Society's Child
Map


Better Earth

The Christmas Hope: A to-do list for a better world

"The Christmas hope for peace and good will toward all men can no longer be dismissed as a kind of pious dream of some utopian. If we don't have good will toward men in this world, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own instruments and our own power. Wisdom born of experience should tell us that war is obsolete. We must either learn to live together as brothers or we are going to perish together as fools." - Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Christmas Eve sermon, 1967
Better World
© galleryhip.com
As a child, my Christmas wish list came right out of the Sears and Roebuck catalogue - toys, board games, bikes, action figures, etc. My parents, like so many in their day, belonged to the working-class poor, so while I never lacked for the necessities of life, many of the items on my wish list never came to be. Even so, I was no worse off for it.

I wish the same could be said of those still unfulfilled items on my adult Christmas wish list. Each year, I wish for the same things - an end to war, poverty, hunger, violence and disease - and each year, I find the world relatively unchanged. Millions continue to die every year, casualties of a world that places greater value on war machines and profit margins than human life.

I've seen enough of the world in my 68 years to know that wishing is not enough. We need to be doing. It's not possible to solve all of the world's problems right away. For most people, putting an end to world hunger, poverty, disease and the police state may seem too insurmountable a task to even tackle. But as I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, there are practical steps each of us can take to hopefully get things moving in the right direction. Here's what I would suggest for a start:

Tone down the partisan rhetoric, the "us" vs. "them" mentality. Politicians frequently perpetuate a "good" versus "evil," "us" versus "them" rhetoric which pits citizen against citizen and allows the politicians to advance their personal, political agendas. Instead of wasting time and resources on political infighting, which gets us nowhere, it's time Americans learned to work together to solve the problems before us. The best place to start is in your own communities, neighbor to neighbor. After all, at the end of the day, it makes no difference what politician you voted for - Republican, Democrat or otherwise - politics will never be the answer. Politicians have mastered the art of creating dissension, but they're all the same. Grassroots activism is the only kind of change you can count on.

Turn off the TV and tune into what's happening in your family, in your community and your world. Read your local newspaper. Attend a school board or city council meeting. Get involved with a nonprofit that works in your community. Whatever you do, reduce your intake of mindless television and entertainment news. The only reality programming worth taking notice of is the one playing in your home and community
Gold Bar

Ukraine Central Bank defrauded of $300,000 - buys gold-plated lead bricks

fake Ukranian gold
© RIA Novosti/Pavel Lisitsyn
Cunning fraudsters have conned the Ukraine Central Bank branch in Odessa into buying $300,000 worth of gold which turned out to be lead daubed with gold paint.

"A criminal case has been opened and we are now carrying out an investigation to identify those involved in the crime," a spokesman for the Odessa police force is quoted by Vesti.

The news was first reported by Odessa's State Ministry of Internal Affairs.

A preliminary investigation suggests the gang had someone working for them inside the bank that forged the necessary paperwork to allow the sale of the fake gold bullion. It's also been discovered that bank staff were not regularly checked when entering or exiting the premises.

Since the discovery, the National Bank no longer buys precious metal over the counter, as it cannot be sure of its authenticity, says the First Deputy Head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Aleksandr Pisaruk.

Comment: Ukraine sure is having a hard time hanging onto its gold reserves. It has already been robbed of the most of it by the US, under the cover of it being collateral for IMF and US financial aid. Now petty criminals are getting into the act.

Handcuffs

US police on high alert following cop killings

© Reuters/Carlo Allegri
Police departments across big cities in the US are warning officers to take extra care after a spate of cop killings. Officers are advised to wear bulletproof vests and not make inflammatory posts on social media amid increased fears for their safety.

A message from the New York Police Department (NYPD) union told cops that they should respond to every radio call with two cars, "no matter what the opinion of the patrol supervisor," while they should not make arrests "unless absolutely necessary," AP reported.

Meanwhile, President of the Detectives Union Michael Palladino also warned of the dangers facing officers, stating, "Detectives assigned to Precinct Detective Squads and similarly-sized units should operate in teams of three when possible until we better assess the threat that exists against us," in an email sent to officers.

Comment: The police forces across the US are increasing their vigilance as the reality of their brutal tactics to "protect and serve" have been steadily increasing. The police no longer protect and serve the public but rather the people in power. It feels like the militarized police force have now declared war on the public.

Eye 2

Mother who murdered 8 children in Cairns, Australia, "had found God"

Cairns memorial
© Tom Steinfort
Family members arrive at the Manoora shrine in Cairns
The 37-year-old Cairns mother accused of murdering eight children had recently turned to religion and banned technology from her home.

Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday, who remains under police guard in hospital, had taken to giving fiery sermons in the street and had cut the power to her home and threw away the television, neighbours told News Corp.

She warned locals not to use their mobile phones because they were the "work of the Devil" and posted a handwritten sign on a front window of her public housing home that read: "No alcohol, cigarette, and drunken people allowed in this area".

Others said the house, where she is accused of killing seven of her own children and a niece in a frenzied knife attack last Friday, was often the scene of wild all-night parties.

Meanwhile, preliminary autopsy reports are detailing the horrific injuries sustained by some of the eight children in the knife attack.

It is alleged some suffered multiple stab wounds, with one child sustained at least 12 knife wounds to the front and 10 more on the back, according to pathology results.

Comment: It is not the first time we have seen mothers torturing or murdering their children, it seems to be a Sign of our Times. This one however, certainly goes high up on the list of the shocking, horrific, terribly sad and totally insane.

Cult

We're the bloodthirsty warmongers, not 'evil' Putin

Vladimir putin
© RIA Novosti Alexey Druzhinin
This is a time of year for memories, and the ones that keep bothering me are from my childhood, which seemed at the time to be wholly happy and untroubled.

Yet all the adults in my life still dwelt in the shadow of recent war. This was not the glamorous, exciting side of war, but the miserable, fearful and hungry aspect.

My mother, even in middle-class suburban prosperity, couldn't throw away an eggshell without running her finger round it to get out the last of the white. No butcher dared twice to try to cheat her on the weights.

Haunted all her life by rationing, she would habitually break a chocolate bar into its smallest pieces. She had also been bombed from the air in Liverpool, and had developed a fatalism to cope with the nightly danger of being blown to pieces, shocking to me then and since.

I am now beset by these ingrained memories of shortage and danger because I seem surrounded by people who think that war might be fun. This seems to happen when wartime generations are pushed aside by their children, who need to learn the truth all over again.


Comment: A perfect definition of the hysteroidal cycle. From Political Ponerology:
The most characteristic feature of such a period is widespread hysteria, like that of the quarter century in Europe preceding WWI. "Happy" times of peace are necessarily dependent on social injustice, and children of the privileged class learn early to repress ideas that they and their families are benefiting from the injustice of others. Such unconscious defense mechanisms cause these individuals to disparage the values of those whose work they exploit. These processes lead to an hysterical state of inhibited logic and reasoning. This rigidity of thought then gets passed on to the next generation to an even greater degree.
[...]
During good times, people progressively lose sight of the need for profound reflection, introspection, knowledge of others, and an understanding of life's complicated laws. Is it worth pondering the properties of human nature and man's flawed personality, whether one's own or someone else's? Can we understand the creative meaning of suffering we have not undergone ourselves, instead of taking the easy way out and blaming the victim? Any excess mental effort seems like pointless labor if life's joys appear to be available for the taking. A clever, liberal, and merry individual is a good sport; a more farsighted person predicting dire results becomes a wet-blanket killjoy.

Perception of the truth about the real environment, especially an understanding of the human personality and its values, ceases to be a virtue during the so-called "happy" times; thoughtful doubters are decried as meddlers who cannot leave well enough alone. This, in turn, leads to an impoverishment of psychological knowledge, the capacity of differentiating the properties of human nature and personality, and the ability to mold minds creatively. The cult of power thus supplants those mental values so essential for maintaining law and order by peaceful means. A nation's enrichment or involution regarding its psychological world view could be considered an indicator of whether its future will be good or bad.

During "good" times, the search for truth becomes uncomfortable because it reveals inconvenient facts.

Comment: Hitchins neatly points up the absurdity of the West's actions towards Russia. The virus truly doesn't understand that when the host dies it will die too.

Handcuffs

Four-year old Virginia preschooler handcuffed, shackled, taken to sheriff's office for misbehaving

© WND
Officials at a Virginia school turned an allegedly misbehaving 4-year-old preschooler over to law enforcement, where he was put in handcuffs and shackles and ordered to talk to jail inmates, according to a legal group intervening in the case.

The unnamed student, who was enrolled in the pre-kindergarten program at Nathanael Greene Primary School, in Stanardsville, Virginia, was removed from the classroom Oct. 16 after allegedly "becoming agitated and throwing several items onto the floor."

"That such extreme restraints would even be contemplated in a case such as this points to a failure by those in leadership to provide the proper guidance to school personnel in what forms of restraint and force are appropriate when dealing with students, especially the youngest and most vulnerable," said a letter sent this week to school district officials by John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, which was asked by the mother to intervene.

"It is imperative that Green County Public Schools take steps to assure [the student's mother] and the rest of the community of parents and concerned citizens that what happened to [the student] will not happen again to him or other students of similar age," Whitehead said.

The letter said policies should make it clear that handcuffing, shackling and other "excessive restraint techniques are never appropriate when dealing with children of tender years."

"Under the circumstances, Green County Public Schools should also rescind the suspension imposed upon [the student] and remove any indication of the incident from [the student's] records. The trauma [the student] has endured, which continues to cause him nightmares and may forever taint his experience and thoughts about school, should not be compounded by a blemish on his record."

Comment: This is how the police state treats the vulnerable people in society. Scaring him/her straight was not the real lesson here. It was a lesson of compliance to desensitize children and brainwashing them into accepting the police state.

America's Children: The trials of growing up in a police state

Arrow Up

Good Samaritan in Georgia pays electricity bills of strangers

Good samaritan Georgia
A Good Samaritan in Jonesboro, Georgia decided to help the people in his small community by showing up at the electric company's officer, approaching random people, and asking if he can pay their power bills.

The Good Samaritan, known only as Steve, told CBS46 News that he wanted to give to people in person rather than donating through a charity because he thought a lot of people in his community could use financial assistance around Christmas time.

"I've had a couple of people who are so shocked - they think I'm trying to scam them - so they look over at the police officer who is sitting there. He nods his head and smiles and tells them 'it's OK,'" Steve said. "Then I've had a couple of people who still don't want to do it."

Comment: This is a heartwarming gesture, particularly in these times when so many people are struggling to make ends meet.

Handcuffs

Private prison corporation with record of inmate abuse given control of immigrant detention center

detention center nogales
© Reuters
Two young girls watch a World Cup soccer match on a television from their holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Arizona June 18, 2014.
The Department of Homeland Security this week handed the keys to the largest detention center for undocumented immigrant families over to Corrections Corporation of America, a private prison company with a record of disregarding inmate safety and flouting federal laws. The Obama administration announced on Monday that CCA would run a 50-acre compound in Dilley, Texas, that will ultimately hold 2,400 women and children awaiting release or deportation.

In 2012, CCA settled out of court with the American Civil Liberties Union after the ACLU sued on behalf of inmates at the Idaho Correctional Center. Because CCA had not hired enough staff, in 2008, the CCA-run correctional facility experienced four times as many prisoner-on-prisoner assaults as Idaho's seven other prisons combined, the ACLU found. Inmates called the facility "the gladiator school." The 2012 suit also charged CCA with falsifying records and billing the state for 4,800 hours of work at posts that in actuality remained vacant. In 2013, a federal judge held CCA in contempt of court for continuing to understaff the prison, even after it was successfully sued by the ACLU. CCA lost its $30 million contract for the prison with the state, and the FBI launched an investigation into the company in 2014.

Comment: Increasing numbers of illegal immigrants are being sent to private prisons, for whom America's immigration system is a giant profit center. This highly profitable industry is rife with abuse, with the ACLU reporting numerous instances of poor medical care, lack of basic sanitation and a tendency to overuse extreme isolation of prisoners. Just another fine example of American 'exceptionalism'.

Private US prisons are getting rich by abusing illegal immigrants

Jailing Americans for Profit: The Rise of the Prison Industrial Complex

Pistol

Police officer shot and killed in Florida

© Gerardo Mora / Getty Images / AFP
A police officer in Tarpon Springs, Florida, was shot and killed early Sunday, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

A suspect is in custody.

The fatal shooting occurred in a residential area in the predawn hours, said Cecilia Barreda from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office and local police are investigating. No further information was available.

Tarpon Springs is located on Florida's Gulf Coast about 10 miles northwest of Tampa.

Comment: Wow, police officers getting killed is turning into an epidemic. This violence will only beget more violence.

Vader

Protesting police brutality is "stupid s**t," police across the nation lash out against opposition

The president of the New York Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, was recorded in a private meeting last week candidly expressing his contempt and level of disrespect for those who wish to hold police accountable.

Lynch even went so far as to call those who dare criticize the violent nature of the NYPD, "enemies."
"If we won't get support when we do our jobs, if we're going to get hurt for doing what's right then we're going to do it the way they want it," he said. "Let me be perfectly clear. We will use extreme discretion in every encounter."

"Our friends, we're courteous to them. Our enemies, extreme discretion. The rules are made by them to hurt you. Well now we'll use those rules to protect us."
It didn't stop there, the us vs. them mentality, which is overt in Lynch's words, continued.

Lynch said Mayor Bill de Blasio acts more like the leader of "a f**king revolution" than a city.

Comment: Police brutality is "stupid s**t" end of discussion.

Top