With U.S. weapons makers leading the way, and after five consecutive years of decline, sales among the world’s 100 largest arms producers rose in 2016, garnering nearly $375 billion in profits, according to a new analysis of industry data by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). “The growth in arms sales was expected and was driven by the implementation of new national major weapon programs, ongoing military operations in several countries, and persistent regional tensions that are leading to an increased demand for weapons,” according to a SIPRI fact sheet (pdf).
Remember who wars are for … who they benefit. This is why we constantly need new a new ‘boogey man’ to keep up the sales. Remember Gutle Rothschild … “If my sons did not want war, there would be none”. Very proud she was of her sons’ dubious achievements.
Arm sales by international defense contractors have risen for the first time in five years, due in part to the mounting threat of North Korea’s missile and nuclear ambitions, a Swedish think tank announced Monday.
(Natural News) As if suffering from cancer weren’t bad enough on its own, a new study has found that nearly two-thirds of the cancer drugs that gained authorization from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) from 2009 to 2013 did not offer any clear proof that they would extend or improve patients’ lives.
Lead author Dr. Courtney Davis commented: “When expensive drugs that lack robust evidence of clinical benefit are approved and reimbursed within publicly funded healthcare systems, individual patients may be harmed and public funds wasted.”
In other words, cancer patients and the population, in general, suffer as Big Pharma watches its profits pile up.
The study also carried out follow-ups at a median of five years, at which point nearly half of the drugs continued to show no benefits in terms of quantity or quality of life. Among those that did show an improvement, the benefits were considered clinically insignificant in half of the cases.
These very disturbing findings have prompted the researchers to call on the EMA to raise the evidence bar when it comes to authorizing new drugs, and rightfully so.
LSE Department of Health Policy Assistant Professor and study author Huseyin Naci said it was “remarkable” that such a small number of new cancer drugs entering the European market had clear data showing positive outcomes.
Another problem is that some of the cancer drugs that have been touted as being a “breakthrough therapy” do not have any real advantage over simply doing nothing or opting for the existing treatments. This creates false hope for patients and their families, and in some cases, it causes them to pass up other treatment options that might have made a real difference in their condition.
Pricey cancer drugs repeatedly shown to be ineffective
Earlier this year, it emerged that a fund set up to help patients access cancer drugs not covered by the National Health Service in England was a spectacular failure. After spending the equivalent of $1.64 billion, only around 18 percent of the 100,000 patients studied noted any benefits from treatments provided by the Cancer Drugs Fund. Just think of how many people were given ineffective treatments and how much they and their loved ones likely suffered as a result.
This investigative article about the Horowhenua district is from journalist Veronica Harrod. Read her bio at the end of the article. She raises points which are puzzling people NZ wide, and lifts the curtain somewhat to let you see what is going on in meetings you are not entitled to attend. (From this site’s perspective, please check out our Agenda 21/2030 in NZ and our Local Govt Watch pages. Also search Agenda 21/2030 in categories to left of page). I read an interesting article at the LG’s website recently about consultation (raised at the end of this article). It certainly does indicate (& in the context of quite a bit of jest, taking the proverbial pee as it were) that the decision’s already been made when you are ‘consulted’. EnvirowatchRangitikei
Massive Rates Rises Predicted in Horowhenua that will Subsidise Land Developers Reaping Potential Profits of over $100 Million
by Veronica Harrod
Horowhenua land developers and investors will reap at least $100 million profit from not having to pay development contributions towards essential infrastructure costs that council seems intent to load onto existing ratepayers who could face massive, crippling rates increases.
The majority of councils in the country charge development contributions because the policy is regarded as the only effective, fair and equitable way to reduce the impact of expensive infrastructure costs on existing ratepayers.
The Horowhenua District Council scrapped development contributions in 2015 but, judging by the extent of land development planned behind closed doors by land developers and council since 2008, it would be unconscionable if council did not re-introduce the levy on land developers.
