Julian Assange pleads with his followers to "make this ridiculous time I spend on this nonsense worthwhile."
by Michael Moore
Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that I have put up $20,000 of my own money to help bail Mr. Assange out of jail.
Furthermore, I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues its work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars.
We were taken to war in Iraq on a lie. Hundreds of thousands are now dead. Just imagine if the men who planned this war crime back in 2002 had had a WikiLeaks to deal with. They might not have been able to pull it off. The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy. That guarantee has now been ripped from them, and I hope they are never able to operate in secret again.
So why is WikiLeaks, after performing such an important public service, under such vicious attack? Because they have outed and embarrassed those who have covered up the truth. The assault on them has been over the top:
**Sen. Joe Lieberman says WikiLeaks "has violated the Espionage Act."
**The New Yorker's George Packer calls Assange "super-secretive, thin-skinned, [and] megalomaniacal."
**Sarah Palin claims he's "an anti-American operative with blood on his hands" whom we should pursue "with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders."
**Democrat Bob Beckel (Walter Mondale's 1984 campaign manager) said about Assange on Fox: "A dead man can't leak stuff ... there's only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch."
**Republican Mary Matalin says "he's a psychopath, a sociopath ... He's a terrorist."
**Rep. Peter A. King calls WikiLeaks a "terrorist organization."
And indeed they are! They exist to terrorize the liars and warmongers who have brought ruin to our nation and to others. Perhaps the next war won't be so easy because the tables have been turned -- and now it's Big Brother who's being watched ... by us!
WikiLeaks deserves our thanks for shining a huge spotlight on all this. But some in the corporate-owned press have dismissed the importance of WikiLeaks ("they've released little that's new!") or have painted them as simple anarchists ("WikiLeaks just releases everything without any editorial control!"). WikiLeaks exists, in part, because the mainstream media has failed to live up to its responsibility. The corporate owners have decimated newsrooms, making it impossible for good journalists to do their job. There's no time or money anymore for investigative journalism. Simply put, investors don't want those stories exposed. They like their secrets kept ... as secrets.
I ask you to imagine how much different our world would be if WikiLeaks had existed 10 years ago. Take a look at this photo. That's Mr. Bush about to be handed a "secret" document on August 6th, 2001. Its heading read: "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US." And on those pages it said the FBI had discovered "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings." Mr. Bush decided to ignore it and went fishing for the next four weeks.
But if that document had been leaked, how would you or I have reacted? What would Congress or the FAA have done? Was there not a greater chance that someone, somewhere would have done something if all of us knew about bin Laden's impending attack using hijacked planes?
But back then only a few people had access to that document. Because the secret was kept, a flight school instructor in San Diego who noticed that two Saudi students took no interest in takeoffs or landings, did nothing. Had he read about the bin Laden threat in the paper, might he have called the FBI? (Please read this essay by former FBI Agent Coleen Rowley, Time's 2002 co-Person of the Year, about her belief that had WikiLeaks been around in 2001, 9/11 might have been prevented.)
Or what if the public in 2003 had been able to read "secret" memos from Dick Cheney as he pressured the CIA to give him the "facts" he wanted in order to build his false case for war? If a WikiLeaks had revealed at that time that there were, in fact, no weapons of mass destruction, do you think that the war would have been launched -- or rather, wouldn't there have been calls for Cheney's arrest?
Openness, transparency -- these are among the few weapons the citizenry has to protect itself from the powerful and the corrupt. What if within days of August 4th, 1964 -- after the Pentagon had made up the lie that our ship was attacked by the North Vietnamese in the Gulf of Tonkin -- there had been a WikiLeaks to tell the American people that the whole thing was made up? I guess 58,000 of our soldiers (and 2 million Vietnamese) might be alive today.
Instead, secrets killed them.
For those of you who think it's wrong to support Julian Assange because of the sexual assault allegations he's being held for, all I ask is that you not be naive about how the government works when it decides to go after its prey. Please -- never, ever believe the "official story." And regardless of Assange's guilt or innocence (see the strange nature of the allegations here), this man has the right to have bail posted and to defend himself. I have joined with filmmakers Ken Loach and John Pilger and writer Jemima Khan in putting up the bail money -- and we hope the judge will accept this and grant his release today.
Might WikiLeaks cause some unintended harm to diplomatic negotiations and U.S. interests around the world? Perhaps. But that's the price you pay when you and your government take us into a war based on a lie. Your punishment for misbehaving is that someone has to turn on all the lights in the room so that we can see what you're up to. You simply can't be trusted. So every cable, every email you write is now fair game. Sorry, but you brought this upon yourself. No one can hide from the truth now. No one can plot the next Big Lie if they know that they might be exposed.
And that is the best thing that WikiLeaks has done. WikiLeaks, God bless them, will save lives as a result of their actions. And any of you who join me in supporting them are committing a true act of patriotism. Period.
I stand today in absentia with Julian Assange in London and I ask the judge to grant him his release. I am willing to guarantee his return to court with the bail money I have wired to said court. I will not allow this injustice to continue unchallenged.
by Julian Assange
IN 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide's The News, wrote: "In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win."
His observation perhaps reflected his father Keith Murdoch's expose that Australian troops were being needlessly sacrificed by incompetent British commanders on the shores of Gallipoli. The British tried to shut him up but Keith Murdoch would not be silenced and his efforts led to the termination of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.
Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.
I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly. They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.
These things have stayed with me. WikiLeaks was created around these core values. The idea, conceived in Australia, was to use internet technologies in new ways to report the truth.
WikiLeaks coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism. We work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true. Scientific journalism allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: Is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?
Democratic societies need a strong media and WikiLeaks is part of that media. The media helps keep government honest. WikiLeaks has revealed some hard truths about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and broken stories about corporate corruption.
People have said I am anti-war: for the record, I am not. Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars. But there is nothing more wrong than a government lying to its people about those wars, then asking these same citizens to put their lives and their taxes on the line for those lies. If a war is justified, then tell the truth and the people will decide whether to support it.
If you have read any of the Afghan or Iraq war logs, any of the US embassy cables or any of the stories about the things WikiLeaks has reported, consider how important it is for all media to be able to report these things freely.
WikiLeaks is not the only publisher of the US embassy cables. Other media outlets, including Britain's The Guardian, The New York Times, El Pais in Spain and Der Spiegel in Germany have published the same redacted cables.
Yet it is WikiLeaks, as the co-ordinator of these other groups, that has copped the most vicious attacks and accusations from the US government and its acolytes. I have been accused of treason, even though I am an Australian, not a US, citizen. There have been dozens of serious calls in the US for me to be "taken out" by US special forces. Sarah Palin says I should be "hunted down like Osama bin Laden", a Republican bill sits before the US Senate seeking to have me declared a "transnational threat" and disposed of accordingly. An adviser to the Canadian Prime Minister's office has called on national television for me to be assassinated. An American blogger has called for my 20-year-old son, here in Australia, to be kidnapped and harmed for no other reason than to get at me.
And Australians should observe with no pride the disgraceful pandering to these sentiments by Julia Gillard and her government. The powers of the Australian government appear to be fully at the disposal of the US as to whether to cancel my Australian passport, or to spy on or harass WikiLeaks supporters. The Australian Attorney-General is doing everything he can to help a US investigation clearly directed at framing Australian citizens and shipping them to the US.
Prime Minister Gillard and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have not had a word of criticism for the other media organisations. That is because The Guardian, The New York Times and Der Spiegel are old and large, while WikiLeaks is as yet young and small.
We are the underdogs. The Gillard government is trying to shoot the messenger because it doesn't want the truth revealed, including information about its own diplomatic and political dealings.
Has there been any response from the Australian government to the numerous public threats of violence against me and other WikiLeaks personnel? One might have thought an Australian prime minister would be defending her citizens against such things, but there have only been wholly unsubstantiated claims of illegality. The Prime Minister and especially the Attorney-General are meant to carry out their duties with dignity and above the fray. Rest assured, these two mean to save their own skins. They will not.
Every time WikiLeaks publishes the truth about abuses committed by US agencies, Australian politicians chant a provably false chorus with the State Department: "You'll risk lives! National security! You'll endanger troops!" Then they say there is nothing of importance in what WikiLeaks publishes. It can't be both. Which is it?
It is neither. WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time we have changed whole governments, but not a single person, as far as anyone is aware, has been harmed. But the US, with Australian government connivance, has killed thousands in the past few months alone.
US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates admitted in a letter to the US congress that no sensitive intelligence sources or methods had been compromised by the Afghan war logs disclosure. The Pentagon stated there was no evidence the WikiLeaks reports had led to anyone being harmed in Afghanistan. NATO in Kabul told CNN it couldn't find a single person who needed protecting. The Australian Department of Defence said the same. No Australian troops or sources have been hurt by anything we have published.
But our publications have been far from unimportant. The US diplomatic cables reveal some startling facts:
► The US asked its diplomats to steal personal human material and information from UN officials and human rights groups, including DNA, fingerprints, iris scans, credit card numbers, internet passwords and ID photos, in violation of international treaties. Presumably Australian UN diplomats may be targeted, too.
► King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia asked the US to attack Iran.
► Officials in Jordan and Bahrain want Iran's nuclear program stopped by any means available.
► Britain's Iraq inquiry was fixed to protect "US interests".
► Sweden is a covert member of NATO and US intelligence sharing is kept from parliament.
► The US is playing hardball to get other countries to take freed detainees from Guantanamo Bay. Barack Obama agreed to meet the Slovenian President only if Slovenia took a prisoner. Our Pacific neighbour Kiribati was offered millions of dollars to accept detainees.
In its landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case, the US Supreme Court said "only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government". The swirling storm around WikiLeaks today reinforces the need to defend the right of all media to reveal the truth.
Julian Assange is the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks.
There are about 350 full-body scanners being used in close to 70 U.S. airports, and that number is expected to increase to 1,000 scanners by the end of 2011.
Dubbed "naked" scanners because they give a graphic image of your body, including genitalia and other personal effects like sanitary napkins, the devices are raising privacy and health concerns among frequent travelers and pilots groups alike.
The alternative is also causing outrage. Those who opt out of being scanned must now submit to a far more intrusive form of pat-down, and a large number of horror stories have already surfaced, where people of all ages have been humiliated, or worse, during these 'enhanced' pat-downs.
Increasing numbers of people are expressing their outrage over being submitted to full-body scanning. Already the U.S. Travel Association has received hundreds of e-mails and phone calls from angry travelers who say they will stop flying until the scanners are no longer in force.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has also sought a court order to stop the use of the scanners, citing privacy and health risks and calling for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to conduct a public rule-making to assess the safety and security issues.
