Structural Adjustment Programs, Not Drought, Causing Famine

West Africa’s “slow-motion” famine

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World Bank Famine in Niger

In 2005 a food crisis hit Niger. Out of a population of 12 million, 3.6 million went hungry and 800,000 children faced starvation. But activists in Niger claim that the famine was not caused by drought. “This is a structural famine. A permanent famine,” says journalist Moussa Tchangari. “It was caused by 20 years of structural adjustment programs.”

According to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning System (FEWS), agricultural production was only 11% below the 5-year average and was actually higher than levels in 2001-02, when there was no food crisis. The real problem, according to FEWS, was that food prices rose between 75-80%.

Moussa Tchangari claims that, “The root of the problem is that for more than 20 years, neoliberal policies have been forced on this country. . . the international financial institutions encouraged export agriculture, so that now we do not produce enough food to feed the population.”

Like many African countries, Niger was pressured by the IMF, World Bank, and EU development agencies to dismantle government services and to move from subsistance agriculture to export agriculture – to grow cash crops instead of food.

In the middle of the famine, Niger continued to export food. Millions starved and tens of thousands of chlidren died while the markets remained full of food they could not afford to buy.

In the first months of the crisis, the government of Niger and the UNs World Food Program refused to distribute free food to the population because interfering with the free market could disrupt Niger’s development out of poverty.

Tchangari believes that Niger’s problems have been caused by this model of development and that the country needs a different aproach. “The solution is to put in place an agricultural policy that can insure food self-sufficiency. It is possible. . . It is a question of political will.”

Gulf Oil Spill a (Purposeful) ‘Opportunity’?

Robert Gibbs says former FEMA director Michael Brown intimated that the Gulf Spill was ‘leaked on purpose’, though apparently, he made no such accusations. Is Gibbs leaking to us that it was a done on purpose?

Brown Never Said Obama Was Behind The Oil Spill


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Barack Obama turns the oil spill into his poor man’s 9/11 to revive Cap-and-Trade climate legislation

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama’s chief of staff, famously remarked. “And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” The extent to which his master has absorbed this maxim is demonstrated by Obama’s exploitation of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

After obsessively demonising “British Petroleum”, as his administration calls BP – a company 40 per cent British and 40 per cent American owned – Obama plumbed new depths this week by comparing the accident to the Twin Towers atrocity in 2001. To equate an environmental accident in which 11 workers tragically lost their lives with a ferocious terrorist attack that killed 2,995 people, 67 of them British, shows the extent to which Obama has lost touch with reality.

His agenda is to exaggerate the significance of the oil spill crisis to massive proportions, for two reasons. The first is that, the more Americans can be persuaded to regard the accident as a monumental, historic disaster, the less his patent impotence in the face of it will appear blameworthy. His second reason is that, in accordance with the Emanuel doctrine, he sees this as an opportunity to breathe new life into his moribund Cap-and-Trade climate change legislation.

The House of Representatives narrowly passed the climate change Bill last year, but it has stalled in the Senate. Last month, in the wake of the BP oil rig explosion, Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman introduced a “compromise” Bill in the Senate to which Obama is desperate to give a fair wind. He is trying to whip up a green frenzy, to persuade Americans of the evil of oil. Yet ironically, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reminded his colleagues last week, “it’s been widely reported that a major part, a major part of the Kerry-Lieberman Bill was essentially written by BP”.

Cap-and-Trade is extremely difficult to pass in Congress, especially after the forcing through of the unpopular health care legislation, as more and more Americans begin to waken up to the consequences of Obama’s climate change programme. A freedom of information initiative has disclosed that, in contradiction of claims made by the administration, a study by the US Department of Treasury estimated that Cap-and-Trade laws would impose new taxation of up to $200bn a year, equivalent to a 15 per cent increase in income tax.

That is why Obama is trying, very unconvincingly, to brainwash Americans into thinking they are facing a crisis as grave as 9/11 – presumably casting BP as the new al-Qaeda – in order to gain support for legislation that would ratchet up energy prices, destroy jobs and cause the economy to contract. The fact that he is reduced to so transparent an imposture is testimony to how dramatically his status and credibility have shrunk during his 17 months in office. The latest Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll has his Presidential Approval Index rating at a humiliating –18, with 42 per cent strongly disapproving of his performance and just 24 per cent strongly approving. It is that haemorrhaging of support in the run-up to mid-term elections, rather than the oil leak, that is Obama’s real crisis.

Oil Spill, Climate Bill
Obama blocked clean-up of BP oil spill by America’s allies; Failed to issue timely Jones Act waiver
Goldman Sachs sold $250 million of BP stock before spill

Constitution Does Not Authorize Government to Ask Personal Census Questions

The Census Is Getting Personal

Big Brother Wants to Know All About You: The American Community Survey

See Also:

IBM: The Census and the Holocaust
67-Year Old Woman Killed For Pointing Firearm and Refusing Census Questions

IBM: The Census and the Holocaust

IBM’s Involvement in Eugenics in Nazi Germany

IBM and the Holocaust
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Edwin Black (in the above video) talks about IBM profiling, including that of homosexuals. Check out this ‘cute’ little propaganda piece:

We All Count: LGBT People Count in the 2010 Census!

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IBM awarded Census Bureau data access and dissemination system contact

The U.S. Census Bureau has awarded IBM (NYSE: IBM) Global Business Services a contract to provide data tabulation and dissemination services in support of the 2010 Census and other key Census Bureau surveys. The contract is designed to expedite data assessment, offer more flexibility in analysis, and improve the usability of Census information for citizens and policymakers. The project was awarded to IBM on September 20th, and the value of the contract is $89.5 million over 9 years.

