Daily Archives: October 20, 2009

Serious Vaccine Reactions Deemed Mere ‘Coincidence’

Serious Vaccine Reactions to Now Be Called ‘Coincidence’?

mercola.com | Oct 20 2009

by Dr. Mercola

Every day Americans wake up to news reports that warn us about the dangers of influenza, especially the new H1N1 “swine flu”.

But swine flu is mild for most people and the virus is not mutating into a more serious form.

Millions of people around the world have recovered from swine flu, and millions more will get sick with fevers, body aches, nasal congestion, cough and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting and recover from it this year and next year without any complications.

Nonetheless, wide-scale vaccination is being encouraged — even though swine flu vaccines have been tested on only a few thousand healthy Americans for a few weeks. There is little or no information about how safe the vaccine is for pregnant women and chronically ill or disabled children.

If you or your child are injured from getting a flu swine flu shot, you are on your own. Congress has shielded the vaccine manufacturers and any person giving swine flu shots from lawsuits if people get hurt.

There is no funded government vaccine injury compensation program for swine flu vaccine.

Do NOT let a doctor or anyone else tell you that a serious health problem you or your child experiences after vaccination is a coincidence and allow more shots to be given until you know for sure.

The most tragic cases of vaccine injury occur when vaccine reaction symptoms are dismissed as a ‘coincidence” and more vaccines are given that result in more severe symptoms — and sometimes end with permanent brain and immune system damage or death.

But while Americans are still debating whether to roll up their sleeves for a swine flu shot, companies have already figured it out: vaccines are good for business.

Drug companies have sold $1.5 billion worth of swine flu shots, in addition to the $1 billion for seasonal flu they booked earlier this year. These inoculations are part of a much wider and rapidly growing $20 billion global vaccine market.

“The vaccine market is booming,” says Bruce Carlson, spokesperson at market research firm Kalorama, which publishes an annual survey of the vaccine industry. “It’s an enormous growth area for pharmaceuticals at a time when other areas are not doing so well,” he says, noting that the pipeline for more traditional blockbuster drugs such as Lipitor and Nexium has thinned.

As always with pandemic flus, taxpayers are footing the $1.5 billion check for the 250 million swine flu vaccines that the government has ordered so far and will be distributing free to doctors, pharmacies and schools. In addition, Congress has set aside more than $10 billion this year to research flu viruses, monitor H1N1’s progress and educate the public about prevention.

Drugmakers pocket most of the revenues from flu sales, with Sanofi-Pasteur, Glaxo Smith Kline and Novartis cornering most of the market.

But some say it’s not just drugmakers who stand to benefit. Doctors collect copayments for special office visits to inject shots, and there have been assertions that these doctors actually profit handsomely from these vaccinations.

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Shape-Shifting Robot Blob Has Emerged From Your Nightmares

escapistmagazine.com | Oct 19, 2009

by Tom Goldman

iRobot’s flesh-like ChemBot will freak you out…

The ChemBot might look like something out of a bad dream, but it’s actually a multimillion dollar military project. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Army Research Office contracted iRobot, creator of vacuum-robot Roomba, to design the soft, flexible, mechanical ooze last year. This video might be a little technical at first, but if you skip to the 2 minute mark you can see the results of iRobot’s work thus far.

iRobot is not a company that just makes house cleaning robots. It has been providing military and civil defense forces with helpful robots for a while now, including the iRobot Warrior, a “large and rugged robot designed to carry 150-pound payloads”, and the iRobot PackBot which has performed “thousands of dangerous search, reconnaissance and bomb-disposal missions” according to iRobot’s website.

DARPA’s main purpose for funding the ChemBot is to create something that can “traverse soft terrain and navigate through small openings, such as tiny wall cracks, during reconnaissance and search-and-rescue missions.” The ChemBot should be able to do just that through a mechanism called “Jamming,” which allows for the transition between solid-like and liquid-like states with only a small change in volume. The first half of this video explains how “Jamming” works.

The ChemBot feels like the first step towards the creation of actual human-like robots similar to Battlestar Galactica’s new Cylons. The creepy part about the ChemBot is how it looks as if it’s alive and breathing. Wars could probably be won just by rolling out a few dozen of these things in front of opposing forces to scare the bejeezus out of them. I definitely wouldn’t want to touch a one, they look all gross and sticky.
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The Blob (1958) – Theatrical Trailer

U.S. Scientist Arrested for Allegedly Attempting to Pass Secrets to Israel

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The Justice Department said Monday that 52-year-old Stewart Nozette, shown in this file photo, was charged in a criminal complaint with attempting to communicate, deliver and transmit classified information to an individual he believed to be an Israeli intelligence officer. (NASA.gov)

A Former NASA Scientist Is Caught in a Sting Operation for Alleged Espionage

ABC News | Oct 19, 2009

By JASON RYAN

FBI agents arrested a scientist who worked for NASA and other agencies Monday afternoon in a sting operation after he allegedly attempted to sell top secret satellite information to agents he thought were Israeli spies.

Stewart Nozette, 52, was arrested shortly after 4:00 p.m. at the Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington by counterespionage agents from the FBI’s Washington field office after he believed he was meeting with agents from the Mossad to pass information to them in exchange for money, the Justice Department said.

Nozette had been under investigation for some time according to an FBI affidavit and court records involving his firm, the Alliance for Competitive Technology (ACT). In early January 2009 as he traveled overseas, a security check of his personal bags indicated he had two computer thumb drives in his possession; yet, when he returned on his trip, the drives were no longer in his possession, according to the government.

The investigation ramped up in September 2009 when he was approached by an undercover FBI agent who told Nozette he worked for Mossad. During a lunch meeting with the agent, Nozette indicated he was willing to work for Israeli intelligence and provide them information, court documents say.

“I haven’t been…involved in a classified work for the last couple of years…but I had everything…all the way to Top Secret SCI [sensitive compartmentalized information], I had nuclear.” Nozette told the undercover FBI agents, according to the affidavit. “I had all the nuclear clearances.”

Nozette is best known for his work on the lunar Mini-RF probe which recently helped confirm the presence of water on the moon. Nozette is a planetary scientist from MIT who worked for the White House National Space Council and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the 1990s and as a contractor for the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. At the Department of Energy, he worked in the “O” Division and had Top Secret clearance which included nuclear weapon design information, according to an FBI affidavit in the case which was unsealed Monday afternoon in Washington.

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Government scientist and Royal Society in double push to promote genetically modified crops

Scientists are determined to change public attitudes to GM crops, which have been condemned by critics as “Frankenstein food”.

London Times | Oct 20, 2009

by Valerie Elliott

A double push for Britain to grow more genetically modified (GM) crops is to be made today John Beddington, the Government’s chief scientific adviser, is to renew his call for GM crops to ensure global food security.

His support for the controversial technology coincides with a study from the Royal Society, Britain’s most prestigious scientific institution, out tomorrow, which will also endorse the need for Britain to conduct more GM crop trials.

Scientists are determined to change public attitudes to GM crops, which have been condemned by critics as “Frankenstein food”.

Ministers, scientists, farmers and food companies think that the time is right to soften public opinion and to try to win them round to the benefits of GM production.

A new 12-month public consultation exercise on GM food to be undertaken by the Food Standards Agency.

Ministers have asked the watchdog to find out if the public mood has changed towards GM produce.

The move is also in response to concerns by food manufacturers and supermarkets which fear that the growing use of GM technology in overseas food production will make it “impossible” shortly to maintain a non-GM food supply.

A similar exercise took place six years ago which found that most people would not choose to eat or buy GM foods.

The scene has changed dramatically since then with the burgeoning economies in China and India increasing demand for protein.

The impact of climate change with more extreme temperatures leading to increased risk of drought and flooding as well as competition for land use, water scarcity and fuel costs are also likely to cause instability in food production and supply worldwide.

Professor Beddington, addressing a global food summit organised by Cabi, a leading international scientific research body, in London, will highlight GM production as one of the ways the world can guarantee secure food supplies.

GM is not “the silver bullet” but should be used as part of range of solutions to meet the estimated 50 per cent increase in demand for food expected by 2030, he will say.

“A range of solutions will be needed if a world population set to pass 8 billion by 2030 is to be fed equitably and sustainably. Improved protection of crops from pests and diseases in the field and during storage will be critical to reducing crop losses and has a major contribution to make,” he will say.

The 100-page Royal Society report assesses the varous biological approaches that have been proposed to improve crop yield.

Sir David Baulcombe, of the University of Cambridge, who chaired the study, is to outline the steps that governments need to adopt to ensure that in coming decades farmers in the developed and the developing world are fully equipped to feed their growing communities.

Professor Baulcombe said: “If we are to take full advantage of the benefits which science can offer to food production, then we must act now, by identifying valuable science technologies, investing in research, and by laying the regulatory framework to bring these technologies to market.”

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We have always said that GM might be part of the answer to issues of food security. We are not closed to the technology. But we need the scientific evidence from GM trials to show that growing GM crops will pose no harm to human health or the environment.”

At present there is only one British trial under way at Leeds University where scientists are monitoring a GM potato variety which is resistant to blight, a common pest which can decimate crops.

Bono: Obama deserving of the ‘hype’ and the Nobel Peace Prize

bono devil horned hand

AFP | Oct 18. 2009

WASHINGTON — Rock star Bono on Sunday praised Barack Obama for helping “re-brand” the United States as a leading force in combating the world’s most pressing problems, and deemed the president’s controversial Nobel Peace prize deserved.

In an article Sunday in The New York Times, the U2 rocker and rights activist praised Obama’s dedication to “the eradication of extreme poverty in our time,” as well as Obama’s commitment to “fighting nuclear proliferation and climate change, improving relations in the Middle East and, by the way, creating jobs and providing health care at home.”

And the world-famous singer said the US president is the central figure in the “re-branding” of the American image to one of hope, optimism and action.

“I will venture to say that in the farthest corners of the globe, the president’s words are more than a pop song people want to hear on the radio. They are lifelines,” he said.

“The world sees that America might just hold the keys to solving the three greatest threats we face on this planet: extreme poverty, extreme ideology and extreme climate change.

“The world senses that America, with renewed global support, might be better placed to defeat this axis of extremism with a new model of foreign policy,” he wrote.

On the issue of the Nobel Peace Prize, which critics decried as undeserved or premature, the Irish rocker offered a different view.

Obama devil sign“The president said that he considered the peace prize a call to action. And in the fight against extreme poverty, it’s action, not intentions, that counts,” wrote the singer, who has campaigned to get wealthy nations to step up donations to a global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

“The Nobel Peace Prize is the rest of the world saying, ‘Don’t blow it’.”

He also praised the president’s top advisors from Vice President Joe Biden to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to National Security Advisor James Jones as a “dream team” and underscored European dumbfoundedness that the US president is not more greatly appreciated by his own countrymen.

“There’s a sense in some quarters of these not-so-United States that Norway, Europe and the world haven’t a clue about the real President Obama — instead, they fixate on a fantasy version of the president, a projection of what they hope and wish he is, and what they wish America to be,” Bono wrote.

“I think the man might deserve the hype,” he said.

Elder Bush sees ‘ugliness’ in attacks on Obama

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U.S. President Barack Obama is introduced to speak by former President George H.W. Bush at the Points of Light forum at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas October 16, 2009. Reuters Pictures

AP | Oct 19, 2009

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Former President George H.W. Bush doesn’t like the “ugliness” President Barack Obama has faced since taking office, but he thinks it’s no worse than his son experienced and is not about Obama being black.

Bush, who was hosting Obama at a volunteerism forum here Friday, said the tone of the criticism “crosses the line of civility.”

“To the degree it turns off one student or young person from serving, that’s bad,” Bush said in an interview with CBS News Radio at his presidential library. “It should not happen.”

ObamaPresident Barack Obama greets students as he is introduced by former President George H.W. Bush (not shown) at the start of the Points of Light Institute forum at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, Friday, Oct. 16, 2009. AP Photo

But Bush stressed that conservatives aren’t the only ones to blame. Liberal pundits heaped similar scorn on his son, former President George W. Bush.

“They just hammered him mercilessly — and I think obscenely — a lot of the time,” he said.

Former President Jimmy Carter recently asserted that much of the bitterness aimed at Obama stemmed from his being the nation’s first black president.

Obama disagreed.

The elder Bush said, “You might find some racists out there but I don’t think the attacks per se have to do that he’s an African-American.”

Bush, who turned 85 in June, said presidents throughout history have suffered at the hands of critics.

“I’m reluctant to say it’s a whole new thing in politics — this ugliness,” he said. “I mean you go back to Grover Cleveland … It was terrible the things that people said.”

High jobless rates could be the new normal

unemployment

Job seekser line up at a New York job fair. That the recovery in jobs will be long and drawn out is something on which economists and policy makers can basically agree, even as their proposals for remedies vary widely.

Industries that previously jump started employment aren’t able to this time

MSNBC | Oct 19, 2009

WASHINGTON – Even with an economic revival, many U.S. jobs lost during the recession may be gone forever and a weak employment market could linger for years.

That could add up to a “new normal” of higher joblessness and lower standards of living for many Americans, some economists are suggesting.

The words “it’s different this time” are always suspect. But economists and policy makers say the job-creating dynamics of previous recoveries can’t be counted on now.

Here’s why:

* The auto and construction industries helped lead the nation out of past recessions. But the carnage among Detroit’s automakers and the surplus of new and foreclosed homes and empty commercial properties make it unlikely these two industries will be engines of growth anytime soon.

* The job market is caught in a vicious circle: Without more jobs, U.S. consumers will have a hard time increasing their spending; but without that spending, businesses might see little reason to start hiring.

* Many small and midsize businesses are still struggling to obtain bank loans, impeding their expansion plans and constraining overall economic growth.

* Higher-income households are spending less because of big losses on their homes, retirement plans and other investments. Lower-income households are cutting back because they can’t borrow like they once did.

That the recovery in jobs will be long and drawn out is something on which economists and policy makers can basically agree, even as their proposals for remedies vary widely.

Retrenching businesses will be slow in hiring back or replacing workers they laid off. Many of the 7.2 million jobs the economy has shed since the recession began in December 2007 may never come back.

“This Great Recession is an inflection point for the economy in many respects. I think the unemployment rate will be permanently higher, or at least higher for the foreseeable future,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s Economy.com.

“The collective psyche has changed as a result of what we’ve been through. And we’re going to be different as a result,” said Zandi, who formerly advised Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and now is consulted by Democrats in the administration and in Congress,

Even before the recession, many jobs had vanished or been shipped overseas amid a general decline of U.S. manufacturing. The severest downturn since the Great Depression has accelerated the process.

Many economists believe the recession reversed course in the recently ended third quarter and they predict modest growth in the nation’s gross domestic product over the next few years. Yet the unemployment rate is currently at a 26-year high of 9.8 percent — and likely to top 10 percent soon and stay there a while.

“Many factors are pushing against a quick recovery,” said Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the labor-oriented Economic Policy Institute. “Things will come back. But it’s going to take a long time. I think we will likely see elevated unemployment at least until 2014.”

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