Dining Out Is Just About the Worst Thing You Can Do to Your Finances

Illustration by Sibel Ergener

by John McDermott

It’s not just the check—restaurant meals put us in a ‘consumer mindset’

One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll get from personal finance experts is to eat out less. By cooking at home, you almost always manage to spend less money on food (not to mention eat healthier).

But a new study not only confirms that eating out is bad for your finances, but suggests that eating out is among the worst things you can do for your personal financial health.

“What we saw consistently throughout the study was that when people reported their dining-out budget for the second time during the experiment, it was significantly higher than what they stated the first time,” Penn State professor Amit Sharma, one of the study’s co-authors, tells Futurity. “What this tells us is that obviously they thought they would spend less in a week, but as the week progressed, they realized they were spending a lot more and they rationalized that increase.”

Specifically, people increased their personal dining out budgets from less than $18 in the first week of the study to $55 in week two, when they realized the first figure was unrealistic.

I’m not sure where these study respondents live that any of them think $18 would last them a week’s worth of dining out. They certainly don’t live in L.A., where $18 gets you a tablespoon of quinoa with a side of two fig leaves, or New York, where $18 is the admission price for the privilege of waiting to maybe buy a cronut.

What’s most interesting, though, is the rationalization part. Rather than curb their dining out in the face of that information, people just readjust their budgets to meet their actual spending habits.

People’s tendency to overspend is partially due to valuing immediate gratification over the long-term benefits of saving. In Sharma’s study, people’s weekly budget goals were no match for their pressing desire to go out and eat some delicious food. “We tend to discount the future more than we should and, therefore, place higher value on current consumption,” says Sharma.

Worse, the study suggests that eating out changes people’s mindset from saving to consumption.

Serious savers know that a commitment to saving is about more than abstaining from the occasional splurge — it’s a mindset that informs every aspect of their lives. They understand that while spending $5 at Starbucks may seem like a minor purchase, it’s actually very important. That daily $5 purchase each morning equates to more than $1,200 over the course of a year, so serious savers opt for the shitty office brew. Conduct that calculus on all the small, seemingly inconsequential purchases in one’s life, and you have significant savings.

The people MEL profiled in our Into the Black series, for instance, didn’t pay off their debts because they refrained from buying expensive cars. They did so by identifying and cutting out any and all unnecessary purchases, no matter the size, and letting the savings accumulate over time. They bought cheap beer, hosted game nights and potlucks and took up free hobbies such as rock climbing instead of meeting their friends out at fancy cocktail bars.

But going out to eat seems to take a person out of that vigilant savings mindset: What’s a $5 coffee when I already spent $12 on lunch?

Way more than they could have imagined. In fact, foregoing that morning coffee could turn them into a millionaire, according to personal finance guru David Bach. If you’re younger than 30, and put the money you usually spend on a morning latte into a retirement account, it’ll grow to $1 million by the time you’re retirement age.

And that’s money you can dine out on.

https://melmagazine.com/dining-out-is-just-about-the-worst-thing-you-can-do-for-your-finances-bbee7062048e#.yywk7ha3p

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Hamburgers Are Bigger Than Ever, but the Meat Has Always Been Questionable

 

by Quinn Myers

From ‘pink slime’ to bug burgers, a look at the quintessential American meal

For most of the world, the symbol most associated with America isn’t the bald eagle, George Washington or even the stars and stripes—it’s the hamburger and fries. But how much has this simple meal — a ground-beef sandwich with fried potatoes — changed since its glory days of the 1950s? Let’s find out.

The Ingredients

1950s: According to Andrew Smith, author of The Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food, the quality of hamburger meat was so bad in the early 20th century that by the 1950s, customers needed reassuring that what they were getting was actual meat. “Heading into the ‘50s, White Castle had beef slabs delivered to each outlet a couple times a day,” Smith says. “It was ground up in front of any customers in the store to assure everyone that their beef did come from a cow, as opposed to a variety of meat and other products from other slaughtered animals.”

