Welcome to Sott.net
Sat, 11 Jul 2020
The World for People who Think

Society's Child
Map

Stop

Hospitals Harvesting Organs From Patients That Doctors Were Pressured to Declare Brain Dead: Lawsuit

Organ Harvest
© Medical Daily
New York hospitals are routinely "harvesting" body parts from patients before they're even dead, a lawsuit is claiming.

The suit accuses the transplant non-profit, The New York Organ Donor Network, of bullying hospital staffers to declare patients brain dead when they are still alive in order to take their organs.

Plaintiff Patrick McMahon, 50, an Air Force combat veteran, is a former transplant coordinator who claims he was fired just four months into the job for protesting about the practice and estimates that one in five patients is still showing signs of brain activity when surgeons declare them dead and start ripping out their body parts.

"They're playing God," McMahon told New York Post. The lawsuits, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday, cited four examples of improper organ harvesting.

One of the examples cited details of a 19-year-old man injured in a car crash who was still struggling to breath and showed signs of brain activity when doctors at Nassau University Medical Center declared him brain dead under pressure from the donor-network officials, including Director Michael Goldstein, who allegedly said during a conference call: "This kid is dead, you got that?" the suit claims.

Attention

Belgian 'Psychic' Gets Your Private Info From Internet


The volunteers are brought into a white tent. Inside sits a wise-looking, long-haired man in late middle age who calls himself Dave. He says he's a psychic.

You tell Dave your name. He hugs you and lays his hands on you. Then you and he sit down and he starts telling you things no stranger should know : your address, your romantic situation, your children's names, your medical history, how much you're selling your house for, your shopping habits, your bank balance.

You're amazed. You can't believe this guy knows so much about you. You can't understand how he does it.

Then Dave reveals his trick. A curtain comes down, and there's a room full of researchers on computers looking for your personal details online, feeding everything they find to Dave through a hidden earpiece.

As you sit there in shock, a TV screen displays the words: "Your entire life is online. And it might be used against you. Be vigilant."

This entire scenario actually took place recently in Brussels, Belgium, as part of "Safe Internet Banking," a campaign for online-safety awareness carried out by the trade association Febelfin (the Belgian Financial Sector Federation). The volunteers were passers-by, and Dave was an actor.

Phoenix

Battle in Athens: Protesters Throw Firebombs; Police Shoot Tear Gas


A rally in the Greek capital turned violent when protesters in Syntagma Square lobbed Molotov cocktails at police, who retaliated by firing tear gas at the demonstrators.

Security forces also reportedly used flashbang grenades and pepper spray to push protesters back from the parliament building. According to Greek newspaper Kathimerin, the police had been ordered to refrain from using chemicals against protesters.

Around 70,000 people, as estimated by Reuters, gathered in front of the parliament for the country's biggest anti-austerity protest since the new government came to power.

"EU, IMF out!" shouted the angry crowd.

"For the past two-to-three years we've been living an incredible social catastrophe," one of the protesters told Agence France Presse. "My salary has been cut by 50 percent. I have two children and tomorrow I don't know if I'll have a job."

Clashes erupted in different parts of Athens Syntagma Square, with demonstrators throwing fire bombs at police.

Athens riots
© Reuters / Yorgos Karahalis
A riot police officer prepares to throw a teargas cannister to protestors during clashes near Syntagma square during a 24-hour labour strike in Athens.

Stormtrooper

Coming to a city near you soon: Madrid police fire rubber bullets as thousands surround Spain's parliament


Madrid riot police have cleared Plaza de Neptune of protesters, with about 200 officers securing the surrounding blocks. At least 60 people have been injured and 26 arrested as police used batons and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

­Local emergency services have confirmed that at least 60 people, including eight policemen, were injured in clashes between police and protesters, El Pais reports. One of the wounded is believed to be in critical condition, while one of the injured policemen suffered a severe concussion.

Laptop

Second Bitcoin Hack Highlights Challenges, Resilience of Anarchic E-Currency

Image
© Zach Copley
Hack occurred due to exchange operator leaving his keys unencrypted

Originally conceived of by science fiction writers -- most notably Neal ­Stephenson's cult science-fiction novel Snow Crash -- peer-to-peer cryptocurrency has been all over the headlines, following its leap to the real world, in the form of the Bitcoin. Created by a shadowy individual known as "Satoshi Nakamoto", bitcoins are an inherently anarchic construct looking to free a key piece of the global economy -- specifically, currency -- from the grip of any one nation. They're also difficult to trace, making them a popular mode of purchasing quasi-legal items.

But over the year the flowers and sunshine surrounding Bitcoin has been slightly diminished. Last June, there was a massive devaluation, letting off inflationary steam and costing late adopters large amounts of real-world dollar value. Later that same month Mt. Gox, the single largest Bitcoin exchange (which trades Bitcoins for real world dollars and vice versa) was hacked. Since then we've learned about Bitcoin-stealing malware and Bitcoin Ponzi schemes.

Dollar

Is America The Most Materialistic Society In The History Of The World?

Image
When it comes to materialism, has any nation ever surpassed what we are seeing in the United States right now? We define our lives by how much stuff we have, to a large degree our personal and business relationships are defined by how much money we make, and even most of the important dates on our calendar are all about materialism. Just think about it. We throw outrageous birthday parties for our kids and we shower them with gifts. Most of our "holidays" have become highly materialistic, and the biggest holiday of all in our society, Christmas, is an absolute orgy of materialism. We make lists of the "wealthiest Americans" and we glorify their achievements. We spend most of our time either making money or spending it. Even the phrase "the American Dream" reveals how materialistic we are. When most people are asked what "the American Dream" is, they start talking about a house, a car, vacations, retirement, sending your kids to college, etc. The American Dream has become all about money and stuff. Sadly, no matter how big our homes are and no matter how many shiny new toys we accumulate, we never seem to be happy. We always want more, and we always seem to be willing to go into more debt to get it. We are the most materialistic society in the history of the world, and our endless greed is going to end up swallowing us alive.

When it comes to materialism in America, there are outrageous examples all around us, but one of my favorite examples is the "Rich Kids of Instagram". It is a Tumblr blog of photos from Instagram of young Americans showing off how they are enjoying the vast wealth of their parents. The following is how the Washington Post describes the blog....

Light Sabers

Rage against austerity: Protesters in gas masks, helmets clash with Greek police


Demonstrators wearing helmets and gas masks and armed with sticks clashed with police in the Greek capital on Wednesday, as a general strike was held to protest the government's austerity drive.

Riot police fought with the protesters wearing the black clothes favored by anarchist groups for about 45 minutes in the central Syntagma Square, letting off tear gas in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

The demonstrators let off flares and a tent in the center of the square advertising an air show was set on fire.

The anarchist group appeared to be trying to cause as much damage in the square as possible.
Image
© Yannis Behrakis/Reuters
A Molotov cocktail explodes beside riot police officers near Syntagma Square in Athens on Wednesday.

There were also violent clashes between anti-austerity protesters and riot police in Spain on Tuesday. Police there told The Associated Press that 38 people were arrested and 64 people injured when officers clashed with protesters demonstrating against cutbacks and tax hikes.

Comment: In case you're lacking an idea of what is, and is about to befall the majority of us:
Euro zone crisis sends stock markets tumbling Wednesday in Greece and Spain
Order Through Chaos: Who Wants to Set the World on Fire?
Is the food shortage before us? Will we be buying bacon and pork sausages next year?


Dollar

Privatization: A Big, Unfunny Joke

privatization
© n/a
"Charter schools also can take money away from the public system, and their teachers have fewer years of experience and a higher turnover rate."

The privatization of public goods and services turns basic human needs into products to buy and sell. That's more than a joke, it's an insult, it's a perversion. It generally benefits only a privileged group of businesspeople and their companies while increasing inequality and undermining the common good.

Various studies have identified the 'benefits' of privatization as profitability and productivity, efficiency, wider share ownership and good investment returns. These are business benefits. More balanced studies consider the effects on average people, who have paid into a long-established societal support system for their schools and emergency services, water and transportation systems, and eventually health care and retirement benefits. These studies have concluded that:
  • Privatization has generated large profits for new owners but these have not been shared with the general public.
  • The potential benefits of privatization are often outweighed by high contracting costs and opportunism.
  • Most privatization programs appear to have worsened the distribution of assets and income, at least in the short run.
While privatization may lead to efficiencies in producing goods, it is generally only true under conditions of competition and regulation. The New Jersey Privatization Task Force asserted that "States that have had the most success in privatization created a permanent, centralized entity to manage both privatization and related policies aimed at increasing government efficiency."

In the U.S. and around the world, privatization has simply not worked in industries that provide essential public goods and services:

Ambulance

Americans Are Literally Being Worked To Death

Image
Are you constantly tired and do you feel incredibly stressed almost all the time? Well, that means that there is a really good chance that you are a typical American worker. Even though our incomes are going down, Americans are spending more time at work than ever before. In fact, U.S. workers spend more time at work than anyone else in the world. But it was not always this way. Back in 1970, the average work week for an American worker was about 35 hours. Today, it is up to 46 hours. But there are other major economies around the globe that are doing just fine without burning their workers out. For example, the average American worker spends 378 more hours working per year than the average German worker does. Sadly, for many Americans work is not even finished once they leave the office. According to one recent survey, the average American worker spends an extra seven hours per week on work tasks such as checking emails and answering phone calls after normal work hours have finished. Other Americans are juggling two or three jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet. Americans are busier than ever and work is often pushing the other areas of our lives on to the back burner. What this also means is that "family vacations" are becoming increasingly rare in the United States. In fact, Americans spend less days on vacation than anyone else in the industrialized world. While some would applaud our "work ethic", the truth is that the fact that we are being overworked is having some very serious consequences. In fact, as you will see below, Americans are literally being worked to death.

The following is an excerpt from a comment that one reader posted on one of my recent articles. Can you identify with what this family is going through?....

Comment: Having problems with stress? Check out the Éiriú Eolas amazing stress control, healing & rejuvenation program here.


Stormtrooper

Spain police fire rubber bullets at Madrid protest

spain protest
© AFP, Dominique Faget
A protester clashes with riot policemen in Madrid during a demonstration
Spanish police have fired rubber bullets and baton-charged protesters attending a rally against austerity.

The clashes broke out as protesters tried to tear down barriers blocking access to the parliament in Madrid.

Spanish media reported that at least 20 people had been arrested and more than a dozen injured. The protesters dispersed after MPs left the building.

The "Occupy Congress" protest came as the government prepares to unveil further austerity measures on Thursday.

It is attempting to shrink its budget deficit, with the country in its second recession in three years and unemployment near 25%.

The government will unveil the draft budget for 2013 on Thursday and is expected to present new cost-saving reforms to reassure lenders about the state of the country's public finances.