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Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Media Articles in Major Media


Below are key excerpts of highly revealing media articles from the major media. Links are provided to the full articles on their media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These media articles are listed in reverse date order. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing 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.


Forensic techniques are subject to human bias, lack standards, panel found
2012-04-17, Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/pb/local/crime/forensic-techniques-are-subject-...

Expert comparisons of hair, handwriting, marks made by firearms on bullets, and patterns such as bite marks and shoe and tire prints are in some ways unscientific and subject to human bias, a National Academy of Sciences panel chartered by Congress found. Even fingerprint identification is partly a subjective exercise that lacks research into the role of unconscious bias or even its error rate, the panel’s 328-page report said. Since 2002, failures have been reported at about 30 federal, state and local crime labs serving the FBI, the Army and eight of the nation’s 20 largest cities. A 2009 study of post-conviction DNA exonerations — now up to 289 nationwide — found invalid testimony in more than half the cases. FBI examiners claimed until recently that they can match fingerprints to the exclusion of any other person in the world with 100 percent certainty. The academy report found that assertion was “not scientifically plausible” and had chilled research into error rates. In 1999, a Justice Department official, Richard Rau, told a federal court that the department delayed such a study because of the legal ramifications. Meanwhile, errors occur. In 2004, DNA for the first time exonerated a person convicted with a fingerprint match and, separately, the FBI made its first publicly acknowledged fingerprint misidentification. Brandon Mayfield, a Portland, Ore., lawyer, mistakenly was arrested in connection with the terrorist train bombings in Madrid that killed 191 people.

Note: A Washington Post investigation recently found that over a 20 year period, "nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corrupt prison industry built upon by systematic violations of civil rights.


Q&A with Fair Trade USA founder Paul Rice
2012-04-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/14/BUBI1O1SHI.DTL

Paul Rice spent more than a decade in Nicaragua before returning to the United States to start Fair Trade USA in late 1998. Then known as TransFair, the Oakland nonprofit began to push businesses to practice fair trade. Today, the group works with more than 800 brands, including Peet's Coffee & Tea, Numi Tea and Ben & Jerry's, which have adopted fair-trade practices and carry its fair-trade label on certain products. [Rice:] The way it works is farmers organize themselves into marketing cooperatives and sell direct. When they sell direct to Starbucks, Peet's, Ben and Jerry's, or any number of the 800 brands we work with today, they're able to get a much higher price for their harvest. It's like a farmers' market gone global. Fair Trade USA plays three critical roles in the fair-trade movement. The first role - and defining function - is to certify fair-trade products. We certify 90 percent of fair-trade products in the U.S. That label gives consumers the assurance that the product came from a sustainable farm and farmers received a fair price for their products. We have auditors around the world that audit and inspect farms. We also have a supply-chain audit. It tracks the product from the farm to the grocery store shelves. We also have two other functions, consumer education and farmer support. With consumer education, our goal is to develop programs that raise awareness among consumers in the U.S. We (also) run training programs for farmers all over the world, to help them improve the quality of their products, develop strong business skills and to help them get access to capital.


Where drones in Pakistan undermine U.S. interests
2012-04-15, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/13/INLN1MNVED.DTL

The CIA's use of unmanned aircraft to kill ... began under President George W. Bush in 2004. The covert operations became more frequent under the Obama administration, which viewed them as a way ... to hit Taliban fighters headed to the Afghanistan battlefield from sanctuaries in Pakistan's remote tribal areas. To Pakistanis, the drone strikes represent a brazen breach of their nation's sovereignty and a callous disregard for the lives of civilians who are in the vicinity of the so-called smart missiles. There is no precise count of casualties, but Pakistani officials suggest the deaths have numbered in the hundreds, with thousands more wounded. Opposition to the drone strikes is one of the rare issues that unites a country that is riven with divisions of geography, class, culture and tribal affiliations. Because the drone operations are covert, the Obama administration refuses to answer substantive questions about their necessity or results. In a recent meeting with U.S. journalists, diplomats at the American Embassy in Islamabad refused to discuss the program even on a background basis. Unlike the Bush team, the Obama administration has refused to keep Pakistani military leaders in the loop.

Note: For lots more on the illegal methods employed by the CIA and Pentagon in its "endless war", click here.


Web freedom faces greatest threat ever, warns Google's Sergey Brin
2012-04-15, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/15/web-freedom-threat-google-brin

The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin. In an interview with the Guardian, Brin warned there were "very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world". "I am more worried than I have been in the past," he said. "It's scary." The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry's attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of "restrictive" walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms. He said five years ago he did not believe China or any country could effectively restrict the internet for long, but now says he has been proven wrong. Brin's comments come on the first day of a week-long Guardian investigation of the intensifying battle for control of the internet being fought across the globe between governments, companies, military strategists, activists and hackers. From the attempts made by Hollywood to push through legislation allowing pirate websites to be shut down, to the British government's plans to monitor social media and web use, the ethos of openness championed by the pioneers of the internet and worldwide web is being challenged on a number of fronts.

Note: For lots more on government and corporate threats to civil liberties, click here.


Rape victims say military labels them 'crazy'
2012-04-14, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/14/health/military-sexual-assaults-personality-dis...

Stephanie Schroeder joined the U.S. Marine Corps not long after 9/11. A year and a half later, the Marines diagnosed her with a personality disorder and deemed her psychologically unfit for the Corps. Anna Moore enlisted in the Army after 9/11 and planned to make a career of it. She was diagnosed with a personality disorder and dismissed from the Army. Jenny McClendon was serving as a sonar operator on a Navy destroyer when she received her personality disorder diagnosis. These women joined different branches of the military but they share a common experience: Each received the psychiatric diagnosis and military discharge after reporting a sexual assault. CNN has interviewed women in all branches of the armed forces, including the Coast Guard, who tell stories that follow a similar pattern -- a sexual assault, a command dismissive of the allegations and a psychiatric discharge. Despite the Defense Department's "zero tolerance" policy, there were 3,191 military sexual assaults reported in 2011. Given that most sexual assaults are not reported, the Pentagon estimates the actual number was probably closer to 19,000. Anu Bhagwati, a former company commander in the Marines and executive director of Service Women's Action Network, a veterans advocacy group, says she sees a pattern of the military using psychiatric diagnoses to get rid of women who report sexual assaults. From 2001 to 2010, the military discharged more than 31,000 service members because of personality disorder, according to documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request by the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Note: For key reports from major media sources on sexual abuse in institutional settings, click here.


Investigating the Investigation
2012-04-13, Wall Street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303299604577323843914377930.html

On April 19, 1995, a huge truck bomb destroyed a large part of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City ... killing 168 people, including 19 children. In a matter of days the FBI established that the bombing was the work of a conspiracy. The first conspirator arrested was Timothy McVeigh, a 27-year-old Army veteran. The second conspirator arrested was Terry Nichols. "Oklahoma City," an extraordinarily well-researched book, asserts that the FBI investigation of the bombing was badly flawed and missed, or disregarded, evidence of a larger conspiracy. The authors, Andrew Gumbel and Roger Charles, are both highly regarded investigative reporters who have been immersed in this case for more than a decade. They were given access to vast amounts of material assembled by the defense teams, including 18,000 FBI witness interviews. The book ... outlines how federal prosecutors, eager to wrap up the McVeigh and Nichols cases, avoided raising questions about possible co-conspirators that the defense could use to confound a jury. Among the glaring gaps in the investigation was the failure of the FBI to attempt to match the more than 1,000 unidentified latent fingerprints found in the investigation. [And] almost all the eyewitnesses to the crime claimed that McVeigh was not alone. No fewer than 24 witnesses said that they saw McVeigh, just before and after the crime, with a man who could not have been ... Mr. Nichols. The FBI concluded that these witnesses had all been confused. Certainly eyewitness testimony can be unreliable, but 24 mistaken witnesses—and no accurate ones?

