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Breaking: Judge Rejects “Riot” Charges Against Amy Goodman In North Dakota

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From a media standpoint, one thing has been very clear regarding coverage of the Dakota Access Pipeline event: it’s extremely taboo to report on. I say this because until Amy Goodman, a Democracy Now! journalist, went to the main protest site of what she refers to as “the standoff at Standing Rock” on September 3, not one of the major American broadcast networks had assigned a reporter to go onsite to report, nor had they even mentioned the protest on air.

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Earlier today, on Monday, October 17, 2016, Amy Goodman was set to walk into the Morton County–Mandan Combined Law Enforcement and Corrections Center to turn herself into the local authorities. Goodman was charged with rioting, even though she was simply onsite to report the news. Even though the charges have now been dropped, this still speaks volumes about mainstream media and the US legal system.

Last month, the award-winning journalist and host of Democracy Now! took it upon herself to go to the months-long protest where thousands of Native Americans are standing up against the construction of the $3.8 billion oil pipeline called the Dakota Access Pipeline. The project was set to carry Bakken crude through what is believed to be sacred sites and burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The tribe fears it could pollute the Missouri River, which would in turn destroy theirs and millions of other people’s drinking water. The protests signify the largest mobilization of Native American activists in over 40 years.

Despite the lack of coverage from mainstream media, Goodman went to the scene to report on what was anticipated to be an incredible news story. Hundreds of protestors were trying to stop a crew of bulldozers from digging up the earth—this earth, which DAPL says, “belongs to nobody.” However, the protestors were greeted by private security contractors with attack dogs and pepper spray.

“People have gone through the fence, men, women, and children,” Goodman reported through a microphone at the protest. “The bulldozers are still going, and they’re yelling at the men in hard hats. One man in a hard hat threw one of the protesters down,” she explained.

Meanwhile, a security contractor pummelled a man to the ground causing protestors to flock to his aid. Helicopters hovered overhead and protestors reported burning eyes and being physically harmed by the dogs.

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“Why are you letting the dog go after the protesters?” Goodman questioned a security contractor while a woman screamed in the background. “It’s covered in blood!” she exclaimed.

Goodman’s reporting resulted in a seven-minute video released on the web mere hours after the event, while a detailed report followed three days later that was broadcasted live on her show. The video went viral almost immediately, eventually landing on the very news stations who had been ignoring the protests: CNN, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and NPR.

Even though Goodman’s journalism ultimately led to a breakthrough in the media’s silence on an incredibly important issue, and likely provoked the Obama administration to halt work on the pipeline several days later, she was hit with a warrant for her arrest and charged with riot, which is a misdemeanor punishable by jail time and a fine.

The prosecutor, Ladd Erickson, told the Grand Forks Herald that Goodman is not a journalist. “She’s a protester, basically… Everything she reported on was from the position of justifying the protest actions,” Erickson said. In The Bismarck Tribune, he said, “I think she put together a piece to influence the world on her agenda, basically. That’s fine, but it doesn’t immunize her from the laws of her state.”

This begs the question: How is Amy Goodman not a journalist? She didn’t go to the protest with pepper spray, an attack dog, or a colourful sign relaying her feelings of dismay over the DAPL. Instead, Goodman carried a Democracy Now! microphone, came with a video crew, identified herself as a reporter, and broadcasted the resulting video on the daily news program she has had the privilege of hosting for the past 20 years.

“This arrest warrant is a transparent attempt to intimidate reporters from covering protests of significant public interest,” Carlos Lauría, a senior program coordinator for the Americas at CPJ, explained. “Authorities in North Dakota should stop embarrassing themselves, drop the charges against Amy Goodman, and ensure that all reporters are free to do their jobs,” Carlos added.

On Friday Goodman made note of her reasoning for turning herself in in an interview with The Real News Network: 

“The important issue is that the prosecutor is raising the content of our coverage. That is why we have a First Amendment. It’s the separation of the state from journalism. You know, we are not supposed to have state journalism here. There’s a reason why our profession is the only one explicitly protected in the U.S. Constitution – because we’re supposed to be the check and balance on power. If the state doesn’t like what we are reporting, that is not an arrestable offense. And if it is, our democracy is in big trouble.”

