Society's Child

People 2

Putting a human face on homelessness

Sandy Sheller understands that, sometimes, the best counseling session might take place just waiting for the bus.

Sheller, the coordinator of mental health training for the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia, vividly remembers a client who was having trouble making it to a drug rehabilitation program. A caseworker informed Sheller that the woman, who was in her late 30s, was being "noncompliant" by refusing to go to the rehab program, which was a requirement for her to stay in the shelter.

Instead of lecturing the woman, demanding an explanation or jumping to conclusions, Sheller asked the client to talk about her situation. The key, Sheller says, was asking in an empathetic, nonjudgmental way. "I wasn't trying to make her do anything, and she knew that," says Sheller, who worked as an art and family therapist in an inner-city Salvation Army family shelter for about five years before becoming a coordinator a year ago.

Comment: Homelessness seems to be yet another consequence of psychological, physical isolation, and lack of community that's so prevalent in our world today. The many and varied tentacles of pathology and it's anti social nature infects our lives and spreads like a virus among the general human population. Perhaps social inclusion and empathy for ourselves and others may be the key to addressing this issue.


Solutions: One last look at the real economy before it implodes

All problems, all crises, have at least one solution, if not many solutions. There is no such thing as an unwinnable scenario. Some may not be smart enough or courageous enough to see it, but the solution is always there, waiting to be discovered. The only fight that cannot be won is the fight in which the enemy makes all the rules and we foolishly abide by those rules. Life is not a game of chess, and a man can choose to be more than a pawn anytime he has the guts to do so.

In the past, I have likened the liberty movement to a rebellion against not just tyrants but the game itself - a group of people willing to walk away from the chess board and make their own rules. I stand by that assertion. However, simply walking away is not enough; we must also be willing to take actions that will destroy the game entirely.

Comment: For more information, listen to these SOTT Talk Radio Network broadcasts:

People 2

Mexican girl unjustifiably sent to US, family feels joy and rage

© AP Photo/Mario Armas
Alondra Luna Nunez smiles after attending a press conference upon her arrival to the Guanajuato International Airport in Silao, Mexico.
When a woman in Texas claimed that Alondra Luna Nunez was her long-lost daughter, the girl's real parents in Mexico say they presented more than a dozen documents from baptismal records and a copy of her birth certificate to family photographs. They were sure it was enough to demonstrate her true origins.

In the end, they say, Alondra was sent screaming to the U.S. based on a scar on the bridge of her nose resulting from a remote-control car mishap as a young girl. And they blame their traumatic weeklong separation squarely on the judge who made the final call.

"The other girl had a scar, but on the eyebrow, and I have one on my nose. I mean all this was stirred up over that," Alondra, 14, told The Associated Press on Wednesday at an emotional reunion with family after nearly a week away. "The judge said, 'No, it's her,' and that was that."

Comment: . It's sad to think this child was taken from her "real" family and given to a total stranger and the Mexican court decides without DNA testing that she belongs to someone else! Hopefully the Nunez family decides to seek legal council against Garcia and the magistrate who ruled on the case. Thank the stars for the video on social media and that Alondra is home safe with her family.


Sadistic cop ruptures man's spleen, fellow cops laugh, take pics, as he lays dying, begging for help

Orlando, Florida — An Orlando cop has been arrested after surveillance video showed him violently kneeing a handcuffed man. But further investigation into the matter shows that his fellow officers were not only complicit in covering it up, but also sadistically laughed as the man lay bleeding internally in the cell.

Orlando police Officer Peter Delio was arrested in March and charged with felony battery after surveillance video showed him kneeing a handcuffed, Robert Liese, in the gut.

Several hours later Liese underwent emergency surgery to remove his spleen.

What happened between the initial blow to the stomach and the time the paramedics were notified is disturbing, to say the least.

Robert Liese was in jail after he says a friend left him with a $60 bar tab that he was unable to pay. Besides being drunk, not once did Liese ever pose a threat to officers. In fact, he peacefully offered Delio his hands to be brought to jail after knowing that he was not going to be able to pay.

But Liese says that Delio didn't care that he was nice and then kicked the handcuffed man in the stomach as he was loading him into the squad car.

Once in jail, Liese headbutted the door because he was upset and injured, and he was trying to get the attention of someone besides the officers who were outside of the door ridiculing him.

Officer Delio, who apparently wanted to take out more frustrations on the restrained man, then walked into the cell and kneed him in the stomach so hard, that it ruptured his spleen.

The pain was so great that Liese was immobilized. Delio picks the man up like a ragdoll and laughably yells to Liese, "stop resisting."

He could barely breathe, and he fell to the floor in agony. He was then picked up and dragged out of the cell to be placed in leg restraints.

During the two hours long video after Liese was struck by the officer, he begged for help.

Sgt. Michael Faulkner reported to internal affairs that Liese not only didn't ask for medical attention, but that he refused it.

