Why Another Blog?

I've decided to set up another blog, (my other one is called Writer's Musings), because there are some topics just too weighty for that blog.

So here it is. In this space I'll explore more serious issues in more detail. I do not expect visitors to agree with me in all cases.
In this forum feel free to take off the gloves, grab a handful of mud and fight for what you believe in.

Simple rules, rather like cage-fighting in the blogosphere:
No direct name calling. No excessive profanity. No whining when smacked in the face with mud.
Sling inuendo. Feel free to ask leading questions even if in a snide tone.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Who is this guy Obama?

These are my thoughts on Barack Obama. I liked his speech at the Democratic Convention four years ago. I may disagree with most of the Democratic Party platform, but the speech was good and Obama seemed a likeable chap. Then he became a United States senator with a brief stint as a state senator first.

Senator Invisible is how I would describe his term in the Senate, at least until he decided to run for President. Um, but he wasn’t in office for two years before he made that decision. So it started me thinking about this guy who suddenly rose to prominence at the national level. I think people should be concerned, or at least more cautious.

Barack Obama has clearly been groomed for big things by his party. That is why they had him deliver that speech at the convention, but I’m not too sure the party expected him to be so successful so soon. Yet one must wonder about this wunderkind. Is he what he seems at first glance? Is he even what he says he is? How much can you truly know about any man through his speeches? After all, that is all we really have to go by because his actual legislative record is almost non-existent and he has no executive experience. He's just a smart eloquent guy. Ok, even that might be an improvement. Even I must admit that it would be nice to have a president who can link two or more sentences together in a single coherent thought using real words.

We need to ask, what is the “change” he keeps promising? All I’ve heard is raise taxes, “invest” in social programs, restrict trade and run away from Iraq. These seem to be the standard liberal themes in play. The only thing new on the table is the war. Apart from that, he seems to be offering the same old failed liberal policies. While bemoaning inner city problems, funding for schools and job programs, Obama ignored the abject failure prior liberal policies had addressing those social ills by “investment”. Perhaps if he wins the nomination, he will treat us to some specifics on his plans. Right now, it’s all vague generality. The only concrete proposal is running away from Iraq, which to me is simply a strike for naïveté of his part.

I am concerned that he associates with a pastor who is clearly divisive, while running on a “unity” platform. His speech in Philadelphia rang hollow to me. This is a man who claims that words are not empty, that they mean something, yet brushes aside divisive remarks by a close associate. I’m not convinced. In his speech he laid down a litany of American woe. By the time he finished, we were all victims of the standard evil lobbyists, Wall Street and the GOP. Sorry, I don’t believe I’m a victim.

A real message of racial healing would have included recognition of the real racial gains over the past forty years. That was not included in his speech. Instead, we heard an apology for why his pastor has all this deep-seated rage against the white man and America. Worse was to juxtapose Geraldine Ferraro’s recent remarks as the “other end” of the spectrum from Mr. Wright’s statements. Fact is, he would not be viable candidate if not for race, just as Ferraro would not have been on the ticket with Mondale had she not been female.

Now is the time to start carefully analyzing Obama’s words and his associations. I’m thinking he is not entirely who he claims. His wife and his pastor have both made disparaging remarks about America. Can we really believe that he shares none of their anger or hatred? I’m suspicious. I’m waiting and listening. It is shaping up to be a floor-fight at the Democratic Convention. Time will tell. Is anyone else looking a little closer?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Leuren Moret Interview Part II..the Interview

Last night I posted the teaser. Today I'll put up the interview. You can also find both parts on Republic Broadcasting. I had thought to continue my earlier method of pointing out the gaping holes in Moret's facts and analysis, but this time I'll simply let the reader see the holes. They are that obvious. The first few comments are so utterly insane, any thoughts that this alleged expert is what she claims should be vanquished. To her credit, Kathy Sanborn has modified her opening and agreed to present counter-arguments in a later interview. I will, however, make a few italicized comments. Read on.

Leuren Moret: A Conversation with the DU Expert
By Kathy Sanborn

This is Part Two of my conversation with Leuren Moret, international expert on depleted uranium. Moret is a frequent lecturer on depleted uranium at events worldwide. She appears in Beyond Treason, an eye-opening documentary revealing the hazards of DU for our troops and civilians around the globe. In Part Two of my interview, we discuss the real purpose behind DU, and how we, as citizens, can take action. In the next installment of my DU series, I will be exploring the other side of the depleted uranium issue. My goal, as an author and journalist, is to present the whole story, and let the reader come to his or her own conclusions.

Part Two

What’s the Real Purpose of DU?

Sanborn: If the “powers that be” know DU is so deadly, why (in your opinion) are they using it on our troops and civilian populations in Iraq and elsewhere?

Moret: The international bankers and the City of London are now using depleted uranium to depopulate the earth. The elites studied Thomas Malthus and embraced the theory that fewer people were needed in the world. In 1927, the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute was founded, and funded by the Rockefellers who brought eugenics to the US in the 1920s. The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute is where Mengele was trained, and it was associated with Nazi eugenics. In fact, much of today’s gene research is applied to eugenics.

And according to Dr. Henry Kissinger, as he stated in US National Security Memo 200: “Depopulation should be the highest priority of U.S. foreign policy towards the Third World.”

We should all be laughing hysterically now, if this woman were not so serious. I've done several searches through my electronic copy of NSSM 200 and have not found the quote Moret cites. In fact, she does not even correctly name the source: National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200). It is possible I've missed it, but I doubt it.

Uranium in the Water

Moret: Uranium hexafluoride gas, a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process, is a potent neurotoxin. Edward Teller decided to dilute it by dumping it in our drinking water. Because scientists had discovered that the fluoride was escaping from the water and entering the atmosphere and interfering with radio communications and atmospheric processes, an early chemtrail program was designed to release metal particles in order to neutralize the fluoride.

Sanborn: So we’ve been drinking uranium (from atmospheric testing) and fluoride (from the uranium enrichment process) in our water for decades?

Moret: Yes. The Los Angeles water district has been measuring Uranium in drinking water in LA since 1998. In 2007, the uranium in the drinking water from wells on the east side of LA doubled in one year, due to heavy bombing with depleted uranium in Afghanistan and Iraq. Tell your readers to go to this web site and read (“None Dare Call It Genocide”) about fluoride and its introduction into our water: www.radioliberty.com/nlnov04.html.

Here’s a quote from Rena Vale from her book exposing the communist conspiracy:

In regions of the country where resistance was most apt to develop we saw to it that virus diseases struck, and when antibiotics threatened our program, we devised other means of vitiating the populace. FLUORIDATION OF DRINKING WATER WAS FOUND TO BE ABOUT THE MOST SUCCESSFUL. We directed our cadres in the medical and dental fields to beat the drums for 'protection' of children's diseased teeth, by adding fluorides to water - and saw to it that no one informed the public that fluorides affected brain and nerve cells to such a degree that initiative was reduced.

Does anyone remember the movie, "Dr. Strangelove", where General Jack Ripper poses this same theory?

Sanborn: Besides reducing brain function, what are some of the other effects of drinking fluoridated water?

Moret: Cancer, higher rates of miscarriage, reduced fertility, lower sperm count and mobility, and lower IQ (by ten points).

By the way, fluoride is the active ingredient in Paxil, Prozac, and other psychotropic drugs.

She forgot ice cream...childrens' ice cream! Quiet Jack...let her continue.

Worldwide Concern about DU

American scientists alarmed about the dangers of DU have likeminded colleagues in the international community, and their concern dates back to before the first Gulf War. Take a look at what a British DU expert has to say about the dangers of depleted uranium munitions.

Moret is putting forth another fellow "non-expert" as an expert witness. So that the readers know, Catherine Euler, Ph.D. is not a physicist. In fact, she has no scientific credentials at all. Her Ph.D. is in history and she specializes in women's issues. It is important to know that as you read Dr. Euler's comments.

Dr. Catherine Euler, Ph.D., of the Campaign Against Depleted Uranium in Manchester, England, (http://nucnews.net/2000/du/99du/990831dw.htm) reports:

The categorisation of DU as a low-level radioactive waste relates particularly to its effect outside the human body. Once ingested or, most particularly, inhaled, even relatively low-level radioactive particles can have a damaging effect on nearby cells. If adult men and adult women receive equal doses of radiation, cancers are 1.5 times as likely to occur in the women. Children are also especially at risk because their bones are still growing and their expected life span means they have a longer period in which latent cancers can develop (Bertell, 1999b). So, in addition to their damage to general human rights, DU aerosols can also have a particularly damaging effect on the human rights of women and children.

To those who dismiss DU as harmless, Dr. Euler has these words:

In fact, the toxicity of uranium is well-known, and it should not be needed to prove it again. "In Volume 2 of the Encyclopedia of Occupational Health, under uranium alloys and compounds, p. 2238, it reads: ‘Uranium poisoning is characterised by general health impairment. The element and its compounds produce changes in the kidneys, livers, lungs and cardiovascular, nervous and haemopoitic systems…Chronic poisoning results from prolonged exposure to low concentrations of insoluble compounds…it is reported that uranium exposure inhibits reproductive activity and affects uterine and extra-uterine development in experimental animals. Insoluble compounds tend to be retained in tissues and organs for long periods.’" (Bertell, 1999a, citing Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety).

The key distinction between DU and natural uranium, according to Dr. Euler, is that DU is insoluble in its ceramic, aerosolized form:

Recent statements by the US Department of Defense have minimised the harm which depleted uranium weapons can cause, discussing only the external effect of the radiation, not its effect within the body, and suggesting that we all take in natural uranium in food and water every day. This is true, but we ingest natural uranium in such small quantities that the body is able to excrete again quickly without much harm done. Natural uranium is present in approximately 1 part per million parts of soil. It is present in a soluble form, not an insoluble ceramic form. This is a crucial difference.

Dr. Euler goes on to describe the connection between birth abnormalities and DU contamination areas in Iraq back in 1999:

We do know that DU has been found nine years after exposure in the urine and seminal fluid of several US, Canadian and UK Gulf War veterans, as well as in the urine of a few of the DU-exposed Iraqi civilians. The illnesses which the veterans report are similar to the illnesses reported among the southern Iraqi population which was also exposed to a widely dispersed DU aerosol. The US Department of Defence have published a map which shows the extent of the DU aerosol contamination in southern Iraq. At an international conference in London last month [August 1999], Iraqi doctors reported a 7-10 fold increase in the rate of birth abnormalities occurring in approximately the same regional area as is indicated on the DoD map.

What Can We Do?

Sanborn: In closing, what do you recommend that we, as citizens, do about DU?

Moret: We can protect ourselves by eating well to boost our immune systems. Eat deeply colored fruits and vegetables, and those with antioxidants, such as pomegranates and blueberries. Drink green tea, too. If you eat right, you can counteract the free radicals. Drink filtered water, using a reverse osmosis filter. Don’t smoke, because the tobacco leaves have depleted uranium on them, due to the fact that their leaves are fuzzy and sticky and tiny particles of depleted uranium are rained out onto the leaves as they are washed out of the atmosphere.

Here Moret betrays her true motive, which is strictly her anti-war bias.

Another thing we can do is to support counter recruiting in our schools and at recruiting stations. Young people need to know the health risks of depleted uranium prior to making the decision to join the military. All young men who have not had children should leave sperm deposited at sperm banks before they deploy to contaminated regions and even for training on gunnery ranges here in the US.

In addition, we can attempt to pass bills in our state legislatures to require the testing of soldiers.
Ok, finally something not entirely unreasonable.

Sanborn: Thank you for taking the time to speak with the Republic Broadcasting Network.

Moret: You’re welcome. Please remind your readers that they can find out more about DU by contacting me by phone or email. Readers can buy my educational DVDs that can be used to inform their family and friends about depleted uranium and its consequences.

Next time: The Other Side of DU

Leuren Moret has worked tirelessly for the cause of educating the world about DU and its devastating effects. She has a series of interviews, presentations, and films about radiation that can be purchased, and she is available for public speaking events. Ms. Moret has a series of 40 DVDs formatted for Public Access TV stations called "Global Nuclear Cover-up” that you may purchase by contacting her (see below). Buy several to educate your friends and family, and air them on your local public access TV stations. To support her work, please donate generously by contacting Ms. Moret by phone or email.

Call Leuren Moret: 510-845-3139

Email Leuren Moret: leurenmoret@yahoo.com

© 2008 Kathy Sanborn


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Leuren Moret Interview Part II

It's late. I'm tired. But it popped up on Kathy Sanborn's site. Part II...every bit as "entertaining" as Part I, but more insane.

This is just a teaser until I post it tomorrow, but the interview degenerated so fast into utter insanity that after I stopped laughing I had no energy to say anything. It speaks for itself...as you shall see tomorrow.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Dissecting an Interview

I will be adding links to this post during the week for references cited herein. However, here is the analysis of a recent Depleted Uranium interview.

This is more on the discussions of Depleted Uranium (DU) that are currently being aired on radio stations and at various universities across the country. In this particular post, I will dissect Part I of an interview conducted by Kathy Sanborn and Leuren Moret that was carried by Republic Broadcasting. If one looks at Kathy Sanborn’s credentials as listed on her website, her credibility is as suspect than the person she interviews, but for now we will concentrate on the interview and Leuren Moret, alleged DU expert.

Sanborn opens her interview with this introduction: “Recently, I met with scientist Leuren Moret in her Northern California home. As an international expert on depleted uranium (DU), Moret works tirelessly to educate the public about the dangers of DU weaponry for both soldiers and civilians alike. Her biography includes a five-year stint at the Lawrence Berkeley nuclear weapons lab and two years at the Livermore nuclear weapons lab. Moret, a former Environmental Commissioner for the City of Berkeley, contributed to an expert report on depleted uranium for the United Nations regarding the illegality of DU munitions.”

Now how did Ms. Sanborn conclude that Moret is an “international expert” on DU? Let’s do what Ms. Sanborn failed to do, namely, check Ms Moret’s credentials. Ms. Moret holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from The University of California at Davis (1968) and a Master of Arts in Near Eastern Studies from The University of California at Berkeley (1978). Her only other scientific background was as a lab technician at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for five years and Senior Scientific Technologist in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from October 1989 to August 1990 (this is a mere 10 months, not two years). Nothing in these credentials speaks of an expert in anything relating to physics, let alone DU. The scary part of what Sanborn says is that Moret contributed to an “expert” report for the United Nations on a topic for which she is singularly unqualified to comment in an expert capacity.

Sanborn asks Moret to explain what DU is to the audience. Moret replies, “Depleted uranium is the waste product of the uranium enrichment process. They have to mine the uranium, extract the ore, and then remove half of one per cent of Uranium-235. The rest of it, 99.5%, is radioactive waste. It is pyrophoric at low temperatures (at 190 degrees Centigrade it will ignite.) As it burns at high temperatures it forms a radioactive poison gas.”

To begin with, DU is not waste product; it is more properly a by-product of the process whereby U235 and U234 (commonly called enriched uranium) are extracted. This by-product, commonly called DU, consists of 99.8% U238, .2% U235, and .001% U234. Natural uranium ore, prior to the extraction of U235 and U234 consists of 99.27% U238, .72% U235 and .0054% U234. U238 is only weakly radioactive, giving off low-energy alpha particles.

An expert would make this distinction. Spent fuel from a reactor is a waste product. The key difference between DU and natural uranium ore, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet on DU, is that it is only 60% as radioactive as uranium ore (due to the extraction of U235). DU, like natural uranium, is only weakly radioactive. It is the extracted U235 and U234 that are highly radioactive.

DU does not ignite at low temperatures. Furthermore, Moret’s figure of 190 degrees Centigrade (374 degrees Fahrenheit) is incorrect for the igniting temperature of DU. Per the WHO fact sheet, DU ignites on impact if the temperature exceeds 600 degrees Centigrade (1112 degrees Farhrenheit).

DU does not form a “radioactive poison gas” as it burns. Burnt DU forms uranium oxides which, while toxic, are only weakly radioactive. The concentrations required to have noticeable adverse health effects are beyond what even most tank crews experience when the tank is hit by a DU round. I’ll address the specific health risks when countering Moret’s health risk statements.

Sanborn then asks if DU should be considered a weapon of mass destruction (WMD). To which Moret replies: “Yes, DU is considered a WMD under two of the three categories defining WMD under US Federal Code. DU is also illegal under all international laws and under US military law as well. Depleted uranium is part of a global nuclear war on the population that is at least ten times more intense than nuclear bomb tests.”

So now Moret is a lawyer too. DU is considered a WMD by whom? Do we really think that if this were true, that no one in Congress would bring it up? Moret never cites the code or the alleged categories. She merely makes a blanket statement on it being illegal without offering any proof.

The next claim is just as ludicrous. DU is not illegal under any laws. Virtually every NATO country, Russia and China have DU programs. DU is used in a wide variety of civilian applications as well, including as shielding in medical radiological applications.

The final statement is not quantified in any way…or proven. We can easily imagine and there are studies that have measured radiation from bomb tests. Ten times greater intensity using a weakly radioactive element? One’s dead skin layer is enough to deflect the radiation given off by DU.

Moret then goes on to bring up the 1943 “Groves Memorandum” titled “Use of Radioactive Materials as a Military Weapon,” as proof that the military knew the dangers of DU as early as 1943. She argues that critics point out that the memo was not talking about DU, but she feels the title is sufficient proof. Yet she totally ignores the paragraphs in the memo that refer to gamma and high-energy beta emitting materials that would be required to produce a radiological weapon. DU, it should be noted, is primarily an alpha emitter and therefore totally unsuited for this purpose.

Sanborn then goes on to ask why, if the military knows the dangers of DU, do they use it in Iraq and elsewhere.

Moret’s reply is nothing short of amazing: “You’re looking at a depopulation campaign waged on citizens.”

Considering that DU weapons are first and foremost armor defeating weapons, one can only be amazed by such a statement. Nor can she point to any policy that would even remotely suggest that such a campaign exists.

Moret goes on to say: “Just as Agent Orange was used to depopulate Vietnam as proposed in WWII by the Manhattan project, DU has been, and is being, used to wipe out civilians in war zones …and beyond.”

Agent Orange was used as a defoliant. It was not used with the intent to kill humans. Secondly, Agent Orange is not remotely radiological and thus has no connection to her tie-in to the Manhattan Project. Civilians, unless they are driving around in tanks, are not the target of DU.

Moret continues her march of insanity with questionable disability statistics. She seems to be making the claim that since disability rates are rising, it is because of DU. However, she offers no breakdown of disabilities. In fact, the number one reported disability is hearing loss. Second, her rising numbers include all veterans, not just the ones who served in war zones.

Sanborn then asks how DU produces such devastating effects. To which Moret replies: “Uranium has an affinity for the chemical makeup of DNA, and US patents exist that show Uranium is used by Monsanto and other GM corporations to genetically modify organisms.

The target organ of depleted uranium is the brain. The French Atomic Energy Agency made a detailed study of the effects of uranium on lab animals and found a tremendous effect on the brain.”

First, notice that Moret slips casually between DU and Uranium, ignoring any differences between the substances which are in fact, substantial. The WHO DU fact sheet, says nothing of the sort. In fact, the WHO fact sheet points out that the primary danger of DU and natural Uranium is not radiation at all, but heavy metal toxicity and the primary organ targeted is the kidneys.

As proof of her erroneous assertions, Moret offers two examples of soldiers who returned from the war zone and committed murder-suicide. The articles offered make absolutely no mention of DU, or any other contagion. It is Moret who assumes there is a link and Sanborn does not question it.

Sanborn then states: “Your colleague, Dr. Arun Mitra, says other effects of DU exposure can be cancer, leukemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, joint and muscle pain, neurological and/or nerve damage, mood disturbances, auto-immuno-deficiencies, lung and kidney damage, vision problems, skin rupture, increase in miscarriages, maternal mortality, and genetic birth defects/deformation.” To which Moret replies, “yes”.

This is a case of blatant misrepresentation by both Sanborn and Moret. Dr Arun Mitra made all these comments not about DU exposure, but about downwind effects from a nuclear blast. The two are not the same. Keep in mind that the radiation effects from a nuclear blast include high-energy beta and gamma radiation, while DU radiation is low-level alpha radiation. Dr. Mitra is a key member of The Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). A review of the ICAN website and publications available on their website shows no references to DU.

The WHO DU fact sheet states explicitly that none of the medical issues mentioned by Sanborn and Moret are in fact linked to DU, with the exception of kidney damage in the most extreme doses.

Sanborn then asks how DU gets into the body, to which Moret replies: “Inhalation is the worst type of depleted uranium exposure. If the DU is inhaled, about 70% of it goes directly to the bloodstream. (If you only eat the DU, most of it will stick to the food and pass through your body.) Our troops and the Iraqi civilians are continual victims of DU as they inhale the particles every day.

The chemical and physical nature of the nanoparticles is what makes people sick. The particles enter human cells in forty-eight hours after exposure. The DU nanoparticles are insoluble, and once inside the body, very small amounts can be excreted.”

Here Moret mixes fact with fiction. Inhalation is, in fact, the most dangerous intake path for DU because the fraction absorbed into the blood is greater. However, it is the soluble forms that cause the damage and are absorbed in the blood, not the insoluble forms. Her percentage quoted is incorrect: for soluble forms, between 20% and 30% can be absorbed by the blood, not the 70% that she quotes. 70% of the uranium that is absorbed by the blood will be filtered by the kidneys and excreted in urine within 24 hours. 90% is gone within a few days. Finally, after all the discussion about radiation, Moret almost states an accurate fact. It is the chemical toxicity of DU (like any other heavy metal) that is the risk and that risk is primarily to the kidneys which perform the filtering function.

All studies to date conducted by peer-reviewed sources such as the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), World Health Organization (WHO), The Royal Society and others, indicate that DU contamination stays within a few meters of where it impacted. All studies to date also indicate no specific health risks associated with this contamination. However, as a precaution, they do advise better education for civilians (to keep them off destroyed vehicles), monitoring of sites, and cleaning up DU fragments where they can be identified. Again, it is because of the chemical toxicity that all heavy metals share, not radiation.

I am looking forward to the second part of this interview. What other fiction will these women spin?