Listen to more of her empowering words below:

In a video, she said:

“The original charge against me was criminal trespass. Yet, on Friday, after we returned to North Dakota to challenge the charges and to continue covering the resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline, we learned that the state’s attorney, Ladd Erickson, had dropped the criminal trespass charge for lack of evidence, but had filed a new charge against me: riot. If Judge John Grinsteiner approves the new riot charge today, I’ll be appearing in court today at 1:30 p.m. North Dakota time to challenge it. For updates throughout the day, go to democracynow.org.”

Thankfully, after approximately one month, the charges against Goodman were finally dropped earlier today. Even though the case against her was dismissed, the entire situation still speaks volumes about mainstream media. Even though the DAPL is an issue that affects millions of Americans and has been reported on continuously by alternative news outlets, the mainstream media failed to cover it. Mainstream news only covered the story once a well-known journalist was arrested, instilling fear onto viewers and other journalists. It is clear that even if journalists wanted to report on these types of subject, they would likely be punished and could even face fines or jail time as a result.

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Snakes In Suits: Are Psychopaths Running The World?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    By comparing traits of psychopaths, as determined by experts, to those of people in corporate or political positions of power, we can see a clear link.

  • Reflect On:

    Psychopaths feel no remorse, guilt or empathy for their actions. When we look at the many inhumane acts that are currently taking place on our planet, it begs the following question: Are psychopaths running our world?

Often when we think of the word psychopath, we think of deranged serial killers that are hopefully locked up in prison for life. While there are many psychopaths who kill for reasons that are unfathomable to most of us and who are indeed in prison, there is an even greater number roaming free in our society and often using their condition to their advantage in any way possible. In fact, it is very likely that you know some–they might even be your colleagues.

Most of us do not know or work with any serial killers, at least not that we are aware of. So, what exactly is a psychopath and how can we define them? The dictionary definition is as follows:

“A person suffering from a chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.”

As you can probably tell, a lot more than just serial killers will fit into this broad definition. In fact, according to Canadian psychologist Dr. Robert Hare, a world-renowned expert on psychopathy, an estimated 1% of the Earth’s population is psychopathic and around 25% of the population of male inmates at federal correctional facilities are psychopathic.

Psychopathic Traits

It is important to note that, in contrast with the popular image of the ‘deranged psycho,’ psychopaths tend to be very well composed, take good care of their appearance and are very charming (think of Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho). Because of this you may have a difficult time spotting them out, as they are masters of deception and are able to fake a lot of the qualities that define regular people. Some other psychopathic traits, according to Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist, are as follows:

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  • Glib and superficial charm
  • Grandiose estimation of self
  • Need for stimulation
  • Manipulative and cunning
  • Complete lack of remorse or guilt
  • Pathological lying
  • Have a parasitic lifestyle, often latching onto and taking from others
  • Have a history of early behavioral problems
  • Overly impulsive
  • Are very irresponsible
  • Unable to accept responsibility for actions
  • Unable to commit to long-term relationships
  • History of juvenile delinquency
  • Display criminal versatility
  • Experienced a “revocation of conditional release”
  • Lacks realistic long term goals
  • History of promiscuous sexual behavior
  • Have poor behavioral controls
  • Are callous and lack empathy
  • Have a “shallow affect” (psychopaths show a lack of emotion when an emotional reaction is appropriate.)

You can actually rate yourself to find out if you are psychopath. On each criterion, the subject is ranked on a 3-point scale: (0 = item does not apply, 1 = item applies somewhat, 2 = item definitely applies). The scores are summed to create a rank of zero to 40. Anyone who scores 30 and above is most likely a psychopath. Hare has used this test and checklist to detect which inmates are psychopaths.

Snakes In Suits

What many of us don’t realize is that psychopaths actually thrive in the corporate world. Hare has actually co-authored a book with Dr. Paul Babiak on this topic entitled, Snakes In Suits: Understanding and Surviving the Psychopaths in Your Office. Psychopaths manipulate others to accrue power, sometimes pitting them against each other in an attempt to divide and conquer. They are often attracted to bigger, dynamic corporations with very little structure or supervision. They generally don’t work well in teams because they don’t like to share information or skills and it brings them joy to watch others fail. They are addicted to power, status and money. Sound familiar?

