Society's Child


On the trail of New York's forgotten Russian Teardrop monument to the 9/11 victims

Article originally published: 19 November 2012.

About 50 million people visit New York every year and more than eight million live there but no one seems to have heard of The Teardrop...which is odd because it is a 100ft tall, 175-ton memorial to those who died on the city's blackest day.

Learning of its existence by chance, I tried to discover more from locals at Ground Zero, where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre stood until September 11, 2001, and was met with blank expressions.

Comment: It is amazing how little people are aware of this heart felt monument given from the people of Russia. That needs to change.

Eye 2

Man who killed Cecil the lion illegally hunted black bear and offered 20k bribe to guides to cover it up

© ric Miller / Reuters
Protesters hold signs during a rally outside the River Bluff Dental clinic against the killing of a famous lion in Zimbabwe, in Bloomington, Minnesota
The dentist who killed Cecil the Lion also illegally hunted a black bear nine years ago - and offered $20,000 for the crime to be covered up. Newly emerged photos show Walter Palmer posing with his kill.

The illegal kill occurred in September 2006, when Palmer shot a bear in northern Wisconsin, in an area where he was not allowed to hunt, ABC News reported.

According to court documents, the dentist had a permit to kill a bear in one county, but ended up shooting and killing one 40 miles away.

Showing little concern about his illegal activity, Palmer posed with the bear before offering the guides he was with $20,000 to lie about where the bear was shot.

Comment: See: Killing Cecil: A metaphor of Western colonialist exploitation of Africa


How campus rape remains a hidden crime

© Shutterstock
The myth has been shattered. The college campus, it turns out, is not always a sheltered sanctuary of peaceful, rolling green lawns and ivy-covered brick.

The reality of sexual assault at college has been brought home by recent investigations by the Office for Civil Rights of no fewer than 85 universities in the US for their handling (or lack of handling) of sexual violence.

These investigations are just one part of a flurry of attention directed at colleges, from a series of high-profile rape cases to a White House report estimating that 20% of women on campus are subject to sexual assault.

Of course, rape is a crime about secrecy and shame. So, most cases of rape are never reported. But in this age of global information, where so much data is freely published and shared online, surely the dawn is breaking. Or is it?

I recently led a research team that began examining how well university and college websites bring pertinent and relevant information to their students about how to prevent and respond to sexual assault on campus.

Comment: The problem of rape on campus is symptomatic of the problem that society as a whole has in protecting people from sexual assault. There is a rape culture in the U.S. that permeates down from the highest institutions and corporations to colleges and high schools:

Rape Culture in America - How the system protects the rapists and fails the victims

Eye 2

Fired cop tried to hire hit man to murder woman because it was cheaper than child support

Samantha Dean was murdered in February of 2015
Investigators revealed this week that a fired Austin police officer was accused of trying to hire someone to murder a pregnant former lover for $5,000 because she wanted him to pay child support.

Last month, 32-year-old then-officer VonTrey Clark told a Texas Ranger that he had an affair with homicide victim Samantha Dean. Clark said that the relationship was "off-and-on over the last six or seven years, and that he believes he is the father of Dean's unborn child, Baby Dean," according to court documents.

The department fired Clark after he disobeyed orders by fleeing to Indonesia, which does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S.

A warrant to search Clark's home this week accused Clark of trying to hire a hitman to murder Dean. Aaron Williams, who was described as a close friend of Dean's, told investigators that the former officer was planning "to pay someone $5,000 to kill Dean and her baby due to Dean wanting Clark to pay child support for the baby."

Snakes in Suits

Group of women accuse judge of harassment, intimidation, and sexual assault


Judge Jeffrey Scott Joy
A group of Pennsylvania women say that a district judge harassed, intimidated and physically assaulted them in court and at their homes after they appeared in his courtroom.

According to Fox Channel 43 News, a 31-year-old woman filed a complaint with Pennsylvania State Police alleging that York County District Judge Jeffrey Scott Joy, 50, made two visits to her home and on the second visit, he groped her and licked her without her consent.

Joy first visited the woman's apartment to investigate a child abuse complaint against another person. She said that after he left, Joy called her and offered to help her out with money if she needed it. He also expressed interest in buying a painting from her.

He reportedly made the second visit to finalize arrangements on the painting and while there made increasingly aggressive sexual advances toward the woman, attempting to fondle her breasts and buttocks and to lick her breast.

State Police say there are also investigating claims by other women against Joy, including one woman who claims that Joy made lewd and inappropriate remarks to her when she was in his courtroom.

Comment: This guy is obviously a predator who needs to be removed from the bench.

Heart - Black

Heartless: Student who took selfie with dying patient in hospital engulfed in public outrage after incident goes viral

© Twitter
María José González is feeling the burn after a image of her posing next to one of her patients, seemingly taken without permission, has become viral
Some selfies just shouldn't be taken.

It's a lesson that María José González, a dentistry student at the Valle de México University (UVM), may never forget.

As originally reported by Proceso magazine , González has spent the past month engulfed by public outrage after a self-taken image of her smiling next to a seemingly very sick patient was first leaked onto Facebook and has since gone viral.

