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Scientists Confirm that Dispersants Are Increasing Contamination in the Gulf

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

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I have repeatedly documented the detrimental impacts of dispersants on humans, wildlife and seafood safety. See this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

As I noted in September, scientists from Oregon State University found elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Gulf, and blamed dispersants.

Now, the website of the prestigious Journal Nature is also reporting on the increase of PAH contamination due to the use of dispersants in the Gulf:

Peter Hodson, an aquatic toxicologist from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, presented his case on 9 November at a meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry in Portland, Oregon…

The problem, explains Hodson, is that the dispersed cloud of microscopic oil droplets allows the PAHs to contaminate a volume of water 100–1,000 times greater than if the oil were confined to a floating surface slick. This hugely increases the exposure of wildlife to the dispersed oil. …

Worse, the toxic constituents of oil hang around longer than other components, another speaker told the meeting. “This idea that there’s an oil biodegradation rate doesn’t hold,” says Ronald Atlas, a microbiologist at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, who has studied the aftermath of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. Alkanes, the simple hydrocarbons that comprise the bulk of oil, are degraded more readily than the PAHs, he points out.

As the Press Register notes:

“These chemicals, these are PAHs that are carcinogenic. … These items are not in any way appropriate for anyone to eat,” said Ed Cake, an environmental consultant from Ocean Springs. “There’s no low-dose level that’s acceptable to eat.”…

[William Sawyer], the [veteran] Florida toxicologist, said the government tests do not look for total petroleum hydrocarbons in the seafood. He said his tests of Gulf shrimp have shown unsafe levels of the compounds, which can cause liver or kidney damage in a matter of weeks.

And see this:

Raw Story reports:

Dr. William Sawyer… said… “We found not only petroleum in the digestive tracts [of shrimp], but also in the edible portions of fish.

“We’ve collected shrimp, oysters and finned fish on their way to marketplace — we tested a good number of seafood samples and in 100 percent we found petroleum.”

The FDA says up to 100-PPM of oil and dispersant residue is safe to consume in finned fish, and 500-PPM is allowed for shellfish.

Dr. Sawyer, who has long been a vocal critic of these rules, called the government’s tests “little more than a farce.”

Maine Public Radio points out:

“We’re more concerned about the dispersant and the dispersant mixed with oil–the dispersed oil, if you will–than we are about the crude oil itself.”

Tests conducted in recent months by [University of Southern Maine Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health director John] Wise’s lab, using human cell lines, show that dispersants cause cell death and DNA damage, which has been linked to cancer and reproductive problems.

WFTV Orlando reports:

Brand new laboratory test results just in Monday morning are showing troubling problems with gulf seafood… the results are raising a lot of red flags.

WFTV put gulf shrimp to the test by ordering raw shrimp over the Internet and shipping it to a private lab. …

Scientists found elevated levels of Anthracene, a toxic hydrocarbon and a by-product of petroleum. The Anthracene levels were double what the FDA finds to be acceptable.

The scientist who tested the shrimp said she would not eat it based on the results…

I’ve also previously reported that dispersants were used long after BP and the government said they had stopped using them in July. Now, Cherri Foytlin and Denise Rednour claim to have pictures of 176 empty containers of ‘discontinued’ COREXIT 9527A found… With a ship date of August 10th. And the president of a county seafood workers’ association claims that dispersant is still being applied.

In related news:

* Louisiana allegedly has more oiled shoreline now than in July

* A Gulf resident’s November blood test shows ethylbenzene levels higher than cleanup workers tested in August

* An NSF-funded workgroup notes: “Storms are likely to resurrect the oil that is currently hidden from sight” — “Much oil persists” nearshore

* A Florida State University professor says the oil is still there: “most of that Deepwater Horizon oil — as much as 70 percent to 79 percent of it —sank to the ocean floor, where it remains, sucking up oxygen and inhibiting life.

* A University of Florida scientist says “clear evidence that much of the oil is still below the surface in subsurface plumes”

* At an international conference of experts, almost no one had great confidence in the safety of Gulf seafood

* Alabama shrimpers find catch “coated in oil” at area open for fishing — Boat to be decontaminated

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Categories: Environment

Did the universe exist before the Big Bang?

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment


Big News Network.com (IANS)     Tuesday 30th November, 2010

Scientists may have uncovered evidence that the universe existed before the Big Bang.

Concentric circles discovered in cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) – the after-effects of the Big Bang – display evidence of events that took place before most scientists believe the universe came into being.

The controversial finding points to the existence of a universe that did not begin 13.7 billion years ago, as is generally accepted, but is instead a cycle of so-called aeons.

The discovery has been posted online by Professor Roger Penrose from Oxford University and Professor Vahe Gurzadyan from Yerevan State University, Armenia, the Daily Mail reports.

Most scientists believe the universe was created in the Big Bang around 13.7 billion years ago. Stars and galaxies started to form around 300 million years later.

Our sun was born around five billion years ago, while life first appeared on the earth around 3.7 billion years ago. The CMB dates to 300,000 years after the Big Bang and has now cooled to around -270 degrees Celsius.

But Penrose and Gurzadyan argue that evidence unearthed by NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotophy Probe in the CMB shows imprints in the radiation that are older than the Big Bang.

They say they have discovered 12 examples of concentric circles, some of which have five rings, meaning the same object has had five massive events in its history.

They believe the circles are imprints of extremely violent gravitational radiation waves generated by supermassive black hole collisions in a previous aeon before the last big bang.

Penrose believes that his new theory means that black holes will eventually consume all the matter in the universe.

 

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Categories: Science

They Did It: Senate Approves 73-25 S.510 Food Bill !

November 30, 2010 1 comment

“Destroying the New World Order”
 


They Did It: Senate Approves 73-25 S.510 Food Bill !

Next step is a vote in the house -Will we the people allow this?
SAY NO TODAY!

Self sufficiency will be key to your families survival in the days ahead.

Please join, and participate in these groups!

Survival & Health Groups on 12160

and stay up to date on the food and health tyranny news here

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related and pressing!

S.510, Food Control (aka, People Control) for Dummies

End of Free Internet: US Senate Committee Approves Internet “Blacklist” Bill

Categories: Health

Vote Rigging Allegations Mar Haiti Election

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

In Haiti, Sunday’s presidential election was marred by widespread reports of voting fraud and chaos. Twelve of Haiti’s 19 presidential candidates have called for peaceful protests against what they described as “massive fraud.” The candidates accused Haitian President Rene Preval of trying to steal the election and install his chosen candidate, Jude Celestin. The election was Haiti’s first since January’s devastating earthquake and the recent cholera outbreak. Anne Marie Josette Bijou is among the presidential candidates calling for a new election.

Anne Marie Josette Bijou: “We, the candidates to the presidency of the Republic of Haiti, before the Haitian people and the international committee, want to denounce all of the fraud that has been going on all over the country. We have a system in which we have detected fraud. We suggest the suspension of the electoral process.”

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Categories: Haiti

Possible Blood Found in Home of Missing Teen Mom`s Friend, JACOB BUMPASS

November 30, 2010 Leave a comment

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight, live, Cincinnati suburbs. A beautiful 17-year-old girl, popular, outgoing, heads to the sister`s home just 10 miles away and vanishes without a trace. Bombshell tonight. Reports blood evidence found in a kitchen sink and traces of blood discovered on latex gloves. This as a series of cell phone pings torpedoes the police timeline, tonight leading to a massive search of Ohio`s East Fort State Park, a 10,000-acre park. Tonight, what happened to 17-year-old Paige Johnson?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Details emerge in the disappearance of 17-year-old missing mom Paige Johnson.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She wouldn`t want to just leave.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not like her.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seventeen-year-old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seventeen-year-old.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mom Paige Johnson is missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Missing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Missing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last seen September 23rd. Investigators are now focusing their search efforts at a nearby park after cell phone records show the last person to see Paige Johnson was in that area the night the teen was last seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The man at the center of the investigation tells investigators one thing, but his phone and these cell towers tell something very different.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After determining the cell phone records didn`t match his story, investigators conducted a search warrant on the home of that friend, Jacob Bumpass, where they found what appeared to be blood and latex gloves in the kitchen sink.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These court records shed doubt about the story Bumpass gave police. He was arrested for a parole violation, and when police searched his home, they found what appeared to be human blood on clothing and other objects.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bumpass has since lawyered up and is allegedly refusing to cooperate with the investigation. He is currently behind bars on an unrelated parole violation.

More on Jacob Bumpass
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Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. LOOKING FOR A FIGHT

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

By Bruce K. Gagnon (about the author)
opednews.com


The Advent vigils (four weeks in a row) began yesterday at Bath Iron Works (BIW) here in Maine. BIW is the place where Navy Aegis destroyers are built that are presently being used as part of the U.S.-South Korea (ROK) war games which are bumping up against the coastline of North Korea. I noticed that the USS Cowpens is a part of this U.S. naval battle group that is being led toward North Korea by the aircraft carrier named the USS George Washington.
 
I know about the USS Cowpens because it was the ship that fired the first shot (cruise missiles) in the 2003 U.S. shock and awe attack on Iraq. I know this because the woman who was driving the USS Cowpens at that historic moment has become a friend of our family and was at our home for Thanksgiving just three days ago.
 
This young woman was a Lieutenant in the Navy and was the Officer of the Deck at the time of the Cowpens attack on Iraq. She has since gotten out of the Navy and is now a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). She has not yet gotten over the pain of her role in that unprovoked, immoral, and illegal attack on Iraq.
 
North Korea knows all about the U.S. proclivity to attack smaller countries for no good reason. In years past the world has watched the U.S. beat up on Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Granada, Panama, Libya, Somalia, Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. North Korea must wonder if their day is coming soon as well.
 
As I noted in other recent blogs on this subject, the U.S. and South Korea have been running aggressive military war games each month since last July and these massive drills are directed right at North Korea. North Korea must each time put their military and their population on alert because they can’t take any chances. Having seen the U.S. record of attacking weaker countries they must consider that this time the war games could be for real.
 
As I stood on the sidewalk in front of BIW for the hour-long vigil today I held a sign with a picture of a train painted on it by one of our local artist friends. The sign read “Built in Bath”. Some of the passing Saturday early-shift workers got the message and smiled as they drove home. The truth is that a number of those working inside BIW know that their “product” is a first-strike attack military machine. They’d rather be building rail systems or wind turbines.

 

But we make weapons and we make war in America today and military production is one of the few jobs around in our declining economy. It’s like those who worked in the death camps for Hitler’s Army during WW II. It was a job and they wanted to believe that their country was right – Germany uber alles. In America we say – USA, USA, #1!

 

The U.S. is outfitting these Navy Aegis destroyers with “missile defense” systems and activists in South Korea and Japan clearly understand the role of these warships in U.S. military strategy. The U.S. intends to use these MD systems to pick-off retaliatory strikes after a Pentagon first-strike attack on North Korea or China. The U.S. is doubling its military presence in the Asian-Pacific region for a clear reason.

 

Like any bully, the U.S. military is poking a sharp stick at North Korea (and China) and basically daring them to fight back. The U.S. (and their junior partners in South Korea and Japan) are out to militarize the region and are just itching for a military response that would then “justify” an overwhelming response.

 
The U.S. weapons corporations love this game of hardball, or as it used to be called, gunboat diplomacy. The power tripping U.S. government intends to keep pushing North Korea into a corner and will keep pissing on them until they get another response. At the rate things are now going it likely won’t take long.
 
The key factor in all of this is China. How long will China allow the U.S. to keep pouring gasoline on the hot fire in the Asian-Pacific? They hold our debt yet know that if they cut the U.S. loose then the entire global economy will suffer even more. But China is quickly getting fed up with U.S. military bravado in their back yard.
 
China must support North Korea because if that country is toppled then the U.S. would put military bases right on China’s border. This was an important reason for the Korean War in the first place, the U.S. wanted to take control of the entire Korean peninsula and thus have bases right alongside Russia and China.
 
If the American people knew half of what was going on in their name they’d be freaking out but due to corporate control of the media, and generations of government brainwashing, most of our citizens are in the dark. Virtually all they know about any of what is going on right now in Korea is what they are told by the same people who are stirring the boiling pot of war.
 
Sadly most Americans have to learn the hard way. Hopefully it won’t take a shooting war with China to wake the public up from their deep sleep.
 

