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Wed, 22 Mar 2023
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Bizarro Earth

Losing Femininity in the Elusive Search for Kansas

© Unknown
Whether male or female, and whether people realise it or not, inequality between the sexes affects everyone's lives on a daily basis.

While women in the Middle East experience 'in your face' gender inequality, particularly in theocratic regimes like Iran - which one of your authors has direct experience of - the equivalent bias in the West has a flavor that is far more subtle and therefore far more dangerous. It's more difficult to discern the root of a problem when it is acting covertly in a way that few notice.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, how different countries respond to sexism is reflective of how their ruling elites conduct politics. A religious government in the Middle East, for example, rules with an iron fist and bluntly tells its citizens what the rules of the game are. It's overt and leaves no room for doubt as to where the authorities stand on ideology.

In the West, the situation is the opposite. The government's influence is subtle and manipulates its citizens into believing ideals (e.g. "equal rights"), all the while changing the rules to suit the purposes of those who own the government - to keep life more equal for some than others.

Eye 2

Bizarre attack on horses in Fairfax County, Virginia

Horse at Herndon stable
© Fairfax County police
(US) Fairfax County police are searching for an unknown attacker who slashed three horses in a Herndon stable Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

The horses are expected to recover, but the bizarre attack - about 10 cuts in all - has spooked volunteers at the equestrian program for children with disabilities and left them wondering who would do such a thing.

"We're all in shock. It's a nightmare," said Davorka Suvak, the program director of Spirit Open Equestrian Program. "It's scary to know the type of person who could do this is running around in a park near kids."

Spirit's facility is adjacent to Frying Pan Farm Park in the 2600 block of Centreville Road. Police know of no motive and have no suspects in the cuttings, which they said occurred between 9 p.m. Wednesday and 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Bizarro Earth

American Police State: Officer May be Fired for Protecting Young Man from Police Brutality

police state
© unknown
The United States' descent into a hellish police state continues and appears to only get worse as the years go by. The case of Officer Regina Tasca of the Bogota Police Department in New Jersey is a troubling example of just how far gone some law enforcement agencies are today.

In this case, Officer Tasca is being declared "psychologically incompetent" for stepping in to save an emotionally disturbed young man from a brutal beating at the hands of police.

Here at End the Lie I have covered just a few of the troubling things police are able to get away with, such as murdering elderly tourists with pepper spray while they are restrained and brutally beating senior citizens suffering from dementia.

I have also pointed out how when the good police officers out there actually do their job and stand up for justice, they are targeted for harassment or in some cases even thrown in a psychiatric ward.

The things that police officers end up actually getting in trouble for tend to be outright absurd, like mowing the lawn in shorts, yet no one is held responsible for the most egregious violations like those listed above.


London Pre-Olympics Militarization Raises Police State Fears

British journalists are concerned about the pre-Olympic militarization in London and the incursion on individual rights that is strengthened by the likes of the so-called hostage-taking incident over a failed drivers' license on Friday.
London police, UK
© unknown
Stories of the incident spread like wild fire in media and reports of a "crisis" involving an "armed" hostage-taker put the public on the alert that they may be facing a serious security risk.

However, the incident turned out to be much less dramatic after it emerged that the so-called hostage-taker was only a client of a training company, enraged after failing a drivers' test three times and that there were no hostages involved.

The police were also quick to dismiss any terror-related risks to the upcoming Olympics.

Olympics organizers have announced 23,000 guards will be watching the games venues as the world sports spotlight turns to London between July 27 and August 12, while another 13,000 soldiers will hit the streets.

A missile-bearing aircraft carrier will be also on standby on the river Thames, unmanned drones will keep a watch and an 11-mile electrified security barrier will cordon off unwanted disturbance.

That, coupled with the Friday incident, raises questions on where the real risks to the games are, risks that warrant the use of an army larger than the British force in Afghanistan to secure the games, and such massive extra protective measures.


India's Child Marriages: An Ancient Evil, A Modern Reality

The ancient practice of child marriage - reviled in much of the world - remains in force across the Indian subcontinent.Child marriage is defined as the union of two people, at least one whom is below the age of 18.

Child Bride
© Reuters
An Indian child bride.
However, a recent landmark development in India may finally begin the process to bring this evil to an end. Laxmi Sargara, an 18-year-old girl in Rajasthan in northern India, was able to get her "marriage" annulled by a court.

Laxmi had been "betrothed" to a boy named Rakesh when she was only one year old and her "groom" was three. She was not even aware of this matrimonial arrangement until her in-laws came to fetch her earlier this month.

"I was unhappy about the marriage. I told my parents who did not agree with me, then I sought help," Laxmi told Agence France Presse (AFP).

A non-governmental organization that safeguards children's rights, the Sarathi Trust, in the city of Jodhpur, took up her case after her parent refused to help.

"[Laxmi] got depressed. She did not like the boy and was not ready to go ahead with her parents' decision," Kriti Bharti of Sarathi told AFP.

Bharti also said this might have been the first time such a marriage was officially annulled in India.

Child-marriages have been illegal in India since the 2006 passage of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, but the practice persists unabated, particularly among the rural poor. (India officially raised the legal marriage age to 18 in 1978, although the law was actually enacted in 1973).

In a stroke of powerful irony, the day of Laxmi's annulment coincided with the Akshaya Tritiya festival, a tradition where thousands of child weddings are conducted (in defiance of the law).

The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) estimates that 40 percent of all child marriages in the world take place in India.

However, child marriage is also a serious problem in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Yemen and parts of sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, in some these countries, the rates of child marriage are higher than in India. Given India's huge population, in absolute terms, it accounts for the largest number of these marriages.

Early marriages can lead to numerous medical and psychological problems, particularly in relation to early child-births where the mother is not physically mature.

Eye 2

Pedophile networks coming out in the open? US TV show promotes child abuse


Child abuse: Tricia, a Toddlers & Tiaras mother, is shown modelling a leopard print G-string as her two-year-old sits on the lap of a friend close by.
A mother featured in the TLC series Toddlers & Tiaras has been shown encouraging her two-year-old daughter to watch her model a G-string bikini during a calendar photo shoot.

Tricia, a mother of four from Oklahoma, was shown on tonight's episode wearing a leopard print bikini bottom and a stringy black bikini top while SamiJo, her daughter was placed one meter away in order to watch her.

The mother told the cameras: 'My style of parenting is extremely different. I think exposing your child to whatever you can is just a really great way to be culturally diverse.'

She added that she had entered SamiJo, who has become 'obsessed with bras' and 'loves Victoria's Secret', into a toddler's swimsuit competition before she had turned age one.

Tricia told the cameras: 'I still say she's 17, she's far from two.'


Delta Passengers Quarantined After 'Monkeypox' Scare at Chicago Midway

delta plane
© Flickr / AvgeekJoe
A Delta Plane has been quarantined at Chicago Midway Airport.

CBS local reports that "serious medical problem with a passenger" has led to the quarantine.

Sources told CBS that the flight may have been traveling from Ghana and a passenger may have "some sort or rash and contagious disease".


Missing Since 1979: Etan Patz Case Reopened

The six-year-old boy who went missing from the Soho area of New York City in 1979 is back in the news. Police and the FBI are investigating a possible lead into the 33-year-old case of Etan Patz, the first missing child to appear on the side of a milk carton.

The child disappeared on the way to school on the morning of May 25, 1979. It was the first time he was allowed to walk the two blocks to the bus stop alone.

A tip apparently has led officials to the basement of a building on the corner of Prince and Wooster streets, about a block and a half from where Etan had lived with his family.

The name Etan Patz has become a trending topic on Twitter as people weigh in on the case. Shirley Brady noted: "As mom to a 6 y.o. in Soho, it's still held out by locals as cautionary tale." Another wrote, "Boy who disappeared on his way to school in 1979 has been REOPENED! Crazy." One wondered, "Why is fbi and nypd searchin for a kid that disappeared in 1979?"

Cow Skull

USA: safe passage to Afghan Taliban leaders

The United States and Afghanistan have agreed to "give safe passage" to representatives of the Afghan Taliban to help them to enter future peace talks, officials announced Friday.

It may represent a significant step forward towards the resumption of peace talks that were suspended in Qatar last month, and comes just weeks ahead of a NATO summit in Chicago on the future of Afghanistan.

Speaking at a joint press conference with U.S. Special Envoy Marc Grossman and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Javed Ludin said: "Time is short, peace is urgent."

"We need to find and encourage and create safe passage for peace talks," with the Afghan Taliban, he added.

His comments came after the three countries held their sixth meeting aimed at political reconciliation in Afghanistan.

Comment: Defeated by determined people who should never have been attacked in the first place, the United States seeks peace. This is likely in the hopes that another senseless war can be made sense of somehow.

As early as Sept. 12, 2001, Clarke says, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld urged bombing Iraq despite repeated assurances from intelligence officials that the threat emanated from Afghanistan.

"Rumsfeld said there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan. And there are lots of good targets in Iraq," Clarke said on
60 Minutes. "I said, 'Well, there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with it.' "

As we know, neither did Afghanistan.

Pocket Knife

Armed siege in central London - Man arrested

© REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
Armed police officers walk in Tottenham Court Road in central London April 27, 2012. A man threw computer equipment from a fifth floor window on Friday.
Police snipers and heavily armed officers put several blocks of central London's shopping district into lockdown Friday after a man allegedly armed with gas canisters entered an office building and threatened to blow himself up.

Police said a 49-year-old man was arrested hours after a stand off with police at Advantage, a training company near London's Tottenham Court Road that offers tests for truck drivers.

A shirtless man in green khaki pants was seen being led out with his hands behind his back by two unarmed officers. Armed officers followed behind.

British media had claimed that the man was holding people captive, but police said they were "not aware of any hostages at this stage." Police and security personnel said the incident was not terror-related and presented no risk to the upcoming 2012 summer Olympics.

An Advantage employee interviewed by The Huffington Post identified the suspect as a former customer and said he had come in "strapped up in gasoline cylinders."