Today, Kevin reveals his lie detector results and explains how food lobbyists are getting away with paying off politicians.
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Kevin Was Right AGAIN:
Seasonal Flu Vaccines Increase Risk of H1N1 Flu
Twenty-Five Minutes of Exercise a Day Helps Treat Depression
Johnson & Johnson Pushed Drugs on Seniors
Censorship Bill Passes in UK
News Sites Rethink Anonymous Online Comments
Conspiracy Against Poland
Procter & Gamble to Reduce Toxins in Herbal Essences Shampoos
FDA Finally Admits Asthma Drugs Cause Asthma Attacks
Sunlight New Hope For MS Patients
China Faces New Health Scare Due to Bad Vaccines
Cash Better At Killing Pain Than Aspirin
Triclosan Used in Sanitizers & Soaps Raise Concerns
UK to Ban the Word ‘Obese’ to Avoid Offending Overweight Children
Smiling May Help You Live Longer
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Could Treat Male Infertility
BPA Now Contaminating Earth’s Oceans
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April 13, 2010
by Laura Roberts
Officials at Liverpool City Council have suggested outlawing the word when describing children to avoid stigmatising them.
Up to half of 11 year-old boys and 40 per cent of 11 year-old girls are overweight in Liverpool, which has one of the highest childhood obesity rates in Britain, while 1 in 20 is classed as “officially obese”.
The plans were inspired by suggestions made at a “Schools Parliament” made up of 9-11 year-olds.
According to the council the word obese has “too many negative connotations” and discourages overweight youngsters from adopting healthy eating and exercise.
However, heath campaigners warned that censorship of the word would would obscure a serious issue.
Sion Porter of the British Dietetic Association, said: “To a dietician or health professional, obese is a clear label for an individual with a ‘Body Mass Index’ (BMI) in excess of 30.
“BMI remains the best indicator of a person’s weight level, and includes the terms ‘overweight’ and ‘obese’.
“Clearly an individual who reaches the ‘obese’ category is risking serious health problems, and needs to understand the severity of their weight-problem.”
The proposal could be adopted as part of an official strategy to tackle childhood obesity in Liverpool and “unhealthy weight” would be used in future health promotion literature aimed at children.
A Liverpool City Council spokesman said: “All the young people’s recommendations will be considered by the council with a view to include them in the delivery of the Children and Young People’s Plan.”
April 13, 2010
by Paul Joseph Watson
A family in Williamson County, Austin have lost custody of their 7-year-old son as part of a Child Protective Services investigation because the parents taught their children to mistrust the government, an action that deemed them to be “unsuitable parents,” according to charges leveled by police officers in CPS documents.
Drug reform activist filmmakers Barry and Candi Cooper recently had their home raided and searched by police after authorities claimed Cooper’s voice had been heard in the background of an allegedly false police report.
“Once in the couple’s home, officers discovered a small amount of marijuana and charged the Coopers with Class B misdemeanors, resulting in both their arrests. Each immediately bonded out of jail and paid a small fine. Days later, while Candi’s youngest son was visiting his father in east Texas, Child Protective Services contacted the Coopers, revealing that the incident could cost them not only custody of the boy, but also their freedom on felony child endangerment charges,” writes Stephen C. Webster of True Slant, who has been following the case.
On page five of the CPS case report, police level the shocking claim that the Coopers are “unsuitable parents” because they teach their children “the government is out to harm them”.
On page six of the report, police accuse the Coopers of being “aggressive to authority” because they will not allow government employees to enter their house without a court order.
Despite Travis County Deputy District Attorney Dayna Blazey declaring the Coopers to be fit parents, whose children are healthy, happy and “well cared for,” and stating that the kids were not at risk, Williamson County police claim the Coopers allow their children and their friends to use drugs in the house.
Ominously, police also characterize the Coopers educating their children that the drug war is evil as an act of ‘mental abuse’.
“In another completely dumbfounding, ironic entry, Sgt. Gary Haston of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department — the officer whose testimony appears on the original search warrant affidavit — actually claims he observed the children “crying for no reason” as armed officers invaded their home,” writes Webster. [Emphasis added.]
“He also claims that Barry “hates” his father and does not believe in church, as though this information would somehow be relevant to the CPS agents.”
The real reason Barry Cooper, a former police officer and Drug Enforcement Agent, is being targeted undoubtedly relates to his work in catching police engaged in corruption and other criminal activity, specifically relating to the drug war. Cooper is the man behind the hit underground DVD, Never Get Busted Again, which teaches people how to react to police oppression and has appeared on the Alex Jones Show to discuss his work on several occasions.
Cooper dedicated a recent You Tube video featuring him and his wife to their son, in which they discussed the raid and the attempt to seize 7-year-old Zach.
“In my 19 years of experience with criminal defense matters, a search warrant for a misdemeanor charge is certainly unusual,” wrote Minnesota attorney Maury D. Beaulier, who had no prior knowledge of the Coopers’ case. “It indicates to me that this is a targeted investigation. It may be targeted because it is believed to be a part of a greater crime or conspiracy, or, perhaps, because there are political motivations at work.”
The Coopers were unsuccessful in re-obtaining custody of their son at a court appearance on Tuesday. 7-year-old Zachary is currently under the care of his father, who has never previously had custody of the child, and Barry has been barred from any contact with him whatsoever. The Coopers face losing custody of their child entirely.
“I just don’t know what I’ll do if we lose Zach,” Barry said. “That would be the most horrible thing to ever happen to me in my entire life.”
Apparently, police now believe that parents who teach their children not to trust the government, something the founding fathers encouraged, should have their kids seized by the CPS.
This frightening new level of thought police tyranny outstrips anything we witnessed in the darkest days of Nazi Germany of Soviet Russia.
April 13, 2010
New York Times
by Richard Pérez-Peña
From the start, Internet users have taken for granted that the territory was both a free-for-all and a digital disguise, allowing them to revel in their power to address the world while keeping their identities concealed.
A New Yorker cartoon from 1993, during the Web’s infancy, with one mutt saying to another, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” became an emblem of that freedom. For years, it was the magazine’s most reproduced cartoon.
When news sites, after years of hanging back, embraced the idea of allowing readers to post comments, the near-universal assumption was that anyone could weigh in and remain anonymous. But now, that idea is under attack from several directions, and journalists, more than ever, are questioning whether anonymity should be a given on news sites.
The Washington Post plans to revise its comments policy over the next several months, and one of the ideas under consideration is to give greater prominence to commenters using real names.
The New York Times, The Post and many other papers have moved in stages toward requiring that people register before posting comments, providing some information about themselves that is not shown onscreen.
The Huffington Post soon will announce changes, including ranking commenters based in part on how well other readers know and trust their writing.
“Anonymity is just the way things are done. It’s an accepted part of the Internet, but there’s no question that people hide behind anonymity to make vile or controversial comments,” said Arianna Huffington, a founder of The Huffington Post. “I feel that this is almost like an education process. As the rules of the road are changing and the Internet is growing up, the trend is away from anonymity.”
The Plain Dealer of Cleveland recently discovered that anonymous comments on its site, disparaging a local lawyer, were made using the e-mail address of a judge who was presiding over some of that lawyer’s cases.
That kind of proxy has been documented before; what was more unusual was that The Plain Dealer exposed the connection in an article. The judge, Shirley Strickland Saffold, denied sending the messages — her daughter took responsibility for some of them. And last week, the judge sued The Plain Dealer, claiming it had violated her privacy.
The paper acknowledged that it had broken with the tradition of allowing commenters to hide behind screen names, but it served notice that anonymity was a habit, not a guarantee. Susan Goldberg, The Plain Dealer’s editor, declined to comment for this article. But in an interview she gave to her own newspaper, she said that perhaps the paper should not have investigated the identity of the person who posted the comments, “but once we did, I don’t know how you can pretend you don’t know that information.”
Some prominent journalists weighed in on the episode, calling it evidence that news sites should do away with anonymous comments. Leonard Pitts Jr., a Miami Herald columnist, wrote recently that anonymity has made comment streams “havens for a level of crudity, bigotry, meanness and plain nastiness that shocks the tattered remnants of our propriety.”
No one doubts that there is a legitimate value in letting people express opinions that may get them in trouble at work, or may even offend their neighbors, without having to give their names, said William Grueskin, dean of academic affairs at Columbia’s journalism school.
“But a lot of comment boards turn into the equivalent of a barroom brawl, with most of the participants having blood-alcohol levels of 0.10 or higher,” he said. “People who might have something useful to say are less willing to participate in boards where the tomatoes are being thrown.”
He said news organizations were willing to reconsider anonymity in part because comment pages brought in little revenue; advertisers generally do not like to buy space next to opinions, especially incendiary ones.
The debate over anonymity is entwined with the question of giving more weight to comments from some readers than others, based in part on how highly other readers regard them. Some sites already use a version of this approach; Wikipedia users can earn increasing editing rights by gaining the trust of other editors, and when reviews are posted on Amazon.com, those displayed most prominently are those that readers have voted “most helpful” — and they are often written under real names.
Hal Straus, interactivity editor of The Washington Post, said, “We want to be able to establish user tiers, and display variations based on those tiers.” The system is still being planned, but he says it is likely that readers will be asked to rate comments, and that people’s comments will be ranked in part based on the trust those users have earned from other readers — an approach much like the one The Huffington Post is set to adopt. Another criterion could be whether they use their real names.
But experience has shown that when users help rank things online, sites may have to guard against a concerted campaign by a small group of people voting one way and skewing the results.
A popular feature on The Wall Street Journal’s site lets readers decide whether they want to see only those comments posted by subscribers, on the theory that the most dedicated readers might make for a more serious conversation.
A few news organizations, including The Times, have someone review every comment before it goes online, to weed out personal attacks and bigoted comments. Some sites and prominent bloggers, like Andrew Sullivan, simply do not allow comments.
Some news sites review comments after they are posted, but most say they do not have the resources to do routine policing. Many sites allow readers to flag objectionable comments for removal, and make some effort to block comments from people who have repeatedly violated the site’s standards.
If commenters were asked to provide their real names for display online, some would no doubt give false identities, and verifying them would be too labor-intensive to be realistic. But news executives say that merely making the demand for a name and an e-mail address would weed out much of the most offensive commentary.
Several industry executives cited a more fundamental force working in favor of identifying commenters. Through blogging and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, millions of people have grown accustomed to posting their opinions — to say nothing of personal details — with their names attached, for all to see. Adapting the Facebook model, some news sites allow readers to post a picture along with a comment, another step away from anonymity.
“There is a younger generation that doesn’t feel the same need for privacy,” Ms. Huffington said. “Many people, when you give them other choices, they choose not to be anonymous.”
April 13, 2010
by Jon Hood
A lawsuit filed last week accuses Johnson & Johnson of conspiring with pharmaceutical consultant Omnicare in an effort to push J&J drugs on nursing home residents, and violating federal Medicaid laws in the process.
As a result of the scheme, “residents were overcharged for their medications, had additional medications administered and were unlawfully switched to Johnson & Johnson drugs,” all in the name of increasing revenue, according to the lawsuit.
The suit, filed in federal court in California, says Omnicare — which “occupies a ‘dual’ role of a dispensing pharmacy and consulting pharmacy” — gave certain J&J drugs “elevated status as the default drug of choice” for thousands of nursing home patients. J&J allegedly gave Omnicare “performance rebates” — essentially kickbacks — in return for its services. This arrangement was memorialized in a 1997 “Supply Agreement” between the two companies, the suit states.
The agreement provided that the two companies would “meet quarterly to review their joint ‘business plan’ and ‘performance goals,’” and came up with a novel way to deal with the performance-rebates: they would be treated as year-end bonuses.
The drugs allegedly targeted for promotion under the agreement included Floxin, Levaquin, Risperdal, Ultram, Duragesic, Procrit, and Aciphex.
The suit contends that under the agreement, J&J paid to have its drugs labeled as “preferred” — a status that Omnicare purportedly confers on drugs that receive high marks “for their clinical effectiveness in the geriatric community.”
In an effort to distribute as many J&J drugs as possible, Omnicare allegedly encouraged nursing home physicians to use a so-called “Active Intervention Program” to push J&J drugs on seniors. The program “was designed to ‘shift market share’ to Johnson & Johnson from other pharmaceutical manufacturers.”
For patients on antipsychotic drugs, Omnicare’s pharmacists were even given hypothetical “scripted communications [to have] with the prescribing physicians under various scenarios,” intended to convince the physicians that switching to Risperdal — a J&J-manufactured antipsychotic — was in the patient’s best interest.
According to the suit, the companies also came up with a way to get around Medicaid’s “best price law,” a federal statute intended to ensure that Medicaid pays as little as possible for prescription drugs. Under the law, once the discounts and rebates exceeded a certain level, the companies would have been required to pass them along to Medicaid.
Once that threshold was breached, “the Supply Agreement required a retroactive price adjustment” to avoid losing the kickback. The suit also alleges that J&J and Omnicare developed several other complex schemes designed to avoid breaching the best price threshold.
The suit defines two potential classes, one national and one consisting only of California residents. In either event, the class would consist of nursing home residents who received drugs or services from Omnicare, and who paid for and received one or more of an enumerated list of drugs.
The class period stretches from April 1, 1997 to the present. If an eligible class member has passed away, his or her estate would be eligible for inclusion in the class.
April 13, 2010
by David Kravets
A litigant in a civil lawsuit asked an appeals court Wednesday to overturn his 30-day contempt sentence for urging people to send e-mail to a federal judge.
Lots of e-mail.
The brouhaha began in February, when TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau urged his radio and web followers to deluge U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman with e-mail so he would side with him in a civil lawsuit pending before the Chicago judge.
The judge’s inbox was flooded with hundreds of messages, and his Blackberry froze up. He promptly found Trudeau in contempt of court and sentenced him to jail.
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the sentence, pending a decision on appeal. A three-judge panel of the circuit court heard oral arguments in the case Wednesday, focusing on whether contempt of court can occur in a court’s “virtual presence” — meaning outside of the courthouse. A decision could come anytime in the case, which tests the reach of judicial authority in the digital age (.pdf).
Gary Feinerman, the judge’s attorney, told the appellate court that computers are part and parcel to a judge’s courtroom.
“The court, at that point, was under attack,” Feinerman argued, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. He said U.S. Marshals are examining the messages to see if any are threatening.
Kimball Anderson, Trudeau’s lawyer, argued his client could only be sanctioned for courtroom behavior, and only if it affects the “administration of justice,” the paper reported.
April 13, 2010
by John Leyden
Controversial alternative medicine advocate Kevin Trudeau is fighting to stay out of jail after encouraging his supporters to spam a judge.
Trudeau is embroiled in a long-running legal argument with US consumer watchdog the Federal Trade Commission over disputed claims the drugs and treatments that Trudeau pushes offer relief for everything from hair loss to obesity. The FTC launched an ongoing action in 2007 arguing that Trudeau is in violation of a 2004 order banning him from making misleading informercials.
In February Trudeau encouraged his supporters to send Judge Robert W Gettleman, who was overseeing the case, with email in support of his position.
Judge Gettleman was swamped with spam email as a result, some of which were taken as potentially threatening. Trudeau responded by withdrawing the misguided advice and apologising. This apology cut little ice with the judge, who held that Trudeau had acted in contempt of court and sentenced him to 30 days behind bars and a fine.
An appeal court hearing in Illinois last week heard arguments about whether criminal contempt of court can occur outside of the court’s physical boundaries and whether summary judgement could be imposed in the case. Audio recording can be found in a blog entry on Trudeau’s site here.
April 13, 2010
By: Steve Watson
A confidential U.S. government document obtained by the London Guardian highlights the ongoing agenda to create a structure of global governance in the name of combating climate change.
“Titled Strategic communications objectives and dated 11 March 2010, it outlines the key messages that the Obama administration wants to convey to its critics and to the world media in the run-up to the vital UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico in November.” The Guardian reports.
The newspaper says that the document (full text below) was “accidentally left on a European hotel computer” before it was passed to their editors.
The number one item on the itinerary is to “Reinforce the perception that the US is constructively engaged in UN negotiations in an effort to produce a global regime to combat climate change.” (my emphasis)
The news comes on the back of revelations that rich countries have threatened to cut vital aid to developing nations if they do not back the deal agreed at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen last year.
Elsewhere, the leaked document pinpoints the need to continue “driving the climate change story” in the mainstream media, but also identifies the need to “disarm” critics and to bypass traditional media outlets to do so, focusing more on “new media”.
The document also highlights a need to “Create a clear understanding of the CA’s [Copenhagen accord's] standing and the importance of operationalising ALL elements.”
Although the final Copenhagen agreement was largely dismissed as a failure by both the mainstream media and climate skeptics, it established the framework for a global government which will control climate finances via taxes on CO2 emissions.
The latest leaked U.S. document calls for operationalising the elements of that framework.
The final text of the accord (PDF) states that funds obtained from climate financing will be controlled by a “governance structure,” and that a “High Level Panel” will be appointed to decide where the money will come from. In effect, this means that a UN-controlled structure of global governance will override the sovereignty of nation states in collecting and doling out funds obtained under the justification of climate change.
The agreement also gives the green light for carbon trading markets, which as we have documented are all owned by climate kingpins like Maurice Strong and Al Gore, to be more heavily financed and expanded.
Leaked U.S. Document Calls For Global Regime To Tackle Climate Change.
Leaked UN documents uncovered in February also highlighted the need to establish a global governance structure in the name of combating climate change by 2012.
“Moving towards a green economy would also provide an opportunity to re-examine national and global governance structures and consider whether such structures allow the international community to respond to current and future environmental and development challenges and to capitalize on emerging opportunities,” the leaked white paper stated.
April 13, 2010
By: Jeremy Kressmann
Our country’s national parks and forests are intended as sanctuaries, zones of peace and quiet where visitors can get away from the give and take of modern life. But don’t expect to have it all to yourself: these days you might be joined by hidden cameras, placed by the U.S. Forest Service. Don’t break out the tinfoil hat just yet; this “conspiracy theory” may have some truth to it. According to a South Carolina newspaper, the agency has been placing hidden cameras in forest areas for some time.
Visitor Herman Jacob was camping and looking for firewood in South Carolina’s Francis Marion National Forest last month when he stumbled across a wire. The wire took him to a video camera and a remote antenna sitting in the middle of the woods. Perplexed, Jacob took the camera home with him and contacted the local police, who explained it had been set up to monitor “illicit activities” and demanded its return. Further investigation by the Island Packet, the newspaper that researched the story, confirmed that the Forest Service has used the cameras as a tool of law enforcement for “numerous years.” A Forest Service spokesperson quoted in the article indicated that images taken of those not targeted by an investigation are not kept.
In light of the fact drug cartels have been growing marijuana on federal land for some time, this type of surveillance makes more sense. And, legally, the cameras are on public land – surveillance is permissible. But is a policy that allows this type of monitoring, particularly in a quiet forest, a violation of our trust? Or is it a necessary evil, preventing misuse of public land? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.
April 13, 2010
The Wall Street Journal
By: Henry J. Pulizzi
Warning that the risk of a nuclear attack has grown since the end of the Cold War, U.S. President Barack Obama called on world leaders to take action to make sure nuclear materials are kept under lock and key.
“Today is an opportunity — not simply to talk, but to act,” Mr. Obama said in remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday at the start …