Society's Child


'Heritage terror': ISIS propaganda machine targets people with culture

A still from the video showing IS destroying ancient statues in Mosul
Whether they're authentic or not, videos of Islamic State militants destroying ancient artifacts at Iraq's Mosul Museum and elsewhere are "propaganda videos" meant as "heritage terror," an Islamic art professor told RT.

The videos show men with sledgehammers knocking over statues, smashing antiquities and torching ancient writing. But there are questions being raised about the authenticity of the videos, when it's known that the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL) needs money to keep operating its terror campaign - and antiquities could fetch large sums of money on the black market.

Speaking to RT's Manila Chan, Dr. Stephennie Mulder, an associate professor of Islamic Art at the University of Texas at Austin, said the Islamic State's destruction of ancient artifacts in Iraq and Syria is an act of propaganda.

"This is a propaganda video that is intended as an act of heritage terror. [ISIS] know this kind of action will cause alarm in the international community," said Mulder. "It demonstrates their mastery over everything. Their mastery over the past and it has a deep impact on the people of Iraq as well who cherish these objects."

Comment: Mulder is right: this is a propaganda act. ISIS is a well-oiled PR machine, and they have cornered the market on every possible target audience. Women who like kittens and Nutella? Check. Japanese, British, Israelis, Americans? Check. People who think beheading is nasty and wrong? Check. People are disgusted by rape, murder, and children being indoctrinated to be killers? Check. People who feel a strong connection with history and preserving nations' and peoples' national heritage? Check. That's the purpose: to outrage the international community, to create a bogeyman out of ISIS, to justify illegal interventions that align with U.S. geopolitical 'interests'.


French prosecutor said Germanwings co-pilot appears to have crashed plane deliberately

© Reuters / Ina Fassbender
The Germanwings co-pilot seemed to have crashed the plane deliberately, killing 150 people on board. The co-pilot wouldn't let the captain inside the cabin, with the "intension to destroy" the jet, the French prosecutor said at a press conference.

The Germanwings co-pilot was identified as Andreas Lubitz.

Comment: It will be interesting to learn the motive of the co-pilot for his actions.

Bizarro Earth

7-year-old forced by two other first graders to perform sex act on them

© Shutterstock
The Children's Services department in Lucas County, Ohio has launched an investigation after a 7-year-old first grade student said that two of her classmates forced her to perform sex acts on them at a charter school.

Rise and Shine Academy CEO Dr. Pat McKinstry told WTOL that the school first learned of the incident when a student reported that something "nasty" was happening in one of the bathrooms.

According to the mother of the victim, two girls, ages 6 and 8, asked her daughter to perform sexual favors on them.

"My daughter is considered the victim," the mother told WTOL. "They think that they bribed my daughter into doing things... Not once but twice. And the first time she said she didn't say anything because she was scared."

The school, however, said that only one of the girls instigated the incident, and she had not been allowed to return to class.

"We have not let that child come back," McKinstry pointed out. "It's disheartening, it's sad to me that we have to terminate her if her mother would not be honest enough to get this baby some treatment."

Comment: How does this incident even occur? It's likely that in the U.S. today, society has become so sexualized that it is trickling down to young children where such thoughts never occurred before. This is the state of society in the U.S. today and where our media, whether music, movies, or television are doing to children's minds.

Stock Up

Crimea chose wisely: Growth fastest in 20 yrs thanks to Russia, sanctions

© Sputnik/ Artem Zhitenev
Crimea has been experiencing an upsurge in development following its reunification with Russia thanks to the country's investment in the republic, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Crimea Dmitry Polonsky told Sputnik on Wednesday.

"Crimea has not developed at such a pace as it has in the past year over the past twenty years," Polonsky said, adding that the Russian government plans to invest almost 700 billion rubles ($12.1 billion) in the republic's economy under the current social-economic development program, which will run until 2020.

Polonsky, who is Crimea's Internal Policy, Information and Mass Communications Minister, stressed that during the 23 years prior to the March 2014 independence referendum, Crimea experienced "regression" due to the Ukrainian authorities lack of investment.

"Unfortunately, the 23-year-long tenure in Ukraine has been the time of regression for Crimea. The Ukrainian government did not invest a single penny into Crimea, at the same time it sucked out all possible resources from here," Polonsky told Sputnik, stressing that Russia "is taking an entirely different route" which is making a "drastic" difference on the peninsula. But even if Crimea residents were told not to expect any investment from the Russian government a year ago, they would have "still made the choice of becoming part of Russia," the minister stressed.

Comment: If you're looking for the truth about Crimea, you won't find it in the Western media, from the Western politicians, or in Western NGO reports. For what really happened one year ago, see this: Crimea: The Way Back Home - EN Subtitles - Full Documentary (VIDEO)

Stock Down

Half of all Americans are broke

© Flickr
With the unstable economic situation in the US, many Americans have learned to live on a budget. But what happens when one faces a substantial cost outside their budget?

According to Chief International Economist at Deutsche Bank, Torsten Sløk, nearly half of American households don't save any of their money, leaving themselves with harsh economic consequences should the economy turn and they lose their jobs.

Over a million people lost their homes in 2008 due to the economic collapse, according to

Since the recession, which began in December 2007, the US unemployment rate has risen 4 percentage points, changing the labor market substantively. The rate peaked at 10% in October, 2009, and has decreased substantially to 5.5% in February, 2015.

Comment: There is no recovery. In fact, all signs point towards things getting much, much worse.


Who's accountable for Ferguson's crimes? No one, it seems

© AP Photo/John Minchillo
This article is part of The Nation's 150th Anniversary Special Issue. Download a free PDF of the issue, with articles by James Baldwin, Barbara Ehrenreich, Toni Morrison, Howard Zinn and many more, here.

In the wake of the deaths of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly had some advice for black America: "Don't abandon your children. Don't get pregnant at 14. Don't allow your neighborhoods to deteriorate into free-fire zones. That's what the African-American community should have on their T-shirts." (That's either a very big garment or very small lettering.)

Whenever black kids get shot, black parents get lectured about personal responsibility. If you raised your kids better, goes the conservative logic, we wouldn't have to shoot them. Arguments about systemic discrimination and racist legacies are derided as liberal excuses for bad behavior. Neither history nor economics nor politics made Mike Brown grab Darren Wilson's gun—that was his choice. Individuals, we are told, are responsible for their own actions and must be held accountable for them.

Comment: Brown's grabbing Wilson's gun is a highly questionable data point, like all else Wilson asserted concerning the events of that fateful that day.

The vehemence with which this principle is held is eclipsed only by the speed with which it is abandoned when it becomes inconvenient. Discussions about choices and accountability change tenor when we shift from talking about the black and the poor to the powerful and well-connected.

Comment: "Confessions of collective guilt are the best possible safeguard against the discovery of culprits, and the very magnitude of the crime the best excuse for doing nothing." - Just one of the many ways in which the U.S. government and the pundits who defend the psychopathic behavior of Police and intelligence agencies deflect responsibility of the guilty. And why? Because to one degree or another they are complicit themselves.

Arrow Down

Police raid small New York family farm, charge family, seize animals because they were free range

© Facebook
Image from Friends of West Wind Acres Facebook Page.
Schenectady County - Earlier this month, a family farm in rural New York was raided by police after the owners were cited on a number of trumped up regulatory violations. Joshua Rockwood, the owner of the farm, is being accused of mistreating his animals, and the local government has began confiscating some of them.

Police initially visited Rockwood's property on February 25th to investigate reports of unlicensed working dogs, weeks before the raid. Unfortunately, Rockwood voluntarily showed local police around his property, which he had not yet tended to that day because of their unexpected interruption. After showing them around, they began to critically assess every aspect of the farm, writing a number of citations for arbitrary offenses.

The very next day, Rockwood had a veterinarian visit the farm to check on the animals to confirm that they were well taken care of and in good health. According to numerous reports, the vet said that the animals were just fine, and did not seem to share the concerns that the officers alleged during their walk-through.

A second veterinarian was also called in to verify the health of the animals and they also found them to be in perfect health.

A week later, police returned again to notify Rockwood that he was to appear in court the next Thursday on a number of charges relating to the animal's food and shelter. In total, 12 different charges were brought against Rockwood, but he has posted a number of photos to a Facebook support page, which shows the animals with sufficient housing, and plenty of food.


Bread and circuses: UK plans first public human dissection in over a century

© AFP Photo / Timothy A. Clary
Scientists in Edinburgh will perform the first public anatomy lectures using human bodies since the 1800s, when serial killers Burke and Hare profited from selling corpses to a medical school.

Members of the public with a reason to study anatomy will be eligible for the day-long workshops, which will cost £100 each. Edinburgh University will offer six classes beginning next month with a dissection of the "upper limb."

Tom Gillingwater, professor of neuroanatomy, said the university is taking advantage of changes in the law to enable the public to "get under the skin of the real flesh and bones of anatomy."

He said in a statement: "If you go back to the early 1800s, the public were more clued up on anatomy than they are now. Back then, dissection was done publicly. You could buy tickets."

"For some it was entertainment, but for others it was a way of feeding curiosity and finding out what was going on."

Alarm Clock

Michigan mother freezes, kills children as punishment for molesting young relative

© Via Youtube
Detroit children found dead and frozen in freezer. The bodies were wrapped in plastic bags. Police were in the process of evicting a family when they made this discovey. The children's mother is now under arrest.
A 35-year-old woman confessed to killing her two children a year apart and burying them in a freezer after she discovered they had been molesting a young relative, two police sources familiar with the investigation said Wednesday.

The two surviving children, ages 11 and 17, knew their siblings were inside the freezer — one for nearly two years — two police sources told The News.

The woman, Mitchelle Blair, told detectives she killed her 11-year-old son two years ago, and her 14-year-old daughter in May 2014, after finding out about the sexual abuse, two sources said.

The Detroit News is not disclosing the identity of the relative who was allegedly molested in order to protect the victim's identity.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig briefly discussed the case during a press conference Wednesday morning at police headquarters. Craig said he couldn't go into great detail about the case because the investigation is active.

"While the desire to know what happened in that home is strong, I will ask you to be mindful of the two children who were in that home and are still alive," Craig said to reporters.

"They've been through a lot as you can imagine. It's been a tremendous trauma. I don't think there's anyone in this room who would want to cause any additional pain to these children."

Craig said detectives will present an investigative report to the office of the Wayne County Prosecutor for review.

Wayne County medical examiners are waiting for the bodies to thaw before performing autopsies to determine the cause of death, spokesman Ryan Bridges said.


'Poor training' cited as an excuse for nearly 400 shootings by Philadelphia police

© Reuters/Tom Mihalek

Poor training led Philadelphia police officers to the mistaken belief that fearing for their lives alone justified the use of deadly force, a new Justice Department review has found. That fear resulted in 394 shootings over a seven-year period.

The 'Assessment of Deadly Force in the Philadelphia Police Department,' released Monday, came with 48 findings and 91 recommendations by the Justice Department. It found that 81 percent of the victims of officer-involved shootings were African-American men in their twenties; 59 percent of the shootings were carried out by white officers; and most shootings occurred in majority black neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods in northern Philadelphia were also police districts with the highest patterns of gun violence and homicides.