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Facebook's Creepy Patents, Kochs Killing Public Transit, Towards Zero Homelessness
Revealing News Articles
July 3, 2018

Dear friends,

Facebook's Creepy Patents.

Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on seven creepy patents owned by facebook which will shock you, the Koch brothers' empire using sophisticated new technology to kill public transit projects across the US, the electronic voting machine vendor providing big gifts to elections officials responsible for making decisions on elections equipment contracts, and more.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on emerging techniques used by cities across the US to reduce homelessness to zero, a report showing Americans are donating record-breaking amounts of money to charity, the life of Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, 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 U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren's description of her visit to a border detention facility where illegal immigrants are packed tightly in cages with inhumane conditions. One of the only lawyers fighting for the rights of vaccine victims in the US is now being sued by the North Carolina State Bar to hand over years of his clients' files. Read how one successful scientist had her career destroyed after she found a link between a vaccine adjuvant and both autism and chronic fatigue.

Quote of the week: "It is a good thing to look down at the tide pools, then up to the stars, then back to the tide pools again."  ~~   John Steinbeck

Video of the week: Watch a hilarious video on what happens when you respond to spam emails.


What 7 Creepy Patents Reveal About Facebook
June 21, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/21/opinion/sunday/facebook-patents...

A review of hundreds of Facebook’s patent applications reveals that the company has considered tracking almost every aspect of its users’ lives: where you are, who you spend time with, whether you’re in a romantic relationship, which brands and politicians you’re talking about. The company has even attempted to patent a method for predicting when your friends will die. Taken together, Facebook’s patents show a commitment to collecting personal information, despite widespread public criticism of the company’s privacy policies and a promise from its chief executive to “do better.” “A patent portfolio is a map of how a company thinks about where its technology is going,” said Jason M. Schultz, a law professor at New York University. One patent application discusses predicting whether you’re in a romantic relationship using information such as how many times you visit another user’s page [and] the number of people in your profile picture. Another proposes using your posts and messages to infer personality traits ... then using those characteristics to select which news stories or ads to display. Another patent application discusses tracking your weekly routine and sending notifications to other users of deviations from the routine. In addition, it describes using your phone’s location in the middle of the night to establish where you live. As long as Facebook keeps collecting personal information, we should be wary.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


How the Koch Brothers Are Killing Public Transit Projects Around the Country
June 19, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/climate/koch-brothers-public-transit.html

Americans for Prosperity ... is financed by the oil billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch to advance conservative causes. In cities and counties across the country ... the Koch brothers are fueling a fight against public transit. At the heart of their effort is a network of activists who use a sophisticated data service built by the Kochs, called i360, that helps them identify and rally voters who are inclined to their worldview. It is a particularly powerful version of the technologies used by major political parties. In places like Nashville, Koch-financed activists are finding tremendous success. Early polling ... suggested that [a] $5.4 billion transit plan would easily pass. But the outcome of the May 1 ballot stunned the city: a landslide victory for the anti-transit camp. The Kochs’ opposition to transit spending ... dovetails with their financial interests, which benefit from automobiles and highways. Even as Americans for Prosperity opposes public investment in transit, it supports spending tax money on highways and roads. Since 2015, Americans for Prosperity has coordinated door-to-door anti-transit canvassing campaigns for at least seven local or state-level ballots. Americans for Prosperity and other Koch-backed groups have also opposed more than two dozen other transit-related measures ... by organizing phone banks, running advertising campaigns, staging public forums, issuing reports and writing opinion pieces in local publications.

Note: The Koch brothers built a secretive empire to manipulate the political process in the US. This empire spent nearly $1 billion on US elections in 2016. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Voting machine vendor treated election officials to trips to Vegas, elsewhere
June 21, 2018, Fresno Bee/McClatchy
https://www.fresnobee.com/news/politics-government/article213558729.html

The nation’s largest voting equipment vendor has for at least nine years coaxed state and local elections officials to serve on an “advisory board” that gathers twice annually for company-sponsored conferences, including one last year at a ritzy Las Vegas resort hotel. The arrangement could compromise the integrity of the officials' decisions. As many as a dozen election officials attended the March 2, 2017 Las Vegas meeting, with a number of them accepting airfare, lodging, meals and, according to one participant, a ticket to a show on the Strip from their voting systems vendor, Nebraska-based Election Systems and Software (ES&S). The unusual practice, which has not previously been reported, offers a glimpse of one way in which a voting equipment manufacturer has sought to cement relationships with government officials, some of whom play roles in the award of millions of dollars in contracts. Ethics experts and election watchdogs say the company's hospitality and hobnobbing with government officials is potentially corrupting. Many states are continuing a shift to voting systems that produce paper backup ballots, so vote counts can be verified in post-election audits. ES&S is peddling electronic ballot-marking devices that produce paper ballots to be fed into optical scanners – equipment that critics contend should be limited to use by disabled voters. Paper ballots, they say, are far less expensive and can be scanned and quickly tabulated.

Note: Why all the focus on Russia manipulating US elections, when this alone shows how US elections are being manipulated by internal groups? For undeniable evidence that elections have been manipulated for years by political groups in the country, see our Elections Information Center.


Mexico detains entire police force days after mayoral candidate's killing
June 25, 2018, NBC News/Associated Press
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/mexico-detains-entire-police-force-days...

State police have detained and disarmed the entire police force of a town in western Mexico where a mayoral candidate was killed on Thursday. Video of the detention aired by local media showed uniformed officers hitting each other as gunshots go off in the background. The Michoacán state police force said, "All the officers of the Ocampo municipal police force were detained for an internal affairs investigation." The state police department did not directly tie the detentions to the ... killing of Fernando Ángeles Juárez, the mayoral candidate for the leftist Democratic Revolution Party. He was killed in Ocampo, Michoacán. Ángeles Juárez is just one of at least 18 candidates killed so far in campaigns leading up to the July 1 elections. Just last week, another mayoral candidate was also gunned down in the conflict-ridden rural town of Aguililla in Michoacán. Almost all of the 18 candidates killed across the country so far have been running for local posts in the July 1 elections, which will also decide the presidency, governorships and Congress. Other politicians who were considering a run have been killed before they could even register as candidates. [Mexican security analyst Alejandro] Hope noted, “there has been a breakdown in the management of disputes,” largely in rural areas, where turf wars between rival gangs have heated up, even as the government has become overextended and less able to intervene.

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


Supreme Court rules that police generally need a warrant to access cell phone data
June 22, 2018, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/supreme-court-rules-police-warrant-access-cell...

The Supreme Court ruled that police generally need a search warrant to review cell phone records that include data like a user's location, which will impose a higher bar for law enforcement to access data collected on the millions of people who use smartphones on a daily basis. The plaintiff in the case, Timothy Carpenter, was convicted of multiple robbery and gun offenses in 2010 but challenged the conviction saying that officers investigating the case didn't get a warrant for his cell phone records. The government argued that law enforcement doesn't need a warrant to get cell phone records from the service provider since it's a third party. The Court ruled that the government's search, in this case, did not meet the bar for probable cause for a warrant. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority decision that the government is obligated to get a warrant before compelling a wireless provider to provide cell phone records in an investigation. "We decline to grant the state unrestricted access to a wireless carrier's database of physical location information," Roberts said.

Note: While this ruling limits police powers, the NSA was authorized in 2016 to freely share communications data it collected without warrants on Americans with 16 intelligence and law enforcement agencies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Millionaires Now Control Half of the World’s Personal Wealth
June 14, 2018, Bloomberg
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-14/millionaires-now-control...

The rich are getting a lot richer and doing so a lot faster. Personal wealth around the globe reached $201.9 trillion last year, a 12 percent gain from 2016 and the strongest annual pace in the past five years, Boston Consulting Group said in a report released Thursday. Booming equity markets swelled fortunes, and investors outside the U.S. got an exchange-rate bonus as most major currencies strengthened against the greenback. The growing ranks of millionaires and billionaires now hold almost half of global personal wealth, up from slightly less than 45 percent in 2012, according to the report. In North America, which had $86.1 trillion of total wealth, 42 percent of investable capital is held by people with more than $5 million in assets. Investable assets include equities, investment funds, cash and bonds.

Note: Read an intriguing CNBC article on the good habits of the rich that help them to the top. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing income inequality news articles from reliable major media sources.


Ivy League student known for fighting sexual violence is charged with child sex crimes
June 28, 2018, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/06/28/ivy-league-student...

For a 22-year-old Columbia University student, Joel Davis had built an impressive reputation as an activist for ending sexual violence. He was the founding executive director of the international organization Youth to End Sexual Violence [and] served as a youth ambassador for the United Nations special representative on sexual violence in conflict. Davis traveled around the world, worked alongside high-profile activists such as Angelina Jolie, delivered a TED talk and appeared on media panels. Yet behind this virtuous front, Davis was allegedly committing the same types of crimes he claimed to be fighting, federal prosecutors say. On Tuesday, authorities arrested Davis on charges of attempting to sexually exploit a child, enticing a child to engage in sexual activity and possessing child pornography. Over the course of several weeks ... prosecutors say, Davis exchanged text messages with undercover FBI agents, trying to arrange meetings with a 9-year-old girl, an 8-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy. Davis allegedly sent the undercover agents sexually explicit photos and videos of children as young as infants and made clear that he wanted to have sex with children of any age, according to a federal criminal complaint. He also admitted to meeting a 13-year-old boy on the dating app Grindr, speaking with him on Snapchat and engaging in sexual activity with the boy at Davis’s Manhattan apartment

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


Why Palestinians risk their lives to protest near Gaza-Israel fence
June 21, 2018, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/why-palestinians-risk-their-lives-protest-near...

Before the bullet tore through his left leg, Hadad Gamry knew that he was venturing too close to the razor-wire fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. But the 20-year-old wanted the world to know how angry he was, so Gamry says he taunted the soldiers on the other side anyway. That decision resulted in him becoming ... one of the more than 13,000 Palestinians protesters injured near the barrier. At least 142 demonstrators have also been killed by Israeli troops. Israel maintains that Hamas, the Islamist group ... that many countries consider a terrorist organization, has encouraged civilians to put themselves in harm’s way. Gamry and others NBC News spoke to in Gaza rejected the idea that Hamas had compelled them to go to the fence, saying they went because they had run out of ways to make the world pay attention to their suffering. The pervasive threat of violence backs up the land, sea and air blockade imposed in 2007. Hamas won elections the previous year. Economically, the blockade is making life intolerable for many of Gaza’s 2 million residents. Almost none of the water is clean, raw sewage is pumped straight into the sea and worsening power shortages mean Gazans have electricity for only around four hours a day on average. Unemployment rates are close to 50 percent — more than 65 percent among those under 30. Israel and much of the world officially refuses to deal with Hamas and long-term talks aimed at creating an independent Palestinian state ... have stalled.

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


Attacking Hodeidah is a deliberate act of cruelty by the Trump administration
June 15, 2018, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/yemen-hodeidah-attack-trump-administration...

A short press statement by the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, effectively [gives] a green light for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to launch an offensive in Yemen aimed at capturing Hodeidah on the Red Sea. The port city is the point of entry for 70 per cent of food and medical supplies for the eight million Yemenis whom the UN says are on the brink of starvation out of the 22 million in need of humanitarian aid. Pompeo was deliberately low-key in his three sentence statement about Hodeidah: “I have spoken with Emirati leaders and made clear our desire to address their security concerns while preserving the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports.” Absent from this message for the first time was any call for Saudi Arabia and the UAE not to attack Hodeidah. The US and UAE have been working hard on a smokescreen of misinformation about who is responsible for what is happening and why they are launching the offensive now. The 25,000 Yemeni fighters advancing on Hodeidah are not an independent force but are paid for and under the control of the UAE. Air support is provided by the Saudis and the UAE with the US providing essential services such as mid-air refuelling and target intelligence. The Hodeidah operation may ... turn a humanitarian disaster, which the UN is already calling the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, into complete catastrophe. Three quarters of the 27 million Yemenis already require aid to survive and this may be cut off in the next few days.

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


Thirty Years On, How Well Do Global Warming Predictions Stand Up?
June 21, 2018, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/thirty-years-on-how-well-do-global-warming...

On June 23, 1988, [James E. Hansen], the NASA scientist testified before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He expressed to the senators his “high degree of confidence” in “a cause-and-effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming.” Mr. Hansen’s testimony described three possible scenarios for the future of carbon dioxide emissions. He called Scenario A “business as usual,” as it maintained the accelerating emissions growth typical of the 1970s and ’80s. This scenario predicted the earth would warm 1 degree Celsius by 2018. Scenario B set emissions lower, rising at the same rate today as in 1988. Mr. Hansen called this outcome the “most plausible,” and predicted it would lead to about 0.7 degree of warming by this year. He added a final projection, Scenario C, which he deemed highly unlikely: constant emissions beginning in 2000. Thirty years of data have been collected since Mr. Hansen outlined his scenarios. And the winner is Scenario C. Global surface temperature has not increased significantly since 2000, discounting the larger-than-usual El Niño of 2015-16. It isn’t just Mr. Hansen who got it wrong. Models devised by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have, on average, predicted about twice as much warming as has been observed since global satellite temperature monitoring began 40 years ago.

Note: The full text of this article is available on this webpage. There is virtually no doubt that global warming is real, yet there has been rampant fear mongering and exaggeration around it. For more on this, see this intriguing article. For an alternative view, see this article. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing climate change news articles from reliable major media sources.


Key Articles From Years Past


Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches New Record Maximum
October 7, 2014, Nasa.gov
https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/antarctic-sea-ice-reaches-new-record-maximum

Sea ice surrounding Antarctica reached a new record high extent this year, covering more of the southern oceans than it has since scientists began a long-term satellite record to map sea ice extent in the late 1970s. The upward trend in the Antarctic, however, is only about a third of the magnitude of the rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Claire Parkinson, a senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has referred to changes in sea ice coverage as a microcosm of global climate change. Just as the temperatures in some regions of the planet are colder than average, even in our warming world, Antarctic sea ice has been increasing and bucking the overall trend of ice loss. Since the late 1970s, the Arctic has lost an average of 20,800 square miles (53,900 square kilometers) of ice a year; the Antarctic has gained an average of 7,300 square miles (18,900 sq km). A warming climate changes weather patterns, said Walt Meier, a research scientist. “Part of it is just the geography and geometry. With no northern barrier around the whole perimeter of the ice, the ice can easily expand if conditions are favorable,” he said. Researchers are investigating a number of other possible explanations as well. Melting ice on the edges of the Antarctic continent could be leading to more fresh, just-above-freezing water, which makes refreezing into sea ice easier. Or changes in water circulation patterns, bringing colder waters up to the surface around the landmass, could help grow more ice.

Note: For more on this, see this intriguing article. For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing climate change news articles from reliable major media sources.


The Microwave Scream Inside Your Skull
July 6, 2008, Wired
https://www.wired.com/2008/07/the-microwave-s/

The U.S. military bankrolled early development of a non-lethal microwave weapon that creates sound inside your head. The project is known as MEDUSA – a contrived acronym for Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio. And it should not be confused with the Long Range Acoustic Device and similar gadgets which simply project sound. This one uses the so-called "microwave auditory effect": a beam of microwaves is turned into sound by the interaction with your head. Nobody else can hear it unless they are in the beam as well. The idea (dubbed "the telepathic ray gun") was mentioned in a 1998 US Army study, which turned up in a recent Freedom of Information Act document dump. Five years later, the Navy decided to put some R&D dollars into the project. Now ... Dr. Lev Sadovnik of the Sierra Nevada Corporation has provided more details. There are health risks, he notes. The biggest issue from the microwave weapon is ... the risk of brain damage from the high-intensity shockwave created by the microwave pulse. A device that delivered a lethal shockwave inside the target's skull might make an effective death ray. Dr. Sadovnik also makes the intriguing suggestion that ... it might be used at low power to produce a whisper that was too quiet to perceive consciously but might be able to subconsciously influence someone. Sadovnik even suggests subliminal advertising, beaming information that is not consciously heard (a notion also spotted on the US Army's voice-to-skull page).

Note: This 20 minute CNN Special Report on electromagnetic frequency weapons from 1985 shows some of what this technology was known to be capable of over 30 years ago. Recent incidents in Cuba and China suggest the possibility that much more advanced forms of acoustic or electromagnetic weapons are currently in use. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing non-lethal weapons news articles from reliable major media sources.


Inspiring Articles


A Growing Drive to Get Homelessness to Zero
June 5, 2018, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/05/opinion/homelessness-built-for-zero.html

Over the past three years, nine communities in the United States have reached a rigorous standard known as “functional zero” for either veteran or chronic homelessness - a standard that indicates that homelessness is rare and much briefer than in the past for their populations - and 37 others have accomplished measurable reductions toward that goal. What’s illuminating is how they’re doing it: by making whole systems smarter. They are linking in a national network ... to improve their performance. Rockford, Ill., was the first community in the United States to reach the functional zero level for veterans. “We get everybody in our community who works on the issue ... and we bring them into a room,” [said Jennifer Jaeger, the city’s community services director]. “So if we’re working on veterans, we’ll have the V.A., the local veteran agencies, mental health agencies and substance abuse agencies. We’ll sit down with the list and say: ‘O.K., John Smith is No. 1. Who’s working with him? How do we get him housed as fast as we can?’ And we go literally name by name. It makes a huge difference because they stop being ‘the homeless’ and become people we all know. And we become very vested in making sure John Smith is housed and safe and has the services he needs.” Successes get turned into mini case studies and are logged in Built for Zero’s menu of strategies. So if a community partner wants to know how to do effective street outreach or improve housing retention ... there’s an inventory of proven ideas to draw from.

