Society's ChildS


Bomb

Thailand: Bomb Suspects 'Were Anti-Iran Exiles'

Scene of Bangkok blast
© EPAScene of Bangkok blast
Four Iranians suspected of involvement in a botched bomb plot targeting Israeli diplomats in Bangkok were members of an exiled Iranian opposition group which wanted the incident to reflect badly on Teheran, Syedsulaiman Husaini, Shia leader of Thailand, said on Sunday.

He claimed the four belonged to the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation (also known as MEK, MKO and the People's Mujahedeen Organisation of Iran, or PMOI) which aims to overthrow the current Iranian government.

The MEK has been on the US Department of State's list of foreign terrorist organisations since 1977.

Thai authorities and security agencies were not familiar with the group, said Mr Syedsulaima, who is also director of the Islamic studies centre at Al Mahdi Institute and former president of the Iran University Alumni Association.

The Islamic scholar said the bomb incident was unlikely to be the work of the Iranian government as speculated because Bangkok and Teheran have good bilateral relations.

A secret report by Iran's security agency also indicated that the Iran nationals linked with Bangkok's latest bomb plot were members of the MEK, reports said.

Formed in the 1960s, the organisation participated in Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution that replaced the country's pro-Western ruler, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, with a Shi'ite Islamist regime led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. The MEK, whose ideology mixes Marxism and Islam, was expelled from Iran two years later after trying to stage an armed uprising against Khomeini.

Red Flag

'Hundreds gather' in China after monk's self-immolation

China monks
© Flickr / Wonderlane
Hundreds of Tibetans gathered in China's southwest to hold a vigil for a young Buddhist monk who set himself on fire, a rights group said, in the latest self-immolation to hit the country.

The 18-year-old monk, identified as Nangdrol, set himself alight Sunday in Sichuan province's Rangtang county, where one Tibetan was reportedly shot dead by security forces last month, the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said on Monday.

Citing exiled Tibetan sources with contacts in the area, ICT said Nangdrol had died and his body was taken back to a local monastery. The information was confirmed by the London-based Free Tibet.

Monks did not comply with police orders to hand over the body and more than 1,000 people gathered to hold a vigil on Sunday evening, ICT said.

Bad Guys

US: In labored clarification, Fox contributor castigates military's 'fake heroism'

Liz Trotta
© Screengrab via FoxNews.comFox News contributor Liz Trotta.
Appearing on the Fox News show America's News HQ, contributor Liz Trotta attempted to clarify remarks she made earlier this month that became fodder for The Daily Show, during which host Jon Stewart summarized that she did not want the military helping women who've been "raped too much."

Unfortunately for the former Washington Times editor, what she actually said isn't going to make the controversy go away - but then, that may have been the point.

After suggesting that the issue of women in military roles has "never gotten a fair and open hearing," Trotta went on to say: "The political correctness infecting the Pentagon has resulted in silly and dishonest fairy tales about female heroism," she said. "Has anyone forgotten the Jessica Lynch story?"

"There are countless other stories of fake heroism or exaggerated prowess in which women are the stars, many of them tailored for The New York Times and its agenda to promote militant feminism, no matter what the truth," Trotta added.

Coffee

US: Employers discriminate against long-term unemployed: reports

Unemployed workers
© Screenshot via CBSUnemployed workers in Stamford, Connecticut.
A number of long-term, unemployed people in Stamford, Connecticut revealed to CBS' 60 Minutes how they have been discriminated by the job market for being out of work, resulting in questions as to whether they would be employed ever again.

"There's no doubt," worker Frank O'Neil told reporter Scott Pelley. "I mean, I've seen it in print, whether it's some newspaper ads or online during those types of advertisements, I've actually seen, 'If you are unemployed, you need not apply.'"

O'Neil added: "Just look at the web. You see the phrase everywhere: 'Must be currently employed.' Businesses can't legally discriminate by age, race or sex, but there's a new minority group now, the long term unemployed."

Stormtrooper

US, Texas: Hill County town fears police influence is out of control


Unless you turn at the blinking light at State Highway 171 and FM 67, you might not notice Covington, Texas, which is the way most in this tiny town want it.

Now, out of fear and frustration, they want the public to know.

"They are scared to death now," said Covington City Council member Marty Smith. "They lock their doors, they lock the car doors because they are scared of the police."

Smith said she also fears the man running the Hill County town, Police Chief Wade Laurence.

"Wade Lawrence asked me what it was going to take to shut me up, and them to arrest me and handcuff me at a council meeting," Smith said. "I'm 69 years old and I don't need the hassle of it."

Alarm Clock

SOTT Focus: How is the World Going to End in 2012?

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I read in the news this morning that some video game developers started a $400,000 pledge drive to fund their new video game. In just 24 hours, they had collected more than they needed: They got 1.4 MILLION!

For a video game. To pay them just to hang out and write code. Truth isn't wanted anymore: only fun fiction that keeps people from having to deal with the real world.

So, let me end your suspense: The answer to the question in the title is "yes". The world is ending in 2012. That is, the final implementation of the fascist, totalitarian New World Order will be accomplished this year and you will be in that "New World" that the global elite have designed for you, and planned to implement for a very long time now. Oh, indeed, similar New World Order's have been staged in the past on smaller scales, but this time it's global because they are all in on it together! Former New World Order's didn't really fail, even if they ostensibly fell; they just passed the torch around for millennia, spreading the disease, growing the sickness in society, until finally, now, with global communication and incredible weapons of destruction in their hands, they are ready to finalize the Faustian bargain that you, the people, signed with your blood.

That's what 2012 is all about. It's not about some grand and glorious transformation or ascension to another existence! It's not about being 'raptured' to heaven at the right hand of Jesus because you helped to 'initiate the Eschaton'! It's not about 'Starseeds' being taken aboard spacecraft and getting airlifted to some other planet of the '5th dimension'. Pure and simple, prophecy is coming true, just not the way you all thought. It is the end of your world as human beings, your reduction to pure slave-hood, your children turned over to be sex toys or cannon fodder for psychopaths, and there's nothing you can do about it now.

People

Best of the Web: US: Economy strains neighborly feelings in North Carolina

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© Los Angeles Times/David ZucchinoDorenda Gatling, left, town clerk in tiny Roper, N.C., shops at Oliver's Market, the only grocery store in town. Several times a month, Gatling is forced to cut off water to a friend or neighbor. In Roper, population 617, she knows just about every one of them personally, and she feels a pang of guilt and regret each time.
The town clerk of Roper, population 617, knows the community has suffered from layoffs and foreclosures. When they don't pay utility bills, she has to cut off their services - a job she hates.

Every time Bishop Robert Mallory walks into Town Hall to pay his overdue water bill and get his water turned back on, Town Clerk Dorenda Gatling asks, "House or church?"

She lives just up the street from Mallory's house and across the street from his church. But that doesn't keep Gatling from cutting off town water to either one when he can't afford to pay the bills.

"Ask me how that feels - a woman of faith cutting off water to the church," Gatling says, putting her head in her hands inside the cramped town clerk's office at the one-story Roper Town Hall.

Several times a month, Gatling is forced to cut off water to a friend or neighbor. In Roper, population 617, she knows just about every one of them personally, and she feels a pang of guilt and regret each time.

Book

The Occupying Wall Street Bible Is Out, and It's Good

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© unk
It's probably no accident that the minimalist brown cover of Occupying Wall Street, the new title from OR Books about the now world-famous Manhattan movement, resembles the posters that, for a few months in 2011, came to define Zuccotti Park's skyline. The title and subtitle - "The Inside Story of an Action that Changed America" - are written in black scrawl, adding extra authenticity to the stylization. It's not just a book you're holding, a reader soon realizes, it's also a mini-protest sign.

Fair warning up front: A little rectangular box on the back cover reads, "All profits from this book will be donated to Occupy Wall Street." If you're certain you disagree with OWS and don't want to support their cause, then this book is probably not for you. But if you're at all interested in how the now-global movement began, there's probably no better resource than this.

Though Occupying's author is a collective of roughly 60 unnamed people calling themselves "Writers for the 99%," the book is not a disjointed assortment of individual essays. Rather, and perhaps surprisingly, it acts as a concise historical account that sheds light on the varied and interesting minutia of OWS, covering everything from the guidelines of the General Assembly to the infamous Brooklyn Bridge protest to the drama created by class and racial tensions within the movement. So thorough is Occupying that even the thousands of people who lived in Zuccotti's tent city themselves last year could probably learn something about the inner workings of the mass they once helped compose, or reinvigorate the fire that brought them there in the first place.

Mail

US, California: 'Speed Freak Killer' reveals there are even MORE secret burial sites of murder victims in bizarre letter sent to TV station (which ends 'Have a nice day')

  • Location of bones was revealed by Westley Shermantine after a bounty hunter promised to pay him $33,000

  • Officials already identified two female victims buried on Calaveras County property
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© CBS NewsLetter: Wesley Shermantine sent a bizarre message to a California television station this week

Serial killer Wesley Shermantine has claimed that he knows of even more sites where the bodies of murder victims were buried in an extraordinary letter to a California television station.

Shermantine, one of the so-called Speed Freak Killers, told CBS-13 that two burial sites used by his accomplice Loren Herzog have not yet been discovered.

The letter, sent from Death Row, also contained a lengthy complaint about Shermantine's media portrayal and about the behaviour of his sister - and it ends, 'Have a nice day.'

Question

Best of the Web: TSA Watch: Who's More Dangerous - Terrorists or the TSA?

TSA
© unknown
For an agency that claims to have "zero tolerance" for criminal behavior, TSA agents sure spend a lot of time declaring their guilt.

I was reminded of that unfortunate fact a few days ago after a screener reportedly faced accusations of stealing $5,000 from a passenger's jacket as he was going through security at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The agent, Alexandra Schmid, hasn't confessed yet even though officials have it all on videotape. But a closer look at the TSA's rap sheet reveals that often, employees accused of crimes simply roll over and play dead when someone points a finger at them.

Take Coumar Persad and Davon Webb, accused of swiping $40,000 from a piece of luggage in January 2011. They were charged with grand larceny, obstructing governmental administration and official misconduct. Last month, they pleaded guilty and were sentenced to six months in jail and five years' probation.

Speaking of theft, how about the TSA supervisor and screener accused of taking between $10,000 and $30,000 from luggage at Newark Liberty International Airport. A federal judge sentenced the supervisor, Michael Arato, to 2 1/2 years in prison and his subordinate, Al Raimi, to six months of home confinement, after both pleaded guilty.

Or Randy Pepper, the TSA supervisor who worked at Seattle-Tacoma, an airport with what many passengers would argue has the worst TSA workforce in the country?
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Result of poll taken on the Christopher Elliott blog