Monday, November 30, 2009

Parallels and Truths by authors Green and Twain

This article by David Michael Green is excellent (it can be read in entirety at: It made me want to read parts of Mark Twain's book "The Mysterious Stranger" over again. I have come to appreciate this book more and more since I first read it many years ago. I've included some excerpts below from Twain's book that are well worth reading. Since several of his life's events made him dark and negative toward the end, I don't agree with all of his conclusions (although, in my opinion, he was heading in the right direction), but in many of his musings, Mark Twain had it absolutely right...and, in this particular book, he put his words into the mouth of his character Satan.

By David Michael Green

Obama's biggest opposition comes from the lunatics on the right, who basically hate him for what is essentially the crime of not being Republican. Given that his policies are so similar to George W. Bush's, I really think that's it - even more than any race-based vitriol. That's fine, in principle. Since Obama sends me ballistic with enormous frequency, I can hardly begrudge them the same privilege. Worst of all is that he really is one of them. A close examination of his policies quickly reveals that they run the gamut from regressive economics to regressive foreign policy to regressive human rights and beyond.

Maybe that's why the president has such a hard time defending himself from the insane and obscene critiques of the hypocritical, historically myopic, and alternative-lacking regressive right. He's merely the kinder, gentler version of them.

Lucky us. Once we had a choice between Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Now it's Tweedle-Destruction and Tweedle-Disaster.

EXCERPTS from The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain (If interested, you can read more of this book at: )
From Chapter 9:
I know your race. It is made up of sheep. It is governed by minorities, seldom or never by majorities. It suppresses its feelings and its beliefs and follows the handful that makes the most noise. Sometimes the noisy handful is right, sometimes wrong; but no matter, the crowd follows it. The vast majority of the race, whether savage or civilized, are secretly kind-hearted and shrink from inflicting pain, but in the presence of the aggressive and pitiless minority they don't dare to assert themselves. Think of it! One kind-hearted creature spies upon another, and sees to it that he loyally helps in iniquities which revolt both of them. Speaking as an expert, I know that ninety- nine out of a hundred of your race were strongly against the killing of witches when that foolishness was first agitated by a handful of pious lunatics in the long ago. And I know that even to-day, after ages of transmitted prejudice and silly teaching, only one person in twenty puts any real heart into the harrying of a witch. And yet apparently everybody hates witches and wants them killed. Some day a handful will rise up on the other side and make the most noise--perhaps even a single daring man with a big voice and a determined front will do it--and in a week all the sheep will wheel and follow him, and witch-hunting will come to a sudden end.

"Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race--the individual's distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety's or comfort's sake, to stand well in his neighbor's eye. These institutions will always remain, and always flourish, and always oppress you, affront you, and degrade you, because you will always be and remain slaves of minorities. There was never a country where the majority of the people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions."

I did not like to hear our race called sheep, and said I did not think they were.

"Still, it is true, lamb," said Satan. "Look at you in war--what mutton you are, and how ridiculous!"

"In war? How?"

"There has never been a just one, never an honorable one--on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful--as usual--will shout for the war. The pulpit will-- warily and cautiously--object--at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, "It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it." Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers--as earlier-- but do not dare to say so. And now the whole nation--pulpit and all-- will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."

From Chapter 11:

"Strange! that you should not have suspected years ago--centuries, ages, eons, ago!...
Strange, indeed, that you should not have suspected that your universe and its contents were only dreams, visions, fiction! Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane--like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell--mouths mercy and invented hell--mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!...

"You perceive, now, that these things are all impossible except in a dream. You perceive that they are pure and puerile insanities, the silly creations of an imagination that is not conscious of its freaks--in a word, that they are a dream, and you the maker of it. The dream-marks are all present; you should have recognized them earlier.

"It is true, that which I have revealed to you; there is no God, no universe, no human race, no earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream--a grotesque and foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. ...

He vanished, and left me appalled; for I knew, and realized, that all he had said was true.

MARK TWAIN'S THE WAR PRAYER (This is one of the finest pieces that ever came from his pen, in my opinion)

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came-next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their faces alight with material dreams-visions of a stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender!-then home from the war, bronzed heros, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation -- "God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!"

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was that an ever--merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory -

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there, waiting.

With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal,"Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said

"I come from the Throne-bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd and grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import-that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of-except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of His Who hearth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this-keep it in mind. If you beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer--the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it--that part which the pastor, and also you in your hearts, fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory-must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle-be Thou near them! With them, in spirit, we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it-for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

(After a pause)

"Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pope John Paul II whipped himself regularly
Some will think this is "holy" -- they are talking about sainthood for him. Opus Dei members think self-flagellation is a "holy" thing to do, too. (Can you see my eyes rolling?) But then, who would know better what his sins were than he himself? The truly good Pope before him, John Paul I, died after only 33 days as Pope -- many think he was murdered because he planned to change things radically in the Vatican and the Church. John Paul I was actually embarking on a revolution. He wanted to set the Church in a new direction which was considered highly undesirable and dangerous by many high-ranking Church officials.

He wanted, first of all, to strip many of the Vatican members of their powers by dismissing them or reassigning them into harmless positions. Six men in particular, stood to lose a great deal if Pope John Paul I remained in power. (These were - Marcinkus, Villot, Calvi, Sindona, Cody and Gelli). There was a suspicion of a conspiracy among these men with Villot the instigator and Gelli the executioner. When John Paul II replaced John Paul I, none of the planned edicts of the first John Paul were ever carried out. For more information on this intriguing episode in the Catholic Church, see:

I've read a well-researched book about this alleged conspiracy entitled In God's Name by David Yallop. It presents a very convincing case against the dark elements of the Church's high-ranking clergy and their illegal banking practices that were about to be exposed and up-ended by John Paul I.

To read some fine reviews of this book, go to:

Here is just one of them:
This is a difficult book to digest for faithful Roman Catholics like myself. It is the story of a wonderful priest who loved the poor and wanted the church to improve the quality of life for Catholics. Pope John Paul the First was a man who would not seek to impose Christian solutions on non-Christians; he was someone who was sensitive to social problems and open to dialogue; with a commitment to the search for unity; a good pastor, a good shepherd in the way that Jesus was; a man who sincerely believed that the church should not be out of date but be a relevant, nurturing factor in the lives of Catholics worldwide.

The press called him the "Smiling Pope." However, in reality Albino Luciani who wished to be called Pope John Paul the First and became the first double name in the history of the papacy was a man of enormous faith. What a shame his 33 days as pope in 1978 was the shortest stint since Pope Medici Leo XI in 1605 who only served 17 days. In all likelihood, he had the inner strength and intelligence to be the greatest pope in the history of the Vatican.

To this end, "In God's Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I," by highly regarded journalist David A.Yallop is a work of monumental research and importance. The author dares to point a finger at the financial corruption within the Vatican. He names names...Michele Sindona, Roberto Calvi, Lucio Gelli, Cardinal John Patrick Cody of Chicago and Bishop Paul Casimir Marcinkus in Vatican City all conducted illegal activities. And Albino Luciani was determined to put an end to it.

This well-written book is difficult to put down. Quite naturally it is officially condemned by the oligarchy in the Vatican. However, I think it is important for all interested in the pursuit of truth to read this compelling book and drawn one's own conclusion. The evidence is hard to ignore. The conclusion is based on facts. It is truly hard to imagine but I am now convinced that Pope John Paul the First was murdered because he dared to promote positive change and rid the Vatican of corrupt banking practices. Highly recommended.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

FOREWARNED: Time for Truth regarding a photo of Obama

It is being sent out in e-mails by right wingers with their own interpretation of it which, of course, is wrong and filled with hatred for Obama. It is a photo of Obama with military officers, standing on a stage. All the officers are saluting while Obama stands with his hands in front of him instead of in a salute. The right wingers say they are "outraged" because this photo was taken at the memorial services at Ft. Hood. I have received this twice now from people who seem to believe Obama is the anti-Christ or worse. They continue to send out false information contrived to rile up those who are foolish enough to believe them.

I just sent a reply to one of them who asked: How can we bear to see a U.S. president ignore the salute to our flag? The rest of the e-mail says OUTRAGE!!!! The POTUS at Ft. Hood, Nov. 11, 2009..."honoring" the 114 dead (an unborn child...not a fetus...was the 14th!) at the hands of a Muslim home grown terrorist!!! Any questions "still" about the allegiance of the Usurper and who he will stand with "should the political winds of change shift in an ugly direction?" (Barack Hussein Obama in his book, Audacity of Hope). As you can see, the author put in every kind of "outrage" bait that the dittoheads of Limbaugh and Beck will recognize because these lies are shouted out to them every day as "truth."
Until the Ft. Hood tragedy, this photo was labeled by right wingers as being taken on Veteran's Day, another falsehood.

My answer to this latest correspondent who thought he was sending out truth follows:

In answer to the first question in your e-mail, How can we bear to see a U.S. president ignore the salute to our flag?, you don't have to bear such a thing. Just go to and find out what is really taking place in this photo. The rabid right wing keeps stooping lower amd lower in its attacks on President Obama, which is why it is always wise to check these things out before sending them on in "outrage." The outrage in this case is misplaced. The photo was actually taken earlier this year when Obama laid a wreath on the grave of the Unknown Soldier. In the photo he had just ascended the stage while the band played Hail to the Chief. The others are saluting in deference to the President, and he is acting like every other president when Hail to the Chief is played. Later in the ceremonies, when the national anthem was played, he appropriately placed his hand over his heart.

I have received this from others who seem to hate our president and are looking for anything--ANYthing--with which to demean and destroy him. In the future, you might want to check something called Truth before sending on e-mails like this that are filled with misinformation of the worst kind -- and filled with hatred for Obama as well. You may want to check this out for yourself and then send a correction to those on your e-mail list to whom you sent this very incorrect e-mail. Whenever I have corrected others about items like this, they usually say, "Well, it sounds like something Obama would do...or say" and they justify the lie that way. When a mind is closed, no light can shine in. That is sad to me because, even when the truth is presented, some still reject it.


Friday, November 20, 2009

What If the Crazies Take Over the Asylum

By William Rivers Pitt

I've been writing roughly once a week for months now about the insane circus that is today's Republican Party, mostly to make fun of them. It's difficult to do otherwise; how does one write seriously about people like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and GOP Chairman Michael Steele? Try it sometime: failure is all but guaranteed.

Our most recent example of this phenomenon: Sarah Palin, again. The former Alaska governor and terminal dead weight around Campaign McCain went on with Barbara Walters to push her new book and covered herself in whatever the opposite of glory is. One topic she addressed was the recent cover of Newsweek featuring her wearing a tight red shirt and short-shorts that showed lots of leg. "I found it a wee bit degrading," she said of the cover, which makes you wonder why she chose to pose for it looking like something out of a James Bond scuba-diving scene. You'd also wonder why she had more trouble with the picture than with the giant block-lettered headline that read, "HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE SARAH? SHE'S BAD NEWS FOR THE GOP - AND FOR EVERYBODY ELSE, TOO," but then you'd remember that logic does not apply on Planet Teabag, and move on down the road.

See what I mean? Making fun of these people is like shooting very large fish in a very small barrel. You just can't miss.

The problem, however, is that people like Palin stopped being funny a while ago. The prominence they enjoy in our political discourse is so far out of whack with their abilities and intentions that it vastly exaggerates their influence over a variety of very serious matters that affect each and every one of us. The British have the Monster Raving Loony Party, who are a joke and exert no real influence, and we have the Republican Party, filled with monster raving loonies who exert a tremendous amount of influence because the news media thinks we are a nation of people who like to look at car accidents on the highway, which, by and large, we are. We've been well-trained by 20 years of shock television to mistake clowns and jesters for serious people, and because of that mistake, these people's deranged opinions and deformed ideas get taken seriously.

The recent victories in Virginia and New Jersey cannot mask the fact that the Republican Party is in deep distress. The so-called "Teabaggers," organized by the likes of Glenn Beck around spurious claims that Obama is a noncitizen socialist who wants to kill your grandmother - and really, that's it for them, in a nutshell ... plus, he's black, but don't tell them that, because it gets them upset - are now the most muscular and active bloc of the GOP. They just made a run at the NY-23 House seat and managed to derail a Republican candidate they deemed too liberal. They are preparing to make a run at Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's 2010 Senate campaign, because he accepted Obama's stimulus money to keep his state from sliding into the sea, and has been tagged by the 'Baggers as not being enough of a true conservative. Smart money says the 'Baggers won't limit themselves to Florida and New York, either; they smell blood in the water, and are swimming straight for it.

In the short run, this kind of intra-party warfare does nothing but help the Democrats in 2010, especially if the 'Baggers keep knocking off viable Republicans in the primaries and handing victories to Democrats, which is precisely what happened in the NY-23 race. But then what happens? If the far right manages to completely take over the GOP, then the lunatics will finally be in complete control of the asylum. They will get coverage on every major news network, and they will be mistaken for serious people who should be listened to because, well, they're on television, right?

Internet society, as it grew, spawned something that came to be known as Godwin's Law. Basically, the Law dictates that the longer a discussion grows, the more likely it is that someone will make some sort of comparison or association to Hitler, the Nazis and fascism. It also states that whoever uses these to buttress an argument automatically loses that argument. Ergo, caution must be taken when discussing the Teabagger phenomenon, because they absolutely beg to be compared to Brownshirts and angry, brainwashed crowds with arms extended in grainy pre-war film footage. We aren't there yet, not by a long chalk, but there are far too many examples in history of groups once considered comical becoming powerful over time, and the results have never been pretty. We are not even a year removed from two presidential terms where these exact people represented the ideological core of the government, and the damage they wreaked will take generations to undo.

As digby recently noted on the excellent Hullabaloo blog, "I'm not saying that we should panic. These people are politically weak in their own right. But when I see the liberal gasbags on TV blithely dismissing this as if it's impossible that Americans could ever fall for such lunacy, I feel a little frisson of alarm. I've read too many accounts of people who, 80 or so years ago, complacently made the same assumption. And the whole world found out that under the right circumstances even the most civilized nations can throw in with the crazies."

These people have been dangerous before, all too often, and have the capacity to be dangerous again. If any additional evidence of this is required, look no further than the rally in Washington, DC, being planned by Gary Cass of something called the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission against the new legislation President Obama recently signed to bolster anti-gay hate crime laws. The rally organizers intend to denounce the new law, and then protest it ... by inciting the crowd to commit hate crimes against gay people.

Beyond that are the bumper stickers that have become all the rage, pardon the pun, on the Teabagger circuit. They seem harmless enough; a two-tiered message reads "Pray for Obama" on top, with "Psalm 109:8" below.

Psalm 109:8 reads:

May his days be few;
may another take his place of leadership.

Psalm 109:9 reads:

May his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow.

No, not so funny after all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Very important -- more about mammograms


It may be that mammograms have actually caused cancer in women -- something I have been concerned about for years...exposure to radiation is not a small matter.

Dear NaturalNews readers,

Today we bring you an exclusive interview with Suzanne Somers whose new book, Knockout, delivers a searing rebuke to the conventional cancer industry (with all its poisons and chemotherapy).

I spoke with Suzanne by phone today for a 30-minute recorded interview. It's a can't-miss conversation where Somers reveals the startling truth about cancer, mammograms and chemotherapy. Read the article and listen to the MP3 audio here:

Meanwhile, the American Cancer Society has now admitted that cancer screenings are over-hyped:

Today, NaturalNews also reports that one in three cancers diagnosed with a mammogram is a false positive:

Thank you all for your support of the Health Revolution Petition! ( ) Signatures have now exceeded 33,000. Please spread the word, as we need 100,000 signatures to take this to Washington D.C. and make an impact regarding the health care reform debate.

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Today's Feature Stories:

Suzanne Somers speaks out against the conventional cancer industry: mammograms, chemotherapy vs. alternative cures
(NaturalNews) As the author of the New York Times bestseller, "Knockout: Interviews with doctors who are curing cancer," Suzanne Somers is making waves across the cancer industry. Her powerful, inspired message of informed hope is reaching millions of...

American Cancer Society admits mammograms and cancer screenings are over-hyped
(NaturalNews) Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, recently participated in an interview with the New York Times concerning a Journal of the American Medical Association analysis of breast and prostate cancer...

One in Three Cancers Diagnosed with Free Mammogram Screening Is an "Overdiagnosis"
(NaturalNews) In countries with public breast cancer screening programs, one in every three diagnosed with invasive breast cancers would never have produced symptoms in a patient before she died of other causes, a new study has revealed. "Screening...

Men can slash risk of highly lethal prostate cancer naturally
(NaturalNews) As NaturalNews previously reported, low level prostate cancer is often over-diagnosed, over-treated and non-lethal. However, there's no denying that high-grade prostate...

Get to Know Vitamin D: Part II
The first part of this article began a series of questions and answers aimed at introducing vitamin D and describing its importance to health. This part continues the series with a focus on sources of vitamin D, along with information on...

Wild Burdock Root Cleanses Blood, Clears Acne and Speeds Weight Loss
As the days get cooler and wild plants seem few and far between, Burdock (Arctium lappa) can still be found in large quantity. Burdock root is a versatile vegetable and one of the finest healing herbs known to cleanse the blood. In...

Medicinal properties of sage revealed
(NaturalNews) Of all the culinary herbs, sage is perhaps the one with the broadest range of medicinal uses. As you'll see in the collection of quotes about sage shown below, sage is anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial...

Juggle to Improve Your Brain
Juggling boosts brain development in surprising ways. This type of hands-on learning accelerates the growth of nerve connections in the brain's white as well as grey matter. Researchers at the University of Oxford provided juggling training...

Probiotics reduce food allergies, skin reactions
(Natural News) Most health conscious people know of the positive effects on digestion from using probiotic supplements. Many take probiotic supplements after using antibiotics to replace the good intestinal flora bacteria indiscriminately killed by antibiotic...

Vegetarians Have Lower Cancer Risk Than Meat Eaters
(NaturalNews) Vegetarians are significantly less likely to develop cancer than non-vegetarians, according to a study conducted by researchers from universities in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, and published in the British Journal of Cancer

Choose Naturally Colored Cotton
Most people think that cotton only comes in the color white and then needs to be dyed, but in reality cotton can be grown in a variety of colors including tan, green, yellow, red, and brown. Colored cotton agriculture began in Indo-Pakistan...

Dr. Thomas Lodi reveals how to "Stop Making Cancer" on NaturalNews Talk Hour
(NaturalNews) This week's NaturalNews Talk Hour features Dr. Thomas Lodi, M.D., discussing how to "Stop Making Cancer." Tune in to discover the main cause of cancer. It's not what you think. In fact, the truth about cancer has been hidden from the public...

breast cancer info

Excellent article that explains about different types of breast cancer -- and why mammograms every year may not be necessary--and can even be harmful.

One excerpt: But for many women (and men when it comes to the prostate) their cancers are of a second type -- they are very slow growing, often not even showing up on mammograms for many years. These slow cancers are thought to be much less aggressive. Some experts are even suggesting that these cancers may either disappear on their own or would not cause injury or death to the person with them, even without treatment.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Free Clinic: "Hard to believe I was in America"

Capitalism is coming to an end, brought down by greed. Things cannot continue as they are at present. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class is disappearing. Those who see socialism as evil need to look at when our way of life began to come apart at the seams big time -- in the Reagan years of deregulation of corporations and huge tax benefits for the rich. The promised "trickle-down" theory never happened -- greed took over at the top, paving the way for the decline of America, to a point where socialism is being forced to take the place of capitalism. One in 6 kids in our country go hungry every day (see: People can't afford health care--and the insurance companies, Big Pharma, Wall Street, and war-profiteering corporations are raking in the big bucks and doling out millions in bonuses to themselves. They are contributing to their own eventual demise due to rampant greed and selfishness. Out of necessity, goverment socialistic programs will have to be brought in to help those most in need. And so, as throughout recorded history, the roller-coaster cycle of social changes continues...

Rich Stockwell, senior producer at MSNBC's "Countdown", writes about his experiences at the free clinic funded by viewer contributions:

New Orleans, La. — - It happened as I watched a 50-something woman walk out, after spending several hours being attended to by volunteer doctors. "She's decided against treatment. A reasonable decision under the circumstances," the doctor tells us as she heads for the next patient. The president of the board of the National Association of Free Health Clinics tells me why: "It's stage four breast cancer, her body is filled with tumors." I don't know when that woman last saw a doctor. But I do know that if she had health insurance, the odds she would have seen a doctor long ago are much higher, and her chances for an earlier diagnosis and treatment would have been far greater.

After watching for hours as the patients moved through the clinic, it was hard to believe that I was in America.

Eighty-three percent of the patients they see are employed, they are not accepting other government help on a large scale, not "welfare queens" as some would like to have us believe. They are tax-paying, good, upstanding citizens who are trying to make it and give their kids a better life just like you and me.

Ninety percent of the patients who came through Saturday's clinic had two or more diagnoses.
Eighty-two percent had a life-threatening condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or hypertension. They are victims of a system built with corporate profits at its center, which long ago forgot the moral imperative that should drive us to show compassion to our fellow men and women.

Health reform is not about Democrats or Republicans or who can score political points for the next election, it's about people. It's about fairness and justice in a system that knows none. I'd defy even the most hardened capitalist-loving-conservative to do what I did on Saturday and continue to pretend that the system in place right now is working.

Countdown chose to highlight and raise money for the Association of Free Clinics because we knew the work they do is so vitally important and we wanted to show in real terms how great the need is. We invited several politicians to attend so they could see first hand how critical the situation is. All declined. Some explained that they talk with constituents all the time and know very well of the need for reform.

I have news for them, these people didn't need to speak. Their actions spoke far louder than any words. Having to get a check up and diagnosis at a free clinic because they have no other option tells you all you need to know. There are no words that can accurately describe the quiet desperation on the faces of the patients. Every single one I spoke to, and every one I heard talking with doctors, expressed their gratitude for the event and wished that they were held more often.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Vitamin D now being recommended by mainstream docs

Finally, the mainstream news is telling that most people are deficient in Vitamin D. See article at:

You can get Vitamin D (you'll want D3) at any health food store. The Vitamin D Newsletter, written by an M.D. who has been talking about this for years, can be subscribed to at:

You can read an excellent column put out by the Vitamin D Council -- It includes questions and answers about Vitamin D for children and for all kinds of problems, including asthma. In this article, Dr. Cannell tells how much Vitamin D children need. Read it at:

Vitamin D is effective at building your immune system and may help you avoid getting the flu.

Mammogram Age now 50 MEDICAL RULES CHANGE

NEW YORK (AP)- Most women don't need a mammogram in their 40s and should get one every two years starting at 50, a government task force said Monday. It's a major reversal that conflicts with the American Cancer Society's long-standing position.

Also, the task force said breast self-exams do no good and women shouldn't be taught to do them.

For most of the past two decades, the cancer society has been recommending annual mammograms beginning at 40.

But the government panel of doctors and scientists concluded that getting screened for breast cancer so early and so often leads to too many false alarms and unneeded biopsies without substantially improving women's odds of survival.

"The benefits are less and the harms are greater when screening starts in the 40s," said Dr. Diana Petitti, vice chair of the panel.

The new guidelines were issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, whose stance influences coverage of screening tests by Medicare and many insurance companies.

But Susan Pisano, a spokeswoman for America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry group, said insurance coverage isn't likely to change because of the new guidelines. No changes are planned in Medicare coverage either, said Dori Salcido, spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services department.

Experts expect the task force revisions to be hotly debated, and to cause confusion for women and their doctors.

"Our concern is that as a result of that confusion, women may elect not to get screened at all. And that, to me, would be a serious problem," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, the cancer society's deputy chief medical officer.

The guidelines are for the general population, not those at high risk of breast cancer because of family history or gene mutations that would justify having mammograms sooner or more often.

The new advice says:

_Most women in their 40s should not routinely get mammograms.

_Women 50 to 74 should get a mammogram every other year until they turn 75, after which the risks and benefits are unknown. (The task force's previous guidelines had no upper limit and called for exams every year or two.)

_The value of breast exams by doctors is unknown. And breast self-exams are of no value.

Medical groups such as the cancer society have been backing off promoting breast self-exams in recent years because of scant evidence of their effectiveness. Decades ago, the practice was so heavily promoted that organizations distributed cards that could be hung in the shower demonstrating the circular motion women should use to feel for lumps in their breasts.

The guidelines and research supporting them were released Monday and are being published in Tuesday's issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The new advice was sharply challenged by the cancer society.

"This is one screening test I recommend unequivocally, and would recommend to any woman 40 and over," the society's chief medical officer, Dr. Otis Brawley, said in a statement.

The task force advice is based on its conclusion that screening 1,300 women in their 50s to save one life is worth it, but that screening 1,900 women in their 40s to save a life is not, Brawley wrote.

That stance "is essentially telling women that mammography at age 40 to 49 saves lives, just not enough of them," he said. The cancer society feels the benefits outweigh the harms for women in both groups.

International guidelines also call for screening to start at age 50; the World Health Organization recommends the test every two years, Britain says every three years.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. More than 192,000 new cases and 40,000 deaths from the disease are expected in the U.S. this year.

Mammograms can find cancer early, and two-thirds of women over 40 report having had the test in the previous two years. But how much they cut the risk of dying of the disease, and at what cost in terms of unneeded biopsies, expense and worry, have been debated.

In most women, tumors are slow-growing, and that likelihood increases with age. So there is little risk by extending the time between mammograms, some researchers say. Even for the minority of women with aggressive, fast-growing tumors, annual screening will make little difference in survival odds.

The new guidelines balance these risks and benefits, scientists say.

The probability of dying of breast cancer after age 40 is 3 percent, they calculate. Getting a mammogram every other year from ages 50 to 69 lowers that risk by about 16 percent.

"It's an average of five lives saved per thousand women screened," said Georgetown University researcher Dr. Jeanne Mandelblatt.

Starting at age 40 would prevent one additional death but also lead to 470 false alarms for every 1,000 women screened. Continuing mammograms through age 79 prevents three additional deaths but raises the number of women treated for breast cancers that would not threaten their lives.

"You save more lives because breast cancer is more common, but you diagnose tumors in women who were destined to die of something else. The overdiagnosis increases in older women," Mandelblatt said.

She led six teams around the world who used federal data on cancer and mammography to develop mathematical models of what would happen if women were screened at different ages and time intervals. Their conclusions helped shape the new guidelines.

Several medical groups say they are sticking to their guidelines that call for routine screening starting at 40.

"Screening isn't perfect. But it's the best thing we have. And it works," said Dr. Carol Lee, a spokeswoman for the American College of Radiology. She suggested that cutting health care costs may have played a role in the decision, but Petitti said the task force does not consider cost or insurance in its review.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also has qualms. The organization's Dr. Hal Lawrence said there is still significant benefit to women in their 40s, adding: "We think that women deserve that benefit."

But Dr. Amy Abernethy of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center agreed with the task force's changes.

"Overall, I think it really took courage for them to do this," she said. "It does ask us as doctors to change what we do and how we communicate with patients. That's no small undertaking."

Abernethy, who is 41, said she got her first mammogram the day after her 40th birthday, even though she wasn't convinced it was needed. Now she doesn't plan to have another mammogram until she is 50.

Barbara Brenner, executive director of the San Francisco-based Breast Cancer Action, said the group was "thrilled" with the revisions. The advocacy group doesn't support screening before menopause, and will be changing its suggested interval from yearly to every two years, she said.

Mammograms, like all medical interventions, have risks and benefits, she said.

"Women are entitled to know what they are and to make their best decisions," she said. "These guidelines will help that conversation."


Bill Maher on Vaccinations and Health Issues -- a good article

While America is still in the grips of swine flu mania, let me use this opportunity to clear up a few things about my beliefs concerning the flu shot, vaccines, and health in general. I do this because there is obviously a lot of curiosity about this subject of vaccines -- it comes up in every interview I do these days, and I've been finding that people, including doctors, are privately expressing a skepticism that is still not very prevalent in public. I feel like I've become a confessor for people who want someone to be raising questions about vaccines.

But I don't want the job. I agree with my critics who say there are far more qualified people than me -- its just that mainstream media rarely interviews doctors and scientists who present an alternative point of view. There is a movement to stop people from asking any questions about vaccines -- they're a miracle, that's it, debate over. I don't think it's that simple, and neither do millions of other people. The British Medical Journal from August 25 says half the doctors and medical workers in the U.K. are not taking the flu shot -- are they all crazy too? Sixty-five percent of French people don't want it. Maybe its not as simple as the medical establishment wants to paint it.

Vaccination is a nuanced subject, and I've never said all vaccines in all situations are bad. The point I am representing is: Is getting frequent vaccinations for any and all viruses consequence-free? I feel its unnecessary and counterproductive to try and silence people with condescension. Michael Shermer wrote me an open letter and felt I needed to be told that "vaccinations work by tricking the body's immune system into thinking that it has already had the disease for which the vaccination was given." Thanks, Doc, I thought there might be a little man inside the needle. Yes, I read Microbe Hunters when I was eight, I have a basic idea how vaccines work.

That's not -- or shouldn't be -- where the debate is. I admit, it's hard to get as clear a picture of my beliefs, as you could, say, if I had written a book on vaccines, versus someone in the setting of a talk show. So I understand why its easy to take bits of things I have said and extrapolate into something I actually have never said. I understand it, but its not exactly "scientific."

But rather than responding to every absurd thing said, let me just tell you want I do think -- because I will admit, I have gone off half cocked on this issue sometimes, and often only had time on my show to explain a fraction of what needed to be explained, and for that I am sorry. Some of it can't be helped, some of that is the nature of the show we do: live, off the cuff, lots of interruptions. Some of it was just from me being overexcited about finally finding a health regimen that actually made me healthier and feel better. And many a time I have wanted to stop the show and clarify a point or provide the nuance I think it deserves, but I am serving many masters, and you have to get out of the way as much as you can so the guests can say their piece.

But some of it I would do differently. For example, I recently joined Twitter Nation -- what can I say, Demi Moore is a very convincing salesperson -- and what everybody told me about Twitter was that it was supposed to be whatever stray thought or thing just happened to you -- you know, for people who find blogging too formal and stuffy.

But apparently it's taken very seriously, because there was Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes asking the Secretary of Health and Human Services what she thought about the fact that "Bill Maher told his viewers anyone who gets a flu shot is an idiot."

Well, not quite. It was twittered, which I guess doesn't make a huge difference, but as 60 Minutes is the last bastion of TV journalism, accuracy is appreciated. And I see that counts for Twitter, too -- my bad -- so yes, some people are not idiotic to get a flu shot. They're idiotic if they don't investigate the pros and cons of getting a flu shot. But, come on -- it was a twitter from a comedian, not a treatise in the New England Journal of Medicine, that's not what I do.

I'm just trying to represent an under-reported medical point of view in this country, I'm not telling a specific pregnant lady what to do. With unlimited air time, I would have, for example, added to my discussion with Dr. Bill Frist on October 2 that, yes, any flu or health challenge can be dangerous when you're pregnant, and if your immune system is already compromised by, for example, eating a typical American diet, then a flu shot can make sense. But someone needs to be representing the point of view that says the preferred way to handle flus is to have a strong immune system to begin with, and getting lots of vaccines might not be the best way to accomplish that over the long haul.

Now, sometimes its OK to fuck with nature -- I believe "intelligent design" is often anything but intelligent; that "God's perfect universe" is actually full of fuck ups and design flaws, like cleft lips and Down Syndrome -- so correcting nature is sometimes the right thing to do. And then, sometimes it's not. For me, the flu shot is in the "not" category.

In addition, my audience is bright, they wouldn't refuse a flu shot because they heard me talk about it, but if they looked into the subject a little more, how is that a bad thing? If they went to the CDC Web site and saw what's in the vaccine -- the formaldehyde, the insect repellent, the mercury -- shouldn't they at least get to have the information for themselves?

But just to reassure all those people who have such a romantic attachment to vaccines: I know, there are vaccines that have had their battles with the bad guys and won -- great! And if you have a compromised immune system and can't boost it naturally, as in poor countries where the children are eating dirt, then a vaccine can be a white knight -- bravo! Does the polio vaccine have the power to prevent children from getting polio, and did it indeed do just that in the 1950s? I believe it does, and it did. But polio had diminished by over 50 percent in the thirty years before the vaccine -- that's a pretty big fact in the polio story that you don't often hear and which merits debate. It may be the case that the vaccine should have been used anyway to finish polio off, but there are some interesting facts on the other side.

So yes, I get it, we learned how to trick our immune systems. And maybe sometimes, you gotta do it. But maybe the immune system doesn't like being tricked so many times. Maybe we should be studying that instead of shouting down debate.

Someone who speaks eloquently about this is Barbara Loe Fisher, founder of the National Vaccine Information Center. I find her extremely credible, as I do Dr. Russell Blaylock, Dr. Jay Gordon and many others, but I shouldn't have even mentioned them because I don't want to be "the Vaccine Guy"!! Look it up yourself, and stop asking me about it -- I'm already the Religion Guy, and that's enough work!

Anyway, Ms. Fisher is someone who says she is not "anti-vaccine," but just has a lot of questions about the long term effect of using a lot of vaccines. After devoting her life to studying this, she says that the influenza vaccine studies that have been done "are not persuasive in proving that a seasonal flu shot provides immunity." She also points out "that what we need, but do not yet have, are studies of vaccinated vs unvaccinated children."

Is it worth it to get vaccines for every bug that goes around? Injecting something into my bloodstream? I'd like to reserve that for emergencies. This is the flu, and there's always a flu. I've said it before, America is a panicky country. It's like we look for things to panic about.The reports from Australia, where they're over their flu season, is that its not a terribly virulent flu. The worldwide numbers support that. But you'd never get that impression from the media in this country.

60 Minutes has done two pieces on swine flu within a month. The first one introduced us to a high school football player named Luke Duvall who, we were told, was the picture of health, and then got hit by the flu so bad he was in the hospital at death's door. But later in the segment we learn that Luke had staphylococcus pneumonia along with the flu. Was that staph bug in him when he got hit by the flu? Its not clear from the reporting, but since every other kid on both football teams got the flu, as well as the cheerleaders ... ahem ... and all of them got over it just fine, then it seems quite possible that Luke had a co-existing infection, and that's why his experience with H1N1 was so different.

On the follow up visit a couple of weeks later on 60 Minutes, we were told Luke had "beaten H1N1." No, he beat H1N1 and staph together: that's very different! If 99 percent of people have relatively mild symptoms, shouldn't science's first job be finding out why the one percent get felled? Having an underlying health issue is the point I was raising with Dr. Frist: maybe Luke wasn't the picture of perfect health they described in the opening.

By the way, when Scott Pelley asked the government spokesman about the fact that only one percent of people who get the flu find it to be anything other than a typical, mild flu, the answer was an analogy to seatbelts, that "only 1 percent of people riding in a car will be in an accident, but you don't want to take a chance on being that 1 percent."

That went unchallenged, which is sad, because what a horrible analogy! I would think vaccines containing many different dicey substances shot directly into the bloodstream have a slightly greater chance of secondary effects than a piece of fabric lying across your waist. Maybe if you had to swallow the seatbelt this would be a good analogy.

If one side can say anything and its not challenged, then of course dissent becomes heresy in the minds of many. I don't trust the mainstream media to be thorough or exacting enough to inform me as much as I need on this subject. Sorry, they're just not up to it. At the very least, they should have pointed out, as we watched Luke fighting for life on a ventilator, that, of course, flu vaccines don't have any therapeutic effect on bacterial infection.

While we're on the subject of bacteria, let me say clearly I understand germ theory also -- I believe they also covered that in Microbe Hunters -- nor have I ever said I was a "germ theory denier." What I've been saying is that Western medicine ignores too much the fact that the terrain in which bacteria can thrive is crucial and often controllable, which shouldn't even be controversial. I don't care what Louis Pasteur said on his death bed -- it was probably, "Either the curtains go or I do" -- that's not the point!

And it's precisely because I am a Darwinist that I fear the overuse of antibiotics, since that is what has allowed nasty killer bugs like MRSA to adapt so effectively that they are often resistant to any antibiotic we can throw at it. There are consequences to vaccines and antibiotics. Some people want to study that, and some, it seems, want to call off the debate.

Instead of setting up this straw man of me not understanding germs or viruses, let's have a real debate about how much we should use vaccines and antibiotics. Of course it's good that we have them in our arsenal, but isn't the real skeptic the one who asks if these powerful but toxic methods do harm to what actually is a a very good defensive system, the one you were born with?

Also, I have never said there was a medical conspiracy. In fact, when Howard Dean asked me that, my response was "I wouldn't call it a conspiracy." Any more than there's a conspiracy for the Pentagon budget to be obscenely bloated and operated largely for the corporate welfare of defense contractors. If these are conspiracies, they're mostly legal ones that happen in plain sight. (Good time here to plug the hostess' book, Pigs At the Trough, it's all in there!) I have, in fact, used the phrase "medical-pharmaceutical-food industry" complex in comparing it to Eisenhower's famous depiction of a "military-industrial complex."

But no, I don't think the A.M.A. and Big Pharma and Aetna and Dr. Frist's hospital chain all meet in a board room and cackle about keeping us sick. They meet on the golf course. (Just kidding.)

