Saturday, March 30, 2013

DMT, Ayahuasca, The Pineal Gland – A Professor Talks Neurotheology


 
 
Quite smartly, science is catching up to the whole spiritual experience.  It can now be safely replicated in the lab without much effort, unlike meditation and its like.

 

The conforming and repetitive nature of such observations suggests that the sensitized brain is accessing a source that is common to all.

 

As I have postulated a human manufactured GOD machine that applies the SOUL through the pineal gland on the 49th day after conception, this information conforms nicely.  We are discovering the organic method.  For new readers, GOD was produced as much as 40,000 years ago and will be reproduced during the next two generation by ourselves.

 

This item puts the whole line of inquiry into perspective and brings us up to date on the real science involved.  The evidence supports my conjecture in terms of an external SOURCE although it is hard to winkle out or fully test.  The best naturals deliver hard data that can only be acquired externally.

 

What is promising here is that the safe usage is fully indicated and will become available in time and place commercially.

 

DMT, Ayahuasca, The Pineal Gland – A Professor Talks Neurotheology


 

March 20, 2013

Clayton Crockett

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/03/20/dmt-ayahuasca-pineal-gland-professor-talks-neurotheology/

Reach Out and Touch Faith


Professor and chemist Steven Barker sits at his desk, surrounded by curious objects — a mortar and pestle, a DNA model, the cylinder of a spectrometer.

Professor Steven Barker is a curious, if strange, man. And he does little to hide it, if he does so at all.

With 28 years of work at the University behind him, this particular afternoon sees Barker smiling comfortably from the worn-in furniture in his office, his open-wide blue eyes betraying an eagerness to explain himself.

There is much explaining to do.

Every surface of his office in the Veterinary Science Building is bespattered by his youthful inquisitiveness with strange and intriguing curios. A large, marble mortar and pestle glows in the windowsill; a dusty three-dimensional model of a DNA molecule rests in the corner; awards and accolades adorn the homey wooden walls, which surround two exceedingly homey sofas; and atop his desk sits a cylinder from an outdated mass spectrometer — an intimidating device whose mystery is only exceeded by its price.

Though it looks like it would shrink one’s family or churn out superheroes with the flip of a switch, it is used to detect chemicals in focused samples, or quadrupoles.

“Pretty fancy stuff,” Barker laughed, and with a price tag that set the University back nearly $400,000 15 years ago, a dash of facetiousness doesn’t hurt.

All of these oddities would be relatively germane in regards to one another if left alone, but the tone of the scene changes with a glance at the man’s wall-spanning bookshelf. The topics addressed here range from molecular biology to philosophy to religious texts to atheism then back to more biology. And these topics couldn’t more fittingly summarize the mind behind Barker’s short, white beard and spectacles.

Along with being the director of the University’s Analytical Systems Lab in the Veterinary Medicine Building, Barker currently holds the position of State Chemist and works with the Louisiana State Racing Commission drug testing racehorses for steroid usage. But he stressed this work merely “pays the bills” and gives him the funds to pursue the motley interests bedecking his voluminous bookshelves.

Barker’s more acute attention is focused on the study of hallucinogenic substances, particularly dimethyltryptamine — commonly referred to as DMT. This substance has slowly crept to popularity over the past few years, partially due to the 2010 documentary “DMT: The Spirit Molecule,” which was hosted by actor and commentator Joe Rogan and featured Barker’s professional opinion.

But merely studying the effects of these substances is not nearly enough for Barker’s voracious curiosity.

“If you’re going to ask questions, you might as well ask the big ones,” he said, in excuse for the fact that the conversation had moved directly from pharmacology — the effects of drugs — to belief in God.

In collaboration with scientists around the world, Barker has been studying the pharmacology of ayahuasca, a type of tea preparation of DMT that has been used by various indigenous religious sects across South America for thousands of years. In these sects, the psychoactive substance is treated as a sacrament and is used solely (and strictly) for religious purposes. This highly common tendency among native populations, as Barker explained, makes sense when considering the so-called “religious experience” DMT is known to produce.

“[These compounds] cause euphoria, tunnels of light, they see fantastic beings — deities, relatives — you can’t explain it. Those phenomena … we know these compounds can do those things.”

Most shockingly, then, is the fact that DMT can be found in trace amounts throughout the human body, Barker said, from urine samples to blood to spinal fluid. And again, the implications therein are too grand for Barker to relax just yet.

“They’ve been around forever,” he said of psychoactive substances, especially in regards to use for religious purposes. “It’s something that’s run throughout history.”

Barker also notes that people around the world have reported these experiences without actively administering the substance, which is to say that even acts such as deep meditation or sensory deprivation can generate religious experiences, seemingly from thin air.

But if DMT is so ubiquitous, what does that say about the similarly described religious experiences perpetually reported from around the world?

“Our understanding of perception is so minimal … Man has interpreted his hallucinatory experiences as being religious. There’s no question that people feel deep emotions when they undergo a religious conversion, [but] there’s a possibility we misinterpreted the entire thing.”

This idea has evolved into a budding field of study — and thought — known as neurotheology, denoting a biological and molecular basis for religious faith.

“Our interpretation of the entire thing evolved into religion,” he said.

DEUS EX CORPUS


Recognizing the Latin phrase “deus ex machina” reveals oneself to either be a fan of drama, video games or Donnie Darko. In classical drama, deus ex machina signifies the turning point in the story when the day is miraculously saved by the whimsical gods of the day and age, and the phrase literally translates to “god from the machine.”

While it has been customary through the ages to blame the unexpected and unexplainable on divine intervention, Barker said he believes these phenomena can be sufficiently accredited to naturally occurring hallucinogens like DMT, which comes not from the gods but from our own bodies.

Neurotheology sets out to scientifically justify “creativity, dream states, near-death experiences” and various forms of hallucinations and religious experiences, and Barker thinks DMT could hold answers.

As a drug, DMT is much like serotonin, another compound naturally created by our bodies. Serotonin is a compound mostly involved with mood — though it is also involved with heart rate and other physiological functions — and elevations of serotonin levels can generate euphoria.

“Phenomena occurring without anyone on the outside being able to confirm it — that’s a hallucination. If a scientist watches a person undergoing a religious experience, well that’s serotonin,” Barker explained.

And these religious experiences and hallucinations engage the same areas of the brain we use for regular perception, Barker continued, which is why people think they’re real.

The search for objective answers to intangible experiences like hallucinations and dream states have intrigued Barker since he was a child. In his hometown of Birmingham, Ala., Barker said the religious faith of his community never quite sated his desire for clear answers.

“I always had trouble as a kid going to Sunday school,” he admitted with a chuckle. “‘Well, where did that come from?’”

He said the quest for more convincing answers began with his tendency toward intense dreams as a child — and dissatisfaction with the explanations he received to account for them.

“Most of the people who have experienced this kind of phenomena have relegated it to a religious experience,” he said. “I wasn’t able to accept it.”

For Barker, faith was never enough, and his desire for objective explanations persists to this day through his work.

“I find all of this far more exciting than just accepting someone’s belief. If you stop asking questions because you think you understand it all, you’ve made a big mistake,” he said. “Faith is not questioning — it intersects this whole field.”

Though certainly not late to this metaphysics party, Barker’s theory is not a new one. In fact, the term “neurotheology” was coined by famed British author and proponent of hallucinogenic substances Aldous Huxley, who used the term in his lesser-known utopian novel Island — the counterpoint to his revered dystopian novel Brave New World. In Island, Huxley uses the term to describe a marriage between human anatomy and a utilitarian approach to transcendent experiences, such as meditation.

At the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Barker said he was even lucky enough to become acquainted with British psychologist Humphrey Osmond, who supplied Huxley with the hallucinogen mescaline, which in turn inspired Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception. Osmond not only coined the term “psychedelic” but also gave rise to the idea of hallucinogens naturally occurring.

“Turned out that it was in …” Barker leaned forward and whispered, “everyone.”

The implications regarding the universality of DMT, perception and religion are massive, but Barker wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Our failure to understand things has led us down some dangerous paths. Understanding some of these things will really help us understand who we are,” he said. “Philosophically, it is a lot to wrap your head around. I’m not against religion, but let’s keep in mind there are thousands.”

Religious men and women around the world share similar religious experiences, Barker said.

“Fine, let’s look at the pharmacology of it,” he said. “Every state of consciousness can be connected to different areas of the brain being activated or deactivated. If we get an understanding of that, we may gain a better understanding of what the brain has to offer.”

There’s little room for glass houses in the world of neurotheology.

MAGIC MEDICINE


“Why do humans produce hallucinogens in their brains?”

Though this question posed by Barker remains unanswered, the number of scientists willing to approach it is slowly growing — and as it does, the taboo fades and more possibilities are realized, especially in medicine.

“Little by little their effectiveness is being realized,” Barker said. “It’s just the passage of time.”

No one seems to have aided this passage more than Rick Strassman, medical doctor and author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule. Between 1990 and 1995, Strassman conducted the first series of psychoactive substance tests on humans in more than twenty years, ending the embargo on such studies and opening countless doors to the future of psychedelic science.

One of the things that came out of our studies was that you could give these drugs safely under medical supervision,” Strassman said. “That was a fundamental finding which I think sometimes escapes notice under the other data we noted.”

Strassman, like Barker, is also searching for that biological key to understanding the transcendental experiences shared by all humans — and he thinks the key to the question above could have been foretold millennia ago.

“I was always interested in the pineal gland as a possible spiritual organ, as it were,” Strassman said. “It’s always been an object of veneration in esoteric physiological systems — the anatomical location of high spiritual centers in Buddhism and Judaism.”

The pineal gland produces melatonin, a derivative of serotonin which affects our sleep and wake cycles, or circadian rhythms. It is no coincidence the pineal gland has also been referred to as the “third eye,” and directly linking this crucial part of the brain to the production of DMT could have huge results for the field.

“It would be icing on the cake,” he said. “We already know that the lungs make DMT — it seems as if the lungs are continuously producing DMT. It also seems the brain requires DMT for normal function.”

Finding DMT synthesis in the pineal gland would inject the hallucinogen into the everyday functions of the brain, and having written about this topic time and again, Strassman maintains that such a connection could finally rationalize and literally materialize the injection of the spiritual experience into the human experience.

“The pineal is quite protected from outside stimulation, generally, and the kinds of situations that overcome pineal protection are states of extraordinary stress,” he explained, listing common religious activities such as fasting and chanting as exemplary instances of great stress.

DMT in the pineal could be the keystone holding the weight of the field of neurotheology, tying a tight knot in the tangled ropes of spirituality and biology.

“It would validate all of these esoteric theologies that have been pointing to the pineal gland as a spiritual gland throughout history,” he said.

But Strassman stresses these findings say little about the existence of God, per sé, but offer more of a proof that spiritual experiences do exist and a reason to explore their anatomy further.

“You’re really not taking God out of the equation at all,” he said. “That’s why it’s called neurotheology and not theoneurology: This is how the spirit is working through the body rather than the other way around.”

While the clinical uses of such controversial substances as DMT, LSD and ecstasy are still being developed and explored, the simple credo of “science for the sake of science,” as Strassman put it, changes and advances the both the scientific and medical fields in the case of these chemicals.

