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Lockdowns Erased Progress in Math and Reading, 70 Million Child Abuse Images Reported, Solar Panels to Fight Drought
Revealing News Articles
September 13, 2022

Dear friends,

Lockdowns Erased Progress in Math and Reading.

Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the large decline in math and reading levels in American schoolchildren coinciding with the pandemic, 70 million child abuse images reported online and a new bill that can help confront child sex abuse material, 12,000 pages of sealed records from a child sex abuse lawsuit against the Mormon Church, and more.

Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on California becoming the first state to install solar panels over canals to fight drought, government plans to turn 99,000 hectares in England into nature recovery projects, a high school principle taking on a Walmart job to help support students and their families, 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,
Fred Burks for PEERS and WantToKnow.info
Former White House interpreter and whistleblower

Special note: Did you know that 36% of mass shooters were trained by the military? Read about a leaked diary from Joe Biden’s daughter that raises questions about sexual abuse in her childhood.

Quote of the week: "Punitive justice asks only what rule of law was broken, who did it, and how they should be punished. It responds to the original harm with more harm. Restorative justice asks who was harmed, what are the needs and obligations of all affected, and how does everyone affected figure out how to heal the harm." ~~ Fania Davis

Video of the week: Watch an excellent 14-minute video on Ivermectin (order on this webpage), the Nobel-prize winning drug which became so controversial during COVID.


The Pandemic Erased Two Decades of Progress in Math and Reading
September 1, 2022, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/01/us/national-test-scores...

National test results showed ... the pandemic’s devastating effects on American schoolchildren, with the performance of 9-year-olds in math and reading dropping to the levels from two decades ago. Since the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests began tracking student achievement in the 1970s ... scores in reading fell by the largest margin in more than 30 years. The declines spanned almost all races and income levels and were markedly worse for the lowest-performing students. While top performers in the 90th percentile showed a modest drop — three points in math — students in the bottom 10th percentile dropped by 12 points in math, four times the impact. The setbacks could have powerful consequences for a generation of children who must move beyond basics in elementary school to thrive later on. “The biggest reason to be concerned is the lower achievement of the lower-achieving kids,” [said Susanna Loeb at Brown University]. Being so far behind, she said, could lead to disengagement in school, making it less likely that they graduate from high school or attend college. The federal government has budgeted $122 billion to help students recover, the largest single investment in American schools, and at least 20 percent of that money must be spent on academic catch-up. Yet some schools have had difficulty hiring teachers, let alone tutors, and others may need to spend far more than 20 percent of their money to close big gaps.

Note: This article fails to mention that it was not the pandemic, but rather the lockdown policies that caused this debacle. Sweden, which never closed it’s elementary schools, did not have this problem. Read more about the challenging impacts of lockdown policies in an essay written by a caring school teacher who presents solid evidence that the lockdowns in the U.S. and worldwide had tragic effects not only on low-income and homeless children, but on huge numbers of people around the world.


Ending Big Tech's Laissez-Faire Approach to Child Sexual Abuse Material
February 16, 2022, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/ending-big-techs-laissez-faire...

The EARN IT Act [is] a bill designed to confront the explosion of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online. EARN IT would help address what is, disturbingly, a common experience for young users: routine exposure to predatory targeting, grooming, sexual violence, prostitution/sex trafficking, hardcore pornography and more. A New York Times investigation revealed that 70 million CSAM images were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in 2019—up from 600,000 in 2008—an "almost unfathomable" increase in criminality. The EARN IT Act restores privacy to victims of child sexual abuse material and allows them to sue those who cause them harm online, under federal civil law and state criminal and civil law. It also creates a new commission to issue guidelines to limit sex trafficking, grooming and sexual exploitation online. CSAM still exists because tech platforms have no incentive to prevent or eliminate it, because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (passed in 1996, before social media existed) gives them near-blanket immunity from liability. While some in the technology sector [are] claiming EARN IT is a threat to encryption and user privacy, the reality is that encryption can coexist with better business practices for online child safety. We can increase security and privacy while refraining from a privacy-absolutism that unintentionally allows sexual predators to run rampant online.

Note: To understand the scope of child sex abuse worldwide, learn about other major cover-ups in revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Seven Years of Sex Abuse: How Mormon Officials Let It Happen
August 4, 2022, U.S. News & World Report/Associated Press
https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2022-08-04...

MJ was just 5 years old, when her father admitted to his bishop that he was sexually abusing her. The father, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [of the Bisbee, Arizona ward], was in counseling with his bishop when he revealed the abuse. The bishop ... followed church policy and called what church officials have dubbed the “help line” for guidance. Lawyers for the church, who staff the help line ... told Bishop John Herrod not to call police or child welfare officials. Instead he kept the abuse secret. The Associated Press has obtained nearly 12,000 pages of sealed records from an unrelated child sex abuse lawsuit against the Mormon church in West Virginia. Families of survivors who filed the lawsuit said ... church leaders divert abuse accusations away from law enforcement and instead to church attorneys who may bury the problem, leaving victims in harm’s way. “Child abuse festers and grows in secrecy,” said [lawyer] Lynne Cadigan. Laws in more than 20 states [assert] that clergy who receive information about child neglect or sexual abuse during spiritual confessions “may withhold” that information from authorities ... under church doctrine. [Survivors and their families are trying to] change church policy so that any instance of child sexual abuse is immediately reported to civil authorities. Inaction by the church have raised ethical issues. “What aspect of your religious practice are you advancing if you don’t report something like this?” [investigator Gerard Moretz] asked.

Note: To understand the scope of child sex abuse worldwide, learn about other major cover-ups in revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources. Furthermore, watch powerful evidence in a suppressed Discovery Channel documentary showing that child sexual abuse rings reach to the highest levels of government. Then watch an excellent segment by Australia's "60-Minutes" team "Spies, Lords and Predators" on a pedophile ring in the UK which also leads directly to the highest levels of government. 


The Troubling Story Behind Hulu's New Documentary Victoria's Secret: Angels and Demons
July 19, 2022, Time Magazine
https://time.com/6197975/victorias-secret-angels-and-demons...

While Epstein’s ties to former presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, as well as Prince Andrew and Bill Gates, have been well publicized, his connection with [Les] Wexner flew under the radar until Epstein’s 2019 arrest on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges. For nearly two decades, Epstein was Wexner’s personal money manager, but few people understood just how close the two were. The Ohio-born Leslie “Les” Wexner is the billionaire founder of L Brands Inc., the one-time parent company of The Limited, Bath & Body Works, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Victoria’s Secret, the crown jewel of his retail holdings. Epstein was named the billionaire’s power of attorney in 1991, which gave Epstein “unmitigated control over all of [Wexner’s] assets,” according to Washington Post reporter Sarah Ellison. He could sign checks, buy and sell property, and borrow money on Wexner’s behalf. “There wasn’t a part of Wexner’s empire that Epstein didn’t have access to and didn’t have some ability to control,” Ellison says in the docuseries. Anti-trafficking advocate Conchita Sarnoff makes the case that Epstein was able to “legally bring girls from all over the world into the United States under the guise of modeling thanks to his position as Wexner’s financial advisor. The documentary details a culture of complicity at Victoria’s Secret, which allowed Epstein to hide in plain sight with Wexner's help. For years, Wexner managed to keep his relationship with Epstein hidden from public view, but now people are looking for answers.

Note: Watch an eye-opening video on the top 10 shocking reveals of this Hulu documentary. For more along these lines, see the timeline of Epstein's case. You can also explore major cover-ups in high places in deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


'Victoria's Secret: Angels and Demons' weaves together Jeffrey Epstein and corporate culture
July 14, 2022, CNN
https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/14/entertainment/victorias-secret...

"Victoria's Secret: Angels and Demons" [is a] fairly standard look at Wexner's business acumen in acquiring the lingerie outfit and transforming it into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, inspiring cultish devotion among employees while facing ever-escalating pressure to make the marketing more provocative. Yet Wexner's success also brought Epstein into his orbit, eventually leading to allegations that the latter leveraged his affiliation with the company as part of his predatory behavior. As for what Wexner might have known, the executive (who declined to be interviewed for the docuseries) and his representatives staunchly denied any awareness. The hardest-to-explain aspect of the story involve Wexner granting Epstein power of attorney over his assets. With so many projects devoted to the Epstein scandal, including docuseries from Investigation Discovery and Netflix, the emphasis on his role, while understandable, feels like well-trodden territory. Indeed, it tends to obscure insights having to do with Wexner's retail strategy and its broader implications -- turning something as mundane as underwear into a premium item, manufacturing in China to slash costs and from a cultural perspective, feeding unrealistic expectations about women's bodies with heavily photoshopped catalogue spreads. In the final chapter, however, director Matt Tyrnauer deftly weaves the pieces together, conveying how the key men behind Victoria's Secret were blind to the changes sweeping over society while allegedly engaging in their own questionable behavior.

Note: Watch an eye-opening video on the top 10 shocking reveals of this Hulu documentary. For more along these lines, see the timeline of Epstein's case. You can also explore major cover-ups in high places in deeply revealing news articles on sexual abuse scandals from reliable major media sources.


Just 2% of the richest Americans had their taxes audited in 2019, down from 16% in 2010
May 17, 2022, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/17/super-wealthy-irs-tax-audits...

The audit rate for Americans earning more than $5 million a year plunged to just over 2% in 2019 from over 16% in 2010, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office, a federal watchdog. The report estimated that taxpayers underreported their income tax by a combined $245 billion a year between 2011 and 2013, and said that “taxpayers are more likely to voluntarily comply with the tax laws if they believe their return may be audited.” The main reason for the decline, according to the report, is a lack of IRS funding. In fiscal year 2021, the agency’s budget was $11.9 billion — $200 million less than its 2010 budget. The IRS also has seen its staffing levels fall to the same levels as 1973. The decline in funding and auditors means that taxpayers, and especially the top earners, are far less likely to get caught underpaying their taxes than a decade ago. Overall audit rates for American taxpayers fell to 0.2% in 2019 from 0.9% in 2010. The wealthy are still audited at a higher rate than the general taxpayer population. Yet their audit rates have declined at a much higher rate. The audit rate for taxpayers earning between $5 million and $10 million fell to 1.4% from 13.5%. Those earning more than $10 million saw their audit rate fall to 3.9% in 2019 from 21.2% in 2010, while audit rates for $10 million-plus earners ticked up slightly for the 2017 and 2018 tax years due to a Treasury Department mandate to impose audit rates of at least 8% on those making $10 million or more.

Note: For more along these lines, see key news articles on the financial industry from reliable major media sources.


America used to regulate business. Now government subsidises it
August 21, 2022, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/21...

The biggest thing the federal government now does with businesses is subsidize them. The Clean Air Act of 1970 authorized the government to regulate air pollution. The Inflation Reduction Act, which Joe Biden signed into law ... allocates more than $300bn to energy and climate reform, including $30bn in subsidies for manufacturers of solar panels and wind turbines. Notice the difference? This shift from regulation to subsidy has characterized every recent administration. Today it’s politically difficult, if not impossible, for government to demand that corporations (and their shareholders) bear the costs of public goods. Spending by corporations on lobbying increased from $1.44bn in 1999 to $3.77bn in 2021 and is on track to exceed $4bn this year. This tidal wave of corporate money has occurred at the same time large American corporations have globalized ... demanding government subsidies in return for creating jobs and doing their cutting-edge research in America. The question [is] whether the government should subsidize certain industries that generate large social benefits in the form of new technologies. I argued that the government was already engaged in a hidden industrial policy, disguised, for example, as grants to the aerospace and telecom industries by the Department of Defense and to the pharmaceutical industry by the National Institutes of Health. It would be far better to do industrial policy in the open, so that the public could assess what it was paying for and what it was getting in return.

Note: This article was written by former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. For more revealing information on the government sponsoring corporate, financial interests without public input, see concise summaries of news articles on corporate corruption, and corruption in government and the financial industry.


Students lose access to books amid ‘state-sponsored purging of ideas’
August 17, 2022, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/08/17/book...

School librarians [will] have less freedom to choose books and schoolchildren [will have] less ability to read books they find intriguing, experts say. In the past two years, six states have passed laws that mandate parental involvement in reviewing books, making it easier for parents to remove books or restrict the texts available at school, according to a tally kept by nonprofit EveryLibrary. Policies are proliferating at the district level, too. A Texas system will divide its library into “juvenile,” “young adult” and “adult” sections, with parents choosing the “level” their child can access. “This is a state-sponsored purging of ideas and identities that has no precedent in the United States of America,” said John Chrastka, EveryLibrary’s executive director. “We’re witnessing the silencing of stories and the suppressing of information [that will make] the next generation less able to function in society.” A flurry of parent-staffed websites reviewing books for inappropriate content have appeared — including “Between the Book Covers,” whose website says “professional review sites cannot be entrusted,” and BookLook.info, “a place for taking a closer look at the books in our children’s hands.” There are also Facebook groups like Utah’s “LaVerna in the Library,” which “collects naughty children’s books.” As states and districts adjust their reading rules, parents and students are working to change things, too. Teens in Texas, for example, have formed “banned book clubs” — while in Missouri, students are suing their district to restore eight pulled books.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of the disappearance of privacy in our society. Whether in our schools, on social media, or in our news, read about the increasing issue of censorship that undermines democracy in our Mass Media Information Center.


Key Articles From Years Past


9/11 Commission Heads: We Still Don't Know the Whole Truth of 9/11
August 9, 2006, CNN News
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0608/09/ldt.01.html

A shocking new book by the 9/11 Commission co-chairmen Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton says Americans still don't know the whole truth about their government's initial response to those terrorist attacks that day. [The book] outlines repeated misstatements by the Pentagon and Federal Aviation Administration. Fog of war ... could not explain why all of the after-action reports, accident investigations, and public testimony by FAA and NORAD officials advanced an account of 9/11 that was untrue. Untrue -- the military's original timeline of United Flight 93. Equally untrue, the government's timeline for American Flight 77 and details about fighter jets scrambled to intercept it. DOD did not accurately report to the 9/11 Commission on the response to the September 11, 2001 hijackings. So far, government investigators stopped short of calling all of these inaccuracies lies. If all of the after-action reports are untrue, for whatever reason, that's a lie. Incompetence and ineptitude on the part of this government ... in the weeks leading up to 9/11 are established. The fact that the government would permit deception ... the fact that they would continue and perpetuate the lie suggests that we need a full investigation of what is going on and what is demonstrably an incompetent and at worst deceitful federal government.

Note: Explore a video and transcript presenting very well documented evidence of billions of dollars of financial manipulations suggesting there is much more to 9/11 than most would think.


Inspiring Articles


California to install solar panels over canals to fight drought, a first in the U.S.
August 30, 2022, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-solar-panels-canals-drought...

In an effort to combat the devastating drought conditions hitting California, the Golden State will become the first in the nation to install solar panel canopies over canals. It will consist of an estimated 8,500 feet of solar panels installed over three sections of Turlock Irrigation District (TID) canals in Central California. According to TID, the project aims to use water and energy management hand-in-hand. The project is designed to increase renewable power generation, while reducing water evaporation and vegetative growth in canals. A 2021 University of California, Merced study [revealed] that covering all of the approximately 4,000 miles of public water delivery system infrastructure in the state with solar panels could save an estimated 63 billion gallons of water annually, as well as  result in significant energy and cost savings. "According to the study, the 13 gigawatts of solar power the panels would generate each year would equal about one-sixth of the state's current installed capacity," TID wrote on its website. TID also says the project will also support California Gov. Gavin Newsom's call for 60% of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. California has taken multiple steps to combat drought conditions and climate change impacting the state [including moving] forward with a plan to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. Officials [also] announced that California would receive $310 million in federal funding to address the drought.

Note: To further explore stories that help create the world we want to live in, check out our inspiring news articles collection and our Inspiration Center.


Work begins to turn 99,000 hectares in England into ‘nature recovery’ projects
May 26, 2022, The Guardian (One of the UK'S Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/26/work-begins-to-turn...

Up to 99,000 hectares of land in England, from city fringes to wetlands, will be focused on supporting wildlife in five major “nature recovery” projects, the government has said. The five landscape-scale projects in the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset aim to help tackle wildlife loss and the climate crisis, and improve public access to nature. They will share an initial £2.4m pot from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Natural England, for work to create new habitats, manage land for nature and carbon storage and increase footpaths and connect with communities, with further funding expected from other sources and partners. Work in the projects will range from converting farmland into chalk grassland to restoring “dewponds” and managing wetlands and other land sustainably. Projects will also develop plans to work with communities in cities and deprived areas to improve their access to nature, including creating new green areas and improved footpaths and bridleways. The environment minister Rebecca Pow said: “These five projects across England are superb examples of exciting, large-scale restoration that is critically needed to bring about a step-change in the recovery of nature in this country. “They will significantly contribute to achieving our target to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030 and our commitment to protect 30% of our land by 2030, enabling us to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.”

Note: To further explore stories that help create the world we want to live in, check out our inspiring news articles collection and our Inspiration Center.


S.C. Gives Highest Civilian Honor To Principal Who Got A Walmart Job To Help Students
February 9, 2021, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2021/02/09/965887446/s-c-gives-highest-civilian...

It was supposed to be a secret. But word got out about what North Charleston High School Principal Henry Darby was doing – and the state has now presented him with its highest civilian honor. Darby took on a part-time job at Walmart, stocking shelves from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., three nights every week. He's been using the paychecks from that work to help make sure kids from his school have food and basic supplies, or help their families pay their bills. Some money has also gone to former students who need help, or to teachers at his school who need a boost. "Principal Darby personifies the best of South Carolina, a selfless person who goes above and beyond for others," Gov. Henry McMaster said on Tuesday. "It was an honor to present him with the Order of the Palmetto yesterday," the governor added. In addition to being a principal, he serves on the Charleston County Council. "I decided to get another job because the kids, they really need help," Darby told the paper, which noted that despite Darby's efforts to stay under the radar, one of his students recognized him on the first night he worked at Walmart. His shifts ended just in time for him to drive to North Charleston High before morning classes started. In the weeks since people realized how much Darby was doing to help others, many have stepped forward both to praise him and to help him raise money for families who need it. Walmart gave his school a $50,000 check. Together, two crowdfunding pages devoted to his cause have raised more than $195,000.

Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles.


Political rivals stun voters with unexpected duet
October 19, 2018, CBS News
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/lucy-rogers-vermont-political-rivals-stun-voters...

In Lamoille County, Vermont ... everywhere you look, bursts of Lucy Rogers green, and Zac Mayo red, white and blue. "We don't need as much government," Zac said. He's the Republican. She's the Democrat. "I'm pretty centrally focused on healthcare," Lucy said. They're aggressively competing for a state House seat. Both have visited, or plan to visit, every single home in the district — all 2,000 plus. The locals say they've never seen anything like it. But this highly competitive race took a dramatic turn recently. During their debate ... the candidates asked for a few extra minutes at the end. They stood up from their tables and began moving the furniture. No one knew what was coming. Indeed, what happened at the local library that night was totally unexpected and unprecedented in modern American politics. Political rivals Lucy Rogers and Zac Mayo shocked voters by coming together for a duet." Because we asked them if we could have a few minutes at the end to play a duet," Lucy said. "It strikes a chord," Zac said. "To say to the world that this is a better way." With that, the Democrat and the Republican united in perfect harmony. There weren't enough tissues to go around. "It marked a turning point for us," one person said. "It gave me a lot of hope," said another. The song they played that night -- and for us after -- is about longing for a less competitive society. Their rendition so resonated with folks in northern Vermont, CBS News actually saw houses that had signs for both candidates -- a clear indication that the winner of this race has already been decided: A landslide victory for civility.

Note: The Washington Post also carried a touching article on this inspiring event. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


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