7 Reasons Why You Should Have a Medicinal Garden

7 Reasons Why You Should Have a Medicinal Garden | herb-garden | Agriculture & Farming Natural Medicine Organics

Growing medicinal plants are a great way to ensure garden sustainability and more notably, have access to natural medicine when you need it most. When I introduced more herbs in my garden, I noticed it had a profound impact on the vegetables and fruits I was growing. It also encouraged beneficial insects and birds to visit my garden and this helped cut down on plants being eaten.

Because of this observation, I changed my focus from solely growing to eat and, instead, worked to create a welcoming growing environment. Not only were my plants healthier, but I had access to natural herbs to use for making extracts and poultices. The following are reasons I feel gardeners should adopt adding medicinal herbs to the garden.

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7 Reasons Why You Should Have a Medicinal Garden

  1. Have access to multiple forms of natural medicine for future needs. When you have fresh cut herbs to use for natural medicine, you have access to the freshest forms of their healing properties. For example, what if you cut your hand and did not have a bandage. Did you know that the sage leaf can be wrapped around a wound and used as a natural band-aid? Or, if the bleeding from that cut was so bad that it wouldn’t stop. Did you know that a few shakes of some cayenne pepper can help control the bleed? Or, if you have a severe bruise, make a poultice. It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to use herbal medicine.
  2. Calm your senses with medicinal teas. Herbs like lavender, lemon balm, chamomile, catnip, and peppermint have a natural sedative quality to them to help calm your spirits or help you sleep better at night. Taking a handful of leaves and adding them to a cup of hot water will create a soothing cup of herbal tea. Here are some great herbal tea remedies to start with.
  3. Many medicinal plants and herbs are perennials and will come back year after year. The more established the plants are, the more they will produce each year. This will save you money in the long run! I bought a small oregano plant three years ago and it is the size of a small shrub. I have so much oregano now that I can use it for culinary uses and experiment with making my own tinctures and astringents. As well, my echinacea has produced so many “baby” plants that I have dug them up and transferred them to another part of my property where I am creating another medicinal garden.
  4. Feed your livestock! Livestock can also benefit from growing herbs in the garden.  Not only can they be added for additional nutrition, but you can use herbs to make natural cleansing shampoos and even clean wounds. Some herbs I feed my animals are oregano, comfrey, lavender, mint, and sage.  Note: not all herbs are healthy for your livestock, so do research to find out which ones are good for your animals.
  5. Another added benefit of having a thriving medicinal garden is that bees love it! This promotes bee sustainability and a healthier garden, as well. The blossoms put out by the flowers and herbs will attract bees that will, in turn, happily pollinate your vegetable and fruits. Consider planting some of these beneficial flowers in addition to herbs:
    • Asters (Aster/Callistephus)
    • Sunflowers (Helianthus/Tithonia)
    • Salvia (Salvia/Farinacea-Strata/Splendens)
    • Bee balm (Monarda)
    • Hyssop (Agastache)
    • Mint (Mentha)
    • Cleome / Spider flower (Cleome)
    • Thyme (Thymus)
    • Poppy (Papaver/Eschscholzia)
    • California poppies (Eschscholzia)
    • Bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea)
    • Lavender (Lavandula)
  6. Regrow from cuttings on your windowsill. Herbs like rosemary, lavender, mint, cilantro, oregano, marjoram, basil, sage, lemon balm, and thyme are perfect for starting in a glass or canning jar. Simply add water and set in indirect sunlight – it’s that simple! Read more here.
  7. Herbs can be great companion plants for the vegetable garden. Don’t feel handcuffed to only growing vegetables, but herbs can be planted nearby to do double duty as companion plants. Companion planting can also help control the insect balance in your garden and repel some of the more unwanted guests like mosquitoes. Some favorite companion herbs are pairing basil with tomatoes, chamomile near cucumbers, garlic planted near apple, pear and peach trees, roses, cucumbers, peas, lettuce or celery. Read more about which herbs are great companions here.

Ready Nutrition writer and herbalist, Jeremiah Johnson has written extensively on how to cultivate a medicinal garden to use in a long-term emergency. His favorite medicinals are what he refers to as the 3 G’s: garlic, ginger, and ginseng. You can read his article on the subject.

To better understand natural medicine and using herbals for health, I strongly recommend you read more on the subject. The following books come highly recommended:

Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria,” by Stephen Harrod Buhner.

Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor, by Cat Ellis (Herbal Prepper)

This is not a new gardening concept, yet is still not widely used. When you are planting your garden, consider adding a few herbs and watch the benefits grow before your eyes.


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Heading for War on Russia

Heading for War on Russia | trump-putin-war | Government Corruption US News War Propaganda
America’s imperial agenda threatens world peace. Its bases surrounding Russia and China are platforms for aggressive wars – likely nuclear if launched against one or both countries.

Dangerous flashpoints exist along their borders, in Syria, Ukraine, the Korean peninsula and elsewhere.

America’s megalomaniacal rage for dominance is humanity’s greatest menace, nuclear war almost certain if its madness isn’t curbed – a slim chance with neocons infesting Washington, thriving on endless aggression, deploring peace and stability.

America’s imperial agenda should terrify everyone, a permanent war policy targeting all sovereign independent states for regime change, willing to risk destroying planet earth to own it – Russia and China the final frontier challenging its recklessness.

