Excerpts of Key News Stories in Major Media
Below are many highly revealing excerpts of key news stories from the major media that suggest major cover-ups.
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Edward Snowden a 'hero' for NSA disclosures, Wikipedia founder says
2013-11-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:48:22
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has called on Barack Obama to rein in the National Security Agency as he described the whistleblower Edward Snowden as "a hero" whom history will judge "very favourably". Wales called for a "major re-evaluation" of the NSA, adding that the public "would have never approved this sweeping surveillance program" had it been put to a vote. The revelations, Wales said, had been "incredibly damaging and embarrassing to the US. It makes it very difficult for someone like me to go out, as I do, [to] speak to people in authoritarian countries, and say: 'You shouldn’t be spying on activists, you shouldn’t be censoring the internet', when we [in the US] are complicit in these acts of extraordinary intrusion into people’s personal lives. [Snowden] has exposed what I believe to be criminal wrongdoing, lying to Congress, and certainly [an] affront to the Fourth Amendment. I think that history will judge him very favourably. There is a growing sense of concern in Congress about this, a growing sense in Congress that public is angry about this, that they have been misled and I think we are going to see legislation to change this."
Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
CIA turned some Guantanamo Bay prisoners into double agents against al-Qaeda
2013-11-26, Washington Post/Associated Press
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:46:51
In the early years after Sept. 11, 2001, the CIA turned some Guantanamo Bay prisoners into double agents, sending them home to help the United States kill terrorists, current and former U.S. officials said. The CIA promised the prisoners freedom, safety for their families and millions of dollars from the agency’s secret accounts. It was a gamble. Officials knew there was a chance that some prisoners might quickly spurn their deal and kill Americans. Nearly a dozen current and former U.S. officials described aspects of the program to the Associated Press. Dozens of prisoners were evaluated, but only a handful, from a variety of countries, were turned into spies who signed agreements to work for the CIA. Prisoners agreed to cooperate for a variety of reasons, officials said. Some received assurances that the United States would resettle their families. Another agreed to cooperate after the agency insinuated that it would harm his children, a former official said, a threat similar to those interrogators made to self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. All were promised money. Exactly how much each received remains unclear. But altogether, the government paid millions for their services, officials said. The money came from a secret CIA account, code-named Pledge, that is used to pay informants, officials said. Officials said the program ended in 2006 as the flow of detainees to Guantanamo Bay slowed to a trickle. The last prisoner arrived there in 2008.
Note: There is no doubt that the CIA used mind control techniques to control and likely program some of the prisoners. To read verifiable documentation on the U.S. governments secret mind control programs, click here. For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
CIA wants to control the weather, climate change
2013-07-23, Fox News
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:45:22
The CIA is funding a study examining various ways mankind can geo-engineer the planet -- blocking or limiting the sunlight that reaches the Earth, stripping carbon dioxide from the skies, seeding the clouds and so on. The project, a panel called “Geoengineering Climate: Technical Evaluation and Discussion of Impacts,” is backed by the National Academy of Sciences [NAS}, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA -- and the U.S. intelligence community. That’s spy-talk for the CIA, William Kearney, a spokesman for NAS, [said]. Conspiracy theorists love to argue that various world governments seek to control the weather; they cite “chemtrails” and cloud seeding and so on. The group’s first two meetings, May 20 and June 19, were closed-door in their entirety. On July 17 in Washington D.C., closed-door morning and evening meetings book-ended a public session, however, offering a peek into the group’s plans -- and it’s nothing worthy of Fox Mulder’s time, explained Edward Dunlea, study director with the National Academies. “Nothing involved in this study is classified at all,” Dunlea told FoxNews.com. “ This is an assessment of what is known in the science literature about some of the proposed engineering techniques -- both solar-radiation management and carbon-dioxide removal. All of our sponsors are interested in this topic as a part of the larger climate-change discussion, which has economic, environmental and national-security ramifications,” he said.
Note: If nothing is classified, why are the meetings secret? For solid evidence that elements of government have used the HAARP program to control the weather, click here. For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Anonymous Vs. Steubenville
2013-11-27, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:43:58
On November 25th, the most notorious rape case in recent memory took yet another shocking twist. In Steubenville, Ohio, where a 16-year-old girl was raped by two high school football players in August 2012, a grand jury indicted the city's School Superintendent, Michael McVey, on felony charges of tampering with evidence and obstructing justice. An elementary school principal and two coaches in the district were indicted as well, facing misdemeanor charges including failure to report child abuse and making false statements. Shortly after the news hit that morning, Deric Lostutter, a ... 26-year-old programmer in Lexington, Kentucky, [sent] me a message. "We were called liars and more," he wrote, but "we were right about it." He had reason to feel vindicated. As one of the most notorious members of the hacker collective, Anonymous, Lostutter battled to bring justice to Steubenville, exposing secrets of a town that's still reeling from the fallout today. He just never expected that he'd get raided by the FBI, and face more prison time than the rapists in the end. Anonymous is a purposefully chaotic and leaderless collective. Anyone can proclaim themselves a member or declare an "operation" against a target. But getting others to [care] is another story. This is what makes Lostutter stand out. Less than two months after creating his alter ego as KYAnonymous, he launched and organized two of group's most renowned and righteous operations yet: battling the Westboro Baptist Church and, most famously, the town of Steubenville, Ohio, after the high-profile rape of a teenage girl by players on the high school football team.
Note: On the final page of this revealing report, Lostutter claims he is facing 25 years in prison for his heroic acts. To learn about some of the disturbing forces which perpetuate sexual abuse in our society, watch the eye-opening Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence" at this link. For more on sexual abuse scandals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Whooping Cough Study May Offer Clue on Surge
2013-11-26, New York Times
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:42:43
Baboons vaccinated against whooping cough could still carry the illness in their throats and spread it, research ... has found. The surprising new finding has not been replicated in people, but scientists say it may provide an important clue to a puzzling spike in the incidence of whooping cough across the country, which reached a 50-year high last year. The whooping cough vaccines now in use were introduced in the 1990s after an older version, which offered longer-lasting protection, was found to have side effects. But over the years, scientists have determined that the new vaccines began to lose effectiveness after about five years, a significant problem that many researchers believe has contributed to the significant rise in whooping cough cases. The new study, published ... in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers another explanation. Using baboons, the researchers found that recently vaccinated animals continued to carry the infection in their throats. Even though those baboons did not get sick from it, they spread the infection to others that were not vaccinated. “When you’re newly vaccinated you are an asymptomatic carrier, which is good for you, but not for the population,” said Tod J. Merkel, the lead author of the study, who is a researcher in the Office of Vaccines Research and Review in the Food and Drug Administration. The current whooping cough vaccines were developed after a surge in concerns from parents that their children were getting fevers and having seizures after receiving the old vaccine. Those worries added fuel to general skepticism about vaccines that had led some parents to choose not to have their children vaccinated.
Note: For more on the dangers of vaccines, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: Don't cut the big benefit programs
2013-10-30, USA Today
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:27:52
In America today, the middle class is disappearing, unemployment is sky high and senior poverty is growing. We also have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country. At a time when almost all new income created is going to the top 1% and when the gap between the very rich and everybody else is growing wider, we must not balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable people in our country: working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor. We must not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. Let's be clear: Social Security is not an entitlement program. It is an earned income benefit that has been enormously successful in cutting the rate of senior poverty. Further, Social Security is not "going broke." According to the Social Security Administration, the Social Security Trust Fund has a surplus today of $2.8 trillion and can pay out every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 20 years. The solution to making Social Security fully solvent for the next 50 years is to apply the payroll tax on annual income more than $250,000. Right now, the Social Security tax stops at $113,700 a year, so someone who earns that amount pays the same as a billionaire. This makes no sense. Our entire health care system, including Medicare and Medicaid, is much too wasteful and bureaucratic. We should join the rest of the industrialized world in moving toward a national health care program that provides health care to every man, woman and child as a right.
Note: For more on income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Elizabeth Warren: The contender
2013-11-21, Boston Globe
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:26:37
Senator Elizabeth Warren, the champion of Main Street versus Wall Street, just got another boost to the presidential campaign she said she isn’t running. It lies in the $13 billion deal that JP Morgan Chase reached with the US Justice Department. The settlement, which ends the government’s probe into the bank’s risky mortgage business, reportedly represents the largest amount a single company has ever committed to pay Uncle Sam. That’s significant — but so is the bank’s unusual admission that it failed to disclose the risks of buying its mortgage securities.
Warren was a force in both aspects of JP Morgan’s day of reckoning. After the economic collapse of 2008 — and before her election as senator — Warren led the charge for Wall Street accountability while overseeing the government response to the banking crisis. As senator from Massachusetts, she ... isn’t shy about acknowledging her role in achieving them. In September, Warren [said] that her lobbying of Mary Jo White, the newly installed chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, played a key role in getting government regulators to require more companies to admit wrongdoing, not just pay fines — which is what happened in JP Morgan’s case. The JP Morgan headlines play out as the stock market surges and unemployment ticks up. The gap between America’s rich and poor is growing bigger. The divide creates an opening for a Democrat who speaks to the shrinking middle class, as well as to those already squeezed out of it. Warren could be that candidate, if she chooses.
Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Solar Companies Value Consumer Data That Utilities Ignore at Their Peril
2013-11-21, Bloomberg Businessweek
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:25:16
The same rooftop solar providers that are threatening utility revenues are more than just occupying customer roofs—they’re inside the home, monitoring usage trends and adapting the systems to meet both the homeowner’s needs and their own bottom lines. SolarCity, Sunrun, SunPower, and Locus Energy are amassing billions of points of data in smart home systems that consumers love and that baffle utilities, many of which have no incentive to help consumers manage their power usage more efficiently. While utilities have installed millions of smart meters in homes, they haven’t made use of the data to engage consumers the same way solar providers have, says Neil Strother, a smart-grid analyst. “Utilities are more focused on cutting their own costs than in helping consumers become more efficient,” he says. “They aren’t motivated to reduce demand.” The solar systems, meanwhile, collect real-time data on hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across the country that utilities could use to more efficiently and reliably manage their power grids. Nat Kreamer, chief executive officer of Clean Power Finance, says some utilities don’t see the potential benefits of using smart meters to engage with consumers to improve their service or reduce their utility bills. “I asked an executive at one top 10 utility what he was hoping to get from smart meters, and he basically said just to eliminate the meter readers,” Kraemer says.
Note: For more on new energy developments, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Peaceable Kingdom's games emphasize cooperation
2013-11-27, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:23:47
"Feed the Woozle" and "Hoot Owl Hoot!" are the top-selling titles from Berkeley's Peaceable Kingdom, which is making a name for itself with games for toddlers and families that emphasize cooperation over competition. The small, family-owned business tries to promote the value and fun of everyone working together. Its line of games is staunchly nondigital, encouraging face-to-face interactions instead of "screen time." "Cooperative games are a microcosm of how children can play differently," said company president Donna Jaffe. Child-development experts say the community-focused games can play a valuable role, teaching shared decision-making and problem-solving. "They have a lot of merit for classroom and family use," said Berkeley's Stevanne Auerbach, who reviews playthings at www.drtoy.com. "Kids can cut out the one-upmanship and learn to develop strategies and friendly connections. Many parents want their children to have the experience of playing games without feeling as if they have to win or lose." "Their games are in my therapy bag all the time," said Sherry Artemenko, a Connecticut speech pathologist who reviews games at www.playonwords.com. "Kids learn to help each other and work as a team. There's a lot of learning involved: You talk to each other, take different actions. There are visual skills as well as math and language." With slightly more than $5 million in sales, Peaceable Kingdom is minute compared with giants like Hasbro and Mattel. It has eschewed mass-market retailers like Target and Toys R Us, instead sticking to smaller local toy stores and some chains like Barnes & Noble and Pottery Barn.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
The Pope’s bold new vision
2013-11-26, CNN blog
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:22:18
Pope Francis on [November 26] issued a bold new document – in Vatican parlance an “apostolic exhortation” – called Evangelii Gaudium or “The Joy of the Gospel.” In this document, he sets out an exciting new vision of how to be a church. It is to be a joyful community of believers completely unafraid of the modern world, completely unafraid of change and completely unafraid of challenges. The exhortation [expresses] an overriding concern for the poor in the world. Francis champions an idea that has lately been out of favor: the church’s “preferential option” for the poor. “God’s heart has a special place for the poor,” the Pope says. But it is not enough simply to say that God loves the poor in a special way and leave it at that. We must be also vigilant in our care and advocacy for them. Everyone must do this, says the Pope. “None of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and for social justice.” And in case anyone misses the point, after a critique of the “idolatry of money” and an “economy of exclusion,” the Pope says: “The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to generous solidarity and a return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings.” This does not mean simply caring for the poor, it means addressing the structures that keep them poor: “The need to resolve the structural causes of poverty cannot be delayed.”
Note: For how you can help to end poverty through microlending, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Police Arrest Aerialist for Performing Above the Williamsburg Bridge
2011-11-21, The Atlantic
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:20:55
In July, 24-year-old Seanna Sharpe scaled the Williamsburg Bridge to perform a jaw-dropping, and totally illegal, acrobatics show. Shortly thereafter, she was arrested and handcuffed. According to this short documentary, she was charged with a felony, which was later reduced to a misdemeanor. Fans raised her bail in under an hour, via Twitter. Filmmaker and artist Ronen V captures the whole amazing story in this video, incorporating footage shot by the crowd on cell phones and cameras.
Note: You can watch the fun, death-defying video at the link above. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
A Murmuration of Starlings
2011-11-03, The Atlantic
Posted: 2013-12-02 09:15:37
This is your moment of zen today. Two adventurers set out in a canoe and happened upon a [flock of] starlings (collectively known as a murmuration) doing their amazing collective dance in the sky. Watch the video. Just take it in. The starlings' coordinated movements do not seem possible, but then, there they are, doing it. Scientists have been similarly fascinated by starling movement. Those synchronized dips and waves seem to hold secrets about perception and group dynamics. Last year, Italian theoretical physicist Giorgio Parisi took on the challenge of explaining the [phenomenon]. What he found ... is that the math equations that best describe starling movement are borrowed "from the literature of 'criticality,' of crystal formation and avalanches -- systems poised on the brink, capable of near-instantaneous transformation." They call it "scale-free correlation," and it means that no matter how big the flock, "If any one bird turned and changed speed, so would all the others." It's a beautiful phenomenon to behold. And neither biologists nor anyone else can yet explain how starlings seem to process information and act on it so quickly. It's precisely the lack of lag between the birds' movements that make the flocks so astonishing.
Note: Don't miss the hauntingly beautiful video at the link above. For more, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Behind the Pentagon’s doctored ledgers, a running tally of epic waste
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:17:18
Linda Woodford spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in the U.S. Department of Defense's accounts. Every month until she retired in 2011, she says, the day came when the Navy would start dumping numbers on the Cleveland, Ohio, office of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, the Pentagon's main accounting agency. Using the data they received, Woodford and her fellow DFAS accountants there set about preparing monthly reports to square the Navy's books with the U.S. Treasury's—a balancing-the-checkbook maneuver required of all the military services and other Pentagon agencies. And every month, they encountered the same problem. Numbers were missing. Numbers were clearly wrong. Numbers came with no explanation of how the money had been spent or which congressional appropriation it came from. Woodford and her colleagues were told by superiors to take "unsubstantiated change actions" - in other words, enter false numbers, commonly called "plugs," to make the Navy's totals match the Treasury's. At the DFAS offices that handle accounting for the Army, Navy, Air Force and other defense agencies, fudging the accounts with false entries is standard operating procedure. Former military service officials say record-keeping at the operational level throughout the services is rife with made-up numbers to cover lost or missing information. Plugs also are symptomatic of one very large problem: the Pentagon's chronic failure to keep track of its money—how much it has, how much it pays out and how much is wasted or stolen.
Note: For more on military corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here and see the admission of the military to trillions of dollars missing at this link.
Pope Francis 'is mafia target after campaigning against corruption'
2013-11-13, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:15:29
Pope Francis's crusade against corruption has made him a target for Italy's all-powerful mafia clans, a leading anti-mob prosecutor has warned. Nicola Gratteri, who has battled Calabria's shadowy 'Ndrangheta mafia, said [that] Francis's attempt to bring transparency to the Vatican was making the white collar mobsters who do business with corrupt prelates "nervous and agitated". He told the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidiano: "Pope Francis is dismantling centres of economic power in the Vatican. If the bosses could trip him up they wouldn't hesitate. I don't know if organised criminals are in a position to do something, but they are certainly thinking about it. They could be dangerous." Francis, who has called for "a poor church", has backed reform at the Vatican's bank, which has been suspected for years of being a channel for the laundering of mob profits. This week police impounded a luxury hotel on Rome's Janiculum hill – formerly a monastery – which the 'Ndrangheta allegedly purchased from a religious order. "The mafia that invests, that launders money, that therefore has the real power, is the mafia which has got rich for years from its connivance with the church," said Gratteri. "Priests continuously visit the houses of bosses for coffee, which gives the bosses strength and popular legitimacy," he said. A bishop in Locri in Calabria had excommunicated mobsters after they damaged fruit trees owned by the church, he said. "But before that episode, the bosses had killed thousands of people" without being sanctioned, he added.
Note: For more on secret societies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
JPMorgan settlement is a payout to victims
2013-11-20, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:13:47
When the fires from the 2007-08 financial crisis were still being fought, JPMorgan Chase looked like a winner. Not only was JPMorgan Chase able to scoop up former rivals Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns for bargain basement prices, but its stock value shot up by nearly 31 percent over the past 4 1/2 years. But this year has been a little less kind to JPMorgan Chase. On [November 20) JPMorgan Chase agreed to a $13 billion settlement with the federal government over selling toxic mortgage investments. It also admitted to wrongdoing in knowingly peddling the instruments. Both settlements are for the "incomplete information" JPMorgan Chase gave to the pension funds for their purchases of toxic securities during the years 2004 to 2008. Even for a colossus such as JPMorgan Chase, $13 billion is a lot of money - about half of its annual profit. Forcing JPMorgan to admit wrongdoing - a rare concession - may open the door to more headaches for the company, especially because the government is continuing a criminal probe into its mortgage prices. The scale of the devastation is still so enormous that the only question left for the Justice Department to answer is why no one from any of the big banks has yet to go to jail. Wall Street's wrongdoing was about more than a dollar cost - it was about the widespread human suffering that remains with us today. Jail time would be more than appropriate, but so far the banks have been able to pay their way out of it.
Note: Because JP Morgan Chase can write off $11 billion of the fine as tax deductible, the real fine is actually reduced by $4 billion to about $7 billion, just one-third of Chase's $21 billion profit in the year 2012. For more on financial fraud, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Fukushima fallout: Should the West Coast be concerned?
2013-11-07, KABC-TV (Los Angeles ABC affiliate)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:12:23
The Fukushima nuclear power plant continues to spew radiation. It's 5,300 miles from Los Angeles -- and still not far enough. Fukushima is an enormous problem that's getting bigger. Nuclear Engineer Dr. Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, confirmed that ocean currents are carrying the radioactive water to the West Coast. "There are several hundred tons of radioactive water that are pouring into the ocean at the site every day," Makhijani said. According to a study published in the journal Deep Sea Research 1, it will begin arriving this March . But Makhijani says there's no need to panic. The radiation will be diluted, and levels found on the West Coast are very low and not considered dangerous so far. But the question is, will we really know? "I think we should be doing a better monitoring of food. I don't think the EPA and FDA are doing a good enough job," Makhijani said. The scariest part of Fukushima is not what has already happened; it's what could still happen. Every day is a desperate effort to keep the plant from melting down. Fukushima is potentially the biggest ticking time bomb in human history. The damaged plant is in no condition to withstand another massive earthquake or tsunami. Just last week, Dr. David Suzuki, one of Canada's top environmental scientists, stunned the audience when he described what will happen if a massive quake did hit today. "It's bye bye Japan, and everybody on the West Coast of North America should evacuate," Suzuki said.
Note: For more on the Fukushima meltdowns and the dangers of nuclear power, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
FISA court order that allowed NSA surveillance is revealed for first time
2013-11-19, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:10:53
A secret court order that authorised a massive trawl by the National Security Agency of Americans' email and internet data was published for the first time on [November 18], among a trove of documents that also revealed a judge's concern that the NSA "continuously" and "systematically" violated the limits placed on the program. Another later court order found that what it called "systemic overcollection" had taken place. In a heavily redacted opinion Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the former presiding judge of the FISA court, placed legal weight on the methods of surveillance employed by the NSA, which had never before collected the internet data of “an enormous volume of communications”. The methods, known as pen registers and trap-and-trace devices, record the incoming and outgoing routing information of communications. Kollar-Kotelly ruled that acquiring the metadata, and not the content, of email and internet usage in bulk was harmonious with the “purpose” of Congress and prior court rulings – even though no surveillance statute ever authorized it and top officials at the Justice Department and the FBI threatened to resign in 2004 over what they considered its dubious legality. The type of data collected under the program included information on the "to", "from" and "bcc" lines of an email rather than the content. Metadata, wrote Kollar-Kotelly, enjoyed no protection under the fourth amendment to the US constitution, a precedent established by the Supreme Court in 1979 in a single case on which the NSA relies currently.
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
US and UK struck secret deal to allow NSA to 'unmask' Britons' personal data
2013-11-20, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:09:12
The phone, internet and email records of UK citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing have been analysed and stored by America's National Security Agency under a secret deal that was approved by British intelligence officials, according to documents from the whistleblower Edward Snowden. In the first explicit confirmation that UK citizens have been caught up in US mass surveillance programs, an NSA memo describes how in 2007 an agreement was reached that allowed the agency to "unmask" and hold on to personal data about Britons that had previously been off limits. The memo ... says the material is being put in databases where it can be made available to other members of the US intelligence and military community.
Until now, it had been generally understood that the citizens of each country were protected from surveillance by any of the others. But the Snowden material reveals that: • In 2007, the rules were changed to allow the NSA to analyse and retain any British citizens' mobile phone and fax numbers, emails and IP addresses swept up by its dragnet. • These communications were "incidentally collected" by the NSA, meaning the individuals were not the initial targets of surveillance operations and therefore were not suspected of wrongdoing. • The NSA has been using the UK data to conduct so-called "pattern of life" or "contact-chaining" analyses, under which the agency can look up to three "hops" away from a target of interest – examining the communications of a friend of a friend of a friend. Three hops for a typical Facebook user could pull the data of more than 5 million people into the dragnet.
Note: For more on government threats to privacy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Elizabeth Warren: Don’t cut Social Security. Expand it!
2013-11-18, Washington Post blog
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:07:24
[U.S. Senator] Elizabeth Warren is emerging as a kind of spokeswoman for the new economic populism that many Democratic activists want the party to embrace heading into 2014 and 2016. [A] speech that Warren [delivered] on the floor of the Senate suggests [that] the push to expand Social Security could become a key issue in the argument over the Democratic Party of the future. She strongly endorsed the push to boost Social Security benefits — in keeping with Senator Tom Harkin’s proposal to do the same: “Social Security isn’t the answer to all of our retirement problems. We need to find ways to tackle the financial squeeze that is crushing our families. We need to help families start saving again. We need to make sure that more workers have access to better pensions. The absolute last thing we should be doing is talking about cutting back on Social Security. The absolute last thing we should do in 2013 – at the very moment that Social Security has become the principal lifeline for millions of our seniors — is allow the program to begin to be dismantled inch by inch. Right now, more people than ever are on the edge of financial disaster once they retire — and the numbers continue to get worse. That is why we should be talking about expanding Social Security benefits — not cutting them. Senator Harkin from Iowa, Senator Begich from Alaska, Senator Sanders from Vermont, and others have been pushing hard in that direction. Social Security is incredibly effective, it is incredibly popular, and the calls for strengthening it are growing louder every day.”
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
How economic growth has become anti-life
2013-11-01, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2013-11-26 08:05:10
Limitless growth is the fantasy of economists, businesses and politicians. It is seen as a measure of progress. As a result, gross domestic product (GDP), which is supposed to measure the wealth of nations, has emerged as both the most powerful number and dominant concept in our times. However, economic growth hides the poverty it creates through the destruction of nature, which in turn leads to communities lacking the capacity to provide for themselves. In effect, “growth” measures the conversion of nature into cash, and commons into commodities. Today, economics is separated from and opposed to both ecological processes and basic needs. While the destruction of nature has been justified on grounds of creating growth, poverty and dispossession [have] increased. While being non-sustainable, it is also economically unjust. The dominant model of economic development has in fact become anti-life. Nobel-prize winning economists Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen have admitted that GDP does not capture the human condition and urged the creation of different tools to gauge the wellbeing of nations. This is why countries like Bhutan have adopted the gross national happiness in place of gross domestic product to calculate progress. We need to create measures beyond GDP, and economies beyond the global supermarket, to rejuvenate real wealth. We need to remember that the real currency of life is life itself.