Society's Child

Chart Pie

80% of Catalans vote for independence in high-voter-turnout unofficial elections

catalan vote
© Reuters/Albert Gea
Catalans queue at a polling station
International observers have praised the high voter turnout in Catalonia's symbolic vote on independence from Spain on Sunday despite "challenges" faced, while criticizing the low number of polling stations.

A delegation of eight MEPs from Belgium, France, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK praised the high level of participation in the unsanctioned poll "despite the challenges" faced.

Voter turnout out on Sunday was over 30 percent, with over two million people casting their ballot in a symbolic poll which went ahead despite repeated attempts from Spain's central government in Madrid to block the ballot. Over 80 percent of those voters said they were in favour of a split from Spain.

The head of the delegation of observers, the UK's Ian Duncan, noted in a report that the vote "took place in a calm and open manner where no one was coerced or intimidated."

Voting on Sunday was generally peaceful, but a group of people tried to destroy ballot boxes in the town of Girona, with two being arrested. In another incident, some 50 right-wing protesters burned a Catalan independence 'estelada' flag outside the government delegation in Barcelona.

Comment: The Catalans spoke loud and clear! However Madrid responds, one thing is for sure: with these preliminary results, it will be way harder to rig the vote if and when an official referendum eventually takes place, the way UK did to Scotland.


The Devil's Bargain: The illusion of a trouble-free existence in the American police state

Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus - the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers' enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others. - Simone Weil, French philosopher and political activist
It's no coincidence that during the same week in which the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Yates v. United States, a case in which a Florida fisherman is being threatened with 20 years' jail time for throwing fish that were too small back into the water, Florida police arrested a 90-year-old man twice for violating an ordinance that prohibits feeding the homeless in public.

Both cases fall under the umbrella of overcriminalization, that phenomenon in which everything is rendered illegal and everyone becomes a lawbreaker. As I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, this is what happens when bureaucrats run the show, and the rule of law becomes little more than a cattle prod for forcing the citizenry to march in lockstep with the government.

John Yates, a commercial fisherman, was written up in 2007 by a state fish and wildlife officer who noticed that among Yates' haul of red grouper, 72 were apparently under the 20-inch minimum legal minimum. Yates, ordered to bring the fish to shore as evidence of his violation of the federal statute on undersized catches, returned to shore with only 69 grouper in the crate designated for evidence. A crew member later confessed that, on orders from Yates, the crew had thrown the undersized grouper overboard and replaced them with larger fish. Unfortunately, they were three fish short. Sensing a bait-and-switch, prosecutors refused to let Yates off the hook quite so easily. Unfortunately, in prosecuting him for the undersized fish under a law aimed at financial crimes, government officials opened up a can of worms.

Arnold Abbott, 90 years old and the founder of a nonprofit that feeds the homeless, is facing a fine of $1000 and up to four months in jail for violating a city ordinance that makes it a crime to feed the homeless in public. Under the city's ordinance, clearly aimed at discouraging the feeding of the homeless in public, organizations seeking to do so must provide portable toilets, be 500 feet away from each other, 500 feet from residential properties, and are limited to having only one group carry out such a function per city block. Abbott has been feeding the homeless on a public beach in Ft. Lauderdale every Wednesday evening for the past 23 years. On November 2, 2014, moments after handing out his third meal of the day, police reportedly approached the nonagenarian and ordered him to "'drop that plate right now,' as if I were carrying a weapon," recalls Abbott. Abbott was arrested and fined. Three days later, Abbott was at it again, and arrested again.

No charges for DEA agent who shot innocent grandmother during botched raid

botched_dea raid
© Unknown
Only the state can smash down someone's door in the middle of the night looking for an arbitrary substance, shoot an innocent person, say it was an accident, and enjoy complete impunity.

Manchester, New Hampshire - A DEA agent who shot an innocent grandmother during a botched raid on her home will not face any charges.

New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster announced last week that the shooting was accidental, therefore no charges will be filed against the agent involved.

The search warrant was served as part of a series of 13 raids to investigate several people allegedly selling prescription painkillers without government authorization.

Lillian Alonzo, 49, was shot through the arm with the bullet lodging in her torso in her Beech St. apartment on Aug. 27.

She survived the wounds, however the bullet remains lodged in her ribs and she has limited function of her arm.

New York doctor now Ebola free, will be released from hospital

Dr. Craig Spencer, shown here in a photo from his LinkedIn profile, is now Ebola-free.
Dr. Craig Spencer, who was diagnosed with Ebola in New York City last month, is now free of the virus and will be released from the hospital Tuesday, city officials said.

"Dr. Spencer poses no public health risk and will be discharged from the hospital tomorrow," the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation said in a statement Monday.

Spencer, a Doctors Without Borders physician, became the first person to test positive for the deadly virus in the city when he was diagnosed last month after returning from treating patients in Guinea.

Officials said Spencer, 33, was hospitalized after developing a fever, nausea, pain and fatigue.

He has been in isolation at New York's Bellevue Hospital, where he was undergoing treatment.
Better Earth

Peace as a human right

© Delawer-Omar
"Individuals and peoples have a right to peace."

In the beginning was the word. OK. This is the beginning, and these are the words, but they haven't arrived yet - at least not officially, with full force of meaning.

It's our job, not God's, to create the new story of who we are, and millions - billions - of people fervently wish we could do so. The problem is that the worst of our nature is better organized than the best of it.

The words constitute Article 1 of the U.N.'s draft declaration on peace. What alerts me that they matter is the fact that they're controversial, that "there is a lack of consensus" among the member states, according to the president of the Human Rights Council, "about the concept of the right to peace as a right in itself."

David Adams, former UNESCO senior program specialist, describes the controversy with a little more candor in his 2009 book, World Peace through the Town Hall:
"At the United Nations in 1999, there was a remarkable moment when the draft culture of peace resolution that we had prepared at UNESCO was considered during informal sessions. The original draft had mentioned a 'human right to peace.' According to the notes taken by the UNESCO observer, 'the U.S. delegate said that peace should not be elevated to the category of human right, otherwise it will be very difficult to start a war.' The observer was so astonished that she asked the U.S. delegate to repeat his remark. 'Yes,' he said, 'peace should not be elevated to the category of human right, otherwise it will be very difficult to start a war.'"
And a remarkable truth emerges, one it's not polite to talk about or allude to in the context of national business: In one way or another, war rules. Elections come and go, even our enemies come and go, but war rules. This fact is not subject to debate or, good Lord, democratic tinkering. Nor is the need for and value of war - or its endless, self-perpetuating mutation - ever pondered with clear-eyed astonishment in the mass media. We never ask ourselves, in a national context: What would it mean if living in peace were a human right?

Nigeria school blast in Potiskum kills 47 students

Medics are treating the wounded though reports say the hospital is overcrowded.
At least 46 students have been killed by a suicide bomber at a school assembly in the north-eastern Nigerian town of Potiskum, police have said.

A suicide bomber dressed as a student is believed to have caused the blast at the boys' school in Yobe state .

Police suggested the militant group Boko Haram carried out the attack.

Yobe state's governor has shut all public schools around Potiskum and criticised the government for not tackling the group.

Comment: With kidnapped girls and ebola and the continuing violence, what makes Nigeria so interesting? Could it be its large oil reserves and that it is the world's 21st largest economy with a low debt-to-GDP ratio?


Ferguson police gear up for worst-case scenario resulting from Michael Brown grand jury decision

ferguson riot
USA Today is pointing out the obvious - that anxiety over the grand jury's yet-to-be released decision over the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown is growing. A response is mounting to the potentially explosive news:
No matter what a grand jury decides in the case of a white Ferguson police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, people will take to the streets, whether in anger or celebration.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III has said he is preparing for "all worst-case scenarios" when the grand jury finally speaks. Police are gearing up for riots. Since August, police have spent more than $100,000 stocking up on body armor, tear gas, handcuffs and other crowd control items.

The [Don't Shoot] coalition created a list of 19 demands they dubbed "rules of engagement," including a plea to police to avoid using armored vehicles, tear gas, rubber bullets or rifles, and to don riot gear only as a last resort.
Police, however, are not ruling out riot gear in an area that has already seen violent protesters, and in turn, heavy handed tactics against protesters and members of the media.

'The Internet's Own Boy': The story of Aaron Swartz and how the 'old world killed him'

© Unknown
Internet activist Aaron Swartz, 26, was persecuted relentlessly by the establishment before he was found dead in his apartment. His death was deemed suspicious by some
Aaron Swartz was using the Internet in a way that was "challenging" to the US govt, but by trying to make his story a deterrence for any followers, it instead made him an inspiration, the director of 'The Internet's Own Boy' Brian Knappenberger told RT.

RT: Aaron Swartz was basically driven to suicide for standing up to the government for what he believes in. Do you think his fate will put others off following in his footsteps?

Brian Knappenberger: No. I mean I think that treatment of Aaron Swartz was awful and it was outrageous. But I actually think that if it was meant to be a kind of persecution to put people off of this kind of behavior, I think it backfired. If it was meant as deterrence, or it was meant to make an example, as the prosecution said to Aaron's dad and to Aaron's council, I think that effort, probably, backfired.

People are inspired, looked at what he did and are inspired by it. I don't think that the legal efforts against him actually would put off future Aarons. And if anything they'll inspire them.

RT: You said the US authorities made an example of Aaron Swartz. Why was the government so afraid of him?

BK: Well, the government wanted to make an example out of Aaron Swartz, and they did threaten him with huge fines, huge potential jail sentences. And they even said they wanted him to be used as a case for deterrence.

Comment: The Internet's Own Boy is a tribute to Aaron's inspirational life, but doesn't deal with the question whether he was murdered or not.
Did Aaron take his own life or was he killed? Moti Nissani is Wayne State University Department of Biology Professor Emeritus. "Who Killed Aaron Swartz," he asked?

He quoted Bob Marley saying: "How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?" He listed reasons why Obama administration scoundrels wanted him dead.

His death "was preceded by a vicious, totally unjustified, campaign of surveillance, harassment, vilification, and intimidation."

CIA/FBI/Mossad/MI5 assassins expertly "mak(e) murder look like suicide." Numerous "enemies of the state" die under suspicious circumstances. Media scoundrels don't explain.

US authorities "had excellent reasons to kill" Aaron. He was legendary in his own right like John Lennon, MLK, Malcolm X and others. He threatened status quo dominance. He denounced Obama's kill list and anti-Iranian cyber attacks.
Aaron Swartz's suspicious death
The bankers, generals, and spooks who comprise our invisible government had plenty of reasons to kill Aaron Swartz, especially because the internet - along with a well-armed citizenry - are the last remaining obstacles on the road to their totalitarian horizon. He was creative, idealistic, and unbendable. He was young and admired by many. If not checked, he might have slowed down the Syndicate's attacks on the biosphere, freedom, peace, justice, free flow of information, and common decencies. So the invisible government probably did kill him. They did so either indirectly through constant harassment, as his loved ones publicly state, or, most likely, directly by hanging him and alleging that he hung himself.
Who killed Aaron Swartz?


Society going mad: Furious Philadelphia women trash McDonald's after missing breakfast orders

Restaurant Violence: The women threw furniture after being told breakfast wouldn't be served
We all know the disappointment of turning up too late to grab our Egg McMuffin in the morning. However the realisation proved a little too much for a pair of women at a US chain of McDonald's.

The pair began a frenzied attack on workers, picking up tables and chairs and throwing them around the room while ranting and raving.

Baffled customers looked on as the women screamed and swore at them while hurling furniture around the restaurant.

Comment: There's been a lot of this kind of thing lately. Check out the recent brawl on the New York subway:

People are really feeling how screwed up the world is, but they're lied to, and believe the lies about their condition, and so they turn on each other like animals in cages. It's very sad, and it's something to watch out for as it happens more and more regularly.


Woman miraculously revives after not having a pulse for 45 minutes

© Mark Randall/Sun Sentinel/MCT/Getty Images
Ruby Graupera-Cassimiro of Deerfield Beach, Fla., holds her newborn daughter, Taily, Nov, 4, 2014, as she describes her near-death experience after undergoing a scheduled C-section in Sept. 2014.
Doctors glanced up at the monitors to call the time of death for a patient whose heart hadn't beat in 45 minutes and who hadn't breathed in three hours.

Then, they saw it: a blip on the screen.

Ruby Graupera-Cassimiro was alive.

"She spontaneously resuscitated," Boca Raton Regional Hospital spokesman Thomas Chakurda told ABC News. "We had brought the family in. We had announced to them that we had done all we could."

Graupera-Cassimiro, 40, had gone to the hospital for a cesarean section on Sept. 23. The surgery was uneventful and the baby was healthy, but Graupera-Cassimiro started to experience shortness of breath and doctors had to call a code when she stopped breathing. They tried for three hours to revive her but it was no use. She had no pulse for 45 minutes. Then, her heart started beating again on its own.

Doctors think she had a rare condition called an amniotic fluid embolism, which is what happens when the amniotic fluid leaks into the blood stream, causes blood clots and leads to cardiac arrest, according to Mayo Clinic.

"It's normally diagnosed post mortem," Chakurda said.