Society's Child


UN agency declares state of emergency after heavy rains, flooding in Gaza - thousands homeless

© AFP/Mahmud Hams
Palestinian men in the back of a pickup truck make their way through a flooded street during heavy rains in Gaza City on November 27, 2014.
A United Nations agency has declared a state of emergency in the besieged Gaza Strip after two days of heavy rains and flooding in the war-ravaged Palestinian enclave.

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said in a Thursday statement that hundreds of residents in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City had been evacuated due to the rise of a "storm water lagoon" in the area.

It further said that the flooding has caused the closure of 63 schools across Gaza City and 43 schools across the northern Gaza Strip.

"The flooding is exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza caused by blockade and the unprecedented destruction from the latest Israeli offensive," the UN agency said.

The agency further noted that it was "providing emergency fuel to supply back-up generators for pumping stations, portable pumps, municipalities, water, sanitation and health facilities."

Israel launched its latest onslaught on the blockaded area on July 8. The war killed over 2,140 Palestinians and left more than 11,000 others injured. The war ended on August 26 with an Egyptian-brokered truce.

The Israeli military aggression against the Palestinian territory also caused widespread devastation across Gaza. Over 15,600 housing units were damaged in the onslaught. More than 2,200 houses were totally destroyed, according to official figures released by Palestinian sources.

Zip your lips. It's never a good idea to talk to the police

police t-shirt
In my recent interview, Serfdom is the New Normal -Talkin' Oligarch Blues with Perpetual Assets, I mentioned the dangers of talking to the police in light of the recent epidemic of shady civil asset forfeitures. What many people fail to realize, is that you aren't obligated to have casual conversations with police when you have been pulled over. In fact, such conversations are often used solely to manufacture an excuse for further action against you. For example, take this excerpt from the recent Washington Post article, Highway Seizure in Iowa Fuels Debate about Asset-Forfeiture Laws:
Simmons said he was issuing a warning for the failure to signal. After handing over the paperwork, he said the stop was over. Then he asked the driver, Newmerzhycky, if he had "time for just a couple quick questions."

Police who specialize in highway interdiction use casual conversations to avoid triggering legal questions about the length of stops. If the conversations are consensual, courts consider the added delay to be legal.
Heart - Black

Stepfather accused of raping, beating 3-year-old Florida girl to death

A 3-year-old Florida girl was reportedly raped and beaten by her new stepfather, who had married the child's mother just one week before she died.

Charlie Brame died Monday at an Orlando hospital and investigators say her body showed signs of recent severe sexual and physical abuse and "aggravated child abuse with severe brain trauma," reports the New York Daily News. Her stepfather, Pascal Kaufmann, 19, allegedly told police the girl stopped moving on Saturday when he was babysitting for her alone while her mother was at work.

Police say it "was unlikely that (Brame) could receive such severe head trauma from falling out of the bed" and that her injuries were "more consistent with blunt trauma to the back of the skull."

Kaufmann moved to the United States from Germany in August and married Charlie's mother Emma Paige Liggett last week, reports WFTV. He was charged with child neglect and rape and has been denied bail. Depending on the results of an autopsy report, he could face additional charges.

"In all likelihood, what we're going to see is a charge of first-degree murder for the death of this child," WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said.

Charlie's biological father had reportedly begged her mother not to leave Kaufmann alone with the little girl after he found out he had spanked her. He reportedly told her that "(Kaufmann) is to never touch his daughter again or he would kill him," according to a police report. The father reportedly had no comment after the horrific incident.

Comment: Another manifestation of the 'Wetiko Virus'.
  • The Greatest Epidemic Sickness Known to Humanity

Arrow Up

Here a psycho, there a psycho...

© Winnipeg Free Press
The term "psychopath" tends to conjure up a specific set of images -- pop-culture creations like Psycho's Norman Bates or Silence of the Lambs' Hannibal Lecter, or real-life serial killers such as Clifford Olsen, Paul Bernardo or Jeffrey Dahmer.

But the reality is that those monstrous characters represent only the extreme end of the personality disorder covered by that word, and that it's very likely that you know someone who could rightly be described as a psychopath.

Local filmmaker Jeremy Torrie examines the broader scope of psychopathy with a fascinating hour-long documentary called The Psychopath Next Door, which airs Nov. 27 on CBC's Doc Zone.

"You're going to run into one of these individuals sometime in your life, more than once," University of British Columbia forensic psychologist Dr. Robert Hare says in the film. "And the encounter could either be exhilirating, thrilling (and) exciting, or devastating. More likely the latter.

"Most of these psychopaths are living right next to us, living a reasonably normal life but creating some sort of distress -- psychological or environmental or financial -- for others around them."

Hare, who's apparently known in scientific circles as "the godfather of psychopathy" for, among other things, having developed a 20-point checklist for identifying psychopaths, notes that the main attribute that separates them from the rest of the population is a total disregard for the distinction between right and wrong.

Book review: The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and treatment

© Jossey-Bass Publishing
If you are confused about your own people pleasing tendencies, need for external approval, and even your own feelings, I suggest you read The Narcissistic Family: Diagnosis and Treatment by Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman and Robert M. Pressman.

In their work as therapists, the authors discovered an unusual trend - patients with traits similar to adult children of alcoholics, but no evidence that their parents were substance abusers. Moreover, many of the patients did not recall any overt abuse as children. So why then were these patients exhibiting the dysfunctional psychological, interpersonal, and work traits of abuse survivors?

The answer was a different type of dysfunctional family. Coined by the authors as the narcissistic family, what these patients all had in common was that as children, the needs of their parents took precedence over their needs. This is in contrast to healthy families, who put the needs of their children first. Without further explanation, this discovery might not seem wholly worthy of the label 'dysfunction'.

So to explain, a basic goal for most families is to raise healthy children who will one day become independent adults. In a healthy family, parents work to accomplish this task by assuming responsibility for their children's emotional and physical needs. Over time, parents gradually teach their children to be independent by allowing them to assume responsibility for meeting their own needs in a developmentally appropriate manner. Thus, the primary work of children is to learn to become independent adults. Along the way, they learn to identify and act on their feelings, wants and needs. Parents take care of their own needs or seek help from adults. As a bonus, the children have also learned how to be good parents through the process of observational learning.

In narcissistic families, this basic goal becomes skewed and the meeting of parental needs becomes of primary importance for the family. This twist generally takes place some time after infancy, as the authors point out that most children of narcissistic families were well cared for as babies. In fact, it is mostly likely to occur some time after the child begins to differentiate him or her self from the parents and begins to assert their own needs. This normal developmental process is difficult for parents who are most concerned with fulfilling their own needs as a result of job stress, physical or mental disability, or lack of parenting skills, to name a few reasons. To compensate, the parents fight back, ignoring the child's needs and at the same time forcing the child to respond to their own by withholding attention and affection until they do so. In this way, the children's emotional needs go unattended and they are deprived of the opportunity to experience gradual independence and learn about themselves. Instead, they learn to wait to see what their parents expect and then react, negatively or positively, to those expectations.

Comment: When pleasing others is done out of fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of humiliation, fear of punishment or other negative feelings it usually arises from people who have/had overly critical parents. Typically, a need to please and care for others is a healthy trait to have. In the narcissistic family dynamic, it is twisted and distorted to serve the needs of the parents. In that environment, a child must conform to the wants and needs of the parent and does not develop their own individuality or learn to express their OWN emotions or needs.

These dynamics are perfectly mirrored by people in society who look to assuage their fear in the wrong places, motivated by them, seeking some sense of security.
Human relationships are plagued by fear. This cycle all too often begins in our first relationship with our parents. Too self-absorbed to recognize what their child truly requires of them, many parents betray their own child's weakness and dependency on his caregivers - his emotional need for comfort, security, trust, and the loving acceptance of those closest to him. Having missed out on these important periods of growth, this boy, now a parent himself, may come to feel threatened by the emotional needs of his own child, becoming dependent on his own children and spouse to provide what he never had. The vicious cycle spirals on, and in turn, his own children learn to stifle their needs, deny their own feelings, and live as hollow reflections of the needs of their father. When a child must meet the emotional needs of a parent, and not the other way around, the parent-child relationship is inverted. Stephanie Donaldson-Pressman and Robert Pressman call this the 'narcissistic family dynamic', and the problems it causes are directly relevant to the vast geopolitical problems the world currently faces.

Such children, like their parents, seek some source of comfort, some sense of security, but not knowing where to look and what to look out for, they often find it in all the wrong places: their own children, their lovers, their work, some religious or political cause. As much as they may deny it, they are motivated by the very fears they experienced as children - afraid of being alone, not belonging, uncertain, unloved, confused, abandoned. They find shelter from the pain in some literal or symbolic arms of embrace, yet it is incomplete in some way, like the 'security' of a sinking ship or of a castle built on foundations of sand. Not wanting to let go, and face that pain again, they shore up their defenses - a rallying of troops to give 'the people', their own fragmented personalities, a sense of security. But such a cover-up is built upon and dependent on lies, things half-seen through the lens of denied and distorted emotion. We may be denying that we are in a relationship with a psychopath, someone who, despite the abuse and mental torture they subject us to, offers us some sense of comfort and stability in life. Or we may deny our own betrayal of our loved ones' emotional needs: the child we criticize and deform according to our own twisted ideals or the lover we demand to be someone they are not.

I find it fascinating how these dynamics of a single human soul mirror so well the delusions of the many. Just as we rally our mental forces to hold onto that equilibrium we desperately fear losing, we rally our military forces to protect us from enemies that do not exist, covering up problems at home that dwarf those projected 'out there'. How does this come to be? So far in this series, I've described psychopaths - individuals devoid of conscience, incapable of remorse, and hungry for power - and their infiltration of corporations and politics - two seats of power in the modern era.

Manipulating mass emotion, particularly fear, is their modus operandi. It's commonly said that politicians exploit fear, but what is missing from this truism is an understanding of exactly what motivates them to do so, why they're so good at it, and the extent to which they go about doing so. Psychopaths understand human behavior, often better than we understand ourselves. In the last article I quoted a diagnosed psychopath, Sam Vaknin, describing how he used emotional abuse and insults to break down his victims. It was just one example of the special psychological knowledge possessed by psychopaths, refined after a lifetime of observing and interacting with 'others' whose foreign emotional reactions strike them as so comical and ridiculous. When this special knowledge is translated onto the global stage, you get geopolitics and all the propaganda and lies that accompany it.

Ponerology 101: The Truth Behind the War on Terror
Additional narcissism resources


The myth of Thanksgiving

A digitally blurred reproduction of a painting, titled The First Thanksgiving 1621, by artist J.L.G Ferris.
Thanksgiving is the favorite holiday of many US Americans; unlike the rather boring or divisive holidays that honor Columbus, Presidents, Martin Luther King, Jr., Independence, veterans and war, the birth of a religion, and a new year, Thanksgiving is centered on sharing food with family and friends. Individuals and families travel long distances at great expense to be with one another. It might be surprising to learn that the cherished tradition of Thanksgiving is, in fact, the most nationalist of all holidays because it narrates the national origin myth. The traditional meal, as we know, consists of the foods cultivated by Indigenous farmers - corn, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and turkey.

The US origin story of a covenant with God goes back to the Mayflower Compact, the first governing document of the Plymouth Colony. It is named for the ship that carried the hundred or so passengers, half of them religious dissidents, to what is now Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in November 1620. This compact marked the beginning of settler democracy, which from its inception sought the elimination of the Indigenous. Behind the black clothed and solemn "Pilgrims," was a corporation of shareholders, the Virginia Company, accompanied by armed and seasoned mercenaries on a colonizing project ordered by the English King James. If any local Natives were present at a colonizers' celebratory meal, they were surely there as servants, and the foods were confiscated, not offered as a gift.

Fighting corruption in Russia: Olympics builder charged with tax evasion and embezzlement

Oleg Shishov
The hard-pressed chief of bankrupt 2014 Winter Olympics builder Mostovik has now been charged with tax evasion and embezzlement in the Siberian region of Omsk, adding to earlier charges of withholding wages from employees.

Oleg Shishov, who is CEO of Mostovik and a member of the region's legislative assembly, was put under house arrest early last week for allegedly failing to pay Mostovik employees for six months straight.

Shishov was then slapped with two additional charges: evading more than 515 million rubles ($10.9) in taxes from 2009 to 2012 via falsified tax documents and embezzling 500 million rubles ($10.6 million) from the Omsk regional budget, according to a statement last week on the regional investigative department's website.

Comment: Every country has corruption. Singling out Russia is simply part of the West's information war. But at least Russia is doing something about their corruption. See: Putin's not corrupt, he's fighting corruption: Squandering of state funds will not go unnoticed


Saved by the cloud: Bystander's deleted video footage of brutal police assault on man and his pregnant wife retrieved from cyberspace

Denver police
Denver's finest.
The Denver police department has been accused of using excessive force after a video, which they allegedly deleted, survived on the cloud and was turned into FOX 31.

The incident started as two officers approached David Nelson Flores, who was in his vehicle with his seven-and-a-half-months pregnant wife and their child, to shake him down after suspecting him of being in possession of a substance deemed illegal by the state.

Upon their approach, officers said they saw Flores put a white sweat sock in his mouth. Because the US is involved in an immoral war on drugs, this 'sock in mouth' move apparently gave the officers the right to yank Flores out of his car and proceed to pummel the man on the asphalt.

According to the police report however, a pair of plain clothes officers "assisted" suspect David Nelson Flores out of his car and they all "fell to the ground."

The pummeling was for Flores' own good, according to the police report. They bashed in his face and head so he wouldn't "choke."

Comment: It's highly unlikely that even with this retrieved footage the Denver cops will face any ramifications for their actions. Welcome to Police State America where goon cops go wild.


Ebola death toll rises in W. Africa amid hopes of new vaccine

© Reuters/Brian C. Frank
The Ebola death toll is up to 5,689 out of nearly 16,000 cases reported in eight countries by November 23, the World Health Organization said in its latest update.

Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia were the hardest hit by the virus outbreak, with 600 new cases recorded just last week.

"The total number of cases reported in Sierra Leone since the outbreak began will soon eclipse the number reported from Liberia," the WHO said.

Sierra Leone had 6,599 cases in comparison to 7,168 in Liberia.

A month ago, those figures stood at 5,235 for Sierra Leone and 6,535 for Liberia, with the number of deaths, respectively, 1,500 and 2,413, according to the WHO.

The situation is said to be more or less stabilizing in Guinea and Liberia, but just the opposite is happening in Sierra Leone, according to the update. However, officials in Sierra Leona insist that the outbreak is losing momentum.

"We believe that now that those treatment centers are ready, the transmission of new cases will start reducing," Sierra Leone's minister of information, Alpha Kanu, told journalists. "I don't think we can get any higher than we are now - we are at the plateau of the curve and very soon we will have a downward trend, once we have somewhere to take people."

The World Health Organization said it was able to isolate more than 70 percent of those infected with Ebola in Guinea, referring to the international target set for December 1, but had failed to do so in the other two countries.

"Liberia and Sierra Leone report that fewer than 70 percent of patients are isolated, though there is wide variation among districts," the WHO said, adding that the final goal is to isolate 100 percent of those infected by January 1.

Meanwhile, eight more cases have been reported in Mali, with six dying.

Comment: The efficacy of vaccines certainly comes into question with reports like these:

Bad Guys

Video shows Cleveland cop shot Tamir Rice seconds after encountering him

The police officer who fatally shot a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun fired within 1½ to two seconds of pulling up in his cruiser, police said Wednesday. During those few moments, he ordered the youngster three times to put up his hands, they said.

The city released a surveillance video that shows the shooting of Tamir Rice, who was carrying an airsoft gun that shoots non-lethal plastic pellets.

Much of the footage shows what appears to be a bored kid alone in a park on an unseasonably warm November afternoon. Tamir is seen pacing, occasionally extending his right arm with what appears to be a gun in his hand, talking on a cellphone and sitting a picnic table with his head resting on his arms.

The gun wasn't real. It can be bought at sporting goods stores for less than $20. Tamir's was lacking the bright orange tip that is usually put on such weapons to indicate they're not real guns.

The patrol officer who shot Tamir was identified Wednesday as Timothy Loehmann, a 26-year-old rookie who began his career in Cleveland on March 3. He previously spent five months in 2012 with a department in the Cleveland suburb of Independence, but four of those months were in that city's police academy.

Loehmann's partner that day was identified as Frank Garmback, 46. He has been with the department since 2008. Both are on paid administrative leave pending a decision by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office whether to pursue any criminal charges.

Comment: The video makes it clear that this incident is cold-blooded murder. The boy did not point the gun at the cop. He didn't have time to do anything else. In a just society, this cop would be going to jail for murder. Instead, the authorities will cover for him and explain away the right for cops to protect themselves lethally whenever they feel like it.