Society's Child

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French culture and its manufactured unrest

French police
© Reuters / Pascal Rossignol
French riot policemen fire rubber bullets behind a burning car during clashes one day after two youths died in a motorbike accident with a police car in Villiers le Bel in the northern suburb of Paris, Nov. 26, 2007.
Since 9/11, every time there is a major terrorist attack abroad, many Americans might think or say to themselves, understandably if not graciously, "Thank God it's not us." From Bali to Madrid to London and or Paris, extreme Islamist violence has struck peaceful cities with sudden gunfire or explosions and the killing of innocents. Not that the United States is immune - the Fort Hood shootings and the Boston Marathon bombing are notable domestic incidents that involved assailants identifying with al Qaeda in one way or another. But after each attack, the same questions get asked. A few weeks ago, the question was, "Why France? Why not the United States?"

As authorities in France continue to piece together events that led up to the Charlie Hebdo attack and to hunt for other Islamic extremists, it's important to note that there are significant differences between American and French society. The horrific and tragic assault on the satirical newspaper and a supermarket serving the Jewish community occurred in a specifically French context of racial and religious tensions.

From a certain perspective, France and the other Western European countries are marvels of successful social democracy in ways that American liberals can only dream about: excellent schools, public transportation and infrastructure; universal healthcare that has been a fact for generations; even troubled economies are buttressed by still resilient welfare states. There's little of the street crime that plagues many American cities.

Comment: Also see:


Could whatever Israeli soldiers witnessed be damaging for the soul? IDF suicides double

The Israeli army is worried over an increase in the number of soldiers taking their own lives. The number doubled last year. Our Middle East correspondent Paula Slier examines why.


The drama of the gifted child whose mother was Alice Miller: The loop of intergenerational abuse

Outwardly, Alice Miller stood for the empathetic and non-violent education of children, thereby becoming a star of pedagogy. Her own son came to know a very different woman. The book, which he now has written at the age of 63, is not an accusation. But rather the attempt to understand deeply ingrained traumas.
Alice Miller
© Courtesy of the Miller family
Alice Miller, in the late 1970s.
Zurich, April 1950. A child, who just has come into the world, won't breastfeed. The newborn had "refused" her breast, the mother later complains, she had felt rejected, her feelings had been hurt by her own child. Shortly after his birth, the parents gave their son away. For two weeks, he lived with a female acquaintance, who was skilled at child care. Finally, an aunt takes pity on him and accommodates him for half a year.

When the son is six, a daughter is born, a child with down syndrome. The horrified mother accuses the father of having concealed genetic risks in the family.

The son, the troublesome bed-wetter, is taken to an asylum for children. There, on the peninsula Au by Lake Zurich, hardly 30 kilometers away from home, his parents do not visit him a single time. Even on his first day of school, the mother stays away. Back in his parents' house, the eight year old feels like a stranger because his parents talk Polish among themselves, which he does not understand. The son is beaten by his father and coerced into compulsive washing rituals, which he perceives as sexual assaults. In every nanny, whom the son comes to trust, the mother scents a rival and dismisses her. When he is seventeen, the adolescent pushes through that he can go to a boarding school. Although things are regimented and catholic there, it is for him a recovery from the parental madhouse.

Comment: You can read Barbara Roger's review of Martin Miller's book here.

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Over 1 in 5 US children on food stamps & living in poverty

Poor Children
© Reuters/Shannon Stapleton
Over 20 percent of US children ‒ an estimated 16 million youths ‒ are on food stamps, according to the latest government figures. That number has almost doubled since the Great Recession began in 2007. Nearly a quarter are living below the poverty line.

More than one in five of the country's 73.7 million children now receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits ‒ better known as food stamps ‒ the US Census Bureau announced Wednesday in its annual Families and Living Arrangements table package. Before the economic downturn in December 2007, only one in eight kids ‒ 9 million ‒ were on food stamps.

The US child poverty rate ‒ the percent of children living in households with incomes below 50 percent of the national median income ‒ is 23.1 percent. Only Romania is higher, at 23.6 percent, according to a 2013 UNICEF report.

Police state stupidity: New Jersey cops shut down teens' snow shoveling business

snow pile
© Lisa Jacobs/Flickr
Apparently the world isn't like it was when I was a kid, no more Kool-Aid stands, no more doing yard work for cash, no more shoveling snow, as the government now has their hands in everything, regulating all aspects of our lives.

When I was a kid I remember passing out fliers to do yard work which would earn me in the range of $15-$20 a yard, raking leaves or mowing.

I also remember setting up a Kool-Aid stand on the street corner at the age of 8, garnering the attention from neighbors willing to pay a dollar for each glass.

However those days are over.

During the recent snow storm school was closed and a few high school seniors were eager to make some extra cash by helping out their neighbors. But moments into their venture they were shutdown by local cops.

Comment: The Madness Continues in the US Police State: Cops Shut Down Lemonade Stands, Girl Scout Cookie Stands and Amish Farmers Selling Milk


Missouri police officer known to drug, rape women keeps his license

Steven Blakeney
A Pine Lawn cop with nearly a decade of complaints, police reports, warrant filings, and testimonies against him, isn't facing any charges and gets to maintain his license as a police officer.

Steven Blakeney was the commander of the entire Pine Lawn department up until November of last year when he was placed on suspension and finally fired in December. It took complaints from a myriad of women, claiming that they had been beaten, drugged and forcibly raped, before the department finally fired him.

However, he was only fired, Blakeney is not facing any charges and he could be hired on at another department tomorrow.

Blakeney's sordid history dates back to his time as a bar manager in 2006. FOX 2 News obtained copies of police reports which exposed the many allegations of Blakeney drugging and raping women.

