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Beneficial Bacteria, NASA's UFO Files,
FEMA's Fake News Briefing
Revealing News Articles
November 2, 2007

Dear friends,

Below are key excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These articles include revealing information on beneficial bacteria in our bodies which keep us healthy, NASA's new search for its files on the Kecksburg (PA) UFO incident in 1965, FEMA's fake news briefing on the Southern California fires, 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.

With best wishes,
Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Caution: Killing Germs May Be Hazardous to Your Health
October 29, 2007, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/id/57368

Our war on microbes has toughened them. Now, new science tells us we should embrace bacteria. Any part of your body that comes into contact with the outside world ... is home to bacteria, fungi and protozoa. There are thousands of different species ... says Stanford biologist David Relman, who is investigating the complex web of interactions microbes maintain with our digestive, immune and nervous systems. Relman is a leader in rethinking our relationship to bacteria, which for most of the last century was dominated by the paradigm of Total Warfare. He says, "people still think the only good microbe is a dead one." The body's natural microbial flora aren't just an incidental fact of our biology, but crucial components of our health. Our microbes ... regulate our immune systems and even our serotonin levels: germs, it seems, can make us happy. What we need is more exposure to the good microbes. "Modern sanitation is a good thing, and pavement is a good thing," says [science writer Jessica] Sachs, "but they keep kids at a distance from microbes." The effect is to tip the immune system in the direction of overreaction, either to outside stimuli or even to the body's own cells. If the former, the result is allergies or asthma. Sachs writes that "children who receive antibiotics in the first year of life have more than double the rate of allergies and asthma in later childhood." But if the immune system turns on the body itself, you see irritable bowel syndrome, lupus or multiple sclerosis, among the many autoimmune diseases that were virtually unknown to our ancestors but are increasingly common in the developed world.

Note: For many powerful articles on health from reliable sources, click here.

NASA to Search Files on UFO Incident
October 27, 2007, Associated Press
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hY-pEhBhV6UBddtjWRMkax_ecxFAD8SH5MS80

NASA has agreed to search its archives once again for documents on a 1965 UFO incident in Pennsylvania, a step the space agency fought in federal court. The government has refused to open its files about what ... moved across the sky and crashed in the woods near Kecksburg, Pa., 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Traffic was tied up in the area as curiosity seekers drove to the area, only to be kept away from the crash site by soldiers. The Air Force's explanation for the unidentified flying object: A meteor or meteors. "They could not find anything," one Air Force memo stated after a late-night search on Dec. 9, 1965. Several NASA employees also were reported to have been at the scene. Eyewitnesses said a flatbed truck drove away a large object shaped like an acorn and about the size of a Volkswagen bus. A mock-up based on the descriptions of local residents sits behind the Kecksburg Volunteer Fire Department. UFO enthusiasts refused to let the matter die and journalist Leslie Kean of New York City sued NASA four years ago for information. The agency has turned over several stacks of documents which Kean says are not responsive to the request, an argument that U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan agreed with. In March, Sullivan rejected NASA's request to throw the case out of court, resulting in negotiations that led to the agency promising last week that it will conduct a more comprehensive search. Kean said Friday that she sued NASA rather than the Army because the space agency a decade ago released some relevant documents on the case.

Note: To read a revealing summary of UFO evidence presented by highly credible military and government officials, click here.

FEMA Meets the Press, Which Happens to Be . . . FEMA
October 26, 2007, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/25/AR2007102502488.html

