Let thy foods be thy medicine…

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The notion that “you are what you eat” is an aphorism descended from antiquity that’s largely been ignored by those engaged in the frenetic pace of 21st Century life.  Our ancestors have validated these laws over generations and it’s probably a good idea for us to heed these un-codified precepts.  When the only consistently growing component of GDP, year in year out is healthcare, something seems amiss.  But what exactly is healthcare?  Usually healthcare costs are a measure of the infirmity of a population and annual cost increases generally indicate that the needs of the population are expanding.

Logically speaking, only an increasing number of sick and dying people would lead to an increase in the demand for more healthcare services.  Even if we adjust for population growth, immigration and other statistically significant variables, there still seems to be an ever lengthening list of maladies plaguing the population at large.  (This is an overly simplistic assessment of the etiology of rising healthcare costs.  The sleight of hand executed by insurance companies via President Bush’s prescription plan for seniors is not considered here. Health and Human Services cannot negotiate prices with drug companies by law. Consequently, it costs almost 70 percent more for prescription drugs in the Medicare program than through the Veteran’s Administration).

Over the last century, allopathic practitioners and pharmaceutical manufacturers have attempted to assure us that they alone hold the key to healing and wellness.  Naturopathy, nutrition, and other holistic practices are often not recognized as efficacious treatment modalities.   However, outside the realm of surgical therapy, the modern medical paradigm offers few “cures.”  Allopathic medicine is grounded in symptom suppression, hence your survival becomes dependent on your ability to purchase pills for the duration of your life.  Drugs are quite useful in treating pathogen based illness, but the sphere of influence is largely limited to these infectious agents.

Those who suffer with auto-immune health problems become all too aware of these shortcomings related to the practice of medicine.  Auto-immune problems arise from an improper immune response in the body but the term is often applied as a catch all provision for many illnesses lacking an identifiable origin.  Our children are developing illnesses such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, eczema and a host of other ailments at far too early ages.  And what’s even more troubling, is that the causes of these illnesses remain largely unknown.  Is it remotely possible that the nutrient depleted, over-processed, meat heavy diets promulgated by popular culture are having significantly broader impacts on the health of the population at large than we think?

Aristotelian logic is not necessary to deduce that you only hide something that needs to be hidden.  It is astonishing that companies like Monsanto use the legal system and manipulate the legislative process to avoid disclosing that food is genetically modified.  Japan, the E.U., and a great many other countries have banned GMOs, yet corporations oppose proper labeling of the foods we consume.  Studies are beginning to surface indicating that GMOs are not as benign as advertised.  IMHO, a more accurate description is that GMOs are an outright threat to the vitality of life.  C’mon man, the safety of the food we consume is almost as important as the pending nuptials of one of the Kardashian sisters.  A little coverage of this issue is not too outrageous of a demand.  The major news networks are silent about the virulent impacts to life presented by food that has been genetically modified in violation of the great pattern of universal procedure.

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Finger lickin’ good???

Another significant safety concern stems from the meat produced for consumption on large factory farms.  Upton Sinclair would probably roll in his grave if he learned that we’ve enacted “Ag-gag” laws here in America.  Tyson, Cargill and other players lobby Congress for these gems of legislative wisdom. What results is the criminalizing of investigative journalists and animal protection advocates who attempt to document the rampant food safety and animal welfare abuses within the industrial animal farm system.   Once again I must ask, if no threat to my well-being exists, then why the need for secrecy?  The E.U. and Japan have banned both anti-biotic use to stimulate growth in meat production and the practice of feeding animal remains to livestock.  Thus, it’s highly unlikely that international competitors would be interested in stealing our “trade secrets.” Is it therefore the intent of the legislature to prevent us from knowing what we eat?  You may draw your own conclusions.  I simply thought that old McDonald would always be delighted to show us his bountiful fields and thriving animals. E.I.E.I.O.

The Great Work of the alchemical tradition is the path to the philosopher’s stone.  This highly coveted object supposedly enabled the practitioner to transmute base metals into gold.  However, these allegorical explanations were proffered to ensure that the alchemist did not become the target of the Vatican’s wrath. The latter sought to remain the unopposed proxy for heaven, and to be the only approved broker of soul and spirit related affairs.  Alchemists however, were interested in a lot more than transmutation of metals. The transmutation of man is a more accurate description of the Great Work.  The majesty of the body did not escape their understanding as the human form is symbolic of the philosopher’s stone.

DNA directs our remarkable ability to transmute base substances (food), into the gold elixir of life.  The body completely alters a thing from what it is into something completely different.  The digestion of food is a spectacular transformation of elements through instantaneous adaptation of certain principles to special uses not originally intended.  This is alchemy. Food ingested should therefore nourish, vitalize, and advocate the principles of life. Food grown from seeds designed to die after germination would serve to inhibit the pilgrimage of life through matter.  Meat processed with arsenic and chlorine would also seem to limit this objective.

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A well-nourished human is capable of displaying his “divine” attributes in the presence of sunlight and air.  If we input avocados, nuts, and bread, the body performs its miraculous transmutation into life force with no conscious effort, and we output art, philosophy, mathematics and music. This magical ability bestowed upon man is not dependent on race, socio-economics, gender or any other characteristic.  Whether a random evolutionary quirk or a boon bestowed by that from which all things arise, it belongs to each and every one of us.  Use the wealth of info available on diet and nutrition on the internet to ensure optimal functioning of the body.  Nurture yourselves well and let your creativity abound. Remember, you are what you eat.

One love,

HJ

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Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

brown

As I watched a recap of the horse and pony show that was John Brennan’s Senate Confirmation hearing, the Bob Marley lyric, “Well it seems like total destruction is the only solution, ain’t no use, no one can stop them now” reverberated within my head like the roar of a lion. Brennan is once more the President’s choice to be top dawg at the CIA.  Back in 2008, protests by Human Rights groups prevented him from being considered for the post.  However, Mr. Obama unfortunately considers torture to be a welcomed part of his “Yes we can” credo.  Brennan’s previous stint with the CIA was marred with allegations of torturous acts committed against citizens of various nationalities during the ongoing U.S. “War of Terror,” I mean U.S. “War on Terror.”  He was a leading proponent of CIA renditions and torture in his official capacity with the Bush administration. I believe the actual terms used by Brennan was that he was “intimately familiar” with rendition.  A report by the Open Society Justice Initiative, “Globalizing Torture,” names at least 136 individuals who were subjected to secret detention and rendition by the US and its partner states.  Western democracies supposedly do not apply overt propaganda techniques to our populations, but wasn’t Ivan Drago supposed to be the villain?  When did Maverick and Goose become the bad guys?

Diane Feinstein (D-California) and other corporate employees that “serve” on Capitol Hill continued to pitch softballs to Brennan while skirting the 800 lb. legal gorilla in the room.  Brennan is considered the key architect of the U.S. drone program, which is used in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere to track and kill “terrorists.” The program has been heavily criticized for targeting American citizens and for the unnecessary murder of innocent civilians.  Apparently the Obama administration and its wheel-man Brennan, consider the Due Process Clause and Bill of Rights of the Constitution applicable only in specific circumstances.  As far as the “collateral” deaths of civilians, brown-skinned tribesmen that cannot be terrorized into adopting consumer capitalism are merely obstacles impeding the imperial interests of the NATO members.  There is no oversight of the drone program.  No charges, no evidentiary hearing, just Brennan’s accusations and Obama’s acquiescence.  And poof, a state sanctioned hit.  Earlier in the week, through some newspeakesque word-smithing, attorney general Eric Holder articulated why American citizens can be targeted and killed via circumvention of the guarantees outlined in Madison’s Magnum Opus. The trend seems to be a further expansion of the already broad interpretation of Executive power as outlined by the Bush White House.

Patriot Act, NDAA, now this?  Those who wield the Spear of Longinus certainly seek to obviate the rule of law. I guess it’s time to bid you adieu ol’ Girl.  For 200 years you stood as a codification against the will of tyrants.  You ended the “divine right of kings” and shone brightly from your perch; scribbled upon hemp paper, you met the demands of your changing world and eventually grew to love all your children. But alas, all good things must come to an end.  I just didn’t think the very men you warmly embraced would gut you like a pig.  To those of us who know what you represent, our hearts are heavy. Your ironclad guarantees just are not ironclad anymore.  Furthermore, individuals who attempt to voice their outrage over the violations of your dignity become the targets of federal prosecutions themselves.

To his credit, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) asked Brennan what the public deserved to know about “the President’s ability to kill Americans.”  Brennan didn’t answer directly; saying only that the government must “optimize transparency [and] at the same time optimize secrecy and the protection of our national security.” Brennan’s nonchalance was eerily familiar to that displayed by Lloyd Blankfein and the other bank conspirators when questioned by Congress relating to the heist perpetuated against the US taxpayer. Can’t blame them though, I owe no explanation to the hired help about why the floors are dirty.