Sadly, the corporate world is set up to favor psychopathic traits such as fearlessness, dominant behavior and immunity to stress. Because of this, psychopaths often find themselves in these types of positions, and then have an easier time climbing the corporate ladder and obtaining positions of great power. This is where they can do real damage to society.

Are Psychopaths Running The World?

Not only as corporate heads do psychopaths find success in our modern-day society, but also within our governments and political system — often as front-line politicians. This may come as a shock to you, but when you really look at some of the atrocities that are taking place on our planet, and if you’ve ever wondered how things that are so inhumane could actually be happening, well, therein lies your answer.

When you consider the war, genocide, senseless murder of civilians, treatment of the indigenous cultures of the world, chemicals in our food, air and water supply, acts of “terrorism”, war crimes and so many other unjust and cruel actions which are often instigated by our political leaders, it becomes easy to see how psychopaths actually fit the requirements for these types of roles quite well. As mentioned before they are masters of deception, pathological liars and often quite charming.

Many soldiers go to war and because they are conditioned to believe that they are fighting an enemy in the name of peace. They do as they are told and commit these heinous acts against other human beings. The reason why so many soldiers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder is because it is not within human nature to murder other humans, and especially innocent civilians.

We already know how many politicians are crooked, but perhaps its time to start looking at them with the psychopath checklist in mind so that we can be better equipped to protect not only ourselves but our society from their malicious acts.

But Can’t We Help Them?

It is natural for anyone who is an empath or those involved in spiritual work to have compassion for these individuals and feel compelled to help them overcome their psychopathic behavior. However, most research has pointed towards the understanding that psychopaths are born, not made and therefore cannot be cured. This is one of the main differences that separates sociopaths from psychopaths. Another is that sociopaths have a conscience, albeit a weak one, and will often justify something they know to be wrong. By contrast, psychopaths will believe that their actions are justified and feel no remorse for any harm done. Sociopaths are made, and have a higher likelihood of overcoming their condition. However, many of those with sociopathic behavior will find themselves in similar corporate positions.

Hare’s research discovered that by attempting to heal or help a psychopath, you might actually be strengthening their cunning abilities, as they will find a way to manipulate you into believing that they are remorseful and understand how their actions were wrong.

The best we can do is learn to recognize the traits of psychopaths and be sure to stay clear of their actions and behaviors to protect ourselves from the wake of their inevitable destruction.

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Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Sues Rep. Adam Schiff For “Censoring Vaccine Debate”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons are suing Rep. Adam Schiff for "censoring vaccine debate."

  • Reflect On:

    Should information that creates and generates concern among the population about vaccines and vaccine safety be censored, even if it's factual and not actually 'fake news?'

Vaccines are a hot topic right now, and vaccine hesitancy is growing and quickly gaining momentum. The reality of vaccine hesitancy is no longer a secret, as many studies on the matter have been published. And it is no longer simply among concerned parents. This study published in the journal EbioMedicine discusses how practitioners in France are becoming increasingly hesitant to prescribe some controversial vaccines to their patients.

The World Health Organization believes vaccine hesitancy is one of the biggest threats to global health security. Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project, was one of many academics to speak at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit, where she explained why this is being considered a major problem:

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider. And if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

Dissenting Professionals, Conflicting Statements

This type of hesitancy among health professionals has begun to spawn organizations looking for answers to their questions. ‘The Physicians for Informed Consent’ is one of multiple examples. It’s promising that doctors, scientists and health safety advocates that have come together to share resources about vaccines, and more importantly voice concerns that they have about certain vaccines and their safety.

At the summit, Dr. Martin Howell Friede, Coordinator of Initiative For Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization, brought up the issue of adjuvants, noting some of the problems with using adjuvants that do not have a proven track record of safety. Many people at the conference also emphasized the need for more safety testing and studies to address the concerns that are being made by vaccine safety advocates. Personally, I think this is encouraging. Science should never cease to question, and who wouldn’t want more safety studies and testing on medications that are being administered worldwide?

