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Tue, 25 Jan 2022
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German boy in coma needs faithful dog friend beside him


A 10-year-old German boy has been in a coma since birth and for years has had a trusty and loyal American Staffordshire terrier by his side, guarding over him and giving him love. Now authorities want to take her away from him.

While the boy, Dylan, sometimes opens his eyes, doctors say that he is only partially conscious. He has been in a persistent vegetative state since birth, but that is no problem for the loyal Tascha, she stays right there by his side.

The bad news is that authorities, using the excuse of breed specific legislation, now want to take the dog away from Dylan. They say that she is dangerous. The family is seeking support to keep her and apparently around 213,000 people have signed up for a campaign to keep the dog right where she is.

In the video above you can see images of six-year-old Tascha licking Dylan's hand, resting her head on his arm. But still authorities try to say that she is dangerous.

"When Tascha lies by him, the boy becomes much calmer and his pulse and breathing relax," said his father Eckhard Gerzmehle.

Whistle

24 hours of looting and civil unrest in Córdoba, Argentina

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In the last 24 hours, the province of Córdoba spiraled out of control, with the very fabric of society being torn apart after a sudden absence of law and order sent a portion of the population into a looting frenzy and residents and store owners boarded up windows and doors, grabbed their shotguns and climbed to their roofs, waiting for the inevitable encounter with the enemy.

No, I am not exaggerating. This is what was happening until a few hours ago in an otherwise idyllic province known for its sun, its mountains and fun-loving population. Córdoba was immersed in pervasive social unrest that has left at least two people dead, dozens injured and landed many others in jail. So if you're having trouble understanding why, here's an explanation.

Cult

Atheists: Religion does more than just hurt people - religion kills people

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Dave Muscato
On Friday night on his Fox News Channel show, Bill O'Reilly made a show of attempting to understand the motivations and thinking of the people he deemed "angry" atheists, asking, "Are they that bitter against religion?"

Raw Story spoke with Dave Muscato of American Atheists, Inc. to find out whether there was any merit to O'Reilly's charges, which were part of the cable host's annual protest against the so-called "War on Christmas."

"Bill O'Reilly has this fantasy that Christians are being persecuted," Muscato said, when in fact, "Bill O'Reilly is the epitome of a privileged person; a straight, white, cisgender American. The reason that he's obsessed with this 'War on Christmas' is because he knows there's nothing he's really being oppressed by."

When asked if he is an "angry atheist," Muscato laughed and said, "I'm a passionate atheist. And I believe that there is a place for anger in activism. Anger is a natural emotional response to injustice and I don't think we need to apologize for that."

He was careful to stipulate that it's not Christmas or even Christianity that is the issue, here, but the mingling of religion and government.

"It's not about attacking Christmas," he said, "it's about the mixing of religion and government, because that's a legitimate problem."

Eye 1

America the Vulgar

Whatever happened to the subtle thrill of real transgression?

mick jagger
© Redferns/Getty Images
Mick Jagger performs
"What's celebrity sex, Dad?" It was my 7-year-old son, who had been looking over my shoulder at my computer screen. He mispronounced "celebrity" but spoke the word "sex" as if he had been using it all his life. "Celebrity six," I said, abruptly closing my AOL screen. "It's a game famous people play in teams of three," I said, as I ushered him out of my office and downstairs into what I assumed was the safety of the living room.

No such luck. His 3-year-old sister had gotten her precocious little hands on my wife's iPhone as it was charging on a table next to the sofa. By randomly tapping icons on the screen, she had conjured up an image of Beyoncé barely clad in black leather, caught in a suggestive pose that I hoped would suggest nothing at all to her or her brother.

And so it went on this typical weekend. The eff-word popped out of TV programs we thought were friendly enough to have on while the children played in the next room. Ads depicting all but naked couples beckoned to them from the mainstream magazines scattered around the house. The kids peered over my shoulder as I perused my email inbox, their curiosity piqued by the endless stream of solicitations having to do with one aspect or another of sex, sex, sex!

When did the culture become so coarse? It's a question that quickly gets you branded as either an unsophisticated rube or some angry culture warrior. But I swear on my hard drive that I'm neither. My favorite movie is "Last Tango in Paris." I agree (on a theoretical level) with the notorious rake James Goldsmith, who said that when a man marries his mistress, he creates a job vacancy. I once thought of writing a book-length homage to the eff-word in American culture, the apotheosis of which was probably Sir Ben Kingsley pronouncing it with several syllables in an episode of "The Sopranos."

Comment:
Today, our cultural norms are driven in large part by technology...
Not exactly. Our cultural norms are driven by psychopaths and other character-disordered individuals whose abuse of technology amplifies the ponerization of society from the top down.


