Friday, March 31, 2006

Celebrities Get Paid To Make Drugs Sound Fab

Celebrity pill pushers
By Lawrence Goodman
Kathleen Turner was on television recently talking about her pain and suffering. "The damage that I have, the damage I'll always have could have been prevented," the actress told "Good Morning, America" host Diane Sawyer on Feb. 19. Sawyer was sympathetic. Turner, she knew from a previous interview, had been battling rheumatoid arthritis for over a year now.
"You're still in pain?" Sawyer asked. "Well," Turner responded, "as they say: only when you walk." Turner then went on to mention a Web site,, where fellow sufferers could get help. Sawyer eagerly repeated the site's address in case viewers missed it.

All of this would have been your standard bit of early-morning show chitchat if Turner had not been paid by two drug companies to speak out about her illness. "She gets a fee," confirms Robin Shapiro, a spokeswoman for Immunex, a bio-pharmaceutical company, which along with Wyeth, funded a media campaign for which Turner was hired to do a number of TV and print interviews. The two companies jointly manufacture an arthritis drug called Enbrel. They also happen to operate the Web site that Turner and Sawyer plugged as so helpful to arthritis sufferers. The site is a marketing tool for Immunex and Wyeth. Visitors are asked to supply personal information, which, according to Shapiro, is used to send them promotional materials on Enbrel, a drug competing with several others in a multibillion-dollar market for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

These sorts of below-the-radar media campaigns, which blur the line between drug advertising and public service efforts, are now rampant. And increasingly crucial to the success of these carefully orchestrated blitzes are celebrities willing to pour out their hearts about how they or a close relative have struggled with a particular illness -- for a price. In the last few years gymnast Bart Connor, Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill, jockey Julie Krone, former NFL coach Bill Parcells, San Francisco 49er legend Joe Montana, actors Rita Moreno, Bob Uecker and Debbie Reynolds have participated in this drill for various drug companies. "West Wing" star Rob Lowe recently embarked on a drug-company sponsored awareness campaign for a cancer-related illness called febrile neutropenia that will reportedly net him $1 million. "It's become a hugely gray area as to where the stars' charitableness begins and where their financial interests begin," says Barry Greenberg, a Hollywood talent agent whose firm, Celebrity Connection, specializes in recruiting stars for the drug companies.
In 1997, under growing pressure from pharmaceutical companies, the Food and Drug Administration relaxed its regulations on television advertising for prescription drugs. The industry promptly went on a multibillion-dollar spending spree, bombarding the airwaves with commercials for their products. Having seen the fundraising successes of nonprofit organizations and foundations linked to specific illnesses that used celebrities to raise awareness about health issues, pharmaceutical flacks made immediate efforts to tap into this star power. Joan Lunden was hired to hawk the asthma drug Claritin in 1998. Bob Dole flacked for Viagra in 1999. (That's ridiculous!)

Celebrity-driven public awareness campaigns completely obscure the financial relationship between the star and the drug company, while allowing both parties to avoid any talk of side effects or potential problems with the drug. With all hints of drugs and money hidden from view, celebrities were again willing to sign up, taking fees as high as $1 million to do a raft of television and newspaper interviews in which they speak about a particular illness and urge sufferers to seek treatment.
Thomas Abrams, who monitors marketing by the pharmaceutical industry for the FDA, says the agency would only take action against a drug company if the star employed by the company greatly exaggerated a drug's benefits. Otherwise, Abrams says, celebrities, like any other citizen energized by a cause, are free to say whatever they please. On May 23, 2000, actress Olympia Dukakis appeared on the Fox News channel to talk about her mother's battle with post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), a debilitating condition brought on by shingles. Her mother "would sit muted in pain," Dukakis told viewers. "She couldn't even touch her hair. That's how painful it can get." Dukakis then went on to say that others need not suffer like her mother did, that there are new, better treatments out there. "In fact, there is one solution," she said. "It's called lidocaine or lidopatch."

PHN sufferers who went to their doctors and asked about lidocaine or lidopatch would have found out that there is only one drug Dukakis could have been speaking about, Lidoderm. Lidoderm is a patch that right now is the only formulation of lidocaine approved by the FDA to treat PHN. It also happens to be manufactured by Endo Pharmaceuticals, which was paying Dukakis to do the Fox interview. "Yes, she was compensated," says Sherri Michelstein, who was hired by Endo to organize the media campaign. Of course, the television audience never learned about Dukakis' ties to Endo. "The tireless actress is constantly on the move," Fox anchor Paula Zahn said in introducing Dukakis. "But now, she's set her sights on helping to ease the pain of more than a million Americans."

In 1999, not only did Carnie Wilson undergo gastric bypass surgery, which meant having her stomach stapled down to the size of a fist so she couldn't eat as much, she also volunteered to let an Internet site broadcast the procedure live. Over the next three years, Wilson became the nation's poster child for the benefits of gastric bypass. "Since the surgery, I feel lighter, I feel sexier -- inspired," a 150-pound Wilson told People magazine (and many other media outlets) in April of 2000. People did a total of three stories on Wilson, two of them front covers. She was also interviewed on ABC's "Good Morning, America" six times and on the news magazine "20/20" five times. Asked once why she chose to go public about her obesity, she said, "It's just -- if it can help people, then I'm happy to do it."
But it wasn't just about helping people, unless you count Wilson as one of those people, and throw in some cash. Wilson gets paid to do appearances where she talks about her surgery. Her corporate sponsors are Tenet Healthcare, a for-profit hospital chain that does gastric bypass operations at its facilities; and Vista Medical Technologies, which makes the medical equipment needed to perform the procedure.
The fourth business partner in Wilson's extraordinarily successful media campaign is her former manager's Internet company, which has since morphed into an L.A.-based public relations and marketing firm called Spotlight Health. Spotlight now focuses almost entirely on celebrity-driven health awareness campaigns.
Wilson doesn't see anything wrong with taking money from Tenet and Vista. "I don't need the money. That's not why I do it," she said. "Every day of my life I am committed to people and helping them get healthy." Wilson says she doesn't believe her corporate connections need to be revealed to the public. "That's all bullshit," she says. "We're talking about health issues and being able to help somebody by making them more informed."
There is no doubt that Wilson's outspokenness has played a huge role in popularizing a risky, complicated and expensive procedure. The American Society for Bariatric Surgery credits her with having a major role in publicizing the benefits of gastric bypass, which has seen a huge surge in popularity since 1999. Vista Medical Technologies, which also makes postoperative vitamins for gastric bypass surgery and runs training courses on the procedure for doctors, has had its revenues double since Wilson began her campaign.

It's not that hard to find out who's really behind a health awareness campaign. A quick search of Nexis will turn up press releases put out by public relations firms or the drug companies' themselves announcing their affiliation with a particular celebrity. Celebrities like Christopher Reeve, who doesn't have any affiliation with a drug company, have left the public ever more hungry to hear stars describe their battles with illness. Drug companies are now exploiting that hunger; the news media is more then willing to let them do that if it means access to celebrities. As one ABC News executive said, "The bottom line? If a celebrity has a compelling story to tell, we want to tell it."

