Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Legislation Authorizes FEMA Camps in the U.S. (H.R. 645)

We all know about the King Alfred Plan and REX 84 but a new bill was put forth by Congress authorizing FEMA camps on January 22. The camps are already built and ready but this bill is going to legalize their usage. This bill is being presented as a good thing. It it suppose to help people who have been displaced by natural disasters and so-called terrorist attacks but we all know the truth. With a collapsing economy and America on the brink, we better pull our heads out of our asses and realize what is going on. This is going the same way as Nazi Germany. This shit is the line in the sand. I refuse to go to a camp. It is time to lock and load.

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This version: Introduced in House. This is the original text of the bill as it was written by its sponsor and submitted to the House for consideration. This is the latest version of the bill available on this website.

HR 645 IH


1st Session

H. R. 645

To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations.


January 22, 2009

Mr. HASTINGS of Florida introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish national emergency centers on military installations.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ‘National Emergency Centers Establishment Act’.


(a) In General- In accordance with the requirements of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish not fewer than 6 national emergency centers on military installations.

(b) Purpose of National Emergency Centers- The purpose of a national emergency center shall be to use existing infrastructure--

(1) to provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster;

(2) to provide centralized locations for the purposes of training and ensuring the coordination of Federal, State, and local first responders;

(3) to provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations; and

(4) to meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.


(a) In General- Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall designate not fewer than 6 military installations as sites for the establishment of national emergency centers.

(b) Minimum Requirements- A site designated as a national emergency center shall be--

(1) capable of meeting for an extended period of time the housing, health, transportation, education, public works, humanitarian and other transition needs of a large number of individuals affected by an emergency or major disaster;

(2) environmentally safe and shall not pose a health risk to individuals who may use the center;

(3) capable of being scaled up or down to accommodate major disaster preparedness and response drills, operations, and procedures;

(4) capable of housing existing permanent structures necessary to meet training and first responders coordination requirements during nondisaster periods;

(5) capable of hosting the infrastructure necessary to rapidly adjust to temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance needs;

(6) required to consist of a complete operations command center, including 2 state-of-the art command and control centers that will comprise a 24/7 operations watch center as follows:

(A) one of the command and control centers shall be in full ready mode; and

(B) the other shall be used daily for training; and

(7) easily accessible at all times and be able to facilitate handicapped and medical facilities, including during an emergency or major disaster.

(c) Location of National Emergency Centers- There shall be established not fewer than one national emergency center in each of the following areas:

(1) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions I, II, and III.

(2) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV.

(3) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions V and VII.

(4) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region VI.

(5) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Regions VIII and X.

(6) The area consisting of Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IX.

(d) Preference for Designation of Closed Military Installations- Wherever possible, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall designate a closed military installation as a site for a national emergency center. If the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Defense jointly determine that there is not a sufficient number of closed military installations that meet the requirements of subsections (b) and (c), the Secretaries shall jointly designate portions of existing military installations other than closed military installations as national emergency centers.

(e) Transfer of Control of Closed Military Installations- If a closed military installation is designated as a national emergency center, not later than 180 days after the date of designation, the Secretary of Defense shall transfer to the Secretary of Homeland Security administrative jurisdiction over such closed military installation.

(f) Cooperative Agreement for Joint Use of Existing Military Installations- If an existing military installation other than a closed military installation is designated as a national emergency center, not later than 180 days after the date of designation, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Defense shall enter into a cooperative agreement to provide for the establishment of the national emergency center.

(g) Reports-

(1) PRELIMINARY REPORT- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to Congress a report that contains for each designated site--

(A) an outline of the reasons why the site was selected;

(B) an outline of the need to construct, repair, or update any existing infrastructure at the site;

(C) an outline of the need to conduct any necessary environmental clean-up at the site;

(D) an outline of preliminary plans for the transfer of control of the site from the Secretary of Defense to the Secretary of Homeland Security, if necessary under subsection (e); and

(E) an outline of preliminary plans for entering into a cooperative agreement for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site, if necessary under subsection (f).

(2) UPDATE REPORT- Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to Congress a report that contains for each designated site--

(A) an update on the information contained in the report as required by paragraph (1);

(B) an outline of the progress made toward the transfer of control of the site, if necessary under subsection (e);

(C) an outline of the progress made toward entering a cooperative agreement for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site, if necessary under subsection (f); and

(D) recommendations regarding any authorizations and appropriations that may be necessary to provide for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site.

(3) FINAL REPORT- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, shall submit to Congress a report that contains for each designated site--

(A) finalized information detailing the transfer of control of the site, if necessary under subsection (e);

(B) the finalized cooperative agreement for the establishment of a national emergency center at the site, if necessary under subsection (f); and

(C) any additional information pertinent to the establishment of a national emergency center at the site.

(4) ADDITIONAL REPORTS- The Secretary of Homeland Security, acting jointly with the Secretary of Defense, may submit to Congress additional reports as necessary to provide updates on steps being taken to meet the requirements of this Act.


This Act does not affect--

(1) the authority of the Federal Government to provide emergency or major disaster assistance or to implement any disaster mitigation and response program, including any program authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.); or

(2) the authority of a State or local government to respond to an emergency.


There is authorized to be appropriated $180,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 and 2010 to carry out this Act. Such funds shall remain available until expended.


In this Act, the following definitions apply:

(1) CLOSED MILITARY INSTALLATION- The term ‘closed military installation’ means a military installation, or portion thereof, approved for closure or realignment under the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (part A of title XXIX of Public Law 101-510; 10 U.S.C. 2687 note) that meet all, or 2 out of the 3 following requirements:

(A) Is located in close proximity to a transportation corridor.

(B) Is located in a State with a high level or threat of disaster related activities.

(C) Is located near a major metropolitan center.

(2) EMERGENCY- The term ‘emergency’ has the meaning given such term in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122).

(3) MAJOR DISASTER- The term ‘major disaster’ has the meaning given such term in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122).

(4) MILITARY INSTALLATION- The term ‘military installation’ has the meaning given such term in section 2910 of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act of 1990 (part A of title XXIX of Public Law 101-510; 10 U.S.C. 2687 note).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Global recession costs 80,000 jobs a day

The depth of the global recession was glimpsed yesterday when almost 80,000 jobs were lost or put under threat in the UK, Europe and US, making it one of the bleakest days in recent memory.

Household names, including electronics retailer Philips, construction equipment maker Caterpillar, and drug group Pfizer announced thousands of job losses, with many of them expected to be lost in the UK. Steel company Corus, for instance, is axing 2,500 British workers as it dumps 3,500 worldwide.

Even the expensive retailer Fortnum & Mason is suffering. It emerged yesterday that the department store, which can trace its roots back to 1705 at its London flagship in Piccadilly, wants to cut 100 of its 530 staff as shoppers seek out cheaper alternatives to products such as its £500 picnic hampers stuffed with champagne, vintage marmalade and smoked salmon.

The scale of the challenge faced by world leaders as they grapple with the worst downturn since the second world war was underlined yesterday when Gordon Brown issued a stark warning that the global economy would be undermined unless countries worked together to tackle the crisis. The prime minister said the world needed to "ensure that we do not experience a new form of financial protectionism, of mercantilism, of retreat into domestic financial markets".

In the US, where General Motors cut 2,000 jobs, Barack Obama warned that it was imperative Congress passed his $825bn (£590bn) package of spending and tax cuts as soon as possible. "We cannot afford distractions," he said. "We cannot afford delays in getting legislation to boost the economy through Congress."

Research from the Institute of Directors showed British business leaders were not only pessimistic about their companies' prospects but had recently seen a marked deterioration in performance.

"In previous IoD surveys, companies were saying 'it's going to be hell out there in the future but we're not doing too badly at present'. Now they're saying the problem is much closer to home," said the IoD chief economist and director of policy, Graeme Leach. "We're a long way into the financial crisis, but the economic crisis is only just beginning."

Managers across the UK, meanwhile, have accepted their own redundancy as "inevitable", according to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which has examined calls to its helpline. "Quite clearly, any suggestion that there is already light at the end of the tunnel is misplaced," said Ruth Spellman, chief executive of the CMI.

The job losses announced yesterday fell mainly across industry. Europe's largest consumer electronics company, Philips, is cutting 6,000 jobs after announcing its first loss for half a decade. US mobile phone company Spring Nextel is axing 8,000, and Pfizer is shedding 19,000.

The biggest losses announced yesterday were from Caterpillar. The Illinois-based manufacturer of heavy-duty earth-moving equipment is cutting almost 20% of its workforce, 20,000 people.

The news has raised fears for the company's 10,000 employees in the UK, which is Caterpillar's largest operation outside the US, and Ireland.

It has factories dotted across the UK from Teesside, Leicester and Peterborough to Shrewsbury and Slough. In Ireland its electricity generator business FG Wilson is Europe's largest assembler of such equipment.

A further 5,450 jobs in the footwear industry have been put under threat with the collapse of Stylo, owner of Barratts and PriceLess shoe stores.

Elsewhere, Sofa Workshop has called in administrators, putting another 170 British jobs at risk.

Funny Picture Of The Day

Climate change has a firm grip

Researchers say that even if nations can get carbon dioxide levels under control, it would take 1,000 years or longer for the climate changes already triggered to be reversed.
By Thomas H. Maugh II
January 27, 2009
Even if by some miracle the nations of the world could bring carbon dioxide levels back to those of the pre-industrial era, it would still take 1,000 years or longer for the climate changes already triggered to be reversed, scientists said Monday.

The gas already here and the heat that has been absorbed by the ocean will exert their effects for centuries, according to an analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Over the long haul, the warming will melt the polar icecaps more than had previously been estimated, raising ocean levels substantially, the report said.

And changes in rainfall patterns will bring droughts to the American Southwest, southern Europe, northern Africa and western Australia comparable to those that caused the 1930s Dust Bowl in the U.S.

"People have imagined that if we stopped emitting carbon dioxide, the climate would go back to normal in 100 years, 200 years," lead author Susan Solomon, a senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said in a telephone news conference. "That's not true

The changes will persist until at least the year 3000, said Solomon, who conducted the study with colleagues in Switzerland and France.

Scientists familiar with the report said it emphasized the need for immediate action to control emissions.

"As a climate scientist, this was my intuition," said geoscientist Jonathan T. Overpeck of the University of Arizona. "But they have done a really good job of working through the details and . . . make a case that the situation is more dire than we thought if we don't act quickly and aggressively to curb carbon dioxide emissions."

Kevin Trenberth, head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., said the persistence of climate change caused by global warming was "poorly appreciated by policymakers and the general public, and it is real."

"The policy relevance is clear: We need to act sooner, even if there is some doubt about exactly what will happen, because by the time the public and policymakers really realize the changes are here, it is far too late to do anything about it," Trenberth said.

The report came as President Obama ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to consider allowing states the right to enact auto emission standards stricter than federal rules.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also is expected to appoint a new envoy for climate change to bolster the administration's credentials in environmental policy.

The slowness with which ocean water circulates is central to the new findings. Carbon dioxide is primarily removed from the atmosphere through absorption into seawater, an incredibly slow process because of the time it takes for surface water saturated with the gas to be replaced by deeper water that can further absorb carbon dioxide.

That gas accounts for about half of the global warming caused by greenhouse gases, but the other gases are removed from the atmosphere more quickly. Thus, the long-term influence of carbon dioxide will have the greatest effect on climate change, the report said.

Moreover, heat absorbed by the ocean is released slowly, and will continue to contribute to global warming even if the concentration of greenhouse gases should decline, the authors said.

Solomon said in a statement that absorption of carbon dioxide and release of heat -- one acting to cool the Earth and the other to warm it -- would "work against each other to keep temperatures almost constant for more than 1,000 years."

Geoscientist Jorge L. Sarmiento of Princeton University said, "This is really a wake-up call about the seriousness of this issue."

The study looked particularly at ocean levels and rainfall. The team found that by thermal expansion of ocean water alone, sea levels will rise from 1.3 to 3.2 feet if carbon dioxide climbs from the current level of 385 parts per million to 600 parts per million, and twice that if it peaks at 1,000 parts per million.

Melting of the icecaps could increase sea levels even more, inundating low-lying islands and continental shorelines, but the effects are too uncertain to quantify, Solomon said.

Reductions in rainfall would also last centuries, the report said, decreasing drinking water supplies, increasing fire frequency and devastating dry-season farming of wheat and maize.

Sex Drive Linked To Prostate Cancer Risk

Jan. 26) - Men who are very sexually active in their twenties and thirties -- including frequent masturbators -- are more likely to develop prostate cancer later in life, a British study found.
University of Nottingham researchers compared 431 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 60 with 409 men who had not, the publisher of BJU International reported.

Men with higher sex drives in their youth have a higher risk of getting prostate cancer before they're 60? A British study found a higher disease risk for men who had sex or masturbated the most often as compared to their peers while in their 20s and 30s. Hormones have been shown to boost sex drive and prostate cancer risk. Click through for more health connections.

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Of men in the cancer group, 40 percent said they masturbated or had sex 20 times a month or more while in their 20s, the highest frequency category for that age. Just 32 percent of the men in the non-cancer group reported that level of activity. The pattern held similarly for each group throughout their 30s and 40s.
By the time they reached their 50s, the activity levels evened out with 31 percent of men in each group at in the highest frequency category for their age, 10 or more times per month.
Of men who reported having six or more sexual partners, 39 percent were in the cancer group and 31 percent in the non-cancer group. Men with prostate cancer were also more likely to have had a sexually transmitted disease.
What's the connection? It could be hormone levels, the researchers said.
"Hormones appear to play a key role in prostate cancer, and it is very common to treat men with therapy to reduce the hormones thought to stimulate the cancer cells," said Dr. Polyxeni Dimitropoulou, who is now at the University of Cambridge. "A man's sex drive is also regulated by his hormone levels, so this study examined the theory that having a high sex drive affects the risk of prostate cancer."
On the flip side, the researchers found that frequent sexual activity in a man's 40s appears to have little effect on future prostate cancer rate, and even small levels of activity in his 50s could lower the risk.
The study was published in the January issue of BJU International, which is published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Something fishy? Counterfeit foods enter the U.S. market

By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY
Some of your favorite foods may be fakes.

Foods masquerading as something else — a more nutritious something else — have been big news in the past two years. Chinese food companies in particular have been blamed for making deadly alterations to dairy, baby and pet foods by adding melamine. The chemical makes it appear that the food or beverage has the required level of protein.

But what about food producers in this country? What fraudulent foods do U.S. consumers have to fear from American companies?

Experts say dangerous U.S.-produced foods are comparatively few, but producers have been known to practice "economic adulteration" — adding a little to their bottom line by padding, thinning or substituting something cheap for something expensive.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration regulate the food industry, but with safety issues to deal with, economic adulteration has "really been back-burnered," says Bruce Silverglade of the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest. So in a caveat emptor world, what should consumers look out for?


Fish is the most frequently faked food Americans buy. In the business, it's called "species adulteration" — selling a cheaper fish such as pen-raised Atlantic salmon as wild Alaska salmon.

When Consumer Reports tested 23 supposedly wild-caught salmon fillets bought nationwide in 2005-2006, only 10 were wild salmon. The rest were farmed. In 2004, University of North Carolina scientists found 77% of fish labeled red snapper was actually something else. Last year, the Chicago Sun-Times tested fish at 17 sushi restaurants and found that fish being sold as red snapper actually was mostly tilapia.

"It's really just fraud, plain and simple," says Gavin Gibbons of the National Fisheries Institute, an industry group.

One thing consumers don't need to worry about is scallops. Tales of skate wings cut into circles and sold as scallops are common. But Randolph says the FDA has never found an actual case of it.

Salmon is tricky. Randolph does have one tip, though. Farmed salmon gets its coloring from dyes added to food pellets the fish are fed, while wild salmon gets it from the plankton they eat.

"When you cook it, the wild salmon retains its color, and in the aquaculture salmon, the color tends to leak out," she says. Suspicious consumers can call the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition hotline at 1-888-SAFEFOOD.

Olive oil

This luxury oil, touted for its heart-health properties and taste, has become a gourmet must-have. Americans consumed about 575 million pounds of the silky stuff last year, according to the North American Olive Oil Association. Sixty-three percent was the higher-grade extra virgin, which comes from the first pressing of the olives.

It's also one of the most frequently counterfeited food products, says Martin Stutsman, the FDA's consumer safety officer for edible oils.

There are no national figures on olive-oil fakery. But after complaints, Connecticut began testing two years ago. "We were coming across a lot of products labeled as extra-virgin olive oil that contained up to 90% soybean oil," says Jerry Farrell Jr., Connecticut's commissioner of consumer protection.

Most name brands were fine, Farrell says. It was often off-brands sold in discount stores that were the problem.

Connecticut was so concerned that in November, it became the first state in the nation to set standards for olive oil, enabling officials there to levy fines and pull adulterated products off store shelves. California is set to create its own standards this year. Reports from panels of testers have found as much as 60% to 70% of the olive oil sold as extra virgin in the state is a lower-quality olive oil, says Dan Flynn of the Olive Center at the University of California-Davis.

The easiest thing is for fakers to add 10% vegetable oil in extra virgin, says Stutsman. "It will still smell as it should, but you've saved 10% of the cost."

Bob Bauer, president of the North American Olive Oil Association, says it's more of a problem in restaurants than in supermarkets.


An expensive natural product that's mostly sugar, honey is easily faked. "If you can substitute a less expensive source of sugar for the expensive one, you can save some money and gain market share," says the FDA's Stutsman.

It used to be that cane sugar or high-fructose corn syrup was mostly used to thin out honey. But chemically, that was easy to spot. FDA used an isotope test that would easily identify the adulteration.

So counterfeiters got wily and started using beet sugar. Its profile is similar to honey, so the FDA had to switch to a much more complicated, multistep test comparing the sugar profiles to see if the proportions and trace materials match.

"But once we started catching people, they create a moving target. They'll switch to something more difficult (to detect)," says Stutsman.

Maple syrup

Maple syrup is another high-value item that can be adulterated. In these tough economic times, Vermont, the USA's largest supplier to flapjacks everywhere, may up its testing programs.

The boiled-down sap of the sugar maple tree can be diluted with water or sugar by sellers "trying to get more bang for the buck," says Kristin Haas, food safety director in the state's Agency for Agriculture, Food and Markets.

Vermont's testing program has found fraud only three times in the past 17 years, says Haas, but it's not taken lightly. "A couple of years back, there was a gentleman who actually went to prison because of this issue."

When times get tight, the incentive to cheat can rise like sap in the spring, so the state may have to work harder to keep its premier product pure.


A product of the tropics, vanilla pods can be soaked in milk or stored in sugar to impart a delicate vanilla scent to foods. More commonly, they're soaked in alcohol that is then used as a flavoring.

But vanillin (pronounced VAN-ah-lynn), a chemical copy of the richly organic vanilla flavor, was created in the laboratory in the 19th century. When used in foods, it's supposed to be labeled as an artificial flavor and usually is.

One "too good to be true" product to watch out for is really inexpensive vanilla extract sometimes sold in Mexico and Latin America, says the FDA. It's often made with coumarin, a toxic substance that has been banned in U.S. foods since 1954.

Coumarin is chemically related to warfarin, a blood thinner, and can be dangerous. It's "no bargain," the FDA says.

Ecologists warn the planet is running short of water

A swelling global population, changing diets and mankind's expanding “water footprint” could be bringing an end to the era of cheap water.

The warnings, in an annual report by the Pacific Institute in California, come as ecologists have begun adopting the term “peak ecological water” — the point where, like the concept of “peak oil”, the world has to confront a natural limit on something once considered virtually infinite.

The world is in danger of running out of “sustainably managed water”, according to Peter Gleick, the president of the Pacific Institute and a leading authority on global freshwater resources.

Humans — via agriculture, industry and other demands - use about half of the world's renewable and accessible fresh water. But even at those levels, billions of people live without the most basic water services, Dr Gleick said.

A key element to tackling the crisis, say experts, is to increase the public understanding of the individual water content of everyday items.

A glass of orange juice, for example, needs 850 litres of fresh water to produce, according to the Pacific Institute and the Water Footprint Network, while the manufacture of a kilogram of microchips — requiring constant cleaning to remove chemicals — needs about 16,000 litres. A hamburger comes in at 2,400 litres of fresh water, depending on the origin and type of meat used.

The water will be returned in various forms to the system, although not necessarily in a location or at a quality that can be effectively reused.

There are concerns that water will increasingly be the cause of violence and even war.

Dan Smith, the Secretary-General of the British-based peacebuilding organisation International Alert, said: “Water is a basic condition for life. Its availability and quality is fundamental for all societies, especially in relation to agriculture and health. There are places — West Africa today, theGanges-Brahmaputra river system in Nepal, Bangladesh and India, and Peru within ten years — where major changes in the rivers generate a significant risk of violent conflict. Good water management is part of peacebuilding.”

David Zhang, a geographer at the University of Hong Kong, produced a study published in the US National Academy of Sciences journal that analysed 8,000 wars over 500 years and concluded that water shortage had played a far greater role as a catalyst than previously supposed.

“We are on alert, because this gives us the indication that resource shortage is the main cause of war,” he told The Times. “Human beings will definitely have conflicts over this.”

Although in theory renewable sources of water were returned to the ecosystem and their use could continue indefinitely, Dr Gleick said, changes in the way water was exploited and how its quality degraded meant that methods of processing it would become more expensive.

“Once we begin appropriating more than ‘peak ecological water' then ecological disruptions exceed the human benefit obtained,” Dr Gleick said. Defined this way, many regions of the world had passed that peak and were using more water than the system could sustain.

A significant part of the problem is the huge, and often deeply inefficient, use of water by industry and agriculture. UN calculations suggest that more than one third of the world's population is suffering from water shortages: by 2020 water use is expected to increase by 40 per cent from current levels, and by 2025, according to another UN estimate, two out of three people could be living under conditions of “water stress”.

The World's Water report sounds a particularly strong note of alarm over the state of water usage and pollution in China, where rampant economic expansion has overtaxed freshwater resources and could even begin to threaten stability.

“When water resources are limited or contaminated, or where economic activity is unconstrained and inadequately regulated, serious social problems can arise,” wrote Dr Gleick, “and in China, these factors have come together in a way that is leading to more severe and complex water challenges than in almost any other place on the planet.”

Drop by drop

— Water footprint calculations are still only rough. They differ around the world and depend on climate, soil types, irrigation methods and crop genetics. The water footprint of different meats depends on what the animals are fed and the relative “thirst” of the crops used to feed them

— The amount of water required to produce a single litre of soft drink may be only three or four litres, but vast quantities are used to produce the sugar and corn syrup feedstocks. For example, one kilogram of paper requires 125 litres of water to process, but that excludes the water needed to grow the tree

Funny Picture Of The Day

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Boondocks Creator Speaks On President Obama!

On the eve of President Barack Obama's inauguration, McGruder is "cautiously pessimistic" about the presidency.

"I don't think you're going to see any dramatic change from Barack Obama," said McGruder, who wore a "Boondocks" T-shirt over a black long-sleeve shirt and jeans. "I'm hoping he proves me completely wrong."

On the topic of race and ethnicity, McGruder said that to him, Obama is not black because he is not a descendant of a slave.

From the office of Aaron McGruder:

For a long time now, I have tried to keep my opinions on the election and Barack Obama to myself. I occasionally do speaking engagements, which are not open to the press, and unfortunately some of my comments have been twisted around in a silly manner. The claim that I asserted our new President was not Black is categorically false.

I have seen an endless stream of Black pundits on TV pontificating about the significance of President Obama's election - many of them making reference to the 3/5th's clause in the constitution regarding slaves. The point I was making is that this is not an accurate comparison. Barack is the son of an immigrant, not the descendant of slaves. It's like comparing a half-Japanese man to the oppressed Chinese who built the American railroads. Yes, they are both Asian, but it is not an honest or accurate comparison. We all share the common experiences of being Black in America today - we do not all share a common history. A history that in part makes us who we are - and in some cases (as with the psychological damage that still lingers from slavery) holds us back. These are not, I believe, insignificant distinctions.

I did say I was cautiously pessimistic about Obama's Presidency - but this is simply acknowledging the reality of an American Empire that is out of control and on the verge of collapse. Let us not forget that on the eve of the election, we witnessed a near trillion dollar robbery of the US treasury. That robbery is still taking place. I do not blame President Obama, but I do not believe the financial and corporate interests that own and control this country will fold so easily. I do not question the integrity of the man as much as the power of his office - which I believe has greatly diminished over the years. I believe the Federal Reserve Bank, the Military Industrial Complex, and the massive corporate interests that run this country have more power than our new President. I hope I am wrong.

After 9/11, I witnessed most of this country become obsessed with squashing dissent and silencing critics. I hope this election does not turn Black America towards this same, fascist mind state; but already I am starting to see it, and it saddens me greatly. I absolutely wish our new President and his family success and safety. But after all I have witnessed in my lifetime, and especially in the last eight years, I am not ready to lay down my skepticism or my outrage for this government. To do so would be unwise and, ironically enough, anti-American.

Aaron McGruder

January 21, 2009

I'm glad everybody isn't drunk off obama's hope Kool Aid. I can't wait for the third season of boondocks, because I know Aaron is going to go in and show how foolish people are for trusting the puppet obama.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Unknown Martin Luther King, Jr.

orty years after his death, the popularity of Martin Luther King remains extraordinary. He is perhaps the single most praised person in American history, and millions adore him as a hero and almost a saint. The federal government has made space available on the Mall in Washington for a national monument for King, not far from Lincoln’s. Only four men in American history have national monuments: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt; and now King will make five.
Martin Luther King, Jr. with his wife Coretta.

King is the only American who enjoys the nation’s highest honor of having a national holiday on his birthday. There are other days of remembrance such as Presidents’ Day, but no one else but Jesus Christ is recognized with a similar holiday. Does King deserve such honors? Much that has been known to scholars for years—but largely unknown to most Americans—suggests otherwise.


As a young man, King started plagiarizing the work of others and he continued this practice throughout his career.

At Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, where he received a bachelor of divinity degree in 1951, many of his papers contained material lifted verbatim and without acknowledgement from published sources. An extensive project started at Stanford University in 1984 to publish all of King’s papers tracked down the original sources for these early papers and concluded that his academic writings are “tragically flawed by numerous instances of plagiarism.” Journalist Theodore Pappas, who has also reviewed the collection, found one paper showing “verbatim theft” in 20 of a total of 24 paragraphs. He writes:

“King’s plagiarisms are easy to detect because their style rises above the level of his pedestrian student prose. In general, if the sentences are eloquent, witty, insightful, or pithy, or contain allusions, analogies, metaphors, or similes, it is safe to assume that the section has been purloined.”

King also plagiarized himself, recycling old term papers as new ones. Some of his professors complained about sloppy references, but they seem to have had no idea how extensively he was stealing material, and his habits were well established by the time he entered the PhD program at Boston University. King plagiarized one-third of his 343-page dissertation, the book-length project required to earn a PhD, leading some to say he should be stripped of his doctoral degree. Mr. Pappas explains that King’s plagiarism was a lifelong habit:

“King’s Nobel Prize Lecture was plagiarized extensively from works by Florida minister J. Wallace Hamilton; the sections on Gandhi and nonviolence in his ‘Pilgrimage’ speech were taken virtually verbatim from Harris Wofford’s speech on the same topic; the frequently replayed climax to the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech—the ‘from every mountainside, let freedom ring’ portion—came from a 1952 address to the Republican National Convention by a black preacher named Archibald Carey; and the 1968 sermon in which King prophesied his martyrdom was based on works by J. Wallace Hamilton and Methodist minister Harold Bosley.”

Perhaps King had no choice but to use the words of others. Mr. Pappas has found that on the Graduate Record Exam, King “scored in the second-lowest quartile in English and vocabulary, in the lowest ten percent in quantitative analysis, and in the lowest third on his advanced test in philosophy.”


King lived a double life. During the day, he would speak to large crowds, quoting Scripture and invoking God’s will, and at night he frequently had sex with women from the audience. “King’s habits of sexual adventure had been well established by the time he was married,” says Michael Eric Dyson of Georgetown University, a King admirer. He notes that King often “told lewd jokes,” “shared women with friends,” and was “sexually reckless.” According to King biographer Taylor Branch, during a long party on the night of January 6 and 7, 1964, an FBI bugging device recorded King’s “distinctive voice ring out above others with pulsating abandon, saying, “˜I’m f***ing for God!’”

Sex with single and married women continued after King married, and on the night before his death, King had two adulterous trysts. His first rendezvous was at a woman’s house, the second in a hotel room. The source for this was his best friend and second-in-command, Ralph Abernathy, who noted that the second woman was “a member of the Kentucky legislature,” now known to be Georgia Davis Powers.

