We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
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.
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.
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.
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
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sits a cylinder from an outdated mass spectrometer — an intimidating device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.
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.
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.
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.
studying the effects of these substances is not nearly enough for Barker’s
“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.
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.
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.”
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.
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?
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.
of the entire thing evolved into religion,” he said.
DEUS EX CORPUS
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
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.
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.
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
“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.”
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
“Turned out that
it was in …” Barker leaned forward and whispered, “everyone.”
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.”
room for glass houses in the world of neurotheology.
“Why do humans
produce hallucinogens in their brains?”
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
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.”
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.”
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
“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.
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.
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.”
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
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
Every apex civilization has a long development prehistory that is
terribly local. Getting it right without documentary support is
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.
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
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.
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
Arun Raj, a
Chhattisgarh-based archaeologist with the Archaeological Survey of
India, characterized Chhattisgarh as being an untapped “gold mine”
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.
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
(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)
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.
has come from altering the diet to allow the gut to heal and good
bacteria in the intestinal flora to thrive.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
have discovered the importance of probiotics for improving health in
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.
studies have confirmed the efficacy of probiotics for prolonged
infectious diarrhea among children and irritable bowel syndrome
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
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.
antibiotics aren't so selective with what mini-critters they kill
too. You may need probiotic supplements more than once in a while.
probiotic maintenance, search for raw dairy, create fermented foods,
and consume prebiotic superfoods that encourage probiotic bacteria to
We all need to get
by with a lot of help from our little friends.
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.
Lockheed Martin Wants To Turn Salt Water Into Drinking Water
A new Lockheed Martin
project promises to cheaply and easily turn seawater into drinking
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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."
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
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.
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
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
what they did in Iceland, and its working wonders for the small
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
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
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
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
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.
egregious criminal actions, the United States has yet to jail a
single HSBC bankster.
So, what’s the
bottom line to all of this?
Cyprus’ economy recovers, the Cypriot government will have a choice
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
The Mindwalker has
been tested with able-bodied users, and through May of this year
volunteers with spinal cord injuries will try it out.
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."
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
The Cyprus Bank Battle: The
Long-planned Deposit Confiscation Scheme
“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
The Long-planned Confiscation
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:
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
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
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
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
 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
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.