Saturday, July 14, 2018

Conscious Connection – Bridging Species Through Love

A reminder here regarding a remarkable testament in which a man established mind to mind rapport with the elephant matriarch.  We read the book a couple of years ago and it was excellent and shows us our real future and the real future of elephants as one of our partners in this world.

The life span of an elephant and this work strongly suggests that elephant spirits can easily transfer to the human form as well.  Our progress is close enough.

What i have come to understand is that love is properly learned and is separate from instinctual attraction.  Somehow two individuals must create a shared space tied together with communication.  It is often also tied down by instinctual attraction but that is also not necessary.

We must consciously set out to love mankind and strangers and this is really tested when we have an instinctual rejection instead.  That was the true contribution of Jesus two thousand years ago and why it is so wrong to tolerate applying it only to a group as that then promotes hate.

I do think mankind can be taught rationally to correctly manage and apply love to deal with instincts of attraction and rejection but it has to be spelled out..

Conscious Connection – Bridging Species Through Love

By Michael J. Roads

Guest writer for Wake Up World

Some time ago I had a book recommended to me, The Elephant Whisperer:  My Life with the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony. And as the author quickly states, the whisperer is the elephant! It is a very well written and truly inspiring book. Why I am mentioning this is that the book is actually about consciousness … although the (now sadly deceased) author might not have realised this at the time of writing.

Obviously enough, it is the true story of the relationship between a dominant female African elephant and the author himself. Just briefly, a small, displaced herd of elephants had become very aggressive and dangerous to the local native villagers, and the herd was to be shot. Lawrence, who was blessed to own 5,000 acres of game reserve called Thula Thula, set in pristine bush in Zululand, South Africa, is told about this and asked if he can take the whole herd to save their lives. Although this represents a multitude of staggering problems for him, Lawrence instantly agrees.

In the way of wildlife – without their human insight into the ways of man – there is no instant understanding of the great generosity of spirit that Lawrence extends to the herd, and the dominant female does her best to kill him. After the traumatic and very difficult move, the herd begins their introduction to the new game reserve in a comparatively small area that is fenced in with an electrified fence. This is entirely necessary. In much of his spare time, Lawrence stands on the safe side of the fence and talks to the matriarch of the herd. She responds by regularly charging him, only just stopping in time to avoid the fence. He tells her he understands her anger, and how beautiful she is. Clearly, he loves her.

This goes on for month after month with little change. Gradually however, she becomes less aggressive toward him. Nobody else goes anywhere near her, or the herd, as Lawrence forbids it. They are far too dangerous. Very slowly, with his infinite patience, a relationship develops between him and the herd matriarch. I will say no more about this as you may wish to read the book, which I highly recommend. From my perspective, the consciousness of Lawrence and the elephant became deeply connected. So much so that she saved his life on a few occasions when one of the other elephants attempted to kill him. Remember, these are not zoo animals; these are completely wild, able to kill a human in mere seconds. Having previously had two elephants in the herd shot, they associate humans with pain, terror, turmoil and fear. Nevertheless, when they reached the stage that the herd was settled enough to leave the electrified area and be let loose in the huge reserve, Lawrence would then drive out and, finding the herd, he would sit in the vehicle at a considerable distance and continue to ‘talk’ to the matriarch. They eventually reached a stage where she would walk over to him and touch him with her truck. Based on mutual trust and respect, such a connection is truly remarkable!

With the relationship established over a few years, Lawrence heard about the terrible plight of the Iraq zoo during the war. Animals dead and dying of starvation, neglect, bombs and being shot for food. Lawrence was a very big man with a very big heart, so he flew to Iraq to help, which means he ended up literally running the zoo, organising the recovery of many animals with his life at risk daily from rampaging humans, many of whom were also starving. Lawrence was a man to admire and respect. He was away over six months, and during this time nobody in the game reserve caught a single glimpse of the elephants.

When he flew home to his wife and staff in South Africa, the whole herd of elephants were waiting for him. They turned up at the gate to his home a few hours before his arrival, led by the matriarch. When, a number of years later, he died suddenly from a massive heart attack, the herd came to his home and stood by the gate without food or water for two days to pay their respects, then they departed into the depths of the reserve, seldom to be seen again.

The point I am writing of here – and believe me, I have not spoiled the book – is all about that unique connection in consciousness. A connection that bridged species differences and touched two amazing sentient Beings, connecting them on the level of true reality… consciousness. All life is the vastly diverse expression of One consciousness. Nature and humanity certainly express on different levels in the diversity of a single consciousness, but this by no means makes humans superior. I doubt that many people would sense the moment of the unexpected transition of an animal they had befriended; not a pet, nor an owned animal, but a wild animal with which they had connected. Even if the intuition (conscious recognition) made the connection, the brain would bring in reason and logic and deny the possibility of such an unlikely event.

To be fair, such a deep connection in consciousness is not common; it happens, but seldom to the degree of trust shared by Lawrence and the elephant. Having metaphysically witnessed such connections, I am aware that the matriarch held an awareness of him the whole time he was away. She knew when his thoughts and actions in consciousness would bring him home to the park, and she was there to welcome him. Equally, when Lawrence went through his transition she felt his departure from the physical world of consciousness. Making their way in a solemn one-by-one queue from their habitat to his house, the elephants came to honour their friend who had saved their lives. I have no doubt that on the non-physical level where this conscious connection is truly based and established, the connection continues.
Personally, I was sad to read of his transition, not only for the loss of a great man to the physical world, but also because I had decided that he was a man I would like to meet. Now that meeting will have to wait. You might say, “Well, you can connect in consciousness,” and this is probably true, but for me it is not appropriate. He has his journey to continue, and he will need time to adjust to his life in the metaphysical realm. I have no doubt at all that when a certain elephant makes her transition, she will have a close and loving friend waiting to greet her.
What delighted me so much in this true story is that the man and elephant both consciously chose Love. It took a while, but Love triumphed.

(If you’re inspired to read the book, you can buy or download ‘The Elephant Whisperer’ here.)

