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Black Friday 2015: Rampant and violent consumerism

© Via Twitter@daddyweaknd
Just as we started regaining faith in humanity, after last year's Black Friday idiocy, here it comes again.

Before their Thanksgiving dinners could settle, many Americans left their family atmospheres and descended upon department stores and big box retailers across the country to partake in rampant and apparently violent consumerism.

Mindless shoppers aren't even getting the great discounts they cherish since retailers artificially inflate prices of goods in the months before the sales in order to make the subsequent discounts look good in comparison. Also, even if shoppers do manage to grab some genuine discounts, they will invariably buy another product that has a 98 percent markup value.

If we take a step back to observe this downright insanity, it is getting difficult to differentiate between Frank Darabont's Walking Dead and Black Friday shoppers. As the shopping began late Thursday night, so did the disgusting display savagery and greed.

The first video to surface shows a grown woman attacking a child. As mindless zombie customers tumble over shopping displays to grab as many rice cookers as the can, one woman becomes angry at another woman who is carrying three rice cookers. The woman then charges her child and yanks one of the three rice cookers this child's mother apparently needed from the toddler.

When the mom becomes angry, she screams, "Why are you being so oppressive?! You're scaring me!"

For a rice cooker.....

Comment: Culture has made us "Hungry Ghosts": The 40 hour work week & more


Mass protests in UK against proposed airstrikes in Syria

© Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters
Demonstrators listen to speakers at a rally against taking military action against Islamic State in Syria, held outside Downing Street in London, November 28, 2015.
Mass protests have taken place in London and many other cities across the country urging the government not to conduct airstrikes in Syria.

'Don't Bomb Syria' signs were plentiful, as thousands of protesters took to the streets of the British capital to make their voices heard, in a rally organized by the Stop the War coalition.

The demonstration in London started outside Prime Minister David Cameron's residence at 10 Downing Street. The rally was against a planned vote in Parliament about whether to support a motion for the UK to starting bombing Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants in Syria.

"We are very much opposed to David Cameron's plans to have a vote in Parliament to bomb Syria. The bombing has already been going on for more than a year by other forces. ISIS is as strong as it was before the bombing started and also we have the record of 14 years of bombing, and every single country we have bombed, the wars are still going on there," said Lindsey German, of Stop the War, during the demonstration.

Comment: It appears those protesting have serious doubts that the proposed airstrikes will actually target ISIS, suspecting that this military intervention may be used as a pretext to assist the US in its war against Bashar al-Assad.

Bad Guys

21 dead after Boko Haram suicide bomb attack in Nigeria

© FILE PHOTO © Afolabi Sotunde / Reuters
At least 21 people were killed in a Boko Haram suicide bomb attack on a Shia Muslim procession in the northern Nigerian state of Kano.

The incident occurred in the village of Dakasoye, some 20 kilometers south of the state capital city of Kano.

"Our procession came under a suicide attack," Muhammad Turi, who was leading thousands of Islamic Movement of Nigeria followers, told AFP.

Turi said that the deadly attack came as no surprise for the Shia marchers as "this is the situation all over the country."

Despite the bombing, the procession, which was on its way from Kano to Zaria, located in a neighboring state, continued to match.

"This will not deter us from our religious observance. Even if all of us were bombed the last person will carry on with this duty," Turi stressed.

Comment: Nigerian government says 'Boko Haram' terror group has kidnapped over 45,000 people since 2012


This year 57 French airport personnel fired over 'radicalization' suspicions

© Pascal Rossignol / Reuters
Since the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in January, nearly 60 people suspected of radicalism have reportedly lost their authorization to work at Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport. At least five people have been fired following the deadly mid-November attacks.

"Since the beginning of the year, there are 57 people who lost their authorization because of radicalization. There have been five since the attacks [November 13]," the prefect of Charles de Gaulle (Roissy) and Le Bourget airports, Philippe Riffaut, told a press conference.

Comment: Moving forward to more totalitarianism.

Heart - Black

Attacks on the Muslim population, exploiting fear and paranoia

Since the terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13th, we have seen France declare a state of emergency, allowing the government to control its population more tightly, to order raids on any "suspicious" home (the security forces no longer requiring warrants for arrests and raids when investigating an "imminent threat") and to curtail freedom in the home of alleged "Liberté".

While the official story leaves much to be desired, has more holes than the walls of the raided apartment in St-Denis, and doesn't prove conclusively that the attackers where only "islamic" terrorists, one thing you don't hear much about in the media is how this has been affecting the Muslim population in France and other countries.

There are 5 million Muslims in France, about eight percent of the total population and they are suffering the consequences of attacks perpetrated by a handful of psychos, with no regard for the decades that they have been living peacefully in France like any ordinary "white" citizen.


Municipalities in the U.S. are fed-up with Monsanto's corrupt tactics, Oakland sues for environmental cleanup

"Agrochemical giant Monsanto knowingly contaminated Oakland's storm water and the San Francisco Bay with a highly toxic chemical for decades, a new lawsuit filed by the California city claims. Oakland wants the company to pay for the environmental cleanup."

Municipalities in the U.S. are fed-up with Monsanto's corrupt tactics — and they're hitting the corporation where it hurts: their pocketbook. Oakland California, the latest city to sue the biotech colossus, has filed a lawsuit seeking retribution for damages caused by harmful polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination.

Comment: See more:
  • Activists burning down Monsanto's GMO facilities as governments refuse to protect their citizens

Cardboard Box

How broke are Millennials? Pretty broke when you look at the data

© iStock
If you type in "characteristics of the Millennial generation" into trusty Google you will find a list of interesting headlines. Some of the titles given to Millennials are: Generation Y, Generation WE, The Boomerang Generation, and The Peter Pan Generation. Part of this stems from the way many were raised by baby boomers who were promising their kids the world. Many felt that leaving college with any degree would be enough for a high income and an avalanche of jobs hitting their email box. None of this really materialized. Unrealistically high expectations.

Denmark, which typically ranks among the "happiest" countries in the world carries one interesting trait - have low expectations. In fact, most Millennials are struggling in the current economy. The Millennial generation leads the way in the amount of student debt it carries. Many are stuck in low wage jobs earning so little, they are living with their parents deep into adulthood. How broke are Millennials? Pretty broke when you look at the data.

Blame it on income

A very high number of Millennials don't even work or if they are working, are stuck in a low wage job. Close to half of recent college graduates are working in jobs that don't even relate to their undergraduate degree. Not a problem when you pay little for college but this can be an issue when you are going into tens of thousands of dollars of debt to finance your studies.

Income for Millennials has fallen across virtually all employment sectors:

It should be noted that the Great Recession officially ended in the summer of 2009 yet somehow, incomes continue to go down for Millennials
. This is why younger Americans are angered and keenly focused on issues like income inequality and student debt.

Millennials are the poorest income group in the United States:

Comment: Exceptionalism at its best: 21 facts about the explosive growth of poverty in America that will blow your mind

Alarm Clock

Active shooter situation reported at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs; at least 1 dead, 3 injured

© Google
An active shooter situation is in progress at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic. At least three policemen and an unknown number of civilians have been injured after a gunman opened fire. Police have surrounded the area.

The gunman shot multiple people, including a police officer, then barricaded himself inside Planned Parenthood, according to Mike Violette, the executive director for the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police. At least three officers have been injured, and police are unsure if any civilians have been hit, Commander Kirk Wilson of Colorado Springs PD told reporters. Police do not know if there have been any fatalities. One person is reported dead in the parking lot, according to the police scanner. The gunman is firing at passing cars, KRDO reported.

Two of the injured officers have been moved to safety, while police are still trying to move the third out of harm's way, KXRM's Kody Fisher reported. An officer said on his radio that he was trying to "get a look at" the gunman, when the back window of his police cruiser was shot out, the CS Gazette reported. The injured police officer was shot in the hand, and a second officer has been injured, law enforcement told KKTV.

The gunman is a white male who is about 6 feet tall with a white beard wearing a hunting outfit, boots and a tan hat, a witness told police, according to the scanner traffic. Law enforcement on the scene must also battle the elements with snow starting to accumulate on top of police vehicles. It is currently 17 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 degrees Celsius).

Alarm Clock

According to new study: American hunger-related healthcare costs exceeded $160 billion in 2014

© Brandon Warren
Food insecurity, especially for children, remains near record high despite the Great Recession's official end.

While the official end of the Great Recession is a full five years behind us, there are now nearly 12 million more Americans who lack enough resources to access adequate food than there were in 2007, a number that has only improved slightly since United States food insecurity peaked at over 21 percent in 2009. These statistics alone are disturbing. But as detailed in a new study released today as part of Bread for the World Institute's 2016 Hunger Report, absence of food security in the U.S. carries enormous healthcare costs, more than $160 billion in 2014.

Comment: Hungry in America: Ten cities where a shocking number of people don't have enough food


Black Friday protests over Laquan McDonald shooting shut down major Chicago shopping district

On one of the busiest U.S. retails days, thousands of people took to Chicago's most prestigious downtown shopping district on Friday to protest last year's shooting death of a black teenager by a white policeman and the city's handling of the case.

About 2,000 people with signs reading "Stop Police Terror" gathered in a cold drizzle for the march on Chicago's "Magnificent Mile" on the Black Friday shopping day, which closed the major city street of Michigan Avenue to traffic.

Organizers said the rally, led by activist-politician the Rev. Jesse Jackson and several state elected officials, is a show of outrage over the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald, 17, and what they see as racial bias in U.S. policing.

Protesters also called for the resignation of the police superintendent and a top prosecutor for what they see as foot-dragging and stonewalling in the case.

The police officer who shot McDonald 16 times, Jason Van Dyke, 37, was charged with first-degree murder hours before a graphic video of the shooting was made public on Tuesday.

Comment: See: Protests erupt as Chicago police release video in Laquan McDonald shooting