Daily Archives: March 22, 2010

Bill Gates: Vaccines will help depopulate the planet

Bill Gates Wants To Reduce Population To Reduce Co2

wideshut.co.uk | Mar 1, 2010

By Keelan Balderson

Despite mounting evidence to the contrary and scandal after scandal, Bill Gates is continuing his support of Anthropogenic Climate Change theorems by once again calling for mass population reduction in order to reduce the alleged human contribution to Co2 emissions. He told an audience at the TED conference in February that Vaccinations, reproductive services and health are a good method of achieving this.

To the casual observer the idea of birth control and vaccinations is a good thing. But when these methods are applied to the science of Global Warming, which is still hotly debated, one has to wonder are we really prepared to get this agenda rolling?

Take a second moment to process the information, how exactly do vaccines prevent population growth? Is he talking about sterilization? If so that brings us back to the days of Eugenics, a movement that started in Britain and US as a bastardized version of Darwinian evolution that claimed feeble-mindedness, poverty etc was actually genetic and that measures should be made to prevent breeding of “undesirables” so that only the elite survived.

Hitler’s ethnic cleansing was very much an idea created and funded by the western ruling classes; the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. In fact on top of this the Harrimans and the Bush family were later tied to the Union Banking corporation that laundered Hitler’s money, and Rockefeller’s Standard Oil supplied the German Luftwaffe with fuel.

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US Forest Service admits putting surveillance cameras on public lands

Charleston man surprised when he found one while camping with daughter

postandcourier.com | Mar 15, 2010

BY TONY BARTELME

Last month, Herman Jacob took his daughter and her friend camping in the Francis Marion National Forest. While poking around for some firewood, Jacob noticed a wire. He pulled on it and followed it to a video camera and antenna.

The camera didn’t have any markings identifying its owner, so Jacob took it home and called law enforcement agencies to find out if it was theirs, all the while wondering why someone would station a video camera in an isolated clearing in the woods.

He eventually received a call from Mark Heitzman of the U.S. Forest Service.

In a stiff voice, Heitzman ordered Jacob to turn it back over to his agency, explaining that it had been set up to monitor “illicit activities.” Jacob returned the camera but felt uneasy.

Why, he wondered, would the Forest Service have secret cameras in a relatively remote camping area? What do they do with photos of bystanders?

How many hidden cameras are they using, and for what purposes? Is this surveillance in the forest an effective law enforcement tool? And what are our expectations of privacy when we camp on public land?

Officials with the Forest Service were hardly forthcoming with answers to these and other questions about their surveillance cameras. When contacted about the incident, Heitzman said “no comment,” and referred other questions to Forest Service’s public affairs, who he said, “won’t know anything about it.”

Heather Frebe, public affairs officer with the Forest Service in Atlanta, said the camera was part of a law enforcement investigation, but she declined to provide details.

Asked how cameras are used in general, how many are routinely deployed throughout the Forest and about the agency’s policies, Frebe also declined to discuss specifics. She said that surveillance cameras have been used for “numerous years” to “provide for public safety and to protect the natural resources of the forest. Without elaborating, she said images of people who are not targets of an investigation are “not kept.”

In addition, when asked whether surveillance cameras had led to any arrests, she did not provide an example, saying in an e-mail statement: “Our officers use a variety of techniques to apprehend individuals who break laws on the national forest.”

Video surveillance is nothing new, and the courts have addressed the issue numerous times in recent decades. The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, and over time the courts have created a body of law that defines what’s reasonable, though this has become more challenging as surveillance cameras became smaller and more advanced.

In general, the courts have held that people typically have no reasonable level of privacy in public places, such as banks, streets, open fields in plain view and on public lands, such as National Parks and National Forests. In various cases, judges ruled that a video camera is effectively an extension of a law enforcement officer’s eyes and ears. In other words, if an officer can eyeball a campground in person, it’s OK to station a video camera in his or her place.

Jacob said he understands that law enforcement officials have a job to do but questioned whether stationing hidden cameras outweighed his and his children’s privacy rights. He said the camp site they went to — off a section of the Palmetto Trail on U.S. 52 north of Moncks Corner — was primitive and marked only by a metal rod and a small wooden stand for brochures. He didn’t recall seeing any signs saying that the area was under surveillance.

After he found the camera, he plugged the model number, PV-700, into his Blackberry, and his first hit on Google was a Web site offering a “law enforcement grade” motion-activated video camera for about $500. He called law enforcement agencies in the area, looking for its owner, and later got a call from Heitzman, an agent with the National Forest Service.

Clinton to AIPAC: Israel’s security strengthens US

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pauses during remarks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual policy conference in Washington, March 22, 2010. Last week the influential pro-Israel lobbying group (AIPAC) released a statement that called on the White House to take immediate steps to defuse tension with Israel over a settlement dispute. Reuters Pictures

Clinton: “Our commitment to Israel’s future is rock solid, unwavering, enduring and forever.”

AIPAC director calls for US, Israel to tighten relationship.

jpost.com | Mar 22, 2010

By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the country’s largest pro-Israel lobby on Monday that the Israeli-Palestinian status quo was “unsustainable,” while defending her recent criticism of east Jerusalem housing as in Israel’s interest to bring about peace.

“It is our devotion to this outcome – two states for two peoples, secure and at peace – that led us to condemn the announcement of plans for new construction in east Jerusalem,” she told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual conference, which came on the heels of some of the worst tension between the two countries in years after the new housing plan was announced during US Vice President Joe Biden’s recent trip to Jerusalem.

“This was not about wounded pride. Nor is it a judgment on the final status of Jerusalem, which is an issue to be settled at the negotiating table,” Clinton said of the US’s strong condemnation of the Ramat Shlomo construction plan, which she labeled an “insult” in the media. “This is about getting to the table, creating and protecting an atmosphere of trust around it – and staying there until the job is finally done.”

She argued those talks are urgently needed because demography, technology and ideology help make maintaining the status quo impossible.

Clinton pointed to the violence Israel finds itself under, criticizing Hamas and Hizbullah for launching rockets at Israel.

“Behind these terrorist organizations and their rockets, we see the destabilizing influence of Iran,” she said. “Reaching a two-state solution will not end all these threats, you and I know that, but failure to do so gives our extremist foes a pretext to spread violence, instability, and hatred.”

While calling for Palestinians to end incitement, and praising Prime Minister Netanyahu – who has apologized for the timing of theeast Jerusalem announcement – for embracing a two-state solution and easing movement in the West Bank, she also said the US wants Israel to build trust “by demonstrating respect for the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians, stopping settlement activity, and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

Clinton’s message on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was received politely if not enthusiastically by most of the 7,500 or so AIPAC activists at her Monday morning speech. Despite the recent tensions, there was no obvious booing or other voicing of disapproval, and several of her comments on the subject received some applause.

Her statements on Iran, however, garnered much more enthusiastic backing.

“The United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons,” she said to one of a handful of standing ovations. “Our aim is not incremental sanctions, but sanctions that will bite.”

Clinton began by stressing the strength and importance of the US-Israel relationship, despite the recent disagreements.

“For President Obama, for me, and for this entire administration, our commitment to Israel’s security and Israel’s future is rock solid, unwavering, enduring and forever,” she declared, receiving sustained applause. “A strong and secure Israel is vital to our own strategic interests. We know that the forces that threaten Israel also threaten the United States.”

Clinton was preceded by AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr, who received a standing ovation himself when he declared, “Jerusalem is not a settlement.”

He also pushed back against what he called “the reductionist view that the relationship between the United States and Israel rests on resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”

He called the notion “specious and insidious,” as well as dangerous, and continued, “we must refute it.”

Kohr also called for the US and Israel to move past their recent row.

“It is time to reduce the tension, time to set aside the past week and pledge to work to solve problems together,” he said.

His remarks were more measured than those of Lee Rosenberg, the new AIPAC president, who received an enthusiastic standing ovation Sunday evening when stressed to the crowd, “Allies should work out differences privately.”

He said that “in any relations mistakes are going to happen,” adding, “how friends disagree can determine the course of our relationship.”

Silvio Berlusconi to push for change to Italian constitution for greater powers

London Times | Mar 22, 2010

by Richard Owen, Rome

The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is proposing to change the constitution by referendum to give him greater powers as a “directly elected president”.

Addressing supporters of his People of Liberty (PdL) party at a rally in Rome, Mr Berlusconi said that he planned a “great, great, great reform” in the remaining three years of his term.

This would include changes to the judiciary, which he claims is biased against him, a cut in the number of MPs and senators and direct elections for a head of state with expanded powers.

The president is currently elected by Parliament, and has limited powers. Mr Berlusconi did not say whether he would be a candidate but the Italian press said that the announcement was consistent with his populist belief that “the people” supported him despite the “lies” spread by “magistrates and the press”.

PdL officials said that more than a million people attended the rally in Rome, staged under the slogan “Love always wins over envy and hatred” to the soundtrack from Star Wars.

However, police put the turnout at 150,000 — fewer than the crowds that attended a centre-left, anti-Berlusconi rally a week previously.

New opinion polls show that Mr Berlusconi’s approval rating has slipped to 44 per cent from 62 per cent when he was elected to his third term a year and a half ago.

Last week the Prime Minister addressed a half-empty hall at an election rally in Naples.

Mr Berlusconi’s standing could suffer another blow if centre-right voters abstain in elections in 13 regions next weekend after the PdL bungled the registration of its candidates in Lazio, the region around Rome. It missed the deadline because a party official went out for a sandwich.

Questions were also raised over the validity of signatures accompanying the PdL list in Mr Berlusconi’s native Lombardy region.

At first the Prime Minister turned on “idiots” in his party but later blamed the Left for “dirty tricks”.

Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the opposition Democratic Party, said that Mr Berlusconi was increasingly “nervous” because “he knows the tide is turning against him”.

Renato Mannheimer, Italy’s top pollster, said: “The centre-right electorate is disoriented and has lost confidence in its leaders, whom they see as disorganised.”

Magistrates are investigating Mr Berlusconi for abuse of office after tapped phone conversations indicated that he had interfered to try to block his critics from appearing on talk shows and news bulletins not only on his Mediaset television network but also on programmes of RAI, the public broadcaster.

At the Rome rally, outside the Basilica of St John Lateran, Mr Berlusconi said that “leftist” judges and politicians had concocted “a laughable investigation based on the tapping of my calls.

“Do you want phone taps on everyone and everything? Do you want to be spied on in your own homes?” he asked the crowd — which roared back, “No”.

“We don’t often take to the streets but it was absolutely necessary to defend ourselves from the attacks of the Left and its magistrates,” Mr Berlusconi told his supporters.

“We are here to have our right to vote guaranteed. With you, love and freedom will win.”

Ministers and PdL regional candidates attended the Rome rally. However, Gianfranco Fini, the Speaker of the Lower House and co-founder of the party — who has distanced himself from the Prime Minister and is seen as his most likely challenger — did not take part, saying that his institutional position prevented him from doing so. He is to launch a new movement in May called Generation Italy.

Death stalks the frozen land of Genghis Khan

The looming catastrophe is so serious that the United Nations has issued an urgent appeal for assistance for this remote corner of Asia, a region so inhospitable that westerners rarely penetrate it. Photo: ADAM DEAN

Mongolia is experiencing the worst famine in a generation, as Peter Foster found when he spent time with nomads in the one of the most inhospitable terrains on earth.

