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Are NDAA, SOPA, Occupy Wall Street and Anonymous Off-Limits on Twitter?

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© Reuters/Tim Chong
A number of controversial Twitter accounts have been shut down over the past two days.
NDAA, SOPA, Occupy Wall Street and Anonymous may be off-limits on Twitter. As Twitter users who extensively discuss those topics continue to find their accounts being shut down or otherwise restricted, it seems increasingly likely that the phenomenon is more than a coincidence.

My Twitter account was severely limited for a little less than an hour Monday afternoon in a pattern of what appears to be censorship sweeping across the social media site.

The account limitations were imposed shortly after I published a story looking into infringements on the accounts of Twitter users who have been criticizing the National Defense Authorization Act and the Stop Online Privacy Act--or backing OWS or Anonymous--too fiercely.

At 11:06 a.m. Monday I published "NDAA and SOPA: Are Provisions of These Bills Already Impacting Web Users?" on the International Business Times website.

Padlock

US, Claifornia: Teen Gets 21 Years in Prison for Slaying of Gay Student

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© unknown
Lawrence King (left) and the person who shot him to death, Brandon McInerney
A California teen was sentenced to 21 years in jail on Monday for shooting to death a 15-year-old gay middle school classmate who he said made unwanted sexual advances.

The sentencing of Brandon McInerney, the result of a plea deal with Ventura County prosecutors, brings to a close an emotionally charged case that previously resulted in a hung jury on a charge of murder and hate crime.

McInerney, who was 14 at the time of the shooting in 2008, was sentenced to 21 years in California state prison with not reduction for good behavior or credit for the four years he already served in prison, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said McInerney, now 17, took a gun to his middle school in Oxnard and sat in a computer lab with classmate Larry King before shooting him in the back of the head and then firing at him as he lay on the ground.

X

Iran Wants Vancouver Consulate, But Canada Refuses

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© Jenelle Schneider/PNG files
There are about 120,000 Iranian-Canadians in Metro Vancouver, mostly in North Vancouver (pictured). Iran wants to open a consulate in Vancouver to serve the city’s Iranian-Canadian population, but a federal-government policy prohibits it.
Iran wants to open a consulate in Vancouver to serve the city's Iranian-Canadian population, but a federal-government policy prohibits it.

There are about 120,000 Iranian-Canadians in Metro Vancouver, according to Kambiz Sheikh-Hassani, Chargé d'affaires of Iran's Ottawa embassy.

Sheikh-Hassani said in a statement that many Iranians living in Canada have business interests or family members in Iran and because Iranian law does not recognize dual citizenship, they must use Iranian travel documents to enter the country.

The only place in Canada where these documents can be obtained is through Iran's embassy in Ottawa, which means Iranian-Canadians living elsewhere must send valuable documents such as birth certificates and passports through the mail, Sheikh-Hassani said.

Other transactions, such as obtaining an Iranian birth certificate or power of attorney for valuable transactions, must be completed in person. This means the applicant must either go to Ottawa or wait for embassy representatives to come to them.

Stormtrooper

Sickening: Egyptian troops savagely attack women

Egyptian security forces' shameless and brutal treatment of female protesters has reached the World Wide Web as well as media outlets, sending shockwaves through the international community.

On Sunday, the troops attacked the protesters for the third consecutive day in the capital Cairo, continuing to brutalize young activists. At least 10 protesters have been killed and 441 wounded in the violence, which erupted on Thursday, when one of the several hundred peaceful protesters staging a sit-in outside the cabinet offices was detained and beaten up by the troops.

Bad Guys

Deadly riots spread in Kazakhstan oil region

Kazakhstan riots
© Reuters
The violence started after people in oil workers' uniforms toppled a Christmas tree and sound equipment
At least 14 people killed since violence began on Friday, forcing president to declare state of emergency.

Police in Kazakhstan's central city of Shetpe have opened fire on rioters, killing one person and raising the death toll since violence erupted on Friday to 14.

A statement from the prosecutor general's office said on Sunday the violence occurred on Saturday in Shetpe, in the same region as the city of Zhanaozen where 13 people died in a clash with police two days earlier.

Zhanaozen has been the site of a sit-in by oil workers seeking higher wages. Many of those workers were fired over the summer.

Attention

US: Body Cavity Searches At Wal-Mart?

wal-mart
© Unknown

I went into Wal-Mart with the kids on Saturday, something I dread doing anyway, but I had to get some "stuff", and they got all the stuff. The parking lot was full, of course, last minute SNAP purchases. Walked past the Salvation Army guy, sorry dude, no coins or bills smaller than $10 (they should make change). Through the doors to main street USA. Then I was dumb-struck. There was a f#%ing TSA agent right next to the greeter, checking peoples ID's and going through their shopping bags. I literally stopped in my tracks I was so shocked. Then this feeling came over me; it started in the back of my head/neck and came flying into my frontal cortex - pure rage. I felt utterly violated, and had a strong protective reaction regarding my children. I saw red and my Norwegian/Viking blood-lust was about to be satisfied. Alas, it was a woman TSA agent, some disgusting fat chick; if I strangled her it wouldn't have looked much like self-defense.

Is this what our country has come to? Check-points at Wal-Mart? What if, on the way out, the bitch had decided I needed a body-cavity search (or my children)? Where would they stick their digits up my orifices? In the bathroom on main street? For Crissakes, it's a bad enough assault on my senses to be in the Wal-Mart obeseathon, it's a soul-crushing spirit-vaporizing experience for me. It's proof-positive we are doomed as a country. But then to have a TSA agent doing a free rectal exam on me or my kids?

Let's not be coy about this either. I live in the middle of nowhere. Terrorists couldn't find where I live if they threw a dart at a map of Illinois a thousand times. There is nothing here of any value to any terrorist. If a meteor hit where I live, nobody would know the difference (except I would quit posting on TBP). Yet, the Feds are here searching innocent white-trash rednecks, ones who don't take to kindly to having their privacy invaded by the Feds, BTW, and who are heavily armed.

Bizarro Earth

7 dead, scores missing in Russia oil rig accident

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© Reuters
The Kolskaya oil drilling rig is seen in the Sea of Okhotsk in this undated handout photo.
Moscow - Officials say at least seven men have died and scores are feared dead after a floating oil rig off Russia's east coast capsized and sank on Sunday.

A spokeswoman for the Emergencies Ministry said Monday that rescue workers have pulled out seven bodies, while 46 men remain missing. Fourteen people were plucked alive from the icy waters immediately after the accident.

This could be the deadliest offshore oil accident in Russia, which produces most of its oil onshore.

The oil platform capsized Sunday morning as it was being towed about 200 kilometers (120 miles) off the coast of Sakhalin Island amid a fierce storm.

Although chances for survival are negligible, rescuers are continuing to search for the missing men.

Pistol

US: Suspect wanted in officer's death is killed

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© Unknown
Mark Richard Geisenheyner.
Webster, Pennsylvania - A gunman got out of his car during a late-night traffic stop and shot two police officers, one fatally, then spent hours in a standoff with police before he died trading shots with a SWAT team outside his home, state police said Monday.

Eli Franklin Myers was shot and killed by members of a tactical team trying to serve an arrest warrant for him Monday morning, about 10 hours after he killed East Washington police Officer John David Dryer on a highway shoulder, authorities said.

A second officer who was backing up Dryer was wounded in the gunbattle with Myers, authorities said. No other injuries were reported from the gunfire outside Myers' home in Webster, about 25 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Investigators believe Myers, 58, stepped out of his van and opened fire on Dryer and Officer Robert Caldwell after being pulled over shortly before midnight in Interstate 70 in Washington County, Trooper Joseph Christy said.

Caldwell's injury was non-life threatening, authorities said.

Emergency vehicles blocked off roads near Myers' home in Webster, a small town on the east bank of the Monongahela River. The local school district canceled classes while authorities tried to locate Myers.

Cult

Pope Benedict XVI's Health in Serious Decline as 85th Birthday, Christmas Approach

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© Honda/AFP/Getty
Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves Yankee Stadium after saying mass on April 20, 2008 in New York.
A decline has been noted as Benedict prepares for next weekend's grueling Christmas celebrations, which kick off two weeks of intense public appearances.

Pope Benedict XVI seems worn out.

People who have spent time with him recently say they found him weaker than they'd ever seen him, seemingly too tired to engage with what they were saying. He no longer meets individually with visiting bishops. A few weeks ago he started using a moving platform to spare him the long walk down St. Peter's Basilica.

Benedict turns 85 in the new year, so a slowdown is only natural. Expected. And given his age and continued rigorous work schedule, it's remarkable he does as much as he does and is in such good health overall: Just this past week he confirmed he would travel to Mexico and Cuba next spring.

But a decline has been noted as Benedict prepares for next weekend's grueling Christmas celebrations, which kick off two weeks of intense public appearances. And that raises questions about the future of the papacy given that Benedict himself has said popes should resign if they can't do the job.

Wall Street

Götterdämmerung: Hell, Tribulation, and Economic Collapse

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The end of the world may not be coming, but whatever is coming might as well be the end of the world. And as we walk in this twilight, perhaps at the very least, we would do well to enjoy the sunset while it lasts.

As We Traverse Towards Tribulation

MarketWatch's Paul B. Farrell had an interestingarticle Tuesday on how America is on the path for a decade from hell. In Farrell's opinion, this "decade from hell will get worse in 2012". Farrell portends a coming stock market crash, political dysfunctionality, revolution, and various wars that stem from class differences and commodity clashes between countries in the near future.

Farrell compared the stock market crash in 2008 to the one that occurred in 1929, i.e. both were followed by European banking crises. In light of worldwide protests, the collapse of the euro, and income inequality, Farrell suggested that tough times are most likely ahead for Americans. Farrell suggested that throughout next year the world will have to come to terms with "more bad news". By ignoring history, Farrell wrote that we are missing the fundamental economic shift that is occurring owing to factors like excessive debt, unemployment, and world tumult.

Farrell's dire forecasts for the next nine years are quite ominous. Among them include ideas that the "super rich" will continue to spend billions to control Washington culminating in a system where the wealthy have absolute power over everyone else, rising global population will give way to commodity wars throughout the world, class war will spread, and the American form of capitalism will collapse in on itself.

In light of various global commodity wars, the rising global population will have to address a decline in resources. Thus, there will have to be a "total rethinking of the balance between spending to protect against external enemies and a rapid deterioration of domestic programs: employment, education, health care, [and] retirement." According to Farrell, in the end the established order will be turned on its head as the world rejects the wealthy and male leaders in order to effectively rebuild human civilization.