About the author:

Born in England in 1937, Michael Roads discovered at an early age he was able to communicate with nature and go beyond linear time and space. He immigrated to Australia in 1963 where he was a beef and dairy farmer, and prominent in the early organic movement. He wrote the first book on organic gardening in Australia, which was an immediate best seller.
After becoming spiritually awakened in 1986, Michael wrote about his metaphysical experiences and has since published 14 books, translated into 16 languages. 2018 marks his 27th year of travelling around the world giving talks and 5-day intensives on unconditional love and emotional balance.
Connect with Michael at and Facebook/MRoads.

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Detox with Activated Charcoal

Without question, activated charcoal is a first choice for extracting toxins out of your intestinal system.  An additional choice is one of several zeolites, but availability is difficult and they are just as difficult to consume.

They are all solid crystalline acids which means that they are real acids that do not dissolve in water.  While no one in their right mind would drink down sulfuric acid, it is safe to drink down the equivalent in non soluble crystalline form.  What you have done though is pass a powerful free ion attractor through your gut.

That is why Bio char will eventually become integral to all agriculture.  It will grab a nutrient, but be unable to react at all until a root arrives to pry it loose and react with it.

Consume this in capsule form.  It is no fun to work with as a powder.

Detox with Activated Charcoal

By Ty Bollinger

Activated charcoal can remove unwanted toxins, bacteria, and decades of heavy metal buildup from your body, leaving you feeling renewed and vibrant.

No matter who you are or what your goals are, you need to detoxify. The secret to an effective “whole body detox” might just be carbon — actually, activated carbon (aka activated charcoal) is the more accurate term.

The History of Activated Charcoal

The first recorded use of charcoal for medicinal purposes was found in Egyptian papyri around 1500 BC as a method of staving off infection from open wounds. Since then, healers have used activated charcoal to soak up poisons and improve intestinal health through a process called “adsorption.” No, that’s not a misspelling. It’s important to understand the difference between absorption and adsorption. When something is absorptive, that means it soaks up other substances, but when something is adsorptive, that means it binds to substances. Activated charcoal actually uses a thin film on its outside surface to bind toxins and poisons.

Activated Charcoal Uses

Ancient physicians used regular charcoal for a variety of medical purposes, including treating epilepsy and anthrax. In the early 20th century, the development of activated charcoal sparked many medical journals to publish research revealing its effectiveness as an antidote for poisons. Today, beyond use in hospitals as an antidote for drugs and poisons, activated charcoal is a global remedy for general detoxification and intestinal disorders.

How to Make Activated Charcoal Powder

You make activated charcoal by burning a source of carbon (wood or debris or coconut shells). The high temperature removes all the oxygen and activates it with gases like steam. Basically the process that creates activated charcoal (steam heating and oxidation) ends up creating an adsorbent internal lattice of very fine pores that capture, bind, and remove poisons, heavy metals, chemicals, bacteria, toxins, and intestinal gases which have thousands of times more weight than the charcoal itself.

It’s hard to believe, but just two grams of activated charcoal powder has about the same surface area as an entire NFL football field! The porous surface has a negative electric charge that attracts positively charged toxins and poisons; it binds them, and escorts them out of your body through the elimination process of your intestines.

Detoxifying Your Body With Activated Charcoal

Toxins from low quality, GMO, processed food, and environmental pollution are real problems. It is important to help your body eliminate them to promote a healthy digestive system and brain. Chronic exposure to toxins produces cellular damage, allergic reactions, compromised immunity, and more rapid aging.

Regular use of activated charcoal can remove unwanted toxins from your body, leaving you feeling renewed and more vibrant ? often in minutes! Activated charcoal helps unwanted bacteria move through your system faster before they spread and multiply, helping you feel better faster. In addition, activated charcoal flushes out all the toxic heavy metals (such as arsenic, copper, mercury, and lead) that are stored in your body, sometimes for decades.

The best long-term study on the detoxification benefits of activated charcoal was conducted by Professors David O. Cooney (University of Wyoming) and Thomas T. Struhsaker (Duke University). The two professors learned that the monkeys on the African island of Zanzibar eat charcoal from burned tree stumps in order to detoxify.

I understand if the idea of swallowing a spoonful of what is essentially ash may not tickle your fancy. However, activated charcoal is completely odorless, tasteless, and safe to consume and can be purchased in handy capsules or tablets. And it’s a powerful detoxifying agent to boot!

Sources and References:

Activated Charcoal—Past, Present and Future
The History of Activated Carbon
Activated carbon
Zanzibar Monkeys Eat Charcoal to Counteract Toxins

Community: The New Guru


I am the master of the virtual community, more a function of the accidents of my own life path.  It was only later in life that i became conscious of the anomalous nature of this life way, yet how much our urban world depends on it as well.
We all need to belong to a natural physical community during our maturation and to support motherhood.  That natural community typically totals up to 150 people but not much more either.  Much less and that commun9ty becomes needy.
The natural rule of twelve allows internal spiritual development and directed communication along with a natural decision making system that retains everyone's confidence.
.. ...
Community: The New Guru

July 3rd, 2018

By Jack Adam Weber

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“I owe you nothing.” I’m sure you’ve heard or spoken this popular meme before? Individualism and resigning to blowing off people is a modern norm. I believe it also to be a subtle and largely unrecognized effect of capitalism’s brainwashing and social deconstruction propagated by media and the powers that be.

After all, our entire economic system thrives on viewing others as competition, the enemy, and as objects to further our own success and agenda. Ironically, this system has expediently dehumanized and disenfranchised us from our richest commodity and sense of true security: one another. This in turn leads to apathy and violence if we aren’t aware of the effects and make other choices.

For thousands of years, humanity has lived in tightly-knit communities of accountability. Even today, we depend entirely on one another; it’s just less obvious, so it seems like we don’t have to. In smaller tribal networks we had to be more directly accountable because we couldn’t disappear from view as we do nowadays. Everyone had a purpose and function, the absence of which was immediately felt. Each of us was essential to the whole. This way, one was “held” in a network of belonging not only with other humans but with the more-than-human natural world.

