Cloned Food, Inhabited Island Disappears, Depleted Uranium in U.S. Skies
Revealing News Articles
December 26, 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 cloned food being approved, an inhabited island that disappeared, depleted uranium being tested in U.S. skies, 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.
FDA May Clear Cloned Food, But Public Has Little Appetite
December 25, 2006, Washington Post
Consumer advocates and others have complained bitterly in recent years that the Food and Drug Administration has veered from its scientific roots. Later this week, the agency is expected to release a formal recommendation that milk and meat from cloned animals should be allowed on grocery store shelves. The long-awaited decision comes as polling data to be released this week show that the public continues to have little appetite for such food, with many people saying the FDA should keep it off the market. That raises the issue: Should decisions such as this one be based solely on science, or should officials take into account public sensitivities, which may be unscientific but are undeniably real? "There is more to this issue than just food safety," said Susan Ruland of the International Dairy Foods Association, which represents such major companies as Kraft Foods and Dannon. The organization's member companies are concerned that sales of U.S. dairy products could drop by 15 percent or more if the FDA allows the sale of meat and milk from clones. Relatively few cloned farm animals exist; there are an estimated 150 clones out of the nation's 9 million dairy cows. But biotechnology companies are gearing up to clone farmers' tastiest cattle and pigs and most productive dairy cows. In the University of Maryland survey, nearly half of those polled asserted that it was not yet possible to clone farm animals for food. For the most part, people don't know this is a reality yet.
FBI Chided for OKC Bomb Investigation
December 25, 2006, ABC News/Associated Press
A two-year congressional inquiry into the Oklahoma City bombing concludes that the FBI didn't fully investigate whether other suspects may have helped Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols with the deadly 1995 attack, allowing questions to linger a decade later. The House International Relations investigative subcommittee [declared that] there is no conclusive evidence of a foreign connection to the attack, but that far too many unanswered questions remain. The report also sharply criticizes the FBI for failing to be curious enough to pursue credible information that foreign or U.S. citizens may have had contact with Nichols or McVeigh and could have assisted their plot. "We did our best with limited resources, and I think we moved the understanding of this issue forward a couple of notches even though important questions remain unanswered," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., the subcommittee chairman, said in an interview with The Associated Press. Rohrabacher's subcommittee saved its sharpest words for the Justice Department, saying officials there exhibited a mindset of thwarting congressional oversight and did not assist the investigation fully.
Note: Should you choose to explore the deadly Oklahoma City bombing, you will find that there are many strange inconsistencies suggesting a major cover-up. If you are interested in more, you might start here.
Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island
December 24, 2006, The Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true. As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations ... inundate vast areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of coastal cities. Eight years ago ... the first uninhabited islands - in the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati - vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented. Two-thirds of nearby populated island Ghoramara has also been permanently inundated. Refugees from the vanished Lohachara island and the disappearing Ghoramara island have fled to Sagar, but this island has already lost 7,500 acres of land to the sea. In all, a dozen islands, home to 70,000 people, are in danger of being submerged by the rising seas.
America's Double Standard on Democracy in the Middle East
December 22, 2006, Time Magazine
What's good for Beirut is not good for Gaza, according to Washington's playbook. And that discrepancy undermines the credibility of U.S. claims to be promoting democracy in the region. In Lebanon as in Gaza, democratically elected governments are being challenged by political opponents demanding fresh elections – and in each place, the standoff threatens to spark a civil war. Yet, the response of the U.S. and Britain to each crisis has been so different as to provoke accusations of double-standards and questions about the West's commitment to democracy in the Arab world. Despite Hamas's democratic victory at the polls in January, the West has imposed a blockade on financial aid to the Palestinian Authority because Hamas refuses to recognize Israel. This apparent double-standard in the West's stances on Lebanon and on Gaza has not gone unnoticed by Arab commentators. "How could the U.S. support the democratically elected government in Lebanon and do just the opposite in Palestine?" asked Talal Salman, the publisher of Lebanon's As-Safir newspaper. Promoting democracy in the Arab world has ostensibly been a cornerstone of Bush Administration policy. [Yet] the focus of the democratization drive has always been on Washington's regional enemies – Iraq, Iran and Syria – rather than on autocratic friends. So, while the Bush Administration continues ... talk of promoting democracy in the Middle East, many in the Arab world have a jaundiced view of Washington's intentions: Democracy, yes, but only when the outcome serves the interests of the U.S.
Robot puts human thoughts into action
December 21, 2006, Seattle Times (One of Seattle's two leading newspapers)
With 32 wires sprouting from a cap on his head, University of Washington research assistant C.J. Bell stared at a computer screen and thought: "Red." Across the room, a 2-foot-tall robot called Morpheus shuffled up to a table holding a green block and a red block. Tilting his head, the machine scanned the choices with camera "eyes." Morpheus paused, then picked up the red block. Morpheus has a 94 percent success rate at reading simple mental commands. But he's only a first step toward developing a practical household robot controlled solely by brain waves, said Rajesh Rao, leader of the UW robot team and associate professor of computer science and engineering. Other researchers have wired humans to machines that allow them to move a cursor on a computer screen or operate a robotic arm with their thoughts. But those connections require electrodes inside the person's skull. With the system Rao and his colleagues have developed, the operator only suffers a bad hair day. To prepare for the demonstration, Bell pulled on the tight-fitting cap while fellow graduate student Pradeep Shenoy filled a 4-inch syringe with conductive gel. Shenoy injected the gel into the openings in the cap, and fitted an electrode to each. "The electrodes don't actually touch the skull," he explained. "They float in the goo, and the goo touches the skull. "Robotics is already an $11 billion-a-year industry. Bill Gates likens it to the computer business in 1970, when he and Paul Allen founded Microsoft.
