Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Caesarean delivery can alter DNA: study


Researchers at Karolinska Institutet believe they have discovered the DNA mutations that explain why children delivered by planned Caesarean are at a higher risk for immunological diseases such as asthma, cancer and diabetes.

The genetic makeup of white blood cells looks different in children delivered via Caesarean compared to that of children born normally, reports Svenska Dagbladet newspaper (SvD).

An explanation for the different DNA sequences might be that those delivered via Caesarean experience greater stress than babies delivered naturally.

While stress builds up gradually during normal birth, the nervous systems of babies delivered via Caesarean are exposed to sudden stress. At the same time, some DNA genes are turned off while others are switched on.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

British Rum Maker Got a $2.7 Billion Payout from TARP


June 26 (Bloomberg) -- In June 2008, U.S. Virgin Islands Governor John deJongh Jr. agreed to give London-based Diageo Plc billions of dollars in tax incentives to move its production of Captain Morgan rum from one U.S. island -- Puerto Rico -- to another, namely St. Croix.

DeJongh says he had no idea his deal would help make the world’s largest liquor distiller the most unlikely beneficiary of the emergency Troubled Asset Relief Program approved by Congress just four months later.

Today, as two 56-foot-high (17-meter-high) tanks for holding fermenting molasses will soon rise from the ground on the Caribbean island of St. Croix, the extent to which dozens of nonbank companies benefited from last October’s emergency financial rescue plan is just beginning to come to light.

The hurried legislation adopted by a Congress voting under the threat of sudden global economic collapse led to hidden tax breaks for firms in dozens of industries. They included builders of Nascar auto-racing tracks, restaurant chains such as Burger King Holdings Inc., movie and television producers -- and London’s Diageo.

“It’s kind of like the magician’s sleight of hand,” says former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman William Thomas, a California Republican who ran the committee from 2001 to 2007 and oversaw all tax legislation. “They snuck these things in a bill that was focused on other things.”

Congress inserted the tax benefits for companies other than banks in a fog of confusion and panic after the House of Representatives rejected the first attempt to fund the bank support effort urged by then President George W. Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

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Liberty and Tyranny: Bachmann Warns Against Cap-and-Trade

Cap and Trade Was Never About Climate

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel reports today that the businesses in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership are beginning to realize that the cap and trade was never about global warming:

“People are learning,” says William Kovacs, vice president of environment, technology and regulatory affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (which has been cautious about embracing a climate plan). “The Obama budget did more to help us consolidate and coalesce the business community than anything we could have done. It’s opened eyes to the fact that this is about a social welfare transfer system, not about climate.”

Nothing makes this more clear than President Barack Obama’s budget. Obama’s budget promises to raise $650 billion in revenues by selling carbon permits (which are the exact same thing as an energy tax). Only $150 billion of that pot of money will go to alternative energy production. The rest goes to pay for income redistribution in the form of income tax “cuts” for people that don’t pay income taxes.

But that is just the beginning. That $650 billion total low-balls the amount that a cap and trade system could raise if 100% of credits were auctioned off at the levels of carbon reduction that Obama wants. The Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation analyzed the economic impact of the less aggressive Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade. We found that total value of the allowances (the government auctioned permits whose cost is passed along to energy consumers) would be at least $1,622,848,000,000 for the years 2012 to 2019.

In other words, if 100% of the permits were auctioned off, the left would have almost another trillion dollars to spend on new social programs. Or as Obama’s budget euphemistically puts it, the money be used “to further compensate the public.

Source

Peter Schiff - Cap and Trade Bill Is A Giant Tax on Productivity

Could common sunscreen ingredient be dangerous?

Health experts agree sunscreen is necessary, but instead of just considering the sun protection factor or SPF, you might want to consider the ingredients.

There is an ongoing debate about whether a common sunscreen ingredient, oxybenzone, could lead to health problems and even be linked to cancer.

The Environmental Working Group keeps an updated database on more than 1,000 sunscreens it has studied. It found four out of five contain chemicals that may pose health hazards or don't adequately protect skin from the sun's damaging rays

Dermatologist David McDaniel says while the studies so far are incomplete, oxybenzone does penetrate the skin.

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"Psychiatric diagnoses are less reliable than star signs "


Complain to your doctor about a mental health problem and you will probably leave the surgery with a prescription for drugs, despite increasing doubts about their effectiveness and fears about side-effects. The prevailing wisdom is that psychiatric disorders are genetically based brain diseases, biological abnormalities that can be controlled with medication. Every year, doctors in England dole out 31 million prescriptions for antidepressants alone.

It is a state of affairs that makes Richard Bentall furious. In 2004, Bentall, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Bangor, wrote Madness Explained, in which he argued that hearing voices, hallucinations and other symptoms of “severe” mental illness are just exaggerations of quirks experienced by us all. That won him the British Psychological Book Of The Year award. Now, in Doctoring The Mind: Why Psychiatric Treatments Fail, he criticises mental health services, and psychiatry in particular.

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Nestlé Refused FDA Records Requests

Inspection reports from a Nestlé USA cookie dough factory released yesterday show the company declined several times in the past five years to provide Food and Drug Administration inspectors with complaint logs, pest-control records and other information.

The records, which date to 2004, were made public after Nestlé's Toll House refrigerated, prepackaged cookie dough was discovered to be the likely culprit in an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 69 people in 29 states, according to the latest estimates from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC and the FDA are investigating the outbreak.

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Spilling The Beans: The Trouble with Soy


It never crossed my mind that soy - a favourite health food - might be toxic and dangerous. It wasn't the first time. Bottled water, margarine, and gluten grains all come to mind. But soy? The wonder bean?

I was faithful to the plant. I'd been a vegetarian for five years and though I now enjoy the multitude of benefits and gourmand delight that meat and seafood offer, I trusted in plants. Soy was something I'd celebrated, along with everyone else in Vancouver, in my hippie years. Later, even the men in my life enjoyed my "I Can't Believe it's Not Meat" stir fries. After moving back into the omnivore's diet that nature gave me, I still loved miso soup for breakfast and made an effort to regularly enjoy soy proteins.

Who didn't? Even Dad's got soymilk in the fridge- it's great for preventing prostate cancer, right? Even people who never got used to the taste- or shall I admit tastelessness- of soy added it in hopes of reaping the benefits of those amazing nutrients. Isoflavones, genisteins, lectins, saponins, and phytoestrogens- don't these wonderful names signal a whole host of cancer fighting, heart disease preventing, cholesterol-lowering miracles?

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British scientists make key breakthrough in superbug fight

The Daily Telegraph can disclose that in the biggest trial of its kind the newly developed cleansing agent Byotrol has cut levels of MRSA on wards by one third compared with the NHS gold standard bleach.

The results from the 11-month independent study at Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI), following similar tests at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, have raised hopes that superbugs could now be eradicated from hospitals.

Byotrol, an antimicrobial technology, has a polymer based structure which enables it to kill bacteria days after being first applied unlike conventional bleaches which stop working shortly after they dry.

Byotrol, which was first developed by a Manchester-based paint firm, to create a wall coating for warm bread factories which are notorious breeding grounds for bacteria. It has been used successfully for three years in an Icelandic fish factory to prevent infection. The polymer creates a surface tension effect which operates like a fly trap that literally tears apart the bacteria when they come into contact. The effect lasts for several days, according to the tests' data.

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Toyota technology has brain waves move wheelchair

TOKYO (AP) -- Toyota Motor Corp. says it has developed a way of steering a wheelchair by just detecting brain waves, without the person having to move a muscle or shout a command.

Toyota's system, developed in a collaboration with researchers in Japan, is among the fastest in the world in analyzing brain waves, it said in a release Monday.

Past systems required several seconds to read brain waves, but the new technology requires only 125 milliseconds -- or 125 thousandths of a second.

The person in the wheelchair wears a cap that can read brain signals, which are relayed to a brain scan electroencephalograph, or EEG, on the electrically powered wheelchair, and then analyzed in a computer program.

Research into mobility is part of Toyota's larger strategy to go beyond automobiles in helping people get around in new ways.

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Obama is choosing to be weak


As he promised last year, Barack Obama has brought climate change and healthcare reform to the centre of the nation’s attention. As well as evangelising, he is pressing Congress to act. Last week the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill to curb carbon emissions, a measure that, if enacted, would touch every part of the US economy. Both House and Senate have drafted far-reaching healthcare bills, with stunning price tags.

Mr Obama aims to keep his promises, which is admirable. Unfortunately, there is a problem. This is not, as many Republicans argue, that neither issue requires forthright action. Both do. The problem is that the bills emerging from Congress are bad and Mr Obama does not seem to mind.

The cap-and-trade bill is a travesty. Its net effect on short- to medium-term carbon emissions will be small to none. This is by design: a law that really made a difference would make energy dearer, hurt consumers and force an economic restructuring that would be painful for many industries and their workers. Congress cannot contemplate those effects. So the Waxman-Markey bill, while going through the complex motions of creating a carbon abatement regime, takes care to neutralise itself.

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Obama-backed plan volunteers Americans to pay global taxes

The United Nations is proceeding, with President Obama’s acquiescence, to implement a global plan to create a new international socialist order financed by global taxes on the American people.

The Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development that begins today will consider adoption of a document calling for “new voluntary and innovative sources of financing initiatives to provide additional stable sources of development finance...” This is U.N.-speak for global taxes. They are anything but “voluntary” for the people forced to pay them.

The most “popular” proposals, which could generate tens of billions of dollars in revenue for global purposes, involve taxes on greenhouse gas emissions and financial transactions such as stock trades.

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Oceans charge up new theory of magnetism

Earth's magnetic field, long thought to be generated by molten metals swirling around its core, may instead be linked to ocean currents, according to controversial new research published this week.

It suggests that the movements of such volumes of salt water around the world have been seriously underestimated by scientists as a source of magnetism.

If proven, the research would revolutionise geophysics, the study of the Earth’s physical properties and behaviour, in which the idea that magnetism originates in a molten core is a central tenet.

Earth’s magnetic field is vital for life, extending tens of thousands of miles into space and protecting the planet against radiation that would otherwise burn away the atmosphere and oceans.

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The Transition From Democracy To A Bnk-run Society

The trouble started 24 months ago, but the origins of the financial crisis are still disputed. The problems did not begin with subprime loans, lax lending standards or shoddy ratings agencies. The meltdown can be traced back to the activities of the big banks and their enablers at the Federal Reserve. The Fed's artificially low interest rates provided a subsidy for risky speculation while deregulation allowed financial institutions to increase leverage to perilous levels, creating trillions of dollars of credit backed by insufficient capital reserves. When two Bear Stearns hedge funds defaulted in July 2007, the process of turbo-charging profits through massive credit expansion flipped into reverse sending the financial system into a downward spiral which has just recently begun to decelerate.

It is inaccurate to call the current slump a "recession", which suggests a mismatch between supply and demand that is part of the normal business cycle. In truth, the economy has stumbled into a multi-trillion dollar capital hole that was created by the reckless actions of the nation's largest financial institutions. The banks blew up the system and now the country has slipped into a depression.

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Declaring War on the American Economy

The Cap-and-Trade bill that passed the House yesterday will be a declaration of war on the American economy if it ever is enacted into law. It is ostensibly supposed to help the American economy transition from the old, carbon-based industrial economy to the broad, sunlit (and presumably unpolluted) uplands of a post-industrial one. According to an infomercial masquerading as an AP news story, the “climate bill may spur energy revolution.” Overlooked by the AP and other minions of the left is the fact that that revolution has been underway, largely without the federal government’s help, for more than a generation now. In 1970 a one-percent increase in GDP meant a one-percent increase in oil consumption. Today its means less than a third of one percent increase in oil consumption. It would be considerably less than that had the left not brought the development and exploitation of nuclear power to a screeching halt thirty years ago because too many of them went to see The China Syndrome. (The producers, to be sure, arranged, in a stroke of commercial genius, for the movie to open twelve days before the accident at Three-Mile Island occurred.)

And as Kim Strassel pointed out yesterday in the Wall Street Journal, the so-called science behind this massive bill is looking increasingly shaky.

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Career Suicide for Cap and Trade "Yes" Votes?

It comes down to this: Each "representative" that voted to pass Cap and Trade has violated their Congressional Oath of Office to "well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office." How on earth can you--in good faith--fulfill the duties of the office by voting to pass 1500 pages of legislation YOU HAVEN'T READ?!


Swiss Banks Shun Americans as U.S. Compels Disclosure

June 29 (Bloomberg) -- Swiss banks are shutting the accounts of Americans as the U.S. Internal Revenue Service accelerates the hunt for tax dodgers.

UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, the country’s biggest banks, have told Americans to move their money into specially created units registered in the U.S., or lose their accounts. Smaller private banks such as Geneva-based Mirabaud & Cie. are closing all accounts held by U.S. taxpayers.

While the banks declined to say how many people are affected, more than 5 million Americans live abroad, including about 30,000 in Switzerland, according to estimates from American Citizens Abroad in Geneva. Swiss banks must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide services for those customers.

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Denmark finds 1st case of H1N1 resistance to Tamiflu

ZURICH/COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Scientists have established the first case of the new H1N1 influenza strain showing resistance to Tamiflu, the main antiviral flu drug, Danish officials and the manufacturer said Monday.

It was expected that the strain would at some point show resistance to Tamiflu, Denmark's State Serum Institute said. The patient was now well and no further infection with the resistant virus had been detected.

"It does not constitute a risk to public health and does not cause changes to the recommendations for the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu)," the institute said in a statement.

The World Health Organization declared an influenza pandemic earlier this month and advised governments to prepare for a long-term battle against an unstoppable new flu virus. The WHO had no immediate comment on the case of Tamiflu resistance.

The United Nations agency has raised its pandemic flu alert to its highest alert level of 6, indicating the first influenza pandemic since 1968 is underway.

Flu viruses mutate regularly and can develop resistance to drugs at any time. The seasonal strain of H1N1 is a distant cousin of the swine flu and was widely resistant to Tamiflu this year.

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E-mails indicate EPA suppressed report skeptical of global warming

The Environmental Protection Agency may have suppressed an internal report that was skeptical of claims about global warming, including whether carbon dioxide must be strictly regulated by the federal government, according to a series of newly disclosed e-mail messages.

Less than two weeks before the agency formally submitted its pro-regulation recommendation to the White House, an EPA center director quashed a 98-page report that warned against making hasty "decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data."

The EPA official, Al McGartland, said in an e-mail message (PDF) to a staff researcher on March 17: "The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward...and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision."

The e-mail correspondence raises questions about political interference in what was supposed to be an independent review process inside a federal agency--and echoes criticisms of the EPA under the Bush administration, which was accused of suppressing a pro-climate change document.

Alan Carlin, the primary author of the 98-page EPA report, said in a telephone interview on Friday that his boss, McGartland, was being pressured himself. "It was his view that he either lost his job or he got me working on something else," Carlin said. "That was obviously coming from higher levels."

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Goldman Sachs: "Engineering Every Major Market Manipulation Since The Great Depression

Taibbi-Goldman-Sachs

What's On My Food?

What’s On My Food? is a searchable database designed to make the public problem of pesticide exposure visible and more understandable.

How does this tool work? We link pesticide food residue data with the toxicology for each chemical, making this information easily searchable for the first time.

Here is the link: http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/

Mind Control in a Can

The truth about soft drinks, pop or soda. The psychology of mind control by biological addiction.

Polar bear expert barred by global warmists


Over the coming days a curiously revealing event will be taking place in Copenhagen. Top of the agenda at a meeting of the Polar Bear Specialist Group (set up under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission) will be the need to produce a suitably scary report on how polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming.

This is one of a steady drizzle of events planned to stoke up alarm in the run-up to the UN's major conference on climate change in Copenhagen next December. But one of the world's leading experts on polar bears has been told to stay away from this week's meeting, specifically because his views on global warming do not accord with those of the rest of the group.Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching the status and management of polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.

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How To Legally Say 'NO' To All Vaccines

Millions of Americans have come to distrust vaccines and mainstream medicine's vaccine agenda. There is a growing movement in this country and around the world that questions the safety and effectiveness of all vaccines for obvious reasons. Many childhood disorders such as autism, ADD/ADHD, SIDS and others have been linked to vaccines. Thousands of soldiers who served in the military have been severely disabled or in some cases even died after receiving their mandated shots. Vaccines are the most controversial subject in all of medicine.
The standard line heard from most parents once their eyes are open to the risks of vaccines is, "How will I get my child into day care or in school without their shots." Those working in the healthcare field or soldiers in the military are faced with similar questions.
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The Ubiquitous Matrix of Lies


Let's begin with beer. Near my home I drive past a billboard advertisement for Coors Light. The slogan is, "Coors rocks Harrisburg." Now, does anybody actually believe that Coors does in fact "rock Harrisburg?" No. Does the Coors corporation itself believe it? No. Does anyone believe that Coors believes it? No. It is a lie, everyone knows it is a lie, and no one cares. Everyone automatically writes it off as an ad slogan, an image campaign.

The next sign advertises Miller Beer with the phrase, "Fresh beer tastes better." Does anyone actually think Miller is fresher than Budweiser, Coors, or Pabst? No. Does anyone at Miller Brewing think that? No. It is another obvious and unremarkable lie, beneath the threshold of most people's awareness. But it contributes to a feeling of living in a phony world where words don't matter and nothing is real.

Here is another beer slogan, for Carlsburg: "Probably the best beer in the world." Obviously, the word "probably" has been chosen to suggest that someone devoted great consideration to this question, sampled all the world's great beers, and finally issued an impartial judgment. Of course, nothing of the sort happened. No one thinks it did. Everyone knows that actually what happened is a bunch of advertising pros thought up a slogan in an effort to create an "image." Isn't it remarkable that lies are still effective even when no one believes them? Unfortunately, when it hardly matters whether words are truth or lies, then words lose their power to convey the truth.

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Congress just gave itself 4 Billions for expenses!!!

How sweet it is!

How would you like a job with a six figure salary and the ability to vote yourself an additional healthy chunk of taxpayer money to be used for "expenses?"

Need millions and millions each year to run your household?

Then become a member of the Congressional royalty and you too can wallow in the pork of nearly FOUR BILLION dollars to be used for "expenses."

$3.7 billion divided by 535 members of Congress works out to a sweet $6.9 MILLION for each one of our Congressional "princes" to spend on "expenses."

That's one helluva lot of money for computers and printers.... and $400 dollar haircuts and custom made silk suits. Ever see one of your Congressional gas bags with a hair out of place or a rumpled suit while bloviating?

Thanks to Congress passing bills that eliminated oversight of Wall Street, many of us are having to do with less, a lot less and some with nothing at all, as they have lost their home.

But in the Never-Never Land of Congress, no such horrors as belt-tightening will ever come to the floor, as this year's legislative branch spending bill is SEVEN PERCENT HIGHER than last year's.

Amendments that were offered up to cut this massive pork project were shot down quickly. How dare anyone try and make Congress face reality!

BOTOX addict Speaker of the House Pelosi is getting over FIVE MILLION for her "expenses."

Over 300 MILLION for employee tuition expenses. Which means you could hire your son or daughter, pay them a six figure salary to "work" and send them to school at the same time, and get the suckers... uh, I mean the taxpayers to pay for both in H.R. 2918.

Read thru this bill and you can see that Pelosi can easily double her expense money by picking up loose change from the committees she's on and other artful dodges.

No wonder these jokers fight like cats and dogs to stay in office.

Who wouldn't want a part-time job with a salary in seven figures?

Overall, the House bill totals about $3.7 billion — which is expected to increase to $4.7 billion when Senate items are added.

That’s about a 7 percent increase over fiscal 2009 spending — including an 8 percent increase for Members’ office budgets.

Source

Latvian firm accepts souls as guarantee for credits


A financial company in Latvia is offering residents loans secured by nothing but their immortal soul.

Riga-based firm, named Kontora, does not require credit history record or proof of employment. It grants loans of 50 to 500 Latvian lats ($100 to $1,000) to any adult after he or she signs the a very short agreement.

According to the agreement, the only security required of the borrower is their immortal soul, which they are asked to confirm as their previously unmortgaged property.

The loan is subject to one percent per day in interest until full repayment.

The period of full repayment is 90 days, and in case the borrower fails to return the money, the creditor gets full possession of his soul.

Source: http://mosnews.com/weird/2009/06/22/soullatvia/

Did toxic chemical in Iraq cause GIs' illnesses?

Larry Roberta's every breath is a painful reminder of his time in Iraq. He can't walk a block without gasping for air. His chest hurts, his migraines sometimes persist for days and he needs pills to help him sleep.

James Gentry came home with rashes, ear troubles and a shortness of breath. Later, things got much worse: He developed lung cancer, which spread to his spine, ribs and one of his thighs; he must often use a cane, and no longer rides his beloved Harley.

David Moore's postwar life turned into a harrowing medical mystery: nosebleeds and labored breathing that made it impossible to work, much less speak. His desperate search for answers ended last year when he died of lung disease at age 42.

What these three men - one sick, one dying, one dead - had in common is they were National Guard soldiers on the same stretch of wind-swept desert in Iraq during the early months of the war in 2003.

These soldiers and hundreds of other Guard members from Indiana, Oregon and West Virginia were protecting workers hired by a subsidiary of the giant contractor, KBR Inc., to rebuild an Iraqi water treatment plant. The area, as it turned out, was contaminated with hexavalent chromium, a potent, sometimes deadly chemical linked to cancer and other devastating diseases.

Read More...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Car Payment Or Else: Engine Shut Off Systems

With consumer credit ratings plummeting, more American car owners could soon be driving around with an electronic Big Brother on board.

Business is booming for makers of shut-off devices, which turn engines off when car payments are late. Sales at one manufacturer, Littleton, Colo.-based Passtime, are up 33 percent over last year. CEO Stan Schwarz says the company is cranking up production to meet the demand.

"Right now, we are moving about 2,000 units a month into the marketplace," Schwarz says. "I fully expect by the end of the year we will be up to 14,000 to 15,000 a month,"

While the devices have mostly been used in the subprime auto loan market, other lenders are looking closely at the technology, manufacturers say. It's no mystery why interest in the gadgets soaring: the creditworthiness of American consumers is declining as they lose jobs in record numbers and find it harder to tap into home equity.

Financially stretched consumers have to figure out what bills they are going to pay -- and what payments they have to postpone. And car dealers and lenders want to make sure it's not loan payments that fall to the bottom of the pile.

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Robert Anton Wilson Free your mind

'Ark of the Covenant' about to be unveiled?


The patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia says he will announce to the world Friday the unveiling of the Ark of the Covenant, perhaps the world's most prized archaeological and spiritual artifact, which he says has been hidden away in a church in his country for millennia, according to the Italian news agency Adnkronos.

Abuna Pauolos, in Italy for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI this week, told the news agency, "Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that God delivered to Moses and the center of searches and studies for centuries."

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How the Wall Street Bankers Bought Congress

You would think that causing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression might have repercussions. You would think being a major factor in the destruction of around 40 percent of the world’s wealth might get you in trouble. You would think being the cause of the worst housing crisis in history — with millions of people losing their homes because of you — might force a restructuring of how Wall Street does things.

You would think that. But you’d be wrong.

For Wall Street’s lobbyists in Washington, it’s business as usual. Since Barack Obama took office, the bankers have succeeded in pushing through bogus “stress tests” of financial institutions’ solvency, escaping tougher government oversight, and steamrolling attempts to give working-class borrowers a break.

Even the much-hyped limits on CEO pay are being rolled back. In mid-June, Barack Obama lifted a five-month-old limit on executive compensation at financial firms that took federal bailout money. Apparently, only $500,000 a year in salaries and other perks was just too much of a sacrifice for the financial system to bear. Instead, Obama has established a “special master of compensation,” who will decide on pay to top executives at banks still reliant on government money.

