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Government is force. When it finds that soft force doesn’t work, it becomes more aggressive.
Having found itself unable to scare and/or coerce all Americans into “voluntary” vaccination compliance, now Congress has before it a bill titled the “Vaccinate All Children Act of 2015.” Of course this requirement is being done “in the public interest” and “for the greater good.”
It would accomplish the task of vaccinating all children by withholding federal funds from public elementary and secondary schools that enroll students who are not vaccinated according to recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Of course, children are required by law to attend school, and most children attend public schools. And people are forced to fund those schools whether they have children attending them or not. Opting out of the public indoctrination camps passing as public schools requires jumping through special hoops and/or forking over large sums of cash to a private school.
And who sits on the Advisory Committee that sets the recommendations? Why, it’s health professionals who benefit — either directly or indirectly – from vaccination programs. And some get thousands of dollars from drug makers like Pfizer, Merk and GlaxoSmithKline for “consulting” and “speaking” fees. One member, Marietta Vazquez, M.D., pocketed more than $20,000 for three speeches.
Even if they worked and were without risk, vaccines only stimulate temporary immunity. By trading lifelong immunity for temporary vaccine-induced immunity, people become vaccine dependent. The winners of repeated mandatory vaccinations are the pharmaceutical companies. The losers are the people, who are first put at risk as children for vaccine adverse events and then put at risk as adults for repeated vaccinations that have already failed. The pharmaceuticals have discovered a money machine in mass vaccinations. But they need and have to have your body for the pretense.
The development of asthma, diabetes and autism in children has increased substantially in the last four decades, coinciding with the significant increase in childhood immunizations. People are finally recognizing the link and questioning Big Pharma, and more and more are beginning to “opt out.”
Public awareness has been manipulated. Why does no one question the authority of injecting agents of unknown toxicity into their body? Unbelievably, the general public is satisfied with the disinformation provided by the government. Unfortunately, now is the wrong time for apathy. We are on the verge of a vaccine mania and by the time our wakeup call comes, it just may be too late.
The worldwide market for human vaccine is now over $24 billion – and expected by the World Health Organization to rise to $100 billion in 2025 — with the underlying purpose cloaked by the guise of protecting public health.
The act of forcing people through intimidation and deception into dangerous medications is terrorism of the most malicious sort. This act by public authority constitutes assault, violating civil and human rights under national and international law.
There can be no “greater good” in this act of war against the American people.
© Personal Liberty Media Group
If the government does not like the way that you are raising your kids, they will come in and grab them at any time without giving any warning whatsoever. Of course this is completely and totally unlawful, but it has been happening all over America. The most recent example of this that has made national headlines is particularly egregious. Joe and Nicole Naugler of Breckinridge County, Kentucky just had their 10 children brutally ripped away from them just because the government does not approve of how they are living their lives and how they are educating their young ones. Let’s be very clear about this – Joe and Nicole had done nothing to violate the law whatsoever. All of their kids were happy, healthy and very intelligent. But because the control freaks running things in Kentucky got wind of their “off the grid lifestyle”, they have now had all of their children unlawfully abducted from them.
A lot of my readers also lead “off the grid” lifestyles similar to what the Nauglers had been enjoying. The Nauglers own 26 acres in a remote area of Breckinridge County, and their family has been described as “extremely happy”. But despite never giving them a single warning or a single indication that anything was ever wrong, Kentucky police raided their home on May 6th. The following is how the raid was described on a website dedicated to this case…
On May 6th, 2015, Breckinridge Co. Sheriff’s officers came to their home, acting on an anonymous tip, and entered their property and home without a warrant and without probable cause. Nicole was at home with the two oldest children, while Joe was away with the others. When the officers left the home, they attempted to block the access road to the family property. Nicole and the two boys got in their car to leave the family property. The got only a short way down the road before the officers pulled Nicole over.
During this stop, sheriffs deputies took their two oldest boys from Nicole’s custody, providing her no justification or documentation to support their action. Nicole was able to contact Joe briefly by telephone, but only for a short period of time, because she needed to use her phone to record the events.
At that point, Nicole had been taken into custody for disorderly conduct (for not passively allowing the Sheriff to take her boys) and resisting arrest. Even though she is 5 months pregnant, she was slammed belly first into the cop car and bruised and scraped on both arms.
And people wonder why there is such an uproar about police brutality in this country…
How in the world can a police officer ever justify treating a pregnant woman like that? The police officer that treated Nicole like that should immediately resign. Talk about an utter disgrace. You do not ever treat a pregnant woman like that.
But this is America, where we are turning a little bit more into Nazi Germany every single day.
You can listen to audio of Nicole’s shocking arrest right here.
When Joe arrived on the scene, the police continued to act like Gestapo thugs…
Joe was able to arrange transportation to meet his wife where the stop had taken place. Joe attempted to get out of the car to speak with the officers and his wife, and to recover the vehicle Nicole had been driving. The Sheriff, with his hand on his sidearm, ordered Joe back into the car. Joe complied with that request. The sheriff informed Joe that he had every intention of making this as difficult as possible for them and that their car would be impounded, despite the fact that Joe was there onsite to recover it.
A friend, who had driven Joe to the location, got out of the car to speak with the Sheriff. She was able to convince the Sheriff to let Joe recover the vehicle. Joe also recovered Nicole’s cell phone, which had been recording audio the entire time.
The Sheriff ordered Joe to turn the remaining eight children over to Breckinridge County Sheriff’s deputies by 10:00 a.m., and threatened him with felony charges if he does not comply.
Joe did comply with the Sheriff’s order, and now their kids have been scattered by CPS among families in four separate counties…
As of now, officials have placed the children with four families in four different counties, and as of Friday morning, the parents had not spoken with them. The four families are families that CPS chose – families the Nauglers don’t know.
Shame on you Kentucky. You are supposed to be better than this.
One of the most disturbing elements of this entire incident is that Child Protective Services never visited the Nauglers a single time and never gave them any indication that anything was wrong. The following comes from Off The Grid News…
Child Protective Services never visited the home, said Ellsworth, who believes the arrests took place because of the parents’ choice of “unschooling” for their children, and because of their simple way of life that some would call backwards. The family’s Facebook page calls it a “back to basics life.” They have a garden and raise animals. Deputies apparently were concerned about whether the children’s needs were being met, but friends say they personally have no concerns — and that the children are blessed to have Joe and Nicole as their parents.
How would you like it if government thugs raided your home and took your children away because they considered your lifestyle to be “backwards”?
What in the world is happening to this country?
Like I said earlier, what happened to the Nauglers is not an isolated incident. These kinds of things are happening all over the nation. For example, just consider the abuse that one homeschooling family received in New Jersey…
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a WND report highlights how parents were interrogated by a CPS caseworker who questioned Christopher Zimmer and his wife Nicole, “on everything from their son’s homeschool education to questions about vaccines and guns in the house.”
Michelle Marchese aggressively demanded to enter the property after asserting Christopher Zimmer Jr. was not getting a “proper education.” Police subsequently arrived and allowed Marchese to enter the home before conducting a warrantless search.
The Zimmers are now suing the CPS for $60 million in a case before the U.S. District Court in Trenton.
I very much hope that the Zimmers win that case and collect a huge monetary award.
All over the nation, CPS officials are running around acting like little dictators and trampling the law. They need the courts to send them a clear message that this is a nation where the rule of law still applies.
If we do not stand with families like the Nauglers, control freak bureaucrats will continue to harass families that have chosen to live a “basic” lifestyle all over the nation. So let’s stand with them and make this case viral all over the Internet.
And Kentucky, get your act together and send those kids back home. You are supposed to be so much better than this.
On this week’s Real Politik James speaks with Norma Erickson, president of Sanevax Inc. Founded in 2010, Sanevax is an international clearinghouse of information and advocacy concerning one of big pharma’s most corrupt and dangerous profit-generating schemes: the HPV vaccine. Amazingly, the HPV vaccine is recommended by several governments as a preventative to cervical cancer. Yet there is no evidence that HPV is in any way related to such cancer. At the same time the pharmaceutical company’s own studies indicate that 2.5% of women who receive the vaccine–that’s 2,500 for every 100,000–will have one or more adverse reactions. Such figures are corroborated by the number of adverse reactions reported to the Centers for Disease Control since the mid-2000s when Gardasil hit the market.
Sanevax presently has affiliates in over 30 countries, and has been especially influential in educating the public on the HPV vaccine’s dangers while acting as a conduit for medical professionals and policy makers to challenge the pharmaceutical industry’s increased control over official vaccination programs.
Norma Erickson began to research the HPV vaccine as an investigative writer. Her findings led her to the establishment of Sanevax. “The Sanevax team and all of the people that we work with strongly believe that vaccines should scientifically proven to meet four common sense criteria: They should be scientifically proven safe, affordable, necessary and effective prior to their inclusion in any mass vaccination program. We work with doctors, attorneys, scientists, health advocates, injured girls and their families, and handle most anything having to do with the HPV vaccine controversy.”
Sanevax has succeeded in prompting or facilitating policy reforms in several countries concerning the HPV vaccine, yet United States regulators are among the most impervious to information contradicting data they are fed by major pharmaceutical companies. “Probably the first thing we started working on was the discovery of contamination in the Gardasil vaccine,” she notes.
Dr. Sing Hang Lee agreed to test a vial of Gardasil for us because an individual in Canada reported that her daughter had tested positive for HPV in her blood two years after innoculation. This same girl had been diagnosed with rhematoid arthritis 24 hours after her second injection. I knew from my research and speaking with experts that HPV did not remain in the bloodstream for more than 48 hours–at least natural HPV viruses didn’t. The immune system took care of them within that period of time.
We kept researching and researching, talked to Dr. Lee, and we came to the conclusion that we had to rule out the Gardasil vaccine because it had been advertised, promoted, and approved in every country around the world based on the fact that it had no viral DNA in it. So, we felt obligated to rule it out for this parent. [Dr. Lee] tested that first vial, and sure enough there it was: recombinant HPV DNA in Gardasil. We immediately informed the FDA. They brushed it off, changed their website, and indicated that it was no health problem whatsoever. It was a natural part of the manufacturing process.
Merck is releasing a new HPV vaccine despite the fact that the number of vaccine injuries attributable to Gardasil and reported to the CDC’s own Vaccine Adverse Reaction Reporting System have skyrocketed since its introduction in 2006. “As a kind of indication of what one can expect, Merck just got Gardasil 9 approved. During the clinical trials for Gardasil 9 they used Gardasil as the control solution. Normal people would say placebo. (A placebo is an inactive solution.) They used Gardasil during that time and because they had not conducted the safety trials for any great length on Gardasil the FDA required that they follow these girls throughout the course of the study, which was three years. Their new package insert indicates that the serious adverse event rate was 2.5% for Gardasil and 2.3% for Gardasil 9. Now that doesn’t sound like a whole lot until you translate that in to per 100,000 recipients.”
With the above in mind, among Sanevax’s most disturbing observations is the fact that the cervical cancer rate per 100,000 females is far surpassed by the rate of adverse reactions attributable to the HPV vaccine–as evidenced in the manufacturers’ own studies. “When you look at cervical cancer statistics they’re always quoted as x number per 100,000. In the United States there are approximately 12 diagnoses of cervical cancer per year per 100,000 people. If you innoculate that same 100,000 with Gardasil, for instance, you can expect 2,500 adverse events. I can’t see how anyone in their right mind would say that’s a logical tradeoff to avoid 12 cervical cancer diagnoses.”
Further, there is no confirmed link between HPV and cancer. “HPV is associated with cervical cancer. It has never been proven to cause cervical cancer or any other kind of cancer in and of itself,” Erickson explains. “In fact, there’s some very good scientific evidence that’s just been released recently that indicates it may not cause cancer at all.”
Sanevax has produced and participated in the creation of several documentaries highlighting the dangers of the HPV vaccine, many of which highlight how young lives can be destroyed after administration of the HPV vaccine. For example, it brought US high schooler Gabi Swank to the attention of The Greater Good‘s producers following Swank’s extreme adverse reaction linked to Gardasil. Such stories are especially tragic because they involve adolescent girls stricken with terminally debilitating mental, emotional and physical conditions just as they are about to enter womanhood.
I’m working on a story now that’s going to be published on our website where a girl in Ireland was administered the vaccine in a school program … This was according to her father. She had an adverse reaction straight away. For over an hour she was left lying on a mat on the floor while the rest of the girls were being vaccinated. During this time she had seizure-like jerking, rolling eyes, blurred vision, headache, nausea, etc. That was only the beginning of their journey. The parents were called to the school to pick her up and they were told that they were overreacting when they asked why an ambulance wasn’t called, and that all of these symptoms would wear off. Now, six months later, the little girl is still suffering those symptoms and more.
We have had reports of spontaneous abortions, still births, miscarriages, adrenal failure, severe anxiety and panic attacks, autistic-like symptoms, the whole gamut of auto-immune disorders. There are 70 or 80 recognized autoimmune disorders, and these girls are coming up with any and all of them.
On Twitter this week, someone asked the question “Why do people doubt science?” Accompanying the tweet was a link to an article in National Geographic that implied people who are suspicious of vaccines, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), climate change, fluoridated water and various other phenomena are confused, adhere to conspiracy theories, are motivated by ideology or are misinformed as a result of access to the ‘University of Google.’ The remedy, according what is said in the article, is for us all to rely on scientific evidence pertaining to these issues and adopt a ‘scientific method’ of thought and analysis and put irrational thought processes to one side.
Who tweeted the question and posted the link? None other than Robert T Fraley, Monsanto’s Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.
Before addressing that question, it is worth mentioning that science is not the giver of ‘absolute truth’. That in itself should allow us to develop a healthy sceptism towards the discipline. The ‘truth' is a tricky thing to pin down. Scientific knowledge is built on shaky stilts that rest on shifting foundations. Science historian Thomas Kuhn wrote about the revolutionary paradigm shifts in scientific thought, whereby established theoretical perspectives can play the role of secular theology and serve as a barrier to the advancement of knowledge, until the weight of evidence and pressure from proponents of a new theoretical paradigm is overwhelming. Then, at least according to Kuhn, the old faith gives way and a new 'truth' changes.
Philosopher Paul Feyerabend argued that science is not an 'exact science'. The manufacture of scientific knowledge involves a process driven by various sociological, methodological and epistemological conflicts and compromises, both inside the laboratory and beyond. Writers in the field of the sociology of science have written much on this.
But the answer to the question “Why do people doubt science” is not because they have read Kuhn, Feyerabend or some sociology journal. Neither is it because a bunch of ‘irrational’ activists have scared them witless about GM crops or some other issue. It is because they can see how science is used, corrupted and manipulated by powerful corporations to serve their own ends. It is because they regard these large corporations as largely unaccountable and their activities and products not properly regulated by governments.
That’s why so many doubt science - or more precisely the science corporations fund and promote to support their interests.
US sociologist Robert Merton highlighted the underlying norms of science as involving research that is not warped by vested interests, adheres to the common ownership of scientific discoveries (intellectual property) to promote collective collaboration and subjects findings to organised, rigorous critical scrutiny within the scientific community. The concept of originality was added by later writers in order to fully encapsulate the ethos of science: scientific claims must contribute something new to existing discourse. Based on this brief analysis, secrecy, dogma and vested interest have no place.
This is of course a highly idealised version of what science is or should be because in reality careers, reputations, commercial interests and funding issues all serve to undermine these norms.
But if we really want to look at the role of secrecy, dogma and vested interest in full flow, we could take a look at in the sector to which Robert T Fraley belongs.
Last year, US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called for “sound science” to underpin food trade between the US and the EU. However, he seems very selective in applying “sound science” to certain issues. Consumer rights groups in the US are pushing for the labelling of GMO foods, but Vilsack said that putting a label on a foodstuff containing a GM product “risks sending a wrong impression that this was a safety issue.”
Despite what Vilsack would have us believe, many scientific studies show that GMOs are indeed a big safety issue and what’s more are also having grave environmental, social and economic consequences (for example, see this and this).
By not wanting to respond to widespread consumer demands to know what they are eating and risk “sending a wrong impression,” Vislack is trying to prevent proper debate about issues that his corporate backers would find unpalatable: profits would collapse if consumers had the choice to reject the GMOs being fed to them. And ‘corporate backers’ must not be taken as a throwaway term here. Big agritech concerns have captured or at the very least seriously compromised key policy and regulatory bodies in the US (see this), Europe (see this), India (see this) and in fact on a global level (see here regarding control of the WTO).
If Robert T Fraley wants to understand why people doubt science, he should consider what Andy Stirling, Professor of Science and Technology Policy at Sussex University, says:
“The main reason some multinationals prefer GM technologies over the many alternatives is that GM offers more lucrative ways to control intellectual property and global supply chains. To sideline open discussion of these issues, related interests are now trying to deny the many uncertainties and suppress scientific diversity. This undermines democratic debate – and science itself.” (see here)
Coming from the GMO biotech industry, or its political mouthpieces, the term “sound science” rings extremely hollow. The industry carries out inadequate, short-term studies and conceals the data produced by its research under the guise of ‘commercial confidentiality’ (see this), while independent research highlights the very serious dangers of its products [see this and this). It has in the past also engaged in fakery in India (see this), bribery in Indonesia (see this ) and smears and intimidation against those who challenge its interests [see this), as well as the distortion and the censorship of science (see this and this).
With its aim to modify organisms to create patents that will secure ever greater control over seeds, markets and the food supply, the widely held suspicion is that the GMO agritech sector is only concerned with a certain type of science: that which supports these aims. Because if science is held in such high regard by these corporations, why isn't Monsanto proud of its products? Why in the US doesn't it label foods containing GMOs and throw open its science to public scrutiny, instead of veiling it with secrecy, restricting independent research on its products or resorting to unsavoury tactics?
If science is held in such high regard by the GMO agritech sector, why in the US did policy makers release GM food onto the commercial market without proper long-term tests? The argument used to justify this is GM food is ‘substantially equivalent’ to ordinary food. But this is not based on scientific reason. Foreign genes are being inserted into organisms that studies show make them substantially non-equivalent (see this). Substantial equivalence is a trade strategy on behalf of the GM sector that neatly serves to remove its GMOs from the type of scrutiny usually applied to potentially toxic or harmful substances. The attempt to replace processed-based regulation of GMOs in Europe with product-based regulation would result in serving a similar purpose (see this).
The reason why no labelling or testing has taken place in the US is not due to ‘sound science’ having been applied but comes down to the power and political influence of the GMO biotech sector and because a sound scientific approach has not been applied.
The sector cannot win the scientific debate (although its PR likes to tell the world it has) so it resorts to co-opting key public bodies or individuals to propagate various falsehoods and deceptions (see this). Part of the deception is based on emotional blackmail: the world needs GMOs to feed the hungry, both now and in the future. This myth has been blown apart (see this, this and this). In fact, in the second of those three links, the organisation GRAIN highlights that GM crops that have been planted thus far have actually contributed to food insecurity.
This is a harsh truth that the industry does not like to face.
People’s faith in science is being shaken on many levels, not least because big corporations have secured access to policy makers and governments and are increasingly funding research and setting research agendas.
“As Andrew Neighbour, former administrator at Washington University in St. Louis, who managed the university’s multiyear and multimillion dollar relationship with Monsanto, admits, "There’s no question that industry money comes with strings. It limits what you can do, when you can do it, who it has to be approved by”… This raises the question: if Agribusiness giant Monsanto [in India] is funding the research, will Indian agricultural researchers pursue such lines of scientific inquiry as “How will this new rice or wheat variety impact the Indian farmer, or health of Indian public?” The reality is, Monsanto is funding the research not for the benefit of either Indian farmer or public, but for its profit. It is paying researchers to ask questions that it is most interested in having answered.” - 'Monsanto, a Contemporary East India Company, and Corporate Knowledge in India'.
Ultimately, it is not science itself that people have doubts about but science that is pressed into the service of immensely powerful private corporations and regulatory bodies that are effectively co-opted and adopt a ‘don’t look, don’t find approach’ to studies and products (see this, this and this).
Or in the case of releasing GMOs onto the commercial market in the US, bypassing proper scientific procedures and engaging in doublespeak about ‘substantial equivalence’ then hypocritically calling for 'sound science' to inform debates.
