Society's ChildS

Black Magic

Beyond Flint: Investigation reveals excessive lead levels in almost 2,000 water systems spanning all 50 states

water faucet dripping
While a harsh national spotlight focuses on the drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich., a USA TODAY NETWORK investigation has identified almost 2,000 additional water systems spanning all 50 states where testing has shown excessive levels of lead contamination over the past four years.

The water systems, which reported lead levels exceeding Environmental Protection Agency standards, collectively supply water to 6 million people. About 350 of those systems provide drinking water to schools or day cares. The USA TODAY NETWORK investigation also found at least 180 of the water systems failed to notify consumers about the high lead levels as federal rules require.

Many of the highest reported lead levels were found at schools and day cares. A water sample at a Maine elementary school was 42 times higher than the EPA limit of 15 parts per billion, while a Pennsylvania preschool was 14 times higher, records show. At an elementary school in Ithaca, N.Y., one sample tested this year at a stunning 5,000 ppb of lead, the EPA's threshold for "hazardous waste."

"This is most definitely a problem that needs emergent care," Melissa Hoffman, a parent in Ithaca, forcefully pleaded with officials at a public hearing packed with upset parents demanding answers.


Alas, poor William! Shakespeare's skull missing from grave, probably stolen

© Aliana Aponte/Reuters
The skull of William Shakespeare, the playwright of infinite jest and most excellent fancy, is missing from his grave and was likely stolen, according to a new investigation.

Rumors that the playwright's head was stolen by 18th century trophy hunters have long been dismissed as folklore, but the first archaeological investigation of Shakespeare's grave suggests something is rotten in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The investigation was carried out for a UK TV programme at the Holy Trinity Church in the medieval market town where he grew up and lived his final days.

The team used the archaeologist's favorite new tool called LIDAR, a non-invasive ground penetrating radar that analyzed the grave.

"We came across this very odd, strange thing at the head end," said lead archaeologist Kevin Colls. "It was very obvious, within all the data we were getting, that there was something different going on at that particular spot. We have concluded it is signs of disturbance, of material being dug out and put back again."

Colls said this backed up a story published in Argosy magazine in 1879 which said Shakespeare's skull had been stolen in 1794.

The investigation also discovered that the playwright's family was buried in shallow graves beneath the church floor and not in a large family vault.

Heart - Black

Vienna police tell woman who was kissed by stranger that act was not sexual harassment

vienna subway station
© Leonhard Foeger / ReutersSubway passengers use escalators during the rush hour at the subway station in Vienna
A young woman who was kissed by a stranger on the Vienna Metro on her way to work was shocked to learn from police officers that a kiss wasn't an act of sexual harassment.

Iryna L., a 27-year-old manager, said she was on her way to work on Monday. Suddenly a man "of North African origin and approximately 25 years old" approached her and started stroking her hand. When she asked him to stop, the man kissed her.

"It happened very quickly. He sat near me in the full carriage and stroked my hand. I cried out 'stop' and moved myself to another seat, he tapped me on the shoulder, pulled me to him and kissed me on the mouth," she said, as cited by Austrian Heute newspaper.

Comment: The above reads like something you'd find in the dictionary under the phrase sexual harassment. How the police can say it isn't harassment is beyond logic. Sounds like police in Vienna are openly encouraging men to harass women.

Iryna said she hit the attacker with her bag and he ran away.

Heart - Black

Teen was carrying toy gun when 5 cops opened fire and killed him

Robert Dentmond
© FacebookFlorida teen Robert Dentmond
The Gainesville Police Department issued a statement saying a 16-year-old black teen shot and killed by police officers Sunday was carrying a toy gun, reports WUFT.

According to police, Robert Dentmond called 911 Sunday evening and told operators he was walking around with an M16 rifle at an apartment complex and that he was going to kill himself before he hung up on the operator.

Officers responding to the scene discovered Dentmond holding what they believed to be a real weapon and began a dialogue with the teen, stating he dropped the toy gun before picking it up and beginning to walk away.

"Deputies gave verbal commands to drop the weapon which he initially did, and as we tried to establish a rapport with the individual, to try to get him to move away from the weapon, he picked it up, rearmed himself, and started walking toward an occupied apartment complex," says Lieutenant Brandon Kutner, spokesperson for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.

2 + 2 = 4

"Trump 2016" written in sidewalk chalk sends university students into spasms of fear

Trump in chalk
You're gonna think this came from The Onion, but I assure you it didn't. This really happened here in America. This is the level we are at.

People are always talking about how they are afraid of terrorism. Or economic collapse. You know what I'm afraid of?

The younger generations of college students who have apparently been socially engineered to be complete and utter pansies who run crying to authorities any time someone disagrees with them and who beg to have everyone stripped of their First Amendment right to free speech because they apparently have the backbones of garden slugs.

Eye 1

Snowden: You cannot trust your privacy to tech giants like Microsoft

Snowden warns about trusting privacy
© REUTERS / Svein Ove Ekornesvaag/NTB Scanpix/Files
The whistleblower who exposed the totality of the America's mass domestic surveillance program suggested that users should look to free and open source software to preserve their privacy.

On Saturday, NSA whistleblower spoke to the Free Software Foundation's LibrePlanet2016 conference regarding free software, cybersecurity, and privacy. He joined the event through video conference from Russia. During the event, Snowden explained that he was able to release the secrets of America's mass surveillance projects more securely by using free software.

The whistleblower praised Debian, Tails, and Tor observing that what he did in 2013 never could have happened without the help of free software. He also advocates that activists and journalists switch to free and open source software to secure their privacy against the omnipresent US surveillance state.

Comment: Is there any endeavor whatsoever that Bill Gates has laid his hands on that hasn't in some way served the twisted goals of corporations, elite organizations or intelligence agencies - while also being in some way detrimental to the average person?

Eye 2

Human Rights Watch calls on US, France and UK to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia due to "unlawful civilian deaths" in Yemen

yemen destruction
© Mohamed al-Sayaghi / ReutersA man shouts for help to salvage his furniture after his house was destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa, February 25, 2016
The US, France, and the UK risk complicity in unlawful civilian deaths in Yemen, according to HRW. The organization called on the countries to suspend all weapons sales to Saudi Arabia until it curtails its airstrikes and investigates alleged violations.

"For the past year, governments that arm Saudi Arabia have rejected or downplayed compelling evidence that the coalition's airstrikes have killed hundreds of civilians in Yemen," Philippe Bolopion, the deputy global advocacy director for Human Rights Watch (HRW), said in a public release.

"By continuing to sell weapons to a known violator that has done little to curtail its abuses, the US, UK, and France risk being complicit in unlawful civilian deaths," he continued.

Comment: The US/UK/France can't stop selling arms to the head-choppers. That's how they get them to ISIS, their most successful creation.

Bad Guys

Courtesy of the West: UNICEF reports 87 million children under 7 have spent entire lives in conflict

syrian children
© Khalil Ashawi / ReutersChildren run while competing in "Freedom Marathon" marking the fifth anniversary of the Syrian crisis, in the town of Marat Numan in Idlib province, Syria, March 23, 2016.
An alarming 87 million children around the world have reached the age of 7 without a day of peace in their lives. Life in conflict zones has serious implications for mental health and brain development, traumatizing the children from infancy, UNICEF said in a report.

UNICEF statistics also reveal that one in 11 children before the age of six spend their most critical developmental period under the specter of constant violence.

"In addition to the immediate physical threats that children in crises face, they are also at risk of deep-rooted emotional scars," Pia Britto, UNICEF Chief of Early Child Development, says.

The root cause is the irreversible damage done to the brain. Before the age of seven, child brains are known to activate more than 1,000 brain cells - or neurons. These neurons are capable of firing off thousands of times per second, connecting to thousands of others. Extreme trauma caused by constant exposure to violence is very hazardous to the child's cognitive, psychological and social development, the authors explain.

Comment: The US/UK/EU is sowing the wind and will reap the whirlwind of all the damage they have caused around the world.

Post-It Note

Brussels suicide bomber left a note found in a trash can, authorities claim

brussels patrol
© Charles Platiau / ReutersBelgian troops man a roadblock near Brussels' Zaventem airport following Tuesdays' bomb attacks in Brussels, Belgium, March 23, 2016.
Brussels suicide bomber Ibrahim El Bakraoui has left a note on a computer found in a trash can during an anti-terrorist raid, Belgium's federal prosecutor said. The terrorist reportedly wrote that he felt increasingly unsafe, didn't know what to do and feared going to prison.

Ibrahim El Bakraoui blew himself up at the Brussels' Zaventem Airport on Tuesday, Federal Prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said.

Before the attacks Ibrahim left a note, where he wrote that he felt increasingly unsafe and feared landing up in prison. El Bakraoui said he was "in a hurry, doesn't know what to do" and was "surrounded by all sides."

Comment: Apparently, being in a hurry and surrounded doesn't stop a suicide bomber from taking time out from his busy day to write and note and sign his name to it (or whatever he did to let people know that he wrote it).

The note was found on a computer in a trash can in Brussels' Schaerbeek neighborhood.

Comment: Who is Bombing European Civilians?


Conventional wisdom on suicide bombers is wrong - What one man's research into every suicide bombing reveals

isis fighters
© Reuters / StringerISIS fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in Mosul, Iraq
Despite the existence of a good deal of research about terrorism, there's a gap between the common understanding of what leads terrorists to kill and what many experts believe to be true.

Terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda are widely seen as being motivated by their radical theology. But according to Robert Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago and founder of the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, this view is too simplistic. Pape knows his subject; he and his colleagues have studied every suicide attack in the world since 1980, evaluating over 4,600 in all.

He says that religious fervor is not a motive unto itself. Rather, it serves as a tool for recruitment and a potent means of getting people to overcome their fear of death and natural aversion to killing innocents. "Very often, suicide attackers realize they have instincts for self-preservation that they have to overcome," and religious beliefs are often part of that process, said Pape in an appearance on my radio show, Politics and Reality Radio, last week. But, Pape adds, there have been "many hundreds of secular suicide attackers," which suggests that radical theology alone doesn't explain terrorist attacks. From 1980 until about 2003, the "world leader" in suicide attacks was the Tamil Tigers, a secular Marxist group of Hindu nationalists in Sri Lanka.

Comment: This is an interesting study on the motivations of suicide bombers, but it does not take into account the fact that suicide bombings are inherently illogical from the point of view of Muslim jihadists wanting to hurt Western governments. As Joe Quinn points out, "Islamic terrorism" does not benefit anyone but Western governments:
This campaign of 'Islamic terrorism' in Europe seems, therefore, to be massively counter-productive to any agenda of liberation of the Middle East from NATO aggression. In fact, it directly facilitates further Western military meddling in the Middle East on the basis of 'dealing with the terror threat' and, as noted, justifies the implementation of police state measures in European society and 'lock downs' on the movement of ordinary people.

What we're getting at here, if you haven't noticed, is that 'Islamic terror attacks' are most likely a form of proxy war waged by the US (and other Western government agents) aimed at maintaining control over their 'interests'. Those interests are (and have always been) control over the political destiny of as much of the rest of the world as possible and, of course, ever finer control over the most valuable resource on this planet: its human population.