Archive | May 14, 2017

Gulf Oasis Was Home to Earliest Humans that Existed Africa – But What Forced them Out?*

Gulf Oasis Was Home to Earliest Humans that Existed Africa – But What Forced them Out?*

By Andrew Dold

Before the Persian Gulf existed, when the last ice age caused the ocean level to drop 90 metres (295 ft) below our current sea level,

“100,000 km (62137 miles) of land in this part of the world was exposed for almost 60,000 years.”

It created an oasis, that “housed a rich mosaic of freshwater springs, river floodplains, mangrove swamps, lakes, marshes and estuaries.“ A veritable paradise.

Jeffrey Rose, Theresa Howard-Carter, and V. Gordon Childe ​are but a few of the eminent archaeologists over the last 100 years to theorize that this paradise, dubbed the “Gulf Oasis,” was home to some of the earliest humans that had exited Africa. In fact, Jeffrey Rose postulated the idea that this oasis and the people who lived there for tens of thousands of years, was actually “ground zero to the agricultural and urban revolutions found within our ancient past.”

If Jeffery Rose is correct, this ancient landscape may have played an important role in supporting the transition of humans out of the Palaeolithic and into the Neolithic time periods, helping us to expand our understanding of the human story. Unfortunately, we can no longer explore this part of the world, since the oasis that once existed there is now lost to us due to an ocean that has reclaimed it. It is also impossible for us to use maps to explore this landscape, as a highly-detailed map of this area of the world does not exist, or at least to us non-military personnel.

Mapping the Gulf Oasis

That is until a grade school teacher decided to explore this oasis to better understand how it supported our evolution during the last 50,000 years. Over the last year, Andrew Dold used the “Path” tool in combination with the elevation tool available in Google Earth to painstakingly recreate the Google Earth data that the program produces so as to create a highly detailed bathymetric map of the eastern side of the gulf oasis in as little as 1 meter (3.28 ft.) increments. Not satisfied with having created a map full of contour lines, the artist took pieces of satellite imagery from around the world and stitched them together in Photoshop, merging them with the bathymetric map that he had created to produce an artistic representation of the exposed landscape our ancient ancestors called home.

Now for the first time we can see a clearer picture of how the lower Shatt-al-Arab had formed a large lake within the Gulf Oasis; a lake that was close in size to that of Lake Ontario, and one that, according to mainstream science, had existed in this part of the world for more than 60,000 years. This extraordinary length of time would have allowed nature to create a unique freshwater ecosystem that could have supported a more sedentary lifestyle for our early ancestors. An idea made possible only by the fact that this lake was one of the largest, most stable sources of fresh water found in this region of the ancient world. A source of water that would have housed many different plants and animals throughout the centuries, and would have drawn all manner of migrating life to its shores from the more arid landscape that surrounded it. Jeffrey Rose has even gone so far as to theorize several locations where humans may have permanently settled in this oasis, as indicated in figure 1.

Figure 1: The Gulf Oasis: 50,000 BCE – 10,000 BCE (Dold. 2016, Lambeck. 1996; Fairbanks, R.G. 1989)

 

When Was Paradise Lost?

However, as important as this lake was in supporting the agricultural and urban revolutions that Jeffrey Rose proposes, all good things must come to an end. Somewhere in our distant past there came a point when this paradise was lost to our early ancestors. It is self-evident that the ocean eventually displaced these people and forced them to move up and into the Fertile Crescent. So, when did this forced migration occur, and was there an event that could signal the beginning of the end to the way of life that these people had developed?

Using Fairbanks’ and Lambeck’s research on the rising ocean levels over the last 15,000 years, a rough estimate can be drawn to show how fast and in what time frame each metre of ocean rise occurred. Applying this information to the map of the Gulf Oasis Dold had created, it seems that around 11,500 years ago, over the span of a single lifetime, a devastating event did in fact occur, an event that killed this important lake and forced our early ancestors to migrate out of paradise.

This event happened in three stages. The first stage, as seen in figures 2 and 3, began when the rising ocean went from -80 to -79.8 meters (-262.47 to -261.81 ft.) below today’s sea level. Within a decade, the ocean rose out of the canyon that lay in the Straits of Hormuz and into the first of several lakes that existed in this oasis. In a 10 to 15 year span, an influx of saltwater had entered this freshwater ecosystem and killed it.

Figure 2: Gulf Oasis with the ocean at a depth of -80 metres below current sea levels, circa 11,520 BP. (Dold. 2016, Lambeck. 1996; Fairbanks, R.G. 1989)

 

Figure 3: Gulf Oasis with the ocean at a depth of -79.8 metres below current sea levels, circa 11,510 BP. (Dold. 2016, Lambeck. 1996; Fairbanks, R.G. 1989)

 

The second stage occurred over 50-60 years, as seen below in figure 4, as the shoreline of this now flooded lake rose to a depth of -79 meters (-259.19 ft.) below our current sea level. Astonishingly enough, this rise in ocean level had very little effect on the surrounding landscape and may have gone unnoticed.

Figure 4: Gulf Oasis with the ocean at a depth of -79.8 meters below current sea levels, circa 11,510 BP. (Dold. 2016, Lambeck. 1996; Fairbanks, R.G. 1989)

 

Things Take a Turn for the Worse

However, it is in the third stage of this event were we truly see things take a turn for the worse. In the span of 10 to 15 years, as seen below in figure 5, when the ocean rose from -79 meters to -78.8 meters (-259.19 ft. to -258.53 ft.) below today’s sea level, in what I can only imagine being interpreted as a punishment from “God,” an influx of salt water entered the largest freshwater ecosystem this part of the world had ever known, and killed it. A truly devastating event as this influx of saltwater would have killed all of the freshwater species of plants and animals that lived in or near its shores and altered the migration routes of the land animals that depended on its water.

