Monday, July 29, 2019

The Parable


The Parable

Jesus often spoke in parables. His analogies attempted to infiltrate the layers of human ignorance that prevailed in the primitive mind. It would have been simple for Jesus to communicate the nature of God and the universe to an illiterate flock, but who would have understood the intangibility of His message?

The parable provided curiosity for the atheistic and confused soul, and an alternative to the gods of the ancient world. Indeed, each god represented a particular need in life i.e. love, wealth, happiness, war, fertility etc. Jesus, however, sought to enlighten the human spirit, and seed the soul.

Parables were intended to be thought provoking, for life was, and is, a multitude of thoughts. Jesus acted as a catalyst for those who came to realize that redemption and the true understanding of life and death came from a higher authority - not the Pharisees, Suddacees, or Sanhedrin. 

The hidden message contained in the words of a parable is similar to the daily subliminal messages media inflicts upon humanity today. Our decisions, desires and ultimate destination in life is altered by an unseen, and sometimes, inexplicable and invisible message. 

It is ironic that the parable dominates our lives today. The messages contained within politics, corporatism and religion all strive to obscure the truth. These subliminal messages are an attempt to subdue our minds, not heighten our spiritual essence. 

There is also a parable in the eerie silence of our elderly. Their reticence radiates a lesson we all fail to see and understand. Society has squandered their wisdom, presuming it is as worthless as the mustard seed. 

“How will we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what parable will we illustrate it? It’s like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth, yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow.”

— Mark 4:30–32

The seed's struggle to flourish is not solely dependent on sunlight, water and soil. Even the smallest and least consequential of seeds wants to experience birth so that it can come to understand the miracle of life. The seed's incarnation will ultimately alter the entire universe. The seed's struggle to overcome the weeds, will give way to a new forest and the expansion of Mother Nature. The contribution of the mustard seed is divine in its inspiration. 

Buddhists believe in a cycle of death and rebirth, called samsara. Through karma and eventual enlightenment, they hope to escape samsara and achieve nirvana, an end to suffering. 

Do not let the destructive parables of today project you into the downward path of the parabola. 

Thank you,
Joseph Pede

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Katyn Massacre: The USSR Purged 22,000 Polish Men & Then Blamed The Nazis


The Katyn Massacre: When The USSR Purged 22,000 Polish Men —  
Then Blamed The Nazis
By Andrew Milne

Updated July 10, 2019

The Soviet Union even went so far as to include the Katyn Massacre among the list of Nazi war crimes presented at the Nuremberg trials.



Wikimedia CommonsOfficials examine the exhumed remains of the Katyn massacre. 1943.

In 1940, Poland was caught between the military aggression of both Germany and the Soviet Union. The conflict climaxed that spring in Russia’s Katyn Forest when the Soviets murdered 22,000 of the best and brightest Poles of their generation en masse — then tried to blame the whole thing on the Nazis.

The Katyn massacre and its ensuing cover-up shaped Russo-Polish relations for the next 70 years and remains shocking to this day.

Ordering A Mass Murder


Wikimedia CommonsThe paper ordering the Katyn Massacre.

After Poland was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939, most native Poles not eligible for military service (like women, children, and the elderly) were shipped to the hinterlands of the Soviet Empire to die or submit to Soviet control. The other faction of Polish society faced a different fate.

These victims included Polish military officers and political enemies of the Soviet Union including politicians and landowners, as well as intellectuals and professionals like writers, professors, engineers, and lawyers.


Wikimedia CommonsExhuming the victims of the massacre.


And on March 5, 1940, Stalin signed an order to execute some 21,857 of these Poles:


“Members of various counter-revolutionary spy and sabotage organizations, former landowners, factory owners, former Polish Army officers, government officials, and fugitives – [are] to be considered in a special manner with the obligatory sentence of capital punishment – shooting.”

In all, some 14,700 Polish servicemen and 11,000 Polish high-ranking civilians were rounded up with the intent to be executed in one of three locations: Katyn, Tver, or the prison of Kharkiv.


Wikimedia CommonsA skull exhumed during investigation into the Katyn massacre.


The men’s hands were bound behind their backs with wire and then they were summarily shot in the back of the head. Bulldozers had to dig the mass grave for the many thousands killed in Katyn in April and May. Meanwhile, in Tver, the men were individually shot in a soundproof room and their bodies were deposited into a truck outside.

The most prolific executioner, Vassily Mikhailovich Blokhin, said he killed 6,000 men in just 28 days.
The Discovery Of The Katyn Massacre


Wikimedia CommonsThe mummified skull of an officer killed during the Katyn massacre.


The fate of the 22,000 Poles killed in the Katyn massacre went undiscovered until 1943 when Nazi troops found the mass grave in the forest.

In 1941, the Polish government-in-exile had agreed to join up with the Soviet Union to fight together against the Nazis, at which point the Poles expected their military officers who they believed were simply imprisoned at Katyn to be released. The Soviet Union, not wanting to admit the truth, claimed that those men were nowhere to be found and had presumably escaped to Manchuria.

But on April 13, 1943, the Germans uncovered mass graves from the Katyn massacre in the forests and hoped that the discovery would turn Polish opinion against the Soviets.