Marc Rotenberg, president of EPIC, wrote on CNN.com:
"The courts give the government a great deal of latitude in airports, but it is not unbounded, and the current screening procedures -- the digital X-ray cameras called "body scanners" and the genital-groping searches called "pat-downs" -- have never been reviewed by a court.
Is a court really prepared to say that in the absence of suspicion, these search procedures -- which the law would otherwise treat as sexual battery -- are "reasonable"?
… No other country in the world subjects its air travelers to the combination of screening procedures that Americans are being asked to endure."
Pilots' unions for US Airways and American Airlines have also urged their pilots not to submit to Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) screening due to potential health risks and privacy issues.
Grassroots efforts are also underway, with one online group at the Web site WeWontFly.com likening the scanners to a strip search.
"We are opposed to the full-body backscatter X-ray airport scanners on grounds of health and privacy. We do not consent to strip searches, virtual or otherwise. We do not wish to be guinea pigs for new, and possibly dangerous, technology. We are not criminals. We are your customers. We will not beg the government anymore. We will simply stop flying until the porno-scanners are history."
There are also concerns that the images from the scanners could be saved, an assertion the TSA denies. However, reports have already surfaced of workers saving such images and using them to humiliate colleagues.
You can opt out of the full-body scans at this time, but doing so means you will be subjected to an "enhanced physical pat-down" during which TSA agents use open hands and fingers to search your body physically, including your breasts and genital area. Previously, agents would use only the backs of their hands during pat-downs.
Some of the horror stories now emerging are causing a fury, and rightfully so.
Is there no limit to how far TSA agents can go when frisking passengers?
Take the case of a female flight attendant who was forced to pull out her prosthetic breast, for example. Several other women have reported feeling shocked by what they call "sexual violations," including having their labia groped without warning. TSA agents have even been accused of treating young children in such a way that they'd be brought up on child molestation charges had it not occurred in an airport.
The following video contains several examples of such outrageous cases.
There are stories of all sorts of inhumane treatment, such as the one from Tom Sawyer, a bladder cancer survivor whose urostomy bag was ruptured by an unconcerned TSA agent, leaving him covered in his own urine. In an interview with MSNBC.com, Sawyer said:
"I am a good American and I want safety for all passengers as much as the next person. But if this country is going to sacrifice treating people like human beings in the name of safety, then we have already lost the war."
According to Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, these 'enhanced' tactics are purposely designed and intended to be intimidating and humiliating, in order to stop you from opting out of the scanner!
Making matters even worse, not to mention bizarre, once you're at the security check, there's no turning back; you have no choice but to submit to either, or both, of the new and enhanced security techniques, according to the TSA.
"The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is warning that any would-be commercial airline passenger who enters an airport checkpoint and then refuses to undergo the method of inspection designated by TSA will not be allowed to fly and also will not be permitted to simply leave the airport," the Sun Sentinel reports.
"That person will have to remain on the premises to be questioned by the TSA and possibly by local law enforcement. Anyone refusing faces fines up to $11,000 and possible arrest."
It's a little-known fact that airports are not required to use TSA screenings at all. They can opt-out of such programs altogether – including the body scanners and "enhanced pat-downs" -- and hire private screening agencies instead.
As Byron York, chief political correspondent with the Washington Examiner, recently wrote:
"… With the TSA engulfed in controversy and hated by millions of weary and sometimes humiliated travelers, Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice.
Mica, one of the authors of the original TSA bill, has recently written to the heads of more than 150 airports nationwide suggesting they opt out of TSA screening.
"When the TSA was established, it was never envisioned that it would become a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy which was soon to grow to 67,000 employees," Mica writes. "As TSA has grown larger, more impersonal, and administratively top-heavy, I believe it is important that airports across the country consider utilizing the opt-out provision provided by law.""
Many airports choose not to hire private screeners out of liability concerns if a terrorist managed to get through, and there's no way to know right now whether such changes would make airport screening any safer or less intrusive. Still, it's an option that many do not realize exist.
Some airports in Florida may ditch TSA. According to Larry Dale, president of the Sanford Airport Authority in Orlando, says the change to a private screening company was approved on Oct. 5, CNN reports.
However, security contractors must still follow TSA security guidelines. According to TSA spokesman Greg Soule:
"All commercial airports are regulated by TSA whether the actual screening is performed by the TSA officers or private companies. The TSA sets the security standards that must be followed and includes the use of enhanced pat downs and imaging technology, if installed at the airport."
Private contractors may, however, be more careful about the professionalism and courtesy of their employees, compared to TSA. According to Larry Dale, "research shows that using a private security screening company would be more efficient and more enjoyable to the public."
The other glaring issue posed by the TSA scanners has to do with your health and their use of controversial backscatter technology, which projects an X-ray beam onto your body.
As WeWontFly.com stated:
"Backscatter X-ray uses ionizing radiation, a known cumulative health hazard, to produce images of passengers' bodies. Children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with defective DNA repair mechanisms are considered to be especially susceptible to the type of DNA damage caused by ionizing radiation. Also at high risk are those who have had, or currently have, skin cancer.
