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LadyMylena's Blog

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April 24, 2010, 3:21 amDeadly airborne fungus in Oregon set to spread

Deadly airborne fungus in Oregon set to spread

The new, rare strain has killed 1 in 4 infected, researchers say

By Charles Q. Choiupdated 5:12 p.m. CT, Thurs., April 22, 2010

  A deadly, airborne new strain of fungus has emerged in Oregon. It has killed nearly one out of four known affected people so far and might also attack animals ranging from dogs to dolphins. And it is likely to spread, researchers now warn.
  The new strain known as VGIIc of the fungusCryptococcus gattii not only targets humans but has also proven capable of infecting dogs, cats, alpacas, sheep and elk. Other strains have even infected porpoises.
  Although it can spread to mammals, it does not jump from animal to animal. Instead, people and other animals get it from inhaling spores released by samples of the fungus that infect trees.

   April 22: Researchers at Duke University Medical Center release laboratory photos of a potentially fatal airborne fungus that has been spreading in Oregon. TODAYshow.com's Dara Brown reports.

TODAYshow.com

 


   Health officials say airborne fungus spreading

 

 

"It's in the environment, and we're exposed to the environment," researcher Edmond Byrnes III of Duke University Medical Center toldLiveScience. "And the environmental range of this has been expanding."

 

  Potential to spread
While scientists aren't sure how the highly infectious or virulent fungus emerged in Oregon, they caution the new strain now looks set to expand to California and other neighboring areas.

 

  "This novel fungus is worrisome because it appears to be a threat to otherwise healthy people," Byrnes said. "Typically, we more often see this fungal disease associated with transplant recipients and HIV-infected patients, but that is not what we are seeing yet."

 

  Symptoms can appear two or more months after exposure. Most people never develop symptoms, but those infected may have a cough lasting weeks, sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, headache related to meningitis, fever, nighttime sweats and weight loss. In animals the symptoms are a runny nose, breathing problems, nervous system problems and raised bumps under the skin.

 

  Treatment requires months to years of antifungal medications, and even surgery to remove the large masses of the fungus known as cryptococcomas that can develop in the body. So far it cannot be prevented, as there is no vaccine.

 

  Origin unknown
The fungus C. gattii was originally linked with eucalyptus trees in tropical and subtropical climates. It first caused an outbreak in temperate climes on Vancouver Island in 1999 that has now spread into Washington and Oregon, where it infects local trees. This earlier strain, VGIIa/major, has killed nearly 9 percent of 218 patients.

 

  After comparing the genes of the new VGIIc strain from Oregon with others, researchers suggest the new strain most likely arose recently, parallel to the outbreak that began on Vancouver Island. So far it has killed five out of 21 patients analyzed in the United States, a nearly 25 percent mortality rate. Lab studies with immune cells and with live mice revealed it is extremely virulent — that is, it can cause severe disease.

 

 

Determining the exact origin of the VGIIc strain has proven difficult. Investigations so far have failed to find it in Oregon soil, water or trees. It may have arrived from abroad or originated locally, researchers said.

 

  Because this fungus had been confined to the tropics until now, researcher Wenjun Li at Duke University speculated that environmental changes might be responsible for the evolution and emergence of these new strains.

 

  "We are trying to put together the evolutionary story of where these types come from by closely studying the genetics of all samples possible," explained researcher Yonathan Lewit at Duke University Medical Center.

 

  It remains uncertain why VGIIc and VGIIa/major are more virulent than other strains. One possibility, given how this fungus can reproduce sexually, new hypervirulent combinations of genes emerged due to sex. The researchers also noted that cell components known as mitochondria in these strains could adopt a distinctive tube shape. Since mitochondria help generate energy in cells, it is possible these strains are more energetic, "but that's just speculation right now," Byrnes said.

 

  When it comes to a public response to outbreaks of these strains, "public health officials in that area have formed a working group with state epidemiologists from all those states in the Pacific Northwest," Byrnes noted. "It's important that public awareness expand on this."

 

  The scientists detailed their findings online April 22 in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

 

Entry #46
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April 24, 2010, 2:34 amConvulsions in Australian children linked to flu vaccine

Flu Vaccination Ban Goes National After Fever, Convulsions in Children   April 23, 2010 - 11:40AMDoctors are being advised to stop giving the flu vaccine to children.

West Australian health authorities are trying to determine if the entire Fluvax drug, or just batches, have caused children under five to convulse - and whether an alternative vaccine should be used.

University of Western Australia school of Paediatrics and Child Health Associate Professor Peter Richmond said that only Fluvax - produced by Australia's biggest biopharmaceutical company CSL - was being used to vaccinate children in WA.Dr Richmond said researchers were trying to determine whether it was the entire vaccine, or just batches, that had caused the problems which today prompted Australia's chief medical officer to tell doctors to stop giving the vaccine to children.He said the side effects had been limited to children under the age of five and he would not recommend anybody in other groups - including elderly people - to cancel their flu shots.This is not a longterm safety issue with vaccines," Dr Richmond told WAtoday.com.au.Dr Richmond recommended parents of young children who had received only the first of the required two vaccination doses hold off on the second dose for now.

This was despite the fact children who had no side effects from their first dose were unlikely to receive complications from their second.Dr Richmond said the first dose provided partial protection against the flu anyway.He said researchers were examining whether an alternative drug to Fluvax could be used for the second dose - generally scheduled for four weeks after the first.Researchers were also trying to determine if the problem with Fluvax was temporary only - and whether the drug could still be used in coming weeks for the second dose.He stressed that the vast majority of children receiving Fluvax had suffered no complications.The national warning by chief medical officer Jim Bishop followed a decision last night by the WA government to suspend the free vaccination program over concerns the vaccine was causing high fevers and convulsions in young children."We suggest doctors and health professionals vaccinating children don't use the seasonal flu vaccine for the moment, until we can get the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to investigate this in more detail," Professor Jim Bishop told ABC TV.

He said the concerns stemmed from a significant rise in the number of children developing a fever after receiving the vaccine."We need more information about what's happened in WA, but also what we can now find out from all the other states from their experience," Professor Bishop said."If this has been brought up as a possible side-effect of this drug, then we ought to at least suspend its use until we know more.In light of the seasonal flu shot suspension, Professor Bishop suggested children get vaccinated against swine flu instead, because that could be a health risk this winter too.The state government yesterday announced it was temporarily suspending its free flu vaccination program for children under five.

Perth mother of two Bea Flint said her 11-month old boy Avery had a seizure after receiving the first dose of the two-dose flu vaccination on Saturday.Ms Flint said that after the 9am vaccination she noticed Avery had a minor temperature about 2pm. She treated him with Panadol and by Avery's 7pm bedtime he seemed "OK".However, at 7.45pm, Avery started whimpering and moaning.When Ms Flint got to his cot the baby had vomited and was lying on his side having a seizure."In the car driving to the hospital he was just whimpering," Ms Flint said."He couldn't cry - his head was hanging down in the car seat and he couldn't move.""I was petrified - it was one of the worst experiences of my life."By the time Avery arrived at St John of God Hospital in Murdoch, he was burning up with a fever of 39.5 degrees.The doctor who treated Avery told Ms Flint her baby was the fifth child with similar symptoms admitted to the hospital that day.Health Minister Kim Hames last night advised of the suspension as a precautionary measure.He said the suspension came after a significant rise in the number of children who had developed a high temperature after receiving the vaccine.He said some children had gone into febrile convulsions, a fit caused by a high fever, following the vaccinations.

Princess Margaret Hospital figures showed about 22 children had been brought to the hospital following febrile convulsions possibly linked to the vaccine in the past month.Dr Hames said it was unclear if the fevers were related to the influenza vaccination but the precautionary measure was the most responsible course of action.Fevers in most instances are treatable."People should give Paracetamol according to the instructions and tepid sponging to keep the temperature down." Dr Hames said."On rare occasions children can have a convulsion as the result of the high temperature and sometimes that can be prolonged, which can be a risk to the child."He said parents should not take children under the age of five to be vaccinated against influenza until further notice.WA executive director of public health Tarun Weeramanthri told radio 6PR that any adverse effects from the vaccines would only last 12 hours.

Perth father Liam said his 16-month-old daughter developed a very high fever just hours after being given the vaccination earlier this month."We woke up to hear her crying during the night, and when we went in to get her she was just roasting," he said."The fever was one of the highest she had ever had - she was hot to the touch - and she was clearly very unhappy."I am a big believer in vaccinations, but this one is a real concern."

