Wednesday, October 01, 2014

tsa checks your temperature and your lunchbox for bushmeat - this is all....,


theatlantic |  The Washington Post's Todd Frankel described having an infrared thermometer gun pointed at his head in the Freetown, Sierra Leone airport, along with hundreds of other passengers. In some countries, individuals whose temperatures seem high later undergo a blood test for the virus.

But these temperature checks aren't always effective. In the Dallas case, the man left Liberia on September 19, had his temperature checked at the airport, and arrived in America on September 20. He only developed symptoms on the 24th, however, and he was isolated four days later. Patients are only contagious when they're symptomatic, so there's no risk the people on the flight with the man caught Ebola. There is, however, a four-day window in which he might have infected others in the U.S.

In July, an Ebola-infected man flew from Liberia to Nigeria, even though airport screenings were already in place, and he infected healthcare workers in Lagos. And of course, fevers are usually caused by flu and other illnesses that aren't Ebola.

Twenty different ports of entry in the U.S. have been equipped with quarantine centers that are on the lookout for passengers with Ebola-like symptoms. “If you’re a passenger on a plane and you say you’re sick, you will be met when you land by the CDC,” agency spokesman David Daigle told The New York Post.
 
At arrival gates, border protection officers keep their eyes peeled for passengers who show signs of fever, sweating, or vomiting. They also try to confiscate any monkey meat or other bushmeat that passengers might have in their luggage.

georgia guidestones updates...,


to keep it from spreading - tell the truth about it being airborne...,


dailybeast |  But what about Ebola? The Dallas case is breaking some of our ironclad assumptions. The CDC has a well-considered algorithm that places those returning from the three endemic West Africa countries—Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia—into a measure of extra vigilance if and only if the person has had exposure to a known case of Ebola. Per the press conference, the Dallas case had no such exposure. He was not a health-care worker treating patients, nor was he from a family battling active disease. Of course, more facts may emerge that contradict today’s story—but today’s facts, if they hold up, mean that yesterday’s assumptions are no longer correct. Liberia may indeed be enough of a hotbed of Ebola that anyone arriving from the area will need to be considered for extra vigilance.

More disturbing, though, is this: Infections follow basic rules. That’s what informs the confidence of public health experts. TB, for example, is spread when I inhale the exhaled breath of a person with active disease. Cholera and typhoid fever are transmitted when I ingest contaminated food or drink. And blood-borne infections like HIV, hepatitis B, and Ebola are spread after contacting infected blood or having sex with an infected person.

But even according to these basic rules, Ebola is slightly different in a way that remains obscure. HIV is not spread easily: The per-sexual exposure with an infected person is on the order of 1 in 100; a needlestick with blood from an infection person sustained by a health-care worker transmits infection in only 300 exposures.  Hepatitis B plays by the same rules, though the rates of transmission are about 10 times more frequent. In other words, the likelihood of catching HIV or hepatitis B from an infected person, even with a blood or sexual exposure, is quite low.

Exposures to Ebola, however, seem to leave no room for error. Although we lack carefully performed studies, Kent Brantly, the physician who developed the disease and was airlifted to Atlanta, seemed to have no gross exposure to the disease, though he worked on an Ebola ward. Ditto for Nancy Writebol the other American flown back in that dramatic first wave. According to reports, they were mighty careful at every step, but just not careful enough.

In contrast, it is said that absolutely no one working for Médecins sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, has come down with Ebola, though they have been and are working cheek by jowl with the same patients, presumably because they are perfectly and methodically garbed and attentive 100 percent of the time, not 99 percent. So Frieden’s message to America surely is correct—we are 1,001 disasters away from an alarming national outbreak; our health-care systems are indeed quite sturdy.
But his message to those caring for the Dallas patient both in his home and now in the hospital needs a bit of punching up. For once, all those rules about assuring that masks fit and gloves (two pairs) are snug and gowns are tied and all the rest are deadly serious, as is the mechanical sequence of doffing the disposable garb, then washing hands carefully. This time, even in the freewheeling city of Dallas, the rules must be followed carefully, as if one’s life depended on it—because when dealing with Ebola, it does.

identify, profile, lockdown, don't play...,


nola |  Stanley Gaye, president of the Liberian Community Association of Dallas-Fort Worth, said the 10,000-strong Liberian population in North Texas is skeptical of the CDC's assurances because Ebola has ravaged their country.

"We've been telling people to try to stay away from social gatherings," Gaye said at a community meeting Tuesday evening. Large get-togethers are a prominent part of Liberian culture.

"We need to know who it is so that they (family members) can all go get tested," Gaye told The Associated Press. "If they are aware, they should let us know."

Ebola symptoms can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and bleeding, and can appear as long as 21 days after exposure to the virus. The disease is not contagious until symptoms begin, and it takes close contact with bodily fluids to spread.

The association's vice president encouraged all who may have come in contact with the virus to visit a doctor and she warned against alarm in the community.

"We don't want to get a panic going," said vice president Roseline Sayon. "We embrace those people who are coming forward. Don't let the stigma keep you from getting tested."

Frieden said he didn't believe anyone on the same flights as the patient was at risk.

"Ebola doesn't spread before someone gets sick and he didn't get sick until four days after he got off the airplane," Frieden said.

last week, a 20% chance of a victim in the u.s. by january - ebola WINNING!


telegraph | The first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in America was initially sent home with antibiotics after doctors failed to recognise the symptoms of the deadly disease.

A desperate search has now been launched to find other people in Dallas, Texas who the man could have infected.
The patient had arrived in Dallas on a flight from Liberia and later presented himself at the hospital because he was feeling ill.
He was told to go home and take the antibiotics, but two days later his condition had deteriorated so badly that an ambulance had to be called.
He is now critically ill and in isolation at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.

The ambulance vehicle used to transport him has been quarantined.

Three paramedics who were sent to get him are being kept isolated at their homes and will be monitored for three weeks, the incubation period of Ebola, to see if they develop any symptoms.

Dr Edward Goodman, an epidemiologist at the hospital, said the patient was able to communicate and had been asking for food. He added: "There is no risk to any person in the hospital."

A specialist team from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has arrived in Dallas.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

dallas: serious have-havenot medical industrial segmentation plus dirty south and south of the border propagation vectors...,



motherjones |  According to officials from the Centers for Disease Control, the patient, a male, arrived in the United States from Liberia on September 20. He planned to visit with family members in Texas. He initially sought treatment at a hospital on September 26 but was sent home, and then was readmitted on September 28. Texas public health officials believe that the patient had contact with "a handful" of people while he was infectious, including family members. The officials are currently in the process of tracing those contacts. CDC officials do not believe that anyone on the flight with him has any risk of contracting Ebola.

During a press conference, CDC officials reiterated that Ebola is not transmitted through the air, nor is it possible to catch it from someone who has been exposed but is not yet displaying symptoms.

"Ebola is a scary disease," said CDC's Dr. Thomas Frieden. "At the same time, we are stopping it in its tracks in this country."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed a case of Ebola in Dallas. While other patients have been flown back to the United States for treatment, this is the first time that a patient has been diagnosed stateside.
The patient is being kept in "strict isolation" at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. While hospital officials are not currently discussing which countries the patient has visited, no doubt US officials will be looking very closely at where he's traveled in the recent past, especially within the United States. The CDC will be holding a press conference on this at 5:30 p.m. Eastern. You can see it live here.

Ebola has already infected more than 6,000 people—and killed more than 3,000—in West Africa. Quick action prevented the disease from spreading in Senegal and Nigeria, but the disease continues to wreak havoc in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.

rule of law: speaking of filthy (and thirsty) unprofitable little peasants...,


csmonitor |  The judge presiding over Detroit's bankruptcy said Monday he could not block the city of Detroit from cutting off water access to residents with delinquent bills. 

With this order, Judge Steven Rhodes rejected the pleas from thousands of protesters who argued over the summer that water is a basic human right. Those protests briefly grabbed headlines during the historic bankruptcy proceedings that have consumed the city since last year. Even the United Nations criticized Detroit for human rights violations, after the city's mass water shutoffs. 

But in response to a lawsuit filed to mandate a six-month moratorium on shutoffs, Judge Rhodes said there is no legal basis for citizens to claim water rights. 

"Chapter 9 strictly limits the courts' power in a bankruptcy case," he said, according to the Detroit Free Press. Detroit represents the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

He also said banning water shutoffs would be a blow to Detroit's finances that the city cannot afford. 
"The last thing (Detroit) needs is this hit to its revenues," he said, according to The Detroit News

Rhodes agreed in part with the plaintiffs – which include water customers, attorneys, and welfare rights groups – that long-term damage can occur when people do not have access to water. Still, he said "significant harm" could happen in the case of a six-month moratorium, reports Michigan Radio

In a city that can often be painted as a symbol of American manufacturing decline and urban decay, the water shutoffs offer a window onto the basic steps the city must take in order to make the long journey of recovery, says Aaron Renn, an analyst with the urban policy website, The Urbanophile.

rule of law: applies only to you filthy and unprofitable little peasants...,


valuewalk |   “When regulators care more about protecting big banks from accountability than they do about protecting the American people from risky and illegal behavior on Wall Street, it threatens our whole economy,” Warren said in a statement calling for action. “We learned this the hard way in 2008. Congress must hold oversight hearings on the disturbing issues raised by today’s whistleblower report when it returns in November – because it’s our job to make sure our financial regulators are doing their jobs.”

Its important to note that with nearly $700 trillion in worldwide derivatives exposure, the big banks could wipe out the world economy several times over if these derivatives contracts were to implode simultaneously.  The New York Federal Reserve is significantly responsible for this key regulatory responsibility which might require a tough stance with the banks in order to protect the economy, say observers.

Doyle wonders where Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) CEO Lloyd Blankfien stands on the issue?  As previously reported in ValueWalk, in an interview, Michael Bloomberg and Blankfein engaged in talk of ethics at the bank and in society. “You have a career because you have an ethic behind it,” Blankfien said in that interview less than two weeks ago.

“What does Lloyd Blankfien have to say regarding the fact that his colleagues have been fully and outrageously exposed as playing by a separate set of rules written and practiced by the Wall Street elite?” Doyle questioned.

It’s unclear at this point if the real issues on several levels will be addressed.

A bright note, however, comes from listening to the tape.  When the senior supervisor in charge of supervising Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) discusses confronting the bank when they violate regulations, the Fed staff gets excited, proving there are regulators who really want to regulate. The problem is higher level authorities are getting in their way.

vampire squid: the law IS only people....,

HuffPo |  Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are both calling for Congress to investigate the New York Federal Reserve Bank after recently released secret recordings show the central bank allegedly going light on firms it was supposed to regulate. 

Warren and Brown, both members of the Senate Banking Committee, called for an investigation of the New York Fed after Carmen Segarra, a former examiner at the bank, released secretly recorded tapes that she claims show her superiors telling her to go easy on private banks. Segarra says that she was fired from her job in 2012 for refusing to overlook Goldman’s lack of a conflict of interest policy and other questionable practices that should have brought tougher regulatory scrutiny.

After Segarra made the tapes public in a joint report with ProPublica and This American Life on Friday, Warren was quick to call on Congress to take action.

“Congress must hold oversight hearings on the disturbing issues raised by today’s whistleblower report when it returns in November, because it’s our job to make sure our financial regulators are doing their jobs,” Warren said in a statement on Friday. “When regulators care more about protecting big banks from accountability than they do about protecting the American people from risky and illegal behavior on Wall Street, it threatens our whole economy. We learned this the hard way in 2008.”

In an interview with This American Life and ProPublica, Segarra described numerous instances in which she said she alerted her bosses to questionable practices at Goldman. In one instance, she said she alerted a colleague that a senior compliance officer at Goldman had said that the bank's view was that “once clients became wealthy enough, certain consumer laws didn’t apply to them.” Segarra claims that her New York Fed colleagues asked her to ignore the remark and change meeting minutes she had taken, which contained evidence of what the Goldman executive said.

"These allegations deserve a full and thorough investigation, and American taxpayers deserve regulators who will fight each day on their behalf,” Brown said in a statement

This American Life and ProPublica also unearthed an internal study by the New York Fed in 2009, which found that the institution had a culture where regulators had gotten too cozy to the banks they were supposed to scrutinize and were discouraged from voicing their honest opinions.

rule of law: the secret recordings of carmen segarra



thisamericanlife |  An unprecedented look inside one of the most powerful, secretive institutions in the country. The NY Federal Reserve is supposed to monitor big banks. But when Carmen Segarra was hired, what she witnessed inside the Fed was so alarming that she got a tiny recorder and started secretly taping. ProPublica's print version.

Ira introduces Carmen Segarra, a bank examiner for the Federal Reserve in New York who, in 2012, started secretly recording as she and her colleagues went about regulating one of the most powerful financial institutions in the country. This was during a time when the New York Fed was trying to become a stronger regulator, so that it wouldn't fail to miss another financial crisis like it did with the meltdown in 2008. As part of that effort to reform, the Fed had commissioned a highly confidential report, written by Columbia professor David Beim, that identified why the regulator failed in the years leading up to the crisis. Beim laid out specific recommendations for how the Fed could fix its problems. Carmen's recordings allow us to see if the Fed successfully heeded those recommendations more than two years later. What we hear is not reassuring. Business

ProPublica's Jake Bernstein tells the story of Carmen's first months at the New York Fed, and how she came to start recording. And we hear the story of how the Fed examiners respond to an unusual, questionable deal that Goldman Sachs did — a deal that the top Fed guy stationed inside Goldman calls "legal but shady."Business

We hear what the New York Fed and Goldman Sachs say about all this. We hear a New York Fed supervisor tell Carmen Segarra how an examiner should talk and act to be successful at the Fed. And we hear what happens to Carmen when she does exactly what David Beim's confidential report told the Fed it needed to encourage its examiners to do in order to spot the next financial crisis.

In the course of reporting our story with ProPublica, we sent lots of questions to the New York Fed and Goldman Sachs. We wanted to share those with you, along with the institutions' responses.

Our questions to the New York Fed are here.

The New York Fed responded with a statement and later this email.

Our questions to Goldman Sachs are here.

Goldman Sachs' response is here.

And one last document that plays an important role in our story: the confidential report Columbia professor David Beim wrote for the New York Fed in 2009, as it was trying to figure out why it failed to anticipate the financial crisis and what it should do to make sure it wouldn't fail to catch the next one. 

Here is a transcript of the full episode.Business

Monday, September 29, 2014

does jewish behavior provoke anti-semitism?


theatlantic |  A few days ago, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, tweeted the following statement: “Germans rally against anti-Semitism that flared in Europe in response to Israel’s conduct in Gaza war. Merkel joins.” Roth provided a link to a New York Times article about the rally, which took place in Berlin.

Roth’s framing of this issue is very odd and obtuse. Anti-Semitism in Europe did not flare “in response to Israel’s conduct in Gaza,” or anywhere else. Anti-Semitic violence and invective are not responses to events in the Middle East, just as anti-Semitism does not erupt  “in response” to the policies of banks owned by Jews, or in response to editorial positions taken by The New York Times. This is for the simple reason that Jews do not cause anti-Semitism.

It is a universal and immutable rule that the targets of prejudice are not the cause of prejudice. Just as Jews (or Jewish organizations, or the Jewish state) do not cause anti-Semitism to flare, or intensify, or even to exist, neither do black people cause racism, nor gay people homophobia, nor Muslims Islamophobia. Like all prejudices, anti-Semitism is not a rational response to observable events; it is a manifestation of irrational hatred. Its proponents justify their anti-Semitism by pointing to the (putatively offensive or repulsive) behavior of their targets, but this does not mean that major figures in the world of human-rights advocacy should accept these pathetic excuses as legitimate.

A question: If a mosque in Europe or in the U.S. were to be attacked (God forbid) by Islamophobic arsonists, would Ken Roth describe such an attack as a manifestation of “anti-Muslim hatred that flared in response to the conduct of Muslim groups in the Middle East?”

what to do when the fbi comes knocking on your door to question you about israel...,


addictinginfo |  A peace activist from Austin, TX has put a video up on YouTube that shows her interactions with two FBI agents.

In the beginning of the video you can hear a digitized female voice read,
The Joint terrorism task force division of the FBI sent two agents out to my house to visit me. I’m a part-time peace activist, a full-time mom of five kids and a part-time registered nurse. These two agents knocked on my door, they verified their identities with me and they also verified my identity. At that point I shut down my door, went inside and grabbed my video camera, this is what followed when I opened my door.
The peace activist in the video describes her number one cause as being “Promoting the “One-State” Solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict, instead of the apartheid-like “Two-State” scenario.”

The FBI have targeted peace and environmental organizations for decades now. Will Potter gives an amazing TED talk about the topic and his fabulous book “Green is the New Red,” which was released this year. After 9/11 and the creation of the Patriot Act people who take part in protests and non violent civil disobedience are being labeled as terrorists in a new era reminiscent of the anti-communist red scare.

conservative canadian mp attempts to redirect question about iraq into flim-flam about israel...,


israeli apartheid a divisive topic within world jewry...,


NYTimes |  Forty-seven years after Israel’s victory in the 1967 Middle East war — celebrated by Jews worldwide — Israel’s occupation of Arab lands won in battle and its standoff with the Palestinians have become so divisive that many rabbis say it is impossible to have a civil conversation about Israel in their synagogues. Debate among Jews about Israel is nothing new, but some say the friction is now fire. Rabbis said in interviews that it may be too hot to touch, and many are anguishing over what to say about Israel in their sermons during the High Holy Days, which begin Wednesday evening.

Particularly in the large cohort of rabbis who consider themselves liberals and believers in a “two-state solution,” some said they are now hesitant to speak much about Israel at all. If they defend Israel, they risk alienating younger Jews who, rabbis say they have observed, are more detached from the Jewish state and organized Judaism. If they say anything critical of Israel, they risk angering the older, more conservative members who often are the larger donors and active volunteers.

The recent bloody outbreak of fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip may have done little to change the military or political status quo there, but rabbis in the North American diaspora say the summertime war brought into focus how the ground under them has shifted.

“It used to be that Israel was always the uniting factor in the Jewish world,” said Rabbi Aigen, who has served Congregation Dorshei Emet in Montreal for 39 years. “But it’s become contentious and sadly, I think it is driving people away from the organized Jewish community. Even trying to be centrist and balanced and present two sides of the issue, it is fraught with danger.”

Israel is still, without a doubt, the spiritual center and the fondest cause of global Jewry. Many rabbis said that Hamas’s summer assaults on Israel, by rocket fire and underground tunnels, the anti-Semitism that erupted around the world and the rise of the terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State in neighboring Syria left them feeling more aware of Israel’s vulnerability and more protective of it than ever.

“There’s just been a tremendous outpouring of support, a sense of real connection and identification with our brothers and sisters in Israel,” said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly, which represents the Conservative movement, summing up what she heard during a recent “webinar” for rabbis preparing for the High Holy Days.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

rule of law: AG Eat's departure has the Hon.Bro.Preznit Sleep pretending to awake for half a hot second....,


detroitnews |  President Barack Obama says the widespread mistrust of law enforcement that was exposed after the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri, is corroding America, not just its black communities, and that the wariness flows from significant racial disparities in the administration of justice.

Speaking Saturday night at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual awards dinner, Obama said these suspicions only harm communities that need law enforcement the most.

"It makes folks who are victimized by crime and need strong policing reluctant to go to the police because they may not trust them," he said. "And the worst part of it is it scars the hearts of our children," leading some youngsters to unnecessarily fear people who do not look like them while leading others to constantly feel under suspicion no matter what they do.

"That is not the society we want," Obama said. "That is not the society that our children deserve."
The fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in August sparked days of violent protests and racial unrest in predominantly black Ferguson. The police officer who shot Brown was white.

Obama addressed the matter carefully but firmly, saying the young man's death and the raw emotion that sprang from it had reawakened the country to the fact that "a gulf of mistrust" exists between local residents and law enforcement in too many communities.

"Too many young men of color feel targeted by law enforcement — guilty of walking while black, driving while black, judged by stereotypes that fuel fear and resentment and hopelessness," he said.

"legitimate" penological interest decided by a mailroom clerk...,


guardian |  There is “widespread censorship” of books in US prisons, according to a report submitted to a UN human rights review, which details the banning of works about artists from Botticelli to Van Gogh from Texan state prisons for containing “sexually explicit images”.

The report from two free-speech organisations, the New York-based National Coalition Against Censorship and the Copenhagen-based Freemuse, to the United Nation’s (UN) Universal Periodic Review states that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) lists 11,851 titles banned from its facilities. These range from the “ostensibly reasonable”, such as How to Create a New Identity, Essential Throwing and Grappling Techniques, and Art & Design of Custom Fixed Blades, to what it describes as “the telling”, including Write it in Arabic, and the “bizarre” (Arrival of the Gods: Revealing the Alien Landing Sites at Nazca was banned for reasons of “homosexuality”).

Prisoners in Texas are entitled to be mailed books and magazines, but the titles are checked on arrival against a “master list” of acceptable works. If they do not appear on the list, then it is the decision of the post-room officer as to whether they are objectionable.

“Of the 11,851 total blocked titles, 7,061 were blocked for ‘deviant sexual behaviour’ and 543 for sexually explicit images,” says the report, naming artists including Caravaggio, Cézanne, Dallí, Picasso, Raphael, Rembrandt and Renoir among those whose works have been kept out of Texas state prisons.

“Anthologies on Greco-Roman art, the pre-Raphaelites, impressionism, Mexican muralists, pop surrealism, graffiti art, art deco, art nouveau and the National Museum of Women in the Arts are banned for the same reason, as are numerous textbooks on pencil drawing, watercolour, oil painting, photography, graphic design, architecture and anatomy for artists,” states the submission, with prohibited literary works by Gustav Flaubert, Langston Hughes, Flannery O’Connor, George Orwell, Ovid, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie, John Updike, Shakespeare and Alice Walker also on the banned list.

“To survey the list of works banned by the TDCJ is to appreciate the dangers of the broad discretionary powers granted to prison officials under the concept of legitimate penological interest,” says the report.

exceptionally obnoxious wattles out of pocket an ackin a fool...,


freethinker |  The problem began when a group of Haredi men bound for Israel last Wednesday to celebrate the Jewish New Year refused to sit next to female passengers on the plane. Why they were on the plane to begin with is a bit of a mystery, because Orthodox Jews were specifically told in 2009 to boycott El Al. Rabbi Yitzhak Goldknopf said they should fly with airlines that only screen:
Movies showing water and scenery, and not dirty movies.
But back to last week’s flight, described by one passenger as:
An 11-hour nightmare.
First the flight was delayed because The Men in Black refused to be seated next to females. Regular passengers claimed that hundreds of the ultra-Orthodox men demanded that they trade places with them before takeoff, saying they could not possibly sit next to women.
Their behaviour not only delayed the flight, but caused actual chaos. Said one passenger, Amit Ben-Natan, who snapped the picture (inset) above:
People stood in the aisles and refused to go forward. Although everyone had tickets with seat numbers that they purchased in advance, they asked us to trade seats with them, and even offered to pay money, since they cannot sit next to a woman. It was obvious that the plane wouldn’t take off as long as they kept standing in the aisles.
Passengers claimed that though the El Al flight crew informed them they did not have to agree to a switch, the flight’s captain said over the PA system that the flight would not take off as long as people were standing.

does atheism make believers uncomfortable?


salon |  Why do so many religious believers want atheists to lie about our atheism?

It seems backward. Believers are always telling atheists that we need religion for morality; that we have to believe because without religion, people would have no reason not to murder and steal and lie. And yet, all too often, they ask us to lie. When atheists come out of the closet and tell the people in our lives that we don’t believe in God, all too often the reaction is to try to shove us back in.

In some cases, they simply want us to keep our mouths shut: when the topic of religion comes up, they want us to tell the lie of omission. But much of the time, they actually ask us to lie outright. They ask us to lie to other family members. They ask us to attend church or other religious services. They sometimes even ask us to perform important religious rituals, like funerals or confirmations, where we’re not just lying to the people around us, but to the god they supposedly believe in.

Why would they do this?

When I was doing research for my new guidebook, “ Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why,” I was shocked at how often this happens. I read over 400 “coming out atheist” stories to write this book, and in the stories I read, this theme came up again and again and again.

You see it a lot with parents and children. When kids and teenagers tell their parents that they’re atheists, parents often respond by insisting that their kids keep up a religious charade. Alexander came out as atheist to his family in fourth grade, and was met with hostility and confusion — and quickly went back into the closet. “True to form,” he says on his Scribbles and Rants blog, “my parents dropped the matter as long as I went through the motions and didn’t bring it up myself.”

Friday, September 26, 2014

rule of law: simply comply=no beating


A truck driver was beaten within an inch of his life by California Highway Patrol for not signing a traffic ticket that he could not read. The driver, who broke no laws, was beaten so badly that he woke up in a trauma hospital.

Olegs Kozacenko, a local resident originally from Russia, was pulled over and cited by police for allegedly driving too many hours in one day. Kozacenko refused to sign the ticket because he had not or could not read it.

CHP Officers didn't take kindly to the driver's refusal to sign. Two officers, one of them a trained fist-boxer, beat Kozacenko on the side of the highway nearly to death. He suffered a crushed left orbital eye socket, multiple facial fractures, a broken left arm, broken ribs, a concussion, loss of consciousness, and possible neurological damage. His injuries caused a deprivation of oxygen for a prolonged period of time.

Photographs taken of Kozacenko's unconscious body showed that he was in handcuff restraints. A toxicology report showed a 0.00% blood-alcohol content of the driver; perfectly clean.

"The public if they get stopped and simply comply with what they are asked to do, they have nothing to fear, nothing to fear at all," said Acting Chief Ken Hill.

Officers Andrew P. Murrill and Jim Sherman maintained that the force was not excessive. Both are still on the job a full 2 years after the incident. Olegs Kozacenko suffers long-term physical and emotional injuries and is no longer able to work.

rule of law: trust us, we're the u.s. government and we're here to help..,


WaPo |  Last week, President Obama announced an ambitious — and expensive — plan that effectively placed the U.S. military at the forefront of the global fight against the worst Ebola outbreak in history. In an effort that could cost as much as $750 million in the next six months, he assigned up to 3,000 military personnel to West Africa to “combat and contain” what officials call “an extraordinarily serious epidemic.”

As those military doctors and officials begin what will be a difficult task, among the challenges they face are rumors that spread fear — fear of Ebola, fear of quarantine measures and fear of doctors. Already, several medical workers have been murdered in Guinea — throats slit, bodies dumped in a latrine. Then six Red Cross volunteers were attacked earlier this week while they tried to collect the body of an Ebola victim.

And now, in what may plant further seeds of mistrust and suspicion, a major Liberian newspaper, the Daily Observer, has published an article by a Liberian-born faculty member of a U.S. university implying the epidemic is the result of bioterrorism experiments conducted by the United States Department of Defense, among others.

And while some commenting on the article were critical, the number who praised it was telling. “They are using” Ebola, wrote one, “for culling the world population mainly Africa for the…purpose of gaining control of the Africans resources criminally.”

rule of law: local elites try'na put a dab of lipstick on rampant pigs...,

kcstar |  For more than 40 years, New York City’s police foundation has raised private dollars to buy everything from horses to bulletproof vests to crime analysis technology.

Atlanta’s police foundation, created in 2003, raises several million dollars annually to assist police, especially with a camera surveillance network.

And the St. Louis police foundation, begun in 2007, now provides more than a half-million dollars per year for such things as ATVs and even dogs.

In fact, most big cities view police foundations as vital to providing money for the wish lists that so ...,many departments can’t fund with strapped city budgets.

Finally, after years of research and organizing, Kansas City is joining the trend.

“We’re starting to roll,” said Cy Ritter, who was hired in March as the Kansas City police foundation’s executive director, a few years after retiring as a Kansas City deputy police chief. 

Ritter has just launched the foundation’s first two major initiatives: a program to track and find missing people with autism or dementia, and another to start a major surveillance camera program.

“The city is very good to Police and Fire, but there’s just not enough dollars,” Ritter said, adding that the foundation was formed to supplement public tax money that pays for police salaries, cars, uniforms and other essentials. The foundation’s focus, like that in many cities, will be training and new technologies.

Betsey Solberg, chairwoman of the foundation’s 14-member board, acknowledges that it’s taken several years for the organization to get up and running — and that Kansas City trails other cities that did this years ago.

“We are behind, but we are getting caught up,” said Solberg, adding that the foundation is critically needed. Kansas City’s violent crime rate, while improving in recent months, still ranks as one of the worst in the country.

“If you look at how serious our crime is,” she said, “we’ve got to do something.”

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/government-politics/article2251341.html#storylink=cpy

rule of law: eat, of the famed minstrel duo "sleep and eat" can't fake the funk anymore...,


reuters |  Eric Holder said on Thursday he would step down as U.S. attorney general, setting up a potentially bruising Senate fight to confirm a successor who can tackle a long list of pending challenges at the Justice Department.

Holder, an unapologetic liberal voice and one of President Barack Obama's closest allies, will remain in office until a successor is nominated and confirmed. His nearly six-year term, marked by civil rights advances and frequent fights with Congress, made him one of the nation's longest serving attorneys generals.

"I will never leave the work. I will continue to serve," Holder, with Obama at his side, said during a brief White House announcement of his departure.

The next attorney general will face many challenges, including managing counter-terror initiatives aimed at Islamic State militants, balancing privacy rights against government surveillance efforts, and deciding whether to continue attempts to prosecute former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, now living in Russia, for revealing surveillance secrets.

Holder's successor also will oversee a series of cases against banks and individuals over the manipulation of foreign exchange rates, and must decide whether to continue Holder's effort to scale back the prosecution of nonviolent drug offenders.

rule of law: chief struggley's forced and fake apology


msnbc |  A “scuffle” near Ferguson, Missouri police chief Thomas Jackson resulted in the arrests of several individuals and a subsequent hours-long “uneasy standoff” between police and protesters outside the city’s police department, CNN reported early Friday.

Jackson delivered a lengthy, public apology Thursday to the family of Michael Brown, an unarmed, black teenager shot and killed last month by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. According to CNN, commotion arose when, following Jackson’s apology, the chief entered the crowd peacefully, causing a nearby brawl that ended in the arrests of those allegedly involved.

“No one who has not experienced the loss of a child can understand what you’re feeling. I am truly sorry for the loss of your son. I’m also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street,” Jackson said in a video statement earlier Thursday, wearing a polo shirt, not his uniform.

Brown’s body was left in the street for hours outside the housing complex where he lived. Jackson said it took time for investigators to work, but conceded that it “was just too long, and I am truly sorry for that.”

Ferguson became ground zero in a national conversation about race and policing, and Jackson now says he wants to be a part of that conversation. But Jackson added that he wanted to apologize first to the Brown family. As protesters moved into Ferguson, the town’s police force was sidelined by county and state officers, in recognition of the deep distrust for the local police.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

baddest bish on the planet claps back at the naked hypocrisy of fraudulent-poodle haters!


HuffPo |  Charlo Greene certainly knows how to make incredible live TV.

After announcing she was leaving her job at the KTVA station in Anchorage, Alaska, by telling viewers, "Fuck it, I quit," she joined HuffPost Live on Thursday and smoked a joint live on the air.
"I'll spark up right now. It is what it is. I'm in the privacy of my own home. I can spark up," she told host Alyona Minkovski as she gleefully lit up.

Greene responded to the apology from KTVA's news director, who said she "betrayed the basic bedrock of responsible journalism" by reporting on a business she herself owned, the Alaska Cannabis Club.

"It's true," she said of accusations that she acted unethically. "I have a journalism degree. I know in journalism there's a line that you're not supposed to cross, and the minute I bought my business license on 4/20 of this year, I shouldn't have reported on any marijuana stories. But if I had gone to my boss and said, 'Hey, I bought this company,' I would have been fired, period. I wasn't ready for that to happen."

Greene said she felt a "responsibility to the community" to offer a dissenting voice from Alaska's "Vote No On 2" campaign, which seeks to defeat a ballot measure to legalize marijuana, and ensure "their fear-mongering wasn't going to be broadcast as fact." She explained:
If everyone is upset about my 'breach of trust,' and me crossing that line, then how about you get upset about the fact that journalists in 2014 just go off and say, 'Alright, well you say whatever it is that you have to say,' [and they hear] 'Oh, the kids. The kids are going to start using if we legalize marijuana.' You put that on air without even vetting that? The state of Colorado says teenage usage rates are falling, but the No On 2 people aren't going to say that. Yet every other journalist in this market is going to put their comments on air without vetting them.
Greene also shared her side of what she called a "patently false" TMZ report in which her neighbor Tyler Gilbrech claimed Greene smoked so much pot in her apartment that it seeped through the walls and made his 4-year-old "violently sick." Gilbrech got a restraining order against Greene after she allegedly threatened him to "watch his back."

overseer actually fired and charged for attempted extrajudicial murder..., (thank gawd for dashcam!)


ibtimes |  Footage has emerged of the "disturbing" moment a US patrol officer shot an unarmed man after requesting to see his driving license during a routine check.

South Carolina State Trooper Sean Groubert has been charged with assault and battery after shooting Levar Edward Jones at a petrol station in Columbia on 4 September, 2014.

Police released footage of the incident taken from the dashboard camera of Groubert's patrol car following his arrest.

The video shows Groubert pulling Jones over for allegedly not wearing his seatbelt while driving. After asking Jones to get out of the car, Groubert told Jones to hand over his license.

As Jones turns to retrieve his license, Groubert shouts "get out the car" before firing four times.
Jones can be heard apologising to the officer before asking "Why was I shot? All I did was reach for my license. I'm coming from work."

Jones was hit once in the hip and taken to hospital, but his injuries were not life-threatening.
Following the incident, Groubert was arrested and charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, a felony offence which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. He has also been fired as a South Carolina state trooper.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said Groubert shot at Jones unlawfully. A spokesperson added: "Audio and visual recordings, as well as written statements obtained, are further evidence to indicate the shooting incident was without justification."

america: club life - may the best intentional communities win


Time | We're used to choosing to join together for a goal—or not—whenever we want to 

Over the course of the last 15 years or so, there’s been an explosion in the number of charter schools around the country. According to the latest figures (from 2012), some 2.1 million students are enrolled in schools run by private groups awarded public money. The schools bear optimistic names like “YES Prep North Central” (in Houston) and “Animo Leadership High” (in Inglewood, California). Beyond the specific concerns about education, the charter school movement is powered by a particularly American world-view, one rooted in the ethos of the dissident Protestant churches that were the foundation of early American culture: Citizens opting out of a hierarchical system to pursue personal goals by joining together in a local, voluntary society.

This ideological impulse – which I and others call “voluntarism” – is a cultural trait that helps explain why the United States remains different from comparable wealthy, western nations. Broadly speaking, voluntarism is not another term for American individualism, although it entails individualism. Voluntarism is the way Americans reconcile individualism and community. And we can feel the weight of American voluntarism in our approaches to public issues, not only in charter schools, but in debates about issues like Obamacare and gay marriage as well.

Other western nations, by contrast, consider health care a civil right of citizens and a moral obligation of government. American tradition, however, treats health care as an individual’s personal responsibility, or at least as a personal responsibility exercised through voluntary association, as in workplace health insurance. When the debate around gay marriage shifted from a discussion of God, gender, sex, and propriety to a debate over individual rights, tolerance, and the personal freedom of Americans to choose their partners, the struggle for marriage equality became easier.

American voluntarism makes it hard for social-democratic reformers to persuade their fellow citizens to accept the types of ambitious state-run initiatives common in most western democracies, such as universal healthcare, free pre-schools and guaranteed labor rights. Conversely, the spirit of American voluntarism makes it harder for non-Americans to understand our public policies, which are often caricatured as being nakedly Darwinian.

 That American society was notably different — exceptional was the term — from other western societies was a staple for much of twentieth-century social science. Researchers have offered up lists of hows and whys, trying to distill the difference. I joined the enterprise when I started researching my 2010 book, Made in America, and the evidence spoke to the centrality of voluntarism in understanding American culture and its so-called exceptionalism.

how will american clubs respond when resident evil comes home to roost?


economiccollapseblog |  If Ebola continues to spread like wildfire throughout West Africa, it is probably just a matter of time before it starts popping up in major cities in other areas of the globe.

If this were to happen in the United States, life would change for all of us almost overnight.
It is hard to put into words that kind of chaos that we are witnessing over in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone right now.  Panic and fear are everywhere, and the corpses just keep piling up.  The following is an excerpt from a recent New York Times article...
The Ebola epidemic is spreading rapidly in Sierra Leone’s densely packed capital - and it may already be far worse than the authorities acknowledge.
Various models of the growth of the epidemic here “all show an exponential increase,” said Peter H. Kilmarx, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team in Sierra Leone. “The conditions are amenable to Ebola spread.”
“Since last month, it’s every day, any minute and hour, and often, they are coming” to bury the Ebola dead, said Desmond Kamara, a police officer.
A cloudy stream drains from the area of the new graves into the slum, further frightening the residents.
“We are at risk, big risk,” said Ousman Kamara, a resident. “We have made many complaints.”
But the bodies, he said, keep coming.
“Even at night,” he said. “You stand here, and you see them coming.”
Could you imagine something like that happening in America?

At this stage of the crisis in West Africa, all existing treatment facilities are absolutely overwhelmed.
Because there are no more beds, large numbers of people with Ebola are being turned away.  Many end up dying just outside of the walls of some of these clinics...
A new Ebola clinic opened in Monrovia this week, but bodies lay on the ground outside its walls. Ambulances filled with Ebola patients, some that have traveled seven hours to get there, are not unloaded. Without help to get them inside, the patients fall in the dirt, mere feet away from treatment.
If things are this bad already when we only have thousands of cases, what are things going to look like when we have more than a million cases?

A representative for Samaritan’s Purse admitted the other day that "it's too late. Nobody's going to build 100,000 beds."

And it can be absolutely heartbreaking for health workers to turn away people that are dying.
The following is firsthand testimony from a health worker that is on the front lines of this crisis that is actually having to do this...
The first person I had to turn away was a father who had brought his sick daughter in the trunk of his car. He pleaded with me to take his teenage daughter, saying that whilst he knew we couldn't save her life, at least we could save the rest of his family from her.

Other families just pulled up in cars, let the sick person out and then drove off, abandoning them. One mother tried to leave her baby on a chair, hoping that if she did, we would have no choice but to care for the child.

I had to turn away one couple who arrived with their young daughter. Two hours later the girl died in front of our gate, where she remained until the body removal team took her away.
Those that are working on burial teams often see things that are even worse.  Just consider the following example...
Dressed from head to toe in white protective suits and thick goggles, the burial teams try to stay safe, but nothing can shield them from the unspeakable horrors they've seen when they make their regular rounds. On Friday, Kiyee described what he saw when he entered a home:

"I took the key and opened the door and went in and saw a 6-month-old child licking on the mother's skin," said Kiyee. The mother was lying on her stomach. She had died from Ebola. The baby was searching for the mother's milk. "Right away I started shedding tears."
This is the kind of pure hell that we could see in the United States if Ebola starts spreading here.
Just because we have a more advanced medical system and better living conditions does not mean that we will be able to stop the spread of this virus.

In fact, some medical professionals are already warning that we are not prepared for an Ebola pandemic.

If cases of Ebola do start appearing in major cities throughout America, you will want to be prepared to stay at home as much as possible.  There will not be any magic pill that you can pop that will "cure" you of this disease.  It is a brutally efficient killer that does not show any mercy.

clubs or commons? how to respond to umbrella corporation's resident evil?


WaPo |  The number of Ebola cases in West Africa could quadruple to more than 20,000 by early November in the absence of monumental efforts to slow the rate of transmission, according to a team of researchers working for the World Health Organization. 

The report, outlined Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, also argues that if the disease isn’t adequately contained, it could become endemic among the populations in countries hardest hit by the outbreak — Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. 

“Without drastic improvements in control measures,” researchers say, “the numbers and cases and deaths from [Ebola] are expected to continue increasing from hundreds to thousands per week in coming months.”

The latest findings come as the WHO’s official count for the outbreak has surged past 5,800 people infected and 2,800 deaths. But as the agency’s researchers acknowledge in Tuesday’s report, “the true numbers of cases and deaths are certainly higher.”

The reasons behind that rapid acceleration are clear and daunting. According to researchers, every person who gets sick in Sierra Leone infects roughly two more people. Those “reproduction” rates are lower in Guinea and Liberia, but only slightly. That means that without forceful measures to disrupt transmission of the disease, the three countries combined could be facing more than 20,000 Ebola cases by November.

clubs, commons, or just no banksters? privatized indiana toll road going bankrupt due to contraction?


kingworld |  “There are news reports today that the Indiana Toll-Road Co. is filing for bankruptcy.  It operates the motorway that runs across northern Indiana, between Illinois and Ohio, that is part of the U.S. Interstate Highway System.  At first glance this news may seem not worth mentioning, but some important observations need to be drawn.  The professed reason for the bankruptcy is the company’s debt, but there is more to this story....

“The key point is why it is unable to service this debt, which is declining traffic.

The Financial Times put it this way:  “The fall in traffic volumes on U.S. roads since 2004 has undercut the financial assumptions behind a series of deals devised in the middle of last decade during an infrastructure investment boom.”  Note that the FT mentions “U.S. roads” in the plural because what is happening in Indiana is not unique.  It is happening across the United States.

The bankruptcy of this Indiana company confirms what a seven-year decline in gasoline sales is illustrating:  People are driving less.

The key to interpreting what is happening with this road in Indiana is understanding the bigger picture.  So is this decline, as the Financial Times says, because “economic and lifestyle changes have prompted people to use cars less”?  Or is it just another clear indicator of a declining workforce driving fewer miles in a weak economy, which has also stretched consumer budgets so they are driving less?

I think the latter, particularly when considering the growth in population.  The decline in gas sales no doubt reflects, in part, increased fuel efficiency.  But if gas sales per person were illustrated when looking at the total population, the decline would be even more dramatic.

There is no doubt about it -- Americans are driving less.  This has reduced the country’s demand for gasoline.  It has also reduced what governments take in each year from the gas tax.  This is also an important point.  The federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993.  So declining fuel sales have brought the Highway Trust Fund -- yet another government fund -- to insolvency.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

nypd now attempting late-term kinetic abortions on the street...,


newyorkdailynews |  An NYPD officer was caught on a disturbing video tackling a clearly pregnant woman and riding her to the ground early Saturday in Brooklyn.

The recording shows Sandra Amezquita, who is 5-foot-4 and five months pregnant, being grabbed by the arm and thrown to the pavement with the cop on her back in Sunset Park around 2:15 a.m.
The baby’s father, Ronel Lemos, said he watched in horror as his wife hit the ground belly-first.

“The first thing I thought was they killed my baby and they’re going to kill my wife,” Lemos, 50, told the Daily News on Tuesday.

Moments later, another unidentified woman was violently flung to the ground on Fifth Ave. and 41st St.

“You would think the police would respect a woman that is pregnant,” Amezquita, 43, said through an interpreter in an exclusive interview with The News.

“I was afraid something happened to my baby. I am still afraid that something is wrong,” she said, referring to the abdominal pain that persists.

Amezquita suffered vaginal bleeding after the incident, and her belly and arm still bear bruises.
She was given a summons for disorderly conduct and her husband was arrested for assaulting a police officer, cops said.

The officer is the second cop from the 72nd Precinct in a week to be under investigation by the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau after getting caught on video.

Video shows Sandra Amezquita get pushed to the ground and held down by NYPD cops — with her pregnant belly being shoved into the pavement.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton last week suspended a cop caught on camera kicking a street vendor on Fifth Ave. in Sunset Park as he was being subdued by fellow officers.

overseers playing soldier skate on the extrajudicial execution of john crawford at walmart...,


slate |  A grand jury in Ohio has chosen not to indict two police officers in the shooting of John Crawford, the Dayton-area man who was killed in a Walmart while carrying what turned out to be a BB gun. Crawford was shot on August 5, and a special grand jury was convened for the case on Monday.

Prosecutors have released security footage of Crawford's movements around the store (click the link above to see it) and of the moment he was shot:

Though a 911 caller told a dispatcher that Crawford was "pointing" the gun at other shoppers and later said Crawford was "waving it around," the video does not appear to show either such movement. That caller, Ronald Ritchie, told reporters he was an "ex-Marine"—but was found to have been kicked out of the Corps after only seven weeks on a charge of "fraudulent enlistment."

Officers say Crawford ignored orders to drop the BB gun. A representative of Crawford's family says that Crawford may not even have been aware of officers' presence before they began firing.

know your rights...,


"we are a paramilitary organization at war"?


WaPo |  The Pentagon’s surplus military gear giveaways include even police agencies under federal sanction for patterns of excessive force and civil rights violations.

St. Louis police will get post-Ferguson media training on how to win the media after a questionable police shooting. I’m no PR specialist, but perhaps a better use of this money would have been to invest in better training so there are fewer questionable police shootings to spin.


Indianapolis police chief says law enforcement officers are “soldiers in an army” preparing to “go into battle.” 

Police agencies are alarmed by the new encryption being built into smart phones. That seems like a good sign that the tech companies are getting it right.