Society's Child


New Jersey teen suspended for refusing to remove Confederate flag from truck

© Facebook - Gregory Vied
A New Jersey high school student says he was suspended from school after refusing to remove a Confederate flag on his truck.

Gregory Vied, 17, told News12 he was suspended for flying the flag on his pickup truck, which was parked in a student lot at Steinert High School in Hamilton Township.

Vied says he refused to remove the flag despite repeated warnings from administrators. He says he understands the history of the flag, but that he sees it only as a representation of Southern pride and a connection to relatives from the South.

"Them trying to make me take it down is unconstitutional," Vied said.

The American Civil Liberties Union told the station that Vied's right to freedom of expression cannot be limited, even if there are complaints from students or teachers.

An idea whose time has come: Boycott the USA!

boycott usa

Boycotting the US could happen as people realize that the USA is the key part of an Axis bringing unlimited evil.
Boycott the USA! You read it here first.

"Impossible!" you say. "The USA leads the "international community;" boycotting the USA is silly fantasy."

Yet such a boycott could happen as people realize that the USA is the key part of an Axis bringing unlimited evil. Indeed, USA policy is so malign with such contradiction, that the men in white coats will soon be on their way to visit American leaders.

At present the USA is leading the movement to boycott and sanction Russia.

"You just don't invade another country on phony pretext in order to assert your interests," says American Secretary of State John Kerry.

Oh really? So which country -- on phony pretext (weapons of mass destruction) -- invaded Iraq in 2003?

And who, eight months ago, was screaming for an attack on Syria on another phony pretext (that the Syrian government had made a gas attack on civilians)?

And which government was, and still is, part of the biggest deception in modern history, a deception which leads to endless war, on phony pretexts, against Islamic states? (Those who do not know that 9/11 was/is the biggest deception in modern history should visit any YouTube video of WTC Tower Number Seven in freefall collapse even though it had not been touched by an airplane).

And which country, just after 9/11, proposed invading seven Islamic countries on phony pretexts (look up General Wesley Clark on the subject)?

Protests break out as heartbroken families of missing MH370 passengers react to their treatment at the hands of the authorities

Fury: Relatives of the passengers on board missing flight MH370 stage a protest outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing today.
Ill-fated flight MH370 emitted a final transmission several hours after it took off that has baffled experts, Malaysian authorities said.

The revelation came as the grief-stricken families of the passengers - outraged by the handling of the investigation - continue to demand physical evidence of the plane's Indian Ocean demise.

Malaysia's transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein gave more details about the breakthrough analysis carried out by a British satellite firm at a press conference and revealed that one partial 'handshake' transmission from MH370 is still 'not understood'.

It comes as some relatives of the passengers killed on board the tragic Boeing 777-200 staged furious protests, with Chinese family members attempting to storm the Malaysian embassy in Beijing as they expressed their fury at what they see as the bungled investigation into the flight's whereabouts.

New Putin project: Casinos in Crimea as next European resort destination

Peterson Institute for International Economics' Gary Hufbauer discusses Russian President Vladimir Putin's plan to put casinos in Crimea on Bloomberg Television's In The Loop.


Fewer Americans favor death penalty, yet support is strongest among religious white people and Republicans

death penalty opponents

Death penalty opponents cross a bridge on the way to protest an execution in Florida. (AP / PHIL SANDLIN)
Fewer Americans now favor the death penalty, but support is still strong among religious whites and Republicans. According to a Pew Research Center survey, 55 percent of adults support the death penalty for convicted murderers, while 37 percent oppose it. Whites remain the only racial group in the United States where a majority support the death penalty.

A sharp drop in violent crime, greater media attention given to wrongful convictions, and reports of inhumane and prolonged executions are some of the reasons for a shift in public opinion away for supporting the death penalty since the mid-1990s, Pew reports.

Across the nation's religious groups, support and opposition varies dramatically.
  • 67 percent of white evangelical Protestants favor the death penalty.
  • 64 percent of white mainline Protestants do.
  • 58 percent of black Protestants oppose the death penalty, making them the group most strongly opposed to it (33 percent support it).
  • 54 percent of Hispanic Catholics oppose it, while 37 percent support it.

Comment: It is unsurprising that political and religious conservatives would uphold capital punishment as these groups are largely populated by authoritarian followers. According to psychologist Robert Altmeyer, authoritarian personalities are characterized by hierarchical submission to traditional authorities, aggression and conventionalism. He found that authoritarians strongly favor capital punishment and that they tend to have a retributive streak that delights in the comeuppance of others as they see fit. Altmeyer has done extensive empirical research on the subject, which is summarized in his book, 'The Authoritarians'.


Anger with the 1%, not envy, is raising Americans' ire

occupy wall street
© Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

More than 2,000 Occupy Wall Street protesters marched near New York’s Bryant Park in May 2012. The movement was formed partly as a reaction against the deepening level of income inequality in the United States.
Suddenly, or so it seems, inequality has surged into public consciousness - and neither the 1 percent nor its reliable defenders seem to know how to cope.

Some of the reactions are crazy - "it's Kristallnacht," "they're coming to kill us" - and the craziness is quite widespread.

Notice how many billionaires, plus of course The Wall Street Journal, rallied around the venture capitalist Tom Perkins (who compared public criticism of the 1 percent to Nazi attacks on Jews in a letter to the editor of The Journal in January).

But even the saner-sounding voices evidently have a hard time wrapping their minds around the notion that anyone might find 21st-century finance capitalism a bit, well, unfair.

