and here's something special to lift your holiday spirits! What a beautiful idea.
'Layaway angel' strikes at Kentucky Kmarts and Wal-Marts
The "layaway angel" has been in Central Kentucky. Kelsey Smith says she's the latest beneficiary of this Christmas' biggest gift trend — an anonymous layaway payoff — that has spread like a charitable wildfire among Kmarts and some Wal-Marts.also, this from the Ozarker at Conflicted Doomer!
Vitals: Deadly shoulder massager relaxes, strangles - If you think you’ve found the perfect gift for Grandma, and it happens to be a ShoulderFlex massager, buy her something else quick. It turns out to be a device that can lull users into a relaxed state -- and then strangle them.
Sincerest thanks go out to RJ at Global Glass Onion and the Ozarker at Conflicted Doomer, for their help in keeping us all better informed. Be sure to check out their great blogs today!
and....don't forget to visit the forums!
PeakOilNews: Study Connects U.S. Deaths to Fukushima, Contradicts EPA Reports
NYT: Japan Says Decommissioning Damaged Reactors Could Take 40 Years
Time: The Generals Who Will Really Rule North Korea
Kim Jong Un may be taking the place of his late father as North Korea's next leader, but it's the military brass who will be calling all the shotsABCNews: Gadhafi's Son: Get Me a Lawyer
CNN: DOD investigation into airstrike that killed 24 Pakistanis finds U.S. forces acted in self defense
BBC: At least 63 killed in co-ordinated Baghdad attacks - A wave of apparently co-ordinated bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, has killed at least 63 people and injured around 185, say officials.
BlacklistedNews: EXPOSED: US Troops Guarded Terrorist Camp in Iraq
TheAtlantic: As the U.S. Leaves Iraq, Shiites Determined to Hold Power
TheAtlantic: Is the White House Gearing Up for Action on Syria?
LAT: Activists say scores killed in assault on Syrian valley
NPR: Dozens Killed, Scores Injured In Wave Of Bombings In Baghdad
Iraqi security forces inspect a crater caused by a car bomb attack in the neighborhood of Karrada in Baghdad earlier today (Dec. 22, 2011). It was one in a wave of such bombings in the Iraqi capital today.
Time: Washington Flails as Chaos Threatens Iraq: Will Iran Stoke or Douse the Fires?
WSJ: France Risks Turkish Ire With Bill on Genocide
SeattleTimes: Report: US mistakes led to Pakistan airstrikes - The Wall Street Journal says Pentagon investigators have determined that mistakes by a joint U.S.-Afghan special operations team led to the airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month.
NYT: Prime Minister Puts Power-Sharing at Risk in Iraq
BBC: Syria unrest: Arab League observers set to arrive
RollingStone: A Sign Occupy Wall Street Is Having Political Impact - Taibbi - For those saying that Occupy Wall Street hasn't had a concrete effect, take a look at this. It's not much, but it's a little something.
TheNation: Occupy Atlanta: Life After Eviction
Slate: Occupy Wall Street: “We Own Wall Street,” a new movement to stop corporate America’s misbehavior
MSNBC: Occupy protesters indicted on felony charges in Houston
Boston.com: Occupy protesters drop legal battle against city of Boston
TruthOut: Greg Palast: Our Photographer - and His Lens - Busted at Occupy
SeattleTimes: Finnish govt sees possible recession
AdvisorPerspectives: Chicago Fed Says Economic Activity Decreased in November
EconoSpeak: The Meme that Refuses to Die: Government Debt Must Be Paid Back - No it doesn’t. It almost never is.
BusinessInsider: BREAKING: Bank Of America/Countrywide To Pay $335 Million In Largest Fair Lending Settlement In History (who's going to jail though?)
BlacklistedNews: Wall Street's Puppet Show Begins in Asia
BusinessInsider: By One Measure, Q4 Earnings Season Is Shaping Up To Be The Worst In 10 Years
Zerohedge: Mark Faber: "I Am Convinced The Whole Derivatives Market Will Cease To Exist And Will Go To Zero"
BusinessInsider: Mortgage Rates Just Hit A New Record Low
LAT: Home sales were worse than it thought, Realtors group says
NYT: In Syria, Extensive Killings Reported on Eve of Arab League Observer Visit
RawStory: Young Turks host Cenk Uygur cuts mic of Peter Schiff
BusinessInsider: Is Mario Draghi Preparing To 'Spring A Trap' On The Germans In Just A Couple Months? - Writing in The Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, reports on the suspicious of London bankers who are anticipating Mario Draghi's next move as head of the ECB:
TheTelegraph: Britain's credit rating could be cut, Moody's warns
CBSNews: Fitch Again Warns US Debt Burden Threatens AAA Rating
Peak oil and Energy News
EnergyBulletin: YOU ARE HERE: The Oil Journey Presentation - Thanks to your support, we have just completed "You Are Here: The Oil Journey."
