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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 75,786

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Signing off......

.... Just wanted to say how much I've appreciated getting to know everyone on this site, even those whom I've not seen eye-to-eye with on every issue. This has been my political home for 12 years, but I guess everything changes eventually.
To all of my many friends and allies, PM me. I'd love to hear from you.

Peace, love and justice.


250 Emaciated Lions Found During Trophy Hunting Farm Raid

Thanks to one man’s activism, 250 lions were rescued from being killed by affluent trophy hunters.

It’s a lesser-known fact that the African lions’ numbers are diminishing rapidly due to persecution by livestock farmers, habitat destruction, and human greed which has led to trophy hunting. In effect, only 10,000-15,000 free-roaming African lions remain – a steep decline from 50,000 a decade ago.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for these facts to be overlooked by egotistical hunters who would prefer to slaughter lions for sport than preserve their species. As a result, trophy hunting farms have sprung up in many countries in Africa.

At least for one private hunting farm, its get-rich scheme is under wraps after a German individual spotted emaciated lions in cages and took pictures to alert the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The activist’s actions resulted in the farm being raided and 250 starving lions being rescued. ..............(more)

Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com/250-emaciated-lions-found-during-trophy-hunting-farm-raid/

Investigations, in the UK and the U.S. (cartoon)


Spain’s Banks are Suddenly “Too Broke To Fine”

Spain’s Banks are Suddenly “Too Broke To Fine”
by Don Quijones • July 13, 2016

[font color="blue"]Consumer rights v. broke banks: guess who just lost.[/font]
By Don Quijones, Spain & Mexico, editor at WOLF STREET.

After eight years of chronic crisis mismanagement, moral hazard and perverse incentives have infected just about every part of the financial system. Earlier this week, the U.S. Congress published the findings of a three-year investigation into why the Department of Justice chose not to punish HSBC and its executives for their violations of US anti-money laundering laws and related offenses – because doing so would have had “serious adverse consequences” for the financial system – the “Too Big To Jail” phenomenon, a perfect, all-purpose, real-world Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card [read… Congress: “Too Big to Jail: Inside the Obama Justice Department’s Decision Not to Hold Wall Street Accountable”].

But now there’s “Too Broke to Fine.”

Today over a dozen Spanish banks were given a life-line by the EU’s advocate general, Paolo Mengozzi, that could be worth billions of euros in savings for the banks. For millions of Spanish mortgage holders, it could mean billions of euros in lost compensation.

A Legal, Abusive Practice

Just over seven years ago, when conditions were beginning to sour for Spain’s banking system, 40 out of 42 Spanish banks decided to insert “floor clauses” in their mortgage contracts. These effectively set a minimum interest rate — typically between 3% and 4.5% — for all their variable-rate mortgages (which are very common in Spain), even if the Euribor dropped far below that figure.

This, in and of itself, was not illegal. The problem is that most banks failed to properly inform their customers that the mortgage contract included such a clause. Those that did, often told their customers that the clause was an extreme precautionary measure and would almost cerainly never be activated. After all, they argued, what are the chances of the euribor ever dropping below 3.5% for any length of time? ..............(more)


Florida woman lets "Jesus take the wheel" -- immediately crashes into a house

When Carrie Underwood released “Jesus Take The Wheel,” she didn’t mean for it to be taken literally. We’ve heard of the dangers of texting and driving, which takes thousands of lives each year because people can’t wait to “LOL” at their friend’s really awesome message — but rarely do we hear of the dangers of prayer while operating a motor vehicle.

A 28-year-old woman in the city of Mary Esther, Florida, was cited for reckless driving and property damage after she reportedly decided to close her eyes and pray while she was driving eastbound on Marcia Drive. The unnamed woman failed to stop at a stop sign, went through an intersection and into the yard of a home on Miramar Drive where she crashed into someone’s home. She then tried to back out but got stuck in the sand.

This may seem unbelievable, but here are some photos of the crash, courtesy of Northwest Florida Daily News:

This isn’t the first time someone Jesus has been a terrible driver. Last year, an Ohio woman managed to avoid jail time for a 2014 crash after she bowed her head and prayed while she was driving. Police initially believe Marilyn Perry was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or had been using her cell phone, but an investigation revealed this was not the case. Perry crashed into a grandmother who was getting her grandchildren out of the car, causing life-threatening injuries. .............(more)


Dallas, the Internet and Free Speech

(The Intercept) Four men in Detroit were arrested over the past week for posts on social media that the police chief called threatening. One tweet that led to an arrest said that Micah Johnson, the man who shot police officers in Dallas last week, was a hero. None of the men have been named, nor have they been charged.

“I know this is a new issue, but I want these people charged with crimes,” said Detroit Police Chief James Craig. “I’ve directed my officers to prepare warrants for these four individuals, and we’ll see which venue is the best to pursue charges,” he said.

Five police officers were killed in the Dallas shootings, constituting the highest number of police casualties in an attack since September 11. And as a result, law enforcement officials everywhere are suddenly much more sensitive to threats against their lives.


Last weekend in Connecticut, police arrested Kurt Vanzuuk after a tip for posts on Facebook that identified Johnson as a hero and called for police to be killed. He was charged with inciting injury to persons or property.

An Illinois woman, Jenesis Reynolds, was arrested for writing in a Facebook post that she would shoot an officer who would pull her over. “I have no problem shooting a cop for simple traffic stop cuz they’d have no problem doing it to me,” she wrote, according to the police investigation. She was charged with disorderly conduct. ...........(more)


Blairites attempt to oust Jeremy Corbyn, fail miserably.

