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New Belgium Food Pyramid Sticks Meat Next To Fries, Beer, & Pizza

The new and improved Belgium food pyramid looks a little different than the food guides in North America, and for good reason. Sitting at the top of the pyramid are water, fruits, vegetables, tofu, and noodles, and animal products all rest far below their plant-based alternatives.

Michelle Blair

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The Canadian and U.S. food guides are arguably more reflective of the typical North American diet than they are of an actual health conscious diet. Oddly enough, the U.S. food pyramid actually recommends consuming more bread, cereals, rice, and pasta than fruits and vegetables. How could it be healthier to consume more bread than broccoli?

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The USDA Food Guide Pyramid and Canada’s Food Guide both recommend eating 2-3 servings of milk, yogurt, and cheese, as well as 2-3 servings of meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. Yet, meat and dairy consumption are linked with numerous health risks including cancer, heart disease, obesity and more.

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Harvard University found that even eating small amounts of red meat, especially processed red meat, on a regular basis has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and dying from cardiovascular disease or any other cause in general. Those tiny pieces of bacon you add to your salad could literally cost you your life.

However, the government and many medical doctors support the false ideology that people need to consume a specific amount of meat and dairy products to maintain a healthy diet. When did the disconnect occur between the government and science?

Well, it seems we could take some health tips from those living across the pond in Belgium, as the new Belgium food pyramid was just released and it reflects a more accurate depiction of a healthy diet.

The New Belgium Food Pyramid

The new and improved Belgium food pyramid looks a little different than the food guides in North America, and for good reason. Sitting at the top of the pyramid are water, fruits, vegetables, tofu, and noodles, and animal products all rest far below their plant-based alternatives.

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Small amounts of eggs, dairy, fish, and poultry lie below fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and plant-based proteins, and then steak sits at the very bottom. Other red meat and processed meats were completely removed from the pyramid altogether, including bacon, pepperoni, and deli meats. Instead, they now sit in a separate section: a red small circle of foods recommended to avoid.

The guide categorizes such meats as being just as harmful as pizza, pop, chips, processed foods, french fries, desserts, and alcohol. Another interesting note is that it’s not just beer that’s sitting in this danger zone, it’s a glass of red wine, too.

Contrary to popular belief, a glass of wine per day isn’t necessarily healthy, especially if it’s a low-grade wine made with pesticide-ridden grapes. Belgians have been advised to eat these danger-zone foods “as little as possible.” Policymakers aren’t planning to make these products illegal any time soon, but unlike the U.S. and Canadian governments, they took a stand against the meat industry and are prepared to face the blowback from larger factory farming corporations.

“We want to make it clear that we don’t need these products,” a representative of the Flemish Institute of Healthy Life told Flanders Today. “We don’t forbid them, but they should be rather an exception than rule.”

You can check out the new Belgian food pyramid below:

So, why haven’t other governments followed suit? Well, many governments are sadly tied up with the meat and dairy industries. It seems that politicians would rather avoid upsetting big corporations than actually improving the health of their citizens. These huge corporations will gladly lobby the government until they get their way, and they have.

The Link Between Government and the Meat and Dairy Industries 

During World War 1, the U.S. government started producing mass amounts of canned milk so they could be shipped to troops overseas to fight malnutrition. After the war ended, demand for milk plummeted and the country was left with enough milk to feed an army (literally).

Instead of reducing production, the government decided they had invested too much money into expanding dairy operations to let it go to waste, so they started convincing consumers to buy more. “Milk education” became standard practice in schools, which was eventually extended throughout the entire nation by way of advertisements such as the multi-million dollar “Got Milk?” campaigns.

The USDA, the same governing body that creates dietary guidelines, also helps form partnerships with restaurants to develop dairy-heavy menus. Check out this video that elaborates on the government’s ties to the dairy industry.

The USDA has a similar relationship to the meat industry, which is clearly illustrated in the Food Guide Pyramid. The protein section of the pyramid only lists different animal products and nuts, completely omitting many plant-based protein sources. The USDA has heavy ties to many advertisements and campaigns encouraging consumers to purchase meat.

The U.S. government spends $38 billion annually to subsidize the meat and dairy industries, in comparison to only 0.04% of that on fruits and vegetables. If the government didn’t benefit from meat and dairy sales, our recommended intake of animal products would probably look a lot different.

It seems strange that our government would knowingly recommend we eat certain foods without disclosing the numerous studies that have proven that meat and dairy consumption can cause cancer, heart disease, obesity, and many more health complications.

Then again, we live in a society that’s largely driven by profit. You don’t have broccoli companies that can afford to lobby the government, and so you don’t see huge campaigns encouraging you to eat broccoli. This is why it’s crucial to do your own research, especially when it comes to the sources of funding.

