offer made by the IRS. Pay us 50% (or more) of your income, or lose your freedom.
Obamacare is implemented entirely by coercion. The gambit is this: Buy Obamacare health insurance, or we’ll just confiscate money right out of your paycheck. That has very little difference from the mafia’s offer of “pay us 20% or we burn this place down.” In both cases, it’s a threat and a demand for compliance. That’s coercion.
Coercion and theft are signs of a crumbling society
When society is healthy, production is the dominant method of wealth creation. But when society begins to fall into criminality, corruption and government gone bad, coercion and theft become the dominant methods for diverting wealth from those who have earned it into the hands of those who are receiving it.
All agents and employees of the government are, by definition, beneficiaries of coercion. Their salaries are paid entirely by the government’s confiscation of wealth from private sector workers and businesses, all of whom comply solely because they are threatened with imprisonment if they fail to do so.
The ratio between production and coercion is a very good indicator of the level of freedom in any given nation. When tax rates are low, production is high because people have more incentive to start businesses, hire more people and produce more products or services. Wealth is primarily created by productivity
But when tax rates are high — more coercion — production plummets because the rewards for starting a business and hiring workers are diminished. The focus of the economy becomes government growth accompanied by increasing coercion / confiscation of private wealth.
When societies approach collapse, coercion shifts to outright theft: Stealing money right out of your bank account, for example, like we recently witnessed in Cyprus. Government also routinely target pension funds and even private retirement accounts, attempting to keep itself afloat by any means necessary.
Understand these three key truths
In summary, the fall of society can be understood through these key transitions:
Abundant society = Freedom and liberty = Production and wealth creation
…then Production becomes Coercion
Coercion society = High taxes, growth of government = Wealth confiscation
…then Coercion becomes Theft
Theft society = Looting of private bank accounts, government seizure of industry = Wealth destruction
…Theft leads to Collapse
The EU has entered the stage of “coercion becoming theft.” The collapse is near.
Readers always ask me for “sources” when I write original articles, so I’ll answer this question up front: What is my source for this analysis? There is no specific source. These ideas are self-evident. I did not read them in any particular book or website, nor learn them in a course of some kind.
Click here to read “Economics in One Lesson” (PDF) and gain an understanding of economics vastly exceeding that of Ben Bernanke.
See the article just published on Mises.org which just happens to coincide with my own article here. It’s entitled, Taxation is Robbery, Part 1.
Sources for this article include:
Author: Mike Adams
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said his department will be issuing new guidance to retailers this week giving them pointers on how to spot potential terrorists among their customers by looking at what they’re buying.
While saying the government cannot prohibit sales of some everyday materials, Mr. Johnson said retailers should be trained to look for anyone who buys a lot from what he described as a “long list of materials that could be used as explosive precursors.”
He said it was an extension of the “If you see something, say something” campaign launched by his predecessor, former Secretary Janet Napolitano, which tries to enlist average Americans to be aware of their immediate environment.
“We can’t and we shouldn’t prohibit the sale of a pressure cooker. We can sensitize retail businesses to be on guard for suspicious behavior by those who buy this kind of stuff,” Mr. Johnson said during a question-and-answer session after a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations.
A U.S. Army report warns that American troops need to be prepared to enter New York City and other global “megacities” in order to prevent civil unrest, political uprisings and protect key infrastructure and natural resources in the national interest.
The report, entitled Megacities and the United States Army (PDF), was released by the Chief of Staff of the Army, Strategic Studies Group.
Cautioning that the power of national governments to deal with the problems caused by increasing urbanization and the growth of megacities is “diminishing,” the report notes, “It is inevitable that at some point the United States Army will be asked to operate in a megacity and currently the Army is ill-prepared to do so.”
Given increasing concerns about martial law and the militarization of domestic law enforcement in the United States, some will be concerned to learn that one of these “megacities” where U.S. troops may operate is New York City.
Indeed, the report notes that, “It is plausible that the Army could be called to act in one of these places tomorrow. As their size and importance grows, it becomes probable.”
Reasons given for why U.S. troops may be sent into major cities to deal with social dislocation include “unrest,” “income disparity,” “natural disasters,” and “illicit networks” who challenge state power. According to the report, all of these problems will create “friction which compels future military intervention” that “will require boots on the ground.”
The document also spells out how many of these megacities represent “conduits for access to critical natural resources, like petroleum,” resource trends which represent “strategic key terrain in any future crisis that requires U.S. military intervention.”
“Such conditions would likely call for some form of outside intervention. If the demand signal or threat poses enough risk to U.S. national interest, military intervention is a likely scenario,” states the report.
In dealing with unrest or upheaval in megacities, the document notes that controlling urban populations physically is virtually impossible and that, “Virtual isolation is even more improbable given cell phone saturation in urban environments worldwide and global interconnectedness through the World Wide Web.”
The report warns that the “Army is not prepared for operations in these unique operational environments,” concluding that “the Army is currently unprepared” to respond to strategic surprises that could emerge as a result of rapidly growing megacities.
The document lists a number of recommendations to prepare U.S. troops for intervention in global megacities, one of which includes building, “civil-military partnerships to facilitate training, testing and experimentation in large U.S. cities.”
As we highlighted in a previous report, part of the U.S. Army’s preparations for occupying megacities also include the neutralization of groups “who can influence the lives of the population while undermining the authority of the state,” a chillingly vague description which could easily be applied to political dissidents.
Given recent Army training manuals which detail preparations for “full scale riots” within the United States during which troops may be forced to engage in a “lethal response” to deal with crowds of demonstrators, the fact that U.S. troops are being prepared to occupy major cities in the near future is extremely concerning.
In light of warnings that ISIS terrorists are preparing to cross over from Mexico and conduct attacks on U.S. soil, many will question why the Army is focusing on internal occupation of cities when America’s porous border represents a far more pressing security threat.
Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet