Boy Scouts' Troubling Sex Abuse Problem, Top 1% Gain $21 Trillion While Bottom 50% Poorer, Buddy Benches
Revealing News Articles
June 25, 2019
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the highly troubling problem of sex abuse in the Boy Scouts, how the top 1% have grown $21 trillion richer while those in the bottom half of the wealth distribution have grown $900 billion poorer in the last 30 years, the escalation of U.S. computer hacking efforts against Russia's power grid, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on "buddy benches" being used by schools in Ireland to help lonely kids find playmates, the health benefits of a practice called "forest bathing", an Auburn University program building affordable homes in rural Alabama, 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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Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info
Former White House interpreter and whistleblower
Special note: Learn about secret settlements by drug companies paid to families of those who committed suicide or murder after starting antidepressants. Learn about the huge and influential nonprofit ILSI which is responsible for many dangers to our health. Read intriguing evidence from a former Naval officer seriously questioning the claims of the Trump administration that Iraq attacked an oil tanker. Explore a well researched article presenting solid evidence that radioactive contamination from Fukushima disaster is having damaging effects on the west coast of the US.
Quote of the week: "The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart." ~~ Carlos Santana
Video of the week: James Corbett has put together an excellent video titled "Top 5 'Conspiracy Theories' That Turned Out To Be True." A transcript is also provided with links for verification.
These Men Say the Boy Scouts’ Sex Abuse Problem Is Worse Than Anyone Knew
June 1, 2019, Time
Fifty-eight years ago, Edward Pittson says, the Scoutmaster who had taught him skills like how to use a compass and light a campfire said he was going to teach Pittson about sex. The Scoutmaster invited Pittson, who was 12, to his house and asked him to lie on the bed. “This is the normal way to learn about sex,” Pittson recalls the Scoutmaster telling him. “He said, ‘But don’t tell your parents what I’m doing.’” Now, Pittson is one of hundreds of men and boys hoping for a last chance at restitution if the Boy Scouts of America, in the face of a new wave of abuse allegations, files for bankruptcy. On Thursday, a group of attorneys said they’d collected information from at least 428 men and boys whose accounts of rape, molestation and abuse indicate the Boy Scouts’ pedophile problem is far more widespread than the organization has previously acknowledged. If the Boy Scouts file for bankruptcy, the accusers will have a limited window to file claims against the organization. Hundreds of individual sex abuse cases have been brought against the Scouts ... and in 2010, a judge ordered the organization to make public an internal list of men accused of preying on boys. Within Scout headquarters, the list was known as the “P Files” or “Perversion Files.” In January, a child abuse expert hired by the Boy Scouts to analyze the files testified that she found 12,254 boys had reported experiencing sexual abuse at the hands of at least 7,800 suspected assailants between 1944 and 2016.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.
The One Percent Have Gotten $21 Trillion Richer Since 1989. The Bottom 50% Have Gotten Poorer.
June 16, 2019, New York Magazine
Some Democratic presidential candidates say that America’s economic system is badly broken and in need of sweeping, structural change. In its new Distributive Financial Accounts data series, the central bank offers a granular picture of how American capitalism has been distributing the gains of economic growth over the past three decades. Matt Bruenig of the People’s Policy Project took the Fed’s data and calculated how much the respective net worth of America’s top one percent and its bottom 50 percent has changed since 1989. He found that America’s superrich have grown about $21 trillion richer ... while those in the bottom half of the wealth distribution have grown $900 billion poorer. Notably, this measure of wealth includes liabilities. And it does not include consumer goods. But if one did include the Fed’s data on the distribution of consumer goods, the wealth gap between the top one percent and bottom 50 would actually be even larger. In 2011, Michael Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University published a study on Americans’ views of how wealth was distributed in their society, and how they felt it should be distributed. They found that, in the average American’s ideal world, the richest 20 percent would own 32 percent of national wealth. In reality, the top quintile owned 84 percent as of 2011. And that share has grown in the intervening years. Today, the one percent alone commands roughly 40 percent of all America’s wealth.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on income inequality from reliable major media sources.
U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid
June 15, 2019, New York Times
The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said. In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow’s disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections. In August of 2018, President Trump signed [an] executive order ... called National Security Presidential Memorandum 13. Its contents are still classified, but essentially it allows the Cyber Command to go ahead and conduct all kinds of operations inside foreign networks without going back to the president for prior approval. The first thing it did was go after those units in Russia that were responsible for a lot of the election-hacking. They went after the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence unit that had been responsible for breaking into the D.N.C.. A lot of that ... was made public. What wasn’t made public was a parallel effort to go inside the Russian power grid, to put some code in places where the Russians ... wouldn’t see it, in case the U.S. ever needed to act against Russia’s utilities as the Russians were putting malware in our systems.
Note: A 2007 New York Times article describes the formation of the Air Force Cyberspace Command to arm the US military in anticipation of widespread computer-based warfare. A more recent Guardian article says, "we might already be living through the first world cyberwar." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
'No way to stop it': millions of pigs culled across Asia as swine fever spreads
June 5, 2019, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
South-east Asia is battling to contain the spread of highly contagious African swine fever, known as “pig Ebola”, which has already led to the culling of millions of pigs in China and Vietnam. African swine fever, which is harmless to humans but fatal to pigs, was discovered in China in August, where it has caused havoc, leading to more than 1.2m pigs being culled. China is home to almost half of the world’s pigs. There is no vaccination for African swine fever, which causes pigs to internally haemorrhage until they die, so the only option to contain the disease is to kill any contaminated animals. Some estimates say that in China up to 200m animals may eventually be slaughtered. The virus can last for several weeks on anything from clothes to vehicles, allowing for it to easily travel long distances. “This is the biggest animal disease outbreak we’ve ever had on the planet,” said Dirk Pfeiffer, a veterinary epidemiologist. Currently the battle to contain the disease is being lost. “There are concerns that the disease will continue to spread across the countries in south-east Asia,” said Dr Wantanee Kalpravidh, regional manager for UNFAO, who said they believed the swine fever cases being reported by governments in the region were “underestimates”. Wantanee said problems included the lack of compensation for pig farmers in south-east Asia whose herds were culled, giving them little reason to report a disease outbreak, and fears that banning movement of pigs and pork across borders would only create a “black market”.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
Ultraprocessed foods are easy, cheap and could be killing you
May 30, 2019, CNN News
"Ultraprocessed" describes many foods, including pre-prepared dishes found in grocery store freezers, packaged baked goods, dehydrated soups, ice cream, sugary cereals and fizzy beverages. Two separate studies published Wednesday in The BMJ link eating the popular factory-made fare with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and an increased risk of early death. Previous studies have associated highly processed food consumption with higher risks of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even some cancers. "Ultraprocessed foods already make up more than half of the total dietary energy consumed in high-income countries such as USA, Canada and the UK," [said] Maira Bes-Rastrollo, senior author of one study. "Products in this category are rich in poor quality fat, added sugar and salt, along with low vitamin density and fiber content, and they "are economically profitable (low cost ingredients), very palatable and convenient," said Bes-Rastrollo. Worst of all, she explained, they are replacing unprocessed or minimally processed foods and freshly prepared meals in our diets. Bes-Rastrollo and her colleagues also collected information on lifestyle, demographic factors, physical activity, weight and health. Analyzing the data, the team found that a higher consumption of heavily processed foods - more than four servings each day - was associated with a 62% increased risk for early death due to any cause relative to those who ate these foods less frequently.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.
U.S. Sees Largest Reduction of Protected Lands in History Under Trump
June 2, 2019, Rolling Stone
The Trump Administration is responsible for causing the largest reduction of protected public lands in U.S. history, according to a comprehensive study published this week in the journal Science. In 2017, the study noted, President Trump enacted two of the largest reductions of federally protected lands, shrinking Bears Ears by 85 percent and Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah by 51 percent. Also in 2017, Congress voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and natural gas development. By removing federal protections, the study said, Trump is opening up these lands to oil and natural gas companies. And while the 2017 reductions are now being argued in federal court, the study said, the government already has plans to downgrade or downsize nine more land and marine national monuments. The study was conducted by 21 international scientists analyzing 200 years of data about protected areas. The scientists found that vast reduction of federal lands is a relatively recent phenomenon; 90 percent of reductions in U.S. federal lands have occurred since the year 2000. This is part of a disturbing global trend, where 78 percent of global land reductions have taken place since 2000. “As human pressures on the biosphere accelerate, it is critical to strengthen—not roll back—conservation efforts,” the study authors concluded.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Key Articles From Years Past
U.S. Army fudged its accounts by trillions of dollars, auditor finds
August 19, 2016, CNBC/Reuters
The United States Army's finances are so jumbled it had to make trillions of dollars of improper accounting adjustments to create an illusion that its books are balanced. The Defense Department’s Inspector General ... said the Army made $2.8 trillion in wrongful adjustments to accounting entries in one quarter alone in 2015, and $6.5 trillion for the year. The amounts dwarf the Defense Department’s entire budget. The "forced" adjustments rendered the statements useless because "DoD and Army managers could not rely on the data in their accounting systems when making management and resource decisions." [This] is the latest example of the severe accounting problems plaguing the Defense Department for decades. As a result, there has been no way to know how the Defense Department – far and away the biggest chunk of Congress’ annual budget – spends the public’s money. "Where is the money going? Nobody knows," said Franklin Spinney, a retired military analyst for the Pentagon. For years, the Inspector General - the Defense Department's official auditor - has inserted a disclaimer on all military annual reports. The accounting is so unreliable that "the basic financial statements may have undetected misstatements that are both material and pervasive." DFAS [Defense Finance and Accounting Services] also could not make accurate year-end Army financial statements because more than 16,000 financial data files had vanished from its computer system.