Final Thoughts 

It’s pretty awesome that Belgium is encouraging people to eat more plant-based! We need more transparency about what a healthy diet looks like, and ultimately we still live in a world where a lot of people trust authority, namely their political systems. So, if the government is telling people what a healthy diet looks like, a lot of people will listen.

It’s crucial that we learn more about our bodies and how we can improve our health so we can progress as  a society. We cannot operate without our bodies, so it’s important that we take interest in how we can better our health.

To learn more about the harmful effects of meat and dairy, check out the following CE articles:

Internal Medicine Physician Shares What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat

7 Ways Milk & Dairy Products Are Making You Sick

Meat: We Don’t Need It, We’re Just Addicted To It

6 Vegan Cheats For Vegans & Meat Eaters Looking To Cut Back

9 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

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‘Be Careful Because Some Things That Are Termed A Conspiracy Are True’ – Edward Snowden

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CE Staff Writer 5 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Russell Brand recently conducted an interview with Edward Snowden. One point Snowden made was that we have to be careful, because not everything that is labelled a "conspiracy theory" is actually a conspiracy theory.

  • Reflect On:

    How much is our perception of major global issues and events influenced, controlled and manipulated?

Before you begin...

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(Join us on Telegram here) Russell Brand recently conducted an interview with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and released the first part of it. In the interview, Snowden mentions something that’s been true for a number of decades, and that’s the fact that some things, and in my opinion many things, that are termed a conspiracy theory are in fact true. We have to be careful and really utilize our critical thinking skills. You can watch the full interview below.

The very phrase “conspiracy theorist” was used in 1967 in a classified CIA dispatch providing instructions on how to manipulate and manage public opinion. This appears to be the manner in which the phrase made its way into the public. They coined the phrase and established it to single out dissenters of officially established opinions. The document was put out as a result of the JFK assassination when many concerns were being raised, concerns that, regardless of how much consideration was warranted based on certain evidence at the time, was ridiculed.

Ridiculing something, regardless of how much evidence it holds, has been commonplace, especially today. This is a “psychological warfare” tool, and it’s quite rampant. A declassified document from the CIA archives in the form of a letter from a CIA task force addressed to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency at the time details the close relationship that existed between the CIA and mainstream media and academia. Imagine what it’s like today. The document states that the CIA task force “now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation,” and that “this has helped us turn some ‘intelligence failure’ stories into ‘intelligence success’ stories, and has contributed to the accuracy of countless others.” Furthermore, it explains how the agency has “persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories that could have adversely affected national security interests or jeopardized sources and methods.”

National security today, in my opinion, has become an umbrella term to justify measures taken, as well as the secrecy around them, implemented under the guise of good will to keep information secret and to ridicule anything that threatens certain government, corporate, and/or political agendas. This is why people like Julian Assange, I believe, are muzzled and put in prison. They are modern day heroes. Today, information is a threat, especially information exposing unethical and immoral actions taken by governments.

One of the best examples of previous conspiracies that turned out to be true may be mass surveillance, as leaked by Snowden and others before him. The most recent example would be the existence of UFOs, another great example would be false flag terrorism. There are many, and this type of psychological warfare and the desire to manipulate the consciousness of human beings, which may also be considered a “conspiracy theory”, is again, ongoing.

The Takeaway: The good news is that people are “waking up” to this type of consciousness manipulation I mention above. Just like 9/11, the COVID pandemic has truly served as a catalyst for more people to question the human experience and why we live the way we do. When it comes to the pandemic specifically, people are extremely polarized in their views, and government measures that roll out and will roll out in the future restricting people’s rights and freedoms they previously enjoyed are heavily opposed by a large portion of the population. This begs the question, why do we give these entities so much power to restrict certain rights and freedoms that we enjoy, especially when things are not as black and white as mainstream media and government makes them out to be. Shouldn’t freedom of choice always remain, while government makes recommendations instead of mandates?

As far as views that oppose what we are getting from the mainstream, the pandemic is a great example of labelling and ridiculing something as a “conspiracy theory” when many people are seeing that it’s not. Doctors and renowned scientists in the field have even been subjected to this type of treatment. At the end of the day, this type of treatment simply forces more and more people to ask, what’s really going on here? Why are experts in the field being silenced for presenting opinions, data and science that opposes what the masses are being told?

