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'Dark Money' in Politics, Firefighters Hurt by New 5G Wireless, 'Grandkids' for Hire
Revealing News Articles
July 31, 2018

Dear friends,

'Dark Money' in Politics.

Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the IRS further relaxing reporting requirements for groups that influence U. S. elections with anonymous "dark money" political campaign contributions, firefighters injured by newly installed 5G cell towers demanding no new towers by their stations, the United Nations' mishandling of sexual abuse allegations, and more.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on a company that pairs seniors with college kids moonlighting as 'grandkids' for hire, a program that gives some police officers the option to issue car repair coupons instead of fines to low income motorists, New York City's plan to increase public safety in public housing projects, 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.

With best wishes for a transformed world,
Mark Bailey and Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Special note (sources may be less reliable): Read a great article featuring a little-known speech by US President Eisenhower on how the war machine harms humanity. Learn how the human body emits light.

Quote of the week: “Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. Love doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU.”  ~~  Courtney Walsh


The IRS found a way to make ‘dark money’ spent on politics even darker
July 19, 2018, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-irs-darkmoney-20180719-story...

Tax-exempt nonprofit organizations supposedly devoted to “social welfare” can spend large amounts of money to influence elections without publicly disclosing the identities of their donors. But instead of cracking down on the use of “dark money” for political purposes, the Internal Revenue Service has decided to stop requiring these groups to reveal even to the government the sources of their funding. On Monday, the IRS and the Treasury Department announced they would no longer require 501(c)(4) groups ... to supply the government with the identities of donors who gave more than $5,000 in a single year. It’s a step backward that could make it easier for money from foreign sources to find its way into U.S. elections. But while this week’s policy change may not affect what the public may learn about political spending by so-called social welfare groups, it could make it more difficult for the government to police laws against spending by foreigners on U.S. elections. Fred Wertheimer, president of the campaign reform group Democracy 21, warned that, with the end of the reporting requirement, “there is no way to determine if a 501(c)(4) advocacy group that is spending money to influence federal elections is taking that money from [a] foreign interest.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


'Dark Money' turns campaign finance into a political thriller
July 24, 2018, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-dark-money-documentary...

The documentary “Dark Money” turns a story about campaign finance into a political thriller. Beyond that - in a veritable magic trick in these divisive times - viewers may well find themselves rooting for politicians who don’t share their political views. “Dark Money” ... delves into a seemingly nonpartisan issue: the use of anonymous funds to influence political campaigns on both sides of the aisle. Director Kimberly Reed ... first became interested in the topic after Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision that political spending was a protected form of free speech. “I joked around for years that I was going to change my name to Cassandra, because nobody was listening to my prophecies of doom,” said Reed. “You could just see that campaign finance was going to get worse and worse, and I watched it happen every election cycle.” The outcome has been even grimmer than she imagined. In addition to the flood of corporate money that funded super PACs, a more insidious tidal wave started to wash over the country in the form of anonymous donations, or “dark money.” Looking for a way into the challenging material, Reed found it in ... her home state of Montana. Former Federal Election Commission Chair Ann Ravel appears in “Dark Money” to provide a depressing counterpoint to Montana’s battle. “It’s such a good movie,” Ravel said, “because Kim juxtaposes what’s happening on the federal level with the hopeful side in Montana and in other states.”

Note: Find out more about this important documentary on the film's official website. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


Riveting Documentary Sheds Light On 'Dark Money' In Montana Politics
July 12, 2018, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2018/07/12/626693116/riveting-documentary-sheds-light-on...

Which is worse, corruption you can see or corruption you can't? In Dark Money, a documentary about invisible corporate shenanigans in her home state of Montana, director Kimberly Reed makes the incisive case that the latter threatens to sink our democracy outright. Dark Money opens and closes with a flock of geese flying over a toxic copper quarry. As Reed's story unfolds, we learn that the beautiful birds' mass demise is only a tiny fraction of the wreckage caused by shady money moguls tinkering with electoral campaigns over a hundred years of Montana history. Montana is also ... the only state, according to Reed, to have fought back locally against the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 rollback of laws preventing corporations and unions using their treasury funds for electioneering. Reed shows how Democrats and Republicans running for political and judicial office found themselves targeted by vicious attack ads from deep-pocketed non-profits with blandly vanilla names like Citizens United or Americans For Prosperity, or strategically crowd-pleasing monikers like Mothers Against Child Predators. No one had ever heard of these shape-shifting advocacy groups, and it was difficult to track the money back to the shadowy ideologues hiding behind them. [The] film shows how, with the Internet's global reach and the ever-growing concentration of money and power, dark money is redrawing the political landscape in ways that render parties irrelevant and imperil democracy itself.