White Castle employee pointing out a White Castle inspected meat sign

So during the burger’s heyday, most people could feel confident that they were, in fact, getting 100 percent ground beef, while the fries were exactly as advertised: Potatoes, sliced in the restaurant and fried in animal oil.

Today: In 2008, a study by Brigid Prayson of the Cleveland Clinical Foundation tried to find out whether it was even possible for America to produce as much beef as was apparently being consumed — an interesting question, considering that there are fewer cattle being raised now than in the 1970s, and yet we’re eating more beef than we were then. The answers weren’t encouraging, and a test of a variety of fast-food burgers found that the amount of real meat in burgers ranged from just 2 to 14 percent. The rest was made up of what has become known as “pink slime,” or in the words of the study, “a mash of connective tissue, blood vessels, peripheral nerve, plant material, cartilage and bone.”

This nauseating goop was then doused in ammonium hydroxide, an antimicrobial agent once classified by the Department of Agriculture as “generally recognized as safe,” though the practice is banned in the European Union. McDonald’s and other chains have since claimed that they no longer use the stuff, but after a brief public backlash, it has crept back into grocery stores, with a 2014 study claiming that up to 70 percent of the ground beef sold in stores contains the dreaded pink slime.

McDonald’s pink slime

The meat isn’t the only thing chock-full of chemicals now, either. A quick look at the fry ingredients listed on McDonald’s website reveals not just potatoes but rather a dozen different things, including chemicals with such appetizing names as sodium acid pyrophosphate (that’s the one that maintains their friendly yellow color). Essentially, most of the water in the fries has been replaced with fat, and a bunch of chemicals are added to make them taste like they were fried in animal fat, rather than the mix of corn and soybean oil they’re actually fried in.

The Size

1950s: “The combo of french fries and burgers as a meal became solidified during World War II, since meat was rationed and you needed to bolster what small amount of it you had with something else,” says Smith. How small exactly were the burgers? In 1950, the average burger weighed just 3.9 ounces—not so much bigger than a modern-day White Castle slider, at 2.2 ounces, according to the Centers for Disease Control. For their part, an average order of fries weighed roughly 2.4 ounces.

Today: As rationing came to an end, burgers began to fatten up. “Chains like Burger King came along offering bigger burgers with more meat, and the increased competition led to an arms race of the sizes and the styles of burgers,” Smith says. As a result, the average fast-food burger has quadrupled in size since the 1950s and now stands at a gut-busting 12 ounces. Fries, meanwhile, have nearly doubled in size, weighing in at 6.7 ounces (again according to the CDC)…

more…

https://melmagazine.com/hamburgers-are-bigger-than-ever-but-the-meat-has-always-been-questionable-ba04dc37f0e7#.mugo2w70w

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A Dietary Treatment for Depression

wikimedia commons
Source: wikimedia commons

A randomized controlled trial shows the right diet can improve depression.

For the past seven years, I’ve been writing articles about food and mood, exploring how different diets and types of foods might create or help mental healthproblems. Despite a great amount of interest in this topic spawning dozens of popular books from Grain Brain to Eat Complete, the data we had was always limited. The vast majority of studies about food and mental health are observational, meaning some form of asking people what they eat and then tracking mental health variables. These data are limited by different types of bias, food studies being particularly prone to bias, as they are often done with “food frequency questionnaires” or FFQs asking about how many hamburgers or vegetables you eat. Even one of the most validated FFQs in the world, the one used for the Nurses’ Health study, has severe limitations. People who lied more about hamburger intake were healthier than those who didn’t, for example. With observational data, you usually find that healthy people who care about their health and listen to health messaging are healthier. Large observational studies are mostly interesting if they have findings that are opposite what is expected (for example, coffee drinkers, despite smoking more and drinking more alcohol, score higher on several measures of good health).

The real meat of science is in the randomized controlled trial. That means taking two groups of people, putting one through an experiment and one through a control, and seeing if there is a difference in outcomes between the groups. When it comes to mental illness, we did have some data for the use of randomized controlled trials of certain diets and some mood outcomes. All of these studies had depression as one of the measured endpoints, but none of these were in a group of depressed people trying different diets to feel better. The measures of depression were just collected along the way of a trial looking at something else (such as heart disease). In these trials, changing diet to various options (such as Mediterranean or lower cholesterol) didn’t worsen symptoms of depressed mood, but only diet trials that didn’t restrict red meat or weren’t described as “low cholesterol” diets were effective in lowering measures of depression by the end of the study. Another randomized therapy trial for early depression in the elderly used a nutritional instruction arm as the control (thinking that food instruction was neutral and wouldn’t help mental health), finding it equal to a type of community-based psychotherapy in preventing worsening of depression.

This year, finally, we have the SMILES trial, the very first dietary trial to look specifically at a dietary treatment in a depressed population in a mental health setting. Participants met criteria for depression and many were already being treated with standard therapy, meds, or both. The designers of this trial took the preponderance of observational and controlled data we already have for general and mental health and decided to train people using dietary advice, nutritional counseling, and motivational interviewing directed at eating a “modified Mediterranean diet” that combined the Australian Dietary Guidelines and the Dietary Guidelines for Adults in Greece. They recommended eating whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes, unsweetened dairy, raw nuts, fish, chicken, eggs, red meat (up to three servings per week), and olive oil. Everyone in the study met criteria for a depressive disorder…

more…

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201703/dietary-treatment-depression

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Does Everything Cause Cancer Nowadays?

by Pedro Aquila, Staff Writer,Waking Times

When a person attempts conversation about how something causes cancer, they are often met with the dismissive response “but everything causes cancer.” They are right, in a way. Almost everything does cause cancer, yet it is possible to avoid.

This article can be a resource for avoiding carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and health damaging chemicals. It only scratches the surface, but this should be a perfect introduction for someone who is unaware that many things are too toxic to tolerate.

1. Chemicals in Food

A. GM, pesticide contaminated soy is linked to endocrine disruption and cancer

As you may have heard, the pesticide RoundUp or glyphosate is an enemy to public health in several ways, but did you know many soy products are contaminated with it, and can cause endocrine disruption and cancer?

Genetically modified soybeans are grown in great abundance, and the result is cheap, plentiful soybean oil. The soybean oil is put into just about every processed food product you can think of, and it often contains the pesticide it is genetically modified to be resistant to.

Have you ever heard of doctors prescribing anti-depressants, referencing a “chemical imbalance” as the cause of depression? Well endocrine disruption, hormonal imbalance from chemicals, is one true cause of “chemical depression,” so avoiding them can be a critical decision in securing emotional health.

What’s more, the small amounts of glyphosate found in soy products interact with a phytoestrogen in soybeans, creating a reaction that has a more potent endocrine disrupting effect.

A 2013 paper published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology says:

“Glyphosate-based herbicides are widely used for soybean cultivation, and our results also found that there was an additive estrogenic effect between glyphosate and genistein, a phytoestrogen in soybeans. However, these additive effects of glyphosate contamination in soybeans need further animal study.”

B. Artificial Coffee Creamers

This article could choose any number of processed foods to expose the toxicity of. Let’s just choose one: artificial coffee creamer.

This is an artificial creamer sold under the brand “Ambiance.”

It contains these chemicals.

“Corn syrup solids” are in the same vein of unhealthy as high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil is one of those health damaging soy products, dipotassium phosphate is a common additive to coffee creamer that is linked to health problems written about in academic papers, and the list goes on.

2. Body Care Products

A. Aluminum in Deodorant

Breast and skin cancer, Alzheimer’s, endocrine disruption, and other health problems are strongly linked to the use of “body care” products. For example, aluminum compounds in antiperspirant/deodorant are linked to Alzheimer’s. Endocrine disruptors are even ending up in water supplies.

The way body care products can cause health problems is well summarized in a 2009 paper titled, “Underarm antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer”:

“An extensive number of cosmetic products are applied topically on and around the human breast on a daily basis, often multiple times a day, including not only underarm anti-perspirant/deodorant products but also body lotions, body sprays, moisturising creams, breast firming/enhancing creams and suncare products. These products are not rinsed off but left on the skin, allowing for continuous dermal exposure, absorption and deposition into underlying tissues, which may be further increased by abrasions in the skin created by shaving [2,3,57]. The extent to which chemicals absorbed by this route escape metabolism remains unknown, but they would certainly escape the systemic metabolism to which orally derived chemicals would be subjected [57].”

An article by Dr. Edward Group offers an alternative to toxic deodorants:

“Aluminum-free deodorants should consist of essential oils and all natural ingredients. Aluminum free alone may not be enough as some aluminum-free deodorants are still high risk, according to the Environmental Working Group, and can contain chemicals like triclosan and propylene glycol. Triclosan is perhaps a more fierce endocrine disruptor than propylene glycol, so try to avoid it. This article contains a recipe for making your own deodorant using natural ingredients like baking soda and coconut oil.”

B. Chemical sunscreen can cause endocrine disruption and cancer

You may have heard of sunscreen actually causing skin cancer and hormone disruption.

Oxybenzone is a main ingredient in many sunscreens. Luckily there are alternatives.

Two different types of sunscreen are well summarized by Wellness Mama:

“There are two ways that a sunscreen can protect the skin from sun damage: with a mineral barrier or a chemical one.

Mineral sunscreens typically include ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which create a physical barrier to protect the skin from the sun.

Chemical sunscreens use one or more chemicals including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.”

In one case, a woman who blogged about the value of body care products and sunscreen actually ended up with skin cancer. An ABC headline reads: “Woman ‘Shocked’ to Develop Skin Cancer Despite Sunscreen Vigilance.”

From that article:

“Annie Tomlin is an expert beauty editor who is known for telling her millions of readers about the importance of sunscreen, so when a red patch appeared on her hairline and wouldn’t go away, she knew something wasn’t right.

“As it grew and grew I thought, ‘this isn’t normal,’” she said.

A biopsy revealed that Tomlin had basal cell carcinoma. It’s the most common kind of skin cancer. Tomlin said she was “shocked” by the diagnosis in November.”I’m religious about sun protection. I wore it every day as a kid,” she said.”…

more…

About the Author

Pedro Aquila is a staff writer for Waking Times.

This article (Does Everything Cause Cancer Nowadays?) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Pedro Aquila and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/02/27/everything-cause-cancer-nowadays/

 

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Glyphosate Contaminants In Processed Brand Name Foods

glyphosate-contaminates-global-ecosystem

By Catherine J. Frompovich

Glyphosate is the main chemical active in several brands of agricultural and corporate farming herbicides used in the growing fields; in GMO seed crop cultures; and in what’s called “preharvest staging” [1]. That’s when the herbicide is sprayed several days [3 to 5 days] prior to crop harvest to “ensure” seed heads mature evenly. Some consider that process acts as a “desiccant.”

The more commonly-used herbicide is Roundup® manufactured by Monsanto. In GMO farming, there is Roundup Ready® seeds, which are totally different from heirloom or non-GMO seeds. One specific difference is GMO seeds have patents on them, meaning something has been done to modify the seed from the parent or original plant strain produced by Nature.

Recently on an Internet talk show, I heard a professor talking about the non-browning apple, i.e., the apple’s protein is turned off to make the GMO-non-browning apple not brown when cut and exposed to air, as a normal apple does.

Well, the question I, as a natural nutritionist, have is: If the protein (0.3 gram or 1% of Daily Value) [3] in the GMO non-browning apple is turned off, does that mean the apple protein is not functional within that GMO apple as a nutrient for human nutrition? Has a scientific nutritional analysis proven that factually one way or the other? Or does science indicate that protein is viable as human nutrition? Because, if not, that would make a real nutritional difference in the GMO non-browning apple!

Furthermore, what’s called the “equivalence factor” of GMO phoods really is this, in my opinion: GMO plants have ‘things’ either inserted or turned off or modified (allowing patents to be issued making food seeds/plants corporate property subject to legal redress) from original parent plants, therefore, GMOs are NOT equivalent to the original plant food, regardless of what GMO science claims!

