Life Expectancy Inequality, Terror Watch List,
Pediatricians Peddling Drugs
Revealing News Articles
July 24, 2008
Below are key excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These articles include revealing information on the growing inequality in US life expectancy by region and race, the rapidly growing US government watch list of terrorism suspects, the prevalence of drug peddling to child patients by US pediatricians, 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.
American inequality highlighted by 30-year gap in life expectancy
July 17, 2008, The Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
The United States of America is becoming less united by the day. A 30-year gap now exists in the average life expectancy between Mississippi, in the Deep South, and Connecticut, in prosperous New England. Huge disparities have also opened up in income, health and education depending on where people live in the US, according to a report published yesterday. The American Human Development Index has [issued a report] measuring well-being ... with shocking results. The US finds itself ranked 42nd in global life expectancy and 34th in survival of infants to age. Suicide and murder are among the top 15 causes of death and although the US is home to just 5 per cent of the global population it accounts for 24 per cent of the world's prisoners. The report points to a rigged system that does little to lessen inequalities. "The report shows that although America is one of the richest nations in the world, it is woefully behind when it comes to providing opportunity and choices to all Americans to build a better life," the authors said. Some of its more shocking findings reveal that ... Asian-American males have the best quality of life and black Americans the lowest, with a staggering 50-year life expectancy gap between the two groups. Using official government statistics, the study points out that because American schools are funded primarily from local property taxes, rich districts get the best state education. The US has no federally mandated sick pay, paternity leave or annual paid vacation.
Note: For lots more on health issues from reliable, verifiable sources, click here.
Prosecutor turned up on U.S. terror watch list
July 14, 2008, USA Today/Associated Press
The Justice Department's former top criminal prosecutor says the U.S. government's terror watch list likely has caused thousands of innocent Americans to be questioned, searched or otherwise hassled. Former Assistant Attorney General Jim Robinson would know: he is one of them. Robinson joined [with] the American Civil Liberties Union on Monday to urge fixing the list that's supposed to identify suspected terrorists. "It's a pain in the neck, and significantly interferes with my travel arrangements," said Robinson, the head of the Justice Department's criminal division during the Clinton administration. He believes his name matches that of someone who was put on the list in early 2005, and is routinely delayed while flying – despite having his own government top-secret security clearances renewed last year. He [said] "I expect my story is similar to hundreds of thousands of people who are on this list who find themselves inconvenienced." [The watch list] was created after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to consolidate 12 existing lists. Audits of the watch list over the last several years ... have concluded that it has mistakenly flagged innocent people whose names are similar to those on it. More than 30,000 airline passengers had asked the Homeland Security Department to clear their names from the list as of October 2006. The ACLU predicted the watch list would include 1 million names as early as Monday. The civil liberties group reached that number by citing the 700,000 records on the watch list as of last September and adding 20,000 names each month, as forecast by the Justice Department's inspector general.
Note: For many disturbing reports on threats to civil liberties, click here.
Are Our Leading Pediatricians Drug Industry Shills?
July 13, 2008, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Most parents have never heard of him, but Joseph Biederman of Harvard may be the United States' most influential doctor when it comes to determining whether their children are normal or mentally ill. In 1996, for example, Biederman suggested that drugs like Ritalin might serve 10 percent of American kids for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. By 2004, one in nine 11-year-old boys was taking the drug. Biederman and his team also are more responsible than anyone for a child bipolar epidemic sweeping America (and no other country) that has 2-year-olds on three or four psychiatric drugs. The science of children's psychiatric medications is so primitive and Biederman's influence so great that when he merely mentions a drug during a presentation, tens of thousands of children within a year or two will end up taking that drug, or combination of drugs. This happens in the absence of a drug trial of any kind - instead, the decision is based upon word of mouth among the 7,000 child psychiatrists in America. That's why [the] recent revelation that Biederman did not declare $1.6 million in drug company consulting fees is so important, scary and tragic. American medicine, with psychiatry the most culpable, has fallen back to a time more than 100 years ago. Now once again, drug company money is corrupting medical practice and the maintenance of our country's health. Virtually all doctors who receive drug company money say they are not influenced, but every independent study examining the effects of such money says they are.
Note: For lots more on health issues from reliable, verifiable sources, click here.
Debate Over Existence of UFOs
July 18, 2008, CNN
LARRY KING: Bob Salas is a former captain [of the] U.S. Air Force. He was at Malstrom Air Force Base in 1967, where there were claims that a UFO caused missiles to malfunction. SALAS: I was on duty as a missile launch officer. First, I get one call saying that they're seeing strange lights flying in the sky. About five minutes later ... the flight security controller calls down and says he's looking at a glowing red object, very large, hovering over the front gate. Within seconds of that call, my missiles start shutting down. I recall losing all 10 of them. KING: Bob Jamison you were there too, right? JAMISON: My job as a target officer was to bring them back up. KING: Is it possible they just malfunctioned? JAMISON: Very rarely does a missile malfunction. Much more rare would be two at the same time. But never ten. DR. BOB JACOBS: I was in charge of optical instrumentation at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Our job was to photograph ... every missile launch. [One day] we photographed an Atlas missile raising up out of the fog cover. The next day I was called into the office. Major Mansmann [turned on] the projector. I recognized it as the film that we had shot ... the previous day. Toward the end of the flight ... everything was flying along and suddenly ... at about 8,000 miles an hour, an object came into the frame, shot a beam of light at the warhead, flew up to the top, shot another beam of light at the warhead ... and then flew out the same way it came in. Major Mansmann said ... were you guys screwing around up there? I said, no, sir. And he said then tell me what that was. And I said we got a UFO. And he said, lieutenant, you are never to speak of this again. As far as you're concerned, this didn't happen. KING: Our latest Associated Press poll shows 14 percent of Americans claim they've seen a UFO.
Note: For a more detailed description of the experience of both Capt. Salas and Dr. Jacobs, click here. For a two-page summary of other riveting testimony on UFOs from top officials, click here. For a ten-minute video clip of this show, click here. For our resource-filled UFO Information Center, click here.
Encore: UFO Hunters Investigate Sightings
July 13, 2008, CNN Larry King Live
LARRY KING: Tonight, UFOs over Texas -- where were they heading? Radar shows something was headed very fast in the direction of Crawford. Could it have been an alien aircraft or a super secret military mission? What the heck has been going on in the skies over Stephenville, Texas? It's a small town not too far from President Bush's Crawford ranch. And earlier this year, Stephenville became ground zero for the biggest mass UFO sighting since the 1997 lights over Phoenix phenomenon. A guest in Stephenville is Constable Lee Roy Gaitan. CONSTABLE LEE ROY GAITAN: It was already dark ... as I'm returning back into the house, off to the southwest sky I see a red orb. The red orb was round, very large, I'd say probably 500 yards away. As I focused, it disappeared. To my surprise, it reappeared seconds later. Again, I just saw it for just a couple of seconds and it vanished. I knew it wasn't normal. I looked in the direction of the southwest sky. I no longer could see these red orbs. Instead, I saw nine to 10 flashing lights up a little further west, I'd say probably 3,000 feet up in the air. These lights were bouncing around, not staying still. They were very bright. I went to the car and got my binoculars. These lights shot off to the southeast sky at a blazing speed. They were out of sight within two or three seconds. I don't know what I saw. I do know that shortly after seeing these lights disappear, I did see two jets fly over, traveling in the path of these lights. I don't know if it was part of an experiment, military or what. But I clearly saw and heard the jets. I didn't hear any sound when I saw the lights.
Note: To watch the video of this interview, click here.
Roswell Truth Debated
July 4, 2008, CNN Larry King Live
LARRY KING: On July 8th, 1947, Colonel William H. Blanchard, commanding officer of the 509th Bomb Group at Roswell Army Air Field released a press statement that a flying saucer had crashed ... and that the Army had recovered the disk within hours. A second press release was issued claiming that it was nothing more than a weather balloon. Carlene Green['s] father was stationed [there]. GREEN: He said, "Don't let anybody tell you that the incident at Roswell did not happen. I was there. I saw the spacecraft." They were told, don't talk about it. SCHMITT: [They] threatened physical violence if they should ever talk about this. KING: Frankie Rowe. Her father was a fireman in Roswell. [He] reported to his family that in addition to a crashed saucer, he saw two full body bags and one living little person. ROWE: He said that they tried to help it. KING: We are now joined by ... Dr. Edgar Mitchell, the Apollo XIV astronaut, sixth man to walk on the moon. MITCHELL: All of my experience comes from what I call the old timers. Because I lived in the area ... and because I was an astronaut, some of them wanted to get it off their chest before they passed on. I eventually went to the Pentagon and asked for a meeting with the Intelligence Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A vice admiral said ... I don't know about that but I'm going to find out. [He] called a few weeks later and said he had found the source of the black budget funding for this project and that he was going to subsequently investigate. [Yet he was later] told, I'm sorry, admiral, you do not have need to know here. We knew many of the people, including the ranch where this was discovered, and in spite of all of the security oaths, etc, the talk in the community was ... that it was an alien craft.
Note: For a five-minute clip of this CNN report, click here. For more detailed, fascinating testimony on the existence of UFOs from Dr. Edgar Mithcell, the sixth man to walk on the moon, click here. For our resource-filled UFO Information Center, click here.
'Deficit hawks' revive attacks on nation's fiscal woes
June 24, 2008, USA Today
Eleven years after the last major effort to balance the federal government's books, advocates of fiscal integrity are seeking to make a comeback. Most notable is Pete Peterson, a son of Greek immigrants and Wall Street chieftain who has vowed to invest $1 billion of his personal fortune to alert Americans that their government is going broke. He has lured former U.S. comptroller general David Walker to his fledgling Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which will finance advertising, lobbying and grass-roots efforts designed to pressure the next president and Congress. The situation has gotten much worse since past presidents and Congress negotiated deficit-reduction deals in 1990, 1993 and 1997. The federal deficit is estimated at $357 billion. The national debt, as calculated by the Treasury Department, is more than $9.3 trillion. Future liabilities, from government pensions to elderly entitlements, bring the total to $53 trillion – $175,000 per person, according to Peterson and Walker. Both men say a comprehensive fix will need to include overhauls of the nation's health care and tax systems. At the core of the effort is Peterson, 82, a founder of the Concord Coalition fiscal watchdog group, who has preached the danger of federal budget deficits for decades. He and Walker spoke Tuesday at a House Budget Committee hearing and met privately with congressional backers of balanced budgets. Peterson is retiring this year as senior chairman of the Blackstone Group, which he co-founded. [He is a] former secretary of Commerce in the Nixon administration and chairman of Lehman Brothers.
Exposed: the Great GM Crops Myth
April 20, 2008, The Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis. The study – carried out over the past three years at the University of Kansas – has found that GM soya produces about 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent, contradicting assertions by advocates of the technology that it increases yields. Professor Barney Gordon, of the university's department of agronomy, said he started the research – reported in the journal Better Crops – because many farmers who had changed over to the GM crop had "noticed that yields are not as high as expected even under optimal conditions". He added: "People were asking the question 'how come I don't get as high a yield as I used to?'" He grew a Monsanto GM soybean and an almost identical conventional variety in the same field. The modified crop produced only 70 bushels of grain per acre, compared with 77 bushels from the non-GM one. The GM crop – engineered to resist Monsanto's own weedkiller, Roundup – recovered only when he added extra manganese, leading to suggestions that the modification hindered the crop's take-up of the essential element from the soil. The new study confirms earlier research at the University of Nebraska, which found that another Monsanto GM soya produced 6 per cent less than its closest conventional relative, and 11 per cent less than the best non-GM soya available.
