Pam Rotella's Vegetarian FUN page -- News on health, nutrition, the environment, politics, and more!
Week of 11th to 17th of October 2009
Morgan Dana Harrington, 20, Missing 10/17/09, University of Virginia
Morgan Dana Harrington, a 20-year-old student from Virginia Tech, was last seen Saturday near the John Paul Jones Arena.
The arena was the site of a Metallica concert that night.
Harrington was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with the band name "Pantera" across the front, a black mini-skirt with black tights and knee-high black boots. She has long blond hair and blue eyes, stands 5 feet 6 inches and weighs approximately 120 pounds.
PAM COMMENTARY: Later reports say that a man abducted her from a parking lot, and her cell phone and purse were found dumped in a different parking lot. More to come as this story develops.
Nurses will sue New York over mandated vaccinations [R]
The elderly, the young, and the frequently exposed are being advised to get vaccinated against H1N1 flu virus this year, due to predictions of a possible influenza epidemic. A new law in New York requires nurses and doctors to receive the vaccination by the end of November. A band of four nurses in Albany, however, is taking a stand against mandated vaccination.
"I have had more staff that have become ill after the flu vaccines this year than coworkers that have actually come down with the illness," Lorna Patterson, a nurse at Albany Medical Center's emergency room, told news network WTEN. Patterson is one of the nurses who is filing a lawsuit this week against the state. She and her coworkers hope that they can stop the state from enforcing the mandatory vaccinations.
Currently, New York is telling health care workers that if they aren't vaccinated by October 27th , they face a week's suspension without pay; any employee not vaccinated by the state deadline, November 30th, will be terminated.
"Receiving the vaccine doesn't mean you're not going to get the flu," Patterson adds. She claims that she has only received an influenza vaccination once in 28 years of nursing and for the most part prefers 'proper hygiene' over a vaccine.
Merck Wins U.S. Approval for Gardasil Vaccine in Boys (Updated) [R]
Approval in boys could add as much as $200 million and $300 million in annual sales, said Leerink Swann & Co. analyst Seamus Fernandez in a research report last month. Gardasil generated revenue of $1.4 billion last year.
Merck, based in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, fell 6 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $33.24 at 1:26 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
Selling Gardasil for boys could be a struggle for Merck because the public-health benefit may not outweigh the expense, Fernandez said. It would cost more than $100,000 to vaccinate enough boys to get one year of additional life compared with less than $50,000 for girls, according to a study by Harvard University researchers presented in June to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Merck's studies show it would cost $50,000 for both boys and girls. Merck's study used a cost of $400 per vaccine with 100 percent protection.
PAM COMMENTARY: 100% protection? The evidence that this vaccine works for ANYTHING (other than giving girls life-threatening side effects) is iffy at best.
Kenyan-born Obama all set for US Senate [R]
Sunday, June 27, 2004
Kenyan-born US Senate hopeful, Barrack Obama, appeared set to take over the Illinois Senate seat after his main rival, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race on Friday night amid a furor over lurid sex club allegations.
The allegations that horrified fellow Republicans and caused his once-promising candidacy to implode in four short days have given Obama a clear lead as Republicans struggled to fetch an alternative.
Ryan's campaign began to crumble on Monday following the release of embarrassing records from his divorce. In the records, his ex-wife, Boston Public actress Jeri Ryan, said her former husband took her to kinky sex clubs in Paris, New York and New Orleans.
PAM COMMENTARY: Rense posted this, clearly because it's an old 2004 article that refers to Obama as "Kenyan-born." Was this just an error, a hasty assumption on the part of the reporter? Probably, but the question of Obama's country of birth is out there again.
US, Pakistani Govts Overtly Lying About Blackwater Presence; Blackwater Mercenaries Not Exactly Quiet About Their Operations [WRH]
Yesterday, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik angrily insisted, as his government so often has in recent months, that there are absolutely no Blackwater forces operating inside the country, nor have there ever been.
The claims have long been scoffed at by Pakistani journalists, noting that retired CIA officials have been very open with the fact that they were using Blackwater security at an air base they have been using inside Pakistan to launch drone attacks.
What's more, locals in the Pakistani city of Peshawar have been complaining for months about rude mercenaries in Blackwater uniforms roaming the streets of University Town with assault rifles. The organization, which has since changed its name to Xe, has been providing security to an American company there, completely openly.
The Pakistani government isn't alone in these claims, as the US embassy in Pakistan has likewise denied that there is a single Blackwater agent in all of Pakistan. They've even gone so far as to get a Pakistani newspaper to censor an article to the contrary, claiming it was an incitement against America.
So how do the US and Pakistani governments explain the discrepency between their claims of no Blackwater employees being there and all the Blackwater employees operating in plain sight? In short they don't. Pakistani media are condemned as "conspiracy theorists" when they report on Blackwater's presence, accused of "endangering Americans" or supporting extremism. When it makes the Western press, it is simply ignored.
Nat Hentoff: Is this right? Obama's unrestrained FBI: Is this America? [WRH]
As described by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an ever-watchful guardian of the Constitution, these Attorney General's Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations authorize the FBI � without going to a court � "to open investigative 'assessments' of any American without any factual predicate or suspicion. Such 'assessments' allow the use of intrusive techniques to surreptitiously collect information on people suspected of no wrongdoing and no connection with any foreign entity. These inquiries may include the collection of information from online sources and commercial databases."
The press has largely been uninterested in this suspension of the Bill of Rights � but we know a lot about David Letterman.
President Barack Obama has expressed no objections to these radical revisions of the Constitution, a founding document he used to educate students about at the University of Chicago. His attorney general, Eric Holder, said calmly during his Senate confirmation hearing: "The guidelines are necessary because the FBI is changing its mission ... from a pure investigating agency to one that deals with national security."
It was the same Eric Holder who said, while George W. Bush was president: "I never thought that I would see the day when a president would act in direct defiance of federal law by authorizing warrantless NSA (National Security Agency) surveillance of American citizens."
PAM COMMENTARY: As I've said before, no Bill of Rights, no Constitution. The Constitution was clearly NOT agreed to without the Bill of Rights included. And so once the Bill of Rights is eroded or negated, doesn't that throw the entire document out, including the rights of the Executive branch? In fact, Executive power was one of the most controversial things about the Constitution -- if we had to "fix" what went wrong with the Constitution, eliminating or severely restricting the Executive (a/k/a "President") would no doubt be the first remedy applied.
Vegetarian spider Bagheera kiplingi found in Central America; A caring, vegetarian spider � the first ever discovered, called Bagheera kiplingi � has been found in the forests of Central America. [R]
Research, published in Current Biology journal (full citation below), shows that B. kiplingi is almost exclusively herbivorous, only nibbling on a few ant larvae from time to time to break the monotony.
Otherwise it eats only Beltian bodies, the nutrient-rich growths on acacias usually consumed by the ants that defend the trees in a symbiotic relationship.
No other spiders are known to be anything like as vegetarian; a few others have been known to consume nectar in small quantities, but not as a staple part of their diet.
