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Movies of the Semi-Great Depression

95 million Americans are out of the workforce, millions are losing their wholly inadequate Obamacare, half can’t afford a $400 emergency and the Satanic...
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Video: Tropical Depression: Public outrage over poor govt response to handling of Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma has weakened to a 'tropical depression', after previously reaching a category 5 in severity. It has left over 6 million without power...

Staff cuts, rising crime leave 25% of senior police with signs of depression

Police in England and Wales are readying for a “perfect storm” because of staff shortages...

Virtual Reality Therapy Could Help People With Depression Find Drug-Free Relief

When most people think of virtual reality (VR), their minds go to video games and being able to be in the middle...

Birth Control Study Has People Talking About Depression

A Danish study linking birth control with depression has generated excited headlines around the world and struck a chord among many women....
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Video: Deep Depression in Italy Gave Germany an Absolute Advantage

Economist Heiner Flassbeck says there's no debt crisis in Europe, it is Germany's absolute competitive advantages that drove deflation throughout Europe Visit ... Via Youtube

America Needs an Old-Fashioned Depression

Describing what he called the “crack-up boom”, Ludwig von Mises, the great Austrian economist, said: The boom cannot continue indefinitely. There are two alternatives. Either...

Half of antidepressant prescriptions given to people who don’t have depression – study

Physicians are increasingly prescribing antidepressant drugs for nondepressive conditions without approval from regulatory bodies, according to a new study. Of the 101,759 antidepressant prescriptions...

Magic mushrooms could cure severe depression – scientists

Magic mushrooms could cure patients with severe depression after British scientists discovered a compound in the Class A drug which appears to work where...

The 21st Century Greater Depression

I became interested in the question of how an organization whose business plan is theft can go bankrupt during the Enron debacle. I was...

Baltimore study links rats to depression

Baltimore, Maryland residents who live in areas with a high rat population are much more likely...

Ontario report: Inequality at levels “not seen since the Great Depression”

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Dylan Lubao A report published by the union-backed Ontario Common Front paints...

The Economic Depression In Greece Deepens As Tsipras Prepares To Deliver ‘The Great No’

Michael Snyder (RINF) - As Greece plunges even deeper into economic chaos, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says that his government is prepared to respond...

Study: 70% of People on Antidepressants Don’t Have Depression

If sales for antidepressants such as Zoloft, Lexapro, or Prozac tell us anything, it’s that depression is sweeping the nation. But a new study questions the...

LSD cures depression? Scientists plead for cash to fund ‘exciting’ drug study

British scientists are asking the public for financial backing to push forward an “exciting” study exploring the positive impacts of psychedelic drugs like LSD...

The Industrial-Depression Complex

Karen De Coster A recent Pharmaceutical Street Journal (WSJ) headline grabbed me when I read, “Can a Smartphone Tell if You’re Depressed?” The gist of the...

4 Illegal Drugs that Could Safely Treat Depression

Next year, if all goes to plan, a dozen patients with clinical depression will be invited to a UK laboratory and given psilocybin — the psychedelic...

Pesticide Use By Farmers Linked To High Rates Of Depression, Suicides

On his farm in Iowa, Matt Peters worked from dawn to dusk planting his 1,500 acres of fields with pesticide-treated seeds. “Every spring I...

Natural remedies for depression

Do you find ever find yourself feeling depressed? If so, you may be looking for relief. Depression is a medical condition that can be...

Psychedelics may help alleviate depression

The Beatles wrote songs about them and Aldous Huxley said they could be “extremely good for anybody with fixed ideas”. Now scientists are beginning...

Magic mushrooms & LSD can cure depression — study

A new study reveals the similarity between the way our brain works while sleeping, and when we’re tripping on psychedelic drugs. What’s more, LSD...

Plant-based Nutrition Reduces Fatigue, Depression and Anxiety

Research from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has determined that plant-based foods decrease anxiety and depression and boost energy and performance - reversing fatigue. The study also found weight loss and reduced chol...

No, WWII Did Not End The Great Depression

by James Corbett BoilingFrogsPost.com June 18, 2014 The idea that the Great Depression was finally brought to an end by the onset of WWII has been a staple of history textbooks, documentaries and various war propaganda for decades. This myth continues ...

Family Instability, Stress, Depression Shortens Telomeres, Life Expectancy

Shorter telomere length has been linked with shorter life span. New research finds stress, depression and an unstable family life as children decreases telomere length.

Loving-Kindness Meditation Improves Vagal Tone, Decreases Depression/PTSD

New research finds that loving-kindness meditation increases vagal tone and heart rate variability, decreases stress and increases lifespan. Discover loving-kindness meditation.

What the US economy could learn from Sweden’s great depression

Per L. Bylund  RINF Alternative News During the recent financial crisis, Sweden has emerged as one of very few financially sound economies. The country’s strong position,...

Paradigm Change: British Docs Turn to Prescribing Books for Depression

Elizabeth RenterInfowars.comJanuary 15, 2014 If you're a reader, you know how a book can transport you...

Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Relieve Anxiety And Depression

Allison AubreyNPRJanuary 8, 2014 People are increasingly turning to to manage health issues, and meditation classes...

Why FDR Did Not End the Great Depression — and Why Obama Won’t End...

Alan Nasse From Cambridge University in 1932-1933, John Maynard Keynes observed a promising new U.S. president presiding over what he saw as half-baked and confused...

‘Nothing to Live For’: Youth Unemployment, Depression, and Austerity

The exploding youth unemployment crisis appears to be unleashing a public health one. Youth facing long-term unemployment are more than two times as likely as...

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Depression, Pain, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Breast Cancer

Dr. Mercola Vitamin D research continues to impress upon us the importance of appropriate sun exposure as the ideal way to optimize...

The Most Homeless Children In New York City Since The Great Depression

At a time when Wall Street is absolutely swimming in wealth, New York City is experiencing an epidemic of homelessness. According to the New...

Renter Nation: “What You Are Feeling Right Now Is a Modern Day Depression” *Micro-Doc*

The analytical evidence is all but irrefutable. The anecdotal evidence is everywhere. Americans all over the country are suffering and as this economic contagion spreads...

Forecast: War, Economic Depression and Social Unrest

Kyle Bass, Larry Edelson, Charles Nenner, James Dines, Nouriel Roubini, Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, Jim Rickards and Martin Armstrong Warn or War We're already at...

Later depression, life in womb linked

British researchers warn that the kids whose mothers are depressed during pregnancy are threatened by a little increased risk of depression in their later...

Debt ceiling failure causes econ. depression

An American political analyst blames both the Democrats and Republicans for failing to reach a compromise to prevent the current government shutdown and a...

Debt ceiling failure causes econ. depression

An American political analyst blames both the Democrats and Republicans for failing to reach a compromise to prevent the current government shutdown and a...

Paul Craig Roberts: Worse Than The Great Depression, Gold And Silver Prices Will Explode

Economist Dr. Paul Craig Roberts contends, “The situation is unsustainable.” It will blow up at some point, and Dr. Roberts predicts, “It will be...

The Financial Crisis and the Second Great Depression Myth

<img width="150" src="http://www.truth-out.org/images/2013_June_Images/2013.9.9.Baker.Main.jpg" alt='A blueprint for Wall Street. (Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Todd Ehlers,...

Greece: Depression or Recession? Is the EU-IMF-ECB Troika “Bailing Out” or “Forcing Under”?

Six years of recession, an impressive drop in GDP from €231 billion in 2009 to €193 billion in 2012, unemployment at 26.9% in April...

Those That Are Not Preparing For The Coming Economic Depression Are Going To Bitterly...

The next great economic crisis is rapidly approaching, and most people are going to be totally blindsided by it. Even though the warning signs...

Greece: Depression or Recession? Are the Troika Bailing Out or Forcing Under?

Six years of recession, an impressive drop in GDP from €231 billion in 2009 to €193 billion in 2012, unemployment at 26.9% in April...

Chamomile Proven to Fight Anxiety and Clinical Depression

Recent clinical and laboratory research has determined that chamomile is not only relaxing, but it can significantly decrease anxiety and even fight depression. The most...

How to Prepare for an Economic Depression

This article has been contributed by Stephanie at The Wannabe Homesteader. Psst. I’m gonna share a little secret with you… I think we’re in an economic depression. Don’t...

Hiding Economic Depression With Spin

Time is running out for the US economy and the American people. The financial press and economic commentators, with few exceptions, do a good...

Triple-Feature: “America Discredited,” “Bradley Manning Verdict Convicts Washington,” and “Hiding Economic Depression With Spin”...

Triple-Feature: “America Discredited,” “Bradley Manning Verdict Convicts Washington,” and “Hiding Economic Depression With Spin” — Paul Craig Roberts Quarterly Call For Donations This is your site. This site will continue as long as you support it. There is nothing on this site except information and explanations that the media does not provide. There is no…

The post Triple-Feature: “America Discredited,” “Bradley Manning Verdict Convicts Washington,” and “Hiding Economic Depression With Spin” — Paul Craig Roberts appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.

Groundbreaking Study Finds Turmeric Extract Superior to Prozac for Depression

A new study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research has confirmed for the first time in a randomized, controlled clinical trial that the primary...

11 Signs That Italy Is Descending Into A Full-Blown Economic Depression

When you get into too much debt, really bad things start to happen. Sadly, that is exactly what is happening to Italy right now....

We’re Going Into the Greatest Depression: “They Will Not Be Able To Pull Off...

Look around and you can’t miss it. The world is on the brink… politically, economically, financially, monetarily, and militarily. Events are...

Obamanomics to Blame for Worst Recession Since the Great Depression

When libertarian scholar Peter Ferrara asked rhetorically in Sunday’s issue of Forbes, “Economically, Could Obama Be America’s Worst President?” he relied heavily on statistics provided...

Obamanomics to Blame for Worst Recession Since the Great Depression

When libertarian scholar Peter Ferrara asked rhetorically in Sunday’s issue of Forbes, “Economically, Could Obama Be America’s Worst President?” he relied heavily on statistics provided...

Obamanomics to Blame for Worst Recession Since the Great Depression

When libertarian scholar Peter Ferrara asked rhetorically in Sunday’s issue of Forbes, “Economically, Could Obama Be America’s Worst President?” he relied heavily on statistics provided...

Billy Joel: Depression Over 9/11 Attacks Led Me to Multiple Car Crashes

Breitbart NewsMay 27, 2013 Billy Joel drew plenty of withering headlines after a series of car...

Billy Joel: Depression Over 9/11 Attacks Led Me to Multiple Car Crashes

Breitbart NewsMay 27, 2013 Billy Joel drew plenty of withering headlines after a series of car...

More Americans Committing Suicide than During the Great Depression

Higher Numbers of Americans Take Their Lives than During the Depths of the Great Depression Suicide rates are tied to the economy. The Boston Globe reported...

How Many People Have Lost Their Homes? US Home Foreclosures are Comparable to the...

The San Francisco Chronicle notes that it is difficult to keep track of foreclosure rates now … let alone during the Great Depression: Foreclosure rates...

More Americans Committing Suicide than During the Great Depression

Washington’s BlogMay 17, 2013 Suicide rates are tied to the economy. The Boston Globe reported in 2011: A new...

Mort Zuckerman: “America Remains In A Jobs Depression”

Authored by Mort Zuckerman, originally posted in The Wall Street Journal,

Jobs! President Obama has set a record. In his speech to Congress on Tuesday, he uttered the word "jobs" more than in any of his previous four State of the Union addresses. His 45 mentions were more than double the references to any of the other policy ambitions encapsulated in his speech by such words as health, education, immigration, guns, deficit, debt, energy, climate, economy, Afghanistan, wage, spend or tax (the runner-up).

If only the president's record on unemployment were as good.

After four years America remains in a jobs depression as great as the Great Depression. But the crisis isn't seen in that light because the country isn't confronted daily by scenes of despair like the 1930s photographs of bread lines and soup kitchens and thousands of men (very few women then) waiting all day outside a factory in a forlorn quest for work.

But the jobless are still in the millions across the land, little changed in their total since the 1930s: 12.3 million today officially fully unemployed compared with 12.8 million in 1933 at the depth of the Depression.

Yes, the U.S. population is much larger now, but 12 million out of work still means 12 million lives devastated. And that number masks the true vastness of the modern disaster.

The jobless today are much less visible than they were in the 1930s because relief is organized differently. Today in the "recovery," the millions are being assisted, out of sight, by government checks, unemployment checks, Social Security disability checks and food stamps.

More than 48 million Americans are in the food-stamp program—an almost incredible record. That is 15% of the total population compared with the 7.9% participation in food stamps from 1970-2000. Then there are the more than 11 million Americans who are collecting Social Security checks to compensate for disability, also a record. Half have signed on since President Obama came to office. In 1992, there was one person on disability for every 35 workers; today it is one for every 16.

Such an increase is simply impossible to connect to direct disability experienced during employment, for it is inconceivable that work in America has become so dangerous. For many, this disability program has become another form of unemployment compensation, only this time without end.

But the predicament of our times is worse than that, worse in its way than the 1930s figures might suggest. Employers are either shortening the workweek or asking employees to take unpaid leave in unprecedented numbers. Neither those on disability nor those on leave are included in the unemployment numbers.

The U.S. labor market, which peaked in November 2007 when there were 139,143,000 jobs, now encompasses only 132,705,000 workers, a drop of 6.4 million jobs from the peak. The only work that has increased is part-time, and that is because it allows employers to reduce costs through a diminished benefit package or none at all.

The broadest measure of unemployment today is approximately 14.5%, way above the 7.9% headline number. The 14.5% reflects the unemployed and three other categories: the more than eight million people who are employed part-time for economic reasons (because their hours have been cut back or because they are unable to find a full-time job), the 10 million who have stopped looking for work, and those who are "marginally attached" to the workforce.

The labor-force participation rate has dropped to the lowest level since 1981. It reflects discouraged workers who have dropped out of the labor force. If it were not for the dropouts, the formally announced unemployment rate would be around 9.8%, not the headline 7.9%.

Sometimes the employment numbers that are announced are simply not understood. January was supposed to have seen 157,000 jobs created. The news provoked relief and even enthusiasm in some quarters. But the supposed hiring was based on seasonally adjusted numbers—numbers adjusted to reflect regularly occurring shifts in employment, such as increased hiring of farm workers during crop harvests or retail employees after Thanksgiving. The real, unadjusted figures for January show that nearly 2.8 million jobs disappeared, which happened to be worse than the 2.63 million lost in January 2012. Even though the 157,000 jobs created were fewer than the 311,000 of January 2012, many commentators cheered because they don't understand the effects of seasonal adjustment.

So there is no solace in the statistics. Job seekers are only one-third as likely to find work as they were five years ago, and a record number of households have at least one member looking for a job, which affects everyone. And most of the newly available jobs don't match the pay, the hours or the benefits of the millions of positions that have vanished.

It typically takes 25 months to close the employment gap from the employment peak near the start of the downturn. Yet this time, more than 60 months after employment peaked in January 2006, nonfarm unemployment is still more than three million jobs below where it started.

The president's speech was not without sensible commitments, and the news of negotiations for a trans-Atlantic free-trade area is promising. Europe and the U.S. represent 44% of the world economy, but both have stalled. They (and the rest of the world) would benefit from freer trade. Europe and the U.S. would also benefit from common technology standards and simpler regulations. The bilateral talks have been conducted quietly and positively for some time (while the World Trade Organization talks have floundered), but it will need real executive energy to get an agreement with a real impact on jobs.

Ordinary Americans are looking for leadership and renewal. They know that a job is the most important family program, the most important economic program, and the most important national program that America could have. They also know that, by this standard, we have failed.

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British Economy Is WORSE than During the Great Depression

Bad Policy Has Us Stuck In the Mud

Leading British newspaper the Telegraph reports today:

Ministers today admitted Britain is facing “very, very grave difficulties” after figures showed the economy did not grow at all in 2012.

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Economists from the Royal Bank of Scotland said the last four years have produced the worst economic performance in a non post-war period since records started being collected in the 1830s.

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It’s the worst economic performance since at least 1830, outside of post-war demobilisations,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “It’s worse than the 1920s, it’s worse than the Great Depression.”

He said the economy has been “heading this way for a long time” because of the scale of the problems that came to a head in the 2008 financial crash.

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The top economist at RBS, which is mostly owned by the Government, said it is difficult to recover when much of the world is facing similar problems.

“It’s the scale of what happened in 2008 but also the build-up to that,” he said. “Compared with other recessions [like in the 1980s and 1990s], this is happening all over the world. There’s not a quick and easy way to export your way out of this.”

We’ve repeatedly warned that this is worse than the Great Depression …

What Do Economic Indicators Say?

We’ve repeatedly pointed out that there are many indicators which show that the last 5 years have been worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s, including:

Mark McHugh reports:

Velocity of money is the frequency with which a unit of money is spent on new goods and services. It is a far better indicator of economic activity than GDP, consumer prices, the stock market, or sales of men’s underwear (which Greenspan was fond of ogling). In a healthy economy, the same dollar is collected as payment and subsequently spent many times over. In a depression, the velocity of money goes catatonic. Velocity of money is calculated by simply dividing GDP by a given money supply. This VoM chart using monetary base should end any discussion of what ”this” is and whether or not anybody should be using the word “recovery” with a straight face:

 British Economy Is WORSE than During the Great Depression

In just four short years, our “enlightened” policy-makers have slowed money velocity to depths never seen in the Great Depression.

(As we’ve previously explained, the Fed has intentionally squashed money multipliers and money velocity as a way to battle inflation. And see this)

Indeed, the number of Americans relying on government assistance to obtain basic food may be higher now that during the Great Depression. The only reason we don’t see “soup lines” like we did in the 30s is because of the massive food stamp program.

And while apologists for government and bank policy point to unemployment as being better than during the 1930s, even that claim is debatable.

What Do Economists Say?

Indeed, many economists agree that this could be worse than the Great Depression, including:

Bad Policy Has Us Stuck

We are stuck in a depression because the government has done all of the wrong things, and has failed to address the core problems.

For example:

  • The government is doing everything else wrong. See this and this

Quantitative easing won’t help … it will only make things worse.

This isn’t an issue of left versus right … it’s corruption and bad policies which help the super-elite but are causing a depression for the vast majority of the people.

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Irish County Vote To Allow Drink Driving ‘To Combat Depression’

A rural county in Ireland has supported a proposal to allow drink-driving to prevent people from becoming depressed.

Kerry County councillors voted in favour of a motion that would issue permits to isolated older residents, allowing them to have 'two or three drinks' and still drive home, according to The Journal.ie.

Councillor Danny Healy-Rae argued that rural drivers had never killed anyone on the roads in Kilgarvan and told the newspaper: “A lot of these people are living in isolated rural areas where there’s no public transport of any kind, and they end up at home looking at the four walls, night in and night out, because they don’t want to take the risk of losing their licence.”

Healey-Rae, himself a pub landlord, claimed the local watering hole was still the centre of the community in rural Ireland and the country roads were empty and narrow meaning drivers could go no faster than 20 or 30mph anyway.

To keep older residents at home in fear of losing their licence meant "all the wisdom and wit and culture they had, the music and singing, that's all being lost to the younger generation," he argued.

Calling on the minister of justice, Alan Shatter, to allow the garda to issue the permits he added: "They're travelling in very minor roads, often on tractors, with very little traffic and it's not right they're being treated the same as the rest of the travelling public and they have never killed anyone," reported the Irish Independent.

ireland

Driving the tractor back from the pub 'less dangerous'

The motion was passed by five votes to three with seven councillors abstaining and 12 absent from the meeting. Mr Healey-Rae's son Johnny, also a councillor, was among those who voted in favour.

However a number of politicians have spoken out against the proposal, labelling it "dangerous" and inaccurate.

Labour councillor Gillian Wharton-Slattery told Healy-Rae: “Depression causes suicide. It’s not caused by not being able to go to the pub. There’s more things to do in Kilgarvan than go into your pub.”

The mayor of Kerry also weighed in to condemn to motion, telling Irish broadcaster RTE: "It is incredibly dangerous. I don't know how anybody can be allowed to say: 'You've had two pints, so you're justified to drive'."

Noel Brett from the Road Safety Authority also condemned the idea, saying: “There is very strong evidence which makes an irrefutable link between the consumption of alcohol and impairment.”

Conor Cullen of Alcohol Action Ireland pointed out the established links between alcohol abuse, anxiety and depression and told the BBC: "Almost one in three crash deaths in Ireland is alcohol-related. Even in small amounts, alcohol impairs driving ability - any amount of alcohol increases the risk of involvement in a fatal crash."

Treat Depression … Naturally. Little-Known Secrets to Boosting Mood

mind

Little-Known Secrets to Boosting Mood …

If you’re depressed, you might consider asking your doctor to prescribe anti-depressants.

But as best-selling author Christiane Northrup, MD, notes:

In 2008, we learned that the benefits of antidepressants had been greatly overstated. Former FDA psychiatrist Erick H. Turner, M.D. uncovered some startling information about Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), including Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. In reviewing all the medical literature, he learned that 94 percent of the reports showing the therapeutic benefits of SSRIs were published compared to only 14 percent of the reports showing either no benefits or inconclusive results (of taking SSRIs were published). When he weighed all the literature, Dr. Turner determined that SSRIs were no more effective than a placebo for treating most depressive patients. Those with severe depression were helped, sometimes greatly, but those with mild to moderate depression, the majority of cases, received little relief. British researchers using the Freedom of Information Act uncovered identical findings.

In January 2010, another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirms these findings. The newest study also evaluated another class of antidepressants, tricyclic antidepressants. Again, researchers determined that the typical patient, one with mild to moderate depression, gets the same amount of relief from a placebo as from an antidepressant.  The first author of the study, Jay C. Fournier, MA, told Medscape, “I think the most surprising part of the findings was how severe depression has to be in order to see this clinically meaningful difference emerge between medication and placebo, and that the majority of depressed patients presenting for treatment do not fall into that very severe category.”

The New York Times reported that the co-author of the study, Robert J. DeRubeis, shared this important insight: “The message for patients with mild to moderate depression is ‘Look, medications are always an option, but there’s little evidence that they add to other efforts to shake depression–whether it’s exercise, seeing the doctor, reading about the disorder or going for psychotherapy.’”

(In addition, modern SSRI anti-depressants have been shown to increase violent and suicidal behavior in a certain percent of the population.)

So what can those with depressive tendencies do?

Secret of Human Evolution

Getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet is also crucial in preventing depression. As Science Daily notes:

Researchers from Inserm and INRA and their collaborators in Spain collaboration, have studied mice fed on a diet low in omega-3 fatty acid. They discovered that reduced levels of omega-3 had deleterious consequences on synaptic functions and emotional behaviours.

Details of this work are available in the online version of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

***

The researchers studied mice fed a life-long diet imbalanced in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They found that omega-3 deficiency disturbed neuronal communication specifically ….This neuronal dysfunction was accompanied by depressive behaviours among the malnourished mice.

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Consequently, the researchers discovered that among mice subjected to an omega-3 deficient dietary regime, synaptic plasticity … is disturbed in at least two structures involved with reward, motivation and emotional regulation: the prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens.

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“Our results can now corroborate clinical and epidemiological studies which have revealed associations between an omega-3/omega-6 imbalance and mood disorders,” explain Olivier Manzoni and Sophie Layé. “To determine if the omega-3 deficiency is responsible for these neuropsychiatric disorders additional studies are, of course, required.”

In conclusion, the authors estimate that their results provide the first biological components of an explanation for the observed correlation between omega-3 poor diets, which are very widespread in the industrialized world, and mood disorders such as depression.

Dr. Northrup writes:

One of the best ways to support health brain chemistry is by taking fish oil. Fish oil has been shown time an again to relieve mild to moderate depression. The omega-3 fatty acids are essential to brain health and, according to Capt. Joe Hibbeln, M.D., these important fats support the serotonin system, may help reduce stress and lower your risk of all kinds of mental illness. Dr. Hibbeln, Chief of Outpatient Services for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), is one of the world’s leading researchers on omega-3 fats. His findings have been compelling and encouraging.

***

Also encouraging is the largest ever clinical trial presenting in 2009 showing that fish oil may benefit half of all people with moderate to severe depression.

How could something as obscure as Omega 3s be so critical in preventing depression?

We’ve previously explained that humans evolved to eat a lot of Omega 3s:

Wild game animals have much higher levels of essential Omega 3 fatty acids than domesticated animals. Indeed, leading nutritionists say that humans evolved to consume a lot of Omega 3 fatty acids in the wild game and fish which they ate (more), and that a low Omega 3 diet is a very new trend within the last 100 years or so.

In other words, while omega 3s have just now been discovered by modern science, we evolved to get a lot of omega 3s … and if we just eat a modern, fast food diet without getting enough omega 3s, it can cause all sorts of health problems.

So something just discovered by science can be a central fuel which our bodies evolved to use.

Here’s further detail focusing on beef:

For all of human history – until the last couple of decades – people ate beef from cows (or buffalo or bison) which grazed on grass. The cows were usually strong and healthy. Their meat was lean, with very little saturated fat, as the critters ate well and got outdoor exercise. Their meat was high in good Omega 3 fats. See this and this, and humans evolved to consume a lot of Omega 3 fatty acids in the wild game and fish which they ate (more).

Today, on the other hand, beef is laden with saturated fat and almost entirely lacking healthy fats like Omega 3s, because the cows are force-fed food which makes them sick. Specifically, instead of their natural menu – grass – they are force-fed corn, which makes them sick. Because their diet makes them ill, they are given massive amounts of antibiotics.  Even with the antibiotics, the diet and living conditions would kill them pretty quickly if they aren’t slaughtered.

Science Daily explains:

In industrialized nations, diets have been impoverished in essential fatty acids since the beginning of the 20th century. The dietary ratio between omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-3 increased continuously over the course of the 20th century. These fatty acids are “essential” lipids because the body cannot synthesize them from new. They must therefore be provided through food and their dietary balance is essential to maintain optimal brain functions.

So insufficient Omega 3s is a major source of depression in modern industrialized countries.

The flip side of getting enough healthy Omega 3s is to stay away from the kind of fats which cause depression: trans fats.

(Contrary to what you’ve heard, getting enough of the right kind of healthy cholesterol also decreases depression.)

Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants …

Antioxidants also help to prevent depression.  Specifically, oxidative stress has been correlated with depression (and see here).

On the other hand, antioxidants reduce depression. See this, this and thisHere are the tricks for finding the least expensive, most powerful antioxidants.

Moreover, a multivitamin might be smart.  Specifically, Hugh D. Riordan, M.D., argues:

It is possible to become depressed because of the lack of a sufficient amount of a single trace element.

And as we’ve previously noted, modern foods can be nutritionally depleted:

We evolved eating foods which were high in vitamins and minerals ….

But as the Journal Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology notes:

With soil depletion, overfarming and transportation of foods over hundreds of miles with loss of nutrients en route, together with the increased use of convenience and fast foods, women can be over-fed, but under-nourished in our modern society.

The Nutrition Journal points out:

In 1927 a study at King’s College, University of London, of the chemical composition of foods was initiated … to assist with diabetic dietary guidance. The study evolved and was then broadened to determine all the important organic and mineral constituents of foods, it was financed by the Medical Research Council and eventually published in 1940. Over the next 51 years subsequent editions reflected changing national dietary habits and food laws as well as advances in analytical procedures. The most recent (5th Edition) published in 1991 has comprehensively analysed 14 different categories of foods and beverages. In order to provide some insight into any variation in the quality of the foods available to us as a nation between 1940 and 1991 it was possible to compare and contrast the mineral content of 27 varieties of vegetable, 17 varieties of fruit, 10 cuts of meat and some milk and cheese products. The results demonstrate that there has been a significant loss of minerals and trace elements in these foods over that period of time.

Scripps Howard News Service noted in 2006:

The nutritional content of America’s vegetables and fruits has declined during the past 50 years — in some cases dramatically.

Donald Davis, a biochemist at the University of Texas, said that of 13 major nutrients in fruits and vegetables tracked by the Agriculture Department from 1950 to 1999, six showed noticeable declines — protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin and vitamin C. The declines ranged from 6 percent for protein, 15 percent for iron, 20 percent for vitamin C, and 38 percent for riboflavin.

“It’s an amazing thing,” said Davis, adding that the decline in nutrient content has not been widely noticed.

Many other studies have reported ongoing soil depletion around the world.

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And many people eat highly processed foods in which most antioxidants have been destroyed.

So – just as with the low levels of omega 3s – there might be less antioxidants like vitamin C in the modern diet than the levels we evolved to run on.

Good Bugs

Live Science reports:

Researchers have increasingly begun to suspect the gut was somehow linked with the brain. For instance, bowel disorders seem linked with stress-related psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression in people.

To learn more, scientists experimented with mice by feeding them a broth containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1. This species naturally lives in our gut, and scientists are exploring whether strains of it can be used as “probiotics” to improve our health. They discovered these rodents displayed significantly less behavior linked with stress, anxiety and depression than mice fed plain broth. Bacteria-fed mice also had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone corticosterone in response to stressful situations such as mazes.

“By affecting gut bacteria, you can have very robust and quite broad-spectrum effects on brain chemistry and behavior,” researcher John Cryan, a neuroscientist at University College Cork in Ireland, told LiveScience.

“Without overstating things, this does open up the concept that we could develop therapies that can treat psychiatric disorders by targeting the gut,” Cryan added. “You could take a yogurt with a probiotic in it instead of an antidepressant.”

***

The investigators found that one GABA receptor component was present in higher levels in bacteria-fed mice in parts of the brain where it is normally lowered during depression. In addition, several GABA receptor components were reduced in parts of the brain where they are normally increased in stressed or anxious animals.

Next, the researchers severed the vagus nerve, which helps alert the central nervous system to changes in the gastrointestinal tract. They found the bacteria-induced effects on behavior and GABA receptors were diminished, suggesting this nerve is the pathway by which changes in the gut can influence the brain.

Vagal nerve stimulations have been used at times to treat depression resistant to other therapies, but “that’s a surgical technique,” Cryan said. “By targeting the gut with probiotics, we could indirectly target the vagus nerve without surgery.”

And see this.

As with Omega 3s, this sounds strange until you realize how humans evolved.

As NPR notes, our bodies are largely made up of – and supported by – bacteria:

Jeffrey Gordon, a professor at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, who studies the microbes that live on and in us, offers this factoid: “We think that there are 10 times more microbial cells on and in our bodies than there are human cells. That means that we’re 90 percent microbial and 10 percent human. There’s also an estimated 100 times more microbial genes than the genes in our human genome. So we’re really a compendium [and] an amalgamation of human and microbial parts.”

***

Gordon’s research shows that these microbes living in our bodies aren’t just there for the ride — they’re actively contributing to the normal physiology of the human body. He points to the trillions of microbes that live in our gut, doing everything from encoding enzymes to serving as pathways for vitamin production to digesting the parts of food we can’t digest on our own.

Many native cultures ate a lot of fermented foods containing healthy bacteria.  Think yogurt, miso and Inuit fermented seal blubber (gross, we know …)

In addition, antibiotics kill a lot of the healthy bacteria in our gut.  (The over-use of antibiotics has also been linked to obesity and other health problems. See this and this.  Indeed, the prestigious journal Nature suggests that antiobiotics may permanently kill off healthy gut bacteria.).

Given that the modern diet contains less fermented foods, and that antibiotics have killed off some of our healthy intestinal flora, probiotics – sold in health food stores – are an important preventative measure against depression.

Sunshine …

The New York Times points out:

A new, carefully designed randomized controlled trial— of the kind considered the gold standard in medicine — suggests bright light therapy deserves a closer look.

The study was small, involving only 89 patients ages 60 and older, but the results were remarkable. Compared with a placebo, light therapy improved mood just as well as conventional antidepressant medications, said Dr. Ritsaert Lieverse, the paper’s lead author and a psychiatrist at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam.

The effect sizes we found in this study are comparable to those reported for antidepressants, so I think efficacy is of comparable magnitude,” Dr. Lieverse said in an e-mail.

***

Since depression is often accompanied by poor sleep and other symptoms suggestive of circadian rhythm disruption, the scientists also examined markers of circadian function. The theory is that bright light therapy may act to elevate mood by activating the brain’s so-called circadian pacemaker, a structure called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. As part of the study, researchers assessed sleep quality and measured patients’ melatonin, a hormone critical for sleep-wake cycles, and urinary cortisol and salivary cortisol levels, measures of stress.

Dr. Lieverse said bright light therapy may also work by targeting depression-associated neurotransmitter systems that regulate serotonin and dopamine.

Sunshine has many if not all of these properties.  So getting some sun will help with depression.

Exercise and Sex

Many studies show that exercise reduces depression.   For example, see these reports by the Mayo Clinic, New York Times and WebMD.

Sex also helps to prevent depression.

Testosterone

And naturally boosting your testosterone level also wards off depression.

Mindfulness Meditation

Last – but not least – meditation can prevent depression.  Psychology Today reports:

Imagine if you could cure depression with a therapy that was more effective and long-lasting than expensive drugs, and which did not have any side effects. These are the claims being made for a form of Mindfulness meditation.

Psychologists from the University of Exeter recently published a study into “mindfulness-based cognitive therapy” (MBCT), finding it to be better than drugs or counseling for depression. Four months after starting, three quarters of the patients felt well enough to stop taking antidepressants.

***

MBCT was developed in the mid-Nineties by psychologists at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Toronto to help stabilize patients’ moods during and after use of antidepressants. About half of patients relapse into depression – even if they continue taking the medication. One common reason for a relapse is when a normal period of sadness turns into obsessive brooding.

***

The MBCT technique is simple, and revolves around “mindfulness meditation”. In this, you sit with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing. (See box for details). Concentrating on the rhythm of the breath helps produce a feeling of detachment. The idea is that you come to realize that thoughts come and go of their own accord, and that your conscious self is distinct from your thoughts. This realization is encouraged by gentle question-and-answer sessions modeled on those in cognitive therapy.

In the University of Exeter study, funded by the UK’s Medical Research Council, 47 per cent of patients with long-term depression suffered a relapse; the figure was 60 per cent among those taking medication alone. Other studies, including two published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, had comparable outcomes. As a result, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended MBCT since 2004. Availability is still patchy though, with many sufferers seeking courses at Buddhist centers.

“One of the key features of depression is that it hijacks your attention,” says Professor Williams. “We all tend to bring to the forefront of our minds the thoughts and feelings that reflect our current mood. If you are sad, depressed or anxious, then you tend to remember the bad things that have happened to you and not the good. This drives you into a downward spiral that leads from sadness into a deeper depression. MBCT prevents and breaks that spiral.”

Psychology Today provides an example of a typical MBCT meditation:

1. Sit upright in a straight-backed chair, with your spine about an inch from the back of the chair, and your feet flat on the floor.

2. Close your eyes. Use your mind to watch your breath as it flows in and out. Observe your sensations without judgment. Do not try to alter your breathing.

3. After a while your mind will wander. Gently bring your attention back to your breath. The act of realizing that your mind has wandered – and bringing your attention back – is the key thing.

4. Your mind will eventually become calm.

5. Repeat every day for 20-30 minutes.

Postscript:  If you are severely depressed and suicidal, contact a mental health professional. 

We are not health professionals, and this does not constitute mental health or medical advice.

Treat Depression … Naturally

If you’re depressed, you might consider asking your doctor to prescribe anti-depressants.

But as best-selling author Christiane Northrup, MD, notes:

In 2008, we learned that the benefits of antidepressants had been greatly overstated. Former FDA psychiatrist Erick H. Turner, M.D. uncovered some startling information about Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), including Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. In reviewing all the medical literature, he learned that 94 percent of the reports showing the therapeutic benefits of SSRIs were published compared to only 14 percent of the reports showing either no benefits or inconclusive results (of taking SSRIs were published). When he weighed all the literature, Dr. Turner determined that SSRIs were no more effective than a placebo for treating most depressive patients. Those with severe depression were helped, sometimes greatly, but those with mild to moderate depression, the majority of cases, received little relief. British researchers using the Freedom of Information Act uncovered identical findings.

In January 2010, another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) confirms these findings. The newest study also evaluated another class of antidepressants, tricyclic antidepressants. Again, researchers determined that the typical patient, one with mild to moderate depression, gets the same amount of relief from a placebo as from an antidepressant.  The first author of the study, Jay C. Fournier, MA, told Medscape, “I think the most surprising part of the findings was how severe depression has to be in order to see this clinically meaningful difference emerge between medication and placebo, and that the majority of depressed patients presenting for treatment do not fall into that very severe category.”

The New York Times reported that the co-author of the study, Robert J. DeRubeis, shared this important insight: “The message for patients with mild to moderate depression is ‘Look, medications are always an option, but there’s little evidence that they add to other efforts to shake depression–whether it’s exercise, seeing the doctor, reading about the disorder or going for psychotherapy.’”

(In addition, modern SSRI anti-depressants have been shown to increase violent and suicidal behavior in a certain percent of the population.)

So what can those with depressive tendencies do?

Secret of Human Evolution

Getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet is also crucial in preventing depression. As Science Daily notes:

Researchers from Inserm and INRA and their collaborators in Spain collaboration, have studied mice fed on a diet low in omega-3 fatty acid. They discovered that reduced levels of omega-3 had deleterious consequences on synaptic functions and emotional behaviours.

Details of this work are available in the online version of the journal Nature Neuroscience.

***

The researchers studied mice fed a life-long diet imbalanced in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. They found that omega-3 deficiency disturbed neuronal communication specifically ….This neuronal dysfunction was accompanied by depressive behaviours among the malnourished mice.

***

Consequently, the researchers discovered that among mice subjected to an omega-3 deficient dietary regime, synaptic plasticity … is disturbed in at least two structures involved with reward, motivation and emotional regulation: the prefrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens.

***

“Our results can now corroborate clinical and epidemiological studies which have revealed associations between an omega-3/omega-6 imbalance and mood disorders,” explain Olivier Manzoni and Sophie Layé. “To determine if the omega-3 deficiency is responsible for these neuropsychiatric disorders additional studies are, of course, required.”

In conclusion, the authors estimate that their results provide the first biological components of an explanation for the observed correlation between omega-3 poor diets, which are very widespread in the industrialized world, and mood disorders such as depression.

Dr. Northrup writes:

One of the best ways to support health brain chemistry is by taking fish oil. Fish oil has been shown time an again to relieve mild to moderate depression. The omega-3 fatty acids are essential to brain health and, according to Capt. Joe Hibbeln, M.D., these important fats support the serotonin system, may help reduce stress and lower your risk of all kinds of mental illness. Dr. Hibbeln, Chief of Outpatient Services for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), is one of the world’s leading researchers on omega-3 fats. His findings have been compelling and encouraging.

***

Also encouraging is the largest ever clinical trial presenting in 2009 showing that fish oil may benefit half of all people with moderate to severe depression.

How could something as obscure as Omega 3s be so critical in preventing depression?

We’ve previously explained that humans evolved to eat a lot of Omega 3s:

Wild game animals have much higher levels of essential Omega 3 fatty acids than domesticated animals. Indeed, leading nutritionists say that humans evolved to consume a lot of Omega 3 fatty acids in the wild game and fish which they ate (more), and that a low Omega 3 diet is a very new trend within the last 100 years or so.

In other words, while omega 3s have just now been discovered by modern science, we evolved to get a lot of omega 3s … and if we just eat a modern, fast food diet without getting enough omega 3s, it can cause all sorts of health problems.

So something just discovered by science can be a central fuel which our bodies evolved to use.

Here’s further detail focusing on beef:

For all of human history – until the last couple of decades – people ate beef from cows (or buffalo or bison) which grazed on grass. The cows were usually strong and healthy. Their meat was lean, with very little saturated fat, as the critters ate well and got outdoor exercise. Their meat was high in good Omega 3 fats. See this and this, and humans evolved to consume a lot of Omega 3 fatty acids in the wild game and fish which they ate (more).

Today, on the other hand, beef is laden with saturated fat and almost entirely lacking healthy fats like Omega 3s, because the cows are force-fed food which makes them sick. Specifically, instead of their natural menu – grass – they are force-fed corn, which makes them sick. Because their diet makes them ill, they are given massive amounts of antibiotics.  Even with the antibiotics, the diet and living conditions would kill them pretty quickly if they aren’t slaughtered.

Science Daily explains:

In industrialized nations, diets have been impoverished in essential fatty acids since the beginning of the 20th century. The dietary ratio between omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-3 increased continuously over the course of the 20th century. These fatty acids are “essential” lipids because the body cannot synthesize them from new. They must therefore be provided through food and their dietary balance is essential to maintain optimal brain functions.

So insufficient Omega 3s is a major source of depression in modern industrialized countries.

The flip side of getting enough healthy Omega 3s is to stay away from the kind of fats which cause depression: trans fats.

(Contrary to what you’ve heard, getting enough of the right kind of healthy cholesterol also decreases depression.)

Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants …

Antioxidants also help to prevent depression.  Specifically, oxidative stress has been correlated with depression (and see here).

On the other hand, antioxidants reduce depression. See this, this and thisHere are the tricks for finding the least expensive, most powerful antioxidants.

Moreover, a multivitamin might be smart.  Specifically, Hugh D. Riordan, M.D., argues:

It is possible to become depressed because of the lack of a sufficient amount of a single trace element.

And as we’ve previously noted, modern foods can be nutritionally depleted:

We evolved eating foods which were high in vitamins and minerals ….

But as the Journal Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology notes:

With soil depletion, overfarming and transportation of foods over hundreds of miles with loss of nutrients en route, together with the increased use of convenience and fast foods, women can be over-fed, but under-nourished in our modern society.

The Nutrition Journal points out:

In 1927 a study at King’s College, University of London, of the chemical composition of foods was initiated … to assist with diabetic dietary guidance. The study evolved and was then broadened to determine all the important organic and mineral constituents of foods, it was financed by the Medical Research Council and eventually published in 1940. Over the next 51 years subsequent editions reflected changing national dietary habits and food laws as well as advances in analytical procedures. The most recent (5th Edition) published in 1991 has comprehensively analysed 14 different categories of foods and beverages. In order to provide some insight into any variation in the quality of the foods available to us as a nation between 1940 and 1991 it was possible to compare and contrast the mineral content of 27 varieties of vegetable, 17 varieties of fruit, 10 cuts of meat and some milk and cheese products. The results demonstrate that there has been a significant loss of minerals and trace elements in these foods over that period of time.

Scripps Howard News Service noted in 2006:

The nutritional content of America’s vegetables and fruits has declined during the past 50 years — in some cases dramatically.

Donald Davis, a biochemist at the University of Texas, said that of 13 major nutrients in fruits and vegetables tracked by the Agriculture Department from 1950 to 1999, six showed noticeable declines — protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin and vitamin C. The declines ranged from 6 percent for protein, 15 percent for iron, 20 percent for vitamin C, and 38 percent for riboflavin.

“It’s an amazing thing,” said Davis, adding that the decline in nutrient content has not been widely noticed.

Many other studies have reported ongoing soil depletion around the world.

***

And many people eat highly processed foods in which most antioxidants have been destroyed.

So – just as with the low levels of omega 3s – there might be less antioxidants like vitamin C in the modern diet than the levels we evolved to run on.

Good Bugs

Live Science reports:

Researchers have increasingly begun to suspect the gut was somehow linked with the brain. For instance, bowel disorders seem linked with stress-related psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression in people.

To learn more, scientists experimented with mice by feeding them a broth containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus JB-1. This species naturally lives in our gut, and scientists are exploring whether strains of it can be used as “probiotics” to improve our health. They discovered these rodents displayed significantly less behavior linked with stress, anxiety and depression than mice fed plain broth. Bacteria-fed mice also had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone corticosterone in response to stressful situations such as mazes.

“By affecting gut bacteria, you can have very robust and quite broad-spectrum effects on brain chemistry and behavior,” researcher John Cryan, a neuroscientist at University College Cork in Ireland, told LiveScience.

“Without overstating things, this does open up the concept that we could develop therapies that can treat psychiatric disorders by targeting the gut,” Cryan added. “You could take a yogurt with a probiotic in it instead of an antidepressant.”

***

The investigators found that one GABA receptor component was present in higher levels in bacteria-fed mice in parts of the brain where it is normally lowered during depression. In addition, several GABA receptor components were reduced in parts of the brain where they are normally increased in stressed or anxious animals.

Next, the researchers severed the vagus nerve, which helps alert the central nervous system to changes in the gastrointestinal tract. They found the bacteria-induced effects on behavior and GABA receptors were diminished, suggesting this nerve is the pathway by which changes in the gut can influence the brain.

Vagal nerve stimulations have been used at times to treat depression resistant to other therapies, but “that’s a surgical technique,” Cryan said. “By targeting the gut with probiotics, we could indirectly target the vagus nerve without surgery.”

And see this.

As with Omega 3s, this sounds strange until you realize how humans evolved.

As NPR notes, our bodies are largely made up of – and supported by – bacteria:

Jeffrey Gordon, a professor at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, who studies the microbes that live on and in us, offers this factoid: “We think that there are 10 times more microbial cells on and in our bodies than there are human cells. That means that we’re 90 percent microbial and 10 percent human. There’s also an estimated 100 times more microbial genes than the genes in our human genome. So we’re really a compendium [and] an amalgamation of human and microbial parts.”

***

Gordon’s research shows that these microbes living in our bodies aren’t just there for the ride — they’re actively contributing to the normal physiology of the human body. He points to the trillions of microbes that live in our gut, doing everything from encoding enzymes to serving as pathways for vitamin production to digesting the parts of food we can’t digest on our own.

Many native cultures ate a lot of fermented foods containing healthy bacteria.  Think yogurt, miso and Inuit fermented seal blubber (gross, we know …)

In addition, antibiotics kill a lot of the healthy bacteria in our gut.  (The healthy bacteria-killing property of antibiotics has also been linked to obesity and other health problems. See this and this.).

Given that the modern diet contains less fermented foods, and that antibiotics have killed off some of our intestinal flora, probiotics are an important preventative measure against depression.

Sunshine …

The New York Times points out:

A new, carefully designed randomized controlled trial— of the kind considered the gold standard in medicine — suggests bright light therapy deserves a closer look.

The study was small, involving only 89 patients ages 60 and older, but the results were remarkable. Compared with a placebo, light therapy improved mood just as well as conventional antidepressant medications, said Dr. Ritsaert Lieverse, the paper’s lead author and a psychiatrist at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam.

The effect sizes we found in this study are comparable to those reported for antidepressants, so I think efficacy is of comparable magnitude,” Dr. Lieverse said in an e-mail.

***

Since depression is often accompanied by poor sleep and other symptoms suggestive of circadian rhythm disruption, the scientists also examined markers of circadian function. The theory is that bright light therapy may act to elevate mood by activating the brain’s so-called circadian pacemaker, a structure called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. As part of the study, researchers assessed sleep quality and measured patients’ melatonin, a hormone critical for sleep-wake cycles, and urinary cortisol and salivary cortisol levels, measures of stress.

Dr. Lieverse said bright light therapy may also work by targeting depression-associated neurotransmitter systems that regulate serotonin and dopamine.

Sunshine has many if not all of these properties.  So getting some sun will help with depression.

Exercise and Sex

Many studies show that exercise reduces depression.   For example, see these reports by the Mayo Clinic, New York Times and WebMD.

Sex also helps to prevent depression.

Testosterone

And naturally boosting your testosterone level also wards off depression.

Mindfulness Meditation

Last – but not least – meditation can prevent depression.  Psychology Today reports:

Imagine if you could cure depression with a therapy that was more effective and long-lasting than expensive drugs, and which did not have any side effects. These are the claims being made for a form of Mindfulness meditation.

Psychologists from the University of Exeter recently published a study into “mindfulness-based cognitive therapy” (MBCT), finding it to be better than drugs or counseling for depression. Four months after starting, three quarters of the patients felt well enough to stop taking antidepressants.

***

MBCT was developed in the mid-Nineties by psychologists at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Toronto to help stabilize patients’ moods during and after use of antidepressants. About half of patients relapse into depression – even if they continue taking the medication. One common reason for a relapse is when a normal period of sadness turns into obsessive brooding.

***

The MBCT technique is simple, and revolves around “mindfulness meditation”. In this, you sit with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing. (See box for details). Concentrating on the rhythm of the breath helps produce a feeling of detachment. The idea is that you come to realize that thoughts come and go of their own accord, and that your conscious self is distinct from your thoughts. This realization is encouraged by gentle question-and-answer sessions modeled on those in cognitive therapy.

In the University of Exeter study, funded by the UK’s Medical Research Council, 47 per cent of patients with long-term depression suffered a relapse; the figure was 60 per cent among those taking medication alone. Other studies, including two published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, had comparable outcomes. As a result, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recommended MBCT since 2004. Availability is still patchy though, with many sufferers seeking courses at Buddhist centers.

“One of the key features of depression is that it hijacks your attention,” says Professor Williams. “We all tend to bring to the forefront of our minds the thoughts and feelings that reflect our current mood. If you are sad, depressed or anxious, then you tend to remember the bad things that have happened to you and not the good. This drives you into a downward spiral that leads from sadness into a deeper depression. MBCT prevents and breaks that spiral.”

Psychology Today provides an example of a typical MBCT meditation:

1. Sit upright in a straight-backed chair, with your spine about an inch from the back of the chair, and your feet flat on the floor.

2. Close your eyes. Use your mind to watch your breath as it flows in and out. Observe your sensations without judgment. Do not try to alter your breathing.

3. After a while your mind will wander. Gently bring your attention back to your breath. The act of realizing that your mind has wandered – and bringing your attention back – is the key thing.

4. Your mind will eventually become calm.

5. Repeat every day for 20-30 minutes.

Postscript:  If you are severely depressed and suicidal, contact a mental health professional. 

We are not health professionals, and this does not constitute mental health or medical advice.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Diet drinks linked with higher depression risk — research

(AFP Photo / Frederic Brown)

(AFP Photo / Frederic Brown)

Sweet beverages, and especially diet versions, could make you 30 per cent more depressed. Coffee, however, saves the day according to research by US scientists.

­The study was conducted by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute.

The research involved 265,000 people between the ages of 50 and 71, whose consumption of beverages like soda, tea, coffee, and fruit punch was monitored from 1995 to 1996. Ten years on, scientists questioned the participants again and found that 11,311 had been diagnosed with depression since 2000.  

The research results disclosed that those who consumed over four cans or cups of soda per day were 30 per cent more likely to develop depression, in comparison with those who didn’t drink the beverage. People who consumed four cans of fruit punch daily were 38 per cent more prone to depression than those who didn’t. On the other hand, those participants who drank four cups of coffee per day were 10 per cent less likely to face depression, compared with people who didn’t consume any coffee.

Furthermore the scientists discovered that the risk was elevated for those who drank the diet versions of beverages such as soda, fruit punch, or ice tea.

"Our research suggests that cutting out or down on sweetened diet drinks or replacing those with unsweetened coffee may naturally help lower your depression risk," the author of the study Honglei Chen, with the National Institutes of Health in North Carolina and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, told ScienceDaily.com.

"More research is needed to confirm these findings, and people with depression should continue to take depression medications prescribed by their doctors," Chen added.

The study was initially released on January, 8 and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, from March 16 to 23, 2013.

According to the official data of Euromonitor International, in 2011 Americans were the top soda drinkers in the world, with 170 liters per year each. Mexico came second, with 146 liters. South American countries such as Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay follow the ranking, with 127, 124, and 120 liters consumed, respectively. In comparison, the European soda-drinking ‘champions’ turned out to be Belgium, Norway, and Ireland, with 108, 104, and 103 liters of soda drunk per person.

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Published time: 30 Aug, 2017 10:15 Edited time: 31 Aug, 2017 08:28 Tropical Storm Harvey has...
video

Video: Should Texas Residents Know the Chemicals They’re Breathing After the Arkema Plant Explosion?

https://democracynow.org - Hurricane Harvey has been downgraded from a Category 4 hurricane to a tropical depression as it moves over Louisiana and into ... Via...

The Disease That Will Destroy America

As a Humanities professor I have had the opportunity to teach psychology and social psychology for more than 20 years. Occasionally the knowledge obtained...

Trump's New Venezuela Sanctions Will Do More Harm Than Good

The Trump administration announced new, unprecedented sanctions against Venezuela on Friday that are designed to cut off financing to Venezuela. The Trump team pretends...

The Stomach-churning Violence of Monsanto, Bayer and the Agrochemical Oligopoly

As humans, we have evolved with the natural environment over millennia. We have learned what to eat and what not to eat, what to...

The Scramble

by Paul Tristram / August 27th, 2017 She now refers to it as ‘The Scramble’Five long, hard years stuck and lodgedbetween Grief and Depression(They even...

MDMA could be used to treat PTSD in war veterans – study

Published time: 27 Aug, 2017 14:38 Edited time: 27 Aug, 2017 14:39 A drug associated with...

The ‘Human Side’ of War Criminals

War criminals and sociopaths often have a “human side” that can obscure how heinous their actions are, as in ex-President...

Statist Monetary Cranks

I have been writing refutations of monetary cranks for over half a century. I wrote my first essay on a monetary crank, Gertrude Coogan, in...

10yrs after financial crisis, another crash is ‘almost inevitable,’ economist Steve Keen tells RT

Ten years on from the start of the global financial crisis, one of only a...

Peter Van Buren Says: Sorry, No War in North Korea

I’m so sorry to disappoint so many people, but there is not going to be a war with North Korea. No, no, Trump is not...

Schoolgirl jailed for attacking love rival with acid hidden in viola case

A schoolgirl who left a love rival with horrifying injuries after attacking her with acid...

Woman sentenced to 2.5 years in jail for text messages urging boyfriend to kill...

A Massachusetts woman who texted her boyfriend with relentless insistence that he kill himself, is to...

The CIA Bamboozled the Public

There are the important questions which matter and should be asked of anyone who discusses “politics.” Unfortunately, most people are oblivious to seeking these...

To Protect Our Planet and Revitalize Our Economy, We Need a Climate Conservation Corps

Bob Dylan famously sang that “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”  We could update Dylan’s adage to say...

LBJ Launches Medicare: 'You Can't Treat Grandma This Way'

Watching the craziness in the Senate this week, as Mitch McConnell and the GOP’s zealots drove their clown car into a brick wall and...

The Silk Roads of Revolution

APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, by Peter Frankopan. When we last left Frankopan’s history of the Silk Roads...

5 suicides at Bristol University raise fears of student mental health crisis

Following the suicide of five students in one academic year at Bristol University, southwest England,...

Economic Collapse?

APPIP ERROR:nodata  that occurs every four generations as a time of great turmoil. Their Generational Theory is a framework which explains where we are, how...

"Voters Won’t Forget Who Took Away Their Care"

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate just voted to proceed on a death-dealing healthcare bill that will cost tens of thousands of women their lives...

Trump and the Christian Fascists

Donald Trump's ideological vacuum, the more he is isolated and attacked, is being filled by the Christian right. This Christianized fascism, with its network...

Hey Senator, Sick People Aren't Damaged Cars

Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin speaks at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on March 3, 2016. (Photo: Gage Skidmore) Wisconsin...

“Inclusive Capitalism,” Nancy Pelosi, and the Dying Planet

Photo by David Shankbone | CC BY 2.0 A recent Washington Post and ABC poll finds that just 37 percent of Americans think that the...

The Russia Investigation is Distracting Us from These Two Key Issues

by Sandra O'Hare The current administration is…newsworthy. New information about collusion with Russia during the campaign seems to come forward daily, and everyone is (understandably...

Something for Future Historians To Write About

Justin’s note: We won’t have another financial crisis “in our lifetimes.” It’s a crazy idea. After all, it feels like the U.S. is long overdue for...

Mentally ill inmates in solitary confinement too long – watchdog

Inmates with mental health issues are kept in solitary confinement longer than their peers in federal...

If the Yellowstone Supervolcano Explodes

Amid a growing ‘swarm’ of over earthquakes (now over 1000), and Montana’s largest quake ever, scientists are growing increasingly concerned that the so-called ‘super-volcano’ at the heart of...

‘Spiritual abuse’: Church of England votes to ban gay conversion therapy

Published time: 9 Jul, 2017 18:03 Conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change someone’s...

Masters of the Universe?

It broke cover late in 2008. Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke eventually branded it “The Great Recession.” As the myth goes, Fed Chair Bernanke, Sec....

France’s Macron

Bravo Monsieur le president Macron!  You have gotten off to a most impressive start.  France’s five-year national depression – known as ‘morosité – has...

Troops Wrongly Prescribed Damaging Drugs Before Deployment due to Failures in IT System, Senior...

Troops preparing to deploy overseas are being wrongly prescribed damaging anti-malarial drugs due to failures in the Ministry of Defence’s medical IT...

IT failures mean British military still issues soldiers antimalarial ‘zombie drug’

Published time: 27 Jun, 2017 15:43 IT failures mean the anti-malarial drug Lariam, which is...

Study links high use of opioid painkillers to mental disorders

Published time: 26 Jun, 2017 22:15 A study has found that more than half of US...

Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen

Charred, lifeless and brutal, the hollowed out remains of Grenfell Tower in west London screams of the human agony inflicted when, on 14th June,...

Health care and the fight for socialism

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‘If You Work a Full-Time Job, You Shouldn’t Be Earning a Poverty Wage’

For the June 9, 2017, episode, CounterSpin reaired a piece originally broadcast on November 14, 2015, in which Janine Jackson interviewed Holly Sklar about...

Woman who sent texts urging boyfriend to commit suicide found guilty of manslaughter

A Massachusetts woman who sent her boyfriend dozens of text messages urging him to kill himself...

A 21st-Century Marxism: The Revolutionary Possibilities of the “New Economy”

It should hardly be controversial anymore to say we’re embarking on the “end times” of…something. Maybe it’s corporate capitalism, maybe it’s civilization, maybe it’s...

What’s Going on in New York?

Is it me or is New York undergoing a slow but deepening economic crisis, one defined by stagnation rather than depression?  More troubling, is...

The ‘Why’ Behind Bad Grades

The end of the school year has a tendency to bring crises to my attention. I’m a graduate teaching assistant, which means I have more...

Killing the Public Editor, NYT Deals Another Blow to the Public’s Trust

The New York Times (5/31/17) announces the end of the public editor era. The compact a free press has with the public is based on...

Oligarchs Succeed! Only the People Suffer!

On a scale not seen since the ‘great’ world depression of the 1930’s, the US political system is experiencing sharp political attacks, divisions and...

Don’t Believe the Lies About Salt

By Dr. Mercola Do you believe high amounts of salt provoke thirst and contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease? If so, you’re likely...

Kushner Role in White House Suddenly Unclear; may ‘Return to Private Life’

Kushner Role in White House Suddenly Unclear; may ‘Return to Private Life’Red Ice NewsDispelling the Mythmakers In the first segment of Friday night's "Trump...

Want to Get “Back to the Land?” You’re Not Alone

Over the past century, generations of young people have turned their backs on city life to embrace small-scale farming and back-to-the-land ideals. The exact...

Another Ron Paul Victory

Phoenix, AZ — The latest massive price increases in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have boosted the credibility of investors who criticize the fiat...

On Kalief Browder Way: This Happens Every Day

  From surveillance video of Kalief being assaulted in Rikers Thursday, on what would have been his 24th birthday, an intersection in the Bronx was renamed...

CDC: Alzheimer’s disease deaths spike 55% over 15 years

Federal researchers have found the death rate for those with Alzheimer’s disease rose significantly since 1999,...

Curcumin

By Dr. Mercola Curcumin, the active ingredient in the Indian spice turmeric, is a polyphenol with over 160 potentially therapeutic activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and...

Freed 28 Years Early, Chelsea Manning Can Finally Go Home

Chelsea Manning was the first of her kind, bringing a new type of whistleblowing to the public eye. In 2010, Manning leaked an impressive...

Firing of Cop Who Didn’t Shoot First and Ask Questions Later Reveals Failings of...

“I am not going to shoot you, brother.”  In what world do those words being said by a police officer result in that officer...

Grotesque Inequality and Anxiety

Anxiety and depression are at unprecedented levels worldwide and the numbers are growing. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes it as an epidemic, and...

'Worst Bill for Women' Could Get Worse as 13 Men Tackle Trumpcare in Senate

With House Republicans having voted to pass the "astonishingly evil" American Healthcare Act (AHCA), the Senate GOP has assembled a group to craft that...

The Economics of the Future

At first glance Steve Keen’s new book Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis? seems too small-sized at 147 pages. But like a well-made atom-bomb,...

Supreme Court refuses challenge to California ban on 'gay conversion' therapy

The US Supreme Court will not hear a minister's challenge to a California law that bans...

British police & schools issue warning over 'Blue Whale' social media ‘suicide game’

A number of local police forces and schools have issued warnings to parents over a...

Medical marijuana program ‘could save US taxpayer $1bn’ – study

Published time: 24 Apr, 2017 06:23 A new study claims that medical marijuana use directly correlates with...

Peter Van Buren: Sorry, No War in North Korea

I’m so sorry to disappoint so many people, but there is not going to be a war with North Korea. No, no, Trump is not...

Facing Up to Our Shadow Side With Compassion

In 1995 my mother went into full blown psychosis as a result of a drastic change in the medication she was taking for schizo-affective disorder....

Make Liberals Squeal and Fume

By Scott Kauzlarich April 19, 2017 I have a master’s degree in U.S. History and I have taught History and Government for the past six years...

Iraq vet sues Army in class-action suit over PTSD-related discharges

A decorated veteran diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following the Iraq war has filed a class-action...

Love, Western Nihilism and Revolutionary Optimism

How dreadfully depressing life has become in almost all of the Western cities! How awful and sad. It is not that these cities are not...

Hacking suspect Laurie Love willing to work with US to find intel ‘vulnerabilities’

Published time: 31 Mar, 2017 10:16 Laurie Love, a British-born cybersecurity expert and political activist who...

The Safe, Reliable .357 Magnum Round

Well, ReadyNutrition firearms enthusiasts, we are following up our .45 ACP article with another piece on a superb cartridge…the .357 magnum round.  Invented by...

Don’t fear robot takeover, says AI pioneer

Humans have nothing to fear from artificial intelligence (AI), a pioneer in the field says, who believes concerns about an apocalyptic world run by...

Beryl Hood: 29 November 1938–21 March 2017

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Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island

During the Great Depression Wall Street was reined in and culpable bankers were sent to prison because its business practices had laid waste to...

Does Your T-Level Need a Boost, Guys?

By Dr. Mercola Testosterone plays many important roles in men’s health. Besides affecting your sex drive, it also helps maintain muscle mass, bone density, red...

The Ebbs and Flows of History

In Part One of this article, I exposed the establishment narrative of a strong economy as rubbish by providing hard data regarding imploding gasoline...

George W. Bush Now on Right Side of Press Corps’s Nostalgia Machine

The Guardian welcomes the return of George Bush at a time when Republicans are “trading principles for power.” “A welcome return.” That’s how the Guardian (2/27/17),...

Most US-based ‘extremists’ radicalized after living in US – DHS report

A leaked Department of Homeland report shows that more than half of 88 foreign-born ‘violent extremists’...

How the 1921 Crash Cured Itself

James Grant’s The Forgotten Depression (2014) is a splendid account of an important period in U.S. economic history — the sharp but brief “depression”...

Tory aide defends welfare cuts for ‘less disabled’ people

A key aide to UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been branded “insulting” and “nasty”...

Fiction and the Fed

Even the most innocent novel can give its reader a fresh perspective on the economy during the author’s time. Economic writings and economic conditions...

London woman who enslaved brother’s online date jailed

A woman who used her brother’s match.com date as a “slave” – feeding her only...

Heroin overdoses spike in Louisville, Kentucky

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Overprescription nation: Seniors taking multiple psychotropic drugs doubles over a decade

The number of retirement-age Americans being prescribed multiple psychiatric drugs without a recorded mental health diagnosis...

Los Angeles agrees to $1.5mn payout with family of unarmed police shooting victim

The Los Angeles City Council has approved a $1.5 million settlement with the family of Ezell...

Revolution Beyond Blue Bubbles

“We are witnessing,” the engaging Black Lives Matter founder/hash-tagger Patrisse Cullors told a full theater audience of predominantly white University of Iowa students in...

The West is finished, but why?

Despite certain economic and social setbacks, the Western Empire is doing remarkably well. That is, if we measure success by the ability to control...

The Brain Enhancer

By Michael Ravensthorpe Spiritfoods February 8, 2017 Many people know about colloidal silver and its proven germicidal and antibacterial properties. Colloidal gold, on the other hand,...

Narrative Control Madness

Feb 6, 2017 By Mundilfury When world events spiral out of control, it’s tempting to log into your normie social media...

Steve Bannon Loves the 4th Turning

Steve Bannon became obsessed with a dark theory of history predicting the rebirth of America’s institutions every 80 years – and became convinced the...

Will the Euro Collapse This Year?

2017 could be the year that the euro collapses according to Joseph Stiglitz writing in Fortune magazine and these concerns were echoed over the weekend by...

Side-By-Side: Obama's 2008 Speech on Race vs. Trump's 2017 Black History Month Remarks

We the people, in order to form a more perfect union... Two hundred and twenty-one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the...

Majority of Holocaust survivors in US live in poverty, charity says

Seventy years since the end of the Holocaust, 60 percent of the survivors living in the...

Dawn of the Resistance

As someone once said, a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth puts its boots on. In the 2016 presidential election,...

‘Sex hormone’ boosts arousal & romantic love, UK scientists discover

Scientists are trialing a hormone linked to feelings of sexiness and romance as a potential...

The Zionist Record on Refugees

Historically, Zionists have put the interests of Israel over the humanitarian plight of refugees, even in the face of Nazi...

1930s vs. Today

You’ve heard the axiom “History repeats itself.” It does, but never in exactly the same way. To apply the lessons of the past, we...

King’s Dream Still Isn’t Reality

Not long ago, I saw a comment on an online article about the rise in protests for black civil rights. “We gave you a...

Marijuana effective in treating pain & other ailments but some science still lacking –...

Marijuana is effective in treating some illnesses, but there's not enough science to determine its efficacy for others, a new report has found. The...

Do You Work With a Psychopath?

Leaders with psychopathic traits could transform you into an office bully By Abigail BeallDaily Mail January 9, 2017 Your relationship with your boss could be changing your...

Americans Can't Afford to Lose Richard Cordray or the CFPB

At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, an estimated one out of every 54 homeowners lost their homes. Workers and seniors lost...

Capitalism Is the Problem

Employees assemble synthesizers at Moog Music's production facility in downtown Asheville, North Carolina, June 9, 2015. Moog's new employee-ownership arrangement is more than just...

Fort Lauderdale attacker ‘lost his mind in Iraq,’ say family

Family members of the Fort Lauderdale airport attacker Esteban Santiago-Ruiz have said that he suffered severe...

Transgender man sues Catholic hospital for canceling 'medically necessary' hysterectomy

A transgender man is suing a Catholic hospital in New Jersey for canceling his hysterectomy surgery...

Economist admits BoE’s Brexit financial collapse warnings were ‘a misjudgement’

Economists failed to predict the 2008 financial crash and completely misjudged Brexit’s impact, the executive...

Vermont Residents Don’t Want To ‘Foot The Bill’ For Syrian Refugees

Some small-town residents of Rutland, Vt., are upset at their mayor’s decision to resettle 100 Syrian refugees throughout 2017 in the area....

Washington Post Wants Endless Wars of Aggression

(RINF) - In a New Year’s day editorial, WaPo discussed the “unsupportable” and “dangerous” Trump presidency - seditious sounding language. He “pose(s) (a) threat to...

In 2017, Fusing Identity and Class Politics in “Trumpland”

Photo by Marc Nozell | CC BY 2.0 Like millions of other Americans, I was shocked, but perhaps not entirely surprised, by Donald Trump’s victory...

Cannabis medicine will soon be legally available in UK

One of the main ingredients in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), is to be classed as a medicine in the UK. The decision by the Medicines...

Survive a Hangover

In normal times or times of trouble, New Year’s Eve is a time where many break out the Smoky Mountain Moonshine and end up regretting it the next...

Losing Faith in Their Own Alchemy

Mervyn King is the British Ben Bernanke. An eminent academic economist, who now teaches both at New York University and the London School of...

Editing Human Genome to Prevent Diseases Could Result in Less Geniuses

Dec 27, 2016 By Reinhard Wolff | redice.tv New technology which allows medics to ensure children do not inherit diseases could...

Your Personal Finances and Freedom

So, Trump has won the election. Of course, anything can happen between now and his presumed inauguration on January 20. The Swamp Creatures tried...

Godfather of the New Deal

Herbert Hoover was worth $4 million in 1914 as a mining engineer and mine owner. This was before World War I, when the dollar...

An Unexpected Lesson from Pearl Harbor

The recent 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor reminded me of the visit I made ten years ago and something curious that...

The American Election: White Women as Decoys

 American punditry and the public intellectual industry, which includes columnists, commentators, are monopolized by White males, whether they be of the Right, Left or...

How Did the World Get Addicted to Sugar?

By Dr. Mercola Few would argue that excess refined sugar is pernicious to our health. However, hardly anyone is aware of the manipulation and deceit...

Do You Get Brain Fog?

Brain fog isn’t a medically recognized condition but it is characterized by the feeling of confusion, forgetfulness, lack of focus, and poor mental clarity....

Post-Brexit plunge in immigration won’t push up wages – report

Despite claims made by Leave campaigners, a new report says Brexit will have a minimal impact on wages in Britain, with plummeting migration numbers...

Dozens of Rights Groups Ask Obama to ‘End Cycle of Cruelty,’ Free Chelsea Manning

With just weeks left in his presidency, the call for U.S. President Barack Obama to grant clemency to U.S. military whistleblower Chelsea Manning continues...

Buy A House For 2.6 Ounces Of Gold

Few people realize the coming bargains in all asset markets within the next five years or so. Stocks, bonds, and property will be fractions...

The Case for Free Trade

The Free Market 1, no. 1 (Fall 1983) In 1981 the Federal Register published a declaration from President Reagan: “I determine that it is in...

You Can Inadvertently Make things Worse

Many ardent dietary supplement users are aware there is a widespread deficiency of magnesium in the American diet.  Upon learning this they often visit...

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Is Dangerous

By Dr. Mercola Pregnant women were recently given new information in regard to optimizing their child’s health: Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12. A recent...

Our Gandalf the Grey

“Our movement is about replacing a failed and corrupt political establishment with a new government controlled by you, the American people. The establishment has...

Trump’s Awesome Opportunity

Come January, President-elect Donald Trump — the self-described “king of builders” — will be faced with a unique re-modeling opportunity that’s nearly exclusive to...

After Trump: What the Resistance Must Look Like

If we are to keep the enormity of the forces aligned against us from establishing a false hierarchy of oppression, we must school ourselves...

The Real and Wannabee Elite

Recently I made a few comments about the world’s self-identified “elite”, and also about the migrants that are plaguing Europe. Happily, I was able to...

British hacker Lauri Love will be extradited to face US charges, home secretary confirms

British citizen Lauri Love will be sent to the US for prosecution over hacking allegations...

From Senegal to Brazil: British man attempts record breaking swim across Atlantic Ocean

A 38-year-old former military policeman has set off on an epic journey across the Atlantic...

She Asked for Help and Wound Up Dead

Renee Davis, a 23-year-old Native American mother of three young children and five months pregnant, was reaching out for help. On Friday,...

Brexit II

This Presidential election will go into the history books. Trump has inflicted a huge loss on the American Establishment. At one point, Dow Jones futures...

Tory austerity ‘systematically’ violated rights of disabled Britons – UN

The United Nations has accused Britain’s Conservative government of violating the human rights of disabled...

Cold Hands and Feet?

How do your hands feel? Cold? What about your feet? Nose even? If you have cold extremities, you may attribute this to the outside...

Civil War II

“History offers even more sobering warnings: Armed confrontation usually occurs around the climax of Crisis. If there is confrontation, it is likely to lead...

If Hillary Is President

I beg the indulgence of my many non-religious readers as I open my column with an analogy from Saint Matthew’s Gospel narrative. In His final...

Deepwater Horizon Continues to Impact Public Health

It's hard to believe that the Deepwater Horizon incident, which discharged over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, happened six years...

Obama urged to block extradition of autistic British hacker Lauri Love

British lawmakers are calling on US President Barack Obama to halt the extradition of Lauri...

Single mother fatally shot by police on Muckleshoot tribal land was 5 months pregnant

An investigation is underway into the fatal shooting of a single mother from the Muckleshoot Indian...

We Are Living in the Golden Age of Defense Waste and Corruption; Trump Will...

(Photo: Paul Hohmann; Edited: LW / TO) In October 2015, when he was a very, very long shot for the Republican nomination, Donald...

“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”

I’ve written often about our Iraqi refugee friend and his oldest son from Baghdad. I will call them Mohammed and Ahmed. They made the...

One Iraqi Family’s Struggle amid Chaos

Amid the mainstream U.S. media’s focus on Syria, the ongoing U.S.-provoked humanitarian crisis in Iraq get little attention as victims...

The Power Elite’s War

“A populace deprived of the ability to separate lies from truth, is no longer capable of sustaining a free society.” Journalist Chris Hedges As the ruling...

‘Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life’

I’ve written often about our Iraqi refugee friend and his oldest son from Baghdad. I will call them Mohammed and Ahmed. They made the...

“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”

I’ve written often about our Iraqi refugee friend and his oldest son from Baghdad. I will call them Mohammed and Ahmed. They made the...

Slouching from Insanity, Words Like Acrylic

Outsider artistsavant, held to insideceremonies, cutting imagesthrough corridors of twenty-fourhour pacing, moments frozennow old man, four-yearold, cowering, towering oldman pummeling, neverknowing beatingsmight capture silver-toneprint...

Teenage couple convicted of stabbing mother & daughter in grisly double murder

A 15-year-old girl convicted of double murder has been found to be the “driving force”...

Driven out: Muslim family relocates to Pakistan after Islamophobia in N. Carolina (VIDEO)

Counter-terrorism computer scientist Zeeshan Usmani and his family had enough of the United States after several...

Surviving Torture in a CIA Secret Prison: Khaled al-Sharif of Libya Recounts Horrors

A shocking new report details how harsh American interrogation methods have led to devastating psychiatric disorders in former prisoners. The New York...

British govt admits marijuana extract has medicinal effect

The British government has announced that a chemical compound found in cannabis can be considered...

US Spent $14.6 Million Taxpayer Dollars on Failed Hospital in Afghanistan

The war in Afghanistan is ready to enter its 16th year (if it was a kid it’s be ready to...

How the NY Times Commits Its Crimes

…pretends to do investigative reporting. Before the United States permitted a terrifying way of interrogating prisoners, government lawyers and intelligence officials assured themselves of one...

Public Health as Foreign Policy: Trauma in the Arab World

  Photo of Syrian refugees from Freedom House via Flickr. The current US presidential campaign debate on Middle East policy has focused disproportionately on the US...

Would be C-in-C Trump insults military vets with PTSD quote

The Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, told an audience of military veterans that those members who...

I’m a Bernie Sanders Voter: Here’s Why I’ll Vote Trump

By Eric Zuesse Sometimes, things in politics are the opposite of the way they seem. The Presidential contest between the ‘liberal’ Hillary Clinton’ and the...

Please Smoke

The hangperson’s noose is unmistakably around the tobacco industry’s neck. In Florida and Mississippi, state governments are attempting to force tobacco companies to pay...

Christianity to blame for ‘deeply entrenched anti-Semitism,’ says archbishop

Archbishop Justin Welby has admitted Britain has a “deeply entrenched” anti-Semitism problem made worse over...

The Looming Smash-Up of the World’s Economy

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has written an article on a United Nations report on debt and default. He is a Keynesian. He worries about deflation. Deflation is...

One Week Until Kratom Components Are Banned In The U.S.

Editor's Note: As a long time kratom user, this news is devastating to me and so many others who have found great...

Celebrating the One Percent: Is Inequality Really Good for the Economy?

To paraphrase Mark Twain, everyone complains about inequality, but nobody does anything about it. What they do is to use “inequality” as a takeoff point...

Do You Have Low Energy, Fatigue?

We all get tired from time to time. There are days when getting out of bed seems a bit of a struggle. If this...

Neo-Nazis run ‘whites only’ food bank for Glasgow homeless

A Neo-Nazi group which celebrates the evil concentration camp crimes of Dr Josef Mengele is...

The Contradictions of Finance

After the financial crisis, the long-term fate of Wall Street now hinges on the context of global capitalism and the emerging popular...

Maternal mortality rate in Texas highest in industrialized world – study

The Lone Star state is the most dangerous place to give birth in the US. While...

That’s a paddlin’: Alabama still spanking kids, gender and race gaps persist

The year is 2016, and there are still schools in the US that believe hitting children on the rear with paddles is an acceptable...

DEA targeting of addiction treatment kratom will protect Big Pharma profits

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), currently starring in the new season of the Netflix series “Narcos,”...

‘Invisibilizing the Workers Who Actually Do the Work’ – Transcript of CounterSpin's special Labor...

Janine Jackson assembled some of CounterSpin‘s best segments on workers and media for a special September 2, 2016, episode for Labor Day. This is...

YouTube To Become One Giant Safe Space?

By Alex Christoforou The Duran September 3, 2016 Content creators who helped build the YouTube platform are being stabbed in the back. Social media is now starting...

The 10 Worst US Presidents

A few days ago, I posted my list of the top ten worst U.S. presidents on my Facebook page. People who are familiar with my...

ISS catches 3 hurricanes on US doorstep, makes cool time-lapse video

As two hurricanes and a tropical storm hover near the US, NASA has created a mindblowing...

Behind the Bolivia Miner Cooperatives’ Protests and the killing of the Bolivian Vice-Minister

The Bolivian cooperatives’ protests and their August 25 killing of the Bolivian Vice Minister of the Interior Rodolfo Illanes requires us to question our...

Banning Burkinis: The Politics of Beachwear

For as long as women have gone to the beach to try to enjoy themselves, it seems, people have followed them there to pester...

Greek Debt and the New Financial Imperialism

This week marks the first anniversary of the 2015 Greek debt crisis, the third in that country’s recent history since 2010. Last Aug. 20-21,...

1yo boy in Scotland prescribed antidepressants on NHS

A one-year-old boy was prescribed antidepressants by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), it has emerged. ...

This Will Turn Out To Be Very Bad

Submitted by Christoph Gisiger via Finanz und Wirtschaft, James Grant, Wall Street expert and editor of the investment newsletter «Grant’s Interest Rate Observer», warns of...

What Has Government Done to Our Money?

By David Lewis August 22, 2016 Murray N. Rothbard is now recognised as one of the foremost economists of the last century, and rightly so. Not...

Guilt-Free Indulgence

By Dr. Mercola Do you enjoy sitting down with a good book? This is one hobby you should feel free to indulge in without guilt,...

Zika virus can 'wreak havoc' on adult’s memory – study

Much of the focus around the mosquito-borne Zika virus has been on pregnant women and brain...

Today’s gossip, tomorrow’s memories: 10 things we will (and won’t) miss about Gawker

Gawker will be no more. The blog network under the name revolutionized digital journalism and engaged...

Mass media shootings: The connection between massacres and TV ratings [VIDEO]

It seems that every few months, a flag is being lowered to honor victims of a senseless crime. Then there is the wall-to-wall news...

Cannabis vaporizer being tested by NHS could lead to ‘properly regulated market in UK’

A cannabis product used by people suffering from various conditions is now being tested by the National Health Service (NHS) in a move it...

What Does Vitamin D Deficiency Look Like?

By Dr. Mercola New research has emerged linking low vitamin D levels with a risk of cognitive decline and mental impairment, according to studies conducted...

Judge calls man a ‘c***’ and jails him for racist insults

A British judge stunned a courtroom by using the C-word as she sentenced a man...

Signs of the Coming Economic Crash

(Photo: Paul Hohmann) Eight years after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the economy is doing much better in many important...

The Deep State

I’d like to address some aspects of the Greater Depression in this essay. I’m here to tell you that the inevitable became a reality in...

Why Hillary Clinton Squashed Sanders-Supporter Nina Turner

Eric Zuesse On Tuesday night July 26th, when Nina Turner was supposed to be onstage delivering the nominating speech for Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton’s people...

People in affluent countries more likely to suffer from PTSD – study

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) impacts people in affluent nations more than those in poorer countries,...

From Occupy Protests to the Platforms

Occupy Oakland general strike, November 2, 2011. Five years after the birth of Occupy, both the Democratic and Republican Party platforms now...

Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street

Krista Kennell | Shutterstock.com Nothing seems to rattle Hillary Clinton quite so much as pointed questions about her personal finances. How much she’s made. How she made...

Former pro wrestlers sue WWE over claims of neurological damage

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. is being sued by dozens of former professional wrestlers who claim that...

“The New Scum”

Time and Ephelant’s “The New Scum” has been released as the first song from our upcoming album How To Sew Wounds With Words.  The...

Britain’s ‘forgotten generation’ of impoverished, mentally damaged military veterans

Military veterans who join young and have difficult backgrounds are most likely to suffer once...

Wall Street Angry that Trump Says Restore Glass-Steagall

Eric Zuesse On July 18th, Rob Nichols, the President of the American Bankers’ Association, which is controlled by the mega-banks, struck back against Republican Presidential...

Forget Dangerous Antidepressants

By Dr. Mercola One in 20 Americans over the age of 12 struggles with depression1 and 11 percent of the U.S. population over the age...

It’s Not the Brexit, Stupid

Just over a week ago the world was coming unglued, as enough British citizens grew a pair and spit in the face of the...

Never Take These Killer Drugs

By Dr. Mercola It is now estimated that 1 in 8 Americans are on serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants1 and a shocking 1 in 4...

The Miserable Catch 22 of Mental Illness

I’m depressed. I’ve dealt with mental health issues for decades now. Nothing fancy or interesting like multiple personalities or hallucinations. Just run-of-the-mill boring ones —...

In OtherWords: June 29, 2016

Shortly before last week’s shocking Brexit vote, a British member of parliament campaigning for the “remain” camp was brutally murdered. What you might not...

The Takeover of Puerto Rico

The Island of Puerto Rico is currently in the midst of an economic crisis. It has been reported that Puerto Rico’s government owes over...

As if PTSD, CTE, and Moral Injury Weren’t Enough

The costs of war, in every way, have become prohibitive. Pictured: a Humvee destroyed in an attack. (Photo: Hoggard Films) Throughout history, it’s been obvious...

‘Mentally ill’ or ‘terrorist’? Jo Cox assassination exposes media bias

The language used by the media and government officials to describe the alleged assassin of...

Anthem

by Gary Beck / June 19th, 2016 The songs America once sang,paeans to prosperity,were only briefly interruptedby dirges of depression,rapidly forgottenwhen the ailing economypleased us...

A Key Propaganda Tool for Central Bank Liars

Today the Bank of England announced that it would follow the lead of the Federal Reserve and maintain interest rates at .5%. The bank...

What the FBI Was Doing Instead of Catching the Orlando Shooter

After the most recent mass shooting in Orlando, Florida – the worst in U.S. history – one might...

Iraqi’s case against MoD for alleged abuse by British troops could open floodgates

An Iraqi man who is suing the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for alleged abuse and...

Planetary Doom?

On the eve of World War II, the United States was still mired in the Great Depression and found itself facing war on two...

Majority of mentally ill who committed suicide with gun bought it legally – study

People with serious mental illnesses who use firearms to commit suicide usually bought them legally, according...

The Gathering Storm

“The next Fourth Turning is due to begin shortly after the new millennium, midway through the Oh-Oh decade. Around the year 2005, a sudden...

Students resort to banned ‘brain boosting’ drugs to get through exams

Britain’s Home Office has warned against the effects of banned mental stimulant Noopept as a rising number of students turn to the ‘brain boosting’...

Media Cite Architect of Last Recession as Expert on Preventing Another One

“In no election in my lifetime has a major-party candidate for president been so dangerous for the economy,” wrote Larry Summers (Washington Post, 6/6/16),...

The Mainstream Media's Climate Malpractice

A storm front rolls into Portarlington, Australia, on December 2, 2010. (Photo: mrpbps) A state of disaster has been declared in 31 flooded...

Trump, Trade and War

Exclusive: Neoliberal dogma holds that “free trade” brings peace and thus Donald Trump’s criticism of trade deals presages war. But...

‘Employers Have an Incentive to Work People Long Hours’

Janine Jackson interviewed Ross Eisenbrey about overtime rules for the May 27, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.   Ross Eisenbrey: “From a...

The Five Stages of Central Bankers’ Failure

Central bankers must accept the complete and utter failure of their policies if we are to move forward. Central bankers are now in the denial...

Stoking the Fires: Trump and His Legions

Joseph Sohm | Shutterstock.com No-Yong Park came to the United States in August 1921 from Manchuria, where his Korean parents had fled to escape from the Japanese...

Opening to the Underworld?

By The Siberian Times reporter Locals have heard ‘booms from the underworld’ in a giant ravine but now scientists say it holds secrets of the planet’s...

Tory benefit sanctions driving vulnerable claimants to crime & poverty – report

Benefit sanctions are driving “vulnerable” claimants to hunger, destitution and crime, a report by Salford...

Man vs Wild: British soldiers routed by elephants, cows & foxes

As if defeat at the hands of the Taliban and Iraqi insurgencies wasn’t enough, new...

Dr. Scapegoat, I Presume

The war on human beings who use, sell or possess drugs (private property), is, from the perspective of reason or morality, dead. Yet, it...

Anti-malarial drug linked to psychosis among soldiers could finally be banned in UK military

An almost total ban on the anti-malaria drug Lariam may soon come into effect, amid fears that hundreds of UK soldiers could sue over...

The Obvious Agenda Hidden in Plain Sight

I think anyone with a sense for the obvious agenda hidden in plain sight but beneath media-minced deviled ham is that we are on...

Trumped! Washington’s Fiscal Hypocrisy

You have to love it when one of Donald Trump’s wild pitches sends the beltway hypocrites into high dudgeon. But his rumination about negotiating...

As the Economy Goes Down the Toilet

May I ask you a question? How’s this great economic recovery working out for you? It’s really affected the cardboard recycling market adversely, did...

FDA warns-widely used antipsychotic drug causes uncontrollable sex, gambling urges

Aripiprazole, the active ingredient in common antidepressant and antipsychotic medications like Abilify, has been linked to...

UK govt driving EU's democratic deficit but Brexit would derail vital reform – UK...

British government policy has played a key role in heightening the EU’s democratic deficit by...

Economy In Decline: Apple Reports Massive Revenue Decline As iPhone Sales Plummet Dramatically

Michael Snyder (RINF) - Corporate revenues in the United States have been falling for quite some time, but now some of the biggest companies in...

Big Pharma is making you stupid: Common cold medicines and heartburn pills found to...

If you find yourself forgetting more than usual, or you sometimes feel like your mind is not as sharp as it once was, you...

Hillary Clinton's wealthy donors revealed in Panama Papers

Names in the Panama Papers link Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, fresh off a big win...

Six Years Later, Worried Gulf Residents to Hold Online Town Hall on BP Spill...

Workers use booms, burning and chemical dispersants in attempts to contain the oil leaking from BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in June 2010. (Photo:...

“We are being silently poisoned by thousands of untested and unmonitored chemicals” The case...

On 13 April, the EU Parliament called on the European Commission to restrict certain permitted uses of the toxic herbicide glyphosate, best known in...

'This reopens the pain': Biggest US military base shootings in last decade

The apparent murder-suicide at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas turns attention once again to fatal...

Capitalism And Global Agribusiness: From Ford To Monsanto, It’s For Your Own Good

“We must… build our own local food systems that create new rural-urban links, based on truly agroecological food production... We cannot allow Agroecology to...

The United States of Flint

The horrible, preventable crisis in Flint, Michigan shows that when the government shortchanges our infrastructure, people pay the price. Flint has become a living hell...

1 suicide attempt a day in UK immigration detention centers

Suicide attempts in Britain’s immigration detention centers have reached an all-time high, official figures show,...

‘They Want South America Back the Way They Used to Have It’

Janine Jackson interviewed Mark Weisbrot about Argentina’s new government for the May 25, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Mark Weisbrot:...

Vets get free marijuana in Colorado Springs to fight pain & PTSD

A cannabis club in Colorado Springs is handing out free marijuana to military veterans, hoping to...

Brits ‘more anxious and depressed than ever’ – survey

Anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation are on the rise in Britain, according to a...

New York City affordable housing programs designed to benefit developers

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Philip Guelpa Last week it was announced that the New York City...

Autism sufferers face ‘mortality crisis’ – experts

Researchers investigating autism and mortality trends have discovered that people on the spectrum are dying younger...

Economic nationalism, war and the fight for international socialism

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Fundamental questions of perspective and orientation for the international working class...

EU Accused of ‘Outsourcing its Human Rights Responsibilities to a Brutal Regime’

Speaking at the start of the next EU-Turkey summit on migration, Nick Dearden, the director of the campaign organisation Global Justice Now said: “The deal...

The Political Economy of Argentina’s Settlement with the Vulture Funds

After 15 years of court battles, injunctions, smear campaigns, lobbying, and other interventions, the vulture funds have finally won a tentative agreement with the...

Feeding the Bank Balance or Feeding the World: GMOs, Development and the Politics of...

Modern state-corporate capitalism is stripping the environment bare through unsustainable levels of consumption. It is legitimised by a deceitful ideology that attempts to justify and...

Europe offloading human rights duties onto non-EU states, says think tank

Europe is outsourcing its human rights obligations to non-EU states as it seeks to militarize...

Discrimination against Gypsies & Travelers ‘common’ in Britain – human rights commission

(RT) - Institutional discrimination against Gypsies and Travelers is rife in Britain with the public,...

Poor mental health care in England is “ruining lives,” report finds

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Dennis Moore Mental health care in England is now so poor and...

Mutiny in the ranks? British Army morale damaged by ‘unfair’ 1% pay rise

(RT) - Soldiers from every part of the British Army believe their recent one percent...

A Citizen’s Guide to Combating Election Propaganda: Debunking Anti-Welfare Myths

Political and economic elites’ success in manufacturing mass ignorance represents the largest impediment to democratic empowerment today. Stoking fear of and contempt for the...

The arrest of former President Lula and the crisis of rule in Brazil

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Last week’s detention and questioning of former president and Workers Party...

How Wall Street’s top executives made it nearly impossible to rein in the financial...

Reforming Wall Street has become a key issue in the ongoing presidential primaries. Bernie Sanders in particular has used his rival’s close ties to the...

The Collapse Of Italy’s Banks Threatens To Plunge The European Financial System Into Chaos

Michael Snyder (RINF) - The Italian banking system is a “leaning tower” that truly could completely collapse at literally any moment.  And as Italy’s banks...
Mass privatisation paying for failed economic policies

Mass privatisation masks Britain’s failed economic policies

There is no doubt that throughout the last forty years or so neoliberalism has dominated government, housing, transport, energy and the financial sector in...

Never combine these over-the-counter drugs – your life may be endangered

Never before in the history of the world has the general public relied so heavily on pharmaceuticals to treat pain, calm nerves, or address...

Donald Trump Is Right – Here Are 100 Reasons Why We Need To Audit...

Michael Snyder (RINF) - When one of our major politicians gets something exactly right, we should applaud them for it.  In this case, Donald Trump’s...

The Big Issue Is Big Money

The biggest falsehood of Hillary Clinton’s campaign is to call Bernie Sanders a “single-issue” candidate, since he has actually addressed many issues. But Michael...

To the Dustbin of History

We read on Wikipedia: The phrase “ash heap of history” (or “dustbin of history”) figuratively refers to the place to where persons, events, artifacts, ideologies,...

Let’s End Torture in U.S. Prisons

Solitary confinement is exactly what it sounds like. A prisoner is kept in a small cell — usually 6 feet by 10 — alone, for...

More than 1 million in US face food stamps cutoff

Kate Randall More than 1 million low-income people across the United States could soon lose their government food stamp benefits if they fail to meet...

Human Rights Watch report finds US violations, signs of reform in criminal justice

The annual World Report from Human Rights Watch lauded the US’ “vibrant civil society,” but found plenty of room for improvement as well, calling...
global house price crash starts in major cities

Global House Price Crash Led by Major Cities And Rapid Exit Of Investors

The global house price crash is being led the most important cities in the world and where they are not falling yet, they soon...

1 in 5 British politicians ‘attacked’ by aggressive voters, study finds

British MPs claim they have been abused or violently attacked by aggressive voters, including threats made against their children, it has emerged. A study published...

Betting on the Wall Street Crash

Exclusive: The 2008 Wall Street crash resulted from a combination of unrestrained greed and political contempt for government regulators who might have prevented the...

A Balanced View of the Obama Presidency

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Barack Obama’s Presidency turns out to have been what neither his supporters nor his opponents expected. A balanced historical...

Throwing My Fez in the Ring

Most presidential candidates, with the glaring exception of Donald Trump, say Islam is no enemy of the United States. I agree wholeheartedly. And how...

Has Obama changed America or is he another ‘counterfeit progressive’?

Is Barack Obama a transformational president? That was his ambition: to be more, as he put it, like Ronald Reagan than Bill Clinton, to...

58 Facts About The U.S. Economy From 2015 That Are Almost Too Crazy To...

Michael Snyder (RINF) - The world didn’t completely fall apart in 2015, but it is undeniable that an...

Bernie Sanders and ‘The Big Short’

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ major policy speech at Town Hall in New York City on Tuesday — in which he declared that he...

Bernie Sanders poses as an opponent of Wall Street in New York speech

By Tom Hall Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders expanded on his campaign pledge to break up the major Wall Street financial institutions during his first...

Convincing the Young to Blame the Old, Not the Rich

The Washington Post‘s Catherine Rampell suggests that these Princeton students should be less upset about Woodrow Wilson’s racism and more outraged about old people...

The Great Malaise Continues

NEW YORK — The year 2015 was a hard one all around. Brazil fell into recession. China’s economy experienced its first serious bumps after...

‘The Big Short’ The criminality of Wall Street and the crash of 2008

By Joanne Laurier Directed by Adam McKay; screenplay by McKay and Charles Randolph, based on the book by Michael Lewis Adam McKay’s new film The Big Short...

The Grimmer Story Behind ‘Trumbo’

Exclusive: After World War II, the Red Scare built the careers of redbaiters like Joe McCarthy and Richard Nixon while undermining the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt’s...

America is due for a revolution

Here's the good news: The chaos and upheaval we see all around us have historical precedents and yet America survived. The bad...

The Afars: Eritrea’s Forgotten Refugees

(Photo: Carsten ten Brink / Flickr) Thousands of refugees have made their way to eastern Ethiopia across Eritrea’s porous southern borders in recent years. Many traveled...

Brazil’s President Rousseff faces impeachment

By Bill Van Auken Brazil’s Workers Party (Partido dos Trabalhadores–PT) President Dilma Rousseff is facing the initiation of congressional impeachment proceedings under conditions in which the...

‘You Cannot Build a Strong Economy on a Falling Wage Floor’

CounterSpin interview with Holly Sklar on minimum wage economics MP3 Link Janine Jackson: Whether the federal minimum wage should be raised was the first question of...

Hang Onto Your Wallets: Negative Interest, the War on Cash, and the $10 Trillion...

In uncertain times, “cash is king,” but central bankers are systematically moving to eliminate that option. Is it really about stimulating the economy? Or...

Don’t Thank Me Anymore… Just Care for Veterans Who Return and Work To End...

Michael McPhearson This past Saturday morning in Saint Louis, MO I was walking home when I saw a people gathering and portions of the street...

White middle-aged people in US dying quicker than in any other developed nation —...

Nobel Prize-winning scientist Angus Deaton and Anne Case have come out with shocking conclusions that white middle-aged Americans are the only first-world group of...

How the Myth of the Meritocracy Ruins Students

The plight of the over-scheduled, over-tested, stressed out student has become the subject of much hand-wringing and several good educational policy prescriptions. ​But if...

Police say UK journalist Jacky Sutton’s death in Istanbul airport was suspicious

The unexplained death of British journalist Jacky Sutton in an Istanbul airport is now being treated as suspicious after police discovered thousands of euros...

Global Trade Is Collapsing As The Worldwide Economic Recession Deepens

By Michael Snyder (RINF) - When the global economy is doing well, the amount of stuff that is imported and exported around the world goes...

Protect your body and family from the allopathic assault of cigarettes, pharmaceuticals, vaccines and...

Who do you know that smokes, takes medications and could care less about buying organic food? Who do you know that wears too much...

Bernanke calls for prosecutions of top financial execs over 2008 meltdown

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who led the US through the financial meltdown of 2008, said that top financial executives should have been...

I Am Mourning For America

Michael Snyder I am mourning for America, because she is dying. I am mourning for a nation that...

Suicide case directly linked to Tory benefit sanctions, coroner rules

A man with severe depression killed himself as a direct result of being found “fit to work” by the government and subsequently having his...

Varoufakis to Corbyn: ‘Don’t Fear the Media’

Asked by Paul Mason of Britain’s Channel 4 News (9/14/15), “What can Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell learn from what you did in office?”...
video

Video: CrossTalk: Kiev Infighting

With military stalemate in the east of the country and the economy in serious depression, the regime in Kiev has had to face some...

Video: CrossTalk: Kiev Infighting

With military stalemate in the east of the country and the economy in serious depression, the regime in Kiev has had to face some...

Children in England unhappier in school than their peers elsewhere

By Tom Scripps Children in England, one of the richest countries in the world, are unhappier at school than those in almost all of the other...

'Archaeology on steroids': huge ritual arena discovered near Stonehenge

From: msn.com Artist impression of stones Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a massive stone monument buried under a thick, grassy bank only...

Greece Implodes

Greece became the epicenter of Europe’s debt crisis after Wall Street imploded in 2008. With global financial markets still reeling, Greece announced in October...

Reich and the myth of a moral capitalism

In a Sept. 5 blog, former Secretary of Labor and liberal commentator Robert Reich, asks, “What Happened to the Moral Center of American Capitalism?”...

Financial war for profit – Monied Interests Run America

Stephen Lendman (RINF) - Powerful Wall Street headquartered monied interests run America - in league with corrupt federal, state and local officials, waging financial war...

STUPID: Washington Post claims omega-3s are useless; science shows they improve diabetes, brain health...

Whenever there's an opportunity to mock and discredit the health benefits of nutrition, the mainstream media is right there, ready to pounce. If nutrition...

12 Signs That An Imminent Global Financial Crash Has Become Even More Likely

Michael Snyder (RINF) - Did you see what just happened? The devaluation of the yuan by China triggered...

When the Next Crisis Comes, Which Movements Will Seize the Opportunity?

George Lakey You, too, could be caught in a situation where people are ready for an alternative, yet your group has none to offer. It’s understandable....
video

Video: Greek Bailout Goes to Service the Debt

Budget surplus targets were reduced but this is no victory, since it will be impossible to achieve and it will throw Greece into a...

Obama on Iran: The specter of World War III

In an extraordinary speech delivered Wednesday, US President Barack Obama went public with a warning that powerful factions within Congress and the state apparatus...

Bankster Prosecutions Plunged After Bush’s Presidency

Eric Zuesse U.S. President Barack Obama has followed through on the secret promise he made in the White House, on 27 March 2009, to Wall...

Contract deadline approaches for Verizon and AT&T workers

By Samuel Davidson and Maria Kovalenko Labor agreements covering tens of thousands of workers at the nation’s two largest telecommunication companies expire in early August. Workers...

Almost all psych drug use is unnecessary, claims doctor researching medical holocaust of over...

More than half a million people age 65 years or older die every year in the West from psychiatric drug use, and the worst...

As Economy Heads to Another Crash, BIS Acknowledges: We’re Failing

http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2015/07/22/maechtigste-bank-der-welt-legt-mandat-zur-rettung-der-weltwirtschaft-zurueck/ World’s Most Powerful Bank Reverses Course, to Avoid a Global Depression German Economic News, Translation (and closing Note) by Eric Zuesse | Published: 22:07:15 20:10...

Mental Illness Doesn’t Explain Mass Violence—but Neither Does ‘Islamic Extremism’

With the latest mass shooting in Chattanooga, corporate media followed the usual pattern of being ready and willing to label violence as “terrorism” so...

President Obama postures as prison reformer

By Evan Blake US President Barack Obama visited Federal Correctional Institution El Reno, a medium-security prison in Oklahoma on Thursday, as part of a series of...

Perhaps This Is Obama’s Grand Strategy

Eric Zuesse Washingtonsblog’s anonymous founder and principal commentator is one of the most deeply knowledgeable writers on current events, and on July 19th he headlined "Governments...

IMF – Greek Debt Untenable

Stephen Lendman (RINF) - Overwhelming Greek debt is a time bomb sure to explode. It's unsustainable. It's just a question of when the Hellenic Republic...

Germany Never Intended For Greece To Stay In The Euro

By Michael Snyder (RINF) - There never was going to be any deal. All along, Germany has been seeking to establish conditions that would never...

The historical background of California’s water crisis

By Marc Wells and Evan Blake California’s ongoing drought has set new records for the lowest annual precipitation levels, while 2014 brought the highest calendar-year temperature...

Think Greece’s Economy Is the One in Trouble?

China’s tumbling stock markets plunged even further today, intensifying fears the country was tail-spinning towards the biggest financial disaster since the 1929 Wall Street...

How Fascist Capitalism Functions: The Case of Greece

Eric Zuesse There is democratic capitalism, and there is fascist capitalism. What we have today is fascist capitalism; and the following will explain how it...

Greek ‘No’ Vote Spurs Wider Resistance

Exclusive: Greek voters rebelled against Germany and the dominant powers of Europe by rejecting demands for more austerity, but the Greek resistance also is...

Antidepressants Don’t Work as Advertised

By Dr. Mercola Depression and other mental health problems are at epidemic levels judging by the number of antidepressants prescribed each year. According to CDC data,1...

The Superpower Conundrum: The Rise and Fall of Just About Everything

The rise and fall of great powers and their imperial domains has been a central fact of history for centuries. It’s been a sensible,...

US income inequality continued to soar in 2014

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. By Andre Damon Income inequality in the United States continued to grow in...

Chicago teachers’ union blocks fight against layoffs, offers to impose pay freeze

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. By Kristina Betinis The contract covering about 28,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in the...

Damning New Analysis Reveals Deadly Lack of Police Training on Mental Illness

'On average, police shot and killed someone who was in mental crisis every 36 hours in the first six months of this year,' reveals...

Australia: Political cover-up over Sydney siege continues

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Richard Phillips and Peter Symonds The first eight-day session of a planned...

New York Times Big Lies

by Stephen Lendman (RINF) - The Times is an establishment publication - a lying machine, a mouthpiece for powerful monied interests at the expense of...

Wall Street’s legal offensive

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Wall Street’s legal offensive 18 June 2015 Recent months have seen a series...

Los Angeles cops who killed Ezell Ford set to be exonerated

  By Evan Blake (WSWS) - On Friday, June 5, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and their ostensible watchdog, the...

American Pharoah: What A Perfect Description For The Guy In The White House

By Michael Snyder (RINF) - A horse named “American Pharoah” just won the Triple Crown. Is this some sort of a sign for America? The...

Orson Welles born 100 years ago

  By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier (WSWS) - May 6 marked one hundred years since the birth of Orson Welles, one of the most remarkable figures in...

Parasitism and the economic crisis

(WSWS) - The US Commerce Department released figures Friday showing that the US economy contracted sharply, shrinking at an annualized rate of 0.7 percent in...

More than a quarter of Chicago county jail inmates suffer severe mental illness

By George Marlowe (WSWS) - Recent reports have highlighted the fact that at least a quarter of the prison population at Chicago’s Cook County Jail suffer...

US prisons rife with violence and torture against mentally disabled prisoners

By Zaida Green (WSWS) - Mentally disabled prisoners in the bloated US prison system are subject to violent and even deadly abuse, according to a new report....

The Next Step in the Global Meltdown

Europe will lead the world into Economic Totalitarianism because government is now desperate to retain the euro. If the euro collapses, so will Brussels. The...

UK rail workers vote for national strike

By Michael Barnes (WSWS) - Workers at Network Rail (NR), the UK state-owned track operator, have voted overwhelmingly to strike against a derisory four-year pay deal and...

Feeling Trapped in a Dead-End System? Cartoonist Stephanie McMillan’s Affirmations Encourage Resistance

 Activists and organizers for social change undoubtedly experience periods of burnout. Working long hours - typically without pay and little appreciation - on campaigns,...

The Debt To GDP Ratio For The Entire World: 286 Percent

Did you know that there is more than $28,000 of debt for every man, woman and child on the entire planet?  And since close to 3 billion of those people survive on less than 2 dollars a day, your share of that debt is going to be much larger than that.  If we took everything [...]

The post The Debt To GDP Ratio For The Entire World: 286 Percent appeared first on The Economic Collapse.

Dangerous Flailing And Bellowing Of The Beast

  John Chuckman   (RINF) - When I think of America’s place in the world today, the image that comes to mind is of a very large...

Ultra-Secrecy Surrounds Barack Obama’s New Global Economic Treaty

Barack Obama is secretly negotiating a global economic treaty which would destroy thousands of American businesses and millions of good paying American jobs.  In other words, it would be the final nail in the coffin for America’s economic infrastructure.  Obama knows that if the American people actually knew what was in this treaty that they [...]

The post Ultra-Secrecy Surrounds Barack Obama’s New Global Economic Treaty appeared first on The Economic Collapse.

Suicide Mission: Why a War With Iran Will End in Another Defeat for the...

Timothy Alexander Guzman (RINF) - On Hardball with Chris Matthews, a U.S. mainstream media program interviewed President Barack Obama and was asked about Russia’s decision on...

Sanders: Stand Up to Wall Street, Break Up Big Banks

Speaking last night at the Commonwealth Club of California, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said it is time to break up “too-big-to-fail” Wall Street...

Have You Fallen for These Big Pharma Tricks?

Long before the Internet and direct to consumer advertising, the medical profession tried to reassure people about their health concerns. Sure fatigue and headaches...

Pot Could Save Your Life: 4 Ways Cannabis is Good for Your Brain

Modern research is showing that cannabis extracts protect and benefit the human brain. Here’s four amazing ways scientists are showing that cannabis actually helps...

Trojan Hearse: Greek Elections and the Euro Leper Colony

By Greg Palast for το χωνί (Greece) [updated January 26, 2015] Europe is stunned, and bankers aghast, that the new party of the Left, Syriza, won Sunday's parliamentary elections in Greece. Syriza won on the promise that it will cure Greece of leprosy. Oddly, Syriza also promises that it will remain in the leper colony.  That is, [...]

Selma, secretly

By Greg Palast In 1930, when my father was an eight-year-old kid in Chicago, he asked his older brother why people were outside in the cold snow waiting in a long line. His brother Harold said, “It’s a bread line. They don’t have anything to eat. They’re hoping for bread.” My father ran to his [...]

Obama: War Criminal, Tyrant, Torturer, Racist, Corporate Tool, World-Class Thug

Stephen Lendman  RINF Alternative News His record speaks for itself. Ideologically over-the-top. Lawless. Reckless. Ruthless by any standard. Reflecting the worst of rogue leadership. Mocking democratic values....

Nobel Prize Winning Economists, Federal Reserve Chair and Other Top Experts: War Is BAD...

Debunking the Stubborn Myth that War Is Good for the Economy About.com notes: One of the more enduring myths in Western society is that wars are...

The Eve Of Another Banking Collapse

Lenin Nightingale RINF Alternative News During the American Economic Depression of the 1930's, some bank deposits were devalued by 40%. In simple terms, this meant that...

Straight Talk and Reflections

Stephen Lendman  RINF Alternative News I generally restrict personal comments to one-on-one emails. Or discussions with friends, family and others. This article an exception. Why not at...

Obama at APEC

Stephen Lendman  RINF Alternative News China and Russia offer carrots, not sticks. Obama is polar opposite. Couched in duplicitous diplomatic rhetoric. "It is wonderful to be back...

8 Charts Showing the Real State of the American Economy

The Charts Show What’s Really Going On Jim Rickards was interviewed recently by Money Morning, and he presented 8 must-see charts … The bang for buck...

US Electoral Postmortems

Stephen Lendman RINF Alternative News US elections mock legitimacy. Farcical by any standard. Meaningless kabuki theater. Entrenched duopoly power alone represented. Big Money controlled. Debauched beyond repair. Candidates...

The Economy Of The Largest Superpower On The Planet Is Collapsing Right Now

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Can Malaysia withstand the next financial crisis?

As developed economies of the world still continue their struggle to recover from the global financial crisis in 2008, the lack of confidence in global economic stability has placed greater demand on emerging markets to cushion themselves for the next crash. While woefully unsustainable debt levels deepen and weak regulatory oversight persist, the lack of tangible reforms creates an imperative for countries like Malaysia to stay ahead of the curve.

This was the theme of the Perdana Leadership Foundation’s sixth CEO Forum held in Kuala Lumpur last week, where more than thirty panelists analyzed the shaky state of the global economy and offered insights into Malaysia’s strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as the country’s susceptibility to external economic turbulence. In addition to market-related vulnerabilities, panelists also identified inter-religious anxieties between communities as factors that could put national unity and political stability at risk. 

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Lin See Yan, a trustee of the Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, identified how high fences built to withstand economic shocks and de-risk the financial system are seldom designed for all possibilities. He branded the European Union as the weakest link in the global financial system, noting that the bloc’s debt problems kept growing, austerity has proven to be counter productive, the euro currency remains overvalued, and the European Central Bank (ECB) has stagnated in the midst of its bond-buying strategy.

Lin also noted the possibility of another crisis originating from within the United States due to vulnerabilities posed by the country’s ballooning $17 trillion debt levels, the growing housing bubble, and the persistence of trading high-risk financial products backed by complex securitizations. He also raised concerns over recent data on the Chinese economy, which has shown a decline in fixed asset investments, raising speculation about whether or not the Chinese authorities would introduce a stimulus package. 

Tan Sri Azman Yahya, executive chairman of Symphony Life, believes that growth in China will continue to be on the upswing despite concerns of deceleration, even without significant investment, by virtue of Beijing’s prudent economic reforms. China has already announced at the recent G20 meeting of finance ministers that it will not make major policy adjustments in the form of stimulus despite slightly lower growth indicators. Reforms will be prioritized to stabilize employment and contain systemic risks such as widespread default. 

High government deficits, unprecedented government and private sector debt levels, and low household savings are deeply worrying trends in mature economies, according to Yahya, who claims that eventual tapering by the US Federal Reserve to cease quantitative easing (QE) measures could trigger a loss of confidence in the US dollar, causing an offloading and crash of US securities capable of tanking global markets. 

Yahya identified the risks posed by the lack of tangible financial sector reforms, the unsustainable US debt bubble, the growing loss of confidence in the US dollar, and surmised that the next crisis may strike within five years. He identified the high growth levels of Asia-Pacific countries as a buffer to crises emanating from stagnate western economies, noting how China’s middle class is set to expand to one billion by 2025, while growth will be increasingly be powered by consumption. 

Panelists at the forum generally agreed that the Asia-Pacific region is in a far healthier state today in comparison to the 1997 crisis, as China’s growth strategy moves away from the investment-driven template to more sustainable consumption-led expansion. Countries in the ASEAN region are also cooperating at higher levels. Analysts agree that Malaysia has proven to be fairly resilient and adept at crisis management, as it managed to navigate through treacherous economic periods while retaining consistently healthy growth levels over the past two decades. 

The country defied the IMF’s economic orthodoxy and introduced capital control measures during the 1997 Asian financial crisis to counter the short selling of the Malaysian ringgit by currency speculators, which triggered dramatic depreciation and rapid falls in stock market capitalization. Malaysia recovered faster than its neighbors and consolidated its banking system, putting buffers in place by introducing broader market regulations and strengthening banks to withstand shocks. 

During the global financial crisis in 2008, triggered by the bursting of the US housing bubble and the subsequent collapse of large financial institutions trading toxic mortgage-related financial products, the country found itself better prepared. The way the crisis struck in 1997 took Malaysian policymakers totally off guard. The country’s economy was highly stable and experiencing growth at 8 percent; loans were being repeatedly prepaid and Malaysia was stepping in rescue Thailand after attacks on the baht.

The current scenario also demands that countries expect the unexpected. The general consensus among panelists the Perdana forum was that a new financial crisis could present itself at some point within the next eighteen months to five years, with the potential for several mini-crises to bubble up and trigger recessionary depression. It is nearly impossible to accurately pinpoint when the next crisis will hit, but there are numerous flashpoints to consider.

In addition to vulnerabilities stemming from uncontrolled derivative trading and speculative hot money flows, debt and bubbles loom. During the 2008 crisis, insolvent private banks and lending institutions were deemed too-big-to-fail, but today, central banks are on the road to inheriting that status. Debt levels have ballooned to unprecedented levels driven by QE and low interest rates. Stagnate wages and easy credit has goaded consumers to keep borrowing to maintain consumption.

Both the United States and the United Kingdom are experiencing high unemployment levels and dramatic income inequality, giving rise to greater levels of social unrest while the stock markets of both countries have performed above par – surpassing the highs of pre-crisis levels. The sharp ascent of share prices, which has been heralded as proof of an economic recovery, does not correlate with rising activity in the productive economy or with per capita income.

The distinguished economist Ha-Joon Chang has referred to these developments as ‘the biggest stock market bubble in modern history.’ It is clear that share prices do not reflect real economic activity. The core of the problem is that successive rounds of QE have increased liquidity rates and fuelled asset bubbles rather than being channeled into productive assets.

Panelists addressed how many of the new jobs being created in mature economies are low-wage positions that offer little career mobility. The broad appeal of protest campaigns organized by fast-food workers to demand a living wage is a testament to the strains on ordinary people who are unable to meet the cost of living. Americans are pessimistic about their nation’s economic recovery policies because many find themselves facing more trying domestic circumstances.

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad attended the Perdana forum to give the closing keynote address, where he likened the implementation of solutions to avert economic crises to a medical doctor treating a patient, stressing the need to understand the systemic contradictions of the global financial system. Dr. Mahathir denounced fractional reserve banking practices, which result in banks lending far greater amounts of money than they actually possess in cash reserves, and the leveraging practices taken advantage of by currency speculators and hedge funds.

The former Malaysian prime minister accused Europe and the US of being in a state of denial as to how markets are manipulated, primarily because the political classes themselves benefit from speculation. Dr. Mahathir believes that the role of the financial sector is overemphasized in national economies and advised greater market regulation. Governments must be ready to step in to limit the abuses of the banking system, according to Mahathir, who characterized the inherent inequality of the modern age as one where 99 percent of people are beholden to the ultra-wealthy 1 percent, citing the slogan popularized by the Occupy Wall Street protest movement.

Mass protest movements demanding accountability from Wall Street have remained potent because the underlying conditions that generated the crisis have not been addressed in any meaningful way. Instead of steering monetary policies in a sensible direction and broadening regulatory oversight to identify risky financial products and prevent predatory speculation, the banking lobby has strong-armed western politicians into accepting a growth model where short-term profits for the few take precedence over long-term investments in productive assets for the many.

Elsewhere in the world, the economic power and political autonomy of BRICS countries and their plans to establish a development bank to finance infrastructure growth throughout the developing world offers a far more sustainable investment model. To offset the risks of future crises, it is imperative to find the political courage to reduce the importance of the non-productive financial sector in national economies in favor of investments into productive assets that create infrastructure and job opportunities.

Panelists at the Perdana forum argued that even if measures are taken to bolster productive assets, financial and economic crises may strike in unexpected ways: resulting from cyber threat vulnerabilities, sudden geopolitical instability, conflicts over resources and the pricing of resources, and complications that can result from the use of non-traditional currencies.

Malaysia is considered a safe investment destination due to its political stability and imperviousness to natural disasters; the country’s competent young workforce is eager to enter innovative service sector positions, a major asset in contrast to other Asian countries struggling to maintain population growth. To meet the present development aspirations, it is necessary for the country to protect against both external and internal crises.

The Malaysian leadership faces a difficult balancing act on all fronts. It must do more to improve inter-communal harmony without rolling back civil liberties. Despite the country’s strong performance legitimacy, trust and confidence in the government and the integrity of institutions remains low due to endemic corruption. There is a need for a comprehensive social safety net system to address rising income inequality on a needs-basis.

Simultaneously, economic circumstances demand that developing countries remove energy and social subsidies in order to increase efficiency and become a more attractive destination for capital. Navigating through the crises ahead will require bold leadership. Malaysia will be in a better position to withstand turbulence if it takes meaningful steps to reduce income disparities and pursues inclusive social policies that will restore grassroots trust in the leadership.

This article appeared in the September 29, 2014 print edition of The Malaysian Reserve newspaper.

Nile Bowie is an independent journalist and political analyst based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His articles have appeared in numerous international publications, including regular columns with Russia Today (RT) and newspapers such as the Global Times, the Malaysian Reserve and the New Straits Times. He is a research assistant with the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), a Malaysian NGO promoting social justice and anti-hegemony politics. He can be reached at [email protected].

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