Note: Many aspects of the Oklahoma City bombing were covered up. For a compilation of media videos showing without doubt there were other bombs in the building which later were completely ignored, click here. For other major media articles showing major manipulation, click here click here, here, and here.


Can a hallucinogen from Africa cure addiction?
2012-04-13, BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17666589

Since the 1960s a disparate group of scientists and former drug addicts have been advocating a radical treatment for addiction - a hallucinogen called ibogaine, derived from an African plant, that in some cases seems to obliterate withdrawal symptoms from heroin, cocaine and alcohol. So why isn't it widely used? The drug, derived from the root of a central African plant called iboga, had been used for centuries by the Bwiti people of Gabon and Cameroon, as part of a tribal initiation ceremony. But it wasn't until 1962, when a young heroin addict called Howard Lotsof stumbled upon ibogaine, that its value as an addiction treatment was uncovered. Lotsof took it to get high but when the hallucinogenic effects wore off, he realised he no longer had the compulsion to take heroin. He became convinced that he had found the solution to addiction and dedicated much of his life to promoting ibogaine as a treatment. Ibogaine affects the brain in two distinct ways. The first is metabolic. It creates a protein that blocks receptors in the brain that trigger cravings, stopping the symptoms of withdrawal. With normal detox this process can take months. Its second effect is much less understood. It seems to inspire a dream-like state that is intensely introspective, allowing addicts to address issues in their life that they use alcohol or drugs to suppress.

Note: For more news articles from reliable sources on mind-altering drugs, click here.


Power shifts as off-grid options spread worldwide
2012-04-13, San Francisco Chronicle/Bloomberg
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/12/BU031O2FFD.DTL

An electricity revolution [is] sweeping through power markets and threatening traditional utilities' dominance of the world's supply. From the poorest parts of Africa and Asia to the most-developed regions in the United States and Europe, solar units ... and small-scale wind and biomass generators promise to extend access to power to more people than ever before. In the developing world, they're slashing costs in the process. Across India and Africa, startups and mobile phone companies are developing what are called called microgrids, in which stand-alone generators power clusters of homes and businesses in places where electric utilities have never operated. In Europe, cooperatives are building their own generators and selling power back to the national or regional grid. The revolution is just beginning, says Jeremy Rifkin, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and author of "The Third Industrial Revolution." Disruptive to the economic status quo, the transformation opens up huge opportunities to consumers who may find themselves trading power in the future much as they swap information over the Internet today, he says. "This is power to the people." Within a decade, installing photovoltaic panels may be cheaper for many families than buying power from national grids in much of the world, including the United States, Japan, Brazil and the United Kingdom, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Note: For a treasure trove of major media articles showing dozens of amazing new energy technologies which could replace our dependence on fossil fuels, click here.


Indian Man, Jadav
2012-04-13, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/03/indian-man-jadav-molai-pa_n_1399930....

More than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began planting seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in India's Assam region. It was 1979 and floods had washed a great number of snakes onto the sandbar. When Payeng -- then only 16 -- found them, they had all died. "The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms," Payeng told the Times Of India. "It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. There was nobody to help me," he told the newspaper. Now that once-barren sandbar is a sprawling 1,360 acre forest, home to several thousands of varieties of trees and an astounding diversity of wildlife -- including birds, deer, apes, rhino, elephants and even tigers. The forest, aptly called the "Molai woods" after its creator's nickname, was single-handedly planted and cultivated by one man -- Payeng, who is now 47. Today, Payeng still lives in the forest. He shares a small hut with his wife and three children. According to the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia, it is perhaps the world’s biggest forest in the middle of a river. "We were surprised to find such a dense forest on the sandbar," Saikia told the Times Of India. "[Locals] wanted to cut down the forest, but Payeng ... treats the trees and animals like his own children. Seeing this, we, too, decided to pitch in," Saikia said.

Note: Watch a beautiful video of this inspiring man. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


'Bully' review: powerful film kids need to see
2012-04-13, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/12/DDBS1O19L2.DTL

"Bully" is a very good documentary, but one that's elevated to a status beyond its apparent virtues by its sheer usefulness: This movie really does have the power to save lives. It might save 10 kids or a thousand, or maybe just one, but just that one is more than enough to justify every public-relations machination of [producer] Harvey Weinstein's master design. "Bully" will be most useful in changing the behaviors of two categories of people who aren't bullies or victims: Average kids in school. And school administrators. "Bully" will make average kids want to gang up on bullies and protect the weak. Meanwhile, school administrators will see this movie and experience horror. First, they will feel the sympathetic horror of seeing the human misery they cause when they turn a blind eye - anguish, terror, even death. But second they will feel the empathetic horror of watching the administrators in "Bully" exposed on camera, and before all the world, as smug, self-satisfied and thunderously, cataclysmically and world-shakingly useless. "Bully" follows a handful of school kids, including Alex, a shy, awkward boy who gets smacked around every day on the bus (and the camera records this); and Kelby, a lesbian in Oklahoma. As soon as Kelby came out, people in the community stopped talking to her parents.

Note: To learn about Challenge Day, the amazing organization which put bullying on the map, click here. A documentary on their transformative work won an Emmy award. You can watch powerful clips of this moving documentary at the link just given.


Earthquake Outbreak in U.S. Tied to Fracking Wastewater
2012-04-12, San Francisco Chronicle/Bloomberg
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/04/12/bloomberg_article...

A spate of earthquakes across the middle of the U.S. is "almost certainly" man-made, and may be caused by wastewater from oil or gas drilling injected into the ground, U.S. government scientists said in a study. Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey said that for the three decades until 2000, seismic events in the nation's midsection averaged 21 a year. They jumped to 50 in 2009, 87 in 2010 and 134 in 2011. Those statistics, included in the abstract of a research paper to be discussed at the Seismological Society of America conference next week in San Diego, will add pressure on an energy industry already confronting more regulation of the process of hydraulic fracturing. An abstract of the federal study, which was led by William Ellsworth, Earthquake Science Center staff director for the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, was published online earlier this month. "A naturally-occurring rate change of this magnitude is unprecedented outside of volcanic settings or in the absence of a main shock, of which there were neither in this region," Ellsworth and his colleagues wrote.

Note: Few are aware that Canada's province Quebec has banned fracking. Many other places are considering similar measures.


The UN Embraces the Economics of Happiness
2012-04-12, Yes! Magazine
http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/the-un-embraces-the-economics-of-happiness

Imagine ... a world where the metric that guides our decisions is not money, but happiness. That is the future that 650 political, academic, and civic leaders from around the world came together to promote on April 2, 2012. Encouraged by the government of Bhutan, the United Nations held a High Level Meeting for Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm. The meeting marks the launch of a global movement to shift our focus away from measuring and promoting economic growth as a goal in its own right, and toward the goal of measuring—and increasing—human happiness and quality of life. Some may say these 650 world leaders are dreamers, but they are the sort that can make dreams come true. The meeting began with an address by Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley of Bhutan, where the government tracks the nation’s “Gross National Happiness”: "The time has come for global action to build a new world economic system that is no longer based on the illusion that limitless growth is possible on our precious and finite planet or that endless material gain promotes well-being. Instead, it will be a system that promotes harmony and respect for nature and for each other; that respects our ancient wisdom traditions and protects our most vulnerable people as our own family, and that gives us time to live and enjoy our lives and to appreciate rather than destroy our world. It will be an economic system, in short, that is fully sustainable and that is rooted in true, abiding well-being and happiness."


Viking robots found life on Mars in 1976, scientists say
2012-04-12, MSNBC News
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47031923/ns/technology_and_science-science

New analysis of 36-year-old data, resuscitated from printouts, shows that NASA found life on Mars, an international team of mathematicians and scientists conclude in a paper published this week. Further, NASA doesn't need a human expedition to Mars to nail down the claim, neuropharmacologist and biologist Joseph Miller, with the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, told Discovery News. "The ultimate proof is to take a video of a Martian bacteria. They should send a microscope — watch the bacteria move," Miller said. Researchers distilled the Viking Labeled Release data, provided as hard copies by the original researchers, into sets of numbers and analyzed the results for complexity. Since living systems are more complicated than non-biological processes, the idea was to look at the experiment results from a purely numerical perspective. They found close correlations between the Viking experiment results' complexity and those of terrestrial biological data sets. They say the high degree of order is more characteristic of biological, rather than purely physical, processes. "On the basis of what we've done so far, I'd say I'm 99 percent sure there's life there," he added. While not iron-clad, the findings are an additional plank of evidence challenging the popular contention that Viking did not find life, Miller said.

Note: An Internet search will reveal that many respected people believe that there once was an advanced civilization on Mars. For the riveting testimony of dozens of military and government officials who personally testify to a major cover-up around UFOs and ETs, click here.


5 real-life weapons straight out of a sci-fi movie
2012-04-10, Yahoo! News
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/5-real-life-weapons-straight-sci-...

These five crazy, futuristic, and veritably frightening weapons may sound like they come from epic sci-fi flicks, but ... they actually exist. 1. Speech-suppressing gun. This gun was designed by Japanese researchers to silence people by messing with their heads. It could ... be used to silence protesters [and] important political figures. Talk about an Orwellian nightmare come true! 2. Vomit ray. This weapon ... uses radio frequency (RF) to affect a person's sense of hearing and equilibrium. Anyone hit by these waves (which, by the way, can pass through walls) is expected to throw up. 3. Pain ray. More formally known as the Active Denial System (ADS), the pain ray is a weapon developed by the U.S. military that can ... cause excruciating pain by emitting high-powered waves similar to those from a microwave oven. A smaller version of the pain ray called Silent Guardian was developed by defense technology company Raytheon and is currently available for use by law enforcement agencies. 4. Mind-control gun. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently admitted that the country's government created a gun that can put people in a zombie-like state. Studies about the effects of electromagnetic radiation on the brain reveal that one of its possible effects is implanting thoughts and suggestions into a target's mind. 5. Self-guided bullet. The U.S. [has] developed a new kind of bullet that could turn anyone into a sharpshooter. As long as you shine a laser beam to what you want to hit, the sensor on the bullet's nose can follow it ... even if the target is up to a mile away. Most of the weapons in this list may not be created to inflict fatal wounds, but they sure have terrifying implications.

Note: For an intriguing document on a U.S. military website about these exotic weapons, click here. From our extensive research, this technology is far more advanced than is being admitted, and it is being used by all of the major militaries of the world. For key major media articles revealing the disturbing power of these exotic weapons, click here. For an excellent essay giving historical background and more, click here. For powerful evidence the secretive HAARP program is being used for similar purposes, click here.


Fukushima radiation found in California kelp
2012-04-08, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/07/BAO51O00HO.DTL

Kelp off California was contaminated with short-lived radioisotopes a month after Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant accident, a sign that the spilled radiation reached the state's coastline. Scientists from CSU Long Beach tested giant kelp collected off Orange County, Santa Cruz and other locations after the March 2011 accident and detected radioactive iodine, which was released from the damaged nuclear reactor. The largest concentration was about 250 times higher than levels found in kelp before the accident. "Basically, we saw it in all the California kelp blades we sampled," said Steven Manley, a CSU Long Beach biology professor who specializes in kelp. The radioactivity had no known effects on the giant kelp, or on fish and other marine life, and it was undetectable a month later. Iodine 131 "has an eight-day half-life, so it's pretty much all gone," Manley said. "But this shows what happens half a world away does effect what happens here." Some radioactive material probably accumulated in fish that eat the kelp. "We just don't know if it was harmful," Manley said. Iodine 131, found in nuclear fission products, is not naturally occurring and is not naturally found in oceans.

