Society's Child
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Stormtrooper

US, New York: Video Leads to Brutality Probe of 4 NYPD Officers


Four New York City police officers have been stripped of their guns and badges after a video surfaced of them striking and kicking a suspect.

The internal affairs department is investigating, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday. The officers are on desk duty in the meantime, he said.

The shaky amateur footage was posted anonymously Saturday on the website WorldStarHipHop and titled "These Cops In The Bronx, NY Are Out Of Control!"
2 + 2 = 4

US, Michigan: School Suspends Cancer Survivor Teen Over Hair He Plans to Donate

© The Associated Press/The Flint Journal/Lathan Goumas
A Michigan teen who survived a bout with leukemia has been suspended from school over the length of his long hair, which he is planning to donate.

The Detroit News reports that 17-year-old J.T. Gaskins has been growing out his hair since last summer in order to donate it to the Locks of Love charity. Gaskins said he was inspired to make the donation after learning that the sister of a family friend was diagnosed with cancer.

Gaskins was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just a year old and has been in remission since he was seven. "I fought cancer my entire life. I'm going to keep fighting this," Gaskins told the Detroit News. "I'm not going to not give back just because my school says no."

The Madison Academy in Burton says Gaskins' suspension has more to do with the unkempt style of his hair, rather than its length. The school's student handbook requires that boys' hair be, "clean, neat, free of unnatural or distracting colors, off the collar, off the ears and out of the eyes."

Gaskins says Locks of Love requires a 10 inch ponytail for a donation and that his hair is currently only 2 ½ inches long.
Bizarro Earth

More Than 70 Die in Egyptian Soccer Pitch Invasion


Seventy-three people were killed and at least 1,000 injured on Wednesday after a soccer pitch invasion in the Egyptian city of Port Said, in what a deputy minister called the biggest disaster in the nation's soccer history.

Violence at football matches across north Africa has increased significantly since political unrest began sweeping the region more than a year ago, and one player described Wednesday's riot as "a war, not football."

Angry politicians and sports officials decried a lack of security at the match between Port Said team al-Masry and Al Ahli, one of Egypt's most successful clubs, and blamed the nation's leaders for allowing - or even causing - the tragedy.

Wednesday's trouble flared at the end of a match when al-Masry beat Al Ahli 3-1.

"This is unfortunate and deeply saddening. It is the biggest disaster in Egypt's soccer history," Deputy Health Minister Hesham Sheiha told state television.
Light Saber

US: How to Reverse the Corporate Coup d'Etat

"We've undergone a corporate coup d'etat in slow motion. And it's over. We've lost, and they've won." - Chris Hedges

A Conversation With Chris Hedges and Lawrence Lessig

On January 20, 2012, the two year anniversary of the Supreme Court's controversial ruling in Citizens United, occupiers gathered together to protest the influence that corporations have in politics.

In this video, journalist Chris Hedges and professor Lawrence Lessig, longtime critics of the corrupting influence of big money in our political system, discuss the goals of the protests - and the options that we, the people, have for real reform.

Attention

Child Abuse Costs US a Staggering $124 Billion

Depressed Child
© Dreamstime

The child abuse that takes place in one year in the United States will cost the nation $124 billion over the victims' lifetimes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The findings reveal the financial burden of child abuse is just as high or higher than that of costly health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes.

"No child should ever be the victim of abuse or neglect - nor do they have to be. The human and financial costs can be prevented through prevention of child maltreatment," said Linda C. Degutis, director of CDC′s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

In 2008, there were 1,740 confirmed cases of fatal child abuse, and 579,000 nonfatal cases of child maltreatment, which include physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and neglect, according to the report.

The cost of health care, child welfare and other services for each victim who survived their abuse will be $210,012 over the average victim's lifetime, which is higher than the lifetime cost of stroke ($159,846 per person) and Type 2 diabetes (between $181,000 and $253,000 per person). The costs of each death due to abuse are even higher, according to the report.
Black Cat

Stirring the Pot: Dutch Politician Calls For Ban on Dogs in Europe

Dog
© Sharia Awareness Action Network

A Dutch Muslim politician has called for a ban on dogs in The Hague, the third-largest city in the Netherlands.

Islamic legal tradition holds that dogs are "unclean" animals, and some say the call to ban them in Holland and elsewhere represents an attempted encroachment of Islamic Sharia law in Europe.

This latest canine controversy -- which the Dutch public has greeted with a mix of amusement and outrage -- follows dozens of other Muslim-vs-dog-related incidents in Europe. Critics say it reflects the growing assertiveness of Muslims in Europe as they attempt to impose Islamic legal and religious norms on European society.

The Dutch dustup erupted after Hasan Küçük, a Turkish-Dutch representative on The Hague city council for the Islam Democrats, vehemently opposed a proposal by the Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren) to make the city more dog friendly.

According to a January 28 report in the Amsterdam-based newspaper De Telegraaf, Küçük counter-argued that keeping dogs as pets is tantamount to animal abuse and he then called for the possession of dogs in The Hague to be criminalized.

According to its website, the Islam Democrats [ID] party is "founded on the Islamic principles of justice, equality and solidarity. ID is a bottom-up response to the large gap between the Muslim and immigrant communities and local politics...ID focuses on the political awareness within the Muslim and immigrant communities. Awareness about the need to organize, but also the need for mutual support."
V

US: What Really Happened at Occupy Oakland on Saturday January 28, a Firsthand Account

For the internet, here's a first-hand account of Occupy Oakland on 1/28/2012, because the news never tells the full story. I'll tell you about the street battle, the 300+ arrests, the vandalism, the flag burning, all in the context of my experience today. This is deeper than the headlines. No major news source can do that for you.

The stated goal for the day was to "move-in" to a large, abandoned, building to turn it into a social and political center. It is a long vacant convention center - the only people ever near there are the homeless who use the space outside the building as a bed. The building occupation also draws attention to the large number of abandoned and unused buildings in Oakland. The day started with a rally and a march to the proposed building. The police knew which building was the target, surrounded it, and used highly mobile units to try and divert the protest. After avoiding police lines, the group made it to one side of the building.

Now, this is a very large building, and we were on a road with construction fences on both sides, and a large ditch separating us from the cops. The police fired smoke grenades into the crowd as the group neared a small path around the ditch, towards the building. They declared an unlawful assembly, and this is when the crowd broke down the construction fence. A few people broke fences to escape the situation, others because they were pissed. A couple more fences were taken down then necessary, but no valuable equipment was destroyed. They only things broken were fences.

The crowd decided to continue moving, and walked up the block to a more regular street. We decided to turn left up the street, and a police line formed to stop the march. They again declared an unlawful assembly. The protesters challenged the line, marching towards the police with our own shields in front. The shields, some small and black and a few large metal sheets. The police fired tear-gas as the group approached, and shot less-than-lethal rounds at the crowd. The protesters returned one volley of firecrackers, small projectiles, and funny things like balloons. A very weak attack, 3 officers may have been hit by something but none of them got injured. Tear gas forced many people back. The protesters quickly regrouped, and pressed the line again. This time the police opened fire with flash-grenades, tear gas, paint-filled beanbag shotguns, and rubber bullets.

After the police fired heavily on the protesters, they pushed their line forward and made a few arrests. The protesters regrouped down the block and began to march the other way (followed by police), back to Oscar Grant Plaza.

All of this occurred during the day, but it was that street battle that set the tone for the police response later in the evening. After taking a break in Oscar Grant Plaza, feeding everyone and resting, the group headed out for their evening march. Around 5pm, the group took to the street at 14th and Broadway and began a First-amendment sanctioned march around the city. The police response was very aggressive.
Eye 2

France Slammed by Human Rights Watch Over Spot Checks

© IslamOnline.net
HRW said boys as young as 13 were arbitrarily stopped by police, questioned, frisked and even roughed up.
French police single out young black and Arab men for random street checks as part of a new policy to combat crime, a rights group said on Thursday, questioning the success of one of President Nicolas Sarkozy's main initiatives before elections in April.

Sarkozy, who made his reputation as a hardline interior minister, declared war on urban violence in 2010 after riots in the east city of Grenoble.

The government said last week crime had fallen in 2011 for the ninth straight year. But Interior Minister Claude Gueant has raised eyebrows with his right-wing stance on the issue since Sarkozy promoted him to his Cabinet a year ago.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report that French law allowed the police to carry out the checks without any evidence of a crime being committed or being officially registered.
Dollar

The Bush-era Tax Cuts are Good for Some Americans, Mainly Rich Investors

© politicsdaily.com
Mitt Romney, if elected President, vows to keep the Bush-era tax cuts. And he wants to layer in a bigger corporate tax break - in a bid to jumpstart the economy.

More than any other presidential candidate, Romney also has benefited handsomely from these cuts - the lower capital gains and dividends taxes - and he will likely do so again if they are maintained.

So are these tax cuts good or bad for the rest of us? Good, if you're an investor. In fact, all investors should be aware of the Bush tax cuts' implications, described below.

Without another extension, the low rates that former President George W. Bush signed into law will skyrocket at the end of this year as scheduled, says Bill Smith, managing director in CBIZ MHM national tax office in Bethesda, Md. "Does this create a conflict of interest for Romney? Absolutely," says Smith, because they benefit Romney enormously.

First, Romney paid a 14 percent effective overall tax rate, much lower than many middle class folks pay. One reason is the Bush tax breaks for capital gains.

Generally speaking, investment gains are taxed at 15 percent. Bush argued the low rates would help encourage saving and investment. If the Bush tax cuts expire at the end of 2012, that 15 percent tax rate would rise to the ordinary income rate of 39 percent. Long-term capital gains taxes would rise from 15 percent to 20 percent.

The tax code's treatment of income from partnerships in private equity, hedge funds and real estate development means that some of the country's wealthiest people are taxed at a lower rate than bus drivers and nurses. Romney is among the top earners - because the bulk of his taxable income came from investments, not from a salary.
Eye 1

US Citizen Training: Tasered for Walking the Dog

walking dogs
© n/a
Be advised that walking your dog off leash could get you electrocuted by the authorities.
A Montara man walking two lapdogs off leash was hit with an electric-shock gun by a National Park Service ranger after allegedly giving a false name and trying to walk away, authorities said Monday.

The park ranger encountered Gary Hesterberg with his two small dogs Sunday afternoon at Rancho Corral de Tierra, which was recently incorporated into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, said Howard Levitt, a spokesman for the park service.

Hesterberg, who said he didn't have identification with him, allegedly gave the ranger a false name, Levitt said.

The ranger, who wasn't identified, asked Hesterberg to remain at the scene, Levitt said. He tried several times to leave, and finally the ranger "pursued him a little bit and she did deploy her" electric-shock weapon, Levitt said. "That did stop him."

San Mateo County sheriff's deputies and paramedics then arrived and Hesterberg gave his real name, the park spokesman said.

Hesterberg, whose age was not available, was arrested on suspicion of failing to obey a lawful order, having dogs off-leash and knowingly providing false information, Levitt said.

Witnesses said the use of a stun gun and the arrest seemed excessive for someone walking two small dogs off leash.

"It was really scary," said Michelle Babcock, who said she had seen the incident as she and her husband were walking their two border collies. "I just felt so bad for him."

Babcock said Hesterberg had repeatedly asked the ranger why he was being detained. She didn't answer him, Babcock said.
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