Society's ChildS

Che Guevara

Best of the Web: 30,000 people shut down 5th largest US port as Oakland, California goes on general strike

Police in Oakland use teargas on three separate occasions as tensions flare after protesters occupied building during protest


Police used teargas and non-lethal weapons to control Occupy Oakland protesters overnight after a general strike had effectively shut down the city's port and downtown areas.

There were three separate instances of police using teargas, all near to the Occupy camp, as tensions erupted when protesters occupied a disused building.

Earlier a thousands-strong march had closed down Oakland's port after a day of striking had seen streets closed in downtown and some banks damaged.

Police first used teargas on Broadway at 12.30am, following a day which had actually seen a light police presence.

Officers arrived on the street - the scene of the police clearout of Occupy Oakland on Tuesday 25 October which left Scott Olsen seriously injured - after protesters occupied a disused building on 16th Street.

Comment: Black Bloc Provocateurs Vandalize Property During Occupy Oakland's General Strike


Vader

Greek referendum and EU: A damnable contempt for democracy

Greece
Gloom: To those who cherish the legacy of the ancient Greeks, the plight of their modern-day inheritors is a tragedy
The derision over the Greeks' desire for a referendum betrays the EU's loathing of ordinary people

Some 2,500 years ago, the ancient Greeks coined a new word: 'democracy'. In the city of Athens, whose citizens were allowed to decide their future for themselves, a new political system was taking shape, based on the freedom of the individual.

Athens was the wonder of the age, a shining beacon of literature and philosophy. It could hardly have been more different from its 21st-century successor, sunk in economic gloom and scarred by months of riots and demonstrations.

To anyone who cherishes the legacy of the ancient Greeks, the plight of their modern-day inheritors is nothing less than a tragedy. And yet amid the appalling economic headlines, the flame of freedom still burns in the land that gave democracy to the world.

To most European leaders, the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's decision to submit the latest bailout to a national referendum is simply incomprehensible.

Brussels insiders have been queuing up to denounce his irresponsibility, insisting the future of the euro is simply too important to be decided by the ordinary men and women of Greece.

Yet despite all the consternation in the markets, it is easy to see why Mr Papandreou felt that he had no choice but to go to the people.

Pistol

Pirates Seize Oil Tanker, Kidnap Crew Near Nigeria

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© UnknownMap of Nigeria
Lagos - Pirates seized an oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria's southern delta, kidnapping the crew in a bid to steal ship's cargo in the latest hijacking targeting the region, private security officials said Thursday.

Gunmen boarded the MT Halifax as it sat in waters off the coast of Port Harcourt, the main city in the oil-rich Niger Delta, the officials said.

The pirates took over control of the ship and sailed off into the waters of the Gulf of Guinea, and are holding onto the crew as they offload the crude oil in the ship's hold, the officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press as they were not authorized to discuss the seizure with journalists.

It remains unclear how many crew members were taken or if any have been injured. The Halifax, registered in Malta, is managed by Ancora Investment Trust Inc. of Greece. An employee who answered a telephone call to the company's office in Athens declined to comment Thursday, saying someone would be able to discuss the hijacking Friday.

A profile of the ship on Ancora's company website identified the nationalities of those onboard as Filipino and Indian, with an Italian ship master.

Commodore Kabir Aliyu, a spokesman for Nigeria's navy, declined to immediately comment.

Megaphone

California, US: Oakland Occupy Protest Degenerates Into Riot

Oakland - Occupy Wall Street protesters had just a few hours to celebrate what they saw as their biggest victory so far: the peaceful shutdown of the nation's fifth-busiest port. Then the rioting began.


A day of demonstrations in Oakland that began as a significant step toward expanding the political and economic influence of the Occupy Wall Street movement, ended with police in riot gear arresting dozens of protesters who had marched through downtown to break into a vacant building, shattering windows, spraying graffiti and setting fires along the way.

"We go from having a peaceful movement to now just chaos," said protester Monique Agnew, 40.

Comment: It sounds like another round of bastardizing the protestors. People are angry and if you can undermine the movement from the inside, by having police infiltrate the movement, you can stir up further anger by being the first to cross the line (throw an object, strike out at police). While this may not be the case, since people need little coaxing after Scott Olsen was injured, it's certainly a possibility. The media will always take the side of Industry, Corporatism and socially engineered society. They create perception management and help us to conclude their view is the only correct one.


Family

Who's Afraid of Seven Billion People?

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© John S. Dykes
This Halloween, the United Nations declared over the summer, a baby will be born somewhere on Earth who will tip the world's population over seven billion for the first time. Truly do international bureaucrats have the power of prophecy!

The precision is bunk, of course, or rather a public-relations gimmick. According to demographers, nobody knows the exact population of the world to within 100 million. (Incidentally, the record-setting baby will not be the seven billionth human being to have existed, as some press reports have implied - more like the 108 billionth.)

Nonetheless, the occasion will provide an excuse for yet another round of Malthusian gnashing of teeth about overpopulation. But we shouldn't let it obscure the real story of the past 50 years, which is not how much faster than expected, but how much slower, population has been growing.

In the 1960s, some experts feared an exponentially accelerating population explosion, and in 1969, the State Department envisaged 7.5 billion people by the year 2000. In 1994, the United Nations' medium estimate expected the seven-billion milestone to arrive around 2009. Compared with most population forecasts made in the past half century, the world keeps undershooting.

Pumpkin

Five signs that all is not well in America this Halloween

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© unknownAmericans hate politics too much to fork out for Sarah Palin masks
There's little festive spirit in America this Halloween. Fox News offers an indictment of the general misery of recession-era USA with this dark story: "A girl was found hanging by a noose inside a haunted house attraction Thursday night. Customers may have even walked past her thinking she was a scary prop." Luckily, the girl survived, but this was just one of the many signs from the gods that all is not well in the beloved USA. Here are five more:
  1. Liberals hijack the festival to make a politically correct point.
    A student organisation in Ohio is running a poster campaign against "racist" Halloween costumes. The posters feature students of different ethnicities holding up photos of someone dressed as a stereotype (geisha girl, Arab terrorist etc), each beneath the tagline "We're a culture, not a costume." It was a cheap shot in the culture war, earning itself a volley of wonderful online pastiches. The best by far is of an offended Dracula holding up a photo of a guy in a vampire costume, again beneath the words "We're a culture, not a costume". Hey, his great grandfather didn't schlep all the way here from Romania to be a running gag at frat parties.
  2. Halloween becomes a sting operation to entrap paedophiles.
    The police are on alert in Fox Valley, Wisconsin for any signs of trouble from the burgeoning population of registered sex offenders. The cops will be conducting door-to-door inspections to make sure that they aren't talking to kids, handing out candy or "turning on the porch light". Ninety-one offenders are standing up for the spirit of the season and defying the order. A local defence attorney reasoned, "The fact of the matter is that well over 90 per cent of child sex offences occur when there is a prior relationship between the child and the offender ... The biggest danger you have is not from strangers, but from family". That cheering thought was the top story of the news-starved local paper, The Appleton Post-Crescent.

Dollar

US: NBC Confirms One Cain Accuser Received Cash Settlement

Herman Cain
© unknownHerman Cain
NBC News has confirmed that one woman received a settlement from the National Restaurant Association after complaining about inappropriate sexual conduct by Herman Cain.

NBC News is not disclosing the name of the woman nor characterizing who she is.

Cain denied the allegations, saying on FOX this morning he was "falsely accused." "I have never sexually harassed anyone, anyone," he said, "and absolutely, these are false accusations."

Despite being the chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association, he said he was unaware of any settlement with the accusers, though he didn't deny it.

"If the restaurant association did a settlement, I wasn't even aware of it," he claimed, "and I hope it wasn't for much. If there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other officers at the restaurant association."

Che Guevara

US, California: Thousands of Occupy Protesters Disrupt Busy Port

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© N/A
Several thousand Occupy Wall Street demonstrators gathering in Oakland forced a halt to operations at the nation's fifth busiest port Wednesday evening, escalating a movement whose tactics had largely been limited to marches, rallies and tent encampments since it began in September.

Police estimated that a crowd of about 3,000 had gathered at the Port of Oakland by about 5 p.m. PDT. Some had marched from the city's downtown, while others had been bused to the port.

Port spokesman Isaac Kos-Read said maritime operations had effectively been shut down, and interim Oakland police chief Howard Jordan warned that protesters who went inside the port's gates would be committing a federal offense.

Dollar

UK: The Who's Townshend Slams "Vampire" Apple

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© Agence France-PressePete Townshend, the legendary frontman behind British rock group The Who, has attacked Apple's online iTunes service for bleeding artists "like a digital vampire"
Pete Townshend, the legendary frontman behind British rock group The Who, attacked Apple's online iTunes service for bleeding artists "like a digital vampire".

Townshend, speaking in Manchester in northwest England, called on the online giant to do more to help the artists from whom it was making so much money.

"Is there really any good reason why, just because iTunes exists in the wild west Internet land of Facebook and Twitter, it can't provide some aspect of these services to the artists whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire... for its enormous commission?" he asked.

Record labels and music publishers had in the past provided a range of services to artists, offering editorial guidance and nurturing them creatively, he said.

People

US, California: Cindy Sheehan leads 30 Occupy Sacramento defendants to mass arraignment Thursday; courts balk at other 'occupier' cases

Cindy Sheehan
© unknownCindy Sheehan
Anti-war Mom Cindy Sheehan and 29 other Occupy Sacramento defendants will appear in the largest mass arraignment yet this Thursday - even as Sacramento Superior Court judges try to stop the constant barrage of "occupiers" into the courts.

Sheehan and the others will be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Dept. 3 and 4. They will hold a media availability outside the courthouse (720 9th St.) at 8 a.m.

The trial courts Wednesday refused to let additional occupiers be arraigned Thursday because it became apparently the courts can't handle the load.

83 arrests have been made at Occupy Sacramento at Cesar Chavez Park since Oct. 6. Dozens of people still have not had their court dates. Thursday will be Day 29 of the occupation.

All are expected to plead not guilty, reject any offer by the City of Sacramento and demand a jury trial.