Leader of the Militant “Neo-Nazi” Group Exposed As Intelligence Contractor Who May Also Be a Federal Agent
The Guardian, “Revealed: the true identity of the leader of an American neo-Nazi terror group”:
The Guardian has learned the true identity of the leader and founder of the US-based neo-Nazi terror network the Base, which was recently the target of raids by the FBI after an investigation into domestic terrorism uncovered their plans to start a race war.
Members of the group stand accused of federal hate crimes, murder plots and firearms offenses, and have harbored international fugitives in recent months.
The Base’s leader previously operated under the aliases “Norman Spear” and “Roman Wolf”. Members of the network do not know his true identity due to the group’s culture of internal secrecy.
But the Guardian can reveal that “Norman Spear” is in fact US-born Rinaldo Nazzaro, 46, who has a long history of advertising his services as an intelligence, military and security contractor. He has claimed, under his alias, to have served in Russia and Afghanistan.
The revelation of his identity comes after a months-long investigation by the Guardian into Nazzaro and the activities of the Base.
While Nazzaro’s most recently used address is in New Jersey, there is evidence supporting his claims of being based in Russia, where he lives with his Russian wife.
Note: no word on how the FBI responded.
Property record searches revealed that three 10-acre blocks of undeveloped land were purchased in December 2018 for $33,000 in the name of a Delaware LLC called “Base Global”. In a telephone conversation in late November, Manke confirmed that this was the block of land he had been referring to.
He purchased the land under the name of his international terrorist group.
They traced the purchase back to his family member’s apartment in New Jersey which he and his “wife” have lived in.
In deeds of sale, the address provided for the company was a New Jersey post office – enough to conceal the purchaser’s identity. But separate tax affidavits associated with the purchase give a different address for Base Global.
That address is for a New Jersey apartment that has belonged to an older family member of Nazzaro since 1998. Nazzaro and his wife have also intermittently resided at that address, according to database searches.
The affidavits are also signed by Nazzaro, and dated “12/21/2018 Republic”. Republic is the seat and the only city in Ferry county, Washington.
Note: this was only enough OpSec to fool some moron for the feds to entrap.
According to a source inside the Base, this date coincided with a trip by Russia-based “Norman Spear” to the United States, during which time he had in-person meetings with members of the group.
Speculation that Nazzaro was a federal agent
The location of the land is consistent with “Norman Spear’s” advocacy of a white supremacist strategy called the Northwest Territorial Imperative (NTI), which was promoted by the deceased white supremacist Harold Covington.
The strategy argues for the creation of a separatist ethnostate in the Pacific north-west and encourages white supremacists to move to the region.
In one of “Norman Spear’s” first public appearances, on a far-right podcast recorded in December 2017, he was introduced as a Northwest Front (another white supremacist separatist group) organizer and went on to spell out a four-state plan culminating in “achieving independence, realizing the ultimate goal which is an independent nation state in the Pacific north-west, an ethnostate”.
The plan, he said, would trigger the relocation to the Pacific north-west of the white population in the United States.
Around the same time, “Spear” filmed a series of short instructional presentations on the tactics and strategy of guerrilla warfare. In an archive of those videos on the far-right site Bitchute, he is identified as “Defense Studies expert and former CIA field intelligence officer Norman Spear”.
This detail, coupled with other leads, compelled many to speculate whether “Norman Spear” was, in fact, a federal agent operating inside the Base.
[…] Was the Base a honeypot designed to entrap people?
Beginning in 2009 and until as late as 2019, Nazzaro billed himself as an intelligence expert working with various government and military agencies.
Nazzaro is the principal of an LLC called Omega Solutions International (OSI), a company offering a range of intelligence and security contracting.
Its website, which was removed from the Internet some time after August 2019, boasted of the firm’s “experience conducting intelligence analysis for government agencies, military organizations, and private businesses”, as well as access to a network of seasoned security professionals with expertise in counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, homeland security, hostage rescue/negotiations, psychological operations, and more.
The firm also has a Cage Code, which is an administrative requirement for military and government contractors.
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South Carolina State Representative Stewart Jones Introduces a Bill to Prohibit the State’s National Guard from Participating in Undeclared Wars
A bipartisan group of Afghanistan and Iraq war era veterans praised S.C. State Rep. Stewart Jones (SC-14) on Monday for introducing legislation requiring that South Carolina’s National Guard units cannot be deployed for foreign combat or combat support duties unless Congress has formally adopted a declaration of war as provided by the U.S. Constitution.
“As veterans, we strongly support the U.S. taking strong military action when necessary to defend American lives and interests,” said former Idaho Army National Guard Sgt. Dan McKnight, founder of BringOurTroopsHome.US, who served 18 months in Afghanistan. “We thank Rep. Jones for acting to ensure that when South Carolina’s men and women in uniform are involved, it’s done the right way, the way the Constitution provides.
“Rep. Jones’ bill simply says that before ordering South Carolina’s National Guard personnel to leave their families and do their job, Congress should first accept responsibility in the comforts here at home of doing their job. We shouldn’t ask National Guard personnel to have the courage to put their boots on the ground, unless Congress at least has the courage first to put their names on the line.”
Rep. Jones, a Republican, represents South Carolina’s 14th district (Greenwood and Laurens counties).
8000 People Died After Taking Subsys Opioid Spray and the Manufacturer Was Sentenced to 5.5 years in Prison for Bribing Doctors to Overprescribe the Deadly Drug
Millions of Americans who lived through the financial crisis probably recall that not a single executive of a major investment bank was jailed in the aftermath, despite running organizations seemingly dedicated to perpetuating a criminal fraud on nearly every counterparty and client.
But when Americans look back at the opioid crisis, they’ll remember that at least one executive of a major opioid manufacturer and distributor was sentenced to a fairly weighty sentence – five-and-a-half years (66 months) in federal prison – for an illegal kickback scheme that effectively involved bribing doctors to prescribe potentially lethal doses of fentanyl. That’s right: Packaged under the name brand Subsys, Insys sold a painkiller made from the same ultra-powerful synthetic opioid responsible for tens of thousands of deaths across America.
According to the FT, which, in partnership with PBS’s Frontline, is producing a documentary on the opioid crisis, John Kapoor, the founder of Insys, was sentenced to prison time on Thursday after being prosecuted under the RICO act – a law adopted decades ago to help the DoJ prosecute the mafia.
Kapoor joins seven other Insys executives who have already received jail time for their role in the company’s illegal shenanigans, which included uses “ruthless” sales tactics to encourage doctors to prescribe more of their drug. Several doctors who took money from the company in exchange for kickbacks transparently disguised as speaking fees are also either being prosecuted, or have already been sentenced to jail time.
Earlier on Thursday, Alec Burlakoff, Insys’s former head of sales and one of the government’s key cooperating witnesses accepted a sentence of 26 months in prison. The jail sentences were handed down despite a long tradition of allowing big pharma to skate by with fines that often amounted to a slap on the wrist.
Subsys was approved by the FDA to target so-called “breakthrough pain”, something experienced by many patients with advanced cancer. But most of the doctors Insys targeted weren’t oncologists. The company encouraged them to prescribe the drug “off label” – meaning not for its approved purpose – to treat normal chronic pain.
Kapoor is a serial entrepreneur who immigrated to the US from India in his early 20s. The fentanyl spray that was the company’s main product was approved in 2012.
Under the company’s kick-back scheme, doctors who prescribed large quantities of the drug could earn up to $125,000 a year in speaking fees.
The company depended on sales associates whom Kapoor described as “PHD” – “poor, hungry and desperate” or “poor, hungry and dumb.” One of the sales reps who got mixed up in the prosecution was a former stripper, a detail from the investigation that was widely covered in the press.
Head of Harvard Chemistry Department and Two Chinese Nationals Charged with Trying to Steal American Research and Technology
The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday cases against three individuals accused of concealing ties to the People’s Republic of China while conducting research in Massachusetts.
Charles Lieber, chairman of the department of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University, was arrested Tuesday on charges of making false statements. Authorities say he failed to disclose ties to a Chinese government-run program setup to entice scientists and researchers in the U.S. to share their expertise and research with China.
Lieber will appear Tuesday afternoon before judge Marianne B. Bowler in federal court in Boston. He is on paid administrative leave from Harvard and will not have access to the campus nor will be be able to continue in his teaching and research roles.
In a separate case, the Department of Justice said Yanqing Ye, a lieutenant in the People’s Liberation Army had gained a non-immigrant visa to conduct studies at Boston University. According to court documents, Ye was conducting research in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering at the Center of Polymer Studies at Boston University.
Authorities say on Ye’s visa application she misrepresented her foreign military service to gain entry to the U.S.
United States Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a press conference at the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse Tuesday that Ye was working as an unregistered agent of the People’s Republic of China and concealed her military connections while working as a researcher.
“A colonel in the People’s Republic of China gave Ye numerous assignments while she was in the United States, such as assessing U.S. military websites,” Lelling said. “She lied about her involvement with Chinese military projects.”
Court documents also allege Ye sent U.S. documents and information to China.
A third person, a 29-year-old Chinese national Zaosong Zheng, was charged with attempting to smuggle 21 vials of biological materials out of the country in a sock.
Afghanistan: US Plane Crashes, Taliban Says It Downed the Plane, But Pentagon Denies It
At 1:10 PM, a US Air Force E-11A was brought down over Taliban-controlled airspace, and crashed in Ghazni Province. Shortly thereafter, the Taliban issued a statement saying they had shot the plane down.
Local reporters in Ghazni say they saw at least two bodies at the site, though others said as many as five were seen. One reporter also said a “high-ranking CIA member” was among the slain, though no further details were confirmed on that.
The US, which only started commenting over 10 hours after the apparent shootdown, said that no more than five were aboard the plane. Some reports in Ghazni, lending credence to the two killed report, said Taliban fighters were searching the nearest village for potential survivors.
US Air Force officials promised to investigate the matter, but said they had “no indication” the plane was shot down. This may simply be because the plane is in enemy-controlled territory, and they’ve not been able to examine the wreckage, beyond photographs and video evidence.
Critic of the 2012 Sandy Hook Shooting Arrested on Charges of Sharing Social Security Number of a Sandy Hook Parent
A conspiracy theorist known for harassing families of the victims in the 2012 Sandy Hook primary school shooting has been arrested in Florida.
Wolfgang Halbig, 73, was charged with unlawful possession of the personal identification of Leonard Pozner, whose son was killed in the shooting.
Mr Halbig has continued to torment the victims’ families through emails and phone calls, according to an affidavit.
He was released on $5,000 (£3,800) bond and will appear in court next month.
Mr Halbig is accused of releasing Mr Pozner’s personal information, including his social security number, “to hundreds of people via email”, including to numerous law enforcement and news agencies.
In October, Mr Pozner told authorities in Lake County, Florida, that Mr Halbig was continuing to “harass him over the internet”, according to the affidavit.
“Defendant Halbig has contacted the victim’s family members and has continued to harass them, asking questions and alleging the children involved are crisis actors,” the affidavit states.
Mr Pozner told the New York Times: “For five years, he has used my most personal and private details to incentivise and enable other hoaxers and conspiracy theorists to hunt, abuse and terrorize myself and my family.”
“We have a long way to go, but this is a positive step in the right direction,” he said of Mr Halbig’s arrest.
Mr Halbig was released on Monday. His arraignment has been scheduled for 24 February.
Mr Halbig could face up to a year in prison.
Congress Funding The Spraying Particles In The Sky Allegedly To Cool Earth
It was reported this month that the top climate change scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has received $4 million in funding from Congress along with permission to study two highly controversial geoengineering methods in an attempt to cool the Earth.
According to Science Magazine, David Fahey, director of the Chemical Sciences Division of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, told his staff last week that the federal government is ready to examine the science behind “geoengineering” – or what he dubbed a “Plan B” for climate change.
What could possibly go wrong?
Before we go any further, it is important to point out to new readers that we are not a satire site. We are not a conspiracy theory site. The information you are about to read is factually accurate and 100% real despite the ostensible ‘skeptics’ who claim otherwise.
Over the past several years, the “conspiracy theory” of spraying particles into the sky to cool the Earth has become more mainstream. It came to a head last year when CNBC put out a video titled How Bill Gates-Funded Solar Geoengineering Could Help End Climate Change.
The video is nothing short of an infomercial for chemtrails. It is truly bizarre how this subject has moved from the fringes of conspiracy circles and into the mainstream and no one is even batting an eye. Now that Bill Gates has endorsed and funded it, the world is suddenly open to the idea of attempting to modify the planet’s weather by spraying chemicals into the atmosphere to block out the sun.
Now, the government is throwing their hat into the mix as well. This “Plan B” approach is two pronged, according to NOAA.
One is to inject sulfur dioxide or a similar aerosol into the stratosphere to help shade the Earth from more intense sunlight. It is patterned after a natural solution: volcanic eruptions, which have been found to cool the Earth by emitting huge clouds of sulfur dioxide.
The second approach would use an aerosol of sea salt particles to improve the ability of low-lying clouds over the ocean to act as shade.
The Free Thought Project has reported on the first method before when Harvard scientists began talking about doing it. Harvard scientists announced that they will attempt to replicate the climate-cooling effect of volcanic eruptions with a world-first solar geoengineering experiment, last year. The university announced in July of 2019 that it has created an external advisory panel to examine the potential ethical, environmental and geopolitical impacts of this geoengineering project, which has been developed by the university’s researchers.
Known as the Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx), the experiment will spray calcium carbonate particles high above the earth to mimic the effects of volcanic ash blocking out the sun to produce a cooling effect. This appears to be the same as NOAA’s “Plan B.”
Naturally, there are many critics of geoengineering.
Connecticut Democrats Propose New State Police Department to Combat Alleged Hate Crimes
Senate Democrats want to create and fund a new department within the state police focused on combating hate crimes and violent right-wing extremism.
Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney, D-New Haven, said his caucus has no intention of persecuting people for their political beliefs, but they are increasingly concerned about contemplated, hateful actions.
“Unfortunately, people who entertain hateful beliefs … are protected as long as [those beliefs] don’t result in hate-crime actions. That’s what we’re talking about,” he said Wednesday at a news conference at the Legislative Office Building. “We want to be more aggressive in enforcing our laws and identifying likely sources of potential domestic terrorism acts against religious institutions and ethnic institutions.”
The proposal was included as part of Senate Democrats’ “A Just Connecticut” agenda. The new department would “specialize in investigating far right extremist groups and individuals,” according to a news release.
In 2017, state police reported 111 “bias crime” incidents across Connecticut, up slightly from 2016. About 60% of the crimes were motivated by bias against a particular race, ethnicity or ancestry, while about 20% were motivated by religious bias. The statistics matched national trends. Most of the racially biased crimes were anti-black, while most of the religiously bias crimes were anti-Jewish. Intimidation and vandalism were the most common forms of these crimes, officials said.
Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said there is “strong bipartisan support against any type of terrorism” but he took objection with the language Democrats used in announcing their proposal Wednesday.
“When they put a right-wing label on extremism, they do that to elicit a political response,” he said, calling the label undefined and inappropriate. Still, he said Republicans are “on the same page” as Democrats when it comes to protecting Connecticut residents against hate crimes.
Bipartisan legislation passed in 2017 made several changes to the state’s hate crime laws, “including modifying the elements of some of these crimes, broadening the protected classes, and enhancing certain penalties,” according to a state police report.
“Protecting the state from hate crimes is one of our greatest concerns,” Brian Foley, executive aide to the commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, said Wednesday. The department oversees the state police.
“We work closely with many groups, faith-based as well as community groups, to ensure their safety and keep an open line of communication,” Foley said. While state police “vigorously monitor, investigate and track” this issue, Foley added that police are always looking for ways to improve their service.
Besides committing acts of violence, it is also a crime to deprive someone of any legally guaranteed right, intentionally desecrate religious property or use burning crosses or nooses to intimidate others.
Looney said he recently attended a conference with representatives of Connecticut’s Jewish federations in New Haven, where religious leaders shared “grave concerns” about the security of places of worship. As part of the effort to combat hate crimes, the legislation would also call for funding to enhance security features at religious facilities across the state.
Laura Zimmerman, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, described the meeting in New Haven as a show of bipartisan support against hate crimes.
Study Shows Increasing Vitamin C Intake Can Reduce Hip Fracture Risk By 44 Percent
When it comes to healthy bones, people often look to calcium and vitamin D. However, experts suggest adding an unlikely vitamin to the mix: vitamin C. In a recent study published in Osteoporosis International, a team of researchers from Tufts University, Harvard Medical School and the Boston University School of Public Health revealed that taking vitamin C can potentially reduce the likelihood of suffering hip fractures.
The study was a follow-up to the Framingham Study, a long-term, ongoing study that began in 1948. With 5,209 participants, the Framingham Study was originally designed to evaluate the risk factors of heart disease. However, the findings of the study have had far-reaching effects and have proved beneficial for studying other conditions as well.
In an earlier study, the researchers also used the Framingham Study to determine the relationship between bone loss and vitamin C intake among elderly men and concluded that vitamin C may have a protective role when it comes to bone health in older men. For the current study, they examined the correlation between hip fractures and vitamin C. The used data from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study, which included food frequency questionnaires and fracture information for the surviving participants of the original cohort.
The team recorded 100 hip fractures over the follow-up period. Among the participants, those who consumed more vitamin C – whether through food or supplements – had decreased their risk of hip fracture. Those in this group were 44 percent less likely to have a hip fracture than those with a lower intake of the vitamin.
“In summary, we observed a protective effect against fracture with total and supplemental vitamin C in this population of elderly Caucasian men and women,” the team concluded.
The bones need vitamin C
Vitamin C offers many health benefits, from boosting immunity to lowering blood pressure. The vitamin is also known to prevent scurvy, a disease that causes anemia, pain in extremities and bleeding. It’s worth noting, however, that the body does not produce vitamin C, so a person needs to get it from food or supplements. The vitamin also plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health. It helps build blood vessels, muscle, cartilage, and collagen.
1. It reduces oxidative stress in the bones
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. This means that it prevents oxidative stress, which, when left unmanaged, may produce free radicals. In particular, oxidative stress occurs in the bone during the resorption process, where osteoclasts found in bones break reactive oxygen down and release minerals and calcium into the blood. Elevated amounts of reactive oxygen, however, can cause inflammation and oxidative stress.
2. It makes bones stronger
Vitamin C is an essential building ingredient for bones. The body needs vitamin C to form collagen and synthesize compounds to make bones stronger.
How Anti-Vaccine Activists Doomed a Bill in New Jersey
Angry parents, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish group and anti-vaccine celebrities rallied to outmatch one of the state’s most powerful elected leaders.
As a measles outbreak raged last year, New York lawmakers passed a bill ending all nonmedical exemptions to immunization, handing supporters of such efforts across the nation a major victory.
Then the focus shifted to New Jersey, where an even more sweeping bill had been making its way through the State Legislature that would have barred nearly all exemptions to vaccines for students at any public or private school, including colleges, which were not covered by the New York law.
But on Monday the bill collapsed in spectacular fashion, torpedoed by angry parents and the mobilization of national anti-vaccine celebrities who were able to outmatch one of the state’s most powerful elected leaders.
The story of how they succeeded involves a wide range of forces in New Jersey and beyond that coalesced to doom the bill at a time when a spate of deaths from measles has been reported in Samoa, a Pacific island nation that had a low vaccination rate, and public health officials are urging greater flu vaccination because of more severe strains this year.
An influential ultra-Orthodox Jewish organization that had remained largely silent as the New York bill was being debated deliberately pivoted, opting to vocally oppose the New Jersey legislation on grounds of religious freedom.
Grass-root parent groups successfully leveraged social media and conservative talk radio in their effort to convince most Republican leaders to line up against the bill. A Facebook page named Occupy Trenton urged parents to converge at the State House. And, in the final week of debate, appearances by a Kennedy scion and a contrarian filmmaker helped fuel a libertarian argument that parents, not government, should control their children’s health care.
The intense protest left two Democratic senators with cold feet that no degree of political cajoling — or a private question-and-answer session for lawmakers with three pediatricians from the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics — could thaw.
“I have never seen an issue that brought together grass-roots people like this,” said Senator Robert Singer, a Republican who opposed the legislation.
He represents Lakewood, which includes a heavily Orthodox Jewish community that is home to one of the largest yeshivas in the world. But he said many of the thousands of calls and emails his office received over the last month were from non-Orthodox families.
“Many were not Republicans; many were independents and Democrats,” he said. Parents told him they feared their children would be harmed if they followed the mandatory vaccination schedule. “I saw people call me, scared,” Mr. Singer said.
Doctors and public health experts have said the legislation was needed to halt the uptick in the number of unvaccinated children in New Jersey, and to prevent the kind of measles outbreak that occurred in the region last year. They emphasized that there was an overwhelming scientific consensus that vaccines are safe and effective.
The bill passed last month in the Assembly. But lawmakers who supported the legislation also may have made a political miscalculation when they introduced an amendment that excluded private schools to win the vote of a Republican needed to achieve a majority in the Senate. Instead, opponents, including an African-American Democratic assemblyman, argued that this amounted to segregation that would allow only the affluent a choice about vaccination.
Both sides have described the clash in New Jersey as a key front in a nationwide conflict, and perhaps the biggest victory for vaccine skeptics seeking to counter a growing effort to end religious exemptions to childhood vaccines.
“We’re ready to go to war on this,” the powerful Senate president, Stephen M. Sweeney, said after it was clear the bill did not have the votes it needed to pass on the final day of New Jersey’s two-year legislative session. A new bill was introduced on Tuesday, and Mr. Sweeney, a Democrat, has vowed that it will eventually pass. The state’s Democratic governor, Philip D. Murphy, had not taken a public stance on the bill, a factor that Mr. Sweeney said was not helpful during the negotiations.
On Wednesday, Daniel Bryan, a senior adviser to the governor, said Mr. Murphy had “made his position on the importance of vaccinations crystal clear.” The governor, he added, was “disappointed that legislation supporting that goal didn’t reach his desk, but he remains optimistic that it will in the future.
Beside New York, a small group of other states, including California, Mississippi and West Virginia, have ended religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccination, and there is legislation pending to do so in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Maine lawmakers also approved ending most nonmedical exemptions last year, but, under heavy pressure from groups opposed to mandatory vaccines, will ask voters to decide the fate of the policy in a March ballot referendum.
“New Jersey is the state that is arguably the home of the pharmaceutical industry, and we just won in their backyard,” said Del Bigtree, an anti-vaccine activist who lives in Texas and flew in to lead a daylong protest on Monday in Trenton.
It was the second appearance within a week by Mr. Bigtree, who produced a documentary, “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe,” and hosts an online anti-vaccination show. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who campaigns against vaccines as a director of the Children’s Health Defense network, also appeared last week at a rally in the state capital.
Their star appeal became instant fodder for Facebook groups that many protesters cited as key organizing tools.
“Technology is a huge piece of it,” said Sue Collins, a founder of the New Jersey Coalition for Vaccine Choice. “Everybody has access to everybody, and they’re holding it in their hands all day long.”
The omnipresence of social media also gave opponents the ability to reach directly into lawmakers’ private lives.
Senator Richard J. Codey, a Democrat and a former New Jersey governor, said his son got calls at home. Francine Weinberg, a daughter of one of the bill’s sponsors who lives in California, said she had to adjust her Facebook page’s privacy settings to end the string of attacks from commenters.
“I call it the politics of harassment,” said Ms. Weinberg, whose mother, Senator Loretta Weinberg, was a primary sponsor of the legislation.
“And that’s really what it felt like,” Senator Weinberg added.
Among the radio personalities who opposed the bill was Bill Spadea, a Republican who supports President Trump and hosts a morning show on one of New Jersey’s largest radio stations.
“That’s what it looks like when New Jerseyans fight back against government intrusion into our families,” he wrote on Twitter, sharing a video of protesters outside the State House on Monday.
Avi Schnall, New Jersey’s director of Agudath Israel of America, a nationwide umbrella organization of ultra-Orthodox Jews, said the group had decided to publicly oppose the New Jersey legislation after regretting it had not done more to stop the measure in New York.
“We learned from our mistake,” he said in an interview last month.
Last spring, the organization had quietly opposed the New York bill, but the context had been different: The debate was taking place during an outbreak centered in the Orthodox community.
As a group, Orthodox Jews, most of whom do vaccinate their children, did not want to appear opposed to immunization. But the underlying principle of religious accommodation, the organization finally decided, was one worth fighting for, in part because there are rare cases in which a rabbi might decide a vaccination was unwarranted.
Scientists Report that Drinking Baking Soda Could Be a Cheap and Safe Way to Combat Autoimmune Disease and Inflammatory Problems
A daily dose of baking soda may help reduce the destructive inflammation of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, scientists say.
They have some of the first evidence of how the cheap, over-the-counter antacid can encourage our spleen to promote an anti-inflammatory environment that could be therapeutic in the face of inflammatory disease, Medical College of Georgia scientists report in the Journal of Immunology.
They have shown that when rats or healthy people drink a solution of baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, it becomes a trigger for the stomach to make more acid that can digest the next meal.
It also gets little-studied mesothelial cells sitting on the spleen to tell the fist-sized organ that there’s no need to mount a protective immune response.
Dr. Paul O’Connor, who is a renal physiologist and the study’s corresponding author, says that it’s sort of reassuring our organs that “it’s most likely a hamburger, not a bacterial infection.”
The mesothelial cells that line body cavities, like the one that contains our digestive tract, cover the exterior of our organs to quite literally keep them from rubbing together. About a decade ago, it was found that these cells also provide another level of protection; they have little fingers, called microvilli, that sense the environment, and warn the organs they cover that there is an invader and an immune response is needed.
Drinking baking soda, the MCG scientists think, tells the spleen – which is part of the immune system – to go easy on the immune response.
“Certainly drinking bicarbonate affects the spleen and we think it’s through the mesothelial cells,” O’Connor says.
The dosage people take daily for alkalinizing their body’s pH, or for use as an antacid, is one-half to 1 teaspoon of baking soda completely dissolved in at least 4 ounces of water.
The conversation, which occurs with the help of the chemical messenger acetylcholine, appears to promote a landscape that shifts against inflammation, they report.
In the spleen, as well as the blood and kidneys, they found after drinking water with baking soda for two weeks, the population of immune cells called macrophages, shifted from primarily those that promote inflammation, called M1, to those that reduce it, called M2. Macrophages, perhaps best known for their ability to consume garbage in the body like debris from injured or dead cells, are early arrivers to a call for an immune response.
In the case of the lab animals, the problems were hypertension and chronic kidney disease, problems which got O’Connor’s lab thinking about baking soda.
One of the many functions of the kidneys is balancing important compounds like acid, potassium and sodium. With kidney disease, there is impaired kidney function and one of the resulting problems can be that the blood becomes too acidic, O’Connor says. Significant consequences can include increased risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
“It sets the whole system up to fail basically,” O’Connor says. Clinical trials have shown that a daily dose of baking soda can not only reduce acidity, but actually slow progression of the kidney disease, and it’s now a therapy offered to patients.
“[So] we started thinking, how does baking soda slow progression of kidney disease?” O’Connor says.
That’s when the anti-inflammatory impact began to unfold as they saw reduced numbers of M1s and increased M2s in their kidney disease model after consuming the common compound.
When they looked at a rat model without actual kidney damage, they saw the same response. So the basic scientists worked with the investigators at MCG’s Georgia Prevention Institute to bring in healthy medical students who drank baking soda in a bottle of water and also had a similar response.
“The shift from inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory profile is happening everywhere,” O’Connor says. “We saw it in the kidneys, we saw it in the spleen, now we see it in the peripheral blood.”