January 3rd, 2012

Happy New Year's from a war zone! Oh, you mean it's not in the Middle East?!?

This story or video is actually not mine. Nonetheless, I figured that by submitting this video, I could create conscience on the narco-state that Puerto Rico has become. 1130 murders plagued the island this year, 600 of those related to the drug underworld that has consumed the once radiant island. Multiple shots can be heard, stretching for almost 2 minutes in which members of a family relate the events as they happen on spot. I plead for this news corporation and its affiliates to display this video in an effort to create conscience in regards to the problems the Puerto Rican people have been afflicted with. It is not safe to live outside anymore, everyone fears for their lives, and in essence most Puerto Ricans civil liberties are being violated.

Video is at the source, please watch.


I know the video is in Spanish, but the shots heard on the background through the 5 minutes of the video are very clear.  As the person who submitted it to iReport said, it is distressing to see what is becoming of my beautiful island.  It has become a no man's land where drug cartels run politics, security and the economy.  It is distressing to know we are part of the US and nothing can be done to prevent this.  Many cartels use Puerto Rico as their entry point to the US, especially since cargo ships are rarely searched.  The US goverment is very aware of this, but I sadly believe they would rather have this happen there than in any of the states.  I live in constant fear for my loved ones every single day.  Also, the police force has become pretty corrupt, and even though there are many good cops, they can't do much about this since cartels are better armed than they are.  Every year there is a huge campaign about not firing shots when midnight hits, because there have been many deaths related to stray bullets.  Police officers aren't even on the streets from 11pm-1am because of their safety.  What about the people's safety?!?
mus | like a bird in a cage

Caterpillar moves to lock out CAW workers

Caterpillar Inc's Electro-Motive unit has decided to lock out locomotive manufacturing workers in London, Ontario, after finding out the Canadian Auto Workers told members not to strike following the breakdown of contract negotiations.

Electro-Motive said earlier on Sunday that it was unilaterally imposing changes in wage and benefit terms for its workers in Canada after talks broke down, and that workers were encouraged to show up for work.

But the company's stance changed after the CAW surprised the company on Sunday afternoon by not calling a strike and instead instructing workers to report for duty.

The company said it "is seeking the assurance of a prompt ratification of the company's last offer and has instituted a lock out at the London facility until a ratified contract is in place."

Caterpillar's Electro-Motive unit said the CAW's move to send members to work indicated the union approves of Caterpillar's new compensation terms.

"Given the union has indicated its members are willing to work under those terms, we are hopeful of a speedy ratification allowing union members to return to work," the company said.

CAW officials, however, see the situation differently.

Bob Orr, a top CAW official, said late Sunday that the union is not showing support for Caterpillar's Electro-Motive new contract terms.

"The ball is still in the company's court," he said.

Orr said Caterpillar's offer -- which includes a more than 50 percent cut in wages and health-care and an elimination of pension benefits -- is not acceptable to the CAW. Orr said the CAW plans to return to the bargaining table, but he lacks confidence in the ability of the two sides to make substantive progress.

Caterpillar's Electro-Motive Canada unit employs about 450 hourly workers. It is unclear if the company will at some point bring in replacement workers to keep production going. Orr, from the CAW, said the company informed him that they would not use replacement workers.

The lock-out follow several months of negotiations between the Electro-Motive division and the CAW. Caterpillar has said its new contract offer was designed to make the company more competitive.

Electro-Motive is part of Caterpillar's Alabama-based Progress Rail Services division, which competes with General Electric Co and Bombardier Inc.

  • yeats

Race, liberty and Ron Paul

Did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 put America on the path to a police state? The answer is yes, according to Ron Paul, the Texas Republican Congressman and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Paul explained that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “destroyed the principle of private property and private choices” and “undermine[d] the concept of liberty.” The candidate drew a direct line from the Civil Rights Act to illiberal legislation passed in the panic that followed the 9/11 attacks: “Look at what’s happened with the PATRIOT Act. They can come into our houses, our bedrooms our businesses … And it was started back then.”

By equating the Civil Rights Act, which expanded American civil liberty, with the Patriot Act, which reduced it, on the grounds that both are federal laws with sanctions, Ron Paul displays the moral idiocy of someone who declares that a person who pushes a little old lady out of the path of a bus is just as bad as a person who pushes a little old lady into the path of a bus, because both are equally guilty of pushing little old ladies around.
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  • newantt

AZ State Senator Kyrsten Sinema runs for US Congress.

PHOENIX (KPHO) - by By Breann Bierman 

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has just announced her resignation from the Arizona State Senate and her plans to run for Congress.

Sinema tweeted the announcement from her official Twitter account Tuesday morning, "I've decided to run for Congress because we need to wake up Washington!"

She was elected state Senator in 2010 and represents central Phoenix in District 15.


  • chaya

Judge: Black church rightful owner of KKK store

COLUMBIA, S.C. — After a lengthy legal battle between a black South Carolina church and members of the Ku Klux Klan, a judge has ruled that the church owns a building where KKK robes and T-shirts are sold.

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Source thinks this is a little like rain on your wedding day.

And just as an aside, that mannequin looks like she's really, really trying to act like she doesn't know Howard.

Rick Santorum Dials Up Racism In Final Push For Iowa’s Bigot Vote

Santorum tells Iowans: ‘I don’t want to make black people’s lives better’

Speaking to Republicans in Iowa on Monday, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said his administration would reform welfare to the point that it would offer no welfare at all.

After suggesting that an expansion of Medicare is really just a plot to make voters more “dependent” on Washington, Santorum added: ”I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.”
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There's a video at the source that won't embed.

Amy and Rory and the Doctor

The Sad State of America's Water Infrastructure

At first glance, the pizza-size hole that popped open when a heavy truck passed over a freshly paved District street seemed fairly minor.

Then city inspectors got on their bellies with a flashlight to peer into it. What they discovered has become far too common. A massive 19th-century brick sewer had silently eroded away, leaving a cavern beneath a street in Adams Morgan that could have swallowed most of a Metro bus.

It took three weeks and about a million dollars to repair the sewer, which was built in 1889.

Time and wear “had torn off all the bricks and sent them God knows where,” said George S. Hawkins, general manager of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority. “We have to find them and see if they’re plugging up the system somewhere farther down the line.”

If it were not buried underground, the water and sewer system that serves the nation’s capital could be an advertisement for Band-Aids. And it is not much different from any other major system in the country, including those in many suburbs and in cities less than half as old as Washington.

Although they are out of sight and out of mind except when they spring a leak, water and sewer systems are more vital to civilized society than any other aspect of infrastructure.

Rapidly deteriorating roads and bridges may stifle America’s economy and turn transportation headaches into nightmares, but if the nation’s water and sewer systems begin to fail, life as we know it will too. Without an ample supply of water, people don’t drink, toilets don’t flush, factories don’t operate, offices shut down and fires go unchecked. When sewage systems fail, cities can’t function and epidemics break out.

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Unfortunately this is not surprising. We could upgrade and fix this but that requires political will and a fundamental change in how we allocate money to public works and a fundamental change in how we think about public work projects. Also in today's political climate it would take a genuine miracle for that to happen.
  • mschaos

Occupy Wall Street's Livestream Operators Arrested

Occupy Wall Street is in the middle of one of its day-long marches in New York Tuesday, protesting the National Defense Authorization Act, but for those following along on the Global Revolution livestream, the real action is happening in the broadcast studio itself. That's because police have apparently just raided the Brooklyn studio of Globalrevolution.tv and taken some of the project's key volunteers into custody.

The raid Tuesday follows a notice to vacate that police delivered to the Bushwick studio on Monday night. Victoria Sobel, a Global Revolution volunteer, said Vlad Teichberg and a guy named Spike, both of whom maintain the live feed aggregator, had been taken into custody by police, along with four or five others.

In Manhattan, about 100 Occupy protesters (according to Animal New York's Twitter) marched to the offices of New York senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, where they told stories and made impassioned cases for the wrongness of the NDAA. They plan a final rally at Grand Central station at 5 p.m., which should make for some fun interactions with hurried commuters. Lots of people were watching the proceedings on live feeds operated by Globalrevolution.tv, but now that site has stopped broadcasting the New York protest and is showing footage of Occupy Maui.

If you were following along earlier today, you may have been startled at about 1:45 p.m. to see the live feed cut away from the street-level action and to the face of Vlad Teichberg, one of the main organizers of Global Revolution. The new shot showed a large, graffittied space where Teichberg and a couple of colleagues were confronting a man they identified as the landlord, who had apparently broken in their door. They put the camera on him, he threatened to call the police, they said he had no right to come into the space by force, and he eventually left.

But Sobel said that was just the start of the day's conflict. Shortly after the confrontation, the police arrived. "Within the past hour, the police came in and removed people that were inside the studio," she said. "I believe the police just began knocking on the door and saying they would kick the door down and saying they would arrest people on the spot." The Global Revolution studio is now locked, Sobel said. The live feed has finished its Hawaiian broadcast and is playing a pre-recorded video. "The message is that even if they take the space, the [broadcast] will continue to be maintained," Sobel said. But right now, it seems to be out of commission.

Police and buildings department officials had served the Buswhick, Brooklyn space with notices to vacate on Monday night, declaring it "imminently perilous to life." The blog A Great Big City picked up this photo of the notice to vacate from the studio from the Twitter stream of Glass Bead Collective:

There is a handful of live streams that regularly cover Occupy events, such as Tim Pool's The Other 99 and Spencer Mills's OakFoSho. But Global Revolution is considered the main channel. It's an aggregator of live streams worldwide, borne of the Occupy Wall Street protest in Zuccotti Park. And this wouldn't be the first time the headquarters had moved.

In an Oct. 4 profile, The New Yorker's Andrew Marantz wrote: "For the first few weeks of the protest, Global Revolution operated from under a tarp in Zuccotti Park, using wireless hot spots. Two weeks ago, the group, frustrated with the amount of equipment they were losing to theft and rain, moved to NoHo." Global Revolution operated from a building at Lafayette and Bleeker while journalists such as New York's John Heilemann and Wired's Sean Captain profiled it. Heilemann's Nov. 27 piece described the 39-year-old Teichberg as "so jacked in to the electronic grid that he comes across like a character out of Neuromancer." By Dec. 11,, when The New York Times wrote about the rise of live feeds in publicizing the Occupy protests, the Global Rev. headquarters had moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Is that so? [Bayonetta]
  • grazie

The meaningless sideshow.

The 2012 presidential race officially begins today with the caucuses in Iowa, and we all know what that means …


The race for the White House is normally an event suffused with drama, sucking eyeballs to the page all over the globe. Just as even the non-British were at least temporarily engaged by last year’s royal wedding, people all over the world are normally fascinated by the presidential race: both dramas arouse the popular imagination as real-life versions of universal children’s fairy tales.

Instead of a tale about which maiden gets to marry the handsome prince, the campaign is an epic story, complete with a gleaming white castle at the end, about the battle to succeed to the king’s throne. Since the presidency is the most powerful office in the world, the tale has appeal for people all over the planet, from jungles to Siberian villages.

It takes an awful lot to rob the presidential race of this elemental appeal. But this year’s race has lost that buzz. In fact, this 2012 race may be the most meaningless national election campaign we’ve ever had. If the presidential race normally captivates the public as a dramatic and angry ideological battle pitting one impassioned half of society against the other, this year’s race feels like something else entirely.

In the wake of the Tea Party, the Occupy movement, and a dozen or more episodes of real rebellion on the streets, in the legislatures of cities and towns, and in state and federal courthouses, this presidential race now feels like a banal bureaucratic sideshow to the real event – the real event being a looming confrontation between huge masses of disaffected citizens on both sides of the aisle, and a corrupt and increasingly ideologically bankrupt political establishment, represented in large part by the two parties dominating this race.

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Bolded a lot because I think this entire article needs to be read. It sums up a lot of my feeling about the upcoming election pretty damn succinctly.

Calvin & Hobbes: Rant! Rant! Rant!
  • calybe

Kashmir power cut protest leaves one dead

Guards have opened fire during a protest over power cuts in Indian-administered Kashmir, killing one person and injuring four, police say.

The protest took place at a National Hydroelectric Power Corporation plant at Uri, 75km (45 miles) north of Srinagar.

Four guards have been arrested.

The government announced power cuts in December to cope with a supply shortfall, sparking widespread anger during the bitterly cold winter months.

The BBC's Riyaz Masroor in Srinagar says Uri is highly militarised due to its proximity to the nearby Line of Control that divides the Indian- and Pakistani-controlled regions of Kashmir.

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OP: Mods, can we have a tag for Kashmir? At least that way awareness about the situation can be raised.

  • scolaro

President Accused of Threatening Tabloid Newspaper

German President Wulff reportedly sought to prevent tabloid Bild from publishing a damaging article about his private loan arrangements last month, two newspapers reported this week. He even threatened legal action in an angry voicemail, the contents of which have now been confirmed by the paper.

German President Christian Wulff intervened personally to try to stop mass-circulation daily Bild from running a story last month about a private loan that has damaged his credibility and exposed him to criticism, German newspapers reported this week.

Wulff reportedly tried to contact Bild Editor in Chief Kai Diekmann on Dec. 12 by telephone to complain about an article the newspaper was planning to run the next day, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung and Süddeutsche Zeitung newspapers reported on Sunday and Monday respectively.

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Source: Spiegel

I'm too disgusted for words. This man needs to be removed from his post immediately, he's a disgrace to the whole country.

What gets me almost as much as the actual threat is that he LEFT IT AS A VOICEMAIL MESSAGE.
On the phone of a media person.
How fucking STUPID can you be?
daphne kitty kiss
  • flaca

Abortion Charge Dismissed

Manhattan prosecutors on Tuesday decided against using a rarely invoked law to pursue criminal charges against a woman who induced a miscarriage of her 25-week-old fetus.

Yaribely Almonte, 20 years old, was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on a misdemeanor charge of self-abortion in the first degree. She was charged Dec. 1, two days after the superintendent of her Washington Heights building found the male fetus wrapped in plastic bags and placed in a bucket inside a trash can.

A court official said Ms. Almonte appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court with her family by her side and was handed a letter saying the case against her had been dismissed.

The official said it is rare for the district attorney's office to hand a defendant a letter, but prosecutors wanted to "make it very clear" to Ms. Almonte that the case was being dismissed.

A person with knowledge of the prosecution said the district attorney's office was still investigating the case and could decide later to pursue charges.

Authorities have said Ms. Almonte told them she ingested a tea that she had been told would induce abortion. Police decided to charge Ms. Almonte with self-abortion instead of homicide because there was no sign the fetus had ever taken a breath. The cause of death is pending an investigation. Ms. Almonte and her family couldn't be reached for comment.

In New York, it is illegal for a woman to abort a fetus after 24 weeks of gestation—when it is considered viable—unless her life is in danger. A doctor who performs such a procedure can be charged criminally, but so can the woman, whether she agrees to the abortion or does it herself. The self-abortion charge has been used a handful of times in the past three decades across the state.

Andrea Miller, president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, called the dismissal a "relief." "We had certainly hoped that they would not proceed," she said. "It's a relief to see the DA's office step back from its original knee-jerk reaction to what was obviously a very tragic situation. It should been a public health matter not a criminal matter."