Society's ChildS


SOTT Focus: Happy New Year 2014?

Happy 2014?
On December 31st of 2011, I wrote a short article predicting that the world was not going to end in 2012 as so many people wanted it to. I pointed out that there had been a lot of "Ends of the World" predicted throughout history and the 2012 bouhaha wasn't much different. In fact, you can almost take it to the bank that if somebody is predicting it, it isn't going to happen because once a prediction is made, people begin to act differently and that changes the outcome. Just think about Jonah prophesying destruction on the city of Nineveh and how upset he was when God supposedly changed his mind because the people got their act together and repented of their evil-doing, whatever it was.

On the other hand, there does seem to be something to this predicting business, but not many people get it right. Just think about the Fundie cult that was predicting the end of the world to happen in mid-March of 2011. The world, as a whole, didn't end, of course, but life as they knew it did end for a whole lot of people in Japan thanks to an impressive earthquake and tsunami.

So, we made it through 2012 and now, we've got another year notched on our belt in addition: we made it through 2013 and the world still hasn't ended. Or has it?

Comment: More food for thought...

Finally catching up - Could the Black Death actually have been an Ebola-like virus?

New Light on the Black Death: The Viral and Cosmic Connection

Black Death found to be Ebola-like virus

For the sake of you and your family's health, ditch the sugar and start eating animal fats. See:

Are you prepping your diet?

The Ketogenic Diet - An Overview

Eye 1

Pennsylvania trooper charged for punishing sleeping 13-year-old with pepper spray

sad child
© shutterstock
A Pennsylvania State Trooper has been placed on unpaid leave after being charged for using pepper spray to punish his girlfriend's 13-year-old son for sleeping instead of going to school.

WTAE first reported that Trooper Ernest Boatright found the teen in bed earlier this year when he was supposed to be in school and discharged pepper spray into his eyes, according to court papers.

The boy told police that he began to cough and knew that it was pepper spray because Boatright had used the spray on him before.

Court records indicated that Boatright had admitted using pepper spray on two cats on an enclosed porch, but his attorney said that the trooper "vehemently denies the charges that have been filed against him."

Arrow Down

Fontana family of 4 die in apparent murder-suicide

fontana murder suicide
© (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles TimesThe body of one of the shooting victims is removed from the house in Fontana.
The shooting deaths of four family members at a Fontana home is being investigated as an apparent murder-suicide, police said Tuesday.

A relative discovered the bodies Monday night after family members failed to hear from the victims and thought something might be wrong, according to Martha Guzman-Hurtado, a Fontana police spokeswoman. Inside the home were the bodies of a man and a woman, both believed to be between 30 and 35, as well as the bodies of a 12-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy. Coroner's officials have not yet released their names.

Police said the woman and children each died of multiple gunshot wounds, while the man had a single gunshot wound to the head, suggesting that he shot himself. One handgun was found inside the home, authorities said.

Guzman-Hurtado said there was no record of domestic dispute calls to the residence, although police did visit the property on a code enforcement call in 2010.

Arrow Down

Chinese doctor admits to trafficking in newborns

Chinese Orphanage
© David WooChildren in an orphanage in central China. Many have been there since being rescued from human traffickers when much younger. This photo was taken in 2009.
A Chinese doctor has admitted in court that she stole babies from the hospital where she worked and sold them to human traffickers, state media and a court said.

Zhang Shuxia, a locally respected and soon-to-retire obstetrician, stood trial on Monday in northern Shaanxi province's Fuping county, according to online postings from the court.

Zhang told parents their newborns had congenital problems and persuaded them to "sign and give the babies up," the court postings said. Calls to the Weinan Intermediate People's Court and the local Communist Party propaganda department went unanswered.

The case exposed the operations of a baby trafficking ring that operated across several provinces centering on Zhang, who delivered babies at the Fuping County Maternal and Child Hospital.

Child trafficking is a big problem in China, despite severe legal punishments that include the death penalty. Families who buy trafficked children are driven partly by the traditional preference for male heirs, a strict one-child policy and ignorance of the law.

Mr. Potato

TSA destroys virtuoso flautist's 11 instruments because they were 'agricultural products'

© The Looking Spoon
A flute virtuoso was returning to New York via John F. Kennedy Airport when Customs officials confiscated and destroyed the instruments he was carrying with him.

According to Boujemaa Razgui, the officials told him that his 11 flutes - each of which he had constructed, by hand, himself - "were agricultural products and had to be destroyed."

Razgui, who is a Canadian citizen, frequently travels with a variety of flutes, each of which is designed to be played with a specific ancient or modern genre in mind.


Best of the Web: '16 requests for medical attention denied': Pittsburgh waitress and single mom suffering severe PTSD after brutal cops break into her home, taze her, apply arm bars and wrist locks, and put on handcuffs so tightly her arm had to be amputated

© Alamy'Too tight': The handcuffs caused her to suffer compartment syndrome, a limb- and life-threatening condition that occurs after an injury, which resulted in her arm being amputated.
A Pittsburgh woman is suing authorities after she had to have her arm amputated because police officers used 'excessive force' while they arrested her and refused to give her access to a doctor.

The mother-of-three, Amy Needham, 35, of Ross, says the officers entered her home to execute an arrest warrant for failing to show up to a preliminary hearing.

When sheriff's office employees arrived, Needham said she was using the bathroom, but they broke down the bathroom door.

They shocked her with a Taser, applied arm bars and wrist locks, and put on handcuffs 'that were too tight' before taking her to Allegheny County Jail, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

According to her attorney, Marvin Leibowitz, the tight handcuffs caused her to suffer compartment syndrome, a limb- and life-threatening condition that occurs after an injury.

Bad Guys

Psychopathic fraternity: Sigma Alpha Epsilon hazing rituals have led to 9 deaths

sigma alpha epsilon
© Kane5187/Wikimedia CommonsSigma Alpha Epsilon frat house
Meet the nation's deadliest frat: Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE). The fraternity, which funnels many members into the high-rolling world of finance, has over 200 chapters across the country. It has also earned the distinction of being the frat linked to the most deaths as a result of hazing, as Bloomberg points out today in an investigation.

Bloomberg focuses on the story of a student named Justin Stuart, who attends Salisbury University in Maryland. As part of a hazing ritual he endured last winter, Stuart was forced to recite SAE's motto while standing naked in a trashcan filled with ice. Stuart was sprayed with a hose and had buckets of water poured on him.

That's not all that happened. Stuart said that over the course the eight-week initiation period, fraternity members beat him with a paddle, force people to drink until they passed out and even locked frat members for hours in a dark basement without food, water or a bathroom. They blasted the same German rock music at an extremely high volume. Stuart says it "reminded" him of Guantanamo Bay and that it was "almost like torture."

Heart - Black

Autism therapist charged after being caught on tape abusing child

Stephen Jacobs
© wordpressStephen Jacobs
27-year-old Stephen Jacobs of Wauwatosa faces one count of physical abuse of a child, sexual assault of a child, physical abuse of a child by a child care provider.

Officials spoke with the child's mother, who said her child suffers from severe autism and had been receiving treatment through a company called Autism Intervention Milwaukee for several months.

The child's mother told officials that she was advised by her child's doctor that he may be more mentally handicapped that previously diagnosed, and that his treatment needed to change. This, according to the criminal complaint.

The criminal complaint says the child received in-home treatment from four different therapists and neither she, nor her husband were allowed to be present for the therapy.

The complaint says the child is non-verbal, and unable to communicate what happens at therapy sessions. The child's mother and father became concerned that the child's treatment was not having the desired effect, so they placed a web camera in the treatment area to record his treatments on December 12th, 13th and 14th.

The complaint says that on December 14th, the child's mother observed therapist Stephen Jacobs physically assault her son.


Shooting victim's body ignored by convenience store customers in disturbing video, Kalamazoo, Michigan

"When they told me people were still coming in that gas station, stepping over my child in the doorway, I couldn't believe it; I couldn't believe it," says victim's mother.

In order to help convict a shooting suspect, Michigan prosecutors revealed a disturbing surveillance video showing people ignoring the dead body of 31-year-old victim Jheryl Wright in the doorway of a convenience store in Kalamazoo.

In the video, multiple people look at Wright's body and ignore it completely. People are continuously stepping over Wright and continuing on with their business in the store as if they didn't notice him.

Jheryl's mother, Jackel Wright, found out about the video although she hasn't been able to watch it quite yet.

"When they told me people were still coming in that gas station, stepping over my child in the doorway, I couldn't believe it; I couldn't believe it," she said. "I just can't believe people in this world would do something like that. I can't."

Jackel doesn't understand how no one bothered to try to help her son.

"How can you step over someone lying in the doorway and not help; how would they feel if that was one of their loved ones sitting there," she said. "I hope God have mercy on your soul because you was wrong, sitting there and not helping my son, like he was just a doormat; walking over him, laying there dead. I hope y'all can't sleep at night because that was awful. Just plain awful."

Arrow Down

Florida judge allegedly drunk during proceedings; goes to rehab instead of jail

Judge Gisele Pollack
© ABCJudge Gisele Pollack
Broward County - A Florida judge presiding over misdemeanor drug cases reportedly showed up to work intoxicated and had to be removed from court. In a palpable irony, even a person who has dedicated her career toward meddling in other people's lives and using the force of government against them is herself incapable of keeping herself sober at work.

The judge faces no legal consequences and instead of being carted off to jail like so many of the recreational drug users she has dealt with, she will voluntarily put herself in rehab.

Judge Gisele Pollack, who founded Boward County's misdemeanor drug court in 2005, was seen verbally assaulting her judicial assistant and yelling for her car keys to be returned before another judge intervened, according to an unidentified source.

The tirade followed Pollack's abrupt dismissal of the day's session after only serving an hour and a half on the bench, during which time she began slurring her words while addressing defendants.

One can only speculate how many cases Pollack, an admitted alcoholic, may have presided over while under the influence. She says she will address what she calls "health issues" during an intensive two week outpatient program before returning to the bench.

Not everyone in the legal community feels that's quite an adequate remedy.