White House accused of censorship
December 19, 2006, Los Angeles Times
A former National Security Council official said Monday that the White House tried to silence his criticism of its Middle East policies by ordering the CIA to censor an op-ed column he wrote. Flynt Leverett, a former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council, or NSC, and a former CIA analyst, said the White House told a CIA censor board to excise parts of a 1,000-word commentary on U.S. policy toward Iran that he had offered to the New York Times. He said the agency's action "was fabricated to silence an established critic of the administration's foreign policy incompetence at a moment when the White House is working hard to fend off political pressure to take a different approach." Leverett said there were two key paragraphs that the CIA board wanted to cut. The first was about U.S. cooperation with Iran concerning Afghanistan about the time of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. The second dealt with an offer by Iran to the United States in early 2003 to discuss the possibility of a "grand bargain" that would settle several disputes between the two countries. He said both episodes had been publicly discussed by former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and his former deputy, Richard L. Armitage. "There is no basis for claiming that these issues are classified and not already in the public domain," he said. Like other former CIA employees, he is required to submit manuscripts for articles, books and speeches to the agency for review.
Note: For a clip of Mr. Leverett talking about this on video, click here.
FBI: Recruiters Caught in Drug Probe
December 17, 2006, ABC News/Associated Press
A dozen Army and Marine recruiters who visited high schools were among the personnel caught in a major FBI cocaine investigation, and some were allowed to keep working while under suspicion. The recruiters, who worked in the Tucson area, were targets of a federal sting called Operation Lively Green, which ran from 2001 to 2004 and was revealed last year. So far, 69 members of the military, prison guards, law enforcement employees and other public employees have been convicted of accepting bribes to help smuggle cocaine. The FBI allowed many recruiters to stay on the job even though they were targeted by the investigation. Some were still recruiting three years after they were photographed running drugs in uniform. Most of the recruiters pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in March. Some honorably retired from the military.
Note: For a description of serious government involvement in major drug trafficking by a former top DEA agent, click here. Immediately following is a similar story by a Pulitzer-winning journalist.
Odd gift ideas for your stalkings
December 17, 2006, Toronto Star (One of Canada's leading newspapers)
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get you ... something fun for Christmas. Conspiracy Culture, at 1696 Queen St. W., offers unique "niche" shopping. "Anything conspiratorial is what's hot. People are just kind of trying to get in touch with alternative opinions and theories," said co-owner Patrick Whyte. The hot ticket for Yuletide is Terrorstorm on DVD, ($17.99) "a history of government-sponsored terrorism" that focuses on Britain and the U.S., Whyte said, adding the film's director, Alex Jones, was stopped by Canada Customs when he came to investigate a Bilderberg meeting last June. The Bilderberg Group is a shadowy elite organization (and even the non-paranoid concede this much) that holds annual invitation-only meetings of business and political leaders. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was purportedly photographed leaving one event a few years ago and likely attended last June's Ottawa meeting, although nobody is saying anything – which makes Bilderberg so conspiracy-worthy.
Note: For lots more on the highly secretive, elite Bilderberg Group, click here. To watch the Terrorstorm video free online at Google Video, click here. The first hour of Terrorstorm is absolutely awesome! It's one of the best compilations we've seen. Sadly, after the first hour it goes fairly rapidly downhill, but don't miss the first hour of it!
Explosive Controversy Heats Up In Tracy
December 14, 2006, CBS News, Sacramento Affiliate
There's an explosion planned at [a] test site in the Central Valley, and residents fear it could launch radioactive material into their air. Now there's a fight to stop those planned tests at Site 300, just outside of Tracy near the Lawrence Livermore Lab. The Lawrence Livermore Lab has been setting off 60 to 80 blasts a year; most have been small, but next year two larger 300-pound explosions are planned using depleted uranium. For Tracy shoe shop owner Bob Sarvey, that means the potential of a radioactive release. Sarvey showed CBS13 the risk assessment from the local government and says someone must be worried to have added a cancer risk footnote, and that's before any review of potential radioactivity.
Note: For an ABC report on the dangers of depleted uranium, click here. For a CBC (One of Canada's top TV stations) report which goes much deeper, click here. Why are they exploding this dangerous, radioactive material into the air just outside of the San Francisco area?
Live rats driven by remote control
May 5, 2002, The Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
Scientists have turned living rats into remote-controlled, pleasure-driven robots which can be guided up ladders, through ruins and into minefields at the click of a laptop key. The project ... is funded by the US military's research arm. Animals have often been used by humans in combat and in search and rescue, but not under direct computer-to-brain electronic control. The advent of surgically altered roborats marks the crossing of a new boundary in the mechanisation, and potential militarisation, of nature. In 10 sessions the rats learned that if they ran forward and turned left or right on cue, they would be "rewarded" with a buzz of electrically delivered pleasure. Once trained they would move instantaneously and accurately as directed, for up to an hour at a time. The rats could be steered up ladders, along narrow ledges and down ramps, up trees, and into collapsed piles of concrete rubble. Roborats fitted with cameras or other sensors could be used as search and rescue aids. In theory, be put to some unpleasant uses, such as assassination. [For] surveillance ... you could apply this to birds ... if you could fit birds with sensors and cameras. Michael Reiss, professor of science education at London's Institute of Education and a leading bioethics thinker ... said he was uneasy about humankind "subverting the autonomy" of animals. "There is a part of me that is not entirely happy with the idea of our subverting a sentient animal's own aspirations and wish to lead a life of its own."
Note: Remember that secret military projects are almost always at least a decade in advance of anything you read in the media. For lots more on this little-known subject, click here.
Fun, revealing clip: For a wonderful, highly revealing two-minute video clip on human nature, click here.
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Cloned Food, Inhabited Island Disappears, Depleted Uranium in U.S. Skies