New 9/11 Poll, Post-Katrina Casinos,
The War on Journalism
Revealing News Articles
December 2, 2007
Below are key excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These articles include revealing information on the new Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll on 9/11, the post-Katrina replacement of homes by casinos, the U.S. military's war on journalism in Iraq, 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.
Casinos, not homes, rise after Katrina
November 25, 2007, San Francisco Chronicle/Washington Post
Nowhere has the rebound from Hurricane Katrina been gaudier than along Mississippi's casino-studded coast. Even as the storm's debris was being cleared, Biloxi's night skies were illuminated with the high-wattage brilliance of the Imperial Palace, then the Isle of Capri, then the Grand Casino. More followed, and so did vacation-condo developers. Yet in the wrecked and darkened working-class neighborhoods just blocks from the waterfront glitter, those lights cast their colorful glare over an apocalyptic vision of empty lots and scattered trailers that is as forlorn as anywhere in Katrina's strike zone. "At night, you can see the casino lights up in the sky," Shirley Salik, 72, a former housekeeper at one of the casinos, said while standing outside her FEMA camper with her two dogs. "But that's another world." More than two years after the storm, the highly touted recovery of the Mississippi coast remains a starkly divided phenomenon. Gov. Haley Barbour, a Republican, has hailed the casino openings as a harbinger of Mississippi's resurgence, and developers have proposed more than $1 billion in beachfront condos and hotels for tourists. But fewer than 1 in 10 of the thousands of single-family houses destroyed in Biloxi are being rebuilt. More than 10,000 displaced families still live in trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Now, long-standing resentment over the way the state has treated displaced residents has deepened over a proposal by the Barbour administration to divert $600 million in federal housing aid to fund an expansion plan at the Port of Gulfport. The port's recently approved master plan calls for ... creating an "upscale tourist village" with hotel rooms, condos, restaurants and gambling. "We fear that this recent decision ... is part of a disturbing trend by the governor's office to overlook the needs of lower and moderate income people in favor of economic development," 24 ministers on the Mississippi coast wrote in September in a letter to state leaders. State leaders rejected the complaints.
Blame U.S. for 9/11: 'Plots' Thicken in Shocking Poll
November 24, 2007, New York Post
Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the federal government had warnings about 9/11 but decided to ignore them, a national survey found. Sixty-two percent of those polled thought it was "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that federal officials turned a blind eye to specific warnings of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Only 30 percent said the 9/11 theory was "not likely," according to the Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll. The findings followed a 2006 poll by the same researchers, who found that 36 percent of Americans believe federal government officials "either assisted in the 9/11 attacks or took no action" because they wanted "to go to war in the Middle East." In that poll, 16 percent said the Twin Towers might have collapsed because of secretly planted explosives - not hijacked passenger jets flown into them. And what hit the Pentagon? Twelve percent figured it was a US cruise missile. In the latest Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll, 811 US adults were interviewed Sept. 24 to Oct. 10. Among [other] findings: 42 percent believe the federal government knew in advance of the plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy, compared with 40 percent who call that theory "not likely." 37 percent believe UFOs are real and that the feds have been hiding the truth about them. Eight out of 10 Americans suspect oil companies are conspiring to keep fuel prices high and 50 percent said a conspiracy is "very likely." Only 14 percent felt it was unlikely.
Note: We normally don't use the New York Post as a reliable source. Yet this key news is based on a very reliable poll, which you can read in the Scripps News Service report available here. Sadly, the Post was the only major newspaper to pick up this important news, and they took a heavy editorial slant against 9/11 truth. For a concise summary of major media reports suggesting that the official account of 9/11 cannot be true, click here.
