249 Millionaires in US Congress, 550 New Abuse Claims in One City, Bankers Wild on Derivates
Revealing News Articles
February 7, 2012
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on the 249 millionaires in US Congress, 550 new claims of sexual abuse by priests filed against the Milwaukee Diocese, bankers going wild with trillions of dollar in derivates, 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. And don't miss the "What you can do" box below the summaries. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
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Special note: For the engaging story "How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the '1 Percent'", click here. For exciting news on the benefits of using coconut oil to treat Alzheimer's disease and more, watch the great six-minute video available here. For a wild combination of hip hop and spirituality, see the second video at this link. For a four-minute video titled "Where is the love?" click here. For an excellent essay on pioneering astronaut and consciousness explorer Dr. Edgar Mitchell, acknowledged as the sixth man to set foot on the moon, click here. For a rich episode of a show on near-death experiences, click here.
47% of Congress Members Millionaires – a Status Shared by Only 1% of Americans
November 16, 2011, ABC News Blog
It's no secret that many members of the U.S. House and Senate are millionaires – 47 percent of them – their salaries paid in part by the American taxpayers. The Center for Responsive Politics has crunched the numbers and released the results on its Open Secrets blog: "About 47 percent of Congress, or 249 current members are millionaires. In 2010, the estimated median net worth of a current U.S. senator stood at an average of $2.56 million. Despite the global economic meltdown in 2008 and the sluggish recovery that followed, that's up about 7.6 percent from an estimated median net worth of $2.38 million in 2009 ... and up 13 percent from a median net worth of $2.27 million in 2008. Fully 36 Senate Democrats, and 30 Senate Republicans reported an average net worth in excess of $1 million in 2010. The same was true for 110 House Republicans and 73 House Democrats." "The vast majority of members of Congress are quite comfortable, financially, while many of their own constituents suffer from economic hardships," said Sheila Krumholz at the Center For Responsive Politics. "Few Americans enjoy the same financial cushions maintained by most members of Congress – or the same access to market-altering information that could yield personal, financial gains."
Note: For key reports on major media control of information and cover-ups, click here.
US elections: no matter who you vote for, money always wins
January 29, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The truly decisive element [in Republican presidential debates] has been ... money. Lots of it. This is not new. But since a 2010 supreme court ruling allowing unlimited campaign contributions by corporations and unions, it has become particularly acute. Moreover, the contributors can remain anonymous. The organisations that are taking advantage of this new law are known as Super Pacs. In 2008 election spending doubled compared with 2004. This year industry analysts believe the money spent just on television ads is set to leap by almost 80% compared with four years ago. Money in American politics was already an elephant in the room. Now the supreme court has given it a laxative, taken away the shovel, and asked us to ignore both the sight and the stench. This is not a partisan point. Almost two-thirds of Americans believe the government should limit individual contributions – with a majority among Republicans, Democrats and independents. The trend towards oligarchy in the polity is already clear. There are 250 millionaires in Congress. As a whole, the polity's median net worth is $891,506, nine times the typical US household. The influence of money at this level corrupts an entire political culture and in no small part explains the depth of cynicism, alienation and mistrust Americans now have for their politicians.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the control of the US electoral system by corporate money, click here.
550 sexual abuse claims filed against Milwaukee Archdiocese
February 2, 2012, MSNBC/Associated Press
About 550 people are asking for restitution for alleged sexual abuse by clergy in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee – more than in any of the other U.S. dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy protection, according to a lawyer involved in the Milwaukee case. The Milwaukee Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection last year, saying pending sex-abuse lawsuits could leave it with debts it couldn't afford. The archdiocese has paid more than $30 million in settlements and other court costs related to allegations of clergy abuse and more than a dozen suits against it have been halted because of the bankruptcy proceedings. One priest alone is accused of abusing some 200 boys at a suburban school for deaf students from 1950 to 1974. A victims' advocacy group called the number of filings "extraordinarily tragic," but said that represented only a small portion of people abused by clergy. "It just shows how devastating these crimes have been on this community but it's obviously far from over," said Peter Isely, the Midwest director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The other seven Catholic dioceses in the U.S. that have filed for bankruptcy since the clergy abuse scandal erupted in 2002 in Boston are in Davenport, Iowa; Fairbanks, Alaska; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; Spokane, Wash.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Wilmington, Del. Two other religious orders have also filed for bankruptcy.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, click here.
OCC's Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities: Third Quarter 2011
December 2011, OCC (U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Administrator of National Banks)
The OCC's quarterly report on trading revenues and bank derivatives activities is based on Call Report information provided by all insured U.S. commercial banks and trust companies, reports filed by U.S. financial holding companies, and other published data. The notional amount of derivatives held by insured U.S. commercial banks decreased $1.4 trillion, or 0.6%, from the second quarter of 2011 to $248 trillion. Notional derivatives are 5.7% higher than at the same time last year. Derivatives activity in the U.S. banking system continues to be dominated by a small group of large financial institutions. Five large commercial banks represent 96% of the total banking industry notional amounts. Insured commercial banks have more limited legal authorities than do their holding companies.
Note: Graphs in this report show that the holding companies for the top five banks also control massive amounts of derivates totaling $326 trillion! The holding companies JPMorgan Chase, BofA, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs have over $311 trillion in derivates, 95% of the total U.S. market. So these banks and their holding companies combined own $532 trillion in derivates, equivalent to roughly $75,000 for every person on the planet. What are the bankers doing? If the above link fails, click here.
OTC derivatives market activity in the first half of 2011
November 16, 2011, Bank for International Settlements (Intergovernmental organization of central banks)
After an increase of only 3% in the second half of 2010, total notional amounts outstanding of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives rose by 18% in the first half of 2011, reaching $708 trillion by the end of June 2011.
Note: The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is an intergovernmental organization of central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks." It is not accountable to any national government. Their accounting shows a total global derivates market controlled by the banks of over $700 trillion. That's $100,000 for every man, woman, and child on the planet. As reported in Reuters, the derivates market is largely unregulated. Do you think there is any manipulation going on here? BIS helps the bankers to work together to keep their hidden power.
Is that JFK memo to the CIA about UFOs real?
April 21, 2011, MSNBC
A story that combines UFO cover-ups with the assassination of John F. Kennedy is ... just what author William Lester says he uncovered while conducting research for a new book on Kennedy: a memo written by JFK and addressed to the CIA in which the president requests confidential information about UFOs. In the never-before-seen, top secret memo supposedly written on Nov. 12, 1963, the president ordered the CIA director to organize the agency's intelligence files relating to UFOs, and to debrief him on all "unknowns" by the following February. Ten days later, Kennedy was assassinated. Lester, a paranormal researcher and author of the new book A Celebration of Freedom: JFK and the New Frontier ... said he obtained the memo along with two others from the CIA under the Freedom of Information Act. "The government regularly declassifies documents after a certain amount of time goes by, and then you have to file a request for those documents," Lester [said]. "When I was in the process of filing, those letters had just become declassified and released to the public." This happened in 2006 or 2007, Lester said. "At the time, I think other people were getting them too." Some archivists question its authenticity. A research technician at the JFK Library in Boston, who asked not to be named, was unable to find a carbon copy of it in its presidential archive, which holds copies of all of JFK's letters.
Note: Fred has made a FOIA request. We'll see if it turns up anything. To see the memo and more, click here. For an excellent selection of news article excerpts suggesting a major cover-up of UFOs, click here. For an abundance or resources from reliable sources on UFOs, see our UFO information center available here.
States seek currencies made of silver and gold
February 3, 2012, CNN
A growing number of states are seeking shiny new currencies made of silver and gold. Worried that the Federal Reserve and the U.S. dollar are on the brink of collapse, lawmakers from 13 states, including Minnesota, Tennessee, Iowa, South Carolina and Georgia, are seeking approval from their state governments to either issue their own alternative currency or explore it as an option. Just three years ago, only three states had similar proposals in place. Unlike individual communities, which are allowed to create their own currency -- as long as it is easily distinguishable from U.S. dollars -- the Constitution bans states from printing their own paper money or issuing their own currency. But it allows the states to make "gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts." And since gold has grown exponentially more valuable, while the U.S. dollar continues to lose ground, the notion has become increasingly appealing to state lawmakers, he said. The states' proposals have been gaining steam among Tea Partyers and Republicans, many of whom also endorse a nationwide return to the gold standard, which would require the U.S. dollar to be backed by gold reserves.
Overall, about 5.6 million people moved their bank accounts in the last quarter of 2011
January 27, 2012, Reuters News
More than 600,000 U.S. consumers have moved their money from big banks to community banks or credit unions, thanks to the much-publicized Bank Transfer Day last fall, according to an analysis released by Javelin Strategy & Research. The grassroots campaign to get people to shift out of big banks capitalized on the nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement, and picked up further momentum from a Bank of America plan in September to charge customers a $5 per month debit card fee. "It was a meaningful movement of people from big banks into small community banks and credit unions ..." said Jim Van Dyke, founder of Javelin. Historically, people don't switch banks easily, even if they are unhappy, Van Dyke says. Consumers have strong ties to their banks because of direct deposit, automated bill payments and habit -- making change more complex than simply going someplace else. "Individuals are really resistant to moving their money out of banks," Van Dyke says. Overall, about 5.6 million people moved their bank accounts in the last quarter of 2011, Javelin says. Account changes attributed to Bank Transfer Day represented about 11 percent of total moves.
Note: As the article mentions, people rarely change banks, so the fact that 6 million changed banks in three months is quite impressive!
U.S. Plays Down Warning by Israeli Over Iran's Missiles
February 3, 2012, New York Times
A senior Israeli official said [on February 2] that the missile-testing site near Tehran that was destroyed in a huge explosion three months ago was developing missiles with a range of 6,000 miles aimed at the United States. The assertion went far beyond what rocket experts have established about Iran's missile capabilities, and U.S. officials questioned its accuracy. The Israeli official, Moshe Yaalon, a deputy prime minister, said the explosion, at a Revolutionary Guard missile base, hit a system "getting ready to produce a missile with a range of 10,000 kilometers. It was aimed at America, not at us." Yaalon was trying to make the point that the Iranian nuclear program is not a threat only to Israel but, as he put it, "a nightmare for the free world." He said it was a concern to Arab states as well as to the United States and Israel. U.S. officials said they believed Yaalon's assertions were at best premature and at worst badly exaggerated. The officials said Iran ... is nowhere close to achieving such a capability. They declined to say what kind of missile work was being done at the base where the explosion took place. Today, the maximum range of Iran's known ballistic missiles is roughly 1,200 miles, rocket experts say.
Inspectors find 'unusual' wear on new tubes carrying radioactive water at Calif. nuclear plant
February 2, 2012, Washington Post/Associated Press
Unusual wear has been found on hundreds of tubes that carry radioactive water at Southern California's San Onofre Unit 2 nuclear plant, raising questions about the integrity of equipment the company installed in a multimillion-dollar makeover in 2009. The disclosure came two days after a tube leak at the plant's other unit prompted operators to shut down the reactor as a precaution. A tiny amount of radiation could have escaped, but officials say workers and the public were not endangered. The problems at Unit 2 were discovered during inspections of a steam generator, after the plant 45 miles north of San Diego was taken off-line for maintenance and refueling. The two huge steam generators at Unit 2, each containing 9,700 tubes, were replaced in fall 2009, and a year later in its twin plant, Unit 3, as part of a $670 million overhaul. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, more than a third of the wall had been worn away in two tubes at Unit 2, which will require them to be plugged and taken out of service. At least 20 percent of the tube wall was worn away in 69 other tubes, and in more than 800, the thinning was at least 10 percent. Retired NRC engineer and researcher Joram Hopenfeld said the company will have to determine why the tubing is degrading so quickly "before they do anything else." "I've never heard of anything like that over so short a period of time," Hopenfeld said. "The safety implications could be very, very severe," Hopenfeld added.
Note: For key reports from reliable sources on dangers posed by the nuclear power industry, click here.