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/flu-vaccination-ban-goes-national-after-fever-convulsions-in-children-20100423-tglp.html

 

Doctors in New Zealand have been advised against using the influenza vaccine Fluvax on children following reports in Australia of some cases of convulsions soon after jabs.
Australia's chief medical officer gave the same advice to doctors in that country following concerns stemming from a significant rise in the number of children developing a fever after receiving the vaccine.
Western Australian Health Minister Kim Hames yesterday suspended the state's free flu vaccination programme for children under five after some recipients went into a febrile convulsion -- a fit caused by a high temperature.
New Zealand's Health Ministry chief advisor for child and youth health, Pat Tuohy, said there wasn't a lot of information at the moment, but "as a sensible precaution we recommend that providers avoid giving Fluvax to children under five until there have been further investigations".
"We still recommend that children at higher risk for flu complications get immunised using other brands of the vaccine," Dr Tuohy said. "Our experience during the 2009 pandemic showed that children are more likely to catch the pandemic strain, and that a number became very unwell."
He said health providers and parents needed to be aware that fever following immunisation was common.
"It's always important for people to keep an eye out for symptoms in the 24 hours after they, or their child, are vaccinated. In the event of fever, give an appropriate dose of paracetamol or ibuprofen and keep the child cool -- perhaps by reducing the number of layers of clothing and sponging with a damp cloth."
In the case of high fevers or convulsions parents were urged to call Healthline or their GP.
Dr Tuohy said he was aware of three adverse reactions by New Zealand children who had taken Fluvax, and that another vaccine -- Vaxigrip -- should be used as an alternative. The Health Ministry was only today made aware of the Australian cases.
Over 260,000 Fluvax doses were administered in March and the ministry said supplies were now likely to be low. More supplies of Vaxigrip are expected from Europe next week.
The ministry is investigating the situation here and the Therapeutic Goods Administration is investigating the situation in Australia.

Last Edited: April 24, 2010, 3:46 am

Entry #45
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April 14, 2010, 3:14 amWe're being conditioned for something - Countdown to Zero

Frightening! 

When it comes to nuclear weapons and how much damage they will do, this map puts things into perspective. (Search for a place, pick a suitable weapon and press "Nuke It!") 

www.carloslabs.com/node/16

Also check out Nuclear War Survival Skills

www.ki4u.com/free_book/s73p912.htm

Last Edited: April 14, 2010, 3:18 am

Entry #44
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April 14, 2010, 2:21 amGOP Official & Boyfriend Savagely Beaten In Politically Motivated Attack

GOP Official & Boyfriend Savagely Beaten In Politically Motivated Attack – Including Broken Leg, Jaw, Concussion… Media Silent (UPDATES)

 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 5:46 AM

Allee Bautsch and her boyfriend Joe Brown

The governor’s office said Monday that Allee Bautsch suffered a broken leg and her boyfriend suffered a concussion and fractured nose and jaw in the alleged incident. (KSLA)

A Republican activist and her boyfriend were savagely beaten in New Orleans on Friday for wearing Sarah Palin pins.
Free Republic reported:

Allee Bautsch, chief campaign fundraiser for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, and her boyfriend Joe Brown, were savagely beaten Friday night in New Orleans after leaving a Republican party fundraising dinner by a group of thugs who reportedly targeted the couple because they were wearing Sarah Palin pins.

Bautch’s leg was broken and Brown incurred a broken jaw and nose as well as a concussion.

The Hayride reports that a source who visited Bautsch at the hospital the day after the attack says they were told the couple was attacked for wearing Palin buttons:

Two people at the Brennan’s event have now confirmed that the protest had largely broken up by the time it ended, but we also understand from someone who visited Allee Bautsch in the hospital Saturday morning that she and Brown were followed and attacked expressly because they had Palin pins on (she heard one of the attackers say “Let’s get them, they have Palin pins on” – so the attack WAS politically motivated as its victims understood it. It was not a mugging, it was not an argument gone wrong and it was not a bar fight.

The story of a Republican and her boyfriend being viciously attacked for wearing Palin buttons has yet to make national headlines, unlike say, unfounded rumors of nasty words being said by Tea Party protesters.

Related… Anarchists took to the streets in New Orleans on Friday to protest the SRLC, marching to the Hilton Hotel, where a banner was hanging from the roof which said “We won’t pay for their crisis. Become the crisis!” —- The march then headed to Brennan’s Restaurant, where a $10,000 a plate SRLC dinner was in progress.

Later today the Governor’s office sent out this email. The authorities are still investigating the violent attack–

Friday night, the Governor’s campaign fundraiser, Allee Bautsch, and her boyfriend were involved in an altercation in the French Quarter with a group of people.

While there were protestors around at that time, we are not aware of any evidence that the individuals involved in the altercation were protestors.

Allee’s leg was badly broken in the incident, she has had surgery, and she is facing a recovery time of two to three months. Her boyfriend had a concussion, and also a fractured nose and jaw. They are both expected to fully recover.

NOPD is investigating the incident and we are refraining from further comment to allow them to fully investigate and ensure justice is done. Our prayers are with Allee. She is a strong person and we are sure she will make a speedy recovery.

Thanks,

Kyle Plotkin
Office of Governor Jindal
Press Secretary

And, here is another update on the protest that was sent to me today after I published this report:

I am the photographer for the LA GOP and I was at the Brennan fundraiser. When I left about one hour or so after all 3 of the governors left the crowd of protesters had grown. The were very nasty, signs were vulgar using the “F” word. As I left the restaurant I was yelled at – there was a family visiting the restaurant with a baby stroller – they had nothing to do with the fundraiser and they were being heckled using the “F” and “MF” words.. A couple of them made comments to me.
Thanks, Eric

UPDATE: Here is a photo of the crowd outside of Brennan’s–

photo credit: © Eric Miller

And, here is video of the protesters by Jeff Blanco at Inside Louisiana Newschanting “Fight Back!”:

 

http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/04/gop-official-boyfriend-savagely-beaten-for-wearing-palin-pins-including-broken-leg-jaw-concussion-media-silent/
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April 6, 2010, 2:24 amWikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting civilian slayings

5th April 2010 10:44 EST

WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad -- including two Reuters news staff.


Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-site, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.

 

 

Wikileaks reveals video showing US air crew shooting down Iraqi civilians

Footage of July 2007 attack made public as Pentagon identifies website as threat to national security

Namir Noor-Eldeen, the photographer killed in the Baghdad air strike. Photograph: Khalid Mohammed/AP

A secret video showing US air crew falsely claiming to have encountered a firefight in Baghdad and then laughing at the dead after launching an air strike that killed a dozen people, including two Iraqis working for Reuters news agency, was revealed by Wikileaks today.


The footage of the July 2007 attack was made public in a move that will further anger the Pentagon, which has drawn up a report identifying the whistleblower website as a threat to national security. The US defence department was embarrassed when that confidential report appeared on the Wikileaks site last month alongside a slew of military documents. 


The release of the video from Baghdad also comes shortly after the US military admitted that its special forces attempted to cover up the killings of three Afghan women in a raid in February by digging the bullets out of their bodies. 


The newly released video of the Baghdad attacks was recorded on one of two Apache helicopters hunting for insurgents on 12 July 2007. Among the dead were a 22-year-old Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40. The Pentagon blocked an attempt by Reuters to obtain the video through a freedom of information request. Wikileaks director Julian Assange said his organisation had to break through encryption by the military to view it. 


In the recording, the helicopter crews can be heard discussing the scene on the street below. One American claims to have spotted six people with AK-47s and one with a rocket-propelled grenade. It is unclear if some of the men are armed but Noor-Eldeen can be seen with a camera. Chmagh is talking on his mobile phone.


One of the helicopter crew is then heard saying that one of the group is shooting. But the video shows there is no shooting or even pointing of weapons. The men are standing around, apparently unperturbed. 


The lead helicopter, using the moniker Crazyhorse, opens fire. "Hahaha. I hit 'em," shouts one of the American crew. Another responds a little later: "Oh yeah, look at those dead s."


One of the men on the ground, believed to be Chmagh, is seen wounded and trying to crawl to safety. One of the helicopter crew is heard wishing for the man to reach for a gun, even though there is none visible nearby, so he has the pretext for opening fire: "All you gotta do is pick up a weapon." A van draws up next to the wounded man and Iraqis climb out. They are unarmed and start to carry the victim to the vehicle in what would appear to be an attempt to get him to hospital. One of the helicopters opens fire with armour-piercing shells. "Look at that. Right through the windshield," says one of the crew. Another responds with a laugh.


Sitting behind the windscreen were two children who were wounded. 


After ground forces arrive and the children are discovered, the American air crew blame the Iraqis. "Well it's their fault for bringing kids in to a battle," says one. "That's right," says another.


Initially the US military said that all the dead were insurgents. Then it claimed the helicopters reacted to an active firefight. Assange said that the video demonstrated that neither claim was true. 


"Why would anyone be so relaxed with two Apaches if someone was carrying an RPG and that person was an enemy of the United States?" he said. "The behaviour of the pilots is like a computer game. When Saeed is crawling, clearly unable to do anything, their response is: come on buddy, we want to kill you, just pick up a weapon ... It appears to be a desire to get a higher score, or a higher number of kills."


Wikileaks says it will shortly release a second secret US military video showing the deaths of civilians in an attack in Afghanistan. The Pentagon has been seeking ways to prevent classified material appearing on Wikileaks, including through "criminal sanctions". Wikileaks has made public classified US army reports on weapons, military units and battle strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan.


The Pentagon report, reflecting the depth of paranoia about where Wikileaks is obtaining its material, speculates that the CIA may be responsible. But perhaps most embarrassing leak for the US defence department was that of the 2008 report itself which appeared on the Wikileaks site last month.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/05/wikileaks-us-army-iraq-attack

http://collateralmurder.com/

Last Edited: April 6, 2010, 2:26 am

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April 6, 2010, 1:59 amFed in hot water over secret bailouts

Fed in hot water over secret bailouts

The Fed bailed out Bear Stearns without authorization from Congress or informing the public.
By Robert Reich, Guest blogger / April 1, 2010

 

The Federal Reserve Building is seen in Washington in this Jan. 14 photo. The Fed is currently in hot water over secret bailouts it made to Bear Stearns and AIG. Alex Brandon/AP Photo/File

The Fed has finally came clean. It now admits it bailed out Bear Stearns – taking on tens of billions of dollars of the bank’s bad loans – in order to smooth Bear Stearns’ takeover by JPMorgan Chase. The secret Fed bailout came months before Congress authorized the government to spend up to $700 billion of taxpayer dollars bailing out the banks, even months before Lehman Brothers collapsed. The Fed also took on billions of dollars worth of AIG securities, also before the official government-sanctioned bailout.

The losses from those deals still total tens of billions, and taxpayers are ultimately on the hook. But the public never knew. There was no congressional oversight. It was all done behind closed doors. And the New York Fed – then run by Tim Geithner – was very much in the center of the action.

This raises three issues.

First, only Congress is supposed to risk taxpayer dollars. The Fed is not part of the legislative branch. Its secret deals, announced almost two years after they were done, violate the democratic process, if not the Constitution itself. Thomas Jefferson put a stop to Alexander Hamilton’s idea of a powerful central bank out of fear it would be unaccountable to the public. The Fed has just proven Jefferson’s point.

Second, if the Fed can secretly bail out big banks, the problem of “moral hazard” – bankers taking irresponsible risks because they know they’ll be rescued – is far greater than anyone assumed after Congress and the Bush and Obama administrations bailed out the banks. Big banks will always be too big to fail because they know the Fed will secretly back them up if they get into trouble, even if Congress won’t do it openly.

Third, the announcement throws a monkey wrench into the financial reform bill now on Capitol Hill, which gives the Fed additional authority by, for example, creating a consumer protection bureau inside it. Only yesterday, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) blasted the Dodd bill for expanding the Fed’s authority “even as it remains shrouded in secrecy.”

The Fed has a big problem. It acts in secret. That makes it an odd duck in a democracy. As long as it’s merely setting interest rates, its secrecy and political independence can be justified. But once it departs from that role and begins putting billions of dollars of taxpayer money at risk — choosing winners and losers in the capitalist system — its legitimacy is questionable.

That it chose to reveal the truth about its activities during a week when Congress is out of town, when much of official Washington and the Washington media have gone on vacation, and only after several federal courts have held that the Fed must release documents related to its bailout of Bear Stearns, suggests it would rather remain secret than become transparent.

Much of what Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner did (when Geithner was at the New York Fed) in 2008 was presumably necessary. But the public has no way of knowing. The public doesn’t even know who else the Fed has bailed out, or what entities it will bail out in the future. All we know is the Fed secretly bailed out Bear Stearns and AIG and thereby subjected taxpayers to risks that remain even today, without informing the public. That’s not a record on which to build public trust.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/Robert-Reich-s-Blog/2010/0401/Fed-in-hot-water-over-secret-bailouts

Last Edited: April 6, 2010, 2:01 am

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April 6, 2010, 1:26 amWhat is the real truth behind the militia raid in Michigan?

What is the real truth behind the militia raid in Michigan?

March 30, 12:27 PM

Conservative Examiner Anthony G. Martin

 

 

Contrary to popular assumptions in today's news media and schools of journalism, the primary goal of a reporter is to seek out and report the truth.  A free society is contingent to a large degree on a free press, provided that press freely does its job as it was intended.

Thus, despite the government's contention that the ATF/FBI raid of the Hutaree militia group in Michigan over the weekend was due to supposed 'plots to kill police and overthrow the government,' troubling questions remain about the government's handling of this case.

 

A Michigan State Police officer guards a road block on Tomer Street after a FBI of raid of a suspected militia leader's home in Clayton, Mich., Sunday, March 28, 2010. The FBI said Sunday that agents conducted weekend raids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio and arrested at least three people. (AP Photo/Madalyn Ruggiero).

 

The question, therefore, is, 'What is the real truth behind the militia raid in Michigan?'

So far answers are not readily available.  There are, however, the following facts.

First, initial reports of the raid quoted government officials as saying that the militia had 'made threats against Islamic extremists.'

A quick scan of search engine results for 'Hutaree threats against Islamic extremists' will reveal numerous reports in the mainstream media, including ABC News, indicating that on Sunday, May 28, the official reason provided by the FBI for the raid was the alleged threats made by the group against Muslims.

But by yesterday, despite the headlines of those articles, all references to such alleged threats had been scrubbed/erased from the actual news stories, with the exception of certain websites that are not connected with the mainstream media.

Here is an example.  The story has been redacted.  But originally this story had the following headline--'Michigan Christian Militia Hutaree Targeted for Anti-Muslim Views.'

Second, the indictments against the members of the Hutaree militia are sealed.  Why?  The Justice Department contends that the group plotted to kill police officers and overthrow the government.  But where is the proof that such threats were made?

So far they are sealed tight in those secret indictments.  And the government has provided no real evidence thus far to back up its claims.  (UPDATE! The indictments are now unsealed.  But allegations so far carry no proof.  What, exactly, IS the proof?).

Third, the timing of the raid is suspect.  The raid was the culmination of an entire week of smears against Tea Party activists, conservatives, and even Sarah Palin, outright accusing them of 'inciting violence.'

It did not help with this smear campaign for Republican Eric Cantor to be threatened with assassination, resulting in the arrest of an Obama-supporter and donor who had made the threat.  It turns out the suspect is a LEFTWING extremist known for his hatred of Jews.

But this story was essentially buried in the press when the ATF/FBI raided the Hutaree militia, claiming that the government had saved the day against the threat from 'extremist, rightwing terrorists.'

This story, of course, was the lead news story on all of the major networks.  Absolutely nothing was said about the Jew-hating Obama-supporter who had threatened to kill Eric Cantor and his entire family.

Any reporter who is worth his/her salt smells something foul in the midst of all of this.  It is yet unknown if the Hutaree militia engaged in any direct threats of any kind against anyone.  These charges will have to be proved beyond all reasonable doubt in a court of law.  The charges may turn out to be bogus.  They may turn out to be true.

But there is clearly enough suspicious activity on the part of the government in this case to warrant some thorough investigative journalism.  The truth is there, but it can be reasonably surmised that the government is not the one telling it, given the penchant for this Administration to be recklessly footloose with the truth.

The burden of proof will be on the Obama Administration in this case.

http://www.examiner.com/x-37620-Conservative-Examiner~y2010m3d30-What-is-the-real-truth-behind-the-militia-raid-in-Michigan

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April 6, 2010, 1:22 amU.S. plan to train Indonesian elite army unit raises alarm

U.S. plan to train Indonesian elite army unit raises alarm

The plan to train members of Kopassus, which is accused of rights abuses, would violate U.S. law, critics say. Analysts, however, say the goal is to engage, rather than isolate, troubled nations.

By John M. Glionna
April 6, 2010

 

Reporting from Jakarta, Indonesia - Usman Hamid knows the fear of being stalked. He's tasted the panic of receiving threatening, late-night phone calls.

"They say, 'I'm going to take out your eyes,' " he said. " 'I'm going to throw you into the ocean. I'm going to kill your mother.' "

The menace hasn't come from any bandits or terrorists, he says, but from operatives who he suspects work for his own military.

Hamid is chairman of the Commission for Disappearances and Victims of Violence, a nonprofit that for years has investigated alleged human rights abuses by an elite army special forces unit called the Indonesian Komando Pasukan Khusus, known as Kopassus.

Allegations date to the squad's inception in the 1950s and include beatings, abductions and assassinations that have gone largely unacknowledged -- and unpunished -- by officials here, Hamid said.

Now, contrary to U.S. human rights law, the covert counter-terrorism and intelligence unit that many here say already views itself as being above the law is about to go into business with the U.S. government.

The Obama administration has begun talks with Indonesian military officials to establish a special training program for Kopassus troops despite legislation known as the Leahy Law.

Passed in 1997, the measure bars the U.S. from training foreign militaries facing accusations of human rights abuses unless officials attempt to bring all wrongdoers to justice.

Although details of the training remain unclear, Indonesian officials hint that they include bringing Kopassus officers to the United States for nonlethal counter-terrorism training.

Analysts say the administration's plans are part of President Obama's agenda to engage, rather than isolate, troubled nations or their militaries.

U.S. officials view the 100-member Kopassus force as a key ally in fighting Islamic extremist groups that have struck scores of times in recent years, including bombings in Bali and at two foreign-owned hotels in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, last year.

For the United States, the new military ties would help strengthen its position in the region as China's influence rises. Kopassus officers recently visited the U.S., and Obama hopes to complete the training arrangement when he visits Indonesia in June, analysts say.

"It's just a matter of time, [maybe] a couple of months," former Indonesian Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono told the Jakarta Post about Washington's intentions of lifting the training ban.

Indonesian military officials declined an interview request. But Hamid called the negotiations troubling.

"This relationship has to be more fully explained," he said. "Are they going to solely focus on anti-terror operations or continue a secret war within Indonesian society? And how will the U.S. deal with past human rights abuses by Kopassus?"

For the Obama administration, any training deal struck with the red-bereted commandos will involve some delicate diplomatic footwork.