Just Five Corporations Own ALL The Media

In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S. At the time, Ben Bagdikian was called "alarmist" for pointing this out in his book, The Media Monopoly. In his 4th edition, published in 1992, he wrote "in the U.S., fewer than two dozen of these extraordinary creatures own and operate 90% of the mass media" -- controlling almost all of America's newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations, books, records, movies, videos, wire services and photo agencies. He predicted then that eventually this number would fall to about half a dozen companies. This was greeted with skepticism at the time. When the 6th edition of The Media Monopoly was published in 2000, the number had fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and the scope has expanded to include new media like the Internet market. More than 1 in 4 Internet users in the U.S. now log in with AOL Time-Warner, the world's largest media corporation.
In 2004, Bagdikian's revised and expanded book, The New Media Monopoly, shows that only 5 huge corporations -- Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) -- now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric's NBC is a close sixth.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

"One of the Worst Distorted Pieces og Journalism"

John Pilger On Channel 4 Chavez Report

On March 27, Channel 4 News broadcast a relatively long piece on Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela. On Channel 4's website you get a flavour: “He is in danger of joining a rogue’s gallery of dictators and despots — Washington’s latest Latin nightmare.”
This was a piece seemingly written by the US State Department, although Channel 4's Washington correspondent, Jonathan Rugman, appeared on screen. It was one of the worst, most distorted pieces of journalism I have ever seen, qualifying as crude propaganda. I have been in Venezuela lately and almost nothing in Rugman’s rant coincides with reality. Factories are like “Soviet collectives”; a dictatorship is on the rise; Chavez is like Hitler (Rumsfeld); and the media is under government attack. The inversion of the truth throughout this travesty is demonstrated in the “coverage” of a cowed media. Venezuela is a country in which 95 per cent of the press and TV and radio are owned by the far-right. who mount unrelenting daily attacks on the government unhindered. The Latin American Murdoch, Cisneros, unfettered, controls much of it. Indeed, it is probably the most concentrated, reactionary media on earth — but that was not worthy of a single word from Rugman.
The dishonesty of interviewing Maria Corina Machado and calling her a “human rights activist” was breathtaking. She is a leader of Sumate (’Join up’), an extreme right organization that was deeply involved in the 2002 coup. She met Bush in the White House shortly before the coup. There was no mention of this. Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, is dismissed as a "Chavez protege”, a puppet, a ludicrous description of a man who has been in politics longer than Chavez and has just won a landslide election. No mention of this.
Chavez himself is portrayed by Rugman as a comical dictator, with his folksy Latin way (one reason ordinary people love him) taken out of any context. In fact, this highly intelligent, accessible man has overseen victory in nine democratic elections in less than eight years — a world record. In crude Soviet-flick style, he is shown with the likes of Saddam Hussein and Gaddafy when these brief encounters only had to do with Opec and oil. (He met Saddam literally in a day-long stopover).
Chavez is said to have “torn up contracts” with foreign oil companies. The contracts were barely legal, based on loopholes which Chavez’s predecessaor Rafael Caldera exploited to give away much of Venezuela’s oil, in effect; billions of dollars went into the pockets of Venezuela’s wealthy minority. No mention of this.
Utter bullshit about Venezuela helping Iran develop a nuclear capability is sourced to “press reports” (discredited in the United States) peddled by axe-grinding outsiders, in league with Washington, along with other half-baked hearsay. There was little, apart from tokens, about the way the Chavez government has changed millions of people’s lives for the better. Rugman whined that he was “held for 30 hours” by police in Caracas. Oh, how dramatic for him. This is a country threatened day and night by the United States; there was nothing from our Channel 4 hero about “Operation Bilbao”, to which serious US analysts like William Arkin have given credibility and which is about overthrowing the elected government of Venezuela. In his brief captivity, Rugman would have learned that this is a country that, although under constant military threat, and threats from within, has not a single political prisoner.
While Chavez was offered up as a clown, Condaleeza Rice was given true gravitas. I could go on, but that’s enough. This was a disgrace from beginning to end. Worse, it joined the kind of hysteria in the US that is following the Bush administration’s agenda of “positioning” Venezuela as a “rogue state” and a threat to US interests: in other words, softening it up for attack. If and when it comes, the Rugmans will share some of the responsibility.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bill Maher on Global Warming

Bill Maher:

And finally, New Rule: Nobody can use the phrase “our greatest problem” anymore unless you're talking about global warming. President Bush has been saying we're in a war on terror, and now I get it. He's not saying “terror,” he's saying “terra” as in “terra firma,” as in the Earth. George Bush is an alien sent here to destroy the Earth! I know it sounds crazy, but it made perfect sense when Tom Cruise explained it to me last week.

Now, last week on “60 Minutes,” James Hansen, who is NASA's leading expert on the science of climate delivered the world's most important message. He said, “We have to, in the next ten years, begin to decrease the rate of carbon dioxide emissions and then flatten it out. If that doesn't happen in ten years, we're going to be passing certain tipping points. If the ice sheets begin to disintegrate, what can you do about it? You can't tie a rope around an ice sheet.” Although I know a certain cowboy from Crawford who might think you could.

And that cowboy and his corporate goons at the White House tried to censor Mr. Hansen from delivering that message, claiming such warnings were speculative. This from the crowd that rushed into a war based on an article in the Weekly Standard. This – this from the guy who thinks Kyoto is that Japanese emperor dude his dad threw up on.

Global warming is not speculative. It threatens us enough so that it should be considered a national security issue. Failing to warn the citizens of a looming weapon of mass destruction – and that's what global warming is – in order to protect oil company profits, well, that fits, for me, the definition of treason. And codified treason. Please, wait a second. The guy in the White House who made the edits was Phil Cooney, who had been an oil industry lobbyist before given this job as head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. That's the office that is supposed to be watching out for us. But that's where Phil busied himself crossing stuff out in scientists' reports, because apparently in Phil's mind, he hadn't switched jobs. He was just doing his old job – oil industry lobbyist – from a different office. You know, in the “people's house.”

Republicans have succeeded in making the environment about some tie-dyed dude from Seattle who lives in a solar-powered yurt and eats twigs. It's not. This issue should be driven by something conservatives are much more familiar with: utter selfishness. That's my motivation. I don't want to live my golden years having to put on a hazmat suit just to go down and get the mail. Those are my Viagra years. When I'll be thinking about having children.

But I wouldn't know what to tell a kid about our world in 20 years. “Dad, tell me about the birds and bees.” “They're all gone. Now, eat your Soylent Green.” We are letting dying men kill our planet for cash, and they're counting on us being too greedy or distracted, or just plain lazy, to stop them. So, on this day, the 17 th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, let us pause to consider how close we are to making ourselves fossils from the fossil fuels we extract. In the next 20 years, almost a billion Chinese people will be trading in their bicycles for the automobile. Folks, we either get our shit together on this quickly, or we're going to have to go to Plan B: inventing a car that runs on Chinese people.

A time comes in your life when you finally get it...

When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH!!

Enough of fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes -- This is your awakening!

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate, or approve of who or what you are... and that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions). And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of newfound confidence is born of self-approval. You stop bitching and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you, and that it's not always about you. So you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety & security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process a sense of peace & contentment are born of forgiveness.

You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look and how much you should weigh, what you should wear and where you should shop and what you should drive, how and where you should live and what you should do for a living, who you should marry and what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children of what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the old doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with and in the process you learn to go with your instincts.

You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a by gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. You learn about romantic love and familial love, how to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes.

You learn that just as people grow and change so it is with love... and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms just to make you happy.

And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely.

You stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up".

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK... and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want... and that some times it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less.

And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his touch... and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple.

And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our Soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn, that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve... and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time; FEAR itself.

You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms.

And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn't fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that some times bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about; a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray Yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart's desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

Author Unknown

75% of the world's poorest people are women

Women constitute 75% of the poorest people in the world today. But it doesn't have to be this way.
They have the power to change their world. You have the power to help them do it.
Urge congress to take women and poverty into special consideration
There are still many parts of the world where women are stripped of their basic human rights. For example, in Nepal, women are considered "unclean" during childbirth and consigned to the cowshed - often cutting their own umbilical cords with a sickle still dirty from farm work. The result is one of the highest rates of maternal mortality on earth. Take action!

Sadly, as a general rule, women are more vulnerable than men when it comes to poverty:
Women constitute 75% of the poorest people in the world today.
Women produce half the world's food, but own only 1% of its farmland.
Two-thirds of illiterate adults are women.It doesn't have to be this way. Women and their families can succeed when they have the right tools and resources.The United States has the power to make a real difference for poor women. The US committed to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Goal 3 calls for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women, and Goal 5 for a three-quarters reduction in maternal mortality. But signed nations have been falling short on action. If current trends continue, it will take 100 years instead of 10 to meet the Millennium Development Goals.Please remind your congressional representative that as they make choices in this year's budget process, their decisions about U.S. foreign assistance programs will affect millions of women. Urge them to take women and poverty into special consideration.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Stop Privatization of Public Water!

Today, more than one billion people around the world do not have access to safe water to drink, and unless something is done today, this problem will only get worse.
Corporate conglomerates like Coke, Pepsi, and Nestlé are exacerbating the global water crisis by turning water into a profit driven commodity, like oil. Bottled water corporations are threatening local control of water supplies in communities across the US and around the world.
Coke, Pepsi, and Nestlé are actively working to mislead consumers into believing that bottled water is better for you than tap water. These corporations have spent tens of millions of dollars to convince us that bottled water is cleaner, healthier and safer than tap water. But in fact, bottled water is actually less regulated than public systems. So, as these corporations profit off our water, they are undermining support for our public water supplies and paving the way for corporate privatization of our public water systems.

Water, like air, is so essential to life that throughout history most societies have treated it as a common, shared resource. In this country, most of us have received our water from a public utility. Public water systems have been one of the great equalizers in our country and in societies around the world. But the landscape is rapidly changing. Industry and big agribusiness are depleting water at an alarming rate. Many rivers, lakes, wells and aquifers around the world are drying up. Big Business contaminates waterways with pesticides and chemicals. We are on the brink of a global water crisis. We now live in a world where more than one billion people don't have access to enough water and over a million children die each year from water-borne diseases. This is projected to get even worse.

Lack of access to water is devastating wherever it occurs--and it is happening more and more around the world. Corporate control of our water makes this problem worse. There are several villages in India where people have lived for generations off the community's groundwater. The water has been a shared resource, owned by no one. But now Coke drains water from these communities by pumping it out of the ground in some cases for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Public wells are drying up, local farmers don't have enough water for growing the food that the communities depend on and many people don't have enough water to meet their basic daily needs. People's lives are threatened. It's more than ironic that Coke promotes its Dasani bottled water with the slogan "can't live without it."

Join the growing international solidarity movement and support these communities. Take action today!

Friday, March 24, 2006

top 10 Iraq figures

Ten Numbers On The State Of Iraq-War Veterans

The impact of a conflict that's about to surpass the Korean War in duration

By Tim Heffernan

That includes soldiers from the Army, Marine Corps, National Guard, and their reserves who had served or were serving in Iraq by the end of 2005. When all U. S. military forces are counted—including Air Force and Navy pilots, as well as support personnel from all uniformed military branches—the number of Americans who have served in or around Iraq since Operation Iraqi Freedom began in March 2003 approaches one million. For comparison, a total of 2.6 million U. S. combat soldiers (not including support personnel) served in Vietnam during the fourteen years of that conflict. Just under 200,000 American soldiers served in combat during the Korean War.

This includes all army personnel deployed since the U. S.-led operations in those nations were initiated in October 2001. Of the army personnel sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, nearly 40 percent have been redeployed—served an additional tour of duty—at least once.

Of those counted as seriously wounded since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom through the end of 2005, 7,529 were listed as "WIA/not RTD"—Wounded in Action, Not Returned to Duty. Put in civilian terms, this means that nearly half of all combat-related injuries in Iraq have been so serious that they've prevented the soldier from continuing his or her military service. (Comparable figures for Vietnam and other wars are hard to calculate, since WIA/not RTD is a new statistic.) In addition, there were 2,173 deaths, of which 1,705 occurred in combat.

Of all the numbers presented here, this may be the most astonishing. No military in history has been so good at keeping its fallen soldiers alive. This number is a dramatic improvement from the first Gulf war, in 1991, and from Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, during which one fourth of all U. S. combat injuries proved fatal. The main reasons soldiers are surviving seem to be, first, the widespread use of body armor (which, despite ongoing criticism of its quality, offers some protection to the torso and vital organs) and also the deployment of forward surgical teams to or directly behind combat lines, which provide sophisticated trauma care and emergency surgery in the field. The most seriously injured are evacuated to permanent hospitals in Iraq within hours, to U. S. military hospitals in Europe within two days, and, in the most dire cases, to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D. C., within four days. During the Vietnam era, that same trip took an average of six weeks. Most soldiers killed in Vietnam died without ever receiving professional medical help.


A disturbing corollary of the military's remarkable success in saving wounded Iraq-war soldiers is the high number of survivors who undergo single or multiple amputations (at Walter Reed and other military hospitals) and/or live with disfiguring or disabling head, face, and spinal injuries. According to a 2004 U. S. Senate report, 6 percent of injured troops in Iraq have required amputations, twice the rate of any previous war.

Of course, amputation, disfigurement, and disablement dramatically change life for those who experience them, affecting mobility, employability, and sexual activity, as well as having secondary health effects. Not surprisingly, depression, self-doubt, and self-isolation are common psychological consequences. (The recently announced closure of Walter Reed by 2011—and the integration of its services into the nearby National Naval Medical Center—has put the construction of its planned large amputee training center on hold; a less expensive, temporary center is being built instead.)

In April 2004, the Army created the Disabled Soldier Support System, essentially a clearinghouse with a dedicated phone number through which seriously injured veterans can learn about the government benefits and treatments available to them. Its name has since been changed to the Army Wounded Warrior Program.


This figure, including troops from the Army National Guard, Army Reserve, and Marine Reserve, is far higher than has been the case in any previous U. S. military campaign. The main reason is that the Iraq war is the first major war in U. S. history that has been waged without the draft; during Vietnam, National Guard and Reserve troops rarely served in combat zones. Often unremarked upon is the fact that National Guard soldiers are not a replacement for enlisted troops in Iraq; they are a critical supplement to them. Nearly two thirds of the Army's enlisted soldiers have been sent to Iraq or Afghanistan at least once; the rest are needed for operations elsewhere.

The readjustment of Guard and Reserve soldiers to civilian life is of great concern to both the military and veterans' advocacy groups, as well as the VA. Studies conducted by the Army in Iraq show that they are far more susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than enlisted soldiers and, perhaps relatedly, significantly more likely to describe themselves as having low morale and feeling unprepared for combat. Anticipating difficulties with readjustment, the Department of Defense has extended federal insurance and medical-treatment benefits for National Guard and Reserve troops. They are now eligible for a year of the DOD's Tricare medical coverage for every ninety consecutive days of service.

According to a 2005 Department of Veterans Affairs study of nearly 170,000 Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans, roughly 34,000 were diagnosed with psychological disorders, including 1,641 identified as suffering full-fledged post-traumatic stress disorder. Overall, more than 9,600 Iraq veterans have been provisionally diagnosed with PTSD by the VA. More generally, about 12,500 Iraq veterans have contacted the VA seeking help for psychological difficulties in readjusting to civilian life, according to another 2005 VA study.

PTSD is of particular concern to the VA and veterans' support groups, as it is closely linked with domestic violence, depression, unemployment, and homelessness. Adding to fears is the change in the nature of war in Iraq from traditional combat to guerrilla or insurgent warfare. Because violence in the latter affects not only soldiers but medics, administrators, and other support staff, a larger number of Americans in Iraq are exposed to the conditions that frequently cause PTSD: violence, unpredictable attacks, and a constant sense of vulnerability.

That is the number reported by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV), which compiles records from public and private agencies and which believes that the actual number is higher and likely to grow. Nationwide, there are at least 500,000 homeless American veterans, according to the NCHV. One half of them—roughly 250,000 men—fought in Vietnam. If accurate, that would amount to about 10 percent of American soldiers who fought in Vietnam.

That figure is more than twice the rate for the same demographic in the general population. Partly in response, in 2005 the Department of Veterans Affairs launched a program to help place veterans in jobs after they return home.

In addition, a 2004 Harvard study estimated that one in three veterans under the age of twenty-five lacks health insurance.

That was the prediction of the VA in testimony to Congress in 2003. Congress increased the VA's medical budget by about 1 percent in 2005 and by less than 3 percent for 2006. In June of last year, the VA stated that due to greatly increased costs, its 2006 medical budget fell nearly $2 billion short of its immediate needs.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

As If Our Children Aren't Corrupted Enough...

Buy Your Kid A Mini Nuclear Bomb!
An Italian toy maker has caused controversy by unveiling models of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. A company called Brumm unveiled its £6 Little Boy and Fat Man 1:43 scale model bombs at the Nuremberg toy fair.
Critics say the toys are in bad taste but a Brumm spokesman said: "We want to protest against the insanity of nuclear-war."
More than 350,000 people were killed when the US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War.
Protest nuclear war by encouraging children to see weapons as toys??

