Big Oil's Big Profits, FBI Monitors Activists
9/11 Cover-up in Major Media
Revealing News Articles
April 3, 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 big oil's big profits, FBI monitoring of activists, the 9/11 cover-up reported in two major media new articles, and more. 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.
An Inside Job? David Ray Griffin: Theologian scoffed at 9/11 conspiracy theories, then looked closer
March 30, 2006, San Francisco Chronicle
When David Ray Griffin, noted theologian and professor emeritus at the Claremont School of Theology, first heard someone say that Sept. 11 was an inside job, he scoffed. [But later] Griffin began to delve into 9/11 conspiracy theories after looking at a time line of the events of Sept. 11, 2001...on the Internet. He found himself swayed by the catalog of inconsistencies and strange coincidences. Griffin points to historical evidence that the U.S. government would be capable of such a thing. Operation Northwoods, a plan concocted by the Pentagon in the '60s as a way of taking Castro from power, included ideas about how a terrorist attack on U.S. soil could provide a pretext for military action. While many conspiracy theories have been passed around, it's been very easy to dismiss many of the theorists as...crazy. But Griffin comes to his controversial conclusions with lucidity and calm. He even sees a connection between his long-standing work as a theologian and his new position as a political writer. "In both cases, the concern is for the good of the world as a whole."
Study Puts a Cork in Belief That a Little Wine Helps the Heart
March 30, 2006, Los Angeles Times
The long-held belief that moderate drinking reduces your risk of a heart attack or dying is based on flawed data and is most likely wrong, according to a study released today. A couple glasses of wine aren't going to hurt you...but they aren't going to help you much either. Heavy drinking, of course, is unquestionably bad for you. Dr. A. G. Shaper...observed that many people who abstained from alcohol did so because of advancing age, serious illness or the use of drugs whose effects were altered by alcohol. He warned...that counting such people as abstainers in alcohol studies would bias the results. Fillmore's team identified 54 published reports that examined the health effects of drinking. They found that the majority of the papers included significant numbers of people who had recently quit drinking...among the group who abstained from alcohol. Seven of the 54 studies included only long-term abstainers – people who had never consumed alcohol or who had stopped drinking years earlier for reasons unrelated to their current health. All seven of those studies showed no benefit from moderate drinking.
Documents Describe U.S. Auditors' Battles With Halliburton
March 29, 2006, Los Angeles Times
Frustrated government auditors pleaded, cajoled and finally threatened Halliburton Co. executives who repeatedly failed to comply with government reporting requirements under a key Iraq contract with a $1.2-billion potential price tag. The 15-page report cites findings by auditors that Halliburton overcharged – "apparently intentionally" – on the contract by using hidden calculations, and attempted in one instance to bill the government for $26 million in costs it did not incur. The report blamed the Department of Defense for awarding the contract despite warnings from auditors that Halliburton's cost estimating system had "significant deficiencies." Although federal officials have criticized the company and threatened to cancel its contracts, Halliburton remains the largest private contractor in Iraq. The contract, awarded in January 2004, was one of three Iraq pacts for the company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. Although the other two agreements...have faced heavy criticism as no-bid contracts...Tuesday's report was the first to focus on the third Halliburton contract. "You are hereby notified that the government considers that you have universally failed to provide adequate cost information as required under the subject contract," a U.S. contracting officer wrote in an Aug. 28, 2004, letter to an executive of KBR, the Halliburton unit formerly known as Kellogg Brown & Root.
Fla. Subpoenas Vote Machine Companies
March 29, 2006, Washington Post/Associated Press
Florida's attorney general said Wednesday his office has issued investigative subpoenas to the three companies certified to sell voting machines in Florida as he reviews a dispute between the firms and Leon County's elections supervisor. Diebold Inc., Election Systems & Software Inc., and Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. have refused to sell equipment to let disabled voters cast ballots without help in Leon County. Elections supervisor Ion Sancho has been outspoken about his concern that the devices can be easily manipulated to change race outcomes.
Big Oil's Big Windfall
March 28, 2006, New York Times
A public already groaning under huge deficits does not need more red ink. An oil industry already rolling in record profits does not need more tax breaks. But both are sure to happen unless some way can be found to claw back from a decade's worth of Congressional and administrative blunders, aggressive lobbying and industry greed. According to a detailed account in Monday's Times...oil companies stand to gain a minimum of $7 billion and as much as $28 billion over the next five years under an obscure provision in last year's giant energy bill that allows companies to avoid paying royalties on oil and gas produced in the Gulf of Mexico. The provision received almost no Congressional debate, in part because Congress was lazy and in part because the provision was misleadingly advertised as cost-free. A court decision in 2003 effectively doubled the amount of oil and gas exempted from royalties. Then the Bush administration offered special exemptions for "deep gas" producers, drilling more than 15,000 feet below the sea bottom. Then came the 2005 energy bill, which essentially locked in the old incentives for five more years.
How Serious Is the Risk of Avian Flu?
March 27, 2006, New York Times
A human pandemic caused by A(H5N1) is by no means inevitable. Many researchers doubt it will ever happen. The virus does not infect people easily, and those who do contract it almost never spread it to other humans. Bird flu is what the name implies: mostly an avian disease. It has infected tens of millions of birds but fewer than 200 people, and nearly all of them have caught it from birds. But when A(H5N1) does get into people, it can be deadly. It has killed more than half of its known human victims–an extraordinarily high rate. The virus lacks just one trait that could turn it into a pandemic: transmissibility. Everything hangs on transmissibility. But it is impossible to predict whether A(H5N1) will become contagious among people. Most bird flu viruses do not jump species to people. Some experts say that since A(H5N1) has been around for at least 10 years and the shift has not occurred, it is unlikely to happen. Others refuse to take that bet. The best protection in any flu pandemic will come from a vaccine, but scientists cannot tell ahead of time what strain the vaccine should protect against. There is no assurance that the next pandemic will even involve A(H5N1). It may involve a different strain of bird flu, and an A(H5N1) vaccine would not work for it.
Note: Many thanks to the Times for this rare article which largely dispels fears rather than increasing them. For more excellent information on the avian flu, see https://www.WantToKnow.info/avianflu
FBI Keeps Watch on Activists
March 27, 2006, Los Angeles Times
The FBI, while waging a highly publicized war against terrorism, has spent resources gathering information on antiwar and environmental protesters and on activists who feed vegetarian meals to the homeless, the agency's internal memos show. For years, the FBI's definition of terrorism has included violence against property. That definition has led FBI investigations to online discussion boards, organizing meetings and demonstrations of a wide range of activist groups. The FBI's encounters with activists are described in hundreds of pages of documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act after agents visited several activists before the 2004 political conventions. ACLU attorneys acknowledge that the FBI memos are heavily redacted and contain incomplete portraits of some cases. Still, the attorneys say, the documents show that the FBI has monitored groups that were not suspected of any crime. FBI officials respond that there is nothing improper about agents attending a meeting or demonstration.
Science accuses BBC of medical quackery
March 26, 2006, London Times
Some of Britain's leading scientists have accused the BBC of "quackery" by misleading viewers in an attempt to exaggerate the power of alternative medicine. The criticisms centre on Alternative Medicine, a series broadcast on BBC2 in January. The key critics include two scientific advisers to the series: Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University; and George Lewith, director of the centre for the study of complementary medicine at Southampton University. Lewith, an expert on the effects of acupuncture, said in an interview yesterday: "The experiment was not groundbreaking; its results were sensationalised." A [BBC] spokesman said yesterday: "We take these allegations very seriously and we strongly refute them. We used two scientific consultants for the series, Professor Ernst and Jack Tinker, dean emeritus of the Royal Society of Medicine, both of whom signed off the programme scripts. It seems extremely unusual that Professor Ernst should make these comments so long after the series has aired." The spokesman said Tinker had indicated he remained happy with the tone and content of the films, stating: "Fellow medics at the Royal Society, including one eminent professor, said it was the best medical series they had seen on television."
Warning: This bill could make you sick
March 21, 2006, Los Angeles Times
The House of Representatives this month passed the National Uniformity for Foods Act, a measure that would kill or cancel significant parts of 200 food-safety laws in 50 states. This ill-advised bill, supported by millions of food-industry dollars, passed without a single hearing. Now it's in the hands of the Senate. If it passes there, among its many victims would be California's requirement that foods containing harmful chemicals display a warning for consumers. Those warnings are mandated by Proposition 65, enacted...by an overwhelming majority of voters in 1986. In passing the measure, Californians wanted to encourage manufacturers to remove dangerous substances from their products before they reached supermarket shelves. Proposition 65's requirement that companies either warn consumers or remove harmful chemicals works, and it remains a vital protection. The clear lesson is that states often do more to protect consumers than do federal regulators. So why is Congress even considering passing a bill denying California and other states the right to protect citizens? Follow the money. All told, food companies have forked over $5.2 million to the bill's 226 co-sponsors.
Medical research increasingly funded by industry
March 17, 2006, Reuters/Princeton Media Associates
From 1994 to 2003, medical research funded by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies steadily increased and now surpasses research funded by government or public sources, according to a review of the most frequently cited studies. In the new study, reported in the March 17th online issue of the British Medical Journal, the sponsorship of 289 articles...was determined. Overall, 60% of articles had government or public funding and 36% were funded by industry. However, this masks the dramatic rise in industry funding that occurred over time: in 1994, roughly 30% of articles were funded by industry compared with over 50% in 2001. Moreover, 65 of the 77 most cited randomized controlled trials involved industry funding. "Medical research should reflect public needs more closely and the efforts of all of those involved should be better coordinated," the authors emphasize.
French buy into 9/11 conspiracy
June 26, 2002, CNN
Throughout the spring, and into this summer, a leading bestseller in France has not been some great work of French literature but a $17-dollar paperback called the "Horrifying Fraud." The book casts doubt on the official version of the events of September 11, substituting an elaborate conspiracy concocted by America's military-industrial complex in order to increase U.S. military budgets. It has sold more than 200,000 copies here. Thierry Meyssan, author of "The Horrifying Fraud"...insists, among other things, that it was not a hijacked American Airlines 757 that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11 but a missile fired by the military itself. Meyssan said: "The official version is incomplete and on certain points is wrong. In addition to selling hundreds of thousands of copies of his first book, Meyssan's follow-up sold 15,000 copies two days after launch and is now number seven on one bestseller list.
Note: Though this article is almost four years old, I only recently received the above link to the article on the CNN website from a supporter. If you want to be educated on this extremely important topic, I cannot recommend highly enough the Google video "Loose Change," which is filled with verifiable information on 9/11 at https://www.WantToKnow.info/060407bestdocumentary9-11. I urge to watch even just the first 10 or 15 minutes of this highly educational documentary. By educating ourselves, we can work more effectively to build a build a better world.
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