Society's ChildS

Bizarro Earth

Fireball in Gulf of Mexico as tug collides with pipeline

© AFP/Scanpix
A fireball bursting from the ocean's surface continued to burn on Wednesday after a tug and barge hit a gas pipeline owned by Chevron south of New Orleans on Tuesday evening.

The fire had been reduced by about 30% by Wednesday afternoon and there were no reports of oil in the water, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

"Visual imagery initially indicated potential pockets of crude oil," the statement said. "However, those areas have been determined to be particulate ash from" the liquid petroleum gas (LPG) burn off.

"The fire will diminish as the product diminishes," it added.

The pipeline was shut shortly after the collision at around 18:00 local time Tuesday evening near Bayou Perot 30 miles south of New Orleans.

Chevron said the line connects a gas plant in Venice, Louisiana, with a pump station in Paradis, according to a Reuters report.


Is your boss a possible psychopath?

psychopath office politics

Winners at office politics tend to be psychopathic--as well as narcissistic and Machiavellian. These "triads" fly up the corporate ladder, but there are ways to minimize their effect on your success and happiness.

It's estimated that 3 million Americans are psychopathic--meaning they display callous or non-empathetic tendencies; that, perhaps one in 10 on Wall Street are; and it's even suggested that a touch of psychopathy may be necessary to reach the top.

Psychopaths are also likely to be narcissistic (self-loving) or to have a Machiavellian streak (detachment, liking for games-playing). These days, more and more people are "triadic," says British psychologist Oliver James--meaning the people in your office have all three disorders at the same time.

The perception of what you've contributed becomes as important as what you've actually done.

James blames the changing nature of work. In the past, jobs were straightforward: you made stuff, and you were compensated accordingly. Now, in many service industries (PR, finance, TV) it is hard to say who should take credit. Triads thrive with such ambiguity, mastering how to accentuate their part in the positive, while downplaying their negatives.

"The perception of what you've contributed becomes as important as what you've actually done," James says. "Whether you get promoted and how much you get paid depends largely on the subjective valuation of your boss. That means that office politics becomes more important. Making your boss like you, and encouraging them to believe you are doing a good job, is as important as actually doing a good job."

Comment: The book Snakes in Suits by Babiak and Hare is highly recommended reading on this subject. The only defense we have is to educate ourselves as much as possible about this intra-species predator in our midst.

Wall Street

Senator Warren slams Republicans: Worry less about helping big banks and more about helping ordinary consumers

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts slammed Republicans on Tuesday for holding up the confirmation of Richard Cordray to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

At a Senate Banking Committee hearing, the progressive senator suggested Republicans were using false arguments to fight the nomination of Cordray. Warren, who was a key figure in setting up the relatively new agency, questioned why Republicans believed it was wrong for the CFPB to have a single director, but was acceptable in the case of numerous other agencies like the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

"I see nothing here but a filibuster threat against Director Cordray as an attempt to weaken the consumer agency," Warren said. "I think the delay in getting him confirmed is bad for consumers, it's bad for small banks, bad for credit unions, for anyone trying to offer an honest product in an honest market."

"The American people deserve a Congress that worries less about helping big banks, and more about helping regular people who have been cheated on mortgages, on credit cards, on student loans and on credit reports," she added.


Policeman arrested for printing counterfeit currency

Anthony A. Rivera
Former Santa Fe police officer Anthony Rivera and brother Dominic were arrested Sunday and charged with overseeing the production of fake $100 bills, created using $20′s that were stripped of their color using paint thinner.

The two men, 44 and 34 respectively, were arrested along with 20-year-old Tyler Ament and accused of creating more than $1,200 in counterfeit currency in recent months, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported Tuesday.

Police broke the case last week after Ament tried to use one of the bills at a gas station and a clerk turned him away. Ament returned to the gas station for cigarettes after buying jeans at a local Kohls and officers were waiting for him.

Bad Guys

Florida Lt. Governor resigns over ties to Internet sweepstakes cafes under investigation for illegal gambling

© Chris O'Meara / AP In this Jan. 11, 2012 file photo, Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll speaks during Florida Space Center day at the Florida House of Representatives in Tallahassee, Fla. Carroll resigned in the wake of a federal gambling racketeering case.
Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll abruptly resigned Tuesday after law enforcement officials questioned her about ties to a purported veterans charity organization at the center of a $300 million multi-state racketeering investigation.

Florida law enforcement officials would not say if Carroll, 53, is facing possible criminal charges in connection with the case. Gov. Rick Scott also would not comment. Scott said he would not name Carroll's replacement until the end of the annual legislative session in May.

"She resigned, and she did the right thing for her state and for her family," Scott said.

At issue is Carroll's connections to Allied Veterans of the World, a Florida nonprofit that operates a chain of Internet sweepstakes cafes as a pseudo-charity. Nearly 60 people associated with the company were arrested this week on various charges, including illegal gambling, racketeering and money laundering.

Carroll owned a public relations firm that represented Allied Veterans, and as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, did work for the company. She later filmed an advertisement promoting Allied Veterans while serving as lieutenant governor.


Fake fingers to fool the boss at Brazil hospital

© AFP PhotoA biometric scanner. Five doctors at a Brazilian hospital have been suspended after they were accused of covering for absentee colleagues by using fake silicone fingers with their prints to fool biometric machines.
Five doctors at a Brazilian hospital have been suspended after they were accused of covering for absentee colleagues by using fake silicone fingers with their prints to fool biometric machines.

Globo television showed footage of a doctor touching her finger to the device, then using two fake digits to do the same for colleagues, and taking delivery of slips of paper indicating they had in fact clocked in to work.

That way it looked like there were doctors on duty when there was just one.


Harlem mother dies and her 10-month-old son is badly injured after they fall eight stories out of apartment building

© ANDREW SAVULICH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWSA 44-year-old woman and her 10-month-old son plummeted eight stories from a Harlem building near W. 147th St.
Sources say mother may have grabbed her child and jumped out a window; police are still investigating.

A 10-month-old child survived an eight-story fall Wednesday when his mother grabbed the boy and leaped out of the window of her Harlem home, sources said.

The unidentified 44-year-old woman tried to kill herself and her child by jumping from the window of her Bradhurst Ave. home near W. 147th St. hours after her husband stormed out of the apartment during a "loud argument," sources said.

The baby managed to survive the deadly fall because his mother held him against her chest and her back hit the ground first, shielding him, sources said.

Her husband was seen on surveillance video leaving upscale co-op almost three hours before she took the 3:30 p.m. plunge, sources said.

"I heard a small scream when she was in the air," said witness Steven Dominguez, 18. "I noticed something falling, but I didn't want to believe it was a person."

Dominguez, who teared up as he spoke, said the landing made a horrifying sound.

© ANDREW SAVULICH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWSNeighbor Christian Johnson said he heard the woman and her husband yelling at each other, but didn’t think it was anything more than a typical squabble until he saw the woman dead.


SOTT Focus: The few that remain


America continues to sink into a black pit of despair, already way beyond its event horizon. Chris Hedges refers to our future as one of sacrifice zones; those areas on this planet where the dead are simply consequences of a corporation's cost-benefit analysis. Few remain who willingly make the superhuman efforts required to protect the living world and her children. But they are out there. They remain.

Chris Hedges is one of the last to stand up to the corporate power that has taken America by the throat and strangled her until her purse spills to the ground. He is America's Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He is one of the last to stand while those with eyes to see turn their heads to avoid what their eyes are seeing.
"It's absolutely imperative that we begin to understand what unfettered, unregulated capitalism does," Hedges emphasized. "These are sacrifice zones, areas that have been destroyed for quarterly profit. And we're talking about environmentally destroyed, communities destroyed, human beings destroyed, families destroyed. And because there are no impediments left, these sacrifice zones are just going to spread outward."
The whole world has become a sacrifice zone. The shopping mall, main street, the Middle East, Africa and South America, the ground our families walk upon, even our families, are all sacrificed by idiots whose only sense of value is in self-indulgence. Hedges openly defies corporate power. He openly defies imperialism. He openly defies the puppet Obama, suing him for claiming the right to arbitrarily extinguish the lives of the sons and daughters of this world.

Eye 2

Christian academy student shoots parents in head after grounding from video games

A 14-year-old student at a Christian academy in Washington state has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting both of his parents in the head after they restricted him from playing violent video games.

Grant County prosecutors on Monday said that they were asking that 14-year-old Nathan Brooks be tried as an adult for the attempted murder of his parents.

According to a Moses Lake police report obtained by iFIBER One News, Nathon Brooks had considered killing his parents, 38-year-old Jonathan Brooks and 39-year-old Elizabeth Brooks, since the age of 8. He had recently been been grounded for two weeks from using "electronic devices" - including playing video games - and had been punished with detention for being late to class.

Nathon Brooks had admitted to police that he had been obsessed with video games.

Heart - Black

Steubenville rape trial: Prosecutor outlines "degradation and humiliation" of alleged victim in opening statement

© Pool,AP Photo/Keith SrakocicDefendants Trent Mays, 17, (foreground) and Ma'Lik Richmond, 16, are accused of raping a 16-year-old girl
In her opening statement, the lead prosecutor in the case against two Ohio high school football players accused of raping an intoxicated 16-year-old walked the juvenile court judge through the "degradation and humiliation" suffered by the alleged victim on the night of Aug. 11, 2012.

"This case is simple and direct," said Special Prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter, addressing Judge Thomas Lipps, who will decide the case without a jury. "It hinges on the defendant's knowledge of her substantial impairment...their exploitation of her substantial impairment."

Ma'Lik Richmond, 16, and Trent Mays, 17, are charged as juveniles with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl while she was intoxicated during a night of partying. According to the Associated Press, Mays is also charged with illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material. Both have pleaded not guilty.

"You will hear witnesses testify that she was stumbling, slurring her words, and using others to help keep her balanced," said Hemmeter.