Note: CNBC strangely removed this article, though you can still find it on this Reuters webpage. $6.5 trillion is the equivalent of $20,000 for every citizen of the US. If any business or other branch of government had balance sheets like this, it would be all over the news with people demanding reform. Why does the military get away with this year after year? See the actual Department of Defense report for more. Then see concise summaries of deeply revealing military corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
People are developing dementia earlier and dying of it more
August 6, 2015, Washington Post
People are developing dementia a decade before they were 20 years ago, perhaps because of environmental factors such as pollution and the stepped-up use of insecticides, a wide-ranging international study has found. The study, which compared 21 Western countries between the years 1989 and 2010, found that the disease is now being regularly diagnosed in people in their late 40s and that death rates are soaring. The study was published in the Surgical Neurology International journal. The problem was particularly acute in the United States, where neurological deaths in men aged over 75 have nearly tripled and in women risen more than fivefold, the leader of the study, Colin Pritchard from Bournemouth University, [said]. Scientists quoted in the study said a combination of environmental factors such as pollution from aircraft and cars as well as widespread use of pesticides could be the culprit. Early-onset dementia used to cover people developing the disease in their late 60s. Now, it’s meant to mean people much younger than that, the research showed. The study found that deaths caused by neurological disease had risen significantly in adults aged 55 to74, virtually doubling in the over-75s. The sharp increase in death rates from dementia-related diseases cannot simply be blamed on an aging population or stepped-up diagnosis, Pritchard said. “The rate of increase in such a short time suggested a silent or even a hidden epidemic, in which environmental factors must play a major part.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
C.I.A. Sought to Spray Drug on Partygoers
September 21, 1977, New York Times
A former Central Intelligence Agency employee told a Senate subcommittee today that he and another C.I.A. employee were sent to San Francisco in 1959 to lure unsuspecting people to a party at which the two agents were to spray the air with LSD 25 as part of the agency's secret drug testing program. The test [was] part of a much larger drug testing program known by the cryptonym MK ULTRA,” David Rhodes told the Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research. Mr. Rhodes, two former C.I.A. employees, two former Bureau of Narcotics agents and Dr. Charles Geschickter, head of a foundation that channeled C.I.A. medical research funds to universities for nine or 10 years, were questioned this morning in the first of two days of hearings into C.I.A. testing of drugs on human beings. Today's testimony by Mr. Rhodes provided the first look the public has had at an LSD test inside a C.I.A. safehouse. The agency carried out other drug tests in both California and New York City from 1953 to 1966 in such safehouses, mainly apartments and motel rooms. These were secretly rented for the agency by George H. White, an official of the old Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which has since been supplanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Mr. Rhodes, a psychologist employed by the C.I.A. from 1957 to 1961, said he went to California in 1959 with Walter P. Pasternak. Mr. Pasternak, a former employee of the agency, was also an official with the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology.
Note: Read more about the CIA's MK ULTRA program. Shortly before his death, George White summed up his CIA career by saying, 'It was fun, fun, fun. Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill and cheat, steal, deceive, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the all highest," as reported in this ABC documentary on MK ULTRA. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control from reliable major media sources.
How 'Buddy Benches' are making playtime less lonely
December 4, 2018, BBC News
One day, during her usual chat with her eight-year-old son about school, Tracey Cooney got an answer she didn't expect. "There was nobody to play with. Everyone was playing in their own little groups," he confided. She was surprised because he was usually outgoing and confident. Cooney felt a little upset, but remembered something she had seen on social media and wondered if it could help children in his situation. It's called a Buddy Bench. The idea is simple - if a child feels lonely, they can go to the bench as a signal that they need someone to play with. Another child will see them, go and talk to them and include them in their games. So Cooney asked other parents and the head teacher at Castlemartyr National School in Cork, Ireland, whether they would be interested in getting one - their answer was, "Yes." "We use the bench as a reminder for children of things like communication, mutual support and opening up about feelings," says Judith Ashton, a psychotherapist and co-founder of ... Buddy Bench Ireland. Apart from reducing social isolation and improving mental wellbeing, the hope is that the benches can tackle another problem: bullying. But do children actually use the bench? "They don't see it as stigmatised," says Sinead McGilloway ... who led a study of 117 pupils at three schools which have benches. Forty per cent of the children she questioned said they had used the bench, and 90% said if they saw someone else sitting on it they would talk to them.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
‘Forest Bathing’ Is Great for Your Health. Here’s How to Do It
May 1, 2018, Time
We all know how good being in nature can make us feel. In Japan, we practice something called forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Shinrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses. This is not exercise, or hiking, or jogging. It is simply being in nature, connecting with it through our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Shinrin-yoku is like a bridge. By opening our senses, it bridges the gap between us and the natural world. Numerous studies I’ve conducted have shown that shinrin-yoku has real health benefits. So how does one go about forest bathing? First, find a spot. Make sure you have left your phone and camera behind. You are going to be walking aimlessly and slowly. You don’t need any devices. Let your body be your guide. Listen to where it wants to take you. The key to unlocking the power of the forest is in the five senses. Let nature enter through your ears, eyes, nose, mouth, hands and feet. Listen to the birds singing and the breeze rustling in the leaves of the trees. Look at the different greens of the trees and the sunlight filtering through the branches. Smell the fragrance of the forest. Taste the freshness of the air as you take deep breaths. You can forest-bathe anywhere in the world – wherever there are trees ... in rain, sunshine or snow. You don’t even need a forest. Once you have learned how to do it, you can do shinrin-yoku anywhere – in a nearby park or in your garden.
Note: The above is excerpted from the book "Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness" by Dr. Qing Li. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Where “Homework” Means Building Affordable Houses
November 1, 2018, Yes! Magazine
Each year, beginning in the fall, a group of third-year architecture students from Auburn University take up residence in a small rural Alabama town to begin building a house. In the winter, when a new semester begins, they are replaced at the Newbern, Alabama, project site by another cohort of 16 students who finish up the job and prepare the house for its new occupants. The 20K Home Project began 13 years ago as a challenge to architecture students at Auburn to build a $20,000 house, with $12,000 in material and $8,000 for labor. The idea was to create “the perfect house” for needy families in rural areas where dwellings are often substandard and where affordable building can be a logistical challenge. To date, the student-led project has designed and built homes for nearly 30 households as part of Auburn’s Rural Studio, an off-campus, hands-on architecture program that has also constructed community centers, a library and other projects around Hale County, where Newbern is located. Created in 1993, Rural Studio partners with local nonprofits and uses cash and in-kind donations to cover the cost of the homes. It then makes a gift of the finished houses to low-income Newbern residents. Over the years, Rural Studio has developed design criteria for the homes, which are typically one- or two-bedroom single-family dwellings. In Newbern, a community of just under 200 people in the west-central part of Alabama, the median price of a home is about $65,000.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
A black man's quixotic quest to quell the racism of the KKK, one robe at a time
December 8, 2016, Los Angeles Times
"Who’s this black guy trying to make friends with the Ku Klux Klan?” A raised eyebrow, a shake of the head. Such were the sentiments of Scott Shepherd, a former Klan grand dragon, when he first saw Daryl Davis, a piano-playing bluesman who travels the nation attempting to dispel racism from those who hate him most. It doesn’t often work, but over the decades Davis, like a man on a quixotic pilgrimage, has collected more than two dozen Klan robes from those who have disavowed white supremacy. His unlikely story unfolds in “Accidental Courtesy,” a documentary by Matt Ornstein that follows Davis on an odd and lively quest to Confederate monuments, Klansmen houses, boogie joints, churches and a hot dog stand. “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” Davis asks in the film, which opens in Los Angeles on Friday. “Throughout my life I have been looking for an answer to that.” The son of a foreign service officer, Davis spent part of his childhood overseas, far from the racism many African Americans learn early. His first encounter with bigotry came when he was a 10-year-old Cub Scout. Bottles and rocks were thrown at him as he marched in a parade. The bewildering incident was the seed of a mission that years later found him ... starting a conversation with Klan Imperial Wizard Roger Kelly. The two became close. When Kelly quit the Klan, he gave Davis his robe. Talking to Klansmen “has worked for me,” said Davis. “I don’t seek to convert them but if they spend time with me, they can’t hate me.”
Note: Watch an awesome video about this brave black man who all but ended the KKK in Maryland by making friends with their leaders. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
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