Eye 1

Newlywed couple found murder victim on Craigslist, police say

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© Mike Staugaitis / AP
Miranda K. Barbour is led to a district judge's office on Tuesday.
Sunbury, Pennsylvania - A couple married for just three weeks lured a man to his death with a Craigslist ad because they wanted to kill someone together, police said.

Elytte Barbour told officers before his arrest Friday night that he and his wife, Miranda, had planned to kill before, but their plans never worked out until last month when Troy LaFerrara responded to an online posting that promised companionship in return for money, authorities said.

Elytte Barbour told investigators "that they committed the murder because they just wanted to murder someone together," police said in the affidavit.

Elytte Barbour, 22, and Miranda Barbour, 18, face criminal homicide charges in LaFerrara's death. His body was found Nov. 12 in an alley in Sunbury, a small city about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The couple had recently moved to nearby Selinsgrove from Dunn, N.C.

Comment: Conversation that potentially leads to murder is not 'delightful', except perhaps to psychopaths and predators.


Arrow Down

Rare riot breaks out on Singapore streets

Singapore Riots
© Agence France-Presse
Two police cars flipped to their sides remain in the street after a riot broke out in Singapore.
A rare riot broke out in Singapore's Little India neighbourhood last night, apparently after a Bangladeshi worker was hit and killed by a bus, a local television channel reported.

Channel News Asia showed dramatic pictures of burning vehicles and people attacking the windshield of a bus with sticks and garbage bins. It was not clear if anyone was injured in the rioting that began late in the evening.

Such violence is unheard of in Singapore, an orderly and modern city-state known for strict punishments and generally law-abiding citizens.

Handcuffs

Violent rapist jailed after court of appeal quashes acquittal

british rapist
© Derbyshire police/PA
Harbinder has been has been jailed after a landmark legal ruling in which his original acquittal for the offence was quashed by the court of appeal
Harbinder Khatkaris attacked six women in February - less than six weeks after a jury acquitted him of earlier rape

A violent rapist has been jailed for life after a landmark legal ruling in which his original acquittal for the offence was quashed by the court of appeal.

Harbinder Khatkar, from Derby, has been ordered to serve at least 14 years after being convicted of offences committed in December 2011 and February 2013.

The 37-year-old attacked six women on 2 February this year - less than six weeks after a jury acquitted him of an earlier rape in which he forced his way into the victim's home.

Alarm Clock

U.S. federal prison population has grown 27 percent in 10 years

u.s. prison
© AP
The number of federal prison inmates has grown 27 percent in the last decade, according the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

In a report examining the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) budget, the GAO found that prison population is rising:
The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is responsible for the custody and care of over 219,000 federal inmates - a population that has grown by 27 percent over the past decade. BOP is composed of 119 institutions, 6 regional offices, 2 staff training centers, 22 residential reentry management offices (previously called community corrections offices), and a central office in Washington, D.C. With a fiscal year 2013 operating budget of about $6.5 billion - the second-largest budget within DOJ - BOP projects that its costs will increase as the federal prison population grows through 2018. [...]

A variety of factors contribute to the size of BOP's population. These include national crime levels, law enforcement policies, and federal sentencing laws, all of which are beyond BOP's control.

Comment: See also:

Gulag! America has more prisoners than high school teachers and engineers

U.S. prison population seeing "unprecedented increase"


Red Flag

'Selfish selfie' lands on the New York Post front page

Anonymous woman
© New York Post
Selfish Selfie
"Selfie" might be the Oxford Dictionary's word of the year, but one woman's self portrait is teaching us all a lesson in selfie etiquette.

Folks, don't take a photo of yourself in front of a tragedy.

On Tuesday morning, a woman, identified only as a tourist, snapped a photo of herself in front of the Brooklyn Bridge. In the background of the photo, a suicidal man threatened to leap into the East River below.

While the man was eventually talked down from the ledge and taken to the hospital for evaluation, the woman's poor photography decision lives on: It landed her on the cover of the New York Post.

Health

Smog at extremely hazardous levels in Shanghai

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© AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko
A building under construction is covered with haze in Shanghai, China, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Shanghai authorities ordered schoolchildren indoors and halted all construction Friday as China's financial hub suffered one its worst bouts of air pollution, bringing visibility down to a few dozen meters and obscuring the city's spectacular skyline
Shanghai authorities ordered schoolchildren indoors and halted all construction Friday as China's financial hub suffered one of its worst bouts of air pollution, bringing visibility down to a few dozen meters, delaying flights and obscuring the city's spectacular skyline.

The financial district was shrouded in a yellow haze, and noticeably fewer people walked the city's streets. Vehicle traffic also was thinner, as authorities pulled 30 percent of government vehicles from the roads. They also banned fireworks and public sporting events.

"I feel like I'm living in clouds of smog," said Zheng Qiaoyun, a local resident who kept her 6-month-old son at home. "I have a headache, I'm coughing, and it's hard to breathe on my way to my office."