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Government Created AIDS as a Tool For Ethnic Cleansing (and there's proof!)

The History of the Development of AIDS Chapter Excerpt from “State Origin: The Evidence of the Laboratory Birth of AIDS”

by Boyd E. Graves, J.D.

The true history of the origin of AIDS can be traced throughout the 20th Century and back to 1878. On April 29 of that year the United States passed a “FEDERAL QUARANTINE ACT”. The United States began a significant effort to investigate “causes” of epidemic diseases. In 1887, the effort was enhanced with the mandate of the U.S. “LABORATORY OF HYGIENE”. This lab was run by Dr. Joseph J. Kinyoun, a deep rooted-racist, who served the eugenics movement with dedication.Two years later, 1889, we were able to identify “mycoplasmas”, a transmissible agent, that is now found at the heart of human diseases, including (AIDS) HIV. In 1893, we strengthened the Federal Quarantine Act and suddenly there was an explosion of polio. In 1898, we knew we could use mycoplasma to cause epidemics, because we were able to do so in cattle, and we saw it in tobacco plants. In 1899, the U.S. Congress began investigating “leprosy in the United States”. In 1902, We organized a “Station for Experimental Evolution” and we were able to identify diseases of an ethnic nature.

In 1904, we used mycoplasma to cause an epidemic in horses. In 1910, we used mycoplasma to cause an epidemic in fowl/birds.In 1917, we formed the “Federation of the American Society for Experimental Biology” (FASEB). In 1918, the influenza virus killed millions of unsuspecting people. It was a flu virus modified with a bird mycoplasma for which human primates had no “acquired immunity”. In 1921, lead eugenics philosopher, Betrand Russell, publicly supported the “necessity for “organized” plagues” against the Black population. In 1931, we secretly tested African Americans and we tested AIDS in sheep. In 1935, we learned we could crystallize the tobacco mycoplasma, and it would remain infectious. In 1943, we officially began our bio-warfare program. Shortly thereafter, we were finding our way to New Guinea to study mycoplasma in humans. In 1945, we witnessed the greatest influx of foreign scientists in history into the U.S. biological program. Operation Paperclip will live in infamy as one of the darkest programs of a twisted parallel government fixated on genocide.

In 1946, the United States Navy hired Dr. Earl Traub, a notorious racist biologist. A May appropriations hearing confirmed the existence of a “secret” biological weapon. In 1948, we know that the United States confirmed the endorsement of “devising a scheme” in which to address the issue of overpopulation in certain racial groups. State Department’s George McKennan’s memo will forever illuminate the eugenics mendacity necessary for genocide of millions of innocent people. In 1949, Dr. Bjorn Sigurdsson isolates the VISNA virus. Visna is man made and shares some “unique DNA” with HIV. See, Proceedings of the United States, NAS, Vol. 92, pp. 3283 - 7, (April 11, 1995).

Crates in Pennsylvania were tainted to see how many Negro crate handlers in Virginia would acquire the placebo virus. They were also experimentally infecting sheep and goats. According to author Eva Snead, they also held their first world conference on an AIDS-like virus.In 1954, Dr. Bjorn Sigurdsson publishes his first paper on Visna virus and establishes himself as the “Grandfather of the AIDS virus.” He will encounter competition from Dr. Carlton Gajdusek. In 1955, they were able to artificially assemble the tobacco mosaic virus. Mycoplasmas will forever be at the heart of the U.S. biological warfare program.

In 1957, future U.S. president, Rep Gerald Ford and others gave the U.S. Pentagon permission to aggressively deploy offensive biological agents. There are no recorded cases of AIDS prior to the 1957 creation of “Special Operation-X.” (The SOX) program served as the immediate prototype program for the Special Virus program to begin in 1962. By 1960, Nikita Kruschev had been let in on the biological weapon. His 1960 statement will long reflect the arrogance of the secret blend of communism and democracy. The two countries would go to a November 1972 agreement to cull the Black Population. In 1961, scientist Haldor Thomar publishes that viruses cause cancer. In 1995, he and Carlton Gajdusek informed the National Academy of Sciences that “the study of visna in sheep would be the best test for candidate anti-HIV drugs.”In 1962, under the cover of cancer research, the United States charts a path to commit premeditated murder, the “Special Virus” program begins on February 12th. Dr. Len Hayflick sets up a U.S. mycoplasma laboratory at Stanford University. Many believe the “Special Virus” program began in November 1961 with a Phizer contract. Beginning in 1963 and for every year thereafter, the “Special Virus” program conducted annual progress reviews at Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA. The annual meetings are representative of the aggressive nature in which the United States pursued the development of AIDS. In 1964, the United States Congress gave full support for the leukemia/lymphoma (AIDS) virus research. In 1967, the National Academy of Sciences launched a full scale assault on Africa. The CIA (Technical Services Division) acknowledged its secret inoculator program. In 1969, Fort Detrick told world scientists and the Pentagon asked for more money, they knew they could make AIDS.

Nixon’s July 18 secret memo to Congress on “Overpopulation” serves as the start of the paper trail of the AIDS Holocaust. In 1970, President Nixon signed PL91-213 and John D. Rockefeller, III became the “Population Czar.” Nixon’s August 10 National Security Memo leaves no doubt as to the genocidal nature of depopulation. In 1971, Progress Report #8 is issued. The flowchart (pg. 61) will forever resolve the true laboratory birth origin of AIDS. Eventually the Special Virus program will issue 15 reports and over 20,000 scientific papers. The flowchart links every scientific paper, medical experiment and U.S. contract. The flowchart would remain “missing” until 1999. World scientists were stunned. The flowchart will gain in significance throughout the 21st Century. It is also clear the experiments conducted under Phase IV-A of the flowchart are our best route to better therapy and treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS. The first sixty pages of progress report #8 of the Special Virus program prove conclusively the specific goal of the program. By June 1977, the Special Virus program had produced 15, 000 gallons of AIDS.

The AIDS virus was attached as complement to vaccines sent to Africa and Manhattan. However, because of the thoroughness of authors, like Dr. Robert E. Lee, we also learn the Stanford Mycoplasma Laboratory issues one of the first papers with AIDS in the title. “Viral Infections in Man Associated with Acquired Immunological Deficiency States.” The primary scientist, Dr. Thomas Merigan, was a “consultant” to the Special Virus program.Progress Report # 8 at 104 - 106 proves Dr. Robert Gallo was secretly working on the development of AIDS with full support of the sector of the U.S. government that seeks to kill its citizens. Dr. Gallo can not explain why he excluded his role as a “project officer” for the Special Virus program from his biographical book. Dr. Gallo’s early work and discoveries will finally be viewed in relation to the flowchart. We now know where every experiment fits into the flowchart. The “research logic” is irrefutable evidence of a federal “Manhattan-style project” to develop a “contagious” cancer that “selectively” kills. Dr. Gallo’s 1971 paper is identical to his 1984 AIDS announcement.

Progress Report #8 at 273 - 286 proves we gave AIDS to monkeys. Since 1962, the United States and Dr. Robert Gallo have been inoculating monkeys and re-releasing them back into the wild. Thus, even government scientists are baffled that both HIV-1 and HIV-II would “suddenly emerge” from two distinct monkey ancestral relatives during the last 100 years. A 1999 Japanese study will ultimately prove the Man to Monkey origin of Monkey AIDS. The monkey experiments summary definitively proves Monkey AIDS is also man-made. In 1972, the United States and the Soviet Union entered into a biological agreement that would signal the death knell for the Black Population. The 1972 agreement for collaboration and cooperation in the development of offensive biological agents is still U. S. policy. In 1973, we find that world scientist, Garth Nicolson reports on his project, “Role of the Cell Surface in Escape From Immunological Surveillance.” His report is accompanied by seven published papers. Dr. Nicolson worked in conjunction with the Special Virus program from 1972 until 1978. Dr. Nicolson is considered by some to be Dr. Gallo’s “West Coast” counterpart. It is strongly held that because of Dr. Nicolson, Dr. Robert Gallo and Dr. Luc Montagnier would secretly meet in Southern California to coordinate what they would and would not say about the special virus development program. In 1974, Furher Henry Kissinger releases his NSSM-200 (U.S. Plan to Address Overpopulation). It is the only issue of discussion at the World Population Conference in Bucharest, Romania.

The men in the shadows had won, the whole world agrees to secretly cull Africa’s population. Today it is Africa and other undesirables. Tomorrow it may be you. In 1975, President Gerald Ford signs National Security Defense Memorandum #314. The United States implements the Kissinger NSSM-200.In 1976, the United States issues Progress Report #13 of the Special Virus program. The report proves the United States had various international agreements with the Russians, Germans, British, French, Canadians and Japanese. The plot to kill Black people has wide international support. In March, the Special Virus began production of the AIDS virus, by June 1977, the program will have produced 15,000 gallons of AIDS. President Jimmy Carter allows for the continuation of the secret plan to cull the Black Population. In 1977, Dr. Robert Gallo and the top Soviet Scientists meet to discuss the proliferation of the 15,000 gallons of AIDS. They attach AIDS as complement to the Small pox vaccine for Africa, and the “experimental” hepatitis B vaccine for Manhattan. According to authors June Goodfield and Alan Cantwell, it is Batch #751 that was administered in New York to thousands of innocent people. This government will never be able to repay the people for the social rape, humiliation and out right prejudice people with HIV/AIDS face on a daily basis. The men in the shadows of the AIDS curtain accurately calculated that you would not care if only Blacks and gays are dying. In fact you don’t care that nearly a half million Gulf War veterans are encumbered with something contagious. Soon there will be no more Black people and a confused military, older White people will start suddenly dying and you still won’t get it. Be here now for us, give us a chance to be there for you.Suddenly, just as President Nixon had predicted, there was explosive death.

On November 4, 1999, the U.S. White House announced,.... “Within a period as short as five years, all new infections of HIV in the United States will be African American....” At some point our experts must be allowed to begin the interface process of allowing the history of this virus program to count. It is ludicrous and preposterous to fail to review the U.S. virus program in which to elucidate the etiology of AIDS. More of the history of the secret virus program can be found in the archives of Dr. John B. Moloney. A review of the files under Dr. Moloney’s name would further pinpoint additional dates and records consistent with one of the greatest hunts, capture and proliferation of disease in the history of the human race. We have found the missing link. It is the guts of the research logic of a federal program that seeks to kill. We have found a curtain of AIDS. We can identify some of the people who work in the shadows of the curtain. Dr. Robert Gallo and Dr. Garth Nicolson must lead us in review. In light of the attack mechanisms available in which to inhibit AIDS, it is time that not another person be stricken with this relic, synthetic mycoplasma chimera.

Help those of us who are still here to realize full and contributory lives. We are all one people. On September 28, 1998 I filed suit against the United States for the “creation”, “production” and “proliferation” of AIDS. On November 7, 2000, the appeals court agreed with the lower court and held AIDS bioengineering as “frivolous.” The world continues to wait for the court to rule on the resubmitted issues. The court can not continue to simply brush aside our experts and the government’s flowchart. I have been asked to give my perspective with regard to the federal program MK-NAOMI . MK-NAOMI is the code for the development of AIDS. The “MK” portion stands for the two co-authors of the AIDS virus, Robert Manaker and Paul Kotin. The “NAOMI” portion stands for “Negroes are Only Momentary Individuals.” The U.S. government continues to orchestrate silence from the very top echelons of the Congress and military. At present there is no accountability. The good people will ultimately create a tsunami of public outrage. We can not allow the state an autocratic right to govern outside of the Constitution. Our society is structured to hide crimes committed by the state, while punishing citizens for minor indiscretions. Their strategy focuses on the general confusion they can create via manipulation of the media. They are very good at what they do. We must become more focused in our continued presentation of the flowchart. The flowchart is the absolute missing link in proving the existence of a coordinated research program to develop a cancer virus that depletes the immune system. New diseases do not create old illnesses. This compilation of court documents and correspondence is the true effort of one man’s achievement in solving the mystery of the origin of AIDS. We have found the origin of AIDS, it is us.

To see the government's flow chart:

Monday, March 20, 2006

Red Rain?

Dr. L. Godfrey,
School of Pure & Applied Physics,
Mahatma Gandhi University
A red rain phenomenon occurred in Kerala, India, the place where I live, during July-September 2001. The characteristics of this phenomenon were very strange. Conventional explanations appeared totally inadequate to account for this phenomenon. I started an investigation with limited resources and I was greatly assisted by my research student A. Santhosh Kumar. We have been studying this red rain since 2001. Some of our research results are now accepted for publication in the journal -Astrophysics and Space Science, an international peer reviewed journal of astronomy, astrophysics and space science.
According to these accepted results, the red particles, which caused the red rain of Kerala, are possibly of extraterrestrial origin. This conclusion is arrived at by analysing the various aspects associated with this phenomenon, like the geographical and time distribution pattern of this phenomenon and the nature of the red particles. It appears that the phenomenon can be explained much more easily if it is assumed that the origin of the red particles is from cometary fragments, which underwent atmospheric disintegration above Kerala. There are also some additional correlating evidences that prompt this line of thinking, like the sonic boom from the meteor airburst, which preceded the first red rain case. Having made a logical possibility like this it follows that the cometary body in question should contain huge quantity of these red particles, which amounts to an estimated quantity of more than 50,000 kg.
What makes this finding most important is the biological cell like nature of these red particles. Under optical microscope they appear like biological cells and the Transmission Electron Microscopy further shows a clear cell structure. Their organic nature is indicated by the major presence of carbon and oxygen. But despite these biological indications the cells do not show the presence of DNA. The genetic molecule DNA is present in all living organisms found on Earth. So the absence of DNA argues against the biological nature of these red rain cells.
But I wish to consider the possibility of alternate biomolecules in these cells whose origin is now suspected as extraterrestrial. This way the cells may represent an alternate form of life from space. If these are such biological cells then their production in huge quantity inside cometary bodies can be explained by the theory of cometary panspermia.
If the above ideas are wrong then I wish to know a better explanation for the strange nature of the red rain phenomenon and also for the strange nature of the red cells. If these cells have a terrestrial origin then it follows that they exist in huge quantities in some part of Earth and it is sure to have been noticed by some microbiologists. But there appears no such identification so far.
We expect to publish the next set of results in a journal soon and we will also be conducting several collaborative studies to reveal the mystery of these cells.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Scott Ritter: Iran War

Scott Ritter, the former U.S. weapons inspector, recently spoke on the SUNY New Paltz campus.
One of the main topics he mentioned was the potential war with Iran. The follow is a summary, based on the notes I took during Ritter's presentation.

Iran is the world's 4th largest supplier of oil. Americans make up less than 5% of the world's population but we consume 1/4 of the world's fossil fuels. Americans are addicted to a lifestyle that our own natural resources cannot sustain. Going to war with Iran would temporarily solve America's oil problem and it would also transform the region to be more compliant with United States interests.

The American government controls the population through fear. They will compare a potential nuclear weapon threat from Iran to order to raise the same fears. The American people will take this at face value and rally behind Bush once again.

Yet, we need to look deeper than what is portrayed on the evening news. Iran is not capable of creating substantial nuclear weapons. Their uranium contains a heavy element called Molybdenum. If this Molybdenum ridden Uranium is put in a centrifuge for enrichment, the Molybdenum would actually destroy the centrifuge. Since they do not have the funds to separate the elements, Iran is not capable of creating high grade nuclear weapons.

But the President and his Administration does not want you to know the facts above. They want you to believe their lies about Iran so they can go forward and control the last of the world's dwindling oil supply.

Since Congress gave the President unlimited power after 911, don't think that he is going to ask their permission to go to war with Iran. He already stated, "I am not bound by Congress, the Supreme Court or the Constitution when it comes to defending this country." As Ritter stated, four years ago, this country no longer fit the definition of a Representative Democracy. It became more like an Oligarchy-one nation with all the power, our status defined by our military and lately, it's become closer to Fascism; an Imperial Presidency.

Again, the war with Iran will be brought on, pre-emptively and unilaterally, with the same hype as seen after 911. Iran will be depicted as a threat to national security, potential terrorists ready to attack America, possessors of weapons of mass destruction, etc. With our military already absorbed in Iraq, Afghanistan and countless other countries, there will be a very small ground force available. In 2004, the Bush Administration outlined that an attack on Iran would involved sustained bombing, attacking military targets and once these were destroyed, it is assumed that the people will rise up and overthrow their ruler.

But what if the Iranians do not act according to Washington's plan? Ritter states that Bush wouldn't reinstate the draft because we have a professionally trained army; recruiting citizens would be a disaster. Instead, Bush would fist use nuclear weapons against Iran. Killing thousands, maybe even millions of people and creating an environment of devastation and cancer which will last for generations.

Ritter states that the Bush administration will strike against Iran only when it is convient. Definitely not before the 2006 elections, but possibly sometime in the Spring of 2007.

So please, keep aware of the situation in Iran. Do not trust reports you hear on mainstream media, or the bullshit spewing from President Bush's mouth. Know the facts, do your own research and keep talking to each other. If there is anything that is going to keep us out of Iran, it will be our knowledge and unity.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Near Death Experiences: close to having actual proof.

Near Death Experiences and the Mystery of Consciousness
Dr. Sam Parnia
Although we have all heard a great deal about near death experiences in the past 25 years, much of this has been debate and controversy centred around whether they are hallucinations or a glimpse of an afterlife.
The true significance of these experiences may soon finally be revealed through scientific research. Recent medical studies in cardiac arrest patients have begun to shed light on this fascinating phenomenon and have indicated that the mind and consciousness may in fact be what remains of us after death. If proven, this will of course have huge implications for all humankind. In this article I will examine our understanding of NDE during cardiac arrest and their significance for the wider debate on the nature of consciousness.
If one examines the medical literature in the last two decades, the most common theories for the occurrence of NDEs have involved either a hallucination brought about by physiological changes during the dying process, or a psychological stress reaction to the perceived threat of death. For many years these two theories have formed the basis of possible scientific explanations.
Many brain mediators have been proposed to account for the experiences, although none has yet been shown to be responsible for the phenomenon. These include release of endorphins; the body’s own morphine-like substance, lack of brain oxygen, increased carbon dioxide, various drugs and in particular those that can cause hallucinations such as ketamine and temporal lobe seizures.
The argument in favour of a psychological explanation has been based largely on observations made from retrospective cases indicating that near death experiences may sometimes occur in those who were not yet physically close to death at the time of the experience - such as in those occurring just before an accident. In addition, other studies have indicated the possibility of some cultural differences between near death experiences.
The answer about the significance of NDE is beginning to come from studies carried out with patients who have had a cardiac arrest.
Cardiac arrest patients are a subgroup of people who come closest to death. In such a situation an individual initially develops two out of three criteria (the absence of spontaneous breathing and heartbeat) of clinical death. Shortly afterwards (within seconds) these are followed by the third, which occurs due to the loss of activity of the areas of the brain responsible for sustaining life (brainstem) and thought processes (cerebral cortex).
Brain monitoring using EEG in animals and humans has also demonstrated that the brain ceases to function at that time. During a cardiac arrest, the blood pressure drops almost immediately to unrecordable levels and at the same time, due to a lack of blood flow, the brain stops functioning as seen by flat brain waves (isoelectric line) on the monitor within around 10 seconds. This then remains the case throughout the time when the heart is given ‘electric shock’ therapy or when drugs such as adrenaline are given until the heartbeat is finally restored and the patient is resuscitated.
Due to the lack of brain function in these circumstances, therefore, one would not expect there to be any lucid, well-structured thought processes, with reasoning and memory formation, which are characteristic of NDEs.
Nevertheless, and contrary to what we would expect scientifically, studies have shown that ‘near death experiences’ do occur in such situations. This therefore raises a question of how such lucid and well-structured thought processes, together with such clear and vivid memories, occur in individuals who have little or no brain function. In other words, it would appear that the mind is seen to continue in a clinical setting in which there is little or no brain function. In particular, there have been reports of people being able to ’see’ details from the events that occurred during their cardiac arrest, such as their dentures being removed.

A study by our group examining 63 cardiac arrest survivors on the coronary care and emergency units of Southampton General Hospital, which was published in the medical journal ‘Resuscitation’ demonstrated that approximately 6-10% of people with cardiac arrest have NDEs and out of body experiences.
There was no evidence to support the role of drugs, oxygen or carbon dioxide (as measured from the blood) in causing the experiences. In another study just completed in Holland, 344 cardiac arrest survivors from 10 hospitals were interviewed over a 2-year period, and 41 or 12% reported a core NDE. Patients with NDEs were then followed up for a further 8 years following the event and reported less fear of death and a more spiritual outlook on life. This study by a cardiologist Dr Pim van Lommel, is due to be published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet either at the end of this year or early next year.
The occurrence of NDEs in cardiac arrest further highlights the fact that we currently know very little about the relationship between the mind and the brain. It also raises the possibility that some of the current theories regarding mind/consciousness, spirituality and the brain may need to be re-examined.
In the scientific community it is generally thought that the mind is a product of brain cell (neuronal) activity. This is based upon a number of studies including those with a technique known as functional MRI which have shown that certain sets of brain cells (neurones) in various areas of the brain become metabolically (chemically) active in response to a particular thought or feeling. This has led to a common view that the particular area of the brain that has been observed to change metabolically equates with the production of a particular thought. However, when examined critically, this observation only implies the role of such cells as a mediator in expressing those thoughts and does not necessarily imply an origin to the thought itself.
What is not known and what is currently an issue causing great debate in the field of neuroscience is how brain cells (neurones) which like other cells in the body produce molecular products such as proteins can lead to the subjective experience of the mind and thought. Although the conventional scientific view is that the mind is the product of complex chemical processes in groups of brain cells (neural networks) there are others who disagree.
In a lecture at the Royal College of Physicians in London a few years ago, entitled "Brains and minds: a brief history of neuromythology" to my surprise, the lecturer; a well respected professor of medicine discussed the mind/brain topic and concluded that the belief held by some neuroscientists that some day the discovery of more complicated molecular pathways would lead to an understanding of the mind is more compatible with "neuromythology" than neuroscience.
In addition to the neural network theory other alternative views have also been put forward. Some scientists and most notably Stuart Hameroff, an anaesthesiologist in Arizona and Roger Penrose, a mathematician in the UK, have proposed that mind or consciousness may be produced by quantum processes in brain cells.
Another view proposed by David Chalmers, a philosopher in Arizona, contends that the mind may itself be a separate entity in its own right. This is similar to the discovery of electromagnetic phenomena in the 19th century which could not be explained in terms of previously known principles, and which consequently led scientists to introduce electromagnetic charge as a fundamental entity in itself.
In a series of lectures held at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, Bahram Elahi, a professor of paediatric surgery has also defined ‘consciousness’ or the ’soul’ as a separate entity, which is made of a subtle type of matter that remains as yet undiscovered. Hence, contrary to popular belief, he defines ’spirituality’ as a science in its own right with its own laws theorems and axioms.
The occurrence of NDE and out of body experiences in cardiac arrest would support the view that mind, ‘consciousness’ or the ’soul’ is a separate entity from the brain. However, large studies are now needed to test and verify this. The key point in any study rests on testing the validity of consciousness and an active mind at a time when the brain does not function and the criteria of death has been reached. This can be done using large-scale studies together with independent tests of the out of body phenomenon in cardiac arrests. If the results are positive, this will then settle this age-old philosophical debate.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We were born into a world where:

We Were Born Into a World Where:
by Wolfi Landstreicher
Dreams and desires have been locked within the cages of psychotherapeutic interpretations; Revolt has been bound with the fetters of moribund leftist ideologies; Creativity has been enslaved to the sadistic masters, art and literature;
The marvelous has been handcuffed to the cops of mysticism and mythology;
Reality has lost the ability to laugh at itself and its foibles
and so suppresses a truly playful spirit;
Thought has become a rigidly armored fortress protecting
its ideological foundations from every criticism;
Revolution has had its passion organized out of existence
leaving only structural rigor mortis where once insurgence breathed and danced.
This world has ceased to bring forth amazing monsters;
It is no longer a conduit for the marvelous;
It has lost touch with the convulsive beauty of love and lust;
It can no longer give birth to babies with wings;
It has ceased growing and begun to rot;
It has suppressed surreality wherever this marvelous flower has bloomed.
Therefore, from now on, surreality will manifest in:
Dreams and desires freed from all interpretation and sublimation,
being the living energies of free-spirited individuals;
Total revolt against every aspect of social reality including theideologies that strive to squeeze this revolt into the limited mold of leftist activism;
The free-spirited creation of our lives for ourselves,
lived to the limits against every role and rule;
The discovery of the marvelous in each unique being,
free from any mystical or religious guidelines;
The humor and playfulness of free-spirited individuals
who realize their strength and creativity in their own joyful foolishness;
Open, expansive, generous thinking which grows from
the inner strength of free-spirited rebels;
An insurgent dance, a feral insurrection that refuses alllimitations,
exists beyond all structures and is the realm of indomitable free spirits.
Today, social reality is a lifeless, passionless corpse.
Let's bury it.
Now the amazing monsters of surreality must come forth in the world
playful and terrifying in their wild energy,
freed of the cages and chains that have bound them;
our dreams, our desires, our humor, our revolt
can populate the world with the most marvelous creatures.
Social reality is dead;
long live surreality!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bush and Blair: Prophets of God??

Iraq War: Profits Turn to ‘Prophets’ By Yamin Zakaria

The fundamental principle of a secular society is to keep religion out of politics; a cardinal ‘sin’ according to the secular clerics. Surprisingly, like Bush, Blair has now come out of the closet and claimed that God inspired him to go to war, and he will be judged by the Almighty on that issue. Therefore, the unprovoked aggression against Iraq, the consequential murder of thousands of innocent civilians and destruction of the entire country was sanctioned by the divine – and this is supposed to be an example of God’s guidance for the rest of humanity. Also, as Blair professes to be a Christian, the Iraq war is also supposed to be in compliance with the fundamental Christian notion of: turning the other cheek! If that is so, then I am sure even the most fanatical atheists will be saying: Halleluyah, it is a miracle!

Blair and Bush do sound like a pair of medieval crusaders; Pope Bush standing with his Cardinal Bishop Blair. The obvious implication of claiming divine intervention is that we should not hold Mr Blair accountable; he is merely a soldier of God - how convenient, in fact he is a real Bliar! Also note, since neither Blair nor Bush is a follower of Islam they are not qualified to earn the title of religious fanatics or extremists or similar terms; even though they hear voices of God telling them to attack countries with invisible WMDs. This admission of Blair is really amusing. Why did he not say this from the onset when he was sending his troops? Surely, it would have boosted the moral of the troops to hear that they are going on a real crusade, led by Pope Bush and his Cardinal Bishop, Tony Blair. If Blair was convinced that the Iraq war was a divine mission from God, he should have encouraged his children and other eligible family members to participate and not deprive them of the potential reward from God Almighty in participating in killing the infidels and heathens.

Indeed, God Almighty will judge Blair and everyone in the hereafter. But there is also judgement in this present life, on planet earth. If religions only advocated judgement in the hereafter, then earth would be a paradise for criminals. Like a criminal, fundamentalist Blair is asking everyone to overlook his actions for now and wait for the divine verdict in the next life. It is a pity for Blair and Bush that the medieval Catholic doctrine of cleansing ones sins, and reserving a place in heaven with payments made in gold has been abolished. They would have been so much at ease knowing that they could pay off all their sins on earth. Blair is the leader of a democratic state, where the government is accountable to the masses that elected him into office. Convenient then that Blair makes such revelations at the end of his term and not during an election campaign. He was not elected for his alleged communication with God Almighty and had he made such a revelation prior to the election, he would have been dismissed as a religious nutcase. Now, both Blair and Bush have claimed to have a hotline to God, they are the new self-appointed ‘prophets’ of God. Did God Almighty communicate to them about the urgency to find WMDs, as they could face danger within 45 minutes? Did God get so desperate for war, He asked Tony to plagiarise and produce a dodgy dossier to convince everyone else? If God inspired Tony and Bush to war, then Abu-Ghraib rapes, torture, executions, Camp-X-Ray incarceration, Fallujah massacre using phosphorus bombs, and the killing of the 100,000 plus civilians, must have been part of God’s overall plan, a from of neo-inquisition perhaps.

The orphans and the widows in Iraq would see the God of Bush and Tony as the one with two horns! Anyway what happened to that hotline when no WMDs were found in Iraq? Yes, we know the spin - the devil’s disciples must have stolen the WMDs out of Iraq into Iran and Syria, yeah right!!! For decades, the Secular West have been scorning Muslims, for simply referring to Islam in any shape or form, using pejorative terms like fanatics, fundamentalists, extremists, militants etc. Even the most apolitical spiritual Muslim is described in such terms for simply being devout in his or her personal capacity, which ironically conforms to the secular interpretation of religion. Yet, now their leaders confess to hearing voices which they are translating as divine communication. For sure you cannot find religious nuts like this in Hamas or Al-Qaeda, none from such organisation have made such fanatical claims. Just observe how many, or few, secular journalists have the courage, the intelligence and the integrity, to point out the hypocrisy and stupidity of a secular leader claiming to be driven by religion. Surely, they owe an apology to the Muslims for all the slander and scorning while they missed the real religious fanatics sitting at their doorsteps. But that would require those journalists to possess courage, humbleness, honesty instead of cowardice, arrogance and dishonesty. If God wanted to remove Saddam, then what did He have in mind for Iraq, a religious state or a secular state?

Bush and Blair are determined to a state in Iraq that is essentially a secular client state wrapped with the slogans of democracy. Does God really want a secular state, where the Prophets and the divine message can be mocked and trampled on from many directions, using the pretext of free speech? Hypocrites, fanatics, extremists, militants are the natural traits of those who are driven by an insatiable hunger for wealth and power. Not surprisingly, this is the fundamental doctrine of their economic system of the free market. Naturally, the real reasons for going to war were anything but spiritual, be it the rich oil reserves, preserving the petro-dollar, strengthening Israel etc. all point to materialistic reasons not the work of God Almighty. As they are unable to conceal the real reasons, the profit seeking men are trying to turn themselves into Prophets, hoping that they could hide their crimes. Finally, if Bush and Blair can sanction the most important decision based on their personal religious experiences, and use it as a pretext for war, then surely the Muslims who see this as a war on Islam based on their assessment of objective realities, have every right to respond. If Bush and Blair can push the religion of "Democracy" and "Freedom" using war as a methodology then Osama bin Laden can also (if it is his objective) use war as a methodology to push his idea of an Islamic State (The Caliphate). If the West wishes to avoid a clash of civilisations then instead of listening to the whisperings of their idol Gods of Freedom and Democracy, they should engage in an intellectual debate to establish which claim to sacredness is more valid, theirs or the Muslims?
Yamin Zakaria ( - London, UK

Sunday, March 12, 2006

O'Connor Calls U.S. a Dictatorship- Too Little Too Late?

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has BLASTED the Republicans for their partisan attacks on the courts. She stated (paraphrase) that partisan attacks on the courts for political purposes must stop. She included references to cutting a court's budget, intimidation, and poisioning the public against the judicial system. Wow! Then she said something off the charts...

She closed by saying (paraphrase) that it takes a long time to become a dictatorship but better to stop the slide at the beginning than the end. That's Right..Sandra Day O'Connor used the word dictatorship. Not some 'nutty blogger' or some left winger but the most venerated, praised, widely respected, Justice O'Connor.
Listen here:

I've transcribed the NPR audio ...and here are excerpts. Reporting is Nina Totenberg, NPR legal affairs correspondent, who attended the speech. ...O'Connor said attacks on the judiciary by some Republican leaders pose a direct threat to our constitutional freedoms... Our effectiveness," she said, "is premised on the notion that we won't be subject to retaliation for our judicial acts." The nation's founders wrote repeatedly, she said, that without an independent judiciary to protect individual rights from the other branches of government, those rights and privileges would amount to nothing. And then she took aim at former GOP House leader Tom Delay. She didn't name him, but she quoted his attacks on the courts at a meeting of the conservative Christian group Justice Sunday last year, when Delay took out after the courts for rulings on abortion, prayer and the Terri Shiavo case... Then she nailed Cornyn: It gets worse, she said, noting that death threats against judges are increasing. It doesn't help, she said, when a high-profile senator suggests that there may be a connection between violence against judges and decisions that the senator disagrees with. Re recent suggestions for "so-called" judicial reforms, judicial budget cuts, etc., -- "I," said O'Connor, "am against judicial reforms driven by nakedly partisan reasoning." ..."We must be ever vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary into adopting their preferred policies. It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship," she said, "but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings." The truth doesn't hurt unless it should.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Message Frm Your Ancestors

Message From Arvol Looking Horse
Mitakuye (my relative),
I, Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nation, would like to ask for this time for you to understand an Indigenous perspective in reflection of what has happened in America, what we call "Turtle Island".
We have been warned from the messages, passed down from Ancient Prophecies of these times we live in today, but also a very important message of a solution to turn these terrible times around. To assist you in understanding the depth of this message involves the recognition in the importance of Sacred Sites. It is important that you realize the whole interconnectedness of what is happening today, in reflection of the continued massacres that are occurring on other lands and our own Americas. I have been learning about these important issues of Sacred Sites since the age of 12, upon receiving the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle and it's teachings. Our people have strived to protect Sacred Sites from the beginning of time. There needs to be an understanding in the concern of the protection of Sacred Sites that goes deeper than just the issue of Shrines built by humans.
Our people have built similar objects and Shrines to identify and to remind the significance in the power of the Sacred Site. We have also witnessed them being destroyed for many decades, but we also realize it is what is underneath them that is important. These places have been violated for centuries and have brought us to this predicament that we are in concerning the unstable Global Level thus far. Look around you, our Mother Earth is very ill from these violations and we are at a brink of destroying a healthy and nurturing survival for generations to come, our children's children.
Our ancestors have been trying to protect our Sacred Site from the continued violations called the Sacred Black Hills in SD, "Heart of Everything that is". Our ancestors have never seen this site from a Satellite view, but now that those pictures are available with modern technology, we see that it is in the shape of a heart and when fast forwarded it looks like a heart pumping. The Dine have been protecting Big Mountain, calling it the liver and now that the coal is depleting, we are suffering and going to suffer more from the extraction of the coal and poison processes used in doing so.
The Aborigines has warned of the contaminating effects on the Corral Reefs from Global Warming, which they see as Mother Earth's blood purifier, our sacred water is being polluted. The Indigenous people of the Rain Forest relay that the Rain Forest are the lungs and need protection and now we see the Brazilian Government approved the depletion of 50% of this Sacred Site. The Gwich'in Nation has an issue of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, also known to the Gwich'in as 'Where the life begins!' The coastal plain is also the birthplace of many other life forms of Animal Nations. The death of these Animal Nations will destroy Indigenous Nations in this territory. As these destructive developments continue all over the world, we will witness many more extinct Animal, Plant and Human Nations, because of the misuse of power that mankind has made and their lack of understanding
the "balance of life".
The Indigenous people warn that these destructive developments will cause havoc globally. There are many, many more Indigenous awareness's and knowledge of Mother Earth's Sacred Sites, connections (Mother Earth's Charkas) to our spirit that will surely affect our future generations. These people are still suffering from this contamination and their livelihood is being destroyed as I write this to you. There needs to be a fast move toward other forms of energy that are safe for all Nations upon Mother Earth. We need to understand the whole picture in the type of minds that are continuing to destroy the spirit of our whole Global Community. Unless we do this, the powers of destruction will overwhelm us.
Our Ancestors foretold that water would someday be for sale. Back then this was hard to believe, since the water was so plentiful, so pure, and so full of energy, nutrition and spirit. Today we have to buy pure water, and even then the nutritional minerals have been taken out; it's just empty liquid. Someday water will be like gold, too expensive to afford.
Not everyone will have the right to drink safe water.
We fail to appreciate and honor our Sacred Sites, ripping out the minerals and gifts that lay underneath them, as if Mother Earth were simply a resource, instead of the Source of Life itself. Attacking Nations and having to utilize more resources to carry out the destruction in the name of Peace and elimination is not the answer! We need to understand how all these decisions affects the Global Nation, we will not be immune to it's repercussions.
To allow continual contamination of our food and land,
is now affecting the way we think.
A "disease of the mind" has set in World Leaders and many members of our Global Community, with their understanding that a solution of retaliation and destruction of peoples
will bring Peace.
In our Prophecies it is told that we are now at the Crossroads, either unite Spiritually as a Global Nation, or be faced with chaos, disasters, diseases and tears from our relatives eyes. In times of disasters it is sad to say that it is the only time that we unite spiritually,
but we must not taint it with anger and retaliation.
We are the only species that is destroying the Source of life, meaning Mother Earth, in the name of power, mineral resources and ownership of land, using methods of chemicals and warfare that is becoming irreversible, as Mother Earth is becoming tired and can not sustain any more impacts of war.
I ask you to join me on this endeavor.

As each day passes, I ask the Global Nations to begin a Global effort, in knowing that each and every one of us are making a daily effort in waking to a gratitude of another day, that is gifted to us and begin to remember to give thanks for the Sacred Food that has been also gifted to us by our Mother Earth, so the nutritional energy of medicine can be guided to heal our minds and spirits. This new millennium will usher in an age of harmony or it will bring the end of life as we know it.
Starvation, war and toxic waste have been the hallmark of the
Great Myth of Progress and Development that ruled the last millennium.
To us, as caretakers of the heart of Mother Earth, falls the responsibility of turning back the powers of destruction. We have come to a time and place of great urgency. The fate of future generations rests in our hands. We must understand the two ways we are free to follow, as we choose—the positive way or the negative way…the spiritual way or the material way.
It's our own choice--each of ours and all of ours. You yourself are the one who must decide. You alone—and only you--can make this crucial choice. Whatever you decide is what you'll be, to walk in honor or to dishonor your relatives.
You can't escape the consequences of your own decision.
On your decision depends the fate of the entire World. You must decide. You can't avoid it. Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger?
Know that you yourself are essential to this World.
Believe that!
Understand both the blessing and the burden of that.
You yourself are desperately needed to save the soul of this World.
Did you think you were put here for something less?
In a Sacred Hoop of Life, there is no beginning and no ending!
Mitakuye Oyasin,
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

unintelligible tribes?

Unintelligible. This is how reporter Jim Lobe described the five native tribes that managed to survive the Indonesian tsunami last year. He meant it in the sense that these people have no knowledge of the Western world, ex - Capitalism, McDonalds, SUVs, plastic surgery, cellphones, and all the other things we pride ourselves on. The five tribes: Jarawa, Onge, Sentinelese, Shompens, and the Great Andamanese are nomadic hunter-gatherers who inhabit the Andaman Islands. One member who had contact with a scientist after the tsunami explained why his people had survived. They had recalled the knowledge of their ancestors; the land and the sea fight over the boundary between them and nothing is ever safe or intact. As soon as people saw the sea receeding, they warned others and ran deep into the forest. "We waited in the forest while the land and sea figured it out and decided where to draw the new boundary," he recalled. Other tribes were did not want to contact outsiders in order to share their methods of survival or accept the government aid. Neelesh Misra reported, "A lone tribesman stood naked on the beach and looked up at a hovering coast guard helicopter. He then took out his bow and shot an arrow toward the rescue chopper.It was a signal the Sentinelese have sent out to the world for millennia: They want to be left alone. Isolated from the rest of the world, the tribesmen... learned nature's sights, sounds and smells to survive." Furthermore, "Outsiders are forbidden from interacting with the tribesmen because such contact has led in the past to alcoholism and disease among the islanders, and sexual abuse of local women." And you call that unintelligible? These people have resisted Western culture and have retained their connection with the Earth so well that they could survive a devastating tsunami. And how do they keep the government from interfering with their lives? They shoot arrows at them. The rest of the world could learn alot from these tribes.