Exponential rates rises have historically been used by council’s as a sure fire way to free up land for development by confiscating land from ratepayers who can’t afford high rate increases which will directly have an impact on a large number of home and land owners in the district living on fixed or low incomes.
If the council does not include development contributions in the 2018-2038 Long Term Plan (LTP) the profits made by land developers will be unsustainable and grossly unfair to existing residents.
The $100 million profit projections are based on a conservative estimate of $15,000 per new build if development contributions were charged including a minimum of 2100 new house builds in Levin alone totalling $31.5 million contained in a council’s 2008 Horowhenua Development Plan.
Land developer and deputy mayor Wayne Bishop’s 500 house build in Kimberley Road has financially benefited by approximately $750,000. Cr Bishop also has four other land developments which means he has personally financially benefited by at least one million dollars by not having to pay development contributions.
He declared a conflict of interest at the eleventh hour only when a vote was taken by council to stop charging development contributions. During all the debates he sat at the council table which may have affected councillors ability to speak freely against council intention to stop collecting development contributions. It is also only since his election to council that council has proceeded with such a massive scale of land development.
Also included in the profit estimates is the potential affect of relaxing urban housing density rules to allow for sub-division and building of two houses on one house lot which council is deliberating on now. Neighbours would not have to be consulted on increased urban density plans due to changes to the Resource Management Act made by the National led government early this year that favours land developers. Potential profits also include proposed land developments in other parts of the district contained in separate reports available at http://www.horowhenua.govt.nz/…/Plans-Strategies/Horowhenua…
Evidence council is determined to pursue a land growth agenda is also contained in the council report on relaxing urban density rules which negligently and deliberately omitted to include any environmental and cultural costs of land development even though all the new builds would connect to the existing infrastructure, and even though there is evidence of environmental and cultural costs documented in past council reports including the 2008 Horowhenua Development Plan.
Cr Neville Gimblet and council’s chief executive David Clapperton have made comments recently alluding to the scale of land development and the expectation existing ratepayers would pay for them. Mr Clapperton said in a recent newspaper article, “I see some huge opportunities for the Horowhenua that have never been seen before, probably in the last three generations. And I’m adamnant that I want to be part of that journey.”
His comments were made despite consultation on the 20 year Long Term Plan only just starting indicating he is a central, local cog in the wheel of a land development agenda that has captured the council to such an extent democracy itself is being deliberately undermined by the very organisation that is supposed to uphold democratic principles.
Cr Gimblett alluded to the impact of the high cost of replacing essential infrastructure on existing ratepayers in a newspaper column when he said he was “surprised no-one commented on the $2.8 million of unfunded depreciation in the financial report.” Depreciation is a method used to account for future costs of essential infrastructure by acknowledging wear and tear and need for replacement over time.
“While depreciation is not a cash item so has little impact today, it is a key feature of sustainable long term planning and ultimately your rates,” he stated before warning ratepayers that, “Officers and elected members are currently involved in multiple workshops to prepare for the next Long Term Plan, where we will be mindful of this financial constraint hanging over our heads.”
If Cr Gimblet is so “mindful of the financial constraints” then it would stand to reason he supports the reintroduction of development contributions as this levy on land developers would not only immediately solve the problem of funding depreciation costs but also potentially provide enough money to ensure state of the art essential infrastructure designs were built and maintained. Nevertheless he didn’t mention re-introducing development contributions he only mentioned the cost to existing ratepayers.
The democratically elected mayor Michael Feyen has been effectively sidelined because he is viewed as a threat to this cabal of unrestrained and unrestricted land developers and their investors as during the last local body elections he said he was going to make environmental concerns and Lake Horowhenua a priority.
No matter who Mayor Feyen subsequently turned to in seeking redress to reign in the power of an unelected chief executive David Clapperton not one minister of the last National led government would lift a finger to assist him. Local Government New Zealand would not assist him either.
Mr Clapperton also has the support of nine out of ten councillors, excluding Cr Ross Campbell, who are rewarded handsomely for their backing by favourable treatment in appointments to committees and other council led opportunities.
Local National Party MP Nathan Guy has also refused to take action to restore democracy in Horowhenua but, as a recent article in a local newspaper stated, Mr Guy has got the largest property and land portfolio of all acting Government ministers including an extensive amount of Horowhenua rural land, a family home, two rental properties, interests in 13 commercial properties and a Wellington property.
Land developer and investor interest in developing housing subdivisions on at least 550 hectares in the north east of Levin, that extends across Mr Guy’s rural property interests, may also be using their influence with the now acting Government to ensure the highway of national significance is built to the west of Levin instead of the East of Levin. Cr Bishop has certainly stated a preference the new highway be built to the west of Levin.
As if it’s not enough that local Maori and residents of Hokio on the west of Levin have to endure the Levin Sewage Treatment Plant, the landfill, the infamous smelly “pot” behind the landfill and a polluted Lake Horowhenua now moves are afoot to ensure the new highway won’t get in the way of land developers and their investor interest in the East of Levin.
The excessive profit margins land developers and their investors will potentially make helps to explain the increasing interest major land and property developers, that have previously only operated in Auckland and Wellington, now have in Horowhenua.
The first sign the district saw of this burgeoning interest was the purchase of the council owned pensioner housing and 1.1 hectare of bare land by land and property developer Willis Bond in a publicly excluded deal with council for a fire sale price of $5.25 million. Anecdotal evidence is Willis Bond owners the McGuinness brothers count now acting Attorney General Chris Finlayson as a friend.
As Attorney General Mr Finlayson administers the Crown Law office that relentlessly pursues criminal charges against Lake Horowhenua kaitiaki Philip Taueki who continues to give voice to inconvenient truths about Lake Horowhenua ownership and pollution by the council and regional council. Other state agencies have also demonstrated a partisan approach in matters to do with Mr Taueki.
In her recently published e-book “Man of Convictions” Anne Hunt* says Horowhenua District Council waived all fees and granted the consent to decommission the buildings and disconnect the water from Mr Taueki’s residence six days after several men and six or seven police arrived at his place one morning and began sledgehammering and dismantling the building and power to the building. They also attempted to turn his water supply off then too.
When Mr Taueki, “complained to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment about the way the Horowhenua District Council as a building consent authority handled this matter…initially the Ministry expressed concern, but ultimately decided to take no action. The Tenancy Tribunal was equally dismissive.”
Mr Taueki is under constant threat of arrest and imprisonment and, although it is illegal to turn the water supply off to his residence at Lake Horowhenua, the council continues to do so and not one state agency intervenes on his behalf even though he has been left without a water supply for over eight months.
He has been beaten up, shot at, threatened with murder, thrown in jail, forced to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and denied physical access to the very lake he is kaitiaki and one of the owners of by numerous trespass orders.
He is currently facing a retrial of one of the trespass notices he has been acquitted of twice after Crown Law, an office administered by Mr Finlayson, appealed an acquittal of the charge and the appeal was granted by a judge. His case has been delayed until January 2018 because the Crown did not disclose information to defence lawyer Michael Bott when the retrial began last month in Levin District Court.
Allegations of bias by the Courts against Mr Taueki has also been made by Hunt who writes that Mr Finlayson has been responsible for appointing, “all bar one of the six Supreme Court judges, all ten Court of Appeal judges and 75% of the High Court judges….in a process without any statutory constraints or regulations.”
Despite the fact “Man of Convictions” is written by a local resident and respected journalist, author and former Horowhenua district councillor Anne Hunt about the horrendous experiences and treatment of a Lake Horowhenua kaitiaki whose ancestor is the renowned paramount chief of Mua-Upoko neither of the two local newspapers have expressed any interest in interviewing her.
Openly flouting media independence on council reporting the Fairfax owned Horowhenua Mail has now employed council’s former communications officer Kelvin Teixeira which does not bode well for impartial reporting of council communications Mr Teixeira has helped develop and carry out on behalf of the council.
But it is the Crown’s lack of actions to date that disturbingly suggest a collusion with a Horowhenua land development agenda even though it is destined to greatly increase pollution levels to Lake Horowhenua. The Lake Accord, set up to rehabilitate the health of the lake, remains silent about the impact an exponential increase of new builds connected to the existing insufficient and ageing infrastructure will have on Lake Horowhenua.
Hunt says, “Levin’s stormwater system is a major source of phosphorous, and it is this chemical that is the major cause of the cyanobacteria that has plagued the lake in recent years, making it lethal for children. In his 2012 report, Dr Max Gibbs referred to research that 80% of the lake’s phosphorous chemical content comes from the town’s stormwater system.”
“A report prepared for the Horowhenua District Council by Dr Chris Tanner, a principal scientist from NIWA (the Crown Research Institute) commented on the ‘significant
potential health effects from these drain flows,’ without even considering ‘potential toxicity issues with other contaminants such as metals or organics in the discharge from this drain’ she quoted from Dr Tanner’s report.
An apparently deliberate refusal to reintroduce development contributions is essentially undemocratic because it put the interests of the few above the many and makes a mockery of the consultation process of a LTP residents and ratepayers will be bound by for the next twenty years.
Even though council has been having workshop meetings about priorities of the LTP one public consultation held at Te Takere last week had no information at all about the council’s intentions which gives the public little to respond to. There were two councillors, a desk and a lot of free pens but no substance about what council has been discussing in publicly excluded workshops about council’s LTP priorities which makes it a faux consultation on one of the most important issues facing ratepayers today.
Although it might be confusing to understand why the council would refuse to reintroduce the levy on land developers one powerful reason for doing so is it appears the council is prepared to drive out existing residents by imposing unsustainable rates rises in favour of new residents who are regarded as more desirable.
The emphasis on making the district attractive to new residents is highlighted in communications from council on the LTP consultations which promotes the concept of making the district attractive for “those that are moving here” and concerns already exist about the statement by council in a two page newspaper feature, “…all submissions will be considered by elected members and the plan adjusted as they see fit.”
One has to wonder whether the LTP has already been pre-determined if councillors are only going to adjust the LTP “as they see fit.”
Veronica Harrod is a qualified journalist with a Master of Communications specialising in traditional and new media content. Investigating and reporting on political, economic and legislative trends that negatively impact on the day to day lives of people is one of her main areas of interest. Lifestyle content she is interested in includes celebrating our own especially the tireless work community advocates do as civil citizens participating in democracy to keep those in power on their toes. In a media age dominated by a multi billion dollar communications and public relations industry paid to manipulate information to protect and advance the interests of the few over the many there have to be journalists who are impervious to the all pervasive influencial role they have over local and central government and corporate interests.
For more information on Veronica’s professional qualifications see her Facebook page.
WHAT CAN WE DO? The current elected Mayor campaigned on more transparency & more public inclusion. In light of that do your best to attend the HDC meetings in Levin, hear what is happening & get speaking rights to express to Council matters that affect you. The meetings are held 6 weekly and dates are found on the HDC website, FB page or by phoning them.
This makes me feel less inclined to be purchasing from this corporation. Corporations tend not to be ethically/people friendly given their absolute bottom line is PROFITS (watch ‘The Corporation’ a movie you can find on our Corporations pages) … in fact their legal obligation is first and foremost to their shareholders, not you or any warm, fuzzy values like supporting your kids’ employment or sharing resources. Corporations can be outright evil entities in terms of the lengths they will go to to be top dog, and if you mess with them they have bottomless bank accounts (due to their emphasis on profits) to drag you through lengthy court processes as you gradually use up all your surplus dollars and eventually go bust. The Crown is very good at this too. They used it historically to acquire vast tracts of indigenous lands, all well documented. They’re still at it. So… consider carefully which corporations you support (your NZ government is a corporation) when exercising your purchasing power. EnvirowatchRangitikei
But Comvita chief executive Scott Coulter defended its role in the local economy. “We have a majority of New Zealand-based shareholders and pay local landowners well for the use of their land,” he said.
For anyone wondering where big corporations managed to get a reputation for being faceless, unfeeling, money-hungry dens of villainy, look no further than the top 10 companies on this list. In this list we show you the past and present EVIL things IBM, James Hardie, Union Carbide, Dow Chemical, Smithfield Foods, DeBeers, Siemens, Rio Tinto, Monsanto & Nestle do to ensure their profits keep getting bigger and bigger every year, no matter the consequence to mankind.
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Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is one of the world’s richest women. Her investments in the arms trade include firms that produce the uranium used in depleted uranium (DU) shells. The deployment of these shells by the US military in its attack on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004 is believed to be the cause of a huge increase in cases of cancer and birth defects.
For a more in depth view of the history of the Royals and weapons trade within that context the following video is a must watch. Don’t be put off by the Sex Pistols’ image of the Queen. The doco is actually factual & detailed tracing back hundreds of years. See what the royal family is really about and how much wealth the Queen really owns, it is far more than the info in the first video states. For instance, three of Prince Phillip’s sisters married Nazis. Not what we are generally told about. And there’s more that will surprize you.EnvirowatchRangitikei
Impact of Vaccines: Aluminum, Autoimmunity, Autism & Alzheimer’s
By Dr. Gary G. Kohls
“I predict that Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all times because at some point in time, the evidence will add up to prove that this vaccine…has absolutely no effect on cervical cancer and that all the very many adverse effects which destroy lives and even kill, serve no other purpose than to generate profit for the manufacturers.– Dr. Bernard Dalbergue a former pharmaceutical industry physician with Gardasil manufacturer Merck, emphasis added.
“No vaccine manufacturer shall be liable…for damages arising from a vaccine-related injury or death.” – President Ronald Reagan, as he signed The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986,absolving drug companies from all medico-legal liability when vaccines kill or disable children
“The 271 vaccines in development span a wide array of diseases, and employ exciting new scientific strategies and technologies. These potential vaccines – all in human clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – include 137 for infectious diseases, 99 for cancer, 15 for allergies and 10 for neurological disorders.”–“Statement from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) – the pharmaceutical industry’s trade association and lobbying group.
The #1 talking point of Big Pharma, Big Vaccine, the CDC, the AMA and the American Academy of Pediatrics when they try to justify the use of the neurotoxin aluminum (and mercury) in their vaccines is this one:
“humans shouldn’t be afraid of the small amount of either aluminum or mercury that is or has been in many human and animal vaccines.”
They say, truthfully, that aluminum is the third most common element in the earth’s crust, behind oxygen and silicone. Oxygen makes up about 47% of the earth’s mass. Silicon is second at 28%, followed by aluminum at 8%. They also say that aluminum may be just as harmless as oxygen and silicone and that humans are also exposed to aluminum in oral antacids and underarm anti-perspirants and that those products haven’t yet been “conclusively” proven to have caused “statistically-significant” health problems. They fail, of course, to mention that the “studies” that prove aluminum’s safety (and efficacy) were designed, performed and paid-for by the very industries that benefit from the unregulated, unexamined and widespread use of injectable aluminum in America’s over-vaccination schedules. It is important to note that the reason that aluminum has been used in vaccines for the last 80+ years is because it has been found to be an “adjuvant” (defined as “a substance that enhances the body’s immune response to an antigen.” An “antigen” is “a toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body”. Interestingly, nobody really understands exactly how aluminum performs as an adjuvant, and there is a desperate search for other adjuvants because the vaccine industry understands just how toxic it is.
Some shocking revelations in this excellent & informative article. And no the safety studies were not independent from the manufacturing industries (aka Big Pharma). When you present for a vaccine if you’re still that way inclined, ask them to show you the safety studies. You’ll be surprized. Folks I know of who have asked, discovered the nurses attending were actually ignorant of those studies. They of course haven’t questioned their esteemed employers and just assumed they were all good. This is one issue you need to research thoroughly, particularly the vaccine-Autism link and the HPV vaccine. Check out our vaccine pages. Read the statements of the ex-industry whistle blowers, the MDs … there are many. EnvirowatchRangitikei
Rocket Lab is an American aerospace corporation launching out of New Zealand SOURCE
Did you know that NZ now has a rocket base? This news seems to have flown under the radar for many. I only noticed it myself a month or so ago. The base is actually situated in Mahia on the East Coast of the North Island, however it was originally planned for the South Island at Kaitorete Spit near Christchurch, also near Birdling Flat and the Radar/Haarp Station there (more on NZ Haarp here and here). The length of time obtaining consents appears to have been the deciding factor about a change in tack. Rocket Lab noted one thing that prevented it from launching close to Christchurch which was the need for a cultural impact assessment from the council. A decision was made to locate the launch pad at Mahia instead. A cultural impact assessment (CIA) is …
Rocket Lab’s financial backers include Silicon Valley venture capitalists, Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 investment fund and Lockheed Martin. It has received up to $25 million of government funding over five years.SOURCE
The company of particular note there is Lockheed Martin:
Lockheed Martin is one of the largest companies in the aerospace, defense, security, and technologies industry. It is the world’s largest defense contractor based on revenue for fiscal year 2014. In 2013, 78% of Lockheed Martin’s revenues came from military sales; it topped the list of US federal government contractors and received nearly 10% of the funds paid out by the Pentagon. In 2009 US government contracts accounted for $38.4 billion (85%), foreign government contracts $5.8 billion (13%), and commercial and other contracts for $900 million (2%). Wikipedia
The launch pad is stated in the following article to be, environmentally friendly, which is heartening indeed given our environment that masquerades as ‘clean and green’ still is in reality pretty much trashed. And regarding partnership with the world’s “largest defense contractor, let’s not kid ourselves, can never be termed ‘friendly’ in any sense of the word, given the carnage we are witnessing daily in terms of civilian deaths, if you happen to read alternative media that is. The US is a nation that has taken defense to its ‘finest’, witness the armchair ‘warriors’ who expunge families with small children from thousands of miles away with drones. Lest you think I am being too harsh on these entrepreneurial people who will no doubt be supplying jobs to local folk (the usual candy cum rationale proffered by corporations) the deciding factor for me is the funding from the said weapons corporation. They won’t be helping fund this because they’re really keen to supply Gisborne locals with employment. We all know this is not the way of corporations. Neither will the Government/corporation be … corporations are about profits not people. If the Government really had a mind to help people they would not make hard working families on minimum wage pay more tax than themselves. Neither would they let corporations off with tax. To see how much they are let off watch Bryan Bruce’s ‘Mind the Gap’ doco on child poverty.
Mainstream media tends to not overly highlight the deaths of little children and their parents in the many global conflicts. It gives war a bad name and they, including our Government/corporation, prefer to re frame and name it as ‘defense’. This is what John Key committed $20 billion of your money to last year (Kiwis) … not war … ‘defense’. They are defending us from Isis and similar terrorist threats that their friends in the US helped to create. And the US’s Madeleine Albright thinks the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was still “worth it”. The British Royals are not averse to trading in weapons either.
Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest weapons manufacturer and supplier to such regimes as Saudi Arabia, a country that today stands accused of using these very weapons to commit war crimes. NZ Herald 14.06.2016
On Tuesday 27 September 2016 a member of the public in Wairoa expressed concerns at the Wairoa District Council meeting:
The person “…..enquired as to when the first rocket will be launched and what assurances Council has that satellites launched won’t be used for spying or military activities…. Rocket Lab has installed the launch platform at the private orbital launch under development on Māhia Peninsula. The installation of the almost 50 ton platform is the final major step in preparing the site for the arrival of the first electron launch vehicle, scheduled to be tested in the coming months. The New Zealand Government has announced the development of a new regulatory regime for space and high altitude activities. It will ensure the development of a peaceful, safe, responsible and secure space industry that meets New Zealand’s international obligations.” SOURCE
Now that should put all of our minds at rest. The NZ Govt “will ensure the development of a peaceful, safe, responsible and secure space industry that meets New Zealand’s international obligations.”
Nothing to see here ….
Anyway, that said, here is an article from 2015 on the launch pad:
Rocket Lab chief commits to protect environment
The company proposing a rocket launch pad on Canterbury’s coast says it is committed to protecting the environment.
Rocket Lab’s proposed site on Kaitorete Spit was officially unveiled this morning in front of Prime Minister John Key and representatives from the Department of Conservation.
“Rocket Lab’s mission is to remove the barriers to commercial space by providing frequent launch opportunities to low Earth orbit. Since its creation in 2006 by Peter Beck, Rocket Lab has delivered a range of complete rocket systems and technologies for fast and affordable payload deployment.”
“THE final frontier could be conquered as early as next June, when Rocket Lab expects to begin launching test rockets into space from its Mahia Peninsula site. For Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck, launching his first 16m Electron rocket into space from what will be the world’s first commercial orbital launch site is a life-long dream.”
So we in NZ are now third highest in the developed world for child poverty. We had 41K homeless last time I looked, and 33K empty homes in Auckland belonging to people who don’t even live here. This is the way of Neo-Lib economics. It doesn’t care about children, it doesn’t care about families, it doesn’t care about the vulnerable. NZ has spent $25 million on this pad, the country that is now a haven for the rich who seek to escape the fallout from their oppressive economic activity… and in light of all that, a rocket launch pad is great news. It really reminds me of a recent meme I saw. A politician leans in to a sleeping homeless man and says … “wake up … I’ve got a tax break for you”.
The other day, I was reading an article by pediatrician Paul Offit, MD, who is the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia3and a well-known spokesperson for the vaccine manufacturing industry. The article is titled “Fading Immunity to MMR Vaccine May Be Behind the Mumps Epidemic.”4There was nothing particularly groundbreaking about Dr. Offit’s piece. The main point had to do with the apparent resurgence of mumps in the United States of late and how the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is looking into addressing the failure of the mumps vaccine by recommending a third dose of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine for children 11-13 years of age.
But there was a little dig tucked away in the middle of the article that did not escape me. Dr. Offit wrote that the reason for mumps outbreaks in the U.S. is because “some parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children.”4
This is a common refrain by many pediatricians throughout the country when vaccines fail to prevent infectious diseases, and certainly by those who have a vested financial interest in the production and sale of vaccines. In an article I recently wrote about pediatrician Peter J. Hotez, MD, PhD, director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development in Houston and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, I noted that Dr. Hotez employed the same blame game tactic:
Dr. Hotez cites a report by Daniel Salmon at the Johns Hopkins Institute of Vaccine Safety and Saad Omer at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health claiming that most of the measles cases in the United States in 2015 can be blamed on “intentionally unvaccinated” people.5
So threatened is Dr. Hotez by parents and others who choose to defend their informed consent rights with regard to vaccination that he believes that “we need to take steps now to snuff it out”—referring to what he calls the “anti-vaccine” movement.5 I suspect Dr. Offit may well share this sentiment. Few people have been more aggressive and vocal than Dr. Offit in criticizing those who dare question the mainstream vaccine paradigm that assumes vaccines are safe and effective and opt to make their own informed decisions. In the process, Dr. Offit has a long list of beliefs that, at least to me, sound bizarre.
The following is my Top 10 List for statements made by Dr. Offit: