Author Archive | BananaFamine
Remember when you were growing up and wanted to be a police officer, fire fighter or other public servant?
Now the TSA appears to be tapping children as future recruits for airport checkpoints, as evidenced by this novelty “Junior Officer” badge handed out at Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Not only are young, impressionable fliers indoctrinated by the unconstitutional checkpoints themselves, but now by a subtle driver to join the team someday when they can get the power to conduct their own pat-downs and body scans.
BOSTON — Kevin Hogan is an English teacher and crew coach at a top-rated Massachusetts public high school, but he brings some unusual experience to the job: until recently, he was starring in pornographic movies. Hogan has worked at the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Malden since September. In addition to his coaching and teaching duties, he also chairs the high school’s English department. But he can also be found on the Internet and in adult entertainment stores under his screen name: Hytch Cawke ...
David Gerrie writes in the Daily Mail:
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Details of an amazing American military plan for an attack to wipe out a major part of the British Army are today revealed for the first time. In 1930, a mere nine years before the outbreak of World War Two, America drew up proposals specifically aimed at eliminating all British land forces in Canada and the North Atlantic, thus destroying Britain’s trading ability and bringing the country to its knees.
Previously unparalleled troop movements were launched as an overture to an invasion of Canada, which was to include massive bombing raids on key industrial targets and the use of chemical weapons, the latter signed off at the highest level by none other than the legendary General Douglas MacArthur.
The plans, revealed in a Channel 5 documentary, were one of a number of military contingency plans drawn up against a number of potential enemies, including the Caribbean islands and China.
Christine Dell’Amore writes in National Geographic:
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For years, psychologists have observed that people routinely overestimate their abilities, said study leader Dominic Johnson, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
Some experts have suggested that overconfidence can be a good thing, perhaps by boosting ambition, resolve, and other traits, creating self-fulfilling prophecies.
But positive self-delusion can also lead to faulty assessments, unrealistic expectations, and hazardous decisions, according to the study — making it a mystery why overconfidence remains a key human trait despite thousands of years of natural selection, which typically weeds out harmful traits over generations.
Now, new computer simulations show that a false sense of optimism, whether when deciding to go to war or investing in a new stock, can often improve your chances of winning.
“There hasn’t been a good explanation for why we are overconfident, and this new model offers a kind of evolutionary logic for that,” Johnson said.
Greg Neale and James Burton writes in the Guardian:
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Elephant poaching in Africa and Asia is being fuelled by China’s economic boom, according to a study of the ivory trade.
Authors of the new report found that the number of ivory items on sale in key centres in southern China has more than doubled since 2004, with most traded illegally. The survey comes amid reports of a dramatic rise in rhino poaching across Africa, and a spate of thefts of rhino horns from European museums and auction houses.
Based on the results of their survey, the ivory researchers are calling for China to tighten its enforcement of ivory trading regulations, saying that such a move is vital to reduce the number of elephants that are killed illegally. The report is published on the eve of a meeting in Geneva of the Cites organisation, which is responsible for controlling trade in endangered wildlife species.
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Rudolf Brazda, last known survivor of the so-called “Pink Triangles” — gays interned in Nazi camps because of their homosexuality — died in France Wednesday aged 98, officials said. “Rudolf passed on peacefully in his sleep at dawn on August 3” at an old people’s hospital in Bantzenheim, eastern France, said Philippe Couillet, a friend and associate of the deceased.
Brazda, born in 1913, was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp in August 1942 and reamined there until it was liberated by US troops in 1945. After the war he moved to Alsace, the eastern French region that borders Germany, and lived there until his death. He was awarded France’s Legion of Honour in April this year.
Tens of thousands of people were convicted under Nazi Germany’s laws that made homosexual acts a crime. Those who were sent to concentration camps had to wear a pink triangle on their prison clothes that identified them as homosexual.
Bruce E. Levine writes on Alternet:
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The ruling elite has created social institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance.
Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination.
Young Americans—even more so than older Americans—appear to have acquiesced to the idea that the corporatocracy can completely screw them and that they are helpless to do anything about it.
A 2010 Gallup poll asked Americans “Do you think the Social Security system will be able to pay you a benefit when you retire?” Among 18- to 34-years-olds, 76 percent of them said no. Yet despite their lack of confidence in the availability of Social Security for them, few have demanded it be shored up by more fairly payroll-taxing the wealthy; most appear resigned to having more money deducted from their paychecks for Social Security, even though they don’t believe it will be around to benefit them.