- ★ Americans Shoplifted $1.8 Billion Worth of Stuff This Christmas
- Hope you have a Merry Christmas, America, because you’ve been extremely naughty at the mall this year. After surveying retailers in the U.S., the Global Retail Theft Barometer says that shoppers pinched $1.8 billion worth of merchandise during the four weeks leading up to Christmas, reports the AP. $1.8 billion! For context, $1.8 billion is a 6 percent increase from 2010 — a total of approximately 62 million Tickle Me Elmos at retail. And this is a year when there aren’t even any good toys to buy. When stores are offering big markdowns because people aren’t spending as much. But that’s exactly the point: while there will always be some built-in kleptomania to society, the sour economy drives some people to buy less and steal more. Or at least gives them a good excuse for doing so.
- ★ Cardinal Faces Pushback For Comparing Gay Rights Movement To The KKK
- Change.org has released a petition calling for the resignation of Catholic Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, following comments the Cardinal made to FOX Chicago Sunday comparing the gay rights movement to the Klu Klux Klan’s anti-Catholicism. Equally Blessed, an umbrella group of pro-LGBT rights Catholic organizations, has reinforced the pushback by releasing a statement declaring in part that George, “has demeaned and demonized LGBT people in a manner unworthy of his office. In suggesting that the Catholic hierarchy has reason to fear LGBT people in the same way that blacks, Jews, Catholics and other minorities had reason to fear the murderous nightriders of the Ku Klux Klan, he has insulted the memory of the victims of the Klan’s violence and brutality.” The petition has already garnered well over half the 2,500 signatures the organization was aiming for.
- ★ Aquaponics: Baltimore city, suburban residents try hand at fish farming
- The aquarium in the living room of Meir and Leah Lazar’s Baltimore County home isn’t just for decoration. The tilapia and bluegills packed into the 50-gallon glass tank are waiting their turn to wind up on dinner plates. Out back, Meir Lazar is putting the finishing touches on a bigger new home for the fish inside a plastic-covered greenhouse. There, he hopes, the waste from the fish he’s tending will help him raise enough lettuce, tomatoes and other produce to feed his family of five year-round. Sustainability is more than a buzzword for Meir Lazar, 32, a computer systems administrator and teacher who’s pursuing aquaponics in his small suburban backyard off Greenspring Avenue. He said he’s inspired at least in part by news reports about food tainted by pesticides, bacteria and even radiation from the Japanese nuclear reactor meltdown earlier this year.
- ★ Man Dressed as Santa Believed to Shoot Six
- Police were looking for a motive in a shooting in which they believe a man dressed as Santa Claus killed six family members in a Fort Worth, Texas, suburb on Christmas day before shooting himself. No one survived the carnage in the living room of a two-story apartment in Grapevine, Texas. Police said it was the single largest mass-shooting death in the city’s history and among the worst in Texas in recent years.
- ★ Unrelenting Global Economic Crisis: A Doomsday View of 2012
- The economic, political and social outlook for 2012 is profoundly negative. The almost universal consensus, even among mainstream orthodox economists is pessimistic regarding the world economy. Although, even here, their predictions understate the scope and depth of the crises, there are powerful reasons to believe that beginning in 2012, we are heading toward a steeper decline than what was experienced during the Great Recession of 2008 – 2009. With fewer resources, greater debt and increasing popular resistance to shouldering the burden of saving the capitalist system, the governments cannot bail out the system. Many of the major institutions and economic relations which were cause and consequence of world and regional capitalist expansion over the past three decades are in the process of disintegration and disarray. The previous economic engines of global expansion, the US and the European Union, have exhausted their potentialities and are in open decline.
- ★ 8-Bit Yulelog
- ★ Mexico’s cartels build own national radio system
- The alert goes out from a taxi driver or a street vendor, equipped with a high-end handheld radio and paid to work as a lookout known as a “halcon,” or hawk. The radio signal travels deep into the arid countryside, hours by foot from the nearest road. There, the 8-foot-tall (2-meter-tall) dark-green branches of the rockrose bush conceal a radio tower painted to match. A cable buried in the dirt draws power from a solar panel. A signal-boosting repeater relays the message along a network of powerful antennas and other repeaters that stretch hundreds of miles (kilometers) across Mexico, a shadow communications system allowing the cartel to coordinate drug deliveries, kidnapping, extortion and other crimes with the immediacy and precision of a modern military or law-enforcement agency.
- ★ Killin’ for Candy and Concords: The Price of Black Life
- In recent news, an up and coming rapper was killed in a crowded Atlanta mall. According to authorities, Joe Blackmon, aka “Killa Black,” was standing in line for a pair of Air Jordan Concords when he, accidentally, knocked a Jolly Rancher out of the hand of the man in front of him. The man, described only as “an African American in a black hoodie with saggin’ pants” pumped five rounds in him before fleeing the scene. Witnesses say that the crowd just stepped over the dying Blackmon like nothing happened ,some even refusing to let paramedics through for fear of losing their places in line… Recently, people were shocked that Brick Squad affiliate, Slim Dunkin, was murdered in an Atlanta studio, allegedly, stemming from a fight over a piece of candy. This tragic event was coupled by media images of mobs of people beating each other senseless over the new Air Jordan XI Concords
- ★ Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story
- Submitter: Hello, I’m a librarian in [NY] and a huge college football fan. Shortly after the sex abuse scandal at Penn State I decided to look on amazon and in our library catalog to see if we had anything by or about Jerry Sandusky. There are 14 copies of his unfortunately titled autobiography, Touched, floating about according to WorldCat
- ★ Israel Spyware Sold To Iran
- The clandestine arrangement worked smoothly for years. The Israeli company shipped its Internet- monitoring equipment to a distributor in Denmark. Once there, workers stripped away the packaging and removed the labels. Then they sent it to a man named “Hossein” in Iran, an amiable technology distributor known to them only by his first name and impeccable English, say his partners in Israel and Denmark. Israeli trade, customs and defense officials say their departments didn’t know that the systems for peering into Internet traffic, sold under the brand name NetEnforcer, had gone to a country whose leaders have called for the destruction of the Jewish state. Israel’s ban on trade with its enemy failed, even though a paper trail on the deals was available in Denmark.
- ★ Report Assails Japan Response to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident
- From inspectors’ abandoning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as it succumbed to disaster to a delay in disclosing radiation leaks, Japan’s response to the nuclear accident caused by the March tsunami fell tragically short, a government-appointed investigative panel said on Monday. The failures, which the panel said worsened the extent of the disaster, were outlined in a 500-page interim report detailing Japan’s response to the calamitous events that unfolded at the Fukushima plant after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out all of the site’s power. Three of the plant’s six reactors overheated and their fuel melted down, and hydrogen explosions blew the tops off three reactor buildings, leading to a major leak of radiation at levels not seen since Chernobyl in 1986.
- ★ An Independent America: Voters leaving Republican, Democratic parties in droves
- A recent analysis conducted by USA Today showed that American voters are fed up with both mainstream political parties and are leaving them in droves. The newspaper claims that “More than 2.5 million voters have left the Democratic and Republican parties since the 2008 elections.” Over the last decade this trend has only seemed to accelerate says USA Today. While many people feel there is little difference in the parties, their options remain slim. Yet, voters switching to Independent have climbed dramatically. According to the statistics gathered from eight swing states, “Democrats’ registration is down by 800,000 and Republicans’ by 350,000. Independents have gained 325,000.”
- ★ ATF and D.C. Police Impersonate Rap Label; Arrest 70 in Year Long Guns and Drug Sting
- Over $7.2 million in drugs and 161 weapons were confiscated after a year long investigation by the Washington D.C. Police and the Bureau the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which operated as fictional rap label. According to Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier, D.C. police and ATF agents acted as undercover officers and “music industry insiders” during the year-long sting. The police created the “Manic Enterprisess” studio in Northeast Washington, for fictional rap artist Richie Valdez in November of 2010. Agents then told the underground world and black market that they were seeking to purchase weapons and drugs. Over the course of the year, agents confiscated 161 firearms (including a rocket launcher), 29 assault weapons, 80 pounds of methamphetamine, 21 pounds of cocaine, 1.25 gallons of PCP, 24 pounds of marijuana, heroin and Ecstasy. “If these drugs and guns had made it to our streets, the impact would have been devastating to community,”
- ★ LAPD botched use of downtown crime cameras
- Most of the surveillance cameras installed in downtown Los Angeles as part of an effort to help police crack down on crime have not been working for two years, according to interviews and records reviewed by The Times. The cameras were installed over the last few years in a highly publicized partnership between local business groups, which purchased them, and the Los Angeles Police Department, which was to monitor and maintain them. But officials said the majority of the cameras don’t work. Some broke down and were never fixed. In the case of six cameras purchased to watch over Little Tokyo, LAPD officials admit that they were never plugged in to the police station’s monitoring bank.
File under Music, SeMeN SPeRmS Links 'o Death, Sex