Ionizing radiation's effects are cumulative, meaning that each time you are exposed you are adding to your risk of developing cancer. Since the dosage of radiation from the backscatter X-ray machines is absorbed almost entirely by the skin and tissue directly under the skin, averaging the dose over the whole body gives an inaccurate picture of the actual harm."
Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) sent a letter to the White House Office of Science and Technology echoing the concern that radiation from the scanners could damage skin and underlying tissue, potentially leading to skin cancer.
The White House Office responded that the technology had been tested extensively for safety, but the scientists noted numerous flaws in the response and are currently preparing a rebuttal.
Because the radiation beam from the scanners concentrates on your skin, researchers believe the dose may be up to 20 times higher than is being estimated.
As Mail Online reported, Dr. David Brenner, head of Columbia University's center for radiological research, also noted that about one in 20 people, including children and people with gene mutations, may be at increased risk as they are less able to repair the DNA damage caused by the x-ray scan.
Even the U.S. Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) recognized the potential risks, especially from frequent exposure. As CNN reported, Capt. Mike Cleary, president of the USAPA wrote:
"Based on currently available medical information, USAPA has determined that frequent exposure to TSA-operated scanner devices may subject pilots to significant health risks."
Some of the TSA's full-body scanners subject your body to small doses of ionizing radiation.
Ionizing radiation creates charged ions by displacing electrons in atoms, even without heat. Examples are radiation emitted from radioactive substances in rocks and soil, cosmic rays of the sun, and radiation from man-made technology such as x-ray machines, power stations, and nuclear reactors.
A host of epidemiological studies have strongly suggested that x-rays and other ionizing radiation are a cause of most types of human cancer. X-rays may even be responsible for most of the deaths from cancer and ischemic heart disease, according to John Gofman, MD, PhD, a professor at U. C. Berkeley and one of the leading experts in the world.
Ionizing radiation is a uniquely potent mutagen due to its ability to wreak havoc upon your cells and their genetic code.
Your cells are unable to repair the very complex genetic damage done by x-rays. Some of the mutated cells die, but others do not, and the cells that go on living have a proliferative advantage -- giving rise to the most aggressive cancers.
Unlike some other mutagens, x-rays have access to the genetic molecules of every one of your internal organs, if the organ is within range of the x-ray beam. Even a single high-speed, high-energy electron, set into motion by an x-ray photon, can bounce around and cause you irreparable damage.
That is why there is no safe dose of x-rays.
Further, the effects of radiation are cumulative, which means that every time you walk through an airport scanner, you're adding to your dose. If you fly frequently or you're exposed to other forms of radiation through CT scans, mammograms and other medical procedures, you could easily be on radiation overload.
It is important to place this radiation exposure risk in its proper perspective.
Let's look at the reported numbers.
Screening at an airport x-ray scanner produces .02 microsieverts of radiation. But REMEMBER you are only getting them because you are going on a flight. Nearly everyone forgets that when you fly there is also ionizing radiation exposure. In fact on a typical transcontinental flight at 30,000 feet you will be exposed to 20 microsieverts of radiation.
That is one THOUSAND times the dose you receive from the scanner.
So if you are willing to accept the risk of air travel radiation how could you possibly justify concern about these scanners?
However, having said that this past year I became aware that the way to reduce your air travel radiation by 99 percent is to fly at night. Just as it is impossible to get a suntan at night, you will avoid virtually all of the radiation when you fly at night.
That is why I nearly fly exclusively at night now, or as far away from noon as practically possible.
I also take 2 mg of astaxanthin every day, which is believed to radically limit damage from ionizing radiation.
But please understand the main point of this article: the REAL health danger is from CT scans, which is FIFTY THOUSAND times the radiation dose of one of these scans. You would have to have one scan every day for 136 years to equal the radiation of one CT scan.
The issue of whether or not the alternative – being groped and potentially humiliated during an 'enhanced' pat-down – is warranted, or even legal, is another issue altogether…
Please understand that this calculation and risk proposal is based on the reported radiation levels. If we are being lied to then all bets are off and we need to reanalyze, but if the numbers are accurate you would have to have to have 100 scans to equal the radiation exposure of one daytime flight.
That said, "the radiation dose is likely the least of the problems with airport screening," according to Dr. Jane M. Orient, M.D. In her article for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), she details what the medical community considers to be the REAL health hazard of full-body scanners, namely the use of low-energy backscatter technology.
Dr. Orient explains:
"They use an ingenious low-energy backscatter technique, which is apparently wonderful for identifying explosives in cargo. Since the radiation doesn't penetrate far, it wouldn't affect an unborn baby. But it does concentrate the dose in the skin.
Some scientists warn that this effect has not been properly studied, and one nuclear medicine expert told me that he is going to opt out of the scan. I think this much is clear: if you had a deadly disease, and the scanner were an FDA-regulated device that might save your life, your doctor wouldn't be allowed to use it, because of inadequate study."
Likewise, two scientists who recently spoke with CNN point out the potential for backscatter technology to cause fatal skin cancer. CNN reports:
"The risk of harmful radiation exposure from backscatter scans is very small, according to David Brenner, director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University and a professor of radiation biophysics.
But he said he is concerned about how widely the scanners will be used.
"If you think of the entire population of, shall we say a billion people per year going through these scanners, it's very likely that some number of those will develop cancer from the radiation from these scanners," Brenner said.
Skin cancer would likely be the primary concern, he said. Each time the same person receives a backscatter scan, the small risk associated with the low dose of radiation is multiplied by the number of exposures.
... The TSA says each backscatter scan emits radiation equivalent to just two minutes of cosmic radiation at altitude.
Peter Rez, a professor of physics at Arizona State University, disagrees. Rez has independently calculated the radiation doses of backscatter scanners using the images produced by the machines.
"I came to the conclusion that although low, the dose was higher than they said," he said.
Based on his analysis, Rez estimates each scan produces radiation equivalent to 10 to 20 minutes of flight.
... The probability of dying from radiation from a body scanner and that of being killed in a terror attack are roughly the same, he said. About one in 30 million.
"They're both incredibly unlikely events. These are still a factor of 10 lower than the probability of dying in any one year from being struck by lightning in the United States."
As in so many other instances, our legal and civil rights system is being willfully manipulated and trampled for the sake of private and corporate profits.
In this case, the former homeland security chief and co-author of the PATRIOT act, Michael Chertoff, is now the primary promoter of full-body scanners, and is a paid consultant for the companies that sell them!
"… if your doctor had an ownership interest in the scanner, he might go to federal prison for referring you for a scan. These anti-kickback laws, however, do not apply to the influential government cronies who stand to make a fortune from the scanners."
It's just the latest in a very long line of blatant conflicts of interest and corporate agendas that have, and continue to, erode our personal freedoms in the name of "security."
As for the level of health hazard, I sincerely believe the most significant risk you have when flying is due to ionizing radiation but NOT from these scanners; it is from actually flying at 35,000 feet. We were never meant to be living this high above the ground
So what can you do?
The simplest solution is to fly at night or at least avoid flying from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with noon being the worst. If you fly at night you can reduce your radiation risk by 99 percent because nearly all of the radiation from the sun is being blocked by the earth.
If you are unable to fly at night for whatever reason the next best solution I have found is to use the most potent lipid-soluble free radical antioxidant I know of, which has been shown to virtually eliminate the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. It also helps prevent sunburn.
And just what antioxidant would that be?
It is astaxanthin, which is carotenoid extracted from a marine algae. The typical dose is 2 mg, but the key is that it needs to be taken for about three weeks before your radiation exposure.
This is not only helpful for exposure to high-altitude radiation but any radiation from the airport scanner or even CT scans, which are 10,000 times stronger.
If you opt for the pat-down, keep hygiene in mind.
Dr. Orient also brought this issue up in her AAPS article:
"… what about the transmission of scabies, crab lice, bedbug larvae, and all manner of germs by TSA gropers? Do they change gloves and wash their hands between subjects, as hospital personnel must do?"
According to eye-witnesses, TSA agents do not routinely change gloves between each passenger… So, the obvious remedy would be to insist the agent puts on a fresh pair of gloves before touching you and your child.
As for the humiliation factor that these enhanced TSA security checks present, I would encourage you to contact your local government officials and state representatives, or join the "We Won't Fly" campaign.
The campaign site also lists 24 additional ways you can make your voice heard on this issue.
Jerry Brown addresses a small group of volunteers at his campaign headquarters in Oakland's Jack London Square on Saturday morning, October 30, three days before the election.
Jerry has a simple but obvious solution for California's failing economy and high unemployment rate, which is "we're gonna build stuff!"
On Tuesday, October 26, the two main candidates for Governor of California, Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman, sat down with the current Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, for a public conversation about the future of the state at the Women's Conference held in the Long Beach Convention Center.
Moderated by NBC's Matt Lauer, the conversation steered toward addressing the negative campaign adverstisements that have come out of both camps, especially as the election draws closer. Lauer asked both candidates if they would mutually pledge to only run positive ads for the rest of the campaign. Brown immediately agreed, but Whitman refused.
It was a telling moment in this dramatic race:
This video speaks for itself. End of Story. End of Whitman.
It wasn't a total, 100% slam dunk the other night when Jerry Brown tangled with Meg Whitman at the California Gubernatorial Election Debate. But Jerry won and most of the people watching agree.
In my opinion, this is the moment when Jerry carried the day:
I support Jerry Brown for Governor of California because he is a problem-solver, and not an ideologue like Meg Whitman. Jerry has an amazing ability to "think-outside-the-box," and come up with creative ways of turning negatives into positives. One example is climate change which he sees as a huge opportunity for creating new technologies and new jobs.
Whitman, on the other hand, wants to suspend California's Climate Law--and she stands firmly with Big Oil on this horrible idea, not with the people. Her idea is to cut the number of state employees by 40,000 jobs, reduce taxes on her wealthy friends, and set up an unconstitutional State grand jury, run out of the Governor's office, to go after "fraud"--i.e., political enemies.
Jerry Brown was a great governor, it's time to bring him back. Let's not put our future in the hands of a person who never bothered to vote and only wants to be Governor of California as a stepping stone to the White House.
Target, you know, the nice people who sell all kinds of crap at low prices which they offset by paying their employees low wages, gave $150,000 to the anti-worker, anti-gay candidate for Governor of Minnesota. Thanks to the Roberts' Supreme Court, corporations can give unlimited money to candidates because in the eyes of the law, a corporation is a "person" just like you and me.
This video and the boycott Target movement is sending a message to corporate America that you can't manipulate the political system without facing some serious consequences. Enjoy:
By Carlos Miller
In front of a cable/satellite news team with cameras rolling, a Miami-Dade Metrorail security guard ripped my video camera from my hand, knocking it to the ground, before pocketing it and refusing to return it.
The guard then began pushing me aggressively after I had pulled out my iPhone to continue recording – all while telling me to stop pushing him.
He then struck my hand again in an attempt to snatch the iPhone.
I struck him back, busting his lip.
It was the second time within a month that I had a confrontation with security guards over videography at the Douglas Road Metrorail Station. The first time resulted in a captain from 50 State, the security company that contracts with Miami-Dade County, to “permanently ban” me from the Metrorail.
However, I was never served an official notice. And I did not commit a crime to merit being banned from a public-funded facility in the first place.
After Thursday’s confrontation, paramedics were called to treat the security guard. Cops were called to decide whether I needed to be arrested on battery charges. Or trespassing charges.
Or illegal videography charges, which do not exist but might as well considering how they reacted to me Thursday morning.
The entire incident will be broadcast in an upcoming documentary segment on HDNet TV World Report, the network owned by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban – the same network that hired Dan Rather when CBS terminated his contracted after 44 years.
The news crew was in town to interview me about Photography is Not a Crime for an in-depth segment on photographers’ rights that will be aired in about three weeks.
Before the incident, I was talking to correspondent Greg Dobbs – who has one hell of a bio – about how I was permanently banned from the Metrorail last month with Stretch Ledford, who is in Europe or else he would have been with us.
We walked through the parking lot of the Douglas Road Metrorail Station and purchased tickets. Dobbs and I then walked inside through the turnstile with me holding up my Canon TX1. The rest of the news crew remained outside.
Within seconds, I was accosted by the female security guard as well as the male security guard wearing a black beret and a single latex glove who knocked the camera from my hand.
I demanded my camera but he refused to give it back.
Then I remembered I had my iPhone, so I started shooting video with that, which prompted the female security to get in my face.
She even lifted her fist up a couple of times as if she was going to strike me.
I kept trying to walk away from her while holding up my camera, which is why the video is so shaky.
The male guard then came after me and I also tried walking away from him while videotaping.
But when he struck me, I struck back instinctively.
He then pulled out a metal baton and came after me with it.
I stepped outside the station and he sat down to tend to his lip.
Miami-Dade detectives who arrived on the scene were considering charging me with battery until they saw the footage shot by the news crew.
After two hours of talking to cops, my camera was returned to me, minus a battery that somehow got lost.
The initial footage of the first assault was not on the memory card, so I suspected they had deleted it. But then when I tried to recover it with recovery software after I had gotten home, I could not find it either. So maybe I had just forgot to hit record.
Thankfully, the news crew did not do the same.
I also realize that I must learn how to hold the iPhone horizontally if I’m going to shoot video, which I rarely do because I always have my TX1 on me. But it did serve as a nice back-up.
After the morning excitement, we had lunch and went to my place where
we continued the interview in front of my computer. They then drove up
Palm Beach to interview Tasha Ford about the story I broke on PINAC last year.
And later in the week, they will fly up to Washington DC to continue interviewing people engaged in the struggle for photographers’ rights.
OK, the quote in my headline isn't an actual quote, so sue me! Meg Whitman's ads are such incredible distortions, a new low in political advertising. Factcheck.org and media outlets throughout California have pointed out the falsehoods in her advertising, yet, she stands steadfast behind every single lie she is spending millions of dollars to broadcast. Watch this:
If this pisses you off, and you want to do something about it, click here: Jerry Brown.
The one time I interviewed Meg Whitman she was in her cubicle (yes, cubicle) at EBay surrounded by what she called her advisers, about 150 different versions of Mr. Potato Head. She had just arrived at EBay from Hasbro where she managed the Mr. Potato Head brand, she explained.
Meg was really accessible back then, and foolish me, I thought she was a lot of fun. She took EBay from fledgling star-up status and turned it into a global empire and along the way she made a shit-load of money for herself. She had no interest in politics, never bothered to vote, and if she had a political opinion, she kept it to herself.
Forced into early retirement when many of her initiatives at EBay began to unravel, including the acquisitions of Skype and StumbleUpon, Meg looked around for something to do. It had to be something that suitably reflected her status in the business press as one of the "world's most powerful women." Woe is us, she decided being governor of California would be just the ticket.
Meg could learn the ropes by simply campaigning, avoid revealing her political ignorance by simply not talking to the press, and use her vast resources to their best advantage by hiring the best PR flaks and advertising gurus money could buy. And she wouldn't even have to bother with fund-raising because she has plenty of her own dough.
The video posted here depicts Meg as an Avatar (which she just might be after-all). I think it tells us most of what we need to know about her as a politician:
Americans drink 13 billion gallons of soda per year, more than twice the amount of any other country. 21% of all the sugar in the average American's diet comes from soft drinks.
Drinking just one soda per day increases a child's risk of being obese by a whopping 60%.
What do you suppose drinking only two sodas per week does? It increases your risk of pancreatic cancer by 87%!
A measly 1 penny tax per ounce tax on soda would raise $15 billion per year. Not enough to offset the tremendous damage this product does to the health of millions, but it would be a start. Plus, studies show that raising the price of soda will actually reduce consumption.
Check out this chart:
Seems ironic but a lot of people in Berkeley are disappointed with President Obama because he hasn't stuck to the liberal agenda--he's reached out to Republicans, passed a health bill that doesn't include a single-payer option, and been painfully slow to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
And to think, unlike the rest of the country, some people here were really hoping Obama would turn out to be a Socialist.
In desperation then, at least one Berkeleyite has taken it upon himself (or herself) to start a "Gaddafi for President Campain."
Unfortunately, this particular activist doesn't know how to properly spell the Colonel's last name.
(I found this on the sidewalk just south of the French Hotel.)
My take is scratching the sidewalk is not enough! What this campaign needs is a Gaddafi video that can go viral!
Here's a good possibly I found on YouTube:
Berkeley, California's school district has a revolutionary program, lead by Ann Cooper, Director of Nutritional Services, that should more or less be adopted by every school in America. The cost of doing this compared to the upside is totally ridiculous, so much so it is amazing no one thought much about it before. Don't believe me, watch this amazing video:
Soda has no place in a school setting, and it’s encouraging that shipments to U.S. schools are down 95 percent. The reduction is the result of voluntary guidelines instituted in 2006, which called for the removal of full-calorie soft drinks from school cafeterias and vending machines.
Now, instead of slurping down a can of liquid candy, your child can choose from other “healthier” beverages like artificially sweetened diet sodas, artificially flavored waters, fructose-laden juices and hormone-ridden pasteurized milk.
Ok, well I’m being sarcastic. It’s no secret that most schools have a long way to go when it comes to providing students with truly healthy food and drinks … but I digress.
The fact that sugary sodas are no longer front and center in school cafeterias and hallway vending machines is a step in the right direction. Now, if we can get kids (and their parents) to ditch the sodas at home too, we’ll be making real progress, as clearly this is the primary reason why two out of three people are overweight.
Taking soda out of schools is important and necessary, but for real health improvements to occur, soda consumption needs to go down immensely.
As it stands, soda is actually the number one source of calories in the United States!
Further, this alarming graphic shows just how out of control soft drink consumption has become:
There is absolutely NO REASON you or your kids should ever drink soda. If you were stranded in the middle of a desert with no other fluid available, then maybe, but other than that … none, nada, zip, zero. No excuses.
What you need to realize is that for the fleeting amount of pleasure you may get from downing a can of soda, serious damage is occurring within your body.
As the Nutrition Research Center reported, within the first 10 minutes of drinking a soda, 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. This is 100 percent of your recommended daily intake, and the only reason you don’t vomit as a result of the overwhelming sweetness is because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor.
Phosphoric acid, it should be noted, can interfere with your body's ability to use calcium, leading to osteoporosis or softening of your teeth and bones.
Within 20 minutes of your last sip, your blood sugar spikes, and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar into fat.
It’s no wonder soda has been implicated as one of the key factors in the obesity epidemic.
Drinking soda can not only make your fat, it can increase your risk of many chronic illnesses.
One independent, peer-reviewed study published in the Lancet demonstrated a strong link between soda consumption and childhood obesity. They found that 12-year-olds who drank soft drinks regularly were more likely to be overweight than those who didn't.
In fact, for each additional daily serving of sugar-sweetened soft drink consumed during the nearly two-year study, the risk of obesity jumped by 60 percent.
Here’s another sobering fact if you’re struggling with weight issues: Just one extra can of soda per day can add as much as 15 pounds to your weight over the course of a single year!
Other statistics on the health dangers of soft drinks include:
The primary sweetener used in soda is high fructose corn syrup, and fructose is, hands down, one of the worst sweeteners you can consume (and is a leading cause of obesity).
Let me clear up any confusion here, as fructose is the primary sugar in most fruits. It isn’t that fructose is intrinsically evil -- it is just the MASSIVE DOSES you and your family are exposed to that makes it dangerous. Because it is so cheap and makes foods taste so much better, it is added to virtually every processed food … including soda.
There are two overall reasons fructose is so damaging:
Your body metabolizes fructose in a much different way than glucose. Fructose is broken down in your liver just like alcohol and produces many of the side effects of chronic alcohol use, right down to the “beer belly” Most of the fructose you eat is converted directly to fat unlike glucose where most of it is converted to energy.
People are consuming fructose in quantities that are 400-800 percent higher than they were 100 years ago due to its pervasive presence in just about all processed foods
The fructose in fruits and vegetables is also not the same fructose molecule you’ll find in synthetic high-fructose corn syrup, which is manufactured in the lab. Naturally occurring fructose comes along with fiber, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, whereas fructose sweeteners have no nutritional value.
Additionally, the fructose in fruit is actually attached to other sugars and molecules and needs to be broken down before it is absorbed, which limits the damage it causes. In HFCS it is a free fructose molecule, just as the glucose.
Because these sugars are in their free forms their absorption is radically increased and you actually absorb far more of them than you would if they had been in their natural joined state, which would cause a higher percentage of the fructose to pass to the intestine unabsorbed.
So, I highly recommend you keep all fructose under 25 grams per day (and this includes fruits). You can use the table below to get an idea of how much fructose is in your favorite fruits. Most processed food is loaded with fructose and is best avoided. For instance, there are about 40 grams of HFCS per can of soda!
If you are still drinking soda, stopping the habit is an easy way to significantly improve your health. Pure water is a much better choice, or if you must drink a carbonated beverage, try sparkling mineral water with a squirt of lime or lemon juice.
