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Right to Know
California's Proposition 37 and the Right to Know
Revealing News Articles
August 28, 2012

Dear friends,

"Right to Know" is the catchy campaign slogan for California's Proposition 37 on mandatory labeling of GM (genetically modified) foods. This week's news summary focuses on the right to know what's in our food, as we feel this issue is critical to public health. WantToKnow.info strongly supports the right to know. And how cool that the wording of "Right to Know" and WantToKnow are so similar! Let's use this to spread the word about both Proposition 37's right to know and the great information on WantToKnow.info.

The entire European Union has required GM labeling since 1997. And polls show that 65% of Californians support the right to know what's in their food with only 22% opposed. Yet Monsanto and other huge corporations have raised over $25 million to defeat Proposition 37. If California becomes the first "right to know" state, others will almost certainly follow. You can make a difference by spreading the news on this key issue. Please support Proposition 37 the right to know the risks and dangers contained in our food.

In addition to articles on Proposition 37 and the right to know, below are key excerpts of important news on the revelation that a key FBI infiltrator provided guns and weapons to the Black Panther Party, the arrest of a former Marine for quoting song lyrics at Facebook, 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.

With best wishes,
Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Special note: For a great collection of past major media articles revealing the serious risks and dangers of genetically modified foods, click here. For an article titled "The Top 10 Lies Told by Monsanto on GMO Labeling in California," click here. To be educated on the controversy over aerial spraying being recommended by the CDC to combat the West Nile Virus, click here.

Thank you so much!!! Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful supporters, PEERS and WantToKnow.info are in the black financially for the first time in nearly two years. We are deeply grateful to all who have helped us to make this turn around. Together, we are making a big difference!


Freedom of Choice Includes the Right to Know
August 26, 2012, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (One of Seattle's leading newspapers)
http://blog.seattlepi.com/timigustafsonrd/2012/08/26/freedom-of-choice-includes-the-right-to-know

In California ... voters will decide in the November election whether consumers should have the right to know what goes in their food. Proposition 37, if it passes, will require food manufacturers to disclose whether their products contain genetically modified organisms (GMO). It is estimated that 40 to 70 percent of foods currently sold in grocery stores in California contain some genetically altered ingredients. The [FDA] does not require safety studies, and no long-term research on potential health effects has been conducted yet, although there are reports of preliminary studies that have linked GMOs to allergies and other health risks. Proposition 37 does not intend to impose any bans. "It's simply saying: Let's give consumers information so we can choose for ourselves whether or not we want to eat genetically engineered foods. Consumers in 50 other countries – including all of Europe, Japan, China and Russia – all have this right," argued Grant Lundberg, the CEO of Lundberg Family Farms, and Kathryn Phillips, Director of the Sierra Club California. Having started as a grassroots movement, Proposition 37 has a good chance of succeeding. A whopping 65 percent of registered voters in California say they support the measure. But so far, less than 3 million dollars have been raised by the organizers. Opponents, mainly chemical and food-processing companies, including Monsanto, BASF, Bayer, Dow, Nestle, Coca Cola and Pepsico, have raised more than nine times as much. Ignoring facts and keeping information secret is not a sustainable strategy in the long run. California's Right-to-Know movement could morph into something like that with the potential of spreading across the whole country.

Note: This article neglects to mention scientific studies which have shown that lab animals got very sick and some even died after being fed GM food. For a well researched and footnoted paper on this, click here. For a great collection of past major media articles revealing the serious risks and dangers of genetically modified foods, click here.


Proposition 37 in California: A high-stakes food fight
August 24, 2012, San Jose Mercury News (Silicon Valley's leading newspaper)
http://www.mercurynews.com/elections/ci_21391702/proposition-37-california-high-stakes-food-fight

If Proposition 37 passes, California would become the first state in the nation to require new labels on a host of food products commonly found on grocery store shelves. Many other nations, including Japan, China and a host of European countries, already label genetically engineered food. In the United States, however, products that contain genetically engineered ingredients are generally not labeled. Proponents ... have raised $2.8 million. A company owned by Joseph Mercola, a controversial holistic health activist from Illinois with more than 100,000 Twitter followers, has kicked in $800,000. Opponents have raised nine times as much. Almost all of the nearly $25 million has come from a variety of chemical, seed and processed-food companies. Monsanto, a leading producer of genetically engineered seeds, donated $4.2 million, the largest donation. The labeling initiative largely covers processed foods. Milk, cheese and other dairy products made from cows that are injected with the bovine growth hormone or eat genetically engineered feed like alfalfa would be exempt, but meat or dairy products from animals that are genetically engineered would be labeled. In 2000, 25 percent of the corn planted in the United States was genetically engineered, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. By 2012, that figure had soared to 88 percent. The group California Right to Know, which is leading the pro-labeling campaign, is counting on a vast social media network and volunteers to get its message out. Stacy Malkan, a spokeswoman for the yes campaign, said [this] "is a people's movement against out-of-state corporations."

Note: A graph in this article shows that 94% of the funds raised against Proposition 37 came from outside of California. And how interesting that Dr. Mercola is called controversial, considering that he now has nearly 2 million subscribers to his mos excellent email list. For an article titled "The Top 10 Lies Told by Monsanto on GMO Labeling in California," click here. For a great collection of past major media articles revealing the serious risks and dangers of genetically modified foods, click here.


Prop. 37: Consumers need to know
August 21, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/Prop-37-Consumers-need-to-know-3805500.php

Voters will decide on an issue this November that affects us all: our right to know what's in our food. Millions of Californians are saying: We want to know, and we have the right to know, if our food has been genetically engineered. Parents, farmers, health care professionals, environmentalists, politicians and labor groups want to know, too. Proposition 37 requires companies to add a few words to labels if their food has been genetically modified. Also called GMOs, these modified plant and animal products have been altered in a lab to combine DNA from one species with another to create combinations that don't occur in nature. An example is Monsanto's genetically modified sweet corn, which has been engineered to contain an insecticide, Bt toxin, within the corn itself. Voters and consumers also have environmental concerns. GMO crops have led to an overall increase in pesticide use, the emergence of superweeds and superbugs, and the unintentional contamination of non-GMO crops with GMO-crop pollens. Here in California, out-of-state pesticide and food companies have contributed $25 million to blanket the airwaves with deceptive commercials trying to persuade us that labeling is too costly, scary or confusing. We've heard it all before. They used the same tactics to claim hardship if they were forced to tell consumers about calories, fat content or other information we use every day to choose our food. We're not buying these scare stories. It's a simple label. We have a right to know what's in our food. This is how our country is supposed to work - we are free to make informed choices. Proposition 37 will help us exercise that freedom about what we eat. We urge you to vote yes on Prop. 37.

Note: For a great collection of past major media articles revealing the serious risks and dangers of genetically modified foods, click here.


Life-Threatening Food?
May 17, 2001, CBS News
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/05/17/eveningnews/main291992.shtml

Last fall, at a business lunch with co-workers, Grace Booth enjoyed three chicken enchiladas. The food, she recalls, was very good – but then something went very wrong. "I thought, oh my God, what is happening to me? I felt like I was going to die." In the emergency room in nearby Oakland the diagnosis was severe allergic reaction and from here Grace Booth's story reached officials in Washington. At the time the national corn market was in an uproar. Starlink, a gene modified corn not approved for human food, had been found in taco shells and recalls were emptying the shelves of corn products. The fear was possible allergic reactions. At that moment, Booth says, she had no idea that the corn tortillas in her lunch were about to be recalled. In the wake of the recalls more than 50 Americans, including Booth, claimed they had reactions to Starlink corn. That forced the government to launch the first full-scale allergy investigation in the history of biotech food. It has taken months, but the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration have collected food samples and blood from two dozen people whose cases were believed most serious. [Symptoms] "[v]aried from just abdominal pain and diarrhea [or] skin rashes to some patients ... having very severe life-threatening reactions," said Dr. Marc Rothenberg, the allergy chief at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. He is an adviser to the government in the Starlink investigation. Its slow going he says because investigators first had to find the Starlink protein and then invent a blood test.