The bipartisan Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) includes congressional, defense and State Department officials.

Hawkish members along with Pentagon commanders urge greater numbers of US combat troops in Europe to deter nonexistent “Russian aggression” – a provocative plan risking direct confrontation.

Days ahead of Trump’s FY 2018 budget rollout, they urged a greater US conventional force buildup in Eastern Europe.

Former deputy assistant defense secretary for Ukraine and Russia Michael Carpenter expressed “support (for) deploying on a permanent basis an additional (armored) brigade combat team.”

“Having armor, especially on the eastern flank of the Baltic states would be a large deterrent for Russia, especially manned by Americans as opposed to the multinational brigades,”he blustered. “There is nothing that substitutes for American presence on the Eastern flank” – despite no Russian threat justifying it.

Last week, NATO commander General Curtis Scaparrotti, in congressional testimony, said NATO forces are “returning to our historic role as a warfighting command” to deter nonexistent “Russian aggression.”

Russophobic former US ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer hype the need “to enhance (NATO’s) conventional deterrence and defense capabilities in the Baltic region and central Europe” – despite no threat justifying it.

Reckless policies advocated by neocons in Washington and hawkish generals escalate the risk of direct confrontation with Russia – the unthinkable possibility of catastrophic nuclear war, risking humanity’s survival.


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Does Coffee Harm Your Gut?

Does Coffee Harm Your Gut? | coffee | General Health Special Interests

Coffee’s received a lot of good publicity in recent years for the way it appears to protect the brain from degenerative diseases. We know that coffee is full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, plant-compounds, fats, and carbs. In small amounts, coffee can actually be beneficial for most healthy individuals. The main downside to coffee is that it’s highly acidic, and this acidity can have possible repercussions on the gut.

Coffee’s Effects on the Gut

Before you drink your next cup of java, weekend latte, or morning cup of joe, here’s five facts to know about coffee’s effect on the gut.

  1. Higher Stomach Acidity

Drink a lot of coffee first thing in the morning on a regular basis, and gut problems may be right around the corner. It’s not just the caffeine that does this, so drinking decaf won’t avoid the danger. Caffeine and other plant-based compounds stimulate the stomach cells to release more hydrochloric acid, which can, at times, aid digestion. [1][2]

But regular coffee drinking, especially in the morning on an empty stomach, reduces the amount of stomach acid available for digestion later on. H. pylori bacteria, the main bacteria responsible for ulcers, prefers highly acidic environments. Combine this with the way coffee weakens the protective barrier of the stomach – the mucosal layer [3] — and the risk of damage and ulcers increases.

  1. Encourages Acid Reflux

Drink enough coffee and you may experience acid reflux or heartburn. Coffee relaxes the esophageal sphincter, or the muscle valve that allows the food into the stomach. At the same time, it also prevents it from escaping up the throat. Stomach acid that escapes irritates the tissue of the esophagus. If it happens frequently enough, complications like sores, ulcers, or permanent changes to cells in the esophagus can occur.

     3. Aggravates IBS and Other Bowel Disorders

Coffee intensifies symptoms of bowel conditions like gastritis, irritable bowel disorder, colitis, and Crohn’s Disease. Certain enzymes in coffee trigger an immune response that results in inflammation, bloating, cramping, gas, and diarrhea. [4]

  1. Raises the Chance of Food Rotting in the Gut

Coffee’s known to encourage the stomach to release its contents into the small intestine before complete digestion has occurred. [5] Food that doesn’t get fully digested often ends up sitting and rotting in the gut. This creates a toxic environment ideal for ‘bad’ bacteria to spread in the intestines, damages the intestinal wall, and leads to inflammation and an immune response to enzymes in the coffee.

  1. Over Stimulates Intestinal Wave Action

Nerve and brain cells rely on a neurochemical called GABA. It’s responsible for calming the nerves after they fire. The caffeine in coffee prevents GABA from doing its job and this may lead to overactive bowels. The most common symptom is cramping or an urge to go to the bathroom.

One Final Thought

While it doesn’t directly harm the bowels, coffee does reduce the retention and absorption of minerals like magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron. Here’s a basic rundown on these nutrients:

  • Magnesium keeps the muscles relaxed and firing correctly.
  • Calcium is needed for strong bones and getting cells the nutrients they need.
  • Zinc fuels the immune system.
  • Iron’s essential for creating new red blood cells.

And you should not drink coffee if you have gallstones. Coffee doesn’t cause gallstones, but it does cause the gallbladder to contract, creating a very painful situation. When it comes to coffee, the best way to know if harm’s being done is to notice how you feel. If it has a severe laxative effect or causes cramping or acid reflux, you may want to take some time off. Studies have shown the damage and irritation quickly heals once coffee consumption stops.

Are you a coffee lover? Or do you avoid the stuff like plague? Share your experience with us below.