Note: For many important reports on genetically modified organisms from major media sources, click here.
BlackLight's physics-defying promise: Cheap power from water
July 2, 2008, CNN Money
Imagine being able to convert water into a boundless source of cheap energy. That's what BlackLight Power, a 25-employee firm in Cranbury, N.J., says it can do. The only problem: Most scientists say that company's technology violates the basic laws of physics. Such skepticism doesn't daunt Dr. Randell Mills, a Harvard-trained physician and founder of BlackLight, who recently claimed that he has created a working fuel cell using the world's most pervasive element: the hydrogen found in water. Mills says he has a market-ready product: a fuel cell that produces a chemical reaction to alter hydrogen atoms. The fuel cell releases heat that turns water into steam, which drives electric turbines. The working models in his lab generate 50 kilowatts of electricity - enough to power six or seven houses. But these, Mills says, can be scaled [up] to drive a large, electric power plant. The inventor claims this electricity will cost less than 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, which compares to a national average of 8.9 cents. Mills developed the patented cocktail that enables the reaction - a solid fuel made of hydrogen and a sodium hydride catalyst - only a year ago. (He recently posted instructions on the company's Web site, blacklightpower.com). Now that the device is ready for commercialization, he says, BlackLight is negotiating with several utilities and architecture and engineering firms. The business, Mills says, has attracted $60 million in funding from wealthy individuals, investment firms ... and it is no longer seeking money. BlackLight's board of directors reads like a Who's Who of finance and energy leaders.
Note: For many exciting stories on new energy inventions, click here.
New kidney 'changed my whole personality'
March 16, 2008, The Telegraph (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
A woman claims to have undergone a complete "personality transplant" after receiving a new kidney. Cheryl Johnson, 37, says she has changed completely since receiving the organ in May. She believes that she must have picked up her new characteristics from the donor, a 59-year-old man who died from an aneurysm. Now, not only has her personality changed, the single mother also claims that her tastes in literature have taken a dramatic turn. Whereas she only used to read low-brow novels, Dostoevsky has become her author of choice since the transplant. [Ms] Johnson, from Penwortham, in Preston, Lancs, said: "You pick up your characteristics from your donor. My son said when I first had the transplant, I went stroppy and snappy - that wasn't me. I have always loved books but I've started to read classics like Jane Austen and Dostoevsky. I found myself reading Persuasion."
In Faith's Pawprints, an Abiding Hope
March 29, 2008, Washington Post
Faith was curled up on the carpet beside her agent, Mike Maguire, who kept reaching down to hand her pieces of his chicken sandwich, when their waitress gave him an easy one. "What kind of dog is that?" asked Alicia Weedon, 16. With a flair honed in scores of such encounters, Maguire, a sports agent from Fairfax County, said simply, "A two-legged dog." The chow mix jumped up, her haunches tight and six-pack abs working, and began to walk. She's been on Oprah and Montel. She's been on Japanese and Korean TV and is scheduled to fly to Istanbul next month. Faith has that kind of effect on people. The 5-year-old was born with a shriveled left leg that flopped behind her and had to be removed and a legless, partial right paw with two nails she still hates getting clipped. There is an industry of rolling aids for disabled pets. But peanut butter on the end of spoon and tossed gummy bears got Faith up off her chest. Faith's owner, Jude Stringfellow, 46, said she gave up her job as a teacher in Oklahoma to take Faith on the road. Her son found Faith as a puppy, and the dog has grown into a calling and a job, Stringfellow said. She's considered starting a charity, but the idea has stalled, she said. She said that she does not keep records but that the money has been minimal and that she has passed it on to other charities. Her focus, she said, is spreading Faith's message. "I want people to understand that you can be imperfect physically and still be perfect through your soul, through your spirit," she said.
Note: For an inspiring five minute video of this amazing pup, click here.
Special note: For a valuable website on FDA whistleblowers, see http://www.thoreau-fda.com.
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Life Expectancy Inequality, Terror Watch List, Pediatricians Peddling Drugs