Society's Child

Black Magic

Monsanto's slick new marketing director tries to pull the wool over the eyes of millennials

monsanto protests
Biotech behemoth Monsanto may control much of the world's food supply, but they have yet to beat the "face of corporate evil" rap they've been handed by many of the roughly 80 million millennials who constitute their future consumer base, and who may or may not like the idea of their fresh-faced babies' formula being seasoned with glyphosate runoff from genetically engineered soy.

Thus, meet Vance Crowe, Monsanto's new, slick, 32-year-old Director of Millennial Engagement, who says actually Monsanto is pretty hip, and a woman in a sweater and ponytail works for them, and he's met a farmer with a handlebar moustache, and really, kids, it's all good, if genetically engineered.

Comment: No slick marketing campaign is going to be able to hide the predatory tactics and the increasing knowledge of the environmental and health devastation wrought by this corporation. If anyone has any lingering doubts as to the nature of this corporate monster, read:

Monsanto: The complete history of the world's most evil corporation


#Droughtshaming: Residents play water cop while Big Agra gets away with sucking California dry

bike rider
Amid California's record drought, towns up and down the state are rolling out smartphone apps that enable people to snap pictures of neighbors and businesses who are violating water restriction rules and "play water cop":
The apps put more boots on the ground to spot waste and leaks that might go unnoticed, officials say. They say the high-tech citizen reporting programs are intended to encourage water conservation, and not to be used as evidence to fine offenders.

But at least one private company is taking things a step further. Creators of Vizsafe, a neighborhood watch app, have added a feature allowing users to map photos of water wasters - a practice dubbed "drought shaming" on Twitter and Instagram.
Here are a few examples:

Virgin Galactic's Spaceship Two rocket plane crashes after "in-flight anomaly"

© ABC News
Virgin Galactic said plane designed for commercial space travel was undertaking test flight in California when an 'in-flight anomaly' occurred

Richard Branson's plans for commercial space travel suffered a blow on Friday when one of his "rocket planes", SpaceShipTwo, crashed.

The plane was undertaking a test flight from its base in the Mojave desert when an "anomaly" occurred, Virgin Galactic said.
- Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic)October 31, 2014

#SpaceShipTwo has experienced an in-flight anomaly. Additional info and statement forthcoming.
According to NBC News, the aircraft was forced to wait on the runway at the test site for three hours, while the ground team assessed the weather conditions, before it took off.

Analysts have been sceptical about whether Branson's plans for commercial space travel can be achieved. The launch date has been repeatedly delayed.

Almost 700 people, including Tom Hanks and Angelina Jolie, have paid to book a two-hour journey on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, which would include a planned five minutes of weightlessness.

© Reuters/Gene Blevins
Spaceship Two rocket plane
Update: California Highway Patrol now says 1 person, believed to be a pilot, is dead and one injured.

Comment: It's interesting that this event comes on the heels of the Antares rocket explosion:

Evil Rays

Children in the UK considering suicide at all time high rates

© Reuters/Suhaib Salem
More children in Britain are considering suicide than ever before, according to ChildLine, which claims to have received more than 34,000 calls in one year from under-18s seeking guidance

ChildLine, which is run by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), said it had received 34,500 calls since 2013 - double the number it received in 2011.

According to the charity's 'On the Edge' report, published on Friday, almost 6,000 children told ChildLine counselors they had previously attempted suicide, many of them aged between 12 and 15.

Head of ChildLine Sue Minto said the rise of cyber-bullying on social media had exacerbated the problem, as it meant young people "couldn't escape" bullying.

"When I was a child you could go home, shut the door and you would have some escape and some release and a chance to pull yourself together again," she told BBC news.

"That doesn't happen for our children and young people. They live in a highly pressurized world where the internet never sleeps and even if they turn off their phone, it's still there waiting for them," she added.
Heart - Black

Red Cross diverted funds for hurricane relief to their own PR campaign

© Reuters / Lucas Jackson
Red Cross volunteers walk past the remaining foundations of homes destroyed by the storm surge of superstorm Sandy in the Staten Island borough neighborhood of Oakwood in New York, November 28, 2012
The American Red Cross was ill-equipped to provide aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac, a new report suggests, and allocated resources not towards offering help, but on generating publicity.

A new report conducted jointly by ProPublica and NPR raises concerns about how the humanitarian group conducted itself in the wake of the storms that occurred in 2012 and 2011, respectively, and claims that the organization's actions were "politically driven" and not on par with how the Red Cross routinely acts in such situations.

Through internal documents obtained by journalists and interviews conducted with those close to the Red Cross' response to those emergencies, the reports published this week by both media outlets conclude that evidence depicts "an organization so consumed with public relations that it hindered the charity's ability to provide disaster services."

Among the allegations unearthed in the new report are claims that "as many as 40 percent" of the agency's emergency vehicles were used as backdrops during pressers, not for providing relief, during those emergencies, and accusations that Red Cross headquarters in Washington "diverted assets for public relations purposes." According to one of the truck drivers, Jim Dunham, relief vehicles were ordered by the dozens to be deployed not to assist, but "just to be seen" at press conferences.

Comment: As you can see below, the Red Cross' use of funds and general mode of operation has been questionable and self-serving for a while now:


US Police state: 8 white cops, 1 black homeless man, 46 bullets in 2012 Michigan shooting

2012 Michigan shooting
© ACLUofMichigan
Still from YouTube video
A video has surfaced showing a homeless man being shot dead by eight police officers as he held a small penknife. 46 bullets were fired.

Milton Hall, 49, has been described as "a community worker, and he was always there speaking out for those whom he considered the weak, for those who did not have the strength to speak for themselves," according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which released the disturbing video.

Given such seemingly clean credentials, it's unfathomable to imagine such a person being shot over a dozen times for merely holding a pen knife at a safe distance from police officers. But that's exactly what happened in July 2012 in Saginaw, Michigan, after Hall got into an argument with police following an alleged fight with a store clerk.

The graphic video, taken by a bystander, shows Hall in a parking lot surrounded by eight police officers, all of whom have their weapons drawn and aimed at him. One of the officer's orders Hall to drop his weapon. He refuses. After a period of about 10 seconds the officers open fire, with Hall appearing to be dead before he hit the ground.

Of the 46 shots fired, Hall had been hit 14 times.

Comment: Police atrocities in US have surpassed third world countries: rape, murder, stealing people's money, nude photos and racism.


Russian humanitarian aid arrives in Luhansk, Donetsk

© RIA Novosti, Maksim Blinov
A Russian humanitarian aid convoy has reached the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk
Russian humanitarian aid convoys have reached the eastern Ukrainian cities of Luhansk and Donetsk, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Friday.

The contents of the trucks are currently being unloaded into warehouses.

One hundred trucks, which were split into two convoys, carried about 1,000 tons of humanitarian aid including food, medication, construction materials and winter supplies.
Arrow Down

Racist Halloween 'lynching decor' removed from Fort Campbell military base

© ClarksvilleNow
Disgusting display of idiocy
Military authorities removed a Halloween display that depicted a black family hanging in effigy from a tree at Fort Campbell.

A photograph of the display, which was set up at a residence on the base that straddles Kentucky and Tennessee, was sent to Army officials for investigation.

Authorities at the base said the occupant, who was not identified, told military officials the display was not intended to be offensive and agreed to take it down.

Comment: Whether it was intended to be racist or not, the damage done by the image of a lynching is real and it, and its undercurrent of racism, has horrific historical roots:

Star of David

Growing boycott movement forces SodaStream to close illegal West Bank settlement factory

sodastream boycott
SodaStream to benefit from Israel's displacement of Palestinians in Naqab
Retailers and investors dropped SodaStream over BDS pressure

Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists today welcomed the news that SodaStream has announced it is to close its factory in the illegal Israeli settlement of Mishor Adumim following a high profile boycott campaign against the company.

sodastream factory location
© Shai Efrati/Who Profits
"SodaStream's announcement today shows that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is increasingly capable of holding corporate criminals to account for their participation in Israeli apartheid and colonialism," said Rafeef Ziadah, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations that leads and supports the BDS movement.

"BDS campaign pressure has forced retailers across Europe and North America to drop SodaStream, and the company's share price has tumbled in recent months as our movement has caused increasing reputational damage to the SodaStream brand," she added.

The news of this major success against a company famed for its role in illegal Israeli settlements broke amidst intensifying demonstrations against Israel's policies of colonisation in Jerusalem.

Grassroots boycott activism saw SodaStream dropped by major retailers across North America and Europe including Macy's in the US and John Lewis in the UK.

SodaStream was forced to close its flagship store in Brighton in the UK as a result of regular pickets of the store.

Soros Fund Management, the family office of the billionaire investor George Soros, sold its stake in SodaStream following BDS pressure.

SodaStream's share price fell dramatically in recent months as sales dried up, particularly in North America.

Comment: A "country" like Israel only understands through pain, in this case, economic. Boycotts worked in South Africa, and help here too. Unfortunately, Israel is currently being economically underwritten by the US, so it will take longer. When Israel starts costing the US more than it considers worth, watch Israel be cut loose.

Heart - Black

100 years of racist policies has turned Ferguson into a pocket of concentrated despair

Ferguson riots
© Reuters/Mario Anzuoni
Demonstrator Keisha Gray cries while protesting the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014.
Ferguson, Missouri, was a powder-keg waiting for a match long before August 9 and Michael Brown's fateful encounter with Police Officer Darren Wilson. It is one of many predominantly black communities across the United States plagued by highly concentrated poverty, and all of the social problems that accompany it.

White America has come up with a number of rationales for these enduring pockets of despair. An elaborate mythology has developed that blames it on a "culture of poverty" - holding the poor culpable for their poverty and letting our political and economic systems off the hook. A somewhat more enlightened view holds that whites simply fled areas like Ferguson - which had a population that was 99 percent white as recently as 1970 - because of personal racial animus, leaving them as hollowed-out, predominantly black "ghettos."

But a study by Richard Rothstein, a research fellow at the Economic Policy Institute, comes to a very different conclusion. In his report, "The Making of Ferguson," Rothstein details how throughout the last century a series of intentionally discriminatory policies at the local, state and federal levels created the ghettos we see today. spoke with Rothstein about the report. The transcript below has been edited for length and clarity.

Comment: The current crop of government psychopaths are profiting handsomely on the policies of their predecessors, setting one racial group against another. This is how the system is perpetuated.