The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

GAO Report Not Hopeful for GM, Chrysler Loan Paybacks or IPOs

Edmunds Auto Observer

A newsflash that won't surprise critics of the government bailouts for General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC: the federal agency charged with overseeing the U.S. Department of Treasury's $81.1-billion in loans to the two companies, their finance arms and suppliers says not to expect full repayment of those billions.

The Government Accountability Office report, issued yesterday, repeats the now-common rejoinder that the government wants to get out of the auto business.

But the report also presents the distinct likelihood that won't happen anytime soon - viewing with candid skepticism the often-cited potential for GM to render an initial public offering in order to begin repaying its near $50 billion in government loans. This stance comes on the same day former GM director Jerry York scoffed at the notion of GM engaging in an IPO as soon as next year.

"It's the dumbest thing in the world to be talking about a (GM) IPO right now," Reuters reported York as saying at an auto-industry conference in Detroit.

The GAO report more discreetly concluded: "Although Treasury officials told us they are considering all options for divesting the government's ownership interests, including an initial public offering or private sale, they have focused primarily on a series of public offerings for GM and have not identified criteria for determining the optimal time and method to sell.

"Regardless of the option pursued, however," the report continued, "Treasury is unlikely to recover the entirety of its investment in Chrysler or GM, given that the companies' values would have to grow substantially above what they have been in the past."

Downsized, But Futures Still In Doubt

The GAO report notes that GM and Chrysler should be positioned to better control their balance sheets now that bankruptcy and ongoing restructurings have allowed both companies to shed a substantial amount of debt and other liabilities.

GM has cut its number of factories from 47 at the end of 2008 to a current 34 - nearly a 28-percent reduction. And its hourly- and salaried-employee ranks have been chopped by 12.3 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively.

Chrysler's cuts have been proportionally similar. But despite each company's drastic reduction of long-term debts and structural costs, the report concludes, "Whether and to what extent these changes will improve Chrysler's and GM's profitability and long-term viability remains to be seen."

The report says that for GM to repay its indebtedness in full, it would have to achieve a market capitalization of $66.9 billion, nearly 20 percent greater than the company was ever valued.

Chrysler would have to build a market capitalization of $54.8 billion - more than 50 percent higher than the $37 billion the company was appraised to be worth when it merged with Daimler AG in 1998.

The Treasury said comparing today's GM and Chrysler with their previous forms is not valid because the companies are vastly leaner and less debt-encumbered, but the projected valuations needed to repay the each company's loans from the Troubled Asset Relief Program nonetheless are stark indicators of what wholesale operational turnarounds are required.

Not Involved - But Sort Of Involved

The GAO report also reminds that while the Dept. of Treasury - backed by many Obama administration officials - insists it has no intention of telling the companies how to run their operations, there are indeed some rather specific guidelines.

Chief among those suggestions is a requirement GM, for example, "use its commercially reasonable best efforts to ensure that the volume of manufacturing conducted in the United States is consistent with at least 90 percent of the level envisioned in GM's business plan.

And at least 40 percent of Chrysler's sales volume must be comprised of vehicles produced in the U.S. or its total U.S. production volume this year be at least 90 percent of that produced in the U.S. last year.

The companies also must keep the Dept. of Treasury appraised of any meaningful changes in their ability to fund pension plans. And in a condition that has seen wide exposure, compensation for both companies' top executives must be approved by a specially appointed "pay master."

Most important and anticipated are the specific conditions for financial reporting that are set to begin next year. For GM, which owns 60.8-percent of GM's equity and more than $2 billion of its preferred stock, these include quarterly and annual consolidated balance sheets, frequent forecasts and monthly liquidity reports - not to mention "other information that Treasury might periodically request." - Bill Visnic, senior contributing editor

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

The Media As Enablers of Government Lies

by James Bovard

Why do politicians so easily get away with telling lies? In large part, because the news media are more interested in bonding with politicians than in exposing them. Americans are encouraged to believe that the media will serve as a check and a balance on the government. Instead, the press too often volunteer as unpaid pimps, helping politicians deceive the public.

In 1936, New York Times White House correspondent Turner Catledge said that President Roosevelt’s “first instinct was always to lie.” But the Washington press corps covered up Roosevelt’s dishonesty almost as thoroughly as they hid his use of a wheelchair in daily life.

President Bill Clinton benefited from a press corps that often treated his falsehoods as nonevents — or even petty triumphs. Newsweek White House correspondent Howard Fineman commented that Clinton’s “great strength is his insincerity.... I’ve decided Bill Clinton is at his most genuine when he’s the most phony.... We know he doesn’t mean what he says.”

Flora Lewis, a New York Times columnist, writing three weeks before 9/11, commented in a review of a book on U.S. government lies on the Vietnam War, “There will probably never be a return to the discretion, really collusion, with which the media used to treat presidents, and it is just as well.” But within months of her comment, the media had proven itself as craven as ever. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who did some of the best exposés of George W. Bush’s falsehoods in his first term, noted that it was not until July 2002 that “the White House press corps showed its teeth” in response to administration deceptions. Even the exposés of FBI and CIA intelligence failures in May 2002 did not end the “phase of alliance” between the White House and the press, as political scientist Martha Kumar observed.

Deference to the government is now the trademark of the American media — at least at times when the truth could have the greatest impact. The media were grossly negligent in failing to question or examine Bush’s claims on the road to war. When journalists dug up the truth, editors sometimes ignored or buried their reports. Washington Post Pentagon correspondent Thomas Ricks complained that, in the lead-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, “There was an attitude among editors: ‘Look, we’re going to war; why do we even worry about all this contrary stuff?’” New York Times White House correspondent Elisabeth Bumiller explained the press’s conduct at a Bush press conference just before he invaded Iraq: “I think we were very deferential because ... nobody wanted to get into an argument with the president at this very serious time.”

After the war started, the falsehood of Bush’s claims was often treated as a one-day story, buried in the back of the front section or on the editorial page. Afterward, most papers quickly returned to printing the president’s proclamations as gospel. Eric Alterman, author of When Presidents Lie, observed,

Virtually every major news media outlet devoted more attention to the lies and dissimulations of one New York Times reporter, Jayson Blair, than to those of the president and vice president of the United States regarding Iraq. Given that these two deceptions took place virtually simultaneously, they demonstrate that while some forms of deliberate deception remain intolerable in public life, those of the U.S. commander in chief are not among them.

The media’s docility to the Bush administration repeated the pattern established during the first Gulf War (and during much of the Vietnam War). Chris Hedges, who covered the 1990-91 Gulf War for the New York Times, later explained, “The notion that the press was used in the war is incorrect. The press wanted to be used. It saw itself as part of the war effort.” Hedges noted that journalists were “eager to be of service to the State,” which “made it easier to do what governments do in wartime, indeed what governments do much of the time, and that is lie.”

Far from being irate about presidential lies, the media often enjoy sharing a laugh with the commander in chief over such technical inaccuracies. On March 24, 2004, President Bush performed a skit for those attending the Radio and Television Correspondents’ annual dinner in which he showed slides of himself crawling around his office peaking behind curtains while he quipped to the crowd, “Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere.... Nope, no weapons over there…. Maybe under here?”

Bush’s comic bit got one of the biggest laughs of the night. The Washington Post Style section hailed the evening’s performance with a headline — “George Bush, Entertainer in Chief.” The media dignitaries made no fuss over the comments — until a mini-firestorm erupted a few days later, spurred by criticism by Democrats and soldiers who had fought in Iraq. Greg Mitchell, the editor of Editor and Publisher, labeled the press’s reaction as “one of the most shameful episodes in the recent history of the American media, and presidency.”

The character of the Washington press corps also shone bright in its nonresponse to the Downing Street Memo. On May 1, 2005, the London Times printed a memo from a British cabinet meeting on July 23, 2002, that reported the findings of the visit by Britain’s intelligence chief to Washington to confer with CIA chief George Tenet and other top Bush administration officials. The memo quoted the intelligence chief:

Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

The fact that the top level of the British government was aware that the Bush administration was fixing — i.e., manipulating and contriving — intelligence and facts to justify going to war was a bombshell in the United Kingdom. The decision to “fix” facts was illustrated by the torrent of false accusations and statements that Bush and his top officials made against Iraq in the following months. Throughout 2002, Bush continued to say that he had hoped to avoid going to war with Saddam. In his State of the Union address in late January 2003 and in his subsequent speeches, he talked about the United States as a victim, repeatedly asserting that “if war is forced upon us, we will fight.” Bush had long since decided to attack, regardless of how many UN weapons inspectors Saddam permitted to roam Iraq.

Yet the memo was almost completely ignored by the American mainstream media for the first month after its publication in Britain. As Salon columnist Joe Conason commented, “To judge by their responses, the leading lights of the Washington press corps are more embarrassed than the White House is by the revelations in the Downing Street memo.”

Deceit has become ritualized in U.S. foreign policy. From 2002 onwards, the White House Iraq Group spewed out false information that the New York Times and other prominent media outlets routinely accepted without criticism or verification. After many of the assertions were later discovered to be false, the White House and much of the media treated the falsehoods as irrelevant to the legitimacy of the U.S. invasion. The lack of attention paid to political lies is itself symptomatic of the bias in favor of submitting to rulers regardless of how much people are defrauded.