Telegraph | Mar 22, 2010

By Peter Foster in Uliastai

The gaunt carcass of the horse lay where it had fallen, the cause of death – a slow, painful starvation – obvious from its near-fleshless, silvery bones that gleamed under an ice-blue Mongolian sky.

In a nearby tree, a murder of glossy crows sat patiently waiting their chance to feast on the latest victim of the white dzud, the name Mongolian herders use to describe a winter of such ferocity that it comes round only once in a generation.

This has been one of those winters; fattening the carrion feeders, the crows, magpies and stooping, black vultures on the carcasses of more than two million farm animals, with another two million expected to perish before the winter ends.

The looming catastrophe is so serious that the United Nations has issued an urgent appeal for assistance for this remote corner of Asia, a region so inhospitable that westerners rarely penetrate it.

A drought last summer meant that the sparse grazing yielded even less nutrition than usual. Now, as The Sunday Telegraph became the first western newspaper to witness at close quarters, Mongolian herdsmen, the ancestors of the warrior clans that conquered most of Asia under Genghis Khan, face a struggle just to keep alive.

The herdsmen are no strangers to hardship, inured to tending their flocks in temperatures below -40C, but even they have been defeated by the savagery of this particular season.

“It died this morning, I skinned it for its coat which is worth a little money,” said the owner of the dead horse, retreating into his ger, the traditional round felt-lined dwelling of Eurasian nomads. “On January 20 I had 1080 head of stock. I have lost more than 800 since then.”

On that night, recalled 35-year-old Batbayar Zundui, the first big snows of winter came driving down the valleys of the western Mongolian Altai mountains where he lives with his wife and three-month-old daughter.

“The snows were too deep for the animals to reach the pasture. We brought them in, but because of the drought last summer we didn’t have enough fodder to feed them. Many starved to death where they stood,” he says matter-of-factly.

Batbayar, who had 70 horses last December of which only eight remain, cannot hide his despair as he explains how some mornings he wakes to find two animals dead, other mornings 10.

Recently his three elder daughters returned home from the nearest town where they attend a government boarding school, to discover the rising mound of carcasses behind the family home.

“Some of the animals that died were owned by them and they loved them especially dearly,” he says, unable to hold back a tear. “My daughters cried and then they blamed their parents for failing them.”

Such stories are told over and over in the mountains outside Uliastai, the capital of Mongolia’s western Zavkhan province 620 miles from the capital Ulan Bator, and indeed over swaths of the country which has declared a national disaster in 12 of its 21 provinces.

The United Nations and aid organisations such as Save the Children have issued an urgent appeal for assistance to clear fallen livestock and deliver food, fuel and medical care to the herdsmen and their families who account for more than a third of Mongolia’s 2.7m population.

“Mongolia is in the middle of a major emergency,” says Anna Ford, Asia specialist with Save the Children. “Tens of thousands of families don’t know how they are going to feed their children, heat their homes or keep their animals alive and things are only going to get worse.”

The scale of the emergency, and the difficulty of delivering assistance, becomes gruesomely clear as we drive north from Uliastai along unmarked roads, churning across the windblown steppe through mile after mile of drifting snow and sliding wildly across frozen rivers.

In a country three times the size of France, many of the herders remain unreachable, locked in the vastness of some of the most inhospitable inhabited terrain on the planet.

The evidence of Mongolia’s animal holocaust lies all around; horses and cows skinned at the roadside where they fell and, in gully after gully, piles of sheep and goat carcasses, frozen by the Siberian winds. Only the camels seem to survive.

But if nature is the principle cause of this disaster, it may not be wholly to blame for its debilitating impact on the herdsmen.

Elders who remember the great dzuds of 1968 and 1944 say the ability of modern Mongolian farmers to cope with the disaster has been diminished by a combination of greed and neglect.

Since Mongolia embraced market reforms and abandoned its Soviet-inspired co-operative agriculture system in the 1990s the numbers of animals on the pastures has doubled to an unsustainable 44 million.

Grazing land has been chronically over-used, particularly by destructive, grubbing goats bred to feed the international demand for cashmere wool.

Up in a narrow crease of a snow-filled valley, a 70-year-old herder called Baavankhon frames Mongolia’s problems in more poetic terms.

Like many herders, Baavankhon worships the land that sustains him, making offerings to a sacred mountain but in recent years, he says, people have been cutting firewood from the holy places; just one example of how the ancient compact with nature has been broken in modern Mongolia.

“We have mountains, rivers and sky and the most powerful of these is the sky,” he says as outside the snow begins to fall again. “If the sky is in a good mood, it brings us warmth and moderate rains that bring us a good life. But if the sky is angry it sends us cold and snow and then we are ruined.”

The dzud poses a huge problem for a country struggling to adapt to the post-Communist era, mired in corruption and unplanned urbanisation.

Allegations of vote rigging in a 2008 parliamentary poll sparked violent protests, but calm returned last May after 46-year-old Tsakhia Elbegdorj was elected President on an anti-corruption ticket.

International investors are now queuing up for the chance to exploit Mongolia’s vast mineral reserves – gold, silver, copper, iron and uranium – which are being eyed by neighbouring China.

However with a third of Mongolians living in poverty, it remains unclear whether Mongolia’s 180,000 herder families will benefit from their country’s massive potential.

For now those development goals are subordinate to the immediate task of delivering help to those in need.

Herders like 25-year-old Bayambajav Choijin, who has already lost more than a third of her flock of 300 sheep and goats, know that April will prove the cruellest month as stores run out.

“Normally when we buy food we don’t pay cash, but agree that in the spring, when we sell cashmere from the goats, we’ll pay back the shopkeeper, but with the large number of animals dying they won’t give us anything now,” she says.

The UN reports infant mortality rates are already rising by 40 per cent in worst-affected districts and in Uliastai where the hospital has 42 cases for its 35 beds, doctors predict rising numbers of suicide and neurosis.

Bayambajav says the impacts of the dzud will be felt by her family for years to come and that she will now never be able to provide the college education she dreams of for her son, Batmagnal.

“The animals mean everything for us,” she says looking on as the boy plays at her feet, oblivious to his shrinking fortunes.

“They are our food, our store of wealth and on their backs rest all our future plans.”

Tainted vaccines kill Chinese children

Corruption alleged as tainted vaccines kill Chinese children

Sunday Times | Mar 21, 2010

Michael Sheridan

FOR Wang Mingliang, the birth of a son should have been the start of a season of joy in his village at the rural heart of northern China.

But his little boy, Xiao’er, lived just seven months before he suffered convulsions and a fever, then died. Wang said Xiao’er fell ill after vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis. “My whole family is plunged in sorrow,” he said.

“Our son was vaccinated by the hospital and they sterilised my wife to conform to the birth control policy. Now my son is dead and my wife can have no more children.”

His son was among thousands of children given tainted vaccines in a scandal that reporters and medical staff allege has left four dead and 74 handicapped.

Wang is one of more than 70 parents who have tried to sue the health authorities in Shanxi province. The courts and health officials have rejected their claims, saying that an inquiry found no connection between vaccines and the children’s health problems.

In response to public outrage, however, the health ministry has ordered an inquiry after Wang Keqiang, one of China’s top investigative reporters, revealed a web of alleged corruption and incompetence that put many children at risk.

The vaccines were stored without refrigeration by a firm that had won a distribution monopoly, said his report in the China Economic Times.

Other cases listed by the paper included Yan Yan, a girl of two, in a vegetative state; Qiang Qian, a boy of eight who suffers convulsions; and Jun Jun, a boy with brain damage.

The scandal has put the press in open conflict with bureaucrats and has led censors to banish the original story from the internet.

The report was “basically not true”, said Li Shukai, the local deputy health director, in an interview with Xinhua, the state news agency.

Doctors and a whistleblower, who was a senior official at the provincial disease control centre, have backed the journalist. “Our report was based on a six-month inquiry and interviews with the families of 36 victims plus testimony, videos and documents,” the reporter said. “I knew before writing the article they’d try to hush it up.”

Chen Tao’an, the whistleblower, said he had watched millions of batches of vaccines dumped “like potatoes” in the open air, exposed to sunlight or kept in hot rooms by the Beijing Huawei Biomedical company. Vaccines should be kept at tightly controlled temperatures.

“I reported this to higher officials more than 30 times but every time my report sank into oblivion,” Chen said.

Officials were unable to stem a tide of criticism as more alleged instances of contaminated medicine came to light. These included 400,000 people in the eastern city of Hangzhou who were given fake hepatitis vaccine and an official report that 210,000 faulty batches of rabies vaccine had been found in 27 provinces.

British troops to march on Red Square for first time in history… under a portrait of Stalin

Historic: A view of what British troops may look like marching through Moscow’s Red Square to celebrate the 65th anniversary of VE day this May

Daily Mail | Mar 19, 2010

They were our uneasy allies against Adolf Hitler – and then our sworn enemies for much of the latter half of the 20th century.

But now the Cold War is over, and Britain and Russia are set to come together once again to mark their stand together against Nazi Germany – this time, in the symbolic heart of the former Soviet Union.

British troops are to march with Russian soldiers in Moscow’s Red Square to mark the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, officials confirmed today.

It is believed to be the first time that British troops have ever marched in the Red Square.

However the celebration has already  been mired in controversy over the city’s plans to display a portrait of Soviet dictator and World War II ally Josef Stalin in the square for the parade.

If realised, the plans would break a major taboo in Russia.

For many, Stalin remains the butcher who sent hundreds of thousands of Communist Party men to their deaths in political purges.

American soldiers march with Russian troops under a portrait of Stalin in the port town of Vladivostok during the May 2007 celebrations marking VE day

He also callously condemned millions of peasants to die during man-made famines in the early Thirties.

But for most modern Russians, Stalin is also the victor of World War II and the greatest hero of the Soviet century.

As the Soviet Union was brought to her knees in 1991, Stalin remained a symbol of Russian power.

Former Russian president and current prime minister Vladimir Putin has recently appeared to be making efforts to cleanse Stalin’s image as part of a resurgence of national pride.

However, even for Mr Putin, open celebration of the dictator’s achievements are still met with caution.

Human rights activists and allies of Mr Putin have attacked the plans by the city of Moscow to display portraits of Stalin in the Red Square during the May 9 celebrations.

The British embassy said in a statement today that the May 9 parade will include a Royal Air Force band and a detachment of Welsh Guards.

The U.S. Embassy confirmed that U.S. soldiers will take part in the parade. French soldiers are also to march.

For most of the 20th century, Russia was squared off against Britain and the U.S. The Cold War defined international relations in the aftermath of WW2 – and, some argue, even during the war.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, however, and the break-up of the Soviet Union just years later, Russia and the West have settled into an uneasy detente.

Victory Day is Russia’s most important secular holiday. The military parade will be Russia’s largest ever, culminating in a flyover of 140 planes and helicopters.

Last year’s parade featured 9,000 servicemen, S-400 missiles and only half as many aircraft.

Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Poland – which spent much of the Cold War fighting for survival under the threat of Russian imperialism – is also considering joining the celebrations.

Up to 20 million Russians are believed to have died as a result of Stalin’s rule.

He was first denounced by the man to succeed him, Nikita Khrushchev, who committed the unthinkable by demolishing Stalin’s reputation in what became known as the ‘Secret Speech’ of 1956.

From that point on, the Soviet leadership struggled to maintain the power that Stalin had wielded in the Communist world, without resorting to the murderous purges so favoured by the dictator.