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Another alarming report about FDA's dysfunctional oversight system

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Yet another alarming report about FDA's dysfunctional oversight system was just issued by 3 members of FDA's Science Board a panel that reports directly to the commissioner, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach. The conclusions reached by FDA's Science Board confirm the verdict of a panel convened by the Institute of Medicine at FDA's request last year: FDA's oversight system is "in crisis" thereby posing a hazard to public health rather than a safety net.

The report gives FDA failing grades is every aspect of its public mission:

1. The FDA cannot fulfill its mission because its scientific base has eroded and its scientific organizational structure is weak;

2. The FDA cannot fulfill its mission because its scientific workforce does not have sufficient capacity or capability;

3. The FDA cannot fulfill its mission because its information technology (IT) infrastructure is inadequate.

"F.D.A.'s ability to provide its basic food system inspection, enforcement and rule-making functions is severely eroded, as is its ability to respond to outbreaks in a timely manner."

Garret A. FitzGerald, a pharmacologist from the University of Pennsylvania and adviser to the authors, pointed to a series of food and drug scares that have demonstrated how little oversight the F.D.A. provides, he said the report was raising an alarm because "this is a crisis."

He blamed a "cabal of Congressional majorities and presidential administrations that has serially stripped the agency of assets."

The agency has been deliberately stripped of its assets in order to incapacitate its functioning. This was accomplished by the undue pervasive influence of two industries, Big Pharma and Big Food.

The report, FDA Science and Mission At Risk:

The Institute of Medicine report:

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav veracare@ahrp.org 212-595-8974

THE NEW YORK TIMES

December 1, 2007

Advisers Say F.D.A.'s Flaws Put Lives at Risk

By GARDINER HARRIS

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 - The nation's food supply is at risk, its drugs are potentially dangerous and its citizens' lives are at stake because the Food and Drug Administration is desperately short of money and poorly organized, according to an alarming report by agency advisers.

The report, made public on Friday, is the latest and perhaps most far-reaching in a string of outside assessments that have concluded that the F.D.A. is poorly equipped to protect the public health.

It was written by three members of the F.D.A. Science Board, an advisory panel that reports directly to the agency's commissioner, Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach. The three authors in turn had 30 scientific advisers.

The report concludes that over the last two decades, the agency's public health responsibilities have soared while its appropriations have barely budged. The result is that the F.D.A. is falling farther and farther behind in carrying out its responsibilities and understanding the science it needs to do its many jobs.

"F.D.A.'s inability to keep up with scientific advances means that American lives are at risk," the report stated.

Sandy Walsh of the F.D.A. said the agency "values the evaluation done by the subcommittee members and the scientific experts that were consulted" but would not comment further.

Barbara J. McNeil, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and one of the report's authors, said she was stunned at the agency's sorry state. "This was the first time that a group of people got together and really looked at all the areas that the F.D.A. has to cover," Dr. McNeil said. "We were shocked at the scope of its responsibilities, we were shocked at how little its resources have increased, and we were surprised at the conditions those in the F.D.A. had to work under."

The report notes that the agency's computer systems are aging and prone to breakdowns, "most recently during an E. coli food contamination investigation." "Reports of product dangers are not rapidly compared and analyzed, inspectors' reports are still handwritten and slow to work their way through the compliance system, and the system for managing imported products cannot communicate with customs and other government systems," the report stated.

The agency often misses significant product arrivals because its computers are so poor that they cannot distinguish between shipments of road salt and those of table salt, the report said.

The Institute of Medicine, the nation's most prestigious scientific advisory organization, concluded last year that the agency's system for ensuring the safety of drugs needed an overhaul. Recent legislation enacted some of the institute's recommendations.

More hearings regarding the F.D.A.'s oversight of food are in the offing, including one in the Senate on Tuesday. The report concluded that the "F.D.A.'s ability to provide its basic food system inspection, enforcement and rule-making functions is severely eroded, as is its ability to respond to outbreaks in a timely manner."

Garret A. FitzGerald, a pharmacologist from the University of Pennsylvania and adviser to the authors, said the report was raising an alarm because "this is a crisis." Dr. FitzGerald pointed to a series of food and drug scares that have demonstrated how little oversight the F.D.A. provides.

He blamed a "cabal of Congressional majorities and presidential administrations that has serially stripped the agency of assets."

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

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...

The nation's food supply is at risk, its drugs are potentially dangerous and its citizens' lives are at stake because the Food and Drug Administration is desperately short of money and poorly organized, according to an alarming report by agency advisers. The report, made public on Friday, is the latest and perhaps most far-reaching in a string of outside assessments that have concluded that the F.D.A. is poorly equipped to protect the public health. It was written by three members of the F.D.A. Science Board, an advisory panel that reports directly to the agency's commissioner, Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach. The three authors in turn had 30 scientific advisers..........

Panel says FDA losses jeopardize public

( 11/30/2007, The Associated Press )

A loss of scientific expertise at the Food and Drug Administration is threatening American lives, advisers to the embattled consumer protection agency conclude in a report released Friday.

Food safety in particular is in crisis, concludes the nearly yearlong review by scientists from leading universities and industries the FDA regulates.Scary headlines from recent years - heart-damaging drug side effects, deadly E. coli in spinach, pets dead from chemically spiked food, toxic toothpaste - have triggered growing questions about FDA's ability to safeguard the public. Indeed, the new report is the latest in a list of outside reviews to conclude the cash-strapped FDA has trouble keeping pace with the $1 trillion worth of consumer goods it regulates......(...)..."The Science Board subcommittee given the task was blunt: 'In contrast to previous reviews that warned crises would arise if funding issues were not addressed, recent events and our findings indicate that some of those crises are now realities and American lives are at risk.'" ............

newsflash washington

THE REPORT:

COMPLETE REPORT (PDF):

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John Perkins - Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (Hard Hitting Information)

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"Doomsday Seed Vault" in the Arctic

Bill Gates, Rockefeller and the GMO giants know something we don’t

by F. William Engdahl

Global Research, December 4, 2007

Link

One thing Microsoft founder Bill Gates can’t be accused of is sloth. He was already programming at 14, founded Microsoft at age 20 while still a student at Harvard. By 1995 he had been listed by Forbes as the world’s richest man from being the largest shareholder in his Microsoft, a company which his relentless drive built into a de facto monopoly in software systems for personal computers.

In 2006 when most people in such a situation might think of retiring to a quiet Pacific island, Bill Gates decided to devote his energies to his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest ‘transparent’ private foundation as it says, with a whopping $34.6 billion endowment and a legal necessity to spend $1.5 billion a year on charitable projects around the world to maintain its tax free charitable status. A gift from friend and business associate, mega-investor Warren Buffett in 2006, of some $30 billion worth of shares in Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway put the Gates’ foundation into the league where it spends almost the amount of the entire annual budget of the United Nations’ World Health Organization.

So when Bill Gates decides through the Gates Foundation to invest some $30 million of their hard earned money in a project, it is worth looking at.

No project is more interesting at the moment than a curious project in one of the world’s most remote spots, Svalbard. Bill Gates is investing millions in a seed bank on the Barents Sea near the Arctic Ocean, some 1,100 kilometers from the North Pole. Svalbard is a barren piece of rock claimed by Norway and ceded in 1925 by international treaty (see map).

On this God-forsaken island Bill Gates is investing tens of his millions along with the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto Corporation, Syngenta Foundation and the Government of Norway, among others, in what is called the ‘doomsday seed bank.’ Officially the project is named the Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard island group.

Doomsday Seed Vault

The seed bank is being built inside a mountain on Spitsbergen Island near the small village of Longyearbyen. It’s almost ready for ‘business’ according to their releases. The bank will have dual blast-proof doors with motion sensors, two airlocks, and walls of steel-reinforced concrete one meter thick. It will contain up to three million different varieties of seeds from the entire world, ‘so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future,’ according to the Norwegian government. Seeds will be specially wrapped to exclude moisture. There will be no full-time staff, but the vault's relative inaccessibility will facilitate monitoring any possible human activity.

Did we miss something here? Their press release stated, ‘so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future.’ What future do the seed bank’s sponsors foresee, that would threaten the global availability of current seeds, almost all of which are already well protected in designated seed banks around the world?

Anytime Bill Gates, the Rockefeller Foundation, Monsanto and Syngenta get together on a common project, it’s worth digging a bit deeper behind the rocks on Spitsbergen. When we do we find some fascinating things.

The first notable point is who is sponsoring the doomsday seed vault. Here joining the Norwegians are, as noted, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the US agribusiness giant DuPont/Pioneer Hi-Bred, one of the world’s largest owners of patented genetically-modified (GMO) plant seeds and related agrichemicals; Syngenta, the Swiss-based major GMO seed and agrichemicals company through its Syngenta Foundation; the Rockefeller Foundation, the private group who created the “gene revolution with over $100 million of seed money since the 1970’s; CGIAR, the global network created by the Rockefeller Foundation to promote its ideal of genetic purity through agriculture change.

CGIAR and ‘The Project’

As I detailled in the book, Seeds of Destruction1, in 1960 the Rockefeller Foundation, John D. Rockefeller III’s Agriculture Development Council and the Ford Foundation joined forces to create the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, the Philippines. By 1971, the Rockefeller Foundation’s IRRI, along with their Mexico-based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and two other Rockefeller and Ford Foundation-created international research centers, the IITA for tropical agriculture, Nigeria, and IRRI for rice, Philippines, combined to form a global Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR).

CGIAR was shaped at a series of private conferences held at the Rockefeller Foundation’s conference center in Bellagio, Italy. Key participants at the Bellagio talks were the Rockefeller Foundation’s George Harrar, Ford Foundation’s Forrest Hill, Robert McNamara of the World Bank and Maurice Strong, the Rockefeller family’s international environmental organizer, who, as a Rockefeller Foundation Trustee, organized the UN Earth Summit in Stockholm in 1972. It was part of the foundation’s decades long focus to turn science to the service of eugenics, a hideous version of racial purity, what has been called The Project.

To ensure maximum impact, CGIAR drew in the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN Development Program and the World Bank. Thus, through a carefully-planned leverage of its initial funds, the Rockefeller Foundation by the beginning of the 1970’s was in a position to shape global agriculture policy. And shape it did.

Financed by generous Rockefeller and Ford Foundation study grants, CGIAR saw to it that leading Third World agriculture scientists and agronomists were brought to the US to ‘master’ the concepts of modern agribusiness production, in order to carry it back to their homeland. In the process they created an invaluable network of influence for US agribusiness promotion in those countries, most especially promotion of the GMO ‘Gene Revolution’ in developing countries, all in the name of science and efficient, free market agriculture.

Genetically engineering a master race?

Now the Svalbard Seed Bank begins to become interesting. But it gets better. ‘The Project’ I referred to is the project of the Rockefeller Foundation and powerful financial interests since the 1920’s to use eugenics, later renamed genetics, to justify creation of a genetically-engineered Master Race. Hitler and the Nazis called it the Ayran Master Race.

The eugenics of Hitler were financed to a major extent by the same Rockefeller Foundation which today is building a doomsday seed vault to preserve samples of every seed on our planet. Now this is getting really intriguing. The same Rockefeller Foundation created the pseudo-science discipline of molecular biology in their relentless pursuit of reducing human life down to the ‘defining gene sequence’ which, they hoped, could then be modified in order to change human traits at will. Hitler’s eugenics scientists, many of whom were quietly brought to the United States after the War to continue their biological eugenics research, laid much of the groundwork of genetic engineering of various life forms, much of it supported openly until well into the Third Reich by Rockefeller Foundation generous grants.2

The same Rockefeller Foundation created the so-called Green Revolution, out of a trip to Mexico in 1946 by Nelson Rockefeller and former New Deal Secretary of Agriculture and founder of the Pioneer Hi-Bred Seed Company, Henry Wallace.

The Green Revolution purported to solve the world hunger problem to a major degree in Mexico, India and other select countries where Rockefeller worked. Rockefeller Foundation agronomist, Norman Borlaug, won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work, hardly something to boast about with the likes of Henry Kissinger sharing the same.

In reality, as it years later emerged, the Green Revolution was a brilliant Rockefeller family scheme to develop a globalized agribusiness which they then could monopolize just as they had done in the world oil industry beginning a half century before. As Henry Kissinger declared in the 1970’s, ‘If you control the oil you control the country; if you control food, you control the population.’

Agribusiness and the Rockefeller Green Revolution went hand-in-hand. They were part of a grand strategy which included Rockefeller Foundation financing of research for the development of genetic engineering of plants and animals a few years later.

John H. Davis had been Assistant Agriculture Secretary under President Dwight Eisenhower in the early 1950’s. He left Washington in 1955 and went to the Harvard Graduate School of Business, an unusual place for an agriculture expert in those days. He had a clear strategy. In 1956, Davis wrote an article in the Harvard Business Review in which he declared that “the only way to solve the so-called farm problem once and for all, and avoid cumbersome government programs, is to progress from agriculture to agribusiness.” He knew precisely what he had in mind, though few others had a clue back then--- a revolution in agriculture production that would concentrate control of the food chain in corporate multinational hands, away from the traditional family farmer. 3

A crucial aspect driving the interest of the Rockefeller Foundation and US agribusiness companies was the fact that the Green Revolution was based on proliferation of new hybrid seeds in developing markets. One vital aspect of hybrid seeds was their lack of reproductive capacity. Hybrids had a built in protection against multiplication. Unlike normal open pollinated species whose seed gave yields similar to its parents, the yield of the seed borne by hybrid plants was significantly lower than that of the first generation.

That declining yield characteristic of hybrids meant farmers must normally buy seed every year in order to obtain high yields. Moreover, the lower yield of the second generation eliminated the trade in seed that was often done by seed producers without the breeder’s authorization. It prevented the redistribution of the commercial crop seed by middlemen.

If the large multinational seed companies were able to control the parental seed lines in house, no competitor or farmer would be able to produce the hybrid. The global concentration of hybrid seed patents into a handful of giant seed companies, led by DuPont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred and Monsanto’s Dekalb laid the ground for the later GMO seed revolution. 4

In effect, the introduction of modern American agricultural technology, chemical fertilizers and commercial hybrid seeds all made local farmers in developing countries, particularly the larger more established ones, dependent on foreign, mostly US agribusiness and petro-chemical company inputs. It was a first step in what was to be a decades-long, carefully planned process.

Under the Green Revolution Agribusiness was making major inroads into markets which were previously of limited access to US exporters. The trend was later dubbed “market-oriented agriculture.” In reality it was agribusiness-controlled agriculture.

Through the Green Revolution, the Rockefeller Foundation and later Ford Foundation worked hand-in-hand shaping and supporting the foreign policy goals of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and of the CIA.

One major effect of the Green Revolution was to depopulate the countryside of peasants who were forced to flee into shantytown slums around the cities in desperate search for work. That was no accident; it was part of the plan to create cheap labor pools for forthcoming US multinational manufactures, the ‘globalization’ of recent years.

When the self-promotion around the Green Revolution died down, the results were quite different from what had been promised. Problems had arisen from indiscriminate use of the new chemical pesticides, often with serious health consequences. The mono-culture cultivation of new hybrid seed varieties decreased soil fertility and yields over time. The first results were impressive: double or even triple yields for some crops such as wheat and later corn in Mexico. That soon faded.

The Green Revolution was typically accompanied by large irrigation projects which often included World Bank loans to construct huge new dams, and flood previously settled areas and fertile farmland in the process. Also, super-wheat produced greater yields by saturating the soil with huge amounts of fertilizer per acre, the fertilizer being the product of nitrates and petroleum, commodities controlled by the Rockefeller-dominated Seven Sisters major oil companies.

Huge quantities of herbicides and pesticides were also used, creating additional markets for the oil and chemical giants. As one analyst put it, in effect, the Green Revolution was merely a chemical revolution. At no point could developing nations pay for the huge amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. They would get the credit courtesy of the World Bank and special loans by Chase Bank and other large New York banks, backed by US Government guarantees.

Applied in a large number of developing countries, those loans went mostly to the large landowners. For the smaller peasants the situation worked differently. Small peasant farmers could not afford the chemical and other modern inputs and had to borrow money.

Initially various government programs tried to provide some loans to farmers so that they could purchase seeds and fertilizers. Farmers who could not participate in this kind of program had to borrow from the private sector. Because of the exorbitant interest rates for informal loans, many small farmers did not even get the benefits of the initial higher yields. After harvest, they had to sell most if not all of their produce to pay off loans and interest. They became dependent on money-lenders and traders and often lost their land. Even with soft loans from government agencies, growing subsistence crops gave way to the production of cash crops.5

Since decades the same interests including the Rockefeller Foundation which backed the initial Green Revolution, have worked to promote a second ‘Gene Revolution’ as Rockefeller Foundation President Gordon Conway termed it several years ago, the spread of industrial agriculture and commercial inputs including GMO patented seeds.

Gates, Rockefeller and a Green Revolution in Africa

With the true background of the 1950’s Rockefeller Foundation Green Revolution clear in mind, it becomes especially curious that the same Rockefeller Foundation along with the Gates Foundation which are now investing millions of dollars in preserving every seed against a possible “doomsday” scenario are also investing millions in a project called The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

AGRA, as it calls itself, is an alliance again with the same Rockefeller Foundation which created the “Gene Revolution.” A look at the AGRA Board of Directors confirms this.

It includes none other than former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as chairman. In his acceptance speech in a World Economic Forum event in Cape Town South Africa in June 2007, Kofi Annan stated, ‘I accept this challenge with gratitude to the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and all others who support our African campaign.’

