Tesla's Work Shunned, Goldman Sachs: 666 Mark of the Beast, Military Psychologists Designed Torture
Revealing News Articles
May 11, 2009
Below are key excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These articles include revealing information on genius inventor Nikola Tesla's work being shunned, Goldman Sachs and 666 - the mark of the beast, revelations that two military psychologists designed the CIA's torture program, 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. The most important 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.
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A Battle to Preserve a Visionary's Bold Failure
May 5, 2009, New York Times
In 1901, Nikola Tesla began work on a global system of giant towers meant to relay through the air not only news, stock reports and even pictures but also, unbeknown to investors such as J. Pierpont Morgan, free electricity for one and all. It was the inventor's biggest project, and his most audacious. The first tower rose on rural Long Island and, by 1903, stood more than 18 stories tall. Tesla, who lived from 1856 to 1943, made bitter enemies who dismissed some of his claims as exaggerated, helping tarnish his reputation in his lifetime. Today, his work tends to be poorly known among scientists, though some call him an intuitive genius far ahead of his peers. He was widely celebrated for his inventions of motors and power distribution systems that used the form of electricity known as alternating current, which beat out direct current (and Thomas Edison) to electrify the world. Around 1900 ... inventors around the world were racing for what was considered the next big thing – wireless communication. [Tesla's] own plan was to turn alternating current into electromagnetic waves that flashed from antennas to distant receivers. The scale of his vision was gargantuan. Investors, given Tesla's electrical achievements, paid heed. The biggest was J. Pierpont Morgan, a top financier. He sank $150,000 (today more than $3 million) into Tesla's global wireless venture. But Morgan was [eventually] disenchanted. Margaret Cheney, a Tesla biographer, observed that Tesla had seriously misjudged his wealthy patron, a man deeply committed to the profit motive. "The prospect of beaming electricity to penniless Zulus or Pygmies," she wrote, must have left the financier less than enthusiastic.
Note: This article underplays a number of things about Tesla. Morgan stopped funding him primarily because he eventually realized that there would be no way to charge for the electricity Tesla was generating. If successful, electricity would be available virtually for free to those supplied by his tower. Tesla was then shunned by the power elite and his rightful claim as inventor of the radio (not Marconi) was erased in the history books. As stated on the PBS website, "It wasn't until 1943 – a few months after Tesla's death – that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Tesla's radio patent number 645,576." For more on this amazing man, click here and here.
666: Goldman's latest bonus bears the mark of the beast
May 3, 2009, The Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Something strange is afoot when Popbitch – provider of a weekly email beloved of students, stuffed full of celebrity tittle-tattle and links to the silliest miscellany of the web – breaks off from such glorious trivia to encourage readers to support GoldmanSachs666.com, a deadly serious website measuring the political tentacles of the mighty investment bank. The credit-market catastrophe that has plunged the world into recession is everywhere stirring new ways of thinking about how banking relates to the wider world, but nowhere more so than among a generation coming into political consciousness in these searing times. Something is brewing, some argue, that could make the "regulatory-financial complex" something to rail against in the same way that the military-industrial complex was in the Cold War. This should worry Goldman Sachs. More so than any other firm, it exists at the intersection of politics and high finance. "It was listening to the news coming out of AIG that got me fired up," says Mike Morgan, founder of GoldmanSachs666.com. "While politicians were screaming about $165m paid out to AIG executives in bonuses, $180bn was walking out the door." The Federal Reserve and the then-treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, decided to funnel public funds to AIG, and its counterparties were paid in full. You don't have to scratch far into the internet to find conspiracy theories: Mr Paulson was chief executive of Goldman before going into government; he appointed Edward Liddy, formerly of Goldman, to run AIG; Goldman was AIG's biggest counterparty, receiving $12.9bn from AIG after the bailout.
Note: For lots more on the Wall Street bailout, click here.
We're really sorry about that $650 billion. Here's a lollipop.
May 1, 2009, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Like most of us, I guess, I was caught absolutely flat-footed by the economic crisis. I got the part about subprime loans, and why they were both stupid and greedy, but I did not get how that bit of banker's nonsense instantly spread to the national economy and the world economy. Finally I read an article that actually put the thing together in a coherent way. It's in the May 14 issue of the New York Review of Books, and it's by Robert M. Solow, who won the Nobel Prize for economics, so presumably he's not just pulling ideas out of his nose. He starts by talking about leverage, and how very tempting it is as long as prices continue to rise. In the 1990s, it was typical for brokerages (or banks - the difference between the two became blurred) to use a 10-1 model; they used $100,000 to borrow $1 million, and everything was rosy. But it was rosier still at 20-1, and even rosier at 30-1. I am summarizing here - the whole article can be found [here]. [In Solow's words,] "According to data compiled by the Federal Reserve, household wealth in the U.S. peaked at $64.4 trillion in mid-2007, and had plummeted to $51.5 trillion at the end of 2008. Something like $13 trillion of perceived wealth vanished in not much more than a year. Nothing concrete had changed. Buildings still stood; factories were still just as capable of functioning; people had not lost their ability to work or their skills or their knowledge of technology. But a population that thought in 2007 that they had $64.4 trillion with which to plan their lives discovered in 2008 that they had lost 20 percent of that."
Note: Think about it. Simply because of financial manipulations, hundreds of thousands of homes and factory workplaces are now empty, while the numbers living on the street and in camps along rivers has increased dramatically. Yet many of the richest have only grown richer as a result of mergers and more. For lots more on the Wall Street bailout, click here.
Waterboarding, Interrogations: The CIA's $1,000 a Day Specialists
April 30, 2009, ABC News
According to current and former government officials, the CIA's secret waterboarding program was designed and assured to be safe by two well-paid psychologists now working out of an unmarked office building in Spokane, Washington. Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell, former military officers, together founded Mitchell Jessen and Associates. Both men declined to speak to ABC News citing non-disclosure agreements with the CIA. But sources say Jessen and Mitchell together designed and implemented the CIA's interrogation program. "It's clear that these psychologists had an important role in developing what became the CIA's torture program," said Jameel Jaffer, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. Former U.S. officials say the two men were essentially the architects of the CIA's 10-step interrogation plan that culminated in waterboarding. Associates say the two made good money doing it, boasting of being paid a $1,000 a day by the CIA to oversee the use of the techniques on top al Qaeda suspects at CIA secret sites. Both Mitchell and Jessen were previously involved in the U.S. military program to train pilots how to survive behind enemy lines and resist brutal tactics if captured. But it turns out neither Mitchell nor Jessen had any experience in conducting actual interrogations before the CIA hired them. The new documents show the CIA later came to learn that the two psychologists' waterboarding "expertise" was probably "misrepresented" and thus, there was no reason to believe it was "medically safe" or effective. The waterboarding used on al Qaeda detainees was far more intense than the brief sessions used on U.S. military personnel in the training classes.
Note: For lots more on CIA torture and other recent government attacks on civil liberties, click here.
Justice Dept. Finds Flaws in F.B.I. Terror List
May 7, 2009, New York Times
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has incorrectly kept nearly 24,000 people on a terrorist watch list on the basis of outdated or sometimes irrelevant information. By the beginning of 2009, the report said, this consolidated government watch list comprised about 400,000 people, recorded as 1.1 million names and aliases, an exponential growth from the days before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The new report, by the office of the Justice Department's inspector general, provides the most authoritative statistical account to date of the problems connected with the list. An earlier report by the inspector general, released in March 2008, looked mainly at flaws in the system, without an emphasis on the number of people caught up in it. The list has long been a target of public criticism, particularly after well-publicized errors in which politicians including Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Representative John Lewis showed up on it. People with names similar to actual terrorists have complained that it can take months to be removed from the list, and civil liberties advocates charge that antiwar protesters, Muslim activists and others have been listed for political reasons. One of the biggest problems identified in the report was the use of outdated information, or material unconnected to terrorism, to keep people on the bureau's own terror watch list, which is incorporated in the consolidated list. The report, examining nearly 69,000 referrals to the F.B.I. list that were either brought or processed by the bureau, found that 35 percent of those people, both Americans and foreigners, remained on the list despite inadequate justification.
Note: For many detailed reports from reliable sources indicating the "war on terror" isn't really what it's claimed to be, click here.
Piggish capitalism endangers us all
May 8, 2009, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Even if you don't dig on swine, it has become impossible to avoid them. If you're not pummeled by television reports about Wall Street oinkers, you're bombarded by talk-radio rants about congressional pork and newspaper dispatches about swine flu. They are each part of what might be called piggish capitalism - an economic theory that mixes subsidization, consolidation and deregulation - and it endangers us all. In 1999 ... President Bill Clinton signed a landmark deregulation measure that "ushered in an era of aggressive bank mergers," as Reuters reports. The result was what critics like Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., predicted at the time: Wall Street created "a group of institutions which are too big to fail" and that "taxpayers are going to be called upon to cure." Mass producing mortgage-backed securities that were quickly infected with subprime mutations, these financial factory farms became so enormous and unregulated that they spread toxic assets throughout the entire economy. And when losses mounted, the government made banks whole with trillion-dollar bailouts. Incredibly, our government hasn't learned from these crises. Regulation-wise ...new financial rules have yet to move in Congress. Additionally, the much-vaunted bank "stress tests" have been shrouded in secrecy, which experts say created the potential for rampant insider trading. Meanwhile, the White House seems loath to break up financial firms, preferring instead another bank bailout - even as analysts warn that such bailouts fuel merger mania. Pigs may, in fact, be the smartest domestic animal. But when charged with managing capitalism, they clearly have trouble comprehending the simplest lessons.
Note: For a clear example of the lack of concern about trillions of dollars unaccounted for by the Federal Reserve, listen to a five-minute video testimony of the inspector general of the Fed being question by a Congressman at this link. Then learn more about the major manipulations of the Fed on our highly banking and financial revealing summary available here.
Ready or Not, Katrina Victims Lose Temporary Housing
May 8, 2009, New York Times
Though more than 4,000 Louisiana homeowners have received rebuilding money only in the last six months, or are struggling with inadequate grants or no money at all, FEMA is intent on taking away their trailers by the end of May. The deadline, which ends temporary housing before permanent housing has replaced it, has become a stark example of recovery programs that seem almost to be working against one another. Thousands of rental units have yet to be restored, and not a single one of 500 planned "Katrina cottages" has been completed and occupied. The Road Home program for single-family homeowners, which has cost federal taxpayers $7.9 billion, has a new contractor who is struggling to review a host of appeals, and workers who assist the homeless are finding more elderly people squatting in abandoned buildings. Nonetheless, FEMA wants its trailers back, even though it plans to scrap or sell them for a fraction of what it paid for them. As of last week, there were two groups still in the agency's temporary housing program: more than 3,000 in trailers and nearly 80 who have been in hotels paid for by FEMA since last May, when it shut down group trailer sites. Most are elderly, disabled or both, including double amputees, diabetes patients, the mentally ill, people prone to seizures and others dependent on oxygen tanks. Of those in trailers, more than 2,000 are homeowners who fear that the progress they are making in rebuilding will come to a halt if their trailers are taken. Progress on renovations has been slow for many reasons: contractors who did shoddy work or simply absconded with money, baffling red tape and rule changes, and inadequate grants.
Note: For further reports on the amazingly unhelpful government response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita, click here.