Mainstream media and governments are failing to have appropriate conversations around “controversial” issues. People who disagree with each other these days seem to be experiencing the same thing, as many of us have become extremely polarized in our viewpoints. It’s ok to believe something, and stand on one side, but what’s even more important than being “right” or “wrong” is to understand why someone feels the way they do, and why someone believes what they believe. Human beings are intelligent, we are all capable of thinking and examining information and just because somebody disagrees with you does not mean they are stupid. We really need to respect and understand each other, especially in this day and age.

At CE we’ve made many efforts over the years to help improve collective communication, one of the latest is the release of a coursed in our CETV membership called ‘Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking’ It’s a course that truly can benefit everyone, even those who feel they already think critically very well. You can learn more here.

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

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“Pro Vaccine” Canadian Prof & Viral Immunologist Explains His Concerns With COVID Vaccines

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CE Staff Writer 13 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Viral immunologist, Professor at the University of Guelph, and vaccine expert Dr. Bryan Bridle, explains several concerns regarding the rollout of COVID vaccines.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are these perspectives never shared within the mainstream? Why is information like this ridiculed and censored? Why does the mainstream fail to have appropriate conversations about "controversial" topics? Why are we so polarized in our views?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

There are a number of legitimate concerns that have been raised by many doctors and scientists as to why they are quite hesitant to take the COVID vaccine. The push for “vaccine passports” has also come under heavy criticism from experts in the field for multiple reasons.

It’s not easy to talk about the COVID vaccine, especially if you are a well known scientist. Any legitimate concerns being raised that paint COVID vaccines in a concerning or “negative” light is likely to be deemed an “anti-vaccine conspiracy theory” by mainstream media, clouding the point that there are a number of legitimate concerns and reasons as to why so many people aren’t taking them.

These are intelligent people, many of the are experts in the field that have been “pro-vaccine” advocates for years, and the fact that they are being labelled as “conspiracy theorists”, ignored, censored, or unacknowledged is quite concerning especially when you consider public transparency.

What Happened: Dr. Bryan Bridle, a viral immunologist and professor at the University of Guelph is one of many who provide good insight as to why COVID vaccine hesitancy may be high among experts like himself. Bridle develops immunization strategies to prevent infectious diseases and treat cancers. He teaches, in his own words, “the value of high-quality, well-validated vaccines and passionately promotes their use. Vaccines are, by far, the most efficient type of medicine; they cost-effectively save millions of people from sickness and/or death.” I personally, and many others would disagree with this statement. But that’s another topic of discussion. I thought it was important to include his stance on vaccines overall.

The information and quotes below come from this interview, this presentation, and this release by the University of Guelph. I suggest you go through them all to get the full picture beyond what’s summarized in this article.

One of the reasons  for hesitancy among academics in the field is natural immunity. Bridle explains:

Natural immunity acquired by an ever-growing number of people means fewer people require vaccination to reach herd immunity. As a bonus, natural immunity also equates to broader immunity; these people should be less susceptible to re-infection if an immuno-evasive SARS-CoV-2 variant emerges.

He himself has stated that he would prefer to acquire natural immunity through exposure to the virus rather than through the vaccine. He is one of many experts who have expressed that natural immunity is stronger than vaccine-induced immunity. He explains,

Acquisition of natural immunity, which targets multiple components of the virus, may reduce the risk of re-infection not only with covid-19, but also with variants that can bypass spike protein-specific (vaccine) immunity…It’s just a matter of time before we will have variants that can bypass this narrow immunity conferred by all of these vaccines….Natural immunity is very broad…And we know now there’s lots of published reports that this is protective.

So if a new variant infects, chances are that the immunity you have is going to blunt that infection, where as if you have that narrowly focused immunity conferred by the vaccine, and this variant has evaded that spike protein specific immunity, those people are going to be at much greater risk of more severe disease than those who acquire the new variant, but have this broad acting natural immunity.

And there’s even evidence, interestingly, that those with preexisting immunity against other coronaviruses, including the SARS coronavirus one from 17 years ago, and even from some of the cold causing coronaviruses, can cross protect some people.

So this is the sweet evidence that natural immunity can be pretty good. I actually kind of laugh when I see these publications coming out, because this is kind of immunology 101 that I teach all my students. This is what our immune systems are designed to do.

This is something many in the field have been sharing. Dr. Suneel Dhand, an internal medicine physician based in the United States recently explained that vaccines aren’t required if one has acquired antibodies from infection, which, according to him, are much more effective than the vaccine.

I’m not aware of any vaccine out there which will ever give you more immunity than if you’re naturally recovered from the illness itself…If you’ve naturally recovered from it, my understanding as a doctor level scientist is that those antibodies will always be better then a vaccine, and if you know any differently, please let me know.

