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Tyrants Fear Social Media, FBI Targeted Occupy With Banks Help, Record Low Murders in NYC
Revealing News Articles
January 1, 2013

Dear friends,

Below are key excerpts of important news articles on the record low number of murders in New York City in 2012, tyrants and dictators fear of social media, advance coordination between the FBI and elite banks to target and crackdown on the Occupy movement, 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

Happy New Year!!! Welcome to 2013! Though there are still many crazy things going on in our world, there are also many reasons to be excited and optimistic about our future. For a few of these reasons, click here. Several of the news summaries below are also quite inspiring, and we'll be sending out more reasons for hope in these transformative times soon. Stay tuned!

Special note: For an article showing GM seeds have caused an increase, rather than the promised decrease, in pesticide use, click here. For an enlightening exploration of the tradition of Santa Claus and its likely origin in the usage of a mind-altering mushroom, click here. For a fascinating seven-minute video of an intriguing magnet-based generator, click here. For an astounding, 20-minute clip of genius new energy inventor John Hutchison and his anti-gravity effects, click here. For a great new 10-minute video by Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, click here.


414 Homicides in '12 Is a Record Low for New York City
December 29, 2012, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/29/nyregion/414-homicides-is-a-record-low-for-new-york.html

Murders in New York have dropped to their lowest level in over 40 years, city officials announced on [December 28]. There were 414 recorded homicides so far in 2012, compared with 515 for the same period in 2011, city officials said. That is a striking decline from murder totals in the low-2,000s that were common in the early 1990s, and is also below the record low: 471, set in 2009. Shootings are also down for the year so far. The number of murders is the lowest since 1963, when improvements in the recording of data were made. In the last two decades, trumpeting declines in crime trends has become an annual end-of-the-year event, even when the numbers inched up. There were also several anomalies in the 2012 homicide tally, including a serial killer who murdered three shopkeepers in Brooklyn. But overall killings have dropped to such a low level that more New Yorkers now commit suicide than are the victims of homicides. About 475 New Yorkers kill themselves each year, according to the city's health department. Nearly 70 percent of the victims had prior criminal arrests, the police said. Domestic-related homicides dropped to 68, from 94 in 2011. The likelihood of being killed by a stranger was slight. The vast majority of the homicides ... grew out of "disputes" between a victim and killer who knew each other.

Note: Though most American believe murder and violent crime rates are increasing, these rates in fact have decreased dramatically in the last 20 years, by over 2/3 in many cases. For more great information on this trend, click here. For other inspiring reasons for hope and optimism in the new year, click here.


What tyrants fear most: social media
November 27, 2012, Chicago Tribune
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-11-27/news/sns-201211271500--tms--amvoices...

Most of the world's dictators share a common fear, and it's not of the United States, NATO, the United Nations or any outside entity. No, the force that most threatens them is social media. Originally designed as enhanced online chat forums for young Americans, Facebook, Twitter, blogs and the rest have spread around the world and are now being used as cudgels against authoritarian leaders in places like Vietnam, Russia, Belarus and Bahrain. In those states and so many others, the leaders are attacking tweeters and bloggers as if they were armed revolutionaries. And the repression is spreading. In India ... a 21-year-old medical student posted a mildly critical comment about a Hindu political figure who'd just died. Within 24 hours, police arrested her and a friend who had "liked" the student's Facebook post and charged them with engaging in hateful, offensive speech -- this in one of the world's strongest democracies. Recently, Ecuador's Supreme Court turned down an extradition request from Belarus for a blogger who fled there after the government charged him with fraud. Alexander Barankov had been blogging about widespread government corruption. Iran, not surprisingly, is even tougher. Bloggers are given long prison terms or sentenced to death, charged with "enmity against God" and subverting national security. But the sad truth is, the dictators whose people are the most repressed -- locked in abject poverty -- don't have to worry about the social-media problem.


Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy
December 29, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/29/fbi-coordinated-crackdown-occupy

New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent. It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves – was coordinated with the big banks themselves. The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.

Note: For analysis of these amazing documents revealing the use of joint government and corporate counterterrorism structures against peaceful protestors of financial corruption, click here and here. For a Democracy Now! video segment on this, click here.


