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Christmas Lights

Government Grinch: California neighborhood threatened with fines over Christmas decorations

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© CBSLA.com
Orange County is threatening substantial fines to one neighborhood over their extreme Christmas decorations.

Twenty-one residents in Baudin Circle in Ladera Ranch say they received letters from the Orange County Public Works department, stating that their lights are safety hazards. Some homeowners at Baudin circle have taken pride in putting together an impressive Christmas lights show for ten years.

"We had to take down any cords that ran across our sidewalk, as well as any of the roads," resident Jeff Stover said.

The fines are said to be in the amount of $500 per day if the lights are not taken down by 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

Comment: This looks to be more about generating revenue than concerns about safety. Surely there would be a better way to deal with this, but unfortunately, even local governments only know how to act through threats.


Eye 1

Judge rules Facebook must face lawsuit over reading users' private messages

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© Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Comment: It's likely that Facebook has done much more than just read people's private messages. They are probably aggregating tons of data and then passing it off to the U.S. government.


Facebook Inc must face a class action lawsuit accusing it of violating its users' privacy by scanning the content of messages they send to other users for advertising purposes, a U.S. judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, on Tuesday dismissed some state-law claims against the social media company but largely denied Facebook's bid to dismiss the lawsuit.

Facebook had argued that the alleged scanning of its users' messages was covered by an exception under the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act for interceptions by service providers occurring in the ordinary course of business.

But Hamilton said Facebook had "not offered a sufficient explanation of how the challenged practice falls within the ordinary course of its business."

Neither Facebook nor a lawyer for the plaintiffs responded to a request for comment Wednesday.

Pistol

Fatal cop shooting of teen in Berkeley, Missouri sparks clashes


A white police officer shot a black teenager to death at a gas station in the city next door to Ferguson, Missouri, touching off clashes early Wednesday between demonstrators and law enforcement.

The mayor said that video from the confrontation, in the city of Berkeley, appeared to show the teenager pointing a gun at the officer, and police said a handgun was recovered at the scene. Police said the officer feared for his life.

"This was not the same as Ferguson," Mayor Theodore Hoskins said.

He took pains to say that the shooting could not be compared to the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson or to the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York. The mayor, who is black, pointed out that the Berkeley police department is majority-black.

He promised a thorough investigation but said that the video showed it was not a police officer going off "half-cocked."

"Everybody don't die the same," he told reporters. "Some people die because the policeman initiated. Some people die because they initiated it. And at this point, our review indicates that the police did not initiate this, like Ferguson."

Comment: Whether or not the shooting was justified it's going to add to the increasing high tensions between the public and police. It seems at this point all it's going to take is a match to ignite the powder keg that's building and escalate the violence on both sides.


Christmas Lights

Palestinians decorate Christmas tree with Israeli tear gas canisters, flash grenades

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© Wafa
Palestinian activists have decorated a Christmas tree with leftover Israeli tear gas canisters and stun grenades in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem.

The activists garnished the tree in Bethlehem's Manger Square on Tuesday in a symbolic move to show their anger at Tel Aviv's atrocities in the occupied territories, said Farid al-Atrash, the head of the independent commission for human rights in the south.

The leftover tear gas canisters and stun grenades had been used by Israeli forces during clashes with Palestinians in the city.

"The world has to move to save the Palestinian people and hold the occupation accountable for its crimes against unarmed people in Palestine," al-Atrash said.

In a separate incident in the day, Israeli forces fired tear gas to disperse the Palestinian protesters dressed as Santa Claus in the city.

The protesters were marching towards a checkpoint connecting the ancient city to East Jerusalem al-Quds Jerusalem.

The Palestinian demonstrators carried signs reading, "Jesus came with a message of: Peace, Freedom and Justice" and "We want Christmas without occupation."

Tensions have been running high for over a month in the West Bank and East al-Quds over the desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli troops and the recent killing of a Palestinian minister in the occupied West Bank.

Comment: "'Jesus" was Julius Caesar (Divus Iulius). His 'teachings' have been subverted to create the political and religious narratives for the illegal occupation of Palestine.

The Gospel of Caesar: Documentary reveals true origins of the 'Passion of Christ'

'As important as the scientific discoveries of Darwin and Galileo': Linguist Francesco Carotta proves real identity of 'Jesus Christ' to be Julius Caesar

Ancient confession found: 'We invented Jesus Christ'

SOTT Talk Radio - Who was Jesus?


Pistol

Missouri cop shoots and kills 18-year-old Antonio Martin, who allegedly pointed gun at him

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© AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Carson
Police try to control a crowd Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014, on the lot of a gas station following a shooting Tuesday in Berkeley, Mo.
A suburban St. Louis police officer shot and killed a man who pointed a gun at him at a gas station, police said.

The shooting happened around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday at a convenience store in Berkeley, Missouri, just a few miles from Ferguson, where Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was killed by a white officer in August.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says the Berkeley shooting victim was black and the officer white.

Police were called to the gas station about a theft and as the officer questioned two men, one pointed a gun at him. The officer fired three shots. One hit the gunman.

Violent protests broke out early Wednesday between police officers and a vocal crowd of several hundred people who taunted the officers at the scene of the shooting. Two officers were injured, police cars were damaged and fire was set at a QuikTrip store. Four people were arrested.

After the police officer arrived at the store, one of the men pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer, St. Louis County police spokesman Sgt. Brian Schellman said. The officer fired several shots, fatally wounding the man. The second man fled, and the dead man's handgun has been recovered, according to Schellman.

Comment: Another case of the police excusing the actions of one of its own who murdered a young black man. The police know they can always fall back on the "he-said, she-said" dynamic of what happened, since the majority of the public will believe what the police say happened. Unfortunately, their version of the truth is often at odds with objective reality. If people start paying attention, they will no longer trust what comes out of the mouths of police captains and chiefs. They will do and say whatever they can to protect their officers, even at the expense of justice. Such is the state of the American Police State.


Attention

Suspected ebola case rushed to Bellevue Hospital

ebola New York city
© Reuters/Adrees Latif
Healthcare workers display protective gear, which hospital staff would wear to protect them from Ebola infection, inside an isolation room as part of a media tour in the emergency department of Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.
A man suffering from Ebola-like symptoms was rushed from an Upper West Side apartment building to Bellevue Hospital on Tuesday - but officials determined that he did not have the disease, authorities said.

The patient recently returned from Liberia and started suffering symptoms such as high fever Saturday night, sources said.

Hazmat, police officers, EMS and fire officials helped transport the man from the building at 201 W. 70th St. near Amsterdam Avenue just before noon, FDNY said.

The patient was given a blood test at Bellevue and it showed negative for Ebola.

He was given an alternative diagnosis and is currently in critical condition.

Additional reporting by Aaron Feis.

Comment: Interesting this was allowed to get out, considering the almost non-existent reportage on ebola in the last few months. It's probably because the determination was that he did not have the disease. Everybody relax now! However, the possibility of misdiagnosis is high. Ebola can mutate like any other virus, rendering current tests ineffective.


Stock Down

Dmitry Orlov interview: Are Americans prepared for a Soviet style collapse?

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If the social and financial structure around you collapsed tomorrow, as it did for many people during the fall of the Soviet Union, are you prepared to survive and even prosper? In my latest interview with best-selling author Dmitry Orlov, we discuss lifestyle and how your lifestyle decisions may dramatically impact how your family will fare if times get tough.

Dmitry left Russia with his family in 1976 and settled in the Boston area to pursue an education in computer science and linguistics. Along the way, Dmitry realized he was trapped in the traditional American pursuit of a career. He was working day and night to make money to pay for the car and city condo and all the trappings of success. He needed the car and condo and all the trappings of business to keep making money. The same vicious cycle most Americans face every day. Well, Dmitry gave it all up for a life on a sailboat full of travel and freedom.

Comment: For more, listen to SOTT Talk Radio #66 - Lessons from collapse of USSR for USA: Interview with Dmitry Orlov


Stormtrooper

Racial profiling rampant in police forces - Black NYPD cop

NYPD cop racial profiling
© Reuters / Shannon Stapleton
Just as it seems the question of police brutality largely involves white cops attacking unarmed racial minorities, it emerges that African-American police officers face a whole range of injustices from within the force.

An overwhelming majority of injustices perpetrated by one police officer against another involved black cops being mistaken for criminals by their white colleagues. But the statistic only emerged in a task force report in 2010, when the first comprehensive study of the problem was carried out, Reuters reports.

The fresh disclosure to the news agency of a slew of accusations and complaints of racial profiling filed by black officers comes at a difficult time for America, which is already preoccupied with allegations of police brutality - largely white-on-black.

The current tension in race relations in American society has even escalated to a black gunman murdering NYPD cops in retaliation amid nationwide protests over the question of police using disproportionate violence against unarmed black men.


Comment: The attitude displayed by white cops towards minorities is a reflection of US society as a whole. We've been induced to be more discreet about our racial prejudices, but it's still as deeply rooted as ever. By keeping different segments of society at odds with each other, the elites have an easy time of keeping control. They understand clearly, if the common people unite against their real enemy, the psychopaths, the game is up.


Eye 2

Man burns down woman's home after she rebuffed his advances on Facebook

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Suspected arsonist James Graham
A man indicted on arson and burglary charges allegedly set fire to a woman's home after she rejected his advances on Facebook.

Frankfort police say the "disturbing" reason that James Graham, 37, broke into a 22-year-old single mother's Franklin County home and set it on fire on Nov. 28 is because she "rebuffed" several uncomfortable comments he posted to her Facebook wall, WLEX-TV reports.

Investigators say Graham set Joanie Yount's Hillview Drive home on fire in November, although she and her 3-year-old son were not home at the time.

"You can actually see from my window standing up on the couch, you could actually see inside there and you couldn't see no flames, all you could see was smoke," Samantha Beagle, Joanie's neighbor and sister, told WLEX. Beagle said there was no relationship between her sister and Graham and that Yount is a busy single mother who "just wants people to leave her alone."

Yount says she and Graham were only acquaintances but he was demanding something more and pursuing her through social media.

Comment: This incident should be a reminder to everyone to be careful who to allow into their life, especially via social media.


Heart - Black

Mom stabs son to death during sleep to "save him from the pain that was coming"

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© KAKE
Lindsey Nicole Blansett is accused of killing her son, Caleb
A Kansas mother has been charged with the chilling death of her 10-year-old son, who she allegedly stabbed to death while he was sleeping because she thought he would be better off in heaven.

In a Sunday night 911 call to Wellington police, 33-year-old Lindsey Nicole Blansett explained to dispatchers that she had just killed her son.

"Hi, this is Nicole Blansett. I just stabbed my son," she told 911 the operator, adding that she had stabbed him "in the chest, several times."

"God what did I (expletive) do?" Blansett said. "I'm never going to get out of jail, never... I'm going to have to live with that. Oh God, why, why? Because I thought I was saving him from the pain that was coming."

According to a criminal complaint filed by Sumner County Attorney Kerwin Spencer, Blansett "decided his life would be full of suffering and pain and that it would be better for him to go to heaven tonight."

"She took a knife and rock into his bedroom, struck him with the rock and stabbed him with the knife multiple times until he was dead," the complaint noted.

When officers arrived at the residence, Blansett's 10-year-old son, Caleb, was already dead. A 9-year-old girl who was in the home was not harmed.