Below are one-paragraph excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These news articles include revealing information on the hidden world of US electoral fraud, the real scandal underlying the AIG bonuses, a cure for peanut allergies, 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
Several Clay County Officials Arrested On Federal Charges
March 21, 2009, MSNBC
Five Clay County officials [Kentucky], including the circuit court judge, the county clerk, and election officers were arrested Thursday after they were indicted on federal charges accusing them of using corrupt tactics to obtain political power and personal gain. The 10-count indictment, unsealed Thursday, accused the defendants of a conspiracy from March 2002 until November 2006 that violated the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The defendants were also indicted for extortion, mail fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to injure voters' rights and conspiracy to commit voter fraud. According to the indictment, these alleged criminal actions affected the outcome of federal, local, and state primary and general elections in 2002, 2004, and 2006. Clay County Circuit Court Judge Russell Cletus Maricle, 65, and school superintendent Douglas C. Adams, 57, allegedly used their status in the county to influence the appointment of corrupt members to the Clay County Board of Election Officials. [They also] caused election officers to commit acts of extortion, mail fraud, and bribery. Clay County Clerk, Freddy Thompson, 45, allegedly provided money to election officers to be distributed by the officers to buy votes. He also instructed officers how to change votes at the voting machine. Paul E. Bishop, 60, ... hosted alleged meetings at his home where money was pooled together by candidates and distributed to election officers, including himself. He was also accused of instructing the officers how to change votes at the voting machine. The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the FBI, Kentucky State Police, and Appalachia
Note: The media have almost always proclaimed that voting maching tampering has never been proven to affect election outcome. This article demonstrates that not only does it happen, but it may be much more prevalent than most would think. For more on this indictment, click here. For more reliable information on widespread election fraud, click here.
Risky therapy may cream peanut allergy
March 15, 2009, MSNBC/Associated Press
Scientists have the first evidence that life-threatening peanut allergies may be cured one day. A few kids now are allergy-free thanks to a scary treatment — tiny amounts of the very food that endangered them. Don’t try this at home. Doctors monitored the youngsters closely in case they needed rescue, and there’s no way to dice a peanut as small as the treatment doses required. But over several years, the children’s bodies learned to tolerate peanuts. Immune-system tests show no sign of remaining allergy in five youngsters, and others can withstand amounts that once would have left them wheezing or worse. “We’re optimistic that they have lost their peanut allergy,” said the lead researcher, Dr. Wesley Burks, Duke’s allergy chief. Rhonda Cassada['s] 7-year-old son, Ryan, has been labeled allergy-free for two years and counting. It’s a big change for a child who couldn’t tolerate one-sixth of a peanut when he entered the study at age 2 1/2. By 5, Ryan could eat a whopping 15 peanuts at a time with no sign of a reaction. More rigorous research is under way to confirm the pilot study, released Sunday at a meeting of the American Academy of Asthma and Immunology. If it pans out, the approach could mark a major advance for an allergy that afflicts 1.8 million people in the United States. Millions of people have food allergies and peanut allergy is considered the most dangerous, with life-threatening reactions possible from trace amounts. It accounts for most of the 30,000 emergency-room visits and up to 200 deaths attributed to food allergies each year. Although some children outgrow peanut allergy, that’s rare among the severely affected. There’s no way to avoid a reaction other than avoiding peanuts.
Note: For many hopeful reports on health issues from major media sources, click here.
AIG - the biggest shark of all
March 19, 2009, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
There must be a criminal investigation of the AIG debacle, and it looks as if New York's top lawman is on the case. The collusion to save this toxic company in order to salvage the rogue financiers who conspired to enrich themselves by impoverishing millions is being revealed as the greatest financial scandal in U.S. history. Instead of taking bonuses, the culprits should be taking perp walks. The real culprits are the AIG leaders who, as New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo revealed Tuesday, signed those bonus contracts a year ago to reward the very people "principally responsible for the firm's meltdown." As Cuomo noted in a letter to Rep. Barney Frank: "The contracts shockingly contain a provision that required most individuals' bonuses to be 100 percent of their 2007 bonuses. Eleven of the individuals who received 'retention' bonuses of $1 million or more are no longer working at AIG, including one who received $4.6 million." But the $165 million in taxpayer funds used to reward them is but a sideshow in a far larger drama of moral decay swirling around the banking bailout. It should not distract from the many billions, not paltry millions, of our dollars being diverted to reward the very folks who brought us such misery. Consider the $12.8 billion of the $170 billion that taxpayers gave AIG in bailout funds that AIG then secretly diverted to Goldman Sachs, a company that evidently has a lock on both the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve no matter which political party is in power.
Note: For an excellent analysis of "the real AIG conspiracy", click here. For lots more on the hidden realities of the Wall Street bailout, click here.
Spitzer Takes Aim at ‘Real Disgrace’ at A.I.G.
March 17, 2009, New York Times blog
Eliot Spitzer must miss his glory days when he was the scourge of Wall Street as New York’s attorney general. With the bonus battle exploding at the American International Group, Mr. Spitzer has jumped into the fray — and dismissed the bonus scandal, arguing that it is obscuring the “real disgrace” at A.I.G. “Why are A.I.G.’s counterparties getting paid back in full, to the tune of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars?” he asks in an article on Slate. Mr. Spitzer notes that A.I.G.’s trading parties were all the big banks including Goldman Sachs, many of which received billions of dollars from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. “So now we know for sure what we already surmised: The A.I.G. bailout has been a way to hide an enormous second round of cash to the same group that had received TARP money already,” he writes. “It all appears, once again, to be the same insiders protecting themselves against sharing the pain and risk of their own bad adventure,” Mr. Spitzer writes. Recounting how the economic crisis is affecting workers, with tax increases, pay cuts and layoffs, Mr. Spitzer asks: “Why can’t Wall Street royalty shoulder some of the burden? Why did Goldman have to get back 100 cents on the dollar? Didn’t we already give Goldman a $25 billion capital infusion, and aren’t they sitting on more than $100 billion in cash? What is the deeper relationship between Goldman and A.I.G.?”
Note: For the article written in 2008 by former NY Governor Spitzer which likely caused him to be targeted for a takedown just weeks later, click here. For lots more on the hidden realities of the Wall Street bailout, click here.
Canada blocks outspoken British MP
March 20, 2009, Toronto Star
Canadian officials have denied outspoken anti-war British MP George Galloway entry into Canada on grounds he poses a threat to national security. Alykhan Velshi, a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, said today Galloway has openly supported Hamas, classified as a terrorist group in Canada, as well as other terrorists. Galloway, who was expected to begin a Canadian speaking tour in Toronto on March 30, called the ban outrageous. Galloway said his supposed support for Hamas amounted to leading an aid convoy into Gaza to break the "illegal siege" following the month-long Israeli incursion in January. "I led a convoy of 110 British vehicles, more than 300 British citizens, to break the illegal siege of Gaza just a few days ago. Most people in the world think that feeding people under siege is something to be commended rather than something to get you banned," he told the Star in a telephone interview from his London office. He noted that when news he was being denied entry to visit Canada first appeared in the British press, it was supposedly because he had expressed opposition to the NATO-led Afghan war. Some critics have called the government's decision to bar Galloway an attack on free speech. Galloway was expelled from the Labour Party in 2003 for urging British soldiers not to fight in Iraq. He formed his own party, Respect, and won re-election to the Commons in 2005.
The 9/11 Commission and Torture
March 14, 2009, Newsweek Magazine
Powerful Democrats on Capitol Hill are clamoring for creation of a bipartisan "9/11 style" commission to investigate the legality of the Bush administration's antiterrorism tactics—especially its use of harsh interrogation techniques. The case for a "truth" commission was bolstered by the disclosure this month that the CIA had destroyed 92 videotapes of the interrogations and confinement of Al Qaeda suspects. A dozen showed the use of ... torture. Lawmakers say the obvious model for such an inquiry would be the 9/11 Commission. [But] the commission appears to have ignored obvious clues throughout 2003 and 2004 that its account of the 9/11 plot and Al Qaeda's history relied heavily on information obtained from detainees who had been subjected to torture, or something not far from it. The [Commission] raised no public protest over the CIA's interrogation methods. In fact, the Commission demanded that the CIA carry out new rounds of interrogations in 2004 to get answers to its questions. That has troubling implications for the credibility of the commission's final report. In intelligence circles, testimony obtained through torture is typically discredited; research shows that people will say anything under threat of intense physical pain. Former senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, a Democrat on the commission, told me last year he had long feared that the investigation depended too heavily on the accounts of Al Qaeda detainees who were physically coerced into talking. Kerrey said it might take "a permanent 9/11 commission" to end the remaining mysteries of September 11.
