Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I saw this on a PBS special, this is potentially a REAL problem.
What would happen if 1/2 of all fruits and vegetables disappeared
off the shelves of stores in the USA ?
THis isnt far away.

Already many of the bee-keepers are going broke.
Already 1000's of acres of farmland can NOT produce their crops.

Many have spacualted what the problem is,
EMF (electro-magnetic / or radio frequencies RF) may be the cause

Since i used to study RF as an engineer, i know that the human head has more of a potential than other body parts to be harmed by cell phones.
The reason why is that it is just the right size.
Thats right, RF energy from cell phones is at 19000 MHZ (1.9 GHZ)
which corresponds to a wave-length about about the size of a humans cranium.

Lets find out the size of a BEE, and do the calculations.
If a bee is 1.1 inches, then it ould be bothered by 10GHZ more than any other Frequency.

Does the DOD use hi power at 10 GHZ ???

Mystery of the dying bees

7 March 2007
Cosmos Online
Mystery of the dying bees
One of the most important crop pollinators in the world, honey bees in the United States have been decimated in recent months by a mysterious disease.
Image: Jon Sullivan/Wikipedia

Something mysterious is killing honey bees, and even as billions are dropping dead across North America, researchers are scrambling to find answers and save one of the most important crop pollinators on Earth.

The almond trees are blooming and the bees are dying, and nobody knows why. All up and down California's vast San Joaquin Valley, nearly 2,500 square kilometres of small nut trees arranged in laser-straight rows are shaking off the cobwebs of winter. They're gearing up once again to produce nearly half a billion kilograms of nuts, worth US$3 billion to the U.S. economy.

The trees cannot produce the bounty on their own, however. They need bees - a million hives worth - trucked in from nearly forty U.S. states to move pollen from one tree to another, fertilising the blooms in the largest managed pollination event on Earth.

But even as the beekeepers reap record fees for renting their hives, their livelihood is now threatened by the largest loss of honey bees in the history of the industry.

Since October 2006, 35 per cent or more of the United States' population of the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) - billions of individual bees - simply flew from their hive homes and disappeared.

When the almonds were being plucked from the trees late last year, Gene Brandi of Los Banos, California had 2,000 hives, but by late February he had just 1,200 - a loss of 40 per cent.

And Brandi is one of the more fortunate. Across the 24 U.S. states affected by the mysterious phenomenon, losses have ranged up to 90 per cent. "I've had a couple of yards where I've had 200 hives and they're down to 10 hives that are alive," says David Bradshaw of Visalia, about 180 kilometres southeast of Los Banos along California's Route 99.

What's causing the carnage, however, is a total mystery; all that scientists have come up with so far is a new name for the phenomenon - Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) - and a list of symptoms.

In hives hit by CCD, adult workers simply fly away and disappear, leaving a small cluster of workers and the hive's young to fend for themselves. Adding to the mystery, nearby predators, such as the wax moth, are refraining from moving in to pilfer honey and other hive contents from the abandoned hives; in CCD-affected hives the honey remains untouched.

The symptoms are baffling, but one of the emerging hypotheses is that the scourge is underpinned by a collapse of the bees' immune systems. Stressed out by cross-country truck journeys and drought, attacked by viruses and introduced parasites, or whacked out by harmful new pesticides, some researchers believe the bees' natural defences may have simply given way. This opens the door to a host of problems that the bees can normally suppress.

What's surprising is that mysterious declines are nothing new. As far back as 1896, CCD has popped up again and again, only under the monikers: 'fall dwindle' disease, 'May dwindle', 'spring dwindle', 'disappearing disease', and 'autumn collapse'.

Even the current outbreak has possibly been going on undetected for two years, according to the CCD Working Group - a crack group of U.S. researchers from institutes including the Pennsylvania State University and University of Montana, who are trying to unravel the mystery.

What has made the members of the Working Group - as well as conservationists, beekeepers, and farmers - really sit up and notice is the scale of this year's decimation; something in the environment has allowed CCD to reach an unprecedented scale that threatens the very survival of the pollination industry.

"We have never seen a die-off of this magnitude with this weird symptomology," says Maryann Frazier, a bee researcher at Pennsylvania State University. "We've seen bees disappear over time and dwindle away, but not die-off so quickly."

Asian mites and latent viruses

A problem preventing clear identification of CCD is that honey bees are already under threat from manifold foes.

Even without CCD, the number of managed hives in the U.S. has dwindled by nearly 50 per cent since the industry's peak in the 1970s. The main culprit for the die-offs is a tiny Asian mite. Known as Varroa destructor to scientists and the 'vampire mite' to beekeepers, these tiny parasites - circular, crab-like arachnids about the size of a bee's eyeball - have been quietly parasitising the Asiatic honey bee (Apis cerana) in Southeast Asia for millennia.

Varroa destructor" title="Varroa destructor">
Varroa destructor, a tiny tick-like arachnid, has been wreaking havoc on U.S. honey bees since it was inadvertently introduced from Asia in the 1980s.
Scott Bauer/Wikipedia

Some time in the early 1980s, though, the mites hitched a ride to America and hopped on new hosts - spreading like wildfire throughout the defenceless Western honey bee population with the help of migratory beekeepers who obligingly trucked them around the country. The mites suck the vital juices out of both developing and adult bees, and left unchecked can kill a hive within 12 months.

In addition to the damage that the mites do themselves, they also spread viruses. Furthermore, the mites appear to assist the viruses by somehow sabotaging the bees' immune system.

"There's something about a mite feeding on a bee that just knocks its immune system out. [Then] the viruses can take over," says Eric Mussen, a bee researcher at the University of California, Davis.

But mites and their viruses have been infecting U.S. honey bees for nearly 30 years. What has experts worried is that CCD kills bees even more efficiently than mites - destroying a healthy colony in a matter of weeks.

All stressed out

As if having its bodily fluids sucked out by a parasite wasn't enough to weaken a bee, some suspect its immune system is also under attack from plain old stress.

Just as humans fall ill more readily after draining tasks or emotional upheavals, Mussen says stress is a sure-fire way to compromise bee immunity too.

And the lives of commercial honey bees are filled with stress. A typical year for a hive might entail up to five cross-country truck trips, chasing crops to pollinate and clover fields to make honey in. Banging the bees around during cross-country journeys can take a heavy toll.

"Some of the beekeepers you talk to will tell you that they'll lose 10 per cent of their queens" on every trip, Mussen says. And besides transportation stress, many of the hardest-hit beekeepers have reported that their hives underwent extraordinary stresses like drought, overcrowding, or famine, in the months before die-offs occurred.

Stress alone won't kill a bee, but Mussen thinks that it's just one more factor conspiring against them. "It's the knocking down of the immune system, it's having mites around - everything is just piling up - they haven't got much of a chance."

Fly away and die

Pesticides are designed to kill bugs and other pests on crops without causing harm to humans or the environment. But in a never-ending biological arms race, miscreant insects develop resistance to new pesticides nearly as fast as chemists can create them. In this tit-for-tat exchange, scant attention is paid to effects that new pesticides have on beneficial insects like honey bees.

While many pesticides are downright lethal to bees, some new studies have pointed to other strange effects found at low doses. For example, low doses of new compounds called neonicotinoids might be interfering with bee minds. Potentially, this prevents them from remembering their colony's location and causes them to get lost and never return.

According to Pennsylvania State University entomologist Diane Cox-Foster, another possibility is that neonicotinoids are another factor impairing bee immunity.

Yet another hypothesis is that sick adult bees may be self-sacrificing: flying away to die in order to protect the hive from further infection.

When the Working Group first examined samples of CCD-killed bees from across the country, one factor they found in common was fungal growth in the bees' guts. The fungi may be from the genus Aspergillus, a group of fungi that produce toxins which can kill young adult bees. Studies published in the past have reported that bees infected with the fungus fly away from the colony to die.

Not that Aspergillus is the only possibility. "We're asking if there is anything new that may have been brought in accidentally," says Cox-Foster. "We know that there are a couple of potential routes for introduction of new pathogens."

Hands off the hive

When a colony is weakened other bees or insects usually move in to take advantage of the gap and score a free lunch in the form of honey. Not so in CCD-killed hives; wax moths and other predators stay away, at least for much longer than they would normally.

According to Cox-Foster, it could be that insects' keen sense of smell may be keeping them away from dangerous chemicals present in the dead hive. "We know that insects are very good at detecting chemicals in their environment. There are studies that have taken caterpillars and shown that they'll actually feed around a droplet of pesticide on a leaf because they can detect it"

"One of our hypotheses is that the fungus itself is producing toxins that are being detected by the other insects. Likewise, it could be one of these environmental contaminants [like pesticides]," she says.

That's as far as the research detectives have gotten to date. Are bees, under stress from many sources, succumbing to pressure from new pathogens or chemicals? Between mites, viruses, fungi, stress and new pesticides, the insects are under threat like never before.

Fully one-third of fruits, vegetables, and nuts consumed in America are dependent on pollinators - overwhelmingly honey bees. The net value of all this produce to the U.S. economy is roughly US$15 billion per year. And across America experts are scrambling to find answers to the mystery before it turns into an even bigger economic and agricultural disaster.

Benjamin Lester was an intern at COSMOS who wrote stories for both the print magazine and Cosmos Online. He's a graduate of evolution and ecology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, USA.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

'Torture' lawsuit strikes Rumsfeld

'Torture' lawsuit strikes Rumsfeld
sunit_83 | 17 hr. ago

donald rumsfeld
It seems former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has arrived in France at the wrong time, when human rights groups charged him with a lawsuit accusing the architecht of the Iraq war of ordering the torture of several prisoners in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay. The complaint was filed with the Paris prosecutor and the human rights groups are cautiously confident about the outcome although there are lot of French and American politics involved in the ultimate result of the lawsuit.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

I think we havent touched the surface on what goes on in our dreams.
The body needs physical sleep to cope with stress, yes, but, i think dreams come from more than just passing electrons and waves of activity.
The Aborigines beleive that dreams come from our ancestors.
Most people today think that is just a myth, but i think we need to take this MUCH more seriously.
It seems many people have no problem taking Christian and some other religions as faith, but when it comes to something like this, its frowned on.

Think about it serious for a second.
Our ancestors go back millions of years. Each generation depending on what the other generation has learned.

Ask yourself WHY we still bury the dead ,
and why we ever did ?

I think there is an unconscious "THREAD" or "stream of knowledge" that holds us all together, and it comes from our ancestors.

Animals have something similar , its called instinct.

I think our ancestors KNEW the gravity of their actions, discoveries and inventions more than we do today.
They understood how important they were.

Think of it, its what separates us from the animals.

Buddha , Jesus and a few others have been able to tap into this thread.
Some Zen Buddhists are able to walk around while emitting gamma and even delta waves, which are usually only active during deep sleep.

I think the sooner we realize that we dont know everything, the faster we can grow as a civilization.

Dream well...


The Ultimate Mystery: What Do Our Brains Do While Sleeping?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bill Of Rights Pared Down To A Manageable Six

Bill Of Rights Pared Down To A Manageable Six

December 18, 2002 | Issue 38•47

WASHINGTON, DC—Flanked by key members of Congress and his administration, President Bush approved Monday a streamlined version of the Bill of Rights that pares its 10 original amendments down to a "tight, no-nonsense" six.

Enlarge Image Bush signs

As supporters look on, Bush signs the Bill Of Rights Reduction And Consolidation Act.

A Republican initiative that went unopposed by congressional Democrats, the revised Bill of Rights provides citizens with a "more manageable" set of privacy and due-process rights by eliminating four amendments and condensing and/or restructuring five others. The Second Amendment, which protects the right to keep and bear arms, was the only article left unchanged.

