Monday, October 26, 2009

George W. Bush set to become motivational speaker

He left office with the US embroiled in two wars, a Great Recession and with his approval rating a toxic 22 per cent. So the next stage in his career is obvious. George W Bush — who last year inspired millions of people to vote Democrat — is about to become a highly-paid motivational speaker.

On Monday the former Republican President will appear as the headline speaker on the popular Get Motivated seminar programme, which describes itself as an “action-packed, fun-filled, explosive, exciting, inspiring, skill-building business event that is world famous for its mega-watt superstar speakers and spectacular stage production.” He will appear again in San Antonio in December.

The Forth Worth event, in Mr Bush's home state of Texas, will also feature Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State, Rudy Giuliani, the former New York Mayor, and Rick Belluzzo, a former Microsoft executive.

The Get Motivated programme has been a huge business success, but the appearance of Mr Bush at a seminar about, among other things, “How to Master the Art of Effective Leadership” has produced guffaws.

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The Free Lakota Bank

Lakota Warriors to Protect New "silver Bank"


Lakota Warriors to Protect New "silver Bank" - The best video clips are right here

An American Indian tribe, the Lakota Sioux, has apparently launched the world's only non-fiat bank.

http://freelakotabank.com/

Secret court seizes £3.2bn from elderly... and even forces furious families to pay to access own bank account

A secret court is seizing the assets of thousands of elderly and mentally impaired people and turning control of their lives over to the State - against the wishes of their relatives.

The draconian measures are being imposed by the little-known Court of Protection, set up two years ago to act in the interests of people suffering from Alzheimer's or other mental incapacity.

The court hears about 23,000 cases a year - always in private - involving people deemed unable to take their own decisions. Using far-reaching powers, the court has so far taken control of more than £3.2billion of assets.

The cases involve civil servants from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), which last year took £23million in fees directly from the bank accounts of those struck down by mental illness, involved in accidents or suffering from dementia.

The officials are legally required to act in cases where people do not have a 'living will', or lasting power of attorney, which hands control of their assets over to family or friends.

But the system elicited an extraordinary 3,000 complaints in its first 18 months of operation. Among them were allegations that officials failed to consult relatives, imposed huge fees and even 'raided' elderly people's homes searching for documents.

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'They say the drugs are also good for eyebrow plucking'

From Think Disease Mongering Started with Direct-to-Consumer Ads? by Martha Rosenberg [Scoop] :

... Depersonalizing "she" ads--"Has She Become a Fixture in Your Office?" "She Hides Anguish Behind Arrogance" "Does She Call You Morning, Noon and Night?---were the norm when doctors, copywriters and drug makers were men and charged with getting women to behave. So was pathologizing everyday conditions, a phenomenon which did not start with direct to consumer advertising.

In the 1960s and 1970s, antidepressants were suggested for telltale bitten nails and overplucked eyebrows, antipsychotics for "excessive use of the telephone" (a real ad) and Dexedrine for "housewives" who were "crushed under a load of dull, routine duties."

Then there was empty nest syndrome (called Magna cum Depression in ads) and divorce for which antidepressants were also prescribed-- and mothers who were "short tempered" with their kids who got antipsychotics.

Psychoneurotic women like "Jan" who were "unmarried with low self esteem" at age 35--"You probably see many such Jans in your practice"--were given Valium.

When women got to the arsenal waiting for menopause it was probably a relief!

Of course the Mephistophelean Marcus Welbys who treated the disease of Lack of a Husband and Kids with psychoactive drugs and the copywriters who mongered same are mostly gone today.

But today's top drugs like Seroquel, Pristiq, Lyrica and Cymbalta are still pushed for women and their notorious anxiety-that-is-really-depression, depression-that-is-really-bipolar-disorder,
PMS-that-is-really-perimenopause and pain-that-is-really-fibromyaglia. ...

