Society's Child


Westboro Baptist Church to protest CSU graduation

A Kansas church known for its anti-gay protests at public events plans to picket a CSU graduation ceremony and the "God-hated, without-hope young people" who it says will attend.

Westboro Baptist Church indicated in a news release that its members will stage a protest on the Fort Collins campus from 4:15-5 p.m. May 17 at the intersection of Meridian Avenue and Plum Street. Commencement ceremonies for the colleges of natural sciences and liberal arts will take place at nearby Moby Arena at 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.

The church believes students graduating from universities in "doomed America this year are a unique generation - - unique in their filthy manner of life; unique in the lies that pervade their every thought; unique in their aggressive enabling and embracing of f--- and same-sex marriage," the news release said.

The announcement ended with: "God H8S RAM FAN BRATS!"

While CSU "absolutely disagrees" with the message of the protestors, the university also values free speech and the group's legal right to demonstrate on public areas of campus, spokesman Mike Hooker said.

"Our attention -- however - will be focused on celebrating the accomplishment of the CSU students who have worked hard to earn their degrees," he said.

Los Angeles residents encouraged to embrace 'toilet to tap' water

© photbucket
The recent spritz of rain notwithstanding, California is in the midst of what Gov. Jerry Brown called "perhaps the worst drought [the state] has ever seen." And yet, despite the desperate state of affairs, every day the city of Los Angeles flushes hundreds of millions of gallons of potentially potable water out to sea.

I'm talking about treated sewage.

In 2000, Los Angeles actually completed a sewage reclamation plant capable of providing water to 120,000 homes - the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys. After being treated at the plant, reclaimed water was pumped to spreading fields near Hansen Dam, where it slowly filtered through the soil into the aquifer. (Here's a graphic.)
Dollar Gold

On a roll: Mega oil field discovered in southern Russia

© AFP Photo/Fabio Bucciarelli
A new oil field with roughly 300 million tons of oil and 90 billion cubic meters of gas has been discovered in the Astrakhan region of Russia.

"The field's reserves are unprecedented, this discovery confirms the high potential of the Astrakhan region in terms of these major discoveries," Sergey Donskoy, Russia's Natural Resources Minister said on Wednesday.

The field, called "Velikoe" (The Great) was discovered by the AFB Oil and Gas Company, which will likely seek out larger partners to develop it.

Two likely candidates are Rosneft, Russia's state-owned and largest producer, and Lukoil, the country's second biggest producer.

"According to experts, given the lack of large land deposits, project participation will likely come from all major industry players. The most probable partners are Rosneft and Lukoil, which already have projects in neighboring regions," Uralsib Capital analyst Aleksey Kokin told

Parents' nursery camera captures extremely disturbing footage

The Harris County Sheriff's Office in Texas released a chilling video in the hopes that it will help lead to the identity of a suspect who crept through a couple's home and loomed over their baby as he slept.

The incident, which occurred on April 5, was captured by the homeowner's security cameras situated throughout the home, including in the baby's nursery.

Capitalism apparently works in Russia: ​Sochi Olympics made $22 million profit

© AFP Photo
Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian federation, Dmitry Kozak
The Sochi Games became the first profitable Olympic Games in a decade, surpassing spending by $22 million, says Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak.

"It is impressive the organizing committee has earned over 800 million rubles more than was spent, this is a good result as in recent years the Olympic Games haven't made a profit," Interfax quotes Kozak as saying.

According to the head of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee Dmitry Chernyshenko, the operating profit on the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, that includes the property which was transferred to sports development in the country, totals around $140 million.

The whole Sochi Olympic Games cost $6 billion, of which $2.7 billion came from central government, the remainder was financed by private companies.

Bystander captures video of BLM Ranger killing man near Red Rock Canyon

In a frame-grab from a submitted video, D'Andre Berghardt Jr. enters a police SUV (left side of the frame). Park rangers attempted to detain a man walking on the road near the Red Rock National Conservation Area. The event escalated and D'Andre Berghardt Jr., 20, was shot after getting into a Nevada Highway Patrol vehicle.
Two men observing a police stop Friday watched in growing disbelief and then horror as the seemingly routine incident turned deadly when a federal ranger shot a man inside a state trooper's patrol car.

One of the men recorded video with his cellphone as a Bureau of Land Management ranger shot and killed D'Andre Berghardt Jr., 20, near the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

"Oh my God, they just shot him," the man filming said after realizing what had happened.

The exclusive video, enhanced for clarity, was posted Monday on

Berghardt, from Los Angeles, had been hailing cyclists as he walked along state Route 159 near Calico Basin, about 20 miles from downtown Las Vegas. Two cyclists reported the man to officials at the Red Rock visitor center about noon.

The video, shot from a car stopped on the road, shows two rangers holding Berghardt at gunpoint for several minutes as onlookers watch from cars and bicycles. Berghardt doesn't appear to threaten the rangers but remains on his feet, apparently disobeying their orders. He didn't appear to carry a weapon.

Post-It Note

'Shocking note' apparently written by Justina Pelletier to her parents

The Connecticut teen who has been in state custody for more than a year after her parents were accused of medical child abuse after disputing a diagnosis has apparently penned a note, giving a look into how she says she's being treated.

"They hurt me all the time push me all the time and more," the purported note from Justina Pelletier says. It also says "[they] do not let me sleep vary [sic] much.

"Hury [sic]!"
© Personhood USA
Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA, a group helping lead the Free Justina Coalition, told TheBlaze that Justina gave the note to her parents a few weeks ago.

"There has been some hesitation to release it because of how tyrannical the DCF has been," Mason said.

Comment: Learn about this case and how the state can ruin a family and their child's life:

- Parents lose custody of teen after seeking 2nd medical opinion; girl indefinitely detained in psych ward
- Boston Children's Hospital accused of 'psychological experiment'
- Boston Psychiatric Unit's imprisonment of teenager Justina Pelletier needs State investigation into reckless endangerment of psychiatric diagnosing:
Justina's human rights have been violated: "Medical care that causes severe suffering for no justifiable reason can be considered cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and if there is State involvement and specific intent, it is torture." - United Nation's 2013 Report by the Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.


Britain among worst hospital bed supply in EU

© AFP Photo/Philippe Huguen
Patient capacity at British hospitals has dropped to the second-worst level in Europe, maintains an international report. The maximum occupancy rate was exceeded last year, and waiting for a bed seems to have become commonplace.

The palpable shortage of hospital beds in Britain mirrors the general trend of world's healthcare spending stagnation, the 'Health at a Glance, 2014' report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) maintains.

According to the report, Britain has lost 50,000 hospital beds since 2001, a 5,000-bed annual loss equivalent to the closure of several hospitals.

On one hand, this decline is due to the fact that these days patients do not need to stay hospitalized because surgical interventions have become much more delicate.

IRS audit rates lowest in years

IRS audit
As millions of Americans race to meet Tuesday's tax deadline, their chances of getting audited are lower than they have been in years.

Budget cuts and new responsibilities are straining the Internal Revenue Service's ability to police tax returns. This year, the IRS will have fewer agents auditing returns than at any time since at least the 1980s.

Taxpayer services are suffering, too, with millions of phone calls to the IRS going unanswered.

"We keep going after the people who look like the worst of the bad guys," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in an interview. "But there are going to be some people that we should catch, either in terms of collecting the revenue from them or prosecuting them, that we're not going to catch."

Better technology is helping to offset some budget cuts.

If you report making $40,000 in wages and your employer tells the IRS you made $50,000, the agency's computers probably will catch that. The same is true for investment income and many common deductions that are reported to the IRS by financial institutions.

But if you operate a business that deals in cash, with income or expenses that are not independently reported to the IRS, your chances of getting caught are lower than they have been in years.

Last year, the IRS audited less than 1 percent of all returns from individuals, the lowest rate since 2005. This year, Koskinen said, "The numbers will go down."

Koskinen was confirmed as IRS commissioner in December. He took over an agency under siege on several fronts.
Blue Planet

We are all selfish, rational materialists- new economic events show this is false

new commons economics
© AllanGregg/
The commons lies at the heart of a major cultural and social shift now underway.

Jeremy Rifkin's new book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society, brings welcome new attention to the commons just as it begins to explode in countless new directions. His book focuses on one of the most significant vectors of commons-based innovation - the Internet and digital technologies - and documents how the incremental costs of nearly everything is rapidly diminishing, often to zero. Rifkin explored the sweeping implications of this trend in an excerpt from his book and points to the "eclipse of capitalism" in the decades ahead.

But it's worth noting that the commons is not just an Internet phenomenon or a matter of economics. The commons lies at the heart of a major cultural and social shift now underway. People's attitudes about corporate property rights and neoliberal capitalism are changing as cooperative endeavors - on digital networks and elsewhere - become more feasible and attractive. This can be seen in the proliferation of hackerspaces and Fablabs, in the growth of alternative currencies, in many land trusts and cooperatives and in seed-sharing collectives and countless natural resource commons.

Beneath the radar screen of mainstream politics, which remains largely clueless about such cultural trends on the edge, a new breed of commoners is building the vision of a very different kind of society, project by project. This new universe of social activity is being built on the foundation of a very different ethics and social logic than that of homo economicus - the economist's fiction that we are all selfish, utility-maximizing, rational materialists.

Durable projects based on social cooperation are producing enormous amounts of wealth; it's just that this wealth is not generally not monetized or traded. It's socially or ecologically embedded wealth that is managed by self-styled commoners themselves. Typically, such commoners act more as stewards of their common wealth than as owners who treat it as private capital. Commoners realize that a life defined by impersonal transactions is not as rich or satisfying as one defined by abiding relationships. The larger trends toward zero-marginal-cost production make it perfectly logical for people to seek out commons-based alternatives