Pam Rotella's Vegetarian FUN page -- News on health, nutrition, the environment, politics, and more!
Week of 4th to 10th of October 2009
USDA Approval of Genetically Engineered Sugar Beets Ruled Unlawful by Federal Court [R]
(NaturalNews) On September 21, a California federal district court found that the USDA's 2004 approval of Monsanto's genetically engineered "Roundup Ready" sugar beets was unlawful. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) deregulated GMO sugar beets without preparing an Environmental Impact Statement. Plaintiffs in the case, filed in January 2008, include the Center for Food Safety, the Organic Seed Alliance, the Sierra Club, and High Mowing Seeds.
Failing to account for cross-pollination of the GMO seeds with nearby fields of conventional and organic varieties was one of many unreasonable deficiencies cited by the court in the original USDA approval of the crop. Plaintiffs in the case are also emphasizing in no uncertain terms that they will not tolerate the continued pandering to the likes of Monsanto by the USDA. The USDA's job is to protect America's growers, farmers, and consumers, not multinational corporations who patent genetically-altered seeds.
When Monsanto originally began marketing its "Roundup Ready" GMO sugar beet seeds, it enticed farmers with promises that the crops could be doused with herbicide up to five times a year without killing the crop. What it failed to disclose was the potential for entire crop fields to be cross-contaminated with genetically modified seeds, devastating the availability of untainted conventional and organic crops. The environmental impact of using GMO seeds is tremendous and could wipe out the non-GMO crops entirely.
Another issue not addressed by APHIS is the fact that continual applications of glyphosate, the herbicide marketed by Monsanto as Roundup, has led to the growth of Roundup-resistant weeds commonly referred to as "superweeds". Similar to antibiotic "superbugs" that become resistant to antibiotics, these superweeds require ever-increasing amounts of not only Roundup but other more potent, toxic herbicides just to keep them under control. There are currently millions of U.S. land acres that are infested with superweeds.
(FLASHBACK) Mark Purdey's Organophosphate Model of Mad Cow Disease
Purdey's theory is corroborated by field data and lab tests funded with his limited resources. However, all such data is completely ignored by the UK and US governments, largely because politicians receive sizable campaign contributions from both GMO and organophosphate producers. Liability of organophosphate producers would be astronomical if Purdey's theory were accepted as the true cause of prion diseases.
In the case of Wisconsin, Purdey's soil samples showed a natural high-manganese, low-copper content in the CWD/Mount Horeb area. Further evidence of high manganese soil can be seen underground a few miles from Mount Horeb, in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. Cave of the Mounds has a number of purple and black formations which they'll tell you are colored by manganese leached from the soil above. In contrast, Kickapoo Indian Caverns in Western Wisconsin has no CWD in the area, and the cave has patches of blue-green copper-rich areas on its walls, indicating the copper-rich soil above.
If Purdey's theory is correct, organophosphate pesticides and herbicides are of particular interest to vegetarians. This would put vegetarians at risk for contracting a prion disease from foods treated with organophosphate pesticides and/or herbicides. Of particular interest are soy products, specifically Roundup-Ready soybeans.
Roundup-ready soy is a GMO (genetically modified organism, a/k/a "Franken-food") specifically developed to tolerate higher levels of Roundup herbicide. Farmers who grow Roundup-ready soy are required by contract to use Roundup herbicide on their soy fields. Roundup is in the glyphosate class of herbicides, a type of organophosphate. I drove to Mount Horeb, a small town only two hours away from my mother's home in Wisconsin, and asked some of the locals if soy is grown in the area. The answer was yes, but I really didn't have to ask -- I could see the soy fields myself. How much of that soy is Roundup-ready? I haven't been able to obtain this information specifically on Mount Horeb, but there is plenty of information verifying that Roundup-ready soy is commonly grown on Wisconsin farms.
Antiwar Protesters Turn Their Sights on Obama
Commemorating the upcoming eighth anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan, a coalition of antiwar protest groups converged on the White House on Monday to urge a withdrawal from the fighting there and in Iraq.
Sixty-one people were arrested, according to protest organizers. Several hundred attended a rally at McPherson Square, which was followed by a procession to the White House.
Organized under the umbrella of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, it was the coalition's first protest of the war in Afghanistan. Antiwar organizers hope it will mark the start of a month -- and a season -- of fresh agitation, after years of seeking an end to the fighting in Iraq.
The protests brought out the familiar sign of Quaker antiwar activists, as well as the vivid hues and banners of the women's antiwar group Code Pink. Activist Cindy Sheehan -- who became perhaps the country's best-known antiwar protester after her son Casey was killed fighting in Iraq -- also attended.
Museum Posts Only Known Footage Of Anne Frank To YouTube
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands � The Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam has begun airing the only known video of the teenage diarist on a channel dedicated to her on YouTube.
The channel also features clips of others, including her late father Otto and Nelson Mandela, talking about Anne, museum spokeswoman Annemarie Bekker said Friday.
"It is really a great platform to show all the different kinds of films and documentaries about Anne Frank," Bekker added.
The channel shows footage taken during a neighbor's wedding on July 22, 1941. It briefly shows Anne before she and her family were forced into hiding to avoid the Nazis during their World War II occupation of the Netherlands.
Anne Frank video becomes sensation on Internet
The footage was shot on July 22, 1941, about one year before the Frank family went into hiding in the attic of an office building to avoid detection by the Nazis during their occupation of the Netherlands.
It shows Anne's neighbour on her wedding day walking with her husband out of the apartment building at No. 37 Merwedeplein in Amsterdam. At the time, the Franks lived next door, at No. 39. Nine seconds into the film, a 13-year-old Anne is seen leaning out of a second-floor window, smiling and looking down at the street to see the bride and groom.
A shorter version of the footage was given to Anne's father, Otto Frank, by the neighbours in 1950s when they recognized the girl following the publication of Anne's diary. But it wasn't until the 1990s that the Anne Frank House contacted the married couple -- still living in the Netherlands today -- to ask whether they had a longer version.
Anne chronicled the details of her life until the family was betrayed and arrested in August 1944. Seven months later, she died of typhus at the age of 15 in a concentration camp in northern Germany.
Anne's diary was translated from its original Dutch and first published in English in 1952 as The Diary of a Young Girl. It has been translated into more than 70 languages and has sold more than 25 million copies.
Anne Frank: the only existing film images (VIDEO)
PAM COMMENTARY: YouTube video with the now-famous footage of Anne Frank.
Antidepressant use in pregnancy can (negatively) affect newborn
More than one in 10 women develops depression during pregnancy. Now, a new study suggests that women who are treated with antidepressants are more likely to give birth early or to have newborns that need to spend time in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Depression itself can have ill effects for both mom and baby. Therefore, the benefits of the antidepressants -- known as selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors -- may still outweigh the risks for some women, researchers say.
"There is no easy way out of this," says Dr. Tim Oberlander, a developmental pediatrician at BC Children's Hospital, in Vancouver, Canada, who has studied the effects of SSRIs on children exposed in the womb, but was not involved in the current study. "Depression needs to be managed, and for some women, the use of these medications is appropriate and necessary."
PAM COMMENTARY: Notice that they say depression has to be "managed" instead of "cured" -- the most profitable model for the pharmaceutical industry.
There may be another explanation for the negative effects seen here, although I'm inclined to think that the drugs do have some impact on their own. But if she's already depressed, there is a possibility of the mother being Omega-3 deficient. Americans are very deficient in Omega-3 fatty acids in general, and depression is one of the main symptoms. Personally, my guess is that over 90% of depression in the US is due to Omega-3/EFA deficiency. Well, babies need essential fatty acids for their brains to develop properly, especially Omega-3. If the mother is deficient, how is she passing along enough to the baby for proper brain development? Just something to think about, along with many other possible explanations...
Obituaries; Dorothy Goodman
Dorrie was an enthusiastic culture maven who participated in a number of groups in the Stony Brook area. A voracious reader and former literature teacher, she was a long-standing member of the Virginia Fuller book group that meets at the Emma Clark Library. She also participated in numerous classes of the Round Table, the lifelong learning program at Stony Brook University. She was a regular passenger on the Port Jeff opera buses that went to the Metropolitan Opera.
Dorrie's greatest joy was her four children: Steven, a physician and professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore; Amy, who lives in New York City and is host of the daily TV/radio news program Democracy Now!; David, a journalist and author in Vermont; and Dan, a consultant who lives in Boston. Her five grandchildren kept her busy running around the northeast to take in their concerts and sports games.
Dorothy Bock Goodman was born in 1930 and grew up in Brooklyn with her older sister. Her father, Benjamin Bock, was a noted orthodox rabbi and graduate of the renowned Slobodka Yeshiva in Kaunas, Lithuania. He was the principal of the Crown Heights Yeshiva. Her mother, Sonia Bock, was the longtime social secretary of Hadassah.
Dorrie graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, then went on to get her bachelor's degree from Hunter College. In 1952, she married George Goodman, an ophthalmologist who was in private practice in Bay Shore, where they raised their family.
George and Dorrie Goodman shared a passion for social issues. Dorrie was a lifelong peace activist and a co-founder of a local chapter of the SANE/Freeze peace group. George was a co-founder of the Long Island chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Books and music were Dorrie's passion and her pleasure. "Books are like my children," she said. In the early 1970s, Dorrie decided to share her love of books and writing with a larger audience. She began teaching English at Dowling College and Suffolk County Community College. When she saw that there were no tenure track openings, she decided to change careers, and got a master's degree in social work from Adelphi University. For 15 years she conducted a private practice in psychiatric social work, until she and George both retired in 1992.
PAM COMMENTARY: Amy Goodman took some time off of her show �Democracy Now!� this week because her mother died. From references Amy has occasionally made on air, her mother sounded like a peace activist, including human rights and peace issues in Palestine (much like her daughter, only without a daily international TV and radio audience of course), and her obituary seems to confirm that. Sounds like a cool lady!
Rabies in vaccinated dogs and cats [R]
264 rabid dogs and 840 rabid cats were identified.
4.9% of rabid dogs and 2.6% of rabid cats had a history of rabies vaccination.
