Society's ChildS


Child abuse: There should be no debate about corporal punishment

It is impossible to have missed the many news stories in the past few weeks focusing on NFL players beating their loved ones. And, while many have denounced the vicious attacks perpetrated by players against their girlfriends and children, it continues to shock me that they also have so many defenders. I have written previously about Ray Rice and other players who are perpetrators of domestic violence, so my focus here is on the issue of child abuse.

Minnesota Vikings' star running back Adrian Peterson is facing charges in Texas for felony child abuse based on allegations that he beat his 4-year-old son with a "switch," or tree branch. Pictures of the boy show a series of bloody gashes and welts from the attack. Peterson told police that "the whooping" he gave his son was what he received as a child. It seems that Peterson may be repeat offender, as he was accused last year of beating another son who he said had been cursing. The boy's mother, a different woman than the mother of the child beaten with the switch, filed a report with Child Protective Services but no charges were ever brought against Peterson. Although the Vikings initially planned to allow Peterson to play this weekend, he is now suspended, with pay, of course, while the legal case is pending.

While the Vikings have finally acted, Vikings sponsor Radisson has suspended its support for the team, Nike suspended its contract with Peterson, and Target has removed all number 28 Vikings jerseys from its stores, many have rallied behind Peterson's alleged right to "discipline" his child. People from Peterson's home town of Palestine, Texas commented that corporal punishment is common in East Texas, is considered a family matter, and wouldn't impact their support for their hero. NBC NFL analyst Tony Dungy described having grown up with this type of discipline and commented about the need to give players a second chance, implying support for Peterson. Former NBA player, current analyst, and ever-loudmouth Charles Barkley commented on CBS Sports' NFL Today that "I'm from the South. Whipping is ... we do that all the time...Every black parent in the South is gonna be in jail under those circumstances. I think we have to be careful letting people dictate how they treat their children." NFL player Reggie Bush defended Peterson, claiming that he also "harshly disciplines" his 1-year-old daughter.


On the Information Superhighway, there's no such thing as a true science denier

Science isn't like religion in that you can't just pick and choose the science you don't concur with. You can't, say, believe in evolution, but not for species you think are gross. Or think gravity is a sound theory but it only pertains to left-handed Oregonians. Or accept atomic theory but only for people named Adam.

You get the idea; that's not by definition scientific. If you trust in the rigors of science: evidence, testing, peer review etc. - you're used to the fact that science is completely indifferent to your feelings. Yes, we all want the sun to revolve around the Earth and for plastic to be nutritious for sea creatures, but in science, wishing it were true doesn't make it so.

Religion, on the other hand, gets to be custom fitted. You can be a Christian and if you don't like the part in the Bible about being happy when smashing babies against rocks (Psalms 137:9), you can just ignore it. Or if you no longer think it's kosher to even say publicly, "I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet (1 Timothy 2:12)," you can be mum on that one too. Disagree with slavery? No problem. Want to wear something besides linen? That's fine. Go to Red Lobster religiously? Still OK.

Islam is the same in that respect. President Obama said ISIS, the insanely well-funded terrorist group (who are also don't believe in evolution), isn't Islamic. This is how sectarian wars start - one group degrading the piety of another group claiming to be more pure/better/cleaner/uncorrupted then they are. Instead of a holy war about whose god is better, it's a splinter fight over whom god likes more.

Comment: The author should take her own advice and support real science instead of Zombie science. The data and research behind global cooling and an impending ice age is growing and growing.

Below is a definition of Zombie science from Not even trying... The Corruption of real science:
When a branch of science based on incoherent, false or phoney theories is serving a useful but non-scientific purpose it may be kept-going by continuous transfusions of cash from those whose non-scientific interests it serves.

For example, if a branch of pseudo-science based on a phoney theory is nonetheless valuable for political purposes (e.g. to justify a government intervention such as a new tax) or for marketing purposes (to provide the rationale for a marketing campaign) then real science expires and a 'zombie science' evolves.

Zombie science is science that is dead but will not lie down. It keeps twitching and lumbering around so that (from a distance, and with your eyes half-closed) zombie science looks much like real science.

But in fact the zombie has no life of its own; it is animated and moved only by the incessant pumping of funds.

Real science is coherent - and testable (testing being a matter of checking coherence with the result of past and future observations).

Real science finds its use, and gets its validation, from common sense evaluation and being deployed in technology.

Real science is validated (contingently) insofar as it leads to precise predictions that later come true; and leads to new ways of solving pressing problems and making useful changes in the world.

But zombie science is not coherent, therefore cannot be tested; its predications are vague or in fact retrospective summaries rather than predictions.

In a nutshell, zombie science is supported because it is useful propaganda; trading on the prestige which real science used-to have and which zombie science falsely claims for itself.

Zombie science is deployed in arenas such as political rhetoric, public administration, management, public relations, marketing and the mass media generally. It persuades, it constructs taboos, it buttresses rhetorical attempts to shape opinion.

Furthermore, most zombie sciences are supported by moral imperatives - to doubt the zombie science is therefore labelled as wicked, reckless, a tool of sinister and destructive forces.

To challenge zombie science is not merely to attack the livelihoods of zombie scientists (which, considering their consensus-based power, is itself dangerous) - but opens the attacker to being labelled a luddite, demagogue, anti-science, a denialist!

For all its incoherence and scientific worthlessness, zombie science therefore often comes across in the sound bite world of the mass media as being more plausible than real science; and it is precisely the superficial face-plausibility which in actuality is the sole and sufficient purpose of zombie science.
Climate Science is Zombie Science


Record-breaking grain crops spell headache for US farmers

Large corn, soybean crops expected in Indiana, US

US corn and soybean crops could break records this year, but for farmers the bounty has a dark side: falling prices and a logistics nightmare getting crops to market.

"It is not an exact science but when we look at the fields, it looks like it is going to be a big crop," said John Reifsteck, a corn and soybean farmer in Champaign, Illinois, a Midwest farm belt state.

Reifsteck estimated his corn crop could be as much as 15 percent higher than last year's.

The US Department of Agriculture is forecasting record crops this year for corn and soybeans, the two largest US crops in terms of production. Unless there is a devastating freeze or torrential rains before the harvest ends, corn production is projected at 366 million tonnes and soybeans at 106.5 million tonnes.

Handling all this production will be complicated. According to Arthur Neal, a USDA transportation and marketing official, about 3.5 percent of the crops, equivalent to 762,600 truck loads, cannot be kept in permanent storage structures like silos -- the highest share since 2010.

That does not bother Reifsteck, who says he will rely largely on field storage. "Hopefully most of it will get picked up and shipped during the fall or winter. With rains there will be some spoilage but if you lose a few bushels now, it is OK," he said.

What bothers him more is transportation.

Comment: Best to wean yourself off grains of every sort, and prep your diet for even bigger disruptions.


Deaf Florida man shot dead by Sheriff's Deputy

police shooting
© Raw Story
A Sheriff's Deputy reportedly shot dead a man who was deaf and physically disabled.

Edward P. Miller, 52, was at Fryer's Towing Service in Daytona Beach, Fla. with his 25-year-old son, also named Edward, when the shooting took place.

According to Sheriff Ben Johnson's statement at a press conference, Miller was brandishing a firearm when Deputy Joel Hernandez shot him.

Miller and his son were at the towing company twice that day to resolve a dispute over his car being towed.

During their first tip, the employee Miller dealt with called the police after he was allegedly rude and yelled at her, and then showed her he had a holstered gun. She reportedly feared for her safety.

Miller's son says he was yelling at the woman because he only had 2 percent of his hearing.

The elder Miller lost most of his hearing as a child when he contracted mumps. He became further disabled a few years ago when he was injured cutting down a tree.

"My dad was a loving, caring person," said the younger Miller in tears. "He would give the shirt off his back to anyone."

Miller had a valid conceal-carry permit, so police allowed him to keep the weapon and no charges were made against him.

He and his son returned to the towing company later in the day to pay the amount owed for the tow.

Deputy Hernandez and another deputy were already there on an unrelated matter when they say they heard a heated argument.

Hernandez went outside to investigate, identified himself as a deputy, and then he noticed Miller had a gun.

"While the specific sequence of events isn't being released at this time due to the ongoing investigation, during the encounter, Hernandez perceived a threat and fired his duty weapon, striking and killing the man," said Gary Davidson, a spokesman for the sheriff's department.

Before the deadly shot went off, Miller's son claims he tried to explain to the deputy's that his father was deaf, reports Raw Story.

"I kept telling them that he can't hear them," said Miller. "I kept telling them he can't understand them."

Alarm Clock

Five-year-old special needs boy suspended for wandering off school grounds

5 year-old
© City Moms Blog, PawPaw67/Flickr
A five-year-old special needs boy was found wandering two blocks away from his preschool last Tuesday. Somehow, the child managed to grab all of his belongings and leave school grounds undetected. Despite the gaffe by school staff to allow the child to leave, the school is suspending the child for leaving without permission.

Buffalo News reports that Gloria Rodriguez was at work last week when a staff member from Early Childhood Center 82 in Buffalo, New York, called her. The staffer said her child had wandered away from the school and was found by a police officer. Rodriguez was told to pick up her son, who was being suspended for wandering off.

Incensed, Rodriguez demanded to talk with the school's principal. How did no one stop her son from leaving? Why was he being punished for the school's incompetence? Rodriguez had legitimate grievances, but Principal Denise Segars-McPhatter said she was too busy to talk.

"The principal stood up," Rodriguez said. "She said, 'I cannot handle this. I cannot deal with this. I have to fax these papers.'"

Samuel Radford III, president of the Buffalo School District Parent Coordinating Council, sympathizes with Rodriguez.

"You actually picked up the phone and said, 'I'm going to suspend your child because of our irresponsibility?' That's just mind-boggling to me," he said. "What adult thinks that way?"


West sanctions Russian author of legislation which forbids promoting homosexual lifestyles to children

Elena Mizulina
Elena Mizulina
There's been a lot of talk in the western media about Russia's unfair repression of homosexuals, especially around the Olympic games.

It turns out that, like a lot of what the western media writes about Russia, this isn't really true, but that is a subject for another article.

We thought it would be interesting to listen to the author of the legislation herself. Her name is Elena Mizulina.

She sounds very much like a conservative American republican, talking about Christianity and family values.

She's very active on battling child pornography, is anti-abortion, and was a big supporter of the law outlawing profanity in the media.

Comment: The West has been trying to find any reason possible to demonize Russia. This hysteria over Russia's so-called anti-gay stance is completely hypocritical. As a matter of fact, more than 10 US states still have sodomy laws on the books. Homosexuality in Russia - unlike more than 40 countries in the Commonwealth and 70 worldwide - is not illegal.

West's 'Russians hate gays' propaganda is so blatant, even Russia's chief gay rights activist speaks out against it
Russia anti-gay? Homophobic extremists sentenced to 5 years in penal colony
Gay rights in Russia and the former Soviet republics

Arrow Down

Tragedy in Kentucky as firefighter dies after ALS ice bucket challenge

kentucky firefighters injured ice bucket challenge
Kentucky firefighters injured by power line while helping university's ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
A Kentucky firefighter has died, weeks after participating in an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that went horribly wrong.

Electricity from a power line shocked four firefighters on a ladder as they sprayed water on a group of college students below who were trying to pull off the charity stunt.

Crews from the Fire and Rescue Department in Campbellsville were helping the Campbellsville University band with their video "Challenge" August 21.

Capt. Tony Grider died Saturday from burn-related injuries, according to dispatcher Mark Coker with the Campbellsville-Tyler 911 Center. The 41-year-old's body was driven, accompanied by an official escort, to his hometown of Columbia, Kentucky, and transferred to Grissom-Martin Funeral Home. There are no details yet about his funeral, Coker said.

Comment: This accident is doubly tragic considering the fact that these ice bucket challenges will probably do little to actually help the victims of this disease. These events are emotion laden triggers that make people feel good, but only 27% of the funds actually go to ALS research, while the officers of the non-profit ALS Association enjoy six figure salaries:

Ice washing: An emotional trigger used to fund donations that do little find a cure for ALS
Forget the Ice Bucket Challenge; ALS can be cured naturally


Why Americans Should give Putin a standing ovation

Anti-Russia hysteria has made it easy for Americans to think that Putin and Russia are the bad guys in Ukraine. But people in the US are getting played.

Comment: Vladimir Putin has done more for the average human being in diffusing conflicts and creating the potential for economic growth for many countries, than all the "leaders of the free world" put together.

Arrow Down

When men-only streets are okay in London

Imagine in one of London's central districts, a Muslim group representing a significant section of the local community puts up notices before a street event telling women to confine themselves to one side of the road only. The posters, in Arabic and English, state: "Women should please walk along this side of the road only."

How much coverage in the UK media do you think this would receive? Would we see articles about Muslims trying to bring sharia law to the streets of London? Would commentators fall over themselves to decry Islam as a religion of extremism and intolerance? Would our media and politicians call on Muslim leaders to denounce such primitive practices?

From long experience, we all know the answer.

So how to explain the near-silence about exactly this happening last week in the London district of Hackney, except that religious Jews rather than Muslims were the party responsible. The Shomrim organisation put up the signs in preparation for the Torah procession in Stamford Hill. The posters (above) were removed after local residents complained.


Child pornography case spurs debate on military's role in law enforcement

© Davide Restivo
In a field office near Brunswick, Ga., a federal agent working as an undercover cybersleuth signed on to a large file-sharing network sometimes used by traders in child pornography.

Using a law-enforcement computer program called RoundUp, the agent, Stephen D. Logan, scanned computer activity by the network's members in the state of Washington. He located a computer offering illegal photos and videos, and downloaded three files as evidence.