The Torture Debate: The Missing Voices
May 7, 2009, New York Times
Last month's release of memos prepared by the Bush Justice Department and the disclosure of a report by the International Committee of the Red Cross on the brutal treatment of detainees expanded public knowledge of an ignominious chapter in the nation's history. But these and other related disclosures do not provide a complete record of the government's abuse of detainees. One missing element is the words of those prisoners subjected to waterboarding and other brutality. Those voices remain muffled by a combination of Bush-era resistance to a reasonable Freedom of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties Union, and the gag order imposed on lawyers representing Guantanamo detainees. For two years, the A.C.L.U. has been seeking complete transcripts of the hearings at Guantanamo for 14 men who were previously in C.I.A. custody, including Abu Zubaydah, who has been described as an operative of Al Qaeda and was waterboarded at least 83 times. But the publicly released version of these transcripts deleted all detainee statements about their ordeals. The Bush team's national security claim always had the odor of a cover-up. The interrogation program it was protecting has been discontinued, and crucial details are known. It is unsupportable to blank out grim details. The same considerations apply to the protective order that prohibits lawyers for Guantanamo detainees from speaking publicly about their clients' treatment unless they receive the government's permission or the information otherwise becomes public. Disclosure of the torture memos and the Red Cross report gives detainee lawyers more leeway, but they should not have to parse their words under a threat of prosecution.
Note: For many reports from major media sources detailing the disturbing government threats to civil liberties, click here.
Torture Memos Will Not Result in Prosecutions
May 6, 2009, New York Times
An internal Justice Department inquiry has concluded that Bush administration lawyers committed serious lapses of judgment in writing secret memorandums authorizing brutal interrogations but that they should not be prosecuted, according to government officials briefed on its findings. The report by the Office of Professional Responsibility, an internal ethics unit within the Justice Department, is also likely to ask state bar associations to consider possible disciplinary action, which could include reprimands or even disbarment, for some of the lawyers involved in writing the legal opinions, the officials said. The findings, growing out of an inquiry that started in 2004, would represent a stinging rebuke of the lawyers and their legal arguments. But they would stop short of the criminal referral sought by some human rights advocates, who have suggested that the lawyers could be prosecuted as part of a criminal conspiracy to violate the anti-torture statute. President Obama has said the Justice Department would have to decide whether the lawyers who authorized the interrogation methods should face charges, while pledging that interrogators would not be investigated or prosecuted for using techniques that the lawyers said were legal. The draft report is described as very detailed, tracing e-mail messages between the Justice Department lawyers and officials at the White House and the Central Intelligence Agency. Among the questions it is expected to consider is whether the memos were an independent judgment of the limits of the federal anti-torture statute or were deliberately skewed to justify the use of techniques proposed by the C.I.A.
Note: For lots more on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
Honest taxi driver reaps rewards
May 7, 2009, BBC News
Hundreds of Argentines have been donating to a taxi driver who found a bag with $32,500 (£21,600) in cash in his taxi and returned it to its owners. The donations started after a website was set up in his honour calling for gestures of gratitude for what is seen as an extraordinary act of honesty. So far the equivalent of $14,580 has been donated, according to the site. Santiago Gori, a taxi driver in the coastal city of La Plata, found the money after driving an elderly couple. They only went a short distance but when he dropped them off, they left a bag in the back of his taxi. A few days later he managed to locate his passengers again and he returned the bag. For Argentines used to corruption at all levels of society, this was an extraordinary story. Two young advertising agency employees decided to set up a website to thank Mr Gori further for his exemplary behaviour. Now thousands of people have accessed the site and have left hundreds of rewards and messages for Mr Gori. One visitor offered to produce in his studio a song chosen by Mr Gori to kick-start a potential artistic career. Another offered a snow-boarding lesson in Argentina's ski resort of Bariloche, while an Argentine abroad promised to bring back a second-hand GPS satellite receiver for his taxi on his return. "Thank you", say many of the messages and one said it all: "I wish more people were like you." For his part, Mr Gori seems a bit bemused. He said he only did what had to be done - and that he does not quite know what to do with all the things he has been offered.
Special note: To watch a six-minute video clip of a couple whose home was raided and rights violated simply for running a successful organic cooperative, as reported on the website of respected Dr. Joseph Mercola, click here. For a news article with more information on this, click here. If you have 18 minutes to spare, you will probably get a kick out of the amazing beatboxing video available here.
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