Society's ChildS

Bad Guys

Fracking: Natural gas industry keeping water testing data from researchers

Protesters against Marcellus Shale drilling march across the Rachel Carson Bridge in Pittsburgh in November 2010.

Despite having complained for years that studies on the effect of hydrofracking on drinking water supplies are deficient because they don't include pre-drilling water quality data on wells and water systems, the natural gas industry has been keeping that data away from researchers.

ProPublica reports:
The absence of baseline data was one of the most serious criticisms leveled at a group of Duke researchers last week when they published the first peer-reviewed study linking drilling to methane contamination in water supplies.

That study - which found that methane concentrations in drinking water increased dramatically with proximity to gas wells - contained "no baseline information whatsoever," wrote Chris Tucker, a spokesman for the industry group Energy in Depth, in a statement debunking the study.

Now it turns out that some of that data does exist. It just wasn't available to the Duke researchers, or to the public.


U.S.: 84-year-old man allegedly beaten by police officer after calling 911


An Alabama police officer allegedly hospitalized an elderly man who called 911 to report an accident across the street from his house while his wife watched the entire beating from her wheelchair.

The Courthouse News Service reported that 84-year-old Dorsey Henderson of Fairhope, Alabama called 911 after investigating the car accident and discovering that the driver of the vehicle was severely intoxicated.

Henderson told the driver of the car he was under citizens arrest and needed to wait near his car until police arrived.


Coming of Rage in Neverland

© Mr. Fish
G. Gordon Liddy, noted Watergate thief and tournament-level egomaniac, once said that, "The press is like the peculiar uncle you keep in the attic - just one of those unfortunate things." Of course, such a quote, rather than maligning the press, ultimately serves only to label the quote's originator as a crackpot. Who else but a crackpot would want to shove another family member into the attic simply because he or she tends to ask a lot of questions about the world and expects a certain logic to be present in the answers?

It's a common phenomenon, this maligning of the press from the right wing, and it's what I love about blowhards like Liddy. Like the ancient geocentrists who believed that the Earth was the center of the universe and that all other heavenly bodies revolved around it, so much of the conservative ideology assumes that its stubborn refusal to tolerate any point of view that doesn't recognize the values of the GOP as originating from some fixed center at the very core of the moral universe is in adherence to some permanent truth and not merely proof that the GOP is too fearful and too unimaginative and too antiquated to be able to comprehend - let alone keep up with - a reality that, simply by being chemically based, is anything but immovable. That's why the conservatives perceive any criticism of their principles to be an attack on reality itself, and therefore believe that any disagreement with them is not only mad but also depraved and deliberately pernicious. It is also how they are able to so easily integrate the concept of absolute good and evil into their worldview.

Black Cat

IMF's Strauss-Kahn resigns amid sex charges

© Reuters/New York State/HandoutAn NYPD prisoner movement slip for IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn is seen in this document released, May 18, 2011.
Washington - Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the embattled managing director of International Monetary Fund, resigned Wednesday, saying he wanted to devote "all his energy" to battle the sexual assault charges he faces in New York.

The IMF's executive board released a letter from the French executive Wednesday in which he denied the allegations lodged against him but said that with "sadness" he felt he must resign. He said that he was thinking of his family and that he wanted to protect the IMF.

"It is with infinite sadness that I feel compelled today to present to the executive board my resignation from my post of managing director of the IMF," the five-paragraph letter said. "I think at this time first of my wife - whom I love more than anything - of my children, of my family, of my friends. I think also of my colleagues at the Fund. Together we have accomplished such great things over the last three years and more.

"To all, I want to say that I deny with the greatest possible firmness all of the allegations that have been made against me. I want to protect this institution which I have served with honor and devotion, and especially - especially - I want to devote all my strength, all my time and all my energy to proving my innocence."

Heart - Black

US: Baby dumped in hospital trash can died Wednesday, mother may face murder charges

© unknownDawa Lama allegedly gave birth to a baby and abandoned it in the bathroom of a hospital.
The newborn girl dumped in a trash can at a Queens hospital last week died Wednesday and her mother could face murder charges, prosecutors said.

