Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media
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Major speeches by Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), both potential presidential contenders in 2020, issued a challenge ... to the foreign policy establishment in both parties. Sanders and Warren ... have both issued direct indictments: Sanders at Westminster College and at the School of Advanced International Studies, and Warren at American University and in the pages of the establishment journal Foreign Affairs. Both Sanders and Warren embrace the growing Democratic opposition to wars without end and without purpose. Both Warren and Sanders would end the 17-year war in Afghanistan; both would cut the military budget. And both oppose the trillion-dollar commitment to a new nuclear arms race. Sanders evokes a “global struggle” between the “movement for democracy, equalitarianism, economic, social, racial and environmental justice” and a “growing worldwide movement towards authoritarianism, oligarchy and kleptocracy.” Warren echoes that “democracy is running headlong into the ideologies of nationalism, authoritarianism and corruption.” Sanders and Warren argue ... that the new authoritarians are rising because of the failure of the global economic order.
Note: With their strong anti-war stance and desire to expose the banksters, it is no surprise that the major media (largely controlled by the banks and the military-industrial complex) is already mounting a smear campaign against both Warren and Sanders, as reported by Matt Taibbi in this Rolling Stone article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and war.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and fellow congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib have criticized a “Bipartisan Orientation Program” for congressional freshman as a glorified corporate lobbyist event. The pair railed against this week's three-day program - hosted by the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics - in a series of tweets. Tlaib [tweeted]: “Gary Cohen, former CEO Goldman Sachs addressing new members of Congress today: 'You guys are way over your head, you don't know how the game is played.'" [To which she responded,] "No Gary, YOU don't know what's coming—a revolutionary Congress that puts people over profits." The event was billed as an opportunity for representatives-elect to “forge bipartisan relationships and learn practical skills of lawmaking.” Organizers wrote online the event is “nationally recognized” as “the preeminent educational and preparatory program” for newly-elected members of congress. A press release ... lists certain speakers from the private sector, including Cohen, General Motors chairman and CEO Mary Barra and Johnson & Johnson chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky. Ocasio-Cortez [tweeted] “our 'bipartisan' Congressional orientation is co-hosted by a corporate lobbyist group. Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn’t told to us in advance. Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where‘s labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?”
Newly released files from “behavior modification,” or mind control, projects conducted as part of the infamous Project MKUltra reveal the CIA experimented in more than controlling humans with psychotropic drugs, electrical shocks and radio waves—they also created field operational, remote-controlled dogs. The documents were provided under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by John Greenewald, founder of The Black Vault, a site specializing in declassified government records. In one declassified letter (released as file C00021825) a redacted individual writes to a doctor (whose name has also been redacted) with advice about launching a laboratory for experiments in animal mind control. The writer of the letter is already an expert in the field, whose earlier work had culminated with the creation of six remote control dogs, which could be made to run, turn and stop. The letter writer characterizes the work with remote-controlling dogs as a success, describing “a demonstrated procedure for controlling the free-field behaviors of an unrestrained dog.” Attached to the letter is the writer’s final report from his earlier research, published in 1965, titled “Remote Control Behavior with Rewarding Electrical Stimulation of the Brain,” with the principle investigator’s name redacted. The prospect of a potential new laboratory seems to fire the letter writer’s imagination, who describes potential experimentation on “a range of species,” should they want to move past “basic research.”
Note: If the CIA had this level of sophistication in 1967, what do you think they are capable of now? Read more on the development of microchip implants. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on CIA mind control programs.
A memo written by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, released among 2,800 declassified records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, has shown how in the days after Lee Harvey Oswald was shot, the FBI planned to convince the public that he was the real assassin as soon as possible. In the document, dictated shortly after Oswald was shot by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby, Hoover explains. “The thing I am concerned about, and so is [Attorney General Nicholas] Katzenbach, is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin,” Hoover said in the 1963 memo. The former FBI director went on to explain that establishing which facts could and could not be made public was important because of the possible foreign policy implications. “There are several aspects which would complicate our foreign relations,” Hoover says in the memo. These were namely that the FBI was aware Oswald had contacted both the Cuban embassy in Mexico City and the Soviet Embassy in Washington. Hoover explained that having the interception of these messages - one of them to the “man in the Soviet Embassy in charge of assassinations and similar activities on the part of the Soviet government” - made public would have “muddied the waters internationally.” Roughly 300 documents of the tranche of what would have been 3,100 documents pertaining to the assassination of President Kennedy have been withheld [by] President Donald Trump.
