Society's Child


Common Core stance gets mom suspended from her child's school - threatened with arrest‏

A school in Sacramento, California, has suspended a mom over her stance against Common Core.

You read that correctly, the Mark Twain School in Sacramento has told the mother of a 12-year-old student that she has been suspended for two weeks. Police in Sacramento served the 14-day suspension to Katherine Duran in her home following a disagreement with the school over the soon-to-be enacted Common Core standards.

2 + 2 = 4

Extraordinary violence in Philadelphia high school - 'it's our new normal'

© Twitter
Bartram staffer Alphonso Stevenson was knocked unconscious by a student at the school on March 21. This image was posted on Twitter that day.
Trouble persists at Bartram High.

A brawl erupted in the school cafeteria this week, with teenagers punching and stomping on one another and on school police. Students set off firecrackers inside the building. And the student who last month knocked a staffer unconscious was back in the halls of the Southwest Philadelphia school.

"It's normal for Bartram," said one teacher, insisting on anonymity. "It's our new normal."

Two weeks after "conflict resolution specialist" Alphonso Stevenson suffered a fractured skull and other injuries at the hands of a 17-year-old student, Philadelphia School District officials have sent a team to assess conditions inside the school, and added veteran troubleshooter Ozzie Wright as coprincipal. They have also reacted with dismay to what a spokesman called a "shocking" video of the cafeteria brawl.


'Austerity kills!' In dozens of Spanish cities, thousands stage anti-govt protests

© Reuters/Sergio Perez
A placard held by a protester is seen during a demonstration against European and Spanish austerity measures in Madrid April 3, 2014.
Thousands of people in dozens of Spanish cities have taken to the streets to voice their discontent with harsh government policies and the EU's plans for further austerity cuts which they claim are destroying their country.

The residents in over 50 Spanish cities, including the capital, Madrid, have taken part in the anti-government protests on Thursday, reported the local press.

The demonstrators were holding banners saying "Rise up European peoples" and "No social cuts, no pensions of misery."

Among those who rallied were also the employees of the local Coca-Cola factory in Spain, which is threatened with closure. "Don't drink Coca Cola" said their banners.

Light Sabers

Brussels police clash with austerity protesters using tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons

© Reuters/Francis Lenoir
Demonstrators clash with riot police officers during a European trade union protest against austerity measures, in central Brussels April 4, 2014.
Brussels police used tear gas and water cannon in clashes with protesters, as thousands gathered at a trade union rally against austerity. Violence in the area where many government offices are situated caused a lockdown at the US embassy.

Around 25,000 people, according to Brussels police spokeswoman, Ilse Van de Keere, marched against austerity and unemployment. They were faced with a heavy-handed police response.

Initially, the trade unions expected to see 40,000 demonstrators on the streets of Brussels.

Some demonstrators threw oranges and cobblestones at police. Violent clashes also took place near the US embassy.


Controlling the lens: The media war being fought over Ukraine between the Western bloc and Russia

© Unknown

Governments and major corporations control or, at least, try to manipulate public opinion and discursive processes through mass media communication. They also wage information wars through the use of mass media communication. Like other geopolitical events, this is the case concerning the Ukrainian anti-government protests and the proceeding February 2014 coup in Kiev. This information war is a contest where the international news networks and major newspapers act as armies, the weapons being used are the media, and the frontline is the interactive space known as the public sphere. Radio frequencies, air waves, satellite feeds, social media, cellular or mobile phone uploads, communication networks, and the internet are all part of the war.

What is an Information War?

Different technologies and modes of communication are used to enforce certain themes in the conflict. Language, selective words, particular expressions, specific pictures, multimedia presentations, and communication are all the ammunition for the war.

The aims of information warfare are to use discourse to influence populations across the world and to establish a total monopoly on the flow of information, the perceptions of audiences, and the discursive processes shaping the modern world. At its basis power and relationships are being realized through mass media communication.

Heart - Black

Sacramento dog torturer faces 16 years in prison

Robert Lee Brian of Sacramento, Calif., faces 16 years in prison for torturing and killing dogs after neighbors testified to the sickening abuse the man inflicted on his pets.

Brian, who has a long criminal history, was convicted by a jury Friday of felony animal cruelty, according to Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Hilary Bagley-Franzoia. During the week-long trial, Brian testified that he had chronically abused his pit bull terrier. Brian hurt and mistreated the animal, punching, hitting, and choking it, as well as denying it food and water.

The lawyer said the dog, called Bubba, is alive but lost vision in its right eye.

Bad Guys

An expat couple's nightmare: Cuenca residents are jailed then detained in the U.S. under a seldom used legal rule

© Unknown
The U.S. Federal District Court in Denver has been the focus of the Barretts' lives since August, 2013.
On the morning of August 8, 2013, Charles and Kathleen Barrett were preparing to leave Colorado for the return trip to Cuenca following the recent wedding of their daughter. Charles was leaving from the Denver airport while Kathleen was flying out of Grand Junction, where she had been visiting her mother. Both were heading to Miami where they would meet their sons for the flight back to Ecuador.

After Charles checked in at Denver Holiday Airport's American Airlines counter, he went to the gate an hour before his flight was scheduled to board.

Just as he settled into his seat in the waiting area he was surrounded by three men, one of whom showed his U.S. marshals badge. "You're not flying anywhere today," one of the marshals told him. "The judge wants to see you."


Fort Hood Shooter: Truck driver, dad, drummer - Portrait of unlikely mass killer emerges after attack

© Associated Press/Tamir Kalifa
Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, commanding general of III Corps and Fort Hood, speaks with the media outside of an entrance to the Fort Hood military base following a shooting that occurred inside, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Fort Hood, Texas
Spc. Ivan Lopez, who authorities say killed three others and himself Wednesday at Fort Hood in Texas, reportedly was grappling with depression and anxiety. Authorities hint at a precipitating on-base event.

Emerging information about Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, who killed three people and injured 16, some critically, at Fort Hood on Wednesday, paint a picture of a troubled, perhaps injured soldier who was seeking treatment for mental problems before his transfer two months ago to the Texas Army base.

The Iraq war veteran, who drove a truck for his unit, is at the center of an investigation into the third major attack by a service member on his own comrades in five years. When a Fort Hood police officer drew her gun to confront Lopez during a barrage that involved two buildings at the base, he turned his .45 caliber handgun on himself, officials say.

Military officials, the FBI, and civilian police are now delving into Lopez's past in search of a possible motive.


England to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes

© Alex Segre/Alamy
Smokers' choice: cigarettes on display in a shop.
Public health minister says review commissioned after decision was postponed last year makes compelling case for change

The government is to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes in England after a review of the evidence concluded that thousands fewer children would take up smoking if the packets were unbranded and less attractive.

The public health minister, Jane Ellison, told the House of Commons that the Chantler review, commissioned by the government after it postponed a decision on plain packs, "makes a compelling case that if standardised packaging were introduced, it would be very likely to have a positive impact on public health".

She said she would be introducing draft regulations "so it is crystal clear what we intend", and would announce the details shortly. There will still be a consultation, however, which some campaigners regretted as a cause of further delay.

Ellison said her particular concern was the take-up of smoking by children, and this was the issue Sir Cyril Chantler was asked to focus on in his review. Each day in the UK around 60 children start smoking, and many of those are likely to grow up with a nicotine addiction they find hard to break. If smoking take-up were reduced by 2%, 4,000 fewer children a year would develop the habit.

Ellison said the chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, had seen the report and backed the proposal to introduce plain packs within England's devolved health administration.

The government postponed a decision on plain packaging last summer, provoking a political storm when it emerged that a lobbying company run by David Cameron's election adviser Lynton Crosby had helped a major tobacco company with its marketing strategies.

Comment: When those in power make a concerted effort to push a certain view upon the people, it's a good bet that the opposite is actually true. In reality, the government doesn't want the populace to smoke because it fears citizens who can think for themselves.

The devious plan of anti-smoking campaigns to control people and stop them from using their brain


People hunters: Cops shoot another unarmed man in Albuquerque

© unknown
If you live in Albuquerque, it might be time to consider a move, because it sure seems like law enforcement there is hunting the citizenry.

The most recent law-enforcement-related shooting happened on Tuesday, when U.S. Marshals fired at a wanted man and shot him in the head.

That man, Gilberto Angelo Serrano, was pursued by a U.S. Marshals Service task force to be arrested for violating parole and other alleged crimes, including aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, child abuse and being a felon in possession of a firearm, reports