Do pharmaceutical companies want to cure diabetes or do they want to sell diabetes drugs and equipment? Well, they sure do sell a lot these days, and the food companies are what make that possible. Read David Kessler's book about the deliberate way food companies use salt, fat and sugar as foodcrack to get people literally addicted to eating bad food and too much of it. Is that a conspiracy? Only if you define corporations putting profit ahead of human health as conspiracy. The fact that Americans will do anything to each other for money is not a conspiracy, it's a scandal.

I believe in science and I believe in studies to determine the truth. I also believe Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon was correct when he said recently on MSNBC: "If you've got a checkbook in this town, you can get just about any set of facts you want." So if I remind you of a conspiracy theorist, you sometimes remind me of Britney Spears when she said "we should just do whatever the president says to do, and not ask questions and just support him." The medical community can be brutal on dissent, which would hold more weight if I thought this was a terribly healthy country, which it isn't. Health care is one sixth of our economy, and we spend way more on it than any other nation. The elephant in the room of the health care debate is that we are going to have a high health care bill every year no matter what law they pass because we're sick -- we need a lot of drugs and services.

Am I a conspiracy theorist if I suggest that since the network's nightly news broadcasts are sponsored almost entirely by prescription drug ads, that you might have to hold your breath a long time before you hear the alternative point of view to using pharmaceuticals to cure all our ailments?

Is it conspiracy theory to believe that American medicine too much treats symptoms and not root causes of disease? I always ask my friends when they go to the doctor for something, "Did your doctor ask you what you eat?" The answer is almost always 'no,' and a lot can be cured with diet and a healthier lifestyle. (And a lot can't. I also understand the role of genetics and generations of artificial selection). But Americans don't want to hear that, so doctors don't push it. It's easier and more profitable to write a prescription for Lipitor. They're not bad people, and at the end of the day, you can't make someone eat right. I like and respect all the M.D.s I've had over the years, and for the record, I have a naturopath doctor and I have a Western doctor. I would make an analogy to Republicans and Democrats: in both politics and health, I don't commit to either party because I'm on the side of the truth, whoever has it. In both cases, I'm an Independent.

Ms. Fisher said "If we want to create a society that is dependent on shots for immunity -- the same way we are getting dependent on prescription drugs, antibiotics, and surgery -- this is the path we should keep going down."

I don't think its "anti-science" to pause and consider that point of view.


Latest News on Ukraine "super flu"

(NaturalNews) Here's what we know with some degree of certainty about the H1N1 virus in Ukraine right now: nearly 300 people have died from the viral strain, and over 65,000 people have been hospitalized (the actual numbers are increasing by the hour). The virus appears to be either a highly aggressive mutation of the globally-circulating H1N1 strain, or a combination of three different influenza strains now circulating in Ukraine. Some observers suspect this new "super flu" might be labeled viral hemorrhagic pneumonia (meaning it destroys lung tissue until your lungs bleed so much that you drown in your own fluid), but that has not been confirmed by any official sources we're aware of.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has issued emergency quarantine orders for nine of the country's regions and ordered the deployment of mobile military hospitals. He announced that the nation had been simultaneously hit with two different seasonal flu strains plus H1N1 -- and then hinted that all three might have recombined into the deadly new Ukrainian super flu.

In his own words, as reported by Daily Mail, "Unlike similar epidemics in other countries, three causes of serious viral infections came together simultaneously in Ukraine: two seasonal flus and the Californian flu. Virologists conclude that this combination of infections may produce an even more aggressive new virus as a result of mutation."

On November 6, Ukraine's Deputy Health Minister Zinovy Mytnyk announced that over 600,000 citizens had already caught the new flu. British scientists are now conducting tests on the new viral strain to find out why it appears to be so deadly (

The mainstream media is blaming Ukraine's poor health care system for the relatively high rates of hospitalization and death (, but they refuse to mention (yet again) the vitamin D deficiency found across this population living at high latitude in the winter, where sunlight is relatively scarce.

Here's a useful blog for staying up to date on the Ukrainian plague:

What we don't know

Now here's what we don't know about the Ukraine outbreak:

What is the actual genetic composition of this mutated strain?

Scientists have not released any meaningful news about the genetic sequence of the Ukraine strain. For the moment, the WHO is somewhat quiet on the matter. The last WHO update was from November 3 (and the situation has become considerably worse since). (

Was this viral strain released as a bioweapon?

There are numerous reports circulating widely across the 'net that cite aerial spraying across Kiev in the days before the new "super flu" outbreak. People are speculating that this was a bioweapon attack intentionally unleashed upon the Ukrainian population. So far, NaturalNews can find no credible information supporting this theory, but it remains a possibility to be researched further.

IMPORTANT: Another scientist "suicide"

All the links below are very important ones to read/watch.

Some things, especially techniques of government "specialists," never change: This latest reported suicide of a British scientist (see below) sounds very much like U.S. Secretary of Defense James Forrestal's death way back in 1949 -- when he "tried to hang himself" and "fell" from a 16th floor hospital window. Interesting story on this is at:
It seems Forrestal knew a lot about UFOs at the time--and that was a subject Truman et al did NOT want to be told to the public. Shortly before Forrestal's death, Stuart Symington, Sec'y. of the Air Force, called him into his office and had a long talk with him. After that "talk," Forrestal was seen to be sitting in a chair staring at the wall and repeating the words, "I am a loyal fellow, I am a loyal fellow..." He was put into a hospital--on the 16th floor at the government's request--and was not allowed to see a priest whom he continually asked for. The priest tried to see him several times and was always turned away. Hmmmm...... Then, when Forrestal's brother made a decision to take Forrestal out of the hospital and notified the government/hospital of his plans....oops...the night before his brother's arrival, Forrestal "committed suicide."

It's dangerous to be in a position of knowing important information that the powers-that-be don't want to get out to the public. You have to wonder what info. did the following poor fellow have (and perhaps wanted to tell about).

the latest "suicide" story...

For more information on the suicides/disappearances of many scientists (particularly micro-biologists, which brings us up to the present-day virus scares), read this story:

NOW, to the present day and a very important subject: Are viruses being created in the labs? Could the purpose possibly be the culling of the human herd on our very over-populated planet? Just questions that should be asked....and answered. Read below about a very interesting video that can be found on this subject. I watched the video and am very impressed with the doctor's presentation. She gives important information and takes great pains in presenting just the facts, without trying to point to conspiracy:

Below is the link to the quickest and most accessible way to view this very important
"Bells Tolling for Swine Flu - A Doctor / Nun Speaks on Viruses and Vaccines."

Click only on the first link of the six links below. This should take you to the YouTube site where the six 9-minute segments of the interview with Teresa Forcades i Vila, the doctor/nun, are still available to watch. So, one click on the top link and you can watch the segments one by one. Note that at first, when the site opens up, you will see only two boxes with her photo. Wait! Within about ten seconds, the screen will change and all six vertical photo boxes will be visible and it will automatically go into the first segment.

The first segment will lead, without need for any prompting "clicks," to the second and so on through the sixth segment. Some of the segments load quickly and some take a longer time, especially the sixth and last segment. Each segment picks up where the last left off, so do watch them in order. You can go back after a first viewing and review any one of the six segments by clicking on the appropriate highlighted link (given below, 1 through 6 lines of links).

Another way to get to the YouTube interview is to go to the following site:

Then click near the top on "A Nun/Doctor Speaks on Viruses and Vaccines" and it should open just below to these same six links, listed one after the other. Or they may already be there on the "page" - just scroll down and see.

Also on this site is a long article written by Dr. Russell Blaylock on the subject of flu viruses, vaccines and autism rates. But note that his article must have been written before Tesesa Forcades' interview was made available just days ago.


Hey Obama, speed up your decisions--we don't care if they're right

The world we live in is getting more insane by the day...


By Steve Benen

I checked the byline a couple of times this morning, to make sure the column that was ostensibly written by David Broder wasn't, in fact, written by Charles Krauthammer. Regrettably, the so-called Dean of the D.C. Media Establishment actually wrote this.

The more President Obama examines our options in Afghanistan, the less he likes the choices he sees. But, as the old saying goes, to govern is to choose -- and he has stretched the internal debate to the breaking point.

It is evident from the length of this deliberative process and from the flood of leaks that have emerged from Kabul and Washington that the perfect course of action does not exist. Given that reality, the urgent necessity is to make a decision -- whether or not it is right.

"Whether or not it is right." The Commander in Chief, in other words, should put expediency over merit. Speed is preferable to accuracy. It's only the longest military conflict in American history, with the future of U.S. foreign policy on the line -- the president should worry less about due diligence and thoughtful analysis, and worry more about picking a course, even if it's wrong. Other than the loss of American servicemen and women, untold billions of dollars, and undermining U.S. interests in a critical region, what's the worst that can happen?

This says so much to me. The "dean" of Beltway journalism and conventional thinking perfectly encapsulates the Republican zeitgeist:

  1. Criticize anything that Obama does. If he acts decisively, complain that he's reckless. If he acts thoughtfully, complain that he's "dithering". If he points out that he's inherited a big fat clusterf&ck, complain that he's pointing fingers. If he tries to move forward in even a slightly progressive way, complain that he's not bipartisan enough and that he should listen to Republicans. In short, make sure that no matter what, Obama is wrong.
  2. There are no consequences to telling Obama he's wrong. So what if 45,000 people die because they don't have healthcare? So what if sending more troops is basically sending them to their deaths? So what if there is no stable government in Afghanistan? So what if we're spending millions of dollars every month and deficit spending is the cause du jour for those suddenly fiscally responsible Republicans?

If Obama acts quickly, and it's the wrong choice, will the decision to act fall back on Broder and the Republicans for the pressure they've placed on Obama? 'Course not. But you can bet your sweet bippy they'll only be too glad to pounce on him if there are more American deaths.

Tell you what, Broder, if you're so eager to see some action in Afghanistan, let's see you do one of your patented "folksy" reports from a coffee shop in Kandahar or Kabul. Otherwise, STFU and let the people in charge actually make a reasoned and thoughtful decision, since it affects so much in American blood and treasure.

We've had eight years of quick rather than right decisions. It's time for the grownups to be in charge now.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

One opinion about Sarah Palin's effect on the Republican Party

In the meantime, Liz Cheney is out in the hustings, suggesting her father be the Republican presidential candidate in 2012. Hmmm...what an interesting match that would be, Palin and Cheney. Seems we've already lived through the dummy and the puppeteer days...and how did that work out for us? Hmmmm????


By Max Blumenthal

Sarah Palin's heavily publicized book tour begins in earnest this Monday, but weeks before, her ghostwritten memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life, had already vaulted into the number one position at Amazon. Warming up for a tour that will take her across Middle America in a bus, Palin tested her lines in a November 7th speech before a crowd of 5,000 anti-abortion activists in Wisconsin. She promptly cited an urban legend as a "disturbing trend," claiming the Treasury Department had moved the phrase "In God We Trust" from presidential dollar coins. (The rumor most likely originated with a 2006 story on the far-right website WorldNetDaily.)

In fact, a suggested alteration in its position on the coin was shot down in 2007 after pressure from Democratic Senator Robert Byrd. Nonetheless, Palin did not hesitate to take up this "controversy," however false, since it conveniently pits a tyrannical, God-destroying, secular big government against humble God-fearing folk. In doing so, of course, she presented herself as this nation's leading defender of the faith.

In a Republican Party hoping to rebound in 2010 on the strength of a newly energized and ideologically aroused conservative grassroots, Palin's influence is now unparalleled. Through her Facebook page, she was the one who pushed the rumor of "death panels" into the national healthcare debate, prompting the White House to issue a series of defensive responses. Unfazed by its absurdity, she repeated the charge in her recent speech in Wisconsin. In a special congressional election in New York's 23rd congressional district, Palin's endorsement of Doug Hoffman, an unknown far-right third-party candidate, helped force a popular moderate Republican politician, Dede Scozzafava, from the race. In the end, Palin's ideological purge in upstate New York led to an improbable Democratic victory, the first in that GOP-heavy district in more than 100 years.

Though the ideological purge may have backfired, Palin's participation in it magnified her influence in the party. In a telling sign of this, Congressman Mark Kirk, a pro-choice Republican from the posh suburban North Shore of Chicago, running for the Senate in Illinois, issued an anxious call for Palin's support while she campaigned for Hoffman. According to a Kirk campaign memo, the candidate was terrified that Palin would be asked about his candidacy during her scheduled appearance on the Chicago-based Oprah Winfrey Show

"She's gangbusters!" a leading conservative radio host exclaimed to me. "There is nobody in the Republican Party who can raise money like her or top her name recognition."

During the 2008 presidential race, some Republican Party elders warned of Palin's destructive influence. They insisted she was a polarizing figure whose extremism would accelerate the Party's slide toward the political and cultural margins. New York Times columnist David Brooks, a card-carrying neocon who had written glowingly of Senator McCain, claimed Palin represented "a fatal cancer to the Republican Party." Peggy Noonan, a former speechwriter for President Reagan and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, blasted Palin as "a dope and unqualified from the start." Last June, Steve Schmidt, the former McCain campaign chief of staff, warned that Palin's nomination as the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee would be "catastrophic."

New polling data appears to support such doomsday prophecies. According to an October 19th Gallup poll, the former governor of Alaska has become one of the most polarizing and unpopular politicians in the country. Since she quit the governorship to pursue her lucrative book deal, a move that upset many in Alaska's Republican leadership and cost the state's taxpayers almost $200,000, her unfavorability rating has spiked to 50% while her favorability has sunk to 40%, again according to Gallup's figures. (The only nationally-known politician who is less popular right now, according to the poll, is John Edwards, the former two-term senator who fathered a child out of wedlock and paid his mistress hush money while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination on a social justice platform.)

Queen Esther

If Palin is indeed a cancer on the GOP, why can't the Republican establishment retire her to a quiet life of moose hunting in the political wilderness? Why has her appeal only increased in the wake of her catastrophic political expeditions? Why won't she listen to, or abide by, conventional political wisdom?

The answer lies beyond the realm of polls and punditry in the political psychology of the movement that animates and, to a great degree, controls, the Republican grassroots -- a uniquely evangelical subculture defined by the personal crises of its believers and their perceived persecution at the hands of cosmopolitan elites.

By emphasizing her own crises and her victimization by the "liberal media," Palin has established an invisible, indissoluble bond with adherents of that subculture -- so visceral it transcends any rational political analysis. As a result, her career has become a vehicle through which the right-wing evangelical movement feels it can express its deepest identity in opposition both to secular society and to its representatives in the Obama White House. Palin is perceived by its leaders -- and followers -- not as another cynical politician or even as a self-promoting celebrity, but as a kind of magical helper, the God-fearing glamour girl who parachuted into their backwater towns to lift them from the drudgery of everyday life, assuring them that they represented the "Real America."

If McCain had taken his preferred choice for a running mate in 2008, he would have chosen Joseph Lieberman, the turncoat Democrat and his best friend in the Senate. But with the base of the Republican Party subsumed by a Christian right that detested the senator, his advisors urged him to choose the untested, virtually unknown Alaskan governor to bring the faithful back to him. Their gamble paid off -- at least in the short-term. When Palin was revealed as the vice presidential nominee at an off-the-record gathering of the Council for National Policy, a secretive cabal of the conservative movement's top financiers and activists, Tom Minnery of the Christian right outfit Focus on the Family recalled, "People were on their seats applauding cheering, yelling... that room was electrified."

Before her nomination, the provincial Palin had traveled outside the country only once and demonstrated little, if any, intellectual curiosity. During the campaign, she was flummoxed when CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric simply asked what magazines she read. Yet the fact that she had such a limited understanding of the world actually recommended her to the Republican base.

The gun-toting, snowmobile-cruising former beauty queen became an instant cultural icon. Little understood by those outside this culture was her religious worldview, cultivated during the 20 years she spent worshipping at the Wasilla Assembly of God, a right-wing Pentecostal church in her hometown north of Anchorage. When I visited the church in October 2008, a pastor from Kenya, Bishop Thomas Muthee, was at the podium comparing Palin to Queen Esther, the biblical queen who used her wiles to intercede for her people. The reference was clear enough: Palin, the former beauty pageant contestant who had chosen Esther as her biblical role model when she first entered politics, would topple America's secular tyrants, leading her people, the true Christians, into the kingdom. As he concluded his sermon, Muthee gesticulated wildly and spoke in tongues, urging parishioners to "come against the spirit of witchcraft as the body of Christ."

Three years earlier, in 2005, Muthee had anointed Palin during a public ceremony at the Wasilla Assembly of God, laying his hand on her forehead while praying to protect her "against all forms of witchcraft." The bishop claimed that he had personally battled a witch in his hometown of Kiambu, Kenya, driving the evildoer from the town and thereby ending an epidemic of crime and licentiousness. The episode was later revealed as a farce by a reporter from Women's eNews who traveled to Kiambu and found the supposed witch, a local healer named Mama Jane, still living happily in her compound. In palling around with Muthee, whom she credited with helping propel her into the governor's mansion by anointing her, Palin revealed herself as an authentic religious zealot. Whatever her flaws might have been, this was what mattered to the movement in 2008 -- and what matters now.

Once Palin was nominated, her sixteen-year-old daughter Bristol (named for Bristol Bay, Alaska) became the subject of ferocious media scrutiny. She had, it turned out, been impregnated by Levi Johnston, a local eighteen-year-old jock who identified himself on his MySpace page as "a f**kin' redneck." To media outsiders, Bristol's out-of-wedlock pregnancy was particularly startling, given Palin's advocacy of abstinence-only education. In the eyes of many liberals, Palin had been revealed as but another family-values hypocrite, but to members of the Christian right, she was something quite different -- a glamorized version of themselves. As the Palin family became a staple of late-night comedy monologues, Palin fought back against the secular enemy, slamming David Letterman for "sexually perverted jokes" about her daughter. With that, the movement's adulation for her overflowed.

The Culture of Personal Crisis

Palin's daughter's drama caught vividly a culture of personal crisis that defines so many evangelical communities across the country. That culture is described in a landmark congressionally funded study of adolescent behavior, Add Health, revealing that white evangelical women like Bristol Palin lose their virginity, on average, at age 16 -- earlier, that is, than any group except black Protestants.

Another recent study by sociologists Peter Bearman and Hannah Bruckner notes that over half of evangelical girls who have pledged to maintain their virginity until marriage wind up having sex before marriage, and with a man other than their future husband. Bearman and Bruckner also disclose that communities with the highest population of girls who attend so-called purity balls, where they vow chastity until marriage before their fathers in a prom-like religious ceremony, also have some of the country's highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases. In Lubbock, Texas, where abstinence education has been mandated since 1995, the rate of gonorrhea is now double the national average, while teen pregnancy has spiked to the highest levels in the state.

"So many families deal with the same issues Sarah Palin is dealing with, so we really can relate to what she is going through," Grace Van Diest, a middle-aged Alaskan delegate from Wasilla, told me on the floor of the 2008 Republican National Convention. Van Diest then described how each of her daughters went on "a date with their dad" to discuss their pledge to "keep themselves pure until marriage."

Palin consolidated her bond with the movement in another very personal way. She cradled her new son Trig, born with Downs Syndrome, before the klieg lights. Her husband Todd had chosen the name believing it was Norse for "strength." ("Trygg" actually means "safe" or "reliable" in Norwegian.) Palin's decision to carry the baby to term excited many evangelicals and anti-abortion activists, including James Dobson, who wrote a letter congratulating her for having what he called "that little Downs Syndrome baby." "What a way to emphasize your pro-life leanings there!" he exclaimed during a radio broadcast in which he endorsed the McCain-Palin ticket, even though he had denounced McCain as a "liberal" only weeks before.

After the market collapsed in the fall of 2008 and the McCain campaign ran off the rails, Palin untethered herself -- as her book title has it, she went "rogue" -- ignoring McCain's rules on attacking Obama. Instead, she lashed out at candidate Obama in her own distinctive way. "This is a man who launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist," she insisted. "This is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America." With these two lines, apparently uttered without the permission of McCain or his top aides, Palin opened up a deep schism within the campaign, while unleashing a flood of emotions from the depths of the Party faithful.

"Kill him!" a man shouted at a campaign rally in Clearwater, Florida, when Palin linked Obama to terrorism, according to Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank.

The next time she mentioned Obama, another man cried out, "Terrorist!" "Treason!"

"Go back to Kenya!" a woman typically screamed during a Palin rally in Des Moines, Iowa.

While Obama entertained visions of a blissful post-partisan, post-racial America, Palin almost single-handedly gave birth to the birthers who would, after his inauguration, dedicate themselves to proving he was not, by birth, an American. By "going rogue," Palin instinctively and craftily propelled her ambitions beyond Election Day, and so anointed herself as the movement's magical helper in the Obama era.

Elevated by yesterday's man, Palin now represents her Party's future -- and the greatest danger it faces. Her intimate bond with the Republican grassroots has made her the indispensable woman, even if she provokes a visceral sense of revulsion from many independents and moderates. Other Republican frontrunners like former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty have a debilitating problem to face in any race for the presidency: they are viewed as inauthentic candidates by the movement -- cardboard men in suits who are only pantomiming appeals to cultural resentment.

Mike Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister who understands the nuances of evangelical culture, nonetheless bears the burden of being a 2008 primary loser. At that time, the former governor of Arkansas had a clear field when it came to the religious right, but was unable to expand beyond his Southern bastions of support.

Palin was, after all, chosen. She never lost a primary -- and it was McCain who lost the race. If Huckabee sought to run again for the nomination, he might have to compete against her for the allegiance of the evangelical constituency.

Nor can she be easily criticized. Palin is so well positioned as the darling of the movement that any criticism of her would be experienced by believers as a personal attack on them. In this way, their identification with her through the politics of personal crisis is complete. Any Republican primary challenger assailing Palin will be seen as victimizing her, as channeling the attacks of the liberal elites, and possibly as having a secret liberal agenda. On the other hand, to embrace her is to risk losing the great American center.

For the 2010 mid-term elections, Palin's endorsement is already a coveted commodity -- as Mark Kirk's desperate bid to secure it demonstrates. The more she is attacked, the more the Republican base adores her. As she sets out on her book tour, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune only propel her forward. Her influence on a party largely devoid of leadership is expanding. If she doesn't prove to be the Party's future queen, she may have positioned herself to be its future king-maker -- and potentially its destroyer. You betcha.