Cops Trained to Kill With Impunity, Justice Dept. Inspector Blocked, Granting Foster Kids' Wishes
August 10, 2015
Below are key excerpts of revealing news articles on Dr. Lewinski, whose $1,000 per hour court testimony gets cops that shoot unarmed suspects out of trouble while his company trains police to kill with impunity, the recent decision by the Obama administration to deny its inspector general access to records crucial to important corruption investigations, the "million dollar blocks" where more than a million dollars of public money have been spent locking block residents up in state prison systems, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on One Simple Wish, a program that has connected thousands of children in foster care with the resources to make a personal wish come true, the message of gratitude a man dying of cancer left for his infant daughter, the $25 million donation a Facebook Co-Founder gave to GiveDirectly, which successfully fights poverty in the developing world by simply giving poor people some money, and more. 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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Quote of the week: "After we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harness the energies of love. Then, for the second time, man will have discovered fire." ~~ Teilhard de Chardin
Training Officers to Shoot First, and He Will Answer Questions Later
August 1, 2015, New York Times
When police officers shoot people under questionable circumstances, Dr. Lewinski is often there to defend their actions. He has testified in or consulted in nearly 200 cases over the last decade. His conclusions are consistent: The officer acted appropriately, even when shooting an unarmed person. Even when shooting someone in the back. Even when witness testimony, forensic evidence or video footage contradicts the officer’s story. He has appeared as an expert witness in criminal trials, civil cases and disciplinary hearings, and before grand juries. In addition, his company, the Force Science Institute, has trained tens of thousands of police officers. His research has been roundly criticized by experts. An editor for The American Journal of Psychology called his work “pseudoscience.” The Justice Department denounced his findings as “lacking in both foundation and reliability.” Civil rights lawyers say he is selling dangerous ideas. In the protests that have followed police shootings, demonstrators have often asked why officers are so rarely punished for shootings that seem unwarranted. Dr. Lewinski is part of the answer. In testimony on the stand, for which he charges nearly $1,000 an hour, he ... sprinkles scientific explanations with sports analogies. Dr. Lewinski and his company have provided training for dozens of departments. His messages often conflict, in both substance and tone, with the training now recommended by the Justice Department and police organizations.
Note: An article in the UK's Guardian newspaper, titled The Uncounted, describes why the U.S. government claims it is unable to keep track of killings by police, but does not mention that police shootings rise as crime falls. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Justice Dept. watchdog blasts his own agency for blocking access to wiretaps, grand jury cases and says his job is undermined
July 24, 2015, Washington Post
The Obama administration has ruled that inspectors general have to get permission from the agency they’re monitoring for access to wiretaps, grand jury and credit information, a decision that immediately was denounced by watchdogs and lawmakers. The Justice Department’s inspector general said the 58-page ruling ... will undermine his ability to do his job rooting out fraud and corruption. “Without such access, our office’s ability to conduct its work will be significantly impaired,” Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said in a statement. His disapproval was followed by a bipartisan condemnation from four congressional leaders whose committees have oversight over DOJ. [In] 2010 ... the FBI started restricting the DOJ inspector general’s access to documents whose confidentiality is protected by law, including grand jury testimony and wiretaps. The IG’s review of the controversial Fast and Furious case, the failed sting operation that lost track of more than 1,000 government-issued guns, one of which was used to kill a U.S. Border Patrol agent, was delayed. Other investigations have lagged, Horowitz testified before Congress last February, complaining that the FBI has failed to turn over key records in several whistleblower cases. “Imagine if we had a DOJ (inspector general) during Watergate looking at the FBI’s conduct and the Attorney General had this opinion to deny or delay access to this kind of information,” said Brian Miller, the former inspector general at the General Services Administration.
