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Mon, 17 Jan 2022
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Heart - Black

Why Are Some Americans So Shockingly Cruel?

Every other civilized country in the world provides universal health care for its citizens.Only in America would you have a scene like the one that unfolded at the Republican debate Monday night.

© N/A
This will surely get taken out of context in my future political career, but I will say it now anyway: I am embarrassed, saddened, and yes, disgusted, by the behavior and beliefs of the majority of Americans.
A new report came out Tuesday, showing that the poverty rate in America rose to a whopping 15.1% in 2010. That means that nearly one in six Americans gets by on less than $11,139 a year, or $22,314 for a family of four. At the same time, the average CEO rakes in $11.3 million EACH.

In other words, you can grab any six people off the street, and the odds are that the average CEO makes 1,000 times as much money as one of them. He only makes 400 or 500 times as much as the other five. That is obscene.

And the sick part? The entire Republican Party and portions of the Democratic Party are completely OK with this arrangement. One sixth of our citizens live below poverty and the calls are for more tax cuts for the wealthy, more benefits for the wealthy, and less for the poor. It's disgusting and people should be ashamed.

Yes, ashamed. There is absolutely no reason for anyone, let alone one sixth of our citizens, to live in abject poverty. We are America and we can do better.

Letting people live in poverty is not the only issue where America is an embarrassment. We are unbelievably cruel and indifferent toward those same poor people, blaming them (and not the system) for their plight. The reality is, no one in this world gets ahead without help. Wealthy people have a natural advantage of a network of family and friends who can push them into the right school, teach them the right values, and help them get into jobs where they can succeed.


Canada: No charges for using RCMP Taser on British Columbia boy, but police refuse to explain why

© Unknown
The RCMP officers who stunned an 11-year-old boy with a Taser in northeastern British Columbia won't face charges, but the outside police force that conducted the investigation won't reveal the most basic details about what happened.

The child was shocked with the stun gun in April after several Mounties responded to a stabbing at a group home in Prince George.

The case renewed controversy about Taser use in B.C., which recently held an exhaustive public inquiry into the weapons, and raised questions about why trained police officers would need to use the weapon on a child. The boy is believed to be the youngest person ever to be stunned with a police Taser in Canada.

But an outside investigation by the West Vancouver Police Department has done little to address the controversy, other than to conclude the officers involved didn't break the law.

"My team spent much of this spring and summer interviewing witnesses, collecting and analysing evidence and consulting with those in the legal profession as well as subject matter experts in topics like police use of force," West Vancouver police Chief Peter Lepine wrote in a brief letter released Thursday.

Heart - Black

Pat Robertson Says Alzheimer's Makes Divorce OK

© Associated Press/Clem Britt
Rev. Pat Robertson talks to attendees at a prayer breakfast as part of inaugural ceremonies at the Capitol in Richmond, Virginia in this Jan. 16, 2010 file photo.
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson stunned 700 Club viewers Tuesday when he said divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer's disease was justified.

Robertson, chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network and former Republican presidential candidate, said he wouldn't "put a guilt trip" on someone for divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer's disease, calling Alzheimer's itself "a kind of death."

The remarks sparked outrage throughout religious and medical communities.
"I'm just flabbergasted," said Joel Hunter, senior pastor of the 15,000 member Northland Church in Orlando, Fla. "I just don't know how anyone who is reading Scripture or is even familiar with the traditional wedding vows can come out with a statement like that. Obviously, we can all rationalize the legitimacy for our own comfort that would somehow make it OK to divorce our spouse if circumstances become very different or inconvenient. ... That's almost universal, but there's just no way you can get out of what Jesus says about marriage."


The Shocking Secret Behind China's Gutter Oil Crackdown

© Unknown
What are these guys really up to?

Under the guise of a public health program, the Chinese government is currently engaged in a crackdown of the gutter oil (地沟油) industry. However, as more information leaks out, troubling questions are being asked about the real reasons why used cooking oil is being seized.

A recent report in the Beijing News (translation courtesy of Global Times) relates the official story:
Local police authorities in Zhejiang, Shandong, and Henan provinces arrested 32 suspects for making and selling illegal cooking oil in mid-July. The police found hundreds of tons of illegal cooking oil, collected from oil already used in restaurants and scraped from the gutters. The nationwide crackdown reveals that the processing of "gutter oil" has formed an industrial chain.

The police operation was an unprecedented success as it seized colossal amounts of illegal oil and many suspects. More importantly, it is the first time for the police to dismantle a nationwide illegal cooking oil ring, which confirms the rumors that many restaurants in China use gutter oil to cook food.


'Casey or someone she was with gave it to her': George Anthony stuns his wife by claiming Caylee died of a drug overdose

george anthony
© Dr. Phil
Shocking claim: George Anthony, the father of Casey Anthony, believes his daughter or someone with her drugged his granddaughter thereby causing the youngster's death

The father of Casey Anthony believes his daughter - or someone with her - drugged his two-year-old granddaughter thereby causing the girl's death.

He made the shocking claim in front of his stunned wife during a TV interview aired yesterday.

His daughter was acquitted in July of murdering her daughter, Caylee, in a case that gripped America. The verdict caused national uproar with people venting their fury over social media as well as on radio and TV.


Australia: Birds of the Bush Talk of the Town - Entire Flocks are Learning to Talk

© PerthNow
Corellas are among the wild birds which have begun to talk.
Entire flocks of wild galahs, cockatoos and corellas are learning to talk.

The wild birds are being taught by pet birds that have escaped or been released by their owners and joined the flocks.

"We have had people call us thinking they are going mad or had something put into their drink because they've gone out to look at the flock of birds in their backyard and all the birds have been saying something like: 'Who's a pretty boy then'?" the Australian Museum's naturalist, Martyn Robinson, said yesterday.

Mr Robinson said Sydney was home to large numbers of galahs, sulphur-crested cockatoos and corellas that had fled New South Wales' far west during the decade-long drought.

"They've decided to stay and even begun to breed in the city, and if a pet bird of their species escapes their cage or is released because their owner's moving or whatever, they naturally join the wild flocks," he said.


US: Income Slides to 1996 Levels

Median Household Earnings Fall for Third Year, Census Says

The income of the typical American family - long the envy of much of the world - has dropped for the third year in a row and is now roughly where it was in 1996 when adjusted for inflation.

The income of a household considered to be at the statistical middle fell 2.3% to an inflation-adjusted $49,445 in 2010, which is 7.1% below its 1999 peak, the Census Bureau said.

The Census Bureau's annual snapshot of living standards offered a new set of statistics to show how devastating the recession was and how disappointing the recovery has been. For a huge swath of American families, the gains of the boom of the 2000s have been wiped out.

Earnings of the typical man who works full-time year round fell, and are lower - adjusted for inflation - than in 1978. Earnings for women, meanwhile, are a relative bright spot: Median incomes have been rising in recent years and rose again last year, though women still make 77 cents for every dollar earned by comparably employed men


PLO official: Palestinians, Israelis must be totally separated

© Associated Press
The West Bank settlement of Ariel
Commenting on the subject of minority rights in the potential Palestinian state, PLO envoy to the U.S. says past experience shows the two people should be 'totally separated.'

The future independent Palestinian state will not include a Jewish minority, a top Palestinian official told USA Today on Wednesday, adding that it was in the best interest of both peoples to "be separated."

Maen Areikat, PLO Ambassador to the United States, made the comment just as the Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, was preparing to offer up Palestinian statehood to a vote in the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

Answering a question about the legal status of a Jewish minority in the future state, Areikat apprently rejected the issue, saying: "I believe, I still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated," adding "I think we can contemplate these issues in the future."


US: Jacqueline Kennedy's Antiquated Views "Horrified" Grandkids

© Agence France-Presse/Getty
Former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis relaxes in a chair in December 1960, a few weeks after John F. Kennedy won the presidential election.
New York: Caroline Kennedy says her daughters were "horrified" listening to taped interviews of grandmother Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' old-fashioned views on the role of women.

In the 1964 interviews with Arthur Schlesinger Jr., the young widow described her marriage as "a rather terribly Victorian or Asiatic relationship" and said she got all her opinions from her husband, President John F. Kennedy.

Caroline Kennedy said Wednesday on ABC's Good Morning America that her two daughters were "absolutely horrified" when they listened to that portion of the tapes.

Arrow Down

US: Huge Surge in Bank of America Foreclosures

© Getty Images
Bank of America is ramping up its foreclosure processing, sending out far more notices of default to borrowers in August than in previous months, well over 200 percent more month-to-month.

A notice of default is the first stage of the foreclosure process in non-judicial foreclosures states, that is, where foreclosures do not go before a judge.

The notice of default is usually sent when a borrower is 90 days or more overdue in payments, but that timeline has been extended significantly during this housing crisis, due to the so-called "robo-signing" processing scandal and the sheer volume of troubled loans.