New Energy Breakthrough, MoD Official Saw Secret UFO Film, Banks Bet Greece Defaults
Revealing News Articles
March 1, 2010
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on an exciting new energy breakthrough that may one day power your home off the grid, a senior British MoD official stating in declassified documents that he saw a secret film of UFOs, banks betting that Greece would default, 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.
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The Bloom Box: An Energy Breakthrough?
February 18, 2010, CBS 60 Minutes
In the world of energy, the Holy Grail is a power source that's inexpensive and clean, with no emissions. Over 100 start-ups in Silicon Valley are working on it. One of them, Bloom Energy, is about to make public its invention: a little power-plant-in-a-box they want to put literally in your backyard. You'll generate your own electricity with the box and it'll be wireless. The idea is to one day replace the big power plants and transmission line grid. K.R. Sridhar ... says he knows it works because he originally invented a similar device for NASA. He really is a rocket scientist. He invented a new kind of fuel cell, which is like a very skinny battery that always runs. Sridhar feeds oxygen to it on one side, and fuel on the other. The two combine within the cell to create a chemical reaction that produces electricity. There's no need for burning or combustion, and no need for power lines from an outside source. "It's cheaper than the grid, it's cleaner than the grid." Twenty large, well-known companies have quietly bought and are testing Bloom boxes in California. The first customer was Google. Four units have been powering a Google datacenter for 18 months. They use natural gas, but half as much as would be required for a traditional power plant. John Donahoe, eBay's CEO, says its five boxes were installed nine months ago and have already saved the company more than $100,000 in electricity costs. eBay's boxes run on bio-gas made from landfill waste, so they're carbon neutral. "In five to ten years, we would like to be in every home." [Sridhar] said a unit should cost an average person less than $3,000.
UFO sightings revealed in UK archive files from 1990s
February 18, 2010, BBC News
Thousands of UFOs have been spotted in the last 20 years around the UK, according to newly released documents. More than 6,000 pages of reports describe people's experiences with unidentified flying objects between 1994 and 2000. Details have been released under a three-year project between the Ministry of Defence and The National Archives. The reports detail how objects of various shapes and sizes have been witnessed flying over a range of locations. Some drawings by witnesses have also been released. Included in the latest release is a letter from senior MoD official Ralph Noyes, in which he describes seeing a film of UFOs captured by RAF fighter pilots in 1956. Mr Noyes claims the footage was shown at a secret underground screening arranged for air defence staff at the MoD in 1970. Experts believe the records highlight how shapes of reported UFOs have changed over the last few decades. Many reports in this latest file describe aircraft as big, black and triangular in shape with lights along the edges, whereas the predominant form in the 1940s to 1950s was saucer or disc-shaped. The files are available to download for free for a month from the National Archives website.
Note: For a concise summary of key testimony on UFO sightings by highly-credible government and military officials, click here. For astonishing media reports revealing the existence of UFOs, click here.
Banks Bet Greece Defaults on Debt They Helped Hide
February 25, 2010, New York Times
Bets by some of the same banks that helped Greece shroud its mounting debts may actually now be pushing the nation closer to the brink of financial ruin. Echoing the kind of trades that nearly toppled the American International Group, the increasingly popular insurance against the risk of a Greek default is making it harder for Athens to raise the money it needs to pay its bills, according to traders and money managers. These contracts, known as credit-default swaps, effectively let banks and hedge funds wager on the financial equivalent of a four-alarm fire: a default by a company or, in the case of Greece, an entire country. If Greece reneges on its debts, traders who own these swaps stand to profit. "It's like buying fire insurance on your neighbor's house – you create an incentive to burn down the house," said Philip Gisdakis, head of credit strategy at UniCredit in Munich. As Greece's financial condition has worsened, undermining the euro, the role of Goldman Sachs and other major banks in masking the true extent of the country's problems has drawn criticism from European leaders. But even before that issue became apparent, a little-known company backed by Goldman, JP Morgan Chase and about a dozen other banks had created an index that enabled market players to bet on whether Greece and other European nations would go bust.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the realities of the global financial crisis, click here.