The program includes data processing of the individual household responses collected by the Census Bureau during the 2010 Census, producing data used for Congressional redistricting and the distribution of federal entitlement funds. In addition, the contract will include updates to the Census Bureau’s primary Internet-based data dissemination program, the American FactFinder system (www.factfinder.census.gov). The Census Bureau data has numerous uses, including tracking of demographic trends across the country down to very small geographical areas.

“We appreciate the Census Bureau’s continued confidence in IBM to support their efforts,” said John Nyland, Managing Partner, IBM Global Business Services, Public Sector. “Working with our business partners, IBM is helping the Census Bureau with innovative approaches to flexible and timely data analysis and dissemination.”

IBM’s subcontracting business partners include BAE Systems, ESRI, Space-Time Research, SAS, M-Cubed, Roundarch, Dataline, FWG, Measurable Results, RCM, PKW, Fenestra, and Acumen Solutions.

In addition to the data tabulation and dissemination services work, IBM is also supporting the Census Bureau as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin on the Decennial Response Integration System (DRIS) 2010 data collection contract.

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Still want to answer those census questions…

Related: 67-Year Old Woman Killed For Pointing Firearm and Refusing Census Questions

67-Year Old Woman Killed For Pointing Firearm and Refusing Census Questions

Y.C. woman killed by police pointed gun at officers

A 67-year-old Yuba City woman was shot and killed by officers when she pointed a shotgun at them and refused to put it down, Yuba City police said Friday.

Victoria Helen Roger-Vasselin was pronounced dead late Thursday at her home at 764 Mariner Loop in an affluent neighborhood on the city’s far south side.

An autopsy Friday showed she died of “multiple gunshot wounds,” said Sutter County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Brenda Baker.

A neighbor reported hearing five or six shots.

Roger-Vasselin was the sister of the late Thomas E. Mathews, a Yuba County judge and district attorney who died in 2005.

“They shot her dead,” Roger-Vasselin’s distraught son, Christian Biscotti, said outside the house Friday morning.

“I think she was just startled” by late visits to her home, he said.

Before Biscotti could say more, a relative or family friend took him by the arm and led him inside, shutting the door.

Officers went to the Mariner Loop home after receiving a call at 9:04 p.m. about weapons being brandished, according to a police incident log. In a press release, police did not say exactly when the shooting happened.

Police scanner traffic indicated the shooting happened about 10:20 p.m.

A U.S. Census worker “had been confronted by residents who pointed a firearm at the worker and said they would not answer any questions and closed the door,” said police spokeswoman Shawna Pavey.

Full Story

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Bachmann Warns Of Link Between Census, Japanese Internment

Confirmed: The U.S. Census Bureau Gave Up Names of Japanese-Americans in WW II

Pesticide Exposure and ADHD – Researcher Urges: ‘Buy Organic’

Pesticides in kids linked to ADHD
Researcher advises parents to buy organic, wash produce

Exposure to pesticides used on common kid-friendly foods — including frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries and celery — appears to boost the chances that children will be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, new research shows.

Youngsters with high levels of pesticide residue in their urine, particularly from widely used types of insecticide such as malathion, were more likely to have ADHD, the behavior disorder that often disrupts school and social life, scientists in the United States and Canada found.

Kids with higher-than-average levels of one pesticide marker were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD as children who showed no traces of the poison.

“I think it’s fairly significant. A doubling is a strong effect,” said Maryse F. Bouchard, a researcher at the University of Montreal in Quebec and lead author of the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

The take-home message for parents, according to Bouchard: “I would say buy organic as much as possible,” she said. “I would also recommend washing fruits and vegetables as much as possible.”

Diet is a major source of pesticide exposure in children, according to the National Academy of Sciences, and much of that exposure comes from favorite fruits and vegetables. In 2008, detectable concentrations of malathion were found in 28 percent of frozen blueberry samples, 25 percent of fresh strawberry samples a government report found. Full Story

Medication Madness in Young Children

An American Phenomenon: The Widespread Psychiatric Drugging of Infants and Toddlers

The United States has become the psychiatric drugging capital of the world, medicating children at a younger and younger age.

The United States has become the psychiatric drugging capital of the world for kids with children being medicated at a younger and younger age. Medicaid records in some states show infants less than a year old on drugs for mental disorders.

The use of powerful antipsychotics with privately insured children, aged 2 through 5 in the US, doubled between 1999 and 2007, according to a study of data on more than one million children with private health insurance in the January, 2010, “Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.”

The number of children in this age group diagnosed with bipolar disorder also doubled over the last decade, Reuters reported.

Of antipsychotic-treated children in the 2007 study sample, the most common diagnoses were pervasive developmental disorder or mental retardation (28.2%), ADHD (23.7%), and disruptive behavior disorder (12.9%).

The study reported that fewer than half of drug treated children received a mental health assessment (40.8%), a psychotherapy visit (41.4%), or a visit with a psychiatrist (42.6%) during the year of antipsychotic use.

“Antipsychotics, which are being widely and irresponsibly prescribed for American children–mostly as chemical restraints–are shown to be causing irreparable harm,” warned Vera Hassner Sharav, president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, in a February 26, 2010 InfoMail.

“These drugs have measurable severe hazardous effects on vital biological systems, including: cardiovascular adverse effects that result in shortening lives; metabolic adverse effects that induce diabetes and the metabolic syndrome,” she wrote. “Long-term use of antipsychotics has been shown to result in metabolic syndrome in 40% to 50% of patients.”
Full Story

The Wholesale Drugging of Children

From the Frontline film: Medicating Kids

Death from Ritalin: The Truth Behind ADHD