What. DOES Facebook Know About you?

The 18 things you may not realise Facebook knows about you: Firm reveals the extent of its spying in a 454-page document to Congress

  • Facebook knows your exact mouse movements and battery status
  • It can tell if your browser window is ‘foregrounded or backgrounded’
  • In some cases, it monitors devices around its users or on the same network 
  • The details were revealed in document of answers to Congress following Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance in April over the Cambridge Analytica scandal

WHAT ARE THE 18 METHODS USED BY FACEBOOK TO TRACK USERS REVEALED IN LETTERS TO CONGRESS?

1. ‘Device information’ from ‘computers, phones, connected TVs, and other web-connected devices,’ as well as your ‘internet service provider or mobile operator’

2. ‘Mouse movements’, which can help distinguish humans from bots

3. ‘App and file names’, including the types of files on your devices

4. ‘Device operations’ such as whether a window running Facebook is ‘foregrounded or backgrounded’

5. ‘Device signals’, including ‘nearby Wi-Fi access points, beacons, and cell towers’ and ‘signal strength’ as well as Bluetooth signals

6. ‘Other devices that are nearby or on their network’

7. ‘Battery level’

8. ‘Available storage space’

9. ‘Plugins’ installed

10. ‘Connection speed’

11. ‘Purchases’ Facebook users make on third-party websites

12. Contact information ‘such as an address book’ and ‘call log or SMS log history’ for Android users with these settings synced

13. Information ‘about how users use features like our camera’

14. The ‘location of a photo or the date a file was created’ through the file’s metadata

15. ‘GPS location, camera, or photo’ information found through your device’s settings

16. Purchases from third-party data providers as well as other information about your ‘online and offline actions’

17. ‘Device IDs, and other identifiers, such as from games, apps or accounts users use’

18. ‘When others share or comment on a photo of them, send a message to them, or upload, sync or import their contact information’ text

The creepy ways Facebook spies on its users have been detailed in a bumper document presented to Congress.

They include tracking mouse movements, logging battery levels and monitoring devices close to a user that are on the same network.

The 454-page report was created in response to questions Mark Zuckerberg was asked during his appearance before Congress in April.

Lawmakers gave Zuckerberg a public grilling over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but he failed to answer many of their queries.

The new report is Facebook’s attempt to address their questions, although it sheds little new light on the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

However, it does contain multiple disclosures about the way Facebook collects data.

Some are unsurprising, such as the time people spend on Facebook, while others may come as a shock to the majority of users.

Device information

Facebook tracks what device you are using to access the network.

To do this, it will log the hardware manufacturer of your smartphone, connected television, tablet, computer, or other internet-connected devices.

Facebook also tracks the operating system, software versions and web browser.

If you’re using a smartphone, it will keep a record of the mobile carrier, while internet service providers (ISPs) will be stored for users using a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection to access Facebook.

In some cases, it will monitor devices that are using the same network as you.

‘Facebook’s services inherently operate on a cross-device basis: understanding when people use our services across multiple devices helps us provide the same personalized experience wherever people use Facebook,’ the firm wrote in the lengthy document.

According to Facebook, this is done, for example, ‘to ensure that a person’s News Feed or profile contains the same content whether they access our services on their mobile phone or in a desktop computer’s web browser.’

Facebook also says this information is used to curate more personalized ads.

 

to find out more, go to:    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5834371/The-18-things-not-realise-Facebook-knows-YOU.html

LIGHTEN UP YOUR WATER

The Fourth Phase of Water – What You Don’t Know About Water, and Really Should

Story at-a-glance

  • Your body consists of over 99 percent water molecules, but the water in your cells is not regular water, but highly structured water with special properties
  • There is a fourth phase of water, not H2O but H3O2, and can be called living water. It’s more viscous, dense, and alkaline than regular water; has a negative charge, and can hold energy, much like a battery, and deliver energy too
  • The key ingredient to create this highly structured water is light, i.e. electromagnetic energy, whether in the form of visible light, or infrared wavelengths, which we’re surrounded by all the time
  • One reason why infrared saunas make you feel so good is because your body’s cells are deeply penetrated by infrared energy, which builds and stores structured water. The same goes for light therapy, spending time in the sun, and laser therapy
  • Besides optimizing your drinking water by vortexing, you can help support your body’s negative charge by connecting to the Earth, which also has a negative charge. This is the basis of the earthing or grounding technique

Water is clearly one of the most important factors for your health—especially when you consider that your body actually consists of over 99 percent water molecules! I sincerely believe water is a really underappreciated part of the equation of optimal health.

I’ve previously interviewed Dr. Gerald Pollack, who is one of the leading premier research scientists in the world when it comes to understanding the physics of water, and what it means to your health.

Besides being a professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington, he’s also the founder and editor-in-chief of a scientific journal called Water, and has published many peer-reviewed scientific papers on this topic. He’s even received prestigious awards from the National Institutes of Health.

His book, The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor, is a phenomenal read that is easy to understand even for the non-professional.

It clearly explains the theory of the fourth phase of water, which is nothing short of ground-breaking. The fourth phase of water is, in a nutshell, living water. It’s referred to as EZ water—EZ standing for “exclusion zone”—which has a negative charge. This water can hold energy, much like a battery, and can deliver energy too.

For years, Dr. Pollack had researched muscles and how they contract, and it struck him as odd that the most common ideas about muscle contraction do not involve water, despite the fact that muscle tissue consists of 99 percent water molecules.

How could it be that 99 percent of the molecules were ignored? How could it be that muscle contracts without involving the water in some way? These questions help catalyze his passionate investigation into water.

So You Think You Understand Water?

Gilbert Ling, who was a pioneer in this field, discovered that water in human cells is not ordinary water (H2O), but something far more structured and organized.

“I began to think about water in the context of biology: if water inside the cell was ordered and structured and not bulk water or ordinary water as most biochemists and cell biologists think, then it is really important,” Dr. Pollack says.

Dr. Pollack’s book also touches on some of the most basic features of water, many of which are really not understood. For example, how does evaporation take place? Why does a tea kettle whistle? Also, despite the fact that conventional science tells us freezing is supposed to occur at zero degrees Celsius, experiments show that it can freeze in many different temperatures down to minus 50 degrees Celsius.

There’s actually no one single freezing point for water! Other experiments show that the boiling point of 100 degrees Celsius (or 212 degrees Fahrenheit) does not always hold true either.

“There’s a famous website1 put together by a British scientist, Martin Chaplin. Martin lists numerous anomalies associated with water,” Dr. Pollack says. “In other words, things that shouldn’t be according to what we know about water…

The more anomalies we have, the more we begin to think that maybe there’s something fundamental about water that we really don’t know. That’s the core of what I’m trying to do. In our laboratory at the University of Washington, we’ve done many experiments over the last decade. These experiments have clearly shown the existence of this additional phase of water.”

The reason this fourth phase of water is called the exclusion zone or EZ is because the first thing Dr. Pollack’s team discovered is that it profoundly excludes things. Even small molecules are excluded from EZ water. Surprisingly, EZ water appears in great abundance, including inside most of your cells. Even your extracellular tissues are filled with this kind of water.

to read more, go to:    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/18/exclusion-zone-water.aspx

On Declining IQs

Researchers find IQ scores dropping since the 1970s

June 12, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Medical Xpres
intelligent
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A pair of researchers with the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Norway has found that IQ test scores have been slowly dropping over the past several decades. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Bernt Bratsberg and Ole Rogeberg describe their study and the results they found. They also offer some possible explanations for their findings.

Prior studies have shown that people grew smarter over the first part of last century, as measured by the intelligence quotient—a trend that was dubbed the Flynn effect. Various theories have been proposed to explain this apparent brightening of the human mind, such as better nutrition, health care, education, etc, all factors that might help people grow into smarter adults than they would have otherwise. But, now, according to the researchers in Norway, that trend has ended. Instead of getting smarter, humans have started getting dumber.

The study by the team consisted of analyzing IQ test results from young men entering Norway’s national service (compulsory military duty) during the years 1970 to 2009. In all, 730,000 test results were accounted for. In studying the data, the researchers found that scores declined by an average of seven points per generation, a clear reversal of results going back approximately 70 years.

But it was not all bad news. The researchers also found some differences between family groups, suggesting that some of the decline might be due to environmental factors. But they also suggest that lifestyle changes could account for some of the decline, as well, such as changes in the education system and children reading less and playing video games more. Sadly, other researchers have found similar results. A British team recently found IQ score results falling by 2.5 to 4.3 points every decade since approximately the end of the second world war. And this past December, another group from the U.S. found that children who grew up eating a lot of fish tended to have higher IQs—and they slept better, too, which is another factor involved in adult intelligence levels. Notably, children in many countries in the modern era eat very little fish.

More information: Bernt Bratsberg et al. Flynn effect and its reversal are both environmentally caused, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1718793115

Abstract
Population intelligence quotients increased throughout the 20th century—a phenomenon known as the Flynn effect—although recent years have seen a slowdown or reversal of this trend in several countries. To distinguish between the large set of proposed explanations, we categorize hypothesized causal factors by whether they accommodate the existence of within-family Flynn effects. Using administrative register data and cognitive ability scores from military conscription data covering three decades of Norwegian birth cohorts (1962–1991), we show that the observed Flynn effect, its turning point, and subsequent decline can all be fully recovered from within-family variation. The analysis controls for all factors shared by siblings and finds no evidence for prominent causal hypotheses of the decline implicating genes and environmental factors that vary between, but not within, families.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

CONSIDERATION:  Perhaps IQ scores are declining due to their no longer being relevant to the kinds of intelligence that is needed for this time.  MC

Zero and the Honeybee – Sweet!

A couple days ago, a quite interesting study was published that claims to identify the fact that bees are capable of understanding the mathematical concept of “zero.”

The study reportedly confirms that the honeybee is fully capable of understanding the quantitative value of nothing. Not only that, but they are gifted with the ability to correctly place zero at the beginning of a line of sequential numbers: they can understand zero, one, two, ect.

Of all insects out there, this is supposed to be the first concrete evidence to prove that the brain of an insect has the capability of understanding the concept of zero. This discovery has implications for the understanding of insect brains, but it also has implications about the evolution of complex number processing in living beings, according to articles reporting on the study.

Scientists say there are four distinct stages of understanding the concept of zero in both animal learning, and human culture, psychology, and history.

Stage one is a being understanding that zero means the absence of something, such as zero food, or zero air. A simple amount of visual processing ability can probably ensure a being can understand zero at this level.

Stage two is when a living being understands the difference between “nothing” and “something” with the concept of zero. For example, the absence of daylight once the sun sets is an understanding of zero as “something” vs “nothing.”

Stage three of understanding zero is defined as an understanding of the fact that a numeric value can be assigned to zero, and that zero belongs at the low end of a chronological sequence of numbers. The number line goes zero, one, two, three ect.

Stage four, the most advanced stage, is when a being fully understands that zero can be assigned a symbolic representation of “nothing,” for example 3 – 3 = 0.

So where do honeybees fall in these categories? Honeybees have officially achieved stage three in that process.

Believe it or not, it’s an elite few species across the entirety of life that are capable of understanding “zero” to this degree. The ability to learn or spontaneously develop an understanding of the concept of zero has so far only been observed in honeybees, vervet monkeys, rhesus monkeys, one African gray parrot, and a single chimpanzee.

This is definitely the first time such an advanced understanding of mathematics has been observed in any insects.

So why is zero so important? Throughout the history of humanity, it has apparently been demonstrably significant for a culture to understand it.

For centuries, the concept of zero as a number with a quantitative value went unnoticed. One early example is the Chinese using counting rods to mark a blank space, to represent a place holder in values.

By 628AD as far as we know, zero had a written record and people recognized it as a number by itself. An Indian mathematician named Brahma Gupta wrote about this in his book Brahmasputha Siddhanta.

His work constituted the first written record to provide an actual framework for people doing math to use zero when making calculations.

(Image credit: pixabaybooksfact, huffingtonpost, sciencebuzz)

from:    https://themindunleashed.com/2018/06/study-proves-honeybees-can-understand-a-complex-mathematical-concept.html

Influences of Light & Color on the Mind

How Color and Light Influence the Mind


The following article is excerpted fromLight Therapies: A Complete Guide to the Healing Power of Light by Anadi Martel, published by Inner Traditions.

Meditation is the inner sun,
The source of inner light.
Osho

Right from the very start of my interest in light in the 1980s what intrigued me most was to find out whether it could contribute to enhancing altered states of consciousness—specifically, the higher state of meditative consciousness. This propelled my interest in developing new techniques for the control of light based on its modulation. I started out by studying its effects directly on myself, and then I examined its effects on others. This process, which was of an empirical nature, showed clearly that certain types of light could indeed have profound effects on the mind and on the psyche.

At the same time it was obvious to me that no technical method could create a state of meditation. Meditation is being present to oneself, a conscious awareness of our experience in the moment. No machine, no technology, can give us this state of awareness. However, nothing prevents us from using technology to contribute to the creation of an interior space that is favorable to meditation, and in so doing helping it to occur—which is what we intended to do by means of visual stimulation. When we accomplished this we discerned that this sort of sensorial approach could have other applications as well. Ma Premo and I both realized that light could have considerable potential for psychotherapeutic applications. However, though we could clearly recognize its effects, we were still incapable of fully comprehending why they were taking place; it was very difficult to understand this correctly by simply relying on the scientific or psychological facts that were available to us at that time.

We discovered in our early experiments that the light we were using seemed to intervene in an intermediate zone between the physiological influence of color in its most concrete biophysical aspect and its purely cognitive impact through its capacity to evoke a rich interior universe. The conventional scientific references at the time took into account only one of these two influences, and this seemed inadequate to us. In fact, it was only gradually, over the course of about twenty years, that we developed a model to better understand the nature of this intermediary domain, and as a result we were able to identify the scope of therapeutic applications of this type of light.

The Power of Color on the Mind

One of our early inspirations came as a result of the first studies about the way the brain reacts to the perception of color. Generations of researchers had already explored the cerebral structures connected to vision, the most important of all our senses. They had started to identify a complex organization capable of decoding information coming from the retina by means of a successive sequence of cerebral centers, each one processing a particular aspect of the visual field, with the major part of the visual cortex found at the back of the brain, where the optic nerve extends to the occipital lobe.

But it was only in 1989 that Lueck et al. identified the anatomical center that specifically processes information about color. This study was accomplished with positron emission tomography (PET), which enabled scientists to see the metabolic activity in the brain in a very direct way. The technique consisted of having subjects view two analogous images, one a set of rectangles in multiple colors (known as “Mondrians” because they evoke similar-looking images made by painter Piet Mondrian) and the other the same set of rectangles in achromatic shades of gray (see fig. 11.1). They took care to preserve equal luminosity in both types of images in order to create the same level of nervous stimulation in the brains of the test subjects. Then they tested to see which cortical zones reacted differently. In this seminal study, which was later published in the journal Nature, they demonstrated that they were able to isolate the brain’s color center* in a region of the visual cortex called the V4 area (Lueck et al. 1989).

*The color center located in the V4 area of the visual cortex includes the lingual gyrus and the fusiform gyrus.

A particular detail that stood out when I read this study was a graph that depicted the levels of activity in the different cerebral areas when subjects viewed the color images and the achromatic images. Naturally, the color center in the brain reacted more actively to the colored version of the image, while another area, called the frontal eye fields, showed a clear suppression of activity with the colored image (see fig. 11.2). This area is to be found in the frontal cortex, the cerebral lobe generally associated with evolved mental activity, such as language, motivation, and planning.

The logical implication is that color appears to reduce mental activity while simultaneously stimulating the visual cortex. It is as though pure color consisted of complete information in itself, in such a way that the brain is not obliged to pursue any further mental analysis. This was in stark contrast to the same image in black and white, in which the frontal eye fields—i.e., higher cortical functions—are stimulated by the absence of color. Could color be a stimulus permitting the increase of global cerebral energy, yet calming the mind at the same time? This was a seductive possibility, because such a function is precisely what meditation does.

This close relationship between color and the mind was again emphasized in an astonishing study carried out by Kosslyn et al. (2000). He applied the same technique as Lueck (PET measurements resulting from viewing the Mondrian images); however, Kosslyn used subjects who were highly suggestible and placed them under hypnosis.* He discovered that in this case the color center reacts less to the actual coloring of the test image than to the suggestion under hypnosis that the image is colored (or not). Not only does color perception influence the mind, as Lueck had shown, but mind influences color perception: the two are intimately linked.

*According to Kosslyn’s study about 8 percent of the general population is highly suggestible to hypnosis.

The Domains of Influence of Light

Let’s examine more closely two important areas where color exerts its influence: the objective domain (working through the physiological and biophysical channels) and the cognitive domain (animating our thoughts and our consciousness).

We have explored a number of influences coming from the objective domain, which are influences mediated by the purely physical properties of light. This includes all those influences to be found in the new light medicine. So we have photobiomodulation, through which light acts directly at the cellular level, stimulating the mitochondrial respiratory chain and modulating the production of ATP, our metabolic energy source. Also influenced is the nonvisual optical pathway, through which light governs the endocrine system by means of the retinohypothalamic tract. Notably, this includes a profound influence on our central internal clock and consequently on circadian rhythm. Another objective effect of light is that of photic entrainment. Here, pulsating light interacts with brain waves to directly induce different mental states.

Many modalities of alternative light medicine come from the objective domain as well. For example, in syntonic optometry the visual field of the subject is exposed to precise colors in order to obtain specific autonomic effects. In Colorpuncture, the colors are chosen and applied according to the stimulated reflex points. The common characteristic of all of these objective influences is the systematic manner in which their action takes place, independent of the will or of any cognitive involvement of the subject.

The cognitive domain of light is that which passes through the sense of vision; this influence is one of the most profound we can have in life. Through vision, we build an interior representation of our entire world. Vision informs our superior cognitive faculties; it can evoke all the emotions, sensations, and thoughts that define us.

We’ve all heard that old truism, “An image is worth a thousand words.” The arts of painting and photography, television, and cinema are visual forms that can give meaning to our existence. In their most exalted manifestations such as sacred geometry or mandalas, images are capable of exerting influence of a higher spiritual nature. When light interacts in such a way with our mental universe, it is not only acting through its physical properties; it becomes a vehicle for the transfer of information through images that are formed by our visual system. The influence of light in this cognitive domain is characterized by the complexity of its form and by its rich informational content.

The Subjective Domain, the Third Area of Influence

So we possess many ways of using light, which can act on either one or the other of these two domains, the objective and the cognitive. But what happens at the boundary between these two? Essentially, in this intermediate domain we try to induce perceptions of a superior cognitive order by using the objective properties of light. For this reason I call this third domain of influence the subjective domainbecause it intervenes at the level of our interior perception, which is subjective. We will see that it concerns one of the most fertile of regions, and this has profound implications for the therapeutic application of color.

What do we mean when we say “perceptions of a superior cognitive order”? This has to do with all cognitive activity capable of inducing within us a harmonious and positive state of being. Such activity can take several forms: any emotion that evokes beauty or pleasure; the sensation of unity with the flow of life; deep relaxation; or, again, an impression of immense peace and security. Why would such perceptions be of particular therapeutic interest? Most of us understand this intuitively: they permit us to rediscover our natural equilibrium, and they open the door to an intrinsic mechanism of healing always ready to move into action when we give it the opportunity.

from:  http://realitysandwich.com

Highway Art as Environment

Take a drive down any interstate in the United States and what will you see? Billboards, dozens and dozens of billboards. Not only do the advertisements distract commuters, they block stunning scenes of natural landscapes. For these reasons, artist Jennifer Bolande painted surreal landscapes on a collection of billboards that blend into their backgrounds. 

The billboards were installed along the Gene Autry Trail in the sunny state of California. From the right vantage point, commuters could see larger-than-life photographs blend into their majestic backgrounds. 

The project, Visible Distance / Second Sight, was created by Bolande for part of Desert X. The outdoor exhibition of art exhibitions and site-specific work took place across the Coachella Valley between Feb. 25 through April 30, 2017.

Credit: Jennifer Bolande

Explains the DesertX project page:

“Each photograph is unique to its position along this route and at a certain point as one approaches each billboard, perfect alignment with the horizon will occur thus reconnecting the space that the rectangle of the billboard has interrupted.

In the language of billboard advertising this kind of reading is referred to as a Burma-Shave after the shaving cream company of the same name who used sequential placement to create messaging that could be read only from a moving vehicle.

Credit: Jennifer Bolande

Within the desert empire of roadside signs, Bolande chooses to advertise the very thing so often overlooked. Looking up at the billboards our attention is drawn back to the landscape itself, pictured here as a stuttering kinesthetic of real and artificial horizons.”

Credit: Jennifer Bolande

A major objective of Desert X was to raise awareness about global and local issues, ranging from climate change to starry skies, to immigration and tourism to gaming and golf.

Credit: Jennifer Bolande

from:    https://themindunleashed.com/2018/03/artist-replaces-billboards-with-photos-of-the-landscapes-theyre-blocking.html

What’s In Your Garlic?

by ANYA V

Did you know that  over 80 percent of the garlic sold worldwide comes from China? In fact, a large amount of garlic we consume here in America is  from China. The US imported 138 million pounds last year. Most consumers think that their garlic was grown in California, the “Garlic Capital of the World,” but in reality it was shipped from China. Even “organic” garlic is often from China, where organic certification methods can not be trusted.

Chinese garlic is bleached. According to Henry Bell of the Australian Garlic Industry Association, garlic from China is sprayed with chemicals to stop sprouting, to whiten garlic, and to kill insects and plant matter. He also reports that garlic is grown in untreated sewage, “Bell also calls into question some growing practices in China. “I know for a fact that some garlic growers over there use raw human sewage to fertilize their crops, and I don’t believe the Australian quarantine regulations are strict enough in terms of bacteria testing on imported produce,” he says. “I also challenge the effectiveness of the Chinese methyl bromide fumigation processes.” (http://www.theage.com.au/news/epicure/freshe…) .

Chinese garlic is heavily fumigated with methyl bromide to get rid of any bugs. Methyl bromide is a very toxic hazard. Exposure to high concentrations can cause damage to the respiratory and central nervous systems, even death. According to the UN it is 60 times more damaging than chlorine and is the base of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons).

Chinese garlic is also contaminated with lead, sulfites and other unsafe compounds.

Chinese garlic may be treated with growth inhibitors and subjected to cold temperatures, as well as over-storage. Over storage is particularly problematic as levels of allicin, one of the major constituents in garlic responsible for its health benefits, start to decline over time.

Fortunately, you can easily spot the difference between California-grown fresh garlic and imported garlic.

Here’s how to spot a California-grown bulb:

American garlic has some of the roots left on the bottom.

American garlic is heavier  than imported garlic.

American garlic is much more  flavorful.

Source: http://livingtraditionally.com

from:    http://realfarmacy.com/bleached-chemical-garlic-china-how-to-spot/

Legacy of Standing Rock

What Standing Rock Gave the World

Americans saw the Indigenous struggle—the violence, stolen resources, colluding corporations and governments—that goes hand in hand with protecting the Earth.
SRMonet1440.jpg

At the height of the movement at Standing Rock, Indigenous teens half a world away in Norway were tattooing their young bodies with an image of a black snake. Derived from Lakota prophecy, the creature had come to represent the controversial Dakota Access pipeline for the thousands of water protectors determined to try to stop it.

It was a show of international solidarity between the Indigenous Sami and the Lakota. “They got tattoos because of the Norwegian money invested in the pipeline,” said Jan Rune Måsø, editor of the Sami news division of Norway’s largest media company, NRK.

Rune Måsø said the story about the tattoos was just one of about a hundred that his team of journalists covered over the course of the months-long pipeline battle in North Dakota. One of them, “The War on the Black Snake,” was awarded top honors at a journalism conference held in Trømsø in November. That story revealed large investments Norwegian banks had made to advance the $3.8 billion energy project, spurring a divestment campaign by the Sami Parliament.

The backstory can be told simply. As early as April 2016, Indigenous activists protested the pipeline’s threat to the Standing Rock Sioux’s primary water supply, the Missouri River. While battles were fought in federal courts, representatives of hundreds of Indigenous groups from around the world—the Maori, the Sami, and the Sarayaku, to name a few—arrived. Temporary communities of thousands were created on the reservation borderlands in nonviolent resistance against the crude oil project. Police arrested more than 800 people, and many water protectors faced attack dogs, concussion grenades, rubber bullets, and, once, a water cannon on a freezing night in November. Last February, armored vehicles and police in riot gear cleared the last of the encampments. Recently, investigative journalism by The Intercept has documented that the paramilitary security firm TigerSwan was hired by DAPL parent Energy Transfer Partners to guide North Dakota law enforcement in treating the movement as a “national security threat.”

Oil now flows through the pipeline under the Missouri.

But this Indigenous-led disruption, the awakening resolve that was cultivated at Standing Rock, did not dissolve after February. Rather, it spread in so many different directions that we may never fully realize its reach. The spirit of resistance can easily be found in the half-dozen or so other pipeline battles across the United States. Beyond that, the movement amplified the greater struggle worldwide: treaty rights, sacred sites, and the overall stand to protect Indigenous land and life.

To be sure, post-colonization has always demanded acknowledgment of Indigenous autonomy. It’s what spurred months of international advocacy when Haudenosaunee Chief Deskaheh attempted to speak before the League of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1923. He wanted to remind the world that European colonizers had honored Iroquois Confederacy nationhood upon entering treaty agreements under the two row wampum.

The stand at Standing Rock, then, was not anything new—just more modern.

Google the words “the next Standing Rock” and you get a smattering of circumstances, mostly posed in the form of a question: Bears Ears, Line 3, Yucca Mountain. “The Next Standing Rock?” the headlines ask.

The story of White Clay, Nebraska, is indicative. When the last tipis came down at Standing Rock, Clarence Matthew III, a middle-aged Sicangu Lakota man better known by his camp nickname, Curly, spared little time migrating to the South Dakota–Nebraska border. There, another fight for justice was mounting, for families living on the neighboring Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This one focused on a decades-long dispute over beer sales targeted at Native American customers mostly prone to alcohol addiction.

Demands turned to broader issues: investigation of dozens of unsolved crimes in White Clay against Native Americans. “Once we got down there, they started telling us about the problems they’ve had, more than just alcohol, the murders, the rapes, and everything that was on the bad side of that alcohol problem,” Matthew said. “It just broke my heart to hear all that.”

Matthew had been caretaker of one of the main communities at Standing Rock, and he settled right in at Camp Justice at the edge of Pine Ridge. He was there with his “water protector family,” others who have adopted camping as an active form of protest.

We’re starting to see other Indigenous communities rise up and say, Let us all speak now.

For all the momentum that the resistance at Standing Rock brought, the Indigenous rights movement in the 21st century faces increasing challenges. Tribal nations tread cautiously under the administration of Donald Trump. Internationally, the militarized protection of extractive energy projects and theft of land persist, despite glaring media attention paid to the rising number of Indigenous peoples killed or jailed for their activism in the face of it.

In a final push for re-election last fall, Standing Rock’s Dave Archambault II gave what would be his last interview as chairman to tribal radio station KLND. Archambault used the airtime to speak matter-of-factly about how the movement had shifted the tribe’s potent public image away from the reservation. “It used to be cool to be Indian; now it’s cool to be from Standing Rock.

“This movement was significant, not just for Standing Rock, but for all of Indian Country and around the world. We made some noise and now we’re starting to see other Indigenous communities rise up and say, Let us all speak now, and it’s pretty powerful and moving,” he said.

Less than a week later and on the same day that the state of North Dakota accepted a $15 million gift from Energy Transfer Partners, Archambault was unseated by former council member Mike Faith, who has said publicly that he believes the overall movement hurt Standing Rock’s economy and neglected daily life for tribal members.

The difference of opinion between the two leaders is a conflict that often lies at the heart of tribal community: protecting the Earth or protecting the Indigenous peoples.

On the eve of Thanksgiving 2017, when the Keystone pipeline ruptured and spilled 210,000 gallons of oil in neighboring South Dakota, the newly elected Faith remained notably silent while water protectors responded with outrage, most loudly, closest to home.

Sustaining this awakening is the next great task.

“Ironically, this week most Americans will be sitting down and giving thanks when last year at this time my people were being shot, gassed, and beaten for trying to keep this very thing from happening,” Chairman Harold Frazier from the neighboring Cheyenne River Sioux tribe said in a statement. Like Archambault and other tribal leaders, Frazier was arrested for participating in the Standing Rock occupation.

Leadership in the Indigenous world is not only a difficult balance, but also dangerous.

In Honduras, activist Bertha Zuniga Cáceres is fighting for Indigenous rights in one of the most militarized regions in the world. She is the daughter of Berta Cáceres, the Indigenous Lenca woman who was assassinated after leading a successful campaign to halt construction of the Agua Zarca Dam. Now she is seeking justice for her mother’s death.

The 26-year-old Cáceres is also campaigning to suspend all U.S. military aid to Honduras. In July, she survived an attack by a group of assailants wielding machetes. Just weeks earlier she had been named the new leader of the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, the nonprofit organization formerly led by her mother.

“Many organizations, many NGOs, many Indigenous groups are struggling in how to sustain the work that they are doing in the face of these attacks,” said Katharina Rall, a researcher for Human Rights Watch.

Last year, after the military-style assaults on the camps at Standing Rock, Human Rights Watch expanded its agenda to include a program focused on the environment as a human right. “The fact that we now have an environment and human rights program at our organization is a reflection of this reality that a lot of people face,” Rall said.

Meantime, the organization Global Witness reports that it has never been deadlier to take a stand against companies that steal land and destroy the Earth. In 2016, the watchdog group found that nearly four activists a week are murdered fighting against mining, logging, and other extractive resource development.

Traditional knowledge has kept us in harmony with Mother Earth.