In addition the AGRA board numbers a South African, Strive Masiyiwa who is a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation. It includes Sylvia M. Mathews of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Mamphela Ramphele, former Managing Director of the World Bank (2000 – 2006); Rajiv J. Shah of the Gates Foundation; Nadya K. Shmavonian of the Rockefeller Foundation; Roy Steiner of the Gates Foundation. In addition, an Alliance for AGRA includes Gary Toenniessen the Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation and Akinwumi Adesina, Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation.

To fill out the lineup, the Programmes for AGRA includes Peter Matlon, Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation; Joseph De Vries, Director of the Programme for Africa’s Seed Systems and Associate Director, Rockefeller foundation; Akinwumi Adesina, Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation. Like the old failed Green Revolution in India and Mexico, the new Africa Green Revolution is clearly a high priority of the Rockefeller Foundation.

While to date they are keeping a low profile, Monsanto and the major GMO agribusiness giants are believed at the heart of using Kofi Annan’s AGRA to spread their patented GMO seeds across Africa under the deceptive label, ‘bio-technology,’ the new euphemism for genetically engineered patented seeds. To date South Africa is the only African country permitting legal planting of GMO crops. In 2003 Burkina Faso authorized GMO trials. In 2005 Kofi Annan’s Ghana drafted bio-safety legislation and key officials expressed their intentions to pursue research into GMO crops.

Africa is the next target in the US-government campaign to spread GMO worldwide. Its rich soils make it an ideal candidate. Not surprisingly many African governments suspect the worst from the GMO sponsors as a multitude of genetic engineering and biosafety projects have been initiated in Africa, with the aim of introducing GMOs into Africa’s agricultural systems. These include sponsorships offered by the US government to train African scientists in genetic engineering in the US, biosafety projects funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank; GMO research involving African indigenous food crops.

The Rockefeller Foundation has been working for years to promote, largely without success, projects to introduce GMOs into the fields of Africa. They have backed research that supports the applicability of GMO cotton in the Makhathini Flats in South Africa.

Monsanto, who has a strong foothold in South Africa’s seed industry, both GMO and hybrid, has conceived of an ingenious smallholders’ programme known as the ‘Seeds of Hope’ Campaign, which is introducing a green revolution package to small scale poor farmers, followed, of course, by Monsanto’s patented GMO seeds. 6

Syngenta AG of Switzerland, one of the ‘Four Horsemen of the GMO Apocalypse’ is pouring millions of dollars into a new greenhouse facility in Nairobi, to develop GMO insect resistant maize. Syngenta is a part of CGIAR as well.7

Move on to Svalbard

Now is it simply philosophical sloppiness? What leads the Gates and Rockefeller foundations to at one and the same time to back proliferation of patented and soon-to-be Terminator patented seeds across Africa, a process which, as it has in every other place on earth, destroys the plant seed varieties as monoculture industrialized agribusiness is introduced? At the same time they invest tens of millions of dollars to preserve every seed variety known in a bomb-proof doomsday vault near the remote Arctic Circle ‘so that crop diversity can be conserved for the future’ to restate their official release?

It is no accident that the Rockefeller and Gates foundations are teaming up to push a GMO-style Green Revolution in Africa at the same time they are quietly financing the ‘doomsday seed vault’ on Svalbard. The GMO agribusiness giants are up to their ears in the Svalbard project.

Indeed, the entire Svalbard enterprise and the people involved call up the worst catastrophe images of the Michael Crichton bestseller, Andromeda Strain, a sci-fi thriller where a deadly disease of extraterrestrial origin causes rapid, fatal clotting of the blood threatening the entire human species. In Svalbard, the future world’s most secure seed repository will be guarded by the policemen of the GMO Green Revolution--the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations, Syngenta, DuPont and CGIAR.

The Svalbard project will be run by an organization called the Global Crop Diversity Trust (GCDT). Who are they to hold such an awesome trust over the planet’s entire seed varieties? The GCDT was founded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Bioversity International (formerly the International Plant Genetic Research Institute), an offshoot of the CGIAR.

The Global Crop Diversity Trust is based in Rome. Its Board is chaired by Margaret Catley-Carlson a Canadian also on the advisory board of Group Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, one of the world’s largest private water companies. Catley-Carlson was also president until 1998 of the New York-based Population Council, John D. Rockefeller’s population reduction organization, set up in 1952 to advance the Rockefeller family’s eugenics program under the cover of promoting “family planning,” birth control devices, sterilization and “population control” in developing countries.

Other GCDT board members include former Bank of America executive presently head of the Hollywood DreamWorks Animation, Lewis Coleman. Coleman is also the lead Board Director of Northrup Grumman Corporation, one of America’s largest military industry Pentagon contractors.

Jorio Dauster (Brazil) is also Board Chairman of Brasil Ecodiesel. He is a former Ambassador of Brazil to the European Union, and Chief Negotiator of Brazil’s foreign debt for the Ministry of Finance. Dauster has also served as President of the Brazilian Coffee Institute and as Coordinator of the Project for the Modernization of Brazil’s Patent System, which involves legalizing patents on seeds which are genetically modified, something until recently forbidden by Brazil’s laws.

Cary Fowler is the Trust’s Executive Director. Fowler was Professor and Director of Research in the Department for International Environment & Development Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. He was also a Senior Advisor to the Director General of Bioversity International. There he represented the Future Harvest Centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in negotiations on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources. In the 1990s, he headed the International Program on Plant Genetic Resources at the FAO. He drafted and supervised negotiations of FAO’s Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources, adopted by 150 countries in 1996. He is a past-member of the National Plant Genetic Resources Board of the US and the Board of Trustees of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico, another Rockefeller Foundation and CGIAR project.

GCDT board member Dr. Mangala Rai of India is the Secretary of India’s Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), and Director General of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR). He is also a Board Member of the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), which promoted the world’s first major GMO experiment, the much-hyped ‘Golden Rice’ which proved a failure. Rai has served as Board Member for CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center), and a Member of the Executive Council of the CGIAR.

Global Crop Diversity Trust Donors or financial angels include as well, in the words of the Humphrey Bogart Casablanca classic, ‘all the usual suspects.’ As well as the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations, the Donors include GMO giants DuPont-Pioneer Hi-Bred, Syngenta of Basle Switzerland, CGIAR and the State Department’s energetically pro-GMO agency for development aid, USAID. Indeed it seems we have the GMO and population reduction foxes guarding the hen-house of mankind, the global seed diversity store in Svalbard. 8

Why now Svalbard?

We can legitimately ask why Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation along with the major genetic engineering agribusiness giants such as DuPont and Syngenta, along with CGIAR are building the Doomsday Seed Vault in the Arctic.

Who uses such a seed bank in the first place? Plant breeders and researchers are the major users of gene banks. Today’s largest plant breeders are Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow Chemical, the global plant-patenting GMO giants. Since early in 2007 Monsanto holds world patent rights together with the United States Government for plant so-called ‘Terminator’ or Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURT). Terminator is an ominous technology by which a patented commercial seed commits ‘suicide’ after one harvest. Control by private seed companies is total. Such control and power over the food chain has never before in the history of mankind existed.

This clever genetically engineered terminator trait forces farmers to return every year to Monsanto or other GMO seed suppliers to get new seeds for rice, soybeans, corn, wheat whatever major crops they need to feed their population. If broadly introduced around the world, it could within perhaps a decade or so make the world’s majority of food producers new feudal serfs in bondage to three or four giant seed companies such as Monsanto or DuPont or Dow Chemical.

That, of course, could also open the door to have those private companies, perhaps under orders from their host government, Washington, deny seeds to one or another developing country whose politics happened to go against Washington’s. Those who say ‘It can’t happen here’ should look more closely at current global events. The mere existence of that concentration of power in three or four private US-based agribusiness giants is grounds for legally banning all GMO crops even were their harvest gains real, which they manifestly are not.

These private companies, Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical hardly have an unsullied record in terms of stewardship of human life. They developed and proliferated such innovations as dioxin, PCBs, Agent Orange. They covered up for decades clear evidence of carcinogenic and other severe human health consequences of use of the toxic chemicals. They have buried serious scientific reports that the world’s most widespread herbicide, glyphosate, the essential ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide that is tied to purchase of most Monsanto genetically engineered seeds, is toxic when it seeps into drinking water.9 Denmark banned glyphosate in 2003 when it confirmed it has contaminated the country’s groundwater.10

The diversity stored in seed gene banks is the raw material for plant breeding and for a great deal of basic biological research. Several hundred thousand samples are distributed annually for such purposes. The UN’s FAO lists some 1400 seed banks around the world, the largest being held by the United States Government. Other large banks are held by China, Russia, Japan, India, South Korea, Germany and Canada in descending order of size. In addition, CGIAR operates a chain of seed banks in select centers around the world.