The fact food crop seeds or plants have “patents” should be the prime exclusionary criterion difference, in my opinion, since historical and heirloom foods/seeds/plants did not, and do not, have patents! That’s why the U.S. FDA is out to lunch on GMO phood science, I say, and all GMO phoods legally must be labeled correctly to comply with truth in advertising laws in the USA.

Then there’s the inconvenient ‘byproduct’ of corporate farming; it’s glyphosate residues in processed foods, which has been confirmed scientifically by Food Democracy Now, The Detox Project and their 29-page report “Glyphosate: UNSAFE ON ANY PLATE”[2].

Below are two charts showing the glyphosate food testing results in parts per billion (ppb) FDN had performed, and the results are nothing short of stunning! Cheerios, which moms routinely give to toddlers as “finger food,” contain 1,125.3 ppb!

 

Going down the list we see what I call ‘corporate food sin’ in brand names like General Mills, Kellogg’s, Nabisco, PepsiCo, Campbell Soup Company, Little Debbie, Lucy’s, Whole Foods, and Back to Nature! The really sad news, in my opinion, is brand names originally associated with previously ‘healthy type food’ before corporate buy outs apparently have chemically contaminated brands like Annie’s and Kashi because ‘corporate-brands parents’ don’t keep tight control over chemical-free food processing and production, in my opinion.more…

http://www.naturalblaze.com/2017/02/glyphosate-contaminants-in-processed-brand-name-foods.html

 

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This graphic showing what’s actually inside Nutella may make you rethink nutrition labels

by Sophie-Claire Hoeller, INSIDER

The INSIDER Summary:

• Nutella is often marketed as a nutritious hazelnut spread.
• A breakdown of the ingredients shows that Nutella has very few hazelnuts and is actually made mostly of sugar and palm oil.

Ever seen a Nutella commercial?

Generally, Nutella, a delicious hazelnut and cocoa spread, is marketed as “healthy,” despite basically being a liquid chocolate spread.

Ads feature cherub-cheeked children eating slices of whole-grain bread spread with a frugal amount of Nutella for breakfast.

In most countries, it’s marketed as a simple hazelnut cream, and ads highlight the fact that Nutella has no artificial colors or preservatives.

But Nutella is not exactly a health food.

A now-viral image uploaded to Reddit (and originally created by the consumer center in Hamburg, Germany) shows exactly what is in a jar of Nutella.

While Nutella contains just five ingredients (palm oil, cocoa, hazelnuts, skimmed milk powder, and sugar), a whopping half of the stuff is sugar.

According to its nutritional label, a jar of Nutella has 21 grams of sugar per 37 grams of spread (two tablespoons), meaning that in reality more than half is sugar. Much of the rest is palm oil — solid fat some claim causes cancer.

The label also says that jars contain “over 50 hazelnuts per 13 oz. jar.”

Ferrero, the company that makes Nutella, provided this comment:

“One of Ferrero’s core nutritional beliefs is that small portion sizes help people to enjoy their favourite foods in moderation. The labelling on all our products enables consumers to make informed choices and helps ensure that Nutella can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.”

In other words, you may want to cut back on eating it from the jar by the spoon.

http://www.businessinsider.com/nutella-ingredients-graphic-2017-2

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Another Brick In The Wall – Modern Education and the System of Deception

by Paul Philips, Guest, Waking Times

Like many things — the food industry, the medical-pharmaceutical establishment, the mainstream media – the hidden corporate/bankers who control our governments have also standardized the education system through funding.

Many years ago in the USA, for example, much money was poured into education by the Rockefeller-created National Education Association, with the help of the Carnegie Foundation and later on the Ford Foundation. The result of the efforts of such organisations can be seen worldwide today in the real purpose of the education system which is to teach children and young people: 1) Reward comes from accurate memory recall from heavy repetition. 2) Non-compliance will be punished. 3) Acceptance that ‘truth’ and what is ‘real’ comes from authority.

Thus, the real purpose of the education system is to cultivate conformity and prohibit critical thinking about anything of real importance.

Starting at 4 years old (and what could be a better age to start a mass indoctrination?) and finishing by the time an individual comes out of the education system, some 12 years plus on, children have had more than their fair share of programming and brainwashing, and as a result are unable to really think for themselves. Moreover, any genuine outside-of-the-box thinking with significant potential humanitarian or Mother Earth-friendly benefit is ignored, quashed, ridiculed or suppressed by the influence of those hidden controllers if it is perceived as a threat to any of their businesses.

But, as Einstein said, ‘real thinking is to think the unthinkable…’

Introducing the ‘Unsung Heroes’

The following is a list of just some of history’s truly great humanitarian outside-of-the-box thinkers, with their innovative ideas/products that have never been able to see the light of day (due to the above reasons.)

Raymond Rife

Raymond Rife (1888-1971) and his Universal Microscope for curing cancer.

After successfully curing a number of cancer patients the Rockefeller owned American Medical Association (AMA) later had this work laid down to rest by closing down Rife’s set ups and seizing his equipment:

Essentially Rife refused to hand over the rights of his work to the AMA because he saw moneyed interests as hidden ulterior motives – that his the cancer curing machine would not be allowed to the world at large because the AMA and the medical/pharmaceutical establishment did not want patients’ cured.

That would mean customers lost and no more revenue for the cancer industry, so instead they push out real cures, and keep coming up with toxic treatments that never cure, instead create further symptoms (side effects) guaranteeing the cancer returns and thus repeat business until the patient eventually dies an unnecessarily harsh death.

After years of ensuing court cases with the ‘big boys’ of the cancer establishment, with little money to exist on, Rife exiled in Mexico to avoid imprisonment in the USA. He later died of alcoholism, a brilliant, but defeated man. The pressures of harassment related to the legal battles and constant threat of imprisonment had been too much for him.

The Associated Press: Apparatus of San Diegan Seen as Boon to Medical World

Linus Pauling

Pauling had worked with Matthias Rath and they came up with a unified approach to curing heart disease. (1901-1994) – ‘Unified Theory’ cure for heart disease.

Essentially, they found that heart disease is the result of a long-term vitamin C deficiency. The solution is to treat patients with frequent high doses (e.g. 6g/day) of vitamin C while using the amino acids lysine and proline to remove the atherosclerotic plaque lining the inner walls of the blood vessels that cause a narrowing or blocking of the lumen (space) of the blood vessels which is responsible for restricting blood flow and cardiovascular disease.

However, due to greater interests in corporate profitability and perceived financial threat, this highly successful cheap alternative therapy has not been allowed that much attention.

 

 

Nikola Tesla

Multi-talented Tesla cut across many disciplinary boundaries. His genius gave rise to a number of world-changing inventions. Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) – Wardenclyffe Tower Project free energy.

One of his most famous experiments /inventions was the Wardenclyffe Tower Project. It was Tesla’s attempt to provide everyone on the globe with free energy through harnessing electricity from the Earth’s ionosphere by means of the towers. Without wires the towers could transmit the harnessed electricity to ground-level areas requiring it…

However, Tesla’s funding was stopped. His equipment and lab was burned down together with the related intellectual property because it posed a threat to undercutting the cost of the conventional electricity grid system. If Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower Project had been allowed to flourish and not be destroyed then today we could well be living in a utopia.  Tesla died a poverty-stricken lonely and forgotten man in New York City.

TIME Magazine Cover: Nikola Tesla – July 20, 1931

Wilhelm Reich

Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) – Drought-breaking weather control.

Wilhelm Reich built an instrument he called the cloudbuster which successfully induced weather change. It has been used to break many droughts by producing clouds that make rain.

This workable mechanism for making rainclouds for crop irrigation in drought areas was stopped by those ever watchful lackeys for the ruling elite.

 

Allowing something like this could lead to food abundance and greatly contribute to ending world hunger. However, the controllers don’t want world hunger to end. If this happened it would make it more difficult to control people in what would no longer be third world countries. .. Don’t forget, their hidden enslavement agenda

Consequentially Reich was hounded by the likes of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) having accused him of fraud and deception with his cloudbuster instrument. His equipment was seized and destroyed. His last days were spent in prison where it was claimed that he died of a heart attack

more…

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/02/16/another-brick-wall-modern-education-system-deception/

 

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