Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen – Wasting Your Life, Part 1 of 3
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen – Wasting Your Life, Part 2 of 3
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen – Wasting Your Life, Part 3 of 3
Choice – Venerable Fulton Sheen
Character Building – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
How to Improve Your Mind (Part 1) – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
How to Improve Your Mind (Part 2) – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
How to Improve Your Mind (Part 3) – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
The Greatest Trial in History | Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
His Last Words ~ Venerable Fulton J Sheen
Bishop Fulton Sheen on Temptation
How to Think – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Nice People | Bishop Fulton J.Sheen
Youth and Sex – Venerable Fulton Sheen
Marriage & Incompatibility – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
The Superiority Complex | Bishop Fulton.J.Sheen
Angels ~ Ven Fulton J Sheen
Soul | Bishop Fulton J.Sheen
How to Psychoanalyze Yourself | Bishop Fulton J.Sheen
The Psychology of the Rat Race | Bishop Fulton.J.Sheen
Tressures of the Subconscious | Bishop Fulton.J.Sheen
Three Greatest Confessions of History – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen – Loneliness
Suffering ~ Venerable Fulton J Sheen
Fulton J Sheen – False Compassion
Selfishness ~ Ven Fulton J Sheen
Guilt | Bishop Fulton.J.Sheen
Does Capitalism Still Exist | Bishop Fulton.J.Sheen
The Sacrament of Confession ~ Ven Fulton J Sheen
The Death of God – Venerable Fulton J Sheen
The New Exodus | Bishop Fulton.J.Sheen
Traditional Latin Catholic Mass: Easter Sunday
Traditional Latin Mass filmed on Easter Sunday in 1941 at Our Lady of Sorrows church in Chicago. The film presents the ceremonies of the Missa Solemnis or Solemn High Mass in full detail with narration by then-Mgr. Fulton J. Sheen. Celebrated by Rev. J. R. Keane of the Order of Servites (hence the white habits and cowls), the ceremonies are accompanied by a full polyphonic choir, orchestra, and fifty Gregorian Chanters.
The attention to detail in the ceremonies is impressive. Notice, for example, how the servers and ministers always take great care to move in order. Notice too that the servers are all almost identical in height. The Ordinary of the Mass, composed by Rev. Edwin V. Hoover, while pleasant in places, is very much a reflection of its time. The Proper on the other hand is timeless and sung admirably by a healthy throng of Seminarians from Mundelein, Illinois.
Unfortunately due to size restrictions at Youtube around 20 mins have been cut from the original, however, I hope to upload a full version somewhere soon. In addition to the cuts I have added new captions and edited the opening credits which had deteriorated in the original. Other than this the film remains largely unchanged. Apologies for the error in the captions for the two parts of the Mass (software). The first part is of couse the Mass of the Catechumens, the second is the Mass of the Faithful.
Vaticano – 2012-07-22 – Pope Benedict XVI remembers meeting Bishop Fulton Sheen
Fulton J. Sheen
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|[show]Ordination history of Fulton J. Sheen
Venerable Fulton John Sheen (born Peter John Sheen, May 8, 1895 – December 9, 1979) was an American bishop (later archbishop) of theRoman Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. His cause for canonization as a saint was officially opened in 2002. In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially recognized a decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints stating that he lived a life of “heroic virtues” – a major step towards beatification – so he is now referred to as “Venerable“.
Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919, Sheen quickly became a renowned theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923. He went on to teach theology and philosophy at The Catholic University of America as well as acting as aparish priest before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York in 1951. He held this position until 1966 when he was made the Bishop of Rochester from October 21, 1966 to October 6, 1969, when he resigned and was made the Archbishop of the Titular Seeof Newport, Wales.
For 20 years as Father, later Monsignor, Sheen hosted the night-time radio program The Catholic Hour (1930–1950) before moving to television and presenting Life Is Worth Living (1951–1957). Sheen’s final presenting role was on the syndicated The Fulton Sheen Program (1961–1968) with a format very similar to that of the earlier Life is Worth Living show. For this work, Sheen twice won an Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Television Personality, the only personality appearing on the DuMont Network ever to win a major Emmy award. Starting in 2009, his shows were being re-broadcast on the EWTN and the Trinity Broadcasting Network‘s Church Channel cable networks. Due to his contribution to televised preaching Sheen is often referred to as one of the first televangelists.
Sheen was born in El Paso, Illinois, the oldest of four sons of Newton and Delia Sheen. Though he was known as Fulton, his mother’s maiden name, he was baptized as Peter John Sheen. As an infant, Sheen contracted tuberculosis. After the family moved to nearbyPeoria, Illinois, Sheen’s first role in the Church was as an altar boy at St. Mary’s Cathedral.
After earning high school valedictorian honors at Spalding Institute in Peoria in 1913, Sheen was educated at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, Illinois, attended Saint Paul Seminary in Minnesota before his ordination on September 20, 1919, then followed that with further studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.. His youthful appearance was still evident on one occasion when a local priest asked Sheen to assist as altar boy during the celebration of the Mass.
Sheen earned a doctorate in philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in 1923. While there, he became the first American ever to win the Cardinal Mercier award for the best philosophical treatise. In 1924 Sheen pursued further studies in Rome earning a Sacred Theology Doctorate at the Pontificium Collegium Internationale Angelicum, the future Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas,Angelicum.
Sheen was for a year assistant to the pastor at St. Patrick’s Church, Soho Square in London while teaching theology at St. Edmund’s College, Ware, where he met Ronald Knox. Although Oxford and Columbia wanted him to teach philosophy, in 1926 Bishop Edmund Dunne of theRoman Catholic Diocese of Peoria, Illinois asked Sheen to take over St. Patrick’s Parish. After nine months, Dunne returned him to Catholic University, where he taught philosophy until 1950.
In 1929, Sheen gave a speech at the National Catholic Educational Association. He encouraged teachers to “educate for a Catholic Renaissance” in the United States. Sheen was hoping that Catholics would become more influential in their country through education, which would help attract others to the faith. He believed that Catholics should “integrate” their faith into the rest of their daily life.
He was consecrated a bishop on June 11, 1951, and served as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York from 1951 to 1965. The Principal Consecrator was the Discalced Carmelite Cardinal Adeodato Giovanni Piazza, the Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina e Poggio Mirteto and the Secretary of the Sacred Consistorial Congregation (what is today the Congregation for Bishops). The Principal Co-Consecrators were Archbishop Leone Giovanni Battista Nigris, Titular Archbishop of Philippi and the Secretary of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith (what is today the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples); and Archbishop Martin John O’Connor, Titular Archbishop of Laodicea in Syria and President Emeritus of thePontifical Council for Social Communications.
A popular instructor, Sheen wrote the first of 73 books in 1925, and in 1930 began a weekly Sunday night radio broadcast, The Catholic Hour.Sheen called WWII not only a political struggle, but also a “theological one.” He referred to Hitler as an example of the “Anti-Christ.” Two decades later, the broadcast had a weekly listening audience of four million people. Time referred to him in 1946 as “the golden-voiced Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen, U.S. Catholicism’s famed proselytizer” and reported that his radio broadcast received 3,000–6,000 letters weekly from listeners. During the middle of this era, he conducted the first religious service broadcast on the new medium of television, putting in motion a new avenue for his religious pursuits.
In 1951 he began a weekly television program on the DuMont Television Network titled Life Is Worth Living. Filmed at the Adelphi Theatre in New York City, the program consisted of the unpaid Sheen simply speaking in front of a live audience without a script or cue cards, occasionally using a chalkboard.
The show, scheduled in a graveyard slot on Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m., was not expected to challenge the ratings giants Milton Berle andFrank Sinatra, but did surprisingly well. Berle, known to many early television viewers as “Uncle Miltie” and for using ancient vaudeville material, joked about Sheen, “He uses old material, too”, and observed that “[i]f I’m going to be eased off the top by anyone, it’s better that I lose to the One for whom Bishop Sheen is speaking.” Sheen responded in jest that maybe people should start calling him “Uncle Fultie”. Life and Time magazine ran feature stories on Bishop Sheen. The number of stations carrying Life Is Worth Living jumped from three to fifteen in less than two months. There was fan mail that flowed in at a rate of 8,500 letters per week. There were four times as many requests for tickets than could be fulfilled. Admiral, the sponsor, paid the production costs in return for a one-minute commercial at the opening of the show and another minute at the close. In 1952 Sheen won an Emmy Award for his efforts, accepting the acknowledgment by saying, “I feel it is time I pay tribute to my four writers—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.” Time called him “the first ‘televangelist'”, and the Archdiocese of New York could not meet the demand for tickets.
One of his best-remembered presentations came in February 1953, when he forcefully denounced the Soviet regime of Joseph Stalin. Sheen gave a dramatic reading of the burial scene from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, substituting the names of prominent Soviet leaders Stalin, Lavrenty Beria, Georgy Malenkov, and Andrey Vyshinsky for the original Caesar, Cassius, Marc Antony, and Brutus. He concluded by saying, “Stalin must one day meet his judgment.” The dictator suffered a stroke a few days later and died within a week.
The show ran until 1957, drawing as many as 30 million people on a weekly basis. In 1958, Sheen became national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, serving for eight years before being appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, New York, on October 26, 1966. He also hosted a nationally syndicated series, The Fulton Sheen Program, from 1961 to 1968 (first in black and white and then in color). The format of this series was essentially the same as Life Is Worth Living.
International cassette tape ministry
In September 1974, the Archbishop of Washington asked Sheen to be the speaker for a retreat for diocesan priests at the Loyola Retreat House in Faulkner, Maryland. This was recorded on reel-to-reel tape, state of the art at the time.
Sheen requested that the recorded talks be produced for distribution. This was the first production of what would become a worldwide cassette tape ministry called Ministr-O-Media, a nonprofit company that operated on the grounds of St. Joseph’s Parish. The retreat album was titled, Renewal and Reconciliation, and included nine 60-minute audio tapes.
For several years, Ministr-O-Media was one of the largest distributors of non-musical tapes in the United States.rectory dining room and eventually grew into five temporary classrooms on the church property, employing nine parishioners full-time, and at one point 18 workers in all. At its height, Ministr-O-Media staff and volunteers were packaging and mailing 500 albums a week and, in ten years, shipped a million tapes to clients worldwide. The effort generated income of $15,000 per week.
The operation started in the St. Joseph’s
St. Joseph’s Parish was targeted to be closed due to lack of funding for repairs before the chance connection between Sheen and Brady.
The parish, founded in 1763, owed its continued existence to the intervention of Sheen and the tape ministry that rebuilt the church, in collaboration with a dedicated workforce of parish volunteers.
At Sheen’s direction, most of the tape ministry profits were turned over to the pope’s worldwide missionary effort, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In its decade of existence, Ministr-O-Media routed over a quarter million U.S. dollars to this charity.
Sheen was credited with helping convert a number of notable figures to the Catholic faith, including agnostic writer Heywood Broun, politician Clare Boothe Luce, automaker Henry Ford II, Communist writer Louis F. Budenz, theatrical designer Jo Mielziner, violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler, and actress Virginia Mayo. Each conversion process took an average of 25 hours of lessons, and reportedly more than 95% of his students in private instruction were baptized.
Fallout with Cardinal Spellman
According to the foreword written for a 2008 edition of Sheen’s autobiography, Treasure in Clay: The Autobiography of Fulton J. Sheen, Catholic journalist Raymond Arroyo wrote why Sheen “retired” from hosting Life is Worth Living “at the height of its popularity … [when] an estimated 30 million viewers and listeners tuned in each week.” Arroyo wrote that “It is widely believed that Cardinal Spellman drove Sheen off the air.”
Arroyo relates that “In the late 1950s the government donated millions of dollars worth of powdered milk to the New York Archdiocese. In turn, Cardinal Spellman handed that milk over to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith to distribute to the poor of the world. On at least one occasion he demanded that the director of the Society, Bishop Sheen, pay the Archdiocese for the donated milk. He wanted millions of dollars. Despite Cardinal Spellman’s considerable powers of persuasion and influence in Rome, Sheen refused. These were funds donated by the public to the missions, funds Sheen himself had personally contributed to and raised over the airwaves. He felt an obligation to protect them, even from the itchy fingers of his own Cardinal.”
Spellman later took the issue directly to Pope Pius XII, pleading his case with Sheen present. The Pope sided with Sheen. Spellman later confronted Sheen stating “I will get even with you. It may take six months or ten years, but everyone will know what you are like.” Besides being pressured to leave television Sheen also “found himself unwelcome in the churches of New York. Spellman cancelled Sheen’s annual Good Friday sermons at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and discouraged clergy from befriending the Bishop.” In 1966 Spellman had Sheen reassigned to Rochester, New York and caused his leadership at the Society for the Propagation of the Faith to be terminated (a position he had held for 16 years and raised hundreds of millions for, to which he had personally donated 10 million of his own earnings).
Sheen never talked about the situation, only making vague references to his “trials both inside and outside the Church”. He even went so far as to praise Spellman in his autobiography.
While serving in Rochester, he created the Sheen Ecumenical Housing Foundation, which survives to this day. He also spent some of his energy on political activities, such as his denunciation of the Vietnam War in late July 1967. On Ash Wednesday in 1967, Sheen decided to give St. Bridget’s Parish building to the federal Housing and Urban Development program. Sheen wanted to let the government use it for black Americans. There was a protest, since Sheen acted on his own accord. The pastor disagreed, saying that “There is enough empty property around without taking down the church and the school.” The deal fell through.
On October 15, 1969, one month after celebrating his 50th anniversary as a priest, Sheen resigned from his position and was then appointed Archbishop of the Titular See of Newport (Wales) by Pope Paul VI. This ceremonial position allowed Sheen to continue his extensive writing. Archbishop Sheen wrote 73 books and numerous articles and columns.
On October 2, 1979, two months before Sheen’s death, Pope John Paul II visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and embraced Sheen, saying, “You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are a loyal son of the Church.”
Death and legacy
Beginning in 1977 Sheen “underwent a series of surgeries that sapped his strength and even made preaching difficult.” Throughout this time he continued to work on his autobiography, parts of which “were recited from his sickbed as he clutched a crucifix.” Sheen died of heart disease on December 9, 1979, having previously had open-heart surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital. He is interred in the crypt of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, near the deceased Archbishops of New York.
The official repository of Sheen’s papers, television programs, and other materials is at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Rochester, New York.
Joseph Campanella introduces the re-runs of Sheen’s various programs that are aired on EWTN. Reruns are also aired on Trinity Broadcasting Network. In addition to his television appearances, Sheen can also be heard on Relevant Radio.
The Fulton J. Sheen Museum, which is operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria and located in Peoria, Illinois, houses the largest collection of Sheen’s personal items in 5 collections. The Museum is located just one block south of Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception where Sheen served as an altar boy, had his first communion and confirmation, was ordained and celebrated his first Mass. Another museum is located in Sheen’s home town of El Paso, Illinois. This museum contains various Sheen artifacts, but is not connected to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria.
Cause for canonization
The Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation was formed in 1998 by Gregory J. Ladd and Lawrence F. Hickey to make known the life of the archbishop. The foundation approached Cardinal John O’Connor of the Archdiocese of New York for permission to commence the process of for cause, which was under the authority of the Diocese of Peoria.
In 2002, Sheen’s Cause for Canonization as a saint was officially opened by Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria, and from then on Sheen was referred to as a “Servant of God“.
On February 2, 2008, the archives of Sheen were sealed at a ceremony during a special Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Illinois, where the diocese was sponsoring his canonization.
In November 2010, it was announced that the cause would be paused due to a disagreement with the Archdiocese of New York upon an unsettled debate concerning the return of Sheen’s remains to the Diocese of Peoria.
In 2009, the diocesan phase of the investigation came to an end, and the records were sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican in Rome.
On June 28, 2012, the Vatican announced officially that it had recognized Sheen’s life as one of “heroic virtue”. This is a major step towards an eventual beatification. From this moment on, Sheen is styled “Venerable Servant of God”.
According to Catholic News Service and The Catholic Post (the official newspaper of the Peoria Diocese), the case of a boy who as an infant had no discernible pulse for 61 minutes (who was about to be declared dead at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois, as a stillborn infant) and yet allegedly still lived to be healthy – without physical or mental impairment – is in the preliminary stages of being investigated as the possible miracle needed for Archbishop Sheen’s potential beatification. If the miracle is approved at the diocesan level, and then by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican (being both medically unexplainable and directly attributable theologically to Sheen’s intercession according to expert panels in both subject areas), then beatification may proceed. Another such miracle would be required for him to be considered for canonization as a saint.
On September 7, 2011, a tribunal of inquiry was sworn in to investigate the alleged healing. During a special Mass at 10:30 am on Sunday, December 11, 2011, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, the documentation gathered by the tribunal over nearly three months was boxed and sealed. It will then be shipped to the Vatican for consideration by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, concluding the diocesan tribunal’s work – which makes up much of the diocese’s work on the project.
On Sunday, September 9, 2012, a Mass of Thanksgiving and banquet was held at St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Spalding Pastoral Center in celebration of the advancement of Archbishop Sheen’s cause, with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., and his predecessor as Bishop of Peoria, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers (celebrating his 25th anniversary of episcopal ordination), in attendance, along with many of the clergy and religious of the diocese and from around the country. Copies of the “Positio”, or the book detailing the documentation behind his cause, were presented to Archbishop Myers, to representatives of the Church in other states, and to a delegate from the Archdiocese of Chicago, and to other patrons and supporters of his cause. According to statements made during the service by clergy connected to the Cause, the medical and theological study of the potential miracles needed for his beatification and canonization is currently well underway and at least one is seriously being considered. Due to new rules under Pope Benedict XVI stating that a beatification should occur locally, ideally in the candidate’s home Diocese (which is usually but not always the Diocese that sponsors the Cause), it would likely take place in Peoria, the first there. Should he be beatified and canonized, he would be among a select few natives of the U.S. to hold that distinction.
On Thursday, March 6, 2014 it was announced that a Vatican panel of medical experts could not determine a natural cause to a miracle attributed to Sheen, this is a major step on the road to beatification. The miracle: the reviving of the still-born baby mentioned above who survived intact, so far, without having a detectable pulse at his birth for a lengthy period without explanation. For 61 minutes, while his mother prayed for Fulton Sheen’s intercession, the child did not breathe and only took his first breaths as doctors were calling his time of death. Doctors predicted the child to grow up with terrifying effects like organ failure and cerebral palsy. After the child’s first 5 months, he was considered to be a normally healthy child. The case will now go on to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, for further review. If the Congregation approves the miracle, then the cause will be passed on to Pope Francis, who will ultimately decide and sign and publish documentation on whether or not to beatify Archbishop Sheen, granting him the title of “Blessed”. 
On Thursday, June 17, 2014, a seven-member panel of theologians that advises the Congregation for the Causes of Saints also unanimously agreed that the aforementioned case could be attributable to the baby boy’s parents asking for Archbishop Sheen’s intercession during the 61-minute period. Having been evaluated and approved by both medical and theological examination, the case now will be examined by the Bishops and Cardinals who are members and officials of the Congregation, who must give their approval before the case can be forwarded to Pope Francis.
Indefinite suspension of cause for canonization
However, on September 3, 2014, the cause was suspended indefinitely, not for problems with Sheen’s moral character or with the miracle investigation, but because the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, within whose territory he is buried, had refused a request by Bishop Jenky of Peoria (who is the Actor, or supervisor, of the cause efforts because of his position as Bishop of Peoria) to have Archbishop Sheen’s remains moved to Peoria. This needed to be done so the body could be closely examined and first-class relics taken, both of which are among the final steps that take place before beatification and canonization. The cause for his beatification, per the Vatican’s directions, will be archived in the historical records of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes. The Peoria Diocese said there would be no further immediate comment.