Note: Last year, President Obama invoked executive privilege in an attempt to cover up the Fast and Furious scandal. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
How mass incarceration creates ‘million dollar blocks’ in poor neighborhoods
July 30, 2015, Washington Post
[There is a] perverse form that public investment takes in many poor, minority neighborhoods: "million dollar blocks." Our penchant for incarcerating people has grown so strong that, in many cities, taxpayers frequently spend more than a million dollars locking away residents of a single city block. There are 851 blocks in Chicago where the public has committed more than a million dollars to sentencing residents to state prison. The total tops a million dollars for nonviolent drug offenses alone in 121 of those blocks. Most of Chicago's incarcerated residents come from and return to a small number of places. And in those places, the consequences of incarceration on everyone else — children who are missing their parents, households that are missing their breadwinners, families who must support returning offenders who are now much harder to employ — are concentrated, too. Million-dollar blocks exist too in New York and New Orleans and many big cities. When the spatial concentration of all this money is mapped ... the picture poses a critical question: What would happen if we poured the same resources into these same struggling parts of any city in very different ways? What if we spent $2.2 million dollars not removing residents from the corner of West Madison and Cicero but investing in the people who live there? Evidence suggests that such investments could do more to deter crime than locking people away.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corrupt prison industry.
Homan Square: US congressman calls for inquiry into 'shocking' detentions
August 6, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The frustrated politicians who called for a federal investigation into Chicago’s off-the-books police warehouse have renewed calls for the first official inquiry into the facility. Danny Davis, the US congressman who represents the home district of Homan Square, said he would personally seek ... to learn the “rationale” for a practice of holding Americans without a public record of their whereabouts or access to a lawyer while interrogating them at the police site, known as Homan Square. On Wednesday, the Guardian revealed the initial results of a transparency lawsuit it filed to uncover the extent of Homan Square’s emergence as what ex-detainees, lawyers and activists describe as the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site. The lawsuit compelled the Chicago police to disclose that over 3,500 people – 82% of whom a Guardian independent investigation found to be black – have been subject to detention at Homan Square, with only three documented visits from lawyers to the building since September 2004. Long-time Chicago civil rights lawyers [responded to the lawsuit] as the “extremely troubled” results of a city with a “fundamentally racist” history of law enforcement. “Police assassination of Black Panther leaders, the torture of scores of African American suspects, the police ‘red squad’ spying indiscriminately on black citizens, and now Homan Square,” said attorney Flint Taylor, who played a major role in pushing the city to creating a reparations fund earlier this year.
A national hero': psychologist who warned of torture collusion gets her due
July 13, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Jean Maria Arrigo’s inbox is filling up with apologies. For a decade, colleagues of the 71-year-old psychologist ignored, derided and in some cases attacked Arrigo for sounding alarms that the American Psychological Association was implicated in US torture. But now ... a devastating report has exposed deep APA complicity with brutal CIA and US military interrogations – and a smear campaign against Arrigo herself. David Hoffman, a former federal prosecutor, confirmed what she has crusaded against for a decade: the APA’s institutional involvement with torture led to a concerted effort to quash dissent, lie to the public, and silence people like her. In 2005, Arrigo ... was a member of an internal panel, known as the Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (Pens), that greenlit psychologist participation in national-security interrogations. The taskforce was intentionally weighted in favor of the US department of defense, through stacking it with representatives from the military and CIA. It rejected efforts ... to include references to the Geneva Convention and specific interrogation techniques that psychologists could not be involved in. Arrigo took her concerns public. In response, [Gerald] Koocher ... who served as APA president in 2006, [launched] “a highly personal attack.” Arrigo said she was untroubled by Koocher’s “idiotic” broadside. What was more troubling to her, she said, were the well-meaning members of APA who did not challenge the attacks.
Note: Read an article on how military psychologists are fighting against torture reforms. For more, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists.
Germany halts treason inquiry into journalists after protests
July 21, 2015, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
A treason investigation into two journalists who reported that the German state planned to increase online surveillance has been suspended by the country’s prosecutor general following protests by leading voices across politics and media. Harald Range, Germany’s prosecutor general, said on Friday he was halting the investigation “for the good of press and media freedom”. It was the first time in more than half a century that journalists in Germany had faced charges of treason. His announcement followed a deluge of criticism and accusations that Germany’s prosecutor had “misplaced priorities”, having failed to investigate with any conviction the NSA spying scandal revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, and targeting instead the two investigative journalists, Markus Beckedahl and Andre Meister. The two reporters made reference to what is believed to be a genuine intelligence report that had been classified as confidential, which proposed establishing a new intelligence department to monitor the internet, in particular social media networks. Beckedahl hit out at the prosecutor’s investigation against him on Friday on the state broadcaster Deutschlandfunk, calling it “absurd” and suggesting it was meant as a general warning to scare sources from speaking to journalists. Much of the German media called the decision an attack on the freedom of the press.
