Billionaires Reap Huge Profits, Megacorporations Rake it In and Lay Off Thousands, GiveDirectly Reduces Poverty
Revealing News Articles
January 5, 2021
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on billionaires reaping record profits during the Coronavirus pandemic, shareholders of big companies flourishing while thousands are laid off, clinical trials of Coronavirus vaccines surprisingly not designed to test whether the vaccines reduce serious illness and death, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on GiveDirectly's work to reduce poverty in the African nation of Togo, the incredible philanthropy of Jeff Bezos' former wife MacKenzie Scott, a man released from prison after serving 31 years of a 90-year prison sentence for selling marijuana, 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.
Special note: Learn how the Lancet promoted the term "conspiracy theory" for those claiming the virus may have originated from a lab, as evidenced by emails obtained through FOIA. Why was a French professor of chemistry just recently confined in a psychiatric hospital? Could it be because he found solid evidence COVID was created in a laboratory? Three years ago, hospitals in the US were overwhelmed with flu patients and even set up tents to deal with the overflow. Watch an incredibly touching 40-minute film about a monk who becomes the beloved father of 85 children.
Quote of the week: "Why is it that when we talk to God we're said to be praying, but when God talks to us we're schizophrenic?" ~ Lily Tomlin
Must watch video of the week: A must watch for any who want to understand the bigger picture of all that's going on. Catherine Austin Fitts is an economic genius of the highest order. She was Assistant Secretary of HUD under George W. Bush, where she became a major whistleblower. In this video, she brilliantly explores the deeper agenda of all that's going on with the coronavirus and how it relates to a major shift in our monetary system. Please share this widely. For more about this amazing woman who I believe is one of the great heroes of our time, read about her fascinating history and courageous whistleblowing.
Even in a Pandemic, the Billionaires Are Winning
November 25, 2020, New York Times
When I called up Chuck Collins on Tuesday afternoon, I found him glued to one of the grimmest new metrics documenting America’s economic and social unraveling. Collins is a scholar of inequality at the Institute for Policy Studies, a progressive think tank, and since March he has been tracking how the collective wealth of American billionaires has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In previous recessions, Collins said, billionaires were hit along with the rest of us; it took almost three years for Forbes’s 400 richest people to recover losses incurred in 2008’s Great Recession. But in the coronavirus recession of 2020, most billionaires have not lost their shirts. Instead, they’ve put on bejeweled overcoats and gloves made of spun gold — that is, they’ve gotten richer than ever before. On Tuesday, as the stock market soared to a record, Collins was watching the billionaires cross a depressing threshold: $1 trillion. That is the amount of new wealth American billionaires have amassed since March, at the start of the devastating lockdowns that state and local governments imposed to curb the pandemic. On March 18, according to a report Collins and his colleagues published last week, America’s 614 billionaires were worth a combined $2.95 trillion. When the markets closed on Tuesday, there were 650 billionaires and their combined wealth was now close to $4 trillion. In the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, American billionaires’ wealth grew by a third.
America’s biggest companies are flourishing during the pandemic and putting thousands of people out of work
December 16, 2020, Washington Post
With few exceptions, big businesses are having a very different year from most of the country. Between April and September, one of the most tumultuous economic stretches in modern history, 45 of the 50 most valuable publicly traded U.S. companies turned a profit. Despite their success, at least 27 of the 50 largest firms held layoffs this year, collectively cutting more than 100,000 workers. Corporate leaders are touting their success and casting themselves as leaders on the road to economic recovery. Many of their firms have put Americans out of work and used their profits to increase the wealth of shareholders. 21 big firms that were profitable during the pandemic laid off workers anyway. Berkshire Hathaway raked in profits of $56 billion during the first six months of the pandemic while one of its subsidiary companies laid off more than 13,000 workers. Salesforce, Cisco Systems and PayPal cut staff even after their chief executives vowed not to do so. Companies sent thousands of employees packing while sending billions of dollars to shareholders. Walmart, whose CEO spent the past year championing the idea that businesses “should not just serve shareholders,” nonetheless distributed more than $10 billion to its investors during the pandemic while laying off 1,200 corporate office employees. Economists estimate at least 100,000 small businesses permanently closed in the first two months of the pandemic alone.
