Monday, October 26, 2009
October 24, 2009
According to the CDC, swine flu infections have already peaked, and the pandemic is on its way out. Peak infection time was the middle of October, where one in five U.S. children experienced the flu, says the CDC. Out of nearly 14,000 suspected flu cases tested during the week ending on October 10, 2009, 99.6% of those were influenza A, and the vast majority of those were confirmed as H1N1 swine flu infections. (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/)
Even though the H1N1 pandemic appears to have peaked out, U.S. President Barack Obama has now declared a national emergency over swine flu infections. The reasoning behind such a declaration? According to the White House, it’s designed to "allow hospitals to better handle the surge in patients" by allowing them to bypass certain federal laws.
Emergency powers trump the Bill of Rights
That’s the public explanation for this, but the real agenda behind this declaration may be far more sinister. Declaring a national emergency immediately gives federal authorities dangerous new powers that can now be enforced at gunpoint, including:
• The power to force mandatory swine flu vaccinations on the entire population.
• The power to quarantine an entire city and halt all travel in or out of that city.
• The power to enter any home or office without a search warrant and order the destruction of any belongings or structures deemed to be a threat to public health.
• The effective nullification of the Bill of Rights. Your right to due process, to being safe from government search and seizure, and to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination are all null and void under a Presidential declaration of a national emergency.None of this means that federal agents are going to march door to door arresting people at gunpoint if they refuse the vaccine, but they could if they wanted to. Your rights as an American are no longer recognized under this national emergency declaration.
The declaration of this national emergency seems suspicious from the start. Where’s the emergency? The number of people killed by swine flu in the United States is far smaller than the number of people killed each year from seasonal flu, according to CDC statistics. People obviously aren’t dropping dead by the millions from H1N1 influenza. Most people are just getting mild flu symptoms and a few days later they’re fine.
So where’s the emergency?
I find the timing of all this curious. Two days ago, New York gave up on its efforts to require mandatory vaccinations of health care workers. This was designed to defuse a large number of planned protests from health freedom-conscious people who don’t want government-mandated chemicals pumped into their veins.
The planned protests in New York would have fueled yet more resistance among health care workers across the country, and had it been allowed to continue, it could have resulted in a huge nationwide backlash against swine flu vaccines. By backing off the vaccine mandate and blaming it on a vaccine shortage (http://www.naturalnews.com/027313_N…), and then having Obama declare a national emergency, our state and national leaders have halted the protests and put in place a pro-vaccine Big Brother mandate that can be enforced at gunpoint.
Big Pharma must be pleased with all this. With these emergency powers in place, all that’s necessary to force vaccinations upon the entire population is a larger supply of the vaccines — and that’s coming in November.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
by Dahr Jamail
October 14th, 2009 | Inter Press Service
Travis Bishop, who has served a tour of duty in Iraq and is now recognized by Amnesty International as a “Prisoner of Conscience,” resisted deployment to Afghanistan. The other soldier, Leo Church, recently went absent without leave (AWOL) from his unit in order to prevent his family from going homeless.
The civilian defense attorney for both soldiers, James M. Branum, told Truthout that both soldiers have been strip-searched while possibly being filmed. Bishop and Church have also been watched by female guards during strip-searches, while using the restroom as well as while in the showers. Both soldiers have been denied one in-person visit by their attorneys and all phone calls with their attorneys have been illegally monitored by guards.
Branum reported, “The Fort Lewis Brig is violating the constitutional rights of my clients, namely their protections under the Eighth Amendment (the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment) and the Sixth Amendment (the right to counsel). This mistreatment must end.”
Seth Manzel, a Fort Lewis Stryker Brigade veteran and executive director of the veteran support group G.I. Voice, said of the matter, “These techniques of sexual humiliation are far too similar to those practiced on foreign prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Bagram in Afghanistan. Is the Army at Fort Lewis using enhanced interrogation techniques to break down American soldiers here at home?”
Manzel, speaking with Truthout via telephone, said his group wants people to know that these abuses are occurring against soldiers “who signed up to defend the country” and “the idea that we do this to our own soldiers demonstrates how amazingly barbaric this system is.”
