Publicizing Truths with Consequence, When Great Minds Think Alike

By, Cheri Roberts-Piper MTR News

This weekend I attended the Publicizing Truths with Consequence media summit in Santa Cruz, CA representing MTR News Network; an event sponsored by Project Censored,, and Be The Media. Turnout surpassed projected expectations 3 hours into the first day of this three day conference despite a winter storm that produced relentless rain and wind. At it’s high point there were upwards of 250+ people. The organizers adapted to the overflow and hosted a great event.

A pow-wow of sorts to brainstorm and put into action a more effective means of communicating to a public in desperate need of truth and substance. The event brought together an eclectic mix of concerned citizens, activists, and community writers as well as breaking news Bloggers like Brad Friedman of The BRAD BLOG. Award winning investigative journalists David Ray Griffin, Ray McGovern, and Bob Fitrakis mingled the room with Whistleblowers like Barbara Honegger and retired FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley. Doug Abort – a representative for the Kucinich campaign, Congressional candidate Cindy Sheehan, and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney also attended. All speakers, sponsors and organizers made themselves accessible in order to network, creating – maybe for the first time, a chain of media professionals that run from small town USA all the way to the influentials of DC. Speaking truth to power could get a little easier.

Fellow attendees Matt Sullivan, Editor of the Rock Creek Free Press in DC and Lenny Charles of the I.N.N. World Report said it best the first day of the summit.

Matt points out that,

“We control the web, but we are not powerful in the street”.

While Lenny brings it home with,

“It’s time to think outside the browser”.

With a participant list that reads like a virtual who’s who of today’s alternative media, this summit produced an inspired new army of motivated individuals ready to take on the challenge and rise above the corporate media. The theme seemed to be we are the new mainstream media and although workshop style gatherings were a bit disorganized most seemed to understand the theme and the need to find ways to apply it in their everyday lives.

OH-D Congressman Dennis Kucinich rallied the audience via a piped in conference call the first night emphasizing that,

“Independent media is critical” and the “Last best defense our Nation has” reminding us it is our civic duty as citizens of this democracy.

Coleen Rowley, retired FBI Special Agent stressed,

“I have heard every excuse in the book” for not trying.

She concluded that train of thought with a powerful call to action voiced by two little words when she said,

“Do something!”

Breaking off into affinity groups we learned the deeper meaning of communicating by listening and the importance of real news versus mere opinion. We were coached on identifying the propaganda and told by 25 yr CIA Veteran Ray McGovern that,

“We need to sensitize our co-ctizens” and “we have to speak truth to power” and that in order to do that, we need to,

“get them to identify” with our issues “by identifying theirs”.

Other tools were offered by David Mathison of Be The Media – who spoke on building community media, providing resource ideas and tips for doing so.

As invited guests MTR News Network was privileged to conduct many on and off camera interviews from this event, including a one- on – one with Cynthia McKinney, later pairing her with her long time friend and true Patriot Ray McGovern – who we learned is being treated for lymphoma and will be beginning chemo therapy soon. Stay tuned…


Inside Info on Inside Job?

By, Cheri Roberts-Piper MTR News

For more than five years the US Government has kept former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds silent, feeding the flames of imagination and suspicion by many within the 911 Truth movement – particularly those who believe in the MIHOP or Made It Happen On Purpose theory. Gagged since Oct. of 2002 – by then Attorney General John Ashcroft, Sibel indeed has information this administration does not want us to know – as we are slowly discovering by ongoing reports from BRADBLOG and the UK Times. However, what remains to be seen is this; does Edmonds have any information that points to 911 being an Inside Job?

The secrecy surrounding her story has made it more enticing, making many question whether the government had foreknowledge of the 911 attacks. This is sparked in part by what is known as the Phoenix Memo in addition to the suppression of her sworn deposition in the Burnett v. Al Baraka Investment & Dev. Corp. suit – filed by 600 families of victims of the September 11, 2001 crimes. These questions are further fueled by testimony of another 911 Whistleblower, retired FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley who in June of 2002 testified before the 911 Commission asserting the FBI mishandled information related to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Some activists believe Sibel’s information could give evidence to government foreknowledge and potentially point to direct government involvement and planning in the attacks.

I asked 911 Truth activist Nick Bakken from St. Paul, MN what has made him such a supporter of her gag being lifted,

“Well, I never expected her to say anything about 911 Truth, but the States Secret thing is a big deal to me” he explained and went on to say,

“I’m supportive of the gag being lifted because being gagged to protect criminals in our own country is not something anyone should support. The fact that we are infiltrated by moles makes me believe it would have been even easier for an Inside Job theory to be more fact than fiction”.

Brad Friedman of BRADBLOG was at a media conference I attended recently in Santa Cruz, CA. I had a little time to chat with him about Sibel, 911 Truth and the support truth activists rally around her. Understanding he couldn’t reveal any secrets to me I constructed a question whose answer I hope will solve some of the mystery.

I asked Brad if there was any indication Sibel had any kind of information or knowledge of 911 being an Inside Job based on his many discussions with her. In other words, should the Truth movement hold out hope Sibel can help them prove that theory to be true? His answer was an unequivocal,


He said,

“In fact, I don’t think the 911 Truth movement is going to like what she has to say.”

The information that is slowly surfacing from Sibel may help provide more evidence of incompetence regarding the crimes that took place on 9/11. The information may also help build a legal foundation for a new investigation into those crimes later on. But, for now, it seems the gag has been in place because of what she knows about the selling of our countries nuclear secrets by the very people we elect and pay to protect us. Those same people that vote on war in our name against nations with nuclear potential and then sell the need for those wars to the American people.

If our government is selling nuclear secrets to other countries while engaged in a War on Terror with no boundaries and those nuclear secrets are used against us, isn’t that in itself an Inside Job?

Let Sibel Speak. If you haven’t already signed this petition now is the time.

6 Easy Ways to Save Money When You’re Worried About a Recession

By, Cheri Roberts-Piper MTR News

Save after the pump
Gas mileage drops as your speed increases. Drive the speed limit and you will save money and possibly lives. Every 5mph over 60mph you drive is like paying an extra dime a gallon, or more.

Bag it
Commit to bringing your lunch to work instead of eating out. Even if you eat lunch off the dollar menu every day chances are you are still spending at least three bucks a day, over a years time that adds up to almost $1,100.

3-way save
Lose that health club membership. You don’t need to go to a gym to exercise or work out. You can get an effective workout in your own home or neighborhood and if necessary, one time purchases on simple equipment will still allow you to save considerably over the years on membership fees not to mention the money you save in gas and time.

Check it out
Instead of buying books or renting movies, borrow them from the library, friends or family.

No charge
Use cash instead of credit. If you don’t have enough cash then you can’t have it. Use credit cards only for emergencies from here on out.

Time for change
Save your change in one place. Don’t lay change here and there around your home or vehicle. Instead have a jar in your entryway, bathroom or bedroom where you can drop your change at the end of the day. Commit to taking the jar and depositing the saved change into your savings acct once a month. It adds up, believe me.

Ava Lowery, Old Enough to Vote

By, Cheri Roberts-Piper MTR News

Last week – Seventeen-year-old peace powerhouse Ava Lowery, registered to vote in what will be her first presidential election. Ava has been galvanizing America’s youth for years and the 2008 election just may show how many of our country’s first time voters have been listening. With Ava’s eye and attention on presidential candidates John Edwards and Barak Obama you can be sure her followers are watching as well.

We came to know Ava years ago by her hard hitting, inspiring, and often excruciatingly graphic anti-war videos posted on youtube and other websites across the Internet. Ava’s videos on youtube alone receive many thousands of views from people of all parties and ages and have garnered the attention of media outlets like Mother Jones, Rolling Stone Magazine and CNN.

I asked Ava what she intends her videos to accomplish and who are they targeted at. Her response was simple and to the point,

All of my videos are directed at educating people about the war. What they do with that information is all up to them. Hopefully my videos will cause some voters to think about the Iraq war and how it will be handled by the candidates they support when voting this year.”

Peace Takes Courage
– Ava’s main web presence, received 1.45 million hits last month alone while her newly launched Ava’s Army received more than 80,000 hits in its first month. With numbers like these one has to wonder if this young activist realizes the power she potentially wields on a whole new generation of America’s voters.

CA. Congressional Candidate and Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan – who has known Ava for some time, shared her thoughts with me regarding Ava entering the electorate for the first time,

“If young people followed Ava’s lead in trying to make the world a better place, and if we have young leaders like her, I feel our world will be in great hands. Voting is only a small part of our part in democracy, but our votes have to be informed and intelligent, I am sure Ava will be an active participant in our democracy.”

A Texas father – Steve Mauk, who has a daughter Ava’s age added,

“This election will be the first for my youngest daughter as well and she is eager to understand the platforms of the different candidates instead of just casting a party vote. It is great to see young people like her and Ava caring about our country and its future”.

I asked Ava how her documentary was coming along. She has been immersing herself and her life savings into a one on one approach with Veterans of the Iraq war preserving their thoughts upon returning from Iraq, and comparing those to their thoughts pre-deployment.

I had heard that – although not quite on the shelf, there was some delay in its completion due to dwindling funds. Ava agreed funds were definitely an issue and that she was at a bit of an impasse and needed help,

“Most of the filming for the documentary has been completed but we still have Veterans of the war that would like to be interviewed and to be a part of this film. We don’t have the funds at this time though to conduct those interviews so we are trying to find a way to get the funds needed to finish filming.”

She added,

“I believe this documentary will be an important piece that people should see”.

And when I asked why she felt it was important, her response once again hit home on how mature this young lady really is,

“Why? Because it is Veterans of the Iraq war talking about the war. No political pundits and no main stream media mouth pieces. Just people who have witnessed the war first hand and are speaking from their own experiences. I think most Americans want to support our troops. What better way to support them than to hear what they have to say?”

My final question was about what her own thoughts were as we begin the primaries and lead into the 2008 election and what being able to legally vote means to her. I couldn’t help but smile at her response,

“I’m excited to be able to vote for the first time because for a long time now I’ve been involved in politics without being able to vote. Now I think I can call myself a full fledged political junkie and activist.”

Like she wasn’t already working for democracy full time?

She went on to add,

“If more young people voted, I believe there would be major change in this country. I hope that I will be in a large crowd of first time voters this year.”

Just in the crowd? Somehow this writer thinks it will be Ava Lowery leading the crowd, straight to the polls this November.

Also published on Op Ed News.

*If you would like to help Ava Lowery complete her documentary please go to her website where you will find details on her work and on how you can help.

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