Note: For key statements by hundreds of respected scholars and professionals questioning the accuracy of the 9/11 Commission's report, click here.
Fed to Buy Up to $300 Billion Long-Term Bonds
March 18, 2009, CNBC/Reuters News
The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday it will spend up to $300 billion over the next six months to buy long-term government bonds, a new step aimed at lifting the country out of recession by lowering rates on mortgages and other consumer debt. Fed purchases should boost Treasury prices and drive down their rates. That would ripple through and lower rates on other kinds of debt. The last time the Fed set out to influence long-term interest rates was during the 1960s. The Fed also said it will buy more mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help that battered market. The central bank will buy an additional $750 billion, bringing its total purchases of these securities to $1.25 trillion. It also will boost its purchase of Fannie and Freddie debt to $200 billion. Pimco's Bill Gross tells CNBC that the move has expanded the Fed’s balance sheet by perhaps 50 percent, up to $3 trillion. In addition, the Fed said a $1 trillion program to jump-start consumer and small business lending could be expanded to include other financial assets. Across the Atlantic, the Bank of England last week began buying government bonds from financial institutions as it turned to other ways to help revive Britain's moribund economy. The Bank of England, like the Fed, already had lowered its key interest rate to a record low of 0.5 percent. Finance leaders from top economies have discussed coordinating actions from their governments and central banks to provide a more potent punch against the global financial crisis.
Note: The Fed is now buying long-term Treasury bonds because it cannot directly lower interest rates any further. Isn't this just a hidden form of increasing the money supply, with the risk of further devaluing the dollar and eventually causing high inflation? For lots more on the hidden realities of the Wall Street bailout, click here
Treasurys Are 'Disaster Waiting to Happen'
March 17, 2009, CNBC
The Federal Reserve has no option but to start buying Treasurys as the government's needs for financing are huge, but the government bond market is a disaster in the making, Marc Faber, editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, told CNBC. "Other central banks have done it already around the world but basically what it amounts to is money printing and in fact I don't think that it will help the bond market at all in the long run," Faber told CNBC. "Yields have already backed up pretty substantially and I tell you, I think the US government bond market is a disaster waiting to happen for the simple reason that the requirements of the government to cover its fiscal deficit will be very, very high," Faber said. "The Federal Reserve will have to buy Treasurys, otherwise yields will go up substantially," he said, adding that as their reserves were dwindling, foreign investors were likely to scale down their purchases. But there will be a time when the Federal Reserve will have to increase interest rates to fight inflation, and it will be reluctant to do so because the cost of servicing government debt will rise substantially. "So we'll go into high inflation rates one day," Faber said. The stock market ... outlook is bleak, he added. "I think we may still have a rally ... until about the end of April and probably then a total collapse in the second half of the year sometimes, when it becomes clear that the economy is a total disaster," Faber said.
Note: For lots more on the hidden realities of the Wall Street bailout, click here
When hope heals
March, 2009, Ode Magazine
Ten years after he was diagnosed HIV-positive, Paul was still alive. This was long before tri-therapy—the remarkably effective treatment that keeps AIDS patients alive—and everyone asked what he was doing to stave off the illness. He replied that he was taking natural supplements, watching his diet carefully and exercising regularly. One day at a press conference, a professor of medicine told him, "I'm sorry to say I've had a lot of patients who were doing the same thing and they all died. Unfortunately, I expect that within a year, or at most two, your disease will have gotten the upper hand." Indeed, Paul died within two years, his hopes struck down by that terrible omen. It takes 24 hours for certain voodoo priests to bring about the death of a person on whom they've cast an "evil spell." The grand priests of modern medicine aren't so quick but can sometimes be as deadly. Cancer seems to develop faster and more aggressively in patients who have less control over the inevitable stress of existence, which seems to be one of the reasons support groups prolong survival. Now what could be more stressful than being told there's no hope of a cure? At the University of California, Los Angeles, Assistant Professor Steve Cole demonstrated that among AIDS patients on tri-therapy, the treatment benefits those who remain calm facing life's difficulties far more than those who have trouble controlling their stress. To guard against this Western-style voodoo, patients often need to know more than their doctors about what they can do to help themselves—beginning by placing more hope in their bodies than medicine is prepared to give them.