Other attorneys and military veteran bloggers have long commented on reports of human rights abuses in the RCF, including the use of female guards to sexually humiliate prisoners. The reports include the 2005 case of Michael Levitt, who plugged up his cell toilet in response to reported sexual humiliation by guards, and was then chained to a “stress-chair” (with metal frames, but no seat) for 109 hours. Other war resisters, such as Sgt. Kevin Benderman and Spc. Suzanne Swift have been held at the Fort Lewis RCF.
Manzel, who also helps run the GI resistance coffee house near Fort Lewis, Coffee Strong, added, “We’re trying to raise awareness and give direct support to these two men. Ideally, we hope to pressure the leadership at Fort Lewis to respect their basic human rights, so that the leadership, courts, and other soldiers on base know that there is support out there for other soldiers who resist.”
On September 28, Truthout reported that both soldiers had been held incommunicado, which violated their Sixth Amendment rights.
The Sixth Amendment is the part of the Bill of Rights that sets forth rights related to criminal prosecutions in federal courts, and reads, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”
According to Branum, guards are monitoring his conversations with the soldiers, in addition to the fact that the room at Fort Lewis where they meet is not soundproof.
“The guards say we don’t have the room set up yet, but the problem is they had the new brig as a grand opening in August,” he explained. “But the attorney room is not set up. So they need to be transferred to another building where we can have private conversations.”
“The last time I talked to Travis on the phone, he was telling me there was more issues of abuse, but he couldn’t go into detail with me since our conversation was not private,” Branum added.
Attorney LeGrande Jones, who practices in Olympia and was designated by Branum as the local counsel for Bishop, was also denied access to Bishop.
Branum said that the soldiers’ Eighth Amendment rights had been violated as well.
“The Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment,” Branum explained to Truthout, “You can’t use sexual humiliation as punishment. In the civilian world, it would not fly to have female guards watching over men using the shower. There’s just no reason to use guards of a different gender to do this, particularly when the military is so male dominated. It’s really weird that they are doing this at Fort Lewis.”
Branum said that Leo Church had been strip-searched in a room while told that cameras were running.
Bishop is in the brig for having gone AWOL from Fort Hood, Texas, on the day of his deployment to Afghanistan to give himself “time to prepare for my application process.” He was away from his unit for about a week, during which he drafted his CO application and sought legal advice. He returned voluntarily and on his return to the unit he submitted his application, but was court-martialed even as the Army was still reviewing it.
Church was imprisoned for having gone AWOL, which he did in order to prevent his wife and children from becoming homeless. He tried to get help from his unit, but was denied, and received eight months prison time. Church was eventually forced by this ordeal to give his newborn son up for adoption. According to Church, “With everything that was going on, from me leaving, even though it was to care for my family, because I could find no support from the Army, Amanda and I had to place our son, Austin in a loving home through adoption. We did not want him enduring the strife that we had endured and for him to end up being fatherless, because I would be living in prison.”
Andrew VanDenBergh, a Marine veteran of the Iraq war and a G.I. Voice staff member, said of Leo Church in a press release, “He joined the Army, found out his family was homeless, wasn’t allowed to keep his children from living on the streets, went to take care of his family, had to give a child up for adoption and is now locked in prison and being abused. Being abused for what? For taking care of his children?”
Fort Lewis continues to be a center of controversy with the recent revelation that a civilian security employee has been spying on groups opposing the shipment of Stryker combat vehicles through local ports.
Friday, October 9, 2009
By KARL RITTER and MATT MOORE (AP) – 5 hours ago
OSLO — President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to encourage his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.
Nobel observers were shocked by the unexpected choice so early in the Obama presidency, which began less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama woke up to the news a little before 6 a.m. EDT. The White House had no immediate comment on the announcement, which took the administration by surprise.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee lauded the change in global mood wrought by Obama's calls for peace and cooperation but recognized initiatives that have yet to bear fruit: reducing the world stock of nuclear arms, easing American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthening the U.S. role in combating climate change.
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," said Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Nobel Committee.
Still, the U.S. remains at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Congress has yet to pass a law reducing carbon emissions and there has been little significant reduction in global nuclear stockpiles since Obama took office.
"So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is still at an early stage. He is only beginning to act," said former Polish President Lech Walesa, a 1983 Nobel Peace laureate.
