Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Street Report from the G20 by Bill Quigley

Date: 9/29/2009

Bill Quigley: Street Report from the G20

The G20 in Pittsburgh showed us how pitifully fearful our leaders have become. What no terrorist could do to us, our own leaders did.

Out of fear of the possibility of a terrorist attack, authorities militarize our towns, scare our people away, stop daily life and quash our constitutional rights.

For days, downtown Pittsburgh, home to the G20, was a turned into a militarized people-free ghost town. Sirens screamed day and night. Helicopters crisscrossed the skies. Gunboats sat in the rivers. The skies were defended by Air Force jets. Streets were barricaded by huge cement blocks and fencing. Bridges were closed with National Guard across the entrances. Public transportation was stopped downtown. Amtrak train service was suspended for days.

In many areas, there were armed police every 100 feet. Businesses closed. Schools closed. Tens of thousands were unable to work.

Four thousand police were on duty plus 2500 National Guard plus Coast Guard and Air Force and dozens of other security agencies. A thousand volunteers from other police forces were sworn in to help out.

Police were dressed in battle gear, bulky black ninja turtle outfits: helmets with clear visors, strapped on body armor, shin guards, big boots, batons, and long guns.

In addition to helicopters, the police had hundreds of cars and motorcycles , armored vehicles, monster trucks, small electric go-karts. There were even passenger vans screaming through town so stuffed with heavily armed ninja turtles that the side and rear doors remained open.

No terrorists showed up at the G20.

Since no terrorists showed up, those in charge of the heavily armed security forces chose to deploy their forces around those who were protesting.

Not everyone is delighted that 20 countries control 80% of the world’s resources. Several thousand of them chose to express their displeasure by protesting.

Unfortunately, the officials in charge thought that it was more important to create a militarized people-free zone around the G20 people than to allow freedom of speech, freedom of assembly or the freedom to protest.

It took a lawsuit by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU to get any major protest permitted anywhere near downtown Pittsburgh. Even then, the police “forgot” what was permitted and turned people away from areas of town. Hundreds of police also harassed a bus of people who were giving away free food — repeatedly detaining the bus and searching it and its passengers without warrants.

Then a group of young people decided that they did not need a permit to express their human and constitutional rights to freedom. They announced they were going to hold their own gathering at a city park and go down the deserted city streets to protest the G20. Maybe 200 of these young people were self-described anarchists, dressed in black, many with bandanas across their faces. The police warned everyone these people were very scary. My cab driver said the anarchist spokesperson looked like Harry Potter in a black hoodie. The anarchists were joined in the park by hundreds of other activists of all ages, ultimately one thousand strong, all insisting on exercising their right to protest.

This drove the authorities crazy.

Battle dressed ninja turtles showed up at the park and formed a line across one entrance. Helicopters buzzed overhead. Armored vehicles gathered.

The crowd surged out of the park and up a side street yelling, chanting, drumming, and holding signs. As they exited the park, everyone passed an ice cream truck that was playing “It’s a small world after all.” Indeed.

Any remaining doubts about the militarization of the police were dispelled shortly after the crowd left the park. A few blocks away the police unveiled their latest high tech anti-protestor toy. It was mounted on the back of a huge black truck. The Pittsburgh-Gazette described it as Long Range Acoustic Device designed to break up crowds with piercing noise. Similar devices have been used in Fallujah, Mosul and Basra Iraq. The police backed the truck up, told people not to go any further down the street and then blasted them with piercing noise.

The crowd then moved to other streets. Now they were being tracked by helicopters. The police repeatedly tried to block them from re-grouping ultimately firing tear gas into the crowd injuring hundreds including people in the residential neighborhood where the police decided to confront the marchers. I was treated to some of the tear gas myself and I found the Pittsburgh brand to be spiced with a hint of kelbasa. Fortunately, I was handed some paper towels soaked in apple cider vinegar which helped fight the tears and cough a bit. Who would have thought?

After the large group broke and ran from the tear gas, smaller groups went into commercial neighborhoods and broke glass at a bank and a couple of other businesses. The police chased and the glass breakers ran. And the police chased and the people ran. For a few hours.

By day the police were menacing, but at night they lost their cool. Around a park by the University of Pittsburgh the ninja turtles pushed and shoved and beat and arrested not just protestors but people passing by. One young woman reported she and her friend watched Grey’s Anatomy and were on their way back to their dorm when they were cornered by police. One was bruised by police baton and her friend was arrested. Police shot tear gas, pepper spray, smoke canisters, and rubber bullets. They pushed with big plastic shields and struck with batons.

The biggest march was Friday. Thousands of people from Pittsburgh and other places protested the G20. Since the court had ruled on this march, the police did not confront the marchers. Ninja turtled police showed up in formation sometimes and the helicopters hovered but no confrontations occurred.

Again Friday night, riot clad police fought with students outside of the University of Pittsburgh. To what end was just as unclear as the night before.

Ultimately about 200 were arrested, mostly in clashes with the police around the University.

The G20 leaders left by helicopter and limousine.

Pittsburgh now belongs again to the people of Pittsburgh. The cement barricades were removed, the fences were taken down, the bridges and roads were opened. The gunboats packed up and left. The police packed away their ninja turtle outfits and tear gas and rubber bullets. They don’t look like military commandos anymore. No more gunboats on the river. No more sirens all the time. No more armored vehicles and ear splitting machines used in Iraq. On Monday the businesses will open and kids will have to go back to school. Civil society has returned.

It is now probably even safe to exercise constitutional rights in Pittsburgh once again.

The USA really showed those terrorists didn’t we?


Monday, September 28, 2009

Merck employees had "hit list" of doctors they sought to "neutralize"

by Mike Adams
September 28 2009

Merck employees had "hit list" of doctors they sought to "neutralize", court documents reveal (opinion)

(NaturalNews) Previously secret documents that surfaced at a Vioxx court case in April of this year reveal pharmaceutical giant Merck maintained a "hit list" of doctors to be "neutralized" for speaking out against Vioxx. Although this story was reported on NaturalNews and other sites in April, Merck's involvement in the recent round of swine flu vaccines raises new questions regarding Merck's behavior towards its critics (see below).

As was reported in The Australian, documents that have surfaced in the Federal Court in Melbourne expose the criminal intent of Merck staffers who admitted they intended to "stop funding to institutions" and "interfere with academic appointments." (These actions are highly illegal, by the way.)

According to on-the-record testimony in this Australian trial, one Merck employee said, in referring to the doctors on the hit list, "We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live...

"That sounds a lot like a mob boss ordering a hit on a competing street thug, doesn't it?

At least eight clinical investigators were threatened or intimidated by Merck, the court heard in testimony. This is congruent with the many reports of academic intimidation by Merck that have already been published on NaturalNews.com and other news outlets. The picture of Merck that emerges from these revelations is a company run by thugs who deal with dissent by seeking to destroy the lives and careers of academics who dare to tell the truth about Merck's dangerous drugs.

A culture of criminality
Merck is a company steeped in a culture of criminality. Among its numerous questionable actions, Merck intentionally hid the liver-damaging effects of its cholesterol drug (http://www.naturalnews.com/024072_Zetia_Merck_cholesterol_drug.html),

it intentionally withheld the release of clinical trial data that showed the failures of another cholesterol drug (http://www.naturalnews.com/023889_Vytorin_Merck_Zetia.html),

it has dumped vaccine waste and manufacturing chemicals into the water supply (http://www.naturalnews.com/023124_water_Merck_chemicals.html),

it set up offshore banking accounts to avoid billions of dollars in U.S. taxes (http://www.naturalnews.com/021645_Merck_the_IRS_taxes.html),

and it was caught in a massive scheme of scientific fraud when it was revealed that the company used in-house writers to secretly author "independent" studies that were published in peer-reviewed medical journals

And that's just the beginning of the real story on Merck. Read more astonishing news stories about this company here: http://www.naturalnews.com/merck.html

There's little question that Merck operates from a criminal mentality, resorting to tactics of deception and intimidation to accomplish what it could not achieve through honest means: An increase in sales of its pharmaceutical products.

So what does this have to do with the swine flu vaccine? Simply this: Almost no one in the industry of modern medicine has spoken out against the swine flu vaccines.

Are they being intimidated into silence by Merck and other vaccine makers?

Intimidating the scientists
Many who speak out against Merck products quickly find their credibility assaulted. If they are in an academic institution, they quickly find their research support drying up, and some end up blackballed by the pharmaceutical industry. What Merck has made perfectly clear over the last several years is that speaking out against Merck's products is academic suicide.

So how are honest scientists or doctors supposed to be able to raise concerns about the swine flu vaccines being manufactured by Merck and other companies? From watching the news, they already know that publicly questioning the safety of this vaccine could cost them their careers.

Is this what modern "science" (if you can call it that) has come to? A band of intimidated, frightened scientists too scared to raise their voices and question the safety of pharmaceutical products? And if so, how can anyone call this "scientific medicine" in the first place? It's more like gunpoint medicine, where you say what you're supposed to say because the big corporate players are holding a (metaphorical) gun to your head.

In terms of the swine flu vaccine itself, Big Pharma is already pumping the mainstream media full of "preemptive defense" stories, claiming that whatever side effects occur from the vaccines would have occurred anyway and the vaccines aren't to blame. Note that this story is being fronted before the vaccine is even in widespread use! They are, in essence, already predicting a wave of nasty side effects and trying to brainwash the American public into dismissing such concerns as mere coincidence.

This is the astonishing, contradictory mindset of Big Pharma: When any harm comes to a patient taking their drugs, that's just coincidence. But if any help comes their way and they see a health improvement, that's always due to the drugs alone, they claim. It is precisely this sort of selective, unscientific thinking that has caused the utter destruction of credibility for the pharmaceutical industry (and of those who push drugs and vaccines). Science has been outright abandoned, replaced with slick marketing, financial arm-twisting and blatant intimidation of anyone who steps outside the lines.

The truth isn't afraid of honest questions
Don't you find it odd that virtually no one in the conventional medical community has raised questions about the safety of the swine flu vaccines? Isn't it odd that these vaccines, having been long-term tested on no one at all, were suddenly approved by the FDA all on the same day and are now being advocated by doctors everywhere without a single question about their safety?

Now you know why this Merck court case in Australia is relevant: Knowing the way Merck operates, it's not unreasonable to suppose that doctors have been intimidated into silence about the vaccine. Questioning this vaccine is equivalent to committing professional suicide.

Vaccines are the core mythology of modern medicine, you see. Questioning their safety or efficacy is considered sacrilegious in the medical community. The entire mythology of western medicine is based on the (false) belief that chemical intervention is preferable to self-healing, and vaccines are the central fulcrum upon which that argument hinges. If vaccines fall, the whole philosophical facade behind which western medicine now hides will be shattered at the same time.

Protecting the profitability of western medicine necessitates the perpetuation of the vaccine myth. And since that myth can't be maintained based on pure science alone (because there's no real science backing it), it has to be supported through mob-style tactics of intimidation and bribery. That's why the bribery of physicians by drug companies is now routine. It's the way the "science" of pharmaceutical medicines is propagated through the machinery of our modern medical-industrial complex. Money buys what real science can't support: The idea that the world medical system must be based on chemical intervention (which just happens to financially benefit the drug companies perpetuating these myths).

Unraveling the fiction
These revelations about Merck threaten the mythology of modern medicine upon which so many billions of dollars of drug revenues are based. Even doctors don't want to talk much about Merck. Why? Because they realize that as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, the ethics of Merck reflect on the ethics of western medicine as a whole.

Much of western medicine, after all, is based on pharmaceuticals. And believing that pharmaceuticals make you healthy requires that you also believe the drug companies are acting with integrity and looking out for the welfare of the people. But believing that little piece of mythology requires that the drug companies are believed to be benevolent, compassionate corporations that would never resort to unethical, dirty or illegal tactics to accomplish their aims.

This whole tapestry of pharmaceutical fiction begins to quickly unravel when you begin to see the truth about what really goes on inside Merck -- and that's what we've seen time and time again with previously secret documents that emerged through court cases or other means. The Merck culture is one that most reasonable people would describe as "thuggish" or "criminal" in nature. It has virtually no resemblance to the compassionate image the company tries to peddle through mainstream media advertising.

Besides, if Merck's products are really so good, why would it need to resort to intimidating and threatening researchers in the first place? If its drugs were really so good and so safe, wouldn't the science speak for itself?

Clearly, the intimidation of academics is only necessary when real science turns up answers that you don't want to hear. So intimidation is invoked to replace the science with fear.

And that's what our entire pharmaceutical system is based on today, folks: FEAR. The media won't report the truth about pharmaceuticals because they are afraid to lose their advertising dollars. Researchers won't report the real science about pharmaceuticals because they are afraid to lose their careers. Doctors won't tell you the truth about pharmaceuticals because they're afraid to lose their medical licenses. The entire system is held together by fear and intimidation rather than honest science.

Belief systems in which questions are suppressed and "truths" are reinforced at the end of a stick are called "dogmas." They cannot, by definition, be called "scientific." Anyone believing that modern drugs or vaccines are based on rigorous "science" does not understand the definition of the word.

Keep that in mind when you're deciding whether to get a vaccine shot. Remember that any researchers who voiced safety concerns about those vaccines might have already been "neutralized" or "discredited," to use the exact words of Merck's own employees.

And the "scientific" conclusions of today's pharmaceutical researchers can be no more believed than the testimony of a U.S. soldier who is captured and tortured by terrorists, then told to speak to the camera with a gun pointed at his head.

Additional sources for this story include:




Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Tell me what a Police State Looks Like" by Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Thursday, September 24,2009

“Pittsburgh is what a police state looks like!”

I have been to dozens of protests, large and small, since my son was killed in Iraq, but I have never seen anything like today and the only term I can use is: Profound Overkill. There were easily two cops/soldiers for every one of us protesters…or maybe even 3 to 1.

About two thousand of us gathered in Arsenal Park in Pittsburgh to try and march downtown. We were all peaceful and had no weapons. We had only traveled a few blocks when cops dressed like they were in full combat with heavily armed opponents stopped us and blocked our way with a new weapon called “LRAD:” A new “crowd control” device. LRAD stands for: “Long Range Acoustical Device.” I was, unfortunately near it when the cops turned it on. It’s painful.

The group dispersed and went in many different directions. Some of us got to a corner a few blocks up from where we were initially stopped and I am not kidding, at least 500 cops were stopped in formation at this intersection with their gas masks on and nightsticks at the ready to crack the head of anyone who actually tried to peacefully cross their lines…unarmed, of course.

I spoke to dozens of cops today and tried to explain to them that we peaceful protesters are only trying to exercise our 1st Amendment rights and the cops should be protecting us, members of their own class, and not suppressing our freedoms and actually physically hurting us.

There was absolutely no reason for the over-reaction of the police state to the protesters today. Do not believe the news propaganda that says the protesters were the cause of the violence…it was the cops. The thugs even dropped tear gas from helicopters. We’re like ants trying to struggle against anteaters.

Seeing the National Guard troops, fresh from Iraq, broke my heart the hardest. I also talked to dozens of them, none had ever heard of posse commitatus, and asked them if my son, their brother, died in Iraq so they could steal the rights of his mother. Most of them wouldn’t even look at me. The cops and soldiers should be ashamed of themselves for allowing their selves to be used as tools of the Robber Class “elites.”

“Just following orders” is not a defense.

The G20 will announce tomorrow that they will become the new “permanent council” for international economic cooperation. Who the hell do they think they are? Who voted for this? Who gives them the authority to have this power over our wellbeing and our very lives?

We do, that’s who.

We allow the Robber Class complete, destructive control over our lives by not taking to the streets and outnumbering the thugs 10 to 1; 100 to 1; 1000 to 1

There’s so few of them and so many of us.

When we will learn?

From the G20 protests in Pittsburgh, PA. 11:38 pm

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Austin Sheehan, who was KIA in Iraq on 04/04/04. She is a co-founder and President of Gold Star Families for Peace and the author of two books: Not One More Mother's Child and Dear President Bush.


Energy Saving Lightbulbs: MERCURY W-A-R-N-I-N-G

Everything He says about the lightbulbs are True.
I just Checked for myself at home. ~LisaMarie~

Manage in Accord with Disposal Laws.
See www.lamprecycle.org/ or 1-800-435-4448

right down to the actual Bulb printed with 'Made in China'.

GE Energy Smart (tm) General Purpose 40 watt equivalent

Energy Star rating 10 watt
RoHS Compliant

in a Recyclable Package!

Comment: AssilemakaMelissa:

Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning

By the Environmental Protection Agency

Impairment of the peripheral vision Disturbances in sensations ("pins and needles" feelings, numbness) usually in the hands feet and sometimes around the mouth Lack of coordination of movements, such as writing Impairment of speech, hearing, walking; Muscle weakness Skin rashes Mood swing Memory loss Mental disturbance

Mercury is an extremely reactive toxic element,can cause a number of hazardous effects on your health:severe damage to central nervous system & kidneys,gastrointestinal, respiratory systems,can lead to inflammation of mouth,loose teeth,ulcerated & bleeding gums,certain digestive tract problems such as diarrhea, inflamed colon and stomach cramps, respiratory problems such as persistent coughing and emphysema,cardiovascular problems such as blood pressure changes, weak pulse and chest pain.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The "Steel City" gives new meaning to the police state

Posted by kenny's sideshow

The folks who want to speak out at the G20 in Pittsburgh are not being organized by Glenn Beck and his ilk nor being choreographed by Fox News. That's what concerns the criminal elite who will gather to further their agenda of economic slavery and put on a show of force against 'free speech.'

Free speech doesn't come easy.
IN THE weeks leading up to the Group of 20 economic summit of world leaders in Pittsburgh September 24 and 25, the mainstream media saturated the city with alarming stories of "violent" and "unruly" protesters.

But these stories also reassured residents that a slew of law enforcement agencies--local and state police, SWAT teams, the National Guard and the Secret Service--would ensure public order and protect private and public property throughout the city.
One question, however, didn't receive as much attention: who would protect the right to free speech?

Ahead of his arrival in Pittsburgh for the summit, President Barack Obama made it clear that he didn't value the opinions of protesters, anyway. "I was always a big believer...that focusing on concrete, local, immediate issues that have an impact on people's lives is what really makes a difference, and that having protests about abstractions [such] as global capitalism or something, generally, is not really going to make much of a difference," Obama said.

But if Obama thinks the demonstrations are irrelevant, his administration is going to great lengths to harass and intimidate them. The projected cost of the police presence--to include some 2,000 National Guard troops, 1,000 state troopers, 900 Pittsburgh police and perhaps thousands more police from nearby municipalities--is upward of $20 million.

The authorities will have helicopters, Humvees, prototypes of a new generation of top-of-the-line police cruisers--and specially outfitted police bicycles. "It ties in nicely with the whole green effort," said Chris Andrews, general manager of the military equipment contractor that donated the bikes.

Several buildings and sports fields belonging to the Pittsburgh public schools have been made available to law enforcement and military agencies to house personnel and provide landing pads for the helicopters.

But activists, on the other hand, have had to file numerous lawsuits to get city and state agencies to issue permits for peaceful protests and other activities. The city also put pressure on universities and other institutions to distance themselves from planned demonstrations, according to activists. {more}

The repression begins.....
Sitting here on the hill in Schenley Park I watch no less than 4 military helicopters constantly buzz the Pittsburgh Skyline. Police vans from Philadelphia and beyond patrol the streets of downtown creating a state of fear, a state of occupation. Over 4000 police, including 2000 national guard troops, some fresh from Iraq, are on call to ensure that Obama’s G20 party goes without a hitch.

Already the police have been going out of there way to create a state of fear before the summit starts. Seeds of Peace, a group that provides free food for activists, has been repeatedly harassed, their bus impounded, and a member arrested without reason.

The Landslide Community Farm has also been raided and illegally searched by over 20 cops. No warrant was provided, the only reason given is that it was a matter of “national security.” Meanwhile the police raided several activist homes overnight, drawing guns on people, and towing cars. And after being told that the 3 Rivers Climate Convergence could leave tents setup overnight, low and behold, they have all disappeared by morning.

What is important to recognize is that this is not just a rogue Pittsburgh police force. Because the G20 has been declared a “National Security Event” the Secret Service is in charge of all police operations in relation to the G20. The Secret Service are Obama’s people. They answer to him. The preemptive repression on the streets of Pittsburgh is being done on Obama’s watch. Don’t forget that.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post, Obama said that protests are ineffective and that globalization is inevitable. So much for all his fiery campaign rhetoric about renegotiating NAFTA and other trade deals that have screwed workers and destroyed the environment. {more}

Pittsburgh is under 'house arrest'
Downtown banks and businesses have boarded up their windows and been forced to take out terrorism insurance... Our parks have become tent cities for police and protesters alike. The 3 rivers are shutdown by the Coast Guard and there are only three ways to access the city.... {more}

National security investigation? and lawsuits.....
The 16-page lawsuit focuses on three specific incidents involving the Seeds of Peace Collective, a group founded in 1986 to provide food and water to protesters. A bus, retrofitted to run on vegetable oil and solar power, that is used by the group to prepare meals, arrived in Pittsburgh from Montana on Sept. 13.

On Friday, members of Seeds of Peace returned to where the bus had been parked and locked in a private driveway on Melwood Avenue in Oakland to find one police officer inside the bus and another in its doorway. The members asked what they were doing and told them they did not have consent to either enter or search the vehicle. The officers had the bus towed to the city's impound lot, and Michael Bowersox, its co-owner, had to pay $220 to get it back.

"This is the absolute worst police harassment I've experienced in 19 years," he said. "We have a long history of being committed to nonviolence, in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King."The complaint also said that another bus operated by Everybody's Kitchen, which was parked in a private driveway in Bloomfield, was subjected to harassment, too.

Yesterday afternoon, city officials told both buses they had until 6:30 p.m. to vacate the Sassafras Street property where they had been parked. Bob Johnson, an artist who leases the property, said a city building inspector approached the owner yesterday morning, cited him for several code violations and threatened to fine him $1,000 a day unless they moved.

The Seeds of Peace bus is equipped with enough supplies to make 5,000 meals, said Mr. Mark, 29, of Missoula, Mont. Contacts in Pittsburgh helped the food buses get permission to use the Sassafras Street property, which sits under the Bloomfield Bridge and is covered with scrap-metal sculptures. Mr. Johnson allowed police on the grounds on Sunday night when more than 30 police officers dressed in riot gear showed up at about 11:30 p.m., the lawsuit said."They informed the owner that this was a national security investigation and that no warrant was necessary." After about 20 minutes of discussion, Mr. Johnson allowed police to search the property, but they could not go on the buses. {more}

Another perspective....
Why not hold the meeting on an isolated Pacific atoll, or a secluded, desert military installation? It would certainly be cheaper, let alone significantly less risky.The choice of Pittsburgh reeks of provocation (read agents provocateur).Somewhat related reading for today.....

Any Day Now, as the Song Goes - Les Visible
Dreaming the world wide awake - Peter Chamberlin
Would FOX News and a drunk rodeo clown lie to you
Who REALLY runs Washington
Israel ~ They're out to get us
The Silence of Freedom


G20 Police Using Intimidation Techniques, Military Weapons

From: Irish American Patriot
Date: 9/25/2009 9:38:27 AM
Subject: G20 Police Using Intimidation Techniques, Military Weapons

Police Using Intimidation Techniques, Military Weapons To Break Up Peaceful Protests

Scenes wouldn't look out of place in Communist China, Nazi Germany

Steve Watson
Friday, Sept 25, 2009

Video footage is pouring onto Youtube that clearly shows riot police in Pittsburgh using intimidation tactics and military weapons to disperse peaceful assemblies in the vicinity of the G20 summit.

