Daily Archives: October 21, 2009

Vaccine Injury Isn’t Just for Babies: The Desiree Jennings Flu Shot Story

ageofautism.com | Oct 20, 2009

Des1 Managing Editor’s Note: As part of their vaccine safety and injury outreach initiative, Generation Rescue brings us the story of Desiree Jennings. Click (HERE) to learn how you can get involved. A Dr. Vincour, from the U. of Maryland has called Ms. Jennings’s symptoms, “psychogenic,” which means originating in the mind, not in true physiological illness. In fact, they are going to use her case to teach students about crazy women who think a vaccine could injure them. Psychogenic is akin to the word, “hysteria” which comes from the Greek word, “hyster” for uterus. Hysteria is a female disease. Psychogenic too, in this case, according to the “experts.”
My name is Desiree Jennings and I am twenty-five years old. I work full-time as a Marketing Communications Manager for a major Internet company. I am currently working to finish my bachelor’s degree in Finance and Economics this fall and hope to continue on to a Masters in Economics in 2010.

In my spare time, I enjoy running and training for races from 5Ks to marathons. I also lead a local run club, training beginning runners for 5K and 10K races. I am training for the National Marathon in DC in March and recently became a member of the Washington Redskins Cheerleader Ambassador team. That was the life that I used to know.


On August 23, 2009, I received a seasonal flu vaccine at a local grocery store that drastically, and potentially irreversibly, altered my future. In a matter of a few short weeks I lost the ability to walk, talk normally, and focus on more than one stimuli at a time. Whenever I eat I know, without fail, that my body will soon go into uncontrollable convulsions coupled with periods of blacking out.
Each day is a battle to control the symptoms triggered by the flu vaccine and a reminder that my life will never be the same.  I set up this site to tell my story and warn people of the neurological side effects than can result from vaccinations; especially knowing that in the majority of cases, these stories are seldom heard outside of immediate families and friends.

I hope everyone that reads my story will heed my warning and think very carefully, including watching my story, reading the information about vaccine side effects on this website, reading the vaccine package insert, considering the natural remedies for flu and H1N1 on this site, and seeking out consultations with the doctors found on this website, before making the decision to receive a vaccination.

Sincerely,

Desiree Jennings
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/DesireeJennings

EU to Monitor “Deviant” Behavior in Fight against Terrorism

USA/

Airport security has changed. Here, images showing whole body scans from a millimeter wave machine now in use in the US.

Technology Boost for Orwell

Spiegel | Oct 21, 2009

By Wilmer Heck

The European Union is funding ambitious programs aimed at monitoring human behavior in an effort to identify deviance and pick out potential terrorists. The implications for privacy are myriad.

Imagine that you are a frequent flier: Long years of experience have taught you all the tips and tricks for a rapid check in. A good thing, right? Actually, in the future it may become cause for suspicion.

A European Union-funded project called ADABTS (Automatic Detection of Abnormal Behavior and Threats in Crowded Spaces) is working on ways to detect suspicious behavior. One system involves a network of cameras in airports that can measure your speed and alert the control room should it seem excessive. The system knows terrorists tend to be nervous and almost never stop for coffee. This makes a speedy traveller a suspicious traveller.

You may also want to think twice about using the airport bathroom more than once. There is a good chance you will be picked out for an extensive security check.

Crucial to the Fight against Terrorism

“We monitor all deviant behavior,” says Maarten Hogervorst of TNO Defence and Security, an independent Dutch research institute. The ADABTS project, in which TNO is a partner, is only one among hundreds of security projects under the umbrella of the EU research program Security. The program has a budget of €1.4 billion until 2013.

Following the terrorist attacks in the US in 2001 and in Europe in 2004 and 2005, Brussels saw the development of new technologies as crucial to the fight against terrorism. It also worried American companies might corner the market for security technology.

Hogervorst is funded by the EU to investigate how the ever growing number of security cameras in inner cities, airports and football stadiums can be put to a better use.

For now security personnel still manually switches between cameras to determine who deserves extra attention. The more cameras to choose from, the less effective this is. It would be much easier if the cameras themselves could determine what is suspicious and automatically show only those images to the people in the control room.

“We define what constitutes suspicious behavior through interviews with security staff and we develop software accordingly,” says Hogervorst. “If security staff thinks someone moving rapidly through a crowd is suspicious, then that’s the kind of images they’re going to get.”

There are a lot more criteria to determine what is suspicious and what is not, but TNO doesn’t want them publicized for obvious security reasons.

