Society's Child

Bad Guys

Palestinian man attacked, stabbed in West Jerusalem

© Unknown
A Palestinian man was stabbed and assaulted by a group of Israelis late Tuesday in West Jerusalem.

Mohammad Marwan Oweis, 20, was on his way home after work to the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan when an Israeli approached him and stabbed him in the hand after realizing he was Palestinian, his family told official news agency Wafa.

Oweis tried to defend himself after being stabbed, at which point nine Israelis described as "religious" attacked him with a club, hitting him over the head and body.


University of Michigan: Thousands of students 'evicted' in pro-Palestine solidarity campaign

© Ma'an Images/SAFE
Members of the University of Michigan's student organization SAFE demonstrates against the evil Israeli occupation.
Thousands of University of Michigan students woke up Tuesday morning to faux eviction notices slipped underneath their dorm room doors.

"If you do not vacate the premises by 13 DEC 6PM, we reserve the right to demolish your premises without delay," the notices read.

"We cannot be held responsible for property or persons remaining inside. Charges for demolition will by applied to your student account."

The mock eviction was orchestrated by the student organization Students Allied for Freedom and Equality to raise awareness about the actual Israeli-directed evictions that are carried out on a regular basis in the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem, in addition to the Negev.

"When Palestinians lose their homes to unjust and illegal demolition/eviction notices, they are also robbed of their dignity, human worth, and livelihood," SAFE said in a statement.

Bad Guys

State-owned Chinese company purchases Smithfield Foods?

© Associated Press

On September 6, the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment approved a deal valued at approximately $7.1 billion allowing China's Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd (Shuanghui Group) to officially take ownership of Smithfield, Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc., the world's largest pork producer. Shuanghui had already purchased all of Smithfield's stock back in May for approximately $4.72 billion. "The deal, which would be the biggest purchase of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm, still needs shareholder approval at a special meeting scheduled for September 24," according to Reuters. Shuanghui announced that Smithfield would be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after the takeover was complete.

One thing that Reuters and other Western media fail to mention is that Shuanghui International Holdings is controlled by the Communist Party of China.

Comment: Could it be that China is disgorging its stockpile of US Dollars to buy US property and businesses? And could they be trying to hide it? If so, US hyperinflation may be coming soon.

Arrow Down

Developer unearths secret U.S. military bases

© Google Maps
If you look closely enough on Google or Bing Maps, some places are blanked out, hidden from public view. Many of those places disguise secret or sensitive American military facilities.

The United States military has a foothold in every corner of the world, with military bases on every continent. It's not even clear how many there are out there. The Pentagon says there are around 5,000 in total, and 598 in foreign countries, but those numbers are disputed by the media.

But how do these facilities look from above? To answer that question, you first need to locate the bases. Which, as it turns out, is relatively easy.

That's what Josh Begley, a data artist, found out when he embarked on a project to map all known U.S. military bases around the world, collect satellite pictures of them using Google Maps and Bing Maps, and display them all online.

The project, which he warns is ongoing, was inspired by Trevor Paglen's book Blank Spots on the Map which goes inside the world of secret military bases that are sometimes censored on maps.

"I wanted to apply this to a digital landscape," Begley told Mashable. "What are the actual blind spots of Google Maps or Bing Maps? Which installations are secret and which can be viewed on the open Internet?"


Widow faces eviction in Fla. city for 'living off the grid'

© Screen grab via WFTX-TV
Robin Speronis may be evicted from her Fla. home for her unique “living off the grid” lifestyle.
A Fla. city is set to evict a widow for her unique lifestyle of "living off the grid."

Robin Speronis told WFTX-TV that she was given an eviction notice after the station aired a story about how she chooses to live in a home without modern amenities, such as running water and electricity.

"A code enforcement officer came, knocked on the door then posts a placard that says uninhabitable property, do not enter," Robin said.

"Putting a woman who lives by herself, who is a widow, out on the street without any due process of law is unfathomable," she added.

Comment: If you intend to live in this authoritarian follower, cookie cutter world, be mindful that anything and everything you say and/or do can and will be used against you by the General Law, if so inclined.


Mom says hospital security guards put dead son in taxi

© UPI/Billie Jean Shaw
Hospital security guards sent an "uncooperative" patient who was "refusing to talk or move" home in a taxi, though he was dying or already dead, the man's mother claims in court.

The late A'Darrin Washington's mother, Deborah Washington, sued AlliedBarton Security Services, in Cumberland County Superior Court.

A'Darrin Washington died on Nov. 22, 2011 during his discharge from nonparty Cumberland County Hospital, according to the complaint.

Washington, who suffered from recurrent pneumonia associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, had been a patient of the hospital for 10 years, the lawsuit states.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a cancer of lymphocytes, or white blood cells.

Washington's mother claims the hospital admitted her son on Nov. 14 and misdiagnosed him as suffering from bacterial pneumonia. A few days later, she says, tests showed he had fungal pneumonia, and he had been receiving the wrong type of medication. The staff noted he was weak, unable to walk and in pain, and his condition deteriorated over the next few days.

On Nov. 21, after Washington received the first dose of the right medication, the hospital declared him stable and prepared him for discharge, his mom says. She says her son was still weak, seriously ill and not fit for discharge.

Eye 1

Peek-a-boo: everyone on Facebook can see you (unless you block them)

Privacy feature goes bye-bye
In an earlier, simpler time, Facebook FB +2.87% had a quaint little privacy option that let users opt out of being found in searches. It allowed the rare hermit types who embraced social media to have a profile on the site that could not be found by strangers, or even in some cases, contacts and friends. Like an invisibility cloak, it allowed them to be on the site but only to open the cloak - and friend people - when they chose. It was a popular option among privacy-loving types and celebs.

Facebook took away that Harry Potter-like option from its privacy settings last year. But anyone who had donned the invisibility cloak previously - such as Selena Larson at ReadWrite - got to hold onto it... until now. Facebook says it's yanking away the cloak from the remaining privacy hold-outs.

"The search setting was removed last year for people who weren't using it," wrote Facebook's chief privacy officer Michael Richter in a blog post Thursday. "For the small percentage of people still using the setting, they will see reminders about it being removed in the coming weeks."

Comment: More interesting information:

Employees Have No Expectation of Privacy in Facebook or MySpace Profiles

Brick Wall

Gaza receives first fuel shipment in weeks as storm causes havoc

© Khalil Hamra/The Associated Press
The storm hit Gaza at a time when it is buckling under widespread fuel shortages and rolling power cuts as a result of a tightened border closure by Egypt.
'Large swathes of northern Gaza are a disaster area'

A Palestinian official says the Gaza Strip has received its first industrial fuel shipment in 45 days, bringing much-needed relief to the storm-battered coastal territory.

A lack of fuel has hampered the rescue efforts in Gaza, where flooding from heavy rains has forced about 40,000 residents from their homes.The territory suffers from frequent power outages.

While the rival Palestinian government in the West Bank can ship fuel to Gaza through Israel, Gaza's Hamas rulers have refused to accept the shipments, saying they cannot afford a new tax.

Palestinian border official Raed Fattouh said Sunday's fuel shipment was paid for by Qatar.

The storm has also left thousands of Israelis without power. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was postponing a regularly scheduled Cabinet meeting until Sunday afternoon over it.

Comment: There is an ongoing, urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza due to the brutal, illegal military Israeli occupation and blockade. In addition, Gazans have been enduring daily rolling power outages for up to 18 hours per day, and sewage-filled streets due to the fuel shortage, both of which could be resolved if the international law-violating, UN resolution-condemned Israeli government occupier would release its chokehold over the people of Palestine. It is Israel, ultimately, that controls, decides and determines what goes on ( or does not) in Gaza with respect to food, fuel, electrical power, the economy, and the extent to which Palestinians are able to respond to and manage any crisis, whether man-made or weather-related.

Ask yourself how you'd survive in such conditions.


Venezuela grounds Air France plane over suspected terror threat

© Associated Press/Fernando Llano
Passengers by the Air France desk at the airport in Caracas after their flight to Paris was cancelled.
Minister says French authorities passed on intelligence that terrorist group was planning to put bomb on flight

Venezuela has grounded an Air France flight after being tipped off by French authorities that a terrorist group might be planning to detonate an explosive device in midair.

The Venezuelan interior minister, Miguel Rodríguez Torres, told state TV late on Saturday that more than 60 technicians, bomb experts and a canine team would perform an exhaustive search of the aircraft before the flight could be reprogrammed. Five hours after the flight's 7.25pm scheduled departure it was still unclear what the results of that search were or when they would be announced.


Meet the robot telemarketer who denies she's a robot

© Getty Images
Our encounter with an all-too-convincing robot.

The phone call came from a charming woman with a bright, engaging voice to the cell phone of a TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer. She wanted to offer a deal on health insurance, but something was fishy.

When Scherer asked point blank if she was a real person, or a computer-operated robot voice, she replied enthusiastically that she was real, with a charming laugh. But then she failed several other tests. When asked "What vegetable is found in tomato soup?" she said she did not understand the question. When asked multiple times what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained repeatedly of a bad connection.