Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Cancer Fight Goes Nuclear

By ANDREW POLLACK New York Times Published: December 26, 2007

Medical centers are rushing to turn nuclear particle accelerators, formerly used only for exotic physics research, into the latest weapons against cancer.The machines accelerate protons to nearly the speed of light and shoot them into tumors. Scientists say proton beams are more precise than the X-rays now typically used for radiation therapy, meaning fewer side effects from stray radiation and, possibly, a higher cure rate.“I’m fascinated and horrified by the way it’s developing,” said Anthony L. Zietman, a radiation oncologist at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital, which operates a proton center. “This is the dark side of American medicine.”

Dr. Zietman said that while protons were vital in treating certain rare tumors, they were little better than the latest X-ray technology in dealing with prostate cancer, the common disease that many proton centers are counting on for business.

“You can scarcely tell the difference between them except in price,” he said. Medicare pays about $50,000 to treat prostate cancer with protons, almost twice as much as with X-rays.

Proponents say that more than 800,000 Americans — representing nearly two-thirds of new cancer cases — undergo radiation therapy each year. If only 250,000 of them could benefit from protons, they would fill more than 100 centers.Most people undergoing proton treatment are men with localized prostate cancer.

Proton therapy can help avoid the worst side-effects, like impotence, by exposing the bladder and rectum of a prostate patient to less radiation than X-rays. The stray radiation, though, from the newest form of X-rays, called intensity-modulated radiation therapy, is already low, diminishing any advantages from proton therapy.

X-rays, which are high-energy electromagnetic waves, pass through the body, depositing their energy all along the way, not just in the tumor. By contrast, protons — subatomic particles with a positive electrical charge — can be made to stop on the tumor and dump most of their payload there.Abridged =>>

Cancer a Very Lucrative Business?

With enough patients “it becomes a very lucrative system,” Mr. Phillips, a sales manager with Optivus Proton Therapy, said at the meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology held here in late October. Referring to one proton center that treats up to 175 patients a day, he added, “You can imagine what the return on investment is on that.”
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I aplaud any advances in technology that might help to save lives and we have always spoken on the side advocating stem cell technology, however for the 2,400,000 Americans that will become new victims of cancer every year, becoming "Very Lucrative" business, isn't at all too comforting!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Millionaire Dog Flees Death Threats: Report

NEW YORK (AFP) - A pampered pooch who inherited 12 million dollars from a late US hotel magnate earlier this year has fled to Florida under an assumed name after receiving death threats, a report said Monday.

Trouble, a white Maltese who belonged to billionaire Leona Helmsley until her death in August, was flown by private jet under tight security two months ago after receiving around 20 such threats, the New York Post reported.

It said the rich bitch was now living at an undisclosed location in Florida, a favorite with retirees escaping the winter, without naming its sources.

The paper did not say who was suspected of being behind the threats, but Trouble is said to have earned countless enemies due to a penchant for biting.

John Codey, who is in charge of the pampered pooch's trust fund, told US television network CBS last week that there had been threats to kidnap the dog.

He added that the cost of Trouble's round-the-clock security detail, medical care, chef-cooked meals and grooming were an estimated 300,000 dollars a year. The dog was previously living at a 28-room estate in Connecticut.

When Trouble dies, any remaining money from her trust will go to the charitable foundations that inherited the lion's share of Helmsley's estimated four-billion-dollar estate.

Helmsley, dubbed the "Queen of Mean" by the tabloid press, cut two grandchildren out of her will while leaving five million to two others on the proviso that they visit their late father's grave at least once a year.

Helmsley's will also stipulates that when Trouble dies she is to be buried beside her and her late husband Harry, who died in 1997.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Nuclear Missiles Mistakenly Flown Across US.- Left Alone on Tarmac


Nuclear missiles mistakenly flown across US.- Left Alone on Tarmac

By Megan Levy and agencies21/10/2007The US Air Force has disciplined 70 airmen after a B-52 bomber armed with nuclear missiles was mistakenly flown across the US.
Nuclear warheads were mounted on the B-52's wingThe Air Force acknowledged an unprecedented breakdown in procedures that led to the August 29-30 incident, in which the bomber was flown from Minot, near the Canadian border, to Barksdale in Louisiana.Six cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads were loaded onto the B-52 before it sat overnight at Minot.

The bomber flew the next morning to Louisiana, where it sat on a tarmac for hours before anyone noticed the nuclear warheads.The missiles were supposed to have been taken to Louisiana but the warheads should have been removed beforehand.

The crew flying the plane was unaware nuclear warheads were on its wing.The incident was so serious that President George W. Bush and Defence Secretary Robert Gates were informed immediately.Among those disciplined were four officers who were relieved of their commands following an investigation that found widespread disregard for the rules on handling weapons.

Announcing the results of the six-week probe into the incident, Maj. Gen. Richard Newton, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations, said the flight resulted from an "unprecedented string of procedural errors."The errors began with a failure by airmen to conduct a required inspection of the missiles before they were loaded aboard the B-52 bomber at Minot, he said.advertisement"There has been an erosion of adherence to weapons-handling standards at Minot Air Force Base and Barksdale Air Force Base," he said.

Among the officers who were relieved of their commands this week was the 5th Bomb Wing commander at Minot, while some 65 airmen have been decertified from handling nuclear weapons.The certification process looks at a person's psychological profile, any medications they are taking and other factors in determining a person's reliability to handle weapons.An official said that security was increased as soon as the nuclear warheads were discovered.

The Air Combat Command ordered a command-wide stand-down to set aside time for personnel to review procedures, officials said.Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne said it was an unacceptable mistake and a "clear deviation from our exacting standards".
"We hold ourselves accountable to the American people and want to ensure proper corrective action has been taken."Democratic Rep. Ellen Tauscher, chairwoman of the House of Representatives Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, said she believed the Air Force had done a thorough investigation, but the findings were "a warning sign that there has been degradation" of attitudes toward the handling of the weapons.
"These are not just rules that people dreamed up ... just so they could check off the boxes," she said. "This is fundamentally important to the security of the country and the world."
The weapon involved was the Advanced Cruise Missile, a "stealth" weapon developed in the 1980s with the ability to evade detection by Soviet radar.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The War on Pot: America's $42 Billion Annual Boondoggle

By Rob Kampia, AlterNet

What would you buy if you had an extra $42 billion to spend every year? What might our government buy if it suddenly had that much money dropped onto its lap every year?

For one thing, it might pay for the entire $7 billion annual increase in the State Children's Health Insurance Program that President Bush is threatening to veto because of its cost -- and there'd still be $35 billion left over.

Or perhaps you'd hire 880,000 schoolteachers at the average U.S. teacher salary of $47,602 per year.

Or give every one of our current teachers a 30 percent raise (at a cost of $15 billion, according to the American Federation of Teachers) and use what's left to take a $27 billion whack out of the federal deficit.

Or use all $42 billion for a massive tax cut that would put an extra $140 in the pockets of every person in the country -- $560 for a family of four.

The mind reels at the ways such a massive sum of money could be put to use.

Why $42 billion? Because that's what our current marijuana laws cost American taxpayers each year, according to a new study by researcher Jon Gettman, Ph.D. -- $10.7 billion in direct law enforcement costs, and $31.1 billion in lost tax revenues. And that may be an underestimate, at least on the law enforcement side, since Gettman made his calculations before the FBI released its latest arrest statistics in late September. The new FBI stats show an all-time record 829,627 marijuana arrests in 2006, 43,000 more than in 2005.

That's like arresting every man, woman and child in the state of North Dakota plus every man, woman, and child in Des Moines, Iowa on marijuana charges ... every year. Arrests for marijuana possession -- not sales or trafficking, just possession -- totaled 738,916. By comparison, there were 611,523 arrests last year for all violent crimes combined.

Basing his calculations mainly on U.S. government statistics, Gettman concludes that marijuana in the U.S. is a $113 billion dollar business. That's a huge chunk of economic activity that is unregulated and untaxed because it's almost entirely off the books.

Of course, the cost of our marijuana laws goes far beyond lost tax revenues and money spent on law enforcement. By consigning a very popular product -- one that's been used by about 100 million Americans, according to government surveys -- to the criminal underground, we've effectively cut legitimate businesspeople out of the market and handed a monopoly to criminals and gangs.

Strangely, government officials love to warn us that some unsavory characters profit off of marijuana sales, while ignoring the obvious: Our prohibitionist laws handed them the marijuana business in the first place, effectively giving marijuana dealers a $113 billion free ride.

All this might make some sense if marijuana were so terribly dangerous that it needed to be banned at all costs, but science long ago came to precisely the opposite conclusion. Compared to alcohol, for example, marijuana is astonishingly safe. For one thing, marijuana is much less addictive than alcohol, with just nine percent of users becoming dependent, as opposed to 15 percent for booze. And marijuana is much less toxic. Heavy drinking is well-documented to damage the brain and liver, and to increase the risk of many types of cancer. Marijuana, on the other hand, has never caused a medically documented overdose death, and scientists are still debating whether even heavy marijuana use causes any permanent harm at all. And then there's violence. Again, the scientific findings are overwhelming: Booze incites violence and aggression; marijuana doesn't.

Despite all that, we now arrest one American every 38 seconds on marijuana charges. And we do so at a staggering cost in law enforcement expenses, lost tax revenues, and staggering profits for criminal gangs.

The alternative is clear: Regulate marijuana just as we do beer, wine, and liquor. The only thing lacking is the political will.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Another Type of Abuse,Neglect and Negligence by U.S. Intelligence Community

by Jerry Gordon interview with Dr.Jill Dekker

When news leaked out of the September 6th Israeli Air Force and commando raid on a Syrian Nuclear facility followed by revelations about the deaths of dozens of Iranians and Syrians in a Chemical warfare missile accident in July the world was jarred.Recently, it was revealed that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) had aided Syria in its chemical warfare programs.

I noted in a recent interview with former US UN Ambassador John Bolton his early concerns about the Syrian Bio Warfare threat. Questions arose, specifically about the size, nature and danger of the Syrian bio-warfare military programs.For answers and professional views on how extensive the Syrian bio-warfare threat is, we turned to Dr. Jill Dekker, a consultant to the NATO Defense Establishment in bio-warfare and counter terrorism.

Dr. Dekker is also a member of the board of advisors of the Intelligence Summit.Dr. Dekker’s answers give a foreboding picture of how large and refined the Syrian bio-warfare programs are and how little Western Intelligence knows about how the programs were developed.

For answers and professional views on how extensive the Syrian bio-warfare threat is, we turned to Dr. Jill Dekker, a consultant to the NATO Defense Establishment in bio-warfare and counter terrorism. Dr. Dekker is also a member of the board of advisors of the Intelligence Summit.

Dr. Dekker’s answers give a foreboding picture of how large and refined the Syrian bio-warfare programs are and how little Western Intelligence knows about how the programs were developed. The potential exists for a significant WMD threat in the Middle East and the West, especially, against America.

Syria is a proxy ally of Iran, North Korea (DPRK) and terror groups such as Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Thus, the supply of bio-weapons and delivery platforms that could results in mass casualties makes it a real and present danger.

We were pleased that Dr. Dekker took time out from her professional work to answer questions about the Syrian bio-warfare establishment and WMD threat.

Jill Dekker: In 2001, when the US suffered its anthrax attacks, everything changed. We went from looking at bio-safety as an aspect of protecting workers and the environment, to bio-security and trying to safe-guard High Consequence Pathogens mainly in P3 and P4 facilities from terrorists.

I now focus on state supported bio-terrorism whereby pathogens don’t need to be stolen or diverted. A state warfare lab, such as exists in Iran and Syria today, could easily provide their terrorist surrogates with the most advanced biological agents for covert operations. This is far more likely and would be far more devastating in terms of kill ratios than some lone terrorist group trying to weaponize pathogens without state support or a warfare laboratory

in Afghanistan, you may recall, the US recovered documents which Al Qaeda had on their bio-programs. I moved from an interest in bio-safety and bio-security to looking at the threat state biological warfare labs pose and the types of criteria we need to assess them. Most biological weapons research is dual use.

Contrary to how the US State Department and other agencies tend to downplay the sophistication of the Syrian biological and nuclear programs, they are very advanced. Syria has always had the most advanced chemical weapons program in the Middle East.

The US and other western agencies have in a sense been distracted by this, but their biological programs and the “concept of use” are robust. Syria’s biological weapons capability today is closely tied to the former and current Soviet and Russian programs respectively, the DPRK, Iran and the former Iraq regime. A major concern is their strategic concept of use - which has gone from one of ‘special weapons’ to incorporation into their ‘conventional arsenal.’ That is a significant shift and one that seems to have eluded the US.

Dekker: The Syrians work on most Category A pathogens: anthrax, plague, tularemia, botulinium, smallpox, aflotoxin, cholera, ricin, camelpox. Some of these they acquired during natural outbreaks, others they acquired from the Soviets, Russians, DPRK, Iran and Iraq.

US intelligence agencies denied the Soviets could possibly have such a massive program - even after the defection of high level scientists- such Vladimir Pasechnik. You have to wonder at what point they are going to sharpen up and see that nations like Syria also have a robust advanced biological weapons program.

Gordon: We heard that some of the late Saddam Hussein’s Bio-warfare research and pathogens may have been transferred to Syria during Operation Enduring Freedom. Is that accurate to your knowledge, and who facilitated the transfer? What types of bio-warfare agents and materials might have been transferred?

Dekker: Yes. It is important to remember that the Iraqi programs were far more advanced at the time than what the Syrians had, and were developing. The delivery of certain pathogens in a ‘weaponized’ form taught the Syrians new techniques they previously had not mastered. This is very problematic.

What Hussein’s transfer taught the Syrians was more sophisticated ways of weaponization and dispersal. I believe Russian special ops- their Spetsnaz teams - transported sections of the programs. Remember these are not MIRVed ICBM’s we are talking about - you don’t need to stockpile biological weapons. It is the quality of the pathogen and ‘weaponization’ or aerosolization, milling processes that count, not the quantity.

If you take something like Bot - I gram of crystalline Botulinium is estimated to kill about a million people if it were evenly dispersed

Gordon: To your knowledge what pathogens and toxins are the Syrian bio-warfare establishment developing and what is their propensity to produce mass casualties?

Dekker: Syria posesses Category A, B, and C pathogens and toxins. To my knowledge the most problematic

A particular issue I have with smallpox research conducted in rogue states is that these programs most likely are not based on vaccine preventable strains. So the US national strategic stockpile of smallpox vaccine, which has cost the US tax payers billions of dollars to stockpile, may be totally non-efficacious against a battle strain developed in Syria, Iran or the DPRK.

It creates a false sense of security to think that out of 128 strains, only four (the most prevalent previously naturally occurring strains) are the ones rogue states would choose to reintroduce smallpox. It is naive to think that states developing weapons of mass destruction are going to select a strain we can prevent. The Soviets ramped up their work on smallpox once they knew the WHO had declared it eradicated and that the United States had ceased vaccination against it.
Dekker: The Syrian biological warfare programs are administratively run under the SSRC in Damascus. They have one of the most highly developed pharmaceutical industries in the Mid East.

Gordon: What means of delivery does Syria have available for its bio weapons?

Dekker: Well they’ve mastered micro-encapsulation which is necessary for aerosol dispersal. They have experimented with parachute dispersal techniques for orthopox based on Soviet methods. They are also developing micro aerosol dispersal technologies which have no military application. This is probably the most alarming as it is designed for terrorist use.

The Syrians are perfecting advanced dispersal technologies that will be for use against civilians but far more sophisticated than the use of a crop duster.

Gordon: How much of a threat is the Syrian Bio-warfare capability to Israel and US forces in the Middle East, e.g. Iraq?

Dekker: Syria poses an immediate and imminent threat to the United States and Israel. it may be possible for Syria to contaminate water distribution systems with a pathogen like Crypto which is impervious to chlorine and will pass through most filtration systems. Such a contamination could infect significant sections of a population.

Even in the United States, there have been natural outbreaks. There is no treatment available, so it could have quite an impact. There are other concerns such as the use of pre-deployed biological agents in the event that Iran is attacked by the United States. Again, here we should pay close attention to how the Soviets planned for Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). They planned their smallpox program specifically in the event of MAD so that smallpox would wipe out whoever was left. It’s not beyond reason to consider that the Syrians and Iranians have engaged in such contingency planning

Gordon: How much does the US Bio-warfare establishment and intelligence community know about the Syrian Bio-warfare threat?

Dekker: It is similar to the US negligent underestimation and denial that the Soviets had a massive biological weapons program. The US Intelligence Community negligently underestimates and denies the sophistication of the Syrian biological weapons programs which is very unfortunate.

Former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton has tried since 2001 to warn the US about the threat the Syrian biological weapons programs poses. His warnings have fallen on deaf ears.

The US public needs to be informed that the intelligence community is falling far short here in protecting them.

Other US allies are not, they are up to speed. Again as an American citizen it is unbelievable to see such negligence in the US intelligence community. Having lived in Europe for 20 years and working as a defense consultant on Category A warfare agents, this is not the standard approach of other NATO nations. There is something deeply disturbing with the US approach. Time will tell as unfortunately it did with 9/11.

Gordon: In your opinion, what has prevented the US from recognizing the significance of the Syrian bio-warfare threat and developing effective counter measures?

Dekker: I believe there is a specific mind-set within the US intelligence community which makes it difficult for them to procure sources in the Middle East and of course the lack of language ability..their approach is not reassuring.

they have not taken appropriate defensive measures in view of the potential consequences of a WMD attack, they have left the US exposed.

The US relies heavily on technology and has done so for a number of years. Biological weapons cannot be assessed by satellites anymore. Perhaps during the old Soviet era but now science has moved beyond this. I believe the US incompetence in this field and its arrogance could eventually lead to a successful strike on the US by a rogue nation-possibly in the very near future.

Another problem for the United States ...is their failure to inform the US public on the real threat they face. The smallpox program is a case in point. The US may not be able to protect its citizens with its ‘treasured’ national strategic stockpile of smallpox vaccine. Who wants to be the one to come out and announce that to the US public?

Who wants to say they have no idea how advanced the Syrian Botulinium or Plague programs are because they don’t have any access? It would be very unpopular if the US public knew they were potentially defenseless and that the people charged with protecting them had dropped the ball again. What is disconcerting is they don’t seem to be able to recognize, acknowledge and correct their prior mistakes, If they don’t start taking Mid-East biological weapons programs more seriously the U.S. is likely to suffer far worse attacks than 9/11. The US intelligence community is inadequately equipped to deal with this threat.

Gordon: Could Bio-weapons developed by the Syrian military establishment be used as WMD producing significant mass casualties in Israel, the EU and here in America?

Dekker: Yes, Syria is very good at conducting covert operations. They have a number of technologies available which they could provide to either Special Forces or terrorists who could release them in airports, other transportation hubs, airplane ventilation systems and that would cause mass casualties.

I certainly believe they have very advanced biological weapons capabilities and we are at a point where there really aren’t any technological obstacles for them to overcome in dispersal or deployment. This is why intelligence is so vital in this area. It is probably the last line of defense, so to neglect it, or deny that one should allocate resources for prevention, is odd. Some biological weapons use pathogens which don’t need to be ‘weaponized’.

Of all the countries Israel is by far the most prepared to handle the release of biological weapons. The nations of Western Europe are unevenly prepared and the United States is probably not prepared. In such an attack, the country would probably suffer major mass casualties. I think the Syrians are much more sophisticated than the US intelligence community realizes. This puts American lives at immediate risk. The American public should demand that the US intelligence community close the gap in their intelligence on the Syrian biological weapons programs. Additionally, they have underestimated the Syrian nuclear programs for several years as well.

Gordon: In your opinion what should America, Israel and NATO do to combat the Syrian Bio-warfare threat and its proliferation to terrorist groups?

The US intelligence community could start by acknowledging that Syria has an advanced, well developed program and take things a bit more seriously.

The US Intelligence Community seems particularly risk averse. It’s almost as if Syria couldn’t possibly have such a program because their scientific community isn’t advanced enough.

Other NATO nations are preparing for deliberate disease outbreaks and acknowledge that Syrian biological weapons programs are a threat.Biological weapons and terrorist use of them require excellence in intelligence not incompetence and denial.

Gordon: Thank you Dr. Dekker for this most informative and I’m sorry to say, frightening discussion of the Syrian bio-warfare threat and why America has not done enough to recognize and combat it.

Dr. Dekker suggests that for more information you consult “Biological Terrorism: The Threat of the 21st Century” by Marie Sultan for the types of technological advancements which might be a concern.

Comments:

Dr. Jill Dekker is a well respected scientist whose veracity is beyond repute. I have worked in the intelligence field within the Military as well as civilian law enforcement and am now retired but still giving my services to B’nai Elim (a very pro-active Jewish - Zionist organization) as their chief of intelligence and security. If Dr. Jill Dekker said that a new “Ice Age” was beginning along with rapid “Global Cooling” in January… I would go out and buy some thermal underwear. In other words, the information that she has garnered regarding the Syrian bio-weapons capabilities is totally accurate.

Doctor Dekker has merely scratched the surface regarding Syrian complicity with Hezbollah, Hamas, Fatah, Al-Queda and other purveyors of terrorism.

We are standing on the brink of another World War and no matter which direction we take, we will be risking freedom as we know it today. Our Government’s egregious actions directed at Dr. Dekker in a lame effort to intimidate her signal only the beginning of the erosion of our individual liberties in the name of National Security.

Bill ManiaciChief, Intelligence and SecurityB’nai Elim / The Maccabee Group
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For whatever good it might do, I emailed the URL for Dr. Dekker’s interview to each member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. The email included the following comment: “US seems stunningly unprepared for biological weapons in the hands of rogue states.” Is there an equivalent in the House? Jerry
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America is in the most vulnerable position as they are totally unprepared and in constant denial. It is time for America to revive DUCK AND COVER DRILLS! by Jamit
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If you have friends and family in the US this interview is most disturbing, reason enough for each one of us to be writing our senators in congress and demand the US intelligence community take inmediate steps to close this gap and face this reality with effective steps to protect the american public, denial , incompentence, negligence, and looking the other way is not an acceptable way to deal with Elder Abuse, neither it is an acceptable way to deal with this potential inmediate threat.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Bank your Body


Freezing your physical assets - from skin to eggs - is a controversial new trend in anti-ageing. So will you invest? CLAIRE COLEMAN investigates more:

Remember a few years ago when your skin was clearer, your body was thinner and you could run up five flights of stairs without breaking into a sweat?

And now imagine how seductive it would be if someone offered you the chance to freeze time, halt the ageing process and always look and feel as great as you did at the age of 21.

Until recently, the possibility of doing anything remotely resembling this would have been considered science fiction.

Now advances in medical technology mean that increasing numbers of us can, to a certain extent, if not stop time, at least freeze our assets at the point at which they are most valuable so that we can return to them when we need, literally, an injection of youth and vigour in the future.

Banking your body is the latest trend in anti-ageing and with the huge advances being made in cell collection, storage and replication, it looks set to grow and grow over the next decade. And the implications, for everything from our skin and our hair, to our fertility, are staggering.

COLLAGEN
As we age, the quantity and quality of collagen in our skin degenerates, resulting in skin that is less toned and prone to wrinkles. Injecting new collagen can counteract these problems and, while collagen can be obtained from various sources - including cows, pigs and even dead bodies - many people prefer the thought of autologous collagen (reinjection of one's own collagen).

in the USA some will separate it from other tissues after one type of operation (liposuction/breast reduction) and store it for use in the patient's face in the future. Dr Thierry Vidal of London's Skin Health Spa thinks that such procedures will be commonplace in the future.

there's no doubt that in the future it could be quite common for young people to store samples of collagen and other tissues that degrade with age, with a view to using them in an anti-ageing process in later life.'

SKIN

Maintaining baby soft skin forever might be a real possibility in the future. A product currently available called ReCell or CellSpray uses a sample of the patient's own skin to create a sprayable skin solution that contains all the skin cells necessary for healthy skin growth and can then be applied to a wound or damaged area of skin.

The company is also able to replicate the skin cells in a lab, should more cells be required. At the moment the technology is predominantly used on burns patients but, according to Matthieu Leclerc-Chalvet of Clinical Cell Culture, the company behind ReCell:

'The cosmetic applications for this treatment can be combined with something like laser resurfacing or dermabrasion to reduce the risks of scarring and improve healing.'

FAT

Although fat has its drawbacks as a filler for wrinkles (it tends to be reabsorbed by the body and so needs regular top ups), fat transfer, where fat is removed from one area of the body and then re-injected into another part, is a relatively commonplace procedure.

One significant advantage is that the body's own fat cells are less likely to cause an allergic reaction or be rejected by the body than a synthetic or foreign substance. In most instances, surgeons will remove and re-inject the fat at the same time.

However it is possible to freeze fat so that a patient can have top-ups of their own cells over a longer period of time, a popular practice in the US.

Danya Hoenig, a medical assistant who works with her husband, Los Angeles plastic surgeon Jonathan Hoenig explains, 'We have a clinical-grade freezer here which stores fat at minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

We will keep fat samples for around a year, defrosting small amounts at a time so it can be used for cheek augmentation and similar facial procedures.'

VEINS

The idea of taking out parts of your body that you don't want and then recycling them in ways that you do has a certain satisfying symmetry about it. And fat is not the only substance to be used in this way.

It has been reported that some cosmetic surgeons in the US are storing varicose vein tissue, that has been removed from a patient's legs, and subsequently using the collagen it contains to inject it into their face as a filler.

HAIR

Help may be at hand for those concerned about hairloss, or hair that thins with age. While hair transplants are relatively common procedures at the moment, where hair follicles are removed from one part of the scalp and reimplanted in another area, new technologies which allow scientists to replicate hair follicles in the lab could mean that, in theory, young healthy hair follicles could be removed from a small, inconspicuous area at the nape of the neck, multiplied in the laboratory and then stored to be reimplanted at strategic locations, either to thicken existing hair or where baldness has set in.

'While it's not happening at the moment, storing hair follicles in case you suffer from hair loss in later life could certainly be a possibility in the future," says Consultant Plastic Surgeon Jim Frame, of the Capio Springfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex.

He also believes this sort of hair grafting could also come in handy when performing facelifts. 'In a lot of cases, when a facelift is performed, the hairline moves and this can look unnatural,' explains Mr Frame. 'Reimplanting hair follicles to recreate a more natural hairline could be a solution to this.'

EGGS

In a society where we're increasingly having children later in life, be it due to careers or simply not finding the right man, the prospect of putting healthy, young eggs on ice is very attractive.

But while sperm banking is nothing new, egg freezing is much more complicated, less effective and, therefore, less common. However, new technologies are currently being worked on that could change all that within 12 months.

Dr Fishel estimates that while the majority of egg freezing cases Care Fertility sees are women who wish to freeze eggs for medical reasons (such as before having cancer treatment), around one in three cases are for lifestyle reasons.

And he believes that as the new techniques are introduced this trend will become more commonplace.

'If I had a daughter in her mid-20s who was on a career path and not considering conception until her mid to late 30s, I would certainly suggest that she went through a couple of cycles of egg stimulation with a view to freezing around 30 healthy eggs.'

Dr Fishel says he would not be surprised if egg freezing became routine.

'When you think about the cost of endless cycles of IVF for older women, plus the elevated risks of Down's Syndrome when using older eggs, in a society where women are increasingly having children later, freezing eggs is, frankly, a sensible thing to do.'

BODY PARTS

One of the other alternatives to egg freezing is a technique called ovarian cryopreservation where, pre-treatment cancer patients have slivers of their ovaries removed and frozen, and then subsequently reimplanted after treatment and, once transplanted, begin to release eggs and work in the same way as undamaged ovaries.

This is a procedure that Kylie Minogue underwent prior to her cancer treatment. But a company called Alcor in the US lets you go one step further and freeze your entire body. Believers in cryogenics are convinced that, one day in the future, the technology will be available to bring them back to life once more.

To be accurate, the process Alcor uses is not freezing, but vitrification, where more than 60 per cent of the water in the body's cells is replaced with protective chemicals which means that rather than actually freezing and forming ice crystals which can destroy body tissues, it is just deep cooled and then suspended in a tank of liquid nitrogen.

STEM CELLS

Stem cell banking hit the news recently as Richard Branson announced the latest Virgin venture, Virgin Health Bank, a company that offers new parents the opportunity to preserve cells from the blood of their newborn child's umbilical cord. Stem cells are the cells from which all other cells form - everything from the teeth and skin to bone and the heart.

Although the research is still in its infancy, many in the industry believe that stem cells are the future of medicine. 'Stem cells literally have the ability to turn back time,' says medical scientist, Dr Cuross Bakhtiar of London's Harley Street Cosmetic.

'They have the potential to regenerate blood cells damaged by heart attacks and even improve sight damaged by retinal degradation.'

Dr Donald Gibb, an obstetrician in private practise in London's Harley Street, has seen the number of parents looking to bank stem cells increase over the past few years.

'For several years now I've made my patients aware of the possibility of banking stem cells when their child is born and I would say roughly 20 per cent of them do so.' He believes this number could well increase further.

abridged read it all here >>

Mothers In Jail

Mothers in jail; Former detainee speaks, by Rebecca Sullivan

Diana Delgado spent almost six years in and out of state prison and county jail, but her real punishment began when she was release in January and her eight year old daughter refused to live with her after she was released.

Women like Delgado are filling jails and prisons throughout the country, state and county at an alarming rate. Nationally, the number of women in prisons has grown 6.3 percent annually since 1990. In Cook County Jail, the number of women detained increased by 89 percent between 1993 and 1999. Latino women accounted for the sharpest increase at Cook County Jail, their numbers doubling between 1993 and 1999.

Drug offenses are the main reason why women 'mothers' are locked up....l
The jail population in the United States is expected to reach 2 million US makes up 5% of the total global population, it now accounts for 25% of the world's prisoners.

Studies estimate that 50% of elderly American are victims of financial explotation while only 4% to 15% case are ever reported and rarely prosecuted . Financial swindles are one of the fastest growing forms of abuse of the elderly according to NCEA , the other 85% to 96% cases of elder financial abuse victims that are never reported go totally without protection.

March 28,2007 AP attacks on a 101-year-old Queens woman as she walked to church and on an 85-year-old woman beaten by the same mugger a half hour later. The brutal attacker could face only a misdemeanor, punishable up to a year in jail.

"The way that society doesn't value these people is reflected in how we have been investigating and prosecuting these cases," said Deputy Prosecutor PageUlrey.

"It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped." -Hubert H. Humphrey (1911 - 1978)

When Laws Aren’t Enforced, Innocent People Die.

Va. Tech gunman sent material to NBC, was declared a danger to himself and others in 2005.University Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said his officers confronted Cho in late 2005 after two women complained separately that he had harassed them in person, through phone calls and with instant messages.

After the second incident in December 2005, Cho’s roommate warned police he might be suicidal, prompting them to issue a “temporary detention order” and send him to a nearby mental health facility for evaluation, Flinchum said.Between his first and second bursts of gunfire, the Virginia Tech gunman mailed a package to NBC News containing what authorities said were images of him brandishing weapons and a video of him delivering a diatribe about getting even with rich people.

The package included digital images of him holding weapons and a manifesto that “rants against rich people and warns that he wants to get even,” according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the case.MSNBC said that the package included a CD-ROM on which Cho read his manifesto.One of his former teachers, poet Nikki Giovanni, said she had insisted Cho be removed from her class in 2005 because he intimidated other students by photographing them and writing obscene, violent poetry. “There was something mean about this boy,” she told CNN. “There was a real mean streak.”

Once again, this time in a campus filled with young men and women military age, a lone bully seemed to have been able to go on a rampage without anyone trying to actively stop him. What did the students and faculty do? They either cowered behind furniture or locked their door. He, of course, went on to shoot the students next door.

Once again, as Bill Bennet noted, heavily armed men were seen swarming OUTSIDE assessing the situation!As this behavior took place on Holocaust memorial day, it is not surprising that the one man who said “Never again” was a 76 year old professor, a holocaust survivor. He did the best he could, blocked the door with his body and told his students to flee. .... it would have been better if had he told them to attack.

Of course, standing up to bullies is no longer the expected even of trained fighters. How can one expect young people at a university to behave more courageously than British marines confronting Iranian bullies? We better. For as Gandhi expected, in the current atmosphere bullies are multiplying and the price of continuing to go as sheep to slaughter is getting higher and higher by the day.

You may find more information about Professor Librescu at his new Wikipedia entry. I was quite happy to find that, because the killer also has one of his own, of course. There is still a little balance left in the world when one of the good people is not forgotten while we have to weather the all-too-typical media frenzy surrounding the evil-doer.

We can not let evil be the center of our world, nor allow great deeds to be forgotten. R.I.P, Professor Librescu.

article abridged - courtesy of Foehammer's Anvil

"Shaikh, Abu Mus’Ab Al-Virgini”Cho Seung Hui wrote "Ishmael Ax" on his arm, signed his package to NBC "A. Ishmael," and criticized Christianity in his video message. Do these things make him a jihadist? No. There is plenty of evidence that he was a deeply disturbed young man, full of rage and murderous fantasies, but none at this point to indicate that he had any actual connection to or interest in Islam or jihad.However, that did not stop some jihadists on Islamic forums from celebrating his deed as if he were one of their own, and even dubbing him "Abu Mus’Ab Al-Virgini," after the late Al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi. The blogger Basharee Murtadd caught posts on two Arabic-language Islamic forums; one has been taken down, but the other is still there.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Apologize, Appease then Apologize Again



TEHRAN (Reuters) - An official Iranian news agency said on Friday one man among the 15 British sailors and marines seized in the Gulf last week had admitted to entering Iranian waters illegally and apologized to the Iranian people.


The symbolic power of pictures is representative of the West moral decay.

We see a picture of a female British Marine shouldering a powerful high tech weapon, but not allowed to use it due to strict rules of engament and then we see a apologizing female with her brothers in arms wearing a Muslim headgear sitting on the floor eating bread crumbs apologizing for what she/they have done.


Gone are the days symbolized by the soldier that under intense pressure spits in the interrogator eye and says" You will never break me."


We might as well face it the sailors are representative of our society, they appease and lie and willingly wear the enemies garb in order to survive because that's what we must also do.

Allow the Imans to hold prayer meetings before boarding and terrorize other boarding passengers , lest we violate their civil right and they sue us. “CAIR will be filing a complaint with relevant authorities in the morning over the treatment of the imams...

But we must remove the Ten Commandments from the Courthouse steps, and remove prayer from school , lest we offend anyone and expose ourselves to a lawsuit.


As a society we must appease, lie, and accommodate in order to survive.

In February, the 5th Fleet's then-commander, Vice Adm. Patrick Walsh, said he had assured Arab allies that Washington was trying to avoid "a mistake that boils over into war" with Iran.

Admiral Patrick Walsh message when he said that should War break out in Iran it would be a 'mistake' that we must avoid was not lost to our enemies. Meaning the exercises are just that a Huge 'SHOW.'

ABOARD THE USS JOHN C. STENNIS - American warplanes screamed off two aircraft carriers Tuesday as the U.S. Navy staged its largest show of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

F/A-18 fighter jets roared off the Stennis' flight deck all day, mounting a dozen rapid-fire training sorties against imaginary enemy ships and aircraft.

While we play war games and burn up thousands of millions of gallons of oil driving up 'real' prices and while our leaders are fighting imaginary enemies , the enemy is building real bombs and fighting real wars and taking real prisioners and making real plans.

Our imaginary enemies might be more real than our politicians are leading us to believe.

Friday, April 13, 2007

ISRO eyes mission to Mars

Bangalore, April 11 (IANS) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is open to launch a mission to Mars if the government gives a green signal, a top official of the space agency said here Wednesday.

“We can undertake a mission to Mars within five years of the government’s approval. If the project is given the go-ahead now, we will be in a position to launch the mission to the red planet by 2012,” ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair told reporters.

Nair, however, hastened to add that the proposal for such a mission was under study by the space agency on the basis of a brief report prepared by the Indian scientific community.

“Our scientific community has come out with an outline of a mission to Mars. If the proposal is interesting, we will pursue it,” Nair said.

Nair’s observation on ISRO’s capability to reach Mars comes in the backdrop of China’s decision to launch a joint mission to the planet with Russia in 2009

Mission to Mars


Since the earliest days of science fiction, travel to Mars has captured the imagination. However, to get to Mars and return is not an easy task. Hard as it was for man to go to the Moon, travel to Mars is many orders of magnitude more difficult. Even in 2003, when Mars will be at the closest distance of approach to the Earth, it will still remain over 50 million km away from Earth.

That distance is almost 150 times as far away as the Moon. To go to Mars in a reasonable amount of time will require much higher speeds than to go to the Moon, and that means much more fuel. Then, to return from Mars will also require great amounts of fuel. Although Mars is much smaller than Earth, and has a much smaller gravity, it will still require a very large amount of energy to escape from the Martian surface and return.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Anger Grows at US Jail Population

BBC News


The jail population in the United States is expected to reach 2 million on Tuesday, prompting a wave of protests across America.

An explosion in inmate numbers in recent years means that although the US makes up 5% of the total global population, it now accounts for 25% of the world's prisoners.

About 1.3 million of the current jail population have been imprisoned for non-violent crimes, usually drug offences.

Studies have shown that in cities such as Baltimore and Washington at least half of all young black men are either in prison, on parole or on probation.

Jenny Gainsborough, of the research organisation, Sentencing Project, said she hoped Tuesday's protests would highlight the need for reform to stop the upward spiral in the prison population.

"We just want people to be aware of the huge numbers of people who are being locked up and the contrast between the US and other western industrialised democracies.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

While the West is fighting imaginary ships and aircraft - Iran is building Real Bombs

U.S. warplanes serve to warn Iran

ABOARD THE USS JOHN C. STENNIS - American warplanes screamed off two aircraft carriers Tuesday as the U.S. Navy staged its largest show of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, launching a mammoth exercise meant as a message to the Iranians.

Meanwhile, oil prices shot nearly 8 percent in a matter of minutes in after hours trading Tuesday, topping $68.

F/A-18 fighter jets roared off the Stennis' flight deck all day, mounting a dozen rapid-fire training sorties against imaginary enemy ships and aircraft.

I like the Bush and Blair's plans for fighting the enemy , lets show off our hardware and burn up some millions in oil by playing war games- then we can fight imaginary enemies.

Is anybody else impressed?


I don't know how the games are going to end, but the halftime score is :

  • Iranians 15
  • The West 0

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Iran Gets in on the US and Brits 'War Games'


Iran takes prisioners while the U.S. and the Brits play war games, that should make the games a bit more realistic. I would say Iran 15 - West - 0- lets the games continue.


THE brave Royal Navy woman sailor being held hostage by Iran has a three-year-old daughter.

Leading Seaman Faye Turney, 26, was one of the drivers of the two boats swooped on by Tehran’s Revolutionary Guards on Friday.

Her little daughter Molly and husband Adam were at home last night desperately waiting for news of her plight.

Faye is being held with 14 other Navy hostages, including 21-year-old Paul Barton, snatched by Iranian gunboats from a patrol in the Shaat-al-Arab waterway off Basra, Iraq.
The diplomatic row escalated last night as Iran again refused the UK ambassador any access to them. All the Iranians would say was the British personnel were “fit and well”.

More than 10,000 US personnel, two aircraft carriers and 100 warplanes begin biggest simulated demonstration of force in Gulf since the 2003 invasion




DEBKAfile’s military sources note that the exercise was launched March 27 the day before the Arab League summit opens in Riyadh, to demonstrate the Bush administration’s determination not to let Iran block the Strait of Hormuz to oil exports from the Persian Gulf, or continue its nuclear program.

Taking part are the USS Stennis and USS Eisenhower strike forces.
With Iran’s Revolutionary Guards one week into their marine maneuvers, military tensions in the Gulf region are skyrocketing and boosting world oil prices.

Intelligence sources in Moscow claim to have information that a US strike against Iranian nuclear installations has been scheduled for April 6 at 0040 hours. The Russian sources say the US operation, code-named “Bite,” will last no more than 12 hours and consist of missile and aerial strikes devastating enough to set Tehran’s nuclear program several years back.
The maneuver also occurs four days after 14 British seamen and one crew-woman were seized by an Iranian Revolutionary Guards warship, with no sign that their release is imminent.
London insists its marines were on routine patrol on the Iraqi side of the Shatt al Arb on behalf of the Iraqi government. Tony Blair has threatened “a new phase” in the crisis if the captured personnel are not speedily released.

The warplanes are flying simulated attack maneuvers on enemy shipping with aircraft and ships, hunting enemy submarines and seeking mines, off the coast of Iran.

US Navy Cmdr Kevin Aandahl declined to say when the maneuver was planned or how long it would last. He said US warships would stay out of Iranian territorial waters up to 12 miles from the Iranian coast. Tehran does not recognize this limit and claims a deeper stretch of water.

Our military sources explain the presence of the French naval strike group led by the nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle which joined the two US carriers last Friday: The group will carry out security missions in the Arabian Sea and its warplanes fly in support of NATO in Afghanistan.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Do Mermaids Really Exist ?

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Do Mermaids really exists? In a place in Florida called Weechi Wachi they do!

WEEKI WACHEE – In a quiet little corner of a busy part of the world are mermaids. As if in a fairytale, people come from near and far to watch them swim – they come today as they did nearly 50 years ago
Photos By Mitch Traphagen

Weeki Wachee Springs is located west of Brooksville at 6131 Commercial Way – just off the intersection of U.S. Highway 19 and State Road 50. For more information visit http://mermaid.weekiwachee.com/.

Iraqi Wife Speaks up about Conditions in Iraq


by Iraqi Wife

I came to realise that this place is unhealthy. Very unhealthy for one's mental health. No matter how much you try to hide it, no matter how much you pretend that you're dealing with the situation as well as anyone, there's a point in time where you just crack.

There's nothing that I can do to bring back all the good people that lost their lives. Lost their lives because of Iraq....everyone I ever loved, everyone I ever cherished, everyone who made my childhood memories of this place beautiful, disappeared. Disappeared because of this country. Gone because of Iraq.

So yes this place takes its toll, but you wander, you wander how the Iraqi people endure all the destruction and mayhem yet their only desire in life is to go on living. You wander how these courageous people do it. Although their only goal is to live, you can see that the point of meltdown is nearing.

As for here, the Iraqi government decided to take Saddam's Swords down, the ones in the GZ. Although the action was suddenly stopped, yet it baffled me that they believe by taking monuments down, they will erase history. Oh how little do they know. History can never be erased. History is, was and always will be engraved. If not engraved in the minds, then engraved in the earth. The Iraqi earth...

Robot suits for the Disabled - Elderly



Japanese companies are preparing to lauch a robot suit which helps the disabled or aged to walk. This file photo shows a university student demonstrating a prototype.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Syria Prepares for War

March 9, 2007, 5:26 PM (GMT+02:00) by Debkafile


Quoting three Israeli military and two government sources, the French news agency AFP reports the Syrian army has accelerated its deployment of medium and long-range rockets capable of striking major towns across northern Israel.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Iran Has NO Brake and NO Reverse Gear


Iran has no brake and no reverse gear in its nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday, while a deputy foreign minister vowed Tehran was prepared for any eventuality, "even for war."

"Iran has obtained the technology to produce nuclear fuel and Iran's move is like a train ... which has no brake and no reverse gear," Ahmadinejad said, ISNA news agency reported.

Iran says Washington is in no position to attack when its troops are bogged down in Iraq but says it is ready in case.

This FOX News headline says it all: Iran: We Will Never Give Up Nuke Program, but We Are Ready for Unconditional Talks. Nonetheless, the West will keep trying to negoiate, until it's too late.

Israeli Fathers Find Unique Ways to Remember Their Children Killed by Suicide Bomber


Wherever Yossi Zur travels, he brings back a stone to place on the grave of his teenage son Asaf. Zur, who lives in Israel's northern port city of Haifa, is one of three parents who have found unique ways of keeping alive the memories of their children who were murdered by a suicide bomber.

Asaf, 16, Tal Kehrmann,17, and Yuval Mendellevich, 13, were among 17 people killed on March 5, 2003 when a suicide bomber boarded the bus they were riding and detonated an explosives belt packed with 37.4 pounds (17 kilograms) of explosives. Of the dead, 12 were younger than 21. Another 53 people were wounded in the attack.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

2nd Chemical Attack in Iraq

The second chemical attack in as many days. "Iraq insurgents use 2nd 'dirty' attack," by Brian Murphy for AP:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents exploded a truck carrying chlorine gas canisters Wednesday — the second such "dirty" chemical attack in two days — while a U.S. official said ground fire apparently forced the downing of a Black Hawk helicopter. All nine aboard the aircraft were rescued.

The attacks offer a sweeping narrative on evolving tactics by Sunni insurgents who have proved remarkably adaptable.

Military officials worry extremists may have recently gained more access to firepower such as shoulder-fired anti-aircraft rockets and heavy machine guns — and more expertise to use them. The Black Hawk would be at least the eighth U.S. helicopter to crash or be taken down by hostile fire in the past month.

The gas cloud in Baghdad, meanwhile, suggests possible new and coordinated strategies by bombers trying to unleash toxic — and potentially deadly — materials. "Terrorists are using dirty means," said Brig. Gen. Qassim Moussawi, an Iraqi military spokesman.

Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a U.S. military spokesman, said initial reports indicated the chopper was brought down by "small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades" north of Baghdad, but gave no further details. All nine aboard were taken away on a rescue helicopter, he said.
In Baghdad, a pickup truck carrying chlorine gas cylinders was blown apart, killing at least five people and sending more than 55 to hospitals gasping for breath and rubbing stinging eyes, police said.

On Tuesday, a bomb planted on a chlorine tanker left more than 150 villagers stricken north of the capital. More than 60 were still under medical care on Wednesday. Chlorine causes respiratory trouble and skin irritation in low levels and possible death with heavy exposure.
In Washington, two Pentagon officials said the tactic has been used at least three times since Jan. 28, when a truck carrying explosives and a chlorine tank blew up in Anbar province. More than a dozen people were reported killed.

A third Pentagon official said the United States has been concerned about Iraqi militants' ability to get weapons like chlorine bombs and use them effectively. But the official cautioned that chlorine bombs are just one threat on a long list of possible attacks that Iraqi fighters may try to carry out.

It was unclear whether the confluence of new insurgent tactics — attacking isolated combat posts, targeting helicopters more intensely and using chlorine bombs — was coincidental or in response to the U.S. troop increase.

W. Patrick Lang, a former official at the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the insurgents are always "seeking to achieve higher levels of effectiveness" and these new tactics are part of the normal "evolution of sophistication."

Lang said trucks filled with chlorine gas are "really quite deadly" because the gas is potent and spreads easily.

Some authorities believe militants could be trying to maximize the panic from their attacks by adding chlorine or other noxious substances.

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Daily Telegraph: Israel is negotiating for US permission to fly over Iraq for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israeli Dep. Defense minister Mo

February 24, 2007, Debka
The British paper’s Tel Aviv correspondent Con Coughlin quoted a senior Israeli defense official as saying that negotiations are underway for the US-led coalition in Iraq to provide an air corridor in the event of the Israeli government deciding on unilateral military action to prevent Tehran developing nuclear weapons.