The most important outcome is the removal of these substances from the Schedule 1 classification, thereby allowing them to be freely researched in the proper settings under the proper supervision, he said.

“Understanding the brain and the way the mind works is important,” Strassman reasoned. “I think it is important to apply psychedelic states for the greater good, and the greater good could just be increasing our database.”

 

2500 Yr Old City in Central India




 The Indus valley civilization went into decline around the same time as the global Atlantean palace based trade factory system went into eclipse. This formerly dominant example triggered successor civilization of which we have the Mayan and other successor civilizations. This discovery promises to be one such. It easily takes a few centuries of local development before real building begins.

In addition most evidence is concentrated around the apex of a civilization. Imagine having archeological evidence of Alexander's empire. Then imagine knowing nothing about Greek history. What would you conclude? Most likely it would be all about Egyptian imperialism.
Every apex civilization has a long development prehistory that is terribly local. Getting it right without documentary support is impossible.

More on 2,500-yr-old city found buried in central India




Explorers claim they have evidence of a 2,500-year-old planned city—complete with water reservoirs, roads, seals and coins—buried in Chhattisgarh, a discovery that is being billed as the nation’s biggest archaeological find in at least half a century.

The discoveries were made from Tarighat in Durg district and spanned five acres of a sparsely inhabited region beside a river, according to archaeologists from the state’s department of culture and archaeology.

“As of now, we have four 15ft high mounds around which we have evidence of pottery, coins and some terracotta figures,” said J.R. Bhagat, deputy director in the department. “Once we begin, the entire digging could take at least 5-10 years.”


The 5th and 3rd century BC—to which the Tarighat finds date—points to a period when the region was ruled by the Kushan and Satavahana dynasties in central India. While there have been extensive, previous evidence of urban growth after the first century, such finds are extremely rare for preceding periods.

“These were among the most interesting times in early India,” said Abhijit Dandekar, an archaeologist at the Deccan College, Pune. “It was the end of the period of the 16 mahajanapadas (loosely translated to great kingdoms) when the Mahabharata was supposedly set, and the beginning of the Maurya empire. There’s very little known about urban structures in this period, in regions spanning modern-day Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.”


Dandekar, who is not involved in these finds, added that evidence of towns and urbanization spanning five acres was quite significant in an Indian context, though only excavations and peer review would throw true light on the import of these findings.


He added that the excavations at Ahichhatra, near Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, that began in 1960s were the most recent evidence of large-scale town planning in India for a comparable period and, if the Chattisgarh findings were as extensive, then it would be a significant find.


“In an Indian context, an excavation has rarely been disappointing,” said Dandekar. “If you believed there’s a city, it usually turns out to be one and bigger than what you first expected.”


To be sure, Bhagat clarified that the finds still haven’t been dated using methods such as radiocarbon or thermoluminescence dating—modern, established techniques that measure the amount of carbon or the relative proportions of other elements from which exact ages of materials are deduced—but he added that the texture of the pots, the typical pattern of raised mounds etc all pointed to evidence of an urban agglomeration.


“The kind of pottery called the Red and Black Northern Pottery, the coins, etc., at the surface of the site itself show very visible signs of complex urbanization.”


Arun Raj, a Chhattisgarh-based archaeologist with the Archaeological Survey of India, characterized Chhattisgarh as being an untapped “gold mine” for archaeology.


“We’ve just given them permission for this dig, and I think it will be some time before we understand how important this is,” Raj said. “But this region, which has been relatively unexplored due to Naxalite conflict, could throw up several such finds.”


He added that one strand of Indian archaeological research sought to find common threads urban lifestyle patterns of the Indus Valley civilization that declined around 1300 BC, to urban formations in central India. “This may possibly falsify or add more credibility to such theories,” he said.

Author: Jacob P. Koshy 

Probiotics Improve Bone Density




I have already shared the arclein diet as an excellent technique to timed dormancy of the small intestine. This allows us to now think in terms of establishing a regime for what we eat that is not too random or misguided.

The item strongly indicates the chronic use of a quality yogurt with the main meal.

An excellent diet is also indicted, but I do not wish to attempt an arbitrary design. They all need to be somewhat personalized. However, yogurt will clearly cover a number of omissions. That is something to take full advantage of.

Probiotics are not only powerful gut-healers - they improve bone density, study shows

Thursday, March 07, 2013 by: PF Louis


(NaturalNews) A doctor of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) once told this author that "disease begins in the gut." Ayurvedic medicine also has a similar premise. Bad or sub-optimal digestion leads to all sorts of disease. That includes disease beyond the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.


Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and others in Western medicine have taken this premise beyond physical ailments into the mind-body relationship with GAPS, or Gut and Psychology Syndrome, by treating mental disorders from ADD to Autism.


Their success has come from altering the diet to allow the gut to heal and good bacteria in the intestinal flora to thrive.



So there's more to the good bacteria in the gut than most think. Even more than digestion, as important as that is. These supportive bacteria in the gut also signal different parts of the immune system in other areas of the body. It's estimated that up to 80 percent of the immune system is involved with the gut's good bacteria.


The word probiotic means pro-life. These friendly, life-supporting critters are killed off by antibiotics. They're absent in dead foods that comprise the standard American diet (SAD), and are genetically disturbed by GMO transfer genes and viruses.
(http://www.naturalnews.com/031825_GMOs_threat.html)

Yes, GMOs destroy the immune system through the gut and more. And when is the last time you were advised to take probiotic supplements when you were prescribed an antibiotic? That's just not part of the medical monopoly's protocol, despite ongoing research that keeps finding different important aspects of probiotic bacteria.

Mainstream research into probiotic benefits

The study "Probiotic use decreases intestinal inflammation and increases bone density in healthy male but not female mice" was recorded in the Journal of Cellular Physiology late January 2013.

The University of Michigan State researchers fed mice Lactobacillus reuteri for a period of four weeks. Lacobacillus reuteri has been determined from other research to be effective at reducing gut inflammation and effective for treating inflammatory bowel disease.


The fact that inflammation in the gut has been associated with osteoporosis led the researchers to explore what improves gut inflammation as a possible application for bone disease.


The researchers discovered that male mice had improved bone density after ingesting Lacobacillus reuteri, but oddly; female mice did not demonstrate improved bone density. The tacit implication is females may need a variation of the probiotic used.


More research was called upon after discovering this link of probiotics and bone density to determine which probiotics would be the most appropriate for each person to prescribe as a medication for osteoporosis.


Other studies have discovered the importance of probiotics for improving health in different areas.


For example, in 2011 The Cochrane Library reviewed several studies and determined that probiotics such as lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria could help resist or resolve upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) from colds, flus, and even pneumonia.


Several studies have confirmed the efficacy of probiotics for prolonged infectious diarrhea among children and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).


Obviously, the left hand doesn't know what the right hand does as more and more dead food, GMOs, and antibiotics are pushed by the food and medical industry.


You would be wise to stay away from the dead and genetically engineered foods and avoid synthetic antibiotics. At least dose heavily with probiotic supplements if forced into antibiotics.

Some natural antibiotics aren't so selective with what mini-critters they kill too. You may need probiotic supplements more than once in a while.


But for probiotic maintenance, search for raw dairy, create fermented foods, and consume prebiotic superfoods that encourage probiotic bacteria to flourish.


We all need to get by with a lot of help from our little friends.


Sources for this article include:


Graphene Desalination





 This looks to be a good try although I am not terribly optimistic. Free salt ions will coagulate and easily block up the filter. The trick we were attempting to commercialize in 2000 was to induce that effect in a tank and use gravity to induce full separation. It means putting a small amount of energy back into the system and was proven possible in a tube.

It may actually work to have two closely spaced filters oppositely charged so that the salt is pushed away. Water will still find its way through to the oppositely charged filter.

Of way more importance is that it is becoming technically possible to produce a nice large sheet of graphene. This opens up the whole spectrum of application.

Hopefully when we establish full tooth restoration, it will include a surface layer of graphene to make it impervious to stress.

Using Graphene, Lockheed Martin Wants To Turn Salt Water Into Drinking Water

A new Lockheed Martin project promises to cheaply and easily turn seawater into drinking water.

By Kelsey D. AthertonPosted 03.18.2013



It's surprisingly hard to find safe drinking water on Earth--this on a planet covered in water. A new project by Lockheed Martin hopes to change that, and do it cheaply. Using a graphene filter, Lockheed hopes to transform salt water into drinking water by the end of the year.

The timing couldn't be better. Ending water scarcity is one of the United Nations's millenium development goals. But it is a daunting task: while there’s enough freshwater for everyone on earth, it isn’t very evenly distributed, and untangling that distribution is a Herculean feat. For the44 percent of the world’s population that lives within a hundred miles of coasts, technology that can convert salt water into fresh water is an important alternative.

Desalination--that process of removing salt from water to make it drinkable--has been used forthousands of years. One problem: Removing salt from seawater is less efficient than starting from freshwater, and significantly more expensive. When a country relies on desalination to get most of its water, it’s usually because it has a tremendous amount of oil money and no other good options. Costs are coming down, but gradually, and major desalination attempts remain prohibitively costly for much of the world. One of the grander attempts in recent history is theBeijiang Power and Desalination Plant, which has a price tag of $4.1 billion.

Ancient methods of desalination involved crude filters and capturing steam from boiling water, a practice which today has been improved on an industrial scale. But, again, the energy costs are enormous--it's one thing for ancient sailors to boil water on a ship at sea to get them through the day, it's another thing entirely to provide for the daily water needs of hundreds of thousands of city-dwelling people. Some desalination plants still start by boiling saltwater in a large chamber. Once that steam has lifted away from the salt, it is cooled at the top of the chamber and condenses, draining out into tanks for further filtration. Energy is required to both boil and cool the same water, making the whole process pretty inefficient. An alternative and more popular method for large-scale operations is reverse osmosis. In reverse osmosis, water is sent through filter after filter after filter at high pressure, hoping to remove more and more salt each time. Getting water through these filters is the most energy-intensive part of the process, and the thinner the filter, the less pressure you need.

Lockheed’s proposed desalination project filters through graphene, a material already touted as a modern marvel. A thousand times stronger than steel, it's also just one atom thick. Last July, Popular Science covered its potential use in water filtration. Passing seawater over tiny pores, just one nanometer wide, the filter will let water molecules through, while blocking out the atoms that make salt. These filters are a much less energy-intensive option, and much better at filtration. Lockheed expects to have a prototype filter available by the end of 2013.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Novel Brain Wave Model


I was always uncomfortable with our model of brain activity as it was obviously tentative.  This is a way more compelling model and far more useful.  We now have a research mission.  Just what does change as the waves pass through the brain itself?  How does it compare between individuals?

 

In the meantime, put aside all you thought you knew and read this item.

 

Just as clearly, polishing this model opens the door for better diagnosis of brain disease protocols.  We will be able to isolate and describe flaws and develop work around therapies which is already happening but without a precise working model.

 

 

'Brain waves' challenge area-specific view of brain activity


by Staff Writers


Leuven, Belgium (SPX) Mar 22, 2013

 


 

 

Our understanding of brain activity has traditionally been linked to brain areas - when we speak, the speech area of the brain is active. New research by an international team of psychologists led by David Alexander and Cees van Leeuwen (Laboratory for Perceptual Dynamics) shows that this view may be overly rigid.

