By Jeffrey M. Smith
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine states,”Genetically Modified foods have not been properly tested and pose a serious health risk. There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation.”
Last May the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.” They called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling.
AAEM’s position paper stated, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. They conclude, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria. “The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.”
More and more doctors are already prescribing GM-free diets. Dr. Amy Dean, a Michigan internal medicine specialist, and board member of AAEM says, “I strongly recommend patients eat strictly non-genetically modified foods.” Ohio allergist Dr. John Boyles says “I used to test for soy allergies all the time, but now that soy is genetically engineered, it is so dangerous that I tell people never to eat it.”
Dr. Jennifer Armstrong, President of AAEM, says, “Physicians are probably seeing the effects in their patients, but need to know how to ask the right questions.” World renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava goes one step further. After reviewing more than 600 scientific journals, he concludes that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a major contributor to the sharply deteriorating health of Americans.
Among the population, biologist David Schubert of the Salk Institute warns that “children are the most likely to be adversely effected by toxins and other dietary problems” related to GM foods. He says without adequate studies, the children become “the experimental animals.”
The experience of actual GM-fed experimental animals is scary. When GM soy was fed to female rats, most of their babies died within three weeks-compared to a 10% death rate among the control group fed natural soy. The GM-fed babies were also smaller, and later had problems getting pregnant.
When male rats were fed GM soy, their testicles actually changed color-from the normal pink to dark blue. Mice fed GM soy had altered young sperm. Even the embryos of GM fed parent mice had significant changes in their DNA. Mice fed GM corn in an Austrian government study had fewer babies, which were also smaller than normal.
Reproductive problems also plague livestock. Investi-gations in the state of Haryana, India revealed that most buffalo that ate GM cottonseed had complications such as premature deliveries, abortions, infertility, and prolapsed uteruses. Many calves died. In the US, about two dozen farmers reported thousands of pigs became sterile after consuming certain GM corn varieties. Some had false pregnancies; others gave birth to bags of water. Cows and bulls also became infertile when fed the same corn.
Food Designed to Produce Toxins
GM corn and cotton are engineered to produce their own built-in pesticide in every cell. When bugs bite the plant, the poison splits open their stomach and kills them. Biotech companies claim that the pesticide, called Bt (produced from soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis) has a history of safe use, since organic farmers and others use Bt bacteria spray for natural insect control.
The Bt-toxin produced in GM plants, however, is thousands of times more concentrated than natural Bt spray, is designed to be more toxic, has properties of an allergen, and unlike the spray, cannot be washed off the plant.
Moreover, studies confirm that even the less toxic natural bacterial spray is harmful. When dispersed by plane to kill gypsy moths in the Pacific Northwest, about 500 people reported allergy or flu-like symptoms. Some had to go to the emergency room. The exact same symptoms are now being reported by farm workers throughout India who have handled Bt cotton. In 2008, based on medical records, the Sunday India reported, “Victims of itching have increased massively this year related to BT cotton farming.”
American Academy of Environmental Medicine states, “Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation,” in-cluding increase in cytokines, which are “associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation”-all on the rise in the US.
According to GM food safety expert Dr. Arpad Pusztai, changes in the immune status of GM animals are “a consistent feature of all the studies.” Even Monsanto’s own research showed significant immune system changes in rats fed Bt corn. A November 2008 study by the Italian government also found that mice have an immune reaction to Bt corn.
GM soy and corn each contain two new proteins with allergenic properties, GM soy has up to seven times more trypsin inhibitor-a known soy allergen-and skin prick tests show some people react to GM, but not to non-GM soy. Soon after GM soy was introduced to the UK, soy allergies skyrocketed by 50%. Perhaps the US epidemic of food allergies and asthma is a casualty of genetic manipulation.
In India, animals graze on cotton plants after harvest. But when shepherds let sheep graze on Bt cotton plants, thousands died. Post mortems showed severe irritation and black patches in both intestines and liver (as well as enlarged bile ducts). Investigators said preliminary evidence “strongly suggests that the sheep mortality was due to a toxin most probably Bt-toxin.” In a small follow-up feeding study by the Deccan Development Society, all sheep fed Bt cotton plants died within 30 days; those that grazed on natural cotton plants remained healthy.
In a small village in Andhra Pradesh, buffalo grazed on cotton plants for eight years without incident. On January 3rd, 2008, the buffalo grazed on Bt cotton plants for the first time. All 13 were sick the next day; all died within 3 days. Bt corn was also implicated in the deaths of cows in Germany, and horses, water buffaloes, and chickens in the Philippines.
In lab studies, twice the number of chickens fed Liberty Link corn died; 7 of 20 rats fed a GM tomato developed bleeding stomachs; another 7 of 40 died within two weeks. Monsanto’s own study showed evidence of poisoning in major organs of rats fed Bt corn, according to top French toxicologist G. E. Seralini.
Worst Finding of All-GMOs Remain Inside Us
The only published human feeding study revealed what may be the most dangerous problem from GM foods. The gene inserted into GM soy transfers into the DNA of bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function. This means that long after we stop eating GMOs, we may still have potentially harmful GM proteins produced continuously inside of us. Put more plainly, eating a corn chip produced from Bt corn might transform our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories, possibly for the rest of our lives.
When evidence of gene transfer is reported at medical conferences around the US, doctors often respond by citing the huge increase of gastrointestinal problems among their patients over the last decade. GM foods might be colonizing the gut flora of North Americans.
Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had warned about all these problems even in the early 1990s. According to documents released from a lawsuit, the scientific consensus at the agency was that GM foods were inherently dangerous, and might create hard-to-detect allergies, poisons, gene transfer to gut bacteria, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged their superiors to require rigorous long-term tests. But the White House had ordered the agency to promote biotechnology and the FDA responded by recruiting Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s former attorney, to head up the formation of GMO policy. That policy, which is in effect today, denies knowledge of scientists’ concerns and declares that no safety studies on GMOs are required. It is up to Monsanto and the other biotech companies to determine if their foods are safe. Mr. Taylor later became Monsanto’s vice president.
American Academy of Environmental Medicine states, “GM foods have not been properly tested” and “pose a serious health risk.” Not a single human clinical trial on GMOs has been published. A 2007 review of published scientific literature on the “potential toxic effects/health risks of GM plants” revealed “that experimental data are very scarce.” The author concludes his review by asking, “Where is the scientific evidence showing that GM plants/food are toxicologically safe, as assumed by the biotechnology companies?”
Famed Canadian geneticist David Suzuki answers, “The experiments simply haven’t been done and we now have become the guinea pigs.” He adds, “Anyone that says, ‘Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,’ I say is either unbelievably stupid or deliberately lying.”
Dr. Schubert points out, “If there are problems, we will probably never know because the cause will not be traceable and many diseases take a very long time to develop.” If GMOs happen to cause immediate and acute symptoms with a unique signature, perhaps then we might have a chance to trace the cause.
This is precisely what happened during a US epidemic in the late 1980s. The disease was fast acting, deadly, and caused a unique measurable change in the blood-but it still took more than four years to identify that an epidemic was even occurring. By then it had killed about 100 Americans and caused 5,000-10,000 people to fall sick or become permanently disabled. It was caused by a genetically engineered brand of a food supplement called L-tryptophan.
If other GM foods are contributing to the rise of autism, obesity, diabetes, asthma, cancer, heart disease, allergies, reproductive problems, or any other common health problem now plaguing Americans, we may never know. In fact, since animals fed GMOs had such a wide variety of problems, susceptible people may react to GM food with multiple symptoms. It is therefore telling that in the first nine years after the large scale introduction of GM crops in 1996, the incidence of people with three or more chronic diseases nearly doubled, from 7% to 13%.
To help identify if GMOs are causing harm, the AAEM asks their “members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health.”
Citizens need not wait for the results before taking the doctors advice to avoid GM foods. People can stay away from anything with soy or corn derivatives, cottonseed and canola oil, and sugar from GM sugar beets-unless it says organic or “non-GMO.”
If even a small percentage of people choose non-GMO brands, the food industry will likely respond as they did in Europe-by removing all GM ingredients. Thus, American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s non-GMO prescription may be a watershed for the US food supply.
Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, is the leading spokesperson on the health dangers of GMOs. His first book, Seeds of Deception is the world’s bestselling book on the subject. His second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, identifies 65 risks of GMOs and demonstrates how superficial government approvals are not competent to find most of them. He invited the biotech industry to respond in writing with evidence to counter each risk, but correctly predicted that they would refuse, since they don’t have the data to show that their products are safe. Spilling the Beans, the institute’s monthly column, is available at www.reliabletechnology.org. The website also offers eater-friendly tips for avoiding GMOs at home and in restaurants. Contact American Academy of Environmental Medicine at (734) 213-4901; firstname.lastname@example.org;
By Alex Spillius in Washington
Published: 7:02PM BST 21 Jul 2009
Barack Obama ratings fall as polls show honeymoon may be over Barack Obama’s honeymoon period appears to be coming to an end in America as polls have shown his ratings have fallen to their lowest point yet. By Alex Spillius in Washington Published: 7:02PM BST 21 Jul 2009 Barack Obama is facing criticism about how he is going to pay for $1 trillion plans to reform the US health care system Photo: AFP/GETTY A USA Today/Gallup survey suggested that six months into his presidency, his popularity was lower than George W Bush’s at the same stage of his tenure. Amid rising unemployment and falling confidence in his economic plans, Mr Obama’s job approval rating has dropped by nine points since January to 55 per cent, a point below his predecessor in mid-2001. Related Articles Guantanamo Bay report delayed by six months California agrees multi-million pound budget deal Barack Obama goes upbeat on economy after popularity declines Barack Obama more popular than predecessors after 100 days Barack Obama’s aides admit errors are making him less popular Barack Obama aglow after 100-day honeymoon – just like CarterOther polls by ABC News and the Washington Post also showed Mr Obama’s job approval falling below 60 per cent for the first time since he was sworn in as the nation’s first black president, with a marked drop in the last month. The president is facing criticism about how he is going to pay for $1 trillion plans to reform the US health care system. Half of respondents in one poll disapproved of his health care policy compared with just 44 per cent who approved. Mr Obama admitted there was work to do and said he would not sign any of the bills currently being considered in Congress. “Right now, they’re not where they need to be,” he told NBC. He has already admitted that his August deadline for draft legislation could “spill over” into the autumn. Mr Obama is due to hold a prime time televised press conference on Wednsday designed to restate his case to an increasingly sceptical nation. Whit Ayres, a pollster, said: “His ratings have certainly come back down to Earth in a very short time period.” Mr Obama is said to be losing the most support among independent voters and moderate Democrats, whose votes were crucial in winning him swing states in November’s election. In those states, where congressmen face re-election next year, Democrats are already concerned. Steve Glorioso, a Democratic strategist in Missouri, said devout Democrats were as enthusiastic as ever for Mr Obama but that the less committed were feeling disappointed. “People are scared,” he said. “This is the worst economic time anyone under the age of 80 has ever experienced, and you can’t discount people being afraid. “Now that we are in July, the fear is turning to disappointment that the president hasn’t fixed everything yet. I don’t know why they thought he could change everything by now, but some did.” Although Mr Obama inherited immense economic troubles from Mr Bush, the economy is now seen as almost solely his responsibility. Experts say that White House reassurances about “the green shoots” of economic recovery are sounding hollow as unemployment has now risen to more than ten per cent in 15 states, Chris Redfern, the Ohio Democratic Party chairman, said: “When it’s the president’s economy, it’s the president’s trouble. Americans are eager for the change that they voted into office. They support him, they just want to see results sooner rather than later.” Even Democrats have privately criticised the president for not taking firm control of health care reform. Congress is now working on three different bills but has been stuck on who to tax to pay for expanded coverage. Eager to avoid the mistake made by the Clintons in 1993, who handed a vast health care bill to congress with little consultation, Mr Obama has been accused of straying too far in the other direction. This week he has delivered a tough message on health care on a daily basis, reminding Congress that 47 million uninsured Americans cannot wait for reform. John McHenry, a Republican strategist, said: “At some point he needs to decide if he is taking ownership of this or contracting it all to the Democratic congress. “This autumn will tell if his honeymoon is well and truly over. He has been more popular personally than many of his proposals were, but there is only so long you can continue that.”
– June’s total assumed 185,000 people at work who probably were not. The government could not identify them; it made an assumption about trends. But many of the mythical jobs are in industries that have absolutely no job creation, e.g., finance. When the official numbers are adjusted over the next several months, June will look worse.
– More companies are asking employees to take unpaid leave. These people don’t count on the unemployment roll.
– No fewer than 1.4 million people wanted or were available for work in the last 12 months but were not counted. Why? Because they hadn’t searched for work in the four weeks preceding the survey.
– The number of workers taking part-time jobs due to the slack economy, a kind of stealth underemployment, has doubled in this recession to about nine million, or 5.8% of the work force. Add those whose hours have been cut to those who cannot find a full-time job and the total unemployed rises to 16.5%, putting the number of involuntarily idle in the range of 25 million.
– The average work week for rank-and-file employees in the private sector, roughly 80% of the work force, slipped to 33 hours. That’s 48 minutes a week less than before the recession began, the lowest level since the government began tracking such data 45 years ago. Full-time workers are being downgraded to part time as businesses slash labor costs to remain above water, and factories are operating at only 65% of capacity. If Americans were still clocking those extra 48 minutes a week now, the same aggregate amount of work would get done with 3.3 million fewer employees, which means that if it were not for the shorter work week the jobless rate would be 11.7%, not 9.5% (which far exceeds the 8% rate projected by the Obama administration).
– The average length of official unemployment increased to 24.5 weeks, the longest since government began tracking this data in 1948. The number of long-term unemployed (i.e., for 27 weeks or more) has now jumped to 4.4 million, an all-time high.
– The average worker saw no wage gains in June, with average compensation running flat at $18.53 an hour.
– The goods producing sector is losing the most jobs — 223,000 in the last report alone.
– The prospects for job creation are equally distressing. The likelihood is that when economic activity picks up, employers will first choose to increase hours for existing workers and bring part-time workers back to full time. Many unemployed workers looking for jobs once the recovery begins will discover that jobs as good as the ones they lost are almost impossible to find because many layoffs have been permanent. Instead of shrinking operations, companies have shut down whole business units or made sweeping structural changes in the way they conduct business. General Motors and Chrysler, closed hundreds of dealerships and reduced brands. Citigroup and Bank of America cut tens of thousands of positions and exited many parts of the world of finance.
Stock Market Dissonance: Why the Stock Market no Longer Reflects Main Street Economics. The Dow Jones Industrial Average.
One of the biggest bankruptcies in history occurred on June 1st yet you would not know this by looking at the stock market. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) shot up by 220 points. If we look at total assets, this is the fourth largest bankruptcy in history. The Dow is made up of 30 companies that show a supposedly wide cross section of the American economy. The company that filed for bankruptcy was General Motors and was actually one of the 30 components. A company that dates back to 1908 and survived the Great Depression. So how can it be that a company that employs 250,000 filing for bankruptcy is actually good for the stock market and makes the DJIA rally so strongly? The easy answer is the stock market no longer reflects the economic reality on main street.
The U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve have created an artificial system and the stock market is reacting to these new conditions. These conditions now assume rock bottom low rates and financial institutions being continuously bailed out. Yet this paradigm is not helping the American public that now has 25,000,000 unemployed or underemployed family, friends, or colleagues. Think of the implication of the GM bankruptcy. Right when the announcement was made there were details of laying off thousands of workers and closing numerous dealers. The market rallies and unemployment this Friday will shoot up by another 500,000. This disconnect is so obvious and shows the priorities of those pushing legislation.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, why would a bankruptcy of GM, a DJIA component lead to a strong rally? First, let us look at the weighting of each of the 30 components:
The above is a reason I take very little stock with the DJIA but it is still widely regarded in the mainstream media as an accurate reflection of the overall stock market performance. A better measure would be the Wilshire 5000 but how many times have you heard that market index in the media? Let us focus on the above list I compiled a little further. You notice that GM and Citigroup are all the way at the bottom? That is why even if GM and Citigroup went straight to zero (GM practically did) it had very little impact on the DJIA. Yet in reality, the bankruptcy impact is gigantic in the real world since it means tens of thousands more Americans out of work and a giant of American manufacturing giant was unable to stand on its own two feet. So what do we hear on June 1st?
