Society's Child

Bizarro Earth

California's 'dysfunctional' death penalty ruled unconstitutional due to systemic delays

© Reuters
A federal judge has struck down the death penalty in California, declaring it unconstitutional due to lengthy delays in execution. The judge vacated the death sentence for a man condemned to die by the state nearly two decades ago.

US District Judge Cormac J. Carney, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, heard the case of Ernest Dewayne Jones. The death row inmate was sentenced on April 7, 1995. He was convicted for the 1992 rape and killing of Julia Miller, his girlfriend's mother. The murder occurred 10 months after Jones was paroled for a previous rape conviction, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In his ruling released Wednesday, Carney noted the death row inmate faced "complete uncertainty as to when, or even whether" he would be executed.

"Allowing this system to continue to threaten Mr. Jones with the slight possibility of death, almost a generation after he was first sentenced, violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment," the judge wrote in his decision.
Star of David

History repeats: Israeli right wingers wear Nazi t-shirts

© Haaretz
A man sports a T-shirt with a Neo-Nazi slogan at a demonstration in Tel Aviv, July 12, 2014.
Some of the right-wing protesters who beat leftist demonstrators in Tel Aviv on Saturday night wore T-shirts bearing a neo-Nazi symbol, photos and videos show. As shown on journalist Tal Schneider's Hebrew-language blog, some of the right-wingers wore T-shirts bearing the slogan "Good night left side."

Neo-Nazis in Europe wear shirts with this phrase, which accompanies an image of a man attacking a left-wing activist, denoted by a star or anarchy symbol. The online store Final Resistance offers clothing bearing neo-Nazi slogans - popular attire at rock concerts by far-right bands. The emblem and slogan are a response to the original left-wing counterpart: "Good night white pride."

Courageous conscientious objector: US Navy nurse refuses to force-feed Guantanamo detainee

Gitmo guatanamo bay
© Agence France-Presse/John Moore
A Navy nurse is making waves for refusing to force-feed inmates participating in hunger strikes at the prison complex in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The unidentified nurse - described by one inmate as a 40-year-old Latino - is believed to be the first conscientious objector to Guantanamo's controversial tube feeding policy.

The news comes as US District Judge Gladys Kessler prepares to hear complaints regarding force-feeding from prisoners who object to the procedure on humanitarian grounds and believe it to be torture.

According to the Miami Herald, it first learned of the development from attorney Cori Crider, who represents Guantanamo inmate and frequent hunger striker Abu Wa'el Dhiab. In a phone call with Crider, the 43-year-old Syrian national said that after a couple of months on the job, a male Navy nurse refused to force-feed hunger-striking inmates sometime before the Fourth of July. Once the nurse made his decision, he was reportedly moved to other duties.

FBI warns driverless cars could become new 'lethal weapon' for terrorists

Self-drivinga two-seat prototype vehicle
© AFP Photo / Google
Self-drivinga two-seat prototype vehicle conceived and designed by Google.
Self-driving cars are being assessed as a "game changing" vehicle and a potential "lethal weapon" according to an internal FBI report, and could be exploited by criminals or terrorists seeking to program explosive-stuffed cars to be self-driving bombs.

The report was obtained by the Guardian after the newspaper made a public records request. FBI predictions included the statement that self-driving cars would ultimately "have a high impact on transforming what both law enforcement and its adversaries can operationally do with a car."

Criminal "multitasking" is being anticipated despite the potential beneficial impact on road safety, and there have been sporadic suggestions that the vehicles could operate as rolling bombing platforms for terrorists - a means by which to conduct suicide bombings without the suicide aspect.

Companies like Google are in the process of developing the self-driving cars which are without a steering wheel and would travel at just 25 mph.

The vehicles use a combination of lidar (laser ranging), radar, video cameras and GPS to overcome obstacles on the road and reach a destination safely.

While still a prototype, the possibility that the cars could "revolutionize" high speed car chases and other criminal activity is on the cards.

"Autonomy ... will make mobility more efficient, but will also open up greater possibilities for dual-use applications and ways for a car to be more of a potential lethal weapon that it is today," said the report.
Stock Down

When you're poor, money costs more

For tens of millions of Americans without a bank account, paying a bill isn't just an odyssey. It's a part-time job.
pay day loans poverty
© Reuters
Alex was doing the thing he loved most, singing and playing his acoustic guitar onstage when, after one show, he met Melissa. "We kinda hit it off," Melissa said. "No kinda about it." Alex corrected. "We just hit it off." He proposed ten weeks after their first date. They moved into a house in Scituate, Rhode Island, and had two kids, whom they raised comfortably on two incomes.

In a flash, their lives changed dramatically. Alex was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and had to quit his job. Now he walks with a cane. A few weeks later, their young son Jonah was diagnosed with severe autism. Their medical costs suddenly soared as their incomes dwindled. To manage their finances as responsibly as they knew how, Alex and Melissa chose to live on cash. But they weren't making enough money to meet their bills. Without a credit history, they couldn't qualify for a bank loan. Desperate for something to tide them over, Melissa visited a payday lender.

"In the moment that we needed it, I was glad that it was there," she said. But soon, they were both trapped in a cycle of dependency that wracked up more than $1,700 in fees. With one diminished salary and rising medical costs, they couldn't make it alone. They needed the help of their neighbors to pay off the original loan.

The amount of that original loan? Just $450.

One of the fundamental principles of progressive economics is that a rich country should do what is reasonable to make life for the poor feel easier - even cheaper.

What does that mean? Medical care should feel cheaper, so we invented and expanded Medicaid. Food should feel cheaper, so we have food stamps. Mortgages should be cheaper, so banks offer mortgage write-downs for struggling households. Children should feel cheaper, so we offer tax credits for kids that phase out as income rises. Being unemployed should feel cheaper, so low-income workers receive a larger share of their pre-unemployment income. Going to college should feel cheaper, so many families don't pay the full sticker price. Working should feel cheaper, so the money you earn under $10,000 is taxed less than the money you earn over $100,000.

Comment: One more way wealth is funneled up to the 1%.

Shut them down! - Pay day loan companies are making billions preying on the misery of the poor

Debtors' Prison USA: Jailed for $280

People 2

The increasing criminalization of parenthood

family dinner
© unknown
A couple of themes we explore here at The Watch are the increasing criminalization of just about everything and the use of the criminal justice system to address problems that were once (and better) handled by families, friends, communities and other institutions. A few examples from recent headlines show those themes intersecting with parenthood.

The first story comes from South Carolina, where a mother was jailed and charged with "unlawful conduct toward a child" for . . . leaving her 9-year-old daughter alone to play in a park. Lenore Skenazy of "Free Range Kids" comments:

Comment: The Nanny State strikes again. The psychopaths in power won't be satisfied until their tentacles are invading every aspect of our lives.

Arrow Down

RFID chips to be used on Chattooga County buses to track students

Georgia - The Chattooga County School District has signed a five-year contract to use StudentConnect, a product that lets school districts and parents track students using ID cards that contain radio frequency identification device (RFID) chips. The program will be free of charge to the school system and optional for parents."The service is offered free of charge to the school system", said Kayode "Kay" Aladesuyi, chairman and CEO of East Coast Diversified Corp., the holding company that owns StudentConnect.
"StudentConnect plans to make money through advertising that will show up on parents' smartphones along with text messages or email notifications of their children's whereabouts."
Using the RFID badges is not being sold at cost to parents, however, it is being given away for free. It will know when and where students get on and off the bus and notify the bus drivers if a student gets on the wrong bus or fails to get off the bus.
Arrow Down

Only 14% of Americans sympathize with Palestinians. 73% of Republicans - and 44% of Democrats - sympathize with Israel

Israel Is Winning the Propaganda War

Israeli war crimes against Palestinians in Gaza?

So far, Americans don't know or don't care ...

