Below are one-paragraph excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These news articles include revealing information on new limits on Wall Steet executive bonuses proposed by Congress, the US Army emphasis on developing electronic warfare capabilities, corrupt judges jailing children for cash, and more. Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails to function, click here. Key sentences are highlighted for those with limited time. By choosing to educate ourselves and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
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Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks for PEERS and the WantToKnow.info Team
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Stimulus Plan Places New Limits on Wall St. Bonuses
February 14, 2009, New York Times
Buried deep inside the ... economic stimulus bill ... is some bitter medicine for companies that have received financial bailout funds. Over staunch objections from the Obama administration, Senate Democrats inserted a provision that would impose restrictions on executive bonuses at financial institutions that are much tougher than those proposed 10 days ago by the Treasury Department. The provisions would prohibit cash bonuses and almost all other incentive compensation for the five most-senior officers and the 20 highest-paid executives at large companies that receive money under TARP. The restriction with the most bite would bar top executives from receiving bonuses that exceed one-third of their annual pay. The provision, written by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., highlighted the growing wrath ... over the lavish compensation that top Wall Street firms and big banks awarded to senior executives at the same time that many of the companies, teetering on the brink of insolvency, received taxpayer-paid bailouts. "The decisions of certain Wall Street executives to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers have seriously undermined public confidence," Dodd said Friday. "These tough new rules will help ensure that taxpayer dollars no longer effectively subsidize lavish Wall Street bonuses." Top economic advisers to President Obama adamantly opposed the pay restrictions, according to congressional officials.
Note: For powerfully revealing reports on the realities of the Wall Street bailout, click here.
The Death of 'Rational Man'
February 8, 2009, Washington Post
What allowed some people to see the financial crash coming while so many others missed its gathering force? I put that question recently to Nouriel Roubini, who has come to be known as "Dr. Doom" because of his insistent warnings starting in 2006 that we were heading into a global firestorm. Roubini gave two kinds of answers. The first involves standard number-crunching of the sort that economists routinely do -- and that Roubini just did better and sooner. It's his second answer that's more interesting, because it goes to the heart of what we should take away from this crisis: Roubini decided to discard the assumption of market rationality that underlies most economics and to embrace the psychological insights of what's known as "behavioral economics." Everyone else had those same numbers. Why did Roubini act? The answer is that he decided to trust his gut, which told him there was trouble ahead, rather than Wall Street's "wisdom of the crowd," which -- as reflected in stock prices -- said everything was rosy. He concluded that the markets were not pricing in the degree of risk that was actually present in housing. "The rational man theory of economics has not worked," Roubini said last month at a session of the World Economic Forum at Davos. That's why he and other prominent economists are paying more attention to behavioral economics, which starts from the premise that economic decisions, like other aspects of human behavior, are influenced by irrational psychological factors.
Note: To visit Nouriel Roubini's highly informative blog, click here. For lots more on the financial crisis and bailout, click here.
Army manual raises emphasis on electronic warfare
February 25, 2009, Washington Post/Associated Press
For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the Army is updating its plans for electronic warfare, calling for more use of high-powered microwaves, lasers and infrared beams to attack enemy targets and control angry crowds. The 112-page manual, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press ... doesn't offer specifics on new equipment or gadgetry but lays out in broad terms the Army's fear that without new equipment and training, U.S. forces may be at a deadly disadvantage. Army patrols currently rely on specially trained Air Force and Navy members whose electronic expertise helps sniff out improvised explosive devices, which have killed more than 1,700 U.S. troops since the war began. The Army sees the need for a new system more finely tuned to its purposes. The new doctrine directs the Army, which has put a premium on fighting insurgents in Iraq's most populous cities, to use technology that can distinguish enemy threats from common technologies such as radios or cell phones used by civilians or friendly forces. It also calls on the Army to develop and deploy directed-energy weapons, which would produce a concentrated beam of electromagnetic energy or atomic or subatomic particles to blind, disrupt or destroy targets. Such technology could be used in a variety of attack modes against enemy equipment, facilities or personnel.