Unlike Sgt. Faulkner, however, the video does not lie. Not five, not ten, but at least twenty times Liese can be heard on video begging for medical attention.

"I need medical attention, please," Liese said.


Statue Of Liberty evacuated following bomb threat and suspicious package

The Statue of Liberty was evacuated Friday afternoon after someone called in a bomb threat and parks police reported a suspicious package, law enforcement sources tell NBC4 New York.

The NYPD's bomb squad was called to the scene, along with EMS workers. A security sweep of the island is also being conducted. As yet, no devices have been found.

Comment: Wonder who will get blamed for this scary incident?


Hopium: How far can irrational optimism take the U.S. economy?

© John Bostrom
If enough people truly believe that things will get better, will that actually cause them to get better? There is certainly something to be said for being positive and thinking that anything is possible. And as Americans, optimism seems to come naturally for us. However, no amount of positive thinking is ever going to turn the sun into a block of wood or turn the moon into a block of cheese. Any good counselor will tell you that one of the first steps toward recovery is to stop being delusional and to come to grips with how bad things really are.

When we deny reality and engage in irrational wishful thinking, we are engaging in something called "hopium". This is a difficult term to define, but the favorite definition of hopium that I have come across so far goes like this:
"The irrational belief that, despite all evidence to the contrary, things will turn out for the best."

Heart - Black

Psychopath caught on camera: Hidden nanny cam catches man savagely abusing cat

A family that opened their home to a houseguest was shocked to discover that the man who they thought was a trustworthy friend was actually a vicious animal abuser.

Jordan Lindquist
Kaleb Cloward allowed his friend 19-year-old Jordan Lindquist to stay at his family's home. Kaleb's mother, Colleen, told CBS Las Vegas that Lindquist seemed like a "nice young man." But when the family's cat Shadow began to have health problems, the Clowards installed a nanny cam to figure out what was going on.

The hidden camera captured Lindquist abusing Shadow. The man was caught shaking the cat, punching the feline in the head, and slamming the cat to the ground. Police who saw the footage called the act "torture."


Stock Up

Get what you give: CEO who slashed his salary to raise employees to $70k/yr seeing amazing growth

© CNN Money
Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments, recently slashed his Salary to give his employees a minimum salary of $70k/yr
You've got to spend money to make money and a generous CEO is making a lot more money a week after he invested in his employees. The company, Gravity Payments, has been flooded with new business since CEO Dan Price announced he'd raise every one of his employee's pay to $70,000 a year — and slashed his own annual pay from $1 million to the same $70,000.

"I'm actually shocked by the reaction from businesses," Price told CNN Money. "It has me on cloud nine."

Price says the credit card transaction processing company he founded has recorded the best week for acquiring new clients in the 11 years since he founded it. He says dozens of new clients have signed on with the company and he's thinking about expanding his staff to 120 people.

Good News Network reported last week Price announced he was raising the pay of 70 of his workers after reading a study on how having extra money made a difference in the lives of people earning under $70,000 a year. The raise doubled the salaries of 30 workers.

And more people want to work for his company. Gravity Payments received 3,500 job applications in the past week for two open positions — roughly five times what they usually get for an opening.

Comment: The media attention alone is well worth the money he reallocated. This kind of behavior is how you really invest in your business. Perhaps we'll see more of it in the future as this story spreads.


Bare your sword: Japanese politician appears nude on campaign poster

© AFP Photo / Toshifumi Kitamura
Politicians are always creative in trying to attract voters, but some go to extreme lengths. A Japanese nationalist has decided to win the hearts of his voters with a naked photo of himself holding a sword, the national flag in the background.

Sunday's second wave of unified local elections in Japan revealed that candidates employ various tools to gain votes, including nudity. Indeed, right-wing singer Teruki Goto, 34, decided to distinguish himself by preparing a poster of himself in his birthday suit.

The text on the poster, however, hides... well, everything that should be hidden.

Comment: Well, he definitely got exposure!


A growing number of British women are becoming nuns while others turn away from religion

© Reuters / Ammar Awad
The number of women becoming nuns has trebled in the last five years as more and more opt for a religious lifestyle.

Last year 45 women became nuns, compared to just 7 in 2004. The Catholic Church said that of these, 14 were 30 years old or younger.

"In a really obvious sense, the women feel a religious calling to do so. On a more sociological level, these are women who have lived in the world and who find themselves in their late 20s, 30s or 40s making a conscious and hard choice to enter religious life," lecturer in Catholic Studies at Durham University Anna Rowlands told the Guardian.

"These days we live fairly transient lives, many people end up single and living between communities. Often the religious orders these women are joining are connected with serving the needs of the poor."

Comment: In trying times such as these it's interesting to see some seeking religion while others are turning away from it. On one hand it's understandable that some are looking for something more than the barren, materialistic reality, but on the other hand it's also forgivable that others reject the major religions given what they have come to represent.