Tuesday, October 30, 2007

AIDS study indicates that it arrived in USA in 1969

Aids study shows it arrived in US in 1960s - Telegraph

This is a very interesting reporting regarding the transmission of the AIDS virus from Africa and the sub Sahara regions to the USA. Initially, a Canadian airline steward was credited with the spread of HIV in the USA, however, the team of researchers from the University of Edinburgh, basing their claims on genetic analysis have shown that the probable route from Africa is through Haiti.

The team, which includes Andrew Rambaut at the
University of Edinburgh, based on the conclusion on genetic analyses.
The team analysed blood from five of the first Aids patients identified
in the US, all of whom were recent immigrants from Haiti. The team also
analysed genetic sequences from another 117 AIDS patients from around
the world.

The team used statistical methods to
investigate all the family trees that were consistent with the genetic
data. For the hypothesis that, from Africa, HIV went to the US first,
the probability is 0.003 percent -- virtually nil. For the hypothesis
that HIV went from Africa first to Haiti in around 1966 and then on to
the US, the probability is 99.8 percent, almost 100 percent.
The advantage of this study is that by learning more about the genetic make-up of the various strains of HIV could help vaccine development.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lebanese troops fire on IAF jets - are we heading towards another war?


Officials: Lebanese troops fired on IAF jets - Israel News, Ynetnews

I bet the MSM will remain quiet over the fact that Lebanese troops, (probably ones not loyal to the government but to Nasrallah) fired upon Israeli aircraft doing routine reconnaissance. This might be a situation that needs to be watched more carefully because it could signal another "war", and yes Syria and her master Iran want that war to take place.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

How to Monitor MRSA

News Reporter

Staff Writer

Health officials hope encouraging better hygiene and following strict protocols can prevent the MRSA virus from becoming more of a problem in Columbus County.

Columbus Regional already has close enforcement of hand hygiene and patient isolation rules to avoid spread of the drug-resistant bug. The infection has been blamed for several deaths across the country in recent weeks, and is turning up in previously unaffected portions of the population.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA or simply staph, was previously rare outside of hospitals and nursing homes, but in recent years the virulent strain of MRSA has begun appearing in schools, prisons, and the general population.

Miranda Dufour, who is in charge of Infection Control and Employee Health at Columbus Regional, said the hospital was already on a prevention platform for the disease, which has no vaccination of cure.

“We’ve been monitoring it closely,” Dufour said. “That’s been the case since 2005, when we became aware this could be a growing problem.”

Community-related MRSA, according to the state Department of Health, can be treated with medicines. Hospital-associated MRSA, the more virulent strain, is the one doctors are worried about.

The disease became a major concern to health officials in the 1990s, when people with no connection to medical facilities began showing signs of HA-MRSA.

The variation of the disease was noticed in 2005 in North Carolina. Day care centers and schools have been the hardest hit by the disease, which the Centers for Disease control estimates will kill more people than the AIDS virus next year.

MRSA infections can appear as a spider or infected insect bite.

This changes into a “red hot pimple,” Dufour said, and may be followed by flu-like symptoms. The disease usually causes powerful infections to the rest of the body.

MRSA is carried by many people who never exhibit symptoms or get sick.

“A lot of people can be colonized in their skin, nose or armpits,” Dufour said, “and never show an active infection.”
The disease is spread through skin-to-skin contact, or by extended contact with articles that carry the germ, like towels, washcloths and razors. MRSA can also be transmitted through the handles of shopping carts, telephones and athletic equipment.

Dufour said medical professionals are eyeing the bug because it is appearing in greater numbers in the general population. The hospital has taken a strong preventative stance on the disease, Dufour said.

“We are concerned,” she said. “MRSA has always been there, especially in hospitals and nursing homes, but when it started moving out into other places it became even more serious.”

The hospital already checks nursing home or long-term care patients for MRSA, Dufour said.

If a patient tests positive for the bug – either through an active case or by being colonized, or carrying the disease – he or she is isolated from other patients. Staff members also wear gowns and other protective gear whenever they treat a colonized patient.

“We also practice strict handwashing hygiene throughout the hospital,” Dufour said, “and we encourage anyone visiting the hospital to do the same.”

Dispensers with alcohol-based sanitizers are set up throughout the hospital, and some members of the staff carry individual bottles.

It’s a habit Dufour said health officials encourage for the general population, too.

“You can get the personal size bottles almost anywhere,” she said. “There are small ones that fit perfectly in a child’s lunchbox or bookbag, and everyone should have some available if they go to a store or other public place where contact is likely.”

The germ commonly turns up in infants with skin abcesses, Dufour said, and children who spend time in close quarters.

The state Department of Health has issued special advisories on MRSA for schools and athletic organizations, since a 17-year-old Virginia youth contracted the disease while playing high school sports.

Several members of a North Carolina high school team were also infected recently and are being treated.
Health clubs and gyms have also been put on notice, Dufour said, because the germ can be spread through sweat from an infected person.

Others at risk are people with poor general hygiene, anyone who lives in a confined space, intravenous drug users, and people with chronic illnesses such as renal failure or diabetes.

“If you’re in generally good health, “ Dufour said, “just keep an eye on anything suspicious.”

While there is no antibiotic that can treat the disease, Dufour said there is a simple way to prevent it.

“Good handwashing hygiene is the best preventative,” she said. “Washing your hands in warm soapy water for 15 to 20 seconds will eliminate much of the danger.”

Dufour said there has been a rise in calls to area doctors about the disease, especially from concerned parents and people who notice insect bites.

“Not every bite or pimple is MRSA,” Dufour said. Keep any suspicious wound clean, dry and covered, Dufour said, and if there is no improvement in a few days, “call your doctor.”

The wound will then be drained and the infection tested to determine if the patient has staph, Dufour said. Sometimes the problem can be treated with draining by a doctor.

The disease has historically struck older people, Dufour said, but the new strain is increasingly taking aim at young people, especially children.

To avoid spreading the disease, the hospital has also asked that parents not allow young children to crawl into hospital beds with patients.

“You hate to have to say something like that,” Dufour said, “but if a person is infected, and a little one crawls into bed with grandma – then you have two infected people, not just one.”

Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the state Department of Health have set up a special website on MRSA.

For more on diagnosing and preventing the spread of the disease, go to the state site at www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/gcdc/ca_mrsa, or the federal site at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca_public.html.

Six more members of the Party of Internal struggle arrested

Police seize 'world jihad' team - CNN.com

Muslims pretend that the meaning of "Jihad" is internal struggle. Perhaps for the Sufi Muslims this is true, but not so as far as the six arrested in northern Spain are concerned. The six suspected Islamic militant murder-suicide bidders, have been arrested on suspicion of using the Internet to recruit and plot a "world jihad". Now this notion of a world jihad does not jive with the belief that jihad means internal struggle. The members of Islam can pretend that this is the meaning, but not according to the Koran and not according to Mohammed. There is no misunderstanding where these 6 are concerned.

"A large part of the activity was carried out on restricted Internet
'chats' and forums, which shows that the cell arrested was the first
one detected and dismantled in Spain that promoted 'world jihad'
through the Internet," the statement said. Police were searching
the homes of the six suspects and also a butcher shop run by one of
them. Documents and computers were seized, the statement said. Some of the money raised by the group allegedly was sent to Islamic terrorist convicts or suspects in prison, it said.

The alleged ringleader is Abdelkader Ayachine, an Algerian, and his top
aide, Wissan Lotfi, a Moroccan. They were allegedly preaching violent
jihadi ideology to promote an international "holy war," especially in
Iraq, the statement said. Spain has detained 250 suspected
Islamic terrorists since the Madrid train bombings in 2004 that killed
191 people and wounded more than 1,800 others. Spain's defense
minister recently told radio network SER. But most of those arrests
have been in Madrid, Barcelona, and coastal areas. A verdict in
the Madrid bombing trial is expected next week. The trial earlier this
year involved 28 defendants, mostly Islamic terrorist suspects.

Last week in Madrid, another terrorism trial began with 30 defendants,
mostly Algerians, charged in what prosecutors said was a failed suicide
truck bombing plot against the National Court in central Madrid.

Freedom of Speech denied at Emory U

Gateway Pundit has a good article on the manner in which left wing students and their Muslim "friends" destroyed the right to freedom of speech.

You can read about it here:

Powered by ScribeFire.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pulling the strings of the Dhimmicrats

I have to admit that Dr. Sanity never ceases to amaze when it comes to some of the really great articles that she finds, and this one is no exception. Now I am not an American, but that does not mean that I am not interested in the race to become the next President of the USA. Personally, I think that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barak Obama are worthy candidates. Where Hilary is concerned, well I see her as a scheming hard hearted female dog. As far as Barak Obama is concerned, he has been shooting off at the mouth too much. The Democrats need stronger contenders, people who can be trusted to have more concern about the American people than their own selfish pursuits for power, Hilary Clinton style (stepping off soap box to continue with the purpose of this post):

If any of my readers are familiar with the movie Chicago, then you will remember the scene where the lawyer does a quick step two step as he pulls the strings and manipulates the press gallery. It is a really great scene because the reporters are well and truly manipulated by the smoke and mirrors that are being flashed before them as they accept hook, line and sinker the tale that is being fed to them, as to why Roxie shot her lover. It is with this imagery in mind that I have given Dr. Sanity's article my own title since I think that it is quite fitting to point out how the Dhimmicrats are being manipulated by the Islamist propagandists:


One of the definitions of the word dummy is "a large puppet usually having movable features (as mouth and arms) manipulated by a ventriloquist". Of course, it also is a word that means "a stupid person".
Per Robert Spencer, Dhimmitude is the status that Islamic law (i.e., Sharia) mandates for non-Muslims, primarily Jews and Christians. Dhimmis, “protected” or “guilty” people, are free to practice their religion in a Sharia regime, but are made subject to a number of humiliating regulations designed to enforce the Qur'an's command that they "feel themselves subdued" (Sura 9:29). This denial of equality of rights and dignity remains part of the Sharia, and, as such, are part of the legal superstructure that global jihadists are laboring through violence to restore everywhere in the Islamic world, and wish ultimately to impose on the entire human race

Both sets of definitions apply to today's Democratic leadership when it comes to their foreign policy positions regarding the war on terror.

Here is an extremely interesting bit of writing by Tariq Alhomayed, the editor of Asharq Alawsat, an international Arabic daily newspaper, who catalogs Iran's many efforts to destablize the region and accumulate power to itself. In "Washington and Tehran: Negotiating Over What?", Alhomayed says:

US Democratic candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, have expressed their intention to engage in “unconditional negotiations” with Iran, should either of them attain the presidency. The question is: Negotiate over what?
Are the conflicts in the Middle East a result of a crisis in Washington-Tehran relations; or rather, does it revolve around Iran’s expansion ambitions and its interference in the internal affairs of Arab states for over 20 years?
Is the Washington-Tehran crisis a result of the absence of dialogue, or is it by reason of Iran’s aspirations to destabilize the region?

The list he makes is rather impressive. Iran has
  • Occupied the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) islands in the Arabian Gulf
  • tearing Beirut in half, while seeking to restore Syrian occupation over it, under Iranian guardianship
  • Tehran occupies the heart of Iraq and its peripheries and is undertaking unbelievable actions through its men operating within the regime.
  • the financial backbone of Hamas and now speaks on behalf of the Palestinian cause
  • fueling public opinion in Iran and steering it towards hostility with the US. Today, it is this same Arab Street card that the Iranians exploit to recruit suicide bombers and sympathizers.
  • interferes in all the Arab world’s elections by pumping huge sums of money with the purpose of imposing a different reality than the existing one; the most prominent example of which is the Bahraini elections.
  • embraces some of Al Qaeda’s leadership and
  • is disrupting relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan
  • is instigating and managing sectarian conflicts in the Arab world, which results in giving conflicts in the region a religious cover. This, in turn, has caused the region to drown in a sea of spilled blood
  • seeks to acquire nuclear weapons, while preparing to wholly devour Iraq with the aid of one of its tools: Syria.

  • Alhomayed concludes with a blistering denunciation of the Democratic leadership in the U.S. who is sending the wrong--in fact, the worst possible, message to Tehran:
    The strange thing is that at a time when international efforts are being made to establish an international coalition against Iran’s pursuit for nuclear weapons, the Democrats are waving the carrot before Tehran. As such, Iran will surely interpret the message as an invitation to consolidate position on the ground and in the region until the Democrats reach power, after which it can negotiate with Washington from a position of power.

    The Dummycrats Dhimmicrats Democrats are sending a strong message of appeasement that only encourages the brutal forces that stand against human freedom and wish to enslave mankind. These barbarians intend to herd humanity back to the "idyllic" days of the middle ages and toward another holocaust and world war to achieve their apocalyptic vision.

  • The Democratic Party of FDR and JFK would have understood this reality; but the party of Pelosi, Reid, Clinton, Obama et al, are oblivious.
    Technorati Tags: , ,

  • Dummies or Dhimmis? Or both? You decide.
    That is why they cannot and should not gain the White House in 2008.

  • Study finds that too much cannabis can worsen pain

    Too much cannabis 'worsens pain'

    Technorati Tags:


    Smoking large amounts of cannabis for therapeutic reasons may increase rather than reduce pain, a US study suggests.

    Cannabis The pain-relieving qualities of cannabis have long been hailed, and several countries have made it available for medicinal purposes.

    But quantity is key, according to the study in the journal Anesthesiology.

    University of California researchers found moderate use had the greatest impact on pain in 15 volunteers, while large doses actually made pain worse.

    The team recruited 15 healthy volunteers, in whom pain was induced by injecting capsaicin - the "hot" chemical found in chili peppers - under their skin.

    They were then given cannabis to smoke. The strength of the dose was determined by the tetrahydrocannabinol content, which is the main active chemical in cannabis.

    Some of the volunteers were given a placebo.

    High, but in pain

    Five minutes after smoking the drug, none of the doses had any effect on the pain felt.

    But 45 minutes later, those who had smoked the moderate dose said their pain was much better, while those who consumed high doses said it had got worse.

    They did, however, feel "higher" than counterparts who had taken moderate doses.

    Dr Mark Wallace, the lead researcher, said the findings could have implications for the way medicinal cannabis was offered, both in pure and drug form.

    Some experts are concerned that results on healthy volunteers could not be translated into how cannabis works in the bodies of those with cancer or multiple sclerosis, for whom the drug is increasingly seen as a potential form of pain relief.

    Dr Laura Bell, of the MS Society, said: "Many people with MS report benefits to symptoms such as pain from taking cannabis, however studies to date on the effects of cannabis on pain are small and difficult to draw firm conclusions from.

    "We would be interested to see the results from larger scale studies focused on people with MS."

    MRI urged for women at high risk of cancer

    MRI urged for women at high risk of cancer - National - theage.com.au

    Simone Filip is only 34, she has two sons, and has been diagnosed with breast cancer twice. This is an indication that for this young woman the cancer is genetic.

    There is a real need for younger women who are in the high risk category to have annual check ups in order to detect any cancer when it is at a very early stage. So far Simone has survived both of her cancer scares, but if she is denied the opportunity to have frequent MRI check ups because of government red tape then her outlook could become quite grim.

    The problem with breast cancer is that the earlier the diagnosis, then the more aggressive is the cancer. It is, I believe something that has been ignored for too long and it is because it is ignored that too many young women are dying as a result of the disease.

    Already we have seen the deaths of some very young actresses from this disease, and Belinda Emmett was only the latest, and by no means the first one who was relatively young. She had a high enough profile to be able to bring the MSM on board to help spread the word that breast cancer also kills women under 40, not just over 50s.

    Powered by ScribeFire.

    French Parliament adopts DNA Bill

    A new immigration bill, introducing possible DNA tests for foreigners who want to join "relatives" already in France has been adopted by the parliament.

    Supporters of the Bill say that it will speed up the process for genuine applicants and cite similar laws in other European nations, but the critics claim that the law is racists and question the use of genetics as a basis for citizenship.

    How typical of the left to not see the wood for the trees. If there are DNA tests, then this gives the authorities a greater opportunity to monitor potential terrorists from contries such as the Sudan, Morocco, Nigeria and Algeria. It gives the authorities the opportunity to check the DNA of the person against the DNA of wanted and known offenders (whether for terrorist acts or otherwise).

    Strict measure do need to be adopted against all foreigners if there is going to be any chance of preventing a terrorist disaster on the scale of the bombing of the New York World Trade Centre. I do not think that any nation can afford to continue with this pussy footing around that we have seen wherever the looney left is left in control of government and immigration policy. This is not about racism, since Islam is not a race, neither is Christian a race, it is about preventing criminals from entering into a European nation.

    Powered by ScribeFire.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    Are Syria and Iran Manipulating Turkey on Iraq

    commentary from Walid Phares:

    PKK is the Kurdish Worker’s Party that adopted violence in its
    struggle against Turkey.
    As the Turkish Parliament recently voted to
    authorize a limited invasion into Northern Iraq to fight the PKK
    militias, one can see the rising shadows of two hostile regimes in the
    region, eager to see a NATO member, Turkey, eventually clashing with
    the United States through their local allies in Iraq.
    Indeed, the
    Iranian and Syrian regimes have been pushing the precarious mechanisms
    of a Turkish military intervention into Northern Iraq for a while now.
    Logically, a collapse of security in the most secure part of Iraq would
    lead to a crumbling of the military stabilization of the country, a
    chief objective of US plans in Iraq.

    But the Iran plans for Iraq, which I have analyzed in a previous
    article, consist of three types of destabilization: An Iranian push in
    the south, a Syrian opening for the Jihadists in the center, and
    dragging Turkey to a dogfight in the mountains of the north.

    In order to launch the third leg preemptively into Iraqi Kurdistan,
    Tehran and Damascus have been pushing all the right buttons for the
    confrontation. Iran's shelling of villages in the northern part of
    Iraqi Kurdistan over the past months aimed at encouraging Turkey to do
    the same.

    Opening salvos by the Ayatollahs are to test the Kurdish and US
    Moreover, Iran's Pasdaran - the Revolutionary Guard that
    provides training and support to terrorist groups throughout the region
    and abroad - is said to have infiltrated some circles within the PKK,
    since the latter was based in Syria a few years ago. The PKK suddenly
    has been waging inexplicable operations inside Eastern Turkey with a
    new energy, after years of calm. Sources believe the PKK was
    manipulated by both Iran and Syria into these terror acts on Turkish
    soil while the official bases of the group are on Iraqi soil. Hence the
    attacks triggering Turkish anger and responses may have been
    manipulated by the "axis."

    But the Syrian regime has another card it could have played.
    According to well informed sources in the region, and not to the
    surprise of experts, the Alawite regime in Syria (Alawites are
    important to the leadership of Syria, as President Bashar al-Assad and
    his father, Hafez are Alawite) has had good relations with Alawite
    officers inside the Turkish armed forces. The “Alawite connection” may
    have been activated to encourage a military response and incursion into
    northern Iraq. But nevertheless, the Assad regime and the Turkish
    Islamist Government - reinforced by the last Presidential election in
    Ankara - have a joint objective interest in weakening the US presence
    in Iraq.

    Assad thinks that he can help create a major Turkish-Iranian-Syrian
    alliance against the Kurds in Northern Iraq. And by the same logic, the
    Kurds, solid US allies, will be facing another formal ally of
    Washington on Iraqi soil: Turkey. The plan is to drag the Turkish Army
    (traditionally not inclined to find itself face to face with its major
    ally) to enter a territory where "terrorists are based," but where they
    could be indistinguishable from those Kurdish Peshmergas who are the
    backbone of the new post-Saddam Iraq. The rest can be guessed.

    As the “axis” is using all its cards to crumble Iraq’s and Lebanon’s
    democracies, the Kurds in Northern Iraq should have acted quickly and
    strategically. There shouldn’t have been any PKK bases in their areas
    because these are a recipe for disaster.

    The situation in Iraq as a whole is still complex, precarious and
    explosive, despite the advances made by the new US military plans,
    including the surge. The north must remain stable and secure and, above
    all, at peace with the only “NATO” border it has. The other frontiers
    Iraqi Kurdistan has are with the Pasdarans and the Syrian Baath. Both
    want the new Iraq’s head.

    Instead of playing charms with Tehran and Damascus, the Kurdistan
    city of Soleimaniye must reinforce its own deterring force and maintain
    stability and peace on its northern border with Turkey. Knowing all too
    well that the new Islamist Government in Ankara is shifting the grounds
    inside the modernist Kemalist Republic, Iraq’s Kurdish leadership
    mustn’t offer any reason for a Turkish adventure in their areas.

    Hence, it is recommended that the Kurdish leaders of Iraq be the
    ones to reign in the PKK to avoid having the Turkish Army crossing the
    borders. The US can - and should - broker arrangements between the
    Iraqi Kurds and the Turkish military to avoid the rise of an
    anti-Kurdish Triangle in the region.


    Dr Walid Phares is the director of Future Terrorism Project at the
    Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a visiting scholar at the
    European Foundation for Democracy, and the author of The War of Ideas:
    Jihadism against Democracy.

    Powered by ScribeFire.

    Asylum for Eritrean gospel singer

    BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Asylum for Eritrean gospel singer

    She does not belong to one of the 4 recognized religious groups, but she belongs to the Evangelical Rema church. Helen Berhane is a Gospel singer and she was arrested in 2004 because she belongs to what is termed in Eretria as an underground and illegal Church. After a lot of pressure was put on the Eretriean government to obtain her release, Helen Berhane escaped to Khartoum in the Sudan.

    What is extraordinay about this story is that Helen Berhane and her daughter Eva applied for asylum in the UK in January, but after 7 months of waiting no decision had been made. Yet, it took the Danish officials one month to accept that Helen and Eva were genuine refugees.

    After reading about the torture that Helen and thousands like her experienced in yet another Muslim country where there is such "tolerance" for Christians, one has to wonder what is wrong with the British officials. Helen has to use a wheel chair because of her injuries. This is totally scandalous and against all human rights. Here is some more of the story as posted by the BBCL

    An Eritrean Christian gospel singer who was tortured and detained without charge for two years in her homeland has been granted asylum in Denmark.

    Helen Berhane was imprisoned inside a metal shipping container and beaten in an effort to make her recant her faith.

    Freed in December 2006, she took refuge in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, before being granted asylum.

    Ms Berhane uses a wheelchair because of severe injuries to her legs and feet sustained in prison beatings.

    More than 90% of Eritreans belong to one of four recognised religions - Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran Churches and Islam.

    All other religions were outlawed by a government decree passed in May 2001, though Jehovah's Witnesses had been denied their rights as Eritrean citizens as early as 1994.

    Helen Berhane is a member of the unregistered Rema Church and had just released a cassette of gospel music when she was arrested in the Eritrean capital on 13 May 2004.

    She was one of an estimated 2,000 members of illegal evangelical church groups in Eritrea who have been arrested in recent years, according to the human rights group Amnesty International.

    Arbitrary detention

    After an international campaign, she was released in December 2006 and fled with her sister to Sudan, fearing she could be killed to cover up what had happened to her at the Mai Serwa prison camp near Asmara.

    Among the tortures she endured was the infamous "helicopter" position, in which the prisoner is placed face down with arms and legs tied behind the back.

    Her account of the cruel and inhumane treatment she suffered is echoed by the testimony of hundreds of others persecuted for their religious beliefs.

    Prisoners say they are routinely subjected to extremes of heat and cold, denied water and sanitation, according to testimony collected from exiles by Release Eritrea, an organisation that campaigns for the rights of religious minorities.

    Ms Berhane's daughter, Eva, who joined her in Khartoum, accompanied her to Copenhagen where the two were greeted by campaigners and well-wishers on Friday.

    Dr Berhane Asmelash, Director of Release Eritrea, said: "We are relieved that Helen and Eva are finally safe and would like to thank everyone who has supported them."

    "We hope that Helen will now have the peace and space to recover her health and rebuild her life."

    Initially Helen Berhane applied to the United Kingdom for asylum and was interviewed by immigration officials at the British High Commission in Khartoum in January 2007.

    Seven months later, with no decision on her case by the British, Ms Berhane sought help from Denmark which took one month to determine that she was a genuine asylum seeker.

    Christian Solidarity Worldwide's Chief Executive, Mervyn Thomas, said: "We are thrilled that Helen has now finally found refuge for herself and her daughter after so many years of suffering."

    "We cannot forget, however, that 2000 other Christians still languish in Eritrean detention centres simply for holding on to their faith," Mr Thomas said.

    Blogged with Flock

    Why is the MSM allowing Hezbollah Anti-Semitic Propaganda?

    with thanks to Gateway Pundit
    Anti-Semitic Hezbollah Propaganda or News? You Be the Judge

    Gateway Pundit: Anti-Semitic Hezbollah Propaganda or News? You Be the Judge
    Some crackpots believe that Iranian President Ahmadinejad did not call for wiping Israel off the map but that it was just some mistake in translation.

    An Iranian holds a "wipe off Israel" poster during an anti-Israel rally on Friday Oct. 28, 2005 in Tehran. (AP)
    Author Barry Rubin examines the anti-Semitic propaganda in the Western media that is disguised as news today in his article at GLORIA Center:
    He identifies bias on university campuses where for example the former president of Harvard was uninvited by the University of California because of his political views. He also points to the group of former terrorists who want to speak about their experiences being excluded or barred from more than one American University Campus. To this I would add the pressure that was being exerted to prevent a former Dutch politician and Somali refugee from speaking in Australia.
    The same kind of biases are occurring in the mainstream media, especially the print media:

    So should what seem to be lies and those who seem to be crackpots (at least on the particular points they are making) be given space? Should newspapers give their readers a sense that the Iranian president did not call for destroying Israel but that it was just some mistake in translation? (Despite the fact that the official Iranian translation of his words was “wiping Israel off the map”?) Should Hamas be given space for op-eds crafted by public relations operatives claiming moderation? Should easily demonstrable lies be published about Israel committing various massacres and other blood libels?

