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Mon, 18 Oct 2021
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32 States Now Officially Bankrupt: $37.8 Billion Borrowed From Treasury To Fund Unemployment

Courtesy of Economic Policy Journal we now know that the majority of American states are currently insolvent, and that the US Treasury has been conducting a shadow bailout of at least 32 US states. Over 60% of Americans receiving state unemployment benefits are getting these directly from the US government, as 32 states have now borrowed $37.8 billion from Uncle Sam to fund unemployment insurance. The states in most dire condition, are, not unexpectedly, the unholy trifecta of California ($6.9 billion borrowed), Michigan ($3.9 billion), and New York ($3.2 billion). With this form of shadow bailout occurring, one can only wonder how many other shadow programs are currently in operation to fund states under the table with federal money.The full list of America's 32 insolvent states is below, sorted in order of bankruptedness.

Evil Rays

Inside The LC: The Strange but Mostly True Story of Laurel Canyon and the Birth of the Hippie Generation Part XVII

© Sundazed Records
"[Gene] used to slip into these dream states, which I thought was really amazing. He'd go into these dream states and lay down on the couch and go, 'I'll be right back, Patrick.'"
- Pat Robinson, a friend and bandmate of Gene Clark

"[Gene] had these multiple personalities."
- John York, another friend and bandmate of Gene Clark

"[Gene] did seem like he had a lot on his mind and would often appear distracted. You'd say, 'Hey, Gene, what are you thinking?' and he would go, 'Huh? Oh,' like he was being brought back to reality."
- Bernie Leadon, yet another friend and bandmate of Gene Clark

In many ways, the Gene Clark story reads a lot like the Gram Parsons story. Both were considered by their peers to be among Laurel Canyon's brightest stars, yet both are now largely forgotten. Both of their lives were cut tragically short (though Clark lived considerably longer than Parsons). Both of their deaths were overshadowed to some extent by unusual events that occurred just after their passing. Both were considered pioneers of the country-rock genre. Both played for a time with the Byrds. Both recorded duets with Emmylou Harris, and both employed many of the same musicians on their various solo projects. Both had legions of female admirers. Both had a keen interest in UFOs and believed in alien visitations. Both were notorious drug and alcohol abusers.

Did anyone notice anything unusual, by the way, about that last sentence? Probably not, though there is an obvious redundancy on display. If I had written something slightly different, like "drug and heroin abusers" or "drug and cocaine abusers," you likely would have picked up on it right away. But because I used a phrase that everyone is accustomed to seeing and hearing, "drug and alcohol abusers," none of you batted an eye. I have no idea though what my point is here, so let's just move on.


Proud to be an American

Yet another video of Brave American soldiers surrounding, then shooting to death an unarmed old Iraqi man. Notice the fear on the faces of our intrepid heroes and their vile battle cries for blood as they encircle him and then shoot him down in cold blood even though he is clearly unarmed - and poses absolutely no threat to anyone. And the coup de grace? As our heroes surround the corpse one of them shouts, "Arrest him!"


Facing record loss of revenue, US states gutting essential services

The governors of California, New York and dozens of other US states have submitted drastic budget-cutting proposals for fiscal year 2011, which begins on July 1, 2010. Reeling from the economic recession, high rates of unemployment and the sharpest decline in tax revenue on record, states are eliminating essential services that will have a devastating effect on children, senior citizens and working people.

In Greece, Portugal, England and other countries, the crisis has taken the form of the insolvency or near insolvency of entire nations and demands for austerity by national governments acting under the whip of the global bond markets and "sovereign debt" traders.

In the US, the Obama administration has shifted much of the burden of the economic crisis onto the states and municipalities. While handing over trillions to fund the bailout of the Wall Street banks and finance two wars, the White House has starved state and local governments, and what little money was made available in the federal stimulus is drying up this year.

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UK: 20-Year-Old Hanged Himself in Private Prison

© Western Mail
Parc Prison, Bridgend
A private prison has been accused of letting down a vulnerable young remand prisoner who hanged himself in his cell.

Plaid Cymru AM Leanne Wood said Emmanuel Buyoya could still be alive if there had been a specialist remand unit in Wales for people like him accused of crimes. Instead he was sent to Parc Prison, Bridgend.

Mr Buyoya, 20, originally from Burundi in central Africa, had been accused of indecently assaulting his 22-year-old female flatmate in Cardiff.

A six-week inquest into Mr Buyoya's death concluded with the jury issuing a statement that said: "We have unanimously agreed that Mr Emmanuel Buyoya on June 29 2006, took his own life whilst the balance of his mind was disturbed."


13 students wounded in pre-dawn knife rampage at Chinese university

At least five men rampaged across a college campus wounding 13 students, including one whose hand they chopped off.

The attack in Haikou, the capital of the southern island province of Hainan, comes after a recent rash of knife violence at Chinese elementary schools.

Eighteen people, mostly children, have died in the attacks over the past two months, sparking fears for public safety in China, a country not known for violent crime.

The pre-dawn attack on Wednesday occurred on the campus of the Hainan Institute of Science and Technology while the campus lights were out, local media reported.

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Smolensk Crash - A Wake-Up Call For Us All?

Lying in state: The late president and his wife's coffins are on public view in the Column Hall of the Presidential Palace ahead of their funeral on Sunday
For the second time in 70 years, Poles were horrified to learn that the leadership of their country was almost wiped out in a sudden and tragic aircraft crash in a forest outside the western Russian city of Smolensk.

On April 10, a Polish Air Force Tupolev TU-154M carrying aboard Poland's president Lech Kaczynski, his wife and a delegation of high Polish representatives crashed in thick fog on its approach to a Russian ex-military airport in Smolensk. All 88 passengers and 8 crew on board were killed.

From the outset, personal and political interest seems to have been high on the agenda for the trip, with security notably lacking.


Connecting the Dots: Plane Madness Redux and Looking-Glass Weather

Mother Nature revealed its awesome beauty this month as our Big Blue Marble continues to open up in breathtaking fashion. The sight of Eyjafjallajokull coming to life, while beautiful to behold, may set a terrifying trend as volcanoes wake from their slumber and impact our climate in a sudden and system-changing way. Perhaps it is not without meaning that the first significant volcanic eruption to draw people's attention to our rapidly cooling climate took place in IceLand... the harbinger of IceWorld?

April witnessed deluge after deluge of torrential rains bringing flooding, landslides and misery to many in the Americas and China where large cities are underwater. Arctic-cold weather in the least expected places, more frequent earthquakes and hailstorms of unusual ferocity have extended winter in the northern hemisphere into May, raised seabeds and pelted homes with ice.

Dramatic and significant though it was, did the volcanic eruption in Iceland really merit the unprecedented shutdown of European airspace for a week, with knock-on effects across the world? Who made the call, and on what basis? These are important questions to ask because Eyjafjallajokull's wandering ash cloud now apparently holds the near-term fate of international air travel in its plume, so to speak. With cosmic bombardment underway and magma erupting from the oceans' floor, wrangling over the immediate fiscal losses detract from necessary preparations for the approaching ice age.

As always, the stresses and strains in our environment are mirrored back at us in the political and social events of which we play a more immediate role. We will analyse the mysterious circumstances surrounding the Polish government air crash, the political and corporate back-room manipulation of "Tea Party" activism and the psychopaths on Wall Street's engorgement upon humanity through economic terrorism. We'll observe how The Big Brother Surveillance State and naked scanner racketeering expand unchecked, and consider the geopolitical chess moves behind the Kyrgyz and Thai "Red Shirt" revolutions.

And, of course, we couldn't connect the dots in April without acknowledging the high strangeness of the global UFO wave...

Eye 2

An Odd Rash of Stabbings

It had been so long since I checked in with a "mainstream" news site, I decided to visit cnn.com this morning for fun.

An article that caught my eye was (All bold print in this article will be my added emphasis):
Minnesota man charged with stabbing 29 pigs (5-5-2010)
A drunk man stabbed 29 pigs in Minnesota, hurting them so badly they had to be slaughtered, according to charges filed against the man by police.

Curtis Adams, 23, said he did not remember stabbing the pigs, but did not deny having done it, Detective Matt Owens said in court papers. (continues)
It turns out the man was drunk, but something struck me as odd. I decided to search via Google News to see what other stabbing events, if any, had occurred recently.

Comment: There has been yet another fatal multiple stabbing incident reported in China today (May 10):
Eight killed in stabbing spree in East China
Zhou allegedly killed his 10-year-old daughter Zhou Xiaomin at home first, before stabbing his 80-year-old mother despite the woman's pleas for mercy, media reported.

He then broke into a neighbor's home and allegedly killed his wife, 36-year-old Kang Qiuying, their neighbor Hu Dongsheng and Hu's 83-year-old mother, Wu Xiu.

Two other villagers, Ye Wen'e and Zhou Nian Mei, tried running away from the scene of the attack to seek help from the police. But Zhou allegedly stabbed them to death as well. A man, Zuo Huasheng, reportedly became Zhou's eight victim when he ran into the suspect in the street.

Local villagers considered Zhou to be a genial person before the attacks, the village's Party chief, surnamed Gao, told China Daily.

Zhou and his wife also have a 5-year-old son. The family's financial status is reportedly not good and Zhou sometimes went to cities to do odd jobs while his wife farmed at home.

"There has never been such a serious case in the village. The villagers are now very nervous," Gao said.
Update There has been yet another multiple stabbing at a kindergarten in China today (May 12):
Man Hacked 7 Children and 2 Adults in Latest Attack at School
An attacker with a cleaver hacked to death seven children and two adults at a kindergarten in northwest China on Wednesday, the latest in a string of savage assaults on the country's schools. Eleven other children were wounded.

The killer, 48-year-old Wu Huanming, returned home after the attack on the outskirts of the city of Hanzhong and committed suicide, the local government reported. A motive wasn't known, although reports indicated he and the school administrator may have known each other. [...]

The attack began at about 8:20 a.m., as children were arriving at the private Shengshui Temple Kindergarten in Hanzhong's Nanzheng county, the government statement said. The area is on the city's rural outskirts in a relatively poor part of the country.

Wu killed the school's administrator Wu Hongying and a student on the spot, then hacked at 18 others, the statement said. Six students and Wu Hongying's mother later died in hospital, it said. [...]

"I saw him (the attacker) before and he looked quite normal," said the man, who would identify himself only by his surname, Li. [...]

Early reports on Wednesday's attack were removed from Chinese Web sites or moved from the home page to inside sections, an apparent attempt to play down the incident. There was no mention of it on state television's national noon news report. [...]

State media has also steered clear of examining what might be motivating school attackers, preferring to focus on increases in security.


China: Man Hacked 7 Children and 2 Adults in Latest Attack at School

© AP Photo/Xinhua, Wu Tianchang
Medical workers take an injured child to ICU at 3201 Hospital in Hanzhong City, northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
An attacker with a cleaver hacked to death seven children and two adults at a kindergarten in northwest China on Wednesday, the latest in a string of savage assaults on the country's schools. Eleven other children were wounded.

The killer, 48-year-old Wu Huanming, returned home after the attack on the outskirts of the city of Hanzhong and committed suicide, the local government reported. A motive wasn't known, although reports indicated he and the school administrator may have known each other.

It was the fifth such major assault on young students in China since late March and occurred despite increased security at schools countrywide, with gates and security cameras installed and additional police and guards posted at entrances.

The latest deaths were sure to fuel speculation about why assailants - usually lone males - are targeting schools. Sociologists say it reflects a lack of support for the mentally ill and rising stress resulting from huge social inequalities in China's fast-changing society.