Archive for the ‘ Main Stream Media (MSM) ’ Category

Writer Elisabeth Rosenthal has worked as a physician and says it’s far more lucrative in the U.S. health system to provide a lifetime of treatments than a cure. Her new book is An American Sickness.

Health care is a trillion-dollar industry in America, but are we getting what we pay for? Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, a medical journalist who formerly worked as a medical doctor, warns that the existing system too often focuses on financial incentives over health or science.

“We’ve trusted a lot of our health care to for-profit businesses and it’s their job, frankly, to make profit,” Rosenthal says. “You can’t expect them to act like Mother Teresas.”

Rosenthal’s new book, An American Sickness, examines the deeply rooted problems of the existing health-care system and also offers suggestions for a way forward. She notes that under the current system, it’s far more lucrative to provide a lifetime of treatments than a cure.

“One expert in the book joked to me … that if we relied on the current medical market to deal with polio, we would never have a polio vaccine,” Rosenthal says. “Instead we would have iron lungs in seven colors with iPhone apps.”


Interview Highlights

On what consolidation of hospitals is doing to the price of care

In the beginning, this was a good idea: Hospitals came together to share efficiencies. You didn’t need every hospital ordering bed sheets. You didn’t need every hospital doing every procedure. You could share records of patients so the patient could go to the medical center that was most appropriate.

Now that consolidation trend has kind of snowballed and skyrocketed to a point … that in many parts of the country, major cities only have one, maybe two, hospital systems. And what you see with that level of consolidation is it’s kind of a mini-monopoly.

What happens, of course, when you have a mini-monopoly is you have an enormous sway over price. And so, what we see in research over and over again is that the cities that have the most hospital consolidation tend to have the highest prices for health care without any benefit for patient results. So consolidation, which started as a good idea in many places, has evolved to a point where it’s not benefiting patients anymore, it is benefiting profits.

An American Sickness

How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back

by Elisabeth Rosenthal

Hardcover, 406 pages

purchase

On the ways the health-care industry stands to profit more from lifetime treatment than it does from curing disease

If you’re a pharmaceutical manufacturer and you have a problem like diabetes, for example, if I invented a pill tomorrow that would cure diabetes — that would kill a multi-billion dollar business market. It’s far better to have treatments, sometimes really great treatments … [that] go on for life. That’s much better than something that will make the disease go away overnight.

On how prices will rise to whatever the market will bear

Another concept that I think is unique to medicine is what economists call “sticky pricing,” which is a wonderful term. It basically means … once one drugmaker, one hospital, one doctor says “Hey we could charge $10,000 for that procedure or that medicine.” Maybe it was $5,000 two months ago, but once everyone sees that someone’s getting away with charging $10,000, the prices all go up to that sticky ceiling. …

What you see often now is when generic drugs come out … the price doesn’t go down to 20 percent of the branded price, it maybe goes down to 90 percent of the branded price. So we’re not getting what we should get from a really competitive market where we, the consumers, are making those choices.

On initiating conversations early on with doctors about fees and medical bills

You should start every conversation with a doctor’s office by asking “Is there a concierge fee? Are they affiliated with a hospital? Which hospital are they affiliated with? Is the office considered part of a hospital?” In which case you’re going to be facing hospital fees in addition to your doctor’s office fees. You ask your doctor always … “If I need a lab test, if I need an X-ray, will you send me to an in-network provider so I don’t get hit by out-of-network fees?” …

Often that will be a little hard for your doctor, because they may have to fill out a different requisition, but it’s worth asking. And any doctor who won’t help you in that way, I think, isn’t attuned to the financial cost that we’re bearing today.

On getting charged for “drive-by doctors” brought in by the hospital or primary doctor

You do have to say “Who are you? Who called you?” and “Am I going to be billed for this?” And it’s tragic that in recovery people have to think in this kind of keep-on-your-guard, somewhat adversarial way, but I think if we don’t push back against the system in the way it bills, we’re complicit in allowing it to continue.

On how to decipher coded medical bills

Don’t be alarmed by the “prompt payment discount.” Go back to the hospital and say, “I want a fully itemized bill. I want to know what I’m paying for.” Some of it will be in codes, some of it will be in medical abbreviations. I’ve discovered you can Google those codes and find out what you’re being charged for, often, and most importantly, you might find you’re being charged for stuff that obviously you know you didn’t have.

Elizabeth Rosenthal is editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and a partner of NPR’s. Neither KFF nor KHN is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Radio producer Sam Briger and web producers Bridget Bentz and Molly Seavy-Nesper contributed to this story.

Source: Elizabeth Rosenthal Explains How U.S. Health Care Became Big Business : Shots – Health News : NPR

Chicago police were questioning four African-Americans Wednesday evening over a Facebook Live video that showed a mentally disabled white man being tied up and tortured while someone yelled F— white people! and F— Donald Trump!

Source: Four arrested after Facebook Live video shows man being tied up, beaten

Financial companies have NOT paid at least $164 billion in more than 100 mortgage-related settlements since 2009 the headlines have been lying to you:

Where Does the Mortgage Settlement Money Go?

Image
In 2014, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. led a news conference about Bank of America’s $16 billion settlement. It was attended by such a large group of investigators that there was masking tape on the stage to show them where to stand. CreditLauren Victoria Burke/Associated Press

Since the 2008 housing crisis, federal regulators have touted billion-dollar settlements, which, by giving certainty to investors, are often accompanied by a jump in the bank’s stock price.

Financial companies have paid at least $164 billion in more than 100 mortgage-related settlements since 2009, according to an analysis by the law firm of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. Below, we examine the eight banks that have paid the most and explain how the largest payments were divided up.

1. Bank of America: $71.23 billion in 24 settlements

The bank has settled mortgage-related cases with a plethora of federal and state regulators as well as investors from the Justice Department and the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio. A number of these settlements are tied to Bank of America’s purchase of Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch.

In 2014, the bank paid the single largest government settlement by a company in American history: $16.65 billion. Some of this is in the form of “soft money,” or help for borrowers. The bank also gets credit for writing down loan balances. And the pain is significantly reduced by tax deductions.

“The real financial cost to the bank could be considerably lower,” said Laurie Goodman, a specialist in housing at the Urban Institute. “This is helping consumers, but it may not be costing the bank.”

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Related

Settling for $16 Billion, Bank Knows It Will Pay Much Less (Aug. 22, 2014)

2. JPMorgan Chase: $31.07 billion in 13 settlements

JPMorgan’s largest payout — $13 billion — centered on the sale of troubled mortgage securities to investors in the run-up to the crisis. The only fine in that 2013 case came from federal prosecutors in Sacramento, who took $2 billion of the penalty and deposited it into a fund at the United States Treasury. The next chunk, roughly $7 billion, went a range of federal and state authorities.

The Justice Department earmarked $4 billion to help struggling homeowners in hard-hit areas like Detroit.

Related

Where Does JPMorgan’s $13 Billion Go? (Nov. 20, 2013)

3. Citigroup: $12.26 billion in nine settlements

Federal prosecutors got creative in holding Citigroup accountable. As part of a $7 billion settlement in 2014, the bank agreed to provide $180 million in financing to build affordable rental housing.

The deal also includes $2.5 billion in so-called soft dollars for the financing of rental housing, mortgage modifications, down-payment assistance and donations to legal aid groups.

Related

Citi Settles Mortgage Securities Inquiry for $7 Billion (July 15, 2014)

4. Wells Fargo: $10.56 billion in eight settlements

In 2012, state and federal authorities announced a $26 billion mortgage settlement with big banks. The bulk of the settlement, about $20 billion, went to one million American homeowners who would have their mortgage debts reduced or their loans refinanced at lower interest rates.

The settlement also includes $1.5 billion for roughly 750,000 people who lost their homes to foreclosure between 2008 and 2011, with each receiving between $1,500 and $2,000.

Millions of mortgages owned by the government’s housing finance agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, weren’t covered under the deal, excluding about half of the nation’s mortgages.

Related

Mortgage Plan Gives Billions to Homeowners, but With Exceptions (Feb. 10, 2012)

5. Deutsche Bank: $9.13 billion in two settlements

Germany’s largest bank reached a $7.2 billion deal this week to resolve a federal investigation into its sales of toxic mortgage securities. The civil settlement requires Deutsche Bank to pay a $3.1 billion penalty and provide relief to American consumers valued at $4.1 billion. The bank said the consumer portion is expected to be “primarily in the form of loan modifications and other assistance to homeowners.”

Related

Deutsche Bank to Settle U.S. Inquiry Into Mortgages for $7.2 Billion (Dec. 23, 2016)

6. Morgan Stanley: $7.92 billion in nine settlements

The bank paid $3.2 billion to strike a settlement this year with federal and state authorities over its creation of mortgage-backed bonds. About $400 million went to consumer relief.

Related

Morgan Stanley Will Pay $3.2 Billion Over Flawed Mortgage Bonds (Feb. 12, 2016)

7. Goldman Sachs: $7.26 billion in seven settlements

The bank paid $5.1 billion to settle with state and federal officials this year. But Goldman will be able to reduce its bill by as much as $1 billion through government incentives and tax credits.

“They appear to have grossly inflated the settlement amount for P.R. purposes to mislead the public, while in the fine print enabling Goldman Sachs to pay 50 to 75 percent less,” said Dennis Kelleher, the founder of the advocacy organization Better Markets, referring to the government announcement. And that is before the tax benefits of the deal are included.

Related

Goldman’s Settlement on Mortgages Is Less Than Meets the Eye (April 12, 2016)

8. Credit Suisse: $6.28 billion in three settlements

The Swiss bank agreed this week to pay $5.3 billion to settle an investigation by the United States authorities into the packaging and sale of mortgages. Credit Suisse said it would pay a civil penalty of $2.48 billion and provide unspecified relief to American consumers valued at $2.8 billion over five years.

Related

Credit Suisse to Pay $5.3 Billion to Resolve Mortgage Inquiry (Dec. 23, 2016)

 

Source: Where Does the Mortgage Settlement Money Go?

No, your pubic hair cannot prevent STDs.

Source: Myths about pubic hair you must stop believing t1216 | Photo Galleries of Weight Loss, Diet Plan, Healthy Recipes, Sexual Health | TheHealthSite.com

The mis information begins with a study that has no causation links to anything just much innuendo and misdirection from facts.

Source: Not to shave? In life (and TV), pubic hair is staying on

Letting the kids drink is a tough subject for parents: To give a tipple or not?

on this the 30th anniversary of the national drinking age being raised to 21, I’m asking myself the following question: Am I better off never letting my girls drink around me, at home or at family celebrations, until they reach the legal drinking age or does it make drinking less taboo and alluring if I let them start drinking at home, maybe with sips of wine and beer, during their teenage years?If you look at the scientific evidence, it seems more studies point to a negative consequence of parental offers of even a small amount of alcohol.
A recent report in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (PDF) highlighted two such studies: One in 2011 in Sweden of 13-year-olds found that when children were offered alcohol by a parent, it was associated with a higher likelihood of heavy episodic drinking in girls, but not in boys; and a 1997 study of fourth- and sixth-graders in the United States found that when parents offered children a small amount of alcohol, the children were more likely to initiate alcohol use on their own.
Alcohol and teens

Alcohol and teens 01:08
In addition, another study compared seventh-graders in the United States with Australia, where adult-supervised drinking for teens is allowed. Some 36% of the Australian teens had problems with binge drinking compared with only 21% of American teens, according to the 2011 study.
“I think the evidence would suggest to me you are not playing your best hand if you provide alcohol to your kids,” said Dr. Ralph Hingson, director of the division of epidemiology and prevention research for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
“It may be that nothing’s going to happen, but it’s like if you’re driving a car too fast in a residential neighborhood that the likelihood of being in a car crash is increased because you are taking an unnecessary risk.”
But at least one study shows that drinking with parents can lead to positive results.
The study, published in the 2004 Journal of Adolescent Heath and showcased in a 2008 Time magazine story, found that children who drank with their parents were about half as likely to say they had alcohol in the past month and about one third as likely to admit to binge drinking (having five or more drinks in a row) in the previous two weeks.
Stanton Peele is a psychologist, addiction expert and author of several books on addiction, including “Addiction Proof Your Child.”
The New York City father of three said he allowed his children, now in their 20s and 30s, to have a few sips of alcohol during meals in their teenage years and then, around 16, let them have a full glass of wine.
“The chances that children are going to go to college … and not consume alcohol are infinitesimal,” said Peele, who also provides online addiction treatment and support.
“And so the question every parent has to ask themselves (is) … ‘Who is going to teach them how to drink?’ “
Brian Gresko of Brooklyn, New York, a Babble.com contributor, says he and his wife are already teaching their young son about drinking.
In their house, alcohol is part of the family culture, said Gresko, who says he and his wife always have a cocktail, glass of wine or beer while cooking dinner and during the meal.
“We don’t hide this from our 5-year-old son. Felix knows the guys at our local wine store, and he sometimes asks me to make him ‘mocktails’ when we drink cocktails,” said Gresko, editor of a recent anthology of 22 novelists writing about fatherhood called “When I First Held You.”
“Alcohol is a part of life, and I would rather he begin to form a relationship with it under my supervision instead of in secret with his friends, where who knows what could happen.”
Elena Sonnino, a wellness writer, social media strategist and founder of the site Live.Do.Grow., also wants her 9-year-old to feel comfortable enough to talk with her about anything, but she takes a different approach.
She recently scaled back from having a nightly glass of wine to having one just once a week for wellness reasons and doesn’t believe she’ll let her daughter have sips of alcohol until she can legally have them.
“We won’t offer her tastes because we’re trying to show her that drinking wine is a responsibility,” said the northern Virginia mom. “You have a responsibility when you start drinking anything, wine or whatever it is, and you need to be able to make good decisions and until you’re 18, 21, your brain isn’t fully formed.”
Melissa Moog, a mom of three and founder of Itsabelly Baby Planners, a new parent and baby safety consulting service, also won’t be letting her kids enjoy sips of wine and beer.
“I think a legal drinking age was established for a very good reason,” said Moog of Portland, Oregon. “If I allowed my daughter at 16 to try a sip, I would be nervous that she’d think subconsciously that I was OK with her drinking before the legal age limit because I let her take a sip of my drink.”
While I admit I am still as confused as ever about what I will do when my girls get older, there are a few things I am pretty certain of that are backed by strong evidence.
I won’t ever get drunk in front of my kids, with studies showing that children who see their parents drunk are more likely to get drunk themselves.
And I will talk to my girls about alcohol as they get older. That’s the focus of the #TalkEarly online campaign by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, encouraging parents to have conversations early so as children get older, the topic of drinking is not taboo.
A big focus is also encouraging parents to watch what they say and do in social media, including making jokes about needing a glass of wine.
“Avoid transmitting the ‘I need a drink’ message after a long day or stressful situation, and talking about what it feels like to get drunk,” said Micky Morrison, a mom of two and founder of BabyWeight TV.
Michelle Staruiala, a mom of three in Saskatchewan, who said her kids rarely see her have a drink, is proof good communication can lead to positive results.
She has always talked with her kids about everything, she said, and recently asked her 16-year-old son why he sometimes doesn’t go out with his friends.
“He’s like ‘Mom, some of them are drinking. … I don’t feel comfortable being around those situations.’
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“He’s really, really listened to our talks and he, to this day, never has had a drink in his life. So being 16, nowadays that’s kind of a rare thing,” she added with a laugh.

Source: Is drinking with your kids at home a good idea? – CNN.com

Preview of data from upcoming Stress in America™ poll shows election is equally stressful for Republicans and Democrats.

“We’re seeing that it doesn’t matter whether you’re registered as a Democrat or Republican — U.S. adults say they are experiencing significant stress from the current election,” said Lynn Bufka, PhD, APA’s associate executive director for practice research and policy. Across party lines, those registered as Democrats (55 percent) and Republicans (59 percent) are statistically equally likely to say the election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress.

“Election stress becomes exacerbated by arguments, stories, images and video on social media that can heighten concern and frustration, particularly with thousands of comments that can range from factual to hostile or even inflammatory,” said Bufka.

In fact, the survey revealed that social media appears to affect Americans’ stress levels when it comes to the election and related topics. Nearly 4 in 10 adults (38 percent) say that political and cultural discussions on social media cause them stress. In addition, adults who use social media are more likely than adults who do not to say the election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress (54 percent vs. 45 percent, respectively).

While men and women are equally likely (51 percent vs. 52 percent, respectively) to say the 2016 U.S. presidential election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress, election stress differs among generations of Americans. Millennials and “matures” are the most likely to say the election is a very or somewhat significant source of stress (56 percent vs. 59 percent, respectively) — significantly more than Generation Xers (45 percent) but not boomers (50 percent).

Source: APA Survey Reveals 2016 Presidential Election Source of Significant Stress for More Than Half of Americans

February 13, 2013

Shocking Alien Fears Force Pope From Office

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

 

A stunning Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) report prepared for President Putin, which is circulating in the Kremlin today, states that Pope Benedict XVI was forced to resign this past week over Catholic Church fears that this 85-year-old leader of over 1 billion Christians was “mentally and physically unprepared” to deal with the coming revelation about the truth of alien beings.

In our 22 January report, Russia Orders Obama: Tell World About Aliens, Or We Will, we detailed how the issue of extraterrestrial beings was brought to the forefront of the World Economic Forum (WEF) with the naming in their 2013 Executive Summary of the danger posed to our world over the discovery of alien life with their stating: “Proof of life elsewhere in the universe could have profound psychological implications for human belief systems.”

Also noted in our previous report were Prime Minister Medvedev’s 7 December 2012 off-air comments to reporters which were recorded and wherein he stated: “Along with the briefcase with nuclear codes, the president of the country is given a special ‘top secret’ folder. This folder in its entirety contains information about aliens who visited our planet… Along with this, you are given a report of the absolutely secret special service that exercises control over aliens on the territory of our country… More detailed information on this topic you can get from a well-known movie called Men In Black… I will not tell you how many of them are among us because it may cause panic.”

Spurring Pope Benedict XVI to become the first leader of the Catholic Church to resign in nearly 600 years, this MFA report says, was the appearance over Los Cristianos, Spain on 21 August 2011 of the long prophesized “bird of prey” interplanetary spacecraft, and which was followed nearly 3 weeks ago with a fleet of them appearing in the skies over Mexico City.

To fully understand the significance of these “bird of prey” UFO’s, this report continues, files relating to the 27 September 1989 Voronezh Incident must be studied in length, especially as it relates to the “messages” delivered to eyewitnesses from the “giants”.

In an 11 October 1989 New York Times article about the Voronezh Incident titled U.F.O. Landing Is Fact, Not Fantasy, the Russians Insist it says:

“It is not a joke, nor a hoax, nor a sign of mental instability, nor an attempt to drum up local tourism by drawing the curious, the Soviet press agency Tass insisted today in discussions of what it called an extraterrestrial visit to southern Russia.

Residents of the city of Voronezh insisted today that lanky, three-eyed extraterrestrial creatures had indeed landed in a local park and gone for a stroll and that a seemingly fantastic report about the event carried Monday by the official press agency Tass was absolutely true.

The three-eyed creature, about nine feet tall and fashionably dressed in silvery overalls and bronze boots and with a disk on its chest, disappeared, then landed and came out for a promenade with a companion and a robot.

The aliens seemed to communicate with each other, producing the mysterious appearance of a shining triangle, and activated the robot with a touch.”

Regarding these “messages” from the Voronezh “giants”, this MFA report says, was the warning to human beings that when these “bird of prey” UFO’s descend upon Earth the whole planet will be in peril.

The Voronezh “giants” further related, this report says, that the alien beings associated with these “bird of prey” UFO’s were the cause of the 14 April 1561 massive “sky battle” over Nuremberg, Germany which was depicted in a famous 16th century woodcut by Hans Glaser [photo 3rd left] and described by the residents as: “A very frightful spectacle.” “The sky appeared to fill with cylindrical objects from which red, black, orange and blue white disks and globes emerged. Crosses and tubes resembling cannon barrels also appeared whereupon the objects promptly began to fight one another.”

Important to note is that the Catholic Christian faith headed by Pope Benedict XVI, as well as nearly every other religion on Earth, all prophesize in their teachings a time when the “gods” will return to our planet and engage in a battle that could very well bring our entire planet to the brink of destruction.

Equally important to note about Pope Benedict XVI’s shock resignation is how it eerily compares with Saint Malachy, who as an Irish saint and Archbishop of Armagh, in the 12th Century, received a vision of 112 Popes later attributed to the apocalyptic list of Prophecy of the Popes. He was the first Irish saint to be canonized by Pope Clement III in 1199.

American authors Tom Horn and Cris Putnam in their 2012 book “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here” about Saint Malachy’s prophecies told interviewers last Spring that Pope Benedict XVI would resign by late 2012, or early 2013, and described the next Pope to follow as “Petrus Romanus,” or “Peter the Roman,” writing: “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock among many tribulations; after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people.”

Though the masses of people reading of the things this report contains will, undoubtedly, ridicule them, the same cannot be said of the elite moneyed classes who, even at this writing, are protecting themselves from “something” at such a fever-pitched pace it is destabilizing the entire global economy, and as exampled by the highly respected Zero Hedge news service in their article titled “What Do They Know That We Don’t?” and which, in part, says:

“Friday evening when no one was supposed to pay attention, Google announced that Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt would sell 3.2 million of his Google shares in 2013, 42% of the 7.6 million shares he owned at the end of last year—after having already sold 1.8 million shares in 2012. But why would he sell 5 million shares, about 53% of his holdings, with Google stock trading near its all-time high?

“Part of his long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity,” Google mollified us, according to the Wall Street Journal. Soothing words. Nothing but “a routine diversification of assets.”

Routine? He didn’t sell any in 2008 as the market was crashing. He didn’t sell at the bottom in early 2009. And he didn’t sell during the rest of 2009 as Google shares were soaring, nor in 2010, as they continued to soar. In 2011, he eased out of about 300,000 shares, a mere rounding error in his holdings. But in 2012, he opened the valves, and in 2013, he’d open the floodgates. So it’s not “routine.”

Mr. Schmidt isn’t alone. Corporate insiders were “aggressively selling their shares,” reported Mark Hulbert. And they were doing so “at an alarming pace.” The buy sell-to-buy ratio had risen to 9.2-to-1; insiders had sold over 9 times as many shares as they’d bought. They’d been aggressive sellers for weeks.

Instantly, soothing voices were heard: “don’t be alarmed,” they said. But Mr. Schmidt and his colleagues at the top of corporate America, multi-billionaires many of them, are immensely well connected, not only to each other but also to the Fed, whose twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks they own and control.”

To why Google Chairman Schmidt did not attend this years World Economic Forum, where the danger of aliens was being discussed, opting instead for a visit to North Korea (who announced yesterday that they had exploded another nuclear weapon) and when coupled with the information contained in this MFA report, is far from being “soothing”, and is, instead, something well all should be very alarmed about as the end is much nearer than the beginning as those with “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” already know.

February 13, 2012 © EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.

[Ed. Note: Western governments and their intelligence services actively campaign against the information found in these reports so as not to alarm their citizens about the many catastrophic Earth changes and events to come, a stance that the Sisters of Sorcha Faal strongly disagrees with in believing that it is every human beings right to know the truth. Due to our missions conflicts with that of those governments, the responses of their ‘agents’ against us has been a longstanding misinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discredit and which is addressed in the report “Who Is Sorcha Faal?”.]

You May Already Be To Late…But It Has Begun!

They Are Going To Come For You…Why Are You Helping Them?

Source: Shocking Alien Fears Force Pope From Office

According to Daniel Sheehan, the Catholic Church is now actively preparing for the discovery of Alien contact with highly a advanced alien species. Speaking at contact in the desert, he told of a what will be a historic papal encyclical decree calling for nothing less than the disassembly of the power structures that are destroying our civilisation and preventing us from joining an enlightened galactic community.Pope Francis previously caused quite a stir last year when he announced that he would baptise Aliens, quite a statement and a timely one at that given the fact the Vatican owns the biggest telescope on the planet.Former Minsitry Of Defence Nick Pope Told Neon Nettle: “It’s no secret that the Catholic Church has been repositioning themselves on this issue over the past few years. Do they know something? I doubt it. I think they’re just trying to ensure that if the scientific community announces the discovery of extraterrestrial life, the church is prepared.”Sheehan’s talk began with a summary of his previous work as an advocate for alien disclosure which, he says, also included classified sections from Project Bluebook (a study into UFO’s by the American airforce). He went on to say that his access to Bluebook gave him exposure to photographic evidence of crashes UFO’s that had Alien symbols on them.daniel p sheehan a harvard college trained american government foreign policy scholar talks about alien disclosure through the vatican © pressDaniel P. Sheehan, a Harvard College trained American Government & Foreign Policy Scholar talks about alien disclosure through the vaticanhttp://www.neonnettle.com/news/1447-pope-francis-to-announce-church-prep…

Source: Pope Francis To Announce Church Preparing For Alien Contact This Week (their-we are already here billions of years – CNN iReport

Vatican Approves UFOs

Vatican officials affirm the existence of UFOs and calls the aliens brothers, interviews with Msgr. Corrado Balducci and Fr. Gabriel Funes, News reveal secret talks with the UN on aliens and UFOS and agreement of possibility of the existence of extraterrestial life

Vatican Approves UFOs

‘The Aliens Are Our Brothers’

Dear Atila,

Salve Maria!

I believe you and TIA readers will be interested to know that the Vatican now is supporting the UFOs, according to the news reports below. I made a little research on the Internet and found these documents, whose value you may judge for yourself.

I gave the links to the sources so that you or anyone else can check the original documents. I also added links to the two principal Youtube interviews on the topic: one by Msgr. Corrado Balducci, a Vatican consultant on these matters; another by Fr. Gabriel Funes, the Chief Vatican Astronomer, whose Observatory is in the papal palace of Castelgandolfo.

Receive my best regards,

In Jesu et Maria,

Manoel Ricardo Fiuza, Brazil

______________________

News report from 2000

Monsignor Balducci is a Vatican theologian and an insider close to the Pope. He has been featured on national Italian television numerous times stating that extraterrestrial contact is a real phenomenon and “not due to some psychological impairment.”

In this testimony he explains that not only the general populace but also highly credible, cultured and educated people of high status are increasingly acknowledging that this is a real phenomenon. He goes on to speak about the extraterrestrial people as part of God’s Creation and affirm that they are neither angels nor devils. However, he affirms, they are probably more spiritually evolved.

Source here

______________________

News reports from April 7, 2012

The Vatican tries to get a step ahead on Extraterrestrial issues before announcements by major world governments

The Vatican is playing a leading role preparing the world for disclosure about extraterrestrials.

There are few things that are sure bets in this life and one of them is that the Vatican would never have stepped out to tell the world that they believe extraterrestrials are real without emphatic proof or advance knowledge that some type of disclosure is imminent.

The Vatican is not a cutting edge group; it generally moves so slow that it is painful to much of the world’s congregation. After all, this is the same organization that to this day does not allow women to be priests or any form of contraception. This is the same organization that forced Galileo to recant his findings and put him under house arrest for the remainder of his life for telling the world that the earth is not at the center of the universe.

Msgr. Corrado Balducci 

Msgr. Corrado Balducci

For the most part, the Vatican is stodgy, archaic, slow to move on major issues and generally behind the times. So what prompted them to move at lightening speed on the difficult issue of extraterrestrials life and full disclosure?

Well, they have been receiving information from their embassies that is hard to deny and they have attended a series of secret meetings in NYC at the UN that changed everything. Shortly after that, the Vatican gave the “Aliens Are My Brothers Interview,” which should have made worldwide headlines, but it was typically played down by the mainstream media.

The Vatican’s new openness on extraterrestrial life is consistent with reports of secret discussions held at the United Nations that began in February 2008 and are still ongoing today. The Vatican’s permanent representative to the UN, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, was reported to have attended these meetings along with a number of other prominent government officials to discuss increasing UFO sightings and the implications of extraterrestrial visitations.

Significantly, Migliore’s position requires that he maintain close relations with the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences. At the time of the secret UN discussions, Migliore made a presentation on moral issues associated with scientific problems such as climate change. Most importantly, the UN discussions reportedly led to a new policy of openness on UFOs that is being adopted by approximately 30 nations beginning in 2009 and culminating with a full disclosure of information to the world. This is extremely significant as there are approximately 22 nations that have begun full or partial disclosure!

For a full list of countries that have partially disclosed significant UFO or alien information, click here.

The meetings that the Vatican took part in with the UN in New York City were also attended by a host of US government agencies that downplayed the announcement. We can only speculate about the agencies involved and the content discussed. You can be sure it was blockbuster news because, shorty afterwards, both the UN and the Vatican came out with their startling announcements.

Source here

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Vatican Official Declares on National Television:
Extraterrestrial Contacts Are Real

Some things simply cannot be debunked as much as people would like, no matter how hard the debunkers try. Sometimes the truth just keeps rising to the surface, and this is one of those times.

Monsignor Corrado Balducci, a theologian member of the Vatican Curia, the governing body, and highly placed Vatican official who is close to the Pope, has been on Italian Television no less than five times stating that extraterrestrial contact is a real phenomena.

Balducci provided an analysis of extraterrestrials that he feels is consistent with the Catholic Church’s understanding of theology. Monsignor Balducci emphasized that extraterrestrial encounters “are not demonic. They are not due to some psychological impairment. They are not a case of entity attachment, but rather these encounters deserve to be studied carefully.” Since Monsignor Balducci is a demonology expert and consultant to the Vatican and since the Catholic Church has historically demonized many new phenomena that were poorly understood, his statement that the Church does not censure these encounters is all the more remarkable.

The bottom line is that the Vatican has moved lightening fast on the extremely difficult issue of extraterrestrials and religion; they have attended secret meetings at the UN on exactly this subject. They have also met in secret with a host of US officials, and, after evaluating all the information, they made their astounding announcement.

It really makes no difference if you believe that the Vatican and UN announcement is a prelude to a false flag event or that it is real. One thing is for certain, some type of disclosure (probably partial or limited) is imminent and coming soon. It will be up to each person to decide on the authenticity of the actual announcement. The question becomes: Are we paying attention or are we asleep at the switch? We are all in for a Galileo Moment and those only come along every 200 to 300 years. Are you ready?

Source here

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Vatican States: ‘Aliens Are Our Brothers,’
Interview with Religious Leaders on Aliens

In an interview entitled “Aliens Are My Brother” granted to L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, Father Gabriel Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, stated: “In my opinion this possibility (of life on other planets) exists.” He also stated that “intelligent beings, created by God may exist in outer space” and “some aliens could even be free from original sin,” concluding that “there could be (other beings) who remained in full friendship with their creator”.

Fr. Gabriel Funes, Vatican Astronomer

Speaking about the search for Earth-like worlds about to be embarked upon with the Kepler Space telescope, Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, another astronomer working at the Vatican Observatory, told the BBC, “We Jesuits are actively involved in the search for Earth-like planets.”

He continued, “The idea that there could be other intelligent creatures made by God in a relationship with God is not contrary to traditional Judeo-Christian thought. The Bible has many references to, or descriptions of, non-human intelligent beings; after all, that’s what angels are. Our cousins on other planets may even have their own salvation story – including other examples of the incarnation of the second person of the Trinity. We are open to whatever the Universe has for us.”

Source here

_________________

Source: Vatican Approves UFOs

“Remember, our nonviolent ETI from the contiguous universe are helping us bring zero point energy to Earth,” Podesta was told. “They will not tolerate any forms of military violence on Earth or in space.” The reference to ETI – extraterrestrial intelligence – set off alarm bells. So did mention of zero point energy, which its fans claim could be harnessed as an inexhaustible power supply.

How aliens and Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell got tangled up in WikiLeaks emails

Edgar Mitchell and Alan Shepard
Edgar Mitchell and Alan Shepard
Galatians 1:8 (NKJV) 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
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WikiLeaks’ purloined emails cover a wide range of issues that were handled by Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, in them are clear references to issues that have to do with E.T., alien energy sources and Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell’s efforts to educate the public (DISCLOSURE) about Aliens from outer space before he died.

While GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump focused his fire on what the WikiLeaks file had to say about Clinton’s Wall Street speeches as a way to distract the public from the larger issue, UFO fans dwelled on what Mitchell was telling Podesta as he made the transition from the Obama White House to the Clinton campaign in 2015.

In an email from January of that year, Mitchell asked for an urgent meeting with Podesta about “(DISCLOSURE) and zero point energy,” and promised that a colleague named Terri Mansfield would “bring us up to date on the Vatican’s awareness of ETI.”

Mitchell sent another plea via email that August.

“Remember, our nonviolent ETI from the contiguous universe are helping us bring zero point energy to Earth,” Podesta was told. “They will not tolerate any forms of military violence on Earth or in space.”

The reference to ETI – extraterrestrial intelligence – set off alarm bells. So did mention of zero point energy, which its fans claim could be harnessed as an inexhaustible power supply.

“Hillary Clinton Leaked E-Mails Reveal Shocking Discussions on SPACE WARS, UFOs and ETs,” one of the more breathless (and search-optimized) headlines read.

But in fact, Mitchell never met with Clinton – or with Podesta, for that matter. “The meeting with Podesta, sadly, never took place,” Carol Rosin, one of Mitchell’s longtime collaborators, told GeekWire today in an email.

Rosin and Mansfield confirmed that Mitchell was indeed the author of the two emails, even though they went out via Mansfield’s email address, terribillionairs@aol.com. They said they worked with an aide to Podesta in hopes of arranging a meeting with him to discuss a treaty to ban weapons in outer space.

Rosin noted that Mitchell and Podesta shared an interest in extraterrestrial (DISCLOSURE).

“As you know, Dr. Mitchell was courageously educating people about the fact that ‘we are not alone,’ that there is no evidence of there being any hostile ETs here or coming to control, intervene or harm us, that we can have zero point energy, that there are no weapons based in space and that this is the unique time in history when our leaders can sign and ratify the ‘Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space’ that has been introduced by the leaders of Russia and China,” Rosin said.

So, what about Podesta? When he left the White House in February 2015, he said in a tweet that his biggest regret of the previous year was “once again not securing the disclosure of the UFO files.”

“I’ve talked to Hillary about that,” Podesta told KLAS-TV this March during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “There are still classified files that could be declassified.”

Podesta hasn’t discussed what might be in those files, but Clinton has vowed to “get to the bottom” of any mystery that still surrounds the UFO phenomenon.

Two other emails in WikiLeaks’ Podesta file were sent by Tom DeLonge, a veteran of the rock band Blink-182. Those emails refer to a UFO-related documentary project – perhaps the “Sekret Machines” multimedia project that DeLonge kicked off this year.

In an email from last October, DeLonge told Podesta that he’s “the one who interviewed you for that special documentary,” relating to “our sensitive topic.” In the other email, sent this January, DeLonge referred to Air Force Maj. Gen. William McCasland in connection with the 1947 Roswell UFO incident.

Roswell was of interest to Mitchell as well. When I interviewed him in 2014, he acknowledged that he relied on the claims that others have made about Roswell and other UFO sightings. That secondhand perspective also probably applies to Mitchell’s reference to the Vatican connection.

Even if Clinton (or Trump) comes across new revelations, it’ll be too late for Mitchell. He passed away this February at the age of 85. Nevertheless, there may yet be more to come from the late moonwalker. “The book Edgar and I wrote decades ago will soon be published,” Rosin said in her email.

Remember when they come:

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Source: How aliens and Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell got tangled up in WikiLeaks emails

Solar Physicists finally get the message: Landscheidt was right after all Posted: June 14, 2011 by tallbloke in Astrophysics, climate, Solar physics, solar system dynamics After years of pooh poohing Theodor Landscheidt’s methods, work and predictions, mainstream solar physics has made an announcement of the strong possibility of a protracted solar minimum with consequences for Earth’s climate. At a workshop in New Mexico today, the AAS brought the work of Livingstone and Penn into the spotlight and

Source: Solar Physicists finally get the message: Landscheidt was right after all | Tallbloke’s Talkshop

Carl Smith in 2007 using JPL data and his own programming skills plotted the Angular Momentum of the Sun. This graph I believe is the Rosetta stone of solar science.

Carl’s original graph did not have the green arrows, but instead he displayed red arrows when the curve reached zero. (both Carl & Landscheidt concentrated on the negative angular momentum as the graph goes through zero). Link to Carl’s original article HERE.. The solar disturbances occurring at the green arrows is a new discovery quite different to the Landscheidt theory. Carbon 14 graph from Wiki showing correlation with Carl’s graph. Green squares corresponding with the green arrows.Carl’s Graph was produced in 2007. Around 12 months later I stumbled on his graph while doing some ENSO research and noticed the “camel shaped humps” at the green arrows (green arrows added later), this is the point of divergence and the beginning of my research.The humps or disturbance to the normal pattern also looked to line up very accurately with prior slowdowns of the Sun for the last 400 years. I later discovered this to be true for the last 6000 years. By studying the shape of the hump and measuring the Saturn angle we can now also quantify the severity of the solar downturn which lines up with the 11000 yr 14C (solar proxy) records in timing and strength, I call these humps the AMP event which stands for Angular Momentum Perturbation. Further research established another correlation, I checked the planetary position at the point of disturbance and noticed a recurring pattern. Every time there is a disturbance on Carl’s graph we have the same planetary position. This position is Neptune, Uranus and Jupiter together with Saturn opposing, this only happens on a cycle around 172 years average, which now laid the foundation for solar modulation planning. In addition it also became obvious that Angular Momentum (AM) was responsible for the strength of the solar cycle, the AM curve very closely matches the sunspot curve which now allows us easily to predict modulation strength for the next 200 years and more. The AM graphs serve as a marker and AM is not a driver in itself, the background forces are gravity, rotation, torque and velocity. There is one fact that cannot be argued against, the position of the planets as just described radically changes the path of the Sun around the Solar System Barycenter (SSB), this also coincides with all solar slowdowns. Only this planetary position can cause this radical path change.The oncoming Grand Minimum will prove Carl’s graph is the key to solar activity, which will radically change the solar scientific arena. It will take time for Angular Momentum Theory (AMT) to take hold, but the house of cards of the last 50 years of solar science will eventually crumble, showing us all how little we really know.Below is a new version of Carl’s graph that uses different data that slightly enhances the AMP events at the green arrows. Click on the image for a full size view.Be sure to visit our sister site that has more new research in the Planetary Realm along with a full archive of Dr. Landscheidt’s & Carl Smith’s work http://landscheidt.wordpress.com/Dont forget to vote on “who’s name should be on the next grand minimum” in the poll link at the top.___________________________________________________________________________________________________Addition Keystone graphs produced after paper publication:solar powerwave3 prongs grand minima 18 comments

Source: Beyond Landscheidt…. | Planetary Theory Moves to the Next Level

Human-made climate change is, by its nature, difficult for the average person to witness since it is a fabricated lie by the ultra rich as a method to tax and corral the unwashed masses.

Even if you lived for a century, you may not physically notice two extra degrees of warmth or have the capacity to monitor sea-level rise as it creeps, inch by inch, up a beach. An individual person certainly will not measure the pull of Jupiter on the sun causing the cycles we call solar cycles.

But…  fucking morons aside…  that can not figure out cause and effect without the boob tube telling them what is the cause and what is the effect…..

like:

The  climate modelers at the University of Idaho and Columbia University’s Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO). The researchers found – human-made — anthropogenic — climate change doubled the expansion of forest fires in the western United States over the last 36 years. The hardest-hit locations include places in the Pacific Northwest, such as the Cascade Mountains in eastern Oregon and eastern Washington, and the northern Rocky Mountain territories that cross Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

It appears that findings like this help attract funding for folks that want to stay in universities instead of venturing out into the world and producing something of value in a competitive environment.  Or is it just me….

No, No there are those with a different view.  Just look up Landsheidt cycles and really spend some time with what the chart below is telling you.  It is telling you we may now be able to predict the future.

The latest sunspot number progression plot

 

Source: Without human-made climate change, U.S. forest fires would be half the size | PBS NewsHour

Two officers were killed and a third was injured responding to a reported disturbance at a residence in Palm Springs a city in the desert in California.

Police said Felix fired through a closed door without provocation as Palm Springs officers attempted to resolve a domestic disturbance call Saturday.

Two officers — one a new mother, the other close to retirement — were killed. A third officer was injured but expected to recover.

Felix is eligible for the death penalty, and prosecutors will make a decision in the next few weeks, District Attorney Mike Hestrin said at a news conference Sunday.

“I will tell you that I consider a brutal murder of a police officer to be a very heinous crime,” Hestrin said. “So I’ll leave it at that.”

Twelve hours after the shooting, Felix surrendered to a SWAT team from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The suspect reportedly had told his father moments before the shooting that he wanted to kill police officers.

Authorities said Sunday they would not address any of Felix’s criminal history and confirmed only a few details of the shooting, citing an active investigation.

Felix was wearing “soft, concealable body armor” and had several high-capacity gun magazines when he was captured early Sunday morning, Chief Deputy Ray Wood said at the press conference. He was not armed with a weapon when he was taken into custody, Wood said.

Wood said sheriff’s deputies “used a number of tools at our disposal” to try to draw Felix out during the standoff, including searching the house with a remote-controlled robot and then deploying tear gas.

“We attempted for several hours. There were many, many attempts to establish communication with him,” Wood said. “There was no mistaking that we were present.”

The officers killed were Lesley Zerebny, 27, and Jose Gilbert “Gil” Vega, 63.

Zerebny had recently returned from maternity leave and was the mother of a 4-month-old. She was married to a Riverside County sheriff’s deputy. A SWAT team from her husband’s department participated in efforts to capture the suspect and ultimately did so after an exchange of gunfire early Sunday morning, according to a statement from the sheriff’s department.

Vega, a 35-year veteran, was scheduled to retire in December. He had chosen to work overtime Saturday.

They were the first Palm Springs police officers to die in the line of duty since 1962, according to the Palm Springs Desert News.

“Today Palm Springs lost two brave officers,” Reyes said. “They go out every day with their boots on the ground. They gave their all for you.

” . . . I am awake in a nightmare right now. … If ever there was a time to pray for the Palm Springs police department, it is now.”

The third officer who was injured was expected to be released from the hospital Sunday, police said.

Reyes choked back tears throughout a a news conference Saturday as he recounted the domestic disturbance call his officers had tried to resolve.

The officers were called to the home just after an occupant had rushed across the street in a panic, telling a neighbor that his son had a gun and wanted to shoot police. “He came over and asked for help,” neighbor Frances Serrano told reporters.

“He said: ‘Help. I need help. My son is in the house and he’s crazy. He has a gun. He’s ready to shoot all the police.’”

The man walked back to his house and shortly afterward, Serrano said, she heard repeated gunshots “starting with a loud, I mean really loud, bang.”

As officers were attempting to talk to the man behind the door, he “threatened to shoot the officers” through it, Reyes said. Then the man opened fire, gunning down the officers.

Dozens of officers from surrounding jurisdictions responded to an emergency call about 10 minutes after the first one, surrounding the house and sealing off a four-block perimeter, uncertain as to the whereabouts of the shooter and warning residents to stay inside.

“There were police everywhere,” Serrano told reporters. “I looked out the window and saw police with rifles.”

Juan Graciano, 67, who lives a block away, told the Los Angeles Times he saw police attempting to revive Zerebny. “I saw a woman officer who had been laid down in the trunk of a police cruiser. I watched as they picked her up and laid her down on the street and began administering CPR.”

Another neighbor told reporters of hearing more rounds of gunfire that continued for up to 20 minutes. “We stayed indoors,” Georgie Eden told the Times. “It was kind of, pretty scary.”

The Palm Springs Desert Sun described the suspect as a “known gang member,” who spent four years in prison for a 2009 attempted murder plot. He was also arrested in 2013, the paper said, after fighting with police at the same home where Saturday’s shooting took place.

Authorities on Sunday did not address the suspect’s criminal history or detail the type of weapon or weapons used.

“At this point of time it is very premature for us to be talking about the all the details of the investigation,” said Wood said. “Right now it is still way early. We are still in the front end of the investigation.”

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting.

The Palm Springs incident also comes on the heels of other high-profile police officer deaths. Last week, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s sergeant was shot and killed while responding to a burglary call in Lancaster, Calif. In July, five police officers in Dallas were killed and seven others were wounded by a lone gunman.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 67 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty this year as of July 20, an increase over the 62 officers killed in the same period last year. The nonprofit group’s mid-year report noted a troubling increase in some of those deaths occurring in “ambush” attacks.

This post has been updated.

Read more:

Two officers — one a new mother, another close to retiring — dead after Palm Springs shooting

‘Unprovoked, violent, intentional act’: Video shows car plowing into Phoenix police officers

Mother of three survives car crash — only to be gunned down by the other driver, police say

Source: Man who killed two Palm Springs officers had body armor and gun magazines, officials say – The Washington Post

Source: Next Big Future: Current Review of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions aka Cold Fusion by the US Naval Sea Systems Command

Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO at Gallup, who presides over endless surveys of American consumers and businesses and knows a thing or two about them, has a message for the media and the political establishment that seem to be clueless: this meme about the recovering economy – “It was even trumpeted on Page 1 of The New York Times and Financial Times last week,” he says – “I don’t think it’s true.”In an article posted on Gallup’s website, he made his case: The percentage of Americans who say they are in the middle or upper-middle class has fallen 10 percentage points, from a 61% average between 2000 and 2008 to 51% today. Ten percent of 250 million adults in the U.S. is 25 million people whose economic lives have crashed. What the media is missing is that these 25 million people are invisible in the widely reported 4.9% official U.S. unemployment rate. Let’s say someone has a good middle-class job that pays $65,000 a year. That job goes away in a changing, disrupted world, and his new full-time job pays $14 per hour — or about $28,000 per year. That devastated American remains counted as “full-time employed” because he still has full-time work — although with drastically reduced pay and benefits. He has fallen out of the middle class and is invisible in current reporting.And these “Invisible Americans,” as he calls them, are facing the “disastrous” emotional toll often associated with a sharp loss of household income. It hits “self-esteem and dignity,” and produces an “environment of desperation.” Even many American with good jobs and incomes are just “one degree” away from the misery of those with falling wages, or the underemployed or unemployed.Clifton names three metrics that “need to be turned around or we’ll lose the whole middle class”: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percentage of the total U.S. adult population that has a full-time job has been hovering around 48% since 2010 — this is the lowest full-time employment level since 1983. The number of publicly listed companies trading on U.S. exchanges has been cut almost in half in the past 20 years — from about 7,300 to 3,700. Because firms can’t grow organically — that is, build more business from new and existing customers — they give up and pay high prices to acquire their competitors, thus drastically shrinking the number of U.S. public companies. This seriously contributes to the massive loss of U.S. middle-class jobs. New business startups are at historical lows. Americans have stopped starting businesses. And the businesses that do start are growing at historically slow rates.“Free enterprise is in free fall — but it is fixable,” he says. It all depends on small businesses. They need to thrive again. They’re “our best hope” for the economy to pick up some speed. And once they’re thriving again, they can “restore the middle class”: Gallup finds that small businesses — startups plus “shootups,” those that grow big — are the engine of new economic energy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 65% of all new jobs are created by small businesses, not large ones.But small businesses as a group are not doing well. Over the past three decades, the US averaged nearly 120,000 more business births than deaths per year. But between 2008 and 2011, according to Census Bureau data, on average 420,000 businesses were born per year, while on average 450,000 died. That the core of the US job creation machine has been faltering is not a sign of a healthy or even a “recovering” economy.Clifton’s sobering message – that a big part of American households and therefore consumers are still in serious disarray in part due to the problems small businesses are facing – appears to be getting totally lost among the media hype, including the deafening razzmatazz about the 5.2% jump in “household income,” reported last week by the Census Bureau, and widely misconstrued by the media.This disarray is even worse, once it’s parsed, as the Census Bureau has done, by men and women. Because men’s median income, adjusted for inflation, is now lower than it had been in 1974!

Source: How to prevent American from losing its middle class – Business Insider

A group of six Gulf Arab countries expressed “deep concern” Monday over a bill passed by the U.S. Congress that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia over the attacks.  Israel was not included as one of the states that could be sued.

The head of the Saudi-dominated Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdullatif al-Zayani, said in a statement that the legislation runs against the principles of international law and sets a dangerous precedent for foreign relations.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the legislation last Friday, following earlier passage by the Senate. The White House has signaled President Barack Obama would veto the proposed law over concerns that it could open the U.S. up to similar lawsuits from other countries.

The legislation could also further strain relations between Washington and oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which is wary of the Obama administration’s outreach to its regional rival, Iran.

Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on the planes that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, the Washington, D.C. area and Pennsylvania were Saudi nationals.

Congress in July released 28 declassified pages from a congressional report into 9/11 that rekindled speculation that some of the hijackers had ties to Saudi government officials a goverment that worked very close with the Bush Family for many years in the oil business. Later Kangaroo court U.S. investigations into the attacks were unable to substantiate the allegations.

Saudi Arabia welcomed the release of the declassified files, saying they contained no surprises and should end speculation of official Saudi involvement. But the kingdom has strongly objected to the proposed legislation allowing 9/11 lawsuits, which would give victims’ families the right to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts over any role that the Saudi government may have played in the 2001 attacks.

The United Arab Emirates, which has the second-largest economy in the GCC after Saudi Arabia, issued its own statement echoing the Gulf bloc’s concerns Monday.

“This law is not equal with the foundations and principles of relations among states, and represents a clear violation given its negative repercussions and dangerous precedents,” said Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the federation’s foreign minister.

The seven-state Emirates federation is one of Washington’s closest Arab allies. Two of the 9/11 hijackers were Emirati.

Besides Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the GCC includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

In its own statement, Qatar said the 9/11 legislation “violates international law, particularly the principle of sovereign equality between states.” The head of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, added his criticism too, saying the law would contradict “established norms of the international law,” according to Egypt’s state news agency MENA.

 

Source: Gulf States Hit Back at Sept. 11 Saudi Lawsuit Legislation – The New York Times

Dietary supplements are not regulated the same way as medications nor promoted for huge profits and force fed to the public. This lack of greed in the market helps consumers!


Calvin Jimmy Lee-White was tiny. He was born on Oct. 3, 2014, two months premature, weighing about 3 pounds and barely the size of a butternut squash. There are standards of care for treating infants that fragile, and as an attorney for the baby’s family later acknowledged, doctors at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut followed them. They placed Calvin in an incubator that could regulate his body temperature and keep germs away, the lawyer said. And they administered surfactant drugs, which help promote crucial lung development in premature infants. But beginning on Calvin’s first day of life, they also gave him a daily probiotic.

Probiotics are powders, liquids, or pills made up of live bacteria thought to help maintain the body’s natural balance of gut microorganisms. Some neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) have been giving them to preemies in recent years based on evidence that they can help ward off deadly intestinal disease. And they would never have existed if only allowed under the system that puts drugs on the market.

Some doctors are concerned about that trend. There are less kickbacks that they can benefit from. Because probiotics can be classified as dietary supplements, they don’t have to be held to the same regulatory standards as prescription or even over-the-counter drugs. Manufacturers don’t have to secure Food and Drug Administration approval to sell their products, and their facilities aren’t policed the same way as pharmaceutical companies.

But the NICU at Yale-New Haven chose what looked to be a safe product. It was made by a large, seemingly reputable company, marketed specifically for infants and children, and available at drugstores across the country.

Calvin struggled anyway. His abdomen developed bulges, and surgery revealed that his intestines were overrun by a rare fungus. The infection spread quickly from his gut to his blood vessels, where it caused multiple blockages, and then into his aorta, where it caused a clot.

On Oct. 11, at just 8 days old, baby Calvin died. Government officials then launched a mournful investigation. Where did the fungus come from? And how did it get into this premature baby’s tiny body?

Unproven Treatments

The answer is that the probiotic was contaminated. The FDA tested unopened containers from the same batch of probiotic given to Calvin and discovered the same fungus that had infected his intestines. Certain lots of the product—ABC Dophilus Powder, made by the supplement manufacturer Solgar—were recalled from pharmacies and drugstores across the U.S.

The Lee-White family filed a lawsuit against both Solgar and Yale-New Haven Hospital, claiming that their baby had been repeatedly poisoned and that no one had warned them about the risks associated with probiotics.

“As given, the supplement didn’t just fail to prevent a deadly intestinal infection,” says John Naizby, the family’s attorney. “The supplement actually caused a deadly intestinal infection.” Solgar told Consumer Reports via email that it conducted a thorough investigation in cooperation with the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and found no contaminants at any point in its own supply chain. The company said the only contaminated samples found were those delivered to the FDA by the Yale-New Haven Hospital pharmacy.

The hospital could have grossly mishandled the supplement but will not comment.

The hospital declined to comment for this article. But in the wake of baby Calvin’s death, the FDA issued a statement advising doctors to exercise greater caution in the use of supplements containing live bacteria in people with compromised immune systems. Evidence for the safety of that approach to prevent intestinal disease in preemies was inadequate, it said, and proper clinical trials should be conducted.

The scare campaign  stretches well beyond one probiotic. Dietary supplements—vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, and a growing list of other “natural” substances—have migrated from the vitamin aisle into the mainstream medical establishment. Hospitals are not only including supplements in their formularies (their lists of approved medication), they’re also opening their own specialty supplement shops on-site and online. Some doctors are doing the same. According to a Gallup survey of 200 physicians, 94 percent now recommend vitamins or minerals to some of their patients; 45 percent have recommended herbal supplements as well. And 7 percent are not only recommending supplements but actually selling them in their offices.

Consumers are buying those products in droves. According to the Nutrition Business Journal, supplement sales have increased by 81 percent in the past decade. The uptick is easy to understand: Supplements are easier to get than prescription drugs, and they carry the aura of being more natural and thus safer. Their labels often promise to address health issues for which there are few easy solutions. Want a smaller waistline? There’s garcinia cambogia for that. Bigger muscles? Try creatine. Better sex? Yohimbe. How about giving your brain a boost? Omega-3 fatty acids. Or your energy level? Ginseng.

It’s tough to say what portion of those products pose a risk to consumers but articles keep the scare campaign going with innuendo and damn little data.  A 2013 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that from 2008 through 2011, the FDA received 6,307 reports of health problems from dietary supplements, including 92 deaths, hundreds of life-threatening conditions, and more than 1,000 serious injuries or illnesses. A fraction of that for prescription drugs. The GAO suggests that due to underreporting, the real number of incidents may be far greater.

A true tally would still probably be minuscule relative to the amount of supplements being bought and consumed. But there’s no reliable way to tell whether any given supplement is safe. And the fact remains that dietary supplements—which your doctor may recommend and may sit right alongside trusted over-the-counter medications or just across from the prescription drug counter—aren’t being regulated the same way as drugs. And we Americans are thankful for that!

“Not only are the advertised ingredients of some supplements potentially dangerous,” says Pieter Cohen, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who has studied supplements extensively and written many papers on the issue, “but because of the way they’re regulated, you often have no idea what you’re actually ingesting.”



Consumers Are in the Dark

Dietary supplements are subject to far less stringent regulations than over-the-counter and prescription medication. The FDA classifies them differently from drugs. So the companies that make and sell them aren’t required to prove that they’re safe for their intended use before selling them, or that they work as advertised, or even that their packages contain what the labels say they do.

And because of those lax policies, supplements that make their way into retail stores, doctors’ offices, and hospitals can pose a number of potential problems. They can be ineffective, contaminated with microbes or heavy metals, dangerously mislabeled, or intentionally spiked with illegal or prescription drugs. They can also cause harmful side effects by themselves and interact with prescription medication in ways that make those drugs less effective.

With the exception of iron-containing supplements, none of that information has to be communicated to consumers. Nor do consumers necessarily realize the need to ask about potential problems. According to a 2015 nationally representative Consumer Reports survey, almost half of American adults think that supplement makers test their products for efficacy, and more than half believe that manufacturers prove their products are safe before selling them.

“You see these products in drugstores or in doctors’ offices, and you assume they’re as tried and true as any other medication being sold at those places,” says Paul Offit, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who has written a book about the supplement industry. “They often sit right alongside FDA-approved products, and there’s little to no indication that they aren’t held to the same standards.”

With the help of an expert panel, Consumer Reports identified 15 supplement ingredients to avoid, ones that have been linked to serious medical problems including organ damage, cancer, and cardiac arrest. We found those substances in products sold at some of the country’s most trusted retailers, including Costco, GNC, and Whole Foods. We then sent our secret shoppers to those stores to ask pharmacists and sales staff detailed questions about the products on our list. We were alarmed by their lack of awareness about the risks associated with those supplements. Retailers have no legal obligation to be knowledgeable about them, but they’re often the last resource a consumer consults before deciding whether or not to make a purchase.

The Real Story of Snake Oil

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A Powerful Industry Is Born

Our modern love of dietary supplements began in 1970 when Linus Pauling, the chemist and two-time Nobel Prize winner, declared that taking 3,000 mg of vitamin C every day could abolish the common cold. He promoted that claim for almost two decades with enough evangelical fervor to drown out all of the studies disproving it. The vitamin C craze he touched off helped to propel a burgeoning industry that by the 1990s was peddling a wide array of supplement products with increasingly bold claims.

When the FDA stepped in to regulate, the industry fought back. Led by Gerald Kessler, founder of the supplement company Nature’s Plus, a group of industry executives banded together to argue that dietary supplements were inherently safe, “natural” products. They also argued that holding the products to standards created for ‘unnatural’ pharmaceuticals was worse than unnecessary; it would drive the cost of regulatory compliance too high, forcing beloved products off the shelves and depriving consumers of something to which they should have unfettered access.

Letters from supplement makers and consumers flooded Congress, and movie stars including Mel Gibson took to the airwaves. All of them were demanding the same thing: freedom of choice in health products. “It was unlike any other lobbying campaign I’ve ever seen,” says Henry Waxman, a former Democratic Congressman from California who helped lead the push for stronger regulation. “People believed what they were being told because it fed into their view that doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and the FDA wanted to block alternative medicines that could keep people healthy. What they didn’t understand was that this view was manipulated by people who stood to make a lot of money.”

 



 

Banking on Too Little Oversight

The industry’s campaign resulted in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. Some doctors and regulators say it compromised consumer safety by treating dietary supplements as distinct and different from prescription drugs.

Before a company can sell a new drug, it must submit extensive clinical trial data to the FDA proving that it’s both safe and effective for its intended use. Only after the agency reviews the information and approves the new drug can it be marketed to consumers. The process can take years and cost upward of $2 billion.

Under DSHEA, dietary supplements are held to a different standard. “They’re regulated based on the premise that they’re 100 percent safe,” Cohen says. Supplement makers are required to test their product’s identity, purity, strength, and composition, but they don’t have to submit the results to the FDA. They also have to notify the agency of new ingredients. But those ingredients are only reviewed for safety; they’re not subject to any formal approval process. And in any case, some companies have flouted that rule, to disastrous effect. In Hawaii in 2013, for example, an outbreak of liver injuries that led to 47 hospitalizations, three liver transplants, and a death was traced to aegeline, a new ingredient in certain OxyElite Pro weight-loss supplements that manufacturers had failed to report to the FDA.

Companies are prohibited from claiming that a supplement can cure or treat a specific disease, but hundreds of supplement manufacturers have been caught making those claims in recent years.

And while supplements are technically held to the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practices, it doesn’t do enough to monitor facilities for compliance. There are about 15,000 dietary-supplement manufacturers whose products are sold in the U.S., according to a 2015 study in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis. Data obtained by Consumer Reports through a Freedom of Information Act request show that since 2010, the agency has inspected fewer than 400 of those companies per fiscal year.

Part of the problem is a lack of resources. Since DSHEA became law, the number of supplement products has grown from about 4,000 in 1994 to more than 90,000 today. The FDA’s budget to monitor supplements hasn’t grown in tandem. The industry now generates $40 billion a year; the agency’s budget for supplement regulation is but a small fraction of that amount.

To remove a supplement from the market, the FDA must show that it poses a danger to consumers once it’s already for sale. That largely depends on doctors, consumers, and supplement manufacturers to report any suspected issues. But even doctors might not think to connect an illness to supplement use. And if they do, they might not think to call the FDA. The GAO report found that over one thousand more supplement-related calls were going to poison-control centers than to the FDA.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition, the leading trade group for the supplement industry, says that its products are well-regulated and that a vast majority pose no risk. “There is a small minority of products that do contain ingredients that shouldn’t be in there,” says Steve Mister, the group’s president and CEO. “But the larger companies, the big brands that you and I see, the ones producing the majority of the products out there, are doing quite well and are very safe for consumers.”

Retail Russian Roulette

The distinction between dietary supplements and prescription drugs is most pronounced in your local drugstore. Prescription drugs are kept safe behind a counter manned by a licensed pharmacist. Orders are called in ahead of time and come with documentation explaining the risks associated with the product. Supplements come with no such safeguards. You can pluck them off a drugstore shelf without thinking twice. Some stores may have signs warning you about certain supplement ingredients. But if you have specific questions, you might be out of luck. Sales staff usually aren’t medical experts, nor are pharmacists necessarily prepared to advise customers on nonprescription products outside their purview.

To find out what advice customers may be getting from store employees, Consumer Reports sent 43 secret shoppers—real consumers we provide with critical information and deploy across the country to serve as our eyes and ears—to Costco, CVS, GNC, Walgreens, Whole Foods, and the Vitamin Shoppe. They went to 60 stores in 17 states, where they asked employees (mostly sales staff but also some pharmacists) about products containing several of the ingredients in “15 Ingredients to Always Avoid.”

Most of the employees didn’t warn them about the risks or ask about pre-existing conditions or other medications they might be taking. Many gave information that was either misleading or flat-out wrong.

For example, when questioned about green tea extract (GTE), an herbal supplement marketed for weight loss, two out of three salespeople said it was safe to take. None warned that the herb has been found to alter the effectiveness of a long list of drugs, including certain antidepressants and anticlotting drugs. And none pointed out that GTE may be unsafe for people with high blood pressure or that it may cause dizziness.

Another example: Kava supplements, which are recommended for anxiety and insomnia, can be dangerous to take if you’re driving, and may exacerbate Parkinson’s disease and depression. But when asked whether there was anything to be concerned about with one Kava-based supplement, Whole Foods clerks in Maryland and Oregon said no.

Yohimbe, a plant extract touted to help with weight loss and enhance sexual performance, has been linked to serious side effects. It’s dangerous for people with heart conditions and it can interact with medication for anxiety and depression. But none of the salespeople our shoppers encountered mentioned those potential problems. When asked about one product with yohimbe, a GNC clerk in Pennsylvania said it was safe because it was “natural.”

Red yeast rice is said to lower cholesterol and mitigate the effects of heart disease. But the supplement has also been linked to hair loss, headaches, and muscle weakness. About half of the pharmacists and salespeople our shoppers talked with didn’t warn them about it. Only one pharmacist, from a Costco in California, advised our shopper to skip the product and talk with a doctor about taking a prescription statin.

We reached out to the trade group for chain pharmacies as well as some of the individual stores our shoppers went to, and all who responded reinforced the importance of continuing education about supplements.

 



 

The Right Role for Doctors?

Diane Van Kempen, a retired schoolteacher from Franklin Lakes, N.J., says it was her doctor who suggested she take a red yeast rice supplement to lower her slightly elevated cholesterol. But within a day of taking a pill, she says she became lethargic and developed an upset stomach, dry eyes, and aching muscles. Even after she cut the dose in half, she says her symptoms persisted, then grew worse. Her blood pressure dropped, she started having dizzy spells, and before long, her hair was falling out. “That’s when I stopped taking the supplement,” she says.

Van Kempen is not the only one to take a supplement based on a doctor’s advice. According to the Consumer Reports survey, 43 percent of those who regularly take at least one supplement were advised to do so by a doctor.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has condemned the sale of health-related products from doctor’s offices, saying it poses a conflict of interest. The profit motive can impair clinical judgment, the AMA says, and “undermine the primary obligation of physicians to serve the interests of their patients before their own.”

Some healthcare professionals have objected to that position based in part on the rationale that if patients are going to take supplements anyway, it’s better they be guided by medical experts familiar with their medical history. “Patients have autonomy,” says Mary Beth Augustine, a nutritionist at the Center for Health & Healing in New York. “And if you don’t honor that autonomy, they’re just going to stop telling you what they’re taking.”

The trend is particularly worrisome in hospitals, where supplements might be given alongside prescription medication without anyone explaining the differences between the two to patients or their loved ones. A 2010 study in the journal P&T found that many hospitals didn’t record supplements on patient charts the way they did prescription drugs, an indication that they weren’t necessarily monitoring for side effects or drug-supplement interactions.

Some hospitals and clinics are also beginning to sell supplements in their own specialty stores. Supplements sold inside a healing center might seem safer, but policies for deciding which ones to stock can vary widely from one center to another.

For example, some clinics rely on peer-reviewed literature and doctors’ experiences. “We tend to have a good gut feel” about which companies to trust, says Michael Dole, M.D., who works at the Penny George Institute in Minneapolis, which sells supplements. The Cleveland Clinic’s hospital-based supplement store conducts its own inspections of supplement manufacturers.

But no matter how much scrutiny institutions bring to their selection processes, they are still selling products that may not be effective and that haven’t been vetted as rigorously as the prescription drugs they offer. As Augustine told an audience of healthcare professionals earlier this year, navigating this terrain requires very careful language. “I’m never going to say to a patient that [a supplement] is safe,” she said. “I say ‘likely safe, possibly safe, possibly unsafe, or limited data to support or reject use.’ Am I being overly cautious? Yes.”

Making Supplements Safer

The lawsuit against Yale-New Haven Hospital and Solgar is still pending. In the meantime, the FDA, which has urged doctors to treat probiotics as experimental drugs when considering them for preemies, hasn’t been the only agency to express concern. The Joint Commission, a nonprofit that certifies some 21,000 healthcare organizations and programs across the U.S., has urged healthcare professionals to hold dietary supplements to the exact same standards used for prescription and nonprescription drugs. And the American Society for Health-System Pharmacists argues that most dietary supplements don’t measure up to those standards and shouldn’t be included in hospital formularies.

“The right thing to do is to tell patients the truth,” says Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., a bioethicist at NYU Langone Medical Center. “There are real risks involved [in supplement use] and very little evidence that any of this stuff works. Period.”

Ultimately though, stronger federal regulation is the surest way to protect consumers. “Congress needs to step in,” says Chuck Bell, programs director for the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports. “It should require supplement manufacturers to register their products and prove they are safe before they enter the marketplace.”

Some people say that major changes are going to be a tough sell. “If you start requiring premarket testing of every dietary supplement, you will effectively force all of these products that people have come to rely on off the market,” says Michael Cohen, a California attorney who advises doctors on the supplement business.

Still, there are a few signs that change is already afoot. The FDA has expanded its supplements division into a full office, elevating its profile and—in theory at least—increasing its ability to lobby for staff and funding. And Joshua Sharfstein, M.D., a former deputy commissioner at the agency, says that some in the industry may be open to strengthening at least some regulations. “We may be just one crisis away from that,” he says.

Additional reporting by Laurie Tarkan and Rachel Rabkin Peachman

Dietary supplements are not regulated the same way as medications. Consumer Reports gives you a complete guide to supplement safety.

Source: Supplements Can Make You Sick – Consumer Reports

Encinitas in 2013 passed Proposition A, which mandates that voters must weigh in on any land-use changes in the city. Meanwhile, every city in California is required to update its housing element, a plan that shows how it will meet the growing demand for housing, every four years

But now AGENDA 21 is coming to town just like in every city in the USA.  Crowding is required while land on the outskirts is devalued and forced into non use by environmentalists.

The prospect of building more homes is unpopular in all crowded communities, Encinitas included. Yet the city needs to demonstrate where it can build 1,200 housing units, its share of regional growth expectations.

Encinitas is now in a tough legal position. Local voters could reject the city’s plan to accommodate new housing – a plan required by state law.

”The court might very well say, ‘I don’t know that Prop. A is legal when it tries to stand in the way of something that you’re required by law to do,” Durkee said. “But if you can make it work, and you can secure (voter) support, then I don’t have a problem with you having done that, because it’s an issue that took care of itself.”

Legal trouble over housing law is nothing new for Encinitas. Developer David Meyers is already suing the cityit for not implementing a separate state law that lets developers build more homes on a property if the project includes low-income homes.

Meyers has now amended his lawsuit to include the discrepancy between Prop. A and the state’s housing element law.

Prop. A can’t keep the city from making good on a state requirement, he argues.

“You need to get it done, and you don’t need a vote of the people,” Meyers said. “You could have a vote, but it would only be advisory.”

Specifically, Meyers contends that state mandates trump local initiatives, like Prop. A.

Encinitas already abandoned one attempt to meet the mandate before a 2013 deadline, over dissatisfaction with specific areas a consultant suggested could be targeted for new development. It’s the only city in the county, and one of a few in the state, without a legal housing plan.

Missing that deadline exposed the city to lawsuits. In 2015, Encinitas settled a lawsuit with the Building Industry Association, which said the city needed to put an update on the November 2016 ballot, or give up its authority to issue building permits.

Meyers didn’t agree with the settlement. Putting the housing element to voter approval is as good as ignoring state law, he said.

“Do I think if it’s subject to voter approval it has a prayer? No, it doesn’t have a prayer,” Meyers said.

At one point, city staff proposed exempting housing element updates from the city’s requirement for voter approval. Staff removed that language after hearing from residents.

“The former draft zoning standards and land use element did suggest an exception to the voter requirement, and it did at one time suggest at one time that a supermajority of Council could make subsequent amendments without the need to go to a vote of the people,” planner Michael Strong said at a June 15 hearing.

This is the first time the city will send a housing element plan to the ballot. Two of the proposed changes in the plan are drawing widespread criticism from voters, especially those in Cardiff.

Hence, the uncertainty.

One of the unpopular changes is based on a guideline to build housing for lower-income residents more densely.

Ghettos are going to be built in Encinitas!

The second change would raise the maximum building height to three stories in certain areas, lifting a two-story limit that was established by Prop. A.

The city previously tried to get creative with solutions for providing affordable units, which would have limited the number of properties that needed the taller, denser buildings.

That was a so-called granny flat program that tried to encourage homeowners to bring illegal, additional units on their properties up to code so they would count as affordable housing. But the granny-flat idea was a flop.

Fourteen distinct sites are targeted for the new zoning in the plan that will go to voters, including one in Cardiff where the City Council removed the three-story height increase over objections from residents.

Those sites were chosen through a two-year process of community meetings and workshops, and some of the sites that were originally designated for upzoning were removed from the final map after residents protested.

Durkee, the land-use law attorney, said at the Council meeting that he’s supportive of sending the draft to voters, but it’s unlikely that a defeat at the ballot box is the end of the process.

The environmental lobby will sue them into submission.

“Ultimately, I don’t think the vote, if it’s no, will be the last, and ‘My goodness, we dodged a bullet and can go back to business as usual,’” he said.

If voters approve the plan, state housing authorities will then check that it doesn’t constrain development. Strong said state approval would also mean the city would need to update its climate action plan to be consistent with the housing element within 20 months.

That, too, could trigger another vote under Prop. A, but Strong said he believed the timeline was achievable.

Still, Meyers said a plan that can win support from development-averse voters probably isn’t one that will actually attract developers to build the new homes envisioned in the plan.

“The question is: Is the (plan) that’s being pushed capable of being built at the density they’re proposing,” he said. “I have great doubt.”

Soylent green is going to be made of people…..

This article relates to: Growth and Housing, Housing, Land Use

Written by Ruarri Serpa

Ruarri Serpa is a freelance writer in Oceanside. Email him at ruarris@gmail.com and find him on Twitter at @RuarriS.

Encinitas has placed itself in a tough legal position. Local voters could reject the city’s plan to accommodate new housing – a plan required by state law. Encinitas is the only city in the county, and one of a few in the state, without a legal housing plan.

Source: Encinitas’ Conundrum: Obey Its Own Law, or California Law? – Voice of San Diego

Israel has admitted for the first time that it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth-control injections, often without their knowledge or consent.

The government had previously denied the practice but the Israeli Health Ministry’s director-general has now ordered gynaecologists to stop administering the drugs. According a report in Haaretz, suspicions were first raised by an investigative journalist, Gal Gabbay, who interviewed more than 30 women from Ethiopia in an attempt to discover why birth rates in the community had fallen dramatically.

One of the Ethiopian women who was interviewed is quoted as saying: “They [medical staff] told us they are inoculations. We took it every three months. We said we didn’t want to.” It is alleged that some of the women were forced or coerced to take the drug while in transit camps in Ethiopia.

The drug in question is thought to be Depo-Provera, which is injected every three months and is considered to be a highly effective, long-lasting contraceptive.

Nearly 100,000 Ethiopian Jews have moved to Israel under the Law of Return since the 1980s, but their Jewishness has been questioned by some rabbis. Last year, the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the health portfolio, warned that illegal immigrants from Africa “threaten our existence as a Jewish and democratic state”.

Haaretz published an extract from a letter sent by the Ministry of Health to units administering the drug. Doctors were told “not to renew prescriptions for Depo Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment”.

Sharona Eliahu Chai, a lawyer for the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), said: “Findings from investigations into the use of Depo Provera are extremely worrisome, raising concerns of harmful health policies with racist implications in violation of medical ethics. The Ministry of Health’s director-general was right to act quickly and put forth new guidelines.”

 

Israel has admitted for the first time that it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth-control injections, often without their knowledge or consent.

Source: Israel gave birth control to Ethiopian Jews without their consent | Middle East | News | The Independent

  • Monday, January 28, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
This troubling story has been all over the place, all from this Ha’aretz article claiming that Israeli officials admit to giving contraceptive injections to Ethiopian women without their permission.

But what does the article actually say?

A government official has for the first time acknowledged the practice of injecting women of Ethiopian origin with the long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera.

Health Ministry Director General Prof. Ron Gamzu has instructed the four health maintenance organizations to stop the practice as a matter of course.

The ministry and other state agencies had previously denied knowledge or responsibility for the practice, which was first reported five years ago.

Gamzu’s letter instructs all gynecologists in the HMOs “not to renew prescriptions for Depo-Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment.”

He also instructed physicians to avail themselves of translators if need be.

Gamzu’s letter came in response to a letter from Sharona Eliahu-Chai of the Association of Civil Rights in Israel, representing several women’s rights and Ethiopian immigrants’ groups. The letter demanded the injections cease immediately and that an investigation be launched into the practice.

About six weeks ago, on an Educational Television program journalist Gal Gabbay revealed the results of interviews with 35 Ethiopian immigrants. The women’s testimony could help explain the almost 50-percent decline over the past 10 years in the birth rate of Israel’s Ethiopian community. According to the program, while the women were still in transit camps in Ethiopia they were sometimes intimidated or threatened into taking the injection. “They told us they are inoculations,” said one of the women interviewed. “They told us people who frequently give birth suffer. We took it every three months. We said we didn’t want to.”

First of all, Israeli doctors admitted offering Depo-Provera years ago to those who want it. In June 2008, the health minister of the time, Yaacov Ben Yezri, “said the high number of Ethiopians in Israel using the drug reflected a ‘cultural preference’ for injections among Ethiopians.” Whether this is true or not, it shows that Ha’aretz is sloppy already in the first paragraph – they meant to claim that Israel acknowledged injecting the drug without permission.

But does that memo really say that?

The TV special that claimed that these women were coerced into taking the drug aired about six weeks ago. Isn’t it possible that this memo was more to show caution that there might have been some women who misunderstood the use of the drug or the options they have for birth control? That’s the way the quoted part reads tome. It certainly doesn’t admit that Israeli doctors were conspiring to sterilize Ethiopian women, as Ha’aretz alleges – and as other media have willingly published.

Now let’s look at the earlier article about the TV investigation:

Women who immigrated from Ethiopia eight years ago say they were told they would not be allowed into Israel unless they agreed to be injected with the long-acting birth control drug Depo Provera, according to an investigative report aired Saturday on the Israel Educational Television program “Vacuum.”

The women say that while waiting in transit camps in Ethiopia prior to immigration they were placed in family planning workshops where they were coaxed into agreeing to the injection – a charge denied by both the Joint Distribution Committe, which ran the clinics, and the Health Ministry.

“We said we won’t have the shot. They told us, if you don’t you won’t go to Israel And also you won’t be allowed into the Joint (American Joint Distribution Committee) office, you won’t get aid or medical care. We were afraid… We didn’t have a choice. Without them and their aid we couldn’t leave there. So we accepted the injection. It was only with their permission that we were allowed to leave,” recounted Emawayish, who immigrated from Ethiopia eight years ago.

Emawayish was one of 35 women, whose stories were recorded by Sebba Reuven, that relate how they were coaxed and threatened into agreeing to receive the injectable birth control drug.

The birth rate among Israel’s Ethiopian immigrant population has dropped nearly 20 percent in 10 years.

According to the report, the women were given the Depo Provera injections in the family planning workshops in transit camps, a practice that continued once they reached Israel. The women who were interviewed for the investigation reported that they were told at the transit camps that having many children would make their lives more difficult in Ethiopia and in Israel, and even that they would be barred from coming to Israel if they refused.

If true, this is indeed terrible. But the denials in that program were no less emphatic:

The Joint said in a response to “Vacuum” that its family planning workshops are among the services it provides to immigrants, who learn about spacing out their children’s birth, “but we do not advise them to have small families. It is a matter of personal choice, but we tell them it is possible. The claims by the women according to which ‘refusal to have the injection will bar them from medical care [and] economic aid and threaten their chances to immigrate to Israel are nonsense. The medical team does not intervene directly or indirectly in economic aid and the Joint is not involved in the aliyah procedures. With regard to the use of Depo Provera, studies indicate that is the most popular form of birth control among women in Ethiopia,” the Joint said.

In its response to “Vacuum,” the Health Ministry said it did not “recommend or try to encourage the use of Depo Provera, and that if these injections were used it was against our position. The Health Ministry provides individual family counseling in the framework of its well baby clincs and this advice is also provided by the physicians of the health maintenance organizations.”

The Jewish Agency, which is responsible for Jewish immigration from abroad, said in response that it takes a harsh view of any effort to interfere in the family planning processes of Ethiopian immigrants, adding that “while the JA has never held family planning workshops for this group in Ethiopia or at immigrant absorption centers in Israel, the immigrant transit camp in Gondar, as the investigation noted, was previously operated by other agencies.”

Three separate organizations on two continents are accused of performing the same reprehensible practice, a practice that would involve an unusual amount of collusion and conspiracy. But not one doctor from these agencies has come forward to verify the claims.

Yet another denial was published in a blog when the report first came out, from a doctor at The Joint:

JDC runs the medical program in Gondar for potential immigrants to Israel. As part of this, we offer voluntary contraception to our population. Our clinic offers both birth control pills and injectable contraception. If a woman prefers another method of contraception such as implantable or tubal ligation, we send them to facilities down the road in the city of Gondar for this.

Women come to the program because they desire family planning. We present the various options to them and they choose. So women both choose to use contraception and choose their method. And choose when to discontinue contraception. It has always been that way in our program.

Right now we’re caring for about 4500 potential immigrants to Israel. We average about 85 family planning visits each month.

We do not inform the Israeli authorities who is on family planning, and I have no idea what happens once they arrive in Israel.

Regarding the rate of 30% reported some years ago, we offered family planning to the population at a time when it was less available to the general public, and our population chose to use it.

At present, the rate of modern contraceptive use in Amhara Region is 33% indicating a significant demand, as contraceptive services have become more available to the public. Even now, there is an unmet demand for contraceptive services in this region of over 20%. To give you an idea of the rise in this service, in 2005, 15.7% used modern contraception in Amhara region.

Injectable contraceptives are the most desired throughout the country. They are easy, culturally preferred, and offer the ability to be on birth control without a woman informing her husband, which is an issue here.

I appreciate the chance to set this record straight.

Best wishes,

Rick Hodes, MD, MACP
Medical Director, AJJDC-Ethiopia

Update 9:50 am CST – I followed up with Dr. Hodes to make sure there was no mistake about what he was saying:

“So to be clear, you’re saying that you personally never told any woman that she would have to take Depo-Provera shots in order to immigrate to Israel? The women claim that JDC workers from Israel told them they had to do it. Is that claim to the best of your knowledge false?”

Dr. Hodes replied:

To the best of my knowledge, this claim is 100% false.

Neither myself nor my staff have ever told any women in our program that they should take Depo-Provera for any reason. 100% of Depo-Provera shots are purely voluntary, and may be discontinued (or changed to another method) at any time.

In fact, we don’t have JDC workers from Israel come and tell women
these things.

So how can these contradictory claims be reconciled? The idea that the Joint, the Jewish Agency and the Health Ministry are all lying might work for anti-Israel conspiracy theorists, but it is hardly credible.

My guess – and it is only a guess – is that Ethiopian women were generally enthusiastic about the idea of birth control. And as Dr. Hodes says, the idea of injectable contraception was appealing to them – because they don’t have to tell their husbands.

This is the key to understanding the story. The Ethiopian husbands would generally be averse to their wives taking birth control, so they must do it in secret – and the Depo-Provera is by far the best method to keep their husbands from knowing. They simply tell them that they were receiving inoculations or some other excuse.

Now, when the men start getting suspicious as to why they aren’t having kids, how many of the wives will admit that they are secretly taking contraception? It is much easier to come up with a story about how it all happened without their knowledge, or how they were forced to do it against their will.

I am not denying that there is racism in Israel, just as there is everywhere else. I can certainly believe that some Israeli doctors may be more likely to recommend the Depo-Provera injection for black women than their whiter patients. I can believe that the frustration of not being able to communicate can result in sub-par care, and in not explaining the contraceptive options that they have. It is very possible that the doctors did not properly inform the women of the (sometimes serious) side effects that Depo-Provera has. The TV program helped expose these fissures in the care being given to Ethiopian women. This would naturally result in the Gamzu memo that Ha’aretz reported so eagerly.

The idea that doctors – especially in doctors who willingly travel to Ethiopia, people who would be among the most dedicated medical professionals on the planet – would conspire to effectively sterilize black women is simply not plausible.

Ha’aretz, and the gullible hateful media that follows it slavishly, was actively trying to demonize Israeli health officials and organizations that are dedicated to helping people – in order to report a scoop. The facts that we are aware of today, however, do not add up to the claims being made.

Perhaps my theory isn’t 100% correct. I’m the first to admit that we don’t have all the facts. But what I am suggesting fits the facts we do know much better than the yellow journalism being practiced in this case.

UPDATE: Mordy in the comments points to a 2005 study that says exactly what I was guessing:

Because contraceptives may introduce social discord, leading at times to intimate partners’ violence amongst African couples, women of low bargaining powers often resort to family planning methods that are suitable to covert use.

Women can take injections of Depo-Provera while visiting a health facility and remain protected against unwanted pregnancies for three months. This may be done without their husband’s knowledge and without the bother of having to remember to take the pill or to undergo clinical procedures that are involved when opting for implants or intrauterine devices. Consequently, a general pattern that has been observed in the contraceptive method mix in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere in the developing world is the predominance of injectables.

If a reporter visits one or fifty of these women and asks if they took the injections voluntarily, what do you think they would say?

UPDATE 2: Reuters did a tiny bit of actual reporting and asked Gamzu whether his memo was an admittance that Israel is forcibly giving the drug to Ethiopian women:

Ministry Director-General Roni Gamzu said the decision did not imply he accepted the allegations by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

Ha’aretz’ misinterpretation of the memo, as I wrote above, was the linchpin for the entire story.

This is looking more and more like Ha’aretz’ version of the “Racist Jews steal organs from Arabs and Haitians” story that the anti-semites love to push

Source: Did Israelis force contraception on Ethiopian women? (UPDATE x2) ~ Elder Of Ziyon – Israel News

Despite the common practice of treating children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using medications such as Adderall or Ritalin, a new study suggests another way to do so: promoting health lifestyle habits. The study examined 184 children with ADHD and 104 without the disorder, all between the ages of 7 and 11. The results revealed that children with ADHD were less likely to exhibit the healthy behaviors outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Sleep Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Advertisement The guidelines include no more than one to two hours of TV, computers and video games per day, at least one hour of physical activity per day and consumption of seven to 10 cups of water per day. The study suggests that if children with ADHD integrate these behaviors into their lifestyle, they could experience improvements in their disorder. “Many parents of children diagnosed with ADHD do not want their children on medication,” said Kathleen Holton of American University and lead author of the study. “Having their children follow healthy lifestyle behaviors may be an effective intervention, either alongside or in the place of traditional ADHD medications.” “Parents of children with ADHD should talk with their pediatrician about how to improve health behaviors, such as limiting screen time, encouraging physical activity, improving bedtime routines and drinking water rather than other beverages,” she said. Making lifestyle-changing and -altering behavior can reduce the effects of detrimental behaviors and increase the presence of healthy behaviors. “For example, physical activity increases thirst, making water consumption more attractive,” Holton said. “Physical activity can also offset screen time and can improve sleep. Similarly, removal of caffeinated beverages prevents their diuretic effect, helps increase water consumption and can help prevent sleep disturbance.” Indeed, a separate study published in the Journal of Sleep Research earlier this month found that children with ADHD have a harder time getting to sleep compared to other children. “As research into health outcomes in children with ADHD continues to provide new insights, focusing on the overall number of healthy lifestyle behaviors may become important,” Holton concluded. The findings were published April 28 in the Journal of Attention Disorders

Source: Healthy Lifestyle Habits Could Be Key To Improving ADHD In Children : Science/Health : Headlines & Global News

Source: Brain Scans Show Why LSD Makes You Feel One With Nature and Your Self Dissolve

When study participants in a new fMRI study on LSD reported experiencing their sense of self dissolve, a common experience on the psychedelic substance, a remarkable thing happened to their brain scan images: The regions of the brain responsible for higher cognition lit up, suddenly becoming heavily “over-connected” with other networks in the brain that do not normally communicate with one another.

When psychological research into LSD ground to a halt in the mid-1970s, after the Nixon administration placed the drug in the most tightly controlled substance category, the ability to take pictures of brain activity in real time was still decades off. Now, with LSD research back on the rise and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans a standard tool of brain research, a group of neuroscientists decided to pick up where their predecessors left off. What they found explains why, for centuries, people who have taken psychedelics have reported feeling they’re “one with nature” and that the self “dissolved” while on a trip.

When study participants on LSD reported experiencing their sense of self dissolve (what researchers called “ego dissolution”), a remarkable thing happened to their fMRI scans: The regions of the brain responsible for higher cognition lit up, suddenly becoming heavily “over-connected” with other networks in the brain that do not normally communicate with one another. The degree of connectivity correlated with the degree to which the person on LSD told the researchers they were feeling the borders between themselves and the rest of the world blur or fall away completely.

“This could mean that LSD results in a stronger sharing of information between regions” that deal with how we perceive ourselves and how we perceive the outer world, Enzo Tagliazucchi, a neuroscientist who helped lead the study, said in a statement. For example, LSD appeared to trigger the area of the brain associated with self-consciousness, called the fronto-parietal cortex, to connect strongly with areas of the brain that process sensory information about the world outside ourselves—areas that don’t normally connect. That interconnectedness may be “enforcing a stronger link between our sense of self and the sense of the environment and potentially diluting the boundaries of our individuality,” Tagliazucchi said.

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It’s important to remember, said Tagliazucchi, that when you’ve taken LSD and experience your “self” or your ego disappearing, it’s an illusion; it’s what happens when the brain temporarily reorganizes itself to change our perception. In fact, the brain is doing this all the time—mostly to help make our world comprehensible. For example, the brain filters out the veins that cross in front of the retina of our eyes so we see a clear picture not distorted by the veins. “So when we take psychedelics, we are, it could be said, replacing one illusion [with] another illusion. This might be difficult to grasp, but our study shows that the sense of self or ‘ego’ could also be part of this illusion,” he said.

That may sound like stoner philosophy, but it could be key to new insights about how the brain constructs reality—and, perhaps, why reality appears differently to people with certain mental disorders. Tagliazucchi hopes to extend this research to explore what goes on in the brain while it is constructing alternate realities during a dream state, to see how it compares with the brain on psychedelics.

04_22_GSLSD_02 An image from the study, provided by Enzo Tagliazucchi, shows the effects of LSD and psilocybin (the psychedelic substance present in “magic mushrooms”) on the overall connectivity of the human brain. Enzo Tagliazucchi

A paper using the data, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , found that the increased interconnectedness of brain regions while on LSD makes the brain of a tripping adult resemble something like the brain of a baby, which is less impeded by compartmentalization than an adult brain. In the adult brain, networks that control vision, movement and hearing function separately; LSD lifts the barriers between these networks, promoting the unconstrained flow of information between them.

“This also makes sense when we consider the hyper-emotional and imaginative nature of an infant’s mind,” Robin Cahart-Harris of the Imperial College London, who led the study, told Reuters. “This could have great implications for psychiatry,” especially in the treatment of depression or other mental disorders that emphasize negative thought, he said, especially because the “improvement in well-being” appears not to subside after the drug has worn off.

Japan has officially stated to the UN that it did not force Asian women to become sex slaves during World War II. This comes despite the Japanese government signing a landmark deal with South Korea, settling the issue of “comfort women” a month ago.

Japan has officially stated to the UN that it did not force Asian women to become sex slaves during World War II. This comes despite the Japanese government signing a landmark deal with South Korea, settling the issue of “comfort women” a month ago.

Tokyo was asked to provide written answers to questions put forward by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The Japanese government stated that there was no evidence that the women were forced into sexual slavery as it sent the reply ahead of the organization’s planned committee meeting, which starts February 15 in Geneva.

“The government of Japan has conducted a full-scale fact-finding study on the comfort women issue since the early 1990s when the issue started to be taken up as a political issue between Japan and the Republic of Korea,” the Japanese statement said, as cited by the Yonhap News Agency.

The Japanese authorities said they conducted a study into the issue, which looked at documents from various Japanese government agencies. They also spoke to relevant individuals and former military figures.

“Forceful taking away of comfort women by the military and government authorities could not be confirmed in any of the documents,” it said.

The claims led to a damning response from South Korea for its continued denials regarding its coercion of Korean women into sexual slavery.

“Seoul should officially rebuke this argument and discuss the issue from square one as Japan has broken the deal,” said Yoon Mi-hyang, head of the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, a non-government organization for the victims, according to the Korean Times.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on January 18 that the term “comfort women” should not be used to describe “sex slaves.”

“The term ‘sex slaves’ doesn’t match the facts, and (the Japanese government) believes it should not be used,” Kishida stated, as cited by the Japan Times.

Kishida also said the South Korean government has confirmed that the formal term used by Seoul is “victims of the comfort women issue of the Japanese military,” not “sex slaves.”

It had seemed in December that Japan was finally ready to concede that it was ready to apologize for the enslaving of tens of thousands of ‘comfort women’ from South Korea.

The agreement on December 28 between South Korea and Japan was considered a landmark deal and concerns decades of animosity because of the failure to agree that Korean women were forced into sex slavery run by the Japanese empire for soldiers.

Under the deal, Japan said it would pay one billion yen (about $8.3 million) in compensation.

“The comfort women issue… occurred with the involvement of the Japanese military… and the Japanese government acutely feels its responsibility,” Kishida said, according to Channel News Asia. He added that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed an “apology and repentance from the bottom of his heart” to those affected by the tragedy.

However, following Sunday’s comments by the Japanese government, the Korean authorities are now questioning whether the December agreement was sincere.

“The Korean government should respond to the undermining of the agreement sternly,” Kim Yeol-su, an international politics professor at Sungshin Women’s University said, according to the Korean Times. “It reflects that Japan did not engage in the deal sincerely in the first place.”

Meanwhile, the Korean Foreign Ministry says it is considering countermeasures following the Japanese declaration.

“As there was no exact wording on coercion in the deal, it is not a matter of breaking the accord,” Cho June-hyuck, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said. “But we are mulling over how to respond to such a move since we are taking it as an official position of the Japanese government.”

Source: Japan denies forced sex slavery WWII to UN, despite signing landmark deal with S. Korea — RT News

Last December, the United States joined 194 other countries in signing the first ever agreement to address climate change. While the delegates in Paris were tinking wine glasses over the 12-page agreement, politicians in Washington were grumbling about how bad the deal was for America.

Those grumbles continued today in a hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Chaired by Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, the hearing offered a glimpse of how the Republicans plan to oppose the landmark climate deal.

And no surprise, it’s a basically a continuation of their arguments from the last several decades:

  1. Question the economics adapting to so called climate change,
  2. question the science and manipulation of data attempting to prove it,
  3. and question legality of President Obama’s approach to dealing with the issue.

Playing the role of “The Paris agreement is bad for business,” was Stephen Eule, Vice President for Climate and Technology, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He began by discussing the futility of meeting the Paris agreement’s goals. “As a recent State Department report demonstrates,” he read from his prepared statement. “The US Paris pledge of a 26 percent to 28 percent reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions from the 2005 level by 2025 is completely unrealistic, and the administration still has no plan to achieve it.” Eule also talked about the billions of dollars US taxpayers would pay into funds to help poor countries mitigate the effects of climate change and develop clean energy economies.

And of course, the whole thing is a hoax anyway. Or, in the evolving language of scientific politics, “Not scientifically justifiable that this country should establish economic regulations that hit on the poorest,” says John Christy, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Alabama. In the role of “science says everything is awesome,” Christy describes himself as a scientist who builds datasets. His pride and joy is a collection of bulk temperature records taken from the Earth’s surface up to 50,000 feet above sea level.

Climate scientists use surface temperature as their go-to dataset as it is most easily manipulated — They think climate is where most of the weather affecting humans happens well below 50,000 feet. That’s 20,000 feet higher than the top of Mount Everest. So the climate scare community is critical of Cristy, because including higher altitudes averages out the extreme temperature fluctuations that affect things like arctic melting, ocean warming, and sea level rise.

But in the hallowed halls of the science committee, that kind of evidence is enough to throw into question the very theory that carbon dioxide increases air temperature. If the science ain’t there, why bother with all this pesky intergovernmental politicking and killjoy regulations?

Because it’s all a vast legal conspiracy, that’s why. Why else would the American delegation have tried so hard to keep the Paris agreement from becoming a treaty, which would have required Senate ratification? Which is exactly what it should have been, according to Steven Groves of the Heritage Foundation, as “America is the Best.” He points to a semi-obscure State Department rule called Circular 175 Procedure, which is basically a checklist that decides whether an international arrangement is a treaty (meaning it has to go through congress), or a sole executive agreement (which the president can attend to via actions like the Clean Power Plan).

Er…Groves is probably onto something here, actually. One might be able to make a case that the Paris agreement affects state sovereignty, especially if you take into account precedent in how US government officials have treated international climate agreements.

But the biggest threat comes from the compromise Obama used in lieu of that sure-to-fail senatorial ratification. The Clean Power Plan, announced last August, is an EPA rule that puts serious emissions restrictions on coal power plants. It’s under legal attack from 27 states and numerous independent groups, but many legal scholars aren’t afraid that those could succeed. The real question is what happens in November. A Republican president would almost certainly nullify the regulation, which would mean America reneges on the Paris agreement. “However, this would lead to political consequences with our allies,” Groves points out.

To balance out the Republicans’ three horsemen of climate-is-not-an-apocalypse, committee minority leader Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Democrat from Texas, invited her own witness: Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, a climate and economics think tank. Steer, an economist, focused solely on how clean energy would make a lot of people rich. In other words, the Democrats used him the same way their Republican colleagues used their own mouthpieces, to a significantly diminished effect.

In this type of setting, the minority Democrats were in a position to put the statements made by Eule, Christy, and Groves under the microscope, and failed to show any reason to doubt the scientific arguments underlying the Republican majority’s opposition on this matter.

Republicans aren’t happy about the Paris agreement, but so far their volume of their dissatisfaction has been relatively muted compared to things like Bengazi! Hillary’s emails!! and Obamacare!!! But eventually—perhaps in April, when the 196 countries officially sign the Paris agreement—the opposition will get louder.

A congressional hearing about climate change gave a glimpse of each party’s strategy with regards to climate change.

Source: The House Science Committee Thinks the Paris Climate Agreement Stinks | WIRED

A comprehensive review, which has sifted through data from 70 trials of the most popular drugs for the treatment of depression, shows that antidepressants may up risk of suicide, aggression. Study authors also found that big pharmas often fail to report critical side-effects of their products along with drug-related deaths.

The review found that antidepressants may make underage patients more prone to adopt an aggressive behavior. Still, no such side-effect was found in adults, though researchers suspect that some trial data may be misreported.

Nevertheless, researchers have suspected for years that antidepressants may boost risk of suicide as families have often complained that the drugs were behind their loved ones’ tragic end. But antidepressant makers and doctors have dismissed such claims because no comprehensive study has ever found a link between the two.

The research review which comprises data on more than 18,000 patients is considered the largest to date. It was carried out by a team at the Nordic Cochrane Center in Denmark, and reviewed by University College London in the U.K.

After analyzing trial data and comparing it to reports submitted by families of people who committed suicide, researchers found that the companies who funded the trials have often misclassified the deaths to their products’ benefit.

Study authors were startled and ‘deeply worried’ by the unprecedented situation.

“It is absolutely horrendous that they have such disregard for human lives.”

said Prof. Peter Gotzsche, lead author of the research and mental heart expert with the Copenhagen-based Nordic Cochrane Center.

In the U.S., antidepressant use saw a tremendous rise in just two decades. Currently, one in ten people take antidepressants on prescription, while one in four middle-aged women take the drugs.

But this doesn’t mean that the U.S. was hit by a tidal wave of depression in recent years. In fact, doctors often prescribe the drugs for off-label uses such as dependence, ADHD and autism in children, anxiety, and eating disorders.

Nordic Cochrane Centre researchers found that at least four deaths by suicide were misreported by a pharmaceutical company. In one case, a patient tried to kill himself after taking venlafaxine, but since he died days later in a hospital his death was no longer considered to having occured during the trial. Suicidal attempts were often mislabeled as a sign of either emotional instability or depression.

The review also found that though antidepressants do not seem to work on children they do boost their risk of suicide. This is why, study authors believe that it is better to follow alternative courses of actions including psychotherapy, art therapy, and exercise before resorting to medications.

Source: Antidepressants May Up Risk of Suicide, Aggression

Imagine being charged with a DUI when it’s been hours since you’ve had a drink, only to later discover that your body brews its own alcohol.

That’s what happened to an upstate New York woman when she blew a blood alcohol level more than four times the legal limit. Just before Christmas in Hamburg, New York, a judge dismissed the charges after being presented with evidence the woman suffers from “auto-brewery syndrome.”

“I had never heard of auto-brewery syndrome before this case,” attorney Joseph Marusak told CNN on the condition his client’s identity remain anonymous. “But I knew something was amiss when the hospital police took the woman to wanted to release her immediately because she wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms.”

“That prompts me to get on the Internet and see if there is any sort of explanation for a weird reading,” adds Marusak. “Up pops auto-brewery syndrome and away we go.”

“I’m in touch with about 30 people who believe they have this same syndrome, about 10 of them are diagnosed with it,” said Panola College Dean of Nursing Barbara Cordell, who has studied the syndrome for years. “They can function at alcohol levels such as 0.30 and 0.40 when the average person would be comatose or dying. Part of the mystery of this syndrome is how they can have these extremely high levels and still be walking around and talking.”

Extremely rare condition

Also known as gut-fermentation syndrome, this rare medical condition can occur when abnormal amounts of gastrointestinal yeast convert common food carbohydrates into ethanol. The process is believed to take place in the small bowel, and is vastly different from the normal gut fermentation in the large bowel that gives our bodies energy.

First described in 1912 as “germ carbohydrate fermentation,” it was studied in the 1930s and ’40s as a contributing factor to vitamin deficiencies and irritable bowel syndrome. Cases involving the yeast Candida albicans and Candida krusei have popped up in Japan, and in 2013 Cordell documented the case of a 61-year-old man who had frequent bouts of unexplained drunkenness for years before being diagnosed with an intestinal overabundance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or brewer’s yeast, the same yeast used to make beer.

Flat tire a blessing

It was a beautiful fall afternoon in 2014 when Marusak’s client met her husband at a restaurant for food and drinks. She consumed “four drinks between noon and 6 p.m.” says Marusak, “less than one drink an hour. We hired a local pharmacologist who said that a woman of her size and weight having four drinks in that period of time should be between 0.01 and 0.05 blood alcohol levels.” That would be beneath the legally impaired level of 0.08 BAC in New York state.

And here’s the “crazy thing,” says Marusak. “Her husband drives to meet friends and she is driving home. She gets a flat close to home but doesn’t want to change the tire so keeps on driving. Another driver sees her struggling with the car and calls it in as an accident. So if she hadn’t had that flat tire, she’d not know to this day that she has this condition.”

Because she blew a blood alcohol level of nearly 0.40, police procedure is to take the accused to a hospital, as that level is considered extremely life-threatening.

Instead of allowing his wife to be released as the hospital recommended based on her lack of drunken symptoms, the husband asked for tests to be run. Sure enough, Marusak says, the results showed a blood alcohol level of 0.30, hours and hours after her last drink. That prompted Marusak to do his own sleuthing.

“I hired two physician assistants and a person trained in Breathalyzers to watch her and take blood alcohol levels over a 12-hour period and had it run at the same lab used by the prosecution,” said Marusak. “Without any drinks, her blood level was double the legal limit at 9:15 a.m., triple the limit at 6 p.m. and more than four times the legal limit at 8:30 p.m., which correlates with the same time of day that the police pulled her over.”

Even more strange, says Marusak, is the fact that the woman exhibited no signs of the levels until she reached a blood alcohol level of between 0.30 and 0.40.

“That’s when she started to feel a bit wobbly on her feet.” Marusak explains that by pointing to the world of alcoholism, where the bodies of “functioning alcoholics” adapt to the high levels of booze in their blood.

Even though the Hamburg judge dismissed the case against his client, Marusak says it’s not over yet.

“I’ve heard the DA’s office says they plan to appeal. I’ll know more by the middle of January.”

Assistant Erie County District Attorney Christopher Belling confirmed a review of the judge’s decision is underway but declined to comment further.

In the meantime, Marusak’s client is treating her condition with anti-fungal medications and a yeast-free diet with absolutely no sugar, no alcohol and very low carbs. While that works for some, Cordell says, others relapse or find little relief

Source: Woman charged with DUI has ‘auto-brewery syndrome’ – CNN.com

News Spike: 9/11: Jumpers Inc.

Balcony Scene (Or Unseen) Atop the World; Episode at Trade Center Assumes Mythic Qualities

By SHAILA K. DEWAN
Published: August 18, 2001
The affair of the balcony ended, if indeed it ever began, with the appearance in July of a slender book of curious title, obtainable in very few places, one of them being an art gallery in a frosted storefront on Broadway near Franklin Street.

Called ‘‘The B-Thing” and produced by four Vienna-based artists known collectively as Gelatin, the book is demure to the point of being oblique. What little explanation it contains appears to have been scribbled in ballpoint. Among the photos and schematic drawings, there are doodles of tarantulas with human heads.

In short, the book belies the extravagance of the feat it seems to document: the covert installation, and brief use, of a balcony on the 91st floor of the World Trade Center, 1,100 feet above the earth. Eight photographs — some grainy, all taken from a great distance — depict one tower’s vast eastern facade, marred by a tiny molelike growth: a lone figure dressed in a white jacket, standing in a lectern-size box.

The contemporary art world, of course, is rife with acts of subversion followed by boasting, which is known as ”documentation.” In that context, the beauty of the balcony was that it so literally pushed the envelope. Yet since that Sunday morning in March 2000, when the balcony was allegedly installed and, 19 minutes later, dismantled, the affair has taken on the outlines of an urban myth, mutated by rumors and denials among the downtown cognoscenti.

Although the book appears to seek notoriety, the artists have gone coy. Their dealer, who witnesses say watched the event from a hotel suite, now claims it never happened. Either the balcony was an elaborate hoax meant to look real, or the inverse is true: it really happened, and the closer it comes to being found out, the more those involved would prefer for everyone to think it was a hoax.

In the spring of 2000, Gelatin and 14 other artists shared free studio space on the 91st floor, where the group’s artmaking appeared to consist of building a clubhouse out of cardboard boxes.

But Ali Janka, a member of Gelatin reached by phone in Vienna, said that the blindered view afforded by the narrow windows had inspired them to find a way to step outside. ‘‘After you have a certain idea, you can’t go back,” he said, ”because everything else seems very weak compared to it.”

Mr. Janka was happy to talk about the project, at least at first. After weeks of planning, he said, one night Gelatin — he, Florian Reither, Tobias Urban and Wolfgang Gantner — waited in the studio until dawn. At the appointed moment, the four, wearing harnesses, unscrewed the aluminum moldings that hold the window in place and used two large suction cups to remove the glass (air pressure adds about 300 pounds to the effort). As warm air streamed past, they outfitted the window with a cantilevered box, big enough for only one person at a time.

”The amazing thing that happens when you take out a window,” Mr. Janka said, ”is that the whole city comes into the building.”

Other artists in the studio have heard rumors of the balcony, but most are dubious. ‘I can tell you that it never happened,’‘ said Geoffrey Detrani, whose space was next to Gelatin’s. ‘‘To remove a window would be a pretty serious structural breach.”

But Gelatin, fearing expulsion from the country, had gone to great lengths to conceal their plot. The clubhouse afforded privacy and storage. By prior agreement, the group confiscated all film and video of the project taken by invited witnesses.

Still, how did a balcony escape the notice of one of the most security-conscious office towers in the world? An examination of the security system revealed that it was focused on the ground floor and basement, Mr. Janka said, adding, ‘‘There’s no surveillance on the facade itself.”

That is true, said Cherrie Nanninga, the director of real estate for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which until recently ran the World Trade Center. Port Authority officials, shown a copy of ”The B-Thing” by a reporter, reacted with disbelief, then outrage. Although their own investigation turned up no evidence, Ms. Nanninga said, ‘‘we have no reason to believe it didn’t happen.”

Window removal is considered so dangerous that when it is done the streets below are cordoned off, she said. ”It was really a stupid and irrational act that in my view borders on the criminal,” she said, adding that the stunt had jeopardized the studio program, whose space is donated by the Trade Center.

Removing the window may have been dangerous, but according to Walter Friedman, the owner of Dependable Glass, which performs that service for the World Trade Center, it is not that difficult. All it takes is four guys, some readily available equipment — and nerve, Mr. Friedman said.

Nerve is not something Gelatin lacks. They specialize in projects that require participants to sign a waiver.

In a piece called ”The Human Elevator,” strong men on scaffolding hoisted people to the roof of a three-story building in Los Angeles. And patrons in Munich were greased with baby oil and invited to slide naked down an esophaguslike chute formed by the bellies of a crew of overweight Germans.

Although Gelatin, which is representing Vienna in the Venice Biennale, has not shrunk from physical risk, they seem to think that merely discussing the balcony with a reporter was dangerous, perhaps because they are currently seeking permission to live on a vacant lot on Canal Street, as part of a forthcoming exhibition.

‘If you write about the balcony, maybe you can just not write about it too much,” Mr. Janka called back to say after the initial interview, the first of several calls protesting the appearance of an article, despite the fact that the artists had published the book.

To others involved in the project, it seemed reasonable that the appearance of ”The B-Thing” meant secrecy was no longer necessary. Josh Harris, the Internet entrepreneur once known for holding extravagant art parties, explained that Leo Koenig, the 24-year-old art dealer who represents Gelatin, got him involved.

The night before the B-Thing, Mr. Harris said, he rented a top-floor suite at the Millennium Hilton, across the street from the Gelatin studio, and invited people to what guests described as a night of decadence. Near dawn, he and several others took cameras and boarded a helicopter, communicating with Gelatin via cell phone.

‘We had to fly twice around the building before we could see them,’‘ said Mr. Harris, who is thanked in the book.

Afterward, Gelatin appeared at the hotel, where their success was toasted at a euphoric breakfast, according to five other witnesses, including Tanya Corrin, a video producer and writer, and David Leslie, a performance artist. ‘‘We just applauded the gutsy originality of it,” Ms. Corrin said. ”I think we all left feeling, wow, we just did something amazing, and nobody knows.”

Mr. Koenig now says the balcony never happened and, at any rate, he didn’t see it. The book, which costs $35 and was printed in a run of 1,200 copies, is meant to provoke questions about its veracity, he said.

At the suggestion that the project might have been faked, Mr. Harris seemed almost offended. He produced March 2000 credit card bills bearing charges of $2,167.44 from the Millennium Hilton and $1,625 from Helicopter Flight Service.

At about the same time that Mr. Harris was digging up proof, Gelatin was removing almost every trace of it from their Web site.

Moukhtar Kocache, the director of the studio program, insisted that the photos of the balcony were obviously faked. But digital manipulation experts disagreed. George Dash, the co-owner of Nucleus Imaging on East 30th Street, and a colleague, John Grasso, used magnifying loupes to examine a copy of ”The B-Thing.” Neither could detect inconsistencies. ”The angles are all too perfect,” Mr. Grasso said. ”It looks real to me. Absolutely. I’ve been doing this for 22 years.”

The balcony may be an art prank in the lineage of Yves Klein, who in 1960 disseminated a picture of himself leaping blithely out a window, an image revealed years later to be the product of deftly spliced negatives. But in its audacity, it seems more akin to tricksters who tested the limits of the World Trade Center in the 1970’s, including Philippe Petit, who walked a high wire strung between the towers.

‘This building needs things like that to happen, because otherwise it would die inside,” said Mr. Janka, who was under the impression that Mr. Petit had been deported for his action.

Although the Port Authority has not yet decided what, if any, action it will take against Gelatin, Mr. Janka might be relieved to learn that Mr. Petit, who still lives in New York, was simply required to give the city a free performance. He obliged by walking a tightrope to the top of the Belvedere Castle.

Photos: Members of Gelatin in 1998, when their exhibition at the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center included a 25-foot walk-up tower of discarded furniture parts. (P.S. 1); Photographs from ”The B-Thing,” a book produced by Gelatin, show someone on a temporary balcony on the World Trade Center, top; a drawing of the cantilevered balcony, above; and a view from inside the 91st-floor studio from which the balcony was hung, left. Unless the whole episode is a hoax, which some of those involved would prefer that people believe. So they say.

Source: News Spike: 9/11: Jumpers Inc.

New rules allow small investors to receive shares of a company in exchange for investments they make.

Entrepreneurs raising money through crowdfunding campaigns have typically rewarded their backers with early access to products and with tchotchkes like T-shirts and coffee mugs.

But under new rules adopted Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission, they will be able to offer a prize that could be more lucrative: an equity stake in their business.

The rules will allow small investors to buy shares of private companies under the provisions of the Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups Act. Until the change, equity crowdfunding had been legal only for accredited investors, or those who met required levels of assets and income.

President Obama called the bill, better known as the JOBS Act, “a potential game-changer” for fledgling companies, when he signed it more than three years ago. But the law stalled as regulators struggled to write rules stringent enough to protect investors but flexible enough to allow for meaningful fund-raising.

A set of draft rules released two years ago was widely criticized and deemed almost unworkable by many in the industry, who said that compliance would be too costly and complex. The rules adopted Friday had been substantially revised to address some of those concerns.

The new rules allow companies to raise up to $1 million in a 12-month period through a crowdfunding campaign. Companies will need to provide their potential investors with financial statements, but some first-time issuers and those seeking less than $500,000 will not be required to have the statements audited — an important concession for those concerned about the cost of providing audited financials.

Companies will be able to advertise their offerings in a variety of ways, including posting them on Kickstarter-like portals for investors to peruse. (Kickstarter has said that it is not interested in expanding into equity crowdfunding, though one of its top rivals, Indiegogo, said it is considering doing so.)

Dozens of investment portals have sprung up in recent years, but until now, only accredited investors — those with an annual income exceeding $200,000 or a net worth of at least $1 million — have been permitted to invest in most of the deals advertised on them.

Some of those portals now plan to expand into the nonaccredited market. SeedInvest, a site that has helped 50 funding deals in the last three years, expects to begin offering deals next year to a wider pool of investors.

“There’s no question that there’s a lot of pent-up demand from ordinary investors,” said Ryan Feit, the site’s chief executive and one of its founders. “At the end of the day, that means there will be more capital available for small business.”

The amount of money backers will be allowed to invest depends on their income. Those with an annual income or net worth of less than $100,000 will be allowed to invest up to $2,000 in a 12-month period, or 5 percent of the lesser of their income or net worth, whichever is greater. Those with an income and net worth of more than $100,000 will be permitted to invest up to 10 percent of the lesser of their annual income or net worth.

The equity shares they buy will be risky, illiquid investments. Investors will generally be required to hold on to the shares for at least one year, and there are not yet many marketplaces for those seeking to sell shares in private companies, which are difficult to value.

Some critics are deeply skeptical about the quality of the investments that will be available. “Ninety-nine percent of these deals will prove to be unprofitable,” said Andrew Stoltmann, a lawyer who specializes in securities fraud. “This is a disaster waiting to happen.”

Others counter that the new rules will allow entrepreneurs’ family, friends, customers and professional contacts to invest in ventures that they want to support.

“I think it’s going to really make a difference for businesses that are not especially fashionable for professional investors,” said James Dowd, the chief executive of North Capital Private Securities, a broker-dealer that focuses on private fund-raising. “They want to invest in companies that have the potential to be disruptive to an entire industry. You don’t see a lot of capital flow into ordinary consumer and retail businesses.”

The S.E.C. on Friday also proposed changes to several other fund-raising rules, including those governing intrastate offerings. More than 25 states have adopted their own crowdfunding rules to let local businesses raise money from residents within the state, often with fewer regulatory requirements than the federal rules. The commission suggested striking down a rule that blocked those intrastate offerings from being advertised to out-of-state investors — a quirk that prevented companies from publicizing their fund-raising campaigns on their own websites or on social media sites.

“It’s an absurd thing, but that’s what the law said. It was horrifying,” said Kendall Almerico, a lawyer who specializes in crowdfunding issues. “Fixing this is huge.”

The range of ways in which private companies can raise money from nonaccredited investors has significantly expanded this year. In June, new federal rules took effect allowing companies to raise up to $50 million through a provision known as Regulation A. Those deals carry stricter disclosure and compliance requirements than the crowdfunding process outlined on Friday, which is intended to be much cheaper and faster for issuers.

Taken together, the new federal and state rules give entrepreneurs a much wider set of options for raising money from a diverse pool of investors.

“I’m surprised at how far the S.E.C. went to make it all work,” said Douglas S. Ellenoff, a securities lawyer at Ellenoff Grossman & Schole. “The entrepreneur now has a series of very interesting choices and lots of different options for how they go about their capital formation.”

The S.E.C.’s four commissioners voted 3-1 on Friday morning to adopt the new crowdfunding rules, which are expected to take effect early next year.

Source: S.E.C. Gives Small Investors Access to Equity Crowdfunding – The New York Times

In those days, California’s water supply was far more reliable than today. Gigantic water projects of reservoirs and aqueducts largely planned while Edmund Brown, Sr., was governor (father of the current governor), comfortably supplied all the water California’s population needed.Since then, California’s population has grown from about 20 million in 1970 to 39 million today — a near doubling — but infrastructure hasn’t kept up. Meanwhile, the state’s precipitation, unusually high in the early 20th century — has declined to its long-term climate norm.

Scientists studying long-ago California climate have realized that the 20th century was abnormally wet and rainy, according to researcher Lynn Ingram, professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Berkeley.“The past 150 years have been wetter than the past 2,000 years,” Ingram said. “And this is when our water development, population growth and agricultural industry were established.”

Ingram made the statement in a video presentation that is part of the UC California Institute for Water Resources new online video series. The series consists of presentations featuring UC and other experts speaking on topics aimed at helping farmers and all Californians better understand and cope with drought.

Precipitation during the last three years in California has been low by standards set since records were kept, which began in the late 1800s. However, the current drought appears to be well within normal fluctuations in the state’s climate, according to research by Ingram and other paleoclimatologists. A trend of gradually increasing temperature since the 1960s has been causing earlier spring snowmelt, decreased snowpack, and is predicted to cause more extreme droughts and floods.

In her 17-minute video, Ingram noted that her colleague Scott Stine of California State University East Bay found some of the first evidence of a medieval warm period in California by studying the water level of Mono Lake. The lake expands and contracts depending on the amount of runoff from the adjoining Sierra Nevada. Stine’s research reveals a dry spell from 1,800 to 600 years ago.

Ingram studies sediment cores at locations near the San Francisco Bay, which is fed by a watershed that covers 40 percent of California.

“The salinity reflects precipitation and runoff from a very large area of California,” she said. “As fresh water comes in, it mixes with salt water. Sediment records changes in salinity over time.”

Looking at the chemistry of the sediment layers and their fossil composition, she was able to tease out a record of past floods and droughts.

“There was a significant increase in salinity during the medieval warm period,” Ingram said. “Salinity increased from 15 to 22 parts per thousand in the dry period.”

The higher salinity suggests there was less fresh water flowing into the bay.

Ingram said scientists believe the current warming trend will continue into the future.

“The drier climate will increase evaporation, so drier soils, more frequent wildfires, increased dust levels,” Ingram said. “It’s also predicted that we will have more extreme climate; as the climate warms, you’re adding more energy and more water vapor in the atmosphere. That will produce larger floods and deeper droughts.”

Detailed information about California’s climate past and future may be found in a book Ingram wrote with Frances Malamud-Roam, The West without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us About Tomorrow.

Watch her talk here:

Source: Desalination, water reuse convention returns to San Diego | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com

Northern California police department is reviewing a video showing one of its officers pulling a gun on a man who was recording him on his cellphone.

The video, posted on YouTube, shows a Rohnert Park Public Safety officer driving toward Don McComas as he’s filming. As McComas moves in closer to record the license plate number on the officer’s police SUV, the officer stops, gets out and tells McComas to take his hand out of his pocket.

McComas replies: “No sir, I’ve done nothing. I have done absolutely nothing. No.”

The officer removes his gun from his holster, speaks into his radio and says, “Seriously.”

McComas responds, “Put your gun down, really?”

The video shows McComas backing away as the officer motions the gun toward him.

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McComas repeats he did nothing wrong and tells the officer not to touch him.

When McComas asks why the officer stepped out of his vehicle, the officer responds, “You taking a picture of me. I am taking a picture of you.” The officer then asked whether McComas was “some kind of a constitutionalist or crazy guy or something like that.”

“Why are you doing this?” the officer asks McComas, who responds, “Why are you sitting here with your gun on me? This is why I am doing this. To protect myself from you.”

McComas was not detained or arrested.

As the officer walks away, he tells McComas, “Go ahead, have a nice day and put it on YouTube. I don’t really care.”

Rohnert Park Mayor Amy Ahanotu and City Manager Darrin Jenkins said in a statement that an internal review will be conducted to determine if the proper protocols were followed.

“We’ve been made aware of this matter, and we are taking it seriously,” they said. “We understand the concerns that have been raised by our community and others and we want the public to know that your trust in law enforcement in our city is a top priority.”

McComas said he was in front of his home and hooking his boat to a trailer when he saw the Rohnert Park Public Safety officer drive into his neighborhood.

The officer, he said, made a few turns before stopping to face McComas. The officer did nothing but point at McComas and his home, McComas said.

McComas became concerned, so he pulled out his camera and started filming.

“The arrogance he showed me shouldn’t come from an officer of the law,” he said. “They should de-escalate, not escalate or provoke.”

Police review video of Northern California officer pulling gun on man recording him – LA Times.

Guest post written by Risa Lavizzo-Mourey

Ms. Lavizzo-Mourey is the president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

As a geriatrician who practiced for years in some of Philadelphia’s most disadvantaged communities, I have seen the profound impact that Medicare and Medicaid can have. These two programs help mothers, fathers, grandparents and children get the care they need, when they need it most, and I’ve seen the relief on patients’ faces when they know it’s going to be all right.

President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating these two ambitious national health programs on July 30, 1965. Fifty years later Medicare and Medicaid cover more than 100 million people and are an essential part of the nation’s safety net for elderly, disabled and poor citizens. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), states have the option of extending Medicaid eligibility to all non-elderly adults who make less than 138% of the poverty line ($16,242 a year for an individual). For the first three years the federal government pays 100% of the costs of new enrollees, declining to 90% by 2020. So far, 31 states have expanded their Medicaid program. It’s time for the other 19 to do the same—if for no other reason than it makes economic sense.

 

Medicaid expansion saves money

 

A study funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) looking at eight states that expanded Medicaid eligibility found that the resulting savings and revenues will total more than $1.8 billion by the end of fiscal 2015, just 1-1/2 years in. But the cost of caring for uninsured people in non-expansion states in the next 10 years is projected to reach $266 billion, according to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation—and the residents of those states will more than likely end up paying higher taxes as a result.

 

Plus, another RWJF study from 2014 predicted that, for every $1 a state spends expanding Medicaid, $13.41 in federal funds will flow into the state. On the other hand, hospitals in states that don’t expand will forgo $167.8 billion in Medicaid reimbursements by 2022.

 

There are also long term gains to be had from expansion. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that children that are Medicaid-eligible for more of their childhood are less likely to drop out of high school (one reason: fewer school days missed for illness), and likelier to earn a college bachelor’s degree—creating a higher-earning, more skilled workforce. Expanded Medicaid coverage also means expanded coverage for mental health issues, which can help reduce crime, addiction and homelessness.

 

Creating healthier communities

 

Then there are the states that are using Medicaid to create healthier communities. Medicaid agencies are working to reduce childhood obesity in several states, such as Arizona, New York and South Carolina, thus helping to prevent future adults from suffering from a lifetime of obesity-related chronic illnesses. And at least nine Medicaid programs have created coordinated care programs that team up hospitals and clinics that serve Medicaid populations with local agencies that address patients’ needs once they leave the hospital.

 

In Minneapolis, Hennepin Health identifies and addresses patients’ needs in the community, such as housing (some 50% of Hennepin’s high-needs patients are homeless). It also provides coordinated diabetes, heart disease and asthma care to chronically ill people. The strategy appears to be working: between 2012 and 2013, Hennepin’s emergency room visits decreased by 9.1%.

 

The evidence is piling up that Medicaid expansion saves money, helps build healthier communities, and creates all kinds of economic gains down the road. Surely everyone in the U.S. deserves to reap these benefits, not just those residing in the 31 states that have already expanded Medicaid. It’s time for the other 19 to do the same.

Medicaid Expansion Would Save Money And Create A Healthier Nation.

Why Medicare Should Be Available to All

Patients’ medical records sit on shelves in an office, pictured Nov. 7, 2015. The most expensive aspects of medical care in the United States—administrative costs, and fixing medical errors—can be addressed by expanding Medicare benefits, for which those same administrative costs are lower. Cultura/Alamy

 

Medicare turns 50 this week. It was signed into law July 30, 1965—the crowning achievement of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. It’s more popular than ever.

Yet Medicare continues to be blamed for America’s present and future budget problems. That’s baloney.

A few days ago, Jeb Bush even suggested phasing it out. Seniors already receiving benefits should continue to receive them, he said, but “we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something, because they’re not going to have anything.”

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Bush praised Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to give seniors vouchers instead. What Bush didn’t say was that Ryan’s vouchers wouldn’t keep up with increases in medical costs—leaving seniors with less coverage.

The fact is, Medicare isn’t the problem. It’s the solution.

Its costs are being pushed upward by the rising costs of health care overall—which have slowed somewhat since the Affordable Care Act was introduced but are still rising faster than inflation.

Medicare costs are also rising because of the growing ranks of boomers becoming eligible for Medicare.

Medicare offers a way to reduce these underlying costs—if Washington would let it.

Let me explain.

Americans spend more on health care per person than any other advanced nation and get less for our money. Yearly public and private health care spending is almost two and a half times the average of other advanced nations.

Yet the typical American lives 78.1 years—less than the average 80.1 years in other advanced nations. And we have the highest rate of infant mortality of all advanced nations.

Medical costs continue to rise because doctors and hospitals still spend too much money on unnecessary tests, drugs and procedures.

Consider lower back pain, one of the most common ailments of our sedentary society. Almost 95 percent of it can be relieved through physical therapy.

But doctors and hospitals often do expensive MRIs, and then refer patients to orthopedic surgeons for costly surgery. Why? Physical therapy doesn’t generate much revenue.

Or say your diabetes, asthma or heart condition is acting up. If you seek treatment in a hospital, 20 percent of the time you’re back within a month.

It would be far less costly if a nurse visited you at home to make sure you were taking your medications, a common practice in other advanced nations. But nurses don’t do home visits to Americans with acute conditions because hospitals aren’t paid for them.

America spends about over $19 billion a year fixing medical errors, the worst rate among advanced countries. Such errors are the third major cause of hospital deaths.

One big reason is we keep patient records on computers that can’t share the data. Patient records are continuously re-written and then re-entered into different computers. That leads to lots of mistakes.

Meanwhile, administrative costs account for 15 to 30 percent of all health care spending in the United States, twice the rate of most other advanced nations.

Most of this is to collect money: Doctors collecting from hospitals and insurers, hospitals collecting from insurers, insurers collecting from companies or policyholders. A third of nursing hours are devoted to documenting what’s done so that insurers have proof.

Cutting back Medicare won’t affect any of this. It will just funnel more money into the hands of for-profit insurers while limiting the amount of care seniors receive.

The answer isn’t to shrink Medicare. It’s to grow it—allowing anyone at any age to join.

Medicare’s administrative costs are in the range of 3 percent.

That’s well below the 5 to 10 percent costs borne by large companies that self-insure. It’s even further below the administrative costs of companies in the small-group market (amounting to 25 to 27 percent of premiums).

And it’s way, way lower than the administrative costs of individual insurance (40 percent). It’s even far below the 11 percent costs of private plans under Medicare Advantage, the current private-insurance option under Medicare.

Meanwhile, as for-profit insurance companies merge into giant behemoths that reduce consumer choice still further, it’s doubly important to make Medicare available to all.

Medicare should also be allowed to use its huge bargaining leverage to negotiate lower rates with pharmaceutical companies—which Obamacare barred in order to get Big Insurance to go along with the legislation.

These moves would give more Americans quality health care and slow rising health care costs, help reduce federal budget deficit and keep Medicare going.

Let me say it again: Medicare isn’t the problem. It’s the solution.

Robert B. Reich, chancellor’s professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, was secretary of labor in the Clinton administration. Time magazine named him one of the 10 most effective Cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He has written 13 books, including the best-sellers Aftershock and The Work of Nations . His latest, Beyond Outrage , is now out in paperback. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. His new film, Inequality for All , is now available on Netflix, iTunes, DVD and on demand. This article first appeared on RobertReich.org.

Why Medicare Should Be Available to All.

Earlier this month a guy named Todd Fassler was bitten by a rattlesnake in San Diego, KGTV San Diego reports. In itself this isn’t terribly unusual—the CDC estimates that roughly 7,000 to 8,000 people a year get bit by a venomous snake in the U.S. And somewhere between five and six people die from these bites each year.

What raised eyebrows, though, was Fassler’s hospital bill—all $153,000 of it. KGTV reporter Dan Haggerty shared it on Twitter. Take a look.

It’s not clear whether Fassler has insurance—and whether these are dollar amounts that he will in fact have to pay out of pocket. But the confusion over health care pricing is common for Americans who receive bills and can’t be sure where the numbers come from. I reached out to Fassler for comment but he wasn’t immediately available.

Here’s what we do know based on that photo: The bulk of his hospital bill—$83,000 of it— is due to pharmacy charges. Specifically, charges for the antivenin used to treat the bite. KGTV reports that Fassler depleted the antivenin supplies at two local hospitals during his five-day visit. Nobody expects antivenin to be cheap. But $83,000?

There’s currently only one commercially-available antivenin for treating venomous snakebites in the U.S. — CroFab, manufactured by U.K.-based BTG plc. And with a stable market of 7,000 to 8,000 snakebite victims per year and no competitors, business is pretty good. BTG’s latest annual report shows CroFab sales topped out at close to $63 million British pounds, or $98 million dollars last fiscal year. The antivenin costs hospitals roughly $2,300 per vial, according to Bloomberg, with a typical dose requiring four to six vials. In some cases multiple doses are needed, according to CroFab’s promotional website.

BTG has fought aggressively to keep competitors off the market. A competing product, Anavip, just received FDA approval this year and likely won’t be on the market until late 2018. This lack of competition is one reason why snakebite treatments rack up such huge hospital bills — $55,000. $89,000. $143,000. In May of this year, a snakebit Missouri man died after refusing to seek medical care, saying he couldn’t afford the bill.

But the other reason why hospitals charge so much is the byzantine negotiating process that happens between hospitals and insurance companies to determine the final payout amount. In the case of the $143,000 snakebite in 2012, for instance, Scripps Hospital in San Diego explained that “it is important to understand that these charges are not reflective of what Scripps will be paid. At this time, the patient’s insurance company has not yet paid the bill, and Scripps is in negotiations with the company for the final amount.”

In many cases a hospital bill isn’t actually a bill, but essentially an instrument in a complex negotiation between insurers and caregivers, with bewildered patients stuck in the middle. It’s difficult to know which charges are real and which ones aren’t, and which bills to pay and which ones to ignore. It’s one reason why medical debt is a huge factor in so many bankruptcies.

Hospital bills that amount to legal fictions certainly don’t help consumers keep themselves out of debt trouble. Todd Fassler’s bill is a perfect example — he left the hospital on July 9, 2015. His bill said his $153,000 payment was due by July 27.

 

This $153,000 rattlesnake bite is everything wrong with American health care – The Washington Post.

Canada AM: General anesthesia lowers IQ?

Dr. Andreas Loepke on a study that finds anesthesia may be to blame for lower IQ and language skills in kids who had surgery as a youngster.

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CTVNews.ca Staff

Published Monday, June 8, 2015 12:43PM EDT

General anesthesia may be to blame for lower IQ and language skills in children who underwent

via Anesthesia in children linked to lower IQ scores: study | CTV News.

(NaturalNews) According to the document you’re about to see, for the last eight years, government scientists have actively engineered viral vaccines designed to alter thoughts and beliefs by infecting the brain and suppressing genetic expression of neurological cells. Dispersal of these vaccines has been tested via high-altitude aerosolized sprays, highway vehicles, the water supply and even the food system.

As you’ll see in the document and video below, the vaccine was intended from the start to be deployed against civilian populations, and 600 strains of infectious viruses were tested on human subjects. One of the transmission vectors documented in the testing exploited an influenza strain to spread the mind-infecting virus as a pandemic.

The point of all this is to infect the minds of the population and transform people into what the government calls “normal.” From the government’s point of view, of course, “normal” means “obedient and mindless.”

This is all described in a video and a document that surfaced several years ago but which are only now beginning to connect the dots as the medical police state in America accelerates to insane levels of aggression against the population. See recent stories on medical kidnapping in Arkansas and CPS kidnapping of children in Arizona for starters.

Using aerosolized stealth vaccines as tools of behavioral control and mind alteration

This YouTube video, described as a “leaked Pentagon video,” features a Bill Gates-sounding scientist explaining in cold, calculating language how engineered vaccines can “eliminate behavior” that’s considered undesirable by the government.

Starting at the 3:00 mark, you can hear this scientist explaining how a vaccine can “turn a fanatic into a normal person.” A normal person, of course, means a person who is obedient to government authority.

Here’s a transcript of the presentation:

Scientist: And that would have the effect which is to essentially turn a fanatic into a normal person…

Audience: How would you suggest that this is going to be dispersed? Via aerosol?

Scientist: The present plan and the tests that we’ve done so far have used respiratory viruses such as flu or rhinoviruses, and we believe that’s a satisfactory way to get the exposure of the largest part of the population… and we’re quite confident this would be a very successful approach.

Audience: What’s the name of this proposal?

Scientist: The name is FUNVAX, the vaccine for religious fundamentalism. The proposal has just been submitted, and I think the data that I have shown you today would support the development of this project and we think it has great promise.

Watch the video here, which carries the US Dept. of Defense identifier of “DOD ID 149AZ2.”

Designed to infect brain cells and alter beliefs and behavior

This document at WantToKnow.info appears to explain the design and intent of the virus in a summary entitled, “Quarterly FunVax Review.”

The document says:

The objective of this phase of project ID 149AZ2 is to prepare a viral vector that will inhibit / decrease the expression of VMAT2 within a human population.

…the design allows the virus to infect the respiratory track where cytolytic infection occurs and then subsequent diffusion across the blood barrier to infect brain cells.

The document goes on to say that there will be “coordination between the research, clinical and manufacturing groups” taking place in 2007. This clearly spells out intent to take this project from the research phase to manufacturing and deployment.

You may wonder, therefore, against whom these weaponized mind control vaccines might be deployed, right? The answer is YOU.

Dispersal via air, water supply, highway vehicles and insects

According to the document linked above, the dispersal of the brain-modifying viral vaccine was tested in six different ways:

Six methods of … virus dispersal were tested – high altitude release, water supply release, insect transmission, diffusion by a ground level object such as a car, diffusion from a stationary object such as a bottle, and infection of food supply such as cattle or produce.

As you take in the paragraph you just read, consider that now, nearly eight years later, we are witnessing the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes combined with outbreaks of bizarre neurological conditions across U.S. schoolchildren and mysterious health conditions all over the world.

The “high-altitude release” of this mind-altering viral vaccine has no doubt already been achieved through the aerosolized spraying of cities in crisscross patterns of aerosolized dispersal at altitude, often labeled as “chemtrails.”

Suicide genes, field testing and future experiments

The same document cited above goes on to summarize a research group meeting that apparently took place on March 21st, 2007, in which the following topics were discussed:

• Proposal for a suicide gene
• Dispersal methods
• Testing efficiency in the field
• Inhibitors that may target a specific population
• Monkey knockdown progress
• Future experiments

Other directives in the document say things like:

“All 600 strains of VSV should be retested on human subjects…”

“Future experiments of VSV287 should allow the subject to breath in the virus rather than being injected with it.”

“The use of FunVax could see an immediate effect within the target zones… the results of mass inoculation should be proportionate to the rate of infection. Behavioral indicators … decrease in armed resistance… increase in communications that express discontent with religion or God.”

Fully intended to be deployed against civilian populations

It’s clear from the document that this mind-altering, brain-infecting vaccine was intended from the start to be deployed against civilian populations. In fact, the document discusses plans for covertly taking biological samples from dead civilians in order to determine the effectiveness of the aerosolized dispersal effort:

… a blood sample of militant casualties or deceased civilian would provide the most accurate estimate of the rate of vaccination… biological samples from living subjects may be covertly taken… the tests that should be repeated using the VSV287 are high atmospheric tests…

An airborne virus would be the preferred route of infection. A strain named VSV287 has been designed to spread via air… Only human trials can determine VSV287’s effect on religiosity and spirituality… high atmospheric dispersal or dispersal by a ground level moving object appears to be the most practical.

The government has a history of using aircraft to disperse vaccines

The air-dropping of vaccines onto large populations isn’t new, by the way. As I reported here on Natural News in 2012, the Texas government air-dropped 1.8 million rabies vaccines onto wild animal populations as part of a government-run scheme to vaccinate wildlife.

Yes, even wild coyotes and rabbits are not safe from the vaccine zealots. No animal on the planet is considered “safe” by health authorities unless it is first infected with a virus or two.

The Dept. of Defense plan is far more elaborate, however, using aerosolized dispersal with high-altitude aircraft or even dumping viral vaccines into the water supplies of large cities. Such an action would be considered an act of domestic terrorism if you or I did it, of course, but when the government proposes it, suddenly it’s okay.

Has a mind-altering vaccine already been released over U.S. cities?

All this brings up the obvious question: Has this mind-altering vaccine already been deployed over U.S. cities? It’s a legitimate question because the high-altitude deployment of this vaccine against civilian populations was clearly the intent of the program.

A mass “dumbing down” vaccine lobotomy would sure explain a lot of what’s going on in America these days, such as how certain people still haven’t figured out that every statement uttered by President Obama is a calculated lie. (I can’t wait to watch the upcoming theatrical comedy show called the “State of the Union Address.”)

I’ve also been wondering why we’re seeing a wholesale abandonment of morality and ethics across the western world these days, and it’s not an outlandish area of inquiry to wonder if entire cities of people have been intentionally exposed to a virus that infects their brains just as described by the scientist in the video above.

I know, it sounds like the actions of a Batman movie villain, but then again we already know the vaccine industry is largely staffed by mad scientists with villainous intent. Remember, this is the same group of disreputable scientists who knowingly committed scientific fraud by covering up the confession of a CDC scientist who admitted the agency manipulated data to eliminate any apparent link between vaccines and autism. It’s no stretch at all to realize these same people would gladly deploy vaccines to dumb people down if that made them more compliant and docile.

The greatest enemy of the vaccine industry is, of course, anyone who can still think for themselves.

We also know that vaccines are being deployed right now to covertly sterilize women using sterilization chemicals secretly mixed into the vaccines themselves.

We also know there’s still toxic mercury in flu shots, even though the establishment ridiculously claims flu shots are 100% safe to give to pregnant women, infants, toddlers, senior citizens and everyone else. This is an industry that actually seems to enjoy the power trip of causing widespread health harm, vaccine-induced seizures, comas, autism and even death. Deploying vaccines at high altitude to invisibly fall onto large cities where they are inhaled by millions of people is an almost erotic fantasy come true for these anti-human vaccine zealots who despise life and openly advocate human depopulation.

Can good nutrition protect you from aerosolized vaccine weapons of mass mental destruction?

When I look around America today and witness the total abandonment of rational thought, the criminality of the medical system, the corruption at every level of government and the twisted insanity infecting the minds of the masses, I can only wonder if the population has been covertly but deliberately exposed to something nefarious.

Perhaps some of us are immune — people like you and I — while others fall victim to the virus because they live in states of weakened immunity. Perhaps people who eat the most nutritious foods and superfoods have the best defenses against covert vaccine schemes and are therefore the only ones to emerge with their minds and awareness fully intact.

Perhaps we’re already five years into a massive war against human consciousness that’s being waged every day at every level, from the droning idiots on the cable news networks to the brain-destroying medications dosed out to nearly every person who steps foot in a doctor’s office. Combine aerosolized, weaponized vaccines with the mind-numbing effects of fluoride, TV sitcoms, chemical food additives and mass media social engineering and you end up with a nation of sleepwalking zombies who are only capable of obedience, not independent thought.

Through these aerosolized vaccines, in other words, the hilariously-depicted “zombie apocalypse” may already have begun. And perhaps the so-called “mindless masses” are actually just victims of a nefarious, government-run behavioral modification program designed to turn a human breath into an unintended vaccination event.

via 600 strains of an aerosolized thought control vaccine already tested on humans; deployed via air, food and water – NaturalNews.com.

Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates – NaturalNews.com.

In 1961, a DuPont toxicologist warned colleagues that exposure to their company’s increasingly popular Teflon chemicals enlarged the livers of rats and rabbits. Studies over the following decades found no safe level of exposure in animals and determined that humans, too, got sick when exposed to the chemicals — which were also seen to build up in the body and resist breakdown in the environment.

Nonstick, it turned out, tends to stick around.

By the end of 2015, some of these most notorious polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs, will be fully phased out of use in the U.S. But emerging in their place, warn environmental health experts, are another group of PFASs that share many of the same concerning characteristics.

“We know these substitutes are equally persistent. They don’t break down for geologic time,” said Arlene Blum, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley, and the executive director of the nonprofit Green Science Policy Institute.

On Friday, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives published a document known as the Madrid Statement, signed by more than 200 scientists from 38 countries. The statement highlights the potential harm of both old and new PFAS chemicals. You may know them best as the stuff that protects your carpet from stains, keeps your food from sticking to packaging or pans, repels rain from your coat and prevents mascara from running down your cheeks. If you got a pastry with your coffee this morning, a PFAS substance probably even lined the waxy paper it was served on.

“It’s a very serious decision to make chemicals that last that long, and putting them into consumer products with high levels of human exposure is a worrisome thing,” said Blum, who was also the lead author on the statement.

In an editorial accompanying the statement, Linda Birnbaum, head of the national toxicology program for the Department of Health and Human Services, and Philippe Grandjean, chair of environmental medicine at the University of Southern Denmark, cite the common industry practice of replacing phased-out chemicals with structurally similar ones, such as the recent swap of bisphenol S for bisphenol A. Other experts have pinned this pattern — what Blum has previously called “toxic whack-a-mole” — on the nation’s outdated toxic chemical legislation, which allows chemicals to remain innocent until proven guilty.

“Companies can currently produce other chemicals without a good idea of their impact on health and the environment,” said Alex Stone, a senior chemist with the Washington State Department of Ecology, who signed the Madrid Statement.

The scientists are calling for cooperation around the world to limit production of PFASs and to identify safer alternatives. Industry groups, meanwhile, continue to assert the safety of the newer versions of the chemicals. The replacements carry shorter chains of fluorinated carbon atoms, which experts generally agree lowers the chemicals’ toxicity and helps the body excrete them faster.

“There is substantial scientific data supporting the conclusion that short-chain PFASs are not expected to pose a significant risk,” wrote Jessica Bowman, executive director of the FluoroCouncil, an arm of the industry group American Chemistry Council, in an emailed statement to The Huffington Post.

Bowman published a counterpoint column in Environmental Health Perspectives on Friday, emphasizing that the unique chemicals are “essential” to “things we take for granted,” including products that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in vehicles and coat surgical gowns with a shield against fluid-borne pathogens.

“We don’t believe the Madrid statement reflects a true consideration of the available data on alternatives to long-chain [PFASs],” she told HuffPost.

Still, critics contend that not enough information exists to be sure the substitute chemicals are substantially safer than the older versions. “Manufacturers said [long-chained PFASs] were fine for a number of decades,” said Blum.

The Madrid Statement cites data that links exposures to PFASs with certain cancers, delayed puberty, decreased fertility, reduced immune response in children and elevated cholesterol, among other health problems. A Danish study published in April adds to the concerns, linking blood levels of PFASs, including the new short-chain versions, with up to a sixteenfold increase in the risk of miscarriage.

When HuffPost asked exactly when it became clear that long-chain PFASs previously used in Teflon and other products were “hazardous to human health,” Bowman said only that member companies had started working with the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulators to phase them out “a decade ago.”

A decade ago, in 2005, the EPA assessed a $16.5 million fine, its largest ever, to DuPont, saying the company had withheld decades of information concerning the hazardous health effects of PFASs. That’s according to a helpful reminder from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group in a separate report also published on Friday. They note that internal documents revealed DuPont had long known the chemicals “caused cancer, had poisoned drinking water in the mid-Ohio River Valley and polluted the blood of people and animals worldwide.”

“Even when the EPA manages to punish a company, it’s not big enough a deterrent. A couple years’ more production easily eclipsed the amount of their fine,” said Bill Walker, co-author of the group’s report, which was accompanied by a consumer guide for avoiding potentially dangerous PFASs. The group recommends bypassing nonstick pans in favor of stainless steel or cast iron, for example, and popping corn the old-fashioned way — on the stovetop.

DuPont spokeswoman Janet Smith said in an email that the group’s report contained “a number of inaccurate and misleading comments.” When asked to specify the inaccuracies, Smith told HuffPost that she was “not able to discuss” because of “active litigation.”

Patagonia is among the companies currently phasing out use of long-chain PFASs. But rather than simply embracing their short-chain cousins, spokesman Adam Fetcher suggested that his company is “working really hard to find an alternative” to fluorinated chemicals. He highlighted Patagonia’s recent investment in Beyond Surface Technologies, a Swiss startup that’s developing plant-based replacement chemicals. “We see a huge amount of potential,” said Fetcher.

Stone even pointed to the potential use of biomimicry to offer surface protection without the use of chemicals. “Certain designs in leaves actually help water bead up and run off,” he said.

In the end, none of the alternatives may end up quite as effective as today’s synthetics. But, as Blum noted, that might be good enough, at least in some cases.

“If you’re going to climb Mount Everest, then maybe you need that degree of water repellency,” said Blum, who was the first American woman to attempt to ascend the mountain. “But do you need it to go to the beach?”

 

Scientists Issue Warning Over Chemicals Common In Carpets, Coats, Cookware.

OLATHE, Kan. – A woman convicted of murdering her husband in their Kansas home walked free Wednesday after serving just 9 years for the crime, reports CBS affiliate KCTV.

In 1982, Melinda Raisch’s husband, 25-year-old David Harmon, was bludgeoned to death in their bedroom. At the time, Raisch told police two intruders knocked her out and she woke up later to find her husband dead. Detectives never believed her story.

Even so, Raisch moved to Ohio, married again and started a family.

David and Melinda Harmon
CBS

Olathe detectives reopened the case 20 years later. This time, she changed her story, telling detectives there was just one intruder.

WATCH: 48 Hours: A Knock on the Door

They arrested her and her former boyfriend, Mark Mangelsdorf, a New York marketing executive who, at the time of the murder, was a college student in Olathe, Kansas.

According to the Kansas City Star, Raisch was convicted of first-degree murder, but prosecutors agreed to a deal where she could plead guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for her testimony against Mangelsdorf.

Mangelsdorf pleaded to second-degree murder and in 2006 both were sentenced to 10-20 years, reports the Star.

Raisch, who was freed Wednesday, will be under supervised parole in Ohio for ten more years.

 

Melinda Raisch, Kansas woman who murdered her husband David Harmon in 1982, freed after 9 years in prison – CBS News.

Based on the case, officials are now telling male Ebola survivors to avoid unprotected sex indefinitely.

 

via 5 Months After Infection, Man Spreads Ebola Via Sex: Report – ABC News.

UFO OVER L.A.: THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES

 

UFO OVER L.A.: THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES

 

OR why no one is allowed on San Clemente Island!

 

IN THE 1942 BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES A GIANT AERIAL OBJECT OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN APPEARS IN THE NIGHT SKY

 

 

WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

 


THE SO-CALLED BATTLE OF L.A.800 FOOT ZEPPELIN-SIZE UFO
CAUGHT IN SEARCHLIGHT BEAMS OVER LOS ANGELES IN 1942
 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

the Wanderling
 

 

Invariably when the topic of a conversation turns toward unidentified flying objects someone almost always makes some sort of a reference to, and most rightly so, the Roswell UFO. The Roswell UFO was a mysterious object of an unknown nature and unknown origin that reportedly began shedding bits and pieces of metal and foil out over the desert flatlands of New Mexico close to midnight of July 4, 1947, only to end up slamming into lower north slope of the Capitan Mountains some fifty miles west of Roswell.

The event at Roswell, although perhaps one of the most famous and most talked about of the UFO incidents, was only one of many that have happened over the years. Five years before the Roswell Incident the U.S. was in the early throes of a world war. Except for the relatively unknown at the time Foo Fighters, any mention of unidentified flying objects usually took on a different tone — with most people thinking about enemy aircraft such as fighter planes and bombers. However, on the night of February 25, 1942, over the skies of Los Angeles with the so-called Battle of Los Angeles, the tone was more like Roswell.

Before a total of three months had even elapsed following the attack on Pearl Harbor, beginning at 7:15 PM on February 23, 1942, a Japanese submarine shelled the Ellwood oil fields near the town of Goleta, 12 miles north of Santa Barbara, California. According to accounts, anywhere from sixteen to twenty-nine shells were fired, with three striking the Bankline Oil Refinery, the apparent target of the attack. About a half mile inland a refinery oil well along with rigging and pumping equipment were reported hit. Storage tanks next to the well and others close by, which, if they would have been hit could have caused major damage, went unscathed. Another shell exploded without damage on on the Tecolote ranch some three miles inland while another shell landed on the property of the nearby Staniff ranch, digging a hole five feet deep, but failing to explode. The remaining shells fell harmlessly into the Pacific.

Less than thirty-two hours later, in the early morning hours of February 25, suddenly appearing out of nowhere, but most likely doing so only after dropping out of the night sky initially from a steep angle out over the Pacific on a curving south to east trajectory, a huge object of unknown origin, possibly with protective detection devices on, at a lower altitude levels off. The object continues on a trajectory east toward the city of Los Angeles at ultra high speed barely skimming the water just above the surface. At 120 miles out, the object most likely picks up electronic probes from the Army long range listening apparatus or rudimentary early radar and retracts it’s entry shields, reducing it’s speed to a near crawl some 50 miles out, turning inland somewhere near Point Dume.

Scattered eyewittness accounts from years later pick up the object apparently dropping down into the radar shadow by hugging the mostly unpopulated ridge-line along the north side of the Santa Monica mountains in an easterly direction.[1] It then turned south in the gap in the mountains around Sepulveda Boulevard and Mullholland Drive coming in BEHIND the aimed direction of the majority of the anti-aircraft guns and any possible radar or long range listening devices. In a continuing steeply angled climb out of the Santa Monica mountains the object curved slightly to the east around and well above the 511 foot altitude of Baldwin Hills in what appeared to be a concerted effort to stay away from all the potential aircraft and armament associated with Mines Field (now LAX). The object turned westward toward the ocean coming out over the aircraft manufacturing plants near the El Segundo tank farm, then, dropping altitude, south along the coast.

 


MINES FIELD, NOW LAX, AS SEEN DURING WW II
OBJECT WENT AROUND IT PURPOSELY IN 1942

Earlier, as the unidentified target continued on it’s apparent approach toward the Los Angeles area only to disappear behind the mountains inland west along the coast, the air raid warning system regional controller, still jittery from the oil refinery attack in the same general area only a few hours before, ordered the newly installed antiaircraft batteries to go to Green Alert — “ready to fire.” At 2:15 AM, with the object’s position unknown with any amount of certainty, for the first time since the start of the war, the controller ordered the whole warning system into operation, with an area-wide blackout that effected the region from Los Angeles to the Mexican border and as far inland as the San Joaquin Valley.

Even with all that going on, as soon as it happened to as late as a full 45 years after the event and continuing to this day, people are still questioning why no U.S. planes were ordered into the skies to apprehend the object on it’s approach. In a article titled WORLD WAR II UFO SCARE by Paul T. Collins in FATE Magazine, Volume 40, Number 7, Issue 448, and published in July, 1987, the following by Collins if found:

 

“Planes of the Fourth Interceptor Command were, in fact, warming up on the runways waiting for orders to go up and interview the unknown intruders. Why, everybody was asking, were they not ordered to go into action during the 51-minute period between the first air-raid alert at 2:25 AM and the first artillery firing at 3:16?”

 

In 1983 the U.S. Government Printing Office released a multi-volume set titled The Army Air Forces in World War II, edited by Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate. In Volume I, Chapter III, Section 8, page 283, there is found what is nothing short of an official confirmation to the above scenario. The volume specifically cites the USE of radar, which many people insist was NOT functionally operational in 1942 — although the government seems to beg to differ in the document — as well as the fact that the object simply disappeared or vanished over the ocean during it’s inflight path toward Los Angeles. To wit:

 

“Radars picked up an unidentified target 120 miles west of Los Angeles. Antiaircraft batteries were alerted at 0215 and were put on Green Alert—ready to fire—a few minutes later. The AAF kept its pursuit planes on the ground, preferring to await indications of the scale and direction of any attack before committing its limited fighter force. Radars tracked the approaching target to within a few miles of the coast, and at 0221 the regional controller ordered a blackout. Thereafter the information center was flooded with reports of ‘enemy planes,’ even though the mysterious object tracked in from sea seems to have vanished.”

 

The radar system that was reported to have “picked up” the object first has been officially confirmed as a SCR-268. SCR-268s only had an operational range of 22 miles, yet initial contact was reported as being 120 miles west of the city of Los Angeles. For more on that and the disappearing act of “the mysterious object tracked in from sea seems to have vanished” as mentioned in the above quote, please see:

 

 

THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES: The Radar Dilemma

At 3:06 AM, for reasons unclear, at least four Santa Monica area anti-aircraft batteries turn inland and start firing out over the city and Baldwin Hills, and suddenly “the air over Los Angeles erupted like a volcano.” For the next three hours it was nothing but confusion with “swarms” of planes of all possible sizes reported, numbering from one to several hundred, traveling at altitudes from a few thousand feet to more than 20,000, and flying at speeds from very slow to hundreds of miles per hour.

 


However, whatever it was or whatever they were, no bombs were dropped nor was there any resultant destruction by the invader. So too, despite the fact that 1,440 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition had been expended, whatever was “up there” seemed impervious to the barrage — in the end, escaping with no sign of damage or losses.

As the shore batteries and searchlights continued to wreak havoc aginst the night sky residents along the forty-mile stretch of coastline from north of Malibu to south of Palos Verdes had nothing but a front row seat to all the action. One of those residents, who has since gone on to do intensive academic research into the mythological dimensions of the UFO phenomenon, was a young boy at the time but now retired Occidental College professor of anthropology C. Scott Littleton, living along the coast in the small southern California oceanfront community of Hermosa Beach. In a recollection of the events that transpired that night Littleton writes:

 

I was an eyewitness to the events of that unforgettable February morning in February of 1942. I was eight-years-old at the time, and my parents lived at 2500 Strand in Hermosa Beach, right on the beach. We thus had a grandstand seat. While my father went about his air-raid warden duties, my late mother and I watched the glowing object, which was caught in the glare of searchlights from both Palos Verdes and Malibu/Pacific/Palisades and surrounded by the puffs of ineffectual anti-aircraft fire, as it slowly flew across the ocean from northwest to southeast. It headed inland over Redondo Beach, a couple of miles to the south of our vantage point, and eventually disappeared over the eastern end of the Palos Verdes hills, what’s today called Rancho Palos Verdes. The whole incident lasted, at least from our perspective, about half an hour, though we didn’t time it. Like other kids in the neighborhood, I spend the next morning picking up of pieces of shrapnel on the beach; indeed, it’s a wonder more people weren’t injured by the stuff, as we were far from the only folks standing outside watching the action.

In any case, I don’t recall seeing any truly discernable configuration, just a small, glowing, slight lozenge-shaped blob light —a single blob. We only saw one object, not several as some witnesses later reported. At the time, we were convinced that it was a “Jap” reconnaissance plane, and that L.A. might be due for a major air-raid in the near future. Remember, this was less than three months after Pearl Harbor. But that of course never happened. Later on, we all expected “them,” that is, the Military, to tell us what was really up there after the war. But that never happened, either..

 

In February of 1942 I was a boy myself, somewhat younger than Littleton, living with my two brothers and my parents in a little house on the 300 block of South Lucia Street in Redondo Beach, California. I remember that night quite well. Most people would agree that Littleton, age eight, could remember what he saw that night, but me, a couple of years younger, questionable. However, I remember a lot of things, up to and well before that period of time in my life. For example, my mother nursing my brother who was three years younger than me. Seeing barrage balloons floating in the sky tethered to the ground over the shipyards in Terminal Island where my father worked. Because metal was not available for toys during wartime, the lifesize cardboard toy fighter plane-type cockpit — colored on one side with dials and windshield and printed only in black and white on the backside — with a movable square cardboard joystick that the girl next door had, plus so too my only new wartime metal toy that I had and carried with me everywhere I went like it was gold, a Captain Midnight decoder badge. I remember well my dad taking me to see the Japanese two-man midget submarine that washed up on shore just south of the pier. And, as described in World War II Comes To Redondo, lifting me up to look inside the sub through the open hatch. The oil derricks in the field behind my house and me telling the workmen there my mother made the best apple pie in the world — and all of them coming over to try some at my invitation, hard hats and all. I remember as well, my dad, like Littleton’s dad, was an air raid warden — with a white doughboy helmet and an armband, both of which I would put on and run around playing air raid warden all day long.

 


My dad got up that night when the sirens went off to do his air raid warden stuff and eventually practically everybody on our block was outside to see what was going on.[2] Littleton was quite right about the object heading inland a couple of miles south of him over Redondo Beach. After apparently skirting some distance off the surfline from somewhere around El Segundo to Hermosa Beach, for unknown reasons just as it passed south of the Edison electric generating plant in Redondo, rather than continue south around or past Palos Verdes peninsula, it turned diagonally inland headed in a south southeast direction. See CHAPTER 3. Later reports stated the object had been flying at an altitude between 8,000 to 12,000 feet, and if such was the case, with all the searchlights trained on it you would have thought at that altitude we could easily see it coming, but we couldn’t. True, from our vantage point on Lucia Street, because of the low hills rising up just across Torrance Boulevard at the end of the street, our view of the steam plant was blocked. However, the craft must have been slowly dropping altitude ever since it left Baldwin Hills to El Segundo because when it came over us, the object, whatever it was, was not that high off the ground. It was a huge giant thing that loomed up over the hills looking so big that when it crossed above our heads you couldn’t see the sides, only the bottom — and it took forever for the thing to finish passing over. When it crossed over our house, because it was so low, my dad actually thought it was coming in for a landing. In those days a few miles southeast of us was the Lomita air strip along with the remnants of a dry lake and my dad thought that was where it was headed — as if maybe the craft had been damaged or something. When he was assured there was no longer any imminent danger my dad and a few neighbors, some armed with rifles and shotguns, hopped into a couple of cars with some of the men standing on the running boards, and took off down old Sepulveda chasing after it. It continued south southeast, gaining both speed and altitude. Not landing like they thought and not being able to keep up the men turned back. The object eventually crossed somewhere between Palos Verdes on the west and Signal Hill on the east coming out over Long Beach heading south along the California coast toward Huntington Beach — although at a much, much higher altitude than when it went over Lucia Street. Where it ended up nobody knows. Or do they?

 

Even though the object basically came straight on and crossed directly over the top of us, being out of the range of the searchlights it’s actual shape was hard to discern against the upper night sky. My dad, who in 1929 had actually watched the Graf Zeppelin land in Los Angeles at Mines Field (now LAX and about eight miles north of Redondo Beach) and even walked along side and under the giant airship, often said the object that passed over us that night was as big, if not bigger, than a Zeppelin. Some of what I remember about the thing besides its size, although it was huge, as I have grown older I am not totally sure how close it was to the actual size of the Graf Zeppelin in length at 776 feet as my dad’s enthusiasm suggested. Littleton, however, and a highly competent fellow collaborator and editor of the UFO Chronicles, Frank Warren, using what seems to be sort of triangulation, have estimated the object’s size as even larger. Using the photograph at the top of the page as a starting base they conclude:

 

“From the width of the light beams at the point they reached the object, plus the knowledge that at least one of them came from a searchlight battery in Manhattan Beach, some ten miles away (the others appear to have come from Inglewood or El Segundo), Frank Warren has concluded that it must have been considerably larger, that is, around 800 feet in length, and I (that is, Littleton) agree with this estimate.”

 

Face on as I remember it, the object was not round or circular like a Zeppelin or a blimp, but wide and flat or slightly curved toward the center concave-like across the bottom from the the outside edges. It seemed bluntly-wedged or possibly sloped toward the top and back somewhat in the front, sort of like the triangular or boxy shape of present day stealth aircraft or more closely, an upsidedown pointed shovel. From my vantage point there was no sign of of ribs or superstructure. No markings, alien Hieroglyphic Writing, insignias, or numbers — earth-based or otherwise. No openings, windows, portholes, hatches, seams, or lights that I remember. No propellers, exterior motors and no sound. It had no wheels, wings, fins, or stabilizers either, although it did have the capability to rise and fall in altitude and pick up and gain speed as well as have the ability to go so slow it barely moved. After all it took well over thirty minutes to travel the twenty miles or so from Baldwin Hills to the ocean to Redondo Beach, then when my dad and neighbors attempted to follow it the object took off at a fairly high speed — so much so their cars could not keep up with it.[3]

 


THE BOTTOM OF THE L.A. UFO HAD THE CONCAVE CURVATURE
OF AN UPSIDE DOWN SHOVEL. SOME SAW A GIANT BUTTERFLY

After it passed over us standing in the street, but before my dad left chasing after it, everybody, including my whole family, either ran toward their backyards or into the dirt alley behind the houses and watched it cross out of view over the oil fields. I could easily see the back of the thing against the sky. The rear or stern was thick and rectangle in shape, rounded on the corners, flat or slightly concave on the bottom, flat on top toward the rear curving gently or falling off to the sides near the front as it narrowed, thinning more so toward the front, although not aerodynamically so. In that it was tipped upward gaining altitude in what appeared to be a concerted effort by the craft to gain as much distance between itself and the top of the 200 foot tall oil derricks that spiked up all over the field behind the house I was unable to see if there were any cockpits, protrusions or cabins on the top — mainly because of the angle of the climb would not allow them to be silhoutted against the sky. Since, however, I had a perfectly clear view of the back of the craft in the dark that night people often want to know if the rear had any exhaust ports or rocket-like thrust openings. The answer is no, at least none that I remember. However, my dad said when he tried to catch it, coming almost abroadside although well below and somewhat behind, he could see what looked like three distinct, possibly four, narrow red-orange slit-like openings on the side toward the back, describing them as “looking like shark gills only glowing.” I saw nothing like that. Matter of fact I am not sure what the motive power for the object was. I do know, even though its size was likened to a Zeppelin it didn’t act like one. Zeppelins are lighter than air machines and there is a certain physical and psychological buoyancy to them, both in reality and perception. This object seemed more like a battleship. There was something heavy about it. The thing is, is that it made absolutely no sound. Totally silent, which is odd because almost everything I ever saw that moved and was that big — locomotives, airplanes, ships — all made lots of noise. The only other thing that stood out about the object was that it left a very slight but distinct odor trailing off behind it. If any of you have ever owned an electric train like a Lionel for example, and noticed the smell the transformer gives off during a lengthy period of use, after the object passed overhead, in it’s wake, the air reeked with an odor very similar to that same smell. For me however, what I remember the most, even to this day, was how sad the thing seemed. It was like a lost baby elephant just searching for its mommy, and everywhere it went it got chased away or shot at.

Some minutes after it passed over Redondo Beach and my dad lost track of it by not being able to keep up with it, the object was out over the agriculture fields that existed in those days a few miles inland east and south of the beach cities. That same night Albert Nozaki was helping guard a friend’s field from vandals that had been ruining crops. Below describes what Nozaki saw that night in the early morning hours:

 

“(A)pproaching him well above the fields from the west, silhouetted against the slightly lighter night sky, was a fairly huge dark airborne object coming straight toward him at a fairly quick pace. At first it seemed as though it would take a path off to the right of where he was standing, but before it reached him it just barely began turning flatly toward the south, almost as in a controlled drift. By then he was just under the edge of the object as it went over him with the center off to his left, continuing its turn and eventually disappearing in the southern night sky while all the time gaining altitude. It was huge, dark, very long and wide with no lights or signs of windows. Although it did not have protruding wings like an airplane, the object’s outside edges ominously curved down. As well, other than feeling a slight vibrational “hum” in his chest as it passed over, the object made no sound.”

 

Nozaki, who later went on to be an Oscar nominated art director, apparently drawing upon his his experiences in the field that night in 1942, designed the terrifying Martian flying machines seen in the 1953 movie War of the Worlds.

 

In an interesting twist of fate, five years later, unrelated to any of the above as far as I was concerned, my Uncle, after a quick heads up from his friend the famed meteorite hunter Dr. Lincoln La Paz, took me along with him to the suspected crash site at Roswell, my uncle walking much of the then nearly fresh debris field wanting to see if there was any truth behind the so called hieroglyphic writing reported by many to have been found on some of the metal scraps. For more on walking the fresh debris field by getting through the supposedly heavily miltarized, well-guarded, and cordoned off the Roswell crash site see: Frank Edwards

 

WHAT A YOUNG BOY REMEMBERS — OR NOT

Over and over the question comes up, in that I was such a little kid at the time of the “Battle of L.A.,” how is it possible that I remember so much?

I get into some of my suspicions as to a potential answer a bit more thoroughly in a footnote at the very bottom of the page. However, even though what I have presented covers a lot of material, most of what is presented comes not just from my memory, as a kid or otherwise, but plain out-and-out research, including at least two highly exclusive eyewitness interviews — research and interviews that I have shoe-horned around what I DO remember. For example, the date and time of the oil field shelling near Santa Barbara: 7:15 PM February 23, 1942. I didn’t know that as a kid. Matter of fact, I didn’t even know there had been an oil field shelling. I discovered it in my research and connected it with the fact that the shellings by Japanese submarines just up the coast from Los Angeles only hours before the L. A. fly over most likely made a lot of folks jumpy or trigger happy.

Same with the following. I don’t “remember” it from my childhood. I have extrapolated what appears in the paragraph from research:

 

“Less than thirty-two hours later, in the early morning hours of February 25, suddenly appearing out of nowhere, but most likely doing so only after dropping out of the night sky initially from a steep angle out over the Pacific on a north to east trajectory, a huge object of unknown origin, possibly with protective detection devices on, at a lower altitude levels off. The object continues on a trajectory east toward the city of Los Angeles at ultra high speed barely skimming the water just above the surface. At 120 miles out, the object most likely picks up electronic probes from the Army long range listening apparatus or rudimentary early radar and retracts it’s entry shields, reducing it’s speed to a near crawl some 50 miles out, turning inland somewhere near Point Dume.”

 

The Government Printing Office multi-volume set reported that radar picked up an unidentified target 120 miles west of Los Angeles and because of same, at 0215, anti-aircraft batteries were alerted. The report goes on to say they tracked the target to within a few miles of the coast, and at 0221 a blackout was ordered even though the object “tracked from the sea” seemed to have vanished.

So, at 2:15 AM the object is out over the open ocean west of Los Angeles. Then, six minutes later, at 2:21 AM although it should have been right on top of the coast and still in radar contact it disappeared — of which I write “reducing it’s speed to a near crawl some 50 miles out, turning inland somewhere near Point Dume.” Radar picked up an unidentified target 120 miles out, the last half of which it must have slowed to a crawl. How do I know? Now, I don’t remember that as a kid, I have extrapolated it from the research, that is what I found in the government multi-volume set and other sources. The report says the object “vanished.” It must have dropped altitude and crossed into the mountains behind the radar shadow, thus appearing to disappear. My eyewittness says at the exact same time something crossed overhead above him in the mountains near Agoura, “a huge gigantic flying thing not much higher than the tops of the trees — and not making a sound, but all the while blocking out a good portion of the night sky and most of the stars — slowly crossed overhead curving toward the east after coming out of a more south southwesterly direction.” He says the object SLOWLY crossed overhead — which means it reduced it’s speed to a crawl. To have crossed overhead where the eyewittness saw it, it would had to have turned inland somewhere around Point Dume, again my speculation from the facts so presented. The giant object skirted the north side of the Santa Monica mountains toward the east along Ventura Boulevard only to turn south in a gap in the mountains about midway along the southwestern edge of the San Fernando Valley. After turning south the object crossed over Baldwin Hills and turned westward toward the ocean coming out over the aircraft plants near the El Segundo tank farm. From there it went south along the coast turning back inland somewhere past the Edison plant in Redondo Beach. The anti-aircraft guns opened up at 3:06 AM — 45 minutes after it disappeared — that is, when it showed up again, not on radar, but visually and BEHIND the sea facing anti-aircraft guns. Smart. The thing is, none of that has anything to do with what I remember or don’t remember. It only supports what I remember.

What do I remember? Well, that whatever it was it crossed right over the top of my house in Redondo Beach in the middle of the night. That it didn’t look like a blimp like some people say, but more like an upside down shovel. Why would I remember that? Because in those days, like so many others, we had a Victory Garden in the backyard and I used to help my grandfather and mother maintain it. For that we had a number of garden tools, of which some were shovels. One of the shovels had a broken handle and my father removed what was left of the handle out of the sleeve portion that held it. The metal spade part looked so much like the object to me I used to run around holding it like a kid might do with a model airplane, mimicking the flight of the craft — and when I did, the other kids that didn’t see it that night, made fun of me. They had wood and cardboard toys of what would one day come to be my favorite fighter the P-40 Warhawk to do pretend battles with Zeros. I used an upside down shovel.

What else do I remember? That it was NOT round in the front like a blimp is round face-on. Like I say, my father worked in the shipyards in Terminal Island I remember seeing barrage balloons floating in the sky tethered to the ground all around the shipyard area. To me they were “blimps” and face-on they were round. I remember it clearing the oilwells behind the house, that the rear of it, unlike a shovel, was rectangle in shape across the back, thick where you put your foot to push a shovel into the ground. Also there was a distinct odor in the air like a Lionel electric train transformer gives off following in it’s wake. Almost everybody remembers smells, and the smell of a Lionel train transformer is one of them for me. Like burnt electricity. So too, as found in the A Quick Personal Note link below, I also drew information not JUST from memory, but, for example, a whole page of notes that contained nothing but comments from my dad’s own eyewitness account — a dad who was not just a kid at the time of the incident like me — but a grown man 37 years old. Hence, my ability to add to and present more specifically such things as my father and neighbors taking off down old Sepulveda, the Lomita air strip, shark gills, etc. I could go on and on, but by now I am sure you get the point. Besides, a good portion of those who question my “young age” and any ability to remember because of that young age do so with some bone to pick. They are looking to discredit or weaken what has been presented, which inturn would blanket the whole presentation as being inaccurate. However, again, a whole host of what has been presented is from facts and sources from other than my “kid” memory — I have just shoehorned them around what I remember.

It is quite clear that C. Scott Littleton, usually acknowledged as the foremost authority on the ‘Battle of L.A.,’ mentioned above, apparently likes my eyewitness accounts of the event, if not a great deal, at least within reason. I say so because they are the only ones he ever seems to include over-and-over in what he presents. However, even though he includes them, he has a strong tendency to always qualify what I have said as calling them, for example, “shaky,” — or as in the case below where he says my recollections of the object are “atypical” and “and perhaps skewed” — albeit all the while using them:

 

“(D)espite the Redondo Beach man’s atypical — and perhaps skewed —recollection …”

 

He then goes on to say:

 

“(W)hat we (Littleton) saw, together with the majority of the descriptions Frank (i.e., Frank Warren, Littleton’s collaborator on the subject) and I have collected, as well as the object caught in the Times reporter’s photograph, all jibe closely with literally tens of thousands of eyewitness accounts of UFOs in this country and elsewhere that have come to light in the course of the last six decades.”

 

Littleton was talking about the stereotypical percolator coffee pot lid disc-like objects of the day with little glass humps on top, of which the L.A. Times photograph seems to show. However, the UFO over L.A. was far from typical. If anything it was highly atypical of the UFOs of the era. It was huge for one thing. More people reported it was Zeppelin-size than anything else. Even Warren himself, as cited in the main text above, figured the object was at a minimum at least 800 feet long. Very few of the “literally tens of thousands of eyewitness accounts of UFOs in this country and elsewhere that have come to light in the course of the last six decades” have claimed to have seen UFOs anywhere near that size.[4]

 

LITTLETON VS THE WANDERLING:
BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES OR UFO OVER L.A.?

Now that you know all about the 1942 “Battle of Los Angeles” and the UFO over L. A., if you want to know how a huge, giant, nearly Zeppelin size object seen by thousands could simply vanish into the night sky without a trace, please visit CHAPTER 2, below, as it contains some rather interesting additional information, including speculation as to where it went to and what actually happened to the object.


CHAPTER 2

FIRST THERE WAS THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES, THEN THE GIANT OBJECT DISAPPEARED

WHAT HAPPENED TO IT?


In an article published in Nexus Magazine, Volume 5, Number 3 (April – May 1998) titled Inside Revelations on the UFO Cover-Up and written by Dr. Richard Boylan — a magazine and article that contains a tad bit more in the way of way out UFO stuff than typically suits my own personal tastes — a man by the name of Dr. Michael Wolf (died September 16, 2000), who is an author of his own book Catchers of Heaven (1996) and claimed to have been either a member of or a consultant to a secret National Security Council Special Studies Group known as OPERATION MAJESTIC-12 (sometimes MJ-12) that oversees ET type affairs in the United States, offers:

 

Dr. Wolf provided a revisionist history about the beginning of the modern UFO era. “The first UFO came down in 1941 into the ocean west of San Diego, and was retrieved by the Navy.” The Navy has held a leadership position in UFO matters ever since.

 

Interestingly enough, for our purposes here, another time given for that UFO retrieval — without altering the fact that the object came down in the ocean west of San Diego — comes in a letter Dr. Boylan received from the son of a Colonel William Brophy, now deceased. In the letter, written in response to the Nexus article, the son relates his father told him in conversation on more than one occasion that the date for the UFO retrieval was NOT the more general 1941 as Dr. Wolf extrapolated from his sources, but actually the following year on the more specific date of February 25, 1942 (i.e., “Air Force Colonel’s Son Reveals 1940s U.S.-UFO/Star Visitor Encounters,” UFOfacts, July 21, 2003, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UFOFacts/message/10345). Dr. Boylan makes it clear, however, that there is no independent corroboration for the February 1942 date other than details provided by Brophy’s son through his father, which have otherwise been proven to be consistent with little known facts Dr. Boylan is privy to that are known to be accurate and harmonious to the event — the event being the recovery of the UFO by the Navy. Even though the date/year may not have independent corroboration the EVENT itself, that is, the recovery of the UFO by the Navy off San Diego, most certainly does, as it is backed up in the March 5, 1942, memo from the Army Chief of Staff to the President of the United States cited below. Personally, I find the March 5, 1942 memo date, considering the timing and sum of its contents, to be much more consistant with a February 1942 down date than a whole one-year-before 1941 date. However, personal conjectures aside, neither Dr. Boylan nor the colonel’s son are necessarily putting the date of February 25, 1942 into the perspective it deserves nor together with anything else.

The date IS, of course, totally consistant to our thesis here, as February 25, 1942, is the EXACT same date that the object was seen by hundreds if not thousands of people to have crossed somewhere between Palos Verdes on the west and Signal Hill on the east before coming out over Long Beach and heading south along the California coast before it just disappeared — with the same direction of travel being, if continued, San Diego. If you remember from Chapter 1 above, when it crossed over my house in Redondo Beach, because the object was so low, my dad actually thought it was coming in for a landing — as if the craft may have been damaged or something. Since nobody seems to know what happened to the thing, the possibility exists that it could have gone down in the Pacific somewhere off San Diego.

If it did go down off San Diego and was recovered by the Navy it is certainly not a widely known fact even amongst those who are familiar with most of UFO lore — hence Dr. Boylan’s interjection of the revisionist history tag line. However, a LOT of people, and I’m talking regular old sailors here, deckhands, cooks, and able-body seamen — probably ALL without security clearances — would have to had been involved in any type of deep water recovery of something said to be so big. I had a confidential clearance working on the U-2 as a civilian, and because of the nature of the work I did, bumped to a top secret security clearance upon entering the military — and I know from experience it would be very, very difficult to keep a lid on such an operation over any period of time under similar circumstances. All of the beach towns south from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach reported seeing the object. None of the beach towns from Long Beach south — except possibly Seal Beach — reported it. In my opinion I think some distance off the coast west of Seal Beach or Sunset Beach, or possibly even Huntington Beach, the object turned more west southwest and headed out to sea toward the basically uninhabited island of San Clemente. Coming down the coast from the north, San Clemente is the last and most southern of the Channel Islands, located probably less than fifty miles off the California mainland and about halfway between Long Beach and San Diego. The craft landed for damage assessment or maybe to administer some sort of repairs, then took off before anybody could act.

 


THE GALVESTON DAILY NEWS, FEB. 26, 1942
(please click)

In February of 1942 there was a barely used if not practically abandoned, wide open Naval Auxiliary Air Station located right in the middle of the island. In 1938 the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and a contractor had built two runways, one 2,000 feet the other 3,000 feet over an old airstrip. The construction was completed by 1941, but for all practical purposes it really wasn’t being used. It is not that the object needed a runway to set down, only an unobstructed, wide open area — without a major population to contend with. The San Clemente strip was the only viable landing area for a wounded or disabled craft for thousands of miles around that met such criteria. No coast defense guns, no shore batteries, no searchlights, no prying eyes to speak of. It was only sometime AFTER the incident that any real sort of military presence showed up on the island, first with a Marine scouting squadron that suddenly began operations from the airfield with 19 Vought SB2U Vindicators sometime in 1942, then the Army installing and activating TWO fully equipped radar stations. In other words, at the time the object exited over the Pacific south of Long Beach heading toward the general direction of San Diego, the island had so few people on it, it was basically unihabited.

If the object successfully slipped away to wherever UFOs go, took off and fell into the ocean only to be retrieved later, or is laying at the bottom of some deep sea canyon rotting away I can’t say. It could have even been captured on the ground on San Clemente, negating any use of “lots of able-body seamen without clearances” or anybody else for that matter.

 

Please note in the purported letter or memo of communication below, between then U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, dated February 27, 1942, two days after the UFO over Los Angeles, where FDR refers to “atomic secrets learned from study of celestial devices.” The date, being just two days following the February Los Angeles event, is most likely coincidental as nothing if anything — except perhaps speculation — could have been garnered of any substance or significance over such a short period of time. The gist of the memo does, however, set the tone for a more receptive atmosphere of such events by powers that be. The Dr. Bush refered to in the memo by the way is Dr. Vannevar Bush, the chairman of FDRs National Defense Resource Committee (NDRC), which looked into the invention and development of atomic weapons for the war effort.

 


Prior to the outbreak of World War II, because of the potential threat of hostilities between the U.S. and Japan coming closer and closer to a full-blown reality, Roosevelt promoted the head of the Office of Naval Intelligence, Captain Walter C. Anderson, who personally had done extensive top secret work breaking the Japanese code, to be the new Commander of Battleships, Pacific Fleet.

On March 5, 1942, less than two weeks after the above message, Marshall sent another top-secret memo to the President regarding the air raid over Los Angeles stating “it was learned by Army G2 that Rear Admiral Anderson recovered an unidentified airplane off the coast of California with no bearing on conventional explanation. This Headquarters has come to the determination that the mystery airplanes are in fact not earthly and according to secret intelligence sources they are in all probability of interplanetary origin.”[5] Notice that Marshall says Army G2 learned, implying the Navy was keeping the information to themselves. Notice as well Marshall also uses “airplanes are” indicating the plural, or more than one. All the talk of “airplanes” is probably how the Army got wind of the whole thing in the first place. In 1942 the Air Force was not a separate entity, but under the Army’s umbrella. Inter-service rivalry not withstanding, flying things by their very nature fell under Army’s purview — and no doubt how Air Force Colonel William Brophy, not a Navy man, became privy to the information he eventually shared with his son.

Questionable of course, but as far as “airplanes” go it could be the major craft in a effort to reduce weight or some such thing left a shuttle craft or two, or even an escape pod or two on the island — or dumped just off shore — and once located and retrieved by the military, because of advanced technology, were taken for something much more important. Which would be in analogy much like capturing or finding one or two of the gasoline or diesel operated boat launches as used by a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to shuttle crew back and forth to shore and deducing from the technology onboard the launches as being equivalent to that of the aircraft carrier itself.

 

As stated above Dr. Boylan has related there is no independent corroboration for the claim of Colonel Brophy regarding the February date. If you recall previously I mentioned my Uncle knew the famed meteorite hunter and astronomer Dr. Lincoln La Paz. Dr. La Paz knew of my early childhood experience regarding the object seen over Los Angeles and, although he never discussed it with me, was, according to my uncle, fascinated by it because on July 10th, 1947, only a few days after the Roswell Incident, La Paz — who had thousands and thousands of hours of scientific time observing celestial objects — reported seeing a HUGE eliptical-shaped object flying in the sky near Fort Sumner, New Mexico, while driving by car with his wife and children. According to La Paz’s calculations, confirmed by his wife, the object was 235 feet long and 100 feet thick. Its horizontal speed ranged between 120 and 180 miles per hour and its vertical rise between 600 and 900 miles per hour. For more regarding the sighting by La Paz please refer to CASE 21, Hearings before the COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND ASTRONAUTICS, U.S. House of Representatives, Nineteenth Congress, Second Session, July 29, 1968.

My Meeting Dr. La Paz occurred when he visited my uncle and me while we were camping along the rim of Meteor Crater doing minor archaeological work associated with the little known ancient Native American ceremonial pit houses on the the southwest rim. He didn’t really pay much attention to me, but my uncle did tell him in conversation that I had been witness to the Battle of Los Angeles, both my father and I having seen the object quite clearly and up close. According to my uncle, after La Paz had his own experience near Fort Sumner he became fascinated with my account of the Los Angeles object because, not unlike the one he saw, it was huge — most such phenomenon reported falling into the somewhat smaller disc-like or saucer-shaped object category. La Paz especially liked the fact I had said the rear or stern was rectangle in shape, rounded on the corners, flat on the bottom and top and fairly thick. He liked the thick part, because he determined the object he saw to be a 100 feet thick — an unusual statistic at the time. La Paz, who, while on leave from Ohio State during World War II, served as Research Mathematician at the New Mexico Proving Grounds and as Technical Director, Operations Analysis Section, for the Second Air Force, told my uncle that the object I had observed, and that he was so fascinated with, did in fact go down off the coast of San Diego around sunrise on the morning of February 25, 1942. One could, if one were to so choose, detect a significant difference in actual application between “it came down into the ocean” as cited by Dr. Wolf and “the recovery of an unidentified airplane off the coast” as seen in the memo by the Secretary of the Army. For me, “going down off the coast of San Diego” is basically semantics and continues to jibe with my belief that the object landed on San Clemente Island — which we know is off the coast of San Diego. One way or the other, in the end, it remains my contention the big one got away.

 

AND NOW THIS:

It should be noted for the reader that since this article was put online several years ago, many people have taken my original idea of the L.A. object landing on San Clemente Island and ran with it — and done so nearly always without citing sources or giving credit. However, the possibility for the potential landing at San Clemente was extrapolated directly from MY uncle through personal conversations with Dr. La Paz.

Now while it is true La Paz never paid much attention to me personally, basically because I would guess, I was “just” a kid, he did become fascinated with my story of the L.A. object because I said it was “thick.” If you remember from the above:

 

According to my uncle, after La Paz had his own experience near Fort Sumner he became fascinated with my account of the Los Angeles object because, not unlike the one he saw, it was huge — most such phenomenon reported falling into the somewhat smaller disc-like or saucer-shaped object category. La Paz especially liked the fact I had said the rear or stern was rectangle in shape, rounded on the corners, flat on the bottom and top and fairly thick. He liked the thick part, because he determined the object he saw to be a 100 feet thick — an unusual statistic at the time.

 

Any of you who have read my online material have more than likely come across the fact that at onetime I owned an immaculately restored 1940s wooden Ford station wagon (see). One day I parked the woodie outside a small restaurant when a man came running in yelling at the top of his voice asking if anybody in the restaurant owned the wooden station wagon out front. Instantly seeing in my mind’s eye tiny little bits and pieces of wood flying into the air and scattered all over the parking lot thinking he or somebody else had smashed into it breaking it to smithereens, I jumped from my seat, brushing the man aside, and ran out the door.

The woodie was not touched. Matter of fact it was just as I left it. .

The man doing all the yelling was a skipper of a yacht come marlin boat moored in the Marina Del Rey harbor owned by the grown son and heir of a major multimillionaire oil man.(see) The skipper just wanted to know who owned the wagon out front and who the person was that was responsible for maintaining the wood on it. Showing a huge sigh of relief that the car was not demolished beyond repair in some fashion I told him the person responsible for keeping the wood in such great shape was me. The skipper asked if I would be interested in doing, as he called it, the brightwork on his boat — meaning, basically, sand, scrape, and spar varnish all the natural-color wood on the boat over and over for the rest of my life. Although I changed my mind later, initially my answer was no, but it did lead me, out of curiosity, to go to where the boat was moored and look it over.

It just so happened the day I was there a young woman was walking along the dock with several small children in tow when one of them, a very little girl who I guess could not swim, missed her footing somehow and slipped off the edge of the dock into the water. For all practical purposes she was drowning. The mother started yelling like crazy and since I was probably the only person really within earshot close enough to respond, I leaped off the boat onto the dock and into the water. While still in the water I handed the little girl up to the skipper, who had been running all the way along the dock only a few steps behind me. In the process, due to all the commotion, a small crowd gathered.

Amongst the crowd was a woman that recognized me, a former Rose Marie Reid swim suit model that I knew as Sullivan, but since married to the son of a renowned ocean explorer.(see) They had a boat in the harbor and since we had not seen each other in years, after everybody was sure the girl was OK, she asked me to join her for drinks on her yacht, get into some dry clothes and get caught up. As I was leaving later in afternoon Sullivan asked if I would be willing to go to a party she was throwing in a couple of weeks. As I slowly strolled away down the dock I halfheartedly turned back and nodded in agreement that I would attend. Little did I know at the time that anything related to what was going on would eventually involve the woman on the dock with the prophecy of an ancient tribal elder and Navajo Code Talkers.

I duly showed up at the designated time and duly circulated and engaged in small talk. Unexpectedly, during the chit-chat sessions two things related to the L.A. UFO came up — both from the same person, a diver by the name of “Jack” — who would one day become a highly respected, albeit non-academically affiliated, marine archaeologist. At the point in time we are talking about here however, he was a low level player in the field working his way up the ladder and on his degree. Even so, he was still well known up and down the California coast for his diving expertise and underwater archaeology skills.

We got to talking and one thing led to the next, eventually the conversation turning to the L.A. object. He told me although he was too young to have participated in any original dive related to the object — actually he had not even been born yet — he had met a couple of old timers, hard hat guys, who had. They told him they participated in a retrieval effort of a highly secret nature off San Clemente Island a few months after the start of the war — not between the coast and the island proper, but on the east open ocean side. They told Jack, to their knowledge nothing ever came of it and nothing of any size was found or located, although over the years they heard rumors to the contrary. For one thing, apparently whatever they were looking for sonar was not able to detect it. So too, they had been diving during the day which was fairly typical, doing so in conjunction with the civilian contracted Navy salvage vessel ARS-1 Viking. However, the regular daytime teams, including the two aforementioned hard-hat guys, were pulled and sent back while a so-called specially trained night diving crew was brought in moving to the deep open V-shaped trench directly off the southeast tip of the island. What the night-divers found, if anything, is not known.

Secondly, Jack told me even though San Clemente Island was run and controlled by the Navy and off limits HE could, if I was so interested, get me on the island. Which needless to say, I took him up on. So, even though some may talk about San Clemente using my ideas, unlike most, I have actualy been there and looked the place over to see if any of it was remotely possible. To this day I cannot say for sure, only that I saw the object that night as a young boy, it was huge, as big as a Zeppelin, and that La Paz told my uncle it went down off the coast.


CHAPTER 3

THE BATTLE OF L.A. OBJECT HAD 1440 ROUNDS OF ANTI-AIRCRAFT ROUNDS THROWN AGAINST IT, YET IT STILL GOT AWAY.

HOW DID IT ESCAPE?


In the above main text I write:

 

“(F)or unknown reasons just as it passed south of the Edison electric generating plant in Redondo, rather than continue south around or past Palos Verdes peninsula, it turned diagonally inland headed in a south southeast direction.”

 

In the text I use the term “for unknown reasons.” The term is used here by me because other than my own suspcions or speculations, the REASON for the object’s change in direction is not known. How could the object and/or any intelligent or artificial intelligent operating systems thereof, have reached the conclusion, i.e., “known,” that continuing along the coast in the same direction that it would encounter anything any different than what it already had encountered? That is to say, if the potential possibilities of what it faced was so much different than what it already faced that it would necessitate a change of direction at that specific place and time just past the Edison steam plant, as far as the object was concerned, what could that difference be — and how would it have known? I do not know how it would have known, but there was a difference, and because of that difference, a very good reason for a change in direction.

It has to do with air and coast defenses.

People have a tendency to think that the defenses deployed around the Los Angeles area generally and the aircraft factories specifically in February of 1942 was adequate to good when in reality they were less than adequate to hardly good at all. Matter of fact, in December of 1941, only 60 days before the Battle of L.A., it had been reported that there were only 12 guns on hand to protect all the defense plants in the area. From The Army Air Forces in World War II Volume VI :

 

“Similarly, the antiaircraft (AA) units, trained and administered by the Coast Artillery but assigned to the interceptor commands for operational control in 1941, were too few and their equipment too scarce. There were so many vital installations in relation to available AA strength that dispositions had to be based on a system of priorities–which meant in reality that responsible officers did the best they could to guess where attacks were most likely to be made. Typical of the gulf between needs and resources was the situation in southern California. The first plans of 1941 were so ambitious as to be dubbed, later, the “Santa Claus Plans.” By late August 1941 a moderate schedule to cover immediate emergencies had been framed. This minimum plan called for 120 three-inch guns for Los Angeles and its immediate environs, but in December there were only 12 guns on hand to protect all the defense plants of that area. For San Diego the Army had no mobile AA strength at all to assign. The planners related later that they had done everything they could for San Diego–they had prayed that no attack would come.”

 

It was anti-aircraft guns from the 4th Antiaircraft Command that opened fire against the giant unidentified airborne object. The unit involved under the aegis of the Command was the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade (AA) under of which the 65th Coast Artillery Regiment (AA) located in Inglewood and the 205th Coast Artillery Regiment (AA) located in Santa Monica were the initial active participants. At the time both regiments armament consisted of 3-inch and 37mm anti-aircraft guns and it was a combination of those guns and those from surrounding batteries that expended the nearly 10 tons of ammunition that rained down all over Los Angeles and the surrounding cities during the supposed raid.(see) At higher elevations the 3-inch guns and the 1.5 inch shells of the 37mm guns made no visible impact. As the object turned south along the surf line near El Segundo and headed toward Redondo Beach it lowered its altitude to parallel the beach just above the ocean with still no ill effect. Just after passing the Edison plant it turned diagonally inland toward the south southeast crossing almost directly over the Happy Hour Cafe at 400 Strand and owned by the infamous Fifie Malouf, barely staying above the low lying hills that crested along Garnet Street, dropping to the south side of the hill along Torrance Boulevard and crossing over the 300 block of Lucia Street. Then, gaining altitude, it headed out over the oil fields and agriculture lands beyond.

It is my suspicion the diagonal turn inland just past the Edison plant was a designed move and done so because of what was forging out in the ocean just a short distance south of the generating plant. The Redondo Beach pier. According to World War II Comes To Redondo installed on the end of the pier were two 155mm guns. Not wussy 3-inch or 37mm guns, but huge big babys that fired full 6-inch in diameter projectiles. The object seems to have had the ability to withstand the anti-aircraft rounds without incident, but the 155mm rounds at such a close range from both guns in tamden, maybe not so well.

 


ONE OF TWO 155mm GUNS PLACED ON THE END OF
REDONDO BEACH’S PIER, DECEMBER 1941 TO 1943

The object turned inland toward the low coastal hills, hugging first the top then cresting over toward the bottom as they ran eastward along Torrance Boulevard. The guns on the pier did not have full 360 degree turning ability, and even if they could swing around they would not have been able to level their barrels on the object because it could not be seen. Plus, firing with such large bore rounds so close to the ground would have torn to shreds any civilian structures in its path.

The same is true when the object first turned south along the surf line near El Segundo and headed toward Redondo Beach and lowered its altitude. The reason it skirted just above the surf line at a fairly low elevation was because sitting between El Segundo and Redondo Beach in the city of Manhattan Beach were two of the most formidable weapons it would have encountered along its path. Even more so than the two 155mm guns on the Redondo Beach pier.

In the center of Manhattan Beach just a few blocks inland were TWO huge 8-inch railway guns mounted on specially built flatcars sitting on a spur track laid just for the guns. Both guns were hidden inside false-sided buildings built in such a way to resemble two oversized farmhouses inorder to disguise the guns from enemy agents, aircraft, or submarines.

The guns could easily fire their five-hundred pound projectiles for up to twenty miles. So to, unlike the Redondo guns, they were able to rotate all the way around in a full 360 degrees. They just were not able to fire at an object so close in just above the beach — and, even if they did, everything in their path between the end of their gun muzzle and the beach would have been pulverized. Instead the object just slipped on by.

Of course making the diagonal turn across the flatlands in behind the sea-facing 16 in coast defense guns emplaced at Fort MacArthur was not such a bad choice either. A single hit by one of their 2,240 pound projectiles within a range of 26 miles and most likely it would have been goodbye object.

 

In conjunction with the above, two other Redondo Beach residents other than just myself have come forward over time and expressed their experiences regarding the Battle of Los Angeles, in turn inadvertently confirming the actual flight path of the object as it traveled over Redondo that night after it turned inland just past the Edison plant.

In high school, before I got my first car, and long before I ever thought of writing anything about the Battle of Los Angeles, my buddies and I used to stop at a mom and pop market for cokes and penny candy on the way home from school. The market was not really “mom and pop” per se’ as it was actually owned and run by a father and son team named Edwards who had lived in the neighborhood for years. My brother and I used to cut the grass of many homes in the area on weekends and during the summer, and school or not, we always stopped by the little market to get snacks and drinks. They would even let us run a tab if we were short of cash.

The senior Edwards, who collected coins and had a complete set of Lincoln pennies himself, encouraged all the kids who came into the market on a regular basis to start a penny collection, which my brother and I did. Since Edwards had access to lots of change he used to save piles of pennies for any kid starting a collection to sort through for any they might need or wanted to upgrade to. All of us, of course, were always hoping to find a 1909 S-VDB or a 1943 copper penny. The younger Edwards, overhearing us kids talking about the lack of 1943 copper pennies one day enlightened us with wartime shortages and such. A couple of local men who came into the store joined in and soon the topic turned to the Battle of Los Angeles.

The younger Edwards was around 20 years younger than his dad, and was himself a grown man, married with a family. He grew up in Redondo Beach and lived in a house on Juanita Avenue two or three houses past my Merchant Marine Friend, almost on the top of the crest of the Garnet Street hill. He was probably in his early 30s or so in 1942 when the object crossed right over his house. As he told it he was awakened in the darkened pre-dawn hours by what he thought was the sound of gunfire. Then the house began to rattle, then shudder, causing a few things to fall off the shelves as though a bulldozer or a freight train had gone by right out front of the house on the sidewalk or something. He ran outside just barely catching a glimpse of what he said looked like the dark black hull of a “flying ship” cresting over and going down the hill toward Torrance Boulevard. He raced inside, threw on a pair of shoes and a jacket over his pajamas and ran out to the top of the hill thinking all along that whatever it was crashed into the houses on Lucia Street or into the oil fields beyond. When he got to the top of the hill none of the houses were destroyed, nothing was on fire, and there was no sign of the object.

I recently received a credible email from a reader of my works who now lives in Arkansas or Oklahoma who lived in Redondo Beach as a young boy at the time of the Battle of Los Angeles. He lived with his mom on the 200 block of South Guadalupe Avenue near where it crosses Garnet Street — only a few blocks down the hill due west from where the younger Edwards lived. If you remember, Edwards was awakened by what he thought was gunfire. The mom of my emailer woke him up and got him out of the house because rounds of gunfire were whizzing right across their front yard, tracking toward some airborne object just north of them that was coming up from the beach. His mother had gone outside to see what all the commotion was and saw the object darkly shadowed on and off from behind apparently by distant searchlights trying to find it. By the time the emailer got outside the shooting had stopped and whatever they were trying to hit had already crested east of him over the hill so he never saw it.

The interesting part is that years and years before the man ever emailed me to tell me he lived in Redondo Beach as a kid and rounds of gunfire whizzed right across his front yard the night of the Battle, when the younger Edwards and the men were talking about the incident in the market the day I was looking at pennies, there was a boy with one of the men he was talking to. The boy, who we did not know, had come over to the end of the counter where we were sorting pennies and told us he was from Hollywood Riviera and when he was a kid they had an anti-aircraft gun mounted in their front yard. He said that in February of 1942, a couple of days after his 7th birthday, “the Army was firing it north up the beach toward Redondo all night long.”

The point past the Edison steam plant where the object turned inland toward the southeast, the ground generally slopes up from sea level at the beach to around 150 feet within a mile or so. The object must have already been flying at or near that height as it did not seem to need to change altitude much as it approached the level of the top of the hill. It was clearly exposed to ground fire in the open air broadside from both the north and south before it began hugging the rooftops of the houses built along the higher level ground. It was out of range of anything from the north and to the south, the Hollywood Riveria battery was almost two miles away. That did not stop it from opening up on the object for the short time it had it in profile. It just was not effective, the rounds were falling all over the place before and beyond its path. It was attested to by the emailer going around the next day with a couple of buddies picking up pieces of shrapnel in various far-flung parts of the neighborhood.

90mm Anti-aircraft guns OR 3-inch Anti-aircraft guns:

Over and over in reports regarding the Battle of L.A. it is stated that the the 37th Coast Artillery Brigade began firing 12.8-pound anti-aircraft shells at the unidentified object (just Google “12.8-pound anti-aircraft shells” and you will see what I mean. The last time I checked there were over 43,000 results). The 12.8 pound figure given as the weight of the anti-aircraft rounds used against the unidentified object is a typo most likely from some long lost original source that has been repeated again and again until it has taken on a life of it’s own. Even Wikipedia cites the 12.8 figure. It should have been 12.5 pounds. BUT, in either case, using 12.5 or 12.8, the guns used against the unidentifed aerial object that night could NOT have been 90mm.

  • The shell weight for the 90mm anti-aircraft round is 23.4 pounds
  • The shell weight for the 3-inch anti-aircraft round is 12.5 pounds

The below from History of the 4th Antiaircraft Command, I, 115-25, and IV, Docs 28 and 29.:

 

“During the next hour they expended some 1,400 rounds of 3-inch antiaircraft ammunition against a variety of “targets” in the Los Angeles area. Exhaustive inquiries on 25 February accumulated a mass of conflicting evidence as to what these targets were.”

 

The source for the following figures regarding the number of of anti-aircraft rounds expended and the size of the rounds expended has been compiled through the research data provided by The History of the 4th AA Command, Western Defense Command, Jan 9 1942 to July 1 1945:

TIME: 0306. Batteries B, C and D of the 65th and Battery B of the 205th
482 rounds of 3-inch

TIME: 0333. Batteries B, C, D, G and H of the 78th and B, C and D of the 122nd
581 rounds of 3-inch, 38 rounds of 37mm

TIME: 0355. Batteries C and D of the 65th
100 rounds of 3-inch

TIME: 0405. Batteries B, C, and D of the 78th
246 rounds of 3-inch

TOTAL ROUNDS: 1447

TOTAL WEIGHT OF 3-INCH ROUNDS @ 12.5 LBS EACH: 17,612.5 POUNDS (8.8 tons)

From the Footnote text above:

 

“At the time both regiments armament consisted of 3-inch and 37mm anti-aircraft guns and it was a combination of those guns and those from surrounding batteries that expended the nearly 10 tons of ammunition that rained down all over Los Angeles and the surrounding cities during the supposed raid.”

 

The above 17,612.5 pounds of 3-inch rounds does not factor in the 38 rounds of 37mm shells nor do the figures reflect additional or “unaccounted” ordinance which could easily add up to the NEARLY 10 tons of ammunition so cited. However, considering the almost two-to-one weight ratio between 3-inch rounds and the 90mm rounds it is almost impossible to rectify the use of 90mm rounds.

 

Please note that the total number of batteries officially reported as responding to the raid that night, Batteries B, C and D of the 65th; Batteries B, C, D, G and H of the 78th; B, C and D of the 122nd; and Battery B of the 205th, add up to the total number of guns (12) as found in The Army Air Forces in World War II Volume VI:

 

“(The) plan called for 120 three-inch guns for Los Angeles and its immediate environs, but in December (of 1941) there were only 12 guns on hand to protect all the defense plants of that area.”

 

For whatever reason the anti-aircraft battery at Hollywood Riviera is not included in any of the statistics. It was most likely not on a full up and running status or even on an active operational list, with the crew still in training status. They most likely simply just joined in impromptu.

 

NOTE: If you have not read any of the Footnotes in either section or the above section please do so by scrolling down toward the bottom of the page.

 

 

The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Artifacts and 1991 VG

 

ROSWELL: WHAT CAUSED THE UFO CRASH?
THE GREAT 1947 SUNSPOT, ROSWELL AND CORONAL MASS EJECTIONS
 

THE ROSWELL RAY GUN

 

ROSWELL UFO

 

GASSHO
(please click)

CLICK
HERE FOR
ENLIGHTENMENT

ON THE RAZOR’S
EDGE

 

E-MAIL
THE WANDERLING

(please click)

 

 

ROSWELL ARCHAEOLOGISTS

 


(please click)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FOOTNOTE [1]


In the main text above, I write that the object, after leveling off over the ocean “reduc(ed) it’s speed to a near crawl some 50 miles out, turning inland somewhere near Point Dume.” I then go on to say:

 

“Scattered eyewittness accounts from years later pick up the object apparently dropping down into the radar shadow by hugging the mostly unpopulated ridge-line along the north side of the Santa Monica mountains in an easterly direction.”

 

Sometime in the early 1990s I set a meeting with a man who had been an eyewitness to a portion of the Battle of Los Angeles and able to add a bit of credence to the possible accuracy of the “scattered reports” that the object hugged the mostly unpopulated ridge-line along the north side of the Santa Monica mountains in an easterly direction as it headed toward it’s rendezvous with history.

In my exclusive interview, according to the man’s story, whose name was William “Bill” Stout, and who had been a carpenter in civilian life and went on to build hopped-up Ford flathead wooden hull speedboats after the war, had joined the Navy in his late teens or very early 20s following Pearl Harbor. The Navy shipped him off to Point Hueneme and Point Mugu near Ventura, California, to help in the early stages of construction of the naval facilities they were building there. In the process he met and started seeing a young woman that lived in a fairly isolated section of the mountains east of Heuneme not far from Paramount Ranch, an old western movie set used on and off over the years by various film studios.

Late one night after seeing and covorting around with the young woman (his words, not mine), he was racing back to the base to make sure he would not miss morning muster when, on a small road leading up toward the town of Agoura, his car got a flat tire.

The man had borrowed the vehicle from a fellow Navy buddy and in that he was totally unfamiliar with all the ins-and-outs of changing the tire on that specific model of car, as well as being caught on a super dark night along the road with no flashlight, it took much longer to change than expected — as well as quite a bit more effort. Finally finished, even though it was cold and late as well as him being tired and dirty, he sat on the side of the road, lit a cigarette and sort of leaned back in the tall weeds to rest his back for a few minutes. No sooner had he done so when some sort of a giant object, a huge gigantic flying thing not much higher than the tops of the trees — and not making a sound, but all the while blocking out a good portion of the night sky and most of the stars — slowly crossed overhead curving toward the east after coming out of a more south southwesterly direction.

When he got back to the base the place was in turmoil. People were running everywhere, forming up into platoons, getting into the backs of trucks carrying rifles, gernades, and gasmasks. He was told the city of Los Angeles was under attack from the air, there was a statewide blackout and everybody was going to be spread out along the coastline to protect the city and country from invasion. Some trucks did leave, but most didn’t and by sunup everything had pretty much calmed down. Eventually they were told the whole thing was a fluke, to put the weapons away and to go back to their regular business. Shortly thereafter he was sent to the South Pacific and he pretty much forgot the incident.

Then one day in the late 1980s he saw a movie on television titled 1941. Although a comedy, in the movie the California coast was attacked by a Japanese submarine and the ensuing outcome, except for the giant airborne object, was highly similar to what he began to remember from his experience in 1942. The thing is, when he began to tell people about the incident HE experienced nobody knew what he was talking about. Eventually his story filtered down to me and since I had seen the object as a young boy myself, I sought him out to hear what he had to say and then went to physically visit the areas he mentioned.(see)

As far as describing the object itself is concerned, he said, because there were trees on both sides of the road where he stopped and the fact that it made no sound, the object was practically on top of him before he ever saw it. He said at first he thought it might have been a blimp except it was shaped more like a “brick” and seemed heavy like one too, albeit possibly curved somewhat rather than square-like and flat in the front like a brick. Also, as he found out later, at the time of the fly over there was an area-wide blackout. The thing is, not knowing about any blackout, because it was so dark that night where he pulled over, he left the headlights on to reflect off the trees to give him as much light as he could in order to change the tire. He thought the object flew over his location on purpose because the headlights, dim as they were, unbeknownst to him at the time, still provided the only real visible light source for miles around.

In addition to his discription of the object “looking like a brick,” later in the conversation he told me the incident was an eerie-like reminder of another incident that happened a few months before. He was doing some sort of training for the Navy using an inflatable seven-man liferaft. He was coming onto the beach IN the raft with some equipment as several of his buddies guided it alongside in the water holding onto ropes when the boat was swamped by a huge wave and flipped over. He was trapped underneath as the forward momentum of the waves pushed him along with his face and body being scraped by the sand and rocks. Until the raft washed back into deeper water and he was able to get out of underneath it with the help of his buddies he thought he was either going to suffocate or drown. He said when he first saw the giant flying object overhead that night he thought it looked a lot like an upsidedown liferaft — he also, for a quick few moments, felt the same apprehension or fear that he felt when he was trapped under the liferaft in the water. Like he was going to suffocate or drown.

 

In June of 1966, one of only two operational prototype mach three XB-70 bombers crashed. As a result there was a short term rash of publicity surrounding the plane in the press, including the release of photographs in a number of popular magazines and other sources that depicted the plane from a variety of angles and operational modes.

Albert Nozaki, an eyewitness to the ‘UFO over L.A.’ reports that although the XB-70 itself did not resemble the object he saw that night in its totality, some photos that he did see during that rash of publicity following the crash struck him because of the way the plane was photographed reminded him of the object he saw that night. The closest that captures the essence of what he was trying to say looked something like the following:

 


MACH-3 XB-70 SEEN FACE-ON IN FLIGHT WITH WING TIPS DOWN

It is fairly easy to visualize that if an airborne object of similar configuration, especially of any length, flew directly over the top of you at a slow suffocating low altitude and you looked up, that you might describe the object — at least from your viewpoint — as looking like an upside down life raft.

 

A PRESENT DAY SIGHTING?

In a first ever description of a similar observation that I have ever heard of from any source, one that parallels the account given by MY own eyewitness — that is, that the the huge object he observed looked like an upside-down liferaft — has been brought to my attention. Although I am yet to pinpoint a specific year or date, it seems to have been seen sometime in the 1980s, around thirty to forty years AFTER the Los Angeles flyover — and not over L.A., but in place called Bickel’s Camp located in the desert about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, in an area called Last Chance Canyon. The object, as described below, was seen by three men, Mark Aslin, the current caretaker of Bickel’s Camp, John Bullock and Walt Bickel:

 

“The three men went outside and beheld an awesome sight. In the eastern sky hovering over the nearest hill was an enormous dark object.

“‘It was shaped more or less like an inflated life raft,’ Aslin recalled. ‘The sky was crystal clear and it was a brilliant, star-studded night.’ Aslin pointed out that desert living had made them accustomed to ambient stillness, but the silence they encountered that night was like being deaf.

“‘Then the shape moved over the cabin slowly,’ he said. Everything became unearthly hushed. ‘You couldn’t hear animals, insects or even the wind. It became frighteningly quiet in a desert known for silence.’ The object moved on slowly and disappeared in the west.”(source)

 

I had been in and out of the Bickel Camp since the time, as a young boy, I was found wandering in the desert all alone by an old man in a jeep who took me there. Because of that I knew one of the witnesses personally, Walt Bickel, the man the camp was named after. However, I had not been to Bickel Camp since 1972 when I stopped by to tell Bickel that my dad, who was a onetime old prospector friend of his, died. The object flew over the camp well after my last visit so, not only had I never discussed the sighting with Bickel, I wasn’t even privy that it happened until recently. I do know Bickel’s word was as good as gold and if he said he saw it, he saw it. And if it was huge and looked like an inflated life raft it was huge and looked like an inflated life raft. For more on Walt Bickel and any relationship I may have had with him through my father from my youth to adulthood please see The Tree and/or go to:

 

ALEX APOSTOLIDES

NOTE: Even though the Navy man was sent to the South Pacific and says he pretty much forgot the incident it should be stated that at the time of his covorting around with the young woman in the mountains near Paramount Ranch he was engaged to another woman, a woman of which he eventually married after the war. Now while it is true he pretty much forgot about the incident, that is the fly over of the giant object, he found it difficult to discuss under most circumstances and so he didn’t because he felt the how of how it happened undermined the fidelity of the relationship with his wife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FOOTNOTE [2]



In relation to what I have presented above there are some that see what they consider as inconsistancies regarding sirens going off or not going off in the Redondo Beach area when the object flew diagonally over the city. A number of people have said they lived in Redondo Beach at the time of the alledged incident and apparently, if it happened they say, slept right through it. They were sure they would have woke up if air raid sirens had gone off — hence in their esteemed opinions, no sirens went off and thus then, inturn, my father could not have been woken up by sirens, meaning I guess, the whole thing is hot air.

In the main text I say my dad got up that night when the ‘sirens went off’ to do his air raid warden stuff and eventually practically everybody on our block was outside to see what was going on. Further on, in Chapter 3, writing about a Redondo Beach resident named Edwards, and, although not mentioned, like my father an Air Raid Warden, related the object crossed right over his house — which was directly under the path of the object and only a minute at the most before it crossed over my house. As Edwards told it he was awakened in the darkened pre-dawn hours by what he thought was the sound of gunfire. He said nothing about sirens. So too, no mention of sirens from a young boy who lived only a few blocks down the hill due west from where Edwards lived. His mother woke him up and got him out of the house because rounds of gunfire were whizzing right across their front yard, tracking toward some low-flying airborne object north of them.

Just as the object came off the ocean and a few minutes before it reached the boy’s and Edwards house, a woman who lived along the Strand that paralleled the beach said she had heard a ruckus going on outside, sirens, guns firing, all kinds of stuff, so she went out on to the Strand only to see this “thing” a few hundred feet above the beach slowly glide overhead off the ocean, not making a sound. Before it reached Edwards an eyewitness reported hearing sirens. When it got up to Edwards at the top of the hill a mile inland he says nothing about sirens but, like the boy’s mother, being awakened by gunfire. Seconds later my dad says he was awakened by sirens. So, what’s the scoop?

Being a very young boy at the time of the object’s fly over, I mention, in relation to my ability to remember things of the era, that the girl next door had a lifesize cardboard toy fighter plane-type cockpit — colored on one side with dials and windshield and printed only in black and white on the backside — with a movable square cardboard joystick. The girl’s name was Mary Lou. Now, while it is true I am not sure of her age, if she was into her teens or not, however old or young she was my mother saw it such that she was old enough to babysit my brother and I. She lived with her parents along with her curmudgeon old grandfather. I remember him specifically because he helped me out of a childhood bind I had got myself into. He was a sort of Rube Goldberg inventor type guy that seemed like he could fix or build anything. He had set up a junk filled workshop in the detached dirt floor single-car garage on the back of their property collecting, working on, and making stuff he said was to thwart the “impending invasion.”

 


Soon as World War II started my dad went to work at the shipyards in Terminal Island. Up until just before the war began my dad worked for the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in South Gate, California. While there, after doing some sort of beyond the cause of duty work for some high ranking officials, as a reward, in addition to just compensation, he was given a very rare Firestone promotional object — a deep blood red special-built scale model version of the 1939-1940 Indianapolis winner, the Boyle Special. It was an exquisitely handmade down to the last nut and bolt scale model, about 12 inches long, and just like the actual race car, had real (albeit miniature) inflatable Firestone tires on wire wheels. The model also had a highly louvered hood that was held down by little miniature belts and when undone and opened, revealed a scale model albeit non-operable engine. Just like the real car it also had a metal steering wheel rimmed with wood, attached in some fashion to the front wheels that by turning the steering wheel the front wheels would turn. My father was continually telling my brother and I the race car was not a toy and not to mess with it. Of course, every chance I got and nobody was around I would get it down and run it all over the floor by hand. One day in doing so I broke the steering mechanism.

After tinkering with it myself for awhile in an attempt to fix it with no results I asked Mary Lou if she could get her grandfather to look at it. He was able to repair it in no time and as far as I knew my father never knew about it. I bring it up because amongst his junk while I was in his shop I saw a portable hand held, hand-crank air raid siren similar to the one pictured above in conjunction with this footnote. It wasn’t unusual to find Mary Lou’s grandfather out in his shop at all hours of the day and night for one reason or the other. On the night the giant object flew over he was awake during the early morning hours working in the garage while at the sametime monitoring emergency-band radio frequencies like he often did when he became aware something big was going on. After hearing gunshots in the distance he grabbed his air raid siren and went out on the street. It was his siren that awoke my father and it was he that gave an early warning to the rest of my family and the residents on our street.

 

BOYLE MASERATI 8CTF

 

OF COBRAS, SCARABS, MASERATIS, AND ZEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FOOTNOTE [3]


In Roswell Incident Updated, describing a dual “disc” sighting near Williams, Arizona on Monday morning June 30, 1947, just days before the so called Roswell crash down, the following is presented:

 

“(S)wooping in behind and over his left shoulder from out of the northwest and only a few hundred feet above the top of the truck were two large, sharp-edged, almost flat circular-shaped objects, blunt across the back and seemingly made of metal. The objects were flying side by side with one slightly in front, both headed ESE out over the horizon at an incredible high rate of speed. In only the few seconds it takes the boy to scramble up from under the dash the objects are gone, leaving in their wake only a small residue lingering in the air like the smell of electricity and a quarter-mile wide swath of thick swirling air laying turbulently above the treetops like a sweltering mirage over a desert dry lake.”

 

The quote is accompanied by the following drawing:


Now, while it is true the description of the two objects over Williams were more “fighter-like” and lithe than “bomber-like” and heavy, the general shape of the crafts are frightenly similar to what is written describing the L.A. object. Notice the shovel shape and the “blunt across the back” comment in comparison with the drawing. In that the L.A. object is said to be more “battleship like,” in a form follows function sort of way, a PT boat and a battleship are similar in that both are boats, thus because of their nature similarly shaped. The two Williams objects and the L.A. object are similar even if the dimensions are quite different.

Four hundered miles north in Reno, Nevada, in an article recounting the L.A. event from reporters on the scene and witnesses that contacted friends or relatives in Reno, the major local newspaper, the Reno Evening Gazette, dated February 26, 1942, presented the following:

 

“Still others who watched the spectacle, if it can be called that, sighted no planes in the glare of the army’s searchlights. A number, however, reported seeing ‘something that looked like a giant butterfly.'”

 

Seen from a distance others have reported the L.A. object was round with a slight hump in the middle, and overall, possibly elliptical in shape. Round meaning more circular like a plate or Frisbee, not dimensionally round like a globe or a ball. So too, the object was not cigar shaped either. As far as THIS report goes, the L.A. object as seen was never observed from the side, in profile, or in profile from a distance — only at very close range from the front, underneath, then the stern, all at night during a blackout and all out of range of searchlights. The upside down shovel shape similar to the drawing still stands. If you recall from the above:

 

Face on as I remember it, the object was not round or circular like a Zeppelin or a blimp (i.e., not cigar shaped), but wide and flat or slightly curved toward the center concave-like across the bottom from the the outside edges. It seemed bluntly-wedged or possibly sloped toward the top and back somewhat in the front, sort of like the triangular or boxy shape of present day stealth aircraft or more closely, an upsidedown pointed shovel. The rear or stern was thick and rectangle in shape (i.e., blunt across the back), rounded on the corners, flat or slightly concave on the bottom, flat on top toward the rear curving gently or falling off to the sides near the front as it narrowed, thinning more so toward the front, although not aerodynamically so.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FOOTNOTE [4]


 

My comments on “the stereotypical percolator coffee pot lid disc-like objects of the day with little glass humps on top,” is not intended to make fun of or denigrate any of the “tens of thousands of eyewitness accounts of UFOs in this country and elsewhere that have come to light in the course of the last six decades” that DID report objects of such a nature. It is just that the L.A. object did NOT fit into one those types of sightings. So, regardless of Littleton’s comments saying my observations of the object were “skewed” or “atypical” it could be mine, if not spot on, at least slipped more closely into the perimeters of reality. If you remember from the main text above, the following is what Littleton himself said he saw:

 

“(M)y mother and I failed to spot either the hump or the possibly reflective orange glow. Indeed, I strongly suspect that what we saw was the object’s ventral, or ‘belly’ side, which at that altitude was simply glowing white. In any case, as the Times image clearly indicates, the anti-aircraft barrage had begun, and the searchlights were following it steadily.” (source)

 

Now while it is true I have never seen one of the “typical” coffee pot type discs personally, a person very influintial in my life I call my Mentor, of whom I originally began my study-practice under between my junior and senior years in high school and who himself had studied under the venerated Indian holy man the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, observed an object of similar nature while traveling in the Himalayas in search of the Hemis Manuscripts. It is from his sighting I get the nomenclature “coffee pot lid.”

He told me what he saw after we ran across a poster in a book store one day regarding one of my favorite movies, The Day the Earth Stood Still. I brought up the fact that as a young boy I had gone with my uncle to Roswell because he wanted to see if there was any truth behind the so called Hieroglyphic Writing reported on some of the metal scraps — and before that I had personally observed the giant airborne object of unknown origin that came known as the Battle of Los Angeles.

With all those thoughts in mind, when we got back to his place he went through a handful of leather bound diary-like books until he found the specific one he was looking for. Then he thumbed through the pages until he found the page he wanted. On the page showed me an entry with a small drawing and the date and time: “AM August 1927.” The entry, and I remember it well because a few days later I went back and copied it word for word with a ballpoint pen on the inside-back of my belt — and saw it there many times for years afterwards, read:

 

“Coming in just above the horizon arcing out of the north, a huge circular object, shiny like polished metal. Not an aeroplane. No wings, no sound. Like a coffee pot lid. Very fast.”

 

What is most interesting about the whole thing is that a man by the name of Nicholas Roerich, of which I found out about many, many years after seeing my mentor’s entry, was traveling in almost the exact same general area, only in the opposite direction (i.e., headed toward Tibet from China) also in search of the Hemis Manuscripts. In 1929 he published his diary chronicling HIS search under the title Altai-Himalaya: A Travel Diary. On pages 361-62, Roerich writes the following under the date August 5, 1927:

 

“On August fifth – something remarkable! We were in our camp in the kukunor district, not far from the humboldt chain. In the morning about half-past nine some of our caravaneers noticed a remarkably big black eagle flying above us. Seven of us began to watch this unusual bird. At the same moment another of our caravaneers remarked: ‘there is something far above the bird,’ and he shouted his astonishment. We all saw, in the direction north to south, something big and shiny reflecting sun, like a huge oval moving at great speed. Crossing our camp this thing changed in its direction from south to southwest, and we saw how it disappeared in the intense blue sky. We even had time to take our field glasses and saw quite distinctly the oval form with the shiny surface, one side of which was brilliant from the sun.”(source)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A QUICK PERSONAL NOTE:


Between the time of the February 1942 incident regarding the huge flying object over Los Angeles (of which above, I state I remember so clearly even though I was of a young age) and me going to Roswell with my uncle in the summer of 1947 (of which I also remember quite clearly), a series of unusual and dramatic events transpired that impacted my life adversely. The sum total of those events did nothing but strengthen my memory and insight into the incidents surrounding the so-called Battle of L.A.

The events included the unexpected (at least by me) death of my mother sometime around the time I started kindergarten or first grade. Being taken to India by a couple from another country without the approval or authorization of my father even before the death of my mother, albeit with the unintended privilege of meeting the venerated Indian holy man, the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in the process. My return from India and death of my mother was followed quickly by the suicide of a dear and close relative from the blast of a shotgun he stuck in his mouth and of which, within minutes of the aftermath, I personally stumbled upon — followed even more quickly by an auto accident wherein I was rendered unconscious and found wandering in the middle of the desert all alone. The cumulative effect of all those events on my child’s mind initiated a two year-plus blackout period of any memory, a collapse of thought reaching from my mother’s death forward to the end of that two year period. The blackout period, as I have chosen to call it, is elaborated more thoroughly in the quote below — from The Last American Darshan, linked further down and of which the quote is found:

 

“There I was, a young boy barely even closing down on six or seven years of age, not long returned from India, without a mother, having missed both her final days and her funeral as well, standing with my mouth open, staring down on what only minutes before was someone else dear to me, not just gone, but excruciatingly gone. My aunt, stunned into disbelief at what she saw, with the car still in gear and engine running let her foot slip from the clutch as she apparently tried to step out of the car and run toward her husband. The vehicle lurched forward in one huge leap, crashing into the swung open garage door knocking it and me down and rendering me unconscious. It took nearly two years and reasons unknown before I suddenly came out of a nearly amnesia-like walking coma. Everything that I knew and should have remembered about my mother’s sickness, India, the time leading up to that moment in the garage, and being with my grandmother, either evaporated or was deeply covered over. Days, weeks, months, all gone. In closing that gap I remembered only up to one side, a side well before my mother ever got sick. A happy loving childhood with a mother and father and playing with my brothers and kids in the neighborhood. A house full of toys and my older brother learning to ride a bicycle. Then suddenly out of nowhere finding myself on the other side, somehow being almost two years older and stepping out of a car clutching a tiny suitcase with nothing but a handful of crummy belongings and sack full of dirty underwear and not knowing how I got there, taken by a stranger to live with a family that owned a flower shop, and of which, I was sure I had never seen or heard of before in my life — a time period which encompassed the failure of me to stay with the flower shop people including me running away from home on more than one occasion and because of same, ending up with living with my grandmother and uncle — with everything else in-between those two moments of my short childhood gone.” (source)

 

The reason I bring it all up is that Professor Littleton, now deceased (November 2010. see), upon reviewing my material on the L.A. UFO as presented above, and, although he tends to agree with what I have to say because it substantiates his observations that the object turned inland somewhere around Redondo Beach, seems to think — because of being younger than him at the time — that my observations of the incident are, or can be, as he puts it, “shaky.” Under any other normal circumstances I would have a tendency to agree. However, and this is a BIG however, because of the fact that as a kid I lost so much of my childhood due to the blackout period, in my mind, during and after that blackout period I went over and over everything that I could think of that happened prior to the death of my mother, a time period, of course, that included the 1942 L.A. incident. I dredged up and held onto anything and everything I could remember, talk about, or think of — down to the most minute thing that involved me, my mother, father, and family. I needed to. My family was gone. I had nothing. In doing so, tons of things were permanently imprinted in my mind from my early childhood that anyone else in a normal situation would most likely sort out as unimportant and discard from their memory banks.

In many places around the net in my works I relate in context a number of instances that could be cited relative to the above, but have chosen not to do so because whatever is being discussed is part of what is being presented and not part of a proof of what I may remember or not. If you don’t include what I have said about the air raid siren in a previous footnote, one of the best examples of an uncited memory reference (until relating it here now) is the importance of the circa 1942 Captain Midnight decoder badge played in my life called a Photo-Matic Code-O-Graph. The following, of which I recall the events very clearly, is from the source so cited:

 

“Up until the start of high school the only real possessions I dragged about with me throughout my childhood in good order, other than the U-235 Atomic Pistol, was a collection of cereal box-top offers called Captain Midnight decoders. Although I eventually collected all of them up through 1949, my favorite was the 1942-1944 Photo-Matic Code-O-Graph. People who knew me as a young boy recount that after I got my first decoder badge, a Photo-Matic Code-O-Graph, which I sort of misappropriated from my older brother without his approval or knowledge and after which not only I wouldn’t give up, but for years, once getting my hands on it, they seldom saw me without. They say me listening to Captain Midnight and deciphering his Secret Squadron messages all the while coveting the decoder for myself raised a huge inter-sibling calamity and fuss in the family. But my mother, seeing that using the decoder required dealing with letters and numbers, and me willingly learning them at such an early age, bought a bunch of Ovaltine and sent for another decoder so both my brother and I would have one — one of the few fond memories I have of my mother prior to her death a couple of years later, and why I think, a major reason for the importance of the decoder throughout my life.”(source)

 

As time has moved on, of course, I have taken in and discarded thousands of things — but those childhood memories that I so intensely called up relating to a time growing up while my mother was still alive and my family was still together will always, higher powers willing, remain super-etched in my memory.

A few years later in my childhood, as I reached toward my mid to late eights to around twelve years old, although on and off my father was in and out of the picture, as was my grandmother, stepmother, et al, for the most part during that four year period I was overseen by my uncle .

My uncle told me the first time he ever saw me I was basically not much more than a walk-around one or two year old toddler. According to how he remembered it he came by the house one day to see my mother and father while on a trip through Southern California. After that, nearly six years went by before we were to cross paths again. Because of my blackout period, which happened several years after he first saw me, but before catching up with me at eight years old, and his remembering me as seemingly a regular kid, he became concerned with “how my brain worked” — or didn’t work like everybody else’s as the case may be. That, along with the fact I did not talk much, after discussing his concerns with my dad, but for reasons unexplained to me at the time, my uncle began taking me around to various people he thought might share some light on my so-called predicament. In the process he took me to the temple of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship near San Diego(see) as well as high into the mountains of the Sierras to meet with a man of great spiritual Attainment by the name of Franklin Merrell-Wolff. After our meeting and without me being within earshot, Wolff and my uncle talked a long while. Following the several hours drive after leaving Wolff’s mountain compound I was tired and wasted and fell asleep for what seemed like forever.

What followed after I woke up I cannot confirm had anything to do with Wolff except from my own suspicions. It could have been because my uncle was an artist and it would be an easy ploy for him to work it in, but, following the several hours drive after leaving Wolff’s mountain compound and my long sleep, within minutes of me waking up my uncle had me make simple free-form drawings in cartoon or comic book narrative style of what was going on in my head — something we had started long before Merrell-Wolff and continuing on for years afterwards. Then we would sit down and go over the drawings verbally, with me explaining in my own words what I drew and the why of my thoughts behind their visual content. In the process of those discussions my uncle either took notes at the time or wrote notes later about my drawings and what I said.

One day many years later as an adult, during a period of time just prior to his death, I went to visit my uncle in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a visit that I am sure both of us felt in our hearts would be our very last time. During the process of that visit, as we often did, we started going over the many years we spent together as I was growing up. Only this time, besides just talking, unlike in the past, he began rummaging around in a few old boxes he pulled down from the attic. In those boxes he came across several files and large envelopes filled with a jumble of handwritten notes — notes he made over the years regarding any number of things, but mostly notes that contained references to our travels and times together. No dates were included to speak of nor were any of the notes to my knowledge — except for possibly a few — written on the scene. Most were jotted down several days or more after the fact from informal talks while riding in the truck, sitting in a cafe, or huddled around some rock-ring campfire someplace. For an additional perspective on the handwritten notes please see Footnote [5] at The Sun Dagger site.

Contained within that jumble of handwritten notes were at least two full pages that either covered or were related to what I told him following drawings I made on the Battle of Los Angeles, the night of the battle, and the object (although it wasn’t called the Battle of Los Angeles in the notes — nor were any of MY drawings in with the notes). One of the two pages was fully covered both front and back with his personal comments along with his own Da Vinci-like small sketches included here and there, of what told him.

At the time my uncle penned the notes, and having no idea about me having gone over and over everything I could think of about my early childhood as mentioned above, he was somewhat surprised with the minute details I seemed to be able to remember. Knowing I would have to had been fairly young at the time of the incident — and thinking what I said was more of a product of a vivid imagination than memory — he approached my father who, although for unknown reasons never talked about it, experienced seeing the object quite clearly himself that night. Apparently he asked my dad to confirm what, if anything, I had told him. In the process, not only did my dad confirm all that I said almost down to the letter, but my uncle ended up with a whole other page of notes that contained nothing but comments from my dad’s own eyewitness account, a dad who was not just a kid at the time of the incident like me, but a grown man of age thirty-seven years. Hence, my ability to add to and present more specifically such things as my father and neighbors taking off down old Sepulveda, the Lomita air strip, shark gills, etc.

 

THE WANDERLING AND HIS UNCLE
Their Life and Times Together

 

THE LIVERPOOL LETTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



In the above, of which this Footnote is referenced to, I write:

“Because of my blackout period, which happened several years after he first saw me, but before catching up with me at eight years old, and his remembering me as seemingly a regular kid, he became concerned with “how my brain worked” — or didn’t work like everybody else’s as the case may be. That, along with the fact I did not talk much, after discussing his concerns with my dad, but for reasons unexplained to me at the time, my uncle took me high into the mountains of the Sierras to meet with a man of great spiritual Attainment by the name of Franklin Merrell-Wolff.”

The following is how it was explained to me later:

My uncle’s mother was a Quaker. Even though he was raised in the religion he never followed it nor practiced it. However, through her practice of the religion his mother met and knew a woman by the name of Gretchen Green. Green was a nurse who just so happened went to India and opened, then ran, a health clinic for a major Indian personage by the name of Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore’s father was a Maharshi and Tagore himself was an artist and international renowned poet, having received, in 1913, a Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature.

In October of 1930 Tagore was in the United States doing educational fundraising and exhibiting his artwork, with shows in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. Through the long standing connection between my uncle’s mother and the nurse Gretchen Green, a steadfast healthcare professional who Tagore had an exceptionally high opinion of, my uncle was able to finagle an introduction — an introduction that turned out to be much more destiny filled than just a mere passing handshake in a crowded, cold gallery.

Tagore traveled in all the right circles, writers, artist, politicians, mystics, gurus. Among others he met Shunyata who, in 1974, I met as well. Equally interesting, during the 1930 visit we are talking about here, Tagore appeared on stage with the interpretive dancer Ruth St. Denis at the Broadway Theater in New York City. Inturn, unconnected to any of the events above, twenty-four years later, it was St. Denis who, in 1954, introduced me to Swami Ramdas.

Although Tagore was not an Enlightened being nor did he present himself as such, he did play to the hilt the Indian side of things by strongly portraying himself as a mystic poet and philosopher — which in all reality, he was. There was something soothing or mystic-like about him my uncle sensed while in his presence. In the process my uncle was taken by Tagore and, for awhile, immersed himself into Indian religious thought.

For my uncle, raised in a Quaker tradition, eastern spiritual thought seemed so open and exotic. About ten years before meeting Tagore the groundwork for things spiritual on the eastern side of things had been set into motion, generously, in an odd sort of way, opening the door for a much more receptive attitude by my uncle when Tagore came along.

From my uncle’s early post high school years through to the end of the depression he was a struggling artist. He did everything he could to earn a few bucks as long as it was art related. In the early 1920s he took a job doing minor art resoration for Edward I. Farmer. Farmer was an art dealer in New York City with upscale galleries at both 5 West Fifty-sixth Street and 16 East Fifty-sixth Street. He offered a variety of Chinese works of Art as well as European antiques. He is remembered for the most part for mounting fine Chinese porcelains and jades into decorative lamps and desk accessories. While my uncle was working in the gallery studios he met a Japanese man by the name of Yeita Sasaki that was sculpting jade for Farmer. Sasaki, who at the time was a formost Zen adept and one of the first major Zen Buddhists in America, would, in 1928, become a full-fledged Zen master known as Sokei-an, receiving Inka Shomei from his teacher Sokatsu Shaku.

Sokei-an was an advocate of “direct transmission,” as was his student and follower Mary Farkas. If you have gone to my page on Alfred Pulyan you may recall he too was an advocate of “direct transmission.” You may also recall that the mysterious female, Pulyan’s Teacher, and the person most responsible for his transformation, was a friend of Farkas. About “direct transmission,” Sokei-an, in his own words, says:

 

“I am of the Zen sect. My special profession is to train students of Buddhism by the Zen method. Nowadays, there are many types of Zen teachers. One type, for example, teaches Zen through philosophical discourse; another, through so-called meditation; and still another direct from soul to soul. My way of teaching is the direct transmission of Zen from soul to soul.”

 

Years later, because of a still lingering sub-surface lean toward Zen Buddhism and Indian philosophy-religion, and knowing I had been to India and returned in a somewhat can’t quite put your finger on it altered state, it is my belief that my uncle talked with my father about his concerns, putting an India type philosophic-like spin on things. In the process he must have informed my dad that he had taken me to see Paramahansa Yogananda at his Self-Realization Fellowship near San Diego.(see) My father never heard of Yogananda, but it just so happened he knew Franklin Merrell-Wolff, the two of them having met when they were both gold prospectors together in the old days. Talking with my uncle my dad remembered that Merrell-Wolff had some sort of a spiritual epiphany. Knowing him both before and after that epiphany, and remembering after that Merrell-Wolff exhibited similar — as my father called them, fucked up tendencies — he sent me and my uncle to see him. See The Tree.

 

In addition to the above, and while it is true my uncle never told me directly, it is my belief that it was through Tagore that my uncle was able to set his first meeting with Albert Einstein. In July of 1930, about four months before my uncle met Tagore, Tagore Interviewed Einstein. It is thought, by extrapolating inferences over time from my uncle, that it was through the Tagore-Einstein connection the initial meeting between my uncle and Einstein unfolded, inturn setting the stage for the meeting between the scientist and myself. See:

 

 

SKIPPING ROCKS WITH EINSTEIN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



It just so happens that when my uncle took me to the Fellowship a young man by the name of Robert Adams was there seeking to becoming a monk with the order. Adams, who was around age 16 or so at the time, actually had a spontaneous Enlightenment experience a couple of years prior and was in the process of trying to make some sense of it. With no insight coming from Yogananda, Adams, still the young boy he was, made the decision to travel to India on his own, staying at the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharshi for three years. He and I met again some 40 years after that first encounter, described in the following from the Robert Adams link above:

 

“During that later crossing of paths sequence Adams, refering back to what I call our first meeting, told me he was sure he recognized me, having seen me once before, many years previously. He remembered me specifically because he was at the temple of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Self-Realization Fellowship near San Diego in the process of possibly becoming a monk with the order. He said he was around 16 or 17 years old and been there a few months when I was brought in by a man with a beard he said was my father to see Yogananda. He said it seemed I had been to India a year or so prior and returned with what the man with the beard was concerned with as being an odd preception of the world. Conjecturing somehow that the problem might be spritual in nature, Adams said my father began taking me around to a variety of people he thought might be able to shed some light on the situation. Eventually, in the process, ending up taking me to Yogananda at the exact sametime Adams just happened to be there.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



The movie alluded to by the eyewitness titled “1941” it is thought by some to be loosely based on the events of 1942, at least it was close enough that it reminded my eyewitness of what he experienced. In the movie John Belushi plays an Army Air Force pilot, Captain Wild Bill Kelso. The plane he flys is a Curtiss-Wright P-40 Warhawk painted in the colors of a Flying Tiger. Many years after the war a P-40 being restored to full flight status by a friend played a huge role in one of the episodes in my life. The P-40 in question had escaped destruction during the bombing of Pearl Harbor because of being in a hanger at Wheeler Field in Hawaii undergoing maintenence — only to crash several months later during a training flight. Nearly fifty years after the war my friend and some associates pulled the wreck off the mountain and restored it to flight condition. Me going by to see the restoration of the P-40 one day on a whim opened up a door to answering a question that had been nagging me since childhoood. See:

P-40 WARHAWK: PEARL HARBOR SURVIVOR


 

 

 

UFO OVER L.A.: THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES.

Just fucking watch the Attempted Murder of Francis Pusok ! Oh fuck that’s right he is a white man. Nothing here to see keep moving.

▶ Southern California Horse Pursuit (April 09, 2015) | KNBC – YouTube.

This is why zombies require headshots….. They have body armor

San Bernardino County Sheriffs beat a man that laid down and put his hands behind his back. The man kept his hands behind his back while being beaten.

EVERY COP THAT SHOWED UP WANTED SOME VACATION!
GOTTA GET A KICK IN! GOTTA GET SOME PAID ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE!!

THE ONLY GOOD COPS (IN THE ENTIRE FUCKING USA) WILL BE HOLDING SIGNS OUTSIDE OF THE SAN BERNARDINO STATION DEMANDING ARRESTS AND CONVICTION OF OFFICERS THAT HAVE DISGRACED THEIR PROFESSION. Just go count them….. Oh I will for you ZERO.

These are not rogue cops.

These are what every fucking one of them are like.

Are you going to go quietly?

THE major factor driving increasing costs is the constant expansion of university administration. According to the Department of Education data, administrative positions at colleges and universities grew by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, which Bloomberg reported was 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions.

Even more strikingly, an analysis by a professor at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, found that, while the total number of full-time faculty members in the C.S.U. system grew from 11,614 to 12,019 between 1975 and 2008, the total number of administrators grew from 3,800 to 12,183 — a 221 percent increase.

via The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much – NYTimes.com.

Man is sent to jail woman gets a ticket……

Sex in broad daylight: Shoppers get an eye full – 23ABC News.

▶ Professor Daniele Ganser (Switzerland) – 10 Years After 9/11 The Official Account Does Not Add Up – YouTube.

▶ Pilots for 9-11 Truth – World Trade Center Attack – YouTube.

▶ Experts Speak Out Best 911 Documentary Ever – YouTube.

“This past month may be remembered as the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system.”

What Summers is referring to is the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a new banking consortium led by China that will back investment in Asian and emerging-market economies. This bank serves as a direct challenge to the World Bank and the IMF, the traditional sources of international funding, and organizations in which US economic interests have a strong voice.

The AIIB’s founding members include Russia, Brazil, and India, as well as major European economies like France, Germany, and the UK.

Last week, Business Insider’s Mike Bird outlined how the formation of the AIIB has been an embarrassment for the US government all along.

 

Here’s the key point from Bird (emphasis ours):

“The infrastructure bank isn’t going to be a massive boom for the UK economy, or even for nearer nations like Japan, and the US will not retaliate. The point is that the UK is willing to take a very modest improvement in economic and political ties with China in exchange for a small deterioration in ties with the US. Pretty much every country has decided that this is the right move.”

And so while the US has been the dominant global economic power of the past 50 years, the point is that now countries all across the globe are seemingly falling over themselves to be more closely aligned with China.

In his op-ed on Monday, Summers continues (emphasis ours):

I can think of no event since Bretton Woods comparable to the combination of China’s effort to establish a major new institution and the failure of the United States to persuade dozens of its traditional allies, starting with Britain, to stay out.

This failure of strategy and tactics was a long time coming, and it should lead to a comprehensive review of the U.S. approach to global economics. With China’s economic size rivaling that of the United States and emerging markets accounting for at least half of world output, the global economic architecture needs substantial adjustment. Political pressures from all sides in the United States have rendered the architecture increasingly dysfunctional.

In his post, Summers has some policy prescriptions for US lawmakers, among which is a suggestion that US leaders have a “bipartisan foundation,” which is the kind of thing you can write when you’re not an elected official but which few people in and around US politics likely believe is anywhere near possible.

But the point of Summers’ commentary is clear and significant: The global economic tide has started receding from the US and moving toward China.

via Larry Summers has a major warning for the US economy, and everyone should be paying attention – Yahoo Finance.

How Growers Gamed California’s Drought

Consuming 80 percent of California’s developed water but accounting for only 2 percent of the state’s GDP, agriculture thrives while everyone else is parched.
“I’ve been smiling all the way to the bank,” said pistachio farmer John Dean at a conference hosted this month by Paramount Farms, the mega-operation owned by Stewart Resnick, a Beverly Hills billionaire known for his sprawling agricultural holdings, controversial water dealings, and millions of dollars in campaign contributions to high-powered California politicians including Governor Jerry Brown, former governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis, and U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

The record drought now entering its fourth year in California has alarmed the public, left a number of rural communities without drinking water, and triggered calls for mandatory rationing. There’s no relief in sight: The winter rainy season, which was a bust again this year, officially ends on April 15. Nevertheless, some large-scale farmers are enjoying extraordinary profits despite the drought, thanks in part to infusions of what experts call dangerously under-priced water.

Resnick, whose legendary marketing flair included hiring Stephen Colbert to star in a 2014 Super Bowl commercial, told the conference that pistachios generated an average net return of $3,519 per acre in 2014, based on a record wholesale price of $3.53 a pound. Almonds, an even “thirstier” crop, averaged $1,431 per acre. Andy Anzaldo, a vice president for Resnick’s company, Wonderful Pistachios, celebrated by showing the assembled growers a clip from the movie Jerry Maguire in which Tom Cruise shouts, “Show me the money,” reported the Western Farm Press, a trade publication. At the end of the day, conference attendees filed out to the sounds of Louis Armstrong singing, “It’s a Wonderful World.”

Agriculture is the heart of California’s worsening water crisis, and the stakes extend far beyond the state’s borders. Not only is California the world’s eighth largest economy, it is an agricultural superpower. It produces roughly half of all the fruits, nuts, and vegetables consumed in the United States—and more than 90 percent of the almonds, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli and other specialty crops—while exporting vast amounts to China and other overseas customers.

But agriculture consumes a staggering 80 percent of California’s developed water, even as it accounts for only 2 percent of the state’s gross domestic product. Most crops and livestock are produced in the Central Valley, which is, geologically speaking, a desert. The soil is very fertile but crops there can thrive only if massive amounts of irrigation water are applied.

Current pricing structures enrich a handful of interests, but they are ushering the state as a whole toward a parched and perilous future.

Although no secret, agriculture’s 80 percent share of state water use is rarely mentioned in media discussions of California’s drought. Instead, news coverage concentrates on the drought’s implications for people in cities and suburbs, which is where most journalists and their audiences live. Thus recent headlines warned that state regulators have ordered restaurants to serve water only if customers explicitly request it and directed homeowners to water lawns no more than twice a week. The San Jose Mercury News pointed out that these restrictions carry no enforcement mechanisms, but what makes them a sideshow is simple math: During a historic drought, surely the sector that’s responsible for 80 percent of water consumption—agriculture—should be the main focus of public attention and policy.

The other great unmentionable of California’s water crisis is that water is still priced more cheaply than it should be, which encourages over-consumption. “Water in California is still relatively inexpensive,” Heather Cooley, director of the water program at the world-renowned Pacific Institute in Oakland, told The Daily Beast.

One reason is that much of the state’s water is provided by federal and state agencies at prices that taxpayers subsidize. A second factor that encourages waste is the “use it or lose it” feature in California’s arcane system of water rights. Under current rules, if a property owner does not use all the water to which he is legally entitled, he relinquishes his future rights to the unused water, which may then get allocated to the next farmer in line.

Lawmakers have begun, gingerly, to reform the water system, but experts say that much remains to be done. For years, California was the only state in the arid West that set no limits on how much groundwater a property owner could extract from a private well. Thus nearly everyone and their neighbors in the Central Valley have been drilling deeper and deeper wells in recent years, seeking to offset reductions in state and federal water deliveries. This agricultural version of an arms race not only favors big corporate enterprises over smaller farmers, it threatens to collapse the aquifers whose groundwater is keeping California alive during this drought and will be needed to endure future droughts. (Groundwater supplies about 40 percent of the state’s water in years of normal precipitation but closer to 60 percent in dry years.)

Last fall, the legislature passed and Governor Brown signed a bill to regulate groundwater extraction. But the political touchiness of the issue—agricultural interests lobbied hard against it—resulted in a leisurely implementation timetable. Although communities must complete plans for sustainable water management by 2020, not until 2040 must sustainability actually be achieved. The Central Valley could be a dust bowl by then under current trends.

There are practical solutions to California’s drought, but the lack of realistic water prices and other incentives has slowed their adoption. A shift to more efficient irrigation methods could reduce agricultural water use by 22 percent, an amount equivalent to all the surface water Central Valley farmers lacked because of drought last year, according to an analysis that Cooley of the Pacific Institute co-authored with Robert Wilkinson, a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, and Kate Poole, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The Brown administration has endorsed better water efficiency—and put a small amount of money where its mouth is. Conservation is the No. 1 priority in the governor’s Water Action Plan, and the drought measures he advanced in 2014 included $10 million to help farmers implement more efficient water management. An additional $10 million was allocated as part of the $1.1 billion drought spending plan Brown and bipartisan legislators unveiled last week. Already more than 50 percent of California’s farmers use drip or micro irrigation, said Steve Lyle, the director of public affairs at the California Department of Food and Agriculture; the new monies will encourage further adoptions.

Meanwhile, underpriced water has enabled continued production of such water-intensive crops as alfalfa, much of which is exported to China. Rice, perhaps the thirstiest of major crops, saw its production area decrease by 25 percent in 2014. But pasture grass, which is used to fatten livestock, and many nut and fruit products have seen their acreage actually increase. Resnick told the Paramount Farms conference that the acreage devoted to pistachios had grown by 118 percent over the last 10 years; for almonds and walnuts the growth rates were 47 and 30 percent, respectively.

One striking aspect of California’s water emergency is how few voices in positions of authority have been willing to state the obvious. To plant increasing amounts of water-intensive crops in a desert would be questionable in the best of times. To continue doing so in the middle of a historic drought, even as scientists warn that climate change will increase the frequency and severity of future droughts, seems nothing less than reckless.

Yet even a politician as gutsy and scientifically informed as Jerry Brown tiptoes around such questions. The Daily Beast asked Brown if in this time of record drought California should begin pricing water more realistically and discouraging water-intensive crops. Responding on the governor’s behalf, spokesman Lyle simply skipped the water pricing question. On crop choices, he cited a reply Brown recently offered to a similar query: “Growing a walnut or an almond takes water, having a new house with a bunch of toilets and showers takes water. So how do we balance use efficiency with the kind of life that people want in California? … We’re all going to have to pull together.”

“California Has One Year of Water Left, Will You Ration Now?” asked the headline of a widely discussed opinion piece NASA scientist Jay Famiglietti published in the Los Angeles Times on March 16.  The headline overstated the situation somewhat, and editors soon corrected it to clarify that California has one remaining year of stored water, not one year of total water. As Famiglietti was careful to state, California’s reservoirs today contain enough water to supply a year of average consumption.

So if California endures a fourth year of drought, the only way to keep household taps and farmers’ irrigation lines flowing will be to summon to the surface still greater volumes of groundwater. But that strategy can’t work forever; worse, the longer it is pursued, the bigger the risk that it collapses aquifers, rendering them irretrievably barren. Aquifers can be replenished—if rainwater and snowmelt are allowed to sink into the ground and humans don’t keep raiding the supply—and that is the expressed goal of California’s forthcoming groundwater regulations. The process takes many decades, however, and extended relief from further droughts.

California is caught between the lessons of its history and the habits of its political economy. Droughts of 10 years duration and longer have been a recurring feature in the region for thousands of years, yet a modern capitalist economy values a given commodity only as much as the price of that commodity. Current pricing structures enrich a handful of interests, but they are ushering the state as a whole toward a parched and perilous future.

The price of water, however, is not determined by inalterable market forces; it is primarily a function of government policies and the social forces that shape them. Elected officials may dodge the question for now, but the price of water seems destined to become an unavoidable issue in California politics. “As our water supply gets more variable and scarce in the future, we’re going to have to look at how we price water so it gets used more efficiently,” said Cooley of the Pacific Institute. “In some ways we’ve come a long way in California’s water policy and practices over the past 20 years. But if you look into a future of climate change and continued [economic] development, we can and need to do much better.”

Mark Hertsgaard has reported on politics, culture and the environment from more than 20 countries and has authored six books, including HOT:  Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth, which will appear in paperback April 17.

 

How Growers Gamed California’s Drought – The Daily Beast.