Veterans Administration Suit, Pentagon's
Propaganda Campaign, Cyborg Insects
Revealing News Articles
April 24, 2008
Below are one-paragraph excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These news articles include revealing information on a class-action suit brought against the Veterans Administration, the Pentagon's long-running propaganda campaign to counter criticisms, DARPA's development of cyborg insects for surveillance, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click
here. Key sentences are highlighted for those with limited time. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread
the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
With best wishes,
Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks for PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team
VA stalling on care, judge told at S.F. trial
April 21, 2008, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
More than 120 veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq commit suicide every week while the government stalls in granting returning troops the mental health treatment and benefits to which they are entitled, veterans advocates told a federal judge. The rights of hundreds of thousands of veterans are being violated by the Department of Veterans Affairs, "an agency that is in denial," and by a government health care system and appeals process for patients that is "broken down," Gordon Erspamer, lawyer for two advocacy groups, said in an opening statement at the trial of a nationwide lawsuit. He said veterans are committing suicide at the rate of 18 a day - a number acknowledged by a VA official in a Dec. 15 e-mail - and the agency's backlog of disability claims now exceeds 650,000, an increase of 200,000 since the Iraq war started in 2003. U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti ... ruled in January that the case could go to trial. In doing so, he rejected the government's argument that civil courts have no authority over the VA's medical decisions or how it handles grievances. If the advocates can prove their claims, Conti said in his ruling, they would show that "thousands of veterans, if not more, are suffering grievous injuries as the result of their inability to procure desperately needed and obviously deserved health care." He also ruled that veterans are legally entitled to five years of government-provided health care after leaving the service, despite federal officials' argument that they are required to provide only as much care as the VA's budget allows in a given year. The trial follows publication of a Rand study last week that estimated 300,000 U.S. troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, or 18.5 percent of the total, suffer from major depression or post-traumatic stress.
Note: For many reports from reliable, verifiable sources detailing the devastating impacts of modern war, click here. For a revealing commentary by a top U.S. general on how soldiers lives are ruined by needless wars, click here.
Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand
April 20, 2008, New York Times
In the summer of 2005, the Bush administration confronted a fresh wave of criticism over Guantánamo Bay. The detention center had just been branded “the gulag of our times” by Amnesty International, there were new allegations of abuse from United Nations human rights experts and calls were mounting for its closure. The administration’s communications experts responded swiftly. Early one Friday morning, they put a group of retired military officers on one of the jets normally used by Vice President Dick Cheney and flew them to Cuba for a carefully orchestrated tour of Guantánamo. To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world. Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance. The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air. Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants.
Note: This excellent article should be read in its entirety. For a related video presentation, click here. For an analysis, click here.
Unleashing the Bugs of War
April 18, 2008, Time magazine
The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, that secretive band of Pentagon geeks that searches obsessively for the next big thing in the technology of warfare, is 50 years old. So what's hot at DARPA right now? Bugs. The creepy, crawly flying kind. The Agency's Microsystems Technology Office is hard at work on HI-MEMS (Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical System), raising real insects filled with electronic circuitry, which could be guided using GPS technology to specific targets via electrical impulses sent to their muscles. These half-bug, half-chip creations — DARPA calls them "insect cyborgs" — would be ideal for surveillance missions, the agency says in a brief description on its website. Such bugs "could carry one or more sensors, such as a microphone or a gas sensor, to relay back information gathered from the target destination." Scientist Amit Lal and his team insert mechanical components into baby bugs during "the caterpillar and the pupae stages," which would then allow the adult bugs to be deployed to do the Pentagon's bidding. "The HI-MEMS program is aimed at developing tightly coupled machine-insect interfaces by placing micro-mechanical systems inside the insects during the early stages of metamorphosis," DARPA says. DARPA declined TIME's request to interview Dr. Lal about his program and the progress he is making in producing the bugs. But in a written statement, spokeswoman Jan Walker said that "living, adult-stage insects have emerged with the embedded systems intact." Presumably, enemy arsenals will soon be well-stocked with Raid.
Note: For many disturbing reports on threats to civil liberties, click here.
Sources: Top Bush Advisors Approved 'Enhanced Interrogation'
April 9, 2008, ABC News
In dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House, the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, sources tell ABC News. The so-called Principals who participated in the meetings also approved the use of "combined" interrogation techniques -- using different techniques during interrogations, instead of using one method at a time -- on [captives] who proved difficult to break, sources said. The high-level discussions about these "enhanced interrogation techniques" were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed -- down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic. The advisers were members of the National Security Council's Principals Committee, a select group of senior officials who met frequently to advise President Bush on issues of national security policy. At the time, the Principals Committee included Vice President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft. Rice chaired the meetings, which took place in the White House Situation Room and were typically attended by most of the principals or their deputies. According to multiple sources, it was members of the Principals Committee that not only discussed specific plans and specific interrogation methods, but approved them. The Principals also approved interrogations that combined different methods, pushing the limits of international law and even the Justice Department's own legal approval in the [infamous] 2002 memo.
Aptera's 3-wheeler looks as if it could soar
April 16, 2008, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
An airplane-inspired car that costs $10,000 less than a basic Volvo and gets 300 miles per gallon? Not quite yet, but San Diego robot-builder Steve Fambro may be onto something with the Aptera ("wingless" in Greek) vehicle. Fambro was inspired to build the vehicle when his wife deemed a kit airplane he was building was too dangerous. The vehicle pictured was designed by Jason Hill and his firm "11" for Fambro. The three-wheeled, 1,500-pound prototype has 2 1/2 seats, and when the vehicle goes into production in October, Fambro expects that it will have an acceleration rate of zero to 60 mph in 11 seconds (a second slower than the Prius) and retail for less than $30,000. The Aptera will come in two versions: an all-electric that is expected to go 120 miles on a charge and a hybrid that will have a 600-mile range on a full charge and full tank. Unlike other three-wheeled cars that are technically motorcycles (thus skirting a lot of safety criteria), the Aptera's airplane-wide wheel base makes it stable. The fiberglass shell is reinforced with steel and aluminum, and there will be air bags in the seat belts.
What's not to like, unless, of course, you're the passenger in the half seat.
Note: For a fascinating video clip of this car on a local ABC news affiliate, click here. Why aren't other major media picking up this exciting story?
Scientists unlock frozen natural gas
April 16, 2008, Toronto Star
A remote drilling rig high in the Mackenzie Delta has become the site of a breakthrough that could one day revolutionize the world's energy supply. For the first time, Canadian and Japanese researchers have managed to efficiently produce a constant stream of natural gas from ice-like gas hydrates that, worldwide, dwarf all known fossil fuel deposits combined. "We were able to sustain flow," said Scott Dallimore, the Geological Survey of Canada researcher in charge of the remote Mallik drilling program. "It worked." For a decade now, Dallimore and scientists from a half-dozen other countries have been returning to a site on Richards Island on the very northwestern tip of the Northwest Territories to study methane gas hydrates. A hydrate is created when a molecule of gas – in this case, methane or natural gas – is trapped by high pressures and low temperatures inside a cage of water molecules. The result is almost – but not quite – ice. It's more like a dry, white slush suffusing the sand and gravel 1,000 metres beneath the Mallik rig. Heat or unsqueeze the hydrate and gas is released. Hold a core sample to your ear and it hisses. More significant is the fact that gas hydrates concentrate 164 times the energy of the same amount of natural gas. And gas hydrate fields are found in abundance under the coastal waters of every continent. Calculations suggest there's more energy in gas hydrates than in coal, oil and conventional gas combined. Last month, the Mallik team became the first to use that method to get a steady, consistent flow. "That went really well," said Dallimore. "We definitely demonstrated that these hydrates are responsive enough that you can sustain flow. We were able to take conventional technologies, modify them, and produce. That's a big step forward."
Note: For lots more information on new energy developments, click here.
