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Family

The number of U.S. children living in poverty this Christmas at record high

© Theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Did you know that 65 percent of all children in the United States live in a home that receives aid from the federal government? We live at a time when child poverty in America is exploding. Yes, the U.S. economy is experiencing a temporary bubble of false stability for the moment, but even during this period of false stability the gap between the wealthy and the poor continues to rapidly expand and the middle class is being systematically destroyed. And sadly, this is having a disproportionate impact on children. This is happening for a couple of reasons. First of all, poorer households tend to have more children than wealthier households. Secondly, most people tend to have children when they are in their young adult years, and right now young adults are being absolutely hammered by this economy. As a result, things just continue to get even worse for children living in this country. Here are 14 facts that show that the number of children in America living in poverty this Christmas is at an all-time record high...

#1 The National Center for Children in Poverty says that 45 percent of all U.S. children belong to low income families.

#2 According to a Census Bureau report that was released just this week, 65 percent of all children in America are living in a home that receives some form of aid from the federal government...
"Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of children," said the Census Bureau, "lived in households that participated in at least one or more of the following government aid programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Medicaid, and the National School Lunch Program."
#3 According to a report recently released by UNICEF, almost one-third of all children in this country "live in households with an income below 60 percent of the national median income".

#4 When it comes to child poverty, the United States ranks 36th out of the 41 "wealthy nations" that UNICEF looked at.

#5 An astounding 45 percent of all African-American children in America live in areas of "concentrated poverty".

Comment: UNICEF declares 2014 a devastating year for children due to global conflicts and disease

Piggy Bank

Hidden fees fund college athletic programs on the backs of entire student body

student debt
© Matson
Parents, government officials, and tuition-paying students are all seeking solutions to the skyrocketing costs of higher education and the burden of student debt.

Currently, public universities in America are funded in a number of ways: government subsidies, research grants, donations, sponsorships, and, of course, tuition and fee payments. When debating cost-cutting measures, many propose lowering tuition. Typically, ancillary costs - such as the amount of fees students must pay on top of tuition - are ignored.

But according to the Center for College Affordability and Productivity these fees are increasing at rate 13% higher than tuition.

Often the breakdown of these fees (which, at public institutions, can run, on average, an extra $2,000-5,000 per year), is not specific or transparent to the student. Factor in future interest payments for students who are using loans to pay for college, and the costs of these fees to the student can be much higher.

What do these fees fund? Generally, they're allocated to eight specific areas: health services, student social centers, debt service on student administration and social centers (such as a student union), student government and publications, recreation, cultural programs, and intercollegiate athletics.

By far, the largest student fee is the last - the intercollegiate athletic fee - which can be upwards of 80% of the total fee amount at many institutions not in Power Five conferences.

Comment: This is a question that all parents and students who are planning for a college education need to ask. Student debt has financially crippled many households and many people are still paying these loans even into their senior years. All of these students are forced into subsidizing the generally unlikely possibility of professional careers for a few athletes.

One other issue to consider is how athletic programs may foster a culture of aggression on high school and college campuses. Incidents such as rape are becoming increasingly common and in many cases are excused when they involve athletes.

Better Earth

Chinese newborn flushed down toilet - rescued ALIVE from sewer

Newborn baby in sewer

A flushed newborn's cries could be heard coming from the sewer by passerby's.
A newborn baby has survived being flushed down a toilet by his mother shortly after she gave birth in north-west China. A passerby heard the little boy's cries from a sewer in Suide County, in Shaanxi Province, and called emergency services who found him lying in a pool of filthy water.The boy, nicknamed Xiaoxiao, meaning 'teeny tiny', survived the ordeal with just a few scratches, and is now recovering in hospital while police attempt to find his mother.


Comment: Unfortunately, this isn't the first case of newborn baby being flushed down a toilet in China.

Eye 1

Berkeley protests: Undercover police officer pulls gun after being caught infiltrating group and instigating looting and violence

© Michael Short/SF Chronicle
One of last nights undercovers pointing his gun directly at freelance photographer Michael Short
Plainclothes California highway patrol officers have walked among demonstrators for weeks, report stated

An undercover California highway patrol officer who had infiltrated protests against police violence in Oakland pulled a gun on demonstrators after his and his partner's cover was blown.


According to accounts in the San Francisco Chronicle and the Berkeley Daily Planet, a few dozen protesters remaining from larger demonstrations yelled that two men in plainclothes were police.

"Just as we turned up 27th Street, the crowd started yelling at these two guys, saying they were undercover cops," the Chronicle's freelance photographer Michael Short told the newspaper on Thursday.


Comment: As these Twitter reports show, these very same cops were the ones instigating for violence and looting among the protesters:






Comment: This is nothing new. Police have been infiltrating peaceful protests for years and instigated violence and looting. But with the atmosphere already heated of late and people very angry at police, it's no surprise they were attacked when discovered. It's also not surprising that the California Highway Patrol, whom the undercover officers worked for, told reporters in a conference call that the officers "followed procedure", that he "pulled his badge" and identified himself, and that the officer "didn't target a person's head". That last statement is totally false just based on a few of the pictures taken of the incident.

Pistol

Shooting reported at Portland, Oregon high school

© Google Maps
A shooting at a Portland, Oregon high school on Friday has left at least three people injured, according to the Associated Press.

Portland's KPTV-News reported on Friday afternoon that at least two people were shot by a gunman or gunmen outside the city's Rosemary Anderson High School. A third victim was also taken to an area hospital, the Fox affiliate reported, citing a Portland fire official. It's not clear if he was shot as well.

Despite initial reports, police say the shooting did not take place inside of the school, but rather just outside on Killingsworth Court, according to KOIN 6. Police also believe the shooting may be gang-related.

All three victims were breathing and conscious when they were transported to the hospital. Although these three were injured, they were able to run into the school while emergency teams arrived at the scene.

Comment: Read the following book by Joe Quinn and Niall Bradley to learn more about increasing insanity in the US:
Manufactured Terror: The Boston Marathon Bombings, Sandy Hook, Aurora Shooting and Other False Flag Terror Attacks
In this SOTT.net anthology, Joe Quinn and Niall Bradley cover the biggest mass shootings and terror attacks in recent memory: from the Fort Hood, Sandy Hook, Washington Navy Yard and Aurora theater shootings to the Boston Marathon bombing and Toulouse attacks. Included are original, on-the-spot reports and subsequent analyses showing the contradictions and distortions in the official accounts. After looking at all the evidence, it's clear we have not been told the truth about these attacks. From eyewitness reports of multiple shooters to intelligence-agency connections, the major attacks in recent years show all the hallmarks of manufactured terror.


Pistol

School violence continues: 3 shot near high school in Portland, Oregon, police say

© Maxine Bernstein/The Oregonian
Portland Police Chief Mike Reese and Mayor Charlie Hales stand on peace mural on North Killingsworth Court and North Borthwick as police investigate shooting outside Rosemary Anderson High School.
Three people were shot Friday afternoon near a high school in Portland, Oregon, Lt. Rich Tyler of the Portland Fire Department said.

Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said three student-age people, two males and a female, were shot near the Rosemary Anderson High School campus and ran inside a school building after being shot, reported CNN affiliate KOIN.

The victims were breathing and conscious as they were transported to a hospital, according to the police. Their condition was not immediately available.

Police said the shooter left the scene. No arrests were reported in the immediate aftermath.

Nearby Jefferson High School and Portland Community College were put on lockdown, authorities said.

Another school shooting occurred June 10 at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, about 12 miles east of Portland. One person was killed
© Google Maps
Gold Seal

Six released Guantanamo detainees 'happy to be' in Uruguay

© Reuters / Andres Stapff
Former Guantanamo detainees Ahmed Adnan Ahjam (C) and Omar Mahmoud Faraj (L) from Syria walk alongside an unidentified police officer (R) in a neighbourhood in Montevideo December 12.
Six former US detainees, who have never been charged, are beginning their new life as refugees in Uruguay. They arrived on Sunday and have given their first comments to the press to say they are happy to be there.

The six include four Syrians, a Palestinian and a Tunisian.

Although they were cleared for release in 2009, the US was not able to discharge them until Uruguayan President Jose Mujica offered to take them.

One of the Syrians, 32 year old Ali al-Shaaban, has been held for more than a decade in the Guantanamo prison in Cuba, after he was arrested in Pakistan following the 9/11 attacks.

"We are happy to be here," he has told the Guardian by phone in his first interview since arriving in Uruguay.

Comment: Finally some human decency! Is this too little too late or just the beginning?

Sheriff

What the end of racial profiling looks like...

skin color sign
© www.weedist.com
Why do common folk have to educate law enforcement?
It was 11 years ago when we first argued that constitutional protections can be balanced against national security interests, and that racial profiling is bad policing practice because it's ineffective and hurts law enforcement's legitimacy in communities. Sadly, racial profiling is used in 2014 as much as it was in 2003, and too often with deadly consequences. The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner reminded those who don't experience racial profiling that many police in America still regularly treat African Americans differently than white people.

So while we - and others - applaud US attorney general Eric Holder's plan to update the federal government's racial profiling guideline, the new rules announced this week won't do nearly enough to end pervasive, race-based policing practices.

The biggest problem is that the federal profiling guidelines don't address the profiling actions of local law enforcement: they only apply to federal law enforcement agencies and local officials working with them on federal projects. The new guidelines are merely supposed to inspire local police to design their own - but local police departments pride themselves on their autonomy and aren't interested in the federal government telling them how to operate.


