Society's ChildS


Targeting 17,600 Canadian workers with pink slips and a pittance: Target's ex-CEO makes off like a bandit

Value of Gregg Steinhafel's 'walk-away' package estimated at $61M

This Target store in Toronto is one of 133 Canadian stores that are being closed as the parent company cuts its losses. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)
Social media readers had some snarky comments Thursday about reports that the former CEO of Target got a total severance and other benefits package worth about the same as the total amount being offered to all 17,600 of the chain's Canadian employees who will soon be out of work as the company winds down its presence in Canada.

Comment: After their expansion into the Canada market with 133 stores, Target lost a billion in the first year alone. After just a few years, their ill conceived expansionist dream became a flop, and now the company is poised to take another few billion dollar hit while near 20,000 people will be on the streets. Of course, like so any others, the ex-CEO was greatly rewarded for his business acumen in running the corporate ship into the ground.

Target's "employee trust" package for its Canadian workers, announced last week, amounts to $70 million ($56 million US). It's designed to provide each worker with 16 weeks of pay.


Kiev shelled the city of Gorlovka for 14 hours straight

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS
A Donetsk republic militia fighter seen in eastern Ukraine's Gorlovka in December 2014
Sleep well, Gorlovka, tonight ...

Fourteen hours lasted the artillery fire in Gorlovka. 840 minutes of fear. 50 400 seconds. The time when Gorlovka turned into a giant adrenaline polygon of hopes. Half-hour of explosive volleys, ten-minute "breaks" and more fire. "Grads", howitzers, mortars, machine-gun fire. Gnashing, hissing, "bam!", whistle, screech.... Damp basements filled with children cowering next to tired parents. Doctors and nurses - exhausted, but helping the wounded. Bus and taxi drivers rushing passengers home under shelling. And all this in a city with a total area exceeding Cologne, Seattle and Edinburgh, and the population of Veliky Novgorod, Brussels or Little Rock. The city with one of the largest chemical plants in Eastern Europe and one of the most interesting art museums in Eastern Ukraine. The city where I live.

Comment: This is what the people in Donetsk and Lugansk have been experiencing for months. This is what Kiev considers an 'anti-terrorist operation'. This is what the EU and U.S. are supporting in Ukraine.


Norman Finkelstein: Charlie Hebdo is sadism, not satire

World renowned political science professor says he has 'no sympathy' for staff at Charlie Hebdo


In Nazi Germany, there was an anti-Semitic weekly newspaper called Der Stürmer.

Run by Julius Streicher, it was notorious for being one of the most virulent advocates of the persecution of Jews during the 1930s.

What everybody remembers about Der Stürmer was its morbid caricatures of Jews, the people who were facing widespread discrimination and persecution during the era.

Its depictions endorsed all of the common stereotypes about Jews - a hook nose, lustful, greedy.

"Let's say, ... amidst all of this death and destruction, two young Jews barged into the headquarters of the editorial offices of Der Stürmer, and they killed the staff for having humiliated them, degraded them, demeaned them, insulted them," queried Norman Finkelstein, a professor of political science and author of numerous books including "The Holocaust Industry" and "Method and Madness."

"How would I react to that?," said Finkelstein, who is the son of Holocaust survivors.

Finkelstein was drawing an analogy between a hypothetical attack on the German newspaper and the deadly Jan. 7 attack at the Paris headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, that left 12 people dead, including its editor and prominent cartoonists. The weekly is known for printing controversial material, including derogatory cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad in 2006 and 2012.

The attack sparked a global massive outcry, with millions in France and across the world taking to the streets to support freedom of the press behind the rallying cry of "Je suis Charlie," or "I am Charlie."

Comment: Finkelstein has been an astute observer of Israel and the West's hypocrisy towards Muslims for many years. And for that he's been marginalized. Hear what he has to say about Alan Dershowitz's Hitlerian tactics, and the double standard that Finkelstein knows all too well regarding sharing truths in the hallowed chambers of Academia.

People 2

Venezuelan food shortages lead to new career: standing in line

venezuela standing in line
There's a booming new profession in Venezuela: standing in line.

The job usually involves starting before dawn, enduring long hours under the Caribbean sun, dodging or bribing police, and then selling a coveted spot at the front of huge shopping lines.

As Venezuela's ailing economy spawns unprecedented shortages of basic goods, panic-buying and a rush to snap up subsidized food, demand is high and the pay is reasonable.

"It's boring but not a bad way to make a living," said a 23-year-old man, who only gave his first name Luis, as he held a spot near the front of a line of hundreds outside a state supermarket just after sunrise in Caracas.

Unemployed until he tried his new career late last year, Luis earns about 600 bolivars, a whopping $95 at Venezuela's lowest official exchange rate but just $3.50 on the black market, for a spot. He can do that two or three times a day.

"There's a lady coming at 8 a.m for this place. She's paid in advance," Luis said, patting his wallet despite nods of disapproval around him. "I'll have a break and then maybe start again. I chat to people to pass the time, the conversation can be fun. If it's not, I play on my phone."

Comment: See also:

High-tech rationing: Venezuela to enact mandatory fingerprinting to control grocery sales

Brick Wall

High school bans 24 unvaccinated students after measles outbreak

Dozens of unvaccinated students have been banned from an Orange County high school after being exposed to measles by an infected classmate.

The 24 students cannot return to Huntington Beach High School until Jan. 29, according to district officials. "There's been some kids absent from my class," Jordian McCutch said. The infected student was on campus from Jan. 6 to Jan. 8.

The move is part of an effort to slow the measles outbreak that began at Disneyland in December. Orange County has 16 confirmed cases of the viral infection, six of which are not connected to the Disneyland outbreak. "It doesn't worry me that much because I've had the vaccination," a female student said.

Measles is highly contagious and can spread easily through the air.

"Simply being in the same room with someone who has measles is sufficient to become infected," the Orange County Health Care Agency said in a letter to parents in the district.

California state laws require children to be vaccinated with the MMR vaccine before enrolling in school. Some parents believe the shots are linked to autism and other medical conditions and have signed medical-exemption forms.

Comment: The high school officials put their belief in the ability of vaccines to safely control viruses like measles, but many people do not realize the adverse affects that vaccinations have on the human body:

Alarm Clock

Sick society: Michigan man gets 6-months in jail for blinding girlfriend, bludgeoning her with 2-week old puppy until it dies

A Michigan man was sentenced to six months in jail this week for domestic violence after he punched his then-girlfriend, and beat her with a puppy until the animal died.

MLive reported that after Timothy Tucker punched his girlfriend in the eye in November, he began to assault her with a 2-week-old puppy.

Court documents said that the woman found fecal matter from the dead dog on her after the attack.

In court on Tuesday, the victim told Circuit Judge Alexander C. Lipsey that she was blind for weeks after the assault. She said that she struggled with depression, and that the attack "put me in a real dark place."

"I was hurt, scared in my own house, being attacked in my own house," the woman explained. "I'm still scared and I shouldn't have to feel like that from someone I cared about, someone I loved."

"He's going to find the wrong broken person and either they're going to kill him or he's going to kill them," she added.

As part of a plea deal, Lipsey sentenced Tucker to six months in jail and four years of probation. He will also be required to pay restitution, and entered into the Swift and Sure Sanctions Program, which is a stricter version of probation. One count of killing/torturing animals was dropped as part of the deal.

Lipsey pointed out that Tucker had three previous domestic violence convictions, and one conviction for illegal entry and destruction of property.

"The court looked fairly extensively at the history in this particular matter and it does appear the defendant has potential anger issues," Lipsey said. "There is a point at which the system can help but help is the operative word. The initiative has to come from the defendant, he has to be able to figure out if he's willing to accept help and act on it."

Comment: Potential anger issues? Ya think? Some people need to be locked up.

Comment: And this psychopath will be out of jail in 6 months. The psychopathic system has a way of rewarding evil, while people like Bradley Manning are locked up.


Spain's unemployment rate among the highest in the 'developed' world

protests in Spain
© AFP Photo / Javier SorianoA thousand people gather in front of fences blocking the street leading to Spain's parliament (Las Cortes) during an anti-government demonstration in Madrid
Spain's unemployment rate rose to 23.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, up from 23.67 percent in the third quarter, National Statistics Institute (NSI) data showed Thursday, Reuters reported.

The Madrid-based Institute's figures showed that the number of jobless rose 30,100 from October to the end of December 2014, bringing the total number of unemployed to 5.46 million people. An earlier forecast by the NSI projected the unemployment rate to fall to 23.53 percent, due to increased hiring in manufacturing, agriculture and construction. Total hires in these three sectors amounted to 82,300, with the service sector suffering a loss of 17,200, but the growth wasn't enough to compensate for the growing labor force.

An earlier report published Tuesday by the International Labor Organization (ILO) expects unemployment to fall to 23.6 percent by the end of 2015, and projects that by 2019 it may fall to 21.49 percent, The Guardian explained.

Comment: Also see:


The suppression of knowledge by establishment academia

© The Schøyen Collection
One of the reasons I criticize academics has been my experience in their suppression of knowledge. I use to fund important archaeological excavations that could further our knowledge of history. The First Gulf War bombing uncovered a ancient city nobody had known about in the desert of Iraq. Ancient cities contained libraries where everything was stored including court cases and disputes. Over the years, I was a known collector of ancient economic texts. Thousands of these clay tablets appeared on the black market. I was naturally contacted. I bid on the find. I then learned that my only competitor was Martin Schøyen, a Norwegian collector of manuscripts. This find was a collection containing over 13,000 documents. Martin's collection was the finest in the world among which was an original Magna Carta.

Academics hated people like the two of us for they think only they should have such finds to play with. Of course they have no money and go begging hat-in-hand to governments for taxpayer's to buy their toys. Because of their academic greed, they have done far more harm to the advancement of knowledge than anyone.

Comment: More information on the Legal Code of Ur-Nammu:

Ancient Texts Tell Tales of War, Bar Tabs

Star of David

Gilad Atzmon: A personal note on Jewish statistics

The British political establishment is in a state of panic. A poll revealed last week that "a quarter of Jews in Britain have considered leaving the country in the last two years and well over half (58%) feel they have no long term future in Europe." This could be a potential disaster for British political parties. Eighty per cent of the Tories are members of the pro Israeli lobby, The Conservative Friends Of Israel (CFI), and a similar percentage of Labour and Libdem MPs have vowed their allegiance to Israel through their respective Jewish Lobby groups. The Jews are clearly a vital source of funding for British politicians. In fact, it has become hard to imagine what British politics would look like without Jewish Lobby's money. Though the vast majority of British MPs are friends of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, it has not been established how many of our MPs are friendly with Manchester and Hartlepool.

Apparently a recent poll found that anti-Semitic beliefs are widely prevalent among the British public with 45 percent of Britons agreeing with at least one of these 'anti-Semitic' sentiments: a quarter of Britons believed "Jews chase money more than other British people," one in six agreed that "Jews think they are better than other people" and "Jews have too much power in the media."

Bad Guys

Palestinian children face psychological pressure to escape 'life' under Israel's genocidal occupation of their homeland

© Dan CohenA Palestinian boy climbs through a blast hole from an Israeli tank shell into a Shujaiya recreation center.
"We are all under unbelievable amounts of psychological pressure. If anyone breaks down and goes crazy in the street, no one will blame them," Belal El-Shafi, 24, from Nuseirat refugee camp told me. Married with one child, El-Shafi works as a dishwasher in the Lightroom restaurant in Gaza City though he has advanced training as a nurse. He earns a meager living that affords a single room and food for his family. "I want to leave Gaza but I would go with my own dignity," El-Shafi remarked. "We're not living - this is not a life."

As a foreign journalist, the process of exiting the Gaza Strip is a jarring one - not for the difficulty, but for the ease. Palestinian friends and colleagues of mine who live in Gaza are unable to leave the bombed-out ghetto - they are effectively sentenced to live and die in Israel's open-air-prison. In stark contrast, I seamlessly pass from the dense, rubble-covered cityscape of the Gaza Strip to unobstructed views of abundance in southern Israel - where many of my friends' relatives were expelled from several decades ago.

Since the conclusion of the summer's devastating war in Gaza, the pressure on residents to leave the rubble-covered ghetto has become unbearable. Between the slash-and-burn Israeli assaults - another of which appears to be inevitable - and the Israeli-Egyptian siege that suffocates the economy and severely restricts the entry of basic necessities, there is little hope among the 1.8 million Palestinians living inside Gaza.

Most of those who wish to escape the Gaza Strip will run up against the iron wall of Israel's siege. The Middle East's most well-armed navy maintains a blockade on Gaza's Mediterranean coast and the southern border is controlled by Egypt, which destroys the once-thriving tunnel economy that sustained life in Gaza. The northern and eastern borders are controlled by a system of concrete walls and fences that are lined with intermittent pillboxes mounted with remote control machine guns, surveilled by high-tech cameras and patrolled by trigger-happy soldiers.

"If I walk to close to the border, Israeli soldiers will shoot me," 18-year-old Ezzeldeen Awad Obaid said with a nervous laugh.

Indeed, Israel carries out what it has euphemistically termed a "distancing procedure," in which soldiers open fire on any Palestinian who walks within 300 meters of the fence. In practice, soldiers have frequently shot at Palestinians beyond that distance.

Comment: See also: