Society's ChildS

Light Saber

Flint will riot 'soon' if you don't #ArrestGovSnyder - Michael Moore to Obama on Facebook

Michael Moore Flint lead water
© Michael Moore / Facebook Governor Rick Snyder “has now killed more Americans than ISIS.”
Filmmaker Michael Moore has warned President Obama that riots will begin in the troubled Michigan city of Flint unless their poisoned water crisis is resolved.

The native son, who first became known nationwide for his 1989 gritty documentary Roger & Me, wrote an open letter to the president in advance of his first visit to the 'Vehicle City' since lead contamination decimated the water supply in 2014.

Moore warned Obama not to "make one of those 'we need to rebuild America's infrastructure' speeches" during his May 4 stop, because the problem isn't infrastructure but rather "a hate crime and mass poisoning of Black and poor people."

His message ended with an ominous "The riots here, I'm certain, will begin sometime soon."
Moore Flint lead facebook
© Michael Moore/Facebook


People power: Residents in Pennsylvania town fighting to prevent Nestle from stealing their water

A small town in Pennsylvania is the latest to be targeted by Nestlé Waters North America, which, in typical fashion, is seeking to extract millions of gallons of freshwater to bottle and sell for an obscene profit — whether or not local residents approve.

Nestlé sneakily began testing waters in the Kunkeltown area as far back as 2012; but residents wouldn't have discovered the desire for its water at all had the mega-corporation not rented an office in the community center, as Truthout reported. In fact, Nestlé's plans comprise no small operation, as Truthout explained:

"In the permit application that Nestlé Waters filed with the Township, it states the company is proposing to drill two large wells, pump 200,000 gallons of water per day from the aquifer, put it in trucks and transfer it to an existing bottling facility near Allentown, about 20 miles away. It expects 60 truck trips through the town per day. And Nestlé isn't going away anytime soon: It plans to pump for 10 years with an option to continue pumping for an additional 15 years, leading to the removal of 73 million gallons of water from the aquifer over the life of the wells."

True to form of its insidious and often covert business methods concerning bottled water operations, Nestlé was able to submit a permit application for bulk water extraction after Eldred Township changed an ordinance in May 2014. Though it's unclear whether Nestlé had a hand in the switch, with the company already testing waters at the time and the fact the Township failed to inform residents certainly lends credence to the theory.

Prior to the ordinance change, as Truthout noted, "bulk water extraction ... was explicitly illegal in places zoned for commercial use."

Comment: Kudos to these residents for fighting back against this psychopathic behemoth that is sucking the world dry!


Baby boomers and Millennials are turning away from marriage in America

Marriage Certificate
© FlickrMarriage is losing ground with Americans old and young.
For a generation that is learning to embrace renting in place of ownership, cohabitation is on the rise, and may be in line to replace traditional matrimony.

As the new dominant demographic in the United States, whatever Millennials do as a group goes a long way to establishing new norms. It has been well established that economic forces are compelling Millennials -- roughly, those born between 1980-2000 -- to postpone major commitments, like purchasing a house or car, as well as getting married or having children. But this shift away from traditional marriage is not limited to the youth end of the demographic spectrum.

A spike in the divorce rate among Baby Boomers and older Americans has given rise to use of the term "gray divorce." From empty nest couples coping with having their kids grown up and out of the house, to long-suffering mismatches finally calling it quits, seniors are turning away from the tradition of marriage for life at the same rate as Millennials postponing or altogether foregoing such legal unions: 25 percent.

In both cases, economic factors may be at least partly responsible for the new trend. Aside from the early adulthood hardships being endured by a generation of heavily indebted Millennial college grads, younger generations are also finding that women often have as much chance of making it on their own as men, certainly compared to previous generations.

As a generation, Millennials are the most vocal and most hyper-conscious of gender inequality. It is in many ways the defining issue of their time. The history of marriage, as well as marriage laws, can often put it on the wrong side of history where Millennials of any gender are concerned.

