Society's Child

Che Guevara

We kill our revolutionaries

© AP/Mark Duncan
Law officers and National Guard troops assemble outside the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility at Lucasville in 1993 as a revolt by prisoners entered its 10th day.
Siddique Hasan, his legs shackled to a chair, sat in the fourth-floor visiting room of the Ohio State Penitentiary, a supermax prison. The room, surrounded by thick glass windows, had a guard booth in the center and food vending machines flanking a microwave on one wall. There was a line of small booths, entered through a door behind Hasan, where families, including children, were talking to prisoners through plexiglass partitions.
A riot that occurred Friday has made a prison in Texas, the Willacy County Correctional Center, uninhabitable and forced a mass transfer of prisoners. According to a 2014 report by the American Civil Liberties Union, prisoners there complained of "severely crowded and squalid living conditions." Click here or here for more information about what happened there.
Hasan, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 52 years old, bearded and with wire-rim glasses, had a white kufi on his head. He wore a short-sleeve shirt over a long-sleeve shirt, light blue prison pants and white Nikes. His 209-pound frame was taut and compact, the result of an intense exercise regime. He has been on death row since he was convicted for his actions while leading, along with four others, the April 1993 uprising at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility at Lucasville, Ohio. They are known as the Lucasville Five. The uprising saw prisoners take control of the prison for 11 days in protest against numerous grievances, including deaths that occurred allegedly from beatings by guards. It was one of the longest prison uprisings in U.S. history. By the time it was over, 10 people had been killed by prisoners, including a guard.

Comment: It seems whenever a strong leader, whether in prison or outside in society, especially one of color, rises to confront abuse of human rights the PTB go into overdrive to squash the rebel in any way possible including assassination to maintain their illusion of control. For more information on the current state of the US prison industrial complex please read:

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

FBI launches investigation into a private prison so violent it is called "Gladiator School"

California prisons illegally sterilized hundreds of female inmates

Who Profits from Prison?: Louisiana - the World's Prison Capital

Star of David

Prague: Attacks spur European rabbis to train in self-defense

rabbis self defense 1
Rabbis take part in first aid training and self defense during the Conference of European Rabbis in Prague.
Rabbis from European countries gathered in Prague Tuesday for training in self-defense and first aid in response to a wave of attacks against Jews and a rise of anti-Semitism on the continent.

In a stunning beginning of a training session, knives were distributed to dozens of rabbis, young and old, before receiving instructions and practicing what to do to survive stabbing and how to treat injuries.
rabbis self defense 2
Rabbis line up to knife (screwdriver?) wrestle.
Some occasionally burst out with a laugh but overall the rabbis took it seriously as it was prompted by fears after the deadly terror attack against a kosher grocery in Paris in January and the murder of a Jewish security guard outside a synagogue in Copenhagen earlier this month.

"When we see the level of anti-Semitism in Europe, when we see the level of hate in Europe, when we see the lack of leadership of European governments to fight against anti-Semitism and terror, we're not surprised, unfortunately (by the attacks)," said Rabbi Menachem Margolin.

Comment: Maybe all men and women "of the cloth" should join up and take these classes...Rabbis, Ministers, Imams, Priests...because there's lots of "anti" and "phobia" to spare out there! From the candids at the conference, it certainly looks like these guys have "the right stuff!" Self-defense is useful. Arming the clerics...hmmm, a pause for thought! L'chaim y'all.


Community kitchens: Time to revive an old custom to help feed millions

© Shutterstock
A return to community canteens as an alternative to food banks?
Did you watch Channel 4's latest sensational documentary Junk Food Kids? If so, you probably shared the sense of outrage that exploded across social media when scenes featuring obese children with decaying teeth were broadcast.

But the presence of fat children on our screens masks the fact that we are currently facing an unnecessary global starvation epidemic. We live in a time of overabundant food production. Despite this, almost a billion people go hungry every day. These figures are no longer only applicable to the developing world.

According to recent statistics, one in five British children now lives below the poverty line. Speak to those working in paediatric medicine in Britain today and they'll tell you that A&E departments are not just hosting overweight children with health problems but, especially in school holiday time, kids that are seriously under-fed. Just hang on for a minute and think about that - malnourished children in this country. Isn't that, well, just a tad Dickensian? Dead right it is. And so, unfortunately, is the solution to this problem: the food bank.

The Trussell Trust, which runs most food banks, feeds more than a million people a year. The trust is a faith-based network supplemented by other voluntary anti-food poverty schemes, the majority of which are church-based.

There is nothing wrong with non-proselytising faith groups alleviating food poverty. After all, there are plenty of biblical examples supporting this ethic. But one may be forgiven for wondering where the state comes in to all this.

Before Christmas the much-anticipated parliamentary report on food poverty was published. Even "advanced Western economies" with "mature welfare states", it stated, are reliant on food banks. How has this happened?
Communal kitchens

To answer this question, we need to look at how Britain dealt with food poverty in the past. From research into egalitarian eating, it's clear this country faced a serious food problem due to trade disruption during World War I. In the centenary year of 2014, while the BBC and other broadcasters were busy sending reporters off to trudge the poppy-dotted battlefields for the umpteenth time, they ignored an aspect of the war which has great relevance for public health today: communal kitchens.

The communal kitchens of one hundred years ago grew out of wartime working class communities, where public dining ventures nourished the most needy at a time when food supplies were poor and nutritional standards low. These grassroots efforts evolved into state-supported "national kitchens" or "national restaurants". People brought a plate or bowl to a "distribution centre" and had it filled up with nutritious food for a modest fee. This rough-and-ready model soon evolved into cheap restaurants where people received hearty, fresh, nutritious meals at incredibly low prices.

Comment: This might be a wonderful idea as the number of people relying on food banks has increased exponentially in the past few years. As the authors mention, people do lack cooking skills and often don't even have adequate facilities for even heating food. Many people, particularly the elderly, would benefit from the social interaction as often they are completely shut off from their communities.


A letter to young people about 50 Shades of Grey


Just another 'Christian Grey' bad childhood.
{Many of you have asked that I provide my letter to young people as a PDF. Download A Letter to Young People About Fifty Shades of Grey here.}

There's nothing grey about Fifty Shades of Grey. It's all black.

Let me explain.

I help people who are broken inside. Unlike doctors who use x-rays or blood tests to determine why someone's in pain, the wounds I'm interested in are hidden. I ask questions, and listen carefully to the answers. That's how I discover why the person in front of me is "bleeding".

Years of careful listening have taught me a lot. One thing I've learned is that young people are utterly confused about love - finding it and keeping it. They make poor choices, and end up in lots of pain.

I don't want you to suffer like the people I see in my office, so I'm warning you about a new movie called Fifty Shades of Grey. Even if you don't see the film, its message is seeping into our culture, and could plant some dangerous ideas in your head. Be prepared.

Comment: Do yourself a favor: ignore E. L. James's trash novel and movie and read Sandra Brown's Women Who Love Psychopaths instead. See: Like Dr. Grossman writes above, Fifty Shades of Grey is a fantasy. Psychopaths are a reality.


Woman raped by police officer bravely goes public after filing civil charges

Shari Martin
An Iowa woman has decided to go public and file civil charges against former Muscatine police officer Tom Tovar for raping her.

Shari Martin told WQAD that she decided not to take advantage of Iowa's Rape Shield Law that would have allowed her to file the lawsuit anonymously because she didn't have anything to be ashamed of.

"I want people to know this happens to regular people and I'm done," she explained. "I don't want to be a victim anymore. I want to come out and say I have nothing to be ashamed of. I did nothing wrong, and I was not able to consent."

In 2013, then-Officer Tovar had pulled over Martin's boyfriend's car for OWI after the two had been out drinking on Valentines Day. According to court and police records, Tovar had taken Martin back to her hotel room while her boyfriend was being booked into jail.

Martin said that she didn't even remember being in Tovar's patrol car. And when she woke up several hours later, she realized that she had been raped.

"I realized I was naked. I don't sleep naked. I started having a flashback. I came to and said, 'Oh my God, there was a police officer laying on me,'" she recalled.

A police investigation later determined that Tovar's DNA matched sperm found on Martin's hotel bedding and inside of her jeans.
People 2

Servant, slave or employee? What's the difference?

© unknown
Most Americans spend their lives working for others, paying off debts to others and performing tasks that others tell them that they "must" do. These days, we don't like to think of ourselves as "servants" or "slaves", but that is what the vast majority of us are. It is just that the mechanisms of our enslavement have become much more sophisticated over time. It has been said that the borrower is the servant of the lender, and most of us start going into debt very early into our adult years. In fact, those that go to college to "get an education" are likely to enter the "real world" with a staggering amount of debt. And of course that is just the beginning of the debt accumulation. Today, when you add up all mortgage debt, all credit card debt and all student loan debt, the average American household is carrying a grand total of 203,163 dollars of debt. Overall, American households are more than 11 trillion dollars in debt at this point. And even though most Americans don't realize this, over the course of our lifetimes the amount of money that we will repay on our debts is far greater than the amount that we originally borrowed. In fact, when it comes to credit card debt you can easily end up repaying several times the amount of money that you originally borrowed. So we work our fingers to the bone to pay off these debts, and the vast majority of us are not even working for ourselves. Instead, our work makes the businesses that other people own more profitable. So if we spend the best years of our lives building businesses for others, servicing debts that we owe to others and making others wealthier, what does that make us?

In 2015, the words "servant" and "slave" have very negative connotations, and we typically don't use them very much.

Comment: Think you're not a slave?

Make no mistake: You are an American debt slave

Are You A Slave Of The System?


Historical museum formally enshrines family's alien abduction story

Thomas Reed says he was 6 when he was first taken by extraterrestrials.
A Massachusetts history museum has lent some validity to a neighboring family's claims that they were abducted multiple times by aliens in the late 1960s.

