Society's Child


Descent into fascism: Marine Le Pen's far-right Front National makes political gains in France after Paris attacks

© Michel Spingler/AP
Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National, at a campaign rally in Lille for this Sunday’s regional elections.
Far-right party poised to win two regions for first time as it reaps electoral advantage from France's fear of Islamists and migrants

Looking out across hundreds of flag-waving supporters at a rally in the northern city of Lille, the far-right leader Marine Le Pen told the crowd that the Front National was the only party that could reassure France in this moment of "infinite sadness".

The deaths of 130 people in the Paris terrorist attacks were, she claimed, the result of government inaction, lies, and, above all, its "crazy, undiscerning immigration policy". The Socialist president, François Hollande, who had declared war on terrorism, was "a war chief who hasn't even got the measure of the enemy!" she boomed. Only 10 months after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a Paris kosher supermarket left 17 dead, the government had failed to protect French people from another attack and was "more than just responsible" she cried.

The crowd stamped their feet and roared support, chanting "Hollande resign! Hollande resign!"

The political fallout from the Paris terror attacks looks likely to shake France's Socialist government this Sunday when the country votes in the first round of key regional elections. Even though Hollande has seen his popularity rise since the attacks, this has not helped his wider party and its candidates. Instead, it is Le Pen's Front National that stands to make the most gains at the ballot box.

2 + 2 = 4

How poor single moms survive

Welfare reform has driven many low-income parents to depend more heavily on family and friends for food, childcare, and cash.

Pity the married working mom, who barely has time to do the dishes or go for a run at night, much less spend a nice evening playing Boggle with her husband and kids.

But if married working parents are struggling with time management these days, imagine the struggles of low-income single parents. Single-parent households (which by and large are headed by women) have more than tripled as a share of American households since 1960. Now, 35 percent of children live in single-parent households.



After mom calls 911 for mental help with her son, cops come and taser him to death - while he's restrained

Coweta County, GA — American police have once against demonstrated that their agenda is not to protect and serve, but to dominate and control by any means necessary. On November 20th, sheriff deputies in Coweta County, Georgia were summoned to help subdue a man having a psychotic breakdown and ended up tasing him to death.

Thirty-two-year-old Chase Sherman, together with his fiancée, Patti Galloway and his parents, Kevin and Mary Ann Sherman, were returning from a vacation. During a layover at the Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta, Chase started having hallucinations and acting agitated. According to his father, he "got nervous ... about planes crashing, and he just didn't feel comfortable on a plane. ... He thought nobody recognized him. I said, 'Chase, we're fine. We're going to get a car and drive home.' He didn't know where he was at." So they rented a car to drive the rest of the way to their home in Florida.

Chase's fiancée told his parents that he may have smoked "Spice"—also known as "synthetic marijuana"—before they had left on the five-day trip, which may have been the cause of the episode.

Comment: Another senseless murder at the hands of cops who are being trained to use lethal force under all too many circumstances. And then claim they had to defend themselves. Where have we heard that before? The viscousness has become institutionalized on a national level.

See also:

What happens when two cops expose the militarization and corruption of their Department


San Jose State becomes first California State University to pass student government BDS resolution

The following press release was issued by Students for Justice in Palestine at San Jose State University:

© Students for Justice in Palestine via SJSU Facebook page
San Jose State University Students Pass Resolution to Divest from Corporations that profit from the Israeli Occupation.

On Wednesday November 18, 2015, San Jose State University became the first California State University to pass a student government resolution to divest from companies complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This was achieved in a 10-5-0 vote (10 yes, 5 no, 0 abstained)

During the hearing, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Black Student Union, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan), and other student organizations stood in solidarity with the black students of the University of Missouri by raising their fists during the pledge of allegiance.

The Associated Students resolution calls on the Board of Directors of the Tower Foundation to remove San Jose State University's holdings from four companies that play an active role in the human rights violations committed by the Israeli Government in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This resolution is endorsed by 28 organizations the vast majority of which are student organizations of diverse backgrounds. The first corporation mentioned in the resolution, Caterpillar, is responsible for supplying Israel with D9 bulldozers which are used by the governing regime to demolish Palestinian homes and violate human in rights in the occupied Palestinian Territories.

The second corporation mentioned in the resolution, Motorola Solutions, services "MotoEagle Surveillance System" which is used by Israel to control Palestinian movement in vast "special security zones" which surround Illegal Israeli settlements. Israel bans Palestinians from entering these areas, even if they are owned by Palestinians, which in effect, confiscates land from Palestinians. Israel has implemented this system in over 20 illegal Israeli settlements, and has implemented this system at the illegal separation wall.

Comment: Bravo San Jose State!

See also: Student government at University of California - Davis passes vote to boycott Israel

Chart Pie

Study shows the cruel values of the super rich and their desire to destroy the public's economic safety net

© jumpingsack/
Researchers trace the super rich's biases and political values.

The richest Americans increasingly are taking over the levers of power and shaping the political debate, despite opposing views held by a majority of Americans, a new and unprecedented academic study of the top 1 percent has confirmed.

The super-rich are more politically active than average Americans, financing and contacting elected officials and knowing many on a first-name basis. Their agenda, which is often cited by public officials across the country, emphasizes private profit-making and is skeptical of almost every public program to address economic inequality, the study by Chicago-based university researchers found. The top 1 percent's social agenda, while "more liberal than others on religious and moral issues, including abortion, gay rights, and prayer in school," is still "much more conservative than the non-affluent on issues of taxes, economic regulation, and social welfare," the researchers found.

Comment: The super-rich, whether they have become wealthy by legal or illegal means, are quite out of touch with the struggles and hardships of everyday working class people. And this may be understating things quite a bit! They are simply so short-sited that they cannot see how connected they are to everyone else. But there well may be a day when these attitudes come back to bite them in a very big way.

See also: and


FBI accessed personal web history, location data without warrant - court docs

© Pawel Kopczynski / Reuters / RT
A document released by the courts over the FBI's use of National Security Letters (NSLs) and gag orders show the agency used secret interpretations of the Patriot Act to demand extensive access to sensitive web history and location data - without a warrant.

"For more than a decade, the FBI has been demanding extremely sensitive personal information about private citizens just by issuing letters to online companies like mine," Nicholas Merrill, former owner of Calyx Internet Access and a plaintiff in the case, said in a statement. The document released on Monday, in which the agency had demanded access to user data, was sent to Merrill by the FBI over a decade ago.


Prison officials file lawsuits against inmates with over 10K in assets

With the ability to read their mail and record their phone conversations, state prisons have increasingly been filing lawsuits against inmates with over $10,000 in assets. In cases of blatant retaliation, prison officials have also been targeting inmates who won civil suits against the departments for prison beatings and denying medication.

In 1846, Michigan introduced the first correctional fee law authorizing counties to charge prisoners for the cost of medical care. According to a report released earlier this year from the Brennan Center for Justice, at least 35 states are currently authorized to charge inmates for medical treatment. And at least 43 states allow officials to charge prisoners for the cost of their own imprisonment.

While incarcerated on a drug conviction, Johnny Melton received a $31,690 settlement over the wrongful death of his mother. After learning of the settlement, the Illinois Department of Corrections sued Melton and won nearly $20,000 to cover the cost of his "care, custody, treatment or rehabilitation" during his 14 months served at the state's Logan Correctional Center.

Comment: 'Pay to stay': U.S. inmates charged per night to stay in jail

Apple Red

Mexico wants to boost agricultural exports to Russia following Turkey ban

© Sputnik/ Alexandr Kryazhev
Mexico intends to increase its exports of agricultural products to Russia, the Mexican envoy to Moscow told Sputnik Tuesday.

The comments come as new niches for food suppliers emerged in the Russian market after earlier in the day the Russian government banned the import of a range of fruit and vegetables as well as chicken and chicken products from Turkey, effective from January 1, 2016.

"We've always wanted to increase our trade, it is not a short-term aim and is not dependent on the political situation at the moment," Ruben Beltran said.

Beltran added that Mexico expects Russia's agricultural watchdog to clear the way for its agricultural products.

Comment: Nice move Mexico!


Dirty cops didn't know this camera caught them deleting video of the murder of Laquan McDonald

Accused of deleting the surveillance video of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald's death, several officers appeared in recently released screenshots tampering with Burger King's computers before the footage mysteriously disappeared. Although 86 minutes of the surveillance video have gone missing, including the moment that McDonald was gunned down, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez claims no one tampered with the footage.

Surrounded by officers and suspected of breaking into cars on October 20, 2014, Laquan McDonald, 17, was attempting to walk away from a group of Chicago cops when Officer Jason Van Dyke exited his patrol car. According to initial reports, McDonald was armed with a knife and lunged at Officer Van Dyke. Fearing for his life and the lives of his fellow officers, Van Dyke shot the teen in the chest out of self-defense.

But according to witness statements and police dashcam video, McDonald was walking away when Van Dyke opened fire. After McDonald had collapsed to the ground in a near-fetal position, Van Dyke continued firing his weapon until emptying his clip. As Van Dyke began reloading his gun, a fellow officer had to order him to cease firing at the dying teen.

Comment: From the video above it's clear that Laquan McDonald was walking away from Van Dyke and posed no threat at the time. So with no real threat, Van Dyke still empties his entire clip into McDonald, killing him. And then Van Dyke and his fellow officers try to cover up the murder. These acts of carnage have now become standard operating procedure for US cops.


White House tightens visa waiver program and appoints new 'ISIL adviser'

© Brendan McDermid / Reuters
The Obama administration has announced stricter regulations for 20 million travelers from countries in its visa waiver program, and also appointed a new adviser to deal with Islamic State militants to bolster security following the terror attacks in Paris.

Citizens of the 38 nations participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) will now be screened for past travel to countries the US considers terrorist safe havens, the White House has said.

The US government will also move up the deadline for all VWP travelers to begin using passports with embedded security chips and seek to establish customs checkpoints in seven VWP countries, where passengers and their baggage could be inspected before entering the US.

Comment: Who Is Rob Malley?
Malley was appointed in October 1998 by then-President Bill Clinton to help oversee Arab-Israeli talks. He was later attacked by some pro-Israel critics for saying that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was not solely to blame for the failure of the 2000 Camp David talks hosted by Clinton.

Before returning to the White House to work with the Obama administration, Malley directed the Middle East Program at the International Crisis Group in New York between 2001 and 2014. He was criticized while at the think tank for meeting multiple times with Hamas officials.

Earlier this month, Malley conceded that the administration would not work toward a Palestine-Israel settlement during the remainder of Obama's term. He said that for the first time in two decades, an American administration "faces the reality" that a solution to the intractable conflict "is not in the cards."