F.B.I. Counterterrorism Agents Monitored Occupy Movement
December 25, 2012, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/25/nyregion/occupy-movement-was-investigated-by-fbi...

The Federal Bureau of Investigation used counterterrorism agents to investigate the Occupy Wall Street movement, including its communications and planning, according to newly disclosed agency records. The F.B.I. records show that as early as September 2011, an agent from a counterterrorism task force in New York notified officials of two landmarks in Lower Manhattan – Federal Hall and the Museum of American Finance – "that their building was identified as a point of interest for the Occupy Wall Street." In the following months, F.B.I. personnel around the country were routinely involved in exchanging information about the movement with businesses, local law-enforcement agencies and universities. An October 2011 memo from the bureau's Jacksonville, Fla., field office was titled Domain Program Management Domestic Terrorist. The memo said agents discussed "past and upcoming meetings" of the movement, and its spread. It said agents should contact Occupy Wall Street activists to ascertain whether people who attended their events had "violent tendencies." Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the F.B.I. has come under criticism for deploying counterterrorism agents to conduct surveillance and gather intelligence on organizations active in environmental, animal-cruelty and poverty issues. The records were obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a civil-rights organization in Washington, through a Freedom of Information request to the F.B.I.

Note: For analysis of these amazing documents revealing the use of joint government and corporate counterterrorism structures against peaceful protestors of financial corruption, click here and here. For a Democracy Now! video segment on this, click here.


GOP and Feinstein join to fulfill Obama's demand for renewed warrantless eavesdropping
December 28, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/28/fisa-feinstein-obama-democrats-eavesdropping

The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 did much more than shield lawbreaking telecoms from all forms of legal accountability. It also legalized vast new, sweeping and almost certainly unconstitutional forms of warrantless government eavesdropping. [The] 2008 law gutted the 30-year-old FISA statute that had [barred] the government from eavesdropping on the communications of Americans without first obtaining a warrant from a court. Worst of all, the 2008 law legalized ... the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program secretly implemented by George Bush after the 9/11 attack. The 2008 FISA law provided that it would expire in four years unless renewed. Yesterday, the Senate debated its renewal. Several Senators - Democrats Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden of Oregon along with Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul - each attempted to attach amendments to the law simply to provide some modest amounts of transparency and oversight to ensure that the government's warrantless eavesdropping powers were constrained and checked from abuse. The Democratic Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein ... demanded renewal of the FISA law without any reforms. And then predictably, in virtually identical 37-54 votes, Feinstein and her conservative-Democratic comrades joined with virtually the entire GOP caucus ... to reject each one of the proposed amendments and thus give Obama exactly what he demanded: reform-free renewal of the law.

Note: For analysis of this Senate vote, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government assaults on privacy, click here.


The coming drone attack on America
December 21, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/21/coming-drone-attack-america

With the importation of what will be tens of thousands of drones, by both US military and by commercial interests, into US airspace, with a specific mandate to engage in surveillance and with the capacity for weaponization – which is due to begin in earnest at the start of the new year – it means that the police state is now officially here. In February of this year, Congress passed the FAA Reauthorization Act, with its provision to deploy fleets of drones domestically. Jennifer Lynch, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, notes that this followed a major lobbying effort, "a huge push by ... the defense sector" to promote the use of drones in American skies: 30,000 of them are expected to be in use by 2020, some as small as hummingbirds. Others will be as big as passenger planes. Business-friendly media stress their planned abundant use by corporations: police in Seattle have already deployed them. An unclassified US Air Force document reported by CBS News expands on this unprecedented and unconstitutional step – one that formally brings the military into the role of controlling domestic populations on US soil. This document accompanies a major federal push for drone deployment this year in the United States, accompanied by federal policies to encourage law enforcement agencies to obtain and use them locally, as well as by federal support for their commercial deployment. That is to say: now HSBC, Chase, Halliburton etc can have their very own fleets of domestic surveillance drones.

