September 30, 2007

Closing the 'Collapse Gap': USSR was better prepared for collapse than US

How would the USA do if the economy collapsed? Dmitry Orlov witnessed the collapse of the USSR first hand. He compares the similarities, relative advantages and disadvantages of the USSR then, to the US now.This LITTLE item was the heaviest thing I read all summer.I suggest that YOU read it. The observations that Mr. Orlov makes are truths that should not be sidestepped.Of course, I am very cynical as I see so much DENIAL it's driving me crazy so I don't expect that many will read this, but everyone should pay attention to this cautionary tale!!

read more | digg story

Highway checkpoint asks drivers for blood, saliva

Sign of the times??Motorists in Colorado are expressing outrage over a weekend stunt in Gilpin County, about an hour's drive west of Denver, where highway checkpoints were set up so a private organization could ask for samples of blood and saliva.Follow the details in the story, and read the comments on digg. This turns out to be a most aggressive program and left people confused as uniformed officers were on the scene.

read more | digg story

NYT Editorial

Things Go Better With Rules

Published: September 30, 2007

To hear the nation’s top economic officials tell it, the worst effect of the reckless mortgage lending during the housing bubble is not mass foreclosures, bankruptcies, investor losses or credit seizures. It is the possibility that the turmoil could lead to new regulation.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr. has inveighed against a “rush” to regulation following the mortgage meltdown, and two Treasury under secretaries, writing recently in The Financial Times, criticized calls for “immediate” regulation.

There is nothing sudden about the push for regulatory reforms. Consumer advocates have been warning for years about unfair and deceptive lending that has taken place in plain view of do-nothing regulators. All along, they have presented detailed analyses and recommendations for regulatory action. And yet, Mr. Paulson has dismissed even the suggestion that a lack of regulation may have precipitated today’s financial turmoil, saying that “history says it’s very difficult for policy to keep up with innovation.” His under secretaries chalked up the current mess to “benign” market conditions that bred “complacency” and impaired “discipline.”

That’s all way off. Turning a profit by making rotten loans to uncreditworthy borrowers — ruining families and neighborhoods in the process — requires a lot more creativity than selling the Brooklyn Bridge to a gullible immigrant. But it is hardly the kind of innovation we want to encourage. Financial bubbles are not benign. And “undisciplined” is inapt, to put it politely, to describe lender behavior that ranged from amoral to deceptive, predatory and fraudulent — and that was enabled by bankers and investors at the other end of the transactions.

During the bubble, regulators allowed financial market participants to run amok. To help ensure that does not happen again, consumer protections that have languished, like providing loan disclosures in a borrower’s native language, need to be reinvigorated and violators prosecuted. Loan-making standards need to be subject to regulatory scrutiny, both at banks and nonbanks. The system must be rid of perverse incentives that made it profitable for brokers and lenders to make reckless loans.

And to ensure that market participants have the information they need to make rational decisions — a crucial underpinning of orderly markets — hedge funds and other secretive investors need to be held to strict disclosure standards and government monitoring.

The Treasury Department has pledged to work internationally to develop regulatory responses to the current instability. That rings hollow from a department that has a clear antiregulatory bias and that has previously blown off multilateral regulatory efforts.

Congress should welcome whatever input the Treasury may offer. But it is clearly up to lawmakers to set a new course. They should act with due speed and due deliberation, mindful of the balance between protecting consumers and fostering economic vitality.

Bruce Springsteen calls out Bush Administration: “This is a song about things that shouldn’t happen here…happening here.”

By John Amato on Friday, September 28th, 2007


Scarce sent in this video and rough transcript of Bruce Springsteen’s appearance on NBC this morning. He slammed the Bush administraion over the way they have attacked our core US values. He sums it up nicely, wouldn’t you say?

video_wmv Download (2703) | Play (3367) video_mov Download (1159) | Play (1509) (25 mgs)

“This is a song called Livin’ In the Future. But it’s really about what’s happening now. Right now. It’s kind of about how the things we love about America, cheeseburgers, French fries, the Yankees battlin’ Boston… the Bill of Rights [holds up microphone, urging crowd to cheer] … v-twin motorcycles… Tim Russert’s haircut, trans-fats and the Jersey Shore… we love those things the way womenfolk love Matt Lauer.

But over the past six years we’ve had to add to the American picture: rendition, illegal wiretapping, voter suppression, no habeus corpus, the neglect of our great city New Orleans and its people, an attack on the Constitution. And the loss of our young best men and women in a tragic war.

This is a song about things that shouldn’t happen here—happening here.”

How to think like an EARTHLING

For the graphics,
please go to the link
it would take me too long to post them

Why You Don't Care About 99% of Humanity

What is the Monkeysphere?

"One death is a tragedy. One million deaths is a statistic."

What do monkeys have to do with war, oppression, crime, racism and even e-mail spam? You'll see that all of the random ass-headed cruelty of the world will suddenly make perfect sense once we go Inside the Monkeysphere.

"What the Hell is the Monkeysphere?"

First, picture a monkey. A monkey dressed like a little pirate, if that helps you. We'll call him Slappy.

Imagine you have Slappy as a pet. Imagine a personality for him. Maybe you and he have little pirate monkey adventures and maybe even join up to fight crime. Think how sad you'd be if Slappy died.

Now, imagine you get four more monkeys. We'll call them Tito, Bubbles, Marcel and ShitTosser. Imagine personalities for each of them now. Maybe one is aggressive, one is affectionate, one is quiet, the other just throws shit all the time. But they're all your personal monkey friends.

Now imagine a hundred monkeys.

Not so easy now, is it? So how many monkeys would you have to own before you couldn't remember their names? At what point, in your mind, do your beloved pets become just a faceless sea of monkey? Even though each one is every bit the monkey Slappy was, there's a certain point where you will no longer really care if one of them dies.

So how many monkeys would it take before you stopped caring?

That's not a rhetorical question. We actually know the number.

"So this whole thing is your crusade against monkey overpopulation? I'll have my monkey castrated this very day!"

Uh, no. It'll become clear in a moment.

You see, monkey experts performed a monkey study a while back, and discovered that the size of the monkey's monkey brain determined the size of the monkey groups the monkeys formed. The bigger the brain, the bigger the little societies they built.

They cut up so many monkey brains, in fact, that they found they could actually take a brain they had never seen before and from it they could accurately predict what size tribes that species of creature formed.

Most monkeys operate in troupes of 50 or so. But somebody slipped them a slightly larger brain and they estimated the ideal group or society for this particular animal was about 150.

That brain, of course, was human. Probably from a homeless man they snatched off the streets.

"So that's the big news? That humans are God's big-budget sequel to the monkey? Who didn't know that?"

It goes much, much deeper than that. Let's try an example.

Famous news talking guy Tim Russert tells a charming story about his father, in his book Big Russ and Me (the title referring to his on-and-off romance with actor Russell Crowe). Russert's dad used to take half an hour to carefully box up any broken glass before taking it to the trash. Why? Because "The trash guy might cut his hands."

That this was such an unusual thing to do illustrates my monkey point. None of us spend much time worrying about the garbage man's welfare even though he performs a crucial role in not forcing us to live in a cave carved from a mountain of our own filth. We don't usually consider his safety or comfort at all and if we do, it's not in the same way we would worry over our best friend or wife or girlfriend or even our dog.

People toss half-full bottles of drain cleaner right into the barrel, without a second thought of what would happen if the trash man got it splattered into his eyes. Why? Because the trash guy exists outside the Monkeysphere.

"There's that word again..."

The Monkeysphere is the group of people who each of us, using our monkeyish brains, are able to conceptualize as people. If the monkey scientists are monkey right, it's physically impossible for this to be a number much larger than 150.

Most of us do not have room in our Monkeysphere for our friendly neighborhood sanitation worker. So, we don't think of him as a person. We think of him as The Thing That Makes The Trash Go Away.

And even if you happen to know and like your particular garbage man, at one point or another we all have limits to our sphere of monkey concern. It's the way our brains are built. We each have a certain circle of people who we think of as people, usually our own friends and family and neighbors, and then maybe some classmates or coworkers or church or suicide cult.

Those who exist outside that core group of a few dozen people are not people to us. They're sort of one-dimensional bit characters.

Remember the first time, as a kid, you met one of your school teachers outside the classroom? Maybe you saw old Miss Puckerson at Taco Bell eating refried beans through a straw, or saw your principal walking out of a dildo shop. Do you remember that surreal feeling you had when you saw these people actually had lives outside the classroom?

I mean, they're not people. They're teachers.

"So? What difference does all this make?"

Oh, not much. It's just the one single reason society doesn't work.

It's like this: which would upset you more, your best friend dying, or a dozen kids across town getting killed because their bus collided with a truck hauling killer bees? Which would hit you harder, your Mom dying, or seeing on the news that 15,000 people died in an earthquake in Iran?

They're all humans and they are all equally dead. But the closer to our Monkeysphere they are, the more it means to us. Just as your death won't mean anything to the Chinese or, for that matter, hardly anyone else more than 100 feet or so from where you're sitting right now.

"Why should I feel bad for them? I don't even know those people!"

Exactly. This is so ingrained that to even suggest you should feel their deaths as deeply as that of your best friend sounds a little ridiculous. We are hard-wired to have a drastic double standard for the people inside our Monkeysphere versus the 99.999% of the world's population who are on the outside.

Think about this the next time you get really pissed off in traffic, when you start throwing finger gestures and wedging your head out of the window to scream, "LEARN TO FUCKING DRIVE, FUCKER!!" Try to imagine acting like that in a smaller group. Like if you're standing in an elevator with two friends and a coworker, and the friend goes to hit a button and accidentally punches the wrong one. Would you lean over, your mouth two inches from her ear, and scream "LEARN TO OPERATE THE FUCKING ELEVATOR BUTTONS, SHITCAMEL!!"

They'd think you'd gone insane. We all go a little insane, though, when we get in a group larger than the Monkeysphere. That's why you get that weird feeling of anonymous invincibility when you're sitting in a large crowd, screaming curses at a football player you'd never dare say to his face.

"Well, I'm nice to strangers. Have you considered that maybe you're just an asshole?"

Sure, you probably don't go out of your way to be mean to strangers. You don't go out of your way to be mean to stray dogs, either.

The problem is that eventually, the needs of you or those within your Monkeysphere will require screwing someone outside it (even if that need is just venting some tension and anger via exaggerated insults). This is why most of us wouldn't dream of stealing money from the pocket of the old lady next door, but don't mind stealing cable, adding a shady exemption on our tax return, or quietly celebrating when they forget to charge us for something at the restaurant.

You may have a list of rationalizations long enough to circle the Earth, but the truth is that in our monkey brains the old woman next door is a human being while the cable company is a big, cold, faceless machine. That the company is, in reality, nothing but a group of people every bit as human as the old lady, or that some kind old ladies actually work there and would lose their jobs if enough cable were stolen, rarely occurs to us.

That's one of the ingenius things about the big-time religions, by the way. The old religious writers knew it was easier to put the screws to a stranger, so they taught us to get a personal idea of a God in our heads who says, "No matter who you hurt, you're really hurting me. Also, I can crush you like a grape." You must admit that if they weren't writing words inspired by the Almighty, they at least understood the Monkeysphere.

It's everywhere. Once you grasp the concept, you can see examples all around you. You'll walk the streets in a daze, like Roddy Piper after putting on his X-ray sunglasses in They Live.

But wait, because this gets much bigger and much, much stranger...

"So you're going to tell us that this Monkeysphere thing runs the whole world? Also, They Live sucked."

Go flip on the radio. Listen to the conservative talk about "The Government" as if it were some huge, lurking dragon ready to eat you and your paycheck whole. Never mind that the government is made up of people and that all of that money they take goes into the pockets of human beings. Talk radio's Rush Limbaugh is known to tip 50% at restaurants, but flies into a broadcast tirade if even half that dollar amount is deducted from his paycheck by "The Government." That's despite the fact that the money helps that very same single mom he had no problem tipping in her capacity as a waitress.

Now click over to a liberal show now, listen to them describe "Multinational Corporations" in the same diabolical terms, an evil black force that belches smoke and poisons water and enslaves humanity. Isn't it strange how, say, a lone man who carves and sells children's toys in his basement is a sweetheart who just loves bringing joy at Christmas, but a big-time toy corporation (which brings toys to millions of kids at Christmas) is an inhuman soul-grinding greed machine? Strangely enough, if the kindly lone toy making guy made enough toys and hired enough people and expanded to enough shops, we'd eventually stop seeing it as a toy-making shop and start seeing it as the fiery Orc factories of Mordor.

And if you've just thought, "Well, those talk show hosts are just a bunch of egomaniacal blowhards anyway," you've just done it again, turned real humans into two-word cartoon characters. It's no surprise, you do it with pretty much all six billion human beings outside the Monkeysphere.

"So I'm supposed to suddenly start worrying about six billion strangers? That's not even possible!"

That's right, it isn't possible. That's the point.

What is hard to understand is that it's also impossible for them to care about you.

That's why they don't mind stealing your stereo or vandalizing your house or cutting your wages or raising your taxes or bombing your office building or choking your computer with spam advertising diet and penis drugs they know don't work. You're outside their Monkeysphere. In their mind, you're just a vague shape with a pocket full of money for the taking.

Think of Osama Bin Laden. Did you just picture a camouflaged man hiding in a cave, drawing up suicide missions? Or are you thinking of a man who gets hungry and has a favorite food and who had a childhood crush on a girl and who has athlete's foot and chronic headaches and wakes up in the morning with a boner and loves volleyball?

Something in you, just now, probably was offended by that. You think there's an effort to build sympathy for the murderous fuck. Isn't it strange how simply knowing random human facts about him immediately tugs at your sympathy strings? He comes closer to your Monkeysphere, he takes on dimension.

Now, the cold truth is this Bin Laden is just as desperately in need of a bullet to the skull as the raving four-color caricature on some redneck's T-shirt. The key to understanding people like him, though, is realizing that we are the caricature on his T-shirt.

"So you're using monkeys to claim that we're all a bunch of Osama Bin Ladens?"

Sort of.

Listen to any 16 year-old kid with his first job, going on and on about how the boss is screwing him and the government is screwing him even more ("What's FICA?!?!" he screams as he looks at his first paycheck).

Then watch that same kid at work, as he drops a hamburger patty on the floor, picks it up, and slaps in on a bun and serves it to a customer.

In that one dropped burger he has everything he needs to understand those black-hearted politicians and corporate bosses. They see him in the exact same way he sees the customers lined up at the burger counter. Which is, just barely.

In both cases, for the guy making the burger and the guy running Exxon, getting through the workweek and collecting the paycheck are all that matters. No thought is given to the real human unhappiness being spread by doing it shittily (ever gotten so sick from food poisoning you thought your stomach lining was going to fly out of your mouth?) That many customers or employees just can't fit inside the Monkeysphere.

The kid will protest that he shouldn't have to care for the customers for minimum wage, but the truth is if a man doesn't feel sympathy for his fellow man at $6.00 an hour, he won't feel anything more at $600,000 a year.

Or, to look at it the other way, if we're allowed to be indifferent and even resentful to the masses for $6.00 an hour, just think of how angry the some Pakistani man is allowed to be when he's making the equivalent of six dollars a week.

"You've used the word 'monkey' more than 50 times, but the same principle hardly applies. Humans have been to the moon. Let's see the monkeys do that."

It doesn't matter. It's just an issue of degree.

There's a reason why legendary monkeytician Charles Darwin and his assistant, Jeje (pronounced "heyhey") Santiago deduced that humans and chimps were evolutionary cousins. As sophisticated as we are (compare our advanced sewage treatment plants to the chimps' primitive technique of hurling the feces with their bare hands), the inescapable truth is we are just as limited by our mental hardware.

The primary difference is that monkeys are happy to stay in small groups and rarely interact with others outside their monkey gang. This is why they rarely go to war, though when they do it is widely thought to be hilarious. Humans, however, require cars and oil and quality manufactured goods by the fine folks at 3M and Japanese video games and worldwide internets and, most importantly, governments. All of these things take groups larger than 150 people to maintain effectively. Thus, we routinely find ourselves functioning in bunches larger than our primate brains are able to cope with.

This is where the problems begin. Like a fragile naked human pyramid, we are simultaneously supporting and resenting each other. We bitch out loud about our soul-sucking job as an anonymous face on an assembly line, while at the exact same time riding in a car that only an assembly line could have produced. It's a constant contradiction that has left us pissed off and joining informal wrestling clubs in basements.

This is why I think it was with a great burden of sadness that Darwin turned to his assistant and lamented, "Jeje, we're the monkeys."

"Oh, no you didn't."

If you think about it, our entire society has evolved around the limitations of the Monkeysphere. There is a reason why all of the really phat-ass nations with the biggest SUV's with the shiniest 22-inch rims all have some kind of representative democracy (where you vote for people to do the governing for you) and all of them are, to some degree, capitalist (where people actually get to buy property and keep some of what they earn).

A representative democracy allows a small group of people to make all of the decisions, while letting us common people feel like we're doing something by going to a polling place every couple of years and pulling a lever that, in reality, has about the same effect as the darkness knob on your toaster. We can simultaneously feel like we're in charge while being contained enough that we can't cause any real monkey mayhem once we fly into one of our screeching, arm-flapping monkey frenzies ("A woman showed her boob at the Super Bowl! We want a boob and football ban immediately!")

Conversely, some people in the distant past naively thought they could sit all of the millions of monkeys down and say, "Okay, everybody go pick the bananas, then bring them here, and we'll distribute them with a complex formula determining banana need! Now go gather bananas for the good of society!" For the monkeys it was a confused, comical, tree-humping disaster.

Later, a far more realistic man sat the monkeys down and said, "You want bananas? Each of you go get your own. I'm taking a nap." That man, of course, was German philosopher Hans Capitalism.

As long as everybody gets their own bananas and shares with the few in their Monkeysphere, the system will thrive even though nobody is even trying to make the system thrive. This is perhaps how Ayn Rand would have put it, had she not been such a hateful bitch.

Then, some time in the Third Century, French philosopher Pierre "Frenchy" LaFrench invented racism.

This was a way of simplifying the too-complex-for-monkeys world by imagining all people of a certain race as being the same person, thinking they all have the same attitudes and mannerisms and tastes in food and clothes and music. It sort of works, as long as we think of that person as being a good person ("Those Asians are so hard-working and precise and well-mannered!") but when we start seeing them as being one, giant, gaping asshole (the French, ironically) our monkey happiness again breaks down.

It's not all the French's fault. The truth is, all of these monkey management schemes only go so far. For instance, today one in four Americans has some kind of mental illness, usually depression. One in four. Watch a basketball game. The odds are at least two of those people on the floor are mentally ill. Look around your house; if everybody else there seems okay, it's you.

Is it any surprise? You turn on the news and see a whole special on the Obesity Epidemic. You've had this worry laid on your shoulders about millions of other people eating too much. What exactly are you supposed to do about the eating habits of 80 million people you don't even know? You've taken on the pork-laden burden of all these people outside the Monkeysphere and you now carry that useless weight of worry like, you know, some kind of animal on your back.

"So what exactly are we supposed to do about all this?"

First, train yourself to get suspicious every time you see simplicity. Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.

So reject binary thinking of "good vs. bad" or "us vs. them." Know problems cannot be solved with clever slogans and over-simplified step-by-step programs.

You can do that by following these simple steps. We like to call this plan the T.R.Y. plan:

First, TOTAL MORON. That is, accept the fact THAT YOU ARE ONE. We all are.

That really annoying person you know, the one who's always spouting bullshit, the person who always thinks they're right? Well, the odds are that for somebody else, you're that person. So take the amount you think you know, reduce it by 99.999%, and then you'll have an idea of how much you actually know regarding things outside your Monkeysphere.

Second, UNDERSTAND that there are no Supermonkeys. Just monkeys. Those guys on TV you see, giving the inspirational seminars, teaching you how to reach your potential and become rich and successful like them? You know how they made their money? By giving seminars. For the most part, the only thing they do well is convince others they do everything well.

No, the universal moron principal established in No. 1 above applies here, too. Don't pretend politicians are somehow supposed to be immune to all the backhanded fuckery we all do in our daily lives and don't laugh and point when the preacher gets caught on video snorting cocaine off a prostitute's ass. A good exercise is to picture your hero--whoever it is--passed out on his lawn, naked from the waist down. The odds are it's happened at some point. Even Gandhi may have had hotel rooms and dead hookers in his past.

And don't even think about ignoring advice from a moral teacher just because the source enjoys the ol' Colombian Nose Candy from time to time. We're all members of varying species of hypocrite (or did you tell them at the job interview that you once called in sick to spend a day leveling up on World of Warcraft?) Don't use your heroes' vices as an excuse to let yours run wild.

And finally, DON'T LET ANYBODY simplify it for you. The world cannot be made simple. Anyone who tries to paint a picture of the world in basic comic book colors is most likely trying to use you as a pawn.

So just remember: T-R-Y. Go forth and do likewise, gents. Copies of our book are available in the lobby.


Actual headline: "Chimp not a person, Court rules"

Big mistake, your honor.

Morgan Stanley used Sept. 11 to falsely claim records were destroyed

Morgan Stanley Fined Over Sept. 11 Lost E-Mail Claim (Update4)

By David Scheer

Sept. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley, the second-largest securities firm, will pay $12.5 million to settle regulatory claims it wrongly withheld e-mails in arbitration cases by saying they were lost in the Sept. 11 attacks, the company's third sanction since 2002 for mishandling the records.

The firm's Morgan Stanley DW subsidiary failed on ``numerous occasions'' to produce e-mails for plaintiffs and regulators, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said in a statement today. The accord is the first of its kind, providing $9.5 million to claimants affected by the lapses, said Finra, the Washington-based brokerage regulator.

The government already sanctioned Morgan Stanley twice for mishandling electronic messages under former Chief Executive Officer Philip Purcell. Last year, it paid a record $15 million to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission probe of deficient e-mail preservation. In 2002, the SEC and other regulators faulted the New York-based firm for destroying e-mails and backup tapes.

``Hiding behind the events of Sept. 11 to avoid litigation obligations is unseemly,'' said Steven Caruso, president of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association and a partner at the New York office of Maddox Hargett & Caruso PC. ``This sets a new standard for how low a firm will go to take advantage of their clients.''

The settlement documents don't accuse the firm of withholding the e-mails intentionally, according to Finra spokesman Herb Perone.

`Legacy Legal Matters'

``That allegation is false. The minute that we discovered that we had these e-mails we notified regulators and began turning them over in arbitration discovery,'' said Jim Wiggins, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley. The company didn't admit or deny wrongdoing under the settlement.

Current CEO John Mack made improving the firm's standing with securities regulators a priority when he took the helm in June 2005. Today's accord resolves a claim filed in December by Finra's predecessor, NASD.

``We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Finra to resolve these legacy legal matters and put them behind the firm,'' Morgan Stanley said in an e-mailed statement.

Days after the terrorist attacks destroyed Morgan Stanley's 12 e-mail servers in New York, the company recovered millions of messages from backup tapes, Finra said. Additional data were stored on networks and individual computers throughout the firm.

Still, Morgan Stanley ``routinely'' claimed all e-mails before October 2001 were gone, the regulator said. The company later allowed much of the data to be erased.

Payments to Customers

``The integrity of our process demands that brokerage firms comply with their obligations to search diligently for'' e-mails and turn them over ``in a timely way,'' said Susan Merrill, Finra's enforcement chief.

The accord allows customers whose arbitration claims may have been affected to automatically receive payments of as much as $5,000. Many clients also have the right to obtain pre-Sept. 11 e-mails. Those people may then ask the fund's administrator for more money, up to $20,000, based on the facts of their case.

Accepting payments doesn't prevent clients from pressing their original claims in other venues, such as court, Finra's Perone said.

Finra was formed this year through the merger of the NASD brokerage regulator and the New York Stock Exchange's enforcement arm.

Morgan Stanley's shares rose 2.5 percent to $64.55 in composite trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has slipped 4.5 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Scheer in Washington at

Last Updated: September 27, 2007 17:52 EDT

September 29, 2007

Naomi Wolf Schools Stephen Colbert on The Rise of Fascism in America [VIDEO]

The author of "The End of America" points out disturbing parallels between the Bush administration and fascist dictatorships throughout history.
Share and save this post

The clip to your right features writer Naomi Wolf on The Colbert Report talking about her book, The End of America, A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, which outlines ten steps that "fascist, totalitarian, and other repressive leaders [employ to] seize and maintain power, especially in what were once democracies.” The ten steps are:

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

2. Create a gulag

3. Develop a thug caste

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

5. Harass citizens' groups

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

7. Target key individuals

8. Control the press

9. Dissent equals treason

10. Suspend the rule of law

Naturally an in-character Colbert tries to challenge Wolf's points, shouting "USA number one!" Check out the video to your right for more.


Dengue fever in Mexico

Timothy was kind to send this item on Dengue fever which is translated by google.

Dengue, virus that attacked 69 people in Leon: Ssa

It reports the dependency that the disease affects to adults and minors, but is no deceases

Dengue, virus that attacked 69 people in Leon: Ssa
- TO A TO +

Xóchiltl Alvarez/Correspondent
The Universal one
Leon, Guanajuato
Friday 28 of September of 2007

22:24 the Institute of Dermatology and Reference Epidemiologist, INDRE, identified that it corresponds to dengue, the virus that in last the two weeks attacked 69 people who live in the zone center on this city.

The Secretary of Health, Jorge Armando Aguirre, informed that the bud of dengue affects to adults and minors, but said that there are no deceases.

This problem expanded by the colonies the Duraznal, Obregón and the Calvario, annexed to the zone center and confirmed a case more in the colony Trees of Ibarrilla, to the north of the municipality.

Virus entered, by first time to Guanajuato, by some of patients which it was infected in anyone of the 20 organizations of the country, that for a long time have been having that problem of health, said the health secretary.

At the beginning of this week the dependency discarded the presence of dengue in the municipality after making analysis in the regional laboratory, reason why 34 hypotheses of disease considered, by the similarity in the signs and symptoms of the affected ones.

Nevertheless, this Friday after analyzing 32 samples of patients, the INDRE, confirmed the presence of the virus of dengue in 31, men and women.

The patients present/display extreme fevers, salpullido, headaches and bones, vomits and diarreas.

This Friday at night the Secretariat of Health initiated actions of fumigation in 29 apples of the center where a wall tended epidemiologist, with nebulizaciones in the streets and dowry of Father in the addresses.

The civil employee advanced that thousands of workers of the health, medical personnel of the municipality and the educative sector will support the actions of alert and prevention of the disease.

It said that in following the weeks maneuvers for the nebulización in 250 thousand houses of the municipality will be made. Simultaneously, an intense campaign will settle down so that the families eliminate the stored water and they undo of the earthenware vessels.

Also, the call to the leonine ones so that they go to the doctor when they register annoyances that could be associate to dengue.


Dengue fever and aspirin

Mantra: There is NO global warming. If there is, we can wait to take action to find out what is REALLY causing it.

Here is what it is .. Dengue Fever

Top 100 Ways Global Warming Will Change Your Life

Spread of Dengue Fever. Scientists predict warmer temperatures will allow mosquitoes carrying Dengue Fever to travel outside the tropics. Since people in cooler climes lack immunity from previous exposure, that means transmission would be extensive. You get a severe fever, you start spontaneously bleeding, you can die. There is no vaccine. [Science Daily]

Aspirin with dengue could kill - Ministry
published: Friday | September 28, 2007

Petrina Francis, Staff Reporter

The Ministry of Health and Environment yesterday said it was concerned about dengue haemorrhagic fever and urged persons with fever not to take aspirin as this could result in death.

Dengue occurs in two forms: Dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever.

Dengue fever is marked by the onset of sudden high fever, severe headache and pain behind the eyes, muscles and joints.

Potentially deadly

According to the World Health Organisation, dengue haemorrhagic fever is a potentially deadly complication that is characterised by high fever, often with enlargement of the liver and, in severe cases, circulatory failure.

"We are concerned about dengue haemorrhagic fever," Dr. Sheila Campbell-Forrester, chief medical officer of health, told The Gleaner yesterday.

She said there were four types of dengue virus, and Jamaica was now experiencing type two.

Dr. Campbell-Forrester said more than 100 cases of dengue fever have been identified between July and September. She noted that vector control programmes are ongoing islandwide, but are mostly concentrated in parishes where cases have been identified.

These areas include Kingston, St. Catherine, St. Ann and Portland.

"We want to stress the importance of self response. Mosquitoes breed in containers or areas where water settles," she said, noting that persons should be vigilant and punch holes in containers, among other safety measures.

Dengue facts

Dengue fever is transmitted by female Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes which acquire the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person.

Persons suspected of having dengue fever or dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) must see a doctor at once;

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever but early recognition and symptomatic treatment can save lives. People who are infected with dengue should drink a lot of fluids and eat nutritious food, as this may improve the course of the disease;

Dengue disease is not contagious. However, when dengue patients are bitten by an infected dengue mosquito, the mosquito may infect somebody else. Therefore, the dengue patient should be kept under a mosquito net or in a screened room during the period of illness.

Source: World Health Organisation.

We Shall Never Sell

Our Sacred Black Hills

Frank Fools Crow

Lakota Chief

Frank Kills Enemy

Lakota Headman


Kola (friends). I am Frank Fools Crow, Chief of the Lakota and I am here today with Frank Kills Enemy, one of the most respected headmen and also an expert on Indian treaty rights. Before we begin, I would like to ask you why when we speak you do not listen, and when you listen, you do not hear, and when you hear us, you do not choose to understand what we say. This is one time that I ask you to listen carefully and understand what we have to say.

We have come here from Pine Ridge today to discuss this house bill (H.R.14629) which permits the tribal councils and the people they represent to get interest on the $17,500,000 award given by the Indian Claims Commission. That interest, I believe, amounts to $85,000,000. Our people have been holding meetings on this Black Hills Claim for many years and we have just held such a meeting at Porcupine on September 8 and 9, 1976. At this meeting, the people authorized us to come to this hearing today and speak for them. The people unanimously reaffirmed our long-standing position that the Black Hills are not for sale under any circumstances. We are therefore standing behind the resolution we passed at Ft. Yates in February of this year. That resolution, my friends, reads:


WHEREAS, a meeting of all Sioux Tribes concerned with the 1868 Treaty was called by the Standing Rock Sioux and all elected and traditional leaders were invited and,

WHEREAS, during this meeting, presentations regarding the Black Hills were made by Larry Leventhal, Attorney, traditional people and elected leaders and it being the consensus of all present, the traditional people held a meeting and delegates of eight (8) Sioux Reservations were present,

BE IT RESOLVED, the delegates of the eight (8) Sioux Reservations have unanimously agreed that all land involved in the 1868 Treaty is not for sale, and all monies appropriated for such sale will not be accepted by members of the Traditional people of each reservation, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the judgment of this Black Hills case immediately implements the overall and complete jurisdiction and sovereignty of and by Indian people the Sioux Nation.

Many people cannot and refuse to understand why the Lakota people do not want to sell the Black Hills and have taken this position. I am therefore going to explain our reasons, because the discussions surrounding this claim and the acceptance of it will have very far-reaching effects. I do not want our people, many years from now, to think that we have sold out. We will never sell out. I am 87 years of age and Mr. Kills Enemy is 82. Our only concern here today is for the best interests and welfare of our people and future generations of our people.

I have some comments I would like to make on what will be going on here today.


On all our reservations today, there are tribal councils operating under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. These councils were placed on the reservations by the United States Government to replace our traditional councils. These puppet governments are often times the most corrupt governments around and bring out the very worse in the whiteman system of governments. Councilmen on these puppet governments always represent the view of the whiteman because they are indoctrinated by the whiteman to act like this. These type of people are on the council because very few of our traditional people vote in these whiteman elections. I am told that only 30 percent of our people vote. These councilmen do not represent the majority of the people on the reservation. Naturally, many of them are here today to urge the acceptance of this bill, as they have been brainwashed to do by the whiteman.

I want to repeat that there can never be an acceptance of this bill or the total Black Hills Claim under any circumstances. This is the wish of the people. We have a treaty and it requires 3/4 of all adult male members to sign before our land can be sold. I believe that this provision was stuck in the treaty by the whiteman because Lakota do not sell their land. The whiteman claims that he is not bound by the 3/4 provision of the treaty. This Lonewolf v. Hitchcock case has been explained to me and I have to laugh at the whiteman and his views. This case says only that the whiteman can break treaties with Indian any time he wants to. Let me tell you my friends, that Mr. Kills Enemy has a book which tells that the United States Commissioners who signed the 1868 Treaty were in Chicago two or three days before they signed it, and they were passing resolutions which were designed to break it. After these resolutions were passed, the Commissioners signed it. The treaty was broken by the whiteman before it was even signed by him. But we Lakota are more honorable men. We have signed the treaty and we will try to live by it and respect it. Even though this treaty may not be binding on the whiteman, it is binding on us until we vote it out. It says that 3/4 of the Lakota adult male members must sign before land can be sold and the Lakota people can never accept any payment until this provision is fully complied with.


The Black Hills are sacred to the Lakota people. Both the sacred pipe and the Black Hills go hand and hand in our religion. The Black Hills is our church, the place where we worship. The Black Hills is our burial grounds. The Bones of our grandfathers lie buried in those hills. How can you expect us to sell our church and our cemeteries for a few token whiteman dollars. We will never sell.

We know the underlying policy behind the Claims Commission Act and we are not fooled. The government intends to clear title to the land illegally taken, to clear their own conscience, then terminate us. I see this come out in the testimony of government witnesses in past hearings. For example, on page 13 of the Senate Subcommittee hearings on S. 2780 held on August 13, 1976, the witness answered Senator Abourezk's statement on how acceptance of the bill would be a disservice to the Indian people. The witness said:

MR. MILLEUR. By constantly bringing up the ancient wrongs which were supposed to have been settled once and for all by the Indian Claims Commission Act and having them litigated over and over again rather than forgetting the ancient wrongs and let the very salutory effect of the doctrine of res judicata take its effect as it does normally in any judicial proceedings in the country.

These wrongs only happened yesterday and are not ancient wrongs. And I wonder where the whiteman ever got the idea that these wrongs had to be settled in his courts by his rules. Anyone can win a ball game if he makes up his own rules. This res judicata business is one of these rules. But whatever the rules are, and whatever the Claims Commission awards for the Black Hills, please remember that we will never sell.

There can only be one settlement for the Black Hills. The Black Hills must be immediately returned to the rightful owners, the Lakota people. After that, we can talk about compensation for damages done to the fruits taken from the land. We should be paid for everything taken from the land at the value they are worth today, since the land is still rightfully ours today. But our people are a generous people and our people are willing to accept one-half the value of everything taken at the value they are worth today.

The Claims Commission, an agency of the United States Government, has stated that the taking of the Black Hills was illegal, and the Commission claimed also that it could have been taken by Eminent Domain. We also understand that under the whiteman laws, the rules of the game that have been imposed in this claim, that land can be acquired in only three methods: (1) by discovery, (2) by extinguishment of title, and (3) by sale. There certainly has never been any discovery of our land by the whiteman. We discovered it first, because we have always been here. The whiteman recognized this right, that is why they had to enter into these treaties with us. These treaties recognized our title to the Black Hills and other land and acknowledged our right to exist as a nation without being terminated and placed under state jurisdiction. I believe the whiteman constitution also recognizes this right. Also, there has never been any conquest of the Sioux Nation by the United States. It was the United States that came to us and asked for peace after we continually defeated them in over twenty three years of war. With the exception of the Blue Water Creek and Wounded Knee massacres and maybe one small battle called the Box Wagon Fight in Montana, we defeated the United States in every encounter. We have not been conquered by friends and instead lived in peace with the United States in accordance with the treaty as equals. And also, there has never been a sale of the Black Hills, because there has never been an acceptance of the governments offer to buy. What the decision of the Claims Commission amounts to is an offer, although they do not wish to call it that. By deceit, they are trying to get us to accept this offer by telling us that we have no choice but to accept the judgment award. And until we accept this offer, the United States can never have clear and legal title to the Black Hills. And the white people living in the Black Hills have a cloudy title on their land because their titles are only as good as their government's. I would like to tell our IRA council friends that this is the only reasons that the United States is so anxious to get the Indian people to accept the award. They only want to clear their own illegal title in an underhanded method. We do not believe the United States government has the power to eminent domain over us, anymore than we have the power to eminent domain over them. This is because we are equal nations living side by side. We are citizens of our own nations. But even if the government has this power, as the claims commission stated, and could have taken the Black Hills by eminent domain, the fact remains that it did not do so. Therefore, the Black Hills were taken by an illegal act and the government does not have any legal title whatsoever on our sacred hills.

We understand that over 80 percent of the Black Hills is still under the control of the United States. This must be immediately returned to the Lakota people and negotiations must begin for the remainder in individual ownership. We know the white people living in the hills now love it. We love it for many of the same reasons and more importantly because they are our sacred grounds. So these white people should understand why we will not sell. The Oglala Lakota have always been the caretakers of the Black Hills and it is appropriate that I have been allowed to talk here today defending the sale of these hills for my people and other Lakota people from our other Lakota tribes.


Before I close, I have one statement to make about the attorneys representing the tribal councils. Naturally, at this stage of the game, they would rather get 10 percent of $102,000,000 rather than 10 percent of $17,500,000. But they are the only ones that stand to gain from these claims. They testify only for their own self interests.

Many of these attorneys have worked hard for the puppet tribal governments that they represent. They do not represent us and the majority of the people on the reservations who reject the claims. They have never consulted us, the silent majority, to get our views on the sale. If they would have, they would have seen that the majority of us are against the sale of the Black Hills.

These tribal attorneys, many of them are of the Jewish people. They should look at their own history and hold their heads in shame for what they are trying to talk us into doing here. They lost their lands for almost 2,000 years and have just got them returned. They lost many of their people throughout the years fighting for their homeland, but not as many people as we lost fighting for ours. Yet they stand here very eagerly trying to talk us into selling our land when they know the United States does not have good legal title. It is understandable that they do this because they too are whitemen. We wonder if they will be willing to sell Israel to the Arabs for $17,500,000 plus interest.

Also, we have been told that the passage of this bill today is 20 to 1 against passage. These odds are not good. I say this because I do not want to hear the attorneys blaming us for the rejection of this bill after today. It is easy to use us as their scapegoats when they have to tell their puppet governments that the bill was defeated. I wish to emphasis again that our only concern here today is to restate our position that the Black Hills cannot and will not be sold under any circumstances and we are here today to protect our people.

Before I go, I would like to attach to our statement a statement from the Standing Rock Lakota people. They have not been allowed to talk today and I think what they have to say should be heard. Hau. He cetu yelo.

I once worked with Philip Berigan in DC, after the Pentagon march. He was a lovely, LOVELY hardworking man of PEACE.

This is his .. well .. his nemesis?

Rev. Billy Graham: A Prince of War Exposed

William Hughes

The Rev. Billy Graham sits for his portrait in the Carnegie Hall, New York
studio. By John Howard Sanden

The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same.” - Stendhal

The propaganda machine of the Evangelical Christian Right will soon be in counter attack mode. One of its darling preachers is about to take it on the proverbial chin. The Rev. Billy Graham, who has created a multimillion dollar media empire, that a Rupert Murdock would envy, is the subject of a shocking expose’ due out on Nov. 15, 2007. It’s entitled, “The Prince of War: Billy Graham’s Crusade for a Wholly Christian Empire.” The author is Cecil Bothwell. He hails from Asheville, North Carolina and is an award winning investigative reporter. Bothwell’s unflattering portrait of Rev. Graham shows him as a wily warmonger and a lackey for the Establishment. He describes Rev. Graham as a public figure who: “Undermined the Founders’ skeptical Deism and sought to rebrand the U.S. as a Christian nation, [and] its armies [as] the rightful instruments of [a] Christian crusade and empire.”

Bothwell documents that there wasn’t a war the U.S. was involved in that Rev. Graham couldn’t bless. In fact, he reveals that during the horrific Vietnam conflict, (1959-75), he had urged the then-President, Richard M. Nixon, to bomb North Vietnam! In a 13-page letter, that Rev. Graham had forwarded to the White House in April, 1969, it was stated: “There are tens of thousands of North Vietnamese defectors to bomb and invade the North. Why should all the fighting be in the South?...Especially let them bomb the dikes which could over night destroy the economy of North Vietnam.” Mr. Bothwell underscored that such a military action against the dikes, a huge complex of earthworks, would probably “kill a million people and wipe out an already poor nation’s agricultural system” He added that the advice in Graham’s transmittal “fell on receptive ears. Not longer after, Nixon moved the air war north and west.”

There is more. After the deadly Kent State U. affair, (May 4, 1970), where four students, who were protesting the Nixon-Henry Kissinger-inspired bombing of Cambodia, were killed by Ohio’s National Guard troops, Rev. Graham invited the mostly unbalanced Nixon to address his crusade. It was held in Knoxville, TN. While parents of the students were still grieving and burying their dead, Rev. Graham shamelessly shilled: “All Americans may not agree with the decision a president makes--but he is our president...”

Madame Tussauds Wax, 2000 @
Madame Tussauds in New York.
By Karen Newman
Also, every chance Rev. Graham got he ripped into antiwar protesters in this country, while the Vietnam inferno was raging. After a large pro peace demonstration in late 1969, he railed in a letter to then President Lyndon B. Johnson, that the protesters were “radicals and those seeking to overthrow the American way of life.” When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke out, in 1967 against the war in a sermon at the Riverside Church in NYC, Rev. Graham, jumped right in and tagged his criticism as “an affront to the thousands of loyal Negro troops who are in Vietnam.” When Dr. King marched for Civil Rights in Selma, Alabama, Rev. Graham was no where to be found. And, after Dr. King was gunned down in Memphis, TN, he couldn’t be bothered to attend his funeral either.

Rev. Graham made a career out of sucking up to U.S. presidents. Mr. Bothwell wrote how he loved those “endless photo-ops” at the White House, and how he was always, “so eager to shake the hands of...despots, movie stars and industrial kingpins, and to offer grandiose approval of their greatness. Obsequy, more than money, seemed to drive the man--though his pockets were never empty.” Fortunately, not all the presidents bought into Rev. Graham’s bogus act. One of my favorites, President Harry S. Truman, who was born in Lamar, MO, knew a wide variety of people from political bosses to political hacks. He had a built in b... s... detector. This is what President Truman had to say about the war-loving, camera-mugging preacher: “Graham has gone off the beam. He’s...well, I hadn’t ought to say this, but he’s one of those ‘counterfeits’ I was telling you about. He claims he’s a friend of all the presidents, but he was never a friend of mine when I was president. I just don’t go for people like that. All he’s interested in is getting his name in the paper.”

Just before Bush 1 (George H.W. Bush) launched the Persian Gulf War, he invited Rev. Graham to the White House. On Jan. 16, 1991, they both watched the “air war against Iraq on CNN.” Later that same evening, he prayed “three times” with the president before he delivered a “televised address to the nation.” In a phone call to Bush 1, prior to that White House invite, Rev. Graham had supposedly referred to Saddam Hussein as the “Antichrist.” This conversation reportedly helped Bush 1 to resolve “all the moral issues in my mind. It’s black and white, good versus evil.” Can anyone imagine Jesus watching a war on TV, without weeping aloud for its innocent victims, and demanding that it be stopped immediately?

As for the ongoing Iraq War, started by Bush 2 (George W. Bush Jr.), and based on a pack of rotten lies, not one word of criticism has been heard from Rev. Graham. Even after the notorious torture scandal at Abu Ghraib was revealed, the preacher maintained his vow of silence on this country’s worst president, a man who deserves impeachment and jail time for violating his oath of office. (1) The country has lost 3,801 of its finest sons and daughters in Iraq and wasted $455 billion there. Another 27,000 U.S. troops have been seriously injured. An estimated one million Iraqis are now dead and about 3.7 million have become refugees. Yet, Rev. Graham, a supposed follower of the “Prince of Peace,” has remained mute in his criticism of the outrageous conduct of this president and his insane policies. Why have we rarely heard Rev. Graham preach about Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount?” Why have we rarely, if ever, heard him repeat these words that came directly from the mouth of Christ: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God?”

Mr. Bothwell suggests a possible reason why Rev. Graham has failed to speak out about the unjust Iraq War and Bush 2’s responsibility for it. At p. 164, he relates how the preacher, in 1985, had supposedly “saved” Bush 2 from perdition. It was at the family compound at Kennebunkport. Bush 2 was drunk and had allegedly “insulted a friend of his mother.” It was around the time of Bush 2’s 39th birthday. Mr. Bothwell writes: “George senior and Barbara blew up. Words were exchanged along the lines of something having to be done. George senior, then the vice-president, dialed up his friend, Billy Graham, who came to the compound and spent several days with George W. in probing exchanges and walks on the beach. George W. was soon ‘born again.’ He stopped drinking, attended Bible study and wrestle with issues of fervent faith. A man who was lost was saved.”

We now know that Bush 2, although he may have stopped hitting the bottle, never did anything in the realm of therapy about his alcoholism problem. He’s known by the experts in the field as a “dry drunk,” a potential danger to himself and to others. (2) As for Bush 2 being “born again,” the question must be asked: “Born again for what?” To kill Iraqis? Invade Iran? Bankrupt our Republic? “Brother” Elliott Nesch, an Evangelical and Peace advocate, believes that pro-War Christians “should repent.” (3) I agree with him. The bottom line is clerics, like Rev. Graham, dominate today much of the Religious Right in America. Bothwell’s tome deals, however, with a lot more relevant issues than just the preacher’s disgusting war addiction. It’s an insightful book that I am highly recommending. It’s well documented, too, with 274 footnotes.

Finally, I wrote last year that “Rev. Graham wasn’t a Phil Berrigan.” The latter, an ex-priest, was a true apostle of peace, who spent 11 of his 79 years behind bars in the cause of justice. Unlike Rev. Graham, who skipped out of WWII, Berrigan was involved in the Normandy invasion and the “Battle of the Bulge” as a member of the U.S. Army. (4) I’m convinced that unless the Christian community in this country, Protestant and Catholic alike, opens its eyes to what Rev. Graham and his Establishment-serving ilk have been doing “in Christ’s name,” this nation is headed for a fall that will make the collapse of Rome look like a Sunday picnic.

Here is what it is ..

Dengue Fever Surges in Latin America

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Dengue fever is spreading across Latin America and the Caribbean in one of the worst outbreaks in decades, causing agonizing joint pain for hundreds of thousands of people and killing nearly 200 so far this year.

The mosquitoes that carry dengue are thriving in expanded urban slums scattered with water-collecting trash and old tires. Experts say dengue is approaching record levels this year as many countries enter their wettest months.

"If we do not slow it down, it will intensify and take a greater social and economic toll on these countries," said Dr. Jose Luis San Martin, head of anti-dengue efforts for the Pan American Health Organization, a regional public health agency.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta has posted advisories this year for people visiting Latin American and Caribbean destinations to use mosquito repellant and stay inside screened areas whenever possible.

"The danger is that the doctors at home don't recognize the dengue," said Dr. Wellington Sun, the chief of the CDC's dengue branch in San Juan. "The doctors need to raise their level of suspicion for any traveler who returns with a fever."

Dengue has already damaged the economies of countries across the region by driving away tourists, according to a document prepared for a PAHO conference beginning Monday in Washington.

Some countries have focused mosquito eradication efforts on areas popular with tourists. Mexico sent hundreds of workers to the resorts of Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Acapulco this year to try to avert outbreaks.

Health ministers from across the region meet at the PAHO conference and San Martin said he will urge them to devote more resources to dengue fever.

The tropical virus was once thought to have been nearly eliminated from Latin America, but it has steadily gained strength since the early 1980s. Now, officials fear it could emerge as a pandemic similar to one that became a leading killer of children in Southeast Asia following World War II.

Officials say the virus is likely to grow deadlier in part because tourism and migration are circulating four different strains across the region. A person exposed to one strain may develop immunity to that strain — but subsequent exposure to another strain makes it more likely the person will develop the hemorrhagic form.

"The main concern is what's happening in the Americas will recapitulate what has happened in Southeast Asia, and we will start seeing more and more severe types of cases of dengue as time progresses," Sun said.

The disease — known as "bonebreak fever" because of the pain — can incapacitate patients for as long as a week with flu-like symptoms. A deadly hemorrhagic form, which also causes internal and external bleeding, accounts for less than 5 percent of cases but has shown signs of growing.

So far this year, 630,356 dengue cases have been reported in the Americas — most in Brazil, Venezuela, or Colombia — with 12,147 cases of hemorrhagic fever and 183 deaths, according to the Pan American Health Organization. With the spread expected to accelerate during the upcoming rainy season in many countries, cases this year could exceed the 1,015,000 reported in 2002, according to San Martin.

In Puerto Rico, where 5,592 suspected cases and three deaths have been reported, some lawmakers called this week for the health secretary to resign.

In the Dominican Republic, which has reported 25 deaths this year, the health department announced Thursday that it would train 2.5 million public school students to encourage parents and neighbors to eliminate standing water.

Researchers have not yet developed a vaccine against dengue and Sun said that for now, the only way to stop the virus is to contain the mosquito population — a task that relies of countless, relentless individual efforts including installing screen doors and making sure mosquitoes are not breeding in garbage.

"It's like telling people to stop smoking," he said. "They may do it for a while, but they don't do it on a consistent basis and without doing that, it's not effective."

While dengue is increasing around the developing world, the problem is most dramatic in the Americas, according to the CDC.

Health officials believe the resurgence of the malaria-like illness is due partly to a premature easing of eradication programs in the 1970s.

Migration and tourism also have carried new strains of the virus across national borders, even into the United States, which had largely wiped out the disease after a 1922 outbreak that infected a half-million people.

Mexico has been struggling with an alarming increase in the deadly hemorrhagic form of dengue, which now accounts for roughly one in four cases. The government has confirmed 3,249 cases of hemorraghic dengue for the year through Sept. 15, up from 1,924 last year.

The CDC says there is no drug to treat hemorrhagic dengue, but proper treatment, including rest, fluids and pain relief, can reduce death rates to about 1 percent. (See below.)

San Martin said he use the meetings starting Monday to urge enforcement of trash disposal regulations, more investment in mosquito control and new incentives for communities to participate.

"It is a battle of every government, every community and every individual," he said.

Aspirin with dengue could kill - Ministry
published: Friday | September 28, 2007

Petrina Francis, Staff Reporter

The Ministry of Health and Environment yesterday said it was concerned about dengue haemorrhagic fever and urged persons with fever not to take aspirin as this could result in death.

Dengue occurs in two forms: Dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever.

Dengue fever is marked by the onset of sudden high fever, severe headache and pain behind the eyes, muscles and joints.

Potentially deadly

According to the World Health Organisation, dengue haemorrhagic fever is a potentially deadly complication that is characterised by high fever, often with enlargement of the liver and, in severe cases, circulatory failure.

"We are concerned about dengue haemorrhagic fever," Dr. Sheila Campbell-Forrester, chief medical officer of health, told The Gleaner yesterday.

She said there were four types of dengue virus, and Jamaica was now experiencing type two.

Dr. Campbell-Forrester said more than 100 cases of dengue fever have been identified between July and September. She noted that vector control programmes are ongoing islandwide, but are mostly concentrated in parishes where cases have been identified.

These areas include Kingston, St. Catherine, St. Ann and Portland.

"We want to stress the importance of self response. Mosquitoes breed in containers or areas where water settles," she said, noting that persons should be vigilant and punch holes in containers, among other safety measures.

Dengue facts

Dengue fever is transmitted by female Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes which acquire the virus while feeding on the blood of an infected person.

Persons suspected of having dengue fever or dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) must see a doctor at once;

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever but early recognition and symptomatic treatment can save lives. People who are infected with dengue should drink a lot of fluids and eat nutritious food, as this may improve the course of the disease;

Dengue disease is not contagious. However, when dengue patients are bitten by an infected dengue mosquito, the mosquito may infect somebody else. Therefore, the dengue patient should be kept under a mosquito net or in a screened room during the period of illness.

Source: World Health Organisation.