Corporate Spying on Activists, Sandy Hook Shooting Secrecy, Pope's 'Bold New Vision'
Revealing News Articles
December 2, 2013
Below are key excerpts of important news articles on corporate spying on activist groups, the highly secret investigation of the Sandy Hook shooting, unregulated fake charities sweeping in millions, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on the Pope's 'bold new vision' and games to foster cooperation in children. You can also skip to this section now.
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 spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
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Special note: For a fascinating article titled "17 Mundane Things That Will Blow Your Mind," click here. To learn about two dental publications which were pressured to remove articles on mercury used in fillings, click here and here. For a beautiful, five-minute video on gratitude, click here. For an amazing, four-minute Cirque du Soleil video, click here. For a great collection of 33 "conspiracy theories" that turned out to be true, click here. For an excellent article on why it is so difficult for many to open to 9/11 truth, click here.
Corporate Espionage Undermines Democracy
November 26, 2013, MSN/Reuters
It's not just the NSA that has been caught spying on Americans. Some of our nation's largest corporations have been conducting espionage as well, against civic groups. That's the lesson of a new report on corporate espionage against nonprofit organizations by ... Essential Information. The title of the report is Spooky Business, and it is apt. Spooky Business is like a Canterbury Tales of corporate snoopery: Hiring investigators to pose as volunteers and journalists. Hacking. Wiretapping. Information warfare. Physical intrusion. Investigating the private lives of nonprofit leaders. Dumpster diving using an active duty police officer to gain access to trash receptacles. Electronic surveillance. Many different types of nonprofit civic organizations have been targeted by corporate spies: environmental, public interest, consumer, food safety, animal rights, pesticide reform, nursing home reform, gun control and social justice. A diverse constellation of corporations has planned or executed corporate espionage against these nonprofit civic organizations. Food companies like Kraft, Coca-Cola, Burger King, McDonald's and Monsanto. Oil companies like Shell, BP and Chevron. Chemical companies like Dow and Sasol. Also involved are the retailers (Wal-Mart), banks (Bank of America), and, of course, the nation's most powerful trade association: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Plenty of mercenary spooks have joined up to abet them, including former officials at the FBI, CIA, NSA, Secret Service and U.S. military. Sometimes even government contractors are part of the snooping.
Note: For more on corporate corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Report Due on Sandy Hook Shooting Investigation
November 24, 2013, ABC News/Associated Press
Investigators planned to release a long-awaited report [on] the Newtown school shooting that could provide some of the first official answers to questions about the history of the gunman and the police response to one of the worst school shootings in history. The summary report by the lead investigator, State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky III, comes nearly a year after the massacre of 20 children and six women inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. The report ... will not include the full evidence file of Connecticut State Police, which is believed to total thousands of pages. The decision to continue withholding the bulk of the evidence is stirring new criticism of the secrecy surrounding the investigation. Dan Klau, a Hartford attorney who specializes in First Amendment law, said the decision to release a summary report before the full evidence file is a reversal of standard practice and one of the most unusual elements of the investigation. Sedensky has gone to court to fight release of the 911 tapes from the school and resisted calls from Connecticut's governor to divulge more information sooner. The withholding of 911 recordings, which are routinely released in other cases, has been the subject of a legal battle between The Associated Press and Sedensky before the state's Freedom of Information Commission, which ruled in favor of the AP, and now Connecticut's court system. If the recordings are released, the AP would review the content and determine what, if any, of it would meet the news cooperative's standards for publication.
Note: For more on government secrecy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The Charity Swindle
November 26, 2013, New York Times
By all outward indications, the U.S. Navy Veterans Association was a leader in the charitable community. Founded in 2002 to provide support to Navy veterans in need, the charity recorded astonishing financial success. In its first eight years, it raised around $100 million in charitable contributions, almost all of it through a direct marketing campaign. The organization, headed by Jack L. Nimitz, boasted of 41 state chapters and some 66,000 members. [But] virtually everything about the association turned out to be false: no state chapters, no members, no leader with the name redolent of naval history. Instead, there was one guy: a man calling himself Bobby Thompson. But the money raised was real enough, generated by a series of for-profit telemarketers. The victims, by and large, were unsuspecting small-money donors who received urgent solicitations asking for support for needy naval veterans. Most of the money raised stayed with the fund-raisers, though plenty apparently dripped through to Mr. Thompson and a succession of Republican lawmakers who received generous contributions from the association's political arm. But little ever made it to the intended beneficiaries. From June 2010, Mr. Thompson was on the run, the search for him hamstrung by the fact that no one had any real idea of who he was. Finally, on April 30, 2012, federal marshals tracked him down in Portland, Ore., finding him with a card to a storage unit containing $981,650 in cash and almost two dozen fake identity cards. Authorities have identified him as John Donald Cody, a former Army intelligence officer and Harvard Law graduate.
