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Saturday, September 27, 2014

USA Right Wing Ebola Conspiracy Propaganda Results in Aid Workers Deaths in Africa

A Liberian, a professor teaching at the University of Delaware, is responsible for pouring gasoline on the metaphorical fire of rabid rumors that Americans caused the outbreaks of Ebola, past and present.

Health care workers, including western health care workers, are being killed by terrified residents of countries that distrust their own government due to extreme corruption, and which distrust us as well. 

Contributing to that fear and ignorance is Professor Cyril Broderick, Sr.  Broderick is a tenured professor, of plant physiology and pathology in the Agricultural College.  He has no expertise in medicine, or epidemiology.

from the original WaPo article:
As those military doctors and officials begin what will be a difficult task, among the challenges they face are rumors that spread fear — fear of Ebola, fear of quarantine measures and fear of doctors. Already, several medical workers have been murdered in Guinea — throats slit, bodies dumped in a latrine. Then six Red Cross volunteers were attacked earlier this week while they tried to collect the body of an Ebola victim.
And now, in what may plant further seeds of mistrust and suspicion, a major Liberian newspaper, the Daily Observer, has published an article by a Liberian-born faculty member of a U.S. university implying the epidemic is the result of bioterrorism experiments conducted by the United States Department of Defense, among others.
Broderick might as well have painted a target on the backs of those who are in Africa to help, both foreign and local.

His sources were a bunch of right wing nut conspiracy theory sites, including the Liberty Beacon propaganda outlet, and Global Research in Canada.  These sites are same ones that insist climate change is not real, much less anthropogenic, and where they try to promote that the President was really born in Kenya and is a secret Muslim terrorist gay drug using murderer.  The sites are of the ilk of Alex Jones Infowars, and include a so-called reporter linked variously to Jones and other crackpots.  In this case, primarily  a man by the name of Jon Rappoport, apparently who describes the Ebola crimes:

The research program, occurring in Sierra Leone, the Republic of Guinea, and Liberia—said to be the epicenter of the 2014 Ebola outbreak—has the announced purpose, among others, of detecting the future use of fever-viruses as bioweapons.
Is this purely defensive research? Or as we have seen in the past, is this research being covertly used to develop offensive bioweapons?
For the last several years, researchers from Tulane University have been active in the African areas where Ebola is said to have broken out in 2014.
These researchers are working with other institutions, one of which is USAMRIID, the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, a well-known center for biowar research, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
In Sierra Leone, the Tulane group has been researching new diagnostic tests for hemorrhagic fevers.
The third document is found on the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation Facebook page (no login required), dated July 23 at 1:35pm. It lays out emergency measures to be taken. We find this curious statement: “Tulane University to stop Ebola testing during the current Ebola outbreak.”
Why? Are the tests issuing false results? Are they frightening the population? Have Tulane researchers done something to endanger public health?
In addition to an investigation of these matters, another probe needs to be launched into all vaccine campaigns in the Ebola Zone. For example. HPV vaccine programs have been ongoing. Vials of vaccine must be tested to discover ALL ingredients. Additionally, it’s well known that giving vaccines to people whose immune systems are already severely compromised is dangerous and deadly.

The response from Delaware State University via the WaPo:

Delaware State University said it won’t interfere with the free speech rights of a tenured professor who wrote a wildly speculative and conspiratorial article in a Liberian newspaper in which he claimed that the U.S. government manufactured the Ebola virus and spread it in West Africa under the guise of vaccine testing.
“The university is not going to abridge his First Amendment rights to give his opinion about the issues of the day,” said Carlos Holmes, a spokesman for the school, where Cyril Broderick is an associate professor in the agriculture and natural resources department.
The article in question — headlined “Ebola, AIDS Manufactured By Western Pharmaceuticals, US DoD?” — appeared in a major Liberian newspaper, the Daily Observer, earlier this month.
“Reports narrate stories of the US Department of Defense (DoD) funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone,” Broderick wrote.

Officials at the university first became aware of Broderick’s article on Friday, after The Post reported on its contents, Holmes said.
He declined to comment on whether the university had spoken to Broderick, citing a policy of keeping “personnel issues” private.
“A lot of people can have tenure at a university and then they’ll go out and commit mass murder, okay,” Holmes said. “We didn’t know that they would do that before they were granted tenure.
“You’re talking about something that is happening first of all after he has been granted tenure.”

It sounds like Broderick won't face any negative pressure from the college but on the other hand, this kind of poor grade bad science cannot recommend him to the institution where his area of expertise is expected and required to be more scientific than this rubbish.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Eric Frein, Dirty-diaper wearing domestic terrorist and right wing nut

Eric Frein is the subject of a 1,000 man search, in response to the killing of one law enforcement officer and the attempted killing of another.

Frein has been evading the searchers, including resorting to wearing adult diapers in order to remain vigilant.  His dirty didies have been found in the woods by the searchers along with his AK47.

As we are approaching a second week of this manhunt, social media suggests that either Eric Matthew Frein is part of the Sovereign Citizen movement, or at least is receiving social media support and encouragement from it.  His beliefs seem consistent with those domestic terrorists and extremists, including their gun obsession and their desire to shoot their fellow citizens.

Pure speculation on my part, but given that bunkers filled with weapons and ammunition are characteristic of the right wing nuttery, and given the ability of Frein to avoid capture during this period while people look for him around the clock, he probably has some sort of longer-term hiding place that he is using, something on the order of an underground bunker.

As Frein continues to be spotted, and as the searchers continue to close in, the order has been given to shoot Frein on sight if he does not surrender, which is consistent with reasonable force by law enforcement under the circumstances.

One more example of why we should have stricter gun control; people like Eric Frein should never have weapons, much less military fire power.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

National Voter Registration Day - and the new MN Online Voter Registration
I am deeply proud that Minnesota has a great secretary of state in Mark Ritchie, and that an equally pro-voter replacement for him is in the wings to succeed him in Democratic candidate Steve Simon.  Ritchie and Simon stand in stark contrast to the worst Secretary of State in the nation, Kansas SOS Kris Kobach.

Minnesota has had the highest voter turnout, and elections that are considered a model for fair, honest and efficient.

If you are one of those voters who is not yet registered -- do it TODAY, National Voter Registration Day.  You can do it Online, and if you are reading this, you are already on line, so no excuses!

from the Owatonna People's Press:

Thousands of Minnesotans have used the new online voter registration program, according to a release from the secretary of state.
Of the 8,092 people who took part, 2,938 were new registrants. The rest were voters updating their information. Waiting to be approved are 598 additional applications.
That’s good news for state Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-Hopkins, who authored the House bill that kept the system in place.

“What I would love to know — because this data didn’t break it down — is age ranges,” said Simon, who is running for secretary of state this fall. “One real possibility for online voter registration is that young people in particular will take to it.”
But Simon’s bill wasn’t the first introduction of online voter registration to the state. The figures released on Thursday represent the total since September 2013. That’s when the program started up a rocky path to state law.
It was originally implemented by current Secretary of State Mark Ritchie without a legislative vote. A lawsuit was later brought against Ritchie with claims that he overstepped his authority by creating the system.
In April, a Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann ruled that the online registration system would have to be shut down. A day later the state Legislature passed the bill to keep it going, and the service continued without skipping a beat.
The bill had bipartisan support, and received “yes” votes from the legislators who represent Steele County in both chambers.
Another new election law this year allows for “no-excuse absentee ballots,” which Simon also authored. Before, requests had to be coupled with an explanation for missing Election Day.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Down with the Doody-heads Who Push Censhorship!

Republican Polices DO NOT WORK -- Scott Walker, EPIC FAIL

It's National Banned Book Week!

from the web site:

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported. The 10 most challenged titles of 2013 were:
  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl, by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence
By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Check out the frequently challenged books section to explore the issues and controversies around book challenges and book banning. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American PublishersComic Book Legal Defense Fund; the Freedom to Read FoundationNational Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; National Association of College Stores; PEN American Center and and Project Censored.  It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Republicans do not want and do not support FAIR elections

Last Thursday, Kris Kobach, the radical right wing extremists Secretary of State for Kansas, lost a state Supreme Court battle regarding the 2014 ballot in that state.  Kobach tried to keep the Democratic candidate from withdrawing from the election.  The state Supreme Court voted unanimously,regardless of political preference or affiliation,  that Kobach did NOT have that ‘discretion’ to treat the Democratic candidate differently from other candidates.
from the Powerline blog:
The cited statute provides:
Any person who has been nominated by any means for any national, state, county or township office who declares that they [sic] are incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected may cause such person’s name to be withdrawn from nomination by a request in writing, signed by the person and acknowledged before an officer qualified to take acknowledgments of deeds.
Taylor having made no acknowledgment of incapability to serve, Kobach ruled that Taylor would stay on the ballot as the Democratic nominee this November. This point of the whole Democratic charade being to get Taylor off the ballot and get Democrats behind Orman, Taylor followed up with an appeal to the Kansas Supreme Court. Having made his withdrawal “pursuant to” the statute, Taylor argued that he incorporated the statutory requirement of incapability by reference. This week the Kansas Supreme Court unanimously agreed:
We conclude the plain meaning of “pursuant to K.S.A. 25-306b(b)” contained in Taylor’s letter effectively declares he is incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected. Simply put, the phrase operates as an incorporation by reference of this particular requirement.

Powerline blog, a conservative site, doesn’t like the court decision, never mind that it treats all candidates alike rather than different, rather than giving preference to one political party over another.

What has been largely absent from the media coverage is that Kobach quietly skulked away with his tail between his legs on Saturday, and complied with federal and state law:
From Politico:

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has directed county election officials to start mailing ballots to voters overseas Saturday without having a Democratic nominee listed for the U.S. Senate.
The Democrat dropped out of the race against three-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, pushed out by some party leaders who wanted to improve the chances that independent candidate Greg Orman would defeat Roberts.
Kobach spokeswoman Samantha Poetter confirmed Friday that the secretary of state had decided against delaying the mailing of ballots to military personnel and other U.S. citizens overseas. He had said Thursday that the deadline for starting the mailings would be pushed back to Sept. 27.

Why was that an attempt to cheat by Kobach and the Republicans?

That would be because the incumbent Republican is losing, but is losing by LESS if the vote is split three ways rather than two.

In response to losing the court battle to try to treat the Democratic candidate differently,  and contrary to the precedent of what was acceptable withdrawal, Kobach then tried to insist he would mess with the federally mandated requirements for mailing out ballots to those who serve in the military.  Kobach came up with all kinds of crack pot ideas.  He ORDERED the Democratic party to come up with a replacement candidate.  The Secretary of State has no legal authority to do that.  Kobach then claimed he would delay mailing ballots, mandated by federal law, and that he would include a disclaimer, followed by a subsequent ballot.  Kobach also claimed he had a waiver from the DOJ to exempt him from following the law — but the DOJ was clear he did not have any such waiver, and had never requested one either.  Then Kobach claimed he was going to move back the election in Kansas to the Tuesday FOLLOWING the Tuesday in November on which the REST of the country holds our elections.  Yeah……..Kobach doesn’t have the authority as SOS to do that either.

Kobach, also the author of the infamous ‘papers please’ Arizona legislation, likes to make up sh*t, and to try at least, to give himself powers that the government does not legitimately have — all to try to cheat in holding the Kansas state and federal election this November so as to favor Republicans.  The fact that incumbent Senator Roberts is doing so poorly is part of the shift among pundits and political predictors and pollsters that give a slight to hefty majority chance for the Democrats to hold the Senate in this off-year /  not-presidential election.

Had ANY Democrat ANYWHERE EVER made statements, claims, or attempts like Kris Kobach, SOS of Kansas, Conservative heads would be exploding, and the screams from Conservatives, especially from the tea bagger (Kobash is a tea partier) and smaller-government crowd would be so loud, it could be heard on the moon.

So far as I can find — NOT A PEEP out of Conservatives about how TERRIBLE, how blatantly ILLEGAL, the efforts have been by Kris Kobach.  Apparently the ‘values party’ crowd has very hypocritical partisan-selective values.  In other words, they don’t give a DAMN about free and fair elections, they don’t give a damn about cheating.  They only care about winning, no matter how dirty, no matter how much they abuse government authority to do so, no matter how unethical.

In fact, Kobach remains popular, and as of a few weeks ago was tied, with the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State, a former Republican, Jean Schodorf.
…the latest poll data released September 8, shows that if the election were held today, Schodorf has a 3 percent advantage: 46 percent to Kobach’s 43 percent. Eleven percent of likely voters polled remain undecided. The margin of error is +/- 4.2 percent.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach holds 70 percent of the Republican vote, while Jean Schodorf holds 86 percent of the Democratic vote.

Rachel Maddow summed up the Kobach conduct last week, accurately and consientiously:

Politico makes no reference to any disclaimer, any mailing of additional ballots, etc. Further just under 100 inaccurate ballots were mailed out on last Thursday, however, WITH the name of the Democratic candidate printed on them. Those incorrect ballots WILL need to be replaced.

The capacity for Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State to screw up an election, to act in a manner which is apparently illegal and unethical, and which is likely to run afoul of the DOJ, is nothing less than spectacular.

Saturday, September 20, 2014