A new poll by Pew shows that only 14% of Americans sympathize with Palestinians, while 51% - including 73% of all Republicans and 44% of Democrats - sympathize with Israel:
© Pew Research Center
Numerous other polls show similar results.

Still smokin'! Possible world's oldest man found in Brazil, age 126

Jose Aguinelo dos Santos
Jose Aguinelo dos Santos.
Jose Aguinelo dos Santos, who lives in an old people's home Bauru, Brazil, was, according to the document, born on July 7 1888 - making him 126 years old. If the certificate is genuine, he is the oldest person EVER - beating Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who was born in 1875, and died in the town of Arles in 1997 at the age of 122. The oldest man to ever live was Jiroemon Kimura, of Kyotango, Japan, who died aged 116 in June last year.

Mr dos Santos, who is known as Ze, has never married or had children, eats a plate of rice and beans and smokes a packet of cigarettes every day.

The former coffee plantation worker was born just two months after slavery was abolished in Brazil. He was born in a slave compound in the town of Pedra Branca in northeastern Brazil.

He told Brazil's G1 website there is no secret to living a long life: "The truth is that you just keep getting older. You take each stage at a time. If I got to this age it's because I've lived a lot, that's all."

Mariana Silva, psychologist at the Vila Vicentina home, said Jose has no health problems and is so lucid he still amuses other residents by cracking one-liners.

Comment: He's not the only one! The oldest people on Earth are all smokers!

Eye 2

Prosecutors still going after mom who refused to drug her daughter - Videos

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed - Martin Luther King

Attorney Allison Folmar (left) with Maryanne Godboldo (right) “This case has far reaching implications for parents, not only in Detroit, but across the country, to choose whether or not to drug their child. It is a case of misdiagnosis, misinformation and unrestrained persecution. Parents need to understand this is not an isolated case and it is happening across the nation far too often.”
Once Again, Detroit Prosecutors have attempted to bring criminal charges against Detroit mother Maryanne Godboldo. And once again, they have failed.

On March 24, 2011, the Maryanne Godboldo case garnered international headlines when images of a battle-ready SWAT team, tanks and a helicopter, were unleashed upon a Detroit mother for refusing to administer a dangerous and potentially lethal antipsychotic drug to her daughter. The illegal seizure of the then 13-year old caused a firestorm of press and public outcry. By December 11th, 2011, nine months and numerous court battles later, Godboldo was acquitted of all charges based on the unconstitutional and illegal seizure of the child.

But Detroit prosecutors seemed hell bent on making an example of Maryanne Godboldo, attempting and failing twice in the last few months to prosecute Godboldo. Last Friday, July 11th, 2014, there was loud applause in the court when Judge Gregory Bill reaffirmed the dismissal of criminal charges against the Detroit mother for a second time this year.

Watch video to see Maryanne Godboldo describe all her fears coming true when the state took and force drugged her daughter:

Comment: Health-care and social-care become tools of persecution in a ponerized society. Stable families questioning psychopathic authorities and their rules come under fire. Children get drugged with chemical-lobotomy drugs, others simply die... It happened before and it is happening right now, far more often than anyone would like to admit.

'Justina's Law' - A bill against medical experimentation on minors
Justina may be far from an isolated case. Over the last year, The Boston Globe has reported on five similar cases of children detained at BCH alone, with DCF authorizing medical treatment. The Liberty Counsel reports, "[O]ver 95 children died in DCF custody between 2001 and 2010, and the department has not released information about the number of deaths between 2011 to present."
Mother jailed for refusing to drug daughter with a highly controversial antipsychotic - Child ends up in a mental institution
Maryanne Godboldo endured a mother's worst nightmare when in May 2011 police and social workers burst into her home without a warrant, seized her then 13-year-old daughter, locked the child in a psychiatric hospital and purportedly doped her with dangerous antipsychotic drugs[...] "For every child they put in foster care in Michigan, the state gets $1,200 for the paperwork," she said. "This has become a money making business for taking children."