Society's ChildS

Mr. Potato

Canada: British Columbia's Christy Clark gets attention for showing cleavage, another politician for not

© Screengrab, HansardA former NDP MLA caused a minor uproar on Twitter Wednesday after saying the premier was showing too much cleavage during question period.
For those looking for reasons why more women don't get involved in politics, look no further.

While watching Question Period in B.C.'s legislature Wednesday, David Schreck, political pundit and former NDP MLA, stirred up controversy when he asked: "Is Premier Clark's cleavage-revealing attire appropriate for the legislature?"

Schreck was referring to Clark's v-shaped neckline dress which he deemed too revealing.

Many of Schreck's Twitter followers were angered by his comments.

"It's sexist, David, to call out her bust line!" responded Liberal pundit Alise Mills.

Mark Marissen, Clark's ex-husband and former adviser to Paul Martin, even came to her defense.

Bizarro Earth

Nestle chief warns of new food riots

Food riots
© European Coalition for Community LivingFood riots in Bihar.
The head of the world's biggest food company Nestle said on Friday that rising food prices have created conditions "similar" to 2008 when hunger riots took place in many countries.

"The situation is similar (to 2008). This has become the new reality," the Swiss giant's chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe told the Salzburger Nachrichten daily in his native Austria in an interview.

"We have reached a level of food prices that is substantially higher than before. It will likely settle down at this level.

"If you live in a developing country and spend 80 percent of your income on food then of course you are going to feel it more than here (in Europe) where it is maybe eight percent."

In 2008, the price of cereals reached historic levels, provoking a food crisis and riots in a number of African countries, as well as in Haiti and the Philippines.

In September the UN food agency's food price index came in at 225 points, just higher than the peak it hit in June 2008. It is down from the record 237.7 points hit in February this year.


US: New Age Arrives at Food Closets as More Seniors Seek Help to Avoid Hunger

© RENÉE C. BYERTerry Bradburn, 64, left, and her brother Vincent Venezia, 60, line up for food packages Thursday at Liberty Ministries Christian Fellowship in Sacramento.
Terry Bradburn, a 64-year-old widow, was No. 176 in line at Liberty Ministries Christian Fellowship's food pantry in North Sacramento on a recent Thursday, waiting for her allotment of salad mix, fresh pineapple, dried and canned beans, bagels and coffee cake.

"The line is short today," she said. "The big crowd already came through."

Her brother, Vincent Venezia, was right behind her, No. 177. He lost his caregiver job a year ago. Now, at 60, he lives part of the time with his sister in her Rio Linda home. And part of the time, he said, he lives on the American River.

"He went from doing good to dirt poor," his sister said.

In Sacramento and across the country, people 60 and older represent the fastest-growing demographic asking for charitable handouts of food. In the parlance of experts, they are among the "food insecure," the growing number of Americans, including 5 million older adults, for whom nutritious meals are either inaccessible or unaffordable.

Eye 2

Peru shaman murders investigated

© ReutersPeruvian shaman Pedro Tangoa performs a ritual involving the hallucinogen ayahuasca. Some suggest that the use of such psychoactive plants may be one reason the murdered shamans were targeted.
Peruvian government sends team to remote Amazon region to look into killing of 14 shamans, allegedly at behest of local mayor

The Peruvian government is sending a team of officials to a remote region of the Amazon jungle to investigate the deaths of 14 shamans who were killed in a string of brutal murders.

The traditional healers, all from the Shawi ethnic group, were murdered in separate incidents over the last 20 months, allegedly at the behest of a local mayor.

No arrests have been made over the deaths, which took place in and around Balsapuerto, a small river port in Peru's vast Amazon region on its northern border with Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil.


Swastikas Left at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus

© Tovah LazaroffBirds eye view of Joseph's tomb in Nablus
Soldiers discovered the swastikas when they went to tomb to prepare for the arrival of worshipers to the tomb in advance of Yom Kippur.

Vandals painted two swastikas on Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, the IDF reported on Thursday.

Soldiers discovered the swastikas when they went to the tomb on Wednesday night to prepare for the arrival of worshipers to the tomb in advance of Yom Kippur.

Although the Palestinian Authority controls Nablus, permission has been granted for Jews to visit the tomb once a month, late at night under IDF escort. Around 1,300 worshipers visited the tomb before dawn on Thursday.

The IDF painted over the graffiti before the pilgrims arrived, but the vandalism was still evident and settlers publicized the incident, which comes after an arson attack on a mosque in the Beduin village of Tuba Zanghariya in the Upper Galilee.

In response to the vandalism at Joseph's Tomb, right-wing politicians, settler leaders and activists called on the government to take back sovereignty in Nablus, which is located on the site of the biblical city of Shechem.

Arrow Up

US, Washington: Mysterious Goo Erupts on Capitol Hill

Sound Transit officials said the substance was by-product from tunnel drilling operations

It sounds like something from a B-horror movie.

A mysterious goo exploded out of the ground on Capitol Hill along Pike Street near Boylston Avenue on October 6.

"Somebody reported that they heard a pop and they saw this geyser 20-25 feet in the air," said James Woodbury, Seattle Fire Department Deputy Chief.

The goo bubbled and itched its way across Pike Street.

Bizarro Earth

The Police State and Occupy Wall Street

NYPD, police
© Adam Lempel

We Don't Live In a Free Society:

I wrote an article over a month ago exposing the Obama administration's crackdown on civil liberties. The piece begins with the assertion that "the United States is still the freest country in the world." I was curious to see how readers would react. A number of people commented that such a statement is so delusional that they had to stop reading. At the time I thought they were perhaps overreacting. But after witnessing the state's crackdown on Occupy Wall Street it has become clear that they were right. We do not live in a free society.

Perhaps the most basic right in a democracy is, to quote the Constitution, "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." If we cannot do this we don't live in a real democracy. I've been aware that our democracy is a sham for some time. Prior to Occupy Wall Street I understood that our government has been completely hijacked by corporate interests, rendering the political process pure theatre. I had also been familiar with the fact that the state has cracked down on demonstrators on many occasions.

But my experience at Occupy Wall Street has served as a serious reality check about just how free our society is. The disproportionate police presence surrounding the rebellion exists for one reason - to intimidate us. Since day one, the state has sent an enormous supply of cops to monitor us, threaten us, arrest us, and beat us up. Well over 800 people have been arrested. And for what? For exercising their most basic right. Meanwhile, the criminals on Wall Street who have trashed the global economy, stolen trillions from the taxpayers in bailouts and continue to engage in the same speculative practices that got us into this mess have faced no retribution. The CEOs at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and AIG have not been arrested. They continue to reap millions in bonuses and deferred stock options. And they use the state to send the cops out to crush resistance. JP Morgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the NYPD. Clearly, they approve of the brutality.

Arrow Down

Unless you are awesome, you will be outsourced

We're quickly moving to a new world where the wealth gap is compounding and increasing. We're moving to a world that is going to look a lot like Hollywood: a few people enjoying insane success ... and everyone else spends their days waiting tables.

The delta between A-players and B-players in companies has always been high. A-players get promoted faster and they earn more. My guess is that an A-player earns about 30% more than a B-player in that same position for most professions. An A-player administrative assistant usually can earn about 30% more than a B-player in the same position. That's a significant difference and even more when you compound that difference in savings and lifestyle over the course of one's career.

In some professions like sales and entertainment, an A-player might earn 300% more than a B-player and essentially live an entirely different lifestyle. In the future, everyone's jobs will look more like salespeople.

Comment: Problem is, everyone needs to make a living but not everyone can be awesome. But for the 1%, the idea is to lower the pay of people in wealthier countries until it reaches the level of the poor countries. Then we'll all be poor. If they succeed, say goodbye to the middle class.

Heart - Black

France: Dead dolphins found tied to concrete block


Marseille, France -- Two divers in France say they discovered three dead dolphins in the Mediterranean that had been tied by their tails to a concrete block.

The dolphins, believed to be a mother and her two young, were found off the coast of Marseille,The Local reported Friday.

"We were at a depth of about 55 meters [182 feet] when we noticed an unusually shaped light-colored mass just underneath us," said Fabienne Henri, who was diving with another woman, Jacqueline Dozin.

2 + 2 = 4

US: New York Observer: Exclusive "Occupy Wall Street" Unaired Fox Footage

Jesse LaGreca from Occupy Wall Street talks to Fox News...this clip never made it to air, via Kyle Christopher of Occupy Wall St.'s media team.