Welcome to Sott.net
Sat, 19 Sep 2020
The World for People who Think

Society's Child
Map

Family

Women's equality not quite there yet

Image
© Cable News Network
Stephanie Coontz
Last week the White House released a comprehensive statistical report on Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being, the first such assessment since President John F. Kennedy's Commission on the Status of Women released its findings in 1963.

The new report indicates that women still earn less, on average, than men and are more likely to live in poverty. They are also at much greater risk of sexual assault and of violence at the hands of an intimate partner than men.

To be sure, the report shows that there is still plenty of progress to be made. But it is Women's History Month, and a good time to pause for perspective.

There have been astonishing improvements in the status of American women in the 48 years since the first report was published. For one thing, the authors of this year's report saw no need for a section detailing the legal disabilities facing American women.

People

Shadowy figures lurking on the fringe

The boys' choir from Zambia sang in churches, schools and shopping malls across the United States. In exchange for their hard work, the boys were promised an education, wages that could be sent home to family and a school that would be built in Africa.

People who heard the 12-member a cappella choir were touched. They reached into their wallets and purses and offered up donations. The boys, ranging in age from 12 to 17, sang a mixture of gospels in English and their native tongue. They brought in more than $1 million, yet saw little of it. They received room and board and the occasional token payment, but no wages, no education, no school back home.

The boys are among the faces of modern-day slavery - in their case, trafficked into the United States under the guise of a faith-based organization that preyed on them.

"They were brought here for a specific purpose and that was to get as much out of them - with no regard for them or their futures," says Sal Orrantia, a U.S. immigration agent who worked the case.

People

Generations pay off debts through slavery

Image
© Cable News Network
Durgawati, her husband and children stand before piles of bricks, with their brick homes in the background.
Uttar Pradesh, India - An army of workers, their faces encrusted with dust, toils beside a story-high pile of unfired bricks. They are helping build a new India that appears to be leaving them behind.

From sunup to sundown they spend their time pouring wet mud into molds, lugging them to the kiln, firing them and then pulling them out. For their backbreaking work, they do not receive wages.

They are working to pay off a debt.

In India they are known as bonded laborers, bound to those who gave them or their forefathers an advance or a loan. Human rights advocates call them modern day slaves.

"I cannot leave here unless I pay my debt," said Durgawati, a mother of three.

A contractor had approached Durgawati and her husband, offering them work in a far-off village. He had said there were plenty of opportunities and offered to pay an advance to prove it. Desperate to make a living and with no work in sight where they lived, they leapt at the chance and took the 1000-rupee ($22) advance, she said.

Megaphone

Lawful Rebellion in England: Protestors storm court and arrest county judge for treason

Image

Hundreds of anti-establishment protestors stormed a Wirral court today and "arrested" a judge.

In chaotic scenes, police rescued Judge Michael Peake from their clutches and escorted him safely from the building.

Protestors from the public gallery charged at Mr Peake to make a civil arrest chanting "arrest that judge".

Police scrambled over court benches to control the near-riot and one protestor shouted "seal the court."

Another sat in the judge's chair at the head of the court and declared Mr Hayes as "released".

Around 600 chanting demonstrators massed around the County Court in Birkenhead.

Deafening cheers and chants could be heard from the crowd outside and protestors used mobile phones to film arrests being made.

Roads were blockaded and dozens of police officers deployed to keep order.

Newspaper

Arab media says Gaddafi looking for exit deal

gaddafi
© Unknown

Two Arab newspapers and al Jazeera television said Monday Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was looking for an agreement allowing him to step down, but there was no official confirmation of the reports.

Al Jazeera said Gaddafi had proposed to Libyan rebels to hold a meeting of parliament to pave the way for him to step down with certain guarantees.

It said Gaddafi made the proposal to the interim council, which speaks for mostly eastern areas controlled by his opponents. It quoted sources in the council as saying Gaddafi wanted guarantees of personal safety for him and his family and a pledge that they not be put on trial.

People

The Cynical Psychology of Capitalism

Image
© Unknown
Two years ago, three psychologists and an economist published a long journal article on the dubious psychology that underlies American corporate capitalism. The original title of the piece began with the phrase, "A Taboo Topic," but the authors (myself among them) were warned by a sympathetic editor to be as unprovocative as possible to avoid being instantly written off as leftist ideologues. We deleted the phrase, thus assuring that the taboo against criticizing capitalism remained alive and well.

It's time for us all to confront this taboo. Capitalism rests on several key ideas regarding human motivation and development that fly in the face of much of Western psychology. Here I will focus on two of these: that people are primarily self-interested and that the acquisition of material wealth is the key to happiness. If these "insights" prove false or seriously incomplete, then capitalism unravels at the seams.

Ambulance

US: Police: Body Hit at Least 20 Times on 10 Freeway

A witness reported seeing a car stopped in front of the body.

Police now know how a man's body got onto the 10 freeway early Monday morning.

Image
© KTLA-TV
Body found on 10 Freeway in Jefferson Park
Authorities said the man wandered onto the 10 Freeway near Crenshaw Boulevard and was reportedly struck repeatedly by cars before a motorist pulled over and called the police and a sigalert was issued.

California Highway Patrol Officer Brent Leatherman said troopers received a call about the body of man in his mid-30s lying in the slow lane on the westbound 10 freeway at around 3:41 a.m.

A witness reported seeing a car stopped in front of the body.

That vehicle left the scene, according to the witness, who remained behind to try to divert traffic.

Even if it was an accident, Leatherman said drivers should always stop if they have struck a pedestrian.

Heart - Black

UK: How Could the Man Cleared of Raping Me Have Thought I was His BRUNETTE Girlfriend?

Image
© Roland Hoskins
Disgusted: Joanne Freeman, 39, said the defence of Mr Khan, who claimed he was so drunk that he went into the wrong hotel room and started having sex with her, was absurd

A woman who woke to find a man having sex with her has told of her disbelief at his acquittal on rape charges after he claimed he had stumbled into the wrong bed.

Haydor Khan, 22, said he was so drunk that it was not until he was having sex with Joanne Freeman that he realised she was not his girlfriend and that he was in the wrong hotel room.

But Miss Freeman, 39, said she struggled to understand how Mr Khan could have mistaken her - a petite, size six blonde - for his tall, size 12 brunette girlfriend Nicola Wood, 19.

Info

China Says Dalai Lama Has to Reincarnate

the Dalai Lama
© unknown
The Dalai Lama
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, does not have a right to choose his successor any way he wants and must follow the historical and religious tradition of reincarnation, a Chinese official said Monday.

It is unclear how the 76-year-old Dalai Lama, who lives in India and is revered by many Tibetans, plans to pick his successor. He has said that the succession process could break with tradition -- either by being hand-picked by him or through democratic elections.

But Padma Choling, the Chinese-appointed governor of Tibet, said that the Dalai Lama had no right to abolish the institution of reincarnation, underscoring China's hardline stance on one of the most sensitive issues for the restless and remote region.

"I don't think this is appropriate. It's impossible, that's what I think," he said on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China's parliament, when asked about the Dalai Lama's suggestion that his successor may not be his reincarnation.

"We must respect the historical institutions and religious rituals of Tibetan Buddhism," said Padma Choling, a Tibetan and a former soldier in the People's Liberation Army. "I am afraid it is not up to anyone whether to abolish the reincarnation institution or not."

Evil Rays

Limbaugh's Parent Company Using Actors to Fake Radio Call-Ins

radio studio
© n/a
The company responsible for syndicating big conservative radio names like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity has been using paid actors to call in to their radio shows.

According to a recent report in Tablet Magazine, Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, hired actors to call in as guests.

A website for the Premiere On Call service was taken offline before the report was published, but a cached version of the website is still available.

However, when Raw Story contacted Premiere's entertainment division, one individual who spoke off the record claimed that the service was still being offered.

"Premiere On Call is our new custom caller service," the website said. "We supply voice talent to take/make your on-air calls, improvise your scenes or deliver your scripts. Using our simple online booking tool, specify the kind of voice you need, and we'll get your the right person fast. Unless you request it, you won't hear that same voice again for at least two months, ensuring the authenticity of your programming for avid listeners."