Society's Child

Heart - Black

Cowards! Habersham County officials refuse to pay medical expenses for toddler injured by SWAT grenade during failed raid

© Unknown
A flash grenade, which makes a loud noise and bright flash to distract people during raids, landed in Bou Phonesavanh's playpen and went off near his face in May.
Officials in Georgia's Habersham County are refusing to pay for the mounting medical expenses of a toddler seriously injured by a flash grenade after a failed SWAT team raid earlier this year.

Bounkham 'Bou Bou' Phonesavanh was just 19 months old when a Habersham SWAT team initiated a no-knock warrant at his family's home at around 3 a.m. on May 28. Bou Bou was asleep in his crib at the time, surrounded by his family and three sisters. The toddler was severely injured when SWAT team officers broke through the house's door and threw a flashbang grenade that ultimately landed in the Bou Bou's crib.

When the stun grenade went off, it caused severe burns on the child and opened a gash in his chest. As a result, Bou Bou lost the ability to breathe on his own and was left in a medically induced coma for days after the incident. His extensive recovery necessitated stays in two hospitals before he finally went home in July.

Now, Habersham County officials are sticking by their decision to ignore the family's plight, the family's attorney, Muwali Davis, told WSB-TV.

Habersham County's attorney responded with a statement saying that the Board of County Commissioners will not pay given it is supposedly illegal to do so.

"The question before the board was whether it is legally permitted to pay these expenses. After consideration of this question following advice of counsel, the board of commissioners has concluded that it would be in violation of the law for it to do so."

Comment: So basically in order for any medical payment to be 'legal' the family must sue for damages. Haven't they been put through enough!?

Penis Pump

Iowa Representative arrested for having sex with incapacitated wife after court ordered him not to

© Rawstory
A Republican state representative in Iowa was arrested last week on a third-degree sexual abuse charge for having sex with his wife after a court told him that she lacked the mental capacity to consent, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports.

According to the criminal complaint, on May 15, 2014, Representative Henry Rayhons (R) was told by officials at the Concord Care Center that his wife, Donna Rayhons, no longer possessed the mental capacity to consent to sexual relations.

A little more than a month later, Donna Rayhons' daughter, Suzan Brunes, was made her mother's temporary guardian after video surveillance captured Rayhons leaving his wife's room and discarding her underclothes in a nearby laundry hamper.

Donna Rayhons' roommate corroborated the video evidence, saying that on the same day he discarded her undergarments, she "heard noises indicating to her that Henry Rayhons was having sex" with his mentally incapacitated wife.

Donna Rayhons died on August 8, 2014 at the age of 78.

The executive director of the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Elizabeth Barnhill, told the Press-Citizen that until 25 years ago, it was legal in Iowa for a man to have sex with his wife against her will - but that even with a spousal rape law in place, "convictions are rare," especially when the victim is incapable of testifying.

Iraq Vet: Ferguson cops have better weaponry, armor than we carried in combat

© AP/Maya Alleruzzo
In my year in Iraq, I lost track of how many times my guys asked me why so many Iraqis viewed us with distrust when we were trying to help them. The question would arise while we were walking the beat with Iraqi police officers, manning checkpoints, or in our forward operating base after we went off-duty.

Invariably, my response went something like this: "Imagine that you're back home, OK? Suddenly, you got a whole mess of Iraqi soldiers in your town. They're all over the place, doing the same things we're doing right now. How do you think you'd react? You'd probably get pretty hot, right?"

The notion that my illustration would become anything other than that scarcely crossed my mind. Yet, here we are in August of 2014, 10 years after I got back from Iraq, and the police agencies that have patrolled the streets of Ferguson, Missouri - until they were relieved of duty on Thursday amid public outrage over their heavy-handed tactics - have the kind of armor and weaponry that my men and I would have envied in the performance of our duties in an actual combat zone.

Let me repeat that: the police in Ferguson have better armor and weaponry than my men and I did in the middle of a war. And Ferguson isn't alone - police departments across the US are armed for war.
Light Saber

John Oliver: Deny militarized cops their 'f*cking toys' as long as they're killing unarmed black men

© Rawstory
On HBO's Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver used the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, to address the increased militarization of America's police departments, mocking the wearing of camouflaged uniforms in urban environments and purchases of armored vehicles better suited to war zones.

Starting with the tone-deaf response from the Ferguson police chief and mayor following the shooting, Oliver pointed out the disparity between reality in the racially divided town and city official's assertion that there is no racial issues in their community.

"Here's the thing the mayor doesn't understand, "Oliver explained, "As a general rule, no one should ever be allowed to say 'There is no history of racial tension here.' Because that sentence has never been true anywhere on Earth."

Relaying several stories about past police abuses against black citizens in St. Louis County, Oliver got into the increased militarization of the police, pointing out that police departments have been outfitted with over $4.3 billion in military hardware since 1996.

"This has allowed small towns like Keene, New Hampshire to apply for a Bearcat, a military-grade armored personnel truck, which they needed because, as their application argued: 'The terrorism threat is far-reaching and often unforeseen,'" Oliver explained. "And cited as a possible target, their annual pumpkin festival."

Trolling the Wikipedia trolls

© RT
Wikimania festival
As global conflicts lurch into the second half of 2014, the nature of their online documentation is of great importance, and the Wikimedia Foundation bears great responsibility. Satirist Nimrod Kamer put their staffers to the test in a report for RT.

Kamer reports for RT from Wikimania, the annual Wikipedia festival to probe the founders over locked pages, 'article vandalism', and the deficit of emojis on Wikipedia articles posing questions to the foundation's chiefs and using examples from his own page edits to illustrate the fallibility of the online encyclopedia.

Now and then, entries get 'locked' because of excessive editing, and topics such as the Israel/Gaza conflict, MH370 and even the Ebola virus have fallen victim to such edits.

"Entries like this are locked temporarily from time to time when there's excessive vandalism or an argument has broken out that's become too emotional or too personal," Jimmy Wales, Co-founder of Wikipedia told RT.

Watch part 1 of Kamer's report:


Ferguson curfew extended amid unrest

© Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP
Police fire tear gas at demonstrators protesting the shooting of Michael Brown after they refused to honor the midnight curfew on August 17, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.
The authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, are still enforcing the curfew that bars residents, bent on venting their outrage at the murder of a black teenager by a police officer, from being on the streets after midnight.

"We are trying to use the least amount of force to provide people the ability to speak while also protecting the property of the people of Ferguson," Missouri governor Jay Nixon said on Sunday in an interview on CNN.

Nixon didn't mention if authorities are planning to cancel the curfew any time soon, adding it depends on the community. "We'd like to see it ratcheted down. What we'd like to see, that will be judged by the community," he said.

Missouri Highway Patrol spokesman Justin Wheetley elaborated further, saying that officials will decide on whether to cancel the curfew on a day-by-day basis.

During the previous night, some of the most hardline protesters remained on the streets after the curfew, annoyed by what they say are the authorities' efforts to quell the protest by imposing more restrictions on residents instead of addressing the issue.

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, and arrested seven people for disobedience. One person has also been shot and critically wounded, and the shooter is still at large, police said.

Comment: Governor Nixon has it backwards. It's not the community that is out of control. It is the city's dehumanizing militarized police force that is on the rampage. When authorities lose their humanity in their inability to work out issues with people who are understandably outraged over police brutality and unjustified murder, they should lose their authority all together.

Quenelle - Golden

Setting Jon Voight straight regarding Gaza, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the establishment of the state of Israel, in a new open letter

© Unknown
Jon Voight, another one of many well-knowns who has no knowledge of the facts of Israel's true history, but is more than willing to sound off about it.
Dear Jon Voight,

We write to you as admirers of your work for many years. We are also professors of modern Middle Eastern studies, specializing on the history and contemporary realities of Israel, Zionism and Palestine, and between the two of us, we have written and edited over half a dozen books on the country and the two peoples who are destined -- or doomed, depending on your point of view -- to share it.

We have read your open letter to Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and other critics of the latest Israeli bombing and invasion of Gaza, in response to their own open letter condemning Israeli actions during the war. Your passion for defending Israel is clearly as great as your passion for acting. However, behind your passion is a view of Israel's history and current actions that are utterly at odds with the actual history and present-day realities in the country. They are simply dead-wrong, and your belief in them has led you to adopt views that will ultimately -- and at this rate, sooner rather than later -- doom, not defend, Israel. Moreover, while you have laudably said that they or other actors should not face industry sanctions for standing up to Israel, we believe that the intensity of your criticism, coupled with the inaccuracy of the arguments, not only exacerbates the rewriting of the conflict's history in the mainstream media but contributes both to a toxic atmosphere of hatred against Palestinians and to a purported blacklist against them.

Comment: See also: Actress Penelope Cruz reportedly blacklisted by Hollywood studios for her support of Palestine


One shot, seven arrested in Ferguson, Missouri while state defended its action

State officials on Sunday defended their tough response to the chaos that enveloped this St. Louis suburb on the first night of a curfew and imposed a second night of restrictions as signs emerged of heightened federal involvement in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) stood behind his decision to order the midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew, after a night marked by gun violence, tear gas and armored vehicles on the streets, the latest wave of protest over the Aug. 9 death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The shooting has made this town of 21,000 people the epicenter of a national debate about race and justice in African American communities.

"Last night's curfew - I think everybody worked well," Nixon said on CNN's "State of the Union." "We're always disappointed when things aren't perfect. But thousands of people spoke last night, thousands of people marched, and [there was] not a single gunshot fired by a member of law enforcement last night."

Capt. Ronald Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is overseeing security in Ferguson and had earlier mingled with protesters, took a new tack Sunday, calling the police response "proper" and saying he was "disappointed" in the actions of the demonstrators. A highway patrol spokesman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the curfew would be extended for another night.

In Washington, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. issued an unusual statement ordering an independent autopsy of Brown's body by a federal medical examiner. Spokesman Brian Fallon said the Justice Department was responding to requests from Brown's family and "the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case." Brown was killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson.
Evil Rays

Villagers raid Liberian quarantine center, up to 30 Ebola patients flee

liberian ebola mob

A mob overruns an Ebola isolation centre in the West Point slum of Monrovia, claiming there is no Ebola in the city.
Liberian officials fear Ebola could soon spread through the capital's largest slum after residents raided a quarantine center for suspected patients and took items including bloody sheets and mattresses.

The violence in the West Point slum occurred late Saturday and was led by residents angry that patients were brought to the holding center from other parts of Monrovia, Tolbert Nyenswah, assistant health minister, said Sunday.

Local witnesses told Agence France Presse that there were armed men among the group that attacked the clinic.

"They broke down the doors and looted the place. The patients all fled," said Rebecca Wesseh, who witnessed the attack and whose report was confirmed by residents and the head of Health Workers Association of Liberian, George Williams.

Up to 30 patients were staying at the center and many of them fled at the time of the raid, said Nyenswah. Once they are located they will be transferred to the Ebola center at Monrovia's largest hospital, he said.

The Jewish Chronicle apologizes for running a Palestinian charity ad, says it still supports Israeli assault on Gaza

Palestine charity
A Palestinian man carries boxes given to him as aid containing sanitation kits and soap at a UN school on August 15, 2014 in Gaza City.
The Jewish Chronicle, a British newspaper, has apologized for running an advertisement for a charity raising funds for the crisis in Gaza.

The weekly paper said running the ad for the Disasters Emergency Committee's Gaza Crisis Appeal was "meant as a purely humanitarian gesture," BBC reported.

In response to controversy over its decision to run the ad, The Jewish Chronicle's editor, Stephen Pollard, issued a statement Thursday explaining that the ad was not an expression of the newspaper's editorial view, which he said is separate from its commercial operations.

"The ad was approved by the chairman of the JC, who has no involvement in editorial decisions, as an ad for humanitarian aid which nowhere makes political or partisan points," Pollard wrote.

Comment: What's worse? The Jewish Chronicle's supporting Israel's genocide in Gaza or apologizing for running an ad to support the victims of said genocide? It's completely heartless either way.