“(CNN Money) According to a statement released Monday, General Motors, which filed for bankruptcy on Monday, will be replaced by Cisco Systems (CSCO, Fortune 500); Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) will be replaced by The Travelers Companies (TRV, Fortune 500).”
How convenient. Of course, we have already experienced this with the removal of AIG and having it replaced with Kraft. A government cheese recipient taken out by a true cheese maker. The DJIA is a horrible indicator of longer term prosperity. During the boom times bubbly stocks are put in, keep in mind the index is maintained by humans and as we have now found out, humans make all kind of errors including missing peaks and troughs. Don’t believe me? Let us take a look at some grand timing:
Microsoft added on November 1999
Intel added on November 1999
AT&T added on November 1999
Bank of America added on February 2008
Chevron added on February 2008
These are just a few examples. First, you’ll notice that Microsoft and Intel (big companies no doubt) where added at a bubble point for technology stocks. So when the tech bubble burst, the index took a much bigger hit because of these additions. Next, we have the timely addition of Bank of America on February 2008! When Bank of America was added it was trading around $45 per share. Now it is trading at $11.37 and this is thanks to the crony banking system bailout. Chevron was added right before our massive oil bubble. So as you can see, the addition of companies to the DJIA is not exactly a good reflection of the economy. In fact, some of the additions are indicators of bubbles and late party arrivals.
Now let us examine the list again. First, the recent stock market crash was the deepest and widest since the Great Depression. If we look at the DJIA, you will see why this is true. First, 2 of the top 3 companies on the list were oil companies. Well logically when the oil bubble burst these would get hammered as they did. Next, there are many financial services companies on the list. This during the boom distorted the market and made the DJIA bubble up over 14,000 yet this mark was a reflection of the bubble. Now with the banking industry having Uncle Sam as number 1 on its Fave 5 menu, of course the DJIA tanked because it was heavily weighted on bubble industries. Bank of America? JP Morgan? American Express? Citigroup? This list starts reading like the TARP recipient list.
It should be abundantly clear that the DJIA is not a good indicator of what is occurring on main street. Yet it is something that is always referenced so it is important to understand what is truly reflected here. Let us refer to the list again. If you look at the top 10, three of these companies (Wal-Mart, McDonalds, and Coca-Cola) reflect the massive consumption economy that is the U.S. Where are the major manufacturing companies? In a way, seeing GM literally fall off the list is a testament to what our economy has become. An almost completely consumption based economy. Is it any wonder that Chinese students laughed openly when Timothy Geithner stated: “Chinese assets are very safe,” referring to debt with the U.S. in a recent talk? Politics aside, I’d laugh too. Ben Bernanke and Geithner are busy selling off the U.S. to keep their banking cronies alive. Where are the Pecora Investigations? Why not demand the same stringent requirements of Bank of America, Goldman Sach, JP Morgan, and Citigroup as we do of Chrysler and GM? Because those that operate the levers of power are either bought out or believe the banking oligarchy.
When you look at the Dow, it starts becoming abundantly clear what the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve think the country should look like. And before you say that these places are independently operated, just look at former employers of our recent U.S. Treasuries. They like the bubble era. They want Americans to go back and buy cars on a yearly basis, purchase homes over and over, eat fast food, and purchase goods to numb the need to focus on reality. That reality is for nearly 40 years we have spent more than we have earned. Just look at this chart showing personal income growth and household debt:
From the 1950s to the 1970s, growth in income tagged along with growth in debt. Yet this completely became disconnected in the 1970s. From that point on, taking on debt at higher levels seemed okay. In the last few years in this bubble, we just took it to the extreme logical conclusion. Just think for a second how irresponsible it was to give someone making $30,000 a year a $50,000 luxury car simply because they can make the monthly payment for 7 years? Or what about giving the person making $40,000 a year a $500,000 mortgage? Not only did this happen, but it occurred so many times that we are now years later left to deal with the fallout. Yet the notion that we will go back to this world is absurd and that is what the stock market is betting on. Our lives are changed forever. The fact that we have students in China laughing at our U.S. Treasury is one of the many indications that the gig is up. Our biggest lender is laughing. This is not a good sign.
When I look at the Dow, I don’t see a reflection of the U.S. economy but more of a horse race ticket for the gambling casino. AIG doesn’t make sense anymore? Remove it since it is now owned by the U.S. government. Don’t like GM or Citigroup? Out they go. It is a list of convenience. We would be better off tracking the Wilshire 5000 or at a minimum, the S&P 500 but even that list has taken an unusually heavy love to financials. But in this case, you can’t blame the actual index. It is merely reflecting a country that became obsessed with financial services and tossed manufacturing to the wayside:
The chart above is rather telling. It is somewhat ironic that on the same day, it is announced that both GM and Citigroup will be removed from the DJIA. With manufacturing already gone and financial services slimming down, you tell me what emerging field is going to get us out of this recession? Maybe Travelers Companies and Cisco are closer reflections to what is a stable Dow component. Too bad it took this long to realize which companies were simply running on cheap money.
By Andrew M. Harris
June 2 (Bloomberg) — A Chicago ordinance banning handguns and automatic weapons within city limits was upheld by a U.S. Court of Appeals panel, which rejected a challenge by the National Rifle Association.
The unanimous three-judge panel ruled today that a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year, which recognized an individual right to bear arms under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, didn’t apply to states and municipalities.
“The Supreme Court has rebuffed requests to apply the second amendment to the states,” U.S. Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote, upholding lower court decisions last year to throw out suits against Chicago and its suburb of Oak Park, Illinois.
The Fairfax, Virginia-based NRA sued the municipalities in June 2008, one day after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller struck down a hand-gun ban in the U.S. capital district encompassing Washington.
“We clearly disagree with the court’s conclusion,” NRA attorney William N. Howard, a partner in Chicago’s Freeborn & Peters LLP, said in a telephone interview. “The next step will be an appeal to the Supreme Court.”
“We recognize that this may not be the end of this litigation,” Jenny Hoyle, a spokeswoman for the city of Chicago’s law department said, acknowledging the likelihood the NRA would seek further review. “We’re certainly prepared for that if this happens. We’re prepared to aggressively defend our ordinance.”
Adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment reads in its entirety: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
In Heller, the high court struck down Washington’s 32-year- old gun law, which barred most residents of the city from owning handguns and required that all legal firearms be kept unloaded and either disassembled or under trigger lock. Six residents had challenged the law, saying they wanted firearms available in their homes for self-defense.
“Heller dealt with a law enacted under the authority of the national government,” Easterbrook wrote, “while Chicago and Oak Park are subordinate bodies of a state.”
Chicago’s law took effect in 1982, Hoyle said. While it allows ownership of long guns such as rifles, they must be registered annually with the city’s police department. Concealed weapons, semi-automatic and automatic weapons are not permitted.
Some exemptions apply to members of the military and law enforcement agencies.
Chicago U.S. District Judge Milton Shadur on Dec. 4 rejected the NRA’s request that he apply the Heller ruling to the Chicago and Oak Park laws, stating he was bound to follow a 1982 appeals court ruling upholding a ban by the Illinois village of Morton Grove.
That decision came from the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, the same body that issued today’s opinion. The 15 judges of the Seventh Circuit hear appeals from the federal courts of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Easterbrook, joined by Circuit Court Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer, said they, too, were bound to follow the precedent of a higher court, the U.S. Supreme Court, in its ruling on the Second Amendment not applying to states.
An appellate court departure from high court precedent “undermines the uniformity of national law,” Easterbrook wrote.
The judges rendered their ruling one week after hearing arguments.
A San Francisco-based federal appeals court, with jurisdiction over cases from California, Oregon, Washington and six other Western U.S. states, in April ruled the Second Amendment can be read as applicable to states and counties.
Still, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Nordyke v. King allowed to stand an Alameda County, California regulation that outlaws gun possession on county property.
Howard, the NRA’s lawyer, cited the Nordyke ruling as one of the reasons for his client’s challenge to the Chicago court outcome.
“This thing is headed for the Supreme Court,” University of Chicago Constitutional Law Professor Richard Epstein said in a phone interview.
“This is a question where you cannot run a split administration and there’s no way the circuits can resolve this amongst themselves,” he said.
The 7th Circuit case is National Rifle Association of America v. City of Chicago, 08-4241, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Chicago). The 9th Circuit case is Nordyke v. King, 07-15763, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (San Francisco).
By: Tyler Durden Monday, June 01, 2009 3:57 PM
Ran across this article posted in Jumping In Pools. Not sure how credible it is, but allegedly Barack Obama will provide the blueprints for the B-2 stealth bomber to China in exchange for $50 billion in debt relief. According to author Richard Hogarty:
According to the Administration, this proposal will help the United States resolve its debt issues. They point out their belief that the B-2 bomber is “strategically obsolete”, according to a source in the White House Press Office. In addition, the source claims that the Chinese would be unable to create their own functioning stealth bomber fleet for “at least eight years.”
American allies Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea are very wary of the proposal. Koo Syi, a geopolitical analyst from South Korea, points out that this technology could be passed to China’s allies. This was the case when Chinese nuclear technology was transferred to Pakistan and North Korea. According to Koo, Obama has rendered US allies’ opinions as “irrelevant.”
While this proposal is controversial, it is not being presented to Congress, where it could meet with stern opposition. Instead, the State Department has been informed to assisted the Defense Department with the transfer of materials.
A little skeptical here as frankly $50 billion is less than a drop in the bucket of Chinese Treasury holdings which are easily well over $1 trillion. The economic impact of this transaction would be negligible to zero. On the other hand, if this ends up being true, it is quite frightening, as it merely demonstrates, aside from all the scary geo-political considerations, just how bad of a dealmaker our President is.
In other China-related news, Reuters reporting that Tim Geithner’s soothing words from his Beijing whirlwind tour that “Chinese assets are very safe,” drew loud laughter from the audience.
“Chinese assets are very safe,” Geithner said in response to a question after a speech at Peking University, where he studied Chinese as a student in the 1980s.
His answer drew loud laughter from his student audience, reflecting scepticism in China about the wisdom of a developing country accumulating a vast stockpile of foreign reserves instead of spending the money to raise living standards at home.
Alas, laughter is more and more the traditional response when other economies consider the sustainability of the ongoing economic fiasco developing before our eyes (and this author’s response to the continued market manipulation).
Here is something interesting I saw in the elevetor today while on my way to work. You should be very scared!
Manchester is to become Britain’s first ID card city. Skip related content
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Ministers are set to confirm that residents there can voluntarily sign up for the controversial scheme.
Anyone who wants an ID card or biometric passport will go to their local post office or pharmacy to have their fingerprints read and stored along with a face scan.
The card will cost £30 and the shops could charge another £30 to collect the data, which will be stored on a Government database.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is meeting Post Office managers and pharmacy trade groups to discuss the plans.
“The companies interested in working with us to deliver the service will play a key role in ensuring the public can apply for an ID card or passport simply and easily,” she said.
“While private companies will clearly benefit from the increased footfall from offering this service, their customers will benefit from being able to quickly provide their biometrics while they are out doing the shopping.
“With an identity card, people will be able to prove their identity quickly and conveniently while helping to protect themselves against identity fraud.
She added: “Our next steps will be for other cities to follow Manchester’s lead before full national coverage from 2012.
“This phased approach will ensure that card coverage occurs hand in hand with the development of supporting technology such as chip and pin readers.”
Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling called for the scheme to be scrapped.
He said: “The Government is split down the middle on ID cards but it looks as if Jacqui Smith is carrying on regardless.
“Piloting the scheme in one city is nonsensical and will only serve as a tax on the people of Manchester.
“They should abandon this farce and scrap the whole scheme.”
Today, 07:22 am
– link to original article
- Posted March 24th, 2009 at 10.20am in Ongoing Priorities.
President Barack Obama has repeatedly claimed that his budget would cut the deficit by half by the end of his term. But as Heritage analyst Brian Riedl has pointed out, given that Obama has already helped quadruple the deficit with his stimulus package, pledging to halve it by 2013 is hardly ambitious. The Washington Post has a great graphic which helps put President Obama’s budget deficits in context of President Bush’s.
What’s driving Obama’s unprecedented massive deficits? Spending. Riedl details:
- President Bush expanded the federal budget by a historic $700 billion through 2008. President Obama would add another $1 trillion.
- President Bush began a string of expensive financial bailouts. President Obama is accelerating that course.
- President Bush created a Medicare drug entitlement that will cost an estimated $800 billion in its first decade. President Obama has proposed a $634 billion down payment on a new government health care fund.
- President Bush increased federal education spending 58 percent faster than inflation. President Obama would double it.
- President Bush became the first President to spend 3 percent of GDP on federal antipoverty programs. President Obama has already increased this spending by 20 percent.
- President Bush tilted the income tax burden more toward upper-income taxpayers. President Obama would continue that trend.
- President Bush presided over a $2.5 trillion increase in the public debt through 2008. Setting aside 2009 (for which Presidents Bush and Obama share responsibility for an additional $2.6 trillion in public debt), President Obama’s budget would add $4.9 trillion in public debt from the beginning of 2010 through 2016.
UPDATE: Many Obama defenders in the comments are claiming that the numbers above do not include spending on Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush years. They most certainly do. While Bush did fund the wars through emergency supplementals (not the regular budget process), that spending did not simply vanish. It is included in the numbers above. Also, some Obama defenders are claiming the graphic above represents biased Heritage Foundation numbers. While we stand behind the numbers we put out 100%, the numbers, and the graphic itself, above are from the Washington Post. We originally left out the link to WaPo. It has been now been added.
CLARIFICATION: Of course, this Washington Post graphic does not perfectly delineate budget surpluses and deficits by administration. President Bush took office in January 2001, and therefore played a lead role in crafting the FY 2002-2008 budgets. Presidents Bush and Obama share responsibility for the FY 2009 budget deficit that overlaps their administrations, before President Obama assumes full budgetary responsibility beginning in FY 2010. Overall, President Obama’s budget would add twice as much debt as President Bush over the same number of years.
Original Article posted at:
Last week, the Politico offered a handy list of seven things the White House wants reporters to write about Pres. Obama’s first 100 days in office. The piece makes a nice enough frame for evaluating whether the Obama’s hoped-for spin matches reality.
Obama is a promise-keeper?
Obama undoubtedly would like this storyline, but the Politico did not come up with any examples of it. Obama has kept a few promises; he has given things to the abortion lobby, usually late on Friday evenings when he hopes no one will notice.
However, it is fairly easy to compile a larger list of promises Obama has broken or is breaking. Many of those broken promises are just fine with the Right — Obama has adopted the Bush adminsitration’s positions on lawsuits over “torture,” warrantless wiretapping, state secrets and policies the powers that allow the president to indefinitely detain suspected terror supporters. The administration is negotiating possible exceptions to the June 30 deadline for withdrawing American combat troops from Iraqi cities (as he should, given that his retreatist rhetoric worked against his own stated goals). Obama has flip-flopped on the free-trade pact with Colombia and NAFTA. Even before he was elected, he broke his promises to immediately repeal tax cuts for the wealthy and take on Big Oil (though one suspects they are still on his “to do” list).
Other broken promises will tend to bother only the Right, like the abandonment of his inaugural pledge to end ineffective government programs.
Still other promises Obama has broken are more troubling — and not just to the Right. The adminsitration that promised transparency has shrouded some of its signature inititives in secrecy. The Obama Administration is not policing its stimulus spending for waste, fraud and abuse, not doing the legally-required oversight of TARP funds and not providing information to the Congressional Oversight Panel on TARP. Attorney General Eric Holder promised looser standards for Freedom of Information Act requests, but the lawsuits seeking information about the administration’s bailout programs are piling up. Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general overseeing the TARP, has already opened 20 criminal investigations and six audits into whether tax dollars are being pilfered or wasted.
Obama is a game-changer?
This is actually two of the Politico’s entries. In discussing Obama as promise-keeper and game-changer, VandeHei and Harris write:
The White House is pushing back against what it realizes is a dangerous perception that Obama may be trying to do too much, too fast — and cynically exploiting the economic crisis to push through unrelated agenda items…
The White House is worried that the public does not sufficiently grasp Obama’s view that his ideas fit together in a coherent strategy to force massive change in government, the financial sector and, ultimately, people’s lives.
It is small wonder Obama is having a tough time pushing this line. His own supporters do not buy it. The establishment media does not buy it (as the Politico itself notes). Democrats in Congress do not buy it, either. Obama’s own party has rolled him on any number of issues, supposedly in return for healthcare reform. The Democrats now threaten to railroad it through the budget reconciliation process, but the lack of money and the Byrd Rule provide plenty of leverage against it. Meanwhile, Lefties are already worried about what else Obama gave up to get healthcare in budget reconciliation.
Has Obama been a game-changer on the world stage? Obama’s diplomatic overtures have been rejected by the European Union, NATO, Russia, North Korea, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Iran and much of Latin America. Obama’s unprecedented disclosure of CIA operational methods is already degrading US intelligence collection around the world. That might be game-changing, but not of the sort Obama wants the press to publicize.
Obama is the decider?
Not too long ago, a president pushing the idea that he was “the decider” would have been mocked by the media, but whatever. The Los Angeles Times and The Politico point to Obama’s White House confrontation with bank executives as an example of his bold style. However, the result of Obama’s bullying — as well as his handling of the AIG bonuses issue — is that banks are now trying to leave the TARP. The administration has also had problems getting lenders to participate in the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility and the Public-Private Investment Program because lenders have lost any trust that Obama and the Democratic Congress will not change the rules in midstream for reasons of political expediency.
Obama’s not in the bubble?
The Politico notes that ABC, The Washington Post and The New York Times have already done stories about how the president reads 10 letters from ordinary Americans every day. (Presumably, none of them are from Joe the Plumber, who was villified and investigated by local authorities for the crime of asking then-candidate Obama a question about his proposals.) There is considerably less media coverage when his “town hall” meetings are packed with pre-selected Obama supporters (much like his predecessor), or when he spends more time schmoozing celebrities than either Bush or Clinton (and seeking policy advice from them). Elkhart, Indiana, which has the country’s highest unemployment rate, would be crushed by Obama’s policies on energy and the environment. In South Carolina, ordinary Obama supporters are exhausted and losing patience with his agenda. When hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans organize protests of his policies, the White House would prefer not to acknowledge it.
Obama is not FDR and Obama is FDR!
The Politico reports that the Obama administration knows “there is a danger in investing too much in an essentially bogus journalistic convention that supposes Obama can reshape Washington and the world in 100 days,” but “White House aides make clear they love the New Deal analogies.” That conflict reflects a certain level of narcissism — one that seems to flow from the very top.
Obama is one cool cucumber?
Obama certainly tries to project the image of cool, but this could turn into a liability. People may have laughed when Obama could not muster convincing fauxtrage over the AIG bonuses, but the White House later found itself in a scramble to stay ahead of the genuine — if misplaced — anger on the issue. Obama’s reputation may also cast doubt on the claim that he was “furious” after an Air Force One lookalike and two F-16s buzzed the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor Monday morning. If the economy does not recover in a reasonable timeframe, more people will start seeing him as aloof, not cool.
The press narratives selected by the Politico are… selective. Other storylines abound. For example, the media will likely not address Obama’s failure at basic executive tasks, like staffing his administration. Obama is heading into its first medical outbreak without a secretary of Health and Human Services or appointees in any of the department’s 19 key posts. There were difficulties planning the G20 summit because every senior post in the US Treasury Department was vacant, with the exception of Secretary Timmy Geithner. Speaking of whom, Geithner reminds us of the large number of scandal-plagued nominees that emerged from Obama’s apparently flawed vetting operation. Again, these are stories that get glossed over during a president’s honeymoon, but will be remembered if future events are not to Obama’s favor.
After 100 days of unprecedented, saturation media coverage, Pres. Obama finds himself with an average level of public approval that masks how deeply polarized that public opinion is. Rest assured, that is not on any list of what the White House wants reporters to write about Pres. Obama’s first 100 days in office.
Cross-posted at Patterico.
posted at 9:08 am on April 28, 2009 by Karl
As anyone who reads the news from multiple media outlets on a daily basis knows,
The Obama craze is still in full swing 100 days after his inauguration. There are the
basic articles about new policies, the economy, and of course the new dog at the
What amazes me is the lack of articles discussing how the president has yet to keep
most of his campaign promises. 100 days into the Obama presidency we are still at war
in both Afghanistan, and Iraq with no plans of leaving in the future. In fact Obama
has continued to sent troops to war, instead of doing what he promised which was the
opposite. Does this anger anyone? Wake up people and do your own research.
Thankfully some site are out there that do most of the work for us by keeping tabs
on what’s actually being done.
I also recommend that you watch The Obama Deception if you have not seen it yet.
The Obameter: Tracking Obama’s Campaign Promises
PolitiFact has compiled more than 500 promises that Barack Obama made during the campaign and is tracking their progress on our Obameter.
We rate their status as No Action, In the Works or Stalled. Once we find action is completed, we rate them Promise Kept, Compromise or Promise Broken.
The report card at right provides an up-to-the-minute tally of all the promises.
Other ways to browse the Obameter
Promises we’ve rated recently
No. 511: Recognize the Armenian genocide
“Two years ago, I criticized the Secretary of State for the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, after he properly used the term ‘genocide’ to describe Turkey’s slaughter of thousands of Armenians starting in 1915. … as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.”
Update April 24th, 2009:
Armenian genocide not named in statement on the day of remembrance
No. 33: Establish a credit card bill of rights
The credit card bill of rights would “ban unilateral changes … apply interest rate increases only to future debt … prohibit interest on fees … prohibit ‘universal defaults’ (whereby a credit card raises its rates because the consumer was late paying a different creditor … require prompt and fair crediting of cardholder payments.”
Update April 24th, 2009:
Obama’s pushes credit card bill of rights
No. 28: Create a consumer-friendly credit card rating system
“The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will assess the degree to which credit cards meet consumer-friendly standards … (such as) the underwriting standards used to issue the card, the card’s interest rate spread between the introductory rate and the maximum rate allowed, and
transaction fees. … Credit card companies will be required to display the rating on all application and contract materials, enabling consumers to quickly understand all of the major provisions of a credit card without having to rely exclusively on fine print in lengthy documents.”
Update April 24th, 2009:
Obama hopes Congress will require credit card companies to make information understandable
No. 371: Fund a major expansion of AmeriCorps
“Will expand and fund AmeriCorps from 75,000 slots today to 250,000 and they will focus this expansion on addressing the great challenges facing the nation.” These additional slots will enable AmeriCorps to establish five new Corps: Classroom Corps to help teachers and students, with a priority placed on high-need and underserved schools; Health Corps to improve public health information and outreach to areas with inadequate health systems such as rural areas and inner cities; Clean Energy Corps to promote energy independence through efforts like weatherization, renewable energy projects and educational outreach; Veterans Corps to help keep America’s sacred trust with its veterans; and Homeland Security Corps to help communities plan, prepare for and respond to emergencies.
Update April 23rd, 2009:
Obama passes Serve America Act
No. 391: Appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer
“Will appoint the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century. The CTO will ensure the safety of our networks and will lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices.”
Update April 21st, 2009:
Obama names Chief Technology Officer
No. 481: Support airline service in small towns
Will support “the continuation of the Small Community Air Service Development Program that helps small and mid-sized communities attract new air service, which is critical to local economic development. Obama and Biden will work to improve the effectiveness of these programs and increase the availability of rail transportation options for residents of rural communities.”
Update April 17th, 2009:
More money in Obama’s proposed budget for rural airports
No. 180: End warrantless wiretaps
“Barack Obama opposed the Bush Administration’s initial policy on warrantless wiretaps because it crossed the line between protecting our national security and eroding the civil liberties of American citizens. As president, Obama would update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide greater oversight and accountability to the congressional intelligence committees to prevent future threats to the rule of law.”
Update April 17th, 2009:
Warrantless wiretaps back in the news
No. 24: End income tax for seniors making less than $50,000
“Will eliminate all income taxation of seniors making less than $50,000 per year. This will eliminate taxes for 7 million seniors — saving them an average of $1,400 a year– and will also mean that 27 million seniors will not need to file an income tax return at all.”
Update April 15th, 2009:
No proposal to end taxes for seniors making less than $50,000
No. 407: Limit subsidies for agribusiness
“Obama will implement a $250,000 [farm commodity] payment limitation so that we help family farmers, not large corporate agribusiness. Obama will close the loopholes that allow megafarms to get around the limits by subdividing their operations into multiple paper corporations.”
Update April 14th, 2009:
Congress stalls limits on farm subsidies
No. 498: Provide grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes
“Will create a competitive grant program to award those states and localities that take the first steps in implementing new building codes that prioritize energy efficiency, and provide a federal match for those states with leading-edge public benefits funds that support energy efficiency retrofits of existing buildings.”
Update April 14th, 2009:
Stimulus includes energy efficiency block grants for building codes
No. 222: Grant Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send money to Cuba
“Cuban American connections to family in Cuba are not only a basic right in humanitarian terms, but also our best tool for helping to foster the beginnings of grassroots democracy on the island. Accordingly, as president, Obama will grant Cuban Americans unrestricted rights to visit family and send remittances to the island.”
Update April 13th, 2009:
Obama lifts restrictions on travel and remittances to family in Cuba
No. 502: Get his daughters a puppy
“The pledge is (Sasha and Malia) will get their dog, win or lose.”
Update April 13th, 2009:
A dog named Bo
No. 508: Allow penalty-free hardship withdrawals from retirement accounts in 2008 and 2009
“Obama and Biden are calling for legislation that would allow withdrawals of 15% up to $10,000 from retirement accounts without penalty (although subject to the normal taxes). This would apply to withdrawals in 2008 (including retroactively) and 2009.”
Update April 10th, 2009:
Penalty-free 401(k) penalty withdrawals still not on the agenda, and taxes are due next week
No. 174: Give a speech at a major Islamic forum in the first 100 days of his administration
“Obama will personally lead diplomacy efforts beginning with a speech at a major Islamic forum in the first 100 days of his administration. He will make clear that we are not at war with Islam, that we will stand with those who are willing to stand up for their future, and that we need their
effort to defeat the prophets of hate and violence.”
Update April 10th, 2009:
Obama says in Turkey that U.S. not at war with Islam
No. 115: Institute electronic record-keeping for the Veterans Benefits Administration
“As president, Obama will transform the paper benefit claims process to an electronic system that will be interoperable with the VA’s health network as well as military records. This will reduce error rates, improve timeliness, and enhance the overall quality of the claims decisions.”
Update April 9th, 2009:
Obama pledges electronic health records to cover troops from active duty to the VA and beyond
Here is another good site also keeping track