Note: For many hopeful reports on health issues from major media sources, click here.
Solar Panel Drops to $1 per Watt: Is this a Milestone or the Bottom for Silicon-Based Panels?
February 26, 2009, Popular Mechanics
A long-sought solar milestone was eclipsed on Tuesday, when Tempe, Ariz.–based First Solar Inc. announced that the manufacturing costs for its thin-film photovoltaic panels had dipped below $1 per watt for the first time. With comparable costs for standard silicon panels still hovering in the $3 range, it's tempting to conclude that First Solar's cadmium telluride (CdTe) technology has won the race. But if we're concerned about the big picture (scaling up solar until it's a cheap and ubiquitous antidote to global warming and foreign oil) a forthcoming study from the University of California–Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory suggests that neither material has what it takes compared to lesser-known alternatives such as—we're not kidding—fool's gold. Even if the solar cell market were to grow at 56 percent a year for the next 10 years—slightly higher than the rapid growth of the past year—photovoltaics would still only account for about 2.5 percent of global electricity, LBNL researcher Cyrus Wadia says. "First Solar is great, as long as we're talking megawatts or gigawatts," he says. "But as soon as they have to start rolling out terawatts, that's where I believe they will reach some limitations." Even the current rate of growth won't be easy to sustain. Despite the buck-per-watt announcement, First Solar's share price plummeted more than 20 percent on Wednesday, thanks to warnings from CEO Mike Ahearn about the effect of the credit crisis on potential solar customers—as much as 10 to 15 percent of current orders might default.
Note: Solar energy costs have dropped consistenly and steadily over the past 30 years. In the late 1970s solar energy cost $100 per watt. The price will almost certainly continue to drop. The San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2005 that "the electricity currently provided by utilities ... averages $1 per watt." Why isn't it being trumpeted loudly worldwide in the media that solar energy is reaching parity with traditional energy sources? Could it be that powerful interests don't want solar energy to be competitive with oil and nuclear?
The City that Ended Hunger
Spring, 2009, Yes! Magazine
A city in Brazil recruited local farmers to help do something U.S. cities have yet to do: end hunger. More than 10 years ago, Brazil’s fourth-largest city, Belo Horizonte, declared that food was a right of citizenship and started working to make good food available to all. One of its programs puts local farm produce into school meals. This and other projects cost the city less than 2 percent of its budget. Belo, a city of 2.5 million people, once had 11 percent of its population living in absolute poverty, and almost 20 percent of its children going hungry. Then in 1993, a newly elected administration declared food a right of citizenship. The new mayor, Patrus Ananias—now leader of the federal anti-hunger effort—began by creating a city agency, which included assembling a 20-member council of citizen, labor, business, and church representatives to advise in the design and implementation of a new food system. The city already involved regular citizens directly in allocating municipal resources—the “participatory budgeting” that started in the 1970s and has since spread across Brazil. During the first six years of Belo’s food-as-a-right policy, perhaps in response to the new emphasis on food security, the number of citizens engaging in the city’s participatory budgeting process doubled to more than 31,000. The city agency developed dozens of innovations to assure everyone the right to food, especially by weaving together the interests of farmers and consumers.
Note: Why not take this movement to each of our states and provinces? Are you willing to make a difference? To contact your local and national media and political representatives, click here.
Special note: To see an intriguing magnetic motor that runs on its own power indefinitely, click here. To read a report on the first official government admission of the reality of chemtrails, click here.
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