Thursday, December 31, 2009



Here are a few big pointers for everyone's comprehension:

1. ENRON promoted their profit and hid their debt. Government on the other hand promotes their debt and hides their profit. The reason being is that as government promotes their debt to the public at the front door, and through the back door they are using their own investment funds to fund their own debt and thus locking in the public for repayment to guarantee a substantial profit. This is done through several methods. The basic is through investment accounts held through domestic and "international" banks, Insurance companies, and brokerage firms. The internal way of doing it is for a state to start a Financial Enterprise Operation as was the case back in the 90's in Missouri through the creation of The Missouri finance Authority (State created and run operation created without taxpayer approval or general knowledge thereof being that it had no taxing authority) whereby all of the Cities; Counties; School Districts; and State agencies invested through. Example: City (X) invests $100,000,000 and the same City (X) has three bond issuance's totaling $100,000,000 that are funded by the Missouri Finance Authority. Well, if city (X) was asked "Are you funding your own debt? They could honestly answer "No". If they were asked: "Do you have $100,000,000 invested with the Missouri Finance Authority and is the Missouri Finance Authority funding approximately 100% of your $100,000,000 in bond offerings, then the honest answer would be "Yes". This practice started back in the 70's across the country and come the year 2000 many local governments were 100% self funded using their own investment assets and as was the case with Missouri back in the 90's, the outstanding bond issuance that were funded by the private sector they came in and refinanced themselves a a .25 (1/4) pt lower. The only response I received from the investment manager of that authority when I contacted him back in 1999 was: "Look at what a good job we are doing investing the public funds, we got them a quarter point lower then they could have got from the private sector"

2. Most local Government pension / retirement investment funds are set up as "strictly participatory". What that means is it is like buying a ticket on a train. You get to ride from point A to point C but you do not own one piece of the train when you get off at point C. For the local government employees participating in this type of program they get a ticket to ride under set terms but do not own 1c of those funds, the local governments own the fund; balance; and holdings... This gives a very big incentive for the local governments to play actuarial projection games to inflate the balances being that they are growth in their power base. I put up as an example the NY State Retirement Fund listing of investments for several years for viewing. I note that as you look down the listing of domestic and international investments held you will notice in order of the top profit makers rolling over returns of 200% to 600% over a few years in order of the top four: Pharmaceutical Companies; Bank / Financial Companies; Oil / Energy Companies; War industry Groups. Personally I say that's a tad bit of a conflict of interest towards the underling motives for policy set me says.. Now you will not find one specific government fund owning by statutory restriction more than 5% to 7% of any one company but from the thousands of government funds large and small you will have in collective totals controlling interest held in these companies both domestic and foreign. (Those collective 5%'s held add up quickly). Now here is where the monopoly of control sets in. Many local governments will now participate with private associations established with nice sounding government acronyms. There may be several hundred if not several thousand local governments that are members. By being members they can assign proxy voting rights to these private associations whereby collective ownership exercised can determine policy and if needed replace the entire board of directors if policy edicts suggested are not followed. This includes mandatory outsourcing to accomplish higher rates of returns for investments held.

Did you just have one of your biggest Ah, Ha moments of your life?

You will never see collective ownership totals by collective local government talked about or qualified anywhere officially for obvious and condemning reasons. The world is not as we are spoon feed to believe it is when government collective ownership totals are tabulated and digested.

An important note here when looking at the above referenced report is that when it comes also to debt held by the private sector either by mortgages or credit cards, please look at the investments shown below the listing of domestic and international companies, You will see the billions in cash loans; bonds held; real-estate held (Condo; apartment; shopping malls) etc. Investment ownership by government branches out into many different arenas which before reading this most probably assumed were held by private investment and not government.

On a last note, let me qualify how a profit is turned into an "advanced liability". Here I will use a county run recycling plant as an example. The public is pitched that recycling is a good thing and passes a fifty million dollar bond issuance to build a recycling plant. The plant is built and mandatory recycling is enforced in the county. I note that this is supposed to be a "NON-PROFIT" government run enterprise operation; Well, within the first year the recycling plant generates 45 million dollars and its cost for operation is 35 million so the buy more equipment and expand there personnel to eat up the extra 10 million to be a not for profit operation, BUT they know their curve is going to yield a 25 million dollar profit next year, SO they contact an actuary and say: "We are doing so well that in fifteen years we are going to have to expand our operation five times fold, how much money are we going to need?" The actuary then takes into account land; equipment; personnel; transfer costs; etc., and comes up with a figure of say 780 million dollars needed 15 years down the road to get this done..... SO, then the recycling plant as expected makes a 25 million dollar profit BUT monthly or quarterly makes a payment into the advance liability account equaling 25 million dollars listing it as a line item operating liability payment and voi'la' no profit for the year. The same happens each following year as the fund of 780 million is built. Now if they want to take it a step further in year five and they make a 45 million dollar profit for the year but funnel 55 million dollars into the advance forward liability account, they can come back on the residents and say: "Gee we all know that recycling is a good thing, but we are operating at a 10 million dollar deficit on our "operating budget" and we are going to have to raise collection fees". This is one way of turning a profit into an advance forward debt. Well, if the public does not know about the advance forward liability account the increase in fees slides right in without opposition where as in the alternative if the public did know that an advance liability account existed of several hundred million dollars (only "discreetly" accounted for on the books of the county enterprise operation's Annual Financial report and not the County's AFR), they would in most probabilities organized to cancel any collections fees and take a very close look at government operating as a for profit enterprise under mandatory terms in their own back yard.

I hope I have given some substantial food for thought to the readers here. When their is great wealth the potential for great theft exists.

Walter Burien
P. O. Box 2112
Saint Johns, Arizona 85936

Tel. (928) 445-3532

Will Americans Reclaim Our Nation in 2010 From the Thugs and Con Artists?

Thursday, December 31, 2009
Will Americans Reclaim Our Nation in 2010 From the Thugs and Con Artists?

The giant banks are treating the American Citizen like we work for them, are holding the economy hostage, and are taking our deposits and using them to speculate in casino style gambling.

They've bought and paid for Congress and the White House. See this, this and this.

Will Americans exercise our power - see this and this - or become serfs to a permanent banking royalty?

An economist says the healthcare bill "is just another bailout of the financial system", and lawyers say that it is unconstitutional.

Will we defeat this giveaway to the insurance giants, or become permanent slaves to mandatory insurance requirements?

Top scientists, economists and environmentalists all say that cap and trade is a scam which won't significantly reduce C02 emissions, and will only help in making the financial players who crashed the economy even more wealthy.

Will we defeat this worthless scam, or allow the failed banks like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Citigroup - who have already taken many billions of taxpayer dollars - to make a fortune off of this con game at our expense?

Will Americans reclaim our nation in 2010 from the thugs and con artists, or put our heads down and stay subservient while the little we have left in the way of money, resources and dignity is stolen by the giant banks, insurance companies and carbon trading players?

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Leading Global Warming Crusader: Cap and Trade May INCREASE CO2 Emissions

James Hansen - the world's leading climate scientist fighting against global warming - told Amy Goodman this morning that cap and trade not only won't reduce emissions, it may actually increase them:

The problem is that the emissions just go someplace else. That’s what happened after Kyoto, and that’s what would happen again, if—as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy, they will be burned someplace. You know, the Europeans thought they actually reduced their emissions after Kyoto, but what happened was the products that had been made in their countries began to be made in other countries, which were burning the cheapest form of fossil fuel, so the total emissions actually increased...

See also this and this.

Environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace are also against cap and trade (and see this and this), as is the head of California's cap and trade program for the EPA.

Hansen also told Goodman that (notwithstanding Paul Krugman's assertions) most economists say that cap and trade won't work:

I’ve talked with many economists, and the majority of them agree that the cap and trade with offsets is not the way to address the problem.

As I have previously pointed out:

•The economists who invented cap-and-trade say that it won't work for global warming
•European criminal investigators have determined that there is a tremendous amount of fraud occurring in the carbon trading market. Indeed, organized crime has largely taken over the European cap and trade market.

•Former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs Robert Shapiro says that the proposed cap and trade law "has no provisions to prevent insider trading by utilities and energy companies or a financial meltdown from speculators trading frantically in the permits and their derivatives."
•Our bailout buddies over at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and the other Wall Street behemoths are buying heavily into carbon trading (see this, this, this, this, this and this). As University of Maryland professor economics professor and former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission Peter Morici writes:
Obama must ensure that the banks use the trillions of dollars in federal bailout assistance to renegotiate mortgages and make new loans to worthy homebuyers and businesses. Obama must make certain that banks do not continue to squander federal largess by padding executive bonuses, acquiring other banks and pursuing new high-return, high-risk lines of businesses in merger activity, carbon trading and complex derivatives. Industry leaders like Citigroup have announced plans to move in those directions. Many of these bankers enjoyed influence in and contributed generously to the Obama campaign. Now it remains to be seen if a President Obama can stand up to these same bankers and persuade or compel them to act responsibly.
In other words, the same companies that made billions off of derivatives and other scams and are now getting bailed out on your dime are going to make billions from carbon trading.
•One the largest boosters for cap and trade invented credit default swaps - which were supposed to increase financial stability, but instead were a large part of the reason that the world economy crashed last year

National Security Establishment
Killed JFK In 1963 Coup d'Etat

Government insider says JFK autopsy material altered
By David Collins

Researcher and author Jim Marrs and Douglas Horne, former staff member of the Assassination Records and Review Board (ARRB) were guests on the Jeff Rense radio program December 29th for two hours of discussion on Horne's new book Inside the Assassination Records and Review Board: The U.S.Government's Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Death of JFK.

The ARRB was created by an act of Congress in 1992 to gather and release all U.S. Government documents and records related to the assassination of President John F Kennedy. The Act was passed as a result of the controversy created by the 1991 release of the Oliver Stone movie JFK which alleged that Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy which involved high level U.S. Government officials.

Horne was a staff researcher for the ARRB from August of 1995 to September of 1998. While the ARRB was mandated by Congress to gather and release all Governenment documents related to the assassination it did not draw any conclusions with regard to the JFK murder. Horne has however reached the conclusion, based upon his three years on the Board, that Kennedy was murdered as the result of a conspiracy. Horne is the first U.S. government official with first hand knowledge of the medical evidence to conclude that the Kennedy autopsy and X-rays documents were altered to make it appear that Kennedy was shot by a lone gunman from behind. Horne presents the case that the JFK murder was an "inside job" and the cover-up was carried out by high level U.S. government insiders.

A short history of the JFK assassination investigations

The Warren Commission, set up by President Johnson, concluded in 1964 that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin of President Kennedy. Despite Kennedy's vow to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds." Johnson named former CIA director Allen Dulles to the Commission. In 1961 Kennedy fired Dulles as CIA director after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. In Chairman Earl Warren's absence Dulles often chaired the Commission and guided it's investigation to the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald alone killed the President.
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison began an investigation into the Kennedy death in the fall of 1966. In March of 1967 Garrison arrested Clay Shaw and charged that Shaw, a group of right wing elements including David Ferree and Guy Banister and rouge elements of the CIA were involved in a plot to assassinate President Kennedy. On March 1st 1969 Shaw was acquitted of all charges brought by Garrison. Garrison did however subpoena a copy of the Zappruder film and showed the Shaw jury the famous footage showing in gory detail the President's brains getting blown out. The jury in the Shaw case said that they believed a conspiracy had killed President Kennedy but that Garrison had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Clay Shaw was a part of the conspiracy.

In 1975 Senator Frank Church was named Chairman of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Operations. The Church Committee investigated reports of abuse of power by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The Church committee issued a final report in April of 1976 and conluded that U.S.Government intelligence operations threatened and undermined the Constitutional rights of American citizens. The Church Committee also concluded that the CIA withheld from the Warren Commission information on plots by the Agency to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro.

George Herbert Walker Bush was appointed Director of the CIA by former Warren Commission member and 38th President of the United States Gerald Ford. Bush served as CIA director from January of 1976 until January of 1977. Interest in the JFK assassination increased as a result of the Church Committee hearings and findings. Bush was brought into the CIA ostensibly to restore the Agency's moral after the revelations that the CIA had been involved in illegal and unauthorized activities in the 1960's.

In 1976 Congressman Thomas Downing began a campaign for a new investigation into the Kennedy assassination. Some polls at the time, partially as a result of the Church Committee findings , showed that over 80 percent of the American people believed that Kennedy was killed as a result of a conspiracy. After considerable infighting and opposition from certain members in Congress the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations(HSCA) was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. After much stonewalling by the CIA the HSCA issued it's final report in 1979 concluding that Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald with the help of other unknown and unnamed conspirators. The HSCA referred the matter to the U.S. Justice Department which did not pursue the case.

Douglas Horne's new revelations on JFK's death

Based upon his three years of investigation with the ARRB Horne started putting his finding into book form in 1998. Horne has completed a five volume series of books, the first of which was just published in December of 2009. Based upon his research here are a few of Horne's findings:

1. Bobby Kennedy was responsible for stealing certain autopsy material including x-rays, tissue samples and JFK's brain. The government in 1965 gave the autopsy material to the Kennedy family and the material then came into Bobby Kennedy's possession. In 1966 the Kennedy family returned the material to the National Archives minus certain autopsy material and JFK's brain. In 1968 the Justice Department asked RFK for the missing autopsy material. Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June of 1968 and the missing material has never been accounted for. Horne said his findings lead him to conclude that Bobby, with the help of then Secretary of Defense Robert McNaMara, dumped the 1963 bronze JFK shipping casket into the Atlantic ocean. Horne speculates that the missing autopsy material and perhaps Kennedy's brain are also at the bottom of the Atlantic with the bronze casket.

2. The Abraham Zapruder film was altered by the CIA the weekend after the assassination. The Zapruder film, a 26 second long moving picture of the asassination, long a bedrock for JFK researchers, fell into the hands of CIA employees and was taken to a secret laboratory in New York shortly after the assassination. Horne said that a group of Hollywood film producers has examined the individual frames of the Zapruder and have found many alterations to the film. Horne said that the wound to the back of Kennedy's head had been blacked out and the infamous headshot had been fabricated to look as if the right front portion of Kennedy's forehead was blown out. Horne said that next year the film researchers plan to release a high definition copy of the Zapruder film with the CIA alterations taken out.

3. The U.S. National Security establishment was responsible for the murder of President Kennedy. Volume 5 of Horne's investigation deals with the question of who was behind the assassination of our 35th President.

Horne points out that Robert McNamara quoted Kennedy as saying that he wanted to pull all U.S. troups out of VietNam. Horne says that 98 per cent of the National Security establishment in 1963 was opposed to President Kennedy's foreign policy objectives. Horne said that the assassination was a coup and that the same forces that killed President Kennedy control the National Security establishment today.

According to Horne the United States Government has spent almost 20 trillion dollars since 1963 to support the foreign policy objectives of the traitors who killed President Kennedy.
The Latest Community, Education, Crime & Government News
Flight 253 passenger Kurt Haskell: 'I was visited by the FBI'
By Aaron Foley |
December 31, 2009, 9:41AM

Courtesy photoLori and Kurt Haskell
Following up on a visit from FBI officials about an eyewitness account first described to, Michigan attorney Kurt Haskell described the visit in comment sections across MLive on Wednesday.

Haskell and his wife, Lori, were aboard Flight 253 when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly tried to destroy the plane. They say another man tried to help Abdulmutallab board the plane in Amsterdam.

Haskell had two detailed posts in two different stories. Here is Part One, originally posted here:

"Today is the second worst day of my life after 12-25-09. Today is the day that I realized that my own country is lying to me and all of my fellow Americans. Let me explain.

Ever since I got off of Flight 253 I have been repeating what I saw in US Customs. Specifically, 1 hour after we left the plane, bomb sniffing dogs arrived. Up to this point, all of the passengers on Flight 253 stood in a small area in an evacuated luggage claim area of an airport terminal. During this time period, all of the passengers had their carry on bags with them. When the bomb sniffing dogs arrived, 1 dog found something in a carry on bag of a 30 ish Indian man. This is not the so called "Sharp Dressed" man. I will refer to this man as "The man in orange". The man in orange, who stood some 20ft away from me the entire time until he was taken away, was immediately taken away to be searched and interrogated in a nearby room. At this time he was not handcuffed. When he emerged from the room, he was then handcuffed and taken away. At this time an FBI agent came up to the rest of the passengers and said the following (approximate quote) "You all are being moved to another area because this area is not safe. I am sure many of you saw what just happened (Referring to the man in orange) and are smart enough to read between the lines and figure it out." We were then marched out of the baggage claim area and into a long hallway. This entire time period and until we left customs, no person that wasn't a law enforcement personnel or a passenger on our flight was allowed anywhere on our floor of the terminal (or possibly the entire terminal) The FBI was so concerned during this time, that we were not allowed to use the bathroom unless we went alone with an FBI agent, we were not allowed to eat or drink, or text or call anyone. I have been repeating this same story over the last 5 days. The FBI has, since we landed, insisted that only one man was arrested for the airliner attack (contradicting my account). However, several of my fellow passengers have come over the past few days, backed up my claim, and put pressure on FBI/Customs to tell the truth. Early today, I heard from two different reporters that a federal agency (FBI or Customs) was now admitting that another man has been held (and will be held indefinitely) since our flight landed for "immigration reasons." Notice that this man was "being held" and not "arrested", which was a cute semantic ploy by the FBI to stretch the truth and not lie.

Just a question, could that mean that the man in orange had no passport?

However, a few hours later, Customs changed its story again. This time, Mr. Ron Smith of Customs, says the man that was detained "had been taken into custody, but today tells the news the person was a passenger on a different flight." Mr. Ron Smith, you are playing the American public for a fool. Lets take a look at how plausible this story is (After you've already changed it twice). For the story to be true, you have to believe, that:

1. FBI/Customs let passengers from another flight co-mingle with the passengers of flight 253 while the most important investigation in 8 years was pending. I have already stated that not one person who wasn't a passenger or law enforcement personnal was in our area the entire time we were detained by Customs.
2. FBI/Customs while detaining the flight 253 passengers in perhaps the most important investigation since the last terrorist attack, and despite not letting any flight 253 passenger drink, eat, make a call, or use the bathroom, let those of other flights trample through the area and possibly contaminate evidence.
3. You have to believe the above (1 and 2) despite the fact that no flights during this time allowed passengers to exit off of the planes at all and were detained on the runway during at least the first hour of our detention period.
4. You have to believe that the man that stood 20 feet from me since we entered customs came from a mysterious plane that never landed, let its passengers off the plane and let this man sneak into our passenger group despite having extremely tight security at this time (i.e. no drinking even).
5. FBI/Customs was hauling mysterious passengers from other flights through the area we were being held to possibly comtaminate evidence and allow discussions with suspects on Flight 253 or to possibly allow the exchange of bombs, weapons or other devices between the mysterious passengers from other flights and those on flight 253.

Seriously Mr. Ron Smith, how stupid do you think the American public is?

Mr. Ron Smith's third version of the story is an absolute inplausible joke. I encourage you, Mr. Ron Smith, to debate me anytime, anywhere, and anyplace in public to let the American people see who is credible and who is not.

I ask, isn't this the more plausible story:

1. Customs/FBI realized that they screwed up and don't want to admit that they left flight 253 passengers on a flight with a live bomb on the runway for 20 minutes.
2. Customs/FBI realized that they screwed up and don't want to admit that they left flight 253 passengers in customs for 1 hour with a live bomb in a carry on bag.
3. Customs/FBI realize that the man in orange points to a greater involvement then the lone wolf theory that they have been promoting.

Mr. Ron Smith I encourage you to come out of your cubicle and come up with a more plausible version number 4 of your story."

Haskell continued his comment in a different post on MLive.