 

The entire cortex, not just the area responsible for a certain function, is activated when a given task is initiated. Furthermore, activity occurs in a pattern: waves of activity roll from one side of the brain to the other. [ This suggests a timing function is at work and that this movement can be measured.  It is very suggestive and this speed may well be directly related to mental potential - arclein ]

 

The brain can be studied on various scales, researcher David Alexander explains: "You have the neurons, the circuits between the neurons, the Brodmann areas - brain areas that correspond to a certain function - and the entire cortex.

 

Traditionally, scientists looked at local activity when studying brain activity, for example, activity in the Brodmann areas. To do this, you take EEG's (electroencephalograms) to measure the brain's electrical activity while a subject performs a task and then you try to trace that activity back to one or more brain areas."

 

Activity waves


In this study, the psychologists explore uncharted territory: "We are examining the activity in the cerebral cortex as a whole. The brain is a non-stop, always-active system. When we perceive something, the information does not end up in a specific part of our brain. Rather, it is added to the brain's existing activity.

 

"If we measure the electrochemical activity of the whole cortex, we find wave-like patterns. This shows that brain activity is not local but rather that activity constantly moves from one part of the brain to another. The local activity in the Brodmann areas only appears when you average over many such waves."

 

Each activity wave in the cerebral cortex is unique. "When someone repeats the same action, such as drumming their fingers, the motor centre in the brain is stimulated. But with each individual action, you still get a different wave across the cortex as a whole. Perhaps the person was more engaged in the action the first time than he was the second time, or perhaps he had something else on his mind or had a different intention for the action.

 

"The direction of the waves is also meaningful. It is already clear, for example, that activity waves related to orienting move differently in children - more prominently from back to front - than in adults. With further research, we hope to unravel what these different wave trajectories mean."

 

The full text of the study "Traveling waves and trial averaging: the nature 

 

Cyprus Can Learn From Iceland





Iceland happens to be a complete validation of my advice in late 2008. It is now well on the way to a complete recovery.

One other important tip. The top echelon of a bank can be removed simply because their second tier is completely able to do the same job. Special trade knowledge really does not exist at the top end. What does exist is immature judgment and greed. Both are best corrected by a glowing example burned into your memory.

As I suggested, I would have arrested every signatory to a failed bond above a certain credit rating level for outright treason to the USA and prosecuted them all in Texas. Putting them all on death row for the length of time it takes to properly correct and restructure the system is likely wise. Their money will get them out sooner or later, but that can be long after the next election or two.

I am sorry folks. I worked in the industry and understand just what happens. It is run by the best salesmen which is why you keep banking separate from broking and investment banking. Banking is run by the best lenders or must be to avoid the nonsense that overcame the industry. A triple A failure must have a cost to the underwriters at the career level.

So I am not speaking from mere distaste or wanting to blame someone. This was an inevitable structural failure brought on directly by the last acts of the Clinton Presidency. The same problem exists in Europe for other reasons and that is also sorting out the hard way.



Cyprus...What You Can Learn From Iceland

Thursday, 21 March 2013 15:18By The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Show



As the Eurozone financial crisis continues to plague the island nation of Cyprus, its citizens are receiving a crash course in how an out-of-control banking industry and its corrupt banksters can bring an entire economy to its knees.

The Cypriot economy has ground to a halt, thanks to massive losses that its oversized banking sector sustained from investments in Greece and a deep recession.

Banks in Cyprus have been shut all week, and are not due to reopen until next Tuesday at the earliest, to try to prevent a run on the banks.

When all is said and done, and if the Cypriot economy ever recovers from this financial collapse, Cypriots will hopefully have a new-found awareness of the banks, and implement better oversight and regulation over their financial industry.

That’s exactly what they did in Iceland, and its working wonders for the small island nation.

In 2008, when the global financial crisis began taking down economies one by one, Iceland was hit incredibly hard.

All three of the country’s major privately owned banks collapsed, and Iceland’s stock exchange, the OMX Iceland 15, plummeted. Pension funds were slashed, and businesses were wiped out.

Iceland could have responded to that financial crisis the same way that the United States did, and come up with a massive bailout package to save the banks, and let their crimes go unpunished.

Or, Iceland could arrest the banksters that brought down the economy, bail out those most affected by the collapse – the average Icelanders themselves – and begin to rebuild the financial industry. [ this was precisely my advice in 2008 for the USA - arclein]

Iceland chose the latter. Jail the bums.

In December of 2008, the Icelandic parliament passed a bill establishing an Office of the Special Prosecutor.

The job of this new office was to investigate suspected criminal conduct leading up to, in connection with, or in the wake of the banking crisis, and to follow up these investigations by bringing criminal charges against those responsible for the crisis.

Since the Office of the Special Prosecutor was created, Iceland has been rounding up their banksters one after another.

In March of 2011, Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz were arrested in London, as part of the Special Prosecutor’s Office investigation into the collapse of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing.

In December of last year, a Reykjavik court sentenced two of the top executives at Icelandic bank Glitnir to jail time.

And just yesterday, nine more banksters from the Iceland bank Kaupthing were indicted and charged for their roles in orchestrating five large-scale market manipulation conspiracies.

These are only a few of the arrests that have been made, as Iceland cleans up its banking industry, and holds its own corrupt banksters accountable for their actions in the 2008 financial collapse.

Meanwhile, here in the United States, the Wall Street banksters that brought our economy to its knees are still sitting pretty in their corner offices or retired with hundreds of millions of dollars of your money.

Just look at Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan.

In a recent report on JPMorgan’s monumental multi-billion dollar trading loss, Dimon is alleged to have criminally withheld from regulators key details about the bank’s daily losses.

And numerous other reports have suggested that Dimon may have been complicit in JPMorganChase engaging in additional criminal and/or unethical activity.

But Dimon and the rest of his fat-cat buddies are doing just fine today, continuing to rake in multi-million dollar bonuses or golden-parachute retirements.

And Dimon’s actions pale in comparison to executives at the HSBC bank, who recently admitted in court to allowing Mexican and Colombian drug cartels to launder nearly $900 million through their bank. If you'd done that, you'd be in jail for the rest of your life, but these are rich white banksters who give millions to politicians and political parties.

Executives of the banks also admitted to using various schemes to move around hundreds of millions of dollars to nations subject to trade sanction, including Iran, Cuba and Sudan. And, reports suggest that some of this money made its way into the hands of terrorist organizations. If you'd done that, you might be in Guantanamo. But, then again, you're not a bankster.

Despite these egregious criminal actions, the United States has yet to jail a single HSBC bankster.

So, what’s the bottom line to all of this?

Eventually, when Cyprus’ economy recovers, the Cypriot government will have a choice to make.

They can choose to let their banksters go free, and risk another financial meltdown like we in the United States have chosen to do. Or they can take the Icelandic approach, crack down on corruption in their financial industry, and prosecute and jail those responsible for causing and worsening the collapse.

At the start of the 2008 worldwide economic collapse, Iceland was in worse shape financially than just about every country in the world.

Today, Iceland is home to one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

They got from there to here by throwing their banksters in jail.

Hopefully Cyprus will take a page out of the Icelandic playbook, and lock-up the banksters.

And America should do the same thing, too!

Think Then Walk Hardware Here







More welcome news on this front. We can all see the future and it is now obvious that we are likely closer than we think. When it gets down to training, technical refinement begins to add to already prepared capability and real progress speeds up.

It is also obvious that we can already build hardware to empower all forms of such physical injury. That is great news.

This whole sector can expect to be a 'solved problem during the next two decades and will largely include mostly full regeneration. While this is happening artificial hardware is welcome.

Military applications also come to mind.

Paralyzed Patient Thinks 'Walk,' and Then Walks

MAR 8, 2013 03:16 PM ET // BY JESSE EMSPAK


Thousands of people every year suffer spinal cord injuries and lose their ability to walk. An brain-controlled exoskeleton that moves a patient’s legs could be one way to get some patients out of wheelchairs.

A multinational consortium led by Belgian company Space Applications Services has designed the Mindwalker, which is a frame — the exoskeleton — that attaches to the torso and legs and moves them as the wearer thinks about it.

NEWS: Steer a Ship with Your Brain

Unlike a bionic limb, the exoskeleton doesn’t need to be linked with electrodes inside the body. Instead, it uses a simple cap that reads electrical signals from the brain. When the wearer thinks of moving, a certain pattern appears, which is interpreted by a computer as a signal to move.

The Mindwalker design uses a “dry” cap, which doesn’t need special gels to boost electrical conductivity, so it is much more convenient to use than “wet” caps often used to study brain activity.

This concept is a bit different from the Ekso system, which works by registering shifts in weight, or the powered exoskeletons built for military use such as the Human Universal Load Carrier, which assist movement in people who have full use of their limbs. And unlike bionic limb designs, the Mindwalker bypasses the spinal cord and nerves — there’s no need for attaching electrodes inside the body.

One challenge has been getting clean signals from the brain and using them to refine the gait of the device. Most walking robots are designed with a gait that doesn’t bear much resemblance to a human. And typically, robotic legs aren’t good at re-balancing if pushed.

Mindwalker’s software allows it to cope with that, somewhat, but Michel Ilzkovitz, systems and ground segment engineering Manager at Space Applicatons, told Discovery News that although able-bodied people can balance, people with spinal cord injuries will still need a set of crutches.

NEWS: Touchy-Feely Bionic Hand Closer to Reality

It’s also built to be lighter, and thus easier to move. It’s still heavy, at 70 pounds, but that’s a lot lighter than many early designs.

It also requires training. The cap is looking for a certain set of signals, but they are hard to pick up amid the noise, and they differ slightly between people. Mindwalker wearers must learn how to make their brains give a “clean” signal, so they need to practice using it in a virtual-reality setting.

The Mindwalker has been tested with able-bodied users, and through May of this year volunteers with spinal cord injuries will try it out.

Excessive Sitting is Contraindicated






The huge take home here is that exercising does not counter the negative effects of a sit down job.  What does though is a stand up desk.

The obvious answer is a hydraulic lift or its equivalent for every work station desk.  It has to be comfortable you use your key board while standing and an adjustable desk makes that possible.

Even easier, tilt your flat screen back about twenty degrees and get an eight inch base to set your keyboard on.  In that manner, you can easily rotate between standing and sitting.

That is even easier to work with as either position becomes distracting on its own.  Just having the option is place will be helpful.

Twenty degrees does not take away from the sitting position either so you are not constantly readjusting.

More evidence suggests that desk jobs and excessive sitting are deadly

Sunday, March 17, 2013 by: Jonathan Benson,


NaturalNews) Sitting for long periods of time, as untold millions of people around the world do every single day, can greatly increase your risk of disease and death. New research published in the journal Diabetologica has once again confirmed that excess sitting can significantly increase a person's risk of developing cancer, blood clots in the brain, and heart disease, which further makes the case that exercising and even just standing up more can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Building upon previous research into the health effects of sitting, researchers from Leicester University in the U.K. evaluated the sitting habits of two groups of men and women, some of whom sat for as little as a few hours a day, and some of whom sat for as many as 16 hours a day. They then evaluated the long-term health conditions of these groups to look for variances based on their respective number of sitting hours.

