Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Shoe bomber

Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe
and tried to light it?

Did you know his trial is over?
Did you know he was sentenced?
Did you see/hear any of the judge's comments on TV/Radio?

Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had
anything to say.

His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the
Reid also admitted his "allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the
religion of Allah," defiantly stated "I think I will not apologize for my
actions," and told the court "I am at war with your country."

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid. Judge Young:
"Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes
upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the
custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the
Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on
each count to run consecutive with the other.
That's 80 years. On count 8 the Court sentences you to the
mandatory 30 years consecutive to the 80 years just imposed. The Court
imposes upon you each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 for the
aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's
recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the
amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines. The
Court imposes upon you the $800 special assessment.
The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply
because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences
so I need go no further. This is the sentence that is provided for by our
statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of
your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been
through the fire before. There is all too much war talk here and I say that
to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with
individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As
human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a
soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to
call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the
officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or if you
think you are a soldier. You are not----- you are a terrorist. And we do
not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not
sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them
to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big
fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've know warriors.
You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple
attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it
right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you
wondered where the press and where the TV crews were, and he said: "You're
no big deal."

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States
attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried
to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led
you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask
you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led
you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing. And I have
an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire
record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious.
You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to
live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as
we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries
freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because
we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful
courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is
administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake
that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed
appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the
way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no
mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price,
to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The
world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. Day after
tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure. Here
in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America, the American people
will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war,
individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United
States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out
evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will
gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and
refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of
America That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That
flag stands for freedom. And it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

So, how much of this Judge's comments did we hear on our TV sets?
We need more judges like Judge Young, but that's another subject. Pass this
around. Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say.
Powerful words that strike home.

God bless America.

Medical Money Woes

Beyond Dollars: The Real Cost of the U.S. Health Care System

By Mike Adams, the Health Ranger,

The real cost of our modern health care system isn't at all what you might think. It's not the cost of paying for prescription drugs, surgical procedures or medical imaging tests. The real costs goes way beyond that, because it's the cost of losing our global competitiveness as an industrialized nation.

Mike Adams

How can health care costs make an entire nation uncompetitive? Consider the fact that General Motors spends $1,500 per car health care costs alone. That's a huge financial burden that simply doesn't exist in countries like Japan or Korea where medicine is substantially more affordable for a number of reasons, including the fact that those nations have no FDA protecting a national drug monopoly.

Across corporate America, companies are finding that paying the extravagant health care costs of U.S. workers is driving them flat out of business. Due to the nature of the increasingly global marketplace (or what author Thomas Friedman calls the "flat world" economy), U.S. businesses are forced to cut costs or nosedive into bankruptcy. And part of the cost-cutting equation involves shifting jobs overseas to countries where not only are the wages lower, but the health care costs are substantially lower as well.

India's workforce is not merely attractive because the people work for fewer dollars per hour, it's also because health insurance in India (and throughout Asia) is acquired at a fraction of the price of health insurance in the U.S. Just how small of a fraction am I talking about? Consider this:

In Taiwan, working citizens are covered for merely $20 per month (in U.S. dollars). That $20 per month pays everything: Dental, maternity, prescription drugs, surgical procedures, imaging tests, you name it. Co-pays are stunningly affordable too. A $50 cash co-pay gets a citizen a collection of prescription drugs that easily exceed $1,000 in retail cost here in the U.S.

Similar cost efficiencies are present throughout Southeast Asia, in countries like Thailand, South Korea, China, Malaysia and even the Philippines. In fact, health care is so darned affordable in these countries that hoards of Americans are fleeing the U.S. medical system on "medical tourism" trips that include airfare, a five-star hotel, a grand tour of a fascinating nation and a complete surgical procedure ... all for a fraction of the cost of the surgical procedure alone in the United States.

That's how expensive and inefficient organized medicine has become in the U.S. People can actually fly half-way around the world, take in a full vacation, and get the exact same procedure done (in a modern, high-tech medical facility, too, by the way) for a lot less than the same procedure at the hospital down the road.

So now we're not just exporting our jobs, our dollars and our intellectual capital in this country, we're also exporting our medical industry. We're driving customers away from the U.S. in droves, and we're driving businesses out of business at the same time.

It's not just the private sector that's suffering from this either: The public sector is going broke, too, thanks to medical costs. Cities, counties and states are almost universally overdrawn in terms of their future health care obligations to retirees. Most such benefits programs have zero funds set aside, and with health care costs continuing to escalate at a rate that vastly outpaces inflation, by the time today's workers start retiring and claiming their health benefits, there's hardly a city or state in this entire nation that will be left financially solvent. Organized medicine is, truly, about to bankrupt this country at every level imaginable.

How Did This Happen?

And yet, all the talk about solving this problem is little more than a distraction from the real problem. So-called "solutions" to the health care crisis in this country add up to clumsily cutting benefits and shifting costs to other parties. They do nothing to address the fundamental cause of the health care cost tar pit in which we now find ourselves solidly stuck.

What are those fundamental causes? Namely, that the system is essentially operated like an organized crime ring, where the aim is to maximize profits, not to serve the public good.

How do you maximize profits? It's easy: You monopolize the domestic drug market (thank you, FDA), you keep people sick by avoiding any discussion of prevention, you stomp on the competition by outlawing or discrediting alternative medicine, and you create a regulatory environment where manufacturers and promoters of junk foods, soft drinks and other disease-promoting groceries are allowed to spend unlimited dollars on promotion and propaganda (especially to children).

In any such system, billions of dollars in profit will always flow to the drug companies. The negative side effect, of course, is that, practically, the entire nation will be sick and diseased:

You will have a nation of children with poorly functioning nervous systems who have extreme challenges learning anything (and who end up being drugged on yet more synthetic chemicals).

You will have a nation of elderly men and women who age rapidly, succumbing to unprecedented rates of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

You will have a nation of workers who remain unable to operate with peak mental clarity, whose productivity plummets with sick days and family leave, and whose best days are still only mediocre in terms of mental performance.

You see, the cost of our modern health care system is not found in the dollars and cents that might be shown in a colorful chart. The real cost is less obvious. It's the loss of productivity, the loss of jobs, the loss of longevity and quality of life. It's the loss of the health of an entire generation of children who will never be as healthy as their grandparents because their own mothers failed to follow even basic prenatal nutrition (not to mention what they fed those kids while they were growing up).

You'll see it hit home even harder in the months and years ahead. General Motors, I predict, will either go bankrupt or be bailed out, perhaps in a protection manner, by the federal government. Which means, of course, that taxpayers will be indirectly subsidizing the financial insolvencies caused by our system of monopoly medicine.

These acts are just "band-aids" on a system that is hemorrhaging at its core. Our highly corrupt system of organized medicine is bleeding this nation dry. Families, cities, states, corporations and entire governments are squarely positioned to be financially obliterated by organized medicine. And, believe me, there are plenty of other nations ready to take our place as the dominant economic force in the world. China comes immediately to mind...

Real Wealth Is Great Health

I say we cannot experience economic growth by paying each other higher and higher fees for the symptomatic treatment of ubiquitous diseases. The fact that well over half our population is chronically diseased, and 40 percent or more are taking daily prescription drugs, and billions of dollars are flowing into drug company coffers does not make us a wealthy nation.

We are fooling ourselves if we think that economic "prosperity" means owning stocks in a Big Pharma company that's making a windfall because half the nation is chronically diseased, with another wave of disease on the way (diabetes and Alzheimer's, take your pick). True prosperity simply cannot be achieved without health. A nation without healthy people is ultimately a nation without a healthy economy. Ultimately, if we continue on this path, our entire nation will only end up bankrupt, diseased and jobless.

The solution to all of this, of course, is to immediately redirect every available resource into preventing disease and promoting health. It's a reallocation of energy that will probably never occur, however, for one simple reason: there's no money in prevention. Our current system of for-profit medicine only rewards the treatment of sickness. And thus, by its very nature, it precludes any incentive for the promotion of health.

The U.S. system of medicine is the most expensive system in the world, both in terms of what it costs up front, and what it costs society in the long run.


Dr. Mercola's Comment:

Mike Adams is the Health Ranger. Mike and I share the same philosophy and are on very aligned life missions. He has no formal medical training but is a CEO of a software company that has committed the bulk of his free time to the same life mission I have--changing the fatally flawed conventional medical system. Mike is deadly serious about his health and I encourage you to review his mission statement. I think you will also be impressed with his physical appearance. An amazing testimony to the power of natural medicine.

Mike has a terrific Web site and has produced such great content that it is now the fifth most visited natural health site in the world and will likely climb to number four next month. The amazing thing about Mike is that he has been successful enough as the CEO of a software company he owns, that he doesn't need to accept any advertising or commissions on any products he recommends. He is completely unbiased in his recommendations. I suspect that has been a significant factor in the success of his site.

We have formed a strong alliance and will be working closely on many projects. I strongly encourage you to visit his site and enjoy his perspective. There was a recent study that used a headline that "Spam Was Good For Your Health." Of course, that is a bunch of nonsense. But what the study did show is that people who received multiple healthy e-mail messages wound up living healthier lifestyles.

Mike Adams is certainly one you can add to your list of good messages. Please remember, you need a healthy dose of natural health messages to help balance out the enormous amount of negative and health-damaging media exposure conventional medicine will throw at you.

Related Articles:

The FDA "Foxes" Keep Guarding the Drug Safety "Henhouse"

FDA Fights Losing Battle Over Drug Ads

Is Congress Taking Handouts From the Drug Companies?

Can You Trust the FDA?

Trip to Washington

Sorry I'm so long posting notes from our trip, but I've been working two jobs.

As you can see, our family has been studying our nation's history along with our family history. It was awesome seeing the sights in DC. It creates inside of me a new sense of respect and love for my country and all those who sacrificed for the freedoms we have.
Arlington with Pentagon in the background Posted by Picasa
Leggett Reunion at Arlington Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Fireman's Festival

Here's a picture of Josiah singing at the Fireman's Festival. He made a big hit with his cowboy hat. Three little girls asked for his autograph.