References:

  1. Börger HW, Schafmayer A, Arnold R, Becker HD, Creutzfeldt W. The influence of coffee and caffeine on gastrin and acid secretion in man (author’s transl). Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 1976 Mar 19;101(12):455-7.
  2. Kuz’menko LI, Bohdanova OV, Ostapchenko LI. Regulation of secretory processes in parietal cells in the different stomach pathologies. Ukr Biokhim Zh. 2006 Jul-Aug;78(4):80-8.
  3. Cibicková E1, Cibicek N, Zd’ánský P, Kohout P. The impairment of gastroduodenal mucosal barrier by coffee. Acta Medica (Hradec Kralove). 2004;47(4):273-5.
  4. Sauer T1, Raithel M, Kressel J, Muscat S, Münch G, Pischetsrieder M. Nuclear translocation of NF-?B in intact human gut tissue upon stimulation with coffee and roasting products. Food Funct. 2011 Sep;2(9):529-40. doi: 10.1039/c1fo10055f.
  5. Akimoto K1, Inamori M, Iida H, et al. Does postprandial coffee intake enhance gastric emptying?: a crossover study using continuous real time 13C breath test (BreathID system). Hepatogastroenterology. 2009 May-Jun;56(91-92):918-20.


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The Mafia that Governs Brazil

The Mafia that Governs Brazil | Brazilian-President-Michel-Temer | Special Interests World News

Brazilian President, Michel Temer has been implicated in a new bribery scandal.

I recently read a Facebook post from a person who rightfully pointed out that Brazil is far from being a democracy. In fact, the user clarified that the country has never been a democracy, at least not in the last 40 years.

He begins his post with the following thought: “Today it is difficult to disassociate ourselves from politics. I’ve found out about the size of the irony that we Brazilians are in ..” He then uses irony himself to refer to the situation the country is in and how people were indoctrinated into believing that democracy reigns all over. “The generation of which I am part of was born in a democratic environment. What a good thing. A new constitution … How lucky we are! Brazil is a “young democracy”. So I heard, so they told me. I, innocent, believed. We, the innocent, believed.

The problem is that Brazilians are not innocent. They were lied to all right, but that was many years ago. Today, they are innocent no more, yet they continue to allow a cabal of oligarchs, both foreign and local to determine what their lives should be like. It is not a Monarchy as the author of the post claims, but a Mafia. It is the same kind of Mafia that governs over every single western country today.

Mr. Dobrinsky says that the class of people that dominate politics in Brazil are a sort of nobility, but he forgets to point what is obvious: The people are to blame for everything that has happened in the country since it became a democratic republic. It is the people who elect their representatives. How and why do people elect representatives who destroy a country like Brazil? The answer is due to ignorance.

There are two other horrific details that seem to be out of the public discourse of those who complain about their government here in Brazil. Firstly, most people understand the situation and do nothing to change it, and secondly, people actually embrace the current state of disgrace the country is in.

The highest degree of corruption in the history of the country is not enough to light up a fire cracker in the heart of Brazilian people, who limit their actions to innocuous street protests that do little or nothing to change things. In fact, that very same degree of corruption is brought and adopted into their own lives.

Brazil’s problem is not that people are ignorant, but that people are willfully ignorant. They learn to be ignorant from very early in their lives which is why most people still support the “jeitinho brasileiro” or the Brazilian way of doing things. That behaviour exists in the minds of members of the political mafia as much as in that of the homeless and everyone in between. It is part of people’s fabric.

There are three clear examples of how deeply rooted corruption and complacency are in the Brazilian way of life. All Luiz Inacio da Silva, Dilma Rousseff and the current president Michel Temer are being investigated by a special court due to their apparent involvement in massive corruption scandals with tentacles extending to other countries in Latin America. Yet, all that Lula, Dilma and Temer show in public is arrogance, hubris, bravado.

Just this week, president Temer was officially put under investigation after tapes surfaced where he asks for bribes to keep a fellow mafia member quiet about the scandals he appears to be involved in.

The accusations are stacked against Temer, battered by evidence and judicial statements filed to incriminate him by the owners of one of the country’s main business groups.

But Temer not only refuses to resign but has decided to move to the attack. He claims that the evidence against him is “fraudulent” and in a message to the nation urged Saturday to the Supreme Court to suspend investigations for obstruction to justice, passive corruption and criminal organization. As expected, Temer showed no proof to back his claims.

Anyone would think that with the current state of affairs, Brazilians would be at least populating the streets as they did against Rousseff, but nothing even remotely close has taken place.

Meanwhile, resisting at all costs seems to be the slogan of the Brazilian president, despite the fact that the situation for him only worsens as the days pass. Temer is becoming a new Nicolas Maduro.

The disclosure last Friday of the judicial statements of the entrepreneurs who incriminate Temer, the owners of the meat empire JBS, brought devastating consequences.

The managers describe a systematic payment of illegal donations, negotiated directly with Temer over the last 10 years, totaling up to 4.7 million reals.

The maneuvers reported by the entrepreneurs took place even while the country was in the midst of the investigations of the Lava Jato case.

They assert that a few months ago an intermediary of Temer demanded a commission of 5% for him to obtain a favourable decision by the organization that oversees free market competition through which JBS would obtain a profit of 200 million reals a year.

Going back a few years, the informers tell how Temer managed, as vice-president of the country, to receive a monthly payment of 100,000 reais for an ally of his who had just left his position as government official.

Another account tells about how Temer made a donation of another 15 million reais to the parties that were allied with him in the 2014 election campaign and how he decided to keep one million for himself.

To make matters worse, the communication group O Globo, until now one of Temer’s greatest cheerleaders, is beating mercilessly on the new details and on Friday published an editorial demanding his resignation.

Although Temer still has the bulk of his parliamentary support, which includes his own political army, the Party of the Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB), and the Brazilian Social Democrat Party (PSDB), the drip of desertions among its allies is growing.

On Saturday, the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) withdrew its support. It is increasingly doubtful that he will have enough strength to approve the reform he has been most committed to and the one that most demand for the markets: the reduction of pensions.

For the first time since the start of the new political crisis, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva went on stage to demand Temer’s resignation and to have early elections.

Lula is the most interested in immediate elections because he leads all the polls and could go to the polls before the five legal proceedings, opened against him also for corruption, are concluded.

The former president is also not free from the confessions of the owners of JBS, who claim that they delivered 150 million reales in illegal donations to Lula’s Workers’ Party (PT).

In the midst of this flood of new corruption scandals, Temer decided to address the nation again on Saturday not only to deny all charges but to appear as the “moralizer” of Brazilian public institutions.

He warned that the opening of the judicial investigation compromises the economic recovery of Brazil, after two years of hard recession, since he placed the country in what he himself admits as “a serious political crisis.”

Temer’s strategy is to invalidate one of the main tests against him, the recording of a conversation he held on March 7 at his official residence with JBS owner Joesley Batista.

From the content of that meeting, the Attorney General of the Republic, Rodrigo Janot, deduced that the president gave his acquiescence to the payments that Batista was allegedly making to buy the silence of former President of the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha, a former political ally of Temer sentenced to 15 years in prison for corruption.

The newspaper Folha de São Paulo has published an expert study that says that the recording is edited and has up to fifty cuts. Temer clings to that to claim that the new “clandestine recording” was “tampered with.”

The newspaper Folha de São Paulo is part of a group known as the Folha Group, a conglomerate that also controls UOL (Universo Online), the leading Internet portal in Brazil.


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New Social Justice Math Class Will Teach Your Kids About “Inequity, Poverty, and Privilege” (VIDEO)

New Social Justice Math Class Will Teach Your Kids About “Inequity, Poverty, and Privilege” (VIDEO) | child-laptop | Multimedia Propaganda Sleuth Journal Special Interests US News

By: Daniel Lang, SHTFplan |

There’s a good reason why some college departments are riddled with social justice ideologues, and others are not. It’s because these beliefs are completely illogical, so they can only thrive in subjects that are open to interpretation. So if you went to college and took a class for liberal arts, gender studies, or sociology, you’re far more likely to run into politically correct nonsense than if you took a class in say, astrophysics. It’s hard to insert emotionally charged drivel into a subject that is relatively cut and dry.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that the social justice warriors in academia won’t try to infiltrate every class, no matter how silly it makes them look. For instance, two education organization known as Teach for America and EdX have partnered to create a six week math course titled “Teaching Social Justice through Secondary Mathematics.”

Unveiled earlier this month, the course aims to teach math instructors how to craft lesson-plans that incorporate social justice in order to raise their students’ awareness

“Do you ask students to think deeply about global and local social justice issues within your mathematics classroom?” a course overview asks. “This education and teacher training course will help you blend secondary math instruction with topics such as inequity, poverty, and privilege to transform students into global thinkers and mathematicians.”

According to the website, the course can even help students to learn math, because while many aspects of middle- and high-school math “can seem abstract to students,” the developers claim that “setting the mathematics within a specially-developed social justice framework can help students realize the power and meaning of both the data and social justice concerns.”

But the syllabus for this course takes the cake. Half of it doesn’t even sound like it has anything to do with math.

Week 1:  Course Orientation & Survey of Social Justice Issues
Introduction to course and survey of a selection of social justice issues.

Week 2: Understanding Your Social Justice Topic
Focus on researching and understanding the multiple facets of your chosen social justice issue.

Week 3: Let the Math Tell the Story
Identify the various data sets that exist around your social justice topic. Let the data inform the mathematics.

Week 4: Constructing the Lesson
Write the activity. This includes developing the student narrative and considering displays of data.

Week 5: Refining and Testing the Idea
Complete the activity. Gauge resultant versus intended takeaways. Gather feedback.

Week 6: Using the Course In Class & Course Wrap-Up
Use the activity you developed in your classroom or consider the implications of using one of these activities in a math classroom. This week also includes the course wrap-up.

Believe it or not, the idea that social justice beliefs would find their way into the math world was predicted not too long ago. In 2015, an Australian comedian by the name of Neel Kolhatkar created this darkly humorous video on what classrooms would like, if political correctness was ever allowed to run amok.

I want to say that political correctness will never get that bad, but now I’m not so sure.


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The Tens Of Millions Of Forgotten Americans That The U.S. Economy Has Left Behind

The Tens Of Millions Of Forgotten Americans That The U.S. Economy Has Left Behind | Left-Behind-Public-Domain | Economy & Business Special Interests

The evidence that the middle class in America is dying continues to mount.  As you will see below, nearly half the country would be unable “to cover an unexpected $400 expense”, and about two-thirds of the population lives paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.  Of course the economy has not been doing that well overall in recent years.  Barack Obama was the only president in all of U.S. history not to have a single year when the economy grew by at least 3 percent, and U.S. GDP growth during the first quarter of 2017 was an anemic 0.7 percent.  During the Obama era, it is true that wealthy enclaves in New York, northern California and Washington D.C. did thrive, but meanwhile most of the rest of the country has been left behind.

Today, there are approximately 205 million working age Americans, and close to half of them have no financial cushion whatsoever.  In fact, a new survey conducted by the Federal Reserve has found that 44 percent of Americans do not even have enough money “to cover an unexpected $400 expense”

Nearly eight years into an economic recovery, nearly half of Americans didn’t have enough cash available to cover a $400 emergency. Specifically, the survey found that, in line with what the Fed had disclosed in previous years, 44% of respondents said they wouldn’t be able to cover an unexpected $400 expense like a car repair or medical bill, or would have to borrow money or sell something to meet it.

Not only that, the same survey discovered that 23 percent of U.S. adults will not be able to pay their bills this month

Just as concerning were other findings from the study: just under one-fourth of adults, or 23%, are not able to pay all of their current month’s bills in full while 25% reported skipping medical treatments due to cost in the prior year. Additionally, 28% of adults who haven’t retired yet reported to being grossly unprepared, indicating they had no retirement savings or pension whatsoever.

But just because you can pay your bills does not mean that you are doing well.  Tens of millions of Americans barely scrape by from paycheck to paycheck each and every month.

In fact, a survey by CareerBuilder discovered that 75 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time…

Three-quarters of Americans (75 percent) are living paycheck-to-paycheck to make ends meet, according to a survey from CareerBuilder. Thirty-eight percent of employees said they sometimes live paycheck-to-paycheck, 15 percent said they usually do and 23 percent said they always do. While making ends meet is a struggle for many post-recession, those with minimum wage jobs continue to be hit the hardest. Of workers who currently have a minimum wage job or have held one in the past, 66 percent said they couldn’t make ends meet and 50 percent said they had to work more than one job to make it work.

So please don’t be fooled into thinking that the U.S. economy is doing well because the stock market has been hitting new record highs.

The stock market was soaring just before the financial crisis of 2008 too, and we remember how that turned out.

The truth is that the long-term trends that have been eating away at the foundations of the U.S. economy continue to accelerate, and the real economy is in substantially worse shape this year than it was last year.

Just about everywhere you look, businesses are struggling and stores are shutting down.  Yes, there are a few wealthy enclaves where everything seems wonderful for the moment, but for most of the country it seems like the last recession never ended.

In a desperate attempt to stay afloat, a lot of families have been turning to debt to make ends meet.  U.S. household debt has just hit a brand new all-time record high of 12.7 trillion dollars, but we are starting to see an alarming rise in auto loan defaults and consumer bankruptcies.  This is precisely what we would expect to see if the U.S. economy was moving into another major recession.

In fact, we are seeing all sorts of signs that point to a major economic slowdown right now.  Just check out the following from Wolf Richter’s latest article

Over the past five decades, each time commercial and industrial loan balances at US banks shrank or stalled as companies cut back or as banks tightened their lending standards in reaction to the economy they found themselves in, a recession was either already in progress or would start soon. There has been no exception since the 1960s. Last time this happened was during the Financial Crisis.

Now it’s happening again – with a 1990/91 recession twist.

Commercial and industrial loans outstanding fell to $2.095 trillion on May 10, according to the Fed’s Board of Governors weekly report on Friday. That’s down 4.5% from the peak on November 16, 2016. It’s below the level of outstanding C&I loans on October 19. And it marks the 30th week in a row of no growth in C&I loans.

Perhaps we will be very fortunate and break this pattern that has held up all the way back to the 1960s.

But I wouldn’t count on it.  Here is what Zero Hedge has to say about this alarming contraction in commercial and industrial loans…

Here’s the bottom line: unless there is a sharp rebound in loan growth in the next 3-6 months – whether due to greater demand or easier supply – this most accurate of leading economic indicators guarantees that a recession is now inevitable.

We are way overdue for a recession, the hard economic numbers are screaming that one is coming, and the financial markets are absolutely primed for a major crash.

As Americans, we tend to have such short memories.  Every time a new financial bubble starts forming, a lot of people out there start behaving as if it can last indefinitely.

But of course no financial bubble is going to last forever.  They all burst eventually, and now the biggest one in U.S. history is about to end in spectacular fashion.

Trump will get a lot of the blame since he is the current occupant of the White House, but the truth is that the conditions for the next crisis have been building up for many years, and the horrors that the U.S. economy is heading for were entirely predictable.


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Is Sugar Toxic?

Is Sugar Toxic? | Sugar | General Health Sleuth Journal Special Interests Toxins

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about the dangers of refined sugars like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and more. After decades of research, it appears the serious adverse effects of refined sugars on human health are finally making their way into mainstream attention. According to the CDC, more than 30% of adult Americans are obese. [1] These numbers exploded after health officials began pushing the high-carb, low-fat diet twenty years ago.

The Truth About Sugar

Decades of study on obesity, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and hormone dysfunction reveal sugar isn’t just dangerous, [2][3] it’s absolutely toxic. While it’s true that our cells rely on glucose for energy, our body in no way requires refined sugar for proper functioning. Despite this, food manufacturers continue to look for new ways to sneak sugar into every last food sold on market shelves. Here’s just a few reasons why you should reduce–if not eliminate–sugar from your diet:

You Can’t See A Natural Sugar

When it comes to sugar, if it’s not a natural component of the food (like a banana, apple, or honey), chances are it’s not a natural dietary sugar. Any sugar extracted from its plant source, processed, and added to food for sweetening purposes is considered refined. This includes the spoonful of raw, organic table sugar many people put in their coffee each morning. Natural sugars occur as starches and complex sugars and are bound to vitamins and minerals. The digestive process uses these nutrients to break this natural sugar down into monosaccharides, a usable nutrient.

Fruits and vegetables don’t have the same effect on blood sugar as a candy bar for most healthy individuals because fiber in produce tends to slow down the rate at which the sugars are digested and absorbed. Table sugar is created by separating sugar molecules, glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc., from their plant nutrients. This converts them into pure, refined, and empty carbohydrates.

Your Daily Poison

We know sugar eats through the enamel of teeth and causes cavities, but its damage doesn’t stop there. Sugar leaves a path of destruction as it passes through the body, causing inflammation and degradation to blood vessels. It also disrupts the digestive process. When sugar mixes with starches in the stomach, fermentation takes place, creating carbon dioxide, acetic acid, alcohol, and water. Carbon dioxide, acetic acid, and alcohol are all toxic substances.

Sugar causes digesting protein to petrify and creates ptomaines and leucomaines, toxic protein substances. Sugars also kill the ‘friendly’ bacteria that create vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for energy creation at the cellular level. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include depression, psychosis, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.

As I mentioned earlier, refined sugars have no nutritional value and lack the nutrients needed to encourage digestion. So, the body must steal these nutrients from other processes to digest sugar. This creates nutrient imbalances and deficiencies. From there, the sugar enters the blood stream.

Sugar Rots from the Inside Out

We know high blood sugar causes diabetes, but long before a pre-diabetic condition develops, widespread damage has already occurred. It all starts with one singular component–insulin. The pancreas releases insulin to trigger cells throughout the body to absorb glucose–a monosaccharide sugar–from the blood. The more constant this release of insulin, the more the cells stop listening to it. The liver then takes the excess glucose, converts it to glycogen, and stores it.

As sugar consumption continues, the liver swells and becomes damaged. This condition is known as fatty liver disease, and it’s on the rise wherever the modern carb-based diet is practiced. When the liver can no longer take the glucose, it gets sent to fat cells for storage. Weight gain and modern diseases follow.

Recent research done by Louisiana State University report those who consume sugar-sweetened beverages have a much higher risk of weight gain, type II diabetes, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease. The reason for this has been identified as the sugar load.

But this shouldn’t surprise us. Dr. Weston Price reported decades ago how primitive societies had good teeth and superior health to those in civilized societies on modern diets. Once a group of indigenous peoples were assimilated into modern society, individuals experienced physical degeneration and the onset of chronic disease all within one generation.

How to Avoid Sugar

Those who have given up sugar report greater energy, a more positive mood, and successful weight loss. Plus, abstaining from sugar also reduces the risk of many diseases linked to sugar consumption, like diabetes, obesity, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, cardiovascular disease, depression, skin disorders, allergies, eye problems, kidney failure, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, hormone imbalance, accelerated aging, and cancer. To go sugar free, avoid it for two weeks. If you’re really ambitious, go for a month. Eat only natural, organic foods, and only use stevia whenever you are wanting to sweeten a beverage.

Here’s a list of refined sugars to look out for when you’re going sugar free:

  • Maltodextrin
  • Beet Sugar
  • Cane Juice
  • Rice Syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Cane Syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Fruit Juice Concentrate
  • Corn Syrup
  • Sucrose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

Have you given up sugar? How has it made you feel? And did you find it easy or difficult? Share your experiences with us below.

References:

  1. Davy BM1, Zoellner JM2, Waters CN3, Bailey AN2, Hill JL2.. Associations Among Chronic Disease Status, Participation in Federal Nutrition Programs, Food Insecurity, and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage and Water Intake Among Residents of a Health-Disparate Region. J Nutr Educ Behav. 2015 Feb 9. pii: S1499-4046(15)00004-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2015.01.001.
  2. Kostecka M1. Eating habits of preschool children and the risk of obesity, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in adults. Pak J Med Sci. 2014 Nov-Dec;30(6):1299-303. doi: 10.12669/pjms.306.5792.
  3. Bray GA1. Soft drink consumption and obesity: it is all about fructose. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2010 Feb;21(1):51-7. doi: 10.1097/MOL.0b013e3283346ca2.


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Revving Up Lost Afghan War Coming?

Revving Up Lost Afghan War Coming? | Afghan-War | Sleuth Journal War Propaganda World News

America’s longest war was lost years ago, privately acknowledged, yet US combat operations continue, escalation likely coming.

According to Bloomberg, Trump’s military and national security advisors recommend deploying an additional 50,000 troops, “according to a classified US intelligence community assessment.”

It’s partly about propping up Kabul’s puppet regime, mostly to continue endless war, unwilling to acknowledge a long ago lost cause.

Surge, if ordered, assures greater mass slaughter and destruction than already, no possible chance of winning a lost war, just waging it endlessly.

According to Bloomberg, “(t)he new estimate from the intelligence community envisions significantly more US forces in Afghanistan than the current levels of around 8,400 US troops currently fighting there.”

“It is also more than the modest troop increase for Afghanistan of around 5,000 that was reported last week.”

DNI and National Security Council spokespersons declined to comment. Other US officials told Bloomberg Trump opposes escalating war impossible to win.