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


Charitable giving is at a record high. Here’s where we’re donating our money
June 12, 2018, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/06/12/charity-charitable...

Charitable giving surged to a record high in 2017 as Americans gave more than $400 billion for the first time ever to a wide variety of organizations. Giving jumped 5.2% from last year to an estimated $410.02 billion in 2017, according to Giving USA 2018, the Giving USA Foundation’s annual report on philanthropy. The report, researched and written by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, found that giving from all sources grew in 2017. Three of the four sources posted gains of more than 5%: Giving by corporations increased 8%, foundations 6% and individuals 5%. "The increase in giving in 2017 was generated in part by increases in the stock markets, as evidenced by the nearly 20% growth in the S&P 500," said Amir Pasic, dean of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Gifts to foundations saw the biggest increase in 2017, rising 15.5%, as large investment returns were the basis for several large gifts given by individual philanthropists to their foundations. The second-largest increase was an 8.7% jump in gifts to the arts, culture and humanities. Religious organizations, however, continue to receive the most charitable support, with contributions rising 2.9% to $127.37 billion. While the overall amount of giving by Americans has risen ... The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that from 2000 to 2014, the share of Americans donating to charity fell from 66.2% to 55.5%. Many nonprofits have turned their focus to attracting more big gifts.

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


Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language, has died
June 21, 2018, CNN News
https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/21/health/koko-gorilla-death-trnd/index.html

Koko, the gorilla who mastered sign language and showed the world what great apes can do, has died. She died Tuesday in her sleep at age 46. "Koko touched the lives of millions as an ambassador for all gorillas and an icon for interspecies communication and empathy," the [The Gorilla Foundation] said. The western lowland gorilla was born at the San Francisco Zoo in 1971 and began to learn sign language early in life. Researchers moved her to Stanford in 1974 and established The Gorilla Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to preserve and protect gorillas. Koko and The Gorilla Foundation later moved to the Santa Cruz Mountains. She liked to read and be read to. She purred at parts of books she particularly enjoyed. She was very maternal toward kittens, and has had several throughout her lifetime. Her "tenderness" showed people how loving a gorilla can be, the foundation said. Koko made famous friends like Fred Rogers, who appeared on TV as Mr. Rogers, and Robin Williams. She used her sign language skills to communicate with them. She was said to have understood some 2,000 words of spoken English, and could usually keep up with conversations. Koko appeared in several documentaries and twice on the cover of National Geographic. The first cover featured a photo she'd taken of herself in a mirror. The foundation will continue its work on conservation and preservation of gorillas with continued projects, including a sign language application featuring Koko.

Note: Don't miss touching video of Koko the gorilla available at the link above. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


From Many Corners, Journalism Seeking Solutions
December 13, 2016, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/opinion/from-many-corners-journalism-seeking...

If you follow the news regularly - even if the stories you see are factual - you’re likely to overestimate the amount of violence in the world, underrate the performance of the government, and develop an unduly low opinion of the average American. For every problem you see reported in the news, there are almost always people responding - and some are doing pretty smart things. One encouraging pattern visible across the country is a gradual shift from reflexive punishment, which is usually counterproductive ... to harm reduction and treatment. This theme is explored in “Chasing Heroin,” a two-hour PBS Frontline documentary ... which illuminates the country’s heroin crisis. The film explains the public policies that shaped the crisis and reports on some alternatives to punishment, including drug courts, and a promising initiative in Seattle, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, which ... has been shown to markedly reduce criminality among addicts. The shift away from punishment can also be seen in schools, as they reduce the use of suspensions as the go-to discipline option, and turn to “restorative justice” practices, which have been shown to improve school cultures and improve graduation rates. The shift from punishment to treatment is supported by emerging insights from psychology, neuroscience and epigenetics. “The Crisis Within,” a four-part series ... explain how such “toxic stress” harms children, and explore ways that parents, educators and others can protect them.

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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