Figure 5: Gulf Oasis with the ocean at a depth of -79.8 meters below current sea levels, circa 11,450 BP. (Dold. 2016, Lambeck. 1996; Fairbanks, R.G. 1989)

 

As we know, the importance of fresh water, not only to provide food, but also to drink, is essential for life. If Jeffery Rose and the other archaeologists are correct and our ancient ancestors did in fact occupy this part of the world, the death of this lake would have heralded the end to their way of life approximately 11,450 years ago. The death of such an important source of freshwater would have forced them to abandon this land and begin the migration out of this oasis and up into the Fertile Crescent in search of new sources of food and water to drink.

Though this may not have been the only devastating event these people had been witness to. Imagine what it would have been like for those ancient peoples who were affected by the death of this ecosystem if we add the science that Dr. McClure, Douglas J. Kennett, James P. Kennett and so many others who have published about the Indian monsoon shifting to a northerly direction, making its way over the Gulf Oasis at about the same time this precious freshwater lake dies. A storm that could have easily added another 10 meters (32.81 ft.) of water to this floodplain.

India monsoon clouds. (Saravask/CC BY SA 2.0)

 

The combination of both events would have been devastating, so much so, that it may have become etched into the collective consciousness of these ancient people and been passed down to us through myth. An interesting possibility, but an idea to explore for another time.

Source*

Related Topics:

Life returns to Hammar Marshes, Iraq*

Horrific Onslaught on Aramaic Christian Community of Ma’aloula at Hands of Western Backed “Moderate” Terrorists*

The Shaharah Bridge in Yemen, a Bridge of Sighs*

When the Sahara was Green*

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Macron Dumps Parliamentary Candidate after Israel Lobby Pressure*

Macron Dumps Parliamentary Candidate after Israel Lobby Pressure*

By Ali Abunimah

Incoming President Emmanuel Macron has promised change. But there is no sign he’ll be any different from his predecessor when it comes to France’s pro-Israel policies. (via Facebook)

 

France’s Israel lobby appears to hold a veto over who can run as a parliamentary candidate on the ticket of incoming President Emmanuel Macron’s party.

French media reported on Friday that Macron’s En Marche! Movement had dropped one of its candidates for National Assembly elections in June.

This came after the French Israel lobby groups LICRA and CRIF demanded that the candidate, television producer Christian Gerin, be dumped for making what they alleged were anti-Semitic tweets and for supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

One of Gerin’s tweets expressed support for BDS.

Another in late February called for the “separation of CRIF and state.”

CRIF is a Jewish communal organization as well as a major Israel lobby group. Gerin’s tweet referenced CRIF’s annual gala the same night.

“This is anti-Semitic because behind the term ‘CRIF,’ it’s ‘Jews’ that is the subtext,” CRIF’s president Francis Kalifat told the newspaper Le Parisien.

But there’s no denying that CRIF functions in France much as AIPAC does in the United States – as the main lobby for Israel and its aims.

As leading newspaper Le Figaro noted in February, CRIF’s annual dinner has taken on ever greater significance in French politics in recent years, and this year it was attended by several candidates in the presidential election, including the winner.

Criticism of the outsize role that the CRIF dinner has taken on in French politics has been voiced by mainstream figures.

“CRIF no longer represents anyone and it does not function in a democratic way,” Phillippe Karsenty, deputy mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine and a well-known figure in the Jewish community, told Le Figaro.

“CRIF ceased to be the representative of Jews towards politicians, and became the representative of politicians to the Jews.” (Karsenty is notorious for falsely claiming that French television staged the footage of the 2000 killing in Gaza of the Palestinian boy Muhammad al-Durra).

Writer Alain Finkielkraut has likened CRIF to a tribunal where “members of the French government appear before a communal prosecutor.”

In 2012, François Bayrou, a well-known centrist and former presidential candidate who this year endorsed Macron, refused an invitation to the CRIF dinner.

“I thought about it a lot over many years and I reached the conclusion that I should no longer participate in these communal gatherings,” Bayrou explained.

“I think that France is one, that its citizens are first and foremost citizens before they are Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, agnostics or atheists.”

Bayrou was expressing a standard version of French republican secularism or laïcité.

The French AIPAC

Crucially, one of CRIF’s most vocal roles – as The Electronic Intifada has often reported – has been as the main advocate against the movement for Palestinian rights.

Outgoing President François Hollande and his former prime minister, Manuel Valls have used their CRIF appearances to express strong support for Israel and to attack BDS.

At CRIF’s podium last year, Valls vowed further crackdowns on BDS activists.

(In a 2013 tweet objected to by LICRA, Gerin called Valls “viscerally Zionist, racist and Islamophobic.”)

In 2015, Hollande used his speech to tar critics of Israel and its state ideology Zionism as anti-Semites.

In his last speech to CRIF as president in February, Hollande boasted that “France has fought the BDS movement with no weakness.”

He also claimed – based on his interpretation of a court decision that is currently being appealed in the European Court of Human Rights – that France is the only country to have outlawed calls for boycotts of Israeli goods.

Although Marine Le Pen has never been invited to a CRIF dinner, CRIF’s then president Roger Cukierman raised eyebrows in 2015 when he said that the leader of the notoriously anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and racist Front National was “personally beyond criticism.” Le Pen repaid the compliment with praise for Israel and attacks on the BDS movement.

Protecting its clout

Given the highly controversial role CRIF plays in French politics, it ought to be possible to criticize its political role without being accused of anti-Semitism.

And it is also easy to see why CRIF would want to tar critics as anti-Semites when it has an obvious interest in protecting its growing political clout.

In another tweet highlighted by LICRA, Gerin shared a statement from the advocacy group Association France Palestine Solidarité.

The statement warned that the July 2016 truck attack that killed dozens of people in Nice should not be exploited politically by Israel and its supporters. The statement came in response to calls by some politicians who compared Palestinians to Islamic State and urged that France follow Israel as a model for fighting terrorism.

Israeli leaders have also habitually exploited such violence in recent years to exhort French Jews to leave their homeland, appeals French leaders have criticized.

Even the head of LICRA has called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop telling Jews to leave Europe after such attacks.

But LICRA nonetheless demanded that Macron pull Gerin’s candidacy and said it may refer his tweets to prosecutors.