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Calling for more female police, UN officer welcomes new pact with Interpol

A senior United Nations official today welcomed a recent landmark agreement with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to strengthen police units in peacekeeping missions around the world, and called on Member States to contribute more women officers to those operations.

The new agreement between the UN and INTERPOL aims to boost policing cooperation in restoring stability in post-conflict areas, UN Deputy Police Adviser Ann-Marie Orler told reporters in New York.

The arrangement, agreed last week in Singapore, includes the exchange of information, cooperation in relation to interim law enforcement, security support to national police and training for the development of national police and other law enforcement agencies.

[ ... ]

In August, the Police Division of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) launched a drive to recruit more police and more female police officers, targeting an increase in the number of women from 8 per cent today to 20 per cent in 2014, said Ms. Orler.

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Worst case: Choosing who survives in a flu epidemic

... In recent years, officials in a host of states and localities, as well as the federal Veterans Health Administration, have been quietly addressing one of medicine's most troubling questions: Who should get a chance to survive when the number of severely ill people far exceeds the resources needed to treat them all?

The draft plans vary. In some states, patients with Do Not Resuscitate orders, the elderly, those requiring dialysis, or those with severe neurological impairment would be refused ventilators, or admission to hospitals. Utah divides epidemics into phases. Initially, hospitals would apply triage rules to residents of mental institutions, nursing homes, prisons and facilities for the “handicapped.” If an epidemic worsened, the rules would apply to the general population.

Federal officials say the possibility that America's already crowded intensive care units would be overwhelmed in the coming weeks by flu patients is small but they remain vigilant.

The triage plans have attracted little publicity. New York, for example, released its draft guidelines in 2007, offered a 45-day comment period, and has made no changes since. The Health Department made 90 pages of public comments public this week only after receiving a request under the state's public records laws.

Mary Buckley-Davis, a respiratory therapist with 30 years experience, wrote to officials in 2007 that “there will be rioting in the streets” if hospitals begin disconnecting ventilators. “There won't be enough public relations spin or appropriate media coverage in the world” to calm the family of a patient “terminally weaned” from a ventilator, she said. ...

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Lawyer: Death complicates Madoff investment case

The death of Jeffry Picower, accused of profiting more than $7 billion from the investment schemes of his longtime friend Bernard Madoff, will make it more difficult for suing investors to recoup their money, attorneys said.

Picower's wife, Barbara, on Sunday discovered the 67-year-old's body at the bottom of the pool at their oceanside mansion and pulled him from the water with help from a housekeeper, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at Good Samaritan Medical Center at about 1:30 p.m. Palm Beach police are investigating the death as a drowning, but have not ruled out anything on the cause of death.

Picower had been accused by jilted investors of being the biggest beneficiary of Madoff's schemes. In a lawsuit to recover Madoff's assets, trustee Irving Picard demanded Picower return more than $7 billion in bogus profits. In an e-mailed statement Sunday, Picard said only that "litigation will continue."

Jerry Reisman, an attorney representing about 26 victims, said Picower's death does make it more difficult for the trustee to recoup some of the money.

"We won't be able to hear from his own words whether he was complicit," Reisman said.

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Kseniya Simonova's amazing sand drawing



Kseniya Simonova is a Ukrainian artist who just won Ukraine's version of "America's Got Talent." She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and "sand painting" skills to interpret Germany's invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII.

Jakob Holdt awarded for his US photos

From The Copenhagen Post :

Photographer earns the prestigious Fogtdal Photographer Award for his iconic depictions of Americans

Danish photographer Jakob Holdt has been honoured as this year’s recipient of the Fogtdal Photographer Award, worth 250,000 kroner.

Holdt spent much of the 1970s hitchhiking across the US photographing thousands of both ordinary and famous Americans – a series which later became his book ‘American Pictures’.
In honouring Holdt with the prize the committee said he had ‘used photography as a means for shaping a public opinion’. ...



http://www.american-pictures.com/

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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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