April 7th, 2012
The Washington Post
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A 12-ton Navy jet loaded with tons of diesel fuel crashes in a spectacular fireball into a big apartment complex, scattering plane parts and wiping out some 40 units. How is it that everyone survived?
The mayor of Virginia Beach could only call it a “Good Friday miracle” and pilots marveled at how a failed training flight that engulfed buildings in flames managed to crash without killing anyone. The student pilot, his instructor and five on the ground were hurt, but all were out of the hospital by Saturday.
Investigators, witnesses and experts said multiple factors were at play:
— Most of the F/A-18D jet’s fuel was dumped before the crash, causing less of an explosion.
— The Navy credited neighbors and citizens with pulling pilots away from the flames after they safely ejected.
— The plane crashed into the apartment complex’s empty courtyard, and two days before Easter in the middle of the day, most residents weren’t home.
“At the end of the day,” said Daniel O. Rose, a former Navy jet pilot, “I think it was a lot of fortuity. You look at this as a one-off and you still got to scratch your head.”
Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms took to Twitter on Saturday to celebrate the fact no lives were lost, calling it a “Good Friday miracle.” Adm. John C. Harvey, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces, said he was “quite surprised, to be honest”, that no one had died, calling it an “amazing miracle.”
The F/A-18D Hornet suffered some sort of massive mechanical problem while soaring above Virginia Beach on Friday, sending it plunging into the Mayfair Mews apartment complex and taking out dozens of units. All residents had been accounted for early Saturday after careful apartment checks, fire department Capt. Tim Riley said.
Investigators will work from the outside of the site toward the center to gather parts from the jet and examine them, as well as check out the flight data recorders, which had not yet been recovered, Harvey said. The investigation could take weeks, he said.
Wearing protective white suits and yellow boots, investigators walked through the site Saturday, where blackened facades and partially demolished brick walls jutted out from the debris.
The airmen were from Naval Air Station Oceana, less than 10 miles away. They were able to safely escape the aircraft, which weighs up to 50,000 pounds fully fueled and armed, before it careened into the apartment complex, demolishing sections of some buildings and engulfing others in flames.
Jeff Swoope, who spent the night in a hotel with about two dozen other homeless residents, had just pulled out of his parking space to run errands when he noticed the low-flying jet heading right at his building.
“I thought I’d better get out of there quick,” he said. “It could have hit a gas line, there could have been a bigger explosion.”
The aviators on board the F/A-18 Hornet had careful training — even the student would have had 1 ½ years of intensive training before taking flight with his instructor on Friday, said J.F. Joseph, a former airline pilot, retired Marine colonel and decorated Navy pilot who flew with the daredevil Blue Angels.
April 7th, 2012
BLS note: Arby's is owned by Roark Capital Group, according to Wiki. Here is a list of some of their other holdings:
Roark's portfolio companies include:
- Atkins Nutritionals
- Batteries Plus
- Focus Brands
- Il Fornaio
- McAlister's Deli
- Waste Pro
- PetValu and Bosley's Petstores
Outside of the obvious lunacy of this decision, the question becomes:
Do you twits at Arby's actually believe that those "pasty, vegetarian, Liberals" are going to beat a path to your door in order to gobble down copious amounts of Roast Beast and cheese, seasoned twisty french fries and soft drinks? Seriously? Those of the Tofu crowd?
We knew that you were rather "unreasonably proud" of your food, but......not a very good decision concerning how we Conservatives who are now voting with their wallets, will react.
Just remember, you drew first blood.....
On Wednesday, Arby's inflamed the conservative blogosphere with the announcement on Twitter that it will no longer advertise on Rush Limbaugh's show. Big mistake. The statement probably would've blown over, like all the rest of them, but Arby's moves following the announcement have awakened a sleeping giant. Shortly after its statement, the Arby's Twitter account went on a rampage blocking users who disagreed with the franchise, as Twitchy reported:
Arby's! Not a smart move. Maybe you think you're serving a lot liberals with your delicious Jamocha shakes but you're first and foremost a fast food chain, and if you knew anything about fast food customers, you'd be careful not to anger conservative America. As we speak, the blogging foot soldiers of the right (Michelle Malkin, Instapundit, iOwn the World, etc) are raising hell and the sandwich peddler better hope it doesn't catch on. As studies have shown, conservatives are more likely to consume fast food than liberals. The latest of these was gathered by a collective intelligence decision-making system at Hunch.com last year, which found that "liberals are 92 percent more likely to eat fast food rarely or never." Meanwhile: "Conservatives are 64 percent more likely to eat fast food a few times per week." They even made a big infographic:
Arby's, we're starting to think you took last month's Web parody, Downton Arby's, a little too seriously. You're not running some lefty European food market. Get it together!
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April 7th, 2012
BLS note: So, what about the political- gay activism or a slew of other issues that the Left-Wing service member/political types have engaged in? Why is that not also grounds for discharge? The Tea Parties should respond in the form of mass protests against both the White House and the Obama controlled military hierarchy
A Marine sergeant who created the Facebook page "Armed Forces Tea Party" is facing possible dismissal from the U.S. Marine Corps after posting comments saying he will not follow the unlawful orders of the commander in chief, as reported by The Associated Press.
Sgt. Gary Stein, a nine-year member of the Corps, was told Wednesday that he violated Pentagon policy barring troops from political activities.
Stein started the Armed Forces Tea Party page "to allow active, inactive, or retired members of the United States Armed Forces to stand with the Tea Party movement."
The USMC has said that Stein is allowed to express his personal opinions as long as they do not give the impression he is speaking in his official capacity as a Marine.
In a statement posted this morning, Stein wrote:
I have never spoken on behalf of the Marine Corps or in uniform. I have stayed within guidelines DOD Directive 1344.10 and made sure to. If I am guilty of anything it would be that I am American, a freedom loving Conservative, hell bent on defending the constitution and preserving Americas greatness.
Stein said the allegedly offending statement came during an online debate about NATO allowing U.S. troops to be tried for the Quran burnings in Afghanistan, in which he said that he would not follow orders from the president if those orders included detaining U.S. citizens, disarming them or doing anything else that he believes would violate their constitutional rights.
Stein will not be immediately discharged and will have a hearing in which the USMC will have to prove that he did something wrong, according to the page.
Take a look at some of the photos from the page and decide for yourself if he ever crossed the line between free speech and political endorsement in an official capacity.
April 7th, 2012
By Dr. Mercola
I strongly encourage you to watch the new documentary film Mercury Undercover, which exposes just how far those in power will go to prevent you from learning the truth about mercury contamination from dental amalgam—all in the name of money.
Dental amalgam is a primitive, pre-Civil War product that is 50 percent mercury, still commonly used in dental fillings.
Half of all North American dentists still use amalgam for its quick and easy profits, then pass the bill for damages on to the rest of us—damages to health, as well as to the environment.
Mercury Undercover discusses the mountain of evidence about mercury contamination, as reported by doctors, scientists, environmental experts and mercury-poisoned survivors.
The disturbing issues brought to light in this film will make you think twice before ordering a "catch-of-the-day" or planning your next dental procedure.
American dentistry's 150-year affair with mercury is a tale of profits first, people last.
Dentists May be Accelerating Wildlife Extinctions
Coal generates 54 percent of the electricity in the United States and is the single largest cause of air pollution. Coal fired power plants are also the number one source of environmental mercury pollution. Mercury is extremely tenacious once in the air, water and soil, and levels gradually increase over time, as it accumulates.
Each coal plant discharges an average of 170 pounds of mercury into the air each year, along with other pollutants. There are about 600 coal plants in the United Statesi. So, if you do the math, you will discover that coal plants in the U.S. are releasing about 51 TONS of mercury into the environment each year. Just one gram of mercury can make the fish in a 20-acre lake unfit for consumption for a year.
A study by Island Restoration Network found dangerous mercury levels in 68 percent of swordfish, high enough to cause harm to wildlife. Recent evidence indicates mercury is now present in all fish. Other studies have demonstrated high levels of mercury in sensitive and endangered species across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems, indicating that mercury pollution may be a significant factor in species population reduction.
The second largest mercury polluters in this country are dental practices. As a result of their continued use of mercury amalgam fillings, another 29.7 tons of mercury is discharged into the air, water and soil each year from installation and removal of amalgams.
Don't let the "cheap" price of these fillings fool you. When environmental cleanup costs are included, dental amalgams are actually the most expensive type of dental fillings on the market. Besides its toxic effects to wildlife, mercury is terribly harmful to humans as well.
"A Biochemical Train Wreck in Your Body"
Boyd Haley PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at University of Kentucky, said in the film that mercury is a "biochemical train wreck in your body." Mercury causes your cell membranes to become leaky and inhibits key enzymes your body needs for energy production and toxin removal. Mercury doesn't kill you quickly like cyanide… it kills you slowly and insidiously.
About 75 percent of adults have dangerous "silver" fillings. There is approximately 1,000 mg of mercury in the typical "silver" filling. This is nearly one million times more mercury than is present in contaminated sea food. Most people don't realize that the mercury amalgams slowly release mercury vapor. Every time you chew, mercury vapor is released and quickly finds its way into your bloodstream, where it causes oxidative processes in your tissues.
Oxidation is one of the main reasons you develop disease, as well as the primary reason you age. Oxidation in your body leads to inflammation, including inflammation of the lining of your blood vessels. When this occurs, your LDL levels increase as your body attempts to "patch" those damaged vessel walls with cholesterol. LDL is a carrier of cholesterol.This is why people with mercury toxicity have damaged blood vessels, and elevated cholesterol and LDL levels.
However, oxidation and toxicity can lead to much more than just elevated lipid levels. Mercury in your body can result in a variety of serious neurological, immunological, and endocrinological problems. Mercury not only fuels the flames of inflammation, it also hampers your body's ability to detoxify itself, which makes you even sicker. Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other neurological diseases have been linked to mercury exposure. Research shows that traces of mercury can cause the type of nerve damage you usually see in Alzheimer's disease.
Mercury is MORE Toxic to Your Body than Any Other Heavy Metal
Recent studies of the effects of various toxic heavy metals on your brain—including aluminum, lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury—reveal that mercury is by far the MOST toxic. No others even come close! This is because of mercury's interaction with sulfur-containing proteins that are critical to your brain function.
Many scientists believe Alzheimer's impairs communication and coordination between cells. You have 100 billion nerve cells, or neurons, in your brain, and these neurons make up an intricate communication/information network that requires a great deal of energy and waste removal. These processes require a large amount of fuel and oxygen. Mercury can seriously impair these important and complex neurological processes.
Science is now telling us that mercury may very well be a significant factor underlying much chronic disease, and one about which the majority of physicians are completely unaware. It doesn't take much mercury to cause significant stresses in your body.
Sadly, many people with mercury toxicity are sick for MANY years, often decades, and have consulted dozens of physicians who fail to identify the real cause of their illness and suffering. Often these people have a constellation of seemingly unrelated symptoms. They are given bottle after bottle of pills, which merely mask some of the symptoms (at best) and create new imbalances within their bodies,without ever addressing the underlying cause of the problem. Not surprisingly, they fail to get better.
Can you get sick from just ONE mercury filling? Absolutely.
Even if you have only one, you're getting years of daily "dosing" mercury vapor from that filling, which adds to the other sources of mercury and other toxic substances to which you are regularly exposed. Once your immune system takes any sort of a hit from an illness or stress or trauma, it may no longer be able to keep up with the assault of ongoing mercury exposure.
Mercury Vapor Sneaks its Way from Your Tooth to Your Brain
Mercury vapor is the form of mercury most easily absorbed by your body. Sadly, dentists are still taught in dental school that the mercury in amalgams is "bound" with the other metals and doesn't leak, which is why half of them still believe it's safe. Yet, you can MEASURE the mercury vapor coming off the tip of the root of an amalgam-filled tooth. The fact that mercury vapor can be measured at the tip of a tooth's root is absolute proof that these amalgam fillings can and DO leak.
Once released from an amalgam-filled tooth, mercury in the form of nonreactive mercury vapor goes from your mouth to your lungs, then to your brain via your bloodstream. A common enzyme in your body called catalase converts (oxidizes) mercury vapor into the "Hg2plus" form, which is VERY toxic, and traps it inside your cells. Once here, it is very difficult for your body to remove it.
Experts say the mercury from amalgam is highly absorbed and gets into all parts of your body, including your brain and bone marrow. Every time you chew, mercury vapor is being liberated from those fillings and absorbed, potentially causing your health to decline over time.
Why is this Toxic Product STILL on the American Market?
Amalgam fillings contain more mercury than any other product sold in America. And they are highly profitable to dentists, which makes them that much harder to remove from the marketplace. Dentists can install amalgam fillings much faster than the primary alternative, which is composite fillings. Wherever healthcare budgets are tight, people in need of fillings are given amalgams. Low-income people, people in third-world countries, and even our soldiers get mercury fillings—even the pregnant ones—because they "cost less" to install. But with all that is known about the dangers of amalgam, why hasn't it been removed from the market altogether?
What is the political pressure that stands in the way? This is a very good question, and one that has NOT been answered by the FDA, according to Charlie Brown, founder of Consumers for Dental Choice. Charlie Brown has been a champion in the battle to get mercury banned from dentistry.
The FDA Monarchy Wants to Keep You Sick
The FDA Commissioner is described in the film as, essentially, a 15th Century monarch with absolute power—there is no other power within FDA to check her judgment. She is the ultimate decision maker. Therefore, there is no protection for the public. Tragically, the FDA has ignored the advice of their own scientists and established no labeling to warn consumers—including pregnant women and children—about the dangers of mercury amalgams.
The drug industry, which largely controls both medical and dental industries, has spent one billion dollars lobbying the government over the last decade—100 million dollars per year on average. One could rightfully suspect these influences have stood in the way of progress in the battle against dental amalgam.
Many members of Congress protect their reelection first, before protecting public health, afraid to take any corrective actions that would buck the system for fear of stepping on some "very big toes." They don't want to offend the medical establishment because that would injure their campaign funding. The United States falls behind many other countries on the mercury issue. Amalgams have been banned in several countries, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, and largely in Japan.
The Mercury Undercover page suggests the following specific goals and objectives that need to be addressed in the overall mercury plan:
- Disclose mercury and end the "silver deception"; stop the ADA/dental board gag rule
- Inform consumers and dentists of the massive environmental harm caused by amalgam
- Make dentists pay for the massive harm to the environment; this would make the amalgam cost-prohibitive
- Ban amalgam for children and pregnant women
- Introduce ART (Atraumatic restorative treatment), a safe, low-cost dental filling material that requires only hand instruments to install, and can even be done by a dental hygienist
- End amalgam primacy in insurance plans
How Does Your Dentist Respond to the M-Word?
Half of all dentists in North America have broken away from the pack and stopped using amalgam, but we have not yet reached the tipping point for the other half to follow suit. Most dentists who continue to use amalgam really don't understand that what they're doing is harmful. Dentists don't want to fathom that they've ever done anything to hurt their patients, or question the training they worked so hard to get.
We have made a fundamental mistake—one of many—in our healthcare system by teaching physicians and dentists that it's not safe to think outside the box. Meaning, they fear attack by government, insurance companies, lawyers, and their own medical boards if they don't stick to a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. And that type of fear-based practice can lead to inappropriate and poor standards of care.
If your dentist refuses to abandon his or her use of amalgam, you may want to consider consulting another dentist. There are a growing number of mercury-free dentists, and dentists who offer a more holistic or "biological" approach.
There's nothing that has the potential to release more mercury vapor directly into your body than removing an amalgam filling, which is why you should never have your amalgam removed by a dentist who hasn't been expertly trained in this procedure. It requires isolation of the mercury-filled tooth from the rest of the oral cavity using a rubber dam, as well as vacuums in and around the mouth to capture mercury while the extraction is taking place.
Important Information Regarding Amalgam Removal
For those of you who have mercury fillings, I recommend that you have them removed … but avoid making the mistake I did nearly 20 years ago by having it done by a non-biological dentist. When you have these fillings removed you can be exposed to significant amounts of mercury vapors if the dentist doesn't know what he or she is doing. It's also for this reason that I strongly suggest you get healthy BEFORE having your fillings removed, as you want your detoxification mechanisms optimized prior to removal.
My struggles with my own teeth led me to learn about and embrace biological dentistry, also known as holistic or environmental dentistry. In a nutshell, biological dentistry views your teeth and gums as an integrated part of your entire body, and any medical treatments performed takes this fact into account. The primary aim of holistic dentistry is to resolve your dental problems while working in harmony with the rest of your body.. Biological dentists are well aware of the dangers involved with toxic materials such as mercury fillings (aka amalgams). Some things that need to be done to keep you (and your dentist) safe during amalgam removal include:
- Providing you with an alternative air source and instructing you not to breath through your mouth
- Using a cold-water spray to minimize mercury vapors
- Putting a rubber dam in your mouth so you don't swallow or inhale any toxins
- Using a high-volume evacuator near the tooth at all times to evacuate the mercury vapor
- Washing your mouth out immediately after the fillings have been removed (the dentist should also change gloves after the removal)
- Immediately cleaning your protective wear and face once the fillings are removed
- Using room air purifiers
How to Find a Qualified Biological Dentist
Knowledgeable biological dentists can be hard to come by, so start your search by asking a friend, relative, neighbor, or inquire at your local health food store. The following links can also help you to find a mercury-free, biological dentist:
- International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
- Consumers for Dental Choice
- International Academy of Biological Dentistry & Medicine (IABDM)
- Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions (DAMS). E-mail them at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 651-644-4572 for an information packet
- Huggins Applied Healing. You'll need to fill out a form and they will connect with you to find a suitable dentist in your area
- Holistic Dental Association
- International Association of Mercury Safe Dentists
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April 6th, 2012
By Roger Runningen and John McCormick
A smaller than forecast addition of 120,000 jobs last month broke a pattern that was giving U.S. voters a growing sense of security and boosting President Barack Obama as Republican Mitt Romney attacked his economic record.
The Labor Department reported today that employers added 120,000 jobs in March, after an increase of 227,000 the previous month. It was the fewest jobs added in five months. Unemployment fell to 8.2 percent, the lowest since January 2009, from 8.3 percent.
Obama said “we welcome” the added jobs and the decline in the unemployment rate. The economy’s created more than 4 million private sector jobs in the past two years, more than 600,000 in the past three months, he said.
“But, it’s clear to every American that there will still be ups and downs along the way and that we’ve got a lot more work to do,” the president said at a forum on women and the economy at the White House.
Romney said Obama has created a “stagnant” employment market.
“Millions of Americans are paying a high price for President Obama’s economic policies, and more and more people are growing so discouraged that they are dropping out of the labor force altogether,” the former Massachusetts governor said in a statement released by his campaign.
Today’s data showed unemployed workers left the labor force as Americans worked fewer hours and earned less on average per week.
“I’m nervous,” said Jared Bernstein, former chief economist for Vice President Joe Biden. The “downside surprise” may be “payback” for warm weather that boosted job creation in the early months of 2012, he said.
The chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger, said “it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.” There have been 25 straight months of job growth in the private sector, he said.
A rise in jobs bolsters household spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, even as those households are threatened by higher gasoline costs. Regular gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, rose 0.8 cent on April 4 to $3.936, according to AAA, the biggest U.S. motoring club. Prices have risen 20 percent this year and are 6.8 percent above a year ago.
Trend Toward Recovery
Still, there are signs the economy is on a trend toward recovery.
The unemployment rate has fallen from 9.1 percent in August. Consumer confidence climbed last week to the highest level in four years as brighter job prospects and an advancing stock market bolstered Americans’ view of the economy.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to minus 31.4 in the period ended April 1, the best reading since March 2008, from minus 34.7 the prior week. All three of its components, the economy, personal finances and buying plans, advanced.
The Bloomberg consumer sentiment figures also showed some good news for Obama’s re-election bid. Democrats’ confidence rose to minus 25.2, and that of political independents increased to minus 29.1, both the best since 2007.
“Confidence is critical,” Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, chief economist at Ford Motor Co., said April 3 on a conference call with analysts.
Consumer-loan delinquencies fell in the fourth quarter as borrowers benefited from improving job and housing markets, the American Bankers Association said yesterday.
Total delinquencies in the 11 loan categories surveyed by the Washington trade group fell to 2.49 percent of all accounts, from 2.59 percent in the preceding quarter, the ABA said in its Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. It marked the first quarter in eight years that all 11 loan categories fell.
Obama’s presidential rivals have criticized his stewardship of the economy, which has played a leading role in the Republican debates. The Republicans haven’t swerved from the main theme that the unemployment rate remains too high.
The economy has been central to Romney’s presidential campaign, as he criticizes the Obama administration for failing to pull the country out of the recession more quickly.
“He points out that he did not cause the recession, and that’s true,” the Republican front-runner said at an event in Milwaukee on April 2. “But he’s the one we looked to to end the recession and to lead a recovery, and he didn’t.”
Since World War II, no U.S. president has won re-election with a jobless rate above 6 percent, with the exception of Ronald Reagan, who faced 7.2 percent unemployment on Election Day in 1984.
“Unemployment, he said he’d keep under 8 percent -- itself a very high level, 8 percent -- he said he’d keep it under 8 percent if we let him borrow $787 billion, and it has not been under 8 percent since 37 months ago,” Romney said.
The $787 billion refers to the 2009 economic-stimulus package that Republicans say did little to jump-start the economy.
The labor market is still weak, so there’s still a case to be made, Phillip Swagel, a White House economist during President George W. Bush’s administration, said in an interview before the report.
“There’s a sense that this might be the best we’re going to see,” he said, with the unemployment rate still above 8 percent and an economy growing “maybe about 2.5 percent.”
“That means jobs growth will continue but moderate,” Swagel said. “It’s not enough” to reduce the jobless rate.
The new report is “certainly disappointing,” said Chris Rupkey, managing director and chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd in New York. “The president looked on much firmer ground talking about recovery in the labor market and today it’s a little shakier.”
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