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Fri, 26 Aug 2016
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Cop to motorist: Buy these tickets or I take your car

"EITHER YOU buy these or I take your car, 'cause it's unregistered."

Officer Matthew Zagursky didn't mince words Thursday when he flashed tickets to the Hero Thrill Show, a fundraiser that supports the families of fallen officers and firefighters, to two men after pulling them over.

And yesterday, hours after a recording of that exchange went viral, Commissioner Charles Ramsey didn't either.

"No part of that video is good," Ramsey said of the footage, which also shows Zagursky spouting homophobic slurs. "It's just bad all the way around."

Ramsey said Zagursky, 32, has been pulled from North Philly's 24th District and placed on administrative duty as the Internal Affairs Bureau investigates the video, posted to Facebook by a user named "Rob Stay Faded."

"He used the tickets as a lever to not do his duty; that's extortion," Ramsey said of Zagursky. "Whether or not it's criminal is a decision above my paygrade."


Gunman opens fire and kills reporter, photographer during live broadcast; disgruntled former employee main suspect

© mashable.com
A gunman opened fire on a TV news crew conducting a live broadcast from Virginia shopping center on Wednesday, killing a reporter and cameraman. The shooter is still on the loose.

WDBJ confirmed that reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were killed in the shooting.

WDBJ's general manager also appeared live on air to deliver the news.

"It's my very, very sad duty to report...that Alison and Adam died this morning," the manager said.

Comment: Several media outlets are now reporting that the shooter is Vester Lee Flanagan aka Bryce Williams. It is reported that he attempted to commit suicide but is currently in critical condition.

Dollar Gold

Former Gordon Brown advisor warns the public to prepare for a devastating financial collapse

For years we've been told that everything is just sunshine and rainbows with the global economy. Everyone from politicians to media personalities to mainstream financial analysts, have all been guilty of coddling the public with fudged numbers and reassuring news of an economic recovery that never truly manifested. Ever since 2008 (and arguably before then) they've done everything in their power to keep us in the dark, and they've saturated the airwaves with the same dog and pony show, over and over again, in the hopes that we would never realize how screwed we are.

So how would you feel if one day, a political figure suddenly reached out to the public, dropped the act, and started telling you to prepare for a devastating economic collapse? What if someone with establishment credentials started talking like the end of the world was upon us? That would be kind of strange and unsettling right?

Well that's exactly what just happened in the UK.

Comment: Should one prepare for a collapse or not?
  • If you prepare for collapse and it doesn't happen, then you look a tiny bit foolish.
  • If you don't prepare for collapse and collapse does happen, then you look a tiny bit dead.
Now, which would you prefer to be, foolish or dead?


American Gulag: US has more prisoners than the old Soviet Union

© unknown
For decades, the Soviet Gulags under Joseph Stalin had been considered some of the worst prisons in all of history. But now things have changed.

The United States has far exceeded the horrific tolls of the gulags. In the Soviet example, there were more than 18 million victims during the gulags' use over four decades.

Around a million people died in the gulags over the years.

Now, as of 2009, the United States tolls soar higher than 7 million in prison, on probation or in some way caught up in the American prison system.

On the surface that might sound like a lot less than the gulag total above. But when you factor in all who have been put through the US prison system, we find a total that is higher than 19 million. That's more than the 18 million locked up in the gulag system over those forty years.

Just like the Soviet Gulag System, the American Prison-For-Profit industry sells itself with the pitch that it is about "rehabilitation." The government even has the audacity to call the prison system the "U.S. Department of Corrections."

Comment: See also:


America in decline: 1 in 5 children live below poverty line, worse than during Great Recession

© Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Around 22 percent of American children lived below the federal poverty line in 2013, up from 18 percent in 2008, according to a new report. Black, Hispanic, and American Indian children were twice as likely to live in poverty as whites.

The 2015 Kids Count Data Book ‒ released Tuesday by the non-profit group Annie E. Casey Foundation ‒ was compiled using federal government data collected from 2008 to 2013 to determine state-based trends pertaining to 16 factors related to quality of life for young children. Those factors include health, family life, community, and education.

The 16.1 million children living in poverty in 2013 counts for nearly 3 million more than those living in poverty in 2008, the beginning of the Great Recession. More than two million more children live in areas of concentrated poverty compared to 2006 to 2010, the report found. The federal poverty line in 2013 was considered to be $23,624 income for a family with two adults and two children.

"Although we are several years past the end of the recession, millions of families still have not benefited from the economic recovery," said Patrick McCarthy, president and CEO of the Casey Foundation. "While we've seen an increase in employment in recent years, many of these jobs are low-wage and cannot support even basic family expenses. Far too many families are still struggling to provide for the day-to-day needs of their children, notably for the 16 million kids who are living in poverty."


Natural Born Killers: Study confirms US leads world in gun ownership and mass shootings

Although the US accounts for just 5 percent of the world's population, it was home to almost one-third of the world's mass shootings between 1966 and 2012. A new study says the rate is due to shattered "American dreams" and the ease of gun ownership.

The research - titled 'Mass Shooters, Firearms, and Social Strains: A Global Analysis of an Exceptionally American Problem' - is the first quantitative analysis of all reported public mass shootings around the world. The study was presented at the American Sociological Association's annual meeting in Chicago on Sunday.

Analyzing data from 171 countries between 1966 and 2012, study author and University of Alabama Criminal Justice Professor Adam Lankford found that the US had by far the most public mass shooters, totaling 90 in the 46-year period - or 31 percent of the world's shootings.

Comment: That's just the domestic scene. US weapons manufacturers have also armed much of the rest of the planet. Between direct and indirect US warfare, the death toll from US weapons since WW2 must be in the tens of millions.


Former debt collectors quit the business - now they buy and forgive medical debt

© Jerry Ashton
“We decided we should take the debt collector out of the equation.”

-- Jerry Ashton and Craig Antico
Jerry Ashton and Craig Antico spent decades hounding debtors to pay their bills—until an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street inspired them to find a way to pay struggling people's debts.

When Paola Gonzalez received a phone call from RIP Medical Debt, she was certain what she heard was a mistake. A prank, maybe. The caller said a $950 hospital bill had been paid for in full: It would not affect her credit and she wouldn't have to worry about it again. "They wanted to pay a bill for me," she said. "I was just speechless."

The 24-year-old student from Roselle Park, New Jersey, has lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that in 2011 put her in and out of hospitals for a year. Even with insurance she faces a barrage of medical bills that often get pushed aside. "I can't always work," Gonzalez said. "I'll be fine today and sick tomorrow. It's really amazing that people would help out like this.

Gonzalez is one of many people who have had a debt paid by RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit founded by two former debt collectors, Jerry Ashton and Craig Antico, that buys debt on the open market and then abolishes it, no strings attached. In the year since RIP Medical Debt started, the group has abolished just under $400,000, according to Antico. On July 4, it launched a year-long campaign to raise $177,600 in donations, which it will use to abolish $17.6 million of other people's debt.

Millions of people are, in Ashton's words, "sitting at the kitchen table and you have to decide, 'Do I buy medication today or do I pay the water bill or do I pay the debt collector?'... We decided we should take the debt collector out of the equation."

Comment: Ashton and Antico, led by the example of Occupy Wall Street have shown the system can be bucked by creatively using its own rules.

Arrow Down

Doctor accused of sexual misconduct, misdiagnosis and mistreatment still practicing medicine in Florida

© WJHG.com
Dr. Sean Orr
The fact that the general population is unfit to properly diagnose serious illnesses and identify certain injuries makes the trust between the doctor and patient virtually sacred. Today, over 12,000 different diseases, deformities, and injuries have been identified ─ giving people good reason to want to trust their doctors. Though a great deal of practitioners can be trustworthy, it is always wise to ask questions during checkups, for the untrustworthy are still capable of becoming doctors.

Dr. Sean Orr is the former head of neurology for Baptist Health and one of the doctors accused of violating that sacred trust on multiple occasions. In 2013, Dr. Orr's license was suspended for a year after he faced allegations of sexual misconduct with one of his patients from 2011. Dr. Orr used his position of authority to trick his patient into having sexual relations with him, even claiming that the relationship would benefit her health.

Comment: If the medical-pharmaceutical industry wasn't so corrupt, this doctor and many like him would not be given a free pass to prey on unsuspecting patients. What ever happened to 'First do no harm"?

Eye 1

UK petition to arrest Netanyahu for Gaza war crimes reaches over 80,000 signatures

© Sebastian Scheiner / Reuters
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
A petition calling on the UK government to arrest Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes in Gaza when he arrives in London has garnered more than 80,000 signatures. But David Cameron's government says no way: Netanyahu has diplomatic immunity.

The petition, posted on the UK government's website, has already been signed by some 81,000 Brits. Its initiator, Damian Moran, claims that under international law, the Israeli prime minister can be detained when he comes to the British capital in September "for the massacre of over 2,000 [Palestinian] civilians" during the 51-day offensive by the Israeli Defense Force in Gaza last year. The number of signatures has doubled in the last two weeks.

If the petition garners 100,000 signatures by February 7, 2016, the UK parliament is required by law to debate it. However, Moran, the petition's author, said he "doesn't expect him [Netanyahu] to get arrested because of the universal jurisdiction laws."

He added: "It is a clear message to him that there's a massive amount of people who don't want him here."

Comment: Sott focus article: Israeli Collaborators, Provocateur Rocketeers and Cynical Ceasefires

Alarm Clock

Disgusting: Men put up signs welcoming freshman girls to the culture of campus rape

© Facebook via the Huffington Post
An off-campus house full of male college students, (calling them 'men' would be inappropriate), in Norfolk, Virginia is under fire and facing disciplinary action for displaying signs about what the culture of college rape has been teaching these kids for years: It's not about learning not to rape women, it's about women learning to not get raped.

The signs, displayed proudly just down the street from Old Dominion University, directed parents to the "freshman daughter drop off," with an arrow pointing to their door. Another said, "Rowdy And Fun - Hope your baby girl is ready for a good time." One last sign said, "Go ahead and drop off Mom too."

These extremely disturbing signs were hanging from the house as freshman girls were coming into town to start their new lives. Most likely anxious about the start of something so exciting, their first impression is now one of sexual harassment; a confession from their fellow students that what they've heard about campus rape is very much true.

A Virginia man took a photo of the signs and posted it to Facebook. Since deleted, the image is now circulating via a story in the Huffington Post:

University President John R. Broderick wrote a letter to the college community denouncing the signs on Saturday, saying:
"I am outraged about the offensive message directed toward women that was visible for a time on 43rd Street. I said at my State of the University address that there is zero tolerance on this campus for sexual assault and sexual harassment. This incident will be reviewed immediately by those on campus empowered to do so. Any student found to have violated the code of conduct will be subject to disciplinary action."