‘Orwellian goals’

ADABTS is not just geared towards terrorism, but also towards crime and riots. In the future, cameras will be set to detect wild arm movements, screaming or the sound of breaking glass in order to dispatch police more quickly to the scene of a mugging or a break-in.

Critics argue the defence and security industry has been given a lot of influence in developing Europe’s new security strategy. “Brussels simply asked the industry: What can you guys come up with?” says Ben Hayes, a researcher at the Transnational Institute, a progressive research group.

Hayes has just published a report, NeoConOpticon, about a number of security projects he says have Orwellian goals. They will lead to a European surveillance system that may be lucrative for the industry, he says, but will make every citizen a potential suspect.

He means projects like the one TNO is currently working on: using radar to detect a person’s heartbeat from a distance to determine if he or she is nervous. “Because a terrorist is nervous as hell,” says Frank Kooi, another TNO researcher at Soesterberg.

Thermal cameras can discover if someone has a cold nose, another sign of nervousness. “The beauty is that terrorists can’t hide these kind of characteristics,” Kooi says.

Much of the research is still in the initial phase, “but it has enormous potential,” says Kooi. “The main reason why thermal cameras are not being used on a massive scale is the cost. But they are bound to get cheaper in the future.”

Loss of innocence

For airports, the ultimate goal of this new technology is to be able to scan all passengers without them even knowing. The advantage to the passengers is that they would no longer have to wait in line for the security checkpoints.

Brussels has anticipated criticism by also funding research into the ramifications of the program for privacy. One such program is HIDE: Homeland Security, Biometric Identification & Personal Detection Ethics. Irma van der Ploeg, a privacy expert with HIDE, says Hayes’ report “extremely valuable”.

She is afraid people will become more and more conscious of the surveillance and adapt their behavior accordingly. “Society is at risk of losing its innocence,” she says. “Before you know it we will all behave the same just so we are not seen as suspicious.”

Van der Ploeg is skeptical about the impact of the privacy projects within the security framework. “We analyse the technology and their possible impact. This results in an ethical and often quite critical assessment. But it doesn’t seem to make much a difference.”

Both Hayes and Van der Ploeg are convinced many of the projects that are now at the experimental stage will eventually find their way into people’s lives. “A lot of it is going to trickle down,” says Van der Ploeg.

Defence expert Ko Colijn is not so sure. He says the alarming tone of Hayes’ report is “a bit exaggerated.” Colijn points out that the EU does not have the authority to create a “well-oiled Orwellian society” even if it wanted to. It will be up to the individual member states to decide what is implemented. “Many projects will fall by the wayside.”

“If only 20 percent of these programs are implemented, it is enough reason to be concerned,” says Van der Ploeg. She agrees with Colijn however that a lot will depend on whether any future terrorist attacks occur in Europe. “If that happens it immediately creates a momentum for these kinds of initiatives.”

Germans Outraged Over Better, Safer Swine Flu Vaccine For Politicians

Merkel’s spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm on Monday denied that Merkel was taking a different vaccine than the one available to ordinary Germans.

Second-Class Medicine: Germans Unhappy with Alternative Swine Flu Vaccine for Politicians

Spiegel | Oct 19, 2009

Germany is in an uproar over the planned swine flu vaccination.

Damage control is the name of the game in Berlin on Monday as politicians rush to deny that they are receiving a better, safer swine flu vaccine than ordinary Germans. The first of 50 million doses arrived in Germany on Monday.

One might think that the arrival in Germany of the first of 50 million doses of swine flu vaccine on Monday might be cause for celebration. But with news breaking over the weekend that top government officials in Berlin will be injected with an alternative vaccine — one widely seen as safer — a debate about an alleged two-class medical system has erupted.

SPIEGEL over the weekend reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel, a number of her ministers and other government officials would receive a vaccine manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Baxter — the same vaccine that the German military opted for, as was reported last week.

The mass-circulation tabloid Bild on Monday plastered the story on its front page on Monday, assuring its readers that “experts are accusing the government” of serving up “second class medicine” to ordinary Germans.

Fevers and Headaches

The controversy centers on an additive included in the vaccine manufactured by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. The additive includes an inactive strain of the entire flu virus as opposed to virus fragments. Critics say the additive can increase the risk of side effects from the flu vaccine such as fevers and headaches.

Supporters counter that the additive is safe, and its use allows the drug manufacturer to quickly produce more doses of the vaccine. The SPIEGEL story mentioned that the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine, with the additive, has undergone more testing than the Baxter version.

An Interior Ministry spokesman told SPIEGEL that the Baxter vaccine had been ordered for all ministries and other agencies as well as for the employees of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, the authority responsible for approving vaccines.

Merkel’s spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm on Monday denied that Merkel was taking a different vaccine than the one available to ordinary Germans. He said that the Baxter vaccine had been ordered four months ago as part of a deal hammered out one year ago and has nothing to do with recent concerns surrounding the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine.

‘Second-Class Medicine’

Still, voices have become raised. The Green Party’s health expert Biggi Bender said that the separate vaccines amount to “big risk for the people, little risk for the government. This type of second-class medicine cannot be allowed to exist in a democracy.”

Leading physicians also complained about the planned vaccination. The head of the Institute for Hygiene and Public Health at the University of Bonn, Martin Exner, said: “The fact that politicians and top civil servants in ministries will be vaccinated with a vaccine other than the people is a terrible sign. Today politicians must take what they recommend.”

Virologist Alexander Kekulé Hall of the University Hospital said the fact “that the members of the Federal Government and the authorities have any other vaccine is a scandal.”

The Interior Ministry has also rejected the sharp criticism. A spokeswoman for Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble pointed out that at that time the Baxter vaccine was ordered the differences between the two vaccines was not yet an issue. The Paul Ehrlich Institute has repeatedly defended its decision to provide the population with the GlaxoSmithKline version, known as Pandemrix.

‘Alleged Threat’

Germany is not the only government working to contain a potential outbreak of swine flu, the popular though inaccurate name given to the H1N1 flu virus. The UK has seen an increase in cases in recent weeks. As a result, the country has purchased 60 million doses of Pandemrix. Since swine flu emerged, a number of people in the US showing symptoms have died, leading the government to purchase 251 million doses of the swine flu vaccine from various manufacturers. The European Medicines Agency approved Pandemrix for use recently, amid concern for the upcoming winter flu season and the expected uptick in swine flu cases.

Some German politicians have joined Merkel in opting out of the alternative vaccine. Health Minister Ulla Schmidt said in Bild, “I will allow myself to be vaccinated with the same vaccine as the people. It is exactly like the other approved vaccine, safe and effective.”

The weekend scandal has drowned out a second debate which has been raging in recent weeks in the US and which has also found resonance here in Germany: whether such a massive vaccination program is necessary in the first place.

Wolf-Dieter Ludwig, chairman of the Drug Commission of the German Medical Association, has called the planned vaccination campaign a “scandal.” “The health authorities have fallen for a campaign from the pharmaceutical companies, who simply want to earn money with an alleged threat,” he told SPIEGEL.

German Chancellor in controversy over special “government-only” flu jabs

Merkel in row over ‘government-only’ swine flu jabs

AFP | Oct 20, 2009

angela_merkel_02BERLIN — A row in Germany over a “two-tier” swine flu vaccination programme has prompted Chancellor Angela Merkel to say she’ll get the jab meant for the public rather than one reserved for “essential workers”.

Criticism over “government-only” flu jabs, reserved for soldiers, policemen, and essential workers, comes against the backdrop of a nationwide immunisation campaign due to start next week.

The H1N1 virus has so far affected just 23,000 people in Germany, but the government is keen on vaccinating as many people as possible to avoid a possible large-scale outbreak at the start of the winter season.

But revelations in the press that top officials and other essential workers will get the Celvapan vaccine, manufactured by Baxter, which has fewer side effects than the mass Pandemrix vaccine manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline has caused a public outcry.

Government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm has rejected accusations of a “two-tier medical system”, saying both vaccines have equal worth.

Three vaccines — Pandemrix, Celvapan, and Focetria — have been approved by the European Union to fight the swine flu epidemic and “there isn’t a ‘better’ or a ‘worse’ one”, Wilhelm told a news conference Monday.

Merkel “will be seeing her regular general practitioner, will get his advice, and then will be vaccinated” with Pandemrix, the jab meant for the general public, Wilhelm added.

A number of newspapers nevertheless worried that the government was giving the appearance of double standards.

“How can an ordinary citizen understand that a vaccine with fewer side effects has been ordered for ministers than the one intended for the masses,” asked the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Health ministry spokesman Klaus Vater explained that the government had ordered 200,000 vaccines from Baxter last year, in the wake of the bird flu scare, as a precautionary measure to protect essential workers from swine flu.

The government later ordered 50 million vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline to allow for the double dose vaccinations of some 25 million people in Germany, or about a third of the population.

The specialist for health matters at the social-democratic party, Karl Lauterbach, told the Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper that the Pandemrix jab was not recommended for young children and pregnant women because of possible side effects.

He also strongly criticized the government’s information policy saying that the present row might lead people to forgo immunisation altogether.

Recent opinion polls here have suggested that Germans are not overly concerned about the flu which appears to have killed only two people to date in the country.

An Emnit poll said 59 percent of Germans had no fear of the flu.

The European Union recently warned against complacency over the spread of swine flu and urged people to get vaccinated even though the virus has not hit as hard as first feared.

“Even if the pandemic situation isn’t so dramatic in Europe right now, we have to listen to the experts who say it’s not time to lower our guard,” said Swedish Public Health Minister Maria Larsson, whose country holds the EU presidency.

The swine flu has killed over 4,700 people in 191 countries and territories since it first appeared in the spring, according to the World Health Organisation.

Queen Nefertiti rules again in Berlin’s reborn museum

GERMANY/

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks a statue of Nefertiti (Nofretete) after a ceremony marking the opening of the Neue Museum (New Museum) in Berlin October 16, 2009. The famous bust which is part of a permanent Egyptian exhibition and papyrus collection was returned to display at its original location in the New Museum building on Museum Island on Thursday. Reuters

Seventy years after it was destroyed by war, Neues’s reopening hailed as miracle

By Tony Paterson in Berlin

Independent | Oct 17, 2009

For sixty-six years, much of the historic Neues Museum, Berlin’s equivalent to the Louvre, was a bombed-out ruin in the heart of the city. Today it will reopen for visitors with a bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti taking pride of place, after a €212m (£193m) restoration masterminded by leading British architect David Chipperfield.

The museum was officially reinaugurated yesterday by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who lives opposite the cultural complex in the city’s revamped centre. The renaissance of the museum, which contains 9,000 exhibits and artefacts ranging from a 700,000-year-old Stone Age shaped flint to a piece of barbed wire taken from the Berlin Wall, marks the return of one of Germany’s most important cultural landmarks to the reunited city.

The event was described as a second miracle for Berlin after the fall of the dividing wall two decades ago. Michael Eissenhauer, general director of the city’s museums, said the occasion was thrilling. “There is a wonderful electrifying power here,” he said. “I won’t ever experience a moment like this again in my life.” Pride of place is occupied by the 3,400-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, the Neues Museum’s star exhibit, which has been reinstalled in its former resting place after spending the last days of the Second World War in a German salt mine and 29 years in a museum in the old West Berlin. Other exhibits include a ceremonial golden Bronze Age “wizard’s hat” more than 2ft tall, dating from 1,000 BC.

The reopening of the museum also signified the final stage in the restoration of the 19th-century city centre “Museum Island” complex commissioned by the Prussian kaisers, after an interval lasting 70 years. “It is like the missing pearl being finally added to a necklace,” said Hermann Parzinger, president of Germany’s Prussian Cultural Foundation.

The complex was closed to the public in the autumn of 1939 and badly bombed during the Second World War. The Neues Museum suffered several hits during a Royal Air Force raid in 1943. Invading Red Army troops further damaged the building and plundered one of its most priceless exhibits, King Priam’s treasure, the collection found by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. That was taken to Moscow where it is still housed in the city’s Pushkin Museum. East Germany was unable to pay for repairs to the museum after the war.

As part of the restoration concept, Chipperfield chose to leave many of the wartime scars inflicted on the building untouched. In the main entrance, originally constructed in 1855 to a design by the German architect Friedrich August Stüler, the walls remain stripped back to bare brick. Inside, Chipperfield has installed an elegant modern staircase of white cement and marble.

He admitted that restoring a war ruin was a task unlike anything he had done before. “We felt very strongly that we should hold on to the original material,” he said, “but that was a very difficult thing to describe to the public and there was a lot of emotional anxiety about what this would mean in the end.” Despite harsh criticism from some interest groups, the restoration has been widely praised.

Non-Christians to marry in Anglican churches

The Australian | Oct 20, 2009

by Caroline Overington

Anglican Australia ArmsAUSTRALIA’S largest and most conservative Anglican diocese will tomorrow approve changes that would permit couples to marry in church, whether or not they are Christian.

The change to be passed at the Sydney synod tomorrow makes the diocese the 14th of the country’s 23 to approve the reform that would allow an unbaptised Australian to be married in church provided he or she meets the basic standards for civil marriage: a union between a man and woman voluntarily entered into for life.

The change was first mooted at the Anglican general synod in 2007. It has since been put to the different dioceses for agreement and will go back to the national synod next year. Of 16 dioceses that have so far considered it, 13 have agreed, including Melbourne and Adelaide, with Sydney to follow tomorrow, breaching the halfway mark.

The reform drops the “faith requirement” promulgated in 1981 that requires at least one half of the couple be baptised into the Christian faith (not necessarily Anglican).

The Catholic Church, by comparison, requires both parties to be baptised before they can be married, and one half of the couple must also be Catholic. The Uniting Church does not require a declaration of faith.

Anglicans insist the change has nothing to do with the decline in popularity of the church marriage.

On the contrary, the church in Sydney has recently had to appoint Richard James to do nothing but meet the engaged and conduct weddings at the classic, neo-Gothic St Thomas Church in North Sydney, which has lately been overwhelmed by couples wanting to marry there.

“My target market are people who wouldn’t call themselves Christian,” the Reverend James said yesterday.

“They are people who have no relationship with God, who want to get married in a church and I welcome them with open arms.”

He doesn’t always know why couples who aren’t Christian want to marry in his church, but suspects it may be because the church is pretty and the service so lovely.

“But that’s OK. I want unchurched people, who don’t have a church, to come to us,” he said.

“My concern is, for too long, churches have been turning away people because they don’t fulfil the criteria.

“I’m not going to knock back people who aren’t Christian. I marry them, and I tell them God is present, and I pray for them, and they love it. And maybe, just maybe, we can introduce them to God that way.”

The Bishop of North Sydney, Glenn Davies, said the Anglican Church did not want to put conditions such as that in the 1981 law on marriage.

“If we say one half of the couple must be baptised, that might encourage people to get baptised just so they can get married. Baptism is more important than that,” Bishop Davies said.

Bishop Davies said it was particularly silly for the Anglican Church to say that only one half of the couple had to be baptised.

“If the requirement were that both had to be Anglican, that would have least made sense,” he said.

“To have one a Christian, and one not a Christian, that means you could have a Christian in the church marrying a Buddhist.”

He said some bishops were concerned about the change, saying a commitment to the teachings of Christ was surely a minimum requirement.

But he said many other clergy were not even aware of the requirement and did not ask couples if they were baptised before they married them.

Bernard Kerik sent to jail as judge revokes bail

Newsday | Oct 20, 2009

By PERVAIZ SHALLWANI

giuliani kerikBernard Kerik, New York City’s disgraced former police commissioner, went to jail Tuesday after a judge revoked his bail for disclosing sealed trial information that could poison his upcoming corruption trial.

At the end of a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Robinson in White Plains, Kerik took off his purple tie, emptied his pockets and removed a ring from his finger, giving his possessions to his lawyer before marshals led him away.

Robinson revoked Kerik’s $500,000 bail following a hearing that lasted more than three hours regarding confidential trial information that Kerik disclosed to the trustee of his legal defense fund, who in turn released it to The Washington Times. The newspaper did not publish the information.

Kerik’s attorney, Barry Berke, argued that the trustee was part of Kerik’s legal team and therefore was allowed to see the information.

But Robinson, who had warned Kerik last month that he would be jailed for similar behavior, said he did not believe Kerik and delivered a stern rebuke.

“My fear is that he has a toxic combination of self-minded focus and arrogance, and I fear that combination leads him to believe that his ends justify his means,” Robinson said. “The failure of Mr. Kerik to abide by the direct order of this court . . . must be appropriately addressed.”

Robinson said he was ordering Kerik to jail so he would not be able to “influence witnesses or prospective jurors” in a trial that is scheduled to begin Monday with jury selection.

The judge said Kerik seemed to believe that “the rulings of this court are an inconvenience to be forgotten or an obstacle to be circumvented. Mr. Kerik sees himself as a victim of circumstance. . . . I think he needs to refocus.”

Kerik has pleaded not guilty to charges of accepting apartment renovations from a construction company in exchange for recommending the company for city contracts.

Kerik received glowing reviews for his leadership during the Sept. 11 attacks. That leadership led then-President George W. Bush to pick Kerik as the first nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Kerik had to withdraw after he allegedly lied during the vetting process to White House officials about an undocumented immigrant he had employed.

Kerik faces a second trial on tax charges, and a third on claims that he lied to White House officials.