Daily Archives: July 11, 2009

Democrats Link Pope’s ‘Economic Justice’ Plea With Obama Agenda

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VATICAN CITY, VATICAN – JULY 10: US President Barack Obama (L) meets with Pope Benedict XVI in his library at the Vatican on July 10, 2009 in Vatican City, Vatican. Obama was meeting with The Pope for the first time as President following the G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy. Getty Images

Bloomberg | Jul 10, 2009

By Lorraine Woellert

President Barack Obama visits the Vatican today as a papal call for a new era of global economic justice has landed at the center of a U.S. political debate over the government’s reach into the economy.

U.S. labor unions and some Roman Catholic politicians are using a July 7 economic message from Pope Benedict XVI to push more financial-services regulation, expanded workers’ rights, limits on pollution and greater access to health care.

The Pope “has provided a road map for how we can move ahead to accomplish economic justice,” said Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. She is a Catholic member of the House Democratic leadership who has a 100 percent rating from the Washington-based Americans for Democratic Action, which describes itself as the “nation’s oldest independent liberal political organization.”

DeLauro and Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts yesterday opened a campaign of Catholic Democrats called “Pope Greets Hope” to draw a link between Church doctrine and Obama’s policy agenda. Obama will discuss the pontiff’s economic message with the Pope today, said White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs.

‘Real Teeth’

The Pope’s 150-page encyclical to bishops, released to coincide with a meeting of the Group of Eight nations in Italy, urged leaders to create a “true world political authority” to give “real teeth” to global economic and financial regulatory institutions.

“Profit is useful if it serves as a means toward an end,” wrote Benedict, 82. “Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty.”

DeLauro, 66, likened Benedict’s views on capitalism “to what the president is trying to do domestically by prioritizing health-care reform, global warming and education.”

The economic-justice movement championed by many U.S. Catholics has its roots in the early 20th Century and aims to improve the plight of the neediest. It helped put Catholic voters behind Democrats for decades, starting with an allegiance to President Franklin Roosevelt during the New Deal.

Shift to Republicans

In the 1980s, the U.S. Church’s leaders began aligning with conservative Republicans on issues such as opposition to abortion, gay rights and stem-cell research.

Catholics make up about one-quarter of the U.S. adult population, according to the Washington-based Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. In November, Obama received 54 percent of the Catholic vote, while the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain of Arizona, got 44 percent. A majority of Catholics backed President George W. Bush in 2004.

“The Catholic vote is the most important swing constituency today,” said Steven Wagner, who led Republican Party efforts to woo Catholics in the 2000 election.

Republicans have largely kept silent about the Pope’s encyclical. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who converted to Catholicism in March and this year called Obama’s policies “anti-Catholic values,” focused on social issues in an interview yesterday.

Democrats who support abortion rights “have so many issues to be defensive about that” using the Pope’s encyclical to buttress their position “verges on silly,” he said.

‘At Variance With the Teaching’

“Ask them on any of a half-dozen social issues where they stand, and on every one of them they’ll be at variance with the teaching of the Church,” Gingrich said.

Obama’s policies have been the focus of controversies involving Catholics several times since he took office. In May, his invitation to speak at the University of Notre Dame, near South Bend, Indiana, sparked protests because it occurred about the same time he lifted a ban on federal funding for abortion providers overseas. On July 6, Obama increased federal spending limits on embryonic stem-cell research, altering a Bush administration policy favored by many Catholics.

Some Catholic health-care providers said they are less inclined to support Obama’s effort to overhaul the U.S. health- care system because it includes a plan to weaken legal protections for medical workers who object to abortion or birth control. Catholic health-care providers, who provide about 15 percent of U.S. hospital beds, want to maintain a Bush-era “conscience clause” that shields those who refuse to perform the procedures.

Obama supporters said the Pope’s call for economic justice gives Democrats a chance to highlight the failings of the free- market ideals of the Republican Party.

Union Campaign

The Service Employees International Union and other labor groups are using the encyclical to try to win support from Catholic senators such as Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Democrat Mary Landrieu of Louisiana for a bill that would make it easier for unions to represent workers, said Mary Kay Henry, executive vice president of the 2 million-member SEIU.

The Pope “offers a much-needed reminder that to create an economy that works for everyone it is critical to protect workers’ fundamental right to join together,” said John Sweeney, president of the 11 million-member AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. federation.

Republican Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, a Catholic, said any effort by Democrats to use the Pope’s remarks to push their agenda would fail.

Most people “would rather go to work than be on welfare,” said Boehner, 59. “We think our economic agenda will do more for Americans.”

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Ebola found in pigs for first time raising fears it could mutate and threaten humans

A form of Ebola virus has been detected in pigs for the first time, raising concerns it could mutate and threaten humans, scientists report.

Telegraph | Jul 10, 2009

Reston ebolavirus (Rebov) has only been seen in monkeys and humans previously and, unlike other types of Ebola, it is not known to cause illness in people.

Researchers say it is theoretically possible for the virus to mutate in pigs into a form that might sicken people.
 
The Philippines had tested 141 people, the researchers said, and six of them who either worked on pig farms or with swine products were found with antibodies to the Ebola-Reston virus, which means they might have been infected by pigs at some time.

However, they showed no signs of illness.

Rebov belongs to the family of filoviruses which target primates. These viruses cause viral haemorrhagic fevers, which result in bleeding and coagulation, and can lead to death.

In their study, the scientists examined blood and tissue samples taken from pigs suffering unusually severe respiratory infections in different parts of the Philippines and found they contained widely varying strains of the virus.

This suggests that the virus may have circulated widely in pigs even before it was first discovered in monkeys exported to the United States from the Philippines in 1989, the scientists said.

The discovery of Rebov in pigs in the Philippines is reported in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.

Boston Sees Coldest Start To Summer In 100 Years

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It’s been more than 100 years since Boston has been this cold in June. AP Photo

Average High Temperatures Coldest In Decades

WCVB | Jul 10, 2009

BOSTON — If you think you’ve never seen such a cool start to the summer, you are right: It’s been more than 100 years since Boston has been this cold in June.

For the period of June 1 through July 8, Boston, Providence and Worcester have had the coolest high temperature on record, according to StormTeam 5’s JC Monahan.

The average high temperature for Boston for that time period was 69.7 degrees. That tied the record set in 1903. In Worcester, the average was 69.3 degrees — the coolest since 1972, and Providence’s average high was 72.3 degrees — the coolest since 1916.

Earlier this week, the editor of the Farmers’ Almanac, which predicted a wet summer in the Northeast, said June’s temperatures were cooler than he expected.

More of the same weather is predicted for the rest of the summer. The almanac’s forecast for July and August has scattered showers, lightning, thunderstorms, wind and rain.

Local businesses are also feeling the brunt of the wet weather. In years past, D&D Mulch and Landscaping made about 30 deliveries a day during June. This year, it was only two or three.

“If we can get through the weather and economy, we’ll be all set. This year we’re offering free delivery, and we lowered our prices a little bit,” said Sarkis Sarkisian, of D&D Mulch and Landscaping.

Businesses who rent canoes and kayaks on the Charles River said that they also had a tough June.

“The temperature isn’t as critical as when the sun in shining. That’s when people want to be outside,” said Larry Smith, of Charles River Canoe.

Post-9/11 surveillance went beyond wiretapping

Details remain classified, but are referred to in a newly released report

MSNBC | Jul 10, 2009

WASHINGTON – The Bush administration authorized secret surveillance activities that still have not been made public, according to a new government report that questions the legal basis for the unprecedented anti-terrorism program.

It’s unclear how much valuable intelligence was yielded by the surveillance program started after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to the unclassified summary of reports by five inspectors general. The reports mandated by Congress last year were delivered to lawmakers Friday.

President George W. Bush authorized other secret intelligence activities — which have yet to become public — even as he was launching the massive warrentless wiretapping program, the summary said. It describes the entire program as the “President’s Surveillance Program.”

The report describes the program as unprecedented and raises questions about the legal grounding used for its creation. It also says the intelligence agencies’ continued retention and use of the information collected under the program should be carefully monitored.

Many senior intelligence officials believe the program filled a gap in intelligence. Others, including FBI, CIA and National Counterterrorism Center analysts, said intelligence gathered by traditional means was often more specific and timely, according to the report.

The Bush White House acknowledged in 2005 that it allowed the National Security Agency to intercept international communications that passed through U.S. cables without court orders.

The inspectors general interviewed more than 200 government officials and private sector personnel, including former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Five former Bush administration officials refused to be interviewed, including former CIA Director George Tenet and former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The others: former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card; former top Cheney aide David Addington; and John Yoo, who served as a deputy assistant attorney general.

The IG report said an unnamed White House official inserted a paragraph into the first threat assessment prepared by the CIA after the Sept. 11 attacks, which was used to justify the extraordinary intelligence measures.

The paragraph said that the “individuals and organizations involved in global terrorism possessed the capability and intention to undertake further terrorist attacks within the United States,” according to the report. It also said that the president should authorize the NSA to conduct the surveillance activities.

The memos were revised and renewed thereafter every 45 days. The report said that the president consistently gave that authorization for the surveillance activity, and that both CIA chief Tenet and his successor, Porter Goss, never withheld their signatures from threat assessment memoranda.

The report also questions the legal advice used by President Bush to set up the program, pinpointing omissions and questionable legal memos written by Yoo at the Justice Department.

The report suggests Yoo ignored an explicit provision in the FISA law designed to restrict the government’s authority to conduct electronic surveillance during wartime. And it said flaws in Yoo’s memos later presented “a serious impediment” to recertifying the program.

Congress required the review of the so-called warrantless wiretapping program last year when it revised the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. FISA is a 30 year-old law that created a secret court to oversee government electronic surveillance.

The inspectors general of the CIA, Justice Department, Defense Department, National Security Agency and Office of the National Intelligence Director also reviewed the Bush-era surveillance program.

Bioweapons, Dangerous Vaccines, and Threats of a Global Pandemic

Global Research | Jul 8, 2009

by Stephen Lendman
 
Although international law prohibits the use of chemical and bacteriological weapons, America has had an active biological warfare program since at least the 1940s. In 1941, it began secret developmental efforts using controversial testing methods. During WW II, mustard gas was tested on about 4000 servicemen. Biological weapons research was also conducted. Human subjects were used as guinea pigs in various other experiments, and numerous illegal practices continued to the present, including secretly releasing toxic biological agents in US cities to test the effects of germ warfare.

The Hague Convention of 1907 banned chemical weapons usage, and the 1928 Geneval Protocol prohibited gas and bacteriological warfare. The 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) “Prohibit(ed) the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and Their Destruction.” The 1989 Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act “implement(ed the) Prohibition of the Development, Production, and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and Their Destruction….”

In 2001, the Bush administration rejected the 1972 BWC, took advantage of a loophole allowing “prophylactic, protective or other peaceful uses,” continued a secret Clinton administration bioweapons initiative, and asserted its right to spend multi-billions illegally to develop, test and stockpile “first-strike” chemical and biological weapons that potentially can kill millions.

In his August 14, 2008 article titled, “The Pentagon’s alarming project: Avian Flu Biowar Vaccine,” F. William Engdahl cited:

“alarming evidence accumulated by serious scientific sources that the US Government is about to or already has ‘weaponized’ Avian Flu. If reports are accurate, this could unleash a new pandemic on the planet that could be more devastating than the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic which killed an estimated 30 million people worldwide before it eventually died out. Pentagon and NIH experiments with remains in frozen state of the 1918 virus are the height of scientific folly” unless something more nefarious is afoot in collaboration with Big Pharma to produce weaponized viruses and/or dangerous mandatory vaccines that, at the least, can cause serious autoimmune diseases or, as some allege, a Swine Flu or other viral pandemic.

Alarming News about Baxter International

On February 27, 2009, various news agencies including Helen Branswell in the Canadian Press, reported:

Baxter International that “released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed (today) that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses.” The WHO said the incident occurred at the company’s research facility in Orth-Donau, Austria, but claimed “that public health and occupational risk is minimal” thus far. What’s not known, however, “are the circumstances” behind the incident that, according to some, raise suspicions while others call it a willful criminal act. More on that below.

The contaminated product, “a mix of H3N2 seasonal flu viruses and unlabelled H5N1 (Avian Flu) viruses, was supplied to an Austrian research company….Avir Green Hills Biotechnology.” It then “sent portions of it to sub-contractors in the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Germany.”

The problem was discovered when The Czech Republic company discovered that ferrets innoculated with the product died. “Ferrets shouldn’t die from exposure to human H3N2 flu viruses.” Public health authorities called it a “serious error” that showed “the H5N1 virus in the product was live.” But Baxter “has been parsimonious about the amount of information it has released about the event.” Christopher Bona, the company’s global bioscience communications director, did confirm that the material was a “live….experimental virus” made at the Orth-Donau research laboratory.

Security experts expressed alarm that something this serious could happen, calling the co-mingling (or reassortment) of human H3N2 with H5N1 avian viruses a dangerous practice that should never occur because of the potentially devastating effects to human health. “If someone exposed to a mixture of the two had been simultaneously infected with both strains, he or she could have served as an incubator for a hybrid virus able to transmit easily to and among people,” who, in turn, could transmit it to enough others to potentially cause a pandemic. So far, nothing this extreme has happened, but a future threat remains.

As Medical Director of the Natural Solutions Foundation, Dr. Rima Laibow warns about dangerous, toxic drugs and vaccines. On March 6, 2009, she posted a “Pandemic Flu Emergency Action eAlert on her healthfreedomusa.org web site stating:

“World media (outside America) are reporting that Baxter Pharmaceuticals has admitted that it ‘accidently’ contaminated various vaccine batches with Avian Flu viruses. These batches were shipped to 18 countries. Clearly, either 1. stupidity and incompetence (are to blame) or 2. intentional contamination of flu vaccine lots was at work.”

Many Avian Flu vaccines compete with each other, yet they’re “profitable ONLY if used in huge numbers.” Although “Avian Flu has been slow to be become pandemic by ‘jumping the species barrier’ to humans in large numbers,” might Baxter’s “accident” be a way to do it? If so, Big Pharma will score “One of the biggest wins in history.”

In fact, it already has after the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy (CIDRAP) reported that Congress (in mid-June) “approved $7.65 billion for battling pandemic influenza, more than three times what the House and Senate had earlier proposed.” Unsurprisingly, it was part of “a $106 billion (Iraq and Afghanistan war) supplemental appropriation bill” to open a new front at home in the form of dangerous vaccines – perhaps to be mandated for everyone.

Laibow sees a “manipulated disaster of unprecedented magnitude precipitated by unprecedented avarice and greed,” and adds that “Baxter International Inc. is no stranger to recalls and lethal contaminations.” Its record includes producing faulty infusion and volumetric pumps, HIV-2 tainted Albumin Buminate 5 percent, faulty dialysis machine tubing and blood-cleaning filters, and various other products that should make everyone leery of its soon-to-be-released Swine Flu vaccine. Along with similar ones from other pharmaceutical companies, these drugs cause serious autoimmune diseases and absolutely should be avoided, even if mandated.

Laibow expresses great alarm in stating:

“Baxter mixed a virus which has a hard time infecting people (H5N1 Avian flu) with one that infects them easily (“Seasonal Flu”) in a medium which can promote mutations of the H5N1 virus into a type which can infect us easily. What will be in the vaccine you are forced/coerced/threatened into allowing into your body? Who knows?”

What is known are our constitutional and Nuremberg Code rights. The Fifth Amendment protects against abusive government authority in stating that “No person shall….be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law….” The Eight Amendment prohibits “cruel and unusual punishments.” Depriving someone of health is tantamount to the latter as well as life by harming and potentially shortening it.

The Nuremberg Code requires voluntary consent of human subjects without coercion, fraud, deceit, and with full disclosure of known risks. It also affirms that experiments should avoid “all unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury,” and should never be conducted if there’s “an a priori reason to believe death or disabling injury will occur” or harm to human health.

The FDA as an Industry Front Group

As stated on its web site, the FDA is mandated to protect human health and well-being.

As an agency in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.”

Run by officials of the industries it “regulates,” it fails on all counts. Byron J. Richards is a clinical nutritionist and founder of Wellness Resources. In his book “Fight for Your Health: Exposing the FDA’s Betrayal of America,” he discusses FDA complicity with Big Pharma, dangerous drugs worth billions of dollars to the industry, and the serious risks to people who use them. He states:

“The FDA has put into mothballs its federal mandate to protect the public. In order to foster drug sales, the FDA hides important medical data from the public and from doctors, including the risks of heart attacks, suicide, seizures, and serious mental-health debility. Even worse, the FDA has changed sides. They are actively undermining the rights of citizens to claim damages if injured by drugs. And they are seeking to remove safety barriers to drug testing. They are planning to expose many individuals to unproven drugs, a new form of human experiment” that may rise to a higher level if HHS mandates dangerous Swine Flu vaccines for all Americans despite no forensic evidence of an outbreak or even a single proved death attributable to H1N1.

Yet, in advance of what looks to be coming, on June 11, the WHO declared that “The world is now at the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic (in) decid(ing) to raise (its) influenza pandemic alert from phase 5 to (its highest) phase 6” level.

Dr. Laibow advises that everyone has a “right to say “NO!” to vaccinations and other treatments that (they) do not want. The Police Power of the State ENDS at my skin and yours!” If a pandemic erupts, as a longtime natural health practitioner, she advises what she’ll use herself – Nano Silver as well as vitamins, minerals, and herbs like echinacea that boost the immune system, unlike dangerous vaccines that destroy it. For more information, she directs individuals to the web site: www.nutronix.com/naturalsolutions.

