Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas lights - ChristmasTime - Smashing Pumpkins

Bruce Springsteen & E.-Street Band ** Merry Christmas Baby ** Live ...

We Three Kings- Billy Corgan, Emilie Autumn & Dennis DeYoung

Voters leaving Republican, Democratic parties in droves

A USA TODAY analysis of state voter registration statistics shows registered Democrats declined in 25 of the 28 states that register voters by party. Republicans dipped in 21 states, while independents increased in 18 states.
The trend is acute in states that are key to next year's presidential race. In the eight swing states that register voters by party, Democrats' registration is down by 800,000 and Republicans' by 350,000. Independents have gained 325,000.
The pattern continues a decades-long trend that has seen a diminution in the power of political parties, giving rise to independents as Ross Perot and Ralph Naderand the popularity this year of libertarian Republican Ron Paul.
"The strident voices of both the left and the right have sort of soured people from saying willingly that they belong to one party or the other," says Doug Lewis, who represents state elections officials. "If both sides call each other scurrilous dogs, then the public believes that both sides are probably scurrilous dogs."

Christianity May Be Eradicated in Iraq and Afghanistan, (For Their Freedom Of Course)

Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church

( - Despite long-term U.S. military occupations aimed at establishing representative governments in Iraq and Afghanistan, Christianity now faces the real threat of eradication in those countries because of severe and persistent persecution of Christians there, according to the chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Similarly, despite the “Arab Spring” rebellion in Egypt earlier this year, the survival of Christianity is also threatened in that country because of the escalating persecution of Christians.
“We are looking at two different countries where the United States invaded, occupied, changed their governments in the last decade--Iraq and Afghanistan--where it’s possible Christianity might be eradicated in our lifetime?” asked USCIRF Chairman Leonard Leo in a video interview.
“Yes,” said Leo, “and, unfortunately, that is sort of the pattern throughout the Middle Eastern region. The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year. It’s a very, very alarming situation.”
In Egypt, according to Leo, anti-Christian violence and discrimination may inspire a mass migration of that nation’s Coptic Christian population, thus achieving a strategic goal sought by radical Muslims.
“The radical Islamists would accomplish their goal, if they drove the Coptic Christians out of the country, absolutely,” Leo told in an Online With Terry Jeffrey interview.

The Iran Drone

The Drone
By Joseph Farrell
Well, I depart from my usual practice of talking about a particular article or video today, to present some thoughts about the drone that recently "crashed" in Iran. Let's back up to the story via the context. First we had the death of Osama Bin Laden, whose body, let us recall, was quickly buried at sea. That's called tampering with the evidence. We are simply asked to take the government's word for it, not to mention there were stories in the media long before that he may have died. Then there was the matter of the Iranian used car salesman plotting with the Iranian government to commit acts of terrorism. Well, that one was in my opinion designed to beat the war drums for a strike on Iran. Don't get me wrong here. The government of Iran is nuts. What other country has as a component of its very national constitution the mandate to export jihad and to annihilate an entire nation? But the car salesman story was a non starter. It quickly fizzled in its utility for hyping the war fever.
Then came the drone, which let us recall was first reported as having crashed, until the Iranian government showed off its "crashed drone" which looked to be in pretty fine condition. Then we were fed the cock-and-bull story that it had a malfunction and "glided" to a landing.
Now, I am having difficulty with all this and I hope you are too. It seems silly to me that such advanced technology would not have some sort of self-destruct mechanism. Now maybe it doesn't. I don't know. The military has done stupid things before, and it wouldn't surprise me. Maybe it does, and it "malfunctioned."
But all this is merely prelude, for however the drone got there, the fact of the matter is that it is there, and there under circumstances that are all too suspicious, in my humble opinion. The question is, why, and who is behind it, for it seems to me that someone wanted Iran to have this drone. So, working with that hypothesis, the question is, who and why?
We have, it seems to me, two basic possibilities here: (1) someone within the American military wanted them to have it, or (2) someone else hacked into the system, and commanded it to "glide" to its landing in Iran as quite a prize for Tehran (and by implication, Beijing and Moscow). If the latter, then someone else has penetrated our national security.
It is the former possibility that intrigues me, for it might then mean that there are some within the American defense establishment that wanted this technology to fall into Iran's hands. The question is: why? Here there are, as I currently see it, two further possibilities: to give Iran and its major power backers, Russia and China, access to key defense systems to forestall the current war fever emanating from certain circles in this country, or to give Iran technological capabilities that will make any future action against that country, if or when it comes, a bloodier affair.
In any case, I remain skeptical of the public explanations that have been thus far forthcoming. Something else, I genuinely think, is going on, and any way one slices it, it doesn't bode well.

Physicians Oppose Mandatory Flu Vaccine for Health Workers

In letters to Colorado public health officials, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) opposes a rule requiring workers in health care facilities to have an annual influenza vaccination or lose their jobs. Workers who had a rare religious or medical exemption would be required to wear a mask in patient care areas from November through March.

The religious exemption is too narrowly drawn, AAPS writes, and should be a philosophical exemption, as accepted in many states, to “to avoid inquisitions into matters of faith.” The mask requirement “seems to be nothing more than a punitive retaliation against those who decline the vaccine” and should be dropped, the AAPS letter states, as both immunized and nonimmunized individuals can transmit influenza or other illnesses.

The New Mexico study cited in support of the policy shows a tiny effect: an adjusted odds ratio of only 0.97 for confirmed influenza “outbreaks” (at least one case) in residents of long-term care facilities where 60% of direct-care workers were immunized compared with facilities with a 51% immunization rate. This means that in facilities where more workers were immunized, residents were still 97% as likely to get influenza. “Many other factors could account for the small difference,” states AAPS executive director Jane Orient, M.D.

In the age of “evidence-based medicine,” AAPS notes that there is surprisingly little evidence supporting the efficacy of influenza vaccine, and evidence of safety is also limited. According to a 2006 article in the British Medical Journal by Tom Jefferson, the coordinator of the vaccines section of the Cochrane Collaboration, safety data are reported in only five randomized studies with 2,963 observations. Many repeated doses of similar vaccines likely increase the risk of allergic reactions, and no data exist on the safety of a large number of doses, states Dr. Orient, citing a 2006 article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. 

Immunizations and pertinent information should be made conveniently available to all workers in medical facilities, states AAPS. But the judgment of medical professionals should be respected; more than half choose to decline the annual shot. 

Click here to read the letter to Colorado officials.

Newt Gingrich urges Iran 'sabotage'

In 2009,

The former speaker of the US House of Representatives has said that the US should "sabotage" Iran's oil and gas infrastructure as part of its efforts to bring down the government.
In an interview with Al Jazeera's Avi Lewis for the Fault Linesprogramme, Republican Newt Gingrich said targeting Iran's refinery would spark an economic crisis that would destabilise the government in Tehran.
He said the US should "use covert operations … to create a gasoline-led crisis to try and replace the regime".
"I think we have a vested interest, the world has a vested interest, in a responsible Iranian government, just as we have a vested interest in a responsible North Korean government," he said