Not noted by LICRA is that Gerin has also tweeted apparent praise of Israel. In 2013, he wrote that the documentary The Gatekeepers, in which former Israeli intelligence chiefs criticize their country’s policies, “is a lesson in democracy that is to Israel’s credit.”

More candidates targeted

According to Le Parisien, CRIF and LICRA are now going after another of Macron’s parliamentary candidates, who they accuse of supporting BDS.

In a now-deleted tweet, William Tchamaha included a link to a news story on UN criticism of a new Israeli law to facilitate the theft of Palestinian land.

Tchamaha, a high school counselor, also allegedly called Israel an “outlaw state that disdains international law” and urged a boycott of Israeli products.

CRIF is reportedly investigating the opinions of more candidates in Macron’s party and promises to be “vigilant.”

The clear message France’s Israel lobby is sending the incoming president’s movement of political novices is that any criticism of Israel will be costly.

As for Macron, he already forcefully condemned BDS and vowed to continue Hollande’s policy of repression against Palestine solidarity activism.

The new president may have promised French voters a break with the old way of doing business, but when it comes to doing the bidding of Israel and its lobby, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Source*

Related Topics:

French Presidential Election 2017: Nothing Succeeds Like Success. Macron “Selected”. Billionaires and Bankers Rejoice*

Israel Lobby Fails to Expel U.K.’s Veteran Politician Ken Livingstone*

How the Israel Lobby Manufactured U.K. Labour Party’s Anti-Semitism Crisis*

Nearly Every Western Country has an Israel Lobby*

Major U.S. Politicians Are Being Blackmailed by the Deep State

Israeli Lobby Forces Swedish Minister to Resign*

U.K.’s Israeli Lobby gets a Seat on the House of Lords*

The Israeli Lobby

Students Walk Out on Israeli Ambassador in France*

As Netanyahu and May Chat, a Large Nest of Israeli Spies in London Exposed*

Israel Infiltrates U.K. Student Movement*

Russian and Syrian Forces Arrest 1,000 ISIS Militants – Media Blackout*

Russian and Syrian Forces Arrest 1,000 ISIS Militants – Media Blackout*

By Sean Tabatabai

Russian and Syrian forces have arrested over 1,000 ISIS militants in Syria, amid a total mainstream blackout.

The joint military exercise saw the beset Al Qaboun district of Damascaus finally liberated from ISIS rule, following months of intense clashes between Daesh and Russian and Syrian forces.

Fort-russ.com reports: The move was warmly welcomed by residents of Damascus, whose neighbourhoods were, for the past few months, frequently targeted by rockets and mortars of the terrorists, lurking in Al Qaboun.

New success was also reported in Al Mouadamiyeh, a town, located in the Damascene district of Daraya, where several Al Nusra Front-linked terrorists were annihilated by the units of the Syrian Army.

About 1000 jihadists, associated with Al Nusra Front, are said to have surrendered themselves to authorities in the southern Syrian province of Daraa, earlier on Saturday.

The army also made further advancements in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ez Zour, where ISIS gatherings and movements once again came under intense fire.

Several ISIS targets were destroyed in Al Sheikh Yassin, Al Hamidiyeh and Kanamat neighborhoods of Deir Ez Zour city and the surrounding areas of Deir Ez Zour Airport, leaving many terrorists dead and injured, in addition to destroying their equipment, weapons and ammunition stockpiles.

Deir Ez-Zor was, however, not the only place where ISIS met with losses. Several ISIS terrorists were killed during army raids in the eastern countryside of Aleppo province.

Meanwhile, sources of the YPG, a leading Kurdish militia, associated with the so-called “Syrian Democratic Forces”, reportedly announced it will soon hand over control of Euphrates Dam to the Syrian government.

Source*

Related Topics:

Eyewitness: Foreign Terrorists from Neighbouring Countries Armed, Trained and Financed by the U.S, and Co. in Syria*

Rights Group Sues Trump Admin for Legal Explanation of Syria Missile Strike*

Syrian Drones Spot Hundreds of U.S., Jordanian Armoured Vehicles at the Border*

U.S. Dismissive of International Agreement Banning Aircraft Over Syrian Safe Zones*

Syria, and Why Your Patriotism is Misguided*

German Soldier ‘posed as Syrian Asylum-seeker to Carry out Terror Attack and Blame it on Refugees’*

Trump Authorizes the Pentagon to Manage Troops on the Ground in Iraq and Syria*

Israeli Warplanes Missile Attack on Syrian Army in Quneitra*

Goldman Sachs Financial Tricks to Prop Up “The Economy is Great!” Claim, Fund Syrian War*

Chicago Protest: #HandsOffSyria!

Rothschild Demands Western Nations Invade Syria*

Cheney, Rothschild, Murdoch Violate International Law By Drilling for Oil in Syria*

Syria Shoots Down 34 of 59 Cruise Missiles, Russia to Upgrade System*

U.N. Confirmed Syrian Rebels, Not Assad, Were Using Sarin*

Motherhood and Marginalization: The Oppressive History of the Birth Industry*

Motherhood and Marginalization: The Oppressive History of the Birth Industry*

(Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout

 

By Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez

To say that the birth industry is mostly white would be an extreme understatement. Less than 4 percent of registered nurse midwives are African American, around 1 percent are of Asian descent and less than 1 percent are Latina according to a recent survey. A low level of representation is an issue in many industries, but in the birth world it is particularly problematic. The pervasive whiteness of the birth industry leads to culturally incompetent care that fuels the negative outcomes that women of colour face both directly and indirectly. Low levels of cultural awareness lead to stereotyping and assumptions that fail to consider Black, Latina, Asian American, Arab American and Indigenous women’s unique circumstances and perpetuate ineffective methods of care. As a result, white values and experiences have interpenetrated the birth world and further isolated women of color.

