Posts filed under ‘United States’

Dirty little secrets

I recently read an article that carried comments from Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, that frankly I thought were pretty dismissive towards those who are concerned about online privacy. He said: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place“. Mmmm…and this is from the man who whacked CNet over the head and banned them for a year after the site published information about him it had discovered on ahem, Google. (This is a bit like Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, being caught by Facebook’s new privacy settings. Candid shots of him were splashed over the Internet before he locked his profile to allowing access to “friends of friends”. My personal favourite shot is the teddy bear one).

BTW: be aware that the new privacy settings on Facebook mean that the default settings make most of your content accessible to “everyone” (ie the whole planet, the whole universe, EVERYONE).  All your personal information – your name, profile picture, where you live, gender, networks and friends, and the pages that you are a fan of – will be treated as publicly available information. You want that? If so, good luck.

You have to wonder why Zuckerberg suddenly locked down all his personal stuff. Gawker quipped: “Facebook’s own chief executive is illustrating that his privacy settings are so baffling that even he himself doesn’t grasp their full implications“. LOL.

But back to Schmidt. His comment is a bit like saying “you got dirty little secrets? then don’t use any Google applications, because search engines, including Google, retain your info”. So the really important question is: should you choose to use Google Docs or other Google apps that require you to use your Google sign-on, to what extent are you subject to the US Patriot Act? If you’re living in Australia, or Holland, or Canada or South Africa – are you subject to this Act? I started wondering about this when I read Schmidt’s comments and when Facebook tinkered around with its privacy settings yet again. So let’s find out.

Well, there is one glaring case study we can examine. Canada’s LakeHead University decided to replace its ageing infrastructure by adopting Google email and collaboration tools. Good idea you’d think because it saved the Uni hundreds of thousands of dollars. But it meant that emails and documents sent by email to the US from Canadian university staff became subject to the US Patriot Act, which basically gives the US Government the right to access or search virtually any data hosted by US companies (and this of course includes Google, a company based in Mountain View, California). And the U.S. Justice Department can subpoena search records. This is all at odds with Canada’s very strict privacy laws.

Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows the US FBI to issue a national security letter, which compels a third-party, such as ISPs, financial institutions and telecommunications firms, to disclose customer information. And Section 215 includes a “gag order”, meaning the third-party cannot reveal to any other party that it has been served with a national security letter. So if a Canadian company is a subsidiary of a US company and the US parent is whacked with the national security letter, any information held in subsidiary locations would have to be coughed up. No warrant is required. (This is my understanding from reading Section 215). This would apply I presume to firms based in Australia with a US parent. Think of it this way: information crossing the US border in a fiber-optic cable is treated the same way as papers carried in a briefcase. Canada has done a huge amount of work in sorting out the implications of trans-border data flows. Go here for FAQs on the Patriot Act.

And I think the US Patriot Act has tremendous impact on cloud security. So if cloud service providers have data centres in the US, the information is in danger of being exposed. Should you choose to store your personal data in the cloud (business records and sensitive corporate documents, emails etc) then I think you will have inadequate legal protection over your own data.

This prompted me to find out where the heck Google data centres are located and I came across the map below. Also read this Data Center Knowledge FAQ, which covers in detail Google’s servers and data centres.

Australia doesn’t appear to have a data centre or server (although there were rumblings earlier in 2009 that Google would build one in Oz. This seems to be on hold until the Federal Government sorts out the broadband network). So if there’s no local data centre or server, then where is the personal financial document you stored in Google Docs actually held? The Patriot Act makes all data stored on US shores liable to inspection – this would contravene the EU’s Data Protection Act I would think (ie cause a huge cat fight) although I’m presuming the EU-US Safe Harbor program also provides protection. I’m not so sure what protects Australians. I’m looking into it – leave a comment if you know more.

The point is we are increasingly seduced by Google. It’s a clever company with clever apps. Just think about your online privacy protection. I need to come up to speed with the Patriot Act. Several provisions of the Patriot Act are due to expire December 31 2009 unless renewed by Congress but Obama is seeking to extend its spying provisions.

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December 19, 2009 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Rusty Soviet-era threat?

In my efforts to bring you news of the myriad ways humanity may snuff it (apart from snuffing it from our own stupidity of course) – you can probably scratch December 21, 2012 out of your diary. This is not the day the world will come to a cataclysmic end. Mayan elder, Apolinario Chile Pixtun, says he’s sick and tired of hearing how the world will be engulfed in a giant hissy fit of volcanoes erupting and comets smacking into us when the Mayan Long Count calendar (which is marked by 394-year periods known as Baktuns) reaches the end of the 13th Baktun on December 21, 2012.  Shame really as I was looking forward to this being my final day at work 🙂

But seems there might be another danger lurking in store for us – the Russian Doomsday Machine. Yep, those Russkies forgot to turn off this machine when the Soviet Union crumbled around their ears. What is this machine I hear you ask? Well, when the former Soviet Union and the USA were in the icy grip of the Cold War, the Russians developed a computerised system that would automatically launch their entire nuclear arsenal in a counter-attack. The Russian armed forces might have been wiped out in some crippling Cold War cat-fight, the Kremlin could be kaput and there might be no military commanders around to bark orders but the “dead hand” (as the system is called or Mertvaya Ruka in Russian) would still operate. Its official name is Perimeter and it came online in 1985.

In an understatement, Robert M. Gates, Director of Central Intelligence during Dubya’s administration, said if this Russian doomsday device actually exists it would be “terribly uncivilized.” Ah yeah! Skeptics are doubting its existence, saying it’s the brainchild of sci-fi enthusiasts and those who still pine for the dark spy dramas of the Cold War period. But Wired had an interview with Valery Yarynich, a 72-year old former Soviet colonel, who claims he helped build the “dead hand”. Gulp.

So where is this machine? Are there any humans watching it to make sure it doesn’t spiral out of control? Is the computer system some ancient relic of the Cold War period likely to suffer a “prone to error” message (just after it launches a nuclear strike I might add)? How many nukes would it take to knock off humanity? Apparently, the Russkies won’t admit it exists and the Americans say nah, it’s all science fiction (well, they would say that wouldn’t they – because if it does exist and the Americans never knew of it, then this was one huge intelligence failure on the part of good old USA).  One former Soviet official, who spoke to American intelligence about Perimeter, died in mysterious circumstances (he fell down some stairs: was he pushed?). Of course, Prez Ronald Reagan and his carry-on about the Star Wars programme probably forced the Russians into developing a defensive system. And the Able-Archer exercise of 1983 wouldn’t have made the Soviets feel warm and fuzzy either.

Fortunately, there seem to be some inbuilt safety mechanisms. Perimeter must be switched on first by a high-ranking military commander during a crisis situation. Until then, it’s designed to lie dormant. Before launching a nuclear strike, the system has to check off four if/then propositions but after this, it’s war conducted by machines and welcome to nuclear holocaust. Yeah, well I’d be worried that some “if/then” proposition is now a missing feature of an ailing computer system or its early warning detection is kaput or gives off a false alert.

It is said that Perimeter lies dormant south of Moscow in deep underground bunkers. Given that Russia is prone to the odd civil war or two, let’s hope the system is constantly being upgraded or better yet, decommissioned. But Dr Bruce Blair, an expert on Russian nuclear weapons, says: “The US and Russia keep thousands of weapons on launch-ready alert…..I think there’s no reason to believe that this system would have been shut down”. Great. That makes me neeeervous. And what made me shiver back in 2007 was the fact that the Yanks “lost” some nuclear missiles. What’s to stop the Russians, after 25 years or so, losing track of Perimeter’s functionality or where its back-up system is located (if there is one)?

One of my fav Star Trek episodes (from the original series) is called “The Doomsday Machine“. Do you remember it? The starship Enterprise receives a distress call and finds several planets in a nearby galaxy destroyed. Intrepid Spock discovers that a giant planet-killing machine breaks planets into rubble and Captain Kirk believes it’s a doomsday machine, built by some long-kaput civilization. Kirk theorises that the machine was built as a deterrent and never meant to be activated but somehow it came online and chk-chk-boom.  The machine lives on, thousands of years later, fueling itself by consuming planets. Sound familiar?

Oh well: maybe thousands of years from now, once Perimeter has knocked us off, some bunch of alien dudes on a joy-ride around our galaxy will find Earth completely devoid of life. Only one thing will be standing – Perimeter – oh and maybe some cockroaches, which are said to be able to withstand a nuclear blast. Perhaps these creatures will inherit the Earth.

October 27, 2009 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

APF: WTF?

I’ve been keeping an eye on this – the American Police Force, although it now seems to be known as the American Private Police Force. Heard of it? Does the name sound to you like a bunch of secret squirrel mercenaries who will be hired to….well, who knows what?  It does to me. So off I went to do some snooping around, hoping to find it is an innocent private security firm.

Most references to the APF seem to point to Hardin, Montana and sinister claims that the APF could be the new Blackwater (private military company).  I don’t know too much about Hardin but it sounds like it’s a small, economically depressed town that is struggling to survive. And to survive, the town is looking at the lucrative prison industry.

The Two Rivers Detention Center was built in Hardin in 2007 but has been vacant since then. For some reason I’ve not worked out yet, contracts for housing inmates didn’t happen and the prison could not legally hold out-of-town prisoners. But then along came APF, a California-based company willing to fill up the jail.  And here’s where the mystery begins:

  • no-one seems to know who is APF’s parent company;
  • its website says it has “virtual offices” in Washington, near the White House, but no-one seems to know where;
  • it is alleged that APF’s founder, Captain Michael Hilton, is a convicted criminal;
  • the leasing of the facility appears to be costing APF around US$2.1 million and the source of funding is mysterious;
  • there are hysterical suggestions that the APF has taken over the town of Hardin, turning it into a privately run police state, and that the force is comprised of foreign mercenaries who are training there;
  • there are possible connections between APF, International SOS (a security firm) and Blackwater. This is interesting because International SOS is keeping track of the so-called swine flu pandemic and they are touted as a medical-assistance company (meaning should there ever be forced vaccinations for the swine flu, you know who will come knocking at your door). So is the APF a cover or front for another, larger company?
  • apparently the APF dudes rolled into Hardin in sinister-looking black Mercedes SUVs, bearing the words “City of Hardin Police Department”.

You may know more about all this than me. If so, leave a comment. But sifting through the allegations, it seems that:

  • the US Government is increasingly outsourcing its military and law enforcement capability. There are many private contractors slugging it out in Iraq and Afghanistan and there are questions about their actions and lack of discipline. Let’s face it, you hire mercenaries, you get no loyalty towards the hiring country or its wartime mission. How and when did the US supplant its traditional military with for-profit, private security firms?
  • Blackwater troops were used during Hurricane Katrina.  Heavily-armed “troops” who were more like professional killers than disaster relief personnel caused chaos and alarm (I believe that Blackwater is now known as Xe due to some fancy re-branding exercise);
  • private, civilian armies within the borders of the United States is unconstitutional. They are not accountable to the people through their elected Government. They are accountable only to the power of profit;
  • mercenary forces operate beyond civilian and military law – what is to stop them from turning on the American people?
  • is anyone bothered by this????

I will be looking into this further – is there a link between the FEMA camps, swine flu and APF for example? If you know anything, leave a comment. I’m finding it all pretty sinister.

October 15, 2009 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Obama’s report card

Well, I thought I’d do a post on Obama and see how he’s going. Since Prez Bush wafted off into the Texan sunset, there hasn’t been much in the way of stupid gaffes and encroachment on civil liberties to report on when it comes to the US Prez. True to say, Prez Obama is good at speechifying (love that word!). He looks Presidential, doesn’t trip down the steps of Air Force One and doesn’t drone on about the War on Terror. But frankly, I find him pretty lack lustre. When he was elected, I said I wasn’t won over by him and I’m still not. But I decided to see how he is going nine months or so into his presidency. So time’s up – let’s have a look. The following are my personal views. You may disagree; if so, leave a comment.

Seems the honeymoon might be over and the knives are starting to come out. The dominant question appears to be “is he weak?”.  At the Group of 20 summit held in London in April, French President, Nicholas Sarkozy, was said to have muttered to his advisers: “Est-il faible?” (is he weak). He added: “he was elected two months ago and had never run a ministry. There are a certain number of things on which he has no position. And he is not always up to standard on decision-making and efficiency.” I read somewhere that Sarkozy referred to Obama as weak, meek and arrogant. Well, this should augur well for Franco-American relations!

Others are muttering that he is the weakest Prez since Jimmy Carter. Why? As far as I can fathom, a weak US economy makes for a weak US Prez, someone the Saudis have said “no” to twice (regarding Obama’s request to improve relations with Israel). And photos of Obama shaking hands with Venezuelan leader dictator, Hugo Chavez, and receiving the gift of an anti-colonial book frankly draw comparisons with what seemed to be Carter’s modus operandi: kiss and suck up to every dictator in sight. Let’s recall that it was Carter who withdrew US support for the pro-Western Shah of Iran for his alleged human rights violations and, as a result, Iran fell into the hands of the radical Islamist, Ayatollah Khomeini, and basically the whole Middle Eastern region became unstable.  Former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich (R), says: “Frankly, this does look a lot like Jimmy Carter. Carter tried weakness, and the world got tougher and tougher, because the predators, the aggressors, the anti-Americans, the dictators – when they sense weakness, they all start pushing ahead.”

I’m not sure though that it gets us very far doing an Obama versus Carter comparison, so I’ll concentrate on the following aspects that interest me about Obama’s presidency. He promised Change We Can Believe In – do we have that change?

  • first up, I have to say I have become irritated by his constant apologising for the United States. Yep, sure Bush was a nightmare and US popularity took a nose dive but running around the globe apologising and atoning for things does not make for strong leadership IMHO. He’s apologised to Europe; he’s apologised to the UN; he’s apologised to Cairo. Basically, he’s been on an Apology Tour. It’s one thing to admit that the US might have been a tad arrogant, it’s another thing to go on apologising. Enough already. Get on with making the US a strong nation again.
  • far more serious are blunders like the surrender to Moscow over missile defence. Basically, Obama has appeased the Ruskies by scuttling missile defense plans in Eastern Europe just as Iran is nuking up. The Czechs and the Poles (US allies) are rightly pissed about this and see it as a betrayal, leaving them to face an increasingly belligerent Russia. Obama appeared to be taking a tough stand back in April when he said: “Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile activity poses a real threat, not just to the United States, but to Iran’s neighbors and our allies. The Czech Republic and Poland have been courageous in agreeing to host a defense against these missiles. As long as the threat from Iran persists, we will go forward with a missile defense system that is cost-effective and proven.” Yes, well, the reversal of stance is surely leading to the Russians rubbing their hands together in glee and muttering “the US is weak”. And I’m pretty sure the two US allies are thinking “the US is tough on us, what the????”. And Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has basically just given the finger to the US and Obama by saying: “”If I were Obama’s adviser, I would definitely advise him to refrain making this statement [about Iran’s alleged nuclear capability] because it is definitely a mistake”. Let’s recall that this same dude, Ahmadinejad, allegedly participated in the 1979 hostage crisis (the very same crisis that highlighted Carter’s weakness). So not looking good for Obama on the foreign policy front so far.
  • then there’s health care reform, the centrepiece of his domestic agenda, which has become bogged down. The US is the only industrialised nation without universal access to health care and Obama’s plan (only really revealed in his speech to Congress on September 9) is to implement universal health care coverage. But Americans don’t seem to be buying his sales pitch and he hasn’t seemed to be in control of the debate. He left the drafting of the legislation largely to Congress, has not been able to achieve Republican support (what happened to his campaign promise of partisan cooperation?) and the result has been ambiguity. There have also been some hysterical claims, such as Obama supposedly suggesting that euthanasia of the elderly may be necessary because it is cost-effective and rumours that “death panels” were a part of his health care reform. So I think he was trying to avoid the Clintons’ mistake of cooking up a detailed health care plan in secret, then presenting it to Congress. But because he hasn’t seemed to be in control of a coherent message, he’s been focusing on the shortcomings of the present health care system – and not articulating his vision well enough. There’s been a lot of waffly talk about broad goals but no detailed analysis of how health care reform will be delivered. So I remain confused.
  • he looks like Bush 2.0 – Obama supports warrantless wiretapping and gave legal immunity to to telecommunications companies that cooperated with the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants. Yet, he said during his campaign, no warrantless wiretapping if you elect me. And he is proposing to extend three key provisions of the Patriot Act, which are due to expire in December, 2009.
  • Obama’s popularity rating is 46% – basically where it was last month – which means his Health Care reform speech didn’t achieve what maybe he’d hoped.  It’s a bit of a slide. In April, his rating was 62% and as President-Elect, he was at 83%. Clearly, the poor chap has a lot on his plate – the biggest global financial crisis to smack us in the face since the 1930s, which has led to a stagnant US economy; and the ongoing conflict in Iraq. But let’s get to Afghanistan: only 44% approve of his handling of Afghanistan, down from 48% in August. In my New Year’s predictions, I did say that Afghanistan would come to haunt Obama and I think it’s starting to highlight his lack of foreign policy experience and criticism is deepening. He once again lacks a clear plan. He’s delaying sending in more troops and this puts him in a tough spot – lose the war or piss off the American people even more? Looks like he’ll have to rely on Republicans in Congress (since Democrat support appears to be waning) when it comes to requests for additional troops and funding for Afghanistan.
  • another thing that concerns me is the whole Team Obama business. IMHO Obama is largely a media creation; a backlash against eight years of Bush crap. But one thing he has in common with Jimmy Carter (who had really only been Governor of Georgia for 4 years) is inexperience. Community organisation does not give you the experience and savvy to lead the free world. It seems that Obama believes his personality will win the day; just as Carter’s home grown, peanut farmer image was pushed as something you could trust. I fully agree with this article, which suggests that factional infighting over policies within an Administration makes for healthy government. Obama’s Administration tends to have one voice on policy issues – it is sycophantic in this sense and also because there is an inflated sense of Obama’s appeal.

This is a President learning on the job (which makes me uneasy) and a President who is pretty naive when it comes to foreign policy. He has a tough gig so any President would probably be getting mud slung his or her way right now. What do you think?

September 29, 2009 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Observations for American friends

EarlyI have quite a number of American readers. I guess because a lot of issues that occupy my mind happen in the US and I blog on this stuff.  So I thought today it  might be interesting for my American readers to hear what three Australians have to say about the state of the US. All three have privately communicated with me and asked not to be named. I shall respect that.

The first Australian reader sent me a private communication the other day re observations from a trip to the US, six months after 9/11.

“I went to NY exactly 6 months after 9/11, before the finger printing etc.
Even at that time from the moment I joined the UA queue onto the plane in Sydney I noted in my note book about 70 things that were security/9/11 related. And all this in just 6 months. What has been added since? I came home and felt relieved that I didn’t see soldiers with guns in Sydney or even at the airport.

The things in the US were generally non invasive but “there”. eg the
prominent temporary (at that time) ballards in front of key buildings, the fact that the curtains were left open between economy and first class. Local women started wondering why there were so many emergency vehicles passing. Wall St blocked off,  checks on bridge traffic etc.

All minor things on their own, but together demonstrating a seige
mentality and lack of trust. An atmosphere of fear and an understated
sense of warning.  The difference between what I see as normal and what I see as restrictions and statements of some other condition for a city. Not at all the brave and free US I always thought it was. It was cringing and fearful. And as for the soldiers with guns. Some of those guys are huge. I had always hoped to go to [an annual conference]. When they asked this year why members didn’t attend, I told them.  I wonder what they thought when they read my response
.”

Okay, you say: this was just after 9/11, so of course there was a climate of fear. But the second private communication comes from a TS reader who has just spent a month in the US. Her first experience was with US immigration. She was using a new passport and left her old passport back home in Oz. For whatever reason, the immigration dude felt she had overstayed her visa following her entry to the US a year or two ago (her old passport had the exit stamp in it). Despite explaining the situation, she was hauled off and spent about 2 hours with a US official, who (as she put it) was the rudest individual she had ever met.

She was on the verge of saying, look I’ll turn around and fly back to Australia, when a second official came in and told her they would let her go. This is a professional woman in her 30s and she felt the whole experience was shattering and a bad start to her holiday.

The third person (a guy) emailed me saying he’d been to the States about 6 months ago and was alarmed by a number of things:  a visible increase in homeless people; visible presence of CCTV cams and security measures; he was met with biometric identification equipment at the airport and felt it was very intrusive. He has decided not to go back to the States again.

Now, regular readers would know that despite extensive travel in the US (a country I very much like),  I will never step foot in it again because of the circus that is US immigration, biometrics and a general climate of mistrust.

American readers: how do you react to these observations? Agree? Disagree? Couldn’t care less?

August 6, 2009 at 2:25 am 2 comments

The US military and FEMA

Military To Work With FEMA During Swine Flu Pandemic 290709top“Until now, what I’m about to tell you would have been easily dismissed as a conspiracy theory. It’s the kind of story that you might expect from some extreme fringe blogger… the kind of story that never appears in the mainstream media. Only today, it did. And it’s not a conspiracy theory, either.”

These are not my words. They are from the opening paragraph of an article that caught my attention. I don’t think of myself as an “extreme fringe blogger” but I do hope I blog about issues that we can investigate together, think seriously about and perhaps ultimately question. This is why I’ve been bringing you posts lately on the swine flu vaccinations.

It seems the US military is preparing for something beyond the ongoing war in Iraq. It seems that they could become involved in an H1N1 swine flu outbreak with reports that health authorities are deeply worried about a “return with a vengeance” of the virus, possibly as early as August 2009.  And we already know that drug companies are hard at it producing (so far) untested swine flu vaccines. So what might the military be doing? Well, it seems they will be assisting FEMA in tackling the swine flu. Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, will sign an order authorising the military to set up five regional teams to deal with the potential outbreak of H1N1 influenza if FEMA requests help. These teams will assist civilian authorities with tasks such as setting up quarantine areas and no doubt herding people who resist vaccine shots. (The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in the US has just voted to set vaccination priorities for certain groups – those who will get the jab first are pregnant women; children and young adults from 6 months to 24 years; people aged 25 to 64 years with underlying medical conditions (eg asthma, diabetes).

Let’s pause for a moment: I’ve blogged before about FEMA camps and the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act (H.R. 645) that gives the Prez of the US the authority to declare an emergency and throw citizens into these camps. So within the context of news that the military is to back civilian authorities in an anticipated swine flu pandemic, let’s look at what this could mean:

  • the US government is preparing to enforce a mandatory swine flu vaccination program. And if you’re a regular reader of this blog you should be concerned about this vaccination;
  • the teams of military personnel could be used to visit homes and round up those who resist vaccination (there is a health-care reform bill approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee that authorises what are termed “interventions” in private homes – in other words, you get a knock on your door from medical and military vaccine teams asking why you or your kids haven’t been vaccinated and declaring they have the power to come on in and jab you);
  • if Americans fall back on their Second Amendment right to bear arms to protect themselves and their families from being rounded up, well..no stretch of the imagination to think that the military is there to subdue those who resist;
  • forced evacuation to FEMA camps for vaccine resisters (remember, these camps sit on military soil).

Remember too, I blogged about the return to the US of an active-duty military unit – US Army 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team – and since their return they have been helping out with humanitarian efforts and getting Americans used to domestic militarisation.

So I think if we put together an active-duty unit inside the borders of the US; FEMA camps; and the news that the military will now assist FEMA in swine flu efforts – then you have a possible pattern – the prospect of martial law being declared if there is a huge hissy fit by American citizens resisting the swine flu vaccination.

I’ve had a number of emails from US soldiers angry at me for suggesting they would ever turn on their country’s own citizens. I am sure that many US military personnel, if asked to perform acts that go against their values and beliefs will refuse. But in a way, military personnel are being conditioned into thinking they are performing a humanitarian act (enforcing swine flu vaccinations if it comes to that).

Go off and read all the links I’ve provided in this post and decide for yourself. Forwarned is forearmed as they say. The article I was reading ended with this quote, which I’ll provide in its entirety. The imaginative ramblings of conspiracy theorists or a possible future? You decide.

“There’s a knock on your door. A peek through the window reveals two young soldiers in urban camo fatigues gripping M16 rifles slung across their chests. In front of them, an official-looking doctor person sports an N95 mask and carries a clipboard thick with ruffled papers.

Knock knock. “Is anyone home?”

One of the soldiers catches a glimpse of you peering through a sliver of curtain covering the living room window. “I’ve got movement.” He tightens his grip on his rifle and elbows the soldier next to him. “Someone’s home. Knock again.”

Knock KNOCK. “We’re here from the pandemic response team,” insists the doc. “We’re here to help. Open up or we’ll be forced to come in.”

Reluctantly, you inch towards the door and grip the doorknob with damp, sweaty hands. Your pulse pounds hard as you crack open the door.

But the doctor isn’t in front of your door anymore. It’s one of the soldiers — the larger one — and he wedges his foot between your door and its frame, prying it open and forcing his intimidating self into your doorway. “We’re with FEMA. Please step away from the door.”

“Our records show you haven’t received the swine flu vaccine yet,” squeaks the doctor from behind the bulk of the domineering soldier now squarely positioned in front of you. “We’re here to administer your vaccine.”

“I don’t want a vaccine,” you protest. “They’re not safe.”

The soldier chuckles, blurts out, “They’re as safe as the U.S. government says they are.”

The doctor peers out from behind his military companion and makes eye contact. “Sir, as you well know, vaccines have been required for all U.S. residents since President Obama’s emergency pandemic declaration last month. Please extend your arm and we’ll be on our way.”

Photo credit: InfoWars

August 3, 2009 at 2:30 am 5 comments

Mass swine flu vaccinations

There’s been a lot of talk in newspapers and blogs over the last week or so about mass swine flu vaccinations.  The US is preparing for a second wave of swine flu and is gearing up its vaccination plans. The UK is also going full steam ahead with its plans to jab its entire population. The Germans will start their vaccination programme in September and Australia has placed an advance order for 21 million courses of a vaccine that is now under development.

Now, I’m not going to say that the swine flu A(H1N1) strain of influenza isn’t going to mutate and become some horror pandemic. In fact, the WHO has just announced that a swine flu pandemic has grown “unstoppable”. But I am wondering whether they know something we don’t. As of June 15, 2009, the World Health Organization reports that 76 countries have reported more than 35,000 cases, including 163 deaths. 108 of those deaths have occurred in Mexico. Is this a pandemic? Australia would appear to be the swine flu centre of Asia Pacific with 10,000 people infected and 19 deaths. And so far, the symptoms have been mild only severely affecting those with underlying conditions. Now, it’s true that in 1918, when the so-called Spanish flu hit, there were two waves of infection. The first wave was in early 1918 and the symptoms were more like the typical flu. The second wave occured in August, 1918 and was a far deadlier form killing off anywhere between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide. So possibly what we’ve seen so far is the first wave and the second is about to hit, hence the panic over vaccinations. But let’s keep in mind the following that might make us very nervous:

