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Baltimore Mayor Convicted of Embezzlement; Refuses to Resign

Posted on Dec 01, 2009 in Featured Articles

(CNN) — A jury convicted Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon on Tuesday of embezzlement for improperly using gift cards intended for the needy, the chief investigator for the state prosecutor’s office said.

She was found guilty of a single misdemeanor count of fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary. She could be removed from office because it is a theft-related crime, James I. Cabezas said.

Dixon solicited several cards for her own use from two developers, including Patrick Turner, who testified this month that Dixon asked him to donate gift cards from retailers and have them delivered to her office. He said he spent $1,000 total — $500 for a Best Buy gift card and $500 for a Target one, according to the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

No date was set for sentencing. Cabezas said Dixon faces up to five years in prison. She was indicted in January.

The 55-year-old mayor was acquitted of two counts of felony theft and one count of misconduct in office in connection to allegations that the Democrat misused gift cards sponsored by the mayor’s office and to various stores....

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Monsanto’s Dominance over Seed Market Opens AntiTrust Inquiry

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 in Featured Articles

[Hayden’s Note: If you think the Obama Administration is going to do ANYthing to reign in Monsanto, you are living in an altered reality.]

Obama Chooses Monsanto Creature, Tom Vilsack, for Secretary of Agriculture

Obama Chooses Former Monsanto Lobbyist for Food Safety Post

Via: Washington Post:

For plants designed in a lab a little more than a decade ago, they’ve come a long way: Today, the vast majority of the nation’s two primary crops grow from seeds genetically altered according to Monsanto company patents.

Ninety-three percent of soybeans. Eighty percent of corn.

The seeds represent “probably the most revolutionary event in grain crops over the last 30 years,” said Geno Lowe, a Salisbury, Md., soybean farmer.

But for farmers such as Lowe, prices of the Monsanto-patented seeds have steadily increased, roughly doubling during the past decade, to about $50 for a 50-pound bag of soybean seed, according to seed dealers.

The revolution, and Monsanto’s dominant role in the nation’s agriculture, has not unfolded without complaint. Farmers have decried the price increases, and competitors say the company has ruthlessly stifled competition....

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New e-Passport Issued; Facial Recognition & Digital Chips

Posted on Nov 26, 2009 in Featured Articles

Source: Fox News  […bleh]
NEW YORK —  Countries that have historically friendly relations with the United States on Thursday will begin issuing passports to residents traveling abroad complete with facial-recognition software and digital chips.
The U.S. State Department is already issuing so-called e-Passports to some American travelers as part of the U.S. government’s effort to make travel documents more secure in a post-Sept. 11 world.
“The department is committed to shutting down the ability of terrorists and criminals to use false travel documents to move freely through our borders. The upgrade to e-Passports is a significant advance in preventing terrorists from using lost or stolen passports to obtain entry into the United States,” Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday.
“It is going to make for a quicker inspection. It also allows the inspectors to focus their resources on people who don’t have electronic documents who have, perhaps, come from countries of greater concern,” added Frank Moss, deputy assistant secretary for consular affairs at the State Department. “I’ve never tried to tell people the e-Passport is a silver bullet … it is another tool to improve border security … and to make the inspection process more efficient for the vast majority of legitimate travelers.”


Passports currently have a bar code that is swiped by customs officials through a reader....

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Kentucky Police: No Extremist Involvement – Census Worker Committed Suicide

Posted on Nov 24, 2009 in Featured Articles

 [Hayden’s Note: I love how the story barely mentions – nor retracts – the finger pointing that occurred so quickly when his death was announced.  The Feds, State, and local authorities immediately began mentioning “right wing extremists”, as well as the media playing it up as a “hate crime” or politically motivated.]

FRANKFORT, Ky. — On the surface it all seemed like a gruesome hate crime in a rural part of Kentucky with a history of disdain for the government: a census worker found bound with duct tape and hanging from a tree, the word “fed” scrawled across his chest.

But investigators noticed the foot-tall letters scrawled in black felt-tip pen looked like they could have been written by the victim himself, and they soon found out that he believed he had cancer, had two insurance policies worth $600,000, and had an adult son in need of money.

Investigators said Tuesday what they had been hinting at for weeks, that Bill Sparkman’s hanging was a ruse to mask his suicide for a big insurance payout....