In his book titled “In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam,” former defense secretary Robert McNamara said “we were wrong, terribly wrong. We owe it to future generations to explain why.”

In 1965, he told Lyndon Johnson “I don’t believe they’re ever going to quit. And I don’t see…that we have any…plan for victory, militarily or diplomatically.”

His view was expressed at the onset of dramatic escalation, another decade before America’s humiliating April 1975 exit from the country – accomplishing nothing but mass slaughter, destruction and devastation, including thousands of US forces killed and maimed, their needs not properly cared for as vets.

John Pilger once called Vietnam “the lost illusion of the American cause,” Afghanistan under three US administrations no different.

How many more years of futile conflict will continue, how many US forces returning home in body bags, how much more devastation to the war-torn country?

Throughout its history, Afghanistan was the graveyard of empires, defeating would-be conquerors, foiling their ambitions, America’s lost war the latest example.

According to Bloomberg, National Security Advisor HR McMaster urged escalating war, saying (US-installed puppet) president Ashraf Ghani’s survival depends on it.

Unless Trump halts things, endless conflict will continue, Taliban fighters one day prevailing.

A humiliating US exit seems virtually certain one day, followed perhaps by another former defense secretary’s book, admitting US strategy was “terribly wrong” – a lesson neocons infesting Washington never learn.


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Fear Strikes AT, not OUT!

Fear Strikes AT, not OUT! | scared | Special Interests US News

Memories come and go, but important ones seem to stay with us for entirety. This writer can recall, so vividly, traumatic events from my early youth. At the age of five, I lived in a working class Brooklyn neighborhood made up of almost all white people. I was walking to the store one morning with my Mom, holding her hand as little boys do.  As we turned the corner of Avenue P she suddenly tightened her grip and pulled me even closer to her. At that moment a man was approaching us… a black man, or as many whites would refer to him in polite terms, a ‘ Colored man’. As he went by us, my Mom then loosened her grip on my hand. No words were spoken between us, but I got the drift of it all. Later on that same year, our family stayed in a ‘ bungalow colony ‘ upstate N.Y. for the summer. Two incidents occurred to form a ‘ syllabus of fear’ for such a young boy. The first incident was when a wasp stung me  on my ear lobe, causing a reaction that gave me convulsions. While this was happening my Mom and her mother screamed in fear that a purple ‘monster like ‘ change was occurring to my face. I thought I was going to die! Thank goodness that there was an MD on the grounds, and he gave me the injection and medicine needed. Finally, but not secondary to the power of fear, a few weeks later I fell off of a tree branch and hit my forehead on a rock. The cut allowed the blood to stream out and I ran looking for my Mom, feeling dizzy and full of fear. When I yelled for her outside of the bungalow where she was visiting with other women, my Mom came running out. Unfortunately for this writer, she never was able to touch me in any way. Instead, she had a hysterical fit while screaming ” He’s going to die! Oh my God he’s going to die!” One of the other ladies pushed her aside and attended to me. Psychiatrists would have a field day with any or all of the aforementioned anecdotes. For years I had this ‘uncertain’ feeling when a  black man would walk towards me in the street. I still have this aversion to the sight of blood, especially my own. For years I shied away from any sighting of a wasp, even becoming a stalwart ‘ wasp killer ‘ when given the opportunity. Fear had turned into hatred.

Continuing on that important aspect of what fear can do to us, a look back at the late 50s and early 60s and the fear of the Russians is interesting. We baby boomers should remember the famous ‘ Duck and Cover ‘ of our elementary school days during that era. The Cold War was getting increasingly paranoid and it showed itself in how America reacted to this ( supposed) ‘ Soviet Communist treat’. Every so often our school would have these ‘ A Bomb drills’ for a better use of the phrase. The alarm bell would ring and our teachers had us get under our desks and cover our heads; or , later on, the entire school would march out and sit along the stone walls in the hallways. Then the alarm bell would sound again and it was over… until the next drill…or until the Russians really did attack. In the early 60s things had gotten so paranoid that a new found invention took hold throughout America: The Fall Out Shelter. These were concrete block shelters in the basements or right alongside a home where people could live until whatever fall-out from an A-Bomb attack by the Russians was over. This was all exacerbated when we had the ‘ Cuban Missile Crisis ‘ in October 1962. In my Brooklyn neighborhood during those thirteen days of fear our churches were filled with people attending ‘ Novenas ‘ to pray for peace. Many of us thought that it was only days before a full scale thermonuclear war. The Russians were hated as was any semblance of Communism. The fear had transcended into out and out hatred for an entire people ( Sound familiar?).

As is always the case, the mainstream media ‘whores itself’ to those in power. During the Cold War or during the convoluted and phony ‘ Iraq WMD crisis’ the mainstream press always danced to the government tune. Careers were made by those who ‘ danced ‘ the best. This writer always brings to mind a guy who was front and center , and believe it or not, he worked for a so called ‘ liberal ‘ news station, MSNBC. Lester Holt was like that ‘ Good German ‘ during the 1930s who reported all the **** the Nazi regime told him to. In this case Holt sat there and gave viewers the empire’s **** about our so called ‘ War with Iraq’. Watching him and his colleagues expressing  almost glee as they reported on our carpet bombing destruction of Iraq and its citizenry sickened this writer’s stomach!  It was a career making time for Holt and many others. For him, now 13 years later, an anchor position on NBC news and of course the moderator for NBC’s 2016 presidential debate. What a journalist! Presently, in addition to the new ‘ Cold War brew ‘ by the empire’s witches and it’s Dump Trump campaign ( for ALL the wrong reasons to want to dump this buffoon) the media has to keep playing the Fear Card as to our latest ‘ War on Terror’, which of course will NEVER end. The fear of the Muslim jihadists , whose population perhaps is in the tens of thousands out of a worldwide Muslim population of ONE Billion, is what drives this right wing engine of empire. Any rational person should surmise that if in fact we NEVER destroyed, invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, and destroyed Libya as well, the crazy ISIL would not even exist at this time!

