Turkish Space Agency Clarification about February 6 Earthquake

While speaking at an earlier conference, Turkish Space Agency director Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım had described a weapon being developed by the United States, as follows:

“There are military satellites that can shoot 10-meter titanium alloy rods from space to any target in the world. They penetrate 5 kilometers deep into the ground, creating a 7-8 magnitude earthquake.”

This excerpt from his speech having resurfaced in the context of the recent earthquake, Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım felt obliged to make a clarification:

“This short video is an excerpt from a lecture I gave a long time ago at a strategy institute [the Stratejik Düşünce Enstitüsü]. I explained the weapon system that can wipe a small town off the map when deployed and used in the Earth orbit. Its function is not to trigger fault lines or create tectonic earthquakes. Therefore, it has nothing to do with the Maraş catastrophe, which is a tectonic earthquake that occurred on a known fault line. I don’t want to be misunderstood. The effect of that weapon is comparable to the impact of a meteorite.”

It stands to reason that if he had said otherwise, Türkiye would have had to declare war.

The Medieval Origin of the European Disunion

by  via Unz Review


To free itself from the clutches of NATO, Europe has, as things stand, no other alternative than to ally itself with the Russian empire—for the Russian Federation is indeed both a civilization and an empire, heir to the Byzantine civilization and empire destroyed by the papacy. Those who say that Europe should fear Russia as much as the United States (as do many affiliated to the French “Nouvelle Droite”) are even more inconsistent and dangerous than nationalists who long for their nation’s sovereignty. The realist sees no alternative between America and Russia, because there is none. The realist does not give up on Europe, but he is betting that the multipolar world order that Russia is promoting will be much more favorable to Europe than American domination.

[category EuroSlavia, remember?]

Europe was a civilization. From Charlemagne until, say, the 16th century, European civilization was “Christendom.” “The Faith is Europe, and Europe is the Faith,” in Hillaire Belloc’s words.[1] Western Christianity had Rome as its capital, and Latin as its language. But this unity was, in theory, just spiritual. Rome was the seat of the papacy, and Latin the language of the Church, known only to a tiny minority. Europe therefore had a religious unity, but it had no political unity. Unlike every other civilization, Europe never matured into a unified political body. In other words, Europe has never been an empire in any form. After the failure of the Carolingian Empire, too brief and too obscure for us to distinguish its reality from its legend, Europe progressively crystallized into a mosaic of independent nation-states.

Nation-states were actually a European invention, their first embryos taking shape in the 13th century. Before the Middle Ages, there were only two kinds of states: city-states and empires; “Either the city-state became the nucleus of an empire (as Rome did) … or it remained small, militarily weak, and sooner or later the victim of conquest.”[2]

In addition to Christianity, the principalities of Europe were united, throughout the Middle Ages, by their sovereigns’ kinship, resulting from a diplomacy based on matrimonial alliances. But this community of blood and faith did not prevent states from being separate political entities, jealous of their sovereignty and always eager to extend their borders.

In the absence of an overarching imperial authority, this rivalry engendered an almost permanent state of war. Europe is an ever-smoldering battlefield. If you think of Europe as a civilization, then you have to think of its wars as civil wars. This is how the German historian Ernst Nolte did analyze the two European conflicts of the twentieth century.[3] Neither common religion nor family ties prevented European civilization from tearing itself apart with unprecedented hatred and violence. Remember that on the eve of the First World War, King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Tsar Nicolas II were first cousins ​​and all defenders of the Christian faith.

The stated aim of the “European construction” from the 1950s onwards was to make these European wars impossible or at least improbable. But this project was an anachronism, because it started at a time when European civilization was already dead, with no vital energy left to resist being colonized by the new empire on the block.

The European Union is not supported by any “civilization consciousness”—in the sense that one speaks of a “class consciousness”. Many people feel attached to their nation, and can say, as Ernest Renan did, “a nation is a soul, a spiritual principle.”[4] But no one perceives Europe as a spiritual being, endowed with “individuality” and a destiny of its own.

There has never been a great European narrative to unite with a common pride all these peoples crammed in the European peninsula. Each country has its little roman national, ignored or contradicted by the schoolbook narratives of its neighbors. There are certainly some shared myths. Charlemagne for example. But the endless quarrel about him precisely illustrates the point; as if Charlemagne has to be either French or German. The other European myth is that of the Crusades. But the Crusades illustrate just as precisely the inability of Europeans to unite on a project for Europe. By the Crusades, the popes told Europeans that the cradle of their civilization was a city at the other end of the world, disputed by two other civilizations (Byzantine and Islamic), and asked them to fight for it as if their own civilization depended on it. There cannot be a more anti-European project. The Crusades, in fact, only exported national rivalries into the Middle East. Sure, they make a good story, but it is mostly a great lie, since its only lasting result was the destruction of Eastern Christianity and the reunification of the Muslim world, soon organized into a new Ottoman Empire which would chip away parts of Europe.

The Middle Ages, anyway, are the beginning and the end of the European grand narrative. The notion of a “European civilization” calls to mind the Middle Ages and nothing else. And quite logically. Europe was a brilliant civilization during the classical Middle Ages (11th-13th centuries). But because this medieval civilization failed to form an integrated body, it fragmented into several micro-civilizations, each of them playing its own imperial game against the others. We therefore had, in the 19th century, a French empire, then a British empire and a German empire, all trying to destroy each other. They were colonial empires: having failed to create an empire at home, Europeans exported their rivalries in predatory conquests. Ultimately, they gave birth to the American empire, born in genocide and slavery, and destined to bring the woke plague on its genitors.

Hence the hypothesis put forth by the historian Caspar Hirschi, that European history is characterized by a rivalry between centers of power fighting for imperial supremacy without ever being able to achieve it:

an imperialist political culture, dictated by the ideal of a single universal power inherited from Roman Antiquity, coexisted within a fragmented territorial structure, where each of the major powers was of similar strength (Empire, Papacy, France, England and later Aragon). In the realm of Roman Christianity, this led to an intense and endless competition for supremacy; all major kingdoms aimed for universal dominion, yet prevented each other from achieving it.[5]

So nations are, according to Hirschi, “the product of an enduring and forceful anachronism.” And nationalism is nothing but “a political discourse constructed by chronically failing would-be-empires stuck in a battle to keep each other at bay.”[6]

Hirschi does not identify the mechanism that prevented one power or another from winning this competition. So let’s ask: What happened? Or rather, what didn’t happen? Everywhere else, civilizations tend to unify into some form of political unity, around one dominant city or ethnos. Only in Western Christendom do we have a civilization without a State, that is, a body without a head.
Why is Europe not an Empire? It’s not for lack of will—Hirschi is right on this point: Europe longed to be an Empire, willed it intensely, but failed. The peoples themselves aspired to this ideal, synonymous with unity, peace and prosperity. Empire should not be taken here it its modern sense. As Ernst Kantorowicz explains in his biography of Frederick II Hohenstaufen:

The ideal World-Empire of the Middle Ages did not involve the subjection of all peoples under the dominion of one. It stood for the community of all kings and princes, of all the lands and peoples of Christendom, under one Roman Emperor, who should belong to no nation, and who, standing outside all nations, should rule all from his throne in the one Eternal City.[7]

Even after the fall of the Hohenstaufens, who came close to achieve this ideal (more below), the dream lived on. The Empire was a metaphysical being, the very image of God, as Dante Alighieri argued in De Monarchia (c. 1310):

the human race is most like unto God when it is most one, for the principle of unity dwells in Him alone. … But the human race is most one when all are united together, a state which is manifestly impossible unless humanity as a whole becomes subject to one Prince, and consequently comes most into accordance with that divine intention which we showed at the beginning of this chapter is the good, nay, is the best disposition of mankind.[8]

Caspar Hirschi’s theory therefore lacks a clue of the inhibiting factor that prevented the unification of Europe, despite the collective—one could almost say organic—thrust. But Hirschi is also mistaken in his description of the European dynamic. The competition for Empire was not, as he writes, between “the [German] Empire, the Papacy, France, England, and later Aragon.” Until the middle of the 11th century, only the former, officially known as Romanum imperium, claimed imperial sovereignty. Then one other power emerged to challenge its claim: the papacy. For three centuries, the competition between the emperor and the pope dominated European politics. From intellectual debates down to the battlefields, Europe was entirely drawn into that struggle. No other factor is comparable in intensity and influence in the classical Middle Ages

The popes deliberately and persistently prevented the expansion of the German empire, which was, for geographical and historical reasons, the only power capable of unifying Europe politically. The unification of Europe could only start by the unity of Germany and Italy, but this is precisely what the papacy resisted with all its might, and its supernatural powers. In the process, the papacy consolidated other emerging kingdoms, while preventing any of them from prevailing. Ultimately, neither the emperor nor the pope were able to reign over Europe. And so it was only in the 14th century, when the German empire had lost momentum, that France, then England and finally Spain, began to manifest their own imperial inclinations and entered into a competition that could only lead to a stalemate, and a permanently divided Europe.

Therefore, the political action of the popes, from the start of the Gregorian Reform in the mid-11th century, is the single reason why Europe did not become an empire—in the medieval sense of a “kingdom of kingdoms,” as was the Byzantine Oikoumene—and therefore could not build the foundations for its future cultural, linguistic and political unity. This is what I will try to show in this article. By clipping the German Empire’s wings and finally reducing it to the rank of one nation among others, the papacy turned Europe into a collection of rival states united by no other law than the laws of war.

What is sometimes called the “balanced policy” of the papacy, playing one state against the other, and in particular France against Germany, was a means and not an end. The ultimate goal of the popes was not to create a “Europe of nations”, but to rule the Empire. This project was conceived by a group of intellectuals whose earliest central figure was the Cluniac monk Hildebrand, whom cardinal Peter Damian, who knew him well, once called “saint Satan”. He became pope under the name of Gregory VII in 1073. The main lines of his program are contained in the 27 propositions of his famous Dictatus Papae, including: “Only the Pope can with right be called universal. … He alone may use the Imperial Insignia. … All princes shall kiss the feet of the Pope alone. … It may be permitted to him to depose emperors.” That program defined the papacy for three centuries. One hundred and thirty years after Gregory VII, Innocent III claimed to sit above kings because: “The Lord gave to Peter not only the lordship over the universal Church, but also over the whole world.” On the very day of his consecration in 1198, he affirmed his right to make and unmake kings and emperors, because, “To me is said in the person of the prophet, ‘I have set thee over nations and over kingdoms, to root up and to pull down, and to waste and to destroy, and to build and to plant’ (Jeremiah 1:10).”[9]

It is a gross mistake to regard these words as metaphorical. The means used to turn them into reality (summarized in this article) show that they must be understood literally. The means included excommunication and deposition of any unsubmissive sovereign. In the Middle Ages, this was a very powerful weapon, for most people believed, or feigned to believe, in the pope’s power of sending people to heaven or hell. Innocent III’s record includes the excommunication of one emperor, seven kings and countless lords. Innocent III actually appeared to many of his contemporaries as the verus imperator. He conducted a foreign policy that can only be described as imperial: “It was his ambition … to bind as many as he could of the kings of Europe to the Papacy by ties of political vassalage.”[10]

Contrary to the empire of the German kings, the imperial project of the Vatican had no chance of ultimate success, because it had no other legitimacy than the gigantic lie of the Donation of Constantine (more below). The first setback was a famous slap inflicted in 1303 on Boniface VII, who had stated, quite simply: Ego sum Caesar, ego imperator. The French king Philip the Fair trialed the pope for sodomy, sorcery and heresy, and shook off the yoke. Bohemia revolted in the following century (the Hussite Revolution). Then German princes responded to Luther’s call (To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, 1520). The papal empire failed, but its lasting achievement is to have stood in the way of the only empire that could succeed, and to have left Europe chronically divided by both national ambitions and religious creeds.

But why talk of “failure”? One can, after all, see in the European order of nation-states a great success. Two questions must therefore be distinguished. The first one is: was the political unity of Europe possible, or even inevitable, without the opposition of the papacy? This question can be answered by an objective historical study. That is what I am going to do. The second question is subjective: was the imperial unity of Europe desirable? It then depends on the point of view. The nationalist will reply that it is fortunate that Europe was not an empire, for then nations would not have existed—or very little. So Thomas Tout can write: “The conflict of Papacy and Empire … made possible the growth of the great national states of the thirteenth century, from which the ultimate salvation of Europe was to come.”[11]

But what salvation are we talking about? That of a Europe set on fire and bloodshed during the Hundred Years War (1337-1453), the Italian Wars (1494-1559), then the Thirty Years War (1618-1648)? The latter, by the way, was largely orchestrated by Cardinal Richelieu who financed and armed the Protestants (Lutherans as well as Calvinists) in order to ruin the Empire of the Catholic Habsburgs. It was, he said, “for the good of the Church and Christianity, because the universal monarchy, to which the [Habsburg] King of Spain aspires, is very harmful to Christianity, to the Church and to the pope.”[12]

In reality, the Thirty Years War was the birth pang of a Europe that no longer had anything Christian about it. “In the space of three decades, writes Arnaud Blin, the European geopolitical universe was completely transformed. The medieval idea of ​​a unified Christian Europe gave way to a political chessboard governed by a new mechanism of international relations based on conflicting interests, the balance of power, and the amoralism of realpolitik.”[13] What the Peace of Westphalia (1648) inaugurated, Montesquieu described a century later in L’Esprit des Lois:

A new disease has broken out in Europe: it has infected our rulers and caused them to maintain armies which are out of all proportion. It has its recurrences and soon becomes contagious; inevitably, because as soon as one State increased the number of its troops, as they are called, the others at once increase theirs, so that the general ruin is all that comes out of it. Every monarch keeps permanently on foot armies which are as large as would be needed if his people were in imminent danger of extermination; and this struggle of all against all is called peace.[14]

To pay these armies, more taxes and more debt were constantly needed, until finally, after the Napoleonic wars, Europe was enslaved to the war profiteers, with the Rothschilds as their champions. Europe, after inventing the nation-state, invented industrial war.

Assuming European nations could ever free themselves from financial parasitism, would they ever be able to live peacefully with one another while each being sovereign? No, and for a simple reason: the world is now composed of empires, and no nation can compete with empires. Without political unity, Europe will always be kept in the subservience of one empire or another.

To free itself from the clutches of NATO, Europe has, as things stand, no other alternative than to ally itself with the Russian empire—for the Russian Federation is indeed both a civilization and an empire, heir to the Byzantine civilization and empire destroyed by the papacy. Those who say that Europe should fear Russia as much as the United States (as do many affiliated to the French “Nouvelle Droite”) are even more inconsistent and dangerous than nationalists who long for their nation’s sovereignty. The realist sees no alternative between America and Russia, because there is none. The realist does not give up on Europe, but he is betting that the multipolar world order that Russia is promoting will be much more favorable to Europe than American domination.

Finally, the realist accepts that, despite so many odds, Germany still stands as the natural and legitimate leader of Europe. We can debate on why this is so, but we cannot deny it. It is not just about economy. In its highest achievements, European civilization is German (and this is coming from a Frenchman). Nothing will happen unless Germany has the guts to denounce and the will to resist Washington’s racket, and to form a genuine and lasting alliance with Russia.

After these preliminary remarks, I will now tell the story of Europe with the purpose of demonstrating the theory that the medieval papacy was the main cause for the failure of Europe to gain political unity, and therefore the ultimate cause of its complete subjugation by Washington. (Actually, what Washington is now doing to Europe is a lot similar to what the papacy was doing to Europe centuries ago, as Michael Hudson brilliantly argued.)

The papacy will be considered here solely as a political power, which it unquestionably was. There will be no discussion of Christianity as belief system or religious practice. The papacy and the religion of Christ are two separate—some would say opposite—things. In fact, until Gregory VII, “the papacy was almost absent from the lives of Christians outside Rome.”[15]


[1] Hillaire Belloc, Europe and the Faith, 1920.

[2] Joseph Reese Strayer, On the Medieval Origins of the Modern State, Princeton UP, 1973, p. 11.

[3] Ernst Nolte, Der Europäische Bürgerkrieg 1917-1945. Nationalismus und Bolschewismus, Herbig, 2000. The title translates as “the European civil war.”

[4] Ernest Renan, Qu’est-ce qu’une nation? 1882.

[5] Caspar Hirschi, The Origins of Nationalism: An Alternative History from Ancient Rome to Early Modern Germany, Cambridge UP, 2012, p. 14.

[6] Ibid., p. 2.

[7] Ernst Kantorowicz, Frederick the Second (1194-1250), (1931) Frederick Ungar publishing, 1957 (on archive.org), p. 385.

[8] De Monarchia of Dante Alighieri, trans. Aurelia Henry, Boston, 1904, Book I, chapter VIII, pp. 26-27, on files.libertyfund.org/files/2196/Dante_1477.pdf.
[9] Malcolm Barber, The Two Cities: Medieval Europe 1050-1320, Routledge , 1992, p. 106.

[10] T. F. Tout, The Empire and the Papacy (918-1273), fourth edition, Rivingtons, Londres, 1903, p. 325.

[11] Tout, The Empire and the Papacy, op. cit., pp. 6 and 2.

[12] Quoted in Arnaud Blin, 1648, La Paix de Westphalie, ou la naissance de l’Europe politique moderne, Éditions Complexe, 2006, pp. 70-71.

[13] Blin, 1648, La Paix de Westphalie, op. cit., pp. 5-6.

[14] Montesquieu, Esprit des Lois, Livre XIII, chap. xvii, quoted in Bertrand de Jouvenel, On Power: Its Nature and the History of Its Growth, Beacon Press, 1962, p. 383, on ia600502.us.archive.org/34/items/onpoweritsnature00injouv/onpoweritsnature00injouv.pdf

[15] Jacques Van Wijendaele, Propagande et polémique au Moyen Âge : La Querelle des Investitures (1073-1122), Bréal, 2008, p. 111.

Ukraine Is Offered to Capitulate, Now

Lukashenka believes that Kyiv “has no other way than to conclude a peace treaty [with the Russian Federation] now, without preconditions.”

“Now is a unique moment to stop the conflict in Ukraine before Russia puts the economy on a war footing.

Russia is ready today to make steps towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict. It has been doing so since the first days: two rounds of talks were held on peaceful settlement in Belarus, then they [the negotiators] left for Istanbul, and Kiev refused everything, although there was a settlement plan on the table. I believe that the West and the Americans pushed Kiev to not negotiate at all. Russia offered negotiations from day one. We were participants in this process; we organized it, and we saw it.”

How Far, Moscow?

Russia’s defense minister Sergey Shoigu reiterated the conditions for further advances of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, explaining that potential advances are directly tied to Western arms deliveries to Kiev.

“It depends on the weaponry that will be supplied,” Sergey Shoigu said in a brief remark to the TV program ‘Moscow. Kremlin. Putin.’

“One thing must be clear to everyone,” Putin said during the event. “The longer the range of the Western systems that arrive in Ukraine, the further we will be forced to push the threat away from our borders. It’s obvious.”

Putin Reveals Russia’s Main Issue with the US

The Russian president said his country is opposed to the emergence of a unipolar world that revolves around Washington’s interests

Moscow is striving to create a multipolar world rather than one that is centered around the US, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. In an interview with Rossiya-1 TV channel on Sunday, he argued that Washington was trying to mold the world exclusively to fit its own agenda.

Putin suggested that America’s “satellite states” are also well aware of these “selfish” intentions. However, for the time being, they have chosen to turn a blind eye to this due to “various reasons connected first and foremost with huge dependence in the economic sphere and defense,” the Russian leader said. [Ed. Note: threat of annihilation by biological, financial, even environmental terrorist acts.]

Some of Washington’s allies also see confrontation with Russia as a unifying cause, eclipsing any differences between them and the US, he added.

As an example, Putin cited the US government’s efforts to attract European businesses to American soil, as well as a submarine deal last summer, which saw Canberra abruptly exit a contract with a French manufacturer in favor of a US competitor. That incident was humiliating for Paris, the president said.

Putin emphasized that Moscow “cannot and will not accept behavior like this.”

In the end, such a stance – the fight for a multipolar world, for respect for each and everyone in the international arena, for taking into account everyone’s interests – I don’t have the slightest doubt, will prevail.

Putin also claimed that Western elites will only be satisfied and prepared to “admit us into the so-called family of civilized nations” if Russia disintegrates into several independent states. In such a scenario, he said, the West would “place [the resulting countries] under its control.” He added that the disintegration of Russia in such circumstances would call into question the existence of the Russian people in its current form.

Commenting on his decision earlier this week to suspend Russia’s participation in the New START Treaty – the last remaining nuclear accord between Moscow and Washington – Putin argued that the move was required to safeguard Russia’s security as well as its “strategic stability.”

According to the Russian president, he opted for this course of action in light of a more aggressive NATO, which “has announced as its prime goal” Russia’s strategic defeat.

via RT

Bloomberg Admits: “China’s Plan for Ukraine is a Challenge to the US”:

Bloomberg writes that China’s peace plan is an excuse to start supporting Russia to the fullest extent by unleashing its proxy war on the US. Yes, the US is toast.

“If China is on the verge of becoming more involved – beyond the futile ‘peace plan’ – the strategic upheaval is just beginning. Greater Chinese support for Russia could change not only the battlefield but also the global chessboard.

Secretary of state Blinken has stated that Beijing is considering providing Russia with lethal weapons or ammunition. There are still good reasons why China would not want to be drawn into a military conflict: fear of international condemnation, further deterioration of relations with Europe, and the impact of US sanctions. But there is a very significant reason for Xi Jinping to intervene: he cannot allow Putin to lose.

Russia, which will emerge from the conflict slightly weakened, isolated internationally, and therefore more dependent on Beijing, is not so bad from Xi Jinping’s perspective. Russia, which would suffer in such a way that it could hardly be called a great power, presents a bigger problem because it would allow the US to focus on Beijing. Even worse for Xi is the scenario in which a military defeat would lead to political destabilization in Moscow, potentially threatening the Sino-Russian partnership.

Beijing may be attempting a two-step strategy. The first step has been a vague and unworkable peace plan that allows Xi to publicly propose a mediating role. The second step could be increased military or quasi-military assistance to Russia. Increased Chinese aid could significantly improve Russia’s situation. Or simply allowing Putin to prolong a military conflict that drains US resources and attention is not a bad deal for Beijing.

China arming Russia against Ukraine is China, which has chosen to tolerate acute, prolonged tensions with the US and engage in open proxy warfare with the West.”

Global Sperm Counts 50 Percent Less in 50 Years

by David Charbonneau, Ph.D. via The Epoch Times

A recently published meta-analysis shows that global sperm counts are declining worldwide—at an accelerating rate.

The article, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update in November by an international team of researchers, who reviewed 2,936 scholarly abstracts and 868 full articles, analyzed data from 38 sperm count studies done on six continents, updating their landmark study of 2017. The study is based on semen samples collected from 1973 to 2018.
The 2017 study found sperm counts had fallen in North America, Europe, and Australia by over 50 percent in a fifty-year span. The current study updated this data as well as added data from South/Central America, Asia, and Africa.
“The aim of this study was to examine trends in sperm count among men from all continents. The broader implications of a global decline in sperm count, the knowledge gaps left unfilled by our prior analysis, and the controversies surrounding this issue warranted an up-to-date meta-analysis,” said the authors.
The analysis found that while sperm counts had declined at the average rate per year of 1.16 percent between 1972 and 2000, the rate of decline since 2000 has increased to an average of 2.64 percent per year.

The new 2022 study updates an earlier 2017 study to cover a broader geographic area and include new studies. Its analysis reveals a significant drop in sperm count. (Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis of samples collected globally in the 20th and 21st centuries/Oxford Academic)
Reviewing the findings in an After Skool YouTube episode, study author Shanna Swan said:
“Now we can conclude that among men who didn’t know what their fertility [rate] was, who are, by the way, most representative of the general population, that there was a significant decline [in sperm counts and sperm concentration] in Asia, Africa, and South America—so now we can say that our finding of a significant decline in sperm concentration and count is worldwide—that was a big change from the 2017 paper.
“The other change from the 2017 paper was the rate at which sperm counts are declining: When we look at recent years—particularly since the turn of the century—the rate is 2.64 per year. That’s more than double 1.16, the prior finding.”

The Role of Plastics in Reproductive Disruption

The obvious question is—why the accelerated rate of decline?
Swan dismissed genetic explanations, pointing out that genetic changes take “many generations to appear” whereas these changes are taking place in two generations or less.
“That leaves us with environment,” Swan said.
Swan and other experts believe the problem is a class of chemicals called endocrine disruptors, which interfere with the body’s hormones.
These endocrine disruptors are found in many everyday products, including plastic bottles and containers, liners of metal food cans, detergents, flame retardants, food, toys, receipts from ATMs, and pesticides.
Phthalates, commonly found in personal care products, plastics, and children’s toys are one common class of these compounds. They’re hard for consumers to avoid, particularly since manufacturers are under no obligation to identify these chemical ingredients.
Also, many of these disruptors are slow to break down in the environment, making them a long-term hazard.
One particular area of concern for researchers is reproduction, as these disruptors can interfere with fetal maturation and sexual differentiation in early pregnancy.
In the video, Swan illustrates the process whereby these disruptors can short-circuit testosterone production in the male fetus as it goes through development:
“So, here’s the whole picture. There’s the male fetus developing around the first couple weeks of the first trimester: The genetic signal is for the testicles to develop and start making testosterone and here comes this foreign influence from phthalates telling the body, well, you don’t need to make as much testosterone [because] we got it covered as they occupy the spaces … of the androgen receptors, the testosterone receptors.”
“They sit there and they say: Okay we’re good here—you don’t need to make any more [testosterone]. So the body says: Okay—it won’t make any more … and the boy will be under-masculinized.”
Robin Bernhoft, M.D., past president of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, told the Epoch Times that plastics are part of a larger picture of toxins impacting reproduction throughout the biosphere:
“The proliferation of estrogenic chemicals is a major concern. Research has shown that 80 percent of male trout in Colorado had intersex genitalia, a high percentage of male crocodiles in Florida lack penises, and so forth. This is happening on many levels: Direct toxicity from PCBs, direct estrogenic effects from plastics, pesticides, and mercury among other toxins—but also a secondary effect—the stimulation of aromatase, a hormone which then converts testosterone to estrogen independently of the other factors. Pollution in general … stimulates aromatase which then converts available testosterone to estrogen. It is quite scary.”

Criticism of Sperm Count Analysis

The 2017 study by Swan and her colleagues was criticized in an article published in the journal Human Fertility in May 2021 by researchers at Harvard’s GenderSci Lab. The article did not conduct its own detailed meta-analysis of sperm studies but criticized the assumptions and conclusions of the original research.
“The extraordinary biological claims of the meta-analysis of sperm count trends and the public attention it continues to garner, raised questions for the GenderSci Lab, which specializes in analyzing bias and hype in the sciences of sex, gender, and reproduction, and in the intersectional study of race, gender, and science,” Sarah S. Richardson, director of the GenderSci Lab, and a professor of the history of science and studies of women, gender, and sexuality at Harvard University told the Harvard Gazette.
The authors argue that rather than concluding the results support a “Sperm Count Decline” hypothesis, they propose “the Sperm Count Biovariability” (SCB) hypothesis:
“SCB asserts that sperm count varies within a wide range, much of which can be considered non-pathological and species-typical. Knowledge about the relationship between individual and population sperm count and life-historical and ecological [i.e., regional] factors is critical to interpreting trends in average sperm counts and their relationships to health and fertility.”
However, the meta-analysis of Swan and her colleagues did not deny the range of variations in individual sperm counts but examined declining overall averages spanning more than a half-century. How such a precipitous overall average decline across all groups can be explained by individual variation based on life-historical factors or regional variation is unclear.

The Health Consequences of Low Sperm Count

In contrast to the GenderSci Lab’s science-as-culture analysis, a study in Italy conducted by endocrinologists found that low sperm count was associated with metabolic alterations, cardiovascular risk, and low bone mass, according to the lead author Alberto Ferlin, an M.D., and associate professor of endocrinology at the University of Brescia.
“Infertile men are likely to have important co-existing health problems or risk factors that can impair quality of life and shorten their lives,” said Ferlin, who is also president of the Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine. “Fertility evaluation gives men the unique opportunity for health assessment and disease prevention.”
Specifically, Ferlin and his colleagues found that about half the men had low sperm counts and were 1.2 times more likely than those with normal sperm counts to have greater body fat (bigger waistline and higher body mass index; higher blood pressure (systolic, or top reading), “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides; and lower “good” (HDL) cholesterol.
Low sperm count was defined as less than 39 million per ejaculate, a value also used in the United States. All the men in the study had a sperm analysis as part of a comprehensive health evaluation in the university’s fertility clinic, which included measurement of their reproductive hormones and metabolic parameters.
They also had a higher frequency of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of these and other metabolic risk factors that increase the chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, the investigators reported. A measure of insulin resistance, another problem that can lead to diabetes, also was higher in men with low sperm counts.

“Time to End the War in Ukraine”, Newsweek

“Time to end the war in Ukraine. Mediation is the best answer”: Newsweek writes that US arrogance has led Ukraine to disaster. The war has already been lost for Ukraine, and the only question is how many hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians must die before Kiev accepts reality. The only way to stop the conflict is to hear Russia’s demands and start peace talks.

“The United States has contributed to the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine by rallying public opinion at home and across the West with the narrative that Russia’s motives and intentions are baseless, evil, and even genocidal. The US decided to add fuel to the fire in the form of increased funding, weapons, equipment, and technical support, without which Ukraine would have been forced to negotiate, perhaps even preventing a war. Many brilliant, well-informed diplomats and scholars have sounded the alarm about US diplomatic arrogance, to no avail.

Today, after a year of the war, the consequences predicted by so many experts are becoming clear. The strategic, industrial, economic, political, and military situation in Ukraine – and in Europe – is deteriorating significantly. The situation in Ukraine is desperate. Ukraine’s tactical victories over the past year, laudable as they were, have come at a terrible cost. Ukraine is experiencing the ongoing destruction of its infrastructure. A third of Ukraine’s population has already been displaced. A third of the power grid is out of order. Most of the damage soon will be impossible to repair. Satellite images tell a true story about the cost of this war. At night in Ukraine, it is dark as in the Black Sea.

The coming year of conflict promises to be much more devastating for Ukraine than what we have seen so far. Russia is not going to heed dubious negotiation proposals based on demands that ignore the issues that caused the war in the first place. The only way out is a mediated settlement.