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Sen. Inhofe Calls for Hearing into CRU, UN’s Climate Change Research

Posted on Nov 23, 2009 in Featured Articles

Source: The Hill

[Hayden’s Note:  Senator Inhofe rocks.]

The publication of more than 1,000 private e-mails that climate change skeptics say proves the threat is exaggerated has prompted one key Republican senator to call for an investigation into their research.

In an interview with The Washington Times on Monday, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced he would probe whether the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “cooked the science to make this thing look as if the science was settled, when all the time of course we knew it was not.”

“[T]his thing is serious, you think about the literally millions of dollars that have been thrown away on some of this stuff that they came out with,” Inhofe, the ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said during the interview.

 He added that it was “interesting” that the e-mails surfaced only weeks before an important climate change summit would bring world leaders to Copenhagen.

Fueling Inhofe’s concerns is last week’s news that a blogger hacked into the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (Cru) and published about 1,000 e-mails and more than 3,000 private documents relating to climate change....

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Cop Uses Taser on 10 Year Old for Refusing to go to Bed

Posted on Nov 20, 2009 in Featured Articles, Police, Military, & War

Source: The Star

[Hayden’s Note at end of story]

The local police chief in Ozark, Arkansas is standing behind one of his officers who tasered a 10-year-old girl who was refusing to go to bed.

The bizarre story is laid out in a police incident report obtained by website The Smoking Gun.

Officer Dustin Bradshaw was called to the home by a woman complaining that her daughter was being unruly and refusing to go to sleep. Bradshaw wrote that when he arrived at the home, he found Kiara Medlock “balled up in (sic) the floor crying and screaming.”

After watching her mother attempt to get Kiara into the bathtub with little success, Bradshaw took the girl into the living room and threatened her with jail. That didn’t settle things down. At some point, Bradshaw claims Kiara’s mother told him to “taser her if I needed to.”

Bradshaw then tried to handcuff Kiara. But he couldn’t manage that either.

To hear Bradshaw tell it, he was now in the midst of a full-on brawl on the living-room floor with Kiara, a Grade 5 student....

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Court: Army Corps Liable for Katrina Flooding, Levee Failure – Awards Compensation

Posted on Nov 19, 2009 in Featured Articles

Source: CNN 

The Army Corps of Engineers’ failure to properly maintain a shipping channel linking New Orleans, Louisiana, to the Gulf of Mexico led to catastrophic flooding during Hurricane Katrina, a federal court ruled Wednesday.

“It is the court’s opinion that the negligence of the Corps, in this instance by failing to maintain the MRGO properly, was not policy, but insouciance, myopia and short-sightedness,” U.S. District Court Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. wrote in his lengthy ruling, referring to the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet canal.

“For over 40 years, the Corps was aware that the Reach II levee protecting Chalmette and the Lower Ninth Ward was going to be compromised by the continued deterioration of the MRGO … The Corps had an opportunity to take a myriad of actions to alleviate this deterioration or rehabilitate this deterioration and failed to do so. Clearly, the expression ‘talk is cheap’ applies here.”

Duval’s ruling was issued in a lawsuit brought by six plaintiffs affected by the 2005 hurricane, who claimed the Corps of Engineers was liable for damages. The judge ruled against one couple, who lived in New Orleans East, but awarded the others, from the Lower Ninth Ward and St....

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Economists Opposing ‘Audit the Fed’ Bill have Undisclosed Ties to the Fed Thumbnail

Economists Opposing ‘Audit the Fed’ Bill have Undisclosed Ties to the Fed

Posted on Nov 19, 2009 in Featured Articles, Federal Reserve & Bankers

Huffington Post
As the debate over an audit of the Federal Reserve intensifies in the House, one camp is trotting out eight academics that it calls a “political cross section of prominent economists.”
A review of their backgrounds shows they are anything but.
300_200fedreserveIn a letter to the House Financial Services Committee earlier this month, all eight wrote that they support the type of amendment now being introduced by Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.). Watt’s approach purports to increase Fed transparency while it actually would tighten restrictions on any audits that could go forward.  The letter was sent around Wednesday by Watt’s staff to members of the committee in advance of a vote scheduled for Thursday.
Watt’s measure is in competition with an amendment cosponsored by Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), which would repeal the restrictions that Watt leaves in place.  But far from a broad cross-section, the “prominent economists” lobbying on behalf of the Watt bill are in fact deeply involved with the Federal Reserve. Seven of the eight are either currently on the Fed’s payroll or have been in the past....

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Everything You Need to Know About Squalene (Flu Vaccine Additive) Thumbnail

Everything You Need to Know About Squalene (Flu Vaccine Additive)

Posted on Nov 17, 2009 in Featured Articles

Everything You Need to Know About Squalene (Flu Vaccine Additive)


“Instead of mass murdering quickly and compassionately, putting squalene in today’s swine flu vaccines assures populations will suffer chronically and painfully for life, assuming people survive the viral recombinants in the vaccine.”

Leonard G. Horowitz, DMD, MA, MPH. DNM, DMM

Award winning author and public health expert 

Adjuvants are formulated compounds, which when combined with vaccine antigens intensify the body’s immune response. They are used to elicit an early, high and long-lasting immune response. “The chemical nature of adjuvants, their mode of action and their reactions (side effect) are highly variable in terms of how they affect the immune system and how serious their adverse effects are due to the resultant hyper activation of the immune system. While adjuvants enable the use of less *antigen to achieve the desired immune response and reduce vaccine production costs, with few exceptions, adjuvants are foreign to the body and cause adverse reactions”, writes Australian scientist Viera Scheibner Ph.D

The most common adjuvant for human use is an aluminum salt called alum derived from aluminum hydroxide, or aluminum phosphate....

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Army Sends Infant to Protective Services, Mom to Afghanistan Thumbnail

Army Sends Infant to Protective Services, Mom to Afghanistan

Posted on Nov 16, 2009 in Featured Articles

Army Sends Infant to Protective Services, Mom to Afghanistan

by: Dahr Jamail  |  Inter Press Service

Ventura, California – US Army Specialist Alexis Hutchinson, a single mother, is being threatened with a military court-martial if she does not agree to deploy to Afghanistan, despite having been told she would be granted extra time to find someone to care for her 11-month-old son while she is overseas.

article_soldier_hutchinsonHutchinson, of Oakland, California, is currently being confined at Hunter Army Airfield near Savannah, Georgia, after being arrested. Her son was placed into a county foster care system.

Hutchinson has been threatened with a court martial if she does not agree to deploy to Afghanistan on Sunday, Nov. 15. She has been attempting to find someone to take care of her child, Kamani, while she is deployed overseas, but to no avail.

According to the family care plan of the U.S. Army, Hutchinson was allowed to fly to California and leave her son with her mother, Angelique Hughes of Oakland.

However, after a week of caring for the child, Hughes realised she was unable to care for Kamani along with her other duties of caring for a daughter with special needs, her ailing mother, and an ailing sister....

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US-Mexican Task Force Seeks to Ban Assault Weapons…Blames it on Border Violence Thumbnail

US-Mexican Task Force Seeks to Ban Assault Weapons…Blames it on Border Violence

Posted on Nov 13, 2009 in Featured Articles

Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post

article_assault_riflesA binational task force on U.S.-Mexico border issues will call Friday on the Obama administration and Congress to reinstate an expired ban on assault weapons and for Mexico to overhaul its frontier police and customs agencies to mirror the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  

The recommendations are among a broad set of security, trade, development and environmental proposals that come as President Obama and his Mexicans counterpart, Felipe Calderón, move to deepen engagement on issues including economic recovery, climate change, illegal immigration and narcotics trafficking.

Robert C. Bonner, the U.S. co-chairman of the private task force, which included several former senior government officials from both countries, said the changes could be included in a follow-up to the Merida initiative, a $1.4 billion three-year commitment of U.S. aid to support Mexico’s crackdown on drug cartels that ends next year.

Read entire article


[Lead Image by Oleg Volk]...

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Barney Frank Warns Bernanke to Brace for Audit; Assures Secrecy Thumbnail

Barney Frank Warns Bernanke to Brace for Audit; Assures Secrecy

Posted on Nov 12, 2009 in Featured Articles, Federal Reserve & Bankers

Barney Frank warns Bernanke that he might be forced to embrace a compromised version of Ron Paul’s ‘Audit the Fed’ bill; promises to “wall off” attempts to examine monetary policy

Aaron Dykes
November 12, 2009

The NY Times reports that House Financial Chairman Barney Frank has met in private with Ben Bernanke to plan strategies for bracing against the article_barney_bernankeoverwhelming popular demand to audit the private Federal Reserve, voiced– piercingly for Bernanke– in Rep. Ron Paul’s bill, now with some 300 co-sponsors.

Frank’s part in meeting was to urge Bernanke to face reality– “Mr. Frank warned that he might have to embrace a version of Mr. Paul’s bill,” wrote the Times– now it was time to consider compromises.

However, responding to Bernanke’s top concerns, Barney Frank “vowed” that:

he would “wall off” deliberations on basic monetary policy, and delay the release of information about the Fed’s financial operations to prevent traders from capitalizing on its moves.”

Bernanke’s “apocalyptic” fear of H.R. 1207 and the accompanying rise in public interest in the Fed, as the NY Times describes it, underscores the drastic survival mechanism of an institution that has historically relied on the secrecy provided by its bland exterior....

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Blackwater (Xe) Involved in Child Prostitution Ring Thumbnail

Blackwater (Xe) Involved in Child Prostitution Ring

Posted on Nov 11, 2009 in Featured Articles

Source: Salem-News

New disturbing charges have emerged against XE, the infamous private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, whose operations came under spotlight after its 2007 carnage in Baghdad.

article_blackwater_erik_princeAccording to a report by MSNBC and based on alleged sworn declarations by two Blackwater employees in federal court, the firm used child prostitutes at its compound in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone.

The declarations added Iraqi minors got involved in sexual acts with Blackwater members in exchange for one dollar. It is further alleged that Erik Prince, the firm’s owner, “failed to stop the ongoing use of prostitutes, including child prostitutes, by his men.”

Based on other statements, the firm was involved in another sex scandal; “Prince’s North Carolina operations had an ongoing wife-swapping and sex ring, which was participated in by many of Mr. Prince’s top executives.” 

The two employees also alleged that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” The Nation reported.

Prince also allegedly forced health professional to endorse the redeployment of those Blackwater members who had been mental problems, such as excessive drinking and drug abuse....

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WHO Silence on Ukraine Sequences Raises Pandemic Concerns Thumbnail

WHO Silence on Ukraine Sequences Raises Pandemic Concerns

Posted on Nov 10, 2009 in Featured Articles

November 10, 2009

It has now been more than a week since samples from Ukraine were sent to the WHO regional lab, Mill Hill in London.  Although comments have been made that at least 15 samples were H1N1 confirmed, and the sequences showed no large changes or resistance to oseltamivir, there have been no updates.  The absence of additional information or release of sequences, increases concerns that small changes undergoing further analysis are causing delays.

A woman distributes protective masks in the center of Kiev, November 9, 2009.
featured stories   WHO Silence on Ukraine Sequences Raises Pandemic Concerns  
featured stories   WHO Silence on Ukraine Sequences Raises Pandemic Concerns featured stories   WHO Silence on Ukraine Sequences Raises Pandemic Concerns

In the days post shipment, cases in Ukraine have quadrupled to over 1 million and the reported fatalities have grown from 30 to 174. The clinical presentation of 90 of the fatalities was classical H1N1 linked hemorrhagic pneumonia, which led to the “total destruction” of both lungs.  These fatal cases were hospitalized 3-7 days after disease onset, highlighting the rapid progression of the infection in a large number of patients, suggesting genetic changes in the H1N1 virus.

Although politicians and media reports continue to downplay the significance by citing a small number of  lab confirmed cases or more traditional pneumonia deaths, the number of fatal hemorrhagic cases was unusually large. ...

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CFR Suggests Faking a ‘Shortage’ of H1N1 Vaccine

Posted on Nov 09, 2009 in Featured Articles, Health, Food News, & Big Pharma

“I think what would work better would be to say that there was a shortage……”

Source: Council on Foreign Relations Symposium on Pandemic Influenza

COHEN: Then should we mandate for children?


COHEN: We do for school entry. Individual states do for school entry. Why don’t we do that to protect the population? And we know that protecting our children from the vaccine, if they are indeed ten times more infectious —

MONTO: A very brief answer which covers a lot of problems with influenza vaccine and we’ve heard it brought up already and that is, a lot of our problems with mandating influenza vaccine, use of influenza vaccine, would go away if we didn’t have the need for annual vaccination. I mean, we’ve got a different kind of vaccine here, and I think we need to recognize the difference between influenza vaccine the way it’s used and the fact that it’s a good vaccine.

It’s not a great vaccine. We’ve shown in a recent study 70 percent efficacy of the live vaccine in healthy adults young adults, who should have the best efficacy....

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