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Sat, 30 Jul 2016
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Battle for Internet neutrality inundates the FCC with public comments

Battle for the Net, an internet freedom campaign joined by heavyweights of the internet industry, has succeeded in sending millions of public comments to US authorities criticizing the two-tiered internet speed system that threatens net neutrality.

According to the organizers, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and members of Congress were receiving an average of 1,000 calls per minute. At the same time, the FCC says that its rule on net neutrality - which is open for public comments until September 15 - generated over 1.4 million clicks.

RT caught up with Steve Sarner, Vice President of tagged.com, and Kevin Collier, a reporter from dailydot.com to get more information about the September 10 net neutrality action day.


Former official brings gun to discuss taxes, ends up killing himself by accident

© AP Photo / Dave Kettering
A former city manager in Maquoketa, Iowa reportedly opened fire at a county meeting being held there on Tuesday and was killed with his own gun as the result of an ensuing struggle, according to what officials told television station KWWL.

The station reported that 71-year-old Francis "Gus" Glaser attended the Jackson County supervisors meeting to contest his property taxes and the assessed value of his property.

Jackson County Sheriff Russ Kettmann told the LA Times that supervisors allowed Jackson County Assessor Deb Lane to leave the meeting when the discussion got heated and became unproductive.

As Lane was leaving, Glaser removed a handgun from his briefcase and shot at her, Kettmann told the newspaper. Before Glaser could follow Lane into the hall, County Supervisor Larry "Buck" Koos tackled him, according to the Times. Kettmann told the newspaper it was a good thing because "it would have been a lot worse" if Koos hadn't tackled the shooter.

Heart - Black

Cops: Dad led them to bodies of his 5 children and confessed to killing them

© Smith County, MS Sheriff's Department
Timothy Ray Jones Jr.
The bodies of five missing children from Lexington County have been found in Alabama, after law enforcement officials say their father confessed to killing them.

The remains were discovered around 4:45 p.m. Eastern Time in Wilcox County, Alabama. It's not clear yet how the children died.

The children's father, Timothy Ray Jones Jr., was arrested last Saturday in Raleigh, Mississippi at a driver's license checkpoint.

Shopping Bag

Lack of jobs forcing Los Angelinos to become street vendors

Sitting at her street vending booth with products arrayed neatly on a sequined purple tablecloth, Jackie Lloyd reflects nostalgically on the days when she had a steady salary and regular hours.

That was four years ago, before the 39-year-old was laid off from her job as an elementary school cafeteria worker and mounting bills forced her to venture into self-employment.

Now the Pico-Union resident hops from location to location, selling body oils, shea butter, soap and incense. She moves when nearby businesses complain or she feels unsafe.

Some days, her sales bring in $150. Others, they don't break $20.

"If I just had a 9-to-5 job, it'd be guaranteed money," she said. "Then again, I'm my own boss, and I meet different people every day."

Once the domain of recent immigrants trying to scratch out a living, the ranks of sidewalk merchants have swelled since the economy soured in 2007. The group - an estimated 10,000 countywide - is now larger and more diverse, pulling in out-of-work professionals, war veterans and single mothers, according to a recent report by the Los Angeles chief legislative analyst's office.

Comment: It's not just Californians who are suffering. The US economy is in free-fall and most Americans are struggling to keep their heads above water. See: US poverty Levels: 49.7 million are poor, and 80% of the total population is near poverty and Nearly a quarter of Californians live in poverty.

Gold Coins

Portugal may be the next country to experience a raid by the banking system

The pattern should be seared in your memory by now. If you fail to recognize it, you could be struck with a huge financial blow.

It's a pattern that has played out over and over throughout history: a government gets into financial trouble, then denies there's a problem, which is followed by a surprise wealth grab.

That's exactly what happened when bank deposits in Spain and Cyprus were raided. We've also seen retirement savings confiscated in some form in Poland, Portugal, and Hungary. Capital controls have been imposed in Cyprus and Iceland.

Of course these aren't the only examples of blatant government thievery. These examples are just within Europe and just within recent years. They can and will happen anywhere.

These events highlight the need to use international diversification to mitigate your political risk - the risk that comes from governments.

I think they also give us some clues as to what country is next on the chopping block.

Comment: Portugal exited its international bailout program in May, regaining its economic sovereignty, which it lost after the European debt crisis. However, the country's GDP is four percent lower than in 2010, a year before it asked for financial help. Although Berlin and Brussels have hailed Portugal's clean exit from its EU bailout, it has not been popular at home. Portugal's high unemployment has forced the workforce to look abroad for work opportunities, increasing emigration. During the past 3 years, the work force has defected for more robust neighboring economies in record numbers. In 2012, this reached a new high of 120,000 émigrés, which was coupled with Portugal's lowest birth rate. While many people are struggling with tough austerity measures, a disproportionate amount of people are getting richer and richer. In Portugal, the top 20 percent make six times more than the bottom 20 percent. And if things start to go south, you can bet the rich will take care of themselves quickly, while the average working stiff still hasn't a clue.

See: Portugal bucks the system and leaves IMF 'bailout' program


Army officer wearing his uniform not allowed in Michigan high school - 'uniform may offend another student'

Lieutenant Colonel Sherwood Baker says he is just a father who was trying to help his daughter find her way at her new high school.

Sherwood, who has served in the Army for 24 years, was told by Rochester Adams High School security that if he wanted to get into the school with his daughter he was going to have to go home and change his clothes.

Baker's wife Rachel Ferhadson says, "Before he was allowed in, the security guard stopped him and said sorry you're not allowed in the school. Security told him men and women in uniform weren't allowed because it may offend another student."

Baker says he was simply coming to the school to speak with his daughter's counselor regarding her class schedule but was turned away at the doors because he was not wearing a tie.

Rochester Schools superintendent Robert Shaner, who is a veteran himself, quickly took care of the situation apologizing to the family for their troubles.

Shaner sent a letter to Fox 2 which says: "The district has apologized for any perception that individuals in uniform are not welcome in the school. The district does not have a policy excluding individuals in uniform and will be working with administration and the firm that handles our security to make sure district policies are understood and communicated accurately."

Bacon n Eggs

While some are gluttons for poor health and misery, more schools dump Michelle Obama's lunch rules

Adios 16 oz. iced tea, hello tiny Gatorade G2.
© AP/Skip Peterson
So long delicious Original Rice Krispies Treats, make room for your brown rice brother.

A new round of federal school food restrictions are forcing districts across the country to ditch popular and profitable school snacks in exchange for "healthier" options recommended by First Lady Michelle Obama.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Smart Snack" rules - the latest aspect of the school food overhaul imposed through the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 - took effect July 1, and school officials are scrambling to comply with the new restrictions on calories, sodium, fat, sugar and other nutritional qualities of school a la carte items and vending machine fare.

The school food changes are the First Lady's pet project, which she contends is a concerted effort to crack down on childhood obesity. But school food directors in Pennsylvania are raising a number of concerns, from significant lost revenue to added work necessary to comply with the overbearing regulations.

"I'm just overwhelmed with all of the things we have to do," Lampeter-Strasburg School District Food Service Director Anna Donato told Lancaster Online.

Comment: The Standard American diet is very high in carbohydrates and just is NOT healthy. After years of high carbs being forced on the population, a lot of damage has been done to the immune system. Eat like a caveman:
  • The Ketogenic diet: An overview
Let fat be thy medicine!

Arrow Down

Authorities seize Philadelphia couple's home following son's first drug offense

© Associated Press
Christos Sourovelis comforts his wife, Markela, after their family is made homeless by Philadelphia authorities.
A couple and their two daughters were booted from their home without warning following their son's first-time arrest over $40 worth of drugs. The homeowners were never accused of wrongdoing or charged with a crime.

This nightmare for the Sourovelis family began earlier in 2014, when police barged into the family home to arrest 22-year-old Yanni Sourovelis.

"By the time I got to the door, they had already opened the door, with his hand in, and put a gun to my dog's head," recalled Yanni's mother, Markela, to CNN.

The police report stated that Yanni was in the bathroom when he was arrested. Officer Woertz "could hear the toilet running" and proceeded to break down the bathroom door to dutifully enforce prohibition laws.

Yanni Sourovelis had no arrests, prior to being caught with the tiny amount of drugs. He was accused of selling heroin from the family's home. His parents stated that they had no knowledge of the alleged illegal activity.

"I'm a working guy. I work every day, six days a week, even seven if I have to," said homeowner Christos Sourovelis. "I didn't know what [Yanni] was doing. I'm not with him 24 hours a day."

Christos Sourovelis said that he built the family's home with his own hands and neither he, nor his wife, have every been charged with a crime.

The family's trauma didn't end with Yanni's arrest. Over a month later, authorities returned to the home and forcibly evicted everyone without warning. Christos, Markela, their two daughters, and their dog were put out into the street that very day.

Black Magic

Fascism! US Army report urges preparations for troops to occupy NYC, other "megacities"

There is increasing concerns about martial law and the militarization of domestic law enforcement in the United States.
A US Army report warns that American troops need to be prepared to enter New York City and other global "megacities" in order to prevent civil unrest, political uprisings and protect key infrastructure and natural resources in the national interest.

The report, entitled Megacities and the United States Army, was released by the Chief of Staff of the Army, Strategic Studies Group.

Cautioning that the power of national governments to deal with the problems caused by increasing urbanization and the growth of megacities is "diminishing," the report notes, "It is inevitable that at some point the United States Army will be asked to operate in a megacity and currently the Army is ill-prepared to do so."

Given increasing concerns about martial law and the militarization of domestic law enforcement in the United States, some will be concerned to learn that one of these "megacities" where US troops may operate is New York City.

Comment: Remember the hollow words from US top officials about how not to use force against the protesters in Kiev in 2013, as they were only wanting democracy. Well it is clear that the US is preparing to crack down with lethal bloody force against anyone that opposes it. The crackdown in Ferguson, MO, and in other US cities in the last few years have been mild in comparison to the crackdowns that are coming with the inevitable mass unrest in the US. That is why the police force now looks more like elite paratroopers with lots of surplus military gear from recent wars.


High Court allows parents British Ashya King with brain tumour to travel to Prague for alternative treatment

© Unknown
Five year old Ashya King has a brain tumour and is now a ward of a British court. His parents were arrested, because they didn't follow their doctor's advice
A British boy is dying of a brain tumour. His distressed parents discover a life-saving treatment, available only in another country. Heartless doctors refuse to refer the child to the foreign clinic. Instead, they insist on going ahead with conventional treatment which, the parents fear, will turn him into a "vegetable". The distraught parents seize their son from the hospital and take him abroad. The UK authorities overreact wildly, issuing an international alert for the family. The parents are found in Spain and arrested, causing an outcry and interventions from leading politicians.

This sequence of events has been widely reported in the past week. It is what a great many people believe about the controversy over five-year-old Ashya King, who is currently in a hospital in Malaga. Many of them have signed internet petitions or written furious blogs, citing the case as an example of the authoritarian state or the arrogance of doctors. The problem is that the story I've outlined simply isn't true, starting with this basic fact: Ashya isn't dying. Despite headlines using the hugely emotive phrase, he isn't "terminally ill".

In fact, his chances of surviving five years are between 70 and 80 per cent, as long as he receives prompt chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy. His tumour, which is called a medulloblastoma, was removed at a major teaching hospital, Southampton General, just over six weeks ago. To maximise his chances of recovery, chemotherapy should have started within four to six weeks of surgery. It didn't, because his parents fell out with doctors in Southampton. The treatment they want is available at a private clinic in Prague, but that isn't where they headed when they left the UK. They actually returned to the south of Spain, where they have a holiday home, and where they were staying when Ashya first showed symptoms earlier in the summer.

Comment: The young boy will probably be getting treatment, but it is not the chemotherapy what the NHS had in mind.