Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vice President Biden's Son Leaves Hospital After Stroke

Associated Press

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, 41, walked out of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia about 1 p.m. local time accompanied by his father-in-law and carrying his 4-year-old son, Hunter.

Vice President Joe Biden's son left the hospital Tuesday, a week after suffering what doctors said was a mild stroke.

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, 41, walked out of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia about 1 p.m. local time accompanied by his father-in-law and carrying his 4-year-old son, Hunter.

"Good to be headed home," Biden told media gathered outside the hospital before getting into the front passenger seat of a sport utility vehicle.

Biden will continue recuperating at home, and it is unclear when he might return to work.

In a statement released by the attorney general's office, Dr. Robert Rosenwasser of the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience described Biden as neurologically normal.

"I am extremely pleased about his status as of discharge and have released him to assume full responsibilities as attorney general after a brief period of rest at home," Rosenwasser said.

Biden was hospital in Newark last Tuesday and transferred later that day to Thomas Jefferson, the largest center in the region for treating strokes and aneurysms.

Biden announced in January that he would not run for the Senate seat his father held for more than 30 years, but instead would seek re-election as attorney general.

Arizona Getting A Bad Rap…If this video does not connect the dots on illegal immigration and terrorism, nothing will.

“We found illegals from Afghanistan, Egypt, iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan and Yemen in custody.”

French Pension-Reform Plan Stirs Union Ire

PARIS—The French government said it plans to increase the retirement age, setting up a battle with unions who want the French to continue retiring earlier than most other Europeans.

The government said it plans to introduce a bill to raise the retirement age from the current minimum of 60—though it didn't say to what age—and create a new tax on high earners, to try to fix the nation's debt-choked pension system.

Sipa Press

At a May 1 protest in Lille, in northern France, union members demonstrate against the government's planned pension reforms.

Unions have scheduled a nationwide demonstration on May 27 to protest the proposed overhaul.

The sparring comes as France and other European countries are under pressure to rein in their budget deficits after the Greek debt crisis caused financial chaos. France has the same high credit rating as Germany, but some economists are concerned that Paris could suffer a downgrade unless it demonstrates budget discipline.

"It's a litmus test," said economist Christian Saint-Etienne, head of the Générations Citoyennes think tank. "France's creditworthiness is at stake."

Facing the same trends of slow growth and longer lifespans, several European Union countries have in recent years increased their retirement ages and cut pension payments. In 2007, Germany opted to gradually increase its standard retirement age to 67 from 65. Last year, Italy pegged future retirement ages to rising life expectancy.

France has reduced some pension benefits in the past, but in its effort to avoid cutting monthly pension payments it has also piled up debt. If no changes are made, the annual deficit of state-run pension funds could shoot up to €103 billion ($127 billion) by 2050, from an estimated €10 billion this year, according to a council advising the government.

Concerned that the system isn't sustainable, the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a memo to unions, which it released on Monday. The government said the main response to "demographic imbalances" should be demographic. That implies raising the retirement age and the number of years of contributions to the state-run system needed to receive a full pension.


"We can't accept that," said Eric Aubin, a national delegate with the CGT union. "People can't find jobs when they are 55. Increasing the retirement age will push them into poverty."

Details, notably the proposed new retirement age, would be outlined in June, the government said. A pension bill could be presented in Septermber to parliament, where Mr. Sarkozy's ruling UMP party has a majority.

The government ruled out some possible solutions, such as an increase in payroll taxes or the creation of a special sales tax, on the basis that they would hurt French corporate competitiveness.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The government of President Nicolas Sarkozy, shown May 7 in Brussels, wants to raise the retirement age.

However, the Sarkozy government said it was considering slapping a new tax on wealthy households—something that might go against an election pledge by Mr. Sarkozy not to increase taxes and to provide some tax relief for the rich. Government officials said the new tax would be "symbolic" and yield between €2 billion and €3 billion a year.

Union leaders said they feared that without significant new tax contributions, the overhaul would result in lower pensions for workers who don't pay into the system long enough.

White-collar union CFE-CGC is one of the few unions to support the idea of raising the retirement age. But the union's national delegate in charge of pension issues, Danièle Karniewicz, said she will be able to convince members to back a pension overhaul only if the government finances it through other methods, such as a new sales tax. "The French are ready to make efforts," Ms. Karniewicz said. "But they need to know what they will get in return."


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Switch On Memory

The painful reality is that age-related cognitive decline often begins in your late 40s. Diet, exercise, nutraceuticals, and other longevity treatments may help delay this deterioration, which is particularly pronounced in declarative memory — the ability to recall facts and experiences — but age eventually takes its toll. Changes occur in gene expression in the brain’s hippocampus and frontal lobe. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes in gene regulation are not completely known.

A new study published in Science sheds some light on how “memory disturbances” in an aging mouse brain are associated with altered “hippocampal chromatin plasticity” — the combination of DNA, histones, and other proteins that make up the chromosomes associated with the hippocampus. Specifically, the study describes an acetyl genetic switch that produces memory impairment in aging 16-month-old mice. Because the acetyl wasn’t present in young 3-month-old mice, the study concludes that it acts as a switch for a cluster of learning and memory genes.

The research was led by André Fischer of the European Neuroscience Institute in Göttingen, Germany, and reported in New Scientist. Three-month-old mice had to find their way around a new environment and were then assessed on their ability to associate an electric shock with a particular location. The result was much higher genetic expression of over 1500 genes known to make proteins needed for the creation of new neurons. Older 16-month-old mice were given the same tasks and did not exhibit the same gene expression. They also did not do as well as the younger mice at spatial learning and memory tasks.

The genetic switch involves acetylation, the introduction of an acetyl group into a molecule at the DNA level of chromatin resulting in genetic transcription. Here’s a video that animates the acetylation of histone proteins in the regulation of gene expression in cancer cells:

It wasn’t long ago that the idea that genes could be switched on and off was revolutionary: gene regulatory proteins, and the specific DNA sequences that these proteins recognize, turn genes on and off in response to a variety of signals. Dr. Fischer’s research shows that when young mice are learning, an acetyl group binds to a particular point on the histone protein. The cluster of learning and memory genes on the surrounding DNA ends up close to the acetyl group. This acetyl group was missing in the older mice that had been given the same tasks. By injecting an enzyme known to encourage acetyl groups to bind to any kind of histone molecule, Fischer’s team flipped the acetyl genetic switch to the “on” position in the older mice and their learning and memory performance became similar to that of 3-month-old mice.

Ultimately, Dr. Fischer’s team is interested in understanding the impairment associated with normal aging, as well as the origins of mental and neurodegenerative diseases such as anxiety disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. Their hope is that the study of hippocampal chromatin plasticity and gene regulation in mice will help them to identify therapeutic strategies to encourage neuroplasticity (the formation of new neural networks in the brain), to improve learning behavior, and to recover seemingly lost long-term memories in human patients.

Switch on memory? What’s not clear is why the switch flips “off” as we get older. It might help us cope with oxidative stress at the cellular level as we age. Turning the switch “on” might have damaging side effects. But, then again, you just might be able to remember where you left those darn keys.

Coverup? Govt Denies Any Oil in Loop Current or Florida. Tar Balls Found In Florida Keys

Even late yesterday, multiple government agencies have held to the BP claim that the leak is only 5,000 barrels a day, though most scientists have challenged those numbers.

The spokespeople for NOAA, the Coastguard, Homeland Security, MMS are all saying that no oil has reached the Loop current, which connects to and feeds into the gulfstream which could take the oil gusher's output all the way the east coast, even to Europe. .

These same spokespersons are saying that they question the reality of the ten mile by three mile by 300 yard curtain of oil reported on Friday in the NY Times.

Yet we have a coastguard image showing tarballs just found in the keys.

Now, Obama is calling for a commission. You can call me a conspiracy theorist, but I am bored by JFK theories and am absolutely not a 911 truther. But it seems pretty clear to me that commissions are used to create chimeras that, on the surface appear to do due investigative diligence, but really provide cover with unanswered questions and half truths.

How about this-- a bottom-up citizen's investigative commission? Let citizens and businesses harmed by the gulf BP gusher band together and file a civil suit that starts with a commission of experts-- but not one made of former politicos and energy industry and other corporate shills who have made money providing cover to polluters. I suggest this because I fear Obama, with his feckless team of corpsters-- Emanuel, Geithner, Summers, Salazar-- to name a few, will submit a list of worthless, untrustworthy fellow corpsters (like banksters only they can be pimps and whores for any big corporate industry)

Every day, Obama's leadership becomes more and more disappointing. Yesterday, the man at MMS who was in charge of offshore drilling regulation put in a resignation to end his job the end of this month. Obama should have fired him and had Eric Holder (still looking worse than Gonzales) start investigating him. Actually, Ken Salazar, who oversees that agency as Secretary of the Interior, should clean out the whole MMS rats nest.

This is a massive, huge national emergency. BP has no privacy rights. The government should be keeping this as transparent as possible, even posting new videos and scientific findings on a website.

It's clear that the US government's usual and customary agencies that deal with offshore drilling are woefully unprepared for what we are, as a nation, as a planet, facing. It is time to go whole hog bottom-up. Put up the website that was used to poll Obama supporters before-- that was de-emphsized when marijuana legalization, investigation of Bush and Cheney started showing up as the most popular bottom up issues. Use that kind of site to enable people to post suggestions for solutions. Let the people vote up the ideas they think are smartest. Bring in NASA engineers.

Open this up to the whole world. There's no way of getting around it that this happened on Obama's watch. It is highly likely it happened because of the inaction and cronyism of Bush appointees, but that is also Obama's fault, for allowing them to stay, instead of replacing them. There are thousands of these lurking time bombs saturating government.

Obama should appoint a team to identify all of them-- the ones he can fire and replace instantly with appointments, the ones that need congressional confirmation and the ones who are in velcro jobs that are not easily dislodged. Then, he should immediately remove, as soon as they are identified, the pure political appointees still in place. He should line up replacements for ones requiring congressional approval and replace as many as he can using interim appointments, just the same way Bush appointed Bolton to represent the US at the UN. The others-- probably thousands, who Bush shifted from political to civil jobs, should be put on notice that their every move, every email will be closely monitored, and their previous moves should be reviewed, with the intent of removing them if they've engaged in pro-corporate actions that failed to fully require compliance with regulations. If democratic appointees failed to require compliance with regulations, fire them too.

I spoke to Senator Byron Dorgan (D ND) about this yesterday and he said that the president decides how regulations are followed. Well, how about if this president decides that not having followed regulations, even under another president is not acceptable? Set a precedent that if you don't follow congressionally dictated regulations under one president, you are at risk of losing your job when he leaves office.

It is clear that we are not getting transparency from our government. It is clear that Obama has not moved fast enough to clear out the bad apples in many regulatory agencies. It's not even clear that Obama is going to start enforcing regulations.

This is a world record shattering disaster. Obama is not aroused, not aggressive enough yet. This is as bad as any military attack on America and will adversely affect millions of lives.

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Hail Storm Oklahoma City

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CBS News: Copy Machines, a Security Risk?

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Houston Couple Commits Suicide Over Debt

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Five Facts You Need to Know About the Financial System

Let’s connect the dots on the ENTIRE financial system right now.

Fact #1: Banks are Insolvent.

The only reason they’re still in business is because they are permitted to value their balance sheet at whatever price they choose. I could privately value my car at $500 TRILLION, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get that price for it when it comes time to sell.

Ditto for the banks and their garbage saturated balance sheets.

Fact #2: Countries are Insolvent

Europe, a union of broke countries, recently announced it is bailing itself out. This is a bit like your bankrupt friend announcing he is gifting himself $1 million: it DOESN’T SOLVE ANYTHING. As I’ve stated time and again, you CANNOT solve a debt problem by issuing more debt.

Fact #3: Wall Street is Crooked

Anyone who even wants to debate this can look at Goldman Sachs’ latest trading results: Goldie made money EVERY SINGLE DAY of last quarter. As if that wasn’t statistically impossible enough, the firm pulled in $100 million+ on 35 out of 63 days. This simply cannot be done ethically. The only way your trading is that good is because you’re cheating (front-running your clients or manipulating the market).

Fact #4: The Central Bankers Cannot “SAVE” Anything

The world’s central bankers are clueless about fixing the debt problems (see Europe). If a private business employed the same tactics as Ben Bernanke and pals, it would be bankrupt. Leaving a paperweight on the “print” button is not a policy. Neither is buying garbage debt (something of NO value) at 100 cents on the dollar. Indeed, there’s a word for someone willing to the latter action; it’s “sucker.”

Fact #5: The Stock Market is Controlled by Computers

The stock market has rallied courtesy of outright manipulation and fraud. Bailout Ben’s money didn’t go to Mom and Pop America, it went to Wall Street where they gunned the stock market higher on next to no volume using algorithmic computer programs to front-run their clients (see Goldman above).

So markets today are not moving based on real investors, they are moving based on computers that trade back and forth in nanoseconds if not faster. These programs were created to reap a ¼ penny profit for each transaction the make (a policy the NYSE created to induce investors to continue trading and provide “liquidity”). However, as last Wednesday showed, when things start to get ugly all these “liquidity providers” seem to vanish in a hurry.

What It All Adds Up To

All of the above are facts that have been staring us in the face for well over six months, if not a year. If you suspected that something was “strange” about the market, you’re absolutely right, it’s that our entire financial system is based on fraud, lies, and BS.

So how to you play this?

It’s really quite simple:

  1. Buy some physical bullion
  2. Have some Crisis Trades (shorts) lined up for the next collapse (see below)
  3. Don’t listen to anyone who missed Round One of the Crisis

Speaking of Crisis…

Europe officially joined the Moral Hazard club in a big way over the weekend. Having put off the “Greek” issue for five months they finally caved, launching a $1 trillion bailout AND their own variation on the Fed’s Quantitative Easing Program at the same time.

The implications of this are two-fold:

  1. The Euro is going to parity with the US Dollar
  2. Gold is now the top currency in the world

Regarding #1, the Euro only bounced for a brief 24 hours before continuing its slide. It is now clear that the world markets are like a drug addict, needing a bigger and bigger “fix” just to stay “high.”

The fact that Europe launched the largest single bailout in history and only bought a day’s worth of gains tells you all you need to know about just how saturated with debt the entire world is.

bad times euro.gif

Regarding #2, Gold has broken out to a new all time high in both the US Dollar AND the Euro. In plain terms, Gold is no longer an inflation hedge or anti-Dollar trade. It is a stand-alone currency. In fact, it has traded higher at the same time as the Dollar!


If you do not already own Gold, you should strongly consider buying some now. Europe’s moves were a clear signal to the world that it’s a “race to the bottom” in terms of currency devaluation. With every central bank in the world willing to turn their currency into toilet paper, why not own a currency that you CAN'T wipe with?

Which brings us to my final point.

The final conclusion to draw from this is that there is not one politician in power worldwide with a set of cajones. When it comes time to choose between doing the right thing (default, clear the junk, start over from a fresh base) our “leaders” have shown time and again that they’d rather throw more taxpayer money at the problem.

In plain terms, no one wants to actually solve anything. All they want to do is put a band-aid on the issue and hope they can make it to their next election retaining their corporate backers without pissing off voters too much.

It’s a heck of a tight rope act. I don’t know how it will play out. I don’t care too much for politicians, but I sure as heck wouldn’t want to be in their position. On one hand you have increasingly pissed off voters. On the other hand you have banking Oligarchs who implode the market anytime they’re threatened.

Whoever tries to fix all this better have a pair of Gold-plated Cojones!

Good Investing!

PS. If you’re worried about the future of the stock market, I highly suggest you download my FREE Special Report detailing SEVERAL investments that could shelter your portfolio from any future collapse.

Greece blames US for snowballing debts

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou says he is considering taking legal action against US investment banks for their alleged role in the snowballing Greek debt crisis.

Papandreou said Sunday that an investigation will be launched to examine whether the financial sector engaged in "fraud", leading to the spiraling of Greece's debt, the Associated Press reported.

It is predicted that Greece will exceed 140 percent of its economic output in 2012.

Papandreou rejected international skepticism about Greece's ability to pay back loans it acquired from Germany to manage the crisis.

Some officials in Germany have expressed dissatisfaction that Greeks are taking the easy way out.

The under-pressure prime minister, however, remains steadfast in defusing the crisis.

"We are ready to make the changes ... we have made our mistakes. We are living up to this responsibility. But at the same time, give us a chance," Papandreou said.

Analysts, meanwhile, say it was clear what Papandreou should do to reclaim his credentials.

"If you want to stop speculators it's quite easy, you actually get your economy sorted out and your debt paid down," Justin Urquhart Stewart, director of Seven Investment Management in London, told Press TV.

By taking legal action against American investment banks the Greek government will hope it will lead "to further tightening in the rules and regulations of US banks," Stewart said.


The Death of Aiyana Jones: "Showtime Syndrome" Claims a Child (UPDATED)

Death of a princess: Aiyana Jones, victim of the Homeland Security State

In physics, the term "observer effect" describes how examining a phenomenon can change it, because of the influence of the instruments used to make the observation. Something similar happens to human interactions when cameras are present. The irresistible impulse to play to the lens makes human behavior mannered and self-aware. Every statement becomes a performance, every gesture a pose.

The steady onslaught of police propaganda shows of the "COPS" genre constitute the worst and most dangerous form of "reality" television.

A couple of years ago I coined the term "COPS Effect" to describe how pseudo-documentary programs glorifying the police abet irresponsible (but highly telegenic) use of paramilitary tactics. The presence of cameras during law enforcement operations often triggers a condition I call "Showtime Syndrome," a frequently lethal tendency toward self-dramatization on the part of police.

Conflict and danger, whether genuine or contrived, make for high-impact television; de-escalation and sober, careful police work do not. Thus embedding camera crews with the police -- only officially vetted personnel from State-aligned media are suitable; Mundanes with cameras are subject to summary arrest -- creates a perverse incentive for "peace" officers to choose an approach more likely to result in avoidable death, injury, and property destruction.

Troops from the Detroit Police Department's Special Reaction Team ("troops" is a more appropriate description than "officers") seeking a murder suspect executed a no-knock warrant on the home where Aiyana was sleeping on the couch.

Despite warnings from neighbors that there were children present in the home -- a fact attested by the toys scattered in the front yard -- the SRT paramilitaries chose a Fallujah-style "dynamic entry," hurling a flash-bang grenade through a closed window and storming through the front door with guns drawn.

The incendiary grenade landed on the couch where Aiyana was sleeping. Her father claims that the child suffered burns as a result. Seconds later, she was dead.

One of the SRT troopers engaged in what was called a "tussle" with Mertilla Jones, Aiyana's grandmother. In the antiseptic and completely dishonest language favored by the state-aligned media, the officer's gun "went off."

This means, apparently, that the inanimate object simply discharged sua sponte, independent of intentional or negligent action on the part of its owner, a fully credentialed member of the exalted "Only Ones" -- as in "law enforcement and the military are the Only Ones who should be permitted to own and carry firearms."

Firearms in the hands of the hoi polloi, we are told, have a way of spontaneously firing and killing innocent children. Oddly enough, that's what supposedly happened to a beautiful 7-year-old girl named Aiyana Jones.

The raid took place at about 12:30 a.m. The individual being sought at the multi-family dwelling was a suspect in a murder that took place at about 3:00 p.m. the previous Friday. Police report that they arrested the suspect at the duplex where the raid occurred. However, they pointedly refuse to say whether the shooting death of Aiyana Jones took place in the same unit where the suspect was found.

This was not a hostage situation. The proverbial clock wasn't ticking. Why didn't the police quietly set up a perimeter at the targeted address, and wait until the suspect left the building? Why stage a post-midnight paramilitary raid against a home where children were present?

A paragraph found toward the end of a Detroit Free Press account provides a likely answer:

"Outside the home, the department's special response team was prepared to go in. Film crews with A&E's `The First 48' reality show, which follows police departments nationwide during the crucial 48 hours after a homicide is committed, were taping the team for a documentary. Police spokesman John Roach said the tapes will be reviewed as part of the investigation."

In other words, the decision-making process in this investigation was being distorted by the "COPS Effect." The department insists that this was a high-risk warrant enforcement operation, but it wasn't too dangerous to bring a camera crew along. Had the intent been simply to capture a murder suspect, the police could have sent a team of street officers and homicide detectives, rather than the paramilitary goon squad and their archivists.

Detroit is an economic moonscape in which the police -- through the institutionalized larceny called "asset forfeiture" -- have become the single largest source of property crime. The SRT and the Narcotics Enforcement Division (which is trained by the SRT) average two full-force raids each day, most of them conducted against single- and multi-family dwellings.

A few years ago, the SRT was featured in an A&E "reality" program entitled "SWAT." Viewers learned, among other things, that each member of the 21-officer SRT is given a GI Joe-style "codename" that is "based upon a specific action, or character trait that the officer has. These codenames are used as tactical call signs, similarly to how pilots in the military refer to one another."

If the member of this little club who shot Aiyana hasn't been assigned a codename, I think "Fumbles" would make the best match for his skill-set.

The SRT, described as "one of the nation's most elite SWAT teams," was also featured on Attack of the Show in a segment heavy on hardware porn and loaded with preening and posturing by overgrown adolescents who get to wear bitchin' black outfits and carry great big guns.



The SRT's armory, cooed the man-crushing host, is "beyond impressive," and its techniques and tactics are "awesome." Sure, the unit isn't all that useful when it comes to protecting life, liberty, and property, but it certainly looks intimidating, especially on television.

Just another day in the Reich: A child uses the bathroom under the benevolent gaze of a stormtrooper during a paramilitary drug raid.

Of course, this is precisely the point: Paramilitary outfits of this kind are designed to advertise the might of the State. That's why the cameras were along to capture the early morning raid that claimed the life of Aiyana Jones, and it's why the SRT -- rather than a less dangerous and less telegenic police unit -- was assigned that task in the first place.

The life of Aiyana Jones -- may she rest in God's peace -- ended violently in an act of homeland security agitprop. She wasn't the first to die that way, and won't be the last.

Diet soda now promoted as medicine to stop kidney stones (opinion)

(NaturalNews) The "most retarded science journal of the year" award goes to the Journal of Urology which has published an article suggesting that diet soda is actually an effective type of medicine for preventing kidney stones (April 19, 2010 issue). The research was led by Dr Brian H. Eisner, a urologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who is apparently completely clueless about human nutrition and the toxicity of aspartame.

According to Dr Eisner, diet sodas are not only good medicine for preventing kidney stones; they're also a good source of water hydration. Noting that patients need to consume 2-3 liters of water each day, Dr Eisner said in a Reuters article, "If drinking these sodas helps people reach that goal, then that may be a good thing." (

If you're thinking this is some sort of April Fools joke, it isn't. Dr Eisner and the Journal of Urology are somehow convinced this is good research and that diet sodas may actually have a positive medicinal effect on the human body. Instances of such "scientific" stupidity appear to be increasing in western medicine where doctors remain wildly ignorant of the effects on the human body caused by processed ingredients or toxic chemical additives.

Aspartame, used as the primary sweetener in diet sodas, is a potent neurotoxin according to experts like Dr Russell Blaylock. Many believe it promotes headaches, vision problems, endocrine system problems and nervous system disorders. It has never been proven safe for human consumption by any honest testing.

Most diet sodas also contain alarmingly high levels of phosphoric acid, a substance that causes a huge increase in acidity throughout the body, suppressing immune function, weakening bones and contributing to kidney stones (not preventing them).

The truth about diet soda

There is absolutely no question that drinking diet soda is atrocious for your health. That a mainstream western doctor would somehow conclude diet soda to be a medicine for preventing kidney stones is equivalent to declaring "pizza prevents heart disease" or that smoking cigarettes prevents cancer. It shows not merely the shocking nutritional ignorance of Dr Eisner himself, but the utter lack of nutritional knowledge among his peers at the Journal of Urology who somehow saw fit to publish his study.

This is called science? Keep in mind that the entire claim is based on the idea that certain diet sodas contain citrate and that frequent consumption of citrate from natural sources (lemonade, lime juice, etc.) is well known to prevent kidney stones. Consuming natural lemonade actually does prevent kidney stones, but you can't extrapolate from that and claim a lemon-flavored diet soda will accomplish the same thing. That's like saying that since fruit helps prevent cancer, then drinking fruit punch must prevent cancer, too.

This research, by the way, never even tested diet sodas on human subjects. It's really just a "thought experiment" from someone who isn't even very good at thinking. The entire paper is the scientific equivalent of saying, "Hey, I betcha that thar diet soda might prevent them kidney stones 'cuz there's citrate in it!"

And the Journal of Urology was just silly enough to actually publish it as science. It makes you wonder: What are the requirements for having a scientific paper rejected by the Journal of Urology?

No coverage of medicinal herbs

I bet a paper touting the very real benefits of the Amazon rainforest herb Chanca Piedra would be rejected by the journal. Chanca Piedra is known as the "stonebreaker" herb throughout South America. It really works to dissolve and eliminate kidney stones, but you'd never see that in a science journal in North America. No, they're too busy touting the "medicinal benefits" of diet soda, if you can believe that.

At this point in the article, I would normally point out how little credibility remains in the world of western medicine and its loony research conclusions. This is an industry that calls homeopathy "witchcraft", that thinks medicinal herbs are dangerous, and that now apparently believes diet sodas are a form of medicine. Any discussion of "credibility" about such an industry is frankly just pointless.

If aspartame and phosphoric acid was somehow good for you, America would be the healthiest nation in the world! And if diet sodas actually worked, then all the people drinking them wouldn't be so obese, would they?

And if diet soda prevents kidney stones, they why are most of the people suffering from kidney stones the very same people who drink a lot of soda? If anything, diet soda causes kidney stones. But I suppose the Journal of Urology can print exactly the opposite and call it "science" if they want, right?

That's exactly why modern "science" has lost so much credibility these days. Because practically any corporate-sponsored idea, no matter how ridiculous, can end up being printed in a "scientific journal" even if its conclusions violate the laws of the known biological universe.

If diet soda prevents kidney stones, then mammogram radiation prevents cancer, too.

Oil Already in Loop Current, Headed for Florida Keys

Farreaching Implications

St-Petersburg -- Researchers have evidence that oil from the Deepwater Horizon well accident in the Gulf of Mexico is on its way to the Florida Keys, carried by currents.

That evidence comes from computer models, satellite images and an eyewitness observation on a University of South Florida research vessel.

That ship, the Weatherbird II, returned Monday after studying plankton levels at the oil spill site.

USF Oceanographer Ernst Peebles says computer models show the surface oil has been picked up by the loop current. It flows north from the Yucatan Peninsula into the Gulf, then curves east and then south into the Florida Keys.