    What has been occurring is that the boundaries have eroded, and where the media used to not give space to Arab propaganda, the publishers are now allowing the publication of inciteful, false anti-Semitic screeds.
    However, what can one believe when the print media (via AP of course) allow the following article by Sam Ghattas to be published:
    All of this is leading up to Sam F. Ghattas, AP, “Hezbollah Blames Israel for Killings,” October 5, 2007.
    Hizballah’s leader blames Israel for the series of assassinations of anti-Syria, anti-Hizballah politicians. "`The hand that is killing is Israel's,’ Nasrallah told thousands of supporters who occasionally interrupted his speech with roars of approval.” No information is given in the article that would lead a reader to believe that these are pitiful lies. (They are pitiful because Hizballah waited so long to make them. In the old days they would have been blaming Israel within hours of the killings and all Arab media would have been duty-bound to repeat them.)
    So is this news?
    And by the way the article concludes:
    “The gathering by several thousand Hezbollah supporters was organized by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah to mark `Al-Quds Day,’ or Jerusalem Day, in support of Palestinian rights and emphasizing the importance of Jerusalem to Muslims.” So that’s what the demonstration was about? I thought it was about equating Israel with Satan, preaching hatred of the United States, and demanding that Israel be wiped from the pages of history. Perhaps my conclusions were all a mistake in translation and it was a human rights demonstration. Or, again, this is what readers might think. There is more on this anti-Semitic Hezbollah propaganda at the GLORIA Center.

    Monday, October 22, 2007

    Tony Blair sticks it to the Left about Radical Islam

    So it seems that Tony Blair is not so lily-livered when it comes to the truth about radical Islam after all. Gateway Pundit reports on a speech given by Mr. Blair at the 62nd Alfred E Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York on October 8. It seems that Mr. Blair got stuck into the Left for blaming the rise of radical Islam on the West:

    Islamist extremism is similar to “rising fascism in the 1920s and
    , Tony Blair said last night in his first major speech since
    leaving office.

    At a prestigious charity dinner in New York,
    the former Prime Minister said that public figures who blamed the rise
    of fundamentalism on the policies of the West were "mistaken".

    told the audience, which included New York governor Eliot Spitzer and
    mayor Michael Bloomberg, that Iran was the biggest exporter of the
    ideology, and that the Islamic republic was prepared to "back and
    finance terror" to support it.

    “Out there in the Middle East,
    we’ve seen... the ideology driving this extremism and terror is not
    exhausted. On the contrary it believes it can and will exhaust us
    first," he said.

    “Analogies with the past are never properly
    accurate, and analogies especially with the rising fascism can be
    easily misleading but, in pure chronology, I sometimes wonder if we’re
    not in the 1920s or 1930s again.

    “This ideology now has a
    state, Iran, that is prepared to back and finance terror in the pursuit
    of destabilising countries whose people wish to live in peace.”

    added: “There is a tendency even now, even in some of our own circles,
    to believe that they are as they are because we have provoked them and
    if we left them alone they would leave us alone.

    “I fear this is mistaken. They have no intention of leaving us alone.

    Powered by ScribeFire.

    Pope Benedict gives response to Muslim Scholars

    BBC NEWS | Europe | Pope decries 'religious' violence

    Pope Benedict XVI has urged world religious leaders not to allow God's name to be used to justify violence.

    He said: "religions must never become vehicles for hatred". He also said that the Catholic Church would continue to seek dialogue to bridge the gap between the cultures:

    "In a world wounded by conflicts, where violence is
    justified in God's name, it's important to repeat that religion can
    never become a vehicle of hatred, it can never be used in God's name to
    justify violence," the Pope told the gathering.

    "On the contrary, religions can and must offer precious
    resources to build a peaceful humanity, because they speak about peace
    in the heart of man.

    "With respect for the differences between different
    religions, we are all called to work for peace and an effective effort
    to promote reconciliation between peoples."

    Pope Benedict XVI at mass in Naples
    The Pope highlighted criminal violence in Naples

    The Pope also made it clear that he will never budge on traditional Catholic teaching, that Catholicism alone is the one true faith.

    Prior to the meeting of religious leaders the Pope celebrated an open air Mass in Naples, but there was a poor turnout for the Mass. Pope Benedict called for a profound renewal in the city of Naples, a city plagued by unemployment and a high crime rate. He singled out the activities of the local mafia of Naples, the organization that controls much of the city's economy.

    "How important it is to intensify efforts for a serious
    strategy of prevention focusing on schools and the workplace and on
    helping young people spend their free time," the Pope said.

    "Everyone must intervene against violence."

    Powered by ScribeFire.

    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    More information on the riots in Amsterdam


    With thanks to Gateway Pundit:


    AMSTERDAM – The man, who was shot by a police officer at the police station of the Amsterdam district Slotervaart and died shortly afterwards on Sunday, was in contact with members of the Hofstad terrorist organisation in 2005. It was Bilal Bajaka, a man of Moroccan descent living in Amsterdam. Chief public prosecutor Leo de Wit said this at a press conference on Monday.
    The police and the General Intelligence and Security Service, AIVD had had consultations about Bilal B’s contacts with the Hofstad group, according to De Wit. "Several members of the Hofstad group were detained on 14 October 2005, two years ago yesterday. Bilal was heard as a witness and was scrutinised by the police. In October 2005, the public prosecutor discussed the possibility to 'disturb' Bilal B. but eventually it was decided that there was no reason for this at that moment."
    Bilal B. had been appearing in the police data bank since 1998. In that year he was involved in a serious violent offence. He attacked and wounded a person with a screwdriver. During the following years he has been involved in property offences. He belonged to the so-called hard core youths of Slotervaart and ended up in a prison cell on various occasions. From October 2003 he was serving a 15-month-prison sentence for a property offence. In the spring of 2007 it appeared that he had psychological problems.
    Police chief Bernard Welten said at the press conference that the medical operations on the two injured police officers had been successful. The female police sergeant who had fired the shot, was stabbed in the chest and twice in the back. A pulmonary artery was hit and her lung was perforated. The bleeding was stopped and the perforation sealed. "Hence the operation can be said to be successful," Welten said. "Her condition is satisfactory."
    Her male colleague was stabbed five times and had several cuts in his face and shoulders. An artery in his head was hit and was stitched. The stabbing of his throat was deep and the wind pipe was hit. "This colleague too is doing well given the circumstances," Welten said..
    B. appeared at the police station at around noon on Sunday and almost immediately jumped across the reception desk. He began stabbing away at the police officer on duty who was behind the desk. He stabbed her in the chest. She jumped up and tried to escape but the man ran after her and stabbed her twice again. A male colleague who rushed to help her was stabbed in the throat and shoulder, whereupon the female police officer got her gun and fired at the man. He succumbed to his wounds shortly afterwards.

    Charles Johnson has more on the rioting that followed the brutal attack.
    Klein Verzet is reporting more from Amsterdam.

    Outside the police station things were hot. (Telegraaf)
    Klein Verzet links Bilal to Theo van Gogh's killer:
    Local burgomaster Ahmed Marcouch said he sympathized with the jihadists family because they had to wait for nearly two years before their son could be treated for his 'psychological' problems. And newspaper Telegraaf now reports that while Bilal was in jail in 2003, Mohammed Bouyeri came and visited him. Mohammed Bouyeri was the jihadist who was in 2004 on a suicide mission slaughtering Theo van Gogh (although to his regret he did not got shot dead by the police).
    Later, a news crew was attacked by youths while filming the trashed and torched cars from the rioting.
    And, then of course, there is this:
    It seems that Bilal has shouted in Arabic when he attacked the police officers. This could very well be something like "Allah Akbar", but that's something the Dutch authorities don't want the public to know.

    Militants set off plastic explosives bomb in Manila. Was this the work of Catholics?

    BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | 'Explosives' caused Manila blast

    The BBC reports that 9 people are dead and more than 130 people were injured in a bomb blast in Manila.

    The president's security adviser Norberto Gonzales said
    the Islamist militant group Abu Sayyaf has been trying to raise
    international support over the internet.

    "What is more ominous here is they may be planning a bigger attack," he said on Philippines radio.

    Militants have targeted the Philippines capital in the past.
    So I guess that this is not the work of the majority Catholic population in the Philippines, but it is the work of the Islamists. There is no doubt that wherever this scum is to be found there is a high death rate with regard to murder-suicide.

    Powered by ScribeFire.

    DOCS fails again

    Govt received call for help for dead boy - Yahoo!7 News

    This is yet another very sad case. The body of a two year old toddler was found in a pond in Sydney, by two boys last week. After discovering the identity of the child, the mother was taken in for questioning and has been charged with his murder. How very sad, that the mother could harm her child in this way.

    Now it appears that DOCS had received a call for help regarding this child, but as usual for DOCS nothing was done to follow up the call. How many children in NSW will die before DOCS is forced to clean up their act.

    This is not the first child who has been endangered, where DOCS has been notified that there is a problem, and nothing was done to protect the child.

    I do not want to preempt anything relating to the case that is being brought against the mother of the little boy. She will go before the court and she will receive a fair hearing. She needed help but there was nothing offered to her. The way in which DOCS operates is not in the interests of the parents or the children, if a mother ends up murdering her child because she cannot get help.

    Powered by ScribeFire.

    Cars burnt after Amsterdam death

    The BBC News has a follow up report on the riots in Amsterdam. It is interesting to note that they specify that it is a very small group of Moroccan youths who are behind the trouble. The 22 year old who was killed after stabbing two police officers at a police station had been treated for psychiatric problems. The BBC also reports that this particular man had been questioned over his links to extremist Islamists who were linked to the murder of Theo Van Gogh.

    It really does beg the question as to whether the riots themselves were planned in advance, and it should be made clear that those involved in this particular case are very much a minority in Holland. Nevertheless, they are behaving in the same way as the extremists in both Brussells and Paris in previous years, and the fact that the riot has taken place after the close of Ramadan remains significant.

    Powered by ScribeFire.

    Saturday, October 20, 2007

    Murder-suicide attack in Pakistan

    Pakistani Pressure-Cooker

    By Aaron Mannes

    Assuming Pakistani police reports are accurate (a big if) that the attack on returning former Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto's convoy was not a car-bomb but a suicide bomber, it would be the deadliest attack by an individual suicide vest so far.

    The massive throng that turned out to see Bhutto was a perfect target for a suicide bomber, and there were warning in advance. Bhutto has refrained from blaming the Pakistani government, but she has stated that security was inadequate. As I've noted before, considering the general level of competence displayed by the Pakistani government, this is hardly surprising.

    This brings up a crucial point. The massive crowds were certainly drawn by Bhutto's charisma. But they also came because of their high hopes that Bhutto can bring peace, prosperity, and order. A quick scan of major Pakistani papers reveals crumbling infrastructure, frequent electricity outages, and failing hospitals. This is on top of endemic poverty and corruption and high-levels of political violence (with some areas as effective no-go zones for the government.) In short, for many Pakistanis life is extremely difficult.

    Benazir Bhutto is, without doubt, a world historical figure - albeit a flawed one. But saving Pakistan is beyond any one person. The issues are structural. Frequently, U.S. foreign policy focuses on individual leader. Now that Musharraf is problematic, the U.S. has pressed for the restoration of democracy and the return of Bhutto. But the issues go beyond the personalities at the top. In Egypt, the United States has adopted a policy of providing extensive aid in order to maintain stability. It has succeeded, but Egypt has stagnated and become a leading exporter of radical Islam (the managerial and intellectual backbone of al-Qaeda is Egyptian.)

    Pakistan is also becoming a leading exportrt of Islamism and it has nuclear weapons. In short, the copying the Egyptian strategy and playing for stability in the short run is not the safe bet and supporting Bhutto (and more importantly the restoration of civilian rule) is only a first step.

    Friday, October 19, 2007

    Forget flowers, bring bleach to hospital bedside - Telegraph

    Forget flowers, bring bleach to hospital bedside - Telegraph

    The writer of this piece in the Telegraph has some very timely advice regarding what can be done to bring the rise in infections in hospitals under control. It seems that a good starting place  is the use of bleach. She is a doctor who has experience in infection control. Dr. Jane makes some very interesting observations regarding the cleanliness of the wards in hospitals and why this issue has not been brought under control. It seems that the NHS are not using ward staff for the cleaning jobs, but they are paying contractors who have no real knowledge regarding the issue of bugs and cleanliness.

    She points out that the microbiology departments of the hospitals are under-utilized even though there is a growing problem with the superbugs. The spores that cause the infection are killed by household bleach, or at least the hospital grade bleach. Why are the cleaners not using these products? She points out that she had a stay at the University Hospital and she was appalled over the cleaning standards, and how visitors are allowed onto the wards when the floors are still wet, allowing more bugs to remain in the ward.

    It sounds like this problem can be controlled, but there has to be a return to the old standards of cleanliness. If the UK continues with the underfunding of its hospital system then the situation will only get worse. Perhaps this is a sign that socialized medicine is in melt-down.

    Blogged with Flock

    Superbug MRSA hits schools in the USA

    A 17 year old student from Virgina has died as a result of the superbug MRSA, which is normally associated with deaths in hospitals (especially in the U.K.). The students at Staunton River High School in Moneta Virginia, decided that they would not return to class until the school had been cleaned up. They got the message out to other students and used popular social programs such as Facebook to get their message out to other schools, that something had to be done about the cleanliness of their schools.
    One of the students accompanied a school superintendent on a tour of the school, where she pointed out the lack of hygiene in the bathrooms and the hallways. The officials closed all schools in the county for a week in order to clean up the schools.
    What is of grave concern, though, is that the death of this 17 year old from Virginia is not an isolated incident. School officials in Connecticut have confirmed that one student at Weston High and another at Newtown High have been diagnosed with MRSA. In Rockville, Maryland, at least 13 students have been diagnosed with MRSA. Cases have been reported in Ohio, Michigan and other states, including elementary school children.

    A study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that MRSA infections occurred in nearly 95,000 Americans in 2005. Based on those figures, an estimated 18,650 people died due to their MRSA infection in 2005. That death rate is higher than the HIV/AIDS death rate for that year, and the number of MRSA related deaths is much higher than previously thought.

    Pat Mshar, an epidemiologist for Connecticut's Department of Health -- which contributed data to the JAMA study -- said the consolidation of statistics was groundbreaking. "This is the first time that we've been able to measure this in a population basis in which we've been able to quantify the impact," she said. According to the Centers for Disease Control, some 25 to 30 percent of the population carry staphylococcus bacteria -- one of the most common causes of infection -- in their bodies. While such infections are usually minor, invasive MRSA infections can become fatal because they are caused by drug-resistant staph. Dr. Julie Gerberding, the director of the CDC, says these infections are not new. "It's important to appreciate that many of these infections are the same infections moms have been dealing with for decades. They're very preventable," she says. "If you see a skin infection that looks like the redness is getting bigger or if it's associated with a lot of swelling around the wound or if the individual has a fever, those are reasons to definitely seek doctor's attention. But most of the time these are things that can be treated with the same kind of common sense approach that is we've been using for years." Mshar emphasized that the highest rate of MRSA deaths -- 58 percent -- is found in hospitals.
    It seems that it is not only the U.K. that needs to get its act together to ensure that these infections are kept under control. The death toll from these superbugs is much too high, and a lot more needs to be done about the cleanliness of the school toilets and hallways, as well as the general level of cleanliness inside the hospitals.

    Thursday, October 18, 2007

    Focus on the Exclusive Brethren in Australia heats up

    For some months I have been following the unfolding story of the abusive practices within the cult of the Exclusive Brethren. In this cult the women have to wear long dresses and scarves on their heads. If any family leave the cult, then they are immediately cut off from the rest of the family. This means that in custody disputes the children are not permitted to be with the other parent.

    Stories about child abuse within this sect keep on surfacing, but most of these stories have been on "A Current Affair". However, the Australian newspaper media are also on their case, this time with a story from a former Family Court judge who has made serious allegations concerning the tactics that are used by the Exclusive Brethren in the Family Court System.

    Non-Brethren parents have for decades fought bruising Family Court battles to try to get access to their children.

    Mr Nicholson, who retired in 2004 after 16 years as head of the Family Court, revealed last year that he had been visited by two delegations of Exclusive Brethren elders trying to persuade him to help them keep families apart.

    Brethren children often tell their non-Brethren parent as part of custody disputes that they are evil and that they do not want to spend time with them.

    "You'd have to be highly suspicious that, if not coached, that the children had in effect been brainwashed into believing that they shouldn't see the other parent," he said in an interview with the ABC's Four Corners, which did not go to air. "To treat children in that way is abusive of them, and it's psychologically very damaging to the child. It's in effect telling the child that their parent is worthless … and that really is quite unacceptable."

    Mr Nicholson said church members were "reluctant to comply with court orders", which "had to be enforced with vigour".

    However, the Exclusive Brethren spokesman denies these claims and says that the parents in separated families have been complying with court orders.

    Infection control Standards in UK are abysmal

    Health trusts shy of infection control standard

    By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor

    Last Updated: 2:11am BST 18/10/2007

    The extent of the failure to protect patients against hospital superbugs is laid bare today in a damning report that reveals a quarter of health trusts do not meet infection control standards.

  • Nurse cleaning hands
  • One quarter of bodies providing NHS care are failing to tackle infection control properly

    The Healthcare Commission said 111 out of 394 bodies providing NHS care are failing to tackle infection control properly, including 44 of the 172 hospital trusts.

    The failures are revealed in the commission's annual report on the state of the nation's health care services.

    It comes just a week after Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Hospitals Trust was found to be responsible for a litany of failures that led to the biggest outbreak of the superbug Clostridium Difficile the NHS has seen. More than 1,000 patients contracted the bug, which killed 90 people and contributed to a further 255 deaths.

    Today's report found that 111 trusts failed on one or more infection control measures. Sixteen of them told the commission they were compliant only for inspectors to overturn the assertion when they checked up on them.

    Protection from infections, decontamination of instruments and cleanliness were among the standards most often breached, the report said.

    This year trusts have been judged against tougher standards after a new hygiene code was brought in this time last year.

    Anna Walker, the commission's chief executive, said: "We recognize that patients are genuinely frightened of catching a superbug in hospital. Although most patients receive safe and effective care in the NHS, the risk of suffering an infection is higher than it should be."

    The Healthcare Commission rates all of England's health trusts — including primary care trusts, hospitals, ambulance trusts and mental health units — with an overall score for use of resources and quality of patient services.

    These include dignity for patients, hitting Government targets, record keeping, updating skills, staff training and cleanliness.

    As part of the annual health check, carried out for the second year in 2006/7, each trust is given a rating of excellent, good, fair or weak for both services and resources.

    Just over half scored fair or weak on quality of services and 62 per cent were fair or weak on resources — a slight improvement on both counts from last year.

    Four trusts scored weak on both for the second year running: Northern Devon Healthcare, Royal Cornwall Hospitals, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare and West Hertfordshire Hospitals.

    Health Secretary Alan Johnson has warned these trusts to improve fast or face being taken over.

    Out of 394 trusts in total only 19, all foundation trusts free from Whitehall control, scored excellent on both resources and quality of services and only the Royal Marsden managed it for the second year.

    The report says there is concern that the largest proportion of trusts fall into the "fair" category meaning they provide adequate services but there is significant room for improvement.

    the chief executive of the King's Fund, Niall Dickson, said: "'The health check also reveals poor standards of hygiene in too many hospitals and the commission is right that this is a priority for patients and should be more of a priority in many NHS trusts."

    Gill Morgan, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents trusts said doctors and nurses need more autonomy.

    She said: "Progress has been made in tackling health care associated infections and MSRA rates have decreased. However, we must work harder to eliminate health care associated infections. The hygiene code is helping boards take control of the problem."

    David Stout, the director of the Primary Care Trust Network said trusts that had not faced reorganisations last year had performed better, proving restructuring should not be a 'knee-jerk' reaction.

    But Mr Johnson said: "This independent verdict on the NHS shows clear improvement, with more trusts getting an excellent rating, more trusts improving on last year's performance and fewer in the lowest category.

    "Safety is my top priority. That means everyone in the NHS doing much more to get the basics right – washing hands, cleaner hospitals, more effective infection prevention."

    Trusts that scored weak for both resources and quality of services:

    • Cumbria Primary Care Trust (PCT)
    • Devon PCT
    • E&N Herts PCT
    • Gt Western Ambulance Trust (AT)
    • Leics County & Rutland PCT
    • Luton Teaching PCT
    • Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells Trust
    • Mid Essex PCT
    • N Devon Healthcare Trust*
    • Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust*
    • Royal United Hospitals Bath Trust
    • Scarborough & NE Yorks Healthcare Trust
    • Sheffield PCT
    • Surrey & Sussex Healthcare Trust*
    • W Herts Hospitals Trust*
    • W Herts PCT
    • Wilts PCT
    • Worcs Acute Hospitals Trust
    • Yorks AT
    * Weak on both measures for the second year running

  • Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    Dr. Sanity: FOR THE CHILDREN

    Dr. Sanity: FOR THE CHILDREN

    For some time now I have been a reader of Dr. Sanity's posts at Blogger. I find that she has an excellent writing style and she argues with a lot of reason, being neither too conservative or liberal in her point of view. In this post, Dr. Sanity reviews a review of the letter that has been sent to Pope Benedict XVI as well as to the Archbishop of Canterbury. She points out some of the deficiencies in the logic of the writer of the article. To refresh, the Islamic clerics sent an open letter to Pope Benedict XVI and the Archbishop of Canterbury, inviting dialogue, but with conditions attached.

    Peter Jenkins, the author of the article in the London Times expressed the following sentiment about the open letter:

    Coming at the end of Ramadan, the letter is impressive. The signatories embrace a global range of grand muftis, imams, sheikhs and scholars from all denominations of Islam, with a wide span of theological influence. The appeal to religious tolerance at a time of tension between Islam and the West is welcome. But what the letter means needs deconstruction.

    Religious leaders like to claim headlines by subjecting politics to a downpour of platitude. The letter makes no mention of (monotheistic) Jews, let alone Hindus and Buddhists. It merely invites the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and others to acknowledge what the archbishop calls “their common scriptural foundations . . . as a basis for justice and peace in the world”. Two religions that embrace “half of humanity” should stand together or, by implication, there will be war.

    Such an implication is grandiose, dangerous and wrong. It implies that the Muslim world has a politico-military power that is in some sense equal and opposite to that of Christianity. This elevates the so-called jihadist tendency within Islam to a status that it does not have and should never think it has. It suggests Islam has sufficient power to confront and possibly undermine the West. It implies a balance of power parallel with a balance of theological interpretation.

    Such an implication feeds a no less dangerous paranoia in the West. By stating that the “survival of the world” might turn on a struggle between Islam and Christianity, the letter reinforces the militarist fantasies of neoconservatives who see the world as just such a struggle. It is a paranoia which, since 9/11, has driven the “war on terror” and fomented the tension and antagonism to the West to which the scholars’ letter is so vacuous a response.

    The chief threat to world security at present lies in the capacity of tiny groups of political Islamists to goad the West into a rolling military retaliation. Extremists on each side feed off the others’ frenzied scenarios so as to garner money and political support for their respective armies of the night. Each sees the other as a cosmic menace and abandons communal tolerance and peaceful diplomacy to counter it. The authors of this letter would be better employed vetting their own blood-curdling mullahs and madrasahs than in writing platitudes to the Pope.

    Basically, Jenkins is stating that the letter is based upon the grandiose idea that the Muslims world has a politico-military power that is in some sense equal or opposite to that of Christianity, which he says elevates the jihadist tendency within Islam to a status that it does not have and should never think it has, and that it implies a balance of power parallel with a balance of theological interpretation. He also claims that such a letter feeds upon the fantasies of the "neoconservatives" who also see the world in such a struggle.

    In analyzing the comments made by Peter Jenkins, Dr. Sanity shows exactly where Jenkins has made a series of errors regarding the threat of Islam. It is a good idea to read all that she has to say in reply to the Jenkins article. However, I have my own ideas, that are consistent with that of Dr. Sanity.

    What I noticed about the open letter, is that there is an underlying threat to the western world, such as you either do as we say, or there will be further wars. That underlying threat should not be brushed off so easily, and I see the Jenkins article as a means of trivializing the underlying threat that was being made. At the same time, I take issue with the label of neoconservative and the way that Jenkins implies that there is a belief amongst all who do not support the liberal agenda, as those who believe in the idea of an armed struggle. Fundamentalism within religion does not equal conservatives in politics. The two simply do not go hand in hand. Also, amongst Christian fundamentalists there is no real suggestion of going to war, or even inciting war, except amongst a very small minority. Islam is a very different story, because in Islam the idea of jihad or war against those who do not submit, is very much a part of the Koran. Whilst there is a small minority who claim to be Christian and who believe that Armageddon is around the corner, the vast majority of Christians, especially those who have Pope Benedict as the titular head of their church, do not subscribe to the notion of Armageddon being at hand, and we do not subscribe to the idea that we should participate in bringing on such a conflict.

    The Jenkins analysis fails for a variety of reasons:

    1. There is a sense of equivalence in his response - that the ultra conservative fundamentalists are equivalent in their delusional ideas about world power and world domination.
    2. That Christian "extremists" were somehow responsible for the execution of the "war on terror".
    A part of this analyis is based upon the notion that George Bush is some kind of Christian fundamentalist, which is a mischaracterization that is found in the MSM as well as among left wing bloggers. However, it is a false idea, because President Bush is a Methodist, not some fundamentalist Baptist, or fundamentalist member of the Church of Christ etc. However, the idea has taken hold, and there has been little effort in attempting to refute such a mischaracterization.

    A third reason that the analysis fails is that Jenkins has not understood the nature of the threat of Islam and Jihad. He seems to think that military jihad is the property of a minority of terrorists, whereas anyone who is at all familiar with the Koran should be able to recognize that Mohammed called for military jihad, not some other form of jihad that involves "personal struggle". It is the radical imams who know the Koran and who are turning moderate Muslims into terrorists that we should watch more carefully. These are the real threat to our society. The imams hold a lot of sway over the people under their care. The Muslims who attend mosque on a regular basis are truly like sheep, for they follow their leader in a blind fashion.

    Blogged with Flock

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    US firm plans to exploit frozen embryos

    BBC NEWS | Health | IVF 'cell bank' plan criticised

    The California based company StemLifeLine has announced a plan to store stem cells from spare IVF embryos. However, this plan has angered UK scientists. The theory is that cells banked from one embryo could provide treatment for a sibling threatened by serious disease in the future.

    Lord Robert Winston has hit out at the scheme stating that it is preying on parent's fears about the future of their children.

    Stem cells are the master cells that are capable of growing into a wide variety of different tissues, and scientists believe that one day these stem cells can be harnessed to fight such diseases as Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer's Disease. To date, there has not been any successful treatment developed from embryonic stems cells.

    Whilst the Californian company claims that one day these cells "might be useful", Lord Winston has hit back stating that:

    "There is no scientific evidence to sustain the notion that this will be a useful procedure. I would be horrified if anyone tried to do this in Britain."

    Professor Stephen Minger, from Kings College, London, also spoke against the purpose of this company with the following comment:

    "My worry is that this is a commercial service that is being promoted to companies when the sceince is not really there to justify it.

    It is like trying to run before you can walk, and the fact it is being done for commercial purposes makes it worse."

    Powered by ScribeFire.

    Madrid bomb plotters trial due to begin

    The trial of 30 suspected Islamic militants accused of planning a series of bomb attacks on Madrid has started in Spain's high court. According to the BBC news, the alleged plot was uncovered just months after the 2004 train bombings that killed 200 people.

    Prosecutors say they planned to drive a truck packed with 500 kg of explosives into Spain's High Court. The idea was to kill hundreds of staff and destroy evidence connected with anti-terrorist trials, including the March 2004 bombings.

    The charges against the men, most of whom are either Algerian or Moroccan, include conspiracy to commit murder and membership of an armed group. Prosecutors say that the group's leader, Mohammed Achraf plooted the attacks from his prison cell. He is accused of organizing terrorist cells known as the martyrs of Morocco to carry out his schemes.

    Powered by ScribeFire.

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Pope Benedict appeals to Sth Korea to reject cloning

    Pope Benedict has appealed to South Korea's "inherent moral sensibility" to reject embryonic stem cell research and human cloning after the country decided to let embryonic stem cell research resume.

    Whilst noting South Korea's notable successes in scientific research and development, Benedict stated that such research must be carried out with firm ethical standards, that always respect the dignity of human life.

    Pope Benedict noted that the Vatican does not oppose somatic stem cell research, also known as therapeutic cloning, which uses human eggs.

    Powered by ScribeFire.

    Madeleine McCann police to trawl reservoir

    Madeleine McCann police to trawl reservoir - Telegraph

    Finally, the Portuguese police are starting to show some sense in how they are handling the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine. If the McCanns are not responsible for the death of their beloved daughter, then it is high time that the Portuguese police started to follow up other leads that have been missed. In this case, doing a more extensive search around the area where Maddie disappeared, and trawling the resevoir, just in case her little body was dumped there is an absolute necessity before anybody continues with all of the innuendos against the McCanns and their friends.

    I still think that it is highly likely that there is a pedophile on the loose in that part of Portugal, and I think that there is a link between the disappearance of Maddie and the other child (the one whose mother was forced to confess to a crime she most likely did not commit). I think that it is time that the Portuguese police got off their backsides and started to look outside of the box, instead of making wrong guesses about what really happened.

    Until there is a body there cannot be an exact DNA match at the "crime" scene. There is so much innuendo in this case it is a wonder that the McCanns have not cracked under the pressure of such horrible statements. However, they are remaining resolute in the face of the vicious rumours. It is funny how this is precisely what happened in baby Azaria Chamberlain disappeared and it was a dingo that took her.

    Blogged with Flock

    Sunday, October 14, 2007

    Superbug hospital chief given £250,000 to quit

    Superbug hospital chief given £250,000 to quit | Health | SocietyGuardian.co.uk

    It does not make sense to give a golden handshake to a hospital executive who did nothing to prevent the superbug scandal. The conditions in the Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone hospitals were appalling and yet, the NHS trust did nothing to prevent the infection from spreading. Why did it take more than 90 deaths before there was an investigation?

    What has been emerging in the reports that I have been reading from at least 3 sources on the extent of this scandal in a number of hospitals in the UK is that the spread of this bug was both preventable and avoidable. The conditions that the patients were forced to endure were shocking. Most of the stories that I have seen on this subject relate to elderly patients who had to be in hospital for a variety of reasons. They were in a weakened condition because of some other illness, and the neglect that they endured at the hands of the nursing staff is so shocking that there really needs to be a thorough shakeup of the hospital system.

    The NHS should not be allowed to indulge in the blame game. The excuse of staff shortage is not good enough. Nurses need to be placed on the wards to do the jobs that have always been the lot of nurses. If they do not want to perform the most dirty jobs in an efficient manner then they do not belong in a nursing career. There is a need to have nursing assistants for certain jobs and there needs to be an overhaul with regards to the required standard levels of cleanliness. All hospitals need to be accredited at least once a year to show that they meet higher than the minimum standards of cleanliness. Let the matrons get on with the job of running the hospital wards like in the old days. The nurses in charge of the wards need to be senior sisters who are qualified not just in educational standards but in the level of their efficiency on the wards. It should be the responsibility of the sister in charge of the ward to ensure that the patients are given a high level of nursing care, including ensuring that no patient is left to soil his or her own clothing, or be forced to sit in a soiled bed. If any NHS hospital cannot meet that minimum standard then it should be forced either reform or shut down.

    Blogged with Flock

    The death of so Many patients could have been avoided

    C.diff death scandal could have been avoided
    By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor

    Last Updated: 3:06am BST 12/10/2007


    This is by far the worst single outbreak of a hospital infection and the fact at least 90 people probably died as a result is a scandal.

    Clostridium difficile is a common hospital infection and poses a far greater threat to health services than the more notorious MRSA.

    It is extremely infectious and the spores can live on surfaces, door handles, lavatory seats, bed rails and the like for days or weeks.

    Hospital hygiene practices play an enormous role in preventing an outbreak emerging from a single infected person.

    However, a clean hospital will still have problems with infections and gimmicks such as doctors wearing short sleeves and no ties can only go so far.

    Good nursing care is essential so it is vital that hospitals have enough staff.There needs to be the time and space for cleaners to decontaminate beds between patients.

    This is where Government targets are said to have hampered infection control measures because the pressure has been on to admit people from A&E before their four hour waiting time is up and to get patients in for surgery and off the waiting lists.

    Doctors have also been too willing to prescribe broad spectrum antibiotics and at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust patients at risk of C.diff were given unsuitable medication that made it easier for the bug to take hold.

    Using antibiotics sparingly means it takes longer for the organism to become resistant to the drug which makes it more difficult to treat.

    Some degree of resistance is inevitable and hospitals will never be completely clear of infections.

    What makes this case so horrifying is the sheer scale of it and the lack of action by mangers despite repeated warnings from staff and patients.

    The fact some people came into the hospital with entirely curable conditions, only to contract C.diff and die is utterly tragic and should never be repeated.

    A Scandal erupts in UK hospitals - hundreds of patients die from Clostridium Difficile bug

    The UK government has released a report concerning the deaths of hundreds of people who have died in hospital as a result of contracting what is known as the super bug Clostridium Difficile. These deaths are the direct result of some extraordinarily poor health practices on the wards of hospitals in the U.K. Is it a matter of staff being stressed out because of too much work, or is it a matter of poor training in the first place? Certainly there should be no excuse for the discovery of dirty sinks in a ward:


    Case studies: Wretched death of C.diff victims

    By Gordon Rayner, Stephen Adams, Lucy Cockcroft and Laura Clout

    Last Updated: 3:07am BST 12/10/2007

    Families of some of the 331 patients whose deaths have been linked to Clostridium Difficile in Britain's worst hospital superbug outbreak welcomed the findings of yesterday's Healthcare Commission report which disclosed the scale of the scandal.

    A sink in a cleaning room at Maidstone Hospital

    A sink in a cleaning room at Maidstone Hospital

    Several of the relatives spoke to The Daily Telegraph to share their experiences of the shocking conditions, to expose the chronic understaffing which many say is to blame, and to express the devastation of seeing a loved one die in such circumstances.


    A healthy 86-year-old who worked part-time in a clothes shop, Florrie Field contracted C.diff at the end of March this year after being admitted to Maidstone Hospital with an eye infection.

    Doctors told her family that the chronic diarrhoea she suffered after being given anti-biotics was just a reaction to the drugs. She was sent home after two weeks.

    It was only when she collapsed at home and a GP visited her that C.diff was diagnosed. She was taken to the Kent and Sussex Hospital for treatment but died on May 27.

    Her daughter, Brenda Charlton, said she saw staff at Maidstone Hospital failing to wash their hands or change aprons as they went from patient to patient. Three times they told Mrs Field to wet her bed, saying they didn't have time to take her to the bathroom or bring a bedpan.

    Mrs Charlton's husband Tony, 63, said: "You would have thought someone at the hospital would have recognised the symptoms, but there was a failure of procedure and it wasn't noted."


    John Gosal is planning to sue Maidstone Hospital for a catalogue of errors which he says led to the death of his mother from C.diff.

    Ranjit Gosal, 71, who was being treated for ovarian cancer, caught the bug in May last year and died the following June after what her son describes as "shambolic" treatment, including doctors prescribing antibiotics that made her condition worse.

    Mr Gosal said: "The conditions in Maidstone Hospital were appalling. There was dust everywhere and it smelled. One patient who had diarrhoea was on the ward with just a curtain separating her from the other patients.

    "Though the hospital was in the middle of the outbreak, they didn't check my mother had C.diff and it was only diagnosed after she died."


    The 87-year-old Dunkirk veteran died a wretched death last July after catching C.diff at Maidstone Hospital.

    His daughter Jackie said the former officer with the Metropolitan Police was appalled by the conditions at the hospital where "hour by hour his soul was being stripped".

    Mr Nixon, who caught the superbug after a bowel operation, asked his daughter: "What have I done to deserve being trapped in this awful place?"

    Mrs Nixon, who took her father home to die, said there was little the nurses could do because the wards were so chronically understaffed.

    "I ended up having to change my father's bed for him the whole time because otherwise he would be left lying in his own soiled sheets for three to four hours at a time," she said. "Keeping hospitals clean is basic. But there aren't enough nurses to do it properly."


    After being given chemotherapy at Maidstone Hospital for a tumour under her arm, Doreen Ford, 77, a retired civil servant, was told she did not have to go back to the hospital for six months.

    But Mrs Ford had been given a blood transfusion as part of her treatment, during which she contracted C.diff. She died five weeks later, in October last year. Her family was unaware she had the superbug until they saw it on her death certificate.

    Her stepson Steve Stroud, 55, said: "When we asked the hospital about the C.diff she had contracted there was a bit of a silence there.

    "They didn't seem to want to talk about it. We had to have our house fumigated to kill off the C.diff spores which can last for six months, but we were told the disinfectant which was used in our house is 100 per cent effective, so we wanted to know why the hospital wasn't using the same chemicals. They wouldn't answer."

    Mr Stroud's wife, the former Bucks Fizz singer, Cheryl Baker, later called for Maidstone Hospital to stop admitting patients likely to be vulnerable to the C.diff bug.


    Having broken her hip in a fall, Mary Hirst, 83, was told by doctors at Maidstone Hospital that she would be home in a week.

    But shortly before she was due to be discharged she began suffering from diarrhoea, and seven weeks later, on May 24 last year, she died, having contracted C.diff and MRSA.

    Her daughter, Jackie Stewart, said: "She used to be fighting fit. She looked after a three-bedroom semi, did the gardening and hadn't seen a doctor in years.

    "Everything was going well, the hip was fixing, then four days after her operation to mend her hip we were told she had diarrhoea. As far as we knew that's all she had. We were not told that she had C.diff.

    "She was left in her own soiled sheets and was sobbing because nobody had cleaned her up. Her treatment was appalling. She was not being fed properly, not being cleaned, and there was only one commode between six patients. She didn't die of a broken hip, she died of hospital neglect."

    Mrs Stewart said she was considering suing Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. She said she was "not surprised" by the Healthcare Commission's revelation of so many deaths from C.diff.

    "They seemed to be taking bodies away every five minutes," she said.

    Every single case that has been highlighted in this story involves an elderly patient, and it is almost as if the staff at these hospitals were deliberately not caring for these elderly patients. I would not like to think that this was true, but it seems that there is a pattern to this neglect. Leaving patients in soiled sheets is downright disgusting. Refusing to take them to the toilet is an abuse of the elderly patient. The staff at these hospitals have been behaving in a very abusive way towards elderly patients. They try to hide behind the mask of not having enough staff to cope on the wards. Does the buck stop with the hospital? Does it go further and implicate a lack of proper government funding? Or is it pointing to the flaw of having a totally public hospital system that relies upon government funding, where there is not enough funds being allocated in the right way so that elderly patients receive the correct form of care? Or is it a case of hiring third world staff who do not know enough about personal hygiene, thus risking the lives of patients who are being admitted to hospital wards that are being kept in third world conditions?

    The dirty truth on the wards in UK hospitals.

    The dirty truth on the wards | UK News | The Observer

    This is a very serious story that deals with neglect within English hospitals, and if NSW and ACT hospitals do not lift their game then we will be hearing similar distressing reports in Australia. This report is a follow-up to the story that has been hitting the headlines regarding the deaths of more than 90 people that has been caused by insanitary conditions in UK hospitals. The main thrust of this story is that it is the elderly who are suffering at the hands of incompetent staff who are too busy to look after those who are least able to look after themselves.

    Dr Jackie Morris, chair of the society's policy group, lists practices which she says most people would find it hard to believe hospital chief executives still allow. Patients who need the toilet are being told to wait maybe for an hour or more. Patients can often hear a person who is forced to use a commode.

    'It's a fundamental part of dignity, that you should be able to relieve yourself in privacy,' said Morris. 'But you often see this vicious cycle happening, where patients who may be recovering from an operation are not taken to the loo, but instead given a commode or even told to go in their pants.

    'That can lead to pressure sores, which are very painful, but it can also do something else - patients begin refusing to eat or drink because they become very scared of needing the toilet, and then they can start to go downhill pretty quickly.'

    There is one case that is highlighted in this news feature, that of an elderly Anglican cleric who went to hospital because of a bump on his head. He ended up on one of the worst wards in the hospital. He died before his family could get him into a private hosptial, probably due to the fact that he was treated with such indignity:

    The indignity suffered by some patients can be shocking. Jackie Brindle watched her father-in-law's health decline rapidly when he was admitted to hospital in Lancaster. The family believe this was directly due to what they say was a humiliating level of neglect.

    The Rev John Brindle, 86, a former Church of England vicar, was taken to hospital after suffering a knock to the head. 'He was admitted for tests, but he was still healthy, and in fact, he had never been into hospital in his life,' his daughter-in-law said. 'He was put onto a ward where the care was appalling, and the nurse who dealt with him was actually quite intimidating.

    'I came in one day to find him sitting in his room, completely naked apart from the incontinence pads on him. His feet were blue with cold.

    'I quickly got him dressed and asked what had happened. One of the nurses told me that it was against health and safety rules to dress him, because he was resisting them. I was so shocked I could barely speak.

    'I also asked why he wasn't being taken to the toilet, instead of being left in pads. The nurse looked at me, and said, "Oh no, he's incontinent", as if I was stupid not to realise. But I know he was not so before he went onto that ward.'

    The family then made efforts to have him moved to a private hospital, but he died before they could organise it. 'He seemed to have given up completely. This man, who was proud and private, was treated like a child, like a no-hoper.'

    The Brindles put in a full complaint to the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, where he was treated, in June. Peter Dyer, medical director of the trust, said that they were taking the concerns raised extremely seriously and would respond within a week. 'We are nearing completion of a very thorough and lengthy investigation into the allegations which included interviewing a large number of staff.'

    Could it be that the hospital system is suffering from the decay associated with the dependance upon government funding? The kind of neglect and the actions that have been reported in this story suggest that there are some hospitals in the public system in the UK where there is a lack of personal responsibility in doing the task required by nursing staff. I fear that the same could happen here in Australia and there are reports popping up concerning people who are left waiting in the Emergency Department who have either died, or suffered a miscarriage. There are other horror stories that are emerging regarding the lack of due care of hospital patients, especially with maternity patients. Can we continue to afford a government run health system where people are relying upon going to the Emergency Department instead of the local GP for minor matters? If anything the story that is emerging in the UK is reason enough to be against the total public funding of hospitals. If one has a population (or at least a portion of the population) who refuse to have private health insurance, and who have decided to be leeches upon the public health system, and the welfare system, then everyone else suffers as the public hospital system begins to fail because of a lack of due diligence in the carrying out of routine ward tasks.

    Blogged with Flock