Note: The NSA recently got caught spying on German reporters, possibly as a favor to the German government. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of public perception.
Edward Heath abuse claims: Five forces investigating ex-PM
August 4, 2015, BBC
Five police forces are investigating claims of historical child sexual abuse involving former PM Sir Edward Heath. Wiltshire Police halted an inquiry into a brothel keeper in the 1990s after she said Sir Edward was involved in child sexual abuse. Claims made by the brothel keeper, Myra Ling Ling Forde, that Sir Edward was a client, meant that she had left herself open to prosecution. However, the case against her was allegedly discontinued between 1990 and 1995. She was later convicted of controlling prostitutes, [and] jailed for six years after a trial that included allegations that she had supplied children as young as 13 to her clients. The Independent Police Complaints Commission said on Monday that it would look at whether Wiltshire officers failed to pursue allegations of child abuse made against Sir Edward, who was Conservative prime minister from 1970 to 1974. A retired detective has alleged claims were made in the 1990s but not followed up. Kent Police told the BBC it had received a report on Tuesday of a sexual assault having been committed in east Kent in the 1960s [that] "named Sir Edward Heath in connection with the allegation. Meanwhile, Labour MP Tom Watson said he had referred two allegations of child sexual abuse by Sir Edward to the police since 2012. He said police had confirmed that at least one of those allegations was being investigated.
Note: For more evidence of Heath's involvement, see this Guardian article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sex abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Trader jailed for 14 years over Libor rate-rigging
August 3, 2015, BBC
Former City trader Tom Hayes has been found guilty at a London court of rigging global Libor interest rates. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison for conspiracy to defraud. The 35-year old is the first individual to face a jury trial for manipulating the rate, which is used as a benchmark for trillions of pounds of global borrowing and lending. Many of the world's leading banks have paid heavy financial penalties for tampering with the key benchmark. The case was brought by the Serious Fraud Office, which said Hayes set up a network of brokers and traders spanning 10 financial institutions and cajoled or bribed them to help rig Libor rates for profit. During the trial, jurors were told that Hayes promised to pay a broker up to $100,000 to keep the Libor rate "as low as possible". Defence barrister Neil Hawes asked the judge to take into account the prevalence of Libor manipulation at the time, and also that ... managers and senior managers at Hayes' bank knew of, and in some cases condoned, Libor manipulation. Hayes ... rigged the Libor rates daily for nearly four years while working in Tokyo for UBS, then Citigroup, from 2006 until 2010. Rigging even minor movements in the rate can result in bumper profits for a trader manipulating the rates, or the rate can be moved simply to make a bank look more creditworthy.
Note: Why aren't we hearing about the many other high-level bankers who rigged the Libor rate? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.
Libor rates could be changed for a Mars bar, court hears
July 8, 2015, BBC
A court has heard that manipulating Libor rates was so commonplace an offer of a Mars bar could get it changed. Tom Hayes, who worked for UBS and Citigroup ... is the first person to face a jury trial for manipulating the key interest rate, used to set trillions of pounds of investments. The court was shown ... transcripts of exchanges between traders using UBS's internal messaging system. The conversations all related to moving Libor rates, said Mr Hayes, to assist the traders' and banks' commercial interests, something he said he found it hard to see as wrong. In one chat, Mr Hayes suggests the market is rife with dealers attempting to influence rates: "Very, very hard to price stuff with the fixes so manipulated and inconsistent." His correspondent replies: "The fixes are manipulated?" "Yes, of course they are," says Mr Hayes. "Just give the cash desk a Mars bar and they'll set wherever you want." He has alleged throughout his trial that ... senior managers, even the chief executive of the bank, knew all about it. He said he was "shocked" when his manager phoned him asking him not to mention Libor rate-setting in any emails. The court was also shown an email exchange between senior management appearing to show they had reservations about Mr Hayes. "Personally I find it embarrassing when he calls up his mates to ask for favours on high/low fixings. What's the legal risk to UBS asking others to manipulate rates?" The Libor scandal has seen a number of the world's leading banks fined for manipulating rates.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the systemically corrupt financial industry.
