Plant Trees SF Events 2007 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018


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Dear friends,

Below are one-paragraph excerpts of important news articles you may have missed. These news articles include revealing information on a new possible cancer cure, increasing use of the "state secrets" privilege by the U.S. government, skyrocketing C.E.O. compensation, 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.

With best wishes,
Tod Fletcher and Fred Burks for PEERS and the Team

"Fascinating" Possible Cancer Treatment
September 2, 2007, CBS News

For most, a cancer diagnosis can be devastating. But for John Kanzius it was a call to action. Kanzius isn't a doctor. He doesn't even have a college degree. Yet ... the device he invented has impressed a notable researcher and inspired his hometown, Erie, Pa., to the point where it gave him a key to the city in April. Asked by [a reporter] what made him think he could cure cancer, Kanzius replied with a laugh, "Nobody else was doing it! I envision this treatment taking no more than a couple of minutes or so." Kanzius hopes cancer treatments could work something like this: A patient would be injected with tiny metal nano-particles, which would be carried through the bloodstream by a targeting molecule and attach only to cancerous cells. The patient would then be exposed to an energy field created by radio waves, and feel nothing, while the nano-particles would generate enough heat to destroy their cancerous host cell. Kanzius demonstrated just how easily the nano-particles could be used as receivers. A lab worker injected carbon nano-particles into a specific spot in a piece of liver, which was then placed into an energy field of low frequency radio waves. Within seconds, the areas injected the with nano-particles were heated to the point of actually cooking the liver, while leaving the surrounding meat unscathed. Kanzius' invention has caught the attention of Dr. Steven Curley, a surgical oncologist and cancer researcher at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "This has the most fascinating potential I've seen in anything in my twenty years of cancer research," Curley [said]. Curley has developed current methods of using radio frequencies to attack cancer, but says he looks forward to one day using a non-invasive approach like the one Kanzius is working on.

Note: For a treasure trove of reliable information about exciting possible cancer cures, click here.

U.S. Cites ‘Secrets’ Privilege to Stop Suit on Banking Records
August 31, 2007, New York Times

The Bush administration ... plans to turn again to a legal tool, the “state secrets” privilege, to try to stop a suit against a Belgian banking cooperative [known as Swift] that secretly supplied millions of private financial records to the United States government. The “state secrets” privilege, allowing the government to shut down litigation on national security grounds, was once rarely used. The Bush administration has turned to it more than 30 times, seeking to end public discussion of cases like the claims of an F.B.I. whistle-blower and the abduction of a German terrorism suspect. Most notably, the administration has sought to use the privilege to kill numerous suits against telecommunications carriers over the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping program. Swift is considered the nerve center of the global banking industry, routing trillions of dollars each day among banks, brokerage houses and other financial institutions. Its partnership with Washington ... gave Central Intelligence Agency and Treasury Department officials access to millions of records on international banking transactions. Months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Swift began turning over large chunks of its database in response to a series of unusually broad subpoenas from the Treasury Department. Two American banking customers ... sued Swift on invasion-of-privacy grounds. [Steven E. Schwarz, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the Swift program] “is an Orwellian example of government overreaching and unfettered access to private financial information that is not consistent with the values upon which our country was founded. We’ve seen a real erosion of the ‘state secrets’ privilege in the last year. I think it is from overuse. We’ve seen it used in record numbers, in situations where it was inappropriate, and the courts are starting to recognize that.”

Government secrecy up despite exposure of issue
August 31, 2007, Seattle Post-Intelligencer/Cox News Service

Government secrecy is expanding at an unprecedented clip, despite growing public concern about barriers to information. reports that stamping government documents "secret" cost American taxpayers $8.2 billion last year -- a 7.5 percent increase over the year before. The coalition found that for every dollar spent declassifying documents, the federal government spends $185 to conceal government documents. Open-government advocates blame the policies of the Bush administration. "The current administration has increasingly refused to be held accountable to the public," said Patrice McDermott, executive director of the coalition of conservative and liberal groups concerned about government secrecy. "These practices lead to the circumscription of democracy." Among the findings from the report: Businesses enjoyed a no-bid process for 26 percent, or $107.5 billion, of the federal government's business last year. President Bush has issued at least 151 signing statements challenging 1,149 provisions of laws passed by Congress. The Defense Department has more than doubled in real terms the amount it spends on classified weapons acquisitions since 1995. The number of documents [classified in 2006] ballooned to 20.3 million, up by 43 percent. And those figures do not include the untold number of documents that are locked away by federal agencies in categories known as "pseudo-classification." These are unclassified documents that government bureaucrats deem too sensitive for public consumption. The report also found that the Bush administration has invoked a legal tool known as the "state secrets" privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court.

CEO pay: 364 times more than workers
August 29, 2007, Money magazine

Pay comparisons almost always leave someone feeling dwarfed, and none more so than the CEO-to-worker pay gap. But even CEOs have reason to feel seriously dwarfed these days, thanks to the outsized paychecks of private equity and hedge fund managers. The average CEO of a large U.S. company made roughly $10.8 million last year, or 364 times that of U.S. full-time and part-time workers, who made an average of $29,544, according to a joint analysis released Wednesday by the liberal Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy. The IPS and UFE pay-gap numbers are also wider than some other measures of CEO-to-worker pay because they count both full-time and part-time workers in their calculations, which effectively lowers workers' average pay due to fewer hours worked. If you just consider the average compensation (wages plus benefits) of full-time year-round workers in non-managerial jobs - roughly $40,000 - CEO pay is more like 270 times bigger than the average Joe's. That's still a far cry from days gone by. In 1989, for instance, U.S. CEOs of large companies earned 71 times more than the average worker, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The top 20 CEOs of U.S. companies made an average of $36.4 million in 2006. The pay gap numbers don't include the value of the many perks CEOs receive, which averaged $438,342, according to the report. Nor do they include the pension benefits CEOs receive. But even including all that, CEO pay can look like chump change next to private equity and hedge fund managers' pay. Those managers made an average of $657.5 million in 2006 - more than 16,000 times what the average full-time worker makes, and roughly 61 times that of the average CEO.

Robert Fisk: Even I question the 'truth' about 9/11
August 25, 2007, Independent (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)

I am increasingly troubled at the inconsistencies in the official narrative of 9/11. I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time? (They collapsed in 8.1 and 10 seconds.) What about the third tower – the so-called World Trade Centre Building 7 – which collapsed in 6.6 seconds in its own footprint at 5.20pm on 11 September? Why did it so neatly fall to the ground when no aircraft had hit it? The American National Institute of Standards and Technology was instructed to analyse the cause of the destruction of all three buildings. They have not yet reported on WTC 7. Journalistically, there were many odd things about 9/11. Initial reports of reporters that they heard "explosions" in the towers ... the [FBI's] list of Arab suicide-hijackers, which included three men who were – and still are – very much alive and living in the Middle East. What about the weird letter allegedly written by Mohamed Atta, whose "Islamic" advice to his gruesome comrades – released by the CIA – mystified every Muslim friend I know in the Middle East? Like everyone else, I would like to know the full story of 9/11, not least because it was the trigger for the whole lunatic, meretricious "war on terror" which has led us to disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan and in much of the Middle East. Bush's happily departed adviser Karl Rove once said that "we're an empire now – we create our own reality". True? At least tell us.

Note: For a concise summary of reliable news reports that raise serious questions about what really happened on 9/11, click here

Army gets new 'enhanced blast' weapon to fight Taliban
August 23, 2007, Guardian (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers),,2154380,00.html

British soldiers in Afghanistan are being supplied with a new "super weapon" to attack Taliban fighters more effectively, defence officials said yesterday. The "enhanced blast" weapon is based on thermobaric technology used in the powerful bombs dropped by the Russians to obliterate Grozny, the Chechen capital, and in US "bunker busters". Defence officials insisted yesterday that the British bombs were different. "They are optimised to create blast [rather than heat]", one said, adding that it would be misleading to call them "thermobaric". So-called thermobaric weapons have been used by the US against suspected al-Qaida and Taliban underground bases. Combined heat and pressure kill people over a wide area by sucking the air out of lungs and destroying internal organs. Defence officials described the new weapon as a shoulder-launched "light anti-structure munition". The new weapons would be more effective against buildings and structures used by the Taliban, they said. Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat leader, described the weapons as a "serious step change" for the British army. He added: "The continuing issue of civilian casualties in Afghanistan has enormous importance in the battle for hearts and minds. If these weapons contribute to the deaths of civilians then a primary purpose of the British deployment is going to be made yet more difficult." The deployment of the weapons should have been announced to MPs, Sir Menzies said. "We need much more transparency."

Tenn. Nuclear Fuel Problems Kept Secret
August 20, 2007, Washington Post/Associated Press

A three-year veil of secrecy in the name of national security was used to keep the public in the dark about the handling of highly enriched uranium at a nuclear fuel processing plant -- including a leak that could have caused a deadly, uncontrolled nuclear reaction. The leak turned out to be one of nine violations or test failures since 2005 at privately owned Nuclear Fuel Services Inc., a longtime supplier of fuel to the U.S. Navy's nuclear fleet. The public was never told about the problems when they happened. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission revealed them for the first time last month when it released an order demanding improvements at the company, but no fine. In 2004, the government became so concerned about releasing nuclear secrets that the commission removed more than 1,740 documents from its public archive -- even some that apparently involved basic safety violations at the company. Environmental activists are still suspicious of the belated revelations and may challenge the commission's decision not to fine Nuclear Fuel Services for the safety violations. "That party is not over -- the full story of what is going on up there," said Ann Harris, a member of the Sierra Club's national nuclear task force. While reviewing the commission's public Web page in 2004, the Department of Energy's Office of Naval Reactors found what it considered protected information about Nuclear Fuel Service's work for the Navy. The commission responded by sealing every document related to Nuclear Fuel Services. Under the policy, all the documents were stamped "Official Use Only," including papers about the policy itself and more than 1,740 documents from the commission's public archive.

CDC Requests Bay Area Morgellons Study
August 2, 2007, KTVU (San Francisco FOX affiliate)

The federal Centers for Disease Control has asked Kaiser Permanente to begin the nation’s first epidemiologic study of "Morgellons Disease," a mysterious ailment that the government terms an "unexplained and debilitating condition that has emerged as a public health concern." KTVU Health and Science Editor John Fowler was the first in the nation to report on this “mystery disease” as it was called in 2004. He reported the skin disorder seemed to cause fibers and filaments to emerge from the skin of sufferers, and also seemed to cause neurological problems patients described as "brain fog." John followed up with other reports, and founders of a non-profit group hoping to help sufferers understand the disease named it Morgellons. As of February this year, the Morgellons Research Foundation has identified more than ten thousand families nationwide. John profiled former A’s pitcher Billy Koch who says both he and his wife have symptoms. KTVU has obtained a federal Request for Quotation, delivered to Kaiser Permanente, that says the CDC now wants its nationwide study to be focused in the Bay Area because 24% of Morgellons patients "reside in California with geographic clustering in the San Francisco metropolitan area." Federal doctors now want Kaiser Permanente to conduct an urgent epidemiologic investigation with results due by next May " better characterize the clinical and epidemiologic features of this condition; to generate hypotheses about factors that may cause or contribute to sufferers' symptoms; and to estimate the prevalence of the condition in the population; and to provide information to guide public health recommendations." The CDC for the first time publicly says Morgellons is "an emerging public health problem."

FBI Proposes Building Network of U.S. Informants
July 25, 2007,

The FBI is taking cues from the CIA to recruit thousands of covert informants in the United States as part of a sprawling effort to boost its intelligence capabilities. According to a recent unclassified report to Congress, the FBI expects its informants to provide secrets about possible terrorists and foreign spies, although some may also be expected to aid with criminal investigations, in the tradition of law enforcement confidential informants. The FBI said the push was driven by a 2004 directive from President Bush ordering the bureau to improve its counterterrorism efforts by boosting its human intelligence capabilities. The aggressive push for more secret informants appears to be part of a new effort to grow its intelligence and counterterrorism efforts. Other recent proposals include expanding its collection and analysis of data on U.S. persons, retaining years' worth of Americans' phone records and even increasing so-called "black bag" secret entry operations. To handle the increase in so-called human sources, the FBI also plans to overhaul its database system, so it can manage records and verify the accuracy of information from "more than 15,000" informants, according to the document. The bureau has arranged to use elements of CIA training to teach FBI agents about "Source Targeting and Development," the report states. The courses will train FBI special agents on the "comprehensive tradecraft" needed to identify, recruit and manage these "confidential human sources."

Nuremberg Actions' Brian Willson celebrates 20 years of resistance
September 1, 2007, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)

Twenty years ago today, a 46-year-old former Air Force captain sat down on the tracks in front of a train loaded with bombs at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. The ex-captain's name was S. Brian Willson. He was there to block the train ... to protest U.S. arms shipments to Central America. But nothing was blocked that day. Instead, the train barreled into him at 16 miles an hour, slicing off his legs and one ear and laying open his skull - and igniting what quickly became the nation's biggest anti-war movement in the decades between the Vietnam and Iraq eras. Today, however, there will be more than a memory on those dusty tracks. Willson plans to come back to the spot where he lost his legs to remember and pray for global harmony. It's a different time, with different wars, but he says he feels just as passionate as he did back then. "Maybe we'll have 10 people there, maybe 30, who knows?" Willson said by phone from his home in Arcata (Humboldt County). "I guess it'll be whatever it is. I do know this, though: We have to preserve our history. That's one good reason to be there, as painful as the memories will be for me. I have to look on life as a journey, and all I can say is I'm still on track," said Willson. "Running me over with a train wasn't just criminal, it was stupid. But it has not in any way stopped me. My life is good," he said. "I like the whole idea of pursuing what I call right livelihood, reducing my footprint on Earth. I enjoy it." The protest never truly ended. A couple of times a year, peace groups use the tracks as a setting for small anti-war gatherings - and every Monday, just as he has for the past 20 years, 53-year-old Concord resident Greg Getty, sits at the tracks at 9 a.m. and says a prayer in Willson's name.

Key Articles From Years Past

Doctors Make Progress With Mysterious Disease
May 23, 2006, KTVU (San Francisco FOX affiliate)

A horrifying ... disease is affecting thousands of people in the Bay Area, along the Gulf Coast and in Florida. Though some doctors have claimed the malady is psychosomatic, other scientists are making headway unraveling the mystery of Morgellons Disease. Former Oakland A's pitcher Billy Koch has it. And so do his wife and their three children. It started in Oakland four years ago. Koch saved 44 games and was the top reliever in the major leagues. Within two years -- at age 29 -- Billy Koch was out of baseball, partly because of the uncontrollable muscle twitching that went on for months at a time and often kept up him up all night. The disease is characterized by slow-healing skin lesions that often extrude small, dark filaments, especially after bathing. More than 3,000 families nationwide [report] these same unexplained symptoms. Oklahoma State University Professor Randy Wymore was the first scientist to conduct research on this disconcerting disease. He says it's the biggest mystery he's ever been involved in. The UC Davis-trained physiologist is leading a medical team at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa. With cooperation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Wymore's team is studying Bay Area patients and others from around the country. His first finding disputes the frequent diagnosis of delusions. He says the filaments are not an external contamination. Instead, they are a substance that materializes somehow inside the body, apparent artifacts of something infectious. More results are expected soon. And Wymore says skin problems are not the worst symptoms. He says a neurotoxin or microorganism may disturb muscle control and memory. "The neurological effects are the much more severe, life altering and much more dangerous of the conditions."

Note: To watch an intriguing five-minute video of the above story on KTVU, click here.

Losing bin Laden
February 12, 2006, Washington Post

Despite a huge and costly effort by the media, the public still has an incomplete picture of what really happened during the [war in Afghanistan] and of how Osama bin Laden survived it. Gary Berntsen's Jawbreaker provides a valuable new account by a major participant that fills in many blanks. Berntsen was a top CIA field commander in the most critical sector of a new kind of war; at various times, the CIA veteran had elements of the Delta Force, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs and tactical air units reporting to him. Crown Publishers has chosen unnecessarily to position it as a diatribe that the CIA tried to suppress. In fact, while the CIA dragged its feet in reviewing the manuscript for classified material and redacted plenty of specifics, the book is hardly an attack on the CIA. In fact, the overall picture of the CIA here is far more flattering than that in The 9/11 Commission Report. Still, to portray Jawbreaker as "the book the CIA doesn't want you to read" (as the cover puts it), the publisher has displayed the redactions throughout the book as large black lines. Contradicting Bush administration denials, Berntsen writes that his teams discovered bin Laden and the remnants of his entourage in the now famous Tora Bora Mountains along the lawless, rugged Afghan-Pakistani border. Berntsen recounts very credibly how he and others pleaded with Gen. Tommy Franks and the Pentagon brass to put in blocking forces so that bin Laden and the remnants of al Qaeda's leadership could not flee into Pakistan. But for reasons that remain unclear to Berntsen ... the Bush administration or Franks decided to depend instead on local Afghan warlords rather than put U.S. forces on the ground to block bin Laden's escape.

Note: To read a concise summary of reliable news reports that raise serious questions about what really happened on 9/11, click here.

Canada Will Pay '50s Test Victims
November 19, 1992, New York Times

Canada has agreed to compensate victims of psychiatric experiments carried out mainly in the 1950s and financed in part by the Central Intelligence Agency. An institute at McGill University in Montreal, headed by Dr. D. Ewen Cameron, a psychiatrist, ... was one of the centers where such experiments were carried out. Now, the Canadian Government says the 80 or so patients who underwent the so-called "psychic driving" treatment in Montreal ... can receive almost $80,000 each. The patients at the Allan Memorial Institute at McGill were put into a drugged sleep for weeks or months, subjected to electroshock therapy until they were "de-patterned," knowing neither who or where they were, and forced to listen repeatedly to recorded messages broadcast from speakers on the wall or under their pillows. Linda Macdonald, 55 years old, an employment counselor now in Vancouver, is one of those who sued for compensation. "I walked through those doors with a husband on one arm and a guitar on the other and was a healthy person and coherent," she said. She spent 86 days in the "sleep room" and was subjected to 109 shock treatments and megadoses of barbiturates and other drugs. When she got out of the experiment, she could not read or write, had to be toilet-trained and could not remember her husband, her five children or any part of the first 26 years of her life. John Marks, a former State Department official whose 1979 book, The Search For the Manchurian Candidate, called attention to the experiments, said that a C.I.A. front called the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology funneled more than $60,000 to Dr. Cameron for the studies. Ottawa gave him more than $200,000.

Note: For a concise summary of the CIA's mind control experiments, click here.

Special Note: A national General Strike has been called for September 11, 2007, to protest the lack of genuine investigation into the events of 9/11, the endless war launched as a "response" to these events, and the massive stripping of civil liberties since that day. For more information about the 9/11 General Strike, click here. To learn the unsettling reasons why Europeans have stopped eating GMO foods while Americans continue to consume large quantities, click here.

Final Note: believes it is important to balance disturbing cover-up information with inspirational writings which call us to be all that we can be and to work together for positive change. Please visit our Inspiration Center at for an abundance of uplifting material.

See our archive of revealing news articles at

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