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Thread: Now, that's encouraging...

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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    Quote Posted by Hervé (here)


    There are better solutions. Meditation in schools is highly effective at reducing school violence and increasing concentration for learning. Higher quality nutritious and organic foods, rather than processed snack foods and fast foods, when served in school cafeterias are another part of creating an environment more conducive to the needs of children.

    The most common sense, natural solution to inattentive behavior in school children, however, may be the basic idea of giving children more time to free play and to engage their bodies in physical activity. It's such a simple notion in such unusual times that it actually sounds revolutionary, and several schools in Texas are being hailed for trying a new program which solves behavioral problems by doing nothing more than allowing children to play outside more often during the school day.

    Simple ideas like this have been proven to work well in places like Finland, where students' test scores improved along with increased play time, a case which serves as the inspiration for a program in Texas schools which have quadrupled the amount of outdoor recreational time, seeing amazing results in terms of overall increase in focus and decreases in distraction and behavioral interruptions.
    "According to Today, the Eagle Mountain Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas, has been giving kindergarten and first-grade students two 15-minute recess breaks every morning and two 15-minute breaks every afternoon to go play outside. At first teachers were worried about losing the classroom time and being able to cover all the material they needed with what was left, but now that the experiment has been going on for about five months, teachers say the kids are actually learning more because they're better able to focus in class and pay attention without fidgeting." [Source]
    The key to the success of the program is 'unstructured play' four times a day to break up the physical and mental monotony of the classroom, allowing developing minds and bodies to constructively use their energies, so that their may be more effectively applied in learning.

    Better solutions indeed! Now, how about we get the children learning how to plant community gardens on the schoolyards, with lessons spanning the range of permaculture ideas. Not only would classes like these supplant the "Unstructured playtime alotted outside", but also allow the children to solve the issue of lacking nutritious foods!

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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    A miracle in Chicago

    By Jon Rappoport Mar 7, 2017

    It turns out that gang killings and drugs are not the only markers of life and death in Chicago. Far from it.

    If you consult the Chicago Urban Agriculture Directory, you find a staggering list of city farms and gardens where clean nutritious food is grown:
    Urban Farms and Gardens in Chicago and Nearby
    • 62nd & Dorchester Community Garden
    • Academy for Global Citizenship School Garden
    • African Heritage Garden
    • Altgeld Sawyer Corner Farm
    • Angelic Organics Learning Center Urban Initiative (Eat to Live Englewood Learning Garden, Urban Incubator Farm, etc)
    • Bay Bay’s Peace Garden (Loud Grade Produce Squad)
    • The Bayless Production Garden (Shores Garden Consulting)
    • Benton House Backyard Botany
    • Big Delicious Planet Kitchen Garden
    • Bronzeville Community Garden
    • Chicago Honey Co-Op
    • Chicago Lights Urban Farm
    • Chicago Patchwork Farms
    • City Farm
    • DePaul Urban Garden
    • Dunne Technology Academy Mini Farm
    • East Garfield Block Club Garden
    • Eden Place Nature Center
    • The Edible Gardens (Lincoln Park Zoo)
    • El Paseo Community Garden
    • Farmed Here
    • Frankie Machine Community Garden (Wicker Park)
    • Gardeneers School Gardens
    • Gingko Organic Gardens
    • Global Garden Refugee Training Farm
    • GreenTown Waukegan
    • Growing Power Chicago Farms
    • Growing Home Farms
    • KAM Isaiah Israel’s Farm and Gardens
    • Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse and Community Garden
    • Loyola University
    • Metropolitan Farms
    • The Millenium Neighborhood Garden
    • Moah’s Ark
    • The Mycelia Project
    • Natalie G. Heineman Smart Love Preschool Garden
    • Peterson Garden Project
    • The Plant
    • Pleasant Farms
    • preSERVE garden
    • Purple Leaf Farms
    • Rainbow Beach Victory Garden
    • Roots & Rays
    • Roseland Community Peace Garden
    • Rosemarie Rochetta Wessies Rooftoop Garden (Loyola)
    • The Ruby Garden
    • South Chicago Art Center’s Artists’ Garden
    • The Talking Farm
    • Third Unitarian Church Community Garden
    • Timuel D. Black Edible Arts Garden
    • Uncommon Ground Organic Roof Top Farm
    • Urban Canopy
    • Weiss Rooftop Farm (Loud Grade Produce Squad)
    • Windy City Harvest (Chicago Botanic Garden)
    • Xochiquetzal Peace Garden
    And this is only a partial list. The Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project has a much larger count, which includes private/residential gardens. Their total, which is constantly updated? 888.

    I have written several articles about the needed expansion of urban farms across America, particularly in poverty-stricken communities, and how, with that expansion, there is a critical-mass point at which the basis of all life in those areas would be transformed in a positive revolutionary way.

    Of course, not only do citizens participate in growing their own clean nutritious food and eating it, but they can sell the excess to markets and launch profit-making enterprises. True value for value.

    Such an expansion would do more for those cities and communities, from coast to coast, than all the federal programs of the past 50 years, since Lyndon Johnson announced the US government War on Poverty. Trillions of dollars have been spent, with no true accounting. Who knows how much has been diverted and stolen. But the upshot is, conditions are far worse now, in many areas, than they were 50 years ago.

    But in Chicago (and other cities), people have taken matters into their own hands. They’ve launched farms and gardens and they’ve endured and grown.

    I’m trying to remember the last time Chicago Mayor Emanuel gave a major extended speech about local urban farms, their vital value, and the need for their expansion. Oh, never. That’s right.

    And when did Barack Hope & Change Obama, George W No Child Left Behind Bush, Bill I Feel your Pain Clinton, and the other George Kinder and Gentler Bush deliver such a speech?

    But to repeat, in Chicago (and other cities), people have taken matters into their own hands. They’ve launched farms and gardens, and they’ve endured and grown.

    They haven’t waited. They haven’t waited for the politicians to catch up. Smart move.

    It’s absurd to consider how, with an infinitesimal fraction of the funds poured out in the War on Poverty, every city in America could, by now, be flourishing in so many ways—through urban farms. Greater vitality, greater health, greater participation, greater profits, a greater citizen-stake in safe neighborhoods…

    And those federal seed monies could have come in the form of long-term loans—all of which would have been paid back by now.

    If Mr. Trump and Mr. Bannon want to take a few minutes out of their schedule, they might consider a new idea people have known about since the industrial revolution…since, in fact, there were cities: growing food in urban areas—and what it could do to make America great again.

    Jon Rappoport
    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

    Troll-hood motto: Never, ever, however, whatsoever, to anyone, a point concede.

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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    Police chief encourages officers to practice meditation to help ease stress of policing and aid development

    Lauren Effron ABC News
    Wed, 08 Mar 2017 17:26 UTC



    At a time when there is an uneasy, sometimes even volatile, divide between some communities and the police officers who are sworn to protect them, one police chief is encouraging her department to practice meditation as a way to help ease the stress of policing.

