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Heart - Black

Banning homelessness: Cruel and unusual punishment?

© www.fluid-radio.co.uk
Homeless, hungry and cold
For the last several years, cities across the United States have responded to the problem of homelessness in the way governments tend to tackle dilemmas: by criminalizing the undesired behavior. In addition to banning feeding those without shelter (in some cases criminalizing the elderly for doing so), local governments have outright banned the homeless from sleeping or panhandling in public. Now, however, the Department of Justice is arguing that it is unconstitutional to bar the homeless from sleeping outside.

In a statement of interest filed this week in a little-known Idaho case on the subject, the DOJ explained its position:
"When adequate shelter space exists, individuals have a choice about whether or not to sleep in public. However, when adequate shelter space does not exist, there is no meaningful distinction between the status of being homeless and the conduct of sleeping in public. Sleeping is a life-sustaining activity—i.e., it must occur at some time in some place. If a person literally has nowhere else to go, then enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance against that person criminalizes her for being homeless," it reads.

Comment: HUD's Secretary Shaun Donovan, in 2012, stated: "The thing we finally figured out is that it's actually, not only better for people, but cheaper to solve homelessness than it is to put a band-aid on it. Because, at the end of the day, it costs, between shelters and emergency rooms and jails, about $40,000 a year (NYC) for a homeless person to be on the streets." This did not include the costs of mental health services. Placing folks in housing freed up shelter space, reduced hospitalizations and time incarcerated and time in mental health services, on average. Another study, using data from 65 cities of different sizes and demographics, stated the cost of keeping people on the street added up to between $35K to $150K per person per year. Conversely, the cost of keeping former homeless persons housed ranged between $13K to $25K per year.

If you take care of people behavior changes, it is cost-effective, and that benefits everyone.


Binoculars

What the Russian media is talking about that the Western media isn't

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Why does the Russian media seem to be far more on the ball than the mainstream media in the United States much of the time? Could it be possible that Russian reporters have more freedom to talk about important issues than reporters that work for the major corporate conglomerates in the United States do? Of course the Russian media is far from perfect. They put out pro-Russian propaganda just like the U.S. media puts out pro-American propaganda. But I must admit that I often find that Russian news sources are willing to tackle controversial issues that the mainstream media in the United States would not touch with a ten foot pole. This includes the critical events that are coming up this September.

Even after everything that has been said and written in the alternative media about what is going to happen during September, most Americans are still completely ignorant about the history changing events that are going to take place next month.

First of all, the most important template for global governance that the United Nations has ever dreamed up is going to be launched at a major conference from September 25th to September 27th. The launching of this "new universal agenda" is such an important event that the Pope is going to be traveling to New York City to give the address that will kick off this conference. This new plan is known as "the 2030 Agenda", and it is being called "Agenda 21 on steroids". This is one of the most significant steps toward global government in the history of the world, and yet the mainstream media in the United States is saying virtually nothing about it.

Comment: We at SOTT.net agree. By and large the major Russian news outlets mentioned, and several others not mentioned, generate far more truth-based information, articles and analysis than its Goliath US and Western-based counterparts. The difference is, in fact, stunning to realize - and a direct reflection of the values, character, and state of mental health held by Russian leadership. It comes down to the difference between truth and lies, and the reason why, on any given day, this news page may include numerous articles from Russian media.


Bad Guys

Missouri man who played Santa Claus accused of raping 7-year old child

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© Cape Giradeau County Sheriff
A Jackson man is facing charges after allegedly sexually assaulting a child.

Jeffery B. Moffat, 55, has been charged with first-degree statutory rape and first-degree statutory sodomy involving a 7-year-old.

Moffat allegedly "knowingly had sexual intercourse" and "deviate sexual intercourse" with the girl, according to the complaint filed in the case. The incidents are alleged to have taken place between Aug. 1, 2014, and Jan. 31, 2015, in Cape Girardeau County.

St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railway president Cheryl Huffman said Moffat has volunteered at the railway and portrayed its Santa Claus for almost 20 years.

Huffman said, however, she doesn't believe Moffat would be capable of what he is accused.

"I've known Jeffrey for 25 years, and I just don't believe that a person could snap and change overnight," she said. "He's just such a giving, kind person." She described him as a kind of "Southern gentleman."

Huffman said the train's Santa runs begin the first weekend after Thanksgiving and estimates 1,100 children visited Santa at the railway last year.

"And our reservations are full on [the] Santa trains," Huffman said.

Huffman said the incidents with the girl are alleged to have happened at Moffat's home. But, she said, he had lived in Fruitland with several other people and had often told her how busy the house was. She said she didn't know when Moffat would have had the opportunity to commit the crimes he is accused of while so many people were at the house.

Nuke

Uranium-contaminated water in California wells: 2 million people affected

© Eric Thayer / Reuters
Almost 2 million people in California and the Midwest live on aquifer sites which have up to 180 times the safe level of uranium, according to a recent study by US researchers.

Some 275,000 groundwater samples were taken for evaluation, and it turns out that many Americans live about a kilometer from wells that are uranium-polluted, scientists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln discovered.

Seventy-eight percent of the pollution comes from nitrate, the contaminator deriving from chemical fertilizers and animal waste. Nitrates oxidize uranium, making it soluble in groundwater. The aquifers are under the rich soil layer, which is fertilized by nitrates. That's when they get to the aquifers.

"It needs to be recognized that uranium is a widespread contaminant.


Comment: Indeed! The Israeli and the US military frequently fired uranium containing shells in the war zones they created and since then uranium radiation pollution effectively spread around the world: UK radiation jump blamed on Iraq Depleted Uranium shells.

History of uranium pollution:
  • In December 1995 and January 1996, U.S. Marine Corps Harrier aircraft training near Okinawa, Japan fired about 1,520 DU - depleted uranium - rounds. The Japanese government was not notified for almost a year.
  • In February 1999, two U.S. Marine Corps Aircraft expended 263 DU rounds at the U.S. Navy firing range in Vieques, Puerto Rico, which is not licensed for DU munitions. This "accidental" release was only discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Military Toxics Project.
  • In January 2003, the Navy admitted routinely firing DU from its Phalanx guns in prime fishing waters off the coast of Washington state since 1977.
The people of Iraq (1991), Bosnia (1994-1995), Kosovo (1999), Afghanistan (2001-2003), Libya (2011) and Syria (2013) experienced uranium exposure first-hand:

Immediate battlefield exposures of combat and cleanup personnel to "depleted" uranium are only the tip of the toxic and radioactive iceberg. Continuing environmental exposures present a much longer-term danger to civilians in post-conflict areas. The Royal Society (the British national academy of sciences) recently concluded that because DU may move into the environment - especially water sources - over many decades, "contaminated land might be a concern for hundreds of years" and "contamination of water supplies or other sensitive components of the environment...
might only become apparent after a number of years or more likely
decades."

Firing of DU munitions can immediately contaminate air, soil, and water with ingestible particles of toxic and radioactive "depleted" uranium.

Read more in the original publication: "The depleted uranium fact sheet".


And we are creating this problem by producing a primary contaminant that leads to a secondary one," co-author Karrie Weber, assistant professor of biological, earth and atmospheric sciences at the UNL, said, as quoted in the official press release.

The concentration in Great Plains (Midwest) measured up to 89 times higher than the standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency, while California aquifers proved to be even more contaminated, with 180 times the safe amount of uranium found there.

Drinking of uranium-polluted water can lead to kidney damage, elevated blood pressure. Food crops used in nutrition could also become contaminated by accumulating uranium from the groundwater.

Comment: See also:


Sheriff

14 San Francisco cops take down, restrain one-legged, black homeless man, armed with crutches

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© Bobbie Johnson/You Tube
It took 14 San Francisco Police Department officers to take down and restrain a one-legged, black homeless man, armed with crutches and apparently dangerous. The incident is the latest embarrassment for the US police, who face constant accusations of unreasonable use of force.

The confrontation was captured on video released by journalist Chaedria LaBouvier via blog platform Medium, and shows white police officers taking down a one-legged homeless black man on the city's central Market street. According to witnesses, police were called in to the scene to take care of a suspicious man waving some "sticks" around.

The video of the incident which happened on August 4, shows the extent of humiliation and brute force exercised immediately after the man was wrestled to the ground by SFPD officers. As the disabled male struggles to move, cops pin him down.

"These are my crutches. I use these to walk," the man tried to explain. But even after realizing that the man had a prosthetic leg, the police continued to use overwhelming physical restrain and man-handled him, forcing his head to the ground.

In further efforts to subdue a man already on the ground with four people on top of him, the officers stood on his prosthetic leg and "twisted it around even after they had cuffed him and pinned him to the piss-stained concrete," LaBouvier noted.

Beaten to the ground, the suspect at one point said, "what the f**k is you doing this to me?" as more officers arrived to form a cordon around the incident area. "Is this respectable? When I say 'no', is this what you do to me?" the man said.


Comment: See also: The murder of Sandra Bland and America's 'color revolution'


USA

Prison employees in Tennessee using inmates as slave labor for personal profit

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© Muhammad Hamed / Reuters
Inmates in a Tennessee jail are being used as slave labor to benefit the private company belonging to detention center employees, two former prisoners claim. They waited until they were released to speak out, fearing recriminations beforehand.

Larry Stephney and Charles Brew both worked in the building trades department while serving time at the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility in Nashville, Tennessee. There, they told AP, they were forced to build items without pay for a company called Stand Firm Designs.

That woodworking company is operated by Rob Hill, a building trades instructor at the Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility; Steven Binkley, a computer instructor who works out of a room adjoining the woodworking shop; and Roy Napper, who formerly worked at the jail, AP reported.

"Stand Firm Designs is composed of retired contractors with over 100 years of combined experience. We design and construct decks, gazebos and storage sheds to your specifications," a cached version of the company's website said. "We are a Christian based organization located in the greater Nashville area."

Heart - Black

Ridiculous: Police caught on video assaulting and arresting man for singing in public

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© Lehigh Valley Copblock / YouTube
Police in Allentown, Pennsylvania were caught on video assaulting and arresting a man who was singing in a public place. The encounter came on the heels of a separate police-brutality incident in Allentown that surfaced last week.

In the video, Jim Ochse, described by The Morning Call as a 61-year-old self-employed athletic trainer, is seen singing a Beach Boys song in a public area of downtown Allentown near the Strata Luxury Flats apartment building, outside of Shula's, a pricey steakhouse. A police officer approaches Ochse. Their conversation escalates quickly, as Ochse seems to insist he has the right to sing.

When two suited security guards enter the scene, Ochse points to them and the officer, saying to each, "You get out of here," as he starts walking in the opposite direction. The officer stops him, eventually throwing him to the ground, Ochse screaming in pain and pleading for mercy.

Among his pleas, the man says he has permission from the Allentown Police Department to sing in the area.


People

'Get off our land!': John McCain chased off reservation by angry Navajo Nation activists

© Facebook.com
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was chased off of Navajo land by a group of activists who are angry over the Gold King Mine spill, which has contaminated river water in the Animas and San Juan Rivers.

According to Native News Online, a delegation including McCain and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) was visiting the Navajo Nation's capital in Window Rock, Arizona in observance of Navajo Code Talkers Day on Saturday.

Navajo Code Talkers were Navajo Native Americans who worked for U.S. Intelligence during World War II. The Navajo language proved to be too complex for the Axis Powers' intelligence agencies to decipher, making it the perfect code language for encrypted U.S. communications.

McCain and Ducey were in Window Rock for a public meeting with Navajo Nation President Begaye and Vice President Nez about a prospective Navajo Code Talker museum, but instead found themselves talking about the millions of gallons of toxic sludge that have spilled into two life-giving rivers that run through the heart of the Nation's territories.

"I keep saying when are we going to hear from the White House? Not a word. When somebody wins the Super Bowl or an NBA Championship, they get a call, right? And when something like this happens and people are suffering, nothing," said President Begaye.

The spill was accidentally triggered by EPA workers inspecting the abandoned Gold King Mine. The spill now stretches from Colorado through Utah to New Mexico and Arizona. The slurry is believed to contain mercury, lead and arsenic.

Vice President Nez told McCain that his people have a natural distrust of the government and are currently unconvinced by what they are hearing from the EPA regarding the safety of the water from the two rivers.

"This is just one mine out of hundreds and there's no Superfund designation," Vice President Nez said. "Right now, we don't trust the U.S. EPA's data and their collection. And one of the things we're still suffering from are the uranium mines, they need cleanup as well."

Attention

The US no longer has any strategic grain reserves...none

© econintersect.com
Hunger crisis in global proportions...
Once upon a time, it was popular to say that the U.S. government only had enough wheat stored up to provide everyone in America with half a loaf of bread. But that is not true anymore. Recently, I discovered that the U.S. does not have any strategic grain reserves left at all. Zero. Nada. Zilch. As you will see below, the USDA liquidated the remaining reserves back in 2008. So if a major food crisis hit this country, our government would have nothing to give us. Of course the federal government could always go out and try to buy or seize food to feed the population during a major emergency, but that wouldn't actually increase the total amount of food that was available. Instead, it would just give the government more power over who gets it.

Comment: If you are waiting for your government to save you, please rethink that plan. It is increasingly obvious that we are in a changing world, one that is less and less likely to sustain humanity unless we comprehend what is at hand and adjust accordingly. As global economies falter and food production deteriorates, prices for food will escalate as will systemic civil unrest, violence and conflict. Over 7 billion hungry inhabitants. Think ahead. Plan now.


Red Flag

Man sets himself on fire in front of city hall in Columbus, Ohio

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© Wikipedia
A man was critically hurt after setting himself on fire on the steps of the City Hall in Columbus, Ohio.

Fire officials have told local media that a 58-year-old man was taken to Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center in critical condition. Police is investigating the incident as a possible suicide attempt, according to local TV-station WSYX.

Three Parks and Recreation employees ran up to help the man, putting out the fire. The man's name has not been released.

Yellow police tape can be seen cordoning off the burned debris. A Gatorade bottle with some clear liquid inside is also within the perimeter, presumably containing the fuel used in the blaze.