Below are key excerpts of important news articles on the military's planned use of brain implants, IMF Chief Christine Lagarde's warning that bank corruption continues unchanged six years after 2008's financial meltdown, Obama's continued expansion of drone warfare globally, Edward Snowden's NBC interview, and more.
Read also wonderfully inspiring articles on a dolphin pod's guidance of rescuers to a drowning girl and using hypnosis to quit smoking. To skip to the section on inspiring articles, click here.
Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the major media website listed at the link provided. If any link fails, click here. The most important sentences are highlighted. And don't miss the "What you can do" section below the summaries. By educating ourselves and spreading the word, we can and will build a brighter future.
Special Note: For an excellent six-minute video and s quality website showing cancer is not what most think, visit http://thetruthaboutcancer.com. For two truly mind-boggling optical illusions, click here and here. For a very cute seven-minute video of an eight-year-old crystal grid builder, click here. For two articles and videos on Emmy-award winning CNN reporter Amber Lyon and how she is focusing her energies on educating the public to the healing potential of psychedelics, click here and here. For two truly amazing cellists who have been compared to Jimi Hendrix, click here, here, and here. For their YouTube channel, click here.
Quote of the Week: "It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." ~~ Robert F. Kennedy
Military Plans To Test Brain Implants To Fight Mental Disorders
May 26, 2014, NPR blog
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is launching a $70 million program to help military personnel with psychiatric disorders using electronic devices implanted in the brain. The goal of the five-year program is to develop new ways of treating problems including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, all of which are common among service members who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan. The new program will fund development of high-tech implanted devices able to both monitor and electrically stimulate specific brain circuits. The effort will be led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco and Massachusetts General Hospital. The UCSF team will begin its work by studying volunteers who already have probes in their brains as part of treatment for epilepsy or Parkinson's disease. That will allow researchers to "record directly from the brain at a level of resolution that's never [been] done before," says Eddie Chang, a neurosurgeon at UCSF. And because many of the volunteers also have depression, anxiety and other problems, it should be possible to figure out how these conditions have changed specific circuits in the brain, Chang says. The scientists ... hope to design tiny electronic implants that can stimulate the cells in faulty brain circuits. "We know that once you start putting stimulation into the brain, the brain will change in response," Chang says.
Note: Do we really want the military implanting chips in people's brains? What other behavior might they want to control? For more on microchip implants, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
IMF chief says banks haven't changed since financial crisis
May 27, 2014, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, told an audience in London that six years on from the deep financial crisis that engulfed the global economy, banks were resisting reform and still too focused on excessive risk taking to secure their bonuses at the expense of public trust. She said: "The behaviour of the financial sector has not changed fundamentally in a number of dimensions since the crisis. The industry still prizes short-term profit over long-term prudence, today's bonus over tomorrow's relationship. Some prominent firms have even been mired in scandals that violate the most basic ethical norms - Libor and foreign exchange rigging, money laundering, illegal foreclosure." Lagarde warned the too-big-to-fail problem among some of the world's largest financial institutions was still unresolved and remained a major source of systematic risk, with implicit subsidies of $70bn (£42bn) in the US, and up to $300bn in the eurozone. Lagarde said international progress to reform the financial system was too slow. Lagarde told [the] conference that rising inequality was also a barrier to growth, and could undermine democracy and human rights. The issue has risen up the agenda in recent months with the publication of the French economist Thomas Piketty's book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. "One of the leading economic stories of our time is rising income inequality, and the dark shadow it casts across the global economy," Lagarde said.
Note: For more on financial corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Europe's Secret Success
May 26, 2014, New York Times
European economies, France in particular, get very bad press in America. Our political discourse is dominated by reverse Robin-Hoodism — the belief that economic success depends on being nice to the rich, who won’t create jobs if they are heavily taxed, and nasty to ordinary workers, who won’t accept jobs unless they have no alternative. And according to this ideology, Europe — with its high taxes and generous welfare states — does everything wrong. So Europe’s economic system must be collapsing, and a lot of reporting simply states the postulated collapse as a fact. The reality, however, is very different. Yes, Southern Europe is experiencing an economic crisis thanks to [a money muddle caused by Europe's premature adoption of a single currency]. But Northern European nations, France included, have done far better [than America]. French adults in their prime working years (25 to 54) are substantially more likely to have jobs than their U.S. counterparts. France’s prime-age employment rate overtook America’s early in the Bush administration. Other European nations with big welfare states, like Sweden and the Netherlands, do even better. On the core issue of providing jobs for people who really should be working, at this point old Europe is beating us hands down despite social benefits and regulations that, according to free-market ideologues, should be hugely job-destroying.
Note: For more on the collusion of the US government with financial corporations to maintain their profitability, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Despite Obama's new rules, no end in sight for drone war
May 23, 2014, MSN/Reuters
A year after Obama laid out new conditions for drone attacks around the world, U.S. forces are failing to comply fully with the rules he set for them: to strike only when there is an imminent threat to Americans and when there is virtually no danger of taking innocent lives. Although Obama promised greater transparency in his speech at the National Defense University, U.S. lawmakers are increasingly critical of the secrecy surrounding the operations. There are growing concerns in Washington that the net effect of the targeted-killing program may be counterproductive. [Obama] is showing no sign of relinquishing what has become his counterterrorism weapon of choice since he took office in 2009. Drones are spreading to new areas ... in far-flung places like Somalia and in Nigeria. "Here we are, a year later, asking 'what has really changed?'" said University of Notre Dame law professor Mary Ellen O'Connell, a leading expert on extrajudicial killings who has testified before U.S. congressional committees. "The drones are still flying and the president still sees the attractiveness of this cold and antiseptic means of killing." Obama's vision of shifting control of the drone program from the shadowy paramilitary arm of the Central Intelligence Agency to the more publicly accountable Pentagon is moving at what one national security source described as a "glacial pace." The Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command is widely believed to have been behind the December 12 drone strike in a remote part of Yemen that hit a convoy later identified as a wedding procession, killing 15 people.
Note: For more on the expansion of drones in skies worldwide, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Edward Snowden responds to release of e-mail by U.S. officials
May 29, 2014, Washington Post
Former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden responded to questions from The Washington Post following the release of an e-mail he had sent while working for the National Security Agency. Q: How do you respond to today’s NSA statement and the release of your email with the Office of General Counsel? A: The NSA’s new discovery of written contact between me and its lawyers - after more than a year of denying any such contact existed - raises serious concerns. It reveals as false the NSA’s claim ... that “after extensive investigation, including interviews with his former NSA supervisors and co-workers, we have not found any evidence to support Mr. Snowden’s contention that he brought these matters to anyone’s attention.” Today’s release is incomplete, and does not include my correspondence with the Signals Intelligence Directorate’s Office of Compliance. [But] whether my disclosures were justified does not depend on whether I raised these concerns previously. That’s because the system is designed to ensure that even the most valid concerns are suppressed and ignored, not acted upon. The fact that two powerful Democratic Senators - Ron Wyden and Mark Udall - knew of mass surveillance that they believed was abusive and felt constrained [not] to do anything about it underscores how futile such internal action is -- and will remain -- until these processes are reformed. Still, the fact is that I did raise such concerns both verbally and in writing, and on multiple, continuing occasions - as I have always said.
Note: For more on the Snowden case, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
NBC Censors Snowden’s Critical 9/11 Comments From Prime Time Audience
May 30, 2014, Global Research
Statements made by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden regarding the 9/11 terror attacks were edited out of his NBC Nightly News interview with Brian Williams ... in what appears to be an attempt to bolster legitimacy for the agency’s controversial surveillance programs. Snowden’s comments surrounding the failure of dragnet surveillance in stopping the 9/11 attacks were censored from the prime time broadcast and instead buried in an hour long clip on NBC’s website. "The CIA knew who these guys were. The problem was not that we weren’t collecting information, it wasn’t that we didn’t have enough dots, it wasn’t that we didn’t have a haystack, it was that we did not understand the haystack that we had.” NBC’s decision to bury Snowden’s comments are unsurprising given the fact that the 9/11 attacks are exhaustively used by the federal government as the prime justification for surveilling millions of innocent Americans. Snowden remarked on the government’s prior knowledge of the accused Boston bombers as well, also cut from the prime time interview. ‘We’re missing things like the Boston Marathon bombings where all of these mass-surveillance systems, every domestic dragnet in the world, didn’t reveal guys that the Russian intelligence service told us about by name,” Snowden said. Despite ... government officials pointing to 9/11 foreknowledge, whether missed or ignored, establishment media outlets have continually worked to keep such voices out of relevant reporting.
Note: We've never used globalresearch.ca as a top source respected by the general public, but as none of the major media is covering this critical information, we are making an exception here. For more on the Snowden case, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden would not get a fair trial – and Kerry is wrong
May 30, 2014, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
On the Today show and CBS, [Sec. of State John Kerry] said [Edward] Snowden "should man up and come back to the United States" to face charges. But John Kerry is wrong. As Snowden told Brian Williams on NBC later that night, ... he would have no chance whatsoever to come home and make his case – in public or in court. Snowden would come back home to a jail cell – and not just an ordinary cell-block but isolation in solitary confinement, ... probably [for] the rest of his life. The current state of whistleblowing prosecutions under the Espionage Act makes a truly fair trial wholly unavailable to an American who has exposed classified wrongdoing. The other NSA whistleblower prosecuted, Thomas Drake, was barred from uttering the words "whistleblowing" and "overclassification" in his trial. In the recent case of the State Department contractor Stephen Kim, the presiding judge ruled the prosecution "need not show that the information he allegedly leaked could damage US national security or benefit a foreign power, even potentially." Without reform to the Espionage Act that lets a court hear a public interest defense – or a challenge to the appropriateness of government secrecy in each particular case – Snowden and future Snowdens can and will only be able to "make their case" from outside the United States. Snowden acted in full knowledge of the constitutionally questionable efforts of the Obama administration, in particular, to use the Espionage Act in a way it was never intended by Congress: as the equivalent of a British-type Official Secrets Act criminalizing any and all unauthorized release of classified information.
Note: or more on the Snowden case, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
End Mass Incarceration Now
May 25, 2014, New York Times
For more than a decade, researchers across multiple disciplines have been issuing reports on the widespread societal and economic damage caused by America’s now-40-year experiment in locking up vast numbers of its citizens. Several recent reports provide some of the most comprehensive and compelling proof yet that the United States “has gone past the point where the numbers of people in prison can be justified by social benefits,” and that mass incarceration itself is “a source of injustice.” That is the central conclusion of a two-year, 444-page study prepared by the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences. The report highlights many well-known statistics: Since the early 1970s, the nation’s prison population has quadrupled to 2.2 million, making it the world’s biggest. That is five to 10 times the incarceration rate in other democracies. A report by Human Rights Watch notes that ... “in its embrace of incarceration, the [US] seems to have forgotten just how severe a punishment it is.” The severity is evident in the devastation wrought on America’s poorest and least educated, destroying neighborhoods and families. From 1980 to 2000, the number of children with fathers in prison rose from 350,000 to 2.1 million. Since race and poverty overlap so significantly, the weight of our criminal justice experiment continues to fall overwhelmingly on communities of color, and particularly on young black men. After prison, people are sent back to the impoverished places they came from, but are blocked from re-entering society.
Note: For more on the prison-industrial complex in the US, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Florida Couple Fined, Threatened with Jail for Feeding Homeless
May 12, 2014, NBC News
A Florida couple who retired from their management jobs to care for the poor vowed ... to wage a tenacious legal fight days after being fined more than $300 each for violating a local law. Debbie and Chico Jimenez openly admit committing the act that earned them two citations apiece: feeding more than 100 people who are homeless in Daytona Beach. Police in Daytona Beach also threatened them with arrest and incarceration, if they offer any more of their home-cooked meals at Manatee Island Park, a gathering the Jimenezes say they’ve hosted every Wednesday for the past year. Debbie Jimenez, 52, a retired auto parts store manager ... and her husband, 60, a retired construction manager, operate [the] New Smyrna Beach-based ministry called Spreading the Word Without Saying a Word. “We were given 10 days to either pay the fine or tell them we're going to court. We’re going to court. The police don’t like it. But how can we turn our backs on the hungry? We can’t,” [Debbie Jimenez said]. In all, police officers ticketed six people, including four volunteers who helped the Jimenezes on Wednesday – one of them, a man in a wheelchair who recently escaped homelessness and participated “to pay it forward,” Debbie Jimenez said. The fines levied by authorities total $2,238. Daytona Beach is not alone among cities that formally and legally restrict non-governmental individuals who seek to share food with homeless people in public or private spaces, according to a report co-released by the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Key Articles From Years Past
10 companies profiting most from war
February 28, 2012, Market Watch/24-7 Wall St
Global sales of arms and military services by the 100 largest defense contractors increased in 2010 to $411.1 billion, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The increase reflects a decade-long trend of growing military spending. Since 2002, total arms sales among the 100 largest arms manufacturers have increased 60%. More and more, battles are fought remotely through air surveillance and strikes rather than on-the-ground combat. As a consequence, seven of the 10 largest companies are among the leading aerospace companies. Surveillance and battlefield communications also are increasingly important in modern warfare. All of the companies in the top 10 have significant electronics divisions. Of the 100 companies on the list, 44 are based in the U.S. The American companies account for more than 60% of arms sales revenue of the 100 manufacturers. Seven of SIPRI’s top 10 are American, one is British, one is Italian and one is a multinational EU conglomerate. These are the 10 companies profiting most from war. 10. United Technologies. Arms sales 2010: $11.41 billion 9. L-3 Communications. Arms sales 2010: $13.07 billion 8. Finmeccanica. Arms sales 2010: $14.41 billion 7. EADS. Arms sales 2010: $16.36 billion 6. Raytheon. Arms sales 2010: $22.98 billion 5. General Dynamics. Arms sales in 2010: $23.9 billion 4. Northrop Grumman. Arms sales 2010: $28.15 billion 3. Boeing. Arms sales 2010: $31.36 billion 2. BAE Systems. Arms sales 2010: $32.88 billion 1. Lockheed Martin. Arms sales 2010: $35.73 billion.
Note: For the top 10 most expensive weapons, including the $326 billion F35 fighter, click here.
Jurors Need to Know That They Can Say No
December 21, 2011, New York Times
If you are ever on a jury in a marijuana case, [you should] vote “not guilty” — even if you think the defendant actually smoked pot, or sold it to another consenting adult. As a juror, you have this power under the Bill of Rights; if you exercise it, you become part of a proud tradition of American jurors who helped make our laws fairer. [This] information ... about a constitutional doctrine called “jury nullification” is absolutely true. But if federal prosecutors in New York get their way, telling the truth to potential jurors could result in a six-month prison sentence. Earlier this year, prosecutors charged Julian P. Heicklen, a retired chemistry professor, with jury tampering because he stood outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan providing information about jury nullification to passers-by. The prosecutors in this case are wrong. The First Amendment exists to protect speech like this — honest information that the government prefers citizens not know. Laws against jury tampering are intended to deter people from threatening or intimidating jurors. To contort these laws to justify punishing Mr. Heicklen, [is] unconstitutional. Jury nullification is not new; its proponents have included John Hancock and John Adams. The doctrine is premised on the idea that ordinary citizens, not government officials, should have the final say as to whether a person should be punished. As Adams put it, it is each juror’s “duty” to vote based on his or her “own best understanding, judgment and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.”
Note: For more on the important, yet little-known right of jury nullification, click here.
Former NSA executive Thomas A. Drake may pay high price for media leak
July 13, 2010, Washington Post
For seven years, Thomas A. Drake was a senior executive at the nation's largest intelligence organization with an ambition to change its insular culture. He had access to classified programs that purported to help the National Security Agency tackle its toughest challenges. Today, he wears a blue T-shirt and answers questions about iPhones at an Apple store in the Washington area. He is awaiting trial in a criminal media leak case that could send him to prison for 35 years. In his years at the NSA, Drake grew disillusioned, then indignant, about what he saw as waste, mismanagement and a willingness to compromise Americans' privacy without enhancing security. He first tried the sanctioned methods -- going to his superiors, inspectors general, Congress. Finally, in frustration, he turned to the "nuclear option": leaking to the media. Drake, 53, may pay a high price for going nuclear. In April he was indicted, accused of mishandling classified information and obstructing justice. His supporters consider him a patriotic whistleblower targeted by an Obama administration bent on sealing leaks and on having something to show for an investigation that spans two presidencies. What led Drake to this point, friends and others say, is a belief that his actions were justified if they forced such a powerful and secretive agency to be held accountable. "He tried to have his concerns heard and nobody really wanted to listen," said Nina Ginsberg, an attorney.
Note: On June 9, 2011, all ten original charges against Thomas A Drake were dropped and he was not incarcerated, yet it is cases like this that keep people like Edward Snowden from making his case in US courts.
Dolphins Guide Scientists to Rescue Suicidal Girl
May 29, 2014, National Geographic
My research team and I were following a school of bottlenose dolphins near shore ... off Los Angeles, California. The dolphins were still feeding in circle near shore, when suddenly, one individual changed direction heading out toward deeper water. A minute later, the rest of the school turned to follow. Seeing them abruptly leave a foraging ground and change direction came as a surprise to the research team. I decided to follow them. The dolphins increased their speed. Somewhere near three miles offshore the dolphin group stopped, forming a sort of ring around a dark object in the water. “Someone’s in the water!” yelled my assistant, standing up and pointing at the seemingly lifeless body of a girl. As the boat neared, she feebly turned her head toward us, half-raising her hand as a weak sign for help. If we didn’t act immediately, the girl would die. We [pulled] the frail and hypothermic body on board. “She is cyanotic,” said one of my researchers, also a lifeguard, after a cursory examination. “She has severe hypothermia. We need to get her warm!” We managed to get some of her wet garments off and wrap her in a blanket. We took turns keeping her warm by huddling with her under the blanket. A couple of hours later, we were all waiting outside the emergency room at the Marina del Rey hospital. The ER doctor came out to talk with us. The girl, it seems, would pull through, and he thanked us for our quick action. He tells us the girl was vacationing in L.A. from Germany and, as the letter found in her plastic bag explained, she was attempting suicide. If we hadn’t found her, if the dolphins hadn’t led us offshore when they did, to that specific place, she would have died.
Note: This article has been adapted from the book Dolphin Confidential: Confessions of a Field Biologist. For more on the amazing capacities of dolphins and other marine mammals, as well as the threats they face from human activities, click here. For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Forget roofs, are solar roads the next big thing?
May 20, 2014, Washington Post blog
While the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that installing solar panels on every home in America would produce 3.75 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity a year, ... photovoltaics still account for no more than 1.13 percent of America’s power production. [What] can municipalities do? It’s not like they can pave the streets with solar panels. That’s where the husband and wife team of Scott and Julie Brusaw would beg to differ. Since the mid-2000's, Scott, an electrical engineer, and Julie, a psychotherapist, have been developing special solar cells encased in rugged, hexagonal-shaped glass. Lay enough of these mechanical cobblestones together and you’ve built yourself a kind of hybrid driveway/solar array. For the Brusaws, the prototype, while impressive, makes up but a tiny chunk of a much more ambitious vision. According to their calculations, covering the nation’s nearly 28,000 square miles worth of roads, highways and parking spaces with these special panels would produce three times the nation’s total energy consumption. [In their vision], the panels would serve as the foundation for a do-it-all “smart” roadway system that’s capable of not only harvesting energy, but also making roads safer by using heat to remove surface ice and lighting up dark pathways with embedded LEDs. The “Solar Roadway” project, which the Brusaws proposed, was promising enough that, in 2009, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration awarded them a series of contracts to further their concept.
12 Days Of Charitable Giving 2013: Sow Much Good
December 17, 2013, Forbes
Sow Much Good grows fresh fruit and vegetables for low-income communities in and around Charlotte, North Carolina. The seeds for Sow Much Good were planted after founder Robin Emmons helped her brother find residence in a mental health facility. Emmons realized that her brother did not respond well to the canned and sugary foods at the facility – which it served because it didn’t have the funds for fresh foods – and [so she] donated home grown produce [as a substitute]. As a result, her brother’s health improved dramatically. Emmons dedicated herself to providing access to fresh, affordable food to communities in underserved neighborhoods. Part of the mission of the organization is also to educate and engage the community to adopt healthy eating habits. Nationwide, nearly 10% of the population in the U.S. live in economically depressed areas located more than a mile from a supermarket. Those “food deserts” result in populations with greater risks of cardiovascular disease and premature death. Emmons tackled this problem locally by growing fresh fruits and vegetables and donating produce to local nonprofits. Today, she has 200 volunteers helping her tend 9 acres of crops on three sites; that produce is now sold at affordable prices. Since 2008, Sow Much Good has grown more than 26,000 pounds of fresh produce for underserved communities in Charlotte.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Can Hypnosis Snuff Out a Smoker's Cigarette Habit?
June 23, 2008, US News & World Report
Smokers trying to quit sometimes use nicotine patches to fight their tobacco dependence. But patches don't work for everyone. New research suggests that patches might be made more effective if used in combination with hypnosis, just as they tend to work better when used in conjunction with professional counseling. A recently published study showed hypnotherapy to be as effective as standard behavioral counseling when combined with nicotine patches in helping smokers to quit and stay off cigarettes for one year. "This study provides much-needed evidence that hypnosis is indeed a very helpful treatment," says lead author Timothy Carmody. During hypnotherapy, Carmody explained, patients are coaxed into a relaxed state and then provided with a series of skills for coping with withdrawal symptoms and the urge to smoke. A total of 286 participants were randomly divided and received either hypnosis or standard behavioral counseling aimed at smoking cessation. Hypnosis was particularly helpful for would-be quitters who reported a history of depression. That finding suggests that smokers who have struggled with depression—or perhaps with other psychiatric conditions, Carmody says—might someday receive hypnosis as part of the quitting process. Brian Hitsman, assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, called the results encouraging and added that the hypnotic intervention evaluated in the study may have the potential to serve as another nonpharmacological treatment option in addition to standard counseling.
Note: For a treasure trove of great news articles which will inspire you to make a difference, click here.
Please note that most of the summarizing of the revealing news articles in the above summary was done by Tod Fletcher of WantToKnow.info. Many thanks to Tod for all the time and skill he puts into this. The section below provides several ideas on what you can do to spread the news.
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