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Wed, 28 Sep 2022
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Dollar Gold

Wealth inequality is not a problem, it's a symptom

© National Photo Company Collection
"Dedication, George Washington Masonic Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia." In a year that was probably the zenith of Freemasonry in the United States, and saw a giant national Masonic gathering in the capital, President Coolidge on this day used a silver trowel to spread mortar for the laying of the cornerstone of what is today one of metro Washington's best known traffic landmarks. Nov 1 1923
A comment on an article that comments on a book. I don't think either provides, for the topic they deal with, the depth it needs and deserves. Not so much a criticism, more a 'look further, keep digging, and ye shall find more'. And since the topic in question is perhaps the most defining one of our day and age, it seems worth it to me to try and explain.

The article in question is Charles Hugh Smith's Why Nations (and organizations) Fail: Self-Serving Elites, and the book he references is Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.

Charles starts off by saying:
The book neatly summarizes why nations fail in a few lines:
(A nation) is poor precisely because it has been ruled by a narrow elite that has organized society for their own benefit at the expense of the vast mass of people. Political power has been narrowly concentrated, and has been used to create great wealth for those who possess it.

Comment: For a better understanding on how this 'power elite' think and control power, read this seminal book Political Ponerology.


Saudi Arabia: Death sentence to Al-Nimr, a Shia cleric

© Unknown
Saudis demonstrate in solidarity with detained Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
The sentencing to death this week of Saudi pro-democracy leader Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr illustrates at least two things.

The utter barbaric nature of Saudi Arabia under the rule of the House of Saud's absolute monarchy; and, secondly, the utter fraudulence of the US-backed military coalition bombing Syria and Iraq in the name of eradicating extremism.

Comment: The whole U.S. led coalition is a lie. They suppress freedom in their own countries while pretending to be fighting terrorist of their own creation abroad to restore democracy.

Within hours of US President Barack Obama hosting military leaders from 21 countries, including favoured client state Saudi Arabia, allegedly to improve bombing tactics to defeat the IS terror network, a Saudi court announced the death penalty on Sheikh al-Nimr.

Saudi prosecutors have called for al-Nimr to be "crucified" - which means death by public beheading.

His crime? Al-Nimr is one of Saudi Arabia's most prominent and respected Shia clerics, who for the past 10 years has been an ardent critic of the kingdom's autocratic rulers. He has consistently championed the democratic rights of ordinary Saudis, defended the thousands of political prisoners rotting away in Saudi dungeons, and has called for the end of absolute rule under the self-styled House of Saud monarchy.

In particular, Sheikh al-Nimr has highlighted the chronic injustice against the Saudi Shia population, who form a majority in the country's oil-rich Eastern Province but who have endured decades of poverty and oppression under the Wahhabi House of Saud.

At no time in his years of campaigning for justice has Sheikh Al-Nimr advocated violence. He is on record for explicitly condemning violence and has urged followers to use the "roar of the word" to challenge Saudi despotism.

In other words, his only "crime" is that Sheikh al-Nimr has eloquently exposed the oppression and corruption of Saudi rule under a dynastic, backward family.

Arrow Down

Excessive Force? Three Colorado cops, one with a boot on his head, hold down and taser a 60 year old man

Excessive Force
© Screen Capture
The Lakeside Police Department in Colorado is facing scrutiny and backlash after a video of three officers man handling and tasing a 60 year old alleged shop lifter was uploaded online.

The incident took place on Friday, after the suspect had fled a Walmart he is accused of stealing from and hid behind a dumpster across the street.

Pete Ortega, the witness who recorded the incident, believes the officers used excessive force when he saw two officers pin the senior citizen down on the ground and a third rush over and step on his face before tasing him.

Shopping Bag

UK entrepreneur plans first cashless supermarket


Easyjet entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou hopes the store (mock up teacher) will become the UK's leading cashless supermarket.
It will sell low-cost unbranded food in cheap locations aimed at people 'on benefits' and in poorly-paid jobs.

And, true to its founder's philosophy of offering pared-back, no-frills service, eventually it won't even take cash.

EasyJet entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou has unveiled details for his first easyFoodstore budget supermarket - his latest venture after bargain easyJet flights and windowless rooms at the easyHotel.

He hopes it will eventually become the UK's first cashless supermarket, suggesting it is cheaper to process card payments than to cash up every day and pay a security firm to bank it.

But the company admits that, in an effort to compete with discount chains such as Aldi and Lidl, staff wages will also be low-cost.

Alarm Clock

Pennsylvania mother charged after 'pulling her daughter's hair so hard it removed scalp from her skull'


Jailed: Brittany Ruck (above) is being held in jail after pulling her 6-year-old daughter's hair so hard that the young girl had her scalp separate from her skull and blood pool in her eyes.
  • Brittany Ruck, 25, allegedly puller her 6-year-old daughter's hair so hard that the scalp separated from the skull and blood pooled in the girl's eyes
  • The incident happened after Ruck became angry her daughter could not count to 12 and pulled her out of a chair by her hair
  • The mother of three from Conway, Pennsylvania, has been charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child and being held in jail
  • All three children are currently with other family members
A young girl was admitted to the hospital after she allegedly suffered horrific abuse at the hands of her mother.

Brittany Ruck, 25, of Conway, Pennsylvania, was so angry with her 6-year-old daughter's inability to count to 12 that she lifted the little girl out of a chair by her hair.

The child was pulled so hard that 'the girl's scalp was separated from her skull and blood pooled around the girl's eyes.'

Ruck reportedly admitted to pulling the young girl's hair on multiple occasions when questioned by authorities.

Doctors at Children's Hospital alerted police when the girl was brought in suffering from traction on August 31, a few days after the incident.

This is when the child revealed what happened, and said her mother had pulled her hair to throw her in a corner the day after she was pulled from the chair.

'The little girl told us she could only count to 10 because she had 10 fingers, but she couldn't count any higher. That's when the mother grabbed her by her hair,' Conway police Officer Mike Priolo told WPXI.

'It's just sad because she didn't do anything wrong and she had to bear the brunt of pain.'

Arrow Down

Idaho SWAT team storms community yard sale in front of customers, children

© Adam Worthington/KTVB
The Ada Metro SWAT team during the arrest of Troy Wheeler at a yard sale.
Meridian - A SWAT team swarmed into a charity-based community yard sale pointing weapons and "scaring the heck out of" bystanders.

The raid took place at the "Neighborhood Angel" yard sale in Meridian, Idaho, which annually sells donated items to benefit a young girl suffering from cancer. When a 39-year-old man arrived on a motorcycle to browse the tables on September 22, 2014, the event organizer described him as an "Every day kind of a guy, [an] all-American boy."

Minutes later, in front of numerous customers and children, armored police officers descended upon the community event, throwing a man to the ground, along with an innocent woman who happened to be standing next to him.

"All of a sudden the SWAT team came in and arrested him and they told me he was a really bad guy," said Flo Martinez to WTVB. "I'm a single mom of four kids and it scared the heck out of us."


Dozens of Bangladeshi 'slaves' rescued from jungle in Thailand

Bangladeshi slaves Thailand
© BBC News
Thai authorities have rescued dozens of Bangladeshis from a jungle, says the BBC.

A BBC report said that they had been abducted and taken to Thailand to be sold as 'slaves'.

The men were promised well-paid jobs, before being drugged, bound and kidnapped, the report said.

The government in Thailand say they are trying to fight the slave trade, but have been accused of "dragging their heels" on the issue.


At least 10 civilians, including children, killed by U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria

© AP Photo/ U.S. Air Force, Shawn Nickel, File
In this Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014 file photo released by the US Air Force, a US Navy F-18E Super Hornet fighter jet receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria as part of US-led coalition airstrikes on the Islamic State group and other targets in Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced Saturday that at least 10 Syrian civilians, among them children, were killed by airstrikes in the US-led coalition against Islamic State (IS).

According to the observatory, the airstrikes targeting oil fields near the Kabiba village killed three people, one under the age of 18 in the far north east Hasakah province, while seven were killed by strikes targeting a gas station in a city in the eastern part of Syria, Der-Ezzor.

The Islamic State is a Sunni jihadi group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.

In September US President Barack Obama announced his decision to form an international anti-IS coalition. Washington extended its airstrikes against the militants into Syria, while continuing airstrikes against the group's targets in Iraq. Obama said the United States would arm and equip Kurds, Iraqis and Syria's moderate opposition in an effort to eradicate the IS.

Comment: What is becoming ever more evident is that U.S. has no intention of stopping ISIS. By bombing empty buildings, oil refineries, civilians, grain silos and doing nothing to stop the ISIS attack on Kobane they are revealing their goals:

U.S. destroying Syrian infrastructure while ISIS slaughters Kurds in Kobani
what should be obvious based on the history of U.S. interventions - that the real objective of U.S. intervention in Iraq and Syria is the reintroduction of direct U.S. military power in the region in order to secure continue control over the oil and natural gas resources of the region, undermine Iran, block the Russian Federation, and break-up cooperative economic and trade agreements between counties in Central Asia and China.

Light Saber

Greed bites back: Chicago drivers' good behavior costs city $50M in revenues from speed cameras

speed camera
Drivers in Chicago have gotten wise to speed cameras, budget figures show, and now the city needs to come up with $50 million in revenue. Chicagoans are costing the city tens of millions of dollars - - through good behavior. Mayor Rahm Emanuel underestimated the intelligence of Chicago drivers, and the city paid for it big time.

On a smooth, wide, well-travelled stretch of Irving Park Road, running between two cemeteries - no homes, no stores, no parking - the city of Chicago is trying to balance its budget. Each flash means a photo; each photo, a violation. Each violation: a hundred bucks, from red-light and speed cameras. CBS 2 has learned the speed cameras caught far fewer speeders than expected.

According to the Mayor's 2015 Budget Overview, there have been "lower than expected violation rates." How much lower? Fifty million dollars lower. Emanuel's administration had figured on $90 million in fines to help balance this year's budget, but they can only count on $40 million. That's a $50 million shortfall, putting pressure on the next spending plan.

Comment: The city was so quick to jump at the chance for revenue that they neglected to look at studies which have shown that the cameras create accidents and they are not always reliable:

UK: Study Finds That Speed Cameras CREATE Accidents

Speed camera madness - man gets ticket for going 0 MPH


Studies explain why Ebola outbreaks in Congo were quickly contained

ebola congo
Aside from the three nations in West Africa that are struggling with the Ebola outbreak, another outbreak of the virus occurred in Central Africa and was quickly contained. Now, new studies confirm that the two outbreaks were unrelated, and offer explanations why one was contained, while the other spiraled out of control.

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) began July 26 and was the seventh outbreak in this region since the discovery of the virus in 1976. The first patient was a pregnant woman from Ikanamongo Village who likely contracted the virus when she butchered a bush animal. She died Aug. 11. About 70 more people also became ill and more than 40 died by October, but the outbreak seems to have been tapering off since.

In contrast, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has affected at least 8,400 people and killed more than 4,000 people since it began in Guinea in early 2014 and spread to the neighboring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Comment: Being well prepared to mount a quick and effective response was one reason the outbreaks were initially contained. Unfortunately most hospitals are NOT prepared, so the most important thing for people to understand is that it is imperative to take responsibility for one's own health and well-being. BigPharma and the government are not likely to contain this plague.

Here are suggestions to start implementing now: