Daily Archives: January 15, 2013

Warning: Most Flu Shots Contain Mercury

flu shot contains mercury

ecochildsplay.com | Jan 14, 2013

by Jennifer Lance

The flu has been getting a lot of media attention lately, as emergency rooms are filled with sick patients and pharmacies are running out of the flu vaccine.

There are two reasons NOT to get the flu vaccine:

1. Each year the flu vaccine is actually developed based on what researchers think will be prevalent.
WebMD explains:

Each year, the flu vaccine contains several different kinds of the virus. The strains chosen are the ones that researchers say are most likely to show up that year.

The mainstream media has featured many ill individuals who did receive the flu vaccination but are still very sick. Apparently, they were not protected from the strain that is prevalent currently.

2. Most flu shots contain mercury.
Mercury in the form of thimerosal is used as a preservative in most flu shots. This is the same thimerosal that was removed from childhood vaccines in the United States that has caused autism like symptoms in primates, even though the medical community does not support is correlation. Regardless scientific proof of autism and other potential negative side effects, mercury was removed from childhood vaccines in 2001. The CDC explains:

2001
Except for influenza (flu), thimerosal is removed from or reduced in all vaccines routinely recommended for children 6 years of age and under manufactured for the U.S. market.

October 1. IOM’s Immunization Safety Review Committee issues a report concluding there is not enough evidence to disprove claims that thimerosal in childhood vaccines causes autism, attention deficit hypersensitivity disorder, or speech or language delay.

May 5. A risk assessment of thimerosal use in childhood vaccines finds no evidence of harm from the use of thimerosal as a preservative, other than redness and swelling at the injection site…

2004
May 28. ACIP recommends that children between the ages of 6 and 23 months routinely receive an inactivated influenza (flu) vaccine. ACIP does not recommend using the thimerosal-free flu vaccine over the thimerosal-containing flu vaccine, and states that the benefits of flu vaccination outweigh any risk from thimerosal exposure.

 

There are four types of flu vaccine, and most of them contain thimerosal.  Again, we refer to the CDC:

Do the 2012-2013 seasonal flu vaccines contain thimerosal?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several formulations of the seasonal flu vaccine, including multi-dose vials and single-dose units. (See Table of Approved Influenza Vaccines for the U.S. 2012–2013 Season.) Since seasonal influenza vaccine is produced in large quantities for annual immunization campaigns, some of the vaccine is produced in multi-dose vials, and contains thimerosal to safeguard against possible contamination of the vial once it is opened.

The single-dose units are made without thimerosal as a preservative because they are intended to be opened and used only once. Additionally, the live-attenuated version of the vaccine (the nasal spray vaccine), is produced in single-dose units and does not contain thimerosal.

It is possible to receive the flu vaccine without mercury, and it is always good advice to speak with your doctor, rather than rely on a blog such as this, for medical advice.  Personally, I would rather take my chances with the flu than be exposed to chemicals, such as mercury, as well as gamble on the effectiveness of the vaccine. That being said, people do die from the flu.  Typically, they are very young or very old or have a compromised immune system from another illness.  A healthy person will suffer from the flu, but they will survive.

Furthermore, many people experience flu like symptoms after receiving the flu vaccine.

I am on the tail end of the flu.  It has lasted for two weeks!  I don’t think it is the same strain featured on the news, as my fever has not been super high, but I have been suffering.

I have never had a flu shot.  Of my friends and family that do get vaccinated, they still get sick just as much as my family.

If you want to protect your family from the flu, the best natural methods are:

  1. Get plenty of rest
  2. Stay hydrated
  3. Eat whole foods (7-10 servings organic fruit and vegetables)
  4. Plenty of Vitamin D!
  5. Wash your hands!

Califonia shivers through coldest weather in 23 years

SoCal Shivers Amid Record Cold Temperatures

KTLA | Jan 14, 2013

by Kellan Connor

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The Southland continues to cope with cold temperatures and gusty winds, which are expected to stick around through Tuesday.