FEMA has truly learned the lessons of Katrina. Even its handling of the media has improved dramatically. For example, as the California wildfires raged Tuesday, Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the deputy administrator, had a 1 p.m. news briefing. Reporters were given only 15 minutes' notice of the briefing, making it unlikely many could show up at FEMA's Southwest D.C. offices. They were given an 800 number to call in, though it was a "listen only" line, the notice said -- no questions. Parts of the briefing were carried live on Fox News. Johnson ... was apparently quite familiar with the reporters -- in one case, he appears to say "Mike" and points to a reporter. FEMA press secretary Aaron Walker interrupted at one point to caution he'd allow just "two more questions." Later, he called for a "last question." "Are you happy with FEMA's response so far?" a reporter asked. Another asked about "lessons learned from Katrina." "I'm very happy with FEMA's response so far," Johnson said, hailing "a very smoothly, very efficiently performing team. And so I think what you're really seeing here is the benefit of experience, the benefit of good leadership and the benefit of good partnership, none of which were present in Katrina." Very smooth, very professional. But something didn't seem right. The reporters were lobbing too many softballs. And the media seemed to be giving Johnson all day to wax on and on about FEMA's greatness. Of course, that could be because the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters. The staff played reporters for what on TV looked just like the real thing. "If the worst thing that happens to me in this disaster is that we had staff in the chairs to ask questions that reporters had been asking all day, Widomski said, "trust me, I'll be happy." Heck of a job, Harvey.

Note: To watch this amusing "news briefing", click here.

Berkeley going solar - city pays up front, recoups over 20 years
October 26, 2007, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/10/26/MNAIT0DQO.DTL

Berkeley [Cal.] is set to become the first city in the nation to help thousands of its residents generate solar power without having to put money up front - attempting to surmount one of the biggest hurdles for people who don't have enough cash to go green. The City Council will vote Nov. 6 on a plan for the city to finance the cost of solar panels for property owners who agree to pay it back with a 20-year assessment on their property. Over two decades, the taxes would be the same or less than what property owners would save on their electric bills, officials say. "This plan could be our most important contribution to fighting global warming," Mayor Tom Bates said. "We've already seen interest from all over the U.S. People really think this plan can go." The idea is sparking interest from city and state leaders who are mindful of California's goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Officials in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Santa Monica and several state agencies have contacted Berkeley about the details of its plan. "If this works, we'd want to look at this for other cities statewide," said Ken Alex, California deputy attorney general. "We think it's a very creative way to eliminate the barriers to getting solar panels, and it's fantastic that Berkeley's going ahead with this." This is how Berkeley's program would work: A property owner would hire a city-approved solar installer, who would determine the best solar system for the property, depending on energy use. Most residential solar panel systems in the city cost from $15,000 to $20,000. The city would pay the contractor for the system and its installation ... and would add an assessment to the property owner's tax bill to pay for the system. The property owner would save money on monthly Pacific Gas & Electric bill because electricity generated by the solar panels would partly replace electricity delivered by the utility.

Note: For many other innovative ideas to develop cheap, renewable energy sources, click here.

Edits To Global Warming Testimony Slammed
October 25, 2007, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/25/national/main3407247.shtml

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill blasted the Bush administration for forcing edits in the testimony of a government expert speaking to Congress about the health effects of global warming. When [Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,] testified about the health effects of global warming, her testimony was a bit vague. "Weather is inextricably linked to health," she said. It turned out six pages of specific warnings about diseases that could spread because of global warming were edited out by the White House, as well as a line that the CDC considered this a serious public health concern that remained "largely unaddressed." When a draft of Gerberding's testimony went to the White House for review, two sections - "Climate Change is a Public Health Concern" and "Climate Change Vulnerability" - were removed, cutting the 12-page document in half. The original draft contained much greater detail on the potential disease and other health effects of climate change than was in either Gerberding's prepared remarks or in her other comments during the hearing. "The public health effects of climate change remain largely unaddressed. CDC considers climate change a serious public health concern," the draft says. The phrase was not in the testimony given the committee or in her other remarks at the hearing. "It appears the White House has denied a Congressional committee access to scientific information about health and global warming," said Dr. Michael McCally, Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility. "This misuse of science and abuse of the legislative process is deplorable."

TV show host boots out 9/11 conspiracy theorists
October 23, 2007, Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2197237,00.html

It's the conundrum that faces all television personalities broadcasting live: how to deal with hecklers trying to disrupt the show. Do you ignore the perpetrators? Do you try to reason with them? Or do you do what the American comic and talk show host Bill Maher did - jump into the audience, threaten the hecklers with an "ass kicking" and scream "Get the fuck out of my building!" In one of the more unconventional displays of audience interaction on US television in recent years, that is now doing hot trade as a clip on YouTube, Maher reacted to the interruptions of hecklers in his studio audience with the memorable words: "Do we have some fucking security in this building?" He then tore off his lapel microphone and stormed off the stage and up to some protesters wielding "expose the 9/11 cover-up" banners. It was at that point during a panel discussion on his HBO show, Real Time With Bill Maher, that the nature of the comic's difficulties with an element of his audience became clear. Maher is a darling of the US liberal intelligentsia for his brand of Bush-bashing and anti-religious pedantry. But the one point over which he will not bash the Bush administration is the events of September 11 2001. He does not agree with 9/11 conspiracy theorists, or Truthers as they call themselves, that the Bush administration brought down the Twin Towers in a controlled explosion. The trouble started a few weeks ago when Maher launched a verbal assault on air against the Truthers, calling them "crazy people". He advised the conspiracy theorists, who had been demonstrating outside his studio, to visit their doctor to ask whether the antidepressant Paxil was right for them. In 2002 ABC ended its relationship with him over comments he made in his former show, Politically Incorrect, about the 9/11 hijackers.

Note: To watch Bill Maher's performance on YouTube, click here. For a concise summary of reliable reports from major media sources which raise many unanswered questions about what really happened on 9/11, click here.

Who says America can't make anything?
October 21, 2007, McClatchy News
http://www.ohio.com/editorial/commentary/10624967.html/

When it comes to producing billionaires, America is doing great. Until 2005, multimillionaires could still make the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans. In 2006, the Forbes 400 went billionaires only. This year, you'd need a Forbes 482 to fit all the billionaires. A billion dollars is a lot of dough. Queen Elizabeth II, British monarch for five decades, would have to add $400 million to her $600 million fortune to reach $1 billion. And she'd need another $300 million to reach the Forbes 400 minimum of $1.3 billion. The average Forbes 400 member has $3.8 billion. When the Forbes 400 began in 1982, it was dominated by oil and manufacturing fortunes. Today, says Forbes, "Wall Street is king." Nearly half the 45 new members, says Forbes, "made their fortunes in hedge funds and private equity. Money manager John Paulson joins the list after pocketing more than $1 billion short-selling subprime credit this summer." The 25th anniversary of the Forbes 400 isn't party time for America. We have a record 482 billionaires – and record foreclosures. We have a record 482 billionaires – and a record 47 million people without any health insurance. Since 2000, we have added 184 billionaires – and 5 million more people living below the poverty line. The official poverty threshold for one person was a ridiculously low $10,294 in 2006. That won't get you two pounds of caviar ($9,800) and 25 cigars ($730) on the Forbes Cost of Living Extremely Well Index. The $20,614 family-of-four poverty threshold is lower than the cost of three months of home flower arrangements ($24,525). Wealth is being redistributed from poorer to richer. Between 1983 and 2004, the average wealth of the top 1 percent of households grew by 78 percent, reports Edward Wolff, professor of economics at New York University. The bottom 40 percent lost 59 percent. Inequality has roared back to 1920s levels. It was bad for our nation then. It's bad for our nation now.

Note: For further reports on worsening income inequality, click here.

A Life Saver Called "Plumpynut"
October 21, 2007, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/19/60minutes/main3386661.shtml

Every year, malnutrition kills five million children -- that's one child every six seconds. But now, the Nobel Prize-winning relief group "Doctors Without Borders" says it finally has something that can save millions of these children. It's cheap, easy to make and even easier to use. What is this miraculous cure? It's a ready-to-eat, vitamin-enriched concoction called "Plumpynut," an unusual name for a food that may just be the most important advance ever to cure and prevent malnutrition. "It's a revolution in nutritional affairs," says Dr. Milton Tectonidis, the chief nutritionist for Doctors Without Borders. "Now we have something. It is like an essential medicine. In three weeks, we can cure a kid that ... looked like they're half dead. It's just, boom! It's a spectacular response," Dr. Tectonidis says. No kids need it more than ... in Niger, a desperately poor country in West Africa, where child malnutrition is so widespread that most mothers have watched at least one of their children die. Why are so many kids dying? Because they can't get the milk, vitamins and minerals their young bodies need. Mothers in these villages can't produce enough milk themselves and can't afford to buy it. Even if they could, they can't store it -- there's no electricity, so no refrigeration. Powdered milk is useless because most villagers don't have clean water. Plumpynut was designed to overcome all these obstacles. Plumpynut is a remarkably simple concoction: it is basically made of peanut butter, powdered milk, powdered sugar, and enriched with vitamins and minerals. It tastes like a peanut butter paste. It is very sweet, and because of that kids cannot get enough of it. The formula was developed by a nutritionist. It doesn't need refrigeration, water, or cooking; mothers simply squeeze out the paste. Many children can even feed themselves. Each serving is the equivalent of a glass of milk and a multivitamin.

Vital Lockerbie evidence 'was tampered with'
September 2, 2007, Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/libya/story/0,,2160713,00.html

The key piece of material evidence used by prosecutors to implicate Libya in the Lockerbie bombing has emerged as a probable fake. Allegations of international political intrigue and shoddy investigative work are being levelled at the British government, the FBI and the Scottish police as one of the crucial witnesses, Swiss engineer Ulrich Lumpert, has apparently confessed that he lied about the origins of a crucial 'timer' - evidence that helped tie the man convicted of the bombing to the crime. At a trial in the Netherlands in 2001, former Libyan agent Abdulbaset al-Megrahi was jailed for life. Later this month the Scottish Court of Appeal is expected to hear Megrahi's case, after [a ruling] in June that there was enough evidence to suggest a miscarriage of justice. Lumpert's confession, which was given to police in his home city of Zurich last week, will strengthen Megrahi's appeal. Swiss businessman Edwin Bollier, who has spent nearly two decades trying to clear his company's name, is as eager for the appeal as is Megrahi. Bollier's now bankrupt company, Mebo, manufactured the timer switch that prosecutors used to implicate Libya after they said that fragments of it had been found on a Scottish hillside. 'I was shown fragments of a brown circuit board which matched our prototype. But when the MST-13 went into production, the timers contained green boards. I knew that the timers sold to Libya had green boards. I told the investigators this.' In 2001, Bollier spent five days in the witness box at the Lockerbie trial ... in the Netherlands. 'I was a defence witness, but the trial was so skewed to prove Libyan involvement that the details of what I had to say [were] ignored." Few people apart from conspiracy theorists and investigative journalists working on the case were prepared to believe Bollier until the end of last month, when Lumpert ... walked into a Zurich police station and asked to swear an affidavit before a notary.

Docs often write off patient side-effect concerns
August 28, 2007, MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20479490

When patients feel they might be having an adverse drug effect, doctors will very often dismiss their concerns, a new study shows. In a survey of 650 patients taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, who reported having adverse drug reactions, many said their physicians denied that the drug could be connected to their symptoms, Dr. Beatrice A. Golomb of the University of California at San Diego ... found. "Physicians seem to commonly dismiss the possibility of a connection," Golomb [said]. "This seems to occur even for the best-supported adverse effects of the most widely prescribed class of drugs. Clearly there is a need for better physician education about adverse effects, and there is a strong need for patient involvement in adverse event reporting." The best-known side effects of statins ... are liver damage and muscle problems, although statins have also been tied to changes in memory, concentration and mood. Physician reaction to a potential side effect is crucial because the muscle problems can progress to a rare but potentially fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis if the drug isn't discontinued. The researchers investigated the response of doctors to statin patients who believed they were having adverse drug reactions. In the great majority of cases, the patient, not the doctor, initiated the discussion. Forty-seven percent of patients with muscle problems or cognitive problems said their doctors dismissed the possibility that their symptoms were statin-related, while 51 percent of patients with peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve pain affecting the extremities, said their doctors denied a possible connection with statins.

Note: For a hard-hitting overview of medical corruption, click here.

The Greenest Green Fuel
July 2007, Popular Science magazine
http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/ee6d4d4329703110vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html

Algae seems a strange contender for the mantle of World's Next Great Fuel, but the green goop has several qualities in its favor. Algae, made up of simple aquatic organisms that capture light energy through photosynthesis, produces vegetable oil. Vegetable oil, in turn, can be transformed into biodiesel, which can be used to power just about any diesel engine. Algae has some important advantages over other oil-producing crops, like canola and soybeans. It can be grown in almost any enclosed space, it multiplies like gangbusters, and it requires very few inputs to flourish–mainly just sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. "Because algae has a high surface-area-to-volume ratio, it can absorb nutrients very quickly," [Jim] Sears says. "Its small size is what makes it mighty." The proof is in the numbers. About 140 billion gallons of biodiesel would be needed every year to replace all petroleum-based transportation fuel in the U.S. It would take nearly three billion acres of fertile land to produce that amount with soybeans, and more than one billion acres to produce it with canola. Unfortunately, there are only 434 million acres of cropland in the entire country, and we probably want to reserve some of that to grow food. But because of its ability to propagate almost virally in a small space, algae could do the job in just 95 million acres of land. What's more, it doesn't need fertile soil to thrive. It grows in ponds, bags or tanks that can be just as easily set up in the desert–or next to a carbon-dioxide-spewing power plant–as in the country's breadbasket. Sears claims that these efficiencies will allow Solix Biofuels, the company he founded, to create algae-based biodiesel that costs about the same as gasoline.

Note: For many other innovative ideas to develop cheap, renewable energy sources, click here.

Practical Fusion, or Just a Bubble?
February 27, 2007, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/27/science/27fusion.html

A few small companies and maverick university laboratories, including ... one at U.C.L.A. run by Seth Putterman, a professor of physics, are pursuing quixotic solutions for future energy, trying to tap the power of the Sun – hot nuclear fusion – in devices that fit on a tabletop. Dr. Putterman's approach is to use sound waves, called sonofusion or bubble fusion, to expand and collapse tiny bubbles, generating ultrahot temperatures. At temperatures hot enough, atoms can literally fuse and release even more energy than when they split in nuclear fission, now used in nuclear power plants and weapons. Furthermore, fusion is clean in that it does not produce long-lived nuclear waste. Dr. Putterman has not achieved fusion in his experiments. He and other scientists form a small but devoted cadre interested in turning small-scale desktop fusion into usable systems. Although success is far away, the principles seem sound. Achieving nuclear fusion, even in a desktop device, is not particularly difficult. But building a fusion reactor that generates more energy than it consumes is far more challenging. Impulse Devices, a small company in the small town of Grass Valley, Calif., is exploring the same sound-driven fusion as Dr. Putterman, pushing forward with venture capital financing. Its president, Ross Tessien, concedes that Impulse is a high-risk investment, but the potential payoffs would be many. "You solve the world's pollution problems," Mr. Tessien said. "You eliminate the need for wars. You eliminate scarcity of fuel. And it happens to be a very valuable market. So from a commercial point of view, there's every incentive. From a moral point of view, there's every incentive. And it's fun and it's exciting work."

Note: To read about a wide array of revolutionary energy technologies, click here.


Special note:
To hear the inspiring story of a soldier who found peace in a war zone, and to better understand what life is like there, listen to the 16-minute public radio clip available here. To watch a short video clip on the suppression of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' testimony about FBI activities in the wake of 9/11, click here.

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Beneficial Bacteria, NASA's UFO Files, FEMA's Fake News Briefing