The same corporate interests are moreover undermining the peer-review process itself and the ability of certain scientists to get published in journals - the benchmark of scientific credibility. In effect, powerful interests increasingly hold sway over funding, career progression as a scientist, journals and peer review (see this and this, which question the reliability of peer review in the area of GMOs).
Going back to the start of the piece, the question that should have been tweeted is: “Why do people doubt corporate-controlled or influenced science?” After that question, it would have been more revealing to have posted a link to this article here about the unscrupulous history of a certain company from St Louis. That history provides very good reason why so many doubt and challenge powerful corporations and the type of science they fund and promote (or attempt to suppress) and the type of world they seek to create (see this).
“Corporations as the dominant institution shaped by capitalist patriarchy thrive on eco-apartheid. They thrive on the Cartesian legacy of dualism which puts nature against humans. It defines nature as female and passively subjugated. Corporatocentrism is thus also androcentric – a patriarchal construction. The false universalism of man as conqueror and owner of the Earth has led to the technological hubris of geo-engineering, genetic engineering, and nuclear energy. It has led to the ethical outrage of owning life forms through patents, water through privatization, the air through carbon trading. It is leading to appropriation of the biodiversity that serves the poor.” Vandana Shiva
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One particular story during President Obama’s inauguration did not make headlines in the main stream media. Rapper Lupe Fiasco was performing live at the StartUp RockOn concert to celebrate the re-election of President Barack H. Obama on January 21st at the Hamilton in Washington D.C.
Lupe Fiasco (Wasalu Muhammad Jaco) was kicked off the stage by Obama’s secret service detail because he was singing Anti-Obama lyrics that annoyed many of the President’s Supporters.
He was singing one of his most political songs called “Words I never said” which was released back on 2011.
The lyrics to the song that got Fiasco escorted off the stage was “Limbaugh is a racist, Glenn Beck is a racist. Gaza strip was getting bombed. Obama didn’t say sh*t. That’s why I ain’t vote for him, next one either.”
In an article published by the London based newspaper The Guardian who interviewed Lupe Fiasco in April of 2008 called “Lupe’s Dreams”.
Lupe said “With my mother in the ‘hood, it was a house full of National Geographics, political and social discourse and no television,” he remembers. “Then all this stuff I would read about in those books, my father would be doing. I saw him shut down crackhouses, open karate schools for free, run non-profit organisations, pass out Black Panther party literature…”
Lupe Fiasco in Washington DC (right)
Lupe Fiasco is not a rapper like Jay-Z or Kanye West.
His parents had positive influences in his life early on, despite living in Chicago, one of the most crime-ridden cities in the United States. In a CBS interview, an online segment called ‘What’s Trending’ with Shira Lazar on June, 8th, 2011, Lupe Fiasco made it known, who he thought was a terrorist:
“My fight against terrorism, to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama in the United States of America. I’m trying to fight the terrorism that’s actually causing the other forms of terrorism. You know, the root cause of terrorism is the stuff the U.S. government allows to happen. The foreign policies that we have in place in different countries that inspire people to become terrorists.”
Lupe Fiasco reiterated his stance on the Obama administration in a Fox News interview with Bill O’ Reilly of the ‘O Reilly Factor’:
O’REILLY: You know, President Obama is not a terrorist. He’s trying to do what he believes is the right thing to do. The United States is not a bad nation. It’s a noble nation. We’re trying to defend ourselves against people who killed us on 9/11. And then you go out there and you talk to a lot of younger people. And this is what gets me, that your constituency are not exactly political science Ph.Ds, OK? They’re impressionable kids.
FIASCO: I don’t think that that matters. I don’t think you need to have a political Ph.D…
Lupe Fiasco with Bill O’Reilly
O’REILLY: But they listen to you…
FIASCO: …to understand — to understand politics. To understand politics I don’t think you necessarily need that. And I don’t think that politics are as complex as people like to make them seem or out to be.
Richard Nixon said that, you know, if you — they reduced fear by reducing the causes of fear. And then in that same interview, which I spoke about, you know, calling Obama a terrorist and every president before and after him a terrorist, right? Is that if you’re going to fight terrorism, right? True terrorism, you know, weaponized fear. In defense of ourselves, we’re fighting — actively fighting something else. But if you’re going to fight terrorism, to me, you fight the root causes of terrorism.
Fox news pundit Bill O’Reilly was stating that Fiasco’s fan base were “Impressionable kids” that did not have any sense of politics because they did not have PhDs.
Therefore, Fiasco should not call President Obama a terrorist because it will have a negative impact on how Obama is seen by Hip-Hop fans across the world.
Bill O’ Reilly comes from a news station that had a poll conducted on November 21st, 2011 by Farleigh Dickinson University called the Public Mind Poll with the result that Fox News viewers knew less than people who did not watch any news at all. Lupe Fiasco was correct to point out what President Obama’s foreign policy was responsible for, which includes drone strikes that has claimed many lives in Pakistan and Yemen. In an interview with Philadelphia’s Power 99 with Mina SayWhat in July 2012, Lupe Fiasco explained what President Obama’s Foreign Policy is:
“One hand, you have someone who is a great speaker, but kills little children—our president,” Lupe told Philadelphia’s Power 99. “I’m talking about ordering a drone attack. Ordering drone attacks that go and kill mothers, innocent bystanders, children. Militants, too, but the collateral damage. You’re responsible for that, too.
“Drug dealers can say the same thing, Lupe continued. “‘I didn’t mean to kill all the people in the restaurant. I was just trying to get that one dude who killed my cousin. Just so happened that that little girl was there.’ Same thing.”
President Obama’s foreign policy is the same as that of former President George W. Bush with the expansion of the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) where US troops would be stationed in more than 35 African nations. Obama declared war on Libya which led to Muammar Gaddafi’s death.
Barack and Michelle Obama dance at the inauguration ball
He continued wars in Afghanistan and maintained a military presence in Iraq and continued war threats against Iran and Syria. Obama is also responsible for the erosion of civil liberties within the United States. Obama has secretly sent US Special forces to more than 75 countries. Obama has signed an agreement with Colombia to open several bases. Obama was instrumental in opening a base in Chile. There are many other actions Obama undertook during his presidency. But there is one important factor to take in consideration, Black America.Under President Obama, the Black population in the United States has witnessed a steady decline in their living standards.
According to the Washington Times, an interview with NAACP President Ben Jealous with Dick Gregory on Meet the Press, Jealous said:“The country’s back to pretty much where it was when this president started,” said Jealous. “White people in this country are doing a bit better. Black people are doing far worse.”The black unemployment rate was 12.7 percent when Mr. Obama took office. While the unemployment rate in the U.S. as a whole is below 8 percent, the Labor Department reported the black jobless rate was up from 12.9 percent to 14 percent for December.The worst during Mr Obama’s first term was in September 2011, with 16.7 percent unemployment for blacks — the highest since 1983, the Department of Labor reports. The black teen jobless rate hit a staggering 39.3 percent in July 2012.”According to Jealous, African-Americans “are doing far worse” under President Obama than under President George W. Bush. With Obama bailing out Banks and the Obamacare (which imposes healthcare taxes on small businesses will lead to more layoffs) to take effect in 2014, the future for employment within the Black community in America will be bleak.
Corporate Exploitation of the African-American Community
Rappers such as Jay-Z and Kanye West who are supporters of President Obama associate themselves with the political and corporate elites are immune to reality of the problems Black America faces although they both come from inner-city ghettos. Money and influence has corrupted their minds with music that has “dumbed–down” their fan base. Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) actually helped Lupe Fiasco with the production of his debut album in 2008 called ‘Lupe Fiasco’s Food and Liquor’ . However, Jay-Z has reached a plateau where he became partners with major corporations. The major corporations include Budweiser, Hewlett-Packard, Coca-Cola, Reebok and Microsoft. Jay-Z collaborated with Coca-Cola, a product that affects the Black community with obesity, diabetes epidemics and high-rates of heart disease.
Jay-Z and Kanye West with the illuminati sign. They are not part of any Secret Society. They are exploited by the elites.
According to the Office of Minority Health (OMH) which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) stated that “African American adults are twice as likely than non-Hispanic white adults to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician” and “in 2009, African Americans were 2.2 times as likely as non-Hispanic Whites to die from diabetes.” The Obesity problem in the United States affects African-Americans more than any other group. The Office of Minority Health also stated that “African American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the U.S. About four out of five African American women are overweight or obese.” Coca-Cola has a number of dangerous ingredients in their sodas including Aspartame.
Keep in mind that Aspartame has been linked to hallucinations, diarrhea, seizures, depression, migraine, fatigue and insomnia, tumors, cancer and infertility according to numerous complaints made to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which was submitted by the Department of Health and Human Services back on April 20th, 1995.It was also responsible for having union leaders in Latin America murdered by paramilitary death squads which Coca-Cola denies. For more information watch the 2010 Documentary ‘The Coca-Cola Case’ by directors German Gutierrez and Carmen Garcia and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Microsoft is another major corporation that Jay-Z represents owned by Bill Gates who has a philanthropy called the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill Gates wants to help third world nations with vaccines with the continent of Africa as one of his main targets.
Bill Gates has stated publicly that “The world today has 6.8 billion people… that’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.”
Major corporations are exploiting many rap stars that target their communities to sell their products which are harmful to Black and Latino communities. Jay-Z also represents Budweiser. Alcoholism is a major problem for the black community. Jay-Z is not the only rap star exploited by corporations. You have hundreds of artists that contribute to the degradation of the African-American, Latino, White and Asian communities such as Nikki Manage, Kanye West, 50 Cent, DMX and many others whose lyrics degrade women and glorify gangsters. They rap about how much money they got and all of the gold chains they possess. These are songs that have a hidden message to consume or to become a “Gangster”. Rap music is a weapon used by the elites to keep certain segments of society in control.
Propaganda Then and Now
Corporations that exploit certain groups of people such as women or the black community is nothing new. Corporations have been interested in finding ways to attract consumers to their products for decades regardless of race or sex. The Psychological use of Rap music to socially engineer Black and Latino Youth to the life of crime which contributes to the Prison-Industrial Complex, consumerism and the mistreatment of women has been in the making since the late 1920’s.
In 1928, Edward Bernays’ ‘Propaganda’ was used as a manual to entice consumers to buy certain products. One of the most known tactics used in the business world was Bernays use of women for cigarette companies. Bernays used women to show how cigarettes can be made fashionable to the public. Bernays actually helped the smoking industry overcome one of the most problematic obstacles for the cigarette industry which was women smoking in public which was illegal in the 1920’s. Bernays used Women models to smoke ‘Lucky Strikes’ to show the ‘Torches of Freedom’ to the public. It boosted the profits of cigarette companies since Bernays created a new consumer for their product. Bernays was also involved in politics when he worked under President Woodrow Wilson on the Committee of Public Information in order for America to be involved in the aspect of “bringing democracy to all of Europe”. In ‘Propaganda’ Bernays laid out ways how corporations can use ‘aesthetic’ values in various forms of art:
“In applied and commercial art, propaganda makes greater opportunities for the artist than ever before. This arises from the fact that mass production reaches an impasse when it competes on a price basis only. It must, therefore, in a large number of fields create a field of competition bases on aesthetic values. Business of many types capitalizes the aesthetic values. Business of many types capitalizes the aesthetic sense to increase markets and profits. Which is only another way of saying that the artist has the opportunity of collaborating with industry in such a way as to improve the public taste, injecting beautiful instead of ugly motifs in the articles of common use, and, furthermore, securing recognition and money for himself.
Propaganda can play a part in pointing out what is and what is not beautiful, and business can definitely help in this way to raise the level of American culture. In this process propaganda will naturally make use of the authority of group leaders whose taste and opinion are recognized”
In an Association for Consumer Research article published in 1992 by M. Elizabeth Blair and Mark N. Hatala of Ohio University called ‘The Use of Rap Music in Children’s Advertising” stated that:
“Music in advertising is being studied by marketing scholars in an increasingly diverse number of ways. Initially, there was an emphasis on the measurement of aesthetic qualities of the music (Holbrook and Huber 1979; Holbrook and Bertges 1981). In these studies a number of semantic differential items were factor analyzed and the factors were given names that corresponded with certain qualities of the piece of music (e.g. activity, coolness, heaviness, and sadness). Several years later, Gorn (1982) stimulated interest in the use of music in the background of advertisements. This study provided evidence that preferences for products could be classically conditioned through the use of music. Bruner (1990) recently reviewed the diversity of ways in which music has been studied by marketing scholars and, like the Holbrook studies cited above, emphasizes the decomposition of the music into components such as time (includes rhythm and tempo), pitch and texture. A new rhetorical approach to the study of music in advertising was introduced by Scott (1990). This article criticizes previous music-in-advertising research for ignoring the cognitive involvement of the listener. It is emphasized that music can be informative or affective, and should not be separated from its social context and meanings that are culturally shared. Culturally-shared meanings in music have been largely ignored in previous studies and the current research is one of the first to examine advertising music from an anthropological/ sociological perspective.
Rap music, with its boastful rhymes and synthesizer-created claps and pops, has moved out of the ghetto and into the mainstream of popular culture. In rap music, African-Americans have found a powerful expression of their culture. Some rap artists have attempted to use this force to bring about social change, for example, by speaking out about black-on-black violence. Pepsi-Cola, Coca-Cola and the British Knights athletic footwear company have all signed popular rap artists to promote their products. Rap’s rhythmic chants and hip style fit the image of products like sneakers and soft drinks, especially with young consumers. Because children and teens are the major consumers of rap music, it is only logical that rap should be used to promote products to these age groups. Advertisers believe that rap music facilitates memorization of the product information and creates excitement (Barber 1987). Rap music also allows more lyrics per 30 seconds than any other form of music (Winters 1990)”
Corporations have been using Edward Bernays model to gain advantage on what consumers would desire instead of what they need. Rap music is a tool used by corporations to sell their products or services. Many artists were signed with major record companies in the 90’s including Jay-Z in 1996 with ‘Reasonable Doubt” with a single ‘Can’t Knock the Hustle’ about drug dealing and life on the street. Rap Music does not cause crime per se as much as the Columbine massacre in Colorado was not caused by the music of Marilyn Manson who was blamed for the incident. It is fair to say that there are other factors that contribute to crime such as poverty and the War on Drugs. However, Rap music is persuasive towards consumerism. It glorifies women as sexual objects or as “Strippers”. Gangster Rap songs involve drug dealing and foments rivalries between gangs and regions (East Coast vs.
The West Coast rivalry of the 1990’s). The history of Rap music dates back to the 1970’s in New York City when block parties in African-American communities were popular with DJ’s and rappers who created Hip-Hop music. Corporate interests and the globalist elites turned Hip-Hop into a negative genre not just for the black community but every other community that listens to Hip-Hop. Lupe Fiasco is positive especially towards Women where many rappers call women “Bitches”. In one of his singles “Bitch Bad” about how the word “bitch” is normalized among youths when they are talking about women. In comparison to many rap artists who call women “bitches” is accepted as normal. This type of influence on youths will have a negative perception of women. They will be seen as sex objects, not worthy of respect.
Will the FBI consider Lupe Fiasco a “Security Threat” to the United States?
In 1956, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had files on Elvis Presley due to an extortion case involving Elvis’s safety and his performances. J. Edgar Hoover received a letter from Army Intelligence that stated Elvis Presley’s performance was a danger to the United States because his “actions and motions were such as to rouse the sexual passions of teenaged youth.” Imagine Lupe Fiasco’s criticism of Barack Obama and several other rappers that are in the same category such as Mos Def, Taleb Kweli, Immortal Technique, Calle 13 (Puerto Rico) and London-based rapper Lo-Key. Lupe Fiasco would be targeted for criticizing the President and can be labeled a terrorist himself.
Anything is possible in the United States, especially after Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2011.
Can Rap Music bring change to Urban Youths?
Hip-Hop music can be used in a positive direction to spread awareness on many issues, including drugs and crime. Lupe Fiasco has demonstrated that his music can be a positive force for the youth in the United States as well as the World. Rap music including “Gangster Rap” is a mind control mechanism that allows youths to be controlled by corporate interests to become consumers or to be used by political interests through the influence of Rap stars such as Jay-Z and Kanye West. Rap music can be used in a positive direction in terms of educating the public or by informing them on what the real issues are. One thing is for sure, as long as the Music industry continues to reap billions of dollars in profits with Hip-Hop music that involves gangsters, drugs and sex, youths in America and throughout the world will continue down a path that would not benefit their families or communities.
Jay-Z and all other rappers who are exploited by the elites will continue their talents that will only benefit corporations and the elite that own them. Who knows why Obama invited Lupe Fiasco to the inauguration event. Maybe Obama never heard Lupe Fiasco’s music. If he did, Obama would have never invited Lupe Fiasco in the first place. At least one thing is certain, as they say in the world of Hip-Hop, Lupe Fiasco is keeping it “Real.” Maybe other rappers would wake-up one day and create music that inspires, not music that destroys the mind. Then maybe urban youths would be interested in knowledge, not gold chains and fancy cars to pick up the “Bitches”.
Then hope for a better life out of the ghettos can become a reality.
Children wearing a surgical masks to protect themselves against influenza A (H1N1). (Reuters / Henry Romero)
A fifth of the global population was infected with swine flu during the 2009-2010 pandemic, with nearly half of them children, a new study by the WHO reveals. But despite extensive fears, it proved less deadly people than seasonal flu.
The WHO’s report found that between 20 and 27 per cent of people worldwide caught the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, during that period.
The study revealed that those aged between five and 19 showed the greatest rate of infection, with around forty-seven per cent suffering.In contrast around 11 per cent of people aged 65 and over were infected with the virus.
To draw such conclusions researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Imperial College London examined 90,000 blood samples collected during and after the pandemic from as many as 19 countries where the disease was present.
The study, published in the journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, is based on data from published and unpublished H1N1 seroepidemiological studies, scientists explained.
"This study is the result of a combined effort by more than 27 research groups worldwide, who all shared their data and experience with us to help improve our understanding of the impact the pandemic had globally," one of the authors, Maria Van Kerkhove, from Imperial College London said.
The countries from which data was gathered include: Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Reunion Island, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.
Seen as every time a person became infected the virus’ antibodies are produced, the research group looked for traces of antibodies to H1N1 virus in numerous blood samples to determine the rates of infection. Therefore, by simply analyzing the prevalence of people with the antibodies before and after the virus pandemic, the researchers managed to estimate the number of those who were infected. At the same time while antibodies are evidence of infection, it does not mean that the person fell ill.
Scientists believe that the low rate among older people was due to previous influenza viruses they already had in their blood. So to say, during the H1N1 pandemic, antibodies reacted to swine flu and protected them from being completely infected. Thus, in 14 percent of blood taken from that group showed the presence of such a ‘protection’.
In some countries data was not available, but researchers believe the infection rates there were likely to have been similar.
"Knowing the proportion of the population infected in different age groups and the proportion of those infected who died will help public health decision-makers plan for … pandemics," said the WHO's Anthony Mounts who helped lead the study.
The WHO declared H1N1 swine flu a pandemic in June 2009, after laboratories had identified cases in 74 countries. That status was officially lifted only in August 2010.
In 2009 the world was overwhelmed by fear and panic over the ‘deadly’ virus.
In countries like Britain or Japan travelers with flu-like symptoms weren’t allowed to disembark without a certificate.
In Tokyo’s airport passengers arriving from Mexico, where the outbreak affected many people, were screened for swine flu.
In Ukraine the spread of the virus was even depicted as a political act ahead of presidential elections as then president Viktor Yushchenko wanted to postpone the vote. It was seen by the critics as an attempt to win time to gain more support.
Critics alleged that the WHO declared the disease a "pandemic" – meaning the disease affects the population of an extensive region, multiple countries or even worldwide – after advice from doctors with close links to pharmaceutical companies as the 16-month episode sparked a surge in demand for vaccines.
Some states announced a program of mandatory swine flu vaccination for their public sector workers, sparking fears that it may become compulsory for all of their citizens and residents. The vaccine’s safety has also been also doubted. The latest report by European scientists linked the use of the vaccine to the sleep disorder narcolepsy, in some 800 children and teenagers across Europe.
More than 30 million people in 47 countries were inoculated with Pandemrix, which was produced by UK pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 2009.
It took people more than a year to realize that what was supposed to be a deadly pandemic, turned out to be nothing more than a serious cold.
“Our results taken together with recent global pandemic respiratory-associated mortality estimates suggest that the case fatality ratio of the pandemic virus was approximately 0,02%," the WHO report said in June 2012.
That figure is in the low range of death tolls from annual "seasonal" flu.
The recent study is said to be crucial for better understanding of the H1N1 virus and preparing efforts to improve prediction of future pandemics.
“That's incredibly important because we know this will happen again and there is a lot of effort being put into trying to prepare now…for the next one," Maria Van Kerkhove told Reuters in a phone interview.
- Foreign Hostages Die in Algeria’s Battle With Terrorists (Bloomberg)
- The latest bank to soon join the currency wars: McCafferty Says BOE Must Keep Open Mind on New Policy Tools (Bloomberg)
- US debt talks complicated by timing (FT)
- BOJ eyes open-ended asset buying, agrees new inflation goal (Reuters)
- AmEx Says U.S. Card Income Fell 42% as Loss Provisions Increased (BBG)
- Call to raise age for US’s Medicare (FT)
- Obama Promise to Raise Middle Class Living Already Seen in Peril (BBG)
- China Exits Slowdown as Quarterly Growth Tops Forecasts (BBG) - actually, as new Politburo says to make it appear that way
- Britain to drift out of European Union without reforms (Reuters)
- Republicans weigh interim debt-limit hike (FT)
- Abe's aide says Japan shouldn't fret if yen falls to 100 vs dlr (Reuters) ... and it was 90 just a few days ago
- PBOC May Seek More Liquidity Operations (Dow Jones)
Overnight Media Digest
* Former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong told the world Thursday
evening that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de
* Algeria's military launched a raid on Thursday
to free about 40 foreigners held by militants at a remote natural-gas
complex, leaving some hostages dead, surprising and angering several
governments and putting leaders across the world at a loss to determine
the fate of their citizens.
* In his final days as U.S. Treasury
secretary, Timothy Geithner reflected on the financial crisis and the
response he helped craft, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
Among other things, he said the government's rescue of the financial
system was doomed to be unpopular.
* In approving Boeing Co's
787 Deamliner to start carrying passengers in 2011, the Federal Aviation
Administration relied extensively on data generated by Boeing that
indicated the plane's advanced lithium-ion battery systems -- never used
before on a big jetliner -- featured redundant safeguards that were
* Rio Tinto Chief Executive Tom Albanese
agreed to step down on Thursday, the latest in a string of leaders
toppled by shifting fortunes at the world's biggest mining companies.
Quarterly earnings reports released on Thursday underscore the
lingering illnesses afflicting some of the largest, best-known U.S.
banks and the comparatively ruddy health of some smaller regional
* Sony Corp has reached a deal to sell its U.S.
headquarters at 550 Madison Avenue for $1.1 billion, the company said on
Thursday, a strong price that shows how investors are bidding
aggressively for top Manhattan properties.
* Toyota Motor Corp
has settled what was to be the first in a group of hundreds of pending
wrongful death and injury lawsuits involving sudden, unintended
acceleration by Toyota vehicles.
In a drive for transparency, authorities in the Cayman Islands are planning on creating a public database of funds domiciled in the British territory for the first time.
Videogames seller Game Group is interested in acquiring stores from collapsed music retailer HMV, the CEO said.
As their mega-merger continues to go through regulatory clearance, Glencore and Xstrata are set to extend the deadline for the deal for a third time.
The British banking industry wants a deadline of May 2014 to be imposed for claims from customers who say they were mis-sold payment protection insurance, says one senior executive.
Barclays is considering whether it should recoup some or all of the 290 million pounds it was fined for Libor-rate rigging from the bonuses it is due to pay investment bankers in 2012.
* Hours after Algerian forces raided a gas facility, there was still no official word on the number of hostages freed, killed or still held by their Islamist kidnappers.
* In a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey, Lance Armstrong admitted to using banned substances but did not say how he did it or who helped him.
Thomas Weisel, who bankrolled Lance Armstrong through seven Tour de France wins, said in his first public comment on the matter that he never personally saw an instance of doping on the team.
* Most banks have recovered from the recent financial collapse, but two companies, Bank of America and Citigroup have reported continuing effects on earnings.
* AT&T warned that it would take a fourth-quarter charge of about $10 billion because of bigger-than-expected pension obligations.
* The Chinese economy picked up steam during the last few months of 2012, closely watched data from Beijing on Friday confirmed. But at the same time the figures underlined the view that the pace of future growth is likely to remain well below that seen in recent years.
* E*Trade Financial named Paul Idzik, a former executive at Barclays, as its new chief, ending a five-month search for a new leader.
* Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has sold shares in itself at $19 apiece, a person briefed on the matter said, reaping about $446.5 million in proceeds.
CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL
--The State Electricity Regulatory Commission of China (SERC) said China's power consumption could reach above 9 percent in 2013 from 5.5 percent in 2012.
CHINA DAILY (www.chinadaily.com.cn)
--Fears over intellectual property lawsuits by foreign train technology companies will not derail exports of Chinese bullet trains, Vice Minister of Science and Technology Cao Jianlin said in an interview, dismissing copycat claims by Japan's Kawasaki as "nonsense."
--A former Japanese leader visited a memorial site to victims of Japanese wartime aggression, but analysts were quick to reject ay suggestion that Tokyo will change its policies toward China.
--China's Railway Ministry said investment in railway could hit 650 billion yuan and that it will set a National Railway Development Fund as soon as possible.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
* Two class action lawsuits were filed against the federal government in Canada after the human resources and skills development department lost a portable hard drive containing personal information about more than half a million people who took out student loans.
The department said last week the device contained data on 583,000 Canada Student Loans Program borrowers from 2000 to 2006.
* The federal ethics commissioner wants to talk to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty about his letter to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) after it was revealed that he wrote to the arm's-length broadcast regulator in support of a constituent's bid for a radio licence.
Reports in the business section:
* More Canadians went online to do their Christmas shopping this year, according to a new report by MasterCard Advisors.
Canadian consumers spent C$2.8 billion ($2.84 billion) shopping online in December, up 26 percent over the previous year and representing about 6.6 per cent of the month's total retail sales.
* Three Quebec City teens have been arrested over charges of planning a shootout at their high school.
The three teens, two boys aged 14 and 15 and a 16 year old girl, who have pleaded not guilty, face charges of conspiracy to commit murder and will remain detained until a bail hearing on Monday.
* The blowout in price between Alberta's heavy oil and the North American benchmark price is a "longer term issue" with no quick fix, Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo) CEO Leo de Bever said.
Fly On The Wall 7:00 Market Snapshot
Amazon.com (AMZN) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Pacific Crest
Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Credit Suisse (CS) upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
Expeditors (EXPD) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Fabrinet (FN) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Movado (MOV) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
Netflix (NFLX) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital
Qlik Technologies (QLIK) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
Research in Motion (RIMM) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Tyson Foods (TSN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
Wynn Resorts (WYNN) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Alterra Capital (ALTE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee
Ball Corp. (BLL) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
CSX (CSX) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
Capital One (COF) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital
Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse
Clarcor (CLC) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair
Finisar (FNSR) downgraded to Underperform from Hold at Jefferies
MGM Resorts (MGM) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
NetSuite (N) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman
Ultimate Software (ULTI) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Visa (V) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
Westamerica (WABC) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
Geron (GERN) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Halcon Resources (HK) initiated with a Hold at Stifel Nicolaus
Harry Winston (HWD) initiated with a Buy at Nomura
Inovio Pharma (INO) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital
Marathon Oil (MRO) initiated with a Buy at Stifel Nicolaus
Oncothyreon (ONTY) initiated with an Underweight at Piper Jaffray
Threshold Pharmaceuticals (THLD) initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Tronox (TROX) initiated with a Buy at B. Riley Caris
Ziopharm (ZIOP) initiated with a Neutral at Piper Jaffray
GE (GE) on target to achieve dougle-digit earnings growth in 2013
Said outlook for developed markets remain uncertain
Sees growth in China, resource rich countries
Weiss family raised American Greetings (AM) offer to $17.50 from $17.18 per share
Moody's changed Rite Aid (RAD) outlook to positive from stable
Schlumberger (SLB) said global macroeconomic environment remains uncertain
Sees 2013 global oil demand similar to 2012
Liberty Media (LMCA) bought 50M shares of Sirius XM (SIRI), control above 50%
Intel (INTC) ”excited about strong pipeline of products coming to market”
Sees little growth in wireless in 2013
Capital One (COF) sees average quarterly revenue levels in 2013 like Q412
Sees reduction in loan balances in 2013
Sony Corporation of America (SNE) sold 550 Madison Avenue building for $1.1B
AZZ Inc. (AZZ) sees FY14 margins remaining strong
ONEOK Partners (OKS) announced $465M-$500M project investments through 2015
NuPathe's (PATH) Zecuity approved by FDA
Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
General Electric (GE), Schlumberger (SLB), Xilinx (XLNX), Bank Mutual (BKMU), Intel (INTC), Wintrust Financial (WTFC)
Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Matthews (MATW), People's United (PBCT), Capital One (COF)
Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Wipro (WIT), Associated Banc-Corp (ASBC), American Express (AXP)
GE (GE) is the world's top producer of aircraft engines and medical-imaging equipment, but as far as its profits are concerned, it’s very much a bank. GE Capital is expected to account for nearly half the company's 2012 profit, the Wall Street Journal reports
Dell’s (DELL) potential $23B leveraged buyout could also be the deal that finally gets the leveraged-buyout machine going again, showering financiers in fees and potentially yielding big returns for investors, the Wall Street Journal reports
Americans are more confident in the future and are increasingly striking out to set up their own homes, a move that is helping propel the housing recovery, Reuters reports
When U.S. natural gas producers release their 2012 annual reports, many companies may have to significantly reduce a key indicator of their financial health: reserves. The SEC
requires companies to calculate and report year-end oil and gas reserves using 12-month average prices, Reuters reports
With the worst flu outbreak since 2009 gripping the U.S., vaccine makers (GSK, AZN) are determined to do better next season. They’re developing powerful vaccines that hold the promise of cutting incidences of flu by the thousands, Bloomberg reports
Franklin Templeton Investments (BEN) reduced its holdings of Apple (AAPL) last year to 4.2% from 7% in 2011 on concern the maker of the iPhone lacks a strategy to sell cheaper smartphones in emerging markets such as China and India, Bloomberg reports
CyrusOne (CONE) 16.5M share IPO priced at $19.00
Northern Tier (NTI) Energy 10.7M share Secondary priced at $24.46
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) 23.529M share IPO priced at $19.00
SunCoke Energy (SXCP) 13.5M share IPO priced at $19.00
Trius Therapeutics (TSRX) files to sell common stock
Your rating: None
The US is experiencing its deadliest flu outbreak in a decade, prompting the city of Boston to declare a public health emergency after the virus killed more than a dozen people and left hundreds struggling to fight off the illness.
From Florida to Maine, emergency rooms across the nation are flooded with patients experiencing symptoms of the flu. Last January, Boston had seen only 70 cases of influenza. This year, the numbers have reached 700, with at least 18 dead in Massachusetts – and the number of cases is still on the rise.
“In the last two weeks alone we’ve doubled our number,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, tells CBS News. “So, if we continue at this rate to see new cases, we’ll have an explosion of flu in the city of Boston. We really need to get ahead of it at this point in time.”
Most states haven’t seen an outbreak this bad since the swine flu plagued the US in 2009. But in some regions, the most recent influenza outbreak has already surpassed the H1N1 outbreak by creating a high number of sick and dying patients.
Nationwide, the number of flu cases has more than doubled in the past month, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared 44 states are experiencing a widespread influenza. Hospitals are overwhelmed with patients, with the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pennsylvania seeing as many as 100 new patients a day that have flu-like symptoms.
Even south Florida has seen an unusually large number of cases, and the illness most recently killed a 6-year-old girl in Texas.
This year’s severe flu season has created a shortage of Tamiflu, which is used to treat symptoms of influenza. Roche Holding AG, the company that produces the drug, told wholesalers that there would be a delay in Tamiflu shipments. Across the nation, pharmacies have the liquid version of Tamiflu on backorder, prompting compounding pharmacies to start making their own versions of the drug.
But even the vaccines used to prevent further outbreaks are in low supply. Sanofi SA, which is the main flu vaccine provider in the US, announced Thursday that four out of six of its formulations of seasonal flu vaccines were sold out.
“We use Cardinal Health as our drug wholesaler and we have a secondary. Both of those are running low,” Andy Komuves, a pharmacist at the Dougherty’s Pharmacy in north Dallas, says to Fox News. “Supplies are spotty. Some of that is because there is a huge demand right now and of course when these types of things happen you always get a little bit of hoarding going on too.”
US lawmakers are encouraging the American public to stay home if they experience flu-like symptoms and to get the vaccine if they haven’t already. With the vaccine now in short supply, though, it will become increasingly difficult to take preventative measures against the deadly illness. With flu season lasting until March or early April, the death toll is likely to continue rising. To combat the epidemic, the city of Boston is providing free flu shots this weekend.
“You have to think about an anti-viral, especially if you’re elderly, a young child, a pregnant woman,” said ABC News Chief Medical Editor Dr. Besser. “They’re the people that are going to die from this. Tens of thousands of people die in a bad flu season. We’re not taking it serious enough.”