Though we still live in connected networks, technology and massive population explosions have allowed us to live with less immediacy and accountability. Because economic channels are so diverse and removed from our immediate survival needs, we’re often not aware of whom we depend upon. This way of being is what has allowed us to even come up with the notion that we owe each other little to nothing.

Not too long ago such thinking was largely non-existent. The interconnectedness of all things was the rule of the land for which we were implicitly responsible. Nowadays, channels of commerce are complex and largely removed from hand-to-hand exchange. Yet we have reminders of days of old, which is why, for example, we revel in hand-made crafts and antiques.

The norm today, however, is that I don’t know the makers of my furniture, shoes, or shovel. Nor the canned soup I grab off the market shelf. Less in-person intimacy among us and more psychic closeness in virtual reality lends to isolation and fewer of the requisite interactions we need for true wellness and thriving.
I Need You

Thinking that we don’t need others is an illusion, and a hidden form of disempowerment. Yet, ironically, one we flaunt as empowerment. The more independent and entitled I am, the more people I can blow off and not care about, and the bigger and more powerful I feel. So goes the thinking. But this is often a puffed-up compensation for underlying vulnerability and insecurity. While autonomy is crucial for togetherness, we go to the extreme and try to be too independent, which can bite us in the rear when we truly need help. Beyond needing each another in emergencies, our mental health and longevity are greatly enhanced through close social ties.

While we need to protect ourselves from everyday kooks and vandals, we could find more accommodation for those meaningful to us, and show up for them. In the end, this is also to show up for ourselves and the still-vital aspects of our world with which we need to fall back in love.

Boundaries are crucial for healthy living, yet can also become separatist ego games. We don’t need to desperately cling for a fear of being alone, unless we are in a crisis of sorts, but we must be mindful and not act on the modern myth of staunch individualism. As the world becomes more unstable due to environmental collapse and the unsustainable systems we’ve relied upon for support begin to crumble and fail us, we will need each other more than ever. The time to begin building these bonds is was yesterday.

Relying on one another is deeply ingrained in our DNA. This is part of why we get upset when someone lets us down. Our extreme individualism is a modern epidemic that goes against everything that makes us richly human. Dan Siegel, a pioneering holistically-oriented psychiatrist, considers our relationships to be as an essential component to our minds as our brain and nervous system. In this respect, mental health depends upon the integrity of our relationships.

Popular memes that encourage us to easily discard one another, knee-jerk fears of codependency in favor of excessive autonomy, personal striving and gain on the social and economic ladder — all these seem worthy, until we consider them more carefully or face predicaments when our life immediately depends upon others’ support. These instances wake us up to our interdependence.

Overall, I don’t think it’s wise to pick an extreme of aloneness or togetherness, but to consider leaning into the way we are collectively and personally out of balance. This is likely the way denounced and discouraged by our sick modern culture, which usually means creating more community, not individualism.
Up-Close and In-Person

Never have we been able to be in touch with so many people we don’t know. Our ability to communicate and interact with perfect strangers on Facebook and other social media platforms has obvious benefits. But there are downfalls, as we invest our time and energy into relationships that don’t manifest in person. Virtual friends in distant places can only provide so much, especially when we really need help and support. A virtual hug will never be the same as one in-person. And even when together in-person, we are often distracted and ADD-like, unable to sustain focused and relaxed company with another. Constantly checking one’s phone is the most obvious example. We need to fulfill our need for in-person contact to create a milieu of belonging for which our nervous systems have evolved to thrive.

Indeed, we have abused the innovation of technology. In many respects, we would do well to swing the pendulum back to smaller, simpler ways of being. We do this for our own health and that of the environment. I am not promoting that we live inwardly more simply and dumbed down — which is not possible or wise — but that we live outwardly more minimally. Ironically, however, we need technology to clean up the mess our overuse of technology has created. For this, we can choose ways to cull our virtual realities (while mass society foolishly presses on to become even more virtual and artificial) while engaging in more traditional ways of being, together with each other and the land. While we minimize plugging into more technology, we must, however, continue to support technological efforts to remedy the ways we have injured the planet.

Especially, we can be mindful of how much we invest in virtual connections versus those we have in-person. My recommendation is to nurture and devote ourselves to heartfelt, in-person connections while also maintaining a strong sense of self and personal purpose. To this end, we can begin to care for others in our immediate, daily interactions in ways commensurate with the wisdom that we depend on them more than we’d like to notice or admit.
Grief, Buddhism and Healthy Attachment

We also can examine any “spiritual” beliefs about our independence and autonomy to see if these truly serve us. Practicing “letting go” and “detachment” are particularly problematic when used as defenses against admitting our fears of closeness and dependence on one another. This aloofness, especially when doused with a lack of critical thinking and noticing of ordinary reality, easily leads to less healthy bonding, less care, and less investment in our mutual welfare.

Instead of detaching from things, we can make friends with grief, which is our biologically inherited way of letting go (or actually, being let go) of the things we value and matter to us. In what is a long and nuanced discussion too much for this writing, even the unattached and “unhooked” ways of Buddhist teachings promulgate a disenfranchised social network, unless we are careful to modify these teachings so that we can be engaged and healthily attached to one another and the world.

Just to be clear, I am not promoting unhealthy attachment, but to revive a heritage of connectedness that might look strange to modern sensibility. This way of being together is one full of disappointment, in response to which we often detach from others to protect our tender hearts. Yet, a courageous path is to accept the sadness that comes with such connected community while admitting and embodying how much we truly need one another.

An essential tool on the journey into more intimate community is grief. For, without grief we store away too much pain and isolate from the world that both needs and nourishes us. Our relationship with grief is a measure of our ability to practically and generously love. This is because everything passes, and we can’t prevent losing what we love. This doesn’t necessarily mean we should love and attach less, but that we can welcome heartache when it befalls us.
Showing Up

Unfortunately, the word “commitment” is a curse word for many today. We’re so burdened by unwanted commitments that we cringe at the thought of something more we have to do. To boot, some of us also have control and fear of intimacy issues that don’t allow us to commit easily, and therefore to show up.

