General Electric Pays No Taxes, CIA Director Approved Tape Destruction, Obama Doctrine
Revealing News Articles
April 19, 2010
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on General Electric and other large corporations paying no US taxes, the approval by CIA Director Porter Goss of the destruction of tapes revealing torture of detainees, the new, more deadly "Obama Doctrine" of kill rather than capture, 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. The most important 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.
Special note: To watch a rich 22-minute interview of Fred Burks discussing government mind control programs and global transformation, click here. For a fascinating article presenting evidence that many medical procedures are much less effective than is generally believed, click here.
How can it be that you pay more to the IRS than General Electric?
April 1, 2010, Forbes magazine
Some of the world's biggest, most profitable corporations enjoy a far lower tax rate than you do--that is, if they pay taxes at all. The most egregious example is General Electric. Last year the conglomerate generated $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion. How did this happen? It's complicated. GE in effect consists of two divisions: General Electric Capital and everything else. The everything else--maker of engines, power plants, TV shows and the like--would have paid a 22% tax rate if it was a standalone company. It's GE Capital that keeps the overall tax bill so low. Over the last two years, GE Capital has displayed an uncanny ability to lose lots of money in the U.S. (posting a $6.5 billion loss in 2009), and make lots of money overseas (a $4.3 billion gain). Not only do the U.S. losses balance out the overseas gains, but GE can defer taxes on that overseas income indefinitely. The timing of big deductions for depreciation in GE Capital's equipment leasing business also provides a tax benefit, as will loan losses left over from the credit crunch. But it's the tax benefit of overseas operations that is the biggest reason why multinationals end up with lower tax rates than the rest of us.
Note: Can you believe that GE not only pays no taxes, they actually get credit from the US government? For a wealth of reports from media sources on the hidden manipulations of major financial corporations, click here.
C.I.A. Document Details Destruction of Tapes
April 16, 2010, New York Times
Porter J. Goss, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, in 2005 approved of the decision by one of his top aides to destroy dozens of videotapes documenting the brutal interrogation of two detainees, according to an internal C.I.A. document released [on April 15]. Shortly after the tapes were destroyed at the order of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then the head of the C.I.A.'s clandestine service, Mr. Goss told Mr. Rodriguez that he "agreed" with the decision, according to the document. He even joked after Mr. Rodriguez offered to "take the heat" for destroying the tapes. "PG laughed and said that actually, it would be he, PG, who would take the heat," according to one document. A number of documents released Thursday provide the most detailed glimpse yet of the deliberations inside the C.I.A. surrounding the destroyed tapes, and of the concern among officials at the spy agency that the decision might put the C.I.A. in legal jeopardy. The documents detailing those deliberations, including two e-mail messages from a C.I.A. official whose name has been excised, were released as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. According to one of the e-mail messages released Thursday, Mr. Rodriguez told Mr. Goss that the tapes ... would make the C.I.A. "look terrible; it would be devastating to us."
Note: For lots more on the realities of the "war on terror", click here.
Whistleblowers on US 'massacre' fear CIA stalkers
April 11, 2010, The Times (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Activists behind a website dedicated to revealing secret documents have complained of harassment by police and intelligence services as they prepare to release a video showing an American attack in which 97 civilians were killed in Afghanistan. Julian Assange, one of the founders of Wikileaks, has claimed that a restaurant where the group met in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, came under surveillance in March and one of the group's volunteers was detained for 21 hours by police. Assange, an Australian, says he was followed on a flight from Reykjavik to Copenhagen by two American agents. The group has riled governments by publishing documents leaked by whistleblowers. Assange claims surveillance has intensified as he and his colleagues prepare to put out their Afghan film. It is said to concern the so-called "Granai massacre", when American aircraft dropped 500lb and 1,000lb bombs ... in Farah province on May 4 last year. Assange complained of "covert following and hidden photography" by police and foreign intelligence services. There have been thinly veiled threats, he says, from "an apparent British intelligence agent" in a car park in Luxembourg. "Computers were also seized," another member of Wikileaks said ..., raising alarm among supporters: "If anything happens to us, you know why ... and you know who is responsible."
Note: It's not surprising that US intelligence agencies are intimidating Wikileaks activists reporting on the atrocities committed in the wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan. As explained by Marine Corps General Smedley Butler in this excellent summary, modern US wars are the ruling elite's "get rich quick" scheme, and they don't want you to know.
Banks Making Big Profits From Tiny Loans
April 14, 2010, New York Times
In recent years, the idea of giving small loans to poor people became the darling of the development world, hailed as the long elusive formula to propel even the most destitute into better lives. Actors like Natalie Portman and Michael Douglas lent their boldface names to the cause. Muhammad Yunus, the economist who pioneered the practice by lending small amounts to basket weavers in Bangladesh, won a Nobel Peace Prize for it in 2006. The idea even got its very own United Nations year in 2005. But the phenomenon has grown so popular that some of its biggest proponents are now wringing their hands over the direction it has taken. Drawn by the prospect of hefty profits from even the smallest of loans, a raft of banks and financial institutions now dominate the field, with some charging interest rates of 100 percent or more. "We created microcredit to fight the loan sharks; we didn't create microcredit to encourage new loan sharks," Mr. Yunus recently said at a gathering of financial officials at the United Nations. "Microcredit should be seen as an opportunity to help people get out of poverty in a business way, but not as an opportunity to make money out of poor people." The noisy interest rate fight has even attracted Congressional scrutiny, with the House Financial Services Committee holding hearings this year focused in part on whether some microcredit institutions are scamming the poor.
Spying, Civil Liberties and the Courts
April 16, 2010, New York Times
Succumbing to the politics of fear during the 2008 campaign, Congress seriously diluted the First and Fourth Amendment rights of Americans by changing the 1978 law that governs electronic surveillance. In addition to supplying retroactive approval for President George W. Bush's warrantless wiretapping, the FISA Amendments Act vastly expanded the government's ability to eavesdrop without warrants in the future. It gave the National Security Agency authority to monitor the international phone calls and e-mail messages of Americans who are not engaged in criminal activity and pose no threat to national security. The measure weakened judicial supervision of how these powers are exercised, making abuse far more likely. An important case being argued [April 16] in New York City will help determine the extent of the damage. At issue is a constitutional challenge to the 2008 law filed on behalf of human rights, labor, legal, and news media organizations whose work requires sensitive telephone and e-mail communication with people abroad. Embracing the Bush administration's approach, the Obama administration has sought to block the suit, contending that the plaintiffs lack the requisite "standing" to bring the challenge because they cannot show with certainty that they have been spied on. (Of course, any attempt to prove spying would likely be met by a flimsy claim of state secrecy.)
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on government threats to civil liberties, click here.
The 'Obama doctrine': kill, don't detain
April 11, 2010, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Extrajudicial killings and targeted assassinations will soon become the main point of contention that Obama's administration will need to justify. The extensive use of drones under Obama have taken the death count well beyond anything that has been seen before. The legal justifications put forward by [the Obama administration] are reminiscent of the arguments that were used by John Yoo and others in their bid to lend legitimacy to unlawful practices such as rendition, arbitrary detention and torture. The laws of war do not allow for the targeting of individuals outside of the conflict zone, and yet we now find that extrajudicial killings are taking place in countries as far apart as Yemen, the Horn of Africa and Pakistan. From a legal and moral perspective, the rationale provided by the State Department is bankrupt and only reinforces the stereotype that the US has very little concern for its own principles. The hope that came with the election of Barack Obama has faded as his policies have indicated nothing more than a reconfiguration of the basic tenet of the Bush Doctrine – that the US's national security interests supersede any consideration of due process or the rule of law. The only difference – witness the rising civilian body count from drone attacks – being that Obama's doctrine is even more deadly.
Note: For lots more on the realities of the "war on terror", click here.
George W. Bush 'knew Guantanamo prisoners were innocent'
April 9, 2010, The Times (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld covered up that hundreds of innocent men were sent to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp because they feared that releasing them would harm the push for war in Iraq and the broader War on Terror, according to a new document obtained by The Times. The accusations were made by Lawrence Wilkerson, a top aide to Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State, in a signed declaration to support a lawsuit filed by a Guantanamo detainee. He claimed that the former Vice-President and Defence Secretary knew that the majority of the initial 742 detainees sent to Guantanamo in 2002 were innocent but believed that it was "politically impossible to release them". Colonel Wilkerson, a long-time critic of the Bush Administration's approach to counter-terrorism and the war in Iraq, claimed that the majority of detainees – children as young as 12 and men as old as 93 – never saw a US soldier when they were captured. He said that many were turned over by Afghans and Pakistanis for up to $5,000. Little or no evidence was produced as to why they had been taken. He also claimed that one reason Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld did not want the innocent detainees released was because "the detention efforts would be revealed as the incredibly confused operation that they were".
Note: For lots more on the realities of the "war on terror", click here.
Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning In Again
April 11, 2010, New York Times
Scientists are taking a new look at hallucinogens, which became taboo among regulators after enthusiasts like Timothy Leary promoted them in the 1960s with the slogan "Turn on, tune in, drop out." Now, using rigorous protocols and safeguards, scientists have won permission to study once again the drugs' potential for treating mental problems and illuminating the nature of consciousness. Researchers from around the world are gathering this week in San Jose, Calif., for the largest conference on psychedelic science held in the United States in four decades. They plan to discuss studies of psilocybin and other psychedelics for treating depression in cancer patients, obsessive-compulsive disorder, end-of-life anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction to drugs or alcohol. Scientists are especially intrigued by the similarities between hallucinogenic experiences and the life-changing revelations reported throughout history by religious mystics and those who meditate. These similarities have been identified in neural imaging studies conducted by Swiss researchers and in experiments led by Roland Griffiths, a professor of behavioral biology at Johns Hopkins. In one of Dr. Griffiths's first studies, involving 36 people with no serious physical or emotional problems, he and colleagues found that psilocybin could induce what the experimental subjects described as a profound spiritual experience with lasting positive effects for most of them.
Note: For key reports on health issues from reliable sources, click here.
The 'Long War' quagmire
March 28, 2010, Los Angeles Times
Without public debate and without congressional hearings, a segment of the Pentagon and fellow travelers have embraced a doctrine known as the Long War, which projects an "arc of instability" caused by insurgent groups from Europe to South Asia that will last between 50 and 80 years. According to one of its architects, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan are just "small wars in the midst of a big one." Consider the audacity of such an idea. An 80-year undeclared war would entangle 20 future presidential terms stretching far into the future of voters not yet born. The American death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan now approaches 5,000, with the number of wounded a multiple many times greater. And if the American armed forces are stretched thin today, try to conceive of seven more decades of combat. The costs are unimaginable too. According to economists Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, Iraq alone will be a $3-trillion war. Those costs, and the other deficit spending of recent years, yield "virtually no room for new domestic initiatives for Mr. Obama or his successors," according to a New York Times budget analysis in February. Continued deficit financing for the Long War will rob today's younger generation of resources for their future.
Note: Many people don't even know why the US is fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The arguments about national security border on ridiculous. For a highly revealing essay by a top US general exposing the real reasons for war, click here. For lots more on the realities of the "war on terror", click here.
For Two Grieving Families, Video Reveals Grim Truth
April 7, 2010, New York Times
The women of Saeed Chmagh's family wept, but the men did not as they watched a video of him being shot to death by a gunner on an American Apache attack helicopter. "I saw the truth," Samir Chmagh, 19, son of the dead man, said Tuesday in his family's living room in Baghdad. "They saw clearly that they were journalists and that they were holding cameras. It was painful when we saw this movie." In July 2007 on the streets of Baghdad ... American troops gunned down men they identified as insurgents. The attack left 12 people dead, including Namir Noor-Eldeen, a 22-year-old Reuters photographer, and Mr. Chmagh, 40, a driver and assistant for the news agency. A video from the cockpit of an Apache helicopter was released on Monday by WikiLeaks.org, an online organization that said it had received the video from a whistle-blower in the military. The video has become an Internet sensation, with defenders saying the soldiers believed they were under threat and critics denouncing what they said were callous and bloodthirsty comments by the soldiers as they killed about a dozen people. "At last the truth has been revealed, and I'm satisfied God revealed the truth," Noor Eldeen, the photographer's father, said in Mosul. "If such an incident took place in America ... what would they do?"
Note: To view this disturbing video which shows how some soldiers consider this kind of killing to be a fun game, click here.
Edible RFID microchip monitor can tell if you take your medicine
March 31, 2010, BusinessWeek
Researchers at the University of Florida have combined RFID, microchips and printed nano-particle antennas to make pills that communicate with cell phones or laptops to tell doctors whether patients are taking their medicine. Still a prototype, the inventors hope their tattletale technology can be applied commercially to a range of medications in clinical trials and in treatment of patients with chronic diseases in which it is essential that the doses are taken and taken on time. The pill is a white capsule with a microchip embedded and with an antenna printed on the outside with ink containing silver nanoparticles. A device worn by the patient energizes the microchip via bursts of low-voltage electricity. The chip signal confirms the pill is in the stomach and the device sends a signal that the pill has been swallowed. The messages can go to cell phones or laptops to inform doctors or family members.
Note: For lots more on microchips from reliable sources, click here.
U.S. Court Curbs F.C.C. Authority on Web Traffic
April 7, 2010, New York Times
A federal appeals court ruled on [April 6] that regulators [have] limited power over Web traffic under current law. The decision will allow Internet service companies to block or slow specific sites and charge video sites like YouTube to deliver their content faster to users. The court decision was a setback to efforts by the Federal Communications Commission to require companies to give Web users equal access to all content. The F.C.C. will now have to reconsider its strategy for mandating "net neutrality," the principle that all Internet content should be treated equally by network providers. One option would be to reclassify broadband service as a sort of basic utility subject to strict regulation, like telephone service. Telephone companies and broadband providers have already indicated that they would vigorously oppose such a move. "You can't have innovation if all the big companies get the fast lane," said Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge, which advocates for consumer rights on digital issues. "Look at Google, eBay, Yahoo – none of those companies would have survived if 15 years ago we had a fast lane and a slow lane on the Internet."
April 2010, PBS Point of View
In "Food, Inc.", filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli – the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults. Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser Fast Food Nation, Michael Pollan The Omnivore's Dilemma along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield Farms' Gary Hirschberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, "Food, Inc." reveals surprising – and often shocking truths – about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
Note: For reviews of this important documentary, click here.
'Green Gone Wrong': Can Capitalism Save the Planet?
April 4, 2010, New York Times
The global economic collapse pushed the rise of green capitalism off business magazine covers, but it will surely resurface. Now, along comes Heather Rogers, who warns about the dangers of buying into this mind-set with Green Gone Wrong: How Our Economy Is Undermining the Environmental Revolution. She says green capitalism is actually undermining ecological progress. She says corporate America has led us into thinking that we can save the earth mainly by buying things like compact fluorescent light bulbs, hybrid gas-electric cars and carbon offsets. Green Gone Wrong ... doesn't just go after easy targets like big corporations that she says are clearly more interested in making money than saving the earth. Some of the most poignant moments come when Ms. Rogers visits organic farmers in upstate New York. She laments that they can't make a living because it is so expensive for them to comply with the federal certification requirements for organic foods. "What isn't being talked about is that many of the small organic producers who are expected to lead the reinvention of the food system can barely make ends meet," she says. [The book] would have been better had Ms. Rogers delved more deeply into another of her suggestions: instead of buying green, we simply need to buy less stuff. She seems reluctant to push this too hard because it's a truly radical idea that flies in the face of capitalism – green or not.
Note: Heather Rogers is an established investigative journalist who is also the author of the acclaimed book Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage.
Croatian teenager wakes from coma speaking fluent German
April 12, 2010, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A 13-year-old Croatian girl who fell into a coma woke up speaking fluent German. The girl, from the southern town of Knin, had only just started studying German at school and had been reading German books and watching German TV to become better, but was by no means fluent, according to her parents. Since waking up from her 24-hour coma however, she has been unable to speak Croatian, but is able to communicate perfectly in German. Doctors at Split's KB Hospital claim that the case is so unusual, various experts have examined the girl as they try to find out what triggered the change. Hospital director Dujomir Marasovic said: "You never know when recovering from such a trauma how the brain will react." Psychiatric expert Dr Mijo Milas added: "In earlier times this would have been referred to as a miracle, we prefer to think that there must be a logical explanation – its just that we haven't found it yet. There are references to cases where people who have been seriously ill and perhaps in a coma have woken up being able to speak other languages – sometimes even the Biblical languages such as that spoken in old Babylon or Egypt – at the moment though any speculation would remain just that – speculation – so it's better to continue tests until we actually know something."
Key Articles From Years Past
On the Biodiesel Bandwagon
July 10, 2005, San Francisco Chronicle
Economists have predicted that 2005 is the year of the "global oil- production peak," when the world produces the most oil it will ever produce. And so ends the era of cheap fossil fuels, taking with it everything we've associated with modern American living: cheap groceries, cheap electricity, cheap construction, cheap beer, cheap everything. Because without cheap fossil fuel, nothing is cheap; and without cheap stuff, our society will soon be a very, very different place. A better place. At least for Ben Jordan. "The sooner we get rid of fossil fuels," explains Jordan, "the sooner we can have alternatives like biodiesel." Using vegetable oil as fuel isn't new; in fact, it's what the diesel engine was originally intended to run on. When Rudolf Diesel first showcased his engine at the 1900 World's Fair in Paris, he used peanut oil. Diesel engines -- operating solely on vegetable oils -- got an average of 30 percent more miles per gallon than traditional combustion engines, and soon became the standard for buses, trucks, freightliners and marine craft. In the 1920s, impressed by the efficiency of the engine and eager to control the diesel market, oil companies forced car manufacturers to modify diesel engines to run off their huge supplies of cheap, low-grade petroleum diesel. And the world's cities have been clogged with sooty, black, highly polluting diesel exhaust ever since.
Note: For many promising reports on new energy developments, click here.
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