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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

19-20 Jan - BlogNews

Discovery News - Top Stories
Scorpion Venom Tapped as Pesticide 
A scorpion-inspired pesticide could kill specific insects without harming people, the environment or beneficial animals.

The Existentialist Cowboy
Truth and Consequences: 'A Conspiracy of Rich Men' 
Every criminal thinks he will get away with it. Every criminal hides the truth. Every criminal has a cover story. 911 is Bush's 'cover story'. Inexplicably, Bush cri...

 Dr. John's Hiding Place
Haiti - at the Critical Point... Children...
Url movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGCX9UirY-o *I leave this* report on until *Al Jazeera* withdraws it, which appears a habit of them... So take your time to view this current news update mainly a...

Haiti's tent cities offer respite, stoke fears

  • Their homes destroyed, many Haitians living in ramshackle tent cities
  • People living there fear rape, robbery and other criminal activity
  • National Police Chief Mario Andresol says tent cities pose his biggest challenge
  • In addition to security concerns, people in tent cities want for food and medicine

Doctors Without Borders Plane with Lifesaving Medical Supplies Diverted Again from Landing in Haiti

A Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) cargo plane carrying 12 tons of medical equipment, including drugs, surgical supplies and two dialysis machines, was turned away three times from Port-au-Prince airport since Sunday night despite repeated assurances of its ability to land there. This 12-ton cargo was part of the contents of an earlier plane carrying a total of 40 tons of supplies that was blocked from landing on Sunday morning. Since January 14, MSF has had five planes diverted from the original destination of Port-au-Prince to the Dominican Republic. These planes carried a total of 85 tons of medical and relief supplies.
“We have had five patients in Martissant health center die for lack of the medical supplies that this plane was carrying,” said Loris de Filippi, emergency coordinator for the MSF’s Choscal Hospital in Cite Soleil. “I have never seen anything like this. Any time I leave the operating theater I see lots of people desperately asking to be taken for surgery. Today, there are 12 people who need lifesaving amputations at Choscal Hospital. We were forced to buy a saw in the market to continue amputations. We are running against time here.”
More than 500 patients in need of surgery have been transferred from MSF health center in the Martissant neighborhood to Choscal Hospital with more than 230 operated on since Thursday. MSF teams have been working since the first hours after the earthquake and these cargo shipments are vital to continue their ability to provide essential medical care to victims of the disaster. In five different locations in the city, MSF has given primary care to an estimated 3,000 people in the capital and performed more than 400 surgeries.
“It is like working in a war situation,” said Rosa Crestani, MSF medical coordinator for Choscal Hospital. “We don’t have any more morphine to manage pain for our patients. We cannot accept that planes carrying lifesaving medical supplies and equipment continue to be turned away while our patients die. Priority must be given to medical supplies entering the country.”

We Are Being Lied To About Haiti To Justify The Militarised Response

Both the US and UN have terrible histories in Haiti, they are approaching this, with the US leading as a security issueand corporate media are following, but even then when you read carefully they fail to substantiate the chaos/looting meme beyond violent police reactions, that is very familiar if you cast your mind back to post Katrina coverage. Real grassroots efforts by relief workers without an agenda paint a very different picture-
In today’s earliest hours, Dr. Evan Lyon recounted his reactions to PIH staff in Boston. He spent his first twelve hours in Port-au-Prince driving around the city identifying places in need so that PIH could pursue a more decentralized approach to emergency medical care delivery today. He and other PIH leadership forged important relationships with the hospital administration at the University Hospital (HUEH) where PIH has partnered with the Ministry of Health to pursue a fully coordinated approach to restoring of services for the thousands of patients awaiting care there. And together with the PIH logistics team and Dr. Joia Mukherjee, he helped evacuate four of the most in need patients and a guardian from Port-au-Prince to Philadelphia for urgent care. We hope his words will give you all who are supporting this relief effort a small window into what it is like to be in Port-au-Prince now.
Sent on January 17, 2010, 3:34AM by Dr. Evan Lyon of PIH
can’t get through much now but beyond the horror, one very striking reality is that things are totally peaceful. we circulated in PAP in the middle of everything until just now. everywhere. no UN. no police. no US marines and no violence or chaos or anything. just people helping each other. drove past the main central park in PAP where at least 50K people must be sleeping and it was almost silent.
people cooking, talking, some singing and crying. people are kind, calm, generous to us and others. even with hundreds lying on the ground, open fractures, massive injuries of all kinds.
there are few dead bodies on the street. stench is everywhere. the city is changed forever.
we had a late day opportunity to evacuate 4 patients to the US. these may be the first haitian nationals allowed to leave for the US. but martinique has taken over 200. the DR has taken many many more. so we circulated in PAP looking for urgent cases. found hundreds but picked up the 4 to get out, hopefully to philadelphia. open fractures, gangrene, one 4 year old boy with a leg broken in 3 places, a minor head wound, and now 4 days of sleeping outside with IV fluid and maybe some pain meds. probably none.
at the airport, we drove onto the tarmac to meet the air ambulance. surrounded by marines and UN, massive weapons. a humvee with a gunner turret at the top drove by. the noise from the large transport planes was deafening. us citizens and haitian american citizens leaving by the hundreds on US planes. and our small team of haitian and american docs evacuating a drop in the bucket. my ears are still ringing from the noise of it all.
in contrast, port au prince is silent. no current. no car traffic. people sleeping in the streets but little else. beside the impossible weight and tragedy of this city completely devastated, one lasting impression was the stillness of the city. in shock, tragically sad, but quiet. so good to get away from the airport.
sleeping tonight in the house of a dear PIH friend and doctor. attending to neighbors here and able to rest. safety and the work is with our sisters and brothers in this beautiful, proud, and strong nation.
the safest and best way to be here and help is with our colleagues and friends. wonderful to be in the city, away from the airplanes, and working shoulder to shoulder with people we know and love and will continue work with to mourn, assist, and rebuild this special country.

Iran Bans 'Color-Coded' Organizations
You have probably already heard that Iran has banned a list of 60 foreign organizations. Here is a list of these organizations:

1. Soros Foundation -- Open Society 2. Woodrow Wilson Center 3. Freedom House 4. National Endowment for Democracy (NED) 5. National Democratic Institute (NDI) 6. International Republican Institute (IRI) 7. Institute for Democracy in East Europe (EEDI) 8. Democracy Center in East Europe (CDEE) 9. Ford Foundation 10. Rockefeller Brothers Foundation 11. Hoover Institute at Stanford University 12. Hivos Foundation, Netherlands 13. Menas, U.K. 14. United Nations Association (USA) 15. Carnegie Foundation 16. Wilton Park, U.K. 17. Search for Common Ground (SFCG) 18. Population Council 19. Washington Institute for Near East Policy 20. Aspen Institute 21. American Enterprise Institute 22. New America Foundation 23. Smith Richardson Foundation 24. German Marshall Fund (US, Germany and Belgium) 25. International Center on Nonviolent Conflict 26. Abdolrahman Boroumand Foundation 27. Yale University 28. Meridian Center 29. Foundation for Democracy in Iran 30. International Republican Institute 31. National Democratic Institute 32. American Initiative Institute 33. Institute of Democracy in Eastern Europe 34. American Aid Center 35. International Trade Center 36. American Center for International Labor Solidarity 37. International Center for Democracy Transfer 38. Community of Democracies (?) 39. Albert Einstein Institute 40. Global Movement for Democracy 41. The Democratic Youth Network 42. Democracy Information and Communication Technology Group 43. International Movement of Parliamentarians for Democracy 44.Institute of Democracy 45. RIGA Institute 46. The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School 47. Council on Foreign Relations 48. Foreign Policy Committee, Germany 49. Middle East Media Research Institute 50. Centre for Democracy Studies, U.K. 51. Meridian Institute 52. Yale University and all its affiliates 53. National Defense University, U.S. 54. Iran Human Rights Documentation Center 55. American Center FLENA 56. Committee on the Present Danger 57. Brookings Institution 58. Saban Center, Brookings Institution 59. Human Rights Watch 60. New America Foundation

This list seems to be somewhat botched, as one organization is listed twice (New America Foundation). some of these are probably harmless and some that should be there are missing (I suspect that repeated translation are the issue here). But some of these are truly amazingly toxic fronts for US subversive efforts. If one looks at the recent history of the various "color-coded revolutions" or what happened in Venezuela, it is evident that what Iran did is actually an extremely wise move, even if it was ridiculed by Western pundits (in particular those who work for the above mentioned organizations).

I would hope that other countries such as Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Lebanon, Serbia, Belarus and many others would soon follow Iran's example and stop being idiotically blind to what these organizations (maybe not all, but definitely the most of them) really are and what their true mission is.

To all this I would personally add Doctors Without Borders which is a front for the French foreign intelligence service and the ICRC which is a front for various European intelligence services (though I don't know if either of the two are currently present in Iran).

President Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez are the only two political leaders which have succeeded in surviving a color-coded and CIA-run "revolution" and both of them are clearly thinking along the same lines (Venezuela has also banned some "democratic" organizations with "ties" to the USA). Right now the most threatened independent political leader is probably Evo Morales and I sure hope that he will soon follow their example.

If the world wants to rid itself from the rule of the USraelian Empire it better start taking active measures in disabling the instruments which this empire uses to subvert and incorporate independent countries.

The people's dossier: if you could ask Tony Blair one question

The Iraq Inquiry committee needs your help. Its weak, deferential questioning of witnesses has been widely criticised as inadequate for an inquiry into the most disastrous foreign policy decision of the past half century.

Freakazoids Praise Return of "Secular" Documents

Yeah, this pretty much takes the Sixth Circuit Court's decision that the ten commandments are an appropriate part of a "historical display" andblows it to smithereens.
LEITCHFIELD - Amid anthems, hymns, and plenty of "amens," a copy of the Ten Commandments was placed back on the wall at the Grayson County courthouse Monday, almost a decade after it was removed."We all love Jesus Christ and anything that comes with it," exclaimed Steve Mahurin, a minister who works for the road department, one of several hundred residents who showed up for the ceremony. "This represents our savior, and it's the law we have to go by."
The ceremony was sparked by the Jan. 14 decision by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which struck down a lower court order. According to the 2-1 decision, posting the Ten Commandments did not violate the U.S. Constitution because it was part of a display of historical documents, including the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact and the U.S. Bill of Rights.

The ways this is unconstitutional, anti-historical, anti-American, ignorant, totalitarian, fascist, and just plain stupid are nearly infinite.But I'll just leave you with a tiny hint of the galactic-sized pile of proof that far from founding the Unites State of American on bronze-age myths, the Founding Fathers went far out of their way to guarantee that religion - especially the judeo-christian flavor - stayed at arms' length from American Government.

Babies fed porridge before they reach five months are 'less likely to develop asthma'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1244424/Babies-fed-porridge-reach-months-likely-develop-asthma.html#ixzz0d8AWeUqK

A team of scientists from Finland studied almost 1,300 children whose parents took part in a diet and lifestyle study between 1996 and 2000. They wanted to see if certain foods either raised the risk of asthma and hay fever, or reduced them.
Each family recorded infant feeding patterns from an early age and the children were then followed up for at least five years.

The results, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed babies fed porridge in their first few months of life were 64 per cent less likely to have chest problems as a toddler than those who did not eat it or who started later.

The same team also found babies fed fish at an early age had much lower rates of hay fever by the time they were five years old.

In a report on their findings, the researchers said: 'Oats are a commonly used cereal in Finland, as porridge and bread.

'Animal and cell experiments suggest oats may affect the immune system and have anti-inflammatory properties.

'The same is true for fish.

'Our findings imply that delaying the introduction of oats in infancy may increase the risk of asthma by the age of five in some children.'

Reporting the Global Water Crisis
Reporting the Global Water Crisis
Hidden Waters, Dragons in the Deep: The Freshwater Crisis in China’s Karst Regions
Yunnan Province is a microcosm of the challenges facing China’s vulnerable freshwater supply. Severe water pollution and shortages stand in the way of ongoing economic growth.
In the southwest corner of China, a land of towering mountains and deep gorges not far from the border of Vietnam is Shi Dong, the Rock Cave. It is he...
January 18, 2010 | Read this Climate News »
Chavez Suspends Electricity Rationing in Venezuelan Capital after One Day
Drought-induced low water levels in Venezuela’s main reservoir prompted the government to cut energy delivery to the entire country.
January 14, 2010 | Read this Climate News »
Climate Change To Heighten International Tensions Over Freshwater Resources, Analysis Finds
The Pacific Institute Analysis for the United Nations recommends coping methods for growing supply and demand gaps of transboundary rivers and aquifer...
January 14, 2010 | Read this Climate News »
Peter Gleick: Water for Haiti, Now
Information on the disaster in Haiti is only slowly coming out, but it is clear that the magnitude and extent of the catastrophe is vast, in a land se...
January 13, 2010 | Read this Climate News »
New Bank Loans Revive Controversial Ilisu Dam Project in Turkey
The Turkish government will continue construction of the Ilisu dam on the Tigris River after receiving loans from three national banks, Turkey’s env...
January 13, 2010 | Read this Climate News »
Supreme Court Declines To Wade Into Asian Carp Fight, Worrying Great Lakes Governors
DNA tests indicate the invasive species may already have entered Lake Michigan.  Read More →
January 19, 2010 | Read this news story »
China Karst | Slideshow
Circle of Blue captures the life and land in Southwest China — the front lines of the country’s freshwater crisis. While water access is difficult,... 
January 19, 2010 | Read this news story »
China’s Karst Region: Infographics
World Karst Map As they span significant areas of Asia, Europe and the Americas, karst landscapes cover some 15 percent of the Earth’s land mass. Scientists... 
January 19, 2010 | Read this news story »
The Orphans of Yuang Shi Dong: China Cave Reflects Spiritual, Scientific Worlds
A stroll in the mountains connects young girls to a spiritual past.  Read More →
January 19, 2010 | Read this news story »
Tracing Kunming, China’s Freshwater Hazards
New construction and ongoing industrial pollution pose extreme challenges to the water supply of one of Southwest China’s fastest growing cities.... 
January 19, 2010 | Read this news story »
China Karst Credits
Acknowledgments Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars China Environment Forum Dr. Jennifer Turner, director Peter Marsters, program assistant  Read More →
January 18, 2010 | Read this news story »
Karst Landscapes in China, Across the Continents
From karst towers in Southwest China to the massive Mammoth Cave region in the U.S., here’s a look at some of the most significant karst landscapes... 
January 18, 2010 | Read this news story »

The Center for Food Safety

Supreme Court to Hear First Genetically Engineered Crop Case

Monsanto Takes Center for Food Safety Legal Victory to Highest Court
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear a first-time case about the risks of genetically engineered crops. Named Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475, the case before the high court will be yet another step in an ongoing battle waged by the Center for Food Safety to protect consumers and the environment from potentially harmful effects of genetically engineered (GE) crops.
The modified alfalfa seed at the heart of the dispute has been engineered to be immune to Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup. Monsanto intervened in a 2007 federal district court ruling that the Department of Agriculture’s approval of GE alfalfa was illegal. The Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a 2006 lawsuit on behalf of a coalition of non-profits and farmers who wished to retain the choice to plant non-GE alfalfa. CFS was victorious in this case – in addition CFS has won two appeals by Monsanto in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: in 2008 and again in 2009. Now, upon Monsanto’s insistence, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.
“This is truly a ‘David versus Goliath’ struggle, between public interest non-profits and a corporation bent on nothing less than domination of our food system,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. “That Monsanto has pushed this case all the way to the Supreme Court, even though USDA’s court-ordered analysis is now complete, and the U.S. government actively opposed further litigation in this matter, underscores the great lengths that Monsanto will go to further its mission of patent control of our food system and selling more pesticides.”
The federal district court required the Department of Agriculture to undertake an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) assessing the impacts of the crop on the environment and on farmers; the first time the U.S. government had ever undertaken such analysis for any GE crop. The court permitted farmers that had already planted to continue, but halted any further planting pending the agency’s re-assessment. That the EIS was required is not in dispute; the legal issue is only the scope of relief while USDA analyzed the impacts of the crop for the first time.
In October 2009 Monsanto asked the Supreme Court to hear further arguments. In response, the Center and the U.S. government separately opposed that request the following December. USDA completed the first draft of the EIS in December 2009.
“Although we believe a further hearing is unnecessary, we are confident we will again prevail, as the lower courts have already three times determined,” continued Kimbrell. “We hope that this grand stage will further inform the public, policymakers and the media about the significant risks of genetically engineered crops and the vital need to protect farmers and the environment.”
Alfalfa is the fourth most widely grown crop in the U.S. and a key source of dairy forage. It is the first perennial crop to be genetically engineered. It is open-pollinated by bees, which can cross-pollinate at distances of several miles, spreading the patented, foreign DNA to conventional and organic crops. Such biological contamination threatens the livelihood of organic farmers and dairies, since the U.S. Organic standard prohibits genetic engineering, and alfalfa exporters, since most overseas governments also reject GE-contaminated crops.
“We trust the Supreme Court will uphold farmers right to choose their crop of choice and protect us from the constant fear of contamination from GE crops,” said Phil Geertson, an alfalfa farmer based in Idaho.

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