Note: As we enter the annual giving season, donors should look to sources like the GiveWell website to find organizations with a track record of effectiveness. Seeking them out – instead of donating to charities that are first to call or that sound familiar or that we've heard are good – is the only way to ensure that money reaches those in need. For more on corporate corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Canada allowed widespread NSA surveillance at 2010 G20 summit
November 28, 2013, NBC News/Reuters
Canada allowed the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct widespread surveillance during the 2010 Group of 20 summit in Toronto, according to a media report that cited documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp ... cited briefing notes it said showed the United States turned its Ottawa embassy into a security command post during a six-day spying operation by the top-secret U.S. agency as President Barack Obama and other world leaders met that June. One of the bylines on the CBC report was Glenn Greenwald, the U.S. journalist who has worked with Snowden on several other NSA stories. CBC ... quoted an NSA briefing note describing the operation as "closely coordinated with the Canadian partner". The Canadian equivalent of the NSA is the Communications Security Establishment Canada, or CSEC. CBC said the documents did not reveal the targets of the NSA operation, but described part of the U.S. eavesdropping agency's mandate at the Toronto summit as "providing support to policymakers". CSEC, which has a very low public profile, employs about 2,000 people. It is part of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network that also includes the United States, Britain, New Zealand and Australia. Last month, Brazil angrily demanded an explanation for media reports which said CSEC agents had targeted its mines and energy industry.
Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Edward Snowden a 'hero' for NSA disclosures, Wikipedia founder says
November 25, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has called on Barack Obama to rein in the National Security Agency as he described the whistleblower Edward Snowden as "a hero" whom history will judge "very favourably". Wales called for a "major re-evaluation" of the NSA, adding that the public "would have never approved this sweeping surveillance program" had it been put to a vote. The revelations, Wales said, had been "incredibly damaging and embarrassing to the US. It makes it very difficult for someone like me to go out, as I do, [to] speak to people in authoritarian countries, and say: 'You shouldn't be spying on activists, you shouldn't be censoring the internet', when we [in the US] are complicit in these acts of extraordinary intrusion into people's personal lives. [Snowden] has exposed what I believe to be criminal wrongdoing, lying to Congress, and certainly [an] affront to the Fourth Amendment. I think that history will judge him very favourably. There is a growing sense of concern in Congress about this, a growing sense in Congress that public is angry about this, that they have been misled and I think we are going to see legislation to change this."
Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
CIA turned some Guantanamo Bay prisoners into double agents against al-Qaeda
November 26, 2013, Washington Post/Associated Press
In the early years after Sept. 11, 2001, the CIA turned some Guantanamo Bay prisoners into double agents, sending them home to help the United States kill terrorists, current and former U.S. officials said. The CIA promised the prisoners freedom, safety for their families and millions of dollars from the agency's secret accounts. It was a gamble. Officials knew there was a chance that some prisoners might quickly spurn their deal and kill Americans. Nearly a dozen current and former U.S. officials described aspects of the program to the Associated Press. Dozens of prisoners were evaluated, but only a handful, from a variety of countries, were turned into spies who signed agreements to work for the CIA. Prisoners agreed to cooperate for a variety of reasons, officials said. Some received assurances that the United States would resettle their families. Another agreed to cooperate after the agency insinuated that it would harm his children, a former official said, a threat similar to those interrogators made to self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed. All were promised money. Exactly how much each received remains unclear. But altogether, the government paid millions for their services, officials said. The money came from a secret CIA account, code-named Pledge, that is used to pay informants, officials said. Officials said the program ended in 2006 as the flow of detainees to Guantanamo Bay slowed to a trickle. The last prisoner arrived there in 2008.