If you struggle with an addiction to soda, (remember, sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine!) I strongly recommend you consider Turbo Tapping as a simple yet highly effective tool to help you stop this habit.
Turbo Tapping is a simple and clever use of the Emotional Freedom Technique/Meridian Tapping Technique (EFT/MTT), designed to resolve many aspects of an issue in a concentrated period of time.
People like to argue with me that efforts to extend life are unethical and selfish because of overpopulation. I usually counter that by adding years to the average lifespan we will drastically reduce the amount of age-related diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes and heart disease. In turn, we'll reduce medically costs and have resources to spend elsewhere. However, perhaps a better argument is overpopulation is a myth. What do you think? See the video:
The bribery and racketeering scheme going on between key players at major food companies has been labeled an "anomaly," but it is likely far from an isolated case
This is not only an issue of corrupt business practices; it’s one that threatens the safety of the food on your family’s dinner table.
Among the latest allegations are charges that SK Foods, which is now bankrupt but was formerly one of the largest tomato processors in the U.S., was shipping tomatoes with high mold counts and other defects, then falsifying documentation to show that the shipments met federal mold limits.
Like other players in big business, those running the food industry are out to make a profit, and often this comes at the expense of your health.
The underhanded dealings allegedly going on between SK Foods and individuals at Kraft Foods reminds me of two other very prominent examples of manipulation among the food industry.
Once you become familiar with what’s really going on behind the scenes, even at the regulatory level, stories like this will no longer shock you.
First, take aspartame, the most controversial food additive in history. Its approval for use in food was the most contested in FDA history. In the end, the artificial sweetener was approved, not on scientific grounds, but rather because of strong political and financial pressure. After all, aspartame was previously listed by the Pentagon as a biochemical warfare agent!
It’s hard to believe such a chemical would be allowed into the food supply, but it was, and it has been wreaking silent havoc with people’s health for the past 30 years.
You can read the entire history of fraud and deception here, but to put in a nutshell the evidence that showed aspartame was harmful was ignored or falsified, and it was pushed through the FDA’s approval process by a select few who stood to benefit handsomely from its profits.
Likewise, Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH/rbST), which has been banned in Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand because of cancer risks and other health concerns, was approved in the United States under similarly disturbing circumstances.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) didn’t even require that rBGH be adequately tested before allowing it on the market. Normally, a standard test of new biochemically produced products and animal drugs requires 24 months of testing with several hundred rats. But rBGH was tested for only 90 days on 30 rats.
Canadian government officials, meanwhile, were not buying it. Reports allege that Monsanto had tried to bribe them with offers of $1 million to $2 million to gain approval for rBGH (Monsanto officials say those funds were for "research"), but they declined!
And it’s not just rBGH that’s the problem … that genetically modified foods have been allowed to infiltrate the market at all is another lesson in the corruption of the food industry.
These issues go far beyond a few underhanded bribery schemes and shipments of moldy tomato products. The very food we depend on to survive is slowly being degraded, devalued, and de-humanized by giant corporations.
Gone are the days when farmers grew food naturally without the use of industrial factory techniques, Nowadays, with the exception of the small but growing movement of organic and sustainable farmers, it may surprise you to learn that farming -- once the symbol of all that’s natural and wholesome -- creates some of the worst pollution in the United States.
Further, the food crops currently subsidized are corn, wheat, soy and rice. Growing little else but corn and soy means we end up with a fast food diet. In essence, these commodity programs are subsidies for the creation of junk and fast food, not REAL food that could have a positive impact on public health.
The average American is now 10 pounds overweight, which translates into $250 billion in added yearly health care costs, not to mention a shorter lifespan.
But in addition to producing little else but fast food, this type of monoculture is also very dependent on fossil fuels.
As Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma, has stated, we’re actually eating oil -- we just don’t know it. Because when you grow one type of crop almost exclusively, you deplete the soil, which means you have to use more fertilizer, which is made from fossil fuel. Monocultures also invite more pests, which need to be treated with ever increasing amounts of pesticides – also made from fossil fuel.
Cheap food is actually incredibly expensive once everything is added up, including stratospheric health care costs, continued dependence on fossil fuels, and the destruction of the earth as a whole.
There are still safe food options out there, but it does take a bit of digging to find them. Your local grocery store is generally NOT going to be the best source for healthy, fresh food.
So, short of starting your own sustainable farm (which you can do on a small-scale in your own backyard), you can find safe food options by supporting sustainable agriculture movements in your area.
Make it a point to only buy food from a source you know and trust, one that uses safe and non-toxic farming methods. You’ll receive nutritious food from a source that you can trust, and you’ll be supporting the honest work of a real family farm instead of an agri-business corporation.
Further, knowledge truly is power, and the more people become informed, the faster it will prompt real change to come about. Several wonderful movies that will give you an excellent overview of the problems with modern agriculture, which I highly recommend you watch and share with your friends and family, are:
OK, I'm not old enough to remember Hitler's Brown Shirts, but I've read enough about them and seen enough films to know they gained popularity by intimidating, beating up and even killing political opponents. Germans who knew better didn't speak out when it might have made a difference. Later, they couldn't speak out without becoming targets themselves.
The question is, are we entering a phase in our domestic history similar in some regards to the early 1930's in pre-Nazi Germany? Before you answer, watch the following video: