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Why the Olympics are a lot like 'The Hunger Games'

Samantha Retrosi
© AP Photo/Michael Sohn
Samantha Retrosi prepares for her first run in the Women's Singles Luge at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games at Cesana Pariol, Italy
As a luge competitor at the 2006 Winter Games, I saw the dehumanization and corporate domination behind the Olympic ideal.

As a former Olympic athlete, I can tell you from experience that the Olympic Games have much more in common with The Hunger Games than anyone would want to admit.

I connect with the inhumanity of The Hunger Games because I've been there, as a luge competitor at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. No, I didn't get sucked into the depths of an artificial lake, like the character played by Jennifer Lawrence. But I did get sucked into the rafters of an artificially manufactured tube of glare ice, only to come crashing down in the second run of my Olympic moment.

The grandeur of the opening ceremonies of The Hunger Games is designed to mask the cruelty of the competition itself. The Olympic opening ceremonies serve a similar purpose. Like the kids representing the districts of Panem, each nation's athletes are trotted around a massive arena like prize ponies, shrouded in the patriotic glory of their particular flag. The carefully orchestrated pageantry is misleading, telling us that the Olympics are a celebration of the human capacity to achieve, to overcome obstacles, and that the world's best athletes represent something bigger than themselves.

But make no mistake: for the global elite, the Olympics are an investment - and one with a rapidly growing price tag. At the London Games, the cost of the opening ceremonies alone was a whopping $42.3 million. This year, Russia will shell out more than $51 billion for the two-week event, making these Games more expensive than all previous Winter Olympics combined.

In The Hunger Games, Jennifer Lawrence is the sacrificial lamb of District 12. As one of the prize ponies of the US team, I served a similar purpose for the Turin Games. Groomed from the tender age of 11, I spent my childhood pursuing Olympic glory, which epitomizes the American dream of merit-based success.

Stormtrooper

SoCal police sic dog on sleeping old woman

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San Bernardino Police sent a dog to viciously attack an 88-year-old woman as she slept in bed in her own home, the woman claims in court.

Katharina Lambert sued San Bernardino, Police Chief Robert Handy and Officers J. Castro, S. Aranda and J. Echevarria, in Federal Court.

Lambert says the three officers entered her home at 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2013, allegedly in response to a silent burglar alarm. Without warrant or any pressing circumstances, Echevarria entered with a police dog, Lambert says.

Rose

Update: Brain-dead pregnant Texas woman's fetus is 'abnormal' say attorneys

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© Victoria Price
Attorneys representing a pregnant, brain-dead Texas woman's family released a statement Wednesday saying the woman's 22-week-old fetus is "distinctly abnormal," two days before the case heads back to court.

The Associated Press reported that, according to attorneys Jessica Janicek and Heather King, Marlise Muñoz's fetus has suffered fluid buildup in its skull and deformed "lower extremities," as well as an undetermined heart condition.

"Quite sadly, this information is not surprising due to the fact that the fetus, after being deprived of oxygen for an indeterminate length of time, is gestating within a dead and deteriorating body, as a horrified family looks on in absolute anguish, distress and sadness," the statement read.

Janicek and King are representing Muñoz's husband, Erick Munoz, in his suit against John Peter Smith Hospital. The hospital has cited a state law, the Advance Directive Act, that it says prevents it from unhooking Marlize Muñoz from life support in spite of her condition. Her husband has argued that the hospital disconnect her and release her body for burial, in accordance with her wishes.

Comment: Following the judges ruling on Friday: Marlise Munoz taken off life support, family says

History on the story here:
Pregnant, brain-dead woman forced to stay on life support to incubate fetus


Take 2

Lord have mercy! Listen to Alaska Republican Senate candidate Kathleen Tonn 'singing in tongues' in a sauna to 'save' woman!

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© Unknown
A woman who hopes to be Alaska's next U.S. senator recently uploaded video of herself speaking in tongues while fully clothed in a steam room.

"I'm at the Alaska Club West and I'm spending a little time in the steam room with Suzie," Republican candidate Kathleen Tonn said in the video, which was uploaded to YouTube on January 18. "Suzie doesn't know Jesus Christ as her savior, but ironically she has a pastor/priest who is her neighbor. So, she has allowed me to sing and deliver a message in the Holy Ghost and tongues."

"One point of clarification: Speaking in tongues or singing in tongues is very valuable because the message cannot be understood by Satan," she continued. "But the Holy Spirit can use that message to bring deliverance, to bring clarity, to give discernment and words of wisdom and knowledge, and tongues is interpreted by a person who has the gift of interpretation. So I'm going to go fast. "

She then prayed and spent the next few minutes singing in tongues. After she finished, the woman identified as "Suzie" agreed to say hello to the camera.

"That was beautiful," Suzie remarked.

Attention

Snakebite victim charged $89,000 for 18-hour hospital stay

Laura and Eric Ferguson
© Eric Ferguson
Laura and Eric Ferguson

A snakebite victim who was treated at a North Carolina hospital came away with more than just fang marks when he received an $89,227 bill for an 18-hour stay.

Eric Ferguson, 54, from Mooresville, N.C., was taking out the trash at his home last August when he was bitten on the foot by a snake. He drove himself to Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, where he was treated with anti-venom medicine.

According to his bill, the hospital charged $81,000 for a four-vial dose of the medication.

Shocked at the price tag, Ferguson told the Charlotte Observer he and his wife found the same vials online for retail prices as low as $750.

Ferguson, who is insured, said his care was "beyond phenomenal."

Flashlight

Ridiculous: Man gets 35 yr sentence for killing police dog while cops shoot citizens' dogs right and left

A man in South Carolina recently killed a police dog while running from police after committing a crime.

The Resident (aka Lori Harfenist) discusses.


Comment: No, it's not just, it's a violent police state:
Germany: Police inadvertently shoot dog attack victim
Michigan police shoot dog 8 times after barking complaint
Baltimore City Police shoot and kill beloved pet
Police State: Graphic video shows California police shooting dog during arrest
Austin Police Officer Fatally Shoots Dog After Going To Wrong Address
Dog shot and killed by police officer in front of owner and her 2-Year-old son
Colorado cops wrongfully shoot second dog in just two months
Illinois police shoot puppy of witness to another police shooting
Florida police break into wrong backyard, shoot owner's dog
Hazel Crest cops shoot, kill dog during search for fugitive on Christmas Eve
Sadist cop shoots puppy in the head for no reason at all


Cow

Ninety flatulent cows start fire at dairy farm in Germany

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No more unnatural grains! They make us fart and destroy your buildings!
The methane gas released by 90 flatulent cows caused an explosion in a farm shed in Germany, damaging the roof and injuring one of the animals, local police said.

In a statement, the force said high levels of the methane gas had built up within the structure in the central German town of Rasdorf on Monday thanks to animals belches and flatulence, before "a static electric charge caused the gas to explode with flashes of flames."

The subsequent blast damaged the roof of the cow shed, Reuters reported. Emergency services who attended the scene took gas readings to check for any potential further blasts.

One of the cows was injured and had to be treated for burns it sustained during the incident, a police spokesman added.

The animals can emit up to 500 litres of the greenhouse gas methane each every day through belching and flatulence. Cows also release large amounts of ammonia.

Comment: One of the more serious indirect consequences to humans of their obsession with/addiction to grains and agriculture.


Snakes in Suits

The biggest killers on the planet - Corporations

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In the past, diseases like tuberculosis and malaria have been number one health concerns around the world. But not anymore. In today's world, globalization is the number one health risk facing humanity.

A new study released last week by the Blacksmith Institute reveals, for the first time ever, the impact of industrial pollutants on communities across the planet. It found that industrial waste dump sites containing toxic horrors like lead, mercury, and chromium, poison more than 125 million people in 49 different low and middle income nations around the planet.

And the authors of the study say this is a very conservative estimate and likely even more people are sickened by this rampant industrial pollution. In fact, the report says that industrial pollution is now a bigger global health problem for the world than malaria and tuberculosis.

Just look at what's happening in places like Zamfara, Nigeria. It's a state without children - or, at least, very few children walking around.

Why? Because hundreds of children who work in gold mines are exposed to high levels of lead. Back in March of 2010, the organization Doctors Without Borders arrived on the scene in Zamfara and found that hundreds of children had died from lead poisoning and thousands more were diseased by it. Mortality rates in some villages were as high as 43%.

This is a genocide carried out by transnational corporations that have no restraints on how they operate in what were once sovereign nations. And ultimately, this is a consequence of globalism.

Plain and simple, globalization is the empowering of transnational corporations and the neutering of sovereign governments to keep their populations safe from these transnational corporate behemoths.

Control Panel

A taste of things to come: North Dakota cow thief is first American arrested, jailed with drone's help

Drone
© Getty
The ominously named Predator drone
A SWAT team also got involved in the armed standoff.

Look, up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane - it's a Predator drone finding you because you wouldn't give your neighbor his cows back after they wandered onto your property.

Rodney Brossart, the farmer from North Dakota, was arrested after being located by Predator drone, Forbes reports. Sentenced yesterday, he is the first American to be sent to the clink thanks to drone assistance.

Pistol

Desensitized to horror: When mass shootings stop shocking us

Mall in Columbia
© Associated Press/Jose Luis Magana
Police move in from a parking lot to the Mall in Columbia after reports of a multiple shooting, Saturday Jan. 25, 2014 Howard County, Md
Whether it happens in a suburban mall or on an inner-city street, we can't afford to get hardened to gun violence

The Mall in Columbia is a massive, 200-store structure with a carousel just inside one of its many entrances. That entrance, near Sears and Starbucks on the mall's second level, is the one that my 3-year-old likes best. We never leave without her riding that carousel, and she has already come to associate Columbia with safety, a break from our usual harried routine at our Baltimore home, 20 minutes north of the mall.

She isn't alone. Many Baltimoreans and D.C. residents associate Columbia, Md., with serenity. A well-heeled suburb equidistant from our urban hubs, it boasts luxury townhomes and street names inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien and Robert Frost. It is home to one of the state's most popular concert venues and is known for its rustic Wine in the Woods festivals.

Comment: Indeed, including the deaths of countless innocent civilians who your government kills indiscriminately everyday in your name.

And speaking of the American government, add one more item in the list of items to remember:

The Sandy Hook Massacre: Unanswered Questions
[...] people who sense that the society in which they live is not safe will be much more likely to accept the increasing militarization of their society and the forces of law and order and, ultimately, the destruction of their civil liberties because it is all being done 'for their own protection'.