Note: The kelp study can be found at this link. For an abundance of excellent major media articles revealing the serious risks and dangers of nuclear power, click here.


Are We Ready for the Russian Zombie Gun?
2012-04-07, Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2012/04/04/are-we-ready-for-the-russ...

Strange, alarming, morbidly intriguing — any or all of those would serve to describe the newly announced “Zombie Gun” that Russian president Vladimir Putin plans to use “for achieving political and strategic goals” (his words, as quoted from the UK Mail Online). The concept is not new. For some time now military technologists have been working on weapons to incapacitate the enemy by attacking the central nervous system or damaging internal organs. Extremely high doses of microwaves could stop someone’s heart from beating or disintegrate his eyeballs, for example. Actually introducing such weapons to the combat zone – or perhaps against dissidents – might be new. Lower dose microwave weapons have already been used in Russia for crowd control, and some claim they’ve also tried them out in other venues. Quoting from the Mail Online: "Plans to introduce the super-weapons were announced quietly last week by Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov. Mr Serdyukov said: ‘The development of weaponry based on new physics principles – direct-energy weapons, geophysical weapons, wave-energy weapons, genetic weapons, psychotronic weapons, and so on – is part of the state arms procurement programme for 2011-2020.’" [One weapon] could theoretically render someone pliable or even drive them insane by directly attacking the brain. This is the weapon most appropriately described as a “zombie gun.” Similar weapons have already been used on a trial basis.

Note: For an intriguing document on a U.S. military website about these exotic weapons, click here. From our extensive research, this technology is far more advanced than is being admitted, and it is being used by all of the major militaries of the world. For key major media articles revealing the disturbing power of these exotic weapons, click here. For an excellent essay giving historical background and more, click here. For powerful evidence the secretive HAARP program is being used for similar purposes, click here.


A chat with Emmanuel Saez: Doing the math for the 99 percent
2012-04-07, UC Berkeley's alumni publication 'The Promise of Berkeley.'
http://promise.berkeley.edu/lib/pdf/2012_spring_promise.pdf

Emmanuel Saez is ... director of Berkeley’s Center for Equitable Growth. In 2008, on the cusp of the Great Recession, Saez co-authored a landmark study that revealed a stark gap between the earnings of America’s wealthiest households and the remaining 99 percent. Saez’s recent work shows that, while the recession initially reduced the income gap, postrecession gains have mostly gone to the top 1 percent. The extraordinary increase in income concentration in the United States from 2002 to 2007 was driven in large part by deregulation of the financial and real estate industries. The resulting real estate bubble triggered the 2008 recession. Evidence shows that progressive taxation is the most powerful tool for curbing income concentration. For example, from the Great Depression into the 1970s, when the U.S. had very high tax rates on top earners, the income gap was very small, and economic growth was incredibly strong. During the 1990s, incomes for the top 1% nearly doubled, while paychecks for the bottom 99% went up only 20%. Between 2002 and 2007 2/3 of all income gains went to the top 1%. In 2010, the first year of economic recovery, the top 1% captured 93% of income gains.

Note: For Prof. Saez's excellent study, "The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States" click here.


