Society's ChildS

Heart - Black

Effects from conscience-less politicians: New York's homeless pushed deeper into the shadows

© Zafirah Mohamed Zein/IPSMen line up to receive food distributed by Coalition for the Homeless volunteers at 35th St, FDR Drive, in New York City.
Joe sits on newspapers spread on the sidewalk by the entrance to midtown's Grand Central Station. His head rests in his hands, only looking up when coins from passersby clink into his paper cup.

"A shelter is like a prison without guards," he says, when asked why he was out on the street. "I'm done with them."

"A few things happened after the war. The government just forgot about me. Not only just me but a lot of others too." -- Don, a Vietnam veteran

The 36-year-old says "people who just got out of jail" steal from others in the bathroom and violence is rampant, as shelter staff members turn a blind eye. Throughout the conversation, Joe holds tight to his backpack, making sure it stays close.

While accurate figures for New York's unsheltered homeless are hard to come by, the thousands sleeping on the streets are in addition to the 53,615 people - a record-breaking figure not seen since the Great Depression - who enrolled in the city's shelter system in January this year. Yankee Stadium would not be able to seat all of them.


Kansas police officer(s) shot unarmed suicidal teen 16 times as family begged them not to

© Courtesy of family
Family members of a teen who was shot at least 16 times by police in Ottawa, Kansas said this week that the 18-year-old was unarmed and suicidal when he was gunned down.

Brandy Smith told KCTV that police were there when her nephew, 18-year-old Joseph Jennings, had tried to kill himself with pills last week.

"Tonight is the night goodbye everyone!!!!! It was truly a good ride! And I'm sorry for who I might of hurted (sic) and people that I may of offended, But I love all my family and I hope you don't hold this against me," he reportedly wrote on Facebook before trying to overdose.

About 10 minutes later, Jennings swallowed 60 pills. And Smith said two officers took him to Ransom Memorial Hospital.

Jennings survived, and was released from the hospital two days later. But only three hours after that, he was on a "suicide mission" when he walked to Orscheln Farm and Home, according to his aunt.

Smith recalled that around six officers responded, and two of them had helped save Jennings' life by taking him to the hospital after his overdose just days before.

Black Cat 2

Cop who shot Michael Brown began career at failed police department which was disbanded over racial tensions

Michael brown darren wilson
Michael Brown (pictured right) was shot multiple times by police officer Darren Wilson as he turned around with his hands up, an eye-witness said today
The police officer who reportedly shot unarmed Ferguson teen Michael Brown six times, igniting tensions in the St. Louis suburb that have led to several acts of violence, lootings, and arrests, started his career at a police department that was such a failure it had to be disbanded, according to the Washington Post.

Darren Wilson, along with all of the other officers who worked for Jennings Police Department, was fired three years ago after it was discovered there was a great deal of tension between white officers and black residents. According to the newspaper, the department was a "mainly white department mired in controversy and notorious for its fraught relationship with residents, especially the African American majority ... not an ideal place to learn how to police."

Che Guevara

'Rubble bucket challenge' launched in Gaza: "Use of water more important to us than emptying it over our heads"

In a dry imitation of the recent "Ice bucket challenge" craze sweeping the world, a campaign has been launched in Gaza, in which participants are invited to pour sand and rubble over their heads. According to the Facebook page, the aim of this campaign is "to raise awareness about the war on Gaza where people are bombed inside their homes."

Most readers should by now be aware of the latest strange viral fad, which involves pouring a bucket of ice over one's head in order to somehow raise money for the ALS association. Among the participants are the likes of George Bush, Lady Gaga, and Oprah Winfrey.

In the video, Ayman al Aloul, a journalist based in Gaza, candidly explains the situation in the besieged territory, which has suffered weeks of bombardment from psychopathic Israeli forces, and has been reduced to little but rubble. He then proceeds to dump a bucket of said rubble over his head to bring attention and solidarity to the plight of Gaza.

The campaign does not ask for material assistance, but simply solidarity and recognition.

As the massacre today enters it's 50th day, so far 2100 Palestinians have been murdered, with more than 17000 homes destroyed. Surrounded as they may be by rubble and bodies, the hearts and spirits of the people of Gaza are still intact, and they are an inspiration to all of us humans still remaining with the capacity to think and feel.


Good timing! Red Cross expanding operations in E. Ukraine

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is planning to expand operations in eastern Ukraine, including Lugansk, where the situation remains tense, the independent aid agency's spokesperson Anastasia Isyuk told ITAR-TASS on Saturday.

"We are planning to expand our activities in Lugansk and eastern Ukraine as a whole. The ICRC team has begun assessing the needs," she said.

How fast the ICRC will be able to increase its presence in eastern Ukraine will depend on the results of the talks the ICRC advance group, working in Lugansk since August 20, is conducting with the warring sides, Isyuk said.

"They meet constantly with representatives of the warring sides despite continuous shelling, evaluate performance and assess the regions' needs," she said.


First Briton to contract Ebola virus now in London hospital isolation unit

© IndependentWilliam Pooly, who is infected with the Ebola virus, is shown being loaded into an Royal Air Force (RAF) ambulance after being flown home on a C17 plane from Sierra Leone.
The first British person known to have contracted the deadly Ebola virus has been flown to London and is being treated by doctors.

He has been named as William Pooley, 29, a nurse who had travelled to Sierra Leone as a volunteer to help care for the victims of the Ebola outbreak. He was identified by Dr Robert Garry, an American scientist who worked with him at the Kenema Government Hospital in the south-east of Sierra Leone.

A specially equipped military aircraft flew Mr Pooley from Sierra Leone's main airport in Lungi to the UK on Sunday, landing at the RAF base in Northolt, where he was then transferred under police escort to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, London.

The hospital has Britain's only high-security infectious-disease unit, and Mr Pooley, who is described as "not currently seriously unwell," is being treated in a specialist isolation unit containing a tent made of plastic and rubber that separates the patient from medical staff while ensuring he can be observed.



Violent, enraged Internet trolls are everywhere

© Ollyy via Shutterstock
Violent, enraged Internet trolls lurk everywhere, and have remade what seemed like an open space. Can we stop them?

A young poet, enough of a rising star to be profiled in the New York Times Magazine, posts a poem called "The Rape Joke." It begins, "The rape joke is that you were 19 years old. The rape joke is that he was your boyfriend." It is about as intense and intimate as an online post can get. In the magazine article, the poet's mother reads the poem, but it is the comment thread that makes the mother cry. "Do you see what these people were saying about you?" her mother asked. "Mom, it's O.K.," the writer, Patricia Lockwood, said. "It's just the Internet."

Internet cruelty is nothing new. It might only surprise children and the uninitiated, who dip into the public sphere for the first time and are shocked by what comes back at them. But Lockwood's response reveals a generational shift. Her mother calls the commentators "people." Lockwood identifies them as "the Internet," a strange hybrid of human and computer, innately vicious but also ubiquitous, phenomena to be ignored.

Others have a more difficult time ignoring it. After reaching out to her father's mourning fans, Robin Williams' daughter Zelda became a target of sadistic trolls - piling trauma upon trauma. She closed her Instagram account and shut down her Twitter feed. A budding journalist who had just had one of her first stories posted on her university newspaper's website was so stunned by the comments that she decided to find another line of work. A young writer in New York City who was photographed trying to make ends meet by hauling his typewriter to the High Line and busking stories was savaged online. (He ended up writing an article about his ordeal called "I Am an Object of Internet Ridicule, Ask Me Anything.") Journalist Amanda Hess, who wrote one of the most talked-about stories of this year on women and the Internet, relates getting this comment to one of her pieces: "Amanda, I'll f*cking rape you. How does that feel?"

  • Trolls just want to have fun?


Hacktivism! Anonymous strikes at Israeli government, Bank of Israel over Gaza genocide

Hacker collective Anonymous has taken down key Israeli government websites in a "retaliatory" attack against Israel and in solidarity with the people of Gaza. Israel Defense Forces, Bank of Israel, and the Israeli PM's Office were among the targets.

Others hit by the attack included Israeli's ministry of Finance, the Embassy of Israel to the United States, the Central Bureau of Statistics and Israeli Immigration.
Tango Down - - - -
- Anonymous (@AnonymousGlobo) August 21, 2014
Many of the websites were still down at the time of writing.

The latest attack reportedly comes in retaliation for shutting down various Anonymous social media accounts, which focused on the atrocities of Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip.

Anonymous has been targeting the Israeli government with cyber-attacks since it began its latest military offensive in Gaza on July 8.

Bad Guys

Racism in America: Darren Wilson and being "afraid for your life"

© jacomstephens via iStock
On Wednesday, Matt Zoller Seitz shared an anecdote to illustrate how white privilege kept him from getting arrested or otherwise harmed by the police after he started a fight on the street. The full piece is worth your time, since it's a frank accounting of how whiteness protects in the United States, but the most revealing moment in the story comes when Zoller Seitz - who admits he escalated a confrontation with the stranger, a Hispanic man loitering outside a deli - talks to the cops who arrived on the scene. After telling the two white officers that he had confronted the guy and punched him in the face after the stranger jabbed him in the chest with his fingers, the cops asked Zoller Seitz if he wanted to press charges for assault:

Comment: Perhaps no one has said it better:
By all accounts, Brown was One Of The Good Ones. But laying all this out, explaining all the ways in which he didn't deserve to die like a dog in the street, is in itself disgraceful. Arguing whether Brown was a good kid or not is functionally arguing over whether he specifically deserved to die, a way of acknowledging that some black men ought to be executed.
As George Orwell stated, "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."


DPR dominating in east Ukraine despite civilian losses: Ukrainian National Guard loses 182 men over 24 hours

The army of the self-proclaimed Donetsk's People's Republic (DPR) on Monday reported that 107 Ukrainian National Guard servicemen were killed and 75 wounded over the past 24 hours.

Militias said on Sunday, August 24, that they had decided to change their tactic to full-scale operations by fully capable formations and units, providing them with necessary fire support.

During the overnight fighting, the DPR army completely blocked a large grouping of Ukrainian military forces in six settlements - 5,000 servicemen from the Azov, Aidar and Dnieper battalions equipped with different types of hardware.

By Monday morning, the DPR army had trapped at least 7,000 Ukrainian servicemen armed with about 120 tanks, over 380 armored vehicles and about 1,000 Grad and Uragan multiple launch rocket systems.

Comment: By downplaying military deaths, Kiev is giving the world the impression they are 'winning the war' in east Ukraine, but the reality is that they are suffering heavy losses. The official death count is likely far below the real numbers.