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Wolf

Why did the USDA murder over 4 million animals in 2013?

eagle
© unknown
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) murdered 4.3 million wild animals, of which 2 million were native species, in fiscal year 2013. The animals included three eagles, one bald and two golden, which are protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Also killed were 75,326 coyotes; 345 mountain lions; 321 wolves, including one very rare Mexican gray wolf; 603 monkeys; 6,498 vultures; 10,486 mynas, a type of starling; and 37 frogs, among many others.

How can this be?

On the one hand, we have the Endangered Species Act, signed into law in 1973 by President Richard Nixon who, in one of his finer moments, declared:
Stock Down

Obama approval rating plummeting -- yet Americans still think its OK to kill people with drones

obama
© Doug Mills/The New York Times
Murderer-in-chief Obama, people don't like you.
Dissatisfaction with President Obama's conduct of foreign policy has shot up among both Republicans and Democrats in the past month, even though a slim majority supports his recent decision to send military advisers to Iraq to confront the growing threat from militants there, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The survey suggests that most Americans back some of Mr. Obama's approaches to the crisis in Iraq, including majority support for the possibility of drone strikes. But the poll documents an increasing lack of faith in the president and his leadership, and shows deep concern that further intervention by the United States in Iraq could lead to another long and costly involvement there.

The poll found that 58 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Mr. Obama is handling foreign policy, a jump of 10 points in the last month to the highest level since Mr. Obama took office in 2009. The spike in disapproval is especially striking among Democrats, nearly a third of whom said they did not approve of his handling of foreign policy.

Fifty-two percent of Americans say they disapprove of how the president is dealing with the current violence in Iraq (including about a third of Democrats); 37 percent approve.

"I voted for him because he said, 'Give me four more years and I will fix everything,' but nothing is being fixed," Michelle Roberts, 34, a Democrat from Salem, Mass., said in a follow-up interview. "I understand he wants to fight terrorism, but send in robots, drones. Don't send in our troops. Our men and women are dying for what?"

Comment: It's sad that even those who disagree with Obama think it's a good idea to murder people with drones -- just protect our troops! U.S. society

Coffee

Dark side of New Age drug tourism: Shaman's herbal hallucinogen ayahuasca a fatal lure for naive experience junkies

ayahuasca
© Chris Kilham
Strange brew: Ayahuasca is the latest traditional shamanic rite to be monetized and marketed to the spiritually starved.
The mother of a man who drowned while using a shamanic hallucinogenic drug has filed a lawsuit against the New Age spiritual retreat where the incident occurred.

Garth Dickson, according to his mother, was under the influence of an herbal mixture known as ayahuasca (pronounced eye-uh-WAH-skuh) when he walked into Shasta Lake and drowned in 2012 while at a retreat called the White Flame Institute, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The White Flame Institute for Consciousness and Liberation offers "transformational life classes" and a "shamanic certification program" along with classes on healing and personal growth, according to the institute's website. Mrs. Dickson accuses the institute and its leader, Bonnie Serratore, of negligence and encouraging the use of ayahuasca as part of the treatments. [5 Controversial Mental Health Treatments]

This is, of course, not the first time that people have died in New Age services: In February 2010, guru and motivational speaker James Arthur Ray was charged with three counts of manslaughter for his role in staging a sweat lodge ceremony in Sedona, Arizona, according to CNN. After an hour inside the small, steam-filled tent, some participants collapsed and others began vomiting. People tried to leave because they were getting sick, but Ray allegedly encouraged them to stay and endure the discomfort, which he said was a form of cleansing that would make them stronger. Three people died in the sweat lodge, 18 were hospitalized, and more were sickened; Ray was eventually convicted of negligent homicide and sentenced to two years in prison.

Comment: Drug-induced experiences should not be confused with spiritual development; they are a cheap substitute, a state of experience, not a station of Being. But people these days are so starved of spiritually meaningful experience and spiritual instruction that they will turn to any new fad for fulfillment.

Oscar

Actor Gary Oldman offers over-the-top apology after saying Hollywood 'run by Jews'

Oldman
© Getty Images
Gary Oldman: speaks the truth about Jews in Hollywood; apologizes to ADL; includes fact that Jews run Hollywood in his apology.
This reads like French farce. Gary Oldman gave an interview to Playboy in which he said that Mel Gibson was the victim of political correctness, because Jews "run" Hollywood - that story was reported yesterday - and as day follows night, today the British actor has reportedly offered an apology to the Anti Defamation League that praises Jews as the "chosen people," who are persecuted throughout the ages, who are first to hear the word of god, and...

First, the Telegraph reports on the Playboy interview:
Oldman said: "Mel Gibson is in a town that's run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he's actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him - and doesn't need to feed him anymore because he's got enough dough.

"He's like an outcast, a leper, you know?

"But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn't turned and said, "That f***ing kraut" or "F*** those Germans," whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct. That's what gets me.'

Comment: Oldman is clever. Unless he was coerced into writing the apology, it looks like a subtle way of reinforcing the points he made in the Playboy interview. Yes, the "Jews own Hollywood" (see: Who runs Hollywood? C'mon), and yes, celebrities and people of influence are held to a ridiculous double standard of fawning at the feet of organizations like the ADL with obsequious apologies.

Ambulance

Florida man killed in gruesome wood chipper accident

© Robert King/ Newsmakers
A policeman said he had "never seen anything like this" in 20 years of service

A man was killed by a wood chipper in the US state of Florida on Monday afternoon, in an incident which has left police officers unable to officially identify the man's body.

The deceased man and his two fellow tree service workers had been clearing debris at around 4:15pm in Davie, Broward County, when he went through the machine, Captain Dale Engle of Davie police told reporters.

Hours later at around 7:30pm, police officers were still struggling to find and identify the man's remains.

Police said on Tuesday that the death was caused by a "workplace accident," CBS News reported.

"I've been in police work 20 years. I've never seen anything like this," said Captain Dale Engle of Davie police told the broadcaster. "It was a gruesome scene."
Heart - Black

Woman caught on camera violently beating mother as toddler pleads for her to stop and onlookers stand by doing nothing


McDonald's worker Latia Harris is accused of beating a woman.
A fast-food worker in full uniform viciously attacked a young mother in front of the victim's young son and the entire attack was caught on tape. The attack happened Tuesday in the city of Salem, New Jersey and video of the assault was later posted on Facebook.

The suspect has been identified by the Salem City Police Department as 25-year-old Latia Harris. When apprehended, Salem City Police Chief John Pelura, III says Harris faces charges of aggravated assault and two counts of terroristic threats.

In the video, a woman wearing a McDonald's uniform is shown attacking another woman. The victim falls to the ground and while on the ground, the suspect punches the victim approximately 20 times.

As the attack is going on, the victim's toddler son is seen pleading for the suspect to stop and tries to kick the suspect in an attempt to make her stop.

Card - VISA

Visa to continue servicing international payments by building its own center in Russia

visa russia
Visa has decided to build its own processing center in Russia within 2 years as the international payment systems look for a solution to stay operational in the country.

The other big international player in Russia's payment systems market - MasterCard - chose to look for a Russian partner to provide interbank processing and has already announced a tender for Russian companies

After Visa and MasterCard suspended servicing cards issued by a number of Russian banks due to US sanctions, Russia required foreign systems to pay a quarterly security deposit of 25 percent of their daily turnover.

The international credit card firms have complained the deposit would hit their businesses, with Visa even threatening to leave the Russian market.

Comment: Not surprising, as in spite of sanctions targeting Russia, corporations have no intention of losing a very lucrative business:

Following Western sanctions, Putin eyes Russian credit card system to replace Visa and Mastercard
U.S. sanctions against Russia undermine America's global domination

Arrow Down

Argentina's economy headed for default after US Supreme Court rules in favor of vulture funds

flag argentina
© Reuters / Andrew Biraj
Argentina's economy is on a collision course, and is headed for default following a US Supreme Court ruling that could send creditors demanding bond payments, Economic Minister Axel Kicillof warned UN diplomats.

By June 30, the country needs to pay out creditors for billions of dollars of bonds that were issued before its $95 billion default in 2001.

"Whichever way you look at it this ruling is forcing Argentina towards the risk of economic crisis," Reuters quotes Kicillof talking at the UN headquarters in New York on Wednesday.

"... this is going to push us into a technical default," he added.

Argentina is asking for more time to negotiate a solution with the creditors that Kicilloff refers to as "vulture funds". Argentina must pay $1.33 billion to NML Capital, a hedge fund and subsidiary of Elliot Capital Management.

The country only has $28.5 billion in foreign currency reserves, and will not be able to meet the enormous demand. If they don't pay, the US can revoke its privilege to pay bond holders through Argentina's bank in the United States, the Bank of New York Mellon. Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has called this 'extortion'.

Comment: The US support for vulture capitalism is likely behind this decision. Argentina is moving closer to an alliance with the BRICS nations, thus the US intends to push Argentina closer to financial ruin.

Argentina risk sovereign default as US courts support vulture capitalist
Down by Law: Vulture Funds Feeding on the Dispossessed

Cult

Egyptian man who 'liked' Knights on the Cross Facebook page sentenced to 6 years in prison

An Egyptian man was convicted and sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison along with a fine of $840 dollars for violating Egypt's blasphemy laws, which make illegal any criticism of the Islamic religion.

The International Christian Concern (ICC) reported that Kerolos Shawky, a Christian man living in southern Egypt, was initially accused of violating the Islamic blasphemy laws in article 98 of the Egyptian penal code, which prohibits "ridiculing or insulting heavenly religions or inciting sectarian strife", but as the ICC notes, the law is almost always used to go after religious minorities.

Kerolos' lawyer said, "Kerolos didn't intend to insult the Islamic religion, only he made a like on the page of Knights of the Cross on Facebook. He doesn't have much experience in the internet plus he suffers from poor eyesight. So there was not any intention for the contempt or blasphemy of Islam."
Light Saber

Bullies force Russian girl to drink puddle water - entire school turns against them

Vlada Kholod, 13, was forced to drink filthy water from a puddle - but her tormentors did not expect the response they got from her classmates

Bullies forced a pretty schoolgirl to drink filthy water from a puddle - because of her good looks. But brave Vlada Kholod, 13, had the last laugh on her tormentors when the entire school turned against them. The gang which abused her ended up humiliated and forced to apologise to their victim. The incident happened at a school in the town of Korkino in Russia's Ural Mountains' when a group of bullying girls became jealous of Vlada's good looks.

They held a kangaroo court, claiming she had said something bad about their parents. Olga Guseva, 16, Lyubov Goloborodko, 14, Sasha Rattsova, 15 and Ekatirina Streltsova, 15 - held a mock "trial" for their victim and made her drink dirty water from a puddle whilst being filmed by two boys. She was beaten as she resisted.
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