Wikimedia CommonsAn examination of exhumed soldiers in 1943.


Representatives from the Polish government went to the site of the massacre and determined that the Soviets were indeed responsible, but U.S. and British officials did not want to risk losing the Soviets as an ally against the Nazis. Poland thus agreed to blame Germany for the Katyn massacre.

The Soviets would even boldly add the Katyn massacre to the list of Nazi atrocities committed during the war at the Nuremberg trials.
Recollections Of A Witness

Col. John H. Van Vliet, an American POW, was taken to Katyn in 1943 by the Nazis in order to witness the aftermath of the atrocities committed by the Soviets. In his official report, Van Vliet recalled: “A sickly-sweet odor of decaying bodies was everywhere. At the graves it was nearly overpowering.”


“We followed our guide right into each of the graves — stepping on bodies that were piled like cordwood, face down usually, to a depth of about 5 to 7 bodies covered with about 5 feet of earth.”Recollections of Col. John H. Vliet



Wojtek Laski/Getty ImagesThe bodies of the Polish officers in mass graves. All were shot in the back of the head execution-style.

Van Vliet became convinced through his investigation that the bodies in this mass grave were indeed Polish officers and were not the product of some elaborate staging by the Nazis. The boots and articles the massacred men wore were of high quality and fit the victims so well that they must have been made for them.

But the Allied powers would accept the USSR’s version of events at the Katyn massacre up until the fall of the Soviet Union itself in 1991.



Universal History Archive/Getty ImagesPhoto from the 1943 exhumation of a mass grave of polish officers.
The Truth About The Katyn Massacre Comes To Light

The investigations into the Katyn massacre continued in spurts and starts, but it wasn’t until 2012 that any form of closure was met.

While in the early ’90s Gorbachev’s successor Boris Yeltsin did take Stalin’s execution order to Warsaw to formally apologize on behalf of his country, it was not until a European Court of Human Rights ruling in 2012 that Katyn was officially recognized as a Soviet war crime.


Ruling in favor of the relatives of the victims of the killings, the court found that those families “suffered a double trauma: losing their relatives in the war and not being allowed to learn the truth about their death for more than 50 years.”


Wikimedia CommonsThe true story of the Katyn Massacre was hidden for decades.

The Katyn massacre festered like an open sore for decades between Russia and Poland. Relations didn’t improve after a second Polish tragedy occurred near the Katyn forest when a group of the country’s military and political elite, including President Lech Kaczynski, went down in a plane crash near there. The group was en route to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.


Wikimedia Commons

Yakub - Who is he?


In the beliefs of the Nation of Islam (NOI), Yakub (sometimes spelled Yacub or Yaqub) was a black scientist who lived "6,600 years ago" and began the creation of the white race. He is said to have done this through a form of selective breeding referred to as "grafting", while living on the island of Patmos. Scientific consensus rejects the historicity of this figure.
The Nation of Islam theology states that Yakub is the biblical Jacob. All other branches of Islam, as well as Christianity and Judaism, reject these assertions. The story has caused disputes within the NOI during its history. Under its current leader Louis Farrakhan, the NOI continues to assert that the story of Yakub is true, claiming that modern science is consistent with it.

Story

The story of Yakub was originated in the writings of Wallace Fard Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam, in his doctrinal Q&A pamphlet Lost Found Moslem Lesson No. 2. It was developed by his successor Elijah Muhammad in several writings, most fully in a chapter entitled "The Making of Devil" in his book Message to the Blackman in America.
Yakub is said to have been born in Mecca at a time when 30% of original black people were "dissatisfied". He was a member of the Meccan branch of the Tribe of Shabazz. Yakub acquired the nickname "big head", because of his unusually large head and his arrogance. At the age of six, he discovered the law of attraction and repulsion by playing with magnets made of steel. This insight led to a plan to create new people. He "saw an unlike human being, made to attract others, who could, with the knowledge of tricks and lies, rule the original black man." By the age of 18, he had exhausted all knowledge in the universities of Mecca. He then discovered that the "original black man" contained both a "black germ" and a "brown germ". With 59,999 followers, he went to an "isle in the Aegean Sea called Pelan", which Muhammad identifies with Patmos. Once there, he established a despotic regime and set about breeding out the black traits, killed all darker babies, and created a brown race after 200 years. Yakub died at the age of 152, but his followers carried on his work. After 600 years of this deliberate eugenics, the white race was created.[5] The brutal conditions of their creation determined the evil nature of the new race: "by lying to the black mother of the baby, this lie was born into the very nature of the white baby; and, murder for the black people was also born in them—or made by nature a liar and murderer".
The new race traveled to Mecca where they caused so much trouble they were exiled to "West Asia (Europe), and stripped of everything but the language....Once there, they were roped in, to keep them out of Paradise....The soldiers patrolled the border armed with swords, to prevent the devils from crossing." For many centuries they lived a barbaric life, surviving naked in caves and eating raw meat, but eventually they were drawn out of the caves by Moses who "taught them to wear clothes". Moses tried to civilize them, but eventually gave up and blew up 300 of the most troublesome of them with dynamite.[6] However, they had learned to use "tricknology" to usurp power and enslave the black population, bringing the first slaves to America. According to The Autobiography of Malcolm X, all the races other than the black race were by-products of Yakub's (spelled Yacub in the biography) work, as the "red, yellow and brown" races were created during the "bleaching" process; however, the "black race" included Asian peoples, considered to be shared ancestors of the Moors. "Whites" were defined as Europeans. Elijah Muhammad also asserted that some of the new white race "tried to graft themselves back into the black nation, but they had nothing to go by." As a result, they became gorillas. "A few were lucky enough to make a start, and got as far as what you call the gorilla. In fact, all of the monkey family are from this 2,000 year history of the white race in Europe."
According to NOI doctrine, Yakub's progeny were destined to rule for 6,000 years before the original black peoples of the world regained dominance, a process that had begun in 1914.