Hurricane Katrina provided an opportunity for the media to ritually renounce their own servility. As the nonresponse and pervasive debacle became undeniable and the death count soared to more than a thousand, many talking heads pointed out the government’s “failures” and proudly showed their indignation. A New York Times headline summed up the broadcast media’s change in tone: “Reporters Turn From Deference to Outrage.” One BBC commentator observed, “Amidst the horror, American broadcast journalism just might have grown its spine back, thanks to Katrina,” which he suggested could provide an antidote to the “timid and self-censoring journalistic culture that is no match for the masterfully aggressive spin-surgeons of the Bush administration.” NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams explained, “By dint of the fact that our country was hit [in 2001] we’ve offered a preponderance of the benefit of the doubt [to the government] over the past couple [sic] of years. Perhaps ... this is the story that brings a healthy amount of cynicism back to a news media known for it.” But such periodic affirmations of independence are as credible as an alcoholic who, regaining consciousness after tumbling down the stairs, piously announces the end of his boozing days. There will be other bottles — and other stairs.

The pursuit of respectability in Washington usually entails acquiescing to government lies. Many if not most members of the Washington press corps are government dependents. Few Washington journalists have the will to expose government lies. That would require placing one in an explicitly adversarial position to the government. It is not that the typical journalist is intentionally covering up government lies, but that his radar is not set to detect such occurrences. Lies rarely register in Washington journalists’ minds because they are usually supplicants for government information, not dogged pursuers of the truth. Raising troublesome questions will not help you get any “silver platter” stories.

The vast majority of the media docilely repeated Bush’s claims through most of his presidency. Television networks very likely devoted a hundred times as much air time to peddling government falsehoods as they did to exposing them. The constant barrage of falsehood drowns out the occasional blips of truth. The government only needs the number of people who recognize its lies to be small enough that its latest power play will not be thwarted. The goal is not to prevent well-informed citizens from being nauseated or disgusted by the president’s lies. Instead, it is to neutralize the mass reaction to presidential falsehoods, even those that have catastrophic consequences.

If Americans wish to retain the remnants of their liberty, they cannot trust the media to warn them about government tyranny. In order to recognize government deceit, there is no substitute for more citizens to make more effort to find the truth for themselves.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Friday, November 06, 2009

Exposed: The US Presidents' Family Tree

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Special Ops Report Suggests Assassination Program Aimed at “Enemies of the State”

by Kurt Nimmo

In a report posted on the Wired website, Noah Shachtman mentions a CIA plan to hunt down and kill “jihadists, drug dealers, pirates and other enemies of the state.” Shachtman cites a report produced by the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations University suggesting a global assassination team. “Report author and retired Lt. Col. George Crawford instead would like to see a permanent group with clear authority, training, doctrine and technology to go after these dangerous individuals,” writes Shachtman.

Beyond the obvious illegality of such a program — executing assumed terrorists and drug dealers without the benefit of trial — the suggested murder program has another big problem. It would allow the government to define who is an enemy of the state.

The now infamous DHS report on domestic terrorism defines militias, returning veterans, and Second Amendment activists as dangerous extremists who pose a threat to the national security of the country. For several months the corporate mockingbird media has engaged in a concerted campaign to characterize “rightwing” activists as an ominous threat. Open-carry activists protesting at Obama events were characterized as a threat to the president.

In July, the Missouri National Guard trained to engage in combat with militia groups. The Kansas City-based 205th Area Support Medical Company and the Springfield-based 206th Area Support Medical Company trained to fend off attacks while performing their medical duties,” a Pentagon writer reported on June 30.

In April, the Maryland National Guard was put on alert in anticipation of Tea Party protests, revealing that the government considers constitutional activists to be “insurgents” and “militants,” Infowars reported.

In March, the United States Army Reserve Command published a Force Protection Advisory recommending “situational awareness” and “mitigation measures” in response to End the Fed protests.

On November 22, 2008, Alex Jones led a rally at the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas Texas. The Dallas protest is specifically mentioned in the official Army document. Ron Paul’s brother was also in attendance. The event was monitored by the Pentagon.
On June 15, Infowars reported on a Department of Defense multiple choice test that defined constitutionally protected protests as “low-level terrorism.”

Rex 84, Operation Chaos, COINTELPRO, Garden Plot, Rose Bush, Punch Block, Steep Hill, Lantern Spike, Quiet Town, Gram Metric, Cable Splicer, and numerous other military and intelligence programs and operations have consistently characterized law-abiding Americans as terrorists and “enemies of the state.”

The CIA may kill a few patsies in the “global war on terror” in order to create the impression of a threat to the homeland. The CIA not only created, organized, and funded al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other false flag terrorist organizations, it also runs deadly drugs for the banksters on Wall Street. Carlos Lehder, Pablo Escobar, Amado Fuentes, Matta Ballesteros and Hank Rohn — these are employees for the offshore bankers that make billions laundering illegal drug money. The CIA and proxy governments may assassinate them for propaganda purposes, but they will not shut down the lucrative international drug cartel business.

The real “enemies of the state” are the American people, not African pirates and drug dealers. It remains to be seen if the government will assassinate leaders of the patriot movement in the United States.

We may be one major staged false flag terror event away from finding out, especially if such an event is attributed to American citizens.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Swine Flu Government Data Scam

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Swine Flu -- One of the Most Massive Cover-ups in American History

by Dr. Russell Blaylock and Dr. Joseph Mercola

What experience and history teach is this -- that people and governments never have learned anything from history or acted on principles deduced from it.” G.W.F. Hegel

I have been following the evolving “pandemic” of H1N1 influenza beginning with the original discovery of the infection in Mexico in March of this year. In the course of this study I have tried to utilize as my sources high-quality, peer-reviewed journals, data from the CDC and accepted textbooks of virology.

As with all such studies one has to integrate and correlate previous experiences with epidemics and pandemics. As you will see, a great deal of my material comes from official sources, such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the New England Journal of Medicine. Thus my distracters cannot claim that I am using material that is not within the mainstream.

Pregnant Women NOT at Special Risk from Swine Flu

In the beginning, even before it was declared a level 6 pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), a group of “scientists” were sounding the alarm that this might indeed be the terrifying, deadly pandemic they had been expecting for over half a century.

Naturally, the vaccine manufacturers were doing all they could to fuel this fear and they were quietly making deals with WHO to be among the companies selected to manufacture the “pandemic” vaccine for the world. Being anointed by WHO would guarantee tens of billions in profits.

As the infection began to spread into the United States and then the rest of the world, its peculiar nature became obvious. Those born before 1950 seem to have a high degree of resistance to the infection and the disease seems slightly more pathogenic (disease causing) among those aged 25 to 49. Early on the official sources declared that pregnant women were at a special risk as compared to the seasonal flu.1 As we shall see later, this was a grand lie.

Initial Studies Show H1N1 NOT Dangerous or Highly Contagious

Once the pandemic had been declared, virologists tested the potency of this virus using a conventional method, that is, infecting ferrets with the virus.2 What they found was that the H1N1 virus was no more pathogenic than the ordinary seasonal flu, even though it did penetrate slightly deeper into the lungs. It in no way matched the pathogenecity of the 1917-1918 H1N1 virus. It also did not infect other tissues, and especially important, it did not infect the brain.

Next, they wanted to test the ability of the virus to spread among the population. The results of their tests were conflicting, but the best evidence indicated that the virus did not spread to others very well. In fact, an unpublished study by the CDC found that when one member of a family contracted the H1N1 virus, other members of the family were infected only 10% of the time -- a very low communicability.

This was later confirmed in a study of the experience of New York State, in which only 6.9% of the population contracted the virus, far below the 50% predicted by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.3 It is instructive to note that during the 1917-18 Swine flu epidemic the world infection rate was only 20%.4

They also predicted that 1.8 million people would need hospitalization and 300,000 would end up in the intensive care units (ICU). Further, they predicted that hospitals would be overwhelmed and that ICU units would not have enough beds to care for the sick and dying. Incredibly, they predicted that 90,000 people would die.

Much Fear Mongering

Not satisfied, they up the ante on fear mongering by peddling the idea that pregnant women were especially in danger as were small children. We were told daily that young, healthy people were dying, not just those with underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other immune suppressive diseases. The Minister of Fear (the CDC) was working overtime peddling doom and gloom, knowing that frightened people do not make rational decisions -- nothing sells vaccines like panic.

These same dire predictions were extended to Australia and New Zealand, which began to show an increase in their reported cases of H1N1 and associated hospitalizations as they entered their fall and winter. Recently, two major articles were released in the New England Journal of Medicine, which analyzed the American hospitalization experience5 and the Australian/New Zealand ICU experience6. I will analyze these very interesting studies.

There is a dramatic disconnect between what the science is discovering about this flu virus and what is being broadcast over the media outlets. As you will see, this is a very mild flu virus infection for 99.9% of the population.

