Many homeless people in Columbia, South Carolina are facing an arduous choice: vacate downtown or be arrested.
That’s because last week, the Columbia City Council unanimously approved a new plan — the Emergency Homeless Response” — to remove homeless people from the downtown business district. Here’s how the initiative, which was spearheaded by Councilman Cameron Runyan (D), will work.
Police officers will now be assigned to patrol the city center and keep homeless people out. They will also be instructed to strictly enforce the city’s “quality of life” laws, including bans on loitering, public urination, and other violations. And just to ensure that no one slips through, the city will set up a hotline so local businesses and residents can report the presence of a homeless person to police. (more…)
Prince has a pretty illustrious career, having defined genres, inspired millions, charted new paths in gender identity and blurred the lines of human sexuality, but it’s safe to say nothing the Purple One has done is quite as amazing as the cover art he released for his new song. The visual for “Breakfast Can Wait” is literally an image of Dave Chappelle playing Prince in a sketch from “The Chappelle Show.” Take a look: Continue Reading »
WinCo, a small, employee-owned grocery store chain based in Boise, Idaho, is able to beat Walmart’s prices on goods while providing its employees with good benefits. The company, which will soon have close to 100 stores with the latest openings in Texas, has almost 15,000 employees. Those who work at the store long enough qualify for a pension plan into which the company puts an amount equal to 20 percent of their yearly pay. More than 400 “front-line” workers — clerks, cashiers, and others who are not at the executive level — have retirement accounts that are worth at least $1 million, according to a company spokesman.
It also provides full health benefits for those who work at least 24 hours a week, beyond the requirements in the Affordable Care Act. While the company is private and hasn’t made wage information available, Glassdoor reports that cashiers and clerks make more than $11 an hour. Thanks to these benefits and wages, the company has low turnover. An industry analyst estimated that the average hourly worker stays with the company for more than eight years. Continue Reading »
A pair of videos posted online show police probing the genitals and anal regions of three womenthey claim to suspect of possessing marijuana. In one video, a woman is seen bent over and grimacing as an off camera police officer conducts the search. Shortly before this search, a male officer explains to the woman that he is calling a female officer over “because I ain’t about to get up close and personal with your woman areas.”
The videos depict two vehicle stops, one for speeding and another for littering. In both videos, a male officer asks the women if they have any marijuana in the vehicle, suggesting that the purpose of their search is to find evidence of this drug. At one point, immediately before conducting her search of a woman’s genitals, a female officer warns the woman that if she “hid something in there, we’re going to find it.” Continue Reading »
People are showing their depth of support for Bradley Manning by signing up to serve part of his prison time. Comments from people signing indicate great appreciation for Manning exposing the truth about U.S. foreign policy, especially the conduct of the wars, the drone program, Guantanmo and the operation of the State Department.
Here are some comments from those who have signed up: (more…)
Here at NaturalSociety we’ve covered countless reasons to avoid fast food at all costs. This cheaply-processed food fuels illness and disease due to containing numerous harmful ingredients – some of which are actually banned in other countries. But if you need yet another reason to avoid the junk, here it is: According to a study published in the journal Annals of Diagnostic Pathology, some fast food hamburgers may contain as little as 2% actual meat.
For the study, researchers analyzed the content of 8 fast food hamburger brands. To ensure that there was no bias in the results, they assigned each hamburger with an anonymously designated name, ranging from H1 to H8. While it would only logical to assume that hamburgers are made up primarily of meat, much of the 5 billion hamburgers consumed by Americans annually actual contain very little meat (and could contain a whole host of other ingredients.
Study Breakdown (more…)
Journalist Glenn Greenwald responds to a report by Reuters about how a secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is covering up its use of intelligence intercepts, wiretaps to help launch criminal investigations of Americans. “It’s a full-frontal assault on the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments and on the integrity of the judicial process, because they’re deceiving everyone involved in criminal prosecutions about how this information has been obtained,” Greenwald says.
AP: 4 in 5 Americans live in danger of falling into poverty, joblessness
By The Associated Press
Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.
Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.
The findings come as President Barack Obama tries to renew his administration’s emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to “rebuild ladders of opportunity” and reverse income inequality.
As nonwhites approach a numerical majority in the U.S., one question is how public programs to lift the disadvantaged should be best focused — on the affirmative action that historically has tried to eliminate the racial barriers seen as the major impediment to economic equality, or simply on improving socioeconomic status for all, regardless of race. Continue Reading »
A report by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation revealed that the largest mercenary army in the world, Blackwater (later called Xe Services and more recently “Academi”) clandestine intelligence services was sold to the multinational Monsanto. Blackwater was renamed in 2009 after becoming famous in the world with numerous reports of abuses in Iraq, including massacres of civilians. It remains the largest private contractor of the U.S. Department of State “security services,” that practices state terrorism by giving the government the opportunity to deny it.
Many military and former CIA officers work for Blackwater or related companies created to divert attention from their bad reputation and make more profit selling their nefarious services-ranging from information and intelligence to infiltration, political lobbying and paramilitary training – for other governments, banks and multinational corporations. According to Scahill, business with multinationals, like Monsanto, Chevron, and financial giants such as Barclays and Deutsche Bank, are channeled through two companies owned by Erik Prince, owner of Blackwater: Total Intelligence Solutions and Terrorism Research Center. These officers and directors share Blackwater.
One of them, Cofer Black, known for (more…)
Zimmerman Verdict Does Not Alter Truth
By Tom Hall
It was the picture that convinced me.
I believe in our legal system and its processes. I understand the concept that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. I understand that what trials do is very different from what public opinion does, and from what reality is. Trials determine legal guilt or innocence. They do not determine reality. When Emmett Till was murdered, in 1955, his killers were identified, tried and acquitted. Then they gave an interview to Look magazine, bragging about the murder, knowing that our system protected them against double jeopardy, so they could not be tried again for a murder they were proud of.
Now that he’s been acquitted, George Zimmerman can also go national, wallowing in the adulation of racists who think that stalking and shooting an unarmed child is good sport, if the child is black. George has a history of sucking up to authority; making 911 calls to report “dangerous black youths;” longing for some role as an important person. Because he is too clearly psychologically unfit, he has been rejected when applying for police jobs. He has been fired from minimum wage, no-training-needed private security jobs, because of his zeal for excessive violence. But since the trial, without even a junior college degree, he put out the word that he wants to go to law school so he can be an important defender of future shooters who heroically cut down potential black criminals. (more …)