Thomas Reed claims he was first abducted in 1966 at age 6, along with his brother, from their home in Sheffield, taken inside a UFO and shown a projection of a willow tree.

Reed claims they were abducted again the following year and then later found in their driveway by their mother, who had been searching for the missing boys on horseback.

The boys' mother and grandmother were abducted along with the boys while driving their car two years later and taken to meet two ant-like figures and then placed in a cage before finding themselves back in their car, Reed claims.

The Great Barrington Historical Society & Museum formally inducted Reed's alien abduction stories, possibly becoming the first "mainstream" historical society in the U.S. to declare a UFO encounter to be historical fact, reported the Boston Globe.

"It means that we believe it is true," said Debbie Oppermann, director of the historical society.
Brick Wall

New York university forces woman to litigate her own case, cross-examine alleged rapist because she did not scream "No!" or fight back

© Screen capture
Sarah Tubbs
A woman who graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook claims that the university forced her to litigate her own sexual assault case in a student tribunal and never contacted authorities on her behalf following an attack that took place in 2014.

According to, 22-year-old Sarah Tubbs said that she was sexually assaulted after an alcohol-fueled party on Jan. 26, 2014. Stony Brook badly botched its handling of the subsequent investigation, Tubbs says, and she is now suing the university for Title IX violations.

Tubbs — who graduated from the university in May — said that after the party in 2014, at which she had played drinking games and consumed multiple alcoholic beverages, she accompanied a male friend back to his dorm room with the intention of having sex.

When they arrived at his room, Tubbs' lawsuit says, she realized she was seriously intoxicated and told her companion that she did not want to engage in sexual activity at that time.

The male student reportedly ignored her and went on to orally sodomize her without her consent, to penetrate her vagina with his fingers and to attempt vaginal intercourse.

Tubbs said that she was only semi-conscious during the attack and at some points, she blacked out altogether.

"I froze and there were parts of the night where I couldn't fight because it's not an option," she said to LoHud.

Two days after the attack, Tubbs screwed up her courage and reported the assault to campus police. She was ordered to undergo a hospital rape exam first, then to return to the campus police office and report the rape.

Tubbs said she followed instructions, and two weeks after the assault, she filed a formal complaint. However, the officer who heard her complaint reportedly told her that his department could not help her because she did not scream "No!" or physically fight back.

Comment: The university is concerned about damage control and covering up the rape culture at universities. If you knew your daughter might be raped at a particular university, would you send her to that school?

I wish I'd never reported my rape

Christmas Tree

Alaska becomes 3rd state to legalize marijuana, DC will soon be 4th

© Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi
Alaska has joined Colorado and Washington in legalizing recreational marijuana, and the District of Columbia will follow suit on Thursday this week.

The new laws allow adults over 21 to consume small quantities of home-grown pot in private, though sales remain illegal.

Comment: It seems a little strange to legalize smoking marijuana but still have sales be illegal. They are either naive or dumb to think that people are not going to buy marijuana instead of growing it themselves. Have the Alaskan lawmakers beat their constituents to the punch on marijuana use?

Ballot initiatives legalizing personal marijuana consumption were approved by voters in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC last November. Alaska's law went into effect on Tuesday, while Oregon's Measure 91 is scheduled to take effect in July this year.

Initiative 71 legalizing the private consumption of marijuana in DC will take effect later this week on Thursday, according to a statement released by Mayor Muriel Bowser [PDF].

According to the announcement by Mayor Bowser, adults aged 21 and older will be able to lawfully possess up to two ounces of marijuana and use it on private property. They will also be allowed to transfer up to one ounce of marijuana to another person, "as long as no money, goods or services are exchanged and the recipient is 21 years of age or older," and grow upwards of six plants a piece.

Comment: Another rather dumb insistence by DC legislators. No one is "transferring" marijuana freely to anyone else. Shouldn't they stop with the pretense already and allow the sales of a small amount if they are going to legalize consumption?

Star of David

94 year old ex-Nazi sergeant charged with murders from time at Auschwitz

© AP
The main gate of the Auschwitz death camp complex in occupied-Poland. German prosecutors have charged a 94-year-old man with 3,681 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he worked as a sergeant at the camp.
German prosecutors have charged a 94-year-old man with 3,681 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he served in the Nazis' Auschwitz death camp.

Schwerin prosecutors' spokesman Stefan Urbanek said Monday the suspect was an SS sergeant who served as a medic in Auschwitz in an SS hospital. In that role, Urbanek said the man helped the extermination camp function and could thus be charged as an accessory to the 1944 killings.

Urbanek wouldn't release the suspect's name in line with privacy laws.

The man is one of 30 former Auschwitz suspects against whom federal investigators recommended in 2013 that state prosecutors pursue charges under a new precedent in German law.

His attorney, Peter-Michael Diestel, told the Bild newspaper there's no evidence of any "concrete criminal act" by his client.

Comment: The hunt will never end until everyone still alive from WWII is dead.