Yakub and Jacob

The name Ya`qub (Yakub) is the Arabic variant of the name of the Biblical Patriarch known as Jacob in English language versions of the Bible, and as Ya`aqob in Biblical HebrewFard Muhammad's Yakub has some parallels to the Biblical Jacob's role as the father of the tribes of Israel. The idea that Jews were an "artificial race" created by interbreeding and dependent on "tricks and lies" already existed in anti-Semitic theories of the time. The story of Yakub includes Jews as part of a wider artificially created "white" race.
The NOI's claim that Jacob altered the skin color of a specific group of humans through selective breeding is similar to a story in Genesis 30:37–43 where Jacob alters the fur color of the goats and sheep in his uncle Laban's flocks. This story could be the origin of the NOI's story of Yakub. One major difference is that while the NOI says that Yakub employed selective breeding, Jacob used sympathetic magic in the Old Testament.
In speeches by Malcolm X, Yakub is identified completely with Jacob. Referring to the story of Jacob wrestling with the angel, Malcolm X states that Elijah Muhammad told him that "Jacob was Yacub, and the angel that Jacob wrestled with wasn't God, it was the government of the day". This was because Yakub was seeking funds for his expedition to Patmos, "so when it says Jacob wrestled with an angel, 'angel' is only used as a symbol to hide the one he was really wrestling with". However, Malcolm X also states that John of Patmos was also Yakub, and that the Book of Revelation refers to his deeds: "John was Yacub. John was out there getting ready to make a new race, he said, for the word of the Lord".

Sources

One of the Olmec heads claimed to demonstrate the existence of a large-headed "Negro race" in America
Ernest Allen argues that "the Yakub myth may have been created out of whole cloth by Prophet Fard", but could conceivably have been influenced by a real historical event during the struggle between Muslims and Christians for control of Spain. Muslim leader Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur defeated the Franks at the Battle of Alarcos (1195). After the battle 40,000 European prisoners of war were taken to Morocco to labor on Yaqub's building projects. They were then set free and "allowed to form a valley settlement located somewhere between Fez and Marrakesh. On his deathbed Ya'qub lamented his decision to allow these Shibanis (as they came to be called) to form an enclave on Moroccan soil, thereby posing a potential threat to the stability of the Moorish empire.".
Yusuf Nuruddin says that a more direct source was the doctrine of the "Yacobites" propounded by Timothy Drew's Moorish Science Temple, to which Fard had probably belonged before he founded the NOI. According to Drew, early pre-Columbian civilizations were founded by a West African Moor "named Yakub who landed on the Yucatan peninsula". This derived from the then-current notion that the gigantic heads created by the ancient Olmec peoples of the Yucatán area had "negroid" features (see Olmec alternative origin speculations), which had led Leo Wiener to argue that they were migrants from West Africa.
They [Drew's followers] said that the huge stone heads attested to the fact that the Yakubites evolved into a race of scientific geniuses with large heads (as depicted in the sculptures) and small bodies. This legend of Yakub—a bigheaded scientist—finds its way into the mythology of the Nation of Islam, indicating that the founders of the NOI, W. D. Farrad and Elijah Muhammad, were influenced by the Moorish Science Temple, and were possibly even members.
Harold Bloom in his book The American Religion argues that Yakub combines elements of the biblical God and the Gnostic concept of the Demiurge, saying that "Yakub has an irksome memorability as a crude but pungent Gnostic Demiurge". Nathaniel Deutsch also notes that Fard and Muhammad draw on the concept of the Demiurge, along with traditions of esotericism in Biblical interpretation, absorbing aspects of Biblical tales to the new narrative, such as the swords of the Muslim warriors keeping the "white devils" from Paradise, like the flaming sword of the angel protecting the Garden of Eden in Genesis. Edward Curtis calls the story "a black theodicy: a story grounded in a mythological view of history that explained the fall of black civilization, the Middle Passage from Africa to the Americas, and the practice of Christian religion among slaves and their descendants."
Several commentators state that the story, by associating blacks with ancient high civilizations and whites with cave-dwelling barbarians and gorillas, both uses and spectacularly reverses the populist and scientific racism of the era which identified Africans as primitive, or closer to apes than whites. This drew on earlier criticisms of white supremacist Nordicism, creating a mythic version of "attacks on AngloSaxon lineage and behavior that had been voiced by more mainstream black thinkers during the nineteenth century....With these references the [NOI] Muslims replicated the images of European savagery in the Middle Ages that were so pervasive in nineteenth-century black racial thought." Deutsch says that "Muhammad anchored his radical doctrine within the context of an established scriptural tradition" of Biblical exegesis, which "was therefore a sophisticated form of resistance to white racism". In addition, "the long-standing Western tradition of identifying blackness and darkness with evil is thus dramatically reversed".

Role in the Nation of Islam

The doctrine of Yakub was one of the reasons for splits in the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X in his Autobiography notes that, in his travels in the Middle East, many Muslims reacted with shock upon hearing about the doctrine of Yakub, which, while present in NOI theology, does not appear in mainstream Islam. He rejected the story in his later statements, asserting that anyone of any race who intentionally deprives others of basic human rights is a "devil". Warith Deen Mohammed, who took over the Nation of Islam after his father Elijah's death rejected it almost immediately, and tried to re-invent the Nation as a mainstream Sunni Islam movement.
Louis Farrakhan reinstated the original Nation of Islam, and has reasserted his belief in the literal truth of the story of Yakub. In a 1996 interview, Henry Louis Gates, Chairman of Harvard University's Afro-American Studies Department, asked him whether the story was a metaphor or literal. Farrakhan claimed that aspects of the story had been proven accurate by modern genetic science and insisted that "Personally, I believe that Yakub is not a mythical figure—he is a very real scientist. Not a big-head silly thing, as they would like to say." Farrakhan's periodical The Final Call continues to publish articles arguing that modern science supports the accuracy of Elijah Muhammad's account of Yakub.

Drama
The American author and playwright Amiri Baraka's play A Black Mass (1965) takes inspiration from the story of Yakub. According to critic Melani McAlister, "the character of Yakub, now called Jacoub, is introduced as one of three 'Black Magicians' who together symbolize the black origin of all religions." McAlister argues that,
Baraka turns the Nation's myth into a reinterpretation of the Faust story and a simultaneous meditation on the role and function of art. As with Faust, Jacoub's individualism and egotism are his undoing, but his failings also signal the destruction of a community. Baraka's version of the story also draws on the Frankenstein tale; he conflates the six hundred years of Elijah Muhammad's “history” into a single, terrible moment of the creation of a monster.
In Baraka's version the experiment creates a single Frankenstein-like "white" monster who kills Jacoub and the other magician-scientists and bites a woman, transforming her in a vampire-like way into a white-devil mate for himself. From this monstrous couple the white race is descended.

Rap

According to Charise L. Cheney, the doctrine of Yakub has had a significant influence in rap culture, referring to raps by Kam and Grand Puba.
This pseudoscientific theory of racial formation was embraced by rap nationalists like former Ice Cube protégé Kam in his 1995 song “Keep tha Peace.” A self-proclaimed member of the Nation, Kam presented organizational doctrine as a way to explain the roots of black-on-black crime and gang violence in America's inner cities: “I'm really not knowin' who to blame or fault / for this tension / I mention this gump / Yakub's cavey / the blue-eyed punk / playin' both sides against each other / now that's the real mutha[fuckah].”... In 1990 Grand Puba of Brand Nubian announced that his calling was to bring enlightenment to black people and an end to white domination. ... "Here comes the god to send the devil right back to his cave.… We're gonna drop the bomb on the Yakub crew.
Chuck D of Public Enemy also refers to the story in his song "Party for Your Right to Fight", referring to the Yakub story by attributing the deaths of African American radicals to the “grafted devils” conspiring against the “Black Asiatic Man.”.
Method Man of the Wu-Tang Clan promotes the story of Yakub in the Ol' Dirty Bastard's song "Raw Hide," saying: "A mystery god that's the work of Yacub / The Holy Ghost got you scared to death kid boo!". In the Wu-Tang Clan's song "Gravel Pit", at the end of it, can be heard a vocal sample from a 1977 movie Short Eyes which says about Yakub: "Yakub, maker and creator of the devil. Swine merchant... your time is near at hand. Fuck with me and your time will be now. Your presence here affects the mind of my people like a fever. You, Yakub, are the bearer of nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine diseases, evil, corrupt, porkchop-eatin' brain!".
Wu-Tang member Ghostface Killah also references the story of Yakub in his song "One" from his album Supreme Clientele. He raps: "A-yo, the Devil planted fear inside the black babies." He concludes the verse with: "Dead meat placed on the shelves, we eat cold cuts / Fast from the hog y'all and grow up,"[25] advocating the NOI's dietary practice of avoiding pork.
Nas raps "You devils will run back into the caves you came from" in his song "Message To The Feds, Sincerely, We The People" from his album Street's Disciple.
On a freestyle to Drake's song "We Made It", Jay Electronica says "All these devils, I got to strike some" and Jay Z says "I'm ready to chase the Yakub back into caves".

Media

Comedy hosts Desus & Mero frequently declare the outlandish actions or desires of certain white people "Yakubian".

