Society's ChildS


Soldiers May Be Leaving Iraq, But Contractors Will Remain

Iraq contractor
© Morten Hyaal Rapport Press Newscom

American troops may be leaving Iraq before the end of the year, but U.S. contractors aren't going anywhere soon.

ABC News reports that the State Department "is expected to have about 5,000 security contractors in Iraq as of January 2012 (they already have about 3,000 in country)." There will also be 4,500 "general life support" contractors to provide food and medical services.

Still, there'll be a pretty big reduction in the contracting fleet. The Defense Department currently has 9,500 security contractors in Iraq in addition to several thousand general life contractors, said ABC News. At one point, in June 2009, the DOD had 15,200 security contractors in the country.


Suicides Soar in Greece as Economic Crisis Strangles Nation

Greece suicides
© Flickr/Creative CommonThe economic crisis in Athens has sparked a surge in suicides.
While Eurozone finance ministers scramble to find a quick solution to the European debt crisis, the economic collapse has already taken a deadly toll in Greece, the vortex of the problem.

Suicide rates are skyrocketing in a country already beset by massive job cuts, austerity spending, slashed pensions, and soaring taxes.

The economic numbers are stark.

Greece's gross domestic product declined more than 7 percent year-over-year in the second quarter. Spending cuts and tax hikes amount to about one-fifth of the GDP.

Even after two huge multi-billion-euro bailouts, the average Greek household has seen its income plunge by half, according to the Guardian newspaper of the UK.

Comment: The stress and hopelessness that the Greeks are feeling at this time are understandable, but there is a simple way to help us distress so that we can see what solutions lie ahead of us and act towards helping ourselves and those we care about, despite any national financial crisis. If you, or someone you know, live in Greece, direct them to this website, where they can learn how to bring their nervous system in a relaxation mode and healing to their mind and soul, using breathing and meditation techniques. The site can viewed in Greek and the program is online for free.

As Greek poet Odysseas Elytis said in his Nobel Prize speech in 1979:
The material world is really only an accumulation of materials. It is for us to show ourselves to be good or bad architects, to build Paradise or Hell. This is what poetry never ceases affirming to us - and particularly in these dürftiger times - just this: that in spite of everything our destiny lies in our hands.
We can start by constructing healthy selves: in body, mind and heart.


Best of the Web: Prosecute The Banks In 2012: Greater Employment - Less Fraud

"We Put The U.S. Treasury Up For Auction And Goldman Sachs Was The Highest Bidder!"


Best of the Web: A Manifesto for the Impending Second American Revolution

The vast social injustice rife throughout the world has finally reached a tipping point. The smell of revolution is ripe in the air. We the people of planet Earth have finally had enough. The immense human suffering caused by collaborating, corrupt governments throughout the world is about to awaken all humanity to a common cause.

When Tunisian Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire, he ignited a fire of revolution for social justice that will eventually engulf every corrupt government on earth. This fire won't die until we the people of planet Earth unite in revolution and take back our respective governments from the elite oligarchs who now own and control them.

Soon this fire will burn hot in America, the world's epicenter of corrupt government. Each year, lobbyists transfer millions in legal bribes from corporate special interests to our government "representatives" in return for billions of our tax dollars. For example, last year alone, big oil, the richest industry on earth, gave our "representatives" $28,000,000 in return for $3,800,000,000 in tax breaks.

The elite oligarchs are getting fabulously rich while a record 44,000,000 Americans live in poverty, a record 40,000,000 Americans rely on food stamps, 30,000,000 Americans are unemployed or underemployed, a record 6,000,000 Americans have given up looking for a job, millions of Americans have lost their homes to foreclosure by the same banksters bailed out by billions of our tax dollars, and, unlike our privileged "representatives" in Washington, 51,000,000 Americans have no health insurance. America is ripe for revolution.

Che Guevara

US: NPR host's involvement in Occupy D.C. leads to her firing from another show

© NPRLisa Simeone
A public radio host was fired on Thursday after the conservative political site The Daily Caller exposed her role as a spokeswoman for "October 2011," the faction of Occupy Wall Street movement occupying Washington's Freedom Plaza.

Lisa Simeone, the host of the nationally syndicated World of Opera show, and former weekend host of All Things Considered, is a freelancer working for WDAV, NPR's Davidson, N.C., affiliate, where "World of Opera" originates. She also was the host for the weekly D.C. show Soundprint on NPR's WAMU affiliate.

Simeone confirmed on Thursday that she had been fired from the Soundprint show; NPR is "in conversations" about her role as both World of Opera host and Occupy D.C. protester.

"We recently learned of World of Opera host Lisa Simeone's participation in an Occupy D.C. group," NPR communications SVP Dana Davis Rehm wrote in a memo to affiliates. "We're in conversations with WDAV about how they intend to handle this. We of course take this issue very seriously."


Canada, British Columbia: Crowd denounces George W. Bush as police set up protest zone

© Jenelle Schneider/PNGProtesters gather outside the Surrey Regional Economic Summit Oct, 19, 2011 at the Sheraton Hotel in Surrey.
Shouting "Shame on the police!" and "Do your job, enforce the law!" a few hundred protesters cried out for the arrest of former U.S. president George W. Bush, who was here to address the Surrey Economic Summit at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford hotel Thursday.

Derrick O'Keefe, co-chair of Stop War, said the chances of having Bush arrested are slim, but he hopes other countries take notice: "Especially the countries where Bush's policies killed hundreds of thousands of people, we hope somewhere in Iraq someone will know that here in Canada, we took a stand, we did what we could," he said.

"It's our sincere belief that these efforts will keep up and ... someday, somewhere, George Bush will either be prosecuted or it will get to the point where he just can't leave his ranch in Texas," he added.

David Ansermino , a Grade 12 student who had participated in a similar protest when former U.S president Dick Cheney was in Vancouver earlier this year, said it's unlikely Bush will be arrested.

"As Canadians we don't feel he's welcomed here at all and we just like to have our voices heard," said Ansermo, who came with a small group of classmates. "I believe that after today, Canada will think twice before ever allowing these guys here again."


UK: Man caught on camera 'beating dog with pole and punching it in the head' arrested after footage is posted on Facebook

  • Dog 'picked up by scruff of neck and hit while small boy looks on'
  • Vigilantes allegedly smashed property's windows and attacked man on his doorstep
  • Woman also appears to whip animal with a cloth
  • Footage quickly goes viral on YouTube and Twitter
A man has been arrested over allegations of animal abuse after he was caught on film appearing to beat a terrified dog with a pole as it desperately tried to get inside its owner's house.

The video, shot from a neighbouring window, shows what seems to be a white Staffordshire bull terrier being kicked, punched in the face and repeatedly hit while a small boy looks on excitedly.

Within hours of the footage being posted on social networking site Facebook, an angry mob is said to have surrounded the man's house in Grimsby, north-east Lincolnshire.

Police were called to the address last night and onlookers watched as a man, believed to be the dog's owner, was arrested.
© YouTubeThe video, shot from a neighbouring window, shows what appears to be a white Staffordshire bull terrier being kicked, punched in the face and repeatedly hit at a property in Grimsby, north-east Lincolnshire


We Are The 99% Who Want Peace, Harmony And Love On The Planet

© N/A
As people took to the streets in a rolling action targeting 951 cities in 82 countries from Asia to Europe, Africa and the Americas ~ they are all joined spiritually by a common innate urge to unite and bring about a world cemented in Peace, Harmony and love. We are not dreamers, nothing will stop our march to true freedom and we are already too big to fail: Allen L Roland
"You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain ~ but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life; that there's something wrong with the world; you don't know what it is, but its there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?" - The Matrix - 1999


Best of the Web: Occupy The World! To the Barricades Comrades?

© Image of the DayA vintage poster from 1911 printed by the Industrial Worker, an American socialist publication:
Four years ago in a Ministry of Defence Review, the Whitehall Mandarins, more astutely than any so-called Lefty, determined the following:
"The Middle Class Proletariat - The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx. The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples' attachment to particular states. The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite. Faced by these twin challenges, the world's middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest." - 'UK Ministry of Defence report, The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036' (Third Edition) p.96, March 2007
Yeah, I know, I'm always using this quote (I first used it four years ago) but it illustrates the great intellectual divide between the political class and the citizens they rule, including our Left, now made so apparent by what the pundits are now calling the 'Occupy The World' (OTW) movement. It seems that only our very own ruling class foresaw OTW.


US: Suicidal Thoughts Highest in Utah, National Survey Finds

© stockxpertA new study of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in U.S. adults finds suicidal thoughts are the highest in Utah, and attempts are highest in Rhode Island. The study also found new trends in suicidal thoughts and behaviors, thoughts and suicidal planning are highest in the Midwest.

While someone commits suicide in the United States every 15 minutes, many more think about it or even attempt to take their own lives, according to a new study showing that residents of Utah have the highest rates of such thoughts while suicide attempts are highest in Rhode Island.

A study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2008 through 2009. Results showed that serious thoughts of suicide range from about 1 in 50 adults in Georgia (2.1 percent) to 1 in 15 in Utah (6.8 percent).

"Suicide is a tragedy for individuals, families and communities. This report highlights that we have opportunities to intervene before someone dies by suicide. We can identify risks and take action before a suicide attempt takes place," said Thomas M. Frieden, CDC director. "Most people are uncomfortable talking about suicide, but this is not a problem to shroud in secrecy. We need to work together to raise awareness about suicide and learn more about interventions that work to prevent this public health problem."