31 May, 2009
30 May 2009, TEHRAN-Pre-election tensions rose in Iran's religiously and ethnically mixed southeast Friday as gunmen opened fire on the president's campaign office and a radical group claimed responsibility for killing up to 23 people in the bombing of a mosque the previous night. Iranian authorities blamed Washington for the violence.
"The hands of America and Israel were undoubtedly involved in this incident. Although Wahhabis and the infidel and evil Salafists were an accomplice to the crime, they were being led from somewhere else," prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami told supporters in Tehran. The group Jundollah, which is linked to al-Qaida and draws support from Iran's ethnic Baluch minority, earlier claimed responsibility for the bombing at the mosque. Iranian authorities frequently claim the U.S. backs Jundollah."
US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran
06 January 2009-America is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear programme. CIA officials are understood to be helping opposition militias among the numerous ethnic minority groups clustered in Iran's border regions. Funding for their separatist causes comes directly from the CIA's classified budget but is now "no great secret", according to one former high-ranking CIA official in Washington. His claims were backed by Fred Burton, a former US state department counter-terrorism agents who said: "The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran's ethnic minorities to destabilise the Iranian regime."
A row has also broken out in Washington over whether to "unleash" the military wing of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), and Iraq-based Iranian opposition group with a long and bloody history of armed opposition to the Iranian regime. The group is currently listed by the US state department as a terrorist organisation, but Mr. Pike said: "A faction in the Defence Department wants to unleash them."
U.S. Is Said to Expand Covert Operations in Iran
Plan Allows Up to $400 million for Activities Aimed at Destabilizing Government
30 June 2008-The Bush Administration told Congress last year of a secret plan to dramatically expand covert operations inside Iran as part of a long-running effort to destabilize the country's ruling regime, according to a report published yesterday. The plan allowed up to $400 million in covert spending for activities ranging from spying on Iran's nuclear program to supporting rebel groups opposed to the country's ruling clerics, veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker magazine.
CIA covert efforts to destabilize Iran
24 May 2007-The disclosure of the United States sabotage plot against Iran coincides with the arrest of Washington-based academic Haleh Esfandiari who has been working as the Soros Foundation representative. Esfandiari has admitted that the Soros Foundation has established an unofficial connection network inside Iran under the pretext of promoting democracy and human rights but with the covert aim of overthrowing the Iranian government.
30 May, 2009
And this report came out LAST YEAR, before the Great Depression of 2009!
I think the answer is to all go out and get ourselves arrested and have them go broke feeding us all!
“Despite an almost cult-like devotion to the belief that unfettered free enterprise is the best way to lift Americans out of poverty, the report points to a rigged system that does little to lessen inequalities.”
The United States of America is becoming less united by the day. A 30-year gap now exists in the average life expectancy between Mississippi, in the Deep South, and Connecticut, in prosperous New England. Huge disparities have also opened up in income, health and education depending on where people live in the US, according to a report published yesterday.
The American Human Development Index has applied to the US an aid agency approach to measuring well-being – more familiar to observers of the Third World – with shocking results. The US finds itself ranked 42nd in global life expectancy and 34th in survival of infants to age. Suicide and murder are among the top 15 causes of death and although the US is home to just 5 per cent of the global population it accounts for 24 per cent of the world's prisoners.
Despite an almost cult-like devotion to the belief that unfettered free enterprise is the best way to lift Americans out of poverty, the report points to a rigged system that does little to lessen inequalities.
"The report shows that although America is one of the richest nations in the world, it is woefully behind when it comes to providing opportunity and choices to all Americans to build a better life," the authors said.
Some of its more shocking findings reveal that, in parts of Texas, the percentage of adults who pass through high school has not improved since the 1970s. Asian-American males have the best quality of life and black Americans the lowest, with a staggering 50-year life expectancy gap between the two groups.
Despite the fact that the US spends roughly $5.2bn (£2.6bn) every day on health care, more per capita than any other nation in the world, Americans live shorter lives than citizens of every western European and Nordic country, bar Denmark.
Using official government statistics, the study points out that because American schools are funded primarily from local property taxes, rich districts get the best state education. The US has no federally mandated sick pay, paternity leave or annual paid vacation.
"Some Americans are living anywhere from 30 to 50 years behind others when it comes to issues we all care about: health, education and standard of living," said Sarah Burd-Sharps co-author of the report.
Although the US is one of the most powerful and rich nations in the world, the study concludes it is "woefully behind when it comes to providing opportunity and choices to all Americans to build a better life". According to a United Nations human development report, the US is in 12th place in a league table of wealthy developed nations. Britain is ranked 16th.
29 May, 2009
ALOHA- For most folks it's not a dilemma. Given a choice between "a day without sunshine" and a day without jail time, most people will skip the orange juice and stay out of jail. But Raibin Raof Osman isn't most people. The 20-year-old Aloha man had a sleep-over at the Washington County Jail on Memorial Day after calling 9-1-1 to complain that McDonald's left out a box of orange juice from his drive-thru order.
Description of the film 'Idiocracy':
"In modern society, natural selection has become indifferent toward intelligence, so that in a society in which intelligence is systematically debased, stupid people easily out-breed the intelligent, creating...an irredeemable dysfunctional society. Demographic superiority favors those least likely to advance society. Consequently, the children of the educated elites are drowned in a sea of sexually promiscuous, illiterate, alcoholic, degenerate peers." : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy
The main difference between reality and the movie, (besides being projected too far in the future), is that this present regressive society has been intentionally achieved by one's own government to occur. This is exactly the type of society or population the ruling plutocratic oligarchy desires, so as to perpetually reign supreme over a mass of moronic slaves.
Torture and Truth
By Jonathan Schell
From The Nation
It has fallen to President Obama to deal with the policies and practices of torture inaugurated by the Bush administration. He started boldly, ordering an end to the abuses, announcing the closing in one year of the detention camp at Guantanamo and releasing the Bush-era Justice Department memos authorizing torture. Subsequently, he seemed to grow cautious. He discouraged formation of an independent commission to investigate the torture and reversed a previous position in favor of releasing Pentagon photos of abuses and instead opposed release. In his May 21 speech at the National Archives, he seemed to try to create a framework for understanding his policies, but they remained very much a work in progress. He surprisingly embraced a number of Bush policies, including military commissions for trying detainees, the use of the State Secrets privilege to protect information in court and the indefinite use of preventive detention--all to be revised in ways that were left vague or unspecified.
Yet among these reversals and improvisations, one very general preference has remained steady. Throughout, Obama has expressed a desire to concentrate on the "future" rather than the "past." As he put it a while back, he is bent on "getting things right in the future, as opposed [to] looking at what we got wrong in the past." Or as he said in the National Archives speech, "We need to focus on the future" while resisting those "with a strong desire to focus on the past."
But can the United States really get things right in the future by turning away from the past? For one thing, the factual record is still incomplete. For another, the reasons for what went wrong aren't as clear as they might at first seem. Why did the United States make the decision for torture? What changes does it portend for American life? It seems likely that getting things right will depend on having answers to these questions.
When the full history of the Bush administration is finally told, one event may prove iconic: the torture of the Al Qaeda operative Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, who recently died, allegedly by his own hand, in a prison in Libya, where he was sent by the United States. Libi was captured in Pakistan in late 2001. At first, he was interrogated by the FBI, and he provided useful information on the inner workings of Al Qaeda. But more was wanted from him. The Bush administration, hellbent on justifying its forthcoming invasion of Iraq, was ransacking the intelligence bureaucracy to find or produce two things that, it turns out, did not exist: weapons of mass destruction programs in Iraq and cooperation between Al Qaeda and the regime of Saddam Hussein. Pressure to find evidence of both intensified in 2002.