Note: Find out more about this important documentary on the film's official website. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing elections corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Elections Information Center.


Questions Raised About 5G Health Risks Months Before Sacramento Launches Service
May 29, 2018, CBS (Sacramento, CA affiliate)
https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2018/05/29/questions-raised-about-5g-health...

Sacramento will be the first city in the country to get 5G cell service later this summer, but health concerns are now being raised about the equipment. 5G uses high frequency waves and is supposed to be 100 times faster than the current cell phone service. However, the 5G waves don’t travel as far as current wireless frequencies so instead of large cell phone tower equipment spread far apart, the 5G requires small cell sites closer together. The FCC does set exposure limits for cell site antennas that transmit signals to phones. According to the National Cancer Institute, “A limited number of studies have shown some evidence of statistical association of cell phone use and brain tumor risks.” Firefighters in San Francisco have reported memory problems and confusion after the 5G equipment was installed outside of fire stations. The firefighters claim the symptoms stopped when they relocated to stations without equipment nearby. The City of Sacramento partnered with Verizon to offer 5G. Sacramento issued a statement to CBS13- reading in part: “The City currently has six 5G sites active. The City does not/cannot regulate wireless devices.” Some cities, including Santa Rosa, have put their 5G plans on hold while health concerns are addressed.

Note: According the the CBS video at the link above, 5G towers are planned to be installed every 1,000 feet. Learn how cities can be sued if they question health concerns of 5G technology in this CBS news article. Real also on the website of the International Association of Firefighters a statement opposing the place of cell phone towers near fire stations because of safety concerns. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the risks and dangers of wireless technologies.


“This Is Unacceptable”: How the UN Falls Short in Responding to Alleged Sex Abuse
July 24, 2018, PBS
https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/this-is-unacceptable-how-the-un-falls...

When UN Secretary-General António Guterres visited the Central African Republic (CAR) in October of 2017, his words echoed a theme that he’d been sounding since taking office in January: Stemming the problem of sexual abuse and exploitation by UN peacekeepers was among his top priorities. The same month of Guterres’ visit to CAR, the UN had received a report of a new rape case there. A young woman named Mauricette, who was 17 at the time, said she was raped by peacekeepers on her way home from a funeral. Mauricette went months without hearing from the UN after her initial interview with them. The details of what allegedly happened to Mauricette are grim. “She was vomiting,” says Jean-Gaston Endjileteko, who works at Samaritans’ Medical Center, where Mauricette had been treated. “She told me she had drunk some drugged tea spiked with a powder at the Mauritanian checkpoint. The hospital reported Mauricette’s rape, and she was interviewed by a local UN representative. But then, the UN went silent. “I’ve heard nothing,” Mauricette says. “No news.” That was approximately two months after Mauricette’s initial interview with the UN — so [PBS correspondent Ramita] Navai brought the delay to the attention of Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, Head of UN Mission, Central African Republic. Mauricette still hadn’t heard anything further from the UN — four months after FRONTLINE brought the delay in communication with her about her case to the UN’s attention.

Note: An hour-long episode of PBS FRONTLINE details the sad case introduced by the article above. In 2015, more than a year after allegations of UN peacekeepers sexual abusing children came to light, it was reported that the UN had taken disciplinary action against the whistleblower who exposed wrongdoing, but not against the soldiers accused of abuses. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


The ‘King’ of Shambhala Buddhism Is Undone by Abuse Report
July 11, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/11/nyregion/shambhala-sexual-misconduct.html

Mipham Rinpoche ... is the head of one of the largest Buddhist organizations in the West, Shambhala International, a network of more than 200 outposts in over 30 countries where thousands come for training in meditation. He is known as the Sakyong, a Tibetan word that translates roughly as king, and his students take vows to follow him that are binding across lifetimes. Late last month, a former Shambhala teacher released a report alleging that the Sakyong had sexually abused and exploited some of his most devoted female followers for years. Women quoted in the report wrote of drunken groping and forcefully extracted sexual favors. The report said that senior leaders at Shambhala — an organization whose motto is “Making Enlightened Society Possible” — knew of the Sakyong’s misconduct and covered it up. On Friday ... the governing council of Shambhala International, which is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, resigned en masse, “in the interest of beginning a healing process for our community.” The Sakyong ... took leave from running Shambhala as an outside firm investigates abuse allegations against him and other Shambhala teachers. He would, the announcement stated, “enter a period of self-reflection.” The Sakyong is not only another executive or religious leader dethroned by #MeToo, but the sole holder of the most sacred teachings in a custody chain that goes back centuries, the only one who can transmit them, according to the traditions of his lineage.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.


Israeli parliament votes to ban state and army critics from schools
July 17, 2018, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/17/israeli-parliament-votes-to-ban...

Israel’s parliament has passed a law that could ban groups critical of the armed forces or the state from entering schools and speaking to students. As an amendment to the country’s education act, the law grants extensive powers to Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the education minister and head of the religious-nationalist Jewish Home party. He can decide to ban groups, the bill states, if they “actively promote legal or international political actions to be taken outside Israel against soldiers of the Israel Defence Forces ... or against the state of Israel”. However, critics warn the law is so vague that it could apply to any person or body that criticises Israel to a foreign entity or government – for example, an Israeli rights group that submits an unfavourable report to a UN agency. The legislation has been dubbed the “Breaking the Silence” bill, a reference to an anti-occupation Israeli human rights group run by military veterans that collects and publishes testimony on army abuses. Bennett has been deeply scathing of the organisation, accusing it of damaging Israel’s image abroad and putting soldiers and officials at risk of prosecution for alleged war crimes. Yehuda Shaul, one of the founders of Breaking the Silence, said the law was “the broadest restriction on freedom of expression for political reasons ever put into Israeli law”. He said its goal was to silence criticism of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Key Articles From Years Past


How Social Isolation Is Killing Us
December 22, 2016, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/22/upshot/how-social-isolation-is-killing-us.html

Social isolation is a growing epidemic. Since the 1980s, the percentage of American adults who say they’re lonely has doubled from 20 percent to 40 percent. About one-third of Americans older than 65 now live alone. People in poorer health - especially those with mood disorders like anxiety and depression - are more likely to feel lonely. Social separation is bad for us. Individuals with less social connection have disrupted sleep patterns, altered immune systems, more inflammation and higher levels of stress hormones. One recent study found that ... socially isolated individuals had a 30 percent higher risk of dying in the next seven years, and that this effect was largest in middle age. These effects start early: Socially isolated children have significantly poorer health 20 years later, even after controlling for other factors. The evidence ... is clear. What to do about it is less so. Loneliness is an especially tricky problem because accepting and declaring our loneliness ... can feel as if we’re admitting we’ve failed in life’s most fundamental domains: belonging, love, attachment. Dr. John Cacioppo, a psychology professor ... has tested various approaches to treat loneliness. His work has found that the most effective interventions focus on addressing “maladaptive social cognition” - that is, helping people re-examine how they interact with others and perceive social cues. A great paradox of our hyper-connected digital age is that we seem to be drifting apart. However ... human connection lies at the heart of human well-being.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


Why a national tracking system doesn't show the extent of physician sexual misconduct
July 6, 2016, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
http://doctors.ajc.com/sex_abuse_national_database/

No red flags were apparent when the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine checked Dr. Jaroslav “Jerry” Stulc’s background in 2007. But within months of joining a hospital staff, the surgeon was accused of sexual misconduct. The hospital ... suspended him with pay. Then, while he was out, the hospital and medical board learned that Stulc previously had been suspended by a Kentucky hospital following allegations of sexual misconduct. Skirting federal rules, the Kentucky hospital hadn’t reported his suspension or subsequent resignation to the nationwide database established for hospitals and medical boards to share information on physician misconduct. Instead, just before Stulc applied for his Maine license, he and the hospital had agreed that he would voluntarily resign. The hospital wouldn’t mention the suspension ... to anyone who inquired. Such private agreements, along with legal loopholes and outright flouting of the law, are among the reasons the nationwide repository - the National Practitioner Data Bank - can leave patients and medical staff vulnerable, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation found. Even when hospitals and medical boards file reports, they may classify violations in a way that conceals the scope of physician sexual misconduct. Because of such gaps, the AJC - in reviewing board orders, court records and news reports - found about 70 percent more physicians accused of sexual misconduct than the 466 classified as such in the public version of the data bank from 2010 to 2014.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals and health.


Doctors who sexually abuse patients go to therapy and then return to practice
August 24, 2016, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
http://doctors.ajc.com/sex_abuse_treatment_over_punishment/

After medical regulators said he fondled patients, exposed himself and traded drugs for sex, Dr. David Pavlakovic easily could have lost his license. Law enforcement thought his acts were criminal. Instead of losing his job, Pavlakovic was placed in therapy. He was allowed to return to practice. And he didn’t even have to tell his patients. Society has become intolerant of most sex offenders, placing some on lifelong public registries and banishing others from their professions or volunteer activities. But medical regulators have embraced the idea of rehabilitation for physicians accused of sexual misconduct. It is left to private therapists ... to unearth the extent of a doctor’s transgressions. There is little pretense of the check and balance of public scrutiny. Even doctors with egregious violations are allowed to redeem themselves through education and treatment centers, which have quietly proliferated over the past two decades. These education and treatment programs are being used by regulators in virtually every state. The Catholic Church once secretly sent sex offender priests for psychiatric treatment, then returned them to service. The abuse, the church reasoned, was a spiritual failing requiring repentance and forgiveness. Most medical authorities have embraced a similar approach, but through the lens of sexual abuse as the sign of a mental disorder. Public board orders on regulators’ websites reveal dozens of physicians who were found to have re-offended after taking part in education or treatment programs.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals and health.


Five cornerstones of a global bioeconomy
July 12, 2016, Nature
https://www.nature.com/news/policy-five-cornerstones-of-a-global-bioeconomy...

More than 40 nations are proposing to boost their 'bioeconomy' - the part of the economy based in biology and the biosciences. Around US$2 trillion of products in agriculture and forestry, food, bioenergy, biotechnology and green chemistry were exported worldwide in 2014, amounting to 13% of world trade, up from 10% in 2007. These sectors are central to at least half of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), from food security to ensuring energy access and health. But conflicting national priorities make it hard to align bioeconomy policies to meet the SDGs on a global scale. Ecological sustainability is a prime concern in rich and industrializing countries; inclusive rural development and equitable sharing of resources is central in developing countries. Decisions made in one place may be felt elsewhere. A global bioeconomy must rebuild natural capital and improve the quality of life for a growing world population. It should balance managing common goods, such as air, water and soil, with the economic expectations of people. Three types of innovation will be needed: technological (such as systems to reduce emissions), organizational (changes in institutional behaviour) and social (such as job creation).

Note: For an excellent, more recent discussion on the global bioeconomy, see this informative article.


Inspiring Articles


These college students moonlight as ‘grandkids’ for hire. Seniors love it.
June 20, 2018, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2018/06/20/these-college...

When Andrew Parker’s grandfather began suffering from dementia three years ago, his grandmother had to start taking care of the house and caring for him. It was hard work, and one day, Parker got the idea to hire a college student to help out. His grandfather loved it. So did his grandmother. For a few hours, he said, “She got to go do her own thing.” It got Parker thinking. “There’s so many seniors and so many college students out there.” So in January, [he] launched a business called Papa, after his name for his grandfather. It connects students with seniors for light housekeeping or driving chores, but the company’s real goal is in its slogan: “Grandkids on-Demand.” “We are specifically a service that links two generations,” Parker said. “Our emphasis is this is a really fun day for a senior. Someone who might say, ‘I don’t want to bother my daughter or son but I want someone who can be with me for a day so I don’t have to annoy my kids.’” To date, the company has around 250 members who pay a monthly fee of $15 to $30 to belong, and then pay $15 per hour for visits by students, or Papa Pals. Pals must be enrolled in a 4-year college, or be working on a masters degree, a social work degree, or a nursing or medical degree. They must have a four-door car and pass a background check. “The biggest thing we’re focusing on is curing loneliness,” Parker said. The ... nature of the relationship – and the relative youth of the Pals – can also make them easier to work with than more traditional aides.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Two years after Philando Castile’s death, programs aim to transform relations between police, residents
July 7, 2018, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/two-years-after-philando-castiles-death...

An African American family of six sits inside the Nissan Quest in this first-ring suburb of St. Paul. The car tells a story of poverty: Plastic covers a broken window; rust lines the wheel wells. Officer Erin Reski pulled the vehicle over for a burned-out taillight, a problem similar to the one that led an officer to stop Philando Castile in the Twin Cities two years ago. That incident ... ended with Castile fatally shot. This situation ends very differently. Reski walks back to the minivan ... hands over a sheet of paper and offers a brief explanation. The response is swift and emphatic. “Oh, thank you!” the driver says. Scenes like this have been taking place across the Twin Cities thanks to the Lights On program, believed to be the first of its kind in the country. Instead of writing tickets for minor equipment problems, police officers are authorized to issue $50 coupons so motorists can have those problems fixed at area auto shops. Twenty participating police departments have given out approximately 660 coupons in a little more than a year. For motorists such as Sandy Patterson, another African American resident who was pulled over for a burned-out headlight in January, the small gesture of being offered a coupon makes a big difference. “I was relieved that I was getting a voucher to purchase a service that could’ve been quite expensive,” she said. “I had an overwhelming feeling of decreased anxiety because of the whole way the communication went, with somebody helping out versus giving a ticket.”

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Trying to Cut Crime in Public Housing by Making It More Livable
July 10, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/10/opinion/new-york-crime-public-housing.html

New York City is the safest big city in the nation. The city is betting it can [get even safer]. The Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety is being employed in 15 of the most dangerous public housing complexes in the city. The idea is to lower crime by making these neighborhoods better - places where residents live in well-maintained buildings, have necessary services, are engaged in civic life and can collaborate to solve problems. Working elevators, summer jobs for teenagers, community centers open till midnight, residents who know what to do when the trash piles up - no one would doubt that these are good things. But it seems a stretch to call them crime prevention measures. Will people really commit fewer robberies and shootings if the trash gets picked up? Crime has dropped more in the 15 complexes involved in the plan than in other public housing. Why? It might be this: Crime is in part a function of trust. “Trust is the heartbeat of civic life,” said Elizabeth Glazer, head of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “These neighborhoods feel completely estranged.” Perhaps more important ... is what social scientists call “collective efficacy” - achieved when neighbors feel that they can trust and rely on one another and work together to get things done. Collective efficacy is so important that the lack of it - common in disadvantaged neighborhoods - is most of the reason poor communities have more crime. When they build collective efficacy, even without other changes, crime drops.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Meet the outsider who accidentally solved chronic homelessness
May 6, 2015, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/05/06/meet-the-outsider...

Meet Sam Tsemberis. He's all but solved chronic homelessness. His research, which commands the support of most scholars, has inspired policies across the nation. The results have been staggering. Late last month, Utah, the latest laboratory for Tsemberis's models, reported it has nearly eradicated chronic homelessness. Phoenix, an earlier test case, eliminated chronic homelessness among veterans. Then New Orleans housed every homeless veteran. Homelessness has long seemed one of the most intractable of social problems. For decades, the number of homeless from New York City to San Francisco surged – and so did the costs. At one point around the turn of the millennium, New York was spending an annual $40,500 on every homeless person with mental issues. Tsemberis ...unfurled a model so simple children could grasp it, so cost-effective fiscal hawks loved it, so socially progressive liberals praised it. Give homes for the homeless, and you will solve chronic homelessness. Success begat success. The federal government tested the model on 734 homeless across 11 cities, finding the model dramatically reduced levels of addiction as well as shrank health related costs by half. "Adults who have experienced chronic homelessness may be successfully housed and can maintain their housing," the report declared. Utah's Gordon Walker, explain[s] how his state succeeded at eliminating homelessness – and saved millions, "It was costing us in state services, health-care costs, jail time, police time, about $20,000 per person. Now, we spend $12,000 per person."

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


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