Bruce Gagnon is the Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

 

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Categories: Uncategorized

A Woman. A Prostitute. A Slave.

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

Op-Ed Contributor

Americans tend to associate “modern slavery” with illiterate girls in India or Cambodia. Yet there I was the other day, interviewing a college graduate who says she spent three years terrorized by pimps in a brothel in Midtown Manhattan.

Damon Winter/The New York Times

Nicholas D. Kristof

On the Ground

Nicholas Kristof addresses reader feedback and posts short takes from his travels.

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Those who think that commercial sex in this country is invariably voluntary — and especially men who pay for sex — should listen to her story. The men buying her services all mistakenly assumed that she was working of her own volition, she says.

Yumi Li (a nickname) grew up in a Korean area of northeastern China. After university, she became an accountant, but, restless and ambitious, she yearned to go abroad.

So she accepted an offer from a female jobs agent to be smuggled to New York and take up a job using her accounting skills and paying $5,000 a month. Yumi’s relatives had to sign documents pledging their homes as collateral if she did not pay back the $50,000 smugglers’ fee from her earnings.

Yumi set off for America with a fake South Korean passport. On arrival in New York, however, Yumi was ordered to work in a brothel.

“When they first mentioned prostitution, I thought I would go crazy,” Yumi told me. “I was thinking, ‘how can this happen to someone like me who is college-educated?’ ” Her voice trailed off, and she added: “I wanted to die.”

She says that the four men who ran the smuggling operation — all Chinese or South Koreans — took her into their office on 36th Street in Midtown Manhattan. They beat her with their fists (but did not hit her in the face, for that might damage her commercial value), gang-raped her and videotaped her naked in humiliating poses. For extra intimidation, they held a gun to her head.

If she continued to resist working as a prostitute, she says they told her, the video would be sent to her relatives and acquaintances back home. Relatives would be told that Yumi was a prostitute, and several of them would lose their homes as well.

Yumi caved. For the next three years, she says, she was one of about 20 Asian prostitutes working out of the office on 36th Street. Some of them worked voluntarily, she says, but others were forced and received no share in the money.

Yumi played her role robotically. On one occasion, Yumi was arrested for prostitution, and she says the police asked her if she had been trafficked.

“I said no,” she recalled. “I was really afraid that if I hinted that I was a victim, the gang would send the video to my family.”

Then one day Yumi’s closest friend in the brothel was handcuffed by a customer, abused and strangled almost to death. Yumi rescued her and took her to the hospital. She said that in her rage, she then confronted the pimps and threatened to go public.

At that point, the gang hurriedly moved offices and changed phone numbers. The pimps never mailed the video or claimed the homes in China; those may have been bluffs all along. As for Yumi and her friend, they found help with Restore NYC, a nonprofit that helps human trafficking victims in the city.

I can’t be sure of elements of Yumi’s story, but it mostly rings true to me and to the social workers who have worked with her. There’s no doubt that while some women come to the United States voluntarily to seek their fortunes in the sex trade, many others are coerced — and still others start out forced but eventually continue voluntarily. And it’s not just foreign women. The worst cases of forced prostitution, especially of children, often involve home-grown teenage runaways.

No one has a clear idea of the scale of the problem, and estimates vary hugely. Some think the problem is getting worse; others believe that Internet services reduce the role of pimps and lead to commercial sex that is more consensual. What is clear is that forced prostitution should be a national scandal. Just this month, authorities indicted 29 people, mostly people of Somali origin from the Minneapolis area, on charges of running a human trafficking ring that allegedly sold many girls into prostitution — one at the age of 12.

There are no silver bullets, but the critical step is for the police and prosecutors to focus more on customers (to reduce demand) and, above all, on pimps. Prostitutes tend to be arrested because they are easy to catch, while pimping is a far harder crime to prosecute. That’s one reason thugs become pimps: It’s hugely profitable and carries less risk than selling drugs or stealing cars. But that can change as state and federal authorities target traffickers rather than their victims.

Nearly 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, it’s time to wipe out the remnants of slavery in this country.

I invite you to visit my blog, On the Ground. Please also join me on Facebook, watch my YouTube videos and follow me on Twitter.

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Categories: Business/Markets, US News