Welcome to Sott.net
Sun, 20 Sep 2020
The World for People who Think

Society's Child


Occupy the regulatory system!

occupy regulatory system
© Andrew Rae for the Washington Post
Occupy Wall Street has moved. Its new address: 60 Wall Street.

There, inside a soaring public atrium, dreadlocked teens trade shoulder massages near the evening meditation circle. A young man holds up a sign: "You're a Federal Reserve $lave." The dinnertime crowd buzzes over free plates of rice and beans while listening to an improvised, profanity-laden operetta about the evils of agro-giant Monsanto. But amid the din, there's a small group holding a quieter, and far wonkier, conversation.

"What are the restrictions? Does it let anyone call themselves a clearing agency? It seems like there's a rigorous definition, but maybe there's not," Caitlin Kline says. "What if all you're taking on is counterparty risk for all of these banks, but you don't ever take any other exposure? It seems to be covered by several exemptions."

Kline, a former Wall Street trader-turned-Occupier, is a member of Occupy the SEC, an offshoot of the large movement that has burrowed deep into the regulatory process. At this moment, she's trying to figure out if the drafting of the Volcker Rule - a provision of President Obama's Wall Street overhaul that would restrict commercial banks from making speculative investments that do not benefit their customers - is tight enough to keep banks in check.


South African Gold Miners Sue Over Lung Disease

South African Miner
© Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images
Former South African miner Vuyisile Gibson stands on November 8, 2011 in his mud hut near the town of Tsolo in the Eastern Cape province. He is undergoing tests to see whether his poor health is due to decades of breathing dust while working in Anglo American gold mines. Silicosis is caused by inhaling gold mining dust and can rest dormant for years before permanently scarring the lungs.
Johannesburg - Long after they left the gold mines, death stalks tens of thousands of South Africa's former miners.

They fight for breath, their chests tight and bodies weak: Years of inhaling dust caused many ex-miners to contract silicosis, an incurable lung disease that often leads to tuberculosis and can be fatal.

High-profile lawsuits are bringing new attention to silicosis, described by medical expert Tony Davies as a "river of disease flowing out of the South African gold mines." But some of the former miners fear that any justice may come too late - as court cases drag on, men are dying.

More than a thousand former workers of Anglo American, one of the world's biggest mining companies, have launched proceedings in the London High Court, seeking compensation for silicosis.

Silicosis is an occupational disease, and a hazard of gold mining, caused by excessive exposure to silica dust. The miners say they were not given protective masks and the mines lacked proper ventilation, even though it was known that the dust could be harmful.

In a separate case, a South African lawyer said he has signed up more than 6,000 plaintiffs from South Africa and Lesotho, and is preparing to file a class-action suit in a Johannesburg court.

A third case, launched by 18 former miners from South Africa's Free State against a local Anglo American subsidiary, is continuing. Four of the men have died since the suit was filed in 2004. There is still no verdict.


Palestinian Village Ordered to Uproot 1,400 Olive Trees by May 1

Villagers relaxing in Deir Istiya, 2009.
© Genevieve Long
Villagers relaxing in Deir Istiya, 2009.
Earlier this week, Israel ordered Palestinian farmers in Deir Istiya, a major West Bank olive producing village, to uproot 1,400 trees by the end of this month. By comparison, this order is 400 more trees than the total number uprooted in all of 2011.

"This is the largest order for uprooting trees that the farmers of Wadi Qana have ever been given," said the International Women's Peace Service (IWPS). And Amal Salem, 63, from Deir Istiya, but now living in St. Louis says unearthing olive trees effects everyone in the village, "When I visited last year, every house I went to has had uprooted trees."

Amal's family has farmed olive for five generations. It was their livelihood, and afforded her to attend school in Cairo. "I went to school because of the olive trees. I went to school because in Cairo because of the trees. My father had no other income but the olive trees." In Amal's family, Israeli authorities uprooted 300 trees of her 83-year old uncle's land. Amal described them as ancient growth, "1,000 years old," stemming from the Roman period. The day the bulldozers arrived, her cousins protested, clinging to the trees, although they were uprooted regardless. But within a day or two, her family proudly re-planted what was unearthed. Yet Amal's uncle has night terrors from this incident, stirring over the sight of seeing his child nearly smashed by a bulldozer.

Cell Phone

Parents Sue Apple Over Children's Costly and Highly Addictive Apps

  • child/ipad
    © Getty Images
    'In-app' purchases allow children to rack up bills
  • 'Game currency' purchased with real money
  • Bills of up to £1,300 from 'free' apps
Parents whose children have accidentally run up huge bills playing games on their iPhones could be in line for compensation from Apple.

Campaigners are awaiting the result of a U.S. court case in which a group of disgruntled parents are suing the company after their children's innocent game playing ended up costing a fortune.

They accuse Apple of enticing children to spend money on iTunes

If the parents are successful, it could open the door for legal actions worldwide.

Apple, which is worth more than £311billion, has repeatedly been criticised for allowing children to spend hundreds of pounds on games using their parents' iPhones.

Apps such as Smurfs' Village, based on the popular books and film, have repeatedly caught out parents. Although some apps are free to download, playing them can incur charges. As the child collects 'game currency', the bills can mount up.


Mom Punishes Daughter on Facebook Profile Image

© unknown
Considering the number of kids who have TVs, video game consoles and/or computers in their bedrooms these days, "Go to your room and think about what you did!" no longer cuts it as punishment.

But an Ohio mother has come under fire for innovative, yet questionable, technique she used in order to punish her daughter for "mouthing off" to her in front of her friends.

Denise Abbott temporarily banned her 13-year-old daughter Ava from using her cell phone or logging onto Facebook. But Abbott went one step further by doctoring Ava's Facebook profile photo to read:
"I do not know how to keep my (mouth shut). I am no longer allowed on Facebook or my phone. Please ask why. My mom says I have to answer everyone that asks."
Abbott also added a red X over the teen's mouth.

"If she can't talk respectfully to me, she's not going to be able to talk to anyone else either," Abbott tells the media .

Do Abbott's actions against her daughter constitute indefensible public humiliation? Or did the cyber-punishment fit the crime?


Depression Symptoms: What's Behind Europe's Spike in Suicides

© N/A
The metaphor of suicide has been used to depict the downward spiral surrounding countries bludgeoned by the economic crisis - particularly U.S. and Eurozone communities plagued by epidemic joblessness and a rash of budget cuts. Now the term literally describes the psychological dimension of the crisis, according to studies on suicide rates.

Some symptoms of the social despair have been grimly spectacular. Greece was jolted one recent morning after aging pensioner Dimitris Christoulas put a pistol to his head in Athens's main square. In 2010 Americans were shaken by the suicide-by-plane of Andrew Stack, whose anger at the political establishment propelled him into an Austin office complex. Poorer regions have flared with public self-immolations, particularly in the communities of the "Arab Spring" where many youth come to see life as a dead-end street. Underlying these more dramatic examples are statistical patterns that reflect society's unraveling.

A recently published Lancet study showed spikes in suicide across Europe during the recession. While many factors could contribute to this pattern, researchers found a significant correlation between unemployment and suicide trends.

Comment: For more information on an easy to use stress reduction technique visit the Éiriú Eolas website here.
Éiriú Eolas - Irish Gaelic for "Growth of Knowledge"

Éiriú Eolas Stress Control, Healing and Rejuvenation Program is the modern revival of an ancient breathing and meditation program which is being acclaimed around the world as THE TOOL that will help you to:
  • Relax from the stresses of everyday life
  • Gently work your way through past emotional and psychological trauma
  • Release repressed emotions and mental blockages
  • Rejuvenate and Detoxify your body and mind
Éiriú Eolas removes the barriers that stand between you and True Peace, Happiness, and ultimately a successful, fulfilling life.

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.