Fear always translates into anger which can translate into violence. Thus, it can never strike out, only ‘ strike AT!’


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Frugal Prepping: 12 Cheap Ways to Prep Like There’s No Tomorrow

Frugal Prepping: 12 Cheap Ways to Prep Like There’s No Tomorrow | piggy-bank-savings | PreparednessSurvival

With economic times being what they are, it only means that we become more frugal when it comes to prepping. No one wants to be overdrawn in their accounts because they were trying to prepare for emergencies. Frugality is an art form, and if used properly, it can save you lots of money. The key is to know where to find these hidden gems. With a little “out of the box” thinking and some patience, you can acquire prepper items like food, tools, shelter, first aid and weaponry for pennies on the dollar.

Before you begin, keep these tips in mind:

  • Find out what your budget it and set aside an allotment each month for preps.
  • Take inventory of what you already have so that you don’t purchase multiples of items.
  • Have a list of items you need and don’t deviate from the plan!
  • When you are prepping on a budget, be patient and wait for the right opportunity to purchase.
  • Don’t ever panic buy or shop impulsively. This is where you lose money and the key here is to save it.

There are many strategies you can take to save money on your preps, you just have to choose which one is best for you. Here are 12 suggestions you can take to frugally purchase preparedness items.

12 Cheap Ways to Prep Like There’s No Tomorrow

  1. Buy in bulk. A lot of preppers use this frugal shopping strategy so they get more bang for their buck. Discount warehouses are great for this type of purchasing. As well, when you buy in bulk, you will enough of this item for a short-term emergency, so you can cross the item off your prepper list until you need to buy more. The LDS warehouse is another place to get bulk items inexpensively.
  2. Purchase a small item at a time. If your budget is so tight that you only have $5 extra in your account – you can make that work. Take a look at these prepper food items that are $5.
  3. Barter in your community. Your skills and services can carry you far if you allow them to. Consider what abilities and knowledge you possess that can be shared with others and barter them for goods or other services. Here are some great tips on how to barter better.
  4. Go to farmer’s markets and get in contact with local growers. If you work a deal with a vendor at a farmer’s market, you can get lots of food relatively inexpensively. Work a deal such as, get 5 lbs of strawberries to turn into jam and give 4 jars to the vendor. This is a great way to practice self-reliant skills and put food in your pantry. If you are an avid hunter, work a deal and see if someone will preserve the meat. See what I mean?
  5. Thrift stores. Thrift stores are a great way to collect vintage or antique items for a fraction of the cost. Ready Nutrition writer, Ruby Burks found cast iron pots, old cookbooks and kitchen utensils to use in her home. Remember, keep a list of items you are looking for and don’t deviate. This will keep your budget in check.
  6. Look for free stuff. I know this one is a long shot, but there are items you can get for free at garage sales, Craigslist, and even rummaging through items people have thrown out. Freecycle.com is another place to look for items. At this website, people recycle previously owned items and give them away for free.
  7. Go to the Dollar store. Not only can you buy food at the Dollar stores, but tools and medical supplies. This could be an untapped local source of preps for you!
  8. Use coupons. Finding coupons in the Sunday newspaper, magazines, local grocery stores or even online is a great way to start the search for what you need.  Not only can you use coupons to use for short-term and long-term food supplies, but you can find deals for camping equipment or warm clothes, etc.  You can literally save hundreds of dollars using coupons.
  9. Purchase gently used items. Pawn shops, Ebay, military surplus stores, and Craigslist are great places to look for used items. You can save a lot using this method, but take all necessary means to ensure the products are not damaged in any way. As well, if you are meeting someone at their home, practice safety and go with someone else.
  10. Look for deals – When you are shopping and you come across a deal such as 10 canned goods for $5 – get it! This is a great way to save money and stock up your pantry. This cumulative savings strategy can go for any of your prepping needs – medical supplies, dental care, garden seeds, etc. Typically, these type of deals can be found in your local newspaper. Don’t forget that coupons are your best friend in this situation.
  11. Do-It-Yourself – Whether it’s DIY projects or dehydrating your own food, this method can save you a lot of money. For example, instead of spending $4 on waterproof matches, dip them in wax yourself and viola! Or, if you need dehydrated food, buy a dehydrator and do it yourself.
  12. Grow your own food. Having food stashed away for a rainy day is one of the must-have items in your preps. Why not start a garden and grow your own. Any food that comes from our harvest can be dehydrated or canned for long-term use. This instantly saves you money at the grocery store too and is a great way to practice self-reliance.

We are all looking for ways to save money in our prepper ventures and hopefully some of these suggestions can help you. What are frugal strategies you use to save money on your preps?


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