A case in point: a recent New York Times op-ed by Arthur Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute.

Mr. Brooks is deeply worried about changing popular attitudes toward wealth:
"According to Pew, the percentage of Americans who feel that 'most people who want to get ahead' can do so through hard work has dropped by 14 points since about 2000," he wrote on March 1. "As recently as 2007, Gallup found that 70 percent were satisfied with their opportunities to get ahead by working hard; only 29 percent were dissatisfied. Today, that gap has shrunk to 54 percent satisfied, and 45 percent dissatisfied. In just a few years, we have gone from seeing our economy as a real meritocracy to viewing it as something closer to a coin flip."
And what does he think is the reason for this sea-change in attitudes? Why, it must be about growing envy of the rich, which is a terrible thing.

Life expectancy: The most and least healthy counties in America

How college education, housing, and transit affect the health status of Americans
least healthy counties
© Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Top and bottom ten percent least-healthy counties, by state.
I've written before about how moving from West Virginia to Connecticut is like moving from Mauritius to Belgium, as far as life expectancy goes.

But a new report shows just how much variation in quality of life there is within each state, if you look at the most- and least-healthy counties. In Kentucky, for instance, the percentage of children living in poverty ranges from 8, in Oldham county near Louisville, to 57 percent in nearby Owlsey county, where the local farming and mining economies have dried up.

"The least healthy counties in the U.S. have twice the premature death rates (years of life lost before age 75), twice as many children living in poverty, and twice as many teen births compared to the healthiest counties," write the authors of a new ranking by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute.

The researchers also found that a number of non-medical factors, such as housing, transit, and college attendance, are associated with health behaviors and outcomes. Here's a look at how those elements break down by county:
Book 2

18 years of school and I am now an over-educated nanny! Best-educated generation in U.S. history also the most plagued by poverty and unemployment

college education
© Los Angeles Times
Education used to be the answer for improving one's status and expanding opportunities. Now, for the first time in the history of America, it isn't.
You've probably heard about the array of problems facing millennials as we graduate and attempt to enter the job market. Well, what you've been hearing is true.

Emily, would you please put a bowl of water on the floor so I can drink like a dog?"

It was a sweet and funny request, and I was happy to do it. But it was also a reminder, once again, that I work for a 4-year-old.

You've probably heard about the vast array of problems facing my generation as we graduate and attempt to enter the job market. As a 24-year-old recent college grad, I can tell you that what you've been hearing is true.

I graduated last May with unpaid internships waiting for me in Mexico, Spain and Nicaragua. Even more exciting, my research proposal had been accepted, and I was all set to go to Namibia for three months of studying baby baboons. I had a passable GPA, a kick-ass resume and a nagging worry that all was for naught.

"To study the social and behavioral sciences is a labor of love," my professor told our graduating class, "because you aren't in it for the money!"

And sure enough, after an incredibly frustrating and depressing series of failed attempts to find funding for my research projects, watching my would-be departure dates slip by one at a time, I finally took a job as a nanny.

Stealth inflation: Dollar devaluation at the grocery store

grocery cart
There are certain facts that are difficult to face in the world. One is that the currency you have spent you life working for isn't worth what you thought it was. In reality, it may not even be worth the paper that it's printed on. The United States paper currency has been very slowly devalued for over a century now. This was accelerated into high gear on August 15, 1971 when Nixon took the United States off the gold standard. By removing the gold backing (value) from the United States currency, it opened the door to the unfettered money printing that we have today. Many analyst over the years have seen the potential of a currency crisis and put their reputation on the line by bringing this information to the public. I will not attempt to parrot their thorough, highly-researched findings and predictions here.

The Dollar Is A Strong Fear Monger

One of the issues of debate among the public, informed and uninformed, is the fact that even though all the pieces are in place for a rapid devaluation, there seems to be a lack of perpetual hard evidence on main street. Specters of gyrating gas and commodity prices ebb and flow like a intensive care patient's heart rate monitor. Yet life seems to continue without the anticipated decline and flat line. However, in the age of information, things are done differently. Computer algorithms and Utah's NSA supercomputers reign over information, and strategic decisions are made using real-time data. Decisions can be precise, well hidden, and highly methodical given such technological advantages.

British police uncover another 'complex' paedophile ring, this time involving 'more than 500 victims'

© Paul Kingston/NNP
Neville Husband in 2003 when he was jailed for historical sexual abuse as a prison officer at Medomsley detention centre in County Durham.
Head of major inquiry into Medomsley detention centre in County Durham shocked by scale of historical sexual abuse

Police investigating sexual abuse at a Durham detention centre say they believe they have uncovered an organised paedophile ring operating in the 1970s and 80s with more than 500 potential victims.

The head of a 70-strong major inquiry into historical abuse at the Medomsley detention centre, near Consett, told the Guardian the inquiry was triggered by mounting evidence about isolated individuals. However, they were now investigating a complex paedophile ring, with many more victims than previously thought.

D Supt Paul Goundry, senior investigating officer, said: "We always knew this would be a major inquiry but the scale of it, and the sheer number of victims who have come forward, has been a shock."

He said that as well as sexual abuse they had evidence of a "brutal regime where violence was both extreme and routine". He suggested that prosecutions would be pursued for the offences, some of which occurred more than 40 years ago.

Nearly 100 men who had come forward were already receiving therapy via a local sexual assault referral centre and others had sought support from the children's charity NSPCC.