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|The Top Censored Stories of 2012 - Page 2|
|News/Features - Media|
|Written by Project Censored|
|Wednesday, 12 October 2011 05:40|
Page 2 of 5
(6) Google Spying?
Last year the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigated Internet search-engine giant Google for illegally collecting personal data such as passwords, e-mails, and other online activities from unsecured WiFi networks in homes and businesses across the United States and around the rest of the world. Google has claimed the data was accidentally picked up by its Street View cars while driving the world’s streets. Clearly this is an invasion of the public’s privacy, and yet the FTC has done basically nothing about it, not even a slap on the wrists for Google. In late October 2010, David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, sent a two-page letter to Google attorney Albert Gidari saying that the FTC has ended its inquiry into the matter with little more than an assurance from Google that it will make “improvements to its internal processes” and “continue its dialogue with the FTC.” Why was nothing done about it?
Less than a week before the FTC’s decision to drop the inquiry, President Obama attended a $30,000-a-person Democratic-party fundraiser at the Palo Alto, California, home of Google executive Marissa Mayer. Also, Google’s former head of public policy, Andrew McLaughlin, joined the Obama administration as the deputy chief technology officer in mid-2009. Other Obama administration officials include Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, who serves as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology. Katie Stanton joined the administration after serving as a Google project manager; she is now the director of citizen participation. The former head of Google.org’s global development, Sonal Shah, is now the head of the White House’s Office of Social Innovation. These facts suggest that the Obama administration may have a conflict of interest in its handling of the company’s civil-rights violations.
(7) U.S. Army and Psychology’s Largest Experiment – Ever
In the January 2011 issue of American Psychologist, the American Psychology Association dedicated 13 articles detailing and celebrating a $117-million collaboration with the U.S. Army called Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF). It’s being marketed as resilience training to reduce if not prevent adverse psychological consequences to soldiers who endure combat. Because of the CSF emphasis on “positive psychology,” advocates call it a holistic approach to warrior training.
Criticism arose shortly after the initiative was announced – including ethical questions about whether soldiers should be trained to be desensitized to traumatic events. There were also methodological concerns about large-scale programs similar to this – which have not worked or had adverse effects in the past. Also problematic: This program is adapted primarily from the Penn Resiliency Program, which had very little success with a nonmilitary population, and now on its first trial run is going to incorporate 1.1 million soldiers. How about trying it out on small groups of soldiers first?
Lastly, the CSF program measures soldiers’ “resilience” in five core areas: emotional, physical, family, social, and spiritual. The spiritual component of the assessment contains questions written predominately for soldiers who believe in God or another deity. This means tens of thousands of nonbelievers will score poorly and be forced to use religious-imagery exercises that are counter to their personal beliefs – not likely to foster resilience.
(8) The Fairytale of Clean and Safe Nuclear Power
Nuclear power presents a security threat of unprecedented proportions: It’s capable of a catastrophic accident that can kill hundreds of thousands of people, with a byproduct that is toxic for millennia. To call nuclear power “clean” is an affront to science, common sense, and the English language itself, yet industry backers, inside and outside of government, are attempting to establish a new “Clean Energy Standard” to promote nuclear power. These proposals suffer from three fundamental misconceptions: (1) that pollutants other than carbon dioxide are irrelevant when defining a “clean energy”; (2) that because radiation is invisible and odorless, it is not a toxic pollutant; and (3) that nuclear power is carbon-free. None of these is true.
In its most recent report, released in 2005, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences determined that no safe level of radiation exposure exists; every exposure to radiation increases the risk of cancer, birth defects, and other disease. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission accepts the linear no-threshold hypothesis – which states that any increase in dose of radiation, no matter how small, results in an incremental increase in risk – as a conservative model for estimating radiation risk.
(9) Government Sponsored Technologies for Weather Modification
Rising global temperatures, increasing population, and degradation of water supplies have created broad support for the growing field of weather modification. The U.S. government has conducted weather-modification experiments for over half a century, and the military-industrial complex stands poised to capitalize on these discoveries.
One of the latest programs is HAARP, the High-Frequency Active Aural Research Program. This technology can potentially trigger floods, droughts, hurricanes, and earthquakes. The scientific idea behind HAARP is to “excite” a specific area of the ionosphere and observe the physical processes in that excited area with the intention of modifying ecological conditions. HAARP can also be used as a weapon system, capable of selectively destabilizing agricultural and ecological systems of entire regions.
Another program is atmospheric geo-engineering or cloud seeding, which has found new life since the global-warming scare. Cloud seeding is cirrus clouds created from airplane contrails. Unlike regular contrails, which dissolve in minutes, these artificial contrails can last for several hours, even days. Once the artificial clouds have been created, they are used to reflect solar or man-made radiation.
At a recent international symposium, scientists asserted that “manipulation of climate through modification of cirrus clouds is neither a hoax nor a conspiracy theory.” The only conspiracy surrounding geo-engineering is that most governments and industries refuse to publicly admit what anyone can see in the sky or discover in peer-reviewed research. The Belfort Group has been working to raise public awareness about toxic aerial spraying – popularly known as chemtrails. However, scientists prefer the term “persistent contrails” to describe the phenomenon, to move the inquiry away from amateur conspiracy theories.
Coen Vermeeren of the Delft University of Technology presented a 300-page scientific report titled “Case Orange: Contrail Science, Its Impact on Climate, & Weather Manipulation Programs Conducted by the United States & Its Allies.” He stated clearly: “Weather manipulation through contrail formation ... is in place and fully operational.” Vermeeren mentioned a 1991 patent now held by Raytheon, a private defense contractor, with “18 claims to reduce global warming through stratospheric seeding with aluminum oxide, ... thorium oxide, ... and refractory Welsbach material.” Authors of the study expressed concern that Raytheon makes daily flights spraying these materials in our sky with minimal government oversight. Raytheon is the same company that holds the HAARP contract with the U.S.
Other countries are also experimenting. The Chinese government announced in April 2007 the creation of the first-ever artificial snowfall over the city of Nagqu in Tibet. China now conducts more cloud-seeding projects than any other nation.
(For a River Cities’ Reader commentary on this topic, see RCReader.com/y/spray.)
(10) Real Unemployment: One Out of Five in U.S.
The corporate media wants America to feel secure during a time of unemployment crisis, but people deserve to know what is really happening rather than a statistical lie. The latest unemployment report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that the unemployment rate has held steady between 9.0 and 9.2 percent since April, giving an illusion that our economy is stable. But these numbers are skewed because of seasonal employment, and after a person has been unemployed for a year, the government doesn’t include them in the statistics anymore, even though they are still unemployed.
According to ShadowStats.com, the real unemployment rate is well over 20 percent, which is more than double than what corporate media claims. It seems that the government is keeping people in the dark about the real unemployment so that the government is praised for its success in lowering or stabilizing unemployment.