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The Spin Cycle: US threat of military action unites Pakistan

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© Khlaid Tanveer/AP
People rally against the U.S. in Multan, Pakistan, Wednesday, Sept. 28 after Pakistan lashed out at the U.S. for accusing the country's most powerful intelligence agency of supporting extremist attacks against American targets in Afghanistan.
Islamabad - U.S. accusations that Pakistan is supporting Afghan insurgents have triggered a nationalist backlash and whipped up media fears of an American invasion, drowning out any discussion over the army's long use of jihadi groups as deadly proxies in the region.

The reaction shows the problem facing the United States as it presses Pakistan for action: Strong statements in Washington provoke a negative public response that makes it more difficult for the army to act against the militants - even if it decided it was in the country's interest to do so.

Pakistan's mostly conservative populace is deeply suspicious of U.S. intentions a decade after Washington forged an alliance with Islamabad. Many people here believe the U.S. wants to break up Pakistan and take its arsenal of nuclear weapons, and America is very unpopular throughout the country.

By contrast, Pakistanis lack unity against Islamic militants. Politicians and media commentators are often ambiguous in their criticism of the Pakistani Taliban, despite its carrying out near weekly bombings in Pakistan over the past four years.

One small private television channel has aired an advertisement that features images of Adm. Mike Mullen, America's top military officer, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta along with scenes of the Pakistani army fighting and raising the country's flag.

Comment: What U.S. Officials? Not many names given. The media? Which one, lets be specific. Politicians are referenced but again no names are given. How do we prove any of this? It seems another form of perception management across the board.

Is the American media attempting to create a hatred of Pakistanis in the U.S., like they did about Afghanis rights toward women? How about how the U.S. bastardized Iraq in the days before 'shock and awe?' The media has also started off and on about the Evil that is supposedly Iran, though France is doing it now.


Eye 2

US: Florida Teen Murder Suspect Says She's a Vampire and Part Warewolf

Claims to have drunk the blood of her fiancé and co-defendant


Last week, police in Parker, Fla., claimed the people involved in the July murder of 16-year-old Jacob Hendershot may have been involved in a vampire cult.

Now one of the suspects is confirming that information.

Stephanie Pistey, 18, was arrested last Monday and was charged with accessory to murder.

She says she believes she's a vampire.

Mr. Potato

US: Three Houston police officers accused of getting high on duty

Houston, Texas-- Three Houston police officers are under investigation after claims they got high while on duty. And the claim, made by a man accused of drug possession, are backed up with something undeniable -- the words of the officers themselves.

It sort of jumps off the page.

"'So high' spaced out: h i g h" defense attorney Daniel Cahill said.

The words of a Houston police officer about an hour after arresting Nicholas Hill for marijuana possession.

Stop

UK: Bad Romance - Online Dating Scams Trick 200,000 Brits

Dating Scams
© Dreamstime
Online dating scams have tricked more than 200,000 Brits, a new survey shows.

Between 2009 and 2010, a British woman named Kate Roberts was tricked into giving $130,000 to a man she met on an online dating site, a U.S. solider named Mark Ray Smith.

Believing Smith was her soul mate - he sent her pictures, confided in her through email, sent letters on (forged) military stationery, even talked with her on the phone - Roberts ended up wiring her online suitor bundles of cash so he could "buy his way out of the army."

Then the correspondence stopped.

Roberts' story, unfortunately, is more common than you'd think. According to a new study conducted by professors from the University of Leicester and the University of Westminster in Britain, more than 200,000 Britons have been duped by similar online dating scams promising romance, and, ultimately, ending in heartbreak and an empty bank account when the target realizes his or her true love was nothing more than a crook.

Attention

6.1 Million Latino Kids in Poverty, US Record

Young latina girl
© Tracy Whiteside, Shutterstock
A young latina girl.

More than 6 million Latino children in the United States now live in poverty, according to a new report. It's the first time in U.S. history that the single-largest group of poor children hasn't been white.

The trend is driven by the growing number of Hispanics in the country, as well as a high birth rate among immigrants and declining economic fortunes, according to a Pew Research Center report released today (Sept. 28). The unemployment rate among Latinos was 11.1 percent in 2010, compared with 9.1 percent for the nation as a whole.

However, while 6.1 million Latino kids in poverty is a record-breaking number, the rate of childhood poverty is highest for blacks, the new report finds. The rate of poverty for black children is 39.1 percent. In comparison, 35 percent of Latino kids live in poverty, as do 12.4 percent of white children.

The overall poverty rate in the U.S. in 2010 was 15.1 percent, with 22 percent of American children living below the poverty line. That overall rate is the highest since 1993, the Census Bureau recently reported.

Magnify

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

bannded books freedom to read
© Unknown
September 24−October 1, 2011

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom - the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular - provides the foundation for Banned Books Week. BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections. Imagine how many more books might be challenged - and possibly banned or restricted - if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. In 2011, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; and PEN American Center also signed on as sponsors.

For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, please see Calendar of Events, Ideas and Resources, and the new Banned Books Week site. You can also contact the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4220, or bbw@ala.org.

Info

Psychopath father drives son too far

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© Robert Lahser Charlotte Observer
Shelby Hodges of Rock Hill is the biological mother of a 15-year-old accused of killing his father and stepmother.
Shelby Hodges spread photos of a blue-eyed boy with wisps of blond curls across her couch Tuesday afternoon. Her son was only an infant in a portrait that shows Hodges cradling him as his father, Christian Hans Liewald, smiles over her shoulder.

Many are wondering why the little boy in the photo, now 15, would be accused in the shooting deaths of father and stepmother. But Hodges says her son is the victim of a violent and controlling father. "I know how he was," she said of Liewald. "I lived with him. It was a nightmare."

Neighbors heard screams, then gunshots, early Monday at Liewald's home on Buxton Street in southwest Mecklenburg. Then Liewald's son called 911, saying he'd shot his 43-year-old father and his stepmother, 24-year-old Cassie Meghan Buckaloo. He told police he'd wait for them on a nearby street corner.

He's now charged with two counts of murder, armed robbery and attempted auto theft. State law prevents police from releasing his name because he is a minor.

Police haven't released a motive in the killings, but a trail of court documents and ex-wives tells a story of abusive relationships that preceded Monday's shooting.

Eye 1

GM's OnStar service raises privacy alarms

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© GM / Wieck

GM’s OnStar telematics service came under fire after a change that would have allowed it to collect data even from nonsubscribers.
In a sudden reversal, General Motors' OnStar subsidiary has backed down on plans to keep monitoring customers even when they choose to unsubscribe from the in-car telematics service. But the service will still maintain the right to track active customers.

OnStar, with 6 million subscribers, had come under withering attack in recent days from customers, privacy advocates and federal lawmakers over what Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., described as "one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory."

Before OnStar backed down, Schumer was calling for a Federal Trade Commission investigation into OnStar's revised terms and conditions, which some liked to Big Brother, the fictitious, all-seeing dictator in George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984.

"We realize that our proposed amendments did not satisfy our subscribers," OnStar President Linda Marshall said in a prepared statement announcing the hasty retreat. "This is why we are leaving the decision in our customers' hands. We listened, we responded and we hope to maintain the trust of our more than 6 million customers."

What kicked off the brouhaha was a seemingly modest revision to the OnStar customer guidelines which revealed the company would maintain the cellular data link installed in any vehicle subscribed to the OnStar service, "unless they (customers) ask us not to do so," confirmed Joanne Finnorn, vice president of subscriber services.

USA

The Mad As Hell Generation: 20 Reasons Why Millions Of Americans Under The Age Of 30 Are Giving Up On The U.S. Economy

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© N/A
Millions upon millions of young Americans have completely lost faith in the U.S. economy and are mad as hell that their economic futures have been destroyed. The recent economic downturn has hit those under the age of 30 the hardest. Today, there are hordes of young people that should be entering their most productive years that are sitting home with nothing to do. Many of them have worked incredibly hard throughout high school and college. Many of them have stayed out of trouble and have done everything that "the system" asked them to do. But once they got finished with school, the promised "rewards" simply were not there. Instead, millions of young Americans are faced with crushing student loan debt loads in an economy where they can't find good jobs. When you are in your twenties, it can be absolutely soul-crushing to send out hundreds (or even thousands) of resumes and not get a single interview. Most of us grew up believing that we would "be something" when we got older, and millions of young Americans are having those dreams brutally crushed right now. Americans under the age of 30 voted for Barack Obama in droves back in 2008 because they believed that he would make things better. Instead, Barack Obama has made things even worse. Significant numbers of young Americans are starting to wake up and realize that neither political party is providing any real answers, and they are starting to get mad as hell about it.

Americans under the age of 30 don't want to hear that they are not going to be able to do better than their parents. They don't want to hear that they are going to have to "pay the price" because of the mistakes of previous generations. They don't want to hear that the "good jobs" that have been held out as a "carrot" for them all these years have disappeared and are not coming back.

Cookie

The Science Behind Pleasure-Seeking

No matter the season, we all take part in the pursuit of pleasure, each in our own way. And although there's an art to enjoying life, it turns out there's science behind it, too. Our Cover Story is reported now by Susan Spencer of "48 Hours":

It can be as simple as a sunset, as decadent as a dessert, or as extravagant as a weekend in Paris. But we all have our own little pleasures ...

"Chocolate and peanuts! ... mmmmm ..."
"I'm a Barbie collector. I have, like, over 100 Barbies."
"I love Mexican food!"
"The rush of cliff jumping, when you're up in the air, and you're hoping the water is deep enough, and your heart is beating a thousand miles an hour, and you SPLASH!"


Professor Gregory Berns, a neuroeconomist at Emory University, notes that some pleasures are no less than a matter of survival.

"Pleasure is an instantaneous feeling of something good," Dr. Berns said. "When you teach a bunch of undergraduates and teenagers like I do and I ask them to list the things that give them pleasure, sleep is always at the top of the list.