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Cloud Lightning

What to do if a live electrical wire hits your car during a storm

© Jessica Remo/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
A 26-year-old Plainfield woman was electrocuted after downed wires fell on her car in Fanwood and she attempted to exit the vehicle.
If you're driving during a storm and a live electrical wire falls onto your car, experts say you should stay inside until help arrives.

New Jersey's three biggest utility companies all advise drivers and passengers to remain inside their vehicle if it comes into contact with wires, because — contrary to popular belief — tires are electrical conductors, not insulators.

"It is true that you are safe in your vehicle when a live wire falls on it. But that's because electricity always seeks the easiest path to the ground," PSE&G says on its website.

"If you remain in the vehicle, the path of the electricity will be on the outside of the vehicle, through the tires, and into the ground. As long as we do not provide a path to the ground through our body, the electricity will not enter it. So when an electrical wire falls on your vehicle, stay in your vehicle until help arrives and the power is shut off," the website says.

If a driver or passenger has to escape from a vehicle because of a fire or other life-threatening situation, PSE&G offers this advice: "Jump out with both feet together, making sure that you are not touching any part of the vehicle when your feet hit the ground." It's important to land with both feet hitting the ground at the same time, said Tricia Ingraham, a spokeswoman for First Energy, the parent company of JCP&L. When you land on the ground, keep your feet as close together as possible, then slowly hop or shuffle as far away from the electrical wires as possible, Ingraham said.

Bullseye

America: Divided and conquered into oblivion

Or take the right to vote. In principle, it is a great privilege. In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you wish to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society's merely functional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.

-Aldous Huxley, in Brave New World Revisited (1958)
The single event that changed my life more than any other was TARP, aka the banker bailout. The unfairness, extreme greed and selfishness with which the status quo bailed out financial criminals while leaving the public high and dry changed me forever. When it comes to shaping American history, it is equal in importance to the attacks of 9/11.

As someone who grew up privileged, I never really questioned the criminality of the status quo system. Like so many others who are beneficiaries of the way things are, there's not much incentive to look behind the curtain. Nevertheless, the banker bailouts shook me to my core and opened my mind in ways that no other event could. At the time, I was happily earning a very large income at a young age while doing absolutely nothing to benefit society. As such, I couldn't contemplate why government officials were putting so much money and energy into bailing out people like me, while ignoring everyone else. It felt irrational, unethical and dirty. I wrote about all this for over a year while still working in the financial sector, before concluding that it was time to part ways in early 2010. Even back then, I was incessantly warning that tremendous anger from the banker bailouts would ultimately bubble to the surface and create the sort of backdrop in which authoritarians, demagogues and fascists thrive.

Comment: Yes, but the situation is even graver than what the author supposes. To understand and really grok why all of this is happening right now, there is much to know about this very special time that we are living in.


Stormtrooper

Video shows unarmed black man pleading with arms raised before police shoot him

© WSNV-Tv
Cell phone video footage has been released that shows the moments before an unarmed black therapist with his hands up was shot by North Miami police while attempting to care for his autistic patient, according to WSVN-TV.

Disabled caregiver Charles Kinsey was lying on his back with his hands in the air, attempting to talk to the officers who were aiming their weapons at them. The police had received reports of a man with a gun threatening suicide.

"When I went to the ground, I went to the ground with my hands up," Kinsey said, "and I am laying there just like this. Telling them again there is no need for firearms. He is autistic. He has a toy truck in his hand."

Kinsey can be heard clearly saying to police on the video "All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home."

Kinsey was shot while in this submissive position. Kinsey said he still has no idea why the officers shot him.

"I thought it was a mosquito bite, and when it hit me I had my hands in the air, and I'm thinking I just got shot!" Kinsey said. "And I'm saying, 'Sir, why did you shoot me?' and his words to me were, 'I don't know.'"

Bizarro Earth

Rightwing demonstrations spread across Germany


German authorities have warned of a huge civil uprising taking over the country unexpectedly due to political instability spreading across Germany and Europe.


The German security services, BfV, say that right-wing radicalization, spurred by the European migrant crisis, may see Germany collapse into a civil war between left-wing and right-wing demonstrators.

Speisa.com reports:
- What we see in connection with the refugee crisis is that right-wing extremists are mobilizing in the streets, but also that the radical left mobilize against them, says Hans-Georg Maassen, chief of Bundesamts für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), to German radio on Sunday.
The extreme groups show a greater willingness to use violence, he informs. This applies to both right-wing radicals, anti-racists (fascists) on the left, and Islamists.


Comment: Typically those who are anti-racist do not fall into the fascist camp. Looks like the author has his terminology confused.


Megaphone

'Hate cops?': Billboard reading 'call a crackhead' provokes outrage

© Megan Thomas / Facebook
With the recent spate of deadly shootings both police-involved and against officers, an electronic billboard reading, "Hate cops?" in Muncie, Indiana, left at least one local resident dismayed. Offended, she posted a photo to Facebook, stirring more controversy.

In its entirety, the billboard reads, "Hate cops? The next time you need help call a crackhead."

Muncie resident Megan Thomas noticed the sign on Saturday, when she was walking with her niece.

Light Saber

Pakistan moves to ban 'honor killings' after social media star is murdered by brother

© STR / Agence France-Press
Murdered Pakistani social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch
Pakistan's ruling party plans to pass legislation against so-called "honor killings," Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said following the murder of social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch.

The bill will go before a parliamentary committee on Thursday, Maryam Nawaz Sharif told Reuters.

"We have finalized the draft law in the light of negotiations," she said. "The final draft will be presented to a committee of joint session of parliament on July 21 for consideration and approval."

Maryam said that once the parliamentary committee has approved the bill, it will be presented for a vote in a "couple of weeks" before a joint session of parliament. If passed into law, the legislation would remove a loophole which currently allows other family members to pardon a killer.

Maryam, who has become an increasingly influential member of her father's ruling party, said the government wants to pass the law unanimously and has been negotiating with religious parties in parliament.

A senior government official also confirmed to Reuters that all major parties are indeed backing the bill and it is likely to be passed by the joint session of parliament.

"The prime minister is taking a personal interest," a second official and close aide to Sharif added. "You will see in the coming days more will be done, big changes will be announced."

Comment: Pakistan may pass a law banning such horrors, but it will be an uphill battle to change centuries of societal norms. How much effort they put into making those changes will be the real test of how seriously they take this issue.


Newspaper

LA Times editorial writer advocates coup if Donald Trump elected president

© AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik
The candidate has broken the one unspoken rule of the Beltway establishment in calling for the country to focus on existential threats rather than the imaginary specter of Russian aggression for the sake of selling more weapons.

LA Times editorial writer James Kirchick took his distaste for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to a new rhetorical limit, by calling for an armed insurrection against the real-estate-mogul-turned-candidate, should he succeed in his election bid.

Kirchick calls Trump a "brazenly authoritarian figure," accusing the former reality television producer of being unfit for office because his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, worked with "former Ukrainian president and Vladimir Putin-ally Viktor Yanukovich."

TV

Good news: O'Reilly, Hannity, Van Susteren might leave Fox News if Ailes forced out

© AP Photo/ Reed Saxon
Hosts of some of Fox News' most popular shows have threatened to leave the network if CEO Roger Ailes is forced to depart amid recent sexual harassment allegations. Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren and Bill O'Reilly have threatened to leave the network if parent company 21st Century Fox gives Ailes the boot.

Since former Fox host Gretchen Carlson and current host Megyn Kelly have leveled accusations of sexual misconduct against the 76-year-old executive, O'Reilly, Van Susteren and Hannity have come to his defense.

Hannity tweeted that the accusations are "BS" and that he has "spoken to many women who work at Fox that have the most amazing stories of how kind Roger is to them." During an interview on Late Night with Seth Meyers, O'Reilly stated that Ailes conduct and the fallout from it is a "very sad situation," adding, "I've worked for Roger Ailes for 20 years. Best boss I've ever had. Straight shooter, always honest with me. And I believe that, over the years — he's been in the business for 50 years — 95 percent of the people who have worked for Roger Ailes would say exactly the same thing that I just told you." O'Reilly claims that Ailes is a "target" and that damning accusations can be directed at almost any "famous, powerful or wealthy person."

Target

Saudi Arabia's top religious body renews ban on Pokemon for "promoting gambling and theory of evolution"

© Tiziana Fabi / AFP
As the world goes crazy over Pokémon Go, the augmented reality game, Saudi Arabia's top religious body has renewed a 2001 ruling banning the Pokémon franchise as un-Islamic, saying it promotes gambling and Darwin's theory of evolution.

The 15-year-old ban on the Pokémon game has been revived, the General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars said on the website of the General Presidency for Scholarly Research and Ifta, Arab News reported on Wednesday.

The old fatwa dealt with the Pokémon card game, however Sheikh Saleh Al-Fozan, a member of the Council of Senior Scholars, said it is no different from today's mobile version of the game.

Both versions encourage gambling prohibited in Islam and adopt the theory of evolution, he said.

"One of the most important things that makes man condemn this game is adopting the theory of evolution developed by Darwin," thefatwa reads. "Astonishingly, the children frequently use the word 'evolution' inside and outside the game."

Heart - Black

Abhorrent: Rape victim put in jail after breakdown during testimony in Texas court

© Click2Houston
A Texas woman who was the victim of rape and who was placed in jail after having a mental breakdown while testifying against her assailant is now suing Harris County and its sheriff, among others.

The woman, named Jenny, is in her 20s and was the star witness in the rape trial of Keith Hendricks. Hendricks was ultimately given two life sentences for raping multiple women, according to KRPC.

Jenny was to give her testimony on Dec. 8, 2015. However, she has bipolar disorder and was unable to finish her testimony, with transcripts showing she broke down and ran from the court saying she would never go back.

Sean Buckley, Jenny's attorney, said his client was placed in jail without due process and was given a black eye by another inmate while in jail for nearly a month. She was also reportedly punched by a jail guard after attacking him. She was finally released from jail when she testified against Hendricks on Jan. 14, 2016.

"This young lady should never have been put in the Harris County jail," Buckley said. "That is not an environment for a rape victim." Jenny was apparently jailed through a Texas legal mechanism called an attachment order, which can be used to hold witnesses without bail if the witness is unlikely to show up for a trial.

Comment: Another example of the legal system degrading female victims of rape.

Rape Culture in America - How the system protects the rapists and fails the victims