For the Global Thinker

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Grief Like No Other

"A murder is an unnatural death; no ordinary rules apply. The intense grief experienced by survivors can last five years, a decade, even a lifetime." In 1997, Eric Schlosser wrote about the trauma caused by the murder of loved ones.


"For months after the murder Patty thought about suicide. Tim had meant everything to her. He was her joy.
Patty felt more comfortable at work than at home. She dreaded returning to her empty house, with its memories and pictures of Tim on the wall. Every night she would drive around for hours to avoid going home, and then finally get into bed and fall asleep crying.

Patty also found consolation at her son's grave. During the first year after the murder she stopped by the cemetery two or three times a day. Usually she'd visit the grave for fifteen minutes or so. At other times, including his birthday, she would sit there all day. His birthday was in February, when the weather was harsh and cold. One thing she could not bear was the thought of snow covering Tim's body. Whenever it snowed, she had to visit the cemetery and clear off his grave. One day after a snowstorm she arrived and found that someone who knew how she felt had already removed the snow from Tim's grave."

Read More here:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dummy Land

I’m at the Vent Haven ConVENTion where, each July, hundreds of ventriloquists, or “vents,” as they call themselves, gather from all over the world. For four days, they attend lectures on the business, getting advice on AV equipment, scriptwriting, or creating an audience through social networking. They listen to a keynote address by Comedy Central’s ventriloquist-in-residence, Jeff Dunham, who exhorts his notoriously defensive colleagues to “quit complaining that people say we’re weird. We talk to dolls. We are weird, ok. Just own it.” They eat at a Denny’s off the highway and visit the creationist museum down the road. And they don’t go anywhere without the accompaniment of their alter egos.

At the convention, the puppets are a slim but boisterous majority. They crowd in around you. They critique you. They grope you. They chatter continuously. Being around them approximates what it would be like to read people’s minds. It is a most unpleasant experience—a great deal more unsettling, of course, isn’t what they say but that they say anything at all. All over the hotel, in conference rooms, in hallways, at the bar, ventriloquism is practiced in its purest form: not as a stage show, but as an ongoing, unscripted social interaction, a live conversation between humans and their golems. At a drunken party one night, in the hotel’s “hospitality suite,” I witness one dummy operating another dummy, as the human source of both voices sits silently nearby, pretending to compose a text message. The mini bar has lips, which cruelly insult anyone who walks by, the origin of its voice impossible to determine. Almost as soon as I join the party, I am molested by a busty lady puppet, a faded showgirl. She swoons onto my shoulder. “Godaaamn,” she slurs. “Where have you been?” Her vent is a burly, unsmiling dude with a shaved head, a muscle shirt, and camo shorts. He smells strongly of whiskey.

Read more here:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Norwegian Terrorist's Manifesto and European Leaders Message same: Multiculturalism has Failed

The Norway terrorist's video Manifesto...


The full 1500 page Manifesto...

European Backlash Over Multiculturalism

The concept of multiculturalism seems to be failing all around Europe.

The one who started the trend was German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “This approach has failed, utterly,” she said.

Then British Prime Minister David Cameron weighed in, saying, “We failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong.”
And now France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy has made an admission, as well. “My answer is, clearly, yes, it's a failure.”
The heads of state have only now realized what many observers and radicals have been saying for quite some time.

“Multiculturalism will only function if people coming to the country will have a job, have their own money and feel responsible for the community,” says immigration officer Arnold Mengelkoch from Copenhagen. “Otherwise, they are jobless people who lead a passive life with social welfare.”
Read more here...

Council of Europe Warns on Multiculturalism...

 “As we understand it now, multiculturalism allows parallel societies to develop within states,” said Thorbjørn Jagland, secretary-general of the council, in an interview with the Financial Times.
“This must be stopped. It is also clear that some parallel societies have developed radical ideas that are dangerous. Terrorism cannot be accepted.”
Mr Jagland came to the defence of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, David Cameron, UK prime minister, and Nicolas Sarkozy, French president, who have all warned recently that the tradition of encouraging diverse cultures to live side-by-side has damaged national identity and helped to promote the radicalisation of immigrant youth.
Mr Cameron went so far as to say that a new, more “muscular liberalism” was needed that barred government aid to groups that did not share Britain’s liberal values.
The comments by European leaders have been welcomed by groups on the far right, who see their hardline positions on immigration, race and security justified by the apparent shift in mainstream politics to the right. However, they have sparked an outcry from the left and from Muslim groups, who see themselves...
Read more here... 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A History of Violence: Right Wing Extremism

 Even though we've all been conditioned by the mainstream media to think that all terrorists are Muslim, the latest terrorist attack in Norway is actually just another example in a long history of Right Wing Extremism.  