"We saw evidence in mathematical models that the surface oil was starting to become entrained into the loop current and then there was also satellite evidence of the same thing," Peebles said.

"And there have been scattered reports of observed oil further south, including one made by our own captain," he said.

More researchers will sail this week to look for oil in the loop current. Peebles estimates it will take about a week for the small amount already in the loop to reach the Florida Keys.

Massacre in Thailand and Obama’s Foreign Policy Stance

When the White House is quiet as protestors are butchered in the streets of Bangkok Thailand, suspicions are raised. Silence often equals complicity. One can only imagine what the U.S.’ response would be to a Venezuelan government slaughter: the U.S. media and Obama would loudly condemn such an act, in contrast to the muted response to Thailand’s blood bath.

The history of U.S.-Thailand relations explains why. During the Vietnam War, the U.S. used Thailand as one of the main “anti-communist” bulwarks in an area that included China, Vietnam, Burma, and other countries that were challenging capitalism.

Thailand was thus transformed into a U.S. client state and given money, guns, and U.S. government intelligence to battle Thailand’s “communists.” This relationship has equaled numerous Thai dictatorships that have a very bloody history, including the shooting of untold numbers of protestors that the Thai government named “communists,” or their modern equivalent, “terrorists.”

The U.S.-Thailand relationship began to sour when the recently deposed President Thaksin Shinawatra formed a closer relationship with China that included economic and military deals. The Asian Times summarizes the consequences:

“Thaksin's willingness to promote defense ties with China came at the US's direct strategic expense and many observers believe that's one reasonWashington's reaction to the September 2006 military coup that ousted a democratically elected government was so muted.” (November 7, 2008).

The U.S. government often overthrows “unfriendly governments” by bribing sections of their military, a fact discussed at length in Tim Weiner’s history of the CIA, Legacy of Ashes. When a U.S.-backed coup happens, the U.S.government and corporate media give tacit approval; whereas a howl of fury erupts when a coup happens against a U.S. puppet government.

The Asian Times confirms:

“Many of the [2006] coup-makers were known U.S. allies, including alleged masterminds and former CIA-trained spy chief Prasong Soonsiri and Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda. Prasong has openly acknowledged his role in the coup…”

The U.S. coup against Thai President Thaksin is at the root of the current crisis in Thailand. Although Thaksin is part of Thailand's business establishment, large sections of the Thai working class and peasantry still identify Thaksin as their duly elected President and are demanding his return. They have resorted to extremely militant tactics to achieve their demands, which, if won, could lead to the restoration of some semblance of democracy in Thailand. The New York Times adds:

“Thailand is convulsed by a bitter struggle between the nation’s elite and its disenfranchised poor, played out in protests that have paralyzed Bangkok for weeks and now threaten to expand.” (May 15, 2010).

President Obama has not said one word of support for Thailand’s poor, while his silence enables Thailand’s elite to murder protestors in the streets free of foreign pressure. The U.S. is the main purchaser of Thailand’s exports, while providing important economic and military assistance. One strong statement from Obama would deter Thailand’s elites from further killing. But he will remain silent.

So far, dozens of protestors have been murdered. By working to maintain the Bush-era coup government in Thailand, President Obama bears responsibility for the current atrocities. If the Thai working class is unable to overthrow their murderous government, Obama will bear further blame for propping up a coup-government that must resort to prolonged, massive brutality to maintain its rule.

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action ( He can be reached at

Shamus Cooke is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Shamus Cooke

Korea-China Relations: Kim Jong-il In China. What Implications for the West?

Kim Jong-il's “unofficial” tour across China's northern provinces early this May was loaded with symbolism. It was his fifth visit to the country which in fact acts as the DPRK's only remaining partner in international politics. As required by the North Korean protocol, the tour took place in the regime of tight secrecy: a few results produced by the talks and even the very fact that the North Korean leader had traveled to China became widely known only upon Kim Jong-il's return to Pyongyang.

The otherwise unremarkable event attracted a lot of attention globally and - more than elsewhere – in the neighboring countries. The intrigue of the visit was interwoven with broader turbulent processes on and around the Korean Peninsula, where the situation is marked with uncertainty of the future of the six-party talks aimed to resolve the North Korean nuclear problem, growing tensions between the two Koreas, and North Korea's pressing economic problems, which it has to face along with harsh international sanctions and the consequences of its own unsuccessful currency reform. Though Pyongyang promptly recognized the failure of the latter financial experiment and took urgent measures to neutralize its negative impact, the domestic situation in the country still appears unstable, largely due to Kim Jong-il's reported health problems. Western watchers are convinced that Kim Jong-il's younger son – 27-year old Kim Jong-un who has been nominated to key posts in the Communist Party and the National Defense Commission over the past several months– is already being orbited as his father's successor.

The fragile balance on the Korean Peninsula has been seriously affected by the sinking of South Korea's Cheonan corvette. Seoul expects to be through with the investigation of the tragic incident by May 20. Ignoring any other probable explanations, it strives to discover (or to forge?) evidence implicating N. Korea, the a priori version at the moment being that Cheonan had been destroyed by a torpedo. Efforts are clearly made to “internationalize” the incident, to entrain the US, Japan, China, and Russia, and thus to trigger another round of punitive actions against the DPRK such as the passing of the corresponding resolution by the UN Security Council. The East Asian “troika” comprising the PRC, ROK and Japan is to convene in South Korea at the level of foreign ministers in the coming several days, and the approach to the Cheonan incident based on the investigation materials to be presented by Seoul is going to top the agenda.

In the context of the developments linked to the Cheonan incident, Kim Jong-il must be credited with a fairly intelligent preemptive move. Though his Chinese tour did not come as something totally unexpected, it echoed with confusion – and later with quiet rage – in Seoul. Experts were forced to conclude that China did not regard the drama as serious enough to affect Beijing's relations with the DPRK. Seoul registered its displeasure with Beijing via diplomatic channels by pointing to the unacceptable and untimely character of China's hospitality given North Korea's hypothetic responsibility for the incident, and suggested that under the circumstances China could take a more responsible role in the Korean Peninsula affairs. A number of Western countries directed similar criticism at Beijing, albeit in a gentler form, and expressed a hope that China would rather focus on representing the international community in its interactions with Pyongyang.

As for the objectives of Kim Jong-il's visit to China, the expert consensus converges on the idea that his priority was to demonstrate that, regardless of the complexities currently confronting North Korea, the country still has “a window to the world” and enjoys China's reliable backing, and that it can count on Beijing's diplomatic and economic support. It was not a coincidence that, despite the unofficial status of the visit, Kim Jong-il was accompanied by practically the entire the DPRK leadership, which represented such bodies as the National Defense Commission, the Party, and the defense and foreign ministries. Throughout the tour Kim Jong-il stressed in his addresses that the Chinese- North Korean friendship will survive all epochs regardless of new realities, the change of generations in both countries, and various hardships of external origin. Chinese leaders including Hu Jintao upheld the same view.

While the ceremonial part of the tour was pompous (the Korean leader and his team were received by the Chinese President, several members of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party's Political Bureau, and all the heads of the provinces visited by the Korean delegation), only a minimal amount of information concerning the agreements reached in the process was released. China People's Daily reported that Hu Jintao put forward several proposals aimed at broadening the bilateral cooperation, offered to intensify top-level contacts and to organize regular consultations, and suggested further deepening the economic relations between the two countries. There is silence on both sides as to whether any specific political support or additional economic assistance has been promised to Kim Jong-il.

It should be noted that there seems to be a certain discord between China and North Korea over the forms of their economic transactions. While Pyongyang expects China to go on being a donor of fuel, foodstuffs, and necessities, Beijing favors switching to a more commercialized approach and gently urges its North Korean partners to realize that a long-awaited reform must finally take place. This could be the motivation behind showcasing the industrialization in China's northern provinces. Paying lip service to China's accomplishments, Kim Jong-il hardly plans to transplant the Chinese approaches to his own country, evidently out of concern that similar experiments would breed a market sector of the Korean economy that would evade state control. In the settings of the conflict with “the hostile environment”, the result, as seen through the prism of the logic of North Korea's leadership, would be the erosion of the positions of the current regime and its eminent demise.

Minor disagreements notwithstanding, at the moment China remains the DPRK key political and economic partner. The trade turnover between the two countries reached the impressive $1.8 bn, which is 50-60% of N. Korea's foreign-trade total. The expansion of Chinese business into North Korea is clearly collecting momentum, especially in the border provinces where Chinese companies are gaining control over natural resources and the more valuable of the industrial assets, including those initially meant to be run jointly by the two Koreas. Though the DPRK leadership views the developments with explainable concern, worrying to fall into dependency on China and to lose the commanding heights in the economy to the long-handed Chinese business, the current international isolation leaves Pyongyang no space for maneuver.

What seems truly surprising under the circumstances is the shortsightedness of Pyongyang's opponents whose attempts to strangle North Korea by imposing economic sanctions and exerting political pressure actually help China tighten its grip on the peninsula northern part and weaken their own positions. Logically, Seoul should have been the player most alarmed by the tendency.

Global Research Articles by Alexander Vorontsov

Tar Balls Hit Beach, Oil Coats Animals

Protesters Target BP, Oil Spill Cleanup Continues
Tar balls retrieved Monday from Fort Zachary State Park in Key West, Fla., are shown in this Monday, May 17, 2010 photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday, May 18, 2010. The U.S. Coast Guard reported that 20 tar balls were found off Key West on Monday, but said a lab analysis would have to determine their origin. Tar balls can occur naturally or come from other sources such as ships. (U.S. Coast Guard/AP Photo)

As oil spill approaches, dead animals wash up in Mississippi

Dead turtle.JPGView full sizeInstitute of Marine Mammal Sciences researchers gather data before collecting a dead sea turtle on the beach in Pass Christian, Miss., Sunday, May 2, 2010. At rear are researchers (L-R) Kelly Folkedahl, Justin Main and Meagan Broadway. The researchers were collecting dead turtles and will examine them to determine the cause of death.

PASS CHRISTIAN, Miss. -- Gus Holliman has spent the last two days riding the beaches in this coastal Mississippi town, hoping not to find dead animals.

On Saturday the sea turtles started washing up on shore. On Sunday, the turtles were joined by dead catfish, horseshoe crabs, and birds -- a duck, a pelican and a seagull.

Before the April 20 rig explosion and oil started pouring into the Gulf, the city might see a small turtle wash up every six months -- one that got caught in a net, or died from some natural cause, said Holliman, a City of Pass Christian patrol officer, who works the harbor.

"But we've never seen this many," he says, shaking his head. "Something's going on; we just don't know what."

The animals don't appear to be coated in oil, but some of the turtles have damaged shells. Though sea turtles can be seen out near the barrier islands, no one is sure where these dead ones are coming from.

The dead animals are being bagged and taken to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, where scientists are trying to determine what caused their deaths. So far, there are no answers.

Seoul set to formally blame North for sinking naval ship

BEIJING // South Korea is scheduled to announce on Thursday the results of its investigation into the sinking of a navy corvette that broke in two on March 26, killing 46 South Korean sailors.

It is widely expected that the announcement will officially hold North Korea responsible for the incident.

Analysts said the response from China, the North’s de facto guardian, to the announcement, will be crucial to Seoul’s effort to eventually take the matter to the UN Security Council, but Beijing is likely to show a muted response.

The South’s move will also probably incur an angry reaction from Pyongyang, which denied involvement, claiming the accusation was a “fabrication” by South Korea.

“North Korea won’t just sit back and watch,” said a former ranking South Korean cabinet member directly involved in North Korean affairs. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Over the weekend, two North Korean patrol boats crossed into the South Korean side of the disputed sea borders twice. They retracted only after the South Korean navy fired warning shots, South Korea’s official Yonhap news agency said, citing the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The North’s move, which in the past has led to bloody clashes between the countries, was seen as unusually “bold” this time especially as tensions remain high after the sinking of the South’s 88-metre-long warship, Cheonan.

The conservative South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo said yesterday that the South’s investigation team, which included 15 Americans as well as investigators from Britain, Sweden and Australia, “reached a conclusion that it had no other choice but to determine the incident was done by North Korea”.

The investigators said traces of explosives and aluminium debris found in the funnel and split section of the Cheonan are probably the same type used by former Soviet bloc countries and North Korea in manufacturing torpedoes, the newspaper said.

But, it said, Seoul had no direct evidence that it was a North Korean torpedo.

Observers are keen to see whether the announcement will contain any indisputable evidence that has yet to be made public.

“If there was any clear evidence, they would have already announced it,” the former South Korean official said.

Hajime Izumi, a professor of international relations at Japan’s University of Shizuoka, said: “Technically speaking, it’s very hard to get so-called finger prints of North Korean involvement in this kind of task.”

China has said it wants “scientific and objective evidence” that irrefutably points at North Korea as the culprit for the deadly incident.

“China will not accept nor deny South Korea’s announcement,” said Shi Yinhong, a North Korea expert at Renmin University in Beijing.

Soon after the announcement, South Korea will send a letter to the presidency of the Security Council, a move seen as the first step to appeal to the world body to punish North Korea. Although the move is a natural diplomatic step for South Korea, analysts were sceptical about its effectiveness, citing China and Russia, two allies to North Korea which are permanent council members and can exercise veto power over any punitive measures.

“Even a [UN Security Council] president’s statement is highly unlikely,” Mr Izumi said.

Yoo Ho-yeol, a professor of foreign policy at Korea University in Seoul, said the South Korean government should not rush to bring the matter to the UN. “South Korea should take time to first persuade China, as well as Russia,” he said. “Otherwise, things will get twisted from here.”

Observers said China’s response would be a bellwether to how the matter will proceed from here.

Mr Shi in Beijing said China’s response will be prudent and minimal. “Kim Jong-il smiled to China. He just visited China. He also invited president Hu Jintao to visit North Korea. In this circumstance, China will not do very much to embarrass or annoy him.”

In South Korea, North Korean affairs have always had huge domestic implications. Political camps have been long divided between those who call for tougher measures against Pyongyang to “teach it a lesson” and those, on the other hand, who argue for engagement and reconciliation to bring about positive changes in a so-called “sunshine strategy”.

With the anti-North sentiment running high because the sinking of the Cheonan, some are concerned that the tragedy can be used in the upcoming June local elections. In an editorial yesterday, South Korea’s major broadcaster, MBC, said: “The Cheonan tragedy has already become an unavoidable issue at the elections.”

The opposition camp claims that the ruling party is trying to woo voters by beating an anti-North drum.

Study suggests processed meat a real health risk

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Eating bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other processed meats can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes, U.S. researchers said on Monday in a study that identifies the real bad boys of the meat counter.

Eating unprocessed beef, pork or lamb appeared not to raise risks of heart attacks and diabetes, they said, suggesting that salt and chemical preservatives may be the real cause of these two health problems associated with eating meat.

The study, an analysis of other research called a meta-analysis, did not look at high blood pressure or cancer, which are also linked with high meat consumption.

"To lower risk of heart attacks and diabetes, people should consider which types of meats they are eating," said Renata Micha of the Harvard School of Public Health, whose study appears in the journal Circulation.

"Processed meats such as bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs and processed deli meats may be the most important to avoid," Micha said in a statement.

Based on her findings, she said people who eat one serving per week or less of processed meats have less of a risk.

The American Meat Institute objected to the findings, saying it was only one study and that it stands in contrast to other studies and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

"At best, this hypothesis merits further study. It is certainly no reason for dietary changes," James Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute, said in a statement.

Most dietary guidelines recommend eating less meat. Individual studies looking at relationships between eating meat and cardiovascular diseases and diabetes have had mixed results.

But studies rarely look for differences in risk between processed and unprocessed red meats, Micha said.

She and colleagues did a systematic review of nearly 1,600 studies from around the world looking for evidence of a link between eating processed and unprocessed red meat and the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

They defined processed meat as any meat preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or with the addition of chemical preservatives. Meats in this category included bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs or processed deli or luncheon meats.

Unprocessed red meat included beef, lamb or pork but not poultry.

They found that on average, each 1.8 oz (50 grams) daily serving of processed meat a day -- one to two slices of deli meats or one hot dog -- was associated with a 42 percent higher risk of heart disease and a 19 percent higher risk of developing diabetes.

They found no higher heart or diabetes risk in people who ate only unprocessed red meats.

The team adjusted for a number of factors, including how much meat people ate. They said lifestyle factors were similar between those who ate processed and unprocessed meats.

"When we looked at average nutrients in unprocessed red and processed meats eaten in the United States, we found that they contained similar average amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol," Micha said.

"In contrast, processed meats contained, on average, four times more sodium and 50 percent more nitrate preservatives," Micha added.

Last month, the Institute of Medicine urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate the amount of salt added to foods to help Americans cut their high sodium intake.

The FDA has not yet said whether it will regulate salt in foods, but it is looking at the issue.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)

Warren Buffet Does Heavy Selling; 13-F Filings Reveal

Billionaire investor Warren Buffet did some heavy selling during the first quarter of 2010. According to the most recent 13-f filing, Mr. Buffett liquidated his entire position health insurers United Health (UNH) and WellPoint (WPT). He dumped his holdings in financial companies Travelers (TRV) and Sun Trust Banks (STI).

Buffet also trimmed his holdings in 8 stocks while increasing positions in 3.

Positions were reduced in Conoco Phillips (COP), Carmax (CMX), Costco (COST), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Gannett (GCI), M&T Bank (MTB), Moodys (MCO) as well as Procter & Gamble (PG).

Buffett reported an increase in holdings in Becton Dickinson (BDX), Iron Mountain (IRM), and Republic Services (RSG).

The total value of Berkshire’s portfolio dropped $7 billion to $50.9 billion from $57.9 billion in the previous quarter.

The Responses to the Gulf Oil Spill and to the Financial Crisis Are Remarkably Similar ... And Have Made Both Crises Much Worse

The Gulf oil spill and the financial crisis were both caused by excessive risk-taking by industry giants and the "capture" of politicians and regulators by the corporate behemoths.

Moreover, the response to the Gulf oil spill and the financial crisis are remarkably similar.

With regards to the financial crisis, the response has been to cover up the truth:

William K. Black - professor of economics and law, and the senior regulator during the S & L crisis - says that that the government's entire strategy now - as during the S&L crisis - is to cover up how bad things are ("the entire strategy is to keep people from getting the facts").

Indeed, as I have previously documented, 7 out of the 8 giant, money center banks went bankrupt in the 1980's during the "Latin American Crisis", and the government's response was to cover up their insolvency.

Black also says:

There has been no honest examination of the crisis because it would embarrass C.E.O.s and politicians . . .

Instead, the Treasury and the Fed are urging us not to examine the crisis and to believe that all will soon be well.

PhD economist Dean Baker made a similar point, lambasting the Federal Reserve for blowing the bubble, and pointing out that those who caused the disaster are trying to shift the focus as fast as they can:

The current craze in DC policy circles is to create a "systematic risk regulator" to make sure that the country never experiences another economic crisis like the current one. This push is part of a cover-up of what really went wrong and does absolutely nothing to address the underlying problem that led to this financial and economic collapse.
Baker also says:
"Instead of striving to uncover the truth, [Congress] may seek to conceal it" and tell banksters they're free to steal again.
Economist Thomas Palley says that Wall Street also has a vested interest in covering up how bad things are:
That rosy scenario thinking has returned to Wall Street should be no surprise. Wall Street profits from rising asset prices on which it charges a management fee, from deal-making on which it earns advisory fees, and from encouraging retail investors to buy stock, which boosts transaction fees. Such earnings are far larger when stock markets are rising, which explains Wall Street’s genetic propensity to pump the economy.
The same is true for the Gulf oil spill.

As Dan Froomkin documents, the government is trying to ignore what is below the surface:

The Obama administration is actively trying to dismiss media reports that vast plumes of oil lurk beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, unmeasured and uncharted.

But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose job it is to assess and track the damage being caused by the BP oil spill that began four weeks ago, is only monitoring what's visible -- the slick on the Gulf's surface -- and currently does not have a single research vessel taking measurements below.

The one ship associated with NOAA that had been doing such research is back in Pascagoula, Miss., having completed a week-long cruise during which scientists taking underwater samples found signs of just the kind of plume that environmentalists fear could have devastating effects on sea life of all shapes and sizes.

ABC News notes that the White House allowed BP to suppress video of the oil spill for 3 weeks. ABC also quotes a top oil spill expert as saying that BP's use of booms around the spill site now won't really do anything ... and is just an exercise in public relations so that it looks like it's doing something.

BP is also using dispersants to hide the extent of the oil spill. Specifically, as many commentators note, the dispersants cause much of the oil to sink, so that it appears that the spill isn't that big. But the dispersants are not only highly toxic, but will also probably make the damage from the oil itself even worse.

Moreover, just as the cover-up about the severity of the financial crisis has allowed Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke and most of Congress to kill real financial reform, BP and the government's drastic underplaying of the size of the spill has allowed BP to skate by without taking emergency actions, such as bringing in booms on an emergency basis, or to undertake more pro-active and creative responses.

And just as nothing has changed going forward with regard to the economy since the 2008 meltdown, nothing has changed with regard to offshore drilling.

For example, since the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded on April 20th, the Obama administration has granted oil and gas companies at least 27 exemptions from doing in-depth environmental studies of oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico. And a whistleblower who survived the Gulf oil explosion claims in a lawsuit filed today that BP's operations at another oil platform risk another catastrophic accident that could "dwarf" the Gulf oil spill, partly because BP never even reviewed critical engineering designs for the operation.

Indeed, the industry and government spokespeople have used the exact same word as each crisis - financial and environmental - unfolded. They said the problem was "contained".

In both cases, we the people are left holding the bag because the giant companies and their campaign-contribution-buddies in DC are trying to sweep the severity of the problem under the rug, to manage the crisis as p.r. campaigns to protect those who let it happen ... instead of actually taking steps necessary to solve the problems, and to make sure they won't happen again.

Key Oklahoma Bombing Witness Denied Access to Attorneys Fears for Life

David Hammer, the death row inmate who authored two books on the Oklahoma City bombing, was locked down by prison officials following his interview last week on the Alex Jones Show.


Margaret Roberts, a journalist who wrote the preface to Hammer’s 2004 book Secrets Worth Dying For: Timothy James McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing, contacted Alex Jones today.

“David Hammer has been locked down by prison officials, who are investigating alleged security violations relating to his interview with Alex,” writes Roberts. “David believes these actions represent the federal government’s effort to silence him for reopening the Oklahoma City Bombing case. In the email, he reports on an ominous incident over the weekend in which prison officials tried to take him out of his cell for an unscheduled ‘medical visit.’ Hammer suspects he never would have returned from said visit. He refused to go.”

A number of people connected to the Oklahoma City bombing have mysteriously died, including Oklahoma City police officers, Terrance Yeakey, Gordon Martin and Ken Griffin, a number of Oklahoma City firefighters, Dr. H. Don Chumley, G.S.A. employee Mike Loudenslager and others.

On April 20, Alex Jones talked with Jane Graham, a ninth floor survivor of the Murrah federal building bombing. Graham spotted Timothy McVeigh at the building on several occasions prior to the bombing. Graham also witnessed mysterious men inside the Murrah building and in the parking garage. “I am utterly convinced the ATF and the FBI are involved in the bombing of that building,” she told Red Dirt Reporter.

During the May 14 telephone interview from death row at the Terre Haute prison in Indiana, Hammer provided details on his relationship with Timothy McVeigh and McVeigh’s account of government involvement in his recruitment and perpetration of the bombing.

“This is extraordinary human drama: a prisoner defying the federal government, which holds his life in its hands, over the right to tell the truth about one of the darkest days in American history,” Roberts continues.

She says the interview with Alex Jones created significant activity on the “Deadly Secrets” website and renewed interest in Hammer’s revelations.

See the entire interview with Hammer here.

She includes the following email sent to her by David Hammer:

This email was marked 3:55PM May 17, 2010 through the computer system at USP Terre Haute

Subject: Get the word out

Well it’s official yours truly is in the shit again! I was informed at 1:00 P.M. today that I am officially under investigation for posing a threat to the security of the institution all because of the Radio Interview I did with Alex Jones on Friday, May 14, 2010. For those of you who haven’t heard the interview it’s on Facebook, and several other places on the web. I’m told by those who have immediate control over me that my legal calls to my attorneys [...] have been suspended. I have no doubt that my social calls and e-mail access will be terminated soon as well.

It appears as if the federal government is intent on trying to keep me quiet about the Oklahoma City Bombing. I’m afraid that they may be planning to try and shut me up for good. Early in the a.m. shortly after midnight (May 17, 2010) the unit officer came by my cell to inform me that I was going to be going on a medical trip and to refrain from eating or drinking. Since I’m not scheduled for any such trip I respectfully declined to go on any such trip. It would be an easy thing for some guard to say I attempted to escape after he had shot me. No, I’m not paranoid, and those of you who know me well know this to be true. I don’t however put anything past some people within the Department of Justice and other governmental agencies.

I’m told that I am going to be transferred to an isolation cell here on the unit. I don’t know for certain as no written or official word has been given to me yet. What I know comes from the officers working the unit. About five minutes ago, my Counselor, John Edwards brought me some legal mail and when I ask him if this was all because of the Alex Jones Interview, he said “I shouldn’t have to tell you this.” When I explained to him that according to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s en banc [a French term meaning "on a bench" used to refer to the hearing of a legal case where all judges of a court will hear the case] opinion, I am allowed to do telephone interviews and I’m allowed to conduct conference calls with my attorneys, Mr. Edwards stated “You’ll have to take that up with someone above my pay grade.” Well, so far I’ve not seen anyone else in any position of authority.

I attempted to place several telephone calls on the inmate telephone line to alert y’all to my situation, but wasn’t able to get the calls to go through. Kept getting a recording saying you have reached mail box——— I’ve not yet been told if this is the Bureau of Prisons intercepting the calls or what. Usually they are only allowed to take such action after disciplinary action has been litigated in the institutional system.

I want to get the word out to Alex Jones, Scott Horton, and online via all avenues. I can’t blog if they take away my e-mail access, so I need those of you in a position to do so to do it for me. I encourage Warden Helen J. Marberry’s e-mail address and telephone number be placed online. The more people who protest what is happening the better. Those of you in a position to do Alex Jones show and to cover this situation the better. There is still a First Amendment in this country and while prison officials may be able to stop me from speaking out, they can’t stop y’all.

I want to send this on now in hopes that it will reach you all before they stop my e-mails from going out.

Just so everyone knows, I am not planning to kill myself or do anything else stupid. If I end up dead it’s for speaking the truth and nothing more.

In Solidarity,

David Paul Hammer
Federal Death Row