Machine May Offer Novel Approach In Cancer Fight
April 14, 2008, CBS News
The last thing John Kanzius thought he'd ever do was try to cure cancer. A former radio and television executive from Pennsylvania, he came to Florida to enjoy his retirement. "I have no business being in the cancer business. It's not something that a layman like me should be in, it should be left to doctors and research people," he told [CBS] correspondent Lesley Stahl. It was the worst kind of luck that gave Kanzius the idea to use radio waves to kill cancer cells: six years ago, he was diagnosed with terminal leukemia and since then has undergone 36 rounds of toxic chemotherapy. But it wasn't his own condition that motivated him, it was looking into the hollow eyes of sick children on the cancer ward at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "I saw the smiles of youth and saw their spirits were broken. And you could see that they were ... asking, 'Why can't they do something for me?'" Kanzius told Stahl. "And I said, 'There's got to be a better way to treat cancer.'" It was during one of those sleepless nights that the light bulb went off. When he was young, Kanzius was one of those kids who built radios from scratch, so he knew the hidden power of radio waves. Sick from chemo, he got out of bed, went to the kitchen, and started to build a radio wave machine. "Started looking in the cupboard and I saw pie pans and I said, 'These are perfect. I can modify these,'" he recalled. His wife Marianne woke up that night to a lot of banging and clamoring. "I was concerned truthfully that he had lost it," she told Stahl. "She felt sorry for me," Kanzius added. "I did," Marianne Kanzius acknowledged. "And I had mentioned to him, 'Honey, the doctors can't-you know, find an answer to cancer. How can you think that you can?'" That's what 60 Minutes wanted to know, so Stahl went to his garage laboratory to find out.
Note: This CBS News report was broadcast on 60 Minutes. To watch the video of the broadcast, click on the link above.
Mater Dei team gets 2,843 miles to the gallon
April 13, 2008, WFIE TV (NBC affiliate in Evansville, IN)
Mater Dei High School finished first and third out of 33 high school and college student teams from North and South America, shattering the miles per gallon record set last year by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Mater Dei's "6th Gen" car won the traditional fuel combustion category in the Shell Eco-Marathon Americas with [a] run of 2,843.4 miles per gallon. Mater Dei's other car in competition, "5th Gen" finished third with a Friday run of 2,383.8 miles per gallon. Mater Dei wins $10,000 for first prize, along with an additional $2,400 for internal combustion engine awards. The Eco-Marathon Americas, which began in 2007, is a gathering of college and high school student teams trying to drive the farthest distance using the least amount of fuel.
Collectively, it's an effort to change the way the world uses energy. Each team uses a hand-built, high-mileage prototype vehicle at the California Speedway from vehicle design to management to financing, the student teams managed their vehicles from start to finish. In addition to being eco-friendly, the competition is also about giving the students an opportunity to gain practical experience in science, math, business and design.
Note: Why wasn't this remarkable news covered by any major media other than this NBC affiliate? For another astonishing, yet little-known engine invention by high school students, click here. For more on the repression of new energy inventions, click here.
Anybody Seen Our Gold?
January 30, 2008, Full Page Ad in Wall Street Journal
The gold reserves of the United States have not been fully and independently audited for half a century. Now there is proof that those gold reserves and those of other Western nations are being used for the surreptitious manipulation of the international currency, commodity, equity, and bond markets.
The Federal Reserve’s general counsel, J. Virgil Mattingly, acknowledged as much when he told the Federal Open Market Committee on January 31, 1995, that the Treasury Department’s Exchange Stabilization Fund had undertaken gold swaps.
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan acknowledged as much in testimony to Congress on July 24, 1998, when he said that “central banks stand ready to lease gold in increasing quantities should the price rise.”
Since last May the U.S. Treasury Department’s weekly report of the government’s international reserve position has cited loans and swaps from the U.S. gold reserves.
Since 2004 four major international investment houses — Sprott Asset Management, Cheuvreux, Citigroup, and Redburn Partners — have issued reports stating that Western central banks have been manipulating the gold market.
The objective of this manipulation is to conceal the mismanagement of the U.S. dollar so that it might retain its function as the world’s reserve currency. But to suppress the price of gold is to disable the barometer of the international financial system so that all markets may be more easily manipulated. This manipulation has been a primary cause of the catastrophic excesses in the markets that now threaten the whole world.
Note: Did you notice that for the first time in history gold passed the $1,000 per ounce mark on March 13, 2008? Why did the major media practically ignore this huge milestone? Gold rose 32% in 2007 and continues to rise, yet the media is giving very little attention to this. Some newspapers which regularly listed the price of gold in their business section are no longer doing so. Why? For more, click here.
Green funerals make for eco-exits
April 20, 2008, Associated Press
It's no longer enough to live a greener life—now people are being encouraged to be environmentally friendly when they leave the Earth too. Cardboard coffins, clothes sewn from natural fibers, a burial plot in a natural setting. Green funerals attempt to be eco-friendly at every stage. "People are trying to think about what's the best way to live and with that, what's the best way to die," said Roslyn Cassidy, a funeral director for Green Endings, which provides eco-friendly funerals. Britain has been a world leader in eco-friendly funerals for years and a source of green burial products and ideas for countries like the United States, where the trend is just starting to catch on. Over the weekend in London, those in the business showcased their products and services at the Natural Death Center's Green Funeral Exhibition. The Natural Death Center provides a handbook that suggests environmental targets for cemeteries. "You can take any funeral and make it greener," said Michael Jarvis, the center's director. In a green funeral, bodies are not embalmed and are dressed in pure fiber clothes. Green campaigners say refrigeration or dry ice is a good alternative to formaldehyde, which can seep into the water system.
Biodegradable coffins also differ from the traditional mahogany. Cardboard coffins—which are as thick as their wooden counterparts—can be decorated by family and biodegrade within three months.
Small details are important for green funerals, such as using smaller cars instead of limousines in funeral processions. "What people are wanting is to know that they're doing the best they can both for their loved ones and for the environment," Cassidy said.
Note: For many more inspirational reports from major media sources, click here.
Key Articles From Years Past
Elephant 'self-portrait' on show
July 21, 2006, BBC News
Art graduate Victoria Khunapramot, 26, has brought the paintings from Thailand to the Dundas Gallery on Dundas Street. They include "self-portraits" by Paya, who is said to be the only elephant to have mastered his own likeness. Paya is one of six elephants whose keepers have taught them how to hold a paintbrush in their trunks. They drop the brush when they want a new colour. Mrs Khunapramot, from Newington, said: "Many people cannot believe that an elephant is capable of producing any kind of artwork, never mind a self-portrait. But they are very intelligent animals and create the entire paintings with great gusto and concentration within just five or 10 minutes - the only thing they cannot do on their own is pick up a paintbrush, so it gets handed to them. They are trained by artists who fine-tune their skills, and they paint in front of an audience in their conservation village, leaving no one in any doubt that they are authentic elephant creations." Mrs Khunapramot, who set up the Thai Fine Art company after studying the history of art in St Andrews and business management at Edinburgh's Napier University, said it took about a month to train the animals to paint. Elephant expert Dr Joyce Poole, who has studied the animals for 30 years, said she owned an elephant painting but had not come across animals painting their own images. The Oslo-based scientist said: "I have seen elephants painting, but it was very free-flow. It's certainly capable of drawing an elephant, and could be trained, but might not really understand what it was doing."
Note: Scientists have to say things like that. For an amazing video clip of one of these elephants at work, click here. For more on this fascinating topic, click here and here.
Special note: For the very first paper published in a scientific journal questioning the 9/11 official story, click here and then click on Volume 2. Then click on the paper titled "Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction." For actor Tim Robbins' brave and very controversial keynote speech at the annual National Association of Broadcasters conventions, click here. All present were prohibited from filming the speech, but audio recorders managed to capture his moving call for change.
Final Note: WantToKnow.info believes it is important to balance disturbing cover-up information with inspirational writings which call us to be all that we can be and to work together for positive change. Please visit our Inspiration Center at https://www.WantToKnow.info/inspirational for an abundance of uplifting material.
Your tax-deductible donations, however large or small, help greatly to support this important work.
To make a donation by credit card, check, or money order: https://www.WantToKnow.info/donationswtk
Explore these empowering websites coordinated by the nonprofit PEERS network:
- Every person in the world has a heart
- Reliable, verifiable information on major cover-ups
- Building a Global Community for All
- Strengthening the Web of Love that interconnects us all
https://www.transformationteam.net - The Transformation Team: Conscious community in action
Educational websites promoting transformation through information and inspiration
To reply to this message, visit https://www.WantToKnow.info/contactus.php
To subscribe to or unsubscribe from the WantToKnow.info list (one email every few days):
Veterans Administration Suit, Pentagon's Propaganda Campaign, Cyborg Insects