When human rights and the sanctity of life are dealt a blow like this, advocates for the dignity of all men sometimes need a reassuring voice.  I hope you find some comfort in the following excerpt from Bob.

One love,

HJ

More info on this can be found at democracynow.org

When fact becomes legend, print the legend.

Priceless

“How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?
Every part of the Earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clear and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memories of the red man. The white man’s dead forget the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful Earth, for it is the mother of the red man.
We are part of the Earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters, the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and the man, all belong to the same family.  So, when the Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land, he asks much of us. So we will consider your offer to buy land. But it will not be easy. For this land is sacred to us. This shining water that moves in streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you land, you must remember that it is sacred, and you must teach your children that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events in the life of my people. The waters’ murmur is the voice of my father’s father. The rivers of our brothers quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember to teach your children that the rivers are our brothers, and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness that you would give my brother. We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The Earth is not his brother, but his enemy and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father’s graves behind, and he does not care. He kidnaps the Earth from his children, and he does not care.

BIRTHRIGHT
His father’s grave, and his children’s birthright are forgotten. He treats his mother, the Earth, and his brother, the same, as things to be bought, plundered, sold like sheep or bright beads. His appetite will devour the Earth and leave behind only a desert. I do not know. Our ways are different from yours. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. But perhaps it is because the red man is a savage and does not understand. There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring, or the rustle of an insect’s wings. But perhaps it is because I am a savage and do not understand. The clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of a whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night. I am a red man and do not understand. The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of the pond, and the smell of the wind itself, cleansed by a midday rain, or scented with the pine.

PRECIOUS
The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to the stench. But if we sell you our land, you must remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. And if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a place where even the white man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow’s flowers. So we will consider your offer to buy our land. If we decide to accept, I will make one condition – the white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers. I am a savage and do not understand any other way. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be made more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive. What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of the spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.

RESPECT
You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the Earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the Earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know – the Earth does not belong to man – man belongs to the Earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the Earth – befalls the sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life – he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. Even the white man, whose God walks and talks with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all.
We shall see. One thing we know, which the white man may one day discover – Our God is the same God. You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land, but you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for red man and the white. The Earth is precious to Him, and to harm the Earth is to heap contempt on its creator. The whites too shall pass, perhaps sooner than all other tribes. But in your perishing you will shine brightly, fired by the strength of the God who brought you to this land and for some special purpose gave you dominion over this land and over the red man. That destiny is a mystery to us, for we do not understand when the buffalo are slaughtered, the wild horses tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by talking wires. Where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the Eagle? Gone. The end of living and the beginning of survival.”

– Chief Seattle (supposedly, but more likely the words of a script writer).

After those soul-stirring words, there’s not much I need add.  As leader of the Duwamish people, Chief Si’ahl (Seattle) did actually address the foreign invaders in 1854 about the sanctity of the land and the responsibility of stewardship that rests upon humanity’s shoulders.  There’s been much debate regarding the actual text of the speech however,  but authenticity of verbiage doesn’t diminish the inherent truths of this message.  Like much of history taught in school, when fact becomes legend, it’s the legend that’s offered up as the official version of events.  So we’ll just say that this is the actual text of the 1854 address.  I share these words not to debate authenticity, but rather to rekindle an awareness of Gaea’s beauty and importance.  It is irrefutable that mankind is subject to the consequences of its actions within the biosphere.

It’s reasonable at this point in human history to make all races interlocutors of the Chief’s concerns.  The philosophies once the exclusive province of the white man are now held by persons of all color, especially fictional paper persons. The shot callers in DC often speak of burdening the future generations with debt when attempting to justify cutting social programs, but what of the future costs to Life by reckless disregard of our air? our water?  The rampant use of fossil fuels, hydro-fracking chemicals, industrial farming, unchecked pollution, etc., these have consequences to our heirs that we can place no price upon.  Industry must be held accountable for the adverse consequences of production on a global scale, as this is not limited to any single nation.  I believe the time has come to borrow some of the wisdom of the native Americans and think in terms of the 7th generation.  Let our legacy be one of life and not of survival.

HJ

P.S.  Think of your sons and daughters the next time you reach for an un-recycled plastic bottle of water. Spend your hard earned dollars on companies that adopt environmentally sustainable business models and support representatives with positions that mirror your concerns. No one individual can save the world, but trickles become torrents.  Consciousness is not limited to individuated units as “I” is merely a point of reference.

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