CGIAR, set up in 1972 by the Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation to spread their Green Revolution agribusiness model, controls most of the private seed banks from the Philippines to Syria to Kenya. In all these present seed banks hold more than six and a half million seed varieties, almost two million of which are ‘distinct.’ Svalbard’s Doomsday Vault will have a capacity to house four and a half million different seeds.

GMO as a weapon of biowarfare?

Now we come to the heart of the danger and the potential for misuse inherent in the Svalbard project of Bill Gates and the Rockefeller foundation. Can the development of patented seeds for most of the world’s major sustenance crops such as rice, corn, wheat, and feed grains such as soybeans ultimately be used in a horrible form of biological warfare?

The explicit aim of the eugenics lobby funded by wealthy elite families such as Rockefeller, Carnegie, Harriman and others since the 1920’s, has embodied what they termed ‘negative eugenics,’ the systematic killing off of undesired bloodlines. Margaret Sanger, a rapid eugenicist, the founder of Planned Parenthood International and an intimate of the Rockefeller family, created something called The Negro Project in 1939, based in Harlem, which as she confided in a letter to a friend, was all about the fact that, as she put it, ‘we want to exterminate the Negro population.’ 11

A small California biotech company, Epicyte, in 2001 announced the development of genetically engineered corn which contained a spermicide which made the semen of men who ate it sterile. At the time Epicyte had a joint venture agreement to spread its technology with DuPont and Syngenta, two of the sponsors of the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault. Epicyte was since acquired by a North Carolina biotech company. Astonishing to learn was that Epicyte had developed its spermicidal GMO corn with research funds from the US Department of Agriculture, the same USDA which, despite worldwide opposition, continued to finance the development of Terminator technology, now held by Monsanto.

In the 1990’s the UN’s World Health Organization launched a campaign to vaccinate millions of women in Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines between the ages of 15 and 45, allegedly against Tentanus, a sickness arising from such things as stepping on a rusty nail. The vaccine was not given to men or boys, despite the fact they are presumably equally liable to step on rusty nails as women.

Because of that curious anomaly, Comite Pro Vida de Mexico, a Roman Catholic lay organization became suspicious and had vaccine samples tested. The tests revealed that the Tetanus vaccine being spread by the WHO only to women of child-bearing age contained human Chorionic Gonadotrophin or hCG, a natural hormone which when combined with a tetanus toxoid carrier stimulated antibodies rendering a woman incapable of maintaining a pregnancy. None of the women vaccinated were told.

It later came out that the Rockefeller Foundation along with the Rockefeller’s Population Council, the World Bank (home to CGIAR), and the United States’ National Institutes of Health had been involved in a 20-year-long project begun in 1972 to develop the concealed abortion vaccine with a tetanus carrier for WHO. In addition, the Government of Norway, the host to the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Vault, donated $41 million to develop the special abortive Tetanus vaccine. 12

Is it a coincidence that these same organizations, from Norway to the Rockefeller Foundation to the World Bank are also involved in the Svalbard seed bank project? According to Prof. Francis Boyle who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 enacted by the US Congress, the Pentagon is ‘now gearing up to fight and win biological warfare’ as part of two Bush national strategy directives adopted, he notes, ‘without public knowledge and review’ in 2002. Boyle adds that in 2001-2004 alone the US Federal Government spent $14.5 billion for civilian bio-warfare-related work, a staggering sum.

Rutgers University biologist Richard Ebright estimates that over 300 scientific institutions and some 12,000 individuals in the USA today have access to pathogens suitable for biowarfare. Alone there are 497 US Government NIH grants for research into infectious diseases with biowarfare potential. Of course this is being justified under the rubric of defending against possible terror attack as so much is today.

Many of the US Government dollars spent on biowarfare research involve genetic engineering. MIT biology professor Jonathan King says that the ‘growing bio-terror programs represent a significant emerging danger to our own population.’ King adds, ‘while such programs are always called defensive, with biological weapons, defensive and offensive programs overlap almost completely.’ 13

Time will tell whether, God Forbid, the Svalbard Doomsday Seed Bank of Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation is part of another Final Solution, this involving the extinction of the Late, Great Planet Earth.

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As We've Abandoned Idea of Limited Government, We've Allowed a Rogue US Government to Reign Tyranny Over the Land. Limited Government Brings Liberty

By www.FDRS.org. Monday, November 12, 2007

Link

The idea of limited government is what America was founded on.
The founders set up a system whereby the government was the servant of the people.
The intent was that laws would be limited to those that outlawed that which caused injury to another.
That isn’t what we have today.
Today, laws come on the books at an alarming speed.
Did you know that law-making is supposed to be a slow, deliberate process?
Did you know that the law-making process is one where there’s supposed to be approval from the three branches of the US government, the Supreme Court, as well as the People (jurors)?
No longer do we have this process.
We came across a quote recently that does a great job at explaining liberty.
Unfortunately, the author wasn’t listed. If you know the author, let us know on our forum.
“Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights.”

LIMITED GOVERNMENT IN A REPUBLIC, NOT DEMOCRACY Based on the above quote, we’d have to argue that we no longer have liberty.

This is because laws in today’s America are made at breakneck speed and are focused not on being limited to stopping someone from injuring another, but on giving the government supreme power over the people.

Today, we endure a democracy where the “mob rules”. Laws are made “legal” from a simple majority vote. Did you realize that the word “democracy” appears not once in the United States Constitution?

That’s right, America was set up as a Republic (What is a Republic), not a democracy. In fact, the founders didn’t want anything to do with a democracy.

LIMITED GOVERNMENT: CLOSER LOOK AT DEMOCRACY

”Democracy: A government of the masses. Authority derived through mass meeting or any form of ‘direct’ expression. Results in mobocracy. Attitude towards laws is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice or impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.” - 1928 Army training manual

”At no time, at no place, in solemn convention assembled, through no chosen agents, had the American people officially proclaimed the United States to be a democracy. The Constitution did not contain the word or any word lending countenance to it, except possibly the mention of ‘We the people,’ in the preamble ... When the Constitution was framed, no respectable person called himself a democrat.” - Charles & Mary Beard

”...democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” - James Madison

”Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” - Benjamin Franklin

”A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” - Thomas Jefferson

”As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” - H.L. Mencken

”We are now forming a Republican form of government. Real Liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of dictatorship.” - Alexander Hamilton

LIMITED GOVERNMENT: DESTROYING AMERICA

In the Federalist Papers, James Madison discussed how a Republic derived power from “persons holding their offices during pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior”

We emphasize the good behavior aspect because we must take exception to the “behavior” of the mostly corrupt officials in the US government over the last few decades.

These people are not representing the People in the spirit of a Republic.

No, through the guidance of the elite banking and industrial cabal (fooling the people with quasi-governmental advisory groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) conspiracy and the Trilateral Commission; see facts on the Trilateral Commission), these “representatives” have been working slowly but surely toward destroying the sovereignty of this country.

”The main purpose of the Council on Foreign Relations is promoting the disarmament of U.S. sovereignty and national independence and submergence into an all powerful, one world government.” - Admiral Chester Ward, former CFR member and Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy

We’ve been overtaken by an elite intent on setting up the North American Union on their way to their “utopia” where they experience the fruits of life while eliminating or enslaving the masses that they see as needlessly using up “their” resources.

This is why a limited government has been turned into a totalitarian government, using the wars on drugs and terror as means to establish draconian laws. These laws stray from the goal of a Republic (liberty) and bring us toward the result of democracy (dictatorship).

”This would be much easier if this was a dictatorship… as long as I was the dictator.” --George “Dubya”

LIMITED GOVERNMENT: EDUCATING YOURSELF IS VITALLY IMPORTANT

To sum it up, the people who are the producers in America are being scammed by the banking elite.

While the producers slave away in their little shack homes, the bankers create money from nothing and steal the wealth of the land through the Federal Reserve, the illegal United States central bank. The bankers produce nothing and contribute nothing but misery and slavery to the people.

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China calling shots in Central, South America now!

Offered control of Ecuadorian airport, Panama opts to teach language

Link

China's influence in North America has reached the point that Canada, the United States and Mexico all are proposing new super-ports to accept mega-ships loaded with thousands of containers of goods from the exporting nation. Now it's reaching into Central and South America as well.

The BBC is reporting that the Panamanian National Assembly has approved a plan to make teaching Mandarin obligatory, "in recognition of China's growing importance in the world economy."

The report said the bill's supporters believe boosting the number of people who speak Chinese will help boost the economic competitiveness Panama offers the global economy.

At this point, China is the single biggest user of the Panama Canal, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Supporters of the plan say that while English now is the international language of business, Mandarin soon will be required for significant progress.

The two nations already have trade estimated at $1 billion a year.

The Panamanian legislative proposal, while not yet final, would establish a deadline of 10 years for Mandarin to be among subjects in all of the nation's school's.

Since Panama took full control of the U.S.-built canal from the United States in 1999, traffic has grown by more than 30 percent. Officials say it's been spurred particularly by the expansion of China's exports to the rest of the world, and the traffic now is dominated by containers holding electronics, textiles and other goods.

Panama also is expanding the canal in order to allow the so-called post-Panamax ships to use its locks, which at the present time are too small.

Another report by the World Tribune also notes that Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, has announced he will not renew with the United States a contract that expires in 2009 for operations at the Manta Airport, instead offering the facility to China.

The airfield, one of the last outposts in South America for the U.S. military, would be leased to Beijing if Correa has his way, according to a report on the nation's presidential website.

Correa reported that the airport is part of a plan for his nation to become a "doorway" that would give China access to Latin America.

The company that already is running Manta's seaport and government officials have had discussions about a Chinese investment in a rail system, too, the report said.

As WND has reported, Canada is in the North American competition with a proposal for a mega-port on its western coast that would allow such super cargo ships to dock, and deliver goods that then would be carried by rail and truck throughout North America.

Mexico already has several plans for such ports on its Pacific Coast, and Texas even has proposed such deepwater docking facilities on its Gulf Coast, to service ships that would need to pass through the Panama Canal.

The expansions all are to handle those consumer goods being gobbled up around the world. U.S. international trade grew from 13 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product in 1990 to 24 percent in 2000, with projections of 30 percent by 2010, according to Andrew Goetz and Sutapa Bandyopadhyay, transportation economists at the University of Denver.

But the experts noted for now, most of the foreign trade enters the U.S. through containers delivered to West Coast ports, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, with the containers "transferred to rail cars and trucks for distribution to inland load centers and eventually to wholesale and retail outlets throughout North America."

They suggest that the transportation infrastructure soon will look vastly different, with deep-water ports in Canada and Mexico and advanced truck-train options throughout the continent.

WND previously reported plans to deepen and widen the Panama Canal so post-Panamax container ships can access U.S. ports such as New Orleans, Houston and Corpus Christi.

In 2005, the largest container ships carried an average of less than 2,500 containers. Today, megaships containing 9,500 containers are in operation. The Emma Maersk, one of the largest container ships, is over four football fields long (1,300 feet) and capable of handling 12,500 containers, stacked in 22 rows across its deck.

A YouTube.com video showing the Emma Maersk at sea gives an idea of the megaship's magnitude.

According to the foreign trade statistics maintained by the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. imbalance of trade with China is in the billions and growing every year, from a deficit of approximately $162 billion in 2004, to $202 billion in 2005, and $233 billion in 2006.

China now holds $1.3 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, 80 percent of which is held in U.S. dollar assets, the largest amount of foreign exchange currency ever held by any country in the world, officials report.

But as WND reported, repeated visits of top Bush administration bureaucrats, including Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, have failed to get China to eliminate unfair trade practices, including subsidizing its currency.

Alan S. Blinder, a Princeton University economist who was former Federal Reserve Board vice chairman, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview reported March 28 that the U.S. was at risk of 40 million jobs being shipped out of the country to outsourcing in the next decade or two.

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Weather Warfare: Beware the US military’s experiments with climatic warfare

‘Climatic warfare’ has been excluded from the agenda on climate change.

By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

link to original

Global Research, December 7, 2007

"HAARP is a weapon of mass destruction, capable of destabilising agricultural and ecological systems globally."

"‘Climatic warfare’ potentially threatens the future of humanity, but has casually been excluded from the reports for which the IPCC received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize."

Selected excerpts of article

Read complete article on Weather Warfare by Michel Chossudovsky, The Ecologist, December 2007 (pdf)

Rarely acknowledged in the debate on global climate change, the world’s weather can now be modified as part of a new generation of sophisticated electromagnetic weapons. Both the US and Russia have developed capabilities to manipulate the climate for military use.

Environmental modification techniques have been applied by the US military for more than half a century. US mathematician John von Neumann, in liaison with the US Department of Defense, started his research on weather modification in the late 1940s at the height of the Cold War and foresaw ‘forms of climatic warfare as yet unimagined’. During the Vietnam war, cloud-seeding techniques were used, starting in 1967 under Project Popeye, the objective of which was to prolong the monsoon season and block enemy supply routes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

The US military has developed advanced capabilities that enable it selectively to alter weather patterns. The technology, which is being perfected under the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), is an appendage of the Strategic Defense Initiative – ‘Star Wars’. From a military standpoint, HAARP is a weapon of mass destruction, operating from the outer atmosphere and capable of destabilising agricultural and ecological systems around the world.

While the substance of the 1977 Convention was reasserted in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) signed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, debate on weather modification for military use has become a scientific taboo.

Military analysts are mute on the subject. Meteorologists are not investigating the matter and environmentalists are focused on greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. Neither is the possibility of climatic or environmental manipulations as part of a military and intelligence agenda, while tacitly acknowledged, part of the broader debate on climate change under UN auspices.the US Air Force points to the unthinkable: the covert manipulation of weather patterns, communications and electric power systems as a weapon of global warfare, enabling the US to disrupt and dominate entire regions.

Weather manipulation is the pre-emptive weapon par excellence. It can be directed against enemy countries or ‘friendly nations’ without their knowledge, used to destabilise economies, ecosystems and agriculture. It can also trigger havoc in financial and commodity markets. The disruption in agriculture creates a greater dependency on food aid and imported grain staples from the US and other Western countries.

HAARP was developed as part of an Anglo- American partnership between Raytheon Corporation, which owns the HAARP patents, and British Aerospace Systems (BAES).

The HAARP project is one among several collaborative ventures in advanced weapons systems between the two defence giants. The HAARP project was initiated in 1992 by Advanced Power Technologies, Inc. (APTI), a subsidiary of Atlantic Richfield Corporation (ARCO). APTI (including the HAARP patents) was sold by ARCO to E-Systems Inc, in 1994. E-Systems, on contract to the CIA and US Department of Defense, outfitted the ‘Doomsday Plan’, which ‘allows the President to manage a nuclear war’. Subsequently acquired by Raytheon Corporation, it is among the largest intelligence contractors in the World.

BAES was involved in the development of the advanced stage of the HAARP antenna array under a 2004 contract with the Office of Naval Research. The installation of 132 high frequency transmitters was entrusted by BAES to its US subsidiary, BAE Systems Inc. The project, according to a July report in Defense News, was undertaken by BAES’s Electronic Warfare division. In September it received DARPA’s top award for technical achievement for the design, construction and activation of the HAARP array of antennas.

BAES was involved in the development of the advanced stage of the HAARP antenna array under a 2004 contract with the Office of Naval Research. The installation of 132 high frequency transmitters was entrusted by BAES to its US subsidiary, BAE Systems Inc.

The project, according to a July report in Defense News, was undertaken by BAES’s Electronic Warfare division. In September it received DARPA’s top award for technical achievement for the design, construction and activation of the HAARP array of antennas. The HAARP system is fully operational and in many regards dwarfs existing conventional and strategic weapons systems. While there is no firm evidence of its use for military purposes, Air Force documents suggest HAARP is an integral part of the militarisation of space. One would expect the antennas already to have been subjected to routine testing.

Under the UNFCCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has a mandate ‘to assess scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of climate change’. This mandate includes environmental warfare. ‘Geo-engineering’ is acknowledged, but the underlying military applications are neither the object of policy analysis or scientific research in the thousands of pages of IPCC reports and supporting documents, based on the expertise and input of some 2,500 scientists, policymakers and environmentalists. ‘Climatic warfare’ potentially threatens the future of humanity, but has casually been excluded from the reports for which the IPCC received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

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Warning For Women...Serious!

MAKE SURE YOUR DAUGHTERS, FRIENDS, RELATIVES, ETC. KNOW!

This was written by a guy from KVLY-TV in Fargo.

This is something that happened to us on the way back from vacation last week. At first I didn't think much of it until now. The reason we were a little suspicious is we had been riding in a jeep all day with 100 degree temps and we stopped at a truck stop for something to drink.

When I was leaving, a young girl followed me out and asked what kind of cologne I was wearing.

Well, after 7 hours in the car sweating, I don't think you could tell if I was or was not wearing any cologne. We just got in the jeep and said no thanks.

Then it was about 3 weeks ago, I was at a service station in Birmingham getting gas. It was about 9:30 pm. I was approached by 2 men and 2 women in a car. The man that was driving asked me 'What kind of perfume do you wear?'

I was a bit confused and I asked him 'Why?'

He said, 'We are selling some name brand perfumes, at cheap prices.

I said I had no money. He then reached out of the car and handed me paper that was laminated; it had many perfumes on it. I looked quickly at it and gave it back. I said, have no money. He said it is OK, we take check, cash, or credit cards.

Then the people in the car began to laugh. I just got in my car and said no thanks.

Then I received this e-mail yesterday and it sent chills up my spine.

Please read this. It is no joke. Here is the e-mail I was sent:

....