Homosexual prostitution inquiry ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush

Washington Times on Franklin Affair

"A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and US and foreign businessmen with close social ties to Washington's political eliteReporters for this newspaper examined hundreds of credit-card vouchers, drawn on both corporate and personal cards and made payable to the escort service operated by the homosexual ring."

  -- Washington Times article on the Franklin Affair, 6/29/1989 (full text below)
Note: Scanned image of full front page Washington Times article available here.


For a Discovery Channel Documentary revealing lots more on the Franklin case, click here
For how sex is used in high-level blackmail and manipulation, click here
For other reliable resources along these lines: Mind Control Information Center

Homosexual prostitution inquiry ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush
‘Call boys' took midnight tour of White House
Paul M. Rodriguez and George Archibald
The Washington Times
June 29, 1989
A homosexual prostitution ring is under investigation by federal and District authorities and includes among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and US and foreign businessmen with close social ties to Washington's political elite, documents obtained by The Washington Times reveal.
One of the ring's high-profile clients was so well-connected, in fact, that he could arrange a middle-of-the-night tour of the White House for his friends on Sunday, July 3, of last year. Among the six persons on the extraordinary 1 a.m. tour were two male prostitutes.
Federal authorities, including the Secret Service, are investigating criminal aspects of the ring and have told male prostitutes and their homosexual clients that a grand jury will deliberate over the evidence throughout the summer, The Times learned.
Reporters for this newspaper examined hundreds of credit-card vouchers, drawn on both corporate and personal cards and made payable to the escort service operated by the homosexual ring. Many of the vouchers were run through a so-called "sub-merchant" account of the Chambers Funeral Home by a son of the owner, without the company's knowledge.
Among the client names contained in the vouchers - and identified by prostitutes and escort operators - are government officials, locally based US military officers, businessmen, lawyers, bankers, congressional aides and other professionals.
Editors of The Times said the newspaper would print only the names of those found to be in sensitive government posts or positions of influence. "There is no intention of publishing names or facts about the operation merely for titillation," said Wesley Pruden, managing editor of The Times.
The office of US Attorney General Jay B. Stephens, former deputy White House counsel to President Reagan, is coordinating federal aspects of the inquiry but refused to discuss the investigation or grand jury actions.
Several former White House colleagues of Mr. Stephen are listed among clients of the homosexual prostitution ring, according to the credit card records, and those persons have confirmed that the charges were theirs.
Mr. Stephen's office, after first saying it would cooperate with The Times' inquiry, withdrew the offer late yesterday and also declined to say whether Mr. Stephens would recuse himself from the case because of possible conflict of interest.
At least one highly placed Bush administration official and a wealthy businessman who procured homosexual prostitutes from the escort services operated by the ring are cooperating with the investigation, several sources said.
Among clients who charged homosexual prostitutes services on major credit cards over the past 18 months are Charles K. Dutcher, former associate director of presidential personnel in the Reagan administration, and Paul R. Balach, Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole's political personnel liaison to the White House.
In the 1970s, Mr. Dutcher was a congressional aide to former Rep. Robert Bauman, Maryland Republican, who resigned from the House after admitted having engaged in sexual liaisons with teen-age male prostitutes. Mr. Dutcher also worked on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle when he represented an Indiana district in the House.
A charge also was discovered against the credit card of a former White House staffer who prepared the president's daily news summary in the Reagan administration. Todd A Blodgett said he had not made the charge.
One of the ring's big spending clients is Craig J. Spence, Washington socialite and international trade consultant, according to documents and interviews with operators and prostitutes who say they engaged in sexual activities with Mr. Spence.
Mr. Spence spent upwards of $20,000 a month for male prostitutes who provided sex to him and his friends, said to include military personnel who also acted as his "bodyguards." It was Mr. Spence who arranged the nocturnal tour of the Reagan White House. Repeated attempts to reach Mr. Spence by telephone, fax machine and personal visits to his home, were unsuccessful.
Credit card vouchers confirm that Mr. Spence charged thousands of dollars on American Express and Visa cards, sometimes making $600 charges against his cards several times a day, drawn in behalf of an escort service called Professional Services Inc.
Members of major news organizations also procured escort services from the ring, credit card documents show. These include Stanley Mark Tapscott, who was an assistant managing editor of The Washington Times.
Mr. Tapscott, whose resignation on June 20 was accepted, said he had not procured homosexual escorts or sexual services of any kind. He said in an interview that he had talked to two women he arranged to meet through the escort service as part of an investigation of a dial-a-porn services he had initiated a year earlier when he was editor of the newspaper's Money section. The charges were made against his company American Express card. His editors knew of no such investigation.
Before joining The Times, Mr. Tapscott worked for the Office of Personnel Management in the Reagan administration.
Managers of the escort ring said that "a few women" were used for clients who called with specific requests but that the regular stable was altogether male.
The documents show that a number of clients — lawyers, doctors and business executives — used corporate credit cards to procure escort services and that a number of military officers from the United States and allied countries — including one foreign officer using a "Department of Defence" credit card — charged male escort services.
One former top-level Pentagon officer said that for the past eight years, military and civilian intelligence authorities have been concerned that "a nest of homosexuals" at top levels of the Reagan administration may have been penetrated by Soviet-backed espionage agents posing as male prostitutes, said one former top-level Pentagon official.
A major concern, said the former official with longtime ties to top-ranking military intelligence officers, was that hostile foreign intelligence services were using young male prostitutes to compromise top administration homosexuals, thus making them subject to blackmail.
"We have known for many, many years that there is a department of the KGB [Soviet intelligence] whose job it is to prey on sexual deviants," said retired Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Because "closet" homosexuals in government service can be easily "turned" through blackmail for espionage purposes, Gen. Graham said, "we have always in intelligence tried very hard not to be giving classified information to known homosexuals."
Those interviewed by The Times confirmed that there were blackmail attempts by male prostitutes who wanted money and other favors to protect clients' sexual lives.
The clients interviewed say a Feb. 28 police raid on a house at 6004 34th Place NW was set off by reports of blackmail and possible credit-card fraud complaints and by District hotel operators about prostitution activities.
In the raid, spearheaded by the Washington Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service, authorities found a telephone switchboard operation serving a half-dozen homosexual escort services.
Secret Service agents and District police vice investigators confiscated financial records, as well as ledgers, photos, diaries, telephone records, Rolodexes and client lists of the prostitution network, during the raid and with subsequent subpoenas issued by D.C. Superior Court.
Although the confiscated material was turned over to District police on the scene, witnesses and law enforcement agents say the Secret Service kept one box containing names and other information about high-level government officials who were clients of the male escort business.
District police officials say that, to their knowledge, this is the first time the Secret Service has ever become involved in such a raid in this area.
Initially, the Secret Service denied it was involved in the raid, but after a second raid of the 34th Place house on May 18, the agency acknowledged its involvement in the investigation.
Secret Service spokesman Bob Snow said the agency participated in the search and seizure operation because of its jurisdiction over credit card fraud. "We come into such operations usually at the request of a U.S. attorney … if the fraud involves $10,000 or more … We are not involved in any local prostitution investigation," said Mr. Snow.
Witnesses to the February raid said 12 Secret Service agents in blue parkas entered the house and spent several hours collecting and removing boxes of files.
Federal and District investigators have since interrogated several prostitutes working for the ring, as well as clients of homosexual escort services operating under such names as Jovan, Man-to-Man, Metrodate, Ultimate Models and Ultimate First Class.
In addition to credit-card fraud, the investigation is said to be focused on illegal interstate prostitution, abduction and use of minors for sexual perversion, extortion, larceny and related illicit drug trafficking and use by prostitutes and their clients.
One of the chief operators of Professional Services Inc. and a regular client of the service speculated in separate interviews that the investigation would be restricted because "big names" were involved.
"Henry Vinson [the operator] said a high level official is going to try to block the investigation and may succeed," said Mr. Balach, the labor secretary's liaison to the White House. Mr. Vinson said he believes a highly placed federal official, whom he would not name, is working to derail the investigation, but he would not elaborate.
Authorities have been investigating possible credit card fraud by the ring operators since last fall.
[…]
Operators of the ring told The Times that videotapes, audio tapes and still photographs were made of sex acts performed by clients and the call boys, including perverted acts.
Documents show that customers were charged for "videotapes" from the operation.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Cell Phone Alerts - Simple Solution


