Monsanto Fights GMO Labels, FBI Raids Occupy Activists, Reporters Detained Without Trial
Revealing News Articles
August 21, 2012
Below are key excerpts of important news articles on massive spending by Monsanto and others to fight GMO labels, FBI raids on Occupy activists, reporters being detained without trial, 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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Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info
Special note: For the powerfully inspiring near-death experience of Amy C., in which her entire belief system about life and our world was radically transformed in a way that led to healing and wonderful changes in her life, click here. For a great webpage at mercola.com exposing the FDA's cult of tyranny, click here. For an 8-minute trailer to the well researched new documentary "Why in the World are They Spraying," click here. For the full film, click here. For other excellent, verifiable information on chemtrails and HAARP, click here and here.
Modified food will be on voters' menu
August 10, 2012, Houston Chronicle (One of Houston's leading newspapers)
In November, voters will decide whether to make California the first state in the nation to require labels on most genetically modified food products. At least 18 states, including California, have tried to pass similar laws through their legislatures and failed. This time, however, the measure made it to the statewide ballot with 1 million citizen signatures; recent polls show Proposition 37 winning by a significant margin. Food activists across the country are watching the California battle closely, with opponents of genetic modification hoping to make the proposition a model for other states. Supporters of the law, including organic trade groups and environmentalists, say consumers have a right to know if the food they're eating contains genetically modified material - particularly when the long-term health effects are unclear. Seventy percent to 80 percent of processed foods sold in the U.S. are made with genetically engineered ingredients, including corn, soybeans, sugar beets and cotton oil. If the California measure passes, processed genetically engineered food products would include the words "Partially produced with genetic engineering" on the front or back label. For whole foods such as sweet corn or salmon, grocers would be required to have a sign on the shelf. Alcohol, most meat, eggs and dairy products would be exempt. Jeffrey Smith, the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology based in Iowa, said "Based on the evidence - damage to virtually every organ evaluated and immune and gastrointestinal problems - labels are needed."
Note: If you read this entire article, you will detect a clear bias against GMO labelling. It quotes a UCLA professor stating, "There is not one credible scientist working on this that would call it unsafe." Yet the article fails to mention the many scientists who have provided solid evidence that GMOs are unsafe. For a powerful essay showing the grave risks and dangers of GMOs, click here. For a New York Times article listing several scientists who raised serious questions about GMOs, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on genetically modified foods, click here.
Ag Giants Spend Big to Defeat Labeling Initiative
August 15, 2012, ABC News/Associated Press
The nation's largest agribusiness and biotech companies are pouring millions of dollars into California to stop the first-ever initiative to require special labels on foods made with genetically modified ingredients, a sign of their determination to keep the measure from sparking a nationwide movement. So far, farming giants such as Monsanto, Dupont Pioneer and Cargill have contributed nearly $25 million to defeat the proposal, with much of that cash coming in the past few days. Monsanto, the largest contributor, gave $4.2 million this week. It's nearly 10 times the amount raised by backers of the ballot measure who say California's health-conscious shoppers want more information about the food they eat. With nearly three months to go before the November election, the measure's opponents appear to be following the previous blueprint developed by major industries to defeat ballot initiatives in the nation's largest consumer market: Raise large sums of money to swamp the airwaves with negative advertising. The food initiative, known as Proposition 37, ... would require most processed foods to bear a label by 2014 letting shoppers know if the items contain ingredients derived from plants with DNA altered with genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria. "It's an epic food fight between the pesticide companies and consumers who want to know what's in their food," said Stacy Malkan, media director for the California Right to Know campaign.
Activists subpoenaed to grand jury meeting in Seattle
August 1, 2012, Seattle Times blog
Two Portland residents say they will appear before a federal grand jury in Seattle Thursday in an investigation of anarchist activity, according to a statement they released on [August 1]. Grand jury subpoenas have also been served to activists in Olympia and Seattle ... according to the Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which identifies itself as an association of progressive lawyers. The guild urged the U.S. Attorney's Office to drop the subpoenas [because] they were being used "as a pretext for harassing political activists." "It concerns us any time there are law-enforcement raids that target political literature, first amendment-protected materials," [guild spokesman Neil] Fox said. Two weeks before a heavily armed, July 25 FBI raid that Dennison Williams and Leah-Lynn Plante said took place at their Portland home, the Seattle Police Department SWAT team seized evidence connected to the May Day investigation from a Judkins Park apartment of Occupy Seattle members. In both cases, those searched told media that law-enforcement charged into their homes [with a battering-ram] early in the morning and used a stun grenade, a non-lethal object that creates a disorienting loud bang and bright light. Williams told The Oregonian that the FBI took his laptop computer, cell phone, two thumb drives, multiple pieces of black clothing, and a T-shirt that read on the front "Multi Death Corporations."
Note: Amazingly, the FBI raids on political activists in Seattle and Portland have gone completely unreported by the mass media. For analysis of the FBI's attacks on dissenters, click here, here and here. For a Democracy Now! video report, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.
What makes our NDAA lawsuit a struggle to save the US constitution
August 10, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
I [Tangerine Bolen] am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the president the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial. In a May hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers asserted even more extreme powers – the right to disregard entirely the judge and the law. On Monday 6 August, Obama's lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction – a profoundly important development that, as of this writing, has been scarcely reported. In the earlier March hearing, US government lawyers had confirmed that, yes, the NDAA does give the president the power to lock up people like journalist Chris Hedges and peaceful activists like myself and other plaintiffs. Government attorneys stated on record that even war correspondents could be locked up indefinitely under the NDAA. In this hearing ... Obama's attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA's section 1021 – the provision that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial – has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world after Judge Forrest's injunction. In other words, they were telling a US federal judge that they could not, or would not, state whether Obama's government had complied with the legal injunction that she had laid down before them. I, like many in this fight, am now afraid of my government. We have good reason to be.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.
The new totalitarianism of surveillance technology
August 15, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Last week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to unveil a major new police surveillance infrastructure, developed by Microsoft. The Domain Awareness System links existing police databases with live video feeds, including cameras using vehicle license plate recognition software. No mention was made of whether the system plans to use – or already uses – facial recognition software. But, at present, there is no law to prevent US government and law enforcement agencies from building facial recognition databases. And we know from industry newsletters that the US military, law enforcement, and the department of homeland security are betting heavily on facial recognition technology. As PC World notes, Facebook itself is a market leader in the technology – but military and security agencies are close behind. According to Homeland Security Newswire, billions of dollars are being invested in the development and manufacture of various biometric technologies capable of detecting and identifying anyone, anywhere in the world – via iris-scanning systems, already in use; foot-scanning technology (really); voice pattern ID software, and so on. What is very obvious is that this technology will not be applied merely to people under arrest, or to people under surveillance in accordance with the fourth amendment. No, the "targets" here [include] everyone. In the name of "national security", the capacity is being built to identify, track and document any citizen constantly and continuously.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.
Trapwire surveillance system exposed in document leak
August 13, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
[Trapwire is] a CCTV surveillance system that recognises people from their face or walk and analyses whether they might be about to commit a terrorist or criminal act. According to documents released online by WikiLeaks [it] is being used in a number of countries to try to monitor people and threats. Founded by former CIA agents, Trapwire uses data from a network of CCTV systems and numberplate readers to figure out the threat level in huge numbers of locations. The documents outlining Trapwire's existence and its deployment in the US were apparently obtained in a hack of computer systems belonging to the intelligence company Stratfor at the end of last year. Documents from the US department of homeland security show that it paid $832,000 to deploy Trapwire in Washington DC and Seattle. Stratfor describes Trapwire as "a unique, predictive software system designed to detect patterns of pre-attack surveillance and logistical planning". It serves "a wide range of law enforcement personnel and public and private security officials domestically and internationally", Stratfor says. Some have expressed doubts that Trapwire could really forecast [future] acts based on data from cameras. The claims might seem overblown, but then the idea that the US could have an international monitoring system seemed absurd until the discovery of the Echelon system, used by the US to eavesdrop on electronic communications internationally.
