Is Your TV Watching You? Mysterious Animal Deaths, Suspicions Mount in Hastings Death
Revealing News Articles
August 20, 2013
Below are key excerpts of important news articles on the capability of your TV to watch and monitor you, mysterious deaths of bees, dolphins, and other animals, mounting suspicions about journalist Michael Hastings' death, and more. Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on ordinary people bringing light and food to their neighbors. You can also skip to this section now.
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Is your television watching you?
August 3, 2013, CNN
When you're watching TV ... you probably don't think someone could be on the other side watching you back. An alarming security flaw in Samsung's Smart-TVs makes this scenario possible. LAURIE SEGALL [CNN Money/Technology Correspondent]: We've spoken to a lot of folks and they're saying there are major vulnerabilities. YAVOR: One of the things we were able to do with the Smart-TV platform was abuse the browser so that we could actually gain access to the camera that's built into the TV. What we can prove here is that with a little bit of extra code, we can turn the camera on in your browser. This is something we can do invisibly and actually have it run behind the web page you're looking at. I could be sitting at a laptop in a cafe in Paris, and as long as I have a web connection, I would be able to get into your TV and access your camera. AARON GRATTAFIORI [security consultant]: The scary thing about it is that it doesn't give an indication that the camera is on and there is no LED that shows up when the camera is on. So they could actually be watching you and you would never even know. SEGALL: What is a Smart-TV, and why is it a playground, essentially, for hackers? GRATTAFIORI: It's a computer. So instead of being a tube and some other electronics, now it has a web browser and it has a lot of devices running Linux.
Note: To watch this video clip on CNN News, click here.
The Trouble with Beekeeping in the Anthropocene
August 9, 2013, TIME Magazine
Honeybees are very useful to human beings, and species that are very useful to us–think domesticated animals and pets–tend to do OK in the increasingly human-dominated world we call the Anthropocene. But other wild species aren't so lucky–and that includes the thousands of species of wild bees and other non-domesticated pollinators. Bumblebees have experienced recent and rapid population loss in the U.S., punctuated by a mass pesticide poisoning in Oregon this past June that led to the deaths of some 50,000 bumblebees. A 2006 report by the National Academies of Science concluded that the populations of many other wild pollinators–especially wild bees–was trending "demonstrably downward." The threats are much the same ones faced by managed honeybees: pesticides, lack of wild forage, parasites and disease. The difference is that there are thousands of human beings who make it their business to care for and prop up the populations of honeybees. No one is doing the same thing for wild bees. "You don't hear about the decline of hundreds of species of wild bees," says Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. That's meant almost literally–we don't hear them anymore. The plight of the bees illustrates our outsized influence on the this planet as we reshape it–consciously and not–to meet our immediate needs. But just because we have this power doesn't mean we fully understand it, or our impact on our own world. We are a species that increasingly has omnipotence without omniscience. That's a dangerous combination for the animals and plants that share this planet with us. And eventually, it will be dangerous for us, too.
Note: For more on mysterious mass deaths of animals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Dolphin Deaths Off East Coast Worry Federal Wildlife Officials
August 9, 2013, New York Times
Federal wildlife officials raised a formal alarm on [August 8] over the deaths of scores of bottlenose dolphins in waters off the east coast, saying that a fast-spreading infection could be attacking dolphin populations from New York to Virginia. At least 124 of the mammals have washed onto beaches since July, all of them dead or dying, a spokeswoman for the National Marine Fisheries Service said. The agency, which is responsible for monitoring and protecting marine mammals, declared the deaths to be an "unusual mortality event," opening the way for federal help in finding the cause. In July alone, 89 dolphins were beached, seven times the usual number. Tests on one dolphin carcass have uncovered possible signs of morbillivirus, an infection similar to canine distemper that ravaged East Coast dolphins over a 10-month span in 1987 and 1988. More than 700 dolphins were stranded from New Jersey to Florida during that outbreak, one of the worst on record. But news reports state that other dolphins stranded this summer had pneumonia, and officials said that it could take weeks to pin down the precise cause, if one is found. Unusual mortality events are declared when a marine mammal die-off is judged unexpected, large and in need of immediate attention. Investigators have failed to find a cause of death in roughly half the 60 mortality events declared since the first one in 1991. There are undoubtedly more dead or sick animals at sea that have gone undetected, officials said. The bulk of the deaths, at least 64, have occurred off the coast of Virginia. At least 18 strandings have been recorded in New York waters and 26 off New Jersey.
Note: For additional details about the mysterious deaths of dolphins, manatees and pelicans on the East Coast, click here. For more on mysterious mass deaths of animals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
CIA Director Brennan Confirmed as Reporter Michael Hastings Next Target
August 12, 2013, San Diego 6-TV
This week Elise Jordan, wife of famed journalist Michael Hastings, who recently died under suspicious circumstances, corroborated this reporter's sources that CIA Director John Brennan was Hastings next exposé project. Last month a source provided San Diego 6 News with an alarming email hacked from super-secret CIA contractor Stratfor's President Fred Burton. The email was posted on WikiLeaks and alleged that then Obama counter-terrorism czar Brennan was in charge of the government's continued crackdown or witch-hunt on investigative journalists. The release of a new surveillance video from a nearby Italian restaurant by Michael Krikorian, an author, freelance blogger who also writes for LA Weekly, reveals a lot of information about Hastings' final seconds. A University professor told San Diego 6 News that calculating the speed of Hastings car follows a simple mathematic equation. By using the video and the distance traveled (195 feet) as well as the seconds that lapsed prior to the explosion – the car was traveling roughly 35 mph. That revelation is important because Jose, an employee [at] a nearby business and a witness to the accident told KTLA ... the car was traveling at a high rate of speed and he saw sparks coming from the car and saw it explode before hitting the tree. The pre-explosion could possibly explain the flash of light on the video that preceded the appearance of the car in the video. The pre-explosion and slower speed could also explain the minimal damage to the palm tree. It also provides an explanation for the location of the engine and drive train at more than 100 feet from the tree impact area.
Note: Michael Hastings' wife Elise Jordan, in the interview at the first link in the text above, said that his research into CIA Director Brennan will be published soon in Rolling Stone. For further analysis of these revelations, click here. For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds
August 15, 2013, Washington Post
The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents. Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls. The documents, provided earlier this summer to The Washington Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, include a level of detail and analysis that is not routinely shared with Congress or the special court that oversees surveillance. In one of the documents, agency personnel are instructed to remove details and substitute more generic language in reports to the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In one instance, the NSA decided that it need not report the unintended surveillance of Americans. The NSA audit obtained by The Post, dated May 2012, counted 2,776 incidents in the preceding 12 months of unauthorized collection, storage, access to or distribution of legally protected communications. Many involved failures of due diligence or violations of standard operating procedure. The most serious incidents included a violation of a court order and unauthorized use of data about more than 3,000 Americans and green-card holders.
Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The biggest threat to America? The size of its own military budget
August 9, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Don't be fooled by terror alerts and dire warnings: the world in general is a safer place than ever. Don't believe me? Check out what Michael Morell, the No. 2 man at the CIA, had to say about the threats facing America in this recent interview with the Wall Street Journal. If anyone knows about foreign threats, it's gotta be this guy, right? He gets to see everything [at the CIA]. The fact is, none of what Morell describes as a threat actually is a significant threat. And while national security elites – from the secretary of defense to prominent think tank denizens like to describe the world today as a "dangerous" place, it simply isn't true. There were six wars last year (just six!). This follows a consistent trend of declining violence that dates back decades. When wars do occur, they pretty much never occur between states. Since the Gulf war of 1991, territorial conquest has gone the way of the dodo. Indeed, when the US fights a major war these days, it is generally because they've started it – with consistently disastrous results. What is most striking about Morell's warnings is, in fact, the stunning hollowness of the threats he describes. If Syria, North Korea and Iran are truly what threaten us, then truly, we have little to fear from the world outside our borders. That this grab-bag of minor threats is used to justify a defense budget in the range of $600bn, an active and reserve force of 1 million troops and a far-flung empire of military bases and partners – not to mention, a rather effective navy and air force, and thousands of nuclear weapons – is astounding. If this is best the CIA can do, they really need to pick up their game. So, rest easy, America. It's not so bad out there.
Note: Read the powerful words of a top US general showing that war is a racket resulting from greed and propaganda put out by banks and major corporations at this link. To watch the BBC's powerful documentary "Power of Nightmares", showing that "Al Qaeda" was likely fabricated and is in fact little more than a US/UK psychological operation to enable the Global War on Terror, click here.
What if laws applied to everyone?
June 6, 2013, Fox News
What if government officials have written laws that apply only to us and not to them? What if we gave them the power to protect our freedoms and our safety and they used that power to trick and trap some of us? What if government officials broke the laws we hired them to enforce? What if they prosecuted others for breaking the same laws they broke? What if the government enacted a law making it a crime to provide material assistance to terrorist organizations? What if the government looked at that law and claimed it applied to a dentist or a shopkeeper who sold services or goods to a terrorist organization, and not just to financiers and bomb makers? What if the Supreme Court ruled that the law is so broad that it covers backslapping, advocacy and free speech? What if the law is so broad that it punishes ideas and the free expression of those ideas, even if no one is harmed thereby? What if FBI agents pretended to be members of these terrorist organizations and set out to find people in America who were willing to join? What if the FBI arrested the people it found and encouraged just as they were about to leave the U.S. and then charged them with providing material assistance to terrorist organizations? What if the president boasted that in his mind these duped dopes were really terrorists and their arrests kept us all safer? What if offensive wars are illegal and morally wrong? What if killing is evil when not done in self-defense? What if those who kill not in self-defense are prosecuted and punished, except when they do so in large numbers and to the sounds of trumpets blaring? What do we do about a government that breaks the laws we have hired it to enforce?
Note: Andrew P. Napolitano, author of this opinion, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written seven books on the U.S. Constitution. His latest is Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom.
The Zombie Ward: The chilling story of how 'depressed' women were put to sleep for months in an NHS hospital room - leaving mental scars that remain 40 years on
August 7, 2013, Daily Mail
There are many horrors that Elizabeth Reed recalls from her time at London's Royal Waterloo Hospital. 'It was like being buried alive,' she says. 'I was lying there in the dark, hour after hour, and couldn't move. I wasn't aware of my body, just my head in this darkness. You could hear people moving around and other people breathing and moaning.' While Elizabeth is one of only a handful of women prepared to speak out, her story is not unique. Up to 500 women, suffering from conditions such as postnatal depression and anorexia, passed through the Royal Waterloo's infamous Ward 5 before it shut 40 years ago. Heavily drugged and subjected to horrendous levels of electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) and even lobotomies, the unluckiest were taken to the 'Narcosis Room', where they were put to sleep for weeks at a time. Almost all teenage girls and women in their early 20s, they were treated as little more than guinea pigs by controversial psychiatrist William Sargant as he conducted a bizarre experiment to 'repattern' their brains and cure them of depression. Sargant, a founding member of St Thomas's department of psychological medicine, who advocated the use of drugs to treat mental illness, operated his 'sleep room' for ten years until 1973. Four patients are known to have died there and yet no one stepped in to stop him. A Cambridge medical graduate, obsessed with making a name for himself, he used high doses of tranquillisers and administered ECT up to twice a week on Ward 5 and every other day in the Narcosis Room. At the heart of his treatment was his belief that the brain could be 'repatterned' to erase bad memories.
Note: We don't usually use the Daily Mail as a reliable source, but as this article is so important and no other major media is reporting it, we decided to include it here. For more on mind-control experimentation on unwitting men, women and children, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here. To learn more about the secret mind control programs of which this was a part, click here.
Shocking list of popular foods and drinks readily available in U.S. grocery stores that are BANNED in other countries
June 20, 2013, Daily Mail
Many of the chemicals found in America's most common foods are considered to be so unhealthy that they're actually illegal in other countries. Rich Food, Poor Food by [Dr.] Jayson Calton and Mira Calton, a certified nutritionist, features a list of what the authors call 'Banned Bad Boys' - a list of the ingredients, where they're banned and what caused governments to ban them. One of the most common 'Bad Boys' is different variations of food coloring, which actually is made from petroleum and is found in everyday items like soda, sports drinks, mac and cheese, cake, candy and several other common, American products. The chemicals used to make these different dyes have proven to cause various different cancers and can even potentially mutate healthy DNA. European countries like Norway, Finland, France and Austria all have banned at least one variation of petroleum-containing food coloring. Another common additive banned in other countries but allowed in the U.S. is Olestra, which essentially is a fat substitute found in products that traditionally have actual fat. For example, low-fat potato chips ... contain Olestra - which is shown to cause the depletion of fat-soluble vitamins. Olestra has been banned in several countries, including the United Kingdom and Canada. In 2003, the FDA lifted a requirement forcing companies that use Olestra in their products to include a label warning consumers that the food their eating could cause 'cramps and diarrhea,' despite the fact that the agency received more than 20,000 reports of gastrointestinal complaints among olestra eaters.
Note: We don't usually use the Daily Mail as a reliable source, but as this article is so important and no other major media is reporting it, we decided to include it here. For more on corporate and government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here and here.
Mutilated Cows Found at Missouri Farm, Police Not Ruling Out the Possibility of Aliens
July 30, 2013, KMOX-TV (St. Louis CBS affiliate)
Who would cut the tongues and take the reproductive organs from several cows? That's the mystery police in a small town 90 miles away from Kansas City are dealing with. Robert Hills, Henry County Sheriff's Chief Deputy, says the first cow was discovered in December of 2011, the second and third this summer. All were female cows and were owned by rancher Lyn Mitchell. "We couldn't see any signs of trauma, and it doesn't appear that there was any type of wild animal, such as coyotes, that were involved," Hills told KMOX. The first cow discovered on Mitchell's ranch had her tongue and ear removed. The next two discovered on July 9th and 19th of this year had their tongues removed along with their udders, anus, reproductive organs, and ears. A veterinarian wasn't called to examine the first two cows. But one did examine the third one. Mitchell said the veterinarian told her the cuts to the cow were precise and surgical. Also what seems to be the common denominator of all these incidents is the lack of blood and other bodily fluids surrounding the area and inside the animal. Mitchell told the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) that the third cow's heart was removed and exposed, but was not taken. She believes that maybe whoever did this was interrupted and she does not rule out the possibility of aliens. "We're having to look at this from two sides," says Hills. "Some people believe that there are aliens that are involved in this or the possibility of the occult; going to the other end of the spectrum, we've talked to other people that say that just when cows die that's what happens to their bodies. We're just not able to determine what the cause of death is at this point," Hills says.
Note: For more on UFOs, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Moment of Truthiness
August 18, 2013, New York Times
Has our political system been so degraded by misinformation and disinformation that it can no longer function? In a well-known paper with a discouraging title, "It Feels Like We're Thinking," the political scientists Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels reported on a 1996 survey that asked voters whether the budget deficit had increased or decreased under President Clinton. In fact, the deficit was down sharply, but a plurality of voters – and a majority of Republicans – believed that it had gone up. I wondered on my blog what a similar survey would show today, with the deficit falling even faster than it did in the 1990s. Hal Varian, the chief economist of Google, offered to run a Google Consumer Survey ... on the question. So we asked whether the deficit has gone up or down since January 2010. And the results were even worse than in 1996: A majority of those who replied said the deficit has gone up, with more than 40 percent saying that it has gone up a lot. Only 12 percent answered correctly that it has gone down a lot. Am I saying that voters are stupid? Not at all. The problem is that much of what they hear is misleading if not outright false. The outright falsehoods, you won't be surprised to learn, tend to be politically motivated. It's a discouraging picture. We have an ill-informed or misinformed electorate, politicians who gleefully add to the misinformation and watchdogs who are afraid to bark.
Alfredo Moser: Bottle light inventor proud to be poor
August 12, 2013, BBC News
Alfredo Moser's invention is lighting up the world. In 2002, the Brazilian mechanic had a light-bulb moment and came up with a way of illuminating his house during the day without electricity - using nothing more than plastic bottles filled with water and a tiny bit of bleach. In the last two years his innovation has spread throughout the world. It is expected to be in one million homes by early next year. So how does it work? Simple refraction of sunlight, explains Moser, as he fills an empty two-litre plastic bottle. "Add two capfuls of bleach to protect the water so it doesn't turn green [with algae]. The cleaner the bottle, the better," he adds. Wrapping his face in a cloth he makes a hole in a roof tile with a drill. Then, from the bottom upwards, he pushes the bottle into the newly-made hole. "An engineer came and measured the light," he says. "It depends on how strong the sun is but it's more or less 40 to 60 watts," he says. The inspiration for the "Moser lamp" came to him during one of the country's frequent electricity blackouts in 2002. "The only places that had energy were the factories - not people's houses," he says, talking about the city where he lives, Uberaba, in southern Brazil. "It's a divine light. God gave the sun to everyone, and light is for everyone. You can't get an electric shock from it, and it doesn't cost a penny." Moser has installed the bottle lamps in neighbours' houses and the local supermarket. While he does earn a few dollars installing them, it's obvious from his simple house and his 1974 car that his invention hasn't made him wealthy. What it has given him is a great sense of pride.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
"Renegade Gardener" Plots World Domination Through Home-Grown Veggies
July 30, 2013, Yes! Magazine
Ron Finley grew up in South Central Los Angeles, a "food desert" where nutritious eats are chronically unavailable. But when the fashion designer [and] father got tired of driving 45 minutes to buy an organic tomato, he decided to grow his own. In the fall of 2010, he planted a "demonstration garden" on the strip of land between the curb and the sidewalk in front of his house in South Central Los Angeles, a neighborhood where he has lived all his life. He says he was tired of living in the "food prison"–where the lack of access to healthy foods was causing diabetes, obesity, and other health problems. "If you look at the statistics, the drive thrus literally are killing more people than the drive-bys," Finley says. Finley encouraged people to take what they needed from the garden. He shared tomatoes, peppers, melons, eggplant, pumpkins, and more with anyone who passed by his home, often people with few financial resources and little access to vegetables. In May of 2011, however, Finley received a citation from the city, which considered his plants "obstructions." They asked him to pay $400 for a permit or remove the garden. After getting 500 signatures on a petition posted on change.org and gaining the confidence of a city councilman, Finley received a permit for free and eventually provoked the city to relax its laws on curb strip usage. Since then, Finley has created the organization LA Green Grounds, which plants vegetable gardens in South Central yards free of charge and has installed public gardens in curb strips, homeless shelters, abandoned lots, and traffic medians. The all-volunteer organization has installed over 30 gardens.
Note: For an inspiring 10-minute TED talk given by Mr. Finley, click here. Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
The Bar Keeps Going Up for Venerable Entrepreneurs
July 12, 2013, Forbes
It's always been tough to start a new business, even when the bottom line was just making a profit to stay alive. A few years ago, a second focus of sustainability ("green") was added as a requirement for respectability. Now I often hear a third mandate of social responsibility. Entrepreneurs are now measured against the "triple bottom line" (TBL or 3BL) of people, planet, and profit. The real challenge with the triple bottom line is that these three separate accounts cannot be easily added up. It's difficult to measure the planet and people accounts in any quantifiable terms, compared to profits. How does any entrepreneur define the right balance, and then measure their performance against real metrics? Lots of people are trying to help. Current examples include the Conscious Capitalism movement led by John Mackey, The B Team, led by Sir Richard Branson, the 1% for the Planet organization, and the Benefit Corporation (B Corp) now available in 14 States. The reality is that you can't help people or the environment, or yourself, if you don't have any money. Businesses run by ethical people create value and prosperity based on voluntary exchange, while reducing poverty. The whole can be greater than the sum of the parts. The real opportunity for entrepreneurs is to provide solutions that solve a problem better than the competition, while also providing sustainability and social responsibility. Responsibility and integrity are still the key. A responsible entrepreneur promotes both loyalty and responsible consumption by educating consumers so they can make more informed decisions about their purchases, based on ecological footprints, and other sustainability criteria. That's a win-win business for the customer and the entrepreneur.
Note: For more on the inspiring B Team, see the great three-minute video here and click here. Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz launch the B Team challenge
June 13, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
In a sign that the corporate sustainability movement may be entering a new dynamic phase, Sir Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, former chief executive of Puma and current director of Kering, today launched a new global collaboration to drive transformational change in the business sector. The B Team brings together an initial 14 leaders from major corporations around the world, including Unilever, Natura, Celtel, Tata and Kering, in an attempt to enlarge projects that demonstrate that long-term business success can be built only by prioritising people and planet alongside profit. The collective ... has issued a declaration that places much of the blame for the world's problems directly on the doorstep of companies. Recognising that their views will be seen by many competitors as an "affront", the declaration states: "Business is now waking up to the reality that if we carry on using the natural resources of the world unsustainably, they'll quite simply run out. With a burgeoning population, more people are still living in poverty than ever before and inequalities are increasing in many parts of the world. Unemployment rates are at frightening levels. Non-Profits alone cannot solve the tasks at hand, while many governments are unwilling or unable to act. While there are myriad reasons we've arrived at this juncture, much of the blame rests with the principles and practices of business as usual." Rather than go it alone, the B Team is forging partnerships with other organisations such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Ashoka, a leading light in the social enterprise movement.
Note: For more on the inspiring B Team, see the great three-minute video here and click here. Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
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