US-led airstrikes in Syria: Only two civilian deaths have been admitted to – that would be extraordinary, if it were true
August 4, 2015, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The first year of the ... air war against Isis has already seen more than 17,000 bombs and missiles dropped on Iraq and Syria. The coalition has conceded just two civilian deaths. Asked how many other non-combatants have died, officials demurred: “We aren’t going to speculate on this subject,” one senior CENTCOM spokesman recently told me. There’s rather less discomfort when it comes to boasting of how many enemy fighters are dead: 15,000 at their last count. Addressing this information gap, the monitoring group ... Airwars has examined all known claims of civilian deaths during the last year. In this time there were almost 120 such alleged incidents of non-combatants being affected by air-strikes across Iraq and Syria. In more than 50 cases we felt there was enough evidence – often including photographs, eyewitness testimony and the names of victims – to strongly indicate civilians had been killed by the coalition. It’s likely that between 459 and 591 non-combatants died in these attacks, including 100 children. The Ministry of Defence asserts that “We are not aware of any incidents of civilian casualties as a result of UK strike activity over Iraq.” It’s impossible to test that claim publicly, and with eight other nations also bombing that country there is little chance of accountability for those civilians affected. Syria is even more of a free-for-all, with Israeli and Turkish jets carrying out strikes alongside the Coalition and the Assad regime.
Note: Read an excellent essay by a top US general exposing how war is a racket. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about war and the manipulation of public perception.
Jimmy Carter: The U.S. Is an “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery”
July 30, 2015, The Intercept
Former president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday on the nationally syndicated radio show the Thom Hartmann Program that the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has created “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.” Carter was responding to a question from Hartmann about recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign financing like Citizens United. HARTMANN: "Our Supreme Court has now said, 'unlimited money in politics.' It seems like a violation of principles of democracy. ... Your thoughts on that?" CARTER: "It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or to elect the president. And the same thing applies to governors and U.S. senators and congress members. So now we’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect and sometimes get favors for themselves after the election’s over. ... The incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody’s who’s already in Congress has a lot more to sell to an avid contributor than somebody who’s just a challenger." Carter’s statement [has been added] to this list of politicians acknowledging that money controls politics.
Under new Oregon law, all eligible voters are registered unless they opt out
August 6, 2015, Los Angeles Times
Americans are required to register if they want to vote; as of this week, Oregonians will have to register not to. Gov. Kate Brown signed a first-in-the-nation bill to automatically register all eligible Oregonians to vote when they obtain or renew a driver’s license or state identification card. Those who are registered through the new process will be notified by mail and will be given three weeks to take themselves off the voting rolls. If they do not opt out, the secretary of state’s office will mail them a ballot automatically 20 days before any election. Oregon was the first state in the country to switch to all-mail voting when Ballot Measure 60 was passed in 1998 by a wide margin. Washington state and Colorado later followed suit. Currently, there are about 2.2 million registered voters in Oregon, said Tony Green, spokesman for Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins, and an additional 800,000 are not registered but eligible. The new law is expected to bring nearly half of those onto the voter rolls. For those who are already registered to vote, he said, “there will be no change. But if you move, your information will be automatically transferred. You don’t have to manually re-register. You only have to do one thing — change your driver's license address.” The change was not universally embraced. HB 2177 passed both chambers of the state Legislature without a single Republican vote in its favor.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections news articles from reliable major media sources.
Website shows foster kids their wishes are worthwhile
October 28, 2013, CNN
Many 16-year-olds might covet a smartphone. Ronald Hennig just wanted a suit so he could attend a relative's funeral. The teenager ... was living in a group home at the time. His caseworker was unable to justify the nonessential expense. But an anonymous benefactor stepped in to help Hennig through a website called One Simple Wish. "I was able to go to the funeral," said Hennig, now 18. "I could pay the same respect as everyone else." One Simple Wish was started by Danielle Gletow to help grant the wishes of children in foster care. Each child's wish is posted online, and anyone can pay to make that wish come true - from tangible items such as a bicycle, a varsity jacket or school supplies to an experience like music lessons or a trip to the theater. Since 2008, the nonprofit has granted more than 6,500 wishes for children living in 42 states. More than 400,000 children were living in the U.S. foster-care system in 2011. "The wishes that don't seem like the basic necessity are (often) the ones that are the most important," Gletow said. "Because those are the wishes that are really just a kid being a kid. We don't want to constantly remind them of how sad or tragic or challenging their circumstances are. Anybody can go on our website, and they can look at hundreds of wishes that are posted on behalf of children in foster care and children in vulnerable family environments," Gletow said. "These small things make an enormous difference in the life of a child who has spent their entire life wondering if anybody cares about them."
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Before I Go: A Stanford neurosurgeon’s parting wisdom about life and time
March 12, 2015, Washington Post
In neurosurgical training ... six years passed in a flash. Then, heading into chief residency, I developed a classic constellation of symptoms — weight loss, fevers, night sweats, unremitting back pain, cough — indicating a diagnosis quickly confirmed: metastatic lung cancer. The gears of time ground down. Now unable to work, I was left at home to convalesce. A full day’s activity might be a medical appointment, or a visit from a friend. The rest of the time was rest. Yet there is dynamism in our house. Our daughter was born days after I was released from the hospital. Week to week, she blossoms: a first grasp, a first smile, a first laugh. My daughter, Cady. I hope I’ll live long enough that she has some memory of me. Words have a longevity I do not. I had thought I could leave her a series of letters — but what would they really say? I don’t know what this girl will be like when she is 15; I don’t even know if she’ll take to the nickname we’ve given her. There is perhaps only one thing to say to this infant, who is all future, overlapping briefly with me, whose life, barring the improbable, is all but past. That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Facebook Co-Founder Giving Millions Directly To The Poor, No Strings Attached
August 3, 2015, Huffington Post
GiveDirectly has a straightforward approach to helping the world's poorest people: just give them cash, no strings attached. The New York-based nonprofit has distributed about $1,000 — roughly a year's income — to thousands of ultra-poor households in Kenya and Uganda. Recipients don't need to pay back the money, and they can spend it however they wish. This might seem like a radical idea, but it's not. Cash transfers have quietly become one of the most widely researched and consistently effective anti-poverty strategies in the developing world. Now GiveDirectly's work is receiving a major boost from Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna, who on Monday announced a $25 million donation through their foundation Good Ventures. The gift is greater than GiveDirectly's entire 2014 budget. "Governments and donors spend tens of billions of dollars a year on reducing poverty," Tuna said in a statement, "but the people who are meant to benefit from that money rarely get a say in how it’s spent. GiveDirectly is changing that." Moskovitz and Tuna, both in their early 30s, are among the youngest billionaires to pledge the bulk of their fortune to charity. Their goal isn't just to do good, but to do the most good possible. That goal led them to support exhaustive research to determine which organizations working in poor countries are most effective and cost-efficient. That research, in turn, led them to GiveDirectly - the only nonprofit focused exclusively on cash transfers.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Kenneth Ring: 'You Never Recover Your Original Self'
August 28, 1988, New York Times
Probably the oldest mystery to vex mankind is what, if anything, occurs after death. For a decade, Kenneth Ring, a psychology professor and researcher at the University of Connecticut, has looked into the question through the near-death experiences of others. Mr. Ring ... talked with hundreds of people between the ages of 18 and 84 who have come close to physical death. [His books] Life at Death [and] Heading Toward Omega both deal with near-death experiences and how they change people's lives. A near-death experience ... often happens to individuals who find themselves on the verge of imminent biological death. It involves ... a sense of the most profound peace and well-being that is possible to imagine. It's a sense of being separate from the physical body and sometimes being able to see it as though a spectator off to one side or from up above. These people have a sense of moving through a dark space or tunnel toward a radiantly beautiful white or golden light. They are absorbed in that light, having in some cases a panoramic life review in which virtually everything that they've ever done in their life they're able to see; perhaps meeting the spirits of deceased love ones or friends. And in some cases, they are asked to make a decision as to whether they would like to continue or go back to their body. The most powerful antidote to the fear of death is coming close to death ... and remembering one of these experiences. After having a near-death experience, people believe the end of life isn't [the end]; they believe in some sort of life after death. [Those] who have a near-death experience almost totally lose their fear of death.
Note: The documented experiences of those who have been declared clinically dead and come back to life are some of the most mind-boggling and inspiring cases to have ever surfaced. To read some of the most amazing of these cases and explore other excellent resources on the topic, click here.
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