Society's Child


Corruption of science: When scientists give up


Randen Patterson left a research career in physiology at U.C. Davis when funding got too tight. He now owns a grocery store in Guinda, Calif.
Ian Glomski thought he was going to make a difference in the fight to protect people from deadly anthrax germs. He had done everything right - attended one top university, landed an assistant professorship at another.

But Glomski ran head-on into an unpleasant reality: These days, the scramble for money to conduct research has become stultifying.

So, he's giving up on science.

And he's not alone. Federal funding for biomedical research has declined by more than 20 percent in the past decade. There are far more scientists competing for grants than there is money to support them.

That crunch is forcing some people out of science altogether, either because they can't get research funding at all or, in Glomski's case, because the rat race has simply become too unpleasant.

"My lab was well-funded until, basically, the moment I decided I wasn't going to work there anymore," he says during an interview on the porch swing of his home in Charlottesville, Va. "And I probably could have scraped through there for the rest of my career, as I had been doing, but I would have had regrets."

Glomski's problem was that he could only get funding to do very predictable, unexciting research. When money gets tight, often only the most risk-averse ideas get funded, he and others say.

Comment: See also: The Corruption of Science in America

Bad Guys

In the U.S. the 'terrorists' all too often are the police

Two acts of ugly terrorism occurred in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963.

One act was widely abhorred. The other act ignored.

Many across America know about the 9/15/63 Birmingham murders of four little girls slain in the bombing of a black Baptist church 18-days after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his stirring "I Have A Dream" speech.

However, few know about the Birmingham murder of Johnny Robinson, a 16-year-old shot in the back by a policeman hours after that church bombing.

If the deaths of those four children inside that Birmingham church catalyzed the 1960s-era Civil Rights Movement contributing to the racial progress America now praises itself for achieving, the death of Johnny Robinson represents yet another instance of the regression across America on the issue of effectively addressing lawlessness by law enforcers - lawlessness that most often evades legal accountability.

Historically, America has a history of downplaying brutal behavior by police.

Police abuses - from fatal shootings through false arrests to the gratuitous use of foul or threatening language - are dismissed as isolated acts of a 'few bad apples' instead of as an endemic scourge historically impacting minorities and increasing impacting non-minorities. Top policy-makers and even much of the public embrace this dismissal dynamic.

Comment: As in Nazi Germany, the police do not serve public interest. They serve the State.
  • The U.S. has become a worse Police State than Orwell could imagine

Arrow Down

The United States has the largest prison population in the world - And it's growing

© AP/Kiichiro Sato
Both in raw numbers and by percentage of the population, the United States has the most prisoners of any developed country in the world - and it has the largest total prison population of any nation. That didn't change in 2013. After several years in which the prison population dropped slightly, the raw number of inmates in United States custody went up again in 2013.

More than 1.57 million inmates sat behind bars in federal, state, and county prisons and jails around the country as of December 31, 2013. In the federal prisons, more than half of those sentenced to a stints of a year or longer are still there for drug crimes. In states including Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, and Georgia, at least 1 percent of male residents were in prison on December 31. And across the country, racial disparities persist. Black men are six times more likely than white men to be in prison. Hispanic men are 2.4 times more likely, according to a Sentencing Project analysis of the data.

This doesn't pain the full picture of the U.S. incarceration system. Many have estimated the total number of U.S. incarceration to be more than 2.4 million. This is in part because another estimated 12 million individuals cycle through the county jail systems in a given year for periods of less than a year, and are therefore not factored into a snapshot on December 31. There are also other mechanisms of incarceration not factored into this figure, including immigration detention, civil commitment, and Indian Country facilities, according to a Prison Policy Initiative briefing.

U.S. Census Bureau: Noncitizen income rose 15 times faster than income of native workers in 2013

© AFP/Saul Loeb
Children who have had their fathers deported attend a protest in response to US President Barack Obama’s delay on immigration reform in front of the White House in Washington, DC. Democrats have supported easing immigration rules and some have criticized Obama for the delay. Republicans say more immigration would lead to depressed wages for U.S. workers, which was backed up in a new Census Bureau report released Tuesday.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday that household income for noncitizens working in the United States rose 6.0 percent between 2012 and 2013, 15 times more than the paltry 0.4 percent increase for households led by native-born U.S. workers.

Census said income households led by foreign-born workers, which includes noncitizens and naturalized citizens, rose 1.7 percent over the same period of time. That's still about four times higher than the 0.4 percent increase for native born workers.

Republicans have argued for months that the effort by Democrats to ease immigration rules would make it easier for noncitizens to find jobs, at the expense of U.S. citizens. The Census report seems to indicate that may already be happening, as it shows native U.S. household income was almost flat between 2012 and 2013, while income for foreign born residents rose much more.

Census stressed that its estimates were just that - estimates. But its 90 percent confidence intervals still indicate a wide difference between income for citizen and non-citizen income - it also indicates that the income of some households led by native U.S. workers actually declined between 2012 and 2013.

Census released its report on the same day that the Congressional Research Service released a memo that said enacting the Senate's comprehensive immigration legislation would increase the population of foreign-born U.S. residents by 10 million above normal growth rates over the next eight years.

  • Slave nation: Forty percent Of U.S. workers made less than $20,000 last year


Casualties of US Pathocracy: Over 700 refugees from the Middle East and Africa feared dead

Over 700 refugees from the Middle East and Africa are feared dead in a pair of catastrophic shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea over the past week, the world's main international migration agency reported Monday.
© Photo: UNHCR/L.Boldrini
A boat carrying refugees in the Mediterranean
This tragic loss of life is directly bound up with the series of military interventions carried out by US imperialism and its allies, which have plunged the Middle East and much of Africa into chaos, turning millions into homeless refugees.

The worst of these maritime disasters became known over the weekend from the accounts of two Palestinian refugees who were pulled from the sea after clinging to flotation devices for a day and a half. They reported that their ship, carrying some 500 migrants from the Palestinian territories, Syria, Egypt and Sudan, had gone down last Wednesday after a violent confrontation with human traffickers who deliberately rammed the vessel.

Meanwhile, a boat carrying over 250 other refugees capsized off the coast of Libya on Sunday, with only 36 survivors rescued from the sea. The rest of the passengers are believed to have drowned.

The confrontation that led to the 500 migrant deaths reportedly erupted after the traffickers attempted to force the refugees to abandon the ship that they had embarked upon from the Egyptian port of Damietta for an even less seaworthy boat off the coast of Malta. When the migrants resisted, their ship was rammed and sunk.

The Palestinians were rescued by a Panamanian-registered container ship, while seven other survivors were pulled from the sea by the Maltese navy and other vessels. The same Panamanian-flagged ship that rescued the Palestinians managed to save another 380 refugees whose boat had also sunk in the Mediterranean over the past week.

"If this story, which the police are investigating, should be confirmed, it would be the gravest case of recent years, since it was not an accident, but a mass murder perpetrated by criminals without scruples or respect for human life," the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement Monday.

Comment: Forced out of their homes and countries, not welcome anywhere else, more and more people are becoming expendable due to the pathocratic system that destroys everything it touches.

It's devolution baby! Destination nowhere under the stewardship of psychopaths


Americans seeing a glimmer of reality? Trust in MSM returns to low of 40%

After registering slightly higher trust last year, Americans' confidence in the media's ability to report "the news fully, accurately, and fairly" has returned to its previous all-time low of 40%. Americans' trust in mass media has generally been edging downward from higher levels in the late 1990s and the early 2000s.

Prior to 2004, Americans placed more trust in mass media than they do now, with slim majorities saying they had a "great deal" or "fair amount" of trust. But over the course of former President George W. Bush's re-election season, the level of trust fell significantly, from 54% in 2003 to 44% in 2004. Although trust levels rebounded to 50% in 2005, they have failed to reach a full majority since.

Americans' trust in the media in recent years has dropped slightly in election years, including 2008, 2010, 2012, and again this year -- only to edge its way back up again in the following odd-numbered years. Although the differences between the drops and the recoveries are not large, they suggest that something about national elections triggers skepticism about the accuracy of the news media's reporting.

Comment: It is slightly encouraging that some people are open and inquisitive enough to question the mouthpieces of their 'masters'. It would be heartening if more people were that courageous as certainly most people realize that things are fairly horrific on the BBM, yet a still sizable majority keep believing the tired excuses the psychopaths keep spewing. What a difference it could make if enough people were informed with the truth.

Lament for Babylon

Dollar Gold

People Power: Occupy abolishes $4 million in other people's student loan debt

© Unknown
Occupy helps alleviate student debt
Marking the third anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the group's Strike Debt initiative announced Wednesday it has abolished $3.8 million worth of private student loan debt since January. It said it has been buying the debts for pennies on the dollar from debt collectors, and then simply forgiving that money rather than trying to collect it.

In total, the group spent a little more than $100,000 to purchase the $3.8 million in debt.

While the group is unable to purchase the majority of the country's $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt because it is backed by the federal government,private student debt is fair game.

This debt Occupy bought belonged to 2,700 people who had taken out private student loans to attend Everest College, which is run byCorinthian Colleges. Occupy zeroed in on Everest because Corinthian Colleges is one of the country's largest for-profit education companies and has been in serious legal hot water lately.

Following a number of federal investigations, the college told investors this summer that it plans to sell or close its 107 campuses due to financial problems -- potentially leaving its 74,000 students in a lurch.

Comment: The occupy movement is doing something the government won't, abolish student debt.


Russian billionaire accused of money laundering is placed under house arrest

Vladimir Yevtushenkov
© RIA Novosti / Ramil Sitdikov
Vladimir Yevtushenkov
The main stockholder in the Russian conglomerate AFK Sistema and the country's 15th richest man according to Forbes, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, has been placed under house arrest on charges of money laundering.

The billionaire is accused of acquiring shares in oil producer Bashneft, in the Russian province of Bashkiria, by "criminal means."

"Investigators have reasonable grounds to believe that Sistema Board Chairman Vladimir Yevtushenkov is involved in the legalization of property acquired by criminal means. Today he was accused of money laundering," the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement on its website.

The alleged crime carries a possible penalty of seven years in prison and a fine of one million rubles (US$26,000).

Yevtushenkov must stay under house arrest until November 16. His lawyers have three days to appeal against the Moscow Court decision.

The accusations against Yevtushenkov follow months of investigation.

Comment: It seems that Putin is still cleaning house! It is quite unfortunate that the UK and USA don't have leaders with sufficient conscience to do the same:


Drug-bust: Vatican car belonging to Argentinian Cardinal detained at French border

© Reuters / Enrique Castro-Mendivil
Using an official Vatican car to transport cocaine and cannabis did not help two Italians to avoid justice. Diplomatic plates failed to protect the two smugglers as they were stopped and arrested in France.

Two Italians, 30 and 41, whose names have not been revealed, are now in a French prison.

There are varying reports on where the arrest was made. Local sources say the incident took place at a French border checkpoint, while AFP reported the two were detained at a toll station near Chambéry, in the French Alps.

When law enforcement searched the Vatican vehicle, they found four kilos of cocaine and 200 grams of cannabis.
Dollar Gold

Number of world billionaires hits record high

© Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk
The number of billionaires increased by 155 in 2014 reaching a record high of 2,325
The number of billionaires increased by 155 in 2014 reaching a record high of 2,325, according to the Billion Census report. The research showed that more than half of the new super-rich are self-made, and more than a third don't have a university degree.

There was a 7.1 percent increase in the number of billionaires across the world in 2014 said the report, compiled by the consulting company Wealth-X and the Swiss bank UBS.

Even though 2,325 is a new record, experts suggest the number could reach almost 4,000 by 2020 in the most bullish scenario, while conservatively it could reach 3,600.

The report shows that 55 percent of the wealthiest people are self-made men and the number who inherited wealth has decreased.

Around 35 percent of the world's billionaires don't have university degree, but those who do usually go on to pursue further studies like MBA or Ph.D. So the report suggests education is not a prerequisite for becoming a billionaire.

Comment: While the ranks of the super-rich have been growing, the rest of humanity is struggling and far too many have been plunged into poverty. So much for 'trickle-down' economics. The uber-rich could do much to end the suffering of the poor, but as many of them are elite psychopaths, there is little that will change until Mother Nature decides to level the balance. And the way things are looking, that could be rather soon.

Lament for Babylon