As this issue becomes more scrutinized by the public as well as health care professionals, more and more conflicting statements made by high-ranking health authorities are being uncovered, which in themselves may lead to a breakdown of confidence in vaccines. For example, Soumya Swaminathan, MD and Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, stated at the conference,

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I don’t think we can overemphasize the fact that we really don’t have very good safety monitoring systems in many countries and this adds to the miscommunication and the misapprehensions, because we’re not able to give clear cut answers when people ask questions about deaths that have occurred due to particular vaccines… One should be able to give a very factual account of what exactly is happening, what the cause of deaths are, but in most cases there’s some obfuscation at that level and therefore there’s less and less trust then in the system.

Prior to this statement, the WHO released a promotional video just days before the conference began, where Dr. Swaminathan contradicted her statement above, saying “we have vaccine safety systems, robust vaccine safety systems.”

It would be nice to have answers as to why the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid close to 4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children, and what that says about these ‘safety systems’ she is talking about. Clearly, there seems to be a need to make our vaccines safer and more effective. Personally, I believe forced vaccination to be quite unethical given the fact that so many questions remain unanswered.

Read more about the conference here: Scientists Share Facts About Vaccines At World Health Organization Conference For Vaccine Safety

Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Sue Rep. Adam Schiff

The growing vaccine hesitancy has led the pharmaceutical industry and its supporters to a dangerous strategy: mass censorship. For those of you who haven’t heard, politicians and social media outlets are taking action steps to censor information about vaccines that is not aligned with the industry and its regulatory ‘arm,’ the CDC. In other words, just about anyone who is even questioning vaccine safety, let alone providing evidence that vaccines are not safe, is liable to be discredited, de-monitized, or de-platformed from social media.

Leading the charge is Congressman Adam Schiff, an advocate of vaccine safety and friend of the pharmaceutical industry, who has used his power and influence to immediately strengthen censorship efforts. His moves have been seen as unfair, unethical, and even illegal. In fact, on Jan 15, 2020, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, along with Katarina Verrelli, on behalf of herself and others who seek access to vaccine information, filed suit against Adam Schiff in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Schiff has abused government power and infringed on their free-speech rights.

Here’s how the association characterizes the situation:

Who appointed Congressman Adam Schiff as Censor-in-Chief?” asks AAPS General Counsel.  “No one did, and he should not be misusing his position to censor speech on the internet.”

In February and March 2019, Rep. Schiff contacted Google, Facebook, and Amazon, to encourage them to de-platform or discredit what Schiff asserted to be inaccurate information on vaccines. He then posted the letters and press release on the House.gov website.

Within 24 hours of Schiff’s letter to Amazon dated Mar 1, 2019, Amazon removed the popular videos Vaxxed and Shoot ’Em Up: the Truth About Vaccines from its platform for streaming videos, depriving members of the public of convenient access.

Under a policy announced in May 2019, Twitter includes a pro-government disclaimer placed above search results for an AAPS article on vaccine mandates: “Know the Facts. To make sure you get the best information on vaccination, resources are available from the US Department of Health and Human Services.” The implication of this disclaimer is that if information is not on a government website, then it is somehow less credible.

On Facebook, a search for an AAPS article on vaccines, which previously would lead directly to the AAPS article, now produces search results containing links to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visits to the AAPS website have declined significantly since March 2019, both in absolute terms and relative to the decline that would result from a story’s losing its recency.

“The internet is supposed to provide free access to information to people of different opinions,” stated AAPS Executive Director, Jane Orient, M.D.

Dr. Orient continues, “AAPS is not ‘anti-vaccine,’ but rather supports informed consent, based on an understanding of the full range of medical, legal, and economic considerations relevant to vaccination and any other medical intervention, which inevitably involves risks as well as benefits.”

AAPS argues in the complaint against Rep. Schiff: “The First Amendment protects the rights of free speech and association. Included within the right of free speech is a right to receive information from willing speakers. Under the First Amendment, Americans have the right to hear all sides of every issue and to make their own judgments about those issues without government interference or limitations. Content-based restrictions on speech are presumptively unconstitutional, and courts analyze such restrictions under strict scrutiny.”

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.