To further endear itself to arachnophobes, B. kiplingi males are the only known examples of caring fatherhood among spiders.
The males help the mothers look after their eggs and young. Both parents remain with the young after they hatch.
PAM COMMENTARY: Yay! It's about time spiders went veg!
Treatment is sought in U.S. for 3-year-old victim of white phosphorus attack in Gaza [WRH]
Our group saw Farah clinging to her uncle in the charred house, and we saw the horrible spectacle that her uncle is about to present in the image above. He takes off her pants� or lifted her dress, when we were there� to show the third-degree burns on Farah�s legs. Her face is also burned, under her chin, and her hand too. You can see the burns on her abdomen.
"I felt so many conflicting things," our delegation�s leader, Felice Gelman, later told me. "The idea that a little child like that had been in constant pain for months� that was unimaginable to me�. And I know what happens to people with untreated burns. The older she grows, the more deformed she will become. And the idea that the only way that anyone could do anything for her was to display her. It was horrible."
Gelman speaks for me and the other 11 members of our delegation. As I left the house, I shoved all my money into the uncle�s hand. (A friend back here had given me $200, to use as I saw fit.) As Gelman left she made a commitment to do what she could for Farah Abu Halima. "I will try to get help." Gelman got back and called Steve Sosebee, the head of the Palestinian Children�s Relief Fund in Kent, Ohio; and Sosebee has thrown himself into the case. Those scars are contracting Farah�s body. They are already deforming her development. She needs surgeries, many. She needs psychological help, an escape from the blackened shell of a house where she still lives.
PAM COMMENTARY: Using white phosphorous on people is a war crime, of course. That didn't stop Bush from using it in Fallujah, and Israel used it in some of its more recent invasions. I may post more about its use in Iraq on a later date, but basically the substance is attracted to water, and so it attacks the skin causing horrible burns while often leaving the clothing intact. It's not very difficult to recognize when it's been used, in other words.
Worried US parents download paedophile maps before Halloween [R]
The Offender Locator application uses a GPS system built into Apple iPhones to pinpoint the user's location, and then provides a map of sex offenders in the area. It also brings up a photograph of the offender, as well as their address, date of birth and convictions.
The software has been downloaded more than a million times since becoming available in June, the Times reports.
The software, which has been criticised by privacy groups as a tool for vigilantes, has been in the top ten lists of iPhone applications since its launch, and the company behind it is expecting another rise in sales before Halloween at the end of October.
All 50 states in the US require those convicted of sexual offences to sign a register so their location can be monitored. There are up to 700,000 sex offenders on these lists.
Leslie Gharghetta, a mother of two from Woodridge, New Jersey, uses the software to monitor her neighbourhood. "I try and keep an eye on my kids. With Hallowe'en, I am able to see if anybody on the list is located near me," she told the paper.
PAM COMMENTARY: Want some candy, little boy?
Red Bull Drink = Slow Death? [R]
FRANCE and DENMARK have just prohibited it as a cocktail of death, due to its vitamin components mixed with GLUCURONOLACTONE ' - a highly-dangerous chemical, which was developed by the United States Department of Defense during the sixties to stimulate the moral of the troops based in VIETNAM, which acted like a hallucinogenic drug that calmed the stress of the war.
But their effects in the organism were so devastating, that it was discontinued, because of the high index of cases of migraines, cerebral tumors and diseases of the liver that was evident in the soldiers who consumed it.
And in spite of it, in the can of RED BULL you can still find as one of its components: GLUCURONOLACTONE, categorized medically as a stimulant. But what it does not say on the can of RED BULL are the consequences of its consumption, and that has forced a series of WARNINGS...
1. It is dangerous to take it if you do not engage in physical exercise afterwards, since its energizing function accelerates the heart rate and can cause a sudden attack.
2. You run the risk of undergoing a cerebral hemorrhage, because RED BULL contains components that dilute the blood so that the heart utilizes less energy to pump the blood, and thus be able to deliver physical force with less effort being exerted.
3. It is prohibited to mix RED BULL with alcohol, because the mixture turns the drink into a " Deadly Bomb " that attacks the liver directly, causing the affected area never to regenerate anymore.
4. One of the main components of RED BULL is the B12 vitamin, used in medicine to recover patients who are in a coma ; from here the hypertension and the state of excitement which is experienced after taking it, as if you were in a drunken state.
5. The regular consumption of RED BULL triggers off symptoms in the form of a series of irreversible nervous and neuronal diseases.
PAM COMMENTARY: I don't know the author's sources on this, and can't verify what he's saying from my own personal knowledge, but thought I'd pass this along as something people can research on their own if interested. I've never tried the stuff, at least so far. I already drink too much coffee, would rather get out of the stimulant game instead of farther into it.
George Herbert Walker Bush played some role in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The FBI says George H.W. Bush was in Dallas that terrible day. [WRH]
There�s no indication of whether Poppy was there to supervise the triggermen, watch what happened or what. He's never explained these memos. He's never even admitted where he was the day JFK was killed.
Perhaps it�s about time someone asked him to explain. Especially seeing how his dim son is engaged in an transnational campaign of mass murder and destroying the planet, it's vitally important that George H.W. Bush tell the Truth.
Trailer for for Alex Jones' new movie "Fall of the Republic" [AJ]
PAM COMMENTARY: I haven't seen his latest documentary yet, but Jones' films tend to be very good.
And the other Nobel Peace Prize nominees were... When President Obama unexpectedly won, he defeated more than 200 proposed candidates. These six are among the most inspirational on that list [R]
In a country where sexual violence has reached levels never seen before and that no one can fully explain, Dr Mukwege is the man who has devoted his life to trying to repair the damage done to women often left for dead.
He was, for a long time, the only gynaecologist treating rape wounds in Congo. At the Panzi hospital in Bukavu, he performs as many as half a dozen surgeries a day; so far he has treated 21,000 women. His pioneering work has helped thousands of these women reclaim something of their physical selves and begin to heal some of the psychological wounds.
A pastor's son who saw at first hand the suffering of women in rural areas who would have to travel bleeding on the backs of donkeys when pregnancies went wrong, he decided to become a doctor. After studying obstetrics and gynaecology in Angers, France, he returned to Lemera, Kivu, to set up a clinic.
This effort was burned to the ground in 1996 during the first civil war. After settling in Bukavu to try again, he found that the maternity ward at Panzi was overrun by women who had been raped and that the numbers were growing. Dr Mukwege's response was to set up a ward for victims of sexual violence, and his work was recognised with the Olof Palme Prize last year, when he was also named African of the Year and given the UN human rights prize.
British have covered up hundreds of Iraqi casualties, ex-officer says [WRH]
The British military's chain of command has instructed the country's top investigators not to examine hundreds of incidents involving Iraqi deaths and serious injury, a former British military police officer told the BBC Sunday.
"I've seen documentary evidence that there were incidents running into the hundreds involving death and serious injury to Iraqis where the chain of command of the Army had decided that the circumstances did not warrant a Royal Military Police investigation," the former British Army officer, whose face was obscured, told a BBC interviewer. "And if you look at the general picture that the media says, Afghanistan seems a lot quieter in terms of alleged misconduct of British troops, that to me is quite concerning, because it tells me that the Army hasn't suddenly gotten a lot better. It tells me that the Royal Military Police are very efficiently toeing the party line for the Army."
In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. She was detained in a shipping container for at least 24 hours without food, water, or a bed, and �warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she�d be out of a job.� (Jones was not an isolated case.) Jones was prevented from bringing charges in court against KBR because her employment contract stipulated that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) proposed an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that would withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR �if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.� Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday, Franken said:
The constitution gives everybody the right to due process of law � And today, defense contractors are using fine print in their contracts do deny women like Jamie Leigh Jones their day in court. � The victims of rape and discrimination deserve their day in court [and] Congress plainly has the constitutional power to make that happen.
On the Senate floor, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) spoke against the amendment, calling it �a political attack directed at Halliburton.� Franken responded, �This amendment does not single out a single contractor. This amendment would defund any contractor that refuses to give a victim of rape their day in court.�
In the end, Franken won the debate. His amendment passed by a 68-30 vote, earning the support of 10 Republican senators including that of newly-minted Florida Sen. George LeMieux. �He did what a senator should do, which was he was working it,� LeMieux said in praise of Franken. �He was working for his amendment.�
PAM COMMENTARY: Yay! Al Franken! I never could stand Norm Coleman, his predecessor, after Coleman attacked MP Galloway for daring to come out against the Iraq War. Now Franken's election is already paying off for us!
And look at Senator Sessions, standing up for KBR in this case. How did that guy get elected, and why is he still in office?
French make cars from flax [R]
Welcome to the bio-car. PSA, the French automotive group that makes Peugeots and Citro�, has started using components made from natural materials � radiator caps and side mirror mountings that contain hemp instead of glassfibre; parcel shelves that are moulded in a plastic made from wood chippings; and inner door panels that are 50% flax.
The components are the fruit of PSA�s Green Materials Plan, set up last year. Its target is a six-fold increase in natural and renewable materials used in all its vehicles by 2015.
The programme, which covers all models in development, will bring weight and cost savings as well as a reduction in energy use and carbondioxide emissions, and the conservation of non-renewable resources.
The plan has three elements � recycled materials, natural fibres and bio-polymers. PSA�s plan is to replace plastics derived from oil. The motor industry takes 7% of the world�s oil-based plastic production � which accounts in total for 4% of all oil use.
The average car has 1,000 plastic parts, which amount to 20% of its weight. Today, green materials account for only 6% of that 20% but Peugeot Citro�intends that proportion to reach 30% by 2013.
150 Years Ago Today: Abolitionist John Brown Raided Arsenal at Harpers Ferry in Attempt to Start Slave Insurrection in South [DN]
AMY GOODMAN: As we wrap up today�s broadcast, well, commemorations are being held in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland today for the 150th anniversary of the abolitionist John Brown�s raid on the arsenal at Harpers Ferry. We end today�s show with a reading of John Brown�s address to the court in Virginia that ordered his hanging. Actor Harris Yulin read his words as part of a larger reading of Howard Zinn�s classic work, A People�s History of the United States. Yulin is followed by James Earl Jones reading Frederick Douglass. We begin with historian Howard Zinn.
HOWARD ZINN: John Brown, more than any other white American, devoted his life, and finally sacrificed it, on behalf of freedom for the slave. His plan, impossible and courageous, was to seize the arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia with a band of black and white abolitionists and set off a revolt of slaves throughout the South. The plan failed.
Some of his men, including two of his own sons, were killed. John Brown was wounded, captured, sentenced to death by hanging by the state of Virginia, and with the enthusiastic approval of the government of the United States. When he was put to death, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, he will make the gallows holy as the cross.
Here, John Brown addresses the court that ordered his hanging.
HARRIS YULIN: [reading John Brown] Had I interfered in the manner which I admit�had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends, [either] father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class, and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right, and every man in this Court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.
This Court acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the law of God. I see a book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible, or, at least, the New Testament. That teaches me that all things �whatsoever I would that men should do unto me, I should do even so to them.� [�] I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I say, I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have done, as I have always freely admitted I have done, in behalf of His despised poor, was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children, and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit: so let it be done!
Microchip Implant to Link Your Health Records, Credit History, Social Security [AJ]
Novartis and Proteus Biomedical are not the only companies hoping to implant microchips into patients so that their pill-popping habits can be monitored. VeriChip of Delray Beach, Fl., has an even bolder idea: an implanted chip that links to an online database containing all your medical records, credit history and your social security ID.
As this presentation to investors makes clear, the chip and its database could form the basis of a new national identity database lined to Social Security and NationalCreditReport.com.
PAM COMMENTARY: Nothing like putting your information into the hands of people who can't be trusted. See the web site SpyChips.com for activists fighting microchips in people and pets, with information on how cancer tumors are often found attached to them.
Eating chocolate 'can help relieve pain', study claims; Eating chocolate and drinking a glass of water can help relieve pain, a study has found. [R]
The distraction of eating and drinking water for pleasure acts as a natural way of beating pain, the researchers discovered.
The natural painkiller, discovered during testing in rats, is the first to demonstrate such a powerful effect, said the study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
While the study was carried out in animals, the team, from the University of Chicago, believe the same effects can be seen in humans.
Mars missions boosted by communication breakthrough [WRH]
Communication with Mars had not been possible for several weeks at a time when the Sun obscured the Earth's view of the planet.
But the University of Strathclyde researchers found a way to allow continuous communication with just one spacecraft.
The breakthrough centres on Lagrange points, five areas in space where an object such as a satellite or observatory can stay fixed in the same location relative to the Earth and the Sun.
Dr Malcolm Macdonald, a member of the research team, said: "One of the key barriers to manned exploration of Mars is communication. When the Sun obscures the Earth's view of Mars, it also prevents any possibility of ground controllers making contact with astronauts.
"But by moving a spacecraft with a continuous thrusting propulsion system into Lagrange point one, we've calculated that it's possible to enable continuous communication from the Earth to the spacecraft, and from the spacecraft to the surface of Mars.
Recession ends in 79 metros, index shows
The recession finally ended in August in one out of every five metro areas in the United States, especially in the Midwest and Great Plains, according to the latest Adversity Index from Moody's Economy.com and msnbc.com.
This is the first month this year when any metro area has moved from recession into the "recovery" category, indicating that the economy grew from six months earlier. Out of 384 metro areas in the nation, 79 are in recovery, according to the August data on jobs, manufacturing and housing. Another 270 areas have a "moderating recession," meaning their economies were not contracting as severely as earlier. That leaves 35 metro areas in a full-blown recession.
Heart Disease - Beyond The Stent & Bypass Cardiac Coverup [R]
Attached at the hip, the American Heart Association (AHA), first to push towards medical heart specialization, was actually an offshoot of The National Tuberculosis Association, without whose money and help it would never have survived. In one of its first Bulletins, the AHA (American Heart Association) came up with a long list of the similarities between tuberculosis and heart disease , a view supported by Ellis in The New England Journal of Medicine half a century later . In a 'name that disease' Ellis fleshes-out a medical condition who's mortality rate was 200 to 300 per 100,000, was widespread, and by whom many in their prime were struck down. Treatment was only partially effective. Doctors recommended diet and exercise. Special hospitals were built for it. In a tough decision, Ellis's readers only recognized the disease as TB when he said it struck 75 years ago, the white plague of the 20th century, for the mortality rate for ischemic heart disease (IHD) at the time of Ellis's writing was also 200 to 300 persons per 100,000.
Yet it was not until after WWII that the subject was pursued in earnest, and by two women, one of them the first female medical resident in New York. Sometime in 1965, Rutger's investigators Virginia Livingston, M.D. and Eleanor Alexander-Jackson PhD, fueled by Fleet and Kerr Grants, working with sterile, post catastrophic heart attack coronary artery specimens, established low-grade tubercular infection, staining 'acid-fast' (not decolorized with acid-alcohol) in all ischemic heart disease specimens .
Even in stained slides of the heart muscle itself, Livingston documented small, acid-fast globoidal tubercular bodies which soon appeared to enter into a gradual state of digestion (Ibid).
In 1986, Hektoen, studying how tuberculosis attacked blood vessels of the cardiovascular system, saw the blood born microbes implanting themselves in cardiovascular walls. Eventually these microbes would penetrate all layers of the arterial wall, including its muscular coat. The offshoot led, often, to the degeneration of whole arterial segments.. Since tubercular attack came from the inside of the vascular wall outwards, Hektoen often spotted the initial attack as involving the intimal or adventitial layers.
Even William Osler, arguably the greatest physician since Hippocrates, and to this day an icon for accurate clinical judgment, made clear that arteriosclerosis was frequently associated with tuberculosis .
MacCallum's investigation  recognized that of all the infectious causes of heart disease, only one, tuberculosis, caused arteriosclerosis. At autopsy, he cited 101 cases of advanced tuberculosis. Of these cases, there were 49 cases in children in the first decade of life - none of which showed arterial changes. Even in the second, third and fourth decades there were only 11 autopsies who died of TB with moderate cardiovascular sclerosis; while 13 showed nothing. But by the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth decades, true to current coronary timetables, there were only 2 autopsies with normal arteries and 26 with TB arteriosclerosis (Ibid).
PAM COMMENTARY: Great to see another article by Dr. Broxmeyer, the TB expert. Interesting that Virginia Livingston, the famous cancer researcher, was also involved in heart disease research back then. Notice that back when the research he's referring to was done, heart disease wasn't from the extremely high-fat diet Americans have today. The heart disease of today probably has less to do with TB and more to do with outrageous amounts of trans-fats and cholesterol, and not enough essential fatty acids to balance them out.
Browsing the net 'can stave off dementia' [WRH]
Want to stave off dementia? Browse the web, for a new study says that using the Internet can help boost brain power in people as they age.
An international team has carried out the study and found that Internet use can boost the brain activity of the elderly, potentially slowing or even reversing the age-related declines that can end in dementia.
The study has found that the Internet stimulates mind more strongly than reading and its effects continue long after an web session ends.
"We found that for older people with minimal experience, performing Internet searches for even a relatively short period of time can change brain activity patterns and enhance function.
"Our most striking finding was that Internet searching appears to engage a greater extent of neural circuitry that is not activated during reading," team leader Prof Gary Small was quoted by 'The Sunday Times' as saying.
PAM COMMENTARY: Other studies have shown the same thing -- it helps to keep your mind active by using the world's biggest library and best source of news, the Internet. Also know by the converse expression, "TV rots your brain."
Fatty foods may help pilots concentrate; Quicker response time, fewer mistakes when flying tied to high-fat diet
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - Running a marathon, grab a carbohydrate bar. Lifting weights, gulp a protein shake. But climbing into a fighter jet? Butter-soaked lobster might help.
That was the surprising finding of a new military-funded study that sought to figure out what types of foods were best for pilots when missions restricted when or what they could eat. University of North Dakota researchers found that pilots who ate the fattiest foods such as butter or gravy had the quickest response times in mental tests and made fewer mistakes when flying in tricky cloud conditions.
High-carb diets trumped high-protein in performance tests.
PAM COMMENTARY: I'd be interested to see what kind of fat works the best -- I'd suspect that essential fatty acids would work better than cholesterol, but other types of fats may do when nothing else is available.
Democracy Now! Special: An Hour of Music and Conversation with Legendary Native American Singer-Songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie [DN]
AMY GOODMAN: When did you write �Universal Soldier�? How did you write it?
BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: I wrote �Universal Soldier� very early in the �60s. And it was just�it was both original to me, but it was also an absorption and a reflection of what I was seeing in the streets and on college campuses.
[singing] He�s five foot two, and he�s six feet four
He fights with missiles and with spears
He�s all of thirty-one, and he�s only seventeen
He�s been a soldier for a thousand years
He�s a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew
And he knows he shouldn�t kill
And he knows he always will
Kill you for me, my friend, and me for you
And he�s fighting for Canada
He�s fighting for France
He�s fighting for the USA
And he�s fighting for the Russians
And he�s fighting for Japan
And he thinks we�ll put an end to war this way
And he�s fighting for democracy
And fighting for the reds
He says it�s for the peace of all
He�s the one who must decide
who�s to live and who�s to die
And he never sees the writing on the walls
But without him
How would Hitler have condemned him at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He�s the one who gives his body as a weapon to a war
And without him all this killing can�t go on
He�s the universal soldier
And he really is to blame
But his orders comes from far away no more.
They come from him and you and me
And brothers can�t you see
This is not the way we put an end to war.
AMY GOODMAN: Did it just explode on the scene as soon as you started to sing it? I mean, we�re talking about now in the �60s the Vietnam War.
BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: Yeah, early �60s. Yeah, it kind of did. I mean, I got popular and famous right away. And I was very, very fortunate, in that I could travel where my�the other girls who had graduated college with me, they couldn�t travel. I could travel. And I had a Native American background and really interest in knowing what had not been told to me, because when I was growing up, my mother who raised me, she especially told me, you know, what you see in the movies and read in books is not necessarily true, but you can find out someday.
So I used my show business airplane tickets to�you know, I�d have a concert in Paris, and then I�d go up to the Arctic and spend time with the indigenous people there, or a concert in New York, because I was living in Greenwich Village then, I�d go up to Akwesasne, the Mohawk reservation, you know, at the top of New York on the Canadian border. And it kind of became the paradigm of my life. I wasn�t intentionally trying to become a bridge for anything, but I did see that people in the cities, they wanted to know.
And you asked, you know, was I was afraid to be onstage. I wasn�t, because of the songs, see? I didn�t think I was much of a singer, but because of the songs, I had the nerve to step out onto a stage and to give the people the songs. So I wasn�t concentrating on myself as a singer. I probably should have been concentrating more. Later on, I learned to sing.
AMY GOODMAN: Buffy Sainte-Marie, �Now that the Buffalo�s Gone,� tell us the story of this song.
BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: Oh, wow, that was on my first album, alongside �Universal Soldier.� �Now that the Buffalo�s Gone� is about something that was going on in Jamestown, New York. The Seneca reservation was about to be flooded in order to build Kinzua Dam. And there were alternative sites for Kinzua Dam that would have saved everybody, except a sweet few, a whole lot of money. But it kind of blew the whistle on that.
But I wrote it not to make anybody mad, but to kind of acknowledge the fact that a lot of people who are part Indian really would like to know and would care, so again and again it says �you, dear lady, and you, dear man.� You know, it�s trying to explain something to people who don�t usually get to know anything about Native American stuff, because you never hear about Indian people. The only time you hear about Indian people, like, for instance, Wounded Knee, you know, when Nixon was president, what you�d see in the media was, you know, some Indian with a gun, you know, who was defending their land against, you know, things that shouldn�t be going on.
. . . AMY GOODMAN: The �60s and �70s, Johnson, Nixon�what about music and culture at that time? How was it affected?
BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: Well, at the time, we didn�t know about it, but a lot of us were being blacklisted. Our music was being suppressed.
AMY GOODMAN: How?
BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: Letters were being sent to radio stations, acknowledging and giving pats on the back for broadcasters who were refusing to play music that ought to be suppressed. And�
AMY GOODMAN: How do you know that now?
BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: Well, I only found out about it maybe twenty years after the fact, when a broadcaster in Toronto brought it to my attention. He had a letter on White House stationery, you know, commending him for having suppressed music that deserved to be suppressed, and it was about me. Eartha Kitt was affected. Taj Mahal was affected. A lot of people were affected.
But when I found out about it, I went and got my FBI files, and I was just appalled. I mean, the Freedom of Information Act, at that time, anyway, was just a crock. In the first place, they ask you to come in and be with an FBI agent in the FBI offices. And my lawyer said, �No, no, no. No, you can send somebody to our offices.� So I looked at the files, and they were all crossed out, big fat magic markers.
And then, a couple years ago, on the internet, a former CIA agent came forward, as well, and talked about the suppression of music in the '60s. And so, these�
AMY GOODMAN: How did you feel it at the time?
BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: When I first found out about it, I was just surprised, I was just flabbergasted, because I had never known that there was anything going on like that. I didn't know that records were not being�not showing up at their destinations, so there'd be no records in town when I had a big concert. So I was mystified. It had never occurred to me.
And then later on, you know, a couple years ago, when I found out about the Nixon administration, as well, doing things like that, according to the CIA agent, anyway, you know, it bothers me, but it's not the kind of thing that I've made a career of being mad about, because where are Johnson and Nixon now, anyway? I have a new record and a great life, and I only wish that people at the time had been able to hear the songs that I thought were reflecting their feelings. I think it would have made a difference, because I think music can make a difference.
PAM COMMENTARY: Yeah, I know these days it's supposedly taboo to criticize soldiers for following orders even when the war is an obvious abomination, but it's a famous song, and she raises a good point. War could and would stop if enough people refused to fight. This quote was too long, and I wanted to quote more -- listen/watch the whole segment or read the transcript if you can. Very enlightening. And Nixon and Johnson? Karma, boys -- gotta watch out for it when you choose to live that way!
McDonnell: A Razor-Sharp but Selective Memory
Titus sees the criticism against his former student as a knee-jerk display of liberal bias. "Promoting intact, one-male, one-female lifetime marriage: That was really the essence of Bob's thesis," Titus said. "And it's traceable back to Genesis 1:26-28: God commissions the family to exercise dominion, which is the very foundation of the free-enterprise system."
McDonnell is circumspect about the subject these days and openly uncomfortable with repeated attempts to have him discuss it. After taking his tour of Alexandria and sitting down in the office of a friend, he nods upon hearing Titus's name. He smiles at a reference to his days in Titus's constitutional law and common law classes where he learned about the Blackstonian view of law. Summoning another factoid, he recalled a seminal Blackstonian tenet, reciting it nearly verbatim: "This is what Blackstone said: 'The goal of the judge is to find and declare the law.' They were not to read new meaning into the Constitution."
Reminded of the praise he expressed for Titus and two other advisers in his thesis, McDonnell said he can only "remember a little bit about the class." His powerful memory for statistics and legal quotations fails him on the subjects of his thesis and the man who guided him through it. He said he can't recall many details about Titus's help on his thesis, nor can he recount much about Titus's lectures that remain memorable for others, such as Klarich. "They've got better memories than I do," he said.
PAM COMMENTARY: Notice the theory that somehow Adam and Eve started the "free enterprise system." Just another way to try to twist the bible to make it fit with their political views!
The "McDonnell" they're talking about here is running as a Republican for Governor of Virginia this year, and may just win -- mostly because it's an off-year election and people aren't paying close attention. He's a graduate of Pat Robertson's college, now called "Regents University," a school with a declared purpose of encouraging students (with their extremist religious views, of course) to seek and hold public office (and force their beliefs on others through legislation, of course). McDonnell seems to be that awful combination of religious extremism and fantasy-land political promises, tailored to what people want but never workable in reality.
Legal changes open doors to working women; Decades of action by Congress and courts broke down many of the barriers
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, the courts gradually shed old notions that permitted legal distinctions between men and women, stereotypes that Justice William Brennan called "outdated misconceptions concerning the role of females in the home rather than in the marketplace and the world of ideas."
In 1996, the court struck down the male-only admission policy at the Virginia Military Institute, an opinion written by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had argued a series of cases expanding women's rights as a lawyer for the ACLU.
But for more than a decade after the enactment of the Civil Rights Act, the task of defining legal protections for pregnant women on the job puzzled the courts. In 1976, the Supreme Court held that employers could not be sued over excluding coverage for pregnancy in their health insurance plans.
Such an arrangement wasn't sex discrimination, the court reasoned, but a distinction between pregnant and non-pregnant employees. Congress responded with 1978's Pregnancy Discrimination Act, requiring employers to treat pregnancy like any other physical condition that temporarily disables their personnel.
"Before that law was passed," says Nancy Duff Campbell, "women got fired when they became pregnant, particularly teachers. God forbid a child might see a pregnant woman."
Author Barbara Ehrenreich on �Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America� [DN]
AMY GOODMAN: Stepping back for a minute on breast cancer, you make comparisons of breast cancer to prostate cancer and how women are expected to deal�you talk about the pink ribbons, the teddy bears�and how men deal.
BARBARA EHRENREICH: Yeah, I had real trouble with the pink teddy bears. That's one of the first things I ran into at the time of my diagnosis. And there's an ad for one of these things, a pink breast cancer teddy bear. Now, that is not how I was feeling.
And then there's�the foundation was giving out these sort of nice tote bags to women who came in for treatment, in New York City, I think, and I got hold of one of these tote bags, though I wasn�t getting treated here. And inside were all these little, you know, cosmetic things and moisturizers and cheap jewelry and a box of crayons. So I called the foundation. I said, �This is really nice, but what's with the crayons?� And this woman said to me, �Well, that's in case you want to write down any of your thoughts.� And I said, �I�m a writer. I don�t use crayons.� You know, it was so infantilizing. And, you know, it�s as if�you know, if a man were to get prostate cancer, we gave him a little matchbook box to�matchbook car to play with. You know, I found this very offensive and upsetting.
AMY GOODMAN: And what kind of response did you meet with when you went online, went to the listservs.
BARBARA EHRENREICH: Well, at that time, when I went online and I�I tried going on the Komen Foundation�that�s a big breast cancer foundation�message board, and I did a little entry under the subject line �angry.� And I talked about health insurance problems I was having. I was talking about, what is this disease�very briefly, but what is this disease? How come so many women have it, and we don�t know what causes it, and we don�t really have a cure? And then�and then I went on to mention, and what�s with all the pink ribbons, you know? It doesn�t sit right with me.
And I got back messages from women, also breast cancer sufferers, saying things like, �Run, don�t walk, to the nearest therapist,� �You are not going to get better unless you change your attitude.� So I felt very alone. But then I wrote about that experience. I mean, I wrote about the whole cancer experience and talked about my disgust at this positive thinking culture that had taken over, and I've gotten wonderful responses. Basically, �Ah, thank God someone said it!�
PAM COMMENTARY: I don't agree with a lot of what this lady has to say -- as I found out, breast cancer has everything to do with the immune system, and we do have many cures for the disease, we do have an understanding of many things that can cause it. It's just that you have to go to alternative medicine to find these things. But she raises many other good points, like the commercialization of the disease.
Here's another interesting quote on the commercial exploitation of the disease, from "Pink Ribbons, Inc.; Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy" by Samantha King (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006), pp. xx-xxi:
"In this vein, one of the central arguments of 'Pink Ribbons, Inc.' is that breast cancer became the 'biggest disease on the cultural map,' in Barbara Ehrenreich's words, not simply because of effective political organizing during the 1980s and 1990s, but because of an informal alliance of large corporations (particularly pharmaceutical companies, mammography equipment manufacturers, and cosmetics producers), major cancer charities, the state, and the media that emerged at around the same time and was able to capitalize on growing public interest in the disease. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), founded in 1985 by Zeneca (now AstraZeneca), a multinational pharmaceutical corporation and then subsidiary of Imperial Chemical Industries, is possibly the most highly visible and familiar manifestation of this alliance. AstraZeneca is the manufacturer of tamoxifen, the best-selling breast cancer drug, and until corporate reorganization in 2000 was under the auspices of Imperial Chemical, a leading producer of the carcinogenic herbicide acetochlor, as well as numerous chlorine and petroleum-based products that have been linked to breast cancer.
"The aim of NBCAM from its inception has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer. In 2006, the National Breast Cancer Awareness campaign was underwritten by a board of sponsors comprising fifteen organizations, including medical associations such as the American College of Radiology, breast cancer service organizations such as the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, and government agencies such as the National Cancer Institute, 'working in partnership to raise awareness and provide access to screening services.' AstraZeneca underwrites the cost of the promotional and educational materials that make up the 'official' NBCAM campaign and has sole power of approval over any pamphlet, poster, or advertisement used by NBCAM. AstraZeneca's interest in promoting mammography and thereby raising detection rates and increasing sales of tamoxifen is a story widely circulated in activist circles and progressive media but almost entirely ignored in mainstream discourse. And, not surprisingly, AstraZeneca and its allies in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, such as the American Cancer Society, continue to carefully avoid environmental issues, or indeed reference to prevention in general."
Inmates say gov�s mansion workers raped them
OKLAHOMA CITY - Prosecutors are investigating claims that the former head chef and chief groundskeeper at the Oklahoma governor's mansion raped three female prison inmates assigned to work on the mansion's grounds.
Neither man has been charged, but the Department of Central Services fired both of them Sept. 29 for violating departmental policies after a three-month Department of Corrections investigation.
The allegations raise questions about security at the chief executive's residence and oversight of a program meant in part to reward good inmate behavior by allowing them leave prison for the day and work off-site.
PAM COMMENTARY: There are so many problems with using inmates for slave labor. Some call it the "prison industrial complex," railroading kids who smoked a joint into prison and then paying them almost nothing for their labor. In this case, it was supposed to be a reward, but look what happened. I'd like to see the practice banned entirely, see it as a form of modern slavery.
Mexican government seizes electrical utility [R]
MEXICO CITY � President Felipe Calderon on Sunday disbanded the public utility that supplies electricity to Mexico City and the surrounding area, citing a gaping budget hole that threatened service to 25 million consumers.
About 500 federal police seized the Mexico City offices of the electricity company Luz y Fuerza del Centro, hours before the government published a decree documenting severe financial and operational inefficiencies at the electricity provider.
TB hospital �discharging sick patients� [R]
PATIENTS with extreme drug- resistant tuberculosis (XDRTB) are allegedly being discharged back into their communities by the Jose Pearson TB Hospital in Port Elizabeth.
This follows talks between patients and hospital management amid concerns that some patients had been at the hospital for more than three years. Also, the dispensary recently burnt down, leaving patients without their daily treatment.
Health Department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the department was not aware of any moves to discharge patients.
He said the head of department had requested a full briefing from the hospital�s management and officials responsible for clinical duties.
A patient who is waiting to be discharged said three groups of patients had been discharged in the last two weeks and, with the consent of the hospital doctor, they had not been fully treated.
She said patients with normal TB had developed the more lethal strain of the disease by being kept in close confines with severely infected patients.
She said 80% of patients with XDR-TB had originally been admitted with the less severe multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
SICK AND TIRED OF THE �JEW THING� [WRH]
Among the Diaspora Jews, there is a growing trend of not supporting the genocidal policies of the zionist state. There has also been a significant drop in visits made by these people to Israel. On a daily basis, more and more Jews are expressing their disgust with zionism.
PAM COMMENTARY: Well-stated, and I'd like to remind people that Noam Chomsky and Amy Goodman are Jewish. Not all Jews support the human rights violations of Palestinians, or agree with Israel's policies at all -- in fact work against those injustices over their entire lives. Lately I've noticed a disturbing trend among some interviewees and reporters to loosely use the term "Jew" where the word "Zionist" should be. I'm hoping it's just laziness, but still -- watch your language! Are you blaming Noam Chomsky for this stuff? No, you mean some bigots over in Israel, people who owe their power to terror attacks that occur conveniently just before elections, fear mongering, and unfortunate support from certain people in this country.
(FLASHBACK) The Man-Made Origin of AIDS: Are Human and Viral Experiments Responsible For Unleashing The HIV Holocaust?? [R]
Scientists also discount any connection between the official outbreak of AIDS in 1981 and the experimental hepatitis B vaccine program (1978-1981) at the New York Blood Center in Manhattan that used gays as guinea pigs shortly before the epidemic. Curiously, the exact origin of AIDS in the United States remains unstudied. Health authorities simply blame promiscuous gay men, but never adequately explain how a black heterosexual African disease could have transformed itself exclusively into a white young gay male disease in Manhattan.
Researchers claim HIV incubated in Africa for more that a half century until AIDS broke out there in 1982. However, in the U.S. there was no incubation period for gay men. As soon as homosexuals signed up as guinea pigs for government-sponsored hepatitis B vaccine experiments, they began to die with a strange virus of unknown origin. The hepatitis B experiments began in Manhattan in the fall of 1978; the first few cases of AIDS (all young gays from Manhattan) were reported to the CDC in 1979.
Scientists have also failed to explain how a brand new herpes virus was also introduced exclusively into gays, along with HIV, in the late 1970s. This herpes virus is now believed to be the cause of Kaposi's sarcoma, the so-called "gay cancer" of AIDS. Before AIDS, Kaposi's sarcoma was never seen in healthy young men. Identified a decade after HIV, in 1994, this KS virus is closely related to a primate cancer-causing herpes virus extensively studied and transferred in animal laboratories in the decade before AIDS.
Also downplayed to the public is a new microbe (Mycoplasma penetrans), also of unknown origin, that was introduced into homosexuals, along with HIV and the new herpes virus. Thus, not one but three new infectious agents were inexplicably transferred into the gay population at the start of the epidemic (HIV, the herpes KS virus, and M.penetrans).
In his book, Virus , Luc Montagnier (the French virologist who co-discovered HIV) blames promiscuous American gay tourists for bringing this new mycoplasma to Africa, and for bringing back HIV. He provides no evidence for this homophobic theory. Nor does he mention the various mycoplasmas that were passed around in the 1970s in scientific labs, and the fact that these microbes were frequent contaminants in virus cultures and vaccines.
Why are all these simultaneous introductions of new infectious agents into gay men ignored by scientists? Surely a credible explanation would be important in determining the origin of HIV and AIDS.
PAM COMMENTARY: And if you're interested in this topic, he has MUCH more for you -- after you're done reading his article, please google Cantwell's name along with some key words, and you may want to order his books. Rarely do you find scientists with so much in-depth knowledge on the topic.
(FLASHBACK) AIDS: "It's the bacteria, stupid!"
Tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, remains the most frequent cause of death worldwide from any single infectious disease, and the numbers are increasing yearly. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, TB is the major attributable cause of death in HIV/AIDS patients. One out of every three people with HIV/AIDS worldwide dies of TB. People who are HIV-positive and infected with TB are 30 times more likely to develop active TB than people who are HIV negative. TB acid-fast bacteria enhance HIV replication and accelerate the natural progression of HIV infection. In developed countries such as the U.S., the most common acid-fast species found in AIDS is a[n] atypical tuberculous bacterium called Mycobacterium avium, or fowl tuberculosis. These infections are often resistant to treatment with anti-TB medications.
PAM COMMENTARY: Broxmeyer is a big TB theorist -- if you want someone who knows every little characteristic of TB, it's him. He's also aware of pleomorphism and TB's connection to other organisms, but he's just as comfortable addressing TB in terms the medical field understands and is willing to accept. Of course, the unspoken part of this quote is that TB has a pleomorphic relationship to the cancer virus, and it is claimed by some who say AIDS is man-made that it was developed from that virus (SV-40). Therefore TB and AIDS could be mutating into each other inside of the patient all the time, one may just be the symptom of having the other. (Sorry for folks who aren't quite that deep into the topic, but you can read on for lighter material on this and other subjects.)
Israel Forced Workers to Drink Uranium (VIDEO) [AJ]
Nuclear plant workers �lured� into drinking uranium-laced fruit juice as part of a medical experiment.
Josef Stalin grandson loses libel suit; Court rejects claim that Russia newspaper defamed the former dictator
MOSCOW - A Russian court ruled against Josef Stalin's grandson Tuesday in a libel suit over a newspaper article that said the Soviet dictator sent thousands of people to their deaths.
A judge at a Moscow district court rejected Yevgeny Dzhugashvili's claim that Novaya Gazeta damaged Stalin's honor and dignity in an April article that referred to him as a "bloodthirsty cannibal."
The case essentially put Stalin on trial more than 50 years after his death. A ruling against the newspaper would have been seen as an exoneration one of the 20th century's most notorious autocrats.
Guardian gagged from reporting parliament [WRH]
The Guardian has been prevented from reporting parliamentary proceedings on legal grounds which appear to call into question privileges guaranteeing free speech established under the 1688 Bill of Rights.
Today's published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week. The Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found.
The Guardian is also forbidden from telling its readers why the paper is prevented � for the first time in memory � from reporting parliament. Legal obstacles, which cannot be identified, involve proceedings, which cannot be mentioned, on behalf of a client who must remain secret.
The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations.
MLK�s children end court battle over estate
ATLANTA - After more than 14 hours of discussion, the heirs of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. reached a settlement late Monday that will keep the family from a public jury trial.
Martin Luther King III, Bernice King and Dexter King had aired their grievances in open court for more than a year. The siblings began negotiations Monday morning as the threat loomed of a civil trial that was expected to reveal personal and financial details about King Inc.
Dexter King's brother and sister sued him in July 2008, accusing him of acting improperly as head of the their father's estate, which the three of them control as a private corporation. In the lawsuit, they claimed he shut them out of decisions involving King Inc. and refused to hold a shareholders meeting since 2004. The three have been largely estranged for months as Martin Luther King III and Bernice King said their brother continued to make decisions on behalf of King Inc. without their input or knowledge.
Cybugs� to access areas where people can�t go [AJ]
In a breakthrough study, scientists have developed what they call a �cybug�, part beetle and part machine, which can be used to access areas where people can't go.
The research team from the University of California has inserted a radio receiver attached to wires into the brains and muscles of large beetles.
They believe that these insects could be used to access areas where it's difficult for people to go e.g. aftermath of an earthquake.
PAM COMMENTARY: As usual, it's worse than they're admitting.
Police, Then & Now. [WRH]
PAM COMMENTARY: A great photo gallery with a message.
Recruited by MI5: the name's Mussolini. Benito Mussolini [AJ]
History remembers Benito Mussolini as a founder member of the original Axis of Evil, the Italian dictator who ruled his country with fear and forged a disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany. But a previously unknown area of Il Duce's CV has come to light: his brief career as a British agent.
Archived documents have revealed that Mussolini got his start in politics in 1917 with the help of a �100 weekly wage from MI5.
For the British intelligence agency, it must have seemed like a good investment. Mussolini, then a 34-year-old journalist, was not just willing to ensure Italy continued to fight alongside the allies in the first world war by publishing propaganda in his paper. He was also willing to send in the boys to "persuade'' peace protesters to stay at home.
Mussolini's payments were authorised by Sir Samuel Hoare, an MP and MI5's man in Rome, who ran a staff of 100 British intelligence officers in Italy at the time.
Cambridge historian Peter Martland, who discovered details of the deal struck with the future dictator, said: "Britain's least reliable ally in the war at the time was Italy after revolutionary Russia's pullout from the conflict. Mussolini was paid �100 a week from the autumn of 1917 for at least a year to keep up the pro-war campaigning � equivalent to about �6,000 a week today."
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Australia: ban TV for under-twos [R]
The guidelines warn that exposure to television at such an early age can delay language development, affect the ability of a child to concentrate and lead to obesity.
The recommendations also suggest that children aged two to five should watch no more than one hour of television a day.
The recommended viewing limits vary wildly from the actual amount of television and DVDs viewed by Australian children.
Australian statistics show that four-month-old infants watch an of average 44 minutes of television each day and that children under the age of four with pay television at home spend at least three hours a day in front of the screen.
The draft guidelines, which have been designed for childcare centres but also offer advice for parents, are intended to help curb the spread of obesity. Six to eight per cent of Australian schoolchildren are currently listed as obese and an additional one in five, while not obese, is overweight.
Man arrested in 1990 rape of 8-year-old; Victim says she never gave up hope that attacker would be caught
The lab found DNA on male underwear recovered at the scene and ran it through the FBI's national Combined DNA Index System. The DNA matched Bradford, who was in the system after a 1997 kidnapping conviction in Arkansas. Police said he kidnapped a 35-year-old woman, sexually assaulted her and cut her throat. He served four years of a 12-year sentence in that case.
A police sketch that Schuett helped authorities create after her attack looks remarkably similar to Bradford's Texas driver's license photo, Morales said.
Bradford was arrested Tuesday morning by North Little Rock police, as well as by a Dickinson police detective and a Houston FBI agent who traveled to Arkansas, as he drove to his welding job with his wife, authorities said. Bradford has two children, police said.
PAM COMMENTARY: Too bad he wasn't found BEFORE he victimized someone else. Too bad for his wife and kids, who would have been better off with someone who ISN'T a serial rapist.
Gays, lesbians march on Washington, calling for full equality [BF]
Organizers said the LGBT community, which encompasses lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgendered people, are not satisfied with a piecemeal approach to gaining civil rights. They are seeking "full federal equality" and singling out issues pertaining to marriage, adoption, military service and the workplace.
The demonstration took place a day after Obama addressed about 3,000 gays, lesbians and their supporters, pledging sweeping reforms including undoing both the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The demonstration came 30 years after the first major march by gays and lesbians in the capital. Plans called for Sunday's march to conclude at the Capitol, where a rally was planned. Speakers on tap include civil-rights activist Julian Bond and Judy Shepard, the mother of Matthew Shepard, the slain gay college student from Wyoming whose name is attached to just-passed House legislation to expand the definition of federal hate crimes.
PAM COMMENTARY: Although I'm not gay, I've had quite a few friends and co-workers who happened to be that way. I've always seen gay marriage or civil unions as a workers' rights issue. The guy sitting in the next cubicle happens to be gay and has a long-time male partner who he has lived with for years. The guy on the other side is married with kids. They both work the same hours, perform similar work, and do a good job. (This isn't hypothetical -- it was exactly the setup of our desks when I worked at the Chronicle.) But the guy who's gay can't use company benefits for his partner, whereas the straight co-worker can. The straight co-worker even costs the company more, because he has kids. How is that fair? Shouldn't the gay co-worker be able to earn the same benefits as the straight guy? And then there's the whole issue of being able to visit each other in the hospital, inheritance rights, and all of the other discrimination they have to bear. Can't we at least get civil unions recognized?
It's too bad that so-called Christians have made this and abortions their wedge issues. Oddly enough, of all the stuff that came out of Jesus' mouth, he didn't provide any guidance on those two particular issues. So radical preachers can just sort of make it up as they go along. But being intolerant, starting wars -- just about everything the political right has been about lately -- was totally anti-Jesus. I hope the more intolerant strains of Christianity can return to being more about helping and empathizing with people, and less about ostracizing them.
I'm going to dig up a great old interview with gay activist Larry Kramer. Read on. . .
(FLASHBACK) Larry Kramer on the 20th Anniversary of ACT UP, the Government�s Failure to Prevent the AIDS Crisis and the State of Gay Activism Today [DN]
AMY GOODMAN: In your first article on the subject of AIDS, that was before �1,112 and Counting,� you said, �If I had written this a month ago, I would have used the figure forty. If I had written this last week, I would have needed eighty. Today, I must tell you 120 gay men in the United States.�
LARRY KRAMER: Yes. Well, now there�s 70 million people with HIV, who have died or have it. An awful lot of people helped that happen. It takes a lot of government inaction to allow 70 million people to get infected. My particular�I have a letter in the New York Review of Books. I have never appeared in the New York Review of Books before. They actually published a letter of mine about Ronald Reagan being a monster and that he was responsible for more deaths than Adolf Hitler, because his entire seven-eight years in office, next to nothing was done on HIV, on AIDS. They didn�t even put out a public health warning to say �Be careful,� allowing people to think everything was OK. So during those seven years, just about every gay man who had sex anywhere in the world had been exposed to the virus. If somebody at the NIH, just someone had just said, �Just cool it for a while, guys. Just, please�we think it�s a virus,� whatever�hateful, hateful man, and that he should have a legacy that�s somehow being lauded as a great one is very painful to me.
AMY GOODMAN: He mentioned the word �AIDS� somewhere around year six or seven of his term?
LARRY KRAMER: Seven. It was in an AmFAR benefit in Washington, D.C. I was there. He said it in a very derogatory way. Everybody that was gay in the audience booed him. Dr. Krim, Mathilde Krim, of the AmFAR had said, �If you boo him, I�m going to leave and walk out,� which she did not do. And he was really upset that somebody actually booed him. I remember it as if it were yesterday.
AMY GOODMAN: What do you feel stopped him from saying this for the vast majority of his term?
LARRY KRAMER: Well, Gary Bauer, who was his domestic policy advisor, in a meeting with me in 1983 in the White House office said these words, that the President is unalterably and irrevocably opposed to anything having to do with homosexuality. So nothing was done. It�s not dissimilar to the tactics that Hitler used, that he passed on the word that he was not interested in a certain thing, and the whole administration wasn�t interested, basically. It happens. It�s happening now with the terrible president we have now. [Bush]
PAM COMMENTARY: This interview was in 2007, and the current "terrible" President he's referring to is George W. Bush.
And there are some who believe that Reagan was involved in the release of AIDS into the Gay community, that it was deliberately placed in the Hep B vaccines marketed to gay men at the time (although the timeline starts just before Reagan takes office, but then continues under him). This was the premise of Alan Cantwell's book "Queer Blood." Cantwell isn't just anyone -- he's the last living research associate of Virginia Livingston, one of the big cancer researchers who saw things she wasn't supposed to, using a darkfield microscope.
Len Horowitz, author of "Emerging Viruses; AIDS and Ebola" claims to have proof that AIDS was developed as a biowarfare agent. Many think it was developed from the cancer virus SV-40, in fact Cantwell has called AIDS a cancer epidemic because he believes that AIDS is a form of cancer. SV-40 is favored by biowarfare researchers because it's in the TB class of organisms, in fact has a pleomorphic relationship to TB, and TB has its "L-forms" where it evades the immune system by going without its cell membranes. But this topic goes on forever, so I'll just leave it there for today.
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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