Welcome to Sott.net
Sat, 15 Aug 2020
The World for People who Think

Society's Child
Map

Sherlock

Atlanta, US: Amateur Sleuth Jessica Maple Saw Clues Police Missed and Confronts Robbers

A 12-year-old amateur sleuth beat police at their own game by cracking the case of who ransacked her late great-grandmother's home last month.


Jessica Maple honed her detective skills at a Junior District Attorney camp in Atlanta this summer, sponsored by the Fulton County DA's office.

Police told Jessica, and her mother Stephanie, that whoever robbed the home would have had to have entered with a key, since such large items were stolen and there were no signs of forced entry, Jessica said.

But the curious 12-year-old knew something wasn't right. Her parents were the only two people who had keys.

Arrow Down

Working-Class Americans Retreating from Church

Praying
© stock.xchng
Despite stereotypes to the contrary, Americans with only a high school diploma are dropping out of church faster than their more-educated counterparts.

In the 1970s, a new study finds, half of white Americans with a high school education attended church at least monthly. Now only 37 percent do. In contrast, 46 percent of highly educated white Americans attend church, only a 5 percent drop from the 1970s.

"There is a retreat from religion in what you'd call middle America, or working-class America," said study researcher W. Bradford Wilcox, a University of Virginia sociologist. Wilcox presented the work Sunday (Aug. 21) at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Las Vegas.

Vader

US: Tased From Above! New Robot Copter To Begin Patrolling Our Skies

Image

The new, heavily-armed ShadowHawk can track perpetrators using normal or infrared light.
Forget the idea that weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are only for military operations in wars fought in far off lands. Soon they'll begin setting their sights on criminals within our borders. And they'll be packing heat, not the long-range missiles of the X-47B, but with up close and personal stun guns, 12-gauge shotguns and, believe it or not, grenade launchers.

The ShadowHawk is the seven-foot, 50-lb copter that is the toy-sized dealer of destruction from Texas-based Vanguard Defense Industries. The copter is the result of three years of development. If being tased from above sounds frightening to you, I suggest you cease all criminal activities now (simply staying indoors is an option). There's a good chance ShadowHawk's spine tingling buzz could be heard approaching a city near you. As a sign of new law enforcement tactics to come, the Sheriff's Office of Montgomery County, Texas was recently awarded a grant by the Department of Homeland Security for a squadron of ShadowHawks. Montgomery County's Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel is psyched. "We are very excited about the funding and looking forward to placing the equipment into the field. Both my narcotics and SWAT units have been looking at numerous ways to deploy it and I absolutely believe it will become a critical component on all SWAT callouts and narcotics raids and emergency management operations."

The Department of Homeland Security grant is just the latest indication that the US is taking the military's lead - with over 7,000 drones in the skies of Iraq and Afghanistan - and using drones as a key tactical tool. In 2009 a surveillance drone called the Wasp was used during a SWAT raid in Austin, Texas. The Wasp climbed to 400 feet and beamed realtime video of a house in which an armed drug dealer was hiding. After the team had confirmed that there were no unforeseen dangers lurking in the backyard, they stormed the house and arrested the suspect. Drones are also helping the US to secure its borders against illegal immigration and drug trafficking. Just a few months ago the Obama administration began sending drones to Mexico to gather intelligence and help in the country's war on drugs.

Vader

UN peacekeeping force: Israeli forces crossed Egyptian border by land

israeli soldier
© Reuters

Israeli troops crossed into Egypt by land on Thursday, which prompted Egyptian security personnel to clash with them, said a report issued Saturday by the UN peacekeeping force in Sinai.

Media reports had said an Israeli helicopter crossed the border to pursue suspected militants and then fired at Egyptian border guards, killing five and injuring two.

The peacekeeping force said that the Egyptians had not been targeted by an aircraft, however, and that Israeli forces in fact entered Sinai by land before clashing with the police unit at border point 79 and causing the deaths.

Light Saber

Spain expresses support for independent Palestinian state

united nations
© Reuters
The United Nations Security Council meets at the UN Headquarters in New York, July 13, 2011

Foreign Minister says he hopes an upcoming summit of European Union foreign ministers will 'give Palestinians hope that a state could become reality.'

Spain hopes a meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Sept. 2 will bring progress toward the recognition of a Palestinian state, Minister of Foreign Affairs Trinidad Jimenez said.

"There's the feeling that now is the time to do something, to give the Palestinians the hope that a state could become reality," she said in an interview with El Pais newspaper published on Sunday.

Star of David

What Congress Won't See on Its Trip to Israel This Month

israel wall
© Unknown
Congressman Russ Carnahan joined nearly 20 percent of the United States House of Representatives in a trip to Israel this month. Paid for by an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, these 81 representatives are supposed to represent our interests but are choosing to spend their recess in Israel -- and briefly in the occupied West Bank -- at a time when Americans are suffering and scared from high unemployment, a tanking stock market and a downgrade of our national bond rating.

I also recently traveled to the Holy Land, although I paid my own way. I was part of the "Welcome to Palestine" delegation. I was lucky. Most of my colleagues on the delegation were not allowed to join me. On July 8 over 120 people from Europe, North America and Australia were detained at Israel's Ben Gurion airport. They were then imprisoned by the State of Israel, most for over a week. Their only crime was that when Israeli custom officials asked what they were doing in Israel, they responded that they were planning to visit Palestinian friends in the Aida Refugee camp in Bethlehem. Three hundred other delegates who planned to visit Bethlehem and other places in the occupied West Bank were forced off their flights in Europe due to Israeli pressure.

During my time in the Holy Land, I had an opportunity to meet and talk with many Palestinians and Israelis. I learned about a system in Israel that discriminates against Palestinians on the basis of their ethnicity. In the West Bank, things are far worse. I observed an explicit system of racial segregation and ethnic cleansing, where Palestinians are separated from their own lands and water by walls, barbed-wire fences and machine-gun-wielding soldiers and Jewish settlers.

Family

US: Social Security Disability on Verge of Insolvency

michael astrue
© AP Photo/Tony Dejak
Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue responds to questions at a hearing in Akron, Ohio.
Washington - Laid-off workers and aging baby boomers are flooding Social Security's disability program with benefit claims, pushing the financially strapped system toward the brink of insolvency.

Applications are up nearly 50 percent over a decade ago as people with disabilities lose their jobs and can't find new ones in an economy that has shed nearly 7 million jobs.

The stampede for benefits is adding to a growing backlog of applicants - many wait two years or more before their cases are resolved - and worsening the financial problems of a program that's been running in the red for years.

New congressional estimates say the trust fund that supports Social Security disability will run out of money by 2017, leaving the program unable to pay full benefits, unless Congress acts. About two decades later, Social Security's much larger retirement fund is projected to run dry as well.

Arrow Down

Jet Crashes in Canadian Arctic, 12 Killed

Twelve people were killed when a First Air jet crashed near Resolute Bay in the far north of the Canadian Arctic, but three people survived, the airline said on Saturday.

First Air, which flies to some of Canada's most remote communities, said the chartered Boeing 737-200 had been traveling from Yellowknife, capital of the Northwest Territories. It had 15 people aboard and it crashed just over a mile from the airport in Resolute Bay.

Resolute Bay, whose Inuit name, Quaasuittuq, means "place with no dawn," is one of Canada's most northerly communities, with sunless winter days and 24-hour sunlight in summer.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is set to visit the community next week as part of an annual tour of the Arctic region.

Transport Canada said members of the Canadian military, in the region for a military training exercise, were supporting emergency services there.

Sherlock

Psychopaths - A Solution?

Image
Throughout human history, individuals who are 'not quite conspecific' with the majority of normal human beings have wreaked havoc at local, national and global levels of human society, depending on the extent of their 'ambition'. Look around you today and you will see clear evidence of a deviant psychological worldview - a veritable Bizarro World - that originated within the clinically psychopathic mind. This worldview has psychologically 'infected' millions - even billions - of otherwise normal human beings and now pervades almost all areas of human life. From family and interpersonal relationship values, to science and religion, to economics, medicine, the food we eat, to the very idea of what constitutes 'civilized society'; all are underpinned by the pathologically destructive ideology and 'morality' of the psychopathic mind.

As regular Sott.net readers will know, much of our work over the past 10 years has been dedicated to exposing this decidedly dangerous and depressing state of affairs which we consider to be the root of all other problems facing humanity. However, for the most part, we have always stopped short of offering any solutions, mainly because any possible solution to this problem would first require a critical mass of awareness about the problem itself. And we're still a long way from that critical mass. But time is running short, and perhaps it is time to depart, if only momentarily, from our usual approach and consider any possible solutions to this over-arching dilemma. Indeed, we may very well have to face this issue at some point in our collective future.

The following is 'solution' to the problem of psychopaths among us, proffered by a Sott.net reader. Admittedly, the solution is shocking and, to the normal human mind, morally reprehensible. Certainly, in a world without psychopaths, normal human values would work. But psychopaths use the best things about human beings against them, including the idea that human life is somehow more valuable than other forms of life on our planet. We've all been brought up with the idea that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of god", and the corollary, that all human-looking beings have souls that can be redeemed. What if that is not true? What if that has been programmed into us for the very purpose of protecting psychopaths from the reckoning of the majority of normal human beings?

We present the following short story purely in the spirit to which we, as an organisation, have always adhered: the facilitation of open discussion on life's most pressing and complex issues... and this is the big one.

Comment: Read our forum discussion of The Odyssey for a message in a bottle from our ancestors about how they dealt with the issue of psychopathy, with the help and encouragement of Athena.


Question

Strauss-Kahn accuser mulls dropping case for money

Image
Lawyers for the woman who accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault have explored a deal in which they would scuttle the criminal case in exchange for a monetary settlement in the civil lawsuit, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The woman's lawyer, Kenneth Thompson, strongly denied the report, which the Journal sourced to unidentified people briefed on the matter.

The report comes ahead of Tuesday's scheduled court hearing in which Strauss-Kahn, once seen as a leading contender to be the next president of France, was due to appear before a judge for the first time since he was freed from house arrest on July 1.