Society's Child


Canadian/UK's Harry Smith: Sets his sights on Stephen Harper

The 92-year-old anti-austerity campaigner, a UK sensation, sets his sights on Canada.

Harry Smith: 'Since Harper has come into power, everything has gone downhill.'
A sparkling-clean nation where everyone willingly paid their taxes is the Canada that Harry Leslie Smith remembers choosing as a place to raise his family and live his life decades ago.

Now, at 92, Smith has become a sensation in the United Kingdom for his opinion pieces and memoir Harry's Last Stand, in which he draws parallels between his brutal childhood in the U.K. and where the western world is headed today as government austerity grips many of its countries.


Themba & Thandi: A Rhino poacher's mutilation and a man's desperate attempt to save them

Rangers find 3 rhinos, hacked and left for dead by poachers. The heroics of these very few men, will have a truly lasting impact.
From Youtube:

Nearly three years after surviving a brutal poaching attack that left two male rhinos dead, Thandi the rhino gave birth to a calf on 13 January 2015 at Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. With footage of Thandi and her calf captured moments after the birth, this film by photographer and filmmaker Adrian Steirn documents Thandi's journey from attack to recovery. This is story of the rhino that should never have been born.


Vancouver police: Authoritarian officer smashes driver's window when asked a valid question

A YouTube video of a Vancouver police sergeant, who smashed a motorist's window, has raised questions about the rights drivers have when they are pulled over by police.

The testy exchange caught on video shows the unidentified driver opening his window just a crack and infuriating the police officer by not stepping out of the vehicle when he was told to do so.

Instead, the driver repeatedly asked the police officer for an explanation for why he was pulled over.

"Hit the brakes, you moron," the police officer says.

"Sir, why have you pulled me over?" the unidentified driver replies.


Sex trafficking victim says police involved in human slave trade abused and threatened her

© Unknown
After years of enduring abuse and sexual exploitation in the human sex trafficking trade, Jessa Dillow-Crisp is telling her story. Part of the details of that story implicates many who were sworn to "serve and protect" who were doing anything but that.

Instead, Dillow-Crisp told an audience at the Colorado State Capitol that many of those involved - on the level of abuse and helping facilitate human trafficking - were police officers.

This revelation came as part of Human Trafficking Awareness and Advocacy Day.

Dillow-Crisp recounted that her victimization began when she was a child, saying that "I was a little girl and was sexually abused by family members. I had to pose for pornographers and was sold to countless men on a daily basis."

She explains that she was trafficked domestically in Canada and throughout the United States.

She knew she had few options to get out, as she couldn't even turn to the police who had themselves taken part in the abuse.

"There was gang raping," she recalled. "The police officer who handcuffed me and raped me, told me I would be put in jail if I opened my voice."


'Tanks? No Thanks!': Czech activists protest military convoy

© still from Ruptly video
Anti-NATO demonstrators protest against the US Army's "Dragoon Ride" military exercise in Prague March 28, 2015.
Several hundred protesters gathered for an anti-NATO rally on Saturday in Prague, protesting against a US military convoy set to parade through the Czech Republic. The rally clashed with a pro-NATO demonstration held nearby.

Footage by RT's Ruptly agency shows anti-war activists carrying flags and placards with logos such as 'Tanks? No Thanks!' and 'Stop US Army.' At the same time, the pro-NATO demonstrators armed themselves with flags in support of the US military forces.

Comment: United they stand, divided they fall.


Cop-caused accidents: The misconduct no one talks about

Violent police are increasingly criticized for everything from killing dogs to shooting the homeless and beating the mentally ill. These abuses of power are disturbing and desperately need attention. One under-discussed problem with police accountability (or lack thereof), however, is police irresponsibility while driving.

Stories about drunk officers driving the wrong direction on freeways and hitting civilians or soberly ramming into pedestrians are not uncommon. This week alone, three cops caused mayhem and fatalities on the road.

In New Jersey, a car of off-duty officers (who had posted a picture of whiskey shots to Instagram earlier that evening) drove the wrong direction on a freeway, killing a civilian and one of the officers in the vehicle. Two other officers were critically injured. The driving officer had a previous DUI and 8 prior accidents on record. The Police Chief of Linden, James Schulhafer, was vague in his comments, saying "We were all young once and I'm sure we've all done stupid things in our life."


Ex-girlfriend says Germanwings co-pilot planned to 'make everyone remember him'

Crash site • Germanwings 4U952 • Andreas Lubitz
Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot who crashed an Airbus A320 into the French Alps, killing all 150 passengers aboard, had been planning to do something to "make everyone remember him," his ex-girlfriend has claimed in an interview.

Speaking with Bild, Maria W., a 26-year-old cabin crew employee whose full name has not been released to the press, described Lubitz as "tormented" and secretive.

Maria recalled that when she heard about the crash, she remembered how Lubitz had said he would do something one day "that would change the system" so "everyone will then know my name and remember me."

"I did not know what he meant by that at the time, but now it's clear," she told the newspaper. Maria said Lubitz, 27, sometimes woke up at night screaming, "We're going down!" in terror.

Dusseldorf prosecutors said Friday that police discovered in Lubitz's home a torn sick note covering the date of the crashed Germanwings flight. They believe he could have been concealing his medical condition from the airline. It wasn't specified what prompted Lubutz's doctor to issue him with a medical certificate, however.

Comment: The argument above seems a bit convenient in its attempt to be unequivocally convincing. A better docudrama: The co-pilot was compromised, been made unconscious, the cockpit auto-security remotely triggered, the "clues" and "girlfriend" planted and the plane remotely crashed. The hospital statement doesn't confirm the numerous symptoms of psychosis that are listed, nor is there any statement from Germanwings to support this medical/psychiatric "theory." Perhaps there will be other corroboration forthcoming, but for the time being, the "facts" remain dubious at best. If not co-pilot suicide, what was the message 'to make everyone remember,' 'that would change the system?' Who from and to whom intended?


Freedom of the press: Editor/Worker's party leader jailed in Kiev for editorial policy

In Kiev a journalist was imprisoned for 2 months for "the wrong understanding of the conflict in Donbass".

Comment: Additional punishment: 20 raps on the knuckles with the headmaster's ruler. Kiev is doing a great job showing just what a joke of a 'country' it has become. Thought police? Give us a break!

The Kiev Court of Appeals refused to change the sentence of the leader of the opposition Workers' Party of Ukraine, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper The Working Class, People's Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of III and IV convocations, Alexander Bondarchuk.

The politician and journalist was arrested on March 18 under paragraph 1, article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine "Violation of territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine" for publishing of two articles in his newspaper that the SBU considered a threat to the territorial integrity of Ukraine. To support the defendant came his fellow party members, leaders of PSPU (Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine), Natalia Vitrenko and Vladimir Marchenko, as well as activists of the Communist party, of which previously Bondarchuk was a member.

At the moment we were no able to find the materials in question in open sources, for distribution of which the editor of the Working Class is blamed, because the site is blocked. At the same time, the lawyer of the opposition activist quoted the expert's conclusion on the basis of which the SBU investigator requested the arrest.


Gasoline tanker explodes in southern Mexico while residents were attempting to siphon fuel from crash site

© Reuters / Akintunde Akinleye
A heist to siphon off spilled gasoline from a crashed tanker in Mexico ended in tragedy with four dead and 34 people injured as the truck exploded.

The victims, including two children, ignored warnings and refused to back away.

An overturned tank filled with 60,000 liters (15,850 gallons) of fuel crashed on a road in southern Mexico between Villahermosa and Coatzacoalcos, Mexican officials said Saturday.

Residents flocked to the crash site, attempting to collect the spilled gasoline. Local authorities issued an explosion warning, urging people to stay away from the crash site - but to no avail.


Air Canada flight crashes on runway in Halifax

Air Canada flight 624 has crashed on a runway at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Canada, the airline has confirmed. The plane reportedly hit power lines and sustained extensive damage upon crash-landing. No passengers were killed.

Flight AC624 "exited runway upon landing at Halifax," Air Canada confirmed on Twitter. According to the airline, all passengers have deplaned and are being evacuated to the terminal. The number of people was reported as 138, including 133 passengers and 5 crew members.

"An aircraft made a poor landing," airport spokesman Peter Spurway was quoted as saying by The Chronicle Herald. The crash took place at 12:30 a.m. local time (4:30 a.m. GMT).

Comment: The crash coincided with a sudden power outage at the airport? Interestingly enough, recently there was a major power outage at Schiphol Airport