Of the 13 dogs that had been vaccinated, only 2 were considered currently vaccinated. Similarly of the 22 cats, only 3 were currently vaccinated.
Texas had the most positive dogs while Pennsylvania had the most positive cats.
PAM COMMENTARY: I'm not agreeing with this article, as most vaccines aren�t as effective as claimed -- if they work at all. I think most house pets don't get rabies because they're indoors or in the backyard ALL of the time, and NEVER exposed to the disease over their lifetimes. However, the statistics are interesting.
I'm familiar with Pennsylvania, which has a large population of wild housecats in wooded areas (college kids are known to "release" their cats into the woods when leaving town). Those wild housecats then go on to catch rabies from raccoons and other wildlife, and some homeowners shoot wild housecats on sight as they�re known to carry the disease. So it makes sense that more house pets in Pennsylvania are exposed to the disease than other areas of the country.
So, once exposed, how well does the vaccine work? Apparently not well enough.
Live Avian flu with 60% death-rate "accidentally" put in US vaccines
US pharmaceutical company Baxter admitted to distributing active Avian flu H5N1 in test vaccine material that were sent to 18 laboratories in four countries. H5N1 flu is the world�s deadliest, with a mortality rate of over 60% according to the World Health Organization (WHO). H5N1 �has caused the largest number of detected cases of severe disease and death in humans� of all known flu types, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). While H5N1 is not highly transmittable, it was mixed with H3N2, a highly contagious form of human flu. This potential pandemic was averted in March when alert researchers discovered the equivalent of a biological weapon that could quickly kill over two billion people, according to published data in American Scientist, a leading journal. An August 2009 analysis in the Journal of Virology, "Reassortment between Avian H5N1 and Human H3N2 Influenza Viruses in Ferrets: a Public Health Risk Assessment," confirms that the mix of H5N1 and H3N2 did indeed combine the two into a form that could be as deadly as H5N1 and as transmittable as H3N2.
Baxter Manager of Communications, Jutta Brenn-Vogt, at Baxter Deutschland stated the vaccine component was "experimental virus material."
The Goldman Bonuses Are Coming! The Goldman Bonuses Are Coming! [WRH]
It appears that Goldman Sachs is on a major PR campaign to soften the world to the fact that major bonuses are going to be paid out at GS. That's the only conclusion that can be reached from an interview appearing in WSJ and conducted by WSJ regular columnist, Holman Jenkins Jr. This was not what you would call a root canal interview, more like a polishing of Goldman's shark like teeth.
Questions About �Sweat Lodge� Rite Where 2 Died
The two victims were identified on Saturday as James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee, and Kirby Brown, 38, who grew up in Westtown, N.Y., and lived part of the time in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Both had come to the retreat without family members, the authorities said.
The Yavapai County sheriff, Steve Waugh, said at a news conference on Saturday that his detectives were investigating the possibility of criminal negligence in connection with the incident. He said that from 55 to 65 people were gathered inside the lodge on Thursday afternoon for the purification ceremony.
Joseph Bruchac, an expert on Native American traditions and author of �The Native American Sweat Lodge,� said that number far surpassed the 8 to 12 typically present at such a rite. �It means that all these people are fighting for the same oxygen,� he said.
The lodge itself was only four and a half feet tall at its highest point, Mr. Waugh said.
A sweat lodge, similar to a sauna, is an enclosed space where water is poured on heated rocks. Such structures are often used in Native American ceremonies and are intended to cleanse the body. Traditional lodges are usually made of willow branches and covered in canvas or animal skins, and are not meant to be air-tight. The authorities said that the lodge at Angel Valley was covered in plastic and blankets.
The people, some of whom paid more than $9,000, were taking part in a program called "Spiritual Warrior, " which was being run by the self-help expert James Arthur Ray. They had been inside the lodge for more than two hours when emergency calls were made about 5 p.m. Friday, the Verde Valley Fire Department said.
Questions have also arisen about the length of time the people were in the lodge � about two hours. A ceremony usually lasts no more than an hour, Mr. Bruchac said.
Investigators said that a test for hazardous materials showed no evidence of carbon monoxide or other airborne poisons at the lodge, though they said they were still testing blood samples for evidence of toxic substances.
Dwight D�Evelyn, a public information officer for the Yavapai County sheriff�s office, said autopsies of the two victims had been conducted, but results had not yet been released.
Mr. Ray, who was in the sweat lodge for the ceremony and has been holding retreats there since 2003, has not yet commented on the incident.
Man provides new insight into deaths at Sedona sweat lodge
James Ray is the man at the center of the controversy. Ray is the co-author of the book, "The Secret", an expert in personal development, and the organizer of the "Spiritual Warrior" retreat in Sedona.
So far he has offered an apology on his website, but other than that he is refusing to speak.
But his friend and colleague John Assaraf is speaking out. He also co-wrote �The Secret� and tells a TV station in San Diego about these retreats.
"We are ultimately responsible for what occurs in the environment we bring others into," he said. "Will he (James Ray) take responsibility? I hope he does. I think he will."
Assaraf says these retreats usually last five days, ending with the sweat lodge. It's meant to push people's personal limits and transcend pain. He says it also helps them recognize their physical and mental health and achieve goals they never thought possible.
Obama�s Nobel Prize: International community to Bush -- �That�s right, we hate you�
Perhaps the biggest change Obama brought to the White House after the Bush administration was a willingness to work through international organizations such as the U.N., NATO, European Union, International Monetary Fund and World Bank to solve world problems. Bush was disdained by many overseas, including the Nobel committee, for preferring to go it alone.
A Pew Research Poll released in July showed that the image of the U.S. "improved markedly in most parts of the world," largely because of confidence and trust abroad in Obama.
"This is as much for his efforts to change the tone of the global conversation, re-engage the U.S. with the rest of the world and listen to others' points of view with respect," said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, which has prodded Obama to take a bolder stand on climate change initiatives. "The contrast with the previous U.S. president is pretty stark on these fronts, and it's a change that clearly appeals to the Nobel committee."
Obama's popularity in the USA isn't as high as it is overseas, and reaction from his critics was swift Friday. "It is unfortunate that the president's star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights," said Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee. "One thing is certain: President Obama won't be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility or backing up rhetoric with concrete action."
Bush didn't comment on the award, but former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen called it "a joke."
"The international left is in love with Obama, and they could not hold it in until he actually did something to merit their affection," Thiessen said.
Foreign policy experts agreed somewhat, saying the award at least reflects Europe's predominant view of how the United States should behave internationally. "My sense is that this is Europe's reaction to eight years of exceptionalism," said Johanna Mendelson Forman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "They wanted to vote for him, they got to vote for him � for the prize."
Cops fire on Homeowner who subduded Intruder [WRH]
Anthony Arambula acted quickly on the evening of September 17, 2008 after an intruder broke into his house. After the invader crashed through a window in the family�s Phoenix home, Arambula grabbed his personal firearm and held him at gunpoint.
Then he made the nearly fatal mistake of dialing 911.
Three Phoenix PD officers were already in the neighborhood when the call went out. Outside the house, Arambula�s wife Lesley informed Sgt. Sean Coutts that her husband had already taken the intruder into custody and was holding him at gunpoint.
Either out of reflexive contempt for a mundane or criminal incompetence, Sgt. Coutts neglected � or refused � to pass along this vital information to his fellow tax-devourers. Before Mrs. Arambula could relay those important facts to the other officers, Officer Brian Lilly shot Anthony six times in the back � twice after he had hit the floor.
�You just killed the homeowner,� gasped Anthony as he bled into the floor of his house. �The bad guy is in there.�
�We f***d up,� Lilly reported to his dispatcher. Fear not, he and his fellow officers acted quickly to address the most pressing issue � no, not the threat to Anthony�s life, or that posed by the intruder, but rather the risk to the career of the police officer who shot the innocent man.
Displaying natural leadership ability, Sgt. Coutts quickly devised a cover story: In the official version, Anthony had pointed his gun at Officer Lilly, yet somehow managed to take six rounds in the back.
Jack LaLane turns 95 [R]
One thing he can always improve is himself. LaLanne works out two hours a day, mostly swimming and lifting weights, at the LaLanne mansion on the Central Coast.
"I work at living," he says, leaning close and squeezing an arm. "Most people work at dying. Dying's easy."
One of LaLanne's most effective sales devices has been his amazing feats of strength. When Arnold Schwarzenegger came to America in 1968 and became an instant sensation on the Southern California muscle scene, LaLanne challenged the kid to a duel at Muscle Beach. The Austrian Oak was 21; the Oakland Oak was 54.
"I beat him in chin-ups and push-ups," LaLanne says. "He said, 'That Jack LaLanne's an animal! I was sore for four days. I couldn't lift my arms!' "
US pot growers pose threat to Mexican cartels [R]
ARCATA, California: Stiff competition from thousands of small-scale marijuana farmers in the US threatens the bottom line for powerful Mexican drug organisations in a way that decades of arrests and seizures have not, police and pot growers say.
Illicit pot production in the US has been increasing steadily for decades. But recent changes in state laws that allow the use and cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes are giving US growers a competitive advantage, challenging the traditional dominance of the Mexican traffickers.
Almost all of the marijuana consumed in the multibillion-dollar US market once came from Mexico or Colombia. Now as much as half is produced domestically, often by small-scale operators who painstakingly tend greenhouses and indoor gardens to produce the more potent, and expensive, product that consumers now demand, authorities and marijuana dealers on both sides of the border say.
Obama, Congress prepare to thwart ACLU suit over abuse photos [WRH]
In the continuing legal battle over 21 photographs showing terror war prisoner abuse, the U.S. government has not seen much success arguing for nondisclosure in federal court.
So, the Obama administration -- which once promised to make public this shameful chapter of the Bush administration -- has hatched a new strategy to keep the scenes of torture from being released.
"The Obama administration believes giving the imminent grant of authority over the release of such pictures to the defense secretary would short-circuit a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act," reported the Associated Press on Saturday.
It was with this new strategy in mind that the administration asked Supreme Court justices to stay their decision on the photos' release, allowing Congress time to vote on dictating the authority solely to the secretary of defense.
PAM COMMENTARY: I don't know why Obama continues to cover for George W. Bush. It could be that he wants to set legal precedent for dictatorial powers of the president, thinking he'd like to use those himself someday. And then Democrats wonder why his numbers are already dropping. Well, it's all his own fault -- if he'd done what he was elected to do, he'd be immensely popular right now! Instead we get "George Bush Lite" or "Black LBJ." Who voted for THAT?
�Sick for Profit�: Robert Greenwald Documentary Exposes Salaries, Claim Denials of Healthcare Profiteers [DN]
JO JOSHUA GODFREY: �up in bed at night in order to be able to breathe. I would go to CIGNA, and they would tell me I had bronchitis and just give me medicine and send me home. No matter what kind of medicine they gave me, I just didn�t get better. Then the CIGNA director called me up, and she told me that there was nothing wrong with me at all.
I got out a phone book, and I called a doctor, and I was really distraught by this time. It was 9:00 at night. And I guess he could hear the pain and the terror in my voice. And he met me there. And I came with my film and my CAT scan, and he just put it in. It took exactly thirty seconds. He told me, �You have cancer.� And he said, �The reason CIGNA didn�t want to give you your records is they�ve known, right way back for years, that you have cancer, and they wouldn�t�they�re not going to treat you.�
UNIDENTIFIED: A lot of money is made in this country off of sick people.
REP. DONNA EDWARDS: I understand why these folks are fighting healthcare reform. The CEO of CIGNA, Ed Hanway, the annual revenue, $19.1 billion, $292 million in net income. His salary, $12.2 million.
WENDELL POTTER: The reason I left CIGNA was because, toward the end of my career, I was able to see how insurance companies maximize profits by denying claims, denying care, essentially, and by dumping the sick. It�s all for the purpose of maximizing profits and enhancing shareholder value for Wall Street investors. Sometimes people will forget that they had acne at some point during the past and not disclose that. And then, later on, the insurance company can use that as a reason to cancel their insurance. Another way that insurance companies maximize their profits is by denying coverage or denying a claim.
Israel To Hit Iran By Christmas [WRH]
Former Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh stated in an interview with the UK�s Sunday Times that if sanctions against Iran are not in place by Christmas, Israel may attack Iran on its own. �If no crippling sanctions are introduced by Christmas, Israel will strike,� he said. �If we are left alone, we will act alone.�
Iran�s ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaee, rebuked Sneh�s comments on Saturday and said that �there is no explanation for Israel�s continuing threats against Tehran.�
He said he hoped the UN would take steps against such comments. �Remarks such as these, stated once in a while by Israeli leaders, are no more than sorry excuses aimed at avoiding supplying answers regarding Israel�s nuclear arsenal and deflecting public awareness from the crimes and terror Israel commits in the region,� he said.
Israel and some Western countries have taken a harsh line on Iran�s nuclear program, peaceful or otherwise. Khazaee also stated that �the only threat in the region is Israel�s nuclear arsenal, which remains unsupervised to this day.� Israel is believed to be the sole nuclear power in the Middle East with more than 200 nuclear heads, and it is not a signatory for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) unlike Iran which is a signatory for this treaty.
Recently, Cleric Mojtaba Zolnour, a senior leader of Iran�s Revolutionary Guard, said that Iran will �blow up the heart of the Zionist entity� if attacked by either Israel or the United States.
Failed Economic Policies and Rising Unemployment in the United States of America [WRH]
If the birth/death ratio is removed, U-6 is in reality 21.3% total US unemployment. The estimate is that 824,000, more jobs may be extracted from the payroll count for the 12-months ended next March. Such a revision would be the biggest since 1991. The BLS is underestimating job losses deliberately and has been for a long time. That would mean September�s loss would be some 300,000 not 263,000.
Such a revision would put job losses not at 4.8 million but 5.6 million jobs.
This is how government has operated for some time and will continue to as long as we allow them too.
Celente - People Should Brace For 'Greatest Depression'; 2012 Forecast - Food Riots, Ghost Malls, Mob Rule, Terror [R]
A trends forecaster says the current economic "rebound" from last winter's Wall Street collapse of banks, insurance companies and automobile manufacturers is an artificial blip created by 'phantom money printed out of thin air backed by nothing."
And Gerald Celente of TrendsResearch.com, says people right now should be bracing for "the greatest recession" which will hit worldwide and will mark the "decline of empire America." Crop failures could be among the minor concerns.
"Here we are in 2012. Food riots, tax protests, farmer rebellions, student revolts, squatter diggins, homeless uprisings, tent cities, ghost malls, general strikes, bossnappings, kidnappings, industrial saboteurs, gang warfare, mob rule, terror," he writes for a quarterly publication that is available through subscription on his website.
Few Bush-era energy leases are valid, report finds [BF]
Reporting from Denver - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday that only 17 of 77 oil and gas leases on Utah public lands that the Bush administration auctioned off in December were valid and that his agency would prevent development on the remaining parcels, at least in the near future.
Salazar spoke at a Washington news conference to announce the findings of a report he commissioned this year on the parcels, which became the subject of a fierce controversy during the waning days of George W. Bush's presidency.
Environmentalists contended that the auction of drilling rights on 100,000 acres of federal land in southeastern Utah were a last-minute giveaway to the energy industry. The environmentalists won a restraining order from a federal judge halting the sales.
Salazar revoked most of the leases upon entering office and said his staff would study which were appropriate. On Thursday, he said the review found that few were.
(FLASHBACK) Posing as a Bidder, Utah Student Disrupts Government Auction of 150,000 Acres of Wilderness for Oil & Gas Drilling [DN]
AMY GOODMAN: I�m looking at the Salt Lake Tribune article on you. It says, �He didn�t pour sugar into a bulldozer�s gas tank. He didn�t spike a tree or set a billboard on fire. But wielding only a bidder�s paddle, a University of Utah student just as surely monkey-wrenched a federal oil- and gas-lease sale Friday, ensuring that thousands of acres near two southern Utah national parks won�t be opened to drilling anytime soon.�
Can you talk about how it is that this land was being auctioned off? And what were the other companies, organizations in the room that were buying it up?
TIM DeCHRISTOPHER: Well, basically, the Bush administration was trying to rush through this auction as quickly as possible to get it done before Obama took office, because they knew that it wouldn�t be acceptable under any other administration other than Bush and Cheney. And so, they just circled vast swaths of southern Utah. Their initial announcement, they included pieces of property that had houses on them in Moab and included property that they didn�t even have rights to drill in or they didn�t have rights to sell off and included a lot of areas around national parks. And so, they rushed through the process and didn�t have time to do adequate environmental impact statements, didn�t have time to take an adequate amount of public comment or even input from other federal agencies. And there was a big battle with the National Park Service, because they were upset over a lot of areas that were included in there. But luckily, they also didn�t have time to make sure that all the bidders were bonded, which is how I got in so easily.
AMY GOODMAN: Is this land you have walked, traveled, enjoyed?
TIM DeCHRISTOPHER: I�ve been around that area a lot, and a lot of southern Utah and the wilderness throughout this state, I�ve enjoyed for a long time. And that�s why I originally came here. I spent my first two years in Utah working for a wilderness therapy program and spending most of my time out there in some of the beautiful lands of Utah.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to go on in the Salt Lake Tribune piece, where it says, �During the confusion that followed DeChristopher�s removal, Sgamma��I don�t know if I�m pronouncing this person�s name right, Kathleen Sgamma, director of government affairs for the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States��said she had seen Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance attorney David Garbett �communicating� with DeChristopher during the auction. She questioned whether SUWA��that�s the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance��had been acting in concert with [DeChristopher] the BLM dubbed a �nuisance bidder.�� That was you. Were you working with other groups in the room?
TIM DeCHRISTOPHER: No, no. There was no kind of a plan or anything. The extent of the communication that the SUWA attorney had with me was he dropped his business card in my lap on his way out the door, as he did with a lot of the other bidders who won land, because they were intending to try to protect some of those afterwards, hoping that the oil companies would be willing to give them up later.
But it was just me in there acting alone. It wasn�t especially premeditated. I got in there and saw the opportunity to make the difference and then realized that, seeing that opportunity, I couldn�t ethically justify not taking it. I knew that as bad as this could possibly turn out, if I ended up going to prison, then I could live with that. But if I saw an opportunity to protect the land of southern Utah and I saw an opportunity to keep some oil in the ground and give us a better chance for a livable future and I passed up that opportunity, then I wouldn�t be able to live with that. And so, I just had to make that choice on my own.
Smart meters could be 'spy in the home' (UK) [R]
Smart meters could become a 'spy in the home' by allowing social workers and health authorities to monitor households, adding to concern at Britain's surveillance society.
The devices, which the government plans to install in every home by 2020, will also tell energy firms what sort of appliances are being used, allowing companies to target customers who do not reduce their energy consumption.
Privacy campaigners have expressed horror at the proposals, which come as two million homes have 'spy' devices fitted to their rubbish bins by councils who record how much residents are recycling.
Bin police make you save every scrap (UK) [R]
People will be asked to pick through their rubbish to set aside every piece that can be recycled, re-used, rotted or incinerated under government plans to move Britain towards a zero waste nation.
Houses that already have up to four bins and boxes may get even more � including slop buckets � as the government sets out to teach the public how to become recycling experts.
Timmy�s Telephone Travesty [AJ]
New revelations about Tim Geithner�s phone records show an appallingly small Wall Street circle. With a probe likely, Simon Johnson says the Treasury secretary needs a bailout�from Larry Summers.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner faces a major public-relations problem. His phone records and broader calendar, obtained by the Associated Press, indicate that most of his contacts with the financial sector in the first seven months of this year were in fact with just three mega-banks: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and J.P. Morgan Chase.
Fired UN Official Peter Galbraith Accuses the United Nations of Helping Cover Up Electoral Fraud Committed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai [DN]
PETER GALBRAITH: Well, Anjali, I covered that. I�d be happy to go over it again. First, in advance of the election, he�when I was trying to reduce the number of the ghost polling stations, he ordered me to stop doing that, after the Afghan ministers complained about it, although, of course, they were working for President Karzai, who would turn out to be the beneficiary of the fraud.
At another stage in the process, we had collected very substantial data on fraud and turnout. This was done by the UN staff at considerable personal risk. Afghanistan is a dangerous place to operate. And then, we wanted to do what our mandate is, which is to support the Afghan institutions, turn this evidence over to the Election Complaints Commission. He ordered the mission not to turn over the evidence, to sit on it. And then, when the Independent Election Commission, which was really a pro-Karzai body, decided to abandon its safeguards, he objected when I intervened with them to try to get them to keep the safeguards.
His argument is that this is�that the UN Security Council resolution says that the United Nations should support Afghan institutions in a Afghan-run election, and therefore we shouldn�t intervene. But, in fact, of course, the mandate is to support a�not just elections, but free, fair and transparent elections, not a fraudulent one.
And it�s, in my view, absurd to say that the international community doesn�t have an interest in how these elections are conducted. First, taxpayers from the wealthy countries, and particularly the United States, paid for these elections. They cost over $300 million. So�and there�s an obvious interest. But second, and even more important, these elections were a critical part of the political process in Afghanistan. The hope was that they would bring greater stability. They have now brought much greater instability. They have been the biggest strategic triumph for the Taliban since 2001. And with 100,000 troops there, of course, the United States and its NATO allies had a huge interest in�that these elections be done properly. And frankly, the United Nations mission failed to do its job.
Marines see sharp increase in suicides [WRH]
And while a recent Marine Corps report indicates that fewer than 42 percent of Marines who have committed suicide since 2001 had a deployment history, 56 of the 80 Marines who have taken their lives in the last two years have been to the war zones. That 70 percent figure is higher than Army figures for 2008, during which 61 percent of those who committed suicide were either deployed or had a deployment history.
Marine officials said they could not pinpoint an exact cause for the increase.
But, Werbel said, "A significant contributing factor is the operational tempo."
Dan Reidenberg, a psychologist and executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, or SAVE, said he believes deployments are a factor in servicemembers� suicides.
"I think current people (in the military) have been deployed multiple times and that is creating stress," Reidenberg said. "I think it is the constant ongoing battle within as well as the battle outside those men and women (in the military) are fighting."
Och, MI5 huv nae idea whit A'm sayin [WRH]
AS communist vice-president of the National Union of Mineworkers, Mick McGahey was regarded by Tory ministers and the security services as a potentially dangerous subversive.
But attempts by MI5 to bug his phone calls proved fruitless because his rambling, drunken conversations, in his thick Glaswegian accent, were indecipherable to English spies.
A new history of the service reveals McGahey was kept under surveillance over a 15-year period that included two national miners� strikes that almost brought the country to its knees.
Italy's press freedom in peril [R]
On 3 October Piazza del Popolo, in Rome, was packed with journalists, writers, intellectuals, lawyers, and ordinary citizens to peacefully demonstrate in favour of freedom of the press, against regulations to control journalists, and against government interferences within the media. According to the Italian police 60,000 people attended the event; the National Federation of the Press, which organised the rally, estimated a turnout of 300,000 people. Where's the truth?
Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, said during an interview with Sky TG24: "There's more freedom of information in Italy than in any other country". He added that the rally was a "farce". The international organisation Reporters Without Borders said Berlusconi was on the verge of being added to its list of the "predators of press freedom" over his "attacks and lawsuits against the press". So, again, where's the truth?
The truth is that in Piazza del Popolo last Saturday, the attendance figure was certainly closer to 300,000 than 60,000.
As for freedom of information, it's true that no dissident journalist has been arrested, no paper has been closed. In a democratic society the matter is definitely more subtle than that.
There are a number of episodes occurred in the last few months that make clear that information is not delivered fairly in the country. Particularly, press freedom is endangered because Italian information is experiencing a systematic exclusion of certain stories from the main TV news bulletins so that the majority of Italians � who rely on them for information � don't get the full picture of what's happening in the country. They're not only deprived of a fair news service about political scandals, presidential gossip and trials, but also about other hot topics such as the recession.
The government believes that bad news is to be restricted. Better not to show whatever might bring negative thoughts. Better, therefore, to accurately select which pieces of news need be reported. And editors and journalists are too often happy to meet this request.
Italians are indeed informed but not fairly as independent, free journalism would do. The words used by the emeritus president of the Italian high court of justice, Valerio Onida, during last week's press freedom rally are explanatory: "Every badly informed citizen is not a free citizen". This is in brief the issue of press freedom in Italy.
PAM COMMENTARY: Although this article mentions at the very end that Berlusconi's brother owns a newspaper, it makes absolutely no mention of the fact that Berlusconi himself owns a good portion of the press. How can an article on the freedom of the press in Italy exclude that highly significant piece of information? And neither of the other two articles I'm posting here mention it, either. But his Wikipedia entry today mentions that he owns about half of the Italian press, and is one of the wealthiest men in Italy. In fact, I'm going to link to his Wikipedia page here.
Silvio Berlusconi; From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Berlusconi is the proprietor of three analogue television channels, various digital television channels, as well as some of the larger-circulation national news magazines. Together these account for nearly half the Italian market. He is the founder and major shareholder of Fininvest, which is among the ten largest privately owned companies in Italy and currently operates in media and finance. With Ennio Doris he founded Mediolanum, one of the country's biggest banking and insurance groups. Berlusconi, together with the Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, is the main shareholder of Mediaset, a publicly traded company. He is the owner of the European football club A.C. Milan, which has won a number of national and international trophies under his lead. He wrote AC Milan's anthem with the Italian music producer and pop singer Tony Renis and Forza Italia's anthem with the opera director Renato Serio. With the Neapolitan singer Mariano Apicella he wrote two Neapolitan song albums: Meglio 'na canzone in 2003 and L'ultimo amore in 2006. According to Forbes magazine, Berlusconi is Italy's third richest person, with personal assets worth $9.4 billion (USD) in 2008, preceded only by Michele Ferrero and Leonardo del Vecchio.
I�m the most persecuted man in history, says Silvio Berlusconi [R]
The Italian Prime Minister, who on Wednesday lost the immunity from prosecution that has protected him from criminal proceedings, lamented his fate yesterday, saying that he was �absolutely the most persecuted by the judiciary in all of the history of the entire world�.
Then he followed up with a slip of the tongue. Citing the 106 investigations and trials against him over the years, and the 2,500 court hearings they entailed, he mistakenly suggested, just for a second before correcting himself, that he might have bought judicial influence. �Over the years I have spent �200 million on consultants and judges ... sorry, consultants and lawyers,� he said.
The remark elicited a ripple of laughter through the press conference. The courts, which have so badly wounded him in the past few days, have shown that there are limits to his power.
A Milan judge found last week that Mr Berlusconi had been �co-responsible for corruption� after the court ruled that his company Fininvest had won a takeover bid by bribing a judge. Fininvest was ordered to pay a fine of �750 million (�695 million) to compensate a rival for lost earnings.
Mr Berlusconi maintains that the court ruling this week, which stripped his protection from prosecution, was politically motivated. �I have always been cleared,� he said in the press conference yesterday afternoon after a Cabinet meeting. �I have all these lawsuits because I am Prime Minister, and I represent the natural barrier against the rise of the Left in Italy.�
Referring to himself as the �best prime minister ever�, Mr Berlusconi added: �The cases in Milan are real farces. They [the judiciary] want to subvert the vote of the electorate. The persecution is continuing, of course. I would never have thought anyway that left-wing judges could approve [his immunity].�
Mr Berlusconi said that there was no need for public demonstrations to support him, as was mooted by some officials within his party, and insisted that his Government would carry on regardless. �I will just have to take a few hours off from my work as head of government to deal with the trials.�
PAM COMMENTARY: "No need for public demonstrations on how wonderful I am. I'll just take a few hours off of being the best prime minister ever to handle this."
Silvio Berlusconi lets rip in all directions after loss of immunity [R]
The president, who has limited powers but exerts immense moral influence, is the guarantor of the constitution and meant to be above party interests. Napolitano was a communist until the party dissolved itself and went on to become part of the centre-left opposition Democratic party. His two predecessors, a former governor of the Bank of Italy and a Christian Democrat, have both joined the Democratic party since leaving office.
On a late-night TV show that Berlusconi joined by phone, he told the watching millions that Napolitano should have used "his influence" to get a different ruling from the court.
When a studio guest, Rosy Bindi, a former centre-left minister, expressed outrage at his suggestion, Berlusconi replied: "I recognise you are increasingly more beautiful than intelligent." A shocked Bindi hit back with an allusion to the sex scandals surrounding the prime minister, saying she was "a woman who is not at your disposal".
Among many who weighed in to support Bindi was a party colleague, Giovanna Melandri, who said the remark had summed up "the Berlusconi philosophy towards women"; the diminutive prime minister had shown himself to be "taller than he is well-mannered".
The Internet ate my nephew! [WRH]
Over the last few months, he's gotten sucked into the Internet conspiracy black hole created by some guy named Alex Jones. Jones does an Internet video broadcast alleging all sorts of conspiracies. It's the same litany of shadowy cabals manipulating governments, businesses, etc., that have existed for centuries. Among other things, he's convinced that President Obama is a Nazi (!), Bill Gates is trying to depopulate the world, and fluoride in the water is there to lower IQs.
I can see why it appeals to my nephew -- he doesn't have to read anything, and it allows him to feel like he knows more than all the well-traveled, well-educated adults around him.
What bothers me is the quasi-religious zeal with which he embraces this mix of paranoid half-truths and apocalyptic fantasies. He smugly asserts that any criticism of this Jones is a product of the nefarious dark forces out to discredit the only man intelligent enough and courageous enough to tell the truth. As far as I can find out, Jones is in many ways like the more public purveyor of this nonsense, Glenn Beck, that is, simply some deejay with a high school degree and not much else.
I kind of get the feeling that my nephew's reaction is what 17-year-old young men in 1930s Germany felt like when told that they were in fact part of a master race being manipulated by the international Jewish conspiracy. It's seductive to turn off your brain and let someone else feed you "the truth," which is why there seems to be this evangelical aspect to his obsession.
PAM COMMENTARY: Here we have an adult who thinks "facts" he's "learned" from the mainstream media make him smarter than a child, when the child is getting more accurate news from the alternative press. I can't verify everything that Alex Jones says on his shows because I haven't read the same materials that he has. But I can say that on topics where I do have some expertise, Jones has been amazingly accurate. (For example, fluoride IS a dangerous toxic waste byproduct of the fertilizer and nuclear industries, it IS a neurotoxin and carcinogen, and historically WAS used by the Nazis to make people more docile, increase sterility, etc.)
As far as Bill Gates' father being involved in Planned Parenthood, wanting to slow or reduce the world's population, and Gates himself sharing those goals -- I can't comment on that, because I haven't put the hours of research into that particular topic as Jones has. But at least I'm not arrogantly asserting that I know Jones is wrong without any facts to back myself up.
The adult in this letter to "Cary" also makes the mistake of equating Jones, who's criticizing the government, with government propaganda agents in Nazi Germany. You have to look at motives here -- Jones may be trying to sensationalize some facts to sell more of his films, but he has a weak motive for misleading people. The reality is that Jones has a huge following because he's known for telling the truth in the face of government propaganda. On the other hand, propaganda has been used by our own government (and throughout history everywhere) to manipulate people into wars (e.g. George Bush with 2 wars, and now possible Barack Obama continuing Bush's old drive for a 3rd war in Iran). I guess the question is, who can you trust? A reporter and documentary maker who has little power and only is trying to sell his radio show and films, or a politician with power, who wants to launch unjustified wars that just happen to make outrageous amounts of money for big oil and defense campaign donors?
Another unfortunate but common trait of the adult here is no intellectual curiosity at all -- doesn't know about it, doesn't want to hear it. I'm reminded of a team meeting in the IT department at Florida Power & Light in Miami years ago. Someone brought up the Mac computer, and the younger techs made some remarks disparaging Macs. The older techies and I spontaneously burst into LAUGHTER. For computer analysts who've ever supported computers, the Mac is much easier, requires fewer techies per user, and end-users like them better. It's just that most software is written for PCs and some companies don't want to pay extra to have both types of custom programs, or support two different platforms, so a lot of IT departments suffer with only PCs because they think it saves them money. As the younger techies seemed confused as to why we thought they were funny, I summarized it for them: "I don't know anything about the Mac, therefore it must suck."
Now I have to do a flashback to prove a part of what I was saying about fluoride. . .
The Fluoride Deception: How a Nuclear Waste Byproduct Made Its Way Into the Nation�s Drinking Water [DN]
JUAN GONZALEZ: The common understanding that many of us have in this country is that there�s been sort of a persistent, anti-fluoridation move independent this country, but it has been considered like the fringes of American society. Could you talk a little bit about how the development of the atomic bomb would involve in the whole fluoride campaign?
CHRISTOPHER BRYSON: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, that�s�it�s a media swirl, Juan, as the grassroots citizen movement against water fluoridation of t hat fact came into being almost immediately �. the public health service had been against adding fluoride to water for years. In 1950, they did a complete about-face, a flip flop. And the citizens across the country were outraged that this rat poison was going to be added to the water supplies. Today the fluorides that goes in our drinking water is almost exclusively raw industrial pollution from the Florida Phosphate Industry. It�s a waste that�s scrubbed from the smokestacks and trucked in tankers and dumped into reservoirs. That is a raw industrial poison.
AMY GOODMAN: Wait a second. Rat poison?
CHRISTOPHER BRYSON: Yes. Sodium fluoride is used as a rat poison for a long time.
JUAN GONZALEZ: But, again, the connection to the atom bomb.
CHRISTOPHER BRYSON: Sure. Atom bomb. Yeah. Sure. Let me get back to the�in fact, the movement against fluoridation is a precursor to the movement of today. It has many political hues, many different groups, conservatives, liberals, republicans across the board and it was led not by nut cases, but by scientists and doctors with long-established pedigrees safe guarding public health . The leading scientist opposing water fluoridation was a man by the name of Dr. George Waldbott. He warned the United States about the dangers of cigarette smoking and the allergic reaction to penicillin. This is the background. It is not a fringe movement. It is being marginalized by the media and hasn�t been well reported on. My book attempts to address that. The Manhattan Project, I mentioned one leading fluoride researcher, scientist, Robert Kehoe, the second was the name, a fellow a scientist by the name of Dr. Harold Hodge. For most of the Cold War , Dr. Hodge was the leading scientist assuring the nation of the safety and effectiveness of adding fluoride e to water supplies. Dr. Hodge had his public hat, he had his private hat. He was the senior toxicologist for the Manhattan Project to build the world�s first atomic bomb. Fluoride is a key ingredient in industry used for making aluminum. It�s used for making steel. It is used for producing high-octane gasoline, to name a few industries the dental story is a minor story. The real issue is pollution outside these industrial plants and pollution inside the plants. Industries are on the hook for millions and millions of dollars for potential damage for injuries to workers. There�s a medical study commissioned by industry at the University Of Cincinnati . In the 1950�s which shows that fluoride is profoundly injurious to lungs and lymph nodes in experimental animals. That study was buried. The significance of that study, had it been shown to the standard setters, the fluoride that men and women workers in these industrial plants breathe, the threshold levels would have been set much lower. That is a crime. What that means is that tens of thousands of workers in factories have been injured as a result of this suppression of this medical information. Anyway, to return to your question. The Manhattan Project needed fluoride to enrich uranium . That�s how they did it. The biggest industrial building in the world, for a time, was the fluoride gaseous diffusion plant in Tennessee the Manhattan Project and Dr. Hodge as the senior toxicologist for the Manhattan Project, were scared stiff less that workers would realize that the fluoride they were going to be breathing inside these plants was going to injury them and that the Manhattan Project, the key�the key of U.S. Strategic power in the Cold War Era, would be jeopardized because the Manhattan Project and the industrial contractors making the atomic bomb would be facing all these l lawsuits from workers, all these lawsuits from farmers living around these industrial plants and so Harold Hodge assures us that fluoride is safe and good for children. Very hard to get a public doctor, an expert witness in a court to say if it�s good for children. How can it be harmful for workers?
PAM COMMENTARY: I can't spend all day digging up fluoride articles, but you can start here and google the rest yourself, if interested.
Obama�s Nobel Prize Stuns War Victims [WRH]
The Afghan man is puzzled how Obama was chosen to the Nobel Prize, even though he ordered more troops to the war-torn country.
"The number of US Army [troops] has increased here, the number of terrorist attacks increased here," he said.
He said that the extra US troops Obama has ordered are adding more fuel to the raging conflict.
"I�m kind of confused whether that Nobel Award [is] for all those things."
Obama has recently sent more than 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan and is mulling requests for thousands more.
There are over 103,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, which the US invaded following the 9/11 attacks.
"I'm not sure I understand -- this isn't for peace here, is it?" Bank worker Homaira Reza told the Los Angeles Times.
"Because we haven't got any."
Pete Seeger is 90 yrs old and should have got the Peace Prize. [WRH]
Pete Seeger is an ambassador for Peace and Social Justice and has been over the course of his 88-year lifetime. Using his prowess as a musician he worked to engage other people, from all walks of life and across generations, in causes to build a better and more civilized world: His work shows up wherever you look in the history of labor solidarity, growth of mass effort to end the Vietnam war, ban of nuclear weapons, work for international diplomacy, support of the Civil Rights Movement, for cleaning up the Hudson River and for environmental responsibility in general. Pete knit the world together with songs from China, the Soviet Union, Israel, Cuba, South Africa and Republican Spain. We learned that Crispus Attucks, born a slave, was the first man to die at the opening of the Revolutionary War, that the Farmer-Labor party in the mid-west had a socialist philosophy that lasted well into the 20th century, we learned that anti-slavery movements were often inspired by songs that indicated a map of escape, such as "Follow the Drinkin' Gourd," he popularized many of the IWW songs that helped in CIO organizing, and spread the Civil Rights Movement through promoting the SNCC Freedom Singers and making songs such as "We Shall Overcome," known all over the world.
When subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee in August of 1955, at the height of the McCarthy period, Pete defended himself on the basis of the First Amendment, the right of an American citizen to free association, not the Fifth Amendment, protection against self incrimination. When he was boycotted from earning a living and practicing his craft on a national scale Pete appeared at union meetings, summer camps, Jr. High Schools, High Schools, and Colleges. His pay at times was as little as $5, but his value was priceless!
Pete also had his mentors: among them Paul Robeson, who said: "The Artist must elect to fight for freedom or slavery..." It is time that a cultural worker receives the acknowledgement that, as Bertolt Brecht points out, "Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it." The cultural workers who know the power of the arts for social and political change, also know how difficult it is to gain recognition for cultural creation without either trivializing the art or somehow qualifying for designation of "high art" by an elite. Pete Seeger always held to the principals that people's music is not only "good art" but is representational art through music. That reality often refers to the conditions of exploitation and oppression that were apparent to formally uneducated folk. Thus "folk music" was not cute or quaint or obsolete, but through Pete, a living, vibrant form of culture.
Lawsuit to Attempt to Stop Swine Flu Vaccinations [R]
Jim Turner, a Washington, D.C., attorney noted for his work on consumer health issues, is filing suit today in federal court to stop all swine flu vaccinations from being given in the United States. The action was reported this morning on the health website NaturalNews.com.
According to NaturalNews.com editor Mike Adams, �The lawsuit charges that the FDA violated the law in its hasty approval of four swine flu vaccines by failing to scientifically determine neither the safety nor efficacy of the vaccines.�
Turner is filing the suit on behalf of plaintiff Gary Null, the New York health broadcaster and author, as well as health professionals in New York State who are being told to take the shot or get fired.
The suit seeks to overturn FDA�s approval of the vaccine as well as persuade the court to issue an injunction against any mandatory vaccinations. Turner told Adams on Thursday night�s NaturalNews.com internet radio show, �The FDA is required by law to establish that a vaccine is safe and effective before it can be given to the public. We are arguing that they did not establish that the vaccine was effective, and did not establish that it was safe. They are trying to get it on the market by a waiver.�
PAM COMMENTARY: Although I don't always agree with Gary Null, he's a heavyweight in the alternative health field and in this case doing everyone quite the favor. Very few have the money to file such a lawsuit, or would use it for that purpose. A lot of times having Null weigh in on an issue gives it much more credibility. A great big thanks to Gary Null on this one, for looking out for the rest of us!
APF withdraws effort to run Hardin jail [AJ]
The Hardin jail deal is off, said a spokeswoman for the cryptic California company contracted to run the for-hire hoosegow, now two years empty.
Becky Shay, spokeswoman for American Police Force, said Friday that her company withdrew its offer to operate the 464-bed facility. The announcement comes after investigative reporters revealed that APF�s frontman, Serbian immigrant Michael Hilton, has a criminal record and that some APF claims about its jail proposal were bogus.
The canceled deal leaves Hardin�s economic development arm, Two Rivers Authority, which owns the jail, without a contractor yet again. Officials for the organization did not respond to interview requests Friday.
�TRA deserves a less-controversial partner,� Shay said.
Indigenous tribes more vulnerable in swine flu outbreaks [R]
The only road to St Theresa Point in north-eastern Manitoba is made of ice and lasts just two months. The remote community's 3,200 people, most of them Cree Indians, are squeezed into 530 homes, more than half of them without running water. Until June, a doctor flew in once a week for three days. But since an outbreak of swine flu left more than 200 people ill and sent 12 by air ambulance to Winnipeg, 600km (375 miles) away, Health Canada has been ferrying in more doctors. This autumn, in preparation for the flu season, it is also delivering something else: a supply of body bags.
In Australia, a similar scenario played out in July. An estimated 400 people out of a population of 3,400, more than 90 per cent of them Aboriginal, caught H1N1 influenza on Palm Island off the Queensland coast. In Brazil, a conference on indigenous education was cancelled in September after seven members of the Matsigenka, a tribe living along the Urubamba river in the Peruvian Amazon, tested positive for swine flu.
As health authorities gear up for the northern hemisphere's flu season, the new strain of influenza is expected to hit indigenous peoples far harder than it will healthy, wealthy, urban Westerners. If the outbreaks in Canada and Australia are any guide, native communities could find a tenth of their populations sick, and untold numbers dead.
PAM COMMENTARY: Hmmm. . . I'd be more convinced that this flu were more dangerous than the regular flu if they provided comparative data from the previous year. I mean, only 200 out of 3,200 people got the thing? Any flu is going to make a good percentage of people sick and kill a few -- it does that every single year. When I was 17 years old, my Great Uncle Marshall died from the plain old seasonal flu turning to pneumonia. It happens all the time, especially among the elderly.
As Helen Keller Honored at US Capitol, Lifelong Radical Politics Go Ignored [DN]
JUAN GONZALEZ: Can you tell us about this other side of Helen Keller that most Americans probably are not aware of?
KIM NIELSEN: Sure. Helen Keller was an incredibly active, political, passionate woman. She became involved in politics very early as an adult and continued throughout the rest of her life. Once she was finished with college, she became incredibly concerned about economic inequalities, as you said, joined the Socialist Party, affiliated with the IWW, became a suffragist on behalf of women�s suffrage. She sought to educate women about venereal disease, a very taboo topic at that time, and continued similarly the rest of her life.
JUAN GONZALEZ: How did she get involved in the radical movement initially?
KIM NIELSEN: Well, in college, she read a lot. She went to Radcliffe, which was the female counterpart of Harvard at the time. And some of her professors�she also made friends with a man named John Macy, who became the husband of her teacher. And she toured. She talked to people. She became interested because she cared and because she was very passionate.
'You've got blood on your hands': Father of dead soldier refuses to shake Blair's hand after memorial to Britain's fallen heroes [R]
A father�s grief and anger boiled over yesterday when he came face to face with the man he blames for his son�s death.
Tony Blair offered his hand to Peter Brierley during a reception following a service at St Paul�s to commemorate the dead of the Iraq war.
�Don�t you dare,� roared Mr Brierley. �You have my son�s blood on your hands.�
A father�s grief and anger boiled over yesterday when he came face to face with the man he blames for his son�s death.
Tony Blair offered his hand to Peter Brierley during a reception following a service at St Paul�s to commemorate the dead of the Iraq war.
�Don�t you dare,� roared Mr Brierley. �You have my son�s blood on your hands.�
Police believe Mitrice Richardson is alive and not victim of foul play
Police, family, and friends have been tracking any reported sightings of missing Los Angeles woman, Mitrice Richardson, who detectives now say is likely alive and not a victim of foul play.
Det. Chuck Knolls with LAPD robbery-homicide told the Los Angeles Times, �Mitrice is out there. We don�t believe she�s a victim of foul play.�
Nonetheless, her whereabouts are still unknown and have been so since mid-September. Witnesses have reported seeing Mitrice, 24, in areas from Malibu to outside LA County, however, her credit cards and bank account have shown no activity since her disappearance.
Each sighting has been checked out, but has led nowhere according to authorities, who believe if Mitrice were injured or dead in the Malibu Canyon areas, she would have been discovered by the massive searches that took place two weeks ago.
PAM COMMENTARY: I wish I could believe that, but how likely is it that she's living on no money whatsoever? I'm familiar with Malibu -- it's not just a beach town with a few movie stars. They have sexual predators there, people with serious drug problems, everything bad you'd expect in any town. And frankly, from cases I've followed in the past, almost always when a missing person's cards aren't used at all, they're already gone. It seems kind of smug on the part of police to think that they're just so good that they couldn't have missed anything -- if police sweeps were THAT good, there wouldn't be any missing persons in the world today.
If people want to help at this point, I suspect that it's just as important to call in other types of sightings -- the suspicious neighbor or co-worker. If you've seen something that could have been an abduction, heard someone bragging about anything even similar, or know someone who's already a predator there, maybe you should be calling the police right now. You can do it anonymously if you're afraid for your safety, and explain to the police that you don't want them to mention certain things because the person would guess your identity and probably retaliate. It's better to call it in now, so if she's still alive there's time to rescue her, or at least her family will know what happened if she's already gone.
And I'm not discouraging people from calling in their sightings, but try to give her that extra look if you think you see her, perhaps say "hi" and ask her name. Notice her clothes, the driver, car, and license plate if she's with someone. The more detail you can get before calling it in, the better.
Desperate Search Continues For Young Missing Teacher Mitrice Richardson
Richardson is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton and recently moved to Los Angeles to live with her grandmother near the area where she planned on teaching. Police say she last made contact with her family at her home in the Southeast area of Los Angeles on Wednesday, Sept. 16.
"I was pushing for her to get her master's degree," her great grandmother said. "All my great grandchildren look up to her."
Richardson is black, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 135 pounds. She has brown, curly hair and hazel eyes, and was last seen wearing a dark shirt and blue jeans, police said. According to a flyer made by her family, Richardson has tattoos on her lower abdomen and behind her neck.
"Please pray for her," the great-grandmother cried. "She is my first great grandchild."
Police urged anyone with information on her whereabouts to call the LAPD's Missing Persons Unit at (213) 485-5381, or (877) LAPD-24-7 after business hours or on weekends.
PAM COMMENTARY: Notice that this article is more realistic, isn't writing her off as alive and doing OK.
How insulting to Alex Jones [AJ]
Glenn Beck does not get his talking points from Alex Jones. Instead he attempts to discredit what Jones says. Examples include Beck�s attempt to debunk the existence of FEMA camps and more recently his dismissal of the story about the American Police Force in Hardin, Montana.
Glenn Beck�s 9-12 Project is a deliberate attempt to undercut the Tea Party and patriot movements.
Earlier this year, Amy Kremer, Tea Party Patriots� National Coordinator, said the movement was being hijacked by establishment Republicans. �We do not want it to be a GOP movement,� she told Newsmax.
The stated purpose of Beck�s movement is to get America where it was on September 12, 2001, which is interesting considering Beck�s animosity toward the 9/11 truth movement and in particular the families of 9/11 victims.
It�s about hijacking and taming the Tax Day Tea Party protests, the Independence Day Tea Party protests, and the September 12, 2009, Taxpayer March on Washington. Beck has an established track record of sabotaging the patriot movement. More than any other corporate media figure, he was responsible in wrecking the presidential campaign of Ron Paul. He characterized Paul�s supporters as dangerous terrorists and repeatedly called Paul a kook.
Few seem to see the absurdity of a corporate media television show host claiming to be the leader of a grassroots political movement. Fox News is owned by corporate media tycoon and neocon Rupert Murdoch.
Murdoch�s News Corp., the world�s largest media empire, has holdings in film, television, cable, newspapers, books, magazines, and more. Properties include the New York Post, the National Geographic Channel, HarperCollins Books, and 20th Century Fox. In 2006, Murdoch acquired MySpace, the popular social networking website, as part of Fox Interactive Media. Murdoch not only enthusiastically supported the invasion of Iraq but his network was at forefront of disseminating lies and fabrications that made the invasion and murder of over a million Iraqis possible.
Murdoch hosted a fundraiser for Senator Hillary Clinton in 2006. In early summer 2008, a �tentative truce� was brokered during a secret meeting between Barack Obama, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes, the president of the Fox News Channel and former Nixon and Bush operative, at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York.
Murdoch and Glenn Beck do not support the patriot movement. Beck�s role is to capture as much of the movement as possible and turn it into a harmless sideshow. The 9-12 movement, regardless of the number of sincere Americans who support it, is another attempt by the establishment to continue and magnify the false right-left paradigm and steer meaningful political change down a dead-end that renders if ineffective.
3-D Chalk Drawings On Flat
Cement Surface - Wow [R]
PAM COMMENTARY: That's right, W-O-W!
Environmental Battle Brews in New York over Natural Gas Drilling [DN]
JOE LEVINE: However, a couple of things really jump out at me. You know, this issue that they�re going to treat New York special, and they�re very comfortable with that, as well, I don�t know what that says about the industry at all that�s been running roughshod over the rest of the country and doing a lot of damage to a lot of areas. It used to be said that it only happens out West, and it�s different here in the states�in New York State. However, they�ve been operating in Pennsylvania, and there are incident after incident. And, in fact, when he says that they�ve been operating successfully in watersheds and sensitive water areas, there�s also, you know�suspicious, given that a Freedom of Information request by Environmental Working Group proved that there were no records kept about accidents that happened on drill sites. So, at least that�s what I heard Mr. Gill say, and that�s what I can respond to. But it�s, you know, ludicrous that now New York is going to do it better.
And one has to understand that this technology is intrinsically contaminating. The injection of toxic chemicals�and, by the way, I heard Brad Gill speak months ago, and it wasn�t so long ago that he said that there were no chemicals used in this process; it was only sand and water and soap. And this has been proven to not be the case. And in fact there have been over 350 toxic chemicals that are injected with millions of gallons of water, taking that water out of the water supply, injecting it into the ground, contaminating aquifers. The air pollution is whole different subject we could talk about, and that�s serious, as well. But these toxic chemicals have also been confirmed to be related to a lot of diseases that people are experiencing out West, wildlife and livestock. The disaster�
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: And what specific areas around the country?
JOE LEVINE: Well, most recently, the news is coming in from Dimock, Pennsylvania, where water wells were contaminated, and livestock are getting sick, and people don�t have�they can�t use their water anymore. And the landscape degradation is severe.
The most�this past spring in Philadelphia, their water supply system was turned off for a month from the�from contamination of the�
ALBERT APPLETON: Pittsburgh.
JOE LEVINE: In Pittsburgh, I�m sorry, from the contamination of the Monongahela River as a result of trying to put toxic waste water from drilling operations through the water filtration system that empties into the rivers.
And the most recent event is in Dunkard Creek, where this watershed, a thirty-eight-mile stretch of an incredibly biodiverse watershed, the best in the region, is now contaminated. A hundred and sixty different aquatic species used to live there. And there�s a gigantic fish kill of, you know, hundreds or thousands of fish there. And this was the life of the people in the community in Dunkard Creek Watershed. So the accidents are moving across the country wherever the drilling has occurred.
Peace of the Action by Cindy Sheehan [AJ]
The anti-war, peace movement must step our efforts up and take it to the next level of severe militant resistance.
Not only is this country borrowing or printing billions of dollars each month for the military; almost one out of four of us do not have a job, or are grossly underemployed; millions of us have or will lose our homes due to foreclosure or eviction; and 1/6 of us don�t have health insurance.
The police state is getting out of control and if we don�t intensely exercise our rights immediately, we will lose them.
To that end, we are organizing the most ambitious anti-war, peace event ever. We are planning what we are calling, Peace of the Action which will be the largest, most aggressive and sustained action ever done in DC.
We are calling for 5000 people to commit to come to this Nation�s Capitol to participate in daily civil resistance to stop �business as usual,� because �business as usual� in this town is so corrupt and disordered.
We are not calling for this commitment for a day, a week, or a month. We are not even interested in making symbolic gestures. We are calling for this commitment until our demands of: All troops and para-military mercenaries, are ordered out of Iraq and Afghanistan, the drone bombings in the tribal regions of Af-Pak are discontinued and we get about the business of healing, reconciliation and REPARATIONS.
I am going to move to DC to help coordinate these actions and I will be 100% committed with you to be: �all in it to win it.� This time true change will happen, it must.
The Official 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Citation and Page for Barack Obama [BF]
PAM COMMENTARY: I have no idea how someone gets the Nobel Peace Prize while in charge of 2 wars, escalating one and gunning for a third. OH WELL!
Virus Is Found in Many With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome [R]
Health Guide: Chronic FatigueThe syndrome, which causes prolonged and severe fatigue, body aches and other symptoms, has long been a mystery ailment, and patients have sometimes been suspected of malingering or having psychiatric problems rather than genuine physical ones. Worldwide, 17 million people have the syndrome, including at least one million Americans.
An article published online Thursday in the journal Science reports that 68 of 101 patients with the syndrome, or 67 percent, were infected with an infectious virus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, or XMRV. By contrast, only 3.7 percent of 218 healthy people were infected. Continuing work after the paper was published has found the virus in nearly 98 percent of about 300 patients with the syndrome, said Dr. Judy A. Mikovits, the lead author of the paper.
XMRV is a retrovirus, a member of the same family of viruses as the AIDS virus. These viruses carry their genetic information in RNA rather than DNA, and they insert themselves into their hosts� genetic material and stay for life.
PAM COMMENTARY: Hulda Clark said that she finds the Epstein-Barr virus, the same virus behind mono, infesting the muscles of chronic fatigue patients. Another disease model of CF is myofascitis caused by injuries, which then progresses to CF if not treated. (I stopped my muscle spasms from the '98 accident and resulting myo with valerian root, an herbal supplement usually used as a sleep aid, one of the 5 most-used herbs in the US at the time.) I think that Joel Wallach said CF was known to veterinarians as White Muscle Disease, found in lambs, and caused by a selenium deficiency. (This would make sense especially for athletes where the muscle tear/myofascitis model didn't fit, as athletes tend to perspire more and excrete their minerals in sweat.)
The virus they mention here could be another disease model entirely, a pleomorphic state of Epstein-Barr, or a mistake due to premature conclusions or misidentification. Doctors who try to convince women they�re crazy have been a subject of scorn in the media, and are usually considered to be sexist. The fact that the organism they mention is a retrovirus -- and its late appearance as a new disease or causative agent -- could actually indicate biowarfare origins. Perhaps it was developed from Epstein-Barr, just as AIDS is reputed to have been developed as a biowarfare agent from SV-40, the cancer virus, an organism with the most famous pleomorphic relationship (to TB).
Conventional cancer treatments leave some patients too sick to eat
Cooking is Nasser's passion, but she left the kitchen and the cooking to others for six months in 2006 when she, like her mother before her, learned she had breast cancer. Numerous rounds of chemotherapy left her spent. "I didn't have the energy to go shopping, bring in the food, prepare the food. I needed to rest, to sleep," she recalls.
Nasser's experience isn't unique. According to the American Cancer Society, more than a million Americans will undergo cancer treatment this year. For cancer patients, nutrition is especially important, but many find that they are too tired to cook, or the food tastes bad, or they are too nauseated to eat, or they have painful mouth sores -- or all of the above.
A Solution For Diabetes: A Plant-Based Diet
The extraordinary doctors and nutritional scientists I've talked with seem to be saying - and saying fervently - the same thing: a diet high in animal protein is disastrous to our health, while a plant-based (vegan) diet prevents disease and is restorative to our health. And they say this with peer-reviewed (the gold standard of studies) science to back them up. Even the very conservative ADA (American Dietetic Association) says: "Vegetarian diets are often associated with a number of health advantages, including lower blood cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure levels, and lower risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and lower overall cancer rates."
Diabetes does not just mean you take a pill or injection every day. It means you can lose a decade of life. And you while you inch toward that uncomfortable end, you deal with an increased risk of heart attack, blindness, amputation, and loss of kidney function. It's a very serious disease. The good news is that diabetes can be halted and reversed in a very short time through some diet modifications.
Yet Another "9/11 Was An Inside Job" Song (YouTube music video) [WRH]
PAM COMMENTARY: So good that I'm making it the fun link of the month.
Twitter Crackdown: NYC Activist Arrested for Using Social Networking Site during G-20 Protest in Pittsburgh [DN]
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: And Martin Stolar, explain the charges. They include charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility, and possession of instruments of crime. What does that mean?
MARTIN STOLAR: Essentially, what Elliot is charged with is using the computer or the cell phone to put up an announcement that said that the police had issued an order to disperse. Having done that and having informed people that the police had issued the order, then it is claimed that that announcement hindered prosecution somehow by, I guess, having people avoid being arrested. It would seem to me that that is something that provides some benefit to the police department, in terms of saving them the expenditure of resources in processing people. But they�ve decided to criminalize that communication, or at least in their complaint that�s what they say, that the communication that said, �Hey, there�s been a dispersal order; everybody be aware of it,� somehow turns into a crime of hindering prosecution. The communication facility then, the cell phone or the computer that was used to post that message, becomes an instrument of the crime, and the use of that mass communication facility becomes, they claim under Pennsylvania law, a third crime.
This is just unbelievable. It is the thinnest, silliest case that I�ve ever seen. It tends to criminalize support services for people who are involved in lawful protest activity. And it�s just shocking that somebody could be arrested for essentially walking next to somebody and saying, �Hey, don�t go down that street, because the police have issued an order to disperse. Stay away from there.� All of a sudden, essentially, that becomes the crime that Elliot and his co-defendant are charged with.
SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS: And they may be the first to be charged criminally with sending information electronically to protesters about the police. What�s the significance of this in terms of First Amendment rights?
MARTIN STOLAR: It�
ELLIOT MADISON: Can I just clarify it?
MARTIN STOLAR: Sure.
ELLIOT MADISON: We�re not�we�re not the first. We�re the first in this country. During the Twitter revolution going on in Iran, in Moldova, in Guatemala, in the earlier newscast about Honduras, in all those cases, repressive governments have arrested folks for using Twitter. The only difference is, in all those cases the State Department, the US State Department, has condemned the arrest of these Twitter activists and had gone so far in the Iranian situation, the State Department, according to an article, asked Twitter to postpone its regular maintenance so as not to interfere with Iranian protesters to be able to send out their tweets. So the only difference is we�re the first arrested here. But this is a�over the past two years, repressive governments have been arresting people. The only difference is, the State Department has supported�I�m expecting the State Department will come out and support us also.
PAM COMMENTARY: Ugh! Pennsylvania, I'm so ASHAMED of you! As if organized crime in the Philadelphia police department weren't bad enough. You know, I've lived in Pennsylvania from time to time while working on the east cost -- quite a lot, actually -- and am very familiar with that state. My taxes have financed some of those officers' salaries. I might even know some of their mothers -- most folks in that area are good people. Police, you're just hurting yourselves and your family names by acting that way. I've seen people divorced when their spouses found out less serious uncool behavior than this.
I usually don't get into specifics like this, but I want to share one example with my readers of a Pennsylvania crime ring that goes unpunished, while the cops are wasting their time and energy (and our money) on violating peoples' First Amendment rights.
I happen to know of a serious rape ring in that state, where a gang of filthy men drug and gang-rape women, videotape it, and then circulate the video among their sex ring buddies. I know of this ring because one of my ex-"friends," a body shop owner from Orwigsburg, is/was one of the key players. I've given the cops information that I had to help them catch some of the main perps, but so far they haven't arrested anyone to my knowledge. From what I've overheard among townspeople in the Reading/Harrisburg area, this ring is HUGE -- all kinds of perverts watch those videos, and who knows how many provide videos themselves.
So, if the cops in Pittsburg have time for antics like this, I think they should be transferred, right away, to Central and Eastern Pennsylvania. Transfer them now! They have no business wasting time and tax money on this kind of nonsense while perps like my "friend" are still on the loose, victimizing women! Glenn & his buddies could very easily drive to another community and be outside YOUR daughter's window, while the cops are out gallivanting around town harassing protestors. Are you paying them to protect your family, or chase the most caring youngsters trying to help this country live up to its high ideals?
One further note on violations of the First Amendment -- one of the founding fathers, Patrick Henry, specifically mentioned riot acts and abuses of centralized power, to argue AGAINST the passage of the Constitution. The historical record is very clear -- the only reason the Constitution was agreed to was BECAUSE the Bill of Rights was added. So legally, if the Bill of Rights is weakened or violated without justice, the Constitution can be argued as null and void, with a new power structure and centralized government to be created while we're bumped back to the Articles of Confederation.
Study: More cases of autism in U.S. kids than previously realized
Still, based on the findings, lead author Dr. Michael D. Kogan of HRSA's maternal and child health bureau estimated the prevalence of ASD among U.S. children ages 3 to 17 at 110 per 10,000 -- slightly more than 1 percent.
Boys were four times as likely as girls to have ASD, and non-Hispanic black and multiracial children were less likely than non-Hispanic white children.
He estimated that 673,000 children have ASD in the United States.
Monday's findings of nearly 1 in 100 appear to indicate an increase from the average of 1 in 150 that was reported in 2003, the researchers said.
The researchers urged caution in interpreting the change, noting that an increase in diagnoses does not necessarily mean that more children have the disorder. It could simply reflect a heightened awareness of the disorder.
"We don't know whether the change in the number over time is a result of the change in the actual condition, in the actual number of conditions or in part due to the fact that the condition is being recognized differently," Arias said.
PAM COMMENTARY: You can search the entire article -- not once do they mention "vaccines" or "mercury." Instead it's the "nobody knows" ploy again, and "we must just be better at diagnosing it." Even if vaccines weren't the main cause (for example Dr. Wallach suspects nutritional deficiencies -- and it could even be a combination of the two), if CNN were honest they'd at least mention vaccines. Just the pure number parents who have observed normal behavior before vaccines, and obvious brain damage after them, warrant an acknowledgement. And there are plenty of doctors who have written articles with good science behind them, whose conclusions are that vaccines cause autism. You'll just never see those articles in the mainstream press. Instead it's some quack doctor assuring us that vaccines don't cause autism, offering no proof and having no real expertise in the field.
And CNN -- they'll never be honest as long as drug companies are among its major advertisers. This is one of the many good reasons to ban direct-to-consumer advertising by drug companies (those annoying TV drug ads -- "may cause gas with oily discharge"). People wonder why the alternative press and the internet have become so popular over the past 10 years or so. Well, there's your answer -- you can't get honest news from the mainstream media anymore. They're completely sold out!
Even as layoffs persist, good jobs go begging; Health care, engineering gigs unfilled due to lack of qualified candidates
In a brutal job market, here's a task that might sound easy: Fill jobs in nursing, engineering and energy research that pay $55,000 to $60,000, plus benefits.
Yet even with 15 million people hunting for work, even with the unemployment rate nearing 10 percent, some employers can't find enough qualified people for good-paying career jobs.
Ask Steve Jones, a hospital recruiter in Indianapolis who's struggling to find qualified nurses, pharmacists and MRI technicians. Or Ed Baker, who's looking to hire at a U.S. Energy Department research lab in Richland, Wash., for $60,000 each.
PAM COMMENTARY: Notice that the jobs they mention only pay about $25 to $30 per hour, less than you'd pay a plumber in ANY job market. Yet they need college-educated people to fill these positions, often in EXPENSIVE housing markets where simply renting an apartment would take most of those wages. That's the thing about employers who claim that they can't find qualified applicants, and demanding that the government allow more foreign workers into the country -- what they really want is someone to work for nothing. Sorry, but there just aren't that many housewives being supported by someone else, and looking to be paid less than their real market value.
And for foreign workers looking for an American job -- watch out for those same low wages! There have been many news accounts of people from India, for example, who committed suicide because they mortgaged the family farm to come here. Then they couldn't even afford an apartment, much less pay back the loan. And a lot of the Mexican laborers live in terrible slums with 12 or more men per apartment, being evicted frequently when the landlord finds out how many people are there. Hang on, I'll find an old news article for you. . .
(FLASHBACK) Indian Guestworker Slits Wrists After Being Fired for Complaining About Squalid Work Conditions [DN]
AMY GOODMAN: The statement read in part: �We have been treated like animals here. We have been threatened with termination and salary reduction. We are living in isolation. Visitors are not allowed in the camps. We live 24 men in one container, with two bathrooms for all of us.� As the men were preparing to come public with their complaints, Signal told seven of the workers their jobs had been terminated and they would be sent back to India.
Freelance journalist Christian Roseland recently interviewed Sabu Lal, one of the fired workers. He asked him about the conditions at the shipyard.
SABU LAL: When I stepped into my man camp that is provided in the yard of Signal International, I just surprised that, because in my twenty years of experience, I didn�t dream of such a situation, because there is twenty-four peoples in a room, like I think it�s a pigs in a cage. It is too hard to live there, because somebody is sneezing, somebody is snoring, and somebody is making sound, and we cannot even go to bathroom without spending hours. There is only two bathrooms and four toilets. And we are struggling very well. And in the mess hall we are not getting good food even. And they are saying that this is Indian good. And when we make complain, the camp manager said to us that, �You are living in slums in India. It is better than that slums.�
. . . SAKET SONI: Well, in the case of Signal International, Signal is one of hundreds of employers that, after Katrina, has used the guestworker program to import cheap labor with the purpose of undercutting wages across the industry and subjecting workers to extraordinarily exploitative conditions.
The workers of Signal International all borrowed between $14,000 and $20,000 to come to the United States. They plunged their families into debt. �We�re drowned in debt,� as one worker told me. One worker, in fact, had his father lease his farm and become a tenant farmer on his own farm to raise the $15,000 to give to a labor recruiter to send his only son to the United States so that he could make enough money to send back to his family. These are all workers who, in situations of economic desperation, were vulnerable, and in a moment of vulnerability were recruited to come here. And once here, they found that every promise they were made was false. And because of the terms of their visa, they can now work for no one else.
. . . JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, we�re also joined now by Nestor Vallero, a Mexican guestworker. He�s a former employee of Louisiana Labor, LLC. Nestor, are you on the phone? I�m sorry, he�s in the studio. I�m sorry. Bienvenidos.
NESTOR VALLERO: [translated] Thank you so much.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Can you tell us a little bit about what happened with you?
NESTOR VALLERO: [translated] Yes, well, like all the other workers, I was cheated by a labor recruiter in Mexico. And he promised us a stable job, dignified housing and just working conditions, and a fair wage. When we got here, however�well, even before we crossed the border the lies became evident. They stole our passports. They only gave them to us to present to the immigration officials, but then they took them away again. Then we got to the apartments and, there, were crammed into rooms. They had said there would only be four people to an apartment, and they said that we�d have our own bathroom and everything. But the living conditions turned out to be deplorable.
Then we got to the work itself, and the whole panorama changed from what they told us. The majority of us were working in construction. When we got here, there was a whole week that we didn�t have work. And then, when we did get a job, we were told, �Oh, guess what? After all, there�s no work in construction.� So we ended up working in car washes, picking up trash, dishwashers, and similar menial jobs. The wage was very, very much lower than what we had been promised.
JUAN GONZALEZ: What were they paying you?
NESTOR VALLERO: [translated] They had told us that they promised $10 an hour, but it turned out when we got here they would only pay us $6.50 an hour. And they threatened us, and they said, �Well, if you don�t like it, you can go home.� And when we asked for our passports, they said, �Oh, you want your passport back? Well, I�m only going to give it to you if you�re going to go home.� After all of this, we were just forced to take whatever job they were offering us, because we didn�t have any money to go home or do anything else.
But that wasn�t all. They started to discount the cost of our housing from our wage. And we had to pay $1,200 a month for housing. And out of a $300 check that we received for two weeks work, they would take, discount almost $200 off that check. So, they�re really, you know, raking in the profits with our work. It�s really just a money-making scheme, this whole guestworkers program.
I think it�s time that we modify the laws. They need to be overhauled, because we�re not the only ones that are suffering from this. There are many, many people who are suffering this injustice. Here in New Orleans, many contractors are paying $13 or $10 an hour to do cleanup work from the Katrina disaster. However, the contractors have figured out that they can import people from other countries and pay them half that to do the cleanup work. So this is really a contradiction. And this is creating tensions, racial tensions between the African Americans who are local to New Orleans and the Latin Americans who are being imported to work here.
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Back to Pam's NEWS ARCHIVES
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Pam's vegan vegetarian cookbook, with vegan vegetarian recipes
Sources (if found on major news boards):
[AJ] - InfoWars.com, PrisonPlanet.com, or other Alex Jones-affiliated sites
[BF] - BuzzFlash.com
[DN] - DemocracyNow.org
[R] - Rense.com
[WRH] - WhatReallyHappened.com