Society's ChildS


US: Protesters invade NYC Financial District

NYC Wall Street protest
© Eric Thayer / ReutersProtesters demonstrate Saturday near New York's Wall Street against banks and corporations.
More than 1,000 demonstrators descended on New York City's Financial District on Saturday for what could be a days-long protest of what they said was corporate greed favoring the rich at the expense of ordinary people.

The rally, dubbed #OccupyWallStreet on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook where word was spread, spurred the New York Police Department to lock down Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall, local media reported.

Police set up checkpoints to allow only those who could prove they lived or worked on Wall Street to enter, the New York Daily News reported.

Heart - Black

The US Hospital Gestapo: You May Never See Home Again

Cash Cow
© Dean MacAdam
American hospitals have devised a scheme to guarantee they never get stuck with an unpaid bill. It's called guardianship.

Thinking of checking into a hospital? Think again. You may never see home again.

Ginger Franklin, Hendersonville, Tennessee, fell down the stairs in her condo and suffered a bump on her head. She was declared "temporarily mentally incapacitated" and a guardian was appointed through the courts. < Within six weeks, the guardian had soldFranklin's home, car, furniture, and drained her bank account. Today, Franklin has her freedom back, but she is having to start all over.


'The Amazing' Randi, Renowned Supernatural Investigator, Immersed in Mystery About Partner's Alleged ID Theft

Skeptic James 'The Amazing' Randi is renowned as a scourge of paranormal frauds and hoaxers, but it just may be that identity theft isn't one of his areas of expertise. Federal authorities have arrested his partner of more than two decades, 'Jose Luis Alvarez', saying that his identity was stolen from a man in New York some 24 years ago:

Heart - Black

Canada: Hundreds of dogs seized from Quebec puppy mill in mass-scale animal abuse case

animal abuse canada
© The Canadian PressDr. Barry Kellogg, Humane Society International veterinary medical doctor, holds a breeding female at an emergency shelter that was rescued from a breeding operation in southwestern Quebec.
More than 500 dogs have been seized from a Quebec puppy mill in what could represent the largest animal cruelty case in the province's history.

The dogs were found Friday on a property in a rural area west of Montreal. They were living in poor conditions without sufficient food and water.

Guy Auclair, a spokesman for the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, said the scale of the seizure is without precedent in Quebec.

"We have had this kind of situation before, but (with) a lower number of animals," Auclair said in an interview Saturday.

Auclair said the dogs were different breeds and ranged in age from puppies to fully-grown.

Many were found suffering from skin and respiratory problems, he said.

They were placed under the care of Humane Society International, which had already transported several hundred dogs to a treatment centre Saturday.


Why We Left The United States

© Unknown
Because on December 12, 2000, the United States Supreme Court nullified the results of a national election and installed George W. Bush as president. And then I saw millions of my fellow Americans deliriously happy the Rule of Law was broken by the Supreme Court of the Land so "their guy" could ... "win."

That's when I knew partisanship had ultimately won out over reality. More Americans believe in angels than election fraud. If millions of Americans could turn a blind eye to a stolen election, simply because their side stole it, and then have that coup legitimized by not only the Supreme Court ... but by all of MainStreamMedia ... then I knew the country I lived in was not the land of my birth.

I can't emphasize this enough. Millions of Americans were ecstatic that George W. Bush won regardless of how he won. Unquestioning blind partisanship was more important than the law to these people. But more ominous was MainStreamMedia ratifying the coup. At that moment Corporate Media proved they were committed to the destruction of our democratic republic.

2 + 2 = 4

Text teens Can't Do Joined-Up Writing as They Learn to Type Before Putting Pen to Paper

© N/ATexting has overtaken handwriting in the classroom
Pupils' handwriting is deteriorating amid growing reliance on computers and poor teaching, it has been revealed.

Vital developmental stages are being skipped as young children learn to type on a keyboard before putting a pen to paper.

But this means some children have not mastered the basic skill by the time they start their A-levels - even though they are experts at texting and communicating online.

Examiners complain some A-level and GCSE scripts are illegible, while pupil referrals to occupational therapists are now 'widespread'.

Ian Toone, of the Voice teaching union, said:
'Some teachers, especially in the younger age bracket, argue that it is a waste of time teaching joined-up handwriting because soon "everyone will be doing everything on computers".

'Other teachers believe that joined-up writing is more efficient than print and aids fluency of expression and speed of thought.

'Practising handwriting helps children learn letters and shapes, and can improve the creation and expression of ideas and help to develop fine motor skills, much more so than using a keyboard.'
He added:
'The secondary curriculum only requires children to write legibly, rather than cursively (joined-up).


US: Toe-Sucking Assailant Creeps Out Arkansas Town

© CC BY/D. Sharon Pruitt/Flickr
Citizens remember strange 1990s incidents involving the 'Toe Suck Fairy'

Little Rock - There's nothing illegal about a little foot fetish, but police in Conway, Arkansas, are looking for a toe-sucking man they said has crossed the line into assault.

Police have received two complaints in the past week about a man who seems desperate to suck women's toes - whether they want him to or not.

"This is on the police department's radar, and they are concerned," said LaTresha Woodruff, police spokeswoman in Conway, about 30 miles from Little Rock. "They are taking information and trying to figure out who is doing it ... we want him off the streets."
Last Saturday, Ruth Harris, an 83-year-old Conway woman, told police that she was sitting in a chair in front of her apartment.

A man approached her and said he liked her feet. According to a police report, the man took off one of her shoes and began sucking on her toe.

"The man then asked if he could kiss her and she had told him no and told him he was crazy," the report stated.

Heart - Black

Free to Die

tea party health care debate
© Unknown
Back in 1980, just as America was making its political turn to the right, Milton Friedman lent his voice to the change with the famous TV series "Free to Choose." In episode after episode, the genial economist identified laissez-faire economics with personal choice and empowerment, an upbeat vision that would be echoed and amplified by Ronald Reagan.

But that was then. Today, "free to choose" has become "free to die."

I'm referring, as you might guess, to what happened during Monday's G.O.P. presidential debate. CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked Representative Ron Paul what we should do if a 30-year-old man who chose not to purchase health insurance suddenly found himself in need of six months of intensive care. Mr. Paul replied, "That's what freedom is all about - taking your own risks." Mr. Blitzer pressed him again, asking whether "society should just let him die."

And the crowd erupted with cheers and shouts of "Yeah!"

The incident highlighted something that I don't think most political commentators have fully absorbed: at this point, American politics is fundamentally about different moral visions.


America Today: Heartbreaking Pictures From New Jersey's Homeless 'Tent City'

NJ homeless camp
© Robert Johnson

Doug Hardman wakes up every morning with a song in his head - a vague memory of his days on stage.

Inside his tepee in the woods outside Lakewood, NJ, at the homeless Tent City, the roosters wake early and the mornings are already cooler. A musician who lost his Florida home in the housing crisis, Hardman says he floats in and out of Tent City, that he's proud of his kids, and misses the life he no longer has.

He has a lot of company out here.

Tent City made the news recently and while community leader Steven Brigham says the media attention brought in greater donations, it also brought unwanted attention from the local politicians.

After battling with the city for years to have access to the public land here, Brigham found a New Jersey lawyer to represent his case pro bono.


US: 3 dead, more than 50 injured at Nevada air race; mechanical problems may be to blame

© UnknownWWII-era plane plunges into grandstands.
A World War II-era fighter plane flown by a veteran Hollywood stunt pilot plunged Friday into the edge of the grandstands during a popular air race, killing three people, injuring more than 50 spectators and creating a horrific scene strewn with smoking debris.

The plane, piloted by 74-year-old Jimmy Leeward, spiraled out of control without warning and appeared to disintegrate upon impact. Bloodied bodies were spread across the area as people tended to the victims and ambulances rushed to the scene.

Authorities were investigating the cause, but an official with the event said there were indications that mechanical problems were to blame.

Maureen Higgins of Alabama, who has been coming to the air races for 16 years, said the pilot was on his third lap of a race when he lost control.