Abernathy went on to say that a third woman was also looking for King that same night, but found his bed empty. She knew his habits and was angry when they met later that morning. In response, writes Abernathy, King “lost his temper” and “knocked her across the bed. . . . She leapt up to fight back, and for a moment they were engaged in a full-blown fight, with [King] clearly winning.” A few hours later, King ate lunch with Abernathy and discussed the importance of nonviolence for their movement.

To other colleagues, King justified his adultery this way: “I’m away from home twenty-five to twenty-seven days a month. F***ing’s a form of anxiety reduction.” King had many one-night stands but also grew close to one of his girlfriends in a relationship that became, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer David Garrow, “the emotional centerpiece of King’s life.” Still, sex with other women remained “a commonplace of King’s travels.”

In private, King could be extremely crude. On one FBI recording, King said to Abernathy in what was no doubt a teasing remark, “Come on over here, you big black motherf***er, and let me suck your d**k.” FBI sources told Taylor Branch about a surveillance tape of King watching a televised rerun of the Kennedy funeral. When he saw the famous moment when Jacqueline Kennedy knelt with her children before her dead husband’s coffin, King reportedly sneered, “Look at her. Sucking him off one last time.”

Despite his obsession with sex and his betrayal of his own wife and children, and despite Christianity’s call for fidelity, King continued to claim the moral authority of a Baptist minister.


King stated that the “vast majority of white Americans are racist” and that they refused to share power. His solution was to redistribute wealth and power through reparations for slavery and racial quotas:

“No amount of gold could provide an adequate compensation for the exploitation and humiliation of the Negro in America down through the centuries. Not all the wealth of this affluent society could meet the bill. Yet a price can be placed on unpaid wages. . . . The payment should be in the form of a massive program by the government of special, compensatory measures which could be regarded as a settlement.” Continued King, “Moral justification for such measures for Negroes is rooted in the robberies inherent in the institution of slavery.” He named his plan the Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged. Some poor whites would also receive compensation because they were “derivative victims of slavery,” but the welfare of blacks was his central focus.

King has been praised, even by conservatives, as the great advocate of color-blindness. They focus too narrowly on one sentence in his “I Have a Dream” speech, in which he said he wanted to live in a nation “where [my children] will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” The truth is that King wanted quotas for blacks. “[I]f a city has a 30 percent Negro population,” King reasoned, “then it is logical to assume that Negroes should have at least 30 percent of the jobs in any particular company, and jobs in all categories rather than only in menial areas.”

One of King’s greatest achievements is said to have been passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At the signing ceremony on July 2, he stood directly behind President Lyndon Johnson as a key guest. The federal agency created by the act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, now monitors hiring practices and ensures that King’s desires for racial preferences are met.

Like liberals today, King denied racial differences. In a reply to an interviewer who told him many Southern whites thought racial differences were a biological fact, he replied:

“This utterly ignorant fallacy has been so thoroughly refuted by the social scientists, as well as by medical science, that any individual who goes on believing it is standing in an absolutely misguided and diminishing circle. The American Anthropological Association has unanimously adopted a resolution repudiating statements that Negroes are biologically, in innate mental ability or in any other way inferior to whites.”

The conclusions to be drawn from his belief in across-the-board equality were clear: failure by blacks to achieve at the level of whites could be explained only by white oppression. As King explained in one interview, “I think we have to honestly admit that the problems in the world today, as they relate to the question of race, must be blamed on the whole doctrine of white supremacy, the whole doctrine of racism, and these doctrines came into being through the white race and the exploitation of the colored peoples of the world.” King predicted that “if the white world” does not stop this racism and oppression, “then we can end up in the world with a kind of race war.”


In his public speeches, King never called himself a communist, instead claiming to stand for a synthesis of capitalism and communism: “[C]apitalism fails to realize that life is social. Communism fails to realize that life is individual. Truth is found neither in the rugged individualism of capitalism nor in the impersonal collectivism of communism. The Kingdom of God is found in a synthesis that combines the truths of these two opposites.”

However, David Garrow found that in private King “made it clear to close friends that economically speaking he considered himself what he termed a Marxist.” Mr. Garrow passes along an account of a conversation C.L.R. James, a Marxist intellectual, had with King: “King leaned over to me saying, ‘I don’t say such things from the pulpit, James, but that is what I really believe.’. . . King wanted me to know that he understood and accepted, and in fact agreed with, the ideas that I was putting forward—ideas which were fundamentally Marxist-Leninist. . . . I saw him as a man whose ideas were as advanced as any of us on the Left, but who, as he actually said to me, could not say such things from the pulpit. . . . King was a man with clear ideas, but whose position as a churchman, etc. imposed on him the necessity of reserve.” J. Pius Barbour, a close friend of King’s at seminary, agreed that he “was economically a Marxist.”

Some of King’s most influential advisors were Communists with direct ties to the Soviet Union. One was Stanley Levison, whom Mr. Garrow called King’s “most important political counselor” and “at Martin Luther King’s elbow.” He organized fundraisers for King, counseled him on tax issues and political strategy, wrote fundraising letters and his United Packinghouse Workers Convention speech, edited parts of his books, advised him on his first major national address, and prepped King for questions from the media. Coretta Scott King said of Levison that he was “[a]lways working in the background, his contribution has been indispensable,” and Mr. Garrow says the association with Levison was “without a doubt King’s closest friendship with a white person.”

What were Levison’s political views? John Barron is the author of Operation SOLO, which is about “the most vital intelligence operation the FBI ever had sustained against the Soviet Union.” Part of its work was to track Levison who, according to Mr. Barron, “gained admission into the inner circle of the communist underground” in the US. Mr. Garrow, a strong defender of King, admits that Levison was “one of the two top financiers” of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA), which received about one million dollars a year from the Soviet Union. Mr. Garrow found that Levison was “directly involved in the Communist Party’s most sensitive financial dealings,” and acknowledged there was first-hand evidence of Levison’s “financial link to the Soviet Union.”

Hunter Pitts O’Dell, who was elected in 1959 to the national committee, the governing body for the CPUSA, was another party member who worked for King. According to FBI reports, Levison installed O’Dell as the head of King’s New York office, and later recommended that O’Dell be made King’s executive assistant in Atlanta.

King knew his associates were Communists. President Kennedy himself gave an “explicit personal order” to King advising against his “shocking association with Stanley Levison.” Once when he was walking privately with King in the White House Rose Garden, Kennedy also named O’Dell and said to King: “They’re Communists. You’ve got to get rid of them.”

The Communist connections help explain why Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy authorized the FBI to wiretap King’s home and office telephones in October 1963. Kennedy, like his brother John, was deeply sympathetic to King but also aware of the threat of communism.

Mr. Garrow tried to exonerate King of the charge of being a fellow traveler by arguing that Levison broke with the CPUSA while he worked for King, that is, from the time he met King in the summer of 1956 until King’s death in 1968. However, as historian Samuel Francis has pointed out, an official break with the CPUSA does not necessarily mean a break with the goals of communism or with the Soviet Union.

John Barron argues that if Levison had defected from the CPUSA and renounced communism, he would not have associated with former comrades, such as CP officials Lem Harris, Hunter Pitts O’Dell, and Roy Bennett (Levison’s twin brother who had changed his last name). He was also close to the highly placed KGB officer Victor Lessiovsky, who was an assistant to the head of the United Nations, U Thant.

Mr. Barron asks why Lessiovsky would “fritter away his time and risk his career . . . by repeatedly indulging himself in idle lunches or amusing cocktail conversation with an undistinguished lawyer [Levison] . . . who had nothing to offer the KGB, or with someone who had deserted the party and its discipline, or with someone about whom the KGB knew nothing? . . . And why would an ordinary American lawyer . . . meet, again and again, with a Soviet assistant to the boss of the United Nations?”

Other Communists who worked with King included Aubrey Williams, James Dombrowski, Carl Braden, William Melish, Ella J. Baker, Bayard Rustin, and Benjamin Smith. King also “associated and cooperated with a number of groups known to be CPUSA front organizations or to be heavily penetrated and influenced by members of the Communist Party—for example, the Southern Conference Educational Fund; Committee to Secure Justice for Morton Sobell; the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America; the National Lawyers Guild; and the Highlander Folk School.

The CPUSA clearly tried to influence King and his movement. An FBI report of May 6, 1960 from Jack Childs, one of the FBI’s most accomplished spies and a winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom for Intelligence, said that the CP “feels that it is definitely to the Party’s advantage to assign outstanding Party members to work with the [Martin] Luther King group. CP policy at the moment is to concentrate upon Martin Luther King.”

As Republican Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina concluded in a Senate speech written by Francis, King’s alliance with Communists was evidence of “identified Communists . . . planning the influencing and manipulation of King for their own purposes.” At the same time, King relied on them for speech writing, fundraising, and raising public awareness. They, in turn, used his stature and fame to their own benefit. Senator Helms cited Congressman John M. Ashbrook, a ranking member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, who said: “King has consistently worked with Communists and has helped give them a respectability they do not deserve. I believe he has done more for the Communist Party than any other person of this decade.”


King strongly doubted several core beliefs of Christianity. “I was ordained to the Christian ministry,” he claimed, but Stanford University’s online repository includes King’s seminary writings in which he disputed the full divinity of Jesus, the Virgin Birth, and the Resurrection, suggesting that we “strip them of their literal interpretation.”

Regarding the divine nature of Jesus, King wrote that Jesus was godlike, but not God. People called Jesus divine because they “found God in him” like a divinely inspired teacher, not because he literally was God, as Jesus himself claimed. On the Virgin Birth, King wrote:

“First we must admit that the evidence for the tenability of this doctrine is to [sic] shallow to convince any objective thinker. How then did this doctrine arise? A clue to this inquiry may be found in a sentence from St. Justin’s First Apology. Here Justin states that the birth of Jesus is quite similar to the birth of the sons of Zeus. It was believed in Greek thought that an extraordinary person could only be explained by saying that he had a father who was more than human. It is probable that this Greek idea influenced Christian thought.”

Concerning the Resurrection, King wrote: “In fact the external evidence for the authenticity of this doctrine is found wanting.” The early church, he says, formulated this doctrine because it “had been captivated by the magnetic power of his [Jesus’] personality. This basic experience led to the faith that he could never die. And so in the pre-scientific thought pattern of the first century, this inner faith took outward form.” Thus, in this view, Jesus’ body never rose from the dead, even though according to Scripture, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.”

Two other essays show how King watered down Christianity. In one, he wrote that contemporary mystery religions influenced New Testament writers: “[A]fter being in contact with these surrounding religions and hearing certain doctrines expressed, it was only natural for some of these views to become part of their subconscious minds. . . . That Christianity did copy and borrow from Mithraism cannot be denied, but it was generally a natural and unconscious process rather than a deliberate plan of action.” In another essay, King wrote that liberal theology “was an attempt to bring religion up intellectually,” and the introduction to the paper at the Stanford website says that King was “scornful of fundamentalism.” King wrote that in fundamentalism the Trinity, the Atonement, and the Second Coming are “quite prominent,” but again, these are defining beliefs of Christianity.

Known and unknown

King is both known and unknown. Millions worldwide see him as a moral messiah, and American schools teach young children to praise him. In the United States there are no fewer than 777 streets named for him. But King is also unknown because only a few people are aware of the unsavory aspects of his life. The image most people have of King is therefore cropped and incomplete.

In the minds of many, King towers above other Americans as a distinguished orator and writer, but this short, 5"6' man often stole the words of others. People believe he was a Christian, but he doubted some of the fundamentals of the faith. Our country honors King, but he worked closely with Communists who aimed to destroy it. He denied racial differences, but fought for racial favoritism in the form of quotas. He claimed to be for freedom, but he wanted to force people to associate with each other and he promoted the redistribution of wealth in the form of reparations for slavery. He quoted the ringing words of the Bible and claimed, as a preacher, to be striving to be more like Jesus, but his colleagues knew better.
King and President Lyndon Johnson.

Perhaps he, too, knew better. His closest political advisor, Stanley Levison, said King was “an intensely guilt-ridden man” and his wife Coretta also called him “a guilt-ridden man.” Levison said that the praise heaped upon King was “a continual series of blows to his conscience” because he was such a humble man. If King was guilt-ridden might it have been because he knew better than anyone the wide gap between his popular image and his true character?

The FBI surveillance files could throw considerable light on his true character, but they will not be made public until 2027. On January 31, 1977, as a result of lawsuits by King’s allies against the FBI, a US district judge ordered the files sealed for 50 years. There are reportedly 56 feet of records—tapes, transcripts, and logs—in the custody of the National Archives and Record Service.

Meanwhile, for those who seek to know the real identity of this nearly untouchable icon, there is still plenty of evidence with which to answer the question: Was Martin Luther King, Jr. America’s best and greatest man?

I think he was Human just like the rest of us. Nobody's perfect!

Funny Picture Of The Day

Thursday, January 15, 2009

U.S. military report warns 'sudden collapse' of Mexico is possible

EL PASO - Mexico is one of two countries that "bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse," according to a report by the U.S. Joint Forces Command on worldwide security threats.

The command's "Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008)" report, which contains projections of global threats and potential next wars, puts Pakistan on the same level as Mexico. "In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.

"The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone."

The U.S. Joint Forces Command, based in Norfolk, Va., is one of the Defense Departments combat commands that includes members of the different military service branches, active and reserves, as well as civilian and contract employees. One of its key roles is to help transform the U.S. military's capabilities.

In the foreword, Marine Gen. J.N. Mattis, the USJFC commander, said "Predictions about the future are always risky ... Regardless, if we do not try to forecast the future, there is no doubt that we will be caught off guard as we strive to protect this experiment in democracy that we call America."

The report is one in a series focusing on Mexico's internal security problems, mostly stemming from drug violence and drug corruption. In recent weeks, the Department of Homeland Security and former U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey issued similar alerts about Mexico.

Despite such reports, El Pasoan Veronica Callaghan, a border business leader, said she keeps running into people in the region who "are in denial about what is happening in Mexico."

Last week, Mexican President Felipe Calderon instructed his embassy and consular officials to promote a positive image of Mexico.

The U.S. military report, which also analyzed economic situations in other countries, also noted that China has increased its influence in places where oil fields are present.

Record Bone-chilling temperatures settle over East

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Winter-hardened Northeasterners were socked with the same subzero temperatures and biting winds that have turned the Northern Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes into a teeth-chattering misery for much of the week.

Maine residents braced Thursday for readings down to 40 below zero. And in the Midwest, Iowans were warned that temperatures could drop as far as 27 below zero, matching a Jan. 15 record set in 1972.

The deep freeze was part of a snow and arctic system that stretched from Montana to northern New England and dipped as far south as North Carolina.

Forecasters issued lake-effect snow warnings Thursday for Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Wind chill warnings were posted for those states as well as Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Minneapolis.

In Michigan, the community of Pellston, in the northern Lower Peninsula, and Big Rapids, in the central Lower Peninsula, were Michigan's cold spots at 6 a.m. Thursday, with temperatures of minus 21 degrees.

The air temperature was 29 degrees below zero in Glenwood, Minn., on Thursday morning, with the wind chill making it a staggering 54 degrees below zero. It was 20 degrees below zero at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, but the wind chill made it feel like 37 below zero.

In southwest Ohio, Butler County reopened its former jail as an emergency shelter, with room for about 40 people to have a blanket, meal and shower, said Lt. Nick Fischer of the sheriff's office. Fischer said the county will make room for more if needed.

Around Ohio, blowing snow grounded at least two medical helicopters called to transport accident victims. At the site of a wreck on Interstate 75 near Bowling Green, an ambulance had to drive two people to hospitals in Toledo.

The mercury hovering around zero Wednesday didn't faze truck driver Gary Jacobs, 49, of Barre, Vt., bundled in five layers — T-shirt, a long-sleeved shirt, sweat shirt, hooded sweat shirt and coat, in addition to snowpants, boots and a knit cap.

"People in Arizona say `It's a dry heat.' This is a fresh cold," Jacobs said.

In New York, where light snow fell overnight, temperatures early Thursday morning ranged from 7 above in Buffalo to 21 below in Massena in northern New York. Lows of 18 below to 26 below are forecast for the Adirondacks Thursday night and Friday.

The frigid conditions caused complications for highway managers because road salt doesn't melt ice in subzero temperatures.

"Once we get into minus 10, minus 20, in some cases we have to go to just straight sand, a light dusting of sand, on the highway to get some grit, provide some traction," said Mike Flick a transportation worker in Pamelia, N.Y.

The National Weather Service warned that temperatures could plummet to 10 to 15 below zero across northern Illinois. With winds gusts of around 30 mph, it could feel as low as 40 below.

Scores of public and private schools throughout the Chicago area announced in advance that they would be closed or have delayed starts Thursday because of the bitter cold.

As the snow ended Wednesday afternoon cancelations reduced to around 250 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, down from more than 300 several hours earlier. Delays at O'Hare averaged up to 60 minutes. There were only a few cancelations at Midway International Airport.

The Indiana State Police banned some large trucks from the Indiana Toll Road due to hazardous weather conditions. Forecasters expect 2 to 5 inches of snow could fall Thursday in southern New England, making commutes messy and dangerous.

Even northern Georgia and Kentucky could see single-digit lows by Friday, with zero possible at Lexington, Ky., the weather service warned. Kentucky hasn't been that cold since December 2004.

Snowy conditions Wednesday led to at least two fatal highway crashes in Ohio and two more in Indiana. A day earlier, a Wisconsin man died of exposure after wandering from his home.

Vermont's Bolton Valley ski resort canceled night skiing through Friday night for fear that skiers could freeze if they were marooned on a malfunctioning ski lift.

In Cleveland, where it was snowing and 10 degrees at lunchtime Wednesday, Terry Gill, 23, was bundled up with four layers of clothes. He had a secret for staying warm.

"I just try not to think about it," Gill said while waiting for a bus in a shelter surrounded by piles of snow from nearly 17 inches that have fallen in one week. "I mean, it's cold. That's Cleveland weather."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Using mouthwash could increase risk of cancer by nine times, claim scientists

Date: 13 January 2009
MOUTHWASHES containing alcohol can cause oral cancer and should be removed from supermarket shelves, a dental health study claims.
Scientists say there is now "sufficient evidence" that such mouthwashes contribute to an increased risk of the disease.

The ethanol in mouthwash is thought to allow cancer-causing substances to permeate the lining of the mouth.

associate professor of oral medicine at the University of Melbourne, Australia, who led the study, said: "We see people with oral cancer who have no other risk factors than the use of (mouthwash containing alcohol], so what we've done is review all the evidence.

"Since this article, further evidence has come out, too. We believe there should be warnings. If it was a facial cream that had the effect of reducing acne but had a four to fivefold increased risk of skin cancer, no-one would be recommending it."

Professor McCullough, chair of the Australian Dental Association's therapeutics committee, said the alcohol in mouthwashes "increases the permeability" of the mucus membrane to other carcinogens, such as nicotine.

A toxic breakdown product of alcohol called acetaldehyde that may accumulate in the oral cavity when swished around the mouth is also a "known human carcinogen," he said.

Top-selling mouthwashes contain as much as 26 per cent alcohol.

Smoking and alcohol are well-established risk factors in causing cancer, but the use of mouthwash containing alcohol is more controversial.

Prof McCullough and co- author Dr Camile Farah, director of research at the University of Queensland's School of Dentistry, recommended mouthwash be restricted to "short-term" medical use or replaced by alcohol-free products.

The review reported evidence from an international study of 3,210 people, which found daily mouthwash use was a "significant risk factor" for head and neck cancer – irrespective of whether users also drank alcohol or smoked.

But the effects of mouthwash were worst in smokers, who had a ninefold increased risk of cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx and larynx. Those who also drank alcohol had more than five times the risk.

However, Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser to the British Dental Association, said further research was needed to substantiate the claims.

"Excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco are well recognised in the UK as risk factors for developing oral cancers," he said.

"This paper raises interesting issues, but the evidence showing any link between the prolonged use of mouthwashes containing alcohol and oral cancer is not conclusive, and requires further trials to establish if there is a genuine connection.

"If patients are in any doubt about using mouthwash, they should consult their dentist."

Dr Nigel Carter, the chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, rejected the findings and said: "A recent, and more thorough review of all available evidence carried out by leading experts on behalf of the foundation concluded there were no proven links between alcohol-containing mouthwashes and increased incidence of mouth cancer.

"The public should not worry."

Last night, a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson Ltd UK, the manufacturer of Listerine, said: "There is no scientific evidence to support an association between the use of alcohol- containing mouthwashes, such as Listerine, and an increased risk of oral cancer."

Maniac Conyers And Her Police Protection!

Not a good look of the week!

I hope the grinch stole that shit right off her head.

Yellowstone Super Volcano Can Wipe Out 60% Of The Human Population.

Friday, January 9, 2009

New world order will emerge in 2009, with U.S. plunging

By Paul Kennedy
Updated: 01/05/2009 11:07:49 AM MST

Every so often in the history of international affairs, a great transnational turbulence shakes the foundations of the world and brings many of its older structures tumbling to the ground, as we witnessed in 1919, 1945 and 1989. In the confusion and babble that follow, it's difficult to see through the dust and recognize the shape of the altered strategic landscape.

Peering through the wreckage of the past year's financial crisis, it seems clear that every nation was a loser in 2008. The world's developed economies have taken a heavy beating, whether measured by their collapsing industrial production, tumbling exports, surging unemployment, frozen credit markets or the near- paralysis of maritime trade.

Yet we also hear cries of distress across the globe. Vladimir Putin's proud Russia is reeling toward internal collapse. China is sending factory workers home to the countryside. The International Monetary Fund is trying to rescue Iceland and Ukraine from economic oblivion. Brazil's currency is plummeting against the U.S. dollar. And the brief honeymoon for commodity-exporting African countries is over. Which national economy didn't take a blow to the head in this annus horribilus?

When the dust settles, will we see all countries equally battered, like the streets of Dresden after the Allied bombings in February 1945? Will every power simply have taken several steps backwards, so that the "order of things" that existed in January 2008 will be the

same in December 2009? I doubt it.

In the midst of general turmoil, there are always relative winners and losers. Those who are likely to lose most in the coming year will include Russia, Venezuela and Iran (too dependent on oil), most of Africa and Latin America (too tied to commodities), and Japan, Taiwan and South Korea (too wedded to exports, shipping, electronics).

By contrast, and unless it falls into the trap of a Pakistan war, India will advance; none of its banks (so far) are on the Bear Stearns Cos. track. China will take hits, but that probably means an increase in economic growth of 5 percent or 6 percent, deriving more from domestic development, and less from cheap exports.

Europe's prospects for 2009 are mixed, which is simply another way of saying that here, too, there will be relative winners and losers. Norway will ride the storm on its still-massive currency reserve and the rest of Scandinavia has strength in depth -- unlike the less competitive economies of East and Central Europe. Germany's combination of ultra-high-quality production, superb infrastructure and financial caution (few Germans use credit cards: Americans, take note!) give it strengths that are lacking in the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Greece and other European countries that fell for easy credit and large government deficits. Prussian fiscal rectitude will keep the euro high, and compound the dollar's weaknesses.

The biggest question concerns the United States. My instinct tells me it will lose ground in 2009. I simply don't see how the Treasury can print $1 trillion to cover deficit spending, offer those bills at very low interest rates, and expect foreigners (not Americans, because we don't have the savings) to buy them, persuading the world to keep afloat its greatest debtor since Phillip II of Spain. Why should sensible Chinese investors do that when they can buy Swiss bonds, gold, or Scottish real estate? Yet if Asians decline to buy tens of billions of Treasuries each month in 2009, U.S. interest rates will have to go up again.

So: India up, China up, Germany up (all relatively). The developing world down, Russia down, most of Europe and Japan down, and President Barack Obama's America down and down. I'd like to believe I am very wrong. I worry that I'm not.

Paul Kennedy is professor of history and director of International Security Studies at Yale University. He is the author/editor of 19 books, including The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. He wrote this column for Bloomberg News.

Oscar Grant Gunned Down Like An Animal!

Funny Picture Of The Day

Shooting of unarmed man by officer sparks anger in California town

OAKLAND, Calif. - Police in the San Francisco Bay area say they have arrested at least 15 people after violence erupted during protests over the transit police shooting of an unarmed man at a train station.

A few hundred people took to the streets of Oakland to call for criminal charges against Bay Area Rapid Transit Officer Johannes Mehserle.

Mehserle resigned shortly before he was supposed to be interviewed by investigators yesterday.

Mehserle is accused of shooting a man who was lying face-down on a BART station platform early New Year's Day.

Downtown, protesters tried to overturn a police car, smashed store windows and set fire to a car. Police in riot gear threw tear gas into the crowd to try and break up the demonstration.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums urged the crowd not to "make this tragedy an excuse to engage in violence."

If the greeks can do then we can do it!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Food Riots, Civil Unrest, and the Disunited States of America

may be mostly schadenfreude, but Russian economist Igor Panarin is convinced that the current economic crisis has a political component which will eventually break the United States apart into as many as six separate nations. He's not alone in this belief. It has long been a staple belief of racist extremist groups and is now being predicted by some on the religious right who are ready with plans for how to rearrange the nation in the face of the Obama presidency. Conspiracy monger Alex Jones even got in on the act on his radio show this weekend, suggesting that there is an active globalist plot to weaken America by breaking it into several smaller nations.

On Russia Today Panarin predicted the outbreak of a civil war in the United States by 2010. Panarin has developed some following as a trends forecaster, and while his predictions may seem outlandish, he is not alone in subscribing to the idea that a breakup of the US in a civil war might be the outcome of the current economic crisis. Panarin blames the impending crisis on poor monetary policy and the US abandonment of the gold standard, a concern which he shares with many on the extreme right in America. He sees a collapse in America equivalent to the Russian collapse of the 1980s as the economic crisis leads to infrastructure failures and a backlash from outraged citizens.

Panarin is not alone in his beliefs. Trends forecaster Gerald Celente from the Trends Research Institute is also predicting tax rebellions, food riots, and the potential for civil war by 2012, largely as a result of the Obama administration's policies which he believes will accelerate economic collapse. Celente has made some successful trend predictions in the past, though his predictions seem to be directed largely by a far-right political ideology which includes the now-standard hatred for the Federal Reserve system which is common among Ron Paul supporters.

The scenario for the collapse of the United States usually starts with food shortages and food riots, mirroring international food distribution problems which we saw emerging last year with the food shortages in Haiti and the problems with the rice crop in the far east. Couple that with sudden fuel shortages which cause the breakdown of the interstate trucking system, and you have a formula for regional failures in the supply of food. This might even be compounded by the collapse of the dollar leading to the inability of the US to buy food on international markets.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Gaza relief boat carrying Cynthia McKinney rammed by Israelis

Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, standing beside a damaged yacht in the Lebanese seaport of Tyre, Tuesday accused the Israeli navy of ramming the vessel to halt the delivery of medical supplies to the embattled Gaza Strip.

“Our mission was a peaceful mission,” McKinney told CNN. The recent Green Party candidate for U.S. president and frequent center of controversy is the most prominent political figure to join the relief voyages sponsored by the Free Gaza Movement.
McKinney was slated to travel by car to Beirut where she was expected to conducted media interviews and meet with Lebanese government officials, said Paul Larudee, a co-founder of the California-based Free Gaza group.

Larudee said the organization was determined to continue the relief mission, the sixth such trip to Gaza and the first to be interrupted.

“We’re going to get it repaired,” Larudee said of the “Dignity,” the cabin cruiser which he said sustained some damage to the hull, the bridge and the engine room.

A U.S. State Department spokesman said Tuesday that U.S. diplomats had issued no protests to Israeli authorities. “When you enter a zone of conflict, then you have to realize that it’s very, very dangerous,” the spokesman told reporters.

Later, spokesman Noel Clay said “there were no injuries, that we’re aware of at the moment” and that “to my knowledge, consular officials have not been in contact with the American who was aboard the ship.”

McKinney was the sole American on board.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman told the Associated Press that the relief boat had ignored an Israeli order to turn back as it approached Gaza. The spokesman said the boat was damaged when it tried to out maneuver the navy ship.

In a news release Tuesday afternoon, one of the 16-member mission, Caoimhe Butterfly offered a conflicting version. The Israeli gunboats “gave us no warning” and “rammed us three times,” she said.

“We began taking on water and, for a few minutes, we all feared for our lives,” she said of the early morning incident.

In an phone interview Larudee said the Dignity’s bilge pumps worked well enough for the boat to sail to a safe harbor in Lebanon. The boat had shipped out of Cyprus Monday en route to Gaza.

Cox Washington Bureau correspondent Bob Deans contributed to this report.

Happy New Year!

May this year bring in a lot of positive energy!