"Small Torn Campbell's Soup Can (Pepper Pot)," by Andy Warhol Sells for $11,776.000.



May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire collector Eli Broad paid $11.8 million last night for Andy Warhol's small painting of a can of Campbell's pepper pot soup, snagging the top lot in a $143.2 million auction of postwar and contemporary art at Christie's International in New York.
The price of the 1962 canvas fell short .

This is for you Andy wherever you are............



Thursday, February 22, 2007

Chaos in the Gulf: Kuwait preparing for war

As I have been pointing out for almost a year, everybody is getting ready for war in the Gulf. Latest sign: Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al Watan believes that Kuwait and NATO will sign a bilateral agreement in March. This agreement will include only Kuwait and will not concern the other monarchies in the Gulf. It will basically allow NATO to use Kuwait as “a point of safe passage made for the armies of the Alliance”. In December 2006, the two parties had already signed an agreement on intelligence sharing. Kuwait thus reinforces the Western umbrella which should protect it in the event of a regional conflict involving Iran. By Olivier Guitta

Lebanese Forces Fire On Israeli Planes

The BBC is also reporting that Israeli jets were fired on in southern Lebanon today.Ya Libnan has this breaking news from southern Lebanon:

Beirut- Lebanese anti-aircraft guns fired at Israeli warplanes over southern Lebanon on Wednesday, a military spokesman said, indicating that Lebanon's army is taking a new assertiveness toward Israel.The Israeli planes had "violated Lebanese sovereignty, posing a challenge to U.N. Resolution 1701," the spokesman said, referring to the Security Council resolution that ended Israel's 34-day war with Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon last August.The official spoke on condition of anonymity as is customary for the Lebanese military in the absence of a formal statement.Naharnet also is reporting this version of the story.Reuters has more on the story saying it was an unmanned plane:

Israeli warplanes flew at a low altitude over large areas of southern Lebanon on Wednesday, witnesses said, and the Lebanese army said it had fired on an unmanned Israeli spy plane.The Lebanese army said it fired at 10.40 a.m. (0840 GMT) on an Israeli reconnaissance plane which had flown near the southern city of Tyre. Israeli warplanes had also flown in the area, it said in a statement, giving no further details.A spokesman for the U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon confirmed the army had opened fire from a mobile anti-aircraft gun.Israeli warplanes regularly fly over south Lebanon but witnesses said Wednesday's flights, seen from the Bekaa Valley and the southern city of Sidon, were unusually frequent and at a lower altitude than normal.Voice of America says this was the first time that the Lebanese fired on Israeli planes since last year's war between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas.

No sign of Iran backing down on banned uranium enrichment in face of negative nuclear watchdog report and US Navy buildup

DEBKAfile:
Top US Navy commander in the Middle East vice Adm. Patrick Walsh told newsmen Monday that Iran had brought its war games over the past year into the busy shipping lanes in the Straits of Hormuz, through which two-fifths of the world’s oil supplies pass. The moves alarmed US officials about possible accidental confrontations that could boil over into war.

During maneuvers, Iranian sailors have loaded mines onto small mine-laying boats and test-fired a Shahab-3 missile into international waters very close to the straits, said the US vice admiral.

Iran Nuclear Report Due


by Al Jazeera

A report from the UN's nuclear watchdog is expected to confirm Iran has stepped-up rather than halted its uranium enrichment programme.

Iran's president has said he will stop enrichment if the US stops too.
The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, due for release on Thursday, could expose Iran to wider sanctions over fears it is using its nuclear fuel programme as a cover for building nuclear weapons.


With the US expected to move a second carrier group into the Gulf region shortly, Larijani warned that no attempt should be made to resolve the issue through "force and pressure" saying Tehran would respond to any attacks.


Replying to a question about US pressure on Iran to give up enrichment, Larijani said: "If they ... move into the boxing ring, they would have problems. But if they sit at the chess table, then both sides would come to a result." Ali Larijani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Let Freedom Ring

Anti_UAC_protesters_feb1_raid_lrg.jpg

U.S. Official: Multiple groups of jihadists training in Pakistan for attacks in West

This report corroborates the account in a Newsweek article last December of a twelve-man team training in Pakistan to stage attacks in Western countries. Apparently, there is more than one such team. "Qaeda camps in Pakistan to train operatives: US official," by Jim Mannion for AFP:

The carrier USS John C. Stennis arrives in the region Monday at the same time as Iranian war games

February 20, 2007, 10:46 PM Debka file
Backed by a strike group with more than 6,500 sailors and marines as well as additional minesweeping ships, the Stennis joins the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in line with President Bush’s orders for the build-up as a show of strength to Iran.
Top US Navy commander in the Middle East Vice Adm. Patrick Walsh said Iran had brought its war games over the past year into the busy shipping lanes in the Straits of Hormuz, through which two-fifths of the world’s oil supplies pass. The moves have alarmed US officials about possible accidental confrontations that could boil over into war. During maneuvers, Iranian sailors have loaded mines onto small mine-laying boats and test-fired a Shahab-3 missile into international waters, said the US vice admiral, very close to the straits,

IDF worried Hamas may have advanced missiles

By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent

There are grave concerns among the defense establishment about the possibility that Hamas' military wing in the Gaza Strip is now in possession of Sagger anti-tank missiles.

The Palestinians did take note of the fact that following the attack against the APC in the Philadelphi Route in 2004 and the destruction of another APC (with a six-man crew) the day before using an explosive device, the IDF seriously limited its offensive operations in the Gaza Strip.

Read more here >>

Big Brother Is Watching You

By: Nicole Belle @ 6:22 PM - PST
Texas Kaos:
Last month I wrote about a story I've been following: the case of domestic spying on major American data carriers. At the time, using information available online as well as several news sources, I put forth some speculation.

First, that innocent Americans' data is being swept up and stored thanks to the use of the "full pipe" data gathering technique. Second, that the government's Total Information Awareness Program - which was "killed" but never defunded - was being used to build domestic spying facilities around the country.

I caught PBS's NOW program last Friday by chance, and I'm glad I did. They have resources not available to this lowly blogger. What PBS discovered will chill your bones. Yes, data on innocent Americans is being intercepted and stored. Additionally, more whistleblowers have come forward to establish the existence of another secret spy room on AT&T's network, built post 9-11.

The key findings in PBS's report:

  • The government is intercepting most emails sent domestically.
  • AT&T is collecting most emails and sharing them with the government, specifically the NSA (this is backed up by Klein's documents).
  • The NSA spy room at AT&T's San Francisco facility is only accessible to the NSA and AT&T employees cleared by the NSA.
  • The NSA's interest seems to be in MAE WEST, *the* major hub of American and international internet traffic on the West Coast.
  • The device installed in San Francisco is capable of intercepting 10 GIGBYTES of data per second. In layman's terms, that means it could go through all the information in all the books in the Library of Congress in 15 minutes.
    Read on…

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

An Affair of the Head - Love is a Drug ?


By Neely Tucker Washington Post Staff Writer
They say that love is actually all about brain chemistry. In that case, will you be dopamine? Better known by its street name, romantic love. Also, norepinephrine. Street name, infatuation.

"Love is a drug," says Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and author of "Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love." "The ventral tegmental area is a clump of cells that make dopamine, a natural stimulant, and sends it out to many brain regions" when one is in love. "It's the same region affected when you feel the rush of cocaine."

Passion! Sex! Narcotics!

Why do we suspect this isn't going to end well?

Because these things are hard-wired not to last, all of them. Short shelf lives. The passion you fulfill is the passion you kill. The most wonderful, soaring feeling known to all mankind . . . amounts to no more than a narcotic high, a temporal state of mania.

"Being in love, having a crush on someone is wonderful . . . but our bodies can't be in that state all the time," says Pamela C. Regan, a professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, and author of "Mind Games: A Primer on Love, Sex and Marriage." "Your body would fizzle out. As a species, we'd die."

With St.Valentines Day coming up this article made me laugh, and I think it's appropriate to know how some people in the scientific community have it all figured out.

Cavalry Scout Putting Pork on Bullets



Vacation Iraq

Anti-ism

From editor of Die Zeit, Josef Joffe writes in The American Interest magazine:
"It is impossible to make a Norwegian say that Americans are intelligent", notes a Norwegian author of a book on anti-Americanism. Asked whether it didn't mean "anything that 70 percent of the Nobel Prize winners in history have been Americans", he responds: "No, it does not help. Even if all Americans were professors, we would call them stupid." Why? "Because by speaking negatively about them, we elevate ourselves. It confirms that we are the opposite. We Europeans have refinement, culture, and intellectual life. To think this way raises our image of ourselves." NoPasaran

Washington D.C. imam glorifies Khomeini, justifies suicide bombing, preaches Islamic supremacism

read it all here >>

Jihad Syndrome : Teen Shot Mall Victims at Random


By JENNIFER DOBNER SALT LAKE CITY Feb 13, 2007 (AP)—

A trench coat-clad teenager who opened fire on shoppers at a mall had one thing in mind: "to kill a large number of people," and he likely would have killed more than five had an off-duty officer not confronted him, the police chief said Tuesday.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Barack Obama making bid for White House official


by Foehammer's Anvil
In about an hour from now, Barack Obama will announce his bid for President. I can’t say I’m surprised about it. It could be a way of preening him for the 2012 or 2016 bids, and is very likely his first step towards a 2008 Vice Presidential ticket along with a more viable Democratic hopeful like Hilary. The truth remains to be seen.

If you want to put a former (with a question mark) Muslim in the White House, then this is your chance. You should know already what I think about that proposition.

The best man for the job in the race so far is easily Rudy Giuliani, and as much as Barack would like to emulate Abraham Lincoln by announcing his candidacy in Springfield, Illinois today, that’s not going to sweep the skeletons out of his closet. Each candidate is going to get grilled in the campaign over frivolous personal issues, but when it comes to Barack’s past, I wouldn’t call any of the following things frivolous: drug use, Muslim schooling in Indonesia and using race as a ticket to the White House are three strikes against him in my book.

Related Posts:

The reason why the document had Obama listed as a Muslim
Is Barack Obama Ideologically Muslim?
Tancredo forms Presidential exploratory committee
Giuliani makes it official
A Real Move to Protect the Border? Time Will Tell

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Image Problem


Of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro


While a surfing a friend's' site , I found this picture of young Fidel Castro and Che Guevara and a fascinating story that went with it. I want to share this story with you.
It's called 'Armored Train'.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Don't Try this on an Airplane !

If you are sitting next to someone who irritates you on a plane, train or just about anywhere...follow these instructions: (and maybe say goodbye!).

1- Quietly and calmly open up your laptop case.
2- Remove your laptop.
3- Start up.
4- Make sure the person who is annoying you, can see the screen.
5- Close your eyes and tilt your head up to the sky.6- Then hit this link:

Say Good Bye

thanks to Lori for the link, you never know who you going to sit next to, that going to ogle your stuff, and you might have to teach them a lesson.. he,he

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Chirac not worried about a nuclear armed Iran


Last week, French president Jacques Chirac said he was not concerned about the danger of Iran having “...one or perhaps a second bomb…”

the French president’s purported “gaffe” was in fact a backhanded admission of a proposition official quarters in Europe and some in the United States are quietly beginning to accept, that a nuclear-armed Iran is inevitable.

DEBKAfile

Hizballah plants four large shaped bombs on Israeli-Lebanese border Monday, Feb. 5

prime minister Ehud Olmert that the war had succeeded in pushing back Hizballah positions from the south Lebanese border region.

Yeah Right
....

More.....

Monday, February 05, 2007

Security Crackdown In Capital Takes Shape As Attacks Kill Dozens

picture by KavkazCenter

By Joshua PartlowWashington Post Foreign Service

BAGHDAD, Feb. 5 -- Bombs and mortar shells killed more than 37 people in Baghdad on Monday, as U.S. officials said that the command structure for the new security crackdown in the capital was ready.
In the deadliest attack, a small truck rigged with explosives was detonated near a gas station in the Bayya neighborhood, killing 15 people and wounding 58, according to Col. Fakher Hussein of the Interior Ministry. A car bomb that exploded in an industrial area of central Baghdad took the lives of 13 people, he said.

The U.S. and Iraqi militaries have for months been preparing a massive security initiative aimed at quelling the daily killing in the capital.
Informed sources said about 8,000 US soldiers were expected to transfer into Baghdad or
nearby regions, joining about 15,000 US soldiers already in the capital and its suburbs.

"Maybe it'll work. Maybe it won't. It's gonna be much more than this city has ever seen and it's gonna be a rolling surge," Hechman said.

Iraqis have said they will take the lead in the operation, but US officers say they would retain oversight, at least initially.

American and Iraqi commanders are pulling together a force of about 90,000 troops, for what many see as a last-chance drive to curb the sectarian violence that has turned the city of six million people into a battlefield.


Will Arming Abbas’ Military Forces Backfire On Bush?


By: David Bedein , The Bulletin of Philladelphia

The day after the armed forces of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shared credit for the bombing of a bakery in the Israeli port city of Eilat, which claimed the lives of three young Israelis, President Bush announced an aid package to Abbas’ armed forces.

Following that Bush announcement, Israel’s leading news internet magazine, a Hebrew news blog located at http://nfc.co.il, ran an unusual newsworthy headline: “Terror Attacks with U.S. funding.”

The Unites States armed Iraq under Hussain, and Iran before, so why not the Palestinians, the US does not like to discriminate by religion or skin color !

continue readingthis article >>

It seems that Iran is in the drivers seat:

Iran’s government said on Monday it would not negotiate over its right to enrich uranium, the nuclear-fuel making process which six world powers have demanded Tehran stop to benefit from a package of incentives.
“Iran’s view on the nuclear fuel cycle has been announced … we have obtained this technology, it is our obvious right and we do not negotiate over our obvious nuclear rights,” Government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham said.

post by John Little

I don't know but I don't think this story is going to have a happy ending !

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Iraqis Break Old Record Kill 130 Huge Bomb : Where is The Outrage!

A huge truck bomb kills 130 people, wounds 305, in a single attack on outdoor market in central Baghdad Saturday
The suicide bomber, driving a truck full of food, detonated explosives in the crowded outdoor market in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood, destroying many stores and stalls.
Friday, a US Apache helicopter was shot down, killing the two soldiers on board, near Taji air base north of Baghdad Friday. Al Qaeda claimed the attack. more.....

as Neurotic Iraqi Wife says Alla Uno, Alla Due, Alla Thres........

do I hear 200

Why Are the United Nations Standing by, Why are not the Arab nations sending troops to Stop the slaughter Where is the OUTRAGE!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

U.S.-Iran Tensions Could Trigger War

By JIM KRANE ASSOCIATED PRESS BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -

Citing Iranian involvement with Iraqi militias and Tehran's nuclear ambitions, the Bush administration has shifted to offense in its confrontation with Iran - building up the U.S. military in the Persian Gulf and promising more aggressive moves against Iranian operatives in Iraq and Lebanon.

The behind-the-scenes struggle between the two nations could explode into open warfare over a single misstep, analysts and U.S. military officials warn.

Iraq has become a proxy battleground between Washington and Tehran, which is challenging - at least rhetorically - America's dominance of the Gulf.

Sec'y Rice calls Hamas "a resistance movement"


New York -- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has asked the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, for a retraction and apology to the victims of Hamas terrorism for describing the Islamist terrorist group, Hamas, as a "resistance movement" when speaking to reporters in Europe (State Department, January 18, 2007). Hamas' Charter calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 15) and the murder of Jews (Article 7) and quotes the anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as justification for its war on Jews (Article 32). It is listed on the State Department list of terrorist organizations. Since the start of the Palestinian Arab terrorist wave in September 2000, Hamas has murdered nearly 500 Israelis and maimed thousands more in scores of suicide bombings and hundreds of other terrorist attacks targeting civilians. Since winning Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006, Hamas has explicitly refused to recognize Israel, accept its legitimacy as a Jewish state, or foreswear and denounce terrorism. by Jihad Watch