Note: The date of this article is May 17, 2001, though on the webpage itself a different date is listed. With so many examples of allergic reactions and more to GM foods, why does the FDA continue to insist that these foods are safe? Could it be because many top leaders at the FDA once worked at Monsanto?


Man Who Armed Black Panthers Was FBI Informant
August 20, 2012, MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48721445/ns/local_news-san_francisco_bay_area_ca/false

The man who gave the Black Panther Party some of its first firearms and weapons training – which preceded fatal shootouts with Oakland police in the turbulent 1960s – was an undercover FBI informer, according to a former bureau agent and an FBI report. One of the Bay Area's most prominent radical activists of the era, Richard Masato Aoki was known as a fierce militant who touted his street-fighting abilities. He was a member of several radical groups before joining and arming the Panthers. But unbeknownst to his fellow activists, Aoki had served as an FBI intelligence informant, covertly filing reports on a wide range of Bay Area political groups, according to the bureau agent who recruited him, [Burney Threadgill Jr.]. Aoki's work for the FBI ... was uncovered and verified during research for the book, Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power. The FBI ... released records about Aoki in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. A Nov. 16, 1967, intelligence report on the Black Panthers lists Aoki as an "informant" with the code number "T-2." Aoki gave the Panthers some of their first guns. As [Bobby] Seale recalled in his memoir, Seize the Time, the group approached Aoki, "a Third World brother we knew, a Japanese radical cat. He had guns ... .357 Magnums, 22's, 9mm's, what have you." In early 1967, Aoki joined the Black Panther Party and gave them more guns, Seale wrote. Aoki also gave Panther recruits weapons training.

Note: For a Democracy Now! video report on the discovery that Aoki was an FBI infiltrator, informer and provocateur, click here. This is more solid evidence that elements within government have consistently instigated violence within progressive movements in order to discredit them. Sadly, this policy appears to continue up to the present.


Former Marine Detained After Alleged Facebook Threats
August 21, 2012, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/08/former-marine-detained-after-alleged-facebook-threats/

A 26 year old former Marine has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after being detained for alleged threats he made on Facebook. Brandon Raub, who lives in Chesterfield, Virginia, was detained [on August 16] after being questioned by law enforcement about his postings. "Sharpen up my axe; I'm here to sever heads," Raub posted to Facebook on August 13, 2012. The post appears to be a lyric from the band Swollen Members and its song "Bring Me Down." The case has pitted First Amendment freedoms against potential security concerns. Raub, who served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was questioned by the FBI, U.S. Secret Service and Chesterfield County Police ... and was then taken into custody by the Chesterfield County Police Department. At a court hearing on [August 20] Raub was ordered to be detained for mental evaluation for 30 days. Court records on Raub only showed traffic violations. A Facebook group supporting Raub already has over 5,800 supporters. "For government officials to not only arrest Brandon Raub for doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights but to actually force him to undergo psychological evaluations and detain him against his will goes against every constitutional principle this country was founded upon. This should be a wake-up call to Americans that the police state is here," said John Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, which is serving as counsel for Raub.

Note: Thanks to public outcry, this man was later released. For more on this, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on civil liberties, click here.


Bank scandals: Somebody must go to jail
August 18, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Bank-scandals-Somebody-must-go-to-jail-3798273.php

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies." - Thomas Jefferson, 1816. When Thomas Jefferson spoke those words, banks were local and very small compared with the financial behemoths of today. Banks are more dangerous now than in Jefferson's time, and they are totally out of control. During the Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt referred to banks as the "money changers in the temple of our civilization," and little has been done since. It is well past the time that people on Wall Street live by the rule of law - not just pay fines - and some executives go to jail for their conduct. In 2008, the much-publicized Troubled Assets Relief Program bailed out banks and Wall Street to the tune of $700 billion with taxpayer money. While the banks were bailed out of the trouble they caused, they continued to pay out enormous executive bonuses with taxpayers' money in multimillion-dollar year-end gifts. JPMorgan received $25 billion from the government in 2008 and gave out nearly $9 billion in bonus money that year. When the derivative-driven housing market collapsed in 2008, Citigroup and Bank of America, the major banks in that market, and eight other top Wall Street firms got $1.2 trillion in then-secret loans of taxpayer money from the Federal Reserve. The Fed even went to court in an attempt to hide the identities of those banks from the public. Regulating the banks and bringing the rule of law to Wall Street banks is necessary now. Sending a few Wall Street banksters to jail would stop some of the abuse as well.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the corrupt relationship between government and the financial sector, click here.


The unrepentant and unreformed bankers
August 18, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/The-unrepentant-and-unreformed-bankers-3798261.php

Money laundering. Price fixing. Bid rigging. Securities fraud. Talking about the mob? No, unfortunately. Wall Street. These days, the business sections of newspapers read like rap sheets. GE Capital, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Wells Fargo and Bank of America tied to a bid-rigging scheme to bilk cities and towns out of interest earnings. ING Direct, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank facing charges of money laundering. Barclays caught manipulating a key interest rate, costing savers and investors dearly, with a raft of other big banks also under investigation. Not to speak of the unprecedented wrongdoing that precipitated the financial crisis of 2008. Yet, it's clear that the unrepentant and the unreformed are still all too present within our banking system. A June survey of 500 senior financial services executives in the United States and Britain turned up stunning results. Some 24 percent said that they believed that financial services professionals may need to engage in illegal or unethical conduct to succeed, 26 percent said that they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, and 16 percent said they would engage in insider trading if they could get away with it. That too much of Wall Street remains unchanged is not surprising. Simply stated, the banks and their leaders have paid no real economic, legal or political price for their wrongdoing and thus have not felt compelled to change.

Note: The author of this article, Phil Angelides, is a former state treasurer of California and the chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the corrupt relationship between government and the financial sector, click here.


Afghan training mission losing ground
August 18, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/brinkley/article/Afghan-training-mission-losing-ground-3798270.php

The U.S. military is packing to leave Afghanistan - pulling up airfields, tearing down bases, disassembling Humvees for transport. Over the next few weeks, 23,000 troops will fly home, leaving 68,000 troops who will stay until 2014. The looming question, though, is: After 11 years, more than 2,000 U.S. military fatalities and at least $1 trillion in expenses, what are the United States and NATO leaving behind? The answer is bleak: Afghan security forces totally incapable of operating on their own, as the U.S. military quietly acknowledges. And a government so corrupt and ineffectual that, as the Army said in that report to Congress, it "bolsters insurgent messaging." In others words, great PR for the Taliban. Since 2002, the United States has spent $43 billion to train the Afghan military and police. It plans to spend $11.2 billion more this year, and the military has requested another $5.8 billion for 2013. Now the training mission acknowledges that none of the Afghan forces are ready to fight on their own. The highest rating for trained Afghan forces today is "independent - with advisers." Only 7 percent of Afghan army units are capable even of that. That's just one in a nest of problems. Another big one is illiteracy. The special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction, in a recent report, said the literacy rate of Afghan security forces "as a whole is 11 percent." In almost every measurable way, the training mission is losing ground. Aren't we in the same position as the Soviet Union 30 years ago - pursuing a Sisyphean task, inescapably destined to fail?

Note: The author of this article, Joel Brinkley, is a professor of journalism at Stanford University and a Pulitzer Prize-winning former foreign correspondent for the New York Times. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the realities of the US war of aggression in Afghanistan, click here.


Get Antibiotics Off the Farm
August 20, 2012, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/opinion/get-antibiotics-off-the-farm.html

The feeding of antibiotics in small doses to entire herds or flocks to promote rapid weight gain poses a serious threat to human health. The constant dosing promotes the emergence of germs that are resistant to veterinary drugs and to the very similar drugs used in humans. That raises the risk that when humans are infected by the germs, the medicines they rely on will be less effective. Earlier this month, a federal magistrate judge in New York told the Food and Drug Administration to quit dillydallying on its three-decade effort to curb indiscriminate use of antibiotics in farm animals to spur their growth. He set a timetable for the agency to follow in withdrawing two important drugs - penicillin and two forms of tetracycline - from widespread use in animals. The trouble is, that timetable will give the F.D.A. five more years to complete the process.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.