Reuters: Brent up to $108 after Iraq bombings
YOU ARE HERE: The Oil Journey (Narrated by Peter Coyote) great video from our good friend RJ at Global Glass Onion and Marketwatch666! by way of Reality Zone! thanks guys!
PittsburghLive: Driller pays South Butler School District $628,000 for rights
UpstreamOnline: Aramco ups rig numbers - Saudi Aramco plans to raise the number of drilling rigs it operates to pre-crisis levels of at least 130 by the second quarter of 2012 as it strives to maintain production capacity levels, Reuters reported.
Guardian: BP axes solar power business - Energy group says it 'can't make any money' from selling panels despite spending $20bn annually on oil and gas developmentsUPI: IEA expects Iraqi oil boom
Mineweb: How 2012 is shaping up and what it means for gold
WashingtonPost: Residents bury their dead after Tropical Storm Washi devastates southern Philippines
MSNBC: Just lovely! Comet shot at sunrise
ScientificAmerican: The Elephant in the Room: How Contraception Could Save Future Elephants from Culling
Guardian: Nigeria on alert as Shell announces worst oil spill in a decade - The oil company says up to 40,000 barrels of crude oil was spilled 75 miles off the coast of the Niger delta
Satellite pictures obtained by independent monitors Skytruth suggested that the spill was 70km-long and was spread over 923 square kilometers (356 sq miles).
But a leading Nigerian human rights group said Shell's figures about the quantity of oil spilled or the clean-up could not be relied on. "Shell says 40,000 barrels were spilled and production was shut but we do not trust them because past incidents show that the company consistently under-reports the amounts and impacts of its carelessness," said Nnimmo Bassey, head of Environmental Rights Action, based in Lagos.
NaomiKlein: Direct action is 'the only real solution' to environmental problems
ThinkProgress: VIDEO: CAP’s Carol Browner on Final Approval of Mercury and Air Toxics Rule
ScientificAmerican: Could Public Health Benefits Make Combating Climate Change Free?
StarTribune: EPA clamps down on power plant pollutants
McClatchy: US helping Britain investigate hacking of climate scientists' emails
America in Decline
LegitGov: Boy disciplined after waving gun-shaped pizza slice
Cryptogon: Local Cops Ready for War With Homeland Security-Funded Military Weapons
BlacklistedNews: Company Who Lobbied for the NDAA Indefinite Detention Bill Given 23 Million Dollar Contract for Night Raid Equipment
CommonDreams: Buying Insider Trading Information From Congress – and Getting Rich PetoskeyNews: Homelessness a problem for many schools
CNNMoney: Colleges pay presidents millions while raising tuition
8NewsNow: Vacant Homes Pose Problems - Clark County officials say abandoned homes across the Las Vegas valley are a haven for criminal activity. Officials are urging people to report suspicious behavior at those homes but some neighbors say they aren't getting any results.
DeclineoftheEmpire: Watching America's Decline And Fall
BusinessInsider: Wounded Soldier Falls On Hard Times And Pawns His Purple Heart
BlacklistedNews: Local police stockpile high-tech, combat-ready gear
CommonDreams: Bradley Manning and the Fog of War - Accused whistle-blower Pvt. Bradley Manning turned 24 Saturday. He spent his birthday in a pretrial military hearing that could ultimately lead to a sentence of life … or death. OffTheCharts: Cutting Pell Grants Is Unnecessary and Unwise - The appropriations agreement for fiscal year 2012 that Congress finalized last weekend included some harmful changes to the federal Pell Grant program, which helps nearly 10 million low- and moderate-income students afford college.
ClevelandFed: Concentrated Poverty - Although the U.S. poverty rate was the same in 2000 as it was in 1970, the geographic distribution of the poor has become more concentrated. A higher concentration of poor in poor neighborhoods is a concern because it may mean the poor are exposed to fewer opportunities that affect their outcomes in life, like employment and income. We show where and how poverty has become more concentrated in the United States, and who is most likely to be affected.
TheNation: Unemployment Insurance Under the Knife
Grist: Cops mock Seattle jogger nearly killed by a truckIn Seattle, a semi truck hit a jogger, nearly killing him. While the jogger lay almost dying, the police officers who responded to the accident were busy sneering at his decision not to drive a car...SOTT: Gaming is 'next major addiction': Up to 40 per cent of under-16s know an addict - and a third of adults play every day
GlobeandMail: The American dream now just a pipe dream for many
Food and Water
PopSci: Video: Swarming Teams of Robo-Farmers Will Change the Face of Agriculture
Grist: McDonald’s rings in 2012 with farmwashing
Science and Technology
BlacklistedNews: DARPA Wants to 'TiVo' The Earth: New spy satellite could provide real-time video from anywhere on Earth
EFF.org: An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to the U.S. Congress - EFF - Today, a group of 83 prominent Internet inventors and engineers sent an open letter to members of the United States Congress, stating their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA Internet blacklist bills that are under consideration in the House and Senate respectively. We, the undersigned, have played various parts in building a network called the Internet. We wrote and debugged the software; we defined the standards and protocols that talk over that network. Many of us invented parts of it. We're just a little proud of the social and economic benefits that our project, the Internet, has brought with it.Last year, many of us wrote to you and your colleagues to warn about the proposed "COICA" copyright and censorship legislation. Today, we are writing again to reiterate our concerns about the SOPA and PIPA derivatives of last year's bill, that are under consideration in the House and Senate. In many respects, these proposals are worse than the one we were alarmed to read last year.
