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Bullseye

Oh, the poor babies: The Mayor of London thinks the super rich are being bullied

In what must be making Mayor Michael Bloomberg pump his fist and whisper-shout "yeah" in his Egyptian marble foyer, London Mayor Boris Johnson recently wrote an editorial for The Telegraph in which he bemoaned the 'bashing' of the super rich.

Mr. Johnson may be best known to American audiences as the mayor with the weird hair who got stuck on that zip wire.


He begins with an admission of "benign bewilderment" of one-percenters, though he's quick to mention that it's not out of distaste, writing "I neither resent nor disapprove of such zillionaires; quite the reverse. I just wonder, a bit, what it is like to be so stonkingly rich, and I wonder - as the restof us have wondered down the ages - whether you can really expect to be any happier for having so much dosh. I suspect that the answer, as Solon pointed out to Croesus, is not really, frankly; or no happier than the man with just enough to live on."

In simpler terms, Mayor Johnson, after a moment of reflection on whether the extravagantly wealthy are happier than the rest of us, came to the same conclusion American philosopher Christopher George Latore Wallace came to in 1997, "mo' money, mo' problems."

Health

UnitedHealth Group fires thousands of doctors from 'Medicare Advantage' insurance plans

UnitedHealth Group dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks, leaving many elderly patients unsure whether they need to switch plans to continue seeing their doctors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The insurer said in October that underfunding of Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly could not be fully offset by the company's other healthcare business. The company also reported spending more healthcare premiums on medical claims in the third quarter, due mainly to government cuts to payments for Medicare Advantage services.

The Journal report said that doctors in at least 10 states were notified of being laid off the plans, some citing "significant changes and pressures in the healthcare environment." According to the notices, the terminations can be appealed within 30 days.

Tyler Mason, a UnitedHealth spokesperson, was not immediately available for comment when reached by Reuters.

Comment: UnitedHealth's action is completely consistent:

It's Not Hard to Be a Job-Slashing, Pension-Grabbing CEO -- If You're a Psychopath


Attention

John F. Kennedy, Oil, and the War on Terror


Comment: This is the tenth in a series of 12 articles written in 2006 commemorating (at the time) the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of JFK. This year, 2013, is the 50th anniversary of what can, in hindsight and in Truth, be called the Day America Died.

Anyone who has taken the time to study the facts about that fateful day in Dallas, TX, will already know that JFK was deliberately murdered by a cabal of psychopathic warmongers who were opposed to his plans for a more peaceful world. That same cabal is still in power today, and it has extended its reach across the globe.

We will be featuring one article per day between now and the anniversary.

You can find the rest of the JFK series on the right hand bar of Sott.net. You can also purchase a Kindle of the whole series on Amazon.

If you do nothing else, just take the time to watch the Sott.net/QFG produced version of 'Evidence of Revision', a three disc set that presents archive footage that will leave you in no doubt who killed JFK and why.


John F. Kennedy, Oil, and the War on Terror
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On November 20th, 1963, between 11:30 - 11:40 a.m., President John F. Kennedy met with Lena Horne, Carol Lawrence, DNC chairman John M. Bailey, and others.

Later that day, he issued a statement on the Extraordinary Administrative Radio Conference to Allocate Frequency Bands for Space Radio Communication Purposes, held in Geneva, Switzerland from October 7 to November 8, 1963. He invited other nations to participate in setting up a global communication satellite system. He spoke of "a peace system worldwide in scope."

Following that, John Kennedy sent to the Congress the 17th annual report on U.S. participation in the United Nations, and then he signed into law bill (HR2073) to allow the conveyance of submerged and tidal lands to Guam, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa if they are needed for economic development or other compelling reason. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Archives

At the end of the day, he had less than two days left...

Dollar

Walmart sales dropping thanks to low Walmart wages

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© geeky-gadgets
Walmart just reported shrinking sales for a third straight quarter. What's going on? Explained William S. Simon, the CEO of Walmart, referring to the company's customers, "their income is going down while food costs are not. Gas and energy prices, while they're abating, I think they're still eating up a big piece of the customer's budget."

Walmart's CEO gets it. Most of Walmart's customers are still in the Great Recession, grappling with stagnant or declining pay. So, naturally, Walmart's sales are dropping.

But what Walmart's CEO doesn't get is that a large portion of Walmart's customers are lower-wage workers who are working at places like ... Walmart. And Walmart, not incidentally, refuses to raise its median wage (including its army of part-timers) of $8.80 an hour.

Walmart isn't your average mom-and-pop operation. It's the largest employer in America. As such, it's the trendsetter for millions of other employers of low-wage workers. As long as Walmart keeps its wages at or near the bottom, other low-wage employers keep wages there, too. All they need do is offer $8.85 an hour to have their pick.

On the other hand, if Walmart were to boost its wages, other employers of low-wage workers would have to follow suit in order to attract the employees they need.

Get it? Walmart is so huge that a wage boost at Walmart would ripple through the entire economy, putting more money in the pockets of low-wage workers. This would help boost the entire economy - including Walmart's own sales. (This is also an argument for a substantial hike in the minimum wage.)

Comment: For more on the evils of Walmart:

Taming the bullying tactics of Walmart

Ohio Walmart held an employee food drive...for less fortunate employees

Walmart's death grip on groceries is making life worse for millions of people


Handcuffs

George Zimmerman out on bail in domestic violence case



A Florida judge on Tuesday set bail for George Zimmerman at $9,000 and ordered a number of conditions for his freedom -- including that he not possess weapons -- while he awaits trial on charges he pointed a shotgun at his girlfriend.

He was released from the John E. Polk Correctional Facility on Tuesday afternoon. He didn't speak with the media. It was unclear where he was headed.

Zimmerman was arrested Monday at his girlfriend's Apopka home, four months after he was acquitted of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin.

Earlier, Zimmerman said little as a judge, during Zimmerman's first appearance Tuesday afternoon in Seminole County court, said he found probable cause for Zimmerman's arrest on a felony charge of aggravated assault and misdemeanor counts of domestic violence battery and criminal mischief. Zimmerman's arraignment has been scheduled for January 7.

A prosecutor revealed a new allegation against Zimmerman while trying to argue for a higher bail -- that Zimmerman tried to choke his girlfriend a week and a half before Monday's alleged shotgun incident, and that Zimmerman had talked about suicide.

Assistant State Attorney Lymary Munoz argued for $50,000 bail, saying that new information should heighten concern for the accuser's safety, though the alleged incident hadn't been reported to police.

The new allegation is not reflected in the preliminary charges. But Judge Fred Schott cited the choking accusation when he put the bail at $9,000, saying it prompted him to set it higher than the $4,900 requested by the defense.

Jeff Dowdy and Daniel Megaro, the public defenders representing Zimmerman, told reporters afterward that they hadn't known of the choking allegation previously.

Attention

US parents receive threatening letters regarding mandatory medical/dental exams for their kids

Police State USA has been made aware of threatening letters being sent to parents by the government regarding their children's participation with compulsory medical and dental examinations. Under the auspices of keeping children healthy, the government has usurped the role of "parent" away from actual parents. The state - not legal guardians - is determining when and how children should be subjected to outside business influences.

The first letter was sent to Police State USA by a parent in New York State (NYS) "requiring" that his child be taken to mandated doctor visits. As the letter states:
NYS Education Law (Section 136.3) requires students to get medical exams when they start school and at certain grades. Exams may also be needed at other times chosen by your school.

To keep healthy, your child needs a complete physical at least once a year and a dental exam every six months.
In New York, after the unwanted examinations, the private medical exams are acquired by the government and filed under the child's cumulative school records.
© Justin Russell/policestateusa.com
There are a number of problems with this policy, not all of which will be covered in this article. The state coercion and destruction of parental rights are most glaring. The provisions establish that the state has taken the final say in parenting matters, undermining parents' natural role in the child's life as protector and final decision maker. The provision invades the privacy of the family by giving the government access to private medical results.

Red Flag

Girl who sold virginity for $780K tries to sell virginity again

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© virginswanted2.com
The Brazilian college student who attempted to sell her virginity through an online auction last year is hoping lightning will strike twice.

In October, 2012, Catarina Migliorini was offered $780,000 for her virginity from a Japanese millionaire who bid for the privilege through a controversial online auction.

That deal was never consummated, but now she is attempting to do it again through her own website, VirginsWanted2.com.

"Well, after being featured by so many media outlets in so many countries, I decided to actually auction off my virginity," she told The Huffington Post by email via a translator.

The bidding ends Dec. 12, but Migliorini said the minimum bid for her to get into bed is $100,000. She told the Brazilian website PurePeople.com.br that her goal is to get $1.5 million.

Take 2

LAPD uses zombie video to spread message about holiday crime

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Zombies lurking in the dead of night - it sounds like a TV show or movie, but it's actually a message from law enforcement. The Los Angeles Police Department is taking a Hollywood approach to warn residents about common crimes during the holiday season.

The LAPD made a public service announcement starring zombies to illustrate the dangers of break-ins during the holiday shopping rush.

In the video, zombies are on the attack and they're after your valuables. The video shows zombies breaking into parked vehicles and stealing iPads, tablets and other goodies that are left in plain sight. When the frightened car owners call police, LAPD officers show up, arrest the zombie criminals and return the valuables to the grateful owners.

The seven-minute movie, which is obviously a parody, has over 2,500 views on YouTube. Authorities say the purpose of the project is to get the message out about crime.

Bizarro Earth

Deadly 'knockout game' trend returns

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Randomly knocking out unsuspecting strangers is a terrifying new 'game' being played by teenagers.
The resurgence of a dangerously violent street game that targets innocent bystanders has left people dead and others fearing for their lives.

The aim of the game, known as Knockout, is to approach an unsuspecting passerby and punch them so powerfully they are knocked unconscious. The attacks are violent, deliberate and in some cases, fatal.

Why? Simply "for the fun of it," said one teenage participant.

"They think it's funny," said another.

"They just go, boom, when it's the right time and the right place.

"It could be anybody, it could be a mother with her children. It's a macho thing."

The game first surfaced in New York City several years ago and after a short lull, a number of recent attacks are proving it's back, as violent as ever.

Display

LG TV phones home with your viewing habits, names of files you screen, even if you tell it not to

© BoingBoing
Doctor Beet was alarmed to notice that his LG TV was showing him ads on its home screen; he investigated and discovered a hidden, undocumented setting to switch off collection of his viewing habits.

Still suspicious, he monitored the packets flowing from his TV's network interface and discovered that even with the "data-collection off" setting engaged, the TV still phoned home with the name of every program it showed, as well as the filenames of every video he loaded over its USB interface. All of this data was sent in the clear to LG's servers.

When he contacted LG, they told him that "unfortunately" he had consented to this by clicking through the EULA, and advised him that it was something he had to take up with the store where he bought the set, because they should have told him about the spying before selling it to him.