Popes Knew of Child Sex Abuse, Vermont First State to Label GMOs, 'Inner Genius' Awakened
Revealing News Articles
April 28, 2014
Below are key excerpts of important news articles showing many popes knew of rampant child sex abuse by priests in the Catholic church for decades, Vermont is the first state to pass a law requiring labeling of GMO foods, proposed rules by the FCC will allow an end to 'Net Neutrality', and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on brain injuries and diseases which awaken hidden 'inner genius' and an amazing caretaker of US rivers. 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.
Special note: For a beautiful song/video titled "I Am Light," click here. To learn how the "Somalian pirates" grew out of illegal poaching and dumping of toxic and nuclear waste by Western powers, click here. For a beautiful five-minute tribute to 9/11 whistleblower Michael Ruppert by RT's Abby Martin, click here. For leaked documents from Wikileaks suggesting high-level government officials know about extraterrestrial life, click here.
Quote of the Week: "Have we forgotten that we always have choice over how we perceive the world?" ~~ Peter Russell
John Paul's Legacy Stained by Sex Abuse Scandal
April 21, 2014, ABC News/Associated Press
The sexual abuse scandal that festered under [Pope John Paul's] watch remains a stain on his legacy. Pope Francis has inherited John Paul's most notorious failure on the sex abuse front – the Legion of Christ order, which John Paul and his top advisers held up as a model. The Legion admitted that its late founder sexually abused his seminarians and fathered three children. Yet the Legion's 2009 admission about the Rev. Marcial Maciel's double life was by no means news to the Vatican. Documents from the archives of the Vatican's then-Sacred Congregation for Religious show how a succession of papacies ... simply turned a blind eye to credible reports that Maciel was a con artist, drug addict, pedophile and religious fraud. The documents show the Holy See was well aware of Maciel's drug abuse, sexual abuse and financial improprieties as early as 1956, when it ordered an initial investigation and suspended him for two years to kick a morphine habit. Maciel's fraud, one of the greatest scandals of the 20th-century Catholic Church, raises uncomfortable questions for today's Vatican about how so many people could have been duped for so long. [This] brings into question how the church's own structure, values and priorities enabled a cult-like order to grow from within and how far accountability for all the harm done should go. It begs the question of whether the order has really been purged of the abuses that allowed generations of priests to subject themselves to blind obedience to a false prophet.
Note: It is all too clear that a succession of popes and cardinals of the Catholic church were well aware of these severe child sex abuse scandals for decades, yet took no serious steps to stop the harm being inflicted on innocent children. To learn how child sex-abuse rings lead to top levels of both political and religious leadership around the world, watch the powerful Discovery Channel documentary "Conspiracy of Silence" at this link and read the astounding news reports available here.
Vermont Ups the Ante on Genetically Modified Foods
April 25, 2014, ABC News/Associated Press
Vermont has raised the stakes in the debate over genetically modified foods by becoming the first state to pass a bill requiring that they be labeled as such in the grocery aisle, making the move despite the opposition of the powerful U.S. food industry. The Vermont bill says genetically modified foods "potentially pose risks to health, safety, agriculture, and the environment" and includes $1.5 million for implementation and defense against lawsuits expected from the food and biotech industries. It's unclear how GMO labeling might affect consumers' wallets or food companies' bottom line if shoppers reject labeled foods. The labels will say "produced with genetic engineering" for packaged raw foods, or "partially produced with genetic engineering" or "may be produced with genetic engineering" for processed food that contains products of genetic engineering. Meat and dairy would be exempt. A national New York Times poll in January 2013 found that 93 percent of respondents said foods containing GMOs should be labeled. Twenty-nine other states have proposed bills recently to require GMO labeling, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. More than 60 countries require such labeling, according to the Vermont Right to Know campaign. Some farmers in Vermont, known for its organic food operations, see the bill's passage as a David-vs.-Goliath victory. "This vote is a reflection of years of work from a strong grass-roots base of Vermonters who take their food and food sovereignty seriously and do not take kindly to corporate bullies," Will Allen, manager of Cedar Circle Farm in Thetford, said.
Note: For more on the good reasons to require GMO labels on foods, see the excellent summary of the risks from GMOs available here.
F.C.C., in a Shift, Backs Fast Lanes for Web Traffic
April 24, 2014, New York Times
The principle that all Internet content should be treated equally as it flows through cables and pipes to consumers looks all but dead. The Federal Communications Commission said on [April 23] that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers. The proposed changes would affect what is known as net neutrality – the idea that no providers of legal Internet content should face discrimination in providing offerings to consumers, and that users should have equal access to see any legal content they choose. The proposal comes three months after a federal appeals court struck down, for the second time, agency rules intended to guarantee a free and open Internet. The regulations could radically reshape how Internet content is delivered to consumers. The rules are also likely to eventually raise prices as the likes of Disney and Netflix pass on to customers whatever they pay for the speedier lanes, which are the digital equivalent of an uncongested car pool lane on a busy freeway. Consumer groups immediately attacked the proposal, saying that not only would costs rise, but also that big, rich companies with the money to pay large fees to Internet service providers would be favored over small start-ups with innovative business models.
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Intelligence Chief Issues Limits on Press Contacts
April 22, 2014, New York Times
The Obama administration has barred officials at 17 agencies from speaking to journalists about unclassified intelligence-related topics without permission, according to a newly disclosed directive. The directive, issued by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, also requires the agencies' employees to report any unplanned contact with journalists. Officials who violate the directive may be disciplined or fired, the directive says. The directive prohibits unauthorized "contact with the media about intelligence-related information, including intelligence sources, methods, activities and judgments," without regard to whether it is classified. It says that employees who violate the policy "may be subject to administrative actions that may include revocation of security clearances or termination of employment." At a minimum, the directive adds, any violation of the policy "will be handled in the same manner as a security violation." Mr. Clapper signed the directive on March 20, and it was quietly posted on the office's website last week. The directive limiting contact with reporters was reported Monday by Steve Aftergood, a government secrecy specialist for the Federation of American Scientists. In a blog post, Mr. Aftergood portrayed the directive as seeking to ensure that "the only news about intelligence is to be authorized news." He criticized the policy as going too far, arguing that routine interactions between agency employees and reporters about unclassified matters did not pose a threat to national security, but that limiting them would hurt the public.
Note: Yet another major effort to muzzle whistleblowers. For more on government secrecy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Corporate Profits Grow and Wages Slide
April 5, 2014, New York Times
Corporate profits are at their highest level in at least 85 years. Employee compensation is at the lowest level in 65 years. The Commerce Department last week estimated that corporations earned $2.1 trillion during 2013, and paid $419 billion in corporate taxes. The after-tax profit of $1.7 trillion amounted to 10 percent of gross domestic product during the year, the first full year it has been that high. In 2012, it was 9.7 percent, itself a record. Until 2010, the highest level of after-tax profits ever recorded was 9.1 percent, in 1929, the first year that the government began calculating the number. Before taxes, corporate profits accounted for 12.5 percent of the total economy, tying the previous record that was set in 1942, when World War II pushed up profits for many companies. But in 1942, most of those profits were taxed away. The effective corporate tax rate was nearly 55 percent, in sharp contrast to last year's figure of under 20 percent. The trend of higher profits and lower effective taxes has been gaining strength for years, but really picked up after the Great Recession temporarily depressed profits in 2009. The effective rate has been below 20 percent in three of the last five years. Before 2009, the rate had not been that low since 1931. The Commerce Department also said total wages and salaries last year amounted to $7.1 trillion, or 42.5 percent of the entire economy. That was down from 42.6 percent in 2012 and was lower than in any year previously measured.
Note: For more on income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Study: US is an oligarchy, not a democracy
April 17, 2014, BBC News
The US is dominated by a rich and powerful elite. So concludes a recent study by Princeton University Prof Martin Gilens and Northwestern University Prof Benjamin I Page. Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. In English: the wealthy few move policy, while the average American has little power. The two professors came to this conclusion after reviewing answers to 1,779 survey questions asked between 1981 and 2002 on public policy issues. They broke the responses down by income level, and then determined how often certain income levels and organised interest groups saw their policy preferences enacted. "A proposed policy change with low support among economically elite Americans (one-out-of-five in favour) is adopted only about 18% of the time," they write, "while a proposed change with high support (four-out-of-five in favour) is adopted about 45% of the time." When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organised interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it. They conclude: "We believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organisations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America's claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened."
Note: For more on the antidemocratic impacts of income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World's Richest
April 23, 2014, New York Times
The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction. While the wealthiest Americans are outpacing many of their global peers, a New York Times analysis shows that across the lower- and middle-income tiers, citizens of other advanced countries have received considerably larger raises over the last three decades. After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada – substantially behind in 2000 – now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans. The numbers ... suggest that most American families are paying a steep price for high and rising income inequality. The struggles of the poor in the United States are even starker than those of the middle class. A family at the 20th percentile of the income distribution in this country makes significantly less money than a similar family in Canada, Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Netherlands. Thirty-five years ago, the reverse was true. The findings are striking because the most commonly cited economic statistics – such as per capita gross domestic product – continue to show that the United States has maintained its lead as the world's richest large country. But those numbers are averages, which do not capture the distribution of income. With a big share of recent income gains in this country flowing to a relatively small slice of high-earning households, most Americans are not keeping pace with their counterparts around the world.
Note: For more on income inequality, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Elizabeth Warren's 'A Fighting Chance': An exclusive excerpt on the foreclosure crisis
April 26, 2014, Boston Globe
In fall 2009, Secretary Timothy Geithner invited people working on TARP oversight to a meeting. After we had listened to the secretary go on and on about his department's cheery projections for recovery, I finally interrupted with a question about a new topic. Why, I asked, had Treasury's response to the flood of foreclosures been so small? The Congressional Oversight Panel had been sharply critical of Treasury's foreclosure plan. We thought that the program was poorly designed and poorly managed and provided little permanent help, and we worried that it would reach too few people to make any real difference. The secretary ... quickly launched into a general discussion of his approach to dealing with foreclosures, rehashing the plan that the Congressional Oversight Panel had already reviewed. Next, he explained why Treasury's efforts were perfectly adequate. Then he hit his key point: The banks could manage only so many foreclosures at a time, and Treasury wanted to slow down the pace so the banks wouldn't be overwhelmed. And this was where the new foreclosure program came in: It was just big enough to "foam the runway" for them. There it was: The Treasury foreclosure program was intended to foam the runway to protect against a crash landing by the banks. Millions of people were getting tossed out on the street, but the secretary of the Treasury believed the government's most important job was to provide a soft landing for the tender fannies of the banks.
Note: Adapted from A Fighting Chance by Elizabeth Warren. For more on the government's collusion with the big banks before, during and after the 2008 financial crisis brought about by fraudulent mortgage sales, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Covert Inquiry by F.B.I. Rattles 9/11 Tribunals
April 19, 2014, New York Times
Two weeks ago, a pair of F.B.I. agents appeared unannounced at the door of a member of the defense team for one of the men accused of plotting the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As a contractor working with the defense team at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the man was bound by the same confidentiality rules as a lawyer. But the agents wanted to talk. They asked questions, lawyers say, about the legal teams for Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other accused terrorists who will eventually stand trial before a military tribunal at Guantanamo. Before they left, the agents asked the contractor to sign an agreement promising not to tell anyone about the conversation. With that signature, Mr. bin al-Shibh's lawyers say, the government turned a member of their team into an F.B.I. informant. The F.B.I.'s inquiry became the focus of the pretrial hearings at Guantanamo this week, after the contractor disclosed it to the defense team. It was a reminder that, no matter how much the proceedings at the island military prison resemble a familiar American trial, the invisible hand of the United States government is at work there in ways unlike anything seen in typical courtrooms. "It's a courtroom with three benches," said Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School. "There's one person pretending to be the judge, and two other agencies behind the scenes exerting at least as much influence." Thirteen years after 9/11, nobody has been convicted in connection with the attacks.
Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
IG: Agency didn't report polygraph admissions of child molestations
April 22, 2014, Washington Post blog
The federal government's spy-satellite agency failed to alert authorities after some of its employees and contractors admitted during polygraph tests to crimes including child molestation and lying on security-clearance questionnaires, according to a watchdog. The intelligence community's inspector general released two reports ... saying the National Reconnaissance Office did not refer some of the cases because of confusion about reporting expectations and requirements. According to one of the reports, an Air Force lieutenant colonel admitted during a 2010 lie-detector test to touching a child in a sexual way and downloading child pornography on his work computer. The NRO only reported that case to the Air Force division that oversees security clearances instead of the Justice Department or the Air Force's special-investigations office, the inspector general said. The NRO is not legally required to report certain state crimes such as child molestation. Thirty individuals who took NRO lie-detector tests from 2009 through 2012 admitted to child abuse or using child pornography, according to the report. The NRO failed to report three of those cases. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who requested the review after a McClatchy news investigation raised concerns about the matter in 2012, said the NRO showed a "complete lack of common sense in failing to require reporting of serious state crimes of this sort."
Note: The NRO is the agency that was running a drill on the morning of 9/11 of an airplane crashing into one of its Washington, DC buildings, as reported in this USA Today article. It has also allegedly been involved in the UFO cover-up, as reported in this testimony.
Sharyl Attkisson paints CBS News as a bunch of cowards
March 21, 2014, Washington Post blog
The renowned correspondent [Sharyl Attkisson] recently bolted CBS News after prolonged turmoil and tensions over her work and how it fit with a mainstream broadcast network. Attkisson pushed super-hard on stories that painted the Obama administration in a bad light, including coverage of the Fast & Furious gun-interdiction program and Benghazi. She also covered aviation, Obamacare and other [issues]. She worked at the network for two decades. In a chat today with Attkisson, [radio host Chris Stigall on Philadelphia station WPHT] wisely picked up on the question of air time. He asked whether CBS News had instructed Attkisson to "knock it off" with her anti-Obama stories and denied her exposure for such fare. The response from Attkisson was ... damning: "With various stories, you do get the idea at some point that they want you to stop, especially if you start to dig down right into something very, very important, and it's not just with political stories – it's with stories that go after other interests, corporations, different things. There seems to come a point when you get close, they seem to not be interested in the stories anymore sometimes and some people ... or some managers act as though, yes, you're a problem if you keep pursuing the questions." She had blockbuster scoops – perhaps many of them – that her bosses all but killed. "Why be at a place where ... you've never been better positioned to break original investigative stories but have nothing that you can do with them once you do so. That's sort of the position I felt I was in."
Key Articles From Years Past
More Black Men Are In Prison Today Than Were Enslaved In 1850
October 12, 2011, Huffington Post
More black men are behind bars or under the watch of the criminal justice system than there were enslaved in 1850, according to the author of a book about racial discrimination and criminal justice. Ohio State University law professor and civil rights activist Michelle Alexander..., the author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, [says] there are more African American men in prison and jail, or on probation and parole, than were slaves before the start of the Civil War. More than 846,000 black men were incarcerated in 2008, according to U.S. Bureau of Justice estimates. African Americans make up 13.6 percent of the U.S. population according to census data, but black men reportedly make up 40.2 percent of all prison inmates. The criminal justice system is the newest in a long line of societal structures that have disenfranchised people of color, Alexander argues in her book. Alexander writes that despite today's belief in "colorblindness," our criminal justice system effectively bars African American men from citizenship, treating them as a separate caste: "Denying African Americans citizenship was deemed essential to the formation of the original union. Hundreds of years later, America is still not an egalitarian democracy. The arguments and rationalizations that have been trotted out in support of racial exclusion and discrimination in its various forms have changed and evolved, but the outcome has remained largely the same."
Note: For more on the deep injustices of the prison-industrial complex, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The brain injury that made me a math genius
April 20, 2014, Salon
If you could see the world through my eyes, you would know how perfect it is, how much order runs through it, and how much structure is hidden in its tiniest parts. The universe itself and everything we can touch and all that we are is made of the most beautiful geometric patterns imaginable. I know because they're right in front of me. Because of a traumatic brain injury, the result of a brutal physical attack, I've been able to see these patterns for over a decade. This change in my perception was really a change in my brain function, the result of the injury and the extraordinary and mostly positive way my brain healed. All of a sudden, the patterns were just . . . there, and I realize now that my injury was a rare gift. I'm lucky to have survived, but for me, the real miracle–what really saved me–was being introduced to and almost overwhelmed by the mathematical grace of the universe. Doctors tell me that nothing in my brain was newly created or added when I was injured. Rather, innate but dormant skills were released. This theory comes from psychiatrist Darold Treffert, who is considered the world's leading authority on savants and acquired savants. He ... suggested that all of us have extraordinary skills just beneath the surface, much as birds innately know how to fly in a V-formation and fish know how to swim in a school. Why the brain suppresses these remarkable abilities is still a mystery, but sometimes, when the brain is diseased or damaged, it relents and unleashes the inner genius. This isn't just my story. It's the story of the potential secreted away in all of us.
Note: Excerpted from Struck By Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel by Jason Padgett and Maureen Seaberg. Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Iranian killer's execution halted at last minute by victim's parents
April 16, 2014, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
When he felt the noose around his neck, Balal must have thought he was about to take his last breath. Seven years ago Balal, who is in his 20s, stabbed 18-year-old Abdollah Hosseinzadeh during a street brawl in the small town of Royan, in the northern province of Mazandaran [Iran]. But what happened next marked a rarity in public executions in Iran, which puts more people to death than any other country apart from China. The victim's mother approached, slapped the convict in the face and then decided to forgive her son's killer. The victim's father removed the noose and Balal's life was spared. Balal's mother hugged the grieving mother of the man her son had killed. The two women sobbed in each other's arms – one because she had lost her son, the other because hers had been saved. [The slain boy's father, Abdolghani] Hosseinzadeh said a dream prompted the change of heart. "Three days ago my wife saw my elder son in a dream telling her that they are in a good place, and for her not to retaliate ... This calmed my wife and we decided to think more until the day of the execution." Many Iranian public figures, including the popular TV sport presenter Adel Ferdosipour, had called on the couple, who have a daughter, to forgive the killer. Although they did so, Balal will not necessarily be freed. Under Iranian law the victim's family have a say only in the act of execution, not any jail sentence.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Rivers' garbageman named CNN Hero of the Year
November 19, 2013, CNN
Chad Pregracke, an Illinois man who has dedicated his life to cleaning the Mississippi River and other U.S. waterways, is the 2013 CNN Hero of the Year. Pregracke organizes community cleanups across the country through his nonprofit, Living Lands & Waters. About 70,000 volunteers have pitched in, helping Pregracke collect more than 7 million pounds of trash in the past 15 years. "The garbage got into the water one piece at a time," Pregracke said earlier this year. "And that's the only way it's going to come out." "I'll just keep on cleaning up America's rivers and loving every minute of it," said Pregracke when he accepted the award. During the show, Pregracke pledged to spread some of his Hero of the Year money to the rest of the top 10 Heroes: "I've met so many great people today, the other Heroes, and I'm really moved by all their stories and all the things they do around the world. ... I'm going to give 10 grand to each of them, because they're awesome." Pregracke, 38, grew up in East Moline, Illinois, where the Mississippi River was in his backyard. As a teenager, he worked as a commercial shell diver and began to notice the heaps of debris in the fabled waterway, which supplies drinking water to 18 million people in more than 50 U.S. cities. "I saw thousands of barrels, thousands of tires, cars, trucks and tops of school buses. ... I got sick of seeing it and just wanted to do something about it," said Pregracke. For nine months out of the year, Pregracke lives on a barge with members of his 12-person crew. They go around the country with a fleet of boats, and they try to make cleanup fun for the volunteers who show up in each city.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Teen's invention could charge your phone in 20 seconds
May 18, 2013, NBC News
Waiting hours for a cellphone to charge may become a thing of the past, thanks to an 18-year-old high-school student's invention. She won a $50,000 prize ... at an international science fair for creating an energy storage device that can be fully juiced in 20 to 30 seconds. The fast-charging device is a [type of] so-called supercapacitor, a gizmo that can pack a lot of energy into a tiny space, charges quickly and holds its charge for a long time. What's more, it can last for 10,000 charge-recharge cycles, compared with 1,000 cycles for conventional rechargeable batteries, according to [the inventor] Eesha Khare of Saratoga, Calif. Supercapacitors also allowed her to focus on her interest in nanochemistry – "really working at the nanoscale to make significant advances in many different fields." To date, she has used [her] supercapacitor to power a light-emitting diode, or LED. The invention's future is even brighter. She sees it fitting inside cellphones and the other portable electronic devices that are proliferating in today's world, freeing people and their gadgets for a longer time from reliance on electrical outlets. "It is also flexible, so it can be used in rollup displays and clothing and fabric," Khare added. "It has a lot of different applications and advantages over batteries in that sense." Khare's invention won her the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, conducted ... in Phoenix, Ariz.
Note: Now let's see if it actually makes it to market or is blocked by the companies that profit from selling many chargers. Explore a treasure trove of concises summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
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