Democracy falling prey to big money
August 10, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Who's buying our democracy? Wall Street financiers, the Koch brothers, and casino magnates Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn, among others. And they're doing much of it in secret. It's a perfect storm - the combination of three waves that are about to drown government as we know it. The first is the greatest concentration of wealth in America in more than a century. The 400 richest Americans are richer than the bottom 150 million Americans put together. The trend started 30 years ago, and it's related to globalization and technological changes that have stymied wage growth for most people, "trickle-down economics," ... tax cuts and the steady decline in the bargaining power of organized labor. The second is the wave of unlimited political contributions, courtesy of ... one of the worst decisions in Supreme Court history, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 ruling that held that corporations are people under the First Amendment, [meaning] that virtually any billionaire can contribute as much to a political campaign as he wants. The third is complete secrecy about who's contributing how much to whom. Political fronts posing as charitable, nonprofit "social welfare" organizations ... don't have to disclose their donors. As a result, outfits like the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS are taking in hundreds of millions from corporations that don't even tell their own shareholders what political payments they're making. Separately, any one of these three would be bad enough. Put the three together, and our democracy is being sold down the drain.
Note: The author of this article, Robert Reich, is a professor of public policy at UC Berkeley and former U.S. secretary of labor, and author of the newly released Beyond Outrage: What Has Gone Wrong With Our Economy and Our Democracy, and How to Fix It.
Why Goldman Sachs, Other Wall Street Titans Are Not Being Prosecuted
August 14, 2012, The Daily Beast/Newsweek
On [August 9] the Department of Justice announced it will not prosecute Goldman Sachs or any of its employees in a financial-fraud probe. Despite the Obama administration's promises to clean up Wall Street in the wake of America's worst financial crisis, there has not been a single criminal charge filed by the federal government against any top executive of the elite financial institutions. Why is that? In a word: cronyism. Take Goldman Sachs, for example. In 2008, Goldman Sachs employees were among Barack Obama's top campaign contributors, giving a combined $1,013,091. [Attorney General] Eric Holder's former law firm, Covington & Burling, also counts Goldman Sachs as one of its clients. Furthermore, in April 2011, when the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a scathing report detailing Goldman's suspicious Abacus deal, several Goldman executives and their families began flooding Obama campaign coffers with donations, some giving the maximum $35,800. The individuals the DOJ's "Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force" has placed in its prosecutorial crosshairs seem shockingly small compared with the Wall Street titans the Obama administration promised to bring to justice. To be sure, financial fraud of any kind is wrong and should be prosecuted. But locking up "pygmies" is hardly the kind of financial-fraud crackdown Americans expected in the wake of the largest financial crisis in U.S. history. Increasingly, there appear to be two sets of rules: one for the average citizen, and another for the connected cronies who rule the inside game.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on financial corporations' control over government, see our Banking Bailout archive here.
Billionaires Soros, Paulson Bet Big on Gold
August 16, 2012, ABC News blog
Once again John Paulson is choosing to heavily invest in gold and fellow billionaire George Soros is making a similar bet. Paulson & Co. and Soros Fund Management bumped up exposure to SPDR Gold Trust to 21.8 million shares and 884,000 shares, respectively. The decision by Soros is an interesting one. In 2010, Soros called gold "the ultimate bubble" during an appearance on Reuters television. Paulson & Co. now has 44 percent of its $24 billion fund exposed to bullion. Peter Sorrentino, a senior portfolio manager at Huntington Funds, ... said consumers should not rush out and buy gold. "Historically these moves span roughly a decade and while the last phase is typically the most explosive, the risk is getting out before it rolls over. Sorrentino said ... "the fundamentals behind gold such as available supply coming to market and end demand have not changed in any material way. In fact, gold purchase by central banks in the pacific rim, India and Russia have reached new highs. So from an investor psychology and supply/demand perspective, this looks like every cycle before it during the last decade." But, despite big bets by two of the nation's billionaires, he continued, "...There is an old saying among Wall Street traders; 'It's said with a whisper and not with a shout, when the widows and orphans get in, it's time to get out.'"
Note: A Fox News report also shows unusually high purchases of gold from central banks, mostly those of developing nations. Yet the price of gold has remained relatively stable in the last 10 months (between $1,550 and $1,800/oz) after rising from around $250/oz in 2002 up to $1,900/oz in August of 2011. Could these purchases be indicators of rocky financial times in the near future? A gold dealer informed WTK founder Fred Burks that gold prices tend to stabilize in election years, which you can verify using the charts at this link.
Pope's butler, layman face trial for allegedly stealing documents from Benedict's apartment
August 13, 2012, CBS News/Associated Press
A Vatican judge on [August 13] ordered the pope's butler and a fellow lay employee to stand trial for the alleged pilfering of documents from Pope Benedict XVI's private apartment, in an embarrassing scandal that exposed power struggles and purported corruption at the Holy See's highest levels. The indictment accused Paolo Gabriele, a butler arrested at the Vatican in May, of grand theft - a charge that could bring up to six years in jail, although the pope could pardon his once-trusted aide after any conviction. The Holy See has been on a defensive footing since documents alleging corruption and exposing power struggles began appearing in the Italian media in January. In May, the book Sua Santita (His Holiness) - by Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi - was published containing dozens of documents from the pope's desk, including letters written to him. When the leaks broke [Gabriele] was quickly identified as the source. The indictment quoted Gabriele as telling investigators that he was "motivated by my deep faith and by the desire that in the church light is shed on everything."
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on institutional secrecy, click here.
Witchcraft-based child abuse: Action plan launched
August 14, 2012, BBC News
The [UK] government has launched an action plan to tackle child abuse linked to witchcraft or religion in England. High-profile cases include the murders of Kristy Bamu and Victoria Climbie but experts fear much more abuse is hidden. The key aims are to raise awareness and set out "urgent practical steps to identify and protect children at risk". Children's Minister Tim Loughton said: "Abuse linked to faith or belief in spirits, witchcraft or possession is a horrific crime, condemned by people of all cultures, communities and faiths - but there has been a 'wall of silence' around its scale and extent. There can never be a blind eye turned to violence or emotional abuse or even the smallest risk that religious beliefs will lead to young people being harmed." The government says that cases of adults inflicting physical violence or emotional harm on children they regard as witches or possessed by evil spirits occur across the world, often in sub-sects of major religions, such as Christianity. Scotland Yard says it has conducted 83 investigations into cases of faith-based child abuse in the past decade. The government admits more research is needed before it can act effectively to protect children - the last study was in 2006 and looked at 38 cases involving 47 children from Africa, South Asia and Europe, all of whom had been abused in the name of possession or witchcraft.
Note: To learn more about cult child abuse which may be much more rampant than most would suspect, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse of children, click here.
Company once known as Blackwater settles arms case
August 8, 2012, Boston Globe
The international security contractor formerly known as Blackwater [and now called Academi LLC] has agreed to pay a $7.5 million fine to settle federal criminal charges related to arms smuggling and other crimes. The list of 17 violations includes possessing automatic weapons in the United States without registration, lying to federal firearms regulators about weapons provided to the king of Jordan, passing secret plans for armored personnel carriers to Sweden and Denmark without US government approval, and illegally shipping body armor overseas. Federal prosecutors said the company, which has held billions in US security contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, repeatedly flouted US laws. ''Compliance with these laws is critical to the proper conduct of our defense efforts and to international diplomatic relations,'' said Thomas G. Walker, the US attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. ''This prosecution is an important step to ensuring that our corporate citizens comply with these rules in every circumstance.'' Blackwater was founded in 1997 by former Navy SEAL Erik Prince. The company rose to national attention after winning massive no-bid security contracts from the US government at the Iraq War's start. In 2010, after several high-profile controversies, the company reached a $42 million settlement with the Department of State over repeated violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.
9/11: Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out
August 18, 2012, Colorado Public Television
In [the] new film ["9/11: Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out"], over 40 experts in the fields of structural engineering, high-rise architecture, controlled demolition, physics, chemistry and metallurgy lay out the case for a controlled demolition of the World Trade Center on 9/11. The experts cite evidence showing that high-temperature incendiaries and explosives were planted throughout the twin towers and the lesser-known Building 7 which collapsed later the same day. Eight experts in psychology ... discuss the difficulties many people have in confronting this possible reality and how necessary the truth is for healing – both at the individual and collective levels. Two years in the making, "9/11: Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out" is the latest film from Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth, represented by founder Richard Gage, AIA. "The official story about the attacks of September 11 falls apart when you look squarely at the facts and apply basic scientific principles to interpret them," says Gage. "After more than ten years, a high-level investigation of the evidence is long overdue. Too much is at stake here to sweep the concerns under the rug. Family members of 9/11 victims speak to the viewers of this film. They explain why they are still not happy with the answers they've been given by our government. And they are asking you to join them in looking at what our experts have to say."
