Society's ChildS


Vet who was a saviour in Iraq finally overwhelmed by his own demons

© AP Photo/Brock McNabbIn this Autumn 2006 photo provided by Brock McNabb, McNabb places a "combat patch" on Pete Linnerooth's uniform at their office in Baghdad, denoting that he had been in-country long enough to earn the badge of honor and is officially a combat veteran. Capt. Linnerooth was an Army psychologist who counseled soldiers during some of the fiercest fighting in Iraq. Hundreds upon hundreds sought his help. For nightmares and insomnia. For shock and grief. And for reaching that point where they just wanted to end it all. Linnerooth did such a good job his Army comrades dubbed him The Wizard. His "magic" was deceptively simple: an instant rapport with soldiers, an empathetic manner, a big heart.
He had a knack for soothing soldiers who'd just seen their buddies killed by bombs. He knew how to comfort medics sickened by the smell of blood and troops haunted by the screams of horribly burned Iraqi children.

Capt. Peter Linnerooth was an Army psychologist. He counseled soldiers during some of the fiercest fighting in Iraq. Hundreds upon hundreds sought his help. For nightmares and insomnia. For shock and grief. And for reaching that point where they just wanted to end it all.

Linnerooth did such a good job his Army comrades dubbed him The Wizard. His "magic" was deceptively simple: an instant rapport with soldiers, an empathetic manner, a big heart.

For a year during one of the bloodiest stretches of the Iraq war, Linnerooth met with soldiers 60 to 70 hours a week. Sometimes he'd hop on helicopters or join convoys, risking mortars and roadside bombs. Often, though, the soldiers came to his shoebox-sized "office" at Camp Liberty in Baghdad.

Linnerooth knew when to be a friend and when to be a professional Army officer. He could be tough, even gruff at times, but he also was a gentle soul, a born storyteller, a proud dad who decorated his quarters with his kids' drawings and photos. He carried his newborn daughter's shoes on his ruck sack for good luck.

Linnerooth left Iraq in 2007, a few months short of the end of his 15-month tour. He couldn't take it anymore. He'd heard enough terrible stories. He'd seen enough dead and dying.


Dog brings home dead baby in Oklahoma City

A dog in Oklahoma City came home on Saturday carrying a dead newborn in its mouth.

A house sitter, whose name has not been released, was at the home at the time, KOCO reported.

The house sitter told KFOR that the dog, a 6-month-old mixed-breed named Luke, showed up at the door with the body of a three to five-pound infant in his mouth.

"He was carrying it just like a momma pup," she told the station, "and layed it at my feet."

The house sitter stressed that the body had no markings or signs of trauma, and that Luke would never have hurt anyone. She believes the dog was trying to help the infant.

"I believe [Luke] found it, picked it up and brought it. There was no trauma you could tell he inflicted," she said.

Cardboard Box

Financial dictator of Detroit will institute slash and burn policy to benefit banksters

Brush Park - Detroit
© senor millerBrush Park Decay
With the appointment of an emergency manager on Thursday, Detroit became the largest city in US history to be taken over by the state government. The new manager, bankruptcy lawyer Kevin Orr, will have vast powers and one essential task: to carry out a brutal assault on the jobs and living conditions of the working class.

What is taking place in Detroit has national and international significance. The Financial Times of London cited one person involved in the discussions on the imposition of a financial manager as saying, "This will be the best case study of what it means to restructure a city." In an editorial, the newspaper called for "radical - and unpopular - action" to address Detroit's financial woes, a position shared by virtually every mass circulation newspaper in the US.

The "restructuring" of Detroit is a euphemism for a slash and burn policy of destroying city jobs, cutting wages and pensions, gutting social services from sanitation and firefighting to health care and education, and handing over city assets to private bankers and speculators. The very social forces responsible for the city's present state are utilizing the crisis of their own making to step up their plundering of public resources and further redistribute the wealth from the bottom to the top.


Iraq: War's legacy of cancer

© Dahr Jamail / Al JazeeraBombsites like this one in Fallujah remain toxic and likely continue to cause illnesses.
Contamination from Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions and other military-related pollution is suspected of causing a sharp rises in congenital birth defects, cancer cases, and other illnesses throughout much of Iraq.

Many prominent doctors and scientists contend that DU contamination is also connected to the recent emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs, and liver, as well as total immune system collapse. DU contamination may also be connected to the steep rise in leukaemia, renal, and anaemia cases, especially among children, being reported throughout many Iraqi governorates.

There has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah.

Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.

As shocking as these statistics are, due to a lack of adequate documentation, research, and reporting of cases, the actual rate of cancer and other diseases is likely to be much higher than even these figures suggest.

"Cancer statistics are hard to come by, since only 50 per cent of the healthcare in Iraq is public," Dr Salah Haddad of the Iraqi Society for Health Administration and Promotion told Al Jazeera.
"The other half of our healthcare is provided by the private sector, and that sector is deficient in their reporting of statistics. Hence, all of our statistics in Iraq must be multiplied by two. Any official numbers are likely only half of the real number."

Bizarro Earth

Psychopath: Michigan woman, 75, convicted of murdering grandson

© Detroit Free Press, Mandi WrightSandra Layne, left, looks at her lawyer Jerome Sabbota during closing arguments in her trial at the Oakland County Circuit Court on Monday, March 18, 2013 in Pontiac, Mich.
A suburban Detroit grandmother was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder for killing her teenage grandson last spring, as jurors rejected her claim that she shot him six times in self-defense.

Sandra Layne, 75, cried quietly when she heard the verdict, which was delivered during the first full day of deliberations. Layne was also convicted of using a firearm during a felony, and she likely faces at least 14 years in prison.

As she was being led out of the courtroom, some family members waved at Layne in a show of support, but her view of them was blocked by a deputy.

Outside of court, Hoffman's mother, Jennifer Hoffman, said that her mother is a "monster" who deserves to go to prison.

"I'm glad she's put away and can't do harm to anyone else," Jennifer Hoffman said. "He was a great kid and didn't deserve this."


The five minute NRA speech that would change the gun control debate forever

Editor's note: Author Scott Pinsker is a marketing and publicity expert who writes occasionally for Fox News Opinion. This is his vision of a speech he would like to see delivered by leaders at the National Rifle Association. It has not been delivered by the NRA.

Greetings. My name is Wayne LaPierre, and I'm the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. After the national tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, it was my hope that Red America and Blue America would finally come together and try to solve a serious problem, because protecting our children from violent madmen isn't a conservative position or a liberal position; it's a common-sense position.

Sadly, instead of offering new solutions, the same anti-gun zealots who've always hated the Second Amendment have politicized the deaths of kindergartners, adopting the Rahm Emanuel tactic of "Never letting a good crisis go to waste." Anti-gun newspapers have even published the names and private addresses of law-abiding gun-owners - something they would NEVER do to sex offenders, drug addicts, wife-beaters, AIDS victims, welfare recipients or women who've had an abortion - and rightly so.

Bizarro Earth

Texas assistant principal busted for having sex with underage student during prom

Mark Steven West, 30, an assistant principal at Spring High School, was arrested and charged with having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
Mark West, 30, had sex with the high school student in his office after she said 'she was horny': police

A Texas assistant principal had sex with an underage female student in his office during her high school prom, police said.

Mark West, 30, is accused of having sex with the Spring High School teen - who is now at college - after she told him "she was horny" at the event last May.

West denies the charge of having improper sexual relations, but has resigned over the allegations.

ABC reports that a student witness contacted cops after seeing West, who is said to have initially turned down the girl's flirtatious advances, telling her to meet him in his office.

Bad Guys

Disabled 13-year-old Brooklyn girl hurled off moving bus by bully; fall breaks her collarbone

© ENID ALVAREZ/NEW YORK DAILY NEWSBrooklyn mom Harriet McNeill is outraged daughter Amore-Virginia Peterson, 13, was pushed off school bus, breaking her collarbone.
A bully tossed a disabled girl out of the back door of a moving school bus and straight into the path of oncoming traffic - an attack that easily could have ended in death.

Two matrons were on the bus dealing with a ruckus, but neither was able to protect Amore-Virginia Peterson, 13, on Friday. She said that when she slammed into the pavement she thought she "was going to die" - but she managed to scramble out of the road before she was hit by the cars bearing down on her.

The bipolar sixth-grader suffered a broken collarbone and was rushed from the scene in an ambulance.

"I've been telling the school that one of these kids is going to kill my daughter - and on Friday it almost came true," said Amore-Virginia's mother, Harriet McNeill of Brownsville, Brooklyn.

Bizarro Earth

Picture of full-figured retail store mannequins goes viral

Retail store mannequins have long been criticized for being too thin, not accurately reflecting the average female body.

Now, new mannequins in Sweden are getting buzz online for showcasing more womanly figures, reported. A blogger for Women's Rights News posted a photo of fuller-figured mannequins from a clothing store in Sweden, and the photo has since gone viral.

Heart - Black

Prosecutor says father intended to torture, starve his teenage daughter

A Wisconsin man hid his teenage daughter away in his basement for years as he slowly starved her, prosecutors told jurors Thursday, even as defense attorneys countered the girl is a liar and chose not to eat on her own.

A passing motorist found the girl wandering around her neighborhood on the outskirts of Madison in February 2012. She was barefoot, freezing and weighed just 68 pounds, prosecutors said. The now 16-year-old girl told investigators her father and stepmother had locked her in the basement, forced her to scrounge for food and punished her if they caught her eating without permission.

She finally decided to run away after her stepmother threatened to throw her down the stairs or slit her throat, she said.

Her father has been charged with five felony counts, including child abuse and false imprisonment, as well as a misdemeanor charge of child neglect. Attorneys delivered their closing arguments in his three-week trial Thursday and handed the case to the jury.

Deliberations were still ongoing late Thursday evening. The man faces up to 43 years in prison and nine months in jail if he's convicted on all counts.