Thailand set to break massage world record – Todd Pitman, The Associated Press, Bangkok, Thailand | Body and Soul | Thu, August 30 2012, 9:08 AM – (AP/Richard Drew)
Thailand has long been known as the massage capital of the world. Now it’s going to prove it.
Some 800 masseuses in Bangkok were vying to make it into the Guinness World Records book on Thursday by mass-massaging 800 people simultaneously for 12 minutes, according to the Health Ministry, which was organizing the event to promote the Southeast Asian nation’s massage and spa industry to the world.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was to preside over the spectacle at an arena in the capital, and a representative from Guinness World Records was also expected to attend.
If successful, the masseuses would more than triple the previous record — attained in Australia in 2010 — of 263 people being massaged at the same time for five minutes.
Although many of country’s massage parlors notoriously double as fronts for prostitution, many more are legitimate spas offering all kinds of treatments, from aromatherapy to foot rubs to Thai “traditional massage” — an ancient art offered at shops across Bangkok that is still practiced and taught at the city’s revered Wat Pho temple.
The Health Ministry estimated last week that the industry generated up to 30 billion Thai baht (nearly $1 billion) in revenue, state media reported.
Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri has said he wants to see the industry bring in even more revenue. The National News Bureau of Thailand reported that the government “is aiming to make Thailand the world’s ultimate destination for massage, with plans to improve the quality of the workers, offer more massage classes to the public and set up a massage center in every hospital.”
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Sex is a form of massage. Except that an organ is being massaged by another organ. If muscles need massage, not inconceivable that ORGANS can and do need to be massaged. In fact the vaginal surface could be the superior ‘finger tip’ and the penis a ‘muscle’ (smooth). Western/Victorian ideas about sexuality have polluted esoteric massage and made what is natural (just an organ) into something bad or to be exploited by or where abuse is expected and normal outside of procreational use. Professional sex is NOT sex for love and should not be mixed up with morality or infidelity issues. If spouses have no skill and can only procreate, then they cannot fairly expect to satisfy or be expected to satisfy partners.
Also people have sex as much for health as for entertainment, the lasviciousness ‘problem’ being the ‘illness’ (actually spirituak energic ‘hunger’) that massage (of the penis by the vagina) releases. Stop feeling guilty guys, and underdstand that sex is normal, and that society’s ‘matrochial’ aspects of socialised mental illness or sexual manipulation by far less friendlier femi-nazis, is what typifies wives who withold or refuse to have sex. Just don’t pay more than minimum wage or what is reasonable for a fair (middle class) retirement to your sex worker/prostitute. Enough with the sexual politics, these so-called ‘sex workers’ and ‘prostitutes’ are HEALTH PROFESSIONALS that handle another sort of muscle (muscles when massaged give off chemicals, same with this ‘external’ organ . . . of which a certain distinguished friend of mine claimjed could lifet 50kg with proper taichi training . . . ), who have been needlessly stigmatized, and immatured/narrow society’s socio-political-manipulation ‘kissing in a tree’ attack mentality about sex is for unaware/unthinking citizens, children, uncivilised barbarians, and not even monkeys – adult monkeys at least which are frightfully human and surly as any adult human to boot.
The issue is most of society and even these HEALTH PROFESSIONALS (the simplified but stigmatized yet valid descriptor being “prostitutes”) have been infected by femi-nazi ideology or those intent on harming men by witholding sex (that is retaliated in by the less controlled in rapes, not that rapes are justifiable or better than witholding of sex which is why the ‘sexually able women’ can actually make a living off what is a leisurely activity . . . procreational sex.). Granted that the upper classes would prefer not to do this sort of work (and much like the love of ‘docking tails’ and ‘pricking ears’ or ‘neutering’ – did puss or pup give permission to so-called owners to REMOVE their nethers? . . . in animals which has been branded as cruel, the upper classes would expect a form of sanitised sexuality or expression of sexuality to be ‘the norm’, unfortunately, too much influence and too little emphasis on PRIVACY is the problem with virtually all ‘modern societies) , but this is a health related field/issue that cannot be ignored or only ignored at risk to the astral and ethereal and if too proud to have sex for health with others, then at very least do not attack the rights of sex workers and johns or those seeking health via sex (massage or external organs) in red light districts which need to, and have not yet been set up in all major international capitals at least.
Every sexual liason refused or missed is a disaster waiting to happen on the other side of the world in the form of earthquakes and tornadoes IF there is a similarly frustrated ‘person’ (‘person’ as in lowest chakra/spinal node spirit, not the day to day person – humans are much like ‘Portuguese-Men-O-War’ . . . colonies of SPIRITS attached to a single physical body specifically to ORGANS including the external one the retards in society are so woo-woo about . . . ) mirroring. If compounded by viciousness of intent, attempts to manipulate, steal spirit or what not, AND by spouses (which is why people get married, though society often creates conditions that prevent marriage the most evident being refusal to distribute land or distribute wealth in extreme wealth or land sequestration by a handful of individuals), spiritual sins akin to rape occur. So have fun figuring out why man has had a history of war . . . that all for Sexual Occult Theory 101 for today. The Atlanteans used sexual magick (apparently with the dead) and destroyed themselves by Mother Nature’s wrath, now mankind if not ready to create better conditions around them and suppress or harness what should be wild free libidos of free citizens, will get to enjoy nature’s need to remove the offending individuals, because phenotypical links are a spiritual firmament or spiritual bedrock of sorts that cannot be touched or tampered with without free willed assent (which is why rapes are so bad though killing in turn for raping is worse than raping alone and is no equitable punishment/vengeance).
How Live Sex Will Save The Porn Industry – Michael Stabile – 5 Sep 2012
DVDs are dead, pay sites are struggling and porn is free and unlimited. Why live cams, Twitter and Skype may be the porn industry’s last hope.
Ruby Knox moved to Los Angeles six years ago to become a porn star. The free-spirited Native American, now 27 (though her online profile at SquirtNetwork.com gives her age as 25), says she was in it as much for the self-exploration as the money — and for a while, she found both. For much of the last decade, the San Fernando Valley — porn’s longtime hub — was flush with cash from DVD sales and an online streaming boom. Knox shot for studios like Hustler and Vivid, picking up a few AVN Award nominations in the process.
But this past April, she packed up her computer and and left the Valley. Now, from her home in Baja California, Knox does private webcam sessions for up to $15 per minute.
Knox is not alone. Webcams — or “cams” as they’re more commonly referred in the industry — were once an online backwater populated by Eastern Europeans and low-quality, stop-and-go videos. In the past few years, they’ve emerged as the driving force of a new internet porn boom.
For those at the top, the rewards are incredible. A popular model on a large cam site can generate over $40,000 in a single month. There are multiple revenue streams for a cam star, including group chats, but for many the goal is to find a “whale,” an online sugar daddy who might spend $20,000 a month on you or, even better, a member of “the platinum club” — the high-net worth fans who spend more than $100,000 a year.
Webcams have been around for almost as long as the commercial internet, but the days of watching a monitor-lit star hunched over a keyboard are long gone. In the past few years, prosumer electronics, HD video-streams and hands-free operation have turned the cams from an also-ran to the porn industry’s financial front-runner. And thanks to programs like Skype, cams have become much more of an interactive experience. If the appeal of those first webcams was voyeurism, the appeal of today’s cams is their intimacy.
The cam industry owes as much to phone sex as it does to porn. After all, the goal with cams isn’t to get the customers off, but to seduce them into staying online — at $15 a minute, the sizzle is worth much more than the steak.
Alec Helmy, publisher of the porn industry trade magazine Xbiz, calls cams “one of the industry’s few bright spots.” While the rest of piracy-plagued porn is struggling to survive, he says top cam companies have been growing by as much as 20 percent annually. Douglas Richter, a rep for Adult Webmaster Empire (AWE), one of the industry’s largest cam companies, estimates industry revenues at between $1.5 and $2 billion a year.
And where the money goes, the stars have followed. Cams are drawing increasingly high-profile stars, who are attracted to both the money and the adulation. A recent cam show by Jenna Haze* on AWE’s LiveJasmin.com attracted 10,000 paying followers. That’s a lot of cash, even in an industry used to quick fortune.
It’s one reason a site like Live Jasmin can now operate in the same cultural space once reserved for luxury brands like Chandon or Bentley: Flo Rida name checked the site in his recent single, “Hey Jasmin.”
Live Jasmin may not yet have the name recognition of Playboy, but that won’t last for long. The site currently holds an Alexa ranking of 46, making it one of the 50 most popular sites in the entire world. On an average day, LiveJasmin.com attracts more online viewers than the New York Times, Netflix or ESPN. By traffic — and possibly revenue — it’s the largest adult company in the world.
The key to cams’ success is the interaction with the star — so unlike traditional porn, there’s little incentive to pirate. A taped cam show is like a taxidermied pet: It might look the same, but it’s a little lifeless. So while the rest of the porn industry fights to keep its content off torrent sites, cams are exploding. They may share a lineage with filmed porn, but it’s a Darwinian offshoot that has suddenly found itself immune to the virus that’s killing off its competitors.
It’s also changing the nature of the entire business.
GIVING PORN AWAY
In the traditional system, a porn producer would shoot a movie and try to move as many copies as it could. With cams, the goal isn’t so much to go wide as it is to find a few “whales” willing to spend big. It’s porn for the 1%.
“It’s a different kind of profit. It’s a different kind of customer,” says Randy Blue. Blue launched his eponymous gay porn site nearly a decade ago and quickly became one of the biggest players in the industry — a streaming video success story. At one point, he considered using his success to buy up traditional brick-and-mortar porn studios, but he couldn’t see the long-term value. Two years ago, he decided to invest heavily in cams.
“If anybody works in the industry and they see their profit shrinking monthly and they haven’t caught the clue they might be obsolete in two years, I don’t know what to tell them. We’re going through the biggest technological change that this industry has ever gone through, much more than reel-to-reel to VHS to DVD — that was nothing,” he says.
The porn industry, he says, is on the same trajectory as all media: content itself no longer holds value. “When you look at the money that’s made by most recording artists, they make their money in concerts. What used to be a $30 ticket is now $125 ticket. Sometimes they do a smaller venue with fans who are willing to pay more.”
If you’re an artist who wants to remain independent — whether as a filmmaker, a rock band or a porn star — your success is your direct connection, and the only commodity worth selling is the live event.
Take Clerks director Kevin Smith, who abandoned traditional distribution for his film Red State in favor of a traveling roadshow. Or a comedian like Louis C.K, who self-distributed his concert album Live at the Beacon to his fans at a steep discount — and now uses that direct connection to sell concert tickets without a middleman. Acts like Radiohead essentially give away their albums — and make it up in live performance.
Filmed porn may continue to exist, but many in the industry say it’s likely to become a loss leader, a way to make ancillary revenue. Faced with thousands of tube sites giving away their content, companies from Pink Visual to Kink.com have even looked into giving away their movies for free in order to sell advertising for things like sex toys, dating sites — and cams.
Blue says he’s not sure that free is the answer, but he hasn’t ruled it out. “There is a whole generation of guys who aren’t going to pay for music, porn or anything. So if there are 10,000 people who won’t pay, you have to find a thousand who will.”
And, he says, the 10 percent that is still willing to pay for porn is willing to pay a lot more for a live event.
Ruby Knox’s profile on SquirtNetwork.com
THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE 2.0
That same 10 percent is also changing what defines a star in this new universe. It’s no longer enough to have a pretty face and a tight body. A cam star needs to be able to connect — and to sell.
The connection is what originally drew Ruby Knox to cams, and one reason why she thrives here. “With porn you can’t really relate to your audience, really. You’re just a figment of their imagination,” Knox says. Her fans are as likely to talk with her about items on Reddit as they are about sex.
Knox is a geek, and most of her audience is people like her: gamers, hackers, young professionals who work from home. The very people you wouldn’t expect to pay for porn are spending plenty on her.
A good cam star is part Scheherazade, part carnival barker. Shows always start out free, of course, and often include a countdown clock. The star will tease and flirt; she might talk about her day or how horny she is or what she’s got planned for the show. She could bring out a sex toy or introduce a special guest. Through it all, she’s the consummate hostess, greeting old fans as they log on and batting her eyes at the new ones. But there’s only so much she’ll give away for free.
When the show begins the screen goes blank for anyone who hasn’t ponied up. A show can be anything from lower-priced group chat — sometimes called a circle jerk, where anyone who pays can log in and talk to her — to a personal cam-to-cam show with a single dedicated fan. Sometimes it’s explicit sex, and sometimes it’s just company. (AWE’s Richter says some of the highest paid stars barely get naked.)
For the performer, the cam business model is more akin to dancing — the exotic kind — than it is to traditional porn work. And like a strip club, the house — in this case the cam site — takes a substantial cut, sometimes as much as 40 percent.
Some individual stars do run their own cams, but it’s nothing compared to the money that can be made on a heavily trafficked site like Live Jasmin. While every star has dedicated fans, it’s access to new ones that makes it financially sustainable in the long term. If you want to land a whale, you have to sail in deeper waters.
But even on a site with a lot of traffic, the hustle is still up to the star. A good cam star recognizes your name, remembers what you like, feeds you compliments, and sends you personal messages in the off-hours. This is the Girlfriend Experience 2.0.
The cam section of Samantha Ryan’s site. (It’s loading, perpetually.)
“I talk to them,” says Samantha Ryan, who shot for studios like Pink Visual and Vivid, but now cams almost daily from her home in Los Angeles. “I bring them into the show. You’re trying to eliminate the space between you.”
The era of the untouchable porn diva is over, Ryan says. Cams require an entirely different skill set. “The girls that are just into themselves? “It can be fun for awhile…”
She trails off, as if not wanting to offend. Many cam stars still look for traditional scene work, both because it pays better on an hourly basis and because it acts as an advertisement for their cams. And many top porn stars still regard the cam business as unglamorous. If you’re doing well in traditional porn, cam work can be risky.
“A webcam show can kill the fantasy,” says Knox, carefully choosing her words. “What if someone shows up on cam and is crazy, or taking shots and passing out with a dildo? It’s not for everyone.”
It’s also harder on the psyche. Cam stars have to interact with fans for three or four hours a day, and when they’re not on camera, they have to keep it bubbly on Facebook and Twitter. If download speeds defined the streaming porn boom, the omnipresent grind of social networking defines the cam boom.
While most porn stars have online profiles, cam stars have made social media an art. In their off-hours, stars use it to monitor and interact with fans, to increase familiarity and to get them excited about upcoming shows. When they go online, they send out tweets and emails to their fans; regulars and big spenders might get text messages as well. And they’ve learned to steel themselves against mob mentality and trolls.
“You really have to be on ‘on’,” says Ryan. “Not just on your personal game, but in knowing how to talk to everybody, how to deal with the haters.”
Cams, like comment boards and Facebook threads, are magnets for malcontents and trolls.
“I’d rather get herpes than watch you,” one told her during a recent show. Ryan says she laughed it off publicly because she didn’t want to appear difficult. But the attacks can be vicious. “I understand the psychology. It’s the opportunity for a live one-on-one with us, which they haven’t gotten before.”
For new stars like Jessie Andrews, Best Actress at this year’s AVN Awards, the trouble isn’t worth the trade off. Studio work can pay several thousand dollars for a few hours’ work, and if you’re young and live in Los Angeles, that may be enough.
“Cams are great,” she wrote over email, but says she rarely does them. “I think that girls should make a higher percentage.”
Some cam companies do attempt to lure models with better percentages, especially as performers from Eastern Europe, India and Colombia drive down rates. Ryan used to make more than $1000 per show, but estimates that her profits have dropped by half in the past year because customers are becoming used to getting more for less.
Still, for performers Ryan and Knox, the opportunity to control their own destiny is worth it. Hard work, not just looks, determines how much money you make. It’s not a lucrative on an hour-by-hour basis, but it offers something for the performer that porn never did: predictability.
For Ryan, that means allowing her to go back to school for computer engineering. She has a regular income, and more importantly, a regular schedule. When she was dependent on film shoots, she could hardly schedule yoga, let alone a school semester. Now, sets her own hours and can make a budget.
Knox agrees. She still looks for scene work — she calls filmed porn a “lucrative hobby,” and still shoots when in LA — but cams gave her a life.
“I love that freedom. It’s the American dream. It’s so cool,” And then she excuses herself to have a late lunch, poolside in Mexico.
Michael Stabile is a writer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles.
Top illustration by BuzzFeed’s Chris Ritter
Update: Flo Rida lyrics and SquirtNetwork.com screencap corrected.
*Douglas Richter says he misspoke when he said Jenna Jameson recently had a show on Live Jasmine — he meant Jenna Haze.
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RLDs in major world capitals please. One fundo’s vice is another man’s recreation. All men being equal, then all spaces/laws should be granted.
Claim: Obama hid ‘gay life’ to become president – Chicago homosexual community shocked he could keep it secret – by Jerome R. CorsiEmail
A prominent member of Chicago’s homosexual community claims Barack Obama’s participation in the “gay” bar and bathhouse scene was so well known that many who were aware of his lifestyle were shocked when he ran for president and finally won the White House.
“It was preposterous to the people I knew then to think Obama was going to keep his gay life secret,” said Kevin DuJan, who was a gossip columnist in Chicago for various blogs when Obama was living in the city as a community organizer and later a state senator.
“Nobody who knew Obama in the gay bar scene thought he could possibly be president,” said DuJan.
DuJan, founder and editor of the Hillary Clinton-supporting website HillBuzz.org, told WND he has first-hand information from two different sources that “Obama was personally involved in the gay bar scene.”
“If you just hang out at these bars, the older guys who have been frequenting these gay bars for 25 years will tell you these stories,” DuJan said. “Obama used to go to the gay bars during the week, most often on Wednesday, and they said he was very much into older white guys.”
Obama, DuJan said, is “not heterosexual and he’s not bisexual. He’s homosexual.”
Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, who worked with the National Security Agency from 1984 to 1988 as a Navy intelligence analyst, confirmed DuJan’s claims.
“It is common knowledge in the Chicago gay community that Obama actively visited the gay bars and bathhouses in Chicago while he was an Illinois state senator,” Madsen told WND.
WND also spoke with a member of the East Bank Club in Chicago, who confirmed Obama was a member there and was known to be a homosexual. The upscale fitness club says it has some 10,000 members, but it’s one of a number of places identified by the Chicago homosexual community as a “gay gym.”
In April, WND reported a federal judge dismissed a libel case against Larry Sinclair, a homosexual who claimed Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign had paid to rig a polygraph test regarding Sinclair’s sensational charge that he had sex and used cocaine twice with Obama while Obama was an Illinois state senator. Sinclair tells his story in “Barack Obama & Larry Sinclair: Cocaine, Sex, Lies & Murder.”
WND also reported former radical activist John Drew has said that when he met Obama when Obama was a student at Occidental College, he thought Obama and his then-Pakistani roommate were “gay” lovers.
In addition, rumors have swirled around Obama’s relationship with his personal aide and former “body man,” Reggie Love, who resurfaced on the eve of the Republican National Convention to support his old boss. Love resigned from the White House in November 2011 after compromising photographs of him as a college student received wide circulation.
WND also has documented in two separate articles, here and here, that Obama wore a gold band on his wedding ring finger from the time he attended Occidental College through his student days at Harvard Law School.
DuJan said that during Obama’s first presidential campaign, “there was fear in the gay community” about talking openly about Obama being homosexual, particularly after the murder in December 2007 of Donald Young, the openly gay choir director at Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ, who was known to be a close friend of Obama.
“People did not want to talk openly about Obama being gay,” he said.
“Then, when we saw how Larry Sinclair was demonized, anybody who would expose Obama worried they would be silenced if they dared to speak the truth about Obama’s gay life,” DuJan said.
DuJan said he has been told “Obama’s secrets would have to come out just like John Edwards’ secrets came out.”
He said Obama stopped going to gay bars and bathhouses in Chicago when he began running for the U.S. Senate in 2004.
“Back then, Obama could walk around Chicago and people generally wouldn’t recognize him, even though he was a state senator in the Illinois assembly at the time,” DuJan said.
DuJan insisted that while he’s a supporter of Hillary Clinton, he holds no personal animus toward Obama. He said he campaigned for Clinton in 2008 “because I had waited for years for her to be able to run.”
“I opposed Obama not because I’m a racist, or that I hate Obama, I just knew the type of person Obama associated with in Chicago,” he said.
He pointed to Obama’s association with convicted Chicago real estate magnate Tony Rezko, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and Rev. Wright.
“Obama was a dirty politician that the media never wanted to vet – that’s what concerned me about Obama,” Du Jan said.
DuJan spoke further of his claims about Obama in an interview Monday night on Andrea Shea King’s show on BlogTalkRadio.com, which included questions from WND during the last half of the show.
Madsen published an article in his Wayne Madsen Report in May 2010 claiming Obama and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel were members of the same bathhouse in Chicago.
“President Obama and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel are lifetime members of the same gay bathhouse in uptown Chicago, according to informed sources in Chicago’s gay community, as well as veteran political sources in the city,” Madsen wrote.
He said the bathhouse, “Man’s Country,” catered “to older men,” noting “it has been in business for some 30 years and is known as one of uptown Chicago’s ‘grand old bathhouses.’”
Madsen wrote his 2010 report after traveling to Chicago to interview bartenders and customers at several “gay” bars.
DuJan gave WND a list of “gay” bars in Chicago where older customers hang out and tell stories about how Obama, prior to 2004, frequented visited to pick up men for sex, including several on Halstead Street, widely known as an “uber-gay Chicago street.
Writing in HillBuzz.com Tuesday, DuJan said rooms at Man’s Country bathhouse are still referred to as the “presidential suite,” or the “Oral Office,” because “the current President used to haunt the place when he was a just another Illinois state senator that no one had ever heard of or cared about.”
DuJan said he believes that, someday, “all of this is going to be as public knowledge as JFK’s affair with Marilyn Monroe and the other women he cavorted with while married to Jackie.”