According to FOX 2,
Several women wrote police statements. One described waking up and feeling like she'd been sexually assaulted. She told police she "saw Blakeney in bed on top of (her friend) who believed that Blakeney had drugged (her friend) and had sex with (her) while (she) was passed out."

Blakeney's old boss at Hrabosky's told police, "It is well known in the bar industry that Blakeney had drugged and raped many other girls."

The report says "Blakeney did not deny sexual misconduct" and towards the end of the police interview, Blakeney admitted he lied about several things saying "I just think the cards are stacked against me." The report also quotes him saying "I'm not going to own up to this. I'll spend five years in jail."
Despite the overwhelming amount of information painting Blakeney as sadist who drugged and raped "many girls," the St. Charles County Prosecutor back then, Jack Banas, did not press charges.

Comment: According to Anna Salter, Ph.D., an expert in sexual predation and of author of the best-selling book, Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders, Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children, vulturous, exploitive human beings seek positions of power in society where they can operate undetected for years. The positions of authority they seek make it easy for them to find their victims. Listen to the SOTT editors interview with Dr. Salter below. Knowledge protects!

SOTT Talk Radio: Predators Among Us - Interview With Dr. Anna Salter

Heart - Black

Parents who fatally drugged children and then themselves feared Apocalypse

The parents of a Utah family found dead in a locked bedroom at their home last year often discussed religiously-held notions of the apocalypse and orchestrated a multi-drug familicide using methadone and over-the-counter cold medication, police said on Tuesday.

The bodies of Benjamin and Kristi Strack and three of their children aged 11 to 14 were discovered by the Stracks' lone surviving child and his grandmother on Sept. 27 in Springville, about 45 miles south of Salt Lake City.

"It was a fairly common theme for the parents to talk about, the apocalypse, the end of days, final judgment," said Springville Police Department detective Greg Turnbow, the lead officer on the case.

"Their surviving son, when he was interviewed, indicated that his mother had made comments that if things got bad enough she would much rather take herself and her family out in a comfortable way, rather than a painful way."
Life Preserver

One in three people on disability have a mental disorder; 42.9% in Washington D.C.

One in three, or 35.2 percent, of people getting federal disability insurance benefits have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, according to the latest data from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Washington, D.C., the seat of the federal government, ranked in the top-ten list of states where disabled beneficiaries were diagnosed with mental problems.

In 2013, the latest data from SSA show there were 10,228,364 disabled beneficiaries, up 139,625 from 2012 when there were 10,088,739 disabled beneficiaries.

Disabled beneficiaries have increased 49.7 percent from a decade ago in 2003 when there were 6,830,714 beneficiaries; and the number is up 14.3 percent from the 8,945,376 beneficiaries in 2009, the year President Obama took office.
The largest "diagnostic group" for disabled beneficiaries was a mental disorder. Of the 10,228,364 disabled people receiving federal disability benefits in December 2013, according to the report, 3,599,417, or 35.2 percent, were diagnosed with a mental disorder.

"Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue" problems accounted for the second largest group of disabled beneficiaries. Of the 10,228,364 disabled people receiving federal disability benefits in December 2013, 2,829,808, or 27.7 percent, had been diagnosed with a musculoskeletal problem.

In Washington, D.C., according to the report, 42.9 percent of disabled beneficiaries as of December 2013 had been diagnosed with a mental disorder. Massachusetts and New Hampshire led the nation in this metric with 49.9 percent of disabled beneficiaries diagnosed with a mental disorder.

Comment: Mainstream psychiatry and psychology are guilty of 'pathologizing' normal behavior. These people might just be having a normal reaction to living in our sick society.


Snakes in Suits

Former Fox News employee bullied by management kills himself in front of the company's building

© Reuters / Lucas Jackson
A man shot himself in the chest outside the News Corporation building in midtown Manhattan. The former employee of the company had been protesting Fox News before he killed himself, according to reports.

The man, identified as Phillip Perea, was handing out fliers, saying his former employer had "ended my career" and that the news channel had ruined his life, a police official told the Wall Street Journal. The 41-year-old had previously worked at a Fox News affiliate in Austin, Texas. The Journal, also owned by News Corp., is in the same building.
A sad shooting outside my office this am: Former Fox Employee Shoots Himself Outside News Corp Building via @WSJNY

- Leslie Brody (@lesliebrody) January 26, 2015
Security guards asked the man to leave and when they turned around to walk back inside, they heard a gunshot, a source told the New York Post.
Unconfirmed but word is someone handed security guard a note then went outside and shot himself in front of my Fox News office. Unconfirmed.

- Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) January 26, 2015
A suicide note was found in Parea's pocket and a small-caliber pistol was next to him, police said.


Teen using gun to intimidate boyfriend accidentally shoots and kills him

Lety Hernandez
A Florida teen was charged with manslaughter after pressing a gun she believed was unloaded against her boyfriend's head and pulling the trigger.

Lety Hernandez had pulled the magazine from the handgun and used the weapon to intimidate her boyfriend, Fredi Hernandez, during an argument Dec. 30 over a Xanax pill he had taken.

A friend who was at the West Palm Beach home said 19-year-old Fredi Hernandez was laughing when his girlfriend questioned him at gunpoint. The witness said Lety Hernandez seemed surprised when the gun fired because she screamed and immediately dropped the weapon.

Investigators said the 17-year-old tried to cover up her role in the shooting by placing the gun in her dying boyfriend's hand and telling police she did not know what happened.

The witness later admitted to police that he helped stage the crime scene as a possible suicide because he did not want Lety Hernandez to go to jail because she was pregnant with the victim's child.

Lety Hernandez later confessed to the shooting, prosecutors said. Prosecutors charged Lety Hernandez with manslaughter, and she remains held on $25,000 bond.

Watch this video report posted online by WPBF-TV: