February 22nd, 2011
By: Lee Spiegel
Tell people you’ve seen a UFO, and you might get written off as a nut — and indeed, there are nuts out there.
But even in the last few years, there have been UFO sightings that can’t easily be explained away, along with testimony from highly credible witnesses.
At the 20th annual International UFO Congress, or IUFOC, nearly 30 speakers will travel from around the world to Scottsdale, Ariz., on Wednesday for a five-day conference with topics including alien technology, government cover-ups, black projects, crop circles and ultimate disclosure of extraterrestrial visits to Earth.
“This year is pretty exciting because we have a very credible lineup — we’re really bringing a strong ex-military presence. We have six retired military personnel, three of whom were officers,” said Alejandro Rojas of Open Minds Production, which is hosting the event.
“It’s one thing to hear about here and there where the media will focus on certain stories, but to have all of these people together in one spot, I think, can be very moving and very eye-opening,” Rojas told AOL News. “Especially when you see an abundance of people who are very credible and willing to talk openly about their beliefs that we’re being visited by extraterrestrials.”
The list of IUFOC speakers reads like a Who’s Who of all things otherworldly. It includes Paul Hellyer, former Canadian minister of national defense; retired U.S. Army Col. John Alexander, a UFO myth and reality insider; Linda Moulton Howe, an Emmy Award-winning TV producer and investigative reporter; nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman; best-selling cover-up and conspiracy author Jim Marrs; award-winning space and missile defense consultant Carol Rosin; and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Charles Halt, the highest ranking U.S. military officer speaking about his personal, dramatic UFO experiences while in the military.
Also on hand at the event will be Nick Pope, author of “Open Skies, Closed Minds” (Dell), who was, essentially, Britain’s real-life Fox (“X-Files”) Mulder when he headed up the British government’s UFO project at the Ministry of Defense, or MoD.
Pope’s analysis of UFOs and his access to classified government files on the subject eventually convinced him that while some unidentified flying objects represented a real mystery, they didn’t seem to threaten Britain’s national security.
“I was charged to investigate every UFO sighting reported to the ministry and to assess whether there was evidence of anything of any defense significance. Was there a threat or was there anything else of any more general defense interest?” Pope told AOL News.
“For example, if any of these sightings could have told us anything interesting about aerodynamics and propulsion systems, irrespective of what these things are, whether we detected any threat or not, that might have been interesting from a technological perspective.”
During Pope’s 21-year career at the Defense Ministry, he wore different hats, serving in a number of positions. In 1991, when he began his three-year stint in charge of the UFO division, he was initially skeptical about it all.
“The MoD’s position was: We don’t know what these things are, we don’t believe that they’re of any defense significance [because in the decades that they'd been investigating this, there'd been no evidence of any hostile intent], but the Ministry of Defense said it remained open-minded about the possibilities of extraterrestrial life. In other words, the department really wasn’t taking a view one way or the other.”
December 16th, 2010
By: Val Willingham
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee said Wednesday that the agency should look at updated data on mercury amalgam dental fillings that may indicate possible medical problems for patients.
The panel — after hearing two days of testimony from experts, members of the public and dental professionals — recommended the FDA look at information updated since the agency ruled in 2009 that the mercury in dental fillings is not harmful.
Committee members noted, however, that the FDA’s decision was solid, based on information available at the time. The committee also stressed that more studies need to be done on amalgam fillings, especially in children.
Public pressure prompted the panel’s review, initiated less than 18 months after the agency’s decision.
Committee members listened to testimony by consumer and dental groups claiming the FDA used flawed science when it set the current guidelines for mercury safety levels.
“We need to see where the science is and if there are gaps.” said the panel’s chairwoman, Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat, a dentist and researcher with the University of Pennsylvania.
In its final rule, the FDA concluded clinical studies did not establish a causal link between dental amalgam and health problems in people age 6 and older. But it did add that developing fetuses and young children may be more sensitive to the neurotoxin.
Amalgam tooth fillings are an alloy made up of various metals and 50 percent mercury,
Mercury toxicity has been well documented, but when it comes to amalgam fillings there isn’t a lot of data. Many dentists favor these fillings because they are cheap, easy to put in place and durable.
Dental professionals also argue that mercury fillings last longer than resin composites, and are easier on the tooth. The American Dental Association agrees with the FDA that amalgam fillings are safe.
Yet, some experts say mercury from these fillings penetrates into the body and damages human cells, especially in the brain, bones and kidneys. How much damage it is unknown, which is why the advisory committee is revisiting the issue.
In Wednesday’s public hearing, 30 people testified for and against the use of amalgam fillings.
Jessica Kerger, an attorney from Toledo, Ohio, said she was a healthy child until she started getting amalgam fillings. As she got older, she faced numerous health problems and a variety of diagnoses. She even had her amalgam fillings removed. It wasn’t until a doctor tested her for mercury poisoning that she realized her problem, she said.
Now, after being treated for excess mercury in her body, Kerger said, “I’m an active mother, attorney and I have a black belt in karate. I blame my fillings and I am begging the FDA to get rid of them.”
While others testified that mercury in their fillings caused such health problems as loss of memory, impaired vision, miscarriages and paralysis, many dental professionals asked that amalgam fillings remain.
Addressing the board, Dr. Vincent Mayher, a former president of the Academy of General Dentistry, said public accusations that dentists force patients to receive amalgam fillings is exaggerated.
“It’s Inflammatory. No dentist I know of forces a patient at any time to get amalgam fillings these days, especially pregnant women and little children.” Mayher testified
Andrew Read Fuller, a dental student at UCLA and member of the American Student Dental Association, noted there is no scientific data that amalgam fillings cause the problems some attribute to them, and said that, as a future dentist, he would use amalgam fillings on any of his patients as well as himself.
“In the absence of new evidence there is no reason to question the FDA’s decision.” Fuller said.
Yet some dentists did say they would avoid using amalgam fillings because of numerous public reports of mercury poisoning.
“I always wondered why we were told by the (American Dental Association) to be careful when disposing of mercury. If it’s so dangerous to the environment, why not my patients?” asked Dr. Stephen Markus, a dentist in the Philadelphia area.
The committee also recommended that the FDA come up with models that could be used to look at the effects of mercury vapor exposure from dental fillings. And when designing these models, it said, the agency should take into consideration age, health history and physical makeup of individuals.
There was also discussion that more data needs to be looked at to come up with stronger models, especially those based on younger children and unborn fetuses.
More information on amalgam fillings should be posted for both for patients and dentists, the committee said.
It also noted the FDA’s biomarker using urine to detect mercury exposure is not perfect but is the best available for adults. Members also noted that more updated data is needed before the agency can make stronger guidelines on amalgam fillings.
Although the committee’s recommendations will go to the FDA board for consideration, the board does not have to follow them. Traditionally, however, it does.
June 3, 2010
By Rick Pearson
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s federal corruption trial will feature prosecutors feeding voters a steady reminder of the worst elements of Illinois’ political culture — allegations that money, insider influence and personal interest drive public policy in this state.
From charges of trying to shake down a children’s hospital for campaign cash to trying to peddle President Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat for profit, the case will once again put Illinois politics on trial.
For Democrats, the trial represents a long-feared day of reckoning after 18 months of a Blagojevich-fueled circus. The challenge is to weather months of testimony involving pay-to-play charges as the party tries to maintain its control of state government, led by Gov. Pat Quinn, who replaced Blagojevich as governor after twice serving as his running mate.
“It’s not a plus. It’s not a plus,” acknowledged House Speaker Michael Madigan, the veteran Southwest Side lawmaker who is chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party.
May 6, 2010
Well, the man in America that’s most hated by its government, Kevin Trudeau, is facing criminal charges again, but for what?
For those of you who don’t know Mr. Trudeau, he’s one of the most successful authors, natural living advocates, and consumer reporters in the nation, writing several NY Times bestsellers and now having his own radio show.
However, he recently won an appeal that reversed a $37 million judgment against him, and he’s been virtually unscathed since the bogus charges of fraud and larceny were brought against him, which he pled guilty to under duress and because he knew the government had framed him so well there’s no way the jury would let him walk.
He’s recently been charged with criminal contempt, after doing nothing more than asking for support and testimonials defending his weight loss cure, which so many people have used successfully. The judge tried to cite him for being dishonest because Trudeau said in his book that the system was easy. Of course, something being easy is a matter of opinion, not objective fact, so how can you do that anyway?
So, back to the $37 million judgment he appealed and got reversed. An activist judge has reinstated the fine and is attempting to turn the case into a criminal one. In reality, Kevin Trudeau has done nothing wrong. Well, I guess in the government’s eyes he has: he’s exposed their corruption.
Whether you agree with what Kevin Trudeau says or not, whether you like the guy or hate him (I personally love him to death), free speech is a constitutional right. He has every right to bad-mouth the government and the pharmaceutical companies all he wants. He has the right to call it like he sees it and point out the corruption in the system. He has the right to say all of what he does.
Kevin Trudeau is guilty of nothing more than exercising his right to free speech. Of course, with the extreme leftist liberal government, you’re wrong unless you agree with them, so it would only make sense that they’re trying to silence Kevin. You don’t have to like Kevin to support his right to free speech. Nonetheless, this is evidence that nobody has the right to criticize the government anymore.
February 18th, 2010
By Declan McCallugh
When Christian Taylor stopped by the Sprint store in Daly City, Calif., last November, he was planning to buy around 30 BlackBerry handhelds.
But a Sprint employee on the lookout for fraud grew suspicious about the address and other details relating to Taylor’s company, “Hype Univercity,” and called the police. Taylor was arrested on charges of felony identity fraud , his car was impounded, and his iPhone was confiscated and searched by police without a warrant.
A San Mateo County judge is scheduled to hear testimony on Thursday morning in this case, which could set new ground rules for when police can conduct warrantless searches of iPhones, laptops, and similarly capacious electronic gadgets.
This is an important legal question that remains unresolved: as our gadgets store more and more information about us, including our appointments, correspondence, and personal photos and videos, what rules should police investigators be required to follow? The Obama administration and many local prosecutors’ answer is that warrantless searches are perfectly constitutional during arrests.
“There are very, very few cases involving smartphones,” Chris Feasel, deputy district attorney for San Mateo County, said in an interview on Wednesday. “The law has not necessarily caught up to the technology.”
Feasel said the county’s position is that a search of a handheld device that takes place soon after an arrest is lawful. “It’s an interesting issue that may decide the future of how courts handle these kinds of cases, especially smartphones and iPhones,” he said.
Attorneys for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the San Francisco civil liberties group that’s representing Taylor, have asked the court to suppress any evidence obtained from the search of his iPhone. They say the search was “unconstitutional” because it was done without a warrant–and they say it also may have violated a 1986 federal law designed to protect the privacy of e-mail messages.
Privacy advocates say that long-standing legal rules allowing police to search suspects during an arrest–including looking through their wallets and pockets–should not apply to smartphones because the amount of material they store is so much greater and the risks of intrusive searches are so much higher. A 32GB iPhone 3GS, for instance, can hold approximately 220,000 copies of the unabridged text of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
“Neither the search of (Taylor’s) vehicle nor the search of his iPhone was justified by any exception to the warrant requirement,” the EFF and its co-counsel, San Francisco attorney Randall Garteiser wrote in a brief filed earlier this month.
Sex photos drew federal lawsuit
Concerns about privacy are not merely hypothetical. In March 2008, Nathan Newhard was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in Culpeper, Va., and his cell phone was seized. In the pictures folder of the cell phone were multiple pictures of Newhard and his then-girlfriend, Jessie Casella, nude in sexually compromising positions.
Newhard and Casella–at that point no longer a couple–filed separate civil rights lawsuits against Sgt. Matt Borders, who they said alerted the rest of the police department on the radio “that the private pictures were available for their viewing and enjoyment.” Newhard claimed that, as a result of the incident, he was nonrecommended for continued employment with the Culpeper school system, where he had worked before the arrest.
A federal judge in Virginia last year agreed that the police conduct was “irresponsible, unprofessional, and reprehensible” but said that Culpeper police officers could not be held legally responsible because they did not violate any clearly established constitutional rights. In addition, the court pointed out, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that “officers may retrieve text messages and other information from cell phones and pagers seized incident to an arrest” to preserve evidence.
The problem for EFF and its co-counsel in the San Mateo County case is that, while the U.S. Supreme Court has not taken up the issue, a number of other courts have reached similar conclusions. In 2007, the Fifth Circuit concluded that police were permitted to conduct a warrantless search for call records and text messages during an arrest. So did the Seventh Circuit in a 1996 case dealing with information from numeric pagers (“It is imperative that law enforcement officers have the authority to immediately ‘search’ or retrieve, incident to a valid arrest, information from a pager in order to prevent its destruction as evidence.”)