The child had been on life support since May 10, when Queens prosecutors say Dawa Lama abandoned the full-term infant in an emergency room trash can at Elmhurst Hospital.

Lama, who didn't tell anyone she was pregnant, was found sleeping inside her 65th St. home in Woodside just two hours after she dumped the baby.

"I was in the hospital today when the baby died," said Lama's boyfriend, Bishnu Gurung, who was the father of the baby girl.

"Everybody was just crying," said Gurung, 28, who didn't know Lama was pregnant. "Now we're in the temple, praying and grieving."


U.S. Policy is Rooted in Lies, Injustice, and War


The following remarks were delivered to the International Conference on Global Alliance Against Terrorism for a Just Peace in Tehran, Iran, on May 15.

How wonderful to be at a Conference where the word "love" is used; we are here because we love humankind. We are here from all corners of the earth; we are against terrorism; we want peace.

However, we must clarify peace. What kind of peace do we want?

President John F. Kennedy answered his question by saying: ". . . not a Pax Americana" imposed on the world by weapons of war. He went on to say that the kind of peace we want is the kind of peace that makes life worth living--peace for all men and women for all time.

No Justice, No Peace. No Truth, No Justice!


Texas becomes first state to ban 'intrusive' TSA security pat downs

Humiliating: A man endures a pat-down at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in front of a crowd
Texas has become the first state to ban intrusive airport security pat downs.

The bill, passed late last night, aims to make touching travellers in an 'inappropriate' way during searches a criminal offence.

The measure makes it illegal for anyone conducting pat-downs to touch 'the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person' including through clothing.


Melons now a Monsanto "invention"


US corporation awarded a European patent on conventionally bred melons.

Recent research conducted by the coalition No Patents on Seeds! shows that in May 2011, the US corporation Monsanto was awarded a European patent on conventionally bred melons (EP 1 962 578). Melons have a natural resistance to certain plant viruses. It is especially evident in melons grown in India. Using conventional breeding methods, this type of resistance was introduced to other melons and has now been patented as a Monsanto "invention".

"This patent is an abuse of patent law because it is not a real invention. It contravenes European law excluding patents on conventional breeding. Further, it is a case of bio-piracy, since the original and most relevant plants come from India," says Christoph Then, a spokesperson for No Patents on Seeds!. "Patents like this are blocking access to the genetic resources necessary for further breeding, and basic resources needed for daily life are subordinated to monopolisation and financial speculation."


U.S.: Middle-Class Warriors Storm JP Morgan Chase Meeting in Ohio

© National Peoples ActionRobin Hoods cross the moat surrounding JPMorgan Chase building.

Hundreds of protesters greeted JP Morgan Chase bank shareholders at their annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday to tell the big bank that it's time for Wall Street pay up for its part in the financial and foreclosure crisis that has cost residents in Ohio cities $1.6 billion in property values since 2009.

The protest was held as regulators and state attorneys generals continue to investigate the lending practices of big banks like Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America that are suspected of committing foreclosure fraud during the economic and housing crisis.

Organizers say 800 clergy, homeowners and union members from across Ohio and the Midwest gathered to protest the Chase shareholders meeting at corporate park outside Columbus. Heather McMahon, an organizer with the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative, said 15 people entered the Chase building and held the floor during the shareholders meeting for 20 minutes despite a heavy police presence.


US: Cheating is epidemic, counselors say

Tampa - An extra-marital affair can tear a family apart. In Palm Harbor, relationship coach Diana Journy says she's not surprised by the revelation that former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child outside of his marriage to Maria Shriver, a former broadcast journalist.

"I think it's an epidemic, actually. I think it's huge," Journy said. "We see it all the time. We talk to people daily. Daily."

Journy and her husband Tim Journy counsel couples dealing with infidelity. They've been there. In 2007, 31 years after they said "I do", Tim had an affair. There was no child, but Diana felt just as betrayed.

Shortly after the affair, the Journys traveled all the way to Vancouver, Canada for a three-day healing seminar. There, they met Anne and Brian Bercht, directors of the International Beyond Affairs Network, which was holding the seminar.