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Free Speech 'Zones,' Taxing Europe's 'Untouchables,' No 'Rules' for Strikes on Pakistan
Revealing News Articles
January 29, 2013

Dear friends,

Below are key excerpts of important news articles covering attacks on free speech in the form of free speech "zones," new EU legislation to tax the "untouchables" of high finance, the exemption of drone strikes on Pakistan from the new "rulebook" developed by CIA-director-designate John Brennan, and more.

Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails, see this page. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" section below the summaries. By educating ourselves and to spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

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

Readers Forum: To sign up and join in the rich conversations in our readers forum, click here. Particularly as WantToKnow.info shows up high in search engine rankings, it's a great way to spread important news to large numbers of people.

Special note: For those who like extreme sports, you'll enjoy this five-minute clip. If you are thinking of getting a flu shot, it is most highly recommended to educate yourself on risk vs. benefits. See this link for more. To see Piers Morgan receive a flu shot on the Dr. Oz show and then come down with a flu less than 10 days later after having been guaranteed that wouldn't happen, click here. For a moving five-minute video about a football team of troubled youth having a major turn around, click here.


How Free Speech Died on Campus
November 16, 2012, Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323894704578115440209134854.html

At Yale University, you can be prevented from putting an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on your T-shirt. At Tufts, you can be censured for quoting certain passages from the Quran. Welcome to the most authoritarian institution in America: the modern university–"a bizarre, parallel dimension," as Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education [FIRE], calls it. In his new book, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, Mr. Lukianoff notes that baby-boom Americans who remember the student protests of the 1960s tend to assume that U.S. colleges are still some of the freest places on earth. But that idealized university no longer exists. It was wiped out in the 1990s. Today, university bureaucrats suppress debate with anti-harassment policies that function as de facto speech codes. FIRE maintains a database of such policies on its website, and Mr. Lukianoff's book offers an eye-opening sampling. What they share is a view of "harassment" so broad and so removed from its legal definition that, Mr. Lukianoff says, "literally every student on campus is already guilty." Conservatives and libertarians are especially vulnerable to such charges of harassment.

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


Feigning Free Speech on Campus
October 25, 2012, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/opinion/feigning-free-speech-on-campus.html

Colleges and universities are supposed to be bastions of unbridled inquiry and expression, but they probably do as much to repress free speech as any other institution in young people's lives. Since the 1980s ... colleges have enacted stringent speech codes. From protests and rallies to displays of posters and flags, students have been severely constrained in their ability to demonstrate their beliefs. The speech codes are at times intended to enforce civility, but they often backfire, suppressing free expression instead of allowing for open debate of controversial issues. In a study of 392 campus speech codes last year, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education ... found that 65 percent of the colleges had policies that in [their] view violated the Constitution's guarantee of the right to free speech. Some elite colleges in particular have Orwellian speech codes that are so vague and broad that they would never pass constitutional muster at state-financed universities. A 2010 study by the American Association of Colleges and Universities of 24,000 college students and 9,000 faculty and staff members found that only 35.6 percent of the students – and only 18.5 percent of the faculty and staff – strongly agreed that it was "safe to hold unpopular positions on campus." Colleges have promulgated speech codes that are not only absurd in their results but also detrimental to the ideals of free inquiry. Students can't learn how to navigate democracy and engage with their fellow citizens if they are forced to think twice before they speak their mind.

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


Can the Secret Service tell you to shut up?
March 15, 2012, Washington Times
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/15/can-the-secret-service-tell-you-to-shut-up/

[On March 8, 2012], President Obama signed into law the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. This law permits Secret Service agents to designate any place they wish as a place where free speech, association and petition of the government are prohibited. It permits the Secret Service to make these determinations based on the content of speech. Thus, federal agents whose work is to protect public officials and their friends may prohibit the speech and the gatherings of folks who disagree with those officials or permit the speech and the gatherings of those who would praise them, even though the First Amendment condemns content-based speech discrimination by the government. The new law also provides that anyone who gathers in a "restricted" area may be prosecuted. Permitting people to express publicly their opinions to the president only at a time and in a place and manner such that he cannot hear them violates the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to useful speech. The same may be said of the rights to associate and to petition. If peaceful public assembly and public expression of political demands on the government can be restricted to places where government officials cannot be confronted, then those rights, too, have been neutered. This abominable legislation enjoyed overwhelming support from both political parties in Congress because the establishment loves power, fears dissent and hates inconvenience, and it doesn't give a damn about the Constitution.

