Halloween Day Massacre: 14 Killed in Soccer Shooting

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Fourteen unarmed soccer players and fans were gunned down at a soccer field in Honduras early October 31, 2010; most likely murdered by overzealous fan of rival team.

Summery of Events of the Halloween Day Massacre

The modern sports of this modern era are often called the pent-up barbarianism of society being let out.  Sometimes that barbarianism strikes out in different ways, such as the massacre in San Pedro Sula, Honduras early on October 31, 2010.  Halloween has a particularly sinister edge this year.

A vehicle drove on to the field, startling the soccer players.  Gunners opened fire on the soccer players at short range, some of the bullets were directed at those watching the practice.  Some victims may have been initially shot, then run over.  The vehicle drove off before authorities could arrive.

Reports are still coming in, but initial announcements say that ten men were killed on the scene, with gruesome gunshot wounds, and an additional four were severely wounded, dying between leaving the soccer field and arriving at the hospital.  There are numerous other casualties, most of whom are in critical condition.  The Maras Cartel, an illegal drug transporting cartel that numbers in the tens of thousands, is suspected.

Possible Killers

The motive for this killing is unclear; there are two major possibilities:

1) Soccer players discover drug cartel members, most likely of the local Maras Cartel, transporting cocaine or other illegal substances north destined for America.  The cartel members promptly shot all the soccer players, to silence any possible witnesses

2) Maras Cartel members kill for revenge,fun, or simply to make a point.

3) Rival soccer team/fan kills soccer team

Most people would dismiss the #3, the silly Americans, but I believe it is the more likely option.

The Cartel Discovery Theory

If the hypothetical cartel members, most likely from the Maras Cartel, were shipping drugs, they would choose back roads or go through safe territory.  Driving past a soccer field, full of soccer players and their cheering fans and family, is the exact opposite of this.  The cartel members would know better than to transport in such a public area, more importantly they would know not to go around shooting people unless it is absolutely necessary.  Killings on the scale of the Halloween Day Massacre tend to gain international attention.

Eliminating the Cartel theory leaves the much more plausible Revenge and Rival Fan Theories.

The Maras Theory

There have been massacres on this scale in San Pedro Sula before the Halloween Day Massacre.  There was a four man attack on a local shoe factory on September 8, 2010, which left eighteen men dead.  Honduras’s weak army and semi corrupt police force have been unable to contain the violence. The Maras Cartel is suspected in this previous attack, it is quite plausible they carried out this second attack on Halloween for similar reasons.

Those reasons remain unclear, until there is further information this theory cannot be accepted or dismissed until evidence surfaces to validate it.

The Rival Fan Theory

To analyse this theory we cannot just look at the football team, but the country of Honduras, where e the killings took place, and how football, what they call soccer, is embedded in the culture. Football initially gained popularity in Honduras, and in Latin America, roughly the same time it did in Europe.  That is right after the Second World War, troops had played the gain as they had fought around the world and as they dispersed the game immigrated with them.  This is why football is so popular internationally.

Football took such a firm grip in Honduras that they went to war over a football game.  This who read that right, they called it The Football War, fought in 1969 over a World Cup match between the two countries.  It lasted for four bloody days,three thousand people were died and the economy of Honduras collapsed.  That is how serious this country is about football.

I imagine an overzealous, and most likely psychotic, fan wanted to prove his loyalty to his soccer team, pick up an assault rifle, and went over to the football field.  Then he painted the grass red.  The majority of the football team was eliminated, along with a few pesky fans.

Reflection and Condolences

It darkens my thoughts to think that anyone is capable of such cruelty.  The problem that resulted in these killings is that far too many people have guns and the lack of brains to use them liberally.  There is no solution to this problem, short of recalling weaponry all together, which would be as pointless and futile as Prohibition was, and much more lethal.  These killings are a tragedy, a black swan that could not have been predicted.  Our hearts go out to the families of the deceased, our prayers to the fallen.

Sources

The Global NewsCNN, BBC

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Verizon’s Blunder: Mystery Fees and a Government Probe results in Verizon paying $72.8 million in Reimbursements

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Verizon is now paying out 72.8 million dollars, to the Federal Government and outraged clients, to make amends for overcharge customers on downloads they never approved.

This debacle started with customer complaints their bills were way more costly then they were supposed to be.  One plan on Verizon used a”pay as you go” system; people would only have to pay for the services they used.  Verizon charged $1.99 per megabyte, a fairly reasonable rate.  The issue arose when content was downloaded without the client’s permission, usually from shady internet sites or viruses.  Distressed clients saw that they had been far overcharged for the downloading of material that they had never approved.  They pleaded with Verizon to reduce their fees, but Verizon countered that they were reasonable for their own actions.  Outrage grew.

As this movement gained momentum, the Federal Communications Commission, FCC, got involved.  They are concerned with all private sector communication issues, so this growing problem fell squarely in their territory.  Almost ten months ago, back in early January 2010, they initiated an official probe into Verizon concerning the questioned fees.  They delved quickly into the company, amongst vociferous protests.  Verizon had a time bomb on their hands, the more people that knew about the probe the more people that would question Verizon’s trustworthiness.  This would lead directly to losing customers and stock value, both things that always should be avoided.  Shortly after the probe was initiated Verizon began negotiating with the FCC to remove the probe.  It is only now, ten months later in late October 2010, that the Federal probe has been retracted, at a heavy cost to Verizon.

Verizon is now in the process of spending 72.8 million dollars to clean up the mess of created by these “mystery fees.”  25 million is being paid to the US Treasury, to cover all costs concerning the probe.  The remaining 52.8 million is being paid to customers who the FCC deemed were over charged.  In addition, Verizon is now setting up a specialized “Data Charged Task Force” to deal with potential mystery charges in the future.  Apologies and reimbursements are being sent out to the offended customers in their bills, hopefully ending this problem.

The ramifications of this blunder are extreme.  Verizon will not be able to laugh off this mistake, 72.8 million dollars were given away to deal with a penchant problem that never should have gotten out of control.  Stocks value has fallen dramatically since the problems began and are now only tentatively returning to normal.  Many customers have switched to other services, simply because they are horrified with how poorly Verizon handled this matter.

The worst realization is that they did not solve the problem of the mystery fees.  Verizon failed to figure out a method to eliminate unwanted downloads.  They have taken precautions against it, but there are still major loopholes from which expensive content can be downloaded without knowledge of the client.  The customer service branch will be helpful in solving disputes, to an extent.  In the end it will be the word of the client against the actions of the machine, leading to endless problems in the future for this department.  No problems have been solved, only money and time has been lost.

Sources:

http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/28/technology/verizon_fine/index.htm

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2371656,00.asp

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2010/10/28/fcc-hits-verizon-record-fine/

Only the Blue Mushrooms Kill, Poem

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Mushroom, mushroom, sparkle dully,

Thorny stem, phantom blue.

Fester neath the twilight grim,

till ghostly girl visits you.

Skipping through the nights foggy dew,

traveling towards some friends and kin.

Espies tasty treat or two,

and pockets our dwarf assassin.

Reaching home without a delay,

she enters and smiles break out.

She tells them of her journey that day,

crossing a valleys, past monks devout.

No idea of her destined death,

she snags the homicidal shroom.

Silence falls across her pale form,

A shriek cracks the still pearly moon.

Lowering Taxes will Torpedo You and the Economy: Vote No Question #3, Massachusetts 2010

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Everybody likes to save a little money, but to my knowledge everyone likes having a functioning police force a little more, right?

Those of you from the international community can learn from this article as a case study; those of you from Massachusetts actually should pay attention so you don’t accidentally ignite anarchy across your home state.

Question 3 on the 2010 Ballot is as follows, or so my friends at Ballot Pedia tells me (http://www.ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Massachusetts_Sales_Tax_Relief_Act,_Question_3_(2010))

“This proposed law would reduce the state sales and use tax rates (which were 6.25 percent as of September 2009) to 3 percent as of Jan. 1, 2011”

So that doesn’t seem so bad right? I wouldn’t mind having a little more cash to spend everyday, maybe save up to get a big screen TV or a fancy vacation to the Caribbean.  That is the incentive for this law; people like to keep their own money.

