Are there radical Islamic terror camps in North America? Apparently there are dozens author says
Radical Jihadists Training On U.S. Soil – Behind Enemy Lines – Wake Up America!!!
Glenn Beck – The Project Part 1
Glenn Beck – The Project Part 2
The Third Jihad – Radical Islam’s Vision for America
Beslan: 5 years on
Dispatches – Beslan (2006)
The school siege at Beslan was the bloodiest act of terrorism ever to take place on Russian soil. Yet beyond this horrible truth remain many unanswered questions. There is no agreement on who the terrorists were. How many they numbered? Where they came from? How they got to Beslan? What they wanted? Whether they were all killed or captured? And just how the siege which began on September 1 2004, ended so catastrophically?
This Dispatches special uses testimony from eyewitnesses, survivors and security services. This is combined with video and audio archive footage presents the fullest account of what happened at Beslan.
The film examines the background to the events of Beslan. It also looks at the Russian state’s reaction to the atrocity and the motivation of the hostage-takers. Beslan School Siege also documents how a small town is coming to terms with the loss of its children.
Jihad: Slaughter of the Innocents – Beslan (Беслан) Part 1
Jihad: Slaughter of the Innocents – Beslan (Беслан) Part 2
Jihad: Slaughter of the Innocents – Beslan (Беслан) Part 3
Jihad: Slaughter of the Innocents – Beslan (Беслан) Part 4
Jihad: Slaughter of the Innocents – Beslan (Беслан) Part 5
Glenn Beck U.S. Denial of Islamic Jihad Threat, Beslan School Massacre 4-26-13
Glenn Beck The Story of Beslan
Glenn Beck Beslan, Terror, and Chechnya
Glenn Beck Experts on Beslan
Background Articles and Videos
Terrorism & Jihad: An Islamic Perspective – Dr. Zakir Naik
Stephen Coughlin, Part 1: Lectures on National Security & Counterterror Analysis (Introduction)
Stephen Coughlin, Part 2: Understanding the War on Terror Through Islamic Law
Stephen Coughlin, Part 3: Abrogation & the ‘Milestones’ Process
Stephen Coughlin, Part 4: Muslim Brotherhood, Arab Spring & the ‘Milestones’ Process
Stephen Coughlin, Part 5: The Role of the OIC in Enforcing Islamic Law
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An Empire of Debt Leading to a “Crack-up” in the Global Monetary System w/Bill Bonner!
Bill Bonner ZURICH.MINDS INTERVIEW
Bill Bonner: Uncharted Territory -
Emerging Market Real Estate, The Most Promising Asset Class: An Interview with Bill Bonner
Bill Bonner at The Equitymaster Investment Summit 2010
Bill Bonner: Enterprise Under Attack Part 1 – July 24
Bill Bonner: Enterprise Under Attack Part 2 – July 24
Bill Bonner: Enterprise Under Attack Part 3 – July 24
Addison Wiggin / Financial Reckoning Day Fallout on FOX Business News
Addison Wiggin on an Empire of Debt and the Mother of all Bubbles (Part 1)
Addison Wiggin on an Empire of Debt and the Mother of all Bubbles (Part 2)
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Steve Coll on the “Private Empire” of ExxonMobil
Steve Coll Discusses His Book “Private Empire”
GWorks Interviews: Steve Coll (Complete) Private Empire: ExxonMobil & American Power
2012 Gaithersburg Book Festival – Steve Coll
Steve Coll: Investigating Big Oil: Spin, Ethics & Corporate Responsibility
Business Book Review: Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll
Full Show 5/18/12: Conversations with Great Minds: Steve Coll
Conversations w/Great Minds – Steve Coll – Private Empire P1
Conversations w/Great Minds – Steve Coll – Private Empire P2
In conversation with Steve Coll
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The Bottom Line :Education Database
Defining the Need — inBloom
How inBloom’s shared data services work for educators and learners
inBloom Tagger Demo
inBloom Dashboard Demo
inBloom launches with Gates/Carnegie funds to unify e-learning services
Summary: Despite the recent explosion in ed tech applications and services, adoption and use of data remains a significant challenge. InBloom’s new platform just may change that.
By Christopher Dawson for ZDNet Education
As recently as a couple years ago, the biggest problem schools faced with implementing technology tools for students and teachers was the lack of research-based, pedagogically sound, applications. There was plenty of software, some of it good, not much of it great, and very little of it really cranking out usable data for teachers and other stakeholders. The recent explosion of investment in ed tech has yielded some really valuable applications, though, and the challenges have shifted to adoption and ease of use of disparate software and services.
inBloom, which launched this week, is hoping to change that. I had the chance to talk with Iwan Streichenberger, CEO of inBloom, Inc., and couldn’t help but be impressed with both the current platform and the future vision of the non-profit. inBloom offers a set of technologies and services, most notably robust APIs, that allow single sign-on and aggregation of data from many web-based educational tools and provide a basis for companies to develop new solutions for schools, teachers, parents, and students that are interoperable without needing to conform to arbitrary standards or conventions. As the company put it in their press release,
The inBloom data integration and content search services enrich learning applications by connecting them to systems and information that currently live in a variety of different places and formats, while helping to reduce costs for states and districts. This comprehensive view into each student’s history can help those involved in education…act quickly to help each student succeed. It also helps educators locate standards-aligned instructional resources from multiple providers and match them with their students’ needs…
Additionally, the inBloom framework enables technology providers to develop and deploy products without having to build custom connections to each state and district data source. This means more developers will have the opportunity to create new and powerful applications to benefit students, with lower implementation costs and faster time-to-market.
For example, an SIS provider could build a custom dashboard with student data from any application connected to inBloom. 22 such providers have already signed on to connect their applications to inBloom and 9 states are involved in piloting the service. The real goal, though, goes back to the ed tech holy grail of “an IEP for everyone” (my words – inBloom calls it “[integration of] student data and learning applications to support sustainable, cost-effective personalized learning”). If teachers can’t easily access data generated by learning applications and stored in SIS/LMS platforms and then quickly find and provide appropriate resources for students based on these data, then we aren’t leveraging the tools in which we’re investing. Kids are just taking tests on the web and playing computer games at that point and, with 30+ kids in a class, there’s no real hope of differentiated instruction.
Although the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation have funded a wide range of educational initiatives, this one (which received initial philanthropic funding from the two organizations) strikes me as one of the most potentially transformative. Nobody benefits if the current unprecedented levels of investor interest in ed tech becomes a bubble that funded lots of applications from which teachers and students derive limited benefit. But if inBloom can harness these applications to develop a meaningful, well-rounded ecosystem, then the potential for ed tech to achieve much of what it has promised in the last 20 years (with only moderate success) increases significantly. It doesn’t hurt that companies with great ideas and great products will be able to tap into a ready market, either, eager to adopt strong applications from a unified ecosystem.
There will be more announcements and demonstrations from inBloom at SxSWEdu at the beginning of March where we’ll be able to see the system in action.
Bill Gates’ $100 million database to track students
Corporations gaining access to grades, addresses, hobbies, attitudes
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By Michael F. Haverluck
Over the past 18 months, a massive $100 million public-school database spearheaded by the $36.4 billion-strong Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been in the making that freely shares student information with private companies.
The system has been in operation for several months and already contains millions of K-12 students’ personal identification ‒ ranging from name, address, Social Security number, attendance, test scores, homework completion, career goals, learning disabilities, and even hobbies and attitudes about school.
Claiming that the national database will enhance education, the main funder of the project, the Gates Foundation, entered the joint venture with the Carnegie Corporation of New York and school officials from a number of states. After Rupert Murdoch’s Amplify Education (a division of News Corp) spent more than a year developing the system’s infrastructure, the Gates Foundation delivered it to inBloom ‒ a nonprofit corporation recently established to run the database.
School officials and private companies doing business with districts might have plenty to be happy about with this information-sharing system, but ParentalRights.org President Michael P. Farris says parents have plenty to worry about when it comes to inBloom’s national database.
“The greatest immediate threat to children is the threat to their privacy,” Farris told WND in an exclusive interview. “The Supreme Court has recognized a sphere of privacy within the family, but this project would take personal information about each child, apart from any considerations of parental consent, and put it into a database being managed and monitored solely by the government agencies and private corporations that use it.”
And with globalists like Bill Gates (the world’s second richest man with a net worth of $61 billion) and big government joining hands in the project, could children’s information be abused for ulterior motives?
“I cannot speak to Mr. Gates’ personal motivations, [but] the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been connected with human rights organizations that promote the internationalist mindset, and this project clearly fits with that agenda,” Farris explained. “The Convention on the Rights of the Child committee has repeatedly browbeat nations to create a national database just like this that will allow the government to track children, purportedly to make sure their human rights are being protected ‒ different declared purpose, same kind of system, same invasion of privacy for government purposes.”
When contacted for comment about the benefits and potential dangers of the database, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation did not respond.
Breach of privacy?
Holding the legal right to control student information, local education officials reportedly have the authority under federal law to share database files with private companies ‒ such as Gates’ Microsoft ‒ that sell educational products and services so that they can mine the info to create new tailored products.
But Farris believes the digital information distribution system violates the constitutional rights of parents to protect their children.
“We believe parents have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education and care of their children,” asserts Farris, who was named one of the “Top 100 Faces in Education of the 20th Century” by Education Week. “Historically, the Supreme Court has supported that right. That means parents are the primary guardians of a child’s privacy.”
He notes the hypocrisy of many globalist billionaires (such as Gates, whose 11-, 14- and 17-year-old children enjoy the extra security of private schools and for their own protection, have had to wait until the age of 13 to get a cell phone).
“This is just one more example of the elite internationalist double standard,” contends Farris, who also is the founder and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). “They are perfectly content to share your child’s personal information, while keeping their own children in private schools or under private tutors.”
Farris, who is also the founding president and current chancellor of Patrick Henry College, sees corporate leaders as using those of lesser means to benefit their own interests.
“They protect their own privacy at any cost, but you need to surrender yours for the good of their ideal society,” Farris adds. “Ultimately, it doesn’t seem so ideal for the rest of us.”
Farris insists that schools giving in to the corporate interests of billionaires, such as Gates and Murdoch, is a major breach of parental rights.
“Now the government is sharing private student information with other organizations without parental consent,” Farris points out. “We believe that infringes a child’s right to privacy, and it infringes the parents’ right to be the first line of defense for that child.”
Many parents concur and feel uneasy with school administrators having full control over their children’s files, especially with states and school districts having full discretion over whether student records are entered into the database.
“Once this information gets out there, it’s going to be abused,” parent Jason France told Reuters in Louisiana, which, along with New York, is slated to input virtually all student records statewide. “There’s no doubt in my mind.”
Illinois, Massachusetts, Colorado, Georgia, Delaware, Kentucky and North Carolina have pledged to contribute student records from various school districts.
Because federal officials claim that the national database does not violate privacy laws, the Department of Education maintains that no parental consent is needed by schools to share student records with any “school official” with a “legitimate educational interest” ‒ which includes school-contracted private companies.
Gates’ real take on security
Being in the business of contributing to educational technologies for decades, 57-year-old Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has much vested interest in education, and in years past, he has had much to say about the privacy of electronic information.
“Trustworthy Computing is the highest priority for all the work we are doing,” Gates stated a decade ago in a famous company-wide memo at Microsoft. “We must lead the industry to a whole new level of Trustworthiness in computing.”
And by “trustworthy,” Gates was referring to not letting people’s information get into the wrong hands.
“Users should be in control of how their data is used,” explained Gates ‒ who believes that his customers’ information should not be freely distributed, but does not hold that view when it comes to parents and the records of their children.
“Policies for information use should be clear to the user. Users should be in control … it should be easy for users to specify appropriate use of their information …”
In fact, when it comes to protecting and courting customers, Gates has spared no cost.
“So now, when we face a choice between adding features and resolving security issues, we need to choose security,” states the memo from Gates, whose $150 million, 66,000-square-foot home on Lake Washington has a 2,500-square-foot gym, a 1,000 square-foot living room and a 60-foot swimming pool complete with an underwater music system. “Our products should emphasize security right out of the box, and we must constantly refine and improve that security as threats evolve.”
Bill Gates’ home on Lake Washington, near Seattle
Despite his endorsement of the school database, Gates ‒ who gave up first place in global net worth to Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu ($69 billion) after giving away $28 billion through his foundation ‒ is a strong backer of International Data Privacy Day, which has this to say about protecting people’s information:
“In this networked world, in which we are thoroughly digitized, with our identities, locations, actions, purchases, associations, movements, and histories stored as so many bits and bytes, we have to ask – who is collecting all of this data – what are they doing with it – with whom are they sharing it? Most of all, individuals are asking ‘How can I protect my information from being misused?’ These are reasonable questions to ask – we should all want to know the answers.”
Officials of the annual event proclaim endorsement of the very principles that Gates’ new public school database evidently tramples.
“Data Privacy Day promotes awareness about the many ways personal information is collected, stored, used, and shared, and education about privacy practices that will enable individuals to protect their personal information,” the events’ organizers declare.
Student security not a priority
“[inBloom] cannot guarantee the security of the information stored … or that the information will not be intercepted when it is being transmitted,” the company’s documentation states.
Unlike most software and Internet users, parents have little recourse when it comes to protecting their children’s information on the database. Voicing their concerns with state officials via written protests, parents of public schoolers from Louisiana and New York are up-in-arms. Even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) in Massachusetts, as well as attorneys in New York, are following suit.
But according to Farris, public education is just fanning the flames of parental fears that “Big Brother” is tightening its grip on the masses by treating the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as a “living and breathing document” to undermine its original intent.
“We know the Department of Education quietly modified their understanding of FERPA law in the last two years to allow for a system like this,” Farris argues. “Homeschool Legal Defense Association, of which I am chairman, filed a letter with the Department opposing their intended changes, but like all such letters in this particular instance, our input was ignored.”
And has Bill Gates’ personal information been as freely accessible as he would public schoolers’ to be? Not exactly.
Just earlier this month, the now part-timer from Microsoft (since 2008) has been made the latest victim of celebrity data exposure, with his Social Security number, birthdate, credit card number and full credit report being posted online. No comment has been made whether Gates believes the dissemination of his SSN is a breach of privacy, but his heavy involvement in the school database indicates that sharing such information of public school students isn’t a breach.
And just how important is privacy to Gates?
In 1994, when he married Melinda in a private ceremony on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, he bought out every unoccupied room of all nearby hotels and booked every helicopter in the surrounding area to ensure privacy from photographers.
Reports also indicate that First Lady Michelle Obama was also a recent victim of having her SSN and credit report posted online. She and a couple dozen celebrities were impersonated by hackers who entered some of their basic personal information into a website ‒ the same type of information (of students) school officials are entering into their system by the millions.
President Barack Obama recently expressed his concern over electronic information being exploited by others, and when it comes to info being dispersed about his wife, he is dispatching U.S. authorities to investigate.
“We should not be surprised that if we’ve got hackers that want to dig in and have a lot of resources, that they can access this information,” Obama told ABC News. “Again, not sure how accurate but … you’ve got websites out there that tell people’s credit card info. That’s how sophisticated they are.”
And to make it easy for companies to tap in, inBloom has made its service free, but is likely to begin charging for its use by 2015.
Opening the Gates agenda?
Much concern has been expressed over the years regarding the driving force behind Gates and his organizations, which have demonstrated unflagging support of many leftist causes.
Just last week, the richest man in America lamented that Obama’s powers are too restricted.
“Some days, I wish we had a system like the U.K. where, you know, the party in power could do a lot and you know, you’d see how it went and then fine, you could un-elect them,” Gates proclaimed at a Politico event when asked about Obama’s performance as president, according to the Daily Caller.
In a speech just over a week ago at the Global Grand Challenges Summit put on by the Royal Academy of Engineering, Gates said capitalism “means male baldness research gets more funding than malaria,” , according to Wired Magazine.
Since the inception of the Gates Foundation in 1994, the same year Gates spent $30.8 million at an auction for a collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester writings, he has been a staunch supporter of population control through vaccines and other methods.
Last summer, Gates and his wife represented their foundation at a “family planning” summit in London hosted by the U.K. Department of International Development, which included Planned Parenthood and the United Nations Populations Fund, along with other prominent pro-abortion advocates.
And at the exclusive Technology, Entertainment and Design 2010 Conference in Long Beach, Calif., Gates presented this population-control formula: P (people) x S (services per persons) x E (average energy per service) x C (average CO2 emitted per unit of energy) = CO2 (total CO2 emitted by population per year).
In his speech titled “Innovating to Zero!” he talked about keeping the world population from peaking at an estimated 9.3 billion.
“First we got population,” Gates explained. “The world today has 6.8 billion people. That’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.”
Even though Gates suggested at the invitation-only event that using vaccines is one means to reduce world population, his foundation focuses media attention on other goals, such as eradicating measles and polio.
But the foundation’s extreme measures taken to administer the shots to undeveloped nations are often underreported.
In 2011, few people knew about partners of the Gates foundation forcing 131 Malawian children against their religious convictions to receive measles vaccinations at gunpoint as part of achieving the goal of vaccinating every child on earth, as reported by Natural News.
Gates, an ex-Boy Scout, is also an advocate of homosexual behavior, stating at last week’s Politico event that the youth organization should “absolutely” lift its ban on “gay” members when asked his opinion.
Standing side-by-side with Planned Parenthood ‒ which has documented that promoting homosexuality is one of its tactics behind population control ‒ Gates’ Microsoft was a major contributors to last year’s successful election campaign that worked to legalize same-sex marriage in his native Washington state.
The future of Gates’ database?
The new school database is not moving forward without legal resistance.
“It’s a lot of smoke and mirrors,” contended Electronic Privacy Law Center Administrative Counsel Khaliah Barnes in a statement to the Daily News. “What happens if a company using the data is compromised? What happens if the company goes out of business? We don’t know the answers.”
The issue over the database is being brought to the forefront as a major civil rights issue.
“Turning massive amounts of personal data about public school students to a private corporation without any public input is profoundly disturbing and irresponsible,” New York Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Donna told the Daily News.
The NYCLU is castigating New York State officials for denying parents the choice to opt out of the controversial program and for failing to warn parents of its implementation.
To counter Gates’ school database project, ParentalRights.org urges Americans to sign a petition supporting the Parental Rights Amendment, which will codify the fundamental right of parents in the U.S. Constitution to direct the upbringing, education and care of their children.
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Obama On Debt, Guns- Full Press Conference
FLASHBACK: Obama Campaigning In ’04: Deficit Is “An Enormous Problem”
Lou Dobbs on irony of Obama’s new debt ceiling stance
Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government
National Debt: 16 trillion visualized (with short lecture to the irresponsible)
EXPERT Peter Schiff Says Economic Collapse Is Comming And Is HERE NOW
Obama: I’ll Take Responsibility To Raise The Debt Ceiling! – Cavuto
Debt Limit Showdown Just Around The Corner | Ed Butowsky
Judge Napolitano: President Obama Absolutely Cannot Use the 14th Amendment to R
Reuters Today: Bernanke pleads for higher debt ceiling
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SERVICE
STAR - TREASURY FINANCIAL DATABASE
TABLE 1. SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS AND THE DEFICIT/SURPLUS BY MONTH OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT (IN MILLIONS)
ACCOUNTING DATE: 12/12
PERIOD RECEIPTS OUTLAYS DEFICIT/SURPLUS (-)
+ ____________________________________________________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________
OCTOBER 163,072 261,539 98,466
NOVEMBER 152,402 289,704 137,302
DECEMBER 239,963 325,930 85,967
JANUARY 234,319 261,726 27,407
FEBRUARY 103,413 335,090 231,677
MARCH 171,215 369,372 198,157
APRIL 318,807 259,690 -59,117
MAY 180,713 305,348 124,636
JUNE 260,177 319,919 59,741
JULY 184,585 254,190 69,604
AUGUST 178,860 369,393 190,533
SEPTEMBER 261,566 186,386 -75,180
YEAR-TO-DATE 2,449,093 3,538,286 1,089,193
OCTOBER 184,316 304,311 119,995
NOVEMBER 161,730 333,841 172,112
DECEMBER 269,501 269,760 260
YEAR-TO-DATE 615,546 907,913 292,367
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Wall Street wavers after jobs report
Boring Jobs Data Has Hidden Positives, Fueling Optimism
US unemployment rate holds steady in December at 7.8%
U.S. Morning Call: Investors looking for upbeat jobs report
Series Id: LNS12000000
Series title: (Seas) Employment Level
Labor force status: Employed
Type of data: Number in thousands
Age: 16 years and over
|1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.
Civilian Labor Force
Series Id: LNS11000000
Series title: (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status: Civilian labor force
Type of data: Number in thousands
Age: 16 years and over
|1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.
Labor Participation Rate
Series Id: LNS11300000
Series title: (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status: Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data: Percent or rate
Age: 16 years and over
Series Id: LNS13000000
Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status: Unemployed
Type of data: Number in thousands
Age: 16 years and over
Unemployment Rate U-3
Series Id: LNS14000000
Series title: (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status: Unemployment rate
Type of data: Percent or rate
Age: 16 years and over
Unemployment Rate U-6
Series Id: LNS13327709
Series title: (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers
Labor force status: Aggregated totals unemployed
Type of data: Percent or rate
Age: 16 years and over
Percent/rates: Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached
Background Articles and Videos
The Unemployment Game Show: Are You *Really* Unemployed?
Trapped in Unemployment
Decades of high unemployment likely
Employment Situation Summary
Transmission of material in this release is embargoed USDL-13-0001
until 8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, January 4, 2013
Household data: (202) 691-6378 * firstname.lastname@example.org * www.bls.gov/cps
Establishment data: (202) 691-6555 * email@example.com * www.bls.gov/ces
Media contact: (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- DECEMBER 2012
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 155,000 in December, and the unemployment
rate was unchanged at 7.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
today. Employment increased in health care, food services and drinking places,
construction, and manufacturing.
| Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data |
| Seasonally adjusted household survey data have been revised |
| using updated seasonal adjustment factors, a procedure done at |
| the end of each calendar year. Seasonally adjusted estimates |
| back to January 2008 were subject to revision. The unemployment |
| rates for January 2012 through November 2012 (as originally |
| published and as revised) appear in table A, along with |
| additional information about the revisions. |
Household Survey Data
The number of unemployed persons, at 12.2 million, was little changed
in December. The unemployment rate held at 7.8 percent and has been at
or near that level since September. (See table A-1.)
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women
(7.3 percent) and blacks (14.0 percent) edged up in December, while
the rates for adult men (7.2 percent), teenagers (23.5 percent),
whites (6.9 percent), and Hispanics (9.6 percent) showed little or no
change. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.6 percent (not seasonally
adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. (See tables A-1, A-2,
In December, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27
weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 4.8 million and accounted
for 39.1 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)
The civilian labor force participation rate held at 63.6 percent in
December. The employment-population ratio, at 58.6 percent, was
essentially unchanged over the month. (See table A-1.)
The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons
(sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers), at 7.9
million, changed little in December. These individuals were working
part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were
unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)
In December, 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor
force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (These data are not
seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force,
wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime
in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because
they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
(See table A-16.)
Among the marginally attached, there were 1.1 million discouraged
workers in December, little changed from a year earlier. (These data
are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not
currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available
for them. The remaining 1.5 million persons marginally attached to the
labor force in December had not searched for work in the 4 weeks
preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family
responsibilities. (See table A-16.)
Establishment Survey Data
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in December. In
2012, employment growth averaged 153,000 per month, the same as the
average monthly gain for 2011. In December, employment increased in
health care, food services and drinking places, construction, and
manufacturing. (See table B-1.)
Health care employment continued to expand in December (+45,000). Job
gains occurred in ambulatory health care services (+23,000), in
hospitals (+12,000), and in nursing and residential care facilities
(+10,000). In 2012, health care employment rose by 338,000.
In December, employment in food services and drinking places rose by
38,000. In 2012, the industry added an average of 24,000 jobs a month,
essentially the same as in 2011.
Construction added 30,000 jobs in December, led by employment
increases in construction of buildings (+13,000) and in residential
specialty trade contractors (+12,000).
In December, manufacturing employment rose by 25,000, with small gains
in a number of component industries. In 2012, factory employment
increased by 180,000; most of the growth occurred during the first
Employment in retail trade changed little in December, after
increasing by 143,000 over the prior 3 months. Within the industry,
employment in clothing and accessories stores fell by 19,000,
following gains that totaled 55,000 over the prior 3 months. Elsewhere
in retail trade, employment in automobile dealers and in food and
beverage stores continued to trend up in December.
Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging,
transportation and warehousing, financial activities, professional and
businesses services, and government, showed little change over the
In December, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm
payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours. The manufacturing
workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.7 hours, and factory overtime was
unchanged at 3.3 hours. The average workweek for production and
nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1
hour to 33.8 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)
Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 7 cents to $23.73. Over the year, average hourly earnings have
risen by 2.1 percent. In December, average hourly earnings of private-
sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 6 cents to
$19.92. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for October was revised
from +138,000 to +137,000, and the change for November was revised
from +146,000 to +161,000.
The Employment Situation for January is scheduled to be released on
Friday, February 1, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).
| Revisions in the Establishment Survey Data |
| With the release of January 2013 data on February 1, 2013, the |
| Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey will introduce |
| revisions to nonfarm payroll employment, hours, and earnings |
| data to reflect the annual benchmark adjustment for March 2012 |
| and updated seasonal adjustment factors. Not seasonally adjusted |
| data beginning with April 2011 and seasonally adjusted data |
| beginning with January 2008 are subject to revision. |
| Upcoming Changes to the Household Survey |
| Effective with the release of The Employment Situation for |
| January 2013, scheduled for February 1, 2013, new population |
| controls will be used in the monthly household survey estima- |
| tion process. These new controls reflect the annual updating of |
| intercensal population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau. |
| Historical data will not be revised to incorporate the new |
| controls; consequently, household survey data for January 2013 |
| will not be directly comparable with that for December 2012 or |
| earlier periods. A table showing the effects of the new controls |
| on the major labor force series will be included in the January |
| 2013 release. |
Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data
At the end of each calendar year, BLS routinely updates the seasonal
adjustment factors for the labor force series derived from the Current
Population Survey (CPS), or household survey. As a result of this
process, seasonally adjusted data for January 2008 through November
2012 were subject to revision.
Table A shows the unemployment rates for January 2012 through November
2012, as first published and as revised. The rates changed by one-
tenth of a percentage point in 2 of the 11 months and were unchanged
in the remaining 9 months. Revised seasonally adjusted data for other
major labor force series beginning in December 2011 appear in table B.
An article describing the seasonal adjustment methodology for the
household survey data and revised data for January 2012 through
November 2012 is available at www.bls.gov/cps/cpsrs2013.pdf.
Historical data for the household series contained in the A tables of
this release can be accessed at www.bls.gov/cps/cpsatabs.htm. Revised
historical seasonally adjusted monthly and quarterly data for
additional series are available on the Internet at
Table A. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates in 2012 and changes
due to revision, January - November 2012
Month As first As Change
January ............... 8.3 8.3 0.0
February .............. 8.3 8.3 .0
March ................. 8.2 8.2 .0
April ................. 8.1 8.1 .0
May ................... 8.2 8.2 .0
June .................. 8.2 8.2 .0
July .................. 8.3 8.2 -.1
August ................ 8.1 8.1 .0
September ............. 7.8 7.8 .0
October ............... 7.9 7.9 .0
November .............. 7.7 7.8 .1
HOUSEHOLD DATA Table B. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Employment status, sex, and age20112012Dec.Jan.Feb.Mar.Apr.MayJuneJulyAug.Sept.Oct.Nov.Dec.TOTAL Civilian noninstitutional population(1)240,584242,269242,435242,604242,784242,966243,155243,354243,566243,772243,983244,174244,350Civilian labor force153,945154,356154,825154,707154,451154,998155,149154,995154,647155,056155,576155,319155,511Participation rate64.063.763.963.863.663.863.863.763.563.663.863.663.6Employed140,896141,608142,019142,020141,934142,302142,448142,250142,164142,974143,328143,277143,305Employment-population ratio58.658.558.658.558.558.658.658.558.458.758.758.758.6Unemployed13,04912,74812,80612,68612,51812,69512,70112,74512,48312,08212,24812,04212,206Unemployment rate22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.87.8 Men, 20 years and over Civilian noninstitutional population(1)108,290108,087108,188108,289108,396108,503108,613108,727108,851108,973109,096109,206109,308Civilian labor force79,42079,20379,30179,31379,10379,37379,43279,37679,08579,43679,67979,56879,695Participation rate73.373.373.373.273.073.273.173.072.772.973.072.972.9Employed73,05073,13873,17973,23873,14573,23073,29973,28873,09773,61273,84573,82173,949Employment-population ratio67.567.767.667.667.567.567.567.467.267.667.767.667.7Unemployed6,3706,0656,1236,0755,9586,1436,1336,0895,9885,8255,8345,7475,746Unemployment rate8.07.77.77.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.27.2 Women, 20 years and over Civilian noninstitutional population(1)115,602117,082117,170117,260117,353117,448117,546117,648117,760117,869117,980118,079118,170Civilian labor force68,81569,42069,77569,58069,58069,77769,77769,67369,80069,81370,04169,90770,059Participation rate59.559.359.559.359.359.459.459.259.359.259.459.259.3Employed63,44664,08064,45764,42264,45464,65364,61664,43764,71664,93465,01464,98864,954Employment-
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- Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
- Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
- Employment Situation Frequently Asked Questions
- Employment Situation Technical Note
- Table A-1. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age
- Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age
- Table A-3. Employment status of the Hispanic or Latino population by sex and age
- Table A-4. Employment status of the civilian population 25 years and over by educational attainment
- Table A-5. Employment status of the civilian population 18 years and over by veteran status, period of service, and sex, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-6. Employment status of the civilian population by sex, age, and disability status, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-7. Employment status of the civilian population by nativity and sex, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-8. Employed persons by class of worker and part-time status
- Table A-9. Selected employment indicators
- Table A-10. Selected unemployment indicators, seasonally adjusted
- Table A-11. Unemployed persons by reason for unemployment
- Table A-12. Unemployed persons by duration of unemployment
- Table A-13. Employed and unemployed persons by occupation, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-14. Unemployed persons by industry and class of worker, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization
- Table A-16. Persons not in the labor force and multiple jobholders by sex, not seasonally adjusted
- Table B-1. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail
- Table B-2. Average weekly hours and overtime of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted
- Table B-3. Average hourly and weekly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted
- Table B-4. Indexes of aggregate weekly hours and payrolls for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted
- Table B-5. Employment of women on nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted
- Table B-6. Employment of production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted(1)
- Table B-7. Average weekly hours and overtime of production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted(1)
- Table B-8. Average hourly and weekly earnings of production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted(1)
- Table B-9. Indexes of aggregate weekly hours and payrolls for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry sector, seasonally adjusted(1)
- Access to historical data for the “A” tables of the Employment Situation Release
- Access to historical data for the “B” tables of the Employment Situation Release
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Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Newtown CT Tribute
ALLISON N. WYATT, 6
BENJAMIN WHEELER, 6
VICTORIA SOTO, 27, teacher
MARY SHERLACH, 56, school psychologist
LAUREN GABRIELLE ROUSSEAU, 30, teacher
AVIELLE RICHMAN, 6
JESSICA REKOS, 6
CAROLINE PREVIDI, 6
NOAH POZNER, 6
JACK PINTO, 6
EMILIE PARKER, 6
ANNE MARIE MURPHY, 52, teacher
GRACE AUDREY McDONNELL, 7
JAMES MATTIOLI, 6
ANA MARQUEZ-GREENE, 6
JESSE LEWIS, 6
NANCY LANZA, 52, gunman’s mother
CHASE KOWALSKI, 7
CATHERINE HUBBARD, 6
MADELEINE HSU, 6
DYLAN HOCKLEY, 6
DAWN HOCHSPRUNG, 47, principal
JOSEPHINE GAY, 7
OLIVIA ENGEL, 6
RACHEL D’AVINO, 29
DANIEL BARDEN, 7
CHARLOTTE BACON, 6
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I am Adam Lanza’s Mother
It’s time to talk about mental illness
“…Friday’s horrific national tragedy—the murder of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in New Town, Connecticut—has ignited a new discussion on violence in America. In kitchens and coffee shops across the country, we tearfully debate the many faces of violence in America: gun culture, media violence, lack of mental health services, overt and covert wars abroad, religion, politics and the way we raise our children. Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.
Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.
“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.
“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”
“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”
“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.
A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.
That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.
We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.
At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off.
Several weeks into his new junior high school, Michael began exhibiting increasingly odd and threatening behaviors at school. We decided to transfer him to the district’s most restrictive behavioral program, a contained school environment where children who can’t function in normal classrooms can access their right to free public babysitting from 7:30-1:50 Monday through Friday until they turn 18.
The morning of the pants incident, Michael continued to argue with me on the drive. He would occasionally apologize and seem remorseful. Right before we turned into his school parking lot, he said, “Look, Mom, I’m really sorry. Can I have video games back today?”
“No way,” I told him. “You cannot act the way you acted this morning and think you can get your electronic privileges back that quickly.”
His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage. “Then I’m going to kill myself,” he said. “I’m going to jump out of this car right now and kill myself.”
That was it. After the knife incident, I told him that if he ever said those words again, I would take him straight to the mental hospital, no ifs, ands, or buts. I did not respond, except to pull the car into the opposite lane, turning left instead of right.
“Where are you taking me?” he said, suddenly worried. “Where are we going?”
“You know where we are going,” I replied.
“No! You can’t do that to me! You’re sending me to hell! You’re sending me straight to hell!”
I pulled up in front of the hospital, frantically waiving for one of the clinicians who happened to be standing outside. “Call the police,” I said. “Hurry.”
Michael was in a full-blown fit by then, screaming and hitting. I hugged him close so he couldn’t escape from the car. He bit me several times and repeatedly jabbed his elbows into my rib cage. I’m still stronger than he is, but I won’t be for much longer.
The police came quickly and carried my son screaming and kicking into the bowels of the hospital. I started to shake, and tears filled my eyes as I filled out the paperwork—“Were there any difficulties with… at what age did your child… were there any problems with.. has your child ever experienced.. does your child have…”
At least we have health insurance now. I recently accepted a position with a local college, giving up my freelance career because when you have a kid like this, you need benefits. You’ll do anything for benefits. No individual insurance plan will cover this kind of thing.
For days, my son insisted that I was lying—that I made the whole thing up so that I could get rid of him. The first day, when I called to check up on him, he said, “I hate you. And I’m going to get my revenge as soon as I get out of here.”
By day three, he was my calm, sweet boy again, all apologies and promises to get better. I’ve heard those promises for years. I don’t believe them anymore.
On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”
And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.
I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.
According to Mother Jones, since 1982, 61 mass murders involving firearms have occurred throughout the country. Of these, 43 of the killers were white males, and only one was a woman. Mother Jones focused on whether the killers obtained their guns legally (most did). But this highly visible sign of mental illness should lead us to consider how many people in the U.S. live in fear, like I do.
When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”
I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.
With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill—Rikers Island, the LA County Jail and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011.
No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”
I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.
God help me. God help Michael. God help us all.
(Originally published at The Anarchist Soccer Mom.)
Newtown tragedy could put mental health in spotlight
Could the nation’s mental health services be improved in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting?
“…Families and doctors who treat the mentally ill say they hope that Friday’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn., will refocus the nation’s attention on improving mental health services.
Police have not yet released details about the motives or mental state of shooter Adam Lanza. But the perpetrators of similar mass murders — at Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois University and a Tucson gathering for Rep. Gabby Giffords, for example — all suffered from serious mental health conditions.
“We wait for things like this to happen and then everyone talks about mental health,” says Priscilla Dass-Brailsford, an associate professor of psychology in the psychiatry department at Georgetown University Medical Center. “But they quickly forget.”
There are hundreds of multiple-casualty shootings every year, says forensic psychologist Dewey Cornell, director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project. People have become so desensitized to the horror, however, that “It’s gotten to the point where only the ones with high body counts make the news,” he says. “It takes a record number, or something extraordinary, to get our attention.”
Yet mental illness destroys countless lives everyday, he says, contributing to domestic violence and child abuse, drug addiction, homelessness and incarceration. Investing in mental health care and reducing its stigma could help prevent future tragedies, he says.
“Mental health has shrunk down to the level of short-term crisis management,” Cornell says. “If we are going to focus on prevention, we can’t think about the gunman in the parking lot and what to do with him. We have to get involved a lot earlier.”
Schools and communities “have cut their mental health services to the bone,” says Cornell. “We’re paying a price for it as a society.” …”
Gun prosecutions under Obama down over 40 percent
“…Despite his calls for greater gun control, including a new assault weapons ban that extends to handguns, President Obama’s administration has turned away from enforcing gun laws, cutting weapons prosecutions some 40 percent since a high of about 11,000 under former President Bush.
“If you are not going to enforce the laws on the books, then don’t start talking about a whole new wave of new laws,” said a gun rights advocate.
In the wake of the horrific mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Democratic lawmakers have begun preparing a new collection of anti-gun laws, including renewing the assault weapons ban, banning the purchase of high-capacity clips that spring bullets into guns, and tightening rules on who can buy weapons.
Lawmakers are banking that the public will push for new gun controls. But as with other mass shootings, polls find the public split, and blaming the shooter, not the gun. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press on Monday found that public is evenly divided over whether the Newtown shootings reflect broader problems in American society, 47 percent, or are just the acts of troubled individuals, 44 percent.
Figures collected by Syracuse University’s TRAC project, the authority on prosecutions from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, shows that the administration has reduced the focus on gun crimes and instead steered prosecutors and investigators to drug crimes.
Gun prosecutions peaked at 10,937 under Bush in 2004. A current TRAC report shows that the Obama administration is prosecuting about 6,000 weapons cases.
According to an October 2011 TRAC report, “There also has been a shifting emphasis towards drug-related investigations. Since ATF-referred prosecutions peaked in FY 2005, the number of weapons prosecutions actually has fallen by 32 percent, a much higher rate than for ATF prosecutions overall. Making up the difference has been the growing number of drug cases, up by 26 percent during the same period.”
In 2011, the Obama gun prosecutions hit a low for the decade, but there has been a slight uptick in prosecutions this year, said another TRAC report.
Second Amendment advocates said on background that they expect Obama to press ATF to boost prosecutions and use the Sandy Hook case, and other mass shootings, to move gun control to the top of his second term agenda. “It’s in his DNA to push this issue,” said one gun-rights official, speaking on background. “This would be his crowning achievement, if he can ban guns,” added the official.
28 Killed in Connecticut School Shooting
“…A gunman opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked, killing 26 people, including 20 children, law-enforcement officials said, in what could be the worst mass shooting at a U.S. elementary or high school.
The shooter was found dead inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, located about 65 miles northeast of New York City. State police said another victim was found dead elsewhere in Newtown, putting the total toll at 28.
Law-enforcement officials identified the suspected shooter as Adam Lanza. Officials said the alleged shooter’s mother was a teacher at the school, and she was believed to be among the victims. Earlier, a law-enforcement official incorrectly identified the suspect as Mr. Lanza’s brother, Ryan. Authorities didn’t identify a motive.
The attack at Sandy Hook, a historic village lined with colonial homes in Newtown, began at about 9:40 a.m. and was concentrated around a single classroom, a school bathroom and a hallway, an official said.
Diane Day, a therapist at the school, was sitting with the principal, other staff members and a parent in a routine meeting around 9:30 a.m. when she heard gunshots. “We were there for about five minutes chatting and we heard, ‘pop pop pop,’ ” she said. “I went under the table.”
The principal and school psychologist leaped out of their seats and ran out of the room, Ms. Day said. “They didn’t think twice about confronting or seeing what was going on,” she said.
Without a lock on the door, the school’s lead teacher pressed her body against the door to hold it shut, Ms. Day said. That teacher was shot through the door in the leg and arm. “She was our hero,” Ms. Day said.
Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, said that multiple law-enforcement agencies were engaged in “search-warrant activity.” Lt. Vance said investigators were looking “both in and out of state” for information on the gunman but assured the public that they weren’t at risk.
A federal law-enforcement official said a .223 Bushmaster rifle was found in the back of a vehicle at the scene. Two firearms were recovered near the alleged gunman’s body: a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both handguns.
The scene was chaotic as initial reports of a shooting grew steadily worse. Joe Wasik, whose daughter, Alexis, is in the third grade at the school, said his wife called him a little after 10 a.m. after receiving a text from the town’s automated alert system on her phone. Checking his laptop, Mr. Wasik saw the reports of a shooting and raced to the scene.
“There were cars everywhere,” he said, describing a crush of parents at a nearby firehouse where parents were sent to look for their children among those evacuated from the school.
Alexis, who was standing in the crowd, crying, was “a nervous wreck,” he said. Mr. Wasik said his daughter had sheltered in a closet during the shooting, and he wasn’t sure if she had heard the shots.
Mr. Wasik’s wife took their daughter to a cousin’s house to play in an attempt to take her mind off the shooting. He remained in the firehouse to wait for a friend, who was sequestered in another room at the firehouse—an area for parents whose children were still missing.
Mr. Wasik’s voice was still shaking, hours after the massacre. “Pretty much everyone has dispersed, except for parents with missing children,” he said.
President Barack Obama was notified of the attack around 10:30 a.m. by his counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, John Brennan, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
Mr. Obama spoke on the phone with Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller and Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy to receive an update on the situation and express his condolences, Mr. Carney said.
Mr. Malloy, in a news conference Friday afternoon, said “you can never be prepared for this kind of incident,” adding that what happened “will leave a mark on this community and every family impacted.”
Mr. Obama delivered an emotional statement from the White House Friday afternoon, tearing up several times as he spoke of the children who were killed. “They had their entire lives ahead of them—birthday, weddings, kids of their own,” Mr. Obama said pausing to wipe tears from his eyes.
Saying he was reacting as a parent of two daughters, he called the shooting a “heinous crime” and vowed to press for meaningful action, regardless of the politics, to prevent more such incidents in the future. “We’ve endured too many of these tragedy in the last few years,” he said.
The death toll at Sandy Hook Elementary, which has nearly 600 students in kindergarten through 4th grade and 42 teachers, exceeds the death at Columbine High School in 1999, which left 12 students and one teacher dead at the hands of two fellow students, who also took their own lives.
In 2007, 33 people including the gunmen were shot and killed on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.
Schools nationwide have increased security measures since the fatal shooting at Columbine. Many installed metal detectors, developed detailed crisis plans, implemented policies to keep school doors locked and accessible only by buzzer, and put teachers and staff through training session on how to recognize and deal with threats.
Michael Dorn, executive director of Safe Havens International, a nonprofit that works with thousands of U.S. schools to develop safety plans, said there has been a dramatic improvement in school safety “but so much more” could be done.
A letter sent to Sandy Hook parents earlier this year described a new security protocol put in place at the school. The protocol requires identification for most visitors who must ring a doorbell to gain entry to the school’s front entrance, which is locked after 9:30 a.m.
“If our office staff does not recognize you, you will be required to show identification with a picture ID,” the letter said.
Leigh Libero’s daughter, Joey, would have been in a second-grade classroom Friday morning, but she had a dentist appointment. As Ms. Libero pulled up to the school, she saw just-erected barricades and received an urgent text message from her sister, who works at a television news station in Hartford.
Children were led out the school’s driveway, directly to the firehouse, where parents streamed in “en masse” to locate their children, Ms. Libero said. “This is the perfect New England town,” Ms. Libero said. “You wouldn’t think of this.”
Ms. Libero said parents were trying to determine how the gunman entered the school. The school uses a double-secured door during the day, she said. Visitors approaching the school must press a button to be buzzed in through the outer set of school doors to enter the building.
