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 Matthew 24:42  “Therefore be on alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming!"

Today's Politics May Be Bad for Your Health

An Iowa man is so bothered by the political climate that his psychologist says he asked for a higher dosage of his anxiety medication. A Chicago woman is so uneasy about politics that she has needed two dental implants to deal with her teeth-grinding habit. And a New York woman says she suffered her first flare-up of multiple sclerosis in 10 years due to political angst.

Americans are stressed and politics is a major cause, according to psychologists, psychiatrists and recent surveys.

A study published in September in the journal PLOS One found that politics is a source of stress for 38% of Americans. "The major takeaway from this is that if our numbers are really anywhere in the ballpark, there are tens of millions of Americans who see politics as exacting a toll on their social, psychological, emotional and even physical health," says Kevin Smith, lead author of the study and chair of the political science department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The study polled 800 people in a nationally representative poll and asked them 32 questions. Among the findings:

* 11.5% say politics has adversely affected their physical health.

* 18.3% say they've lost sleep because of politics.

* 26.4% say they have become depressed when a preferred candidate lost.

* 26.5% say politics has led them to hate some people.

* 20% say differences in views have damaged a valued friendship.

 

Dr. Smith notes that the survey explored people's perceptions of their health, not actual diagnoses. The effects seem to be more pronounced for those who are younger, on the political left and interested and engaged in politics, Dr. Smith says. Amanda Johnson, a psychologist in Newton, Iowa, says she's noticed the impact of politics on many of her patients. One was so distressed recently he wanted to abstain from politics altogether. "He identified as an independent, and when he voiced this to several family members and friends, he got some backlash from them saying he needed to pick a side," Dr. Johnson says. That same day she spoke with his psychiatrist about increasing his anxiety medication. The longtime patient hadn't previously identified politics as a source of stress and had been stable and on an antianxiety medication for the past three years without needing any changes.

"I've seen a lot more patients like that," Dr. Johnson says. "It's been pretty steady since the election. It seems like there's an uptick any time there's a big event." Common problems include sleep disturbances and falling out with family members and friends with divergent views. Social media battles are another source of tension. She advises patients to take breaks from social media and watching the news. "If they want to be engaged, we work on finding ways they could have some effect on change, like becoming more involved with a campaign," she says. She also encourages patients to set boundaries with family and friends to avoid inflammatory
conversations.

From "365 News"

 

NFL Linebacker Wins Appeal Of Man of God Headband Fine, Donates $7,000 To Hospital 

A New Orleans Saints team captain fined over $7,000 for wearing a headband with the words "Man of God" displayed across the front has won his appeal. Linebacker Demario Davis took to Instagram Tuesday night to say that he was victorious in his appeal of a $7,017 fine imposed on him by the National Football League for a uniform infraction during a Sept. 22 game against the Seattle Seahawks. 

Davis' violation was wearing a gold "Man of God" headband with black letters underneath his helmet. The phrase "Man of God" was visible at points in the game when Davis took off his helmet. The league's strict uniform policy stipulates that players can't display any "personal messages" unless the message is approved in advance by the league office. 

"So my agent just told me that I won my appeal and won't have to pay the headband fine!!" Davis wrote in an Instagram post. Instead of keeping the money, Davis said he would donate "every penny" of the fine to St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. 

St. Dominic's emergency department has been the beneficiary of the proceeds from the "Man of God," "Woman of God" and "Child of God" headbands Davis began selling online in response to his fine. The headbands can be purchased for $25 and are available in gold and pink. 

"So far, we've raised over $30,000 for [the hospital] from the headbands!!" Davis wrote in his Instagram post.  "That means yall helped me turn a $7,000 negative into an almost $40,000 positive benefiting people who truly need it!!! Do y'all see how that worked??" "Let's gooooo. That's crazy!" he added. "Ya'll are a part of this journey too!! I can't thank ya'll enough either. We on a mission over here obstacles are meant to be conquered!! I'm truly blessed as anybody."

Davis was previously unaware that wearing the headband constituted a uniform violation, expressing at that time that he had worn the headband in games prior. "Of course you don't want to be fined," Davis told The Times-Picayune last week. "Nobody wants to lose money but I think any time that the conversation about God is brought up, especially in these times, I think it's always a positive or silver lining. If he can get glory from it, I think he can get glory from it whether I personally wear the headband or don't wear the headband. He's always gonna be in control of the whole situation. We're still all good."

A minimum fine for a second offense is over $14,000. According to ESPN, the NFL often rescinds finds in uniform violation cases when a player can demonstrate compliance with the rule going forward. Davis has not worn the headband in the two games since the fine was imposed. But Davis has worn the headband during post-game locker room interviews. In a pre-game huddle on the field in last Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Davis wore a gold headband with what appeared to be a cross drawn across the front. Davis is a father of four and one of the more vocal NFL players in terms of his faith. On his Instagram account, Davis wrote that above all else in his life he is a "servant of God 1st!" 

Davis was drafted by the New York Jets in the 2012 NFL Draft and has become one of the league's more consistent linebackers, amassing over 700 tackles through his first six-plus seasons as a regular NFL starter. 

From "Christian Post"

 

Evangelicals More Concerned About Healthcare, Economy Than Religious Liberty, Abortion:  Poll

 

Americans with evangelical beliefs are more likely to care politically about healthcare and economic issues than they are about issues typically associated with evangelical political engagement such as religious liberty and abortion, a new survey found. "Our respondents surprised us by how little they appeared to care about stereotypically evangelical causes," Georgetown University professor Paul Miller wrote in a white paper analyzing the survey's findings published by the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

LifeWay Research released a new poll this month sponsored by the ERLC exploring the views of American evangelicals on politics, social civility, media consumption and their engagement with those who have opposing political ideas. The survey was conducted last November and included responses from 1,317 evangelical respondents who were screened to distinguish between respondents with evangelical beliefs (933) and respondents who self-identified as evangelical Christians (1,001). 

The respondents were specifically asked to identify three public policy concerns that "are most important to you." 

The top answer for both self-identified evangelicals and respondents with evangelical beliefs was "healthcare" (51 percent). The second-most common answer (49 percent for self-identified and 46 percent of those with evangelical beliefs) was "the economy." Forty percent of those with evangelical beliefs identified "national security," while 43 percent of self-identified evangelicals did the same. Forty-one percent of self-identified evangelicals identified "immigration" as an issue of importance to them, while 39 percent of respondents with evangelical beliefs said the same. 

Just 33 percent of both self-identified evangelicals and respondents with evangelical beliefs highlighted "religious liberty" as an issue of importance for them. Twenty-nine percent of evangelicals by beliefs highlighted "abortion" as an issue of importance to them while 28 percent of self-identified evangelicals said the same. Only four percent of both sets of respondents identified "LGBT rights" as a political issue that is important to them. 

The finding may come as a bit of surprise considering prominent conservative evangelical leaders are regularly discussed in the media for their stances on sexuality and abortion. The survey indicates that evangelicals take into account several issues thinking about who they vote for. Less than 10 percent of respondents surveyed said their support for a political candidate "depends primarily on one issue." Eight out of 10 respondents surveyed said their support depends on "several issues." 

Despite most saying that their support depends on "several issues," respondents with evangelical beliefs were more likely (52 percent to 48 percent) to "agree" that they "will only support a candidate who wants to make abortion illegal." The survey also suggests that evangelicals care less about other causes thought to be issues of importance for followers of Christ who are taught scripturally to feed the hungry and clothe the poor. Twenty percent of self-identified evangelicals identified "providing for the needy" as an issue of political importance for them while 22 percent of respondents with evangelical beliefs said the same. 

The survey has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points for those respondents with evangelical beliefs and 3.2 percentage point error margin for self-identified evangelicals

From "The Christian Post"

China's Military Display Forces Pentagon to Confront End of American Dominance

 

The rest of the world was watching the pomp, circumstance and speeches celebrating China's 70th anniversary Tuesday, but military analysts were glued to another spectacle in the heart of Beijing: the arsenal of cutting-edge weaponry capable of challenging U.S. military might for decades to come.

 

The lavish event marking seven decades of Communist Party rule gave Beijing a golden opportunity to showcase new hypersonic missiles, top-of-the-line drones, tanks, stealth bombers, unmanned underwater vehicles, helicopters that rival U.S. Black Hawks, and a host of other military technology that highlights the nation's ever-rising defense budget and its long-term plan to cut into American superiority in Asia and beyond.

 

Analysts called the display a clear warning to the West and an indication that China's military progress - already at the point where Beijing is likely capable of going toe-to-toe with the U.S. in the Pacific - is accelerating at a rapid pace. Pentagon officials say their strategy to counter China acknowledges the new paradigm and the uncomfortable truth that unquestioned U.S. power may be a thing of the past.

 

"We're no longer in a period of overwhelming American dominance but rather one in which our armed forces are adapting to fight against near-peer competitors who are fielding increasingly sophisticated capabilities," Randall G. Schriver, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told an audience at the Brookings Institution in Washington just hours after the parade.

 

"Instead of expecting to dominate an opponent, our armed forces are learning to expect to be contested throughout a fight while achieving the political objectives set for them," he said.

 

Chinese officials downplayed the idea that the celebration was meant to frighten or intimidate its adversaries. President Xi Jinping again stressed the party lie that China's "peaceful rise" should not be considered a threat to its neighbors or to the West. China already ranks as an economic and manufacturing superpower, and it could surpass the U.S. with the world's largest overall gross domestic product within two years.

 

In fact, the celebration drew unexpected congratulations from President Trump, a chief critic of China who has spearheaded a bitter trade war between the two nations.

 

 

From "The Washington Times"

Americans Spent More on Taxes in 2018 Than on Food, Clothing and Health Care Combined

 

Americans on average spent more on taxes in 2018 than they did on the basic necessities of food, clothing and health care combined, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey. The survey's recently published Table R-1 for 2018 lists the average "detailed expenditures" of what the BLS calls "consumer units."

In 2018, according to Table R-1, American consumer units spent an average of $9,031.93 on federal income taxes; $5,023.73 on Social Security taxes (which the table calls "deductions"); $2,284.62 on state and local income taxes; $2,199.80 on property taxes; and $77.85 on what BLS calls "other taxes."

The combined payments the average American consumer unit made for these five categories of taxes was $18,617.93. At the same time the average American consumer unit was paying these taxes, it was spending $7,923.19 on food; $4,968.44 on health care; and $1,866.48 on "apparel and services."

These combined expenditures equaled $14,758.11.

From "CNS News"

 

Wrong Again:  50 Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic  Predictions

 

Thanks go to Tony Heller, who first collected many of these news clips and posted them on RealClimateScience

SUMMARY

Modern doomsayers have been predicting climate and environmental disaster since the 1960s. They continue to do so today.

None of the apocalyptic predictions with due dates as of today have come true.

What follows is a collection of notably wild predictions from notable people in government and science.

More than merely spotlighting the failed predictions, this collection shows that the makers of failed apocalyptic predictions often are individuals holding respected positions in government and science.

While such predictions have been and continue to be enthusiastically reported by a media eager for sensational headlines, the failures are typically not revisited.

  • 1967: ‘Dire famine by 1975'-source: Salt Lake Tribune, November 17, 1967
  • 1969: ‘Everyone will disappear in a cloud of blue steam by 1989'-source: New York Times, August 10 1969
  • 1970: Ice age by 2000-source: Boston Globe, April 16, 1970
  • 1970: ‘America subject to water rationing by 1974 and food rationing by 1980'-source: Redlands Daily Facts, October 6, 1970
  • 1971: ‘New Ice Age Coming'-source: Washington Post, July 9, 1971
  • 1972: New ice age by 2070-source: NOAA, October 2015
  • 1974: ‘New Ice Age Coming Fast'-source: The Guardian, January 29, 1974
  • 1974: ‘Another Ice Age?'-source: Time, June 24, 1974
  • 1974: Ozone Depletion a ‘Great Peril to Life'-but no such ‘great peril to life' has been observed as the so-called ‘ozone hole' remains-sources: headline (NASA Data and Graph)
  • 1976: ‘The Cooling'-source: New York Times Book Review, July 18, 1976
  • 1980: ‘Acid Rain Kills Life in Lakes'-source: Noblesville Ledger (Noblesville, IN) April 9, 1980
  • 1978: ‘No End in Sight' to 30-Year Cooling Trend-source: New York Times, January 5, 1978-but according to NASA satellite data there is a slight warming trend since 1979-source: DrRoySpencer.com
  • 1988: James Hansen forecasts increase regional drought in 1990s-but the last really dry year in the Midwest was 1988, and recent years have been record wet-source: RealClimateScience.com
  • 1988: Washington DC days over 90F to from 35 to 85-but the number of hot days in the DC area peaked in 1911, and have been declining ever since- source: RealClimateScience.com
  • 1988: Maldives completely under water in 30 years-source: Agence France Press, September 26, 1988
  • 1989: Rising seas to ‘obliterate' nations by 2000-source: Associated Press, June 30, 1989
  • 1989: New York City's West Side Highway underwater by 2019-source: Salon.com, October 23, 2001
  • 1995 to Present: Climate Model Failure-source: CEI.org 2000: ‘Children won't know what snow is'-source: The Independent, March 20, 2000
  • 2002: Famine in 10 years-source: The Guardian, December 23, 2002
  • 2004: Britain to have Siberian climate by 2020-source: The Guardian, February 21, 2004
  • 2008: Arctic will be ice-free by 2018-source: Associated Press, June 24, 2008
  • 2008: Al Gore warns of ice-free Arctic by 2013-source: WattsUpWithThat. com, December 16, 2018
  • 2009: Prince Charles says only 8 years to save the planet-source: The Independent, July 9, 2009
  • 2009: UK prime minister says 50 days to ‘save the planet from catastrophe'-source: The Independent: October 20, 2009
  • 2009: Arctic ice-free by 2014-source: USA Today, December 14, 2009

 ·         2013: Arctic ice-free by 2015-source: The Guardian, July 24, 2013

  • 2013: Arctic ice-free by 2016-source: The Guardian, December 9, 2013
  • 2014: Only 500 days before ‘climate chaos'-source: Washington Examiner

From "Competitive Enterprise Institute"

The Net Worth of Every 2020 Presidential Candidate

Everyone knows Donald Trump is rich. But how about the 25 people jockeying to replace him as president? Forbes dug into the details-examining financial disclosure statements, scouring local real estate records and calculating pension benefits-to figure out the finances of the 2020 candidates.

Methodology: By law, all presidential candidates must file financial disclosure reports, which list most of their assets and liabilities in broad ranges. That gives us a start. We narrow those ranges wherever possible, then hunt for holdings and debts not listed on the filings, like personal real estate, mortgages and federal government pensions. This ranking includes assets owned by spouses and dependent children.

There were some surprises.

Bernie is a millionaire.

So is "middle-class Joe" Biden.

Elizabeth Warren is richer than both of them, worth an estimated $12 million. Warren has a net worth of $12 million and Sanders has broken into the 1%. Some progressive candidates who are pushing policies to tax the wealthy might end up being the target of their own platforms.

But Warren is a long way from John Delaney, whose $200 million fortune makes him twice as wealthy as every other Democratic candidate not named Tom Steyer. The hedge fund tycoon, who announced his candidacy in July 2019, is worth an estimated $1.6 billion.

Aside from Trump and Steyer, the average net worth is $12.9 million-the same as it was for the 2016 contenders. The median net worth is $2 million. The poorest is Pete Buttigieg, who has an estimated $100,000-or about 0.003% of Trump's fortune.

We reached out to all of the candidates. No one, not even the Democrats who spend the most time bashing Trump for his financial dealings, answered every question.

 

From "Forbes"

America's Wealth Hinges on Its Ability to Borrow Big - or Else

 

The U.S. economy is consistently ranked among the world's strongest. But cut off its addiction to debt and exhaust its gold and currency reserves, and a very different picture would emerge. The nation's health as measured by gross domestic product per capita would plunge into negative territory without its dependence on borrowed money, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In fact, the U.S. would fall almost to the bottom of a ranking of 114 economies by GDP per capita. Only Italy, Greece and Japan would fare worse. That's a seismic shift from America's comfortable No. 5 spot on a list based on conventional measures. To get this somewhat dystopian measure, Bloomberg took each economy's 2020 GDP as projected by the International Monetary Fund as a starting point. We then adjusted the number by removing the ability to borrow, while adding reserves to create an alternative wealth measure.

U.S. per capita income of $66,900 would be slashed to a negative $4,857 using this measure. That's a total loss of almost $72,000 for every man, woman and child. The U.S. isn't alone, though; it's pretty grim across the board. Among the 114 economies included in the final list, 102 would experience reduced per capita wealth if they suddenly lost the ability to borrow. Japan ranked dead last, with more than $93,000 of income erased per person. Its per-capita income of $43,701 in 2020 would flip to a negative $50,000 and its rank on the list would plunge 96 spots, from 18th to last. Nor is the U.K. immune in the alternate, borrowing-free universe. With debt and reserves at 83% and 5% of GDP, respectively, its economy would see per-capita wealth drop 10 spots to No. 29 in this measure - from $43,522 to $9,779.

China would see its relative ranking gain a few spots, since its holdings of gold and foreign currency are the world's largest at $3.36 trillion or roughly 22% of GDP. That dwarfs second-place Japan, with $2.1 trillion. Luckily for Americans, a debt-free economy is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Even with growing trade wars against China and others, and the Trump administration's projected $1 trillion budget deficit in fiscal 2020, the U.S. debt market allows for ample liquidity and the U.S. dollar is considered the world's reserve currency. The U.S. will need to continue to borrow. The IMF projects America's government debt to average 109% of GDP over the next five years. Reserves, having averaged $425 billion between 2014 and 2018, would account for less than 2% of the projected $22.2 trillion GDP for 2020.

From "Yahoo/Bloomberg"

Saudi Attacks Underscore Evolving Drone Threat, Experts Say

 

An attack on Saudi oil facilities at the weekend has exposed the vulnerability of the kingdom to drone strikes and underscores how traditional air defences can be breached by new low-cost technology, experts say. Saudi Arabia is one of the world's biggest buyers of weapons and spent an estimated $65 billion on arms last year, mostly from the United States, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Its air defences include the latest radars, fighter jets such as the F-15, and Patriot missiles which are meant to intercept missiles fired from enemy territory. But on Saturday, attacks on national energy giant Aramco's Abqaiq processing plant and the Khurais oil field knocked 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) off production, over half of the OPEC kingpin's output. "The Huthis' use of drones to attack Saudi Arabia has identified gaps in its air defences," Becca Wasser from the think-tank Rand Corp told AFP. The exact type of weapon used has not been confirmed, but the Soufan Center, a security think-tank, said that 10 drones had been deployed.

Unidentified US officials have also told American media that cruise missiles might have been fired as well, and have suggested these came from Iran, which backs the Huthi rebels in Yemen to the south but denies being involved in Saturday's strikes. "A coordinated attack like this is not something anyone can do, and not everyone can defend themselves against it," a former head of one of France's intelligence agencies told AFP on condition of anonymity.

From "Yahoo / Associated Press"

Afghan Taliban Stronger Than Ever After U.S. Spends $900 Billion

 

For many Afghans like Zohra Atifi, whose husband was killed under Taliban rule, the American invasion in 2001 marked a chance to start over after living under an oppressive regime. Yet 18 years later, after the U.S. spent nearly $900 billion and more than 147,000 people died, the Taliban are growing more confident of returning to power. The militant group controls or contests half of the country, more territory than any time since they were toppled in 2001. And they've come close to a deal with the U.S. that could give them even more power, even after President Donald Trump abruptly put the talks on hold.

What's worse for the U.S. and its allies: Many Afghans are growing disillusioned with the American-backed regime in Kabul and its inability, along with its foreign allies, to contain not just the Taliban but another deadly insurgent group -- the Islamic State. One of Atifi's sons was killed by IS extremists two years ago. "The collapse of their brutal regime by the Americans once gave us a hope -- a cheerful hope -- that we will all again be free of fears and violence like other countries," Atifi, 45, said at her stone house in the capital's Kart-e-Sakhi neighborhood. "But that didn't happen."

The high cost of the war, and the lack of clear gains on the battlefield, have contributed to a growing argument that it's time for the U.S. to cut its losses and move on. Trump himself has signaled a determination to withdraw from what he's described as an "endless war," even as concerns mount in Afghanistan that such a move could lead to an all-out civil war. "We've spent over $30 billion a year in Afghanistan for decades now," Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Sunday. "That's not a sustainable model. We've got to get it right." Concern over America's presence in Afghanistan reaches across party lines. During a Democratic presidential debate Friday, Senator Elizabeth Warren said she'd bring U.S. troops home without a peace deal, while former Vice President Joe Biden said the American military presence in the country isn't working.

From "Yahoo / Bloomberg"

Weakened Netanyahu's Offer of Unity Government Rebuffed By Rival Gantz

 

Israel's weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw his offer on Thursday of a coalition with his strongest political rival swiftly rebuffed after failing to secure a governing majority in a tight election.

Netanyahu's surprise move was an abrupt change of strategy for the right-wing leader. Benny Gantz's rejection of this offer could spell weeks of wrangling after Tuesday's election, which followed an inconclusive national ballot in April.

Gantz's centrist Blue and White party emerged from the second round of voting this year slightly ahead of Netanyahu's Likud but lacking the numbers in the 120-member parliament to form a ruling bloc. Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving leader, said in a video clip in which he urged Gantz, the country's former military chief, to meet him "as soon as today", that he had pledged during the election campaign to form a right-wing, Likud-led government.

"But to my regret, the election results show that this is impossible," Netanyahu said. "Benny, we must set up a broad unity government, as soon as today. The nation expects us, both of us, to demonstrate responsibility and that we pursue cooperation." Responding to Netanyahu's call, Gantz made no mention of the prime minister and said he himself would head a "liberal" coalition, political shorthand for one that excludes the Israeli leader's long-time ultra-Orthodox allies.

From "Reuters"

NASA Admits That Climate Change Occurs Because of Changes in Earth's Solar Orbit

 

For more than 60 years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has known that the changes occurring to planetary weather patterns are completely natural and normal. But the space agency, for whatever reason, has chosen to let the man-made global warming hoax persist and spread, to the detriment of human freedom.

It was the year 1958, to be precise, when NASA first observed that changes in the solar orbit of the earth, along with alterations to the earth's axial tilt, are both responsible for what climate scientists today have dubbed as "warming" (or "cooling," depending on their agenda). In no way, shape, or form are humans warming or cooling the planet by driving SUVs or eating beef, in other words.

But NASA has thus far failed to set the record straight, and has instead chosen to sit silently back and watch as liberals freak out about the world supposedly ending in 12 years because of too much livestock, or too many plastic straws.

In the year 2000, NASA did publish information on its Earth Observatory website about the Milankovitch Climate Theory, revealing that the planet is, in fact, changing due to extraneous factors that have absolutely nothing to do with human activity. But, again, this information has yet to go mainstream, some 19 years later, which is why deranged, climate-obsessed leftists have now begun to claim that we really only have 18 months left before the planet dies from an excess of carbon dioxide (CO2).

The truth, however, is much more along the lines of what Serbian astrophysicist Milutin Milankovitch, after whom the Milankovitch Climate Theory is named, proposed about how the seasonal and latitudinal variations of solar radiation that hit the earth in different ways, and at different times, have the greatest impact on earth's changing climate patterns.

Based on these different variables, Milankovitch was able to come up with a comprehensive mathematical model that is able to compute surface temperatures on earth going way back in time, and the conclusion is simple: Earth's climate has always been changing, and is in a constant state of flux due to no fault of our own as human beings.

When Milankovitch first put forward his model, it went ignored for nearly half a century. Then, in 1976, a study published in the journal Science confirmed that Milankovitch's theory is, in fact, accurate, and that it does correspond to various periods of climate change that have occurred throughout history.

In 1982, six years after this study was published, the National Research Council of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences adopted Milankovitch's theory as truth, declaring that:

"... orbital variations remain the most thoroughly examined mechanism of climatic change on time scales of tens of thousands of years and are by far the clearest case of a direct effect of changing insolation on the lower atmosphere of Earth."

 

 

From "Natural News"

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