Normally, sainthood causes take many years to progress to canonization; the exceptions to these cases (causes of martyrs, who only need one miracle for sainthood; or where the Pope has granted a waiver to start the process sooner after death) are quite apart from the norm. Nevertheless, the potential for a long delay was very frustrating to many in the area and beyond who had helped and funded his cause, and to his other supporters. Following are links to the Diocese of Peoria (with one statement from Bishop Jenky’s office and an update by Diocesan Chancellor Patricia Gibson), and one from Mr. Joseph Zwilling, Communications Director for the Archdiocese of New York, issued on behalf of the Archdiocese, that shed light on the situation and on both their views surrounding the matter.
The following is the statement released by the Archdiocese of New York on the issue. According to it, Cardinal Dolan wanted to respect the desires of not only Sheen, himself, but his closest family members. In particular, a niece.
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- Jump up^ http://cdop.org/post/PostFeatured.aspx?ID=3490
- Jump up^ http://www.pjstar.com/article/20140903/NEWS/140909693
- Jump up^ http://www.centralillinoisproud.com/story/d/story/canonization-of-archbishop-fulton-sheen-suspended/39658/BOdQEjHnF0mqJRmKJhAeJA
- Jump up^ http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/sheen-sainthood-process-suspended/article_d43c4d13-dea7-5af5-b8bc-97ed8184cd21.html
- Jump up^ http://www.archny.org/news-events/news-press-releases/index.cfm?i=34110
- Jump up^ This book was Sheen’s response to Rabbi Joshua L. Liebman’s 1946 best-seller Peace of Mind.
Sheen cause suspended, call for prayer
EDITOR’S NOTE: Following are news releases from the Diocese of Peoria regarding the suspension of the Cause for the beatification and canonization of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.
SHEEN CAUSE SUSPENDED, CALL FOR PRAYER
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
It is with immense sadness that the Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, Bishop of Peoria and President of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation, announced today that the Cause for Sheen’s beatification and canonization has for the foreseeable future been suspended. The process to verify a possible miracle attributed to Sheen had been going extremely well, and only awaited a vote of the Cardinals and the approval of the Holy Father. There was every indication that a possible date for beatification in Peoria would have been scheduled for as early as the coming year. The Holy See expected that the remains of Venerable Sheen would be moved to Peoria where official inspection would be made and first class relics be taken. Subsequently, the Archdiocese of New York denied Bishop Jenky’s request to move the body to Peoria. After further discussion with Rome, it was decided that the Sheen Cause would now have to be relegated to the Congregation’s historic archive.
Countless supporters especially from the local church in Central Illinois have given their time, treasure and talent for this good work with the clear understanding that the body of Venerable Sheen would return to the Diocese. Bishop Jenky was personally assured on several occasions by the Archdiocese of New York that the transfer of the body would take place at the appropriate time. New York’s change of mind took place as the work on behalf of the Cause had reached a significant stage.
Bishop Jenky is what is technically called the “actor” of the Sheen Cause. The Diocese of Peoria and the Sheen Foundation have prayed and labored for this good work for the last twelve years. The Bishop is heartbroken not only for his flock in Peoria but also for the many supporters of the Sheen Cause from throughout the world who have so generously supported Peoria’s efforts. It should be noted, however, that saints are always made by God not by man. Efforts for many causes have sometimes taken decades or even centuries. Bishop Jenky urges that those who support the Sheen Cause continue their prayers that God’s will be made manifest.
No further comment will be released at this time.
DIOCESE OF PEORIA PRESENTS ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATIONS REGARDING THE SUSPENSION OF THE ARCHBISHOP FULTON SHEEN CAUSE OF SAINTHOOD
Friday, September 5, 2014
After an outpouring of great support for the actions taken by Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria regarding the suspension of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Cause of Sainthood, the Diocese is providing additional clarifications.
According to the Chancellor of the Diocese of Peoria, Patricia Gibson, who has worked with the Cause from the beginning, “Bishop Jenky only agreed to pursue the cause for canonization of Fulton Sheen after he was assured by the Archdiocese of New York that they had no interest in pursuing the cause but would support Peoria’s efforts. Specifically, Bishop Jenky was told by Cardinal Egan in September 2002 that New York was not interested in pursuing the cause. He also indicated that at the appropriate time he would facilitate the transfer of the body to Peoria. In December 2004, Cardinal Egan again confirmed at a meeting in New York with Bishop Jenky that he continued to support the efforts of the Cause and reassured him that he would work to transfer the body at the appropriate time to be enshrined in the Peoria Cathedral.”
Based on this ongoing assurance, Bishop Jenky wrote to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in early 2005 asking for the body to be transferred to Peoria. They did not in any way forbid the transfer of the body but simply indicated that it was not the appropriate time. The Congregation indicated that “the transfer was not opportune at this time because the Diocesan inquiry had just been started in the Diocese of Peoria.” With this inquiry complete and a miracle being attributed to Sheen, now is an appropriate time.
On June 27, 2014, the Diocese of Peoria received the most recent communication from the Archdiocese of New York. This letter from its lawyer definitively stated that it would never allow the examination of the body, the securing of relics or the transfer of the body. Upon receiving this shocking statement and consulting with advisors to the Sheen Cause, Bishop Jenky believed that he had no choice but to stop his efforts and suspend the Cause.
Gibson added, “It is essential to realize that Bishop Jenky now feels a great responsibility to be faithful to the thousands of supporters throughout Central Illinois, the nation and the world, in regard to the status of the cause. From the beginning, Bishop Jenky sought assurances that New York did not want to undertake the Cause and would support Peoria’s efforts. This assurance was given before the process ever began. Bishop Jenky also confirmed that at the appropriate time Fulton Sheen’s body would be transferred to his boyhood home and be placed in a shrine in St. Mary’s Cathedral where he was ordained. Over the last twelve years, countless people have offered their time and financial support for these efforts in order not only to spread the word about Fulton Sheen’s virtues and holiness but also to prepare a shrine in Peoria upon his beatification. After New York clearly turned down the Cause, Peoria was happy to put forth the lengthy work and effort because of how much he is loved by the priests and lay faithful in this Diocese.”
Clearly Archbishop Sheen’s wishes for his final resting place could not have anticipated that he would go through a canonization process led by his native Diocese of Peoria, after it was turned down by the Archdiocese of New York. The Diocese of Peoria has heard from several relatives this week regarding their desire that Bishop Jenky continue to work towards having the body transferred as was presumed from the beginning.
The Chancellor, Patricia Gibson, further states, “The actions taken by Bishop Jenky this week reflect his strong desire to be true to the countless supporters of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Cause who for over twelve years have labored and supported bringing the message of Fulton Sheen and his sanctity to the world. Bishop Jenky continues to hope that the promises made twelve years ago will be honored.”
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Lifeline: Dr Kent Brantly (left), who has been cleared of Ebola, has match blood types with Nina Pham (right) and donated so she can receive a blood transfusion to battle the deadly virus she caught treating a patient
Miss Pham has been in quarantine since Friday after catching the disease from ‘patient zero’ Thomas Eric Duncan – the man who brought the deadly virus to America.
About 70 staff members at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital were involved in the care of Mr Duncan after he was hospitalized, including the 26-year-old.
Brantly is believed to have traveled to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where Pham worked, to make the donation on Sunday night.
Miss Pham’s condition was described as ‘clinically stable’ on Tuesday morning. She is believed to be in good spirits and had spoken to her mother via Skype.
A second person who came in contact with the nurse is being monitored for Ebola symptoms in an isolation unit at Texas Presbyterian. He is reportedly Miss Pham’s boyfriend according to Dallas News.
The individual works at Alcon in Fort Worth, according to a staff email seen by CBS. MailOnline was awaiting confirmation from the global eye care products company.
Those who have survived Ebola have antibodies in their blood which can help new sufferers beat the disease.
Dr Kent Brantly was flown back from Liberia to the U.S. after contracting Ebola during his missionary work for Samaritan’s Purse.
He survived after receiving a dose of the experimental serum Z-Mapp and round-the-clock care at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
On September 10, Dr Brantly donated blood to a fellow doctor, Dr Rick Sacra, who also contracted Ebola during his work in West Africa and survived the disease.
Last Tuesday, he was on a road trip from Indiana to Texas when he received a call from Ashoka Mukpo’s medical center in Nebraska telling him his blood type matched Mukpo’s.
He also offered his blood to Thomas Eric Duncan but their blood types didn’t match.
Being treated: On Tuesday, Dr Brantly pulled over during a road trip to give blood to NBC’s Ashoka Mukpo
Within minutes, he stopped off at the Community Blood Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and his donation was flown to Omaha.
Pham was diagnosed after admitting herself to hospital on Friday when her temperature spiked – one of the first symptoms of the deadly virus.
HOW COMMON IS IT FOR TWO PEOPLE TO MATCH BLOOD TYPE?
There are four major blood types: A, B, AB, and O. They divide into positive and negative categories.
It is not known what blood type the four Ebola patients have in common.
The most common blood type in the US is O positive, although ethnic groups normally differ.
The majority of African Americans and Hispanics have O positive.
Around 37 per cent of Caucasians do too, but 33 per cent have A positive.
There is more variety among Asian people. A quarter are listed as B positive, according to the Red Cross, but many also have a high number of Os and As.
A blood test confirmed she had the disease and she is now being treated in an isolation ward.
The Emergency Room where she was admitted was cleared and decontaminated.
Nina Pham’s uncle confirmed to MailOnline that she is the nurse who has contracted Ebola while treating patient zero Thomas Eric Duncan.
Jason Nguyen told MailOnline: ‘Nina has contracted Ebola, she is my niece. Her mother called me on Saturday and told me; ‘Nina has caught Ebola.’
‘My sister is very upset, we all are. She said she was going up to the hospital in Dallas and I haven’t heard from her since. I’ve tried to call but I can’t get through. It’s very shocking. I don’t know any of the details, only what I hear on the news. It’s frightening.’
He added: ‘Nina is very hard working. She is always up at the hospital in Dallas.’
A friend added: ‘You always hear it on the news, but you don’t expect someone you know so well to have it.’
HazChem teams spent the weekend fumigating her apartment in Dallas while health officials have ordered an investigation into how she contracted the disease.
Texas nurse with Ebola identified as 26-yr-old Nina Pham
Tragic: Nina Pham, 26, is fighting for her life after contracting Ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan. Here she is pictured with her beloved King Charles Spaniel clled Bentley who is not expected to be destroyed
Kind-hearted: Raised in Vietnamese family in Fort Worth, Miss Pham graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Her beloved King Charles Spaniel Bentley will not be destroyed and is being quarantined, Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings has assured.
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) Dr Thomas Frieden has blamed a ‘breach in protocol’ of infection control lead Miss Pham to catch Ebola.
Mr Duncan arrived in Texas from Liberia on September 20. He began showing symptoms of Ebola three days after his arrival and was admitted to Texas Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday 28. He died on Wednesday October 8.
Presbyterian’s chief clinical officer, Dr Dan Varga, said all staff had followed CDC recommended precautions – ‘gown, glove, mask and shield’ – while treating Mr Duncan.
CDC chief backtracks after blaming nurse who got Ebola
And on Monday the CDC said that a critical moment may have come when Miss Pham took off her equipment.
Ebola victims suffer chronic diarrhea and bleeding. But blood and feces from an Ebola patient are considered the most infectious bodily fluids.
Mr Duncan also underwent two surgical procedures in a bid to keep him alive but which are particularly high-risk for transmitting the virus – kidney dialysis and intubation to help him to breathe – due to the spread of blood and saliva.
Nurses’ leader Bonnie Castillo has criticized the CDC for blaming the nurse for the spread of the disease.
Ms Castillo, of the National Nurses United, said: ‘You don’t scapegoat and blame when you have a disease outbreak. We have a system failure. That is what we have to correct.’
In response to the criticism, Frieden clarified his comments to say that he did not mean it was an error on Miss Pham’s part that led to the ‘breach of protocol.’
Clean up: A man in full hazmat clothing walks in front of Pham’s home after disinfecting the front porch
The CDC said on Monday it has launched a wholesale review of the procedures and equipment used by healthcare workers.
Dr Frieden added that the case ‘substantially’ changes how medical staff approach the control of the virus, adding that: ‘We have to rethink how we address Ebola control, because even a single infection is unacceptable.’
When she got accepted into nursing school she was really excited. Her mom would tell how it’s really hard and a bunch of her friends quit doing it because it was so stressful. But she was like, “This is what I want to do”
Friends and well-wishers have paid tribute to Miss Pham and praised her as a big-hearted, compassionate nurse dedicated to caring for other.
Raised in Vietnamese family in Fort Worth, she graduated from Texas Christian University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
She obtained her nursing license in August 2010 and recently qualified as a critical care nurse.
A friend told the Dallas Morning News: ‘When she got accepted into nursing school she was really excited. Her mom would tell how it’s really hard and a bunch of her friends quit doing it because it was so stressful. But she was like, “This is what I want to do”.’
A devout Christian she regularly attends mass at the Lady of Fatima Church.
Tom Ha, who taught her bible class, told the paper: ‘The family is very dedicated and go out of their way to help people. I expect, with the big heart she has, she went beyond what she was supposed to do to help anyone in need.’
Aid: Miss Pham had treated Mr Duncan multiple times after he was diagnosed with the disease and the CDC has claimed that a ‘breach of protocol’ meant the nurse contracted Ebola. However, nursing leaders attacked the authorities for apparently making Miss Pham a scapegoat
Hung Le, who is president and counselor at Our Lady of Fatima, said parishioners are uniting in prayer for Miss Pham.
He said: ‘Our most important concern as a church is to help the family as they are coping with this. As a parish, we are praying for them.’
Ha, who taught the woman in Bible classes, said he and others are translating health information into Vietnamese to help others learn about the illness.
‘People are more worried for the family than for themselves, but some have questions because they don’t really understand what it is or how it is transmitted.’
SPREAD OF A DEADLY PLAGUE: HOW WILL AMERICA CONTAIN EBOLA?
WHEN IS EBOLA CONTAGIOUS?
Only when someone is showing symptoms, which can start with vague symptoms including a fever, flu-like body aches and abdominal pain, and then vomiting and diarrhea.
HOW DOES EBOLA SPREAD?
Through close contact with a symptomatic person’s bodily fluids, such as blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen. Those fluids must have an entry point, like a cut or scrape or someone touching the nose, mouth or eyes with contaminated hands, or being splashed. That’s why health care workers wear protective gloves and other equipment.
The World Health Organization says blood, feces and vomit are the most infectious fluids, while the virus is found in saliva mostly once patients are severely ill and the whole live virus has never been culled from sweat.
WHAT ABOUT MORE CASUAL CONTACT?
Ebola isn’t airborne. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said people don’t get exposed by sitting next to someone on the bus.
‘This is not like flu. It’s not like measles, not like the common cold. It’s not as spreadable, it’s not as infectious as those conditions,’ he added.
WHO GETS TESTED WHEN EBOLA IS SUSPECTED?
Hospitals with a suspected case call their health department or the CDC to go through a checklist to determine the person’s level of risk. Among the questions are whether the person reports a risky contact with a known Ebola patient, how sick they are and whether an alternative diagnosis is more likely. Most initially suspicious cases in the U.S. haven’t met the criteria for testing.
HOW IS IT CLEANED UP?
The CDC says bleach and other hospital disinfectants kill Ebola. Dried virus on surfaces survives only for several hours.
The World Health Organization on Monday called the Ebola outbreak ‘the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times’.
It added that economic disruption can be curbed if people are educated so they don’t make any irrational moves to dodge infection.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, citing World Bank figures, said 90 per cent of economic costs of any outbreak ‘come from irrational and disorganised efforts of the public to avoid infection.’
‘We are seeing, right now, how this virus can disrupt economies and societies around the world,’ she said, but added that adequately educating the public was a ‘good defense strategy’ and would allow governments to prevent economic disruptions.
Ebola screening of passengers arriving from three West African countries began at New York’s JFK airport on Saturday.
Medical teams equipped with temperature guns and questionnaires are monitoring arrivals from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – countries at the centre of the Ebola outbreak.
Screening at Newark Liberty, Washington Dulles, Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta will begin later this week.
Key Question: How Did Dallas Worker Contract Ebola?
October 12, 2014 4:35 PM
How did it happen?
That’s the big question as U.S. health officials investigate the case of a Dallas health worker who treated an Ebola patient and ended up with the disease herself.
These are professionals and this is the United States, where the best conditions and protective gear are available, unlike in West Africa, where the Ebola epidemic is raging in much poorer conditions.
The health worker wore protective gear while having extensive contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died Wednesday of Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.
Officials say she has not been able to pinpoint any breach in infection control protocols, although there apparently was a breach, they say.
Experience shows that health workers can safely care for Ebola patients, “but we also know that it’s hard and that even a single breach can result in contamination,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
The situation also raises fresh concerns about whether any U.S. hospital can safely handle Ebola patients, as health officials have insisted is possible.
“A breach in protocol could be anything from not taking your gloves off the right way to taking a dialysis catheter out of a dialysis patient and not disposing of it the right way,” explains Dr. Darrin D’Agostino, Chair of Internal Medicine UNT.
According to Dr. D’Agostino those are just some of the multitude of scenarios.
He says these incidents don’t happen often, but accidents do occur.
“We can be as diligent and meticulous as we want to be but occasionally things happen that expose to risk,” said Dr. D’Agostino.
While the fight to eradicate Ebola in Dallas and internationality Dr. D’Agostino is reminding us the battle will be long.
“The fact of the matter is that we do have a lot to learn about this virus and all the viruses that are in this family…this one is particularly infectious.”
Despite the uncertainty Dr. D’Agostino says he is confident that we have the proper infrastructure and resources to handle these cases.
Some questions and answers about the new case.
Q: What protection do health workers have?
A: The exact gear can vary. A hazardous material type suit usually includes a gown, two sets of gloves, a face mask, and an eye shield. There are strict protocols for how to use it correctly.
“When you put on your garb and you take off your garb, it’s a buddy system,” with another health worker watching to make sure it’s done right, said Dr. Dennis Maki, University of Wisconsin-Madison infectious disease specialist and former head of hospital infection control.
Q: How might infection have occurred?
A: Officials are focusing on two areas: How the garb was removed, and the intensive medical procedures Duncan received, which included kidney dialysis and a breathing machine. Both involve inserting tubes — into blood vessels or an airway. That raises the risk a health worker will have contact with the patient’s bodily fluids, which is how Ebola spreads.
“Removing the equipment can really be the highest risk. You have to be extremely careful and have somebody watching you to make sure you remember all the steps,” said Dr. Eileen Farnon, a Temple University doctor who formerly worked at the CDC and led teams investigating past Ebola outbreaks in Africa.
“After every step you usually would do hand hygiene,” washing your hands with antiseptic or being sprayed with a chlorine spray, she said.
Q: How else could infection have happened?
A: Some of the garb the health worker takes off might brush against a surface and contaminate it. New data suggest that even tiny droplets of a patient’s body fluids can contain the virus, Maki said.
“I can have on the suit and be very careful, but I can pick up some secretions or body fluids on a surface” and spread it that way, he said.
Q: Can any U.S. hospital safely treat Ebola patients?
A: Frieden and other health officials say yes, but others say the new case shows the risks.
“We can’t control where the Ebola patient appears,” so every hospital’s emergency room needs to be prepared to isolate and take infection control precautions, Maki said.
That said, “I don’t think we should expect that small hospitals take care of Ebola patients. The challenge is formidable,” and only large hospitals like those affiliated with major universities truly have enough equipment and manpower to do it right, Maki said.
“If we allow it to be taken care of in hospitals that have less than optimal resources, we will promote the spread,” he warned.
The case heightens concern for health workers’ safety, and nurses at many hospitals “are alarmed at the inadequate preparation they see,” says a statement from Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the trade union, National Nurses United.
Q: Should Ebola patients be transferred to one of the specialized centers that have treated others in the U.S.?
A: Specialized units are the ideal, but there are fewer than half a dozen in the nation and they don’t have unlimited beds. “It is also a high-risk activity to transfer patients,” potentially exposing more people to the virus, Farnon said.
Q. What is CDC recommending that a hospital do?
A. Training has been ramped up, and the CDC now recommends that a hospital minimize the number of people caring for an Ebola patient, perform only procedures essential to support the patient’s care, and name a fulltime infection control supervisor while any Ebola patient is being cared for. Frieden also said the agency was taking a new look at personal protective equipment, “understanding that there is a balance and putting more on isn’t always safer — it may make it harder to provide effective care.”
Health care worker at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas tests positive for Ebola
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National Income and Product Accounts
Gross Domestic Product, 4th quarter and annual 2012 (second estimate)
Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012
(that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the "second" estimate released by the
Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent.
The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for
the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, real GDP declined 0.1 percent. The
upward revision to the percent change in real GDP is smaller than the average revision from the advance
to second estimate of 0.5 percentage point. While today’s release has revised the direction of change in
real GDP, the general picture of the economy for the fourth quarter remains largely the same as what
was presented last month (for more information, see "Revisions" on page 3).
The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected positive contributions from
personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed
investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, federal
government spending, exports, and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a
subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.
The deceleration in real GDP in the fourth quarter primarily reflected downturns in private
inventory investment, in federal government spending, in exports, and in state and local government
spending that were partly offset by an upturn in nonresidential fixed investment, a larger decrease in
imports, and an acceleration in PCE.
FOOTNOTE. Quarterly estimates are expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, unless otherwise
specified. Quarter-to-quarter dollar changes are differences between these published estimates. Percent
changes are calculated from unrounded data and are annualized. "Real" estimates are in chained (2005)
dollars. Price indexes are chain-type measures.
This news release is available on BEA’s Web site along with the Technical Note and Highlights
related to this release. For information on revisions, see "Revisions to GDP, GDI, and Their Major
Final sales of computers added 0.10 percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP
after adding 0.11 percentage point to the third-quarter change. Motor vehicle output added 0.19
percentage point to the fourth-quarter change in real GDP after subtracting 0.25 percentage point from
the third-quarter change.
The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents,
increased 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, 0.2 percentage point more than in the advance estimate; this
index increased 1.4 percent in the third quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for
gross domestic purchases increased 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 1.2
percent in the third.
Real personal consumption expenditures increased 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter, compared
with an increase of 1.6 percent in the third. Durable goods increased 13.8 percent, compared with an
increase of 8.9 percent. Nondurable goods increased 0.1 percent, compared with an increase of 1.2
percent. Services increased 0.9 percent, compared with an increase of 0.6 percent.
Real nonresidential fixed investment increased 9.7 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to a
decrease of 1.8 percent in the third. Nonresidential structures increased 5.8 percent; it was unchanged in
the third quarter. Equipment and software increased 11.3 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to a
decrease of 2.6 percent in the third. Real residential fixed investment increased 17.5 percent, compared
with an increase of 13.5 percent.
Real exports of goods and services decreased 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an
increase of 1.9 percent in the third. Real imports of goods and services decreased 4.5 percent, compared
with a decrease of 0.6 percent.
Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment decreased 14.8 percent
in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of 9.5 percent in the third. National defense decreased
22.0 percent, in contrast to an increase of 12.9 percent. Nondefense increased 1.8 percent, compared
with an increase of 3.0 percent. Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross
investment decreased 1.3 percent, in contrast to an increase of 0.3 percent.
The change in real private inventories subtracted 1.55 percentage points from the fourth-quarter
change in real GDP, after adding 0.73 percentage point to the third-quarter change. Private businesses
increased inventories $12.0 billion in the fourth quarter, following increases of $60.3 billion in the third
and $41.4 billion in the second.
Real final sales of domestic product -- GDP less change in private inventories -- increased 1.7
percent in the fourth quarter, compared with an increase of 2.4 percent in the third.
Gross domestic purchases
Real gross domestic purchases -- purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever
produced -- decreased 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, in contrast to an increase of 2.6 percent in the
Current-dollar GDP -- the market value of the nation's output of goods and services -- increased
1.0 percent, or $40.2 billion, in the fourth quarter to a level of $15,851.2 billion. In the third quarter,
current-dollar GDP increased 5.9 percent, or $225.4 billion.
The "second" estimate of the fourth-quarter percent change in GDP is 0.2 percentage point, or
$9.2 billion, more than the advance estimate issued last month, primarily reflecting an upward revision
to exports, a downward revision to imports, and an upward revision to nonresidential fixed investment
that were partly offset by a downward revision to private inventory investment.
Advance Estimate Second Estimate
(Percent change from preceding quarter)
Real GDP....................................... -0.1 0.1
Current-dollar GDP............................. 0.5 1.0
Gross domestic purchases price index........... 1.3 1.5
Real GDP increased 2.2 percent in 2012 (that is, from the 2011 annual level to the 2012 annual
level), compared with an increase of 1.8 percent in 2011.
The increase in real GDP in 2012 primarily reflected positive contributions from personal
consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, exports, residential fixed investment,
and private inventory investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from federal
government spending and from state and local government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in
the calculation of GDP, increased.
The acceleration in real GDP in 2012 primarily reflected a deceleration in imports, upturns in
residential fixed investment and in private inventory investment and smaller decreases in state and local
government spending and in federal government spending that were partly offset by decelerations in
PCE, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment.
The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.7 percent in 2012, compared with an
increase of 2.5 percent in 2011.
Current-dollar GDP increased 4.0 percent, or $605.8 billion, in 2012 to a level of $15,681.5
billion, compared with an increase of 4.0 percent, or $576.8 billion, in 2011.
During 2012 (that is, measured from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012),
real GDP increased 1.6 percent. Real GDP increased 2.0 percent during 2011. The price index for gross
domestic purchases increased 1.5 percent during 2012, compared with an increase of 2.5 percent during
* * *
BEA's national, international, regional, and industry estimates; the Survey of Current Business;
and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov. By visiting
the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases and announcements.
* * *
Next release -- March 28, 2013 at 8:30 A.M. EDT for:
Gross Domestic Product: Fourth Quarter and Annual 2012 (Third Estimate)
Corporate Profits: Fourth Quarter and Annual 2012
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The 2013 State of the Union Address
Rand Paul Gives The Tea Party Response To The President’s State of the Union Address
Marco Rubio – 2013 State of the Union – GOP Response w/ Water Break (12:01) (English)
Transcript: Obama’s State Of The Union Address As Prepared For Delivery
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, fellow citizens:
Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this Chamber that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…It is my task,” he said, “to report the State of the Union – to improve it is the task of us all.”
Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty. Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before.
Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger.
But we gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. Our economy is adding jobs – but too many people still can’t find full-time employment. Corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs – but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged.
It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.
It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.
It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation.
The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party. They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can. For they know that America moves forward only when we do so together; and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all.
Our work must begin by making some basic decisions about our budget – decisions that will have a huge impact on the strength of our recovery.
Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion – mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. As a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.
Now we need to finish the job. And the question is, how?
In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach our deficit goal, about a trillion dollars’ worth of budget cuts would automatically go into effect this year. These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They’d devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. That’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as “the sequester,” are a really bad idea.
Now, some in this Congress have proposed preventing only the defense cuts by making even bigger cuts to things like education and job training; Medicare and Social Security benefits.
That idea is even worse. Yes, the biggest driver of our long-term debt is the rising cost of health care for an aging population. And those of us who care deeply about programs like Medicare must embrace the need for modest reforms – otherwise, our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children, and jeopardize the promise of a secure retirement for future generations.
But we can’t ask senior citizens and working families to shoulder the entire burden of deficit reduction while asking nothing more from the wealthiest and most powerful. We won’t grow the middle class simply by shifting the cost of health care or college onto families that are already struggling, or by forcing communities to lay off more teachers, cops, and firefighters. Most Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – understand that we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. They know that broad-based economic growth requires a balanced approach to deficit reduction, with spending cuts and revenue, and with everybody doing their fair share. And that’s the approach I offer tonight.
On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission. Already, the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of health care costs. The reforms I’m proposing go even further. We’ll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors. We’ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn’t be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital – they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive. And I am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don’t violate the guarantee of a secure retirement. Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep – but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.
To hit the rest of our deficit reduction target, we should do what leaders in both parties have already suggested, and save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected. After all, why would we choose to make deeper cuts to education and Medicare just to protect special interest tax breaks? How is that fair? How does that promote growth?
Now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit. The American people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms, and more time expanding and hiring; a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can’t pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries; a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas, and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in America. That’s what tax reform can deliver. That’s what we can do together.
I realize that tax reform and entitlement reform won’t be easy. The politics will be hard for both sides. None of us will get 100 percent of what we want. But the alternative will cost us jobs, hurt our economy, and visit hardship on millions of hardworking Americans. So let’s set party interests aside, and work to pass a budget that replaces reckless cuts with smart savings and wise investments in our future. And let’s do it without the brinksmanship that stresses consumers and scares off investors. The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting from one manufactured crisis to the next. Let’s agree, right here, right now, to keep the people’s government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America. The American people have worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause another.
Now, most of us agree that a plan to reduce the deficit must be part of our agenda. But let’s be clear: deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan. A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?
A year and a half ago, I put forward an American Jobs Act that independent economists said would create more than one million new jobs. I thank the last Congress for passing some of that agenda, and I urge this Congress to pass the rest. Tonight, I’ll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago. Let me repeat – nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.
Our first priority is making America a magnet for new jobs and manufacturing.
After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three. Caterpillar is bringing jobs back from Japan. Ford is bringing jobs back from Mexico. After locating plants in other countries like China, Intel is opening its most advanced plant right here at home. And this year, Apple will start making Macs in America again.
There are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. Last year, we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio. A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. There’s no reason this can’t happen in other towns. So tonight, I’m announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs, where businesses will partner with the Departments of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs. And I ask this Congress to help create a network of fifteen of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is Made in America.
If we want to make the best products, we also have to invest in the best ideas. Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy. Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s; developing drugs to regenerate damaged organs; devising new material to make batteries ten times more powerful. Now is not the time to gut these job-creating investments in science and innovation. Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race. And today, no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy.
After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar – with tens of thousands of good, American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before – and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it. And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen.
But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.
The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.
Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.
In the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. That’s why my Administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. But I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and water.
Indeed, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a non-partisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long. I’m also issuing a new goal for America: let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. The states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make it happen.
America’s energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. Ask any CEO where they’d rather locate and hire: a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and internet; high-tech schools and self-healing power grids. The CEO of Siemens America – a company that brought hundreds of new jobs to North Carolina – has said that if we upgrade our infrastructure, they’ll bring even more jobs. And I know that you want these job-creating projects in your districts. I’ve seen you all at the ribbon-cuttings.
Tonight, I propose a “Fix-It-First” program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. And to make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the whole burden, I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children. Let’s prove that there is no better place to do business than the United States of America. And let’s start right away.
Part of our rebuilding effort must also involve our housing sector. Today, our housing market is finally healing from the collapse of 2007. Home prices are rising at the fastest pace in six years, home purchases are up nearly 50 percent, and construction is expanding again.
But even with mortgage rates near a 50-year low, too many families with solid credit who want to buy a home are being rejected. Too many families who have never missed a payment and want to refinance are being told no. That’s holding our entire economy back, and we need to fix it. Right now, there’s a bill in this Congress that would give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s rates. Democrats and Republicans have supported it before. What are we waiting for? Take a vote, and send me that bill. Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. What’s holding us back? Let’s streamline the process, and help our economy grow.
These initiatives in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, and housing will help entrepreneurs and small business owners expand and create new jobs. But none of it will matter unless we also equip our citizens with the skills and training to fill those jobs. And that has to start at the earliest possible age.
Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than 3 in 10 four year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Most middle-class parents can’t afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives.
Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on – by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, and form more stable families of their own. So let’s do what works, and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.
Let’s also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so that they’re ready for a job. At schools like P-Tech in Brooklyn, a collaboration between New York Public Schools, the City University of New York, and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree in computers or engineering.
We need to give every American student opportunities like this. Four years ago, we started Race to the Top – a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year. Tonight, I’m announcing a new challenge to redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. We’ll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math – the skills today’s employers are looking for to fill jobs right now and in the future.
Now, even with better high schools, most young people will need some higher education. It’s a simple fact: the more education you have, the more likely you are to have a job and work your way into the middle class. But today, skyrocketing costs price way too many young people out of a higher education, or saddle them with unsustainable debt.
Through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we have made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. But taxpayers cannot continue to subsidize the soaring cost of higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it’s our job to make sure they do. Tonight, I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act, so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid. And tomorrow, my Administration will release a new “College Scorecard” that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.
To grow our middle class, our citizens must have access to the education and training that today’s jobs require. But we also have to make sure that America remains a place where everyone who’s willing to work hard has the chance to get ahead.
Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants. And right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
Real reform means strong border security, and we can build on the progress my Administration has already made – putting more boots on the southern border than at any time in our history, and reducing illegal crossings to their lowest levels in 40 years.
Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship – a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.
And real reform means fixing the legal immigration system to cut waiting periods, reduce bureaucracy, and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers that will help create jobs and grow our economy.
In other words, we know what needs to be done. As we speak, bipartisan groups in both chambers are working diligently to draft a bill, and I applaud their efforts. Now let’s get this done. Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months, and I will sign it right away.
But we can’t stop there. We know our economy is stronger when our wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace, and free from the fear of domestic violence. Today, the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act that Joe Biden originally wrote almost 20 years ago. I urge the House to do the same. And I ask this Congress to declare that women should earn a living equal to their efforts, and finally pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.
We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong. That’s why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, nineteen states have chosen to bump theirs even higher.
Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families. It could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead. For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets. In fact, working folks shouldn’t have to wait year after year for the minimum wage to go up while CEO pay has never been higher. So here’s an idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year: let’s tie the minimum wage to the cost of living, so that it finally becomes a wage you can live on.
Tonight, let’s also recognize that there are communities in this country where no matter how hard you work, it’s virtually impossible to get ahead. Factory towns decimated from years of plants packing up. Inescapable pockets of poverty, urban and rural, where young adults are still fighting for their first job. America is not a place where chance of birth or circumstance should decide our destiny. And that is why we need to build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class for all who are willing to climb them.
Let’s offer incentives to companies that hire Americans who’ve got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance. Let’s put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in run-down neighborhoods. And this year, my Administration will begin to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit towns in America to get these communities back on their feet. We’ll work with local leaders to target resources at public safety, education, and housing. We’ll give new tax credits to businesses that hire and invest. And we’ll work to strengthen families by removing the financial deterrents to marriage for low-income couples, and doing more to encourage fatherhood – because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one.
Stronger families. Stronger communities. A stronger America. It is this kind of prosperity – broad, shared, and built on a thriving middle class – that has always been the source of our progress at home. It is also the foundation of our power and influence throughout the world.
Tonight, we stand united in saluting the troops and civilians who sacrifice every day to protect us. Because of them, we can say with confidence that America will complete its mission in Afghanistan, and achieve our objective of defeating the core of al Qaeda. Already, we have brought home 33,000 of our brave servicemen and women. This spring, our forces will move into a support role, while Afghan security forces take the lead. Tonight, I can announce that over the next year, another 34,000 American troops will come home from Afghanistan. This drawdown will continue. And by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.
Beyond 2014, America’s commitment to a unified and sovereign Afghanistan will endure, but the nature of our commitment will change. We are negotiating an agreement with the Afghan government that focuses on two missions: training and equipping Afghan forces so that the country does not again slip into chaos, and counter-terrorism efforts that allow us to pursue the remnants of al Qaeda and their affiliates.
Today, the organization that attacked us on 9/11 is a shadow of its former self. Different al Qaeda affiliates and extremist groups have emerged – from the Arabian Peninsula to Africa. The threat these groups pose is evolving. But to meet this threat, we don’t need to send tens of thousands of our sons and daughters abroad, or occupy other nations. Instead, we will need to help countries like Yemen, Libya, and Somalia provide for their own security, and help allies who take the fight to terrorists, as we have in Mali. And, where necessary, through a range of capabilities, we will continue to take direct action against those terrorists who pose the gravest threat to Americans.
As we do, we must enlist our values in the fight. That is why my Administration has worked tirelessly to forge a durable legal and policy framework to guide our counterterrorism operations. Throughout, we have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts. I recognize that in our democracy, no one should just take my word that we’re doing things the right way. So, in the months ahead, I will continue to engage with Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention, and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world.
Of course, our challenges don’t end with al Qaeda. America will continue to lead the effort to prevent the spread of the world’s most dangerous weapons. The regime in North Korea must know that they will only achieve security and prosperity by meeting their international obligations. Provocations of the sort we saw last night will only isolate them further, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense, and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats.
Likewise, the leaders of Iran must recognize that now is the time for a diplomatic solution, because a coalition stands united in demanding that they meet their obligations, and we will do what is necessary to prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon. At the same time, we will engage Russia to seek further reductions in our nuclear arsenals, and continue leading the global effort to secure nuclear materials that could fall into the wrong hands – because our ability to influence others depends on our willingness to lead.
America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. We know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private e-mail. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.
That’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy. Now, Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks.
Even as we protect our people, we should remember that today’s world presents not only dangers, but opportunities. To boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership. And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.
We also know that progress in the most impoverished parts of our world enriches us all. In many places, people live on little more than a dollar a day. So the United States will join with our allies to eradicate such extreme poverty in the next two decades: by connecting more people to the global economy and empowering women; by giving our young and brightest minds new opportunities to serve and helping communities to feed, power, and educate themselves; by saving the world’s children from preventable deaths; and by realizing the promise of an AIDS-free generation.
Above all, America must remain a beacon to all who seek freedom during this period of historic change. I saw the power of hope last year in Rangoon – when Aung San Suu Kyi welcomed an American President into the home where she had been imprisoned for years; when thousands of Burmese lined the streets, waving American flags, including a man who said, “There is justice and law in the United States. I want our country to be like that.”
In defense of freedom, we will remain the anchor of strong alliances from the Americas to Africa; from Europe to Asia. In the Middle East, we will stand with citizens as they demand their universal rights, and support stable transitions to democracy. The process will be messy, and we cannot presume to dictate the course of change in countries like Egypt; but we can – and will – insist on respect for the fundamental rights of all people. We will keep the pressure on a Syrian regime that has murdered its own people, and support opposition leaders that respect the rights of every Syrian. And we will stand steadfast with Israel in pursuit of security and a lasting peace. These are the messages I will deliver when I travel to the Middle East next month.