Showing up for one another seems easy, but apparently it’s not. I imagine those of you reading this article can think of as many people that don’t show up for you as those that do, or perhaps more? Showing up requires some selflessness, which requires emotional maturity, which happens not only with age but especially through inner work. So, it takes emotional work in order to show up.

In addition to grief, we can make friends with difficulty to develop more community and intimacy. You can see how the easy-fix, feel-good now, happiness movement works against nourishing the ties that truly make us happier, which is to feel fulfilled. For my part, I show up for my friends and family. Sometimes, I am too busy or overwhelmed with this or that and can’t be there. But In my heart I am happily committed to building bonds that last, and I show up for them.

I can imagine friends and new acquaintances committing to one another consciously, with express agreements of accountability. This would mimic the interrelatedness of traditional communities, of relying on another by necessity. Such is conscious community, being available to one another not only by chance, but committing to be available. To practically adapt this model to modern life, we could compromise with parameters that fit our individual needs and limitations. But the overall intent would be showing up, a desire that would come from the heart and maybe even informed by neuroscience. This intent would in turn be upheld and encouraged (because we all get disheartened and discouraged) by a natural, enjoyable sense of obligation (not an oxymoron!) to the whole, and thereby, also to ourselves.
We Need Each Other

What if it’s true, then, that our wholeness requires both being alone and being intimately joined with others? Indeed, this seems to be true. To thrive in community with others we need to bring the best of ourselves to the group; some of this goodness is cultivated alone in the ways that we recharge, process feelings, rest, examine our thoughts, enjoy silence and other non-human relationships. Similarly, to make our alone time rich and well supported, we need the input, care, and support of others. This way, rich alone time balanced with soulful community creates a sense of fulfillment greater than the sum of these parts.

We have so much to learn and to grow from community, which is why I call it the new guru. Actually, community is an old friend we desperately need to recreate. May we treat one another with the care we would in a tribe, and may we reclaim the capacities we need for the journey, capacities that have been discouraged and denigrated as useless, weak, and worthless. Some of these capacities for sustainable community include: 
good thinking and clear communication.
embracing grief and difficulty.
engaging inner work and enjoying the resultant ability to show up deeply and genuinely for others.
caring for the natural world.
engaging in art, dance, poetry, and creativity generally.
eating and socializing with one another.
spending time outdoors in nature with our extended kin of plants, animals, and bodies of water.
creating sacred space to illuminate deeper dynamics and feelings.

What I’ve tried to communicate in this essay is what we need to feel truly connected to one another and with ourselves, as well as why it’s crucial. I hope this writing has helped surface in you the aspects of community missing in your life so you can create it for your personal and our collective wellbeing.

A Call to the Wake Up World Community

From Andy Whiteley, Editor for Wake Up World

Long-time Wake Up World writer Jack Adam Weber just lost his 5-acre farm and home to the lava eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Jack has contributed over a hundred thought-provoking and challenging articles to Wake Up World over the last 7 years, all on the subjects of his passions: mind-body integration, good thinking and emotional transformation, political and GMO activism, and holistic medicine.

Jack began cultivating his beloved homestead from raw rock and jungle 17 years ago, transforming it into a thriving food forest and sanctuary where many have gone to heal and experience a life close to the land almost forgotten in modern times. Due to the holistic and land-based lifestyle he created, he lost not only his home and his entire neighborhood but an entire ecosystem that he says “grew, taught, and strengthened me” for almost two decades. Along with many others in this remote area, Jack had no homeowner’s insurance due to the high premiums and difficulty in securing reliable coverage.

Please consider contributing something to help ease the sting for our Wake Up World family member.

Viral ‘Walk Away’ Videos Highlight Growing Movement of Democrats Leaving the Party

 The gay community has spent a lifetime attempting to establish a way forward into the mainstream, only to be literally be exploited by the absurdities of progressive politics and hate mongering.  Their true battle is won and it is time to walk away from the hate salesmen.
 That this has happened is almost amazing.  There is much wrong with the liberal and progressive narrative, not least its incredible promotion of every imaginable sexual perversion.  All sexual deviance, including homosexuality generates problems of accommodation or problems of deviance management for society.  These are still problems.  Sexuality itself also provides problems of accomadation for society as well or problems of management.
There is no possible accommodation that will satisfy the appetites of a pedophile without  imposing on the human rights of children.  This also applies across the board to all other forms of appetites which must become the proper purview of two consenting and informed adults.  
Thus we re-frame the whole debate.  What is the age on informed consent.  Experience has been mostly around the postponement of sexuality until physical maturity is achieved, but experience also shows us that this naturally drives immature sexual channeling that plausibly produces serious perverse adult appetites.  .
I do not know if there is a transition protocol that we can safely use between these two solitudes.  I simply think that we will have to try.  Hunter gatherer experience can inform as to the natural state of things..
Viral ‘Walk Away’ Videos Highlight Growing Movement of Democrats Leaving the Party
By Celia Farber

June 28, 2018 10:27 pm Last Updated: July 4, 2018 1:09 am

Brandon Straka, the founder of the "Walk Away" movement. (Brandon Straka)

When actor James Woods tweeted out the hashtag “#WalkAway” in late June, even the alt-right missed the enormity of what lay beneath it. The Democratic Party had, in fact, struck an iceberg.

Some 5 million people on Facebook and YouTube have seen the video by now. A very handsome gay man, who you just assume is about to scold you on progressive talking points, instead says this:

“Once upon a time, I was a liberal. Well, to be honest, less than a year ago, I was still a liberal.

“I reject a system which allows an ambitious, misinformed and dogmatic mob to suppress free speech, create false narratives, and apathetically steamroll over the truth.”

And then this devastating line—the Rosa Parks moment of the video:

“I reject hate.”

If Democratic strategists were still able to watch the rest of the video without suffering a nervous breakdown, they’d see that it quickly got worse.

“These are the reasons why I became a liberal. And these are the same reasons why I am now walking away.”
Tidal Wave

Meet Brandon Straka, the unlikely liberator and new face of the “silent minority” of Americans who’ve been cast out by family and friends, fired from jobs, and forced into silent social ghettos for their failure to “get it” about how hateful and dangerous Donald Trump is, and why he and all his supporters should be subjected to an ever-expanding social and professional fatwah.

Since Straka published his confessional video on May 26, his life as a New York City hairdresser and aspiring actor has been overtaken by a tidal wave.

While speaking to The Epoch Times about the explosion of his #WalkAway campaign, Straka had to occasionally stop to go style a client’s hair, all while fielding a constant barrage of newcomers’ testimonial letters, videos, and emails—over 1,000 a day.

Posted by WalkAway Campaign on Tuesday, May 29, 2018

They gather at his two Facebook groups, “The Unsilent Minority” and “WalkAway Campaign.” Those who have the courage post their own video testimonials about the moment when the abuse, rage, and ugliness of the Democrats caused them to finally leave the party and “walk away.”

“This is so much more than a hashtag on Twitter,” he said. “This is a testimonial campaign, a grassroots movement that is going to change the political landscape of this country.”

And that’s the astonishing twist here: If these people have been driven into the arms of Donald Trump, who’s left on the left?
Lifelong Democrats

Those who are walking away are not Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables,” but rather, in many cases, lifelong Democrats who simply could not take it any longer and have longed for this very moment, when somebody like them would make it safe for them to come out of the closet and speak their minds.

From urban gay men to staunch liberal grandmothers, from a punk drag queen with black lips to a tattooed lesbian with a mohawk, those posting testimonials all had a breaking point, a moment when they decided to “walk away.”

Lea Anna Bright, in a mohawk, looks into the camera and says in a slow, simmering voice: “This is a Vice article I am reading right now. It says, ‘The activist left doesn’t give a [expletive] about your calls for civility. Get ready for a summer of rage.’” She looks up. “This is where the party is going, and this is why I chose to walk away. Peace. Not for me. Bye.”

A screenshot from the video posted by Lee Anna Bright to the Walk Away Facebook group explaining why she left the Democratic Party. (Screenshot/Lee Anna Bright)

A man adjusts his video camera and sits back. The walls behind him are a tasteful grey-blue. He’s a gay, affluent, native New Yorker, and he’s coming out of the second closet of his life. For Ricky Roberts, the moment came after the Orlando nightclub shootings.

“Trump said he was going to protect gay men, and he did, [with] the travel ban. Hillary was telling Americans not to ‘pick on all Muslims because of this,’” and that did not feel like protection, Roberts says. “I swear to God, wanted to throw my shoe through the TV.

“At that point I was like, I can’t do it anymore. I really can’t.

“You know, listen, I’m a gay guy from New York City, but before that, I’m an American, I’m a patriot. I’m now an uncle.”

His assessment of the Democrats: “From immigration to everything, they are just a disaster.

“They’re anti-American, anti-common sense, rational—anything good, they’re against it.”
Manipulating Fear

Straka, who grew up in a small town in Nebraska, was on board with the fear and loathing campaign around Trump until he began asking people back home why they had voted for him. To his astonishment, they told him about Obama-era regulations that had crippled their small businesses.

He started to research media canards like the one about Trump supposedly mocking a disabled reporter. When he found that it was a total distortion, he kept going, his anger rising.

He eventually became “completely ‘red-pilled.'” And isolated. He told himself that he would have to give up his lifelong dream of becoming an actor if he hit the “publish” button on his video, but, encouraged by one conservative gay friend, he decided to go ahead.

“This was a matter of the media specifically using and manipulating people’s deepest fears, based on legitimate traumas,” he explained.

“Many gay people have experienced very serious homophobia and even physical violence. Can you imagine manipulating a domestic violence survivor’s fears just for political purposes? It’s insane.

“I was afraid of losing all my friends. As I began posting about these things on social media, people started attacking me and unfriending me.

“But I thought, ‘You know what, this is too important.’ Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a gay man and I’ve already been through this—people making up lies about what it means to be gay and trying to shame me. I was like, ‘I’m not doing it. I’m not doing this twice.’

“The more resentment I received, the stronger I got. Finally, I thought, ‘To hell with it. I’m just going to blow the lid off this whole thing and make this video.’”

A screenshot from a video uploaded by Ricky Roberts to the “Walk Away” Facebook group, explaining why he has left the Democratic Party. (Screenshot/Ricky Roberts) The video has garnered 1.3 million views on his Facebook page and has been shared on many other popular pages. It is estimated to have reached some 5 million viewers so far.

There are some 27,000 followers of the Facebook group, with new people posting both video and text testimonials every day. Straka calls them “the patriots.”

“Initially, my focus was on the gay community because I was so angry at how they were [being terrorized],” Straka said. “Then I thought, why should I limit it to just us? They’re doing the same thing to black people. And Hispanic people. And frankly, they’re doing the same thing to everybody in one way or another.

“But it’s really the minorities in America who don’t feel like we have a choice. That’s what they keep telling us over and over: ‘You’re not safe on the right. They don’t want you on the right. They hate you on the right. You’re only safe with us. We are here to protect you.’

“Meanwhile, are you kidding me? You’re here to ‘protect’ me? All you are doing is use my fears to scare the [expletive] out of me—to terrify me and to try to manipulate the way that I vote.”

Libby Albert, one of the WalkAway Facebook group members, said “This is taking off,” citing the snowstorm of thousands of hashtags on Twitter. “It’s kind of incredible.”

Said another: “It’s kind of incredible. It’s OK. Walk away.”

Friday, July 13, 2018

Natural Remedies for Dandruff and Dry Scalp

This is a good resource for what is an extremely common problem.  The take home for us all is to wash our hair with a gentle soap in order to clean it.  Actually the easiest is Palmolive dish soap with vinegar added if you are able to believe that.  Then dab a little sesame oil onto the top of your scalp.  The oil will migrate over your scalp and the odor will disappears almost immediately as well.

Other oils work as well of course.  the trick is to let a little bit go a long way as your scalp will also be producing and this add-in can simply support that as needed.

I also suspect that the more difficult versions arise from the same starting point so this is likely a first good step and see if improvement is achieved....

Natural Remedies for Dandruff and Dry Scalp

July 4th, 2018

By Sayer Ji

The Only Dandruff Cure You’ll Ever Need

Have you ever looked down at your clothes and noticed the embarrassing, tell-tale signs of a flaking scalp? If so, you’re not alone — dandruff affects one in five people in the United States. But it’s important to understand the reason for those flakes: It could be a sign of normal dryness, a pesky fungal infection, or a serious autoimmune condition.

Almost everyone will experience, especially during the dryer winter months, those bothersome white flakes that land on the shoulders, ruining the crisp appearance of clean, dark clothes. But do you know what’s behind those flakes? Understanding the root cause of dandruff is critical to knowing the best way to respond. The good news is, there are proven natural remedies that can reverse the cause, regardless of whether it’s seasonal dryness, or something more deeply rooted.

A Case of Seasonal Dryness

When dandruff flakes are produced by dry scalp, it is considered a normal condition, albeit an annoying one. Seasonal changes brought on by decreased humidity and the use of forced-air heat can zap moisture from the scalp and cause itching, especially in people who shampoo frequently, use heated styling tools, or have a build-up of styling product on the hair. Seasonal flakes are often met with harsh dandruff treatments, many of which can further irritate the scalp. The active ingredient in most OTC dandruff shampoos, zinc pyrithione — a potent antibacterial and antifungal — is the dry scalp treatment equivalent to swatting a fly with a sledgehammer! In rare cases, it can even bring about allergic reactions for some individuals.[1]

If you’re affected by occasional dry scalp, skip the harsh medicated treatments and try a simple, natural remedy to hydrate the scalp. Consider treating yourself to once-weekly scalp massages with warmed oil, an ancient Ayurvedic practice that calls exclusively for the use of food-grade oils such as coconut or organic sesame. Naturally healing, a warm coconut oil massage nourishes and moisturizes the skin, while deep-conditioning the hair. Adding a few drops of a favorite essential oil (such as lavender or bergamot) will provide a better side-effect than anything the doctor could order — deep relaxation and stress-relief.

A Suspected Fungal Infection

If you’re troubled by flakes that are slightly larger, yellowish in color, and possessing an oily texture, you may be dealing with chronic dandruff, also referred to as seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis can present year-round, and is often exacerbated by warm, humid weather. Less common than dry scalp, an estimated 3 million cases of dermatitis are reported in the US each year.[2] This condition affects infants as well as the aged, with infants regarded as having “diaper rash” when dermatitis presents.

Characterized by scaly, red skin and chronic itching, researchers have not reached a consensus regarding what causes dermatitis. Considered by some to be a fungal infection, many treatments are aimed at eliminating yeast growth in and on the body. Still other treatments are aimed at reducing inflammation. Both routes are fraught with risks to overall health and vitality. Antifungals are associated with numerous health concerns, including increased estrogen levels[3] and liver toxicity.[4] Risks associated with corticosteroid use include depression,[5] hypertension,[6] ulcers and increased chance of heart disease, among other significant health risks.[7]

Fortunately, sufferers of both mild seasonal dandruff and chronic dermatitis can look to the natural world for relief that does not require a black box warning. Something as simple as diluted honey has been shown to markedly improve itching and scaling of the scalp. A 2001 study examined the antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant qualities of honey as a natural remedy for dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Published in the European Journal of Medicine, “Therapeutic and prophylactic effects of crude honey on chronic seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff” explored the topical application of raw honey to thirty patients demonstrating chronic seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp, face, and chest. The patients were comprised of twenty male subjects and ten females, between the ages of 15 and 60 years. Presenting symptoms included scaling, itching, hair loss, and lesions.

Patients were instructed to apply the honey, diluted with 10% warm water, every other day to affected areas, using a gentle rubbing motion for 2-3 minutes. After 3 hours, the honey was rinsed off using warm water. Patients were monitored for changes in symptoms during the 4-week treatment period. Researchers were amazed at the results. Steroids and antifungals often require several courses of medication to effect a change IF they work at all. But using plain, crude honey, within one week, itching was relieved, and scaling disappeared. Within two weeks, skin lesions healed and faded. Hair loss was also improved in some patients.

To test the long-term effects that patients might receive, half of patients who had benefited from treatment continued to receive honey application once per week, while the other half received no ongoing treatment. After six months, “None of the patients treated with [ongoing] honey application showed relapse… while the patients who had no prophylactic treatment with honey experienced a relapse of lesions 2-4 months after stopping treatment.” Researchers concluded that “crude honey could markedly improve seborrheic dermatitis and associated hair loss and prevent relapse when applied weekly.”

Skin pathogens are anecdotally linked to seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff, perhaps explaining honey’s demonstrable therapeutic effects. Imbued with natural antifungal and antibacterial properties, honey actually destroys pathogenic bacteria, including the deadly MRSA, while fostering the growth of good bacteria. Long-considered one of nature’s greatest gifts to mankind, honey has even more amazing healing properties, including preventing weight-loss and gastric lining damage post-chemotherapy. With more than 150 different abstracts related to the health benefits of honey, it’s easy to see why the ancient Egyptians placed it in the tombs of pharaohs as a gift to the Gods![8]

A Chronic Auto-Immune Disease

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, psoriasis affects 7.5 million people in the United States.[9] A chronic disease that causes skin cells to grow quicker than they can be shed, there is no cure for psoriasis. Symptomatic episodes often flare, then abate, in a cycle that can continue throughout a person’s lifetime. The goal of Western medical treatment, as is often the case, is to merely manage symptoms. These symptoms include red, patchy skin that can be both itchy and painful. Skin can take on a dry, cracked appearance, or resemble thick, silvery scales. Skin may crack and bleed. There are several classifications of the condition, including plaque psoriasis (the most common form), and psoriatic arthritis which produces stiff, swollen joints and can lead to permanent deformities.[10]

Once again, treatments for psoriasis include the go-to pharmaceutical arsenal of steroids and immunosuppressive drugs aimed at stopping the rapid turnover of skin cells. As we have seen time and again with chemically-derived drug treatments, the effects are never limited to just “problem” cells. Side effects of these treatments can be severe, including infections and cancer, especially related to the skin.[11]

As researchers plumb nature’s pharmacopeia, we are routinely rewarded by plant-based remedies that produce better results than can be obtained through pharmaceuticals, and with fewer-to-no side effects. In April 2018, a group of researchers released one such report, on the potent anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric and its therapeutic effect on psoriasis. Published in the April Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, “Turmeric tonic as a treatment in scalp psoriasis: A randomized placebo-control clinical trial”,[12] follows forty patients with mild-to-moderate scalp psoriasis through a 9-week intervention. Topical applications of turmeric tonic were applied twice-daily, with a control group applying a placebo in the same manner. Patients were evaluated at baseline, 3, 6, and 9 weeks, and were assessed for dermatologic quality-of-life indicators as well as psoriasis area and severity scores. Probable adverse effects were recorded and reported.

Results from this study are highly optimistic; improvements were reported across all indicators. “Compared to the placebo, turmeric tonic significantly reduced the erythema, scaling, and induration of lesions, and improved the patients’ quality of life.” Patients reported no serious adverse effects. Researchers concluded that the clinical effects of turmeric tonic on scalp psoriasis were satisfactory, overall, and recommended that turmeric be considered as a treatment for scalp psoriasis.

Despite Western medicine’s knee-jerk response to most afflictions — whipping out a prescription pad — for those who wish to explore natural remedies first, you may find that you need look no further than nature to treat your dandruff condition. From wild honey to fragrant yellow turmeric, science continues to support what herbalists and natural healers have known for millennia: nothing heals better than Nature herself!

To learn more, explore the scientific research in GreenMedInfo’s psoriasis database. For additional findings on natural interventions for seborrheic dermatitis, visit GreenMedInfo’s research page here. To find more natural treatments for dandruff, peruse GreenMedInfo’s research database.

[10] IBID

Frigid polar oceans, not balmy coral reefs, are species-formation hot spots


This is totally unexpected and is a great argument for the evolutionary pressure argument as the prime driver of speciation.

A tropical reef provides a rich nurturing environment with scant evolutionary pressure.  Thus we need to expect a lower level of speciation even if we have hundreds of species about.   In the cold, it is always harsh and any arrival species will have to change.

Unusual though.

Frigid polar oceans, not balmy coral reefs, are species-formation hot spots

University of Michigan
IMAGE: Map shows species-formation rates for marine fish groups at a global scale. Red, orange and yellow indicate regions with faster rates of new species formation, while blue indicates relatively slow... view more 
Credit: Map by D.L. Rabosky et al in Nature. Fish images by Julie Johnson.

Public Release:
ANN ARBOR--Tropical oceans teem with the dazzle and flash of colorful reef fishes and contain far more species than the cold ocean waters found at high latitudes. This well-known "latitudinal diversity gradient" is one of the most famous patterns in biology, and scientists have puzzled over its causes for more than 200 years.
One frequently advanced explanation is that warm reef environments serve as evolutionary hot spots for species formation. But a new study that analyzed the evolutionary relationships between more than 30,000 fish species concludes that the fastest rates of species formation have occurred at the highest latitudes and in the coldest ocean waters.

Over the past several million years, cool-water and polar ocean fishes formed new species twice as fast as the average species of tropical fish, according to the new study, which is scheduled for publication July 4 in the journal Nature.

"These findings are both surprising and paradoxical," said University of Michigan evolutionary biologist Daniel Rabosky, lead author of the study. "A number of hypotheses explain extreme tropical diversity as the result of faster rates of species formation, but it's never been tested in fishes. 

"Our results are counterintuitive and unexpected, because we find that speciation is actually fastest in the geographic regions with the lowest species richness."

The authors admit they cannot fully explain their results, which are incompatible with the idea that the tropics serve as an evolutionary cradle for marine fish diversity. The findings also raise questions about whether the rapid cold-ocean speciation the team documented reflects a recent and ongoing expansion of marine diversity there.

Common sense suggests that a high rate of new species formation will eventually lead to impressive levels of biodiversity. But that depends on how many of the newly formed species survive and how many go extinct. And extinction rates could not be addressed through the methods used in the current study.

"The number of species you find in a region is largely a balance between the rate at which new species form and the rate at which extinction eliminates them," Rabosky said. "The rapid speciation of fishes in cold, high-latitude oceans that we documented will only cause diversity to increase if it is generally higher than extinction.

"Extinction is the missing piece of this puzzle, but it's the most difficult thing to understand. We're now using both fossils and new statistical tools to try to get a handle on what extinction might have been doing in both the polar regions and the tropics."

In the study, Rabosky and colleagues from eight institutions tested the widely held assumption that species-formation rates are fastest in the tropics by examining the relationship between latitude, species richness and the rate of new species formation among marine fishes. They assembled a time-calibrated evolutionary tree of all 31,526 ray-finned fish species, then focused their analysis on marine species worldwide.

Genetic data were available for more than one-third of the fish species analyzed in the study, and the evolutionary tree was time-calibrated using a database of 139 fossil taxa.

An evolutionary tree, also known as a phylogenetic tree, is a branching diagram showing the inferred evolutionary relationships among various species. The tree assembled for this project is one of the largest time-calibrated phylogenetic trees ever created for any group of animals, according to Rabosky.

The researchers estimated geographic ranges for most of the marine fish species, including all species with genetic data. Then they used complex mathematical and statistical models to estimate the rates at which different groups of fishes split into new species.

"The computational challenges for analyzing these types of data are pretty extreme," said study co-author Michael Alfaro, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. The analyses in the study required the equivalent of thousands of desktop computers running continuously for many months, he said.

Some of the fastest rates of new species formation occurred in Antarctic icefish and their relatives. Other temperate and polar groups with exceptionally high speciation rates include snailfish, eelpouts and rockfish.

Three of the largest coral reef-associated fish groups--wrasses, damselfish and gobies--showed low to moderate rates of species formation.

"The fact that coral reefs support many more fish species than polar regions despite these lower rates may have a lot to do with their long history of connectivity and ability to act as a refugia," said co-author Peter Cowman of the Australia Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and previously of Yale University. "Our research certainly paints coral reef diversity in a new light."

"Who would have thought that you'd have these really explosive rates of species formation happening in the coldest Antarctic waters, where water is literally at the freezing point and fish like the icefish have to have all kinds of really crazy adaptations to live there, like special antifreeze proteins in their blood to keep it from freezing," Rabosky said.

Rabosky is an associate professor in the U-M Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and an associate curator at the U-M Museum of Zoology.

The authors of the Nature paper, in addition to Rabosky, Alfaro and Cowman, are U-M's Jonathan Chang, Pascal Title and Matt Friedman; Lauren Sallan of the University of Pennsylvania; Kristin Kaschner of the University of Freiburg; Cristina Garilao of GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research; Thomas Near of Yale University; and Marta Coll of the Institute of Marine Science in Barcelona, Spain.

The work was supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation and by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

This brain ‘blackout’ starts a migraine

What emerges here is that both seizures and migraines are propagated along the surface of the brain and that EM stimulus can alt6er the progress and even end it by redirection.
This is good news as it provides direction for therapies.
It also indicates that all this will turn out to be eminently curable as well.  Much brain damage in particular is actually rather small in terms of the overall mass of the brain.  Isolating the damage should open up options and this suggests we are getting closer to doing that..

This brain ‘blackout’ starts a migraine
Posted by A'ndrea Elyse Messer-Penn State July 4th, 2018 Play Video

This video shows an image of spreading depression—spreading depolarization—in a rat brain. The image on top shows spreading depression without any intervention. The image at bottom shows spreading depression with electrical current intervention. The field spreads deeper but not as far on the brain's surface, essentially cutting off the progression of the spreading depression.

Researchers have identified the electrical activity specific to the start of migraines and demonstrated a way to stop it in animal experiments.

“Seizures and migraines are two very different states of the brain,” says Steven J. Schiff, professor of engineering in the departments of neurosurgery, engineering science and mechanics, and physics at Penn State.

“We found that the spreading depolarization, also called spreading depression, seen in migraines is a fundamental biophysical phenomenon and you can stop it with electrical current. Strangely, it is the opposite direction of electrical current used to turn off seizures,” Schiff says.

“The electrical activity in the brain causing the aura is like a rolling blackout…”

The researchers have not cured migraines, but they’re closer to understanding the mechanism in the brain that causes the start, or auras, of these headaches, which affect about 10 percent of men and 22 percent of women, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Carrying out experiments motivated by computational models of the biophysics of spreading depolarization, the researchers successfully demonstrated the modulation, suppression, and prevention of spreading depolarization in rat brain slices.

“The electrical activity in the brain causing the aura is like a rolling blackout,” says Andrew J. Whalen, postdoctoral scholar at the university’s Center for Neural Engineering. “It’s not just a single cell, but a chain reaction that moves across the brain causing swelling, and it takes people a while to recover.”

Many migraine sufferers first experience this visual aura before the headache begins. Schiff and his team targeted the electrical activity that causes the aura as it is fundamental in starting the migraine.

On the left, the optical images shows the wave of spreading depolarization in the brain; in the middle, the image shows the speeding up and drawing to the surface of the wave with negative current; and on the right, the image shows the confinement of the wave with arrest of the propagation, right. (Credit: Schiff Lab/Penn State) Researchers know that changing the salt concentration in the brain can alter the electrical processes of the brain. By altering the potassium concentrations in the brain, the researchers could trigger spreading depolarization.

The brain cells involved have a central body called the soma and a long, antenna-like arm called the dendrite. The two ends allow the researchers to polarize the cells with an electrical current—positive charges accumulate at one end and negative charges accumulate at the other. This allows them to use an electrical current to try to modulate brain cell activity.

“…we can make it worse with one current and we can make it better with the opposite current…”

“We thought that if we stopped the initial phase, the aura, we would stop the rest,” says Schiff. “We finally figured out that the charge necessary to stop the spreading depression was opposite to what we assumed. Once we chose the opposite charge, the progression of the phenomena stopped. This all made sense in the end, since seizures and migraines start at opposite ends of the brain cells.”

The researchers were able to use a positive charge to stop the spreading polarization. Imaging of the rat brain slices shows the migraine activity moving deeper into the brain where it can no longer propagate, effectively ending the episode.

“We came up with a biophysical understanding and it applies to the fundamental physiology of the aura, and we can make it worse with one current and we can make it better with the opposite current,” says Schiff.

Applying polarization such as this can be safely done in the human brain, and this strategy can be tested in clinical trials with migraine sufferers. However, the full migraine experienced by patients becomes more complicated after the initial aura.

“One wants to be able to fix the brain so that it is not susceptible to migraines or seizures,” says Bruce J. Gluckman, professor of engineering science and mechanics, neurosurgery, and bioengineering and associate director of the Center for Neural Engineering. “Not to have to control migraines or spreading depression once it starts. For now, this is a fundamental result that moves us closer to being able to intervene in an important way for this condition.”

Researchers from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China; Penn State; and Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany also contributed to the work.

The US-German collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience program of the National Institutes of Health; the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung; and the National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative supported this work. The researchers have filed for a provisional patent on this work.