VA offers spectrum of services to vets with PTSD
2012-04-07, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/06/INA01NTT6G.DTL

About 10 to 15 percent of the more than 1.4 million Americans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are [dealing] with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD results when a person experiences a traumatic event that involves exposure to personal threat or the death or extreme suffering of others; an event that creates strong feelings of fear, helplessness or horror. It's common for one to be greatly troubled by uncontrollable painful memories that cause emotional distress, ... sleep loss, irritability and inability to have positive emotions. The good news is that effective treatments for the disorder are available. To date, the [VA] has seen more than 223,600 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with PTSD. What stops vets from going for help? Going for treatment can feel like an admission of failure or personal weakness. And most people don't know much about what to expect of mental health treatment. In fact, treatment for stress disorder is a straightforward process. You learn about the effects of trauma ... and how recovery takes place. You form friendships with other vets. And you master some practical skills for dealing with painful memories, anger or physical tension. The earlier we treat combat veterans with readjustment problems, the better chance we have of stopping PTSD. Going for help is an act of courage that can cut short distress and restore a sense of personal power, hope and connection with others. If you are a veteran reading this ... seize the day and go for help. If you're a family member of a veteran with a problem, talk to him or her about treatment and offer to help with the process, or to go for counseling yourself to ... learn how you can help your loved one.

Note: For practical information on how to get help with PTSD, click here.


For Ultra-Orthodox in Abuse Cases, Prosecutor Has Different Rules
2012-04-07, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/11/nyregion/for-ultra-orthodox-in-child-sex-ab...

The ultra-Orthodox Jewish community has been a strong supporter of Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney. Mr. Hynes has won election six times as district attorney thanks in part to support from ultra-Orthodox rabbis. But in recent years, as allegations of child sexual abuse have shaken the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, victims’ rights groups have expressed concern that he is not vigorously pursuing these cases because of his deep ties to the rabbis. Many of the rabbis consider sexual abuse accusations to be community matters best handled by rabbinical authorities, who often do not report their conclusions to the police. In 2009, as criticism of his record mounted, Mr. Hynes set up a program to reach out to ultra-Orthodox victims of child sexual abuse. The program is intended to “ensure safety in the community and to fully support those affected by abuse,” his office said. In recent months, Mr. Hynes and his aides have said the program has contributed to an effective crackdown on child sexual abuse among ultra-Orthodox Jews, saying it had led to 95 arrests involving more than 120 victims. But Mr. Hynes has taken the highly unusual step of declining to publicize the names of defendants prosecuted under the program — even those convicted. At the same time, he continues to publicize allegations of child sexual abuse against defendants who are not ultra-Orthodox Jews. This policy of shielding defendants’ names because of their religious status is not followed by the other four district attorneys in New York City, and has rarely, if ever, been adopted by prosecutors around the country.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable sources on sexual abuse scandals involving religious and government institutions, click here.


Tending the Body’s Microbial Garden
2012-04-07, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/science/studies-of-human-microbiome-yield-n...

For a century, doctors have waged war against bacteria, using antibiotics as their weapons. But that relationship is changing as scientists become more familiar with the 100 trillion microbes that call us home — collectively known as the microbiome. “I would like to lose the language of warfare,” said Julie Segre, a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute. “It does a disservice to all the bacteria that have co-evolved with us and are maintaining the health of our bodies.” This new approach to health is known as medical ecology. Rather than conducting indiscriminate slaughter, Dr. Segre and like-minded scientists want to be microbial wildlife managers. No one wants to abandon antibiotics outright. But by nurturing the invisible ecosystem in and on our bodies, doctors may be able to find other ways to fight infectious diseases, and with less harmful side effects. Tending the microbiome may also help in the treatment of disorders that may not seem to have anything to do with bacteria, including obesity and diabetes. Last week, Dr. Segre and about 200 other scientists published the most ambitious survey of the human microbiome yet. Known as the Human Microbiome Project, it is based on examinations of 242 healthy people tracked over two years. The scientists sequenced the genetic material of bacteria recovered from 15 or more sites on their subjects’ bodies, recovering more than five million genes. The project and other studies like it are revealing some of the ways in which our invisible residents shape our lives, from birth to death.

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