All this work depends on the courage and sacrifice of those who serve in dangerous places at great personal risk – our diplomats, our intelligence officers, and the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. As long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad, and we will maintain the best military in the world. We will invest in new capabilities, even as we reduce waste and wartime spending. We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families – gay and straight. We will draw upon the courage and skills of our sisters and daughters, because women have proven under fire that they are ready for combat. We will keep faith with our veterans – investing in world-class care, including mental health care, for our wounded warriors; supporting our military families; and giving our veterans the benefits, education, and job opportunities they have earned. And I want to thank my wife Michelle and Dr. Jill Biden for their continued dedication to serving our military families as well as they serve us.
But defending our freedom is not the job of our military alone. We must all do our part to make sure our God-given rights are protected here at home. That includes our most fundamental right as citizens: the right to vote. When any Americans – no matter where they live or what their party – are denied that right simply because they can’t wait for five, six, seven hours just to cast their ballot, we are betraying our ideals. That’s why, tonight, I’m announcing a non-partisan commission to improve the voting experience in America. And I’m asking two long-time experts in the field, who’ve recently served as the top attorneys for my campaign and for Governor Romney’s campaign, to lead it. We can fix this, and we will. The American people demand it. And so does our democracy.
Of course, what I’ve said tonight matters little if we don’t come together to protect our most precious resource – our children.
It has been two months since Newtown. I know this is not the first time this country has debated how to reduce gun violence. But this time is different. Overwhelming majorities of Americans – Americans who believe in the 2nd Amendment – have come together around commonsense reform – like background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun. Senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. Police chiefs are asking our help to get weapons of war and massive ammunition magazines off our streets, because they are tired of being outgunned.
Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.
One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton. She was 15 years old. She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss. She was a majorette. She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend. Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration. And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.
Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence. They deserve a vote.
Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.
The families of Newtown deserve a vote.
The families of Aurora deserve a vote.
The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote.
Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges I’ve outlined tonight. But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.
We were sent here to look out for our fellow Americans the same way they look out for one another, every single day, usually without fanfare, all across this country. We should follow their example.
We should follow the example of a New York City nurse named Menchu Sanchez. When Hurricane Sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, her thoughts were not with how her own home was faring – they were with the twenty precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe.
We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor. When she arrived at her polling place, she was told the wait to vote might be six hours. And as time ticked by, her concern was not with her tired body or aching feet, but whether folks like her would get to have their say. Hour after hour, a throng of people stayed in line in support of her. Because Desiline is 102 years old. And they erupted in cheers when she finally put on a sticker that read “I Voted.”
We should follow the example of a police officer named Brian Murphy. When a gunman opened fire on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and Brian was the first to arrive, he did not consider his own safety. He fought back until help arrived, and ordered his fellow officers to protect the safety of the Americans worshiping inside – even as he lay bleeding from twelve bullet wounds.
When asked how he did that, Brian said, “That’s just the way we’re made.”
That’s just the way we’re made.
We may do different jobs, and wear different uniforms, and hold different views than the person beside us. But as Americans, we all share the same proud title:
We are citizens. It’s a word that doesn’t just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we’re made. It describes what we believe. It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.
Full Text of Rand Paul’s Tea Party Response to State of the Union
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul delivered the Tea Party rebuttal to Obama’s State of the Union speech
These are the prepared remarks of Rand Paul’s Tea Party rebuttal to President Obama’s State of the Union Speech. Follow U.S. News’s live coverage here.
I speak to you tonight from Washington, D.C. The state of our economy is tenuous but our people remain the greatest example of freedom and prosperity the world has ever known.
People say America is exceptional. I agree, but it’s not the complexion of our skin or the twists in our DNA that make us unique. America is exceptional because we were founded upon the notion that everyone should be free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.
For the first time in history, men and women were guaranteed a chance to succeed based NOT on who your parents were but on your own initiative and desire to work.
We are in danger, though, of forgetting what made us great. The President seems to think the country can continue to borrow $50,000 per second. The President believes that we should just squeeze more money out of those who are working.
The path we are on is not sustainable, but few in Congress or in this Administration seem to recognize that their actions are endangering the prosperity of this great nation.
Ronald Reagan said, government is not the answer to the problem, government is the problem.
Tonight, the President told the nation he disagrees. President Obama believes government is the solution: More government, more taxes, more debt.
What the President fails to grasp is that the American system that rewards hard work is what made America so prosperous.
What America needs is not Robin Hood but Adam Smith. In the year we won our independence, Adam Smith described what creates the Wealth of Nations.
He described a limited government that largely did not interfere with individuals and their pursuit of happiness.
All that we are, all that we wish to be is now threatened by the notion that you can have something for nothing, that you can have your cake and eat it too, that you can spend a trillion dollars every year that you don’t have.
I was elected to the Senate in 2010 by people worried about our country, worried about our kids and their future. I thought I knew how bad it was in Washington. But it is worse than I ever imagined.
Congress is debating the wrong things.
Every debate in Washington is about how much to increase spending – a little or a lot.
About how much to increase taxes – a little or a lot.
The President does a big “woe is me” over the $1.2 trillion sequester that he endorsed and signed into law. Some Republicans are joining him. Few people understand that the sequester doesn’t even cut any spending. It just slows the rate of growth. Even with the sequester, government will grow over $7 trillion over the next decade.
Only in Washington could an increase of $7 trillion in spending over a decade be called a cut.
So, what is the President’s answer? Over the past four years he has added over $6 trillion in new debt and may well do the same in a second term. What solutions does he offer? He takes entitlement reform off the table and seeks to squeeze more money out of the private sector.
He says he wants a balanced approach.
What the country really needs is a balanced budget.
Washington acts in a way that your family never could – they spend money they do not have, they borrow from future generations, and then they blame each other for never fixing the problem.
Tonight I urge you to demand a new course.
Demand Washington change their ways, or be sent home.
To begin with, we absolutely must pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution!
The amendment must include strict tax and spending limitations.
Liberals complain that the budget can’t be balanced but if you cut just one penny from each dollar we currently spend, the budget would balance within six or seven years.
The Penny Plan has been crafted into a bill that millions of conservatives across the country support.
It is often said that there is not enough bipartisanship up here.
That is not true.
In fact, there is plenty.
Both parties have been guilty of spending too much, of protecting their sacred cows, of backroom deals in which everyone up here wins, but every taxpayer loses.
It is time for a new bipartisan consensus.
It is time Democrats admit that not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred. And it is time Republicans realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud.
Where would we cut spending; well, we could start with ending all foreign aid to countries that are burning our flag and chanting death to America.
The President could begin by stopping the F-16s and Abrams tanks being given to the radical Islamic government of Egypt.
Not only should the sequester stand, many pundits say the sequester really needs to be at least $4 trillion to avoid another downgrade of America’s credit rating.
Both parties will have to agree to cut, or we will never fix our fiscal mess.
Bipartisanship is not what is missing in Washington. Common sense is.
Trillion-dollar deficits hurt us all.
Printing more money to feed the never-ending appetite for spending hurts us all.
We pay higher prices every time we go to the supermarket or the gas pump. The value of the dollar shrinks with each new day.
Contrary to what the President claims, big government and debt are not a friend to the poor and the elderly. Big-government debt keeps the poor poor and saps the savings of the elderly.
This massive expansion of the debt destroys savings and steals the value of your wages.
Big government makes it more expensive to put food on the table. Big government is not your friend. The President offers you free stuff but his policies keep you poor.
Under President Obama, the ranks of America’s poor swelled to almost 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment left millions of Americans struggling and out of work.
The cycle must be broken.
The willpower to do this will not come from Congress. It must come from the American people.
Next month, I will propose a five-year balanced budget, a budget that last year was endorsed by taxpayer groups across the country for its boldness, and for actually solving the problem.
I will work with anyone on either side of the aisle who wants to cut spending.
But in recent years, there has been no one to work with.
The President’s massive tax hikes and spending increases have caused his budgets to get ZERO votes in both houses of Congress. Not a single Democrat voted for the President’s budget!
But at least he tried.
Senate Democrats have not even produced a budget in the time I have been in office, a shameful display of incompetence that illustrates their lack of seriousness.
This year, they say they will have a budget, but after just recently imposing hundreds of billions in new taxes, they now say they will include more tax hikes in their budget.
We must stand firm. We must say NO to any MORE tax hikes!
Only through lower taxes, less regulation and more freedom will the economy begin to grow again.
Our party is the party of growth, jobs and prosperity, and we will boldly lead on these issues.
Under the Obama economy, 12 million people are out of work. During the President’s first term 800,000 construction workers lost their jobs and another 800,000 simply gave up on looking for work.
With my five-year budget, millions of jobs would be created by cutting the corporate income tax in half, by creating a flat personal income tax of 17%, and by cutting the regulations that are strangling American businesses.
The only stimulus ever proven to work is leaving more money in the hands of those who earned it!
For those who are struggling we want to you to have something infinitely more valuable than a free phone, we want you to have a job and pathway to success.
We are the party that embraces hard work and ingenuity, therefore we must be the party that embraces the immigrant who wants to come to America for a better future.
We must be the party who sees immigrants as assets, not liabilities.
We must be the party that says, “If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you.”
For those striving to climb the ladder of success we must fix our schools.
America’s educational system is leaving behind anyone who starts with disadvantages.
We have cut classroom size in half and tripled spending on education and still we lag behind much of the world.
A great education needs to be available for everyone, whether you live on country club lane or in government housing.
This will only happen when we allow school choice for everyone, rich or poor, white, brown, or black.
Let the taxes you pay for education follow each and every student to the school of your choice.
Competition has made America the richest nation in history. Competition can make our educational system the envy of the world.
The status quo traps poor children in a crumbling system of hopelessness.
When every child can, like the President’s kids, go to the school of their choice, then will the dreams of our children come true!
Washington could also use a good dose of transparency, which is why we should fight back against middle of the night deals that end with massive bills no one has read.
We must continue to fight for legislation that forces Congress to read the bills!
We must continue to object when Congress sticks special interest riders on bills in the dead of night!
And if Congress refuses to obey its own rules, if Congress refuses to pass a budget, if Congress refuses to read the bills, then I say:
Sweep the place clean. Limit their terms and send them home!
I have seen the inner sanctum of Congress and believe me there is no monopoly on knowledge there.
If they will not listen, if they will not balance the budget, then we should limit their terms.
We are the party that adheres to the Constitution. We will not let the liberals tread on the Second Amendment!
We will fight to defend the entire Bill of Rights from the right to trial by jury to the right to be free from unlawful searches.
We will stand up against excessive government power wherever we see it.
We cannot and will not allow any President to act as if he were a king.
We will not let any President use executive orders to impinge on the Second Amendment.
We will not tolerate secret lists of American citizens who can be killed without trial.
Montesquieu wrote that there can be no liberty when the executive branch and the legislative branch are combined. Separation of powers is a bedrock principle of our Constitution.
We took the President to court over his unconstitutional recess appointments and won.
If necessary, we will take him to court again if he attempts to legislate by executive order.
Congress must reassert its authority as the protector of these rights, and stand up for them, no matter which party is in power.
Congress must stand as a check to the power of the executive, and it must stand as it was intended, as the voice of the people.
The people are crying out for change. They are asking for us to hear their voices, to fix our broken system, to right our economy and to restore their liberty.
Let us tonight let them know that we hear their voices. That we can and must work together, that we can and must re-chart our course toward a better future.
America has much greatness left in her. We will begin to thrive again when we begin to believe in ourselves again, when we regain our respect for our founding documents, when we balance our budget, when we understand that capitalism and free markets and free individuals are what creates our nation’s prosperity.
Thank you and God Bless America.
Text of Senator Marc Rubio’s response to the Union address on Tuesday night
Good evening. I’m Marco Rubio. I’m blessed to represent Florida in the United States Senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of his second term. Tonight, I have the honor of responding to his State of the Union address on behalf of my fellow Republicans. And I am especially honored to be addressing our brave men and women serving in the armed forces and in diplomatic posts around the world. You may be thousands of miles away, but you are always in our prayers.
The State of the Union address is always a reminder of how unique America is. For much of human history, most people were trapped in stagnant societies, where a tiny minority always stayed on top, and no one else even had a chance.
But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.
Like most Americans, for me this ideal is personal. My parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and give their children the chance at an even better one. They made it to the middle class, my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. I didn’t inherit any money from them. But I inherited something far better – the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams.
This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs.
Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle-class prosperity.
But President Obama? He believes it’s the cause of our problems. That the economic downturn happened because our government didn’t tax enough, spend enough and control enough. And, therefore, as you heard tonight, his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.
This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.
And the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle-class taxpayers – that’s an old idea that’s failed every time it’s been tried.
More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back.
More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them.
And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs. It’s going to create uncertainty.
Because more government breeds complicated rules and laws that a small business can’t afford to follow.
Because more government raises taxes on employers who then pass the costs on to their employees through fewer hours, lower pay and even layoffs.
And because many government programs that claim to help the middle class, often end up hurting them instead.
For example, Obamacare was supposed to help middle-class Americans afford health insurance. But now, some people are losing the health insurance they were happy with. And because Obamacare created expensive requirements for companies with more than 50 employees, now many of these businesses aren’t hiring. Not only that; they’re being forced to lay people off and switch from full-time employees to part-time workers.
Now does this mean there’s no role for government? Of course not. It plays a crucial part in keeping us safe, enforcing rules, and providing some security against the risks of modern life. But government’s role is wisely limited by the Constitution. And it can’t play its essential role when it ignores those limits.
There are valid reasons to be concerned about the president’s plan to grow our government. But any time anyone opposes the president’s agenda, he and his allies usually respond by falsely attacking their motives.
When we point out that no matter how many job-killing laws we pass, our government can’t control the weather – he accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air.
When we suggest we strengthen our safety net programs by giving states more flexibility to manage them – he accuses us of wanting to leave the elderly and disabled to fend for themselves.
And tonight, he even criticized us for refusing to raise taxes to delay military cuts – cuts that were his idea in the first place.
But his favorite attack of all is that those who don’t agree with him – they only care about rich people.
Mr. President, I still live in the same working-class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.
The tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle-class families. It will cost them their raises. It will cost them their benefits. It may even cost some of them their jobs.
And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to save Medicare and Social Security.
So Mr. President, I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.
Hard-working middle-class Americans who don’t need us to come up with a plan to grow the government. They want a plan to grow the middle class.
Economic growth is the best way to help the middle class. Unfortunately, our economy actually shrank during the last three months of 2012.
But if we can get the economy to grow at just 4 percent a year, it would create millions of middle class jobs. And it could reduce our deficits by almost $4 trillion dollars over the next decade.
Tax increases can’t do this. Raising taxes won’t create private-sector jobs. And there’s no realistic tax increase that could lower our deficits by almost $4 trillion. That’s why I hope the president will abandon his obsession with raising taxes and instead work with us to achieve real growth in our economy.
One of the best ways to encourage growth is through our energy industry. Of course solar and wind energy should be a part of our energy portfolio. But God also blessed America with abundant coal, oil and natural gas. Instead of wasting more taxpayer money on so-called “clean energy” companies like Solyndra, let’s open up more federal lands for safe and responsible exploration. And let’s reform our energy regulations so that they’re reasonable and based on common sense. If we can grow our energy industry, it will make us energy independent, it will create middle-class jobs and it will help bring manufacturing back from places like China.
Simplifying our tax code will also help the middle class, because it will make it easier for small businesses to hire and grow.
And we agree with the president that we should lower our corporate tax rate, which is one of the highest in the world, so that companies will start bringing their money and their jobs back here from overseas.
We can also help our economy grow if we have a legal immigration system that allows us to attract and assimilate the world’s best and brightest. We need a responsible, permanent solution to the problem of those who are here illegally. But first, we must follow through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and enforce our laws.
Helping the middle class grow will also require an education system that gives people the skills today’s jobs entail and the knowledge that tomorrow’s world will require.
We need to incentivize local school districts to offer more advanced placement courses and more vocational and career training.
We need to give all parents, especially the parents of children with special needs, the opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice.
And because tuition costs have grown so fast, we need to change the way we pay for higher education.
I believe in federal financial aid. I couldn’t have gone to college without it. But it’s not just about spending more money on these programs; it’s also about strengthening and modernizing them.
A 21st century workforce should not be forced to accept 20th century education solutions. Today’s students aren’t only 18-year-olds. They’re returning veterans. They’re single parents who decide to get the education they need to earn a decent wage. And they’re workers who have lost jobs that are never coming back and need to be retrained.
We need student aid that does not discriminate against programs that non-traditional students rely on – like online courses, or degree programs that give you credit for work experience.
When I finished school, I owed over $100,000 in student loans, a debt I paid off just a few months ago. Today, many graduates face massive student debt. We must give students more information on the costs and benefits of the student loans they’re taking out.
All these measures are key to helping the economy grow. But we won’t be able to sustain a vibrant middle class unless we solve our debt problem.
Every dollar our government borrows is money that isn’t being invested to create jobs. And the uncertainty created by the debt is one reason why many businesses aren’t hiring.
The president loves to blame the debt on President Bush. But President Obama created more debt in four years than his predecessor did in eight.
The real cause of our debt is that our government has been spending $1 trillion more than it takes in every year. That’s why we need a balanced budget amendment.
The biggest obstacles to balancing the budget are programs where spending is already locked in. One of these programs, Medicare, is especially important to me. It provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer and ultimately die with dignity. And it pays for the care my mother receives now.
I would never support any changes to Medicare that would hurt seniors like my mother. But anyone who is in favor of leaving Medicare exactly the way it is right now, is in favor of bankrupting it.
Republicans have offered a detailed and credible plan that helps save Medicare without hurting today’s retirees. Instead of playing politics with Medicare, when is the president going to offer his plan to save it? Tonight would have been a good time for him to do it.
Of course, we face other challenges as well. We were all heart broken by the recent tragedy in Connecticut. We must effectively deal with the rise of violence in our country. But unconstitutionally undermining the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans is not the way to do it.
On foreign policy, America continues to be indispensable to the goal of global liberty, prosperity and safeguarding human rights. The world is a better place when America is the strongest nation on earth. But we can’t remain powerful if we don’t have an economy that can afford it.
In the short time I’ve been here in Washington, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the ones the president laid out tonight.
The choice isn’t just between big government or big business. What we need is an accountable, efficient and effective government that allows small and new businesses to create middle class jobs.
We don’t have to raise taxes to avoid the president’s devastating cuts to our military. Republicans have passed a plan that replaces these cuts with responsible spending reforms.
In order to balance our budget, the choice doesn’t have to be either higher taxes or dramatic benefit cuts for those in need. Instead we should grow our economy so that we create new taxpayers, not new taxes, and so our government can afford to help those who truly cannot help themselves.
And the truth is every problem can’t be solved by government. Many are caused by the moral breakdown in our society. And the answers to those challenges lie primarily in our families and our faiths, not our politicians.
Despite our differences, I know that both Republicans and Democrats love America. I pray we can come together to solve our problems, because the choices before us could not be more important.
If we can get our economy healthy again, our children will be the most prosperous Americans ever.
And if we do not, we will forever be known as the generation responsible for America’s decline.
At a time when one showdown after another ends in short-term deals that do little or nothing about our real problems, some are starting to believe that our government leaders just can’t or won’t make the right choices anymore.
But our strength has never come from the White House or the Capitol. It’s always come from our people. A people united by the American idea that, if you have a dream and you are willing to work hard, nothing should be impossible.
Americans have always celebrated and been inspired by those who succeed. But it’s the dreams of those who are still trying to make it that sets our nation apart.
Tonight, all across this land, parents will hold their newborn children in their arms for the first time. For many of these parents, life has not gone the way they had planned.