Note: How can anyone claim that our troops, with all of their already sophisticated weapons, may be "at a deadly disadvantage"? For many key reports on the realities of modern warfare, click here.
'Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11' by Kathryn S. Olmsted
February 28, 2009, Chicago Tribune
In August 2006, almost five years after the catastrophic attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a poll by Scripps Howard and Ohio University found that 36 percent of respondents thought it "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that officials of the federal government "either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them." The poll also found that those who regularly use the Internet but do not habitually consult mainstream media "are significantly more likely to believe in 9/11 conspiracies." Kathryn S. Olmsted, in her exquisitely researched and annotated new book Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11, points out that although such views "may seem to belong to the fringe," they are held by millions of Americans and a majority of those between the ages of 18 and 29. In fact, Olmsted asserts that the tendency to see conspiracies everywhere "long ago spread from the margins into the main body of American political culture," and that the quelling of political dissent is an exacerbating factor. She has set out to track the history and patterning of conspiratorial beliefs as they relate to politics and public policy. Her thesis — that conspiracy theories thrive in part because the government has misled the public or acted illegally and covertly, and been caught at it frequently enough to make them credible — is a disconcerting one. But the historical detail she marshals (which demonstrates a tendency for fusion of far-left and far-right political views) is persuasive in its cumulative power.
Note: For more on the important Scripps/Howard poll showing that high percentages of American citizens suspect US government complicity in the 9/11 attacks, click here. For a 15-minute clip of a powerfully revealing documentary on this, 9/11: Press for Truth, click here.
Pa. judges accused of jailing kids for cash
February 11, 2009, MSNBC/Associated Press
For years, the juvenile court system in Wilkes-Barre [PA] operated like a conveyor belt: Youngsters were brought before judges without a lawyer, given hearings that lasted only a minute or two, and then sent off to juvenile prison for months for minor offenses. The explanation, prosecutors say, was corruption on the bench. In one of the most shocking cases of courtroom graft on record, two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers. “I’ve never encountered, and I don’t think that we will in our lifetimes, a case where literally thousands of kids’ lives were just tossed aside in order for a couple of judges to make some money,” said Marsha Levick, an attorney with the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center, which is representing hundreds of youths sentenced in Wilkes-Barre. Prosecutors say Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan took $2.6 million in payoffs to put juvenile offenders in lockups run by PA Child Care LLC and a sister company, Western PA Child Care LLC. The judges were charged on Jan. 26 and removed from the bench by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court shortly afterward. The high court ... is looking into whether hundreds or even thousands of sentences should be overturned. Among the offenders were teenagers who were locked up for months for stealing loose change from cars, writing a prank note and possessing drug paraphernalia. Many had never been in trouble before. Some were imprisoned even after probation officers recommended against it.
Note: For many insights into government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
Not so great expectations
February 18, 2009, The Herald-Tribune (Sarasota, Florida's leading newspaper)
The co-authors of the most extraordinary UFO report ever ignored by the media aren’t expecting much [coverage]. Robert Powell and Glenn Schulze, who produced “Stephenville Lights: A Comprehensive Radar and Witness Study Regarding the Events of January 8, 2008” last summer for the Mutual UFO Network, continue to troll the bureaucracies for more data. Their analysis of radar returns from five civilian sites in the Stephenville, Tex., vicinity put the military into a jam after eyewitnesses reported a mammoth UFO being chased by F-16s. Responding to FOIA requests, authorities have a) surrendered only redacted flight logs of the 457th Fighter Squadron jets in the air that night, b) claim they have no military radar records of that incident, and c) offer no explanation for why their planes exited their military operating area on what they’ve described as routine training missions. Powell doubts a serious search was made for his request. “For the trickle-down flow of information to work,” he says, “you have to have a push on top of that executive order. If there’s no pressure on them to do their jobs, they don’t have to pay attention.” In Littleton, Colo., Schulze has moved on. Sort of. He’s working on radar records for three additional UFO incidents, one of them involving yet another sighting over Stephenville on 10/23/08. Multiple witnesses, nighttime sighting, F-16s nearby, etc. Schulze calls it Stephenville II.
Note: For more on the intriguing Stephenville sightings, click here. For many reports from reliable, verifiable sources on UFO sightings, click here.
Electric motor polarizes opinion
February 28, 2009, Toronto Star
Thane Heins ... has invented a technology that he says will put out more energy than it consumes. His invention, he boldly claims, offers a way to make electric cars that can travel hundreds of kilometres from the energy in a small, inexpensive battery. The Star first profiled Heins and his controversial invention a year ago. In a nutshell, he had figured out a way to eliminate the electromagnetic friction that typically limits the performance of an electrical generator – an effect known as “Back EMF.” Not only that, but he also learned how to redirect that magnetic energy so that, instead of causing resistance, it gave an electrical motor connected to the generator a significant boost. The result, as far as Heins was concerned, violated Lenz’s law or what’s often called the law of diminishing returns. For many, that equates to a perpetual motion machine, an impossible claim in the conventional field of physics. Within no time the story spread globally across the Internet, became chatter on blogs, and triggered a flood of email to this reporter’s inbox – some praising Heins for his determination, others calling the Star irresponsible for giving credibility to his claim. The story, love it or hate it, was the second-most read article on TheStar.com in 2008. Much has happened over the past 12 months. Through his Ottawa-based company Potential Difference Inc., Heins has been in serious talks with a designer of small wind turbines in Montreal, a senior engineer from a large utility in Turkey, and a small manufacturer of electrical equipment in Toronto.
Note: Read how an esteemed MIT professor was baffled by this invention in the original Star article available here. For lots more on promising new energy inventions and technologies from major media sources, click here.
Key Articles From Years Past
People 'still willing to torture'
December 19, 2008, BBC News
Decades after a notorious experiment, scientists have found test subjects are still willing to inflict pain on others - if told to by an authority figure. US researchers repeated the famous "Milgram test", with volunteers told to deliver electrical shocks to another volunteer - played by an actor. Even after faked screams of pain, 70% were prepared to increase the voltage, the American Psychologist study found. Both may help explain why apparently ordinary people can commit atrocities. Dr Jerry Burger, of Santa Clara University, used a [format similar to Milgram's], although he did not allow the volunteers to carry on beyond 150 volts after they had shown their willingness to do so, suggesting that the distress caused to the original volunteers had been too great. Again, however, the vast majority of the 29 men and 41 women taking part were willing to push the button knowing it would cause pain to another human. Even when another actor entered the room and questioned what was happening, most were still prepared to continue. He told Reuters: "What we found is validation of the same argument - if you put people in certain situations, they will act in surprising and maybe often even disturbing ways." He said that it was not that there was "something wrong" with the volunteers, but that when placed under pressure, people will often do "unsettling" things. Even though it was difficult to translate laboratory work to the real world, he said, it might partly explain why, in times of conflict, people could take part in genocide.
Note: For more on the famous Milgram experiment, click here. For powerfully inspiring information on how we can change this and build a better world, click here.
Basic Instincts: The Science of Evil
January 3, 2007, ABC News
"Primetime" wanted to know if ordinary people today would still follow orders, even if they believed their actions were causing someone else pain. Would as many follow the seemingly dangerous and painful orders as in the original experiment [conducted by Stanley Milgram at Yale in 1963]? After contacting respected psychologist Jerry Burger at Santa Clara University in California, ABC News was able to replicate Milgram's study in a modified way. Burger said, "People have often asked the question, 'Would we find these kinds of results today?' and some people try to dismiss the Milgram findings by saying, 'That's something that happened back in the '60s. People aren't like that anymore.'" In ABC News' version of the Milgram experiment, we tested 18 men, and found that 65 percent of them agreed to administer increasingly painful electric shocks when ordered by an authority figure. 22 women signed up for our experiment. Even though most people said that women would be less likely to inflict pain on the learner, a surprising 73 percent yielded to the orders of the experimenter. Out of the 30 people we tested with an additional accomplice acting as a moral guide, 63 percent still inflicted electric shocks, even though the accomplice refused to go on. Our subjects had an unusually high level of education. 22.9 percent had some college, 40 percent had bachelor's degrees and 20 percent had master's degrees.
Note: For more on the famous Milgram experiment, click here. For powerfully inspiring information on how we can change this and build a better world, click here.
Tapes Show Enron Arranged Plant Shutdown
February 4, 2005, New York Times
In the midst of the California energy troubles in early 2001, when power plants were under a federal order to deliver a full output of electricity, the Enron Corporation arranged to take a plant off-line on the same day that California was hit by rolling blackouts, according to audiotapes of company traders. The tapes and memorandums were made public by a small public utility north of Seattle that is fighting Enron over a power contract. They also showed that Enron, as early as 1998, was creating artificial energy shortages and running up prices in Canada in advance of California's larger experiment with deregulation. The tapes provide new details of market manipulation during the California energy crisis that produced blackouts and billions of dollars of surcharges to homes and businesses on the West Coast in 2000 and 2001. In one January 2001 telephone tape of an Enron trader the public utility identified as Bill Williams and a Las Vegas energy official identified only as Rich, an agreement was made to shut down a power plant providing energy to California. The shutdown was set for an afternoon of peak energy demand. The next day, Jan. 17, 2001, as the plant was taken out of service, the State of California called a power emergency, and rolling blackouts hit up to a half-million consumers, according to daily logs of the western power grid. Officials with the Snohomish County Public Utility District in Washington State, which released the tapes, said they believed Enron officials had taken similar measures with other power plants. This tape, they said, was proof of what was going on.
Note: For many key reports from reliable sources on corporate corruption, click here.
U.S. Forces Out Head of Chemical Arms Agency
April 23, 2002, New York Times
The United States succeeded today in ousting the director of the global agency charged with ridding the world of chemical weapons after an intense diplomatic campaign that made a number of countries uncomfortable. José M. Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat who was unanimously re-elected last year as the director general of the 145-nation Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, was voted out of office today after refusing repeated demands by the United States that he step down. ''I clearly made some people in Washington very uncomfortable because I was too independent,'' Mr. Bustani said afterward. ''They want somebody more obedient.'' Diplomats said ... it had opened the door further for other international bodies to come under attack. The United States, which is responsible for 22 percent of the agency's budget, had threatened to cut off funding until Mr. Bustani left. ''I think a lot of people swallowed this because they thought it was better for Bustani to be removed than have the U.S. pull out and see the organization collapse,'' said one European diplomat at the meeting. The firing of Mr. Bustani follows the removal last week of Robert Watson, a British-born climatologist who had been outspoken on the threat of global warming, as the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was removed after pressure from Washington and at least one American oil company.
Note: If Bustani had not been removed, it is very likely that the accusations of WMD in Iraq would never have stood, and the war would not have happened. For a powerful two-page essay by a highly decorated U.S. general alleging that war is a racket orchestrated to line the pockets of the corporations, click here.
Special Note: For those interested in remote viewing and UFOs, you may know that Ingo Swann was one of the best and most famous of all remote viewers. Though he published about a dozen books, his publishers refused to publish his tell-all autobiography Penetration. So he self-published the book, which then became extremely hard to find. Originally less than $20, Penetration is now selling on amazon.com for prices that range from $318 to $1,500. As we recently managed to get a digital copy, and as the book is filled with fascinating inside information from this man who worked for years at Stanford, we've posted a copy of the entire book, which you can now find here. Consider also joining the Exopolitics World Network on facebook by clicking here.
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