Upon observation, it was determined that the longer a person sits each day, the more likely he or she is to develop markers of metabolic syndrome, which include high levels of both glucose and fatty acids in the bloodstream. As it turns out, an individual's metabolic rate, which represents the amount of energy expended while at rest, also plummets while sitting, which in the absence of proper exercise can lead to being overweight or obese.

"The longer the time you spend sitting, the higher the amount of sugars and fats that accumulate in your bloodstream regardless of the time you spend exercising," explains Dr. Joseph Henson, a diabetes researcher from Leicester. "There's a significant difference between people who sit a lot and those who don't. Those who spend the least time sitting have the lowest values of glucose and fats in their blood."

Oddly enough, moderate or rigorous exercise is not necessarily the only way to remedy the problem of excess sitting. Simply standing up more helps activate enzymes in the muscles responsible for breaking down the residual fats and sugars in the bloodstream that can lead to diabetes and other conditions. According to the data, standing up for an additional three hours a day can result in the shedding of nearly eight pounds of excess weight over the course of a year.

"The approach requires a paradigm shift, so that individuals at high risk of developing Type II diabetes think about the balance of sedentary behavior and physical activity throughout the days," adds Dr. Henson, as quoted by New Zealand's IOL.co.za.

Standing desks are a great initiative -- I've got one myself. I reckon I spend about 80 percent of my time at work standing up."

Sources for this article include:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Deposit Confiscation




Fundamentally, the state owes an obligation to the first standard deviation of all depositors by size to preserve their deposits and matching assets in full.  This is done through prudent banking.  Outside that magic pool that preserves every household, the banks can accept large deposits and take large risks and they can all go bust or make great profits.  That is called investment banking.

Deposit insurance was never meant to backstop any form of speculation.  That the losers have worked assiduously to lay off their mistakes is certainly no surprise and will not end until the government simply becomes predatory.  Rather simple to do.  Yes I will give you a billion dollar line of credit but extract a half billion reward in your shares.  This naturally makes the government the financier of true last resort.

In Canada’s case I would extract industry level equity compensation in equity shares which I would then transfer directly into the Canada Pension Plan.  This has the advantage of transferring management to professionals and creates a true moral hazard for the gamers.  Done this way every transaction has a possible profit for the pension fund and generates political cover and even reward.

Obviously the USA needs to do something similar.

The Cyprus Bank Battle: The Long-planned Deposit Confiscation Scheme


By Ellen Brown

Global Research, March 22, 2013



“If these worries become really serious, . . . [s]mall savers will take their money out of banks and resort to household safes and a shotgun.” — Martin Hutchinson on the attempted EU raid on private deposits in Cyprus banks

The deposit confiscation scheme has long been in the making.  US depositors could be next …

On Tuesday, March 19, the national legislature of Cyprus overwhelmingly rejected a proposed levy on bank deposits as a condition for a European bailout. Reuters called it “a stunning setback for the 17-nation currency bloc,” but it was a stunning victory for democracy. As Reuters quoted one 65-year-old pensioner, “The voice of the people was heard.”

The EU had warned that it would withhold €10 billion in bailout loans, and the European Central Bank (ECB) had threatened to end emergency lending assistance for distressed Cypriot banks, unless depositors – including small savers – shared the cost of the rescue. In the deal rejected by the legislature, a one-time levy on depositors would be required in return for a bailout of the banking system. Deposits below €100,000 would be subject to a 6.75% levy or “haircut”, while those over €100,000 would have been subject to a 9.99% “fine.”

The move was bold, but the battle isn’t over yet.  The EU has now given Cyprus until Monday to raise the billions of euros it needs to clinch an international bailout or face the threatened collapse of its financial system and likely exit from the euro currency zone.

The Long-planned Confiscation Scheme

The deal pushed by the “troika” – the EU, ECB and IMF – has been characterized as a one-off event devised as an emergency measure in this one extreme case. But the confiscation plan has long been in the making, and it isn’t limited to Cyprus.

In a September 2011 article in the Bulletin of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand titled “A Primer on Open Bank Resolution,” Kevin Hoskin and Ian Woolford discussed a very similar haircut plan that had been in the works, they said, since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.  The article referenced recommendations made in 2010 and 2011 by the Basel Committee of the Bank for International Settlements, the “central bankers’ central bank” in Switzerland.

The purpose of the plan, called the Open Bank Resolution (OBR) , is to deal with bank failures when they have become so expensive that governments are no longer willing to bail out the lenders. The authors wrote that the primary objectives of OBR are to:

·ensure that, as far as possible, any losses are ultimately borne by the bank’s shareholders and creditors . . . .

The spectrum of “creditors” is defined to include depositors:

At one end of the spectrum, there are large international financial institutions that invest in debt issued by the bank (commonly referred to as wholesale funding). At the other end of the spectrum, are customers with cheque and savings accounts and term deposits.

Most people would be surprised to learn that they are legally considered “creditors” of their banks rather than customers who have trusted the bank with their money for safekeeping, but that seems to be the case. According to Wikipedia:

In most legal systems, . . . the funds deposited are no longer the property of the customer. The funds become the property of the bank, and the customer in turn receives an asset called a deposit account (a checking or savings account). That deposit account is a liability of the bank on the bank’s books and on its balance sheet.  Because the bank is authorized by law to make loans up to a multiple of its reserves, the bank’s reserves on hand to satisfy payment of deposit liabilities amounts to only a fraction of the total which the bank is obligated to pay in satisfaction of its demand deposits.

The bank gets the money. The depositor becomes only a creditor with an IOU. The bank is not required to keep the deposits available for withdrawal but can lend them out, keeping only a “fraction” on reserve, following accepted fractional reserve banking principles. When too many creditors come for their money at once, the result can be a run on the banks and bank failure.

The New Zealand OBR said the creditors had all enjoyed a return on their investments and had freely accepted the risk, but most people would be surprised to learn that too. What return do you get from a bank on a deposit account these days? And isn’t your deposit protected against risk by FDIC deposit insurance?

Not anymore, apparently. As Martin Hutchinson observed in Money Morning, “if governments can just seize deposits by means of a ‘tax’ then deposit insurance is worth absolutely zippo.”

The Real Profiteers Get Off Scot-Free

Felix Salmon wrote in Reuters of the Cyprus confiscation:

Meanwhile, people who deserve to lose money here, won’t. If you lent money to Cyprus’s banks by buying their debt rather than by depositing money, you will suffer no losses at all. And if you lent money to the insolvent Cypriot government, then you too will be paid off at 100 cents on the euro. . . .
The big winner here is the ECB, which has extended a lot of credit to dubiously-solvent Cypriot banks and which is taking no losses at all.

It is the ECB that can most afford to take the hit, because it has the power to print euros. It could simply create the money to bail out the Cyprus banks and take no loss at all. But imposing austerity on the people is apparently part of the plan. Salmon writes:

From a drily technocratic perspective, this move can be seen as simply being part of a standard Euro-austerity program: the EU wants tax hikes and spending cuts, and this is a kind of tax . . . .

The big losers are working-class Cypriots, whose elected government has proved powerless . . . . The Eurozone has always had a democratic deficit: monetary union was imposed by the elite on unthankful and unwilling citizens. Now the citizens are revolting: just look at Beppe Grillo.

But that was before the Cyprus government stood up for the depositors and refused to go along with the plan, in what will be a stunning victory for democracy if they can hold their ground.

It CAN Happen Here

Cyprus is a small island, of little apparent significance. But one day, the bold move of its legislators may be compared to the Battle of Marathon, the pivotal moment in European history when their Greek forebears fended off the Persians, allowing classical Greek civilization to flourish.  The current battle on this tiny island has taken on global significance.  If the technocrat bankers can push through their confiscation scheme there, precedent will be established for doing it elsewhere when bank bailouts become prohibitive for governments.

That situation could be looming even now in the United States.  As Gretchen Morgenson warned in a recent article on the 307-page Senate report detailing last year’s $6.2 billion trading fiasco at JPMorganChase: “Be afraid.”  The report resoundingly disproves the premise that the Dodd-Frank legislation has made our system safe from the reckless banking activities that brought the economy to its knees in 2008. Writes Morgenson:

JPMorgan . . . Is the largest derivatives dealer in the world. Trillions of dollars in such instruments sit on its and other big banks’ balance sheets. The ease with which the bank hid losses and fiddled with valuations should be a major concern to investors.

Pam Martens observed in a March 18th article that JPMorgan was gambling in the stock market with depositor funds. She writes, “trading stocks with customers’ savings deposits – that truly has the ring of the excesses of 1929 . . . .”

The large institutional banks not only could fail; they are likely to fail.  When the derivative scheme collapses and the US government refuses a bailout, JPMorgan could be giving its depositors’ accounts sizeable “haircuts” along guidelines established by the BIS and Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Time for Some Public Sector Banks?

The bold moves of the Cypriots and such firebrand political activists as Italy’s Grillo are not the only bulwarks against bankster confiscation. While the credit crisis is strangling the Western banking system, the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – have sailed through largely unscathed. According to a May 2010 article in The Economist, what has allowed them to escape are their strong and stable publicly-owned banks.

Professor Kurt von Mettenheim of the Sao Paulo Business School of Brazil writes, “The credit policies of BRIC government banks help explain why these countries experienced shorter and milder economic downturns during 2007-2008.” Government banks countered the effects of the financial crisis by providing counter-cyclical credit and greater client confidence.

Russia is an Eastern European country that weathered the credit crisis although being very close to the Eurozone. According to a March 2010 article in Forbes:

As in other countries, the [2008] crisis prompted the state to take on a greater role in the banking system.  State-owned systemic banks . . . have been used to carry out anticrisis measures, such as driving growth in lending (however limited) and supporting private institutions.

In the 1998 Asian crisis, many Russians who had put all their savings in private banks lost everything; and the credit crisis of 2008 has reinforced their distrust of private banks.  Russian businesses as well as individuals have turned to their government-owned banks as the more trustworthy alternative. As a result, state-owned banks are expected to continue dominating the Russian banking industry for the foreseeable future.

The entire Eurozone conundrum is unnecessary. It is the result of too little money in a system in which the money supply is fixed, and the Eurozone governments and their central banks cannot issue their own currencies. There are insufficient euros to pay principal plus interest in a pyramid scheme in which only the principal is injected by the banks that create money as “bank credit” on their books. A central bank with the power to issue money could remedy that systemic flaw, by injecting the liquidity needed to jumpstart the economy and turn back the tide of austerity choking the people.

The push to confiscate the savings of hard-working Cypriot citizens is a shot across the bow for every working person in the world, a wake-up call to the perils of a system in which tiny cadres of elites call the shots and the rest of us pay the price. When we finally pull back the veils of power to expose the men pulling the levers in an age-old game they devised, we will see that prosperity is indeed possible for all.

For more on the public bank solution and for details of the June 2013 Public Banking Institute conference in San Rafael, California, see here.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, chairman of the Public Banking Institute, and the author of eleven books, including Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System and How We Can Break Free. Her websites are webofdebt.com and ellenbrown.com.
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