Vaccine expert and Harvard professor of medicine Dr. Martin Kulldorff recently tweeted that:

“After having protected themselves while working class were exposed to the virus, the vaccinated Zoomers now want Vaccine Passports where immunity from prior infection does not count, despite stronger evidence for protection. One more assault on working people.”

There are multiple studies hinting at the point the professor makes, that those who have been infected with COVID may have immunity for years, and possibly even decades. For example, according to a new study authored by respected scientists at leading labs, individuals who recovered from the coronavirus developed “robust” levels of B cells and T cells (necessary for fighting off the virus) and “these cells may persist in the body for a very, very long time.” There are also studies that suggest infection to prior coronaviruses, which prior to COVID-19 circled the globe infecting hundreds of millions of people every single year, can also provide protection from COVID-19, something Bridle also emphasizes as mentioned above.

This is why Bridle states that, “It’s crazy in Canada, we’re not bothering to test people for preexisting immunity before vaccinating them.” Dhand also mentions in his video that antibody testing is standard procedure at their practice. Instead of PCR testing, which is controversial in of itself, why aren’t we testing for antibodies?

So those being vaccinated now are, whether they realize it or not, part of the phase three experiment, they part of a vaccination experiment and the companies have openly acknowledged this in their reports to the regulatory agencies, because, for example, there’s a minimum period of time for which they have to track things like the safety of the vaccine.

And indeed they’ve even indicated that. So most people, you know, we’re used to as scientists, usually being able to see published scientifically peer-reviewed data before the vaccines are rolled out. And this won’t happen for probably for about two more years.

And the reason for this is because it’s going to take that long to complete the phase three clinical trials, because a phase three clinical trial, it can not be declared complete until they have monitored the safety of the vaccine for multiple years. – Bridle

Bridle also states that because of the fast rollout of these vaccines, and the lack of long term safety data, there are concerns. This type of rushed rollout has happened before, he pointed to the swine flu pandemic as an example. One of the vaccines that was manufactured and distributed in Europe, “Pandemrix AS03” caused, for 2 years after the vaccine was used, a 14-fold and 7-fold increase in the diagnosis of narcolepsy in children, teens and adults. This is a chronic sleep disorder with overwhelming fatigue which is accompanied by a loss of muscle tone, likely due to “autoimmunity against neurons in the brain.”

He also questions the effectiveness of the vaccine, pointing out again, that there are many unknowns here.

A recent consensus statement from a group of renowned infectious disease clinicians observed that vaccine programs have proven ill-suited to the fast-changing viruses underlying these illnesses, with efficacy ranging from 19% to 54% in the past few years. (source)

Another important point Bridle brings up is that lockdowns have prevented the acquisition of natural immunity. I first came across this idea when Knut M. Wittkowski, PhD, ScD, headed the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology & Research Design at Rockefeller University for 20 years, went “viral” when suggesting that lockdowns would end up killing more people due to the fact that they prevent or delay herd immunity. Many of his interviews were completely removed from various social media outlets.

Since then, many studies have been published showing that lockdowns may have already killed more people than covid. You can find out more information and learn more about the catastrophic impact of lockdowns, here.

According to Bridle,

We’re now more than a year into the pandemic. Most countries at the beginning of the pandemic decided they’re not going to go for rapid acquisition of natural immunity. Instead we are going to slow it down or try and prevent it altogether and wait for the vaccines to accomplish this.

But for example, the country I’m in, in Canada, we’re in lockdown right now, but we had our students go back to school for quite some time, actually, just now they’re there. They’ve just gone back again after a second lockdown. We’ve had a lot of people go back to work.

The reality is we’ve probably acquired quite a lot of natural herd immunity. We’re probably much closer to herd immunity than we even appreciate. And certainly much closer than we were, which was zero.

We had zero natural immunity essentially at the beginning of the pandemic. But if you have gone with an isolationist policy, strict isolationist policy, you might have low levels of natural herd immunity. And indeed also we’ve done a very poor job of tracking that. So we really don’t know how close or how far in most countries we are from natural herd immunity.

But you’ve also been hearing the other speakers talking about that. This probably, you know, we probably should have adopted more of this earlier on, and then we’d be in a much better place should some of these dangerous variants come out. Okay.

So again, I can’t emphasize this more either, acquisition of natural immunity by an ever-growing number of people happily means that fewer people will require vaccination to reach herd immunity.

When it comes to Bridle, he also points out that “Children, especially children under 10 are at greater risk of dying from the annual flu than they are SARS coronavirus two.”   Jonas F Ludvigsson a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute, has also shown this to be the case. During the first wave in Sweden, despite no masks, school closures or lockdowns, zero out of nearly two million school children died.

