Society's Child

Bizarro Earth

Multiple explosions rock West Virginia gas supply company

Two people are reported injured after an explosion rocked a supply company in Putnam County, West Virginia Monday. Emergency crews responding to the blast, which came at approximately 3:00 pm local time, reported high flames in the area.

Investigators are still unsure what caused the initial explosion but a spokesman from the Putnam County, West Virginia emergency management office told the Charleston Gazette that as many as fifty canisters of acetylene, a colorless gas commonly used for welding and torch-cutting, blew up.

One man suffered burns to his face and the other burns to his arms. Both victims were hospitalized, although the full extent of their injuries is not yet known.

The explosion took place at the Airgas supply company, the largest US distributor of industrial medical and specialty gases, including welding supplies and other equipment, according to WOWK-TV in West Virginia. The plant is located in the town of Bancroft, where surrounding businesses have been evacuated as a safety precaution.
Arrow Down

Israeli airport sorts passengers with 'Jewish stickers' and 'Arab stickers'

Security Risk Level 5
© wmliu/Flickr
This shocking story-- of yet another "huge humiliation" of a non-Jew at Ben Gurion airport-- was posted by Mira Awad, an Israeli Palestinian singer, on her Facebook page, in Hebrew, today. Ami Kaufman at +972 provided a translation of the entry, and notes that Awad is a celebrity in Israel. Awad in translation:
So, I was checked at the airport, they asked the questions, put the stickers on, and I proceeded to the X-Ray machine. Suddenly, the young security man comes to me: "Mira? Mira Awad?"

Me: "Yes?"

Security man: "Can I see your passport? There's a mistake with the sticker."

I almost told him: "No, you're not mistaken, I see you put the right one on - the sticker for Arabs", but I didn't say that (security people have their humor extracted during their preparatory course). I gave him my passport, he opens it, takes off the sticker in the passport and on the suitcase and puts on a new one, different, the same color but smaller.

Now the dilemma. On the one hand it's obvious the young man has just made my life easier by putting on the sticker for Jews. On the other hand, it's one of the things that it's hard to say thanks for. I mean, thank you for not considering me a terrorist any more? Thanks that someone whispered to you, "it's Mira Awad," so the "Awad" isn't scary anymore? Thanks for upgrading me to a Class A citizen? I turned into one of "ours," or actually one of "yours." A small sticker that carries with it such huge humiliation, and today even enfolds stupidity. Because since they cancelled the stickers with different colors, which we protested, they made new stickers with less recognizable differences to the inexperienced eye, and here they are embarrassing themselves with unaware patronizing like, "Let's award you with the status of a privileged person!" - so you don't say that we aren't humane. By the way, it happend to me also last week, when a senior security man who wanted to "show off" (maybe you'll say he wanted to joke around, but we've already concluded that he doesn't know how to joke around, see earlier "extraction of humor") and asked one of his employees to get me one of the "regular" stickers and then winked at me as he continued to speak him: "Can't you see it's Mira Awad?"

So, the conclusion is, if you're Israeli and your name is Awad - you better be famous! If not, forget about the duty free! Yalla, I'm out of here. For now.
Thanks to Ofer Neiman.
Cell Phone

Woman sues officers after cellphone recording incident

A Baltimore woman is suing some city police officers after she claimed they illegally thwarted her efforts to record police activity.
Arrow Down

Man sexually assaults peacock

David and Peacock
© JDJournal
The peacock is an emblem of pride, arrogance, vanity, and flaunted fashion. These sentiments apply a little less to poor old Phyl, a pet peacock whose owner sexually abused him. The bizarre incident, which ended with Phyl's body being discovered in the garage of 63-year-old David Beckman, is merely one of many charges the strange man is facing.

Beckman is also facing three charges of harassment by telephone, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of possessing marijuana, and even an attempted indecent solicitation of a child between the ages of 13 and 17, on top of his charge of cruelty to animals - not to mention two counts of battery, as NBC Chicago reported. A real winner, this one.
Heart - Black

Jury convicts Kermit Gosnell of murder in Philadelphia abortion clinic "house of horrors"

Video: A Philadelphia doctor accused of performing illegal, late-term abortions in a filthy clinic has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies born alive but acquitted in the death of a fourth baby.

Abortion provider Kermit Gosnell was convicted Monday of three counts of first-degree murder for severing the spinal cords of infants born during abortions at his West Philadelphia clinic.

Gosnell also was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 2009 death of 41-year-old Virginia woman Karnamaya Mongar, who died from an overdose of drugs while undergoing an abortion at the clinic. Prosecutors described the clinic as a "house of horrors" because of the unsanitary conditions and unsafe practices that defined it.
Eye 1

The Mind of a Con Man Scientist

Diederik Stapel
© Koos Breukel for The New York Times
Diederik Stapel, a Dutch social psychologist, perpetrated an audacious academic fraud by making up studies that told the world what it wanted to hear about human nature.
One summer night in 2011, a tall, 40-something professor named Diederik Stapel stepped out of his elegant brick house in the Dutch city of Tilburg to visit a friend around the corner. It was close to midnight, but his colleague Marcel Zeelenberg had called and texted Stapel that evening to say that he wanted to see him about an urgent matter. The two had known each other since the early '90s, when they were Ph.D. students at the University of Amsterdam; now both were psychologists at Tilburg University. In 2010, Stapel became dean of the university's School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Zeelenberg head of the social psychology department. Stapel and his wife, Marcelle, had supported Zeelenberg through a difficult divorce a few years earlier. As he approached Zeelenberg's door, Stapel wondered if his colleague was having problems with his new girlfriend.

Zeelenberg, a stocky man with a shaved head, led Stapel into his living room. "What's up?" Stapel asked, settling onto a couch. Two graduate students had made an accusation, Zeelenberg explained. His eyes began to fill with tears. "They suspect you have been committing research fraud."

U.S. university's smoking ban is latest nanny state attack on freedom, personal choice

Ball State University
© Ball State University
There is no shortage of petty hall monitors, arrogant bureaucrats and paternalistic politicians who know what is good for us, will threaten us into compliance with their lifestyle choices, and discipline us into shutting up if we feel differently.

Ball State University is the latest institution to participate in the finger wagging of the nanny state elite. The trustees recently announced that students and employees of the college will no longer have the right to consume legal tobacco products on campus grounds. Smoking is permitted only in automobiles with all windows rolled up. Any adult who breaks the seal and allows the slightest streak of smoke to waft into the open air will face a $50 fine.

CIA involvement in the death of Bob Marley

Bob Marley
© High Times
The following article originally appeared in the February 2002 issue of HIGH TIMES Magazine

Marley knew the drill - in Jamaica, at the height of his success, when music and politics were still one, before the fog of censorship rolled into the island, old wounds were opened by a wave of destabilization politics. Stories appeared in the local, regional and international press downsizing the achievements of the quasi-socialist Jamaican government under Prime Minister Michael Manley. In the late 1970s, the island was flooded with cheap guns, heroin, cocaine, right-wing propaganda, death squad rule and, as Grenada's Prime Minister Maurice Bishop described it three years later, the CIA's "pernicious attempts [to] wreck the economy."

"Destabilization," Bishop told the emergent New Jewel Party, "is the name given the most recently developed method of controlling and exploiting the lives and resources of a country and its people by a bigger and more powerful country through bullying, intimidation and violence."
Black Cat

Man killed in South Russia 'for being gay' - investigators

© RIA Novosti
Russian investigators confirmed on Monday a man beaten to death last week in Volgograd, south Russia, was the victim of a homophobic gang.

The naked body of the 23-year-old man with various injuries, including to his genitalia, was found in the courtyard of an apartment building on May 10, the day after Russia celebrated Victory Day marking the end of World War II.

The victim's skull was smashed with a 20-kilogram (44 pound) rock and he appeared to have been raped with beer bottles, regional media said. The report said the suspects also tried to burn the body but failed to do so.

"The motive for the crime was the [victim's] non-traditional sexual orientation," senior regional investigator Andrei Gapchenko said, adding two suspected attackers have been arrested and another man is a witness in the case.

The suspects are a 22-year-old man, who studied with the victim at school, and his 27-year-old friend, who was previously jailed for theft. The latter has admitted his guilt, investigators said.
War Whore

17 hurt at New Orleans Mother's Day parade shooting

Shots fired during an informal Mother's Day afternoon parade in New Orleans injured 17 people, a police spokeswoman said Sunday.

One of the injured was a girl, 9 or 10 years old, who was grazed by a bullet to her side, said Remi Braden, director of public affairs for the New Orleans Police Department.

She said there were no fatalities and "most of the wounds are not life-threatening.''

The shots were fired around 2 p.m. in the area of North Villere and Frenchmen Streets during what is locally referred to as "a second-line parade,'' Braden said.

The Times-Picayune newspaper said there were about 200 people at the event when gunfire erupted. Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas told reporters at the scene that at least 12 people were shot, Associated Press reported. Braden said later that "we believe 17 people were wounded,'' either while participating or observing the parade.

Braden said three or four people were in surgery, but he didn't have their conditions.