Monthly Archives: September 2007

Dems to make low-income nicotine addicts pay for health care bill

Democrats, who wrote the legislation and provided most of its votes, generally portray themselves as champions of the poor. They do not dispute that the tax plan would hit poor communities disproportionately, but they say it is worth it.

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., who spoke against the bill in last week’s debate, said: “The headline ought to read, ‘Smokers in America to pay for middle-class welfare.'”

Associated Press | Sep 30, 2007

By CHARLES BABINGTON

WASHINGTON – Congressional Democrats have chosen an unlikely source to pay for the bulk of their proposed $35 billion increase in children’s health coverage: people with relatively little money and education.

The program expansion passed by the House and Senate last week would be financed with a 156 percent increase in the federal cigarette tax, taking it to $1 per pack from the current 39 cents. Low-income people smoke more heavily than do wealthier people in the United States, making cigarette taxes a regressive form of revenue.

Democrats, who wrote the legislation and provided most of its votes, generally portray themselves as champions of the poor. They do not dispute that the tax plan would hit poor communities disproportionately, but they say it is worth it to provide health insurance to millions of modest-income children.

All the better, they say, if higher cigarette taxes discourage smoking.

“I’m very happy that we’re paying for this,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in an interview Friday, noting that the plan would not add to the deficit. “The health of the children is extremely important,” he said. “In the long run, maybe it’ll stop people from smoking.”

Congress probably will revisit the cigarette tax issue soon because President Bush has pledged to veto the proposed $35 billion expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. The decade-old program helps families buy medical coverage if their income is too high to qualify for Medicaid.

Bush has proposed a more modest growth for the program, and both political parties seem inclined to pay for it through a tax on an unpopular group, cigarette smokers.

By most measures, the average smoker is less privileged than the average nonsmoker. Nearly one-third of all U.S. adults living in poverty are smokers, compared with 23.5 percent of those above the poverty level, according to government statistics.

The American Heart Association reports that 35 percent of people with no more than 11 years of schooling are smokers. Those with 16 or more years of formal education smoke at a 12 percent rate.

Non-Hispanic black men smoke at slightly higher rates than do non-Hispanic white men. But the reverse is true among women.

The demographics of smoking and taxation received scant attention during last week’s House and Senate debates, perhaps because many Democrats and Republicans agree that cigarettes are the best target for tax increase if the insurance program were to grow. A few lawmakers, however, took a swing.

“I know there is very little sympathy for smokers these days,” Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., said during the House debate. “But it is still a tax increase on the backs of the smokers. And in order to get enough money to pay for this, it would require 22 million new smokers.”

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., defended putting the burden of expanded medical care on smokers.

“The tobacco tax is a great way to pay for it,” he said, “because if you tax people who are smoking and they smoke less, then we have less health problems.”

Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La., did not buy that logic. “To propose funding a growing program with a declining revenue source is, I would submit, irresponsible fiscal policy,” he said.

If the federal cigarette tax nears $1 per pack, smokers in many states will pay hefty sums into government coffers unless they kick their habit. On top of the federal tax, New Jersey levies a $2.57 per pack tax on cigarettes, followed by Rhode Island at $2.46.

California is near the middle, at 87 cents a pack. Three states tax cigarettes at less than 30 cents per pack. South Carolina is the lowest at 7 cents.

Bill Phelps, spokesman for Philip Morris USA, based in Richmond, Va., said a steep federal tax increase could accelerate the national decline in smoking to the point that the insurance would have to find other revenue sources.

The average U.S. price of a pack of cigarettes has risen by 80 cents since 1999, Phelps said, largely because of state tax increases. State and federal governments received more than $21 billion in cigarette excise taxes in the 2006 budget year, he said, “so we think this trend is unfair to adults who smoke and to retailers who sell tobacco products.”

In Congress, these groups receive little sympathy. But some lawmakers say voters should know the details of the insurance program’s proposed funding structure.

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., who spoke against the bill in last week’s debate, said: “The headline ought to read, ‘Smokers in America to pay for middle-class welfare.'”

Doctors plan to inject 3 month old babies with neurotoxic HPV vaccine

Australia: Let’s give babies Gardasil vaccine shots

Renew America | Sep 27, 2007

by Cynthia A. Janak

One of my dream vacations is to spend a month in Australia and travel the country. As of today I am going to have my doubts whether I will. At least, I will not go to the area that this doctor is from if I ever do. I think there might be something in the water in her area. Let me explain why I feel this way.

I am going to quote this short article from The Sydney Morning Herald dated August 27th, 2007:

Cervical vaccine trial on babies: report

A doctor who played a key role in trials of a cervical cancer vaccine is proposing testing it on babies.

Suzanne Garland, the director of microbiology and infectious diseases at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, is flying to the US to meet with drug companies and will discuss trialling the vaccine on babies up to a few months old, Fairfax newspapers report.

Professor Garland said there were benefits to immunising babies instead of schoolgirls, but one of the questions that would need to be answered was how long the vaccine would last, and whether a booster shot would be necessary years later.

The vaccine has been tested in children only over the age of 10.

. . .

What I am going to do here today is give you some stats as to what is going on with babies (0–2) and vaccinations. I am going to show you how health through better chemistry is harming some babies.

I am going to start with going to one of my favorite sites that deal with vaccines, medalerts. http://www.medalerts.org

First, I wanted to see how many reports were generated that a medical professional felt compelled to send a report to VAERS. It seems like the reports go back to 1989. I did find a few that went back to 1983 but not many.

From 1989 until present there have been 66820 cases reported of adverse reactions to vaccines in 0–2 year olds. That makes an average of 3712 children and infants a year.

1960 children died. 1679 infants died before they were 7 months old. 112 died before their first birthday and 169 died before their second birthday.

8177 children from 0–2 needed to be hospitalized.

5821 children from 0–2 had not recovered at the time of the report.

1424 children from 0–2 are disabled at the time of the report.

1559 children from 0–2 the person who reported the event felt that it was life threatening.

23961 children from 3–5 had adverse reactions to vaccines.

46 children from 3–5 died, some because the vaccine was ineffective.

877 children from 3–5 needed to be hospitalized.

1186 children from 3–5 had not recovered at the time of the report.

192 children from 3–5 are disabled at the time of the report.

255 children from 3–5 the person who reported the event felt that it was life threatening.

What this tells me is that in the 18 years that VAERS has been operational there have been a total of 93163 reports of adverse reactions to vaccines in the 0–5 age group.

With all that said I wanted to know how many cases were reported were autism was mentioned in the report. This is what I found.

783 children from 0–5 autism is mentioned as a symptom.

This peaked my curiosity as to some of the other symptoms that were reported. What I did was entered the symptom like ‘seizure’ in the symptoms box and did a search. Some of the reports will be duplicated in the numbers because many of the children had multiple symptoms. Here are my findings.

33727 children from 0–5 had a fever.

119 children from 0–5 suffered convulsions.

4620 children from 0–5 had seizures.

627 children from 0–5 retard or retardation is mentioned as a symptom.

45 children from 0–5 brain damage is mentioned as a symptom.

409 children from 0–5 developmental delay is mentioned as a symptom.

Just a little note here. With one of my children I experienced the high fever and deafness in my infant child. Fortunately, the hearing started to improve after 3 months of heart wrenching worry and self doubt because I felt that I caused this injury to my child. So I know what every parent has gone through in these reports. No one should have to go through that type of emotional roller coaster.

As many of you know that read my articles regularly, I have been writing a series of articles about Gardasil and the serious side effects.

I want to know what this doctor is thinking. Why would someone want to give another vaccine to an infant that is proving to have such a debilitating effect on 12–19 year olds?

In a previous article I mentioned the neurotoxin aluminum.

The ingredients of Gardasil.

Each 0.5-mL dose of the vaccine contains approximately 225 mcg of aluminum (as amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate adjuvant), 9.56 mg of sodium chloride, 0.78 mg of L-histidine, 50 mcg of polysorbate 80, 35 mcg of sodium borate, and water for injection. The product does not contain a preservative or antibiotics.

This doctor wants to inject our infants with this toxin that could have a very real adverse effect to their developing brains. My opinion is that if this trial is going to commence what is the possibility of more infants being diagnosed brain damaged or autistic? Don’t we have enough of this today as a result of vaccines? My opinion is I think so.

The interesting thing about this article is that it only mentions concerns to how long the vaccine would last and if a booster shot will be necessary later. What it does not ask is if there will be any serious side-effects to the infant that could mirror what is happening presently or be more intense for the infant. My question to this doctor is why give it to an infant? What is your reasoning behind this action? I would really like to know.

I wonder if the reasoning behind this new trial is that these children will have to have a booster every 4–5 years and that will bring up the profit margin for Merck. Another up side for this would be that babies only cry. They can not tell you what is wrong and voice an opinion.

This part of my article goes to the people of Australia. Please do not let this trial commence. You are already seeing the effects that Gardasil has on your youth. Do not subject an infant to the same pain and suffering that is being experienced by some of the young girls getting the shot today. My opinion is that this would be sadistic.

My prayers go out to all the families that are presently dealing with the side effects of this vaccine. May your God bless you.

Ron Paul Won PBS/GOP Debate

ron_paul_nh
Presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, left, signs his autograph for Piera Yerkes, second right, and Charlotte Zoller during a rally at Veteran’s Park in Manchester, N.H. ,Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

Donklephant.com | Sep 28, 2007

By Justin Gardner

I caught a good chunk of the PBS debate last night and Ron Paul was the clear crowd favorite. Nearly every single time he finished speaking there was big applause.

Ron Paul PBS Republican Debate 9-27-07 pt.1

I think it’s because a lot of his ideas resonate with the African American community, especially ending the war on drugs. And when he explained why federalized health care and “the welfare state” was a bad idea, the crowd seem to really respond. That surprised me, but there it was nonetheless.

Ron Paul PBS Republican Debate 9-27-07 pt.2

The other big winner last night? Mike Huckabee. The guy is incredibly well spoken and his solutions for dealing with the high incarceration rates and health care issues for minority communities were spot on. I have a feeling that he’s front runner for VP if he wants it.

Also of note, Alan Keyes actually scored some points, but I didn’t realize he was running for president. Did I miss that announcement?

One last thought, I’m glad the top tier candidates weren’t there. FAR less rhetoric and a lot more ideas this time around. If only all debates could be this engaging.

Read Your Own DHS Travel Dossier

homeland-security-vaccum

UNSecureFlight.com

The Department of Homeland Security already knows everything about your travel. Now, for the first time, The Identity Project makes it easy for you to request the unclassified parts of the dossier that the DHS has complied on you.

Warning: You can only request records on behalf of yourself or others with their written explicit permission. There are severe penalties for making requests for records on someone else without their knowledge.

Are you prepared to find out for yourself the outrageous amount of personal information Homeland Security has been vacuuming-up on you? This is how to do it:

More…

Edwards Predicts Prison Or Death For All African-American Males

 edwards_cfr_bitch

“They’re all going to be in prison or dead.”

FOX News | Sep 28, 2007

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said if he isn’t elected president, the population of African-American males is likely to either wind up in prison or dead.

At an MTV/MySpace.com forum Thursday, Edwards responded to a question about inner-city kids partaking in violence by saying there was no “silver bullet” to fight the problem.

“We start with the president of the United States saying to America, ‘we cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.”

Saxe-Coburg-Gotha king of Bulgaria ‘was a spy for the KGB’

simeon-saxe-coburg-gotha

Former king Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, entertained by Bush in the Oval Office Feb. 25, 2003, was recruited by Soviet secret services during his long exile in Spain.

Telegraph | Sep 26, 2007

By Harry de Quetteville

The former king of Bulgaria, who returned to the country after half a century of Communist-imposed exile, was a KGB spy, it has been alleged.

The accusation comes as the country delves through its Communist-era files to discover the identity of former collaborators and informants.

A Tribute to Communism

But instead of producing the intended “healing effect on society”, the process has resulted in political mayhem and mudslinging, with a host of high-profile casualties.

Georgi Parvanov, the current president, has already been denounced as one of 139 leading figures, including 19 serving politicians, who worked as informants for the Soviet-era secret service that riddled Bulgaria until 1989.

But now, members of Bulgaria’s opposition Order, Rule of Law and Justice party (ORLJ) have claimed that former king Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was recruited by Soviet secret services during his long exile in Spain.

Yane Yanev, the ORLJ leader, alleged that the Saxe-Coburg, who returned to Bulgaria in 1996 amidst scenes of public adulation, was recruited after KGB agents preyed on his weakness for gambling.

“There are undisputed facts and documents proving that Simeon, the ex-king, was noticed by the Russian KGB in the early 60s and was later offered money to pay his gambling debts in exchange for his collaboration with the service,” Mr Yanev told a party meeting.

The accusations have been rejected by the ex-king, who was prime minister for four years after forming his own political party and riding a wave of popularity to victory in 2001 elections.

He suggested that the latest allegations were intended to smear him in the run up to local elections.

6 die from brain-eating amoeba in lakes

Associated Press | Sep 29, 2007

By CHRIS KAHN

PHOENIX – It sounds like science fiction but it’s true: A killer amoeba living in lakes enters the body through the nose and attacks the brain where it feeds until you die.

Even though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it’s killed six boys and young men this year. The spike in cases has health officials concerned, and they are predicting more cases in the future.

“This is definitely something we need to track,” said Michael Beach, a specialist in recreational waterborne illnesses for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better,” Beach said. “In future decades, as temperatures rise, we’d expect to see more cases.”

According to the CDC, the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL’-erh-eye) killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004. This year health officials noticed a spike with six cases — three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona. The CDC knows of only several hundred cases worldwide since its discovery in Australia in the 1960s.

In Arizona, David Evans said nobody knew his son, Aaron, was infected with the amoeba until after the 14-year-old died on Sept. 17. At first, the teen seemed to be suffering from nothing more than a headache.

“We didn’t know,” Evans said. “And here I am: I come home and I’m burying him.”

After doing more tests, doctors said Aaron probably picked up the amoeba a week before while swimming in the balmy shallows of Lake Havasu, a popular man-made lake on the Colorado River between Arizona and California.

Though infections tend to be found in southern states, Naegleria lives almost everywhere in lakes, hot springs, even dirty swimming pools, grazing off algae and bacteria in the sediment.

Beach said people become infected when they wade through shallow water and stir up the bottom. If someone allows water to shoot up the nose — say, by doing a somersault in chest-deep water — the amoeba can latch onto the olfactory nerve.

The amoeba destroys tissue as it makes its way up into the brain, where it continues the damage, “basically feeding on the brain cells,” Beach said.

People who are infected tend to complain of a stiff neck, headaches and fevers. In the later stages, they’ll show signs of brain damage such as hallucinations and behavioral changes, he said.

Once infected, most people have little chance of survival. Some drugs have stopped the amoeba in lab experiments, but people who have been attacked rarely survive, Beach said.

“Usually, from initial exposure it’s fatal within two weeks,” he said.

Researchers still have much to learn about Naegleria. They don’t know why, for example, children are more likely to be infected, and boys are more often victims than girls.

“Boys tend to have more boisterous activities (in water), but we’re not clear,” Beach said.

In central Florida, authorities started an amoeba phone hot line advising people to avoid warm, standing water and areas with algae blooms. Texas health officials also have issued warnings.

People “seem to think that everything can be made safe, including any river, any creek, but that’s just not the case,” said Doug McBride, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Officials in the town of Lake Havasu City are discussing whether to take action. “Some folks think we should be putting up signs. Some people think we should close the lake,” city spokesman Charlie Cassens said.

Beach cautioned that people shouldn’t panic about the dangers of the brain-eating bug. Cases are still extremely rare considering the number of people swimming in lakes. The easiest way to prevent infection, Beach said, is to use nose clips when swimming or diving in fresh water.

“You’d have to have water going way up in your nose to begin with” to be infected, he said.

David Evans has tried to learn as much as possible about the amoeba over the past month. But it still doesn’t make much sense to him. His family had gone to Lake Havasu countless times. Have people always been in danger? Did city officials know about the amoeba? Can they do anything to kill them off?

Evans lives within eyesight of the lake. Temperatures hover in the triple digits all summer, and like almost everyone else in this desert region, the Evanses look to the lake to cool off.

It was on David Evans’ birthday Sept. 8 that he brought Aaron, his other two children, and his parents to Lake Havasu. They ate sandwiches and spent a few hours splashing around.

“For a week, everything was fine,” Evans said.

Then Aaron got the headache that wouldn’t go away. At the hospital, doctors first suspected meningitis. Aaron was rushed to another hospital in Las Vegas.

“He asked me at one time, ‘Can I die from this?'” David Evans said. “We said, ‘No, no.'”

On Sept. 17, Aaron stopped breathing as his father held him in his arms.

“He was brain dead,” Evans said. Only later did doctors and the CDC determine that the boy had been infected with Naegleria.

“My kids won’t ever swim on Lake Havasu again,” he said.