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


FBI Lab's woes cast a growing shadow
December 23, 2012, The Independent/Washington Post
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/fbi-labs-woes-cast-a-growing-shadow-8430348.html

Thousands of criminal cases at the state and local level may have relied on exaggerated testimony or false forensic evidence to convict defendants of murder, rape and other felonies. The forensic experts in these cases were trained by the same elite FBI team whose members gave misleading court testimony about hair matches and later taught the local examiners to follow the same suspect practices, according to interviews and documents. In July, the Justice Department announced a nationwide review of all cases handled by the FBI Laboratory's hair and fibers unit before 2000 – at least 21,000 cases – to determine whether improper lab reports or testimony might have contributed to wrongful convictions. But about three dozen FBI agents trained 600 to 1,000 state and local examiners to apply the same standards that have proved problematic. None of the local cases is included in the federal review. As a result, legal experts say, although the federal inquiry is laudable, the number of flawed cases at the state and local levels could be even higher, and those are going uncorrected. The FBI review was prompted by a series of articles in The Washington Post about errors at the bureau's renowned crime lab involving microscopic hair comparisons. The articles highlighted the cases of two District of Columbia men who each spent more than 20 years in prison based on false hair matches by FBI experts. Since The Post's articles, the men have been declared innocent by D.C. Superior Court judges.

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


An Afghan Mystery: Why Are Large Shipments of Gold Leaving the Country?
December 16, 2012, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/16/world/asia/as-gold-is-spirited-out-of-afghanistan...

Packed into hand luggage and tucked into jacket pockets, roughly hewed bars of gold are being flown out of Kabul with increasing regularity, confounding Afghan and American officials who fear money launderers have found a new way to spirit funds from the country. Most of the gold is being carried on commercial flights destined for Dubai. One courier, for instance, carried nearly 60 pounds of gold bars, each about the size of an iPhone, aboard an early morning flight in mid-October, according to an airport security report. The load was worth more than $1.5 million. The gold is fully declared and legal to fly. Some, if not most, is legitimately being sent by gold dealers seeking to have old and damaged jewelry refashioned into new pieces by skilled craftsmen in the Persian Gulf, said Afghan officials and gold dealers. But gold dealers in Kabul and current and former Kabul airport officials say there has been a surge in shipments since early summer. The talk of a growing exodus of gold from Afghanistan has been spreading among the business community here, and in recent weeks has caught the attention of Afghan and American officials. The officials are now puzzling over the origin of the gold – very little is mined in Afghanistan, although larger mines are planned – and why so much appears to be heading for Dubai. As a European official who tracks the Afghan economy put it, "new mysteries abound". There is reason to be suspicious: the gold shipments track with the far larger problem of cash smuggling.

Note: Remember that under US supervision Afghanistan regained its status as the #1 opium and heroin producer in the world. Could this gold somehow be linked to the drug trade which evidence suggests is being monitored if not facilitated by rogue elements of the US government?


'Zero Dark Thirty': Why the fabrication?
December 23, 2012, Los Angeles Times
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/dec/23/opinion/la-oe-1223-mcdermott-torture-bigelow-zero-dark-20121223

The new Kathryn Bigelow movie "Zero Dark Thirty" has renewed the debate on the efficacy of torture. The film obliquely credits the discovery of the key piece of information in the search for [Osama] Bin Laden to the torture of an Al Qaeda prisoner held by the CIA. This is at odds with the facts as they have been recounted by journalists reporting on the manhunt, by Obama administration intelligence officials and by legislative leaders. Bigelow and her writing partner, Mark Boal, are promoting "Zero Dark Thirty" in part by stressing its basis in fact. It's curious that they could have gotten this central, contentious point wrong. And because they originally set out to make a movie about the frustrating failure to find Bin Laden, it's hard to believe their aim was to celebrate torture. But that's in effect what they've done. It was Dick Cheney's idea that the United States could solve complicated problems just by being brave enough, or tough enough, or both. Despite the fact that the world doesn't seem to work that way, Cheney's argument had a force and a tenor that fits with our national narrative of exceptionalism. It's satisfying. We are willing to believe there is something heroic, justifiable about torture. There is not. The moral objection ought to be obvious. We've had laws against torture for decades. We've had these laws for the simplest of reasons – we decided it was wrong. In almost no contemporary culture is it presumed to be not wrong.

Note: There have been numerous reports of bin Laden's death before the "official" killing. Click here and here for two intriguing BBC reports on this. WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin's book establishing the likelihood that Osama bin Laden died in December 2001, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?, is available here.