    Chief Sylvia Moir, who has been the head of the Tempe Police Department in Tempe, Arizona, for the past year and has nearly 30 years of policing experience, believes teaching and practicing meditation should be a key piece of police officer development.
    "In policing, it's essential that we respond. We don't react," Moir told ABC News' Dan Harris in an interview for his "10% Happier" podcast. "Without a doubt I think the [meditation] practice shows promise, getting us to be present, not take triggers, not take the bait that makes us react and if the practice can get us to see the perspective of another to enhance our compassion, then I think it does lend itself to broader application in policing."
    It's important for officers to "be tactically sound and physically fit," Moir said. She practices mindfulness, a series of meditation techniques that are designed to slow the mind, focus on the breath and bring attention back from distraction, as well as gratitude -- focusing on positive emotions.
    "I really practice gratitude a lot," she said. "I say thank you for the people that come at me with anger, I say thank you for things I used to fight against, and it's given me a really interesting kind of path."
    Moir said she usually practices meditation in the early morning for about 10 minutes while sitting in a chair.
    "The great thing about meditation is that it takes no equipment," she said. "I'm a runner and I've run, in the past, full marathons and I need my shoes and nowadays I need my GPS and I need my fuel and I need all my stuff and meditation really offers you ... this equipment-free practice that enriches your life."
    Moir spoke at length about benefits of meditation, including how it not only helps officers make smarter decisions in the field but also how it makes them more thoughtful people who see tense situations from all perspectives, not just their own.
    "It takes courage because there's this narrative around police officers that we are hard and tough and cynical," she said. "[But] I have found police officers to be incredible people, and we view our responsibility, our duty and this call that we are guardians always and warriors when we need to be."
    Moir admitted that some of her officers will grumble about whether it will make them lose their "edge," but she doesn't see it that way.
    "We're really good at -- I call them perishable skills, the shooting, driving, defensible tactics," she said. "And what we're doing with mindfulness practices is we're saying, 'Look, we're going to give you a set of tools, you take it, you use it for the whole you, personal and professional, make it what works for you. Maybe a little quirky. ... Maybe different from what somebody else does but you make it yours.'"
    As chief, Moir said mindfulness helps her deal with the public in high-stress situations and also lead her fellow officers. The practice has been useful, she said, in helping her realize "micro-cues" she may be unintentionally sending, such as a raised eyebrow or a squint, when she's meeting with an officer or a grieving family member.
    "I meet with a lot of people who are really angry," she said. "I meet with people who are suffering, who don't feel like they have been served by the justice system ... with family members who have lost someone, [with] officers that have done wrong and I'm holding them accountable ... it's in those moments where I have to really engage but also listen."
    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

    Troll-hood motto: Never, ever, however, whatsoever, to anyone, a point concede.

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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    Starting with increase in recess-times fun and meditation instead of punishment, here is what can happen to a 330,000-strong community when "family values" and "community's future" are envisaged:

    Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse - but the rest of the world isn't listening

    Emma Young Mosaic17 January 2017
    In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut in the past 20 years. Emma Young finds out how they did it, and why other countries won’t follow suit.


    It's a little before three on a sunny Friday afternoon and Laugardalur Park, near central Reykjavik, looks practically deserted. There's an occasional adult with a pushchair, but the park's surrounded by apartment blocks and houses, and school's out - so where are all the kids?

    Walking with me are Gudberg Jónsson, a local psychologist, and Harvey Milkman, an American psychology professor who teaches for part of the year at Reykjavik University. Twenty years ago, says Gudberg, Icelandic teens were among the heaviest-drinking youths in Europe. "You couldn't walk the streets in downtown Reykjavik on a Friday night because it felt unsafe," adds Milkman. "There were hordes of teenagers getting in-your-face drunk."

    We approach a large building. "And here we have the indoor skating," says Gudberg.

    A couple of minutes ago, we passed two halls dedicated to badminton and ping pong. Here in the park, there's also an athletics track, a geothermally heated swimming pool and - at last - some visible kids, excitedly playing football on an artificial pitch.

    Young people aren't hanging out in the park right now, Gudberg explains, because they're in after-school classes in these facilities, or in clubs for music, dance or art. Or they might be on outings with their parents.

    Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent.

    The way the country has achieved this turnaround has been both radical and evidence-based, but it has relied a lot on what might be termed enforced common sense. "This is the most remarkably intense and profound study of stress in the lives of teenagers that I have ever seen," says Milkman. "I'm just so impressed by how well it is working."

    If it was adopted in other countries, Milkman argues, the Icelandic model could benefit the general psychological and physical wellbeing of millions of kids, not to mention the coffers of healthcare agencies and broader society. It's a big if.

    "I was in the eye of the storm of the drug revolution," Milkman explains over tea in his apartment in Reykjavik. In the early 1970s, when he was doing an internship at the Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital in New York City, "LSD was already in, and a lot of people were smoking marijuana. And there was a lot of interest in why people took certain drugs."

    Milkman's doctoral dissertation concluded that people would choose either heroin or amphetamines depending on how they liked to deal with stress. Heroin users wanted to numb themselves; amphetamine users wanted to actively confront it. After this work was published, he was among a group of researchers drafted by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse to answer questions such as: why do people start using drugs? Why do they continue? When do they reach a threshold to abuse? When do they stop? And when do they relapse?

    "Any college kid could say: why do they start? Well, there's availability, they're risk-takers, alienation, maybe some depression," he says. "But why do they continue? So I got to the question about the threshold for abuse and the lights went on - that's when I had my version of the 'aha' experience: they could be on the threshold for abuse before they even took the drug, because it was their style of coping that they were abusing."

    At Metropolitan State College of Denver, Milkman was instrumental in developing the idea that people were getting addicted to changes in brain chemistry. Kids who were "active confronters" were after a rush - they'd get it by stealing hubcaps and radios and later cars, or through stimulant drugs. Alcohol also alters brain chemistry, of course. It's a sedative but it sedates the brain's control first, which can remove inhibitions and, in limited doses, reduce anxiety.

    "People can get addicted to drink, cars, money, sex, calories, cocaine - whatever," says Milkman. "The idea of behavioural addiction became our trademark."

    This idea spawned another: "Why not orchestrate a social movement around natural highs: around people getting high on their own brain chemistry - because it seems obvious to me that people want to change their consciousness - without the deleterious effects of drugs?"

    By 1992, his team in Denver had won a $1.2 million government grant to form Project Self-Discovery, which offered teenagers natural-high alternatives to drugs and crime. They got referrals from teachers, school nurses and counsellors, taking in kids from the age of 14 who didn't see themselves as needing treatment but who had problems with drugs or petty crime.

    "We didn't say to them, you're coming in for treatment. We said, we'll teach you anything you want to learn: music, dance, hip hop, art, martial arts." The idea was that these different classes could provide a variety of alterations in the kids' brain chemistry, and give them what they needed to cope better with life: some might crave an experience that could help reduce anxiety, others may be after a rush.

    At the same time, the recruits got life-skills training, which focused on improving their thoughts about themselves and their lives, and the way they interacted with other people. "The main principle was that drug education doesn't work because nobody pays attention to it. What is needed are the life skills to act on that information," Milkman says. Kids were told it was a three-month programme. Some stayed five years.

    In 1991, Milkman was invited to Iceland to talk about this work, his findings and ideas. He became a consultant to the first residential drug treatment centre for adolescents in Iceland, in a town called Tindar. "It was designed around the idea of giving kids better things to do," he explains. It was here that he met Gudberg, who was then a psychology undergraduate and a volunteer at Tindar. They have been close friends ever since.

    Milkman started coming regularly to Iceland and giving talks. These talks, and Tindar, attracted the attention of a young researcher at the University of Iceland, called Inga Dóra Sigfúsdóttir. She wondered: what if you could use healthy alternatives to drugs and alcohol as part of a programme not to treat kids with problems, but to stop kids drinking or taking drugs in the first place?

    Have you ever tried alcohol? If so, when did you last have a drink? Have you ever been drunk? Have you tried cigarettes? If so, how often do you smoke? How much time do you spend with your parents? Do you have a close relationship with your parents? What kind of activities do you take part in?

    In 1992, 14-, 15- and 16-year-olds in every school in Iceland filled in a questionnaire with these kinds of questions. This process was then repeated in 1995 and 1997.

    The results of these surveys were alarming. Nationally, almost 25 per cent were smoking every day, over 40 per cent had got drunk in the past month. But when the team drilled right down into the data, they could identify precisely which schools had the worst problems - and which had the least. Their analysis revealed clear differences between the lives of kids who took up drinking, smoking and other drugs, and those who didn't. A few factors emerged as strongly protective: participation in organised activities - especially sport - three or four times a week, total time spent with parents during the week, feeling cared about at school, and not being outdoors in the late evenings.

    "At that time, there had been all kinds of substance prevention efforts and programmes," says Inga Dóra, who was a research assistant on the surveys. "Mostly they were built on education." Kids were being warned about the dangers of drink and drugs, but, as Milkman had observed in the US, these programmes were not working. "We wanted to come up with a different approach."

    The mayor of Reykjavik, too, was interested in trying something new, and many parents felt the same, adds Jón Sigfússon, Inga Dóra's colleague and brother. Jón had young daughters at the time and joined her new Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis when it was set up in 1999. "The situation was bad," he says. "It was obvious something had to be done."

    Using the survey data and insights from research including Milkman's, a new national plan was gradually introduced. It was called Youth in Iceland.

    Laws were changed. It became illegal to buy tobacco under the age of 18 and alcohol under the age of 20, and tobacco and alcohol advertising was banned. Links between parents and school were strengthened through parental organisations which by law had to be established in every school, along with school councils with parent representatives. Parents were encouraged to attend talks on the importance of spending a quantity of time with their children rather than occasional "quality time", on talking to their kids about their lives, on knowing who their kids were friends with, and on keeping their children home in the evenings.

    A law was also passed prohibiting children aged between 13 and 16 from being outside after 10pm in winter and midnight in summer. It's still in effect today.

    Home and School, the national umbrella body for parental organisations, introduced agreements for parents to sign. The content varies depending on the age group, and individual organisations can decide what they want to include. For kids aged 13 and up, parents can pledge to follow all the recommendations, and also, for example, not to allow their kids to have unsupervised parties, not to buy alcohol for minors, and to keep an eye on the wellbeing of other children.

    These agreements educate parents but also help to strengthen their authority in the home, argues Hrefna Sigurjónsdóttir, director of Home and School. "Then it becomes harder to use the oldest excuse in the book: 'But everybody else can!'"

    State funding was increased for organised sport, music, art, dance and other clubs, to give kids alternative ways to feel part of a group, and to feel good, rather than through using alcohol and drugs, and kids from low-income families received help to take part. In Reykjavik, for instance, where more than a third of the country's population lives, a Leisure Card gives families 35,000 krona (£250) per year per child to pay for recreational activities.

    Crucially, the surveys have continued. Each year, almost every child in Iceland completes one. This means up-to-date, reliable data is always available.

    Between 1997 and 2012, the percentage of kids aged 15 and 16 who reported often or almost always spending time with their parents on weekdays doubled - from 23 per cent to 46 per cent - and the percentage who participated in organised sports at least four times a week increased from 24 per cent to 42 per cent. Meanwhile, cigarette smoking, drinking and cannabis use in this age group plummeted.

    "Although this cannot be shown in the form of a causal relationship - which is a good example of why primary prevention methods are sometimes hard to sell to scientists - the trend is very clear," notes Álfgeir Kristjánsson, who worked on the data and is now at the West Virginia University School of Public Health in the US. "Protective factors have gone up, risk factors down, and substance use has gone down - and more consistently in Iceland than in any other European country."

    Jón Sigfússon apologies for being just a couple of minutes late. "I was on a crisis call!" He prefers not to say precisely to where, but it was to one of the cities elsewhere in the world that has now adopted, in part, the Youth in Iceland ideas.

    Youth in Europe, which Jón heads, began in 2006 after the already-remarkable Icelandic data was presented at a European Cities Against Drugs meeting and, he recalls, "People asked: what are you doing?"

    Participation in Youth in Europe is at a municipal level rather than being led by national governments. In the first year, there were eight municipalities. To date, 35 have taken part, across 17 countries, varying from some areas where just a few schools take part to Tarragona in Spain, where 4,200 15-year-olds are involved. The method is always the same: Jón and his team talk to local officials and devise a questionnaire with the same core questions as those used in Iceland plus any locally tailored extras. For example, online gambling has recently emerged as a big problem in a few areas, and local officials want to know if it's linked to other risky behaviour.

    Just two months after the questionnaires are returned to Iceland, the team sends back an initial report with the results, plus information on how they compare with other participating regions. "We always say that, like vegetables, information has to be fresh," says Jón. "If you bring these findings a year later, people would say, Oh, this was a long time ago and maybe things have changed..." As well as fresh, it has to be local so that schools, parents and officials can see exactly what problems exist in which areas.

    The team has analysed 99,000 questionnaires from places as far afield as the Faroe Islands, Malta and Romania - as well as South Korea and, very recently, Nairobi and Guinea-Bissau. Broadly, the results show that when it comes to teen substance use, the same protective and risk factors identified in Iceland apply everywhere. There are some differences: in one location (in a country "on the Baltic Sea"), participation in organised sport actually emerged as a risk factor. Further investigation revealed that this was because young ex-military men who were keen on muscle-building drugs, drinking and smoking were running the clubs. Here, then, was a well-defined, immediate, local problem that could be addressed.

    While Jón and his team offer advice and information on what has been found to work in Iceland, it's up to individual communities to decide what to do in the light of their results. Occasionally, they do nothing. One predominantly Muslim country, which he prefers not to identify, rejected the data because it revealed an unpalatable level of alcohol consumption. In other cities - such as the origin of Jón's "crisis call" - there is an openness to the data and there is money, but he has observed that it can be much more difficult to secure and maintain funding for health prevention strategies than for treatments.

    No other country has made changes on the scale seen in Iceland. When asked if anyone has copied the laws to keep children indoors in the evening, Jón smiles. "Even Sweden laughs and calls it the child curfew!"

    Across Europe, rates of teen alcohol and drug use have generally improved over the past 20 years, though nowhere as dramatically as in Iceland, and the reasons for improvements are not necessarily linked to strategies that foster teen wellbeing. In the UK, for example, the fact that teens are now spending more time at home interacting online rather than in person could be one of the major reasons for the drop in alcohol consumption.

    But Kaunas, in Lithuania, is one example of what can happen through active intervention. Since 2006, the city has administered the questionnaires five times, and schools, parents, healthcare organisations, churches, the police and social services have come together to try to improve kids' wellbeing and curb substance use. For instance, parents get eight or nine free parenting sessions each year, and a new programme provides extra funding for public institutions and NGOs working in mental health promotion and stress management. In 2015, the city started offering free sports activities on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and there are plans to introduce a free ride service for low-income families, to help kids who don't live close to the facilities to attend.

    Between 2006 and 2014, the number of 15- and 16-year-olds in Kaunas who reported getting drunk in the past 30 days fell by about a quarter, and daily smoking fell by more than 30 per cent.

    At the moment, participation in Youth in Europe is a haphazard affair, and the team in Iceland is small. Jón would like to see a centralised body with its own dedicated funding to focus on the expansion of Youth in Europe. "Even though we have been doing this for ten years, it is not our full, main job. We would like somebody to copy this and maintain it all over Europe," he says. "And why only Europe?"

    §

    After our walk through Laugardalur Park, Gudberg Jónsson invites us back to his home. Outside, in the garden, his two elder sons, Jón Konrád, who's 21, and Birgir Ísar, who's 15, talk to me about drinking and smoking. Jón does drink alcohol, but Birgir says he doesn't know anyone at his school who smokes or drinks. We also talk about football training: Birgir trains five or six times a week; Jón, who is in his first year of a business degree at the University of Iceland, trains five times a week. They both started regular after-school training when they were six years old.

    "We have all these instruments at home," their father told me earlier. "We tried to get them into music. We used to have a horse. My wife is really into horse riding. But it didn't happen. In the end, soccer was their selection."

    Did it ever feel like too much? Was there pressure to train when they'd rather have been doing something else? "No, we just had fun playing football," says Birgir. Jón adds, "We tried it and got used to it, and so we kept on doing it."

    It's not all they do. While Gudberg and his wife Thórunn don't consciously plan for a certain number of hours each week with their three sons, they do try to take them regularly to the movies, the theatre, restaurants, hiking, fishing and, when Iceland's sheep are brought down from the highlands each September, even on family sheep-herding outings.

    Jón and Birgir may be exceptionally keen on football, and talented (Jón has been offered a soccer scholarship to the Metropolitan State University of Denver, and a few weeks after we meet, Birgir is selected to play for the under-17 national team). But could the significant rise in the percentage of kids who take part in organised sport four or more times a week be bringing benefits beyond raising healthier children?

    Could it, for instance, have anything to do with Iceland's crushing defeat of England in the Euro 2016 football championship? When asked, Inga Dóra Sigfúsdóttir, who was voted Woman of the Year in Iceland in 2016, smiles: "There is also the success in music, like Of Monsters and Men [an indie folk-pop group from Reykjavik]. These are young people who have been pushed into organised work. Some people have thanked me," she says, with a wink.

    Elsewhere, cities that have joined Youth in Europe are reporting other benefits. In Bucharest, for example, the rate of teen suicides is dropping alongside use of drink and drugs. In Kaunas, the number of children committing crimes dropped by a third between 2014 and 2015.

    As Inga Dóra says: "We learned through the studies that we need to create circumstances in which kids can lead healthy lives, and they do not need to use substances, because life is fun, and they have plenty to do - and they are supported by parents who will spend time with them."

    When it comes down to it, the messages - if not necessarily the methods - are straightforward. And when he looks at the results, Harvey Milkman thinks of his own country, the US. Could the Youth in Iceland model work there, too?

    §

    Three hundred and twenty-five million people versus 330,000. Thirty-three thousand gangs versus virtually none. Around 1.3 million homeless young people versus a handful.

    Clearly, the US has challenges that Iceland does not. But the data from other parts of Europe, including cities such as Bucharest with major social problems and relative poverty, shows that the Icelandic model can work in very different cultures, Milkman argues. And the need in the US is high: underage drinking accounts for about 11 per cent of all alcohol consumed nationwide, and excessive drinking causes more than 4,300 deaths among under-21 year olds every year.

    A national programme along the lines of Youth in Iceland is unlikely to be introduced in the US, however. One major obstacle is that while in Iceland there is long-term commitment to the national project, community health programmes in the US are usually funded by short-term grants.

    Milkman has learned the hard way that even widely applauded, gold-standard youth programmes aren't always expanded, or even sustained. "With Project Self-Discovery, it seemed like we had the best programme in the world," he says. "I was invited to the White House twice. It won national awards. I was thinking: this will be replicated in every town and village. But it wasn't."

    He thinks that is because you can't prescribe a generic model to every community because they don't all have the same resources. Any move towards giving kids in the US the opportunities to participate in the kinds of activities now common in Iceland, and so helping them to stay away from alcohol and other drugs, will depend on building on what already exists. "You have to rely on the resources of the community," he says.

    His colleague Álfgeir Kristjánsson is introducing the Icelandic ideas to the state of West Virginia. Surveys are being given to kids at several middle and high schools in the state, and a community coordinator will help get the results out to parents and anyone else who could use them to help local kids. But it might be difficult to achieve the kinds of results seen in Iceland, he concedes.

    Short-termism also impedes effective prevention strategies in the UK, says Michael O'Toole, CEO of Mentor, a charity that works to reduce alcohol and drug misuse in children and young people. Here, too, there is no national coordinated alcohol and drug prevention programme. It's generally left to local authorities or to schools, which can often mean kids are simply given information about the dangers of drugs and alcohol - a strategy that, he agrees, evidence shows does not work.

    O'Toole fully endorses the Icelandic focus on parents, school and the community all coming together to help support kids, and on parents or carers being engaged in young people's lives. Improving support for kids could help in so many ways, he stresses. Even when it comes just to alcohol and smoking, there is plenty of data to show that the older a child is when they have their first drink or cigarette, the healthier they will be over the course of their life.

    But not all the strategies would be acceptable in the UK - the child curfews being one, parental walks around neighbourhoods to identify children breaking the rules perhaps another. And a trial run by Mentor in Brighton that involved inviting parents into schools for workshops found that it was difficult to get them engaged.

    Public wariness and an unwillingness to engage will be challenges wherever the Icelandic methods are proposed, thinks Milkman, and go to the heart of the balance of responsibility between states and citizens. "How much control do you want the government to have over what happens with your kids? Is this too much of the government meddling in how people live their lives?"

    In Iceland, the relationship between people and the state has allowed an effective national programme to cut the rates of teenagers smoking and drinking to excess - and, in the process, brought families closer and helped kids to become healthier in all kinds of ways. Will no other country decide these benefits are worth the costs?

    Related:
    What is the root cause of addiction, and how do you heal it?
    School to prison pipeline: New hysterical Missouri law makes schoolyard fights a felony

    ===========================================

    Of course, such programs are flying in the teeth of Agenda 21 and its programmed destruction of the family unit as building block of nations. Never mind the CIA fund raising lucrative business...

    On the other hand, such programs built from scratch on solid rationals, do away with community elders and/or religious dogmas instituting their "Because we said so!"
    Last edited by Hervé; 11th March 2017 at 16:05.
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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    And there would be more if the communication companies - telephone cie who supply cable and fiber optic with tv - telephone - internet bundles would not force us to get tv by making it as expensive to have telephone and internet alone without tv and/or with tv (same price, no reduction in pricing if you cancel the tv). So we just do not unsubscribe, but do not listen to tv.

    I bet anything 8% would be 16% without the bundles sold to us. None of my friends listen to tv, none of my daughter's friends either.

    Quote Posted by Hervé (here)
    The 'tuned out' Canadians who don't pay for TV
    http://tech.ca.msn.com/the-tuned-out...t-pay-for-tv-2

    TORONTO - The number of "tuned out" Canadians, those who don't subscribe to conventional TV, has doubled in recent years and now represents eight per cent of the population, suggests a new report.



    A customer looks at televisions at a Best Buy store, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, in Franklin, Tenn. The number of "tuned out" Canadians, those who don't subscribe to conventional TV, has doubled in recent years and now represents eight per cent of the population, suggests a new report. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Humphrey


    TORONTO - The number of "tuned out" Canadians, those who don't subscribe to conventional TV, has doubled in recent years and now represents eight per cent of the population, suggests a new report.

    Since 2007, a steady four per cent of Canadians surveyed by the Media Technology Monitor, which regularly polls Canadians about tech trends, reported they were tuned out.

    Tuned out Canadians either didn't have a TV set, only used it to watch VHS tapes, DVDs or Blu-rays, or streamed digital content rather than paying for a TV plan. They tended to be younger and highly educated and major users of the Internet, says MTM.

    In the recent fall survey, about 49 per cent were between 18 and 34, and 51 per cent had a university education. Tuned out Canadians spent 20 hours a week surfing the web compared to the 15.4 hours TV subscribers were online.

    MTM noted the numbers of tuned out Canadians started to rise in 2011, after those who were receiving analog over-the-air signals for free TV were forced to transition to a digital signal or lose access to the limited number of channels they were picking up by antenna.

    According to MTM, many decided they were fine without TV, as the number of tuned out Canadians nearly doubled to seven per cent of the population.

    In 2012, the number of tuned out Canadians rose another percentage point, which MTM attributed to the growing availability of video content available to stream online, via TV network websites and services such as Netflix.

    MTM's most-recent numbers on tuned out Canadians are based on polling of 8,011 adults conducted between October and December of last year and are considered accurate within plus or minus 1.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

    Another report, released Tuesday by the Convergence Consulting Group, suggested about 2.1 per cent of Canadian TV customers, totalling about 250,000, cancelled their subscriptions between 2011 and 2012. The report predicted the figure would rise to 3.2 per cent, or about 380,000 households, by the end of 2013.

    Rogers says their company is paying attention to tuned out Canadians and exploring ways to turn them into customers.

    "There's definitely thinking going on about what kind of model would make sense — to university students (for example) who perhaps don't have a cable, satellite or IPTV subscription — how do you create a product that's relevant for them?" said David Purdy, senior vice-president of content for Rogers.

    "You've got to be customer-centric and innovate and recognize there's a certain number of people out there that today don't subscribe to (a TV package). But you don't want to shoot yourself in the foot with pricing that's not smart."

    Rogers already sells digital access to its Sportsnet World programming, including international soccer, rugby and cricket matches, for between $99 to $275 a year, to view within a web browser. Curling fans can also pay $25 to stream one of the Grand Slam of Curling tournaments or $80 for the whole package.

    ****************************

    I don't have a TV anymore and sure don't miss it, not even for VHS or DVDs.

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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    Inspirational: North Carolina Police Chief stops arresting opioid addicts - finds that offering help causes crime and addiction to plummet

    Jay Syrmopoulos Free Thought Project
    Wed, 26 Jul 2017 16:06 UTC


    Chief Thomas Bashore: A cop with heart and brains © CNN

    Crime is down 40 percent in a North Carolina town where police began offering help and recovery options to drug addicts, instead of throwing them in jail.

    A police chief in a small eastern North Carolina town, Chief Thomas Bashore, in collaboration with town manager Hank Raper, began a program - using compassion instead of violence - known as the HOPE initiative that is both saving lives and lowering crime.

    Nashville, North Carolina, a town of 5,400 offers a unique program to help addicts recover, rather than continue the cycle of crime and addiction, by allowing addicts to turn themselves into police with their drugs and paraphernalia, without being thrown in a cage.

    Instead of them facing arrest, they get help getting into a program to fight addiction.

    Thomas Spikes, 24, has battled addiction since before he was a teenager, and credits Bashore with saving his life by putting him on a path to recovery from the deadly scourge of opioid addiction.

    "He saved my life for sure," he said. "I owe a lot to him and the program."

    As opioid deaths continue to rise dramatically across the United States, replacing car accidents as the number one cause of unintentional deaths, the state of North Carolina has seen a more than 340 percent increase in opioid deaths from 2010 to 2016.

    "There's no clear characteristic of what a heroin or opioid addiction looks like," Raper told CNN. "It's not a white problem, it's not a black problem, it's not a Hispanic problem, middle class, working class, upper class. It affects all peoples of all walks of life."

    The HOPE initiative was modeled on the "Angel" program in Gloucester, Massachusetts, which allows addicts to safely get medical help and police assistance-without fear of being arrested. These innovative programs are creating a new paradigm that reconfigures the manner in which law enforcement responds to addiction.

    "They walk into the front door, if they have drugs or paraphernalia on them at any time, they can turn it in to us at that time, and have no charges filed. And we facilitate them into recovery," Bashore said.

    "We have actually had individuals who have brought in heroin bags and turned that over because they knew that they were going to get into recovery and they didn't want that around when they got out," Bashore said.

    To ensure that there would be no impediments to the HOPE program, Chief Bashore and Raper recruited the county district attorney, who was on board with the initiative, ensuring that addicts seeking help would not be charged. With the support of the county attorney, the HOPE program began on Feb. 9, 2016-with the first addict coming into the police station seeking help only eight days later.

    "It was eye-opening," recalled Bashore. "That individual came in and we spent the better part of 7 and a half hours getting him processed. Only then did I leave the hospital and come back to the police department to start calling facilities to start having him placed, after he left detox. You can spend hours on the phone, calling facilities, saying, 'Do you have a bed?'"

    Bashore has been intimately involved in the program, driving many of the 172 men and women that have been helped by the HOPE initiative. Revealing the changing nature of law enforcement's fight against drug addition-and a clear movement from a punitive "War on Drugs" mentality, to a recovery-based model-Bashore has worked to build personal relationships with numerous rehabilitation facilities across North Carolina.

    The business cards he passes out even have his personal cellphone number so that rehab facilities across the state can personally alert him when a space opens up for an addict.

    "My cellphone, it rings all the time," Bashore said. "Each participant who comes through the program and all their family members have it. So, when they need something, they reach out."

    In addition to helping numerous addicts get clean, the HOPE initiative has substantially changed the dynamics between the police and the community. Bashore said he is working to help people understand that substance abuse is a disease and that his department's goal is to "supportive not only for their benefit, but for the community benefit."

    Revealing exactly how this new approach by law enforcement, to drugs and addiction, can drastically alter crime rates, Bashore said that crime is down 40 percent since the program's inception.

    "We've had a pretty significant drop in our crimes that are associated with substance-abuse disorder," Bashore said. "Things like shoplifting and larcenies and breaking into cars."

    The beautiful thing is that HOPE does not limit its services to residents of Nashville, as people from across the state have taken advantage of the program-as well as people from as far away as California and Pennsylvania.

    The initiative has no cost to participants in the program, and is funded through small grants, fundraisers, and donations.

    "The chief paid for the first two months that I was there and the rehab I was at," recalled Spikes. After spending over half his life in the grip of addiction, Spikes has now been clean for four months after leaving the rehabilitation facility.

    In an interview with CNN, Spikes said that he first used drugs when he was 12 years old. "It started off with just smoking weed," he said, "then occasional pills, and it progressed through the years." Eventually, his addiction became a $200 to $300 a day habit at its worst.

    After being caught with heroin and sent to jail in October 2016, he had his first encounter with Chief Bashore. Initially, Spikes was skeptical of any help police offered, and expressed a commonly held belief: "You don't talk to cops, you don't associate with them, they're not your friends."

    Spikes' perceptions quickly began to evolve when he recognized that Bashore was solely there to help him, no questions asked.

    The chief "never tried to pry into anything in my life in that era," Spikes said. "[He doesn't] care who you hang out with, what kind of drugs you do."

    After having gone through countless rehab facilities in the past, Spikes said his life has changed because of Chief Bashore and the HOPE initiative.

    "He saved my life for sure because if it wasn't for the HOPE Initiative, I wouldn't have gotten help," Spikes said. "My life has done a 180. I'm working, I have a vehicle, a house, I have a beautiful girlfriend with a baby on the way."

    This inspirational police chief decided that criminalizing addiction is a clear recipe for failure, and increased crime and death in his community-and made a decision to do something about it. By not comporting with the "get tough on crime" mentality that is often prevalent in law enforcement, Bashore is actually making a difference in people's lives. He is also saving taxpayers money as the cost of rehabilitation is far less than prison, and it is being independently funded.

    "Of those 172 people that have come through the program, I've actually been to two funerals. Knowing what the alternative could have been for Thomas ... (who) just recently disclosed to me that his girlfriend's pregnant, he's going to be a father," he said. "So, that's an amazing thing. That touches me deeply."
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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    The new self-reliance: Ignored by Big Telecom, Detroit's marginalized communities are building their own internet

    Kaleigh Rogers Motherboard
    Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:01 UTC


    40 percent of Detroit residents don't have any access to internet at all.

    Being stuck without access to the internet is often thought of as a problem only for rural America. But even in some of America's biggest cities, a significant portion of the population can't get online.

    Take Detroit, where 40 percent of the population has no access to the internet-of any kind, not only high speed-at home, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Seventy percent of school-aged children in the city are among those who have no internet access at home. Detroit has one of the most severe digital divides in the country, the FCC says.

    "When you kind of think about all the ways the internet affects your life and how 40 percent of people in Detroit don't have that access you can start to see how Detroit has been stuck in this economic disparity for such a long time," Diana Nucera, director of the Detroit Community Technology Project, told me at her office.

    [Video at link]

    Nucera is part of a growing cohort of Detroiters who have started a grassroots movement to close that gap, by building the internet themselves. It's a coalition of community members and multiple Detroit nonprofits. They're starting with three underserved neighborhoods, installing high speed internet that beams shared gigabit connections from an antenna on top of the tallest building on the street, and into the homes of people who have long gone without. They call it the Equitable Internet Initiative.


    © Lara Heintz

    The issue isn't only cost, though it is prohibitive for many Detroiters, but also infrastructure. Because of Detroit's economic woes, many Big Telecom companies haven't thought it worthwhile to invest in expanding their network to these communities, Nucera told me. The city is filled with dark fiber optic cable that's not connected to any homes or businesses-relics from more optimistic days.

    Residents who can't afford internet, are on some kind of federal or city subsidy like food stamps, and students are prioritized for the Initiative, Nucera told me. The whole effort started last summer with enlisting digital stewards, locals from each neighborhood who were interested in working for the nonprofit coalition, doing everything from spreading the word, to teaching digital literacy, to installing routers and pulling fiber.

    Many of these stewards started out with little or no tech expertise, but after a 20-week-long training period, they've become experts able to install, troubleshoot, and maintain a network from end to end. They're also aiming to spread digital literacy, so people can truly own the network themselves.

    "We want to make sure that we're not just installing all the equipment, but also educating the community," said Rita Ramirez, one of the stewards working on the project in Detroit's Southwest neighborhood.


    © Lara Heintz

    One component the groups are most eager to build out is the intranet that will result from connecting so many homes (about 50 in each neighborhood) to a shared wireless connection. They are encouraging local residents to take advantage of that intranet and build shared tools like a forum and emergency communication network that is completely localized and secure.

    In a city that is rebuilding after a decade of economic turmoil, the internet can no longer be a luxury for the wealthy. Detroit's renaissance won't happen without each of the city's diverse communities having access to the basic tools of modern work, education, healthcare, and communication. All of Detroit (or, certainly, more than 60 percent) needs access to the internet and the current structure established by Big Telecom hasn't made this an easy goal.

    "Communication is a fundamental human right," Nucera said. "This is digital justice."

    Dear Future is a partnership with CNET that will explore the people, companies, and communities that are ushering in the future we were all promised. Follow along here.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Zerohedge adds some more information:
    The city of Detroit, in the U.S. state of Michigan, has experienced an impressive economic and demographic shift over the past 50-years.

    Deindustrialization coupled with depopulation has stripped the city of it's economic strength cascading it into turmoil. Global competition from automakers shifted manufacturing jobs out of the area. As businesses left, communities decayed, inducing a terrifying surge in violent crime. Urban rot came next festering from within and eventually sending the city into bankruptcy in 2013 where it reemerged in 2014.

    Five-years later, Detroit has gotten worse - not better - and the city is having trouble providing basic utilities for its residents.

    In particular, the city along with internet service providers are failing to deliver high-speed internet to a significant part of the low income areas.

    That is why one community group of technology geeks have banded together to create an internet of their own.

    Equitable Internet Initiative (EII) is a program that teaches Detroit residents how to build high speed WiFi networks. EII says Detroit is one of the top 5 least connected cities in the United States coupled with 60% of the city residents that do not have access to high-speed internet. The group aims to stop the growing digital divide that is leaving many low income residents behind and forgotten in the inner cities where there is only death and destruction.

    EII has trained teams in the North End, Island View, and Southwest Detroit to setup infrastructure: a church that functions as a hub and internet service provider which then a signaled is beamed to communities that don't have access to high-speed internet.

    Residents who want internet from EII have to meet two requirements:
    1. can't afford internet
    2. don't already have internet or <10 Mbps
    Once the requirements are met, EII will send a team to the residential location and install an outdoor directional antenna and an indoor router with a setup time around one-hour. EII recognizes that access to high-speed internet is a worldwide problem and if that is not fixed a "digital class system" will develop.

    EII wants high-speed access for everyone..Popular Mechanics also said,
    The EII offers a radical proposition that would allow people to get Internet outside of a major telecom. But it's got its own money concerns. Initially, it worked off a federal grant. When that money dried up, the deal with Rocket Fiber made it viable again.

    But that partnership will not cover the costs of more and more internet connections growing in perpetuity. Jenny Lee, the executive director of Allied Media Projects, the group behind EII, raised the question in a recent article. "How do we do this in way that doesn't replicate the inequities of other utility companies? Are we going to be the equivalent of water department coming to shut you off if you don't pay your bill?"

    One way the group hopes it will prove its worth is by creating apps. Its Next Gen Apps program teaches students coding basics like CSS, HTML, Javascript, and Node.js. Combined with the EII's efforts to provide internet in their areas, there's a hope that people will truly make the internet their own.
    Bottomline: Detroit is a prime example of citizens working together for survival in a post collapsed bankrupt city. The one question we have: how long until government shuts down this private internet?
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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    Police department helps thwart police brutality by offering yoga classes to officers

    Matt Agorist
    Free Thought Project
    Sun, 07 Jan 2018 18:50 UTC


    Aside from the overwhelming physical benefits of yoga, like increased flexibility, muscle strength, and protection from injury, the mental benefits are many. Yoga has been shown in numerous studies to help in the reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression, while at the same time improving blood pressure. Although, the list of mental and physical benefits, while immense, is lacking any mention of reduction in police brutality. However, thanks to a forward-thinking department in San Leandro, California, that could soon change.

    Late last year, Beth Zygielbaum, a San Leandro resident, and yoga instructor called the San Leandro Police Department after becoming fed up with news reports of racial disparity and brutality among American police.

    "I was just calling to find out what the heck was going on. I was calling as a concerned citizen," she explained to ABC 7.

    Instead of ignoring her call and writing her off as 'anti-cop', Chief Jeff Tudor actually called her back. During their conversation, Zygielbaum offered to help the department in the best way that she knew how. Being a certified yoga instructor, she offered to teach yoga to the officers and staff at the department-for free.

    Zygielbaum's classes are already starting to have their effect.

    "Do you buy into the idea of mindfulness," ABC 7 News Reporter Katie Utehs asked Officer Alex Hidas who had just taken the class.

    "Absolutely," Hidas responded. "I've experienced several times where I'm out there and I can feel my body, I can feel under stress, the adrenaline pumping, and your fine motor skills kind of go out the window and what brings you back is being able to control your breathing."

    The idea of curbing police brutality with yoga through seeking mindfulness may seem like a stretch to some. However, the benefits of simply being mindful are so compelling that UC Berkeley has launched a study to measure the results specifically on police officers.

    "Anecdotally at least the effects seem to be positive," said Professor Jack Glaser a social psychologist and Associate Dean of Public Policy at UC Berkeley who launched the study over the fall.

    "It appears to have a lot of benefits that could be relevant to policing both in terms of the performance of their job and in terms of emotional welfare that they experience," said Glaser.

    According to ABC 7, this study will look at mindfulness as a deterrent to racial profiling. Simply put, participants will be shown pictures depicting police scenarios and potential suspects. One group will be lead through a mindfulness meditation before doing the exercise. The other group will just look at the pictures.

    "All of the things that lead-up to that split second decision are where the opportunities lie for avoiding that happening at all and mindfulness, I think, has great potential for just that sort of thing," Glaser said.

    According to Glaser, the study will take two years to complete. However, Chief Tudor decided that he won't wait that long to reap the benefits of his officers achieving mindfulness. The chief has begun building a wellness program inside the department with the aim of improving officer health-both mentally and physically. The program will include a gym, as well as nutrition and sleep course, and-most importantly-yoga to teach the officers how to be mindful.

    "With that health becomes a more patient officer and that's what our communities expect and deserve," explained Chief Tudor. "If I can in any way impact them by providing them with some tools or some knowledge that can better their lives that's the ultimate goal," he said.

    As the number of citizens killed by police continues in its epidemic levels, clearly American cops are in need of intervention. What better way to combat obstinate violent tendencies than with mindfulness and peace.
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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    Australian anti-vaxxers provide new model for the world

    by Jon Rappoport Mar 4, 2018

    Out of the ashes of government tyranny comes a solution.

    In the Australian state of Queensland, childcare facilities can refuse to allow unvaccinated children to attend, so…

    Parents there have formed their own community, which has already grown to 800 members. As ABC (Australia) reports:
    “Sunshine Coast vaccine refuser and leader of the Natural Immunity Community, Allona Lahn, said her anti-vaccine network had grown to 800 members and was becoming stronger since the regulations were introduced.”

    “’Out of sheer necessity we’ve created a community base to support families — we’ve had no choice other than to start our own social services’.”

    “Ms Lahn said the network with like-minded families included their own childcare, schools and health services away from the mainstream.”

    “’We organise group childcare arrangements and we’re now devising our own combined homeschooling system,’ she said.”

    “’We use health practitioners within the anti-vaccine networks around Australia and ‘anti-vaccination-friendly’ doctors in the community’.”

    “Ms Lahn said network members were turning away from mainstream health services because they faced intimidation and coercion.”
    This is decentralization par excellence.

    If like-minded parents in other countries take notice and launch their own communities, who knows how strong this movement could become?

    Islands of resistance—but more than that. New answers, new strategies, new victories. And ongoing proof that parents can raise healthy children without vaccinations.

    That proof is the dagger to the incessant lies about vaccines being absolutely necessary. Mainstream media promote those lies day and night—but the truth is, parents can and do raise unvaccinated children with strong immune systems, which is the natural defense against harm from disease.

    The medical establishment has done NO proper, long-term studies comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated children’s health outcomes. And the real reason is:
    they don’t want to face the results of such studies. They rightly fear the facts that would emerge.
    I’m sure Allona Lahn, the leader of the Queensland network, doesn’t think of herself as a hero. She’s just doing what she knows is right, and she and her compatriot parents are, above all, protecting their children from the well-established toxic effects of vaccines. But she is a hero.

    Every aware parent should salute her.

    Jon Rappoport
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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    Score for common sense: Utah legalizes 'free-range parenting'

    Morgan Gstalter The Hill
    Tue, 27 Mar 2018 14:35 UTC



    Utah has become the first state to legalize "free-range parenting," codifying that kids can participate in unsupervised activities without their parents facing neglect charges.

    Utah. Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed the law earlier this month that redefines child "neglect," ABC News reported Tuesday.
    "Absence evidence of clear danger, abuse or neglect, we believe that parents have the best sense of how to teach responsibility to their children" Herbert said in a statement.
    The new law prevents parents from being considered negligent by state authorities for letting their child walk outside alone, play without supervision or wait alone in a car.

    State Sen. Lincoln Fillmore (R), a sponsor on the bill, said society has become "too hyper" about protecting children and ends up sheltering them from opportunities.
    "Kids need to wonder about the world, explore and play in it, and by doing so learn the skills of self-reliance and problem-solving they'll need as adults," Fillmore said.
    Lenore Skenazy, the author of "Free Range Kids," a book about letting her 9-year-old ride the New York subway alone, says she contacted Fillmore about the proposal.
    "My law is the way that our kids have the right to some unsupervised time, and we have the right to give it to them without getting arrested," Skenazy said.
    Parents will disagree about what age a child should be allowed to do certain activities without an adult. But the law will prevent authorities from starting investigations into parents, who have the right to choose, she said.
    "I would definitely not let a 3-year-old play in the park alone, but I definitely would let their 10-year-old sister play in the park for an hour and come home," she said.

    "I definitely would let my 7-year-old walk to school, but maybe you won't let your 7-year-old walk to school."
    Dr. Dave Anderson, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, said Tuesday that free-range parenting should be considered on a "case-by-case" basis.
    "If your 12-year-old is capable of walking home from the bus stop by themselves, that's something that you might make a decision about where another 12-year-old may be too impulsive," Anderson said on "Good Morning America."
    Anderson encouraged parents to use "common sense" and have clear guidelines with their children about safe practices.

    The bill passed unanimously through both houses of Utah's legislature and goes into effect in May.


    Related:

    The increasing criminalization of parenthood

    ============================================

    The terrible and illogical thing is that this adds one more card/law to the already massive, monster house of cards built up by "lawmakers."
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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    Durham is first US city to ban police from going to Israel for 'military-style' training

    RT
    Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:57 UTC



    Durham City Council, North Carolina, has voted to abolish international exchanges with Israel, under which officers receive "military-style training." The council wants to prevent the "militarization" of law enforcement.

