Nine Circles of Hell!: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 Nine Circles of Hell!


Your bitter blind broke gap-toothed radio show host Chuck Mertz‘s blog, ‘The Nine Circles of Hell!,’ is now posted every week day, Monday through Friday, at Noon (US central). It’s all the news that give you fits in print, today’s nine reminders that ‘This is Hell!’

Click on any of the Nine Circles! in bold to go directly to the original article.

After weeks of media hype leading up to the Facebook IPO, then stories celebrating ‘thousands of new millionaires’ followed by profiles of ‘the first lady of Facebook,’ things have turned bad fast for the now publicly traded company. The Los Angeles Times reports, “A class-action lawsuit was filed Wednesday against Facebook Inc., Morgan Stanley & Co., and the other Wall Street banks that underwrote the Facebook’s initial public offering, alleging they misled most shareholders about revenue projections for the social network. The suit alleged that the IPO prospectus and registration statement were ‘false and misleading’ and violated the Securities Act. As a result, many people who bought Facebook stock when it began trading Friday lost money as the price of the shares tumbled in recent days.” While Facebook was being hyped by the media, eurozone leaders were denying that there were any contingency plans being made for a Greek exit – or “Grexit” – from the euro. Now, Reuters quotes a eurozone official saying that the European Working Group “agreed that each euro zone country should prepare a contingency plan, individually, for the potential consequences of a Greek exit from the euro.” There’s hype, there’s denial, then there’s plain old being a dick. The commander of the US’s largest Army base, Fort Bliss, a Major General Dana Pittard, blogged, “I have now come to the conclusion that suicide is an absolutely selfish act. I am personally fed up with soldiers who are choosing to take their own lives so that others can clean up their mess. Be an adult, act like an adult, and deal with your real-life problems like the rest of us.” This is all while – as The National Journal describes – a “suicide epidemic ravaging” US military forces. The Army’s suicide rate continues to climb and last year they set a record for active-duty, National Guard, and Reserve soldiers who killed themselves. The Journal adds, “In 2008, the Army’s suicide rate exceeded that of the civilian world for the first time.” Speaking of civilian deaths, thousands of people fleeing violence in South Sudan and Congo have ended up in Uganda – and this is just the beginning. Uganda has taken on Congolese 12,000 refugees so far and is expecting as many as 30,000. Congolese ‘renegade general’ Bosco Ntaganda, wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity, is allegedly behind the renewed fighting. Uganda is also planning for an additional 10,000 South Sudanese refugees fleeing their growing war with Sudan. As the refugee crisis worsens within Uganda, a war comes to another refugee camp. A major military offensive is about to be conducted on the world’s largest refugee camp. Somalia has decided to clear al Qaeda allied forces within the camp of at least 70,000 – and that’s a conservative estimate. Violence, refugees and war cripple African nations as another faces a setback for democracy. On Monday, Mali’s presidential palace was stormed by protesters. The new president was attacked and landed in the hospital. Now, the leader of Mali’s March 22 coup has named himself interim president, ignoring an agreement negotiated by the country’s regional neighbors. It’s not just democratic rights that are being threatened. Human rights groups are urging the United Nations Human Rights Council to force Indonesia to guarantee minority religious groups their rights. Human Rights Watch says the situation has ‘significantly worsened since 2008.’ The chairman of human rights group, the Setara Institute is quoted by The Jakarta Post saying, “The government is committing violations of human rights if it allows so many perpetrators to walk freely. Therefore, it must soon take action to bring those criminals to justice to prove to the international community that we respect human rights in this country.” A different kind of argument over rights and justice is taking place in Turkey. A Turkish prosecutor is seeking life sentences for four former Israeli military commanders over their alleged involvement in the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident which left nine Turks dead. According to the Turkish daily Sabah, “in the indictment, Israel’s former Chief of General Staff Rau Gabi Ashkenazi and three other retired senior military commanders are accused of involvement in the raid and are referred to as ‘fugitive suspects.’ The indictment seeks life sentences for all four of the commanders. With warrants out for their arrest, this basically means that should the suspects attempt to enter Turkey, they will be subject for detention.” There’s another crime at the center of international tensions. According to Al Jazeera, the kidnappings of 34 Lebanese women in Syria “were sure to further inflame sectarian tension in Lebanon, where clashes between supporters and opponents of Assad have left at least 12 people dead in the past 10 days.” The women have now been released but, as the report continues, “The abductions also came just hours after a court released on bail a Sunni Muslim whose arrest earlier this month sparked unrest in a Sunni region of north Lebanon that backs the revolt against Assad, a member of the minority Alawite sect.”

That’s the Nine Circles of Hell! for Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

Come back tomorrow for The Nine! at Noon!