While having a “special master” oversee pay might sound like a big deal, the banks aren’t sweating it. “Our people kind of thought it was a non-event,” one unnamed executive of a large bank told the Washington Post. “I don’t think there are worries about it on Wall Street.” And, the executive added, “It’s not like the horrible and unethical action from Congress, where they were putting artificial caps on pay or trying to steal back bonuses.”

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Obama- Preventive and Indefinite Detention

Rachel Maddow says..."SHAME ON YOU MR PRESIDENT!!!

CARBONGATE – Global Warming Study Censored by EPA

Washington, D.C., June 26, 2009—The Competitive Enterprise Institute is today making public an internal study on climate science which was suppressed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Internal EPA email messages, released by CEI earlier in the week, indicate that the report was kept under wraps and its author silenced because of pressure to support the Administration’s agenda of regulating carbon dioxide.

The report finds that EPA, by adopting the United Nations’ 2007 “Fourth Assessment” report, is relying on outdated research and is ignoring major new developments. Those developments include a continued decline in global temperatures, a new consensus that future hurricanes will not be more frequent or intense, and new findings that water vapor will moderate, rather than exacerbate, temperature.

New data also indicate that ocean cycles are probably the most important single factor in explaining temperature fluctuations, though solar cycles may play a role as well, and that reliable satellite data undercut the likelihood of endangerment from greenhouse gases. All of this demonstrates EPA should independently analyze the science, rather than just adopt the conclusions of outside organizations.

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Healthcare industry spending $1.4 million - a day - on lobbyists

The healthcare industry is spending upwards of $1.4 million each day on average to lobby members of Congress on health care legislation, a report issued by Common Cause this week reveals.

Industry spending has nearly doubled since 2000. Healthcare interests contributed $94 million to Congress members during the 2008 election cycle alone — up from $40 million in 2000.

Common Cause’s report has received almost no treatment in the press — with a single article in Bloomberg News and one in the National Journal.

The industry is attempting to alter the course of Democrats’ plans to provide universal health coverage for most Americans.

“The top recipients of health industry campaign contributions from 2000 to 2008 are new Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AK) at $7.3 million and $6.3 million respectively,” National Journal reports. “All of the campaign finance data used in the report came from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Read More....

Monsanto & Dole Team Up to Force-Feed Consumers Genetically Engineered Fruits & Veggies

MONTEREY, CALIF. - Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. and Monsanto Co. have entered into an agreement to develop new products that will "enhance consumer vegetable choices," according to the companies. The five-year agreement will focus on broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and spinach. Any new products developed through the agreement will be commercialized by Dole in North America.

Plant breeding techniques will be used to improve the nutrition, flavor, color, texture, taste and aroma of the vegetables. Monsanto's role in the collaboration will be to improve the development of new and beneficial vegetable characteristics. Their efforts will be guided by Dole's knowledge of consumer needs and marketing.

"Dole prides itself on innovation and bringing consumers high quality, nutritious and great-tasting products," said Roger Billingsley, senior vice-president of research and development for Dole Fresh Vegetables. "We are looking forward to collaborating closely with Monsanto to do just that."

Source: http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_18377.cfm

Cybersecurity Act gives Obama power to shut down internet

http://www.breakthematrix.com/node/35797 Shelly Roche reports in on a new Cybersecurity bill would grant the President unprecedented power to shut down the internet and ignore privacy laws.


HHS extends liability shield to antivirals used for H1N1

Jun 26, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently provided a shield against damage claims related to the use of the antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) in the current H1N1 influenza pandemic.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius signed a notice extending liability protection under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act. It was published in the Federal Register on Jun 19.

The PREP Act allows the HHS secretary to provide liability protection related to the use of various medical measures against diseases that HHS determines to be health emergencies. Protections are already in place for the two antivirals when used against H5N1 influenza and for vaccines for H5N1 and other potential pandemic flu strains, among other drugs and vaccines.

Liability protection is provided to groups and individuals involved in the development, manufacture, testing, distribution, administration, and use of medical countermeasures, according to HHS.

Gretchen Michael, an HHS spokeswoman in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, described the antiviral-related move as routine. "This just sort of adapted the previous PREP Act documents for H1N1," she said.

Michael said the impulse for PREP Act liability protections has come primarily from the manufacturers of the relevant products. She said the oseltamivir protection measure was not related to the reports, mainly from Japan, of abnormal behavior in some adolescents who were given the drug.

Source: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/influenza/swineflu/news/jun2609liable.html

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Journalist Files Charges against WHO and UN for Bioterrorism and Intent to Commit Mass Murder

As the anticipated July release date for Baxter's A/H1N1 flu pandemic vaccine approaches, an Austrian investigative journalist is warning the world that the greatest crime in the history of humanity is underway. Jane Burgermeister has recently filed criminal charges with the FBI against the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations (UN), and several of the highest ranking government and corporate officials concerning bioterrorism and attempts to commit mass murder. She has also prepared an injunction against forced vaccination which is being filed in America. These actions follow her charges filed in April against Baxter AG and Avir Green Hills Biotechnology of Austria for producing contaminated bird flu vaccine, alleging this was a deliberate act to cause and profit from a pandemic.

Summary of claims and allegations filed with FBI in Austria on June 10, 2009

In her charges, Burgermeister presents evidence of acts of bioterrorism that is in violation of U.S. law by a group operating within the U.S. under the direction of international bankers who control the Federal Reserve, as well as WHO, UN and NATO. This bioterrorism is for the purpose of carrying out a mass genocide against the U.S. population by use of a genetically engineered flu pandemic virus with the intent of causing death. This group has annexed high government offices in the U.S.

Specifically, evidence is presented that the defendants, Barack Obama, President of the U.S, David Nabarro, UN System Coordinator for Influenza, Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, Kathleen Sibelius, Secretary of Department of Health and Human Services, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Department of Homeland Security, David de Rotschild, banker, David Rockefeller, banker, George Soros, banker, Werner Faymann, Chancellor of Austria, and Alois Stoger, Austrian Health Minister, among others, are part of this international corporate criminal syndicate which has developed, produced, stockpiled and employed biological weapons to eliminate the population of the U.S. and other countries for financial and political gain

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Swine Flu Made in USA

An American investigative journalist, who claims that swine flu strains have been engineered in two universities in the US and Canada, says they've been deliberately designed to resist vaccines.