Troubled banking industry sharply reduced lending in 2009
February 24, 2010, Washington Post
Lending by the banking industry fell by $587 billion, or 7.5 percent, in 2009, the largest annual decline since the 1940s, as the number of troubled financial institutions rose sharply, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. [has] reported. The FDIC considered 702 banks to be in some danger of failing as of the end of 2009, more than double the number at the beginning of the year. [FDIC Chairman Sheila C.] Bair said that the vast majority of the lending decline was the result of cutbacks by the nation's largest banks, which have tightened qualification standards for borrowers and increased the proportion of money that they hold in reserve against unexpected losses. The decline in lending is a looming issue as the economy begins to recover. But for the recovery to continue, for businesses to expand and employment to grow, lending must begin to expand, too. The decline also has become a major political issue amid broad public anger that the federal rescue of the banking industry has restored profitability but not the flow of loans. The FDIC [said] that the nation's 8,012 banks posted an aggregate profit of $12.5 billion in 2009. The largest banks accounted for most of those profits as a growing number of smaller banks have struggled to survive losses on commercial real estate loans.
Note: Wasn't the main purpose of the huge stimulus packages given to banks to increase lending? Where did those trillions go? For a treasure trove of revealing reports from major media sources on the realities of the banking bailouts that were supposedly intended to increase lending, click here.
February 22, 2010, Washington Times
A lingering technical question about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still haunts some, and it has political implications: How did 200,000 tons of steel disintegrate and drop in 11 seconds? A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center. "In order to bring down this kind of mass in such a short period of time, the material must have been artificially, exploded outwards," says Richard Gage, a San Francisco architect and founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Mr. Gage, who is a member of the American Institute of Architects, managed to persuade more than 1,000 of his peers to sign a new petition requesting a formal inquiry. "The official Federal Emergency Management [Agency] and National Institute of Standards and Technology reports provide insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers' destruction. We are therefore calling for a grand jury investigation of NIST officials," Mr. Gage adds. "The implications are enormous."
Note: To read statements questionig the official account of the events of 9/11 by hundreds of professors, government officials and professionals, click here and here. For our 9/11 Information Center, click here.
Top Earners Averaged $345 Million in 2007, IRS Says
February 18, 2010, Bloomberg/BusinessWeek
The 400 highest-earning U.S. households reported an average of $345 million in income in 2007, up 31 percent from a year earlier, IRS statistics show. The average tax rate for the households fell to the lowest in almost 20 years. The figures for 2007, the last year of an economic expansion, show that the average income reported by the top 400 earners more than doubled from $131.1 million in 2001. That year, Congress adopted tax cuts urged by then-President George W. Bush that Democrats say disproportionately benefit the wealthy. Each household in the top 400 of earners paid an average tax rate of 16.6 percent, the lowest since the agency began tracking the data in 1992. The statistics underscore "two long-term trends: that income at the very top has exploded and their taxes have been cut dramatically," said Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based research group that supports increasing taxes on high-income individuals. The top 400 earners received a total $138 billion in 2007, up from $105.3 billion a year earlier. On an inflation-adjusted basis, their average income grew almost fivefold since 1992.
Note: For lots more on income inequality from reliable sources, click here.
Law enforcement is tracking Americans' cell phones in real time
February 19, 2010, Newsweek magazine
Law enforcement is tracking Americans' cell phones in real time–without the benefit of a warrant. Amid all the furor over the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program a few years ago, a mini-revolt was brewing over another type of federal snooping that was getting no public attention at all. Federal prosecutors were seeking what seemed to be unusually sensitive records: internal data from telecommunications companies that showed the locations of their customers' cell phones–sometimes in real time, sometimes after the fact. Prosecutors "were using the cell phone as a surreptitious tracking device," said Stephen W. Smith, a federal magistrate in Houston. "And I started asking the U.S. Attorney's Office, 'What is the legal authority for this? What is the legal standard for getting this information?'" Those questions are now at the core of a constitutional clash between President Obama's Justice Department and civil libertarians alarmed by what they see as the government's relentless intrusion into the private lives of citizens. There are numerous other fronts in the privacy wars–about the content of e-mails, for instance, and access to bank records and credit-card transactions. The Feds now can quietly get all that information. But cell-phone tracking is among the more unsettling forms of government surveillance, conjuring up Orwellian images of Big Brother secretly following your movements through the small device in your pocket.
Note: For many key reports from major media sources on the disturbing trend toward increasing government and corporate surveillance, click here.
2 Ex-Workers Accuse Blackwater Security Company of Defrauding the U.S. for Years
February 11, 2010, New York Times
Two former employees of Blackwater Worldwide have accused the private security company of defrauding the government for years by filing bogus receipts, double billing for the same services and charging government agencies for strippers and prostitutes, according to court documents unsealed this week. In a December 2008 lawsuit, the former employees said top Blackwater officials had engaged in a pattern of deception as they carried out government contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The lawsuit, filed under the False Claims Act, also asserts that Blackwater officials turned a blind eye to "excessive and unjustified" force against Iraqi civilians by several Blackwater guards. Blackwater has earned billions of dollars from government agencies in the years since the Sept. 11 attacks, when the company won contracts to protect American diplomats in Iraq and Afghanistan. The former employees who filed the lawsuit, a married couple named Brad and Melan Davis, said there was little financial oversight of the money. The documents detailing the Davises' accusations were unsealed after the Justice Department declined to join in the case against Blackwater, which last year changed its name to Xe Services.
Note: For lots more on corporate fraud and war profiteering from reliable sources, click here.
A Torture Timeline
January 1, 2010 (est.), Newsweek
In 2009, the Justice Department began to release reports and top-secret memos detailing interrogation techniques ... used by CIA officers against suspected terror operatives. The list of brutal techniques, including holding prisoners in small boxes, staging mock executions, and water torture, is reminiscent of some of the worst human-rights abuses on record. In medieval Europe, torture was more than just a means of punishment. Many criminal trials of the era consisted of one or more 'ordeals,' painful tests designed to prove guilt or innocence through supernatural judgment. During waterboarding, a technique first used in the 14th century, torturers begin by pumping water directly into a victim's stomach or slowly flooding his throat with liquid. Used extensively during the Spanish Inquisition, the practice became less publicly acceptable during the Enlightenment, then experienced an underground resurgence in the 19th century. Since World War II, different forms of waterboarding have been employed by governments in Japan, Cambodia, the United Kingdom and the United States, among others. In addition to performing forced labor, prisoners at Nazi concentration camps became subjects in some of the cruelest medical experiments ever performed. They were often held at extreme altitudes and temperatures to help develop new survival strategies or exposed to deadly gases and diseases in order to test vaccines. Many of these tests, directed by the infamous Josef Mengele at Auschwitz, advanced Nazi ideology by establishing 'Jewish racial inferiority.'
Note: The above link leads to a revealing 12-part slide show on the history of torture. For more disturbing information on how Nazi torture techniques were eventually used by the CIA for mind control, click here.
Tracking a new kind of civil disobedience
February 18, 2010, Boston Globe
As Newton resident Lisa Dodson, a Boston College sociology professor in the thick of a research project, was interviewing a grocery story manager in the Midwest about the difficulties of the low-income workers he supervised, he asked her a curious question: "Don't you want to know what this does to me too?'' She did. And so the manager talked about the sense of unfairness he felt as a supervisor, making enough to live comfortably while overseeing workers who couldn't feed their families on the money they earned. That inequality, he told her, tainted his job, making him feel complicit in an unfair system that paid hard workers too little to cover basic needs. The interview changed the way Dodson talked with other supervisors and managers of low-income workers, and she began to find that many of them felt the same discomfort as the grocery store manager. And many went a step further, finding ways to undermine the system and slip their workers extra money, food, or time needed to care for sick children. She was surprised how widespread these acts were. In her new book, The Moral Underground: How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy, she called such behavior "economic disobedience." Dodson concluded that [many] were following the American tradition of civil disobedience - this time, against the economy - and creating a "moral underground."
When using open source makes you an enemy of the state
February 23, 2010, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
An influential lobby group is asking the US government to basically consider open source as the equivalent of piracy - or even worse. It turns out that the International Intellectual Property Alliance ... has requested with the US Trade Representative to consider countries like Indonesia, Brazil and India for its "Special 301 watchlist" because they use open source software. What's Special 301? It's a report that examines the "adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights" around the planet - effectively the list of countries that the US government considers enemies of capitalism. It often gets wheeled out as a form of trading pressure - often around pharmaceuticals and counterfeited goods - to try and force governments to change their behaviours. Most FOSS [Free Open Source Software] isn't state-owned: it just takes price elasticity to its logical conclusion and uses free as a stick to beat its competitors with (would you ever accuse Google, which gives its main product away for free, of being anti-capitalist?). Governments don't even need to pass legislation. Even a recommendation can be enough. Last year the Indonesian government sent around a circular to all government departments and state-owned businesses, pushing them towards open source. But the IIPA suggested that Indonesia deserves Special 301 status because encouraging (not forcing) such takeup "weakens the software industry" and "fails to build respect for intellectual property rights."
In Tests, Vitamin D Shrinks Breast Cancer Cells
February 22, 2010, ABC News
Doctors have known that low levels of vitamin D are linked to certain kinds of cancers as well as to diabetes and asthma, but new research also shows that the vitamin can kill human cancer cells. The results fall short of an immediate cancer cure, but they are encouraging, medical professionals say. JoEllen Welsh, a researcher with the State University of New York at Albany, has studied the effects of vitamin D for 25 years. Part of her research involves taking human breast cancer cells and treating them with a potent form of vitamin D. Within a few days, half the cancer cells shriveled up and died. Welsh said the vitamin has the same effect as a drug used for breast cancer treatment. "Vitamin D enters the cells and triggers the cell death process," she [said]. "It's similar to what we see when we treat cells with Tamoxifen," a drug used to treat breast cancer. The vitamin's effects were even more dramatic on breast cancer cells injected into mice. After several weeks of treatment, the cancer tumors in the mice shrank by an average of more than 50 percent. Some tumors disappeared. Similar results have been achieved on colon and prostate cancer tumors in mice.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on hopeful cancer cures, click here.
CNN Poll: Majority says government a threat to citizens' rights
February 26, 2010, CNN
A majority of Americans think the federal government poses a threat to rights of Americans, according to a new national poll. Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey ... say they think the federal government [has] become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. The survey indicates a partisan divide on the question: only 37 percent of Democrats, 63 percent of Independents and nearly 7 in 10 Republicans say the federal government poses a threat to the rights of Americans. According to CNN poll numbers [just released] Americans overwhelmingly think that the U.S. government is broken.
Owner of Multi-Million Dollar Company Hands Over Business to Employees
February 18, 2010, ABC News
Before the words "whole grain" and "organic" became part of Americans' everyday vocabulary, Bob Moore knew the importance of healthful eating. In 1978, he started Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, as a small family-run business in Oregon selling stone mill-ground whole grains. The company has since grown into a multi-million dollar business that sells more than 400 whole grain products including flours, hot cereals, and organic and gluten-free products. Moore's work is a way of life and his employees are a second family, which is why he announced this week that he's handing over the keys to his 209 employees. Moore said he's gotten countless buy-out offers over the years, but he couldn't envision selling the business to a stranger. "It's the only business decision that I could make," he said. "I don't think there's anybody worthy to run this company but the people who built it. I have employees with me right now that have been with me for 30 years. They just were committed to staying with me now and they're going to own the company." The company will now be run by an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) -- the idea being that a company's stock is put in a retirement plan for its employees, but the stock is never held or bought directly by individuals. When a vested employee retires, he can pull out money from the trust.
Key Articles From Years Past
A blacklist burning for Bush
December 10, 2000, The Observer (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
This week, I was hacking my way through the Florida swampland known as the Office of Secretary of State Katherine Harris and found a couple thousand more names of voters electronically 'disappeared' from the vote rolls. About half of those named are African-Americans. They had the right to vote, but they never made it to the balloting booths. When we left off our Florida story two weeks ago, The Observer discovered that Harris's office had ordered the elimination of 8,000 Florida voters on the grounds that they had committed felonies in other states. None had. Harris bought the bum list from a company called ChoicePoint, a firm whose Atlanta executive suite and boardroom are filled with Republican funders. ChoicePoint, we have learned, picked up the list of faux felons from state officials in ... Texas. In fact, it was a roster of people who, like their Governor, George W, had committed nothing more than misdemeanours. Most of those targeted to have their names 'scrubbed' from the voter roles were African-Americans, Hispanics and poor white folk, likely voters for Vice-President Gore. Add it up. The dead-wrong Texas list, the uncorrected 'corrected' list, plus the out-of-state ex-con list. It's enough to swing a presidential election.
Note: The entire article at the above link is highly recommended. It provides virtual proof of criminal fraud. For lots more on blatant deception in the decisive Florida count of the U.S. 2000 presidential election, click here.
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