WHO, CDC, and Canada’s Public Health Agency (PHAC) Fearmongering Misinformation

Besides declaring its highest Level 6 influenza pandemic alert on June 11, the BBC reported on July 3 that WHO’s Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, warned that the spread of swine flu is “unstoppable” while admitting that most cases are mild and many people recover unaided.

On June 25, Daniel DeNoon in WebMD Health News reported that CDC’s influenza surveillance chief, Dr. Lyn Finelli, said: “Right now, we are estimating over 1 million (Swine Flu) cases in the US” in 2009 affecting about 6% of households in major cities. She, too, admitted that the vast majority of cases have been mild but avoided the fundamental issue – that no forensic evidence attributes a single death globally to Swine Flu and all or most known instances may be ordinary viral influenza or common colds, bad enough to cause fever (at times high) and discomfort, last several days and then pass for most people.

With no proof, Finelli cited 3065 Swine Flu hospitalizations and 127 deaths. In a June 26 telebriefing, Dr. Anne Schachat, CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases director, cited no verifiable forensic documentation in saying:

“The novel H1N1 (Swine Flu) influenza is continuing to spread here in the United States and around the globe. The key point is that this new infectious disease is not going away. In the US, we’re still experiencing a steady increase in the number of reported cases (and they’re just) the tip of the iceberg.” She added that vaccines are being hurriedly produced. No decisions have been made about “which populations” will need them, but “it’s very important for states and communities to begin intensifying their efforts on planning to administer a vaccine should such be necessary in the fall,” especially for “young people including school children, pregnant women, babies, and adults, particularly younger adults with those underlying conditions….” That said, it “doesn’t mean we’ve finalized any vaccine recommendations.”

On June 21, Canada’s National Post published Sharon Kirkey’s Canwest News Service report headlined, “Vaccinate Canadians under 40 and (aboriginal) natives first: experts.” She added that “Under Canada’s official pandemic plan, the entire population would ultimately be immunized against H1N1 swine flu,” but not at once as vaccines will only be available in batches.

Canada’s Public Health Agency (PHAC) “is working on a priority list,” effective for all provinces and territories. Gymnasiums will be used for mass vaccinations of school children, but no final decisions have been made.

In a June 26 news release, PHAC reported that “The Government of Canada today launched a three-year public education campaign to encourage parents to have their children immunized against certain diseases before the age of two. The Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, made the announcement at the annual meeting of the Canadian Paediatric Society” saying that “Immunization is one of the best tools we have to protect the health of our children.”

In fact, all vaccines are dangerous and should be avoided. They contain squalene-based adjuvants that cause a menu of autoimmune diseases in test subjects. In humans they include chronic fatigue, various type rashes, chronic headaches, anemia, aphthous ulcers, seizures, weakness, neuropsychiatric problems, ALS, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and multiple sclerosis, among other illnesses and diseases, some causing death.

It’s why Dr. Laibow says “No insurance company in the world will insure against” their risks. In America, a special fund “has paid out over 2 billion dollars to parents of children killed or maimed by vaccinations.” However, the vast majority of those harmed are never compensated, and US law ‘immunizes’ drug companies from lawsuits.

Laibow adds:

“In fact, vaccines are explicitly acknowledged NOT to protect against diseases they supposedly are designed to prevent (read the Package Inserts for vaccines, available on line and in your doctors’ offices if you doubt that) and often” cause them.

Yet they continue in use because they’re so “immensely, enormously and hideously profitable,” and Big Pharma has enough clout to proliferate products that “in a rational society (should) be banned forever.”

Bioterrorism Criminal Charges Filed

On June 10, Austrian journalist Jane Burgermeister filed sweeping criminal charges with the FBI in addition to earlier ones on April 8 with the Vienna State Prosecutor’s Office against Baxter AG, Baxter International and Avir Green Hill Biotechnology AG, “for manufacturing, disseminating, and releasing a biological weapon of mass destruction on Austrian soil between December 2008 and February 2009 with the intention of causing a global bird flu pandemic virus and of intending to profit from that same pandemic in an act that violates laws on international organised crime and genocide.”

Baxter operates Biosafety Level 3 (BLS-3) labs that take strict precautions to assure no possibility of accidental H3N2 and H5N1 co-mingling contamination unless something more nefarious is afoot.

BLS-3 personnel are trained in handling pathogenic and potentially lethal agents and are supervised by competent scientists with extensive experience with them. In addition, these labs have specially engineered design features for added safety.

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