Saturday, July 25, 2009
"NKorea 'Tests Weapons on Children'
July 24, 2009
SEOUL, South Korea -- When Im Chun-yong made his daring escape from North Korea, with a handful of his special forces men, there were many reasons why the North Korean government was intent on stopping them.
They were, after all, part of Kim Jong-il's elite commandos -- privy to a wealth of military secrets and insights into the workings of the reclusive regime.
But among the accounts they carried with them is one of the most shocking yet to emerge -- namely the use of humans, specifically mentally or physically handicapped children, to test North Korea's biological and chemical weapons.
"If you are born mentally or physically deficient, says Im, the government says your best contribution to society... is as a guinea pig for biological and chemical weapons testing."
Even after settling into the relative safety of South Korea, for 10 years Im held on to this secret, saying it was too horrific to recount.
But with Kim's health reportedly failing, and the country appearing increasingly unpredictable, Im felt it was time he spoke out.
Daughter given up
The former military captain says it was in the early 1990s, that he watched his then commander wrestle with giving up his 12-year-old daughter who was mentally ill.
The commander, he says, initially resisted, but after mounting pressure from his military superiors, he gave in.
Im watched as the girl was taken away. She was never seen again.
One of Im's own men later gave him an eyewitness account of human-testing.
Asked to guard a secret facility on an island off North Korea's west coast, Im says the soldier saw a number of people forced into a glass chamber.
"Poisonous gas was injected in," Im says. "He watched doctors time how long it took for them to die."
Other North Korean defectors have long alleged that the secretive nation has been using political prisoners as experimental test subjects.
Some have detailed how inmates were shipped from various concentration camps to so-called chemical "factories".
But Im's is the first account of mentally-ill or physically challenged children being used.
Security analysts believe Kim oversees one of the most aggressive and robust biochemical weapons programmes in the world.
A member of the special forces' Brigade No.19, Im says he was trained on how to use biochemical weapons against the "enemy" -- including how to fire them from short-range "bazooka-style" weapons.
He says such training was normal practice for all elite units.
Today it is estimated the country has accumulated a stockpile of more than 5,000 tonnes of biochemical weaponry; from mustard gas, to nerve agents such as sarin, to anthrax and cholera.
The extent of the stockpile is a concern to Kim Sang-hun, a retired UN official who has spent years investigating the North's chemical and biological weapons programme.
He believes over the past 20 years, the programme has advanced at a startling pace, specifically because the country's rulers approve and support the use of human test subjects.
"Human experimentation is a widespread practice," Kim says.
"I hoped I was wrong, but it is the reality and it is taking place in North Korea and it is taking place at a number of locations."
There are some who question claims that the North conducts human trials. But Kim says he has interviewed hundred of defectors who, more times than not, volunteer personal vivid accounts.
"The programme is now a commonly known fact in the North Korean public," he says.
As a former member of the elite special forces, Im agrees.
While the government may be secretive about a lot of things, he says "when it comes to human experimentation, most know it happens".
Investigating what he says are serious UN violations regarding the rights of children and prisoners, Kim Sang-hun has amassed a vast amount of evidence.
Compiled in folders at his home in Seoul are reams of testimonies and documents.
Some bear what appear to be official government stamps approving the transfer of prisoners from camps to chemical "factories".
He says he believes these are, in reality, experimental weapons sites.
He has pinpointed at least three to five labs that he believes are situated in different parts of the country, including one just a few kilometres north of the capital, Pyongyang.
Security analysts suspect there are as many as 20 such plants across the country.
As the world's attention focuses on the North's nuclear programme, Im is worried the international community will miss what he believes is the more imminent threat posed by the country's biochemical arsenal.
Arms experts say at least 30 per cent of North Korea's missile and artillery systems are capable of delivering such weapons. With each successive test, they warn the North's accuracy improves, and so too its range.
The UN Security Council now says it believes three of the seven missiles tested by the North on July 4 were Scud-ER missiles, which are known to be more accurate and have a range of 1,000km.
Tokyo is roughly 1,160km from the base on North Korea's east coast from where the missiles were fired, while other parts of Japan are closer.
Im believes the government would not hesitate to use such arms, saying he has seen the "ruthlessness" of the country's leaders.
During his escape from North Korea in December 1999, Im says he and his men battled their way out, chased by dozens of members of other commando units.
"I myself killed three men," he says. "Then after swimming across the half frozen Tumen river into China, we sold our guns, and left that life behind."
Im now devotes his time to gathering intelligence about the North's military capabilities.
Even a decade after his escape, the threat he still poses to the North Korean government means that he now lives under the constant protection of South Korea's National Intelligence Service."
Sunday, July 19, 2009
"...Two main bills are being rushed through Congress with the goal of combining them into a finished product by August. Under either, a new government bureaucracy will select health plans that it considers in your best interest, and you will have to enroll in one of these "qualified plans." If you now get your plan through work, your employer has a five-year "grace period" to switch you into a qualified plan. If you buy your own insurance, you'll have less time.
And as soon as anything changes in your contract -- such as a change in copays or deductibles, which many insurers change every year -- you'll have to move into a qualified plan instead (House bill, p. 16-17).
When you file your taxes, if you can't prove to the IRS that you are in a qualified plan, you'll be fined thousands of dollars -- as much as the average cost of a health plan for your family size -- and then automatically enrolled in a randomly selected plan (House bill, p. 167-168).
It's one thing to require that people getting government assistance tolerate managed care, but the legislation limits you to a managed-care plan even if you and your employer are footing the bill (Senate bill, p. 57-58). The goal is to reduce everyone's consumption of health care and to ensure that people have the same health-care experience, regardless of ability to pay.
Nowhere does the legislation say how much health plans will cost, but a family of four is eligible for some government assistance until their household income reaches $88,000 (House bill, p. 137). If you earn more than that, you'll have to pay the cost no matter how high it goes. (So much for saving money for the middle class.)
The price tag for this legislation is a whopping $1.04 trillion to $1.6 trillion (Congressional Budget Office estimates). Half of the tab comes from tax increases on individuals earning $280,000 or more, and these new taxes will double in 2012 unless savings exceed predicted costs (House bill, p. 199). The rest of the cost is paid for by cutting seniors' health benefits under Medicare.
(The implication here is they want seniors to die and get off the books...)
There's plenty of waste in Medicare, but the Congressional Budget Office estimates only 1 percent of the savings under the legislation will be from curbing waste, fraud and abuse. That means the rest will likely come from reducing what patients get. (Rationing, the thing they said they would not do)
One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430).
(Now wait a minute right here. Is there anyone out there that wants their parents to recieve government issue 'counseling' as to end of life issues? This is especially troubling since some of the more radical leftists in the Democrat party support Assisted Suicide as a viable alterantive. Will they talk innocent seniors into giving up their lives for some intangible payback? Will they guilt them into a rash action? THIS IS DISTURBING and where is the AARP on this issue? Oh, I forgot, they're in the tank for this too....)The sessions cover highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and "the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration." This mandate invites abuse, and seniors could easily be pushed to refuse care. Do we really want government involved in such deeply personal issues?
Shockingly, only a portion of the money accumulated from slashing senior benefits and raising taxes goes to pay for covering the uninsured. The Senate bill allocates huge sums to "community transformation grants," home visits for expectant families, services for migrant workers -- and the creation of dozens of new government councils, programs and advisory boards slipped into the last 500 pages.
The most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll (June 21) finds that 83 percent of Americans are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the quality of their health care, and 81 percent are similarly satisfied with their health insurance. ..."
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Under conventional health care, the good kid gets to go on extra rides, buy more stuff and have a better time as a reward for DOING THE RESPONSIBLE THING. The other kid suffers by having to spend the entire trip with Mom and Dad.
Under Obamacare Mom and Dad take all the money that the good kid has earned and saved, gives it to the other kid who blows it on junk and then when that runs out, they make the good kid give more of his already dwindling share of the money because "we are all in this together."
So the bottom line is Obamacare punishes responsibility and rewards sloth and irresponsibility.
Monday, July 13, 2009
We have all seen the stories- Michael J. Fox, an actor I really like and admire, stricken with a serious disease, Mary Tyler Moore and diabetes. We’ve seen the tragedy of spinal cord injuries such as those suffered by Christophe
Bioethics is a branch of medical philosophy
Consider this story:
“...When fetal stem cells are publicly discussed,
The journal Nature Medicine published three articles in May 2008 analyzing eight patients from three separate cohorts who received human fetal midbrain tissue transplant
This is not the first instance of such politicizi
So this brings up another problem. If we have a finite amount of service slots available for medical care under a nationaliz
So now she’s in the hospital, and the doctor says, Look, you’ve got about — maybe you have three months, maybe you have six months, maybe you have nine months to live. Because of the weakness of your heart, if you have an operation on your hip there are certain risks that — you know, your heart can’t take it. On the other hand, if you just sit there with your hip like this, you’re just going to waste away and your quality of life will be terrible.
And she elected to get the hip replacemen
I don’t know how much that hip replacemen
In addition, the president has stated that if his wife or children were in medical peril, he would want the best care. “Quality of Life” assumption
While the “best” care doesn’t always translate into the most costly care, it sets up a system where some people will get the “best care” and the rest of us will settle for what the government
Then there is problem of penetratio
For 15 years Massachuse
Well, the returns are rolling in, and a useful case study comes from the community-
There are lots of numbers thrown around, but in helping my daughter find individual
What this boil down to is do you want someone else, someone who doesn't know you, making life and death decisions?
Thursday, July 09, 2009
First of all the minimum wage. The minimum wage was meant to be an entry level wage for the very young. Few people continue to have this type of pay structure into their adult years unless they have made the mistake of dropping out of school, going to jail or relying on welfare and social programs to provide subsistance and prevent a continuous resume of work. Minimum wages were never meant to be an adult salary. They were meant for entry level employees with the unwritten promise that as they gained experience, they would move onto more lucrative work. My son is a manager at ChikFila. Due to rising minimum wages, they will be raising their prices to consumers across the board. And they will not be alone. See, when you raise the cost of employing people small businesses must recoop those costs through higher prices to the consumer. Now consider the Cap and Trade bill passed by the House. This will add to the cost of manufacturing, the cost of transportation and delivery and the cost to consumers. But do you know who won't be crying about these higher prices? Every local, state and federal entity that tacks on taxes will be overjoyed at the higher revenue they will achieve because of rates based on sales cost. And for most of us, these are not taxes that are deductible from our federal burden.
Let's consider the reluctance of the "progressive" party to require two important pieces of law-e-verify and Voter ID. First of all, in order to cash a check, to food stamps to do just about anything, you must have picture ID. Yet there are some apologists for illegal immigration that continue to believe this is persecution of a minority and use bogus arguements of how having to present ID when you vote penalizes the aged and the poor. All the poor that are citizens can easily get photo ID's from the states as can the elderly even if they do not drive. The arguements are presented in order to protect a potential (or in the case of our Left Coast states-current) voters . As for e-Verify, once again I defer to my son who works in fastfood. Their entire kitchen staff is Hispanic. And everyone no matter what their ethnicity must present drivers license, social security number and verification of their identity. Yet, even with that, there have been a few who have been escorted away or even fired for using someone else's identity. How is this not identity theft and why is it that the government doesn't pinpoint illegal immigration as the source for much of this type of crime? If we removed the ten or more million people who are here working illegally, that would make a significant dent in the unemployment numbers. And, lest you think this is just minimum wage jobs, I know of people who have worked as teachers who didn't have a verified ID.
Let's finally consider the burden on middle America to subsidize the failing state governments of the "green" states. If you will bother to look up the Green Party-a subsidy of the World Workers' Party and under the umbrella of the communist party, you will find that the current Democrat party is espousing Green Party platforms. They seek the systematic takeover of industry by government modeled on the failed systems of such programs in Spain, France and Germany. Right now, France and Germany have governments that are aghast that we are not learning from their mistakes. Please understand, even if the message is smoothly delivered, it is still a message of socialism. Unfortunately, the Rust Belt allowed unions to call the shots in the last election. People voted for a perceived ideal rather than the economic reality of the issues. And in the end, they will be the ones that pay because if these programs are implemented, these jobs will never come back. So how long before we all start moving into Canada? How long will they keep the borders open?
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
In a similar story, actor Jeff Goldblum fell off a boat, electronically, and died, also electronically. Luckily, this was not the case and Mr. Goldblum was witty enough to give his own eulogy on the Colbert Report. Actor Harrison Ford was also offed by electronic tabloids. It's very easy to create this type of false sensation, and you have to wonder about the people who do this. Is it for their own gratification? Is it to get back at other groups? And if tweeters and such can get this kind of action on the fluffy world of celebrities, what can similar tactics do with the more serious issues of our day?
Many people blindly spread rumors via email without due diligence. This is how monetary panics start. This is how people's lives are destroyed. And this also plays into the way elections are being manipulated. It is easy to move people on the basis of The Big Lie. That is the theory which contends that if you say something loud enough and long enough, people will believe it, even if it is wrong. This also allows for organizations that have their own special interests in mind, to deliberately upset the balance and misinform people for their own warped purposes. So while Twitter and such social networking outlets are fine for keeping up with friends, I wonder if the downside is that we know less than we knew before we accessed them.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
It's like some of us have been saying for awhile now, Obama and his handlers are manipulating the press for their agendas. In order to even be moderately involved in a truly free press, reporters should be outraged.