Society's ChildS


Thousands Rally for Putin Before Russian Election

© Reuters/Tatyana Makeyeva Flags with portraits of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are displayed during a car rally to show support for Putin's presidential candidacy in Moscow February 18, 2012.
Tens of thousands of people demonstrated in cities across Russia in support of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Saturday in a show of force two weeks before a March 4 presidential election that is expected to return him to the Kremlin.

The rallies began in the Pacific coast port of Vladivostok and culminated with a late-night demonstration on wheels in Moscow, where motorists took to the streets with slogans such as "Putin rules" on their cars.

"One wish unites us: we want to be sure of tomorrow," said a declaration read out at the rally in St. Petersburg, which like many others was organized by trade unions that have close government ties.

The declaration urged Russians to vote on March 4 and "defend the right to the stable future."

In central Moscow, about 10 people staging a street protest against Putin were detained, Ekho Moskvy radio reported.


Best of the Web: A Conservative Explains Why Right-Wingers Have No Compassion

Gingrich pepper spray graphic
© DonkeyHotey
A former Republican Senate Congressional staffer on why right-wingers think people without insurance deserve to die.

Although Mitt Romney used the word "conservative" 19 times in a short speech at the February 10, 2012, Conservative Political Action Conference, the audience he used this word to appeal to was not conservative by any traditional definition. It was right wing. Despite the common American practice of using "conservative" and "right wing" interchangeably, right wing is not a synonym for conservative and not even a true variant of conservatism - although the right wing will opportunistically borrow conservative themes as required.

Right-wingers have occasioned much recent comment. Their behavior in the Republican debates has caused even jaded observers to react like an Oxford don stumbling upon a tribe of headhunting cannibals. In those debates where the moderators did not enforce decorum, these right-wingers, the Republican base, behaved with a single lack of dignity. For a group that displays its supposed pro-life credentials like a neon sign, the biggest applause lines resulted from their hearing about executions or the prospect of someone dying without health insurance.

Who are these people and what motivates them? To answer, one must leave the field of conventional political theory and enter the realm of psychopathology. Three books may serve as field guides to the farther shores of American politics and the netherworld of the true believer.

"Because of their social cohesion, ease of political mobilization and high election turnout, fundamentalists have political weight even beyond their raw numbers."
But any other groups that begin to develop social cohesion of a more global kind, involving compassion for all humanity, and respect for diversity, are immediately labeled a "cult" and attacked with full force.
"Blumenthal examines the childhoods of these religious-right celebrities and reveals a significant quotient of physical and mental abuse suffered at the hands of parents."

"... the inner life of fundamentalist true believers is the farthest thing from that of a stuffily proper Goody Two Shoes. They seem tormented by demons that those in the reality-based community scarcely experience. ... Far from being a purpose-driven life, the existence of many true believers is a crisis-driven life that seeks release,"

"a patriarchal, sexually repressive family life, reinforced by strict and punitive religious dogma, is the "factory" of a reactionary political order."
Issues such as this, and what they do to the minds of individuals, are discussed in Political Ponerology where a far better explanation than Reich offered is given.

Bizarro Earth

US, Arizona: Man Shot to Death While Holding Baby

Scottsdale - An Arizona man was shot to death by police Tuesday while holding his grandson.

Police say 50-year-old John Loxas was holding his grandchild in his arms as he walked around his Scottsdale neighborhood Tuesday night threatening neighbors and police.

"There were at least three officers in position to engage the suspect. At least one of the officers thought he saw something in the suspect's hands," said Sgt. Mark Clark.


Native Americans Fight to Save Endangered Languages

Ojibwe People
© NPSSpoken by the Ojibwe people indigenous to the Great Lakes area, Ashininaabemowin is endangered as few people still speak it. (Shown here, a celebration by the National Park Service that celebrates the historic annual gathering of the Ojibwe people.)

Vancouver, British Columbia - Many of the world's minority languages, some spoken by only a handful of speakers, are on the brink of extinction, and community activists and scientists are teaming to try to keep them alive.

One example is the Native American language Siletz Dee-ni, which was once spoken widely by native people in Oregon, but which now may be spoken fluently by only one man: Alfred "Bud" Lane.

"We're a small tribe on the central Oregon coast," Lane said via telephone here at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "Like most small groups of people, our pool of speakers has been reduced over a period of time, until the 1980s when very few speakers were left. Linguists labeled it 'moribund."

But Lane and his community decided to fight back.


Pennsylvania, US: Man with Split Personality Confesses to Robbery After Realizing His Other Personality Committed the Crime

Police say a western Pennsylvania man who claims to have split personalities confessed to robbing a Chinese restaurant after reading about it in the newspaper and realizing he was the person who did it.

Online court records don't list an attorney for 23-year-old Timothy Beer, of Leechburg, who's been jailed since surrendering in Sunday's robbery of the China King Restaurant about 35 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Beer came to the police station Tuesday, saying he wasn't feeling well and "did something stupid."

Beer told police he ordered food and became angry when he perceived the person waiting on him was continuing to speak Chinese. The next thing Beer remembers, he was playing video games at his cousin's home - but says he later realized he committed the robbery when he read about it in Tuesday's Valley News Dispatch.

Arrow Up

California, US: Just in Time for Presidents Day - Here Comes $4.00 Gas in Los Angeles

© Debbie Noda/The Modesto BeeThis Chevron in Modesto was right at the edge of hitting $4 for a gallon of regular gasoline. The $4-a-gallon barrier is likely to be broken this weekend in Southern California.
Just in time for Presidents Day: get ready for the long holiday weekend's highest prices ever in Southern California as $4 gasoline is expected to arrive in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and probably Orange County, too.

That's what energy analysts are predicting as the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area reached $3.996 a gallon overnight, up nearly 2 cents since Thursday. That was also a jump of 15.9 cents a gallon since last week.

That's according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, a daily record of credit card receipts compiled from more than 100,000 service stations around the U.S. by the Oil Price Information Service in New Jersey and by Wright Express.

Not far behind the L.A. area: San Diego is also on the brink at $3.992 a gallon, up 16.2 cents since last week, according to the report. Orange County was also on the cusp, rising 16.2 cents a gallon in the past week to an average of $3.989 a gallon.

Arrow Down

Colorado, US: Dead Body Found in Movie Theater Bathroom 5 Days After Death

© WCSH6George DeGrazio
Colorado police are investigating after the body of a Loveland man went unnoticed for five days in a Fort Collins movie theater bathroom.

66-six-year-old George DeGrazio's family reported him missing last Monday, the same day he'd gone to see a movie without telling them, and the same day - according to the coroner - he had a heart attack.

It happened inside a single-person bathroom that locks from the inside, according to the Larimer County Coroner's office.

"We didn't have any ideas," Dylan DeGrazio, George's son, said on Monday.

A missing person's report went out.

Days passed.


Mysterious 'She' Who Troubled Princess Diana Before Her Marriage

She was referred to by Diana, the Princess of Wales as the "third person" in her marriage to the Prince of Wales.

© Press AssociationDiana, the Princess of Wales, spoke of a mysterious 'she' who was the reason she planned to travel to Australia the following month
Now a letter suggests that the Princess might have been worried about the Duchess of Cornwall before her wedding.

The letter shows that two weeks before the Prince proposed, she spoke of a mysterious "she" who was the reason she planned to travel to Australia the following month.

The handwritten letter was sent to Countess Spencer, known as Raine, her father's second wife, on Jan 18, 1981.

"Thinking back to 'she'(!) of our conversations I think it's so right for me to go to Australia and not long, 2½ weeks will do both of us good," the Princess wrote.

"I only hope that in the end we will all be able to smile."


Miviludes and the Pharmaceutical Lobby

Georges Fenech, head of the Miviludes, stated when issuing the 2010 report of his Mission: "Anything natural is suspect as a front for cult abuses". This strange orientation may be easier to understand if one knows that Fenech is also one of the founding members of Momagri, a pro-GMO (genetically modified organisms) lobby involving major companies in the food processing industry and the pharmaceutical industry (Limagrain, Pierre Fabre and others).

The head of the Miviludes is also president of the Echanges Franco-Tunisiens Association [French-Tunisian Exchanges]. Far from using this position to make every effort to introduce more democracy in the country, Fenech constantly advocated for the authoritarian regime of former President Ben Ali, ignoring the repeated violations of human rights in this country. On January 17, 2011, on LCP TV, he admitted that "we were late to condemn Ben Ali's ferocious repression".

Fenech has been a close ally of the regime. The EFT association was established by Hosni Djemmali, a French-Tunisian businessman and media tycoon, regarded as Ben Ali's media spokesperson in France. Djemmali is a close friend of Fenech, who has frequently been invited, along with his wife and other VIPs, to the Tunisian hotels owned by Djemmali, for meetings to help French companies expand their investments in Tunisia.


Miviludes: Still in the Past

In contrast to this landmark ruling [of the European Court of Human Rights in the Jehovah's Witnesses vs. Russia case], the French Miviludes (Interministerial Mission to fight against sectarian abuses), a governmental body, continues its discriminatory and Inquisition-like methods. Not only does the Miviludes neglect to encourage dialogue with family members, it does not seek to learn the truth upon receiving recriminating letters from individuals who are unwilling to accept their relatives' choice to live as members of a religious minority. With no further investigation or analysis, but solely on the basis of such accusations of family break-up, MIVILUDES labels various religious groups such as Jehovah's Witnesses "sectarian," thus violating the standards established by the European Court of Human Rights.