"For the last five days I have been reporting my story of the so called "sharp dressed man." For those of you who haven't read my account, it involves a sharp dressed "Indian man" attempting to talk a ticket agent into letting a supposed "Sudanese refugee" (The terrorist) onto flight 253 without a passport. I have never had any idea how it played out except to note that the so called "Sudanese reefugee" later boarded my flight and attempted to blow it up and kill me. At no time did my story involve, or even find important whether the terrorist actually had a passport. The importance of my story was and always will be, the attempt with an accomplice (apparently succesful) of a terrorist with all sorts of prior terrorist warning signs to skirt the normal passport boarding procedures in Amsterdam. By the way, Amsterdam security did come out the other day and admit that the terrorist did not have to "Go through normal passport checking procedures".
Amsterdam security, please define to the American public "Normal passport boarding procedures".

You see the FBI would have the American public believe that what was important was whether the terrorist in fact had a passport.

Seriously think about this people. You have a suicide bomber who had recently been to Yemen to but a bomb, whose father had reported him as a terrorist, who supposedly was on some kind of U.S. terror watchlist, and most likely knew the U.S. was aware of these red flags. Yet, he didn't go through "Normal passport checking procedures." What does that mean? Maybe that he flashed a passport to some sort of sympathetic security manager in a backroom to avoid a closer look at the terrorist's "red flags"? What is important is that the terrorist avoided using normal passport checking procedures (apparently successfully) in order to avoid a closer look into his red flags. Who cares if he had a passport. The important thing is that he didn't want to show it and somehow avoided a closer inspection and "normal passport checking procedures." Each passport comes with a bar code on it that can be scanned to provide a wealth of information about the individual. I would bet that the passport checking procedures for the terrorist did not include a bar code scan of his passport (which could have revealed damning information about the terrorist).

Please note that there is a very easy way to verify the veracity of my prior "sharp dressed man" account. Dutch police have admitted that they have reviewed the video of the "sharp dressed man" that I referenced. Note that it has not been released anywhere, You see, if my eye witness account is false, it could easily be proven by releasing the video. However, the proof of my eyewitness account would also be verified if I am telling the truth and I am. There is a reason we have only heard of the video and not seen it. dutch authorities, "RELEASE THE VIDEO!" This is the most important video in 8 years and may be all of two minutes long. Show the entire video and "DO NOT EDIT IT"! The American public deserves its own chance to attempt to identify the "sharp dressed man". I have no doubt that if the video indicated that my account was wrong, that the video would have already swept over the entire world wide web.

Instead of the video, we get a statment that the video has been viewed and that the terrorist had a passport. Each of these statements made by the FBI is a self serving play on semantics and each misses the importance of my prior "sharp dressed man" account. The importance being that the man "Tried to board the plane with an accomplice and without a passort". The other significance is that only the airport security video can verify my eyewitness account and that it is not being released.

Who has the agenda here and who doesn't? Think about that for a minute."

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2009

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2009
ViewDiscussion.Contact Information:
Press Office 202-646-5172, ext 305

Washington, DC
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2009 list of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians." The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

1.Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 "Ten Most Corrupt" list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms. Judicial Watch's complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms. However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.

2.Senator John Ensign (R-NV): A number of scandals popped up in 2009 involving public officials who conducted illicit affairs, and then attempted to cover them up with hush payments and favors, an obvious abuse of power. The year's worst offender might just be Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign. Ensign admitted in June to an extramarital affair with the wife of one of his staff members, who then allegedly obtained special favors from the Nevada Republican in exchange for his silence. According to The New York Times: "The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are expected to conduct preliminary inquiries into whether Senator John Ensign violated federal law or ethics rules as part of an effort to conceal an affair with the wife of an aide…" The former staffer, Douglas Hampton, began to lobby Mr. Ensign's office immediately upon leaving his congressional job, despite the fact that he was subject to a one-year lobbying ban. Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. (These are potentially criminal offenses.) It looks as if Ensign misused his public office (and taxpayer resources) to cover up his sexual shenanigans.

3.Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): Judicial Watch is investigating a $12 million TARP cash injection provided to the Boston-based OneUnited Bank at the urging of Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. As reported in the January 22, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal, the Treasury Department indicated it would only provide funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending. Not only was OneUnited Bank in massive financial turmoil, but it was also "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use." Rep. Frank admitted he spoke to a "federal regulator," and Treasury granted the funds. (The bank continues to flounder despite Frank's intervention for federal dollars.) Moreover, Judicial Watch uncovered documents in 2009 that showed that members of Congress for years were aware that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were playing fast and loose with accounting issues, risk assessment issues and executive compensation issues, even as liberals led by Rep. Frank continued to block attempts to rein in the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). For example, during a hearing on September 10, 2003, before the House Committee on Financial Services considering a Bush administration proposal to further regulate Fannie and Freddie, Rep. Frank stated: "I want to begin by saying that I am glad to consider the legislation, but I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis. That is, in my view, the two Government Sponsored Enterprises we are talking about here, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not in a crisis. We have recently had an accounting problem with Freddie Mac that has led to people being dismissed, as appears to be appropriate. I do not think at this point there is a problem with a threat to the Treasury." Frank received $42,350 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 1989 and 2008. Frank also engaged in a relationship with a Fannie Mae Executive while serving on the House Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

4.Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner: In 2009, Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner admitted that he failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes from 2001-2004 on his lucrative salary at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization with 185 member countries that oversees the global financial system. (Did we mention Geithner now runs the IRS?) It wasn't until President Obama tapped Geithner to head the Treasury Department that he paid back most of the money, although the IRS kindly waived the hefty penalties. In March 2009, Geithner also came under fire for his handling of the AIG bonus scandal, where the company used $165 million of its bailout funds to pay out executive bonuses, resulting in a massive public backlash. Of course as head of the New York Federal Reserve, Geithner helped craft the AIG deal in September 2008. However, when the AIG scandal broke, Geithner claimed he knew nothing of the bonuses until March 10, 2009. The timing is important. According to CNN: "Although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he learned of AIG's impending $160 million bonus payments to members of its troubled financial-products unit on March 10, sources tell TIME that the New York Federal Reserve informed Treasury staff that the payments were imminent on Feb. 28. That is ten days before Treasury staffers say they first learned 'full details' of the bonus plan, and three days before the [Obama] Administration launched a new $30 billion infusion of cash for AIG." Throw in another embarrassing disclosure in 2009 that Geithner employed "household help" ineligible to work in the United States, and it becomes clear why the Treasury Secretary has earned a spot on the "Ten Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington" list.

5.Attorney General Eric Holder: Tim Geithner can be sure he won't be hounded about his tax-dodging by his colleague Eric Holder, US Attorney General. Judicial Watch strongly opposed Holder because of his terrible ethics record, which includes: obstructing an FBI investigation of the theft of nuclear secrets from Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory; rejecting multiple requests for an independent counsel to investigate alleged fundraising abuses by then-Vice President Al Gore in the Clinton White House; undermining the criminal investigation of President Clinton by Kenneth Starr in the midst of the Lewinsky investigation; and planning the violent raid to seize then-six-year-old Elian Gonzalez at gunpoint in order to return him to Castro's Cuba. Moreover, there is his soft record on terrorism. Holder bypassed Justice Department procedures to push through Bill Clinton's scandalous presidential pardons and commutations, including for 16 members of FALN, a violent Puerto Rican terrorist group that orchestrated approximately 120 bombings in the United States, killing at least six people and permanently maiming dozens of others, including law enforcement officers. His record in the current administration is no better. As he did during the Clinton administration, Holder continues to ignore serious incidents of corruption that could impact his political bosses at the White House. For example, Holder has refused to investigate charges that the Obama political machine traded VIP access to the White House in exchange for campaign contributions – a scheme eerily similar to one hatched by Holder's former boss, Bill Clinton in the 1990s. The Holder Justice Department also came under fire for dropping a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party. On Election Day 2008, Black Panthers dressed in paramilitary garb threatened voters as they approached polling stations. Holder has also failed to initiate a comprehensive Justice investigation of the notorious organization ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which is closely tied to President Obama. There were allegedly more than 400,000 fraudulent ACORN voter registrations in the 2008 campaign. And then there were the journalist videos catching ACORN Housing workers advising undercover reporters on how to evade tax, immigration, and child prostitution laws. Holder's controversial decisions on new rights for terrorists and his attacks on previous efforts to combat terrorism remind many of the fact that his former law firm has provided and continues to provide pro bono representation to terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Holder's politicization of the Justice Department makes one long for the days of Alberto Gonzales.

6.Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)/ Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): One of the most serious scandals of 2009 involved a scheme by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to sell President Obama's then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Two men caught smack dab in the middle of the scandal: Senator Roland Burris, who ultimately got the job, and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, emissaries for Jesse Jackson Jr., named "Senate Candidate A" in the Blagojevich indictment, reportedly offered $1.5 million to Blagojevich during a fundraiser if he named Jackson Jr. to Obama's seat. Three days later federal authorities arrested Blagojevich. Burris, for his part, apparently lied about his contacts with Blagojevich, who was arrested in December 2008 for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat. According to Reuters: "Roland Burris came under fresh scrutiny…after disclosing he tried to raise money for the disgraced former Illinois governor who named him to the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama…In the latest of those admissions, Burris said he looked into mounting a fundraiser for Rod Blagojevich -- later charged with trying to sell Obama's Senate seat -- at the same time he was expressing interest to the then-governor's aides about his desire to be appointed." Burris changed his story five times regarding his contacts with Blagojevich prior to the Illinois governor appointing him to the U.S. Senate. Three of those changing explanations came under oath.

7.President Barack Obama: During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised to run an ethical and transparent administration. However, in his first year in office, the President has delivered corruption and secrecy, bringing Chicago-style political corruption to the White House. Consider just a few Obama administration "lowlights" from year one: Even before President Obama was sworn into office, he was interviewed by the FBI for a criminal investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's scheme to sell the President's former Senate seat to the highest bidder. (Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and slumlord Valerie Jarrett, both from Chicago, are also tangled up in the Blagojevich scandal.) Moreover, the Obama administration made the startling claim that the Privacy Act does not apply to the White House. The Obama White House believes it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability. President Obama boldly proclaimed that "transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," but his administration is addicted to secrecy, stonewalling far too many of Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act requests and is refusing to make public White House visitor logs as federal law requires. The Obama administration turned the National Endowment of the Arts (as well as the agency that runs the AmeriCorps program) into propaganda machines, using tax dollars to persuade "artists" to promote the Obama agenda. According to documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the idea emerged as a direct result of the Obama campaign and enjoyed White House approval and participation. President Obama has installed a record number of "czars" in positions of power. Too many of these individuals are leftist radicals who answer to no one but the president. And too many of the czars are not subject to Senate confirmation (which raises serious constitutional questions). Under the President's bailout schemes, the federal government continues to appropriate or control -- through fiat and threats -- large sectors of the private economy, prompting conservative columnist George Will to write: "The administration's central activity -- the political allocation of wealth and opportunity -- is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption." Government-run healthcare and car companies, White House coercion, uninvestigated ACORN corruption, debasing his office to help Chicago cronies, attacks on conservative media and the private sector, unprecedented and dangerous new rights for terrorists, perks for campaign donors – this is Obama's "ethics" record -- and we haven't even gotten through the first year of his presidency.

8.Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): At the heart of the corruption problem in Washington is a sense of entitlement. Politicians believe laws and rules (even the U.S. Constitution) apply to the rest of us but not to them. Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her excessive and boorish demands for military travel. Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Pentagon in 2008 that suggest Pelosi has been treating the Air Force like her own personal airline. These documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, include internal Pentagon email correspondence detailing attempts by Pentagon staff to accommodate Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker's 11th hour cancellations and changes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also came under fire in April 2009, when she claimed she was never briefed about the CIA's use of the waterboarding technique during terrorism investigations. The CIA produced a report documenting a briefing with Pelosi on September 4, 2002, that suggests otherwise. Judicial Watch also obtained documents, including a CIA Inspector General report, which further confirmed that Congress was fully briefed on the enhanced interrogation techniques. Aside from her own personal transgressions, Nancy Pelosi has ignored serious incidents of corruption within her own party, including many of the individuals on this list. (See Rangel, Murtha, Jesse Jackson, Jr., etc.)

9.Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the rest of the PMA Seven: Rep. John Murtha made headlines in 2009 for all the wrong reasons. The Pennsylvania congressman is under federal investigation for his corrupt relationship with the now-defunct defense lobbyist PMA Group. PMA, founded by a former Murtha associate, has been the congressman's largest campaign contributor. Since 2002, Murtha has raised $1.7 million from PMA and its clients. And what did PMA and its clients receive from Murtha in return for their generosity? Earmarks -- tens of millions of dollars in earmarks. In fact, even with all of the attention surrounding his alleged influence peddling, Murtha kept at it. Following an FBI raid of PMA's offices earlier in 2009, Murtha continued to seek congressional earmarks for PMA clients, while also hitting them up for campaign contributions. According to The Hill, in April, "Murtha reported receiving contributions from three former PMA clients for whom he requested earmarks in the pending appropriations bills." When it comes to the PMA scandal, Murtha is not alone. As many as six other Members of Congress are currently under scrutiny according to The Washington Post. They include: Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN.), James P. Moran Jr. (D-VA), Norm Dicks (D-WA.), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL.) and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS.). Of course rather than investigate this serious scandal, according to Roll Call House Democrats circled the wagons, "cobbling together a defense to offer political cover to their rank and file." The Washington Post also reported in 2009 that Murtha's nephew received $4 million in Defense Department no-bid contracts: "Newly obtained documents…show Robert Murtha mentioning his influential family connection as leverage in his business dealings and holding unusual power with the military."

10.Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): Rangel, the man in charge of writing tax policy for the entire country, has yet to adequately explain how he could possibly "forget" to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property. He also faces allegations that he improperly used his influence to maintain ownership of highly coveted rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, and misused his congressional office to fundraise for his private Rangel Center by preserving a tax loophole for an oil drilling company in exchange for funding. On top of all that, Rangel recently amended his financial disclosure reports, which doubled his reported wealth. (He somehow "forgot" about $1 million in assets.) And what did he do when the House Ethics Committee started looking into all of this? He apparently resorted to making "campaign contributions" to dig his way out of trouble. According to WCBS TV, a New York CBS affiliate: "The reigning member of Congress' top tax committee is apparently 'wrangling' other politicos to get him out of his own financial and tax troubles...Since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him." Charlie Rangel should not be allowed to remain in Congress, let alone serve as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and he knows it. That's why he felt the need to disburse campaign contributions to Ethics Committee members and other congressional colleagues.
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The anthropogenic CO2 lie

The anthropogenic CO2 lie
December 31, 4:24 PMLong Island Libertarian ExaminerMichael SchmittPrevious Comment
» Another domino in the global warming hoax has fallen. "It is shown that with those uncertainties, the trend in the airborne fraction since 1850 has been 0.7 ± 1.4% per decade, i.e. close to and not significantly different from zero." Knorr, W. Is the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions increasing? Geophysical Research Letters, 2009; 36 (21): L21710 DOI: 10.1029/2009GL040613.

This study, the climategate scandal, the contradictions of global cooling claims in the 1980's and the obvious political motivations of global warmers show any reasonable person that there is no global warming or that there are serious doubts about it. And if there is global warming, there should be questions if it is anthropogenic (manmade) and if it is something that is bad for us. This new study shows that it is not caused by anthropogenic CO2 as the global warmers claimed. This manmade CO2 theory was the basis of the entire hoax of manmade global warming.

This will not stop the global warming hoax. There are too many politicians and "climatologists" making billions of dollars off this scam. They belong in jail. They will ignore this study, explain it away, or twist it around. It is irrelevant how much proof you can show, they will insist that their way is right. And they will continue to lie.

The mountain of evidence will continue to grow. Just as "global cooling" was disproved 20 years ago, so shall this be disproving. It is just a question of how much money will be lost in the process. The hundreds of billions of dollars spent will be gone and it could have gone to help feed starving people instead of lining the pockets of greedy and dishonest politicians and climatologists. But then they will find some new scare tactic. They will even try to take credit for preventing global cooling despite the fact they have done nothing in reality. They have already taken credit for stopping global cooling in some articles I read. The contradiction does not even appear to faze them.

Despite their arrogance and audacity, we must fight back with the truth and reveal their true motivations and goals. By exposing their lies, we expose their agenda.

More About: Climategate · Global Warming · Science ShareThis

Neurodevelopmental risk from vaccination during pregnancy: autism and schizophrenia

Neurodevelopmental risk from vaccination during pregnancy: autism & schizophrenia
Teresa Binstock
Researcher in Developmental & Behavioral Neuroanatomy
December 31, 2009

An increasing amount of data indicates that when a pregnant woman is vaccinated, cytokines induced by the vaccination increase the likelihood that her embryo or fetus will experience atypical brain development.

For instance, " Maternal immune activation (MIA) can affect fetal brain development and thus behavior of young and adult offspring. Reports have shown that increased Interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the maternal serum plays a key role in altering fetal brain development, and may impair social behaviors in the offspring." (1)

Relevant is the fact that influenza vaccination increases IL-6 (2). Indeed, commenting on the IL-6 finding (1), University of Minnesota neuroscientist S. Hossein Fatemi, M.D., Ph.D., described the autism significance of dysregulation of maternal immunity (3).

Importantly and free online, a detailed but readable elaboration of maternal inflammation and adverse sequelae is presented by M.I.N.D. Institute's Isaac N. Pessah, Ph.D., and colleagues (section V in cite 4). Given findings summarized in that part of the Pessah et al review (4), oft-repeated admonitions to vaccinate pregnant women - and thus recommendations and policies to induce transient elevations of interleukin-6 and other cytokines - may be properly categorized as an insanity of modernity.

When reading section V of Pessah et al (4), a further parallel to vaccinations merits attention. In many experiments maternal inflammation was induced by a non-pathogenic agent that stimulated maternal cytokines in ways akin to pathogen-induced cytokines (4) and vaccination-induced cytokines (2). In other words, effects the cytokines induced in the pregant female may be as important or even more important than the pathogen itself.

A (free online) study published in 2007 states, "The identification of IL-6 as a key intermediary should aid in the molecular dissection of the pathways whereby [maternal immune activation] MIA alters fetal brain development, which can shed new light on the pathophysiological mechanisms that predispose to schizophrenia and autism." (5; see also 6-7)

Needless to say, Hell will have thoroughly frozen over long before high-ranking personnel of the Institute of Medicine, Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices, the FDA, American Academy of Pediatrics, or the American Medical Association move toward vaccine safety by revising vaccination policies in ways consistent with the findings summarized herein (1-7; see also 8).


1. Flavonoids, a prenatal prophylaxis via targeting JAK2/STAT3 signaling to oppose IL-6/MIA associated autism
Parker-Athill E et al.
University of South Florida
J Neuroimmunol. 2009 Dec 10;217(1-2):20-7. Epub 2009 Sep 18.

Maternal immune activation (MIA) can affect fetal brain development and thus behavior of young and adult offspring. Reports have shown that increased Interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the maternal serum plays a key role in altering fetal brain development, and may impair social behaviors in the offspring. Interestingly, these effects could be attenuated by blocking IL-6. The current study investigated the effects of luteolin, a citrus bioflavonoid, and its structural analog, diosmin, on IL-6 induced JAK2/STAT3 (Janus tyrosine kinase-2/signal transducer and activator of transcription-3) phosphorylation and signaling as well as behavioral phenotypes of MIA offspring. Luteolin and diosmin inhibited neuronal JAK2/STAT3 phosphorylation both in vitro and in vivo following IL-6 challenge as well as significantly diminishing behavioral deficits in social interaction. Importantly, our results showed that diosmin (10mg/kgday) was able to block the STAT3 signal pathway; significantly opposing MIA-induced abnormal behavior and neuropathological abnormalities in MIA/adult offspring. Diosmin's molecular inhibition of JAK2/STAT3 pathway may underlie the attenuation of abnormal social interaction in IL-6/MIA adult offspring.

2. Effect of influenza vaccine on markers of inflammation and lipid profile
Tsai MY et al.
University of Minnesota
J Lab Clin Med. 2005 Jun;145(6):323-7.

Despite wide use of the influenza vaccine, relatively little is known about its effect on the measurement of inflammatory markers. Because inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) are increasingly being used in conjunction with lipids for the clinical assessment of cardiovascular disease and in epidemiologic studies, we evaluated the effect of influenza vaccination on markers of inflammation and plasma lipid concentrations. We drew blood from 22 healthy individuals 1 to 6 hours before they were given an influenza vaccination and 1, 3, and 7 days after the vaccination. Plasma CRP, interleukin (IL)-6, monocyte chemotactic protein 1, tumor necrosis factor alpha, IL-2 soluble receptor alpha, and serum amyloid A were measured, and differences in mean concentrations of absolute and normalized values on days 1, 3, and 7 were compared with mean baseline values. There was a significant increase in mean IL-6 (P < .01 absolute values, P < .001 normalized values) on day 1 after receiving the influenza vaccine. The mean increases in normalized high sensitivity CRP values were significant on day 1 (P < .01) and day 3 (P = .05), whereas the mean increase in normalized serum amyloid A was significant only on day 1 (P < .05). No significant changes were seen in mean concentrations of IL-2 soluble receptor alpha, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, or tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Of the lipids, significant decreases in mean concentrations of normalized triglyceride values were seen on days 1 (P < .05), 3 (P < .001), and 7 (P < .05) after vaccination. Our findings show that the influenza vaccination causes transient changes in select markers of inflammation and lipids. Consequently, clinical and epidemiologic interpretation of the biomarkers affected should take into account the possible effects of influenza vaccination.

3. Multiple pathways in prevention of immune-mediated brain disorders: Implications for the prevention of autism
Fatemi SH.
J Neuroimmunol. 2009 Dec 10;217(1-2):8-9. Epub 2009 Oct 14.

4. V. The Impacts of Maternal Immune Challenge on the Fetal Brain and the Pathological Consequences on Behavior
[a summary of findings by] Benjamin K. Yee, Urs Meyer, and Joram Feldon, Laboratory of Behavioural Neurobiology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

in: Immunologic and neurodevelopmental susceptibilities of autism
Pessah IN, Seegal RF, Lein PJ, LaSalle J, Yee BK, Van De Water J, Berman RF.
Neurotoxicology. 2008 May;29(3):532-45.

Symposium 5 focused on research approaches that are aimed at understanding common patterns of immunological and neurological dysfunction contributing to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and ADHD. The session focused on genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors that might act in concert to influence autism risk, severity and co-morbidities, and immunological and neurobiological targets as etiologic contributors. The immune system of children at risk of autism may be therefore especially susceptible to psychological stressors, exposure to chemical triggers, and infectious agents. Identifying early biomarkers of risk provides tangible approaches toward designing studies in animals and humans that yield a better understanding of environmental risk factors, and can help identify rational intervention strategies to mitigate these risks.

5. Maternal immune activation alters fetal brain development through interleukin-6
Smith SE, Li J, Garbett K, Mirnics K, Patterson PH.
California Institute of Technology
J Neurosci. 2007 Oct 3;27(40):10695-702.

Schizophrenia and autism are thought to result from the interaction between a susceptibility genotype and environmental risk factors. The offspring of women who experience infection while pregnant have an increased risk for these disorders. Maternal immune activation (MIA) in pregnant rodents produces offspring with abnormalities in behavior, histology, and gene expression that are reminiscent of schizophrenia and autism, making MIA a useful model of the disorders. However, the mechanism by which MIA causes long-term behavioral deficits in the offspring is unknown. Here we show that the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) is critical for mediating the behavioral and transcriptional changes in the offspring. A single maternal injection of IL-6 on day 12.5 of mouse pregnancy causes prepulse inhibition (PPI) and latent inhibition (LI) deficits in the adult offspring. Moreover, coadministration of an anti-IL-6 antibody in the poly(I:C) model of MIA prevents the PPI, LI, and exploratory and social deficits caused by poly(I:C) and normalizes the associated changes in gene expression in the brains of adult offspring. Finally, MIA in IL-6 knock-out mice does not result in several of the behavioral changes seen in the offspring of wild-type mice after MIA. The identification of IL-6 as a key intermediary should aid in the molecular dissection of the pathways whereby MIA alters fetal brain development, which can shed new light on the pathophysiological mechanisms that predispose to schizophrenia and autism.

6. The effects of maternal inflammation on neuronal development: possible mechanisms
Jonakait GM.
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Int J Dev Neurosci. 2007 Nov;25(7):415-25. Epub 2007 Sep 14.

That maternal inflammation adversely affects fetal brain development is well established. Less well understood are the mechanisms that account for neurodevelopmental disorders arising from maternal inflammation. This review seeks to begin an examination of possible sites and mechanisms of action whereby inflammatory cytokines - produced by the mother or by the fetal brain - could impact the developing fetus. We focus first on the placenta where cytokines maintain the immunological environment that prevents maternal rejection of the fetus. Following a brief examination of placental transfer of maternal cytokines, the focus turns on embryonic microglia, early and ubiquitous residents of the developing brain. Finally, a more intense examination of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) provides examples of glial- or maternal-derived cytokines that are known to have profound effects on developing systems and that could, if dysregulated, have undesirable consequences for brain development.

7. The role of pro-inflammatory factors in mediating the effects on the fetus of prenatal undernutrition: implications for schizophrenia.
Shen Q et al.
Schizophr Res. 2008 Feb;99(1-3):48-55. Epub 2007 Dec 11.

Exposure to prenatal undernutrition or malnutrition increases the risk of schizophrenia, although little is known about the mechanism. Pro-inflammatory factors are critical in brain development, and are believed to play an important role in neurodevelopmental disorders associated with prenatal exposure to infection, including schizophrenia. However it is not known whether pro-inflammatory factors also mediate the effects on the fetus of prenatal malnutrition or undernutrition. In this study, we established a new prenatal undernourished rat model induced by maternal exposure to a diet restricted to 50% of the low (6%) protein diet (RLP50). We observed the disappearance of maternal nest-building behavior in the RLP50 dams, increased levels of TNFA and IL6 in the placentas (P<0.001; P=0.879, respectively) and fetal livers (P<0.001; P<0.05, respectively), and a decrease in the fetal brains (P<0.05; P<0.01, respectively). Our results are similar to previous studies of maternal infection, which implies that a common pathway mediated by pro-inflammatory factors may contribute to the brain development, consequently increasing the risk of schizophrenia and other psychiatric diseases programmed by varied maternal adversities. We also provide a new prenatal undernourished model for researching prenatal problems, which differs from previous malnourished model in terms of the maternal behavior of dams and of observed pro-inflammatory factor levels in fetal tissues.

8. Vaccination-induced cytokines: schizophrenia & developmental disabilities
Teresa Binstock, Sep 07, 2009

Contact Teresa Binstock by email

Six Georgia Congressmen Challenge Greenhouse Regulations

Six Georgia Congressmen Challenge Greenhouse Regulations

Atlanta The Atlanta Business Chronicle


Six Republican congressmen from Georgia have signed onto an Atlanta-based organization's legal challenge of a federal announcement that could lead to government regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Southeastern Legal Foundation filed a petition last week calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its Dec. 7 "endangerment finding" declaring carbon dioxide and other gases linked to global warming a threat to public health and the environment.

The petition argues that news of a conspiracy within the scientific community to hide evidence that calls into question manmade impacts on global warming has emerged since the closing of public comment on the EPA filing.

According to widespread media reports, e-mails stolen from the climate unit at the University of East Anglia in Great Britain appeared to show some of the world's leading scientists discussing how to shield data from the public.

"The scientific basis for the EPA endangerment finding is flawed, based on questionable and potentially fraudulent data, and certainly does not rise to the level of certainty necessary to upend the American economy, toss millions out of work, and which promises little or no climate change benefit over the next half-century," said Shannon Goessling, the group's executive director and chief legal counsel. "Using the Clean Air Act as a weapon and a shield does not justify the bigger agenda of command-and-control."

The foundation also criticized the EPA finding as an attempt to bypass Congress by imposing costly regulation of greenhouse gases administratively.

The fate of pending legislation to regulate carbon dioxide emissions through a cap-and-trade system is far from certain.

"The goal is to compel the federal government to follow the laws as enacted by Congress and to pursue legitimate public policy based on legitimate scientific data," Goessling said. "The American people deserve no less, and the U.S. Constitution mandates it."

Joining the foundation as plaintiffs are Republican U.S. Reps. Paul Broun of Athens, Nathan Deal of Gainesville, Phil Gingrey of Marietta, John Linder of Duluth, Tom Price of Roswell and Lynn Westmoreland of Grantville.
The 2010 New Year's Health Product Discounts Guide

Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products Found in New York City Water Supply

Pharmaceuticals, Personal Care Products Found in New York City Water Supply

Thursday, December 31, 2009 by: E. Huff, staff writer

Top Empowered Patient tips for 2010By Sabriya Rice, CNN Medical ProducerDecember 31, 2009 3:00 a.m. EST

Top Empowered Patient tips for 2010By Sabriya Rice, CNN Medical ProducerDecember 31, 2009 3:00 a.m. EST

Hidden Secrets of the Alpha Course

Hidden Secrets of the Alpha Course

Smoking ‘worsens age-related macular degeneration’

Washington, Dec 31 (ANI): Even after 80, smoking continues to increase one’s risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new study.

AMD causes progressive damage to the macula, the center of the retina that allows us to see fine details. When the macula degenerates, people experience darkness or blurring in their central vision, preventing them from being able to read, drive and recognize faces.

After age, smoking is the second most common risk factor for AMD.

“The take-home message is that it’s never too late to quit smoking. We found that even older people’s eyes will benefit from kicking the habit,” said lead author Dr. Anne Coleman, professor of ophthalmology at the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA.

The new study sought to determine whether age influences the effects of smoking on AMD risk.

Coleman and her colleagues followed a group of 1,958 women who underwent retinal photographs at five-year intervals, starting with a baseline exam at age 78. Four percent, or 75 of the women, smoked.

The researchers compared the retinal images at ages 78 and 83 to check for the appearance of AMD, and evaluate whether smoking affected the women’s likelihood of developing the disease.

“Age is the strongest predictor for AMD, yet most of the research in this field has been conducted in people younger than 75,” Coleman said.

“Our population was considerably older than those previously studied. This research provides the first accurate snapshot of how smoking affects AMD risk later in life,” Coleman added.

Overall, women who smoked had 11 percent higher rates of AMD than other women their same age. In women over 80, however, those who smoked were 5.5 times more likely to develop AMD than women their age who did not smoke.

“We saw a slightly higher rate of AMD in women after age 80, but the rate was dramatically higher in older women who smoked. The bottom line is that AMD risk increases with age. And if you smoke, your risk of developing the disease rises even more,” Coleman said.

The American Journal of Ophthalmology publishes the findings in its January edition. (ANI)

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Does carbon dioxide cause global warming?

Examiner Bio Climate Change 101: Does carbon dioxide cause global warming?
December 30, 11:24 AMLA Public Policy ExaminerWilliam WestmillerPrevious 6 comments S. Fred Singer is an American atmospheric physicist, Professor Emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, specializing in planetary science, global warming, ozone depletion, and other global environmental issues. He was a Special Advisor on space developments to President Eisenhower and the first Director of the National Weather Satellite Service Center. He is President of the non-profit Science & Environmental Policy Project, author of Hot Talk Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate, Unstoppable Global Warming (NY Times Bestseller), and editor of Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate.

Examiner: Does carbon dioxide cause global warming?

Singer: Carbon dioxide is a trace gas that doesn't produce any heat of its own, but it does act like a blanket. Most solar rays pass through it, warming the earth. Most heat radiated from earth is absorbed and then re-emitted by the CO2 or, more importantly, by water vapor. That's why CO2 is called a "greenhouse gas", even though it doesn't actually retain heat in exactly that same way that a sealed greenhouse does. Nevertheless, it is certainly one factor that affects the amount of retained heat on earth and therefore the dominant temperature.

In theory, any warming caused by CO2 will be most evident in the upper troposphere, where most commercial airliners fly, particularly over the tropics. If atmospheric CO2 were the primary cause of increased global temperatures, the increase would be even more pronounced at those altitudes. The most accurate measurements indicated that, over the last three decades, there has only been slight warming. So, it's very hard to make the case that CO2 is a primary factor. [Reference] [Reference]

More important, the Vostok ice core studies demonstrate that increased CO2 concentrations follow the millennial temperature increases by about a thousand years. That's been true for hundreds of thousands of years. The common sense view is that warming causes more CO2, not that higher CO2 causes warming. Of course, there are fudge factors. We don't know exactly how fast CO2 is absorbed - we call it 'sequestered' - in the oceans during temperature declines, nor do we know how fast it is released when atmospheric temperatures rise. What we don't know far exceeds what we do know.

What people should know is that CO2 is only one of a half-dozen greenhouse gases [GHG] in the atmosphere. Most of them have a stronger effect on warming than CO2 and the overwhelming GHG is simple water vapor. Almost all of the alarming computer models have to assume some positive feedback effect, so that CO2 increases cause more water vapor, multiplying the greenhouse effect, in order to portray CO2 as a causative effect of warming. Those computer models have thousands of related assumptions that haven't been scientifically demonstrated by actual, confirmed testing.

So, to answer your question, yes: CO2 concentrations certainly have some effect on global temperatures. It's just that the predicted effects aren't evident and CO2 alone may be a relatively insignificant factor in warming.

Examiner: Isn't CO2 a pollutant, as designated by the Environmental Protection Agency?

Singer: The EPA was given a very broad mandate by Congress, granting them control over any substance that they believed might cause harm. They simply accepted the U.N. conclusions that anthropogenic CO2 causes warming and all warming causes harm. Neither conclusion is defensible, but the agency has accepted them as the scientific consensus, so they want to impose restrictions on CO2 emissions. Consensus is totally irrelevant to science, but it's very important to politics. Ask Galileo.

We learned in grade school that CO2 is absolutely essential to all life on earth. If it didn't exist, all plants would die and every animal would eventually starve to death, including every human. Calling CO2 a pollutant is silly, or at least a very bad euphemism. If the EPA were to strictly follow its mandate, it would punish every human being that exhaled.

It is absolutely true that CO2 can be dangerous to your health, but only if concentrations are extremely high, more than 20 times the present level. We have to get a significant amount of plain old oxygen in every breath we take. But, you don't have to worry about too much CO2 fizz in your soda, seltzer, or champagne.

Examiner: Hasn't the burning of fossil fuels by humans produced a lot of CO2 over the past century?

Singer: Yes, but you have to put that in context. While natural sources of CO2 are twenty times greater than human sources, the observed rise in the past 150 years is almost all anthropogenic, mostly from burning of fossil fuels, from cement manufacture, and from land clearing. The influence of all CO2 is guesstimated at less than 10 percent of the total greenhouse effect, with water vapor the main GHG.

Now, put those greenhouse effects into the context of all the other temperature factors, like changes in solar activity, cloud cover, and ocean circulation. The human impact on warming becomes inconsequential.

Given that the "fingerprint" of CO2 warming has not been detected, we should discount the influence of human fossil fuel combustion to practically zero.

Beyond that cursory evaluation, there are many confounding factors in the analysis of CO2 influence on warming. As global temperatures increase, some CO2 dissolved in the oceans is released into the atmosphere. At the same time, increased temperatures and CO2 encourage plant growth, which increases the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere. Earth's climate is a complex and chaotic system. We only understand a few of the interactive components that influence temperature. There is no scientific certainty about all the causative factors, much less a consensus that humans have caused recent warming.

[Click on ‘Subscribe' at the Headline to get Pending Installments.]
Part 1: Is the globe warming?
Pending: Part 3: Does the IPCC have it all wrong?

Copenhagen warming conference enters Ice Age

Sarkozy fights to save flagship carbon tax

Sarkozy fights to save flagship carbon tax
By Scheherazade Daneshkhu in Paris

Published: December 30 2009 12:42 | Last updated: December 30 2009 17:47

Her daughter said that ahead of them was a man who videotaped the entire flight, including the attempted detonation.

Oconomowoc Family Survives Terrorist Attempt
By Jay Sorgi
Story Created: Dec 28, 2009

(Story Updated: Dec 28, 2009 )

MILWAUKEE - "I would just like to know how to get to Ethiopia by boat."

Patricia "Scotty" Keepman still has a sense of humor after the harrowing experience she, her husband, daughter and two new adopted children from Ethiopia had as a man tried to detonate an explosive device while their plane was getting ready to land in Detroit on Christmas Day.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab of Nigeria was charged Saturday in the Christmas Day attempt that only sparked a fire on the flight from Amsterdam.

"I honestly don't think I've had a chance to let it sink in, because having these children with us, we've just got to keep them grounded, and I'm just really focusing on the kids," said Patricia, who lives in Oconomowoc, on 620WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

• Patricia "Scotty" Keepman on 620WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News"

They were sitting about 20 rows behind Abdulmutallab, in a center aisle with her husband and daughter a row ahead of her and their two new adopted children, a six-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy.

Her daughter said that ahead of them was a man who videotaped the entire flight, including the attempted detonation.

"He sat up and videotaped the entire thing, very calmly," said Patricia. "We do know that the FBI is looking for him intensely. Since then, we've heard nothing about it."

"We heard what sounded like an electrical pop to me. Everybody looked above their seats, kind of like startled, panicked. Shortly thereafter, we heard the screams. We could not see what was going on. We were too far back. We heard shouting, and you could hear the mayhem happening.

At that point, two flight attendants ran at full speed to get fire extinguishers.

"Whatever they did, it all went on for what seemed like a long to me, but what was probably a very short time."

What Was Going On In Her Mind At That Time?

First: to convince her new children that everything was OK.

"No matter what happened, these kids would never know if we didn't make it. We wanted them to think this was a game," explained Patricia.

"They were very concerned when they saw the flight attendant. They were very withdrawn. So I told them that they were just being very funny and silly, and this is what they do on airplanes, since they'd never been on one, and we got them to giggle about it.

But then, the gravity of the situation came over the whole family.

"As the seriousness progressed, and we knew that this could possibly be it, my husband and daughter put their hand through their seats and we all held hands in a circle and sang 'Jesus Loves Me' and we prayed, and we just made it as much of a game as we could and make them completely innocent as to what was happening."

"The holding hands gave us a real sense of peace. If it happened that point, it would happen. We were ready. We just weren't ready for it to happen for the kids. We just kept thinking, 'God didn't bring us this far, to go through all of this, to shorten these kids' lives,' and sure enough, He didn't."

Once the flight attendants told everyone that the suspect was under control, and the fire was contained, Patricia said that most of the people handled the rest of the flight "fabulous."

"We all sat in our seats. We stayed calm, other than (hearing) crying. Shortly thereafter, the captain said they were making an emergency landing.

"They got us off faster than anything you've ever seen, and then they shuffled us off to a room where we spent quite a few hours. They were doing their very best. We were frustrated, because there was never water distributed. There was one bathroom for 300 people, and it was very hard because there were kids crying. Nobody knew what was going on. We were not allowed to call anybody."

Patricia also expressed anger toward the airline for how she feels they were treated after the flight.

"We're very frustrated with Delta because, once we finally got released and we were able to go, of course, everybody missed their flights, but they did not help us in one way. We were just thrown out there. We had to scramble and look for flights, try to rent cars, whatever we could do. That was very disappointing to us."

The adopted children came from an orphanage in Ethiopia who had never seen snow.

"First day, we got home very late that evening, but when we got home, it was like God's gift again, because it was snowing and beautiful. We put on all this snow gear, and we went out and made snow angels and went sledding. They were out of their minds with excitement. They thought this was the greatest thing that ever happened."

They are going back to Ethiopia in a few months to adopt their other brother, who is 10 months old.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Ten New Reasons Why Obamacare Can Still Be Killed

Ten New Reasons Why Obamacare Can Still Be Killed
by Phyllis Schlafly


New reasons emerge almost daily as to why Obamacare can and must be defeated.

1. The American people oppose Obamacare by almost 2 to 1 in the latest CNN poll. Other polls show lopsided opposition to passing either the Senate or House health-care bill.

Public opinion is against the bill because of its obscene costs in higher taxes, burdensome debt, anti-freedom mandates, rationing, and reduced care for seniors. The American people have awakened to the fact that Obamacare is transformational legislation that will drag us against popular will into European-style Socialism.

2. The Democrats' double-counting of Obamacare's financial benefits has been exposed as a colossal lie. Harry Reid told the Senate that his bill strengthens our future by both "cutting our towering national deficit by as much as $1.3 trillion over the next 20 years" AND "strengthening Medicare and extending its life by nearly a decade."

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) refuted that assertion. CBO said the claim that Obamacare would provide these benefits simultaneously "would essentially double-count a large share of those savings and thus overstate the improvement in the government's fiscal position."

3. Obamacare is unconstitutional because of its mandate that all individuals must carry "approved" health insurance, and all businesses must give health insurance to their employees whether or not the company can afford it. "Universal" coverage will be enforced by the Internal Revenue Service with power to punish those who don't have such a plan.

Constitutional lawyers point out that the Commerce Clause does not give Congress the authority to force Americans to buy health insurance as a condition of living in our country because personal health insurance is not "commerce." The CBO wrote that "a mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action"; the Supreme Court has never upheld any requirement that an individual must participate in economic activity.

4. Since the Senate bill imposes sharp limits on health-insurance companies' ability to raise fees or exclude coverage, it likely will force many of them out of business. Obamacare is unconstitutional because it violates the Bill of Rights protections against takings without just compensation and deprivation of property without due process of law.

5. Other Obamacare provisions blatantly legislate racial and other forms of discrimination. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights sent two letters to the President and congressional leaders warning about the obnoxious requirements for racist and sexist quotas.

The Senate bill requires that "priority" for federal grants be given to institutions offering "preferential" admissions to minorities (race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, and religion). Institutions training social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, behavioral pediatricians, psychiatric nurses, and counselors will be ineligible for federal grants unless they enroll "individuals and groups from different racial, ethnic, cultural, geographic, religious, linguistic, and class backgrounds, and different genders and sexual orientations."

6. Obama's claim that "everybody" will now be covered creates few winners but lots of losers. Universal health insurance will be achieved by forcing young people to pay the additional costs (insurance for the youngest third of the population would rise by 35 percent), and by restricting and rationing care for the elderly.

7. According to Robert Samuelson in the Washington Post, the "wild card is immigration." From 1999 to 2008, 60 percent of the increase in the uninsured occurred among Hispanics, and Obama's refusal to close our borders will make this problem more costly every year.

8. Obamacare gives Medicare bureaucrats the power to ration health care by forcing doctors to prescribe cheaper medical devices and drugs. In the recent case of Hays v. Sebelius, the court ruled that Medicare doesn't have the right to make this rule, but Obamacare takes jurisdiction away from the courts to hear any appeal from decisions of the new Medicare Commission.

The "stick" applied to primary-care doctors is imposing financial penalties if they refer too many patients to specialists. The "carrot" is financial rewards to doctors who give up small practices and consolidate into larger medical groups or become salaried employees of hospitals or other large institutions.

9. The Senate bill contains at least a dozen of what can be described as bribes. Senator Mary Landrieu received a $300 million increase in Medicaid funding for her state (known as the Second Louisiana Purchase), and a $100 million bribe to Senator Ben Nelson gives Nebraska a permanent exemption from the costs of Medicaid expansion.

10. The Senate bill even has a four-page section artfully written to enable ACORN to get federal health-care grants. This section describes grant recipients as "community and consumer-focused nonprofit groups" having "existing relationships ... with uninsured and underinsured consumers."

Mrs. Schlafly is the author of the new book The

Florida Attorney General McCollum wants states to resist health care bill

Florida Attorney General McCollum wants states to resist health care bill
By BILL COTTERELL • Capital Bureau • December 30, 2009

— TALLAHASSEE — Attorney General Bill McCollum called on other states’ legal officers Tuesday to review a “tax on living” in the pending federal health-care proposals.

In a conference call with reporters, McCollum also said he might mount a court challenge if the final health package includes a Senate provision requiring the federal government to cover future Medicaid costs in Nebraska. That was added last week for Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who provided the 60th vote needed by President Obama and Senate Democrats to get the plan to a vote.

State Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, a Democratic candidate for attorney general, accused McCollum, a Republican, of pouncing on the controversy to advance his own campaign for governor. Gelber said McCollum didn’t use his discretion as the state’s chief legal officer to enforce a state constitutional requirement for adequate funding of education, but chose to make a “legal review” of health care because that issue stirs the conservative base among Republicans and independent voters.

McCollum said “there are a lot of other problems” with the health package, but his main legal objection focused on a requirement all citizens get insurance or pay into a fund that would help cover their medical costs if they get sick or injured. Proponents of the plan have said the mandate is no different than requiring drivers to have auto insurance, but McCollum said people are not required to have a car or to drive.

“I call this a living tax. It’s a tax on living,” McCollum said. “There are serious questions whether a tax of this nature is constitutional.”

Similarly, he said Social Security and Medicaid taxes are “an excise or income tax” related to employment and people who don’t have jobs are not forced to pay them. A mandate to have insurance or pay a fee has no such link to an activity like driving or holding a job, McCollum said.

Several Republican state legislators have proposed the state invoke the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which says all powers not reserved to Washington are vested in the states and the people. McCollum, who served 20 years in Congress, said a 10th Amendment challenge might be one avenue for a legal challenge.

French Revolution. Carbon tax ruled unconstitutional just two days before taking effect

French Revolution! Carbon tax ruled unconstitutional just two days before taking effect


This new French carbon tax was scheduled to go into law on Jan1, 2010. The tax was steep: 17 euros per ton of carbon dioxide (USD $24.40). In a stunning move, and surely a blow to warmists everywhere, the tax has been found unconstitutional and thrown out. Originally found here (Google Translation).

Lord Monckton was kind enough to assist me in deciphering the meaning of the ruling and writes:

In France, if at least 60 Deputies of the House and 60 Senators appeal to the Constitutional Council, it has the power to pronounce on the constitutionality of a proposed law – in the present case, the 2010 national budget of France, which contained enabling provisions (loi deferee) for a carbon levy. The Council found that these enabling provisions were unconstitutional on two grounds: that the exemptions contained within the provisions for a carbon levy vitiated the primary declared purpose of the levy, to combat carbon emissions and hence “global warming”; and that the exemptions would cause the levy to fall disproportionately on gasoline and heating oils and not on other carbon emissions, thereby breaching the principle that taxation should be evenly and fairly borne.

The Press release from the French Constitutional Council is here in English (Google Translated) and in original French

Here’s a Deustch-Welle news article on the reversal.

Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: The council said the tax had too many exemptions
France’s Constitutional Council says the country’s proposed carbon tax is illegal. This is a severe blow to French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plans to fight climate change.
France’s Constitutional Council has struck down a carbon tax that was planned to take effect on January 1st. The council, which ensures the constitutionality of French legislation, said too many polluters were exempted in the measure and the tax burden was not fairly distributed.

It was estimated that 93 percent of industrial emissions outside of fuel use, including the emissions of more than 1,000 of France’s top polluting industrial sites, would be exempt from the tax, which would have charged 17 euros per ton of emitted carbon dioxide.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has argued the tax is necessary to combat climate change and reduce the country’s dependence on oil.

However, the council’s ruling is a severe blow to both Sarkozy’s environmental plan as well as France’s budget for 2010. The government now has to find a way to come up with about 4.1 billion euros in revenue that was expected from the tax.

h/t to WUWT reader Dirk H

Advancing Paternal Age Is Associated with Deficits in Social and Exploratory Behaviors in the Offspring: A Mouse Model

Open Access

Research Article

Advancing Paternal Age Is Associated with Deficits in Social and Exploratory Behaviors in the Offspring: A Mouse Model
Accumulating evidence from epidemiological research has demonstrated an association between advanced paternal age and risk for several psychiatric disorders including autism, schizophrenia and early-onset bipolar disorder. In order to establish causality, this study used an animal model to investigate the effects of advanced paternal age on behavioural deficits in the offspring.

C57BL/6J offspring (n = 12 per group) were bred from fathers of two different ages, 2 months (young) and 10 months (old), and mothers aged 2 months (n = 6 breeding pairs per group). Social and exploratory behaviors were examined in the offspring.

The offspring of older fathers were found to engage in significantly less social (p = 0.02) and exploratory (p = 0.02) behaviors than the offspring of younger fathers. There were no significant differences in measures of motor activity.

Given the well-controlled nature of this study, this provides the strongest evidence for deleterious effects of advancing paternal age on social and exploratory behavior. De-novo chromosomal changes and/or inherited epigenetic changes are the most plausible explanatory factors.

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Author Contributions
Rebecca G. Smith1#, Rachel L. Kember1#, Jonathan Mill1, Cathy Fernandes2*, Leonard C. Schalkwyk1, Joseph D. Buxbaum3,4, Abraham Reichenberg1,3

1 Medical Research Council Social Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, King's College London, London, United Kingdom, 2 Department of Psychological Medicine and Psychiatry, King's College London, London, United Kingdom, 3 Department of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, United States of America, 4 Laboratory of Molecular Neuropsychiatry, and the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, United States of America

Abstract Top
Accumulating evidence from epidemiological research has demonstrated an association between advanced paternal age and risk for several psychiatric disorders including autism, schizophrenia and early-onset bipolar disorder. In order to establish causality, this study used an animal model to investigate the effects of advanced paternal age on behavioural deficits in the offspring.

C57BL/6J offspring (n = 12 per group) were bred from fathers of two different ages, 2 months (young) and 10 months (old), and mothers aged 2 months (n = 6 breeding pairs per group). Social and exploratory behaviors were examined in the offspring.

Principal Findings
The offspring of older fathers were found to engage in significantly less social (p = 0.02) and exploratory (p = 0.02) behaviors than the offspring of younger fathers. There were no significant differences in measures of motor activity.

Given the well-controlled nature of this study, this provides the strongest evidence for deleterious effects of advancing paternal age on social and exploratory behavior. De-novo chromosomal changes and/or inherited epigenetic changes are the most plausible explanatory factors.

Citation: Smith RG, Kember RL, Mill J, Fernandes C, Schalkwyk LC, et al. (2009) Advancing Paternal Age Is Associated with Deficits in Social and Exploratory Behaviors in the Offspring: A Mouse Model. PLoS ONE 4(12): e8456. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008456

Editor: Kenji Hashimoto, Chiba University Center for Forensic Mental Health, Japan

Received: October 28, 2009; Accepted: December 2, 2009; Published: December 30, 2009

Copyright: © 2009 Smith et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: This study was supported by the Beatrice and Samuel A. Seaver Foundation, by a British Medical Association Margaret Temple Award, and National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) for Mental Health at the South London and Maudsley National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust and Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London (KCL) Pilot Award to Drs. Jonathan Mill and Abraham (Avi) Reichenberg. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

* E-mail:

# These authors contributed equally to this work.

Introduction Top
Accumulating evidence from epidemiological research has demonstrated an association between advanced paternal age and risk for several psychiatric disorders including autism [1], schizophrenia [2] and early-onset bipolar disorder [3]. Despite the methodological advantages of epidemiological research, a major limitation is that techniques are limited to observation. In order to establish causality, experimental evidence in the form of randomized-controlled trials or the development of animal models is required [4]. Animal models are particularly important as they allow environmental and genetic confounds to be controlled.

The lack of complete specificity in the association between advancing paternal age and psychiatric disorders may suggest that advancing paternal age is related to phenotypes shared across disorders. One phenotype in-common to schizophrenia, autism and bipolar disorder is abnormalities in social cognition broadly defined severe social deficit [5], [6], [7], [8]. A recent epidemiological study found an association between advancing paternal age and impaired social functioning in male offspring in the general population [9].

In this study we examined the effect of older paternal age on social and non-social behavior in mice. To the best of our knowledge this is the first fully-controlled animal study of the effects of paternal age on these behaviors.

Results Top
Social Behavior
Offspring of old fathers engaged in less social activity than the offspring of young fathers, spending less time socially-interacting with the conspecific mice (t = 2.23, d.f. = 22, p = 0.02, one-tailed test, Figure 1). This result was consistently observed across all measures of social behavior. There were no significant differences in overall locomotor activity.

Figure 1. Results of social behavioral data from male offspring of young fathers (n = 12) and old fathers (n = 12).

* shows a p-value of less than 0.05, † shows p-value of 0.06. A. Mean time (±SEM) displaying all social behaviors toward a conspecific mouse (broken down into components in B, C and D). B. Mean time (±SEM) displaying allogrooming behavior towards a conspecific mouse. C. Mean time (±SEM) displaying anogenital sniffing behavior towards a conspecific mouse. D. Mean time (±SEM) displaying sniffing behavior towards a conspecific mouse.

Exploration in the Holeboard
Offspring of old fathers demonstrated reduced exploration in the holeboard, making fewer nose pokes and spending less time nose poking than offspring of young fathers (t = −2.21, d.f. = 22, p = 0.02; Figure 2A). No significant differences were evident in distance moved or time spent in the centre of the Holeboard arena.

Figure 2. Results of holeboard and open field data from male offspring of young fathers (n = 12) and old fathers (n = 12).

* shows a p-value of less than 0.05. A. Mean number of nose pokes (±SEM) into holes in the holeboard trial. B. Mean time spent in each area of arena (±SEM) in the open field task.

Exploration in the Open Field
Offspring of old fathers were less exploratory in the Open Field, taking longer to enter the central zone of the arena (t = 1.7837, d.f. = 22, p = 0.04). However, there were no significant differences inthe time spent in the middle (t = −0.9548, d.f. = 22, p = 0.1785) or central zones (t = −1.3166, d.f. = 22, p = 0.1056) (Figure 2B) or in overall locomotor activity between offspring of old fathers and offspring of young fathers in the open field.

To further explore these findings we examined the same set of behaviors in a small group of mice that were the offspring of very old fathers (aged >12 months, n = 9 male offspring generated from 7 breeding pairs). The behavioral results of reduced social behavior and exploration were seen in the offspring of very old fathers, but the numbers are too small to allow for a reliable statistical test (data not shown).

Discussion Top
Using a mouse model we documented deleterious effects of advancing paternal age on offspring behavior. Male offspring of older fathers engaged in less social behavior and exhibited less exploration in a novel environment. These effects were not confounded by differences in overall locomotor activity. Abnormalities in social behavior characterize psychiatric disorders previously linked to advancing paternal age, suggesting a common phenotype affected by paternal age.

There are several advantages for the mouse model used in this study. First, given the tractable nature of animal work, the environment was tightly controlled, minimizing any environmental confounds. Second, the age of all the mothers of the offspring was standard such that differences observed in the offspring cannot be accounted for by maternal age.

Finally, the most common reference inbred strain of mouse was used (C57BL/6J), reducing genetic variation.

In men, it is thought that the spermatogonial stem cell divisions occurring over the life-course of males result in higher mutational rates and cytogenetic abnormalities in the sperm of older men [10], [11]. Numerous neurological and psychiatric disorders have been related to genomic alterations [12]. A number of studies have uncovered an increased prevalence of de-novo copy-number variants (CNVs), and other forms of genomic alterations in autistic and in schizophrenia cases [13], [14].

An alternative explanation is that epigenetic dysfunction underlies some paternal age effects. Epigenetic dysfunction has been associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder [15]. A study by Flanagan and colleagues [16] reported intra- and inter-individual epigenetic variability in the male germline, and found a number of genes that demonstrated age-related DNA-methylation changes. Epigenetic signals are generally reprogrammed in the germline, although it appears that such reprogramming may not be fully complete across all regions of the genome [17]. In particular, repetitive and transposable elements in the genome, which are generally hypermethylated, are often not efficiently reprogrammed [18]. It is thus plausible that de novo structural mutations, which are often associated with repetitive DNA sequence motifs, may also be subjected to differential epigenetic reprogramming implicating both mutagenic and epigenetic processes in the phenotypic manifestation of increased paternal age.

Despite the advantages of this model, the results of this study should be interpreted in light of some limitations. We only examined one strain of male mice. This was a-priori decided in order to follow common practice in animal research aimed at limiting variation caused by sex differences in behaviors. Hence, findings should not be generalized across sexes. In addition, behavior was assessed at one developmental stage (12 weeks, young adulthood). Thus, the developmental nature of these differences could not be determined.

In conclusion, this study provides the strongest evidence to date for the behavioral effects of advancing paternal age on the offspring. Studies are ongoing to investigate the role of molecular changes in mediating the effects of advancing paternal age on social and exploratory behaviors in offspring, by assessing de-novo CNV events and alterations in DNA methylation.

Methods Top
Breeding Strategy
C57BL/6J mice were bred and maintained in the Biological Services Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London using stocks purchased from Charles River Laboratories. All housing and experimental procedures were performed in accordance with the UK Home Office Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Typical breeding age for mice starts at 2 months. Male breeders are generally retired after 7–8 months. Therefore, females aged 2 months were bred with males of two different ages; young males of 2 months (n = 6 breeding pairs), and old males of 10 months (n = 6 breeding pairs). The average litter size within each age group was 7 (male to female ratio 1:1) and total progeny generated was 40 mice in the young fathers group and 44 mice in the old fathers group. Two males were randomly selected from each litter (n = 12 males per group) and weaned aged 4–5 weeks and pair housed with their siblings and then individually housed for two weeks prior to testing. Mice were housed in standard cages measuring 30.5×13×11 cm, with food and water available ad libitum. The housing room was maintained on a standard light/dark cycle with white lights on from 08:00 to 20:00. Ambient temperature in all rooms was maintained at 21±2°C with 45% humidity.

Offspring Behavioral Testing
Offspring were aged 12 weeks at the start of testing and all testing took place during the light phase with a light level <30 lux in the test room. Each apparatus was wiped clean with 1% Trigene® between subjects to avoid olfactory cueing behaviors. Behaviors for all tests were recorded on videotapes for further detailed analysis. Mice were returned to their home cage at the end of each test.

Social Behavior
The social behavior of the test mice towards a juvenile conspecific was assessed in a 5 minute trial [19]. The test mouse is habituated in an arena (36×20×14 cm) for 5 minutes, after which a male juvenile conspecific of the same strain (aged 4 weeks) was introduced for a further 5 minutes. During this trial, social behavior (including social sniffing, anogenital sniffing and allogrooming) by the test mouse towards the conspecific were scored from videotape by an observer blind to the group factor of paternal age.

The holeboard test is used to measure activity and exploration in a novel arena [20]. The Truscan Photo Beam Activity System (Coulbourn Instruments, Whitehall, PA) was used, which consists of an arena (25.4 cm square) and a nose poke floor with 16 holes (4×4 array) with sensor rings to track movement. The beams are spaced 1.52 cm apart providing a 0.76 cm spatial resolution. Animals were placed in the arena and the movement, the number of nose pokes and the time spent nose poking were recorded automatically by beam breaks for 5 minutes using the Truscan program.

Open Field
The open field [21] used a square white acrylic box with dimensions 72×72×33 cm. The animal was placed in the outer part of the arena facing an outer wall and allowed to freely explore the arena for 5 minutes. A video camera placed above the arena allowed movement to be tracked using an automated tracking system (Ethovision, Noldus Information Technologies). The number of faecal boli and urination were recorded at the end of the test. A square of equal distance from the periphery (36×36 cm) was defined in Ethovision as the ‘outer’, ‘middle’ and ‘central’ zones in order to determine the number of entries into, and time spent in, these zones in the arena. In addition, the latency to enter the inner zones as well as locomotor activity in all three zones of the arena were measured by the tracking system.

Statistical Analysis
Behavioral performances of offspring of young fathers and offspring of old fathers in the social interaction task, holeboard and open field were compared using unpaired, one-tailed Students t-tests. Significance level was set at 0.05.

Author Contributions Top
Conceived and designed the experiments: JM CF LCS AR. Performed the experiments: RGS RLK. Analyzed the data: RGS RLK CF. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: JDB. Wrote the paper: RGS RLK JM CF LCS AR.

References Top
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