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Stormtrooper

Police State: LAPD Commanding Officer "Downgraded" in Wake of Woman's Brutal Arrest

A video captured the arrest showing officers knocking a woman to the ground. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has mandated the video be shown department-wide.

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LAPD Chief Charlie Beck has downgraded a police commander and censured him as "severely deficient in his response" after two of his officers were caught on video knocking a woman to the ground after stopping her for allegedly using her cell phone while driving.

Cowboy Hat

Military Games: Black Hawk helicopters' frighten residents in downtown Minneapolis

US Special Operations Command decided that downtown Minneapolis would be a perfect location for military games involving Black Hawk helicopters and dozens of troops.


Low-flying Black Hawk helicopters conducted military training exercises in downtown Minneapolis Monday night, hovering majestically outside of apartment windows of surprised local residents.

Some Minneapolis residents have taken videos of the Army's utility helicopters as they passed over bridges, hovered outside their windows and flew over the city.

"Yep, that's the view outside my window," said one YouTube user as two of the giant vehicles stopped outside his 28th floor window for 10 seconds before soaring down Marquette Ave.

Comment: Michigan residents were also alarmed by the games, which seem intended by design to create exactly that, fear and alarm. A little conditioning for the population ahead of the next false flag attack?


Bizarro Earth

Contradictions in the House of Saud: Separate City to be Built for Saudi Women

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© Unknown
On August 6, 2012, the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON) issued a press release which highlighted, once again, the utter absurdity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This writer has written previously on the rampant corruption, perversity, cruelty, and utter criminality of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and this latest insight into the workings of the House of Saud - i.e. the family that runs this gulag - defies rationality and further exposes the insanity of the rulers of this captive nation. Once again, we see how monarchy distorts the mind, corrupts the body politique, and deforms society into bizarre contortions as it attempts to reconcile its contradictions.

MODON's press release stated that it had initiated work on planning and development of "the first industrial city being readied for women workers in the Kingdom. It will be launched in Al-Ahsa 2nd Industrial city which is located in Hofuf near Al-Ahsa airport," reads the release. And while the press notice indicated that job opportunities would be created for "both men and women," it was the focus on the separation of the sexes in the workplace that caught the attention, and outrage, of news agencies and observers from around the world. With an estimated costs of 500 million riyals or about $133 million, the new city is expected to create only about 5000 new jobs.

"The city," the development authority announced "is distinguished from other industrial cities for its proximity to residential neighborhoods to facilitate the movement of women to and from the workplace. It is also characterized by allocating sections equipped for women workers in environment and working conditions consistent with the privacy of women according to Islamic guidelines and regulations."

Dollar

Polish Gold Scam Causes Financial Ruin

gold bars
© Jung Yeon-JE/AFP/Getty Images
WARSAW, Poland - It was pretty much all the money Bozena Oracz had after a working life as an accountant: the equivalent of $15,000. She placed it in a fund investing in gold, with the hope of paying for her daughter's studies and getting treatment for a bad knee.

Those dreams were dashed when she discovered she had fallen victim to an elaborate fraud scheme that has left thousands of Poles, many of them elderly, facing financial ruin.

The so-called Amber Gold affair is one of the biggest financial scandals to hit Poland since the fall of communism in 1989. The extent of wrongdoing is still murky, but it seems to have some elements of a pyramid scheme, meaning the financial institution used funds from new clients to pay off older clients rather than investing them.

Consumed with anger and desperation, 58-year-old Oracz traveled last week from a small town near Warsaw to a law firm in the capital to consider whether, after losing 50,000 zlotys, she should risk another 3,000 zlotys ($920; (EURO)730) on the fee to join a class-action lawsuit seeking to recover some of the losses.

"This was a lot of money to me - it was my savings," Oracz said, fighting back tears. Now retired and living on a small pension, she sees no way of building another nest egg. "My pension barely covers my needs," she said.

Comment: Aren't US and EU citizens in the same illusion?


Footprints

Naomi Wolf: Sweden's Other Rape Suspects

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© Paul Lachine
New York - It is difficult for me, as an advocate against rape and other forms of violence against women, to fathom the laziness and willful ignorance that characterize so much of the media coverage of the sexual-assault allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. To report that we are simply witnessing Swedish justice at work, one must be committed to doing no research - not even the bare minimum of picking up a phone. In fact, we are witnessing a bizarre aberration in the context of Sweden's treatment of sex crime - a case that exposes the grim reality of indifference, or worse, that victims there and elsewhere face.

If I were raped in Uppsala, where Assange is alleged to have committed his crime, I could not expect top prosecutors to lobby governments to arrest my assailant. On the contrary, "ordinary" Swedish rapists and abusers of women should assume that the police might not respond when called. When I tried the rape-crisis hotline at the government-run Crisis Center for Women in Stockholm, no one even picked up - and there was no answering machine.

According to rape-crisis advocates in Sweden, one-third of Swedish women have been sexually assaulted by the time they leave their teens. Indeed, according to a study published in 2003, and other later studies through 2009, Sweden has the highest sexual-assault rate in Europe, and among the lowest conviction rates.

People

It's the end of the world - and they know it

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© Tom Spader / APP
Survivalist Tom Brown Jr. (right) and Waretown Tracker School instructor Carmen Carradino display some of the tools used in survival in the wilderness
Imagine the world you know ends tomorrow. Imagine electrical grids failing, supermarkets closing and the safety nets of modern civilization crumbling, leaving millions of Americans without food and drinkable water.

Though the idea seems extreme to most people, some are preparing for such a scenario. So called "preppers" or "survivalists" are amassing food, shelters and knowledge to withstand a world different from the one that exists today.

Even small-scale disasters can prove stressful if not disastrous, as tens of thousands of Monmouth County residents learned in July when a water pipe line collapsed, disrupting drinking water from the tap.

That's a scenario Jason Borrelli, a 2005 Point Pleasant Beach High School graduate, is prepared to face.

Che Guevara

Rebellion erupts over school's student-chipping plan

RFID
© unknown
A rebellion is developing in Texas against a plan by a school district in San Antonio that would monitor the exact location and activities of all students at all times through RFID chips they are being ordered to wear.

Katie Deolloz, a member of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering, told WND today that parents and students from San Antonio's Northside Independent School District confronted the school board last night, stating their concerns about privacy and other issues "clearly and passionately."

School district officials did not respond to a WND request for comment, but the developing furor comes only days after a coalition of civil rights and privacy organizations publicly stated their opposition to "spychipping" the students.

A "position paper" from groups including the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Big Brother Watch, Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, Constitutional Alliance, Freedom Force International, Friends of Privacy USA, the Identity Project and Privacy Activism said no students should be subjected to the "chipping" program "unless there is sufficient evidence of its safety and effectiveness."

"Children should never be used as test subjects for technology, no matter what their socio-economic status. If schools choose to move forward without complete information and are willing to accept the associated liability, they should have provisions in place to adhere to the principles of fair information practices and respect individuals' rights to opt out based on their conscientious and religious objections," the statement said.

Bizarro Earth

Hungary Demands Holocaust Survivors Return 8 Million

Hungary is demanding that a United States organization return roughly $8 million in payments for Holocaust survivors, claiming it has failed to properly account for the money. The American organization, in turn, says it provided reams of information and accuses Hungary of stonewalling.

More than half a million Hungarian Jews perished during the Holocaust. Five years ago, the country agreed to provide $21 million over a five-year period to help impoverished survivors of Hungarian descent, working with a Hungarian organization and the Claims Conference, based in New York, which handles compensation programs for people who suffered Nazi persecution.

The money was supposed to be a down payment to help aging victims while Hungary worked with the organization on the longer, painstaking process of property and asset restitution tied to the Holocaust. The funding ranges from $800 to $2,000 per person annually to provide medicine, hearing aids and other necessities to the poorest of Hungarian survivors, Claims Conference said.

Che Guevara

Chris Hedges: Why Revolt Is All We Have Left

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Chris Hedges, a former New York Times reporter, has become perhaps the foremost media scribe and most prolific advocate of a need for revolutionary change in our current institutional oppression and control of the government by the oligarchical and political elite. Hedges writes with a reporter's detail, a prophet's eloquence and a compelling sense of urgency. This is evident in his latest book, which visits the "sacrifice zones" of America. Get the just-released "Days of Destruction Days of Revolt" (with illustrations by Joe Sacco) directly from Truthout right now by clicking here. Make a minimum donation and support progressive writers and Truthout.
Mark Karlin: You begin "Days of Destruction Days of Revolt" with a visit to and reflection upon the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, the poorest and perhaps most hopeless Native American settlement in the United States. Indian reservations were a tragically ironic result of the American revolt to throw off the shackles of being a colony, only to become a colonial power over the indigenous residents that lay in its way to achieving "Manifest Destiny." Is this irony the reason why you begin your journey across the "sacrifice zones" of the United States at Pine Ridge?

Chris Hedges: This is where the dark ethic of endless expansion and limitless exploitation, of ruthless imperial conquest, subjugation and extermination of native communities, began in the name of profit. Commercial interests set out to obliterate native peoples who stood in the way of their acquisition of the buffalo herds, timber, coal, gold and later minerals such as uranium, commodities they saw as sources of power and enrichment. Land was sliced up into parcels - usually by the railroad companies - and sold. Sitting Bull acidly suggested they get out scales and sell dirt by the pound. The most basic elements that sustain life were reduced to a vulgar cash product. Nothing in the eyes of the white settlers had an intrinsic value. And this dichotomy of belief was so vast that those who held on to animism and mysticism, to ambiguity and mystery, to the centrality of the human imagination, to communal living and a concept of the sacred, had to be extinguished. The belief system encountered on the plains and in the earlier indigenous communities in New England obliterated by the Puritans was antithetical and hostile to capitalism, the concept of technological progress, empire and the ethos of the industrial society.

The effect of this physical and moral cataclysm is being played out a century and a half later, however, as the whole demented project of endless capitalist expansion, profligate consumption and growth implodes. The suffering of the other, of the Native American, the African-American in the inner city, the unemployed coal miner or the Hispanic produce picker is universal. They went first. We were next.

V

Occupy Wall Street Plans 'People's Wall' Outside New York Stock Exchange for Anniversary

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© Agence France-Presse/Spencer Platt
New York Stock Exchange
Occupy Wall Street will turn one year old in a few weeks, and organizers with the group want to make sure the movement's first anniversary won't be forgotten. To commemorate, OWS plans on staging a mass protest outside the New York Stock Exchange.

Organizers with Occupy, a protest movement formed last year to address issues of corporate greed and big businesses' relationship with politics, are asking supporters to participate in a mass sit-in outside the NYSE when their first birthday comes around next month on September 17.

"There'll be a mass of people converging on the Stock Exchange to deliver our message: that we're the 99 percent and we're not going to take it," OWS organizer Dana Balicki tells AFP.

The spokesperson with the group says that Occupy hopes to erect a massive "people's wall" outside the NYSE.

"That will be a pretty substantial act of civil disobedience," Balicki says.