As disturbing as this reality is, it is unsurprising then to recall the military-style violence at Standing Rock: the rows of riot police pointing their guns at unarmed activists standing in the river; tanks shooting water in freezing temperatures at a crowd of people gathered on a bridge. In this one regard, Standing Rock was not unique in the world. It had become crucially important. Americans saw the global struggle faced by the estimated 370 million Indigenous people—the violence, stolen resources, colluding corporations and governments that go hand in hand with protecting the Earth.

Sustaining this awakening is the next great task.

Climate change poses one of the most serious reminders of why the sacred fires ignited at Standing Rock must continue to burn: Indigenous peoples and their knowledge and value systems matter.

At November’s COP23 climate conference in Bonn, Germany, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim was dressed in traditional Mbororo regalia when she stood in a conference hall demanding that Indigenous knowledge systems be properly acknowledged in Paris Agreement negotiations. The girl who once tended cattle in the region of Chad bordering northeastern Nigeria has now become a bridge for her people and government officials making decisions impacting the fragile ecosystem of Lake Chad, the lifeline for the Mbororo.

“Traditional knowledge has kept us from century to century to be in harmony with Mother Earth,” Ibrahim said. “These knowledges will make for all the difference, but we cannot wait years and years, because climate is changing, and it’s impacting the Earth.”

Other members of the Indigenous Caucus at Bonn say inserting traditional knowledge into the climate talks doesn’t go far enough. Jannie Staffansson, a representative of the Saami Council, wants what Chief Deskaheh had petitioned to the League of Nations nearly a century earlier: sovereign recognition for Indigenous Peoples on an international scale. It would allow equity at the negotiating table—a level playing field to fairly deal with the consequences of a warming planet in the face of land grabs and natural resource extraction.

“Why is it always that Indigenous peoples need to pay for other people’s wealth?” said Staffansson. She paused to check the Snapchat account she had been using to engage with a young Sami audience while at COP, a demographic similar to the teens who got tattoos of the black snake.

“I had friends that went to Standing Rock,” said the 27-year-old. “I was envious of their trip to support self-determination. Self-determination and a just transition is what we have to take into account.”

“We need climate justice in everything we do.”

Jenni Monet wrote this article for The Decolonize Issue, the Spring 2018 issue of YES! Magazine. Jenni is an award-winning journalist and tribal member of the Pueblo of Laguna in New Mexico. She’s also executive producer and host of the podcast Still Here.

from:    http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/decolonize/what-standing-rock-gave-the-world-20180316

Where Has Your Privacy Gone?

The US Government Just Destroyed Our Privacy While Nobody Was Paying Attention

(ANTIMEDIA) — While the nation remained fixated on gun control and Facebook’s violative practices last week, the U.S. government quietly codified the CLOUD Act, its own intrusive policies on citizens’ data.

While the massive, $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill passed Friday received widespread media attention, the CLOUD Act — which lawmakers snuck into the end of the 2,300-page bill — was hardly addressed.

The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD) “updates the rules for criminal investigators who want to see emails, documents and other communications stored on the internet,”CNETreported. “Now law enforcement won’t be blocked from accessing someone’s Outlook account, for example, just because Microsoft happens to store the user’s email on servers in Ireland.

The CLOUD Act will also allow the U.S. to enter into agreements that allow the transfer of private data from domestic servers to investigators in other countries on a case-by-case basis, further globalizing the ever-encroaching surveillance state. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has strongly opposed the legislation, listed several consequences of the bill, which it called “far-reaching” and “privacy-upending”:

  • Enable foreign police to collect and wiretap people’s communications from U.S. companies, without obtaining a U.S. warrant.
  • Allow foreign nations to demand personal data stored in the United States, without prior review by a judge.
  • Allow the U.S. president to enter “executive agreements” that empower police in foreign nations that have weaker privacy laws than the United States to seize data in the United States while ignoring U.S. privacy laws.
  • Allow foreign police to collect someone’s data without notifying them about it.
  • Empower U.S. police to grab any data, regardless if it’s a U.S. person’s or not, no matter where it is stored.

The bill is an update to the current MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty), the current framework for sharing internet user data between countries, which both legislators and tech companies have criticized as inefficient.

Some tech companies, like Microsoft, have endorsed the new CLOUD policy. Brad Smith, the company’s president and chief legal officer, called it  “a strong statute and a good compromise,” that “gives tech companies like Microsoft the ability to stand up for the privacy rights of our customers around the world.”

They echoed the sentiment of lawmakers like Orrin Hatch (R-UT). In February, he said of the bill:

“The CLOUD Act bridges the divide that sometimes exists between law enforcement and the tech sector by giving law enforcement the tools it needs to access data throughout the world while at the same time creating a commonsense framework to encourage international cooperation to resolve conflicts of law.”

But one of the biggest complaints from privacy advocates, however, it that the new legislation places too much unmitigated power in the hands of governments with abysmal human rights records while also giving too much discretion to the U.S. government’s executive branch. Noting that the executive branch will decide which countries are human rights compliant and that those countries will then be able to engage in data collection and wiretaps without any further restrictions or oversight, the ACLU warned:

Flip through Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch’s recent annual reports, and you can find a dizzying array of countries that have ratified major human rights treaties and reflect those obligations in their domestic laws but, in fact, have arrested, tortured and killed people in retaliation for their activism or due to their identity.”

The organization pointed out that no human rights organizations have endorsed the CLOUD Act, adding that “in the case of countries certified by the executive branch, the CLOUD Act would not require the U.S. government to scrutinize data requests by the foreign governments — indeed, the bill would not even require notifying the U.S. government or a user regarding a request.”

Further, the ACLU says, if a foreign government’s human rights record deteriorates, there is no mechanism to revoke its access to data. Considering the U.S.’ existing record on supporting regimes that severely restrict basic rights like freedom of expression, the expanded access the CLOUD Act provides is undoubtedly worrisome.

Also predictable is the government’s stale justification for expanding its power. As the CLOUD Act claims, it is purportedly to “protect public safety and combat serious crime, including terrorism” — even if it further empowers governments that support and commit said terrorism.

In an age where the government already engages in mass surveillance and is eager to disable the people’s efforts to protect their privacy through encryption technology, it is unsurprising, albeit dangerous, that Congress continues to encroach on what little is left of safeguards against unwarranted intrusions.

from:    http://theantimedia.com/us-government-privacy-cloud-act/

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Seasonal Foods to Check Out

7 Surprising Superfoods to Look for This Spring

Story at-a-glance

  • Eating locally means eating what’s in season. This spring, consider adding some of the following superfoods, many of which you may never have heard of before: morel mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, cherimoya, sorrel, stinging nettles, purslane and wild leeks
  • Most of these are only available for a short amount of time, and now’s the time to start looking for them
  • Morel mushrooms are packed with immune-boosting, disease-preventing vitamin D. Fiddleheads are picked from immature, uncoiled ostrich ferns, and have a flavor reminiscent of asparagus
  • Cherimoyas contain approximately 60 percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C and a third of your vitamin B6 needs, while nettles provide healthy amounts of vitamin K and calcium
  • One cup of sorrel provides more than your daily requirement of vitamins A and C, along with high amounts of potassium and iron; purslane is the omega-3 powerhouse of the plant kingdom

By Dr. Mercola

Eating locally grown foods comes with a bounty of benefits, from fresher foods to saving both money and the environment. One 2007 study from the University of Alberta, Canada, determined that the transportation alone of organic produce actually causes an environmental impact large enough to cancel out many of its benefits.1

If you look, you’ll find that most of the organic fruit and vegetables in your local grocery store come from much farther away than your conventional produce. Fresh produce in most regions of the U.S. actually travel between 1,500 to 2,000 miles on the road. That’s even higher than processed foods, which are shipped an average of 1,346 miles.2 Eating locally grown foods helps eliminate a substantial amount of the carbon footprint associated with food transportation.

Eating locally automatically means eating what’s in season. This spring, consider adding some of the following superfoods,3 many of which you may never have heard of before. Most of these are only available for a short amount of time, and now’s the time to start looking for them.

No. 1: Morel Mushrooms

Morel Mushrooms

Morel mushrooms, the tops of which resemble small shower loofahs, are packed with immune-boosting, disease-preventing vitamin D. Its taste has been described as umami, or savory. Rarely cultivated, morel mushrooms are typically wild-harvested and picking the mushrooms is a popular tradition for many.

That said, avoid picking mushrooms in the wild unless you are absolutely sure you know what you’re picking. There are a number of toxic mushrooms, including a species called “false morels,” and it’s easy to get them confused unless you have a lot of experience and know what to look for.

As noted in a recent study,4 “Morels have been in use in traditional medicine for centuries, due to their health-related benefits, and current research demonstrated their anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory bioactivities, in addition to immunostimulatory and antitumor properties.”

Most of the health benefits have been attributed to polysaccharides, along with a number of phytochemicals, primarily phenolic compounds, tocopherols, ascorbic acid and vitamin D. Morel mushrooms are an excellent addition cooked with any side dish and go great with all kinds of meat and fish. Many people enjoy eating them as a side dish on their own, gently sautéed for five to 10 minutes with a pat of butter. Never eat morel mushrooms raw, as they contain trace amounts of a toxin that make some people ill.

No. 2: Fiddlehead Ferns

Fiddlehead Ferns

Chances are you’ve never heard of fiddlehead ferns5,6 unless you’re a frequent visitor of farmers markets and specialty health food stores. As the name implies, the small curly discs are picked from immature, uncoiled ostrich ferns. The taste has been likened to that of asparagus, but with bit more crunch and bitterness. Others say they taste like a mix of asparagus, spinach and broccoli all in one.

High in antioxidants (twice the amount of blueberries) and plant-based omega-3, fiddlehead ferns are a potent anti-inflammatory food.7 They also contain vitamins A and C, both of which are important for healthy vision and immune function. Iron and phosphorous aid red blood cell production and are important for healthy formation of cell membranes and bone, while potassium supports heart health and electrolyte and muscle functions.

Fiddleheads are commonly picked in Maine and Canada, but can often be found in health food stores. Their season is quite brief — two to three weeks at the most. To ensure quality, look for specimens that have tightly coiled heads with stems about 2 inches in length. If picking your own, make sure you know how to identify ostrich ferns, as they are commonly confused with bracken fern — a species known to cause cancer in lab animals.

Also, fiddleheads may cause gastrointestinal upset when consumed raw, so light cooking, just as you would asparagus, is recommended. They can also be pickled for longer shelf life. For instructions, see this spicy pickled fiddleheads’ recipe by The Spruce.8

The following video will help you properly identify edible fiddleheads from the ostrich fern. Consider adding them to dishes that normally call for asparagus. Many recipes suggest eating them steamed or boiled with hollandaise sauce, cooked then chilled and topped with plain mayo, or lightly sautéed and tossed with some butter, lemon, vinegar and Parmesan cheese.

No. 3: Cherimoya

Cherimoya

This heart-shaped “dragon-scaled” tropical fruit has a sweet, buttery inside. Select specimens that are hard and green. As avocados, cherimoyas ripen quickly on the counter. Once the skin turns a bronze color and feels soft to the touch, it’s ready to eat. Simply peel and slice. Their flavor has been likened to a combination of banana, papaya and pineapple. Pureed, they can also be added to smoothies.

A single fruit contains approximately 60 percent of the daily recommended dose of vitamin C and a third of your vitamin B6 needs. In Mexico, the fruit has traditionally been used to ease anxiety, thanks to the presence of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which has mild antidepressive effects.

It’s also high in fiber, iron and niacin, and contain powerful compounds shown to combat cancer, malaria and human parasites. Cherimoya provides high amounts of potassium that help control heart rate and blood pressure. Furthermore, it contains more minerals weight per weight than a lot of more common fruits, including apples.

No. 4: Sorrel

Sorrel

Sorrel, also known as spinach dock or narrow-leaved dock, is a perennial leafy herb cultivated around the world. Packed with health benefits and a tangy, lemony flavor, it adds a bit of zing to just about any salad or dish, including creamy soups.

One cup of sorrel provides more than your daily requirement of vitamins A and C, along with high amounts of potassium and iron. Keep in mind that sorrel contains oxalic acid, which is contraindicated for those struggling with or prone to oxalate kidney stones. For most people, small quantities are completely safe and provide valuable health benefits. According to Organic Facts:9

The health benefits of sorrel include its ability to improve eyesight, slow the aging process, reduce skin infections, strengthen the immune system, and improve digestion. It also builds strong bones, increases circulation, increases energy levels, helps prevent cancer, lowers blood pressure, increases appetite, protects against diabetes, strengthens heart health and improves kidney health.”

No. 5: Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettles

While typically considered a pesky and painful weed, stinging nettles10 have unique health benefits. (On a side note, should you have them growing in your yard, they’re actually a sign of rich, healthy soil.) Just make sure you use gloves during handling until they’ve been cooked, to avoid a painful rash.

Once blanched or sautéed, they can be safely consumed, providing healthy amounts of vitamin K and calcium. Traditionally, nettles have been valued for its blood purifying properties, and can also be made into tea, said to ease congestion and soothe allergies and asthma.

Nettle tea may also boost milk production if you’re nursing, and helps stimulate your digestive glands, including your intestines, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. To learn more about the health benefits of stinging nettles and the various ways you can use it (including instructions for making nettle tea), see “Nettle: The Stinging Weed That Can Help You Detoxify.”

No. 6: Purslane

Purslane

Purslane11 (also called duckweed, fatweed, pigweed, pusley, verdolaga, ma chi xian in Chinese, munyeroo or wild portulaca), is the omega-3 powerhouse of the vegetation kingdom, and there’s a high probability it’s growing in your yard right now. According to Mother Earth News, it’s the most reported weed species in the world.12

Purslane looks very much like a miniature jade plant, with fleshy succulent leaves and reddish stems. The stems grow flat to the ground and radiate outward from a single taproot, sometimes forming large, flat circular mats up to 16 inches across. In about mid-July, it develops tiny yellow flowers about one-quarter inch in diameter.

Seeds of purslane are extremely tough, some remaining viable in the soil for 40 years, and it can grow in almost anything, from fertile garden loam to the most arid desert soil — even in your rock driveway. Just be very careful not to confuse purslane with spurge, because they can look similar, and spurge will make you sick. The following video shows how to tell them apart.

Purslane has a stellar omega-3 fatty acid profile, compared to other vegetables, containing anywhere from 300 to 400 milligrams (mg) of omega-3 per cup. It also contains six times more vitamin E than spinach, seven times more beta carotene than carrots, providing about 44 percent of your daily vitamin A needs per 100 grams,13 25 mg of vitamin C per cup, plus magnesium, calcium, iron, riboflavin, potassium, phosphorous and manganese.

Purslane can be eaten either raw or cooked. If you’re planning on eating raw purslane, make sure no pesticides or herbicides have been used nearby. If you’ve been spraying Roundup in your yard, never eat weeds collected from the area. Also avoid them if your neighbor has used Roundup in their yard, as the chemicals can easily drift across property lines.

As a precaution, wash the leaves and stems thoroughly before consuming. Typically, people eat the young purslane leaves and stems to avoid the tougher parts of the plant. For cooked purslane, there are numerous ways to incorporate this herb in your favorite dishes. You can boil it in water for 10 minutes and drain, or simply add it to other recipes to give the dish an added crunch.

No. 7: Ramps

Ramps

Ramps is a type of wild leek, featuring small white bulbs with hairy roots. While resembling green onions in appearance, their flavor is more akin to garlic. If you’re lucky enough to find them, be sure to get some. Ramps are exceedingly scarce as they’re a slow grower, and are only in season for a few weeks in spring.

Look for specimens that are firm, with bright green leaves. Don’t buy or use them if you notice brown spots or slimy areas. Unwashed and wrapped in a plastic bag, ramps can be refrigerated for up to a week. Ramps are a good source of vitamins A and C, selenium and chromium, the latter of which helps stabilize blood sugar. As for how to use them in your cooking, Organic Authority suggests:14

“[U]se ramps as you would scallions, green onions or leeks. Anything that would pair well with garlic or leeks will love the ramp. Slice them thinly and use sparingly, and also handle them gently, adding them at the end of the cooking process. Think simple to allow ramps to shine: Scrambled into eggs, garnished alongside seafood, mixed into big bowls of pasta, or oven roasted or grilled to perfection.”

How to Find Locally-Grown Food That Is in Season

When you eat locally grown foods, the contents of your shopping bag inevitably change with each passing season. In other words, adjusting what you eat to what’s in season becomes an inescapable fact if you’re going to eat locally-grown foods, and if you keep this in mind, it can become a pleasurable part of your culinary experimentation. Here are some tips for tracking down locally-grown foods that are in season:

  1. If you’re lucky enough to have a local farmers market, that’s the way to go. For a listing of national farmers markets and local food directories, see the USDA’s website. Another great resource is www.localharvest.org.
  2. Another good route for finding local food is to subscribe to a community supported agriculture program (CSA). Some are seasonal while others offer year-round programs. Once you subscribe, many will drop affordable, high quality locally-grown produce right at your door step. For a comprehensive list of CSA’s and a host of other sustainable agriculture programs, check out my Sustainable Agriculture page.
  3. Local farmers are perhaps your best source for seasonal produce. You can search for local farms on www.localharvest.org.
  4. Shop at your local natural food store or health co-op, as many of them get their produce from local farmers.
  5. If everything else fails, shop at your locally owned grocers rather than large chain supermarkets. Many small private grocers also supply produce from local sources.

Eight Signs of High-Quality Food

Last but not least, here are some general tips on what to look for when trying to determine the healthiest foods possible, no matter where you shop. You’ll want to look for foods that are:

  1. Grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some nonorganic foods). If harvesting edible weeds or plants from your garden, make sure no pesticides or herbicides have been applied in the area
  2. Not genetically modified
  3. Contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics or other drugs
  4. Does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives
  5. Fresh (if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may be the better option)
  6. Did not come from a factory farm
  7. Grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)
  8. Grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants)

from:    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/03/26/superfoods-for-spring.aspx