Friday, May 31, 2013

PREDESTINATION.....and Luther and Reformers



























Thursday, May 30, 2013

CHURCHILL #5....marries Clementine


Clementine as a granddaughter of an earl, was on par with Churchill socially. Her father had deserted her mother to bring up three daughter in basic poverty. So Clementine knew what it was like as a "normal" person, or an ordinary life. She was though well educated, for she knew she'd have to earn her own living. In August 1908 Churchill invited Clementine to Blenheim Palace, his birthplace. He was unable to drum up the courage to ask her to marry him. On the third day, his cousin Sunny, Duke of Marlborough went to his room, pulled him out of bed, and told him to "get with it."

Churchill took Clementine for a walk in the palace gardens. In this romantic setting, he finally "popped the question" and Clementine accepted.

"I got married," wrote Churchill later, "and lived happily ever afterwards."

Churchill was difficult to live with and they had their share of quarrels, but nothing damaging. Churchill was always in need of excitement, and Clementine was kinda the opposite, and so needed absences from her husband to gain respite from the roller-coaster ride of life with Winston. But nevertheless they were true soul-mates. She soon became his closest friend and confidante and their marriage lasted 56 years.

Once the honeymoon was over Churchill was bad into the fray of political life. In 1909 Winston's "social initiatives" went through the parliamentary process that would make them law. They included old age pensions, national insurance against unemployment and ill-health, and minimum wage for the low paid and labor exchanges. The house of Lords protested. The main debate was on the "Peoples Budget", which included proposals to pay for old age pensions by introducing heavy taxes on landed estates. And the House of Lords opposed these measure, which they considered "socialistic" and defeated the new budget outright by 375 votes to 75.


Winston went into high gear, and gave a scathing attack on the House of Lords, employing his full force of English rhetoric. They were he said, "....a played out, obsolete, anachronistic assembly, a survival of a feudal arrangement utterly passed out of its original meaning, a force long since passed away."

Ah Churchill was quite the political fighter, as he had been when in the army, a full steam ahead type of warrior. The Government confronted the House of Lords with a Parliament Act, which banned them from vetoing any money bills and prevented them from delaying any bill for more than two years. When the Lords resisted the King stepped in - George the V, and agreed to create up to 500 new Liberal peers to get the legislation passed. The Lords were faced with the threat of being permanently swamped by a Liberal majority.....they caved in, and on August 10th, 1911, they passed both the Parliament Act and the People's Budget.


WINSTON WAS ALREADY ON TO NEW CHALLENGES.....In 1910 he was appointed as Home Secretary. One of his first priorities was to tackle the prison system which he thought was very retributive, so ineffective that three-quarters of prisoners released at the end of their sentences, re-offended within a year.
Winston had never forgotten his own prison stay by the Boers in 1899, and was able to understand from a prisoner's point of view. He wanted to reduce sentences for less serious crimes, provide better care for prisoners, reduce the number of young people in jail, and to furnish prisons with libraries and entertainments.

He was the first Home Secretary to note and draw a distinction between criminal and political prisoners, and between hardened criminals and occasional offenders. He was also meticulous in examining capital cases to see if there was any justification to reprieve the death sentence. Winston was very much "up front" in everything, even criticizing judges for imposing punishment he thought unjust. As examples: one person had been given 7 years for stealing lime juice. and another had been given 7 years for stealing apples.

We can see how Winston was way ahead of his age, how he used logic, and how he could see very easily where injustice was being given out for petty crimes. Many today only know that Winston Churchill led the British against Hitler's army and war machine; they have no idea about his earlier life, and how a great politician and humanitarian he was; how many laws we have today in the British Commonwealth and the USA, are there because of Winston Churchill.

Yes he was accused of going "soft on crime" and undermining the independence of judges. He just dismissed them with a response as kind of a response that would come from people rooted in an age which had not understood the difference between justice and revenge.
Still it was a hard fight. And old pressures and forms would not be put done so easily.
It was a depressing going, and later he admitted, "...there's no post I have occupied in government that I was so glad to leave."
The basics behind prison reform were many, but put in simple terms was in Winston's words, "When  proper food to maintain health and strength has been given, when the doctors, chaplains and prison visitors have come and gone, the convict stands deprived over everything that a free man calls life."

Today it may be claimed, with some truth, that it is now the other way around - the world has trouble keeping a balance and the right justice to fit the crime.


"The claim of the House of Lords is not that the electors, like the sons of the distinguished men, may have legislative functions entrusted to them; it is that, whether they like it or not, the sons of the grandsons and the great-grandsons, and so on till the end of time, of distinguished men shall have legislative functions entrusted to them. The claim resolves itself into this, that we should maintain in our country a superior class, with law-giving functions inherit in their blood, transmissible by them to the remotest posterity and that these functions should be exercised irrespective of the character, the intelligence or the experience of the tenant for the time being and utterly independent of the public need and the public will."


One depressing event for Churchill was the violent confrontation in the Rhondda Valley in Wales, in a town called Tonypandy. It was a bitter dispute between mine-owners and mine-workers, over pay, in November 1910.
The dispute needed the police, but they could not bring the rioting under control, hence the Chief Constable of Glamorgan appealed to the army to send in 400 infantry and cavalry troops. Winston put a stop to the army moving in, and said, "It must be the object of public policy to avoid collisions between troops and people engaged in industrial disputes."
But the mild way Churchill wanted to solve the problem, even sending in an arbitrator did not work. On the 21st of November the violence escalated.  Churchill was eventually forced to send in the troops, to remain for several weeks. The strikers were forced back to work on the mine-owners' terms almost a year later, in October 1911.


The event at Tonypandy inflamed Labor and trades union resentments towards Churchill. His initiatives aimed at improving the life of the poor and underprivileged were soon forgotten. Churchill became popularly dubbed the "oppressor of the working classes."
More troubles for Winston erupted in Llanelli, Wales; when in August 1911, striking railwaymen attacked a train, manhandled the engine driver, looted the trucks and mobbed the police. Winston sent in the troops. In the following mele, shots were fired and two civilians died.
For many years afterwards all this was attached to Churchill, and he was demonized with cries "Remember Tonypandy."
He was glad that his tenure as Home Secretary was brief. On October 24th 1911, it was announced in Parliament that he had been appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Winston's long held belief that Britain was best protected from outside attack was a strong Royal Navy was about to be put into practice.

To be continued


CHURCHILL'S  ESCAPE  FROM  CAPTIVITY  was good news to the reverses Britain suffered in the first months of the war in South Africa. His arrival in Durban was greeted with great excitement. The people carried him shoulder high to the Town Hall, where he gave a speech, describing it all. Later Winston said he enjoyed and was thrilled with it all.
He was not yet done with that war. In January 1900 he accepted a post as lieutenant in the South African LIght Horse. He set off to Ladysmith which was still under siege.

A War Office order had banned serving officers from also being war correspondents. Churchill agree to serve without pay to preserve his status as correspondent for the Morning Post. Money was now no object in his life. Journalism earned him 12 times the pay for an officer of his rank. His novel Savrola was finished, and due to be published in 1900. His book on the South African War, London to Ladysmith via Pretoria, would come out the same year.

Churchill continued to serve until it was clear the British were gaining the upper hand. He was present when the siege of Ladysmith was lifted at the end of February 1900.  Three months later he participated in the British invasion of the Transvall which put and end to the series of Boer victories.


"I received the warmest of welcome on returning home. Oldham almost without distinction of party accorded me a triumph. I entered the town in state in a procession of ten landaus and drove through the streets crowded with enthusiastic operatives and mill girls. I described my escape (from prison) to a tremendous meeting in the Theater Royal. When I mentioned the name of Mr. Dewsnap, the Oldham engineer who had wound me down the mine, the audience shouted, 'His wife's in the gallery." There was general Jubilation."


Winston's life in politics was about to begin. The Conservative constituents of Oldham, where he had fail to win the by-election seat the year before, invited him to stand again. In October Churchill won one of the two seats; on February 14th 1901 he took his place in the House of Commons.

On the 18th of February he made his maiden speech in Parliament. The Daily Express said it was "spell binding."  Throughout his career the news that Winston Churchill was on his feet and about to speak rapidly filled the benches in the Commons, no matter what the subject.

What was some of the basic things Winston stood for?  The Boers should be treated generously, and was thankful that the terms of the peace treaty were lenient, including 3 million pounds of pompensation for farms destroyed in the fighting. All his life Churchill would appreciate guerrilla fighters who like the boers, fearlessly pitted themselves against the ruling powers. But his Boers stance was not popular with the electorate. In many ways Winston was a Liberal in Conservative clothing. He promoted social duties that he felt the Conservatives should perform. He passionately held to a policy that would give the working class a reasonable standard of living, the good health and welfare of the working class, unemployment benefits and pensions.


Outside of Parliament a good lecturer could obtain about 265 pounds for one lecture. Churchill was a natural for a touring lecturer; still basking in the sunlight of the fame of south Africa, and able to deliver a thrilling account. He could hold an audience for 90 minutes or more.
It was hard work but in just two months he had delivered 30 lectures from Dundee in Scotland to Belfast and Dublin in Ireland. Then off he went to tour in the USA and Canada, some lectures in those two countries earned him $1,000 a time. He continued to harangue his fellow MPs in Parliament. At this early age it was obvious to all he was going to be a controversial figure. He was even willing to attack his own side if he disagreed with any of their policies. One that he condemned was a 15 percent increase in army expenditure proposed by John Brodrick, the Secretary of State of War. for an ex-army man they thought this was not only surprising but shocking. His reason against such a move was that if any danger was to threaten the island nation of Britain it would come from the sea, not from the land. Winston said 15 percent would be better put towards the navy not the army.


The Government was dismayed that one of their own should turn against them, especially when the Liberal opposition was so delighted. Winston became part of a group of young renegade Conservatives who, like himself, were dissatisfied with many aspects of Government policy. They were nick-named "Hooligans" or "Hughligans" after one of their members Lord Hugh Cecil. Churchill was increasingly out of step with the Conservative Party, and was moving more towards the Liberal Party. Their aims like his gave priority to social policies: healthcare, better housing and education, and secure employment for the working class.

By 1902, Winston was waging constant war, both inside and outside Parliament. He lashed at the conservatives for neglecting the poor. He advocated free trade with no tariffs, otherwise anything different had the effect of raising the price of food, and so hit the poor families the hardest. His attacks on Conservative policies and his open support for a Liberal candidate in a coming by-election smacked at betrayal. Hence Churchill was shunned by the Conservative Party inside and outside of Parliament. In his Oldham constituency, the conservative Association told him he would not be selected as their candidate in the next general election.


By 1904 the Liberals offered Churchill to stand as a candidate in north-west Manchester in the next election. On March 29th, when Winston rose to speak to the Commons during a debate on the economy, the Conservative Prime Minster, Arthur Balfour, and his ministers and backbenchers walked out. Two days later, on May 1st, 1904 Churchill crossed the floor and joint the Liberals. He sat next to David Lloyd George, the charasmatic Liberal MP for Caernarvon, Wales.
Churchill had as they say in Parliament language "crossed the floor." He became a Liberal, but more than that, he became a member of the party's Radical wing, led by Lloyd George.


It was obvious to all Liberals that Winston was ministerial material; he was offered a junior post as Financial Secretary to the Treasury, to the new government of Henry Campbell-Bannerman, elected in January 1906. Churchill turned it down. A very clever move. Winston requested the post of Under Secretary of the Colonial Office. As junior in the lower house, he would have more independence abd, with that, a larger share of the parliamentary limelight.

His first move was to push for a generous approach to the Boer republic in South Africa. Churchill was determined that the Boer and British inhabitants should be treated equally, he said, "Do not let us do anything which makes us the champions of one race and consequently, deprives us for ever of the confidence of the other." And so both republics were granted self-government later in 1906.  Boer governments were elected soon afterwards. He told the Commons, "The cause of the poor and the weak all over the world will have been sustained, and everywhere small people will get more room to breathe; and everywhere great empires will be encouraged by our example, to step forward into the sunshine of a more gentle and more generous age."


CHURCHILL'S  IDEALISM  WAS  AT  THE  CORE  OF  HIS  LIBERAL THINKING. "Our duty is to insist that the principles of justice and the safeguards of judicial procedure are rigidly, punctiliously and pedantically followed." No case was too minor for Winston to consider, particularly if it concerned abuse of justice. When the Governor of Ceylon (now Sir Lanka) found it too "inconvenient" to bother about an appeal for reinstatement lodged by a former head guard on the railways, Churchill said: "The Liberal Party cares very much for the rights of individuals to just and lawful treatment, and very little for the petty pride of a Colonial governor."
On being overlooked once on an issue, Winston said, "In overruling me, you do not assign any reasons, nor attempt to do justice to the very grave arguments I have so earnestly submitted to you."
Churchill's zeal to confront head-on the injustices of the world irritated some of his colleagues. "He is most tiresome to deal with, and I fear will give trouble - as his father did - in any position to which he may be called" commented Sir Francis Hopwood, a senior civil servant at the Colonial Office. "The restless energy, the uncontrollable desire for notoriety ... make him an anxiety indeed."


Churchill was already thinking of the future and of the policies that lay beyond his Colonial Office remit. He had for some time been concerned about the poverty, squalor and insecurity of the working classes. In Britain's hierarchical society, sharply divided by class, there was little it seemed to be any different or change the natural order of things. But Winston believed thew State should intervene to improve the standards for workers and their families. So he devised a raft of new policies which he called the Minimum Standard. Two basic goals were to end the exploitation of child labor, and to set up a labor exchange, where employers and people looking for work could contact each other. Further, working hours would be reduced so people could have reasonable leisure time. And also State benefits would be paid to lesson the disastrous effect of unemployment on families. The policy also suggested a pension system to protect people who were no longer able to work.
All these were radical ideas in the early 20th century, and Winston knew they would face tough opposition.
The ailing Prime Minister Campbell-Bannerman was replaced by Asquith in April 1908. And Asquith was impressed with Winston's Minimum Standard ideas. Churchill was promoted to President of the Board of Trade. This post gave Winston the change to promote his ideas and also to gain valuable experience in industrial relations. Churchill took his place in Cabinet for the first time on April 9th.


Churchill was now 33 and his pressures in life were very high; he needed a supportive wife. A promising candidate was the beautiful and intelligent Clementine Ogilvy Hozier. They first met at a social ball in 1904, but it was an awkward meeting. Winston was dumbstruck by Clementine's striking looks and large expressive eyes. Later he was to say about her eyes that they were, "strange and mysterious."
Clementine recalls, "Winston just stared. He never uttered a word and was very gauche - he never asked me for a dance, he never asked me to have supper with him ... he just stood and stared."
Fours years later, they met again, and by now Winston was a somewhat important figure, and was more confident. He realized he had to marry a woman who could tolerate his hectic life style, mix easily with influential friends and colleagues, and live with his appetite for action and excitement. Over the year of 1908 he became convinced Clementine was the right lady that had the qualities he needed in a wife.


To be continued

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BOTTOM of the CLASS #3....Churchill goes to war!

The Military Academy at Sandhurst was where Winston C. felt he could have a new start. His schooldays had been dreary and disappointing.  His father still thought him a failure. He wrote: "I am surprised at your tone of exultation ....with all the advantages you had, with all the abilities which you foolishly think yourself to possess...this is the grand result, that you come up among the second rate and third rate who are only good for commission in a cavalry regiment....I am certain, that if you cannot prevent yourself from leading the idle, useless, unprofitable life you have led during your will become a mere social wastrel, one of hundreds of the public school failures, and you will degenerate into a shabby, unhappy and futile existence."

You can imagine Churchill was deeply depressed by this letter. Lord Randolph was becoming very "out-of-order" in his behavior; he was already in the stage of dying. his disease was destroying the nervous system and damaging his brain.

Colnel John Brabazon, commander of the cavalry regiment, the 4th Queen's Own Hussars, had his eye on winston, and so Churchill was unable to resist the invitation to become a Hussar officer, no matter what his father thought.

The training drill was strenuous and Winston almost collapsed after a half-kilometre (550 yards) run carrying full kit and rifle.

Winston's first romance did not prosper and the girl he was dating finally married another man.

by June 1894, Jennie took her ailing husband on a world tour. But by November, he was suffering delusions and could not speak. The tour was cut short to return home. Lord Randolph died early 24th January 1895.

Shortly before his father's death Churchill passed his exam, coming 20th in a class of 130. On February 20th he was gazetted second lieutenant in the 4th Hussars, a prominent light cavalry stationed at Aldershot. It was a good leisure time....often 8 hours in the saddle, two hours tending the horses in the stable, and he played polo with great enthusiasm.


"HORSES WERE  THE  GREATEST  OF  MY  PLEASURES at Sandhurst. I and the group in which I moved spent all of our money on hiring horses form the very excellent local livery stable .... we organized point to points and even steeplechase in the park of a friendly grandee, and bucketed gaily about the country-side .... No one ever came to grief .... by riding horses. No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle. Young men have often been ruined through owning horses, or through backing horses, but never through driving them; unless of course they break their necks which, taken at a gallop, is a very good death to die."


Winston craved action and the thrill of being at the center of important events as they unfold. In 1895 the stage he wanted was way off in Cuba. The Spanish who had ruled for 500 years were now in s struggle to contain rebels who were willing to fight for independence.
Churchill was in financial straights.  The answer was journalism. He persuaded a British newspaper the Daily Graphic to pay for eyewitness reports from the front in Cuba. He also agreed to provide intelligence and statistics to the army, and report on a new bullet being used in the war for the first time. He set sail on the Cunard Royal Mail steamship Etruria at the end of October 1895. He arrived at Cuba three weeks later. Churchill's first 5 reports from Cuba were published in Britain as Letters from the Front by W S C. He witnessed the hardship and sacrifice the natives were willing to pay for their freedom.  He came to see the Cuban's cause was justifiable, because of the corruption in the Spanish government and punitive taxes demanded of the poverty-stricken Cubans. Winston was a very independent thinker and this would down the road cause much vexation with with political allies and often furore in Parliament.

While in cuba Churchill  got to like very much Cuban cigars, something that lasted all his life.

He returned home, but was accused by a man seeking revenge on some matter Churchill had with his son, accused of "acts of gross immorality."  There was no foundation to the accusations and the judge found it all spurious. The charges were withdrawn and the accuser made to pay 400 pounds damages.

Churchill longed to find another battle-field. The 4th Hussars were to go to India. He was not really interested in India, but frustrated and disappointed he sailed for India September 11th 1896. He was stationed in Bangalore in the hills west of Madras.  It was relaxing but boring, an idle life which he regarded as a waste of time.  He actually thought it was a land of godless snob s and bores. He thought Calcutta was "full of supremely uninteresting people."

Winston's mind moved towards politics, and viewed everything as training towards that mark.  But some of his views created pious horror among his fellow officers.

Eventually Winston returned to Britain, and gave his first political speech at a meeting of the Primrose League near Bath on June 26th.  He agreed that the recent Government moves to pay compensation to workmen injured in dangerous trades, was a good and right thing. And expressed the hope that one day the laborer would become a shareholder in the business in which he worked. This was radical talk and it shocked his audience.

Winston went back to Bangalore three weeks later, and started to write his first novel.  Then Sir Bindon Blood, commander of a Field Force (whom Churchill had met on his recent trip to Britain), and who had promised Winston to be included in any frontier campaign, was to come to pass in August 1897. His chance for action had finally arrived.


"I am all for youth being made willingly to endure austerities; and for the rest, it was a gay and lodly life .... The young officers were often permitted to ride out with their troops at exercise or on route marches .... There is a thrill and charm of its own in the glittering jungle of a cavalry squadron manoeuvring at the trot; and this deepens into joyous excitement when the same evolutions are enjoyed at a gallop. The stir of the horses, the clank of their equipment, the thrill of motion, the tossing plumes, the sense of incorporation in a living machine, the suave dignity of the uniform  -  all combine to make cavalry drill a fine thing in itself."


Elated, Churchill left for the frontier, more than 2175 miles away, on 29th August.  He was also to be to a journalist again. but political ambition was also formost in his mind. He wrote to his mother:
"I feel that the fact of having seen service with British troops while still a young man man must give me more weight politically .... and may perhaps improve my prospects of gaining popularity with the country."
Churchill was to face the the ferocious warriors, were known to cut to pieces and wounded left on the battlefield. When churchill arrived in 1986 to take part in the Malakand Campaign, some 50,000 of these British and Indian troops faced the tribesmen from across thew border.
The danger did not inhibit Winston one bit; ordered by General Blood to join the second brigade, Winston put himself in the thick of the fighting. He put himself within range of rifle fire, and when the British troops withdrew he was the last to leave. He fired at almost point blank range to kill an Afridi who was about to cut up a wounded British officer and afterwards rescued a wound Sikh from the same fate.
He remained in action for the next month. He spent hours under fire and was often involved in bloody close-hand fighting. When it was over he emerged unscathed, though shocked by the barbarities from both sides. The Afridi, he wrote, "kill and mutilate everyone they catch and we do not hesitate to finish off their wounded."
Back in Bangalore in the third week of October, he wrote, that the time on the northwest frontier had been, "the most glorious and delightful that my life has yet contained.  He received a campaign medal and, for his prowess, a mention in dispatches. He wrote to his mother that he was more ambitious for a reputation for personal courage than anything else in the world, and concluded "was quite the foundation for political life."



Churchill's first published book, The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War, APPEARED IN LONDON IN MARCH 1998. It marked him out as a promising young writer, and helped his financial problems. By 1898 Winston had to warm his mother that her spending of clothes, entertainment and travel had cost one quarter of "our entire fortune in the world." His book earned around 400  pounds and his newspaper reports, represented some 20,000 pounds or more in today's money. But all this did not endear him to his fellow officers who considered it opportunism, and self-interests, medal-hunting and moneymaking, was considered vulgar.  He was also so self-boasting about escaping death at Malakand, he wrote to his mother, "I am so conceited, I do not believe the gods would create so potent a being as myself for so prosaic an ending."


CHURCHILL was still thirsting for action. The Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury was so impressed with his book, he arranged for him to be transfered to the 21st Lancer, who were to leave for Sudan.  The situation was a long held grievances. The battleground was the fortress of Omdurman, which lay on the Nile north of Khartoum. The Anglo-Egyptian army of 26,000 men faced a force of 40,000 Dervishes. But it counted for nothing to have more men in the face of mechanized weaponry. The Dervishes were felled in a blaze of machine gun fire and small arms. Churchill wrote: "After an enormous carnage, exceeding 20,000 men who strewed the ground in heaps and swathes like snowdrifts, the whole mass of the Dervishes  dissolved into fragments and into particles and streamed away into the fantastic mirages of the desert."

The account of one charging battle shows the Winston was not only as brave as anyone could be, but also it seemed had some guardian angel on his side. He recalls the event of being in command of about 25 men, "I was riding a handy sure-footed grey Arab polo pony. I saw immediately before me, and now onl;t half a length of a polo ground away, the row of crouching blue figures [Dervishes] firing frantically, wreathed in white smoke .... We were going at a fast but steady gallop .... I looked again towards the enemy. The scene seemed to be suddenly transformed. The blue-black men were still firing, but behind them now there came into view a depression like a shallow, sunken road. This was crowed and crammed with men rising up from the ground where they had hidden .... The Dervishes appeared to be ten or twelve deep, at the thickest, a great grey mass gleaming with steel." Churchill's men increased to the fasted gallop. "The collision was now very near. I saw immediately before me ... the blue men who lay in my path. They were perhaps a couple of yards apart. I rode at the interval between them. They both fired. I passed through the smoke, conscious that I was unhurt ... The trooper behind me was killed."
A few moments later, another Dervish, this time armed with a spear, suddenly jumped up and made for Churchill. weapon raised to strike. Churchill shot him dead when he was less than three yards away. The first change over, Churchill expected an order to charge again. But there was no need. The Dervishes were retreating and the battle was over. It cost the Anglo-Egyptians 500 casualties and 25,000 Dervishes were killed or injured.
Churchill goes no to give some gruesome details of the carnage to man and horses, which I will not repeat here being so terrible.

In Churchill's book The River War, he tells us atrocities were also committed on the British side - including the killing of thousands of wounded Dervishes, and the desecration of the tombs and corpse of the Mahdi, the former holy leader of the Dervishes. In military circles, Churchill was heavily criticised for these embarrassing revelations and particularly for charging General Kitchener with responsibility. Yet in spite, or because of thew revelations, the book was a considerable success.

By the time The River War was published, Winston had retired and resigned from the army. I March 1899 he departed, never to see India again.


Winston felt well placed for his next step in life. He had proved himself on the battlefield, and had notoriety as a writer. He was now ready he thought to enter politics.
But he lost in a by-election at Oldham in July 1899.

But he was not at a loose end for long. Another colonial war was coming, in South Africa. A long time dispute between Britain and the Boer Republic of the Transvaal had come to a head in the fall of 1899. Rumors were going around that British workers in a goldfield were being ill-treated, but the real cause of the war was the possession of the rich region.
On 18th September the Daily Mail asked Churchill to go to South Africa as their correspondent. Winston accepted. He doubled by offering to report also for the Morning Post, with a fee of 1,000 pounds and all expenses paid.
When Churchill arrived at Cape Town on 31st of October, he did not know he was about to enter the greatest adventure of his life. the war was between the British Army and a force of nimble, skillful guerrillas. This was a new type of warfare thew British were not familiar with, and the guerrillas scored a series of victories.


"AH, horrible war, amazing medley of the glorious and the squalid, the pitiful and the sublime ....  Much as war attracts me and fascinates my mind with its tremendopus situations, I feel more deeply every year and can measure the feeling here in the midst of arms, what vile and wicked folly and barbarism it is."


In 1899 on November 15th Winston boarded an armored train with 150 other men. The train ran into an ambush and the Boers opened fire. About 500 armed Boers were ranged along the embankment, Churchill and his fellow men were forced to surrender.

The prisoners of war were taken to camp in the Model School of Pretoria. Winston at once began to plan his escape. His first attempt failed, but the following night he was successful. He climbed a wall next to a latrine and dropped down in darkness into a garden on the other side.
Safety was about 275 miles away, at the port of Lourenco Marques in Portuguese East Africa.
Churchill headed to the railway line which he knew ran to the port from Pretoria. He did not have to wait long for train to come, he jumped into a wagon full of empty coal sacks.  He left the train when daylight came and hid. He was now a marked man. His photo and description was being circulated: "An Englishman, 25 years old ... average build, walks with a slight stoop, pale appearance, red brown hair, almost invisible small moustache, speaks through the nose ... cannot speak Dutch, last seen in a brown suit of clothes." They even mentioned Churchill's inability to pronounce the letter "s".


Winston was now very hungry. He took a chance on seeing a coal mine. He knocked on the door of a house. The man answering pointed a pistol at him thinking he might be a Boer spy. Winston's risk paid off. The man was the owner of the coal mine. For 3 days churchill hid in the coal mine with the rats. On December 19th, after a week on the run, Churchill was smuggled onto a railway wagon. He hid under bales of wool. He was heading for Portuguese East Africa.
The Boers search the wagon while it lay in a siding, but they missed finding him. The train on the move once more, he waited till he saw the first station with a Portuguese name. seeing it he dumped out of the wool bales, black as coal from head to foot, shouting with all his might, and for good measure firing his revolver two or three times.

Winston lost no time in letting the press know he was free. On December 21st he sent a long telegram from Lourenco Marques to the Morning Post entitled "How I Escaped from Pretoria."

Within a few days his exploit made him famous in Britain and throughout the Empire. He arrived at Durbam, South Africa two days before Christmas of 1899, to cheering and enthusiastic crowds cramming the quayside.

At last Winston Spencer Churchill  was the celebrity ha had longed to be.

To be continued

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

MOVIES ... very good ones




DO  YOU  LIKE  THE  CIRCUS?  IF  YOU  DO  THEN  "CIRQUE  du  SOLEIL - Worlds  Away"  is  as  it  says  on  the  front  cover  of  the  DVD  "A GORGEOUS  MOVIE"  -  FROM  JAMES  CAMERON  AND  ANDREW  ADAMSON,  THE  VISIONARY  FILMMAKERS  BEHIND  "AVATR"  AND  "SHREK."













Desperate Times for Vaccine Risk Denialism

May 28, 2013 | 118,958 views | FROM MERCOLA.COM
These are desperate times for those denying vaccine risks. We know it because we are witnessing so many acts of desperation being committed by doctors determined to shut down the public conversation about vaccination and health.
Vaccine risk deniers are working overtime to restrict public access to information, cover up vaccine injuries and deaths and violate the human right to informed consent to medical risk-taking.

No Flu Shots? No Employment

2013 was only a few days old when public health agencies and medical trade groups called for veteran nurses and other health care workers to be fired for refusing to obey orders to get annual flu shots – no exceptions and no questions asked.1
It did not matter that the risky and notoriously ineffective influenza vaccine turned out to be almost useless in preventing infection with the most prevalent influenza strains circulating in the US this year.2

Proposed State Legislation to Force Vaccine Use

This was followed by the introduction of legislation backed by public health officials and Pharma-funded medical trade groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics in states like Texas, Oregon, Arizona and Vermont.3
Their goal is to remove or restrict non-medical vaccine exemptions in state laws so doctors have more power to force vaccine use by children and adults - no questions asked and no exceptions.

Institute of Medicine Report: Where Is the Good Vaccine Science?

In mid-January came the eye-opening Institute of Medicine committee report acknowledging that only 37 scientific studies have examined the safety of the current US vaccine schedule for newborns and children under age six,4 which now totals a stunning 49 doses of 14 vaccines5 compared to 23 doses of 7 vaccines recommended in 1983.6
The lack of enough good scientific studies meant the committee could not determine whether the number of doses and timing of government recommended vaccinations is - or is not - associated with development of chronic health problems like seizures, autoimmunity, allergies, learning disabilities and autism in the first six years of life.7

New U.S. Autism Prevalence Statistic: 1 Child in 50

In March, a report was issued by the National Center for Health Statistics estimating that among children attending school in America, today 1 child in 50 has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).8 In 2004, that number was 1 child in 150. In 1992, it was 1 child in 500 and in 1986 it was 1 child in 2000.9
By April, which is Autism Awareness Month in the US, there was a full court press by doctors inside and outside of government to dismiss any association whatsoever between steep increases in the numbers of vaccinations given to children during the past 30 years and corresponding steep increases in the numbers of children developing autism.
Those doctors know, but a lot of young parents today don’t know, that the public conversation about vaccine-induced brain inflammation and chronic brain and immune system dysfunction, including autism, began 16 years before a study was published in The Lancet in 1998 examining the potential association between the MMR vaccine and autism.1011

CDC Study Fails to Confirm Offit’s Claim 10,000 Vaccines Safe for Babies

On Good Friday, April 1, during Easter and Passover observances, a study conducted and funded by the Centers for Disease Control was released by the Journal of Pediatrics declaring that “increasing exposure to antibody stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with risk of autism” and, therefore, vaccines don’t cause autism.12
It was a pathetic attempt to validate a Machiavellian hypothesis forwarded in 2002 by pediatric vaccine developer Paul Offit claiming that an infant could safely respond to 10,000 vaccines given at any one time.13
However, an eighth grade science class student with an elementary understanding of health research methods,14 the bioactivity of various vaccine ingredients15161718 and the difference between naturally acquired and vaccine acquired immunity,19 could figure out that the absence of an unvaccinated control group meant the study was fatally flawed. It proved absolutely nothing about the potential relationship between administration of multiple vaccinations in early childhood and the development of autism among genetically diverse children with and without increased biological susceptibility to adverse responses to vaccination.20

Pediatricians Label Social Networking Parents 'Nonconformers'

On April 15, Pediatric News published an online survey stating the obvious: a person’s knowledge, values and beliefs, as well as the opinions of friends and families in social networks, strongly influences decisions about vaccination.21 Parents, who expressed doubts about vaccine safety and used alternative vaccine schedules for their children, were pejoratively labeled as "nonconformers."
Pediatricians commenting on the survey suggested that nonconforming parents did not base their vaccine decisions on “rational logic” and “scientific evidence” because they were influenced by nonconforming friends and misleading information on nonconforming websites.22 Apparently, there was no consideration given to the fact that nonconforming parents found the poor science and empty rhetoric buttressing one-size-fits-all vaccine policies entirely unconvincing.23

Journalist and Magazine Attacked for Article Questioning Gardasil Safety

April was also the month that a veteran journalist and radio show host was personally attacked by pediatricians and public health officials in Buffalo, New York for daring to write an article questioning the safety of the Gardasil vaccine and urging parents to make informed vaccine choices.24 Outraged doctors threatened to financially ruin the magazine that published the article by destroying the magazine’s paid advertising base unless the article was retracted.25

Offit Plays Class and Race Card to Demonize Smart Nonconforming Parents

By the end of April, a CNN reporter quoted doctors blaming outbreaks of whooping cough, measles and mumps on unvaccinated people in developed nations, who spread their vaccine safety doubts on the Internet and jeopardize the health of people around the world.26 Crassly playing both the class AND race card, the magical thinking, attention seeking Dr. Offit offered the opinion that “It is the upper middle class, well-educated Caucasian parents who are shunning vaccines. They have generally gone to graduate school, are in positions of management and are used to being in control,” he said flatly.
Doctors playing the blame game apparently disagree about whether nonconforming parents asking questions about vaccines are simply stupid and irrational or are just over-educated, rich white folks refusing to acknowledge the intellectual superiority and infallibility of those with M.D., PhD or MPH written after their names regardless of the color of their skin or how much money they make.
Doctors like Offit,27 Halsey,282930 Plotkin,3132 Omer33343536 and others denying vaccine risks are blaming everyone but themselves for the miserable statistic that 1 child in 50 in America develops a type of brain and immune dysfunction labeled autism when it used to be 1 child in 2000 before they dumped three times as many vaccinations on babies.

Regression into Poor Health After Vaccination: A Universal Experience

What doctors drowning in denialism37 refuse to accept is that, today, everybody knows somebody who was healthy, got vaccinated and was never healthy again.38 That pattern of regression into poor health,39 that universal experience of suffering after use of a pharmaceutical product that has a long, well documented history of risks404142 and failures,4344 is why the public conversation about health and vaccination in the 21st century must and will continue. It will continue until doctors, who are pushing more and more vaccines on children and adults already more highly vaccinated and sicker than ever, come up with a much better explanation than it’s “bad genes,” “better diagnosing” or all “a coincidence.”

Vaccine Makers and Doctors Shielded from Liability Have Ethical Duty

In the US, vaccine manufacturers are shielded from product liability in civil court and doctors promoting and administering vaccines are also shielded from vaccine injury lawsuits.4546 Doctors without legal accountability have an even greater ethical duty to encourage patients and parents of minor children to become educated about all risks and honor the vaccination decisions patients or parents make, even if the doctor does not personally agree with the decision made.4748
Freedom of thought, speech and conscience are deeply valued and constitutionally protected rights in America.49 The public trust in the integrity of public health policies is destroyed when defensive doctors unwilling to share decision-making power fail to respect the human right to informed consent to medical risk taking and behave like schoolyard bullies instead of compassionate healers committed to, first, doing no harm.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Angelina Jolie's Mastectomy....the rest of the Story

Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer and Radical Mastectomy—Are Women Being Misled into a False Sense of Security?

May 27, 2013 | 

By Dr. Mercola
Some days I wonder if this is all a bad dream. How on earth have we come to this craziness? The latest and greatest “preventative” strategy for women genetically predisposed to breast cancer is amputation, which puts the wheels in motion for this type of “preventive surgery” to be covered by health insurance.
I’m referring, of course, to Angelina Jolie’s recent and very public decision to undergo a double mastectomy as a prophylactic measure.  While she admits this is a very personal decision, the impacts to the public could be quite significant based on her celebrity influence.
Her mother died from ovarian cancer at the age of 56, and Jolie carries a hereditary gene mutation associated with both breast- and ovarian cancer. According to Jolie, who revealed her decision in an op-ed in the New York Times:1
“My doctors estimated that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the risk is different in the case of each woman.
Only a fraction of breast cancers result from an inherited gene mutation. Those with a defect in BRCA1 have a 65 percent risk of getting it, on average.
Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could. ... I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy. But it is one I am very happy that I made.
My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”
It is nearly incomprehensible to me how any researcher can give such precise predictions of future cancer risk based on genetics. The only explanation is near complete ignorance of the science of epigenetics and the power we all have to change the expression of our genes.

Why Does US Recommendations Place Women with Gene Defects at Even Greater Risk?

The genetic test to check for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes (the BRCA stands for ‘breast cancer susceptibility genes’) costs about $4,000 in the US, when not covered by insurance.2
Ironically, if you discover that you carry the mutated BRCA gene, the standard recommendation in the US is to get a mammogram and an MRI scan at least once a year thereafter, even if you’re under the age of 40. This is unconscionable, in my opinion. If anything, should you have genetic susceptibility for breast cancer, it would be wise to avoid ionizing radiation as much as possible, not the other way around!
Several European countries including Britain, the Netherlands and Spain, have already altered their screening recommendations for women with BRCA mutations, advising them to get MRIs (which do not emit ionizing radiation) instead of mammograms before the age of 30.
Research has demonstrated that women with these genetic mutations are more sensitive to radiation, and because the genes in question are involved in repairing DNA, radiation damage to these genes will subsequently raise your cancer risk. For example, a study3 published just last year in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), found that women with faulty BRCA genes are more likely to develop breast cancer if they’re exposed to chest X-rays before the age of 30. According to Cancer Research UK:4
“[W]omen with a history of chest radiation in their 20s had a 43 percent increased relative risk of breast cancer compared to women who had no chest radiation at that age. Any exposure before age 20 seemed to raise the risk by 62 percent.”
In response to these findings, Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society was quoted as saying:5
"This will raise questions and caution flags about how we treat women with (gene) mutations."
And Anouk Pijpe of the Netherlands Cancer Institute, one of the authors in the above-mentioned study, told CBS News:6
"We believe countries who use mammograms in women under 30 should reconsider their guidelines. It may be possible to reduce the risk of breast cancer in (high-risk) women by using MRIs, so we believe physicians and patients should consider that."

Genetic Defects Are Not a Major Contributor to Breast Cancer

A key point for women to remember is that while women with BRCA defects have a 45-65 percent increased risk of breast cancer, only about TWO PERCENT of diagnosed breast cancers are caused by BRCA faults. So this genetic defect is nowhere close to being a primary cause of breast cancer. Clearly, other non-genetic factors play a far more significant role.
As pointed out by H. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and a co-author of "Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health,” Angelina Jolies personal story is completely irrelevant to 99 percent of all women because they simply do not have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. In a recent CNN article, he writes:7
Let's be clear, the BRCA1 mutation is a bad thing... It is a powerful risk factor for these cancers...When people are at very high risk for something bad to happen, preventive interventions are more likely to be a good deal... When people are at average risk, the deal changes... It is a fundamental precept of medicine... Patients with severe abnormalities stand to gain more from intervention than patients with mild ones. Patients with mild abnormalities are more likely to experience net harm from intervention, simply because they have less opportunity to benefit.
The vast majority of women don't have the BRCA1 mutation. They are at average risk for breast cancer... They should not have a preventive mastectomy.
...But there is a second question for women raised by Ms. Jolie's piece: Should I be tested for BRCA1?
She seems to believe the answer is yes, pointing to the half-million women who die from breast cancer worldwide each year. But she neglects to point out that 90 percent of these deaths have nothing to do with the BRCA1 mutation. That's because most women don't have the mutation and because most breast cancer is sporadic.”
Furthermore, it’s also important to understand that even if you do carry a defective gene, that in and of itself does not mean that the gene in question is destined to be expressed. In other words, having the BRCA defect is by no means an automatic death sentence. As you will see below, there are many things you can do to dramatically decrease your cancer risk through the lifestyle choices you make, which have a profound impact on your genetic expression.

What Do Gene Patents Have to Do with It?

Since the mid-1940’s, genomics and the patenting of genes has grown exponentially. At present, nearly 20 percent of the entire human genome, or some 4,000 genes, are covered by at least one US patent. These include genes linked with Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancer and asthma. Myriad Genetics8 owns the exclusive patent for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. As explained by The New Yorker:9
"Anyone conducting an experiment on them without a license can be sued for infringement of patent rights. This means that Myriad can decide what research is carried out on those genes, who can do that research, and how much any resulting therapy or diagnostic test will cost."
Needless to say, this has profound implications for medicine. As stated by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU):10
“Through its patents, Myriad has the right to stop anyone from using these genes for clinical or research purposes. It has therefore locked up a building block of human life.”
In her op-ed Jolie states that is “has got to be a priority to ensure that more women can access gene testing and lifesaving preventive treatment,” pointing out that the cost of genetic testing is an obstacle for many. The root of that problem lies with our current patent laws, which allow for the patenting of human genes and other life forms. According to the ACLU, which is the plaintiff in another gene patent lawsuit heard by the Supreme Court in April,11 Myriad recently raised the price of their genetic test from $3,000 to over $4,000, even though gene testing technologies have advanced to the point where you can sequence ALL of your genes, about 23,000 or so, for as little as $1,000.
The Supreme Court will decide in a matter of weeks whether human gene patents will continue to be allowed or not, and if they are, you can expect prices for gene-related medicine to continue to skyrocket and become increasingly monopolized.
It’s Starting to Look Like a Coordinated Yet Cleverly Designed PR Campaign...
When looking at a number of different yet related events, this whole thing is starting to look like a well-coordinated PR push where a number of companies and industries stand to gain. The only real loser in this game appears to be women in general... First, as we predicted would happen months ago, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Monsanto in the Monsanto vs. Bowman case12 on May 13, thereby affirming that a patent holder can control the use of its patent through multiple generations of seed. Alas, the implications of this ruling go far beyond agriculture. It will also have implications for other businesses such as vaccines, cell lines, and human genes.
What this ruling does is grant ownership of genetic material in perpetuity. A silly but simple analogy would be that if you own the patent to a dog trait, and your dog with that trait impregnates all the neighbors’ dogs, all the pups would be yours, as would the pups of those pups, and so on. As we predicted, the Supreme Court only took this case to protect the biotech industry by setting precedent. There is very little morality left in our fascist federal government, and that includes most of its agencies, including the IRS, FDA, and FTC. They’re all operating for political and industrial gains.
In Monsanto vs. Bowman, Justice Kagan justified the unanimous decision to allow living, self-replicating organisms and their offspring to be licensed property of the patent owner due to financial interests. “A patent would plummet in value after the first sale of the item containing the invention,” she said. And just seconds into Bowman’s attorney’s opening arguments, Chief Justice Roberts interrupted him by asking “why anyone would ever patent anything if Bowman were to prevail?”
That and more indicated that it was a closed case right from the start... Justice Breyer went so far as referencing the infamous law13 Buck vs Bell14 (that still stands in the US to this day, which legitimizes government forced sterilization and vaccination) when he said: “There are three generations of seeds. Maybe three generations of seeds is enough.” This was a spin on Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes's statement:
"It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Three generations of imbeciles are enough."
It’s a chilling thought when you consider the potential implications this case can have on the trend of patenting of human genes and other life forms. Over 20% of the human genome is already patented, and the old eugenics movement has a lot in common with the burgeoning anti-choice movement when it comes to vaccinations and other medical treatments, including cancer treatment for minors. Children have been taken from their parents for refusing to follow the conventional cut-poison-burn cancer treatment plan for their ailing children, even though statistics and research clearly shows that chemotherapy is typically what ends up killing the patient, even when the cancer itself is conquered!

GMO Opponents Are 'Elitist' and Insensitive to World’s Needs, Monsanto CEO Says

If the idea of a new eugenics movement is not enough, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant was recently quoted15 stating that opponents who want to block genetically modified foods are guilty of “elitism” and fail to consider the needs of the rest of the world. Thank goodness the CEO of a $58 billion multinational corporation, which last year paid him over $14 million, is ready to stand up to the selfish elitists opposing his plan to save the world...
But I digress... On May 14, one day after Big Biotech was granted patent rights to genetic material in perpetuity, Angelina Jolie’s op-ed comes out, and the very next day, biotech stocks took a jump.16 Then on the 16th, Arthur Caplan, director of the Division of Bioethics at New York University's Langone Medical Center, pens a CNN op-ed17 applauding Jolie’s “brave message.” Chillingly, he ends his article with:
“As the U.S. pushes forward into health reform, Jolie's story reminds us that we need to adjust our health care system from one that pays for treatment to one that also covers prevention.”
“Prevention” here meaning a $4000 test that if positive results in amputation of a non-diseased organ... According to reports,18Jolie is also planning to remove her ovaries to limit her risk of ovarian cancer—a decision that leads to ‘surgical menopause,’ which requires careful hormone replacement and monitoring.
Truly, we need to drive home the message that testing is NOT prevention. Testing is a diagnostic tool that has nothing to do with actually preventing disease. True prevention requires taking a close hard look at lifestyle choices, as well as making some radical changes to a wide range of industries that don’t want to change the way they do business. Toxic chemicals are oftentimes far cheaper to use than all-natural ones. And toxins drive cancer processes in your body...

The Angelina Effect—Don’t Be Swayed...

Deception by the agricultural, food, biotech, chemical, and personal care product industries are primary drivers of most of the chronic and deadly diseases plaguing our modern society They’re poisoning you from all angles, and then pretend to have the solutions... Parallel with this mockery of a “science-based” health care system, federal agencies have been cleverly manipulated by highly leveraged lobbying to force you to pay for most of this by tax subsides, and federal regulatory agencies limiting your choices.
Within days of her “coming out,” Jolie again graced the cover of TIME magazine with the words: “The Angelina Effect—Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy puts genetic testing in the spotlight. What her choice reveals about calculating risk, cost, and peace of mind.”
I have no special insights about what this woman has been thinking but I certainly don’t blame her. To me she is merely a victim of sophisticated and clever techniques that have successfully twisted common sense on its head. She has learned to trust and believe in the system that has created this insanity. The PR campaign that catalyzed her decision is clearly aimed at deceiving na├»ve and preoccupied people into an utterly flawed system motivated primarily by corporate greed not by any compassion or desire to decrease human suffering.
I don’t fault Jolie for any of it. She, like everyone else, made the best decision she could based on the information she was given or sought out. Few people have enough time to study and understand the complexity of system that has evolved for over a century..
In this case, the goal is not to empower you to make proactive decisions about your health. It’s about herding you into the fold of the most profitable industries in the world. Myriad Genetics alone rakes in approximately half a billion dollars in revenue each year.19 Genetic testing for breast cancer accounts for 85 percent of their total revenue, and again, they have complete and total control of this niche since they own the patent for the BRCA genes. Salon magazine recently wrote an article titled:How One Company Controls Your Breast Cancer Choices.20
“Myriad’s monopoly over BRCA1 and BRCA2 not only means showing that it can charge whatever it wants for the test; it also means that further research on the genes is restricted, and that women who take the test and get an ambiguous result can’t get a second opinion, only take the test again. An ambiguous result can mean the difference between removing breasts or ovaries or leaving them intact.
The economic and racial implications of all this are major, both for how the research has been done and who gets access to it. In a video on the case, the ACLU points out, 'Initial gene studies focused on white women. And now the patents make it more difficult to learn what some mutations mean in women of color, because Myriad has total control over researchers’ access to those mutations. ... Myriad’s patent on the genes expires in two years, but the Supreme Court’s ruling21 will set the broader principle going forward. For now, Jolie’s Op-Ed has apparently made Myriad’s stock price rise 4 percent, its best level in years.'”

Nearly Every Part of the Human Genome Is Now Owned by Corporations

Ironically, just as we’re entering the age of individualized medicine, doctors’ ability to actually employ such advancements for the benefit of their patients is being profoundly undermined and restricted. As recently stated by Christopher E. Mason22 of Weill Cornell Medical College: “You have to ask, how is it possible that my doctor cannot look at my DNA without being concerned about patent infringement?”
Mason recently published a study in the journal Genome Medicine, in which he and his co-author, Jeffrey Rosenfeld, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, show that when you include both genes and DNA sequences inside the genes, nearly the ENTIRE human genome is covered by patents! What this does is render medicine prohibitively expensive. Under the Affordable Care Act, BRCA genetic testing is classified as preventative care, which means no out-of-pocket cost for those deemed eligible. But as stated by Policymic:
Affordable Care Act money should be used to provide medical care that is expensive for a reason, not to prop up an unfair and anti-competitive monopoly.”

Tissue Trauma and Surgery Can Actually Increase Your Risk of Cancer

There’s much yet to be learned about cancer development and progression. For example, research232425 has shown that trauma to the breast itself can cause cancer. According to the authors:
“Models of epithelial cell generation indicate that a causal link between physical trauma and cancer is plausible. A latent interval between cancer onset and presentation of under 5 years is also plausible. The most likely explanation of the findings is that physical trauma can cause breast cancer.”
And, as reported by Science News in 2011: 26
The slightest scratch can cause cancerous cells to crawl to the wound and form tumors in mice, a new study finds. The work may explain why certain kinds of cancers seem to cluster around burns, surgical scars and other injuries. 'This work says that if you have a predisposition to getting cancer, wounding might enhance the chance that it will develop,' says cell biologist Anthony Oro of Stanford University School of Medicine.”
This raises questions about the possibility of developing cancer in the remaining or surrounding chest tissue following a radical surgery as double mastectomy. Needle biopsies have also been fingered as sources of cancer that otherwise might not have occurred.27

Epigenetics—The Answer for Those Seeking Cancer Prevention

The paradigm-shattering research now referred to as epigenetics proves your genetic code is not nearly as predeterministic as previously thought. You actually have a tremendous amount of control over how your genetic traits are expressed. As it turns out, your genes will express or suppress genetic data depending on the environment in which it finds itself, meaning the presence or absence of appropriate nutrients, toxins, and even your thoughts and feelings, which unleash hormones and other chemicals in your body.
Dr. Susan Love, a breast cancer surgeon and president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation commented on such research back in 2009, saying:28
“It’s exciting. What it means, if all this environmental stuff is right, is that we should be able to reverse cancer without having to kill cells. This could open up a whole new way of thinking about cancer that would be much less assaultive.”

Physician Discovers What It’s Like to Be 'Sold' Preventive Mastectomy

An article by Dr. Daniela Drake titled, Why I’m Not Having a Preventive Mastectomy29 presents the other side of the preventive mastectomy argument, and highlights the problems of our current paradigm:
Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)... increases my odds of developing cancer from 12 percent to 30 percent. But still, my options, my doctor explained, include immediate bilateral mastectomy... She tells me that my chances of developing cancer are 80 percent and that if she were in my shoes she would 'just have them both removed.' ...Her offhand manner suggests something deeply unserious—like a manicure...
Although I used to be a vociferous advocate for aggressive medical interventions, my perspective changed radically when I began working as a house-call physician. My patients are too debilitated to go to the doctor’s office—and many were disabled by botched surgeries... I’m concerned about my surgeon’s flippancy and I suggest alternatives: 'There’s growing data that this is a lifestyle disease. You know the Women’s Health Initiative shows exercise can greatly decrease risk.'
'I don’t know. That may be true,' she shrugs. 'If we don’t do surgery, then we’ll just do mammograms every six months.' When I object, saying that LCIS doesn’t show up on mammogram, she responds, 'I know. It doesn’t make sense to me either.' It becomes evident that we don’t know how to deal with my condition. The medical system does not tolerate ambiguity well, so breast amputation has become the answer...
Now I know why patients are so mad at us. This is supposed to be patient-centered care. But it feels more like system-centered care: the medical equivalent of a car wash. I’m told incomplete and inaccurate information to shuttle me toward surgery; and I’m not being listened to. I came to discuss nutrition, exercise and close follow-up. I’m told to get my breasts removed—the sooner the better.
Mastectomy may be appropriate in some cases, like in those where your risk of cancer is virtually 100 percent. But the risk of surgery—operative complications, infections, device and graft complications—remains significant. It’s callous and irresponsible to elide the risks to the public.”

The Case Against BRCA Testing

In the research paper titled, The Case Against BRCA1 and 2 Testing, published in the journal Surgery30 in June 2011, the four authors from the Department of Surgery, University of California explain what many oncologists don’t want to hear:
“It turns out that, like a book, a gene can be 'read' both backward and forward. Small sections (or chapters) within a big gene can be 'read' alone. The three-dimensional structure of DNA controlled by site-to-site methylation prevents many chapters from being “read” at all. In addition, short segments of RNA (22 base pair micro-RNA) can cycle back to control DNA transcription.
So, DNA is just the starting point, and like flour, you do not know whether the chef is going to cook a croissant or a tortilla with it... Are BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 unique? Or just like other genes, is their expression controlled by the inner cellular attitudes (both epigenetic and environmental) of the individual patient?
BRCA 1 and 2 code nuclear proteins, also known as tumor suppressor genes, capable of repairing damaged DNA... Both mutations increase the lifetime risk of breast cancer in a woman. Less than 5% of women diagnosed with either ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive ductal cancer are a result of inherited BRCA genes...
But BRCA 1 and 2 may speak with many voices. Polymorphisms are naturally occurring single nucleotide variations of a gene present in more than 1% of the population. Polymorphisms and other single-nucleotide variants have been identified within the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes. Indeed, more than 500 mutations in BRCA 1 alone have been documented and most render their proteins inactive—so, some BRCA genes seem to be shooting blanks. And a single nucleotide polymorphism, albeit only a single nucleotide change, can have a formidable influence on protein expression.
Sequence variant S1613G, for instance, results in increased mutational risk of BRCA 1 neoplastic expression, whereas a variation in K1183R is related inversely to cancer risk. It seems that some polymorphisms may actually have aprotective effect.”
In summary, the authors state that for screening and therapeutic purposes, BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genetic testing is really little more than an expensive way of “determining what can be accomplished more expeditiously by speaking with your patient,” since:
  • The DNA base pair sequence in all humans is 99.6% identical
  • Epigenetic factors influence substantively the RNA processing and translational requisition of the initial DNA message
  • There are thousands of sequence variants of the BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes
  • Family history trumps BRCA 1 and 2 status

Breast Cancer Prevention Strategies

So in summary, it’s important to realize that even though many well intentioned physicians and media will seek to convince you of the value of cancer screening, it does NOT in any way equate to cancer prevention. Although early detection is important, recently a number of very popular screening methods have been shown to cause more harm than good.
In terms of genetic testing, ask yourself what you would do with the information, should it turn out you’re a carrier of the breast cancer gene. Ideally, such a test result would spur you to take real prevention seriously. But even if you don’t have the mutation, lifestyle factors are still a much larger risk factor overall. Remember the percentage of diagnosed breast cancer cases that have the mutated gene is in the low single digits. Something else, primarily your lifestyle, accounts for the remainder.
In the largest review of research into lifestyle and breast cancer, the American Institute of Cancer Research estimated that about 40 percent of U.S. breast cancer cases could be prevented if people made wiser lifestyle choices.3132 I believe these estimates are far too low, and it is more likely that 75 percent to 90 percent of breast cancers could be avoided by strictly applying the recommendations below.
  • Avoid sugar, especially fructose. All forms of sugar are detrimental to health in general and promote cancer. Fructose, however, is clearly one of the most harmful and should be avoided as much as possible.
  • Optimize your vitamin D. Vitamin D influences virtually every cell in your body and is one of nature's most potent cancer fighters. Vitamin D is actually able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis (cell death). If you have cancer, your vitamin D level should be between 70 and 100 ng/ml. Vitamin D works synergistically with every cancer treatment I'm aware of, with no adverse effects. I suggest you try watching my one-hour free lecture on vitamin D to learn more.
  • Remember that if you take high doses of oral vitamin D3 supplements, you also need to increase your vitamin K2 intake, as vitamin D increases the need for K2 to function properly. See my previous article What You Need to Know About Vitamin K2, D and Calcium for more information.
    Please consider joining one of GrassrootsHealth’s D*Action’s vitamin D studies to stay on top of your vitamin D performance. For more information, see my previous article How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help You Optimize Your Health.
  • Get plenty of natural vitamin A. There is evidence that vitamin A also plays a role in helping prevent breast cancer.33It's best to obtain it from vitamin A-rich foods, rather than a supplement. Your best sources are organic egg yolks,34 raw butter, raw whole milk, and beef or chicken liver.
  • Lymphatic breast massage can help enhance your body’s natural ability to eliminate cancerous toxins. This can be applied by a licensed therapists, or you can implement self-lymphatic massage. It is also promotes self-nurturance.
  • Avoid charring your meats. Charcoal or flame broiled meat is linked with increased breast cancer risk. Acrylamide—a carcinogen created when starchy foods are baked, roasted or fried—has been found to increase breast cancer risk as well.
  • Avoid unfermented soy productsUnfermented soy is high in plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, also known as isoflavones. In some studies, soy appears to work in concert with human estrogen to increase breast cell proliferation, which increases the chances for mutations and cancerous cells.
  • Improve your insulin receptor sensitivity. The best way to do this is by avoiding sugar and grains and making sure you are exercising, especially with Peak Fitness.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating right for your nutritional type and exercising. It's important to lose excess body fat because fat produces estrogen.
  • Drink a half to whole quart of organic green vegetable juice daily. Please review my juicing instructions for more detailed information.
  • Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.
  • Curcumin. This is the active ingredient in turmeric and in high concentrations can be very useful adjunct in thetreatment of breast cancer. It shows immense therapeutic potential in preventing breast cancer metastasis.35 It's important to know that curcumin is generally not absorbed that well, so I've provided several absorption tips here.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, or at least limit your alcoholic drinks to one per day.
  • Breastfeed exclusively for up to six months. Research shows breastfeeding can reduce your breast cancer risk.
  • Avoid wearing underwire bras. There is a good deal of data that metal underwire bras can heighten your breast cancer risk.
  • Avoid electromagnetic fields as much as possible. Even electric blankets can increase your cancer risk.
  • Avoid synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Breast cancer is an estrogen-related cancer, and according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer rates for women dropped in tandem with decreased use of hormone replacement therapy. (There are similar risks for younger women who use oral contraceptives. Birth control pills, which are also comprised of synthetic hormones, have been linked to cervical and breast cancers.)
  • If you are experiencing excessive menopausal symptoms, you may want to consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy instead, which uses hormones that are molecularly identical to the ones your body produces and do not wreak havoc on your system. This is a much safer alternative.
  • Avoid BPA, phthalates and other xenoestrogens. These are estrogen-like compounds that have been linked to increased breast cancer risk
  • Make sure you're not iodine deficient, as there's compelling evidence linking iodine deficiency with breast cancer. Dr. David Brownstein,36 author of the book Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It, is a proponent of iodine for breast cancer. It actually has potent anticancer properties and has been shown to cause cell death in breast and thyroid cancer cells.
  • For more information, I recommend reading Dr. Brownstein's book. I have been researching iodine for some time ever since I interviewed Dr. Brownstein as I do believe that the bulk of what he states is spot on. However, I am not at all convinced that his dosage recommendations are correct. I believe they are too high.