Society's Child

Control Panel

Fascist! Millions of Americans could be banned from smoking in public housing

The federal government has proposed the ban to protect the health of residents and reduce building maintenance costs
The legislation would require homes, communal areas and administrative offices on public housing land to be smoke-free, the New York Times reports. It is thought the changes would affect around a million homes.

It has argued the ban is necessary to protect residents from second-hand smoke, to lower building maintenance costs, and to reduce the risk of fires. But the proposal has already met with resistance from some residents who believe it would be an infringement of their right to make personal choices about their lives. One told the newspaper: "What I do in my apartment should be my problem long as I pay my rent."

Many of the country's public housing agencies, which provide subsidised housing for people on low-incomes, have already voluntarily enforced the ban since calls for the move surfaced in 2009. Those living in New York City Housing Authority homes - more than 400,000 people - are expected to be among those most severely affected by a ban.

Sunia Zaterman, executive director of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, told the New York Times: "It's a fraught process because to do it properly you need community buy-in. To do this successfully it can't be a top-down edict because you want people to comply with the policy."

The council said smoking bans have become more popular over time and that, as the number of smoking tenants has dropped, more people have come to expect smoke-free spaces."This is a health equity issue," Patrick Kwan, director of NYC Smoke-Free, added. "For people living in public housing and are subjected to second-hand smoke, the only option is to be at the mercy of their neighbours who smoke in their homes. "People who can afford it choose a smoke-free unit. Smoke-free housing shouldn't only be for the wealthy and privileged."

Comment: What a load of bull! Listen to the SOTT editors interview Richard White, author of the book Smoke Screens, where they discuss the studies on smoking, what researchers have to say, the scientists involved, the anti-smoking movement and more! Smoking tobacco is not bad for everyone and is even good for you. See:


Insanity! 9 year old boy threatened with sexual harassment charges for writing love note

This love note a 9-year-old boy in Florida wrote to his crush has gotten him in trouble.
A 9-year-old Florida boy could face sexual harassment charges for penning love notes to a girl in his class, his furious mother said.

The tiny admirer gushed about his crush, telling her she's "pretty and cute" while boldly revealing his feelings for her in the handwritten loose-leaf letter, ABC Action News reported.

"I like you," the Tampa fourth grader in the Hillsborough County Public Schools district wrote inside a heart drawing. "I like your hair because it is not sloppy. I like your eyes because they sparkle like diamonds."



The heartbreaking letter of a Virginia teenager detailing the racial abuse he faces daily at school


Za'Khari Waddy is only 13 years old but has already experienced a lifetime's worth of racism from many white students at his school.
Za'Khari Waddy turns 14 this December.

Even though he is only in the 8th grade at Tabb Middle School in Yorktown, Virginia, he has already experienced a lifetime's worth of racism from white students at his school.

In the wake of a nationwide conversation about racism on college campuses sparked by the University of Missouri, younger African American students, in elementary and middle school, often lack the social networks to bring viral attention to the horrendous discrimination they face.


'Social explosion' begins in Greece as massive street protests bring economy to a grinding halt

One thing that became abundantly clear after Alexis Tsipras sold out the Greek referendum "no" back in the summer after a weekend of "mental waterboarding" in Brussels was that the public's perception of the once "revolutionary" leader would never be the same. And make no mistake, that's exactly what Berlin, Brussels, and the IMF wanted.

By turning the screws on the Greek banking sector and bringing the country to the brink of ruin, the troika indicated its willingness to "punish" recalcitrant politicians who pursue anti-austerity policies. On the one hand, countries have an obligation to pay back what they owe, but on the other, the subversion of the democratic process by using the purse string to effect political change is a rather disconcerting phenomenon and we expect we'll see it again with regard to the Socialists in Portugal.

After a month of infighting within Syriza Tsipras did manage to consolidate the party and win a snap election but he's not the man he was - or at least not outwardly. He's obligated still to the draconian terms of the bailout and that means he is a shadow of his former self ideologically. As we've said before, that doesn't bode well for societal stability.


House Democrats: Bill to allow doctors to quiz patients on guns

US Rep. Mike Honda wants health care funds and efforts to be brought in to help smother gun violence.
As part of a measure designed to expand government funded research into gun violence as a health care issue, a bill introduced this week would free physicians to ask patients about gun ownership.

The proposal is supported by 37 House Democrats and would explore the links between gun ownership and gun violence according to its author, U.S. Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., who represents the Silicon Valley area. "In Silicon Valley, we recognize the power of research," said Honda in a statement. "My Gun Violence Research Act seeks to bring this data-driven approach to the public sphere so that we may develop a more pointed strategy to understand and ultimately better address the public health crisis of gun violence."

Honda's bill, filed Wednesday as H.R.3926, states in its four-page text that it is not advocating for gun control while funding research by the Centers for Disease Control into the causes, treatment, diagnosis and injuries of those killed and injured through the use of firearms. As such, it also calls for an expansion of the National Violent Death Reporting System to accommodate such changes.

Comment: Honda is the same guy whose Responsible Body Armor Possession Act was to prohibit the sale, purchase, use or possession of military-grade body armor by anyone other than law enforcement, active duty military or other authorized users. He based the legislation on false media information: the gunman was not wearing body armor as he stated, and, instead of the demise of two law enforcement officials, it was in fact two civilians - an 86-year-old grandmother and her 58-year-old son-in law. "Never mind the details!"