Australian and New Zealand Experience Prove U.S. is Wrong

As I stated, the countries in the southern hemisphere have already gone through their fall and winter, that is the seasons of peak flu infections. Epidemiologists and virologists have been surprised at how mild this flu pandemic has been in the Southern Hemisphere, with relatively few deaths and few hospitalizations in most areas.

The study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine on October 8, 2009, called the AZIC study, analyzed all ICU admissions in New Zealand and Australia, looking at a number of factors.6 Here is what they found.

ICU Hospitalizations

Out of a population of 25 million people, 722 were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with a confirmed diagnosis of H1N1 influenza. Overall, 856 people were admitted with a flu virus, but 11.3% were a type A flu that was not subtyped and 4.3% were seasonal flu.

They also analyzed the number of people admitted with viral pneumonia and found the following:

Number of People Admitted to the Hospital each Year with Viral Pneumonia5

57 people in 2005
33 people in 2006
69 people in 2007
69 people in 2008
37 people in 2009
So we see that in 2009 they had 32 fewer people admitted with actual viral pneumonia. The CDC and other public health agents of fear like to imply that mass numbers of people are dying from “flu”, that is, actual influenza viral pneumonia, when in fact, most are dying from other complications secondary to underlying health problems -- either diagnosed or undiagnosed.
They also found that the average person’s risk of ending up in the ICU was one in 35,714 or about three thousandths of one percent (0.00285%), an incredibly low risk. When they looked at actual admission to the ICU, they found that it was people aged 25 to 49 who made up the largest number admitted. Infants from birth to age 1 year had the higher admission per population, and had a high mortality rate.

Majority of Children Respond POORLY to Flu Vaccine

It is interesting to note that babies this age respond poorly to either the seasonal flu vaccine or the H1N1 vaccine. One of the largest studies ever done, found that children below the age of 2 years received no protection at all from the seasonal flu vaccine.7

The recently completed study on the effectiveness of the new H1N1 vaccine reported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease found that 75% of small children below age 35 months received no protection from the H1N1 vaccine and that 65% of children between the ages of 3 years and 9 years received no protection from the vaccine.8

Flu Vaccine DOUBLES Risk of Getting H1N1

It is also important to view this in the face of the new unpublished Canadian study of 12 million people that found getting the seasonal flu vaccine, as recommended by the CDC and NIH, doubles one’s risk of developing the H1N1 infection. It would also make the infection much more serious. So much for expert advice from the government.

Obese at Six Times Higher Risk from H1N1 Complications

As stated, most authorities agree that the H1N1 variant virus is quite mild as far as flu viruses go. The vast majority of people (99.99%) are having very brief and mild illnesses from this virus.

Keep in mind that when I am discussing numbers and risk, this does not intend to understate the devastation experienced by the people who are experiencing serious illness or even death.

Any death is a tragedy.

What we are discussing here is -- is the risk from this virus significant enough to justify draconian measures by the government and medical community? Should we implement mass vaccinations with a vaccine that is essentially an experimental vaccine, poorly tested and of questionable benefit?

The study also looked at the health risk of the people admitted to the ICU, but unfortunately did not look at the underlying health problems of those who died. We get a hint, since the American study did note that it was those over age 65 who were most likely to die, and that 100% of these individual had underlying health problems before they were infected.

One of the real surprises from this study, and the American study, was that one of the more powerful risk factors for being admitted to the ICU and of dying was obesity. Obese people are admitted 6x more often than those of normal weight. As we shall see, obesity played a significant role in the risk to children and pregnant women as well, something that has never been discussed by the media, the CDC or the public health officials.

This study found that 32.7% of those admitted to the ICU had asthma or other chronic pulmonary disease, far higher than the general population. The Australian and New Zealand study also had a large number of aboriginal patients and those from the Torres Strait. It is known that nutrient deficiencies are common in both populations, which means an impaired immune system.

Obesity is associated with a high incidence of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, both of which would increase one’s risk of having a serious infection, even to viruses that are mildly pathogenic. (mild viruses).

H1N1 Vaccine is NOT Made the Same as Regular Flu Vaccine!!

I am really upset at the insistence by the CDC, medical doctors and the media that all pregnant women should be vaccinated by this experimental vaccine. The media repeats the manufacturers’ mantra that this vaccine is produced exactly like the seasonal flu, when in fact it is not. Yes, they use chicken eggs, but the rest has been fast tracked and many shortcuts on safety procedures have been allowed.

There are 250,000 pregnant women in Australia and New Zealand combined. Only 66 pregnant women were admitted to the ICU, an incidence of 1 pregnant woman per 3,800 pregnant women or a risk of .03%.6 Put another way, a pregnant woman in these two countries can feel comfortable to know that there is a 99.97% chance that she will not get sick enough to end up in the ICU.

Pregnant Women NOT at Increased Risk, Obese Women Are!!

So, why did even 66 pregnant women end up in the ICU? As we shall see in the American study5, a significant number of these pregnant women were either obese or morbidly obese and most had underlying medical problems. The Australian/New Zealand study6 found that one of the major risk factors for pregnant women was indeed being obese and that obesity was associated with a high risk of underlying medical disorders.

They also found that death from H1N1 infection correlated best with increasing age, contrary to what the media says. They concluded the study with the following statement:

“ The proportion of patients who died in the hospital in our study is no higher than that previously reported among patients with seasonal influenza A who were admitted to the ICU.” 6

In fact, they report that of those infected with the H1N1 variant virus who were sick enough to be admitted to the ICU, 84.5 % went home and 14.3% died and that of those admitted with seasonal flu 72.9% were discharged and 16.2% died. That is, more died from the seasonal flu.

Recent NEJM Study of the American Experience

In the same Oct, 8th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine they reported on the American experience with the H1N1 variant virus.5 The study looked at data from 24 states with widespread influenza infection from April through June 2009. Remember, unlike most flu epidemics in the United States, this epidemic began early and by the end of September it was beginning to peak, with late October being the date it may begin to decline.

The study examined 13,217 cases of infection involving 1082 people who were hospitalized. Here is what they found:

Underlying Medical Conditions

Of the total hospitalized patients:

60% of children had underlying medical conditions
83% of adults had underlying medical conditions
They also found that 32% of patients had at least 2 medical conditions that would put them at risk. We are constantly told that it is the young adult aged 25 to 49 who is at the greatest risk. Note that 83% of these people had underlying medical conditions. This means that in truth only 292 “healthy” people out of 1082 in 24 states were sick enough to enter the hospital -- that is 292 healthy people out of tens of millions of people, not much of a risk if you do not have an underlying chronic medical problem.

Underlying Medical Conditions Risk Factor for H1N1 Deaths

When they looked at people over age 65 years of age, that is, the folks who are most likely to die in the hospital, 100% had underlying medical conditions -- all of them. So, there was not one healthy person over age 65 who has died out of 24 states combined.

What about the children, a special target of the fear mongering media and government agencies? This study found that 60% had underlying medical conditions and that 30% were either obese or morbidly obese.

A previous CDC study states that 2/3 of children who died had neurological disorders or respiratory diseases such as asthma.3 If we take the 60% figure, that means out of the 84 children reported to have died by October 24th, 2009, only 34 children considered healthy in a nation of 301 million people really died, not 84. It is also instructive to note that according to CDC figures, the seasonal flu last year killed 116 children.9

Remember, that is, 34 so-called healthy children out of a nation of 40 million children. In 2003 it was reported by the CDC that 90 children died from seasonal flu complications. Ironically, as shown by Neil Z. Miller in his excellent book -- Vaccine Safety Manuel -- once the flu vaccine was given to small children the death rate from flu increased 7-fold.10 Not surprising, since the mercury in the vaccine suppresses immunity.

Pediatric Flu Deaths by Year Made WORSE by Flu Vaccine

1999 -- - 29 deaths
2000 -- - 19 deaths
2001 -- - 13 deaths
2002 -- - 12 deaths
2003 -- - 90 deaths (Year of mass vaccinations of children under age 5 years)
2006 -- 78 deaths
2007 -- - 88 deaths
2008 – 116 deaths (40.9% vaccinated at age 6 months to 23 months)11
Parents should also keep in mind that this study, as well as the Australian/New Zealand Study found that childhood obesity played a major role in a child’s risk of being admitted to the ICU or dying. This is another dramatic demonstration as to the danger of obesity in children and that all parents should avoid MSG (all food-based excitotoxin additives), excess sugar and excess high glycemic carbohydrates in their children’s diets. This goes for pregnant moms as well.

Every Parent Needs to Know Other Vaccines INCREASE Risk of H1N1

One major factor being left out of all discussion of these vaccines, especially those for small children and babies, is the effect of other vaccinations on presently circulating viral infections such as the H1N1 variant virus. It is known that several of the vaccines are powerfully immune suppressing. For example, the measles, mumps and rubella virus are all immune suppressing, as seen with the MMR vaccine, a live virus vaccine.12, 13

This means that when a child receives the MMR vaccine, for about two to five weeks afterwards their immune system is suppressed, making them highly susceptible to catching viruses and bacterial infections circulating through the population. Very few mothers are ever told this, even though it is well accepted in the medical literature.

In fact, it is known that the Hib vaccine for haemophilus influenzae is an immune suppressing vaccine and that vaccinated children are at a higher risk of developing haemophilus influenzae meningitis for at least one week after receiving the vaccine.10,14 These small children receive both of these vaccines.

According to the vaccine schedule recommended by the CDC and used by most states, a child will receive their MMR vaccine and Hib vaccine at one year of age and both are immune suppressing.

At age 2 to 4 months, they will receive a Hib vaccine. Therefore at age 2 to 4 months, and again at age one year, they are at an extreme risk of serious infectious complications caused by vaccine-induced immune suppression. The New Zealand/Australian study found that the highest death in the young was from birth to age 12 months, the very time they were getting these immune-suppressing vaccines.6

The so-called healthy children and babies that have ended up in the hospital and have died may in fact be the victims of immune suppression caused by their routine childhood vaccines. We may never know because the medical elite will never record such data or conduct the necessary studies. Recall also that the seasonal flu vaccine, which is recommended for all children over the age of 6 months, each year, is also immune suppressing because of the mercury-containing thimerosal in the vaccine.15

Infants under the age of 3 receive mercury-free seasonal flu vaccines, but any child over the age of 3 will receive the mercury-containing flu vaccine year after year. (Each dose of seasonal flu vaccine typically containing 25 mcg of mercury.)

If parents allow their children to be vaccinated according to the CDC recommendations, that is 2 seasonal flu vaccines and 2 swine flu vaccines as well as a pneumococcal vaccine, that will increase the number of vaccines a child will have by age 6 years to 41. This amounts to an enormous amount of aluminum and mercury as well as intense brain inflammation triggered by vaccine-induced microglial activation.16

Risk of Serious Illness from the H1N1 Mutant Virus

Their survey of 24 states found that a total of 67 patients out of tens of millions of people ended up in the ICU. That is, only 6% of the people admitted to the hospital were so sick as to need intensive treatments. Of these 67 patients, 19 died (25%) and of these 67% had obvious underlying long-term medical illnesses. This means that only 6 patients out of tens of millions of people in 24 states that were considered “healthy” before their infection, had died. Is this justification for a mass vaccination campaign?

Of the 1082 hospitalized patients, 93% were eventually discharged recovered and only 7% died, a very low death rate. Their analysis of these cases concluded that those who died fell in three categories:

They were older patients
Antiviral medications were started 48 hours after the onset of the illness
There was no correlation to having had seasonal vaccines
The last item is especially interesting because they assume that having had seasonal flu vaccine would have offered some protection -- it offered none.

What they did find was that none who died had been given antiviral medications (Tamiflu or Relenza) within 48 hours of getting sick. Those given the antiviral medications within the golden 48-hour period rarely died. Relenza is far safer than Tamiflu. This was the only factor found to correlate with survival of severely ill ICU patients.

Go here to read the rest.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Exclusive: U.S. Spies Buy Stake in Firm That Monitors Blogs, Tweets

by Noah Shachtman, Wired

America’s spy agencies want to read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates — even check out your book reviews on Amazon.

In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media. It’s part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using ”open source intelligence” — information that’s publicly available, but often hidden in the flood of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports generated every day.

Visible crawls over half a million web 2.0 sites a day, scraping more than a million posts and conversations taking place on blogs, online forums, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon. (It doesn’t touch closed social networks, like Facebook, at the moment.) Customers get customized, real-time feeds of what’s being said on these sites, based on a series of keywords.

“That’s kind of the basic step — get in and monitor,” says company senior vice president Blake Cahill.

Then Visible “scores” each post, labeling it as positive or negative, mixed or neutral. It examines how influential a conversation or an author is. (”Trying to determine who really matters,” as Cahill puts it.) Finally, Visible gives users a chance to tag posts, forward them to colleagues and allow them to response through a web interface.

In-Q-Tel says it wants Visible to keep track of foreign social media, and give spooks “early-warning detection on how issues are playing internationally,” spokesperson Donald Tighe tells Danger Room.

Of course, such a tool can also be pointed inward, at domestic bloggers or tweeters. Visible already keeps tabs on web 2.0 sites for Dell, AT&T and Verizon. For Microsoft, the company is monitoring the buzz on its Windows 7 rollout. For Spam-maker Hormel, Visible is tracking animal-right activists’ online campaigns against the company.

“Anything that is out in the open is fair game for collection,” says Steven Aftergood, who tracks intelligence issues at the Federation of American Scientists. But “even if information is openly gathered by intelligence agencies it would still be problematic if it were used for unauthorized domestic investigations or operations. Intelligence agencies or employees might be tempted to use the tools at their disposal to compile information on political figures, critics, journalists or others, and to exploit such information for political advantage. That is not permissible even if all of the information in question is technically ‘open source.’”

Visible chief executive officer Dan Vetras says the CIA is now an “end customer,” thanks to the In-Q-Tel investment. And more government clients are now on the horizon. “We just got awarded another one in the last few days,” Vetras adds.

Tighe disputes this — sort of. “This contract, this deal, this investment has nothing to do with any agency of government and this company,” he says. But Tighe quickly notes that In-Q-Tel does have “an interested end customer” in the intelligence community for Visibile. And if all goes well, the company’s software will be used in pilot programs at that agency. “In pilots, we use real data. And during the adoption phase, we use it real missions.”

Read the rest at this link.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

A History of US Meddling in Iran

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

US government report recommends blocking popular websites during pandemic flu outbreak

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

(NaturalNews) The US government has issued a new report that recommends blocking access to popular websites during a pandemic outbreak in order to preserve internet bandwidth for investors, day traders and securities clearing house operations. The concern is that a pandemic would cause too many people to stay at home and download YouTube videos and porn, hogging all the internet bandwidth and blocking throughput for investment activities, thereby causing a stock market meltdown.

This isn't an April Fool's joke. It's all based on a public report issued by the Government Accounting Office (GAO), available from their website at

In this article, I'm going to explain how a pandemic outbreak could theoretically bring down Wall Street. But to get to that, you'll first need to find out what the GAO said in its curious report (see below). Parts of this article are presented as satire, but the underlying facts quoted here are all true and verifiable (links are provided to all sources).

This report in question is entitled, "GAO Report to Congressional Requesters, INFLUENZA PANDEMIC" and includes this subtitle: Key Securities Market Participants Are Making Progress, but Agencies Could Do More to Address Potential Internet Congestion and Encourage Readiness.

As the report explains:

In a severe pandemic, governments may close schools, shut down public transportation systems, and ban public gatherings such as concerts or sporting events. In such scenarios, many more people than usual may be at home during the day, and Internet use in residential neighborhoods could increase significantly as a result of people seeking news, entertainment, or social contact from home computers. Concerns have been raised that this additional traffic could lead to congestion on the Internet that would significantly affect businesses in local neighborhoods, such as small doctors' offices or business employees attempting to telework by connecting to their employers' enterprise networks.

Can Hulu, Twitter and porn destroy Wall Street?

To translate this concern of the GAO, what they're saying is that if too many people stay home and use the internet, Wall Street might not be able to function smoothly. Therefore, in order to protect Wall Street (because as you know, our government does everything possible to bail out Wall Street), the feds might need to shut down some popular websites.

But where, exactly, is all the bandwidth usage really coming from? Twitter uses virtually no bandwidth, given that it's a short, text-based messaging service. Text articles also don't use up much bandwidth. In terms of clogging the internet's "series of tubes" (to use a hilarious term coined by a U.S. Senator), the real culprits are videos. While a Twitter text message might be less than 1k in size, a typical video is 350MB, or roughly 350,000 times larger than a Twitter message.

So where, exactly, are people getting video downloads? The most popular non-porn video destinations today are,,, Yahoo Video and But as it turns out, even these highly popular websites may not account for most internet traffic.

P2P traffic uses the most bandwidth

According to this TechRepublic post (, the majority of internet traffic is actually P2P traffic. Anywhere from 49 to 89 percent of all internet traffic reportedly falls into this category.

Read the rest at this link.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Can the 10th Amendment save us?

by Cal Thomas

Does the U.S. Constitution stand for anything in an era of government excess? Can that founding document, which is supposed to restrain the power and reach of a centralized federal government, slow down the juggernaut of czars, health insurance overhaul and anything else this administration and Congress wish to do that is not in the Constitution?

The Framers created a limited government, thus ensuring that individuals would have the opportunity to become all that their talents and persistence would allow. The left has put aside the original Constitution in favor of a "living document" that they believe allows them to do whatever they want and demand more tax dollars with which to do it.

Can they be stopped? Some constitutional scholars think the 10th Amendment offers the best opportunity. The 10th Amendment states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

In 1939, the Supreme Court began to dilute constitutional language so that it became open to broader interpretation. Robert G. Natelson, professor of constitutional law and legal history at the University of Montana, has written that even before Franklin D. Roosevelt's court-packing scheme, it was changing the way the Constitution was interpreted, especially "how the commerce and taxing powers were turned upside-down, the necessary and proper clauses and incidental powers, the false claim that the Supreme Court is conservative, how bad precedent leads to more bad court rulings, state elections as critical for constitutional activists, and more."

While during the last seven decades the court has tolerated the federal welfare state, Mr. Natelson says it has never, except in wartime, "authorized an expansion of the federal scope quite as large as what is being proposed now. And in recent years, both the Court and individual justices - even 'liberal' justices - have said repeatedly that there are boundaries beyond which Congress may not go. ... Chief Justice John Marshall once wrote that if Congress were to use its legitimate powers as a 'pretext' for assuming an unauthorized power, 'it would become the painful duty' of the Court 'to say that such an act was not the law of the land.' "

It would be nice to know now what those boundaries are and whether Congress is exceeding its powers as it prepares to alter one-sixth of our economy and change how we access health insurance and health care.

Mr. Natelson makes a fascinating argument in his essay "Is ObamaCare Constitutional?" using the court's Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973. In Roe, he writes, the court struck down state abortion laws that "intruded into the doctor-patient relationship. But the intrusion invalidated in Roe was insignificant compared to the massive intervention contemplated by schemes such as HB3200. 'Global budgeting' and 'single-payer' plans go even further and seem clearly to violate the Supreme Court's Substantive Due Process rules."

Constitutional attorney John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, tells me, "Although the states surrendered many of their powers to the new federal government, they retained a residuary and inviolable sovereignty that is reflected throughout the Constitution's text. The Framers rejected the concept of a central government that would act upon and through the states, and instead designed a system in which the state and federal governments would exercise concurrent authority over the people. The Court's jurisprudence makes clear that the federal government may not compel the states to enact or administer a federal regulatory program."

Lawyers are busy writing language only they can understand, which seeks to circumvent the intentions of the Founders. But it will be difficult to circumvent the last four words of the 10th Amendment, which state unambiguously where ultimate power lies: "or to the people."

Americans who believe their government should not be a giant ATM, dispensing money and benefits to people who have not earned them, and who want their country returned to its founding principles, must exercise that power before it is taken from them. The 10th Amendment is one place to begin. The streets are another. It worked for the left.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

ADL Applauds Itself For Hate Bill Victory

by Rev. Ted Pike

After President Obama signed the federal hate crimes bill, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith- the world’s premier Jewish supremacist group-gave itself most of the credit.

“For 12 long years we have worked hard with coalition partners to build the case in Washington that this law was not just necessary, but vital to ensure that all victims of hate crimes would be covered”

“ADL has long spearheaded advocacy efforts for improved local, state and federal responses to hate violence. From the development of the ADL Model Hate Crime Law nearly 30 years ago, to the Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990 signed by President George W. Bush [sic] to President Bill Clinton’s November 1997 White House Conference on Hate Crime where the HCPA [Hate Crimes Prevention Act] was first introduced, the League has worked to ensure that local and federal law enforcement officials have important tools to combat violent, bias-motivated crimes. Over time, ADL helped to build a broad coalition of religious, civil rights, education and law enforcement groups in support of the HCPA.”

“Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have enacted hate crimes statutes based on or similar to the ADL model.” (link to the October 28 article at, ADL Hails Long Overdue Enactment of Hate Crime Law)

ADL has said it will now launch a massive campaign to educate lawyers as hate crimes prosecutors.

History of Malice
ADL is the “civil liberties” arm of a Jewish religious, educational and fraternal organization, B’nai B’rith International. Through passage of its Hate Crimes Statistics Act in 1990, ADL empowered synagogue to mix with state by authorizing itself to teach the US Justice Department, FBI and all local police about hate crimes. For nearly 20 years this adjunct of a Jewish religious organization has instructed law enforcement in all aspects of its twisted hate crime ideology. These include dubious procedures for reporting to the FBI thousands of “hate crimes.” More than 95 percent of such incidents of fisticuffs, name calling, and “intimidation” have never seen a courtroom yet are listed as hate crimes in the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report. They are ADL’s evidence of an “epidemic of hate” in America, compelling federal jurisdiction.

In 2004, ADL also convinced Congress to establish its Office of Global Anti-Semitism in the US State Department. As the world monitor of alleged hate crimes, ADL now speaks for the US government, providing annual reports detailing its allegations of anti-Semitic threats and trends. In its 2005 report, this office in the State Department described as an “anti-Semitic incident” the statement of a Polish priest that the Jews were responsible for Christ’s death. In 2006, it boldly labeled as a “classic anti-Semite” any Christian who asserted the New Testament charge of Jewish complicity in the crucifixion. It also said anti-Semitism meant strong criticism of Israel, its leaders or military, and cartoons portraying such leaders in Nazi terms.

This week’s signing of ADL’s federal hate bill is only the legal beginning of its national and international hate crimes agenda. The first Senate hearing for ADL’s workplace hate crimes law, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, S. 1584, is scheduled for this Thursday in the Senate Health, Education and Welfare Committee. ADL powerfully promotes other anti-family initiatives such as ending the policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military, repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, and a galaxy of homosexual rights initiatives in state legislatures. Since 1985, ADL’s massive “World of Difference” and “No Place for Hate” programs, among others, have transformed American attitudes toward acceptance of homosexuality.

Stepping Stone to World Government
Passage of ADL’s federal hate bill is only a stepping stone. Its ultimate dream is international hate law enforcement. Already, ADL Europe and B’nai B’rith International have persuaded most western industrialized nations to establish ADL-orchestrated hate crimes bureaucracies. Fifty-six nations of Europe are now united in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), dedicated to end anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia and xenophobia (fear of foreigners) in Europe.

A large part of ADL’s international efforts consist of developing, through its International Network Against Cyber-Hate (INACH), effective ways to ban criticism of Jews, Israel, homosexuals, Muslims, etc., on the internet. Although Islam is the Zionist/ADL foe in the Middle East, ADL considers Islam-protecting hate laws a powerful tool to break down their common enemy: Christianity.

Toward this end, ADL inspired the US government to recently propose that the United Nations condemn any nation without a federal hate crimes law. Obama’s joint proposal with Egypt, full of ADL ideology and rhetoric, is a thinly veiled attempt to include America under a Christian-persecuting, Muslim-protecting international hate crimes enforcement tribunal. A world court residing in Jerusalem was prophesied by Prime Minister Ben-Gurion in a January 16, 1962 Look magazine article. ADL, headed by devoutly Orthodox Jew Abraham H. Foxman, represents a relentless attempt by a cabal of anti-Christian Jews to bring about international persecution of the followers of Christ.

Christian Oblivion
Yet, the Christian world remains oblivious to what Orthodox rabbi Daniel Lapin described as ADL’s (secular Judaism’s) “relentless attack on evangelical Christianity.” Last spring in its MIAC report, ADL, along with its sister Jewish attack group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, issued directives to the Missouri state police to regard Christians/conservatives as potential terrorists. Yet evangelical leaders, dreading ADL’s potential to smear them as anti-Semitic still will not criticize ADL or publicly acknowledge its existence.

As a result, Christian and conservative activists never attack the eye of this world-revolutionary octopus. Instead, they chop at its tentacles. Such activism is largely futile; ADL only regenerates and multiplies tentacles faster than they are destroyed.

Evangelical Christianity is thus caught in a bizarre, love-fear relationship with organized liberal world Jewry. Evangelicals lose, both coming and going. For nearly a century, Christian fundamentalist leaders have drilled into their tens of millions of followers that they must be absolutely loyal to Zionism and never criticize the very Jewish supremacists who now propel the world toward global governance and international hate crimes enforcement, i.e. persecution of Christians. Loyal followers have been conditioned to believe that any criticism of Jews is worthy of God’s curse. Thus, if these leaders were now to expose this 100% Jewish organization, their millions of evangelical constituents would undoubtedly accept at face value ADL’s accusation of anti-Semitism and abandon these Christian organizations to economic disaster.

Christian/conservative leaders are thus enmeshed in a vicious, morally debilitating, and freedom-destroying trap of their own making. Forced to give tribute of outward support to Zionism yet privately terrorized of ADL’s power to destroy, they have become slaves of ADL. By their silence, they pave its road to tyranny and hasten its ascent to world dominion.

Christ said that when His Church is “trodden under foot of men,” as it is today by Obama and ADL, this has occurred for a simple reason: “The salt has lost its saltiness.”

Salt is the determination to fear and obey God alone. It is also the simple integrity of seeking, accepting, and acting upon the whole truth.

Mili Note: While I don't entirely agree with much of the religious dogma promoted by the Reverend, I agree with his general sentiment regarding the ADL. They are the perpetrators of much of the evil that goes on in Washington and are behind much of the "love Israel, even to your own death" crap that seems to permeate the American psyche. Most of our foreign policy problems can be traced back to our unquestioning support of Israeli policies. That tiny, fully developed first world nation, receives 1/3 of our total foreign aid - to the tune of $6 billion annually. For what?

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Ron Paul's good health care idea won't ever survive

by Shelly Roche

Apparently, it doesn't take 1990 pages to write legislation that actually does something for US, instead of just expanding government and rewarding special interests!

H.R. 1495, the Comprehensive Health Care Reform Act of 2009 (12 pages long)

H.R. 1498, the Freedom from Unnecessary Litigation Act (2 pages long)

From the Tribune-Review, by Jack Markowitz:

Ron Paul, the libertarian congressman from Texas, whom nobody ever confused with a me-too Republican, has proposed a health care reform that deserves the name "reform."

It's almost certain not to get anywhere, though. Which might be a mercy. Americans might risk broken arms reaching for it too fast.

It's this. Whatever a family has to pay for the doctor, the hospital, the pills or the shots, it could deduct on their federal tax return.

Get that? A 100 percent tax credit on health care costs. Socialized medicine turned inside out, you might say.

Instead of the government taking care of us, we take care of ourselves. And by just that amount, lowering our tax bills.

The screams in Washington might be heard clear to Pittsburgh, where the congressman who marches to his own drummer grew up in suburban Munhall. Pangs of tax starvation would grip the Treasury. Rep. Paul, a retired physician, would treat that malady by putting Uncle Sam on a severe spending diet. In short, a snowball's chance.

Yet his proposed H.R. 1495, the Comprehensive Health Care Reform Act of 2009 is a useful exercise. It demonstrates how market forces might yet rope in the inflation that's stampeding toward socialism.

Recall how irritating it is at income tax time to find you can deduct medical expenses only over 7.5 percent of income? Paul would abolish that threshold. All medical costs, including for high-deductible insurance tied a Health Savings Account (HSA), would go toward a tax credit. And the credit could be refunded against payroll taxes, letting low-wage workers in on it.

Other freedom enhancements are written into Paul's legislative initiatives that news media ought to, but rarely give, a mention.

For instance, his Freedom from Unnecessary Litigation Act (H.R. 1498). The lawyers' lobby invariably swats down all efforts at tort reform. Paul would go around them with a tax credit for "negative outcomes insurance." The patient might buy it before surgery. Bad result, the policy pays off. The system as a whole would save untold billions in insurance liability costs for doctors and hospitals. Plus the vast waste of "defensive" medicine's excessive testing. And the loss of physician talent by early retirements in disgust.

Read the rest here.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

My search as a cop for justice in a flawed criminal system

by Sunil Dutta
A faulty reliance on eyewitnesses and shoddy science at police departments across the states, from the LAPD to the NYPD, can have tragic consequences.

Thirteen years ago, in a fit of idealism, I left my comfortable career as a scientist and joined the Los Angeles Police Department.

Like most of the academics, I believed that the police were corrupt. I wanted to learn the reality of policing and to serve as a model for positive change. When I started, major scandals in the LAPD were breaking out. Officers were allegedly involved in the murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G., providing protection to criminal rap artists, and the Rampart scandal had tarnished the image of the world-famous police agency once again.

The LAPD was in transformation. Chief Bernard Parks had terrified the entire LAPD with his heavy-handed disciplinary system; cops were leaving the department in droves.

Though suspicious, I found that the majority of officers were professional and honorable. True criminal cops, like Rafael Perez and David Mack, were the rarity. More prevalent was misconduct that was based on laziness and cutting corners, not with a criminal intent, but with a "the ends justify the means" mentality.

The major shortcoming in policing was something far more dangerous and something that has not been addressed seriously by our criminal justice system. Major harm could result from our reliance on two very fallible tools: eyewitnesses and shoddy forensic science.

Consider a recent example: On Feb. 17, 2004, Texas executed Cameron Todd Willingham for the arson deaths of his three daughters. In September, an investigative article in The New Yorker revealed that Mr. Willingham was innocent. It sparked a series of investigations that found he was the victim of shoddy crime scene investigation and outdated theories.

The tragic miscarriage of justice in Willingham's case is not isolated. Many harrowing tales exist: Frank Lee Smith spent 14 years on Florida's death row and was exonerated as a result of DNA testing 10 months after he died awaiting execution.

The number of postconviction DNA exonerations in the US is more than 200. Since 1973, the US has released 135 people from death row due to DNA exonerations. Some were convicted due to mistaken eyewitnesses, others due to police and prosecutorial zeal and misconduct.

People, especially in law enforcement, have a hard time comprehending such stories. Don't we live in a free society where criminals have too many rights and the police's hands are tied up by too many regulations? Every cop knows at least a few criminals who walk around free because we can't charge or convict them.

Yet innocent people are railroaded through our "justice" system, all the way to lethal injections and the electric chair. Why?

The answer lies both in our human and institutional natures. As humans, we tend to believe whatever fits our self-interest, discarding facts that tend to challenge our hypotheses. The errors of deduction can therefore multiply in an investigation when shoddy science is applied or where we rely solely on eyewitnesses. As Willingham's case demonstrates, the combination can be fatal.

Early in my career, my training officer and I responded to an attempted murder investigation. The victim was shot from close range. Thankfully the shooter missed the intended target's vitals and only managed to hit the victim's biceps.

Within moments, my partner had stopped three kids who he believed had shot the victim. Our victim emphatically stated that these suspects were not the shooters. The victim's cousin, who was present during the shooting, insisted that the three were the shooters. Whom could we believe? Absent a video or other clinching evidence, how could we be certain that we were making the right decision?

Another example: A victim of an assault with a deadly weapon in my division identified the criminal. When my officers and sergeants went to arrest the suspect, he, in common with almost everyone, proclaimed his innocence. My officers spent considerable time checking the alibi of the suspect and finally determined that a video at his work established that he was indeed innocent. What if there had been no video to confirm his alibi?

Our criminal justice system would fail without eyewitness assistance to try and convict criminals. Yet numerous scientific studies have shown that even the most well-intentioned eyewitnesses can identify the wrong person or fail to identify the perpetrator of a crime.

Aside from the fallibility of eyewitnesses, our political model of control over the police can lead to inadvertent mistakes. Municipal police departments dance to the tune of their political masters who thrive on the constant drumbeat of "tough on crime" rhetoric. The only evidence that police can measure to tout our tough-on-crime rhetoric is increasing the number of arrests and reducing crime rates.

This pressure to be productive, the lack of personnel and time, and the desire to wrap up an incident, combined with the unreliability of eyewitnesses, increases the odds that an innocent person may be arrested, or worse, convicted. Add to this our system that rates prosecutorial performance on conviction rates and we are on a slippery slope. And when corrupt prosecutors who present false evidence, even in death penalty cases, such as the now disbarred Arizona prosecutor Kenneth Peasley, enter the mix, only God can save the innocent.

As the Texas father's case proves, sometimes what amounts to voodoo passes for scientific analysis of crime scenes. That the agencies which take part in prosecution and conviction (police, fire, district attorneys) consider anything less than scientific analysis should be considered malpractice.

Police departments across the country need to establish standardized tough, scientifically accurate procedures for evidence collection and analysis. Without that, innocent individuals will continue to be wrongly jailed because of an unwitting and erroneous eyewitness or an overzealous but scientifically illiterate investigator. As error-prone humans, we can't guarantee a fail-safe criminal justice system; therefore, to be truly just we must abolish capital punishment.

We need to move away from number-based evaluation of police departments' productivity and increasing reliance on crime statistics to measure police success.

It should also be mandated that all police contacts be recorded on video. And when a case for prosecution is built solely on eyewitnesses or informants, it should go through enhanced scrutiny by the judicial branch. The benchmark should be a nationwide standardization of policies on evidence collection and analysis.

The success of police agencies should be evaluated based upon satisfaction of the communities they serve. Such satisfaction surveys should be conducted by independent external entities. As procedures for police training and evidence collection and analysis already exist and only need to be streamlined and improved, none of the proposed solutions entail major financial expenditure or rely on political process, ensuring a quicker implementation. This will help create a truly just criminal justice system in our country.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Self-Governance Works

by John Stossel

Much of what government does is based on the premise that people can't do things for themselves. So government must do it for them. More often than not, the result is a ham-handed, bumbling, one-size-fits-all approach that leaves the intended beneficiaries worse off. Of course, this resulting failure is never blamed on the political approach -- on the contrary, failure is taken to mean the government solution was not extravagant enough.

We who have confidence in what free people can achieve have long believed that government should not venture beyond its narrow sphere of providing physical security. It should not attempt to cure every social ill. So it's good to learn that serious scholars have demonstrated that our intuitions are right. Free people, given the chance, solve what many "experts" think are problems that require state intervention.

For that reason, Elinor Ostrom's winning of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences ought to kindle a new interest in freedom. (See my earlier column here.)

Ostrom made her mark through field studies that show people solving one of the more vexing problems: efficient management of a common-pool resource (CPR), such as a pasture or fishery. With an unowned "commons," each individual has an incentive to get the most out of it without putting anything back.

If I take fish from a common fishing area, I benefit completely from those fish. But if I make an investment to increase the future number of fish, others benefit, too. So why should I risk making the investment? I'll wait for others to do it. But everyone else faces the same free-rider incentive. So we end up with a depleted resource and what Garrett Harden called "the tragedy of the commons."

