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Tue, 15 Oct 2019
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Facing record loss of revenue, US states gutting essential services

The governors of California, New York and dozens of other US states have submitted drastic budget-cutting proposals for fiscal year 2011, which begins on July 1, 2010. Reeling from the economic recession, high rates of unemployment and the sharpest decline in tax revenue on record, states are eliminating essential services that will have a devastating effect on children, senior citizens and working people.

In Greece, Portugal, England and other countries, the crisis has taken the form of the insolvency or near insolvency of entire nations and demands for austerity by national governments acting under the whip of the global bond markets and "sovereign debt" traders.

In the US, the Obama administration has shifted much of the burden of the economic crisis onto the states and municipalities. While handing over trillions to fund the bailout of the Wall Street banks and finance two wars, the White House has starved state and local governments, and what little money was made available in the federal stimulus is drying up this year.

Arrow Down

UK: 20-Year-Old Hanged Himself in Private Prison

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© Western Mail
Parc Prison, Bridgend
A private prison has been accused of letting down a vulnerable young remand prisoner who hanged himself in his cell.

Plaid Cymru AM Leanne Wood said Emmanuel Buyoya could still be alive if there had been a specialist remand unit in Wales for people like him accused of crimes. Instead he was sent to Parc Prison, Bridgend.

Mr Buyoya, 20, originally from Burundi in central Africa, had been accused of indecently assaulting his 22-year-old female flatmate in Cardiff.

A six-week inquest into Mr Buyoya's death concluded with the jury issuing a statement that said: "We have unanimously agreed that Mr Emmanuel Buyoya on June 29 2006, took his own life whilst the balance of his mind was disturbed."

Blackbox

13 students wounded in pre-dawn knife rampage at Chinese university

At least five men rampaged across a college campus wounding 13 students, including one whose hand they chopped off.

The attack in Haikou, the capital of the southern island province of Hainan, comes after a recent rash of knife violence at Chinese elementary schools.

Eighteen people, mostly children, have died in the attacks over the past two months, sparking fears for public safety in China, a country not known for violent crime.

The pre-dawn attack on Wednesday occurred on the campus of the Hainan Institute of Science and Technology while the campus lights were out, local media reported.

Arrow Down

Smolensk Crash - A Wake-Up Call For Us All?

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© EPA
Lying in state: The late president and his wife's coffins are on public view in the Column Hall of the Presidential Palace ahead of their funeral on Sunday
For the second time in 70 years, Poles were horrified to learn that the leadership of their country was almost wiped out in a sudden and tragic aircraft crash in a forest outside the western Russian city of Smolensk.

On April 10, a Polish Air Force Tupolev TU-154M carrying aboard Poland's president Lech Kaczynski, his wife and a delegation of high Polish representatives crashed in thick fog on its approach to a Russian ex-military airport in Smolensk. All 88 passengers and 8 crew on board were killed.

From the outset, personal and political interest seems to have been high on the agenda for the trip, with security notably lacking.

Phoenix

Connecting the Dots: Plane Madness Redux and Looking-Glass Weather

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Mother Nature revealed its awesome beauty this month as our Big Blue Marble continues to open up in breathtaking fashion. The sight of Eyjafjallajokull coming to life, while beautiful to behold, may set a terrifying trend as volcanoes wake from their slumber and impact our climate in a sudden and system-changing way. Perhaps it is not without meaning that the first significant volcanic eruption to draw people's attention to our rapidly cooling climate took place in IceLand... the harbinger of IceWorld?

April witnessed deluge after deluge of torrential rains bringing flooding, landslides and misery to many in the Americas and China where large cities are underwater. Arctic-cold weather in the least expected places, more frequent earthquakes and hailstorms of unusual ferocity have extended winter in the northern hemisphere into May, raised seabeds and pelted homes with ice.

Dramatic and significant though it was, did the volcanic eruption in Iceland really merit the unprecedented shutdown of European airspace for a week, with knock-on effects across the world? Who made the call, and on what basis? These are important questions to ask because Eyjafjallajokull's wandering ash cloud now apparently holds the near-term fate of international air travel in its plume, so to speak. With cosmic bombardment underway and magma erupting from the oceans' floor, wrangling over the immediate fiscal losses detract from necessary preparations for the approaching ice age.

As always, the stresses and strains in our environment are mirrored back at us in the political and social events of which we play a more immediate role. We will analyse the mysterious circumstances surrounding the Polish government air crash, the political and corporate back-room manipulation of "Tea Party" activism and the psychopaths on Wall Street's engorgement upon humanity through economic terrorism. We'll observe how The Big Brother Surveillance State and naked scanner racketeering expand unchecked, and consider the geopolitical chess moves behind the Kyrgyz and Thai "Red Shirt" revolutions.

And, of course, we couldn't connect the dots in April without acknowledging the high strangeness of the global UFO wave...

Eye 2

An Odd Rash of Stabbings

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It had been so long since I checked in with a "mainstream" news site, I decided to visit cnn.com this morning for fun.

An article that caught my eye was (All bold print in this article will be my added emphasis):
Minnesota man charged with stabbing 29 pigs (5-5-2010)
A drunk man stabbed 29 pigs in Minnesota, hurting them so badly they had to be slaughtered, according to charges filed against the man by police.

Curtis Adams, 23, said he did not remember stabbing the pigs, but did not deny having done it, Detective Matt Owens said in court papers. (continues)
It turns out the man was drunk, but something struck me as odd. I decided to search via Google News to see what other stabbing events, if any, had occurred recently.

Comment: There has been yet another fatal multiple stabbing incident reported in China today (May 10):
Eight killed in stabbing spree in East China
Zhou allegedly killed his 10-year-old daughter Zhou Xiaomin at home first, before stabbing his 80-year-old mother despite the woman's pleas for mercy, media reported.

He then broke into a neighbor's home and allegedly killed his wife, 36-year-old Kang Qiuying, their neighbor Hu Dongsheng and Hu's 83-year-old mother, Wu Xiu.

Two other villagers, Ye Wen'e and Zhou Nian Mei, tried running away from the scene of the attack to seek help from the police. But Zhou allegedly stabbed them to death as well. A man, Zuo Huasheng, reportedly became Zhou's eight victim when he ran into the suspect in the street.

Local villagers considered Zhou to be a genial person before the attacks, the village's Party chief, surnamed Gao, told China Daily.

Zhou and his wife also have a 5-year-old son. The family's financial status is reportedly not good and Zhou sometimes went to cities to do odd jobs while his wife farmed at home.

"There has never been such a serious case in the village. The villagers are now very nervous," Gao said.
Update There has been yet another multiple stabbing at a kindergarten in China today (May 12):
Man Hacked 7 Children and 2 Adults in Latest Attack at School
An attacker with a cleaver hacked to death seven children and two adults at a kindergarten in northwest China on Wednesday, the latest in a string of savage assaults on the country's schools. Eleven other children were wounded.

The killer, 48-year-old Wu Huanming, returned home after the attack on the outskirts of the city of Hanzhong and committed suicide, the local government reported. A motive wasn't known, although reports indicated he and the school administrator may have known each other. [...]

The attack began at about 8:20 a.m., as children were arriving at the private Shengshui Temple Kindergarten in Hanzhong's Nanzheng county, the government statement said. The area is on the city's rural outskirts in a relatively poor part of the country.

Wu killed the school's administrator Wu Hongying and a student on the spot, then hacked at 18 others, the statement said. Six students and Wu Hongying's mother later died in hospital, it said. [...]

"I saw him (the attacker) before and he looked quite normal," said the man, who would identify himself only by his surname, Li. [...]

Early reports on Wednesday's attack were removed from Chinese Web sites or moved from the home page to inside sections, an apparent attempt to play down the incident. There was no mention of it on state television's national noon news report. [...]

State media has also steered clear of examining what might be motivating school attackers, preferring to focus on increases in security.



Attention

China: Man Hacked 7 Children and 2 Adults in Latest Attack at School

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© AP Photo/Xinhua, Wu Tianchang
Medical workers take an injured child to ICU at 3201 Hospital in Hanzhong City, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
An attacker with a cleaver hacked to death seven children and two adults at a kindergarten in northwest China on Wednesday, the latest in a string of savage assaults on the country's schools. Eleven other children were wounded.

The killer, 48-year-old Wu Huanming, returned home after the attack on the outskirts of the city of Hanzhong and committed suicide, the local government reported. A motive wasn't known, although reports indicated he and the school administrator may have known each other.

It was the fifth such major assault on young students in China since late March and occurred despite increased security at schools countrywide, with gates and security cameras installed and additional police and guards posted at entrances.

The latest deaths were sure to fuel speculation about why assailants - usually lone males - are targeting schools. Sociologists say it reflects a lack of support for the mentally ill and rising stress resulting from huge social inequalities in China's fast-changing society.

Cult

Down the Rabbit Hole - The Assassination of JFK, Bishop Jim Humble And The Nexus Conference

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The Mad Hatter - constantly asked nonsensical and unanswerable questions.
...Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.
So began Alice's adventures in Wonderland and, in a similar way, my own adventures down a very deep rabbit-hole of sorts. It's the strange event that doesn't make sense that can get you wondering; the thing that you might just let slip by as curious. But then you look a little closer and, next thing you know...
"The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well..."

Comment: Addendum:

Sometimes following the thread of an event leads to unexpected, interesting connections. In this case, the event was the only successful hijacking of an airplane in the U.S. By successful, we mean that the person who hijacked the plane managed to not only collect ransom money, but also managed to get off the plane, with the money, within U.S. borders without being caught or identified.

This particular thread lead us back to Jim Humble via the Wandering Bishops.

The hijacker identified himself by the alias Dan Cooper--later misreported in the press as D. B. Cooper--boarded a 727 in Portland on November 24, 1971. He slipped a note to a flight attendant that read, "I have a bomb in my briefcase. I will use it if necessary. I want you to sit next to me. You are being hijacked." He demanded $200,000 and two parachutes, both of which were delivered to him when the plane landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Once the demands were met to Cooper's satisfaction, the plane took off with orders to fly to Mexico City at the low speed of 170 knots.

Shortly after takeoff, Cooper opened one of the exit doors of the plane and parachuted to freedom. The FBI, unable to solve the case, declared that they did not believe Cooper had survived the jump.

One very likely suspect was named in the case, however--a man by the name of William Gossett. He was a decorated veteran of the wars in Korea and Vietnam, a survivalist and an experienced parachutist. He spoke often of D. B. Cooper, once telling his wife that he could "write the epitaph for D.B. Cooper," and had told all three of his children definitively that he was the hijacker. He even walked into the office of a Salt Lake City judge and confessed to the crime, who told him to shut up and never talk about it again.

Gossett was a man continually strapped for cash, due at least in part to a gambling addiction. He eventually became a private detective, specializing in money fraud, cults and missing persons. He even assisted the FBI in rescuing a woman from an alleged cult.

And then, in 1988, Gossett changed his name from William to Wolfgang and became a priest of Christ Catholic Church, a church claiming the same "apostolic lineage" that Jim Humble claims. Interestingly, given the fact that this man was a confessed hijacker with a gambling problem, his title was The Very Rev. William Wolfgang Gossett. Also interesting is that while his address in the church directory was listed as DePoe Bay, Oregon, his phone number has a 415 area code: San Francisco.

William

William "Wolfgang" Gosset compared to FBI sketch of "D. B. Cooper"



Info

Iran: World nukes greatest threat to world

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says nuclear weapons have posed "the single greatest threat" to the world for more than sixty years.

Before embarking on his trip to New York early on Sunday, Ahmadinejad told reporters that the possession of an atomic bomb has become "an instrument to serve the hegemonic and expansionist interests of a select few."

"Under the pretext of nuclear non-proliferation, certain countries exert political pressure on those merely seeking to pursue peaceful enrichment activities," said the Iranian president.

Ahmadinejad added that Iran has some practical proposals with regards to reviewing the 40-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) which should be considered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Bizarro Earth

Chinese city goes on defense after school attack

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© AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen
People gather outside the Zhongxin Kindergarten in Taixing, China
A Chinese city shaken by one of three back-to-back attacks on schools stepped up security and urged its citizens to "trust the government" Saturday, a day after parents of the injured children protested outside a local hospital.

A dozen police and security guards patrolled the lobby of the Taixing city People's Hospital the morning after marching parents chanted "We want the truth," asked to see their children and demanded a better government response to the crisis. Photos and video posted online showed hundreds of people massed outside the hospital Friday night, pushing so hard to get in that they shattered a glass door.

The school attack in Taixing came Thursday when a 47-year-old unemployed man armed with an 8-inch (20-centimeter) knife wounded 29 students aged 4 or 5 - five of them seriously - plus two teachers and a security guard.