Note: To watch a beautifully-made 15-minute documentary put together by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, click here.
Time for America to revisit its nuclear policy
June 1, 2012, Dallas Morning News (The leading newspaper of Dallas, TX)
Could we be overlooking profound questions and truths about the again-rising likelihood of the decimation or the end of life on Earth in an H-bomb holocaust? The actual and prospective nuclear policy and practice of the United States, Israel and Britain has moved from the nuclear disarmament promised in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty into attacking nations that ... insist on getting the same weapons we have. More nations keep getting the H-bomb and the systems to deliver it wherever they want to. There is still no international control of these weapons that can end life on Earth. Jonathan Schell reports in The Seventh Decade that 50 more nations know how to make H-bombs. It's a secret no more. Why are possibly apocalyptic facts about them blocked from us by nine systems of military secrecy? For just one example, does Israel, as indicated in Ron Rosenbaum's recent well-sourced book How the End Begins, have five German-made nuclear-armed submarines in the Mediterranean poised to fire H-bombs in retaliation even if Israel's leadership has been "decapitated"? The U.S. should be leading the world toward "near zero" or the abolition of these weapons. We should be challenging our officials and military for risking our deaths, the lives of our fellow human beings and our national honor by keeping, maintaining and implicitly threatening to use our own weapons of mass murder.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption in the nuclear power and weapons industries, click here.
The women of India's Barefoot College bring light to remote villages
June 24, 2011, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Santosh Devi is [a] 19-year-old, semi-literate woman from the backwaters of Rajasthan [who] has broken through India's rigid caste system to become the country's first Dalit solar engineer. While differences of caste have begun to blur in the cities, in rural India Dalits – also known as "untouchables" – are still impoverished and widely discriminated against. Santosh trained to be a solar engineer at the Barefoot College in Tilonia, 100km from Jaipur. The college was set up in 1972 by Sanjit "Bunker" Roy to teach rural people skills with which they could transform their villages, regardless of gender, caste, ethnicity, age or schooling. The college claims to have trained 15,000 women in skills including solar engineering, healthcare and water testing. Roy, 65, says his approach – low cost, decentralised and community driven – works by "capitalising on the resources already present in the villages". The college, spread over eight acres, runs entirely on solar energy, maintained by the Barefoot solar engineers. Since the solar course was launched in 2005, more than 300 Barefoot engineers have brought power to more than 13,000 homes across India. A further 6,000 households, in more than 120 villages in 24 countries from Afghanistan to Uganda, have been powered on the same model. Only villages that are inaccessible, remote and non-electrified are considered for solar power. A drop in the ocean, perhaps – 44% of rural households in India have no electricity – but these women are making an important contribution to the nation's power needs.
Note: For a very inspiring TED talk filled with great stories by the founder of this college, click here.
Key Articles From Years Past
Biotechnology Food: From the Lab to a Debacle
January 25, 2001, New York Times
In late 1986, four executives of the Monsanto Company, the leader in agricultural biotechnology, paid a visit to Vice President George Bush at the White House. In the weeks and months that followed, the White House complied, working behind the scenes, to help Monsanto – long a political power with deep connections in Washington – get the regulations that it wanted. It was an outcome that would be repeated, again and again, through three administrations. What Monsanto wished for from Washington, Monsanto – and, by extension, the biotechnology industry – got. Even longtime Washington hands said that the control this nascent industry exerted over its own regulatory destiny – through the Environmental Protection Agency, the Agriculture Department and ultimately the Food and Drug Administration – was astonishing. Dr. Louis J. Pribyl, one of 17 government scientists working on a policy for genetically engineered food, ... knew from studies that toxins could be unintentionally created when new genes were introduced into a plant's cells. The government was dismissing that risk and any other possible risk as no different from those of conventionally derived food. That meant biotechnology companies would not need government approval to sell the foods they were developing. "This is the industry's pet idea, namely that there are no unintended effects that will raise the F.D.A.'s level of concern," Dr. Pribyl wrote in a fiery memo to the F.D.A. scientist overseeing the policy's development. "But time and time again, there is no data to back up their contention."
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