In the first video an officer appears on the scene where protesters are peacefully gathered and immediately tells them to leave the area, threatening everyone with arrest should they not comply.

The in a scene that looks as if it took place in Communist China, riot officers form a line parallel to the protesters, extending to both ends of the street, and slowly walk towards them, noisily and simultaneously marching and beating their shields with their batons.

This is a clear intimidation tactic to cause fear and psychologically.. effect the peaceful protesters in an effort to herd them and get them to disperse.

We Are Change and Infowars reporter Luke Rudkowski speaks into a bullhorn throughout, as this complete violation of the First Amendment unfolds. He notes how LRAD sound weapons used in Afghanistan and Iraq are now being used against peaceful American citizens on the streets of Pittsburgh by armed military troops.

Chants of "USA, USA" ring out and protesters holding cameras and signs break into applause at Luke's words as the jackboot police continue to advance. It is hard to believe that this is America.

The LRAD Weapons are then brought to the scene and an announcement blasts out towards the protesters:



Watch the video:


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pittsburgh is under 'house arrest' for G20 Summit

From: Saladin

Pittsburgh is under 'house arrest' for G20 Summit

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
G 20 Protest

Well it's early in the week and already the G 20 protesters are out in full force, and filling courtrooms with emergency petitions... The city is bracing for over 3000

Downtown banks and businesses have boarded up their windows and been forced to take out terrorism insurance... Our parks have become tent cities for police and protesters alike. The 3 rivers are shutdown by the Coast Guard and there are only three ways to access the city.... Yes, Pittsburgh is so lucky to be hosting the G 20


I voted for Obama and all I got is this lousy police state

Published by mattwilkerson

Actually I didn’t vote for him. But that is beside the point. The point I HOPE to make here is that not much has CHANGED when it comes to the repression of dissent in this country since Obama came into office.

Sitting here on the hill in Schenley Park I watch no less than 4 military helicopters constantly buzz the Pittsburgh Skyline. Police vans from Philadelphia and beyond patrol the streets of downtown creating a state of fear, a state of occupation. Over 4000 police, including 2000 national guard troops, some fresh from Iraq, are on call to ensure that Obama’s G20 party goes without a hitch.

Already the police have been going out of there way to create a state of fear before the summit starts. Seeds of Peace, a group that provides free food for activists, has been repeatedly harassed, their bus impounded, and a member arrested without reason. The Landslide Community Farm has also been raided and illegally searched by over 20 cops. No warrant was provided, the only reason given is that it was a matter of “national security.” Meanwhile the police raided several activist homes overnight, drawing guns on people, and towing cars. And after being told that the 3 Rivers Climate Convergence could leave tents setup overnight, low and behold, they have all disappeared by morning.

What is important to recognize is that this is not just a rogue Pittsburgh police force. Because the G20 has been declared a “National Security Event” the Secret Service is in charge of all police operations in relation to the G20. The Secret Service are Obama’s people. They answer to him. The preemptive repression on the streets of Pittsburgh is being done on Obama’s watch. Don’t forget that.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post, Obama said that protests are ineffective and that globalization is inevitable. So much for all his fiery campaign rhetoric about renegotiating NAFTA and other trade deals that have screwed workers and destroyed the environment.

Try as he may to stop the thousands who will take the streets in the coming days, he’ll have a hard time. Folks in Pittsburgh and from around the country are pissed. They are pissed about Obama’s two wars, they are pissed about impending climate chaos, they are pissed at not being able to put food on the table, and they are pissed about being unable to afford a visit to the doctor. We won’t be stopped by Obama’s attempts at squashing dissent in this country.


Thanks to: http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/

G-20: 'Green' City sends 40 cops to Landslide Community Farm (again)

Mike Boda
September 21, 2009
Pittsburgh Grassroots Examiner

G-20: 'Green' City sends 40 cops to Landslide Community Farm (again)

An important part of policing major protests is the pre-emptive raid. How this usally works is, law enforcement picks some relatively benign group or project, such as puppet makers or mobile kitchens, that they are pretty sure will not resist in any way, shape or form, and tear their space apart and declare some basic household items to be dangerous dual-use technology and start arresting people. For this reason, gun-toting tea party-types will never have to worry about this. This is the same mentality that ensures the US picks on nations that actually have working WMD programs, like North Korea or Iran. Bullies beat up on younger siblings, not their parents. It is much safer that way.

In addition to pathetic bullying that resulted in the Seeds of Peace bus being impounded and the permitted marches being denied access to their routes, the City of Pittsburgh, which is in the full throes of greenwashing the spent, burnt-out former industrial town into a success story, had 40 police officers to spare for a raid on Landslide, a local community farm located in Pittsburgh's Hill District, for the second time in less than a year.

For Immediate Release:
For more information call Claire Schoyer—412-551-6957

In Lead Up to G-20, Police Harassment at Community Farm
More than forty police officers stationed in front of Landslide Community Farm as Department of Public Works removes tires

PITTSBURGH—On Sunday, September 20 just after noon, more than 40 uniformed police officers arrived at Landslide Community Farm in four unmarked twelve-passenger vans. The police were not forthcoming with their reasons for visiting the farm but some officers indicated that their presence was in relation to the upcoming G-20 summit.

Several officers got out of their vans, walking deep into the privately owned farmland to examine the area. During the investigation police were repeatedly told that they were on private property and asked to leave, but refused to comply with the request until tax receipts indicating ownership of the land were presented. At several delicate plants were trampled in the investigation but the extent of the damage is unknown.

Eventually the police left the farmland to investigate a pile of tires on a city-owned lot adjacent to the land. The tires had been gathered from city-owned lots in the area during neighborhood clean-up days. Farm volunteers say that the lots had been neglected by local authorities for years. As part of the clean-up efforts Landslide requested help from various city agencies in removing the tires. While city officials were very helpful in securing dumpsters for other trash, they refused to assist in removing the tires.

The forty police officers remained on the scene for more than eight hours while Pittsburgh Public Works investigated the situation, examined property lines, and eventually hauled away the tires. Employees promised to return at 6:00 am the next morning. They did not comment on the purpose of their return to the Farm.

Farm volunteers expressed concern that so many police officers were called to the scene just to remove tires. “If they had given us a dumpster two years ago this wouldn’t have been an issue. This isn’t about trash or tires; this is a show of force. The police are clearly trying to intimidate anyone who opposes the G-20’s policies or anyone who looks like someone that would protest the G-20” said Claire Schoyer, a fulltime Landslide volunteer.

While Landslide members are generally opposed to the G-20 and its neoliberal policies, the farm is not hosting any protesters or protest activities. Also, in the face of likely repression, the Farm has decided to scale back activities during the summit.

This is not the first time police have been at Landslide. In August, Landslide volunteers filed a complaint with the Citizens Police Review Board when two plainclothes police officers visited the farm and aggressively told volunteers that they had to leave because they were trespassing on city land. During the August incident the officers left when they were presented with tax receipts for the land.


G-20: Shock-jock yells "fire' in crowded tunnel

Mike Boda
September 22 2009
Pittsburgh Grassroots Examiner

G-20: Shock-jock yells "fire' in crowded tunnel

After weeks of the tossing of human waste referred to as the "local TV news," it is easy to become desensitized to the kind of low-budget, Hollywood, action-movie nonsense that they have been irresponsibly pushing onto an impressionable audience that these self-described "news outlets" have been known to convince several times a year that snow flurries will result in the total collapse of civilization. Following "liberal" media outlets WTAE's straight-faced blaming the City's neglect of their properties and KDKA's reliance on anonymous sources, delivered by a failing radio pundit who gets a chance to play at reporter because he is married to a news anchor, would seem to be a tough act, but local extreme-right, shock jocks have accepted the challenge.

If you got the day off, due to a rumor being spread this morning that "'G-20 protesters' intend to drive into the region's tunnels, stop a car, slash the tires, and burn it," then you were the victim of an irresponsible, dangerous hoax perpetrated by Ouinn, one half of local wing-nut radio comedians, Quinn and Rose (but enjoy your day off). This right-wing kook also maintains that "'G-20 protesters' will be throwing tear gas cannisters into retail stores," overlooking who actually possesses stockpiles of these kinds of chemical weapons and it is not the people operating community farms, mobile kitchens or writer's centers.

While these private-plane populists have both made the admirable decision to refrain from serving in the US military, the "war room" does seem like a strange name for the website of a couple of show-business types. Why so many entertainers are concerned that Barack Obama and the global elite have a good time, remains a mystery? If you visit their website and are unable to tell them apart, Jim Quinn is the one who resembles Gollum from the Lord of the Rings, dressed as one of the Golden Girls and Rose Soma-Tennent is the one swaddled in kitschy animal-prints who resembles an attempt at making a mummy (or jerky) with a tanning bed.

There is probably not anything that can be done about him, being a Clear Channel employee, but these kinds of dangerous rumors can get people hurt, especially given the local fear of tunnels.

Email the station manager to see if he feels that yelling "fire" in a crowded rush-hour tunnel is the kind of infotainment he wants to be associated with.


Local Groups Organizing Around the G-20

Amnesty International- Carnegie Mellon University
Anti-War Comittee (AWC)
Black Political Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP)
Code Pink: Pittsburgh Women For Peace
Fed Up! Human Rights Coalition-Pittsburgh
G-6 Billion
G-20 Media Support
Greater Pittsburgh Anarchist Collective (GPAC)
Green Party of Allegheny County
Health Care 4 All-PA
Network of Spiritual Progressives-Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project
Pittsburgh Organzing Group
Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee
Raging Grannies
Students for Justice in Palestine
Thomas Merton Center
Three Rivers Climate Convergence: United for Environmental Justice
Veterans for Peace
Women's International League for Peace & Freedom

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

For Your Health, Froot Loops

Published: September 4, 2009

For Your Health, Froot Loops

A new food-labeling campaign called Smart Choices, backed by most of the nation’s largest food manufacturers, is “designed to help shoppers easily identify smarter food and beverage choices.”

The green checkmark label that is starting to show up on store shelves will appear on hundreds of packages, including — to the surprise of many nutritionists — sugar-laden cereals like Cocoa Krispies and Froot Loops.

“These are horrible choices,” said Walter C. Willett, chairman of the nutrition department of the Harvard School of Public Health.

He said the criteria used by the Smart Choices Program were seriously flawed, allowing less healthy products, like sweet cereals and heavily salted packaged meals, to win its seal of approval. “It’s a blatant failure of this system and it makes it, I’m afraid, not credible,” Mr. Willett said.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture have also weighed in, sending the program’s managers a letter on Aug. 19 saying they intended to monitor its effect on the food choices of consumers.

The letter said the agencies would be concerned if the Smart Choices label “had the effect of encouraging consumers to choose highly processed foods and refined grains instead of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”

The government is interested in improving nutrition labeling on packages in part because of the nation’s obesity epidemic, which experts say is tied to a diet heavy in processed foods loaded with calories, fats and sugar.

The prominently displayed label debuts as many in the food industry and government are debating how to provide information on the front of packages that includes important elements from the familiar nutrition facts box that usually appears on the back of products.

Eileen T. Kennedy, president of the Smart Choices board and the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, said the program’s criteria were based on government dietary guidelines and widely accepted nutritional standards.

She said the program was also influenced by research into consumer behavior. That research showed that, while shoppers wanted more information, they did not want to hear negative messages or feel their choices were being dictated to them.

“The checkmark means the food item is a ‘better for you’ product, as opposed to having an x on it saying ‘Don’t eat this,’ ” Dr. Kennedy said. “Consumers are smart enough to deduce that if it doesn’t have the checkmark, by implication it’s not a ‘better for you’ product. They want to have a choice. They don’t want to be told ‘You must do this.’ ”

Dr. Kennedy, who is not paid for her work on the program, defended the products endorsed by the program, including sweet cereals. She said Froot Loops was better than other things parents could choose for their children.

“You’re rushing around, you’re trying to think about healthy eating for your kids and you have a choice between a doughnut and a cereal,” Dr. Kennedy said, evoking a hypothetical parent in the supermarket. “So Froot Loops is a better choice.”

Froot Loops qualifies for the label because it meets standards set by the Smart Choices Program for fiber and Vitamins A and C, and because it does not exceed limits on fat, sodium and sugar. It contains the maximum amount of sugar allowed under the program for cereals, 12 grams per serving, which in the case of Froot Loops is 41 percent of the product, measured by weight. That is more sugar than in many popular brands of cookies.

“Froot Loops is an excellent source of many essential vitamins and minerals and it is also a good source of fiber with only 12 grams of sugar,” said Celeste A. Clark, senior vice president of global nutrition for Kellogg’s, which makes Froot Loops. “You cannot judge the nutritional merits of a food product based on one ingredient.”

Dr. Clark, who is a member of the Smart Choices board, said that the program’s standard for sugar in cereals was consistent with federal dietary guidelines that say that “small amounts of sugar” added to nutrient-dense foods like breakfast cereals can make them taste better. That, in theory, will encourage people to eat more of them, which would increase the nutrients in their diet.

Ten companies have signed up for the Smart Choices program so far, including Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods, ConAgra Foods, Unilever, General Mills, PepsiCo and Tyson Foods. Companies that participate pay up to $100,000 a year to the program, with the fee based on total sales of its products that bear the seal.

The Smart Choices checkmark is meant to take the place of similar nutritional labels that individual manufacturers began plastering on their packages several years ago, like PepsiCo’s Smart Choices Made Easy and Sensible Solution from Kraft.

In joining Smart Choices, the companies agreed to discontinue their own labeling systems, Ms. Kennedy said.

Michael R. Taylor, a senior F.D.A. adviser, said the agency was concerned that sugar-laden cereals and high-fat foods would bear a label that tells consumers they were nutritionally superior.

“What we don’t want to do is have front-of-package information that in any way is based on cherry-picking the good and not disclosing adequately the components of a product that may be less good,” Mr. Taylor said.

He said the agency would consider the possibility of creating a standardized nutrition label for the front of packages.

“We’re taking a hard look at these programs and we want to independently look at what would be the sound criteria and the best way to present this information,” Mr. Taylor said.

Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group, was part of a panel that helped devise the Smart Choices nutritional criteria, until he quit last September. He said the panel was dominated by members of the food industry, which skewed its decisions.

“It was paid for by industry and when industry put down its foot and said this is what we’re doing, that was it, end of story,” he said. Dr. Kennedy and Dr. Clark, who were both on the panel, said industry members had not controlled the results.

Mr. Jacobson objected to some of the panel’s nutritional decisions. The criteria allow foods to carry the Smart Choices seal if they contain added nutrients, which he said could mask shortcomings in the food.

Despite federal guidelines favoring whole grains, the criteria allow breads made with no whole grains to get the seal if they have added nutrients.

“You could start out with some sawdust, add calcium or Vitamin A and meet the criteria,” Mr. Jacobson said.

Nutritionists questioned other foods given the Smart Choices label. The program gives the seal to both regular and light mayonnaise, which could lead consumers to think they are both equally healthy. It also allows frozen meals and packaged sandwiches to have up to 600 milligrams of sodium, a quarter of the recommended daily maximum intake.

“The object of this is to make highly processed foods appear as healthful as unprocessed foods, which they are not,” said Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University.


Experts Say Industry Food Labels Deceptive

By Randall Pinkston
NEW YORK, Sept. 6, 2009

Experts Say Industry Food Labels Deceptive

Manufacturers Add "Smart Choices" Labels to Packages, Mimicking Government Nutrition Labels; Bid to Push Processed Foods?

(CBS) It's a controversy that's as close as your local supermarket shelf - those familiar government nutrition labels. Now some big food manufacturers are adding labels of their own, as CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston reports.

Since the mid 1990s, if Americans wanted to know what was in their food, they had to look at government-approved nutrition facts on the side of the box.

Now, some packaged foods are getting new front-of-the-box labels.

"The purpose is to help people make choices about healthier food and to make different selections than they are making now," said Mike Hughes, chairman of the Smart Choices program.

Smart choices is a system designed by and paid for by the nation's major food manufacturers and managed by the American Society of Nutrition.

But critics say the program has a very different objective.

"The point of the program is to make processed foods look healthy when you really want people eating foods that have been as minimally processed as possible," said Dr. Marian Nestle, a professor of nutritional studies at New York University.

Nestle was astounded by some of the products that rate the Smart Choice designation.

"This is the first product that I've seen with this logo on it," she said, holding a box of Fruit Loops cereal. "And I was kind of amazed because this is a sugary cereal."

Food manufacturers say just because a product contains sugar doesn't make it bad.

"We believe that the smart choices program, taken in its totality, will encourage people to eat in line with U.S. dietary guidelines for Americans," Hughes said.

So far, 10 large food manufacturers, like Kellogg's and Kraft, are part of the Smart Choices program. With approximately 500 products, including Fruit Loops, Kid Cuisine cheeseburgers, Teddy Grahams and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, carrying the Smart Choices label.

The green mark does not mean government approval, but critics say there's a danger some consumers won't know that.

Shopper Laurie Adams told us that she believed the green check mark meant that the product was a healthy choice.

The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food labeling, is keeping close watch on the Smart Choices program. The major concern is that the labels may mislead consumers and encourage them to buy highly processed foods instead of fruits and vegetables.


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Smart Choices" food label is marketing fraud

by Mike Adams
September 22 2009

Smart Choices" food label is marketing fraud; Tufts University involvement questioned (opinion)

NaturalNews) The big food companies have dreamed up yet another clever con to sell processed junk foods to parents and children: A "Smart Choices" label that implies the food product is a smart choice for health and nutrition. The problem is that the standards for qualifying for this designation were set by the food companies themselves, and processed junk foods like Froot Loops (a sugary breakfast cereal) qualify.

Froot Loops is 41 percent processed white sugar. It also contains processed flour and partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil. But that's not all you'll find in the box: Froot Loops is also made with synthetic coloring chemicals, including Red #40, Blue #2, Yellow #6 and Blue #1. The No. 1 ingredient of Froot Loops is sugar, and each serving contains 12 grams of sugar.

So how, exactly, did Froot Loops qualify for the "Smart Choices" label?

I'll tell you how: Because the Smart Choices label is a marketing fraud. It's a manipulative, dishonest food package labeling system that is intentionally designed by the processed food companies to mislead and misinform consumers into buying processed food products, in my view.

You'd have to be deeply misinformed about nutritional basics to think that a processed breakfast cereal made of 41% sugar, partially-hydrogenated oils and artificial coloring chemicals is a "smart choice" for any child. A more appropriate label might be "Diabetes Choices" or "Obesity Choices", but certainly not "Smart Choices."

In my opinion, this marketing fraud is little more than a marketing gimmick. It makes you wonder who, exactly, came up with it.

Did Tufts University sell out to the food giants?
The president of the Smart Choices board is Eileen T. Kennedy, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. (http://nutrition.tufts.edu/1174562918741/Nutrition-Page-nl2w_1177941613339.html )

Eileen Kennedy and other Tufts University faculty members have established ties with the Kellogg's company, having participated in a "Children's Health" forum that was co-sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

That event, held in June of this year, was entitled: 'Children's Health: The Future of Food & Nutrition Policy'. It claimed to offer in-depth discussions on topics like "childhood obesity, nutrition standards, global child nutrition and school food."

(http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS211273+27-May-2009+PRN20090527 )

(Did their discussions ever mention that perhaps children shouldn't eat breakfast cereals made with 41% processed sugar?)

In promoting the event, Eileen Kennedy was quoted in a joint press release, admitting how closely her university works with food companies:

"Working with our colleagues across academia, the food and nutrition industry, government agencies and nonprofit organizations, we will influence and change the
nutritional landscape for our children."

She certainly accomplished that. Now, products made with 41% refined white sugar are fraudulently marketed as "Smart Choices."

Guess who else was invited to speak at the event? Dr. Cathy Woteki from Mars, Inc., makers of candy bars and other sugar processed foods that are aggressively marketed to children.

Tufts University: Sugar for kids?
It all makes you wonder: With all these corporate junk food giants being so heavily involved in this event presented by Tufts University, what exactly does this university really stand for in regards to healthy food for children? Does Tufts University itself stand behind the promotion of sugary junk foods for children? Does it endorse products like Froot Loops being labeled as "Smart Choices" for kids?

Here are the ingredients of Froot Loops:


Is Eileen T. Kennedy, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, really going to tell us -- with a straight face -- that this cereal is good for kids?


Aiming low
She might answer, of course, that "it meets U.S. government nutritional guidelines." Those are the same guidelines that have already made the United States of America a nation grappling with a pandemic of obese children and adults.

Clearly, U.S. government nutritional guidelines are a public health disaster. If we hope to improve the health of our children, it only stands to reason that we must improve the nutritional guidelines being followed to feed our kids. And you can't improve nutritional guidelines if you're in bed with the very same corporate food giants who are making and peddling their sugary, chemically-enriched breakfast cereals that promote diabetes and obesity in the first place.

You also can't improve kids' health if you're nutritionally ill-informed and yet you've somehow found your way into a position of influence over nutritional policy... as seems to be the case with Dr. Eileen Kennedy. Here's her gosh-darned explanation of why Froot Loops deserves the "Smart Choices" label, in her own words: "You're rushing around, you're trying to think about healthy eating for your kids and you have a choice between a doughnut and a cereal. So Froot Loops is a better choice."

Better than a donut?
Huh? Is she serious? Froot Loops gets a Smart Choices label because it's better than a donut? Is this the limit of the nutritional awareness of the dean of a nationally-recognized school that's part of the Tufts University system?

This all really reminds me of the movie Idiocracy, where the whole nation is run by complete idiots and water fountains have been replaced with sugary sports drinks because everybody knows that "water is only for toilets."

In terms of really idiotic thinking, check out this quote published in the New York Times: "Dr. Clark, who is a member of the Smart Choices board, said that the program's standard for sugar in cereals was consistent with federal dietary guidelines that say that 'small amounts of sugar' added to nutrient-dense foods like breakfast cereals can make them taste better. That, in theory, will encourage people to eat more of them, which would increase the nutrients in their diet."

Are they serious? Break down this logic for a moment: Sugar is GOOD because it encourages children to eat MORE processed breakfast cereals!

How on earth could this be a legitimate answer in a nation where kids are eating too much sugar and too much processed food in the first place?

The utter abandonment of basic common sense by the people in this program is truly awe-inspiring. It really makes me wonder how we can ever turn around the health problems of this nation when we have such nutritionally illiterate people being quoted in the New York Times as nutritional experts. (Or perhaps the NY Times was just trying to point out how nutritionally ignorant these people are, and on that point it succeeded wildly...)

Someone please educate Dr. Kennedy about nutrition
Tufts University is an outstanding academic institution. It's done a lot of good work and produced many important studies on nutrition and health. But this pro-sugary-cereals stance by its nutrition school dean is, well, just flat out embarrassing. It makes Tufts University look like the best little corporate nutrition whorehouse in Boston. They might as well just remove the word "science" from the name of the school: Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

That name should probably be replaced with this one, which is more accurate: Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Corporate Ass Kissers. I'm pretty sure the Friedmans wouldn't appreciate that name, but neither would they likely appreciate a deeply misinformed dean potentially compromising the reputation of their school by seemingly selling out to the very companies whose products undeniably contribute to our kids becoming obese and diabetic in the first place.

Don't let 'em get away with this sell out. Contact the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and tell 'em what you think about their dean endorsing Froot Loops for children (among other processed junk foods) under the "Smart Choices" label. This is inexcusable! Their contact page is right here: http://nutrition.tufts.edu/1174562918741/Nutrition-Page-nl2w_1177953853481.html

Not all top university nutritionists are hopelessly ignorant when it comes to nutrition, by the way. The chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, Walter Willett, told the New York Times that many products carrying the "Smart Choices" label "are horrible choices." In fact, quite a number of influential nutrition leaders have spoken out publicly against Dr. Kennedy.

Smart Choices companies aren't so smart choices
In case you're curious, here's the list of the companies participating in this "Smart Choices" label program:

Kraft Foods
ConAgra Foods
General Mills
Tyson Foods

... it reads like a who's who of processed food and junk food giants. In terms of making truly smart choices at the grocery store, by the way, the smartest choice would be to avoid any product made by any of these companies, in my view.

What integrity really means
Michael Jacobson, the public health watchdog from CSPI, participated as a panel member in the early days of the Smart Choices program, but he soon quit, explaining "It was paid for by industry and when industry put down its foot and said this is what we're doing, that was it, end of story." In other words, Jacobson rightly refused to sell out his conscience to a group of corporate junk food promoters. That's a rare display of genuine integrity in our world.

I applaud Jacobson for quitting the Smart Choices program, which is obviously just a fraudulent marketing gimmick devised by these companies to intentionally mislead consumers. It's too bad the dean of Tufts University's nutrition school couldn't find the backbone to adhere to similar principles. In a nation suffering from runaway health care costs, widespread nutritional deficiencies and an epidemic of childhood obesity, it's truly disheartening to see an influential nutrition leader from one of the nation's top universities blatantly promoting processed junk foods for children.

I'm appalled, saddened and somewhat surprised to see this in 2009. While the nutritional advice of Eileen T. Kennedy might have passed muster in the 1970's era of bleached white Wonder Bread and chemically-enhanced TV dinners, today we know a lot more about the links between the dietary intake of sugars and childhood obesity, diabetes, heart disease and behavioral disorders. We know that feeding a nation of children sugared-up breakfast cereals and soft drinks is a sure recipe for raising a generation of obese, diabetic children and teens.

As the dean of the school of nutrition at Tufts University, how is it possible that Mrs. Kennedy could have missed this? Has she been in an aspartame-induced coma since 1975? ... and now she suddenly awakens from her decades-long slumber to slap on a pair of polyester pants and champion Froot Loops for children as a prominent dean at Tufts University?

Is this some bizarre rejected screenplay from a "B" movie script? Will her head now spin around as she spouts devilish verse from a demonic spirit that has occupied her body and filled her head with thoughts of sugary cereals?

The whole thing just defies reason. It's difficult to believe this is happening today, in America, in a top-rated university. So read the sources below. Check it out for yourself as you confirm the truth of what I'm reporting here through articles in the NY Times, CBS News and Reuters. See for yourself just how corrupt and / or ignorant the top nutrition leaders in our nation's universities can be on this crucial issue of the diet of children. And when you see this clearly, you'll finally understand why America has more fat, diabetic children than any other nation in the world.

Our adults have sold out our children. It's that simple. In my opinion, corporate money has bought off key influencers who set public nutrition policy, and they have conspired to feed our kids more sugar, more processed foods, more junk and more lies about nutrition even while their selfish actions may very well bankrupt our entire nation through runaway health care costs.

One final truth comes out in all this: The USA's national nutrition policies precisely mirror its national food supply -- they're both processed, bleached, adulterated and wholly devoid of any useful substance.

Sources for this story include:

The New York Times

LA Times

CBS News

Froot Loops ingredients:

Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy:


At least with traffic, fewer rules make for better behavior

At least with traffic, fewer rules make for better behavior

J.D. Tuccille
September 18

Officials in Drachten, Holland, wanted to reduce accidents and injuries on the town's roads, so they turned to a traffic engineer with an unusual idea: eliminate rules. Hans Monderman believes that people are more careful when they are subject to fewer commandments and less direction. So he removed road signs, traffic lights and even markings. The so-far positive results suggest that better results may well come from letting people make ad hoc arrangements on the spot than from subjecting them to top-down control.

Part of the problem is that regulations seem to create a false sense of security -- and entitlement. A recent British study found that drivers actually give bicyclists less room when cycle lanes are explicitly marked on the road. Leaving the road unmarked creates greater perceived danger and forces drivers to make their own arrangements -- generally creating a safer situation for bicyclists. The same dynamic, Monderman claims, prevails in all traffic situations. Leave drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to their own devices, and they come to better arrangements than any that can be forced on them.

So far, the data seems to support Monderman's theory. At least one report (PDF) on Drachten's traffic experiment found a significant drop in accidents and injuries after traffic signals were removed at a busy intersection -- from between four and ten a year before the change to one per year thereafter. Traffic also began to move faster through the intersection even as it became safer. "On the busiest streets average times to cross the intersection have fallen from 50 seconds to about 30 seconds."

There's a concept called "spontaneous order" popular among many philosophers and economists. The idea is that people are perfectly capable of adapting to new situations and establishing rules of the game for dealing with one another that are better than those imposed from above. The Drachten experiment looks to be an example of spontaneous order in action, as people create, on the fly, safe, sane ways to negotiate their way through busy roads.

Monderman's ideas are now being implemented in other municipalities in Holland and Germany, and are under consideration in the United States.

But left for the future is the idea that there might be wider lessons to be drawn from
Drachten's experiment in letting people negotiate their relationships with one another with fewer rules standing in the way of better outcomes.

From: Semper Fidelis—Μολών Λaβέ—Be free
Date: 9/22/2009 9:22:56 AM
Subject: More laws make for more lawlessness

Rom 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.

The more prohibitions there are, the poorer the people will be. The more laws are promulgated, the more thieves and bandits there will be." -- Lao-tzu, The Tao Te Ching (believed written in China, 6th century BC).

"At least with traffic, fewer rules make for better behavior"


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Canada Gives Indigenous Communities Swine Flu Body Bags

From: Russell Means (444271025)
Date: 9/19/2009 7:37:30 AM

H1N1 “Assistance” - Canada Gives Indigenous Communities Swine Flu Body Bags
September 18, 2009

Chief Jerry Knott of Wasagamack First Nation:

“This disturbed our community members and continues to be a major concern. We had asked for funding so we can get organized and to ensure medicines, hand sanitizers and other preventative kits were in place but, instead, we are shocked to receive the body bags,” he said. “To me, this is unacceptable and I am demanding an answer.”

“Is the body bags a statement from Canada that we as First Nations are on our own?”
Aboriginal leaders in Manitoba are horrified that some of the reserves hardest hit by swine flu in the spring have received dozens of body bags from Health Canada.
‘Don’t send us body bags. Help us organize; send us medicine.” Said Grand Chief David Harper, who represents northern First Nations.

“It really makes me wonder if health officials know something we don’t,” Said Grand Chief David Harper, who represents northern First Nations. “I have a right to speak for my people. I make a plea to the people of Canada to work with us to ensure the lowest fatalities from this monster virus. Don’t send us body bags. Help us organize; send us medicine.”

–WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - The Canadian government sent body bags to some remote Indian reserves as it prepared for the winter flu season, sending a jarring message at odds with its promise that it’s ready for the H1N1 flu.

The body bags went to some reserves in Manitoba, the western province in which some remote Indian communities were hard-hit by the flu in the spring, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said on Wednesday.

“It is very disturbing,” Aglukkaq told reporters on a conference call. “It’s a serious issue and it’s very concerning to me.”

Aglukkaq said she didn’t have details of the body-bag shipments and has ordered officials to investigate.

At least four Manitoba reserves received body bags from Canada’s health department in shipments that also included supplies like masks and hand sanitizer, the Winnipeg Free Press said.

“This says to me they’ve given up,” the newspaper quoted Chief David Harper of Northern Manitoba’s Garden Hill reserve, which received some of the body bags, as saying.

Sending body bags is “a totally unnecessary thing,” said chief public health officer Dr. David Butler-Jones.

Canada, a country of 33.6 million people, has ordered 50.4 million doses of vaccine and plans to begin immunizations in November. If Canada doesn’t need all its order, it will leave some vaccines available for other countries, Butler-Jones said.
Government officials aim to first distribute H1N1 vaccine to pregnant women, people living in remote communities, people with chronic health conditions and health-care workers.

“The whole population can be immunized very quickly,” Butler-Jones said.
The flu, now a worldwide pandemic, has killed 76 people in Canada.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Genocide in Guatemala News, 2001 to 2004 pt3


FT.com 18 Jan 2004 Nobel prizewinner to oversee Guatemala peace deal By Sara Silver in Mexico City The Guatemalan Nobel prizewinner Rigoberta Menchu will help to oversee the implementation of the peace accords that ended the country's 36-year civil war as part of its newly elected government. Successive governments have ignored or stumbled over the recommendations of the 1996 United Nation-brokered accords ending the conflict that killed 200,000 people, mostly members of the nation's Maya Indian majority, which includes Ms Menchu. Thorny issues remain, such as reducing the role of the army, compensating war victims, fighting ethnic discrimination, redistributing land and lessening the gross inequality that fuelled support for the anti-government rebels. Ms Menchu, who won the peace prize in 1992, said on Saturday that she would work within the Oscar Berger government, reportedly as a type of "goodwill ambassador to the accords". The president's wife, Wendy Widmann de Berger, stressed the administration's commitment to implementing the accords: "We believe [Ms Menchu] is the person who can show the world the changes we want to make." Ms Menchu's international credibility had been tarnished when she conceded that she mixed the testimony of other war victims into I, Rigoberta Menchu, the book that brought to world attention the horrors of the civil war. Reflecting the patchwork of his nation's past, President Berger is appointing leading human rights activists, officers who played key roles in US-backed military regimes and figures who come with the strong backing of the landed elite that financed his own campaign. Both Ms Menchu and respected human rights lawyer Frank LaRue, who was named head of the presidential human rights office, have long worked to prosecute on genocide charges the military officers who designed or carried out human rights violations. Chief among the targets is former military dictator Efrain Rios Montt, whom Mr Berger beat in November's first round of elections. Mr Berger has dodged questions on whether he will allow genocide charges to proceed against Mr Rios Montt, who until last week enjoyed legislative immunity as president of Congress.

Lawyers Committee for Human Rights 22 Jan 2004 www.lchr.org Rights Organizations Hail Supreme Court Decision in Myrna Mack Case January 22, 2004 The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) today welcomed the decision of Guatemala’s Supreme Court to reinstate the conviction of Colonel Juan Valencia Osorio for orchestrating the murder of renowned Guatemalan anthropologist Myrna Mack Chang in 1990. The three organizations, which have all campaigned for justice in the Mack case and in other human rights cases in Guatemala for many years, described the decision as “a tremendous victory for the Mack family and everyone in Guatemala who challenges entrenched impunity.” The Supreme Court’s decision, which was notified on Tuesday to Myrna Mack’s sister Helen and the Mack Foundation, overturned a May 2003 ruling of the Fourth Appeals Court, which had reversed Valencia Osorio’s earlier conviction by a trial court. In October 2002, a trial court had sentenced Valencia Osorio to thirty years imprisonment for masterminding the murder while he served as Head of the Department of Presidential Security of the Presidential General Staff (Estado Mayor Presidencial, EMP), a unit originally created to provide security for the President and Vice-president which operated as a military intelligence center and has been implicated in some of Guatemala's most high-profile human rights abuses. The Supreme Court reconfirmed the sentence and ordered Valencia Osorio’s arrest. The Lawyers Committee, CEJIL and WOLA commended the Supreme Court ruling, noting that judges and lawyers in Guatemala remain under constant threat of violence and intimidation. “We hope that this decision marks the beginning of a new period in Guatemala where rights abusers are held accountable for their actions, no matter their positions in previous power structures,” stated Neil Hicks, Director of the Lawyers Committee’s Human Rights Defenders Program. Adriana Beltrán, WOLA's Program Officer for Guatemala and co-author of a recent publication, entitled “Hidden Powers: Illegal Armed Groups in Post-conflict Guatemala and the Forces Behind Them” added “The countless delays and obstacles in the Myrna Mack case provide a prominent example of the influence and impunity enjoyed by clandestine power structures in Guatemala." In its decision, the Supreme Court held that the Fourth Appeals Court had erred in its reasoning when it found an “inconsistency” in the original trial court decision concerning the role played by Valencia Osorio in the planning and execution of the Mack murder. The trial court had found that “resources of the EMP’s Department of Presidential Security, where the order to kill anthropologist Myrna Mack originated, were used to carry out the murder.” It also later stated that “it has not been totally proven that the plan of execution … would have been conceived at the level of the EMP.” The Fourth Appeals Court perceived a contradiction between these two statements insofar as they relate to the role of the EMP in the crime. The Court therefore concluded that, as Valencia Osorio was tried on the basis of his role as a member of the EMP, the contradiction in the trial court’s reasoning placed into question the causal relationship between Valencia Osorio and the crime and his imputed authorship of the crime. However, the Supreme Court disagreed, finding that there was no inconsistency in the trial court’s position. The reconfirmation of Valencia Osorio’s conviction and sentence marks the end of a thirteen-year struggle for justice by Helen Mack and the Mack Foundation. Osorio’s conviction also represents the first time a high ranking military officer has been convicted of a human rights violation committed during the country's long civil war. While Noel de Jesús Beteta Álvarez, a soldier with the EMP, was convicted in 1993 for carrying out the killing, Helen Mack sought to have those responsible for ordering and arranging the execution of the crime also held accountable. In addition to Juan Valencia Osorio, she also accused General Edgar Augosto Godoy Gaitán and Lieutenant Colonel Juan Guillermo Oliva Carrera of involvement. In October 2002, however, the trial court acquitted Godoy Gaitán and Oliva Carrera, and their acquittal was reconfirmed by the Supreme Court. While domestic criminal proceedings were stalled in Guatemala, Helen Mack brought a parallel case to the Inter-American Commission and subsequently the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. These institutions are mandated to determine state responsibility for violations of the American Convention on Human Rights. In November 2003, the Inter-American Court found in favor of Helen Mack, ruling that Guatemala was responsible both for Myrna’s murder and for the subsequent denial of justice in the case. The Court specifically found that commanding officers in the EMP had ordered and carried out the murder and directed Guatemala to make reparations. Such reparations included ensuring the removal of all obstacles to justice in the case, public recognition of the state’s responsibility, and creating public memorials to Myrna Mack. “We believe that the Inter-American Commission and Court proceedings have helped to push the domestic justice system forward in this case,” commented Roxanna Altholz, Staff Attorney at CEJIL. Fundación Myrna Mack www.myrnamack.org.gt

Reuters 12 Feb 2004 Ex-Guatemala dictator to testify over reporter death GUATEMALA CITY, Feb 12 (Reuters) - A judge has banned former dictator Efrain Rios Montt from leaving Guatemala and ordered him to testify to a court investigating his possible implication in the death of a reporter last year. Judge Luis Alfredo Morales subpoenaed Rios Montt and members of his family and political party for their alleged role in violent protests in Guatemala City last year in which a radio journalist died while fleeing an armed mob. The reporter's son is accusing Rios Montt -- whom rights groups accuse of genocide during his iron-fisted 1982-83 dictatorship -- of murder, his lawyer said on Thursday. Radio reporter Hector Ramirez died of a heart attack in July as he was being chased by stick-wielding rightists at a demonstration backing a presidential bid by the ex-dictator. Walter Roble, the lawyer representing his son, also called Hector, said he welcomed the judge's ruling, made on Wednesday. "The decision to ban the accused from leaving the country is prudent, in virtue of the fact that in Guatemala those accused often become fugitives of justice," he told Reuters. Rios Montt, 77, was head of Congress at the time of the protests, called in support of his bid to be a candidate for Guatemala's 2003 presidential election. The retired general lost parliamentary immunity from prosecution when he stepped down from Congress in January after losing the election in the first round. Rights groups accuse Rios Montt of ordering the massacre of thousands of Maya Indians during his rule at the height of a 36-year civil war in which 200,000 people died. Judge Morales told local media that a warrant for Rios Montt's arrest would be issued if he did not present himself willingly to the court. Lawyers in the case say they expect Rios Montt to be called to appear next week. The court will then decide, based on his initial testimony, whether to proceed with the case.