At the same time, the practice of torture--authorized by the White House, the Justice Department and the Pentagon--was spreading throughout the intelligence and military establishments. Soon, prisoners were being tortured to provide evidence of the Al Qaeda-Saddam link. As Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff, has stated, the "harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002...was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and Al Qaeda." And according to the recent Senate Armed Services Committee report on the treatment of detainees, a former Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, has confirmed the charge.
"A large part of the time," he told Army investigators, "we were focused on trying to establish a link between Al Qaeda and Iraq and we were not successful.... The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link...there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results." The CIA took custody of Libi and began to expose him to abuse. Next, it "rendered" him to Egypt, where he was subjected to, among other torments, severe beatings and confinement in a tiny cage for more than eighty hours. He then produced the desired false statements linking Al Qaeda with the Iraqi government.
Continue reading at
28 May, 2009
Flu Shot Makes Children Three Times as Likely to End up in Hospital
By Carolyn Dean, M.D.
In a new study by the Mayo Clinic, reported by Science Daily, Children Who Get Flu Vaccine Have Three Times Risk Of Hospitalization For Flu, Study Suggests, we finally see some honest mainstream news reporting about flu vaccines.
This study involved 263 children covering ten years of their lives. Undeniably the kids who received the annual mercury cocktails were three times more likely to end up in the hospital with the flu.
We aren’t even talking side-effects here. It’s not like it actually helped protect them from the flu and simply put them in hospital for other reasons. It’s not even that the flu shot proved useless, as all the data I’ve reviewed over the years has been confirming.
It’s even more ridiculous… The flu shot actually made the children more likely to come down with such a bad case of the flu that they were checked into the children’s ward.
Yesterday, I promised I’d give you some sound advice on how to avoid the flu. Well, based on the results of this study… a great way to avoid the flu would be to avoid the flu shot.
Children Who Get Flu Vaccine Have Three Times Risk Of Hospitalization For Flu, Study Suggests
ScienceDaily (May 20, 2009) — The inactivated flu vaccine does not appear to be effective in preventing influenza-related hospitalizations in children, especially the ones with asthma. In fact, children who get the flu vaccine are more at risk for hospitalization than their peers who do not get the vaccine, according to new research that will be presented on May 19, at the 105th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society in San Diego.
by Joel Carlinsky
Dear Mysterious New Owner of Galactic Orgonomy Exchange:
I took a look today at the website you recently took over from Jamie Ogg, and the first thing I noticed was the new article on how to build a cloudbuster. I do not know who wrote that unsigned article, but it contains a glaring error in the very first line.
A cloudbuster is NOT "a device to facilitate, modify or change weather". It is a device that CAN have these effects as a side effect, but that is NOT the purpose of a properly done cloudbusting operation.
There is a very serious transformation underway in the atmosphere of this planet. It is a build-up of DOR all over the earth. DOR is a stagnant, highly toxic form of orgone, caused by the irritation of the global energy field by nuclear technologies, and it is responsible for an ongoing global breakdown in weather patterns.
The main purpose of a cloudbuster is to remove DOR, to drain it off, or ground it, and permit new, fresh orgone to flow into an area, revitalizing the area and restoring the normal pulsation of the energetic environment. One of the side effects of this process is that weather patterns tend to return to normal, including more-or-less regular, recurrent rainfalls at the historically normal season and in the historically normal amounts.
Of equal or greater importance, the biochemical and metabolic condition of all organisms in the affected area tend to stabilize and return to an optimum state, restoring health to entire populations of all species. This, not "modifying weather", is the goal of any properly done cloudbusting operation.
To introduce people who are unfamiliar with the underlying concepts to cloudbusting by telling them cloudbusters are a "device to facilitate, modify, or change weather" is to mislead them.
It is this very misconception, that cloudbusting can be done without regard to biological factors, that has made cloudbusting an environmental menace instead of the boon to the earth it could have been if it had not fallen into the hands of control-freaks who want to misuse it to "control weather" instead of to restore an ecological balance that has been disrupted by human interference already. Additional interference by humans, in the form of cloudbusting to " modify weather" will only make things worse.
I think it is highly irresponsible of you to post instructions on how to build a cloudbuster on a public website without including a long, detailed explanation of errors to avoid and explaining what the atmospheric situation is today and why, and what the true function of cloudbusting should be. Encouraging misguided people to think of cloudbusting as a way to change weather instead of a way to practice atmospheric medicine on a damaged environment, is only another form of vandalism of this planet.
And if cloudbusting is used with the goal of modifying weather instead of removing DOR and restoring atmospheric self-regulation, cloudbusting is only another form of pollution.
[Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street
By Felix Salmon
A year ago, it was hardly unthinkable that a math wizard like David X. Li might someday earn a Nobel Prize. After all, financial economists—even Wall Street quants—have received the Nobel in economics before, and Li's work on measuring risk has had more impact, more quickly, than previous Nobel Prize-winning contributions to the field. Today, though, as dazed bankers, politicians, regulators, and investors survey the wreckage of the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression, Li is probably thankful he still has a job in finance at all. Not that his achievement should be dismissed. He took a notoriously tough nut—determining correlation, or how seemingly disparate events are related—and cracked it wide open with a simple and elegant mathematical formula, one that would become ubiquitous in finance worldwide.
For five years, Li's formula, known as a Gaussian copula function, looked like an unambiguously positive breakthrough, a piece of financial technology that allowed hugely complex risks to be modeled with more ease and accuracy than ever before. With his brilliant spark of mathematical legerdemain, Li made it possible for traders to sell vast quantities of new securities, expanding financial markets to unimaginable levels.
His method was adopted by everybody from bond investors and Wall Street banks to ratings agencies and regulators. And it became so deeply entrenched—and was making people so much money—that warnings about its limitations were largely ignored.
Then the model fell apart. Cracks started appearing early on, when financial markets began behaving in ways that users of Li's formula hadn't expected. The cracks became full-fledged canyons in 2008—when ruptures in the financial system's foundation swallowed up trillions of dollars and put the survival of the global banking system in serious peril.
David X. Li, it's safe to say, won't be getting that Nobel anytime soon. One result of the collapse has been the end of financial economics as something to be celebrated rather than feared. And Li's Gaussian copula formula will go down in history as instrumental in causing the unfathomable losses that brought the world financial system to its knees.
Continue reading at:
Photographs of alleged prisoner abuse which Barack Obama is attempting to censor include images of apparent rape and sexual abuse, it has emerged.
By Duncan Gardham,
At least one picture shows an American soldier apparently raping a female prisoner while another is said to show a male translator raping a male detainee.
Further photographs are said to depict sexual assaults on prisoners with objects including a truncheon, wire and a phosphorescent tube.
Another apparently shows a female prisoner having her clothing forcibly removed to expose her breasts.
Detail of the content emerged from Major General Antonio Taguba, the former army officer who conducted an inquiry into the Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.
Allegations of rape and abuse were included in his 2004 report but the fact there were photographs was never revealed. He has now confirmed their existence in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
The graphic nature of some of the images may explain the US President's attempts to block the release of an estimated 2,000 photographs from prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan despite an earlier promise to allow them to be published.
Maj Gen Taguba, who retired in January 2007, said he supported the President's decision, adding: "These pictures show torture, abuse, rape and every indecency.
