US Officials Collude With Big Tech To Overturn First Amendment, Area 51 Blogger Raided, Choosing Forgiveness Over Prison
Revealing News Articles
July 11, 2023
Explore below key excerpts of revealing news articles on the U.S. government officials behind Big Tech's censorship of social media, an Area 51 blogger raided by federal authorities, the "wild west" of Big Pharma advertising as deceptive "patient influencers" promote drugs on social media, and more.
In our independent media section, don't miss articles on the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's role in manipulating public discourse in the U.S. and how collusion between government officials and Big Pharma allowed the COVID-19 vaccine to bypass basic safety regulations.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on a restorative justice process that helped a family choose forgiveness over prison following a tragic murder, a program that connects the formerly incarcerated with safe places to live, the radical redesign of some homeless shelters, 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: Did you know that the FDA has shifted from being an entirely taxpayer-funded entity to being primarily funded by the very pharmaceutical corporations they are supposed to regulate? Read an in-depth investigation into the special interests driving the approval of prescription drugs, which prioritizes industry profit over public health safety. Funding for military spending is projected to reach $850 billion in 2023. An illuminating article reveals how more than half of Pentagon's yearly budget goes to private contractor pockets instead of supporting troops on the frontlines.
Quote of the week: Trust your own instincts and anxieties, especially those concerning people who claim that dominating others, violence, war or some other violation of your conscience is the grand solution. Do this even when, or especially when, everyone around you has completely stopped questioning authority. ~~ Martha Stout, psychologist at Harvard Medical School
Video of the week: Independent journalist Lee Fang shares the main findings of his Substack report on how pharmaceutical company Pfizer covertly financed groups lobbying for Covid-19 vaccine mandates. As trust in our public institutions further decline, he reflects on the bipartisan need for more thoughtful, ethical regulations when it comes to the power of Big Tech and Big Pharma shaping public health policy.
The Biden-Big Tech Collusion Case
July 5, 2023, Wall Street Journal
Missouri and Louisiana, joined by scientists and conservatives whose posts were censored, sued to protect their First Amendment rights. The issue in Missouri v. Biden [is] whether government officials can be held responsible for their censorship. Judge Terry Doughty ruled they can and his 155-page opinion describes disturbing coordination between the government and tech firms to suppress unpopular views, especially on Covid-19. White House officials and public-health agency leaders held biweekly meetings with tech companies over how to curb the spread of misinformation. Former White House director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty and Covid-19 adviser Andy Slavitt were in constant contact with social-media executives. Officials weren’t merely flagging false statements. They were bullying companies to censor anything contradicting government guidance. On July 16, 2021, the President accused social-media companies of “killing people.” Judge Doughty concludes from all this that “the public and private pressure from the White House apparently had its intended effect.” All 12 people dubbed the “Disinformation Dozen” by the Center for Countering Digital Hate were censored, and pages, groups and accounts linked to them were removed. Some Covid claims flagged by the White House were ... scientifically debatable—for instance, that vaccines can cause Bell’s palsy and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, and that Covid had a 99.96% survival rate.
Judge blocks U.S. officials from contacting social media companies
July 4, 2023, Washington Post
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked key Biden administration agencies and officials from meeting and communicating with social media companies about “protected speech,” in an extraordinary preliminary injunction in an ongoing case. The injunction came in response to a lawsuit brought by Republican attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri, who allege that government officials went too far in their efforts to encourage social media companies to address posts that they worried could contribute to vaccine hesitancy during the pandemic. Over the last five years, coordination and communication between government officials and [social media] companies increased. Public health officials also frequently communicated with the companies during the coronavirus pandemic. The injunction was a victory for the state attorneys general, who have accused the Biden administration of enabling a “sprawling federal ‘Censorship Enterprise’” to encourage tech giants to remove politically unfavorable viewpoints and speakers. The judge, Terry A. Doughty, has yet to make a final ruling in the case, but in issuing the injunction, he signaled he is likely to ... find that the Biden administration ran afoul of the First Amendment. The state attorneys general have argued that starting in 2017 ... officials within the government began laying the groundwork for a “systemic and systematic campaign” to control speech on social media. These efforts accelerated in 2020 ... amid the response to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
An Area 51 blogger was raided at gunpoint by federal agents. He says the US Government is trying to silence him
June 30, 2023, The Independent (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Joerg Arnu has been obsessed with Area 51 ever since his first visit to the perimeter of the secretive military base in 1998. The rumours of alien life forms, CIA spy plane testing programmes, and sense of forbidden mystery surrounding the massive military base in the southern Nevada desert instantly intrigued the 61-year-old retired software developer. In 1999, he launched the DreamlandResort blog as a comprehensive one-stop-shop for photos, videos and discussion about the base and the top secret military aircraft that are built and tested there. He eventually bought a second home near the gates of the military base. Last year, he was in bed when around 20 armed counter-terrorism agents in tactical gear raided his Rachel home, handcuffed him and led him out of his home in the freezing cold for questioning. The agents seized four of Mr Arnu’s computers, containing his life’s work on Area 51, along with treasured photos of his deceased parents, and medical and tax records. The agents handed Mr Arnu a search warrant signed by a federal magistrate judge. The first 39 pages were missing, and it only provided vague hints of what the agents had been looking for. A joint team from the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (USAF OSI) had conducted the raids. Eight months on, he still has no idea whether he will face charges, or if he’ll ever get back the more than $30,000 he says he’s out of pocket for as a result of seized equipment, property damage and legal fees.
‘I’m not a doctor just FYI’: the influencers paid to hawk drugs on TikTok
March 17, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
A young TikTok user has long, wavy hair. She’s slim and wants you to know exactly why: she’s using Wegovy, a prescription drug originally developed to treat diabetes that’s become a popular drug for weight loss. In one clip, she picks up the medication from a pharmacy ... then demonstrates in a following clip how she injects it into her leg. She’s what’s called a patient influencer. They have no medical training and claim that they’re simply sharing their personal experiences with their TikTok and Instagram followers. But in this ... unregulated arena, it’s gotten harder to tell when influencing crosses legal and ethical lines. Many patient influencers offer prescription drug advice to their followers without always revealing their relationships with drug companies, according to Erin Willis ... who authored a study about patient influencers. A patient influencer can expect to earn anywhere from “the low hundreds to a few thousand dollars” per social media post. Part of what makes patient influencers effective is that they often push messaging further than what would be allowed on media like TV, where ads are far more closely scrutinized by regulators like the FDA and Federal Trade Commission. Willis calls patient influencing “an interactive form of advertising” that’s “difficult to regulate, if it’s been regulated at all”. Studies find [direct-to-consumer] ads lead to doctors prescribing them more – driving the market for these ads to nearly $7bn last year, industry statistics show.
Note: This controversial marketing tactic is only legal in the United States and New Zealand. Read more about how these tactics are quickly becoming the "wild west of pharma advertising," especially when the FDA’s social media guidance hasn’t been updated since 2014. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on Big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
Top NIH Official Advised Covid Scientists That He Uses Personal Email To Evade FOIA
June 29, 2023, The Intercept
A top adviser to Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health admitted that he used a personal email account in an apparent effort to evade the strictures of the Freedom of Information Act. “As you know, I try to always communicate on gmail because my NIH email is FOIA’d constantly,” wrote David M. Morens, a high-ranking NIH official. The email that contains Morens’s statements was part of a broader exchange in which Morens and his scientist correspondents denounced media coverage by The Intercept and other publications concerning the origins of Covid and harshly criticized those who take seriously the possibility that the virus emerged from a research accident in Wuhan, China. "I have not been approved to talk about ‘origins’ on the record. But today, to my total surprise, my boss [Anthony Fauci] actually ASKED me to speak to the National Geographic on the record about origins,” Morens wrote at the time. “I interpret this to mean that our government is lightening up but that Tony doesn’t want his fingerprints on origin stories.” On Thursday, Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, the chair of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, sent a letter to Morens. Documents ... “suggest that you may have used your personal e-mail to avoid transparency and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), potentially intentionally deleted federal records, and acted in your official capacity to disparage your fellow scientists, including by encouraging litigation against them."
Note: Originally deemed a conspiracy theory, there is now significant evidence revealing how COVID-19 was engineered in the context of bioweapons research with US funding and Chinese military involvement at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
With Ukraine’s Cluster Bombs Killing Its Own Citizens, Biden Readies Order To Send More
July 5, 2023, The Intercept
As the Ukraine war drags on, the Biden administration is now reportedly in the final stages of deciding whether to send more [cluster munitions] to the Ukrainian military. The decision to supply cluster munitions to Ukraine would likely be seen as a setback to nonproliferation efforts aimed at stopping use of the weapon. The report by Human Rights Watch analyzing the impact of previous cluster munition attacks carried out last summer by the Ukrainian military found numerous dead and wounded civilians in Izium who were hit by exploding cluster bomblets. Cluster munitions are controversial due to the manner in which “bomblets” are scattered around a targeted area, creating secondary explosions that can cause death and injury even long after a conflict has ceased. The bombs are currently at the center of an international campaign to ban their use in armed conflict. More than 100 states have signed an international convention on cluster munitions vowing not to employ them in war, produce them domestically, or encourage their use in foreign conflicts. Despite public pressure to join, the U.S. has not become a signatory to the convention. The Ukrainian military was reported to have requested significant transfers of the munitions late last year. “Cluster munitions used by Russia and Ukraine are killing civilians now and will continue to do so for many years,” said Mary Wareham, advocacy director of the Arms Division at Human Rights Watch, in the report.
Note: The global cluster bombs trade is funded by the world's biggest banks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war from reliable major media sources.
Weapons contractors hitting Department of Defense with inflated prices for planes, submarines, missiles
May 21, 2023, CBS News
With the U.S. supplying billions-of-dollars of munitions to Ukraine and growing tensions in the Taiwan Strait, some Pentagon generals are sounding alarms about the dwindling supply of U.S. weapons ... at a time when the cost of replacing them is skyrocketing. A six-month investigation by 60 Minutes found it has less to do with foreign entanglements than domestic ones - what can only be described as price gouging by U.S. defense contractors. It wasn't always like this. The roots of the problem can be traced to 1993, when the Pentagon, looking to cut costs, urged defense companies to merge. Fifty one major contractors consolidated to five giants. The landscape has totally changed. In the '80s, there was intense competition amongst a number of companies. And so the government had choices. They had leverage. We have limited leverage now. The problem was compounded when the Pentagon, in another cost saving move, cut 130,000 employees whose jobs were to negotiate and oversee defense contracts. The Pentagon granted companies unprecedented leeway to monitor themselves. Instead of saving money ... the price of almost everything began to rise. In the competitive environment before the companies consolidated, a shoulder fired stinger missile cost $25,000 in 1991. With Raytheon now the sole supplier, it costs more than $400,000 to replace each missile sent to Ukraine ... even accounting for inflation and some improvements that's a seven-fold increase.
Note: Leading military contractors are hiking up prices of everyday products as well, costing US taxpayers more than $1.3 million in unnecessary markups. Explore how the Pentagon paid arms manufacturer Boeing over $200,000 for four trash cans used in surveillance planes (roughly $51,606 per unit). War profiteering happens on many levels, as articulated in a summary of War is a Racket by General Smedley D. Butler.
The AI firm that conducted ‘state surveillance’ of your social media posts
June 3, 2023, The Telegraph (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
These blank-looking warehouses are home to an artificial intelligence (AI) company used by the Government to monitor people’s posts on social media. Logically has been paid more than £1.2 million of taxpayers’ money to analyse what the Government terms “disinformation” – false information deliberately seeded online – and “misinformation”, which is false information that has been spread inadvertently. It does this by “ingesting” material from more than hundreds of thousands of media sources and “all public posts on major social media platforms”, using AI to identify those that are potentially problematic. It has a £1.2 million deal with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), as well as another worth up to £1.4 million with the Department of Health and Social Care to monitor threats to high-profile individuals within the vaccine service. Other blue-chip clients include US federal agencies, the Indian electoral commission, and TikTok. It also has a “partnership” with Facebook, which appears to grant Logically’s fact-checkers huge influence over the content other people see. A joint press release issued in July 2021 suggests that Facebook will limit the reach of certain posts if Logically says they are untrue. “When Logically rates a piece of content as false, Facebook will significantly reduce its distribution so that fewer people see it, apply a warning label to let people know that the content has been rated false, and notify people who try to share it,” states the press release.
Key Articles From Independent Media
Agency Under Homeland Security Masterminded the Attempt to Control Public’s Thought and Speech During Pandemic
June 30, 2023, The Defender
On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee released a report on how the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) “colluded with Big Tech and ‘disinformation’ partners to censor Americans.” The 36-page report raises three familiar issues: first, government actors worked with third parties to overturn the First Amendment; second, censors prioritized political narratives over truthfulness; and third, an unaccountable bureaucracy hijacked American society. The House Report reveals that CISA, a branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, worked with social media platforms to censor posts it considered dis-, mis- or malinformation. Brian Scully, the head of CISA’s censorship team, conceded that this process, known as “switchboarding,” would “trigger content moderation.” Additionally, CISA funded the nonprofit EI-ISAC in 2020 to bolster its censorship operations. In launching the nonprofit, the government boasted that it “leverage[d] DHS CISA’s relationship with social media organizations to ensure priority treatment of misinformation reports.” The switchboard programs directly contradict sworn testimony from CISA Director Jen Easterly. The report outlines how CISA censored “malinformation — truthful information that, according to the government, may carry the potential to mislead.” Dr. Kate Starbird, a member of CISA’s “Misinformation & Disinformation” subcommittee, lamented that many Americans seem to “accept malinformation as ‘speech’ and within democratic norms.”
Government Contracts With COVID Vaccine Makers Let Federal Agencies Bypass Normal Regulatory Process, FOIA Documents Show
June 30, 2023, The Defender
A little-known federal agency called BARDA dedicated to countering “health security threats” was responsible for conducting the quality review of every COVID-19 vaccine dose administered in the U.S., Sasha Latypova reported on her Substack. But BARDA, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which has a “militarized” purpose according to Latypova, is not subject to the same regulations as typical pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors or regulatory agencies. “The public was told these vaccines are made by Pfizer and Moderna and rigorously approved by the FDA,” [said Latypova]. That ... would mean that the “consumer protections we expect from pharmaceutical products, medical devices and even food ... we expect them to be in place.” But in fact, countermeasures contracts made available through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests ... and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission disclosures show the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and BARDA contracts with the pharmaceutical companies were structured such that these protections weren’t required. The contracts also specified that manufacturers and federal agencies were protected by the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, which shields “covered persons” — such as pharmaceutical companies, or the DOD/BARDA — from liability for injuries sustained from “countermeasures,” such as vaccines ... administered during a public health emergency.
Note: Sasha Latypova is a former pharmaceutical industry executive who now specializes in uncovering fraud in pharmaceutical research, development, and manufacturing. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Key Articles From Years Past
The pharmaceutical industry finances about 75 percent of the [FDA]'s drug division
September 15, 2022, New York Times
Every five years, top officials of the Food and Drug Administration go behind closed doors to negotiate the terms of its core budget – about $3 billion this year. But the F.D.A. is not at the table with members of Congress or with White House officials. Instead, it's in dozens of meetings with representatives of the giant pharmaceutical companies whose products the agency regulates. The negotiations are a piece of the "user fee" program in which drug, device and biotech companies make payments to the agency partly to seek product approvals. The fees ... make up nearly half of the F.D.A.'s budget, financing 6,500 jobs at the agency. The pharmaceutical industry funding alone has become so dominant that last year it accounted for three-quarters – or $1.1 billion – of the agency's drug division budget. Advocates for patients and doctors say the agreements have enabled the industry to weaken the approval process meant to ensure that drugs are safe and effective. "It's kind of like a devil's bargain," said Dr. Joseph Ross, a professor at the Yale School of Medicine who has studied F.D.A. policies, "that I think is not in the best interest of the agency, because it turns this every-five-year cycle into the F.D.A. essentially asking industry, 'What can we do to secure this money?'" Senator Bernie Sanders ... suggested that the pharmaceutical companies' tendency to charge "outrageous" prices was related to their significant role in funding and advancing policy goals of the F.D.A.'s drug division.
Note: A revealing interview of a top cardiologist illuminates the history of how Big Pharma has corrupted science and greatly damaged public health. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of news articles on big Pharma corruption from reliable major media sources.
Faced with a violent killing, a family chooses forgiveness over prison
June 26, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Alex Fields had not spoken to his nephew in four years. Not since the killing. But when his nephew Donald Fields Jr finally appeared over Zoom from the county jail, Alex Fields was consumed by the moment. Don Jr was charged with the murder of his father, Donald Fields Sr, in 2016. Today was the first step in a long journey that would see a tragedy transformed into a pioneering case of compassion in America’s punitive criminal justice system. It marked the first time that restorative justice – the act of resolving crimes through community reconciliation and accountability over traditional punishment – had been used in a homicide case in the state of North Carolina. And probably the first case of its kind in the US. The DA’s office forged a new plea deal, which offered Don Jr the opportunity to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter, which could see him sentenced to “time served”. The family worked on a new repair agreement, which was 13 points long and had conditions facilitating Don Jr’s release. There is increasing evidence that use of restorative justice lowers rates of recidivism. Those who are victims of violence are far more likely to become perpetrators of violent acts later on. "Just as we cannot incarcerate our way out of violence, we cannot reform our way out of mass incarceration without taking on the question of violence," [Danielle Sered] writes. "The context in which violence happens matters, as do the identities and experiences of those involved.”
Note: Danielle Sered is the founder of a Brooklyn-based restorative justice organization Common Justice, which is the first alternative-to-incarceration and victim-service program in the United States that focuses on violent felonies in the adult courts. For further reading, explore her book, Until We Reckon: Violence, Mass Incarceration, and a Road to Repair.
Strangers became roommates through a program that connects formerly incarcerated with safe places to live: "Match made in heaven"
February 3, 2023, CBS News
Last year, when Tyler Jenk was looking for a roommate to share his house in Oakland, California, he met man named Askari Johnson who was looking for a fresh start. Johnson had recently been released from San Quentin State Prison after more than 20 years. The pair ended up forming a symbiotic relationship as roommates, despite coming from different walks of life. While in prison, Johnson had several goals for his new life. One of them was to live independently. His lawyer told him about The Homecoming Project. "The Homecoming Project is a program to place formerly incarcerated people into homes that are potentially a better situation than halfway houses," Jenk explained. "The program pays their rent and gives them a laptop and a cellphone and guidance to help get started back in society." The program is run by Impact Justice and funded by Wells Fargo. Impact Justice says formerly incarcerated people are almost 10 times more likely to become homeless than the general population. And without the right support and resources, more than two-thirds of prisoners are rearrested within three years of their release. Johnson landed a job as a contractor within two months of joining the homecoming project. After six months, he moved out of Jenk's place and was looking for a home of his own. Since it started in August 2022, 100% of The Homecoming Project's more than 80 participants have successfully returned to their community and began rebuilding their lives, the organization said.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
‘Impactful and beautiful’: how US homeless shelters are getting a radical redesign
June 26, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
Family Village is not what many people may think of when they envision a homeless shelter: crowded, dingy, maybe dangerous. There are natural bamboo wood floors and walls painted in hues inspired by the ocean – seafoam green, gray and turquoise. Clients can use spacious, multipurpose rooms as they wish, and glass doors allow people to make an informed choice about whether they want to enter that space. The walls are curved, and there’s a garden with vegetables and flowers. Severe stress can literally change the brain, affecting memory, coping skills and abilities to regulate emotions. Aware of just how much the physical environment can shape people’s lives, more architects are starting to rethink how they design homeless shelters. The goal of trauma-informed design is to help people quiet the part of the brain that stays in survival mode when in a traditional shelter setting. Instead of feeling fearful and on high alert, they can focus on actions like applying for jobs and getting their children to school. The shelter can be what it’s suited for: a short-term stopover where people can get back on their feet. A room constructed for family visits can reinforce a sense of community; a personal reading light can promote a sense of autonomy. Some of these discoveries come from ... people who have been residents of shelters. Facilitating effective design requires bringing people who have experienced homelessness and housing instability into the design conversation.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Heaven Is Real: A Doctor’s Experience With the Afterlife
October 8, 2012, Daily Beast/Newsweek
read on newsweek.com
As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences. In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated, I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death. I had somehow contracted a very rare bacterial meningitis that mostly attacks newborns. E. coli bacteria had penetrated my cerebrospinal fluid and were eating my brain. For seven days I lay in a deep coma, my body unresponsive, my higher-order brain functions totally offline. While the neurons of my cortex were stunned to complete inactivity by the bacteria that had attacked them, my brain-free consciousness journeyed to another, larger dimension of the universe: the same one described by countless subjects of near-death experiences and other mystical states. What I saw and learned there has placed me quite literally in a new world: a world where we are much more than our brains and bodies, and where death is not the end of consciousness but rather a chapter in a vast, and incalculably positive, journey. For most of my journey, someone else was with me. A woman. Without using any words, she spoke to me. The message went through me like a wind, and I instantly understood that it was true. I knew so in the same way that I knew that the world around us was real—was not some fantasy, passing and insubstantial. “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.” “You have nothing to fear.” “There is nothing you can do wrong.”
Note: The author of this stirring account, Dr. Eben Alexander, was a neurosurgeon for 25 years. His engaging book on this life-changing experience is Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife. For video interviews and other information on Dr. Alexander, see this webpage. And explore other highly inspiring resources and stories related to near-death experiences.
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