Women, largely excluded from higher education and direct participation in the economy, historically played homemaker in exchange for access to a breadwinner. Today, both sexes are discovering that marriage is no longer a key requisite for financial security.

Men -- especially Millennial men -- have less to offer financially now that they are both heavily indebted and more frequently competing with college-educated women for jobs. Women, increasingly career-driven and fighting the glass ceiling legacies that have limited their learning and earning potential, are more visible, vocal, and essential to the economy than ever before. These Millennial women have plenty to do without negotiating their self-determination with husbands whose masculinity may or may not tolerate earning less or holding a lower title than their wives.

Heart - Black

High school principal arrested and charged with raping student after threatening to alter her school records

Northwest High School Asst. Principal Kenneth Andrew Williams
© Rock Hill Police DeptNorthwest High School Asst. Principal Kenneth Andrew Williams in court
An assistant principal at a South Carolina high school is accused of forcing a sexual relationship on a 16-year-old girl when she sought his protection against a group of bullies.

According to WBTV, court documents state that 30-year-old Kenneth Andrew Williams of Northwest High School in Rock Hill has been charged with four counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and unlawful conduct toward a child.

A warrant for Williams' arrest says that he coerced the girl into performing sex acts by threatening to alter her school records and damage her academic standing. He also said that he would protect her from bullying if she complied with his demands.

The investigation reportedly came about after a separate incident in which the girl texted Williams saying she was going to be attacked by other students at noon on a certain day. Williams took no action and the girl was injured in an altercation with other students.


Police shoot 14yo boy who was holding BB gun

crime scene
© Jim Bourg / Reuters
A 13-year-old boy was shot by Baltimore police who said they believed he was holding a firearm, though the weapon turned out to be a toy replica handgun.

The incident took place on Wednesday around 4pm, after two plainclothes officers from the Baltimore Police Department saw a young male with a handgun, Police Chief Kevin Davis said in a statement to the media. He said that the officers identified themselves as police to the young boy, but that he ran away and a foot chase ensued.

After chasing the boy for about 150 yards and seeing he did not drop what they thought was a weapon, one of the officers giving chase discharged his firearm and struck the boy, Davis said. It's unclear how many shots were fired, or if the boy was pointing the gun at the officers or anybody else.

The boy's injuries are not life-threatening and he is expected to survive, Davis said. The police said he is 13, but the youth's mother identified him as a 14-year-old eighth grade student named Dedric Colvin, the Baltimore Sun reported. She said he was struck twice, in the shoulder and the leg.


Teen commits suicide after being arrested for fighting back against school bullies

Destiny Gleason
Destiny Gleason, 14
A Missouri teenager committed suicide after her parents say she was bullied on Facebook and arrested after a resulting fight at school, Fox59 reports.

Destiny Gleason, 14, hanged herself from a pull-up bar in her bedroom last Wednesday using an extension cord, and her parents want to know why more wasn't done to protect her from "relentless" bullying by about six girls.

"At one point they took some photo of some random person's private parts and put Destiny's name across it and spread it around the school," her mom, Stephanie Clark, told Fox59. "Anything they could possibly do to hurt her and bring her down."

Her stepfather, Kurtis Clark, told the station that officials at Black Hawk Middle School, where Destiny was a student, were aware of the bullying but did little to stop it.

Heart - Black

Father kills 5 children in his custody despite DSS involvement; mother sues

The Jones kids
© The Daily BeastThe Jones kids
In 2014, a South Carolina father allegedly did the unthinkable.

Timothy Jones, 34, is currently on trial for the murders of his five children. According to officials, he picked them up from daycare and then strangled four of them—one after another—with his bare hands until they were dead. The fifth he beat to death.

He allegedly placed the little bodies of Merah, 8, Elias, 7, Nahtahn, 6, Gabriel, 2, and Abigail, 1, in black plastic bags and drove for days, over 700 miles, to dump their remains in a shallow ditch in Alabama.

Comment: The child welfare system is broken. While it's busy harrassing poor families and accusing them of neglect, or engaging in child trafficking it's ignoring real cases of abuse.

Snakes in Suits

Corrupt Michigan officials hid lead levels by 'gaming' the sampling process to falsify results

tainted waer flint michigan
Michigan Attorney General Files Criminal Charges Over Tainted Water in Flint
A 2008 email from a Michigan water quality official asked a technician in Fenton, Michigan, near Flint, to falsify the results of a high lead sampling by testing more homes.

The Guardian reviewed the email and reported on it Wednesday. Adam Rosenthal of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) sent the email to the technician and copied Mike Prysby, the engineer in MDEQ's Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance who was just indicted on criminal charges for his role in the Flint water crisis.

Samples collected from five of the nearly 45 homes in the Chateaux Du Lac Condominiums, in the small town of Fenton, which runs its own private water system, were sent to the MDEQ and showed high levels of lead. One of the homes tested at 115 parts per billion (ppb)—almost ten times higher than the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "action level" of 15 ppb. Rosenthal wrote in his September 16, 2008 email, "I just saw the results—115 ppb for lead is a bit high. Since this is an annual round of monitoring, which ends 9/30/08, there is still time to collect more samples and possibly bump this one out."

Dr. Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech University engineering professor who exposed the high lead levels in Flint when he conducted his own sampling, told the Guardian, "Oh my gosh, I've never heard [it] more black and white. In the Flint emails, if you recall, it was a little bit implied ... this is like telling the strategy, which is: 'You failed, but if you go out and get a whole bunch more samples that are low, then you can game it lower.'

"It just shows that this culture of corruption and unethical, uncaring behavior predated Flint by at least six years."

Comment: Note to America: When corruption is rampant, empires fall


Lightning strikes Icelandair plane on way to Heathrow

plane lightning
© Sam Van Tilburgh/Twitter
The dramatic moment a passenger plane was apparently hit by lightning near Heathrow Airport has been caught on camera.

The jet, flying from Reykjavik in Iceland, was struck during a storm over London on Wednesday evening.

A video taken by Kevin McArdle in Parsons Green, west London, showed the plane in the middle of the picture.

It was flying below a large dark cloud before a lightning bolt appeared, followed by a rumble of thunder a couple of seconds later.


Life Preserver

Destitute, humiliated, isolated in 21st century Britain: Over 1.25 million and rising

Apartments in the UK
© Andrew Winning/Reuters
In a climate of unyielding austerity, more than a million people across the UK are so impoverished they don't have enough food, clothes, heating, shelter and toiletries, Britain's first study into destitution has revealed.
The report, which was commissioned by UK charity the Joseph Rowntree Trust (JRT), used a new method to measure the scale of extreme poverty in Britain.

At present, there are no official government estimates of the level of destitution across the UK. But amid growing concern that extreme poverty is on the rise, the JRF commissioned a special report to investigate the matter. The study was conducted by academics at Herriot-Watt University, a range of other experts and a number of key UK service providers.

It took two years to complete, and was published on Wednesday. It found that a startling 1.25 million people were destitute during 2015, 312,000 of whom were children. Some 80 percent of these were born in Britain. While young, single citizens - especially men - were found to be more likely to suffer from extreme poverty, considerable numbers of families were also found to have suffered destitution.

Most severe form of poverty

Destitution is defined as the "most severe form of poverty in the UK," which leaves people in such financial jeopardy they are unable to afford vital essentials such as food, toiletries and heating. In order to discern whether an impoverished person can be defined as destitute, the report's authors said they must lack two or more essentials deemed vital for basic living over a four-week period.

People who fell into this category included: those who had been forced to sleep rough; had no meal or just one per day over a period of 48 hours or longer; were unable to heat or light their home adequately for five or more days, and lacked weather-proof clothes or had to go without basic toiletries.

Comment: Austerity bites: UK experiencing devastating increase in homelessness