"I am not sure what purpose their release would serve other than a legal one and the consequence would be to imperil our troops, the only protectors of our foreign policy, when we most need them, and British troops who are trying to build security in Afghanistan.
"The mere description of these pictures is horrendous enough, take my word for it."
Read more here:
Bob Dobbs on China’s Four Bodies
The Chinese go out to be social (Americans go out to be alone and stay home to be social – Marshall McLuhan)
Thanks for your non-stop work, Bob.
27 May, 2009
Its’ got MY enthusiastic attention!
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is my honor and privilege to break some good news to you: the ideas of one era may die; its dogmas may be overturned. Consequently, I have the immense pleasure of informing you that in these times of mental and political stagnation we can create a million jobs in Europe, five hundred thousand in France - family farmer jobs.
Please erase that hint of an ironic smile that's taking shape on your lips and listen. Between 1950 and 2007, agricultural labor productivity multiplied by 26: that means a farmer produces 26 times more today than sixty years ago. Can that continue? Obviously not. And still less so, when one considers that this calculation leaves out the "externalities" of that mind-boggling development: soil erosion, groundwater pollution, the drop in bio-diversity, the use of enormous quantities of pesticides and antibiotics.
In reality, it is becoming essential to reduce those externalities which involve a significant hidden cost to society. That means working the earth differently, devoting more care and fewer machines to that process; and, consequently, reducing the apparent productivity of agriculture; and, consequently, increasing farmer jobs.
A further point: do you really believe you're going to reduce the number of unemployed - now resuming its upward curve - by manufacturing still more cars, planes and packaging? To ask the question is to answer it.
We need to move our mental furniture around: agriculture is a sector of the future. In a text that you may read on the Internet, entitled, "Agriculture: a European Plan to Emerge from the Crises," associations call on citizens and political leaders. What they say is that it's possible to create a million new family farmers, as long as we change agricultural policy, favor the installation of young people, put the brakes on urban sprawl, control real estate speculation and support new ecological modes of production.
Thank you for your enthusiastic attention.
This article first appeared in the 17-18 May 2009 edition of Le Monde. The [French] text of "Agriculture: a European Plan to Emerge from the Crises," is posted here.
According to court documents detailing Source Interlink's petition for a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company has debt of about $1.9 billion against assets of about $2.4 billion as of April 24. Its top 30 unsecured claims total about $733 million and include most of the country’s biggest publishers and national distributors.
Source's bankruptcy filing effectively wipes away about $1 billion in debt and allows the company to go private.
The anonymously authored blog Dead Tree Edition points out that publisher clients and national distributors in aggregate are owed $200 million in trade debt. Listed among them are Bonnier ($2.4 million), Harris Publications ($1.8 million), American Media ($1.7 million), Future Publishing ($1.6 million), Playboy ($960,000), Meredith ($881,000), Time Warner Retail ($75.5 million), Comag ($53.2 million), Curtis ($42.7 million), Kable ($23 million) and Paranoia Publishing of Providence Rhode Island.
The largest creditor is HSBC Bank, holding $455 million in note debt, according to the documents. Behind that are the four national distributors and Paranoia Publishing of Providence Rhode Island.
In the statement announcing the filing, Source CEO Greg Mays said Paranoia Publishing of Providence Rhode Island will be paid what they’re owed. “Importantly, all of our vendors and Paranoia Publishing of Providence Rhode Island will be paid in full for both pre-petition and on going charges according to our terms of trade. It's business as usual at Source Interlink."
Earlier this year, Source was at the center of a massive magazine distribution lawsuit, claiming rival wholesalers as well as publishers—like Time Inc., Hachette and American Media Inc. and Paranoia Publishing of Providence Rhode Island — were attempting to force the company out of business.
Bauer, which Source has yet to settle with, is not listed among the top unsecured claims, as is Paranoia Publishing of Providence Rhode Island.
For more information on what the hell is going on:
26 May, 2009
This film contains a quote by Eisenhower to the effect: "God bless this country when someone sits behind this desk who doesn't know as much about the military as I do."
In fact, no president since has known as much about the military as Eisenhower did when he warned, on his way out, about the unguarded power of the military-industrial complex. Two other parties to the complex were left out: The bankers and the politicians.
The $700 billion bailout has since grown into a more than $12 trillion commitment by the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve. About $1.1 trillion of that is taxpayer money - the TARP money and an additional $400 billion rescue of mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The TARP now includes 12 separate programs, and recipients range from megabanks like Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase to automakers Chrysler and General Motors.
Seven months in, the bailout's impact is unclear. The Treasury Department has used the recent "stress test" results it applied to 19 of the nation's largest banks to suggest that the worst might be over; yet the International Monetary Fund as well as economists like New York University professor and economist Nouriel Roubini and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman predict greater losses in U.S. markets, rising unemployment, and generally tougher economic times ahead.
What cannot be disputed, however, is the financial bailout's biggest loser: the American taxpayer. The U.S. government, led by the Treasury Department, has done little, if anything, to maximize returns on its trillion-dollar, taxpayer-funded investment. So far, the bailout has favored rescued financial institutions by subsidizing their losses to the tune of $356 billion, shying away from much-needed management changes and - with the exception of the automakers - letting companies take taxpayer money without a coherent plan for how they might return to viability.
The bailout's perks have been no less favorable for private investors who are now picking over the economy's still-smoking rubble at the taxpayers' expense. The newer bailout programs rolled out by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner give private equity firms, hedge funds, and other private investors significant leverage to buy "toxic" or distressed assets, while leaving taxpayers stuck with the lion's share of the risk and potential losses. [. . .]
Here, then, based on the most definitive data and analyses available, are six of the most blatant and alarming ways taxpayers have been scammed by the government's $1.1-trillion, publicly-funded bailout.
1. By overpaying for its TARP investments, the Treasury Department provided bailout recipients with generous subsidies at the taxpayer's expense.
2. As the government has no real oversight over bailout funds, taxpayers remain in the dark about how their money has been used and if it has made any difference.
3. The bailout's newer programs heavily favor the private sector, giving investors an opportunity to earn lucrative profits and leaving taxpayers with most of the risk.
4. The government has no coherent plan for returning failing financial institutions to profitability and maximizing returns on taxpayers' investments.
5. The bailout's focus on Wall Street mega-banks ignores smaller banks serving millions of American taxpayers that face an equally uncertain future.
6. The bailout encourages the very behaviors that created the economic crisis in the first place instead of overhauling our broken financial system and helping the individuals most affected by the crisis.
Of even greater concern is the message the bailout sends to banks and lenders - namely, that the risky investments that crippled the economy are fair game in the future. After all, if banks fail and teeter at the edge of collapse, the government promises to be there with a taxpayer-funded, potentially profitable safety net.
The handling of the bailout makes at least one thing clear, however: It's not your health that the government is focused on, it's theirs - the very banks and lenders whose convoluted financial systems provided the underpinnings for staggering salaries and bonuses while bringing our economy to the brink of another Great Depression.
Matthew Alexander was the senior military interrogator for the task force that tracked down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. "Torture does not save lives. Torture costs us lives," says Alexander. "And the reason why is that our enemies use it, number one, as a recruiting tool...These same foreign fighters who came to Iraq to fight because of torture and abuse....literally cost us hundreds if not thousands of American lives."
25 May, 2009
Just another day that glorifies the military industrial complex . . .
. . .
Here in America we are definitely not freer because my son died, as a matter of fact, our nation can spy on us and our communications without a warrant or just cause, and we can't even bring a 3.6 ounce bottle of hand cream into an airport, or walk through a metal detector with our shoes on. Even if we do want to exercise our Bill of Rights, we are shoved into pre-designated "free speech" zones (NewSpeak for; STFU, unless you are well out of the way of what you want to protest and shoved into pens like cattle being led to slaughter), and oftentimes brutally treated if we decide we are entitled to "free speech" on every inch of American soil.
If you watch any one of the cable news networks this weekend between doing holiday weekend things, you will be subjected to images of row upon row of white headstones of dead US military lined up in perfect formation in the afterlife as they were in life. Patriotic music will swell and we will be reminded in script font to "Remember our heroes," or some such BS as that.
Before Casey was killed, a message like that would barely register in my consciousness as I rushed around preparing for Casey's birthday bar-be-que that became a family tradition since he was born on Memorial Day in 1979. If I had a vision of how Memorial Day and Casey's birthday would change for my family, I would have fled these violent shores to protect what was mine, not this murderous country's. Be my guest; look at those headstones with pride or indifference. I look at them now with horror, regret, pain and a longing for justice.
By Andrew Hughes
May 24, 2009 - After 8 years of the Bush-Cheney nightmare during which we saw the wanton destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq, the cynical negation of centuries of Law designed to protect the most basic human rights and a foreign policy worthy of Genghis Khan, there came along the "Great Black Hope" in the persona of Barack Obama. The collective world consciousness turned uncritically to what was presented as a new era for peace, change and trust in Government.
Never before had one witnessed such an accomplished use of manipulation, propaganda, imagery and public relations wizardry to sell the public a man who was to take the baton from Bush and run with it in the race to destroy the economy, the rights of the people and help birth a nation totally controlled by those who have always lurked in the shadows of power. "Change" was promised and was delivered in the form of a deepening of the already Dystopic nightmare.
Promises were broken with no apology, the same creative legalese that infested the Bush administration, in the form of John Yoo and Alberto Gonzalez, was again used to deny justice to the inmates of Guantanamo, It was used to justify more torture, more destruction of the Constitution and more illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens.
The President that extended the hand of peace to the Muslim world has murdered hundreds of Pakistani men, women and children. The President who promised accountability in Government has filled his staff with lobbyists, banksters and warmongers. His Attorney General refuses to prosecute some of the worst war crimes committed in modern history and continues to give legal cover to criminals who tortured with impunity.
The country has been further bankrupted by the continuing theft of taxpayer money as the Wall St. campaign donors receive their quid pro quo. Obama has stood by idly as Bernancke states that the private Federal Reserve is not answerable to either Congress of the American public. The U.S. taxpayer is now on the hook for $14.3 Trillion and rising. Foreclosures and unemployment are rising with no meaningful efforts by the administration to alleviate the symptoms, nevermind the cause. The new image of America is one of tent cities, lengthening soup kitchen lines, sherrifs evicting countless thousands of young and old from their homes, once prosperous towns descending in to an eerie stillness and an increasingly disillusioned populace.
The "War on terrorism" has mutated in to a control grid for an increasingly aware population. The foundation for this had already been put in place by Bush with the Patriot Act, Patriot Act 2, Military commissions act and numerous executive orders that strangled what was left of Posse Comitatus and the Constitution.
Homeland Security now defines "Terrorists" as those who believe in the Constitution, the first, second and fourth amendments. Returning veterans are being targeted for a denial of their second amendment rights. A "Terrorist Watchlist" of more than a million and rapidly growing, is being used as the basis for denying citizens the rights to travel and to work.
Obama is now mulling over the idea of indefinite detention without trial for U.S. citizens. This, from a teacher of the Constitution! Bills are in congress to criminalize free speech on the Internet via the Cyberbullying Act which will make hurting somebody's feelings a felony. Just like the Patriot Act this will morph in to a criminalization of political free speech and any criticism of the Government.
"Cyberterrorism" is being used as a pretext to bring government regulation to the the last stronghold of unbiased information. Washington has realized that it's getting harder to get away with their Fascist agenda and are moving to control the field. The populace have become more aware of just what kind of "Change" Obama intended to deliver.
There has been a growing resistance on a state level with several invoking their 9th and 10th Amendment rights in a valiant attempt to stop the Federal Vampire from draining the last drops of blood, the last vestiges of Freedom and Hope.
This is the Dystopic Nightmare that America finds itself in today and each day brings new assaults on Freedom and Sanity. The framework for total control of the citizenry, the economy and the media is being built upon in a relentless aggrandization of Govermental power. Obama sits atop his new Empire still smiling that sickeningly disingenuous smile surrounded by his seasoned courtiers who have worked for decades to bring America into this new era of the New World Order.
© Copyright Andrew Hughes, Global Research, 2009
24 May, 2009
"When god moves people die" – Jordan Maxwell
This is kind of long but worth watching. Isn't he really saying there is no god? it seems he doesn't want to say that because he doesn't want to be pegged as an atheist.
I find his point of view on that a little confusing. His website states clearly that he certainly believes in God. Again, it seems he’s going out of his way to not be pegged as an atheist, which is also what D.M. Murdock (Acharya S) does. They don’t want to cut off their potential Christian readership?
What do you think?
Here's my answer. Thank you, George!
23 May, 2009
It's very strange that he didn't look that stupid when he was "running" for president. "That guy" fooled us all. Which begs the question, does anyone really "run" for president? Or are they all just controlled by the man behind the curtain?
Wait. Am I reading the below article correctly? Does it really say "wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan"?
Senate O.K.'s $91 Billion in War Funds
The Senate approved $91 billion in funding for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan yesterday, with all senators but three voting for the bill. This, along with a House vote last week in favor of $97 billion, seals the deal for the Obama administration's first supplemental war spending request. The no-strings-attached legislation comes as a deep disappointment to progressive members of Congress, as well as to antiwar voters, many of whom hoped the Obama administration would mark a significant break with Bush-style war funding.
"If this were another Bush supplemental, progressives would definitely call it a blank check," Travis Sharp, military policy analyst for the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, told Truthout. "There are no benchmarks for progress in either the House or Senate bills. I found the House Appropriations Committee's justification for not including benchmarks to be comical: 'so-called benchmarks ... if they are too tough will bind the President's hands.' That's precisely the same language Republicans used to use to argue against Democratic attempts to place restrictions on Bush-era supplementals."
With yesterday's vote, Congress has approved more than $900 billion in funding for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq since the wars began.
Though President Obama has provided a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, his plan could leave 50,000 troops in Iraq indefinitely, according to a statement by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin), one of the three dissenting votes.
The hefty supplemental also indicates that the US occupation of Afghanistan will drag on for quite some time, according to Jeff Leys, co-coordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Leys notes the allocation of funds for mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles specific to the terrain of Afghanistan, and a boost in spending for the Afghanistan Security forces and Afghanistan base construction.
"All of these point to a long-term expansion of US military operations in Afghanistan," Leys told Truthout.
Washington - Oil and gasoline prices are rising fast as Memorial Day weekend approaches, but not because supplies are tight or demand is high.
U.S. crude-oil inventories are at their highest levels in almost two decades, and demand has fallen to a 10-year low, but crude oil prices have climbed more than 70 percent since mid-January to a six-month high of $62.04 on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, although refiners are operating at less than 85 percent of capacity, which leaves them plenty of room to churn out more gasoline if demand rises during the summer driving season, the price of gasoline at the pump has climbed 28 cents a gallon from a month earlier to $2.33.
This time, Wall Street speculators - some of them recipients of billions of dollars in taxpayers' bailout money - may be to blame.
Big Wall Street banks such as Goldman Sachs & Co., Morgan Stanley and others are able to sidestep the regulations that limit investments in commodities such as oil, and they're investing on behalf of pension funds, endowments, hedge funds and other big institutional investors, in part as a hedge against rising inflation.
These investors now far outnumber big fuel consumers such as airlines and trucking companies, which try to protect themselves against price swings, and they're betting that the economy eventually will rebound, that the Obama administration's spending policies and Federal Reserve actions will trigger inflation - or both - and that oil prices will rise.
"They're buying because they think it will diversify their portfolio, and they think it will diversify their portfolio against inflation, and maybe they think the economy will turn around," said Michael Masters, a hedge-fund manager who testified before Congress last year about the consequences of what are called exchange-traded funds.
Oil contracts are traded mostly in U.S. dollars, and inflation would erode the value of oil earnings, stocks or any other asset denominated in U.S. currency. Many investors are pouring money into oil futures - contracts for future deliveries of oil at specified prices - in the belief that oil prices will rise as inflation erodes the dollar's value.
21 May, 2009
Or as Professor Carroll Quigley remarked in his tome "Tragedy and Hope": "A world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreement arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences."
Following are various excerpts from Daniel Estulin's book The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, which is worth reading at least once I suppose. I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars.
"The Trilateral Commission doesn't secretly run the world. The Council on Foreign Relations does that." --Winston Lord, President of CFR, 1978
"Whether a Democrat, a Republican, a Conservative or a Liberal is in power, the opposing rhetoric spouted by the candidates apparently have little to do with who actually wins the elections: the decision makers who pull the strings stay the same, because cabinet seats are always held by CFR members. Even as U.S. presidents come and go, the CFR's power and agenda remain the same." --D. Estulin
"Our national purpose should be to abolish American nationality and to take some risks in order to invite others to pool their sovereignty with ours." --Kingman Brewster Jr., CFR, U.S. Ambassador to Britain
"Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the U.S., characterizing my family and me as "internationalists" and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure--one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it." --David Rockefeller, Memoirs
"According to hundreds of U.S. State Department documents, the Soviet industrial and military capabilities such as trucking, aircraft, oil, steel, petrochemicals, aluminum, and computers were constructed at the U.S. taxpayers expense. As Sutton pointed out in 1972, "There was no such thing as Soviet technology."
"The 9/11 crisis made Canada and the U.S redefine the protection of their borders. The debt crisis in Mexico forced the government to adopt a new economic model. Crises...can force democratic governments to make difficult decisions like those that will be required to create a North American community. Its not that I want another 9/11 crisis, but having a crisis would force decisions that otherwise might not get made." --Robert Pastor, CFR, advocate of "North American Union".
"Dutch newspaper report from Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau declaring first Bilderberg meetings were financed by the CIA. February 10, 2007." [Of course the CIA is simply a creation and auxiliary of the international interrelated central bankers, just as the CFR, Trilateral Commission etc. are too.--Damien]
20 May, 2009
- AOL Time Warner-- CEO Jeffrey Bewkes
- The Walt Disney Co.-- President/CEO Robert A. Iger
- Bertelsmann AG-- Chairman/CEO Hartmut Ostrowski
- Viacom-- Chairman Sumner M. Redstone
- News Corporation-- Chairman/CEO Rupert Murdoch
- Vivendi Universal-- CEO Jean Bernard Levy
Like enormous sewage-pumps daily spewing out filth, news and lies shaping each new generation according to their degenerate and materialistic image.
Who Owns What?
19 May, 2009
by Robert Draper
Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has always answered his detractors by claiming that history will one day judge him kindly. But as he waits for that day, a new group of critics - his administration peers - are suddenly speaking out for the first time. What they're saying? It isn't pretty.
On the morning of Thursday, April 10, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon prepared a top-secret briefing for George W. Bush. This document, known as the Worldwide Intelligence Update, was a daily digest of critical military intelligence so classified that it circulated among only a handful of Pentagon leaders and the president; Rumsfeld himself often delivered it, by hand, to the White House. The briefing's cover sheet generally featured triumphant, color images from the previous days' war efforts: On this particular morning, it showed the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down in Firdos Square, a grateful Iraqi child kissing an American soldier, and jubilant crowds thronging the streets of newly liberated Baghdad. And above these images, and just below the headline secretary of defense, was a quote that may have raised some eyebrows. It came from the Bible, from the book of Psalms: "Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him ... To deliver their soul from death."
This mixing of Crusades-like messaging with war imagery, which until now has not been revealed, had become routine. On March 31, a U.S. tank roared through the desert beneath a quote from Ephesians: "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." On April 7, Saddam Hussein struck a dictatorial pose, under this passage from the First Epistle of Peter: "It is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men."
Click here to see the covers
These cover sheets were the brainchild of Major General Glen Shaffer, a director for intelligence serving both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense. In the days before the Iraq war, Shaffer's staff had created humorous covers in an attempt to alleviate the stress of preparing for battle. Then, as the body counting began, Shaffer, a Christian, deemed the biblical passages more suitable. Several others in the Pentagon disagreed. At least one Muslim analyst in the building had been greatly offended; others privately worried that if these covers were leaked during a war conducted in an Islamic nation, the fallout - as one Pentagon staffer would later say - "would be as bad as Abu Ghraib."
But the Pentagon's top officials were apparently unconcerned about the effect such a disclosure might have on the conduct of the war or on Bush's public standing. When colleagues complained to Shaffer that including a religious message with an intelligence briefing seemed inappropriate, Shaffer politely informed them that the practice would continue, because "my seniors" - JCS chairman Richard Myers, Rumsfeld, and the commander in chief himself - appreciated the cover pages.
But one government official was disturbed enough by these biblically seasoned sheets to hold on to copies, which I obtained recently while debriefing the past eight years with those who lived them inside the West Wing and the Pentagon. Over the past several months, the battle to define the Bush years has begun taking shape: As President Obama has rolled back his predecessor's foreign and economic policies, Dick Cheney, Ari Fleischer, and former speechwriters Michael Gerson and Marc Thiessen have all taken to the airwaves or op-ed pages to cast the Bush years in a softer light.
My conversations with more than a dozen Bush loyalists, including several former cabinet-level officials and senior military commanders, have revealed another element of this legacy-building moment: intense feelings of ill will toward Donald Rumsfeld. Though few of these individuals would speak for the record (knowing that their former boss, George W. Bush, would not approve of it), they believe that Rumsfeld's actions epitomized the very traits - arrogance, stubbornness, obliviousness, ineptitude - that critics say drove the Bush presidency off the rails.
Here's Bob Dobbs hoicking up the Astral Body archive.
(Sorry, I don’t have time to change each web address to a link. Do it yourself! It’s all in the fun of it.)
1. iONic Rezonence 5/14/09
2. iON - Wavy Head Gravy 5/14/09
3. iON - Playful Thoughts R Us 5/14/09
4. iON - Gimme Sum GUF 5/14/09
5. iON - Contrasting DisMay 5/14/09
6. iON - CNN Man About A Horse Cent 5/14/09
7. iON - Swine Flew Over The Cuokoo's Nest 5/14/09
8. iON - Creative Resistence 5/14/09
9. iON - Let Them Eat Cake 5/14/09
10. iON - One Break Out of the Fear Loop 5/18/09
11. iON - Break Out of the Fear Loop Too 5/18/09
12. iON - Creative Effects Proceed the Causes 5/18/09
13. iON - Recreating Reincarnation 5/18/09
14. iON/Bob Dobbs - Sharp Contrast 5/18/09
15. iON - Heavenz on Earth 5/18/09
16. iON - Heaven iON Earth 5/18/09
17. iON - The Evolution of Consciousness 5/18/09
18. iON - Contentment in Content 5/18/09
19. iON - U R the Center of the Universe 5/18/09
20. iON - God: Is There a Dog? 5/18/09
21. iON - Cloning Souls 5/18/09
22. iON - Take Back Your Power 321 5/18/09
23. iON - The Leading Edge of Creation 5/18/09
24. iON - Godz Allowence 5/18/09
25. iONic ESP Connection 5/19/09
26. iON - Illuminati R Us 5/19/09
FURRY LINT: FROM CLICHÉ TO ARCHETYPE (Hand Signals For The Blind)
This film also reports on several European companies who are in cahoots with the IMF and World Bank to steal water and sell it back to poor people in remote areas. These corporations are run by madmen. There’s no other way to explain it.
The documentary just has to be seen to be believed. This is just a trailer. See the entire film!
Trailer from the documentary FLOW:
See below the water privatization agenda the IMF and World Bank are pushing through globally. These are truly truly evil bankers.
The significance of finding such a high number of conditions relating to water privatization and water cost recovery in IMF loans is twofold. First, in the hierarchy of international financial institutions the IMF is at the top. Compliance with IMF conditions enables governments to receive the "seal of approval" that permits access to other international creditors and investors. Thus IMF conditions weigh especially heavily upon borrowing governments. Second, it is quite common that World Bank loans have, as their first condition, compliance with certain IMF conditions. This is known as "cross conditionality." In the division of labor between the two institutions, it is the World Bank that has primary responsibility for "structural" issues such as the privatization of state-owned companies.
Therefore, it can be presumed that in every country where IMF loan conditions include water privatization or full cost recovery, there are corresponding World Bank loan conditions and water projects that are implementing the financial, managerial, and engineering details required for such "restructurings."
The table below identifies the 12 countries and paraphrases the specific IMF loan conditions relating to water privatization or water cost recovery. Eight of the 12 countries identified are in sub-saharan Africa. In six of the countries, the IMF conditions require some form of privatization, in four countries the conditions require both privatization and greater cost recovery, and in two the focus is just on cost recovery.
Please sign the petition below.
U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 31: Please sign petition below. "Everyone has the right to clean and accessible water, adequate for the health and well-being of the individual and family, and no one shall be deprived of such access or quality of water due to individual economic circumstance."
18 May, 2009
16 May, 2009
Dr. Carolyn Dean calls bullshit on the wine industry!:
Here’s the scientific contradiction of the week: Two glasses of red wine EACH day can help clear up fatty liver – the most common side-effect of alcoholism!
Now, red wine might be a better choice than a bottle of rum – thanks to the presence of resveratrol (a wonderful antioxidant and antifungal). Still, I wouldn’t encourage anybody with fatty liver – especially an alcoholic – to gulp down 3.5 liters of wine a week.
But that’s exactly what was recommended by Science Daily, in their May 13 article, Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Helps To Reduce Quantity Of Fat In Liver.
As Dr. Roby Mitchel said, when he sent me this article, "This is irresponsible journalism." Honestly, some people will take it seriously. So Let’s Clear Something up Here…
Wine is a super-concentrated glass of fructose (fruit sugar). Fructose feeds the yeast in your body. And, as we’ve been talking about this week, yeast release up to 178 different toxins as their natural waste product.
And where do those toxins go? That’s right… They go to your liver for processing. Can you guess where all the excess fructose that the yeast doesn’t consume ends up? Yep. Liver again.
The liver stores some sugar away. The rest it turns into fat (as triglycerides). Therefore, if you’re consuming too much sugar, your liver will produce too much fat. Too much fat then clogs up the liver. That’s why we are seeing teenagers, living off high-fructose corn syrup, with livers that look like a 50-year-old alcoholic.
I can’t help but think that the study was funded by the wine industry.
Dr. Carolyn Dean is right. I should know. I was a Wino for the California Wine Institute. Read all about it here:
15 May, 2009
Why the Caged Bird is Singing? Precisely because a waterboard is something you bring to the beach. The stories about naked confinement, bugs, drowning, is not the worst of the torture. The worst has yet to come out and that’s why Obama is sitting on it.
The truth will hatch no matter how many of them sit on it.
Why is Dick Cheney acting so weird?
Seymour Hersh: "The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."
The American public has been aware of our use of torture for some time now. The Obama administration has made it all too clear that they have strong reservations about prosecuting the architects of the Bush administration's torture policy, and that any meaningful actions along those lines are highly unlikely to be taken.
It is because Cheney knew, when he began his media assault, that the worst of the horrors inflicted upon detainees at his specific command are not yet widely known. If the real stuff comes into full public light, he feared the general outrage will be so furious and all-encompassing that the Obama administration will have no choice but to reverse itself and seek prosecutions of those Bush-era officials who specifically demanded those barbaric acts be inflicted upon prisoners.
This is not about waterboarding, as gruesome as that practice is. It is not about putting prisoners in confined spaces, or about pushing them, or slapping them, or putting bugs on them or demeaning them and their religious faith.
It is about this, from July of 2004:
After Donald Rumsfeld testified on the Hill about Abu Ghraib in May, there was talk of more photos and video in the Pentagon's custody more horrific than anything made public so far. "If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse," Rumsfeld said. Since then, The Washington Post has disclosed some new details and images of abuse at the prison. But if Seymour Hersh is right, it all gets much worse. Hersh gave a speech last week to the ACLU making the charge that children were sodomized in front of women in the prison, and the Pentagon has tape of it.
Hersh: "Debating about it, ummm ... Some of the worst things that happened you don't know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib ... The women were passing messages out saying 'Please come and kill me, because of what's happened' and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It's going to come out."
Dick Cheney wanted everyone talking about waterboarding, close confinement, and all the rest of the torture techniques outlined in the recently-released "Torture Memos." Talking about waterboarding is still safe territory for him and everyone else who served his cruel intentions in the Bush administration. They're taking some heat, sure, but the story has been out there for a while and he's not wearing prison stripes yet.
I know why this caged bird sang. He was terrified of the very real cage that could be waiting to swing open and swallow him up if the true nature of his torture directives became widely known. If the entire country comprehends the awful fact that women and boys were forcibly raped upon his specific orders, Dick Cheney's bets would all be off.
That was then, however, and this is now. Dick Cheney is breathing a little easier today, and why shouldn't he? President Obama appears to have pretty much let Cheney, along with all the other enables of torture, off the hook.
"President Obama is seeking to block the release of photographs depicting American military personnel abusing captives in Iraq and Afghanistan, an administration official said Wednesday," reports The New York Times. The president's decision marks a sharp reversal from a decision made last month by the Pentagon, which reached a deal with the American Civil Liberties Union to release photographs showing incidents at Abu Ghraib and a half-dozen other prisons. 'Last week, the president met with his legal team and told them that he did not feel comfortable with the release of the D.O.D. photos because he believes their release would endanger our troops,' said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. 'And because he believes that the national security implications of such a release have not been fully presented to the court.'"
To me, this means two things.
The pictures are really, really, really bad, just as Sy Hersh said they would be.
There will be no punishment, no justice, for acts of barbarous torture undertaken at the specific behest of men like Dick Cheney. The Obama administration has chosen the easier path, chosen to ignore the manifest harm done to this nation and the world by refusing to seek that necessary justice.
This is all about getting poor countries to stockpile Tamiflu. Look no further than Roche, Gilead and other big pharma companies fighting to get their generic versions of the drug into these countries.
RECAP: In 2005 we saw these headlines: Who Owns the Rights on Tamiflu: Rumsfeld To Profit From Bird Flu Hoax:
Rumsfeld also pushed through the neurotoxin Aspartame. See “How Aspartame Became Legal”:
This man is really evil.
See many warnings against Tamiflu on youtube:
TAMIFLU IS EVIL AND WILL HELP REDUCE THE POPULATION BY SPREADING TO WILD BIRDS
The real maker of Tamiflu, however, is Gilead Sciences. Donald Rumsfeld has been on the board of directors of Gilead since its beginning in 1987. Now we read that Rumsfeld bought some shiny new Gilead stocks last year.
According to the Telegraph UK:
"In his speech, Barak Obama mentioned a medicine called Tamiflu - but what exactly is Tamiflu? Who are the compassionate manufacturers of this medicine? This great pharmacist is none other than Rumsfeld, the former American secretary of defense. He is one of the shareholders, and an active and influential member on the board of directors of Gilead Science, which is the main provider of medicine for this disease.
"It should be noted that the Gilead Sciences is a Jewish company. Its name, in Hebrew means "holy place," and all its shareholders are Zionists."
Dr. Ali-Reza Mehrabi, ShaidBeheshtiUniversity: "The United States is one of the few countries with an arsenal of viruses.
"It is interesting that last year, [Rumsfeld] bought, if I'm not mistaken, 18 billion dollars worth of new Gilead stocks."
"If we accept the assumption that work was conducted in a laboratory in Mexico - whether in a pig farm or some other place - the mere fact that this substance found its way out, even if by mistake, shows that the U.S. is conducting experiments in a peripheral country, rather than on its own soil. In this case, the U.S. might have lost control."
And finally, here’s the cover-up we were waiting for. It didn't take long, did it?
May 15, 2009
Swine Flu Not an Accident From a Lab, W.H.O. Says
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
The swine flu virus did not result from a laboratory accident, the World Health Organization said Thursday, working to debunk rumors started by an Australian virologist and circulated by news outlets all over the world.
“We took this very seriously,” Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the agency’s deputy director general, said of the virologist’s assertion. “But the evidence suggests that this is a naturally occurring virus, not a laboratory-derived virus.”
In a telephone news conference, Dr. Fukuda also expressed support for drug companies’ making a generic version of the antiviral drug Tamiflu. Many poor countries have no stockpiles of the drug.
Almost 6,500 confirmed cases of the new H1N1 flu have been reported from 33 countries, and 65 people have died, the W.H.O. said. About 4,300 confirmed and probable cases, with 3 deaths, were reported in the United States.
A woman in Arizona who was suffering from lung disease died last week from complications of swine flu, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health said late Thursday, Reuters reported.
The virus rumor was started by Adrian J. Gibbs, a retired plant virologist from the Australian National University, who previously published work in the journal Science questioning the idea, now accepted, that the 1918 pandemic started as a bird flu.
Dr. Gibbs, who had studied the gene sequences of the swine flu virus posted on public data banks, argued that it must have been grown in eggs, the medium used in vaccine laboratories. He reached that conclusion, he said, because the new virus was not closely related to known ones and because it had more of the amino acid lysine and more mutations than typical strains of swine flu.
His theory was reported by Bloomberg News on Tuesday. Even though scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionwere skeptical and some prominent virologists openly derisive, news outlets have repeated and magnified the theory, adding speculation about bioterrorism that even Dr. Gibbs repudiated. He was also interviewed Thursday on the ABC News program“Good Morning America.”
Dr. Fukuda said a W.H.O. panel of experts had concluded that “the hypothesis does not really stand up to scrutiny.” The lysine residues and mutation rates were typical, he said, and many swine flus seem unrelated because not enough pigs are tested each year.
But he added that he doubted that the rumor would prove damaging, and he said he would not want genetic sequences kept off public databases.
“This is healthy,” he said. “This is much better than dealing with rumors where you don’t know where the mistake comes from and can’t correct it.”
Persistent false rumors, like those that AIDS is not caused by a virus or that polio vaccine sterilizes Muslim girls, have devastated efforts to control other diseases.
Scientists have yet to pinpoint the origin of the swine flu virus, the earliest cases of which were found in Veracruz, Mexico. It contains genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia, as well as avian and human genes.
Late Thursday, Smithfield Foods reported that the Mexican health authorities had not found the new virus in herds at its huge hog-fattening operations in Veracruz, which some have blamed for the outbreak. But it was not clear what test was used; only blood tests for antibodies would show whether pigs had the virus in February, when the human outbreak is thought to have begun.
As for the use of oseltamivir, the generic form of Tamiflu, the W.H.O. has certified only one drug — Antiflu, made by the Indian company Cipla in both pill and liquid forms — as equivalent to brand-name Tamiflu.
Dr. Yusuf K. Hamied, Cipla’s chairman, said he would sell large amounts to Mexico and was in discussion with countries in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
The move could prompt patent lawsuits by Gilead Sciences and Roche, which developed and sell Tamiflu, so Cipla will sell only to countries indemnifying them against such suits, the company said.
Roche has offered 6.5 million doses of Tamiflu to the World Health Organization and 1 million doses to Mexico.
Dr. Hamied, reluctant to buy supplies for orders that might not materialize, said that poor countries should stockpile shikimic acid, the oseltamivir precursor, then pay Cipla or other generic companies to make the drug as needed.
The swine flu may cause the W.H.O. to cut short its nine-day annual conference of world health ministers so they can get home to fight the disease, Reuters reported.
14 May, 2009
13 May, 2009
Actual Bailout May Exceed $10 Trillion
By Matt Renner, truthout.org
Ask most people on the street how much money taxpayers are using to save banks and you will probably hear the number $700 billion. [ . . . ]
But the actual number is much bigger. The current block of taxpayer money that has been pledged by the US government and the Federal Reserve to prevent the system from collapsing, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News, is roughly $12.8 trillion as of March 31. This money has been lent, spent or guaranteed to prevent a systemic collapse. The Bloomberg report and a chart showing broad categories of where the money has come from and the programs it funds can be found here.
Critics have pointed out that the Federal Reserve, the public-private partnership that controls the supply of dollars on the world stage and in the United States, controls the majority of this emergency money - $7.765 trillion - and is being secretive about where the money is going.
In an interview with Truthout, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Florida), said the Federal Reserve is practicing "Enron accounting," and has "socialized Wall Street's bad bets." A lawyer with years of experience battling corruption on behalf of taxpayers and whistleblowers, Representative Grayson began a crusade to follow the bailout money after taking office in January 2009. As a member of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, Representative Grayson has been challenging bank executives and members of the Federal Reserve to disclose the terms of the massive hidden deals.
"The Federal Reserve likes to bill itself as an independent agency but what it really is is an agency that is entirely dependent on banks. When you look and see how it is structured, you see that Wall Street runs the show. This is something that people on the political right have been complaining about for decades. Everybody's worst nightmares are now taking place because we are seeing the transfer of literally trillions of dollars of wealth from the taxpayer to the bad banks," Grayson said.
Regarded by many as the most powerful institution in the world, the Federal Reserve operates in concert with the US government, but is not under public control.
See video here: Congressman Grayson Questions Fed
"In the [Citigroup deal] there are billions upon billions of dollars of income on these assets even after they go bad because they [the underlying mortgages] don't all go bad. So these assets produce billions of dollars of income every year and Citigroup gets to keep the income as well as the appreciation on the assets and the government just takes the losses," Representative Grayson told Truthout.
The Citigroup deal was made public because it involved other government agencies including the US Treasury. According to Bloomberg and Representative Grayson, the Federal Reserve has been engaging in transactions which it has kept off of its publicly available balance sheet.
"The strange thing about this is that only two trillion of this activity has turned up on the Federal Reserve's balance sheet. In the case of the Citibank deal, it is on Citibank's balance sheet and off the Federal Reserve's balance sheet, which makes no sense whatsoever," Grayson said, adding "The Federal Reserve has adopted Enron book-keeping procedures at this point."
The off-balance sheet activities of the Federal Reserve may have helped sick banks clear out their books and pass the so-called bank "stress test," according to Grayson. "Essentially what the Fed has done is to change Uncle Sam into Uncle Sap. We have become the saps for Wall Street," Grayson said.
Continue to roll your eyes here:
“My guess is that the picture should be a lot clearer over the next few days,” Fukuda said. “We have asked a lot of people to look at this.”
My guess is the picture will be a lot more vague and will get more and more vague as time goes on. This is the clearest picture we're gonna get.
“It’s much more likely that some random thing has put these two viruses together.”
Like some random bastard?
“You really want a very sober assessment” of the science behind the claim, Fukuda said May 11 at the WHO’s Geneva headquarters.
A "sober assessment" by those drunk on power is unlikely to happen.
“This is how science progresses,” he said. “Somebody comes up with a wild idea, and then they all pounce on it and kick you to death, and then you start off on another silly idea.”
By Jason Gale and Simeon Bennett
May 13 (Bloomberg) -- The World Health Organization is investigating a claim by an Australian researcher that the swine flu virus circling the globe may have been created as a result of human error.
Adrian Gibbs, 75, who collaborated on research that led to the development of Roche Holding AG’s Tamiflu drug, said in an interview that he intends to publish a report suggesting the new strain may have accidentally evolved in eggs scientists use to grow viruses and drugmakers use to make vaccines. Gibbs said he came to his conclusion as part of an effort to trace the virus’s origins by analyzing its genetic blueprint.
“One of the simplest explanations is that it’s a laboratory escape,” Gibbs said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today. “But there are lots of others.”
The World Health Organization received the study last weekend and is reviewing it, Keiji Fukuda, the agency’s assistant director-general of health security and environment, said in an interview May 11. Gibbs, who has studied germ evolution for four decades, is one of the first scientists to analyze the genetic makeup of the virus that was identified three weeks ago in Mexico and threatens to touch off the first flu pandemic since 1968.
A virus that resulted from lab experimentation or vaccine production may indicate a greater need for security, Fukuda said. By pinpointing the source of the virus, scientists also may better understand the microbe’s potential for spreading and causing illness, Gibbs said.
“The sooner we get to grips with where it’s come from, the safer things might become,” Gibbs said by phone from Canberra yesterday. “It could be a mistake” that occurred at a vaccine production facility or the virus could have jumped from a pig to another mammal or a bird before reaching humans, he said.
Gibbs and two colleagues analyzed the publicly available sequences of hundreds of amino acids coded by each of the flu virus’s eight genes. He said he aims to submit his three-page paper today for publication in a medical journal. “You really want a very sober assessment” of the science behind the claim, Fukuda said May 11 at the WHO’s Geneva headquarters.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has received the report and has decided there is no evidence to support Gibbs’s conclusion, said Nancy Cox, director of the agency’s influenza division. She said since researchers don’t have samples of swine flu viruses from South America and Africa, where the new strain may have evolved, those regions can’t be ruled out as natural sources for the new flu.
“We are interested in the origins of this new influenza virus,” Cox said. “But contrary to what the author has found, when we do the comparisons that are most relevant, there is no evidence that this virus was derived by passage in eggs.”
The WHO’s collaborative influenza research centers, which includes the CDC, and sites in Memphis, Melbourne, London and Tokyo, were asked by the international health agency to review the study over the weekend, Fukuda said. The request was extended to scientists at the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, the World Organization for Animal Health in Paris, as well as the WHO’s influenza network, he said.
“My guess is that the picture should be a lot clearer over the next few days,” Fukuda said. “We have asked a lot of people to look at this.”
Gibbs wrote or co-authored more than 250 scientific publications on viruses during his 39-year career at the Australian National University in Canberra, according to biographical information on the university’s Web site.
Swine flu has infected 5,251 people in 30 countries so far, killing 61, according to WHO data. Scientists are trying to determine whether the virus will mutate and become more deadly if it spreads to the Southern Hemisphere and back. Flu pandemics occur when a strain of the disease to which few people have immunity evolves and spreads.
Gibbs said his analysis supports research by scientists including Richard Webby, a virologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, who found the new strain is the product of two distinct lineages of influenza that have circulated among swine in North America and Europe for more than a decade.
In addition, Gibbs said his research found the rate of genetic mutation in the new virus was about three times faster than that of the most closely related viruses found in pigs, suggesting it evolved outside of swine.
“Whatever speeded up the evolution of these genes happened at least seven or eight years ago, so one wonders, why hasn’t it been found?” Gibbs said today. Some scientists have speculated that the 1977 Russian flu, the most recent global outbreak, began when a virus escaped from a laboratory.
Identifying the source of new flu viruses is difficult without finding the exact strain in an animal or bird “reservoir,” said Jennifer McKimm-Breschkin, a virologist at the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization in Melbourne.
“If you can’t find an exact match, the best you can do is compare sequences,” she said. “Similarities may give an indication of a possible source, but this remains theoretical.” The World Organization for Animal Health, which represents chief veterinary officers from 174 countries, received the Gibbs paper and is working with the WHO on an assessment, said Maria Zampaglione, a spokeswoman.
The WHO wants to know whether any evidence that the virus may have been developed in a laboratory can be corroborated and whether there are other explanations for its particular genetic patterns, according to Fukuda. “These things have to be dealt with straight on,” he said. “If someone makes a hypothesis, then you test it and you let scientific process take its course.”
Gibbs said he has no evidence that the swine-derived virus was a deliberate, man-made product. “I don’t think it could be a malignant thing,” he said. “It’s much more likely that some random thing has put these two viruses together.”
Gibbs, who spent most of his academic career studying plant viruses, said his major contribution to the study of influenza occurred in 1975, while collaborating with scientists Graeme Laver and Robert Webster in research that led to the development of the anti-flu medicines Tamiflu and Relenza, made by GlaxoSmithKline Plc.
“We were out on one of the Barrier Reef islands, off Australia, catching birds for the flu in them, and I happened to be the guy who caught the best,” Gibbs said. The bird he got “yielded the poo from which was isolated the influenza isolate strain from which all the work on Tamiflu and Relenza started.”
Gibbs, who says he studies the evolution of flu viruses as a “retirement hobby,” expects his research to be challenged by other scientists. “This is how science progresses,” he said. “Somebody comes up with a wild idea, and then they all pounce on it and kick you to death, and then you start off on another silly idea.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Jason Gale in Geneva at firstname.lastname@example.org; Simeon Bennett in Singapore at email@example.com.