Kari Stefansson, senior author of a study  study from Iceland conducted early in the epidemic when masking was uncommon showing that incidents of covid in children is far less than adults, stated that children are“less likely to get infected than adults and if they get infected, they are less likely to get seriously ill. What is interesting is that even if children do get infected, they are less likely to transmit the disease to others than adults.”

Why This Is Important: This type of information is important because it’s very scientifically sound, and because it provides a perspective and narrative that is completely ignored by mainstream media. The unfortunate thing is that many people rely on mainstream media for their source of information and “truth”, and are therefore unaware of this type of information. They are also made to feel that any point raising any type of concern about vaccines are from “anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists.” Bridle touches on this point as well in his interview:

Usually when that term is used, it’s often referring to people who tend to hold an extremely negative view of all vaccines, regardless of what the scientific data has to say about them.

But I want to highlight that vaccine hesitancy is very, very different. And a lot of people who have the vaccine hesitancy are being made to feel very bad these days, right? It’s as though if they were simply educated enough about vaccines, then they would have no problem with these COVID-19 vaccines. But that’s not the case. That’s not the definition, certainly that I use. These are individuals instead who are unsure of their commitment to taking a vaccine. And it’s usually because of outstanding questions. So in other words, the onus is not on the individual. It’s not that the individual simply needs to be educated. We have, there’s lots of people who are very deep thinkers about this, doing their own research about the COVID-19 vaccines and coming up with very legitimate questions.

Mainstream media and governments are failing to have appropriate conversations around “controversial” issues. People who disagree with each other these days seem to be experiencing the same thing, as many of us have become extremely polarized in our viewpoints. It’s ok to believe something, and stand on one side, but what’s even more important than being “right” or “wrong” is to understand why someone feels the way they do, and why someone believes what they believe. Human beings are intelligent, we are all capable of thinking and examining information and just because somebody disagrees with you does not mean they are stupid. We really need to respect and understand each other, especially in this day and age.

At CE we’ve made many efforts over the years to help improve collective communication, one of the latest is the release of a coursed in our CETV membership called ‘Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking’ It’s a course that truly can benefit everyone, even those who feel they already think critically very well. You can learn more here.

The Takeaway: It’s interesting to see so many perspectives around all things COVID, but the measures being rolled out, like mandatory vaccination in order to travel or enter into certain public spaces, don’t really match up with the science and the points made in this article and others.

What’s unnerving is the fact that information, science, data, opinion and evidence that opposes the narrative of government, big tech and/or mainstream media is not being given a voice at all. This type of censorship alone has served as a catalyst to really question our world and the way we live here, when these questions likely would not have otherwise been asked. Should we really be giving government the authority to take away our rights and freedoms when things are not as clear as they make them out to be, and when these measures go against the will of so many people?

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Ontario’s Municipal Police Departments Reject Doug Ford’s “Stop & Ask” COVID Order

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CE Staff Writer 3 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to an investigative report, the vast majority of Ontario police will not follow Doug Ford's COVID measure asking police to stop citizens in their cars to find out where they are going during the current stay at home order.

  • Reflect On:

    Might we see law enforcement stand up to other draconian orders the government attempts to lay down?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

On April 16th Ontario premier Doug Ford announced stricter lockdown measures, including that Ontario police, both provincial and municipal, will have the power to stop citizens and ask them where they are going in order to find out if their travel outside their home is essential or whether they may be attending a social gathering. If this sounds draconian to you, you’re certainly no alone. And the police seem to think so too.

As of the evening of April 17th, just one day later, 39 or 44 municipal police departments in Ontario have stated they will not comply with this measure and stop citizens to ask where they are going. However, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have remained onboard with the measures on social media. The tally came from investigative reporter Andrew Lawton who took it upon himself to hear from departments themselves.

Since the rejection, the Ontario government has begun changing it’s mind on the measure:

Why It Matters: This is a great example of how power is only enforced when people participate. In this case, if law enforcement went through with this, ‘the people’ wouldn’t have much of an obvious way to resist these measures, but when law enforcement denies draconian measures like this, the power the government has is restricted significantly.

Early this morning I was speaking to a fellow journalist here at CE talking about how for most people working on the police force, this measure would probably feel like one of the first times they very obviously had to ‘take things too far.’ To see only 12 hours later that the vast majority of police are standing up to this is a good sign that enforcers of rules are open to questioning their government. In my opinion, I hope this trend continues.

I also found it interesting to note that holding government accountable used to be something mainstream media would do, but now they only seem complicit in going along with government. Independent media now is tasked with the job, all while they face funding challenges and claims from mainstream and social media that independent media is not trustworthy.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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