Black mothers in particular have a maternal mortality rate that is more than four times the national average. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there is an average of 12.1 deaths per 100,000 live births for white women, 40.4 deaths per 100,000 live births for Black women, and 16.4 deaths per 100,000 live births for “women of other races” (the CDC report does not break this number down further). Meanwhile Black babies have an infant mortality rate that is more than two times the national average.

Despite efforts from the World Health Organization (WHO) to combat maternal and infant mortality, maternal mortality rates in the United States continue to worsen, unlike those in other wealthy countries.

Among the multitude of factors that have created this health crisis, toxic stress and the emotional manifestations of racism are key elements. Women of colour are substantially more likely to deal with poverty, face language barriers and have limited access to health care. All of these make it difficult to receive adequate care. These environmental…

Among the multitude of factors that have created this health crisis, toxic stress and the emotional manifestations of racism are key elements. Women of color are substantially more likely to deal with poverty, face language barriers and have limited access to health care. All of these make it difficult to receive adequate care. These environmental stressors are often overlooked by white birth workers who work with women of colour.

This oversight was perfectly illustrated when Ina May Gaskin, a well-known natural birth advocate, answered questions about race and maternal mortality during a Birth Roundup hosted by Texas Birth Networks. After registered nurse Tasha Portley inquired about the connection between race and maternal mortality, Gaskin gave a roundabout answer that ultimately denied the impact of systemic racism on maternal care for mothers of colour. Instead of addressing the combination of race and poverty, she spoke to the issues of poor white women, saying:

“You couldn’t look at our numbers and have anything useful to say about it because the number of African American women would’ve been rather low. Poverty, we’ve got that covered. We were some of the poorest.”

After she danced around the question, Portley informed her that once nutrition, smoking and finances were accounted for, race was a strong influencer of outcomes. In response, however, Gaskin merely emphasized the importance of prayer in managing stress. In reflecting on how unresponsive Gaskin’s comment was, Portley later commented,

“We [Black women] are one of the most religious people on the planet.”

Gaskin’s icon status has the ability to pass this culturally insensitive rhetoric on to the next generation of white birth workers. As a matter of fact, the room, filled with white birth workers, was unfazed and chuckled in affirmation of Gaskin’s comments.

One Black birth worker speaking out in a sea of whiteness is a sample reflective of the birth industry. The lack of awareness and the cultural insensitivity that was displayed here is symbolic of the experiences of women of color across the nation. White birth workers are often unfamiliar with the consequences of systemic racism and look to class alone as the cause of health disparities. Even when women of color give firsthand accounts of our experiences, the birth industry ignores us.

Clearly, the high mortality rates are much more than a class issue — Black women with advanced degrees are more likely to lose their babies than white women with high school diplomas.

Nikia Lawson is a birth worker of colour located in Fort Worth, Texas, where the Birth Roundup took place. According to Lawson, above all else, it is most important to “trust Black women when it comes to their bodies.” Lawson works to fight health disparities in the birth community by educating mothers on pregnancy and postpartum care.

“Birth workers of colour have found ourselves in a position to really educate and shift the final birth outcomes of the expectant woman, who pretty much looks like us, who have experiences similar to ours — and we primarily understand the situations that our expectant mothers face,” Lawson told Truthout.

After hearing Gaskin’s comments, Lawson took to her Facebook page, which is filled with both Black and white birth workers from around the world, to address the importance of collaborative effort in creating change.

What would change look like? For Black women, we need birth workers who understand we exist at the intersection of history, race, gender and reproductive health.

In Texas, where Lawson lives, the maternal mortality rate is not only the highest in the United States, but also the highest in the industrial world. Black women account for 11.4% of births in Texas but 28.8% of deaths.

Upon speaking to Lawson, it became clear the birth industry was not created with women of colour in mind. She explained that the birth industry was established by white men and women, who “researched the impact of birth support [in] Indigenous culture, then brought the concept back to western society and began training women to serve.” Indigenous women and other women of colour already had traditional methods for supporting birthing women that the newly trained white midwives drew upon heavily. In the early 1920s when many of these changes in the birth industry began, white women were in a better position to afford birth services outside of the home. As a result, the new developments in the birth industry mostly impacted white women.

The Rise of the Professional (White) Midwife

Birth workers of colour have always existed.

Prior to 1921, in the south, Black lay midwives — often known as “granny midwives” — provided medical care to poor and rural pregnant women. The Sheppard-Towner Act of 1921 was an attempt to create a more professional education path for birth workers that reduced mortality. Instead, it resulted in more obstacles for midwives, particularly Black women, to continue their work. Suddenly, a smear campaign portrayed lay midwives as dirty, uneducated and unqualified to handle births. Not unexpectedly, the discrediting of midwives was often rooted in racist ideas.  “Filthy and ignorant and not far removed from the jungles of Africa,” were the descriptors used by the director of the Board of Health, Felix Underwood, in 1926 in reference to Black midwives. (Strangely, Underwood himself facilitated midwifery programs.) In other words, racially based preconceptions, in addition to attacks from “professional” obstetrics, played a key part in the downfall of lay midwifery.

The newly emerged professional midwife was portrayed in a pristine white uniform to signify both sterile practices and a lack of individuality. It was apparent that midwives were now regulated followers of modern medicine. Even after training, Black midwives served as a placeholder until enough nurses were trained to assist obstetricians with births.

Midwives were also expected to serve as race gatekeepers during birth. Walter Plecker, a physician, county registrar and later state registrar of [Bureau of] Vital Statistics in Virginia enlisted midwives to “police the women they assisted so that no mixed-race children got the opportunity to ‘pass’ into the white world.” Filling out birth registers became primary concerns, and those who did this “incorrectly” lost their licenses.