Lawyers From Suits Against Big Tobacco Target Food Makers
August 19, 2012, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/business/lawyers-of-big-tobacco-lawsuits-take-aim-at-food-industry...

Don Barrett, a Mississippi lawyer, took in hundreds of millions of dollars a decade ago after suing Big Tobacco and winning record settlements from R. J. Reynolds, Philip Morris and other cigarette makers. So did Walter Umphrey, Dewitt M. Lovelace and Stuart and Carol Nelkin. More than a dozen lawyers who took on the tobacco companies have filed 25 cases against industry players like ConAgra Foods, PepsiCo, Heinz, General Mills and Chobani. The suits, filed over the last four months, assert that food makers are misleading consumers and violating federal regulations by wrongly labeling products and ingredients. "[Mislabeling of a product is] a crime - and that makes it a crime to sell it," said Mr. Barrett. "That means these products should be taken off the shelves." Mr. Barrett said his group could seek damages amounting to four years of sales of mislabeled products - which could total many billions of dollars. In recent weeks, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has sued General Mills and McNeil Nutritionals over their claims on Nature Valley and Splenda Essentials products, and warned Welch's it would sue unless the company changed the wording on its juice and fruit snacks. The Federal Trade Commission won settlements from companies like Dannon and Pom Wonderful for claims about their products' health benefits. And PepsiCo and Coca-Cola face lawsuits over claims that their orange juice products are "100% natural."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.


Oceana targets fishy labeling practices
August 23, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Oceana-targets-fishy-labeling-practices-3811735.php

Oceana, a group dedicated to preserving the ocean ecosystem, is testing fish nationwide to find out whether seafood fraud is as widespread as some people think it is. It is now possible to determine exactly what species is being served at the local fish shack, thanks to recent advances in genetic sequencing. Oceana has thus far found seafood mislabeling everywhere it has done testing, including Boston, Los Angeles, Miami and Monterey. The DNA-testing campaign, in which dozens of volunteers are provided testing kits with instructions and monitoring sheets, created an uproar when the early results came out. In South Florida ... results showed that 31 percent of the fish tested at restaurants and markets was mislabeled. In Los Angeles, 55 percent, and in Boston, 48 percent of the fish sold was not what it was touted to be. In Los Angeles ... eight out of nine sushi samples labeled as "white tuna," or shiro maguro, were actually escolar, which [has been called] the "ex-lax fish" for its purgative effect on the digestive system. Escolar is not among the 14 species that can legally be labeled as tuna. Oceana found that 87 percent of the sushi venues tested misrepresented the fish being served. The results follow several Consumer Reports studies that had similar results, including a 2006 report that found that 56 percent of the salmon marketed in the United States as wild was actually farmed. Thirty-one percent of grocery stores misidentified fish. In many cases, there is no way for the consumer to know whether the fish is what the restaurant, fish market or grocery store claims it is.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.


WikiLeaks and Free Speech
August 21, 2012, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/opinion/wikileaks-and-the-global-future-of-free-speech.html

[In its] decision to grant diplomatic asylum to [WikiLeaks'] founder, Julian Assange, ... Ecuador has acted in accordance with important principles of international human rights. Indeed, nothing could demonstrate the appropriateness of Ecuador's action more than the British government's threat to violate a sacrosanct principle of diplomatic relations and invade the embassy to arrest Mr. Assange. Predictably, the response from those who would prefer that Americans remain in the dark has been ferocious. Top elected leaders from both parties have called Mr. Assange a "high-tech terrorist." And Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who leads the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has demanded that he be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. Most Americans, Britons and Swedes are unaware that Sweden has not formally charged Mr. Assange with any crime. Rather, it has issued a warrant for his arrest to question him about allegations of sexual assault in 2010. If Mr. Assange is extradited to the United States, the consequences will reverberate for years around the world. Mr. Assange is not an American citizen, and none of his actions have taken place on American soil. If the United States can prosecute a journalist in these circumstances, the governments of Russia or China could, by the same logic, demand that foreign reporters anywhere on earth be extradited for violating their laws.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government secrecy, click here.


The bizarre, unhealthy, blinding media contempt for Julian Assange
August 22, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/22/julian-assange-media-contempt

Is it not remarkable that one of the very few individuals over the past decade to risk his welfare, liberty and even life to meaningfully challenge the secrecy regime on which the American national security state (and those of its obedient allies) depends just so happens to have become – long before he sought asylum from Ecuador – the most intensely and personally despised figure among the American and British media class and the British "liberal" intelligentsia? In 2008 – two years before the release of the "collateral murder" video, the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, and the diplomatic cables – the Pentagon prepared a secret report which proclaimed WikiLeaks to be an enemy of the state and plotted ways to destroy its credibility and reputation. But in a stroke of amazing luck, Pentagon operatives never needed to do any of that, because the establishment media in the US and Britain harbor at least as much intense personal loathing for the group's founder as the US government does, and eagerly took the lead in targeting him. Many people like to posit the US national security state and western media outlets as adversarial forces, but here – as is so often the case – they have so harmoniously joined in common cause. Whatever else is true, establishment media outlets show unlimited personal animus toward the person who, as a panel of judges put it when they awarded him the the 2011 Martha Gellhorn prize for journalism, "has given the public more scoops than most journalists can imagine."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government secrecy, click here.


Don't lose sight of why the US is out to get Julian Assange
August 21, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/21/why-us-is-out-to-get-assange

Considering he made his name with the biggest leak of secret government documents in history, you might imagine there would be at least some residual concern for Julian Assange among those trading in the freedom of information business. But the virulence of British media hostility towards the WikiLeaks founder is now unrelenting. This is a man, after all, who has yet to be charged, let alone convicted, of anything. The ostensible reason for this venom is of course Assange's attempt to resist extradition to Sweden (and onward extradition to the US) over sexual assault allegations. But as the row over his embassy refuge has escalated into a major diplomatic stand-off, with the whole of South America piling in behind Ecuador, such posturing looks increasingly specious. Can anyone seriously believe the ... British government would have made its asinine threat to suspend the Ecuadorean embassy's diplomatic status and enter it by force, or that scores of police would have surrounded the building, swarming up and down the fire escape and guarding every window, if it was all about one man wanted for questioning over sex crime allegations in Stockholm? To get a grip on what is actually going on, rewind to WikiLeaks' explosive release of secret US military reports and hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables two years ago. They disgorged devastating evidence of US war crimes and collusion with death squads in Iraq on an industrial scale, the machinations and lies of America's wars and allies, its illegal US spying on UN officials – as well as a compendium of official corruption and deceit across the world.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government secrecy, click here.


Raising the Ritalin Generation
August 19, 2012, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/opinion/sunday/raising-the-ritalin-generation.html?pagewanted=all

I remember the moment my son's teacher told us, "Just a little medication could really turn things around for Will." We stared at her as if she were speaking Greek. "Are you talking about Ritalin?" my husband asked. Will was in third grade, and his school wanted him to settle down in order to focus on math worksheets and geography lessons and social studies. The children were expected to line up quietly and "transition" between classes without goofing around. Will did not bounce off walls. He wasn't particularly antsy. He didn't exhibit any behaviors I'd associated with attention deficit or hyperactivity. He was an 8-year-old boy with normal 8-year-old boy energy - at least that's what I'd deduced from scrutinizing his friends. "He doesn't have attention deficit," I said. "We're not going to medicate him." Once you start looking for a problem, someone's going to find one, and attention deficit has become the go-to diagnosis, increasing by an average of 5.5 percent a year between 2003 and 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of 2010, according to the National Health Interview Survey, 8.4 percent, or 5.2 million children, between the ages of 3 and 17 had been given diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. There's no clinical test for it: doctors make diagnoses based on subjective impressions from a series of interviews and questionnaires. I understand why the statistics are so high. In many cases, I discovered, diagnoses hinge on the teachers' [information].

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption in the medical-pharmaceutical complex, click here.


Who Is The Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower? Would You Believe It's Barack Obama?
May 24, 2012, Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/05/24/who-is-the-smallest-government-spender...

Amidst all the cries of Barack Obama being the most prolific big government spender the nation has ever suffered, Marketwatch is reporting that our president has actually been tighter with a buck than any United States president since Dwight D. Eisenhower. So, how have the Republicans managed to persuade Americans to buy into the whole "Obama as big spender" narrative? It might have something to do with the first year of the Obama presidency where the federal budget increased a whopping 17.9% –going from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. I'll bet you think that this is the result of the Obama sponsored stimulus plan that is so frequently vilified by the conservatives...but you would be wrong. The first year of any incoming president term is saddled–for better or for worse–with the budget set by the president whom immediately precedes the new occupant of the White House.. So, how do the actual Obama annual budgets look? In fiscal 2010 (the first Obama budget) spending fell 1.8% to $3.46 trillion. In fiscal 2011, spending rose 4.3% to $3.60 trillion. In fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise 0.7% to $3.63 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office's estimate of the budget that was agreed to last August. Finally in fiscal 2013 – the final budget of Obama's term – spending is scheduled to fall 1.3% to $3.58 trillion.

Note: The chart included with this article comparing amount spent by recent president's is quite revealing.


Washington's Wall Street Sugar Daddies
August 14, 2012, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/washingtons-wall-street-sugar-daddies

How much is democracy worth to you? If you're like most people, it's priceless. But for the hedge funds and insurance companies on Wall Street, it does have a price tag: approximately $4.2 billion. That's how much the Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (F.I.R.E.) sector has invested in political influence through campaign contributions and lobbying since 2006. That comes to $1,331 a minute spent on political power. The new report is called "Meet the F.I.R.E. Sector: How Wall Street Is Burning Democracy." It was developed by Elect Democracy, a nonpartisan effort ... to expose and challenge the impact of corporate money in U.S. politics. The report ... analyzes exactly how Wall Street has secured ... "industry-loyal voting practices" in Congress: by shoveling stacks of campaign cash in the direction of Congressional hopefuls from both major political parties. That money lets these industries get what they want in Washington. The F.I.R.E. sector contributed $879 million to members of Congress since 2006, and took positions on 383 bills during the 112th Congress. For instance, they supported Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Panama, and Colombia in 2007, and backed the bailout in 2008. Bills they opposed include the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009, the Limited Homeowner and Investor Loss in Foreclosure Act of 2010, and the Stop Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2011. At every turn, the F.I.R.E. sector demands special treatment for Wall Street while consumers, homeowners, and students get stuck with the bills.

Note: Though not a major media source, Yes! Magazine is one of the very few media working towards positive, sustainable solutions to the problems of our world. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the corrupt relationship between government and the financial sector, click here.


Employees First
September-October, 2012, The Intelligent Optimist (formerly Ode Magazine)
http://theoptimist.com/employees-first/

In 2006, after a less than illustrious career in the restaurant business, 31-year-old Ben Zempel got a job with wholesaler Costco. That wouldn't be remarkable in itself, but Zempel has Down syndrome. Since he got the job, he's happier than ever, according to his mom, Jane. It's not just employees with a disability–all 163,000 people on Costco's payroll around the world can count on extraordinary amounts of attention. They're better paid than competitors' staff, management solicits their input on store strategy, and full- and part-time workers alike enjoy complete health insurance coverage. It all adds up to low turnover: Just 6 percent of employees decide to leave the company after more than a year. In fact, after 20 Costco staff from Melville, New York, won a $200 million lottery prize last year, only one of them quit–not because of the unexpected fortune but because at 73, he figured it was time to retire. More and more businesses are beginning to realize, as Costco has, that it pays to invest in people. Strikingly, it's companies that put staff at the top of the list that seem to be doing best. Costco ended 2010 and 2011–tough years for most companies–with hefty profits.

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