Note: Why are documents related to the JFK assassination still classified over 50 years after that fact? Why did Trump backtrack on his campaign promise to release all of these files? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and assassinations.
Near Tampa Bay, Florida, I watched airboats move up and down the river banks, spraying massive plumes of weedkiller. The main active ingredient in that mist ... is glyphosate. It is now an ingredient in more than 750 products, including ... Monsanto’s Roundup. This August, the jury in a civil trial found Monsanto, which was acquired [by] Bayer, guilty of causing the cancer of Dewayne Johnson, a school groundskeeper. Roughly 8,700 similar cases against Monsanto are also before the courts. Almonds, carrots, quinoa, soy products, vegetable oil, corn and corn oil, canola seeds used in canola oil, beets and beet sugar, sweet potatoes – these are just some of the foodstuffs which typically contain high levels of glyphosate. Research released in August by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that Cheerios, Quaker Old Fashioned Oats and at least 29 other popular breakfast foods contained what the EWG considers unsafe quantities of the herbicide. The environmental group has been urging public action to get the EPA to revise its outdated standards, which currently fail to protect the public from glyphosate in foods. Levels of glyphosate in the bodies of people in some areas appear to have jumped over 1,300% in the past 20 years. Unlike pharmaceuticals, which have to go through relatively rigorous (if imperfect) testing before being released on the marketplace, the vast majority of chemicals like glyphosate will never be adequately tested for their effects on ecosystems or human beings.
For three years, the United States has supported a coalition led by Saudi Arabia that is waging war inside Yemen. Our role in the coalition is significant -- we sell bombs and weapons to the Saudis, we help them pick targets inside Yemen, and until recently, we refueled their planes in the sky. To anyone paying attention, it's clear that the United States is engaged in a war in Yemen. And yet this war has not been authorized or debated by Congress. Our involvement started quietly under President Barack Obama, and now President Donald Trump has increased our participation. Yemen has become a hell on earth for the civilians caught within its borders. More than 10,000 innocents have been killed in the Saudi-led bombing campaign since the beginning of the civil war. Targets have included schools, hospitals, weddings, a funeral party and recently a school bus carrying 38 children to a field trip. More than 22 million people - three quarters of the population - require humanitarian assistance and protection. The country is on the brink of famine and is in the midst of the worst cholera outbreak in the world. To date, an estimated 85,000 children under the age of 5 in Yemen may have died from starvation and disease. In many ways, this suffering is an intentional byproduct of the Saudi coalition, which has targeted water treatment plants, health clinics and even a Doctors Without Borders hospital, all with US assistance.
America’s finest Republicans and Democrats [are] condemning the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for murdering Jamal Khashoggi. CIA director Gina Haspel, who was happy to sign off on the torture of her Muslim captives ... knew what she was talking about when she testified about Mohammed bin Salman and the agony of Jamal Khashoggi. A generation ago, the CIA’s “Operation Phoenix” torture and assassination programme in Vietnam went way beyond the imaginations of the Saudi intelligence service. In spook language, Khashoggi was merely “terminated with maximum prejudice”. If the CIA could sign off on mass murder in Vietnam, why shouldn’t an Arab dictator do the same on a far smaller scale? But there is something more than this ... 15 of those 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, that Osama bin Laden was a Saudi, that George W Bush secretly flew bin Laden family members out of the US after 9/11, that the Saudis themselves are heir to a blighted, rural, cruel version of Sunni Islam ... which has inspired the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Isis and all the other killer cults whom we have proclaimed to be the West’s Enemy No 1. Nailing Mohammed Bin Salman to a crucifix – a method of execution favoured by the Wahhabis – is an easy kill for US senators, of course. You hit the president and smash those unhappy historical details all in one fell swoop.
Note: Jamal Khashoggi's uncle was the notorious billionaire arms dealer and decadent playboy Adnan Khashoggi. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and assassinations.
California law enforcement pursued criminal charges against eight anti-fascist activists who were stabbed or beaten at a neo-Nazi rally while failing to prosecute anyone for the knife attacks against them. In addition to the decision not to charge white supremacists or others for stabbings at a far-right rally that left people with critical wounds, police also investigated 100 anti-fascist counter-protesters, recommending more than 500 total criminal charges against them, according to court filings. Meanwhile, for men investigated on the neo-Nazi side of a June 2016 brawl ... police recommended only five mostly minor charges. The documents have raised fresh questions about California police agencies’ handling of rightwing violence and extremism, renewing accusations that law enforcement officials have shielded neo-Nazis from prosecution while aggressively pursuing demonstrators with leftwing and anti-racist political views. The Guardian previously interviewed two victims who were injured, then pursued by police – Cedric O’Bannon, a black journalist and stabbing victim who ultimately was not charged, and Yvette Felarca, a well-known Berkeley activist whose case is moving forward. Previous records also revealed that police had worked with the neo-Nazi groups to target the anti-racist activists. The records disclosed this week provided new details about six other stabbing and beating victims who were treated as suspects by police after the rally ... which was organized by a neo-Nazi group.
If a slim, yellow envelope with a Rye, N.Y., return address lands in your mailbox this holiday season, don’t throw it out. It’s not junk. Some 1,300 such envelopes have been sent to New Yorkers around the state, containing the good news that R.I.P. Medical Debt, a New York-based nonprofit organization, has purchased their medical debt — and forgiven it. Last spring, Judith Jones and Carolyn Kenyon, both of Ithaca, N.Y., heard about R.I.P. Medical Debt, which purchases bundles of past-due medical bills and forgives them to help those in need. So the women decided to start a fund-raising campaign of their own to assist people with medical debt in New York. The women raised $12,500 and sent it to the debt-forgiveness charity, which then purchased a portfolio of $1.5 million of medical debts on their behalf, for about half a penny on the dollar. Many people take on extra jobs or hours to afford health care, and 11 percent of Americans have turned to charity for relief from medical debts, according to a 2016 poll. It has become increasingly easy for regular citizens to purchase bundles of past-due medical bills and forgive them because of the efforts of the debt-relief charity, which was founded in 2014 by two former debt collection industry executives, Craig Antico and Jerry Ashton. After realizing the crushing impact medical debts were having on millions of Americans, the men decided to flip their mind-set. They began purchasing portfolios of old debts to clear them as a public service, rather than try to hound the debtors.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
A decade ago, a billionaire pedophile was able to use his wealth and connections to escape any semblance of a just punishment. The whole system shielded the billionaire from the gravity of his crimes. That its functionaries felt compelled to do so says a lot about our ruling elites. The basic story is this: Jeffrey Epstein is a billionaire financier. He is also a sexual pervert who, until about 12 years ago, preyed serially on teenage children, roughly until they reached the age of consent and became, in his eyes, unattractive. What did authorities do when they found out, back in 2005? They spent a couple of years investigating and drawing up an indictment, then proceeded to quash further investigation, cooperated with Epstein’s lawyers to avoid publicity, violated procedures about plea bargains, made Epstein serve only 13 months in confinement, put him in the county jail rather than state prison ... and concealed most of the terms of the settlement from the public and the victims themselves. Epstein’s enablers weren’t a handful of Palm Beach rogues. Instead, the higher up the chain you went, the more sympathetic to Epstein the players seem to become. Of Epstein’s associates who helped make his crimes possible, none were prosecuted, save one. That was a butler who tried to turn over a so-called “black book” documenting names and dates of Epstein’s escapades to a lawyer for the victims in exchange for $50,000. For this, the butler wound up serving an 18-month sentence, longer than that of his boss.
Note: Epstein's butler feared for his life and ended up dead before he could reveal his secrets. Both Trump and Bill Clinton were good friends of Epstein, as described in this revealing article from Miami's leading newspaper. Learn about how the Miami Herald broke this vitally important story in this article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
Dozens of high schoolers and their teachers are flowing into the University of Southern California’s Galen Center, dressed in their debating best and bantering in various languages. All of these students are members of the Junior State of America (JSA), and they’re used to spirited exchanges about government. But they’re here today to practice a different diplomatic skill: having thoughtful conversations across political boundaries. “People say, ‘When I try to have these kinds of conversations, they go really badly,’” [workshop leader Brooke] Deterline says. Such verbal blowouts often breed simmering resentment and fracture relationships. Deterline wants to teach people how to cultivate compassion for others even when they don’t agree with them, which she sees as necessary for a divided country to find a shared vision for its future. From the start, Deterline makes clear that what she’s about to teach is the conversational equivalent of t’ai chi—a philosophy focused on holding back, not charging forward. “I used to think courage was giving somebody a piece of my mind,” she tells the students. “It’s acting with an open heart in the face of conflict. It is a choice, and it also is a muscle.” What often shuts down conversations across the political aisle, she explains, is when our brains go into what she calls “the red zone.” “When we’re stressed, our natural compassion is cut off,” she says. Deterline’s core message is that when you notice your brain heading into the “red zone,” you can take steps to divert its course.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Where’s the next video? When was the last incident the NFL didn’t follow up on? What’s going to surface next? Those are the questions the public is asking in the wake of yet another very bad week for the NFL when it comes to the issue of domestic violence by the league’s players. That’s a lousy position in which to put the roughly 1,700 men playing on NFL rosters. The vast majority of them are good citizens who contribute to their community, don’t hit women and don’t commit criminal acts. And it’s an even more distressing situation for victims. The NFL’s approach and the individual teams’ strategies place women who suffer domestic assault in an untenable position. They can be almost assured that nothing will be done, except to have their names and reputations ruined. It’s an effective way to suppress reporting. The endgame, it seems, is not justice or holding perpetrators accountable or keeping communities safe. It is hoping there isn’t video, hoping law enforcement looks the other way, hoping things can be settled quietly, and hoping that accusers go away. In other words, follow the Ben Roethlisberger model: The Pittsburgh quarterback was twice accused of rape, settled one claim out of court and saw the other go away. He is now held up as a great family man and elder statesman. The issue isn’t a problem for just the NFL. But ... the NFL is a multibillion-dollar industry [that] can’t seem to make domestic-violence training, education or investigation a real priority.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
[California] Gov. Jerry Brown has issued more than 1,100 pardons and commuted more than 150 sentences since taking office in 2011 - far more than have his recent predecessors. The governor’s intervention creates a new pathway to justice for people serving long prison sentences under some of the nation’s harshest sentencing laws. His action moves California away from the brutality of mass incarceration and toward a renewed focus on rehabilitation and redemption. I know well the power of hope in the darkness behind prison walls. In 2012, I was released after serving 24 years of a life sentence. Now I lead the Hope and Redemption Team, an initiative funded by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide rehabilitative programming inside seven state prisons. Our model is unique. Every member of our full-time staff is a former lifer who has served decades of time and is now a living example of redemption. Success stories rarely make the news, but I see them every day. Graduates of our program and job-readiness training offered by the Anti-Recidivism Coalition have earned their release and built careers in the building and construction trades, prison ministry, higher education, entertainment and tech. Trained in violence prevention, they go into juvenile halls and work with youth to break the cycle of incarceration before it begins. They are contributing to society and making communities stronger and safer - things that prison can never accomplish.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Human rights activists in Colombia say they are being gunned down by hitmen who can be hired for as little as $100, a top United Nations official said on Monday. A peace deal in Colombia signed two years ago that ended the nation’s half-century civil war has led to a 40 percent decline in the overall murder rate, but killings of activists have risen, Michel Forst, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights defenders said. According to a July report by British-based campaign group, Global Witness, nearly four land and environmental activists were killed each week last year, in the deadliest year on record, with Latin America faring the worst. “In rural areas ... men and women (human rights) defenders are an easy target for those who see in them or in their human rights agenda an obstacle to their interests,” Forst said in a statement after a 10-day visit to Colombia. Activists working on human rights and land rights, those defending LGBT+ rights and community leaders from Afro-Colombian and indigenous groups, are most at risk, Forst said. “I was really appalled by what I heard from them,” Forst, who met with more than 200 activists across Colombia, told reporters in the capital Bogota. Forst noted that just during his 10-day official visit, four activists had been murdered. Forst said he was also concerned to hear testimonies from Afro-Colombian activists who claimed attacks on them may have directly or indirectly involved foreign companies operating in Colombia, mainly those from the extractive sector.
Note: Read a 2017 New York Times article describing the involvement of high level state agents and corporate executives in the assassination of Honduran activist Berta Cáceres. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and in the corporate world.
“Have you experienced being the target of intolerance? What causes you to be intolerant?” Sitting in his book-filled Berkeley living room, Lewis Brown Griggs chewed over those questions and others with six other people via the Zoom conferencing app last month. Ranging in age from early 20s to early 70s, and hailing from Colorado, Virginia, Utah, Maryland and California, the group was brought together by Mismatch.org, a site that aims to “mismatch” people who are politically and geographically diverse for group chats with others of varying viewpoints. It’s like a non-romantic dating service for civil discourse. “Our nation has so many problems with division,” said John Gable, Mismatch co-founder. “We need to learn how to talk to people who are different than we are, how to listen to them and understand them as people.” In an increasingly polarized country, Mismatch aims to help people across the political spectrum find common ground via structured conversations on topics like immigration, tax reform and climate change. Mismatch grew out of Living Room Conversations, another trans-partisan project that brings together folks of varying views to engage in discourse. But while Living Room Conversations hosts in-person groups ... Mismatch casts a wider net by seeking people nationwide to meet up via videoconferencing. “It is about understanding each other as humans,” [Gable] said. “We may or may not find common ground, but we always find common humanity.”
Much has been written about Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy businessman who sexually abused and trafficked underage girls for years. Yet so little had been heard from the victims, dozens of adolescents, some still wearing braces, who were cut out of the lenient deal that sent the town of Palm Beach sex offender to jail for only 13 months. That is the power of Perversion of Justice, an investigation by Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown that for the first time gives a voice and a face to some of the victims of the Epstein case. A decade after a secret plea agreement ... the victims - now women in their late 20s and early 30s - are still seeking an elusive justice. Brown first became interested in the topic of sex trafficking after completing a series on abuses at a Florida women’s prison. In her early research, the Jeffrey Epstein case came up repeatedly. Brown dug as deeply as possible into the behind-the-scenes machinations that characterized the Jeffrey Epstein prosecution. She was able to identify 80 possible victims, labeled Jane Does in lawsuits to protect their identifies as minors. She reached out to 60 of the women and eight agreed to talk about the case. Four victims ... spoke on the record and on camera, three of them for the first time. Efforts to keep details of the case secret ... are underscored not just by sealed court documents in various civil cases, but by emails between the prosecution and the defense, which talked about an “avoid-the-press” strategy and a deliberate campaign to keep the victims in the dark.
Note: Video of Epstein's victims speaking out is available at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandal news articles from reliable major media sources.
The military is warning the U.S. government to prepare for a potential electromagnetic pulse weapon attack, as countries like North Korea, Russia and Iran develop the special arms. The shocking report, published by the Air Force's Air University, reveals that the U.S. is dismally unprepared for such an attack. And it could take 18 months to restore the electricity grid and social order. 'Based on the totality of available data an electromagnetic spectrum attack may be a threat to the United States, Democracy and world order,' the 2018 report says. 'An EMP would cause instantaneous and simultaneous loss of many technologies reliant on electrical power and computer circuit boards, such as cell phones and GPS devices,' the report says. Military and commercial jets would be degraded, bases would be cut off, and power and GPS would go dark. The U.S. would be unable to determine who even launched the attack as they would be deployed via satellite. The attack would dismantle or interfere with electricity, affecting transportation, food processing and healthcare. 'Failures may include long-term loss of electrical power (due to loss of emergency generators), sewage, fresh water, banking, landlines, cellular service, vehicles,' the report says. The report's authors Air Force Maj. David Stuckenberg, former CIA director James Woolsey, and Col. Douglas DeMaio want the government to declare a potential EMP attack as a critical issue.
Note: The military report mentioned above is available here. The article fails to mention that EMP weapons already developed by the US could destroy civilization as we know it. Other countries are clearly a threat, yet the biggest threat is the US military. Explore an ABC News article and declassified documents which reveal that the Pentagon once "drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba," as reported in the ABC article.
The U.S. military has long insisted that it maintains a “light footprint” in Africa, and there have been reports of proposed drawdowns ... and closures of outposts on the continent, due to a 2017 ambush in Niger and an increasing focus on rivals like China and Russia. But through it all, U.S. Africa Command has fallen short of providing concrete information about its bases on the continent. Documents obtained from AFRICOM by The Intercept, via the Freedom of Information Act, however, offer a unique window onto the sprawling network of U.S. military outposts in Africa, including previously undisclosed or unconfirmed sites in hotspots like Libya, Niger, and Somalia. The military’s constellation of bases includes 34 sites scattered across the continent, with high concentrations in the north and west as well as the Horn of Africa. These regions, not surprisingly, have also seen numerous U.S. drone attacks and low-profile commando raids in recent years. Libya — the site of drone and commando missions, but for which President Donald Trump said he saw no U.S. military role just last year — is nonetheless home to three previously undisclosed outposts. According to [military expert] Adam Moore ... “It is getting harder for the U.S. military to plausibly claim that it has a ‘light footprint’ in Africa. In just the past five years, it has established what is perhaps the largest drone complex in the world in Djibouti — Chabelley — which is involved in wars on two continents, Yemen, and Somalia.”
When a judge acquitted a white St. Louis police officer in September 2017 for fatally shooting a young black man, the city’s police braced for massive protests. But St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Dustin Boone wasn’t just prepared for the unrest - he was pumped. “It’s gonna get IGNORANT tonight!!” he texted on Sept. 15, 2017, the day of the verdict. “It’s gonna be a lot of fun beating the hell out of these s---heads once the sun goes down and nobody can tell us apart!!!!” Two days later, prosecutors say, that’s exactly what Boone did to one black protester. Boone, 35, and two other officers, Randy Hays, 31, and Christopher Myers, 27, threw a man to the ground and viciously kicked him and beat him with a riot baton, even though he was complying with their instructions. But the three police officers had no idea that the man was a 22-year police veteran working undercover, whom they beat so badly that he couldn’t eat and lost 20 pounds. On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted the three officers in the assault. They also indicted the men and another officer, Bailey Colletta, 25, for the attack. Prosecutors released text messages showing the officers bragging about assaulting protesters, with Hays even noting that “going rogue does feel good.” To protest leaders, the federal charges are a welcome measure of justice — but also a sign of how far St. Louis still has to go.
Note: If the man beaten had not been a police officer, we would never have heard about this. How often does it happen to other protestors acting peacefully? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on police corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
A mini-runway, lined with stiletto heels, glistens in bright fluorescent lighting. Shoes of various types sit neatly in individual glass shelves. It was a private launch party of a new luxury brand of shoes called Palessi, designed by Italian designer Bruno Palessi. “I would pay $400, $500.’” a woman said as she tried on a pair of bright-gold sneakers. The woman was not actually buying a Palessi because there’s no such brand, and there’s no Bruno Palessi. There is, however, Payless ShoeSource, a discount shoe retailer hoping to shake things up through an ... advertising prank to attract new customers and change the perception that the company sells cheap, unfashionable shoes. The prank also points to a reality about the human mind: Consumers are not capable of discerning the quality and value of the things they buy, said Philip Graves, a consumer behavior consultant. Slap a fancy-sounding European label on $30 shoes, and you have an illusion of status that people will pay an exorbitant amount of money for. On the day of the launch ... after attendees purchased overpriced shoes ― some for $200, $400 and $600 ― they were taken toward the backroom, where the prank was revealed. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” said [one attendee], her eyes wide as she stared down at the overpriced shoes in her hands. “Consumers have been paying hugely inflated prices,” [said Graves]. “Some of the pleasures that we get from things that we buy come from the money we spent on them.”
Note: While this marketing prank demonstrated the public's willingness to ignore product quality in evaluating the cost of purchases, a much more serious study recently found that the average CEO-to-worker pay ratio has now reached 339 to 1 across US companies.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.