Archive | December 9, 2013

Bank Tellers Rely On Public Assistance, Too

If you think working for a bank is a  good idea, because a bank is a lucrative business, a business which is responsible for handing out the currency that keeps the economy running, the people working, and the masses fed, then why are bank tellers in the same boat as fast food workers and Wal-Mart employees?

VIA CBS Money Watch

Taxpayers spend $899 million annually in state and federal benefits to support bank tellers and their families, according to a new report from The Committee for Better Banks.

One-third of bank tellers receive some sort of public assistance, ranging from Medicaid to food stamps, the financial industry employee advocacy group found, citing research from the University of California-Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. In New York state, almost 40 percent of bank tellers and their family members are enrolled in public assistance programs, costing the state and federal governments $112 million in benefits.

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Synchro-missity

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Carl Jung called meaningful coincidences and parapsychological occurrences by the term “synchronicity,” but noted that some things are merely attributable to “probability of chance.” Writing on Reality Sandwich, Nick Meador wonders: do we know how to tell the difference?

In recent times the term “synchronicity” has become one of the trendiest words in circles that self-identify as conscious or transformative. The Internet contributed to this, no doubt, by exposing so many of us to schools of thought like Jungian psychology (the origin of synchronicity) that had been partially or totally omitted from general education programs. However, common discussion and application of the term doesn’t take into consideration the fact that the Internet and connected technologies are constantly influencing our perception of supposed synchronicities. When we evaluate these phenomena more closely, it becomes unclear whether we’re identifying them correctly or interpreting them in a useful way.

The word “synchronicity” first appeared in the 1950s, when Carl Jung brought it forth in the development of archetypal psychology.

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Problems with the Conspiratist World View

Via ZapOracle.com

The conspiratist world view—the belief that a unified cabal of elitists is manipulating world events, mind controlling the population,that the main stream media is nothing but lies and that we already live in a police state and a New World Order, etc. has become ubiquitous in global culture. It is the premise of so many Facebook posts, viral memes, websites, radio shows and movies. It transcends red and blue and is as likely to be heard amongst the far right and the far left. It is a perspective widely held in Europe, Central and South America, the Arab world, Australia, New Zealand and almost any place you can think of. Typically, the purveyors of this point of view think they are daring revolutionaries waking up the sheeple, etc. and don’t seem to notice that they are actually just one more of a vast and growing multitude who hold this perspective.

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Your Kids Are More Likely to Die From The Common Cold Than To Be Abducted By Strangers

RennerWhen you live in the Serial Killer Capital of the World (unofficially) it’s easy to think your neighbor might have young girls chained up in the basement. However, according to James Renner, this is not the case even in northeast Ohio. Beginning as a journalist and then as a writer of true crime, Renner spent many years investigating the most brutal abductions and killings in the Cleveland/Akron/Canton area. Some of these cases have since exploded on to the national scene and what may have been regional news is now international. But James Renner also writes fiction–really good fiction. I read The Serial Killer’s Apprentice years ago and when I saw that The Man From Primrose Lane was available, I grabbed that too. The novel is like nothing I’ve ever read before and the shift in the story is so jarring (in a sensational way) that I can’t believe he pulled it off.… Read the rest

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NSA And CIA Infiltrated World Of Warcraft And Second Life To Spy On Gamers

gamesIs that elf watching you? ProPublica reports on fascinating classified documents unearthed from Edward Snowden’s trove revealing that NSA and CIA spies have placed numerous avatars in popular virtual realms:

Not limiting their activities to the earthly realm, American and British spies have infiltrated the fantasy worlds of World of Warcraft and Second Life, conducting surveillance and scooping up data in the online games played by millions of people across the globe, according to newly disclosed classified documents.

Fearing that terrorist or criminal networks could use the games to communicate secretly, move money or plot attacks, the documents show, intelligence operatives have entered terrain populated by digital avatars that include elves, gnomes and supermodels.

The spies have created make-believe characters to snoop and to try to recruit informers, while also collecting data and contents of communications between players.

But for all their enthusiasm — so many CIA, FBI and Pentagon spies were hunting around in Second Life, the document noted, that a “deconfliction” group was needed to avoid collisions — the intelligence agencies may have inflated the threat.

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1997 Address by Nelson Mandela at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, plus 5 videos

via chycho

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Below you will find Nelson Mandela’s 1997 address at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, as well as five relevant videos:

Address by President Nelson Mandela at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
4 December 1997, Pretoria

Mr. Chairman;
Mr. Suleyman al-Najab,
Special Emissary of President Yasser Arafat;
Members of the diplomatic corps;
Distinguished Guests,

“We have assembled once again as South Africans, our Palestinian guests and as humanists to express our solidarity with the people of Palestine.

“I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the organisers of the event, particularly the United Nations Information Centre and the UNISA Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies for this magnificent act of compassion, to keep the flames of solidarity, justice and freedom burning.

“The temptation in our situation is to speak in muffled tones about an issue such as the right of the people of Palestine to a state of their own.

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Moderation Policy At Disinfo: A Quick Note

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Don’t worry: The user’s email address is fake, naturally.

I received another angry email and I thought that this might be a good time for us to discuss the moderation system here at Disinfo.com.

A year or two, we implemented the Disqus comment moderation system. It wasn’t an easy decision for us to make, but it had occurred to me that the majority of the “anonymous” comments we received were abusive or disruptive. A lot of it was racist in nature or just completely unhinged (or both), and some of it was even violent. Deleting comments or banning deranged visitors who could just turn around and make up three or four more sockpuppets and start again was turning into a full-time job; An exercise in futility.

In order to better promote the growth of an inquisitive, involved and invested community, the decision was made to eliminate anonymous comments and require our readers to log in via Disqus.… Read the rest

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Study Suggests Mediumship May Be A Distinct Mental State

seanceAttempting to contact the dead puts people into a unique mental state, the Daily Grail reports:

A new study co-authored by Dean Radin and Julie Beischel has found that electrocortical activity during mediumistic ‘communication’ is distinctly different than during other contemplative moments such as thinking about living or imaginary people.

The research was done to explore two questions: possible correlations between the accuracy of mediums’ statements and the electrical activity in their brain; and the differences in mediums’ brain activity when they intentionally evoked four different subjective states.

To do so, the researchers collected psychometric and brain electrophysiology data from “six individuals who had previously reported accurate information about deceased individuals under double-blind conditions” (ie. mediums).

The researchers conclude[d] that the differences in electrocortical activity “suggest that the impression of communicating with the deceased may be a distinct mental state distinct from ordinary thinking or imagination”.

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How to Succeed in Contemporary Art Without Really Trying

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The art world has just vacated Miami after that city’s warm weather version of the Art Basel fair. Vocativ explains how it truly seems as though anyone can create a modern art sensation at an art fair:

Own a trash can? Have a basement, garage or closet? Are you physically able to wrap pears in tinfoil or drop stuff on a floor? Well, you might as well buy a villa in France, friend, because you are a successful contemporary artist. That’s right: Now you, too, can earn $100,000 to $1 million at Art Basel without even leaving the house! It’s that easy.

Wait a second, you’re asking, do I need to buy all kinds of fancy equipment or expensive professional art supplies? No and no! Just follow these 14 simple DIY steps using everyday household items and a little imagination. We’re not even going to make you buy the infomercial DVDs or pay shipping and handling, we’re just going to give away this life-changing information free of charge.

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The Secrets Of Death Inside Disney World

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Via The New Inquiry, Willie Osterweil delves into the strange rumors concerning dying inside Disney:

When people die in Disney World, medics arrive in unmarked emergency vehicles, treat and talk to the corpse as though it’s just a passed-out visitor, so as not to alarm other guests and dispel the magic.

By policy no one actually dies on Disney property—they are always still “alive” until they arrive at a hospital, outside the confines of the theme park. This last, at least, according to anonymous employees in the book Inside the Mouse, whose reports are sufficiently tangled up with rumor at this point to make none of these claims “verifiably true”—claims which Disney has, furthermore, frequently quashed with the threat of a libel suit.

What is clear is that people die at Disney World […from] congenital heart conditions, heat stroke, other illnesses. Workers die—drivers, maintenance, performers: head trauma from failed acrobatic stunts or falls from catwalks.

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