It’s dizzying to keep up with the drama of British politics in the post-Brexit era as resignations and elections seem to never-endingly roll in. Hell, in a matter of weeks the United Kingdom has somehow already been saddled with a new conservative, and let’s not forget, unelected Prime Minister. Now the Brexiteers have had their day, including the downtrodden former London mayor Boris Johnson, and conservatives in both the Tory and Labour parties want to continue with neoliberal austerity as usual.

Unfortunately for them, however, one man has marvelously weathered the storm of betrayals and right-wing plots, and that man is none other than Jeremy Corbyn.

The Labour Party leader came under fire after the European Union Referendum and has been the center of what’s being called a “chicken coup” within his own party. After facing a no confidence vote, it became clear that while Corbyn still had overwhelming support from unions, grassroots movements and the Labour Party membership, his actual colleagues wanted him out.

The architects of the coup gave a number of reasons for their attempt to rid the party of Corbyn, ranging from what they deemed his lackluster support for the Remain campaign in the lead-up to the referendum to the belief that he couldn’t win a general election if one was called in the following months. On the left some suspected it could be due to the planned release of the Chilcot Report which would paint the Labour Party, Tony Blair and the MPs who voted for the Iraq War in a negative light, especially given that Corbyn planned to apologize for the war on behalf of his party.

So far, however, it seems his enemies did not count on the progressive leader’s resilience in the face of adversity. On Monday, MP Angela Eagle, who, among other things, voted for the Iraq War and was involved in the mass resignations in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, launched her campaign to contest Corbyn’s leadership. Yet, just as she did so, her own constituents decided to set up a no-confidence vote as many continue to publicly support the current leader of the party.

Then on Wednesday, after much debate over whether or not the Labour Party rules would allow Corbyn to be on the leadership contest ballot without obtaining the 51 nominations from within the party required for contenders, the National Executive Committee voted 18-14 to keep the leader on the ballot. ................(more)


Why this Won’t Work out: Rampant Rent Inflation Collides with Stagnant Incomes

Why this Won’t Work out: Rampant Rent Inflation Collides with Stagnant Incomes
by Wolf Richter • July 12, 2016

[font color="blue"]Unlike stocks, a housing bubble can only go so far.[/font]

After a wait of 417 calendar days, or 286 trading days, the S&P 500 finally set a new record high on light volume. Bonds have soared, and yields have dropped to ludicrous lows. The 10-year Treasury yield hit an all-time low on Friday of 1.366%. Globally, nearly $13 trillion, or 29% of total bonds outstanding, are trading with a negative yield. So those asset bubbles remain intact.

Commercial real estate has been soaring since March 2009, and that bubble remains intact, though some markets are already causing fear and trembling due to office-space gluts that are now coinciding with withering demand, such as in Houston and in San Francisco. Home prices too have been soaring for years, though in some major cities, the tide has turned.

Rents have been rising in parallel. It’s in real estate where an asset bubble becomes a real-life issue for people who don’t even own any assets – they’re paying the price for the bubble.

Other asset bubbles abound. Central banks have accomplished a lot. Blowing so many bubbles to such an extent for so long has been an astounding feat. In total, central banks created $24.6 trillion, according to BofA Merrill Lynch estimates. When they bought financial assets with that new moolah, they put $24.6 trillion of cash into the hands of investors and speculators concentrated in the major financial centers of the world.

Yet the global economy remains languid. Demand is sluggish. Job growth in the US can barely keep up with population growth. And a good part of American consumers – those on fixed incomes and savers – have seen their incomes transferred to others. So they’ve gutted their consumption. .................(more)


There Have Been 8,124 Murders by Firearm in the U.S. vs. 29 (144 equiv.) in the U.K.

There Have Been 8,124 Murders by Firearm in the U.S. vs. 29 (144 equiv.) in the U.K.

Posted on Jul 12, 2016
By Juan Cole

The United States continues to be peculiar in handing out powerful magazine-fed firearms to almost anyone who wants one and not requiring background checks on private purchases even if these are made at gun shows. 80% of civilian-owned firearms world-wide are in the US, and only Yemen vaguely competes with us for rates of firearm ownership; Yemen is a violent mess with Shiite insurgencies, al-Qaeda taking over cities from time to time, tribal feuding, southern separatism and US drone strikes. And even it has fewer guns per person than the USA.

It has gotten to the point where the increasing epidemic of mass shootings now threatens law enforcement, with the deaths of 5 policemen in Dallas at the hands of an unhinged Black ultra-nationalist.

The US is downright weird compared to civilized Western Europe or Australia (which enacted gun control after a mass shooting in 1996 and there have been no further such incidents).

In 2013-2014 (the twelve months beginning in March), there were [font color="red"]29 fatalities from gun-related crimes[/font] in England and Wales (equivalent to 144 because UK is smaller than US).

Number of Murders by Firearms, US, 2014: 8124

Percentage of [font color="red"]all Murders that were committed by firearms in US[/font]: 68%

[font color="red"]Suicides in US 2013[/font]: 41,149

[font color="red"]Gun Suicides in US, 2013[/font]: 21,175

Percentage of [font color="red"]all murders in England and Wales that were committed[/font] by firearm: 5.4 percent.

Number of [font color="red"]suicides in England and Wales[/font], 2011: 4871 (equivalent to about 25,818 in US or 31% lower)

[font color="red"]Number of suicides by firearm in England and Wales[/font], 2011: 84 ..................(more)


No Pokemon Go people, I do not care that you saw Pikachu above the urinal.....

..... if I hear one more person at work mention this game, I'm going to scream.

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