Calling the historic reduction "a victory for America," Bush promised that the new document would do away with "bureaucratic impediments to the flourishing of democracy at home and abroad."

"It is high time we reaffirmed our commitment to this enduring symbol of American ideals," Bush said. "By making the Bill of Rights a tool for progress instead of a hindrance to freedom, we honor the true spirit of our nation's forefathers."

The Fourth Amendment, which long protected citizens' homes against unreasonable search and seizure, was among the eliminated amendments. Also stricken was the Ninth Amendment, which stated that the enumeration of certain Constitutional rights does not result in the abrogation of rights not mentioned.

"Quite honestly, I could never get my head around what the Ninth Amendment meant anyway," said outgoing House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), one of the leading advocates of the revised Bill of Rights. "So goodbye to that one."

Amendments V through VII, which guaranteed the right to legal counsel in criminal cases, and guarded against double jeopardy, testifying against oneself, biased juries, and drawn-out trials, have been condensed into Super-Amendment V: The One About Trials.

Attorney General John Ashcroft hailed the slimmed-down Bill of Rights as "a positive step."

"Go up to the average citizen and ask them what's in the Bill of Rights," Ashcroft said. "Chances are, they'll have only a vague notion. They just know it's a set of rules put in place to protect their individual freedoms from government intrusion, and they assume that's a good thing."

Enlarge Image Bill of rights revisions

Bush works on revisions to the Bill of Rights.

Ashcroft responded sharply to critics who charge that the Bill of Rights no longer safeguards certain basic, inalienable rights.

"We're not taking away personal rights; we're increasing personal security," Ashcroft said. "By allowing for greater government control over the particulars of individual liberties, the Bill of Rights will now offer expanded personal freedoms whenever they are deemed appropriate and unobtrusive to the activities necessary to effective operation of the federal government."

Ashcroft added that, thanks to several key additions, the Bill of Rights now offers protections that were previously lacking, including the right to be protected by soldiers quartered in one's home (Amendment III), the guarantee that activities not specifically delegated to the states and people will be carried out by the federal government (Amendment VI), and freedom of Judeo-Christianity and non-combative speech (Amendment I).

According to U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), the original Bill of Rights, though well-intentioned, was "seriously outdated."

"The United States is a different place than it was back in 1791," Craig said. "As visionary as they were, the framers of the Constitution never could have foreseen, for example, that our government would one day need to jail someone indefinitely without judicial review. There was no such thing as suspicious Middle Eastern immigrants back then."

Ashcroft noted that recent FBI efforts to conduct investigations into "unusual activities" were severely hampered by the old Fourth Amendment.

"The Bill of Rights was written more than 200 years ago, long before anyone could even fathom the existence of wiretapping technology or surveillance cameras," Ashcroft said. "Yet through a bizarre fluke, it was still somehow worded in such a way as to restrict use of these devices. Clearly, it had to go before it could do more serious damage in the future."

The president agreed.

"Any machine, no matter how well-built, periodically needs a tune-up to keep it in good working order," Bush said. "Now that we have the bugs worked out of the ol' Constitution, she'll be purring like a kitten when Congress reconvenes in January—just in time to work on a new round of counterterrorism legislation."

"Ten was just too much of a handful," Bush added. "Six civil liberties are more than enough."

Giuliani Defends, Employs Priest Accused of Molesting Teens

When presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani traveled to Rome in January, he was accompanied by wife Judith and longtime friend Monsignor Alan Placa, an accused child molester. (Foedus Foundation)
More Photos

Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani hired a Catholic priest to work in his consulting firm months after the priest was accused of sexually molesting two former students and an altar boy and told by the church to stop performing his priestly duties.

The priest, Monsignor Alan Placa, a longtime friend of Giuliani and the priest who officiated at his second wedding to Donna Hanover, continues to work at Giuliani Partners in New York, to the outrage of some of his accusers and victims' groups, which have begun to protest at Giuliani campaign events.

"This man did unjust things, and he's being protected and employed and taken care of. It's not a good thing," said one of the accusers, Richard Tollner, who says Placa molested him repeatedly when he was a student at a Long Island, N.Y. Catholic boys high school in 1975.

At a campaign appearance in Milwaukee last week, Giuliani continued to defend Placa, who he described to reporters as a close friend for 39 years.

Click here to see photos of Giuliani and the Priest.

"I know the man; I know who he is, so I support him," Giuliani said. "We give some of the worst people in our society the presumption of innocence and benefit of the doubt," he said. "And, of course, I'm going to give that to one of my closest friends."

The accusations against Placa were made in testimony before a Suffolk County grand jury in 2002.

Tollner, now a mortgage broker in Albany, N.Y., says he was one of three people to testify about Placa.

"This man harmed children. He still could do it. He deserves to be shown for what he was, or is," says Tollner.

Appearing publicly for the first time today on ABC News' "Good Morning America," Tollner says the abuse started when he and Placa were in the high school making posters for a Right to Life march.

"As he started to explain how these posters should be done, I realized that something was rubbing my body," Tollner said. "After a minute or two, I realized that he's feeling me, feeling me in my genital area."

The grand jury report concluded that a Priest F, who Tollner says is Placa, abused the boys sexually "again and again and again."

"Priest F was cautious, but relentless in his pursuit of victims. He fondled boys over their clothes, usually in his office," the report said.

Click here to see photos of Giuliani and the Priest.

The report concluded that Priest F, and several other priests under investigation from the same Long Island, N.Y. diocese, could not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired.

Several former students from the same high school say they were asked by the "Giuliani organization" to contact ABC News and vouch for Placa.

"There was absolutely not a hint of rumor of a speculation or a whisper, in four years, or in decades after of any sexual predatoriness on the part of Rev. Placa," wrote Matthew Hogan in an e-mail to ABCNews.com.

Hogan says he recalls that Placa did give "special attention" to his former schoolmate Richard Tollner and remembers seeing Tollner in Placa's office "laughing, on opposite sides of a desk with Mr. Tollner happily animated sitting up on the couch talking."

But Hogan says the school area where Tollner says he was molested "was CONSTANTLY trafficked even on off days and hours."

"I will gladly help take apart in public anything that seriously overlooks the above. I'll be watching The Blotter like a hawk," Hogan wrote.

In addition to the allegations that Priest F was personally involved in the sexual abuse, the grand jury also said that Priest F became instrumental in a church policy that used "deception and intimidation" to keep the church scandal quiet.

Click here to see photos of Giuliani and the Priest.

Placa served as a lawyer for the diocese in dealing with allegations of abuse against other priests and, according to the grand jury report, claimed he had saved the church hundreds of thousands of dollars in his handling of possible litigation.

Lawyers for alleged victims say Placa would often conduct interviews, in his priest garb, without making it clear he was the church lawyer.

"He was a wolf in sheep's clothing," said Melanie Little, a lawyer for several alleged victims of sexual abuse by other priests in the diocese.

"He was more concerned with protecting the priests, protecting the reputation of the diocese and protecting the church coffers than he was protecting the children," said Little.

Since going to work for Giuliani Partners, the former mayor and the priest have continued to be close.

Placa accompanied Giuliani and his wife Judith on a trip to Rome earlier this year.

Through a spokeswoman at Giuliani Partners, Sunny Mindel, Placa declined requests to comment on the allegations to ABCNews.com.

Mindel also declined to specify what Placa does for the firm or how much he is paid.

Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage.

"Mr. Giuliani can do what he wants with his money, but he has to pay the price for people like myself who disagree with employing known child molesters," Tollner said.

While no longer allowed to perform priestly duties or appear in public as a priest, Placa continues to maintain a residence at a church rectory in Great Neck on New York's Long Island.

According to New York property records, Placa also co-owns, with another priest, a waterfront apartment in lower Manhattan in Battery Park City, valued at more than $500,000.

Do you have a tip for Brian Ross and the Investigative Team?