“Someday,” he said, “in the next 10-20 years, everyone will know all about Man’s Country, and the place will no doubt get a plaque of sometime commemorating that place as a gay hangout for the future leader of the free world.”
Jerome R. Corsi, a Harvard Ph.D., is a WND senior staff reporter. He has authored many books, including No. 1 N.Y. Times best-sellers “The Obama Nation” and “Unfit for Command.” Corsi’s latest book is “Where’s the REAL Birth Certificate?”
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Obama will be President for 2 terms after which we do not care if Obama got into porn and owned a string of brothels across USA – Uber-pimp style. Obama may have spent too many terms as Senator and is the President of USA but deserves a private life as much as anyone else. As long as official and non-official lives are separate, who can fairly begrude anyone that freedom of choice which is what USA is all about? Freedom of sexuality cannot be denied the President if everyone else has that right. Good policy writing (which admittedly Obama hasn’t exactly proven yet) is more important than a incumbent or candidate’s sexuality.
Would USA prefer a straight alpha male policy writer or President that destroys the country with bad policy, unneeded wars . . . or a limp wristed, campy gay club visiting President that raises/re-raises the country to the status of a superpower where all are housed and fed and clothed with bright futures? This is politics, not private narrow communalism or fundo bias, doesn’t the writer have the maturity or intelligence to tell the difference?
US debt collectors cash in on $1 trillion in student loans – published: 09 September, 2012, 17:56
A student walks near Royce Hall on the campus of UCLA.(AFP Photo / Kevork Djansezian)
Most US college students hope to land a good job with a high salary after graduation. But for some the reality is very different. Many find themselves faced with insurmountable debt – and a loan industry that’s happy to cash in on their misfortune.
As the number of people taking out government-backed student loans has soared, so has the number of borrowers who have fallen behind in making payments.
Around 5.9 million people nationwide have fallen at least 12 months behind in their payments. This number has grown by a third in the last five years, according to a State Higher Education Finance survey.
Many who can’t repay their loans feel they have no choice but to default. It’s a decision that can be disastrous – ruining a borrower’s credit and increasing the amount they owe. It can also result in penalties of up to 25 per cent of the balance.
Despite the scary consequences, young adults across America have chosen to default on their loans. And that decision has resulted in a cat-and-mouse game with the government.
“I keep changing my phone number. In a year, this is probably my fourth phone number,” former student Amanda Cordeiro told the New York Times.
Cordeiro receives up to seven calls a day from debt collectors attempting to recover her $55,000 in overdue student loans. But phone calls are just the beginning.
Since the federal government imposes no statute of limitations for collecting loan repayments, escaping the debt is nearly impossible.
“You are going to pay it, or you are going to die with it,” said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com.
As America’s poor economy causes companies and small businesses to close their doors, the debt collection industry is booming.
Conserve, a debt collection agency in New York, expects to double its payroll in the next three years.
“There is great opportunity,” the company’s president and founder Mark E. Davitt, told the New York Times.
It’s easy to see where that opportunity comes from.
The nationwide student loan balance is more than $1 trillion. It’s a number that makes borrowers cringe.
However, debt collectors are more than grateful for the astronomically high amount of debt among college graduates.
Debt collectors used to receive a steady and reliable income from credit card debt, but the slowing economy has made collection a challenge.
Now, student loans are filling that hole. In fact, many are calling students the “new oil well” for the debt collection industry.
“While the Department of Education debt collection contract has been one of the most highly sought-after contracts within the ARM industry for years, I believe it is now THE most sought-after contract within this industry, centered within the most sought-after market – student loans,” mergers and acquisitions specialist Mark Russell wrote on Insidearm.com.
It’s a win-win situation for both the government and collection agencies. Government officials estimate they will collect 76 to 82 cents on every dollar of loans made in fiscal 2013 that end up in default. Borrowers then have to pay collection costs, which go straight to the debt agencies.
In addition to the balance, borrowers are charged for collection costs, which go straight to the debt agencies.
The rewards trickle down to other areas, too.
Educational Credit Management Corp. (ECMC), a Minnesota based agency, benefits from its 18-year-old agreement with the US government, according to Bloomberg News.
The company charges fees to borrowers and earns commissions from taxpayers when it collects on defaulted student loans. And the rewards are lucrative.
ECMC’s debt collectors earn financial perks as a reward from extracting money from defaulted borrowers. In 2010, the company’s top performers received bonuses equivalent to as much as 10 times their base salaries, which range from $33,000 to $46,000.
It’s a never-ending cycle between borrower and lender – and the winner is almost always the lender. After all, it’s nearly impossible to hide from the government.
“It’s the closest thing to debtor prison that there is on this Earth,” former student Patrick Writer said of his federal loan.
Commentator comments :
@africaboy (unregistered) September 10, 2012, 00:39
They problem is not that they love educated people. No the society of profit makers do not want people to get educated. They want to take away from you any aspiration and self confident. Politicians like Obama and his wife will come to the microphone to talk about Student loans situation. They make you feel like they are one of those students. End story they will talk about their own success. But how many people will have the chance to become a good House negro? Romney asked freshman students to start their own business. He told them to go ask money to their parent!!. Can you see how this man is not touch? A parent who has no real income how that parent can finance a business. The American illusion is a reality. Obama’s wife told us how her father did everything to help her and her brother pay for their student loans. I was extremely surprised to see that Woman lying live from the television screen. Her dad as she told us was very sick man. They did not have enough. How much her dad was paying back then? She said her and her husband students loans combined where higher than their mortgage. In year 2008 Obama told us he just finished paying his student loans before declaring his candidacy. As you can see people of America has no support for any of the politicians. The two parties system is made of fabrication and liars. Today the government can take a decision cut every graduate student with 98% of their loan. That mean erase the loan at the level of 98%.
Require Schools to provide a real job assistance to graduate students or they need to close their doors. A commission between the department of labor and department of education should be established to oversee the job placement they said they will help provide. All those school boutique must close their doors. More than 70% of America schools are schools boutique. They are not in business to educate people but to make money and profit. The money you pay for a year schooling can help you finish a whole degree program is most country. Three courses at the Master or Doctorate level will cost easily $12000 to $18000 Us Dollars. The Arabs ( Saudi, Koweit, United Emirate Arabs) are the few who will pay off their students fees in one payment and some very few America students from the top 1%.
@kuplungmaster September 10, 2012, 00:37
Perhaps all those young and educated people should pack their bags and move elsewhere. I am sure someone will appreciate their knowledge and expertise. The morbid joy of collection agencies over misfortune of many was expected.
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Don’t waste money on education. Buy some land and kick back and relax, even rent out some of that land for the starving to cultivate. Being a landlord beats being a debt slave for a overrated piece of paper that only allows one to be a work slave to end that debt, by which time most are already in their 30s only ro begin saving from scratch what they had when they were just entering college which would take another 10 years at least, after which a young upstart with tghe same debt would need the job more than the same faded ‘paper chaser’ who might still be in debt because of marriage and kids needing an education! We die our children follow indeed – especially for conventional degree types . . .
Who Are These People! – Posted on September 8, 2012 by Kirwan
These two kids were six or seven years old when this was drawn, back in 1966. They represented ‘Children of the Empty Promise’ which would put them in their early fifties by now, if they had survived.
I find it virtually impossible to believe that Americans are putting up with stuff like “Extrodinary Events Management-Rules” as these are to be applied tomorrow with the start of the Democratic Convention
In Charlotte, N. Carolina.
“CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Starting Saturday, someone walking through Charlotte’s central business district could run afoul of the law by carrying water bottles, hair spray, socks or magic markers under sweeping security rules enacted ahead of the Democratic National Convention.
It would take a particularly strict reading of the rules for someone to be arrested simply for possessing one of those items, but the possibility exists — which worries protesters and free speech advocates. They fear authorities could trample on people’s constitutional rights in the name of protecting public safety.
On what planet do people exist that need to be protected from magic markers, water-bottles or women’s purses as weapons against over 5,000 heavily armed troops?
“Extrodinary Event” there’s new law coming out in Charlotte that explains that you lose your rights in this country if it is during an extrodinary event. If you go to the Democratic Convention in Charlotte you will be subject to the Extrodinary Event laws (up to one mile from the Convention site). To enforce this new events law they’ve got 1,750 storm troopers down there, but that wasn’t quite enough; so they brought in 3,400 other storm-troopers on-loan-officers from around the country.
Now put this in military terms because truly this is what our police forces come down to – that is over ten battalions of military soldiers that will be enforcing “Extrodinary Events laws from people carrying magic-markers or handbags or soda cans. It isn’t about making a statement that there will be no violence in Charlotte, because in these Extrodinary Event Laws they didn’t take away your right to open-carry a gun: It’s all about making everything illegal! Make it illegal so that if you need to be stopped and detained and black-bagged and ‘got rid of’ there are laws on the books that makes that “POSSIBLE.” You are nothing more than cattle, in this country at this point!
You will not see anyone in the mainstream Media covering this, you will not see any of the protestors being beat-down or arrested or detained. You will not see any experts up there telling you that the Constitution has been totally destroyed—what you will see is a charade. A democratic committee telling us how we rescued an economy, how we’re going to go after Wall Street, how we’re going to stay on the path of bringing jobs back to the country and NOTHING could be further from the truth…” (1)
Yesterday the following data was mentioned.
“(CNSNews.com) – The number of Americans whom the U.S. Department of Labor counted as “not in the civilian labor force” in August hit a record high of 88,921,000.
The Labor Department counts a person as not in the civilian labor force if they are at least 16 years old, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and have not actively looked for a job in the last four weeks. The department counts a person as in “the civilian labor force” if they are at least 16, are not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home, and either do have a job or have actively looked for one in the last four weeks.
In July, there were 155,013,000 in the U.S. civilian labor force. In August that dropped to 154,645,000—meaning that on net 368,000 people simply dropped out of the labor force last month and did not even look for a job.
There were also 119,000 fewer Americans employed in August than there were in July. In July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 142,220,000 Americans working. But, in August, there were only 142,101,000 Americans working.
Despite the fact that fewer Americans were employed in August than July, the unemployment rate ticked down from 8.3 in July to 8.1. That is because so many people dropped out of the labor force and stopped looking for work. The unemployment rate is the percentage of people in the labor force (meaning they had a job or were actively looking for one) who did not have a job.
The Bureau of Labor Statistic also reported that in August the labor force participation rate (the percentage of the people in the civilian non-institutionalized population who either had a job or were actively looking for one) dropped to a 30-year low of 63.5 percent, down from 63.7 percent in July. The last time the labor force participation rate was as low as 63.5 percent was in September 1981.” (3).
However to get to reality the public would need to know:
How many people in this country are over 16 years old, and are not in any of the excluded categories? What the figures above seem to indicate is that almost half of the potential work force remains unemployed. Whatever the case the FEDS have to de-cloak the real numbers and level with the public about jobs and unemployment in plain English.
“… The changes to city ordinances adopted earlier this year for “extraordinary events” ban a long list of actions and items that would otherwise be legal from a more than 100-square-block zone. The area includes spots as much as a mile from the sports venues where the Democratic Party events are to be held.
The new rules have already been used for events before the convention and will remain on the books after it’s over.
The special rules that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday could also bar anyone other than government employees from carrying handbags and backpacks or possessing soda cans, drink coolers, scarves, bike helmets, baby strollers or pets not specifically permitted as service animals.
A section banning “a container or object of sufficient weight to be used as a projectile” could be interpreted to include almost anything, from an apple to an iPhone.
Those caught violating any of these prohibitions could be subject to arrest and jail.
Similar prohibitions have been in place at past conventions; especially those following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Outside the Republican National Convention in 2004, New York City police carried out mass arrests, detaining hundreds of people for days in miserable conditions on a Hudson River pier. Most of those charges were later dropped or thrown out, triggering dozens of lawsuits against the city.
At the rain-soaked Republican Convention in Tampa earlier this week, officials banned umbrellas, baseballs and puppet-making materials. There, the rules went largely untested after only a fraction of the expected protesters showed up due to worries about Hurricane Isaac.
Charlotte’s Uptown business district is home to the headquarters of Bank of America and substantial operations for Wells Fargo, two of the nation’s largest financial institutions. The “March on Wall Street South” scheduled for Sunday is expected to draw thousands of protesters.
Members of Occupy Charlotte, who are helping to organize the march, said turnout for that and other protests could get a boost from demonstrators deterred from Tampa by the weather. At the other end of the political spectrum, tea party activists and other right wing groups are also planning protests.
City and police officials stressed that it’s their responsibility to maintain law and order. There has been street violence at some recent high-profile events, such as the 2008 GOP convention in Minneapolis and the NATO Summit in Chicago this year.
“History has shown, unfortunately, that while the vast majority are law-abiding and peaceful, expressing their First Amendment rights, a number of folks use the opportunity of large crowds and a platform to cause harm and violence,” said Charlotte City Attorney Robert Hagemann, who helped draft the extraordinary event ordinance.” (2)
The people of this nation deserve better from every area of the government with all those EMPTY-PROMISES they’ve been trying to sell us on since 1966.
In the meanwhile just who are these fat lazy white men, and a few women, who haven’t seen their genitals in over twenty years because of all the fat that continues to swell their hideous forms. What kind of a country is afraid of “magic-markers” at a political convention, or anywhere else for that matter? What has happened to this place that we cannot live without the government’s permission to do anything at all—ever!
If no one attended this fake convention—that would end the charade, and we could easily take back what’s left of this dump. Or we might actually reject the FERAL-Federal-Government and withdraw the permission which the states lent to the FEDS to create the central government in the first place. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, BUT FIRST YOU’VE GOT TO GET MAD ENOUGH TO BEGIN TO ACT. (4)
We have to stop taking pictures and start taking action—before this Rogue Government begins to launch wave after wave of military riot-squads against us. It’s time for the public to ACT on their own behalf, or just forgets about anything to do with this place as somewhere fit for human habitation!
The Children of the Empty Promise still haunt this place, and their lives ought to have counted for a hell of lot more than they obviously did, when most of these LIES were first uncovered…
1) Extrodinary Events – 5 min video
2) DNC Security Rules Trigger Free Speech worries
3) Record 88,921,000 Americans Not in Labor Force
4) Judge Napolitano on Nullification and the Constitutional Powers of States – 2 min video
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So long as day to day tolerances are as low as currently are, no tolerance should be given to extraordinary event ‘arrests’ or ‘charges’ without proof.
Nanotechnology, Terra-Forming, Transhumanism, and You – Friday, September 7th 2012 at 5:00 am – by Anne Gordon, RN
Many things are being altered right before our eyes, mostly without our consent, or knowledge. These changes are coming from well-funded and classified experiments, accidents, and new science, often with creepy ‘modern’ agendas driving them. This sort of broad scale change is unfolding in nearly every facet of our lives. But the signs and symptoms already indicate that our health may suffer as a result.
Lets start with food for example. The bio-availability of the nutrients in our food seems to be getting interrupted. Could it be the irradiation or modification of foods? Some believe that the reason for the obesity problems could actually be a lack of nutrition, a slow starvation, because the nutrition cannot get into the cells.
Weather modification is nothing new, and researchers claim that the residues from spraying create toxic effects on our health, plants, and animals. We seem to be ingesting experimental aerosolized air, tainted water (with fluoride, pharmaceuticals, etc.), faked food, and untested medicines. Asthma cases are soaring, as are mysterious flu-like symptoms. But that is only the tip of a very chilling future according to many thinkers.
Hollywood is helping us to be de-sensitized to words, through popular movies. For example, many science fiction movies feature flesh eating zombies (mutated humans), and terra-forming earth. Academic futurists are talking about Transhumanism, and popular magazines illustrates how a future man might physically appear.
Transhumanism, a new and growing movement, is asserting claims to augment ‘ natural humans’, replacing them with a technological ‘advanced’ artificial intelligence, fueled by nanotechnology and bio-engineering. As change accelerates, we are hearing the term, die off’s, and shrug it off to natural ‘extinctions’. The skies are often white, not blue, as the weather experiments, (race to control the weather, or other motives), become extreme. Sadly, as we get desensitized, we accept a new normal.
Yet, Terra-Forming the environment (geo-engineering) and changing the nature of man needs some forethought. If the skies are sprayed with aerosols, as many documents note, (to reflect the sunlight preventing warming), serious consequences seem obvious. Ultimately, are we hurting ourselves, and, future generations?
We have already created plastic antibodies. We have smart pills, smart chicken, smart water, smart washers, and smart grid. Smart is a marketing word, like, the new modern, but often with an altered brew. Today, we get artificial (plastic) body parts, and create new life in vitro, (cellular engineering). In short, we’re already ingesting new chemicals, plastics, nano particles, while being bombarded 24/7 by invisible electromagnetic frequencies (ELF’s). We are told everything is safe, but is it? How do you feel?
Transhumanism looks into the future for man decades, based on today’s technologies. We already have cryonics (preservation of cells). Virtual reality already mimics reality, and soon will include our sense of touch, (haptics). It is suggested that people might prefer the virtual reality of the future, to reality.
Sophisticated biotechnology combined with nano technology will become so convenient and tiny, that the everyday person will want to implant them (for convenience or prestige). New vaccines are on the horizon for countless ailments, with needle -less creative ways to ingest them. Yum.
Before embracing all new technologies sold to us to improve our lives, it might be wise to take a very close look at the non-monetary price you will pay especially when linked to potential harmful side effects. Start with what you can do for you,or your loved ones and learn what you are putting into your bodies willingly.
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Stretchable electronic skin being developed to monitor vital signs – by Tecca | Today in Tech – 7th September 2012
Advances in polymer technology allow circuits to stretch just like human skin
Just when you thought tattoos couldn’t get any cooler, scientists at Cambridge, Massachussetts startup MC10 are working on stretchable electronics that can be applied to a person’s skin. The ultimate goal with these polymer patches is to allow them to be used to monitor a patient’s vital signs, both externally and internally.
Thanks to advances in polymer substrate, microchips, LEDs, wireless technology, and even solar cells, this stretchable electronic skin may be the key to revolutionizing the medical diagnostic field. Or they could just allow you to have really cool light-up tattoos.
Previously, electronic-embedded polymer was only able to bend, but not stretch. MC10 aims to change this with the release of its first product, in partnership with Reebok, this fall. Although details are being kept secret, the company’s skin patch products are meant to wirelessly transmit medical information such as heart rate, respiration, hydration, temperature, and more from the patient to a nearby smartphone. Stretchable balloon catheters are also being developed to allow high-resolution mapping of the heart to detect problematic cardiac tissue.
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This coupled with neutrotech will be the end of humanity’s free will. Will the appropriate watchdogs act now to ensure that this sort of technology does not become rampant and uncontrolled? Think ‘White Zones’ and consumer rights and access to non-GMO or traditional medical/herbal treatments. Do not deny anyone this right of choice even if all this tech becomes mainstream.
EU funding ‘Orwellian’ artificial intelligence plan to monitor public for “abnormal behaviour” – by Ian Johnston – 9:08PM BST 19 Sep 2009
The European Union is spending millions of pounds developing “Orwellian” technologies designed to scour the internet and CCTV images for “abnormal behaviour”.
A five-year research programme, called Project Indect, aims to develop computer programmes which act as “agents” to monitor and process information from web sites, discussion forums, file servers, peer-to-peer networks and even individual computers.
Its main objectives include the “automatic detection of threats and abnormal behaviour or violence”.
Project Indect, which received nearly £10 million in funding from the European Union, involves the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and computer scientists at York University, in addition to colleagues in nine other European countries.
Shami Chakrabarti, the director of human rights group Liberty, described the introduction of such mass surveillance techniques as a “sinister step” for any country, adding that it was “positively chilling” on a European scale.
The Indect research, which began this year, comes as the EU is pressing ahead with an expansion of its role in fighting crime, terrorism and managing migration, increasing its budget in these areas by 13.5% to nearly £900 million.
The European Commission is calling for a “common culture” of law enforcement to be developed across the EU and for a third of police officers – more than 50,000 in the UK alone – to be given training in European affairs within the next five years.
According to the Open Europe think tank, the increased emphasis on co-operation and sharing intelligence means that European police forces are likely to gain access to sensitive information held by UK police, including the British DNA database. It also expects the number of UK citizens extradited under the controversial European Arrest Warrant to triple.
Stephen Booth, an Open Europe analyst who has helped compile a dossier on the European justice agenda, said these developments and projects such as Indect sounded “Orwellian” and raised serious questions about individual liberty.
“This is all pretty scary stuff in my book. These projects would involve a huge invasion of privacy and citizens need to ask themselves whether the EU should be spending their taxes on them,” he said.
“The EU lacks sufficient checks and balances and there is no evidence that anyone has ever asked ‘is this actually in the best interests of our citizens?'”
Miss Chakrabarti said: “Profiling whole populations instead of monitoring individual suspects is a sinister step in any society.
“It’s dangerous enough at national level, but on a Europe-wide scale the idea becomes positively chilling.”
According to the official website for Project Indect, which began this year, its main objectives include “to develop a platform for the registration and exchange of operational data, acquisition of multimedia content, intelligent processing of all information and automatic detection of threats and recognition of abnormal behaviour or violence”.
It talks of the “construction of agents assigned to continuous and automatic monitoring of public resources such as: web sites, discussion forums, usenet groups, file servers, p2p [peer-to-peer] networks as well as individual computer systems, building an internet-based intelligence gathering system, both active and passive”.
York University’s computer science department website details how its task is to develop “computational linguistic techniques for information gathering and learning from the web”.
“Our focus is on novel techniques for word sense induction, entity resolution, relationship mining, social network analysis [and] sentiment analysis,” it says.
A separate EU-funded research project, called Adabts – the Automatic Detection of Abnormal Behaviour and Threats in crowded Spaces – has received nearly £3 million. Its is based in Sweden but partners include the UK Home Office and BAE Systems.
It is seeking to develop models of “suspicious behaviour” so these can be automatically detected using CCTV and other surveillance methods. The system would analyse the pitch of people’s voices, the way their bodies move and track individuals within crowds.
Project coordinator Dr Jorgen Ahlberg, of the Swedish Defence Research Agency, said this would simply help CCTV operators notice when trouble was starting.
“People usually don’t start to fight from one second to another,” he said. “They start by arguing and pushing each other. It’s not that ‘oh you are pushing each other, you should be arrested’, it’s to alert an operator that something is going on.
“If it’s a shopping mall, you could send a security guard into the vicinity and things [a fight] maybe wouldn’t happen.”
Open Europe believes intelligence gathered by Indect and other such systems could be used by a little-known body, the EU Joint Situation Centre (SitCen), which it claims is “effectively the beginning of an EU secret service”. Critics have said it could develop into “Europe’s CIA”.
The dossier says: “The EU’s Joint Situation Centre (SitCen) was originally established in order to monitor and assess worldwide events and situations on a 24-hour basis with a focus on potential crisis regions, terrorism and WMD-proliferation.
“However, since 2005, SitCen has been used to share counter-terrorism information.
“An increased role for SitCen should be of concern since the body is shrouded in so much secrecy.
“The expansion of what is effectively the beginning of an EU ‘secret service’ raises fundamental questions of political oversight in the member states.”
Superintendent Gerry Murray, of the PSNI, said the force’s main role would be to test whether the system, which he said could be operated on a countrywide or European level, was a worthwhile tool for the police.
“A lot of it is very academic and very science-driven [at the moment]. Our budgets are shrinking, our human resources are shrinking and we are looking for IT technology that will help us five years down the line in reducing crime and combating criminal gangs,” he said.
“Within this Project Indect there is an ethical board which will be looked at: is it permissible within the legislation of the country who may use it, who oversees it and is it human rights compliant.”
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Neurotech applications applied to Satellite cellphone tech and Wiifi will destroy all mental autonomy. If these things cover the brains of individuals, there will be no freedom anymore.
That’s embarrassing! Bar Refaeli passes a woman in the street who is wearing the exact same leopard print trousers as her – by Kirsty Mccormack – PUBLISHED: 08:27 GMT, 6 September 2012 | UPDATED: 11:19 GMT, 6 September 2012
She’s used to be being made up to model in front of the cameras but when it comes to everyday life, Bar Refaeli is just like any other ordinary woman.
The 27-year-old Israeli star was spotted shopping with friends in Barcelona, Spain, on Tuesday wearing a pair of leopard-print trousers – but she wasn’t the only one.
As she strolled down the street, Refaeli walked past a woman who appeared to be wearing the exact same trousers as her, and a matching top.
That’s embarrassing! Bar Refaeli passes a woman in the street in Barcelona who is wearing the same pair of leopard-print trousers as her
However, as the the blonde passed the woman in the street she either didn’t notice her or wasn’t bothered about the fact that they were dressed almost identically.
Refaeli went from store to store with the group, she looked happy and relaxed and was no doubt grateful that she had decided to wear flats.
She teamed the animal print garment with a black loose vest and diamante sandals while shielding her eyes with a pair of sunglasses.
Not alone: The model was joined by friends as she perused the shops
Not alone: The model was joined by friends as she perused the shops
Effortlessly cool: The blonde teamed her animal print trousers with a black vest and a trilby hat
She completed her look with a large tasseled bag, which she wore across her body, and a brown trilby hat.
As she wandered around in the Spanish sunshine, Refaeli visited shops such as Zara, Caroline Herrera, El Corte and several lingerie shops.
Perhaps the model was feeling ready to pose in underwear again after a nasty rash left her feeling not so flawless at the weekend.
Shady lady: The Israeli star accessorised with black sunglasses and a large tasseled bag
Shady lady: The Israeli star accessorised with black sunglasses and a large tasseled bag
Refaeli shared a photo with her 301,692 followers on Twitter that showed the top of her thighs looking rather red.
The photo was accompanied by the caption: ‘The price of surfing with out a wetsuit :(‘
Having fun: The model admitted via her Twitter page that she loves Barcelona
The Israeli model is often spotted on the beach in her free time, and is obviously having a great time in Barcelona after also tweeting: ‘I LUV it here!’
It seems she and her friends may have also done some sightseeing as well as some shopping on Tuesday as she also posted a photo of herself in front of a glass window with an amazing view of the city behind her.
Not so flawless: Refaeli tweeted this photo of a rash on her legs after she went surfing without wearing a wetsuit
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The government flexes muscles subtly. They are saying they know everything and can replace everyone potentially. The issue is how many voters are part of the Orwellian abusers and how many are not who can vote out all offending MPs who allow the SS/Cold War Era KGB alphabet bureaus to behave like this. Not mere coincidence but worse . . .
Motorists who modify their cars could fail their MoT test under EU proposals. Motorists face EU ban from modifying cars – by David Millward, Transport Editor – 8:18PM BST 06 Sep 2012
The European Commission is drawing up plans for a “roadworthiness test” which would mean that all components had to conform with those which were on the car when it was first registered.
Motoring organisations have been warned by the Department for Transport that this “may prevent most modifications” and would apply to “many components and to all types of vehicle.”
It remained unclear last night whether this could extend to routine modifications such as fitting alloy wheels, for example, or bringing cars up to 21st century standards.
The move comes within months of the Government in Britain drawing up its own plans to exempt classic cars – those built before 1960 – from the MoT test altogether.
According to the latest official figures there are 162,000 cars on the road which are more than 50 years old, equivalent to 0.6 per cent of the total.
The Department for Transport believed that exempting them from the MoT was justified because classic cars were normally lovingly maintained and had a lower accident rate than newer models.
However according to the EU document “Vehicles of historic interest are supposed to conserve heritage of the époque they have been built”.
At the same time, the EU appears to believe that member states should be given the power to set their own standards for “specialised” vehicles, which is understood to include classic cars.
It is understood the DfT is seeking clarification of the EU plans which appear to make it impossible for owners of older cars to modify their vehicles to bring them up to modern safety standards.
Critics of the proposals described the EU plans as “unworkable”.
A DfT spokesman added: “We will challenge provisions that imply costs for Government, people or industry and seek to minimise these.
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Again oppression of freedom to modify one’s own property. What is wrong with the EU? A car’s modification reflects personality of the owner and helps prevent crime by making vehicles easily distinguishable. what oppress something so useful? Which ‘Hitler’ is sitting on that law making body for vehicles? Vehicular modification should be a free-for-all if anything.
Vampire Skeletons Are Rising from Their Graves – by Sylvia Cochran | Butterfinger Barmageddon News Network – Wed, Sep 5, 2012 7:55 PM EDT
Sozopol, a small town on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, has become a Mecca for travelers with an interest in the supernatural, particularly vampire skeletons, Reuters reports.
Unearthing Vampire Remains
When archaeologists examined the ruins of a monastery in the area, they stumbled over two skeletons. The manner of burial suggests survivors of the deceased feared their return as vampires. The corpses were subsequently buried with rods through the chest — fastening them to the earth — in an effort to avoid the undead’s rising later. Vampire burials were not uncommon in Bulgaria or during the Middle Ages.
New Scientist reported in 2009 on the exhumation of an Italian skeleton purported to have belonged to a vampire. Falling victim to the plague during the Middle Ages, a woman was buried with a brick inserted in her mouth on Lazzaretto Nuovo Island. Authorities at the time believed that burying suspected vampires in this manner would prevent them from spreading the plague. Discovery News notes that medieval Ireland had a similar practice that nevertheless predated the plague’s advent. Unearthed remains there included two eighth-century skeletons that had large rocks forcibly inserted into their mouths prior to burial. It is unclear why the dead received this treatment. Scientists suggest that the corpses could have belonged to outcasts, individuals perceived as evil or local residents who died from an unknown illness.
Insurance against Vampirism
Researchers at New York’s SUNY Oneonta detail burial practices in Drawsko, Poland, where corpses of some children were buried with small coins placed on their bodies. These coins were thought to ward off evil spirits that would otherwise enter the bodies and reanimate the corpses. Risk factors for possession and reanimation included conception during a time consecrated by the church as holy, a relapse to nursing after complete weaning, the youngster’s rank in the birth order, and the presence of bodily deformities.
Could there be something to the Vampire Lore?
Is it possible that folks from the Middle Ages knew something we claim is not possible in modern society? Cornell University mathematicians took on the challenge to statistically prove or disprove the likelihood of vampires existing as a separate species. Considering the ease with which vampirism was thought to spread — hence the need for insurance or prevention — it makes sense that simple numbers would affirm or debunk the possibility of their existence. The researches arbitrarily assumed that the first vampire came to be in 1600 AD, fed once a month and turned its victim into another undead with the same characteristics. Taking into account census data for January 1, 1600, the number crunchers concluded that humankind would have been wiped out by June 1602.
Therefore, vampires cannot exist — if they follow the statistical model.
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Wrong. If a vampire feeds once a month, another undead would not be necessarily as smart as, or in a position to feed safely, will get caught, may starve to death, may be a good ‘faither’ and commit suicide, may simply dislike blood and unknowingly starve to death even while eating normally and die of organ failure . . . all of these reasons and a myriad of others (perhaps not having a heartbeat causes insanity and running amok to get killed) keeping numbers down even though immortal. That would mean that only 1% types could indulge a vampire lifestyle unaccounted for. That is why they have jails and death sentences. Everytime a death row inmate bites the dust, a meal is ready, blood collected, perhaps organs eaten etc.. Therefore, vampires can exist — nothing to do with the statistical model. This is of course a theory, but who knows that this is the case and that vampires are real?
Jaguar Land Rover unveils new ‘super-green’ hybrid at star-studded gala – as car maker announces £370m investment in British factory – By Ray Massey, Transport Editor – PUBLISHED: 12:32 GMT, 6 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:44 GMT, 6 September 2012
Firm announces multi-million pound plan to launch new motor
Cash will upgrade the luxury car maker’s Midlands factory
Stars like David and Victoria Beckham expected to snap up new model
Minister calls investment ‘vote of confidence in British manufacturing’
Once derided by environmental groups as the ultimate gas-guzzling ‘Chelsea tractor’ Range Rover has cleaned up its act with its first ever super-green diesel-electric hybrid.
It aims to make the upmarket off-roader one of the cleanest and most fuel-efficient 4x4s on the road and is part of a major new £370million investment announced by Jaguar Land Rover, and marked with a star-studded gala tonight attended by Olympic gold medalists Victoria Pendleton and Greg Rutherford, Zara Philips, comedian Jimmy Carr and more.
The car-maker says it is the first time such technology has been used on a ‘true’ all-terrain off-roader.
Rugged: The new Range Rover was put through its paces in the desert ahead of its gala launch
All-terrain: The car maker says it is the first time such technology has been used on a ‘true’ all-terrain off-roader
Plush: The interior of the new Range Rover
And bosses say it will offer drivers ‘a better Business Class experience than British Airways.’
Thanks to an integral electric motor which boosts an already frugal new 3.0 litre V6 turbo-charged diesel engine, the luxury 4X4 will do 45 miles to the gallon and give out CO2 emissions as low as a family saloon. But it will still sprint rapidly from rest to 60mph in under seven seconds.