U.S. officials may try to circumvent the congressional prohibition by training younger Kopassus officers who, they insist, were not part of the unit during major human rights abuses, analysts say.

Activist groups in Southeast Asia have organized petitions opposing the administration's plan, which many characterize as a risky diplomatic and military gambit.

The U.S. Congress also has its concerns. Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on foreign operations who wrote the Leahy Law, said Kopassus has committed some of Indonesia's worst human rights atrocities.

"For the United States to resume military aid, Kopassus needs to change," he said. "Kopassus can no longer violate human rights, Indonesian military officers who violated human rights cannot continue to serve in the military, and the military, including Kopassus, needs to fully cooperate with civilian investigations and prosecutions."

But regional security experts say the U.S. has an opportunity to help shape a military unit that has already scored important strikes against wanted Islamic extremists here.

"It would be naive to cut off your ability to work with security forces that are turning the tide against terror," said John Harrison, security analyst at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University. "By denying support, the U.S. loses a chance to change the group's behavior. There's an opportunity to teach these forces how to act with higher regard to the issue of human rights."

Others point to the U.S. forces' own human rights abuses.

"The U.S. military has committed grave violations in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo," said Rohan Gunaratna, a Singapore-based terrorism analyst and author of the 2002 book "Inside Al Qaeda." "That doesn't mean that the U.S. Army or Navy SEALs are bad. Abuses are often the work of individuals. The U.S. has a lot more to gain by working with Kopassus than shunning them."

Hamid acknowledges that the U.S. faces a tough choice.

"The Indonesian military can point to similar accusations against American soldiers," he said. "The government can say, 'If you don't want to work with our military, we can always go to Beijing. They'll work with us.' "

Hamid wrote a letter that he hopes to deliver to Obama in June explaining the disappearance of pro-democracy activists in 1998 as well as other killings linked to Kopassus.

A presidential fact-finding team at the time concluded that a high-ranking Kopassus officer was involved in one of the deaths. The officer was convicted but later acquitted as the result of what Hamid calls judicial corruption and witness tampering.

Kopassus operatives are also believed to have been involved in kidnappings and killings in East Timor and Papua, he said.

Hamid, a 33-year-old activist with glasses and wavy brown hair, said he first ran afoul of Kopassus when he investigated the slayings of four fellow university students in 1998.

He later formed his human rights commission, which has largely focused on Kopassus cases. "They work in a disguised way -- phone calls and text messages -- but the threats are real, against your family, your wife, your parents," he said.

He knows that his newest campaign won't go unnoticed. "You learn that when you deal with Kopassus," he said. "You watch your back."

 

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/asia/la-fg-indonesia-military6-2010apr06,0,2409863,full.story

 

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April 6, 2010, 1:12 amHousing protest leads to takeover of duplex

Housing protest leads to takeover of duplex

James Temple, Chronicle Staff Writer

 

Monday, April 5, 2010

 

(04-04) 19:06 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- A group of homeless people and housing activists took over a privately owned Mission District duplex on Sunday in what served as the climax of a protest designed to promote use of San Francisco's vacant buildings as shelters for the needy.

But the owner of the property - who was targeted over his eviction of a tenant - said the demonstration was nothing more than breaking and entering.

"It's not actually vacant. I use it for my own personal uses," Ara Tehlirian of Daly City said in an interview, adding that he was in contact with the San Francisco Police Department. "I know nothing other than my property was apparently broken into."

The takeover epitomized the tensions between property owners and tenant activists that have flared for decades in the city, and sometimes tip into outright hostilities near the peaks and troughs of the market cycle.

This time, more than fifty people marched in the rain through the Mission District, hoisting picket signs that read "House keys not handcuffs" and chanting "Whose city? Our city." The action was organized by Homes Not Jails, a 20-year-old group affiliated with the San Francisco Tenants Union.

By the time the tail of the procession reached the duplex on the 500 block of San Jose Street, at least eight people were inside, holding banners from second-story windows. It wasn't clear how they gained entry, and Ted Gullicksen, leader of the tenant organization, declined to provide details.

More than a dozen police officers were on hand, most standing on the sidewalk on the other side of the street. Asked earlier whether they would take action if protesters occupied the property, officers declined to comment. One said, "We'll see."

By 3 p.m., all had left but one, who stayed to ensure that "nobody is out of hand," said a police official, Sgt. William Escobar. No arrests had been made.

Gullicksen said the protest carried important symbolism during a tough time for tenants.

Because of housing speculation during the real estate boom, "a lot of tenants were evicted," Gullicksen said. "Now a lot of those homes are sitting empty. The city should be doing something to turn vacant buildings into affordable housing."

Specifically, he said the city should foreclose on buildings where hefty back taxes are owed or use its powers of eminent domain to turn over long-vacant homes to nonprofit developers. The group is not advocating turning over the city's stock of new but unsold properties to the homeless.

Jose Morales, 80, lived in the San Jose Street building for 43 years before he was forced to leave in 2008 through the Ellis Act, which allows property owners to get out of the rental business.

Morales said he now lives in a small space in an office building in the Mission District.

"The city should have protected me," he said. "It's like they don't see me. It's like I'm a ghost to them."

But attorney Andrew Zacks, who represented Tehlirian, said the landlord resorted to the Ellis Act only after Morales remained on the property illegally, after being given more than a year's notice and relocation fees.

Zacks said he hopes charges are filed over what he characterized as "people taking the law into their own hands and breaking into property."

"It's sort of ridiculous to think that a private property owner like Mr. Tehlirian would have any obligation to house the homeless," he said. "It's a problem we should deal with as a community, not something that should be foisted on the back of a small property owner."

Gullicksen called it an act of civil disobedience.

"They can characterize it as an illegal act, but that doesn't mask the fact that the building has been sitting unused and that Jose Morales was evicted from there," he said.

About 5 p.m. Sunday, he said, police knocked on the door of the building and asked protesters how long they planned to stay. According to Gullicksen, they responded that they had no immediate plans to leave.

 

 http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/04/BUTO1CPN1U.DTL

Entry #38
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March 16, 2010, 1:07 amACORN branches rename, rebrand after video scandal

ACORN branches rename, rebrand after video scandal
Mar 15, 5:55 AM (ET)

By MICHAEL TARM

CHICAGO (AP) - Affiliates of the once mighty liberal activist group ACORN are remaking themselves in a desperate bid to ditch the tarnished name of their parent organization and restore federal grants and other revenue streams that ran dry in the wake of a video scandal.

The letters A, C, O, R and N are coming off office doors from New York to California. Business cards are being reprinted. New signs with new names are popping up in front of offices.

The breakaways are trying to shed the scandal that emerged six months ago when videos showed some ACORN workers giving tax tips to conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute. But while their names are different, most groups have kept the same offices and staff.

That, critics say, means the groups really haven't started anew and severed all ties to ACORN, which faced accusations of mismanagement and rampant voter registration fraud well before the video brouhaha sent even longtime Democratic backers scattering.

Even the national office of ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, doesn't blame affiliates for bolting from under its umbrella - conceding its entire 40-state network has been devastated by what backers characterize as right-wing attacks.

"It is true that these range of attacks do damage to your brand and your good name," said Kevin Whelan, ACORN's communication's director. "The other reality is that we are starting to win some vindication on the facts. But vindication doesn't necessarily pay the rent."

ACORN's financial situation and reputation went into free fall within days of the videos' release in September. Congress reacted by yanking ACORN's federal funding, private donors held back cash and scores of ACORN offices closed.

On Wednesday, a U.S. judge reiterated an earlier ruling that the federal law blacklisting ACORN and groups allied with it was unconstitutional because it singled them out. That doesn't mean any money will automatically be restored, however.

For years, ACORN could draw on 400,000 members to lobby for liberal causes, such as raising the minimum wage or adopting universal health care. Locally, its activists pushed city officials to fix broken street lights and it pressured banks to offer more favorable loans to low-income Americans. ACORN was arguably most successful at registering hundreds of thousands of low-income voters, though that mission was dogged by fraud allegations, including that some workers submitted forms signed by 'Mickey Mouse' or other cartoon characters.

There's a chance the national group could disband, and it, too, may consider changing its name.

"The sorts of attacks ACORN has faced as an organization are unprecedented since the McCarthyism in the '50s, and it remains an open question whether an organization can survive that," Whelan said. "Time will tell."

One of the latest groups to adopt a new name is ACORN Housing, long one of the best-funded affiliates. Now, the group is calling itself the Affordable Housing Centers of America.

Others changing their names include what were among the largest affiliates: California ACORN is now Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, and New York ACORN has become New York Communities for Change. More are expected to follow suit.

The housing affiliate has lost more than most. The federal cutoff slashed its budget 75 percent, from $24 million in 2009 to $6 million in 2010. It's closed half of its 33 offices, cut half its 250 staff and reduced numbers of low-income families it gives financial advice to from 20,000 to 10,000.

An unadorned paper sign with the new name was taped at the entrance of the group's Chicago headquarters on a recent afternoon. But much else is unchanged: The new group is in the same offices; and the head of the old group, Mike Shea, is the head of the new one.

Still, insisted Shea, "We really have no relationship with ACORN whatsoever."