PopSci: Hubble Spots Complex Carbon Compounds, Possibly Organic, on Pluto's Surface
MSNBC: Learn the scientific reasons behind Earth's seasons - Our planet’s tilt dictates start of winter north of equator, and southern summer
Medical and Health
M&C: Brazil to return 46 tonnes of illegally-imported US hospital waste
CNN: Details of new lab-created bird flu strain may be too dangerous to publish
LegitGov: Scientists defend 'Armageddon virus' secrecy
MSNBC: Boy's survival from flesh-eating bacteria deemed a miracle by his family - and the pope
Eurekalert: Supersized market economy, supersized belly: Wealthier nations have more fast food and more obesity
CNN: Texas doctors to operate on girl burned in U.S. drone strike
BodyOdd: What makes someone an angry drunk?
CNN: Dates set for Supreme Court health care reform arguments
CNN: Wal-Mart recalls formula after baby death
Doomsteading, Gardening, Urban Farming
STFPlan: Are Guns and Ammo the New Gold and Silver?
CityFarmer: American Society of Landscape Architects – Farm the Rooftops
SmilingGardener: How To Use Compost - 4 Things To Remember
Grist: Oh, SNAP! Grow gardens with food stamps
The Tools You Need for Leatherwork! [HD]ModernSurvivalBlog: Survival Preparedness – Computer File Backup
TheAtlantic: How America's Death Penalty Just Got Us Sanctioned by Europe - With its legislation this week limiting our access to the drugs we use to kill one another, the European Union has just proven that if America is still a superpower, that designation must carry a prominent asterisk for how easily we're humbled these days. The EU is now blocking importation of technology into the United States that we cannot be trusted to use properly. As widely reported yesterday, the EU is cutting off our supply to the drugs we use for lethal injections, some of which we no longer have the capacity to manufacture domestically:
RawStory: Nebraska’s ‘Ninja Cow’ becomes local celebrity
CNN: Expert: Autopsy of Florida A&M drum major shows badly beaten muscles
BBC: Kim Jong-il death: 'Nature mourns' N Korea leader - North Korean state media say the population is grieving for long-time leader Kim Jong-il
Metro: Muslim girl must be adopted 'to save her life', Court of Appeal rules - A baby at risk of an 'honour killing' after her Muslim mother's secret affair will be adopted to keep her safe.
The court heard that, if the child’s maternal grandfather found out about the affair, it would be a matter of ‘intense, almost unimaginable shame to him and his family’.BBC: Lacoste Prize cancelled amid censorship row - A Swiss art prize worth 25,000 euros (£21,000) has been cancelled amid controversy the organisers censored one of the nominees. Jerusalem-born artist Larissa Sansour claims she was taken off the shortlist for being "too pro-Palestinian".
There were also fears that he would consider himself ‘honour-bound’ to kill the child, the mother, the grandmother and the grandmother’s other children.
The Elysee Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland said it was the prize's sponsors, clothing company Lacoste, who decided to exclude Sansour.
LeftwingNutJob: OMG,they forgot the Baby Jesus and where the hell is the Xmas tree? - Yes, its true! The Obama family did NOT put the Baby Jesus or a dressed up friggin pine tree on their Xmas card!
BusinessInsider: Republicans Are Furious About Obama's Christmas Card... Wait Till They See Reagan's.
RawStory: Romney: Bush wouldn’t have invaded Iraq if he knew there were no WMD
TheAtlantic: Grappling With Ron Paul's Racist Newsletters
Perry: I don't have problem with drug-testing welfare recipients (what about presidential candidates?)
Politico: Why GOP embraced Keystone XL oil pipeline - Darren Samuelsohn and Darren Goode - House Republicans thank Daryl Hannah for getting the Keystone XL pipeline onto President Barack Obama’s radar — and inspiring them to place it higher on the GOP’s legislative agenda.
CBSNews: Karl Rove piles on, tells Republicans to cut bait in tax standoff
CBSNews: Ron Paul: The new teflon candidate?
WashingtonMonthly: PolitiFact ought to be ashamed of itself
TinfoilPalace: They are All In it Together.....Part 517
TinfoilPalace: The shifting timeline and strange events thread TheOilAge: Country Living Grain Mill
TheOilAge: Syria 'massacre'
HubbertsArms: Two-headed babies
HubbertsArms: America Has Now Reached “Peak Imprisonment”
SilentCountry: Ron Paul Is Now the Republican Frontrunner
SilentCountry: Superwealthy mobilize to mute attacks on rich