A serious weight-loss diet helped by an all-aluminium body and chassis has enabled it to shed 420kg – the equivalent of five adult occupants – boosting fuel economy and reducing pollution levels.
Zara Phillips at the Range Rover event
Victoria Pendleton at the Range Rover event
Star-studded event: Zara Philips, left, attended the Range Rover gala in Richmond Park, as did her Team GB colleague and Olympic gold medalist Victoria Pendleton, right
Chemmy Alcott at Range Rover
Kelly Hoppen at Range Rover
Glamorous guests: Skier Chemmy Alcott, left, and interior designer Kelly Hoppen turned out in their finery
But its ‘green’ credentials don’t stop there. Half the lightweight but super-strong aluminium used in the car is recycled from nearly 29,000 drinks cans. And materials from 6,500 recycled plastic bottles are used in every vehicle to create components. It also has the latest ‘stop-start’ technology which cuts out the engine when it is idling to reduce fuel consumption and pollution.
And when it reaches the end of its life, some 85 per cent of the new Range Rover’s parts can be recycled.
Land Rover’s first ever ‘hybrid’ is part of the new fourth generation Range Rover line-up which was given a celebrity rock-star reception tonight at a special gala launch in London’s Richmond Park on a day which saw Jaguar Land Rover and Honda announce new investments totalling nearly £700million in their British factories.
Dire Straits pop musician and Range Rover owner Mark Knopfler was leading the celebrations with a concert to 500 guests including model Jodie Kidd and TV presenter Ferne Cotton.
The launch also coincided with a slight rise in UK car sales during August as the export-led motor industry again bucked the dismal economic trend.
Zara Philips and Mike Tindall at Land Rover event
Kirstie Allsopp at Range Rover gala
High profile fans: Zara Philips is pictured left with her husband, rugby star Mike Tindall, at the event, which was also attended by TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp, right
The Range Rover hybrid features a new 3.0litre V6 turbo-charged diesel engine linked to an electric motor and battery. The system captures motion energy generated when the car brakes and decelerates, stores it I the battery, and the release it to power the electric motor. This will either boost the diesel engine, or allow the car to travel under electric power only, to reduce fuel consumption and pollution.
Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern said the luxurious interior would offer an executive ‘business class’ experience: ‘When you think of Business Class you tend to think of British Airways. This is better than BA’
‘Luxurious’: The interior is designed to offer an executive ‘business class’ experience, according to design director Gerry McGovern
Icy conditions: The new model Range Rover is pictured tackling snow and ice
Conventional engines will also be offered on the range: the new and frugal 3.0 litre V6 diesel engine that will still manage 37 mpg on its own without the electric motor support; a 4.4 litre V8 diesel, and a powerful 5.0 litre supercharged V8 petrol engine that will propel it from rest to 60mph in just 5.4 seconds.
Jaguar land Rover bosses said the firm was ‘firing on all cylinders’ and pledged a big expansion of Land Rover models and sales as it embarks on ‘ambitious plans’ to ‘broaden’ its 4X4 footprint around the world.
The cash injection is to upgrade Land Rover’s factory at Solihull in the West Midlands.
Order books for the fourth-generation Range Rover begin this month for deliveries in January of the up-market off-roader whose prices will start from £71,295 rising to around £100,000.
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Such media promotion lies . . . this so-called ‘super-green’ car is just ‘semi-green’ :
1) quasi-green (75% to 50% non-recyclable AND *only* using fossil fuels) OR entirely non-recyclable and using solar or full green energy without fossil fuel (like those mostly plastic based solar cars)
2) semi-green 15% non-recyclable AND using fossil fuels only
3) 3/4 very-green (15% non-recyclable AND using DUAL fossil fuel/solar powered
4) full-green (100% recyclable AND without using fossil fuels using ONLY solar power – even if the vehicle is twice as long with 75% covered by solar panels . . . )
5) super-green ‘THE REAL’ *SUPER GREEN*, should be a vehicle that is : i) constructed from non-mine based materials (like wood for bodywork panels and even chassis, and 100% lacquer windows
ii) which ALSO uses clean energy to process the materials (i.e. no machines or electricity, all manpower based)
iii) is 100% recyclable (not 85%)
iv) 100% organic, and
v) *entirely fossil fuel free
vi) WITHOUT a single non-organic/chemical/artificial man-made component (i.e. no polymer infused rubbers etc..)
Rape victim gets 4 years for killing man – by Guo Kai (Global Times) – 13:45, September 12, 2012
A young woman, who was sentenced to four years in prison after she stabbed to death an older man who sexually assaulted her, has many netizens on her side while some experts suggest she went too far and got what she deserves.
The Guangzhou Intermediate People’s Court, Guangdong Province, Monday sentenced Xuan Xiaoqi, 19, for intentional homicide for killing Yang Jinyuan, according to media reports.
On May 28 last year, Xuan went to the Guangzhou railway station, where she met Yang, who was over 50 and worked as a porter, the Guangzhou-based New Express reported.
Xuan bought a ticket for Xiamen, Fujian Province, for next day, but had little money for a hotel room that night. Yang invited her to stay at his apartment in the city’s Yuexiu district.
Xuan told police that Yang sexually assaulted her and threatened to kill her if she tried to leave. Xuan grabbed a knife and planned to use it to “frighten Yang.”
Yang persisted with his assault, and during their scuffle Xuan first stabbed the man on his clavicle. When Yang tried to wrestle the knife away, the woman received a leg wound. She was able to regain control of the knife and stabbed Yang’s chest, neck and head. After Yang fell to the floor, Xuan continued to stab Yang until he stopped moving.
The court found that Xuan was justified in defending herself but committed intentional homicide by continuing to stab Yang after he fell to the ground.
Most online comments feel the sentence was too heavy and believe the woman had the right to defend herself. Some said her four-year sentence was incomprehensible.
A Chinese netizen “acesage” argued that people have to be law experts to know when they are protected by law and when they are breaking it.
Some law experts, who support the court, said that the woman was initially justified in defending herself but stabbing the man after he fell constituted an intention to kill him.
“When the man was unable to continue his attack, she attacked him,” Qu Xinjiu, a criminal law professor with the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times.
However, Chen Tao, a lawyer with the Criminal Law Committee of the Beijing Lawyers Association, said the sentence was too heavy as Xuan could not judge whether Yang could still attack her, adding that Xuan should have been given a suspended sentence.
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
A rape for a rape. A life for a life. To kill for rape is inequitable. The family members of the murder victim who raped have a right to take the life of the killer. The rapist could be raped back or done something equally unpleasant as rape at most. 4 years is extreme lenience, emotional losses notwithstanding though the final decision should lie with the family of the deceased.
BREAKING NEWS: What Taco Bell calls beef may not actually be beef – Posted by drocolate on January 25th, 2011
This is an exciting story so I’m going to launch right into it. I’m so proud of Alabama, and I don’t feel that way very often.
A law firm in Montgomery, Alabama called Beasley Allen recently filed a lawsuit against fast food giant Taco Bell claiming that the beef in their products is not technically beef at all. The lawsuit claims that the beef in your fourth meal Chalupa is only 36% ground beef, which falls under the USDA beef requirement of 40%.
Now, before I move on, I want that to sink in. The USDA has created a standard for what qualifies as “real meat” in our country and that standard is a paltry (not poultry) 40%. And according to some brave litigators in Bama, Taco Bell is somehow missing this extremely low mark.
It’s like Taco Bell is a nine-foot-tall dude who can’t dunk. It’s ridiculous.
Beasley Allen goes on in their lawsuit to say that the beef is not meat at all but should actually be called “taco meat filling” instead. The law firm is setting out to either force Taco Bell to increase their beefishness levels or stop dropping the B word when describing their offerings.
Obviously, Taco Bell is not cool with this because who wants to eat something called the “Seasoned Taco Meat Filling Grilled Stuft (their spelling, not mine) Burrito”? Well, actually I’m sure some people would still eat it.
We do live in a post-Double Down world after all.
My recent history with Taco Bell.
This is as good a time as any to recount my most recent Taco Bell visit, and the events that followed it.
Let me warn my readers that if you have a weak stomach you may want to close this window now. If you’re not a little bitch, however, then read on.
A few months ago, on the day before my birthday, I decided to grab some Taco Bell for dinner. I was on my way to meet some friends and I wanted to get a quick meal in me before the night kicked off. I ordered a Mexican Pizza and two Taco Supremes (or would that be Tacos Supreme?). All three of these items contained a hearty amount of …uhhhh… beef. I ate them and felt satisfied.
But then the night moved forward.
And as it did I noticed some discomfort in my tummy. The Taco Bell didn’t seem to be digesting. Instead it felt as though it were growing steadily. Imagine eating a football whole. That’s what it felt like.
A few hours went by and my health continued to plummet. Finally, I said goodbye to my friends and switched my focus to getting home and sleeping off whatever Taco Bell demons I had absorbed. I got in my car and set a course for my humble abode.
Unfortunately, the taco meat filling in my stomach had other plans.
About five minutes after leaving my friends the pain in my gut became so great that I had to pull over for fear that I might pass out. As soon as I pulled the car over and turned it off my body took that as a cue to evacuate all of the contents of my stomach. Thankfully, the first burst was a dry heave. This gave me ample time to swing the door open and get out.
That’s when I ruined my shoes.
I don’t think I need to get into the details so I’ll just say that I puked. A lot. And after puking I felt magically better. It was as though I had swallowed some poison and HAD to get it out of my body by any means necessary to continue living.
My personal opinion since then has been that Taco Bell equals poison. So today, when two friends sent me a link to this story I knew I had to report on it. It was my duty, as both a citizen journalist AND a fake beef consumption victim.
Oh, and one final fun note about this tale: When I got back into my car, sporting vomit soaked white Vans (Mmmmm…) and uber-halitosis I looked over at the clock and it read 12:04.
Vomiting on the side of the road was the first thing I had done on my birthday.
So, what now?
Beasley Allen is holding strong on their lawsuit, despite threats from Taco Bell of a countersuit. And since this story hit the Web today they are bound to get A LOT more attention now than they may have ever bargained for.
But I want to go beyond the lawsuit. I want to know what’s actually in this taco meat filling.
Taco Bell claims that in addition to their seasoned beef they use food “extenders” like water, Isolated Oat Product, wheat oats, maltodrextrin, soy lecithin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch, sodium phosphate and silicon dioxide.
Doesn’t that just make your stomach growl?
But all of those extenders are in there in addition to a beef percentage Taco Bell claims is at 40%. But what if it’s actually at 36%, as the lawsuit claims?
What the hell is that 4%?
Here are my official guesses:
Shredded pieces of marketing and/or creative briefs (cause there’s no way the advertising agencies that put out shit like THIS ever used either)
Minced bits of unsold Gorditas from the previous week
Mexican cartel murder victims (where do you think they all disappear to? Think about it.)
I invite you to enter your own guesses in the comments below. And please don’t eat at Taco Bell. Smoke a cigarette instead. You just might live longer, and you’ll vomit less.
Spread the Word:
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That should probably be the case for all other fast food franchise foods as well. Maybe the chicken is made from reconstituted bone and 60% filler meat as well, coated in ‘edible’ plastic ‘crispy’ ‘chicken skin’ . . .
Fifty Shades of Sears? Retail giant’s nipple slip-up just months after American Family Association slams ‘sexually-explicit products’ – PUBLISHED: 15:20 GMT, 12 September 2012 | UPDATED: 15:43 GMT, 12 September 2012
Exposed: A racy image showing a woman in a purple lingerie slip with her nipple exposed on the Sears website has added to a growing backlash against the retail giant
Racy product: An woman in a lingerie slip with her nipple exposed on the Sears website has added to a backlash against the retail giant
A racy image showing a woman in a purple lingerie slip with her nipple exposed on the Sears website has been republished by amused internet forum users, adding to a growing backlash against the retail giant.
The embarrassed department store quickly removed the product, which was filed under its Exotic Apparel, and Lingerie and Sets sections for $25.99, however not fast enough for users to take screen grabs of the original link.
While reactions from users swayed from nostalgic amusement over old Sears catalogues, to outraged consumers who found the ‘inappropriate’ material offensive, the nudity slip-up comes just months after the American Family Association accused the retail giant of ‘selling smut.’
While many family-oriented commenters have shown their outrage, several customers, both male and female, have said they find it ‘refreshing’ that the sheer lingerie product was shown accurately as being see-through.
One male user wrote: ‘I hate it when they airbrush out the nipples. I accidentally bought something that was see-through for my girlfriend and she was less than amused and did not believe it was an accident.
‘I didn’t know “sheer” was, I thought it meant smooth or something to do with wind sheer,’ he added.
Another female user wrote: ‘I always have to wonder why we think nudity is such a big deal. It’s a breast, half the world has them.
‘It really just goes over my head as to why (specifically in the U.S.) we are cool with graphic depictions of death and torture (eg Saw) but a video with two people having sex is totally unacceptable. It boggles my mind every time.’
The offending lingerie slip is not actually a Sears product however, it came from a reseller named Fright Depot.
Sears, which uses the same concept as other e-commerce sites like Amazon, allows marketplace sellers to list their own stock through the department store’s website.
One user explained: ‘I seem to recall something inappropriate [from a reseller] with Dora the Explorer popping up a few months back.’
And according to the American Family Association, Sears has been selling ‘giant posters of total nud**y’ under its home section of Wall Decor and Art, as well as books on bestiality and pedophilia, from outside vendors.
The Association wrote: ‘Generations of Americans have grown up with Sears, through the catalogs, retail stores and, of late, website. But a family organization now is raising a protest because alongside the appliance, electronics, jewelry and fitness categories… one line of items for sale features explicit nudity.’
Embarrassed: The department store quickly removed the product, which was filed under its Exotic Apparel, and Lingerie and Sets sections for $25.99, however not fast enough for users to take screen grabs of the original link
Embarrassed: The department store quickly removed the product, which was filed under its Exotic Apparel, and Lingerie and Sets sections for $25.99, however not fast enough for users to take screen grabs of the original link
After a ‘Sears Action Alert’ from the AFA and One Million Moms (the group who loudly spoke out against recent gay marriage advocacy ads from JC Penney and Forever 21), Sears apparently assured it was updating filtering equipment and enforcing strict guidelines to prevent sexually explicit products being available on its website.
However Monica Cole, the director of One Million Moms, wrote in July this year: ‘Less than two months after Sears’ latest promise in May 2012, the pornography has returned. Sears continues to offend their customers with nudity in ads for the posters they sell and the naughty lingerie.’
After customers complained directly to Sears in July, they were told that the offending items were being removed. A customer service email response said, ‘Our agreements with our vendors prohibit content that is pornographic or sexually explicit in nature.
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That advert is so unsexual. Also everyone has nipples, whats so sexual about an obviously aesthetic female nipple (there are also less than aesthetic ones that can cause offense and should not be exposed) in this discrimination free, gender equality normalised day? Is the male or female version any different? How the person poses the organs and the expression is more important. THIS is a static picture of a healthy and sexually viable female adult in a demure mood. Whats happened to all the people in England? Fundo got them? One spanking by a school marm too many? Look at the nudists AND the smaller types of bikini. Only fundos or prudes would take offense at this advert. Either self control too weak, or just socialised into body negativism. Looking at healthy bodies of people posing alone AND clothed (skimpy is still clothed, not even nude!), Lingerie adverts are not the same as sexual acts, which should have their own allotted areas as well being so popular among the younger and more adventurous and sexual set. Actually strippers at pole clubs are not really even sexual, being a ‘no touching’ sort of entertainment.
Staff and crew of film that ridiculed Muslims say they were ‘grossly misled’ – by Moni Basu and Tom Watkins, CNN – September 13, 2012 — Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
NEW: “This makes me sick to my stomach,” actress says
Casting call advertisement describes the movie as an “adventure film”
A Florida pastor who burned a Quran says he was asked to distribute the film
(CNN) — The 80 cast and crew members involved in the making of the movie that has roiled much of the Islamic world said Wednesday they were “grossly misled” about its intent and expressed sorrow over the resulting violence.
“The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer,” they said in a statement to CNN about the movie, “Innocence of Muslims.”
“We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose,” continued the statement, which was sent to CNN by a member of the production staff who asked not to be identified for security reasons. “We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”
Mystery swirls around anti-Islam film
Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed Tuesday in Libya amid a regional furor over the film, which mocks Islam’s prophet.
A casting call published in July 2011 in Backstage magazine and in other publications for actors identifies the working title of the movie as “Desert Warrior” and describes it as a “historical Arabian Desert adventure film.”
An actress in the film who asked not to be identified said the original script did not include a Prophet Muhammed character. She added that she and other actors complained that their lines had been changed.
The actress said she spoke Wednesday with the producer, who is identified in the advertisement as Sam Bassiel. “He said he wrote the script because he wants the Muslims to quit killing,” she said. “I had no idea he was doing all this.”
Attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya Attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya
Obama, Romney spar over Libya response
Questions surround incendiary Islam film
Feinstein: I think this is premeditated
“I would never be involved in a film to ever hurt or bring harm to anybody,” she told CNN. “This makes me sick to my stomach to think that I was involved in that movie that brought death to somebody else.”
The actress said the character of Muhammed in the movie was identified as George when it was shot, and that she returned afterward and read other lines that may have been dubbed into the piece.
YouTube restricts video access over Libyan violence
A member of the production staff who worked directly on the film and has a copy of the original script corroborated the actor’s account, adding that it mentions neither Muhammed nor Islam.
The Wall Street Journal identified the filmmaker as Sam Bacile, an Israeli-American real estate developer. The Journal reported that, in its telephone interview with Bacile, he characterized his film as “a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam.”
“Islam is a cancer,” he told the newspaper. “The movie is a political movie. It’s not a religious movie.”
CNN has not been able to contact Bacile and cannot verify that he made the movie. A CNN search of public records on Sam Bacile came up empty.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it doesn’t know who Bacile is.
Reaction: Libya, West condemn killing
“This guy is totally anonymous. At this point no one can confirm he holds Israeli citizenship and even if he did we are not involved,” ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said. “No Israeli institution, government department or office has any involvement in this. This guy acted on his own behalf.”
In Egypt and Libya, mobs targeted U.S. missions and blamed America for the film. In the end, Stevens and three other Americans in the Libyan city of Benghazi were dead, although it was not clear whether that attack was solely incited by the film.
Consultant Steve Klein told CNN he worked with Bacile on the movie and said the filmmaker had gone into hiding.
McCain: ‘Their enemies are our enemies’
Wolf Blitzer reports on deaths in Libya
“He’s very depressed, and he’s upset,” Klein said Wednesday. “I talked to him this morning, and he said that he was very concerned for what happened to the ambassador.”
Klein, however, said it was not the film’s fault that protests had turned bloody.
Casting further doubt on the filmmaker’s identity, The Atlantic quoted Klein as saying Sam Bacile is a pseudonym and “he did not know Bacile’s real name.” CNN could not immediately reach Klein for his response to that report.
An online trailer for the film depicts Islam as a fraudulent religion bent on getting rid of nonbelievers.
Cartoonish scenes show Muhammed as a womanizer, child molester and ruthless killer. Other scenes show security forces ordered to do nothing as rampaging Muslims destroy Christian homes, and a donkey anointed the first Muslim animal.
Many Muslims find any depiction of Muhammed to be offensive — a Danish newspaper’s publication in 2005 of Mohammed caricatures triggered riots — and derogatory depictions of the prophet are considered by some to be worse.
“The film is offensive to the prophet and immoral,” said Egyptian Prime Minister Hashem Kandil. “We call on the great people of Egypt to exercise restraint when expressing their anger.”
Muslim sensitivities around Prophet Mohammed
The prime minister called on the United States to take legal action against the makers of the film, though it was not clear that it violates any U.S. law.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Bacile said he raised $5 million from about 100 Jewish donors to make the two-hour movie in California last year. Based on the trailer, the movie appears to have been produced on a low budget.
The movie, which was posted in July on YouTube, got more notice after Egyptian television recently aired segments and anti-Islam activists, including Egyptian-born Coptic Christian Morris Sadek, promoted it online.
Terry Jones, the Florida pastor whose Quran-burning last year sparked deadly riots in Afghanistan, said he had been contacted to help distribute the film.
“The film is not intended to insult the Muslim community, but it is intended to reveal truths about Muhammed that are possibly not widely known,” Jones said.
“It is very clear that God did not influence him (Muhammed) in the writings of the Quran,” said Jones, who went on to blame Muslims’ fear of criticism for the protests, rather than the film.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Jones on Wednesday to ask him to withdraw his support for the film, according to Col. David Lapan, Dempsey’s spokesman.
“Jones’ support of the film risks causing more violence and death,” Lapan said.
Tensions mounted Wednesday as the United States deployed Marines to Libya.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood — the former party of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy — has called for peaceful protests against the film on Friday, Islam’s day of religious observance.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban charged that the movie was made with the permission of the U.S. government. The First Amendment prohibits the government from interfering with free expression.
President Hamid Karzai condemned the film as abhorrent and an act of desecration. “There could be many deaths once news of this video and Pastor Terry Jones’ comments get out,” said Karzai’s deputy spokesman.
The issue is sensitive in Afghanistan, where throngs of people this year protested NATO’s burning of Qurans at Bagram Airfield. U.S. President Barack Obama said the act was unintentional, but the uproar nonetheless was huge.
In America, a Muslim advocacy group called the movie “trashy” and said its producers represented neither the United States nor the Christian faith.
“We urge that this ignorant attempt to provoke the religious feelings of Muslims in the Arabic-speaking world be ignored and that its extremist producers not be given the cheap publicity they so desperately seek,” said the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Facebook sprouted several pages dedicated to condemning the film, including one called “Israelis, Jews & Americans Against Sam Bacile’s ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Film.”
A post on that page simply said: “IM-Bacile.”
Witnessing protests in Libya or Egypt? Share your photos on CNN iReport.
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The Muslims should have made an equally stinging documentary in response. This only gives the West an excuse to brand Muslims as violent uncivilised people instead of artful ‘Film-Fighters’. What more the embassy which us internationally neutral and Christopher Stevens and three other Americans who died but were not responsible in any way though probably supportive, worsens the indictment. All involved should think about the family of the deceased, and try to make amends if that is even possible. Meanwhile the only retaliation here can only be in like kind – a film in response, not uncivilised mobs, violence and murder.
A life for a life, a film for a film, and now the Muslims owe ‘the West’ even more, ruined the reputation of Islam even more, if this is even spontaneous and not a CIA subversion plot where the members of the diplomatic corps were sacrificed to make Muslims look bad . . . Muslims should consider the spaces for non-Muslims and to practice some self control. If God and God’s law means so much, then ‘4 lives of UN treaty protected people AND a burnt embassy (a undefilable bastion of civilisation) for a mere film.’ is a sin and damning act for sure. Unjustifiable and inequitable! Don’t Muslims think things through before acting? The West attacks with films, Muslims kill and burn embassies. Who’s the barbarian? Who thinks Hudud amputations are civilised? Little wonder the rampant Islamophobia, is this what the Prophet wanted?
Naked Rambler jailed AGAIN as Scottish court brands him ‘self-indulgent and arrogant’ for refusing to get dressed and go back to England – By Larisa Brown and Sam Adams – PUBLISHED: 14:03 GMT, 13 September 2012 | UPDATED: 15:33 GMT, 13 September 2012
Stephen Gough found guilty of breaching the peace after strolling naked near swing park where children were playing
Arrest in July came just three days after he had been freed from prison in Perth, 30 miles to the north
Former marine remained naked throughout his trial at Kirkcaldy Sheriff’s Court in Fife
He has been jailed for five months for breaching the peace
Naked Rambler Stephen Gough – who has spent years in solitary confinement in a Scottish jail – was branded arrogant and self-indulgent by a sheriff after refusing to get dressed and go home to England.
Gough, from Hampshire, was brought into a draughty courtroom naked but for a pair of handcuffs today to be quizzed on why he had refused social work and psychiatric help.
The ex-marine was jailed for five months at Kirkcaldy Sheriff’s Court, Fife, for committing a breach of the peace.
Gough arrives at John O’ Groats in 2004 after completing a 900-mile walk naked. Over the course of the journey Gough was arrested numerous times
He was found guilty of the offence last month after strolling naked near a swing park where children were playing in Dunfermline, also in Fife, and refusing to put on clothes.
Sentence had been deferred for social workers to assess whether he needed psychiatric intervention.
His arrest in July came just three days after he had been freed from prison in Perth, 30 miles to the north, after spending six years in solitary for previous offences involving nakedness.
Gough, 53, who insists he is not a naturist and claims his naked rambles are ‘a protest,’ was initially removed from the dock after only five minutes when he refused to sit down so his privates were hidden by the wooden dock.
He said: ‘I just want to be treated like anybody else.’
After he was brought back in, and agreed to sit, the court heard he had refused to meet social workers and so no assessment was available.
Prosecutor Brian Robertson said the Crown was prepared to help him go back to England if he co-operated.
Mr Robertson said: ‘The authorities are prepared to facilitate his return home if his behaviour doesn’t cause alarm to the public.’
Pictured behind bars in the nude: Gough leaving Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court in July. He decided to represent himself rather than have a solicitor at his trial
Determined: Gough (pictured here with his girlfriend Melanie Roberts) has been jailed for five months for committing a breach of the peace
Sheriff James Williamson told Gough, who has refused legal representation, said that he was concerned that he had not met or co-operated with social workers drawing up the background report ordered.
The sheriff said: ‘Will you meet with them and assist them?’
When Gough responded, ‘No, not really’, Sheriff Williamson said he had been left with no choice but to jail him for five months.
The sentence was backdated until July 20th, the date of his arrest, meaning Gough will be freed again before Christmas.
If he wins 50 percent time off for good behaviour – unlikely unless he drops his protest – he could be out in three weeks.
He is likely to serve his sentence in Edinburgh’s tough Saughton Prison.
Sheriff Williamson told Gough he realised his motives for refusing to get dressed were not ‘sinister,’ but slammed him for his refusal to co-operate with the preparation of a social background report.
He said: ‘I had hoped it [the report] would assist me in dealing with you without sending you back to prison – but you leave me no choice.
‘The police officers who arrested you told you that if you carried on your journey you would pass a playground occupied by children.
Unshaven: Gough pictured in July as he arrived at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court after being arrested for walking around naked
‘You were given three options – one, change direction, two, cover your private parts, or three, enter a police van which would take you around the playpark and release you on your way at the other side.
‘Despite that, you refused, which showed disregard for other members of the public, in particular children who have the right not to see naked men.
‘It shows arrogance.
‘That self-indulgence carries on today.
‘I have no other alternative option but to impose a custodial sentence.’
Gough, of Chamberlain Road, Eastleigh, Hampshire, now has 18 convictions for nakedness.
He first achieved notoriety during a naked walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2003.
He went on to be repeatedly arrested and jailed for walking naked, and refusing to get dressed.
He had tasted only minutes of freedom – usually being re-arrested at the prison gates for being naked – until his release from on July 17th.
Earlier this month Gough’s former partner Alison Ward, the mother to his two children, Kiana, 16 and Yarin, 14, said she could not comprehend why he had given up family life, and knowing his children, simply to walk around naked.
She said: ‘I don’t think Steve is a bad person, but he’s made bad decisions.
‘I feel very sad for him, for what he’s given up.
‘He lost his relationship with me. He has two beautiful children who are a real joy, but he hasn’t been a father to them.
‘The price he’s paid for his determination to go naked is too high.
‘When I told Steve, ‘You can’t see the kids if you’re going to go naked’, he said, ‘Right, I won’t see them.
‘He chose his cause over his children and he’s continued to do so.’
A Crown Office spokesman said: ‘The actions of the accused made his arrest and prosecution necessary.
‘Mr Gough intentionally caused shock and alarm to children and their parents.
‘The evidence in this case clearly established that despite repeated police requests not to do so, he was determined to deliberately walk naked past a busy children’s play-park in Fife.
‘He knew that in doing so he would provoke anger and upset.
The sheriff held that his conduct constituted the crime of breach of the peace.’
The spokesman said the police had gone to great lengths to to preven further offences being committed by Mr Gough.
‘For example,’ he said, ‘on release from HMP Edinburgh in 2007, police officers offered to take Gough to an address of his choosing in Yorkshire.
‘Although he originally agreed to go with them, he changed his mind and attempted to walk from the prison along the A71 when he was arrested again.
‘The authorities are prepared to facilitate his return home providing his behaviour does not, as in the current case, cause public alarm and necessitate arrest to protect the public.
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Zoning please, or at least exile/restrict-residence this Gough character to a nudist colony.
Okay. To prevent some far sweaty psycho, or sick rich kid from killing out of boredom, would any of the post millenial scene kids be willing to play the part of fetish victim for a 401K? This should be under clear contracts with legal protections, social awareness AND acceptance, etc.. Same for the would be pedos and their ‘child impersonator’ escorts and madams as detailed above. Wealth distribution buyr not at extreme levels yet preventive of psychosis at some level or other. A single fetish/porn personae is a lightning rod for negatuve energies to the power of many times.
The psychiatric establishment should look at organic methods, not drugging into oblivion which will instead discharge that energy into the astral/ethereal or ionosphere(quakes and tornadoes!), instead of some simple (albeit) ‘not for everyone’, acrivities like bdsm or RLD or what not. The universe is diverse, and man’s activity is impossible to contain in a Victorian/fundo setting without offending the Universe and OTHER inhabitants across the dimensions of time and reality. Consent between 2 individuals OVERIDES ANY AND ALL *MANMADE* LAWS by others who do not know or will never understand the individuals involved. This is the spirit of law basis behind the LGBT Rights or BDSM Rights or even ‘Consensual Cannibal/Consensual-Prey’ Rights activity that must be understood or that energy will destroy the planet in time, if not attract very angry and powerful entities or who knows space faring races. Those who cannot reconcile ALL AND SUNDRY, much less make biased and narrow 3rd world communal value judgments on others sentients and sapients, have no business administering at any level in government much less write a single law, or be a judge in any court.
School offering ‘professional instruction’ in prostitution will stay open, prosecutors rule – By Jill Reilly – PUBLISHED: 12:39 GMT, 15 September 2012 | UPDATED: 12:41 GMT, 15 September 2012
For €100, students are taught the history of the world’s oldest profession and how to use erotic toys
Venture has attracted much criticism in the predominantly Catholic country
A Spanish firm offering a professional course in prostitution which it says ‘guarantees a job offer on graduation,’ has survived its first legal challenge to be closed down.
For €100, students are taught the history of the world’s oldest profession, how to use erotic toys and the most popular positions contained within the Kama Sutra.
The school began advertising the course in May, but within weeks the Valencian regional government filed a case with prosecutors, alleging that the school promoted prostitution, which is illegal in Spain
Aspirational? The Spanish advertisement promoting courses in prostitution
‘They know what they are getting into’ says course instructor Brandon has been running the one-week course for eight years
But yesterday prosecutors said there was not any evidence that a criminal offence had been committed because advertisements for students did not promote prostitution, constitute fraud and were not aimed at minors, reported The Times.
The venture has attracted much criticism in the predominantly Catholic country, with many saying it is the wrong way to tempt cash-strapped Spaniards back into work.
But the Valencian firm, which flooded the city’s university campus with promotional flyers, says it will make the trade safer.
It will also ensure budding sex-workers will not fall foul of the law, with in depth descriptions of the industry’s laws and how to work around them.
Brandon, who has run the one-week course for eight years, said: ‘They will know what they are getting in to.
C99K9H Prostitute in a car park close to the customer’s car
World’s oldest trade: The Valencian firm, which flooded the city’s university campus with promotional flyers, says it will make the trade safer
‘Prostitution is a career that many people live off from day to day, whether they are single or have a partner.’
He added that 95 people, from the age of 19 to 45, had signed up to the diploma – which takes up two hours each day.
And, once they graduate, they receive their first job offer – to become a teacher in the ‘school’ where they can help in practical classes.
What they learn in the series of theory and practical classes will enable them to ‘earn a lot of money, very easily and quickly’, according to the ABC newspaper.
Esther Lopez Barcelo, a United Left MP in Valencia, said the party was considering appealing the ruling.
Sex is a multibillion-pound industry in Spain, with colourfully lit brothels staffed mainly by poor immigrant women from Latin America, Africa and eastern Europe lining highways throughout the country.
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This school needs to set up franchises/branches in adult industry law friendly, RLD friendly countries which is any first world country. Instead of looking at these people as ‘weird; or ‘odd’, an advocate of sex positivism and sexual diversity, one ‘Mr Tashiro’ said: ‘People have different ways of gratifying themselves and enriching their lives. Having tolerance for diversity is a good thing.’ ‘In the U.S., we tend to culturally talk less openly about sexual activity, especially when it falls outside the normal range of sexual behavior,‘ he added.
While those who view themselves as different ‘tend to keep it to themselves,’ they are far more open when researchers ask anonymously. ‘There really is a great range,’ he said.
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