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Eye 1

California: Smart meters being used to impose fines on water wasters

The smart grid isn't coming. It's already here.

Everywhere people's houses are being fitted if they already haven't with smart electric meters and smart water meters. These meters communicate real-time usage data via radio frequency (which comes with its own set of health problems).

Essentially, consumption of utilities in your home is being big brother tracked and traced at all times on the smart grid.

Sure, it was sold to everyone as a "smart" solution for keeping consumption in check, that it would decrease utility bills because people could use it to check out how much they use and find smart ways to cut down. (How many people are really even doing that, by the way?)

Question

Five key questions that were completely ignored during the Boston Bombing trial

Jurors in the trial of 21 year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are hoping to return a verdict on Wednesday, following weeks of testimony in the Boston Marathon bombing trial.

Tsarnaev faces either life in prison or the death penalty.

Here are five stunning questions that were not asked during this historic trial in Massachusetts...

Comment: For more on the Boston Marathon bombing see:
  • Were The Boston Marathon Bombers 'Mind Controlled'?



Sheriff

Video: Quinland, TX. - Cops beat pregnant woman as her children watch

In a video posted online on April 4, a Hunt County sheriff's deputy is seen brutally assaulting a woman in front of her crying children as she screams out in pain while informing the officers that she is pregnant.


Comment: Once again, the pathological police force targets a vulnerable segment of the population.

See related articles:
  • Depraved! NYPD officers slam visibly pregnant woman on pavement, use stun gun on her belly
  • Pregnant woman tasered by cops after calling for help in parking lot fender bender incident in Springfield, Illinois



Eye 2

South Carolina cop executes black man for broken taillight, then plants evidence near body (VIDEO)

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A white North Charleston police officer was arrested on a murder charge and the FBI opened a civil rights investigation Tuesday after video surfaced of the lawman shooting eight times at a 50-year-old black man as he ran away.

Walter L. Scott died Saturday after Patrolman 1st Class Michael T. Slager, 33, shot him in the back.

The video footage, which The Post and Courier obtained Tuesday from a source who asked to remain anonymous, shows the end of the confrontation between the two on Saturday after Scott ran from a traffic stop. It was the first piece of evidence contradicting a statement that Slager released earlier this week through his attorney.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement that FBI investigators would work with the State Law Enforcement Division, which typically investigates officer-involved shootings in South Carolina, and the state's attorney general to investigate any civil rights violations in Scott's death. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said during a news conference that Slager had made a "bad decision."

"When you're wrong, you're wrong," Summey said. "If you make a bad decision, don't care if you're behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision."

WARNING: Unedited, graphic footage of the April 4, 2015, shooting of Walter Scott by North Charleston Patrolman 1st Class Michael Thomas Slager taken by an anonymous bystander.


Comment: The above article doesn't actually mention why Scott was stopped to begin with: we have to go to Russian media to learn that he was stopped because his car had 'a broken taillight'.

The US media instead 'fills in' the story with details about the victim's alleged past misdemeanors, the implication being, of course, that he 'is a criminal and therefore deserved to die'.

Scott isn't around anymore to defend himself from all the spurious accusations the police will throw at him. After all, dead men tell no tales.


Handcuffs

Volunteer firefighters who sexually assaulted trainee arrested

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© Fox DFW
Authorities say a rite of passage at a Waxahachie fire station crossed the line, leading to felony sex charges against five volunteer firefighters.

The firemen were arrested Monday on accusations that they used a sausage to sexually assault a man at the station in January, officials said. A woman is also accused of recording the deed on a cellphone.

The alleged attack occurred Jan. 20 at the Emergency Service District 6 Volunteer Fire Department in Waxahachie, Texas Rangers spokesman Lonny Haschel said. The victim reported the incident to authorities last week.

Officials at the 26-member department did not respond to requests seeking comment.

Five men were charged with aggravated sexual assault in the case: Keith Edward Wisakowsky, 26; Casey Joe Stafford, 30; Preston Thomas Peyrot, 19; Alec Chase Miller, 28; and Blake Jerold Tucker, 19.

Brittany Leanne Parten, 23, was also arrested and charged with improper photography or visual recording.

Comment: Hazing exists beyond high school and college. It is most prominent in male-dominated institutions, which a volunteer fire department would definitely fall under. The fact that it exists at all is a testament to the institutionalization of psychopathy. It has trickled down so far into society that acts such as this can even be considered and then acted upon.


Stormtrooper

South Carolina officer is charged with murder in black man's death


Washington— A white police officer in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder on Tuesday after a video surfaced showing him shooting and killing an apparently unarmed black man in the back while he ran away.

The officer, Michael T. Slager, 33, had said he feared for his life because the man took his stun gun in a scuffle after a traffic stop on Saturday. A video, however, shows the officer firing eight times as the man — Walter L. Scott, 50 — fled.

The North Charleston mayor announced the state charges at a news conference Tuesday evening.

The shooting comes on the heels of high-profile incidents of police officers using lethal force in New York, Cleveland, Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere around the country. The deaths have sparked a national debate over whether the police are too quick to use force, particularly in cases involving black men.

A White House task force has recommended a host of changes to the nation's police policies, and President Obama dispatched Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., to cities around the country to try to improve police relations with minority neighborhoods.

Cult

A woman's story of spending 16 years in the abusive Christian Quiverfull movement

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If you have not heard of the Quiverfull movement, I'll sum it up by saying that Quiverfull is an all-encompassing vision of a big, happy, godly family which affects every aspect of a so-called True Believer's life. Probably the most recognizable Quiverfull family in America is reality TV's Duggar family of 19 Kids and Counting fame.

You'll find Quiverfull families in nearly all types of churches in every community. Quiverfull is simply the "pro-life" idea that truly godly families will "trust the Lord" with their family planning. Children are viewed as unmitigated blessings ("As arrows in the hand of the mighty man, so are the children of ones youth, happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them:" Psalm 123), so couples are willing to have as many children as the Lord chooses. All methods of conception control are considered a lack of trust in God to provide for the "children of the righteous."

At the heart of Quiverfull is patriarchy: the ideal of biblical headship and submission. This is the belief that by God's perfect design, the father is the head of the home. The father serves as protector, provider and shepherd for his wife and children. He is primarily responsible for the wife's and children's physical, emotional and spiritual well-being and with such responsibility comes the (divinely granted) commensurate authority over the members of his household. According to this view, God works through the father and he serves as an intermediary for his wife and children. Honor, obedience and submission are highly valued qualities because they are necessary to maintain order and work together to accomplish the Lord's vision for a godly family.

This emphasis on patriarchy guarantees that, to the degree in which a Christian family puts Quiverfull ideals into practice, the family is living a dysfunctional relationship dynamic which necessarily involves mental, emotional and spiritual abuse.

This was my life for over 16 years. Shunning birth control resulted in seven children, who we homeschooled and sheltered from "godless society." But these days, I think Christian fundamentalism is just as bizarre as you do. After deconverting, I started a blog, No Longer Quivering, as a way to process my Quiverfull life and try to understand how I'd come to embrace such a fanatical lifestyle. Over time, NLQ has grown into a movement of women escaping and healing from spiritual abuse. I've met many people whose lives and families have been devastated by this ideology, and the stories they tell are heartbreaking.

Comment: See also:


Eye 2

Pathological: Quebec road-rage chainsaw incident

© CBC
Alexandre Hermenier and Karine Cyr say they regret following the driver that cut them off while driving on a road in Saint-Jérôme.
Man accused of using chainsaw to threaten family must obey restraining order

Manuel Delisle, the man accused in a bizarre Quebec road rage incident involving a chainsaw, has pleaded not guilty to armed assault.

Alexandre Hermenier and Karine Cyr say they were driving Sunday in St-Jérôme, Que., just outside of Montreal, when another driver cut them off.

Hermenier decided to follow the man and later tried to block him from leaving the scene while Cyr called police.

Cyr recorded the confrontation with her cellphone and later posted it on her Facebook page. It shows a man approaching the vehicle, swearing and revving a chainsaw.

Delisle was arrested on Monday morning and charged Tuesday at the Court of Quebec in St-Jérôme with armed assault.

He pleaded not guilty and was given a conditional release.

Attention

Three ship collision causes oil spill and closes Mississippi river

© Google Maps
The U.S. Coast Guard said about 420 gallons of oil spilled into the Mississippi River near Convent after a multi-ship collision around 4 p.m. Monday, April 6.
About 420 gallons of oil spilled into the Mississippi River near Convent after a multi-ship collision around 4 p.m. Monday (April 6), according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard officials said the Privocean, a 751-foot bulk carrier, broke free from its mooring, drifted downriver and struck the Texas, a 98-foot towing vessel. The Texas was moored at the time.

The Privocean continued to drift down river and struck the Bravo, an 816-foot tank ship, as it was unloading crude oil. That caused an oil spill, both on deck and in the river, Coast Guard officials said.

About 420 gallons of oil spilled into the river, and about 126 gallons spilled on the Bravo's deck, the Coast Guard said. The oil spill on deck was contained and is being cleaned, officials said.

The ship is taking on water, but is anchored by two tugboats.

Eye 2

Corporations have turned mass incarcerations into a revenue stream and source of cheap labor

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© AP / Ted S. Warren
Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, one of the many corporations benefiting from prison labor
All attempts to reform mass incarceration through the traditional mechanisms of electoral politics, the courts and state and federal legislatures are useless. Corporations, which have turned mass incarceration into a huge revenue stream and which have unchecked political and economic power, have no intention of diminishing their profits. And in a system where money has replaced the vote, where corporate lobbyists write legislation and the laws, where chronic unemployment and underemployment, along with inadequate public transportation, sever people in marginal communities from jobs, and where the courts are a wholly owned subsidiary of the corporate state, this demands a sustained, nationwide revolt.

"Organizing boycotts, work stoppages inside prisons and the refusal by prisoners and their families to pay into the accounts of phone companies and commissary companies is the only weapon we have left," said Amos Caley, who runs the Interfaith Prison Coalition, a group formed by prisoners, the formerly incarcerated, their families and religious leaders. "Mass incarceration is the most important civil rights issue of our day. And it is time for communities of faith to stand with poor people, mostly of color, who are unfairly exploited and abused. We must halt human rights violations against the poor that grow more pronounced each year," Caley said here. He and other prison reform leaders spoke Saturday at the Elmwood Presbyterian Church.

"We have to shut down the system," said Gale Muhammad, another speaker and the founder and CEO of Women Who Never Give Up. "All the companies that use prison labor have to be boycotted. And we can't stop there. We have to boycott the vending machines in the prisons and the phone companies. We have to stop spending our money. Until we hit them in the pocket they won't listen."