Dear Friends:

I know not all of you are women that I am sending this to, but am >hoping you will share this with your wives, daughters, mothers, sisters, etc. Our world seems to be getting crazier by the day. Pipe bombs in mail boxes and sickos in parking lots with perfume. Be careful. I was approached yesterday afternoon around 5:30 PM in the Wal-Mart parking lot by two men asking what kind of perfume I was wearing. Then they asked if I'd like to sample some fabulous scent they were willing to sell me at very reasonable rate. I probably would have agreed had I not received an e-mail warning of a "Wanna smell this neat perfume?" scam.

The men continued to stand between parked cars, I guess to wait for someone else to hit on. I stopped a lady going towards them, pointing at them and told her about how I was sent an e-mail at work about someone walking up to you at the malls or in parking lots and asking you to SNIFF PERFUME that they are selling at a cheap price or at least compare to which one you like best.

THIS IS NOT PERFUME... IT IS ETHER!

When you sniff it, you'll pass out. They'll take your wallet, your valuables and heaven knows what else. If it were not for this e-mail, I probably would have sniffed the 'perfume' but thanks to! the generosity of an e-mailing friend, I was spared whatever might have happened to me.

I wanted to do the same for you.

PLEASE PASS THIS ALONG TO ALL YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS AND PLEASE BE ALERT AND BE AWARE. IF YOU ARE A MAN AND RECEIVE THIS, PASS IT ON TO YOUR WOMEN FRIENDS.

Ladies, this happened to me yesterday and I didn't smell the perfume either, thanks to this email. This is true. Believe me, I know. I was over by Big Lots in the parking lot at lunch time when I was approached.

So either day or night, it does not matter. There were 3 guys together when I was approached. I called the police when I got back to my desk.

Like the email says above, LET EVERYONE KNOW ABOUT THIS - YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CO-WORKERS, whomever. It helped me. The first thing that popped into my head was this e-mail warning.

MAKE SURE YOUR DAUGHTERS KNOW!

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How Many of These Ridiculous "Disorders" Do YOU Suffer From?

By Christopher Kent, D.C., J.D.

Link

An article titled “Retail Therapy1” caught my attention. It described the results of a study where “compulsive shoppers” were treated with either the drug Citalopram or a placebo. The lead researcher was thrilled with the results, “Patients said to me: ‘I go to the shopping mall with my friends and I don’t buy anything.’” Well, this patient at least bought something -- the notion that excessive shopping is a disease to be treated with medication.

What constitutes excessive shopping? The article states that one of the subjects “owned 55 cameras.” I once collected cameras. Perhaps that makes me a “victim” of this disease. By the way, the treatment came with a price -- “some side effects, which include loss of sexual desire and sleepiness.” The study further admits, “It is not known why Citalopram is effective for treating compulsive shoppers.” With big pharma seeking new markets for existing drugs, and developing drugs in search of diseases, it is not surprising that many of life’s challenges are no longer considered legitimate components of the human experience, but are now medical conditions amenable to treatment.

The Definition of a Medicalized Society

Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary 2 defines “medicalize” as follows: “To handle or accept as deserving of or appropriate for medical treatment.”

Sato3 offers a more specific definition for medicalization: “A process or a tendency whereby the phenomena which had belonged to other fields like education, law, religion, and so on have been redefined as medical phenomena.”

Examples abound in psychiatry’s code book for psychiatric disorders and “conditions or problems ... which may be a focus of clinical attention and require appropriate coding ...” This remarkable tome is DSM-IV4. DSM-1 was first published in 1952, titled Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

My journey into DSM-IV made me think I had fallen into Alice’s rabbit hole.

Normal Human Experience Now Masqueraded as “Disorders”

Do you have difficulty sleeping after drinking coffee? The problem isn’t a product of your poor judgment in guzzling java immediately before retiring. You are a victim of 292.89 -- Caffeine-Induced Sleep Disorder F15.8. If you reflect on your shyness while tossing and turning, the problem could be the epidemic of 300.23 -- Social Phobia F40.1. Don’t worry. Drug treatment is available.

Unfortunately, if you’re thinking about your place in the cosmos or spiritual issues, you’ve got V62.89 -- Religious or Spiritual Problem Z71.8, and I couldn’t locate a drug for that.

Bad parenting is about to become a thing of the past. It’s not your fault, or your child’s fault. Besides the ubiquitous pandemic of ADHD, there are other disorders you may not be aware of.

Your ill-behaving child may be suffering from 313.81 -- Oppositional Defiant Disorder F91.3. If your child often argues with adults, loses their temper, deliberately annoys people, etc., you’re dealing with ODD. Of course, this must be differentiated from 312.8 -- Conduct Disorder F91.8, and 312.9 -- Disruptive Behavior Disorder Not Otherwise Specified F91.9.

Should the problem be getting along with a brother or sister, the condition is V61.8 -- Sibling Relational Problem F93.3. And should you argue with your spouse about whether the child should be grounded or drugged, you might be looking down the barrel of V61.1 -- Partner Relational Problem Z63.0.

If math homework is a challenge, be sure to check for 315.1 -- Mathematics Disorder F81.2. You must be careful not to confuse this with a V62.3 -- Academic Problem Z55.8. If things are OK in the math department, but you have a teen experiencing uncertainty about life goals, career preferences, values, loyalties, etc., you’re dealing with 313.82 Identity Problem F93.8. This has been downgraded from a “disorder” in DSM-III-R, to a mere “problem” in DSM-IV. I’ll bet that makes you feel better.

A Pill for Every Issue You Don’t Want to Face

A plethora of sexual issues are described as “disorders.” We are all familiar with Bob Dole making erectile dysfunction a household word, with the blue pill offering a solution. But that’s just the tip of the, um, iceberg. If the target of your libidinal interest is ignoring you, the problem may be 302.71 Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder F52.2.

Lest anyone be offended, I will not address the other disorders codified in Chapter 20. Simply be happy that there are solutions that do not require you to address issues in your relationship.

Men can obtain testosterone cream if a doctor determines that it’s “right for you.” The stuff is said to work well. According to an ad in JAMA5, “Sexual enjoyment and satisfaction with erection duration were improved vs. baseline, but these improvements were not significant compared to placebo.” The ad shows a couple dancing, a couple riding a motorcycle, and two pictures of men swinging golf clubs (alone) and smiling.

Perhaps the next version of DSM will have a category for “golf disorders.”

....

"Pediatric bipolar disorder: An object of study in the creation of an illness"

ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION

Promoting Openness, Full Disclosure, and Accountability

http://www.ahrp.org and http://ahrp.blogspot.com

"Pediatric bipolar disorder: An object of study in the creation of an illness" by Dr. David Healy and Dr. Joanna Le Noury, describes how psychotropic drug manufacturers create a culture that legitimizes practices that would otherwise appear outlandish. The authors outline a number of forces "that appear to have swept aside traditional academic skepticism with the result that an increasing number of children and infants are being put on cocktails of potent drugs without any evidence of benefit."

One of the features of the promotion of Bipolar is how a comparatively few players have been able to effect an extraordinary change. The authors identify 6 methods by which pharmaceutical companies establish what marketing departments refer to as the unmet needs of their market:

1. Use of industry-supported focus groups; in the case of psychotropic drugs, focus groups consist of academic psychiatrists, also termed opinion leaders--and family "support" groups which have become major disease / treatment lobbyists for industry.

2. Use of celebrities such as writers, poets, playwrights, artists and composers who have supposedly been bipolar. Lists circulate featuring most of the major artists of the 19th and 20th Century intimating they have been bipolar, when in fact very few if any had a diagnosis of manic-depressive illness.

3. Use of mood diaries and company website questionnaires to document mood variations as though establishing pathology.

4. Marketing "risks" such suicide, alcoholism, divorce, and career failure--as if they are an inherent, unique, feature of bipolar disorder.

5. Use of direct to consumer advertising in North America.

6. Co-option of academia which is of particular relevance to the pediatric bipolar domain.

By far, the most important players in promoting bipolar disorder in children are the most prominent US child psychiatrists in academia. As repositories of psychiatric knowledge they help companies understand what the average clinician might perceive as a development. As opinion leaders they help deliver the company message to non-academic clinicians. As academics, they lend their names to the authorship lines of journal articles and presentations at professional meetings reporting the results of company studies or discussing clinical topics of strategic interest to marketing departments.

The marketing of bipolar disorder (as opposed to manic-depression) was linked to the introduction of a slight variant of sodium valproate, Depakote manufactured by Abbott Labs. Depakote (patented as a semi-sodium valproate) was approved by the FDA on the basis of trials that showed this sedative agent could produce beneficial effects in acute manic states. But, as the authors point out, any sedative agent can produce clinical trial benefits in acute manic states but no company had chosen to do this up till then, as manic states were comparatively rare and were adequately controlled by available treatments.

The big marketing pitch was that Depakote was advertised as a "mood stabilizer"-- a term that had no precise clinical or neuroscientific meaning.

The power of marketing is demonstrated by the fact that even though no studies have proven Depakote to be prophylactic for manic-depressive illness, the claim has played a major role in increased sales of Depakote--even as better evidence exists for the efficacy of (the original) sodium valproate, which was never referred to as a mood stabilizer. So, although the term, "mood stabilizer" still has no precise clinical or neuroscientific meaning, mood stabilizers have become the rage, with a range of other agents passing themselves off as mood stabilizers. Before 1995 there were almost no articles in the medical literature on mood-stabilizers but now there are over a hundred a year.

Drs. Healy and Le Noury note that this combination of "rebranding" a disorder (from manic-depression to bipolar) and a new class of drugs ( "mood stabilizers" from sodium valproate) is historically unprecedented within psychiatry. Companies such as Eli Lilly, Janssen and Astra-Zeneca, the makers of the antipsychotic drugs, olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal) and quetiapine (Seroquel), wasted no time in seeking bipolar indications to market their antipsychotics as mood stabilizers.

In the excerpt below, the authors describe the insidious steps that companies and their minions took to market a newly created "Bipolar Child"--including the use of coloring books to pathologize preschoolers. One is tempted of speaking in terms of an "axis of evil" about the collaborative effort of drug manufacturers, academic psychiatrists and industry-financed "support" groups to pathologize young children.

To their everlasting shame, prominent academic child psychiatrists, who in another era would have acted as a brake on industry's aggressive marketing, have instead been lending their influential voice to industry's market expansion effort. Child psychiatrists are using the media to persuade mothers that their young children are genetically predisposed to bipolar disorder for which they are in need of lifelong chemical intervention-or the children are at risk becoming alcoholics, truants and criminals. Child psychiatrists use toys and props to brainwash young children into believing they need drugs to "feel better."

The article was written long before Rebecca Riley's death at age 4 from a toxic psychotropic drug cocktail prescribed for her since the age of 28 months when her child psychiatrist "diagnosed" her as "bipolar." Her treatment, it seems, is not unusual. Dr. Healy describes how Heather Norris, at age 2, became the youngest child in Tarrant County, Texas with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Child psychiatrist Dr. Dimitri Papolos and his wife, Janice, authors of the Bipolar Child, believe that waiting until 2 is much too long to diagnose bipolar disorder: they seem to endorse a speculation attributed to "many of the mothers we interviewed for the book" that their baby's excessive activity in utero was an indication of a later diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Nor are the Papoloses alone in this surreal vision. In 2005, Dr. Adrian Angold, of Duke University Medical Center, told BBC news: One in 10 children aged 2 to 5 "had obvious signs / symptoms of psychiatric illnesses. "It suggests that such conditions begin very early in life, perhaps even in the womb."

That same year, Newsweek endorsed: "Screening and treating these disorders in babies and infants is the way forward -waiting until childhood or adulthood is too late."

By 2007 the mass media is flooded with stories promoting early detection / screening / treating children's mental disorders--as if valid objective diagnostic tools existed: MSNBC: Doctors checking babies for mental disorders Autism, attention deficit disorder diagnosed, treated earlier and earlier, The Associated Press May. 14, 2007 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18660812/print/1/displaymode/1098/

Newsweek: Troubled Souls: Mental Illnesses Are So Complex In Children That Health-Care Professionals Can't Always Detect Them By Claudia Kalb NEWSWEEK Oct 23, 2007 http://www.newsweek.com/id/60152

An OpEd piece from 2005 is as relevant and valid today as when it was written: "Are We All Going Mad, Or Are The Experts Crazy?" by UCLA professor, Stuart Kirk, Chairman of the Department of Social Welfare: "Because there are no biological tests, markers or known causes for most mental illnesses, who is counted as ill depends almost entirely on frequently changing checklists of behaviors that the DSM considers as symptoms of mental disorder." See: http://www.ahrp.org/infomail/05/08/19.php

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav veracare@ahrp.org 212-595-8974

http://iospress.metapress.com/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=parent&back to=issue,5,9;journal,1,27;linkingpublicationresults,1:103162,1 "Pediatric bipolar disorder: An object of study in the creation of an illness" by Dr. David Healy and Joanna Le Noury, International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine 19 (2007) 209-221 209.

EXCERPT

First, each company has produced patient literature and website material aimed at telling people more about bipolar disorder, often without mentioning medication; this is a feature of what has been termed disease mongering [32]. In the case of Zyprexa, patient leaflets and booklets - routed in Britain through a patient group, the Manic-Depressive Fellowship - aim at telling patients what they need to do to stay well. Among the claims are "that bipolar disorder is a life long illness needing life long treatment; that symptoms come and go but the illness stays; that people feel better because the medication is working; that almost everyone who stops taking the medication will get ill again and that the more episodes you have the more difficult they are to treat".4

A similar message is found in a self-help guide for people with bipolar disorder sponsored by Janssen Pharmaceuticals which under a heading 'the right medicine at the right time' states: "Medicines are crucially important in the treatment of bipolar disorders. Studies over the past 20 years have shown without a shadow of doubt that people who have received the appropriate drugs are better off in the long term than those who receive no medicine" [8].

If studies had shown this, there would be a number of drugs licensed for the prophylaxis of bipolar disorder when in fact until recently lithium was the only drug that had demonstrable evidence for prophylactic efficacy but even this had not received a license from the FDA. More to the point all studies of life expectancy on antipsychotics show a doubling of mortality rates on treatment compared to the non-treated state and this doubling increases again for every extra antipsychotic drug that the patient takes [25]. Patients taking these drugs show a reduction of life expectancy of up to 20 years compared to population norms [6].

Furthermore, to date when all placebo-controlled studies of Depakote, Zyprexa and Risperdal in the prophylaxis of bipolar disorder are combined they show a doubling of the risk of suicidal acts on active treatment compared to placebo [21,38]. In addition, valproate and other anticonvulsants are among the most teratogenic in medicine [10]. These claims about the benefits of treatment therefore appear misleading. No company could make such public statements without the regulators intervening. But by using patient groups or academics, companies can palm off the legal liability for such claims [20].

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The sixth strategy involves the co-option of academia and is of particular relevance to the pediatric bipolar domain. The American Psychiatric Association meeting in San Francisco in 2003 offers a good symbol of what happened. Satellite symposia linked to the main APA meeting, as of 2000, could cost a company up to $250,000. The price of entry is too high for treatment modalities like psychotherapy.

There can be up to 40 such satellites per meeting. Companies usually bring hundreds of delegates to their satellite. The satellites are ordinarily distributed across topics like depression, schizophrenia, OCD, social phobia, anxiety, dementia and ADHD. At the 2003 meeting, an unprecedented 35% of the satellites were for just one disorder - bipolar disorder.8 These symposia have to have lecturers and a Chair, 9 and 57 senior figures in American psychiatry were involved in presenting material on bipolar disorder at these satellites, not counting other speakers on the main meeting program. One of these satellite symposia, a first ever at a major meeting, was on juvenile bipolar disorder.

The upshot of this marketing has been to alter dramatically the landscape of mental disorders. Until recently manic depressive illness was a rare disorder in the United States and Canada involving 10 per million new cases per year or 3300 new cases per year. This was a disorder that was 8 times less common than schizophrenia. In contrast bipolar disorder is now marketed as affecting 5% of the United States and Canada - that is 16.5 million North Americans, which would make it is as common as depression and 10 times more common than schizophrenia. Clinicians are being encouraged to detect and treat it. They are educated to suspect that many cases of depression, anxiety or schizophrenia may be bipolar disorder and that treatment should be adjusted accordingly [23]. And, where recently no clinicians would have accepted this disorder began before adolescence, many it seems are now prepared to accept that it can be detected in preschoolers.

3. Bipolar disorder in children The emergence of bipolar disorder in children needs to be reviewed against the background outlined above. Until very recently manic-depressive illness was not thought to start before the teenage years and even an adolescent onset was atypically early. The clearest indicator of change came with the publication of The Bipolar Child by Papolos and Papolos [35]. This sold 70,000 hardback copies in half a year. Published in January 2000, by May it was in a 10th printing. Other books followed, claiming that we were facing an epidemic of bipolar disorders in children [24] and that children needed to be treated aggressively with drugs from a young age if they were to have any hope of a normal life [12]. Newspapers throughout the United States reported increasingly on cases of bipolar children, as outlined below. A series of books aimed at children with pastel colored scenes in fairy tale style also appeared. In My Bipolar Roller Coaster Feelings Book [23], a young boy called Robert tells us he has bipolar disorder. As Robert defines it doctors say you are bipolar if your feelings go to the top and bottom of the world, in roller coaster fashion. When Robert is happy he apparently hugs everybody, he starts giggling and feels like doing backflips. His parents call it bouncing off the walls. His doctor, Doctor Janet, calls it silly, giddy and goofy.

Aside from giddiness, Robert has three other features that seem to make the diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder. One is temper tantrums. He is shown going into the grocery store with his Mum and asking for candy. When she refuses, he gets mad and throws the bag of candy at her. His mum calls this rage and he is described as feeling bad afterwards.

