Monthly Archives: May 2008

Illinois Department Of Children And Family Services Accuses 3,000 Of Child Abuse


WorldNetDaily.com
May 15, 2008

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services erroneously labeled 3,051 innocent people as child abusers by placing them on the state’s official list.

According to a Belleville News-Democrat investigation, 11,473 people have appealed to strike their names from the state record. The list has a 27 percent error rate of parents falsely accused of abuse. Once on the list, people are required to remain there for a minimum of five years.

“They’re not all bad, there are good ones,” Nick Brunstein reportedly said of state child abuse investigators, “but the bad ones have the power of God, and with the stroke of a pen they can ruin your life.”

Brunstein is a former foster parent who won his 2-year fight against DCFS to clear his name after his 11-year-old foster daughter, diagnosed with schizophrenic and bipolar disorder, accused him and his wife, Judi, of physical and emotional abuse. The girl claimed the family harmed her by requiring the children to do chores and homework.

The Brunsteins lost $20,000 in lawyer fees, and three daughters they had planned to adopt, ages 2, 5 and 11, were permanently removed from their custody.

The Belleville newspaper reported more than 80,000 people were placed on the State Central Register from Jan. 1, 2002, through Aug. 1, 2007. Another 1,426 appeals have been denied, 3,178 have been discarded or withdrawn by the accused, 3,289 have been closed or dismissed though administrative processes, and 529 appeals were pending.

A DCFS spokesman, Kendall Marlowe, said errors can be made, but that most of the people on the child abuse list are legitimately placed there.

“A lot of what happens at these hearings is it becomes a legal process, not … whether it happened or not, but whether enough evidence is presented,” Meryl Paniak, the DCFS’ chief administrative law judge told the paper. “So does that mean some people are probably unfounded and shouldn’t be? Yes. And it’s the same thing with some who are indicated and probably shouldn’t be.”

However, attorneys who represent parents at appeals hearings have called child abuse investigations flawed and unreliable. In 2006, the News-Democrat reported that 53 children died while they were under DCFS’ care following sloppy investigations by caseworkers.

U.S. Using Food Crisis To Boost Bio-Engineered Crops


Washington Bureau
By Stephen J. Hedges
May 14, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has slipped a controversial ingredient into the $770 million aid package it recently proposed to ease the world food crisis, adding language that would promote the use of genetically modified crops in food-deprived countries.

The value of genetically modified, or bio-engineered, food is an intensely disputed issue in the U.S. and in Europe, where many countries have banned foods made from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Proponents say that GMO crops can result in higher yields from plants that are hardier in harsh climates, like those found in hungry African nations.

“We certainly think that it is established fact that a number of bio-engineered crops have shown themselves to increase yields through their drought resistance and pest resistance,” said Dan Price, a food aid expert on the White House’s National Security Council.

Problems anticipated
Opponents of GMO crops say they can cause unforeseen medical problems. They also contend that the administration’s plan is aimed at helping American agribusinesses.

“This is a hot topic now with the food crisis,” said Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association. “I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that genetically engineered crops—they may do a number of things, but they don’t increase yields. There are no commercialized crops that are designed to deal with the climate crisis.”

President George W. Bush proposed the food package two weeks ago as aid groups and the UN World Food Program pressed Western governments to provide additional funds to bridge the gap caused by rising food prices. The aid must win congressional approval.

It would direct the U.S. Agency for International Development to spend $150 million of the total aid package on development farming, which would include the use of GMO crops.

The U.S. is the UN food program’s largest donor, providing nearly half the help the group receives from governments. It gave about $1.1 billion to the WFP in both 2006 and 2007. The WFP provided $2.6 billion in aid in 2006.

In April, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice suggested at a Peace Corps conference that “we need to look again at some of the issues concerning technology and food production. I know that GMOs are not popular around the world, but there are places that drought-resistant crops should be a part of the answer.”

Some aid organizations agree that it is time to consider GMO crops.

“I think it’s good, that it should be part of the package,” said Mark Rosegrant, an environment and technology specialist with the International Food Policy Research Institute. “It shouldn’t be the only thing in the package. It is now showing quite a bit of potential in starting to address some of the long-term stresses, drought and heat.”

But Noah Zerbe, an assistant professor of government and politics at Humboldt State University in California, said that GMO crops might not be appropriate for developing countries.

“You get fantastic yields if you’re able to apply fertilizer and water at the right times, and herbicides to go along with that,” Zerbe said. “Unfortunately, most African farmers, they can’t afford these inputs.”

Africa ambivalent
The U.S. tried to introduce GMO crops to Africa in 2002, with mixed results. European Union opposition was part of the reason that several African nations that year balked at an offer of U.S. aid that included corn, some of which was genetically modified.

In a severe drought, Zambia rejected the U.S. aid altogether. Several other countries accepted the U.S. corn, but only after it was milled.

The NSC’s Price said the administration is working to persuade European nations to lift their objection to the use of GMO crops in Africa. Rosegrant of the research institute said that, given current food shortages, new bio-safety measures could resolve such problems.

“There’s evidence that those fears tend to be overblown,” Rosegrant said.

Barrack Obama Hails Bush Sr’s ‘Excellent Job’ In First Gulf War

Source: aftermathnews.wordpress.com

“What is at stake is more than one small country [Iraq], it is a big idea, a New World Order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause …”

– President George H.W. Bush, in a speech on September 11th, 1991

Obama Hails Bush Sr’s ‘Excellent Job’ in First Gulf War


UK Releases Classified UFO Files

  • May 2008
  • NewScientist.com news service
  • Ker Than

The UK is making decades’ worth of classified files relating to UFOs freely available to the public.

On Monday, the British Ministry of Defence (MOD) began a four-year-long project to transfer the files to the UK’s National Archives, which will post them for public perusal. The announcement comes about one year after France made its UFO files available online.

The project is a response to massive public interest and numerous Freedom of Information (FOI) requests about UFOs, or Unidentified Flying Objects, that have been filed over the years. Nick Pope, a former UFO investigator at the MOD, called the release “a great day for open government and freedom of information”.

When complete, the National Archive will contain some 160 UFO-related MOD files from the 1950s to 2007, representing the single largest release of records in the ministry’s history.

Rejected abductee

Eight files are currently available on a dedicated UFO page at the National Archives website. The files are from 1978 to 1987 and include reports of UFO sightings and alien encounters from civilians as well as military personnel.

The reports range from mysterious to downright bizarre. One elderly man said he was given a personal tour of an alien spacecraft by beings wearing green overalls and then was ultimately rejected for abduction because of his age.

Also included is a behind-the-scenes look at the MOD’s preparation for a 1978 debate about UFOs in the British House of Lords. Lord Strabolgi (David Kenworthy) gave the official government response in the debate, which was initiated by Lord Clancarty (Brinsley le Poer Trench), a ufologist.

“There really are many strange phenomena in the sky, and these are invariably reported by rational people,” Lord Strabolgi said in his closing remarks. “But there is a wide range of natural explanations to account for such phenomena. There is nothing to suggest to Her Majesty’s Government that such phenomena are alien spacecraft.”

Pragmatic approach

David Clarke, an expert in UFO history at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, said the Ministry of Defence took the debate, and its subject, seriously. “The papers show they went to a considerable amount of work to actually produce background briefings for Lord Strabolgi,” Clarke said in a National Archives podcast.

The files also reveal the ministry’s pragmatic approach to UFO reports. From the perspective of the British government, UFOs are worth investigating only because they might pose a threat to national security.

“As soon as they were able to say this particular UFO isn’t an enemy aircraft, they weren’t interested in pursuing it any further,” Clarke said.

The MOD’s release of its UFO files should go a long way towards debunking notions of a government cover-up, Clarke said. “It’s a good move on behalf of the Ministry of Defence to put this material in the public domain and demonstrate what they know, which doesn’t amount to much.”