    Late on Monday, after a heated debate in the city council, the members voted 6 to 0 in what one of the activist groups, Jewish Voice for Peace, described as "the first city to prohibit police exchanges with Israel." The group was one of those which pushed forward the move together with the Durham2Palestine coalition - a movement opposing police militarization in the US and calling to stop supporting human rights abuses in Israel. The activists launched a petition in fall of last year demanding that the city authorities "immediately halt" any such partnerships with Israeli forces.
    "The council opposes international exchanges with any country in which Durham officers receive military-style training since such exchanges do not support the kind of policing we want here in the City of Durham," the council said in a statement.
    Exchanges between US and Israeli law enforcement are common training practice, organized by governmental bodies as well as NGOs and private companies.It appears that each city can make its own decision on the matter.

    However, the mayor of Durham, Steve Schewel, said that people were given "completely false information" and that the city's police force has not been engaged in training with the Israeli army. Earlier, Police Chief Cerelyn "CJ" Davis echoed the statement, saying that since she has been in office there has been "no effort... to initiate or participate in any exchange to Israel, nor do I have any intention to do so."

    There is also a broader campaign calling on the US government to halt such partnerships with Israel to challenge "state violence and discrimination in both countries."

    As the city council passed the motion, the activist groups which were campaigning for the move praised the decision. However, some also criticized the measure as inciting "anti-Israel" sentiment and possibly encouraging other American cities to do the same, Bob Gutman, a co-chair of Voice for Israel, said, as cited by local media.

    Prior to the decision, activists gathered in front of City Hall, calling for "demilitarization from Durham to Gaza." The organizers of the rally cited the recent events in Gaza and police brutality against black people as examples of "state violence."
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    United States Avalon Member Michelle Marie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    Quote Posted by Hervé (here)
    Durham is first US city to ban police from going to Israel for 'military-style' training

    RT
    Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:57 UTC



    Durham City Council, North Carolina, has voted to abolish international exchanges with Israel, under which officers receive "military-style training." The council wants to prevent the "militarization" of law enforcement.

    Late on Monday, after a heated debate in the city council, the members voted 6 to 0 in what one of the activist groups, Jewish Voice for Peace, described as "the first city to prohibit police exchanges with Israel." The group was one of those which pushed forward the move together with the Durham2Palestine coalition - a movement opposing police militarization in the US and calling to stop supporting human rights abuses in Israel. The activists launched a petition in fall of last year demanding that the city authorities "immediately halt" any such partnerships with Israeli forces.
    "The council opposes international exchanges with any country in which Durham officers receive military-style training since such exchanges do not support the kind of policing we want here in the City of Durham," the council said in a statement.
    Exchanges between US and Israeli law enforcement are common training practice, organized by governmental bodies as well as NGOs and private companies.It appears that each city can make its own decision on the matter.

    However, the mayor of Durham, Steve Schewel, said that people were given "completely false information" and that the city's police force has not been engaged in training with the Israeli army. Earlier, Police Chief Cerelyn "CJ" Davis echoed the statement, saying that since she has been in office there has been "no effort... to initiate or participate in any exchange to Israel, nor do I have any intention to do so."

    There is also a broader campaign calling on the US government to halt such partnerships with Israel to challenge "state violence and discrimination in both countries."

    As the city council passed the motion, the activist groups which were campaigning for the move praised the decision. However, some also criticized the measure as inciting "anti-Israel" sentiment and possibly encouraging other American cities to do the same, Bob Gutman, a co-chair of Voice for Israel, said, as cited by local media.

    Prior to the decision, activists gathered in front of City Hall, calling for "demilitarization from Durham to Gaza." The organizers of the rally cited the recent events in Gaza and police brutality against black people as examples of "state violence."
    I wonder if there is a list somewhere that identifies the U.S. Cities that ARE participating in this militarization of police force training.

    I had no idea that was happening. It explains a lot.

    The "anti-Israel" criticism sounds like cabal propaganda that supports terrorism. If anything, measures that promote peace are "pro Israel" and "pro humanity".

    I like good news, Herve! Thanks.

    MM
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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    It would surprise me if anything "anti-Israel" would fly in the Bible Belt! How about congressmen & senators who have dual citizenship with Israel? What is THAT all about?!

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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    Quote Posted by Foxie Loxie (here)
    It would surprise me if anything "anti-Israel" would fly in the Bible Belt! How about congressmen & senators who have dual citizenship with Israel? What is THAT all about?!
    The true terrorists co-opt and leverage ideologies, or rather use their buzz words and vocabulary for Weaponization. I can see how this works on some Christians who are staunch Bible supporters who don't seem to take into account the changes made to the original texts. According to them, if you go against Israel, you go against God.

    As I stated in the post above, what they are saying in criticism doesn't make sense. They are duping some people, and like you mention, Foxie Loxie, it is the Bible Belt people and other fundamentalist Christians. They hide behind the mask of "Pro-Israel", when they are Satanist-Nazis and their actions are murderous and violent and they operate through deception, secrets, lies, and subversion.

    True believers who are "spiritual" may be able to see though all that and get the truth. To me, Truth IS spirit. No book required. (Some are helpful, though. Discernment is quite necessary!)

    Cognitive dissonance may break the fetters of the dark intents, purposes, and agenda-driven initiatives. This good news posted by Herve is the evidence. Humanity is awakening.

    I expect more good news!

    MM
    ~*~ "The best way to predict the future is to create it." - Peter Drucker ~*~ “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson ~*~ "Creative minds always have been known to survive any kind of bad training." - Anna Freud ~*~

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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    French & Italian dock workers refuse to load Saudi arms ship over Yemen war

    RT
    Tue, 21 May 2019 10:17 UTC


    © Reuters/Massimo Pinca

    Italian unions have refused to load cargo onto a Saudi ship carrying weapons, in protest against Riyadh's war on Yemen. The dock workers have gone on strike, refusing to work until the ship leaves port in Genoa.

    While the Saudi Arabian ship, the Bahri-Yanbu, was expected to leave for Jeddah by the end end of the day, it seems the delivery might end up being rather late. After unsuccessful attempts to have the ship barred from docking in Italy altogether, it was greeted by banners and a protests as it arrived in port Monday.

    Workers were joined by human rights campaigners who oppose stocking the ship over fears the supplies will be used against the civilian population in Yemen. The demonstrators held signs opposing the war and arms trafficking.

    "We will not be complicit in what is happening in Yemen," union leaders said in a statement. Port officials have acknowledged that the generators that protesters fear may be used for military purposes have been blocked from being brought on board, but say some non-critical goods will still be loaded. Union leaders are scheduled to meet with the port's prefects to discuss the impasse.

    The ship was loaded with weapons in Belgium, but successfully blocked from picking up additional arms at a French port as a result of a similar protest.

    The UN describes the four-year-long Saudi-led war as the worst humanitarian disaster in the world today, with the death toll expected to top 230,000 by the end of the year. Italy's 5-Star movement, a part of the government's ruling populist-leaning coalition, has fought to end the government's arms deals with the Saudi kingdom for years.

    ===================================

    The "little" people doing something about something
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    Default Re: Now, that's encouraging...

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    There were $$s in the ATMs. Bank tellers were friendly and efficient. People looked normal. The freeways were busy. TVs in hotel rooms showed exactly the same programs. Planes in airports were on time.

    None of that counts for anything much. It was just a veneer. If one looked carefully, one could FEEL things were not right. And everything I saw was social theater. Everyone was MEANT to feel that everything was normal... until it's not.
    Reminds me of the song London, by Lily Allen. She sings sarcastically "when you look with your eyes, everything seems nice, but if you look twice, you can see it's all lies"

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