Temperatures in downtown L.A. dropped to their coldest point in 23 years Monday morning, hitting 34 degrees, a record low for the date, the National Weather Service said.

The mercury dipped even lower elsewhere, hitting 31 degrees in Redondo Beach, 29 in Claremont and 14 in Lancaster.

The chilly conditions are the result of a cold air mass that came in last week from Canada, which combined with high pressure in the Pacific and low pressure toward Arizona.

The result has been clear, cold nights and dry air, NWS weather specialist Stuart Seto said.

Freeze warnings and frost advisories were issued overnight Monday for much of the Southland.

Forecasters warned that pets should be kept indoors, and sensitive plants or crops could be damaged or killed.

Several record lows have been set over the past few days, including 35 degrees in downtown on Sunday and 33 degrees at Camarillo Airport, which tied the record.

In addition to the chilly temperatures, many parts of Southern California are also dealing with strong winds.

A high wind warning is in effect through 2 p.m. Tuesday for the Orange County coast and the valleys of the Inland Empire.

The Santa Clarita Valley, the Santa Ana Mountains and foothills, and the Ventura and Los Angeles County mountains are also affected.

A wind advisory remains in effect through noon on Tuesday for the San Fernando Valley and the Ventura County coastal and interior valleys.

Gusty winds of 35 to 50 mph are possible in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valleys, as well as along the coast.

Mountain areas could see gusts up to 60 mph, according to the NWS. The strongest winds are expected to develop midday Monday and last through Tuesday.

China’s inflation rate jumps as record cold weather hits food supply

State news agency Xinhua has called it the coldest winter nationally for 28 years, disrupting both the growing season and supply chains, while in northern China it’s the coldest in more than 40 years.

theglobeandmail.com | Jan 11, 2013

by Carolynne Wheeler

BEIJING — Special to The Globe and Mail

china iceIn China’s managed-capitalist economy, the one thing they cannot control is the weather.

With gentle stimulus trickling down and the world’s second-largest economy showing signs of recovery, December’s inflation numbers were up even more than expected, due largely to unusually cold temperatures that have struck the country from the poor, forested southwestern province of Guizhou to ice-sculpture capital Harbin in the north.

State news agency Xinhua has called it the coldest winter nationally for 28 years, disrupting both the growing season and supply chains, while in northern China it’s the coldest in more than 40 years.

Emergency shelters have sprung up in Anhui province. Some 400,000 people have been left in a state of emergency in Guizhou province while workers use bamboo poles to clear ice from power lines. There are widespread disruptions in power and running water and an old debate over whether the Chinese government should supply public heating in the south as it does in the north has been resurrected.

But just as important is the cold’s effect on the food supply. Some 180,000 cattle have died from the cold in the north; thousands of hectares of crops have also been damaged.

As a result, while non-food inflation came in last month at a respectable 1.7 per cent, food prices, which make up nearly one-third of the weighting, jumped 4.2 per cent from this time last year. Vegetable prices soared 14.8 per cent year-on-year, or 17.5 per cent month-on-month.

The numbers are expected to get worse in the first two months of 2013, since prices traditionally rise ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, also known as Spring Festival, which this year falls in mid-February. And 11 days into January, Beijing’s cold temperatures show no signs of abating yet.

“December’s CPI rebounded by more than expected, thanks to a seasonal spike of vegetable prices. However, these seasonal swings are likely to fade out by spring and China’s modest pace of growth recovery implies that inflation pressures should stay manageable. All this leaves room for Beijing to keep an accommodative monetary policy,” wrote economists Qu Hongbin and Sun Junwei at HSBC.

In a typically Chinese response to inflation, state media have reported the government will control power and water costs for wholesale agricultural markets, hog producers and transportation and storage companies, and will release vegetables from an official strategic reserve to keep prices down.

Next Friday brings the unveiling of the year’s GDP growth, expected to come in around 8 per cent. While China’s economy is seen to be recovering from the malaise brought on by the Eurozone crisis, most economists have already warned it won’t be strong enough to fuel recovery elsewhere.

U.S. moves to bolster French military campaign in Mali

French troops seek to halt Islamist rebels' advance in Mali
French soldiers deployed in an operation against Islamist militants in Mali ride in a military vehicle at an air base near Bamako, the capital. (Eric Feferberg, AFP/Getty Images / January 14, 2013)

The U.S. is preparing to ferry more French troops to Mali and provide other help. The fight against Al Qaeda affiliates gained urgency given the rebel advances.

Los Angeles Times | Jan 14, 2013

By Shashank Bengali, Ken Dilanian and David S. Cloud

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is preparing to ferry hundreds of additional French troops to the North African country of Mali, bolstering a rapidly evolving military campaign in the latest conflict with Al Qaeda affiliates.

U.S. officials said they also were making plans to send drones or other surveillance aircraft and provide help with aerial refueling of French fighter jets, which bombed columns of Al Qaeda-allied militants in northern Mali for a fourth straight day Monday.

The Pentagon’s moves reflect growing concern in Washington about rebel advances, and a decision by the Obama administration to back France’s operation after months of inaction. French officials said they had halted the rebels’ advance on Bamako, the capital, but insurgents later overran Malian forces in a town about 200 miles northeast of the capital.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, speaking to reporters during a trip to Europe, said the U.S. was already providing the French with intelligence help, citing “a responsibility to go after Al Qaeda wherever they are.” Defense officials said small numbers of U.S. troops might be sent to Mali and surrounding countries but that they would be limited to a support role.

“We have promised [France] that we will … provide whatever assistance we can to try to help them,” Panetta said.

As the Obama administration winds down the United States’ long, costly war in Afghanistan, the focus of Western governments’ terrorism concerns has shifted to places such as Yemen, Somalia and northern Nigeria. Once-stable Mali joined the list after Islamist rebels seized the northern half of the country after a military coup in March. According to U.S. officials, the militants set up training camps and increased coordination with militant groups elsewhere in Africa.

The militants imposed harsh Islamic law, including forced amputations and summary executions.

The rebels include hundreds of fighters from Al Qaeda’s North African affiliate, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which U.S. officials have described as the terrorist network’s best-financed branch. Flush with cash from kidnapping and smuggling operations, the fighters gained large stocks of military equipment after the 2011 fall of Moammar Kadafi in Libya. Weapons from Kadafi’s regime flowed across the lawless Sahara into Mali.

U.S. officials say the Al Qaeda offshoot has between 800 and 1,200 fighters and that an unknown number also have joined in recent months from other African nations and Europe.

“They’ve increased in numbers because they’re able to operate a little more openly,” one U.S. defense official said before the French campaign began. “A lot of folks have seen the success they’ve had, and that draws in people from the region as well as foreigners who’ve come in from outside the region.”

France, the former colonial power in Mali, has a large North African immigrant population and has long feared that Islamists could use their base in Mali to plot attacks on French soil. Eight French hostages reportedly are being held by Islamists in northern Mali.

U.S. officials until recently didn’t regard the threat with great urgency, but the rebel advance last week appeared to force France’s hand — and heightened American concern. According to local news reports, one group of fighters attacked the town of Konna and moved toward government-controlled Mopti while a second group advanced to the west, showing a level of coordination that analysts hadn’t seen before.

“Until a week ago, I and others were telling people we don’t really think that there’s much of a threat here, because these [militants] have very parochial interests and we don’t think they’ve got the military capability,” said Michael Shurkin, a former CIA analyst who worked on Mali and is now an expert at the Rand Corp. think tank.

“What France saw this last week just scared it. It saw real capability, audacity and capacity,” he said.

French President Francois Hollande swiftly sent 550 troops to Mali, mainly to Bamako to secure the airport and, if necessary, evacuate the roughly 6,000 French citizens living there, officials said. France has asked the Pentagon for help in quickly moving another 500 to 600 troops and their equipment into the country, a U.S. defense official said.

U.S. military planners were devising options for using Air Force cargo planes to move the forces from France to staging areas outside Mali, possibly including the neighboring countries of Niger and Burkina Faso, the official said.

“We’re going to do it,” the official said. “We just don’t know what platforms yet,” referring to the types of aircraft.

The United States for several years conducted training operations with Mali’s armed forces but was legally required to suspend all assistance to the Malian government after the March coup. A U.S. official said that restriction was delaying assistance to the French operation, but Obama administration lawyers were looking at ways around the prohibition.

Last month the United Nations signed off on a West African-led plan to send 3,300 regional troops to help Malian forces retake the north. France is putting pressure on the West African bloc to speed the deployment of its soldiers.

Full Story

Coroner: Natalie Wood’s wounds open possibility she was assaulted before drowning

wagner wood
Michael Baden, a former New York examiner and noted trial expert witness, said that although both examinations of Wood’s body looked at the same evidence, the new report found the bruising to be far more significant — enough to change the official cause of death.

latimes.com | Jan 14, 2013

Through three decades of fevered tabloid speculation and whispers of a deeper story, the official account never changed: Natalie Wood drowned accidentally. The 43-year-old star of “West Side Story,” who couldn’t swim, had been drinking the night before she was found floating face-down in frigid waters off Santa Catalina Island.

When the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reopened the case in November 2011 around the 30th anniversary of her death, skeptics questioned the timing and doubted whether there was anything new to be learned.

Instead of quieting speculation, the investigation has raised fresh — and probably unanswerable — questions about one of Hollywood’s most enduring puzzles.

In a report released Monday, Los Angeles County Coroner Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran questioned the original 1981 findings and changed Wood’s cause of death from “accidental drowning” to “drowning and other undetermined factors.”

The coroner’s report cited unexplained fresh bruising on the actress’ right forearm, left wrist and right knee, along with a scratch on her neck and a scrape on her forehead. Officials said the wounds open the possibility that she was assaulted before drowning.

“This Examiner is unable to exclude non-accidental mechanism causing these injuries,” the report said, adding that evidence suggested the bruises occurred before Wood entered the water.

Sheriff’s investigators said the case remains open but that detectives have reached an impasse. One law enforcement source who has worked on the case said detectives may never have a conclusive answer, given that “evidence is stale… with fading memories and incomplete forensics.”

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing, said there is not enough evidence to classify the case as a crime, much less a homicide.

Experts said it is highly unusual for coroners to contradict the autopsy findings performed by their own office. Michael Baden, a former New York examiner and noted trial expert witness, said that although both examinations of Wood’s body looked at the same evidence, the new report found the bruising to be far more significant — enough to change the official cause of death.

“Sathyavagiswaran knows by issuing this opinion that he will unleash criticism on his predecessor and questions over how it handled a celebrity death three decades ago,” Baden said. “He knows in saying this he is criticizing [former coroner] Dr. [Thomas] Noguchi and the office back in 1981.”

Noguchi did not return calls for comment. The new report noted “conflicting statements” about when Wood disappeared and whether she had argued with her husband, actor Robert Wagner, who — along with her “Brainstorm” costar Christopher Walken — were on the 60-foot yacht where she was last seen alive Nov. 28, 1981.

Hours before her death, authorities said, the three actors had dinner at Doug’s Harbor Reef restaurant and then returned to the yacht, called the Splendour, where they drank and an argument ensued between Walken and Wagner.

According to the new autopsy report, Wood went missing about midnight, and an analysis of her stomach contents placed her death around that time. The report said Wagner placed a radio call to report her missing at 1:30 a.m. the next morning.

Roger Smith, the Los Angeles County rescue boat captain who helped pull Wood’s body from the water, said he did not receive a call to look for her until after 5 a.m.

The original investigators believed Wood received her bruises falling off the yacht and struggling to pull herself from the water into a rubber dinghy, whose starboard side bore scratch marks that seemed consistent with such a theory.

But in his report, Sathyavagiswaran noted that investigators did not take nail clippings from Wood’s body to determine whether she’d made the scratch marks, and the dinghy was no longer available to be examined. The coroner believes Wood died soon after entering the water.

In an interview Monday, Smith said he wonders whether Wood might have been found alive if the rescue effort had gotten underway sooner. “There’s no question in my mind that he just delayed calling for us,” Smith said, referring to Wagner.

Smith said he and a deputy examined Wood’s body but saw no bruises. “We went over her very closely,” said Smith, 68. “When we looked at her, we didn’t see any bruises. We were looking for needle marks or anything like that — we didn’t see anything.”

He said the cold water may have delayed any bruising. He said he examined the dinghy, which was found beached nearby, and saw dislodged seats and what looked like “nail marks along the inside of the raft,” as if Wood had tried frantically to reach in and rescue herself.

“She probably couldn’t pull herself in because she was so weak,” Smith said. “It looked like she was maybe grabbing things. I just think she was trying to get in.”

Smith said he had doubted an earlier claim by yacht captain Dennis Davern that he had seen bruises on Wood’s body. “He could not have seen bruises on her because out of decency, I covered her up with a disposable blanket,” Smith said.

Wagner has said his wife was not suicidal and called her death a tragic accident. According to the account given by his spokesman, when Wagner noticed his wife missing, he believed she had taken the dinghy and went looking for her after 10 to 15 minutes, then contacted the Harbor Patrol when he couldn’t find her.

Wagner could not be reached for comment Monday.

“I have gone over it so many millions of times with people,”  Wagner told The Times in 2008.

White House says Texas has no right to leave the US, must remain in “perpetual union” with Washington DC

White House responds to secession petition, says Texas doesn’t have right to leave the US

Associated Press | Jan 14, 2013

EL PASO, Texas — Bad news for thousands of people who wanted to see Texas secede: The state is still in the U.S.

The White House has responded to a petition asking that Texas be allowed to break away from the country, saying the Founding Fathers who created the nation “did not provide a right to walk away from it.”

More than 125,000 people signed the petition, which was created a few days after President Barack Obama won re-election. The White House has promised to respond to any petition that gets more than 25,000 signatures within 30 days.

Jon Carson, director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, issued a response quoting Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address and a Supreme Court opinion after the Civil War. It said America was created as a “perpetual union,” but one that allows people with different beliefs to debate the issues.

“Democracy can be noisy and controversial,” Carson said. “Free and open debate is what makes this country work. … But as much as we value a healthy debate, we don’t let that debate tear us apart.”

The petition was created by Micah Hurd, a Texas National Guardsman and an engineering student at the University of Texas in Arlington. He couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

In asking that Texas be allowed to leave the country, the petition cited the “economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending.” It argued that given the size of Texas’ economy and because the state has a balanced budget, it would be “practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union.”

The petition also said the federal government didn’t share the same values held by the Founding Fathers.

But Carson argued that the writers of the U.S. Constitution addressed the need for policy change through elections, not secession.

The petition’s success brought overnight fame for Hurd, though briefly got him in trouble. In December, a regiment commander at the Texas National Guard sent an email to his subordinates, including Hurd, saying “any mention of secession better happen on a civilian venue.”

“It’s only talk, and rather ignorant talk at that,” the commander wrote. “If you’ve already done something to call attention to yourself or our regiment in this matter, make it go away.”

But a few days later, a National Guard spokeswoman said Hurd had done nothing wrong and that “the email asking him not to talk about it” shouldn’t have been sent.

A telephone listing for Hurd couldn’t be found Monday by The Associated Press. His father, who has spoken on behalf of his son in the past, didn’t immediately return a phone message.