National Rifle Association moves to block UN treaty on gun control
December 28, 2012, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/28/nra-block-un-treaty-gun-control

The National Rifle Association continues to block any gun control laws whatsoever, and even trumpets its efforts to block the global arms trade treaty, slated for negotiations at the United Nations this March. On Christmas Eve, the same day as the attack in Webster, the UN general assembly voted to move ahead with 10 days of negotiations on the arms trade treaty, to commence 18 March. The NRA succeeded in helping to scuttle the global arms trade treaty, delivering to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter opposing the treaty signed by 50 US senators, including eight Democrats, and 130 members of the House of Representatives. The global treaty shouldn't be controversial. By signing on, governments agree not to export weapons to countries that are under an arms embargo, or to export weapons that would facilitate "the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes" or other violations of international humanitarian law. Amnesty International last week called on the NRA to "immediately drop its campaign of distortions and lies about the pending United Nations' global arms trade treaty". Amnesty USA's Michelle Ringuette elaborated: "These unregulated weapons are used to force tens of thousands of children into armed conflict and to rape women and girls in conflict zones. More than 26 million people around the globe are forced from their homes, and their livelihoods destroyed, by armed conflict. The NRA must immediately stand down on its campaign to block a global arms trade treaty."


Homeland Security grant spending questioned
December 5, 2012, Seattle Times/Associated Press
http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2019840659_spending06.html

The Homeland Security Department paid for an underwater robot in a Midwest city with no major rivers or lakes nearby, a hog catcher in rural Texas and a fish tank in a Texas town, according to a new congressional report highlighting what it described as wasteful spending of tax money. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said in his report that while much of the spending for the department's Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) appeared to be allowed under the program's rules, it was inappropriate in an age of budget austerity and as the federal government faces a $16 trillion national debt. Since 2003, the Homeland Security program has ballooned from 12 major metropolitan areas to 31 jurisdictions. The study found that some cities and towns had created implausible attack scenarios to win federal grants, and had scrambled at the end of each fiscal year to buy extra, unnecessary gadgets to spend excess cash. The Homeland Security Department has pumped billions to states in the past decade under the program that puts states in control of how the money is spent. The department has no way of tracking how the money is spent and has not produced adequate measures to gauge what states and communities need, Coburn said.

Note: Could it be that the "war on terror", even domestically, is really just a ruse to allow corrupt government and corporate profiteering? For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on war profiteering, click here.


Victims of child pornography seek restitution from men who downloaded and traded horrific images
December 27, 2012, Boston Globe
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/2012/12/27/victims-child-pornography-seek-restitution...

The woman, now in her twenties, lives in relative anonymity on the West Coast, but to child pornography collectors worldwide she will always be known as "Vicky," a little girl raped by her father in a series of videos illegally disseminated online thousands of times during more than a decade. Now the woman and a small but growing number of other child pornography victims are seeking restitution from those who collected or traded pictures and videos depicting their abuse, filing claims for damages against convicted child pornographers in Massachusetts and around the country. In court papers, victims describe living with the knowledge that their images can never be cleansed from the Internet. Since 2008, six federal child pornography cases in Massachusetts have resulted in defendants being ordered to pay restitution, according to the US attorney's office in Boston. The amounts range between $2,000 and $2.5 million. The recent restitution efforts come as the scourge of child pornography has accelerated during the last decade, aided by improved technology and the Web's promise of anonymity. While most sexually exploited children go unidentified, nearly 5,000 nationwide have been located during the last 10 years by law enforcement officials and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The Virginia nonprofit manages a database to aid prosecutors and help identify exploited children.

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


Whistleblower Frank Serpico is never too far from his NYPD past
December 22, 2012, New York Daily News
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/quit-famed-nypd-whisteblower-frank-serpico-article-1.1226101

If you're searching for the Frank Serpico of the '70s, the whistle-blowing hippie cop of cinematic renown, pay a visit to Netflix. The real thing is now 76, his famous beard close-cropped and gray. Wiry and fit, Serpico sports tinted glasses and a Keith Richards-style skull ring with ruby red eyes. He lives alone in the woods upstate, far from his Greenwich Village haunts of yore. But despite the distance and the decades, Serpico is never too far away from his NYPD past. The long-retired cop speaks just weeks after the death of his Knapp Commission cohort David Durk, the ex-detective who helped expose the NYPD's massive corruption. For the record: Serpico never received a gold first-grade detective's shield. His NYPD Medal of Honor was handed to him without ceremony, like a pack of cigarettes. And he still wants to know why fellow cops never called in a code 10-13 – officer down – after he took a bullet in the face on Feb. 3, 1971. As for the movie, the man who broke through the Blue Wall of Silence is succinct: "Pacino played Serpico better than I did." Serpico, left with a bullet in the head and a deaf ear from the on-duty shooting, still collects a regular NYPD disability check. And he still maintains skepticism toward the department.

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


Finding healing for the healers
July 17, 2012, Boston Globe
http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2012/07/15/one-patient-call-for-compassion...

Seventeen years ago today, in the Boston Globe Magazine, a dying man issued a plea for greater compassion in medicine. He worried that medical professionals faced increasing work demands that prioritized efficiency over empathy. Kenneth Schwartz died of lung cancer two months later, but not before founding an organization that would bring increased attention to the importance of human interactions in medicine. Research suggests that without intervention, physicians may risk becoming less empathetic over time. A recent survey of 18 studies found that medical students and residents tended to report declining feelings of empathy over the course of their training. Another study found that self-perceived empathy dropped sharply after the third year of medical school, when students start working with patients in the hospital. The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare's flagship program, which started at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1997, encourages doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to share the complex and often distressing feelings that arise from patient care. In recent years, the Schwartz Center Rounds have expanded rapidly, spreading to more than 260 institutions in the country and 14 hospitals in the United Kingdom. The program's growth reflects an increasing recognition that traditional ideals of the stoic, superhuman medical professional may not be healthy – for either the patient or the caregiver. Schwartz Center Rounds highlight feelings – guilt, fear, anger, or sadness – that might lead caregivers to withdraw emotionally from their work.


Berkeley center funds gratitude research
December 4, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Berkeley-center-funds-gratitude-research-4091181.php

At UC Berkeley ... a group of researchers thinks about gratitude year-round. Formed in 2001, the Greater Good Science Center is dedicated to unpacking the neuroscience and sociology behind traits such as altruism, compassion and empathy. The goal is not only to understand how gratitude works, but also to build a healthier, kinder society, said Dacher Keltner, the center's faculty director and a UC Berkeley psychology professor. "The U.S. underperforms in terms of the well-being of children, the well-being of adults and the physical health of children and adults," he said. "We also have one of the most individualistic, self-focused societies in human history. And I put those two facts together." Thanks to a $3.1 million grant recently awarded by the center, 14 researchers nationwide are studying various aspects of gratitude, from its role in initiating friendships to its effects on children's socializing. The grant is part of a three-year project, Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude, in collaboration with UC Davis. And last month, the center launched Thnx4.org, an online journal where visitors explain what they're thankful for and researchers analyze their responses to understand gratitude's influence.

Note: For deeply inspiring reports from major media sources, click here.


2013: America on the cusp of social change
December 27, 2012, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/27/opinion/ghitis-2013-social-change/index.html

As the final days of 2012 trickle away, an uncommon emotional intensity hangs in the air in America. The country stands on the cusp of major change. Today, a majority of Americans support stricter gun laws, a majority support a more progressive tax system and most favor same-sex marriage. A majority of voters even support the idea of legalizing marijuana. The laws have not caught up with this dramatic change in attitudes, and entrenched interests will fight what amounts to a quiet but pivotal social revolution. The coming year will see continuing battles in the courts, in the media and in legislatures, as the forces of change -- now representing the majority -- seek to upset the status quo. Attitudes are changing [in] ways that seemed unthinkable not long ago. Who would have thought Americans would favor legalizing drugs? Two-thirds of voters under age 30 support legalizing pot, bringing the overall total to 51%. Truly radical transformation has come in the area of gay rights. For the first time, Gallup Polls show a majority of Americans support full marriage equality for gay couples. That's an astonishing change. But it's not as astonishing as the wholesale acceptance of gay people that has suffused American society in the last few years. Once again, the people are leading their leaders. Public views, especially among the young, hold that discrimination is not only wrong, it's silly. Something is happening in America.

Note: For other rich and inspiring articles from major media sources, click here.


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