Oct 312012
 

Politico
Bobby Cervantes

Early voters cast ballots in Iowa. | AP Photo
We don’t need your oversight.  That’s what the machines are for.

Iowa has joined Texas in warning international election observers of possible criminal prosecution if they violate state laws and get near polling places on Election Day.
Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz — like Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott last week — on Tuesday threatened Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe election observers with arrest if they came within 300 feet of a polling place’s entrance, in violation of state law. (In Texas, it’s 100 feet.)
“My office met with two delegation representatives last week to discuss Iowa’s election process, and it was explained to them that they are not permitted at the polls,” Schultz said in a statement. “Iowa law is very specific about who is permitted at polling places, and there is no exception for members of this group.”
The OSCE — comprised of 56 countries, including the United States — is chiefly a crisis mediation and conflict resolution group in Europe, Asia and North America. Since 2002, the organization’s poll watchers have observed six U.S. elections, without incident, said Janez Lenari, the OSCE’s director for the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Lenari wrote, “The threat of criminal sanctions against OSCE/ODIHR observers is unacceptable. The United States, like all countries in the OSCE, has an obligation to invite ODIHR observers to observe its elections.”

Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokesman, said last week the group assured Texas authorities and the State Department that observers will respect Texas laws.
“To my knowledge, [Texas] is the only state that came forward and said ‘please reassure us that you’re going to follow our state electoral law.’ And they have now been reassured,” Nuland said.

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Oct 312012
 

The Money Party
Michael Collins

Part I of this series suggested that there may well have been massive vote flipping for candidate Mitt Romney in the Republican primaries (Rigged Elections for Romney (10/22/12)  The article and the initial research analysis were received broadly.  In addition, highly motivated citizens across the country and a team of high school students contacted the authors for help replicating the research in their states.  The researchers, Francois et al., point out that this can be done with their open source techniques.
The basic argument is straightforward.  If you look at precinct level voting data arranged from the smallest to the largest precincts, you will see Romney’s gains increasing substantially as the cumulative vote increases.  For example, Ohio and Wisconsin show this clearly as do eleven other states presented here.  This extraordinary vote gain from smallest to largest precincts is so out of line, that the probability that this would happen by chance alone is often less than 1 out of a number represented by 1 preceded by 100 zeros and a decimal point, a value beneath the statistical package’s lower limits.  As a result, the researchers termed the suspected vote flipping for Romney the “amazing anomaly.” (The Amazing Statistical Anomaly)
The research team’s observation of Romney gains based on precinct size is not unique.   The anomaly was raised  previously concerning the Republican presidential primaries by a commenter on a political discussion forum.
Richard Charnin, posting as TruthIsAll, first noted the pattern with an analysis of the 2005 special election for a vacated seat for Ohio’s 2nd district, in the House of Representatives.  The candidates were the liberal-populist Democrat Paul Hackett versus a right-wing Republican, Jean Schmidt.  Charnin noticed that Schmidt’s votes and percentages increased substantially from the smallest to largest precincts in that district.  This was a patently absurd pattern of vote accumulation since the liberal Hackett wins were in highly conservative counties that rarely voted for any Democrat. (See Precincts with the most votes favored Schmidt at nearly 100%)
Vote flipping is a form of election fraud that occurs “when votes are changed [without the voter’s knowledge or consent] from one candidate to another or several others during electronic voting and vote tabulation.”  County election officials conduct computerized vote tabulation as precincts submit their voting results, but cannot detect the fraud because only the total number of votes is checked and vote flipping does not affect the total votes.  The activity is suspected in many of the critical Republican primaries in 2012.
In each case, Mitt Romney was the beneficiary.  For example, without vote flipping, Romney would have lost the Wisconsin, and Ohio, and Illinois primaries as well as primaries in other states.  A comprehensive review will appear in Part III of this series.
Critics of the analysis presented in the first article claim that there is a perfectly logical expectation: that Romney would be more popular in suburbs.  Hence the votes increase as precinct size increases, indicating a move to supposedly Romney favorable urban areas.  Part I of this series mentioned that the research group anticipated that criticism and had factored out urban density from the analysis.  The article linked to a fairly complex research analysis from the team.  Here is a much simpler explanation, via example.
Mitt Romney was a candidate in the 2008 Maryland Republican primary.  The race shows no statistical anomalies in vote accumulation from smallest to largest precincts for Romney.
 