Cell Phone Alerts - Simple Solution

In days gone by, we appointed individuals to be the voice of community. Town Criers, or similar type individuals, would be the ones empowered to make public announcements. They would roam the streets with a handbell and yell “oyez oyez oyez” to attract the attention of the weary public.

It is generally believed that one of the reasons so few people died in the great fire of London of 1666 is that the city’s Criers did a great job of waking the people and letting everyone know there was a problem.  Whether it was finding lost children, ‘crying down the fair’ or reminding shopkeepers not to let their pigs roam in the high street, the old Town Crier was of use to the community.

Today technology has made it simple to disseminate important public announcements. In fact, technology has become so invasive that we can no longer escape its grip. The issues that are central to the “cell phone alerts” are i) individual privacy and ii) do we have a social and moral responsibility to our fellow members of society.

I for one have no issue with cell phone alerts, but as much of society marches forward into the abyss of darkness, their concern for a fellow human being may be of no consequence.

In my view, the solution is quite simple. Those who choose not to be societal guardians should be provided an “opt out” selection. Cell phone and television manufacturers can easily make these programming options available to their customers. In other words, one should be able to “disable” cell phone alerts if one chooses to do so.

Thank you,
Joseph Pede

Thursday, July 25, 2019

New research shows Parkinson's disease origins in the gut

New research shows Parkinson's disease origins in the gut

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola
Go to source link below to view full video.