Comment: Why do Americans still invest their faith and free will in systems that are obviously to their detriment no matter what their color, race or gender? When police are mandated to quotas in order to keep their jobs or qualify for promotions - it means the police departments are holding their officers hostage, who then look for easy targets. It is no longer law enforcement by the book, it is by the numbers.

Officers are encouraged to disregard rights, instigate fear tactics, break the law, and use brutality to harass innocent victims as part of a "hush policy" endorsed by law enforcement hierarchy, ever-widening the gap and blurring the lines between those they are obligated "to protect" and the pathocracy they serve. When did the the people make law enforcement their unrestrained overlords and prison masters? Did they not notice the insidious encroachment of a totalitarian regime?

Procedural justice and racial bias training sounds like a nice remedy. It is a fix that can't. The racial protocol is now systemic in departments all over the country, observable by the skyrocketing increase in racial profiling, innocent deaths caused by police officers, and daily abuse without provocation. And, understandably, the reaction of the common people is mounting. But, how do you put the cat back in the bag once it has usurped power it was never meant to have? When it becomes "us versus them" we have lost an important fundamental basis in the ability to function as a united and healthy society. These abuses of power that lead to the deaths of innocent persons must end and those who perpetrate these atrocities must be held accountable in a court of REAL law and justice. If not, we are all victims of a system in which we have good reason to no longer trust or believe.

Airplane

Flights disrupted again after computer failure at UK control centre

Swanwick air traffic control centre

Swanwick air traffic control centre
Passengers are facing widespread flight disruption after a computer failure at the UK's air traffic control centre.

Nats said it was in the process of returning to normal operations after a "technical problem" at its Swanwick control centre caused delays and grounded some flights.

Problems were reported around the UK.

The government said the scale of the disruption was "unacceptable" and said it had asked for a "full explanation" of what had gone wrong.

This included delays at Heathrow and Gatwick, where departing flights were grounded for a time. Other UK airports reported knock-on effects.

It comes a year after a telephone glitch at the Hampshire control room caused huge disruption - one of a number of technical hitches to hit the part-privatised Nation Air Traffic Services since the centre opened in 2002.

Reported problems around the country include:
  • Heathrow: Fifty flights cancelled. Others delayed but planes now landing and taking off
  • Gatwick: Flights are now departing but still subject to delays
  • Stansted: Flights still landing, no flights departing
  • London City: Cancellations and delays
  • Luton: All flights experiencing delays
  • Bristol: Limited departures reported
  • Luton: All flights experiencing delays but planes now leaving
  • Edinburgh: No queues but passengers being advised to check with their airlines
  • Glasgow: Some delays to departures
  • Southampton: Experiencing ''problems''
  • Oxford: Experiencing "some delays", mainly to services arriving from overseas
  • Leeds Bradford: All flights out and most flights in suspended until 1900
  • Birmingham: Some departures are being re-routed to avoid flying through London airspace
  • East Midlands: Departures and arrivals delayed but passengers advised to turn up as normal

Comment: Is this some sot of 'message' to UK?

Attention

Psychopathic values: Princeton mom: Getting raped is just part of the college learning experience

© Rawstory
Susan Patton
Author Susan Patton, who is better known as the "Princeton Mom," told CNN on Tuesday that the modern definition of rape was meaningless because women could usually just "get up and leave" if they didn't want to be assaulted.


Comment: That's a sloppy generalization and not objectively true. All women who are raped cannot get up and leave.


"What makes this so particularly prickly is the definition of rape," Patton opined to CNN host Carol Costello. "It no longer is when a woman is violated at the point of a gun or a knife. We're now talking about or identifying as rape what really is clumsy hook-up melodrama or a fumbled attempt at a kiss or a caress."


Comment: That's completely ridiculous. Why is it the woman's fault?


"This is with a friend, this is in your own home."

Costello, however, pointed out that most rapes occurred between people who already knew each other.

"It makes one wonder, why do you not just get up and leave?" Patton asked. "Or why do you not as a woman tell a man who's making advances that, 'You know what, stop, leave.'"

The guest said that she had talked to victims of sexual assault, but didn't always find their stories convincing.

"There's rape, and then there's rape," she quipped. "I believe that she experienced something that she regretted. I believe that she got very drunk, and had sex with a man that she regretted the next morning. To me, that's not a crime. That's not rape. That's a learning experience."

Throughout the interview, Patton insisted that she was "not blaming victims."


Comment: Yes, she is blaming the victim based on assumptions. How does she know she just experienced something she regretted? People who are incapacitated by alcohol are not capable of driving, much less making decisions about having sex. She is blatantly blaming the victim.

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