In particular, you can see that Romney’s flat lined in the 2008 Maryland primary.  There is no indication that precinct size played any role in his accumulation of votes.  The demographic criticism fails on the basis of extensive statistical analysis presented by the research team and linked in the first article illustrated by the graphic representation above.
What is the Likely Explanation for the Amazing Anomaly?
Which step in the vote counting process best explains suspected vote flipping?
The researchers, Francois et al., maintain that the likely culprits are central tabulators used by county election departments.  Typically, election precincts submit their individual results to a county-run central tabulator.  The central tabulator combines the precinct totals for a county total for every candidate on the ballot.  That information is then transmitted to state election officials.  The candidate vote count produced by the central tabulators is the critical element in the election process.
The central tabulators are computing devices owned or serviced by private companies such as DominionES&S, and Hart Intercivic.  The operational details and software engineering are almost always the exclusive knowledge and intellectual property of the private companies.  As a result, public officials and citizens lack the type of access necessary to monitor the vote process.
In addition the intermediate data between the precinct machines and the central tabulators is stored in a proprietary obfuscated binary format unavailable to even the county registrar of voters.  That represents a loss of the “electronic chain of custody” of the votes.
Their evidence from Francois et al. is straightforward and powerful.
The researchers asked two questions:  Did a county vote distribution violate the laws of probability in terms of increased vote totals for one or more candidates based on precinct size (an amazing anomaly)?  And was the county using a central tabulator or not?  The answer the second question moves us in the direction of isolating a locus for the process.
Fortunately, Wisconsin has a number of counties that do not use central tabulators.  One of those counties, Outagamie, is the sixth largest county in the state.
Tabulator versus No-Tabulator Counties in Wisconsin – Milwaukee Compared to Outagamie
The entire state of Wisconsin displayed the amazing anomaly of Romney gains as precinct size increased.  Central tabulator counties make up the vast majority of votes and voting precincts in the state.  This graph below, from Part I, displays that phenomenon. It is worth reviewing briefly.  The slope of Romney’s line is an amazing anomaly. As you can see with the red oval, the anomaly produces a trend that leads to victory for Romney.  Without the amazing anomaly, Romney would have lost Wisconsin by 53,991 votes: Romney 34.29%, Santorum 41.14%.
 
The graphs below show candidate vote accumulations from the smallest to largest precincts in the county. The graphic representation of the vote accumulation in Outagamie (left) is well within the realm of statistical probability. The graph of Milwaukee County, below right, shows the amazing anomaly for Romney, as seen above, for the entire state. These two graphs represent the same election, same day, same state.
(Note:  An outside volunteer independently downloaded the data from Wisconsin’s counties and came up with the exact same results.  (Click for larger images)
(Click here for Excel of Wisconsin by precinct with amazing anomaly calculations)
In Outagamie County, WI Santorum won with 10,673 votes to Romney’s 9,750.  Romney won Milwaukee County48,424 to Santorum’s 28,491. Several other no-tabulator counties in Wisconsin fail to show an amazing anomaly increase for any candidate from smallest to largest precincts.
Milwaukee County, on the other hand, used ES&S electronic voting machines and an ES&S Unity Server central tabulator as part of the county elections division.  In Milwaukee County Romney’s vote totals and percentage for precincts increased at a highly improbable rate from the largest to the smallest precincts.

In non-central-tabulator counties, precinct workers report the election data to county elections officials, who then enter the data on an Excel spreadsheet and display directly on their county website. They also transmit that data to the state elections officials. As a result, there is no opportunity for private parties to manipulate the vote count in a central tabulator.
Voting in Outagamie County is done on a mix of paper ballots and optical scan voting machines, which have a real paper trail, the optical scan forms that voters fill out.  There is no observable amazing anomaly occurring in precincts using either paper ballots (with some optical scan machines) or optical scan machines only. (See pdffrom volunteer for all Wisconsin counties by paper ballot versus voting machine results for the amazing anomaly.)
Iowa and New Hampshire
The Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary also display the amazing anomaly.  Each showed signs of suspected vote flipping.
The Iowa Caucuses are run by the Republican Party.  After meeting in precinct areas for debate, Iowa Republicans cast their ballots for candidates on paper ballots.  These are counted at the caucus site and transmitted to the Republican Party, which then tabulates the vote.
There was little in the way of transparency in the Iowa central count that produced the final result.  The Republican hierarchy chose to conduct the count in total secrecy and, possibly, out of state in Kansas.  Party officials said the secrecy and mystery location resulted from fears that some Occupy movement would disrupt their counting.
Fortunately for citizens, Watch the Vote 2012, a voting rights activist group, was present to monitor the caucuses.  They had a presence in approximately half of Iowa’s counties.
That allowed a check of the relationship between precinct size and vote accumulation for each candidate.  The records also allowed a check of precinct totals against those produced by the secret tabulation of precinct totals.
The precinct voting by activists did not match up with the party data presented.  Edward L. True, a caucus participant, was wise enough to photograph his caucus count.  It was different from the party count; the discrepancy resulted in a recount that changed the outcome from a Romney to a Santorum victory.  The finding was too late to do any good but it made an important point.
The New Hampshire primary was also monitored by the WatchTheVote2012 activist group.  They monitored hand counts at voting places.  This allowed a comparison of hand counts, created without any computerized intervention, with the count of the central tabulator for the state provided by a private company, LHS Associates.
The hand count precincts showed no amazing anomaly, while the central tabulator producing totals for precincts revealed the amazing anomaly, progressive and highly improbable vote gains for Romney as precinct size increased.
 
The results from these two states demonstrate that central tabulation does not necessarily require computer involvement to produce highly questionable results.  In this case, questions persist due to secrecy and the potential for human interference.  In the case of New Hampshire, citizen diligence and involvement made the difference in detecting irreconcilable differences between no-tabulator results and results produced by a central tabulator that appear to make no sense.  .
Are Central Tabulators Vulnerable to Hacking and Manipulation?
The best way to hack a central tabulator is to buy an elections equipment company. These privately held, unaccountable firms provide the majority of voting systems in the United States.  ES&S acquired Premier, successor to the ill-reputed Diebold franchise, but was forced to sell it to Dominion.  These two plus Hart Intercivic dominate the market for elections systems, from voting machines to central tabulators to service contracts for full election management.
What better place to control an election outcome, tailor made for whomever.
These firms sell or otherwise provide equipment with the provision that the software behind the machines is their sole intellectual property.  County and state election officials are unable to inspect the software at multiple levels due to this restriction.  This is truly secret voting outsourced to private firms who operate behind the scenes and have limited accountability.  There is no true public accountability.
In his Ars Technica article on the subject, “Miscounting the Vote,” Jon Stokes outlined methods of attacking a central tabulator.  These apply today.  Blackboxvoting.org has demonstrated the vulnerabilities to system hacks, even showing how a trained chimp could perform the task.
Francois suggested his own variations on hacking a central tabulator in an effort to update Jon Stokes.
“Method #1: Using an optical scan voting form, DRE, or absentee ballot, encode the form or use the keyboard to issue commands to the central tabulator (CT). Therefore the VOTE ITSELF is used to hack the CT.   For example: the Riverside 2012 General election includes 20 elections. Fill out the ballot for each of the first 10 elections as follows: 1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2   This ‘wakes up the CT’. Then fill out ‘3, 1, 4, 2, 2, 1, …’ which  commands the CT as follows: ‘in election #3 flip candidate #1 up; in election #4 flip candidate #2 up; in election #2 flip candidate #1 up’ and so forth.
“From that point, the CT software knows exactly what to do.  It won’t bother with candidates with less than 10% of the vote.  But, it will flip progressively as a function of precinct size and try to flip just enough to win, etc. By communicating commands through votes, NO INTERNET to the CT connection is required. No local accomplices at the County level are required. The ‘fix’ could have been programmed in the CT software as far back as decade ago, with no knowledge of this year’s political candidates.
“Method #2: Using a DRE only, enter any kind of odd entry.  For example, enter 5 over votes in a sequence to ‘wake up’ the CT. The voting machine rejects them all and then turns into a special, secret maintenance mode.  At that point, commands will be directed to the CT at the end of Election Day when the election data memory cards are transferred, physically or electronically and vote counting begins.
“In a variation of method #2, embed a command for vote flipping in a voting machine or other fraud prior to the election.  Have the activation react on the receipt of a code word or phrase like ‘All hail the king.’  That activation triggers any vote flipping or other fraud desirable.
“Method #3: Use a power line communication and chips to transmit anything you want to a compromised central tabulator. Again, this alleviates the need for an Internet connection to the CT.”  Francois, October 30, 2012
Between private firms operating in secret, one a foreign firm, and demonstrated vulnerabilities, there are reasons for serious concern.  These elections belong to us but our officials are unable to determine the accuracy, fairness, and security of the process.
A Second Look at Explanations for the Amazing Anomaly
The research group’s conjecture is that central tabulators are the locus of the amazing anomaly for Romney in the 2012 primaries. The comparison of no anomaly results in Wisconsin no-tabulator counties is convincing evidence.  Data recently acquired by François et al. replicates the presence of the anomaly in the Wisconsin statewide count.  Furthermore, it seems to indicate that partial or full use of paper ballots predicts an anomaly-free result.  Further work on this just-received analysis will be forthcoming.
In addition to the suspected role of county-based central tabulators, there are other factors that lead to unexplainable election results.
First and foremost is the absence of open elections with every step of the process available to citizens for examination and evaluation.  Watching the vote count is guaranteed in many state constitutions but it is rarely if ever offered.  The ability to watch elections is denied outright by proprietary software and hardware held behind a corporate firewall of “intellectual property.”  Even with that restriction, citizens have to right to be present at vote taking and counting.  That is often a struggle and always incomplete when electronic voting and tabulation are involved.
The fundamental cause of the suspected amazing anomaly and any of the other forms of election fraud is a fundamental disregard of the rights of citizens to vote and know that their vote counted.
Ironically, the politicians (supported by regulators and academic consultants) who make decisions about election systems are the very same people who are elected again and again by these flawed approaches, software, and equipment.  Our public elected and appointed officials are the ultimate virus in the electoral system.  It needs a good cleaning.
END
This article may be reproduced with attribution of authorship and a link to this article.
Very special thanks to Jill Hayroot for her contributions.
Research group articles on the amazing anomaly:

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Oct 312012
 

Russia Today
Robert Bridge

Vladimir Churov, Head of the Russian Central Election Commission. (RIA Novosti/Aleksey Nikolskyi)
Vladimir Churov

Russia’s Central Election Commission chief has ranked the American electoral system among the “worst in the world.”

One of the main problems with the US electoral system is the lack of transparency, Vladimir Churov argues in an article published in Wednesday’s issue of Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

According to US law, international observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are only granted access to polling stations in a handful of US states, including in Missouri, South Dakota, North Dakota, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia.

In the other states, US Governors have the final say over the question of allowing international observers to monitor the election process.

According to Churov, however, the dark side of the American election process is that “OSCE monitors have been barred from entering polling stations even in the states where they may do so under US law.”

This lack of transparency opens the door to numerous possibilities for corruption and manipulation of the system, he added.

Churov then discussed a perennial problem with American elections: electronic voting machines that do not provide voters with a receipt for their vote, and which are highly vulnerable to manipulation.

“American voting machines have not been designed to provide any documentary evidence of citizen participation in the electoral process,” the Russian observer noted. “Moreover, operators [of the machinery] are technically capable of adding or dropping votes in favor of one candidate or another, leaving behind no evidence of violations.”

In October’s issue of Harper’s Magazine, Victoria Collier shows that with the advent of modern technology, “a brave new world of election rigging emerged,” which emerged with the “mass adoption of computerized voting technology and the outsourcing of our elections to a handful of corporations that operate in the shadows, with little oversight or accountability.”

Collier called the “privatization of our elections…one of the most dangerous and least understood crisis in the history of American democracy.”

Meanwhile, another study demonstrated that a person armed with about 10 bucks and a limited knowledge of technology could hack the vote.

“Voting machines used by as many as a quarter of American voters heading to the polls in 2012 can be hacked with just $10.50 in parts and an eighth grade science education, according to computer science and security experts at the Vulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois,” reported Salon.

The analysts showed that the “newly developed hack” could manipulate voting results while leaving “absolutely no trace” of the crime behind.

Computer specialists can easily break into the system and cook the results, Churov said, adding that the owners of the Diebold voting machines have openly stated in the past their support of the Republican Party.

In the run-up to the 2004 presidential election between George W. Bush and John Kerry, Diebold CEO Walden O’Dell wrote that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president.”

The outcome of the election, which showed John Kerry enjoying an insurmountable lead in exit polls, suggests that O’Dell was not exaggerating his support.

According to Collier, “In one Ohio precinct, exit polls indicated that Kerry should have received 67 per cent of the vote, but the certified tally gave him only 38 per cent. The odds of such an unexpected outcome occurring only as a result of sampling error are 1 in 867,205,553.”

To quote Lou Harris, the father of political polling: “Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen.”

Churov then criticized the US polling process, which may lift candidates into office without full popular support.

“It is generally believed that the American people will elect their president on November 6. In fact, the president – an individual bestowed with enormous powers – will be elected by the so-called Electoral College.

The president will be elected by the 280 electors, not by all American citizens,” the head of Russia’s Central Election Commission noted.

One can only talk about the American people’s right to elect their president with reservations, while the average American citizen’s right to become president is completely out of the question,” he said.

Unfortunately for the American voter, international observance of the US election process, which seems seriously vulnerable to manipulation, is not enough to guarantee democratic standards, Churov concluded.

On November 6, US voters head to the polls to decide the winner of the presidential contest, which pits the incumbent President Barack Obama against the Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

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Oct 312012
 

NoTrickZone
P. Gosselin

Meteorologist Klaus-Eckard Puls

Physicist and meteorologist Klaus-Eckart Puls was interviewed by Bettina Hahne-Waldscheck of the Swiss magazine “factum“.

I’ve translated and summarized the interview, paraphrasing for brevity.

factum: You’ve been criticising the theory of man-made global warming for years. How did you become skeptical?

Puls: Ten years ago I simply parroted what the IPCC told us. One day I started checking the facts and data – first I started with a sense of doubt but then I became outraged when I discovered that much of what the IPCC and the media were telling us was sheer nonsense and was not even supported by any scientific facts and measurements. To this day I still feel shame that as a scientist I made presentations of their science without first checking it. The CO2-climate hysteria in Germany is propagated by people who are in it for lots of money, attention and power.

factum: Is there really climate change?

Puls: Climate change is normal. There have always been phases of climate warming, many that even far exceeded the extent we see today. But there hasn’t been any warming since 1998. In fact the IPCC suppliers of data even show a slight cooling.

factum: The IPCC is projecting 0.2°C warming per decade, i.e. 2 to 4°C by the year 2100. What’s your view?

Puls: These are speculative model projections, so-called scenarios – and not prognoses. Because of climate’s high complexity, reliable prognoses just aren’t possible. Nature does what it wants, and not what the models present as prophesy. The entire CO2-debate is nonsense. Even if CO2 were doubled, the temperature would rise only 1°C. The remainder of the IPCC’s assumed warming is based purely on speculative amplification mechanisms. Even though CO2 has risen, there has been no warming in 13 years.

factum: How does sea level rise look?

Puls: Sea level rise has slowed down. Moreover, it has dropped a half centimeter over the last 2 years. It’s important to remember that mean sea level is a calculated magnitude, and not a measured one. There are a great number of factors that influence sea level, e.g. tectonic processes, continental shifting, wind currents, passats, volcanoes. Climate change is only one of ten factors.

factum: What have we measured at the North Sea?

Puls: In the last 400 years, sea level at the North Sea coast has risen about 1.40 meters. That’s about 35 centimeters per century. In the last 100 years, the North Sea has risen only 25 centimeters.

factum: Does the sea level rise have anything to do with the melting North Pole?

Puls: That’s a misleading conclusion. Even if the entire North Pole melted, there would be no sea level rise because of the principles of buoyancy.

factum: Is the melting of the glaciers in the Alps caused by global warming?

Puls: There are many factors at play. As one climbs a mountain, the temperature drops about 0.65°C per 100 meters. Over the last 100 years it has gotten about 0.75°C warmer and so the temperature boundary has shifted up about 100 meters. But observations tell us that also ice 1000 meters up and higher has melted. Clearly there are other reasons for this, namely soot and dust. But soot and dust do not only have anthropogenic origins; they are also caused by nature via volcanoes, dust storms and wildfires. Advancing and retreating of glaciers have always taken place throughout the Earth’s history. Glaciology studies clearly show that glaciers over the last 10,0000 years were smaller on average than today.

factum: In your view, melting Antarctic sea ice and the fracture of a huge iceberg 3 years ago are nothing to worry about?

Puls: To the contrary, the Antarctic ice cap has grown both in area and volume over the last 30 years, and temperature has declined. This 30-year trend is clear to see. The Amundsen Scott Station of the USA shows that temperature has been declining there since 1957. 90% of the Earth’s ice is stored in Antarctica, which is one and half times larger than Europe.

factum: Then why do we always read it is getting warmer down there?

Puls: Here they are only talking about the West Antarctic peninsula, which is where the big chunk of ice broke off in 2008 – from the Wilkins-Shelf. This area is hardly 1% of the entire area of Antarctica, but it is exposed to Southern Hemisphere west wind drift and some of the strongest storms on the planet.

factum: What causes such massive chunks of ice to break off?

Puls: There are lots of factors, among them the intensity of the west wind fluctuations. These west winds have intensified over the last 20 years as part of natural ocean and atmospheric cycles, and so it has gotten warmer on the west coast of the Antarctic peninsula. A second factor are the larger waves associated with the stronger storms. The waves are more powerful and so they break off more ice. All these causes are meteorological and physical, and have nothing to do with a climate catastrophe.

factum: Then such ice breaks had to have occurred in the past too?

Puls: This has been going on for thousands of years, also in the 1970s, back when all the talk was about “global cooling”. Back then there were breaks with ice chunks hundreds of square kilometres in area. People were even discussing the possibilities of towing these huge ice chunks to dry countries like South Africa or Namibia in order to use them as a drinking water supply.

factum: What about all the media photos of polar bears losing their ice?

Puls: That is one of the worst myths used for generating climate hysteria. Polar bears don’t eat ice, they eat seals. Polar bears go hungry if we shoot their food supply of seals. The polar bear population has increased with moderately rising temperatures, from 5000 50 years ago to 25,000 today.

factum: But it is true that unlike Antarctica, the Arctic is melting?

Puls: It has been melting for 30 years. That also happened twice already in the last 150 years. The low point was reached in 2007 and the ice has since begun to recover. There have always been phases of Arctic melting. Between 900 and 1300 Greenland was green on the edges and the Vikings settled there.

factum: And what do you say about the alleged expanding deserts?

Puls: That doesn’t exist. For example the Sahara is shrinking and has lost in the north an area as large as Germany over the last 20 years. The same is true in the South Sahara. The famine that struck Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia was mainly caused by the leasing of large swaths of land to large international corporations so that they could grow crops for biofuels for Europe, and by war. But it is much easier for prosperous Europe to blame the world’s political failures on a fictional climate catastrophe instead.

factum: So we don’t need to do anything against climate change?

Puls: There’s nothing we can do to stop it. Scientifically it is sheer absurdity to think we can get a nice climate by turning a CO2 adjustment knob. Many confuse environmental protection with climate protection. it’s impossible to protect the climate, but we can protect the environment and our drinking water. On the debate concerning alternative energies, which is sensible, it is often driven by the irrational climate debate. One has nothing to do with the other.

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Oct 312012
 

Natural News
Ethan Evers

As few as one diet soda daily may increase the risk for leukemia in men and women, and for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma in men, according to new results from the longest-ever running study on aspartame as a carcinogen in humans. Importantly, this is the most comprehensive, long-term study ever completed on this topic, so it holds more weight than other past studies which appeared to show no risk. And disturbingly, it may also open the door for further similar findings on other cancers in future studies.

The most thorough study yet on aspartame – Over two million person-years

For this study, researchers prospectively analyzed data from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study for a 22-year period. A total of 77,218 women and 47,810 men were included in the analysis, for a total of 2,278,396 person-years of data. Apart from sheer size, what makes this study superior to other past studies is the thoroughness with which aspartame intake was assessed. Every two years, participants were given a detailed dietary questionnaire, and their diets were reassessed every four years. Previous studies which found no link to cancer only ever assessed participants’ aspartame intake at one point in time, which could be a major weakness affecting their accuracy.

One diet soda a day increases leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphomas

The combined results of this new study showed that just one 12-fl oz. can (355 ml) of diet soda daily leads to:

– 42 percent higher leukemia risk in men and women (pooled analysis)
– 102 percent higher multiple myeloma risk (in men only)
– 31 percent higher non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk (in men only)

These results were based on multi-variable relative risk models, all in comparison to participants who drank no diet soda. It is unknown why only men drinking higher amounts of diet soda showed increased risk for multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Note that diet soda is the largest dietary source of aspartame (by far) in the U.S. Every year, Americans consume about 5,250 tons of aspartame in total, of which about 86 percent (4,500 tons) is found in diet sodas.

Confirmation of previous high quality research on animals

This new study shows the importance of the quality of research. Most of the past studies showing no link between aspartame and cancer have been criticized for being too short in duration and too inaccurate in assessing long-term aspartame intake. This new study solves both of those issues. The fact that it also shows a positive link to cancer should come as no surprise, because a previous best-in-class research study done on animals (900 rats over their entire natural lifetimes) showed strikingly similar results back in 2006: aspartame significantly increased the risk for lymphomas and leukemia in both males and females. More worrying is the follow on mega-study, which started aspartame exposure of the rats at the fetal stage. Increased lymphoma and leukemia risks were confirmed, and this time the female rats also showed significantly increased breast (mammary) cancer rates. This raises a critical question: will future, high-quality studies uncover links to the other cancers in which aspartame has been implicated (brain, breast, prostate, etc.)?

There is now more reason than ever to completely avoid aspartame in our daily diet. For those who are tempted to go back to sugary sodas as a “healthy” alternative, this study had a surprise finding: men consuming one or more sugar-sweetened sodas daily saw a 66 percent increase in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (even worse than for diet soda). Perhaps the healthiest soda is no soda at all.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23097267
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16507461
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17805418

About the author:

Ethan Evers is author of the award-winning medical thriller “The Eden Prescription,” in which cutting-edge researchers perfect an effective, all-natural treatment for cancer, only to be hunted down by pharmaceutical interests which will stop at nothing to protect their $80 billion cancer drug cash machine. The Eden Prescription is based on the latest science and draws on real historical events stretching back to the beginning of the “War on Cancer.” Ethan has a PhD in Applied Science.

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Oct 312012
 

4SS
Thomas L. Knapp

When pundits name-check “the welfare-warfare state,” we usually mean, and are usually understood to mean, something along the lines of “bread and circuses at home, military adventurism abroad.”

That’s as good a definition as any, I suppose, and certainly an accurate description of today’s global political environment, but it fails to really capture the nature of the post-WWII trend in US politics.

In America, the “welfare” and “warfare” aspects of the state have, over that period, achieved a near-perfect merger. Rather than representing one side of two mutually reinforcing but nominally separate sets of policies, US “defense” spending has become the single largest, and by far most redistributive, welfare program in the federal budget.

This phenomenon is best illustrated by the Hobson’s Choice offered in the final debate between US president Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney: “Draconian cuts” of 10% growth (yes, you read that right) over the next five years (Obama) or 18% growth over the same period (Romney). Real cuts aren’t even on the table. Like Henry Ford said, you can get any color Model T you want, as long as it’s black.

The numbers are constantly changing, but a 2010 baseline looks like this:

Approximately 1.4 million Americans work as members of the armed forces, and another 1.6 million workers labor in the civilian “defense” industry. These Americans are welfare clients of the “workfare” variety.

As an economic factor, they might just as well be digging holes and filling them back in (in fact, as a US Marine infantryman, I did quite a bit of exactly that!). The vast bulk of the work they do serves no “legitimate” function with respect to actual defense of the United States from attack or invasion, and in fact more likely increases the risks of such.

Some high double-digit percentage — I think 75% is a reasonable and conservative estimate — of “defense” spending is not about “defense” in any meaningful sense of the word. It’s about keeping those 3 million workers on the clock, and keeping their politically connected employers in profit.

Those 3 million workfare clients cost the American taxpayer $700 billion per year — $233,000 per client. But they don’t take that much home, of course. If their average income tracks to US per capita, they take home an average of $41,500 per year each, or a total of nearly $125 billion.

Where does the other $575 billion go? That’s the gross rakeoff, after workfare costs but before other overhead, of the real welfare queens: “Defense contractors.” If we generously assume that 25% of that rakeoff actually does produce “legitimate” defense benefits, they are knocking down more than $430 billion in welfare checks. But let’s be fair: According to the US Department of Defense, the top 20 “defense” contractors average a profit margin of only about 4%. So, $17 billion.

With that much money at stake, the $30 million or so that “defense”-related contributors have spent on the 2012 election so far is chump change: About 2/10ths of 1% of the profits they get from having politicians on their side.

If that was the end of it, it would be pretty bad — one out of every five dollars earned by American workers siphoned off on an incredibly inefficient welfare program. But that’s not the end of it at all. The existence of the welfare program is a major incentive for going to war early and often.

First, when you have a $700 billion hammer, it’s easy to fall into the habit of looking at every problem as a nail.

And secondly, welfare programs are expected, by everyone involved, to demonstrate their own necessity. If peace breaks out, the workfare clients go back to doing something else … and “defense” contractors have to cut back on the caviar and brie.

There’s no easy way out of the situation. If we have a welfare-warfare state, we’re going to spend a lot of blood and treasure on wars. And if we have a state, it’s going to become, and do everything in its operators’ power to remain, a welfare-warfare state. You can have politics or you can have peace, but you can’t have both.

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Oct 312012
 

Global Research
Harvey Wasserman

vote

CICJ Books has just released “Grassroots, Geeks, Pros, and Pols: The Election Integrity Movement’s Rise and Nonstop Battle to Win Back the People’s Vote, 2000-2008″ by Marta Steele.
Marta Steele has done yeoman work for the election integrity movement. She has plowed through more websites and blogs than one can even imagine. She set out with the nearly impossible task of writing the definitive historical narrative of the folly of electronic voting in the United States between 1988 and 2008. More shockingly, she accomplished that task.
Electronic voting machines are perfectly designed to steal elections. That’s their principle purpose. Ireland has just gotten rid of them altogether. Germany, Japan, Canada, Switzerland all use paper ballots. Why? Because you can actually count them in public, and then count them again.
But here in the US, elections are corporate-owned and operated. Anyone who experienced pushing the e-spot for John Kerry and having the name George W. Bush light up—as happened so often in Ohio 2004—knows all too well that what Marta Steele documents in this remarkable book has become the defining reality in American election theft.
What she has done by way of documentation is truly impressive. Never again will those who question the validity of electronic voting be called “conspiracy theorists.” Through sheer tenacity, the author has scoured the vast morass of cyberspace and brought back all the essential data and assembled it in an understandable and analytical fashion. Readers can only draw one conclusion from her work – those who deny the death of democracy are foolish “coincidence theorists.”
She accumulated mountains of incidences that show the so-called “red shift” in favor of the Republican Party is not an anomaly or computer “glitch,” but evidence that there is systematic tampering of computerized voting machines by private companies connected to the Republican Party. Although our newspaper, the Columbus Free Press, and our website freepress.org published plenty on the flaws of electronic voting and election irregularities, we were nonetheless overwhelmed by the research documented in this volume. Those who read this book will no longer fall for the easy propaganda lines and talking points put forth by Karl Rove and his cohorts in explaining away impossible election results.
This book is important because its research is so detailed, its history so clear, and its analysis so convincing. The book destroys the mythology that “it can’t happen here” – that our system is an old and infallible democracy that can’t be corrupted. This powerful work will force all who read it to take a side, but more importantly, to take action, perhaps even direct action.
A key breakthrough that the book allows is to shatter the absurd notion that the empire of the United States may very well meddle in and steal elections abroad, but would never use these tactics at home. The fact that the Bush family, with their patriarch George Herbert Walker Bush being the CIA director, is so inextricably linked to the rise of electronic voting and improbably election results, should be no surprise. That’s why it is no coincidence that she starts her history of election voting irregularities in the year that George H.W. Bush wins the New Hampshire and becomes president.
The Bush family ascendancy corresponds to black box, nontransparent voting in America. The more we’ve privatized our software and hardware and called it “trade secrets,” the better the Bush family candidates have done, against all odds. Their presidential victories, with the official exit polls falling well outside the margin of errors and predicting victories for their opponents, would easily be denounced by election observers in a Third World country.
Small wonder that when push came to shove, Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell refused to allow United Nations observers into the Buckeye State polling places to check the veracity of the 2004 balloting.
We believe this book does more than any other to expose the evils of electronic voting. The endnotes alone amount to a giant step forward in revealing the crimes of privatized e-voting in our nation.
As Al Gore and John Kerry refused to do, we must now face the reality that as long as our balloting process is dominated by electronic machines, the outcome of any election can be flipped by a governor or secretary of state with a few late-night key strokes. Considering the hundreds of millions the rich and super-rich are willing to spend to control the government, would you ever doubt they would hesitate to buy an election?
What Marta Steele has done is to confirm far beyond any reasonable doubt that as long as electronic machines are at the core of our vote count, there is no such thing as democracy in the USA. What we have instead is an electronic corporatocracy….proprietary, secretive, anti-democratic and for sale (or lease) to the highest bidder. The real question is: now that Marta had made this all perfectly clear, what are we going to do about it?

~ with Harvey Wasserman


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Oct 312012
 

Wouldn’t it be nice if there actually was a band of technically savvy, ideologically committed, intellectually honest students of the harsh discipline of objectivity sporting Guy Fawkes masks and willing to play the role of vigilante superheroes to wage a fierce, personal battle against war criminals and treasonous banksters?

Unfortunately, it is probably the war criminals and treasonous banksters behind these vague messages from Anonymous serving as the last ditch effort to console an unknown percentage of those who know enough to be dangerous.

Let’s be even more dangerous and acknowledge that no matter how many soothing mono-toned, Guy Fawkes YouTubes promising justice, regardless of what eventually drips out as public record from the likes of Wikileaks and no matter what moving concession goes viral from the next ineffectual liberal du jour, there will be no change.

Not until we are able to look into the mirror with our own unmasked faces and believe one simple thing: “I like what I see.”

Here is anonymous putting our fears to rest about Karl Rove’s work to disenfranchise voters in this upcoming election.  It shouldn’t be enough for any of us.

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Oct 302012
 

Express
HELEN DOWD

SHUNNED: Naturalist David Bellamy
Two strikes against David Bellamy for the BBC
1.  Not a believer in Anthropogenic Global Warming
2.  Not a child molester

FOR YEARS David Bellamy was one of the best known faces on TV. A respected botanist and the author of 35 books, he had presented around 400 programmes over the years and was appreciated by audiences for his boundless enthusiasm.

Yet for more than 10 years he has been out of the limelight, shunned by bosses at the BBC where he made his name, as well as fellow scientists and environmentalists.

His crime? Bellamy says he doesn’t believe in man-made global warming.

Here he reveals why – and the price he has paid for not toeing the orthodox line on climate change.

CLANGER: Bellamy says Al Gore has 'no proof' that millions will die due to global warming
CLANGER: Bellamy says Al Gore has ‘no proof’
 that millions will die due to global warming

“When I first stuck my head above the parapet to say I didn’t believe what we were being told about global warming I had no idea what the consequences would be.

I am a scientist and I have to ­follow the directions of science but when I see that the truth is being covered up I have to voice my ­opinions.

According to official data, in every year since 1998 world temperatures have been getting colder, and in 2002 Arctic ice actually increased. Why, then, do we not hear about that?

The sad fact is that since I said I didn’t believe human beings caused global warming I’ve not been allowed to make a TV programme.

My absence has been noticed, because wherever I go I meet people who say: “I grew up with you on the television, where are you now?”

It was in 1996 that I criticised wind farms while appearing on Blue Peter and I also had an article published in which I described global warming as poppycock.

The truth is, I didn’t think wind farms were an effective means of alternative energy so I said so. Back then, at the BBC you had to toe the line and I wasn’t doing that.

At that point I was still making loads of television programmes and I was enjoying it greatly. Then I suddenly found I was sending in ideas for TV shows and they weren’t getting taken up. I’ve asked around about why I’ve been ignored but I found that people didn’t get back to me.

CAMPAIGNER: Bellamy says we must stop destroying tropical rainforests
CAMPAIGNER: Bellamy says we must stop
destroying tropical rainforests

At the beginning of this year there was a BBC show with four experts saying: “This is going to be the end of all the ice in the Arctic,” and hypothesising that it was going to be the hottest summer ever. Was it hell! It was very cold and very wet and now we’ve seen evidence that the glaciers in Alaska have started growing rapidly – and they’ve not grown for a long time.

I’ve seen evidence, which I believe, that says there has not been a rise in global temperature since 1998, despite the increase in carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere. This makes me think the global warmers are telling lies – carbon dioxide is not the driver.

The idiot fringe have accused me of being like a Holocaust denier, which is ludicrous. Climate change is all about cycles, it’s a natural thing and has always happened. When the Romans lived in Britain they were growing very good red grapes and making wine on the borders of Scotland. It was evidently a lot warmer.

If you were sitting next to me 10,000 years ago we’d be under ice. So thank God for global warming for ending that ice age; we wouldn’t be here otherwise.

People such as former American Vice-President Al Gore say that millions of us will die because of global warming – which I think is a pretty stupid thing to say if you’ve got no proof.

And my opinion is that there is absolutely no proof that carbon dioxide is anything to do with any impending catastrophe. The ­science has, quite simply, gone awry. In fact, it’s not even science any more, it’s anti-science.

There’s no proof, it’s just projections and if you look at the models people such as Gore use, you can see they cherry pick the ones that support their beliefs.

To date, the way the so-called Greens and the BBC, the Royal Society and even our political parties have handled this smacks of McCarthyism at its worst.

Global warming is part of a natural cycle and there’s nothing we can actually do to stop these cycles. The world is now facing spending a vast amount of money in tax to try to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist.

And how were we convinced that this problem exists, even though all the evidence from measurements goes against the fact? God knows. Yes, the lakes in Africa are drying up. But that’s not global warming. They’re drying up for the very ­simple reason that most of them have dams around them.

So the water that used to be used by local people is now used in the production of cut flowers and veget­ables for the supermarkets of Europe.

One of Al Gore’s biggest clangers was saying that the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan was drying up because of global warming. Well, everyone knows, because it was all over the news 20 years ago, that the Russians were growing cotton there at the time and that for every ton of cotton you produce you use a vast amount of water.

The thing that annoys me most is that there are genuine environmental problems that desperately require attention. I’m still an environmentalist, I’m still a Green and I’m still campaigning to stop the destruction of the biodiversity of the world. But money will be wasted on trying to solve this global warming “problem” that I would much rather was used for looking after the people of the world.

Being ignored by the likes of the BBC does not really bother me, not when there are much bigger problems at stake.

I might not be on TV any more but I still go around the world campaigning about these important issues. For example, we must stop the dest­ruc­tion of trop­ical rainforests, something I’ve been saying for 35 years.

Mother nature will balance things out but not if we interfere by destroying rainforests and overfishing the seas.

That is where the real environmental catastrophe could occur.

Editor’s note: Here are some interesting follow-up videos concerning David Bellamy. First is an appearance on the Late, Late show in 2009. Second, is one of the rare debates between David Bellamy and AGW advocate George Monbiot. If you visit the YouTube link, the debate is proudly entitled, “David Bellamy being humiliated by George Monbiot over climate change.” Bellamy does not clarify his source for refuting the irreversibly shrinking glacier theory, but growing glaciers, ironically, have been confirmed since by the BBC itself (there might have been some children involved). The rest of the debate is a classic example of one side (Bellamy) requesting to “show the evidence” and the other side (Monbiot) appealing to scientific authority and scientific consensus. It’s an important exchange primarily to see Monbiot’s campaign. You will also notice that this YouTuber either refused comments or deleted the comments thread for the clip. Probably because Monbiot’s style and the Arctic ice issue has long since been eviscerated (among those actually looking at the issue, of course).

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