"This is probably an encouragement for him to act. Let's see if he perseveres. Let's give him time to act," Walesa said.
The award appeared to be a slap at President George W. Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama's predecessor for his largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The Nobel committee praised Obama's creation of "a new climate in international politics" and said he had returned multilateral diplomacy and institutions like the U.N. to the center of the world stage.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who won the prize in 1984, said Obama's award shows great things are expected from him in coming years.
"It's an award coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young president that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all," Tutu said. "It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama's message of hope."
Until seconds before the award, speculation had focused on a wide variety of candidates besides Obama: Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a Colombian senator, a Chinese dissident and an Afghan woman's rights activist, among others. The Nobel committee received a record 205 nominations for this year's prize, though it was not immediately apparent who nominated Obama.
"The exciting and important thing about this prize is that it's given to someone ... who has the power to contribute to peace," Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said
Lets see: Under the Obama administration the US military has increased its presence in Afganistan. Removed a few troops from Iraq and then replaced them with contractors. Started a war with Pakistan, what you didn't know we have been bombing Pakistan on an almost daily basis since Obama took office. Bombed Somalia and Sudan. And the military just received its biggest appropriations budget ever. Am I living in a George Orwell novel. Since when did spreading "democracy" through the barrel of a gun become the same thing as making peace.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Family sues over confiscation of supplies, computers
Posted: October 06, 2009
8:29 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
A lawsuit brought by an Ohio family whose children were held at SWAT-team gunpoint while their food supplies were confiscated is scheduled to go to trial this week.
John and Jackie Stowers are suing the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Lorain County General Health District over the raid on their "Manna Storehouse," an organic food co-op that operated in LaGrange.
The Stowers and their 10 children and grandchildren were detained in one room of their home for six hours while sheriff's officers confiscated 60 boxes of fresh farm food,
The state and county are accused of 119 counts, including unlawful search and seizure, illegal use of state police power, taking of private property without compensation, failure to provide due process and equal protection and a multitude of constitutional rights violations, including the right to grow and eat one's own food and offer it to others.
At that time, a state agent from the Ohio Department of Agriculture pressured the Stowers to "sell" him a dozen eggs, then returned with a SWAT team to detain the family's children and confiscate food supplies.
The case brought by state and local authorities against the Stowers came to a head Dec. 1, 2008, when police officers used SWAT-style tactics to burst into the home, hold family members, including children, at gunpoint and confiscate the family's personal food supply.
| || |
Two organizations, the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and the Buckeye Institute's legal arm, the Center for Constitutional Law, initially started working to defend the family.
But now the family is on the offense, accusing the government agencies and their individuals of rights violations.
David Cox, an attorney for the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, confirmed that nothing ever resulted for the family after the confiscation of the food.
There were no charges, "civil, criminal or otherwise," he said.
The confrontation began developing several years ago when local health officials demanded the family hold a retail food license to run their co-op. Thompson said the family wrote a letter questioning the requirement and asking for evidence that would indicate they were operating a food store.
The Stowers family members simply "take orders from (co-op) members … then divide up the food," Thompson explained.
"The health inspector didn't like the tone of the letter," Thompson said, and the result was that law enforcement officials planned, staged and carried out the raid on the family's home.
The "sale" of the eggs to the undercover agent was entrapment, the family's lawyers have contended, since the family members had told him they didn't sell food to the public and couldn't help him.
Eventually, when he refused to leave, the family gave him a dozen eggs to hasten his departure, Thompson explained.
The case goes to trial Thursday and Friday in Elyria.
Among other things, the case demands the return of the family's property, as well as an injunction prohibiting enforcement of any licensing requirements of the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code upon the cooperative.
The case focuses first on the "paramilitary style execution of a search warrant against a peaceful family" whose only alleged crime was not getting a state permit. The second is a challenge to government claims the cooperative is a retail food establishment.
"Between the physical things they took and the emotional and spiritual trauma they caused in our lives, it's our hope we can somehow help others with this [lawsuit]," Jacqueline Stowers said.
In a video posted both on YouTube and on the Buckeye Institute's website, the couple explained how they just wanted to provide a resource for both farmers and consumers.
Officials with the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit, said several of their members had been participating in the co-op, but now their food supplies are disrupted.