Society's ChildS


Bizarro Earth

Murder is our national sport

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© AP/Danny Johnston, FileA television camera mounted on the ceiling of a witness room is pointed toward a prison death chamber.
Murder is our national sport. We murder tens of thousands with our industrial killing machines in Afghanistan and Iraq. We murder thousands more from the skies over Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen with our pilotless drones. We murder each other with reckless abandon. And, as if we were not drenched in enough human blood, we murder prisoners - most of them poor people of color who have been locked up for more than a decade. The United States believes in regeneration through violence. We have carried out blood baths on foreign soil and on our own land for generations in the vain quest of a better world. And the worse it gets, the deeper our empire sinks under the weight of its own decay and depravity, the more we kill.

There are parts of the nation where the electorate, or at least the white electorate, routinely and knowingly puts murderers into political office. Murder is a sign of strength. Murder is a symbol of resolve. Murder means law and order. Murder keeps us safe. Strap the criminal into the gurney. Plunge the needles into veins. Haul away the corpse. It is our Christian duty. God Bless America! And one of the next on the list to be murdered in Florida - a state that has decided, under its new and cynically named "Timely Justice Act," that it needs to accelerate its execution rate - is William Van Poyck. He is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. June 12 at Florida State Prison. He is a writer who has spent years exposing the cruelty of our system of mass incarceration. On June 12, if Gov. Rick Scott has his way, Van Poyck will write no more. And that is exactly how our political class of murderers wants it.

"Only God can judge," Matt Gaetz, a Republican who sponsored the Timely Justice Act in the Florida House of Representatives, said during the debate. "But we sure can set up the meeting."

Van Poyck, 58, knows what is coming. He has seen it many times before. He chronicles existence on death row in his blog, posted by his sister, Lisa Van Poyck, at deathrowdiary.blogspot.com, where there is a petition to Gov. Scott asking for a reprieve.

Bizarro Earth

Angelina Jolie says cancer risk led her to have double mastectomy

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© Amy Sancetta/AP
Angelina Jolie says that she has had a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carried a gene that made it extremely likely she would get breast cancer.

The Oscar-winning actress and partner to Brad Pitt made the announcement in the form of an op-ed she authored for Tuesday's New York Times under the headline, "My Medical Choice." She writes that between early February and late April she completed three months of surgical procedures to remove both breasts.

Jolie, 37, writes that she made the choice with thoughts of her six children after watching her own mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, die too young from cancer.

"My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56," Jolie writes. "She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was."

She writes that, "They have asked if the same could happen to me."

Jolie said that after genetic testing she learned she carries the "faulty" BRCA1 gene and had an 87 per cent chance of getting the disease herself.

Attention

Autistic teenager gets fingers blown off from bomb built by bullies

Some unidentified teens allegedly threw a small bomb, disguised as golf ball, at Michael Boggan on Friday afternoon (video below).

As Michael picked the ball up, it exploded.

The homemade bomb injured his legs and blew away most of his fingers.

Michael's mother, Rebecca Boggan, wants the main teen prankster to be charged with attempted murder.

Megaphone

Uganda priest ostracized for publicizing sexual abuse

The Catholic Church suspends Anthony Musaala indefinitely for shining a light on what he calls an open secret: Sex abuse is a problem in Africa too.

He is a celebrity across eastern and central Africa, a gospel music star known to many as the "Dancing Priest." But for years he also was a keeper of painful secrets - his own and many others'.

In going public, Anthony Musaala has forced the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda to confront a problem it had insisted didn't exist. And he may stir a debate far beyond Africa's most Catholic of countries.

The Ugandan priest has been suspended indefinitely by the archbishop of Kampala for exposing what he calls an open secret: Sex abuse in the Catholic Church is a problem in Africa as well as in Western Europe and North America.

Star of David

Peddling pigeon-blood wart 'cure'

Pigeon
© New York Post
Eye of newt, toe of frog - and blood of pigeon?

A recent ad in the Brooklyn-based, Yiddish-language Di Tzeitung newspaper boasts a use for the city's most ubiquitous bird as a cure for warts.

The ad recommends that the bird blood be poured onto the offensive skin growth, left for an hour and then washed off. In two or three weeks, "with God's help, there is no memory thereof."

The woman who placed the ad told The Post her daughter had a wart on her hand that disappeared after the treatment.

"I did this to help people," she said. "You go to the market, you buy a pigeon, and the blood goes on the wart. That's it."

Arrow Down

Blaming the workers! Bangladesh textile industry closes plants indefinitely as laborers rebel against abuse

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Hundreds of factories which form the hub of Bangladesh's garment industry are to close indefinitely after worker unrest sparked by the death of more than 1,100 colleagues, employees announced Monday.

As the search for bodies from last month's collapse of a factory complex wrapped up, the textile industry's main trade body said all operations at the nearby Ashulia industrial zone on the outskirts of Dhaka were being suspended until further notice.

Shahidullah Azim, of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said the decision was made "to ensure the security of our factories".

Local police chief Badrul Alam told AFP workers in 80 percent of the factories had walked out earlier in the day to demand an increase in salaries as well as the execution of the owner of the collapsed Rana Plaza complex in the town of Savar.

Most of Bangladesh's top garment factories are based at Ashulia and there has been "virtually no work" there since the April 24 Rana Plaza tragedy, Azim said.

Pistol

Woman who "forgot" she had loaded gun in purse accidentally shoots friend in the leg

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A Florida woman forgot about more than her change while ordering a coffee at a St. Petersburg Starbucks over the weekend.

The woman, who reportedly forgot she had a loaded handgun in her bag, accidentally shot her friend in the leg as she moved the bag to the ground.

According to police, Pamela Beck was attempting to place her purse on the ground when it "hit the ground hard," ultimately setting off the fully loaded .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun.

The shot ended up striking her friend, Amie Peterson, just above her knee. Peterson, who was not seriously injured in the accident, was subsequently treated and released from a nearby hospital.

Beck told investigators her father had originally given her the gun about a year ago and she had no intentions to bring it out in public. Spokesman Mike Puetz of the St. Petersberg Police Department said Beck told officers "she had forgotten about it."

However, Beck won't be able to forget about Saturday's incident anytime in the future. Because she doesn't possess a concealed carry weapons permit, officers reported the case has been transferred to prosecutors.

Last weekend's Starbucks fiasco serves as yet another incident in a bizarre string of accidental shootings in the past month.

Pistol

Special needs student grabs and fires policeman's gun on school bus

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In Winchester, Virginia, a student onboard a special needs school bus began to get a little rowdy, reportedly attempting to unbuckle the driver and take the radio out of his hands.

Local police were informed of the out-of-control student, and an officer arrived who was apparently "specifically trained in crisis intervention team training." The officer was indeed able to calm the student down. However, while they were seated next to one another after the incident, the student reached down, grabbed the officer's gun, and accidentally pulled the trigger.

"It was discharged on the school bus," explains Lauren Cummings of the Winchester Police Department. "The shot fired through the seat and hit the floor."

No one was hurt, though the event has caused the Winchester Police Department to look into the matter. People question whether this may have been an issue with the holster or with the gun itself.

Arrow Down

Pit Bulls who killed two dogs and threatened children were impounded four times before being euthanized

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On Friday afternoon, Maria McKay of Valencia Park notified local San Diego Station 10News that two Pit Bulls belonging to a neighbor attacked and killed her daughter's little pug, Suki, at about 11 a.m. that morning. She said the attack occurred in front of a house where Deborah Kirby runs a daycare and also just across the street from an elementary school. (Valencia Park is a community in the southeast area of the city of San Diego.)

Kirby confirmed that her own children were almost attacked by the same Pit Bulls about two months ago while they were walking home. She said she screamed and told the kids to run.

Another neighbor, Nancy Marquez, told 10News that she lives only a couple of doors away from the pit bulls and they killed her Chihuahua several years ago in her own backyard. Marquez' father, Cipriano Marquez, said the owners of the Pit Bulls had never even apologized.

Lieutenant Dan DeSouza of San Diego County Department of Animal Services told 10News later that both pit bulls have been impounded four times while running loose and each time they were returned to the owners.

The 10News team went to the home and tried to talk to the couple who owns the Pit Bulls, who said their dogs were locked up all day in their backyard on Friday. However, a neighbor told a different story.

Dollars

Imprisoned swindler claims he can prove Utah attorney general involved in money extortion

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© AFP Photo / George FreyUtah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff
A fraudster serving 10 years in prison has alleged that two former attorney generals accepted thousands of dollars worth of free meals, hotel stays and other expenses from him after putting him behind bars.

Businessman Marc Jenson, who is serving time for swindling millions of dollars from investors, claims he has receipts proving that former Utah Attorney Gen. Mark Shurtleff and his successor, John Swallow, accepted expenses on his behalf.

"I'm telling you right now: they were extorting me, and they were from the very beginning," Jenson told the Salt Lake Tribune in an interview from prison. The former businessman was charged with six felonies and was imprisoned after failing to pay $4 million in restitution.

Jenson claims that Shurtleff and Swallow pressured him to provide them with costly vacations, meals and other expenses. The current and former attorney generals allegedly promised to help the businessman with his legal troubles in exchange for lavish gifts.

The requests allegedly began after Jenson was convicted in 2009, but before he was imprisoned for failing to provide the restitution.

Shurtleff and Swallow vacationed at Pelican Hill, an upscale southern California resort where Jenson had his own villa, on multiple occasions. The fraudster says his receipts show both men signing for thousands of dollars worth of food, massages, golf outings, and supplies at the Newport Beach resort.