Second, when he goes to bed at night Robert has nightmares. His brain goes like a movie in fast forward and he seemingly can't stop it. And third, he can be cranky. Everything irritates him - from the seams in his socks, to his sister's voice, and the smell of food cooking. This can go on to depression when he is sad and lonely, and he just wants to curl up in his bed and pull the blanket over his head. He feels as though it's the end of the world and no one cares about him. His doctor has told him that at times like this he needs to tell his parents or his doctor and he needs to get help.

Dr. Janet gives Robert medication. His view on this is that while he doesn't like having bipolar disorder, he can't change that. He also doesn't like having to take all those pills but, the bad nightmares have gone away and they help him have more good days. His father says a lot of kids have something wrong with their bodies, like asthma and diabetes and they have to take medicine and be careful, and so from this point of view he's just like many other children.

His parents have told him that his bipolar disorder is just a part of who he is, not all of who he is. That they love him and always will. Finally his doctor indicates that it's only been a little while since doctors knew that children could have bipolar disorder, and that they are working hard to help these children feel better.

In another book, Brandon and the Bipolar Bear, we are introduced to Brandon, who has features in common with Robert that the unwary might fail to realize indicate bipolar disorder [1]. When we are introduced to Brandon, he has just woken up from a nightmare. Second, when requested to do things that he doesn't want to do he flies into a rage. And third, he can be silly and giddy. His mother takes both Brandon and his bear to Dr. Samuel for help, where Brandon is told that he has bipolar disorder. Dr. Samuel explains that the way we feel is controlled by chemicals in our brain. In people with bipolar disorder these chemicals can't do their job right so their feelings get jumbled inside. You might feel wonderfully happy, horribly angry, very excited, terribly sad or extremely irritated, all in the same day. This can be scary and confusing - so confusing that it can make living seem too hard. D. Healy and J. Le Noury / Pediatric bipolar disorder.

When Brandon responds that he thinks he got bipolar disorder because he is bad, Dr. Samuel responds that many children have bipolar disorder, and they come to the doctor for help. Neither they nor Brandon are bad - it's a case of having an illness that makes you feel bad. Brandon moves on to asking how he got bipolar disorder if he didn't get it from being bad, to which Dr. Samuel responds by asking him how he got his green eyes and brown hair. Brandon and his mother respond that these came from his parents. And Dr. Samuel tells them it's the same with bipolar disorder. That it can be inherited. That someone else in the family may have it also. The final exchange involves Brandon asking whether he will ever feel better. Dr. Samuel response is upbeat - there are now good medicines to help people with bipolar disorder, and that Brandon can start by taking one right away. Brandon is asked to promise that he will take his medicine when told by his mother. Brandon and the Bipolar Bear comes with an associated coloring book, in which Brandon's Dad makes it clear that a lot of kids have things wrong with their bodies, like asthma and diabetes, and they have to take medicine and be careful too.

Janice Papolos, co-author of The Bipolar Child, in a review on the back cover of Brandon and the Bipolar Bear says: 'children will follow (and relate to) Brandon's experience with rapid mood swings, irritability, his sense of always being uncomfortable and his sadness that he can't control himself and noone can fix him. The comforting explanation that Dr. Samuel gives him makes Brandon feel not alone, not bad, but hopeful that the medicine will make him feel better. We were so moved by the power of this little book and we feel better that we can now highly recommend a book for children aged 4 through 11'. The book The Bipolar Child arrived at Sheri Lee Norris' home in Hurst, Texas, in February 2000. When it did Karen Brooks, a reporter in the Dallas Star-Telegram describes Norris as tearing open the package with a familiar mix of emotions. Hope, skepticism, fear, guilt, shame, love. But as she reads in the book about violent rages, animal abuse, inability to feel pain, self-abuse and erratic sleeping patterns, Norris is reported as feeling relief for the first time in over a year. Now she finally knew what was wrong with her daughter. . . Within days, Heather Norris, then 2, became the youngest child in Tarrant County with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder [5].

Brooks goes on to note that families with mentally ill children are plagued with insurance woes, a lack of treatment options and weak support systems but that parents of the very young face additional challenges. It is particularly hard to get the proper diagnosis and treatment because there has been scant research into childhood mental illness and drug treatments to combat them. Routine childcare is difficult to find, because day-care centers, worried about the effect on other children, won't accept mentally ill children or will remove them when they are aggressive. Few baby sitters have the expertise or the desire to handle difficult children, leaving parents with little choice but to quit work or work from home. Having outlined these difficulties, Brooks also notes that the lack of public awareness of childhood mental illness means that parents are judged when their children behave badly. They are accused of being poor parents, of failing to discipline their children properly, or even of sexual or physical abuse or neglect. The sense of hopelessness is aggravated when they hear about mentally ill adults; this leaves them wondering whether the battles they and their children are fighting will go on forever.

In a few short paragraphs here Brooks outlines the once and future dynamics of disease from ancient to modern times - the reflection on parents or family, the concerns for the future, the hope for an intervention. But she also covers a set of modern and specifically American dynamics. Heather Norris's problems began with temper tantrums at 18 months old. Sheri-Lee Norris had a visit from the Child Protective Services. Someone had turned her in because Heather behaved abnormally. Sheri-Lee was furious and felt betrayed. She brought Heather to pediatricians, play therapists and psychiatrists, where 216 D. Healy and J. Le Noury / Pediatric bipolar disorder

Heather was diagnosed with ADHD and given Ritalin. This made everything worse. Faced with all this, a psychiatrist did not make the diagnosis of bipolar disorder because the family had no history of it. But Sheri-Lee began asking relatives and discovered that mental illness was, indeed, in her family's history. She presented that information along with a copy of The Bipolar Child to her psychiatrist, and Heather got a diagnosis of bipolar disorder immediately.

Heather Norris' story is not unusual. The mania for diagnosing bipolar disorders in children hit the front cover of Time in August 2002, which featured 9-year-old Ian Palmer and a cover title Young and Bipolar [26], with a strapline, why are so many kids being diagnosed with the disorder, once known as manic-depression? The Time article and other articles report surveys that show 20% of adolescents nationwide have some form of diagnosable mental disorder. Ian Palmer, we are told, just like Heather Norris, had begun treatment early - at the age of 3 - but failed to respond to either Prozac or stimulants, and was now on anticonvulsants.

While Heather Norris was in 2000 the youngest child in Tarrant County to be diagnosed as bipolar, Papolos and Papolos in The Bipolar Child indicate that many of the mothers they interviewed for their book remembered their baby's excessive activity in utero, and the authors seem happy to draw continuities between this and later bipolar disorder. The excessive activity amounts to hard kicking, rolling and tumbling and then later keeping the ward awake with screaming when born. Or in some instances being told by the sonographer and obstetrician that it was difficult to get a picture of the baby's face or to sample the amniotic fluid because of constant, unpredictable activity [35]. It is not unusual to meet clinicians who take such reports seriously.

Anyone searching the Internet for information on bipolar disorder in children are now likely to land at BPChildren.com, run by Tracy Anglada and other co-authors of the books mentioned above. Or at the Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation (JBRF), linked to the Papoloses and The Bipolar Child. Or at a third site, bpkids.org, linked to a Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation, which is supported by unrestricted educational grants from major pharmaceutical companies.

In common with the mood-watching questionnaires in the adult field, all three sites offer moodwatching questionnaires for children. The Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation has a 65-item Child Bipolar Questionnaire, which also featured in the Time magazine piece above; on this scale most normal children would score at least modestly.10

The growing newsworthiness of childhood bipolar disorder also hit the editorial columns of the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2002 [40]. But where one might have expected academia to act as a brake on this new enthusiasm, its role has been in fact quite the opposite.....

* copy of complete article upon request.

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Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - Part I

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - Part II

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(CALIFORNIA) NEWSPAPER-New Immigrants

This is a very good letter to the editor. This woman made some good points. For some reason, people have difficulty structuring their arguments when arguing against supporting the currently proposed immigration revisions. This lady made the argument pretty simple. It was NOT printed in the Orange County Paper...................

Newspapers simply won't publish letters to the editor which they either deem politically incorrect (read below) or which does not agree with the philosophy they're pushing on the public. This woman wrote a great letter to the editor that should have been published; but, with your help it will get published via cyberspace!

From: "David LaBonte" My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register which, of course, was not printed. So, I decided to "print" it myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined. Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:

Dear Editor: So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.

Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented . Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.

They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity.

Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy,France and Japan . None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people.

When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are in 2007 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.

(signed) Rosemary LaBonte

KEEP THIS LETTER MOVING. FOR THE WRONG THINGS TO PREVAIL, THE RIGHTFUL MAJORITY NEEDS TO REMAIN COMPLACENT AND QUIET!! LET THIS NEVER HAPPEN!!

I sincerely hope this letter gets read by millions of people all across the nation!!

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