Note: There is no doubt that the CIA used mind control techniques to control and likely program some of the prisoners. To read verifiable documentation on the U.S. governments secret mind control programs, click here. For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
CIA wants to control the weather, climate change
July 23, 2013, Fox News
The CIA is funding a study examining various ways mankind can geo-engineer the planet -- blocking or limiting the sunlight that reaches the Earth, stripping carbon dioxide from the skies, seeding the clouds and so on. The project, a panel called "Geoengineering Climate: Technical Evaluation and Discussion of Impacts," is backed by the National Academy of Sciences [NAS}, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA -- and the U.S. intelligence community. That's spy-talk for the CIA, William Kearney, a spokesman for NAS, [said]. Conspiracy theorists love to argue that various world governments seek to control the weather; they cite "chemtrails" and cloud seeding and so on. The group's first two meetings, May 20 and June 19, were closed-door in their entirety. On July 17 in Washington D.C., closed-door morning and evening meetings book-ended a public session, however, offering a peek into the group's plans -- and it's nothing worthy of Fox Mulder's time, explained Edward Dunlea, study director with the National Academies. "Nothing involved in this study is classified at all," Dunlea told FoxNews.com. " This is an assessment of what is known in the science literature about some of the proposed engineering techniques -- both solar-radiation management and carbon-dioxide removal. All of our sponsors are interested in this topic as a part of the larger climate-change discussion, which has economic, environmental and national-security ramifications," he said.
Note: If nothing is classified, why are the meetings secret? For solid evidence that elements of government have used the HAARP program to control the weather, click here. For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Anonymous Vs. Steubenville
November 27, 2013, Rolling Stone
On November 25th, the most notorious rape case in recent memory took yet another shocking twist. In Steubenville, Ohio, where a 16-year-old girl was raped by two high school football players in August 2012, a grand jury indicted the city's School Superintendent, Michael McVey, on felony charges of tampering with evidence and obstructing justice. An elementary school principal and two coaches in the district were indicted as well, facing misdemeanor charges including failure to report child abuse and making false statements. Shortly after the news hit that morning, Deric Lostutter, a ... 26-year-old programmer in Lexington, Kentucky, [sent] me a message. "We were called liars and more," he wrote, but "we were right about it." He had reason to feel vindicated. As one of the most notorious members of the hacker collective, Anonymous, Lostutter battled to bring justice to Steubenville, exposing secrets of a town that's still reeling from the fallout today. He just never expected that he'd get raided by the FBI, and face more prison time than the rapists in the end. Anonymous is a purposefully chaotic and leaderless collective. Anyone can proclaim themselves a member or declare an "operation" against a target. But getting others to [care] is another story. This is what makes Lostutter stand out. Less than two months after creating his alter ego as KYAnonymous, he launched and organized two of group's most renowned and righteous operations yet: battling the Westboro Baptist Church and, most famously, the town of Steubenville, Ohio, after the high-profile rape of a teenage girl by players on the high school football team.
Note: On the final page of this revealing report, Lostutter claims he is facing 25 years in prison for his heroic acts. To learn about some of the disturbing forces which perpetuate sexual abuse in our society, watch the eye-opening Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence" at this link. For more on sexual abuse scandals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Whooping Cough Study May Offer Clue on Surge
November 26, 2013, New York Times
Baboons vaccinated against whooping cough could still carry the illness in their throats and spread it, research ... has found. The surprising new finding has not been replicated in people, but scientists say it may provide an important clue to a puzzling spike in the incidence of whooping cough across the country, which reached a 50-year high last year. The whooping cough vaccines now in use were introduced in the 1990s after an older version, which offered longer-lasting protection, was found to have side effects. But over the years, scientists have determined that the new vaccines began to lose effectiveness after about five years, a significant problem that many researchers believe has contributed to the significant rise in whooping cough cases. The new study, published ... in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers another explanation. Using baboons, the researchers found that recently vaccinated animals continued to carry the infection in their throats. Even though those baboons did not get sick from it, they spread the infection to others that were not vaccinated. "When you're newly vaccinated you are an asymptomatic carrier, which is good for you, but not for the population," said Tod J. Merkel, the lead author of the study, who is a researcher in the Office of Vaccines Research and Review in the Food and Drug Administration. The current whooping cough vaccines were developed after a surge in concerns from parents that their children were getting fevers and having seizures after receiving the old vaccine. Those worries added fuel to general skepticism about vaccines that had led some parents to choose not to have their children vaccinated.
Note: For more on the dangers of vaccines, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: Don't cut the big benefit programs
October 30, 2013, USA Today
In America today, the middle class is disappearing, unemployment is sky high and senior poverty is growing. We also have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country. At a time when almost all new income created is going to the top 1% and when the gap between the very rich and everybody else is growing wider, we must not balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable people in our country: working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor. We must not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. Let's be clear: Social Security is not an entitlement program. It is an earned income benefit that has been enormously successful in cutting the rate of senior poverty. Further, Social Security is not "going broke." According to the Social Security Administration, the Social Security Trust Fund has a surplus today of $2.8 trillion and can pay out every benefit owed to every eligible American for the next 20 years. The solution to making Social Security fully solvent for the next 50 years is to apply the payroll tax on annual income more than $250,000. Right now, the Social Security tax stops at $113,700 a year, so someone who earns that amount pays the same as a billionaire. This makes no sense. Our entire health care system, including Medicare and Medicaid, is much too wasteful and bureaucratic. We should join the rest of the industrialized world in moving toward a national health care program that provides health care to every man, woman and child as a right.
Note: For more on income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Elizabeth Warren: The contender
November 21, 2013, Boston Globe
Senator Elizabeth Warren, the champion of Main Street versus Wall Street, just got another boost to the presidential campaign she said she isn't running. It lies in the $13 billion deal that JP Morgan Chase reached with the US Justice Department. The settlement, which ends the government's probe into the bank's risky mortgage business, reportedly represents the largest amount a single company has ever committed to pay Uncle Sam. That's significant – but so is the bank's unusual admission that it failed to disclose the risks of buying its mortgage securities. Warren was a force in both aspects of JP Morgan's day of reckoning. After the economic collapse of 2008 – and before her election as senator – Warren led the charge for Wall Street accountability while overseeing the government response to the banking crisis. As senator from Massachusetts, she ... isn't shy about acknowledging her role in achieving them. In September, Warren [said] that her lobbying of Mary Jo White, the newly installed chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, played a key role in getting government regulators to require more companies to admit wrongdoing, not just pay fines – which is what happened in JP Morgan's case. The JP Morgan headlines play out as the stock market surges and unemployment ticks up. The gap between America's rich and poor is growing bigger. The divide creates an opening for a Democrat who speaks to the shrinking middle class, as well as to those already squeezed out of it. Warren could be that candidate, if she chooses.
Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Solar Companies Value Consumer Data That Utilities Ignore at Their Peril
November 21, 2013, Bloomberg Businessweek
The same rooftop solar providers that are threatening utility revenues are more than just occupying customer roofs–they're inside the home, monitoring usage trends and adapting the systems to meet both the homeowner's needs and their own bottom lines. SolarCity, Sunrun, SunPower, and Locus Energy are amassing billions of points of data in smart home systems that consumers love and that baffle utilities, many of which have no incentive to help consumers manage their power usage more efficiently. While utilities have installed millions of smart meters in homes, they haven't made use of the data to engage consumers the same way solar providers have, says Neil Strother, a smart-grid analyst. "Utilities are more focused on cutting their own costs than in helping consumers become more efficient," he says. "They aren't motivated to reduce demand." The solar systems, meanwhile, collect real-time data on hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across the country that utilities could use to more efficiently and reliably manage their power grids. Nat Kreamer, chief executive officer of Clean Power Finance, says some utilities don't see the potential benefits of using smart meters to engage with consumers to improve their service or reduce their utility bills. "I asked an executive at one top 10 utility what he was hoping to get from smart meters, and he basically said just to eliminate the meter readers," Kraemer says.
Note: For more on new energy developments, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Peaceable Kingdom's games emphasize cooperation
November 27, 2013, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
"Feed the Woozle" and "Hoot Owl Hoot!" are the top-selling titles from Berkeley's Peaceable Kingdom, which is making a name for itself with games for toddlers and families that emphasize cooperation over competition. The small, family-owned business tries to promote the value and fun of everyone working together. Its line of games is staunchly nondigital, encouraging face-to-face interactions instead of "screen time." "Cooperative games are a microcosm of how children can play differently," said company president Donna Jaffe. Child-development experts say the community-focused games can play a valuable role, teaching shared decision-making and problem-solving. "They have a lot of merit for classroom and family use," said Berkeley's Stevanne Auerbach, who reviews playthings at www.drtoy.com. "Kids can cut out the one-upmanship and learn to develop strategies and friendly connections. Many parents want their children to have the experience of playing games without feeling as if they have to win or lose." "Their games are in my therapy bag all the time," said Sherry Artemenko, a Connecticut speech pathologist who reviews games at www.playonwords.com. "Kids learn to help each other and work as a team. There's a lot of learning involved: You talk to each other, take different actions. There are visual skills as well as math and language." With slightly more than $5 million in sales, Peaceable Kingdom is minute compared with giants like Hasbro and Mattel. It has eschewed mass-market retailers like Target and Toys R Us, instead sticking to smaller local toy stores and some chains like Barnes & Noble and Pottery Barn.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
The Pope's bold new vision
November 26, 2013, CNN blog
Pope Francis on [November 26] issued a bold new document – in Vatican parlance an "apostolic exhortation" – called Evangelii Gaudium or "The Joy of the Gospel." In this document, he sets out an exciting new vision of how to be a church. It is to be a joyful community of believers completely unafraid of the modern world, completely unafraid of change and completely unafraid of challenges. The exhortation [expresses] an overriding concern for the poor in the world. Francis champions an idea that has lately been out of favor: the church's "preferential option" for the poor. "God's heart has a special place for the poor," the Pope says. But it is not enough simply to say that God loves the poor in a special way and leave it at that. We must be also vigilant in our care and advocacy for them. Everyone must do this, says the Pope. "None of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and for social justice." And in case anyone misses the point, after a critique of the "idolatry of money" and an "economy of exclusion," the Pope says: "The Pope loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor. I exhort you to generous solidarity and a return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings." This does not mean simply caring for the poor, it means addressing the structures that keep them poor: "The need to resolve the structural causes of poverty cannot be delayed."
Note: For how you can help to end poverty through microlending, click here. Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Police Arrest Aerialist for Performing Above the Williamsburg Bridge
November 21, 2011, The Atlantic
In July, 24-year-old Seanna Sharpe scaled the Williamsburg Bridge to perform a jaw-dropping, and totally illegal, acrobatics show. Shortly thereafter, she was arrested and handcuffed. According to this short documentary, she was charged with a felony, which was later reduced to a misdemeanor. Fans raised her bail in under an hour, via Twitter. Filmmaker and artist Ronen V captures the whole amazing story in this video, incorporating footage shot by the crowd on cell phones and cameras.
Note: You can watch the fun, death-defying video at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
A Murmuration of Starlings
November 3, 2011, The Atlantic
This is your moment of zen today. Two adventurers set out in a canoe and happened upon a [flock of] starlings (collectively known as a murmuration) doing their amazing collective dance in the sky. Watch the video. Just take it in. The starlings' coordinated movements do not seem possible, but then, there they are, doing it. Scientists have been similarly fascinated by starling movement. Those synchronized dips and waves seem to hold secrets about perception and group dynamics. Last year, Italian theoretical physicist Giorgio Parisi took on the challenge of explaining the [phenomenon]. What he found ... is that the math equations that best describe starling movement are borrowed "from the literature of 'criticality,' of crystal formation and avalanches -- systems poised on the brink, capable of near-instantaneous transformation." They call it "scale-free correlation," and it means that no matter how big the flock, "If any one bird turned and changed speed, so would all the others." It's a beautiful phenomenon to behold. And neither biologists nor anyone else can yet explain how starlings seem to process information and act on it so quickly. It's precisely the lack of lag between the birds' movements that make the flocks so astonishing.
Note: Don't miss the hauntingly beautiful video at the link above. For more, 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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