England supermarket is powered by shoppers’ kinetic energy

An England supermarket is deploying a green energy system that allows it to harvest energy from the natural movement of its shoppers.

Sainsbury, England’s third largest supermarket chain, has decided to deploy a road plate technology developed by AEST from California that generates electricity whenever pressure is applied on it, for example, a car running over it.

AEST says that a system of 20 plates can generate about 10,000 to 12,000 kWh of energy per day, and cost $2.5 million. The system generates energy which allows saving of approximately $300,000 a year.

The Sainsbury system will generate 30kW per hour, which is enough to power the store’s lighting and computers.

sainsburys

Source: http://www.thedailyinquirer.net/england-supermarket-is-powered-by-shoppers-kinetic-energy/061081

Drug Companies Paying Doctors?

A study estimates drug companies pay doctors $57 billion a year in fees and services, causing some to worry that decisions on prescription are being unduly influenced. Wyatt Andrews reports.


Arizona Looks to Outlaw Global Warming Legislation

Climate change is a controversial topic. Some believe man is causing the world to warm. Others point out that the Earth has undergone solar warming and cooling for millions of years and that current temperatures are well within historic levels. A recent report challenging AGW theory showed significant support with 31,478 U.S. researchers and scientists, many of whom hold Ph.D's, signing a statement that they believe that man has not played a part in the current warming trend.

Arizona is now close to becoming the first state to outlaw climate change legislation. The state Senate voted Monday, 19-10 to approve a bill banning the Department of Environmental Quality from enacting or enforcing measures with language pertaining to climate change. The bill is now awaiting House approval.

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Dr. Fuhrman Cures Diabetes - But Drug Companies Object

Joel Fuhrman MD has cured hundreds of people of diabetes using diet and lifestyle. The American Diabetic Association wanted him to write about his work -- but then objected because their sponsor, Eli Lilly drug company, might feel threatened by an MD promoting a cure which could destroy the market for their diabetes medications. This is an excerpt from Dr. Furhman's presentation at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo 2007.


Processed People

Processed People features in-depth discussions with leading health experts detailing why so many of us are sick, and offers solutions to our current devastating health crisis. Tragically, many Americans are victims of a "health care" system and way of life which is devastating to our overall well-being.


Chemicals in Shampoos and Toys 'Could Lead to Low Birth Weight'

Scientists found that the compounds were linked to a low birth weight, which can increase the chance that a child will die in the first few weeks of life and lead to long-term health problems such as heart disease.

Researchers believe that exposure to the chemicals in the womb could inhibit the children's growth.

Previous studies have shown that the chemicals, called Phthalates, can have other effects on the human body, including reduced fertility in men.

The new study analysed blood and other samples taken from 201 newborns, 88 of whom were born weighing less than 2,500g (5.5lb).

Researchers found that more than seven in 10 of the babies had significant levels of the chemicals in their bodies.

Those with a low birth weight had, on average, around 30 per cent higher levels of phthalates than the other children, the findings, published in the Journal Of Paediatrics show.

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Omega-3 carrier key to boosting children's attention

Esterified omega-3 fatty acids may improve the attention scores for children, says a new study from France and Israel's Enzymotec that appears to highlight the importance of the omega-3 carrier.

Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids in the phospholipid form resulted in changes to children's fatty acid profile and an increase in Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) scores amongst children with impaired attention performance participating in the randomised double-blind clinical trial.

"To the best of our knowledge, the randomised controlled trial presented herein is the first short-term intervention study with omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) to show a correlation between these biochemical and cognitive function outcomes," wrote the authors in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers, led by Jacques Bodennec from the University of Lyon 1 (UMR CNRS 5123), add that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids in the triacylglycerol form produced different fatty acid profiles and different results. In terms of TOVA scores, improvements were significantly less than observed in children supplemented with the phospholipid form.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Dark-Energy-Fueled Warp Ship: Possible or a 21st-Century Da Vinci "Helicopter"?


The internet was amazed by images of the world's first warpship recently, and if you're wondering how science got past the fiction so quickly, remember how Leonardo is credited with inventing the helicopter? Despite not knowing any of the relevant aerodynamics, physics, engineering, or having any of the required skills other than "able to draw a pretty picture"? It's the same deal.

Dr Richard Obousy recently gifted the Discovery channel with designs for the first "warpship", and in return they gave him more publicity than you can shake a physics consulting firm at. Did you know Dr Obousy has a consulting firm? You do now! Despite containing about as many actual scientific systems as the average Buck Rogers prop, the image circulated the internet because


a) It looks really cool
b) Complete with circular-spinny bits just like in the new Star Trek movie
c) Real Science Credibility (TM) added by throwing around words like "Dark Energy"!

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European labs discover flu vaccines contaminated



If “accidental” contamination is virtually impossible,
then intentional contamination likely.

Globally-practiced protocols and regulatory schemes governing the handling of pathogens in the research, development, manufacture and transport of vaccines make it virtually impossible for U.S. flu vaccine producer Baxter to accidentally contaminate and export vaccines containing live H5NI (avian) viruses. The implication, then, is that the inclusion of “bird flu” was intentional and shipped all over the world to trigger a pandemic.

Baxter’s facility in Austria makes annual flu vaccines but was also developing a human H5N1 vaccine for which a license was expected in the near future. Researchers claim the “serious error” could not have been accidental since it is virtually impossible for live avian flu virus to find its way into a vaccine by “accident”.

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Saturn moon may harbour life-giving ocean: study


Huge geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus may be fed by a salty sea below its surface, boosting the odds of extraterrestrial life in our own Solar System, according to a study released Wednesday.

Researchers in Europe detected salt particles in the volcanic vapour-and-ice jets that shoot hundreds of kilometres (miles) into space, the strongest evidence to date of a liquid ocean under the moon's icy crust.

Scientists already knew that tiny Enceladus, only 500 kilometers across, had two of the three essential ingredients for the emergence of life.

One is an energy source, produced in this case by "tidal warming" driven by the shifting gravitational tug of its parent planet during the moon's lopsided orbit, and perhaps by other forces too.

The Cassini spacecraft circling Saturn since 2004 has also found a potentially life-sustaining mix of organic chemicals in Enceladus' plumes, ejected from a quartet of 120-kilometer (75-mile) long fractures -- known as "tiger stripes" -- aligned on the moon's south pole.

That left the third critical ingredient: liquid water.

Since their discovery in 2005, the giant geysers have fueled intense speculation on the presence of a subterranean ocean, and the new discovery goes a long way toward resolving one of the most hotly debated topics in planetary science.

A team led by Frank Postberg of the University of Heidelberg studied data from Cassini's Cosmic Dust Analyzer, and tested their findings in laboratory experiments.

Their results, published in the British journal Nature, show that ice grains in the Enceladus plumes contain substantial quantities of sodium salts, and that the moon's hidden sea -- if there is one -- could be as salty as Earth's oceans.

"The abundance of various salt components in the particles ... exhibit a compelling similarity to the predicted composition of a subsurface Enceladus ocean in contact with its rock core," the researchers conclude.

"Individual plume sources stay active for years, implying outflow from a large reservoir."

Sodium is a good telltale tracer of possible liquid water for two reasons, according to John Spencer of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

It is highly soluble, "so any Enceladan water that has prolonged contact with the moon's silicate core should be rich is sodium salts, like Earth's oceans," he noted in a commentary for Nature.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Homeland Security drone patrolling NNY


A monitor inside an operations trailer shows a close-up view of a boat skimming across the water on Lake Ontario.

The image was taken from an unmanned aircraft more than three miles away.

A Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) has been temporarily based at Fort Drum since early June in an experiment by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office.

The Department of Homeland Security is using the extensive restricted air space over Fort Drum to test whether the drone could be a good fit along this stretch of the northern border.

Read More....

Lancaster, Pa., keeps a close eye on itself


Reporting from Lancaster, Pa. -- This historic town, where America's founding fathers plotted during the Revolution and Milton Hershey later crafted his first chocolates, now boasts another distinction.

It may become the nation's most closely watched small city.
Some 165 closed-circuit TV cameras soon will provide live, round-the-clock scrutiny of nearly every street, park and other public space used by the 55,000 residents and the town's many tourists. That's more outdoor cameras than are used by many major cities, including San Francisco and Boston.

Unlike anywhere else, cash-strapped Lancaster outsourced its surveillance to a private nonprofit group that hires civilians to tilt, pan and zoom the cameras -- and to call police if they spot suspicious activity. No government agency is directly involved.

Perhaps most surprising, the near-saturation surveillance of a community that saw four murders last year has sparked little public debate about whether the benefits for law enforcement outweigh the loss of privacy.

"Years ago, there's no way we could do this," said Keith Sadler, Lancaster's police chief. "It brings to mind Big Brother, George Orwell and '1984.' It's just funny how Americans have softened on these issues."

"No one talks about it," agreed Scott Martin, a Lancaster County commissioner who wants to expand the program. "Because people feel safer. Those who are law-abiding citizens, they don't have anything to worry about."

A few dozen people attended four community meetings held last spring to discuss what sponsors called "this exciting public safety initiative." But opposition has grown since big red bulbs, which shield the video cameras, began appearing on corner after corner.

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Next question in swine flu - who gets vaccinated?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Drug makers are gearing up to make vaccines against the new H1N1 virus, starting test batches and pledging free doses for poor countries.

Governments are pledging billions for the vaccine -- the United States has set aside $1 billion, the Netherlands ordered 34 million doses and Australia has ordered 10 million doses as the World Health Organization declared a pandemic.

Yet no one is sure yet whether even to give the vaccine to anyone and if so, who should get it.

Usually the guidelines for influenza vaccination are clear -- give it to the oldest, the youngest and the sickest. In an average year, influenza is a factor in 250,000 to 500,000 deaths, and in developed countries, 90 percent are the elderly.

But the new H1N1 swine flu virus is not behaving typically. It has dragged the Northern Hemisphere's flu season well into June, although influenza usually dies way down by April.

"The fact that we are seeing ongoing transmission now indicates that we are seeing something different," Dr. Daniel Jernigan of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters this week.

Most cases are in people aged 5 to 24 -- usually the last group to get seriously ill from flu and the last group vaccinated during a normal flu season.

There have been few serious H1N1 cases among the elderly, perhaps because they have some pre-existing immunity to a similar H1N1 that circulated in the past, or maybe because their immune system response is different -- flu experts do not know yet.

To decide what to do, WHO officials will have to watch and see what this new strain does.

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Patients Often Not Told About Abnormal Test Results

MONDAY, June 22 (HealthDay News) -- People who visit their primary care physician for routine blood tests or screenings are often not informed of the results, a new study finds.

The failure of doctors and medical facilities to follow-up and give people test results is "relatively common," the researchers wrote, even when the results are abnormal and potentially troublesome, and affects one of every 14 tests.

"If you're a patient, it's often assumed that no news is good news," acknowledged Dr. Lawrence P. Casalino, an associate professor and chief of the division of outcomes and effectiveness research in the public health department

at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and the study's lead author. "But the bottom line is that is not always the case, and patients should not passively go along with that."

Casalino and his colleagues report their findings in the June 22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

The researchers reviewed the medical records of 5,434 people aged 50 to 69 years old. They focused on those who, in the previous year, had abnormal results on one of 11 blood tests or one of three screening tests at primary care facilities in the Midwest and on the West Coast. They also combed through responses to 176 surveys completed by physicians designed to assess test result management procedures at each facility.

The study found that in 135 cases -- of 1,889 abnormal test results -- either the person was not informed of the test results or the facility had not documented having communicated with the patient about the results. The upshot: more than a 7 percent failure rate in communicating abnormal test results.

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At 4,850 foot below surface, site is ideal for experiments on dark matter


Technician Bill Heisinger drills holes in the shaft wall for a plaque June 22 in a dedication ceremony the Sanford Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory at the former Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, S. D. Before the labs are built, crews must also stabilize the tunnels and install new infrastructure.

Far below the Black Hills of South Dakota, crews are building the world's deepest underground science lab at a depth equivalent to more than six Empire State buildings — a place uniquely suited to scientists' quest for mysterious particles known as dark matter.

Scientists, politicians and other officials gathered Monday for a groundbreaking of sorts at a lab 4,850 foot below the surface of an old gold mine that was once the site of Nobel Prize-winning physics research.

The site is ideal for experiments because its location is largely shielded from cosmic rays that could interfere with efforts to prove the existence of dark matter, which is thought to make up nearly a quarter of the mass of the universe.

The deepest reaches of the mine plunge to 8,000 feet below the surface. Some early geology and hydrology experiments are already under way at 4,850 feet. Researchers also hope to build two deeper labs that are still awaiting funding from Congress.

"The fact that we're going to be in the Davis Cavern just tickles us pink," said Tom Shutt of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, referring to a portion of the mine named after scientist Ray Davis Jr., who used it in the 1960s to demonstrate the existence of particles called solar neutrinos.

Davis and a colleague named John Bahcall won a share of the 2002 Nobel Prize for physics for their work.

The old Homestake Gold Mine in a community called Lead (pronounced LEED) was shut down in 2001 after 125 years. Pumps that kept the mine dry were turned off years ago, so workers have been drying it out to prepare for the new research.

Before the labs are built, crews must also stabilize the tunnels and install new infrastructure. The lab at 4,850 feet is not much to look at yet. A rusty orange film covers the walls, floors, ceilings and debris left behind by miners.

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Top 2 Ways you Help Monsanto Every Day (Without Knowing it)

"Big agribusiness & biotech corporations like Monsanto are gaining more and more power over our food supply, thanks in part to Congress creating policies that give them competitive advantage while harming small farmers & competitors, but also because we consume their products every day WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IT.

Want to do something about it? Accept the "Replace Roundup" challenge now, at http://bytestyle.tv/node/55
and we'll show Monsanto (and Congress) who's really in charge! (hint: it's US, as long as we're willing to stand up)

So... what kind of effect can we really have on a corporate giant like Monsanto? Well, if 50,000 people accept this challenge, and each person who accepts tells 4 friends to substitute their next Roundup purchase (assuming 1.33 gallon container) with a natural alternative, we'll divert $6.7 million dollars away from Monsanto -- that's a HUGE start!"


Monday, June 22, 2009

Robert F Kennedy explains vaccines and the autism coverup

Vaccines are not safe and the amount of shots children are taking keep increasing at a tremendous speed. This means huge profits for the big pharmaceutical companies especially when the schools say that it is mandatory. The truth is, is that vaccines are not mandatory. There is a religious exemption. For examples on how to write an exemption letter go to http://www.vaclib.org/exemption.htm. Educate yourself at http://www.vaclib.org/

Japan plans underwater sponges to soak up uranium

Government-funded scientists have proposed placing huge "uranium farms" on the seabed, consisting of anchored sponges which soak up the element.

Dr Masao Tanada, of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, has developed a fabric made primarily of irradiated polyethylene that is able to soak up the minute amounts of uranium – around 3.3 parts per billion – in the seawater.

The world's oceans contain an estimated 4.5 billion tons of uranium, around 1,000 times the amount that is known to exist in uranium mines.

Dr Tanada claims Japan's nuclear power industry could harvest the 8,000 tons it needs each year a year from the Kuroshio Current that flows along Japan's eastern seaboard.

"At the moment, Japan has to rely on imports of uranium from Canada and Australia, but this technology could be commercially deployed in as little as five years," he said.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Winning the War on Cancer

Contemporary oncology is incapable of giving us the answers and the necessary therapy for cancer patients. Thus it is our moral and ethical obligation to try to find the best solutions for the gravest and most painful disease of our time without them. This book is going to come as a shock to many doctors and people. Without a doubt the ideas inside will be resisted, but in the end resistance is useless. When it comes to sodium bicarbonate in medicine it is an open and shut case. It is already in wide use and has been for decades!

In relation to bicarbonate, millions of people in the world either consume bicarbonate ions in drinking water or have been treated clinically with bicarbonate in hospitals, medical centers, or emergency units for the prevention and treatment of clinical acidosis as well as numerous other conditions. Sodium bicarbonate helps to save countless lives every day. It is also found in the corridors of orthodox oncology where it is used to keep the toxic chemotherapy agents from killing people too quickly.

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Artificial Sweeteners May Contaminate Water Downstream Of Sewage Treatment Plants And Even Drinking Water

ScienceDaily (June 18, 2009) — Sewage treatment plants fail to remove artificial sweeteners completely from waste water. What’s more, these pollutants contaminate waters downstream and may still be present in our drinking water. Thanks to their new robust analytical method, which simultaneously extracts and analyses seven commonly used artificial sweeteners, Marco Scheurer, Heinz-Jürgen Brauch and Frank Thomas Lange from the Water Technology Center in Karlsruhe, Germany, were able to demonstrate the presence of several artificial sweeteners in waste water.

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Note: See "Sweet Misery" under "Informational Videos" to the right to fully understand the dangers of these neurotoxins!

Common Fish Species Has 'Human' Ability To Learn


A common species of fish which is found across Europe including the UK, called the nine-spined stickleback, could be the first animal shown to exhibit an important human social learning strategy. The sticklebacks can compare the behaviour of other sticklebacks with their own experience and make choices that lead to better food supplies, according to the study by St Andrews and Durham universities.

The researchers suggest these fish might have an unusually sophisticated social learning capability not yet found in other animals, called a 'hill-climbing' strategy.

This ability of picking the best quality food patch by comparing how successful others are at getting food from it against their personal experience has not been shown before in animals, say the scientists.

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Ritalin backed as brain-booster


Healthy people should be able to take the anti-hyperactivity drug Ritalin to boost brain power, a UK ethicist says.

Bioethics expert Professor John Harris, of the University of Manchester, said if the drug was safe for children, adults should also be able to take it.

Writing on the British Medical Journal website, he said many students were already using the drug - which is illegal without prescription in the UK.

A US expert said there were too many risks for it to be more widely used.

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Comment: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!! How far will Big Pharma go??