Many opponents don't buy it. A distinguishing feature of ACORN for years has been its complex web of affiliates, some of which shared money and manpower without ever assuming ACORN's name, said Frederick Hill, spokesman for Republicans on the U.S. House oversight and government reform committee.

"The idea that some ACORN organizations are trying to obscure who they really are should be troubling to Americans," he said.

A recent report on ACORN compiled by the House Republicans whom Hill represents describes ACORN as a "shell game" with a structure "designed to conceal illegal activities, to use taxpayer and tax-exempt dollars for partisan political purposes, and to distract investigators."

To credibly claim a clean break, argued Hill, the new groups should at least have hired directors from outside ACORN.

"But I can't tell you of a single example our committee has seen where we say, 'Geez, it really looks like they're purging all the individuals who are with national ACORN,'" he said.

The breakaways insist they have changed in more than just name, pointing to tougher ethics rules and better management. Shea said his Chicago-based housing group brought in independent auditors to pour through its books; all, he says, gave them high marks.

"We can prove to our stakeholders that we've put reforms in place and what you saw on the video can never happen again," he said.

In the end, all the confidence-building measures may do little good when it comes to divisive, politically active groups like ACORN. Foes like Hill and a vast range of longtime detractors are sure to harken back to the old ACORN names at every opportunity.

"If a company changes its name, the hubbub eventually dies down," said Bill Lozito, head of Minneapolis-based branding firm, Strategic Name Development. "Changing a name associated with politics is a lot tougher. People won't let go of the original name and won't forget."

---

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100315/D9EF145O0.html

Entry #37
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March 16, 2010, 12:06 amFluoride: Deadly Poison? History & Dangers of Fluoride

 

 

Do you know where Fluoride originated from???? I didn't, until I read this. SCARY!!!! All my life I figured it was bad for us. How the hell could it help your teeth when it's in drinking water? How much of the water you drink even touches your teeth? Kinda goes down your throat and into your stomach, doesn't it??? Yea, I thought it was bad years ago, and then I found out it REALLY WAS!!! This is some good info.

Link is here: http://www.angelfire.com/az/sthurston/fluoride.html

 

Fluoride: Deadly Poison?
History & Dangers of Fluoride

 

 




FLUORIDE:


Introduction: "....The report offers a glimpse into the history of fluoride, a bio-accumulative toxic that Americans ingest every day. The authors, Griffiths and Bryson, spent more than a year on research. With the belief that the information should be withheld no longer, the authors gave their report to Waste Not, and others, with a short note: "use as you wish." 

The science of fluoridating public drinking water systems has been, from day one, shoddy at best. As we learn from this report, the basis of that science was rooted in protecting the U.S. Atomic bomb program from litigation. Americans have been convinced that fluoride will save their teeth and we drink more fluoridated water than any other nationality on earth. We learned about the dirty politics involved in the science and selling of fluoridation to a trusting public. We spent three months researching fluoride which resulted in the longest newsletter we've ever produced: Waste Not # 373.

We learned that fluoride is a poison that accumulates in our bones. It has been associated with cancer in young males; osteoporosis; reduced I.Q.; and hip fractures in the elderly, to name a few. George Orwell would have been dazzled by the promotion of this toxic by dental and public health officials and concurrently, the avoidance of this issue by the environmental community. We think it has a lot to do with the sordid 50-year history of the promotion of fluoridation by the U.S. Department of Public Health and the American Dental Association. Rather than acknowledge the accumulating evidence of fluoride's threat to human health, they have en-trenched themselves in a position that has produced tactics that include the harassment of scientists and dentists who speak out."

FLUORIDE, TEETH, AND THE ATOMIC BOMB
By Joel Griffiths and Chris Bryson

Bibliography of Scientific Literature on Fluoride
http://www.slweb.org/bibliography.html

 

FLUORIDE AND THE BRAIN
http://www.slweb.org/bibliography.html#brain

SPEEDING UP THE AGING PROCESS - FLUORIDE: THE AGING FACTOR
http://www.cyberclass.net/flourideaging.htm


Evidence Of Fraud In The Matter Of Water Fluoridation
http://www.rvi.net/~fluoride/iom-fraud.htm

More Discussions on Message Board 


"Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation?"

Fluoride: The Hidden Poison in the National Organic Standards

Is Fluoride Really As Safe As You Are Told?
Freud, Fraud, And Fluoride
http://www.mercola.com/2002/feb/6/fluoride_safety2.htm


Fluorine is a Deadly Poison
http://www.bragg.com/fact_sheets/fluoride_03.html
floride,flouride poison,floride,flouride poison,floride,flouride poison
By James Donahue
http://www.viewzone.com/fluoride.html

I was a child when fluoride, a by-produce from the manufacture of atomic bombs, was first introduced to the American people. 

Nobody told us where fluoride came from. All we knew is that it was a newly discovered chemical that would make our teeth extra hard and ward off cavities. When a free fluoride clinic was set up one summer in our school, all the kids in town lined up to have the bitter tasting stuff rubbed on their teeth. 

We were pretty gullible in those days. The period immediately following World War II was a time of scientific advancement. After the inventions of nylon, rayon, plastic and other marvelous products that replaced fabrics, rubber and steel during the war years, people were lulled into the belief that those balding men in white laboratory jackets could solve all of the problems of the world. The belief was so strong that we blindly accepted whatever a "scientist" told us. Nobody dreamed that we might be victims of fraud. 

My father was part of the magic. He worked as a chemical engineer for a factory that made a variety of products out of wheat and corn starch (including the brain-killing excitotoxin monosodium glutamate). He provided well and I consequently made regular visits to a dentist every summer. I knew well the agony of the dentist drill. It was nothing like the advanced water-cooled high-speed equipment used by modern dentists. Repairing a cavity doomed us to what seemed like hours of white-knuckle torture under the glaring lights of the dental chair, while a man with plastic rimmed glasses and bad breath bored his way through teeth (and bone?). Once the drilling was done, the dentist filled the hole he made with a hot metallic material that burned when it went in, and left a bad taste in your mouth. 

We had a mom-and-pop grocery store in our neighborhood where kids could buy penny candy and a package of gum for a nickel. I made a lot of visits to that candy store. 

Even though my mother made sure that I brushed my teeth daily, somehow I don't remember linking the candy I was eating to all of the cavities. When fluoride was introduced, it seemed like a child's dream come true. 

I was disappointed, of course. I had just as many cavities in my teeth the following year. 

When they started dumping fluoride in the local water supply, and adding it to the ingredients in our toothpaste, I thought that would surely solve my problem. It seemed reasonable to think that I didn't get a heavy enough dose of fluoride when I attended the free clinic. After all, if a little bit of fluoride was good for my teeth, it made sense that a lot more fluoride would be even better. 

But alas, after years of drinking, scrubbing and consuming fluoride-laced products, we now learn that we've been scammed. This chemical is found to be totally ineffective in preventing tooth decay. Not only that, it seems to be directly linked to a variety of medical problems ranging from discolored teeth to bone disease and cancer. 
In short, fluoride is a poison. 

This is not news to the medical world. The Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine have both reported greater incidence of hip fractures in fluoridated areas. The National Institute of Environmental and Health Services has linked fluoridation with cancer. 

A book by Dr. John Yiamouyiannis, titled "Fluoride, The Aging Factor," shows that the drug causes a premature aging process. He notes that in areas where fluoride is consumed in the drinking water, there are higher rates of bone disorders (skeletal fluorosis, osteoporosis and arthritic pain) and people suffer from brown decaying teeth. 

"Fluoride is a poison!" Yiamouyiannis warns." The 1984 issue of Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products lists fluoride as more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. It has been used as a pesticide for mice, rats and other small pests. A 10-pound infant could be killed by 1/100 of an ounce and a 100-pound adult could be killed by 1/10 of an ounce of fluoride. The Akron Regional Poison Center indicates that a 7-ounce tube of toothpaste contains 199 mg. of fluoride, more than enough to kill a 25-pound child." 

Yiamouyiannis writes that the acceleration of the aging process by fluoride occurs at the bio-chemical level by causing enzyme inhibition, collagen breakdown, genetic damage and disruption of the immune system. 

"Fluoride interacts with the bonds which maintain the normal shape of proteins," he continues. "With distorted protein, the immune system attacks it's own protein, the body's own tissue." The visual and physical effects from prolonged exposure to fluoride include nausea, bloody vomit, faintness, stomach cramps, tremors, constipation, aching bones, stiffness, skin rash, weight loss and brown or black discoloration of the teeth. 

The horror in this story is that fluoride was known as a deadly poison from the start. But if this was true, why would the U. S. government promote the sale of it to its own people, and later people all over the world? Would you believe the answer to this question is money? 
There is compelling evidence that the program of water fluoridation began as a massive effort to cover up bad publicity from one of the most toxic materials to emerge from the government's secret nuclear weapons program. The idea was that if fluoride could be presented to the country as beneficial, then no one could sue the government for being harmed by it. 

An article by Dr. Jackie Alan Giuliano in "Healing Our World" noted that reporters Joel Griffiths and Chris Bryson discovered the truth about fluoride while researching hundreds of declassified documents about the Manhattan Project, America's secret atomic bomb development program. 

They found that fluoride as a key chemical in atomic bomb production. Millions of tons were used during the Cold War period to manufacture high-grade uranium and plutonium. 

"Fluoride was the top chemical hazard of the U.S. nuclear weapons program, not only for workers, but for those living in nearby communities as well," Giuliano wrote. 

"The documents show that the first U.S. lawsuits levied against the atomic weapons program were over fluoride poisoning, not radiation damage. The documents reveal that the U.S. government secretly ordered atomic bomb scientists to create "evidence useful in litigation" against defense contractors who were being accused of injuring citizens with fluoride." 

This secret work to head-off government lawsuits lead to a multi-billion dollar industry that has been poisoning our water supplies, our toothpaste, and our bodies ever since. Believe this or not, fluoride tablets are even available for children. 

To escape the harmful effects of fluoride, Yiamouyiannis suggests that you seek non-fluoride toothpaste (but you may have to go to health stores to find it), and drink bottled water. Even using tap water to cook may expose you to fluoride. 

Now that the truth about fluoride is out, why haven't towns and toothpaste companies stopped dumping this terrible poison in our water and toothpaste supplies? Don't expect that to happen. Remember, I said this is a multi-billion dollar industry. Nobody shuts down a money machine like that without a fight. 

 

Informative Links:

Entry #36
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March 15, 2010, 11:33 pm2 Shots In The Head & His Death Was Ruled A "Suicide"-Gary Webb on C.I.A. Trafficking of Cocaine

~The truth about the "war on drugs"~

 

2 Shots In The Head & His Death Was Ruled A "Suicide"-Gary Webb on C.I.A. Trafficking of Cocaine 

 

 

Gary Webb: More Pieces
In The Suicided Puzzle - Pt 1

By Charlene Fassa 
bavani@insightbb.com
12-11-5
 

"Any hack can safely rail away at foreign powers beyond the sea; but a good writer is a critic of the society he lives in."- Edward Abbey

 "An open and shut case..." 

There comes a time when you just have to stand back and take a look at the big picture. This is one of those times. On the morning of December 10th 2004, 49 year old, Gary Webb was found dead in his modest, recently sold Carmichael, California home. Webb allegedly died from two *self-inflicted* gunshot wounds to the head from a .38 caliber pistol. The Sacramento coroner, Mr. Lyons, hastily ruled Webb's death a suicide heralded by his now infamous pronouncement: "It's unusual in a suicide case to have two shots," he said, "but it has been done in the past, and it is in fact a distinct possibility." Which brings up another possibility, as the Gershwin song goes, that "it ain't necessarily so." I'm referring to the lingering and distinct possibility-- no make that probability-- that Gary Webb was murdered.    

While I agree with Mr. Lyons that it's unusual for a suicide to "have two shots" notice how cleverly Mr. Lyons fails to mention another more important detail such as it's virtually impossible to have a suicide case with two shots to the head via a .38 revolver? Think about that for a moment. Doesn't this deceptive statement make one suspicious that a well orchestrated, top-down cover-up operation is underway? Or is this merely a minor oversight by a government official whose expertise is determining the cause of death? Here's what the iconoclastic, egdy, political commentator Vox had to say on December 23, 2004 about Webb's alleged 'suicide' that had occurred only a few days prior (posted on his website www.voxfux.com). 

Vox Excerpts"... So we need to know who told the coroner to say it was suicide. The coroner knows who told him to say it was suicide and that person knows who told them to say it was suicide, and so on and so forth until you arrive at the group who ordered the hit. But to claim that after the first shot to the face the guy then re-s his pistol, aims and fires a second shot - it is impossible for a thinking person to accept this. And anyone with the skills that webb had would get it right the first time. No, this was a hit job... Either way it is impossible for a thinking person to accept... and that is the point. 

Since the control mechanisms of human thought have been so completely implemented, there will be no questioning of anything as depicted on the news by the great masses of people, they simply accept, uncritically, that which is broadcast. Yet for the thinking people, the implausibility of the "Two Shot" story being a suicide is PRECISELY the point. They don't want thinking people to accept and believe that it was a suicide, that is precisely WHY they went with the two shot to the face story in the first place... er... third place. 

It's designed to put a chill in the spines of those with the sensibilities and experience to detect this targeted threat meme. To put a chill in thinking people's spines. by saying, look, we can do what we want, and there is not a thing anyone can do about it. "just look at poor 'nutjob' gary, ha ha ha, imagine what it must have looked like, him getting off that second shot into his own face, ha ha ha." This is how they think. These are the methodologies of the illuminati, this is the very face of evil." (end of excerpts) 

Or this from Robert Chambers of the UK Independent: 

"I first heard about Webb eight years ago, ". . . from the Paris-based journalist Paul Moreira. Moreira  a senior news producer for Canal Plus  has established a reputation for courage and independence of mind in his own foreign reporting, and was recently described by Le Monde as "the Che Guevara of news media." Shortly before I left for Sacramento, Moreira, who knew Webb, had shown me unbroadcast footage which shows the French reporter making a phone call to a media commentator in the US, asking him about Webb's death." 

" 'I told Gary not to go near this story," his source replies, in an emotional voice. " 'You do not understand the power of these people,' " he adds, referring to the US intelligence services. " 'Do not quote me. Do not quote me on anything. '"

 "You sound very scared," Moreira remarks. 

" 'I am scared," the voice replies. ' " 'Look at what happened to Gary Webb. Do something else with your life,' " the voice urges. " ' Like enjoy it.' "http://gnn.tv/headlines/5415/Susan_Bell_a_shameful_secret_history 

Ted Gunderson: Retired FBI expert in analyzing and reconstructing crime scenes. 

On Dec. 1, 2005 I spoke with Ted Gunderson about Webb's death. Mr. Gunderson is a retired FBI agent who enjoyed a distinguished career with the FBI that spanned 27 plus years. Prior to his retirement in 1979 Mr. Gunderson was a "senior special agent-in-charge" with a $22 million annual budget at his disposal and over 700 persons under his charge. Mr Gunderson told me, "my expertise is analyzing and reconstructing crime scenes." He said, "Gary Webb was MURDERED. "He (Webb) resisted the first shot {to the head that exited via jaw} so he was shot again with the second shot going into the head {brain}." I asked Mr. Gunderson what he thought about the "two shots" to the head suicide theory that posits Webb "simply missed " his brain with the first shot, so he had to shoot himself again, this time successfully hitting the brain with a .38 revolver? Without hesitation Gunderson exclaimed, "impossible!"

 A colleague and one of Webb's mentors at the "Cleveland Plain Dealer schooled Webb: "The Big One was the reporter's Holy Grail, the tip that led you from the daily morass of press conferences and of cop calls and on to the trail of The Biggest Story You'd Ever Write, the one that would turn the rest of your career into an anticlimax." " The Big One," Webb recollected, "would be like a bullet with your name on it. You'd never hear it coming." Unfortunately Webb's "Big One" turned out to be two bullets to the head.http://www.ajr.org/Article.asp?id=3874 

Much MORE here: http://www.rense.com/general69/webb1.htm

Last Edited: March 15, 2010, 11:35 pm

Entry #35
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March 15, 2010, 11:14 pmIt Is Now Mathematically Impossible To Pay Off The U.S. National Debt

It Is Now Mathematically Impossible To Pay Off The U.S. National Debt

 

A lot of people are very upset about the rapidly increasing U.S. national debt these days and they are  demanding a solution. What they don't realize is that there simply is not a solution under the current U.S. financial system. It is now mathematically impossible for the U.S. government to pay off the U.S. national debt. You see, the truth is that the U.S. government now owes more dollars than actually exist. If the U.S. government went out today and took every single penny from every single American bank, business and taxpayer, they still would not be able to pay off the national debt. And if they did that, obviously American society would stop functioning because nobody would have any money to buy or sell anything.

 

And the U.S. government would still be massively in debt.

So why doesn't the U.S. government just fire up the printing presses and print a bunch of money to pay off the debt?

Well, for one very simple reason.

That is not the way our system works.

You see, for more dollars to enter the system, the U.S. government has to go into more debt.

The U.S. government does not issue U.S. currency - the Federal Reserve does.

The Federal Reserve is a private bank owned and operated for profit by a very powerful group of elite international bankers.

If you will pull a dollar bill out and take a look at it, you will notice that it says "Federal Reserve Note" at the top.

It belongs to the Federal Reserve.

The U.S. government cannot simply go out and create new money whenever it wants under our current system.

Instead, it must get it from the Federal Reserve.

So, when the U.S. government needs to borrow more money (which happens a lot these days) it goes over to the Federal Reserve and asks them for some more green pieces of paper called Federal Reserve Notes.   

The Federal Reserve swaps these green pieces of paper for pink pieces of paper called U.S. Treasury bonds. The Federal Reserve either sells these U.S. Treasury bonds or they keep the bonds for themselves (which happens a lot these days).

So that is how the U.S. government gets more green pieces of paper called "U.S. dollars" to put into circulation. But by doing so, they get themselves into even more debt which they will owe even more interest on.

So every time the U.S. government does this, the national debt gets even bigger and the interest on that debt gets even bigger.

Are you starting to get the picture?

As you read this, the U.S. national debt is approximately 12 trillion dollars, although it is going up so rapidly that it is really hard to pin down an exact figure.

So how much money actually exists in the United States today?

Well, there are several ways to measure this.

The "M0" money supply is the total of all physical bills and currency, plus the money on hand in bank vaults and all of the deposits those banks have at reserve banks.  As of mid-2009, the Federal Reserve said that this amount was about 908 billion dollars.

The "M1" money supply includes all of the currency in the "M0" money supply, along with all of the money held in checking accounts and other checkable accounts at banks, as well as all money contained in travelers' checks.  According to the Federal Reserve, this totaled approximately 1.7 trillion dollars in December 2009, but not all of this money actually "exists" as we will see in a moment.

The "M2" money supply includes everything in the "M1" money supply plus most other savings accounts, money market accounts, retail money market mutual funds, and small denomination time deposits (certificates of deposit of under $100,000).  According to the Federal Reserve, this totaled approximately 8.5 trillion dollars in December 2009, but once again, not all of this money actually "exists" as we will see in a moment.

The "M3" money supply includes everything in the "M2" money supply plus all other CDs (large time deposits and institutional money market mutual fund balances), deposits of eurodollars and repurchase agreements.  The Federal Reserve does not keep track of M3 anymore, but according toShadowStats.com it is currently somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 trillion dollars.  But again, not all of this "money" actually "exists" either.

So why doesn't it exist?

It is because our financial system is based on something called fractional reserve banking.

When you go over to your local bank and deposit $100, they do not keep your $100 in the bank.  Instead, they keep only a small fraction of your money there at the bank and they lend out the rest to someone else.  Then, if that person deposits the money that was just borrowed at the same bank, that bank can loan out most of that money once again.  In this way, the amount of "money" quickly gets multiplied.  But in reality, only $100 actually exists.  The system works because we do not all run down to the bank and demand all of our money at the same time.

According to the New York Federal Reserve Bank, fractional reserve banking can be explained this way....

"If the reserve requirement is 10%, for example, a bank that receives a $100 deposit may lend out $90 of that deposit. If the borrower then writes a check to someone who deposits the $90, the bank receiving that deposit can lend out $81. As the process continues, the banking system can expand the initial deposit of $100 into a maximum of $1,000 of money ($100+$90+81+$72.90+...=$1,000)."

So much of the "money" out there today is basically made up out of thin air.

In fact, most banks have no reserve requirements at all on savings deposits, CDs and certain kinds of money market accounts.  Primarily, reserve requirements apply only to "transactions deposits" – essentially checking accounts.

The truth is that banks are freer today to dramatically "multiply" the amounts deposited with them than ever before.  But all of this "multiplied" money is only on paper - it doesn't actually exist.

The point is that the broadest measures of the money supply (M2 and M3) vastly overstate how much "real money" actually exists in the system. 

So if the U.S. government went out today and demanded every single dollar from all banks, businesses and individuals in the United States it would not be able to collect 14 trillion dollars (M3) or even 8.5 trillion dollars (M2) because those amounts are based on fractional reserve banking.

So the bottom line is this....

#1) If all money owned by all American banks, businesses and individuals was gathered up today and sent to the U.S. government, there would not be enough to pay off the U.S. national debt.

#2) The only way to create more money is to go into even more debt which makes the problem even worse.

You see, this is what the whole Federal Reserve System was designed to do.  It was designed to slowly drain the massive wealth of the American people and transfer it to the elite international bankers.

It is a game that is designed so that the U.S. government cannot win.  As soon as they create more money by borrowing it, the U.S. government owes more than what was created because of interest.

If you owe more money than ever was created you can never pay it back.

That means perpetual debt for as long as the system exists.

It is a system designed to force the U.S. government into ever-increasing amounts of debt because there is no escape.

We could solve this problem by shutting down the Federal Reserve and restoring the power to issue U.S. currency to the U.S. Congress (which is what the U.S. Constitution calls for).  But the politicians in Washington D.C. are not about to do that.

So unless you are willing to fundamentally change the current system, you might as well quit complaining about the U.S. national debt because it is now mathematically impossible to pay it off.

***UPDATE***

It has been suggested that the same dollar can be used to pay off debt over and over - this is theoretically true as long as the dollar remains in the system.

For example, if the U.S. government gives China a dollar to pay off a debt, there is a good chance that the U.S. government will be able to acquire that dollar again and use it to pay off another debt.

However, this is not true when debt is retired with the Federal Reserve.  In that case, money is actually removed from the system.  In fact, because of the "money multiplier", when debt is retired with the Federal Reserve it can remove ten times that amount of money (and actually more, but let's not get too technical) from the system.

You see, fractional reserve banking works both ways.  When $100 is introduced into the system, it can theoretically create $1000 as the example in the article above demonstrates.  However, when that $100 is removed, it can have the opposite impact.

And considering the fact that the Federal Reserve "purchased" the vast majority of new U.S. government debt last year, we have got a real mess on our hands.

Even if a way could be figured out how to pay off all the debt we owe to foreign nations (such as China, Japan, etc.) it would still be mathematically impossible to pay off the debt that we owe to the Federal Reserve which is exploding so fast that it is hard to even keep track of.

Of course we could repudiate that debt and shut down the Federal Reserve, but very few in Washington D.C. have any interest in doing that.

It has also been suggested that instead of just using dollars to pay off the U.S. national debt, we could use the assets of the U.S. government to pay it off.

That is rather extreme, but let us consider that for a moment.

That total value of all physical assets in the United States, both publicly and privately owned, is somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 to 50 trillion dollars.  Of course the idea of the U.S. government "owning" every single asset of the American people is repugnant to our entire way of life, but let's assume that for a moment.

According to the 2008 Financial Report of the United States Government, which is an official United States government report, the total liabilities of the United States government, including future social security and medicare payments that the U.S. government is already committed to pay out, now exceed 65 TRILLION dollars.  This amount is more than the entire GDP of the whole world.

In fact, there are other authors who have written that the actual figure for the future liabilities of the U.S. government should be much higher, but let's be conservative and go with 65 trillion for now.

So, if the U.S. government took control of all physical assets in the United States and sold them off, it could not even make enough money to pay for everything that the U.S. government is already on the hook for.

Ouch.

If you have not read the 2008 Financial Report of the United States Government, you really should.  Actually the 2009 report should be available very soon if it isn't already.  If anyone knows if it is available, please let us know. 

The truth is that the U.S. government is in much bigger financial trouble than we have been led to believe. 

For example, according to the report (which remember is an official U.S. government report) the real U.S. budget deficit for 2008 was not 455 billion dollars.  It was actually 5.1 trillion dollars.

So why the difference?

The CBO's 455 billion figure is based on cash accounting, while the 5.1 trillion figure in the 2008 Financial Report of the United States Government is based on GAAP accounting. GAAP accounting is what is used by all the major firms on Wall Street and it is regarded as a much more accurate reflection of financial reality.

So needless to say, the United States is in a financial mess of unprecedented magnitude.

So what should we do?  Does anyone have any suggestions?

***UPDATE 2***

We have received a lot of great comments on this article.  Trying to understand the U.S. financial system (even after studying it for years) can be very difficult at times.  In fact, it can almost seem like playing 3 dimensional chess.

Several readers have correctly pointed out that when the U.S. money supply is expanded by the Federal Reserve, the interest that is to be paid on that new debt is not created. 

So where does the money to pay that interest come from?  Well, eventually the money supply has to be expanded some more.  But that creates even more debt.

That brings us to the next point.

Several readers have insisted that the Federal Reserve is not privately owned and that since it returns "most" of the profits it makes to the U.S. government that we should not be concerned about the debt owed to it.

The truth is that what you have with the Federal Reserve is layers of ownership.  The following was originally posted on the Federal Reserve's website....

"The twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, which were established by Congress as the operating arms of the nation’s central banking system, are organized much like private corporations – possibly leading to some confusion about "ownership." For example, the Reserve Banks issue shares of stock to member banks. However, owning Reserve Bank stock is quite different from owning stock in a private company. The Reserve Banks are not operated for profit, and ownership of a certain amount of stock is, by law, a condition of membership in the System. The stock may not be sold, traded, or pledged as security for a loan; dividends are, by law, 6 percent per year."

So Federal Reserve "stock" is owned by member banks.  So who owns the member banks?  Well, when you sift through additional layers of ownership, you will ultimately find that people like the Rothschilds, the Rockefellers and the Queen of England have very large ownership interests in the big banks.  But there are so many layers of ownership that they are able to disguise themselves well. 

You see, these people are not stupid.  They did not become the richest people in the world by being morons.  It was the banking elite of the world who designed the Federal Reserve and it is the banking elite of the world who benefit the most from the Federal Reserve today.  In the article above when we described the Federal Reserve as "a private bank owned and operated for profit by a very powerful group of elite international bankers" we may have been oversimplifying things a bit, but it is the essence of what is going on.

In an excellent article that she did on the Federal Reserve, Ellen Brown described a number of the ways that the Federal Reserve makes money for those who own it....

The interest on bonds acquired with its newly-issued Federal Reserve Notes pays the Fed’s operating expenses plus a guaranteed 6% return to its banker shareholders. A mere 6% a year may not be considered a profit in the world of Wall Street high finance, but most businesses that manage to cover all their expenses and give their shareholders a guaranteed 6% return are considered "for profit" corporations.

In addition to this guaranteed 6%, the banks will now be getting interest from the taxpayers on their "reserves." The basic reserve requirement set by the Federal Reserve is 10%. The website of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York explains that as money is redeposited and relent throughout the banking system, this 10% held in "reserve" can be fanned into ten times that sum in loans; that is, $10,000 in reserves becomes $100,000 in loans. Federal Reserve Statistical Release H.8 puts the total "loans and leases in bank credit" as of September 24, 2008 at $7,049 billion. Ten percent of that is $700 billion. That means we the taxpayers will be paying interest to the banks on at least $700 billion annually – this so that the banks can retain the reserves to accumulate interest on ten times that sum in loans.

The banks earn these returns from the taxpayers for the privilege of having the banks’ interests protected by an all-powerful independent private central bank, even when those interests may be opposed to the taxpayers’ -- for example, when the banks use their special status as private money creators to fund speculative derivative schemes that threaten to collapse the U.S. economy. Among other special benefits, banks and other financial institutions (but not other corporations) can borrow at the low Fed funds rate of about 2%. They can then turn around and put this money into 30-year Treasury bonds at 4.5%, earning an immediate 2.5% from the taxpayers, just by virtue of their position as favored banks. A long list of banks (but not other corporations) is also now protected from the short selling that can crash the price of other stocks.

The reality is that there are a lot of ways that the Federal Reserve is a money-making tool.  Yes, they do return "some" of their profits to the U.S. government each year.  But the Federal Reserve is NOT a government agency and it DOES make profits. 

So just how much money is made over there?  The truth is that we have to rely on what the Federal Reserve tells us, because they have never been subjected to a comprehensive audit by the U.S. government.

Ever.

Right now there is legislation going through Congress that would change that, and the Federal Reserve is fighting it tooth and nail.  They are warning that such an audit could cause a financial disaster.

What are they so afraid of?

Are they afraid that we might get to peek inside and see what they have been up to all these years?

If you are a history buff, then you probably know that debates about a "central bank" go all the way back to the Founding Fathers.

The European banking elite have always been determined to control our currency, and that is exactly what is happening today.

Ever since the Federal Reserve was created, there have been members of the U.S. Congress that have been trying to warn the American people about the insidious nature of this institution. 

Just check out what the Honorable Louis McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee had to say all the way back in the 1930s....

"Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders."

The Federal Reserve is not the solution and it never has been.

The Federal Reserve is the problem.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/it-is-now-mathematically-impossible-to-pay-off-the-u-s-national-debt

Last Edited: March 15, 2010, 11:14 pm

Entry #34
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March 15, 2010, 6:41 pmSocial Security to start cashing Uncle Sam's IOUs

Social Security to start cashing Uncle Sam's IOUs

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer – 21 mins ago

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – The retirement nest egg of an entire generation is stashed away in this small town along the Ohio River: $2.5 trillion in IOUs from the federal government, payable to the Social Security Administration.

It's time to start cashing them in.

For more than two decades, Social Security collected more money inpayroll taxes than it paid out in benefits — billions more each year.

Not anymore. This year, for the first time since the 1980s, when Congress last overhauled Social Security, the retirement program is projected to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes — nearly $29 billion more.

Sounds like a good time to start tapping the nest egg. Too bad the federal government already spent that money over the years on other programs, preferring to borrow from Social Security rather than foreign creditors. In return, the Treasury Department issued a stack of IOUs — in the form of Treasury bonds — which are kept in a nondescript office building just down the street from Parkersburg's municipal offices.

Now the government will have to borrow even more money, much of it abroad, to start paying back the IOUs, and the timing couldn't be worse. The government is projected to post a record $1.5 trillion budget deficit this year, followed by trillion dollar deficits for years to come.

Social Security's shortfall will not affect current benefits. As long as the IOUs last, benefits will keep flowing. But experts say it is a warning sign that the program's finances are deteriorating. Social Security is projected to drain its trust funds by 2037 unless Congress acts, and there's concern that the looming crisis will lead to reduced benefits.

"This is not just a wake-up call, this is it. We're here," said Mary Johnson, a policy analyst with The Senior Citizens League, an advocacy group. "We are not going to be able to put it off any more."

For more than two decades, regardless of which political party was in power, Congress has been accused of raiding the Social Security trust funds to pay for other programs, masking the size of the budget deficit.

Remember Al Gore's "lockbox," the one he was going to use to protect Social Security? The former vice president talked about it so much during the 2000 presidential campaign that he was parodied on "Saturday Night Live."

Gore lost the election and never got his lockbox. But to illustrate the government's commitment to repaying Social Security, the Treasury Department has been issuing special bonds that earn interest for the retirement program. The bonds are unique because they are actually printed on paper, while other government bondsexist only in electronic form.

They are stored in a three-ring binder, locked in the bottom drawer of a white metal filing cabinet in the Parkersburg offices of Bureau of Public Debt. The agency, which is part of the Treasury Department, opened offices in Parkersburg in the 1950s as part of a plan to locate important government functions away from Washington, D.C., in case of an attack during the Cold War.

One bond is worth a little more than $15.1 billion and another is valued at just under $10.7 billion. In all, the agency has about $2.5 trillion in bonds, all backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. But don't bother trying to steal them; they're nonnegotiable, which means they are worthless on the open market.

More than 52 million people receive old age or disability benefits from Social Security. The average benefit for retirees is a little under $1,200 a month. Disabled workers get an average of $1,100 a month.

Social Security is financed by payroll taxes — employers and employees must each pay a 6.2 percent tax on workers' earnings up to $106,800. Retirees can start getting early, reduced benefits at age 62. They get full benefits if they wait until they turn 66. Those born after 1960 will have to wait until they turn 67.

Social Security's financial problems have been looming for years as the nation's 78 million baby boomersapproached retirement age. The oldest are already there. As that huge group of people starts collecting benefits — and stops paying payroll taxes — Social Security's trust funds will shrink, running out of money by 2037, according to the latest projection from the trustees who oversee the program.

The recession is making things worse, at least in the short term. Tax receipts are down from the loss of more than 8 million jobs, and applications for early retirement benefits have spiked from older workers who were laid off and forced to retire.

Stephen C. Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration, says the crisis has been years in the making. "If this helps get people to look more seriously at that in the nearer term, that's probably a good thing. But it's only really a punctuation mark on the fact that we have longer-term financial issues that need to be addressed."

In the short term, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that Social Security will continue to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes for the next three years. It is projected to post small surpluses of $6 billion each in 2014 and 2015, before returning to indefinite deficits in 2016.

For the budget year that ends in September, Social Security is projected to collect $677 billion in taxes and spend $706 billion on benefits and expenses.

Social Security will also collect about $120 billion in interest on the trust funds, according to the CBO projections, meaning its overall balance sheet will continue to grow. The interest, however, is paid by the government, adding even more to the budget deficit.

While Congress must shore up the program, action is unlikely this year, said Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., who just took over last week as chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees Social Security.

"The issues required to address the long-term solvency needs of Social Security can be done in a careful, thoughtful and orderly way and they don't need to be done in the next few months," Pomeroy said.

The national debt — the amount of money the government owes its creditors — is about $12.5 trillion, or nearly $42,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. About $8 trillion has been borrowed in publicdebt markets, much of it from foreign creditors. The rest came from various government trust funds, including retirement funds for civil servants and the military. About $2.5 trillion is owed to Social Security.

Good luck to the politician who reneges on that debt, said Barbara Kennelly, a former Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut who is now president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

"Those bonds are protected by the full faith and credit of the United States of America," Kennelly said. "They're as solid as what we owe China and Japan."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100315/ap_on_bi_ge/us_social_security_ious

Entry #33
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March 15, 2010, 6:31 pmIRS visits Sacramento carwash in pursuit of 4 cents

Bob Shallit: IRS visits Sacramento carwash in pursuit of 4 cents

By Bob Shallit 

It was every businessperson's nightmare.

Arriving at Harv's Metro Car Wash in midtown Wednesday afternoon were two dark-suited IRS agents demanding payment of delinquent taxes. "They were deadly serious, very aggressive, very condescending," says Harv's owner, Aaron Zeff.

The really odd part of this: The letter that was hand-delivered to Zeff's on-site manager showed the amount of money owed to the feds was ... 4 cents.

Inexplicably, penalties and taxes accruing on the debt – stemming from the 2006 tax year – were listed as $202.31, leaving Harv's with an obligation of $202.35.

A midtown fixture for years, Harv's Car Wash was a target

for the Internal Revenue service for a delinquent tax bill of 4 cents.



Zeff, who also owns local parking lots and is the president of the Midtown Business Association, finds the situation a bit comical.

"It's hilarious," he says, "that two people hopped in a car and came down here for just 4 cents. I think (the IRS) may have a problem with priorities."

Now he's trying to figure out how penalties and interest could climb so high on such a small debt. He says he's never been told he owes any taxes or that he's ever incurred any late-payment penalties in the four years he's owned Harv's.

In fact, he provided us with an Oct. 22, 2009, letter from the IRS that states Harv's "has filed all required returns and addressed any balances due."

IRS spokesman Jesse Weller isn't commenting "due to privacy and disclosure laws."

Zeff says he's as offended as much as anything else by what he considers rude behavior by the IRS guys. While at Harv's, he sniffs, "they didn't even get a car wash."



http://www.sacbee.com/2010/03/13/2604016/irs-suits-pay-visit-to-car-wash.html

Entry #32
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