When the Bank Robs You: Wells Fargo Contractors Allegedly Stole Family Heirlooms Rescued From Nazis

The Adier family home after Wells Fargo contractors broke in, Morris Township, New Jersey. Photo: Courtesy of David Adier

The Adier family home after Wells Fargo contractors broke in, Morris Township, New Jersey. Photo: Courtesy of David Adier

David Dayen via The Intercept:

The few remaining defenders of the Obama administration’s failure to prosecute the executives who helped cause the 2008 financial crisis argue that the bankers’ actions were unethical but not criminal. President Obama himself has made this claim: “Some of the most damaging behavior on Wall Street … wasn’t illegal,” he told Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes in December 2011.

The president might want to take this up with David Adier, who says he was victimized by Wells Fargo breaking and entering into his family’s home in Morris Township, New Jersey, and then committing property damage and theft. Burglary is a felony subject to prison time — if anybody but a bank does it.

Adier’s case is doubly disturbing because of what was taken: items his father retrieved from his family’s apartment in France before fleeing the Nazis in 1940, including a Kiddush cup, a Seder plate and a sewing machine used by his grandmother.

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Bringing Down America’s Happiest Christian Cult

Originally the Chelsea Hotel, 920 W Wilson is now the headquarters for the intentional Christian community, Jesus People USA. Photo: Cameopro77 (CC)

Originally the Chelsea Hotel, 920 W Wilson, Chicago, is now the headquarters for the intentional Christian community, Jesus People USA. Photo: Cameopro77 (CC)

“For decades, the freewheeling hippies of Jesus People USA —’God’s forever family’ — forged one of the most influential movements in Christianity. They were also Jaime Prater’s family, until he made a documentary exposing the commune’s darkest secrets,” writes Jesse Hyde at Buzzfeed:

Usually, Jaime Prater felt excited on the first day of school. He’d get up early, put on the outfit he’d laid out the night before — he liked bow ties and sweater-vests — and hurry down the hall with the other kids in his building. But this morning in September 1989 felt different. This morning he was starting the eighth grade, and he felt something closer to dread.

For as long as he could remember, Prater had lived here among the Jesus People, about two blocks from the “L” train in Uptown Chicago.

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The Lost Spiritual Path in Wes Anderson’s Films

11783040314_4e4dae9a6c_zOn elephant journal, I explore what happened to the aspect of Wes Anderson’s older films in which a white male undergoes a transformation to a new paradigm of living:

About a decade ago, acclaimed director Wes Anderson started taking some flak for what critics perceived as repetition of childish content, or content he had imagined in his youth. I didn’t agree with the Hollywood echo chamber at the time, but I also never really got Anderson’s films until “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” (2004). Despite being a twentysomething, I related far too much to Bill Murray’s rendition of a man in mid-life crisis.

As I reacquainted myself with Anderson’s back catalogue (and discovered his feature debut, “Bottle Rocket”, from 1996), I started to notice symbols, character types and traits that reappear in a seemingly intentional way: the overachieving kid, the has-been adult, the disgruntled wife, ex-wife, or widow and even the pregnant woman.

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Long exposure to tiny amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup may damage liver, kidneys

It’s hard to imagine an informed disinfonaut knowingly using the toxic weedkiller Roundup (glyphosphate), but just in case, check out this new study showing that exposure to tiny amounts over time may harm your liver and kidneys, reported by RT:

Long-term intake of the Monsanto’s most popular Roundup herbicide, even in very small amounts lower than permissible in US water, may lead to kidney and liver damage, a new study claims.

Roundup Monsanto

The research, conducted by an international group of scientists from the UK, Italy and France, studied the effects of prolonged exposure to small amounts of the Roundup herbicide and one of its main components – glyphosate.

In their study, published in Environmental Health on August 25, the scientists particularly focused on the influence of Monsanto’s Roundup on gene expression in the kidneys and liver.

In the new two-year study, which extended the findings from one conducted in 2012, the team added tiny amounts of Roundup to water that was given to rats in doses much smaller than allowed in US drinking water.

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Daniel Wolfe Is Killing Himself Live on Facebook

War sucks. PTSD is real. Military suicide is an epidemic. Facebook is where we live our lives. All true, put together at GQ:

IT’S LATE AFTERNOON, MAY 5, 2014, and Daniel Wolfe walks up a shady street through bright sunshine, the heat still rising as the light falls. There’s hardly anyone around to see him, but still he’s a sight: a big lumbering shadow, six feet four, two forty, with a bad knee and a black backpack, a tall broad man among the low quiet houses. He’s wearing plaid shorts, black-and-green tennis shoes, a dark-color shirt. His backpack contains most of what he’s got left. Discharge papers. Records from V.A. hospitals in two states. Old warrants for his arrest. He’s got a V.A.-issued pamphlet on “Pain and Pain Management” and an appointment card for “Mandatory Suicide Prevention Education,” dated three months ago. He’s got a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, a cell phone, and a box cutter.

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Esoteric Symbolism and Hidden Meaning Uncovered in the Matrix Film

Jay Dyer via Waking Times:

The Matrix, as I’ve joked many times, is one of those perennial topics in philosophy 101 classes that tends to evoke the most inane and mindless “philosophizing” by the mind-warped morass of modern morlocks. Yet still, it is a film that is packed with esoteric symbolism, philosophy, “predictive programming,” and all other manner of poppy culture engineering. In this analysis, we are going to go elucidate themes, motifs and symbols missed by other sites, as we consider one of the system’s principal works of self-flattery. Interestingly, of all films to analyze in the way sites like mine do, this the most obvious seems forgotten in the haze of the now umpteen hundred Eyes Wide Shut analyses.

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The Matrix begins with a computerized image of the Warner Bros. logo, a phone ring, and a conversation between Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) about watching “him” (Neo, Keanu Reeves), and whether the line is secure.

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Alien Abductions: Skeptics, Debunkers, and the Facts at Hand

One of the critical aspects of the abduction phenomenon is that abductees all say the same thing about what is happening to them, even though they do not share knowledge of each others’ experiences. For example, it would be interesting (albeit trivial) to know where aliens come from. If the abduction phenomenon is psychologically based—and therefore, not real—some abductees would simply invent a home base for the aliens, just as they are imagining every­thing else. We would then have a variety of origin theories. In fact, abductees seldom describe a “home base,” because the aliens they encounter do not choose to give this information. Nor do aliens ever reveal the ultimate reason for why they are here. If the phenomenon were psychological, we would be given a wealth of reasons.

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Knowing how aliens got here matters to scientists. They under­stand the immense difficulties of our going to other solar systems or galaxies with our technology and conclude that it is unlikely for others to travel here.… Read the rest

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One year and counting: Mars isolation experiment begins

The obsession with colonizing Mars continues in the media, so much so that I’m starting to wonder how much the movie studio releasing The Martian is paying for it. AFP via Yahoo News reports from Hawaii on a year-long lock-in meant to replicate conditions on Mars:

Six people shut themselves inside a dome for a year in Hawaii, in the longest US isolation experiment aimed at helping NASA prepare for a pioneering journey to Mars.

Photo: Univ. of Hawaii

Photo: Univ. of Hawaii

 

The crew includes a French astrobiologist, a German physicist and four Americans — a pilot, an architect, a doctor/journalist and a soil scientist.

They are based on a barren, northern slope of Mauna Loa, living inside a dome that is 36 feet (11 meters) in diameter and 20 feet tall.

In a place with no animals and little vegetation around, they closed themselves in at 3:00 pm Hawaii time (0100 GMT Saturday), marking the official start to the 12-month mission.

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Federal Drug Sentencing Laws Bring High Cost, Low Return

The War on Some Drugs is a waste of money. We all knew it, but now the Pew Charitable Trusts has produced a research report verifying this obvious truth:

More than 95,000 federal prisoners are serving time for drug-related offenses—up from fewer than 5,000 in 1980.1 Changes in drug crime patterns and law enforcement practices played a role in this growth, but federal sentencing laws enacted during the 1980s and 1990s also have required more drug offenders to go to prison— and stay there much longer—than three decades ago.2 (See Figure 1.) These policies have contributed to ballooning costs: The federal prison system now consumes more than $6.7 billion a year, or roughly 1 in 4 dollars spent by the U.S. Justice Department.3

Despite substantial expenditures on longer prison terms for drug offenders, taxpayers have not realized a strong public safety return. The self-reported use of illegal drugs has increased over the long term as drug prices have fallen and purity has risen.4 Federal sentencing laws that were designed with serious traffickers in mind have resulted in lengthy imprisonment of offenders who played relatively minor roles.5 These laws also have failed to reduce recidivism.

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