Mandatory Swine Flu Shots Beginning, Gaps in Oklahoma City Bombing Tapes, State Secrecy
Revealing News Articles
October 5, 2009
Below are key excerpts of important news articles, which include revealing information on mandatory vaccination for swine flu of military personnel and NY health care workers, blank gaps in surveillance videotapes surrounding the Oklahoma City federal building just before the bombing in 1995, continued state secrets claims by the Obama administration, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. The most important sentences are highlighted. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
Special note: For a very powerful 18-minute presentation titled "Taryn Simon photographs secret sites" from TED Talks, click here. For a moving 10-minute piece on autism and what autistic children have to teach us, click here. And to see the new police state flexing its muscles at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, PA, watch the disturbing 10-minute clip of a peaceful demonstration at this link.
Military to get mandatory swine flu shots soon
September 29, 2009, MSNBC/Associated Press
U.S. military troops will begin getting required swine flu shots in the next week to 10 days, with active duty forces deploying to war zones and other critical areas going to the front of the vaccine line. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart also [said] that as many as 400 troops are ready to go to five regional headquarters around the country to assist federal health and emergency management officials. The Pentagon has bought 2.7 million vaccines, and 1.4 million of those will go to active duty military. National Guard troops on active duty are also required to receive the vaccine, as are civilian Defense Department employees who are in critical jobs. "Because I can compel people to get the shots, larger numbers will have the vaccine," said Renuart, commander of U.S. Northern Command. "They will, as a percentage of the population, be vaccinated more rapidly than many of us. So we may see some objective results, good or not, of the vaccinations." Shots will be doled out on a priority basis, with troops preparing to deploy first, followed by other active duty forces, particularly any who might be needed to quickly respond to a hurricane or other emergency. Inoculating the military is a key requirement of the Pentagon's emergency plan, as a way to ensure that troops are available to protect the nation. They also will be on tap to provide help to states if problems come up as the flu season continues.
Note: It is not made clear by this article precisely how military personnel will "assist" civilian authorities handle a mass swine flue vaccination program. The plans to use the military for this purpose are unprecedented and formerly illegal. For lots more from reliable sources on the dangers of vaccines, click here and here.
Health Care Workers Protest Mandatory H1N1 Vaccination
September 29, 2009, CBS News
Health care workers are planning to take to the streets Tuesday at a rally in front of the Albany, N.Y. state capitol to protest mandatory vaccination. The rally is intended to call for "freedom of choice in vaccination and health care" and to protest mandatory vaccination for influenza and the H1N1 swine flu. "This vaccine has not been clinically tested to the same degree as the regular flu vaccine," Tara Accavallo, a registered nurse on Long Island, told Newsday. "If something happens to me, if I get seriously injured from this vaccine, who's going to help me?" While physicians, nurses, and medical technicians may not be known for their willingness to march on state capitols, a recent New York Department of Health requirement has sparked an unusually intense response. The August 13 regulations say that all health care workers who "could potentially expose patients" must be vaccinated for influenza by November 30 unless it would be "detrimental" to the recipient's health. This raises an obvious and important question: Under what circumstances can government officials order mandatory vaccination? And could the general public be ordered to roll up their sleeves for injections, even if there might be side effects beyond a sore arm or mild fever? The concern in New York also comes as skepticism of vaccination in general seems to be on the rise.
Note: For more on this protest, click here. Note that the U.S. government has granted immunity from lawsuits to the drug companies manufacturing the vaccines. So who will be responsible if there is a repeat of the 1976 swine flu vaccination campaign, where hundreds died and thousands were paralyzed by the vaccines?
Study prompts provinces to rethink flu plan
September 30, 2009, Globe and Mail (One of Canada's leading newspapers)
A "perplexing" Canadian study linking H1N1 to seasonal flu shots is throwing national influenza plans into disarray and testing public faith in the government agencies responsible for protecting the nation's health. Distributed for peer review last week, the study confounded infectious-disease experts in suggesting that people vaccinated against seasonal flu are twice as likely to catch swine flu. The paper has since convinced several provincial health agencies to announce hasty suspensions of seasonal flu vaccinations, long-held fixtures of public-health planning. "It has confused things very badly," said Dr. Ethan Rubinstein, head of adult infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba. "And it has certainly cost us credibility from the public because of conflicting recommendations. Until last week, there had always been much encouragement to get the seasonal flu vaccine." On Sunday Quebec joined Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Nova Scotia in suspending seasonal flu shots for anyone under 65 years of age. Quebec's Health Ministry announced it would postpone vaccinations until January. B.C. is expected to announce a similar suspension during a press conference Monday morning. Other provinces, including Manitoba, are still pondering a response to the research. Dr. Rubinstein, who has read the study, said it appears sound. "There are a large number of authors, all of them excellent and credible researchers," he said. "And the sample size is very large – 12 or 13 million people taken from the central reporting systems in three provinces. The research is solid."
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the dangers of vaccines, click here.
Material missing from Okla. bombing tapes, lawyer says
September 27, 2009, USA Today/Associated Press
Long-secret security tapes showing the chaos immediately after the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building are blank in the minutes before the blast and appear to have been edited, an attorney who obtained the recordings said Sunday. "The real story is what's missing," said Jesse Trentadue, a Salt Lake City attorney who obtained the recordings through the federal Freedom of Information Act as part of an unofficial inquiry he is conducting into the April 19, 1995, bombing that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more. The tapes turned over by the FBI came from security cameras various companies had mounted outside office buildings near the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. They are blank at points before 9:02 a.m., when a truck bomb carrying a 4,000-pound fertilizer-and-fuel-oil bomb detonated in front of the building, Trentadue said. "Four cameras in four different locations going blank at basically the same time on the morning of April 19, 1995. There ain't no such thing as a coincidence," Trentadue said. He said government officials claim the security cameras did not record the minutes before the bombing because "they had run out of tape" or "the tape was being replaced." "The absence of footage from these crucial time intervals is evidence that there is something there that the FBI doesn't want anybody to see." Trentadue said he is seeking more tapes along with a variety of bombing-related documents from the FBI and the CIA. An FOIA request by Trentadue for 26 CIA documents was rejected in June. A letter from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which reviewed the documents, said their release "could cause grave damage to our national security."
Note: This revealing article also tells how Trentadue's brother was murdered by FBI agents who mistakenly thought his brother was the bomber. For more valuable information on this and other evidence challenging the official story of the Oklahoma City bombing, click here.
An Incomplete State Secrets Fix
September 29, 2009, New York Times
One of the ways that the Bush administration tried to avoid accountability for its serious misconduct in the name of fighting terrorism was the misuse of an evidentiary rule called the state secrets privilege. The Obama administration has essentially embraced the Bush approach in existing cases, trying to toss out important lawsuits alleging kidnapping, torture and unlawful wiretapping without any evidence being presented. The other day, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. issued new guidelines for invoking the state secrets privilege in the future. They were a positive step forward, on paper, but did not go nearly far enough. Mr. Holder's much-anticipated reform plan does not include any shift in the Obama administration's demand for blanket secrecy in pending cases. Nor does it include support for legislation that would mandate thorough court review of state secrets claims made by the executive branch. It remains to be seen whether, and to what extent, the new regimen will succeed in avoiding flimsy claims of secrecy. Much depends on how the rules are interpreted and enforced, and the Justice Department's willingness to stand up to insistent intelligence agency demands. Since assuming office, Mr. Holder has reviewed the administration's position in ongoing cases and has continued broad secrecy claims of the sort that President Obama criticized when he was running for president. Senator Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, noted that without a clear, permanent mandate for independent court review of the administration's judgment calls, Mr. Holder's policy "still amounts to an approach of 'just trust us.'"
Note: For more on the Obama administration's proposed rules, click here.
Rush for Clues Before Charges in Terror Case
October 1, 2009, New York Times
Federal prosecutors have said they possess a trove of evidence in their terrorism case against Najibullah Zazi, a set of damning accusations laid out in a powerful narrative. But interviews with people briefed on the case – and an examination of court papers filed by prosecutors – show that a great deal of the evidence presented against Mr. Zazi was not the result of a lengthy investigation. Instead, much of it was collected on the fly in the last two weeks, with hundreds of F.B.I. agents, federal prosecutors and detectives rushing to fashion a mosaic of details into a case that could be brought to court. The review of the government's presentation, which is largely contained in a preliminary court document filed last week, suggests that many important facts asserted by prosecutors were discovered after Mr. Zazi was told by a Queens imam on Sept. 10 that investigators were looking for him. Moreover, several crucial discoveries were made after Mr. Zazi, a 24-year-old airport shuttle bus driver, had returned on Sept. 12 to Colorado, with his mission, if he had one, aborted. Some store and hotel employees in the Denver area said F.B.I. agents did not ask about Mr. Zazi's purchases of beauty salon products that contained the raw materials to make explosives or his stay in a hotel suite to mix them until Sept. 17, five days after his return to Colorado. The lawyer who appeared beside him in Brooklyn, J. Michael Dowling, said after the hearing that prosecutors could not secure a conviction of his client on the conspiracy charge based solely on the evidence presented in the detention memorandum, because it contained no proof that he conspired with anyone to commit a crime.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the highly dubious "evidence" presented by federal authorities in their prosecutions of domestic "terror" cases, click here. For a powerful BBC documentary which shows how cases like these are used by politicians to manipulate public opinion to their advantage, click here.
In Harsh Reports on S.E.C.'s Fraud Failures, a Watchdog Urges Sweeping Changes
September 30, 2009, New York Times
The Securities and Exchange Commission's independent watchdog called for a sweeping overhaul of the agency's investigation and enforcement practices on Tuesday, after a blistering report on the S.E.C.'s failure to detect Bernard L. Madoff's extensive Ponzi scheme. Two reports, released by the S.E.C.'s inspector general, H. David Kotz, recommended dozens of changes in the way the agency evaluates tips, trains investigators and documents examinations of securities firms. The first report, which covers the S.E.C.'s inspections and examinations office, outlines 37 improvements that would revamp nearly every aspect of the division's operations, including how investigators follow up on tips and creating step-by-step procedures in identifying potential violations of securities laws. Mr. Kotz also issued 21 recommendations to the S.E.C.'s division of enforcement, including the start of a formal process for handling complaints and improving working relationships within the division. One measure would mandate that tips and complaints be reviewed by at least two individuals experienced in the subject before taking further action. The proposed changes come after Mr. Kotz's office completed an exhaustive investigation this month of the S.E.C.'s failure to detect the Madoff fraud despite many warnings and a flood of complaints from credible sources. At nearly every turn, the investigation found, the agency had failed to properly examine Mr. Madoff's firm and had not adequately followed up on tips from as far back as 1992 that could have unearthed the estimated $65 billion scheme.
Note: For a treasure trove of key revelations on the realities behind the Wall Street crash and bailout, click here. Contact your political representatives urging them to support these recommendations.
Electronic border control
October 2, 2009, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Suppose you're returning home from a vacation in Cancun. A customs agent asks you to open your suitcase so he can check its contents. So far, so good. Now, the agent asks you to log on to your laptop so he can read your e-mails and personal files and examine which Web sites you've visited. He makes a copy of your hard drive so the government can comb through its contents. You've done nothing to give the agent any cause for suspicion. That can't be legal - can it? Until recently, it would not have been allowed. Long-standing customs directives prohibited agents from reading travelers' personal documents unless they reasonably suspected them to be merchandise or evidence of illegal activity. Then the Bush administration changed the rules, allowing agents to "review and analyze" the contents of electronic devices, including laptops, cell phones and BlackBerrys "absent individualized suspicion." Agents also could make copies of the devices' contents and share them with other government agencies. In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in May, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano promised to review the policy. Homeland Security has now released a new policy - and it is the same as the Bush policy in almost every relevant respect. The government may still search electronic devices without reasonable suspicion, retain copies indefinitely to complete its search and share information with other agencies. Both administrations have cited national security to justify suspicionless searches. There's no evidence, however, that a suspicionless search has ever turned up a security threat.
Note: The author of this op-ed, Elizabeth Goitein, is the director of the Liberty and National Security Project at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. For lots more on how politicians use "national security" as a means to protect their own manipulations at the expense of the public good, click here.
Nanomaterials Under Study by the E.P.A.
September 30, 2009, New York Times
The Environmental Protection Agency detailed its plans ... for research into the possible health and environmental risks of nanomaterials, tiny substances that are finding growing use in products like sunscreens and industrial adhesives. The document ... calls for work to identify sources of nanomaterials, which can measure as little as perhaps one-10,000th the width of a human hair. Research will also center on how they move in the environment, the problems they might cause for people, animals and plants, and how these problems could be avoided or mitigated. The federal National Nanotechnology Initiative is charged with coordinating research by various agencies on the issue. But in a highly critical report last year, the National Academy of Sciences dismissed its effort as inadequate. Little is known about whether substances engineered at the nano scale persist and accumulate in the environment in unusual and potentially harmful ways. In August, a coalition of groups including Friends of the Earth and Consumers Union issued a report urging people to avoid sunscreens containing nano-forms of zinc oxide, saying their risks were unknown.
Vaccine skepticism is in the air
September 14, 2009, Los Angeles Times
The nation's political crosscurrents appear to have created vaccine skeptics of many stripes. Many citizens are less inclined than ever to accept the warnings of the Department of Health and Human Services or the recommendations of its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says Sandra Quinn, a University of Pittsburgh public health professor who has just completed a national survey of attitudes about the flu vaccine. Vaccine refusers have long decried vaccine mandates and campaigns as an unwarranted intrusion of parents' and local school boards' rights. For a new generation of vaccine skeptics, there are new objects of distrust. For some, it flows from a suspicion of the multinational corporations that develop and manufacture vaccines. For others, it comes from a belief that media outlets have hyped the pandemic flu story to secure the attention of readers and the revenue of advertisers. And many simply doubt the competency and independence of government agencies, which they believe are too inept, overwhelmed or co-opted by corporate interests to secure the safety of the nation's drugs and food supply. Adding to the wariness toward the forthcoming H1N1 vaccine is the fact that the formulations used on patients in the United States might require the use of adjuvants -- special agents added to a vaccine mix that rev up the immune system and foster a stronger immune response. While adjuvants have been used in vaccines in Europe for many years, the FDA has never approved them for widespread use in the United States. Some vaccine critics in Great Britain have charged that one adjuvant used in European formulations -- squalene -- is associated with a wide range of vague but persistent symptoms.
Note: Adjuvants are being added to vaccines, yet the resulting combined formula is not being tested for safety; the individual components are tested separately. The process for the testing of vaccines is endangering our health. For lots more on the dangers of vaccines and squalene in particular, read respected Dr. Joseph Mercola's incisive article available here.
Healthy people with swine flu should not be given Tamiflu, says WHO
August 21, 2009, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Healthy people who catch swine flu but show only mild symptoms should not be given Tamiflu, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said. The advice contradicts British policy on the issue, which has seen hundreds of thousands of doses of the antiviral given to people with the virus. Today's advice, published on the WHO website, said most patients were experiencing typical flu symptoms and would get better within a week. It said Tamiflu (also called oseltamivir) and another antiviral Relenza (also called zanamivir) should not be given to healthy people who have only mild symptoms. The latest WHO advice, from a panel of international experts, comes as new figures show that 45,986 courses of antivirals were given to patients in England in the week ending August 18. In the previous week, 90,363 courses of antivirals were given out. There have been fears that mass use of Tamiflu will encourage the virus to become resistant to the antiviral. Researchers have also expressed concern over the side effects of the drug, including sickness, nightmares and insomnia in children. A team from Oxford University said earlier this month children with mild symptoms should not be given the antiviral to combat swine flu and urged the Department of Health to urgently rethink its policy.
TV host Andrew Castle: 'my daughter almost died from Tamiflu'
August 11, 2009, Times of London (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The [UK] Health Secretary appeared on breakfast television this morning in a bid to reassure concerned parents after scientists warned that children should not be given Tamiflu. Instead he was confronted by a GMTV presenter who claimed that the drug had almost killed his daughter. Andy Burnham insisted that the Government was right to advise children to take the anti-viral drug despite a warning from researchers at the University of Oxford who called on the Department of Health urgently to reconsider its pandemic strategy. But he was tackled live on TV by Andrew Castle, Britain's former top tennis player, who said his older daughter, Georgina, had a respiratory collapse after being given the drug as a precaution during the containment stage of the pandemic. "I can tell you that my child - who was not diagnosed at all - she had asthma, she took Tamiflu and almost died," he said. Georgina, 16, was given Tamiflu when five pupils at Alleyn's School in south London were diagnosed with the illness in May. Castle, also a BBC tennis commentator, said he feared for his daughter's life as medical professionals backed away from the potentially contagious child. He said: "Nobody checked that she had swine flu beforehand. The Health Protection Agency just handed it out at Alleyn's School in south London and a lot of kids suffered in the school very heavily. It almost cost my older child her life." The study published yesterday warned that Tamiflu can cause vomiting in some children, which can lead to dehydration and the need for hospital treatment.
Note: Remember that the drug companies often place profits above public health. For an article showing how Donald Rumsfeld, former chairman of the board at the pharmaceutical which produced Tamiflu, personally made millions from the sale of Tamiflu during the avian flu scare, click here. To read an article with more information showing that Tamiflu and Relenza may not be safe for children, click here.
Judge Rejects Approval of Biotech Sugar Beets
September 23, 2009, New York Times
A federal judge has ruled that the government failed to adequately assess the environmental impacts of genetically engineered sugar beets before approving the crop for cultivation in the United States. The decision could lead to a ban on the planting of the beets, which have been widely adopted by farmers. Judge Jeffrey S. White of Federal District Court in San Francisco said that the Agriculture Department should have done an environmental impact statement. He said it should have assessed the consequences from the likely spread of the genetically engineered trait to other sugar beets. The decision echoes another ruling two years ago by a different judge in the same court involving genetically engineered alfalfa. In that case, the judge later ruled that farmers could no longer plant the genetically modified alfalfa until the Agriculture Department wrote the environmental impact statement. Two years later, there is still no such assessment. "We expect the same result here as we got in alfalfa," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, a Washington advocacy group that was also involved in the alfalfa lawsuit. "It will halt almost any further planting and sale because it's no longer an approved crop." The Center for Food Safety was joined in the suit by the Sierra Club, the Organic Seed Alliance and High Mowing Organic Seeds, a small seed company. The beets contain a bacterial gene licensed by Monsanto that renders them impervious to glyphosate, an herbicide that Monsanto sells as Roundup. Judge White said that the pollen from the genetically engineered crops might spread to non-engineered beets.
Unsung fortune: A rich man's secret
March 26, 2007, Philadelphia Enquirer
Hal Taussig wears baggy jeans and fraying work shirts that Goodwill might reject. His shoes have been resoled three times. At age 81, he doesn't own a car. He performs errands and commutes to the office by bicycle. And he has given away millions. Given the fortune that Taussig has made through Untours, his unique travel business, and has given away through the Untours Foundation, you could call him the Un-millionaire. If he so chose, he could be living in a Main Line mansion and driving a Mercedes. But he considers money and what he calls "stuff," beyond what he needs to survive, a burden, an embarrassment. In many respects, he's a 21st-century Thoreau. "Let your capital be simplicity and contentment," the sage of Walden Pond wrote. "Those are my sentiments precisely," says Taussig, who has three children, five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. He directs the Untours Foundation, into which he pours all his profits - $5 million since 1992. The money is used to make low-interest loans to ventures and projects that help the needy and jobless - from a craft store in Hanoi to a home-health-care cooperative in Philadelphia. "I invest in entrepreneurial efforts to help poor people leverage themselves out of poverty." "In America, we worship success," he says. "It's a shoddy ethic that leads us to value who we are by what we are." The motto of the Untours Foundation is "a hand up, not a handout." It provides low-interest loans, here and abroad, to create jobs, build low-income housing, and support fair-trade products: goods such as coffee that are sold at a price that guarantees producers and workers a fair wage and decent livelihood.
Note: The Philadelphia Enquirer charges a small fee to read this article from its archive. It can be read for free in its entirety here. For an easy way you can use your investments to help families pull out of poverty, click here.
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