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The Negative Impact of Austerity on Public Health


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As the Greek government implemented austerity measures in response to a financial crisis, Greek suicide numbers doubled last year. And in London, tuberculosis rates grew by 8 percent from 2010 to 2011, a result of increased homelessness and drug use during the Great Recession. In “The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills,” Oxford political economist David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, an epidemiologist at Stanford University‘s Prevention Research Center, argue that austerity measures have public health consequences, including HIV outbreaks and increased rates of depression, suicide and heart attacks. The authors recently spoke with U.S. News about the relationship between fiscal policy and public health. Excerpts:

Why connect public health with austerity?

Basu: In the 1990s, there was an astounding series of studies that said, What if everybody had perfect health insurance? How many premature deaths in the U.S. among people less than 75 years of age could we prevent? And it turned out that the answer was only about 15 to 20 percent. The other 80 to 85 percent can’t be affected by medical care, meaning that health doesn’t start on the exam table in the ICU, but in our homes, in our neighborhoods, whether we smoke or drink too much, and the quality of our air, food and safety. One of the biggest determinants therein is the state of the economy and, in particular, whether we have safety nets during hard times.

How does austerity lead to a loss of life?

Stuckler: When effective services and supports that sustain health are withdrawn, they pose a direct risk. A clear example can be seen in Greece today. To meet the deficit reduction targets, the health sector in Greece has been cut by more than 40 percent. HIV infections have more than doubled as effective needle exchange program budgets were cut in half. There was a return of malaria after mosquito spraying programs to prevent the disease were also cut, covering the southern part of the country. Deep reductions of a pharmaceutical budget led several pharmaceutical companies to leave the country. There was subsequently a 50 percent increase in people reporting being unable to access medically necessary care.

What surprised you most in your research?

Basu: That there are some very well-researched, effective programs out there that can benefit both public health and the economy, but the academic research is so far afield from the public discourse. A lot of the discourse just assumes that the only way to reduce deficits is to cut budgets in the short term, and it’s quite hard to explain why that’s a bad idea and actually increases long-term budgets. That counterintuitive problem has created a lot of fallacies and makes it difficult to translate research into practice.

Do you expect to see public health consequences to spending cuts in the U.S.?

Basu: We already see them if we compare state-based responses to different kinds of unemployment crises since 2007. We can, controlling for pre-existing conditions, compare states that underwent more extensive budget cuts versus those that didn’t; and [we] saw a rise in suicide among those who were denied unemployment benefits.

Which current policies are most harmful to public health?

Basu: I think the indiscriminate cuts to safety net programs among the poor are particularly easy to implement and particularly dangerous for public health. [And] cuts to our nation’s best defense system against epidemics, the Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] are particularly dangerous. We recently had the fungal meningitis outbreak, and without the CDC, it would’ve been hard to conceive of how we would’ve protected ourselves from having a dramatic expansion of that epidemic.

Are there any economic policies that don’t have daunting human costs?

Basu: In many areas of the world, we see pretty effective policies that simultaneously improve health and the economy. For example, in Sweden and Finland there are active labor market programs. They help enroll the newly unemployed into supportive job retraining and re-entry, and work with both firms and the newly unemployed. As a side effect, they seem to reduce suicide, depression and alcoholism, while also stimulating the economy and being, in some cases, net cost-saving.

Why should President Obama read your book?

Stuckler: The book shows that there is an alternative to austerity that’s grounded in evidence. And when governments pursue it, they can pave the way to a happier and healthier future for people. By making smart, evidence-based investments, not only is it possible to protect people’s most valuable asset – their health – but to chart faster economic recoveries and address fundamental threats of deficits and debt. A simple answer is because his choices and those of Congress are matters of life and death for millions of Americans.

via The Negative Impact of Austerity on Public Health – US News and World Report.

Swedish extradition request for Assange ‘a fit-up’


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange cited unclassified messages exchanged inside a UK intelligence agency to back his refusal to be extradited to Sweden. One of the messages calls sex-related allegations against Assange “a fit-up”.

The Australian, who has been stranded at Ecuadorian embassy in London for almost 12 months, cited instant messages he received from Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the British signal intelligence body.

One message from September 2012, which Assange read out in a Sunday night interview with Spanish TV program Salvados, says: “They are trying to arrest him on suspicion of XYZ … It is definitely a fit-up… Their timings are too convenient right after Cablegate.”

Another conversation he cited goes: “He reckons he will stay in the Ecuadorian embassy for six to 12 months when the charges against him will be dropped, but that is not really how it works now is it? He’s a fool… Yeah… A highly optimistic fool.”

Assange did not explain who the people exchanging the messages were, but said he managed to obtain them because they were not classified.

“[GCHQ] won’t hand over any of the classified information,” he said. “But, much to its surprise, it has some unclassified information on us.”

GCHQ confirmed to RT that it released the info to Assange under the Data Protection Act. It can be used by individuals to obtain personal information that UK bodies have about them. The agency is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, the usual mechanism for getting information of interest released by officials.

It stressed that the comments Assange received do not reflect GCHQ’s official stance in any way.

“As was made clear to Mr. Assange when the information was disclosed to him, the comments that he refers to in his recent interview were a small number of casual observations on a current affairs issue made by a handful of staff on GCHQ’s internal informal communication channels. The comments were entirely unrelated to the individuals’ official duties,” a spokesman for the agency said in an email.

A British court ordered that Assange be extradited to Sweden, where authorities want to question him on sex-related allegations. He refuses to go to there unless it guarantees that it won’t extradite him to the US, where he faces espionage charges over data released by WikiLeaks.

Ecuador has given Assange asylum and houses him in a small basement room in its London embassy. UK law enforcement keeps a close eye on the embassy, ready to arrest Assange should he leave the diplomatically-protected building.

The cost of the surveillance, which is believed to involve two police vehicles and eight officers on duty at all times, is now over $16,500 a day, Scotland Yard recently reported. The operation cost British taxpayers over $5 million since Assange got his refuge on June 19, 2012. By the time the anniversary falls, the sum is expected to have gone over $6.3 million.

via Swedish extradition request for Assange ‘a fit-up’ – UK intel chatter — RT News.

via Swedish extradition request for Assange ‘a fit-up’ – UK intel chatter — RT News.

Top 10 Highly Developed Countries


Overall Scandinavian countries perform very well. It is worth noting these countries have extremely high Tax Rates, but they  know exactly what to do with the money.

The UK is ranked in 28th position. This begs a question are things much worse in the UK than the Government admits too.

Ireland despite its monetary woes is in 7th position.

Top 10 Highly Developed Countries

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite statistic used to rank countries according to their development levels from “very high” to “low.” Countries are placed based on life expectancy, education, standard of living, child welfare, health care, economic welfare, and population happiness. Formulas are used to factor all the variables and determine the scores of countries. Critics have cited the HDI as inaccurate or vague, but coming up with top ten highly developed countries list on my own opinion would have been very subjective and probably badly ranked. Thus, I have simply listed the first ten countries on the HDI and displayed their scores, while providing explanations. Enjoy.

10

Sweden

Score: 0.904

The socialist and largely liberal European country of Sweden (officially the Kingdom of Sweden) is led by Prime Minister Fredrick Reinfeldt and is about the size of the US state of California (or Spain if unfamiliar with the CA) and has an approximate population of 9.3 million with the capital and largest city being Stockholm. The Swedish people are rated as one of the happiest in the world and have high marks in income ($35,876 GDP per capita, and a regular GDP of $485 billion), life expectancy (80.9 years), and education. In addition, the country has very low unemployment and poverty rates, has equal and free access to health care, and has been one of the most active supporters of environmental sustainability today and pushes for other countries to “Go green.” Sweden also serves as a major tourist destination for millions of international travelers, as the country has a long and rich history.

9

Germany

Score: 0.905 Score

The Federal Republic of Germany, or Germany, has the largest economy in the European Union, and one of the largest populations at 82.2 million, as well as its bustling capital and economic center of Berlin. Chancellor Angela Merkel is the head of a government with a people of very high education standards, with a nearly 100% attendance rate and 99% literacy rate. Germany thrives in industry and manufacturing and is a major exporter of electrical and engineering products, such as cars (Volkswagen anyone?), and are renowned globally for their skilled work force. The GDP is $3.5 trillion and GDP per capita is $40,631, and poverty rates are low, although the unemployment rate is about 7%. Germany also, like Sweden, is a prime tourist destination for its historic beauty, and the wonderful people (aside from Adolf and the Nazis back in the 1930-40s) have a life expectancy of 79.4 years.

8

Liechtenstein

Score: 0.905

The Principality of Liechtenstein is one of the smallest and least populated countries in the world, with a landmass of just 160 square kilometers (62 sq miles, about the size of Washington, US) and a population of 35,000. Even so, this parliamentary democracy manages to have one of highest GDP per capita’s in the worlds ($141,000) and has virtually zero debt, poverty, and unemployment rates, while having prominent literary and education ratings. Liechtenstein has very low taxes imposed on its citizens and is a center of investment from countries and the wealthy. If ever feeling the desire to travel to this rather interesting country, visit the capital of Vaduz, where you can view the huge Vaduz castle, home to the prince and his family, while also getting acquainted with the city’s 5,100 inhabitants.

7

Ireland

Score: 0.908

The Republic of Ireland has a relatively small population of 4.5 million, is a parliamentary democracy, and its capital is Dublin. Ireland has a very high literacy rate of 99% and high education standards, as well as a strong life expectancy of 78.9 years. It also has a well balanced infrastructure, with a GDP of $203.89 billion and a GDP per capita rate of $45,497. The country is ranked #7 for its press freedom, economic freedom, and political freedom it offers to the public. Ireland was in the process of rapid economic growth and development when the global recession began in 2008. Ireland than experienced negative GDP and accumulated massive debt, being rated as one of the five European “P.I.I.G.S.” (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) and losing two points on the Human Development Index Scale. Still, the Taoiseach (or Prime Minister) Enda Kenney is collaborating with EU leaders (France and Germany) to relieve this problem and continue developing forward.

6

Canada

Score: 0.908

Canada is, geographically, the second largest country next to Russia and shares the longest international border in the world with the United States. Canada is governed by a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy and keeps it ties with the United Kingdom close, being one of the few countries with two anthems (“O Canada,” the national anthem, and “God Save the Queen,” the Royal Anthem) with Queen Elizabeth II being the Head of State. The country is very economically advanced with a GDP $1.758 trillion and GDP per capita of $51,147. It has an intelligent population with high education and literacy rates, and a large percentage of the population is even bilingual or trilingual (English and French are the official languages, but Spanish doesn’t hurt). Canada is known for its free health care system (on top of an 80.7 life expectancy) and poses minimal taxes on the 34.7 million inhabitants. And of course, it is a great tourist destination, as you can visit the world-renowned waterfall of Niagara Falls, or the capital of Ottawa, or maybe even the historical landmarks at the largely French-rooted city of Quebec.

5

New Zealand

Score: 0.908

New Zealand is a small and relatively remote group of islands and was one of the last islands to be discovered and settled by humans. Thus, it contains a beautiful landscape and flourishing animal life and biodiversity that attracts flocks of tourists annually. New Zealand is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy that also recognizes Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State and in their national anthem, while John Key is the Prime Minister. New Zealand has one of the highest living standards and happiness ratings in the world, and tends to be a strong advocate for peace and environmental sustainability, banning nuclear weapons and protecting its diverse wildlife. The country’s GDP is $157.877 billion dollars, with a GDP per capita of $35,374 for its population of about 4.3 million. Its education, literacy, and health standards are all very high with a life expectancy of 80.2 years (keep on living, Jamie). Of course, New Zealand is a hot spot for travelers looking for beautiful topography and biodiversity, and while you’re there you can stop by the wonderful city where Jamie came from: Wellington (pictured).

4

United States of America

Score: 0.910

The United States came a long way from its beginnings in 1776, beating the British in the American Revolution (with a lot of help from the French) and declaring its independence, and now, after removing the Native Americans, fighting a Civil War, dealing with the Great Depression, and engaging in two World Wars, the US has emerged as the most powerful country in the world, with a GDP of $15 trillion (the largest in the world) and a GDP per capita of $48,147. The US is a representative democracy (republic) and a manufacturing giant and a major importer and exporter of goods and a trading partner with every major country. The US is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world (the state I live in, California, has a 50% Asian, Latin American, and African American population, out of almost 40 million people.) However, all this aside, the US loses points because, out of a population of nearly 315 million, there is a 15% poverty rate, 9% unemployment average (and in some states up to 14%), and international critics argue that American education standards fall behind the rest of the world. Also, the US loses points in health because, while life expectancy is relatively high at 79 years, obesity rates are skyrocketing, with up to 33% of adults at obese levels, and similar rates for children. On top of all this, America is spiraling through massive debt and dragging other countries down through the decrease of trade caused by the global recession. With 2012 elections looming, we’ll see how President Barack Obama will tackle these issues if he is reelected.

3

Netherlands

Score: 0.910

Also known as the United Netherlands or Holland, the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, while also being a representative democracy. The Netherlands has very high educational and literacy standards, while having low poverty and unemployment rates, and is led by its Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Throughout its history, the Netherlands was one of the key founders of the EU, NATO, OECD, AND WTO and is a called the “world’s legal capital,” hosting five international court systems. The country’s GDP is $832.160 billion and has a GDP per capita of $49,950. In May of 2011, the Netherland’s 16.7 million people were ranked as the happiest in the world, with a stable economy, guileless government, low taxes, beautiful cities such as the capital of Amsterdam, and a healthy life expectancy of 79.8 years.

2

Australia

Score: 0.929

Officially the Commonwealth of Australia, this island/continent has the world’s 13th largest economy, with a GDP of $918.978 billion, and the 5th highest per capita of $40,836. Australia is a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy with some of the highest rankings in the world in the categories of quality of life (the people are very happy), health, education (nearly a 100% literacy rate and extremely high percentages of enrollment and college graduates), economic freedom, and finally civil liberties and protection of human rights. The 22.7 million inhabitants enjoy a country striving for a stable government, content citizens, peace, and sustainability and protection of wildlife and biodiversity (of which Australia has a lot of), and a life expectancy of 81.2 years. Of course, Australia is a fantastic place to visit and experience its rustic wildlife and beautiful cities such as Sydney

1

Norway

Score: 0.943

And #1, crushing the runner up by almost double the rating is Norway, or the Kingdom of Norway. This country of almost 5 million is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with extremely high education standards and a very low poverty and unemployment rate, with a life expectancy of 80.2 years. Norway was a pivotal founding member of NATO but rejected joining the EU, but continues to have good relations with neighboring European countries. Norway is also a founding member and now huge donator to the United Nations as well as helping found the Council of Europe, and is an active member of WTO and OECD. Norway has one of the largest reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, freshwater, and hydro-power in the world and is a major exporter of oil. Norway is internationally recognized for its universal health care, advanced schooling systems, and a distinguished social security system. For all these reasons, the Kingdom of Norway ranks number one on the United Nation’s Human Development Index.

via Top 10 Highly Developed Countries – Listverse.

via Top 10 Highly Developed Countries – Listverse.

Scandinavia avoids the financial crisis


While many western countries are still reeling from the widening economic crisis and some southern European economies are regarded as basket cases, Scandinavia has been weathering the global financial storm surprisingly well.

Economists and governments in other less-favoured economies are now starting to ask why it is that Scandinavian economies have been able to avoid the economic turmoil so successfully.

One crucial factor is that some Scandinavian countries received an early inoculation against the kind of boom and bust that has derailed larger and apparently more robust economies, which are still floundering since the US-led housing crash and subsequent financial crisis.

What can Ireland learn from the Scandinavian model?

“At the beginning of the 1990s, Norway, Sweden and Finland experienced a banking crisis when the housing bubble burst in the same way that other western economies have now been experiencing,” says Steinar Juel, the chief Norwegian economist at Nordea. “Sweden and Finland subsequently implemented good policies in banks together with new fiscal policy rulings.”

However, it is inaccurate to lump all of Scandinavia’s economies together under the assumption that all are equally robust or subject to the same pressures. Norway’s robust economy, for instance, is underpinned by its oil industry, which has benefited massively from the global rise in oil prices.

“The Norwegian economy is showing few signs of weakness and we see no reason to change our optimistic view of the economy going forward,” says Eric Bruce, an economist who also works for Nordea.

“Growth looks set to be high, but with increased labour immigration, an overheating of the economy and sharply rising costs will probably be avoided. Wage growth will be much higher than in neighbouring countries, but not so high as to push inflation above target.”

Strong wage and employment growth, coupled with low inflation, are boosting consumer purchasing power in Norway, with the result that consumption growth in the first half of this year was very high after last year’s weaker-than-expected trend. With an initial high level of savings and a sustained strong labour market, economists and market watchers see consumption growth continuing unabated into the next year.

Even at a time when many of Norway’s export markets are floundering, Norwegian companies continue to expand globally.

Companies in Scandinavia’s other economies are also pressing ahead with overseas expansion. Sweden’s Ericsson, the world’s largest mobile network equipment maker, is working with Mobile Communication Company of Iran to expand its network. Ericsson’s growing investment in Iran comes at a time when many western companies have stopped doing business there because of international sanctions.

But lacking Norway’s buffer of oil reserves Sweden may still be facing tougher times ahead.

Last month, Sweden’s pony-tailed finance minister Anders Borg, announced that he might have to cut the country’s growth estimates following the adverse effect of Europe’s debt crisis on the country’s exports.

According to economists, however, Sweden has been surprisingly resilient to the global turbulence and is significantly strengthened by consumer growth.

“Household finances are generally stable. A low inflation level and pay rises jack up households’ purchasing power,” says Torbjorn Isaksson, an economist at Nordea.

It is expected that real disposable income in Sweden will rise by about 2 per cent a year until 2014.

Economists are also looking towards growth in consumer spending to boost Denmark‘s economy. Danish economists predict that the economy will expand at a rate of 0.7 per cent this year, 1.9 per cent next year and 2.1 per cent in 2014.

Finland, however, is facing a slowdown in consumer spending growth, with economic activity decreasing across the board after the first quarter of this year.

Nevertheless, Nordea expects the Danish economy to gradually return to growth this year.

No one is certain that Scandinavia will continue to weather the global financial storm. But economists remain confident that their social systems will act as a stabiliser.

“When companies face difficulties and lay off staff, the government gives them money to live on and helps them find another job. This is focused to keep the economy on at an even level through difficult times,” Mr Juel says.

Strengthening social networks could be difficult medicine for some western economies to swallow. But it should be remembered that many of the social safeguards existing in non-Scandinavian economies were put in place as a direct response to financial crises in the last century.

pf@thenational.ae

Topic Finland Norway Sweden

The facts s to why Finland Norway Sweden re doing ok

Norway Underpinned by high oil prices and exports of related equipment and services, Norway’s problems are those of success. Growth is predicted to be high, but increased labour immigration will reduce the risk of costs rising sharply and the economy overheating. It is predicted that wage growth will be much higher than in neighbouring countries, but not so high as to push inflation above target. However, strong economic growth could mean higher interest rates over the next couple of years.

Sweden Despite a weakening labour and export market since the global financial crisis, Sweden’s economy is proving to be remarkably resilient. The country’s GDP and employment rose again during the first half of this year. Nevertheless, the global economic situation has forced the Swedish finance minister Anders Borg to reduce the country’s growth targets.

Denmark Although Denmark’s economy has been languishing when compared with Norway and Sweden, activity has remained at about the same level since the autumn of 2010. But it is widely expected that the economy will gradually start to grow again this year, accelerating to 2.1 per cent in 2014. The expected reversal of economic trends will be driven by growing consumer spending.

Finland With its economy no longer propelled by mobile phone maker Nokia, which once accounted for half the value of the Helsinki stock exchange, Finland faces difficulties typified by a slowdown in consumer spending, a growing public sector deficit and an export market that is not expected to start to recover until next year. Nordea has lowered its forecast for economic growth next year from 1.6 per cent to 1.2 per cent. In 2014, growth is expected to be 2.8 per cent.

Tony Glover

The fact that Scandinavian countries have onerous tax systems and generous state welfare benefits seems to contradict accepted economic wisdom in other parts of the world, such as in the United States and the United Kingdom, where the role of the state is generally being rolled back where possible in response to the global crisis.

“Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden all belong to the exclusive club of countries with top ratings from the major credit rating agencies. These countries have status as safe havens in financial markets,” says Helge Pedersen, the global chief economist at Nordea, a financial services group in the Nordic and Baltic region.

Welfare State  the Scandinavian model click on the link below

Click to access wp11_01.pdf

via Scandinavia avoids the financial crisis – The National.

via Scandinavia avoids the financial crisis – The National.

Sweden: A Cautionary Tale About Vaccines


In 2009, the swine flu hit Europe in pandemic levels.

The countries rushed to acquire a vaccine called Pandemrix, made by GlaxoSmithKline in the UK.

The vaccine had been fast-tracked for use due to the human swine flu crisis.

One wealthy nation, Sweden, snapped up a large amount of the Pandemrix vaccine and launched a nationwide campaign, eventually vaccinating 59% of the population against the swine flu.

This may sound familiar — the vaccine was promoted by national health organizations, the main stream news, schools, workplaces and on television to encourage everyone to get the jab.

800 children across Europe diagnosed with incurable neurological disorder

A few months later a strange medical trend developed.

Medical professionals began seeing case after case of children suffering from narcolepsy.

And these children had one thing in common: they had been injected with the Pandemrix vaccine.

More than 800 children across Europe have been diagnosed with this incurable neurological disorder and the evidence is overwhelming in the implication of the vaccine.

The drug contained squalene which was used as an adjuvant.

Squalene is the most likely culprit in the vaccine. (Source)

The Tragic Story of Emelie

One young girl, Emelie Olsson, has had her life forever devastated as a result of narcolepsy, the onset of which occurred after receiving the swine flu vaccine in 2009.

The 14 year old girl has had her life devastated.

She cannot sleep at night.

When she does sleep, she is plagued with nightmares and hallucinations, sometimes waking more than 70 times in the night.

Sometimes when she wakens she is completely paralyzed and unable to breathe well or call out for help.

During the day, she can hardly keep her eyes open because of the lack of sleep.

If she laughs she has something called a cataplexy — when a strong emotion causes sudden muscle weakness that leaves her unable to stand.

When Emelie tries to have fun with friends, the happiness, literally, causes her to collapse to the ground.

She said in an interview:

”I can’t laugh or joke about with my friends anymore, because when I do I get cataplexies and collapse.

I can not laugh anymore and it makes me very, very sad.

It is the worst of all.”

Can you honestly imagine, as a parent, an adult or a human being, having to warn a child — “Stop that!  Don’t laugh!!!!”

But Emelie’s mother has to do just that.

In an interview, Marie Olsson expressed terrible guilt and regret.   (translated from Swedish)

“Yes, I feel guilty.

We are parents supposed to protect our children and instead I have asked Emelie take this vaccination, which has made her so sick.

If I had read on better and questioned more then maybe she had not been vaccinated themselves.

Before then, Emelie had been healthy.”

Emelie, age 14, must now take stimulants during the day, narcotic sleep aids at night and medications that stabilise her emotions so that she can feel neither sadness or joy.

She must take these medications for the rest of her life.

Emelie’s struggle is outlined in the documentary “After the Syringe.”

Lest the pro-vaccine crown think that Emelie’s story is merely anecdotal, there is enough evidence to support claims that GSK’s toxic concoction caused the 800 reported cases of narcolepsy to convince experts like Emmanuel Mignot, of Stanford University, who one of the world’s leading experts on narcolepsy.

”There’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Pandemrix increased the occurrence of narcolepsy onset in children in some countries — and probably in most countries.”

Europe’s regulatory board, the European Medicines Agency, has now directed that the vaccine should not be given to anyone under the age of 20.

One public health official in Sweden has gone on the record stating that things should have been different.

Goran Stiernstedt, the director for health and social care at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, was at the helm of the vaccination campaign across Sweden.

He estimates the vaccine may have saved the lives of 30-60 people, but now over 200 recipients suffer from narcolepsy. (source)

“The big question is was it worth it?

And retrospectively I have to say it was not…

This is a medical tragedy…

Hundreds of young people have had their lives almost destroyed.”

Some experts say the risk is still worthwhile.

David Salisbury, the UK’s director of immunization, seems to think that the quality of life of 800 children is a small price to pay.

He told Reuters:

“In the event of a severe pandemic, the risk of death is far higher than the risk of narcolepsy.

If we spent longer developing and testing the vaccine on very large numbers of people and waited to see whether any of them developed narcolepsy, much of the population might be dead.”

Salisbury, of course, is neck-deep in his involvement with the very ethically questionable World Health Organization.

He has served as the Chairman of WGO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on vaccines, and as a member of WHO’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety.

He is the Co-chairman of the Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Group for the Global Health Security Action Group of G7 countries.

Indeed, his pro-vaccine interest in the “greater good” far outweighs his concern about the risks to children like Emelie.

No Responsibility Taken

No one seems willing to take responsibility for the lifelong damages suffered by these children.

Sweden gave GSK indemnity when they purchased the drug, which means that those affected by the vaccine cannot ask for damages from the manufacturer.

To receive compensation, the state is asking parents to

”…forever renounce the right to ask anyone to account in court for what has happened.

The condition has no counterpart in any other type of insurance, and only have the task of protecting drug manufacturers from lawsuits.”

Margareta Eriksson, President of Narcolepsy Association, responded:   (translated from Swedish: source)

We can never write such a thing.

We parents requiring instead that:

The state clearly take responsibility for our children’s future, and ensure that our children receive full compensation for economic losses without limiting insurance.

All the vaccine itself and then got narcolepsy should be entitled to compensation — without having to fight for it against the insurer.

The state ran a vaccination campaign that gave our children a life-long severe illness.

Now, the state must also take responsibility for the consequences.  (Source)

Still Pushing Vaccines

One health official in Norway has called the Pandermix tragedy a medical catastrophe.

“Narcolepsy following Pandemrix [vaccination] was completely unexpected and surprising, and a catastrophe.

Preben Aavitsland, who was responsible for monitoring contagious diseases at Norway’s Institute of Public Health in 2009 when the Swine Flu hit, cited studies in Finland, Sweden and here.

He told NRK these concluded that children given the Pandemrix vaccine had a 10 times-higher risk of developing narcolepsy than adults, calculations he states that Norwegian experts had not carried out. ” (Source)

Despite these statistics, there is still a push for the influenza vaccine in the Scandinavian countries.

“The Institute of Public Health declares the current flu vaccine is not the same as the Pandemrix vaccine and urges that those in risk groups such as those over the age of 65 or suffering from other health problems consider vaccination.” (Source)

What Can We Learn from This?

There are a few take-home lessons from this tale:

First of all, something vastly under-tested was brought to the market.

That vaccine was not merely made available, it was pushed, promoted and practically forced on people using a campaign of fear and guilt.

Children have been forever damaged by this vaccine.

No one wants to take financial responsibility for a life sentence of mental suffering, expensive daily medications and serious health issues.

Officials know these things are true but want you to continue to be vaccinated (and have your children vaccinated) anyway.

This story is a cautionary tale.

It tells us (and simply reaffirms for many of us) that we cannot accept anything that Big Pharma and their cohorts at the FDA and the CDC tell us.

If they lied to people in Europe can we really think they are telling us the truth in the United States and Canada?

We cannot accept what the media tells us at face value — who do you think sponsors the news programs?

Pay attention to the ads — you’ll see commercials for over the counter medications, SSRI antidepressants and other Big Pharma goodies interspersed throughout.

Whether the goal is to line their own pockets, to control the masses or to depopulate, this illustrates that our children are seen as nothing more than human laboratory animals.

These medications that are brought to market and all but forced on us are just a big science experiment.

The mind control and brainwashing by the mainstream culture is a psychological game, convincing people that it’s all for their own good.

You can turn on the TV right now and flip through a few channels and see the identical agenda at work in North America, where nearly every newscast mentions at least once during the 30 minute program, where, how or why you should rush out, roll up your sleeve, and get your flu shot.

What happened in Sweden is a direct example of what is going on, RIGHT NOW, across the western world, regarding the flu shot.

The tragedy that has afflicted these families could easily occur here.

If you can’t see the correlation between the two, your eyes and mind are willfully closed.

Don’t be fooled.

Don’t be brainwashed.

Don’t end up like Emelie and her parents.

via Vaccines Autism — Flu Swine Flu Children — Vitamin D3 — Robert Kennedy.

via Vaccines Autism — Flu Swine Flu Children — Vitamin D3 — Robert Kennedy.

Assange Labeled an ‘Enemy’ of the US in Secret Pentagon Documents


An investigative arm of the Pentagon has termed Wikileaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange, currently holed up and claiming asylum in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London for fear he will be deported to Sweden and thence to the US, and his organization, both “enemies” of the United States.

The Age newspaper in Melbourne Australia is reporting that documents obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act from the Pentagon disclose that an investigation by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, a counter-intelligence unit, of a military cyber systems analyst based in Britain who had reportedly expressed support for Wikileaks and had attended a demonstration in support of Assange, refers to the analyst as having been “communicating with the enemy, D-104.” The D-104 classification refers to an article of the US Uniform Military Code of Military Justice which prohibits military personnel from “communicating, corresponding or holding intercourse with the enemy.”

This is pretty dangerous language to have, referring to an Australian citizen who many consider to be no more than a working journalist who has been gather information from whistleblowers and disseminating that information to the public. As David Cole, a civil liberties attorney in the US associated with the Center for Constitutional Rights, notes, “The US military is not at war with Wikileaks or with Julian Assange.”

Certainly if a member of the US military were to go to a news organization like the New York Times — or the Melbourne Age for that matter — and leak some kind of damaging secret information exposing US military war crimes, it is inconceivable that the military would call that “communicating with the enemy.” In any case, the military leaker could easily be charged under the military code with offenses like revealing national security secrets or some other serious charge, which would not involve charging any media organization that received information.

The decision by the Pentagon to instead use the D-104 violation to classify Assange as an “enemy” in this context is dangerous because since 9-11-2001, the US government, with the general consent of the courts, has been treating “enemies” of the state in some very frightening extra-judicial ways. Enemies of the US these days can be summarily arrested and taken away to black-site prisons or to a place like Guantanamo without even a requirement that any notice be given to friends or relatives. They can be locked up indefinitely and denied access to a lawyer. They can even be subjected to what is euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new independent Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1365

via OpEdNews – Article: Assange Labeled an ‘Enemy’ of the US in Secret Pentagon Documents.

via OpEdNews – Article: Assange Labeled an ‘Enemy’ of the US in Secret Pentagon Documents.

Assange Trying to Tunnel to Ecuador  


LONDON – EnglandWikileaks founder, Julian Assange could be tunnelling to South American country Ecuador, the Home Office fears.

While Julian Assange has been holed up in one single room in the Equadorian embassy in London, police who are monitoring the situation say that they have reason to believe that Assange might try to escape with a tunnel all the way to Equador.

“It is not inconceivable that the fugitive Assange, who is currently wanted for deportation to Sweden may be tunnelling underneath the embassy in Knightsbridge,” a Metropolitan police spokesman told the BBC today.

Protesters who were outside the Ecuador embassy have been supporting the Wikileaks founder with posters saying ‘Dig for Victory‘ and ‘It’s only 8,000 miles mate’.

“We heard he’s been digging for five months now. I noticed outside the embassy some scratching noises under the road, could’ve been Assange but not sure,” Desmond Pritstem, an Assange supporter revealed yesterday.

Ambassador Ana Alban, the South American country’s envoy to Britain, told reporters in Quito on Sunday that “Our countrymen are waiting for him to dig to Ecuador. We provided a bucket and spade for freedom and democracy. They will wait for him there for as long as it takes”.

via Assange Trying to Tunnel to Ecuador �.

via Assange Trying to Tunnel to Ecuador  .

Global Innovation Index 2012 (GII)


Top 10 Leaders in overall innovation performance as per the Global Innovation Index are:

The list of overall GII top 10 performers has changed little from last year. Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore are followed in the top ten by Finland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Hong Kong (China), Ireland, and the United States of America. Canada is the only country leaving the top 10 this year, mirroring weakening positions on all main GII innovation input and output pillars. The report shows that the U.S.A. continues to be an innovation leader but also cites relative shortfalls in areas such as education, human resources and innovation outputs as causing a drop in its innovation ranking.

Top 10 Leaders in the Global Innovation Index

Switzerland

Sweden

Singapore

Finland

United Kingdom

Netherlands

Denmark

Hong Kong (China)

Ireland

United States of America

1. Switzerland

2. Sweden

3. Singapore

4. Finland

5. United Kingdom

6. Netherlands

7. Denmark

8. Hong Kong (China)

9. Ireland

10. United States of America

Global Innovation Index 2012 - Trade News in Brief

Global Innovation Index 2012 (GII).

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