The counter argument to the law is as follows:

Pictured: Detroit

Turns out by cutting taxes by almost  half reduces the state’s budget by almost half.  Since we do just happen to still be in a recession there isn’t a lot of fat they can trim off the budget, as it is the state government is doing the bare minimum and still running at maximum capacity.  By slashing taxes state jobs are also be slashed.  Programs shrunk beyond repair.  The entire slow motion popping water balloons program will have to be canceled.

Damn... What are we going to post on YouTube now?

The effects of this will be devastating; worse than the loss of faith moviegoers had in Hollywood after watching 2012 (seriously, if that is how the world is going to end in just gonna move to Nepal today).  The state government of Massachusetts will become a dysfunctional skeleton, every department will be underfunded and will still have to have major lay offs.  Since the state is losing roughly fifty percent of its income it will have to fire roughly fifty percent of its total staff.  The state government is the number one single employer in Massachusetts, a lay off on this magnitude will increase unemployment to as much as 4%.  That really sucks.

Picard says it all.  Nobody wants to lay off their friends and family, you just want to save some cash to get through these hard times.  However, the amount of cash you believe you saving is much less than you believe.  Take a hundred pennies (if you don’t have a hundred pennies I cannot help you, you’re a lost cause) and count remove six.  This is roughly equal to the current tax.

If this tax is put in place you get three of those pennies back.  Translate that to real life. if you spend a hundred dollars a day, from the six dollars that would normally go to tax you would get three back.  Hooray, you can go down to Burger King and buy yourself a whooper.  Whoopie.  Now about the issue of you getting fired…

I hate my oh-so-creative boss

Remember those people your responsible for laying off, well they are coming back to haunt you and they are not amused.  Those with greater ability than you will very simply undercut you and steal your job.  Those of equal ability will compete with various replacement jobs you might try to get.  Those that are sub-par will gum up our healthcare and welfare systems, forcing you to pay more taxes to support them in their unemployment.  Those that are super sup-par though, they will actually help you out.  They’ll let you share their trashcan fire.

Well aren't you one lucky duck.

And yes, one last little, oh so insignificant, detail.  Who do you believe is the chief supporters for this question

A) Men and women struggling to get from one paycheck to another

B) Assorted charities supporting those less fortunate

C) Granny, with knife

D) A, B, and possibly C (as long as she keeps her weapons holstered)

E) Greedy Corporations

Gonna cut you.

If you answered C I know a great therapist who be more than happy to talk to you.  If you answered A, B, or D I’m sorry; you a romantic idealist.  If you answered E, you are right, *grim smile*

These corporations produce a variety of products, from jeans to skateboards.  Every item you are wearing was probably sold to you from one of these cooperations, imported from their sweat shops in Pooristan or North Poverty.  They want this bill to pass so you will be more inclined to buy their products, the cheaper something is the more of it people want.  They will be able to charge a lower net cost, because the tax is lower, on everything they produce, so people like you will buy more of it.  The end result is all that money you could have saved will probably just end up in these corporations pockets.

"Well how else are we supposed to take money baths?"

Increasing taxes will create massive lay offs, weigh down an already ailing economy, and benefit the fools who caused the second worst depression in human history to get paid even more money.

Letting taxes remain the same is actually a smart plan.  It will not make thousands of people unemployed, but it will cost you that whooper, and you’ll miss out on trashcan fires.

Your choice.

Personally, I elect there should be a third option: an increase in taxes.

Oh-my-god-I-have-red-eyes-that's-so-cool

I do not want massive socialist changes, just half a percent.  That won’t even cost you a candy bar a day.  However, it would be more than enough to refurbish the ailing state programs, employ a few people here and there to patch up the government.  Instead of stalling, to stave of the recession, Massachusetts will actually start making forward economic progress.

This small change will greatly reduce the recession (a functioning state government tends to do that) and will make everyone happier, whether they getting a new job or actually begin helped out by the government.

In conclusion: don’t be fooled by the cooperations, vote no on Question 3. Vote for your friends, vote for your family, Vote  for (insert patriotic nonsense).

Vote for yourself.

UPDATE:  For those you remain unconvinced that they won’t be affected by this tax cut –http://votenoquestion3.com/towns.php?town_code=344&sect=2&gclid=CPWU8JPA2KQCFYs65QodKlcoIg

Unless your from Gosnold, just east of Martha’s Vineyard, your going to be seriously hurting from this tax cut.  Boston alone will be losing over eighteen million to its educational system, which translates into higher local taxes on everything else.  And if you are from Gosnold, I feel sorry for you and the ridiculous name of your town.

If you think this whole Question is bad, lets talk about the National Deficit -(https://talktank.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/the-us-deficit-expensive-in-painful-ways-spending/)

If you disagree, agree, or have a wacky left opinion coming out of left field let me hear what you have to say.  The comment box should be just below and you have a keyboard.  You know what to do.

Survival of the Fittest = Incorrect

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“Survival of the fittest,” is one of the strangest terms a person will regularly come across.  It occurs so often because people believe it applies to virtually aspect of life; war, politics, economic forces, video game competitions, and the closing of one ice cream store while another expands.  People look everywhere and they see only the smart and the brilliant beating the test of time.  They believe it is only logical that these victors survive, since they maintained the initiative and pressed onwards to victory while others are turned back by staggering defeats.

Well, that is terribly incorrect.

I will not devalue the people in this world who actually deserve to be where they are.  It takes brilliant pioneers, whether they are devolving a new market or leading audacious expeditions, to lead the economy and the world.  These people are heroes, an example for the rest of humanity to follow.  Behind them are others who bear their standard, people who explore and capitalize on overlooked opportunities.  These two groups of people cover less than 0.5% of the population, one in two hundred.

What about the other hundred ninety-nine?  They latch on those who are triumphant and sponge off some of their success.  Some are relatively motivated, some or miserable excuses for human beings.  These are the office workers, the accountants, the waiters; the grunts.  Their lives are not labeled “SUCCESFUL” instead they are named “STATUS QUO.”  They are perfectly capable of following orders, but lack the imagination to forge their own path.

So there are two groups of people in this world; those who are successful and the parasites who leech that success.  The pull of the weak on the Atlas strength of the strong often brings both of their worlds crashing down.  Companies go out of business for the sole reason that they fail to fix expensive problems that drive them into bankruptcy.  Those that are successful often try to fight these failings, but without the support of their underlings their chances of success are slim.  It takes more than one brilliant mind to solve problems; Albert Einstein didn’t build the atomic bombs by himself.

That brings us full circle.  The vast, vast majority of people succeed for the principle and primary reason that someone else is allowing them to succeed.  At the drop of the hat those in power could cut off those below them, without explanation or reason.  Those below have no way to rehabilitate or retrain, not that they probably had that opportunity in the first place.  This is a corrupt system, one that must be reconstructed and reformed.

How to reform it?  Simple, look to the past.  Past Rome, past Greece, past the dawn of civilization, to the times where men lived in caves and fought saber tooth tigers for food.  Those that were strong hunted and fought.  Those that were dexterous gathered plants and completed chores.  And those that were smart, the predecessor to our current “successful” people, taught.  The passed on their knowledge directly to the next generation to give them the greatest chance of success.

I propose we bring this back.  Not forcefully though, that would end horribly and traumatically.  Instead with some positive incentive, money.  Teachers today work twice as hard as a waiter and make roughly the same, however their jobs are much, much more important.  They educate the future generations to succeed and prosper, or at least that is the theory.  Most of teachers I’ve seen are bovine cows who are counting days till their pension comes in while they collect hundreds of sick and vacation days.  They are not the best to teach.

By upping the salary for teachers it would create more incentive for better qualified applicants to become teachers.  Better teachers means better teaching, which leads to more learning, which translates to better students.  People question where the money would come from to pay these new teachers; loans, but ones that actually would be paid off.  Should a country as a whole population become smarter, because of their improved education, the economy of that country will become better.  The teachers will pay for themselves and keep on paying.

All I ask for is that everyone has the equal opportunity to succeed; both those who are naturally blessed and those who are not.

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