Military-Industrial Complex, FDA Collusion, GNH (Gross National Happiness), Energy Reserves
Cover-up News Summary
January 31, 2006
Below are one-paragraph excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. These news articles include revealing information on the military-industrial complex, FDA collusion, GNH (Gross National Happiness), energy reserves, and more. By choosing to educate ourselves now and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
The Other Big Brother
January 30 , 2006, Newsweek
The Pentagon has its own domestic spying program. Even its leaders say the outfit may have gone too far. Late on a June afternoon in 2004, a motley group of about 10 peace activists showed up outside the Houston headquarters of Halliburton, the giant military contractor once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. The demonstrators wore papier-mache masks and handed out free peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches to Halliburton employees as they left work. The idea, according to organizer Scott Parkin, was to call attention to allegations that the company was overcharging on a food contract for troops in Iraq. To U.S. Army analysts at the top-secret Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), the peanut-butter protest was regarded as a potential threat to national security. A Defense document shows that Army analysts wrote a report on the Halliburton protest and stored it in CIFA's database. There are now questions about whether CIFA exceeded its authority and conducted unauthorized spying on innocent people and organizations. The deputy Defense secretary now acknowledges that...reports may have contained information on U.S. citizens and groups that never should have been retained. The number of reports with names of U.S. persons could be in the thousands, says a senior Pentagon official.
Former CNN anchor says serious news at risk
January 26, 2006, Palm Beach Daily News
"Truth no longer matters in the context of politics and, sadly, in the context of cable news," said Aaron Brown, whose four-year period as anchor of CNN's NewsNight ended in November, when network executives gave his job to Anderson Cooper in a bid to push the show's ratings closer to front-runner Fox News. "Television is the most perfect democracy," Brown said. "You sit there with your remote control and vote." The remotes click to another channel when serious news airs, but when the media covers the scandals surrounding Laci Peterson, the Runaway Bride or Michael Jackson, "there are no clicks then." With the departure from the screen of the "titans" – Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather – who "resisted the temptations of their bosses to go for the ratings grab, it will be years before an anchorman or anchorwoman will have the clout to fight these battles," he said. He's shocked "by how unkind our world has become." E-mail and talk radio appear to have given people the license to say anything, regardless of how cruel or false it may be. Many Americans on the left and the right aren't interested in the truth, but simply want news that confirms their viewpoints, he said.
Senators: White House Stalls Katrina Probe
January 24, 2006, ABC/Associated Press
The White House is crippling a Senate inquiry into the government's sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina by barring administration officials from answering questions and failing to hand over documents, senators leading the investigation said Tuesday. In some cases, staff at the White House and other federal agencies have refused to be interviewed by congressional investigators, said the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. In addition, agency officials won't answer seemingly innocuous questions about times and dates of meetings and telephone calls with the White House, the senators said. A White House spokesman said the administration is committed to working with separate Senate and House investigations of the Katrina response but wants to protect the confidentiality of presidential advisers. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the committee's Republican chair, said "We are entitled to know if someone from the Department of Homeland Security calls someone at the White House during this whole crisis period." She added, "It is completely inappropriate" for the White House to bar agency officials from talking to the Senate committee.
FDA Panel Recommends Ban on Nonprescription Asthma Inhalers
January 24, 2006, ABC/Associated Press
Millions of nonprescription inhalers used for decades by asthma sufferers, often against the advice of doctors, could be taken off drugstore shelves because they contain propellants that harm the ozone layer. An advisory panel voted 11-7 Tuesday to recommend that the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] remove the "essential use" status that Primatene Mist and other similar nonprescription inhalers require to be sold, spokeswoman Laura Alvey said. Final revocation of that status would mean a de facto ban on their sale. Wyeth Consumer Healthcare estimates that 3 million Americans use Primatene Mist for mild or intermittent cases of asthma. About two-thirds also use a prescription inhaler but rely on Primatene as a backup. Another 700,000 use the inhalers because they don't have a prescription or lack health insurance.
Note: This is an excellent example of the FDA and industry colluding to give drug companies big profits. Are these inhalers being banned because they harm the ozone or because they are generics which decrease sales of the big drug companies? For lots more, see the revealing article of the prestigious Journal of New England Medicine on drug company control of FDA and congress: https://www.WantToKnow.info/health/health-corruption
KBR Awarded U.S. Department of Homeland Security Contingency Support Project for Emergency Support Services
January 24 , 2006, Houston Chronicle/Business Wire
KBR [Kellogg, Brown, and Root] announced today that the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) component has awarded KBR an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contingency contract to support ICE facilities in the event of an emergency. KBR is the engineering and construction subsidiary of Halliburton. The competitively awarded contract [has] a maximum total value of $385 million over a five-year term. The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities...in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs. The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster.
Note: $385 million more is channeled to Vice President Dick Cheney's Halliburton to build more prisons to possibly support the rapid development of new programs. What might those new programs be?
Finding happiness outside the GNP
January 23, 2006, San Francisco Chronicle
You don't have to live in a remote mountain kingdom to rise above the world's frantic pursuit of wealth and consumer goods. Anyone can do it, says his Excellency Lyonpo Jigmi Thinley, minister for home and cultural affairs for the Himalayan nation of Bhutan. He wants to encourage others to do as his country has done, which is to seek "Gross National Happiness [GNH]" more than gross national product [GNP]. "What we need," Thinley said in a phone interview Friday, "is a more caring and compassionate society. Bhutan has made Gross National Happiness -- which its officials also call GNH -- its official index for evaluating development. Production-oriented societies suffer from high rates of mental illness, crime, alcoholism, family breakups and personal alienation; their devotion to the profit motive and self-satisfaction undermines human harmony and fosters the plundering of the Earth's resources, he said. "How many governments are truly committed, how many communities are truly committed to equity, to sustainability?" he asked. To achieve GNH, Thinley said, Bhutan has committed itself to sustainable and equitable development, environmental conservation, preservation of culture and good governance.
The Oil Sands Of Alberta
January 22 , 2006, CBS
There's an oil boom going on right now. Not in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait or any of those places, but...in Alberta, Canada. The oilmen up there are...digging up dirt – dirt that is saturated with oil. They're called oil sands, and if you've never heard of them then you're in for a big surprise because the reserves are so vast in the province of Alberta that they will help solve America's energy needs for the next century. Within a few years, the oil sands are likely to become more important to the United States than all the oil that comes to us from Saudi Arabia. There are 175 billion barrels of proven oil reserves here. That's second to Saudi Arabia's 260 billion but it's only what companies can get with today's technology. The estimate of how many more barrels of oil are buried deeper underground is staggering. "We know there's much, much more there. The total estimates could be two trillion or even higher," says Clive Mather, Shell's Canada chief. "This is a very, very big resource." Very big? That's eight times the amount of reserves in Saudi Arabia.
Note: For those who fear oil shortages and an energy crisis, here's yet another example of huge, untapped energy reserves. For many other, cleaner options, see https://www.WantToKnow.info/newenergyinformation
As Elections Near, Officials Challenge Balloting Security
January 22, 2006, Washington Post
As the Leon County supervisor of elections, Ion Sancho's job is to make sure voting is free of fraud. Four times over the past year Sancho told computer specialists to break in to his voting system. And on all four occasions they did, changing results with what the specialists described as relatively unsophisticated hacking techniques. To Sancho, the results showed the vulnerability of voting equipment manufactured by Ohio-based Diebold Election Systems, which is used by Leon County and many other jurisdictions around the country. "While electronic voting systems hold promise for improving the election process," the Government Accountability Office said in a report to Congress last year, there are still pressing concerns about "security and reliability . . . design flaws" and other issues. Election officials have repeatedly clashed with voting-machine manufacturers. A new wave of concern over today's voting technologies, started in 2003, when a Seattle-based activist named Bev Harris released thousands of Diebold documents she said she found on an unsecured portion of the company's Web site. Some computer scientists said the documents showed Diebold's systems were vulnerable to attack. Today, more than 800 jurisdictions use their technology, Harris said.
Note: Integrity in elections is not a partisan issue. For lots more reliable, verifiable information raising serious questions about fair elections, see https://www.WantToKnow.info/electionsinformation
6 Ex-Chiefs of E.P.A. Urge Action on Greenhouse Gases
January 19, 2006, New York Times/Associated Press
Six former heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, including five who served Republican presidents, said Wednesday that the Bush administration needed to act more aggressively to limit the emission of greenhouse gases linked to climate change. Speaking on a panel that also included the current agency chief, Stephen L. Johnson, they generally agreed that the need to address global warming was growing urgent and that the continuing debate over what percentage of the problem was caused by human activities was a waste of time. The blunt opinions of [the current EPA chief's] Republican predecessors served as a sharp reminder that since Mr. Bush took office in 2001, neither the president nor the Republican-led Congress has proposed any comprehensive plan to limit carbon emissions from vehicles, utilities and other sources, a problem that Mr. Bush's own Department of Energy predicts will grow worse.
We Could Be Ignoring the Biggest Story in Our History
January 18, 2006, Washington Post
The best reporting of...climate change has come from Elizabeth Kolbert in the New Yorker. Her three-part series last spring lucidly explained the harbingers of potential disaster: a shrinking of Arctic sea ice by 250 million acres since 1979; a thawing of the permafrost for what appears to be the first time in 120,000 years; a steady warming of Earth's surface temperature; changes in rainfall patterns that could presage severe droughts of the sort that destroyed ancient civilizations. This month she published a new piece, "Butterfly Lessons," that looked at how these delicate creatures are moving into new habitats as the planet warms. Her real point was that all life, from microorganisms to human beings, will have to adapt, and in ways that could be dangerous and destabilizing. If people such as...Kolbert are right, we are all but ignoring the biggest story in the history of humankind. Kolbert concluded her series last year with this shattering thought: "It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing." The failure of the United States to get serious about climate change is unforgivable, a human folly beyond imagining.
Iceland the First Country to Try Abandoning Gasoline
January 18, 2006, ABC News
Iceland wants to make a full conversion and plans to modify its cars, buses and trucks to run on renewable energy – with no dependence on oil. Iceland has already started by turning water into fuel – hydrogen fuel. Here's how it works: Electrodes split the water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules. Hydrogen electrons pass through a conductor that creates the current to power an electric engine. Hydrogen fuel now costs two to three times as much as gasoline, but gets up to three times the mileage of gas, making the overall cost about the same. As an added benefit, there are no carbon emissions – only water vapor. By the middle of this century, all Icelanders will be required to run their cars only on hydrogen fuel, meaning no more gasoline. Icelanders say they're committed to showing the world that by making fuel from water, it is possible to kick the oil habit.
Note: This is mind-blowing information! Why isn't this amazing news of economical, non-polluting energy sources making top headlines? A video clip of the above ABC News story is available on the ABC website at the link above. A friend of mine invented a similar device only to have it ruthlessly suppressed. For lots more on all this, see https://www.WantToKnow.info/newenergyinformation
Most powerful hurricanes of 2005 were filled with mysterious lightning
January 9, 2006, NASA
The boom of thunder and crackle of lightning generally mean one thing: a storm is coming. Curiously, though, the biggest storms of all, hurricanes, are notoriously lacking in lightning. Hurricanes blow, they rain, they flood, but seldom do they crackle. During the record-setting hurricane season of 2005, three of the most powerful storms--Rita, Katrina, and Emily--did have lightning, lots of it. And researchers would like to know why. Richard Blakeslee of the Global Hydrology and Climate Center (GHCC) in Huntsville, Alabama, was one of a team of scientists who explored Hurricane Emily. "Hurricanes are most likely to produce lightning when they're making landfall," says Blakeslee. But there were no mountains beneath the "electric hurricanes" of 2005–only flat water. It's tempting to think that, because Emily, Rita and Katrina were all exceptionally powerful, their sheer violence somehow explains their lightning. But Blakeslee says that this explanation is too simple. "Other storms have been equally intense and did not produce much lightning," he says. "There must be something else at work."
Note: A number of researchers suspect there may have been clandestine involvement in Katrina and other recent hurricanes, possibly using HAARP technologies, which have been well documented. For a good summary of this, click here. For more on HAARP, click here.
Why We Fight (Film Review)
March 23, 2005, BBC
This award-winning film provides an inside look at the anatomy of the American war machine. Why We Fight [was originally] the title of a series of propaganda films that Frank Capra began making in 1942, with the aim of encouraging the American war effort against Nazism. Director Eugene Jarecki (The Trials of Henry Kissinger) has used the films as a commentary on the contemporary obsession of the American elite with military power. He also harks back to a speech by President Eisenhower, who, just before he left office, referred to the "military-industrial complex". Eisenhower was worried that too much intelligence, and too much business acumen in America, had become focussed on the production of unnecessary weapons systems. Since Eisenhower's time, everything has become much worse, as Eugene Jarecki describes it. The war in Iraq was made possible by a new range of weapons systems: a bomb called the "bunker buster" was dropped by stealth bombers on the first night of the conflict. Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki's shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.
Note: For an excellent trailer to this great film which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival: www.sonyclassics.com/whywefight. For cover-ups around war: https://www.WantToKnow.info/warinformation
Final Note: Remember that with your help, we can and will build a brighter future for us all. And for some deeply inspiring stories to provide balance to all of this: https://www.WantToKnow.info/medianewsarticles#inspiration
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Military-Industrial Complex, FDA Collusion, GNH (Gross National Happiness), Energy Reserves