Except, says Ostrom, we often don't. There is also an "opportunity of the commons." While most politicians conclude that, depending on the resource, efficient management requires either privatization or government ownership, Ostrom finds examples of a third way: "self-organizing forms of collective action," as she put it in an interview a few years ago. Her message is to be wary of government promises.

"Field studies in all parts of the world have found that local groups of resource users, sometimes by themselves and sometimes with the assistance of external actors, have created a wide diversity of institutional arrangements for cooperating with common-pool resources."

Read the rest at this link.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Monday, November 02, 2009

GMO Giant Monsanto Loses Another Day in Court

by Aaron Turpen, Natural News

France`s highest court has ruled that Monsanto lied about the safety of its weed killing herbicide Roundup. The decision came just days ago and confirms an earlier court judgment in France finding that Monsanto had falsely advertised Roundup as being "biodegradable" and that it "left the soil clean."

The original case was brought to court in 2001 by several French environmental groups alleging that Roundup's main ingredient, glyphosate, has a classification as "dangerous to the environment" by the European Union. That case drug on for years and finally ended in a ruling against Monsanto in 2007.

The GMO giant quickly appealed and that appeal was heard in 2008 in the Lyon court. Monsanto lost that case as well. They appealed again. This time it went to France's Supreme Court; it lost that hearing and now faces fines and nowhere else to go for further appeals.

The court levied a 13,800 Euro fine against the company (about $22,400USD). Monsanto is also looking at continued losses with fourth quarter losses of $233 million (US), mostly due to plummeting sales of the Roundup brand. So far, Monsanto has made no public statement about the court`s ruling, but it is also possible that the ruling could mean civil cases from farmers and communities harmed by the false advertising. That could mean millions of dollars more in losses.

Roundup is the world`s best-selling herbicide and is marketed as a weed-killer to both commercial farmers and home owners. Monsanto is also the world`s largest purveyor of genetically modified seeds (GMO seeds). Often, the seeds are sold in conjunction with Roundup, the seeds being modified to be "herbicide tolerant" (HT-ready).

Some have argued that these GM crops and seeds are worse for the environment and could be a real problem. Crop failures of GMO seeds in Africa have highlighted the lack of a crop diversity issue while other studies have found that GM versus non-GM seeds have little or no bearing on higher yields, as seed companies like Monsanto have claimed.

Currently, in the United States, nearly all of our soybean plants and most of our corn crops are now GMO, and most of the seed crops for those plants are Monsanto-owned. In fact, at least 68% of corn and 90% of soy is a GMO (HT-ready) crop in the U.S. now and Monsanto is working hard to make that a fact worldwide.

Recent decisions, such as this one in France and a court finding in the U.S. earlier this month, as well as a common blockade in many European countries, are pushing back against the Monsanto takeover of our food crops. Other initiatives, such as Shelly Roche`s "Replace Roundup Challenge," are using consumer boycotts to further take it to Monsanto`s pocketbook.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

On the Receiving End of Democracy

by Butler Shaffer

For might makes right,
And till they’ve seen the light,
They’ve got to be protected,
All their rights respected,
Till somebody we like can be elected.

~ Tom Lehrer
(Lyrics from his "Send the Marines")

"Democracy" is a central part of the mantra by which the modern political establishment continues to exercise the same monopoly on the use of violence that was enjoyed by earlier monarchs and warlords. The rationale for the political domination of the more numerous by the few has morphed from "divine right of kings" to "democracy," each serving, during its time, to convince people of the propriety of their subservience to power. There have been many definitions of "democracy" – none more to the point than those offered by the likes of H.L. Mencken and Ambrose Bierce. My own definition is that "democracy is the illusion that my wife and I, combined, have twice the political influence of David Rockefeller."

This concept has been used to camouflage the violation of the values and principles upon which democratic societies are allegedly based: the protection of life, liberty, and property; respect for human rights; and the belief that the state should represent and be controlled by the general population rather than by privileged elites. From at least the time of Woodrow Wilson’s warmongering to "make the world safe for democracy," to current efforts to "make the world safe for democracy," most Americans have accepted this state of perpetual war as one whose totality of costs could be measured solely in dollars and the lives of American soldiers. It was not until 9/11 that American civil society was on the receiving end of what Lord Byron called "the feast of vultures, and the waste of life"; an experience that most thought was supposed to be confined to other people in other lands.

As growing numbers of thoughtful Americans begin to question the war system – and the thinking that makes it possible – it is timely to consider how the imposition of "democracy" through "shock-and-awe" bombing raids, the massive destruction of homes, and the slaughter of members of the electorate is having on its "let’s pretend" beneficiaries. Whatever one’s opinions about the virtues of democratic systems, or of the self-contradictory efforts to prescribe them through warfare and conquest, reason demands that careful attention be paid to the views of those being made subject thereto. To this end, a "Statement of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban): Regarding the Runoff Elections" in that country has been obtained and made public by the NEFA Foundation. The statement was issued on October 25, 2009, and its translation is reproduced here in its entirety.

"For the past eight years, the sole invaders of the world have embarked on an ambitious road aimed at slapping an illegitimate rule on the Afghan people and mobilizing views of the public of the world in their own favor. They are trying to trouble the water and then fish in it. Time and again, they resort to staging parodies under the name of Loya Jirga and elections in order to distract the attention of the people from their unlawful invasion and confound the mind of the public. But still, these wicked maneuverings have not availed them [of the] capability to achieve their evil goals, nor they have been able to divert the attention of the people from their invasion. Contrarily, their conspiracies and collusion have been exposed and lost their credibility in the sight of the masses."

"Some time ago, the invaders conducted presidential and provincial council elections concurrently in order to legitimize their handpicked regime. But the elections revealed flagrant fraud in addition to bring to [the] open the fact that the invaders’ conspiracies have lost their flagrance. The invaders realized that our people not only boycott the elections and avoided going to the polling stations but also took part shoulder to shoulder with Mujahideen to neutralize the fraudulent plots of the enemy. It was because of their efforts, that the enemy achieved nothing from staging the elections drama."

"At…[the international] level, every one knows the elections were no more than an eyewash. The elections substantiated the well-known quotes of our leader who had said one year ago that the real decision was taken in Washington. It is never taken on the basis of the votes of the Afghans. The enemy is trying to prolong the drama which is now…in full swing. Therefore, they have decided to conduct the election once again and keep the attention of our countrymen and the public of the world diverted in order to hide their defeat…[on] the…[battle] field."

"The Afghans know why the elections are being held and what for? And what will be its certain outcome. The Afghans also know that the format of the current elections will not be different from the past elections. Furthermore, the Afghan nation has been witnessing the shameful posturing and political collusions. The clandestine motives behind the announcement for the runoff could be understood from the suffocated voice and the pale countenance of the besieged miserable president! The people witnessed…how powerless and incapable was the Independent Commission of Elections and how far the ICE is under the influence of the Complaint Commission whose majority members are foreign nationals. Even the Independent Election Commission is not authorized to make any announcement or issue any statement without prior permission of the Complaint Commission. The people also know that the election drama, which is now being played with a new episode as a soap opera, in fact, panders to the invaders' ambitions and goals. What could be expected of this election for the benefit of the country and our miserable people?"

"The public of the world like the Afghans have reached the conclusion that the miserable people of Afghanistan are hostage in the hands of the global terrorists under the leadership of America whereas the Kabul surrogate Administration is entangled in the claws of the invaders. Through coercion and manipulation, they want to impose on the Afghans a regime, which is only palatable to the invaders. But our brave nation will never stoop to this."

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan deems it necessary to announce the following points to the pious people and the believing Mujahideen regarding the second round of the devious conspiracy of the invaders."

"1. The Islamic Emirate announces to all countrymen to avoid participating in the deceitful and foreign-made electoral process. On the command of your belief and the Afghan conscience, you should completely boycott the elections on the basis of the rule of Sharia."

"2. All Mujahideen should make efforts to foil this wicked process; should carry out operations against their centers; prevent people from participating in the elections and block all roads and paths for all public and government vehicles one day before the day of the polling and inform people about this. Similarly, with the help of religious scholars, clerics and elders, educate people about the clandestine motives behind the elections. Create awareness among people regarding the conspiracies of the enemy."

"3. The Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan have worked out programs to foil and prevent this process. They closely monitor all workers, officials and voters including other related programs hammered out in this regard. Every one is responsible for the harm he sustains as a result of his participation in the elections. The Mujahideen have repeatedly warned the people and announced their program of action."

"4. All Mujahideen and their local chief are instructed to execute their plans against the enemy. They should put to use new experiences and the action program now at the disposal of the provincial leaders. This is in addition to the previous tactics, which were utilized in the past. Similarly, they should foil the last conspiracy of the enemies of the country and Islam."

"5. We know the enemy is not able to make the elections successful. So they will try to make exaggerations about this empty and failed process of the elections by using the mass media through coercion and bribes. They will falsely show that the election was successful. Therefore, we call on all impartial and independent media outlets to abide by the timeless rule of journalism and do not tarnish your reputation by partial reporting but rather fulfill the rightful mission in the best way it can be done."

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

The Barriers to Freedom: Bitter Lesson from San Antonio

The Big Picture, RBN

In our time, the three main pillars of tyranny are money, media and trade; and the related barriers to restoring freedom include rigged ballot access laws, hack-able electronic voting machines, debts and economic depression created through the privatized trade and monetary systems, misdirection spewed out by the corporate news media, and campaign finance laws that financially favor the “two” establishment parties and limit free speech so it’s even harder for decent citizens to circulate the information needed for voting officeholders out, let alone having a reasonable chance of getting into office themselves.

While this list is not complete, it is a glimpse into our central reality: Those who control things have a specific structure in which they rule, composed of specific barriers designed to keep the people – the lab rats – within a certain allowable domain. Nothing is left to chance, and barriers are added or reinforced all the time.

That is why the federal government became nervous when a sizable cross section of the population got cold feet during the switch to digital TV, and it’s why the Obama administration has considered bailing out big newspapers: These institutions uphold the broad “party line” that misdirects and confuses the populace, keeping them transfixed on mostly diversionary topics so they do not “cross the Red Sea” into freedom.

This “Barriers to Freedom” theme will be covered in this column from time to time, to focus on actual examples.

For this installment, look no further than the immortal words of Texas State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, who commented at a critically important meeting in San Antonio Oct. 26, chiding fellow politicians who might consider listening to the 500 people who showed up on that date to speak out against plans to convert sections of U.S. 281 and Highway 1604 from freeways into toll roads — which compliments the Trans-Texas Corridor/NAFTA Superhighway system.

Such tolls could get very large, adding at least $3,000 per year to the average commuting bill of average workers. The area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) voted in favor of the toll scheme, despite thunderous opposition.

Let us sit in rapt silence as we consider the words of “Philosopher” Wentworth – who will receive a personalized copy of this column signed by this writer. He declared:
“Although I’m a scrawny little guy, I’ve got apparently a lot stronger backbone than a lot of my colleagues had. And you put them in a room with a whole bunch of really pissed-off constituents who are voters, and they’ll switch their votes.”

So Mr. Wentworth believes that political courage consists of resisting a large turnout of area citizens who have valid concerns and sound information on why tolling freeways is a bad idea. To him, it is brave to ignore them and close ranks, as if being elected to his Senate seat is incidental. Why does he believe this? In the final analysis, it’s because he CAN believe it. How so? Because the media will protect him, therefore he can say such things without severe consequence.

The San Antonio News-Express, the Austin American-Statesman and other establishment media that tend to favor more toll roads never make it a habit of publishing the voting records of state and federal legislators. Reams of stock quotes and sports statistics can be printed until entire forests vanish; but consistent publishing of legislative voting records of people like the illustrious Mr. Wentworth would give the voters a detailed “report card” that could lead to his ouster at the polls on the basis of merit, not party membership. Imagine if the publication of these voting records led not only to disappointment with individual legislators but created widespread disgust toward most Republicans and Democrats. That could lead to a big citizen push for other political parties to assume dominance.

But we can’t have that, so the big media will avoid printing legislative voting records to keep the two-party system in place; and those parties will spare no expense to keep using spiffy electronic voting machines and avoid returning to reliable hand-counted paper ballots, while making sure ballot-access laws keep other parties in minority status in terms of money and publicity.

With such firm “castle walls” erected around itself to keep the “peasants” at bay, the overall establishment – including members in good standing like Mr. Wentworth – can say and do whatever they please. Thus, Mr. Wentworth and the other MPO members who voted Oct. 26 to toll local freeway sections do not have much to worry about – except perhaps that the dominant print media are losing their circulation (their “grip” on public opinion) while papers like AMERICAN FREE PRESS are generating more interest nationally and locally.

For the record, the elected officials who voted for the toll plan are: Sen. Wentworth, along with City Commissioners Kevin Wolff and Chico Rodriguez; City Councilmen John Clamp, Ray Lopez and William Weeper; and city appointees Mary Briseno, Rick Pych, Majed Al-Ghafrey, Mike Frisbe and Joe Aceves. Two Transportation Department people also voted for tolls.

Those voting against the tolls: State Rep. David Leibowitz, Commissioner Tommy Adkisson, Mayor of Leon Valley Chris Riley, and City Council members Jennifer Ramos and Reed Williams.

These names are presented for the sake of accountability, a crucial component missing in a modern media that collaborates with the power structure instead of scrutinizing and scolding it. When the barriers erected to keep the “peasants” on the outside momentarily fail, the establishment scolds or ignores them when they do show up, like they did, 500 strong, on Oct. 26 in San Antonio.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Six words to expose the scam

by Joanne Nova
Banks want us to trade carbon.

Years from now historians will write about gullible leaders who go down in history as the ones who sold their nations to Goldman Sachs. Fools who thought they might look important trying to save the planet, but who instead were negligent, ignoring the science and slavishly committing their productive workers to pay tribute to a parasitic layer of financial houses.

Just as Woodrow Wilson came to bitterly regret setting up the US Federal Reserve. Josiah Stamp (1880-1941, Director of the Bank of England) warned us.
“Banking was conceived in iniquity
and was born in sin.
The Bankers own the earth.
Take it away from them,
but leave them the power
to create deposits,
and with the flick of the pen they will
create enough deposits to buy it back again.
However, take it away from them, and
all the great fortunes like mine
will disappear and they ought to disappear,
for this would be a happier
and better world to live in.
But, if you wish to remain the slaves of Bankers
and pay the cost of your own slavery,
let them continue to create deposits.”

Josiah Stamp was the second richest man in England. He, his wife and eldest son were killed in their home by a bomb in the London blitz in 1941.

Why do so many people lie down and ask banks to rob them?
Ask not why the bankers do what they do, but why we allow them to do it.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website:

Arizona highway patrol seizes cash because ... it was there

by J.D. Tuccille, Civil Liberties Examiner

The Arizona Department of Public Safety, which includes the Highway Patrol, is making much fuss about two roadside stops last week that resulted in the seizure of over $150,000 in cash that was being transported in the vehicles. The money was taken on suspicion that it was the proceeds of criminal activity, and the two drivers have been booked on money laundering charges related to the as yet unidentified crimes.

That's right: unidentified crimes. Oh yes, it's a fair bet that the money -- $49,000 in a hidden compartment and $104,000 in a shoe box -- came from some underground trade, with drugs as the safest guess. But there was no way for police to know that for sure when they pulled the vehicles over for "speeding and a lane change violation" in one case and for "a following distance traffic violation." The police claim vague "indicators of criminal activity" as excuses for the subsequent searches of the vehicles that revealed the money, but the charges on money laundering alone suggest that the indicators didn't actually constitute evidence.

So the drivers are being charged with laundering money gained from criminal activities to be named at a later date, and their cash was taken on suspicion of being connected to those same mysterious activities.

Again, it will be no surprise to anybody if the cash does turn out to be drug money, but it should also be no surprise if it turns out to be perfectly legitimate cash. Police claim that their spidey senses are nearly infallible in such matters, but more than a few people over the years have had their money stolen by law-enforcement authorities who just wouldn't or couldn't believe that anybody would want to possess large sums of cash.

As long ago as 1995, then-Rep. Henry Hyde made a personal cause of exposing the confiscation of cash by police from innocent people. He emphasized the case of Willie Jones, a Nashville landscaper, who found it easier to do business in cash when purchasing supplies for his business -- and lost nearly $10,000 for his troubles. Unfortunately, Jones was only one victim among many of asset forfeiture laws -- weird vestiges of medieval legal theory that allow the authorities to seize and prosecute things under legal standards much less stringent than those required to prove cases against people.

Despite the attention of Hyde, the Cato Institute and the ACLU, and subsequent congressional hearings into asset forfeiture abuses, the situation hasn't really improved. Some communities -- such as Tehana and Jim Wells County, both of Texas, and Lamar County, Georgia, have become notorious for stopping passers-through and grabbing anything of value. Those who object are threatened with -- you guessed it -- money laundering charges. As of last year, The Jim Wells County Sheriffs's Department was generating one-third of its budget from roadside muggings.

Often, police will point to positive results from drug-sniffing dogs as indicators that seized cash is the proceeds of illegal activity (canine hits could well be the "indicators of criminal activity" cited by the DPS, since the arrests were made by a canine officer), but that's like tossing darts at an elephant considering that a whopping 90% of all U.S. cash has cocaine traces. One forensic scientist who has commented on the matter warns that the traces are high enough to cause false drug test results on people who handle large amounts of cash.

Asking dogs to sniff a bundle of the green stuff itself is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Odds are that the Arizona Department of Public Safety is right and the cash officers seized last week comes from drug transactions (and leave aside, for the moment, the strong argument that the government has no business criminalizing voluntary transactions among adults of any sort). But the DPS doesn't actually know that, it's just guessing. If the Arizona Highway Patrol didn't actually rob innocent drivers last week, it, like so many other law enforcement agencies around the country, certainly has in the past -- and it will likely do so again in the future.

Got comments? Email me, dammit!
Permanent link for this article which can be used on any website: