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Thu, 21 Jan 2021
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35 Years Of Death Penalty Regrets

lethal injection2 execution
© Unknown
Thirty-five years ago, on July 2, 1976, on the eve of massive bicentennial celebrations, the U.S. Supreme Court in Gregg v. Georgia voted 7-2 to re-instate capital punishment. There had been no executions in the U.S. since 1967.

The U.S. could have been a leader in the subsequent worldwide trend toward death penalty abolition; instead the U.S. has become an outlier along with a minority of other countries (like China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia) that still kill prisoners.

What might have been?

Three of those 7 justices (Stevens, Blackmun and Powell) have since regretted their vote in Gregg, meaning that if there could be some sort of time-travel Stevens, Blackmun and Powell's Excellent Adventure do-over, the death penalty might have never come back.

But, as with executing likely innocent people, you can't go back in time to undo your mistakes. The death penalty did come back.


US: Shutdown cost will bring sticker shock

© Marlin Levison/Star Tribune
With the shutdown of state parks, Minnesotans are flocking to Wisconsin state parks to camp and cool off in park waters. Willow River State Park northeast of Hudson is an easy drive from the Twin Cities and rewards the traveler with beaches, campgrounds and waterfalls. Willow River State Park campground is filled to capacity this holiday weekend largely due to Minnesotans crossing over the border due to the government shutdown.
In just a few days, Minnesota could be out millions of dollars.

With the shutdown of state parks, Minnesotans are flocking to Wisconsin state parks to camp and cool off in park waters. Willow River State Park northeast of Hudson is an easy drive from the Twin Cities and rewards the traveler with beaches, campgrounds and waterfalls. Willow River State Park campground is filled to capacity this holiday weekend largely due to Minnesotans crossing over the border due to the government shutdown.

Minnesota stands to lose millions of dollars in revenue and get saddled with millions more in new expenses for every week that the widespread shutdown of state government persists.

In both subtle and stark ways, the shutdown that began Friday will bring new financial pain to the state treasury. Closing many operations will save the state some money, but an array of revenue sources as diverse as the lottery and highway toll lanes have been cut off.


Italian police break up bear-meat banquet laid on by Berlusconi allies

© Srdjan Zivulovic/Reuters
A tranquilised female bear after being captured in Slovenia. It was to be released elsewhere in Europe as part of plans to reintroduce the species.
Meal was a protest against reintroduction of bears to Dolomites, says Northern League

Police have broken up a banquet of bear meat hosted by Silvio Berlusconi's powerful coalition partner in northern Italy after government ministers and animal rights groups described the event as scandalous.

The order to down cutlery came as about 200 people lined up to devour grilled and stewed bear at a rally in Imer in the Italian Dolomites organised by the Northern League.

Organisers said they had bought the meat legally in Slovenia to get round a ban on bear hunting in Italy, but food safety officers from Italy's paramilitary carabinieri police objected to the lack of import documentation for the 50kg of meat.

Speaking at the event, Enzo Erminio Boso, a former League senator, said he suspected the raid had been arranged by members of Berlusconi's People of Liberty party who earlier demanded that League leader Umberto Bossi halt proceedings.


Fight Leads to Police Brutality -- Savannah Cop Slams Female to Ground

n what's a horrible police reaction to fighting, and at the same time a great CopBlock video, a bystander caught the actions of this Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department officer on their cell phone. This officer must think that violence should be answered with violence, even when two of the youngsters were giving up or already maced.


US: 10 Mile Mandatory Evacuation Area at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant

A ten mile mandatory evacuation area for the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant is now in effect. As stated in the video below, it is a "prudent approach" for fast developing events leading to radiation releases. Since the plant is currently shutdown for maintenance and will not be restarted until the flooding subsides, what possible radiation release is NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko referring to? The only other source of radiation is the spent fuel rods. If this is the possible radiation source that he is referring to, a "prudent approach" might be moving the spent fuel rods to another site such as Yucca Mountain before they bccome a problem. Unfortunately, Mr. Jaczko was responsible for delaying this facility in Nevada.

Arrow Down

Stunning Plunge in COMEX Commercial Gold Net Short Futures

Lowest relative commercial net short position to total open interest since 2008 panic for silver futures.

Accelerated pace of commercial short covering.

Houston - We here at Got Gold Report are keenly interested in over-sized changes in the positioning of the largest, best funded and presumably the best informed traders of gold and silver futures on the planet - the traders classed as "commercial." Witness a truly historic one-week plunge in the commercial net short positioning for gold futures traded in New York on the COMEX division of the CME.

© gotgoldreport.com
COMEX traders classed by the CFTC as “commercial” net short positioning since 2007. Source CFTC for commitments of traders (COT), Cash Market for gold. If any of the images are too small click on them for a larger version.

Arrow Down

Epic US Bond Rout Leads To Biggest Weekly Percentage Surge In 5-Year Yield In History

As the table below demonstrates, the bond vigilantes are now eviscerating the belly of the US Treasury curve: the weekly percentage move higher in the 5 Year yield is now the largest...Ever. For those wondering if PIIGS should be renamed to PIIS following the brief rescue of G, perhaps it is time to officially rename it PIISA.

The chart below is an archive picture of what one day will be seen as officially ushering in QE 3. As for the naive follow on moves in the equities, it is merely a risk transfer.



Daily life in Fukushima: 'It was like visiting another universe'

Jan Beranek, who is with a team of Greenpeace activists investigating the fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, says Japanese are encouraged to return to their normal lives unaware of the dangers they face in the contaminated area. "I personally find it very disturbing, because on the one hand you see the Japanese authorities forcing people and society to get back to normal... And yet at the same time there are still extremely high levels of radiation and the contamination of the soil, and also potentially in the food," the activist told RT. "This is just unbelievable because at those levels of exposure it certainly poses a risk to the lives and health of the people. If you draw a parallel to the Chernobyl disaster, then actually the Soviets decided to evacuate everyone living in the place, where radiation was three or four times lower than what we see in Fukushima City today," added Beranek, who personally visited the Chernobyl area after the 1986 disaster.

Greenpeace is putting pressure on the Japanese government to gather and provide more information about the contamination in addition to doing its independent effort, Beranek said. "We've actually forced the government to, for example, extend the monitoring of the sea. And we also hear that the government is now revising at least some of the protective measures for children, which is definitely good to see. Yet the government is too slow and doing too little actually [compared to] what the situation would deserve," he said. The activist hopes the consequences of the Fukushima disaster will make Japan and other nations change their stance on nuclear energy and phase it out. There is such change already in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. "Nuclear power, as we have seen, is inherently unsafe. There is always an unpredictable combination of natural catastrophe, technological failure, human error that can result in a situation when a reactor gets out of control very fast. It's a question of a few hours before full meltdown happens. It's unsafe to take the bets and continue with nuclear power," Beranek believes.

Alarm Clock

Kids share their experiences with bullying

Marshall Elementary School students Sheldon Arce, who just completed eighth grade, Alex Pascua, who finished sixth grade, and Jonah Phillips, who finished fifth grade, have endured the physical blows and stinging words of bullies since they were in the first grade.

Sheldon, 14, who will be an Edison High freshman in the fall, is teased about his sexual orientation. It stems, he said, from his manners, the way he's always enjoyed "girl" things like sewing, and the fact he wore his hair long, a tradition in his Filipino family, when he first started school. Some even taunted him when his parents divorced, saying they must not have loved him very much.

Alex, 12, has been singled out since first grade as well, and the recently completed school year was the worst. All but one student in his class took exaggerated means to avoid him, prompted by "Alex Touch." This particularly humiliating exercise stemmed from an incident in the popular book and movie The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, called Cheese Touch, in which no one will touch a stale piece of cheese left on the ground.

Continue reading on Recordnet.com

Comment: For more information regarding possible causes of bullying, see these Sott links:

Bullying Linked to Psychotic Symptoms

The bullying epidemic

Behind Bullying: Why Kids Are So Cruel

The empathy gap in bullying


Treasure worth billions reported in Hindu temple


Senior police officials arrive to check the security measurements at Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. The inventory of the temple, maintained by the erstwhile royal family of Travancore, is being made by a seven-member Supreme Court of India, appointed panel.

Thiruvananthapuram, India - A huge treasure has been found in a Hindu temple in southern India - gold and silver jewelry, coins and precious stones worth billions of dollars, Indian officials said Saturday.

The AFP news agency quoted Kerala Chief Secretary K. Jayakumar as saying the find had been estimated as worth more than $11 billion.

He said archaeological officials would have to examine the discovery in detail to determine its actual value.