Monday, March 20, 2017

Things That Make You Go Hmmm?

     
                                           


                                                   From the Ramparts
                                                Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                        Things That Make you Go Hmm?

            "The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established in 1978 when Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which is codified, as amended, at 50 U.S.C. §§ 1801-1885c. The Court sits in Washington D.C., and is composed of eleven federal district court judges who are designated by the Chief Justice of the United States.  Each judge serves for a maximum of seven years and their terms are staggered to ensure continuity on the Court.  By statute, the judges must be drawn from at least seven of the United States judicial circuits, and three of the judges must reside within 20 miles of the District of Columbia." http://www.fisc.uscourts.gov/about-foreign-intelligence-surveillance-court 

            The hearings currently going on in Washington regarding the alleged collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians, alleged Russian influence or hacking of the Democratic National Committee, leaks of classified information and whether President Obama spied on candidate Trump are not serious investigations. It is a partisan dog and pony show designed to further the "Russia did it" narrative, demonize Vladimir Putin, absolve Clinton of any responsibility for her woeful election loss and make Trump look bad so public opinion can be shaped against Trump and pressure brought to bear to impeach him.
            The FBI Director and Director of the National Security Agency were called to Capital Hill to answer questions about investigations as to the degree if any Russia was involved influencing the 2016 presidential election whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians or Obama had Trump under surveillance. FBI Director James Comey stated he could not answer or speculate on many questions because there was an ongoing counterintelligence investigation going on. He did say there was no evidence that Trump was bugged by the Obama administration. Notice he wasn't asked if Trump could have been bugged by another government or entity.
            The thing that makes me go hmmm about all this is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) was established in 1978 and it is the official process whereby the government can gain permission to spy on a foreign person, entity or group. It is a known fact the FISA Court merely rubber stamps requests from US "intelligence" and law enforcement agencies. One of the concerns is the number of requests FISA gets and the type of data collected. FISA is supposed to be for surveillance of foreign persons but the US has had a sordid history of abuse by the FBI and CIA (COINTELPRO Operation Chaos), if you want to know just how foul and wicked our government has been read the Church Committee Reports https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brookings-now/2015/05/06/40-years-ago-church-committee-investigated-americans-spying-on-americans/ It was because of the Church Committee findings the FISA Court was set up!!!
            By the way, where were the NSA and FBI who had global surveillance capabilities with their Echelon and Carnivore spy systems when 9-11 was being planned?! How come with all that taxpayer money that goes into the defense and intelligence deep state they didn't stop 9-11 even when the CIA Director told President Bu$h something was going down around September 11th? Makes you go hmmm?
            If Obama was spying or bugging Trump he wouldn't be that stupid to use the FBI NSA or CIA where he would leave a paper or E-mail trail back to himself or the White House. If he was spying on Trump and his people, Obama would probably do like Nixon did have some off USA book, off the grid operatives do it. There is speculation the Obama administration used the British version of the NSA what the UK calls Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) who collaborate and share information and technology with the US NSA and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, what in the spy business is known as Five Eyes Alliance, to do their dirty work.    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/06/is-the-five-eyes-alliance-conspiring-to-spy-on-you/277190/
             An arrangement like this makes more sense than using the FBI or CIA because the Five Eye Alliance routinely contact each other, coordinate and collaborate on global spying and surveillance. In fact there is speculation by several former CIA analysts that the abrupt resignation of the GCHQ Director Robert Hannigan in January of 2017 has something to do with GCHQ's involvement in the Flynn resignation and that could have been expanded to spy on Trump.  http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2017/03/01/1014351is-there-more-to-the-flynn-story-philip-giraldi/ And of course neither the GCHQ nor the British government are going to admit their complicity in this in fact they have already denied any involvement. Things that make you go hmmm?
            Anyway, enjoy the Congressional dog and pony show, but don't fall for the flim-flam.


                                                -30-

Monday, March 13, 2017

Don't Fall for The Russki Ruse

                                                   
                                                 From The Ramparts
                                                Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                       Don't Fall For The Russki Ruse

            In an effort to obfuscate Hillary Clinton's disappointing loss to Donald Trump the Democratic Party and the corporate media are attempting to lay the blame for the shocking smack down of their candidate on Russian president Vladimir Putin.  But the fact of the matter is the Democrats and media have presented no solid physical evidence whatsoever (only anonymous unnamed sources) to prove the Russians hacked the election or influenced its outcome.
            US voting machines cannot be hacked via the Internet and Russian agents did not infiltrate the state and local governments who had access to US voting machines in order to tamper with them! Don't fall for the flim flam. The globalist warmongers in the ruling class are apoplectic because Hillary lost the election. Clinton was their girl, the one they felt would carry on the Wall Street, Military Industrial Complex, endless wars and take their domestic Nazification program to the next level. So to absolve Clinton of any personal responsibility for her disastrous presidential campaign and election loss, they are blaming the Russians.
            The warmonger faction of the ruling class opposes Donald Trump not because of his ego or because he may be emotionally unstable, what modern president was more goofy than George W Bu$h (or Gerald Ford)? They oppose him because he is a D.C. outsider and a nationalist. As a candidate Trump called into question some of their most sacrosanct institutions and policies: NATO, the United Nations and the ongoing animus against Vladimir Putin and Russia.
            They cannot have anyone least of all a novice outsider thwarting their imperialist agenda. So they have unleashed their media hellhounds on Trump and his cabinet. They are trying to paint him as a traitor and puppet of Putin. They are attempting to kill two birds with one stone, undermine Trump and further demonize Putin and Russia.
             Putin has been in their crosshairs for a while but he really ignited their ire when he interfered with their plans to do to Syria what they did to Iraq and Libya, turn Syria into a failed vassal state. When Putin responded to Assad's request for help and his Russian air forces with the assistance of Iran and Hezbollah ground forces set back the Western supported Wahabbi fanatics who serve as the canon fodder in their effort to topple Assad, he really ticked them off!  With Putin and Co's help Assad has retaken much of the country. Putin's actions prevented another US/NATO invasion of a sovereign nation that is not a threat to the West.
            Also Putin and China's Xi Jinping have partnered to form BRICS (with Brazil, India and South Africa) to create a powerful trading block and an international bank that provides an alternative to US unipolar hegemony, the IMF, the World Bank and the Rothschild international usury system. The BRICS trading partnership is not buying or selling in US petrodollars which is a step towards dethroning the US dollar as the world's trading currency.
            The BRICS are signing mutually beneficial multilateral trade deals and agreeing to protect each other militarily, which is why the US is working feverishly to create problems in all the BRICS nations. They are pushing NATO to the borders of Russia, holding war games and the US was behind the coup in Ukraine. That would be like Russia or China placing troops on the Canadian border then destabilizing Mexico and putting an anti-US government in its place.
            The US is provoking China in the South China Sea and fomenting discord with China's Muslim population. The US is working to further undermine Brazil's faltering economy and they attempted a color revolution in South Africa two years ago but failed. BRICS is a major threat to the ruling oligarchs New World Order plans.
            Don't fall for the media's okey-doke. Do some research on the CIA's Operation Mockingbird and the FBI's COINTELPRO (which have now been legalized by the USA PATRIOT ACT and NDAA) http://www.theblackvault.com/documentarchive/operation-mockingbird/ and you will see just how ruthless our government is and has been. Don't fall for the Russki ruse.

                                                                 -30-

Monday, February 06, 2017

I Am Not Your Negro

                                               From The Ramparts
                                                Junious Ricardo Stanton                                           
                                                I Am Not Your Negro
                                               
            My wife and I went to see Raoul Peck's documentary I Am Not Your Negro. It was based upon James Baldwin's writings and life experiences. It uses archival footage of Baldwin, pictures and footage of American history and Samuel L. Jackson's voice reading and sharing some of Baldwin's thoughts and writings to tell his story. It uses music, the Blues, and popular recordings to infuse the images with emotion and Baldwin's perspective on racial politics in America. It is a powerful film. It helps the viewer realize history and "the past" are not distant, unrelated, abstract disconnected entities, but an integral, integrated and omnipresent part of our now. It demonstrates we cannot escape our past and America certainly cannot nor will never change unless and until we face our demons and make an honest effort to repent and be better.
            The film is in limited distribution. In fact it is in only two theaters in the whole , tri-state area.  It is not the kind of film the masses of Americans Black or white will go see. I can readily see why. The film, like James Baldwin is unnerving, it shatters our illusions and delusions about race in America. It is based on an uncompleted book Baldwin was writing prior to his death.
Philadelphia
             James Baldwin always made me uncomfortable, yet he influenced me greatly. He was uncompromising in his assessment of the American reality. He took no prisoners and didn't give white America any wiggle room to escape their sins, their duplicity, lies and hypocrisy. His piercing eyes, his candor and vocabulary made him a champion for Negroes as we were called in the 1960's when I became familiar with his work.
            The film includes interviews of him on the Dick Cavett television program in the 1960's, lectures at Cambridge and archival footage of American history, the history most Americans want to forget. I Am Not Your Negro weaves many threads using Baldwin's words, pictures, Hollywood film clips and current events to tell Baldwin's story as interpreted by Raoul Peck, which makes the film extraordinarily powerful. Under Peck's direction the film examines the impact of three men on Baldwin's life, their martyrdom and his relationship with them: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Baldwin knew all three and each had a profound impact on his life because as a writer he was intimately involved in the struggle against oppression. In the film Baldwin who was living in Paris as an expatriate determined to return to America and become engaged in the struggle because as he said, he could no longer be a spectator from afar.
            But aside from Baldwin's personal thoughts, insights and opinions, the film also reveals the connectivity between the past, slavery, American apartheid euphemistically called "Jim Crow" and today. Peck fuses pictures of Ferguson Missouri, Trayvon Martin and a host of other Blacks killed by police while using Baldwin's words to juxtapose his personal defiance and optimism amidst the carnage and oppression of his day. Near the end of the film Baldwin questions the very need to create niggers and he says, "I am not a nigger, I'm a man".  
            But the sad reality is, the theme of the film is apropos today, which is scary. During the film the audience sat in rapt attention. There was no talking, no nervous laughter just focused concentration. Every once in a while you could here someone murmur, "that's right",  or "uh, uh uh". When exiting the theater I observed hushed tones and expressions on people's faces demonstrating they were in deep thought. This is what art is supposed to do.
                                                            -30-

            

Monday, January 09, 2017

Don't Fall for The Okey-Doke

                                                             From The Ramparts
                                                          Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                                      Don't Fall for the Okey-Doke


            As we enter a New year, we must be alert, vigilant and prepared to protect our minds from the onslaught of propaganda, lies and disinformation the 1% and their media flunkies are sending our way. We see some of it already with the bogus issues of "fake news" and the contrived mime the Russians hacked the election in favor of Donald Trump. Listening to and participating in conversations with many of our people, bless their hearts, some actually believe the Russians influenced the 2016 election.
            What we are seeing is an all out campaign by the corporate media to demonize Russian president Vladimir Putin, weaken incoming US president  Donald Trump and obfuscate the fact the corporate media was totally wrong in their biased predictions about the 2016 presidential election results!
            Trump won the election by focusing on the key electoral college states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina and Wisconsin. In that regard Trump was successful winning traditionally Democratic states like Pennsylvania. The analysis of the election shows Hillary Clinton lost because she like Trump was not well liked but she lost the white female vote, she lost the blue collar vote and she failed dismally to rally the so called Obama coalition to vote for her. As a warmonger and the candidate from Wall Street her populous message was disingenuous, the people knew it so they didn't vote for her.
            That being said, this nonsense about Russia hacking the election is pure propaganda.  First of all, the media is being deceitful by using the word hack. The Russians did not have access to US voting machines to hack them. The Russians did not infiltrate the various local polling places or manipulate the voting  process in any way. The Russians did not spend hundreds of millions of dollars on ad campaigns or social media favoring Donald Trump. Even the US "intelligence" agencies admit Russia did none of this.
            What we are seeing is a full court press by the corporate media and Washington establishment to intimidate and belittle Donald Trump. Both Trump and Bernie Sanders were correct when they stated the US political system is rigged against ordinary citizens, that large donations have tainted the whole process. The US Supreme Court allowed unlimited big money to control US elections with their Citizens United v FEC ruling. Now big money from the Military Industrial Complex, big pharmaceutical, insurance, media and corporate boondoggles are trying to make sure Trump doesn't upset their business as usual apple chart.
            The notion Putin directly hacked the DNC is preposterous. It is an attempt to obfuscate the fact Clinton and the DNC were exposed rigging the primaries against Bernie Sanders. Putin and Russia are also being demonized because he along with Iran and Hezbollah were invited by President Assad to help save his country, defeated the ISIS terrorist in Syria being funded by the US. http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-the-us-supports-the-islamic-state-isis-one-accidental-airdrop-vs-billions-in-covert-military-aid/5409449 How dare he thwart the US attempt at regime change in Syria!
             The other reason Putin is being depicted as the villain is because the Military Industrial Complex and the US Deep State need a sovereign enemy to justify their imperialist policies and boondoggle spending. By now most people realize "ISIS" and "al-Qaida" (al- CIA-da) are a rag tag bunch of fanatics trained by Saudi Arabia and funded by the West to do the US's dirty work. But the corporate mind control apparatus wants us to believe they are an independent self-sustaining global terrorist phenomenon.
            We should question the so called intelligence agencies because they are the same folks who said Osama bin-Laden did 9-11, who said Saddam Hussein had WMDs, who said Assad gassed his own people, who told us Russia annexed Crimea (in 2014 Crimea voted overwhelmingly to rejoin the Russian federation.) Their track record is not so good. Trump should be skeptical. But to beltway crowd, questioning or disparaging the CIA , NSA, DIA etc is a no no. The last US President to stand up to the CIA was John F Kennedy and we know what happened to him. The last US Senator to publicly expose intelligence abuses was Idaho Senator Frank Church. To get back at him the CIA funded his opposition and he lost his bid for reelection.
            2017 is barely started and the mind control apparatus is trying to gin up negative perceptions and hostilities that could lead to conflict (the US and NATO are ringing Russia with troops, missiles and conducting war games as we speak) and domestic discord. Don't fall for the okey-doke, think for yourself and make up your own mind. Be vigilant, double check your information, don't drink their Kool-aid.


                                                            -30-

Monday, December 19, 2016

What If?

                                               From The Ramparts
                                             Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                                      What If?


            What would happen if we actually lived our lives according to the tenants of the world's great religions? At their core they all express and stress similar values and perspectives on human relationships. On a very practical level what many refer to as the "Golden Rule" is espoused by every major religion and most all cultural traditions. In ancient times indigenous/aboriginal people realized cooperation and good interpersonal relations were better than conflict and competition, that an harmonious collectivist survival mode was more efficient than a selfish individualistic way of living.
            Our African ancestors developed the concept and virtues of "reciprocity"  which have stood the test of time for millennia. Even the West admits Africans along the Nile developed the world's first practical system of ethics called Ma'at and several tenants were subsequently appropriated and spread around the world. In articulating the concept and philosophy of  Ma'at our African ancestors recognized the holistic interconnectedness and interdependence of:  Divine Order, Harmony, Balance, Truth, Justice, Righteousness and Reciprocity in societal relationships both personal and collective. They said "As above so below" and they recognized the primacy of the CREATOR in the creative process and recognized man's divine nature and wished to replicate DIVINE ORDER here on Earth among mankind. Perhaps this is why ancient Kemet recorded thousands of years of relative peace, prosperity and stability.
            Thousands of years after our African ancestors articulated their cosmology and philosophies, the historical Hebrews consolidated the Forty-Two Declarations of Innocence formulated by our African ancestors, reduced them to The Ten Commandants and substituted the personal affirmation and declarations of a virtuous lifestyle with commandments against certain acts and behaviors. When the early Christian Church fathers formulated their doctrines they absorbed the Ten Commandants as part of their historiography and theological foundation.
            One of the core tenants of Ma'at was the concept of reciprocity. Reciprocity from an African perspective means the solemn duty and obligation to others, doing good in such a way as to generate similar empathy, conduct and interactions that employ all the other tenants of Ma'at: Harmony, Truth, Justice, Balance and Propriety. Reciprocity was an ongoing daily application of good character, good conduct, mutual respect and assistance. Out of the African concept of Ma'at which includes reciprocity came the notion of the Law of Reciprocity which Western metaphysicians define as, "the Universal Law that states that whatever is sent out into the cosmos, what modern day science refers to as 'The Unified Field'... 'The Infinite Field Of Potentiality', in the way of energy or vibration through the resonance of your thoughts, emotions and actions, will manifest outcomes in the physical world... physical outcomes that unfold in your life based on whatever is given or broadcast out through those thoughts, emotions and actions." http://www.abundance-and-happiness.com/law-of-reciprocity.html
            Rooted deep within the Golden Rule is a profound understanding of how the UNIVERSE works on spiritual and temporal levels. Unfortunately we have lost respect for this ancient wisdom, values and virtues. Today the ruling class through the institutions they've created and control like religion, the government, mass media, trade and commerce etc promote values that are antithetical to those ancient values. Today what our African ancestors called Isfet (the polar opposite of Ma'at) is promoted: disorder, discord, deceit, exploitation, wickedness and selfish absorption.
            But what if we went back to the ancient virtues of Ma'at and practiced them on a daily basis, how would our lives be different? What if we promoted them in our institutions and media? What if we decided to live our lives in accordance with the Golden Rule, what if our thoughts, words, deeds and interactions were based upon truth, harmony, justice, rectitude, balance, reciprocity and a deep sense of social obligation? Do you think our families, neighborhoods and world would be better off? Food for thought.


                                                -30-

Monday, December 12, 2016

Random Thoughts on Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump

   
                                               


                                                     From the Ramparts
                                                  Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                    Random Thoughts About Reagan and Trump

            It's been five weeks since the 2016 Presidential election and folks are still shocked, upset, despondent and dismayed about the results. Why? Is it because people dislike Trump so much we forgot our ancestors lived and experienced much worse, even thought Trump hasn't even been sworn in yet?! I can't believe Black people thought Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party was our friend, our benefactors or they would do right by us given their history of supporting Bill Clinton's policies of "welfare reform", his war on crime that created a massive gulag system that incarcerated millions of Black and Brown people for minor non violent offences, and opened the door for privatized prisons, his repeal of the Glass-Stegall Act which paved the way for the financial collapse, fraud and corruption, the foreclosure crisis and loss of equity wealth of people of color, wealth we probably will never get back. I just don't get it.
            Our people have lived through much worse, suffered and experienced abuse, brutality and exploitation during centuries in this country where we had no redress or protection, when the courts, were stacked against us, when we could not vote, when our lives, dignity and prospects for redemption were few. The US Supreme Court even said in 1857 in the infamous Dred Scott vs Sanford decision, "Blacks were not citizens and had no rights a white person was bound to respect."
            There was a time when almost everything was arrayed against us, yet we still persevered. The only thing our people had was hope and faith. They had faith there would be a better day, faith THE CREATOR and ancestors would give us the strength to persevere and overcome. Their dogged hope and faith sustained our ancestors, helped them pave a way out of no way, hew a sense of personal and collective dignity out of the mountain of deprivation and allowed them to survive unfathomable horrors, constant terror, degradation, rape, dehumanization and desecration. And today we are worried because someone like Donald Trump is the next president?! We should be ashamed of ourselves!
             I was watching PBS the other day, they were featuring a documentary entitled Black America Since MLK. It chronicled the circumstances of discrimination, deprivation and oppression, our responses and the counter reactions of the oppressive US system. When it came to the 1980's and Ronald Reagan I saw an alarming similarity to Donald Trump.  Reagan was a former Hollywood actor, never a real star, who was active in the union who used his Hollywood career as a stepping stone to politics. Trump like Reagan is a media personality who knows how to use the camera to his advantage. Reagan's campaign slogan was "Let's Make America Great Again". Donald Trump's campaign slogan was "Make America Great Again." Reagan and the Republicans proposed massive tax cuts for the rich, and government deregulation. With a straight face Reagan and his cabinet members said it would trickle down throughout the economy and generate jobs and wealth. His tax cuts and deregulation did neither. https://mises.org/library/myths-reaganomics
            In fact Reagan's policies so destabilized the country's fiscal standing he and the next two presidents: George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were forced to raise a myriad of taxes to cover the massive shortfalls Reagan's tax cuts created! Several years later, George W Bu$h claimed tax cuts for the rich and deregulation would spur economic growth, it did not. Then they allowed 9-11 to happen and all budgetary restraints for the Military Industrial Complex and the subsequently created Department of Homeland Security went out the window!
            Now Donald Trump is making the same claims and promises, tax cuts and deregulation will spur economic growth and prosperity for all. But Trump has added a new twist. He says he will negotiate better more favorable trade deals which will save the nation money. Yeah right. The taxpayer funded boondoggle is part of the way Washington works and the 1% are not going to take kindly to having their money and profits from overruns, fraud and waste cut.
             Anyone who has had to balance a budget knows you can't cut revenue and keep spending the same amount or more if you want to get out of debt. So do not expect Trump's plans to work. Anyway we cannot depend on Donald Trump to save us. I don't want to be a Davy Downer but if Trump is anything like Ronald Reagan, things will get worse  policy wise for us during his watch and the 1% will have a field day ripping off the government! Remember Iran Contra, the cocaine and opium importation and the Saving and Loan crisis?!
            As we approach a New Year let us not wallow in despair, self-pity, hopelessness or defeatist attitudes. We come from strong stock, our ancestors were great people who  made a way out of no way, we can do it again. We rumbled against white supremacy and won (the Civil Rights movement brought US statutory apartheid down)! Stand up straight, hold your heads up man and woman up; let's be about the business of doing for self!


                                                            -30-

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Get Your Sleep

                                                      

                                                        From The Ramparts
                                                     Junious Ricardo Stanton                          
                                                           Get Your Sleep


            "The price of insufficient sleep may be poor health. Study after study has revealed that people who sleep poorly are at greater risk for a number of diseases and health problems. And now the search is on to discover why this might be." http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences


            Several years ago I interviewed activist Dick Gregory on my Internet radio program (The Digital Underground www.Harambeeradio.com.) and he told me most Americans suffer needlessly from three conditions that over time will cause major health problems that could easily be avoided. He said we do great harm to ourselves due to dehydration, insufficient sleep/rest and malnutrition. Study after study has shown we need to drink plenty of clean fresh water, eat a balanced and nutritious diet and get plenty of rest.
            I recently saw an article Online that stated sleep deprivation is a major problem in the US, so much so that it costs millions of dollars in lost time, wages, production and health.  I though about what Dick Gregory told me many years ago. It is important we get plenty of sleep and rest. Sleep is the body's way of rejuvenating itself, restoring your body's unique homeostasis, maintaining mental alertness, quality brain functioning, strengthening our immune system, providing psychological balance and wellbeing. During sound restful sleep the body repairs itself. This essential repair and maintenance provides the strength and peak energy for us to effectively navigate our daily lives and routines, successfully cope with stressing situations, meet and overcome the challenges we encounter every day.
             Failure to get good and regular sleep will negatively impact you in numerous ways. Sleep deprivation can cause or lead to serious illness and lower life expectancy. Research has documented that lack of quality sleep can contribute to:  heart failureheart diseaseobesity, diabetes, high blood pressurestroke or transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke), depression, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In African-American families and communities, we have a higher percentage of these diseases and conditions most of which are related to our "lifestyle" or more correctly deathstyle.  Demographically we suffer disproportionally from all the disorders that often result from sleep deprivation, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and emotional instability. Reports show adequate sleep slows or eliminates inflammation because lack of sleep throws off our normal hormonal balance and can cause early aging and conditions associated with aging such as inflamed joints and lowered immune system. When we add poor diet and dehydration we are setting ourselves up for poor health and increased health risks! The good news is we can eradicate much of our suffering and dis-ease.
            Not only is sleep deprivation a personal issue, it is a major societal problem as well.  Lack of sleep is having a devastating impact on our collective health but also on the nation's economy.  "The U.S. loses just over 1.2 million working days a year due to sleep deprivation among its working population. Productivity losses at work occur through a combination of presenteeism, where employees are at work but working at a sub-optimal level and absenteeism – employees not being at work. The study is the first of its kind to quantify the economic losses suffered because of the lack of sleep among workers." http://www.orrazz.com/2016/12/us-economy-loses-up-to-411-billion-per.html
            Sleep deprivation is responsible for serious mishaps, accidents and disasters, "Investigations of the grounding of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker, as well as the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, have concluded that sleep deprivation also played a critical role in these accidents. In both cases, those in charge of the operations and required to make critical decisions were operating under extreme sleep deprivation. While the Challenger disaster put the multi-billion dollar shuttle program in peril, the Exxon Valdez oil spill resulted in incalculable ecological, environmental, and economic damage." http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences/sleep-performance-and-public-safety
            On a spiritual level sleep is essential. It is the conduit to the universal consciousness, our  higher self that is always attempting to communicate with us, assist and support us. In a awakened state often our egos and stream of conscious thoughts get in the way of the messages from our deep psyche and spirit. When we are asleep or in the alpha level of brain activity, we are far more receptive to the messages, images, promptings and creativity from the spirit realm. Denying ourselves sleep cuts us off from a valuable reservoir of wisdom and creativity and an opportunity to access UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS. We need to actualize this portal to the Higher Self, sleep is a great way to do it. 
            So the take away from all this is, get plenty of sleep. Studies show humans need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. https://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times. If we get our sleep drink plenty of clean water and eat healthy meals our overall health, productivity and life expectancy will improve. Try it for a few months, if you don't like it; you can always go back to your unhealthy habits.

                                                            -30-