The Takeaway

The terms “anti vax” and “pro vax” are really not serving in the best interest of the collective. All they do is divide people when in reality, all of us want the same thing, healthy children, and effective and safe medications if we are going to use them. With all of the concerns that are still being made about vaccines, questioning vaccine safety should not be a problem and in fact, should be welcomed by everybody. Forcing mandatory vaccination policy and censoring information on vaccines, in my opinion, seems to be quite tyrannical and immoral at this stage. I may have a different opinion if vaccines were 100 percent safe and effective for everybody, but they’re not.

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Togo, West Africa Added To A Growing List of Countries That Are Banning Glyphosate

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Togo, a country in West Africa has decided to ban the use of toxic chemical pesticide, glyphosate because of growing health and environmental concerns.

  • Reflect On:

    Togo joins 20 other countries who have decided to ban this pesticide, do you think your country will ever do the same?

Recently, a country in West Africa, Togo has prohibited the ‘import, market or use of glyphosate and any other product containing it.’ This decision was finalized in December of last year by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Production and Fisheries, Noel Kouerta Bataka.

If you are unfamiliar with glyphosate, it is a chemical pesticide made by none other than agricultural giant, Monsanto, Bayer. Glyphosate can be found in RoundUp and used on crops that have been genetically engineered specifically to resist its toxicity, allowing farmers to kill the weeds and pests without killing their crops. The problem is, it is extremely toxic not only for the consumer of products containing it, but for the land and soil as well where it is grown.

There have been numerous studies, many of which CE has reported on that link it to cancer, liver disease, autism, birth defects, brain damage and more.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage (et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691)

After 2 years of political discussions in Togo, regarding the worlds most popular herbicide, many are celebrating the decision that was finally made to have it outright banned. Bataka has allowed a 12-month moratorium for all of the current glyphosate supplies to be either used or destroyed.

Ban Of Glyphosate Around The World

As awareness grows regarding the health concerns of glyphosate, so does government level support worldwide. Not only has Key West, Los Angeles, Miami and The University of California banned or restricted the use of this toxic chemical so, have 20 countries around the world. These countries are,

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  • In Africa — Malawi and Togo.
  • In Asia — Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar.
  • In Central America — Bermuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Costa Rica
  • In Europe — Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands

So we still have yet to see bans in Canada, United States, Mexico and many other countries, but hopefully stories such as these will keep the awareness and momentum going and help others to see that this toxic chemical pesticide should not be anywhere near the food we are eating or on our precious Mother Earth.

It’s a big problem, and it’s now entered into our food supply.

How To Avoid Glyphosate

One might believe that they simply have to avoid genetically engineered foods to avoid glyphosate, and while that is a good start, unfortunately it’s not that black and white. There are many non-GMO foods that are still sprayed with this chemical and thus have high concentrations of it.

In reality your best bet would be to grow all of your own fruits, vegetables and even nuts, but unfortunately in this day and age this is not very plausible for everyone.

The foods that are highest in glyphosate are: soy, wheat, almonds, peas, beetroot (including beet sugar), carrots, sweet potatoes, quinoa, peas, tea, meat and dairy, corn and oats. However, many other unsuspecting foods have also have tested positive for high levels of glyphosate including many fruits and berries such as: apples, apricots, cherries, grapefruit, grapes (wine as well), lemons, olives, peaches, pears and more.

To avoid glyphosate altogether sticking to an all-organic diet is necessary. If this is an obstacle for you, consider locally grown produce where you can talk directly with the farmers about their growing practices. Many farmers grow organically , but cannot afford to obtain the organic certification. You can also wash your produce in baking soda and vinegar click HERE for instructions.

Final Thoughts

While it may seem hopeless at times to even try to avoid environmental toxins like glyphosate, we have to remember that the more we do, and the more we put our money where are mouths are and vote with our dollars, the less these chemicals will be used. We have already seen many big brands step away from using GMO ingredients because of consumer demand, so it may not be as far off as you think.

As countries like Togo step forward and do what is right for their citizens and the planet, awareness will continue to grow and it will assist others in seeing the truth about these chemicals and inspire others to make a change as well. We have more power than we realize and anything can change, with enough awareness.

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