The man in the police uniform shouted for the campers to come closer. When they did, he killed them.

The gunman who killed at least 80 people at an island youth camp northwest of Oslo used his disguise to lure in his victims, then shot them twice to make sure they were dead, survivors said in the village of Sundvollen, where they were taken after the massacre.

"I saw many dead people," said 15-year old Elise, whose father, Vidar Myhre, didn't want her to disclose her last name. She just feet away from the gunman when he opened fire in the camp on Utoya island.
Elise said she had just come out from an information meeting in a nearby building when she heard gunshots. She saw a police officer and thought she was safe, but then he started shooting.

"He first shot people on the island. Afterward he started shooting people in the water," she said.
Elise said she hid behind the same rock that the killer was standing on. "I could hear his breathing from the top of the rock," she said.
In panic, the girl phoned...

Read more here...


Understanding Terrorism... 


For years, psychologists examined terrorists' individual characteristics, mining for clues that could explain their willingness to engage in violence. While researchers now agree that most terrorists are not "pathological" in any traditional sense, several important insights have been gleaned though interviews with some 60 former terrorists conducted by psychologist John Horgan, PhD, who directs the Pennsylvania State University's International Center for the Study of Terrorism.

Horgan found that people who are more open to terrorist recruitment and radicalization tend to:
  • Feel angry, alienated or disenfranchised.
  • Believe that their current political involvement does not give them the power to effect real change.
  • Identify with perceived victims of the social injustice they are fighting.
  • Feel the need to take action rather than just talking about the problem.
  • Believe that engaging in violence against the state is not immoral.
  • Have friends or family sympathetic to the cause.
  • Believe that joining a movement offers social and psychological rewards such as adventure, camaraderie and a heightened sense of identity.

    Read more here...


This year we saw the shooting of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords by Jared Lee Loughner...but that is just the tip of the iceberg...

Right-wing terrorism came to widespread attention after the August 1980 Bologna bombing, when a group of right-wing terrorists exploded a bomb at a railroad station in Bologna, Italy, killing 84 people and injuring more than 180. Two months later, a right-wing terrorist attack in Munich, Germany killed the attacker and 14 other people, injuring 215.
The April 19, 1995 attack on the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma, by the right-wing extremist Timothy McVeigh, which killed 168 people, would become the worst domestic terrorist attack in American history.[9] It was reported he had ties to a Michigan militia group.[10]

Many more examples of recent Right Wing Terrorism here...


Here is the supposed video manifesto of Breivik...

And here is the full 1500 page manifesto...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Largest Marijuana Crop Ever Discovered in Mexico

 (click to enlarge photos)

Update apparently 12 Mexican policemen were killed near Los Mochis, Sinaloa.  Possibly revenge.

THIS incredible oasis in the middle of a remote desert is the largest marijuana plantation ever found in Mexico.  According to General Alfonso Duarte Mugica the plantation is 168 times larger than the soccer field in Mexico City's Azteca Stadium.  Located just 6 hours south of the Tijuana\San Diego border, this 300 acre plantation was found by the Mexican military near the town of San Quintin.

Soldiers patrolling a desert area in Baja California stumbled across the massive plantation which was being tended by dozens of men, most of whom escaped with only six being caught later at a military checkpoint.
The men had pumped water through hoses from a well they had dug at the barren site to irrigate the plants, which had grown up to 8 feet tall.

"This marijuana field represents one of the largest found and due to be destroyed in Mexico. The largest found had measured 105 hectares in Rancho de Bufalo in Chihuahua and this one measures 120, so it's the largest found in the country," explained Commander of the Second Military Region of Northern Baja California, General Alfonso Duarte.
Mexico is the largest supplier of marijuana to the United States and recent discoveries highlight this lucrative trade.

Last October, Mexican authorities made their largest-ever seizure of marijuana packaged for sale, a record 148 tons (134 metric tons) found in a number of tractor trailers and houses in Tijuana. They appeared to make up a major distribution center traced directly to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's most-wanted fugitive, who has expanded the reach of his Sinaloa cartel along the U.S.-Mexico border since escaping from prison in 2001.
In November, U.S. and Mexican investigators found two long, sophisticated tunnels under the border between Baja California and California, along with more than 40 tons of marijuana in and around the tunnels.
The tunnels ran about 2,000 feet from Mexico to San Diego and were equipped with lighting, ventilation and a rail system for drugs to be carried on a small cart.
U.S. officials say they believe the tunnels also were the work of the Sinaloa cartel.

See Video of the Massive Plantation here...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The CIA's Secret Sites in Somalia

Hassan told him that his captors took him to Wilson Airport: “‘They put a bag on my head, Guantánamo style. They tied my hands behind my back and put me on a plane. In the early hours we landed in Mogadishu. The way I realized I was in Mogadishu was because of the smell of the sea—the runway is just next to the seashore. They took me to this prison, where I have been up to now. I have been here for one year, seven months. I have been interrogated so many times. Interrogated by Somali men and white men. Every day. New faces show up. They have nothing on me. I have never seen a lawyer, never seen an outsider. Only other prisoners, interrogators, guards. Here there is no court or tribunal.’”
After meeting the man who had spoken with Hassan in the underground prison, Gutteridge began working with Hassan’s Kenyan lawyers to determine his whereabouts. She says he has never been charged or brought before a court. “Hassan’s abduction from Nairobi and rendition to a secret prison in Somalia bears all the hallmarks of a classic US rendition operation,” she says. The US official interviewed for this article denied the CIA had rendered Hassan but said, “The United States provided information which helped get Hassan—a dangerous terrorist—off the street.” Human Rights Watch and Reprieve have documented that Kenyan security and intelligence forces have facilitated scores of renditions for the US and other governments, including eighty-five people rendered to Somalia in 2007 alone. Gutteridge says the director of the Mogadishu prison told one of her sources that Hassan had been targeted in Nairobi because of intelligence suggesting he was the “right-hand man” of Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan , at the time a leader of Al Qaeda in East Africa. Nabhan, a Kenyan citizen of Yemeni descent, was among the top suspects sought for questioning by US authorities over his alleged role in the coordinated 2002 attacks on a tourist hotel and an Israeli aircraft in Mombasa, Kenya, and possible links to the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
An intelligence report leaked by the Kenyan Anti-Terrorist Police Unit in October 2010 alleged that Hassan...

Read more here...

Also related...

Meeting Somalia's al-Shabab

Read more here...

Somali militant group Al-Shabaab executes ‘CIA spy’

Read more here...


Ocean Sky

Shipwreck Coast, Australia

A star-gazer has come a little bit closer to the final frontier - after spending 18 months photographing the night sky.
With just an ordinary digital camera, Alex Cherney turned thousands of snaps into an incredible time-lapse video of the cosmos.
Using long exposures to allow more light in, this breath-taking video from the southern tip of Australia demonstrates how he captured the dramatic way the sky changes at night.

See time-lapse video here...

http://vimeo.com/24253126 Full Screen Recommended

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Random Moments

 Random photos of Life...Truly Exceptional....click to enlarge each photo...Enjoy.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Daredevil Pilots of Colombia

A fascinating look into the lives of Colombian pilots who fly to remote areas of the jungle to bring people and supplies.   It's really cool because it's like stepping into a time warp...Enjoy...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What is the best country for you?

How do you define a better life?  Use this interactive tool to see how your country performs on the topics you feel make for a better life...
Very cool...


Monday, July 4, 2011

World's Best Hikes: 15 Classic Trails

Tonquin Valley, Jasper National Park, Canada.

Over the past decade, author Peter Potterfield has hiked more than 10,000 miles over six continents to research this list. Here, he tells us his picks for the world's 15 best hikes, including Patagonia, Tasmania, Newfoundland, and Petra.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Oatmeal

Haven't laughed this much in awhile, simply hilarious...

Sure I'd Love to Help You Move Apartments

The Four Seasons of Vancouver/Seattle Weather

The Crap We Put Up With Getting On and Off an Airplane

7 Things You Really Don't Need to Take a Photo of...

Why Working at Home is Both Awesome and Horrible

Why I'd Rather be Punched in the Testicles Than Call Customer Service

Minor Differences Part 1, 2, and 3