These Coronavirus Trials Don’t Answer the One Question We Need to Know
September 22, 2020, New York Times
If you were to approve a coronavirus vaccine, would you approve one that you only knew protected people only from the most mild form of Covid-19, or one that would prevent its serious complications? The answer is obvious. You would want to protect against the worst cases. But that’s not how the companies testing three of the leading coronavirus vaccine candidates, Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca ... are approaching the problem. According to the protocols for their studies ... a vaccine could meet the companies’ benchmark for success if it lowered the risk of mild Covid-19, but was never shown to reduce moderate or severe forms of the disease, or the risk of hospitalization, admissions to the intensive care unit or death. To say a vaccine works should mean that most people no longer run the risk of getting seriously sick. That’s not what these trials will determine. Influenza vaccines ... reduce the risk of mild disease in healthy adults. But there is no solid evidence they reduce the number of deaths. In fact, significant increases in vaccination rates over the past decades have not been associated with reductions in deaths. Moderna and Pfizer acknowledge their vaccines appear to induce side effects that are similar to the symptoms of mild Covid-19. In Pfizer’s early phase trial, more than half of the vaccinated participants experienced headache, muscle pain and chills. If the vaccines ultimately provide no benefit beyond a reduced risk of mild Covid-19, they could end up causing more discomfort than they prevent.
Note: Did you know that the FDA allows cancer cells to be used in vaccines? And the Vatican has stated "It is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Coronavirus Information Center.
Invisible Ink Could Reveal whether Kids Have Been Vaccinated
December 18, 2019, Scientific American
Keeping track of vaccinations remains a major challenge in the developing world. Now a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers has developed a novel way to address this problem: embedding the record directly into the skin. Along with the vaccine, a child would be injected with a bit of dye that is invisible to the naked eye but easily seen with a special cell-phone filter, combined with an app that shines near-infrared light onto the skin. The dye would be expected to last up to five years, according to tests on pig and rat skin and human skin in a dish. The system - which has not yet been tested in children - would provide quick and easy access to vaccination history ... according to the study. Delivering the dye required the researchers to find something that was safe and would last long enough to be useful. The team ended up using a technology called quantum dots, tiny semiconducting crystals that reflect light and were originally developed to label cells during research. The work was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and came about because of a direct request from Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates himself. The researchers hope to add more detailed information to the dots, such as the date of vaccination. Along with them, the team eventually wants to inject sensors that could also potentially be used to track aspects of health such as insulin levels in diabetics.
Note: Bill Gates insists he never said we’d need digital vaccine passports. Yet researchers have found that his TED Talk which included this statement was edited to remove it. You can prove this with the evidence provided on this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines and microchip implants from reliable major media sources.
Rare vaccine injury claims steered to obscure federal office
December 22, 2020, MSN News/Associated Press
Though most people who protect themselves with a coronavirus vaccine will never develop serious side effects, such rare cases are barred from federal court and instead steered to an obscure program with a record of seldom paying claims. The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, which was set up specifically to deal with vaccines under emergency authorization, has just four employees and few hallmarks of an ordinary court. Decisions are made in secret by government officials, claimants can’t appeal to a judge and payments in most death cases are capped at $370,376. That stands in contrast to the much more established federal vaccine court, which decides cases of injury from most childhood vaccines and other common inoculations. George Washington University law professor Peter Meyers has followed the countermeasures program for years and bluntly calls it a “black hole,” obtaining federal documents this summer showing it has paid fewer than 1 in 10 claims in its 15-year history. Experts are concerned that with the sheer volume of people expected to get coronavirus vaccines in the U.S. — more than 200 million — even a successful rollout with relatively few ill effects could be enough to swamp the program. What’s more, such cases are complex and it’s often hard to prove a direct link between claims of illness and a vaccine. The countermeasures program was created by a 2005 law. Under the program, drug makers can only be sued for “willful misconduct.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Coronavirus Information Center.
The Japanese authorities understood covid-19 better than most
December 12, 2020, The Economist
In total 2,487 people have died of the coronavirus in Japan, just over half the number in China and fewer people than on a single day in America several times over the past week. Japan has suffered just 18 deaths per million people, a higher rate than in China, but by far the lowest in the G7. As early as March, Japanese officials began warning citizens to avoid the san-mitsu or “3Cs”: closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings. The phrase was blasted across traditional and social media. Authorities [made] granular distinctions about risks, opting for targeted restrictions rather than swinging between the extremes of strict lockdowns and free-for-all openings. Nishimura Yasutoshi, the minister overseeing the government’s response to covid-19, carries a device that monitors carbon dioxide to measure the quality of ventilation during his meetings. Crowded subways pose little risk, if windows are open and passengers wear masks, Mr Nishimura insists. Sitting diagonally, rather than directly across from each other can reduce the risk of infection by 75%. Movie theatres are safe ... Mr Nishimura says. While most cinemas in the West are closed, “Demon Slayer”, a new animeflick, has been playing to full houses in Japan. In addition to the 3Cs, the Japanese government warns of five more specific dangers: dinner parties with booze; drinking and eating in groups of more than four; talking without masks at close quarters; living in dormitories and other small shared spaces; and using changing or break rooms.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Why American life went on as normal during the killer pandemic of 1969
May 16, 2020, New York Post
H3N2 (or the “Hong Kong flu,” as it was more popularly known) was an influenza strain that the New York Times described as “one of the worst in the nation’s history.” The first case of H3N2 ... was reported in mid-July 1968 in Hong Kong. By September, it had infected Marines returning to the States from the Vietnam War. By mid-December, the Hong Kong flu had arrived in all 50 states. But schools were not shut down nationwide, other than a few dozen because of too many sick teachers. Face masks weren’t required or even common. Between 1968 and 1970, the Hong Kong flu killed between an estimated 1 and 4 million, according to the CDC and Encyclopaedia Britannica, with US deaths exceeding 100,000. But by all projections, the coronavirus will surpass H3N2’s body count even with a global shutdown. The global fight to stop (or at least slow down) COVID-19 has brought heavy restrictions on all aspects of public life. The idea that a pandemic could be controlled with social distancing and public lockdowns is a relatively new one, said [Jeffrey Tucker with the American Institute for Economic Research]. It was first suggested in a 2006 study by New Mexico scientist Robert J. Glass. “Two government doctors, not even epidemiologists” — Richard Hatchett and Carter Mecher, who worked for the George W. Bush administration — “hatched the idea [of using government-enforced social distancing] and hoped to try it out on the next virus.” We are, in effect, Tucker said, part of a grand social experiment.
Note: Woodstock (1969) was held in the middle of this pandemic. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
Donald Trump's Martial-Law Talk Has Military on Red Alert
December 24, 2020, Newsweek
Pentagon and Washington-area military leaders are on red alert, wary of what President Donald Trump might do in his remaining days in office. Though far-fetched, ranking officers have discussed what they would do if the president declared martial law. And military commands responsible for Washington DC are engaged in secret contingency planning in case the armed forces are called upon to maintain or restore civil order during the inauguration and transition period. "Right now, because of coronavirus," one retired judge advocate general says, "the president actually has unprecedented emergency powers, ones that might convince him - particularly if he listens to certain of his supporters - that he has unlimited powers and is above the law." "But martial law," says the lawyer, "is the wrong paradigm to think about the dangers ahead." Though such a presidential proclamation could flow from his order as commander-in-chief, an essential missing ingredient is the martial side: the involvement and connivance of some cabal of officers who would support the president's illegal move. Such a group doesn't exist ... but there could still be room for mischief, confusion, and even use of military force. It would just not be in the way Trump might intend, particularly if he continues his quest to destabilize the democratic process. "There is no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of an American election," Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and Army Chief of Staff General James McConville said in a joint statement.
Note: Trump is the third president to extend the perpetual state of emergency established in the US after 9/11. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Key Article From Years Past
Sidney Gottlieb, 80, Dies; Took LSD to C.I.A.
March 10, 1999, New York Times
Sidney Gottlieb, who presided over the Central Intelligence Agency's cold-war efforts to control the human mind and provided the agency poisons to kill Fidel Castro, died on Sunday. He ... spent his later years caring for dying patients ... and fighting lawsuits from survivors of his secret tests. He will always be remembered as the Government chemist who dosed Americans with psychedelics in the name of national security. Mr. Gottlieb joined the C.I.A. in 1951. Two years later, the agency established MKUltra and Mr. Gottlieb was running it. He served two decades as the senior scientist presiding over some of the C.I.A.'s darkest secrets. The first of these were the LSD experiments. Mr. Gottlieb was fascinated by the drug [and] took it hundreds of times. In the 1950's and early 1960's, the agency gave mind-altering drugs to hundreds of unsuspecting Americans in an effort to explore the possibilities of controlling human consciousness. In one case, a mental patient in Kentucky was dosed with LSD continuously for 174 days. Other experiments involved agency employees, military officers and college students. In all, the agency conducted 149 separate mind-control experiments, and as many as 25 involved unwitting subjects. At least one participant died, others went mad, and still others suffered psychological damage after participating in the project, known as MK Ultra. The C.I.A. ... deliberately destroyed most of the MKUltra records in 1973. Mr. Gottlieb was also involved in the C.I.A.'s assassination plots. [He] developed a poison handkerchief to kill an Iraqi colonel, an array of toxic gifts to be delivered to Fidel Castro, and a poison dart to kill a leftist leader in the Congo.
How GiveDirectly is finding the poorest people in the world—and sending them cash
December 11, 2020, Fast Company
In Togo ... 55% of the population lives on less than $1.90 a day. The economic effects of COVID-19 have drastically driven up the world’s extreme poverty level. The World Bank estimates that the number of people living on less than $1.90 per day will reach 150 million by 2021. GiveDirectly, a charity that has focused for just under a decade on direct cash transfers to people in poverty around the world, particularly in Africa, has been escalating its pandemic relief efforts—and continually innovating with partners to find groundbreaking ways to target the most in need of money. The charity’s latest innovation is harnessing an algorithm, designed by UC Berkeley, that uses artificial intelligence to identify the poorest individuals in the poorest areas, and transfer cash relief directly to them. The algorithm works in two stages. First, it finds the poorest neighborhoods or villages in a certain region, by analyzing high-resolution satellite imagery. The second stage is finding the poorest individuals within those areas, by analyzing their mobile phone data, provided by Togo’s two principal carriers, Togocel and Moov. After the poorest individuals are identified, they will be prompted to enroll via mobile phone, and then instantly paid. Approximately $5 million will be delivered in total, sending cash every month for five months, in the sum of $15 for women and $13 for men per month, which they’ve calculated as the figure to cover their “minimum basket of goods” to survive. So far, 30,000 Togolese have been paid, out of a goal of 58,000.
Giving Billions Fast, MacKenzie Scott Upends Philanthropy
December 20, 2020, New York Times
In November, Dorri McWhorter, the chief executive of the Y.W.C.A. Metropolitan Chicago, got a phone call from a representative of the billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. The news was almost too good to be true: Her group would be receiving a $9 million gift. Ms. McWhorter shed tears of joy on the call. Similar scenes were playing out at charities nationwide. Ms. Scott’s team recently sent out hundreds of out-of-the-blue emails to charities, notifying them of an incoming gift. Many of the gifts were the largest the charities had ever received. Ms. McWhorter was not the only recipient who cried. All told, Ms. Scott — whose fortune comes from shares of Amazon that she got after her divorce last year from Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder — had given more than $4 billion to 384 groups, including 59 other Y.W.C.A. chapters. In the course of a few months, Ms. Scott has turned traditional philanthropy on its head. Whereas multibillion foundations like Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have fancy headquarters, Ms. Scott’s operation has no known address — or even website. By disbursing her money quickly and without much hoopla, Ms. Scott has pushed the focus away from the giver and onto the nonprofits she is trying to help. They are the types of organizations — historically Black colleges and universities, community colleges and groups that hand out food and pay off medical debts — that often fly beneath the radar.
Man who was serving 90-year sentence for marijuana released
December 10, 2020, ABC News/Associated Press
While serving a 90-year prison sentence for selling marijuana, Richard DeLisi's wife died, as did his 23-year-old son and both his parents. Yet, 71-year-old DeLisi walked out of a Florida prison Tuesday morning grateful and unresentful as he hugged his tearful family. After serving 31 years, he said he's just eager to restore the lost time. DeLisi was believed to be the longest-serving nonviolent cannabis prisoner, according to the The Last Prisoner Project which championed his release. DeLisi was sentenced to 90 years for marijuana trafficking in 1989 at the age of 40 even though the typical sentence was only 12 to 17 years. Now, he wants “to make the best of every bit of my time” fighting for the release of other inmates through his organization FreeDeLisi.com. “The system needs to change and I’m going to try my best to be an activist,” he said. Chiara Juster, a former Florida prosecutor who handled the case pro bono for the The Last Prisoner Project, criticized DeLisi's lengthy sentence as "a sick indictment of our nation." The family has spent over $250,000 on attorneys' fees and over $80,000 on long-distance international collect calls over the past few decades. Rick DeLisi was only 11-years-old when he sat in the courtroom and said goodbye to his father. Now, he's a successful business owner with a wife and three children living in Amsterdam. “I can't believe they did this to my father,” the grieving son said. His voice cracks and his eyes well up with tears as he talks about how grateful he is to finally see his dad.
Giving back: Nine-year-old builds homeless shelters and other selfless acts
June 3, 2015, Christian Science Monitor
A nine-year old girl from Bremerton, Wash. is making a difference in her local community. In a report with KING 5 News, Hailey Ford is shown using a power tool to drive nails into the roof what looks like a miniature house. The structure is the first of 11 planned shelters she [is] building for the homeless in her area. She tells the reporter that her friend Edward is homeless and needs a dry place to sleep at night. When she realized that she could do something about it, she began piecing together a plan to build "mobile sleeping" shelters, as she calls them. The shelters come complete with insulation, tar paper, and windows, barriers that will keep out the elements and lock in the warmth. Hailey isn't the only kid acting with compassion. Five-year old Josiah Duncan had a similar reaction when he saw a hungry-looking homeless man outside of a Waffle House in Prattville, Ala., last month. The little boy began asking his mother about the man's appearance, clearly troubled. She explained that the man was homeless and Josiah requested that they buy him a meal. His mother obliged. Before the man could eat, Josiah insisted on saying a blessing. "The man cried. I cried. Everybody cried," his mother told WFSA. Other children have taken Hailey and Josiah's kindness a few steps further. Hannah Taylor, a Canadian from Winnipeg, Manitoba, founded the Ladybug Foundation when she was only eight years old. In her mission statement Hannah says, "I believe that if people know about homelessness – that there are people living without a home – they will want to help.”
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