AP Chief Slams Case Against Photographer
November 24, 2007, San Francisco Examiner/Associated Press
The U.S. military is making a mockery of American democratic principles by bringing a criminal case against an Associated Press photographer in Iraq without disclosing the charges against him, AP President and CEO Tom Curley said Saturday. "This is a poor example - and not the first of its kind - of the way our government honors the democratic principles and values it says it wants to share with the Iraqi people," Curley wrote in an opinion piece in The Washington Post. The U.S. military notified the AP last weekend that it intended to submit a written complaint against Bilal Hussein that would bring the case into the Iraqi justice system as early as Nov. 29. Military officials have refused to disclose the content of the complaint to the AP, despite repeated requests. Hussein's lawyer will enter the case "blind," with no idea of the evidence or charges, Curley wrote. "In the 19 months since he was picked up, Bilal has not been charged with any crime, although the military has sent out a flurry of ever-changing claims. Every claim we've checked out has proved to be false, overblown or microscopic in significance," said Curley. Hussein, a 36-year-old native of Fallujah, was part of the AP's Pulitzer Prize-winning photo team in 2005. He was detained in Ramadi on April 12, 2006. "We believe Bilal's crime was taking photographs the U.S. government did not want its citizens to see. That he was part of a team of AP photographers who had just won a Pulitzer Prize for work in Iraq may have made Bilal even more of a marked man," Curley wrote. Curley said the military has refused to answer questions from Hussein's attorney, former federal prosecutor Paul Gardephe, since announcing its intentions to seek a case against him. The military has leaked baseless allegations against Hussein to friendly media outlets, Curley wrote, but it will not even share the exact date of the hearing with the AP.
Note: For a powerful summary of a former Marine general's view of war, "War is a Racket", click here.
Cellphone Tracking Powers on Request
November 23, 2007, Washington Post
Federal officials are routinely asking courts to order cellphone companies to furnish real-time tracking data so they can pinpoint the whereabouts of drug traffickers, fugitives and other criminal suspects, according to judges and industry lawyers. In some cases, judges have granted the requests without requiring the government to demonstrate that there is probable cause to believe that a crime is taking place or that the inquiry will yield evidence of a crime. Privacy advocates fear such a practice may expose average Americans to a new level of government scrutiny of their daily lives. The requests and orders are sealed at the government's request, so it is difficult to know how often the orders are issued or denied. "Most people don't realize it, but they're carrying a tracking device in their pocket," said Kevin Bankston of the privacy advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation. "Cellphones can reveal very precise information about your location, and yet legal protections are very much up in the air." In a stinging opinion this month, a federal judge in Texas denied a request by a Drug Enforcement Administration agent for data that would identify a drug trafficker's phone location by using the carrier's E911 tracking capability. E911 tracking systems read signals sent to satellites from a phone's Global Positioning System (GPS) chip or triangulated radio signals sent from phones to cell towers. "Law enforcement routinely now requests carriers to continuously 'ping' wireless devices of suspects to locate them when a call is not being made . . . so law enforcement can triangulate the precise location of a device and [seek] the location of all associates communicating with a target," wrote Christopher Guttman-McCabe, vice president of regulatory affairs for CTIA -- the Wireless Association.
Note: For many major media reports on serious new threats to civil liberties, click here.
Proposed Ban on Genetically Modified Corn in Europe
November 23, 2007, New York Times
European Union environmental officials have determined that two kinds of genetically modified corn could harm butterflies, affect food chains and disturb life in rivers and streams, and they have proposed a ban on the sale of the seeds, which are made by DuPont Pioneer, Dow Agrosciences and Syngenta. The environment commissioner, Stavros Dimas, contends that the genetically modified corn, or maize could affect certain butterfly species, specifically the monarch, and other beneficial insects. For instance, research this year indicates that larvae of the monarch butterfly exposed to the genetically modified corn "behave differently than other larvae." In the decision concerning the corn seeds produced by Dow and Pioneer, Mr. Dimas calls "potential damage on the environment irreversible." In the decision on Syngenta's corn, he says that "the level of risk generated by the cultivation of this product for the environment is unacceptable." Barbara Helfferich, a spokeswoman for Mr. Dimas ... said that the European Union was within its rights to make decisions based on the "precautionary principle" even when scientists had found no definitive evidence proving products can cause harm. "The commission has the authority to be a risk manager when it comes to the safety and science of genetically modified crops," Ms. Helfferich said. In the decisions, Mr. Dimas cited recent research showing that consumption of genetically modified "corn byproducts reduced growth and increased mortality of nontarget stream insects" and that these insects "are important prey for aquatic and riparian predators" and that this could have "unexpected ecosystem-scale consequences."
Note: For a highly informative summary of health risks from genetically modified organisms, click here.
Dan Ellsberg: Sibel Edmonds case "Far More Explosive Than Pentagon Papers
November 19, 2007, OpEdNews.com
Bradblog has been chasing the story about former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds' offer to 'tell all.' [Daniel] Ellsberg says: "I'd say what she has is far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers. From what [Edmonds] has to tell, it has a major difference from the Pentagon Papers in that it deals directly with criminal activity and may involve impeachable offenses. And I don't necessarily mean the President or the Vice-President, though I wouldn't be surprised if the information reached up that high. But other members of the Executive Branch may be impeached as well. There will be phone calls going out to the media saying 'don't even think of touching [Edmonds' case], you will be prosecuted for violating national security.'" [Edmonds] said: "The media called from Japan and France and Belgium and Germany and Canada and from all over the world. I'm getting contact from all over the world, but not from here." More Ellsberg: "I am confident that there is conversation inside the Government as to 'How do we deal with Sibel?' The first line of defense is to ensure that she doesn't get into the media. I think any outlet that thought of using her materials would go to the government and they would be told 'don't touch this, it's communications intelligence.' As long as they hold a united front on this, they don't run the risk of being shamed." [Edmonds:] "I will name the name of major publications who know the story, and have been sitting on it --- almost a year and a half." "How do you know they have the story?," we asked. "I know they have it because people from the FBI have come in and given it to them. They've given them the documents and specific case-numbers on my case."
Note: Though this is not from one of our normal reliable sources, Dan Ellsberg is a highly respected whistleblower who has received an abundance of major media coverage over the years. As the mainstream media are clearly and consciously ignoring this story, we felt it deserved to be posted, even though we don't have a major media source to back it up. For lots more reliable information on this courageous woman, click here.
Here come the thought police
November 19, 2007, Baltimore Sun (Baltimore's leading newspaper)
With overwhelming bipartisan support, Rep. Jane Harman's "Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act" passed the House 404-6 late last month. Swift Senate passage appears certain. Not since the "Patriot Act" of 2001 has any bill so threatened our constitutionally guaranteed rights. Diverse groups vigorously oppose Ms. Harman's effort to stifle dissent. Unfortunately, the mainstream press and leading presidential candidates remain silent. Ms. Harman ... thinks it likely that the United States will face a native brand of terrorism in the immediate future and offers a plan to deal with ideologically based violence. But her plan is a greater danger to us than the threats she fears. Her bill tramples constitutional rights by creating a commission with sweeping investigative power and a mandate to propose laws prohibiting whatever the commission labels "homegrown terrorism." The proposed commission is a menace through its power to hold hearings, take testimony and administer oaths, an authority granted to even individual members of the commission - little Joe McCarthys - who will tour the country to hold their own private hearings. Ms. Harman's proposal includes an absurd attack on the Internet ... and legalizes an insidious infiltration of targeted organizations. While Ms. Harman denies that her proposal creates "thought police," it defines "homegrown terrorism" as "planned" or "threatened" use of force to coerce the government or the people in the promotion of "political or social objectives." That means that no force need actually have occurred as long as the government charges that the individual or group thought about doing it. Any social or economic reform is fair game. The bill defines "violent radicalization" as promoting an "extremist belief system." But American governments, state and national, have a long history of interpreting radical "belief systems" as inevitably leading to violence to facilitate change.
Note: For many major media reports on serious new threats to civil liberties, click here.
"A Blow at the Core of Fourth Amendment Protections"
November 28, 2007, New York Times
The Constitution protects individuals against unreasonable searches, but for this protection to have practical meaning, the courts must enforce it. This week, the Supreme Court let stand a disturbing ruling out of California that allows law enforcement to barge into people's homes without a warrant. The case has not prompted much outrage, perhaps because the people whose privacy is being invaded are welfare recipients, but it is a serious setback for the privacy rights of all Americans. San Diego County's district attorney has a program called Project 100% that is intended to reduce welfare fraud. Applicants for welfare benefits are visited by law enforcement agents, who show up unannounced and examine the family's home, including the insides of cabinets and closets. The program does not meet the standards set out by the Fourth Amendment. For a search to be reasonable, there generally must be some kind of individualized suspicion of wrongdoing. These searches are done in the homes of people who have merely applied for welfare and have done nothing to arouse suspicion. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, rejected a challenge brought by welfare recipients. In ruling that the program does not violate the Constitution, the majority made the bizarre assertion that the home visits are not "searches." It is a fun-house mirrors version of constitutional analysis for a court to say that government agents are not conducting a search when they show up unannounced in a person's home and rifle through her bedroom dresser. Judge Harry Pregerson, writing for himself and six other Ninth Circuit judges who voted to reconsider the case, got it right. The majority decision upholding Project 100%, Judge Pregerson wrote, "strikes an unprecedented blow at the core of Fourth Amendment protections." When the government is allowed to show up unannounced without a warrant and search people's homes, it is bad news for all of us.
Researcher sets saltwater on fire
November 14, 2007, CNN
Last winter, inventor John Kanzius was already attempting one seemingly impossible feat -- building a machine to cure cancer with radio waves -- when his device inadvertently succeeded in another: He made saltwater catch fire. TV footage of his bizarre discovery has been burning up the blogosphere ever since, drawing crackpots and Ph.D.s alike into a raging debate. Can water burn? And if so, what good can come of it? Some people gush over the invention's potential for desalinization or cheap energy. Briny seawater, after all, sloshes over most of the planet's surface, and harnessing its heat energy could power all sorts of things. Skeptics say Kanzius's radio generator is sucking up far more energy than it's creating, making it a carnival trick at best. For now, Kanzius is tuning out the hubbub. Diagnosed with leukemia in 2002, he began building his radio-wave blaster the next year, soon after a relapse. If he could seed a person's cancerous cells with nanoscopic metal particles and blast them with radio waves, perhaps he could kill off the cancer while sparing healthy tissue. The saltwater phenomenon happened by accident when an assistant was bombarding a saline-filled test tube with radio waves and bumped the tube, causing a small flash. Curious, Kanzius struck a match. "The water lit like a propane flame," he recalls. "People said, 'It's a crock. Look for hidden electrodes in the water,' " says Penn State University materials scientist Rustum Roy, who visited [Kanzius] in his lab in August after seeing the feat on Google Video. A demo made Roy a believer. "This is discovery science in the best tradition," he says. Meanwhile, researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have made progress using Kanzius's technology to fight cancer in animals. They published their findings last month in the journal Cancer.
Nanotubes seen as new weapon in cancer fight
November 2, 2007, Houston Chronicle
In what a dying Rick Smalley called the most important application from his Nobel Prize-winning discovery [of fullerines], Houston researchers are using [carbon] nanotubes heated by radio waves to kill cancer cells. In a paper posted online by the journal Cancer, a team at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Rice University reported that the technique destroyed liver cancer tumors in rabbits and caused no side effects. It is thought to hold the same potential for many other cancers. "I don't want to overstate matters – I'm the biggest skeptic in the world – given the challenges still ahead of us," Dr. Steven Curley, an M.D. Anderson surgical oncologist and the paper's senior author, said Thursday. "But my hope is that this will be a very useful tool to safely and efficiently treat a lot of types of cancer." The therapy marries two disparate disciplines: the relatively ancient field of radio waves and nanotechnology, the cutting-edge science of the ultra-small. The rabbit study found the therapy worked only when the two were used together. It works not by poisoning but by creating a localized hyperthermia – or small fever – that destroys the cancer cells' membranes, protein and even DNA. The cells then die and are carried out of the body through normal kidney functions. In the experiment recounted in Cancer, the rabbits were injected with a solution of single-walled carbon nanotubes – hollow cylinders of pure carbon measuring about a billionth of a meter across – then exposed to two minutes of radio-frequency treatment. The result, researchers said, was the thermal destruction of 100 percent of the tumors. The idea was inspired by John Kanzius, an M.D. Anderson leukemia patient and retired Pennsylvania radio and television station owner. He developed a radio-frequency generator after undergoing chemotherapy and noting its effect on himself and other patients.
Note: For many hopeful new developments in the search for cancer cures, click here.
Audit Finds Many Faults in Cleveland's '06 Voting
April 20, 2007, New York Times
An audit of last November's general election in the Cleveland area has found that hundreds of votes were lost, that others were recorded twice and that software used to count the ballots was vulnerable to data problems. In a state that was pivotal to President Bush's election and re-election, Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, has seen more than its share of recent election troubles. Lines at polls there were hours long in the 2004 general election. And in the primaries last May, the county's first experience with electronic voting, poll workers were absent or poorly trained, computer cards on which votes had been recorded were lost, and one polling place opened hours late. The audit found that some batches of ballots registered in optical scan machines had been scanned twice, producing a double count of those ballots. Other ballots were deleted because of flawed data and, owing to human error, were not rescanned, the committee found. The optical scan and touch-screen machines used in the county were made by Diebold Election Systems Inc. The audit committee said Microsoft's JET file-sharing database system, which Diebold used, was known to have previously had problems that could result in corruption of the database. The audit committee was allowed only a limited review of the data collected by Diebold. The panel tried to gain access to the raw data, but Diebold claimed that the information was proprietary. Barbara Simons, a ... past president of the Association for Computing Machinery, said: "There is no excuse for Diebold's having used such an insecure and unreliable database. There were far more reliable databases available over 20 years ago." The committee called for extensive changes to ensure the integrity of future elections, among them streamlining the process by eliminating either optical scanner or touch-screen machines.
Note: For major media stories revealing the critical state of the US electoral system, click here.
Eighth wonder of the world?
November 22, 2007, Daily Mail (Britain's second largest circulation daily newspaper)
Nestling in the foothills of the Alps in northern Italy ... lies the valley of Valchiusella. Weaving their way underneath the hillside are nine ornate temples, on five levels, whose scale and opulence take the breath away. They are linked by hundreds of metres of richly decorated tunnels. The 'Temples of Damanhur' are ... the work of ... 57-year-old [Oberto Airaudi] who, inspired by a childhood vision, began digging into the rock. From an early age, he claims to have experienced visions of what he believed to be a past life, in which there were amazing temples. Around these he [saw] there lived a highly evolved community who enjoyed an idyllic existence in which all the people worked for the common good. Oberto appeared to have ... the gift of "remote viewing" - the ability to travel in his mind's eye. Oberto - who prefers to use the name 'Falco' ... selected a remote hillside where he felt the hard rock would sustain the structures he had in mind. A house was built on the hillside and Falco moved in with several friends who shared his vision. Using hammers and picks, they began their dig to create the temples of Damanhur ... in August 1978. Volunteers, who flocked from around the world, worked ... for the next 16 years with no formal plans other than Falco's sketches and visions. By 1991, several of the nine chambers were almost complete with stunning murals, mosaics, statues, secret doors and stained glass windows. Esperide Ananas ... has written a new book called Damanhur, Temples Of Humankind. Today the 'Damanhurians' even have their own university, schools, organic supermarkets, vineyards, farms, bakeries and award-winning eco homes. They do not worship a spiritual leader, though their temples have become the focus for group meditation. 'They are to remind people that we are all capable of much more than we realise and that hidden treasures can be found within every one of us once you know how to access them,' says Falco.
Note: Click on the article link above to see many exquisite color photos of the amazing interiors of the Damanhur temples.
Special Note: A courageous NY Times best-selling author has taken the bold step of writing a fictional book exposing the roots of 9/11. If you are passionate about this topic, please order and help to promote Steve Alten's The Shell Game. You can order it by clicking here.
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New 9/11 Poll, Post-Katrina Casinos, The War on Journalism