The pic, originally shared via the instant messenger Whatsapp, contained a none-too-flattering comment from González as well. "I was on duty and saw a woman dying and then took a selfie," González reportedly wrote, complete with an inappropriate emoji.


46 million Americans stand in line at food banks for dwindling supplies

Those that run food banks all over America say that demand for their services just continues to explode. It always amazes me that there are still people out there that insist that an "economic collapse" is not happening. From their air-conditioned homes in their cushy suburban neighborhoods they mock the idea that the U.S. economy is crumbling. But if they would just go down and visit the local food banks in their areas, they would see how much people are hurting. According to Feeding America spokesman Ross Fraser, 46 million Americans got food from a food bank at least one time during 2014. Because the demand has become so overwhelming, some food banks are cutting back on the number of days they operate and the amount of food that is given to each family. As you will see below, many impoverished Americans are lining up at food banks as early as 6:30 in the morning just so that they can be sure to get something before the food runs out. And yet there are still many people out there that have the audacity to say that everything is just fine in America. Shame on them for ignoring the pain of millions upon millions of their fellow citizens.

Poverty in America is getting worse, not better. And no amount of spin from Barack Obama or his apologists can change that fact.

This year, it is being projected that food banks in the United States will give away an all-time record 4 billion pounds of food.

Over the past decade, that number has more than doubled.

And that number would be even higher if food banks had more food to give away. The demand has become so crushing that some food banks have actually reduced the amount of food each family gets...
Food banks across the country are seeing a rising demand for free groceries despite the growing economy, leading some charities to reduce the amount of food they offer each family.
Those in need are starting to realize what is going on, so they are getting to the food banks earlier and earlier. For example, one food bank in New Mexico is now getting long lines of people every single day starting at 6:30 in the morning...
"We get lines of people every day, starting at 6:30 in the morning," said Sheila Moore, who oversees food distribution at The Storehouse, the largest pantry in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and one where food distribution has climbed 15 percent in the past year.
Does that sound like an "economic recovery" to you?

Comment: With unemployment numbers misrepresented and the amount of layoffs coming, the world is going to find it impossible to live. There are a whole lot of uncounted people in these statistics. These numbers do not represent people who live in places where there are NO food banks. They don't represent people who too ashamed to ask for help or are just getting by eating less.


Hundreds of thousands take to the streets in Brazil in anti-government protests

© Nelson Almeida/AFP via Getty Images
Demonstrators protest against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Sao Paulo, on Aug. 16, 2015.
Brazilians took to the streets Sunday in anti-government protests as President Dilma Rousseff tries to rebuild her coalition and outlast a political crisis.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators came out by mid-afternoon in the country's largest cities to denounce corruption and economic mismanagement, in many cases demanding impeachment or Rousseff's resignation.

Waves of people marched toward Congress in Brasilia, beside the beach in Rio de Janeiro, and down Sao Paulo's main drag. They chanted anti-government slogans and carried Brazilian flags, handmade signs and effigies of politicians that were the subject of their indignation.

"I'm outraged at Brazil's corruption in general, especially the government," said Gustavo Raulino, a 38-year-old engineer from Brasilia, who said he was protesting against the worsening political crisis and weak economy.

Comment: Is Brazil seeing the beginnings of a color revolution?

The Truth Perspective - Color revolutions as modern warfare - 15 August 2015


Chrysler recalls hackable Jeeps, media still silent on Michael Hastings' death

© Jeep Cherokee: (CONCAVO WHEELS / Flickr), Code (*n3wjack's world in pixels / Flickr)
In a landmark decision, Fiat Chrysler has recalled 1.4 million Jeep Cherokees after tests showed that the cars could be remotely hacked — but most news outlets have still failed to question the mysterious death of journalist Michael Hastings, who said his car showed signs of being manipulated.
Recently, the Los Angeles Times noted the landmark action taken taken by Fiat Chrysler to recall 1.4 million Jeep Cherokees, after tests showed the cars could be remotely hacked.

Researchers demonstrated a software vulnerability in the Jeep's Uconnect dashboard computers. By hacking into a Jeep driven by a Wired magazine writer, they were able to commandeer the dashboard functions as well as the steering, transmission, and brakes.

This suggests that people like former US counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke — and a handful of outfits including WhoWhatWhy — were onto something in raising the possibility of foul play in Michael Hastings's death.

Comment: See also:

Post-It Note

DOJ argues that banning the homeless from sleeping outside is unconstitutional

© unknown
For the last several years, cities across the United States have responded to the problem of homelessness in the way governments tend to tackle dilemmas: by criminalizing the undesired behavior. In addition to banning feeding those without shelter (in some cases criminalizing the elderly for doing so), local governments have outright banned the homeless from sleeping or panhandling in public. Now, however, the Department of Justice is arguing that it is unconstitutional to bar the homeless from sleeping outside.

In a statement of interest filed this week in a little-known Idaho case on the subject, the DOJ explained its position:

"When adequate shelter space exists, individuals have a choice about whether or not to sleep in public. However, when adequate shelter space does not exist, there is no meaningful distinction between the status of being homeless and the conduct of sleeping in public. Sleeping is a life-sustaining activity—i.e., it must occur at some time in some place. If a person literally has nowhere else to go, then enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance against that person criminalizes her for being homeless," it reads.