Iowa Muslim leader: Law enforcement betrayed us
February 3, 2012, CNN blog
The Muslim community in Des Moines, Iowa ... is diverse. The members of the four mosques here are from Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, among other nations. [But] the community is a tight-knit group. That's why what happened at their mosques here is alarming to so many of its members. "That was really surprising, very sad that ... the FBI or Homeland Security would send somebody here to pretend to be Muslim and try to find out what goes on here. I feel there is no need for that," said Dr. Hamed Baig, president of the Islamic Center of Des Moines. Baig is talking about 42 year-old Arvinder Singh. Baid says he saw Singh a couple of times at his mosque. But it wasn't until recently that members of the community discovered that Singh, who was raised a Sikh, was allegedly sent into their mosques to spy for the FBI. Singh told CNN that the FBI told him, "'You look Middle Eastern, and we need your help for the war against terror.'" Singh says the FBI came to him with a simple tradeoff: We'll help you get your citizenship if you help us get some terrorists. Singh says he assumed a Muslim identity -– Rafik Alvi -- and went into the mosques pretending to be interested in converting. He says he frequented mosques all over the state but attended the four in Des Moines regularly for seven years. He says sometimes the FBI gave him pictures of persons of interest and he would confirm that they were at the mosque. On a few occasions, Singh says he taped his conversations with congregants.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the clandestine operations of the FBI and other intelligence agencies, click here.
Court sanctions lawyers behind 9/11 case
February 2, 2012, Reuters News
A federal appeals court on [February 2] sanctioned lawyers behind a lawsuit accusing former officials in the Bush administration of orchestrating the Sept. 11 attacks. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ordered two California lawyers to pay $15,000 in addition to double what the government spent defending the case. Three attorneys -- Dennis Cunningham, William Veale and Mustapha Ndanusa -- filed the lawsuit in 2008 on behalf of April Gallop, a member of the U.S. Army injured in the Pentagon attack on Sept. 11, 2001. The lawyers accused then-Vice President Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld of causing the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in order to create a political atmosphere that would allow the U.S. government to pursue domestic and international policy objectives. The suit alleged conspiracy to cause death and bodily harm and a violation of the Antiterrorism Act. U.S. District Judge Denny Chin dismissed the case in 2010, ruling that the complaint was frivolous and a product of "cynical delusion and fantasy." A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit upheld that decision, imposing $15,000 in sanctions on the three lawyers for filing the suit. "We are not delusional by any means. We have the facts, and they cannot be explained," said Veale, a former chief assistant public defender for Contra Costa County, California. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York declined to comment on the litigation. The case is Gallop v. Cheney et al, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, No. 10-1241.
Note: Unmentioned in this article is the fact that the appeals panel which sanctioned the lawyers was presided over by a cousin of former Pres. George W. Bush, who had refused to recuse himself from the case as requested by the lawyers. For more information on this important court case brought by US soldier April Gallop, who was in the Pentagon where it was struck on 9/11, and whose account was suppressed by the FBI but has been brought to light by, among others, Jesse Ventura on his recent television program on the Pentagon, click here and here.
The US schools with their own police
January 9, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
More and more US schools have police patrolling the corridors. Pupils are being arrested for throwing paper planes and failing to pick up crumbs from the canteen floor. Why is the state criminalising normal childhood behaviour? Like hundreds of schools in the state, and across large parts of the rest of the US, Fulmore Middle [school] has its own police force with officers in uniform who carry guns to keep order in the canteens, playgrounds and lessons. Each day, hundreds of schoolchildren appear before courts in Texas charged with offences such as swearing, misbehaving on the school bus or getting in to a punch-up in the playground. Children have been arrested for possessing cigarettes, wearing "inappropriate" clothes and being late for school. In 2010, the police gave close to 300,000 "Class C misdemeanour" tickets to children as young as six in Texas for offences in and out of school, which result in fines, community service and even prison time. What was once handled with a telling-off by the teacher or a call to parents can now result in arrest and a record that may cost a young person a place in college or a job years later. "We've taken childhood behaviour and made it criminal," said Kady Simpkins, a lawyer. "They're kids." The very young are not spared. Texas records show more than 1,000 tickets were issued to primary schoolchildren over the past six years .
Note: For a long list of bizarre arrests of children, for behavior not at all unusual, that have been reported in the mainstream media, click here.
Could A Club Drug Offer 'Almost Immediate' Relief From Depression?
January 30, 2012, NPR blog
Traditional antidepressants like Prozac work on a group of chemical messengers in the brain called the serotonin system. Researchers once thought that a lack of serotonin was the cause of depression, and that these drugs worked simply by boosting serotonin levels. Recent research suggests a more complicated explanation. Serotonin drugs work by stimulating the birth of new neurons, which eventually form new connections in the brain. Ketamine, in contrast, activates a different chemical system in the brain – the glutamate system. Researcher Ron Duman at Yale thinks ketamine rapidly increases the communication among existing neurons by creating new connections. This is a quicker process than waiting for new neurons to form and accomplishes the same goal of enhancing brain circuit activity. Ketamine has been used for decades as an anesthetic. It also has become a wildly popular but illegal club drug known as "Special K." Mental health researchers got interested in ketamine because of reports that it could make depression vanish almost instantly. Carlos Zarate ... does ketamine research at the NIH. Zarate says patients typically say, "'I feel that something's lifted or feel that I've never been depressed in my life. I feel I can work. I feel I can contribute to society.' And it was a different experience from feeling high. This was feeling that something has been removed."
Note: For many inspiring potential treatment breakthroughs in health issues, click here.
Key Articles From Years Past
Congresswoman Outraged Over Wiretapped Conversations
April 22, 2009, CNN
An influential Democrat in Congress, California's Jane Harman, is at the center of a national security scandal that's threatening her political career. Harman is fighting mad after reports that her phone conversation was intercepted by a national security agency wiretap ... in 2005 and 2006. Sources say Harman was overheard talking to an investigative target whose conversations were being legally intercepted. Congressional Quarterly and The New York Times report that Harman discussed using her influence to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee. In return, the person with whom she was speaking would lobby then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to appoint Harman chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Harman reportedly ended the conversation by saying, "This conversation doesn't exist." [Congressional Quarterly] also reports that after the intercept, the FBI tried to open an investigation of Harman. But Attorney General Alberto Gonzales pulled the plug because he wanted Harman's help defending the controversial domestic warrantless wiretapping program. The former attorney general had no comment.
Note: For lots more from major media sources on the clandestine operations of the FBI and other intelligence agencies, click here.
Revealed: the men with stolen identities
September 23, 2001, The Telegraph (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Their names were flashed around the world as suicide hijackers who carried out the attacks on America. But yesterday four innocent men told how their identities had been stolen by Osama bin Laden's teams to cover their tracks. The men - all from Saudi Arabia - spoke of their shock at being mistakenly named by the FBI as suicide terrorists. None of the four was in the United States on September 11 and all are alive in their home country. The FBI released the list of 19 suicide terrorists three days after the attacks. The Saudi Airlines pilot, Saeed Al-Ghamdi, 25, and Abdulaziz Al-Omari, an engineer from Riyadh, are furious that the hijackers' "personal details" - including name, place, date of birth and occupation - matched their own. The other two men accused of being terrorists are Salem Al-Hamzi and Ahmed Al-Nami. Mr Al-Hamzi is 26 and had just returned to work at a petrochemical complex in the industrial eastern city of Yanbou ... when the hijackers struck. Mr Al-Nami, 33, from Riyadh, an administrative supervisor with Saudi Arabian Airlines, said that he was in Riyadh when the terrorists struck. The FBI admitted that there was some doubt about the identities of some of the suspects. A spokesman said: "The identification process has been complicated by the fact that many Arabic family names are similar. It is also possible that the hijackers used false identities." The spokesman declined to say whether the FBI would apologise but added: "If we have made mistakes then obviously that would be regrettable."
Note: The deceptions in the official story of 9/11 are nowhere more clearly shown than in this important story. The FBI never revised its list of alleged hijackers, and these four are all later listed in the official 9/11 Commission report as the hijackers. Click here and scroll down a little over half way to see their photos in the official report. For more on this, click here. For an abundance of reliable information suggesting a major 9/11 cover-up, click here. For other revealing news articles on 9/11, click here.
Please note that most of the summarizing of the revealing news articles in the above summary was done by Tod Fletcher of WantToKnow.info. Many thanks to Tod for all the time and skill he puts into this. The box below provides several ideas on what you can do to spread the news.
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