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Parkinson’s disease may originate in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Researchers injected misfolded alpha-synuclein, a protein linked to Parkinson’s disease, into the guts of healthy mice, then tracked it
  • One month later, it had turned up in the brainstem, while after three months it had traveled to the brain’s amygdala and midbrain; within seven and 10 months, it had turned up in even more regions of the brain
  • The researchers also injected the misfolded proteins into the guts of mice that had a severed vagus nerve; after seven months, no signs of cell death were present in the mice brains, and it appeared that the proteins were not able to advance to the brain
  • Problems with memory and anxiety also appeared in the intact vagus nerve mice that received the misfolded proteins in their guts, which were not seen in the other groups of mice
Your gut is a key player in your overall health, playing a role in your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease,1 obesity,2 sleep problems3 and depression.4 Parkinson’s disease, a central nervous system disorder that causes symptoms such as tremors and balance problems, however, has long been a disease of idiopathic origins, meaning there’s no known cause.
Research published in the journal Neuron5 may challenge this notion, as it further supports the notion that Parkinson’s disease may originate in cells in the gut and travel to the brain via the vagus nerve the 10th cranial nerve6 that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen.
If this is the case, it opens up new avenues for prevention and treatment, beginning with bolstering your gut health. However, there are other contributing factors to Parkinson’s disease that should also be considered.

Proteins linked to Parkinson’s can travel from gut to brain

Alpha-synuclein is a type of protein naturally found in the human body. When the proteins are misfolded, they may clump together and cause damage to nerve cells that lead to areas of dead brain matter called Lewy bodies.7 These areas of dead brain cells lead to Parkinson’s disease symptoms such as problems with movement and speech.8
In 2003, research by German neuroanatomist Dr. Heiko Braak first suggested that Parkinson’s disease may originate in the gastrointestinal tract.9
The featured study, which was conducted in mice, builds upon this, providing “the first experimental evidence that Parkinson’s disease can start in the gut and go up the vagus nerve,” study author Dr. Ted Dawson, professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University school of medicine, told The Guardian.10
Researchers injected misfolded alpha-synuclein into the guts of healthy mice, then tracked it to see where it ended up. One month later, it had turned up in the brainstem, while after three months it had traveled to the brain’s amygdala and midbrain. Within seven and 10 months, it had turned up in even more regions of the brain.
Next, the researchers injected the misfolded proteins into the guts of mice that had a severed vagus nerve. After seven months, no signs of cell death were present in the mice brains, and it appeared that the proteins were not able to advance to the brain. The study also evaluated behavioral changes in the groups of mice, such as their ability to build nests.
After seven months, mice with intact vagus nerves that received the misfolded proteins in their gut built smaller, messier nests, a sign of problems with motor control. Mice that did not receive the injection, and mice that received the injection but had a severed vagus nerve, scored consistently higher on nest-building activities.11
Problems with memory and anxiety also appeared in the intact vagus nerve mice that received the misfolded proteins in their guts, which were not seen in the other groups of mice.12 “This study supports the Braak hypothesis in the etiology of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (PD),” the researchers concluded.13
Speaking to Medical News Today, Dawson added, “Since this model starts in the gut, one can use it [to] study the full spectrum and time course of the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease,” and possibly discover ways to stop the symptoms from progressing.

Microbiome affects success of Parkinson’s drug

Levodopa is a drug that acts as a precursor to dopamine. In people with Parkinson’s, nerve cell damage in the brain causes dopamine levels to drop, which is why Levodopa is often given as a treatment to boost dopamine levels and alleviate symptoms. However, it doesn’t work for everybody.
Levodopa’s effectiveness may depend on the composition of the patient’s microbiota. In some people, gut microorganisms may metabolize the medication before it has a chance to cross the blood-brain barrier, rendering it ineffective.
Research by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco and Harvard have now identified specific enzymes produced by gut bacteria that work together to metabolize Levodopa in the gut.15 By blocking one or both of the enzymes, it’s possible the drug’s effectiveness could be improved for some people. According to the study:16
“We have characterized an interspecies pathway for gut bacterial l-dopa [Levodopa] metabolism and demonstrated its relevance in human gut microbiotas. Variations in these microbial activities could possibly contribute to the heterogeneous responses to l-dopa observed among patients, including decreased efficacy and harmful side effects.”
The bacterial species identified that metabolize Levodopa were Enterococcus faecalis and Eggerthella lenta. The scientists also identified a molecule capable of blocking an enzyme produced by Enterococcus faecalis, which preserved higher levels of Levodopa in gut microbes of Parkinson’s patients, as well as in mice carrying the bacteria in their gut.17
Study author Peter Turnbaugh, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology at UCSF, said in a university news release, “This study, together with other recent publications, emphasizes the utility of detailed biological and chemical knowledge about how our associated microbes shape the treatment of disease.”18

Severed vagus nerve linked to 40% lower risk of Parkinson’s

Adding further support that Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut and travel to the brain via the vagus nerve is a study that involved people who previously had a resection of their vagus nerve, often performed in people who suffer from ulcers to reduce the amount of acid secretion and reduce the potential for peptic ulcers.19
Using the national registry in Sweden, researchers compared 9,430 people who had a vagotomy against the records of over 377,200 who had not undergone the surgery. Although the researchers did not find a difference in the gross number of people who developed Parkinson's between the groups, after delving further they discovered something interesting.20
People who had a truncal vagotomy, in which the trunk of the nerve is fully resected, as opposed to a selective vagotomy, had a 40% lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.21

Gut bacteria may worsen accumulation of misfolded proteins

Additional research published in 2016 also found a functional link between specific gut bacteria and the onset of Parkinson's disease. Using mice engineered to overexpress alpha-synuclein, the researchers found “gut microbiota are required for motor deficits, microglia activation, and αSyn [protein α-synuclein] pathology.”22
What’s more, researchers noted, “Antibiotic treatment ameliorates, while microbial re-colonization promotes, pathophysiology in adult animals, suggesting that postnatal signaling between the gut and the brain modulates disease.” Other links were also seen in the study, including:23
  • Oral administration of microbial metabolites to germ-free mice promoted neuroinflammation and motor symptoms
  • Colonizing mice engineered to overexpress alpha-synuclein with microbiota from Parkinson’s disease patients enhanced physical impairments in the mice compared to microbiota transplants from healthy human donors
The researchers concluded, “These findings reveal that gut bacteria regulate movement disorders in mice and suggest that alterations in the human microbiome represent a risk factor for PD [Parkinson’s disease].”24 The connection makes sense, as gastrointestinal symptoms, such as constipation, may begin decades before the onset of symptoms in Parkinson’s disease.
Research also shows that people with Parkinson’s have increased expression of the bacterial endotoxin-specific ligand toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), intestinal barrier disruption, enhanced makers of bacterial translocation and higher proinflammatory gene profiles in the colon compared to people without the disease.25
Inflammation driven by TLR4 may be another route involved in Parkinson’s disease development and related neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.

Pesticides also linked to Parkinson’s

The gut is one intriguing avenue that needs to be further explored in Parkinson’s, but other factors are also likely involved, including exposure to external toxins like pesticides. Pesticide exposure is strongly linked to Parkinson’s disease and may increase the risk by 80% in some cases.26
It’s believed pesticides may contribute to dopaminergic neuron death,27 and even low-level exposure may mimic the effects of mutations that cause Parkinson’s disease.28,29 In one study, when researchers exposed dopamine-producing neurons to two pesticides (paraquat and maneb), it prevented mitochondria from moving properly, leading to energy depletion within the neurons.30
"People exposed to these chemicals are at about a 250-percent higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease than the rest of the population," study author Scott Ryan of University of Guelph said in a news release.
"Until now, the link between pesticides and Parkinson's disease was based primarily on animal studies as well as epidemiological research that demonstrated an increased risk among farmers and others exposed to agricultural chemicals. We are one of the first to investigate what is happening inside human cells."31
What’s more, people with a genetic predisposition for Parkinson’s disease may be more affected by exposure to pesticides, and put at risk by lower levels. "People with a predisposition for Parkinson's disease are more affected by these low-level exposures to agrochemicals and therefore more likely to develop the disease," said Ryan. "This is one of the reasons why some people living near agricultural areas are at a higher risk."32

Tips for lowering your Parkinson’s risk

Avoiding exposure to pesticides by not using them in your home or garden and eating organic or biodynamically grown food as much as possible is an important tool for lowering your Parkinson’s risk. Minding your gut health is another important avenue, which can be accomplished by the following:


Do/Avoid

Eat plenty of fermented foods — Healthy choices include lassi, fermented grass fed kefir, natto (fermented soy) and fermented vegetables.

Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary, and when you do, make sure to reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a high-quality probiotic supplement.


Take a probiotic supplement — Although I'm not a major proponent of taking many supplements (as I believe the majority of your nutrients need to come from food), probiotics are an exception if you don't eat fermented foods on a regular basis.

Conventionally-raised meats and other animal products, as CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics.


Boost your soluble and insoluble fiber intake, focusing on vegetables, nuts and seeds, including sprouted seeds.

Chlorinated and/or fluoridated water —Especially in your bathing such as showers, which are worse than drinking it.


Get your hands dirty in the garden —Exposure to bacteria and viruses can help to strengthen your immune system and provide long-lasting immunity against disease.

Get your hands dirty in the garden, which can help reacquaint your immune system with beneficial microorganisms on the plants and in the soil.
Processed foods — Excessive sugars, along with otherwise "dead" nutrients, feed pathogenic bacteria.

Food emulsifiers such as polysorbate 80, lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols, and xanthan gum also appear to have an adverse effect on your gut flora.

Unless 100 percent organic, they may also contain GMOs that tend to be heavily contaminated with pesticides such as glyphosate.

Artificial sweeteners have also been found to alter gut bacteria in adverse ways.33

Open your windows — Research shows that opening a window and increasing natural airflow can improve the diversity and health of the microbes in your home, which in turn benefit you.34

Agricultural chemicals, glyphosate (Roundup) in particular is a known antibiotic and could potentially kill many of your beneficial gut microbes if you eat foods contaminated with it.

Wash your dishes by hand instead of in the dishwasher — Research has shown that washing your dishes by hand leaves more bacteria on the dishes than dishwashers do, and eating off these less-than-sterile dishes may decrease your risk of allergies by stimulating your immune system.35

Antibacterial soap, as it kills off both good and bad bacteria and contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance.

Source: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/07/11/parkinsons-disease-may-start-in-the-gut.aspx