  • swine flu vaccinations are untested, experimental. It has been reported that the vaccination will be fast-tracked and instead of years of clinical trials, we’ll see the vaccination go from laboratory to human in 5 days.
  • what is in this vaccination? I’ve read many different reports about the vaccines being produced but one thing stands out: they contain squalene-based adjuvants, which have been linked to life-threatening auto-immune diseases and Gulf War veteran deaths. The vaccines also contain other toxic nasties such as ethylene glycol (or antifreeze); formaldehyde; phenol (or carbolic acid); thimerosal (mercury); and possibly antibiotics like Neomycin and Streptomycin. Many doses may also contain immune adjuvants like aluminum (or aluminium).

Do you want this sort of stuff coursing through your veins? Hell no. Let’s recall 1976 – when the US faced swine flu – Prez Ford authorised a mass inoculation program aimed at reaching every man, woman and child. More than 500 people are thought to have developed Guillain-Barre syndrome (a paralyzing nerve disease) after receiving the vaccine and more than 30 died. And who is going to profit from mass vaccinations? Baxter International Inc for one – a US medical giant busy filling orders for 80 million dosages from five countries. It is reported that Baxter could reap $30 to $40 million in revenue from H1N1 contracts in the early stages of vaccine shipments. But this same corporation has been publicly named for allegedly sending bird-flu contaminated vaccines to four European countries.

An Austrian investigative journalist, Jane Burgermeister, has gone so far as to allege that the swine flu was created in order to eliminate huge numbers of the population. She has has recently filed criminal charges with the FBI against the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations (UN) and several high ranking US government and corporate officials concerning bioterrorism and attempts to commit mass murder. Briefly, the charges allege there is a covert international bioweapons program involving the pharmaceutical companies Baxter and Avir Green Hills Biotechnology and that bird and swine flu were intentionally released so that a mass vaccination program could be implemented. She further alleges that the vaccinations contain toxic biological agents that will cause death and injury to citizens of the US and that this action is in direct violation of the Biological Weapons Anti-terrorism Act.

She is either one very stupid or very brave woman. Check out her blog and the allegations and make up your own mind. Burgermeister and other sites talk about the secret squirrel society, the Illuminati, that allegedly control world affairs and from my reading of Burgermeister’s blog, control the WHO. I’ve never been into this Illuminati business or the conspiracy theory over a New World Order being set up by shadowy bankers or influential figures who are supposedly genetically related. But have a read of Burgermeister’s evidence documents.

From the medical and legal perspective, I’m worried. Under a document signed by US Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius and US government health officials, vaccine makers  and federal officials will be immune from lawsuits that result from any new swine flu vaccine (this is to counter any prospect of claims being filed as they were after the 1976 vaccination programme). So Big Pharma is now protected from all accountability. I’ve only just started looking into this issue as I’ve noted increasing reports of mass vaccination plans, but aside from the health concerns I’ve noted, a crucial question will be whether you can legally refuse to be vaccinated. I would suspect that governments will start off with a massive PR campaign that will make us fearful of dying from swine flu so voluntary shots will be the first attempt. Of course, the global media will hyper-ventilate and produce fearmongering headlines like this one, complete with disturbing photo to remind us of the potential power of authorities. This sort of media hype will whittle down our resistance to the point some of us will be rushing to get the vaccine.

This is what I think you can do (I’ll be researching further and will do a future post):

  • should enforced vaccination happen, I believe we can cite The Nuremburg Code, which states:  “The voluntary consent of the human subject is essential….No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur”. “No experiment” would surely cover an experimental vaccine.
  • you can start to voice your opinion by signing this petition: Refuse and Resist Mandatory Flu Vaccines.

Beyond this, I need to look into what laws can be used to force us to be jabbed. I suspect that the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (MSEHPA) in the US, for example, could be used. The MSEHPA gives State governors quarantine and other emergency powers, which could cover forced vaccinations.  Let me look into it further and if you are concerned or know anything, please leave a comment.

UPDATES:

July 24, 2009 at 2:00 am 3 comments

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