Black midwives were placed between two contradicting systems. On one hand, they were supposed to assist in reducing maternal and infant mortality in their communities of origin. On another, they were used within the oppressive system that created these disparities to ensure no racial mixing. As expected, a system that gives high levels of effort to segregation of races has no time for culturally-sensitive care. From the institutionalization of midwifery, all matters of culture would be expected to take a back seat to enforcing systemic oppression. The numbers of Black midwives dwindled, but prior to this, the culture and spiritual nature of midwifery had already receded. The percentage of births attended by midwives in Richmond, Virginia, fell from 41 percent in 1907 to 18 percent in 1922. At the same time, doctor-attended births increased from 59 percent to 82 percent, according to “Maternal Mortality in Richmond: A Preliminary Survey” published in 1923 by C.C. Hudson and M.P. Rucker in the Virginia Medical Monthly. Over time, lay midwives were replaced by white nurses with higher levels of medical training.

Eventually, the industry became overwhelmingly dominated by white birth workers and practices that aligned with whiteness. Moreover, this shift decreased representation of midwives of color in the field and limited women of color’s access to midwives, since they could no longer afford home birth services. Soon the industry shift led to nearly 99 percent of US babies being born in hospitals.

In the face of these changes, what can be done to support birth parents of colour in the current moment?

“I think the best way to combat the issue of maternal mortality is to continue to educate moms about their options for their childbirth experience,”

Lawson said, explaining that many people are unaware that it’s possible to access birth support outside what is offered in the hospital.

However, in the last 30 years, the birth industry has been changing.

“Now, birth workers of colour are seeking to support marginalized, disadvantaged, disproportionately affected communities that have adverse birth outcomes,” explained Lawson.

Black birth workers and other birth workers of color must not only create spaces to work within their own communities — they must reclaim a tradition that was wiped out by hate-based standardization. Ina May Gaskin’s comments were neither surprising nor unusual — they were the product of an industry that wasn’t established with Black women’s benefit in mind. The birth industry was never intended to serve women of color. It was created to police and reinforce an oppressive system. Acknowledging the whiteness of the birth industry means coming to terms with this fact and finding a way to transform an anti-Black institution.

Source*

Related Topics:

African-American Women and Childbirth

Birth Control as U.S. Foreign Policy*

A School Field Trip turns was a Trip to Get Birth Control Implants without Parental Consent*

VIDEO: Bioethics, Eugenics and the “after-birth abortion” of newborns

Yaz and Yasmin, the Birth Control Pills that can Kill*

Israel admits to Birth Controlling Ethiopian Women*

Reclaiming the Birthing Process

Birth Controling a Nation

Ma’afa: The Truth Behind Birth Control…

Investigation into Mystery Behind Premature Births

Parenting in Dark Times*

 

Parenting in Dark Times*

Parenting in Dark Times*

For many of us, it is insanely difficult to wrap our hearts and minds around the prospects which lie ahead for humanity. The list of potential calamities is long and varied, and the scenarios that rise to the top of the ‘most probable today’ column shift all the time. Are we looking at full-blown nuclear war, or will it ‘just’ be Fukushima cesium making its way into our food and water? Could it be rising acidified oceans, unpredictable weather fueled by hotter seas, or maybe a methane ‘burp’ that leads to an abrupt end to agriculture? And then, even if we somehow evade all of these and manage to survive, what about the social and political chaos that is being fomented by right-wing ‘populists’ around the globe? What will happen when climate refugees are either: a. us, or, b. camping in large numbers in our backyards? Where will water come from? Food? Security of any sort seems less than certain looking into the decade ahead.

It is entirely possible that things will unfold in a manner none of us can foresee and if that happens, then we will have to be nimble and respond accordingly. No guarantees, no promises. We are in uncharted waters and not only is there no easy answer for the collective, but we must all find our own way, both in this limbo time, when for many of us, things continue pretty much as before, and in the years ahead, as the status quo collapses.

This time becomes exponentially more difficult for those who have children and grandchildren, those who love individual kids and hold them close in their lives. It is one thing to contemplate the breakdown of natural and social structures known throughout our lives, to allow oneself to consider—and to grieve—the destruction of so much of the planet and those, human and not, who have made it their home. It is another thing altogether to feel into the suffering, the loss and the violation of hopes and dreams that likely await many children, those who have yet to really begin to live their lives.

I speak here of the children of privilege. Clearly, there are already too many children on this planet-of-plenty whose hopes and dreams are limited to the modest wish for a bowl of millet, the continued well-being of a single parent, the departure of the ominous droning overhead. But in various parts of the developed world, there are children whose lives appear untainted by the shadows that are beginning to loom over all of us, acknowledged or not. Many parents (as well as aunts, uncles, grandparents—including the honorary sort), are loathe to look at our global circumstances head-on simply because they cannot bear to confront what the current reality bodes for the little ones, the innocents, whom they love and cherish.

Writing about our prospects of survival as a species has invited correspondence with many deeply thoughtful and loving people; one of the most impossible and important questions I have been posed is “How do I raise my kids knowing what I know about the future of our planet?” Obviously, teaching your child to recycle and pick up litter isn’t enough anymore. Some parents wonder if there is anything concrete to do—shall we buy rural land, rain-collection barrels and a goat? There are those who have the luxury to consider such a course; others are where they are and will stay there to weather the storms or perish in them. But as awareness of our plight reaches consciousness, all adults who love ‘their’ children struggle to understand how to hold the information they have, what to share and how to share it in a way that both protects and prepares the children for an unknowable future. How much is too much to tell your joyful six-year old? What do you say to the twelve-year old, exuberant with enthusiasm for life, planning for college and career and family? How do you prod the eighteen-year old, who reads the news and ponders apocalypse, to finish his college application or résumé? Do you even try?

There are no pat answers. We have never been here, precisely, before. Yes, we can look back in history for ideas and we can consult students of the mind and spirit for guidance. But ultimately, I believe that the best way to discern a path through this time, to hold your child’s hand lovingly in your own while the ride gets wilder and wilder, is to bring the conversation out of the dark and put it on the table where we may all contribute. There is deep and totally understandable fear abounding, and fear often begets denial. Our denial, however, does our kids a great disservice. No matter how painful it is for us to look at the facts, we owe our children at least that much courage. Remember, young kids ‘read’ feelings. Our words, no matter how reassuring, mean nothing if what we broadcast from our hearts is out of alignment. Talking with one another, as adults, about the challenge of how to raise our kids on the brink of planetary collapse is urgent and imperative. Sharing ideas, feelings, experiences and strategies invites creativity and innovation, both of which we sorely need if we are to do our very best by our children.

In order to invite discussion, I will offer a few thoughts that are currently guiding my parenting. I hope they can be seen and used as a jumping off point, a catalyst to consider your own values and how you might best weave them into what is quite possibly the most potent and important relationship you are likely to have with another human being.

Before I dive into particulars, I want to note a couple of overarching principles. They may seem obvious and simplistic, but they are also foundational, so please bear with me. First of all, everything is dependent on the child in question—who they are temperamentally, how old and how mature, what their strengths are and where they find support, what and whom they love and treasure. You know your child better than anyone else and if there was ever a time when our kids needed to be deeply seen for and as themselves, it is now.

Secondly, the surrounding circumstances are paramount to how you approach your child. If you live in California as I do, you teach your children to take short showers, and to learn to love parched golden-brown lawns. You may use public transportation or limit unnecessary driving. But for the average fourth-grader in this part of the world whose parents have legal status, the sky isn’t falling. Yet. If you lived with your family in Fukushima Prefecture, or you and your kids were recently displaced by flooding and mudslides in Colombia, you are likely facing something more complex in terms of the narrative you share. The point is that we will all be facing more difficult times, and as the adults, we must gauge our parenting to the current circumstances as well as to the individual child.

Finally, a great deal depends on how you view this time. Is it catastrophe or opportunity? Can you find ways to authentically and honestly embrace the challenges and the gifts of the changes that are fast approaching? You set the tone for your children. With that in mind, here are a few of the tenets that I lean on to help me find my way:

  1. Know yourself and your own feelings. Seek out your own responses to the global crises. Whatever we deny or repress in ourselves will tend to create a stiltedness, which can in turn inspire worry in our kids. There is no right way to feel—ever–but knowing your own feelings means you are better prepared to both talk and listen authentically to your children.

 

  1. Never lie. It is about respect. (They will likely see through you, anyway.) Our children are sovereign souls who are here for reasons we cannot fully know. They may be small, or young, or naïve, and sometimes dreadfully uncooperative, but as fellow humans, they always deserve our respect. Which means: do not lie to them. Truth is nuanced, and this is at the nub of what we are exploring here: how to be honest in the most loving and responsible way possible.

 

  1. Never impose your personal truths. We are likely to have strong opinions at times, and we may be very certain about what will or will not transpire in the future. It can be tempting to pass these truths on to our kids, to stand firmly in the sea of chaos, but it is important, in my view, to make sure that everything we do share is based upon the child’s interests rather than our own. Consider silence, consider waiting for questions. We are people first, parents next, and sometimes it is very difficult to see the line that separates our own needs from our kids’. It is worth some extra vigilance in this arena.

 

  1. Tell your children the ‘right truth’ to the best of your ability. While you may know how things look to you and which pieces of the puzzle are clear and thus, potentially reassuring for you, these may not be the ‘right truths’ for your child. (I shudder at the echo of ‘alternative facts’ here, but there is a profound difference in the relationship. As parents we are in charge of vetting information and presenting it in the way it is most likely to help our kids prosper and thrive. Even now. Especially now.) Know your kids’ developmental capacities. Listen to your child’s questions and comments to hear the subtext. Ask questions before you tell them the ‘truth.’ Try to discern what it is that they are really asking for, under the words they are using. What truth can you share that meets them where they are? Different kids, different ages, different circumstances are all going to play into the ‘right truth’ and it will change, continue to evolve as the child does, and as life does.

 

  1. Allow plenty of space and support for any and all reactions, including none. Let your child know that it is good for her to feel anything and everything that she does. And follow her lead. Be there if that is what she wants—a lap, a hug, a talk, a cry together, a round of teacups smashed in the back garden—but beware of prioritizing any need you might have to make it all ok. Some kids are going to want to dance or watch a movie or play basketball. And not talk. Honor their wisdom in dealing with impossibility.

 

  1. Offer something to replace that which is lost. We are not especially good at giving things up wholesale. Most smokers need gum or hard candy to replace relinquished cigarettes. When things get really bad, wherever on this planet we are living, our kids are going to lose a lot. We must do what we can to offer them something to staunch the pain of that loss. Not false assurances, not mental methadone, but something simultaneously honest and supportive. Something that helps them to stay upright, to know how deeply they are cherished. Preliminary ideas include: making lots of time and space for joyful activities together (in spite of everything); being in nature; celebrating your child aloud and often for who he is and his amazing contributions to this life with specificity; service, possibly as a family, to others whose needs are greater.

 

  1. Listen and learn. Our children carry wisdom we often overlook and discount. It is their lives which hang in the balance; in these times it is especially critical to understand their vision, to learn what we can from them, and to honor their right to carve a path of their own design. They may, after all, save the world.

These thoughts just barely skim the surface, and don’t begin to address the incredible emotional intensity involved for parents and children alike. They are offered simply as a catalyst to broader and richer conversations. I urge anyone who feels moved: follow the thread, connect with others, contemplate your values, and consider carefully what you are going to give your kids as the world alters.

Most of us want dearly for the children we love to have a broad range of choices and a full and vibrant life. But we are embarking on a collective journey of learning about limitation. When I set myself the exercise of clearing away all the ‘stuff’ of contemporary life, the wish I am left with, what most of us want for our kids—at minimum– is to hold them close and keep them safe. Much as we long for it, this has always has been beyond a parent’s reach at some point or another. We do what we can, and we do the best we can. Ultimately, heartbreakingly, we cannot protect them from life. But we can love them, and we can bring an ardent consciousness to our love, as well as a profound gratitude, moment to moment, for the mysterious and beautiful path we walk together as humans connected one to another, old and young, on this incredible planet, for so long as it is given to us to do so.

Source*

Related Topics:

Tribal Parenting – How to Heal Our Children*

Cultural Decline Follows (((Communist))) Blueprint*

Parental Rights under Attack (Again) … with California’s SB18*

Toddler Permanently Brain Damaged by a Mystery Combination Vaccination That Her Parent’s Did Not Consent To*

U.S. Just Admitted “ISIS HQ” They Blew Up Was Actually an Innocent Family’s Home*

Flint Threatens to Kick 8,000 Families Out of Their Homes if They Don’t Pay for Poison Water*

A School Field Trip turns was a Trip to Get Birth Control Implants without Parental Consent*

Parents Told Five Times to Abort Boy with ‘no brain’ – Now He’s a Thriving 4-year-old*

Public School System Exposed for Reporting Parents to CPS for Homeschooling*

New York Redefines Biological Parental Rights*

Today’s Parents Are Scared Of Everything*

Parents Trying to Save Kids from Daesh in Syria Lose Them in Gaziantep Attack*

School Stops Enforcing Obama’s trans Bathroom Policy after Parents Pulled Kids Out*

Thousands of U.K. Parents to take Children out of School in Protest*

Parents Now Being Thrown in Jail in America for Homeschooling Their Children*

Obama and GOP Unleash “Community Schools” to Replace Parents*

Parents Continue to Resist Ontario Child Sex Grooming*

Parents Call Nevada School Vouchers Illegal*

Forced Adoption: U.K. Parents Cleared Of Abuse ‘Unlikely to See Their Child Again’ Three Years Later*

Parents Sue School over Son’s ‘Wi-Fi Allergy’*

Modern Parenting is Preventing Brain Development*

When Families Can’t Pay, Debtors’ Prison for their Kids*

Child Survivors of Nepal Earthquake Sold to Rich British Families*

The Kind of Society we Want*

The NSA’s Virus Can Still Destroy Your Data, Here Are 5 Ways to Make Sure It Won’t*

The NSA’s Virus Can Still Destroy Your Data, Here Are 5 Ways to Make Sure It Won’t*

By Claire Bernish

Thanks to the NSA’s apparent lust to know and see everything, agency-designed ransomware virus was unleashed on the planet yesterday, leaving anyone using a Windows system — corporations, governments, and even those who only post cat pictures online — vulnerable to exploitation for a price.

That price — $300 in Bitcoin, increasing after a given time period — would theoretically have to be paid in order to rid the infected computer of the WanaCrypt ransomware, or the victim would lose everything on their system. Ransomware literally holds your data hostage until the fee asked by attackers is paid — but if you don’t pay, you lose everything.

Everything.

WanaCrypt0r, alternately known as WanaCry, WanaCrypt, or WCry, is believed to have infected no less than 126,500 computers in 99 countries prior to the threat being partially abated — but not before it had wrought havoc on the U.K.’s National Health Service, FedEx, Spanish telecommunications company, Telefónica, and other systems around the globe.

“This is one of the largest global ransomware attacks the cyber community has ever seen,” Splunk director of threat research, Rich Barger, told Reuters. Splunk is one of several firms who divined WanaCrypt0r’s origins with the National Security Agency.

Analysts say the particularly infectious worm exploited a Microsoft software flaw, and, although the company issued a patch in March after identifying WCry in February, not all users had updated their systems accordingly.

Cybersecurity experts worked at a fever pitch to stop the malicious worm, but it took what the Guardian termed an “accidental hero” to bring a tentative halt to the pandemonium. Reports the outlet, a Twitter user, “tweeting as @malwaretechblog, with the help of Darien Huss from security firm Proofpoint, found and inadvertently activated a ‘kill switch’ in the malicious software.”

He “halted the global spread of an unprecedented ransomware attack by registering a garbled domain name hidden in the malware has warned the attack could be rebooted.”

And payment of the $10.69 registration fee — temporary, though the end to the exploit may be — was all it took.

A significant risk could still be lurking — after all, the attackers used tools designed by the NSA, whose entire collection of older hacking tools were leaked online last month by an entity calling itself the Shadow Brokers, and WCry could yet mutate or be altered — but there are a few ways to stay safe and prevent having precious data and files wrested from you.

  1. Update, update, update

As tech outlet, Tom’s Guide, notes,

“If you’ve not installed the March, April or May Windows Update bundles, do so immediately. It’s worth shutting down your system for a few minutes if it gives you a chance to avoid this.”

Windows Vista users will be protected through the March or April update bundles, and Microsoft has since issued a patch for Windows XP and its 2003 server — while the company released information to help customers cope with the ransomware virus.

  1. Don’t fall hook, line, or sinker

Although WanaCrypt exploits the aforementioned Windows vulnerability, people must be vigilant — as always — not to fall for online phishing schemes, as this malware could also have been spread randomly in hopes people would open email from an unfamiliar source.

Be exceedingly cautious when visiting websites and opening attachments — WanaCry could be ready to pounce. Use common sense — and pepper it with extraordinary discretion.

  1. Back it up

Cybersecurity experts constantly harangue the rest of us to backup important data and files, and — while that directive might generate an eyeroll, and grumblings about time and energy — backing up one’s system is an imperative which now cannot be ignored.

Storing vital information in a secondary location, such as a USB storage stick or external hard drive, could save you tears and headaches in the long run — particularly if WCry or another variant takes control of your system. Cloud storage could be an option — depending on which cloud you use, as the original NSA leaker and insider, Edward Snowden, has warned — but would also leave your data vulnerable in other ways.

  1. Get your defenses up

Install solid, reputable antivirus software — particularly one targeting ransomware — as a line of defense against the intrusion. Experts now say WanaCrypt appears to be “wormable,” which, Tom’s Guide explains, means it spreads

“from system to system by itself as a computer worm, rather than relying on human interaction as a Trojan horse, or infecting desktop applications like a traditional computer virus.”

Since most antivirus software protects and updates in real time, even if the worm breaks through your defenses, RT points out,

“chances are good that within a short while an automatic antivirus update will clear the intruder from your system. Most antivirus companies offer trial versions free of charge to test before subscribing for a paid service, which should be enough if one needs to urgently remove a stray malware.”

Forbes reports,

“If you have up-to-date malware protection software from a reputable cybersecurity company such as Avast installed on your computer, you are probably protected.  Check your cybersecurity company’s website to make sure you are. WanaCry is a world-wide, runaway threat. If your cybersecurity company’s website has nothing to say about it, don’t assume you are protected. Make sure you are running the current version of Windows.”

  1. Keep your money

Perhaps the most basic instruction most analysts and security pros emphasize is also difficult for many to swallow. Don’t shell out the money they’re demanding — be it Bitcoin, dollars, gold, or any other iteration.

Of course, those holding your files hostage for money hope to exploit you in two insidious ways — first, by locking down your data, but second, through your emotional panic resultant from having your critical files abruptly unavailable. That alarm pumps you full of adrenaline, and could provoke a response which seems the simplest solution in the moment — forking over the funds.

If you do that, cybersecurity analysts say, no guarantee exists you’ll actually get your data back — and your willingness to do so could make you a target for future exploits — which, again, could be coming around anytime.

***

Considering the scope of the documents leaked by the Shadow Brokers, virtually anything could be possible now. This basic list will only help to an extent, and should not be considered comprehensive — nor should it be considered, of course, expert advice.

That said, the precautions offered are a bit better than leaving your system naked to malicious infection.

That “accidental hero” credited with truncating the worm’s virulent proliferation admonished the public to be wary and alert, because — although altered or ‘improved’ iterations of WanaCrypt have yet to appear online — “they will.”

“This is not over,” he told the Guardian.

“The attackers will realise how we stopped it, they’ll change the code and then they’ll start again. Enable Windows update, update and then reboot.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Leaked NSA Malware Is Helping Hijack Computers around the World*

Leaked NSA Malware Threatens Windows Users Around the World*

 

Arizona Passes Landmark Bill to End Federal Reserve’s Monopoly on Money*

Arizona Passes Landmark Bill to End Federal Reserve’s Monopoly on Money*

Sound money advocates scored a major victory on Wednesday, when the Arizona state senate voted 16-13 to remove all income taxation of precious metals at the state level. The measure heads to Governor Doug Ducey, who is expected to sign it into law.

Under House Bill 2014, introduced by Representative Mark Finchem (R-Tucson), Arizona taxpayers will simply back out all precious metals “gains” and “losses” reported on their federal tax returns from the calculation of their Arizona adjusted gross income (AGI).

If taxpayers own gold to protect themselves against the devaluation of America’s paper currency, they frequently end up with a “gain” when exchanging those metals back into dollars. However, this is not necessarily a real gain in terms of a gain in actual purchasing power. This “gain” is often a nominal gain because of the slow but steady devaluation of the dollar.  Yet the government nevertheless assesses a tax.

Sound Money Defense League, former presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul, and Campaign for Liberty helped secure passage of HB 2014 because

it begins to dismantle the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money” according to JP Cortez, an alumnus of Mises University.

Ron Paul noted, “HB 2014 is a very important and timely piece of legislation. The Federal Reserve’s failure to reignite the economy with record-low interest rates since the last crash is a sign that we may soon see the dollar’s collapse. It is therefore imperative that the law protect people’s right to use alternatives to what may soon be virtually worthless Federal Reserve Notes.” in early March, Dr. Paul appeared before the state Senate committee that was considering the proposal.

“We ought not to tax money, and that’s a good idea. It makes no sense to tax money,” Paul told the state senators. “Paper is not money, it’s a substitute for money and it’s fraud,” he added, referring to the fractional-reserve banking practiced by the Federal Reserve and other central banks.

After the committee voted to pass the bill on to the full body of the Senate, Dr. Paul held a rally on the grounds of the state legislature, congratulating supporters of the measure and of sound money.

Paul told the crowd that “they were on the right side of history” and that even though those working to restore constitutional liberty to Arizona and all the states “had a great burden to bear,” there are “more than you know” working toward the same goal.

Referring to the bill’s elimination of capital gains taxes on gold and silver, the sponsor of the bill, State Representative Mark Finchem, said,

“What the IRS has figured out at the federal level is to target inflation as a gain. They call it capital gains.”

Shortly after the vote in the state Senate, the Sound Money Defense League, an organization working to bring back gold and silver as America’s constitutional money, issued a press release announcing the good news.

“Arizona is helping lead the way in defending sound money and making it less difficult for citizens to protect themselves from the inflation and financial turmoil that flows from the abusive Federal Reserve System,” said Stefan Gleason, the organization’s director

As a reminder, in 1813 Thomas Jefferson warned, “paper money is liable to be abused, has been, is, and forever will be abused, in every country in which it is permitted.” This is also why the men who drafted the Constitution empowered Congress to mint gold and silver, sound money, and why they included not a single syllable authorizing the legislature to “surrender that critical power to a plutocracy with a penchant for printing fiat money.”

Slowly, states may be summoning back the days when money was actually worth something. At least 20 states are currently considering doing as Arizona is about to do and remove the income tax on the capital gains from the buying and selling of precious metals: some state legislatures, including Utah and Idaho, have taken steps toward eliminating income taxation on the monetary metals.  Other states are rolling back sales taxes on gold and silver or setting up precious metals depositories to help citizens save and transact in gold and silver bullion.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Usury Based System. Towards A Worldwide Financial Disaster?*

Hitler Was Financed by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England*

Anonymous Strikes the Heart of the Empire — Takes Down U.S. Federal Reserve Bank*

U.S. Senate Blocks Bill to Audit the Federal Reserve*

Fed Official Confesses Federal Reserve Rigged the Stock Market Crash*

House Passes Bill to Overhaul the Federal Reserve*

Texas Challenges Federal Reserve with a Gold-backed Bank*

Foreign Countries Held Hostage by the Federal Reserve*

Signs of Federal Reserve Instability Coming to the Surface*

Signs of Federal Reserve Instability Coming to the Surface*

Usury-Free Currency Competes with Federal Reserve Notes*

Federal Reserve Owes More Than $2 Trillion in US Debt*