Society's ChildS

Bad Guys

Deadly riots spread in Kazakhstan oil region

Kazakhstan riots
© ReutersThe violence started after people in oil workers' uniforms toppled a Christmas tree and sound equipment
At least 14 people killed since violence began on Friday, forcing president to declare state of emergency.

Police in Kazakhstan's central city of Shetpe have opened fire on rioters, killing one person and raising the death toll since violence erupted on Friday to 14.

A statement from the prosecutor general's office said on Sunday the violence occurred on Saturday in Shetpe, in the same region as the city of Zhanaozen where 13 people died in a clash with police two days earlier.

Zhanaozen has been the site of a sit-in by oil workers seeking higher wages. Many of those workers were fired over the summer.


US: Body Cavity Searches At Wal-Mart?

© Unknown

I went into Wal-Mart with the kids on Saturday, something I dread doing anyway, but I had to get some "stuff", and they got all the stuff. The parking lot was full, of course, last minute SNAP purchases. Walked past the Salvation Army guy, sorry dude, no coins or bills smaller than $10 (they should make change). Through the doors to main street USA. Then I was dumb-struck. There was a f#%ing TSA agent right next to the greeter, checking peoples ID's and going through their shopping bags. I literally stopped in my tracks I was so shocked. Then this feeling came over me; it started in the back of my head/neck and came flying into my frontal cortex - pure rage. I felt utterly violated, and had a strong protective reaction regarding my children. I saw red and my Norwegian/Viking blood-lust was about to be satisfied. Alas, it was a woman TSA agent, some disgusting fat chick; if I strangled her it wouldn't have looked much like self-defense.

Is this what our country has come to? Check-points at Wal-Mart? What if, on the way out, the bitch had decided I needed a body-cavity search (or my children)? Where would they stick their digits up my orifices? In the bathroom on main street? For Crissakes, it's a bad enough assault on my senses to be in the Wal-Mart obeseathon, it's a soul-crushing spirit-vaporizing experience for me. It's proof-positive we are doomed as a country. But then to have a TSA agent doing a free rectal exam on me or my kids?

Let's not be coy about this either. I live in the middle of nowhere. Terrorists couldn't find where I live if they threw a dart at a map of Illinois a thousand times. There is nothing here of any value to any terrorist. If a meteor hit where I live, nobody would know the difference (except I would quit posting on TBP). Yet, the Feds are here searching innocent white-trash rednecks, ones who don't take to kindly to having their privacy invaded by the Feds, BTW, and who are heavily armed.

Bizarro Earth

7 dead, scores missing in Russia oil rig accident

© ReutersThe Kolskaya oil drilling rig is seen in the Sea of Okhotsk in this undated handout photo.
Moscow - Officials say at least seven men have died and scores are feared dead after a floating oil rig off Russia's east coast capsized and sank on Sunday.

A spokeswoman for the Emergencies Ministry said Monday that rescue workers have pulled out seven bodies, while 46 men remain missing. Fourteen people were plucked alive from the icy waters immediately after the accident.

This could be the deadliest offshore oil accident in Russia, which produces most of its oil onshore.

The oil platform capsized Sunday morning as it was being towed about 200 kilometers (120 miles) off the coast of Sakhalin Island amid a fierce storm.

Although chances for survival are negligible, rescuers are continuing to search for the missing men.


US: Suspect wanted in officer's death is killed

© UnknownMark Richard Geisenheyner.
Webster, Pennsylvania - A gunman got out of his car during a late-night traffic stop and shot two police officers, one fatally, then spent hours in a standoff with police before he died trading shots with a SWAT team outside his home, state police said Monday.

Eli Franklin Myers was shot and killed by members of a tactical team trying to serve an arrest warrant for him Monday morning, about 10 hours after he killed East Washington police Officer John David Dryer on a highway shoulder, authorities said.

A second officer who was backing up Dryer was wounded in the gunbattle with Myers, authorities said. No other injuries were reported from the gunfire outside Myers' home in Webster, about 25 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Investigators believe Myers, 58, stepped out of his van and opened fire on Dryer and Officer Robert Caldwell after being pulled over shortly before midnight in Interstate 70 in Washington County, Trooper Joseph Christy said.

Caldwell's injury was non-life threatening, authorities said.

Emergency vehicles blocked off roads near Myers' home in Webster, a small town on the east bank of the Monongahela River. The local school district canceled classes while authorities tried to locate Myers.


Pope Benedict XVI's Health in Serious Decline as 85th Birthday, Christmas Approach

© Honda/AFP/GettyPope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves Yankee Stadium after saying mass on April 20, 2008 in New York.
A decline has been noted as Benedict prepares for next weekend's grueling Christmas celebrations, which kick off two weeks of intense public appearances.

Pope Benedict XVI seems worn out.

People who have spent time with him recently say they found him weaker than they'd ever seen him, seemingly too tired to engage with what they were saying. He no longer meets individually with visiting bishops. A few weeks ago he started using a moving platform to spare him the long walk down St. Peter's Basilica.

Benedict turns 85 in the new year, so a slowdown is only natural. Expected. And given his age and continued rigorous work schedule, it's remarkable he does as much as he does and is in such good health overall: Just this past week he confirmed he would travel to Mexico and Cuba next spring.

But a decline has been noted as Benedict prepares for next weekend's grueling Christmas celebrations, which kick off two weeks of intense public appearances. And that raises questions about the future of the papacy given that Benedict himself has said popes should resign if they can't do the job.

Wall Street

Götterdämmerung: Hell, Tribulation, and Economic Collapse

The end of the world may not be coming, but whatever is coming might as well be the end of the world. And as we walk in this twilight, perhaps at the very least, we would do well to enjoy the sunset while it lasts.

As We Traverse Towards Tribulation

MarketWatch's Paul B. Farrell had an interestingarticle Tuesday on how America is on the path for a decade from hell. In Farrell's opinion, this "decade from hell will get worse in 2012". Farrell portends a coming stock market crash, political dysfunctionality, revolution, and various wars that stem from class differences and commodity clashes between countries in the near future.

Farrell compared the stock market crash in 2008 to the one that occurred in 1929, i.e. both were followed by European banking crises. In light of worldwide protests, the collapse of the euro, and income inequality, Farrell suggested that tough times are most likely ahead for Americans. Farrell suggested that throughout next year the world will have to come to terms with "more bad news". By ignoring history, Farrell wrote that we are missing the fundamental economic shift that is occurring owing to factors like excessive debt, unemployment, and world tumult.

Farrell's dire forecasts for the next nine years are quite ominous. Among them include ideas that the "super rich" will continue to spend billions to control Washington culminating in a system where the wealthy have absolute power over everyone else, rising global population will give way to commodity wars throughout the world, class war will spread, and the American form of capitalism will collapse in on itself.

In light of various global commodity wars, the rising global population will have to address a decline in resources. Thus, there will have to be a "total rethinking of the balance between spending to protect against external enemies and a rapid deterioration of domestic programs: employment, education, health care, [and] retirement." According to Farrell, in the end the established order will be turned on its head as the world rejects the wealthy and male leaders in order to effectively rebuild human civilization.

Arrow Down

Our Decade from Hell Will Get Worse in 2012

Fasten your seat belts: 2011 was far worse than expected. Our earlier predictions for America's Worst Decade just got worse.

As financial historian Niall Ferguson writes in Newsweek: "Double-Dip Depression ... We forget that the Great Depression was like a soccer match, there were two halves." The 1929 crash kicked off the first half. But what "made the depression truly 'great' ...began with the European banking crisis of 1931." Sound familiar?

Yes, huge warnings: But America's deaf. In denial. When we predicted the 2011-2020 "decade from hell" we didn't see the big macro events dead ahead: Arab Spring virus that's now Occupy Wall Street, promising to explode into an even more powerful force in 2012 ... war on the middle class ... widening inequality gap. ... Washington gridlock ... the Super Rich's blind resistance to all new taxes.

As Ferguson puts it: "To understand what has been happening in our own borderline depression, you need to know this history. But hardly anyone does." Get it? America's already in a "borderline depression," and virtually nobody gets it. American leaders are dummies about history. Worse, nobody may be able to stop our depression from turning "great."

Investors beware: Please, protect your assets: "Those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it." We've already forgotten the lessons of the 2008 disaster. No wonder we're doomed to repeat the mistakes of the 1930's triggering the Second Great Depression. Soccer anyone?


Blast hits Egypt's gas pipeline to Jordan, Israel

© Unknown
Cairo: An Egyptian pipeline carrying gas to Israel and Jordan was bombed Sunday, the 10th such attack this year, but no fire erupted because the line that runs through North Sinai was already disabled, a security source said.

The blast took place in an area five km (three miles) south of the Mediterranean coastal town of al-Arish.

"The attack was carried out using remote-controlled explosives by unidentified assailants who arrived at the scene using four-wheel-drive vehicles," the source said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the series of pipeline attacks since a popular uprising toppled Mubarak in February. One attack took place just before he was ousted.

The latest blast broke the pipe, but no flames were seen as gas pumping has been halted since the last attack on November 28.

The government said in November it would tighten security measures along the pipeline by installing alarm devices and recruiting security patrols from Bedouin tribesmen in the area.

Take 2

Angelina Jolie inflames new ethnic emotions in Bosnia with her debut as film director

Angelina Jolie has aroused praise and criticism in Bosnia with her first film as a director, a story of love and war set during the bloody Balkans conflict.

She is Hollywood's highest-paid actress and one half of its most glamorous couple, accustomed to life on the red carpet, her instantly-recognisable face looking out from glossy magazine covers.

This time, however, Angelina Jolie is being feted for her work behind rather than in front of the camera with her directorial debut - a harrowing story of love and war in Bosnia.

Even before the release of In the Land of Blood and Honey, the Oscar-winner garnered her first directing honour, winning the Producers' Guild of America special award for portrayal of social issues.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has just shortlisted the film, which Jolie also wrote, in the best foreign language category for the Golden Globes. And her father, the actor Jon Voight, from whom she was long estranged, joined her for the festivities in a public display of reconciliation.

But in the Balkans, another world from the star-studded American premieres and glitzy after-parties, the film is inflaming old and deeply-held emotions.


Say NO to the Use of the Military in the United States... Is the Use of the Military Designed for the Occupy Movement?

The congress is rushing through S. 1867, the Defense Authorization Bill. It contains a radical change in law - allowing the use of the military inside the United States, against U.S. citizens and residents, allowing their indefinite military detention based merely on suspicion of being engaged in hostilities against the U.S. This amendment, sponsored by Senators Carl Levin and John McCain, was added in the senate after a closed door hearing and has received bi-partisan support on the Senate floor, with very little debate.

At the request of the White House language that exempted American citizens and legal residents from indefinite military detention was removed from the bill passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, as Senator Levin said on the senate floor.

This is a major shift from a country that forbids the use of the military domestically under the Posse Comitatus Act passed in 1878 during the Reconstruction Era. There have been holes in the domestic use of the military primarily in drug enforcement. Indeed, I worked on one case involving Esequiel Hernandez, an 18 year old high school student killed on the Texas-Mexican border by Marines on drug patrol in 1997. The Hernandez killing shows why the U.S. military is the wrong tool for enforcement inside the United States and raises questions for young soldiers ordered to turn their weapons on Americans.