Carrie Usher, a fourth-grade teacher at Sandy Hook, was having a team meeting with three other teachers while her class worked in the library. They heard gunfire and then the loudspeaker came on with “fighting and crying and maybe some screaming,” sounds of chaos that she said were being broadcast throughout the building.
“The gunfire was just unbelievable it felt like it lasted for five minutes. It wouldn’t stop,” she said.
Three of the teachers jumped out the window of their meeting room, Ms. Usher said, while the fourth remained behind and hid behind bags and boxes. The door opened and someone came in but that person didn’t see the hiding teacher.
Ms. Usher is still uncertain what was broadcast over the loudspeaker. “I think it was fighting,” she said in a phone interview. “I think it was the principal before she was killed put that out there to warn the teachers what was happening. I believe so. We don’t know.” …”
20 Children Among 28 Dead In Newtown Elementary School Massacre
Gunman Opens Fire Inside Sandy Hook Elementary School Early Friday
“…Twenty children are among 28 people who were killed Friday morning after a gunman opened fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
State Police Lt. Paul Vance said 18 children and 6 adults were pronounced dead at that scene. Two other children later died at the hospital. One other person was injured, Vance said.
A 28th victim was found dead at a secondary crime scene, Lance said. He would not elaborate on the details.
Among those dead is the gunman. A source familiar with the investigation identified him as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, CBS News reported. He was found dead inside the building from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, sources told CBS 2.
Law enforcement sources had earlier told CBS News that the gunman was 24-year-old Ryan Lanza, Adam Lanza’s older brother. Ryan Lanza, of Hoboken, New Jersey, is now being questioned by police.
According to an Associated Press report, the confusion over the alleged gunman’s identity occurred when a law enforcement officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, “mistakenly transposed the brothers’ first names.”
A second official who spoke with the AP said Adam Lanza drove to the scene of the shootings in his mother’s car. That official also told the wire service Lanza’s girlfriend and another friend are missing in New Jersey.
The AP also reported that a former Jersey Journal staff writer said he spoke with Ryan Lanza, who told the writer his brother may have had his identification.
The shooting has become the second-deadliest school shooting in the nation’s history, exceeded only by the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech that left 33 people dead.
Lance said the shooting occurred in two different classrooms in one section of the school.
One of the adult victims is Lanza’s mother, Nancy Lanza, a teacher at the school, sources told CBS 2.
A law enforcement source told CBS News two pistols, a Glock and a Sig Sauer, were found in the school and a .223-caliber rifle was found in a car.
An emotional President Barack Obama spoke about the massacre at the White House Friday. Fighting back tears, he said he reacted to the news not just as the president, but as a parent.
“The majority of those who died today are children. Beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10-years-old,” he said. “They had their entire lives ahead of them. Birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”
At times, Obama wiped away tears from the corner of his eyes, adding ”Our hearts are broken.”
“As a country, we have been through this too many times,” he said. “These children are our children and we are going to come together to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics.”
The president ordered that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff through Tuesday. Conn. Gov. Dan Malloy has also ordered all U.S. and state flags be flown at half-staff.
Malloy arrived in Newtown Friday afternoon. His office said several state agencies are working together to coordinate the state’s response.
Speaking a news conference, Malloy called the shooting “a tragedy of unspeakable terms.”
Gunfire erupted inside the school around 9:40 a.m. Parents said they received an automatic message that there had been a shooting incident in the district and that schools were being placed on lockdown.
An 8-year-old student said he was on his way to the school’s office when he saw the gunman.
“I saw some of the bullets going down the hall and then a teacher pulled me into her classroom,” the boy told CBS 2′s Lou Young.
Vance said several agencies, including local and state police, responded to the scene and immediately began a search of the building.
“The entire school was searched and a staging area was set up,” he said.
tudents and staff were then evacuated from the school. As they were walking out of the building, some of the children were told to close their eyes and walk fast, WCBS 880′s Sean Adams reported.
Students were then taken to a nearby firehouse to be reunited with their parents. Schools in surrounding areas were also placed on lockdown.
Danbury Hospital spokesperson Diane Burke told CBS 2 that the hospital was also put on lockdown as a precautionary measure.
Lisa Bailey, a Newtown resident with three children in Newtown schools, told CBSNewYork.com, “Newtown is a quiet town. I’d never expect this to happen here. It’s so scary. Your kids are not safe anywhere.” …”
Gunman kills 20 children, 6 adults at Connecticut elementary school
“…Twenty-seven people, including 20 children, were killed Friday when a gunman clad in black military gear opened fire inside his mother’s kindergarten class at a Connecticut elementary school.
The shooter, who sources identified as Adam Lanza, 20, shot his mother in the face at their home in Newtown, Conn., then went to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School where she taught and gunned down her entire class, according to sources. Lanza was found dead inside the school, according to officials. Eighteen of the children and six more adults were dead at the school and two more children died later, according to Connecticut State Police Lt. Paul Vance.
Vance would not confirm the shooter’s name, and earlier in the day there were conflicting reports over the gunman’s identity. Law enforcement sources told FoxNews.com the shooter was Adam Lanza. His brother, Ryan Lanza, 24, was being questioned in Hoboken, N.J., but it was not sure if he faced charges.
“It is not a simplistic scene,” Vance told reporters.
An official with knowledge of the situation said the shooter was armed with a .223-caliber rifle. Four weapons in total were recovered from the scene. The motive is not yet known.
Vance said during an afternoon news conference that police arrived at the scene “within minutes” of a 911 call placed shortly after 9:30 a.m.
“Every door, every crack, every crevice of that school” was checked, Vance said. “The entire school was searched.” He said the shooting occurred inside two rooms in “one section of the school.”
Vance did not give details about the number of victims other than to say they included students and staff, pending notification of the families. He said more information would be released, possibly later Friday.
Vance also said that a “deceased adult” was found at a “secondary crime scene,” though he declined to elaborate.
A federal law enforcement official told Fox News that Lanza’s mother, Nancy, was killed at her home in Connecticut. The vehicle the suspect used in the shooting was registered to his mother.
A source close to the investigation said the shooter’s father, who lives in Stamford, Conn., is meeting with FBI agents.
Robert Licata said his 6-year-old son was in class when the gunman burst in and shot the teacher.
“That’s when my son grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door,” he said. “He was very brave. He waited for his friends.”
He said the shooter didn’t utter a word.
Stephen Delgiadice said his 8-year-old daughter was in the school and heard two big bangs. Teachers told her to get in a corner, he said.
“It’s alarming, especially in Newtown, Connecticut, which we always thought was the safest place in America,” he said. His daughter was fine.
Mergim Bajraliu, 17, heard the gunshots echo from his home and ran to check on his 9-year-old sister at the school. He said his sister, who was fine, heard a scream come over the intercom at one point. He said teachers were shaking and crying as they came out of the building.
“Everyone was just traumatized,” he said.
President Obama was notified of the shooting around 10:30 am ET, White House officials said.
“Our hearts are broken today,” Obama said in a brief address to the nation on Friday. “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in these past few years, and each time I receive the news I react not as a president, but as a parent.”
“Most victims were children, between five and 10 years old…They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations weddings, kids of their own,” he said, pausing before wiping tears from his eyes.
Sandy Hook Elementary School has close to 700 students.
Newtown is in Fairfield County, about 45 miles southwest of Hartford and 60 miles northeast of New York City. …”
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Explaining the ‘fiscal cliff’
Forward off the fiscal cliff: falling, falling, splat!
Time is quickly running out for President Barack Obama and the congressional leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties as they attempt to negotiate a deal that would avert going over the year-end “fiscal cliff.”
If a deal or fiscal cliff fix is not agreed to by then, the so-called Bush marginal tax rate cuts would expire on Jan. 1, 2013 followed by the cutting or sequestration of government spending on Jan. 15.
Should these massive tax hikes and huge spending cuts happen, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected that the unemployment rate would rise above 9 percent in the latter half of 2013 from its present level of 7.9 percent with the economy going into another recession, with negative economic growth in real gross domestic product for the first two quarters of 2013.
In a November report titled “Economic Effects of Policies Contributing to Fiscal
Tightening in 2013,” the CBO projected that “if all of that fiscal tightening occurs, real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) will drop by .5 percent in 2013 (as measured by the change from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the fourth quarter of 2013), reflecting a decline in the first half of the year and renewed growth at a modest pace later in the year.”
The estimated 10-year cost of the expiration of the Bush 2001/2003 marginal rate tax cuts is $2.4 trillion. The estimated cost of the expiration of Alternative Minimum Tax (ATM) patches is $864 billion and of various “tax extenders” is $890 billion. Over a 10-year period, the spending cuts or sequester of 10 percent of defense spending is estimated to be $510 billion and of 8 percent of non-defense spending is estimated to be $335 billion.
A majority of Democrats and Republicans appear to agree that the Bush marginal rate tax cuts should be extended for those individuals earning less than $250,000. Both parties also agree on extending the ATM patches, tax extenders (R&D tax credit and others) and the so-called doc fix for Medicare reimbursement. Both parties appear to agree on not extending the temporary one year 2 percent reduction in the Social Security (FICA) employee payroll tax and not extending unemployment insurance benefits.
The biggest disagreements between both political parties is over Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, with its additional 3.8 percent tax on dividends and capital gains and a .9 percent tax on wage income for those earning more than $250,000. The Republican Party wants to repeal Obamacare in its entirety, while the Democrat Party wants Obamacare to be implemented on schedule.
Obama and the Democratic Party want to raise the marginal tax rates of those earning above $250,000 by increasing the marginal tax bracket rates from 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent to 28, 31, 36, and 39.6 percent and increasing the estate tax from 35 percent for estates over $5 million to 55 percent for estates over $1 million. The Democrats also want to increase the capital gains tax from 15 percent to 20 percent and tax dividends as ordinary income.
In a nationally televised statement to the nation on Nov. 28, Obama said, “”Our ultimate goal is to get an agreement that is fair and balanced.” “If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up at the beginning of next year,” the president added.
The Republican Party wants the Bush marginal tax rates either made permanent or extended for at least another year and either the elimination of the estate tax or no changes in the current estate tax. Republicans also want to either eliminate the tax on capital gains and dividends taxes or leave their taxation unchanged. They argue that it is the successful small business owner who creates wealth, income and jobs.
House Speaker John Boehner said, “Raising tax rates is unacceptable.” and added “Frankly, it couldn’t even pass the House. I’m not sure it could pass the Senate.”
Boehner concluded, “The goal here is to grow the economy and control spending. You’re not going to grow the economy if you raise the top 2 percent rates. It’ll hurt small businesses and it’ll hurt our economy, why this is not the right approach.”
However, the biggest differences between both political parties in their attempt to avoid falling off the fiscal cliff concerns government spending cuts or sequestration. The real problem is not adequate tax revenues, but excessive government spending, with deficit spending under President George W. Bush of nearly $3.3 trillion over eight fiscal years (2002-2009) and Barack Obama of nearly $5.1 trillion over four fiscal years (2010-2013).
Next week part 2 of this article will address the challenge of cutting federal government spending.
Raymond Thomas Pronk is host of the Pronk Pops Show on KDUX web radio from 3-5 p.m. Fridays and author of the companion blog http://www.pronkpops.wordpress.com
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United States fiscal cliff
“…The “Fiscal Cliff” refers to the expected slow down in the U.S. economy if spending from the government goes down as much as scheduled and taxes go up as much as scheduled on January 2013. These laws include tax increases due to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and spending cuts under the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Congressional Budget Office reported an increased risk of recession during 2013 if the deficit is reduced suddenly, while indicating that lower deficits and debt would in time improve long-term economic growth. The deficit for 2013 is projected to be reduced by roughly half. Further, over the next ten years, projected increases in the United States public debt would be lowered by as much as $7.1 trillion or about 70%, resulting in a considerably lower ratio of debt relative to the size of the economy.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 was enacted as a compromise to resolve a dispute concerning the public debt ceiling. Deficit spending previously appropriated by Congress was bringing the federal government’s total debt close to the statutory ceiling. Republicans in Congress refused to approve an increase in the ceiling unless there were deep spending cuts. The Budget Control Act included an immediate increase in the debt ceiling, along with a mechanism for facilitating two additional increases. It also provided for automatic spending cuts to begin on January 2, 2013.
The year-over-year changes for fiscal years 2012–2013 include a 19.63% increase in tax revenue and 0.25% reduction in spending. These changes would return tax revenue to approximately its historical average of 18% GDP, while continuing to spend at dollar levels held approximately the same since 2009. Some major programs, like Social Security, Medicaid, federal pay (including military pay and pensions), and veterans’ benefits, are exempted from the spending cuts. Spending for federal agencies and cabinet departments would be reduced through broad, shallow cuts (referred to as budget sequestration).
The projected effects of these changes have led to calls both inside and outside of Congress to extend some or all of the tax cuts, and to replace the across-the-board reductions with more targeted cutbacks. It has been speculated that any change is unlikely to come until the period roughly between the 2012 federal elections and the end of the year. Additionally, the debate may be exacerbated by the expectation that the debt ceiling is expected to be reached before the end of 2012,[note 1] unless “extraordinary measures” are used. Nearly all proposals to avoid the fiscal cliff involve extending certain parts of the 2010 Tax Relief Act or changing the 2011 Budget Control Act or both, thus making the deficit larger by reducing taxes and/or increasing spending.
The term ‘fiscal cliff’ had in the past been used to refer to various fiscal issues. The term started being used in the current context near the original expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2010. In 2011, the term started to be used to refer to the deficit reductions that would occur in 2013 under current law.
In late February 2012, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, popularized the term “fiscal cliff” for this crisis. Before the House Financial Services Committee he described that “a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases” would take place on January 1, 2013.
Some analysts have argued that “fiscal slope” or “fiscal hill” would be more appropriate terminology because while the cumulative economic effect over all of 2013 would be substantial, it would not be felt immediately but rather gradually as the weeks and months went by.
During a lame duck session in December 2010, Congress passed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. The act extended the Bush tax cuts for an additional two years and “patched” the exemptions to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) for tax year 2011. This act also authorized a one-year reduction in the Social Security (FICA) employee payroll tax. This was extended for an additional year by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which also extended federal unemployment benefits and the freeze on Medicare physician payments.
On August 2, 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 as part of an agreement to resolve the debt-ceiling crisis. The Act provided for a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the “super committee”) to produce legislation by late November that would decrease the deficit by $1.2 trillion over ten years. If the committee failed to do so, as it in fact had failed to do, another part of the Act directs automatic across-the-board cuts (known as “sequestrations”), split evenly between defense and domestic spending, beginning January 2, 2013. Also, the Affordable Care Act imposed new taxes on families making more than $250,000 a year ($200,000 for individuals) starting at the same time.
At the end of 2011, the patch to the AMT exemptions expired. Technically, the AMT thresholds immediately reverted to their 2000 tax year levels, a drop of 26% for single people and 40% for married couples. Anyone over these reduced thresholds at the end of 2012 would be subject to the AMT. Therefore, more taxpayers would pay more unless some legislation was passed (as was done in 2007) that affects the exemptions retroactively.
Current laws leading to the fiscal cliff
The following provisions of current law are most involved in the fiscal cliff:
- Expiration of the Bush tax cuts extended by President Obama in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010;
- Across-the-board spending cuts (“sequestration”) to most discretionary programs as directed by the Budget Control Act of 2011;
- Reversion of the Alternative Minimum Tax thresholds to their 2000 tax year levels;
- Expiration of measures delaying the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate from going into effect (the “doc fix”), most recently extended by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (MCTRJCA);
- Expiration of the 2% Social Security payroll tax cut, most recently extended by MCTRJCA;
- Expiration of federal unemployment benefits, most recently extended by MCTRJCA and
- New taxes imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
Without new legislation, these provisions will automatically go into effect on January 1 or 2, 2013, except for the Alternative Minimum Tax growth, which may be changed retroactively. Some provisions will increase taxes (the expiration of the Bush and FICA payroll tax cuts and the new Affordable Care tax and AMT thresholds) while others will reduce spending (sequestration, expiration of unemployment benefits and implementation of the Medicare SGR).
Proposals to avoid the fiscal cliff involve repealing legislation containing certain of these provisions or passing new legislation to extend provisions that are due to expire. Different proposals may include changes to some or all of the above provisions. For example, the Congressional Budget Office’s “Alternative Fiscal Scenario” includes only the first four items above. Changes to other provisions are also sometimes included in such proposals; for example, changing the original caps on discretionary appropriations contained in 2011′s Budget Control Act, indexing the AMT exemptions for inflation or the wholesale or partial reform of the tax laws or entitlement programs.
Congressional Budget Office projections
US federal debt from 1940 to 2022. The right side of the diagram projects what would happen to the debt if Congress (a) allows current laws to take effect and reduce the deficit (the baseline) or (b) extends the current policies, such as keeping tax cuts in place (the alternative).
Decisions regarding the fiscal cliff will have meaningful implications for deficits, debt, and economic growth. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected two fiscal scenarios for the years 2013 to 2022:
- The baseline projection. This scenario would have lower deficits and debt but also have lower spending and higher taxes.
- The alternative fiscal scenario. Higher deficits and debt but lower taxes and higher spending.[note 2]
These paint starkly different fiscal futures. If Congress and the President do not act, allowing tax cuts to expire and mandated spending cuts to be implemented, the next decade will more closely resemble the baseline projection. If they act to extend current policies, keeping lower tax rates in place and postponing or preventing the spending cuts, the next decade will more closely resemble the alternate fiscal scenario.
Baseline projection. The CBO has been publishing baseline projections since 1985. Under “the baseline”, tax cuts are allowed to expire and spending cuts are implemented in 2013, resulting in higher tax revenues plus lower spending, deficits, debt and interest for the next decade and beyond. Future deficits would be reduced from an estimated 8.5% of GDP in 2011 to 1.2% by 2021. Revenues would rise towards 24% GDP, versus the historical average 18% GDP.
The total deficit reduction or debt avoidance over ten years could be as high as $7.1 trillion, versus the $10–11 trillion debt increases if current policies are extended. In other words, roughly 70% of debt increases projected over the next 10 years could be avoided by allowing laws on the books during 2012 to be implemented.
CBO estimates under the baseline projection that public debt rises from 69% GDP in 2011 to 84% by 2035. In the long run, lower deficits and debt should lead to relatively higher growth estimates. But, in the short run, real GDP growth in 2013 would likely be reduced to 0.5% from 1.1%. This would mean a high probability of recession (a 1.3% GDP contraction) during the first half of the year followed by 2.3% growth in the second half.
Alternate fiscal scenario. If Congress “avoids” the fiscal cliff, the future more closely resembles the continuation of 2012 policies, described by the CBO’s “alternative fiscal scenario.” This scenario involves extending the Bush income tax cuts, restricting the reach of the AMT, and keeping Medicare reimbursement rates at the current level (the so-called “doc fix”, versus declining by one-third as mandated under current law). Revenues are assumed to remain around the historical average 18% GDP. Under this scenario, public debt rises from 69% GDP in 2011 to 100% by 2021 and approaches 190% by 2035. This scenario has considerably higher debt and interest payments than the baseline projection, but short-term impact on the economy is avoided.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that allowing certain laws on the books during 2012 to expire or take effect in 2013 (the baseline scenario) would cut the 2013 deficit approximately in half and significantly reduce the trajectory of future deficits and debt increases for the next decade and beyond. However, the 2013 deficit reduction would adversely impact the economy in the short-run. On the other hand, if Congress acts to extend current policies (the alternative scenario), deficits and debt will rise rapidly over the next decade and beyond, slowing the economy over the long run and dramatically increasing interest costs.
CBO estimates that if the baseline scenario is allowed to take effect in 2013, it would reduce federal spending by $103 billion and increase tax revenues by $399 billion (and another $105 billion “mostly in revenue”) through September 2013 (the end of FY2013). This would amount to a net total of $560 billion, roughly half the $1.2 trillion FY2011 deficit. The White House estimates that a family of four with an income of $50,000 to $85,000 would pay an additional $2,200 in federal taxes.
The CBO has identified the following metrics for its baseline and alternative scenarios for the period starting January 2013:
|Fiscal or Economic Measure
|Federal deficit in FY2013
|Economic growth in FY2013
||−0.5% of GDP
||1.7% of GDP
|Unemployment rate for October thru December 2013
|Public debt in 2022
||58% of GDP
||90% of GDP
Consideration of these scenarios and other options[note 2] leads to what the CBO calls “a broad spectrum of fiscal policy choices”.
Estimated deficit for the first year
Expiration of tax cuts and the subsequent growth in the AMT: $221B (36.41%)
Expiration of 2% FICA payroll tax cut: $95B (15.65%)
Other expiring tax provisions: $65B (10.71%)
Affordable Care Act taxes: $18B (3.97%)
Spending cuts (“sequestration”) under the Budget Control Act of 2011: $65B (10.71%)
Expiration of federal emergency unemployment insurance: $26B (4.28%)
Reduction in Medicare payment rates for doctors: $11B (1.81%)
Other changes (mostly revenue, primarily reflecting economic growth): $105B (17.30%)
The CBO estimated that the total deficit of fiscal year 2012 (which ends on September 30, 2012) will be $1.171 trillion. The CBO also estimated that the total reductions to the fiscal year 2013 deficit by letting current laws take effect (which increase taxes and reduce spending) would be about $560 billion.
Therefore, since the total US public debt was approximately $11.053 trillion as of July 2012, the public debt would climb by the end of FY2013 to either $11.664 trillion (if Congress does nothing, allowing current law to take effect) or $12.224 trillion (if the fiscal cliff is avoided, extending current tax and spending policies into the future), all other considerations remaining the same. This difference amounts to 5.07% of the federal debt in nine months.
Under current laws scheduled to take effect by the end of 2012, the total 2013 deficit will be $612 billion, as opposed to $1,171 billion for the previous year. The chart at the right contains a breakdown of the currently authorized reductions to the FY2013 deficit. The total of this chart is $606 billion but this is without considering economic feedback. Reduced taxes and increased spending, due to the 1.3% contraction in the first half of 2013, as well as other constraints, are expected to decrease the savings by $47 billion, giving a net total of $560 billion in deficit reduction during FY2013.
CBO analysis of policy options
The CBO reported in November 2012 the economic and employment effects of various policy options related to the cliff. Each option has a different GDP and employment impact per dollar of deficit impact. In other words, some choices are more economically efficient. CBO explained why spending cuts have a more significant adverse impact on the economy than tax increases per dollar of deficit reduction: “The larger ‘bang for the buck’ next year of the spending policies under the alternative fiscal scenario occurs because, CBO expects, a significant part of the decrease in taxes (relative to those under current law) would be saved rather than spent.”
Effects of sequestration
Main article: Budget Control Act of 2011
Main article: United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
The spending reduction elements of the fiscal cliff are primarily contained within the Budget Control Act of 2011, which directed that both defense and non-defense discretionary spending[note 3] be reduced by “sequestration” if Congress was unable to agree on other spending cuts of similar size. Congress was unable to reach agreement and therefore the sequestrations are expected start taking effect on January 2, 2013 if Congress, and President Obama, do not agree to a budget deficit reduction plan. The scope of the law excludes major mandatory programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
The effect on both defense and non-defense discretionary spending will be significant if the cliff is not avoided. Cuts totaling $110 billion per year will be applied from 2013 to 2022, split evenly ($55 billion each) to defense and non-defense discretionary spending. For scale, discretionary funding for 2011 totaled $1,277 billion: budget authority of $712 billion for defense and funding totaling $566 billion for non-defense activities.
During 2013, defense and non-defense discretionary spending would be maintained around 2012 levels due to the sequester. However, the spending begins to rise thereafter, but not at the pace projected prior to the sequester. In other words, the trajectory of spending increases is reduced, but spending is not frozen at 2012 levels. Defense and non-defense discretionary spending increases from 2013–2021 would be about 1.5% annually, significantly below the prior decade.
For example, according to the CBO Historical Tables, defense spending (including overseas contingency operations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) grew from $295 billion in 2000 to $700 billion in 2011, an annual growth rate of 8.2%. Non-defense discretionary spending grew at a 6.6% annual rate during that time, from $320 billion to $646 billion.
The austerity represented by the sequester is not unprecedented; from 1990–1999, defense spending actually declined by about 1% annually, from $300 billion to $276 billion, although non-defense discretionary spending grew by 4.5% annually, rising from $200 to $297 billion.
The CBO estimated the possible impact on defense spending in October 2011 testimony: “Compliance with the caps on discretionary funding could occur through many different combinations of defense and non-defense funding. For example, defense and nondefense appropriations might be cut proportionally relative to the funding that would be necessary to keep pace with inflation. In that case, funding for defense programs apart from overseas contingency operations would drop from $552 billion in 2011 to $538 billion in 2012 before rising again and reaching $637 billion in 2021 (see Table 3).
Between 2012 and 2021, such funding would be $445 billion less than the amount that would occur if the amount of funding for 2011 grew at the rate of inflation. When measured as a share of GDP, funding for defense would decline by about 1 percentage point from 2011 to 2021, or by more than one-fourth (see Table 5). Funding for defense in 2021 (excluding overseas contingency operations) would represent 2.7 percent of GDP; by comparison, annual funding for defense (excluding overseas contingency operations) has averaged 3.4 percent of GDP during the past decade.”
The CBO estimated the possible impact on non-defense discretionary spending in October 2011 testimony: “If defense and nondefense appropriations were cut proportionally relative to the funding that would be necessary to keep pace with inflation, nondefense budget authority would decrease from $511 billion in 2011 to $505 billion in 2012 before rising again and reaching $597 billion in 2021 (see Table 4). Between 2012 and 2021, budget authority for nondefense purposes would be $418 billion less than the amount that would be provided if funding grew at the rate of inflation after 2011. Under an assumption that the obligation limitations for certain transportation programs grow over time at the rate of inflation, nondefense funding in 2021 would represent 2.8 percent of GDP; by comparison, such funding has averaged 4.1 percent of GDP during the past decade (see Figure 6).”
Effects of tax increases
Various sources estimated the 2013 impact on taxpayers (individual and married filing jointly) from the tax increases that would occur if the Bush income tax cuts and Obama payroll tax cuts are allowed to expire. The table below shows the dollar and percentage increase in taxes due and assumes two federal allowances are taken. The interactive tool at the source cited can be adjusted based on the reader’s circumstances.
|Income Level / Filing status
||$1,576 / 18%
||$1,870 / 26%
||$4,076 / 17%
||$3,272 / 17%
||$5,850 / 15%
||$5,046 / 15%
||$7,350 / 13%
||$6,546 / 14%
Many experts have argued that the U.S. should avoid the fiscal cliff while taking steps to bring the long-term deficit and debt trajectory under control. For example, economist Paul Krugman recommended that the U.S. focus on employment in the short-run, rather than the deficit. Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke emphasized the importance of balancing long-term deficit reduction with actions that would not slow the economy in the short-run. Charles Konigsburg, who directed the bi-partisan Domenici-Rivlin deficit reduction panel, advocated avoiding the fiscal cliff while taking steps to reduce the budget deficit over time. He recommended the adoption of ideas from deficit panels such as Domenici-Rivlin and Bowles-Simpson that accomplish these two goals.
Other experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Carlyle Group have argued that allowing the tax increases and spending cuts to occur under current law may be necessary to create the “grand bargain” required to get the U.S. deficit and debt trajectory under control for the long-run. In other words, allowing current law to take effect would create conditions under which legislators might be forced to enact better designed deficit reduction approaches of similar or greater magnitude.
Even financial news networks CNBC and CNBC.com are launching a network-wide initiative aimed at calling attention to the fiscal situation. The network’s campaign is called “RISE ABOVE”, a call to action appealing to everyone to rise above partisan political views in an effort to come to agreement on a plan that tackles both the long and short term challenges to the American economy. CNBC plans to engage business leaders, politicians and viewers through a series of programming efforts designed to increase the understanding of the core issues and to raise the level of dialogue beyond the rhetoric and talking points that have saturated media coverage of the ‘fiscal cliff.’
Proposals to mitigate the fiscal cliff
U.S. Federal budget deficit as % of GDP assuming continuation of certain policies for 2012-2022. The baseline deficit assumes current law takes effect, meaning tax cuts expire and spending cuts are applied. Avoiding the “fiscal cliff” increases the projected deficit.
Congressional Republicans have proposed that the Bush tax cuts be extended in their entirety. In August 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that extending these tax cuts for the 2013–2022 time period would add $3.18 trillion to the national debt relative to the current law baseline, comprising $2.74 trillion in foregone tax revenue plus another $0.44 trillion for interest and debt service costs.
On July 25, 2012, the U.S. Senate voted 51–48 to pass a bill supporting the President’s tax proposal which extended cuts for most taxpayers, while rejecting the Republican proposal of extending the tax cuts for all 45–54. The U.S. House of Representatives rejected, 170–257, the President’s tax proposal on August 1, 2012.
As of November 1, 2012, a group of senators, now called the Gang of Eight, composed of Democratic Whip Richard J. Durbin D-Il., Finance Committee member Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Budget Committee Chair Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Sen. Michael F. Bennet, D-Colo., Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., Finance member Mike Crapo, R-Idaho., Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., have been working since 2011 but “has so far failed to reach an agreement after more than a year of talks.” Because of the number of spending cuts and tax changes, at least half a dozen committees, such as the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees, might want to weigh in on the bill. Congressional rules allow bills to skip committee hearings, but the group lacks the clout to “push its plan through Congress outside the regular order of business”.
On November 16, 2012, the US leaders announced that President Obama (D) met with House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “to discuss” the plan “to work on” a plan “over the weekend” “to create a plan” that would be ready to present the week of November 26, 2012 concerning the fiscal cliff.
In a three-page letter, Steven Miller, acting IRS Commissioner, outlined the effects of the fiscal cliff and said that the IRS is working under the assumption that Congress would “patch” the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). The patch prevents the AMT from impacting many more taxpayers. This is similar to what Congress has done in previous years.
Since the budgetary and economic impact is due to existing laws, Congress would have to pass new legislation and have the President sign it into law to avoid the cliff. Since a Presidential veto requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate to override, a Presidential veto of attempts to avoid the cliff would likely ensure that significant deficit reduction would occur. The President has promised to veto any attempt to bypass the cliff that does not include an increase of tax rates for the wealthy.
- March 23, 2010: President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One of this law’s provisions is to impose new taxes on families making $250,000 per year or more starting in 2013.
- December 17, 2010: Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, patching the AMT through 2011 and extending the Bush tax cuts to the end of 2012.
- August 2, 2011: The President signed the Budget Control Act of 2011. This act provided that, if the Joint Select Committee did not produce bipartisan legislation, across-the-board spending cuts would take effect on January 2, 2013.
- February 22, 2012: Obama signed into law the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which extended the following provisions until December 31, 2012: the 2% Social Security payroll tax cut, federal unemployment benefits and the freeze on Medicare physician payments.
- February 29, 2012: Ben Bernanke popularized the term “fiscal cliff” in his testimony before the House Financial Services Committee.
- July 3, 2012: IMF head Lagarde warned that the threat of “going over the fiscal cliff” could weaken the US economy later in 2012. The IMF also reduced its projection for US growth in 2013 from 2.4 to 2.25 percent of GDP.
- July 17, 2012: Bernanke pushed Congress to avoid the fiscal cliff, warning that a failure to do so will further dampen the sluggish economic recovery.
- July 31, 2012: Reid and Boehner agreed on a continuing resolution that would pay for the day-to-day running of the government until the end of March 2013. This does not affect the fiscal cliff or the debt-ceiling.
- August 7, 2012: Obama signed the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, which directed his administration to detail in 30 days how they plan to implement the automatic cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act.
- September 14, 2012: Obama released his 400-page document detailing cuts. http://cdn.govexec.com/media/gbc/docs/pdfs_edit/091412cc1.pdf 
- October 22, 2012: At the third of three presidential debates, Obama says sequestration will not happen.
- November 16, 2012: US leaders announced that they met “to discuss” the plan “to work on” a plan “over the weekend” “to create a plan” that would be ready to present the week of November 26, 2012 concerning the fiscal cliff. …”
Why Not Just Fall Off the Fiscal Cliff?
Contrarians and some politicos on both the left and the right have started to ask the forbidden question
By Joyce Hanson, AdvisorOne
“…As everyone knows by now, considering all the talk by market pundits and business media, fear of falling off the fiscal cliff has become the obsession du jour ever since President Obama won re-election. The threatened results of a failure to resolve the issue – including tax hikes, spending cuts and an almost certain recession – sound so dire that nobody wants the U.S. to fall off that cliff.
Then again, maybe some do. Contrarians and some politicos on both the left and the right have started to ask the forbidden question: Why not just fall off the fiscal cliff?
For example, conservative thinker Marc A. Thiessen of the American Enterprise Institute dared suggest in an opinion piece for The Washington Post on Monday that the best way to start the new year in a bipartisan fashion would be to head over the cliff.
“Today, the only ones in Washington who advocate fiscal cliff-diving are liberal Democrats. It’s time for conservatives to join them. Letting the Bush tax cuts expire will strengthen the GOP’s hand in tax negotiations next year, and it may be the only way Republicans can force President Obama and Senate Democrats to agree to fundamental tax reform,” Thiessen wrote.
True enough, liberal Paul Krugman in a post-election column for The New York Times on Nov. 8 urged Democrats not to make a deal in terms of accommodating Republican demands.
“I don’t mean to minimize the very real economic dangers posed by the so-called fiscal cliff that is looming at the end of this year if the two parties can’t reach a deal,” Krugman wrote. “The looming combination of tax increases and spending cuts looks easily large enough to push America back into recession. Nobody wants to see that happen. Yet it may happen all the same, and Mr. Obama has to be willing to let it happen if necessary.”
Facing What May Become Reality
After the Dec. 31 deadline, if no compromise is reached, both the Bush-era tax cuts and the Obama administration’s payroll tax cut are scheduled to expire. At the same time, $1.2 trillion of automatic “sequestration” spending cuts divided equally between defense and non-defense discretionary programs are set to kick in.
Some market participants are girding themselves to face the reality of Washington gridlock if lawmakers fail to reach any kind of a fiscal cliff compromise, whether it’s a continued kicking of the can down the road or a grand bargain.
For example, Mike Acton (left), director of research for AEW, an institutional investment manager that focuses on real estate, said that contrarians are arguing that if tax rates go back to where they were 10 years ago, it would generate as much as $4.5 trillion of new revenue.
“So if in January the Bush tax cuts went away, that would allow $1.5 trillion of reduction in the debt ceiling as called for by the deficit supercommittee,” Acton said. “They created that as a way to force an agreement.”
Acton noted that falling off the cliff would mean that the capital gains tax, dividend tax, estate taxes and personal income tax rates would all go back up. …”
Greenspan: ‘Markets Will Crater’ With Fiscal Cliff
Former Fed chairman says mild recession is ‘cheap price’ of coming crisis
By John Sullivan, AdvisorOne
“…Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told Bloomberg Television on Friday that “markets will crater if we run into any evidence that we can’t solve this [fiscal cliff] problem.”
Greenspan, who said recently that big Wall Street banks should allowed to go bankrupt, said, “If we get out of this with a moderate recession, I would say that the price is very cheap.”
Greenspan on the fiscal cliff:
“We have to recognize that this is going to be extraordinarily difficult to solve. All of the simple low hanging fruits have been picked and the presumption that we are going to resolve the big issue on spending by making a few little twitches here and there I think is a little naive. If we get out of this with a moderate recession, I would say that the price is very cheap. The presumption that we will solve this problem without paying I think is grossly inappropriate.”
On Simpson and Bowles saying that the markets could crash if a deal isn’t made:
“I think it is not only Simpson-Bowles. I think the markets are getting very shaky. And they are getting shaky because I think fiscal policy is out of control. And I think the markets will crater if we run into any evidence that we cannot solve this problem. And I think the notion that the issue of the impact on the economy is strictly the spending tax issue, is also the market. I think we underestimate the extent to which the market value of assets has a very important impact on real GDP.”
On whether the U.S. is headed into a recession even if a deal is made:
“Not necessarily. I am just saying that we may get a deal, which will take us for next year or so. But the question isn’t that. I think the question is essentially how are we going to stop what is a critical problem here, an extraordinarily rapid rise in what the Department of Commerce calls government social benefits to persons, which has been rising very rapidly bipartisanly in the sense that it has been rising even faster under Republican administrations than Democratic administrations. And they are all very closely involved in these new benefits, the only problem is that it is eating into the savings of the society and our long-term growth. And yes, we can continue for the next year or so without any really serious problems emerging. But I think it is a highly risky endeavor.
“The problem is, if we are going to come to grips with this thing, we are going to have to recognize that even if we have got to pay the cost of a significant rise in taxes to get a significant slowing and then decline in social benefits, that is a very cheap price in the sense that a large increase in taxes required to fund what is currently on the books is going to cause a recession. But I think that if we can get away with that is the only cost to this whole problem, I think that is a pretty good deal.”
On where Republicans and Democrats will find common ground on cutting entitlement programs:
“It is going to be extraordinarily difficult. The issue is that words matter. If you ask the average person in the street about, for example, their social security benefits, they will say we have paid in, it is our money, we have earned it, I am getting it back. It is not welfare, it is not charity. It is equivalent to a private, fully-funded pension fund. It isn’t. It is essentially extremely underfunded. In fact, if we were to go to a fully-funded system, comparable to those fully-funded private systems, we would have to cut benefits by the equivalent of 4% points of payroll taxes or raise payroll taxes by the equivalent amount. Those are very large numbers and would suggest that yes, indeed, people have put money in, but certainly not enough to fund what they are getting back. The notion that we have to confront is that people do not think that this is any different from a private fund. The trouble is that it is.”
On tax policy:
“The problem basically is that we have tried for decades to somehow manage our budget in such a way that, yes we can run deficits of this or that size, and we use it sophisticatedly for fiscal policy. It turns out we cannot do that well. It gets out of hand and this is not an accident. There is no question that raising taxes will turn the economy downward. Ideally I would like to just cut spending. I do not think politically that is feasible because the problem, no matter how you look at it, is fundamentally this extraordinary rise in social benefits to persons. That is the core of the problem. But the issue is, if we can solve it the way I would want to solve it, if we go back to where we were earlier at a much lower level of those benefits because I think what is then going on in recent years, we have not been able to afford.”
On whether tax rate increases or eliminating deductions and closing loopholes will get the revenue agreement:
“I agree with those who argue that marginal tax rates really do matter. And I thought the genius of the Simpson-Bowles plan to identify a trillion dollars’ worth of tax expenditures which Republicans can a look at as subsidies, and the Democrats can look at as increased taxes to upper income groups. The problem is you are looking at the same issue and you can compromise on that. But look, if the issue here is whether you do it tax rates or you do it by taking loopholes out so to speak, obviously the latter is the better choice by far. The issue here is in both cases, you lower the rate of savings in a society and that will curtail capital investment, curtail the rate of growth and productivity, and essentially slow down the rate of real resource creation, which at the end of the day is what funds social benefits.” …”
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Ray Kurzweil “How to Create a Mind”, Authors at Google
Exclusive Interview with Ray Kurzweil
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GLENN BECK PRESENTS “THE PROJECT”, The Muslim Brotherhood “Project” DOCUMENTARY
GBR: You need to understand The Project PART 1
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Muslim Brotherhood in America: The Overview
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Reagan 1980 Are you better off than you were four years ago?
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Wearing a bright red dress, Ann Romney, wife of Mitt Romney, the Republican Party’s presidential candidate, delivered an inspiring and moving speech to the delegates at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday evening, Aug. 28.
Several passages from her speech resonated and connected with the American people watching on television, especially with American women and mothers:
“It is all the little things that pile up and become big things. And the big things, the good jobs, a chance at college, that home you want to buy become harder. Everything has become harder. We are too smart to know there are no easy answers, but not dumb enough to accept that there are not better answers.”
Concerning her marriage to Mitt Romney and the challenges of rising five sons and facing the health challenges of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, she said:
” I have read somewhere that Mitt and I have a storybook marriage. Well, let me tell you something. In the storybooks that I read there never were long long winter rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And these storybooks never seem to have chapters called MS or breast cancer. A storybook marriage, nope, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage.”
Regarding her husband’s business success at Bain Capital and his charitable giving, she said, “Mitt Romney was not handed success, he built it.” “This is very important, I want you to hear, what I am going to say. Mitt does not like to talk about how he has helped others, he considers it a privilege. Not a talking point.”
She addressed this remark to the undecided voter: “Let me say this to every American who is thinking about who should be our next President. No one will work harder, no one will care more, and no one will move heaven and earth, like Mitt Romney, to make this country a better place to live.”
She concluded her address with a ringing endorsement of her husband and a commitment to the American people. She said:
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“This is the man America needs. This is the man who will wakeup everyday with the determination to solve the problems that others cannot be solved. To fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone, so we can work a little less hard. I cannot tell you what will happen over the next four years. But, I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, mother, and grandmother, an American and make a solemn commitment. This man will not fail. This man will not let us down. This man will lift up America. …You can trust Mitt.”
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John Stossel – DDT
Demonizing DDT: Challenging The Scare Campaign That Has Cost Millions of Lives
“In The Excellent Powder: DDT’s Political and Scientific History, Richard Tren and Donald Roberts argue that the infamous insecticide is the world’s greatest public-health success stories, saving millions of lives by preventing insect-borne disease. Unfortunately for those in areas still infested with mosquitoes and other flying bugs, DDT is also the world’s most-misunderstood substance, the target of a decades-long scientifically ignorant and ideologically motivated campaign that has vastly limited its use and applications.
From Rachel Carson in the 1960s to contemporary critics, DDT has been the object of what Roberts, a professor of tropical public health at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, calls “scare campaigns” that link DDT to “theoretical harms to wildlife and human life that simply don’t exist.”
Dubbed “the excellent powder” by Winston Churchill for its life-saving qualities, DDT has the potential to transform the developing world from a malarial hell into something else again. Yet as Tren, the winner of the 2009 Julian L. Simon Award, warns, under current international conventions, global DDT production is scheduled to be halted in 2017, thereby consigning much of the world to less-effective and more-expensive alternatives that will consign millions of poor people to living hell.
Reason.tv’s Nick Gillespie sat down with Tren and Roberts, who are part of Africa Fighting Malaria, to talk about how DDT got such a bad rap and what can be done to set the record straight.”
15-108 Science Matters:DDT & Modern Environmental Movement II
“…Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by protists (a type of microorganism) of the genus Plasmodium. The protists first infect the liver, then act as parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases progressing to coma or death. The disease is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions in a broad band around the equator, including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Five species of Plasmodium can infect and be transmitted by humans. Severe malaria is largely caused by P. falciparum while the disease caused by P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae is generally a milder form that is rarely fatal. The zoonotic species P. knowlesi, prevalent in Southeast Asia, causes malaria in macaques but can also cause severe infections in humans. Malaria is prevalent in tropical regions because the significant amounts of rainfall, consistently high temperatures and high humidity, along with stagnant waters in which mosquito larvae readily mature, provide them with the environment they need for continuous breeding. Disease transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by distribution of mosquito nets and insect repellents, or with mosquito-control measures such as spraying insecticides and draining standing water.
The World Health Organization has estimated that in 2010, there were 216 million documented cases of malaria. Around 655,000 people died from the disease, many of whom were children under the age of five. The actual number of deaths may be significantly higher, as precise statistics are unavailable in many rural areas, and many cases are undocumented. P. falciparum — responsible for the most severe form of malaria — causes the vast majority of deaths associated with the disease. Malaria is commonly associated with poverty, and can indeed be a cause of poverty and a major hindrance to economic development.
Despite a clear need, no vaccine offering a high level of protection currently exists. Efforts to develop one are ongoing. Several medications are available to prevent malaria in travelers to malaria-endemic countries (prophylaxis). A variety of antimalarial medications are available. Severe malaria is treated with intravenous or intramuscular quinine or, since the mid-2000s, the artemisinin derivative artesunate, which is superior to quinine in both children and adults and is given in combination with a second anti-malarial such as mefloquine. Resistance has developed to several antimalarial drugs, most notably chloroquine and artemisinin.
Signs and symptoms
Main symptoms of malaria
Typical fever patterns of malaria
The signs and symptoms of malaria typically begin 8–25 days following infection. However, symptoms may occur later in those who have taken antimalarial medications as prevention. The presentation may include fever, shivering, arthralgia (joint pain), vomiting, hemolytic anemia, jaundice, hemoglobinuria, retinal damage, and convulsions. Approximately 30% of people however will no longer have a fever upon presenting to a health care facility.
The classic symptom of malaria is cyclical occurrence of sudden coldness followed by rigor and then fever and sweating lasting about two hours or more, occurring every two days in P. vivax and P. ovale infections, and every three days for P. malariae. P. falciparum infection can cause recurrent fever every 36–48 hours or a less pronounced and almost continuous fever. For reasons that are poorly understood, but that may be related to high intracranial pressure, children with malaria frequently exhibit abnormal posturing, a sign indicating severe brain damage. Cerebral malaria is associated with retinal whitening, which may be a useful clinical sign in distinguishing malaria from other causes of fever.
Severe malaria is usually caused by P. falciparum, and typically arises 6–14 days after infection. Non-falciparum species have however been found to be the cause of ~14% of cases of severe malaria in some groups. Consequences of severe malaria include coma and death if untreated—young children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable. Splenomegaly (enlarged spleen), severe headache, cerebral ischemia, hepatomegaly (enlarged liver), hypoglycemia, and hemoglobinuria with renal failure may occur. Renal failure is a feature of blackwater fever, where hemoglobin from lysed red blood cells leaks into the urine.
A Plasmodium sporozoite traverses the cytoplasm of a mosquito midgut epithelial cell in this false-colour electron micrograph.
Malaria parasites are from the genus Plasmodium (phylum Apicomplexa). In humans, malaria is caused by P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. ovale, P. vivax and P. knowlesi. Among those infected, P. falciparum is the most common species identified (~75%) followed by P. vivax (~20%). P. falciparum accounts for the majority of deaths. P. vivax proportionally is more common outside of Africa. There have been documented human infections with several species of Plasmodium from higher apes; however, with the exception of P. knowlesi—a zoonotic species that causes malaria in macaques—these are mostly of limited public health importance.
The definitive hosts for malaria parasites are female mosquitoes of the Anopheles genus, which act as transmission vectors to humans and other vertebrates, the secondary hosts. Young mosquitoes first ingest the malaria parasite by feeding on an infected vertebrate carrier and the infected Anopheles mosquitoes eventually carry Plasmodium sporozoites in their salivary glands. A mosquito becomes infected when it takes a blood meal from an infected vertebrate. Once ingested, the parasite gametocytes taken up in the blood will further differentiate into male or female gametes and then fuse in the mosquito’s gut. This produces an ookinete that penetrates the gut lining and produces an oocyst in the gut wall. When the oocyst ruptures, it releases sporozoites that migrate through the mosquito’s body to the salivary glands, where they are then ready to infect a new human host. The sporozoites are injected into the skin, alongside saliva, when the mosquito takes a subsequent blood meal. This type of transmission is occasionally referred to as anterior station transfer.
Only female mosquitoes feed on blood; male mosquitoes feed on plant nectar, and thus do not transmit the disease. The females of the Anopheles genus of mosquito prefer to feed at night. They usually start searching for a meal at dusk, and will continue throughout the night until taking a meal. Malaria parasites can also be transmitted by blood transfusions, although this is rare.
Malaria recurs after treatment for three reasons. Recrudescence occurs when parasites are not cleared by treatment, whereas reinfection indicates complete clearance with new infection established from a separate infective mosquito bite; both can occur with any malaria parasite species. Relapse is specific to P. vivax and P. ovale and involves re-emergence of blood-stage parasites from latent parasites (hypnozoites) in the liver. Describing a case of malaria as cured by observing the disappearance of parasites from the bloodstream can, therefore, be deceptive. The longest incubation period reported for a P. vivax infection is 30 years. Approximately one in five of P. vivax malaria cases in temperate areas involve overwintering by hypnozoites, with relapses beginning the year after the mosquito bite.
The life cycle of malaria parasites. A mosquito causes infection by taking a blood meal. First, sporozoites enter the bloodstream, and migrate to the liver. They infect liver cells, where they multiply into merozoites, rupture the liver cells, and return to the bloodstream. Then, the merozoites infect red blood cells, where they develop into ring forms, trophozoites and schizonts that in turn produce further merozoites. Sexual forms are also produced, which, if taken up by a mosquito, will infect the insect and continue the life cycle.
Malaria infection develops via two phases: one that involves the liver or hepatic system (exoerythrocytic), and one which involves red blood cells, or erythrocytes (erythrocytic). When an infected mosquito pierces a person’s skin to take a blood meal, sporozoites in the mosquito’s saliva enter the bloodstream and migrate to the liver where they infect hepatocytes, multiplying asexually and asymptomatically for a period of 8–30 days. After a potential dormant period in the liver, these organisms differentiate to yield thousands of merozoites, which, following rupture of their host cells, escape into the blood and infect red blood cells to begin the erythrocytic stage of the life cycle. The parasite escapes from the liver undetected by wrapping itself in the cell membrane of the infected host liver cell.
Within the red blood cells, the parasites multiply further, again asexually, periodically breaking out of their hosts to invade fresh red blood cells. Several such amplification cycles occur. Thus, classical descriptions of waves of fever arise from simultaneous waves of merozoites escaping and infecting red blood cells.
Some P. vivax sporozoites do not immediately develop into exoerythrocytic-phase merozoites, but instead produce hypnozoites that remain dormant for periods ranging from several months (6–12 months is typical) to as long as three years. After a period of dormancy, they reactivate and produce merozoites. Hypnozoites are responsible for long incubation and late relapses in P. vivax infections, although their existence in P. ovale is uncertain.
The parasite is relatively protected from attack by the body’s immune system because for most of its human life cycle it resides within the liver and blood cells and is relatively invisible to immune surveillance. However, circulating infected blood cells are destroyed in the spleen. To avoid this fate, the P. falciparum parasite displays adhesive proteins on the surface of the infected blood cells, causing the blood cells to stick to the walls of small blood vessels, thereby sequestering the parasite from passage through the general circulation and the spleen. The blockage of the microvasculature causes symptoms such as in placental and cerebral malaria. In cerebral malaria the sequestrated red blood cells can breach the blood–brain barrier possibly leading to coma.
Micrograph of a placenta from a stillbirth due to maternal malaria. H&E stain. Red blood cells are anuclear; blue/black staining in bright red structures (red blood cells) indicate foreign nuclei from the parasites
Although the red blood cell surface adhesive proteins (called PfEMP1, for P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1) are exposed to the immune system, they do not serve as good immune targets, because of their extreme diversity; there are at least 60 variations of the protein within a single parasite and even more variants within whole parasite populations. The parasite switches between a broad repertoire of PfEMP1 surface proteins, thus staying one step ahead of the pursuing immune system.
Some merozoites turn into male and female gametocytes. If a mosquito pierces the skin of an infected person, it potentially picks up gametocytes within the blood. Fertilization and sexual recombination of the parasite occurs in the mosquito’s gut. New sporozoites develop and travel to the mosquito’s salivary gland, completing the cycle. Pregnant women are especially attractive to the mosquitoes, and malaria in pregnant women is an important cause of stillbirths, infant mortality and low birth weight, particularly in P. falciparum infection, but also in other species infection, such as P. vivax.
Main article: Genetic resistance to malaria
Due to the high levels of mortality and morbidity caused by malaria—especially the P. falciparum species—it is thought to have placed the greatest selective pressure on the human genome in recent history. Several diseases may provide some resistance to it including sickle cell disease, thalassaemias, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency as well as the presence of Duffy antigens on the subject’s red blood cells.
The impact of sickle cell anemia on malaria immunity is of particular interest. Sickle cell anemia causes a defect to the hemoglobin molecule in the blood. Instead of retaining the biconcave shape of a normal red blood cell, the modified hemoglobin S molecule causes the cell to sickle or distort into a curved shape. Due to the sickle shape, the molecule is not as effective in taking or releasing oxygen, and therefore malaria parasites cannot complete their life cycle in the cell. Individuals who are homozygous for sickle cell anemia seldom survive this defect, while those who are heterozygous experience immunity to the disease. Although the potential risk of death for those with the homozygous condition seems to be unfavorable to population survival, the trait is preserved because of the benefits provided by the heterozygous form.
Hepatic dysfunction as a result of malaria is rare and is usually a result of a coexisting liver condition such as viral hepatitis and chronic liver disease. Hepatitis, which is characterized by inflammation of the liver, is not actually present in what is called malarial hepatitis; the term as used here invokes the reduced liver function associated with severe malaria. While traditionally considered a rare occurrence, malarial hepatopathy has seen an increase in malaria endemic areas, particularly in Southeast Asia and India. Liver compromise in people with malaria correlates with a greater likelihood of complications and death.
Main article: Diagnosis of malaria
Malaria is typically diagnosed by the microscopic examination of blood using blood films or using antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests. Rapid diagnostic tests that detect P. vivax are not as effective as those targeting P. falciparum. They also are unable to tell how many parasites are present. Areas that cannot afford laboratory diagnostic tests often use only a history of subjective fever as the indication to treat for malaria. Polymerase chain reaction based tests have been developed, though these are not widely implemented in malaria-endemic regions as of 2012, due to their complexity.
Malaria is divided into severe and uncomplicated by the World Health Organization (WHO). Severe malaria is diagnosed when any of the following criteria are present, otherwise it is considered uncomplicated.
- Decreased consciousness
- Significant weakness such that the person is unable to walk
- Inability to feed
- Two or more convulsions
- Low blood pressure (less than 70 mmHg in adults or 50 mmHg in children)
- Breathing problems
- Circulatory shock
- Kidney failure or hemoglobin in the urine
- Bleeding problems, or hemoglobin less than 5 g/dl
- Pulmonary edema
- Low blood glucose (less than 2.2 mmol/l / 40 mg/dl)
- Acidosis or lactate levels of greater than 5 mmol/l
- A parasite level in the blood of greater than 2%
Anopheles albimanus mosquito feeding on a human arm. This mosquito is a vector of malaria and mosquito control is an effective way of reducing the incidence of malaria.
Methods used to prevent malaria include medications, mosquito eradication and the prevention of bites. The presence of malaria in an area requires a combination of high human population density, high mosquito population density and high rates of transmission from humans to mosquitoes and from mosquitoes to humans. If any of these is lowered sufficiently, the parasite will eventually disappear from that area, as happened in North America, Europe and much of the Middle East. However, unless the parasite is eliminated from the whole world, it could become re-established if conditions revert to a combination that favours the parasite’s reproduction. Many countries are seeing an increasing number of imported malaria cases owing to extensive travel and migration.
Many researchers argue that prevention of malaria may be more cost-effective than treatment of the disease in the long run, but the capital costs required are out of reach of many of the world’s poorest people. There is a wide disparity in the costs of control (i.e. maintenance of low endemicity) and elimination programs between countries. For example, in China—whose government in 2010 announced a strategy to pursue malaria elimination in the Chinese provinces—the required investment is a small proportion of public expenditure on health. In contrast, a similar program in Tanzania would cost an estimated one-fifth of the public health budget.
Man spraying kerosene oil to protect against mosquitoes carrying malaria, Panama Canal Zone 1912
Efforts to eradicate malaria by eliminating mosquitoes have been successful in some areas. Malaria was once common in the United States and southern Europe, but vector control programs, in conjunction with the monitoring and treatment of infected humans, eliminated it from those regions. In some areas, the draining of wetland breeding grounds and better sanitation were adequate. Malaria was eliminated from most parts of the USA in the early 20th century by such methods, and the use of the pesticide DDT and other means eliminated it from the remaining pockets in the South by 1951. (see National Malaria Eradication Program)
Before DDT, malaria was successfully eradicated or controlled in tropical areas like Brazil and Egypt by removing or poisoning the breeding grounds of the mosquitoes or the aquatic habitats of the larva stages, for example by applying the highly toxic arsenic compound Paris Green to places with standing water. This method has seen little application in Africa for more than half a century.
A more targeted and ecologically friendly vector control strategy involves genetic manipulation of malaria mosquitoes. Advances in genetic engineering technologies make it possible to introduce foreign DNA into the mosquito genome and either decrease the lifespan of the mosquito, or make it more resistant to the malaria parasite. Sterile insect technique is a genetic control method whereby large numbers of sterile males mosquitoes are reared and released. Mating with wild females reduces the wild population in the subsequent generation; repeated releases eventually eradicate the target population. Progress towards transgenic, or genetically modified, insects suggests that wild mosquito populations could be made malaria resistant. Successful replacement of current populations with a new genetically modified population relies upon a drive mechanism, such as transposable elements to allow for non-Mendelian inheritance of the gene of interest. Although this approach has been used successfully to eradicate some parasitic diseases of veterinary importance, technological problems have hindered its effective deployment with malaria vector species.
Indoor residual spraying
Further information: Indoor residual spraying and DDT and malaria
Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is the practice of spraying insecticides on the interior walls of homes in malaria-affected areas. After feeding, many mosquito species rest on a nearby surface while digesting the bloodmeal, so if the walls of dwellings have been coated with insecticides, the resting mosquitoes will be killed before they can bite another victim and transfer the malaria parasite.
The first pesticide used for IRS was DDT. Although it was initially used exclusively to combat malaria, its use quickly spread to agriculture. In time, pest control, rather than disease control, came to dominate DDT use, and this large-scale agricultural use led to the evolution of resistant mosquitoes in many regions. The DDT resistance shown by Anopheles mosquitoes can be compared to antibiotic resistance shown by bacteria. The overuse of antibacterial soaps and antibiotics led to antibiotic resistance in bacteria, similar to how overspraying of DDT on crops led to DDT resistance in Anopheles mosquitoes. During the 1960s, awareness of the negative consequences of its indiscriminate use increased, ultimately leading to bans on agricultural applications of DDT in many countries in the 1970s.
The World Health Organization currently advises the use of 12 insecticides in IRS operations, including DDT as well as alternative insecticides (such as the pyrethroids permethrin and deltamethrin). This public health use of small amounts of DDT is permitted under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which prohibits the agricultural use of DDT. However, because of its legacy, many developed countries previously discouraged DDT use even in small quantities.
One problem with all forms of IRS is insecticide resistance via evolution. Mosquitoes that are affected by IRS tend to rest and live indoors, and due to the irritation caused by spraying, their descendants tend to rest and live outdoors, meaning that they are not as affected—if affected at all—by the IRS, which greatly reduces its effectiveness as a defense mechanism.
Main article: Mosquito net
Mosquito nets create a protective barrier against malaria-carrying mosquitoes that bite at night.
Mosquito nets help keep mosquitoes away from people and significantly reduce infection rates and transmission of malaria. The nets are not a perfect barrier and they are often treated with an insecticide designed to kill the mosquito before it has time to search for a way past the net. Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) are estimated to be twice as effective as untreated nets and offer greater than 70% protection compared with no net. Although ITNs are proven to be very effective against malaria, only about 13% of households in sub-Saharan countries own them. Since the Anopheles mosquitoes feed at night, the preferred method is to hang a large “bed net” above the center of a bed to drape over it completely.
Community participation and health education strategies promoting awareness of malaria and the importance of control measures have been successfully used to reduce the incidence of malaria in some areas of the developing world. Recognizing the disease in the early stages can stop the disease from becoming fatal. Education can also inform people to cover over areas of stagnant, still water, such as water tanks that are ideal breeding grounds for the parasite and mosquito, thus cutting down the risk of the transmission between people. This is generally used in urban areas where there are large centers of population in a confined space and transmission would be most likely in these areas.
Other interventions for the control of malaria include mass drug administrations and intermittent preventive therapy.
Main article: Malaria prophylaxis
Several drugs, most of which are used for treatment of malaria, can be taken to prevent contracting the disease during travel to endemic areas. Chloroquine may be used where the parasite is still sensitive. However, due to resistance one of three medications—mefloquine (Lariam), doxycycline (available generically), or the combination of atovaquone and proguanil hydrochloride (Malarone)—is frequently needed. Doxycycline and the atovaquone and proguanil combination are the best tolerated; mefloquine is associated with higher rates of neurological and psychiatric symptoms.
The prophylactic effect does not begin immediately upon starting the drugs, so people temporarily visiting malaria-endemic areas usually begin taking the drugs one to two weeks before arriving and should continue taking them for four weeks after leaving (with the exception of atovaquone proguanil that only needs to be started two days prior and continued for seven days afterwards). Generally, these drugs are taken daily or weekly, at a lower dose than is used for treatment of a person who contracts the disease. Use of prophylactic drugs is seldom practical for full-time residents of malaria-endemic areas, and their use is usually restricted to short-term visitors and travelers to malarial regions. This is due to the cost of purchasing the drugs, negative adverse effects from long-term use, and because some effective anti-malarial drugs are difficult to obtain outside of wealthy nations. The use of prophylactic drugs where malaria-bearing mosquitoes are present may encourage the development of partial immunity.
Further information: Antimalarial medication
The treatment of malaria depends on the severity of the disease; whether people can take oral drugs or must be admitted depends on the assessment and the experience of the clinician.
Uncomplicated malaria may be treated with oral medications. The most effective strategy for P. falciparum infection is the use of artemisinins in combination with other antimalarials (known as artemisinin-combination therapy). This is done to reduce the risk of resistance against artemisinin. These additional antimalarials include amodiaquine, lumefantrine, mefloquine or sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine. Another recommended combination is dihydroartemisinin and piperaquine. In the 2000s (decade), malaria with partial resistance to artemisins emerged in Southeast Asia.
Severe malaria requires the parenteral administration of antimalarial drugs. Until the mid-2000s the most used treatment for severe malaria was quinine, but artesunate has been shown to be superior to quinine in both children and adults. Treatment of severe malaria also involves supportive measures that are optimally performed in a critical care unit, including management of high fevers (hyperpyrexia) and the subsequent seizures that may result from it, and monitoring for respiratory depression, hypoglycemia, and hypokalemia. Infection with P. vivax, P. ovale or P. malariae is usually treated on an outpatient basis (while a person is at home). Treatment of P. vivax requires both treatment of blood stages (with chloroquine or ACT) as well as clearance of liver forms with primaquine.
Disability-adjusted life yearfor malaria per 100,000 inhabitants in 2004.
Severe malaria can progress extremely rapidly and cause death within hours or days. In the most severe cases of the disease, fatality rates can reach 20%, even with intensive care and treatment. Over the longer term, developmental impairments have been documented in children who have suffered episodes of severe malaria. It causes widespread anemia during a period of rapid brain development and also direct brain damage. This neurologic damage results from cerebral malaria to which children are more vulnerable. When properly treated, people with malaria can usually expect a complete recovery.
Map showing the distribution of malaria in the world. : ♦ Elevated occurrence of chloroquine- or multi-resistant malaria : ♦ Occurrence of chloroquine-resistant malaria : ♦ No plasmodium falciparum or chloroquine-resistance : ♦ No malaria
Based on documented cases, the WHO estimates that there were 216 million cases of malaria in 2010 resulting in 655,000 deaths. An estimate in The Lancet, based on a systematic analysis of all available mortality data combined with empirical methods for estimating causes of death, places the number of deaths in 2010 at 1.24 million. The majority of cases occur in children under five years old; pregnant women are also especially vulnerable. Despite efforts to reduce transmission and increase treatment, there has been little change in which areas are at risk of this disease since 1992. Indeed, if the prevalence of malaria stays on its present upwards course, the death rate could double in the next twenty years. Precise statistics are unknown because many cases occur in rural areas where people do not have access to hospitals or the means to afford health care. As a consequence, the majority of cases are undocumented.
Although coinfection with HIV and malaria does increase mortality, this is less of a problem than with HIV/tuberculosis coinfection, due to the two diseases usually attacking different age ranges, with malaria being most common in the young and active tuberculosis most common in the old. Although HIV/malaria coinfection produces less severe symptoms than the interaction between HIV and TB, HIV and malaria do contribute to each other’s spread. This effect comes from malaria increasing viral load and HIV infection increasing a person’s susceptibility to malaria infection.
Malaria is presently endemic in a broad band around the equator, in areas of the Americas, many parts of Asia, and much of Africa; however, it is in sub-Saharan Africa where 85–90% of malaria fatalities occur. The geographic distribution of malaria within large regions is complex, and malaria-afflicted and malaria-free areas are often found close to each other. Malaria is prevalent in tropical regions because of the significant amounts of rainfall, consistent high temperatures and high humidity, along with stagnant waters in which mosquito larvae readily mature, providing them with the environment they need for continuous breeding. In drier areas, outbreaks of malaria have been predicted with reasonable accuracy by mapping rainfall. Malaria is more common in rural areas than in cities; this is in contrast to dengue fever where urban areas present the greater risk. For example, several cities in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are essentially malaria-free, but the disease is present in many rural regions. By contrast, malaria in Africa is present in both rural and urban areas, though the risk is lower in the larger cities. The Wellcome Trust, UK, has funded the Malaria Atlas Project to map global endemic levels of malaria, providing a more contemporary and robust means with which to assess current and future malaria disease burden. This effort led to the publication of a map of P. falciparum endemicity in 2010. As of 2010, countries with the highest death rate per 100,000 population are Cote d’Ivoire with (86.15), Angola (56.93) and Burkina Faso (50.66) – all in Africa.
Main article: History of malaria
Malaria has infected humans for over 50,000 years, and Plasmodium may have been a human pathogen for the entire history of the species. Close relatives of the human malaria parasites remain common in chimpanzees. Some new evidence suggests that the most virulent strain of human malaria may have originated in gorillas.
References to the unique periodic fevers of malaria are found throughout recorded history, beginning in 2700 BC in China. Malaria may have contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire, and was so pervasive in Rome that it was known as the “Roman fever”. Several regions in ancient Rome were considered at-risk for the disease because of the favorable conditions present for malaria vectors. This included areas such as southern Italy, the island of Sardinia, the Pontine Marshes, the lower regions of coastal Etruria and the city of Rome along the Tiber River. The presence of stagnant water in these places was preferred by mosquitoes for breeding grounds. Irrigated gardens, swamp-like grounds, runoff from agriculture, and drainage problems from road construction led to the increase of standing water.
The term malaria originates from Medieval Italian: mala aria — “bad air”; the disease was formerly called ague or marsh fever due to its association with swamps and marshland. Malaria was once common in most of Europe and North America, where it is no longer endemic, though imported cases do occur.
British doctor Ronald Ross received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work on malaria.
Malaria was the most important health hazard encountered by U.S. troops in the South Pacific during World War II, where about 500,000 men were infected. According to Joseph Patrick Byrne, “Sixty thousand American soldiers died of malaria during the African and South Pacific campaigns.” Scientific studies on malaria made their first significant advance in 1880, when a French army doctor working in the military hospital of Constantine in Algeria named Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran observed parasites for the first time, inside the red blood cells of people suffering from malaria. He therefore proposed that malaria is caused by this organism, the first time a protist was identified as causing disease. For this and later discoveries, he was awarded the 1907 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. The malarial parasite was called Plasmodium by the Italian scientists Ettore Marchiafava and Angelo Celli. A year later, Carlos Finlay, a Cuban doctor treating people with yellow fever in Havana, provided strong evidence that mosquitoes were transmitting disease to and from humans. This work followed earlier suggestions by Josiah C. Nott, and work by Sir Patrick Manson, the “father of tropical medicine”, on the transmission of filariasis.
In April 1894, a Scottish physician Sir Ronald Ross visited Sir Patrick Manson at his house on Queen Anne Street, London. This visit was the start of four years of collaboration and fervent research that culminated in 1898 when Ross, who was working in the Presidency General Hospital in Calcutta, proved the complete life-cycle of the malaria parasite in mosquitoes. He thus proved that the mosquito was the vector for malaria in humans by showing that certain mosquito species transmit malaria to birds. He isolated malaria parasites from the salivary glands of mosquitoes that had fed on infected birds. For this work, Ross received the 1902 Nobel Prize in Medicine. After resigning from the Indian Medical Service, Ross worked at the newly established Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and directed malaria-control efforts in Egypt, Panama, Greece and Mauritius. The findings of Finlay and Ross were later confirmed by a medical board headed by Walter Reed in 1900. Its recommendations were implemented by William C. Gorgas in the health measures undertaken during construction of the Panama Canal. This public-health work saved the lives of thousands of workers and helped develop the methods used in future public-health campaigns against the disease.
The first effective treatment for malaria came from the bark of cinchona tree, which contains quinine. This tree grows on the slopes of the Andes, mainly in Peru. The indigenous peoples of Peru made a tincture of cinchona to control malaria. The Jesuits noted the efficacy of the practice and introduced the treatment to Europe during the 1640s, where it was rapidly accepted. It was not until 1820 that the active ingredient, quinine, was extracted from the bark, isolated and named by the French chemists Pierre Joseph Pelletier and Joseph Bienaimé Caventou. Quinine become the predominant malarial medication until the 1920s, when other medications began to be developed. In the 1940s, chloroquine replaced quinine as the treatment of both uncomplicated and severe falciparum malaria until resistance supervened, first in Southeast Asia and South America in the 1950s and then globally in the 1980s. Artemisinins, discovered by Chinese scientists in the 1970s, are now the recommended treatment for falciparum malaria, administered in combination with other antimalarials as well as in severe disease.
Society and culture
Malaria is not just a disease commonly associated with poverty but also a cause of poverty and a major hindrance to economic development. Tropical regions are affected most; however, malaria’s furthest extent reaches into some temperate zones with extreme seasonal changes. The disease has been associated with major negative economic effects on regions where it is widespread. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a major factor in the slow economic development of the American southern states. A comparison of average per capita GDP in 1995, adjusted for parity of purchasing power, between countries with malaria and countries without malaria gives a fivefold difference ($1,526 USD versus $8,268 USD). In countries where malaria is common, average per capita GDP has risen (between 1965 and 1990) only 0.4% per year, compared to 2.4% per year in other countries.
Poverty is both a cause and effect of malaria, since the poor do not have the financial capacities to prevent or treat the disease. In its entirety, the economic impact of malaria has been estimated to cost Africa $12 billion USD every year. The economic impact includes costs of health care, working days lost due to sickness, days lost in education, decreased productivity due to brain damage from cerebral malaria, and loss of investment and tourism. In some countries with a heavy malaria burden, the disease may account for as much as 40% of public health expenditure, 30–50% of admissions to hospital, and up to 50% of outpatient visits. The slow demographic transition in Africa may be partly attributed to malaria. Total fertility rates were best explained by child mortality, as measured indirectly by infant mortality, in a 2007 study.
A study on the effect of malaria on IQ in a sample of Mexicans found that exposure during the birth year to malaria eradication was associated with increases in IQ. It also increased the probability of employment in a skilled occupation. The author suggests that this may be one explanation for the Flynn effect and that this may be an important explanation for the link between national malaria burden and economic development. The cognitive abilities and school performance are impaired in sub-groups of people (with either cerebral malaria or uncomplicated malaria) when compared with healthy controls. Studies comparing cognitive functions before and after treatment for acute malarial illness continued to show significantly impaired school performance and cognitive abilities even after recovery. Malaria prophylaxis was shown to improve cognitive function and school performance in clinical trials when compared to placebo groups. April 25 is World Malaria Day.
Counterfeit and substandard drugs
Sophisticated counterfeits have been found in several Asian countries such as Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, and are an important cause of avoidable death in those countries. The WHO said that studies indicate that up to 40% of artesunate based malaria medications are counterfeit, especially in the Greater Mekong region and have established a rapid alert system to enable information about counterfeit drugs to be rapidly reported to the relevant authorities in participating countries. There is no reliable way for doctors or lay people to detect counterfeit drugs without help from a laboratory. Companies are attempting to combat the persistence of counterfeit drugs by using new technology to provide security from source to distribution.
Another clinical and public health concern is the proliferation of substandard antimalarial medicines resulting from inappropriate concentration of ingredients, contamination with other drugs or toxic impurities, poor quality ingredients, poor stability and inadequate packaging. A 2012 study demonstrated that roughly one-third of antimalarial medications in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa failed chemical analysis, packaging analysis, or were falsified.
Throughout history, the contraction of malaria (via natural outbreaks as well as via infliction of the disease as a biological warfare agent) has played a prominent role in the fortunes of government rulers, nation-states, military personnel, and military actions. “Malaria Site: History of Malaria During Wars” addresses the devastating impact of malaria in numerous well-known conflicts, beginning in June 323 B.C. That site’s authors note: “Many great warriors succumbed to malaria after returning from the warfront and advance of armies into continents was prevented by malaria. In many conflicts, more troops were killed by malaria than in combat.” The Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) traces the history of malaria and its impacts farther back, to 2700 BCE.
In 1910, Nobel Prize in Medicine-winner Ronald Ross (himself a malaria survivor), published a book titled The Prevention of Malaria that included a chapter titled “The Prevention of Malaria in War.” The chapter’s author, Colonel C. H. Melville, Professor of Hygiene at Royal Army Medical College in London, addressed the prominent role that malaria has historically played during wars and advised: “A specially selected medical officer should be placed in charge of these operations with executive and disciplinary powers [...].”
Significant financial investments have been made to procure existing and create new anti-malarial agents. During World War I and World War II, the supplies of the natural anti-malaria drugs, cinchona bark and quinine, proved to be inadequate to supply military personnel and substantial funding was funneled into research and development of other drugs and vaccines. American military organizations conducting such research initiatives include the Navy Medical Research Center, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases of the US Armed Forces.
Additionally, initiatives have been founded such as Malaria Control in War Areas (MCWA), established in 1942, and its successor, the Communicable Disease Center (now known as the Centers for Disease Control) established in 1946. According to the CDC, MCWA “was established to control malaria around military training bases in the southern United States and its territories, where malaria was still problematic” and, during these activities, to “train state and local health department officials in malaria control techniques and strategies.” The CDC’s Malaria Division continued that mission, successfully reducing malaria in the United States, after which the organization expanded its focus to include “prevention, surveillance, and technical support both domestically and internationally.”
Several notable attempts are being made to eliminate the parasite from sections of the world, or to eradicate it worldwide. In 2006, the organization Malaria No More set a public goal of eliminating malaria from Africa by 2015, and the organization plans to dissolve if that goal is accomplished. Several malaria vaccines are in clinical trials, which are intended to provide protection for children in endemic areas and reduce the speed of transmission of the disease. As of 2012, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has distributed 230 million insecticide-treated nets intended to stop mosquito-born transmission of malaria. According to director Inder Singh, the U.S.-based Clinton Foundation has significantly reduced the cost of drugs to treat malaria, and is working to further reduce the spread of the disease. Other efforts, such as the Malaria Atlas Project focus on analyzing climate and weather information required to accurately predict the spread of malaria based on the availability of habitat of malaria-carrying parasites.
Malaria has been successfully eradicated in certain areas. The Republic of Mauritius, a tropical island located in the western Indian Ocean, considered ecological connections to malaria transmission when constructing their current plan for malaria control. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in aquatic areas, DDT is used in moderate amounts. Additionally, larvae-eating fish are placed in water sources to remove the malaria vectors before they become a threat to the human population. Obstructions are also removed from these sources to maintain water flow and reduce stagnant water. Similarly, marsh or swamp-like environments are drained and filled to diminish mosquito breeding grounds. These actions have produced positive results. The program has cut infection and death rates tremendously, and is cost effective, only requiring $1USD per head each year. This success is a clear indication that responses to adverse environmental conditions can decrease rates of disease.
With the onset of drug-resistant Plasmodium parasites, new strategies are required to combat the widespread disease. One such approach lies in the introduction of synthetic pyridoxal-amino acid adducts, which are channeled into the parasite. Thus, trapped upon phosphorylation by plasmodial PdxK (pyridoxine/pyridoxal kinase), the proliferation of Plasmodium parasites is effectively hindered by a novel compound, PT3, a cyclic pyridoxyl-tryptophan methyl ester, without harming human cells.
Malaria parasites contain apicoplasts, an organelle usually found in plants, complete with their own functioning genomes. These apicoplasts are thought to have originated through the endosymbiosis of algae and play a crucial role in various aspects of parasite metabolism, for example in fatty acid biosynthesis. As of 2003, 466 proteins have been found to be produced by apicoplasts and these are now being investigated as possible targets for novel anti-malarial drugs.
Malaria vaccines have been an elusive goal of research. The first promising studies demonstrating the potential for a malaria vaccine were performed in 1967 by immunizing mice with live, radiation-attenuated sporozoites, which provided significant protection to the mice upon subsequent injection with normal, viable sporozoites. Since the 1970s, there has been a considerable effort to develop similar vaccination strategies within humans. It was determined that an individual can be protected from a P. falciparum infection if they receive over 1,000 bites from infected yet irradiated mosquitoes.
Main article: Malaria vaccine
Immunity (or, more accurately, tolerance) does occur naturally, but only in response to repeated infection with multiple strains of malaria. A completely effective vaccine is not yet available for malaria, although several vaccines are under development. SPf66 was tested extensively in endemic areas in the 1990s, but clinical trials showed it to be insufficiently effective. Other vaccine candidates, targeting the blood-stage of the parasite’s life cycle, have also been insufficient on their own. Several potential vaccines targeting the pre-erythrocytic stage are being developed, with RTS,S showing the most promising results so far.
‘…DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is an organochlorine insecticide which is a white, crystalline solid, tasteless, and almost odorless. Technical DDT has been formulated in almost every conceivable form including solutions in xylene or petroleum distillates, emulsifiable concentrates, water-wettable powders, granules, aerosols, smoke candles, and charges for vaporisers and lotions.
First synthesized in 1874, DDT’s insecticidal properties were not discovered until 1939, and it was used with great success in the second half of World War II to control malaria and typhus among civilians and troops. The Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1948 “for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several arthropods.” After the war, DDT was made available for use as an agricultural insecticide, and soon its production and use skyrocketed.
In 1962, Silent Spring by American biologist Rachel Carson was published. The book catalogued the environmental impacts of the indiscriminate spraying of DDT in the US and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding their effects on ecology or human health. The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. Its publication was one of the signature events in the birth of the environmental movement, and resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led to DDT being banned in the US in 1972. DDT was subsequently banned for agricultural use worldwide under the Stockholm Convention, but its limited use in disease vector control continues to this day and remains controversial.
Along with the passage of the Endangered Species Act, the US ban on DDT is cited by scientists as a major factor in the comeback of the bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, from near-extinction in the contiguous US.
Properties and chemistry
DDT is similar in structure to the insecticide methoxychlor and the acaricide dicofol. It is a highly hydrophobic, nearly insoluble in water but has a good solubility in most organic solvents, fats, and oils. DDT does not occur naturally, but is produced by the reaction of chloral (CCl3CHO) with chlorobenzene (C6H5Cl) in the presence of sulfuric acid, which acts as a catalyst. Trade names that DDT has been marketed under include Anofex (Geigy Chemical Corp.), Cezarex, Chlorophenothane, Clofenotane, Dicophane, Dinocide, Gesarol (Syngenta Crop.), Guesapon, Guesarol, Gyron (Ciba-Geigy Corp. – now Novartis), Ixodex, Neocid (Reckitt & Colman, Ltd), Neocidol (Ciba-Geigy Corp. – now Novartis), and Zerdane.
Isomers and related compounds
o,p’ -DDT, a minor component in commercial DDT.
Commercial DDT is a mixture of several closely–related compounds. The major component (77%) is the p,p’ isomer which is pictured at the top of this article. The o,p’ isomer (pictured to the right) is also present in significant amounts (15%). Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (DDD) make up the balance. DDE and DDD are also the major metabolites and breakdown products in the environment. The term “total DDT” is often used to refer to the sum of all DDT related compounds (p,p’-DDT, o,p’-DDT, DDE, and DDD) in a sample.
Production and use statistics
From 1950 to 1980, DDT was extensively used in agriculture—more than 40,000 tonnes were used each year worldwide—and it has been estimated that a total of 1.8 million tonnes have been produced globally since the 1940s. In the U.S., where it was manufactured by Ciba, Montrose Chemical Company, Pennwalt and Velsicol Chemical Corporation, production peaked in 1963 at 82,000 tonnes per year. More than 600,000 tonnes (1.35 billion lbs) were applied in the U.S. before the 1972 ban. Usage peaked in 1959 at about 36,000 tonnes.
In 2009, 3314 tonnes were produced for the control of malaria and visceral leishmaniasis. India is the only country still manufacturing DDT, with China having ceased production in 2007. India is the largest consumer.
Mechanism of insecticide action
In insects it opens sodium ion channels in neurons, causing them to fire spontaneously, which leads to spasms and eventual death. Insects with certain mutations in their sodium channel gene are resistant to DDT and other similar insecticides. DDT resistance is also conferred by up-regulation of genes expressing cytochrome P450 in some insect species.
In humans, however, it may affect health through genotoxicity or endocrine disruption. See Effects on human health.
Commercial product containing 5% DDT
Commercial product (Powder box, 50 g) containing 10% DDT ; Néocide. CibaGeigy DDT ; “Destroys parasites such as fleas, lice, ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, flies, etc.. Néocide Sprinkle caches of vermin and the places where there are insects and their places of passage. Leave the powder in place as long as possible. ” “Destroy the parasites of man and his dwelling”. “Death is not instantaneous, it follows inevitably sooner or later. ” “French manufacturing” ; “harmless to humans and warm-blooded animals” “sure and lasting effect. Odorless.
First synthesized in 1874 by Othmar Zeidler, DDT’s insecticidal properties were not discovered until 1939 by the Swiss scientist Paul Hermann Müller, who was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his efforts.
Use in the 1940s and 1950s
DDT is the best-known of several chlorine-containing pesticides used in the 1940s and 1950s. With pyrethrum in short supply, DDT was used extensively during World War II by the Allies to control the insect vectors of typhus — nearly eliminating the disease in many parts of Europe. In the South Pacific, it was sprayed aerially for malaria and dengue fever control with spectacular effects. While DDT’s chemical and insecticidal properties were important factors in these victories, advances in application equipment coupled with a high degree of organization and sufficient manpower were also crucial to the success of these programs. In 1945, it was made available to farmers as an agricultural insecticide, and it played a minor role in the final elimination of malaria in Europe and North America. By the time DDT was introduced in the U.S., the disease had already been brought under control by a variety of other means. One CDC physician involved in the United States’ DDT spraying campaign said of the effort that “we kicked a dying dog.”
In 1955, the World Health Organization commenced a program to eradicate malaria worldwide, relying largely on DDT. The program was initially highly successful, eliminating the disease in “Taiwan, much of the Caribbean, the Balkans, parts of northern Africa, the northern region of Australia, and a large swath of the South Pacific” and dramatically reducing mortality in Sri Lanka and India. However widespread agricultural use led to resistant insect populations. In many areas, early victories partially or completely reversed, and in some cases rates of transmission even increased. The program was successful in eliminating malaria only in areas with “high socio-economic status, well-organized healthcare systems, and relatively less intensive or seasonal malaria transmission”.
DDT was less effective in tropical regions due to the continuous life cycle of mosquitoes and poor infrastructure. It was not applied at all in sub-Saharan Africa due to these perceived difficulties. Mortality rates in that area never declined to the same dramatic extent, and now constitute the bulk of malarial deaths worldwide, especially following the disease’s resurgence as a result of resistance to drug treatments and the spread of the deadly malarial variant caused by Plasmodium falciparum. The goal of eradication was abandoned in 1969, and attention was focused on controlling and treating the disease. Spraying programs (especially using DDT) were curtailed due to concerns over safety and environmental effects, as well as problems in administrative, managerial and financial implementation, but mostly because mosquitoes were developing resistance to DDT. Efforts shifted from spraying to the use of bednets impregnated with insecticides and other interventions.
Silent Spring and the U.S. ban
As early as the 1940s, scientists in the U.S. had begun expressing concern over possible hazards associated with DDT, and in the 1950s the government began tightening some of the regulations governing its use. However, these early events received little attention, and it was not until 1957, when the New York Times reported an unsuccessful struggle to restrict DDT use in Nassau County, New York, that the issue came to the attention of the popular naturalist-author, Rachel Carson. William Shawn, editor of The New Yorker, urged her to write a piece on the subject, which developed into her famous book Silent Spring, published in 1962. The book argued that pesticides, including DDT, were poisoning both wildlife and the environment and were also endangering human health.
Silent Spring was a best seller, and public reaction to it launched the modern environmental movement in the United States. The year after it appeared, President Kennedy ordered his Science Advisory Committee to investigate Carson’s claims. The report the committee issued “add[ed] up to a fairly thorough-going vindication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring thesis,” in the words of the journal Science, and recommended a phaseout of “persistent toxic pesticides”. DDT became a prime target of the growing anti-chemical and anti-pesticide movements, and in 1967 a group of scientists and lawyers founded the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) with the specific goal of winning a ban on DDT. Victor Yannacone, Charles Wurster, Art Cooley and others associated with inception of EDF had all witnessed bird kills or declines in bird populations and suspected that DDT was the cause. In their campaign against the chemical, EDF petitioned the government for a ban and filed a series of lawsuits. Around this time, toxicologist David Peakall was measuring DDE levels in the eggs of peregrine falcons and California condors and finding that increased levels corresponded with thinner shells.
In response to an EDF suit, the U.S. District Court of Appeals in 1971 ordered the EPA to begin the de-registration procedure for DDT. After an initial six-month review process, William Ruckelshaus, the Agency’s first Administrator rejected an immediate suspension of DDT’s registration, citing studies from the EPA’s internal staff stating that DDT was not an imminent danger to human health and wildlife. However, the findings of these staff members were criticized, as they were performed mostly by economic entomologists inherited from the United States Department of Agriculture, whom many environmentalists felt were biased towards agribusiness and tended to minimize concerns about human health and wildlife. The decision not to ban thus created public controversy.
The EPA then held seven months of hearings in 1971–1972, with scientists giving evidence both for and against the use of DDT. In the summer of 1972, Ruckelshaus announced the cancellation of most uses of DDT—an exemption allowed for public health uses under some conditions. Immediately after the cancellation was announced, both EDF and the DDT manufacturers filed suit against the EPA, with the industry seeking to overturn the ban, and EDF seeking a comprehensive ban. The cases were consolidated, and in 1973 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the EPA had acted properly in banning DDT.
The U.S. DDT ban took place amidst a growing public mistrust of industry, with the Surgeon General issuing a report on smoking in 1964, the Cuyahoga River catching fire in 1969, the fiasco surrounding the use of diethylstilbestrol (DES), and the well-publicized decline in the bald eagle population.
Some uses of DDT continued under the public health exemption. For example, in June 1979, the California Department of Health Services was permitted to use DDT to suppress flea vectors of bubonic plague. DDT also continued to be produced in the US for foreign markets until as late as 1985, when over 300 tons were exported.
Restrictions on usage
In the 1970s and 1980s, agricultural use was banned in most developed countries, beginning with Hungary in 1968 then in Norway and Sweden in 1970, Germany and the United States in 1972, but not in the United Kingdom until 1984. Vector control use has not been banned, but it has been largely replaced by less persistent alternative insecticides.
The Stockholm Convention, which took effect in 2004, outlawed several persistent organic pollutants, and restricted DDT use to vector control. The Convention has been ratified by more than 170 countries and is endorsed by most environmental groups. Recognizing that total elimination in many malaria-prone countries is currently unfeasible because there are few affordable or effective alternatives, public health use is exempt from the ban pending acceptable alternatives. Malaria Foundation International states, “The outcome of the treaty is arguably better than the status quo going into the negotiations…For the first time, there is now an insecticide which is restricted to vector control only, meaning that the selection of resistant mosquitoes will be slower than before.”
Despite the worldwide ban, agricultural use continues in India North Korea, and possibly elsewhere.
Today, about 3-4,000 tonnes each year are produced for vector control. DDT is applied to the inside walls of homes to kill or repel mosquitoes. This intervention, called indoor residual spraying (IRS), greatly reduces environmental damage. It also reduces the incidence of DDT resistance. For comparison, treating 40 hectares (99 acres) of cotton during a typical U.S. growing season requires the same amount of chemical as roughly 1,700 homes.
Degradation of DDT to form DDE (by elimination of HCl, left) and DDD (by reductive dechlorination, right)
DDT is a persistent organic pollutant that is readily adsorbed to soils and sediments, which can act both as sinks and as long-term sources of exposure contributing to terrestrial organisms . Depending on conditions, its soil half life can range from 22 days to 30 years. Routes of loss and degradation include runoff, volatilization, photolysis and aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation. Due to hydrophobic properties, in aquatic ecosystems DDT and its metabolites are absorbed by aquatic organisms and adsorbed on suspended particles, leaving little DDT dissolved in the water itself. Its breakdown products and metabolites, DDE and DDD, are also highly persistent and have similar chemical and physical properties. DDT and its breakdown products are transported from warmer regions of the world to the Arctic by the phenomenon of global distillation, where they then accumulate in the region’s food web.
Because of its lipophilic properties, DDT has a high potential to bioaccumulate, especially in predatory birds. DDT, DDE, and DDD magnify through the food chain, with apex predators such as raptor birds concentrating more chemicals than other animals in the same environment. They are very lipophilic and are stored mainly in body fat. DDT and DDE are very resistant to metabolism; in humans, their half-lives are 6 and up to 10 years, respectively. In the United States, these chemicals were detected in almost all human blood samples tested by the Centers for Disease Control in 2005, though their levels have sharply declined since most uses were banned in the US. Estimated dietary intake has also declined, although FDA food tests commonly detect it.
Marine macroalgae (seaweed) help reduce soil toxicity by up to 80% within six weeks.
Effects on wildlife and eggshell thinning
DDT is toxic to a wide range of living organisms, including marine animals such as crayfish, daphnids, sea shrimp and many species of fish. It is less toxic to mammals, but may be moderately toxic to some amphibian species, especially in the larval stage. DDT, through its metabolite DDE, caused eggshell thinning and resulted in severe population declines in multiple North American and European bird of prey species. Eggshell thinning lowers the reproductive rate of certain bird species by causing egg breakage and embryo deaths. DDE related eggshell thinning is considered a major reason for the decline of the bald eagle, brown pelican, peregrine falcon, and osprey. However, different groups of birds vary greatly in their sensitivity to these chemicals.  Birds of prey, waterfowl, and song birds are more susceptible to eggshell thinning than chickens and related species, and DDE appears to be more potent than DDT. Even in 2010, more than forty years after the U.S. ban, California condors which feed on sea lions at Big Sur which in turn feed in the Palos Verdes Shelf area of the Montrose Chemical Superfund site seemed to be having continued thin-shell problems. Scientists with the Ventana Wildlife Society and others are intensifying studies and remediations of the condors’ problems.
The biological thinning mechanism is not entirely known, but there is strong evidence that p,p’-DDE inhibits calcium ATPase in the membrane of the shell gland and reduces the transport of calcium carbonate from blood into the eggshell gland. This results in a dose-dependent thickness reduction. There is also evidence that o,p’-DDT disrupts female reproductive tract development, impairing eggshell quality later. Multiple mechanisms may be at work, or different mechanisms may operate in different species. Some studies show that although DDE levels have fallen dramatically, eggshell thickness remains 10–12 percent thinner than before DDT was first used.
Effects on human health
Potential mechanisms of action on humans are genotoxicity and endocrine disruption. DDT may be directly genotoxic, but may also induce enzymes to produce other genotoxic intermediates and DNA adducts. It is an endocrine disruptor; The DDT metabolite DDE acts as an antiandrogen (but not as an estrogen). p,p’-DDT, DDT’s main component, has little or no androgenic or estrogenic activity. Minor component o,p’-DDT has weak estrogenic activity.
DDT is classified as “moderately toxic” by the United States National Toxicology Program (NTP) and “moderately hazardous” by the World Health Organization (WHO), based on the rat oral LD50 of 113 mg/kg. DDT has on rare occasions been administered orally as a treatment for barbiturate poisoning.
DDT and DDE have been linked to diabetes. A number of studies from the US, Canada, and Sweden have found that the prevalence of the disease in a population increases with serum DDT or DDE levels.
DDT and DDE, like other organochlorines, have been shown to have xenoestrogenic activity, meaning they are chemically similar enough to estrogens to trigger hormonal responses in animals. This endocrine disrupting activity has been observed in mice and rat toxicological studies, and available epidemiological evidence indicates that these effects may be occurring in humans as a result of DDT exposure. The US Environmental Protection Agency states that DDT exposure damages the reproductive system and reduces reproductive success. These effects may cause developmental and reproductive toxicity:
- A review article in The Lancet states, “research has shown that exposure to DDT at amounts that would be needed in malaria control might cause preterm birth and early weaning … toxicological evidence shows endocrine-disrupting properties; human data also indicate possible disruption in semen quality, menstruation, gestational length, and duration of lactation.”
- Human epidemiological studies suggest that exposure is a risk factor for premature birth and low birth weight, and may harm a mother’s ability to breast feed. Some 21st-century researchers argue that these effects may increase infant deaths, offsetting any anti-malarial benefits. A 2008 study, however, failed to confirm the association between exposure and difficulty breastfeeding.
- Several recent studies demonstrate a link between in utero exposure to DDT or DDE and developmental neurotoxicity in humans. For example, a 2006 University of California, Berkeley study suggests that children exposed while in the womb have a greater chance of development problems, and other studies have found that even low levels of DDT or DDE in umbilical cord serum at birth are associated with decreased attention at infancy and decreased cognitive skills at 4 years of age. Similarly, Mexican researchers have linked first trimester DDE exposure to retarded psychomotor development.
- Other studies document decreases in semen quality among men with high exposures (generally from IRS).
- Studies generally find that high blood DDT or DDE levels do not increase time to pregnancy (TTP.) There is some evidence that the daughters of highly exposed women may have more difficulty getting pregnant (i.e. increased TTP).
- DDT is associated with early pregnancy loss, a type of miscarriage. A prospective cohort study of Chinese textile workers found “a positive, monotonic, exposure-response association between preconception serum total DDT and the risk of subsequent early pregnancy losses.” The median serum DDE level of study group was lower than that typically observed in women living in homes sprayed with DDT.
- A Japanese study of congenital hypothyroidism concluded that in utero DDT exposure may affect thyroid hormone levels and “play an important role in the incidence and/or causation of cretinism.” Other studies have also found the DDT or DDE interfere with proper thyroid function.
Occupational exposure in agriculture and malaria control has been linked to neurological problems (i.e. Parkinsons) and asthma.
DDT is suspected to cause cancer. The NTP classifies it as “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen,” the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies it as a “possible” human carcinogen, and the EPA classifies DDT, DDE, and DDD as class B2 “probable” carcinogens. These evaluations are based mainly on the results of animal studies.
There is evidence from epidemiological studies (i.e. studies in human populations) that indicates that DDT causes cancers of the liver, pancreas and breast. There is mixed evidence that it contributes to leukemia, lymphoma and testicular cancer. Other epidemiological studies suggest that DDT/DDE does not cause multiple myeloma, or cancers of the prostate, endometrium, rectum, lung, bladder, or stomach.
The question of whether DDT or DDE are risk factors of breast cancer has been repeatedly studied. While individual studies conflict, the most recent reviews of all the evidence conclude that pre-puberty exposure increases the risk of subsequent breast cancer. Until recently, almost all studies measured DDT or DDE blood levels at the time of breast cancer diagnosis or after. This study design has been criticized, since the levels at diagnosis do not necessarily correspond to levels when the cancer started. Taken as a whole such studies “do not support the hypothesis that exposure to DDT is an important risk factor for breast cancer.” The studies of this design have been extensively reviewed.
In contrast, a study published in 2007 strongly associated early exposure (the p,p’- isomer) and breast cancer later in life. Unlike previous studies, this prospective cohort study collected blood samples from young mothers in the 1960s while DDT was still in use, and their breast cancer status was then monitored over the years. In addition to suggesting that the p,p’- isomer is the more significant risk factor, the study also suggests that the timing of exposure is critical. For the subset of women born more than 14 years before agricultural use, there was no association between DDT and breast cancer. However, for younger women—exposed earlier in life—the third who were exposed most to p,p’-DDT had a fivefold increase in breast cancer incidence over the least exposed third, after correcting for the protective effect of o,p’-DDT. These results are supported by animal studies.
Use against malaria
Malaria remains a major public health challenge in many countries. 2008 WHO estimates were 243 million cases, and 863,000 deaths. About 89% of these deaths occur in Africa, and mostly to children under the age of 5. DDT is one of many tools that public health officials use to fight the disease. Its use in this context has been called everything from a “miracle weapon [that is] like Kryptonite to the mosquitoes,” to “toxic colonialism.”
Before DDT, eliminating mosquito breeding grounds by drainage or poisoning with Paris green or pyrethrum was sometimes successful in fighting malaria. In parts of the world with rising living standards, the elimination of malaria was often a collateral benefit of the introduction of window screens and improved sanitation. Today, a variety of usually simultaneous interventions is the norm. These include antimalarial drugs to prevent or treat infection; improvements in public health infrastructure to quickly diagnose, sequester, and treat infected individuals; bednets and other methods intended to keep mosquitoes from biting humans; and vector control strategies such as larvaciding with insecticides, ecological controls such as draining mosquito breeding grounds or introducing fish to eat larvae, and indoor residual spraying with insecticides, possibly including DDT. IRS involves the treatment of all interior walls and ceilings with insecticides, and is particularly effective against mosquitoes, since many species rest on an indoor wall before or after feeding. DDT is one of 12 WHO–approved IRS insecticides. How much of a role DDT should play in this mix of strategies is still controversial.
WHO’s anti-malaria campaign of the 1950s and 1960s relied heavily on DDT and the results were promising, though temporary. Experts tie the resurgence of malaria to multiple factors, including poor leadership, management and funding of malaria control programs; poverty; civil unrest; and increased irrigation. The evolution of resistance to first-generation drugs (e.g. chloroquine) and to insecticides exacerbated the situation. Resistance was largely fueled by often unrestricted agricultural use. Resistance and the harm both to humans and the environment led many governments to restrict or curtail the use of DDT in vector control as well as agriculture.
Once the mainstay of anti-malaria campaigns, as of 2008 only 12 countries used DDT, including India and some southern African states, though the number is expected to rise.
Effectiveness of DDT against malaria
When it was first introduced in World War II, DDT was very effective in reducing malaria morbidity and mortality. The WHO’s anti-malaria campaign, which consisted mostly of spraying DDT, was initially very successful as well. For example, in Sri Lanka, the program reduced cases from about 3 million per year before spraying to just 18 in 1963 and 29 in 1964. Thereafter the program was halted to save money and malaria rebounded to 600,000 cases in 1968 and the first quarter of 1969. The country resumed DDT vector control but the mosquitoes had acquired resistance in the interim, presumably because of continued agricultural use. The program switched to malathion, which though more expensive proved effective.
Today, DDT remains on the WHO’s list of insecticides recommended for IRS. Since the appointment of Arata Kochi as head of its anti-malaria division, WHO’s policy has shifted from recommending IRS only in areas of seasonal or episodic transmission of malaria, to also advocating it in areas of continuous, intense transmission. The WHO has reaffirmed its commitment to eventually phasing out DDT, aiming “to achieve a 30% cut in the application of DDT world-wide by 2014 and its total phase-out by the early 2020s if not sooner” while simultaneously combating malaria. The WHO plans to implement alternatives to DDT to achieve this goal.
South Africa is one country that continues to use DDT under WHO guidelines. In 1996, the country switched to alternative insecticides and malaria incidence increased dramatically. Returning to DDT and introducing new drugs brought malaria back under control. According to DDT advocate Donald Roberts, malaria cases increased in South America after countries in that continent stopped using DDT. Research data shows a significantly strong negative relationship between DDT residual house sprayings and malaria rates. In a research from 1993 to 1995, Ecuador increased its use of DDT and resulted in a 61% reduction in malaria rates, while each of the other countries that gradually decreased its DDT use had large increase in malaria rates.
Resistance has greatly reduced DDT’s effectiveness. WHO guidelines require that absence of resistance must be confirmed before using the chemical. Resistance is largely due to agricultural use, in much greater quantities than required for disease prevention. According to one study that attempted to quantify the lives saved by banning agricultural use and thereby slowing the spread of resistance, “it can be estimated that at current rates each kilo of insecticide added to the environment will generate 105 new cases of malaria.”
Resistance was noted early in spray campaigns. Paul Russell, a former head of the Allied Anti-Malaria campaign, observed in 1956 that “resistance has appeared after six or seven years.” DDT has lost much of its effectiveness in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Turkey and Central America, and it has largely been replaced by organophosphate or carbamate insecticides, e.g. malathion or bendiocarb.
In many parts of India, DDT has also largely lost its effectiveness. Agricultural uses were banned in 1989, and its anti-malarial use has been declining. Urban use has halted completely. Nevertheless, DDT is still manufactured and used, and one study had concluded that “DDT is still a viable insecticide in indoor residual spraying owing to its effectivity in well supervised spray operation and high excito-repellency factor.”
Studies of malaria-vector mosquitoes in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa found susceptibility to 4% DDT (the WHO susceptibility standard), in 63% of the samples, compared to the average of 86.5% in the same species caught in the open. The authors concluded that “Finding DDT resistance in the vector An. arabiensis, close to the area where we previously reported pyrethroid-resistance in the vector An. funestus Giles, indicates an urgent need to develop a strategy of insecticide resistance management for the malaria control programmes of southern Africa.”
DDT can still be effective against resistant mosquitoes, and the avoidance of DDT-sprayed walls by mosquitoes is an additional benefit of the chemical. For example, a 2007 study reported that resistant mosquitoes avoided treated huts. The researchers argued that DDT was the best pesticide for use in IRS (even though it did not afford the most protection from mosquitoes out of the three test chemicals) because the others pesticides worked primarily by killing or irritating mosquitoes—encouraging the development of resistance to these agents. Others argue that the avoidance behavior slows the eradication of the disease. Unlike other insecticides such as pyrethroids, DDT requires long exposure to accumulate a lethal dose; however its irritant property shortens contact periods. “For these reasons, when comparisons have been made, better malaria control has generally been achieved with pyrethroids than with DDT.” In India, with its outdoor sleeping habits and frequent night duties, “the excito-repellent effect of DDT, often reported useful in other countries, actually promotes outdoor transmission.”
Main article: Indoor residual spraying#Residents’s opposition to IRS
For IRS to be effective, at least 80% of homes and barns in an area must be sprayed. Lower coverage rates can jeopardize program effectiveness. Many residents resist DDT spraying, objecting to the lingering smell, stains on walls, and may exacerbate problems with other insect pests. Pyrethroid insecticides (e.g. deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin) can overcome some of these issues, increasing participation.
People living in areas where DDT is used for IRS have high levels of the chemical and its breakdown products in their bodies. Compared to contemporaries living where DDT is not used, South Africans living in sprayed homes have levels that are several orders of magnitude greater. Breast milk in regions where DDT is used against malaria greatly exceeds the allowable standards for breast-feeding infants. These levels are associated with neurological abnormalities in babies.
Most studies of DDT’s human health effects have been conducted in developed countries where DDT is not used and exposure is relatively low. Many experts urge that alternatives be used instead of IRS. Epidemiologist Brenda Eskenazi argues, “We know DDT can save lives by repelling and killing disease-spreading mosquitoes. But evidence suggests that people living in areas where DDT is used are exposed to very high levels of the pesticide. The only published studies on health effects conducted in these populations have shown profound effects on male fertility. Clearly, more research is needed on the health of populations where indoor residual spraying is occurring, but in the meantime, DDT should really be the last resort against malaria rather than the first line of defense.”
Illegal diversion to agriculture is also a concern, as it is almost impossible to prevent, and its subsequent use on crops is uncontrolled. For example, DDT use is widespread in Indian agriculture, particularly mango production, and is reportedly used by librarians to protect books. Other examples include Ethiopia, where DDT intended for malaria control is reportedly being used in coffee production, and Ghana where it is used for fishing.” The residues in crops at levels unacceptable for export have been an important factor in recent bans in several tropical countries. Adding to this problem is a lack of skilled personnel and supervision.
Criticism of restrictions on DDT use
Critics claim that restricting DDT in vector control have caused unnecessary deaths due to malaria. Estimates range from hundreds of thousands, to millions. Robert Gwadz of the National Institutes of Health said in 2007, “The ban on DDT may have killed 20 million children.” These arguments have been dismissed as “outrageous” by former WHO scientist Socrates Litsios. May Berenbaum, University of Illinois entomologist, says, “to blame environmentalists who oppose DDT for more deaths than Hitler is worse than irresponsible.” Investigative journalist Adam Sarvana and others characterize this notion as a “myth” promoted principally by Roger Bate of the pro-DDT advocacy group Africa Fighting Malaria (AFM).
Criticisms of a DDT “ban” often specifically reference the 1972 US ban (with the erroneous implication that this constituted a worldwide ban and prohibited use of DDT in vector control). Reference is often made to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring even though she never pushed for a ban on DDT. John Quiggin and Tim Lambert wrote, “the most striking feature of the claim against Carson is the ease with which it can be refuted.” Carson actually devoted a page of her book to considering the relationship between DDT and malaria, warning of the evolution of DDT resistance in mosquitoes and concluding:
It is more sensible in some cases to take a small amount of damage in preference to having none for a time but paying for it in the long run by losing the very means of fighting [is the advice given in Holland by Dr Briejer in his capacity as director of the Plant Protection Service]. Practical advice should be “Spray as little as you possibly can” rather than “Spray to the limit of your capacity.”
It has also been alleged that donor governments and agencies have refused to fund DDT spraying, or made aid contingent upon not using DDT. According to a report in the British Medical Journal, use of DDT in Mozambique “was stopped several decades ago, because 80% of the country’s health budget came from donor funds, and donors refused to allow the use of DDT.” Roger Bate asserts, “many countries have been coming under pressure from international health and environment agencies to give up DDT or face losing aid grants: Belize and Bolivia are on record admitting they gave in to pressure on this issue from [USAID].”
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been the focus of much criticism. While the agency is currently funding the use of DDT in some African countries, in the past it did not. When John Stossel accused USAID of not funding DDT because it wasn’t “politically correct,” Anne Peterson, the agency’s assistant administrator for global health, replied that “I believe that the strategies we are using are as effective as spraying with DDT … So, politically correct or not, I am very confident that what we are doing is the right strategy.” USAID’s Kent R. Hill states that the agency has been misrepresented: “USAID strongly supports spraying as a preventative measure for malaria and will support the use of DDT when it is scientifically sound and warranted.” The Agency’s website states that “USAID has never had a ‘policy’ as such either ‘for’ or ‘against’ DDT for IRS. The real change in the past two years [2006/07] has been a new interest and emphasis on the use of IRS in general—with DDT or any other insecticide—as an effective malaria prevention strategy in tropical Africa.” The website further explains that in many cases alternative malaria control measures were judged to be more cost-effective that DDT spraying, and so were funded instead.
Main article: Indoor residual spraying
Advocates of increased use of DDT in IRS claim that alternative insecticides are more expensive, more toxic, or not as effective. As discussed above, susceptibility of mosquitoes to DDT varies geographically. The same is true for alternative insecticides, so its relative effectiveness varies. Toxicity and cost-effectiveness comparisons lack data. Relative insecticide costs vary by location and ease of access, the habits of the local mosquitoes, the degrees of resistance exhibited by the mosquitoes, and the habits and compliance of the population, among other factors. The choice of insecticide has little impact on the total cost of a round of spraying, since product costs are only a fraction of campaign costs. IRS coverage needs to be maintained throughout the malaria season, making DDT’s relatively long life an important cost savings.
Organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, e.g. malathion and bendiocarb, respectively, are more expensive than DDT per kilogram and are applied at roughly the same dosage. Pyrethroids such as deltamethrin are also more expensive than DDT, but are applied more sparingly (0.02-0.3 g/m2 vs 1-2 g/m2), so the net cost per house is about the same over 6 months.
Non-chemical vector control
Before DDT, malaria was successfully eradicated or curtailed in several tropical areas by removing or poisoning mosquito breeding grounds and larva habitats, for example by filling or applying oil to standing water. These methods have seen little application in Africa for more than half a century.
The relative effectiveness of IRS (with DDT or alternative insecticides) versus other malaria control techniques (e.g. bednets or prompt access to anti-malarial drugs) varies greatly and is highly dependent on local conditions.
A WHO study released in January 2008 found that mass distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and artemisinin–based drugs cut malaria deaths in half in Rwanda and Ethiopia, countries with high malaria burdens. IRS with DDT did not play an important role in mortality reduction in these countries.
Vietnam has enjoyed declining malaria cases and a 97% mortaility reduction after switching in 1991 from a poorly funded DDT-based campaign to a program based on prompt treatment, bednets, and pyrethroid group insecticides.
In Mexico, effective and affordable chemical and non-chemical strategies against malaria have been so successful that the Mexican DDT manufacturing plant ceased production due to lack of demand.
While the increased numbers of malaria victims since DDT usage collapsed document its value, many other factors contributed to the rise in cases.
A review of fourteen studies on the subject in sub-Saharan Africa, covering insecticide-treated nets, residual spraying, chemoprophylaxis for children, chemoprophylaxis or intermittent treatment for pregnant women, a hypothetical vaccine, and changing front–line drug treatment, found decision making limited by the gross lack of information on the costs and effects of many interventions, the very small number of cost-effectiveness analyses available, the lack of evidence on the costs and effects of packages of measures, and the problems in generalizing or comparing studies that relate to specific settings and use different methodologies and outcome measures. The two cost-effectiveness estimates of DDT residual spraying examined were not found to provide an accurate estimate of the cost-effectiveness of DDT spraying; furthermore, the resulting estimates may not be good predictors of cost-effectiveness in current programs.
However, a study in Thailand found the cost per malaria case prevented of DDT spraying ($1.87 US) to be 21% greater than the cost per case prevented of lambda-cyhalothrin–treated nets ($1.54 US), at very least casting some doubt on the unexamined assumption that DDT was the most cost-effective measure to use in all cases. The director of Mexico’s malaria control program finds similar results, declaring that it is 25% cheaper for Mexico to spray a house with synthetic pyrethroids than with DDT. However, another study in South Africa found generally lower costs for DDT spraying than for impregnated nets.
A more comprehensive approach to measuring cost-effectiveness or efficacy of malarial control would not only measure the cost in dollars of the project, as well as the number of people saved, but would also consider ecological damage and negative aspects of insecticide use on human health. One preliminary study regarding the effect of DDT found that it is likely the detriment to human health approaches or exceeds the beneficial reductions in malarial cases, except perhaps in malarial epidemic situations. It is similar to the earlier mentioned study regarding estimated theoretical infant mortality caused by DDT and subject to the criticism also mentioned earlier.
A study in the Solomon Islands found that “although impregnated bed nets cannot entirely replace DDT spraying without substantial increase in incidence, their use permits reduced DDT spraying.”
A comparison of four successful programs against malaria in Brazil, India, Eritrea, and Vietnam does not endorse any single strategy but instead states, “Common success factors included conducive country conditions, a targeted technical approach using a package of effective tools, data-driven decision-making, active leadership at all levels of government, involvement of communities, decentralized implementation and control of finances, skilled technical and managerial capacity at national and sub-national levels, hands-on technical and programmatic support from partner agencies, and sufficient and flexible financing.”
DDT resistant mosquitoes have generally proved susceptible to pyrethroids. Thus far, pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles has not been a major problem. …”
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“…This is an extraordinary fact based expose of the fairy tale story “sold” to the American public about Barack Obama and those who have surrounded and influenced him since childhood. Do you know ANYONE who believes the things Obama believes or would do the things Obama has done? What is most disturbingis the extent to which the mainstream media has been complicit in keeping these facts from the American public. …”
Paul Kengor (1 of 3)
“…Professor Paul Kengor, author of the sensational book, Dupes, speaks on how communists have manipulated progressives and why Barack Obama’s relationship with Communist Party USA member Frank Marshall Davis is so important. Kengor credits America’s Survival, Inc. for telling the truth about Obama’s communist mentor and obtaining Davis’s 600-page FBI file.”
Paul Kengor (2 of 3)
Paul Kengor (3 of 3)
WATCH The Communist author Paul Kengor w/ Glenn Beck on the Radio Frank Marshall Davis Obama
Dr. Drew on Young Obama’s Marxism – 1 of 6
Dr. Drew on Young Obama’s Marxism - 2 of 6
Dr. Drew on Young Obama’s Marxism - 3 of 6
Dr. Drew on Young Obama’s Marxism - 4 of 6
Dr. Drew on Young Obama’s Marxism - 5 of 6
Dr. Drew on Young Obama’s Marxism - 6 of 6
Paul Kengor & Glenn Beck “The Communist” on GBTV Frank Marshall
Glenn Beck talks to Dr. Paul Kengor about his Book “The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor.”
In his memoir, Barack Obama omits the full name of his mentor, simply calling him “Frank.” Now, the truth is out: Never has a figure as deeply troubling and controversial as Frank Marshall Davis had such an impact on the development of an American president.
Although other radical influences on Obama, from Jeremiah Wright to Bill Ayers, have been scrutinized, the public knows little about Davis, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA, cited by the Associated Press as an “important influence” on Obama, one whom he “looked to” not merely for “advice on living” but as a “father” figure.
While the Left has willingly dismissed Davis (with good reason), here are the indisputable, eye-opening facts: Frank Marshall Davis was a pro-Soviet, pro–Red China communist. His Communist Party USA card number, revealed in FBI files, was CP #47544. He was a prototype of the loyal Soviet patriot, so radical that the FBI placed him on the federal government’s Security Index. In the early 1950s, Davis opposed U.S. attempts to slow Stalin and Mao. He favored Red Army takeovers of Central and Eastern Europe, and communist control in Korea and Vietnam. Dutifully serving the cause, he edited and wrote for communist newspapers in both Chicago and Honolulu, courting contributors who were Soviet agents. In the 1970s, amid this dangerous political theater, Frank Marshall Davis came into Barack Obama’s life.
Aided by access to explosive declassified FBI files, Soviet archives, and Davis’s original newspaper columns, Paul Kengor explores how Obama sought out Davis and how Davis found in Obama an impressionable young man, one susceptible to Davis’s worldview that opposed American policy and traditional values while praising communist regimes. Kengor sees remnants of this worldview in Obama’s early life and even, ultimately, his presidency.
Kengor charts with definitive accuracy the progression of Davis’s communist ideas from Chicago to Hawaii. He explores how certain elements of the Obama administration’s agenda reflect Davis’s columns advocating wealth redistribution, government stimulus for “public works projects,” taxpayer-funding of universal health care, and nationalizing General Motors. Davis’s writings excoriated the “tentacles of big business,” blasted Wall Street and “greedy” millionaires, lambasted GOP tax cuts that “spare the rich,” attacked “excess profits” and oil companies, and perceived the Catholic Church as an obstacle to his vision for the state—all the while echoing Davis’s often repeated mantra for transformational and fundamental “change.”
And yet, The Communist is not unsympathetic to Davis, revealing him as something of a victim, an African- American who suffered devastating racial persecution in the Jim Crow era, steering this justly angered young man on a misguided political track. That Davis supported violent and heartless communist regimes over his own country is impossible to defend. That he was a source of inspiration to President Barack Obama is impossible to ignore.
Is Obama working to fulfill the dreams of Frank Marshall Davis? That question has been impossible to answer, since Davis’s writings and relationship with Obama have either been deliberately obscured or dismissed as irrelevant. With Paul Kengor’s The Communist, Americans can finally weigh the evidence and decide for themselves. (Amazon.com)
Who’s Your Daddy! Strawberry Fields Forever
Was Communist Mentor Intimate With Obama’s Mother?
“…Did Barack Obama’s mother pose nude for communist poet and journalist Frank Marshall Davis?
Did Obama build his political career on a fairy tale that his father was a Kenyan who grew up herding goats?
Was Obama’s goal in writing his autobiography, “Dreams from My Father,” to misdirect Americans away from a deeply disturbing family background and a Marxist political foundation?
These are questions filmmaker Joel Gilbert poses in the full-length documentary “Dreams from My Real Father,” which argues Frank Marshall Davis is the president’s biological father, not the Kenyan Barack Obama.
Gilbert reports he has recently discovered racy photos in vintage fetish and bondage magazines of Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, that he believes were taken by Davis. The photos, he says, bolster his belief that Dunham had an intimate relationship with Davis.
Gilbert has given WND a preview of a new “Breaking News” page on his documentary’s website titled “The Intimate Ann Dunham-Frank Marshall Davis Relationship.” On the page, he presents a video that shows some of the 30-plus pin-up photographs he believes Davis took of Obama’s young mother and other models in his home at 2994 Kalihi Street in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Frank Marshall Davis, pornographer
In 1968, Greenleaf Classics in San Diego published a pornographic novel titled “Sex Rebel Black: Memoirs of a Gash Gourmet,” authored by “Bob Greene,” a pen name Davis later admitted was his own.
In the sex novel that Davis claimed was autobiographical, he describes a swinging lifestyle in which he and his wife had sex numerous times with an underage girl named “Anne,” a figure very suggestive of Obama’s mother.
As Gilbert documents, Davis was a semi-professional photographer for more than 30 years, beginning when he lived in Chicago. His specialty was taking nude photographs of female models that he called “horizontal cameos.”
In a collection of Davis poems published in a book titled “Black Moods,” compiled by his biographer, University of Kansas English Professor John Edgar Tidwell, are 37 written “portraits” grouped in a section subtitled “Horizontal Cameos.” Each poem is dedicated to a different woman identified only by her first name. The second poem is dedicated to “Anne” and reads as follows:
In the gangling hours
Thin, adolescent hours
Before night runs softly
Away into the west
Anne rises wearily From her tired bed
Sitting in a chair.
In the three nude photographs initially discovered on the Internet in 2008, the young naked model is shown in a living room setting. She is posing in or around a chair, with a Christmas tree and a 1950s Hi-Fi with various jazz vinyl record albums in the background. ..”
Background Articles and Videos
Glenn Beck’s Reaction to Obama’s “Income Inequality” Speech in Osawatomie, Kansas
Jeremiah Wright on Obama – GBTV
Obama’s Records Are Missing & Why He is Causing a Media Blackout- FULL LENGTH REPORT
Obama’s Real History – The “Lost” Years
Witness – Obama was a Foreign Student
The Weather Underground
Barack Obama Friends – Part 1 – Bill Ayers & Bernadine Dohrn, Weatherman, Weather Underground
Larry Grathwohl on Ayers’ plan for American re-education camps and the need to kill millions
Fox News “Hannity” Interview on Courting Disaster 1/22/10
BBC Modern Spies – Part 1
BBC Modern Spies – Part 2
Nuclear Secrets – Part 1 – The Spy from Moscow
Nuclear Secrets – Part 2 – Superspy
Nuclear Secrets – Part 3 – SuperBomb
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
Obama caught on hot mic saying “After My Election I Have More Flexibility”
The Bigger Picture Part 3: Russian Spy Ring Busted the Day After Hell Burger Date in CIA Virginia
The Bigger Picture Part 6 : The US and Russia are Swapping Spys, Court Process for Show
Anna Chapman the Caught Russian Spy Enjoys Spotlight
Frank Marshall Davis
“…Frank Marshall Davis (December 31, 1905 – July 26, 1987) was an American journalist, poet, and political and labor movement activist.
He began his career writing for African American newspapers in Chicago. He moved to Atlanta where he became the editor of the paper he turned into the Atlanta Daily World before moving back to Chicago. During this time, he was outspoken about political and social issues. His poetry work was sponsored by the WPA.
In the late 1940s, he moved to Honolulu where he ran a small business. He also became involved in local labor issues where his actions were tracked by the FBI.
Davis died in 1987 in Hawaii.
Beginning at age 17, Davis attended Friends University (1923) and later Kansas State Agricultural College (now Kansas State University) (1924–27, 1929) but didn’t graduate. When Davis entered Kansas State, there were 25 other African-American students enrolled there. He studied industrial journalism. He began to write poems as the result of a class assignment and was encouraged to continue writing poetry by an English literature instructor. Frank pledged Phi Beta Sigma fraternity in 1925.
In 1927, Davis moved to Chicago, where he worked variously for the Chicago Evening Bulletin, the Chicago Whip and the Gary American, all African-American newspapers. He also wrote free-lance articles and short stories for African-American magazines. It was also during this time that Davis began a serious effort to write poetry, including his first long poem, entitled Chicago’s Congo, Sonata for an Orchestra.
In 1931, he moved to Atlanta to become an editor of a semiweekly paper. Davis transformed the Atlanta Daily World into a daily newspaper within two years of taking the job as the paper’s managing editor in 1931. Under Davis’s leadership the Atlanta Daily World became the nation’s first successful black daily.
In the pages of the paper, Davis articulated an agenda of social realism (social justice), which included appeals for racial justice in politics and economics, as well as legal justice. Davis became interested in the Communist party in 1931 during the famous Scottsboro boys and Angelo Herndon cases and championed black activism to compensate for social ills not remedied by the larger white society. In the early 1930s, he warned against blacks accepting the Depression-era remedies being pushed by communists but by 1936 Davis was listed as a contributing editor to the Spokesman, the official organ of the Youth Section of the National Negro Congress, which the government had declared a Communist front organization.
He continued to write and publish poems, which came to the attention of Frances Norton Manning, who introduced Davis to Norman Forge. Forge’s Black Cat Press brought out Davis’s first book, Black Man’s Verse, in the summer of 1935.
In 1935, Davis moved back to Chicago to take the position of managing editor of the Associated Negro Press, a news service for black newspapers, which had begun in 1919. Eventually, Davis was named executive editor for the ANP. He held the position until 1947.
During the Depression, Davis participated in the federal Works Progress Administration Writers’ Project. In 1937, he received a Julius Rosenwald Fellowship.
While in Chicago, Davis also started a photography club, worked for numerous political parties, and participated in the League of American Writers. With the encouragement of authors such as Richard Wright and Margaret Walker, Davis published in 1948 his most ambitious collection of poems, entitled 47th Street: Poems, which chronicles the varied life on Chicago’s South Side.
Davis used his newspaper platform to call for integration of the sports world, and he began to engage himself with community organizing efforts, starting a Chicago labor newspaper, The Star, toward the end of World War II. In 1947, the Spokane Daily Chronicle called the paper “a red weekly” saying that it “has most of the markings of a Communist front publication.” The Chicago Star had a goal to “promote a policy of cooperation and unity between Russia and the United States” seeking to “[avoid] the red-baiting tendencies of the mainstream press.”
In 1945, he taught one of the first jazz history courses in the United States, at the Abraham Lincoln School in Chicago.
In 1948, Davis and his second wife, who had married in 1946, moved to Honolulu, Hawaii. It is frequently reported that the move was at the suggestion of Davis’s friend Paul Robeson who praised its multiracial culture,, although in a in a 1974 interview with Black World/Negro Digest, Davis states that the move was because of a magazine article his wife had read.During this time Hawaii was going through a non-violent revolution between colored labor workers and the white elite known as the Democratic Revolution. There, Davis operated a small wholesale paper business, Oahu Papers, which burned in March 1951. In 1959, he started another similar firm, the Paradise Paper Company.
Davis also wrote a weekly column, called “Frank-ly Speaking”, for the Honolulu Record, a labor paper published by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) headed by Harry Bridges. Davis’ first column noted he was a member of the national executive board of the Civil Rights Congress, The paper had been founded in 1948 by Koji Ariyoshi , and closed in 1958. Davis’s early columns covered labor issues, but he broadened his scope to write about cultural and political issues, especially racism. He also included the history of blues and jazz in his columns.
While in Hawaii, Davis broadened from a Black Power philosophy to include what Dinesh D’Sousa calls “a wider currents of oppression and subjugation.” He became one of the first promoters of the concept of a “raceless” society based on his belief that race as a biological or social construct was illogical and a fallicy.
Davis published little poetry between 1948 and his final volume, Awakening, and Other Poems, published in 1978.
Davis authored a hard core pornographic novel, which was published in 1968 under a pseudonym. The book, titled Sex Rebel: Black, was written under the pseudonym “Bob Greene,” and was published by William Hamling’s Greenleaf Publishing Company.
Davis visited Howard University in Washington, D.C., to give a poetry reading in 1973, marking the first time he had seen the U.S. mainland in 25 years. His work began to appear in anthologies. Livin’ the Blues: Memories of a Black Journalist and Poet (1992), Black Moods: Collected Poems (2002), and Writings of Frank Marshall Davis: A Voice of the Black Press (2007) were published posthumously.
Analysis of his literary work
Davis said he was captivated early on by “the new revolutionary style called free verse. Sonnets and, in fact, all rhyme held little interest for” him. Davis claimed his “greatest single influence” was the poetry of Carl Sandburg “because of his hard, muscular poetry.”
During the middle of the 20th century, Davis set forth a radical vision that challenged the status quo. His commentary on race relations, music, literature, and American culture was precise, impassioned, and engaged. At the height of World War II, Davis questioned the nature of America’s potential postwar relations and what they meant for African Americans and the nation. His work challenged the usefulness of race as a social construct, and he eventually disavowed the idea of race altogether.
In his reviews on music, he argued that blues and jazz were responses to social conditions and served as weapons of racial integration. His book reviews complemented his radical vision by commenting on how literature reshapes one’s understanding of the world. Even his travel writings on Hawaii called for cultural pluralism and tolerance for racial and economic difference.
Legacy of political activism
Kathryn Waddell Takara has made this evaluation of Davis’s political legacy.
“No significant African American community existed in Hawai`i to provide Davis with emotional and moral support, and an expanded audience and market for his writing. Also, because he was still concerned with the issues of freedom, racism, and equality, he lacked widespread multi cultural support.One can only imagine Davis’s frustrations at his inability to become a successful writer in Hawaii after his promising beginnings in Atlanta and Chicago. He rarely complained, but he must have felt incomplete if not bitter when he found dignity but not freedom to develop his potential and lead the distinguished life to which he was accustomed. Considering the controversial subject matter of Davis’ writing, it is little wonder that some whites looked askance at his presence in the islands. He worked quietly, he wrote even when he no longer published his writings, and he talked with those who came to visit him–always seeking to present the truth of his vision, confident that social justice and human dignity would finally prevail. Indeed, despite his radical rhetoric, Davis was optimistic that good relations between ethnic groups could and would lead to a better world.
It can be argued that Davis escaped defeat like a trickster, playing dead only to arise later and win the race, although the politics of defeat were all around him. If society seemed to defeat him by denying him financial rewards, publication, and status, he continued to write prolifically. He stood by his principle that the only way to achieve social equality was to acknowledge and discuss publicly the racial and ethnic dynamics in all their complexity situated in an unjust society. He provided a bold, defiant model for writers to hold onto their convictions and articulate them.”
In 1946, Davis married Helen Canfield, a white Chicago socialite, who was 19 years his junior. They divorced in 1970, and Helen died in May 1998 in Honolulu. The couple had four daughters named Lynn, Beth, Jeanne and Jill and a son named Mark.
Davis was an avid photographer, and inspired Richard Wright’s interest in the hobby.
Davis died in 1987, in Honolulu, of a heart attack, at the age of 81. Most sources list the date of his death as 26 July. However, the Social Security Death Index gives 15 July 1987 as his date of death, as does his college fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma.
Davis and Barack Obama
||An editor has expressed a concern that this article lends undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, controversies or matters relative to the article subject as a whole. Please help to create a more balanced presentation. Discuss and resolve this issue before removing this message. (July 2012)
In his memoir Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama wrote about “Frank”, a friend of his grandfather’s. “Frank” told Obama that he and Stanley (Obama’s maternal grandfather) both had grown up only 50 miles apart, near Wichita, although they did not meet until Hawaii. He described the way race relations were back then, including Jim Crow, and his view that there had been little progress since then. As Obama remembered, “It made me smile, thinking back on Frank and his old Black Power, dashiki self. In some ways he was as incurable as my mother, as certain in his faith, living in the same sixties time warp that Hawaii had created.” Obama also remembered Frank later in life when he took a job in South Chicago as a community organizer and took some time one day to visit the areas where Frank had lived and wrote in his book, “I imagined Frank in a baggy suit and wide lapels, standing in front of the old Regal Theatre, waiting to see Duke or Ella emerge from a gig.” 
The London Telegraph headlined that Davis, an “alleged communist” was an “early influence” on the young Obama. Jerome Corsi also made controversial allegations of the influence of Davis in his book The Obama Nation. A rebuttal released by Obama’s presidential campaign, entitled Unfit for Publication, confirmed that “Frank” was Frank Marshall Davis, but disputes those claims about the nature of their relationship.
- Black Man’s Verse; Black Cat, (Chicago, IL), 1935.
- I Am the American Negro, Black Cat, (Chicago, IL), 1937, ISBN 978-0-8369-8920-5
- Through Sepia Eyes; Black Cat, (Chicago, IL), 1938.
- 47th Street: Poems; Decker (Prairie City, IL), 1948.
- Black Man’s Verse; Black Cat (Skokie, IL), 1961.
- Sex Rebel: Black (Memoirs of a Gash Gourmet), (written under pseudonym “Bob Greene”); Greenleaf Publishing Company (Evanston, IL), 1968.
- Jazz Interludes: Seven Musical Poems; Black Cat (Skokie, IL), 1977.
- Awakening and Other Poems; Black Cat (Skokie, IL), 1978.
- Livin’ the Blues: Memoirs of a Black Journalist and Poet, ed. John Edgar Tidwell; University of Wisconsin Press, 1992, ISBN 978-0-299-13500-3
- Black Moods: Collected Poems, ed. John Edgar Tidwell; University of Illinois Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-252-02738-3
- Writings of Frank Marshall Davis: A Voice of the Black Press, ed. by John Edgar Tidwell; University Press of Mississippi, 2007. ISBN 1-57806-921-1; ISBN 978-1-57806-921-7
- Black Literature Criticism,Gale (Detroit), 1992.
- Davis, Frank Marshall, I Am the American Negro,Black Cat, 1937.
- Davis, Frank Marshall, Livin’ the Blues: Memoirs of a Black Journalist and Poet,University of Wisconsin Press, 1992.
- Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 51: Afro-American Writers from the Harlem Renaissance to 1940,Gale, 1987.
- Selected Black American Authors: An Illustrated Bio-Bibliography,G. K. Hall (Boston), 1977.
Wagner, Jean. Black Poets of the United States: From Paul Laurence Dunbar to Langston Hughes, University of Illinois Press (Champaign, IL), 1973.
- Biographical and guides
- Takara, Kathryn Waddell Frank Marshall Davis: The Fire and the Phoenix (A Critical Biography)
- The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor. Mercury Ink, 2012. ISBN 978-1451698091
- Online writings
- blog compiled from editorials Frank Marshall Davishad written for the Honolulu Record from the Center for Labor Education & Research, University of Hawaii- West Oahu
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Although the federal deficit is the amount each year by which federal outlays in the federal budget exceed federal receipts, the gross federal debt increases each year by substantially more than the amount of the deficit each year. That is because a substantial amount of federal borrowing is not counted in the budget.
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