Honda: "How many times must we bury our loved ones from senseless acts of gun violence before we pass commonsense legislation to understand the problem our society is facing?" Legislation has never been a societal enlightener. Perhaps Honda should look elsewhere for his solutions, such as the deeper and broader contexts within the decay of government, covert population manipulation and to those who profit from it. He apparently doesn't understand the multi-faceted ploy he is facilitating.


The astonishing amount of data being collected about your children

© Alan Brandt/AP
Big data is no longer a tool reserved solely for big businesses.
Remember that ominous threat from your childhood, "This will go down on your permanent record?" Well, your children's permanent record is a whole lot bigger today and it may be permanent. Information about your children's behavior and nearly everything else that a school or state agency knows about them is being tracked, profiled and potentially shared.

During a February 2015 congressional hearing on "How Emerging Technology Affects Student Privacy," Rep. Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin asked the panel to "provide a summary of all the information collected by the time a student reaches graduate school." Joel Reidenberg, director of the Center on Law & Information Policy at Fordham Law School, responded:

Black Cat 2

Use of Corexit dispersant in BP oil spill toxified ocean, hid oil, made disaster far worse than it already was

© Guardian
The fallout continues from the Deepwater Horizon explosion that directly killed 11 workers and ravaged the food chain and the environment more than 5 years ago.

Since then we have seen little accountability, despite a nominal fine against BP for its role in unleashing 4 million barrels of oil (approx. 200 million gallons). In fact, the EPA lifted a ban which subsequently resulted in BP being awarded $40 Billion in new contracts, essentially erasing all that was "lost" by BP from their criminality.

Running in tandem with BP's negligence was the use of Corexit 9500 oil dispersant (owned by Nalco, a Goldman Sachs subsidiary) as a supposed means to drastically minimize the impact. Contrary to that assertion, evidence continues to mount that it did the exact opposite.

Comment: This is all so symbolic. Isn't it like a pathological (in this case British Petroleum along with the U.S. Government) to make an already bad problem even worse by trying to first hide it - and also use the worst possible means to do so; absolutely criminal.

But there are even larger ramifications for the BP disaster which we will likely see in the not-too-distant future...


Update: 41 killed, dozens wounded in worst Beirut terrorist attack since 1990

© Via Twitter@IraqiSecurity
Two suspected suicide bombings in the southern suburbs of Beirut have left at least 20 people dead and 40 more injured, Reuters reports citing sources in the Interior Ministry.Some of the dead and injured have been taken to the Bahman hospital. The death toll is expected to rise with local news websites saying over 100 were injured.

A third bomber might still be somewhere in the area, local media report.The attacks took place in a busy area outside a Shiite center in the Borj al-Barajneh area.

The explosions rocked the commercial area in the southern suburb of the Lebanese capital just before 6 p.m. local time on Thursday, BNO News reported. The neighborhood is regarded a stronghold of Hezbollah.Ambulances were seen rushing to the scene as Hezbollah and Lebanese police cordoned off the area.

Comment: Israel and the U.S. CREATED Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda

See an update from RT here.


On the couch: Therapists opine on Donald Trump's psychological worldview

As his presidential campaign trundles forward, millions of sane Americans are wondering: What exactly is wrong with this strange individual? Now, we have an answer.

© Photo-Illustration by Ben Park; By Noam Galai/WireImage/Getty Image.
For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. "Remarkably narcissistic," said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. "Textbook narcissistic personality disorder," echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. "He's so classic that I'm archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there's no better example of his characteristics," said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. "Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He's like a dream come true."

That mental-health professionals are even willing to talk about Trump in the first place may attest to their deep concern about a Trump presidency. As Dr. Robert Klitzman, a professor of psychiatry and the director of the master's of bioethics program at Columbia University, pointed out, the American Psychiatric Association declares it unethical for psychiatrists to comment on an individual's mental state without examining him personally and having the patient's consent to make such comments. This so-called Goldwater rule arose after the publication of a 1964 Fact magazine article in which psychiatrists were polled about Senator Barry Goldwater's fitness to be president. Senator Goldwater brought a $2 million suit against the magazine and its publisher; the Supreme Court awarded him $1 in compensatory damages and $75,000 in punitive damages.


Light Sabers

Austerity: Violent street clashes amid labor strike in Greece; rioting, Molotov cocktails, tear gas

© Screenshot via RT
A labor strike in the Greek capital has turned violent, with demonstrators hurling Molotov cocktails at police. Officers have responded with tear gas. The protesters are rallying against government austerity measures. Labor union members have walked off their jobs for 24 hours, protesting in Athens' central square.

The demonstrators are rallying against austerity measures including spending cuts and tax hikes, which were adopted by the government formed by the leftist Syriza party after it won the January elections. The general strike has seriously disrupted public transportation in the country.

The Athens metro system is not running, bus and trolley routes have been considerably reduced, and connections between Greek islands and the mainland have been nearly brought to a halt as public ferries remain tied in ports. Dozens of domestic flights have been canceled.

The strike has left many museums closed, damaging the tourism industry. Students stayed home on Thursday, as schools did not open in the absence of teachers. Some printed media is expected to hit the streets, although online news outlets are not being updated. Only emergency teams remain on duty in hospitals, and pharmacies are closed.
The strike is being supported by the left-wing labor policy division of the ruling Syriza Party, which takes aim at the austerity policies enacted by its own government.

Comment: Greek "crisis" about political ideology and psychopathology, not finance