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Many Italians committing suicide because of debt or job losses

Italian demonstration
On Tuesday, Generoso Armenante, a 49-year-old former security guard at a convenience store in the southern town of Salerno, left home after having lunch with his wife - and quietly found a secluded spot where he hanged himself.

Armenante had been fired more than a year ago, and had been struggling to find another job ever since. Next to his body he left a letter: "I decided to end it because I am a failure. I can't live without work."

Unfortunately, he is not alone. Tens of other Italians have also chosen to take their own lives in response to the strain of the economic crisis and the consequent austerity measures.

USA

Idiocy as WMD

Image
© dv8maddots
Borges writes, "dictatorships foster oppression, dictatorships foster servitude, dictatorships foster cruelty; more abominable is the fact that they foster idiocy." As a preeminent mind, Borges rightly considers the mind to be a man's greatest asset, for without mind, a man is nothing. The more oppressive a political system, then, the greater its assault on its subjects' minds, for it's not enough for any dictator, king or totalitarian system to oppress and exploit, but it must, and I mean must, make its people idiotic as well. Every wrongful bullet is preceded and accompanied, then followed up by a series of idiotic lies, but we're so used to such a moronic diet by now, our trepanned intelligentsia don't even squirm in their tenured chairs.

Sane men and women don't consent to kill, rob and rape, much less be killed, robbed and raped, least of all to enrich their masters, and that's why their minds must be molested as early and as much as possible. Hence our nonstop media brainwashing us from the cradle, literally, to the grave. Fixated by flickering boxes, even infants are now mind-conditioned to become scatterbrained idiots before they stagger into kindergarten, to begin a lifelong process of becoming docile and slogan-shouting Democrats and Republicans.

Yes, savages killed, but, like apes and monkeys, our ancestors, they mostly tried to intimidate and trash talk their way out of conflicts. There wasn't a lot of murdering after the haka, frankly. They didn't wipe out entire cities by defecating exploding metal from the sky, nor sit in a brightly lit and spic-and-span office stroking a joy stick to ejaculate missiles half a planet away. Drone hell fire for y'all, with sides of bank-sponsored debt slavery and austerity, plus an unlimited refill of American pop bullshit. Would you like a public suicide with that? No, sir, these savages need to take webcast courses from us sophisticates when it comes to genocide, or ecocide, or any other kind of cides you can think of. When it comes to pure, unadulterated savagery, these quaint brutes ain't got shit on us plugged-in netizens chillaxin' in that shiny upside down condo on da capital-punishment-for the-entire-world, y'all, hill.

People

A Suicide Every 36 hours in Gurgaon, India

India map
© Google Maps
In past four months, Gurgaon which has recorded over 100 such incidents. At least one suicide, on an average, is taking place every 36 hours in the city as victims hang themselves, consume poison or jump from a height, according to police figures which show that 104 people have ended their lives in the first four months of 2012.

Besides the alarming trend of suicides, there has been a huge jump in the number of suicide attempts as well. Nearly 88 of the suicide victims since January were aged between 20 and 40 and a bulk of them were in their 20s. A total of 13 victims were aged 15-19 years, police data showed.

Whistle

Climate change scientists caught lying, again - about death threats, this time

Climate change protesters

There's a great scoop in The Australian today about more lying climate scientists making stuff up.
Claims that some of Australia's leading climate change scientists were subjected to death threats as part of a vicious and unrelenting email campaign have been debunked by the Privacy Commissioner.

Timothy Pilgrim was called in to adjudicate on a Freedom of Information application in relation to Fairfax and ABC reports last June alleging that Australian National University climate change researchers were facing the ongoing campaign and had been moved to "more secure buildings" following explicit threats.
Needless to say the University did everything it could to prevent the investigation, arguing that the release of the climate scientists' emails (why am I getting an eerie sense of deja vu here?) "would or could reasonably be expected to...endanger the life or physical safety of any person". But doughty Sydney blogger Simon Turnill appealed against this stonewalling drivel and won. And here's what was revealed when the 11 relevant emails were eventually released.

Ten of the documents "did not contain threats to kill or threats of harm."

Of the 11th, the Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said: "I consider the danger to life or physical safety in this case to be only a possibility, not a real chance."

Alarm Clock

Child Advocates Rail Against Ruling on Viewing of Child Porn

Image
© Associated Press Photo/Mike Groll
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman speaks during a Law Day ceremony at the Court of Appeals in Albany, N.Y., on Tuesday, May 1, 2012.
In the wake of a New York court ruling that says it's not illegal to "merely" view online child pornography, child advocates are urging Internet-savvy federal prosecutors to take over these kinds of cases as two state lawmakers rush to fix the law.

It is "a singular outrage that the highest court in New York has decriminalized the act of viewing child pornography by computer," Patrick Trueman, president and chief executive of Morality in Media, said after the May 8 ruling by the New York Court of Appeals.

The high court unanimously agreed to reverse two of the dozens of child-pornography counts against a former college professor, saying there was no evidence the professor did more than look at some images on his computer.

Stop

Brutal murders: 49 headless corpses found on Mexico highway

Image
© Josue Gonzalez / Reuters
A federal police officer stands guard next to a crime scene in the municipality of Cadereyta Sunday. Authorities found the dismembered bodies of 49 people stuffed into bags and dumped on a highway near the northern city of Monterrey.
Suspected drug gang killers dumped 49 headless bodies on a highway near Mexico's northern city of Monterrey in one of the country's worst atrocities in recent years.

The mutilated corpses of 43 men and six women, whose hands and feet had also been cut off, were found in a pile on a highway in the municipality of Cadereyta Jimenez in the early hours of Sunday, officials from the state of Nuevo Leon said.

"What's complicating the identification of all the people was that they were all headless," said Jorge Domene, the Nuevo Leon government's spokesman for public security, who said the other body parts were missing.

Nuke

Radioactive Gas Clouds from fukushima Over NW Worse Than Projected

As part of a presentation in Kansai, Japan on May 12th 2012, Maggie and Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education answered specific questions asked by symposium organizers regarding the condition of the spent fuel pool at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4. Fairewinds analyzes the explosion at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3. Also, Arnie discusses what the future may hold for Japan if it chooses a path without nuclear power.


Attention

If You Live In California Things Just Got A Whole Lot Worse

California Seal
© The Economic Collapse Blog
Why does the state of California seem to be so incredibly hopeless? These days California can't seem to do anything right, and if you live in California things just got a whole lot worse. Governor Brown has announced that the state budget deficit for this year is going to be much larger than projected, that more government services are going to be cut and that voters are going to vote on another round of tax increases in November.

Meanwhile, unemployment is sitting at 11 percent and extended federal unemployment benefits for workers in the state are ending. Because California is one of the worst places in the nation to conduct business, there has been a steady flow of companies leaving the state.

Those companies have taken a whole lot of good jobs with them. Due to the lack of jobs and a steady stream of impoverished immigrants coming in from Mexico and other countries, poverty in the state has exploded and crime is rapidly increasing.

California may be the land of "endless sunshine", but for the California economy there are only dark clouds on the horizon. The state is coming apart at the seams and there is not much hope that things are going to turn around any time soon.

These days, California is very similar to Greece in many ways.

Just like Greece, California has had round after round of "austerity" and yet still cannot seem to balance the budget.

Even after all of the cuts that have been implemented in recent years, the California budget deficit is still going to be far larger than originally projected this year. The following is from the Los Angeles Times....
Gov. Jerry Brown announced on Saturday that the state's deficit has ballooned to $16 billion, a huge increase over his $9.2-billion estimate in January.

The bigger deficit is a significant setback for California, which has struggled to turn the page on a devastating budget crisis. Brown, who announced the deficit on YouTube, is expected to outline his full budget proposal on Monday in Sacramento.

"This means we will have to go much further, and make cuts far greater, than I asked for at the beginning of the year," Brown said in the video.
During his remarks on YouTube, Governor Brown stated that California is "still recovering from the worst recession since the 1930s" and he stressed that hard choices are ahead.

But the California state government has already cut back in so many places. For example, back in the late 1970s the state of California was number one in per-pupil spending on education, but now California has fallen to 48th place.

Unfortunately, Governor Brown does not believe that budget cuts alone will solve the problem.

So you know what that means.

Tax increases!

Beaker

Africa's Frankenfoods, Monsanto and the Gates Foundation

dead maize
© Paige Aarhus/The Indypendent
In the sprawling hills of the Kangundo district in Kenya's Eastern Province, just a few hours outside of capital city Nairobi, Fred Kiambaa has been farming the same small, steep plot of land for more than 20 years.

Born and raised just outside Kathiini Village in Kangundo, Kiambaa knows the ups and downs of agriculture in this semi-arid region. He walks up a set of switchbacks to Kangundo's plateaus to tend his fields each morning and seldom travels further than a few miles from his plot.

Right now, all that remains of his maize crop are rows of dry husks. Harvest season finished just two weeks ago, and the haul was meager this time around.

"Water is the big problem, it's always water. We have many boreholes, but when there is no rain, it's still difficult," he said.

Kiambaa and his wife, Mary, only harvested 440 pounds of maize this season, compared to their usual 2,200. They have six children, meaning there will be many lean months before the next harvest, and worse: Though March is Kenya's rainiest month, it's been mostly dry so far.

"The rain surely is not coming well this year. Rain is the key. We can only pray," he said.

Wonder Crops?

Farmers like Kiambaa are central to a push to deploy genetically modified (GM) technology within Kenya. In recent years, donors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have invested millions of dollars into researching, developing and promoting GM technology, including drought-resistant maize, within the country - and have found a great deal of success in doing so through partnerships with local NGOs and government bodies.

Wall Street

Indentured Servitude for Seniors: Social Security Garnished for Student Debts

man on leaning tower of quarters graphic
© n/a
"Security program...represents our commitment as a society to the belief that workers should not live in dread that a disability, death, or old age could leave them or their families destitute."
-- President Jimmy Carter, December 20, 1977.

"[This law] assures the elderly that America will always keep the promises made in troubled times a half century ago...[The Social Security Amendments of 1983 are] a monument to the spirit of compassion and commitment that unites us as a people."
-- President Ronald Reagan, April 20, 1983.

So said Presidents Carter and Regan, but that was before 1996, when Congress voted to allow federal agencies to offset portions of Social Security payments to collect debts owed to those agencies. (31 U.S.C. §3716). Now we read of horror stories like this:
I'm a 68 year old grandma of 2 young grandchildren. I went to college to upgrade my employment status in 1998 or 1999. I finished in 2000 and at that time had a student loan balance of about 3500.00.

Could not find a job and had to request forbearance to carry me. Over the years I forgot about the loan, dealt with poor health, had brain surgery in 2006 and the collection agents decided to collect for the loan in 2008.

At no time during the 6-7 year gap did anyone remind me or let me know that I could make a minimum payment on the loan. Now that I am on Social Security (have been since I was 62), they have decided to garnishee my SS check to the tune of 15%.

I have not been employed since 2004 and have the two dependents . . . . I don't dispute that I owed them the $3500.00 but am wondering why they let it build up to somewhere around $17,000/20,000 before they attempted to collect.
Her debt went from $3500 to over $17,000 in 10 years?! How could that be?