Maybe they were born into circumstances they’ve found difficult to escape. Maybe they’ve made some mistakes along the way. Maybe they’re young mothers, all alone, the father of their child long gone.
But tonight, when they look into the eyes of their child for the first time, their lives will change forever. Because in those eyes, they will see what my parents saw in me, and what your parents saw in you. They will see all the hopes and dreams they once had for themselves.
This dream – of a better life for their children – it’s the hope of parents everywhere. Politicians here and throughout the world have long promised that more government can make those dreams come true.
But we Americans have always known better. From our earliest days, we embraced economic liberty instead. And because we did, America remains one of the few places on earth where dreams like these even have a chance.
Each time our nation has faced great challenges, what has kept us together was our shared hope for a better life.
Now, let that hope bring us together again. To solve the challenges of our time and write the next chapter in the amazing story of the greatest nation man has ever known.
Thank you for listening. May God bless all of you. May God bless our president. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.
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: 01/13
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 269,508 270,699 1,191
JANUARY 272,225 269,342 -2,883
YEAR-TO-DATE 887,778 1,178,193 290,415
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Go see Lincoln — now, now, now!
Raymond Thomas Pronk
President Lincoln meets with advisers to discuss the timing for passing the 13th Amendment
“Lincoln,” the film, is a riveting and moving masterpiece of an historical drama that covers the last four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life and his efforts to pass through Congress the 13th Amendment and end the Civil War.
Lincoln is played by Daniel Day-Lewis, who spent a year researching the life and time of the president. Lewis’s memorable performance transforms Lincoln from a white marble statue in Washington, D.C., to an in-the-flesh father, husband, lawyer, storyteller, politician, strategist and visionary on the screen. His performance should earn Day-Lewis another Oscar, which would be his third Academy Award for best actor.
The focus of the movie is Lincoln’s efforts in January 1865, with the assistance of his close adviser and Secretary of State William Seward (played by David Strathairn), to round up enough Democratic and Republican votes to pass a bill in the House of Representatives that would lead to the passage of the 13th Amendment that would abolish slavery in the United States. Lincoln directs Seward to enlist three unscrupulous political agents to offer patronage jobs, once they leave Congress in March, to lame-duck Democrats, who lost their seats in the November 1864 election, in exchange for their voting for the bill in January.
Lincoln seeks the assistance of Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones), leader of the abolitionist movement and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to secure the votes of radical Republicans in the House.
Lincoln also needs the votes of all the conservative Republicans in the House. To accomplish this, Lincoln seeks the help of Preston Blair (Hal Holbrook), founder of the Republican Party, and unofficial adviser to Lincoln. Blair gives Lincoln his support provided he is given the authority to go to Richmond, Va., the capitol of the Confederacy, to initiate peace talks.
Blair is successful in getting the Confederacy to send a three-man peace delegation headed by the Confederate States vice president Alexander Stephens (Jackie Earle Haley), that is delayed en route by Lincoln in order to first get the emancipation bill through Congress. The bill almost fails at the last moment when the Democrats disclose to the House the rumor that a Confederate peace delegation is in Washington. Lincoln replies to the rumor by sending a misleading message to the House and the historic bill passes on Jan. 31.
Lincoln finally meets with the Confederate peace delegation on Feb. 3, 1865, in Hampton Roads on the River Queen steamboat. The meeting ends in failure because Lincoln offers no concessions and demands the end of slavery as a condition for peace — the unconditional surrender of the South.
The Civil War’s massive death toll exceeding 600,000 and destruction are graphically illustrated on screen with Lincoln’s visit on April 3 to the Petersburg battlefield after the Union victory to meet with Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (Jared Harris).
“Lincoln” is a Hollywood blockbuster film with record box-office receipts of more than $175 million and 12 Academy Award nominations. The film faces stiff competition at the box office and at the Academy Awards from the films “Argo”, “Les Miserables”, “Life of Pi,” “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty”.
I believe Lincoln will win at least five Academy Awards including best picture, actor (Day-Lewis), director (Steven Spielberg), adapted screenplay (Tony Kushner), and cinematography (Janusz Kamiński) at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 24.
Celebrate the anniversary of the birth of this historic president on Feb. 12, 1809 or the Presidents’ Day and the Washington’s Birthday holiday on Feb. 18 by seeing “Lincoln”.
Film rating: A
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/
Lincoln Official Trailer #1 (2012) Steven Spielberg Movie HD
Steven Spielberg Talks to TIME About ‘Lincoln’
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Lincoln Interview – Sally Field (2012) – Steven Spielberg Movie HD
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(l-r) cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, costume designer Joanna Johnston, production designer Rick Carter, make-up designer Lois Burwell
Lincoln – Movie Review
Persons of the Week: Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis of New ‘Lincoln’
Film History: Columnists and Historians Assess Spielberg’s “Lincoln”
by Kelly Candaele
“…ONE OF THE MOST gratifying aspects of Steven Spielberg’s movie Lincoln has been the debate that its release has generated among historians and journalists, a debate more important than the movie itself. What were the complex dilemmas that Lincoln faced as President? What were the political realities and conduct of the time? How should we interpret the decisions that Lincoln and others made? What role did slaves and free blacks play in their own liberation?
Despite the fact that the film focuses on a short period of time in Lincoln’s presidency and deals primarily with the political cut and thrust associated with the passage of the 13th Amendment, there is a real sense in which the film can be described as deeply philosophical. Lincoln is portrayed as a man of discipline, concentration, and energy, all characteristics that sociologist Max Weber defined as part of the serious politician’s vocation. By forging an effective and realized political character — one aspect of Weber’s definition of charismatic authority — an astute politician can change the nature of power in society. By controlling his all-too-human vanity, he can avoid the two deadly political sins of lack of objectivity and irresponsibility. For Weber, a certain “distance to things and men” was required to abide by an “ethic of responsibility” for the weighty decisions that leaders are often required to make.
Lincoln has always been a man for all political seasons. There is Lincoln the principled politician, who believed that war was a necessary and legitimate means to sustain the Union; Lincoln the timid compromiser, who as late as 16 months into the war declared that if he “could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it”; and Lincoln the reconciling healer of “With malice toward none, with charity for all,” of the Second Inaugural.
Conservative New York Times writer David Brooks argued in a November 22 column that it was Lincoln’s internal strength and ability to compromise that allowed for the possibility of public good. For Brooks, the temptations of fame and ideological rigidity are what undermine the average politician’s ability to compromise. Weber called the losers in that wrestling match with fame, political “windbags.”
But for liberal Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, it was Lincoln’s principled stand on the 13th Amendment and the need to ban slavery that accounts for his iconic status as one of our greatest Presidents. In an October 19 piece, Dionne encouraged Obama to “follow Lincoln’s example” by refusing to compromise with current economic and financial injustice.
While most political journalists have viewed the film with an eye on the current political stalemate, our most prominent historians have looked for accuracy and context.
Columbia University Professor Eric Foner, one of the most eminent historians of the Civil War and Reconstruction, sees the film as an “inside the beltway” rendition of the period. In a recent interview on Jon Wiener’s KPFK radio show, Foner points out that during the period that the movie covers, General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Union Army was marching through South Carolina. Slaves, in full-scale rebellion, were seizing plantations and “occupying” the land that they had worked. Slavery was “dying on the ground,” Foner insisted, not just in the House of Representatives. In Lincoln, “We are back to the old idea of Lincoln freeing the slaves by himself,” Foner says, reinforcing a one-dimensional view of a complicated historical process. The problem is not what the movie shows but what it doesn’t show. Additionally, as Foner points out in his Pulitzer Prize wining book, The Fiery Trial, Lincoln was “non-committal” during the failed 1864 attempt by Congress to pass the 13th Amendment. This was at a time when abolitionists, including the Women’s National Loyal League headed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, were delivering “monster” petitions to congress urging them to pass the amendment. They had gathered 400,000 signatures by mid 1864, but Lincoln was pushing for state-enacted emancipation in the border-states and occupied south.
Lincoln was also a “passive observer” of Senator Charles Sumner’s “crusade” to pass legislation that would allow blacks to carry mail, ride on streetcars, and testify in Federal courts in the District of Columbia, although he signed the bills that managed to pass in Congress. It was not until John C. Fremont was nominated for President in May 1864 — as a challenge to Lincoln — that Lincoln encouraged his party to embrace a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery.
Foner also challenges the “race against time” plot of the movie, whereby recalcitrant Republicans and pro-slavery Democrats stall the work of Congress while a Confederate peace initiative threatens to undermine the amendment’s only chance at passage. In reality, Lincoln had told the lame-duck congress that if they did not pass the amendment he would call a special session of the new Congress in March of 1865, made up of enough Republicans (elected that November) to easily pass the amendment.
Historian James Oakes, in his book Freedom National — The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, published in early December, suggests that Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner might have that part of the history right. Oakes points out that a large number of Republicans felt that the amendment abolishing slavery was a “civil” rather than “military” measure, and that the basis for changing the constitution was thus linked to the winning of the war. As the war’s end drew closer, the justification for the 13th Amendment was potentially undermined.
In an email exchange with me about his book and the movie, Oakes speculates that Lincoln and his Republican allies were worried that public support for the passage of the amendment would dissipate as the exigencies of war diminished. “If abolition were imposed AFTER [Oakes’s caps] the South surrendered it might seem vindictive to northern voters, or voters might think Republicans were liars or were disingenuous for having claimed that abolition was a war measure,” Oakes wrote. Although this argument does not appear in the film, it was a central theme for New York Congressman Fernando Wood, the Democratic attack dog in Congress and in the film.
What Oakes finds more troubling in terms of historical accuracy is the scenario set up by Kushner, whereby conservative Republicans (represented in the film by Montgomery Blair) and Radical Republicans had to be brought in line to defeat the Democrats and pass the amendment. Oakes points out that the Republicans were united all along, as demonstrated by the House vote to pass the 13th Amendment that took place the previous July. There was only one Republican “no” vote at that time, cast by Ohio Republican James M. Ashley. Ashley was a strong supporter of the amendment, but realizing the amendment was about to lose, he voted no as a procedural maneuver that would allow him to call for reconsideration of the amendment when Congress returned in December.
Blair, who had represented Dred Scott in the famous Supreme Court case, was Lincoln’s Postmaster General until he was replaced in late 1864. Blair had influence in Maryland and Missouri and was called upon to secure Border State Unionist votes, not to cajole conservative Republicans. Between July 1864 — when Democrats and Border State congressman had defeated the amendment — and January 1865, both Maryland and Missouri had abolished slavery. So Congressmen who had represented slave states the previous July were representing free states in January. They were the Congressmen that Blair went after.
Historians and journalists will and should continue debating the historical accuracy and limited context of the film, especially the invisibility of blacks as central participants in their own liberation.
In his blog, Brooklyn College Professor Corey Robin quotes from the 1992 book Slaves No More (by Ira Berlin et.al.), making it clear that despite Lincoln’s great accomplishment, historians overturned long ago a Lincoln-centered view of emancipation. The destruction of slavery was:
[A] process by which slavery collapsed under the pressure of federal arms and the slaves’ determination to place their own liberty on the wartime agenda. In documenting the transformation of a war for the Union into a war against slavery, it shifts the focus from the halls of power in Washington and Richmond to the plantations, farms, and battlefields of the South and demonstrates how slaves accomplished their own liberation and shaped the destiny of a nation.
The relegating of African Americans to secondary roles, even in films where black civil rights is the central topic (2011’s The Help is a recent example) is unfortunately the rule rather than the exception. But on the positive side, Lincoln has accomplished something that historian and literary critic Irving Howe suggested is very rare for American artists: the ability to portray politics as “a distinctive mode of social existence with manners and values of its own.”
The history of slavery, its origins, extirpation, and consequences, becomes more fascinating and illuminating once the context is expanded. Robin Blackburn’s new book The American Crucible — Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights argues that the success of anti-slavery movements involved some combination of class struggle, war, and a re-casting of the state’s relationship to the claims of property — New York Congressman Fernando Wood, for instance, spoke against the 13th Amendment as a “tyrannical destruction of individual property.” Wood was pointing to the broader underpinnings of both the Constitution and state law.
For Blackburn, who writes in a Marxist vein, dominant economic interests, both North and South, needed a “different type of state.” In the South, slaves, who were legally property, could run away, while northern manufacturing demanded state regulation of finance, funding for internal transportation and communications infrastructure, and tariff protection. These Unionist and Confederate “rival nationalisms” were both expansionist, the Union looking to overtake the continent and the Confederacy eyeing new slave territory in the West, the South and in Cuba. The clash, according to Blackburn, “was thus one of rival empires, as well as competing nationalisms.”
Foner also places the state in the center of Civil War and Reconstruction history, focusing on how shifting political dynamics shaped the economic and social relations that followed the abolition of slavery. Slavery was a mode of racial domination but also a system of labor that a “distinctive ruling class” was fighting to retain. The “labor question,” and what role the state would play in re-constituting a disciplined and docile labor force after the Civil War became central to the battle between former master and former slave.
It was Radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens (portrayed by Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln), Foner points out, who recognized the “hollow victory” that liberation would bring unless accompanied by the “destruction of the land-based political power” of the agrarian ruling classes. In Nothing but Freedom — Emancipation and Its Legacy, Foner reveals some striking similarities between post-emancipation southern politics and similar developments in the Caribbean and Africa. Struggles over immigration, labor laws, taxation, fiscal policy and the definition of property rights “reveal how much of post-emancipation politics was defined by the ‘labor problem.’ In the southern United States, sharecropping became the common solution to an economic struggle whereby resilient planters and large landowners where eventually (after Radical Reconstruction) able to deny blacks access to productive land, capital, and political power.
If this seems a bit far afield from the central focus of Lincoln, it shows how difficult — how impossible — it is to present complex historical “moments” through film. History is not a series of “moments” but is, as the recently deceased historian E.J. Hobsbawn reminded us, something that surrounds us. “We swim in the past as fish do in water, and cannot escape from it,” Hobsbawm wrote in On History. The historian’s role — from Hobsbawn’s (and Marx’s) point of view — is the examination of how societies transform themselves and how social structures factor in that process.
Getting history wrong, as Ernest Renan noted over a century ago, is an essential element in the formation of a nation. Historians will continue to inform us about whether Spielberg and Kushner got Lincoln wrong in the service of polishing a national myth. Perhaps it is an unfair criticism to direct at a two and-a-half-hour movie on one of our most important political figures, but this story of emancipation is woefully incomplete. How could it be otherwise?
Tragedy very often accompanies politics practiced a high level. Has any American President avoided making decisions about the life and death of others? Lincoln was a man able to control his vanity by casting a cold eye upon both the virtues and the corruptions of human beings. He was able to reject cynicism, that reliable psychological shield for feelings of political impotence, and this the movie demonstrates clearly.
The film succeeds in portraying Lincoln as a political man in Weber’s sense, a man of ambition who was willing to be held responsible for the results of his decisions.
Moving away from the sterile debate over whether he was a “compromiser” or a man of “principle,” the film shows he accepted the fact that, in his political life at least, there would be a constant tension between the two. …”
Spielberg’s Lincoln: A Historian’s Review
By Nicholas Roland
“… Steven Spielberg’s latest historical drama chronicles the 16th president’s final months and his struggle for passage of the 13th Amendment by the House of Representatives in 1865. Lincoln’s enduring popularity means that this film will be subjected to intense scrutiny and debate by historians, movie reviewers, and culture warriors alike.
Fortunately, Lincoln is blessed with a remarkably accomplished cast. Daniel Day Lewis is Abraham Lincoln. Having supposedly read over 100 books on Lincoln in preparation for the role, he manages to convincingly replicate many aspects of Lincoln’s persona and physical aura: Lincoln’s purportedly high voice, his wry sense of humor and knack for storytelling, his slouched posture and awkward gait, and the overwhelming weariness incurred by the “fiery trial” of war all ring true.
Mary Todd Lincoln (Sally Fields) is portrayed as a more or less sympathetic character, in accordance with more recent scholarship rejecting long-standing depictions of Mrs. Lincoln as a shrew, possibly suffering from a mental illness. Fields plays a First Lady who is grief-stricken over the loss of her son Willie and weary from the stress of a wartime presidential marriage. During a scene at a White House reception, she draws on her social training as a daughter of the Kentucky elite to skillfully defend against political critics.
Secretary of State William H. Seward (David Strathairn) also appears as an important source of support for Lincoln. Seward cuts patronage deals with lame duck Democratic Congressmen in order to help secure the passage of the 13th Amendment and acts as a sort of political muse to Lincoln. Seward harangues and cajoles Lincoln on policy and political strategy but ultimately serves as a loyal ally in carrying out Lincoln’s intent, a depiction born out in the historical record.
Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) is also a convincing secondary character, albeit with some historical problems. A leader of the radical wing of the Republican Party, Stevens is accurately portrayed as an advocate of racial equality and a vehement opponent of secessionists. However, a scene revealing the purported relationship between Stevens and his African-American housekeeper risks conveying the sense that this relationship was the primary motivation for Stevens’ crusade for the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.
Despite the excellent performances turned in by the star-studded cast, Lincoln has a number of shortcomings from a historian’s point of view. Based on Doris Kearns-Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, the film is at times a taut political thriller and at times the inspirational story of the final abolition of American slavery. The choice to focus on the last few months of Lincoln’s presidency is appropriate given the ultimate outcome of the American Civil War: the defeat of the Confederacy and the end of legal slavery. However, this narrow focus glosses over Lincoln’s famously ambiguous views on slavery and racial equality.
Spielberg’s Lincoln appears committed to rapidly ending slavery and even suggests that suffrage might eventually be extended to black men. In his lifetime, Lincoln was consistently criticized by radical Republicans and African-American leaders such as Frederick Douglass for his equivocation on slavery and lenient plans for Reconstruction. Lincoln seems to have held a lifelong commitment to the free-soil ideology that every man, white or black, has the right to earn for himself by the sweat of his brow. Despite this conviction, Lincoln repeatedly stated that he wished to preserve the Union, either with or without slavery. Lincoln viewed the Emancipation Proclamation and the enlistment of black troops as a wartime expedient to preserve the Union.
To its credit, Lincoln does make some references to contradictory statements Lincoln made earlier in his presidency about slavery.
Despite this nod toward the complexity of Lincoln’s political career, Spielberg risks reviving the Great Emancipator myth. The best evidence suggests that Abraham Lincoln personally abhorred slavery as an institution while simultaneously denying the concept of racial equality.
Some historians have argued that Lincoln’s personal beliefs underwent a significant change during the last year of the Civil War, and Lincoln did in fact suggest to the reconstructed government of Louisiana in 1864 that “very intelligent” black men and “those who have fought gallantly in our ranks” might be given access to the ballot box. As depicted by the film, during the 1864 Presidential campaign Lincoln threw his support behind passage of the 13th Amendment and was active in securing its passage in 1865. But he never became a radical abolitionist like Thaddeus Stevens, or an outright advocate of racial equality. Lincoln continued to put forth plans for the resettlement of freedmen to the Caribbean even after issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and possibly even after the passage of the 13th Amendment.
Too narrow of a focus on the actions of Lincoln and other white politicians unfortunately downplays the role played by both enslaved and free African Americans in the Civil War-era struggle for freedom. Black characters largely appear passive in Spielberg’s account. Kate Masur points out that White House servants Elizabeth Keckley and William Slade were deeply involved in the free black activist community of Washington, D.C. Instead of appearing as dynamic characters within the President’s household, they are relegated to cardboard roles as domestics. The most assertive black character in the movie is a soldier who confronts the President about past ill-treatment and future aspirations. Lincoln artfully deflects the soldier’s concerns and the scene ends with the soldier quoting the Gettysburg Address. The one-dimensional black characters in Lincoln are unrecognizable as depictions of African Americans during the Civil War.
Early in the war, when Lincoln strenuously wished to avoid confronting slavery, black enslaved workers fled to federal lines and congregated around federal camps such as Fortress Monroe, Va. Congress passed the Confiscation Act of 1861 in reaction to this development, marking the first movement by the federal government to separate rebellious slaveholders from their enslaved workers. While Lincoln continued to insist that the war was a struggle to preserve the Union, African Americans did not wait for the Emancipation Proclamation to turn the war into much more than a sectional conflict. Slavery was destroyed as much by their individual actions as by the political workings of white politicians.
The film also has a number of smaller inaccuracies and stylistic issues. For example, Alexander H. Coffroth is depicted as a nervous Pennsylvania Democrat pressured into voting for the 13th Amendment. Coffroth actually served as a pallbearer at Lincoln’s funeral, indicating that he was more than a simple political pawn of the White House. And in a scene supposedly taking place after the fall of Richmond and Petersburg, Lincoln solemnly rides through a horrific battlefield heaped with hundreds of bodies. A battlefield such as this would likely represent one of the worst instances of combat in the Civil War. Richmond and Petersburg fell primarily due to General Ulysses S. Grant’s maneuvering to cut Confederate supply lines rather than through bloody fighting on the scale Spielberg depicts. Lincoln did in fact visit Richmond after it had fallen and was greeted there by hundreds of jubilant freed slaves in the streets of the former Confederate capital. The chance to depict such a poignant scene is not taken up by the filmmakers in favor of a continued focus on the political and military struggle waged by white Americans.
Perhaps most inexplicably, the movie does a poor job of identifying the various cabinet officials and Congressmen central to the plot. The average moviegoer is likely to be somewhat unsure of the exact role or importance of several characters. This is especially curious given the fact that obscure members of a Confederate peace delegation such as Confederate Senator R.M.T. Hunter and Assistant Secretary of War John A. Campbell are explicitly identified onscreen.
On the whole, Spielberg’s Lincoln is a masterful politician and a dynamic character, able to carefully mediate between his own evolving beliefs and the political realities of his age. This interpretation falls solidly in line with the mainstream of Lincoln scholarship. For an incredibly complex, sphinxlike figure such as Abraham Lincoln, perhaps we shouldn’t expect a more thorough interpretation from Hollywood.
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Michael Cutler, a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, an advisor to the 911 Families for a Secure America, and a consultant, retired in 2002 after a distinguished career with the INS of over 30 years, including 26 as a Special Agent. In 1991, he was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and worked with members of other federal and state law enforcement agencies as well as law enforcement organizations of other countries. The task force’s investigations of aliens involved in major drug trafficking organizations ultimately resulted in the seizure of their assets and prosecutions for a wide variety of criminal violations.
Mr. Cutler has testified as an expert witness at nine Congressional hearings on issues relating to the enforcement of immigration laws having been called by members of both political parties. Mr. Cutler also furnished testimony to the Presidential Commission on the Terrorist Attacks of September 11. Mr. Cutler has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including the OReilly Radio Factor, OReillys No Spin Zone, Fox News and the Lou Dobbs Tonight Program on CNN to discuss the enforcement of immigration laws and has participated in various public debates and panel discussions on issues involving the enforcement and administration of immigration laws. Among the areas of concern that he is able to speak about authoritatively are the nexus between immigration and national security, the impact of immigration on the criminal justice system, strategies to combat illegal immigration, and why amnesty for illegal aliens is wrong.
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America’s dilemma: citizenship or deportation?
By Raymond Thomas Pronk
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
President Barack Obama flew to Las Vegas last week to give a speech at a local school outlining his views and principles for comprehensive immigration reform. “Right now, we have 11 million undocumented immigrants in America; 11 million men and women from all over the world who live their lives in the shadows. Yes, they broke the rules. They crossed the border illegally. Maybe they overstayed their visas. Those are facts. Nobody disputes them. But these 11 million men and women are now here,” Obama said.
Why are there more than 11 million illegal aliens in the United States? Simply, the federal government under both Democratic and Republican progressive presidents has refused to vigorously enforce existing immigration law as set forth in federal statutes and regulations and failed to control and secure U.S. borders against a massive invasion of illegal aliens. These presidents betrayed their oath of office to defend and protect the Constitution.
In a debate with Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale in 1984, President Ronald Reagan said, “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though some time back they may have entered illegally.”
On Nov. 6, 1986, Congress enacted the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), also known as the Simpson-Mazzoli Act, to reform immigration law and control the number of illegal immigrants entering the country. Reagan signed the bill.
Under this law approximately three million illegal aliens who had continuously resided in the U.S. before Jan.1, 1982 were granted legal status and eventually citizenship — amnesty for illegal aliens.
Since then the federal government has failed to control and secure the borders and by so doing, the 1986 law by granting amnesty created a strong magnet or incentive for future illegal aliens. Both Reagan and the American people were double-crossed by progressive Democrats and Republicans in Congress who really wanted open borders and unlimited illegal immigration.
The American people are asking for immigration law enforcement and secure borders and not Obama’s comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. Americans favor limited controlled legal immigration but oppose open borders with unlimited illegal immigration. So-called “undocumented workers” or more accurately illegal aliens should, as required by federal law, be removed from their place of work and deported to their country of origin.
Why? First, aliens broke into the country illegally when they entered the U.S. without a valid visa or over stayed their visas and did not return to the country of origin. Second, aliens broke the law when they either stole identities of U.S. citizens or purchased fraudulent documents such as driver’s licenses and Social Security cards in order to obtain employment in the U.S. Third, aliens broke the law when they worked in the U.S. without having the legal status to do so. Fourth, many employers broke the law when they knowingly hired illegal aliens. You do not reward criminal behavior by granting a pathway to citizenship. The rule of law requires federal government enforcement of immigration law by deporting illegal aliens.
When you multiple these crimes by millions, you are dealing with a crime wave and mass invasion that has been sanctioned by the progressive ruling elites in Washington D.C. from both the Democratic and Republican parties who favor open borders and token enforcement of existing federal immigration law.
Why did these ruling elites ignore the will of the American people? The Democratic Party favors open borders and a pathway to citizenship or amnesty for illegal aliens because they believe the overwhelming majority of these illegal aliens will, when they become citizens, vote for Democratic candidates.
Progressive Republicans likewise favored open borders and amnesty for illegal aliens because many of the businesses that employ illegal aliens also contribute to the campaigns of Republican candidates.
Both political parties could care less that millions of American citizens are unemployed as a direct result of policies that encouraged massive illegal immigration. Staying in power, not the welfare of the American people, was and is the top priority of these politicians.
The 11 million illegal aliens and their dependents should be given the choice to either voluntarily return to their country of origin by a certain date or face deportation under existing federal immigration law. With over 25 million American citizens seeking permanent full time jobs, this would immediately reduce the number of unemployed citizens by millions.
Most Americans would agree with two of Obama’s principles of comprehensive immigration reform namely “to stay focused on enforcement” and “to bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century.” However, most Americans would not agree with Obama to first give the 11 million plus illegal aliens a pathway to citizenship or amnesty for illegal aliens before first controlling and securing the borders and enforcing existing immigration law.
There is a saying in Texas, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”
“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” — Abraham Lincoln
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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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 29, 2013REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
ON COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORMDel Sol High School
Las Vegas, Nevada
11:40 A.M. PST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you! (Applause.) Thank you! Thank you so much. (Applause.) It is good to be back in Las Vegas! (Applause.) And it is good to be among so many good friends.
Let me start off by thanking everybody at Del Sol High School for hosting us. (Applause.) Go Dragons! Let me especially thank your outstanding principal, Lisa Primas. (Applause.)
There are all kinds of notable guests here, but I just want to mention a few. First of all, our outstanding Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, is here. (Applause.) Our wonderful Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar. (Applause.) Former Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis. (Applause.) Two of the outstanding members of the congressional delegation from Nevada, Steve Horsford and Dina Titus. (Applause.) Your own mayor, Carolyn Goodman. (Applause.)
But we also have some mayors that flew in because they know how important the issue we’re going to talk about today is. Marie Lopez Rogers from Avondale, Arizona. (Applause.) Kasim Reed from Atlanta, Georgia. (Applause.) Greg Stanton from Phoenix, Arizona. (Applause.) And Ashley Swearengin from Fresno, California. (Applause.)
And all of you are here, as well as some of the top labor leaders in the country. And we are just so grateful. Some outstanding business leaders are here as well. And of course, we’ve got wonderful students here, so I could not be prouder of our students. (Applause.)
Now, those of you have a seat, feel free to take a seat. I don’t mind.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love you, Mr. President!
THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.)
Now, last week, I had the honor of being sworn in for a second term as President of the United States. (Applause.) And during my inaugural address, I talked about how making progress on the defining challenges of our time doesn’t require us to settle every debate or ignore every difference that we may have, but it does require us to find common ground and move forward in common purpose. It requires us to act.
I know that some issues will be harder to lift than others. Some debates will be more contentious. That’s to be expected. But the reason I came here today is because of a challenge where the differences are dwindling; where a broad consensus is emerging; and where a call for action can now be heard coming from all across America. I’m here today because the time has come for common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. (Applause.) The time is now. Now is the time. Now is the time. Now is the time.
AUDIENCE: Sí se puede! Sí se puede!
THE PRESIDENT: Now is the time.
I’m here because most Americans agree that it’s time to fix a system that’s been broken for way too long. I’m here because business leaders, faith leaders, labor leaders, law enforcement, and leaders from both parties are coming together to say now is the time to find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as the land of opportunity. Now is the time to do this so we can strengthen our economy and strengthen our country’s future.
Think about it — we define ourselves as a nation of immigrants. That’s who we are — in our bones. The promise we see in those who come here from every corner of the globe, that’s always been one of our greatest strengths. It keeps our workforce young. It keeps our country on the cutting edge. And it’s helped build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known.
After all, immigrants helped start businesses like Google and Yahoo!. They created entire new industries that, in turn, created new jobs and new prosperity for our citizens. In recent years, one in four high-tech startups in America were founded by immigrants. One in four new small business owners were immigrants, including right here in Nevada — folks who came here seeking opportunity and now want to share that opportunity with other Americans.
But we all know that today, we have an immigration system that’s out of date and badly broken; a system that’s holding us back instead of helping us grow our economy and strengthen our middle class.
Right now, we have 11 million undocumented immigrants in America; 11 million men and women from all over the world who live their lives in the shadows. Yes, they broke the rules. They crossed the border illegally. Maybe they overstayed their visas. Those are facts. Nobody disputes them. But these 11 million men and women are now here. Many of them have been here for years. And the overwhelming majority of these individuals aren’t looking for any trouble. They’re contributing members of the community. They’re looking out for their families. They’re looking out for their neighbors. They’re woven into the fabric of our lives.
Every day, like the rest of us, they go out and try to earn a living. Often they do that in a shadow economy — a place where employers may offer them less than the minimum wage or make them work overtime without extra pay. And when that happens, it’s not just bad for them, it’s bad for the entire economy. Because all the businesses that are trying to do the right thing — that are hiring people legally, paying a decent wage, following the rules — they’re the ones who suffer. They’ve got to compete against companies that are breaking the rules. And the wages and working conditions of American workers are threatened, too.
So if we’re truly committed to strengthening our middle class and providing more ladders of opportunity to those who are willing to work hard to make it into the middle class, we’ve got to fix the system.
We have to make sure that every business and every worker in America is playing by the same set of rules. We have to bring this shadow economy into the light so that everybody is held accountable — businesses for who they hire, and immigrants for getting on the right side of the law. That’s common sense. And that’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform. (Applause.)
There’s another economic reason why we need reform. It’s not just about the folks who come here illegally and have the effect they have on our economy. It’s also about the folks who try to come here legally but have a hard time doing so, and the effect that has on our economy.
Right now, there are brilliant students from all over the world sitting in classrooms at our top universities. They’re earning degrees in the fields of the future, like engineering and computer science. But once they finish school, once they earn that diploma, there’s a good chance they’ll have to leave our country. Think about that.
Intel was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and then stayed here. Instagram was started with the help of an immigrant who studied here and then stayed here. Right now in one of those classrooms, there’s a student wrestling with how to turn their big idea — their Intel or Instagram — into a big business. We’re giving them all the skills they need to figure that out, but then we’re going to turn around and tell them to start that business and create those jobs in China or India or Mexico or someplace else? That’s not how you grow new industries in America. That’s how you give new industries to our competitors. That’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform. (Applause.)
Now, during my first term, we took steps to try and patch up some of the worst cracks in the system.
First, we strengthened security at the borders so that we could finally stem the tide of illegal immigrants. We put more boots on the ground on the southern border than at any time in our history. And today, illegal crossings are down nearly 80 percent from their peak in 2000. (Applause.)
Second, we focused our enforcement efforts on criminals who are here illegally and who endanger our communities. And today, deportations of criminals is at its highest level ever. (Applause.)
And third, we took up the cause of the DREAMers — (applause) — the young people who were brought to this country as children, young people who have grown up here, built their lives here, have futures here. We said that if you’re able to meet some basic criteria like pursuing an education, then we’ll consider offering you the chance to come out of the shadows so that you can live here and work here legally, so that you can finally have the dignity of knowing you belong.
But because this change isn’t permanent, we need Congress to act — and not just on the DREAM Act. We need Congress to act on a comprehensive approach that finally deals with the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are in the country right now. That’s what we need. (Applause.)
Now, the good news is that for the first time in many years, Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together. (Applause.) Members of both parties, in both chambers, are actively working on a solution. Yesterday, a bipartisan group of senators announced their principles for comprehensive immigration reform, which are very much in line with the principles I’ve proposed and campaigned on for the last few years. So at this moment, it looks like there’s a genuine desire to get this done soon, and that’s very encouraging.
But this time, action must follow. (Applause.) We can’t allow immigration reform to get bogged down in an endless debate. We’ve been debating this a very long time. So it’s not as if we don’t know technically what needs to get done. As a consequence, to help move this process along, today I’m laying out my ideas for immigration reform. And my hope is that this provides some key markers to members of Congress as they craft a bill, because the ideas I’m proposing have traditionally been supported by both Democrats like Ted Kennedy and Republicans like President George W. Bush. You don’t get that matchup very often. (Laughter.) So we know where the consensus should be.
Now, of course, there will be rigorous debate about many of the details, and every stakeholder should engage in real give and take in the process. But it’s important for us to recognize that the foundation for bipartisan action is already in place. And if Congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, I will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away. (Applause.)
So the principles are pretty straightforward. There are a lot of details behind it. We’re going to hand out a bunch of paper so that everybody will know exactly what we’re talking about. But the principles are pretty straightforward.
First, I believe we need to stay focused on enforcement. That means continuing to strengthen security at our borders. It means cracking down more forcefully on businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers. To be fair, most businesses want to do the right thing, but a lot of them have a hard time figuring out who’s here legally, who’s not. So we need to implement a national system that allows businesses to quickly and accurately verify someone’s employment status. And if they still knowingly hire undocumented workers, then we need to ramp up the penalties.
Second, we have to deal with the 11 million individuals who are here illegally. We all agree that these men and women should have to earn their way to citizenship. But for comprehensive immigration reform to work, it must be clear from the outset that there is a pathway to citizenship. (Applause.)
We’ve got to lay out a path — a process that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning English, and then going to the back of the line, behind all the folks who are trying to come here legally. That’s only fair, right? (Applause.)
So that means it won’t be a quick process but it will be a fair process. And it will lift these individuals out of the shadows and give them a chance to earn their way to a green card and eventually to citizenship. (Applause.)
And the third principle is we’ve got to bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century because it no longer reflects the realities of our time. (Applause.) For example, if you are a citizen, you shouldn’t have to wait years before your family is able to join you in America. You shouldn’t have to wait years. (Applause.)
If you’re a foreign student who wants to pursue a career in science or technology, or a foreign entrepreneur who wants to start a business with the backing of American investors, we should help you do that here. Because if you succeed, you’ll create American businesses and American jobs. You’ll help us grow our economy. You’ll help us strengthen our middle class.
So that’s what comprehensive immigration reform looks like: smarter enforcement; a pathway to earned citizenship; improvements in the legal immigration system so that we continue to be a magnet for the best and the brightest all around the world. It’s pretty straightforward.
The question now is simple: Do we have the resolve as a people, as a country, as a government to finally put this issue behind us? I believe that we do. I believe that we do. (Applause.) I believe we are finally at a moment where comprehensive immigration reform is within our grasp.
But I promise you this: The closer we get, the more emotional this debate is going to become. Immigration has always been an issue that enflames passions. That’s not surprising. There are few things that are more important to us as a society than who gets to come here and call our country home; who gets the privilege of becoming a citizen of the United States of America. That’s a big deal.
When we talk about that in the abstract, it’s easy sometimes for the discussion to take on a feeling of “us” versus “them.” And when that happens, a lot of folks forget that most of “us” used to be “them.” We forget that. (Applause.)
It’s really important for us to remember our history. Unless you’re one of the first Americans, a Native American, you came from someplace else. Somebody brought you. (Applause.)
Ken Salazar, he’s of Mexican American descent, but he points that his family has been living where he lives for 400 years, so he didn’t immigrate anywhere. (Laughter.)
The Irish who left behind a land of famine. The Germans who fled persecution. The Scandinavians who arrived eager to pioneer out west. The Polish. The Russians. The Italians. The Chinese. The Japanese. The West Indians. The huddled masses who came through Ellis Island on one coast and Angel Island on the other. (Applause.) All those folks, before they were “us,” they were “them.”
And when each new wave of immigrants arrived, they faced resistance from those who were already here. They faced hardship. They faced racism. They faced ridicule. But over time, as they went about their daily lives, as they earned a living, as they raised a family, as they built a community, as their kids went to school here, they did their part to build a nation.
They were the Einsteins and the Carnegies. But they were also the millions of women and men whose names history may not remember, but whose actions helped make us who we are; who built this country hand by hand, brick by brick. (Applause.) They all came here knowing that what makes somebody an American is not just blood or birth, but allegiance to our founding principles and the faith in the idea that anyone from anywhere can write the next great chapter of our story.
And that’s still true today. Just ask Alan Aleman. Alan is here this afternoon — where is Alan? He’s around here — there he is right here. (Applause.) Alan was born in Mexico. (Applause.) He was brought to this country by his parents when he was a child. Growing up, Alan went to an American school, pledged allegiance to the American flag, felt American in every way — and he was, except for one: on paper.
In high school, Alan watched his friends come of age — driving around town with their new licenses, earning some extra cash from their summer jobs at the mall. He knew he couldn’t do those things. But it didn’t matter that much. What mattered to Alan was earning an education so that he could live up to his God-given potential.
Last year, when Alan heard the news that we were going to offer a chance for folks like him to emerge from the shadows — even if it’s just for two years at a time — he was one of the first to sign up. And a few months ago he was one of the first people in Nevada to get approved. (Applause.) In that moment, Alan said, “I felt the fear vanish. I felt accepted.”
So today, Alan is in his second year at the College of Southern Nevada. (Applause.) Alan is studying to become a doctor. (Applause.) He hopes to join the Air Force. He’s working hard every single day to build a better life for himself and his family. And all he wants is the opportunity to do his part to build a better America. (Applause.)
So in the coming weeks, as the idea of reform becomes more real and the debate becomes more heated, and there are folks who are trying to pull this thing apart, remember Alan and all those who share the same hopes and the same dreams. Remember that this is not just a debate about policy. It’s about people. It’s about men and women and young people who want nothing more than the chance to earn their way into the American story.
Throughout our history, that has only made our nation stronger. And it’s how we will make sure that this century is the same as the last: an American century welcoming of everybody who aspires to do something more, and who is willing to work hard to do it, and is willing to pledge that allegiance to our flag.
Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
END 12:05 P.M. PST
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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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David Hart on Frederic Bastiat
The Bastiat Collection | Mark Thornton
That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen by Frederic Bastiat
That Which Is Seen, and That Which Is Not Seen Frederic Bastiat
Private and Public Services Frederic Bastiat
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WE’VE BEEN GUTTMACHER’d
BLACK BABIES TARGETED BY PLANNED PARENTHOOD ABORTION CLINICS
SILENT GENOCIDE IN AMERICA
“… Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America. Are we being targeted? Isn’t that genocide? We are the only minority in America that is on the decline in population. If the current trend continues, by 2038 the black vote will be insignificant. Did you know that the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was a devout racist who created the Negro Project designed to sterilize unknowing black women and others she deemed as undesirables of society? The founder of Planned Parenthood said, “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.” How is her vision being fulfilled today?Minority women constitute only about 26% of the female population (age 15-44) in the United States, but they underwent approximately 36% of the abortions. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion. On average, 1,452 black babies are aborted every day in the United States.
This incidence of abortion has resulted in a tremendous loss of life. It has been estimated that since 1973 Black women have had over 13 million abortions. Michael Novak had calculated “Since the number of current living Blacks (in the U.S.) is 31 million, the missing 10 million represents an enormous loss, for without abortion, America’s Black community would now number 41 million persons. It would be 35% larger than it is. Abortion has swept through the Black community like a scythe, cutting down every fourth member.”
A highly significant 1993 Howard University study showed that African American women over age 50 were 4.7 times more likely to get breast cancer if they had had any abortions compared to women who had not had any abortions. …”
Cummings & Sandra Fluke on Contraception
Leftist Sandra Fluke testifies, “Birth Control Is a Medicine… Religious Schools Should Pay”
Bill O’Reilly — Contraception Conundrum
“…Sandra Fluke is a student at Georgetown Law. She’s also a “reproductive rights activist” who agrees wholeheartedly with the Obama administration’s controversial contraceptive mandate. Her reasoning, though, is likely to enrage some critics.
During a testimony in front of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on Monday (a meeting that was held by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi), Fluke — who was coincidentally the only witness heard — described the financial constraints that purchasing birth control puts on her peers.
“Forty percent of the female students at Georgetown Law reported to us that they struggled financially as a result of this policy,” Fluke said, referring to the fact that the university doesn’t pay for contraception. “Without insurance coverage, contraception, as you know, can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school.”
She detailed, among other stories, how one woman felt “embarrassed” and “powerless” at the pharmacy counter when she “learned for the first time” that contraceptives weren’t covered by the university’s health care plan.
CNS News’ Craig Bannister, though, challenged Fluke’s $3,000 figure and came up with some pretty interesting numbers: $3,000 for birth control in three years? That’s a thousand dollars a year of sex — and, she wants us to pay for it. […] At a dollar a condom if she shops at CVS pharmacy’s website, that $3,000 would buy her 3,000 condoms — or, 1,000 a year… Assuming it’s not a leap year, that’s 1,000 divided by 365 — or having sex 2.74 times a day, every day, for three straight years. And, I thought Georgetown was a Catholic university where women might be prone to shun casual, unmarried sex. At least its health insurance doesn’t cover contraception (that which you subsidize, you get more of, you know).
This isn’t the first time Fluke has made her voice heard in the halls of Congress. Earlier this month, it was reported that Democrat Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Eleanor Norton (D-DC) and their anger over the lack of female witnesses present at a previous contraceptive hearing.
The congresswomen wanted Fluke to be permitted to speak at the event, but Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) declined to allow it, stating that Fluke was not an expert in religious freedom, which was the issue being investigated.
Fluke, though, responded by claiming that women should be included in the discussion. She also alleged that a friend of hers died because of a lack of access to contraception and accused Issa of silencing the people who have the most authority to speak on the subject.Sandra Fluke Opening Statement (C-SPAN) …”
Lawmakers Walk Out on Congressional Contraception Rule Hearing After Female Witness Barred
Senate Narrowly Defeats Anti-Contraception Bill as Reproductive Rights Face Sustained Attack
Rush Limbaugh Gives You The Reason Sandra Fluke Is Going To A Catholic College
Mark Levin on Sandra Fluke
Rush Limbaugh Calls Sandra Fluke a “SLUT” [Real Audio & Video]
Left Freaks Out Over My Fluke Remarks
“… Are we supposed to believe that it’s impossible to find free condoms in Washington? And it’s a good question. Where are the guys that these women at Georgetown Law are having sex with? Where’s their responsibility? I mean, these guys are gonna learn (if they haven’t already) they’re gonna be buying a lot more for sex than just birth control pills. Why the exemption here on birth control pills? What makes birth control pills so unique that the insurance company — government, somebody, taxpayers — has to provide this? We all know the answer here. This allows them to talk “women’s freedom,” and “women’s reproductive rights.” But it’s also the expansion of government.
Let’s listen to some Sandra Fluke. By the way, did you know CBS ripped me for calling Danica Patrick “a woman driver.” What is she? Is she a male driver and I’ve missed it? What is she? Look at what’s happening to our language. I called Danica Patrick “a woman driver…” (interruption) Well, because she had said that she thinks the government is perfectly responsible in making these decisions for us; she trusts the government. I said, “Well, okay, she’s a woman driver. That makes sense.” What is she? Here’s Sandra Fluke before this committee, the House Democrat Steering and Policy Committee Hearing on Contraception. Here’s a portion of her opening remarks.
Rush Limbaugh’s on-air apology to Sandra Fluke
Why I Apologized to Sandra Fluke
Sandra Fluke Gets A Call From Obama, 3/2/12
Rush Limbaugh Apologizes: Too Little, Too Late?
Barack Obama and Margaret Sanger’s “Negro Project”
Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s Racist Founder
Obama: Babies are a “punishment”
Barack Obama Promises to Sign FOCA
“…Last year before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Barack Obama told pro-abortion activists: “The first thing I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.”
FOCA would establish the right to abortion as a fundamental right (like the right to free speech) and wipe away every restriction on abortion nationwide.
It will eradicate state and federal abortion laws that the majority of Americans support and prevent states from enacting similar protective measures in the future. …”
Barack Obama Addresses Planned Parenthood
OBAMA SUPPORTED INFANTICIDE IN 02 AS SENATOR…
Obama And Infanticide – Part 1 – 45 Minutes / Documentary Video / Why Was There The Need For The Born
Obama And Infanticide – Part 2 – 23 Minutes / Documentary Video / The Evidence Against Obama / Illinois
Abortion Inc: Promoting Black Genocide in US?
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 1/13)
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 2/13)
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 3/13)
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 4/13)
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 5/13)
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 6/13)
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 7/13)
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 8/13)
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 9/13)
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 10/13)
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 11/13)
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 12/13)
Abortion: Black Genocide in 21st Century America (Part 13/13)
Repealing Obamacare and Restoring a Free Market in Healthcare
The Elite’s Plan for Global Extermination(Depopulation Eugenics) Exposed by Webster Tarpley 1 of 4
The Elite’s Plan for Global Extermination(Depopulation Eugenics) Exposed by Webster Tarpley 2 of 4
The Elite’s Plan for Global Extermination(Depopulation Eugenics) Exposed by Webster Tarpley 3 of 4
The Elite’s Plan for Global Extermination(Depopulation Eugenics) Exposed by Webster Tarpley 4 of 4
GlennBeck Eugenics part1 Short History
GlennBeck Eugenics part2 Healthcare Czars
Glenn Beck Eugenics part3 Healthcare Tree
Obama’s Eugenics Hoax Exposed
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Government Theft May 1, 1933
Quantitative Easing Explained
U.S. Inflation Calculator
U.S. Debt Clock
Ron Paul: The Worst Thing You Can Do For A People Is Purposely Devalue The Dollar
Obama’s Got America Singin’ the Blues
As Gas Prices Rise, White House Goes on Offensive, Defensive
Ron Paul tells the real reason for the oil prices in 2007 and today
END FED: Bernanke Explains How To Devalue the Dollar, Quantitative Easing AKA Asset Purchase
Glenn Beck – Devaluing The Dollar
Beck: Devaluing the Dollar
Iran Sanctions, War, Israel & Gas Prices
Ron Paul Doubles Down On War Stance
Armed Chinese Troops in Texas!
Why Gas Prices Are Rising
Playing the oil prices money game
Secret Exemptions Allowed Speculators to Distort Futures Markets
Regulations on Speculation Weak, But Better Than Nothing
The Price Of Oil
Bill Black: What I’d Demand of the Fed
Bill Black’s eye-popping opening statement at House FinServ hearing on Lehman Bros.
END FED: Goldman Sachs To Blame For Global Food-Oil Price Crisis; Speculators Outnumber Hedgers
CFTC Commissioner: “A Hair Trigger Away from Economic Calamity”
Will CFTC Limit Excessive Speculation?
Oil Supply and Demand and the Next Oil Price Spike
Bio-fuels, Speculation, Land Grabs = Food Crisis
Speculation And The Frenzy In Food Markets
Food, Speculation and Parasitical Trading
Speculation Drives Up Coffee Prices
Oil speculation and oil prices
The Real TRUTH Behind The OIL PRICES
Banks Behind High Gas Prices?
Rising Gas Prices Slowing Economy
Gas Prices Soaring
Ripple Effect Of Rising Gas Prices Hits Consumers
Krauthammer: Obama’s “war on fossil fuels” causes rising gas prices
Obama Wanted High Gas Prices…Gradually (2008 Election Campaign)
Ron Paul Expains High Gas Prices & War in 2008
Can We Stop A War With Iran?
Obama admits his intentions are to skyrocket oil prices
Ford O’Connell On Fox News – February 24, 2012
Ron Paul Expains High Gas Prices & War in 2007
Obama gas prices
A Coincidence Over High Gasoline Prices- MoneyTV with Donald Baillargeon
Obama Admits the Truth: He Can’t Do Much about Gas Prices
Jim Grant – Bloomberg Interview (30/6/11)
Government Theft 2012
Press Conference with Chairman of the FOMC, Ben S. Bernanke
Blame High Oil Prices on Speculators and Bernanke
Seven Bucks A Gallon For Gas!
2012 Energy Prices
“…That’s right, we not only reduced our overall gasoline use in America, reversing a century-long trend, but in 2011 we dropped our demand for gasoline once again. This likely explains why in December WTI oil jumped by close to $7 a barrel, but the futures market for gasoline barely budged, moving just a few cents in either direction.
Another way to look at it is in the percentage of utilization of our refineries for this time of year. According to the government’s data, the last week of December our refineries ran at 84.2 percent of capacity. But if one compares that week to the same week in the boom years, 2003 to 2007, our refineries were running at 91.7 percent, 94.2 percent, 88.9 percent, 90.9 percent and 89.4 percent. For those who have forgotten, that last figure in that chain, marking the last week of December 2007, also denotes the month we officially slipped into a recession. Interestingly, data released by the International Energy Agency in September of 2008 showed oil and fuel demand falling worldwide starting in August of 2007.
And yet with our refinery utilization running at far below normal, we managed to have the all-time-record year for the exportation of refined fuels. While the media speculation on where oil’s price is going is almost solely based on “Asian Demand” or the prospect of a total embargo on Iranian oil, the real problem is something completely different.
What is it? It’s refiners trying to find ways to get the price of gasoline on the futures market more in line with the high price of oil. To this end it appears that three refineries in the Northeast, including Sunoco’s Marcus Hook and Philadelphia refinery, along with Conoco’s Trainer unit, will be closed. To be sure, both Conoco and Sunoco claim their first choice is to sell those refineries, but failing that they will be closed.
What does that mean to you and me?
Dow Jones Newswire quoted Gene McGillian, an energy analyst with Tradition Energy, as saying, “Gasoline futures prices are based on New York Harbor prices. When you start to see disruptions in that Northeast market, it’s definitely reflected in gasoline futures.”
Translation: Close refineries and you can bump the futures price of gasoline – and by extension the retail price – regardless of where the price of oil is.
How does oil speculation raise gas prices?
by Josh Clark
“…An oil futureis simply a contract between a buyer and seller, where the buyer agrees to purchase a certain amount of a commodity — in this case oil — at a fixed price
. Futures offer a way for a purchaser to bet on whether a commodity will increase in price down the road. Once locked into a contract, a futures buyer would receive a barrel of oil for the price dictated in the future contract, even if the market price was higher when the barrel was actually delivered.
As in all cases, Wall Street heard the word "bet" and flocked to futures, taking the market to strange new places on the fringe of legality. In the 19th and early 20th centuries it bet on grain. In the 21st century it was oil. Despite U.S. petroleum reserves being at an eight-year high, the price of oil rose dramatically beginning in 2006. While demand rose, supply kept pace. Yet, prices still skyrocketed. This means that the laws of supply and demand no longer applied in the oil markets. Instead, an artificial market developed.
Artificial markets are volatile; they’re difficult to predict and can turn on a dime. As a result of the artificial oil market, the average price per barrel of crude oil increased from $31.61 in July 2004 to $137.11 in July 2008 1. The average cost for a gallon of regular unleaded gas in the United States grew from $1.93 to $4.09 over the same period 1.
So what happened? …"
"…What speculators do is bet on what price a commodity will reach by a future date, through instruments called <strong>derivatives</strong>. Unlike an investment in an actual commodity (such as a barrel of oil), a derivative’s value is based on the value of a commodity (for example, a bet on whether a barrel of oil will increase or decrease in price). Speculators have no hand in the sale of the commodity they’re betting on; they’re not the buyer or the seller.
By betting on the price outcome with only a single futures contract, a speculator has no effect on a market. It’s simply a bet. But a speculator with the capital to purchase a sizeable number of futures derivatives at one price can actually sway the market. As energy researcher F. William Engdahl put it, "[s]peculators trade on rumor, not fact" 1. A speculator purchasing vast futures at higher than the current market price can cause oil producers to horde their commodity in the hopes they’ll be able to sell it later on at the future price. This drives prices up in reality — both future and present prices — due to the decreased amount of oil currently available on the market.
Investment firms that can influence the oil futures market stand to make a lot; oil companies that both produce the commodity and drive prices up of their product up through oil futures derivatives stand to make even more. Investigations into the unregulated oil futures exchanges turned up major financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. But it also revealed energy producers like Vitol, a Swiss company that owned 11 percent of the oil futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange alone 1.
As a result of speculation among these and other major players, an estimated 60 percent of the price of oil per barrel was added; a $100 barrel of oil, in reality, should cost $40 1. And despite having an agency created to prevent just such speculative price inflation, by the time oil prices skyrocketed, the government had made a paper tiger out of it. …"
<h4>It’s no secret that speculators are driving up fuel prices. The surprise? It’s the Fed’s fault, writes Ed Wallace</h4>
<h4>"…The Fed’s Cheap Liquidity Flood</h4>
The problem starts with Ben Bernanke, no matter how many of his Fed presidents claim they are not to blame for the high price of oil. The fact is that when you flood the market with far too much liquidity at virtually no interest, funny things happen in commodities and equities. It was true in the 1920s, it was true in the last decade, and it’s still true today.
When Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve, spoke in Germany late in March, Reuters quoted him as saying: "We are seeing speculative activity that may be exacerbating price rises in commodities such as oil." Fisher added that he was seeing the signs of the same speculative trading that had fueled the first financial meltdown.
Here Fisher is in good company. Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig, who has been a vocal critic of the current Fed policy of zero interest and high liquidity, has suggested that markets don’t function correctly under those circumstances. And David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s former budget director, recently wrote a scathing article for MarketWatch, "Federal Reserve’s Path of Destruction," in which he criticizes current Fed policy even more pointedly. Stockman wrote: "This destruction is namely the exploitation of middle-class savers; the current severe food and energy squeeze on lower income households … and the next round of bursting bubbles building up among the risk asset classes."
Let’s not kid ourselves. Oil in today’s world is worth far more than the $25 a barrel it sold for over a decade ago. But the ability of markets to function properly, based on real supply and demand equations, has been destroyed by allowing ridiculous leverage and the unlimited ability to borrow the leverage at historically low interest rates.
Fortunately for our elected officials, they’ve got the public convinced that the biggest threat from government is taxation and deficits. In reality the public should be infuriated with the rising costs of nondiscretionary items such as food and gasoline, which current Fed policy actively enables. …"
<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Price of petroleum</strong></p>
"…The <strong>price of petroleum</strong> as quoted in news generally refers to the spot price per barrel (159 liters) of either WTI/light crude as traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) for delivery at Cushing, Oklahoma, or of Brent as traded on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE, into which the International Petroleum Exchange has been incorporated) for delivery at Sullom Voe.
The price of a barrel of oil is highly dependent on both its grade, determined by factors such as its specific gravity or API and its sulphur content, and its location. Other important benchmarks include Dubai, Tapis, and the OPEC basket. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) uses the imported refiner acquisition cost, the weighted average cost of all oil imported into the US, as its "world oil price".
The demand for oil is highly dependent on global macroeconomic conditions. According to the International Energy Agency, high oil prices generally have a large negative impact on the global economic growth.<sup></sup>
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was formed in 1960<sup></sup> to try and counter the oil companies cartel, which had been controlling posted prices since the so-called 1927 Red Line Agreement and 1928 Achnacarry Agreement, and had achieved a high level of price stability until 1972.
The price of oil underwent a significant decrease after the record peak of US$145 it reached in July 2008. On December 23, 2008, WTI crude oil spot price fell to US$30.28 a barrel, the lowest since the financial crisis of 2007–2010 began, and traded at between US$35 a barrel and US$82 a barrel in 2009.<sup></sup> On 31 January 2011, the Brent price hit $100 a barrel for the first time since October 2008, on concerns about the political unrest in Egypt.<sup></sup>
Price history before 2003
A low point was reached in January 1999 of 17 USD per barrel, after increased oil production from Iraq coincided with the Asian Financial Crisis, which reduced demand. Prices then increased rapidly, more than doubling by September 2000 to $35, then fell until the end of 2001 before steadily increasing, reaching $40–50 by September 2004.<sup></sup>
<h3>Price history from 2003 onwards</h3>
<div>Main article: 2003 to 2011 world oil market chronology</div>
<div>Further information: 2000s energy crisis</div>
<div>Main article: Benchmark (crude oil)</div>
After the collapse of the OPEC-administered pricing system in 1985, and a short lived experiment with netback pricing, oil-exporting countries adopted a market-linked pricing mechanism.<sup></sup> First adopted by PEMEX in 1986, market-linked pricing received wide acceptance and by 1988 became and still is the main method for pricing crude oil in international trade.<sup></sup> The current reference, or pricing markers, are Brent, WTI, and Dubai/Oman.<sup></sup>
<h4> Market listings</h4>
<div>Main article: Commodities markets</div>
Oil is marketed among other products in commodities markets. See above for details. Widely traded oil futures, and related natural gas futures, include:<sup></sup>
<li>Nymex Crude Future</li>
<li>Dated Brent Spot</li>
<li>WTI Cushing Spot</li>
<li>Nymex Heating Oil Future</li>
<li>Nymex RBOB Gasoline Future</li>
<li>Nymex Henry Hub Future</li>
<li>Henry Hub Spot</li>
<li>New York City Gate Spot</li>
Most of the above oil futures have delivery dates in all 12 months of the year.<sup></sup>
The surge in oil prices in the past several years has led some commentators to argue that at least some of the rise is due to speculation in the futures markets.<sup></sup>
<h4> Future price changes</h4>
In 2009, Seismic Micro-Technology conducted a survey of geophysicists and geologists about the future of crude oil. Of the survey participants 80 percent predicted the price for a barrel of oil will rise to be somewhere between $50 and $100 per barrel by June 2010.<sup></sup> Another 50 percent saying it will rise even further to $100 to $150 a barrel in the next five years.<sup></sup>
Oil prices could go to $200- $300 a barrel if the world’s top crude exporter Saudi Arabia is hit by serious political unrest, according to former Saudi oil minister Sheikh Yamani. Yamani has said that underlying discontent remained unresolved in Saudi Arabia. "If something happens in Saudi Arabia it will go to $200 to $300. I don’t expect this for the time being, but who would have expected Tunisia?" Yamani told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference of the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) which he chaired on April 5th 2011.<sup></sup>
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced "Multiple Energy Market Initiatives" on May 29, 2008. Part 1 is "Expanded International Surveillance Information for Crude Oil Trading." The CFTC announcement stated it has joined with the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority and ICE Futures Europe in order to expand surveillance and information sharing of various futures contracts.<sup></sup> This announcement has received wide coverage in the financial press, with speculation about oil futures price manipulation.<sup></sup><sup></sup><sup></sup>
The interim report by the Interagency Task Force, released in July, found that speculation had not caused significant changes in oil prices and that fundamental supply and demand factors provide the best explanation for the crude oil price increases. The report found that the primary reason for the price increases was that the world economy had expanded at its fastest pace in decades, resulting in substantial increases in the demand for oil, while the oil production grew sluggishly, compounded by production shortfalls in oil-exporting countries.
The report stated that as a result of the imbalance and low price elasticity, very large price increases occurred as the market attempted to balance scarce supply against growing demand, particularly in the last three years. The report forecast that this imbalance would persist in the future, leading to continued upward pressure on oil prices, and that large or rapid movements in oil prices are likely to occur even in the absence of activity by speculators. The task force continues to analyze commodity markets and intends to issue further findings later in the year.
<div>Main article: Oil depletion</div>
<div>Main article: Peak oil</div>
Peak oil is the period when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline. It relates to a long term decline in the available supply of petroleum. This, combined with increasing demand, will significantly increase the worldwide prices of petroleum derived products. Most significant will be the availability and price of liquid fuel for transportation.
The US Department of Energy in the Hirsch report indicates that “The problems associated with world oil production peaking will not be temporary, and past “energy crisis” experience will provide relatively little guidance.”<sup> …"</sup>
<p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Gas prices soar on dollar devaluation even as consumption drops to 10-year lows </strong></p>
<strong>Written By Kenneth Schortgen Jr on Monday, February 13, 2012</strong>
"…One of the biggest misnomers in finance and economics today is that prices work according to supply and demand. This was true when America performed in actual capitalist system, but since we moved to both fascism and crony capitalism, where corporations, banks, and government all work together at the betterment of themselves and not society, prices are fixed due to other factors such as dollar devaluation.
<div style="padding-left: 30px;"><strong><em>U.S. drivers used 2.8 percent less motor gasoline last year and consumed the smallest amount since 1999, the U.S. Department of Energy said Wednesday. Officials credited the decrease to more fuel-efficient cars and an aging population taking few trips.</em></strong></div>
<div style="padding-left: 30px;"><strong><em>Meanwhile, U.S. domestic oil production increased by more than 2 percent last year to 5.6 million barrels per day. – </em></strong><a href="http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20120209/BUSINESS/302090065/-1/TERMSOFSERVICE/Gas-consumption-lowest-since-1999"><strong><em>Des Moines Register</em></strong></a></div>
So… if consumption is way down, and production is actually up, should not gasoline prices be falling? They should, except if you take into consideration the amount of money printing and currency devaluation being done by the Federal Reserve over the past four years, the amount of inflation is being created by our own banking system, and not by a lack of products, or by higher demand.
In the end, Americans are being deceived by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. …"
<h3 style="text-align: left;"></h3>
<h3 style="text-align: left;">Gasoline Prices Are Not Rising, the Dollar Is Falling</h3>
<strong><a href="http://blogs.forbes.com/louiswoodhill/">Louis Woodhill</a></strong>
"…Panic is in the air as gasoline prices move above $4.00 per gallon. Politicians and pundits are rounding up the usual suspects, looking for someone or something to blame for this latest outrage to middle class family budgets. In a rare display of bipartisanship, President Obama and Speaker of the House <a href="http://www.forbes.com/profile/john-boehner/">John Boehner</a> are both wringing their hands over the prospect of seeing their newly extended Social <a href="http://www.forbes.com/security/">Security</a> tax cut gobbled up by rising gasoline costs.
Unfortunately, the talking heads that are trying to explain the reasons for high oil prices are missing one tiny detail. Oil prices aren’t high right now. In fact, they are unusually low. Gasoline prices would have to rise by another $0.65 to $0.75 per gallon from where they are now just to be “normal”. And, because gasoline prices are low right now, it is very likely that they are going to go up more—perhaps a lot more.
What the politicians, analysts, and pundits are missing is that prices are ratios. Gasoline prices reflect crude oil prices, so let’s use West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil to illustrate this crucial point.
As this is written, West Texas Intermediate crude oil (WTI) is trading at $105.88/bbl. All this means is that the market value of a barrel of WTI is 105.88 times the market value of “the dollar”. It is also true that WTI is trading at €79.95/bbl, ¥8,439.69/barrel, and £67.13/bbl. In all of these cases, the market value of WTI is the same. What is different in each case is the value of the monetary unit (euros, yen, and British pounds, respectively) being used to calculate the ratio that expresses the price.
In terms of judging whether the price of WTI is high or low, here is the price that truly matters: 0.0602 ounces of gold per barrel (which can be written as Au0.0602/bbl). What this number means is that, right now, a barrel of WTI has the same market value as 0.0602 ounces of gold.
During the 493 months since January 1, 1971, the price of WTI has averaged Au0.0732/bbl. It has been higher than that during 225 of those months and lower than that during 268 of those months. Plotted as a graph, the line representing the price of a barrel of oil in terms of gold has crossed the horizontal line representing the long-term average price (Au0.0732/bbl) 29 times.
At Au0.0602/bbl, today’s WTI price is only 82% of its average over the past 41+ years. Assuming that gold prices remained at today’s $1,759.30/oz, WTI prices would have to rise by about 22%, to $128.86/bbl, in order to reach their long-term average in terms of gold. As mentioned earlier, such an increase would drive up retail gasoline prices by somewhere between $0.65 and $0.75 per gallon.
At this point, we can be certain that, unless gold prices come down, gasoline prices are going to go up—by a lot. And, because the dollar is currently a floating, undefined, fiat currency, there is no inherent limit to how far the price of gold in dollars can rise, and therefore no ultimate ceiling on gasoline prices. …"
<strong>Why Gas Prices Are Actually Falling </strong>
<div><strong>By Gary Gibson</strong></div>
"…It’s not gold and silver prices that are volatile. Those have been incredibly consistent for thousands of years in terms of commodities they could buy. And because of the increasing standard of living being raised by free market economies, in a very real sense these eternal monies actually buy more. It’s the dollar that has been erratic in its overall declining trend ever since it’s been cut loose from gold (and silver).
Again, people looking at the cost of a gallon of gas, or of milk, or the cost of a nice suit, or rent from behind their piles of gold and silver are finding very little to worry about. In fact, to them, prices are lower than normal and declining.
Also the price of oil has tended to track the price of silver awfully closely for about as long as oil has been industrially useful. And so it’s no mistake that you can still get a gallon of gas for about about $0.20…as long as that $0.20 is composed of a pre-1964 90% silver dimes. …"
<a href="https://raymondpronk.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/silver_quarter.png"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-55554" title="silver_quarter" src="https://raymondpronk.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/silver_quarter.png" alt="" width="544" height="195" /></a>
"…You see, the pre-1965 quarter is worth $6.38 as I type this. The pre-1965 dime is worth $2.55. These coins hail from a time when the dollar was still tied to gold (at the official price of $35 per ounce prior to Nixon nixing the gold standard). The dollar was still as good as gold — even though Americans themselves were forbidden to own gold bullion from 1933 till 1974 — and there was actual silver in the coinage until that content was reduced in 1964 and eliminated in 1965.
Those old silver coins shine the harsh light on the strength of the currency and the abuse that currency suffers from the feds and the Federal Reserve.
If you’d been saving in gold, then from your point of view gas prices have been coming down for the past few years. If you’d been saving in that old “junk” silver (pre-1965 quarters, dimes and half dollars), then gas prices are a downright bargain, too. …"
<h4><strong>Consequences to Expect if the U.S. Invades Iran </strong></h4>
<h4><strong>By Whiskey Contributor<small>Feb 22nd, 2012</small></strong></h4>
<h4><strong>Exploding Oil Prices</strong></h4>
The U.S. has had a ban on Iranian oil imports since 1979, however, Iran still supplies about 5% of the global oil market. This might not seem like much, but Iran also has the means and ability to shut down the Straight of Hormuz, which is one of two major petroleum choke points in the world. Around 17 million barrels of oil per day are shipped through the Straight of Hormuz, or about 20% of all oil traded worldwide.
<p align="center"><img src="http://www.ezimages.net/WHISKEY/022212_pic2.png" alt="" width="363" height="208" /></p>
"…In 2006, during the last major Iran war scare, experts predicted gasoline price increases in excess of <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/07/news/international/iran_oil/" target="_blank">$10 a gallon if Iran was invaded.</a>
This would devastate the U.S. economy, which is already hanging by a thin thread. Iran has announced this past weekend it will cease all oil shipments to Britain and France in protest of their support of economic sanctions. This alone is causing oil to spike today. A global energy crisis will financially decimate average citizens who will have their savings sapped by extreme price inflation, not just in gasoline, but in all goods that require the use of gasoline in their production and shipping. If you like this idea, then by all means, support an invasion of Iran.
<strong>War Domino Effect</strong>
In January of 2010, I wrote an article for Neithercorp Press entitled <a href="http://www.alt-market.com/neithercorp/press/2010/01/will-globalists-trigger-yet-another-world-war/" target="_blank">“Will Globalists Trigger Yet Another World War</a>“. In that article, I warned about the dangers of an invasion of Iran or Syria being used to foment a global conflict, in order to create a crisis large enough to distract the masses away from the international banker created economic collapse.
In 2006, Iran signed a mutual defense pact with its neighbor, Syria, which is also in the middle of its own turmoil and possible NATO intervention. Syria has strong ties to Russia, and even has a revamped Russian naval base off its coast, a fact rarely mentioned by the mainstream media. Both Russia and China have made their opposition clear in the case of any Western intervention in Iran or Syria. An invasion by the U.S. or Israel in these regions could quickly intensify into wider war between major world powers. If you like the idea of a world war which could eventually put you and your family in direct danger, then by all means, support an invasion of Iran.
Make no mistake, the U.S. dollar is already on the verge of collapse, along with the U.S. economy. Bilateral trade agreements between BRIC and ASEAN nations are sprouting up everywhere the past couple months, and these agreements are specifically designed to end the dollar’s status as the world reserve currency. An invasion of Iran will only expedite this process. If global anger over the resulting chaos in oil prices doesn’t set off a dump of the dollar, the eventual debt obligation incurred through the overt costs of war will. Ron Paul has always been right; it doesn’t matter whether you think invasion is a good idea or not. We simply CANNOT afford it. America is bankrupt. Our only source of income is our ability to print money from thin air. Each dollar created to fund new wars brings our currency ever closer to its demise. …"
<h1 style="text-align: center;">Background Articles and Videos</h1>
<h4 style="text-align: center;"></h4>
<h4 style="text-align: center;"></h4>
<h4 id="watch-headline-title" style="text-align: center;">Introduction to Futures</h4>
<p style="text-align: center;"> </p>
<h4 id="watch-headline-title" style="text-align: center;">What is a Future?</h4>
<p style="text-align: center;"> </p>
<h4 id="watch-headline-title" style="text-align: center;">Investopedia Video: How Do Futures Contracts Work?</h4>
<p style="text-align: center;"> </p>
<h4 id="watch-headline-title" style="text-align: center;">Commodity futures margin accounts</h4>
<p style="text-align: center;"> </p>
<div><strong> Security Futures—Know Your Risks, or Risk Your Future</strong></div>
<strong>"…Margin & Leverage</strong>
When a brokerage firm lends you part of the funds needed to purchase a security, such as common stock, the term "margin" refers to the amount of cash, or down payment, the customer is required to deposit. By contrast, a security futures contract is an obligation not an asset and has no value as collateral for a loan. When you enter into a security futures contract, you are required to make a payment referred to as a "margin payment" or "performance bond" to cover potential losses.
For a relatively small amount of money (the margin requirement), a futures contract worth several times as much can be bought or sold. The smaller the margin requirement in relation to the underlying value of the futures contract, the greater the leverage. Because of this leverage, small changes in price can result in large gains and losses in a short period of time.
<strong>Example:</strong> Assuming a security futures contract is for 100 shares of stock, if a security futures contract is established at a contract price of $50, the contract has a nominal value of $5,000 (see definition below). The margin requirement may be as low as 20 percent, which would require a margin deposit of $1,000. Assume the contract price rises from $50 to $52 (a $200 increase in the nominal value). This represents a $200 profit to the buyer of the futures contract, and a 20 percent return on the $1,000 deposited as margin.
The reverse would be true if the contract price decreased from $50 to $48. This represents a $200 loss to the buyer, or 20 percent of the $1,000 deposited as margin. Thus, leverage can either benefit or harm an investor.
Note that a 4 percent decrease in the value of the contract resulted in a loss of 20 percent of the margin deposited. A 20 percent decrease in the contract price ($50 to $40) would mean a drop in the nominal value of the contract from $5,000 to $4,000, thereby wiping out 100 percent of the margin deposited on the security futures contract. …"
<h4>Futures Margins<a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2519541-10992963" target="_blank"> </a></h4>
<!– google_ad_section_start –>Participants in a futures contract are required to post performance bond margins in order to open and maintain a futures position.
Futures margin requirements are set by the exchanges and are typically only 2 to 10 percent of the full value of the futures contract.
Margins are financial guarantees required of both buyers and sellers of futures contracts to ensure that they fulfill their futures contract obligations.
Before a futures position can be opened, there must be enough available balance in the futures trader’s margin account to meet the initial margin requirement. Upon opening the futures position, an amount equal to the initial margin requirement will be deducted from the trader’s margin account and transferred to the exchange’s clearing firm. This money is held by the exchange clearinghouse as long as the futures position remains open.
The maintenance margin is the minimum amount a futures trader is required to maintain in his margin account in order to hold a futures position. The maintenance margin level is usually slightly below the initial margin.
If the balance in the futures trader’s margin account falls below the maintenance margin level, he or she will receive a margin call to top up his margin account so as to meet the initial margin requirement.
Let’s assume we have a speculator who has $10000 in his trading account. He decides to buy August Crude Oil at $40 per barrel. Each Crude Oil futures contract represents 1000 barrels and requires an initial margin of $9000 and has a maintenance margin level set at $6500.
Since his account is $10000, which is more than the initial margin requirement, he can therefore open up one August Crude Oil futures position.
One day later, the price of August Crude Oil drops to $38 a barrel. Our speculator has suffered an open position loss of $2000 ($2 x 1000 barrels) and thus his account balance drops to $8000.
Although his balance is now lower than the initial margin requirement, he did not get the margin call as it is still above the maintenance level of $6500.
Unfortunately, on the very next day, the price of August Crude Oil crashed further to $35, leading to an additional $3000 loss on his open Crude Oil position. With only $5000 left in his trading account, which is below the maintenance level of $6500, he received a call from his broker asking him to top up his trading account back to the initial level of $9000 in order to maintain his open Crude Oil position.
This means that if the speculator wishes to stay in the position, he will need to deposit an additional $4000 into his trading account.
Otherwise, if he decides to quit the position, the remaining $5000 in his account will be available to use for trading once again. …"
<div><strong>Federal Regulation of Margin in the Commodities Futures Industry: History and Theory</strong></div>
<h4>How does oil speculation raise gas prices?</h4>
<h4>by Josh Clark</h4>
"…The next time you drive to the gas station, only to find prices are still sky high compared to just a few years ago, take notice of the rows of <a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/personal-finance/debt-management/foreclosure.htm">foreclosed</a> houses you’ll pass along the way. They may seem like two parts of a spell of economic bad luck, but high gas prices and home foreclosures are actually very much interrelated. Before most people were even aware there was an <a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/government-bailout.htm">economic crisis</a>, investment managers abandoned failing <a href="http://money.howstuffworks.com/mortgage-backed-security.htm">mortgage-backed securities</a> and looked for other lucrative investments. What they settled on was oil futures.
An <strong>oil future</strong> is simply a contract between a buyer and seller, where the buyer agrees to purchase a certain amount of a commodity — in this case <a href="http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/oil-refining.htm">oil</a>– at a fixed price
. Futures offer a way for a purchaser to bet on whether a commodity will increase in price down the road. Once locked into a contract, a futures buyer would receive a barrel of oil for the price dictated in the future contract, even if the market price was higher when the barrel was actually delivered. …”
“…What speculators do is bet on what price a commodity will reach by a future date, through instruments called derivatives. Unlike an investment in an actual commodity (such as a barrel of oil), a derivative’s value is based on the value of a commodity (for example, a bet on whether a barrel of oil will increase or decrease in price). Speculators have no hand in the sale of the commodity they’re betting on; they’re not the buyer or the seller.
By betting on the price outcome with only a single futures contract, a speculator has no effect on a market. It’s simply a bet. But a speculator with the capital to purchase a sizeable number of futures derivatives at one price can actually sway the market. As energy researcher F. William Engdahl put it, “[s]peculators trade on rumor, not fact”
. A speculator purchasing vast futures at higher than the current market price can cause oil producers to horde their commodity in the hopes they’ll be able to sell it later on at the future price. This drives prices up in reality — both future and present prices — due to the decreased amount of oil currently available on the market.
Investment firms that can influence the oil futures market stand to make a lot; oil companies that both produce the commodity and drive prices up of their product up through oil futures derivatives stand to make even more. Investigations into the unregulated oil futures exchanges turned up major financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. But it also revealed energy producers like Vitol, a Swiss company that owned 11 percent of the oil futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange alone
As a result of speculation among these and other major players, an estimated 60 percent of the price of oil per barrel was added; a $100 barrel of oil, in reality, should cost $40
. And despite having an agency created to prevent just such speculative price inflation, by the time oil prices skyrocketed, the government had made a paper tiger out of it. …”
Weekly Petroleum Status Report
“…U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged just under 14.9 million barrels per
day during the week ending February 17, 170 thousand barrels per day
above the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 85.5 percent
of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production increased
last week, averaging nearly 9.0 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel
production decreased last week, averaging just under 4.3 million barrels
U.S. crude oil imports averaged nearly 9.1 million barrels per day last
week, up by 335 thousand barrels per day from the previous week. Over