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Bizarro Earth

SOTT Exclusive: Discovery's airing of Eaten Alive is another sign of our society's descent into Idiocracy

Naturalist Paul Rosolie
Some of you may have missed (or not!) the "very special episode" of Eaten Alive this past Sunday on the Discovery Channel, where a man named Paul Rosolie intended to be eaten alive by an anaconda and have it filmed for the world to see. I'm going to spoil the end result for you right now: he did not in fact get eaten alive.

What the viewing public got to see was a man, dressed up like Darth Vader, provoke a poor snake into attacking him and then 15 minutes later call it off when the pain from the constriction became too much (for the man, not the snake). Yes, amazingly, the snake at first wanted nothing to do with Paul. In his own words:
"When I went up to the snake, it didn't try to eat me right away. It tried to escape. And when I provoked it a little bit, and acted a little more like a predator, that's when it turned around and defended itself."
You couldn't really blame the snake, Paul. You're a member of the human race, that is collectively responsible for the extinction of thousands of animals and killings of untold snakes. This particular snake probably realized that you aren't exactly dinner material. But that doesn't matter, because advertising slots must be sold! So Paul attacked until the snake finally decided it had enough and fought back.

Two California teens arrested for feeding live cat to dogs

Two teenagers who allegedly fed a live cat to two dogs, videotaped the attack and posted it online have been arrested in Kern County on suspicion of cruelty to an animal.

The Bakersfield Californian reports that while the incident apparently occurred over the summer, Animal Control wasn't contacted until Dec. 4 after a person reported receiving the graphic video on a social networking site.

Sheriff's deputies said the video appeared to show two large dogs being fed a live cat while voices in the background encouraged the dogs to attack.

Detectives last week arrested a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old. Both teens were booked into Juvenile Hall.

The investigation is continuing.

Comment: Can a Kid Be a Psychopath?

Snakes in Suits

Amid massive civil unrest in America, should Obama step down?

U.S. President Barack Obama
© Reuters / Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Barack Obama
After the eruption of large-scale protests which subsequently devolved into chaotic riots in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri in response to the killing of Michael Brown by Ferguson police, protests began to spread outside of Ferguson to large cities all across the country. Fresh on the heels of the Michael Brown protests, reports of the Eric Garner murder by the NYPD and the non-indictment of the murderer, large-scale protests erupted in New York City and, like the Brown-inspired protests, all across the country as well.

In short, anger, protests, riots and other forms of violence have engulfed cities all across the United States. Years of authoritarianism, a stagnant economy, and police brutality among many other issues are coming to a head, regardless of what one thinks about the methods or even the merits of some of the protesters/rioters.

Flashback to 2011, shortly after death squad operations funded by NATO, the GCC and Israel began in earnest inside Syria. According to Western media, these operatives who were killing Syrians indiscriminately in the streets, implementing Sharia law, and beheading civilians were peaceful protesters. Such widespread chaos in the streets of Syrian cities was used as a justification by Western leaders such as Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and British Prime Minister David Cameron to call for Assad to step down.

According to these leaders, "peaceful protests" across Syria were enough to warrant calls for Assad to step down as President of the country. Such civil unrest was reason enough to demand that Assad "face the reality of the complete rejection of his regime by the Syrian people."

So with the massive civil unrest taking place all across the United States in 2014, one must ask the question, is the logical response to demand that U.S. President Barack Obama step down?

If mass "protests" in Syria are enough to demand that Assad has lost his legitimacy, then why are mass protests across the United States not enough to demand that Obama has lost his own legitimacy?

Comment: You can always count on the good old U.S. exceptionalism and double standards.

Light Saber

Judge rules for workers - Walmart management 'illegally punished strikers'

© Brave New Films
A National Labor Relations Board judge ruled that Walmart managers in California had illegally disciplined employees for going on strike and unlawfully threatened to close a store if many of its employees joined a group demanding higher wages.

In a decision made public on Wednesday, Geoffrey Carter, an N.L.R.B. administrative law judge, also found that a Walmart manager had illegally intimidated workers by saying, "If it were up to me, I'd shoot the union." In addition, the judge said it was unlawful for Walmart managers to tell employees that co-workers returning from a one-day strike would be looking for a new job.

Our Walmart, a union-backed group of Walmart employees, filed the complaint with the labor board, asserting that officials at Walmart stores in Placerville and Richmond, Calif., had illegally intimidated workers.

Comment: A well-known pattern of Walmart management. They employ the same police-state tactics usually reserved for government protests

Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, said in a statement: "We do not agree with some of the administrative law judge's conclusions." The company said it would appeal parts of the ruling to the full labor board in Washington.

Walmart has a long history of vigorously battling unionization efforts.

Comment: Of course! As much wealth as possible must be funneled upward to the ruling clan.

Our Walmart is not a union but is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers union and has mounted a string of protests against Walmart over the last three years. On Black Friday, Our Walmart sponsored protests at more than a thousand Walmart stores, calling for a $15 base wage, more full-time jobs and an end to what it says is illegal intimidation and dismissals.

Comment: Walmart is held up by the corporate 1% as the epitome of capitalist principles, but in reality it is one of the worst leeches on the public purse. Instead of paying a living wage, it counsels its "associates" in how to access social support services to make ends meet, and encourages their already underpaid employees to run food drives for their fellow workers. Disgusting!


North Carolina church members indicted for kidnapping, choking and beating gay man to cure 'homosexual demons'

Matthew Fenner
Five members of a controversial North Carolina church were indicted this week on charges that they kidnapped and assaulted a fellow member because he had been possessed by "homosexual demons."

On Monday, a Rutherford County grand jury indicted Sarah Covington Anderson, Adam Christopher Bartley, Brooke McFadden Covington, Justin Brock Covington and Robert Louis Walker Jr. on charges of second degree kidnapping and simple assault. Anderson was also charged with assault by strangulation.

Matthew Fenner told WSPA that he was a member of The Word of Faith Fellowship church in 2013 when the others physically attacked him for being gay on Jan. 29, 2013.

"I honestly thought I was going to die," Fenner recalled. "My head was like being flung back, my vision was going brown and black... I couldn't breathe and I'm sitting here thinking if I don't get out of this, I'm probably going to die."

According to QNotes, the suspects slapped and strangled Fenner, and they threatened to imprison him for two days to fight his "homosexual demons."

Although the church has been accused of abusing LGBT people in the past, Fenner said that local officials refused to take him seriously or even let him file a complaint at first.

QNotes described the Spindale church as "cult-like" for a technique of "deliverance" in which members are encircled, and subjected to "high-pitched shrilling sounds, screams and prayers."

Comment: Beating a man senseless on Yahweh's orders? Christianity is such fertile ground for psychopathy.

Candy Cane

Black Pete, chimney sweep? Meet "Santa's helper" in The Netherlands

© Bas Czerwinski/Agence France-Presse
Demonstrators holding placards reading "Black Pete is Rascism" and "Free Pete" during a demonstration in November, 2013 against Zwarte Piet (Black Pete).
As the holiday season approaches, people the world over will be celebrating the year's end in accordance with their local traditions. In the Netherlands in recent years there has been steadily-growing controversy about its peculiar Christmas tradition involving white people wearing blackface theatrical makeup.

Jon Stewart is right: the U.S. most definitely is NOT a post-racial society. But before we, as Dutch citizens, start lecturing Americans about the state of their nation, we ought to come clean about our own racist proclivities. Every year on December 5th Dutch children celebrate a kind of mini pre-Santa day of gift-giving (well, gift-receiving in the kids' case, but the adult population joins in the fun too). The centerpiece of Sint-Nicolaas Day are parades in every town and city up and down the country, in which the guest of honor is a very Father Christmas-like figure who gives kids candy... with the assistance of 'Black Pete', his negro servant sidekick.

To understand this toxic Dutch 'tradition', you have to understand some of its past. But first, here's the story of "Sint-Nicolaas and Black Pete" as it is presented today.

Comment: If you wish to learn more about racism and how it occurs outside conscious awareness, we recommend reading Blink - The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell.


Brooklyn synagogue stabbing: Student attacked, NYPD kills assailant

© AFP Photo / Allison Joyce
A knife-wielding man who stabbed a student in a Brooklyn synagogue was shot dead by police after he lunged at officers.

Police say they used lethal violence against the suspect after he refused to drop the weapon, AP reports. The incident occurred at the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic World Headquarters in Crown Heights at 1:40am on Tuesday.

Comment: Who benefits? Not only does it reinforce the lie about a new wave of violent anti-Semitism - which Israel and its lobby depend upon in order to cover up their genocide of the Palestinians. It also has to the potential to smear critics of police violence and brutality with charges of anti-Semitism. Two birds, one stone!

Stock Down

Cost of Privatization in UK: Rail, water & utilities hit households financially - study

UK Pound
© AFP Photo / Bertrand Langlois
British households could be saving £250 a year each if services such as railways and water were publicly owned rather than privatized, according to a new report.

Research conducted by Corporate Watch and We Own It reveals Britons could be saving hundreds of pounds if such services were taken out of private hands. In the long run, the British government, too, would save billions if services were renationalized.

Additionally, the investigation found that utility companies were paying out £12.7 billion a year in interest and dividends to their shareholders, while passing the cost burden to their customers.

Comment: Corporations fund the policy makers and it is improbable that trend will change. The UK needs its own Putin to reverse the damage Iron lady Margaret Thatcher (aka 'the witch') initiated.


New Delhi police question Uber taxi service executive over customer rape allegation

uber taxi
Indian police questioned an Uber executive Tuesday about the company's claim it conducts comprehensive background checks and a top official called for the taxi-booking service to be banned nationwide after one of its New Delhi drivers was accused of rape.

New Delhi police official Brijendra Kumar Yadav said there is a possibility of criminal charges against the company if police find evidence the taxi-hailing app misrepresented the safety of its service.

The driver, 32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadav, is being held by police and will appear again in a New Delhi court on Thursday. A 26-year-old woman who hired Yadav for a ride home from a dinner engagement Friday night accused him of rape.

Comment: What is Uber?
Uber is a rideshare and taxi service headquartered in San Francisco, United States (U.S.), which operates in multiple international cities. The company uses a smartphone application to receive ride requests, and then sends these trip requests to their drivers. Customers use the app to request rides and track their reserved vehicle's location. As of August 29, 2014, the service was available in 45 countries and more than 200 cities worldwide, and was valued at US$18.2 billion.

Upon inception, Uber offered only full-size luxury cars for hire, and the "UberBlack" title was adopted for the company's main service (named after the "black cars" private transportation services in New York City. In 2012, the company launched its "UberX" program, which expanded the service to any qualified driver with an acceptable vehicle. Due to a lack of regulation, Uber can offer lower fees, so the service has become extremely competitive with traditional taxi services, expanding Uber's appeal to a broader cross-section of the market.

Comment: Uber is not new to controversy and protests:
Uber is the subject of ongoing protests from taxi drivers, taxi companies and representative bodies who believe that ridesharing companies are illegal taxicab operations that engage in unfair business practices and compromise passenger safety. As of September 2014, protests had been staged in Germany, France and England, among other nations, while incidents involving passengers have been documented. Uber also continues to resolve issues with governmental bodies, including those of the U.S. and Australia.


3 questions to ask before putting cameras on cops

body cam_police
© Wochit
Two weeks ago, many of us were sure that if only Darren Wilson had had a body camera, justice would have been more easily served in Ferguson, Missouri - that a video record would have cleared the confusion over Officer Wilson's fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Then, a week ago - only two days after President Obama proposed putting 50,000 more police body cameras into service - things didn't look so clear. Video taken by a passerby of Eric Garner's fatal chokehold arrest did not stop a grand jury from declining to bring an indictment.

It's not the first time a promised technological solution has looked less shiny upon closer inspection, but the stakes for this technology are extraordinarily high.

Before we follow our habit of attaching a camera to anything that moves - if we can put them on our dashboards and on our drones, why not our cops? - we need to ask a few questions, and get some good answers.

"Any police department that wants to use body cameras, it's a good decision," said Electronic Frontier Foundation staff attorney Hanni Fakhoury. "But you can't just throw the cameras out there and let the details sort themselves out."