Note: How strange that the Washington Times was one of the few media to have even covered this incredible infringement on the right to free speech. Fox News also covered it, as you can see in this excellent video. Now instead of being a country where free speech is held in great esteem, the US has "free speech zones" outside of which citizens lose their right to speak freely. What's happening here?


Justice for the PayPal WikiLeaks protesters: why DDoS is free speech
January 22, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/22/paypal-wikileaks-protesters-ddos-free-speech

In December 2010, the hacktivist collective Anonymous voiced their displeasure with PayPal, over that company's part in the banking blockade of Wikileaks. A reported 10,000 protesters around the world took to the internet with a protest method known as DDoS (distributed denial of service) – the functional equivalent of repeatedly hitting the refresh button on a computer. With enough people refreshing enough times, the site is flooded with traffic, slowed, or even temporarily knocked offline. No damage is done to the site or its backing computer system; and when the protest is over, the site resumes business as usual. This is not "hacking". It is protest, and it is speech. Or it was ... until the United States government decided to serve 42 warrants and indict 14 protesters. While protest charges have typically been seen as tantamount to nuisance crimes, like trespassing or loitering, these were different. The 14 PayPal defendants, some of whom were teenagers when the protest occurred, find themselves looking at 15 years in federal prison – for exercising their free speech rights; for redressing their grievances to PayPal, a major corporation; for standing up for what they believed was right. Instead of being handed a $50 fine, as one would face for traditional protest crimes such as a sit-in, the PayPal defendants' freedoms are in real jeopardy. Since the PayPal prosecution, there have been no DDoS protests on that scale. Speech has been chilled. Supreme court Justice William O Douglas said: "Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us."

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


11 EU nations to plan tax on financial transactions
January 22, 2013, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-11-eu-tax-financial-transactions...

Pressing ahead where others have balked, 11 European countries received the green light ... to plan a financial transaction tax that could generate billions of dollars in revenue for cash-strapped governments. Led by Germany and France, the European Union's two heavyweights, the nations will now work out how to introduce a levy on the buying and selling of stocks and bonds and on the use of complex financial instruments known as derivatives. Advocates say such a tax is not only necessary to help discourage risky transactions like those that precipitated the 2008 global financial meltdown but also a fair way to make financial institutions pay to help clean up the leftover mess. The U.S., at the urging of Wall Street, has opposed a financial transaction tax; so has Britain, which is home to Europe's largest financial trading hub. Hesitation in London as well as some other European capitals stalled a proposal, made in September 2011, to charge a unified financial transaction tax across the 27-nation EU. The 11 countries, all of which share the euro as their currency, decided to forge ahead on their own, deepening integration among a subset of EU members that together account for more than half of the region's economic output. EU-wide, officials had estimated that a levy of just 0.1% on trades of stocks and bonds and 0.01% on derivatives could bring in $75 billion a year.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the profiteering of an unregulated financial industry, click here.


The Untouchables: How the Obama administration protected Wall Street from prosecutions
January 23, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/23/untouchables-wall-street-prosecutions-obama

PBS' Frontline program on [January 22] broadcast a new one-hour report on one of the greatest and most shameful failings of the Obama administration: the lack of even a single arrest or prosecution of any senior Wall Street banker for the systemic fraud that precipitated the 2008 financial crisis: a crisis from which millions of people around the world are still suffering. What this program particularly demonstrated was that the Obama justice department, in particular the Chief of its Criminal Division, Lanny Breuer, never even tried to hold the high-level criminals accountable. What Obama justice officials did instead is exactly what they did in the face of high-level Bush era crimes of torture and warrantless eavesdropping: namely, acted to protect the most powerful factions in the society in the face of overwhelming evidence of serious criminality. Worst of all, Obama justice officials both shielded and feted these Wall Street oligarchs ... as they simultaneously prosecuted and imprisoned powerless Americans for far more trivial transgressions. As Harvard law professor Larry Lessig put it two weeks ago when expressing anger over the DOJ's persecution of Aaron Swartz: "we live in a world where the architects of the financial crisis regularly dine at the White House." As [documented in the] 2011 book on America's two-tiered justice system, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful, the evidence that felonies were committed by Wall Street is overwhelming.

Note: To watch this highly revealing PBS documentary, click here or here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the collusion between government 'regulators' and the financial powers they 'regulate', click here.


CIA to exempt strikes on Pakistan from drones codification
January 20, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/20/cia-pakistan-drone-strikes-codification

John Brennan, the counter-terrorism adviser nominated by President Obama to be the next head of the CIA, has reportedly agreed to exempt agency strikes in Pakistan from a new set of rules that attempts to justify and codify the use of drones to assassinate leaders of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups around the world, including US citizens. The dispensation to allow so-called targeted killing to continue without restrictions in Pakistan removes from the new set of guidelines the most important and controversial target of drone strikes. In the past few weeks the frequency of US strikes in the tribal areas of northern Pakistan ... has been stepped up. The pass would allow the US to sustain heavy bombardments of the tribal regions via drones launched from bases in Afghanistan for another year or two, ahead of the withdrawal of most American forces from that country in 2014. The decision to give the US targeted-killing programme the appearance of legal propriety by codifying it, and now the temporary exemption granted from that codification to Pakistan, were both taken by Brennan. A counter-terrorism expert with 25 years experience in the CIA, his nomination to run the agency has raised eyebrows among civil liberties groups because of his senior role in the CIA under George W Bush at a time when torture was used on terror suspects and because of his fondness for drone strikes. The UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that there have been 362 drone strikes in the country since 2004 – 310 of them launched on Obama's watch. The strikes have killed up to 3,461 people.

Note: Imagine the uproar if another country killed innocent civilians in the US while using drones to kill terrorists in the country. Visit the Living Under Drones website here. For more analysis click here.


Evidence grows for narcolepsy link to GSK swine flu shot
January 22, 2013, MSNBC/Reuters
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50547267#.UQK87vJWKSo

Emelie Olsson is plagued by hallucinations and nightmares. When she wakes up, she's often paralyzed, unable to breathe properly or call for help. During the day she can barely stay awake, and often misses school or having fun with friends. She is only 14, but at times she has wondered if her life is worth living. Emelie is one of around 800 children in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe who developed narcolepsy, an incurable sleep disorder, after being immunized with the Pandemrix H1N1 swine flu vaccine made by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline in 2009. Their fate, coping with an illness that all but destroys normal life, is developing into what the health official who coordinated Sweden's vaccination campaign calls a "medical tragedy" that will demand rising scientific and medical attention. Europe's drugs regulator has ruled Pandemrix should no longer be used in people aged under 20. "There's no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Pandemrix increased the occurrence of narcolepsy onset in children in some countries - and probably in most countries," says [Emmanuel] Mignot, a specialist in the sleep disorder at Stanford University in the United States. In total, the GSK shot was given to more than 30 million people in 47 countries during the 2009-2010 H1N1 swine flu pandemic. Because it contains an adjuvant, or booster, it was not used in the United States because drug regulators there are wary of adjuvanted vaccines.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the major risks of flu shots, click here. If you are thinking of getting a flu vaccine, it is most highly recommended to educate yourself on risk vs. benefits. See this link for more. To see Piers Morgan receive a flu shot on the Dr. Oz show and then come down with a flu less than 10 days later after having been guaranteed that wouldn't happen, click here.


Sex Is Major Reason Military Commanders Are Fired
January 20, 2013, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/sex-major-reason-military-commanders-fired-18262758

Sex has proved to be the downfall of presidential candidates, members of Congress, governors and other notables. It's also among the chief reasons that senior military officers are fired. At least 30 percent of military commanders fired over the past eight years lost their jobs because of sexually related offenses, including harassment, adultery, and improper relationships. The statistics from all four military services show that adulterous affairs are more than a four-star foible. From sexual assault and harassment to pornography, drugs and drinking, ethical lapses are an escalating problem for the military's leaders. With all those offenses taken together, more than 4 in every 10 commanders at the rank of lieutenant colonel or above who were fired fell as a result of behavioral stumbles since 2005. For top officers, the numbers are startling. Eighteen generals and admirals, from one star to four stars, were fired in recent years, and 10 of them lost their jobs because of sex-related offenses; two others were done in by alcohol-related problems. The figures show that 255 commanders were fired since 2005, and that 78 of them were felled by sex-related offenses. [The] executive director of the Service Women's Action Network said ... that there really is no sufficient deterrent in place.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, click here.


Rape charge against British broadcaster deepens BBC scandal
January 22, 2013, MSNBC/Reuters
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50554837#.UQLEifJWKSo

A veteran British TV presenter was charged with rape and 14 counts of indecent assault on underage girls, police said on [January 22], deepening concerns about sex abuse by top BBC personalities decades ago. Stuart Hall, 83, best known for hosting "It's a Knockout" in the 1970s and 1980s, was questioned after late broadcaster Jimmy Savile was exposed last year as a serial child sex abuser, prompting a flurry of further sex crime allegations. Hall, who was still appearing regularly on BBC radio until recently, had already been charged with three counts of indecent assault, in December. He denied all charges. The rape was alleged to have been committed in 1976 against a 22-year old woman, the police said. The indecent assaults were alleged to have been committed between 1967 and 1986 and to involve 10 girls aged between nine and 16 years.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, click here.


L.A. church leaders sought to hide sex abuse cases from authorities
January 21, 2013, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-church-files-20130122,0,3114631.story

Fifteen years before the clergy sex abuse scandal came to light, Archbishop Roger M. Mahony and a top advisor plotted to conceal child molestation by priests from law enforcement, including keeping them out of California to avoid prosecution. Memos written in 1986 and 1987 by Mahony and Msgr. Thomas J. Curry, then the archdiocese's chief advisor on sex abuse cases, offer the strongest evidence yet of a concerted effort by officials in the nation's largest Catholic diocese to shield abusers from police. The newly released records, which the archdiocese fought for years to keep secret, reveal in church leaders' own words a desire to keep authorities from discovering that children were being molested. In the confidential letters, filed this month as evidence in a civil court case, Curry proposed strategies to prevent police from investigating three priests who had admitted to church officials that they abused young boys. Curry suggested to Mahony that they prevent them from seeing therapists who might alert authorities and that they give the priests out-of-state assignments to avoid criminal investigators. The memos are from personnel files for 14 priests submitted to a judge on behalf of a man who claims he was abused by one of the priests. The confidential files of at least 75 more accused abusers are slated to become public in coming weeks under the terms of a 2007 civil settlement with more than 500 victims.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on sexual abuse scandals, click here.


How the Vatican built a secret property empire using Mussolini's millions
January 21, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/21/vatican-secret-property-empire-mussolini

Office blocks in one of London's most expensive districts are part of a surprising secret commercial property empire owned by the Vatican. Behind a disguised offshore company structure, the church's international portfolio has been built up over the years, using cash originally handed over by Mussolini in return for papal recognition of the Italian fascist regime in 1929. The surprising aspect for some will be the lengths to which the Vatican has gone to preserve secrecy about the Mussolini millions. The Mussolini money was dramatically important to the Vatican's finances. John Pollard, a Cambridge historian, says in Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy: "The papacy was now financially secure. It would never be poor again." The Mussolini investments in Britain are currently controlled, along with its other European holdings and a currency trading arm, by a papal official in Rome, Paolo Mennini, who is in effect the pope's merchant banker. Mennini heads a special unit inside the Vatican ... which handles the so-called "patrimony of the Holy See". According to a report last year from the Council of Europe, which surveyed the Vatican's financial controls, the assets of Mennini's special unit now exceed 680m (570m). While secrecy about the Fascist origins of the papacy's wealth might have been understandable in wartime, what is less clear is why the Vatican subsequently continued to maintain secrecy about its holdings in Britain.

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


Why Americans are dying earlier than their international peers
January 9, 2013, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/09/health/international-health-report/index.html

Despite spending more per person on health care than any other country, Americans are getting sicker and dying younger than our international peers -- a problem persisting across all ages and both genders. [The National Research Council and Institute Of Medicine] panel released its report, titled "U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health," on [January 9]. "Our panel was unprepared for the gravity of the finding we uncovered," chair Steven Woolf wrote in the report's preface. Data from 2007 show Americans' life expectancy is 3.7 years shorter for men and 5.2 years shorter for women than in the leading nations -- Switzerland for men and Japan for women. As of 2011, 27 countries had higher life expectancies at birth than the United States. "The tragedy is not that the United States is losing a contest with other countries," the report states, "but that Americans are dying and suffering from illness and injury at rates that are demonstrably unnecessary." The report outlines nine health areas where the United States lags behind other rich nations, including infant mortality, homicides, teen pregnancy, drug-related deaths, obesity and disabilities. And our children are less likely than children in peer countries to reach their fifth birthday. "Many of these conditions have a particularly profound effect on young people, reducing the odds that Americans will live to age 50," the report states.

Note: For a much deeper analysis of the reasons behind this, see Dr. Mercola's insightful comments at this link.


Fiscal Footnote: Big Senate Gift to Drug Maker
January 20, 2013, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/us/medicare-pricing-delay-is-political-win-for-amgen-drug-maker.html

Just two weeks after pleading guilty in a major federal fraud case, Amgen, the world's largest biotechnology firm, scored a largely unnoticed coup on Capitol Hill: Lawmakers inserted a paragraph into the "fiscal cliff" bill that did not mention the company by name but strongly favored one of its drugs. The language buried in Section 632 of the law delays a set of Medicare price restraints on a class of drugs that includes Sensipar, a lucrative Amgen pill used by kidney dialysis patients. The provision gives Amgen an additional two years to sell Sensipar without government controls. The news was so welcome that the company's chief executive quickly relayed it to investment analysts. But it is projected to cost Medicare up to $500 million over that period. Amgen, which has a small army of 74 lobbyists in the capital, was the only company to argue aggressively for the delay, according to several Congressional aides of both parties. Supporters of the delay, primarily leaders of the Senate Finance Committee who have long benefited from Amgen's political largess, said it was necessary to allow regulators to prepare properly for the pricing change.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on collusion and corruption between government and the pharmaceutical industry, click here.


'Quadruple helix' DNA seen in human cells
January 20, 2013, BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21091066

Cambridge University scientists say they have seen four-stranded DNA at work in human cells for the first time. The famous "molecule of life", which carries our genetic code, is more familiar to us as a double helix. But researchers tell the journal Nature Chemistry that the "quadruple helix" is also present in our cells, and in ways that might possibly relate to cancer. They suggest that control of the structures could provide novel ways to fight the disease. "The existence of these structures may be loaded when the cell has a certain genotype or a certain dysfunctional state," said Prof Shankar Balasubramanian from Cambridge's department of chemistry. Balasubramanian's group has been pursuing a four-stranded version of the molecule that scientists have produced in the test tube now for a number of years. The new research is said to be the first to firmly pinpoint the quadruple helix in human cells.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on promising new cancer treatments, any of which have been suppressed, click here.


Peugeot unveils battery-free hybrid
January 22, 2013, Chicago Tribune
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-22/business/chi-peugeot-unveils-batteryfree-hybrid...

PSA Peugeot Citroen [has] unveiled a pioneering hybrid vehicle concept combining a conventional engine with compressed nitrogen propulsion which it said would halve the cost of cutting emissions compared with current gasoline-electric hybrids. The French carmaker said the so-called "Hybrid Air" system developed with auto parts supplier Robert Bosch would be lighter than a hybrid running on petrol and battery power. Peugeot, which is cutting more than 10,000 jobs as it struggles to stem losses and expand overseas, said the technology would be launched around 2016, with vehicles priced below 20,000 euros ($26,600). Unlike Toyota's Prius hybrid, which supplements a conventional engine with an electric motor, the new Peugeot will use a separate hydraulic motor driven by nitrogen compressed by energy from braking and deceleration. In city driving conditions, the vehicles can travel on the compressed gas power as much as 80 percent of the time with the 3-cylinder gasoline engine cut. Peugeot said a prototype Hybrid Air subcompact emitted 72 grams of CO2 per km, compared with 104 grams for a Peugeot 208 model with the same combustion engine.

Note: For a video and more on this exciting development, click here. Let's hope this doesn't go the way of Toyota's Eco Spirit in 2002, which strangely never made it to market. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on exciting new energy and automotive technology developments, click here.


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