Students who shut down University of Oregon president’s speech panic after they’re charged
Threatening to investigate students for disrupting campus events works wonders on their willingness to negotiate.
A week after they received formal charges of “disruption of university” and “failure to comply” for shutting down the State of the University speech by University of Oregon President Michael Schill, participants warned Schill that he had “escalated tensions” by holding them accountable (!).
Student, faculty and union leaders signed an open letter to Schill and the board of trustees, posted on the activist UO Student Collective Facebook page, that blames Schill for comparing the protesters to the fascists they claim to fight. More
On YouTube Kids, Startling Videos Slip Past Filters
It was a typical night in Staci Burns’s house outside Fort Wayne, Ind. She was cooking dinner while her 3-year-old son, Isaac, watched videos on the YouTube Kids app on an iPad. Suddenly he cried out, “Mommy, the monster scares me!”
When Ms. Burns walked over, Isaac was watching a video featuring crude renderings of the characters from “PAW Patrol,” a Nickelodeon show that is popular among preschoolers, screaming in a car. The vehicle hurtled into a light pole and burst into flames.
The 10-minute clip, “PAW Patrol Babies Pretend to Die Suicide by Annabelle Hypnotized,” was a nightmarish imitation of an animated series in which a boy and a pack of rescue dogs protect their community from troubles like runaway kittens and rock slides. In the video Isaac watched, some characters died and one walked off a roof after being hypnotized by a likeness of a doll possessed by a demon.More
Transgender reveal in kindergarten class leaves parents feeling "betrayed"
ROCKLIN, Calif. -- The Rocklin Academy school board is facing tough questions from parents concerned over a controversial incident involving transgender discussions inside a kindergarten class, CBS Sacramento reports.
"These parents feel betrayed by the school district that they were not notified," said Karen England with the Capitol Resource Institute. More
Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Painting Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes
According to a report by the Moscow Times, pranksters in Bulgaria are repainting Soviet-era monuments so that Soviet military heroes look like American Superheroes. Needless to say, the Russians are not too happy about it.
Russia is demanding that Bulgaria try harder to prevent vandalism of Soviet monuments, after yet another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia was spray-painted, ITAR-Tass reported. The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet-era ally clean up the monument in Sofia’s Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take “exhaustive measures” to prevent similar attacks in the future, the news agency reported Monday.. More
Rick Perry Just Said That Fossil Fuels Help Prevent Sexual Assault
Rick Perry, the head of the Department of Energy (DoE), has surpassed himself. Talking to journalists earlier today, he claimed that fossil fuels will help to prevent sexual assault.
During an energy policy discussion, he said: “From the standpoint of sexual assault. When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts… fossil fuels is going to play a role in that. I think it’s going to play a positive role.”
It’s a little difficult to try and work out what he means by this. Is he trying to say that when you have lights on, the perpetrators of sexual assault are easier to see? This is obviously true - but studies show that it has little effect on such crimes being committed. Either way, to use such a horrific issue to tout the benefits of oil, gas, and coal is mindblowingly strange. More
EU Study Showing Piracy Doesn't Affect Game Sales Was Shelved
It’s usually considered that piracy hurts the sale of copyrighted materials, but that’s not really the case. Over the years, quite a few studies have reached the same conclusion, and that was piracy doesn’t have an effect on sales. It sounds strange, but that’s the truth.
Companies chose to ignore this information, and it’s easy to understand why. It sounds like the logical thing to imagine, but it’s not backed by science. Nevertheless, the European Commission wanted to know what is the effect of piracy on copyrighted material and ordered a study. The results were never made public. More
FBI finds FEMA supplies in Trash Container
Federal and State Authorities today began an investigation into the Municipality of Patillas after an inspection was carried out today where allegedly, investigators found food and water provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) thrown in a trash container according to sources.
Supplies mismanagement or theft, for being federal property, will be investigated by the FBI and can lead to a penalty of up to 20 years if any individual is found to be violating the distribution guidelines. More
Schools are banning best friends to protect students' feelings
Members of the royal family aren't often told what they can and can't do. But just a few days into his first year of school, 4-year-old Prince George already faces a mandate: No best friends allowed.
Thomas's Battersea, the school George attends, bans kids from having best friends, Marie Claire reports. Instead, teachers encourage all students to form bonds with one another to avoid creating feelings of exclusions among those without best friends.
Jane Moore, a parent whose child attends the school, explained the idea on a recent episode of the British talk show "Loose Women." "There's a policy," she said, "that if your child is having a party — unless every child is invited — you don't give out the invites in class." More
Oxford University "Doctor Stabby" avoids jail because of her ‘extraordinary’ potential
An Oxford University student dubbed “too clever to go to prison” has walked free after stabbing her ex-boyfriend in a drug-fueled frenzy — but moaned that she can’t go clubbing without being recognized.
Aspiring heart surgeon Lavinia Woodward ran out of court with a big smile on her face Monday after being handed a suspended sentence.
Wearing a black suit and white blouse, she appeared in the glass-paneled dock before the judge at Oxford Crown Court.
Flanked by a female security guard, she wept and dabbed her eyes with a tissue as the judge sentenced her to 10 months in prison, suspended for 18 months. More
Australian Professors Claim Boys Are Better Than Girls At Physics Because They Play With Pee
Physics is heavily skewed towards boys because they have a unique advantage when it comes to understanding projectile motion – and, argue Anna Wilson, Kate Wilson and David Low, it’s an area too heavily relied on in many curricula.
Some of you will think we’re daft. Some will wonder what kind of jobs we have if we have enough time on our hands to dream this kind of thing up. Some of you may even think we’re having you on. Our intentions, however, are honourable.
Playful urination practices – from seeing how high you can pee to games such as Peeball (where men compete using their urine to destroy a ball placed in a urinal) – may give boys an advantage over girls when it comes to physics. And we believe there’s something we can do about it. More
How a 5-year-old's 'pretend play' resulted in a school suspension
Modesto parents are upset that their 5-year-old son's "pretend play" resulted in him being suspended from school, and said they want the disciplinary action removed from his permanent record.
Jackson Riley attends the Great Valley Academy public charter school in Modesto and was suspended for a day for making terrorist threats, TV station Fox 40 reported.
The incident occurred Aug. 31, Jackson's father, Ian Riley, told The Bee. He got a call from the school saying the kindergartner had refused to take off his backpack and, when asked why, said there was a bomb in it that would explode if he did so.
Riley said Jackson loves his teachers, as do he and his wife, Michelle. "We have two kids there and the teachers are amazing," he said. "Our issue is with the administration's knee-jerk reaction." More
"Meathead" Launches Committee To Investigate Russian Election Meddling
Director Rob Reiner, his pal Morgan Freeman and journalist David Frum have joined forces to create a "Committee to Investigate Russia," designed to uncover the truth behind Putin-led meddling in the 2016 Presidential election.
Reiner announced the CIR on Tuesday, posting to Twitter that he wants Americans to " “understand the gravity of Russia’s invasion of our democracy," adding that he intends on using his resources to truly solve the mystery of how Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential election.
The group launched their website, InvestigateRussia.com, on Wednesday. It has a few fancy videos - one of which stars Freeman, who warns that Russia is waging a war on the United States that we can no longer afford to ignore. "We have been attacked," bellows Freeman. "We are at war." More
Democrat candidate for NY City council lives in Section 8 housing, hides photos of husband on yacht
A Democrat candidate for New York City’s city council, who lives in Section 8 housing, went into damage control mode after photos were shared of her husband on a yacht.
The Facebook photos showed city council candidate Carlina Rivera’s husband, attorney and Community Board 3 Chairman, James Rogers, sailing on his wealthy father, William Rogers’, yacht as they competed in boating competitions, the New York Post reported.
The Facebook page “Big Boat,” which is the name of the yacht, removed the photos ahead of New York City’s primary elections on Tuesday but the damage was done. More
Florida gun owners encouraged to 'shoot the storm' and fire their guns at Hurricane Irma
A Florida man who suggested shooting guns at Hurricane Irma out of "stress and boredom" has found that his idea has captured peoples' imaginations - with over 46,000 signing up to join in.
Hurricane Irma is due to hit Florida on Saturday, and the state is currently experiencing the largest ever mass evacuation due to a hurricane in American history. But Ryon Edwards, 22, came up with a novel way of amusing himself during the storm: firing bullets into it. He started a Facebook "event", and as of Friday evening 46,000 people say they are interested. More
College tells students to ‘rub one out’ to prevent rape
The Rochester Institute of Technology recently encouraged students to masturbate as an alternative to sexual assault during one of its freshman orientation programs.
As part of an “Alcohol and Chill” session during orientation, students discussed “awareness, prevention, bystander education, and risk reduction,” according to a statement from the school’s senior vice president for student affairs.
An image obtained by Campus Reform shows that during said session, participants were told to “Rub One Out,” with a notation at the bottom of the slide explaining that “self-gratification can prevent sexual assault.” More
Why the Do Not Call list doesn't work anymore
Carol Stewart is at wit’s end, because the calls won’t stop.
“I’m getting inundated,” the frustrated woman said.
Multiple times a day, live or automated robocallers ring her home phone—to sell her vacations, lower her credit card rates, or ask for donations.
“Somebody will be saying I’ve got a vacation package for you, that we thought you might be interested in, and I just hang up. Because I’m not interested in it,” she said. It’s gotten so bad that she checked to see if her name is still on the National Do Not Call List that she signed up for more than a decade ago. She learned she is still on the list. But it’s not doing a thing for her. More
Man Builds Park Stairs for $550 After City Gives $65,000 Estimate
A Toronto man who spent $550 building a set of stairs in his community park says he has no regrets, despite the city’s insistence that he should have waited for a $65,000 city project to handle the problem. The city is now threatening to tear down the stairs because they were not built to regulation standards.
Retired mechanic Adi Astl says he took it upon himself to build the stairs after several neighbours fell down the steep path to a community garden in Tom Riley Park, in Etobicoke, Ont. Astl says his neighbours chipped in on the project, which only ended up costing $550 – a far cry from the $65,000-$150,000 price tag the city had estimated for the job. More
Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD is Largely a Fraud
JViewed by academics as one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, Jerome Kagan ranked above Carl Jung (the founder of analytical psychology) and Ivan Pavlov (who discovered the Pavlovian reflex) in a 2002 American Psychological Association ranking of the eminent psychologists. He is well-known for his pioneering work in developmental psychology at Harvard University, where he has spent decades documenting how babies and small children grow, and is an exceptional and highly-regarded researcher.
So it may be surprising to learn that he believes the diagnosis of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is an invention — and only benefits the pharmaceutical industry and psychiatrists.
“That is the history of humanity: Those in authority believe they’re doing the right thing, and they harm those who have no power”, says Jerome Kagan. More
These Coloradans say Earth is flat. And gravity’s a hoax. Now, they’re being persecuted.
Every Tuesday at 6 p.m., three dozen Coloradans from every corner of the state assemble in the windowless back room of a small Fort Collins coffee shop. They have met 16 times since March, most nights talking through the ins and outs of their shared faith until the owners kick them out at closing.
They have no leaders, no formal hierarchy and no enforced ideology, save a common quest for answers to questions about the stars. Their membership has slowly swelled in the past three years, though persecution and widespread public derision keep them mostly underground. Many use pseudonyms, or only give first names.
“They just do not want to talk about it for fear of reprisals or ridicule from co-workers,” says John Vnuk, the group’s founder who lives in Fort Collins. More
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop responds after NASA calls BS on ‘healing’ stickers
What do you do when you have too much money? Most of us never have to worry about such things, but oftentimes celebrities find themselves with piles of cash and nothing to spend it on.
Sometimes they go on benders, or buy a private island, but in Gwyneth Paltrow’s case, she started a “wellness” company that is now trying to help sell special stickers that it claims can cure you of anxiety, balance your body’s “natural frequency,” and even relieve pain. Now, NASA — you know, that little group that does actual science — is calling BS on the whole thing. More
Portland Burrito Shop Forced to Close After Getting Hounded for ‘Stealing From Mexico’
Kali Wilgus and Liz “LC” Connelly, owners of Portland pop-up shop Kooks Burritos, just wanted to make and sell some really great burritos. So when they were on a trip to Puerto Nuevo, Mexico, they “picked the brains” of the local tortilla ladies and brought those recipes back to the States.
“I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did,” Connelly told Willamette Week. “They told us the basic ingredients, and we saw them moving and stretching the dough similar to how pizza makers do before rolling it out with rolling pins. They wouldn’t tell us too much about technique, but we were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look. We learned quickly it isn’t quite that easy.”
Whelp, apparently this interview sparked an Internet shitstorm, which ended in Kooks Burritos shutting down and the two white women who owned it scrubbing social media of the business’ existence. Wilgus and Connelly were accused of cultural appropriation by the Internet mob, and even the theft of PoC’s recipes. More
School district slams sixth grader with suspension over haircut
BAYTOWN, Texas - Xavier Davis had no idea his hair could cause him so much trouble.
Xavier is a sixth grader at Cedar Bayou Junior High School in Baytown.
When he walked into class last Thursday, he said he was promptly sent to the office.
"I was walking into class, and she saw my hair and said, 'You can't have two lines in your hair. Go to the office,'" Xavier said.
The school, he said, ordered him to fix the haircut by Monday, or be punished with in-school suspension.
"I don't think it's fair," Xavier said. "He's had his hair cut like this for six months and now all of a sudden it's a problem?" said his father, Matt Davis. More
Canada Man Ordered to Surrender ‘Offensive’ Star Trek License Plate
A Canadian man’s Star Trek-inspired license plate has been revoked after his public insurance company received complaints that it was offensive to indigenous people. The two-year-old plate, which reads “ASIMIL8,” is a sly reference to the Borg, evil aliens in Star Trek who “assimilate” their prey and go by the motto “Resistance is Futile.”
Manitoba local Nick Troller was informed by an agent from Manitoba Public Insurance on Wednesday that they had received complaints from two people about the word “assimilate,” which they claimed is offensive to minorities. He was then served a letter informing him that “it has been brought to the attention of this office that the personalized plate ASIMIL8 is considered offensive,” and was ordered to surrender it immediately. More
Lookalike Foods: DNA test finds Subway sandwiches may be just 50 percent chicken
Those chicken sandwiches you've been getting from Subway might not contain as much chicken as you'd think, according to an investigation from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
According to the CBC Marketplace DNA test, the pieces of chicken tested in Subway sandwiches contained just 50 percent chicken DNA, with the rest containing soy.
The study tested Subway's Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich and the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki. The results showed the oven roasted chicken had only 53.6 percent chicken DNA while the chicken strips in the sweet onion chicken teriyaki had just 42.8 percent chicken DNA. More
No soda tax for diet drinkers? Seattle’s plan excludes drinks favored by rich and white
Mayor Ed Murray’s proposed tax on sodas exempts one kind of soft drink more typically favored by an affluent, educated and white population in Seattle and beyond: diet drinks.
The 2-cents-an-ounce tax would apply only to sugary beverages, such as regular sodas, energy and sports drinks, and bottled teas and coffee that are sweetened with sugar. For a 2-liter bottle of Coke, the tax could add $1.35 to the cost.
Money raised — estimated at $16 million per year — would be used to support various programs aimed at reducing disparities between white students and black and Latino students. But this proposed tax could also place a heavier burden on the very groups it’s aiming to help. More
Single dad furious after teen daughter reveals why her friends can't stay over at their house
A single dad has opened up about his anger after his upset daughter told him the reason her friends won't stay over at her house.
The anonymous man, writing on Kidspot, revealed how he was the girl's primary carer for five years of her life before his wife ran off with another man and took their child with her.
After years of fighting for custody of his "wonderful" daughter, the pair moved to Australia together four years ago.
He struggled to get on school records as her primary carer as the system "wouldn't accept it" and, bizarrely, ended up being listed as her mother. More
Chelsea Clinton Gets Another Award For Doing Nothing Special
Like her mother before her, Chelsea Clinton appears to be creating a cottage industry for herself in receiving random awards for her unparalleled contributions to society, scintillating takes on current events, and incredibly generous heart.
Not content with just her Variety-sponsored “achievement award,” Chelsea on Tuesday night accepted the annual City Harvest Award for Commitment in fighting hunger in New York City, as reported in Mail Online.
Before we claim that she’s done nothing to earn a major award, aside from sitting in a privileged position atop her family’s namesake foundation, or say that she has few actual commitments aside from spending her family’s money and attending a single board meeting for Expedia lest she forfeit the several hundred thousand dollars she earns in her honorary position, in this case, it appears Chelsea did do at least something to earn her award. More
School Officials Shamed A Teenage Girl For Bringing "Too Much Food" For Lunch
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A small banana. Strawberries. Grapes. And a handful of dried coconut with raisins.
Sounds like a pretty reasonable lunch to us. But when a student brought this exact lunch to school one day, she was told that she had packed too much food, her mom wrote on a parenting blog.
School officials have been monitoring what the students bring for lunch every day at this girl's secondary school, her mom said in the post. "DDs [dear daughter's] secondary school has started checking all the packed lunches at registration," she wrote. "I know lots of secondary school students buy sweets and chocolate etc on the way to school but surely at that age it's their choice." More
New bill takes aim at men's masturbation habits
State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, filed a bill Friday that would penalize men for "unregulated masturbatory emissions."
The satirical House Bill 4260 would encourage men to remain "fully abstinent" and only allow the "occasional masturbatory emissions inside health care and medical facilities," which are described in the legislation as the best way to ensure men's health.
A man would face a $100 penalty for each emission made outside of a vagina or medical facility. Such an emission would be considered "an act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life," according to the legislation. More
Kurdish healer: Trump is possessed; I can cure him by beating soles of his feet
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A Kurdish healer who claims to draw his knowledge and powers from God says that US President Donald Trump is possessed and unless he is cured he will either go insane or be killed before finishing his first term in office.
Known as Mala Ali Kalak and based in a small town outside Erbil on the road to Mosul, he says he has treated many cases of cancer and HIV, including government officials.
“Trump is possessed and I need to beat him on the soles of his feet to get the jinni out of his body,” Mala Ali told Rudaw in an interview. “He has lost his mind and oversteps his boundaries all the time. He needs help. Unless he is cured he will continue to act like he does now.” More
Atlanta welfare bums battling state over right to name daughter Allah
ATLANTA — The toddler daughter of Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk has everything you would expect: a sweet smile, curious nature and finicky tastes.
But, in the eyes of the state of Georgia, the 22-month-old child has no name.
According to Handy and Walk, the Georgia Department of Public Health refused to issue the infant a birth certificate with the last name the couple chose for their daughter: Allah.
The ACLU of Georgia has filed suit on behalf of the couple, who say they can't get a Social Security number for their daughter because they don't have a birth certificate. They also anticipate problems with access to health care, schools and travel. More
'Bread war': Venezuela arrests brownie and croissant bakers in effort to tackle food shortages
Venezuela this week arrested four bakers making illegal brownies and other pastries as President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government threatens to take over bakeries in Caracas as part of a new "bread war".
Maduro has sent inspectors and soldiers into more than 700 bakeries around the capital this week to enforce a rule that 90 percent of wheat must be destined to loaves rather than more expensive pastries and cakes.
It was the latest move by the government to combat shortages and long lines for basic products that have characterised Venezuela's economic crisis over the last three years. More
American Legion Riders say they were harassed by staff at Michigan Dave & Busters location
Dallas-based restaurant chain Dave & Busters is getting what appears to be some negative blowback this week after a biker group made up of military veterans said it was harassed at a Michigan location. MLive in Grand Rapids first reported on the story on Wednesday, detailing how a group of American Legion Riders were confronted by management at a Kentwood, Michigan D&B location on Saturday, Feb. 25.
According to biker Victor Murdock a general manager at the location told the group of bikers that they had to remove their riding vests, or colors, turn them inside-out or leave the premises. The bikers’ attire apparently violated the chain’s dress code policy which prohibits clothing that promotes “evidence of gang affiliation,” according to MLive. More
School apologizes for fried chicken menu for Black History Month
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP -- The township schools superintendent apologized to parents for a recent high school lunch menu that served fried chicken to celebrate Black History Month.
The Feb. 16 lunch menu at Hopewell Valley Central High School also listed corn bread, sweet potato casserole, sauteed spinach, mac & cheese and peach and apple crisps.
It's not clear who complained about the menu.
"The decision to include these items without any context or explanation, reinforces racial stereotypes and is not consistent with our district mission and efforts to improve cultural competency among our students and staff," Superintendent Thomas A. Smith wrote in a message to the community. More
Absurd State Licensing Rules Could Send A Woman To Jail Just for Touching a Horse
If Laurie Wheeler puts her hands on a horse, she could go to jail.
Not because she would hurt the animal—she'd never think of doing such a thing—but because of an anonymous complaint submitted to the state's licensing board that governs veterinary medicine.
Wheeler has been studying horse massage since 2010, when she adopted an abandoned horse suffering from a potentially life-threatening neurological condition known as equine protozoal myeloencephalitis.
Her horse, Jazz, was treated with a mix of medication and massage therapy, and Wheeler became interested in the practice. Since then, she's twice been certified in equine massage by an Indiana-based animal therapy school, and, in 2016, successfully obtained a license from the state of Tennessee, where she lives, to practice massage therapy on humans. More
Teen Girl Sent Teen Boy 5 Inappropriate Pictures, Faces Lifetime Registry as a 'Violent Sex Offender' or 350 Years in Jail
Zachary, now 19, is in jail awaiting sentencing for five pictures his teenage girlfriend sent him of herself in her underwear. He faced a choice between a possible (though unlikely) maximum sentence of 350 years in prison, or lifetime on the sex offender registry as a "sexually violent offender"—even though he never met the girl in person. Here's what happened.
About two years ago, when Zachary was a 17-year-old high school senior in Stafford County, Virginia, a girl in his computer club invited him over to visit. She introduced him to her younger sister, age 13. This younger sister told Zachary he reminded her of a friend: this friend, also a 13-year-old girl, shared Zachary's love of dragons and videogames. More
Grad Student Exposes Massive Network Of Over 350,000 Fake Twitter Accounts
A computer scientist in London has stumbled upon massive networks of fake Twitter accounts - with the largest consisting of over 350,000 profiles - which may have been used to 'fake' numbers of followers, send spam, and boost interest in trending topics.
On Twitter, bots are accounts that are run remotely by someone who automates the messages they send and activities they carry out. The network of 350,000 bots stood out because all the accounts in it shared several subtle characteristics that revealed they were linked.
It was "amazing and surprising" to discover the massive networks, said Dr Shi Zhou, a senior lecturer from UCL who oversaw Mr Echeverria's research. More
Utah’s Anti-Porn Crusade Has Entered a Crazy New Phase
Utah has some pretty big hang-ups about pornography. As Science of Us noted back in April, the state’s conservative legislators are engaged in something of an anti-porn jihad — in March, they passed a symbolic resolution stating that “the Legislature and the Governor recognize the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of our state and nation.”
There is, of course, no evidence of a “pornography epidemic” with any measurable toll on society. Yes, a lot of people view porn, as has been the case ever since porn was easily viewable, and as will likely be the case forever. But the sorts of things you’d expect to be associated with a hypothetical porn epidemic, like people having tons of reckless sex, don’t appear to be happening.
The only thing anti-porn zealots can point to as evidence of a dangerous “epidemic” is that a lot of people are watching porn. There’s no credible, empirically backed second half to the sentence “Tons of people too much porn, and it’s causing X.” More
Who got rich off the student debt crisis
A generation ago, Congress privatized a student loan program intended to give more Americans access to higher education.
In its place, lawmakers created another profit center for Wall Street and a system of college finance that has fed the nation’s cycle of inequality. Step by step, Congress has enacted one law after another to make student debt the worst kind of debt for Americans – and the best kind for banks and debt collectors.
Today, just about everyone involved in the student loan industry makes money off students – the banks, private investors, even the federal government.
Jessie Suren is an energetic 28-year-old who wanted a career in law enforcement. Albert Lord is a 70-year-old former accountant who became a multimillionaire executive. The two have never met, but their stories tell the history of America’s student debt crisis. More
Facebook 'fact checker' who will arbitrate on 'fake news' is accused of defrauding website to pay for prostitutes
One of the websites Facebook is to use to arbitrate on 'fake news' is involved in a bitter legal dispute between its co-founders, with its CEO accused of using company money for prostitutes.
Snopes.com will be part of a panel used by Facebook to decide whether stories which users complain about as potentially 'fake' should be considered 'disputed'.
But the website's own troubles and the intriguing choice of who carries out its 'fact checks' are revealed by DailyMail.com, as one of its main contributors is disclosed to be a former sex-blogger who called herself 'Vice Vixen'.
Snopes.com will benefit from Facebook's decision to allow users to report items in their newsfeed which they believe to be 'fake'. More
When Food Is Expensive, We Assume It’s Healthier, Too
Nutrition researchers will often talk about a “health halo” — a product that’s not so great for you enjoying a nutritious reputation it doesn’t deserve. Salad is one example: Dump a bunch of cheese and croutons on top of a few leaves, and yes, it’s technically a salad (and probably delicious), but it’s not the healthy meal that the label implies.
And as a forthcoming study in the Journal of Consumer Research illustrates, the same thing can happen with price. More expensive foods benefit from the health halo of a higher cost, while affordable items are seen as junky — even if neither is true.
Konchinsky is now suing the police officers, alleging they violated her constitutional rights. What's the basis of her lawsuit?
Konchinsky's suit alleges that the officers' actions violated her First Amendment right to freedom of speech. More
No Evidence of Aloe Vera Found in the Aloe Vera at Wal-Mart, CVS
The aloe vera gel many Americans buy to soothe damaged skin contains no evidence of aloe vera at all.
Samples of store-brand aloe gel purchased at national retailers Wal-Mart, Target and CVS showed no indication of the plant in various lab tests. The products all listed aloe barbadensis leaf juice — another name for aloe vera — as either the No. 1 ingredient or No. 2 after water.
There’s no watchdog assuring that aloe products are what they say they are. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t approve cosmetics before they’re sold and has never levied a fine for selling fake aloe. That means suppliers are on an honor system, even as the total U.S. market for aloe products, including drinks and vitamins, has grown 11 percent in the past year to $146 million, according to Chicago-based market researcher SPINS LLC. More
Trudeau says Canada has no ‘core identity’
Who would have thought Canadian values could be so controversial? Plenty of ink has been spilt in the past few weeks over the suddenly taboo topic of promoting Canadian values.
The consensus from Canada’s elites has been to condemn the very idea of listing our values, let alone asking newcomers to respect and adhere to them. But a far more controversial idea about Canadian values and identity was recently proposed by our very own prime minister.
And the media barely batted an eyelash. Late last year, Justin Trudeau told the New York Times that Canada is becoming a new kind of country, not defined by our history or European national origins, but by a “pan-cultural heritage”. More
Professor attacks political correctness, says he refuses to use genderless pronouns
TORONTO — As part of an hour-long YouTube lecture on political correctness, University of Toronto professor and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson is objecting to the Trudeau government’s Bill C-16, which proposes to outlaw harassment and discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression under the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code.
Peterson, a white male in his mid 50s, also decries what he claims are attempts by the university to transform its human resources department into “a politically correct institution.”
Gender identity is defined by the Ontario Human Rights Commission as “each person’s internal and individual experience of gender. It is their sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum.” The commission defines gender expression as “how a person publicly presents their gender,” which can include behaviour and outward appearance such as dress, hair, make-up, body language and voice, as well as a person’s name and the pronouns they use. More
Court Rules That Medical Marijuana Card Holders Can't Buy Firearms
If you have a medical marijuana card, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says that you can’t buy a gun.
The court ruled 3-0 on Wednesday that a ban preventing medical marijuana card holders from purchasing firearms is not in violation of the Second Amendment, the Associated Press reports. There are nine western states under the appeals court’s jurisdiction, including Nevada, where the case originated.
A lawsuit was filed in 2011 by Nevada resident S. Rowan Wilson after she tried to purchase a gun for self-defense and was denied based on a federal ban on the sale of guns to users of illegal drugs. Though marijuana has been legalized in some places on a state-by-state basis, it remains illegal under federal law. The court maintained that drug use “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.” More
We’re All Guinea Pigs in a Failed Decades-Long Diet Experiment
Let's say you want to lose some weight. Which of these foods would you choose: A skim-milk latte, or the same drink with whole milk? A low-cal breakfast bar or steak and eggs? A salad tossed in light dressing or the same salad doused with buttermilk ranch?
If you're like most Americans, you either aren't sure how to answer, or you're very sure—but very wrong. And it's not your fault. It's the fault, experts say, of decades of flawed or misleading nutrition advice—advice that was never based on solid science.
The US Department of Agriculture, along with the agency that is now called Health and Human Services, first released a set of national dietary guidelines back in 1980. That 20-page booklet trained its focus primarily on three health villains: fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. More
School bans clown costumes from Halloween celebrations
CROSS COUNTY, AR - Cross County Schools will ban clown costumes for the first time this Halloween. According to Superintendent Carolyn Wilson, the school has previously never had costume guidelines other than enforcing the dress code.
“With the current issues about the clowns we are going to avoid that this year,” said Wilson. After recent clown sightings across the nation, the school said some of their students are afraid. Wilson said after hearing concerns from parents, they have chosen to ban happy and scary clown costumes altogether. They hope to present this to the children in a way that will not evoke more fear.
“The principal is very good about being sensitive to how she presents that,” said Wilson. “It’s going to be something to the effect of, even though clowns are funny and cute, we’re not going to do any this year because we want to be a little bit different.” More
City school admins fined for big spending on parties, food
Five city school bigs were hit with fines as high as $2,500 each after they were caught using their DOE credit cards to buy personal treats and bankroll lavish staff parties - including one at the hip Harlem eatery Red Rooster that included a lecture and live jazz performance.
The city’s Conflict of Interest Board slapped the education administrators with the fines, saying they had all violated rules that prohibited using their cards for non-city purposes.
The largest fine went to Patrick Fagan, a deputy Cluster Leader for the Children First Network, a now-defunct network of educators who were supposed to help principals. More
African students speak out against anti-African school dress code
ST. PETERSBURG, FL––Yesterday morning morning, young African women gathered at the front of Gibbs High School to conduct a press conference to discuss an incident that had happened a few days prior.
Gibbs High School Senior Jelani Masozi was forced by a school administrator, accompanied by a resource officer, to remove her head wrap on Thursday, August 25th, 2016.
The intimidating presence of the officer, armed to the teeth with a gun, taser, and pepper spray––identical to the police officers that murder us in the streets––caused Jelani to feel like she had no other option but to remove her headwrap.
This humiliating, demoralizing request caused her to call the President of the African National Women’s Organization (ANWO), Yejide Orunmila, who directed her to put her headwrap back on. More
Judge Rules Government Can Ban Vegetable Gardens Because They’re ‘Ugly’
Miami, FL — Last week, a Miami-Dade judge became the focus of much-deserved anger when she ruled on an ordinance banning front yard vegetable gardens. The village of Miami Shores, according to the ruling, has every right to take legal action against residents who dare to grow food in their own yards because they are “ugly.”
The ruling was a whopping ten pages long as it was filled with legal analysis and definitions of what constitutes a vegetable. Even though she ruled in favor of the ban, Judge Monica Gordo acknowledged that she wasn’t quite sure how a vegetable garden can ruin the aesthetics of one’s property. More
A history of undiplomatic insults
The president of the Philippines, Rodridgo Duterte, says he regrets calling President Barack Obama the “son of a whore.”
Well, he regrets at least how the comment was received.
“We regret [that] it came across as a personal attack,” Duterte said through a spokesman.
The White House canceled a meeting with Duterte after the outburst.
The Philippines' leader is mounting a controversial campaign against drug dealers and users, which has already led to thousands of extrajudicial killings. More
India To Bring Back Workers Facing 'Food Crisis' In Saudi Arabia
NEW DELHI/DUBAI: India said on Sunday it will send a government minister to Saudi Arabia to try to bring back more than 10,000 Indian workers who are facing a "food crisis" because they are unable to afford meals after being laid off from their jobs.
Low oil prices have forced the Saudi government to slash spending since last year, putting heavy pressure on the finances of local construction firms which rely on state contracts.
As a result, some companies have been struggling to pay foreign workers and have laid off tens of thousands, leaving many with no money for food let alone for tickets home.
Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said over 10,000 Indians in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were facing a "food crisis" because of economic hardships, while appealing to an estimated 3 millions Indians living in Saudi Arabia for help. More
Yale Student Petition: Too Many Major English Poets In ‘Major English Poets’ Class
Angry students at Yale University are demanding that the Ivy League school completely revamp its core classes for English majors.
Specifically, the aggrieved students want to abolish the storied Major English Poets courses that have long been staples of the university’s English department. Why?
According to a petition posted online, the students believe that the courses feature too many “white male authors,” such as Geoffrey Chaucer, William Wordsworth, Edmund Spenser, Alexander Pope, John Milton, and T.S. Eliot. In other words, too many major English poets. More
F-35 Delayed Again: Defective Ejection Seat Would Likely Snap Pilots’ Necks
The US Air Force is exploring replacements for the F-35 Martin-Baker ejection seat, citing revelations that the seat could endanger pilots, according to Defense News. This marks the latest setback for the F-35 fighter jet that has cost US taxpayers over $1.5 trillion.
Ejection seats hold a special importance for pilots of the $250 million fighter jet in light of recent tests that show the fifth-generation fighter spontaneously shuts down mid-flight due to ongoing software malfunctions. More
Why police were called to a South Jersey third-grade class party
On June 16, police were called to an unlikely scene: an end-of-the-year class party at the William P. Tatem Elementary School in Collingswood.
A third grader had made a comment about the brownies being served to the class.
After another student exclaimed that the remark was "racist," the school called the Collingswood Police Department, according to the mother of the boy who made the comment.
The police officer spoke to the student, who is 9, said the boy's mother, Stacy dos Santos, and local authorities. Dos Santos said that the school overreacted and that her son made a comment about snacks, not skin color.
"He said they were talking about brownies. . . Who exactly did he offend?" dos Santos said. More
Texas congressman wants magic to be recognized as a national treasure
Momentous things are happening in US politics. No, not the slow, miserable upending of the political system by business Oompa Loompa Donald Trump, but magic — magic! — might finally be about to get the recognition it deserves. Earlier this week, Texas congressman Pete Sessions introduced a resolution to recognize magic as a national treasure, arguing that it "has not been properly recognized as a great American art form" or given the "[status] commensurate with its value and importance."
To fix this, Sessions wants the House of Representatives to declare magic a "rare and valuable art form," and pledge to support efforts that ensure magic is "preserved, understood, and promulgated." To this end, the resolution cites a number of magic's appealing qualities (including its ability to inspire young children), and praises American magicians like Harry Houdini and David Copperfield. More
Children to be Expelled for ‘Microaggressions’?
A Kansas K-12 school district may soon become among the first in the nation to prohibit “offensive symbols” and “microaggressions” and punish students and employees who violate this ban.
The Board of Education of Lawrence Public Schools will soon vote on a proposal to update its discrimination and harassment policy. It would impose stiff penalties on those who commit a microaggression or tout an offensive symbol. The vote on whether to enact this policy, originally scheduled for June 27, was recently pushed back to allow for more discussion.
“Any student or employee who violates the Discrimination and Harassment Policy is subject to disciplinary action,” said Julie Boyle, communications director of Lawrence Public Schools, noting that each of the 21 schools in the district issue their own handbooks for students and staff. More
McDonald’s “Summer Camp” Exposes Youth to Fast Food Culture While Training Kids to Sell Their Food
Here at Inhabitots we advocate summer activities and summer camps for kids, but we’re perplexed by the McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop, a camp held by McDonald’s Philippines.
McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop is a 5-day summer program designed for kids ages 6-12 years. During the program, Kiddie Crew members experience on-floor restaurant activities like greeting customers and assisting the crew at the drive-thru and front counters, plus, according to McDonald’s Philippines, get to “showcase their skills through creative art workshops, and learn the importance of hard work, discipline and teamwork, through values formation lessons.”
You might think a program like this, based around fast food, would be frowned upon, but the camp has been around since the early 90s and is hugely popular. In fact, during 2012 about 30,000 kids took part in the summer workshop participating in activities like burger-making, the Ronald dance, apron-making, singing of the Kiddie Crew song and a talent workshop. In recent years, the workshop has added additional activities such as Kiddie Crew Dance-exercise. At the end of the summer McDonald’s Philippines holds a series of workshop graduations in major cities all over the country—Manila, Cebu, Bacolod and Davao – to recognize the achievements of all Kiddie Crew members and their families by treating them to a day filled with activities and prizes. More
This High School Senior Got Called Out for Not Wearing a Bra to School
Kaitlyn Juvik, a senior at Helena High School in Montana, went to school in May without a bra underneath her black, off-the-shoulder tee, though she was wearing nipple stickers to prevent them from showing through the material of her t-shirt.
Principal Steve Thennis told KRTV that someone in the school building complained that the way Kaitlyn was dressed made them "uncomfortable," so she was asked to either cover up or put on a bra.
The Helena High School handbook does not specify that students must wear bras.
"I'm not going to check students' undergarments," he told KRTV. "We are going to ask them to dress appropriately and if we feel it is inappropriate, male or female, we are going to ask them to cover up."
Kaitlyn says there's no reason a student should have to wear a bra to school. More
Mexican Congresswoman Declares War on Memes
A Mexican lawmaker for the ruling PRI party will present a bill before her state's congress to criminalize the creation and dissemination of memes on social networks.
Martha Orta Rodriguez suggests a penalty of up to four years in prison and a fine of nearly US$2,000 for those responsible for creating these often humorous and satirical images on the Web.
Orta said she is trying to prevent “harmful" and “humiliating” images from being circulated on the Internet, but unsurprisingly her proposal was not received well online. More
Plano Senior High School Students Will Not Be Allowed To Display Honors During Graduation
If you were a member of the National Honor Society, you definitely remember wearing the white satin stole (with the NHS seal) during high school graduation: signifying your membership. And if you didn’t get to wear one, you probably remember being envious of those who did.
Because it might make other students feel excluded, students won’t be able to wear their National Honor Society stoles during graduation ceremonies next month at Plano Senior High School. Students are not allowed to wear National Honor Society regalia (or any other club or organizational regalia) during graduation ceremonies, according to school practices.
Apparently, students and Plano East High School and Plano West High School will be able to wear the NHS stoles. More
Lunchroom Lunacy: Cops investigate $2 bill spent on school lunch
HOUSTON -- When you think of felony forgery your thoughts might turn to Al Capone or Bonnie and Clyde shooting it out with the Texas Rangers.
Not for some local school cops. For one day, public enemy number one when it came to forgery was 13-year-old eighth grader Danesiah Neal at Fort Bend Independent School District's Christa McAuliffe Middle School.
Now 14, Daneisha was hoping to eat that day's lunch of chicken tenders with her classmates using a $2 bill given to her by her grandmother when she was stopped by the long arm of the law.
"I went to the lunch line and they said my $2 bill was fake," Danesiah told Ted Oberg Investigates. "They gave it to the police. Then they sent me to the police office. A police officer said I could be in big trouble." More
Windows 10 annoying update popup strikes weather broadcast
Microsoft really wants you to upgrade to Windows 10.
The Redmond technology firm has already re-categorised its next-generation operating system as a "Recommended Update", which means it will now start to install itself automatically on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 machines – without input from the user.
And now Microsoft's attempts to get users to upgrade have interrupted US meteorologist Metinka Slater as she was relaying the latest weather developments in Iowa. Windows decided to pop-up a dialogue box insisting the weather station's computer be upgraded to the latest version.
The intrusive box took over KCCI 8 News' weather radar, which was broadcasting thunderstorms rolling across the state to viewers. More
Scandal-plagued Rome is becoming a 'do it yourself' city
ROME — Armed with shovels and sacks of cold asphalt, Rome's residents fill potholes. Defying rats, they yank weeds and bag trash along the Tiber's banks and in urban parks. Tired of waiting years for the city to replace diseased trees, neighbors dig into their own pockets to pay for new ones for their block.
Romans are starting to take back their city, which for years was plundered and neglected by City Hall officials and cronies so conniving that some of them are on trial as alleged mobsters.
In doing the work, Romans are experimenting with what for many Italians is a novel and alien concept: a sense of civic duty. More
Venezuela energy crisis: President tells women to stop using hairdryers and go with 'natural' style to save electricity
The President of Venezuela has urged women to stop using hairdryers and offered alternative styling tips as the country’s energy crisis continues.
Nicolas Maduro has announced a decree giving state employees Fridays off for two months as part of measures to offset a crippling electricity shortage. He urged his compatriots to increase other efforts to save power, including cutting appliance use and raising the temperature on air conditioning units.
Recommending that women reduce hairdryer use to “special occasions”, Mr Maduro added: “I always think a woman looks better when she just runs her fingers through her hair and lets it dry naturally. It's just an idea I have." More
One-Third of All Food Produced Globally Never Finds Its Way Onto a Plate
It’s easy not to think about food waste when your rotting tomatoes and days-old casserole dishes are hidden away in the back of the refrigerator—out of sight, out of mind. But when it comes time to clean it out, you have to face a lot of waste food, money and the resources that took to produce it. While food waste has made a rapid rise in terms of public awareness recently, new research suggests that the future effect could end up accelerating climate change at a worrisome rate in coming years.
According to a study released Thursday by Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, food waste could account for about a tenth of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“Agriculture is a major driver of climate change, accounting for more than 20 percent of overall global greenhouse-gas emissions in 2010,” Prajal Pradhan, one of the study’s authors, said in a statement. “Avoiding food loss and waste would therefore avoid unnecessary greenhouse-gas emissions and help mitigate climate change.” More
College Students Demand ‘Counseling’ After Being Traumatized From Seeing Single Confederate Flag On Laptop
While the world copes with the growing threat of terrorism, and ISIS attempts to spread its fascistic tentacles in all directions, it is important to remember that there are plenty of cases of traumatizing terrorism that are happening in America, and more specifically, on its college campuses.
Don’t pretend that you don’t know what we are talking about. Don’t act like you don’t know that someone’s safe-space was horribly violated. The incidents happened in Framingham State University in Massachusetts when, not one, but two seperate incidents of students seeing a Confederate Flag being displayed caused them to file Bias Reports. More
In my long, long experience as both a scientist and an active skeptic, I have seen people believe in a lot of seriously, um, odd stuff. In many cases, it doesn't matter how overwhelmingly the evidence is against them, or how even simple logic will unravel their tangled theories. They cling to these beliefs like a drowning man clings to a life preserver.
And even with all this, I have to scratch my head over Geocentrists.
These are people who believe that the Earth is fixed in space, unmoving and unmovable, and the Universe literally revolves around it. Without exception, in my experience, these followers of Geocentrism believe in it due to a literal interpretation of the Bible. Finding passages in the Bible to support this belief isn't hard; Genesis is loaded with them.
However, like young-Earth creationism, the problem here is in that "literal" part*. If you take the Bible to be true word for word, then you have to deny a vast amount of reality, and almost everything we've learned about the Universe since the Bible was written. More
The ‘infuriating’ saga of the Texas teen suspended after rescuing a classmate
Mandy Cortes was distraught and downright furious. Her son, Anthony Ruelas, had been suspended from school after defying a teacher’s order so that he could help a classmate who was suffering an asthma attack.
Instead of staying in his seat, as instructed, he had carried the girl to the nurse’s office — and, his family said, he had been disciplined for doing so.
Cortes decided she couldn’t send her son back to Gateway Middle School in Killeen, Tex. She told The Washington Post that he will begin home-schooling with his aunt next week.
Not only has she lost faith in school officials, Cortes said, but so has her 15-year-old son, who struggled to wrap his head around the idea that he was being punished for possibly saving someone’s life last week.
Whatever lingering doubts Cortes had about home-schooling the eighth-grader disappeared, she told The Post, when school officials released a statement denying that a student had been “disciplined for providing aid to another student.” At the time, she said, Ruelas was serving a two-day suspension. More
War on Drugs Lunacy: Woman Facing 19 Years in Prison for Selling Dog Food to Police Iinformant
An a relatively free and reasonable society, heroin addiction would be treated as a medical problem, not as an excuse to put people in cages. The perverted priorities of prohibition, however, dictate that people struggling with addiction not only be punished as criminals, but be manipulated into an obscene inverted pyramid scheme in which they are offered a reduction in punishment for informing on their friends. This helps explain how 22-year-old Megan Meyer of Plymouth, Wisconsin faces up to 19 years in prison for selling fake heroin to a police informant.
Last November, Meyer — who was on probation for previous drug-related convictions — was arrested after officers affiliated with the Lake Winnebago Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group (MEG), a federally subsidized narcotics task force, used another socially marginalized petty offender to target her for a “controlled buy.” Since Meyer was already “in the system,” police could have arrested her for probation violations without the trouble of manufacturing a drug charge. The incentive structure of the “war on drugs” dictated a different course of action, however. Accordingly, a confidential informant bought a small quantity of what looked like heroin and an unmarked pill identified as Percocet.
Lab tests showed that the alleged heroin was actually crushed dog food, and the “Percocet” was actually an aspirin tablet. In a society that valued property rights, and recognized that the government has no authority to punish people for freely consuming anything they choose, Meyers might have been charged with defrauding her customer. As things stood, the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office had to wait for another opportunity to carry out a triumphant drug bust. More
Lunch lady fired for giving free lunch to hungry student
POCATELLO — Last week, Dalene Bowden, a food service worker at Irving Middle School, was placed on leave after she gave a free hot lunch to a 12-year-old girl who said she was hungry and didn’t have any money.
Bowden has now received a registered letter from the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District informing her that she has been fired.
The brief, one-page letter was signed by District 25 Director of Human Resources Susan Petit. It states that Bowden was dismissed due to her theft of school district property and inaccurate transactions when ordering, receiving and serving food.
Bowden’s story garnered hundreds of comments on social media and an online petition was launched Saturday demanding that Bowden be reinstated as a lunch lady at Irving. More
“Stop Telling Me I’m Poisoning my Kids”: Food Crusaders, Sancti-Mommies and the Rise of Entitled Eaters
You are poisoning your children,” the woman told me calmly before walking back into the crowd of activists gathered for the Food Justice march this past October in Washington, DC. Activists from groups like March Against Monsanto and Moms Across America rallied because they believe Americans are at risk from our food supply.
The spectacle was vaguely familiar to me, because my parents were also activists in the 60s (my dad is still involved in anti-poverty work) and I grew up with posters from Chez Panisse in my home.
So it was hard to find myself on what felt like “the other side” of a social justice issue. But there I was protesting with a small group of science advocates because I believe we have more to fear from fear-mongers than our privileged American food system.. More
Child pretends to shoot student with imaginary bow, suspended for 3 days
CINCINNATI —A first-grader at Our Lady of Lourdes is serving a three-day suspension for pretending to shoot another student with a bow and arrow.
The boy's parents, Matthew and Martha Miele, told WLWT their son was playing a game of Power Rangers at recess on Thursday when it happened. "I think he's a good principal. I just think a bad decision was made," Matthew Miele said.
Martha Miele said she was called Thursday afternoon while at work by Principal Joe Crachiolo.
"I didn't really understand. I had him on the phone for a good amount of time so he could really explain to me what he was trying to tell me," Martha Miele said. "My question to him was 'Is this really necessary? Does this really need to be a three-day suspension under the circumstances that he was playing and he's 6 years old?'" More
Govt Conveniently Deleted Entire Database of Evidence Documenting Pedophile Rings
London, UK — The Independent Inquiry Into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) apologized this week after vital testimony from victims of child sexual abuse was “instantly and permanently deleted” from their servers. The agency said that the loss of data was due to a technical malfunction, which dumped an untold number of testimonies that were submitted to their official website.
The agency now claims that there was no security breach, and that while the testimonies were lost, the privacy of the victims is not at risk. An Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) was established by the British Home Secretary, Theresa May, on 7 July 2014. The inquiry was intended to investigate why pedophile rings seemed to be exempt from capture. More
Public School Students Are the New Inmates in the American Police State
“Every day in communities across the United States, children and adolescents spend the majority of their waking hours in schools that have increasingly come to resemble places of detention more than places of learning. From metal detectors to drug tests, from increased policing to all-seeing electronic surveillance, the public schools of the twenty-first century reflect a society that has become fixated on crime, security and violence.”—Investigative journalist Annette Fuentes
In the American police state, you’re either a prisoner (shackled, controlled, monitored, ordered about, limited in what you can do and say, your life not your own) or a prison bureaucrat (police officer, judge, jailer, spy, profiteer, etc.).
Indeed, at a time when we are all viewed as suspects, there are so many ways in which a person can be branded a criminal for violating any number of laws, regulations or policies. Even if you haven’t knowingly violated any laws, there is still a myriad of ways in which you can run afoul of the police state and end up on the wrong side of a jail cell. More
9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes
For three decades we have conducted a massive economic experiment, testing a theory known as supply-side economics. The theory goes like this: Lower tax rates will encourage more investment, which in turn will mean more jobs and greater prosperity—so much so that tax revenues will go up, despite lower rates.
The late Milton Friedman, the libertarian economist who wanted to shut down public parks because he considered them socialism, promoted this strategy. Ronald Reagan embraced Friedman’s ideas and made them into policy when he was elected president in 1980.
For the past decade, we have doubled down on this theory of supply-side economics with the tax cuts sponsored by President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003, which President Obama has agreed to continue for two years. More
Twin Daughters Of Air Force Vet Barred From Wearing Jackets With Logo To School
From the flag outside their Providence Village home to the photos inside, the Rolens are a proud military family.
Eleven-year-old twins Kaidence and Abigail were even born on an Air Force base. So the new fall jackets they bought to wear to Aubrey Middle School shouldn’t be a surprise.
“The Air Force ones they picked out — we might’ve nudged them a little bit,” says Phil Rolen, their father. But the girls didn’t expect the reaction they got from teachers once they stepped into their classrooms.
“She yelled at me and said that’s out of the dress code and that she would get me in trouble if I wore something out of dress code,” says Kaidence.
“It’s political correctness run amok,” says their father. He is a disabled Iraq War veteran who immediately called the principal and was told the Air Force logo was fine, just too large for the district’s strict dress code.
“The district has a blanket policy doesn’t allow administrators to make commonsense exceptions to rules that I think most Texans would agree are absolutely superfluous,” says Rolen. More
The New Beauty Trend Among Women: Microwaving Your Armpits
omen who are fed up with deodorant and shaving their armpits are going to the extreme measure of microwaving their armpits to get rid of the stink and hair.
No, women aren’t literally sticking their arms in the microwave. Here’s how it actually works: the microwave energy is embedded into the underarms via a new treatment known as miraSmooth. The process supposedly eliminates sweating and armpit hair by targeting the interface between fat and skin where the sweat gland and hair follicles are located under the arm. The intense heat basically fries the glands and follicles entirely, so they never come back.
Lasers require hair to be dark in order to work. Though while patients will never smell or have to shave again, that doesn’t mean life will be completely hassle-free after the painless treatment. More
Papa John's Stores To Dish Up Half A Million Dollars In Wage Theft Case
our current and former Papa John's franchisees have agreed to pay out nearly $500,000 to New York workers in order to settle a wage theft investigation, New York's attorney general and the U.S. Labor Department announced on Thursday.
The settlement resolves allegations from workers that they were shorted on pay at nine Papa John's restaurants in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
According to the state, the franchisees who run the stores admitted to violating minimum wage and overtime laws. The back wages and damages will be doled out to 250 workers who worked at the stores stretching back to 2008.
"Once again, we’ve found Papa John’s franchises in New York that are ripping off their workers and violating critical state and federal laws,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. "Once again, I call on Papa John’s and other fast food companies to step up and stop the widespread lawlessness plaguing your businesses and harming the workers who make and deliver your food." More
Almost None of the Women in the Ashley Madison Database Ever Used the Site
When hacker group Impact Team released the Ashley Madison data, they asserted that “thousands” of the women’s profiles were fake. Later, this number got blown up in news stories that asserted “90-95%” of them were fake, though nobody put forth any evidence for such an enormous number. So I downloaded the data and analyzed it to find out how many actual women were using Ashley Madison, and who they were.
What I discovered was that the world of Ashley Madison was a far more dystopian place than anyone had realized. This isn’t a debauched wonderland of men cheating on their wives. It isn’t even a sadscape of 31 million men competing to attract those 5.5 million women in the database. Instead, it’s like a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with badly-designed robots. More
'We were paying to poison our kids': lead in Michigan city's water hits children
When Lee-Anne Walters learned in March that her son’s immune system was compromised after being exposed to lead in the city of Flint’s water supply, she did what any parent would likely do: break down and cry.
“Shocked, angry … I was hysterical,” Walters told the Guardian. Barely able to speak, the 37-year-old called her friend Melissa Mays.
“I just couldn’t believe that we were paying to poison our kids,” Walters said.
A spate of kids are experiencing elevated blood-lead levels in Flint, and some drinking water lead levels are so high they are defined as hazardous waste, according to several local studies.
Residents also pay some of the highest water rates in the US, in the community known for its economic decline.
After months of resisting complaints about the water, and even a press conference by local doctors warning of potential effects, officials relented this week, declaring a public health emergency. More
Kentucky student violates high school dress code with exposed collarbone
School has barely started in some parts of the country, but the annual battle over dress codes has already surfaced at one Kentucky high school.
Stacie Dunn's daughter recently got sent to the principal's office for failing to wear a shirt that covered her collarbone, a violation of the school dress code at Woodford County High School.
"So this is my daughter at school today. I had to come to the school because according to her school principal what she is wearing is out of dress code and inappropriate for school," she wrote on her Facebook page, posting a picture of her daughter at school wearing jeans, a tank top and a white cardigan.
"When I got there I found a group of female students standing in the office due to being out of dress code also." More
The Coddling of the American Mind
Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense.
Last December, Jeannie Suk wrote in an online article for The New Yorker about law students asking her fellow professors at Harvard not to teach rape law—or, in one case, even use the word violate (as in “that violates the law”) lest it cause students distress.
In February, Laura Kipnis, a professor at Northwestern University, wrote an essay in The Chronicle of Higher Education describing a new campus politics of sexual paranoia—and was then subjected to a long investigation after students who were offended by the article and by a tweet she’d sent filed Title IX complaints against her.
In June, a professor protecting himself with a pseudonym wrote an essay for Vox describing how gingerly he now has to teach. “I’m a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me,” the headline said. A number of popular comedians, including Chris Rock, have stopped performing on college campuses (see Caitlin Flanagan’s article in this month’s issue). Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher have publicly condemned the oversensitivity of college students, saying too many of them can’t take a joke. More
Man Faces 6 Months in Jail For Disagreeing With Feminists
What’s believed to be the first case in Canada of alleged criminal harassment-via-Twitter is just a judge’s decision away from being over.
After hearing closing submissions Tuesday from Chris Murphy, who represents 54-year-old Gregory Alan Elliott, Ontario Court Judge Brent Knazan is expected to rule on Oct. 6.
In the balance rides enormous potential fallout for free speech online. Elliott is charged with criminally harassing two Toronto female political activists, Steph Guthrie and Heather Reilly, in 2012. Allegations involving a third woman were dropped.
The graphic artist and father of four lost his job shortly after his arrest, which was well-publicized online, and if convicted, could go to jail for six months. More
Yoga pants pose dilemma for some Cape schools
HARWICH — Busy moms on errands wear them, road runners race in them and yoga practitioners can hardly do a downward dog without them.
Stretchy, form-fitting athletic pants seem to be everywhere — except some Cape schools.
Starting this fall, uncovered yoga pants and leggings will be banned at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich.
"It's an addition to the dress code policy," Cape Tech Principal William Terranova said. Stretchy pants will be allowed only if they are covered by shorts or a skirt.
The ban on yoga pants and leggings is part of a policy designed to prepare students at the technical school for the realities of the workforce, Terranova said. More
Man arrested after charging iPhone on London Overground train
A man has accused British Transport police of being “overzealous” and “ridiculous” after he was arrested for charging his iPhone using a socket on a London Overground train.
Robin Lee, a 45-year-old artist based in Islington, was handcuffed and taken to a British Transport Police station on Caledonian Road after his arrest for “abstracting electricity”.
Lee was then arrested on a second offence of “unacceptable behaviour” after “becoming aggressive” when objecting to his prior arrest. A police spokesman said a “decision on further action would be made in due course”.
Lee said he had been confronted by a police community support officer on the overground train from Hackney Wick to Camden Road on 10 July. “She said I’m abstracting electricity. She kept saying it’s a crime. We were just coming into the station and there happened to be about four police officers on the platform. More
'Smart' rifle with computer technology fires at WRONG target after being HACKED
A HIGH-TECH rifle with a computer-assisted targeting system has been hacked by researchers who tricked it into shooting a DIFFERENT mark.
The TrackingPoint sniper rifle turns even the most amateur shooters into elite marksmen by using self-targeting technology to perfect the best shot.
But researchers have now discovered a potentially lethal flaw in the "smart" system by hacking into the weapon through its wireless internet connection.
They were then able to use a computer to trick the hacked rifle into switching its aim to an adjacent bullseye. More
4 Legal Loopholes That Screw You When You're Poor
We've written before about how much being poor sucks.
There's the obvious bad stuff, like health problems caused by your all-ramen diet, or the emotional pain of having to fill the drafty holes in your walls by stuffing them with your pets and small children.
But look a bit deeper and you'll find that society has even more subtle ways of screwing the less fortunate.
It's almost like parts of the system are set up to deliberately target the poor, the vulnerable, the elderly, and others.
For example ... More
Airline seating from hell, patented by a French company
Have you experienced the joy of air travel lately? A jostling mass of people herded onto a plane like cattle, jammed together in ever-smaller seats placed ever closer together. The passenger next to you hogging the armrest and then, even worse, talking to you.
OK, now imagine how delightful it would be if you were face to face with your fellow travelers.
Face to face. Yes, as if air travel is not bad enough, now a French company named Zodiac Aerospace has patented its "solution" to the problem of how to jam even more of us into economy class. They do it by place seats in an alternating pattern of forward-facing and rear-facing seats, using flip-up seats to allow access. More
Zimbabwe parks donates bush meat to calm restive prisoners
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A quarter ton of meat from wild animals could be just the ticket to ending the unrest in Zimbabwe’s Chikurubi maximum security prison where inmates have been rioting over their meatless diet.
Over the weekend, Zimbabwe’s National Parks and Wildlife Authority donated 250 kilograms (550 pounds) of bush meat for the 4,600 inmates whose diet has consisted of only porridge and cabbage despite regulations that they should receive meat at least three times a week.
Prison food woes is more evidence of a debilitating economic downturn that has left the Zimbabwean government struggling to meet its obligations, including paying civil servants on time. In March, riot police had to use water cannons against university students whose own food protests caused classes to be suspended for a time. More
Veteran's off-the-grid trailer condemned by Huntsville
While politicians across the U.S. talk about the importance of renewable energy, Huntsville resident Tyler Truitt is doing something about it.
In January, the 27-year-old Marine Corps veteran planted a row of gleaming solar panels in his front yard, hauled in a 550-gallon plastic tank to catch rainwater and installed a composting toilet in the single-wide trailer that he shares with girlfriend Soraya Hamar.
It's as close to an off-the-grid lifestyle as you can come while still living in the middle of Huntsville (the trailer sits on two wooded acres at the end of Hood Road, not far from Brahan Spring Park Natatorium).
Truitt said he and Hamar should be applauded for treading lightly on the environment, and attempting to live frugally. He is considering returning to the University of Alabama in Huntsville to complete a physics degree that he started working on before joining the Marines in 2008. More
School enforces dress code by humiliating students
Now that the weather is getting nicer, the annual debate between students and schools over what is and isn’t appropriate to wear to school has begun. Normally an administrator or teacher will pull a student aside and talk to them about the appropriateness of their outfit. One school in New Jersey took a different approach.
According to Seventeen, most of the dress code restrictions at Warren County Technical School in Washington, New Jersey, are pretty fair. Students are not allowed to wear things like pajamas and open toed shoes in certain classes for safety reasons. That’s understandable. However, the dress code does not say anything about female students wearing leggings or shorts. So the teachers decided to take it into their own hands to tell female students what they thought was and wasn’t appropriate. More
Texas Cops Issue Arrest Warrant to 75-Year-Old Woman...Because the Grass on Her Property Is Too Long
Riesel, Texas – Seventy-five-year-old Gerry Suttle was stunned when she received a call from the local police chief, informing her that she had a warrant issued for her arrest.
“I’ll be 76 in July,” Suttle said. “I’m 75 now, and I’ve never had a speeding ticket, never had a parking ticket and now here I am got a warrant for my arrest from the big city of Riesel.”
Suttle’s arrest warrant was for failure to appear before a judge on a matter regarding the height of the grass on a property she owns across the street from her home.
Referencing the grass, Riesel police chief Danny Krumnow stated, “It has grown up, and the court had issued her letter and then court issued a warrant for failure to appear.” More
Orange schools to monitor social media posts of students, staff
What Orange County students -- and staff -- post on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is now being monitored by their school district to "ensure safe school operations," the district announced this morning.
Central Florida's largest school district said it had a new licensing agreement for software that would allow it to monitor a number of social media sites for posts "that may impact students and staff." The school is monitoring all activity of its students regardless of when they post or what devices they are using. School districts that use this technology have been punishing students for their behavior on weekends and stuff like that.
Spokesman Shari Bobinski said the monitoring program is now up and running, though not at full scale. Security staff began using it about a month ago. More
Oregon Woman accuses Target of stealing t-shirt design
A clothing designer in Oregon was shocked to find a tank top in a Target store looking nearly identical to a shirt she sells at her online store.
Melissa Lay told ABC News that she started her online clothing shop last year so she could work from home to be with her children.
Lay's shop was an immediate success, largely thanks to one t-shirt design: a black and white shirt that had the phrase "#Merica" on it with a white U.S. flag.
Earlier this month, however, Lay's friend sent her a photo of what her friend thought was a similar shirt at Target, thinking that Lay had stolen her design from the country's second-largest discount retailer.
"It was almost unbelievable seeing the picture," Lay told ABC News. "It was the first thing I saw when I walked in. I've been making and looking at this design for so long." More
France passes law banning ‘anorexic’ models and photoshop with no label
No, this is not a part of the April Fools Day celebration. As confirmed by an article by Reuters, France will now ban runways that feature super skinny supermodels.
To be exact, the French Parliament wants agencies to stop hiring models which are considered “anorexic” and/or “not healthy” based on BMI standards.
Under this new law, it is now illegal in France to hire models whose BMI, or Body Mass Index is below 18. Violators would pay fines of up to €75,000 or US$82,000 — and face up to six months inside prison cell. Ouch.
In case you’re wondering, BMI or Body Mass Index is your weight in kilograms over your height, squared. For example, if the model’s height is 6 foot flat, and her weight is 127 pounds, her BMI is around 17 plus. Based on the official BMI categories, a BMI of 17 is considered underweight. The normal weight according to the feds is from 18.5 to 24.9. More
The criminalization of childhood
And so the incarceral state continues to bully its way into childhood, parenthood, and family life . . .
First up, another story about teenagers, sex, and the internet in which local law enforcement officials claim that the only way to save some kids from ruining their lives . . . is by ruining their lives.
Four suburban teenagers have been arrested on felony charges, for an explicit video they posted on Twitter. All four students attend Joliet Central High School, and are between the ages of 14 and 16.
A 15-year-old girl and three of her classmates recorded consensual sex acts one week ago, and posted the video on Twitter.
The girl’s mother found out about the video, and reported the Twitter post to police, who seized the original recording. More
2 N.Y. women arrested; U.S. authorities committed to stopping ‘homegrown extremists’
NEW YORK — The disturbing allegations were contained in court papers describing the latest homegrown terror plot thwarted by the FBI and the New York Police Department.
Noelle Velentzas and Asia Siddiqui were arrested at their Queens homes early Thursday following a sting operation using an undercover officer wearing a wire. Officer searching the homes recovered items including three gas tanks, a pressure cooker, fertilizer, handwritten notes on the recipes for bomb making and jihadist literature, court papers say.
Velentzas, had been “obsessed with pressure cookers since the Boston Marathon attacks in 2013” and made jokes alluding to explosives after receiving one as a gift, according to a criminal complaint citing one of the secret recordings made by the undercover who managed to befriend the pair. More
Driver sues boy she struck and killed
A Canadian woman who hit three teenage boys on bikes while driving, killing one and injuring the other two, is suing the dead teen for the emotional trauma she suffered.
Mother-of-three Sharlene Simon, 42, is also suing the other two boys and the dead boy’s family for $1.35 million in damages due to her psychological suffering, including depression, anxiety, irritability and post-traumatic stress.
The claim follows the accident which killed 17-year-old Brandon Majewski when Simon struck him from behind in her SUV as he rode near his home in Alcona, Ontario, about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 28, 2012.
Majewski’s friend Richard McLean, 16, was seriously injured in the crash, breaking multiple bones including his pelvis. Another friend, 16-year-old Jake Roberts, was knocked off his bike but luckily escaped with only scratches. More
Helicopter parents ruin massive Easter egg hunt; chaos unfolds, kids sob
Thousands of people packed Sacramento’s Capitol grounds on Saturday for what was billed as the world’s largest Easter egg hunt. The crowds vying for eggs dumped out on the Capitol Mall grass resulted in some shoving and arguments.
Organizers had trucked in 510,000 plastic eggs in an attempt to break the current world record of 501,000 eggs from a 2007 hunt in Florida. As soon as the first eggs hit the ground, people of all ages lunged for the colorful plastic shells, scooping them up by the armful into oversized plastic bags and even laundry baskets.
The dozen workers from organizer Blue Heart International, a Sacramento nonprofit, had intended a more orderly rollout, with egg seekers waiting for the signal to start. Toddlers cried and parents pushed as they jockeyed for mostly empty plastic eggs, which later could be exchanged for candy. More
Amazon says the FAA is so slow, the delivery drone it approved is already obsolete
Last week the Federal Aviation Administration finally gave Amazon permission to begin test flying its delivery drones outdoors. But in testimony before a Senate subcommittee today, Amazon argued that the government wasn't moving nearly fast enough. "This approval came last Thursday, and we’re eager to get flying here as we have been abroad," said Paul Misener, Amazon's vice president for Global Public Policy. But "while the FAA was considering our applications for testing, we innovated so rapidly that the [drone] approved last week by the FAA has become obsolete. We don’t test it anymore. We’ve moved on to more advanced designs that we already are testing abroad."
The FAA took one and half years to give Amazon permission to fly one very specific model of drone. Misener compared this to what is happening overseas. "Nowhere outside of the United States have we been required to wait more than one or two months to begin testing, and permission has been granted for operating a category of UAS, giving us room to experiment and rapidly perfect designs without being required to continually obtain new approvals for specific UAS vehicles." More
Hillary Clinton paid $300,000 to explain what ails the middle class
She’s identified the problem. Now, assuming she runs for president, Hillary Clinton will have to come up with ways to solve it.
During a speech in Silicon Valley, Clinton, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee in 2016, highlighted the displacement many workers have suffered as new technology has made many jobs obsolete. “The old jobs and careers are either gone or unrecognizable,” Clinton said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The old rules just don’t seem to apply, and, frankly, the new rules just aren’t that clear. “[If] we want to find our balance again, we have to figure out how to make this new economy work for everyone.”
Clinton also addressed Silicon Valley’s male-centric culture, one factor responsible for a notable gender pay gap in the tech industry and a shortage of women in the field. “We’re going backward in a field that is supposed to be all about moving forward,” the former senator and secretary of state said. Clinton herself is a counterexample: She earned a reported $300,000 for her speech, comparable to what she usually gets and more than all but a few highly prized male speakers (including her husband). More
Lawmaker says Yoga pants, Speedos should be illegal in public
HELENA — A Montana lawmaker is seeking to strengthen the state’s indecent exposure law, stopping just short of his wish to outlaw yoga pants.
Rep. David Moore on Tuesday introduced House Bill 365 in the House Judiciary Committee in response to a group of naked bicyclists who rolled through Missoula in August.
The proposal would expand indecent exposure law to include any nipple exposure, including men’s, and any garment that “gives the appearance or simulates” a person’s buttocks, genitals, pelvic area or female nipple.
The Republican from Missoula said tight-fitting beige clothing could be considered indecent exposure under his proposal. More
'I'm Facing Years In Prison For Medical Marijuana -- For Me, That's A Death Sentence'
Larry Harvey, 71, thought he was doing everything right growing medical marijuana for his personal use. His home state of Washington legalized medical cannabis in 1998, and Harvey says his cultivation of plants with his wife, other family members and a close friend complied with the law.
But in 2012, state and federal law enforcers raided the Harvey home and shut down their operation. Harvey; his wife, Rhonda; their son, Rolland Gregg; Gregg's wife, Michelle Gregg; and family friend Jason Zucker all face federal marijuana charges that could land them in prison for 10 years.
But Harvey may not live long enough to see prison, let alone serve out his sentence. In recent months Harvey has developed cancer of the pancreas that has begun to spread to his liver. The average life expectancy for a patient with metastatic pancreatic cancer is three months to six months. More
Texas boy suspended for saying he could make classmate ‘disappear’ with ‘Lord of the Rings’ sorcery
Tolkien lore led a Texas boy to suspension after he brought his “one ring” to school
. Kermit Elementary School officials called it a threat when the 9-year-old boy, Aiden Steward, in a playful act of make-believe, told a classmate he could make him disappear with a ring forged in fictional Middle Earth’s Mount Doom.
“It sounded unbelievable,” the boy’s father, Jason Steward, told the Daily News. He insists his son “didn’t mean anything by it.”
The Stewards had just watched “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies” days earlier, inspiring Aiden’s imagination and leading him to proclaim that he had in his possession the one ring to rule them all.
“Kids act out movies that they see. When I watched Superman as a kid, I went outside and tried to fly,” Steward said. More
Manspreading: Why transit riders mind the gap
It's a gap commuters like Zane Pitt more than just mind — the regular transit rider says he's sick of so-called 'manspreaders' on public transit who sit with legs wide open.
"I see that a lot," Pitt said as he stood outside Broadway SkyTrain station. "I also see people using a seat just to place their personal stuff."
The scourge of manspreading has finally come to light, thanks to New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority. The MTA is launching a public etiquette campaign featuring the catchphrase: “Dude ... Stop the spread, please. It’s a space issue.”
Transit riders in Toronto recently chimed in with their own concerns about space sprawlers adding new meaning to that city's nickname: Hogtown. More
Lottery ticket misprint leaves man without $500K
Playing the lottery has always been something fun to do for retiree John Wines. So when the New Mexico native went to a gas station to purchase his weekly Powerball ticket, on one particular Saturday in December, he sprung for a scratch-off ticket, too.
"You only live once, right?" he said.
The winning numbers printed at the top of the scratch-off were two and one.
Wiles said he was in shock when he scratched off five of them, his winnings totaling more than $500,000. The amount confused him, he said, because the maximum prize on the ticket is $250,000.
Still, he said, he "thought [he] won big!"
But when he took the ticket to the store where he bought it, the store clerk put the ticket in a scanner that said Wines wasn't a winner after all. More
Indonesia still performs ‘virginity tests’ on female police job applicants
Indonesia’s practice of subjecting would-be female police officers to ‘virginity tests’ is “discriminatory and a form of gender-based violence,” that has to be stopped, Human Rights Watch says.
“Police authorities in Jakarta need to immediately and unequivocally abolish the test, and then make certain that all police recruiting stations nationwide stop administering it,” Nisha Varia, associate women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch, said in the statement released on Tuesday.
The watchdog interviewed female police officers in six Indonesian cities to find out if women applying for a job in law enforcement still have to undergo virginity tests, despite previous promises by police officials to abolish the practice.
The interviews are now posted on the Human Rights Watchdog YouTube feed. The women, hiding their faces from cameras and concealing their names, say they had to go through the pain and humiliation of the ‘two-finger test’, which HRW describes as an archaic and discredited practice. More
Widespread Reports Surface of Veterans Denied Pain Meds if They Use Cannabis
Veterans of the nation's wars from Vietnam forward have long found refuge in the wonders of medicinal marijuana for a host of both combat and stress related conditions including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
These two intractable, complicated, physical conditions, which often exacerbate the psychological impact of war, are known as the "signature wounds" of the recent wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The impact is lifelong and highly debilitating. It is estimated that as much as 50% of the nation's vets suffer chronic pain. Six veterans a day commit suicide. More
School Suspends Modern Bonnie and Clyde Over “Gun” Photo
On Friday a young couple, Tito Velez and Jamie Pereira, were preparing to go to a school dance, and as usual, mom and dad broke out the camera and took a few pictures of the cute couple. During the impromptu photo shoot, someone decided to take a couple of pictures with the kids holding some Airsoft toy guns. A little later, the kids went to the dance and had an uneventful evening just making happy memories.
On Monday school officials of, Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School in Taunton, MA, got wind of the picture and, about 2 PM, just prior to a cross-country track meet, the couple was called into the school office. Both minors were questioned by school officials, split up and the police were called.
The parents were not notified, nor was there any kind of child advocate at the scene. When the kids asked to call their parents, school officials told them to “be quite”. Police finally showed up and the young man and woman were searched along with their lockers and book bags. Nothing was found. The officers “talked” to the students, again without benefit of counsel or parents. More
2-year-old taken away from parents because they used marijuana, killed by foster mother
Cameron, Texas - A 2-year-old was killed while in foster care, and her foster mother will now serve a life sentence for the crime.
Alex Hill was placed in foster care after her father admitted to using marijuana according to the Houston Press.
Joshua Hill told Texas child welfare investigators that he smoked after the child was in bed at night.
A case worker determined that the father’s marijuana use and the mother’s medical condition (frequent seizures) warranted removal from the home.
The toddler had appeared healthy and happy with her parents, but she
was placed into the foster care system in early 2013.
On Tuesday Alex’s foster mother, Sherill Small, was sentenced to life in prison for the July 2013 death of the little girl, who would have turned four on Friday. More
$20 Minimum Wage Endorsing Socialist Group Posts $13-Per-Hour Job Listing
The website of Seattle’s Freedom Socialist Party lists its most recent presidential candidate Stephen Durham’s political positions, which include the party’s effort to “raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour.”
The group also avidly supported a successful push for a $15-per-hour minimum wage in Seattle, which passed this year.
However, as Zenon Evans at Reason pointed out, that same political party just got caught posting a $13-per-hour job listing seeking a web content manager with web development skills. More
Teacher Allegedly Sent Home Because Of Tattoos
A school teacher at a private elementary school was reportedly asked to go home and cover up the tattoos on her arms, neck and hands before returning to teach.
Charlotte Tumilty, 26, says she showed up for her first day at St. John Vianneys Primary School in Hartlepool, England, a position she obtained as part of her teacher training course. Before the first hour of the day was up, however, she says she was told to go home and cover up.
Tumilty says an administrator told her it was a “strict Catholic” school and that she should use bandages and plasters to conceal her tattoos, reports Metro.. More
The Creepy Language Tricks Taco Bell Uses to Fool People Into Eating There
What can you tell about a restaurant from its menu? A lot more than what's cooking. That's what linguist Dan Jurafsky reveals in his new book, The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu.
Jurafsky, a professor of linguistics at Stanford, looked at hundreds of examples of food language—from menus to marketing materials to restaurant reviews. Along the way, he uncovered some fascinating patterns. For example: In naming foods, he explains, marketers often appeal to the associations that we already have with certain sounds. Crackers and other crispy foods tend to have names with short, front-of-the-mouth vowels (Ritz, Cheez-Its, Triscuits), while rich and heavy foods have longer vowels that we form in the back of our mouth (Rocky Road, Jamoca Almond Fudge). He also describes the shared linguistic heritage of some of the most common food words. Take salad, sauce, slaw, and salsa: All come from the Latin word sal, meaning "salted."
But it's Jurafsky's menu analysis that really stands out. Where most of us see simply a list of dishes, Jurafsky identifies subtle indicators of the image that a restaurant is trying to project—and which customers it wants to lure in. I asked Jurafsky to examine the menus of Taco Bell and its new upscale spinoff, US Taco Co., whose first location just opened in Southern California. More
Devils Lake high school places new policy on leggings, jeggings and tight jeans
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- A parent called us, blowing the whistle on the Devils Lake School District. We called the school to find out more answers and we're told all the girls were informed they can't wear leggings, jeggings and tight jeans anymore.
The assistant principal said they had the girls watch two clips from the movie "Pretty Woman" and compared their attire to the main character...who is a prostitute. We spoke to both sides of the story to find out the reason behind all of this.
"A lot of the parents went on Facebook and we were discussing it,” said parent Candace Olsen. “They were talking about how they think the boys should be able to control themselves and the girls should be able to wear the leggings and the jeggings and you know, the squirts and stuff. And, when I was in high school, I think we wore a little bit more provocative clothing." More
Black Donor Sperm Mistakenly Sent to White Mom
A white Ohio mom is suing a sperm bank for sending her vials from a black donor, saying her biracial 2-year-old daughter will be stigmatized by her family and the "intolerant" town where they live and has to travel to get her hair done.
Jennifer Cramblett thought she was being inseminated with a white man's sperm in 2011 and only discovered after she was pregnant that the Midwest Sperm Bank sent the wrong batch, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
The child, Payton, is now 2 years old and already experiencing prejudice in Uniontown, where 98 percent of the residents are white, court papers say.
"I am happy that I have a healthy child," Cramblett told NBC News. "But I'm not going to let them get away with not being held accountable." More
Woman's Homemade License Plate Does Not Fool Eagle-Eyed Massachusetts State Trooper
A Massachusetts woman whose license plates were revoked attached a hand-drawn tag to her car and kept driving, police say.
Johanna Baez-Rodriguez, 25, was pulled over yesterday morning by a state trooper who spotted the homemade license plate on her 1991 Honda Accord as it traveled on Insterstate 391 in Chicopee.
As seen above, the counterfeit cardboard plate includes numbers and letters drawn on with red and blue markers. Baez-Rodriguez, a Springfield resident, was charged with a variety of violations, including driving with a suspended license and attaching false plates to her ride. More
Data Shows Cash For Clunkers Was An Epic Debacle
“Cash for Clunkers,” the 2009 Obama administration stimulus program designed to spend $2.85 billion to jumpstart the auto industry, turned out to be a complete disaster — for the auto industry.
In the minds of Obama’s team of advisers and economists, the program made total sense, of course.
The plan was to dangle a $4,500 credit to persuade car owners to trade in their older automobiles for new cars with better fuel efficiency. It would stimulate an economy then in the midst of a deep recession. As a bonus, it would mean less oil consumption and cleaner-running cars. The law of unintended consequences is a brutal thing, though, especially for inexperienced, shortsighted policymakers.
According to the findings of three Texas A&M University economics professors, “Cash for Clunkers” ultimately caused auto industry revenue to shrink by about $3 billion in less than a year. More
Teen Girl Accuses School Of ‘Shaming Girls For Their Bodies’ After Being Sent Home For Wearing Shorts
A 15-year-old student in Quebec, Canada launched a protest of her high school dress code last week by refusing to change out of jean shorts deemed too short by school authorities. Rather than comply with the rule, Lindsey Stocker printed 20 posters criticizing the policy and hung them all over her high school. The signs read: “Don’t humiliate her because she’s wearing shorts. It’s hot outside. Instead of shaming girls for their bodies, teach boys that girls are not sexual objects.” Though posters were quickly taken down, their message has gone viral, eliciting an outpouring of support from students.
The incident began after two school vice principles walked into Stocker’s classroom and asked the 11th grade students to press their arms to their sides. If the students’ shorts did not reach their fingertips, they were asked to change clothing. More
Data Shows Cash For Clunkers Was An Epic Debacle
“Cash for Clunkers,” the 2009 Obama administration stimulus program designed to spend $2.85 billion to jumpstart the auto industry, turned out to be a complete disaster — for the auto industry.
In the minds of Obama’s team of advisers and economists, the program made total sense, of course. The plan was to dangle a $4,500 credit to persuade car owners to trade in their older automobiles for new cars with better fuel efficiency. It would stimulate an economy then in the midst of a deep recession. As a bonus, it would mean less oil consumption and cleaner-running cars. The law of unintended consequences is a brutal thing, though, especially for inexperienced, shortsighted policymakers.
According to the findings of three Texas A&M University economics professors, “Cash for Clunkers” ultimately caused auto industry revenue to shrink by about $3 billion in less than a year. More
'Unmarked Police Car' Bumper Sticker Leads to Traffic Stop, Lawsuit
An Indiana woman thought the "Unmarked Police Car" joke bumper sticker she received as a gift was pretty funny.
But Indianapolis police apparently didn't agree. Pamela Konchinsky, 56, was pulled over and claims police demanded she remove the sticker, reports The Indianapolis Star.
Konchinsky is now suing the police officers, alleging they violated her constitutional rights. What's the basis of her lawsuit?
Konchinsky's suit alleges that the officers' actions violated her First Amendment right to freedom of speech. More
Michigan Dept of Agri Forces Farmer to Dump 248 Gallons of Organic Milk and Break 1200 Free Range Eggs
While Americans in the nearby city of Detroit face life in third world conditions, unable to even afford running water, the state of Michigan decided to direct its resources towards cracking down on a small food co-op in Standish for having the utter audacity to provide milk, butter, cream and eggs to people who bought shares in the organic dairy.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture must be so proud of their deeds, after they forced Joe and Brenda Golimbieski, the owners of Hill High Dairy and Jenny Samuelson, the owner of My Family Co-op, to dump out 248 gallons of milk, to break 100 dozen eggs, and to destroy an undisclosed amount of fresh cream, butter and cheese.
According to a post on the Hill High Dairy page on Facebook, the agents from the MDA stood over the family, watching as the food was destroyed. More
Teacher allegedly disciplined because her students' scores are too high
An East Rockaway teacher has accused the school district of ousting her from the classroom because her students' strong performance on standardized tests has backfired.
Voula Coyle, a veteran fourth grade teacher at Rhame Avenue School, said her strong teaching skills have dragged down her school's state rating.
Coyle alleged she has been falsely accused of misconduct after she brushed off administrators’ calls for teachers to do a lackluster job in order to rig the state's ranking system.
She said in an interview with FiOS1 News that district has engaged in a campaign of harassment and intimidation against her and has fostered "a divisive environment where the children are suffering. "They are not putting their concern where it needs to be: with the children and the taxpayers," said the 17-year instructor at the grammar school. "And they are destroying my reputation in the community."
Coyle and her attorney Vincent White of White, Ricotta & Marks PC in Queens, say they are considering filing litigation against the district. More
Clintons seek to avoid a tax they once supported
Bill and Hillary Clinton are finding their way around an estate tax they have long supported, a cause they said would prevent the U.S. from being overrun by inherited wealth.
The Clintons are employing a series of financial planning strategies that will help reduce the tax burden on future recipients, which can be as high as 40%, Bloomberg News reported.
The steps are common among multimillionaires and include creating a residence trust, a type of tax advantaged set-up that allows any appreciation in real estate value to build outside of the taxable estate.
During Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, she supported a higher estate tax by lowering the personal exemption to $3.5 million versus the current $5.34 million, and setting the top tax rate at 45%. More
City Shuts Down Kid’s Free Library Lending Box
LEAWOOD, Kan. – A Leawood law has forced a young boy and his family to take down something they built as a Mother’s Day gift. That’s because city officials say it violated a long-standing ordinance. After just a week of display, the family has removed the “free little library” from its front yard, but says the fight is not over.
The Collins family lives off Ensley Lane near 89th Street. The family loves to read and wanted to share that passion with people in the neighborhood. The family set up a cabinet-like structure with clear glass doors and a shingled roof near the base of the driveway.
They called it a “free little library” where people could give and take books from the shelves. Nine-year-old Spencer Collins said his mother, who is an elementary school teacher, loved the idea when she saw it in another state. Spencer decided to work with his father and grandfather to build the free little library for their front yard. More
More patients flocking to ERs under Obamacare
It wasn't supposed to work this way, but since the Affordable Care Act took effect in January, Norton Hospital has seen its packed emergency room become even more crowded, with about 100 more patients a month. That 12 percent spike in the number of patients — many of whom aren't actually facing true emergencies — is spurring the hospital to convert a waiting room into more exam rooms.
"We're seeing patients who probably should be seen at our (immediate-care centers)," said Lewis Perkins, the hospital's vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer. "And we're seeing this across the system."
That's just the opposite of what many people expected under Obamacare, particularly because one of the goals of health reform was to reduce pressure on emergency rooms by expanding Medicaid and giving poor people better access to primary care.
Instead, many hospitals in Kentucky and across the nation are seeing a surge of those newly insured Medicaid patients walking into emergency rooms. More
Florida County Tickets Woman for Sunbathing Topless on the Beach
On a warm day in May, Fallon Johnson, a 21-year-old waitress, found herself on a deserted public beach in St. Augustine, Florida. She decided to stretch out in the sun and subsequently drifted off to sleep.
She doesn't know how long she was asleep before she was awakened by a police officer asking to see her ID. With her mind still hazy from being abruptly awakened, she wasn't sure what law she'd broken, but she handed over her New York driver's license.
Johnson, who had been sunbathing topless, was unaware that female shirtlessness is illegal in St. Johns County.
She was handed a ticket and fined $53 for violating the county's public nudity ordinance, which was drafted by the county's board of commissioners in 1992. More
15-Year-Old Special Needs Student Convicted of Disorderly Conduct for Recording Evidence of Bullying
It’s a horrific case study in bullying. A high school sophomore who suffers from comprehension delay disorder (an information-processing disorder), ADHD, and an anxiety disorder was regularly shoved and tripped, nearly burned with a cigarette lighter, and psychologically tortured by his peers. He fought back in the only way he could, documenting the abuse on his school-issued iPad. His mother, Shea Love, submitted the evidence to school administrators.
And the administrators took action. Not against the bullies. Against their victim.
According to BenSwann.com, a sophomore at South Fayette High School in McDonald, Pennsylvania, whose name has been withheld at the family’s request, suffered a year of abuse before he decided to take a stand. After researching anti-bullying websites, he used his school-issued iPad to make a seven-minute audio recording of his treatment during math class, where the most intense bullying took place. He later explained his actions: “I wanted her (Love) to understand what I went through…. I wanted it to stop. I just felt like nothing was being done.” More
Woman Denied Vital Medicine Because Obamacare Thinks She's a Man
A family who was forced to buy healthcare is distraught after their daughter was denied medication because of an Obamacare error.
Shelby Higdon needs her medication, but has been repeatedly denied it because the information in her BlueCross BlueShield health insurance account lists her as a male, not a female.
“When it was time to get my medicine, they told that they couldn’t give it to me because on my insurance I was registered as a man,” Shelby told WLOS.
Her mother, Kris Hitt Hidgon, shares her daughter’s frustration. She has called healthcare.gov “probably about eight times.” More
The Most Irony Ever: Food Poisoning Strikes Diners at Gov’t Food Safety Summit
I’m always making a joke that our overblown government couldn’t even get together and make a noodle salad without finding some magical way to screw it up.
Apparently, and sadly so, that snarky bit of sarcasm isn’t all that far off the mark.
Food served at a Food Safety Summit held earlier this month between several of our federal agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Big Food industry giants the likes of Tyson, ConAgra and McDonald’s, actually gave some of the people who attended food poisoning. More
The way the British taxman is behaving would put Zimbabwe to shame!
Last month’s Budget was warmly greeted in many quarters. Indeed, there was much that was good in it. But George Osborne slipped in one announcement that is arguably the most pernicious measure introduced by a modern-day Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Starting next year, HM Revenue & Customs will be empowered to seize unlimited amounts from the private bank accounts of anyone it believes owes it more than £1,000 in tax.
We are used to banks helping themselves to overdraft charges, or inventing new fees, and swiping our money without even telling us. But hitherto the tax authorities, acting on behalf of government, have not been allowed to ransack our bank accounts.
HMRC has been obliged to respect the rule of law, and apply to magistrates’ courts or county courts, depending on how much money it thinks you owe. Now it will be able to remove cash from your current account — or even your savings — at the flick of a switch. More
Michigan Loses ‘Right To Farm’: Farewell To Backyard Chickens and Beekeepers
Michigan residents lost their “right to farm” this week thanks to a new ruling by the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development. Gail Philburn of the Michigan Sierra Club told Michigan Live, the new changes “effectively remove Right to Farm Act protection for many urban and suburban backyard farmers raising small numbers of animals.”
Backyard and urban farming were previously protected by Michigan’s Right to Farm Act. The Commission ruled that the Right to Farm Act protections no longer apply to many homeowners who keep small numbers of livestock.
Kim White, who raises chickens and rabbits, said, “They don’t want us little guys feeding ourselves. They want us to go all to the big farms. They want to do away with small farms and I believe that is what’s motivating it.” The ruling will allow local governments to arbitrarily ban goats, chickens and beehives on any property where there are 13 homes within one eighth mile or a residence within 250 feet of the property, according to Michigan Public Radio. The Right to Farm Act was created in 1981 to protect farmers from the complaints of people from the city who moved to the country and then attempted to make it more urban with anti-farming ordinances. The new changes affect residents of rural Michigan too. It is not simply an urban or suburban concern. More
Heir's sentence raises questions in child rape case
WILMINGTON, Del. -- A judge who sentenced a wealthy du Pont heir to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter noted in her order that he "will not fare well" in prison and needed treatment instead of time behind bars, court records show.
Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden's sentencing order for Robert H. Richards IV suggested that she considered unique circumstances when deciding his punishment for fourth-degree rape. Her observation that prison life would adversely affect Richards was a rare and puzzling rationale, several criminal justice authorities in Delaware said. Some also said her view that treatment was a better idea than prison is a justification typically used when sentencing drug addicts, not child rapists.
Richards' 2009 rape case became public this month after attorneys for his ex-wife, Tracy, filed a lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the abuse of his daughter. More
Gym tells woman she's intimidating guests with 'toned body'
A Bay Area woman was asked to cover up while working out at a Richmond gym, after staff members say she was intimidating people with her toned body.
Tiffany Austin said she was excited to get back in shape after recovering from a recent car accident. After her doctor told her it was time to start walking more, she took a tour of the Planet Fitness Gym in Richmond. On Monday she officially joined the gym and was looking forward to her first workout – but that workout lasted a quick 15 minutes.
Austin said things started out well. She hopped on a treadmill, set the speed to slow, put her earbuds in and started walking. She started to notice others staring at her, and quickly grew self-conscious but she kept on walking. That is until a staff-member stopped her. According to Austin that staff member said, "excuse me we've had some complaints you're intimidating people with your toned body. So can you put on a shirt?” More
Little Girl Taken Out Of Christian School After Told She's Too Much Like A Boy
Timberlake, VA - Sports, sneakers, and short hair; it's what makes eight year old Sunnie Kahle unique. It's also what had her removed from Timberlake Christian School. Her grandparents pulled the plug on her time there after they said she was no longer welcome.
The family received a letter telling them that if their eight year old granddaughter didn't follow the school's "biblical standards," that she'd be refused enrollment next year. She's out and in public school now.
Sunnie Kahle has short hair and a huge heart, and as far as her grandparents are concerned, she is a completely normal little girl.
"She cries every morning to get on the bus, she cries when she comes home because she wants to go back to Timberlake Christian with her friends," said Doris Thompson.
Doris and Carroll Thompson are Sunnie's grandparents. They adopted and raised the little girl and took her out of Timberlake Christian School when they received a letter from the school's K-8 Principal.
"You're probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment," read Doris from a part of the letter. More
Rachel Canning rails against spoiled ‘Suburban baby boomer types’ in Facebook rant
The spoiled New Jersey teen who took her parents to court is now taking their entire generation to task.
On a Facebook page believed to belong to Rachel Canning, there was a self-righteous Facebook rant Friday slamming her parents’ generation — ironically enough — as greedy and entitled.
“Suburban baby boomer types are the spoiled lot, they make massive amount of money a year, they are used to flying to luxury destinations when they want, and buy things that they don't need, people should be inclined to see things my way,” someone claiming to be Canning wrote in an early morning outburst on Friday. More
Two-Year-Old Girl Suspended From Daycare for 3 Days Over a Cheese Sandwich
A daycare in Ottawa, Canada is not playing around with kids who bring “outside” food to their facility.
Two-year-old Faith Murray brought a cheese sandwich into the Centre de l’enfant aux 4 Vente daycare in Barrhaven and was immediately suspended for three days.
Faith’s father Randy gave his two children sandwiches to eat in the car on the way to daycare. He told CBC News he had no idea his daughter had the sandwich with her when they entered the school.
“She was two steps in, one of the teachers had saw it, handed it back to me, and then the next thing I know, I’m told we’re suspended for three days.”
The school takes care of 148 children ranging in age from 18 months to 12 years. It has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to “outside food” because some students have food allergies. Bring in dairy products, and your child will be suspended for three days. Should your child smuggle in any food that contains peanuts, the penalty will be immediate expulsion. More
University: It’s racist for white students to have Olympics-themed party
A Columbia University administrator denounced a campus sorority for racial insensitivity over its Olympics-themed costume party in which students dressed up like citizens of different countries–such as Ireland, France and Mexico.
The administrator, Dean of Students Terry Martinez, said campus resources would be made available to provide counseling to anyone who was offended by Kappa Alpha Theta’s party.
“I am incredibly saddened and disappointed to learn of students in our community participating in costume caricatures of several different nationalities,” said Martinez in a statement. “It is our utmost responsibility to ensure that your living and learning environment is free from any act or behavior that degrades individuals or groups, including racially or culturally- based insensitivity. As such, the bias-related response team, which is comprised of members across Student Affairs including the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Fraternity and Sorority Life, are currently reaching out to potentially impacted communities to offer support and follow-up.” More
Boy points finger like gun, gets suspended
A Columbus principal suspended a student for three days last week after the child pointed a "lookalike firearm” at another student in class and pretended to shoot.
The boy’s age? 10. The “level 2 lookalike firearm” cited in his suspension letter? His finger.
“I was just playing around,” said Nathan Entingh, a fifth-grader at Devonshire Alternative Elementary School in a far northern section of the district. “People play around like this a lot at my school.”
Other kids have been caught playing pretend gun games on the playground at Devonshire and weren’t suspended, Nathan said.
Devonshire Principal Patricia Price has warned students about pretend gun play numerous times this year, and everyone should know the rules by now, district spokesman Jeff Warner said. More
'Affluenza' Defense Draws Criticism In Sentence For Fatal DWI Wreck
HOUSTON — "Affluenza," the affliction cited by a psychologist to argue that a North Texas teenager from a wealthy family should not be sent to prison for killing four pedestrians while driving drunk, is not a recognized diagnosis and should not be used to justify bad behavior, experts said Thursday.
A judge's decision to give 16-year-old Ethan Couch 10 years of probation for the fatal accident sparked outrage from relatives of those killed and has led to questions about the defense strategy. A psychologist testified in Couch's trial in a Fort Worth juvenile court that as a result of "affluenza," the boy should not receive the maximum 20-year prison sentence prosecutors were seeking.
The term "affluenza" was popularized in the late 1990s by Jessie O'Neill, the granddaughter of a past president of General Motors, when she wrote the book "The Golden Ghetto: The Psychology of Affluence." It has since been used to describe a condition in which children — generally from richer families — have a sense of entitlement, are irresponsible, make excuses for poor behavior, and sometimes dabble in drugs and alcohol, explained Dr. Gary Buffone, a Jacksonville, Fla., psychologist who does family wealth advising. More
How Do You Charge an Unarmed Man with Shooting People? Get the NYPD Involved.
In September, New York Police officers responded to an emotionally disturbed man causing a ruckus at a Times Square bus terminal by opening fire on him while they were surrounded by crowds and traffic. They missed him and hit two innocent bystanders (one of whom was in a walker). Police said at the time they thought the man, Glenn Broadnax, was reaching for a gun, but he turned out to be unarmed.
Even though Broadnax was not armed, an indictment unsealed Wednesday is charging him with assault for the injuries caused by police gunfire. From the New York Times:
The man, Glenn Broadnax, 35, of Brooklyn, created a disturbance on Sept. 14, wading into traffic at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue and throwing himself into the path of oncoming cars.
A curious crowd grew. Police officers arrived and tried to corral Mr. Broadnax, a 250-pound man. When he reached into his pants pocket, two officers, who, the police said, thought he was pulling a gun, opened fire, missing Mr. Broadnax, but hitting two nearby women. Finally, a police sergeant knocked Mr. Broadnax down with a Taser. … More
Montreal police intercept 11-year-old boy at gunpoint
MONTREAL – Elias Pyrros is still in shock after his recent run-in with police.
The 11-year-old boy was playing with a toy gun in broad daylight in an alley in the Mile End neighbourhood of Montreal when someone spotted him and called 911.
Within minutes, five police cars arrived and all officers had their guns pointed directly at him.
“They told me to freeze in French and come here, so I put my hands up,” said Pyrros. “I was really scared.”
His mother is convinced he would have lost his life that day had he reacted differently.
“If he didn’t freeze and didn’t do what they said, they would have shot my child,” said Eva Drakos, who insists the officers violated her son’s rights. More
Coach Defends Students Arrested at Bus Stop
Three Edison students who were charged with disorderly conduct pleaded not guilty in court.
The boys were with about a dozen basketball teammates Wednesday morning on Main Street waiting for a school bus to take them to a scrimmage at Aquinas.
There was no school that day and their coach had arranged for a pick-up at a central meeting spot. An officer asked the boys to disperse and they refused. The young men say they tried to explain to him they were waiting for a school bus. The officer arrested three of the players.
"We didn't do nothing," said Raliek Redd. "We was just trying to go to our scrimmage." "We was just waiting for our bus and he started arrested us," said Wan'Tauhjs Weathers.
"You just downtown, minding your own business, and next thing you know, anything can happen," said Daequon Carelock. More
First Grader Accused of Sexual Harassment for Kissing Classmate's Hand
A six-year-old boy from Cañon City, Colorado, will have the words "sexual harassment" stamped on his permanent record after he was suspended for playfully pecking a female classmate cheek and hand.
Hunter Yelton is too young to understand the word "sex," but his school believes he sexually harassed a girl in his class after he leaned over and kissed her hand during music class.
According to Hunter's mom, the boy and his "crush" are "boyfriend and girlfriend" and like each other.
"She was fine with it," Jennifer Saunders told KRDO. "The other children saw it and went to the music teacher. That was the day I had the meeting with the principal, where she first said 'sexual harassment'." More
Oregon signs up just 44 people for Obamacare despite spending $300 million
Oregon, once touted as a model for President Obama's health care law, signed up just 44 people for insurance through November, despite spending more than $300 million on its state-based exchange.
The state’s exchange had the fewest sign-ups in the nation, according to a new report today by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The weak number of sign-ups undercuts two major defenses of Obamacare from its supporters. One defense was that state-based exchanges were performing a lot better than the federal healthcare.gov website servicing 36 states. But Oregon's website problems have forced the state to rely on paper applications to sign up participants. More
Father arrested for picking up his kids from school
A Tennessee father was hauled off to jail after he insisted on taking his son home from school on time, rather than waiting for another half an hour under a recently implemented school rule.
Jim Howe, father of two children enrolled in South Cumberland Elementary in Crossville, Tennessee, arrived at the school on foot at dismissal time: 2:00 PM. But a new school policy states that students may only leave at 2:00 PM if their parents are picking them up in cars. Walkers must wait until 2:35 PM.
Howe maintained that the policy was meant to apply to students walking home by themselves, not students walking home with their parents.
“You don’t need a reason as a parent to go get your children,” he told school officials.
Avery Aytes, a sheriff deputy and school resource officer, was on hand to prevent Howes from leaving with his kids. The encounter between the two was captured on video by Howes’s fiancee, Jennifer Long. When Howes insisted that the new policy was illegal, the officer threatened him with jail time. More
How a Sleeping Drug Company Increased Prices 300% Without Anyone Noticing
Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) has pushed up the price of its narcolepsy drug Xyrem fourfold since 2006, and it's a good example of how prescription costs in the U.S. are out of control. Xyrem now costs as much as $35,000 per year of treatment, and the company says it could double the price again without anyone noticing.
In fact, the only reason Jazz survives as a business is because of the naked price increases it has managed to extract from reimbursers -- namely health plans and the government -- none of whom have offered any pushback.
In 2009, Jazz was on the brink of bankruptcy. It became a penny stock. It put its drug development program on hold in order to service its debt; it laid off 24 percent of its workforce and cleaned house among management, replacing its CEO and CFO.
To rescue itself, Jazz began upping the price of Xyrem. The price hikes worked. Jazz's Q3 2010 "set a new record," CEO Bruce Cozadd told Wall Street in a conference call in which he also said 2010 was "a pivotal year." In a recent note to investors from Jefferies & Co. analyst Corey Davis, a chart of Xyrem's spiraling price was labeled "To the Moon, Alice!" More
First Lady accused of spending $10m in public money on her vacations
The Obamas' summer break on Martha's Vineyard has already been branded a PR disaster after the couple arrived four hours apart on separate government jets.
But according to new reports, this is the least of their extravagances. White House sources today claimed that the First Lady has spent $10million of U.S. taxpayers' money on vacations alone in the past year.
Branding her 'disgusting' and 'a vacation junkie', they say the 47-year-old mother-of-two has been indulging in five-star hotels, where she splashes out on expensive massages and alcohol.
The 'top source' told the National Enquirer: 'It's disgusting. Michelle is taking advantage of her privileged position while the most hardworking Americans can barely afford a week or two off work. 'When it's all added up, she's spent more than $10million in taxpayers' money on her vacations.' More
Obamacare's Website Is Crashing Because It Doesn't Want You To Know How Costly Its Plans Are
A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping.
This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.
“Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.” More
USPS to destroy “Just Move” stamps over safety concerns
Linn’s Stamp News reports that the US Postal Service will destroy the entire press run of a stamp series aimed at getting children to be more active.
According to Linn’s reporter Bill McAllister, three of the stamps in the fifteen stamp series raised safety concerns among sports figures on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.
The stamps in question depicted children performing a cannonball dive, skateboarding without kneepads, and doing a headstand without a helmet.
The unsafe depictions came to light after USPS Marketing chief Nagisa Manabe asked Michelle Obama to take part in a first day ceremony for the stamps. That was apparently the first time the stamps had been reviewed by the Sports Council. More
Student arrested for using phone app to “shoot” classmates
GRAY, LA – A student at H. L. Bourgeois High School accused of using a mobile phone app to simulate shooting his classmates was booked and jailed in Terrebonne Parish.
The app is called “The Real Strike” and simulates a first person shooter game, except the battleground is real life.
“You can’t ignore it,” says Major Malcolm Wolfe. “We don’t know at what time that game becomes reality.”
Wolfe office says a 15-year-old was arrested after posting a video on YouTube using the Real Strike app to shoot other kids at school, “He said it was a result of him being frustrated and tired of being bullied. He said that he had no intentions of hurting anybody. We have to take all threats seriously and we have no way of knowing that without investigating and getting to the bottom of it.” More
Woman Pulled Over For Breastfeeding on Moped
A mum in a hurry boobed in central China when she breastfed her young son while they sped through traffic on a moped.
Witnesses say the tot - aged about 18 months - was crying as the bike weaved through busy roads in Yuzhou, Henan province.
"So she suddenly lifted up her T-shirt, whipped out her breast and started to feed him on the move," said one startled driver.
But the impromptu meals on wheels earned the mother a ticking off from local police. "She was risking her life, her son's life and the lives of all the other road users," said a police spokesman. More
UCSD Student "Forgotten by DEA" to Get Millions
The U.S. government will pay $4.1 million to avoid a lawsuit against federal agents who forgot about a UC San Diego student left in a holding cell for days without food or water.
Daniel Chong spent five days in a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) holding cell in April 2012.
Taken into custody on a DEA raid, Chong was left in a windowless room without food and water. He was forced to drink his own urine hoping it would help him stay alive. Chong's attorney, who along with his client threatened a lawsuit against the DEA, announced the $4.1 million settlement Tuesday. “What happened to Daniel Chong should not happen to any human being,” attorney Gene Iredale said. More
Folly Moon challenges Department of Homeland Security entertainment law
MUNCIE, IN - A local band leader and downtown bar operator is challenging the Indiana Department of Homeland Security's authority to regulate and permit live entertainment.
Last April, IDHS through its fire and building safety division found Mike Martin of the Folly Moon violated state law by failing to obtain an entertainment permit for live music at the downtown establishment.
State law requires places of amusement and entertainment to have permits subject to the inspection of state fire and building inspectors. And the law defines entertainment places as night clubs, dance halls or cabarets.
Martin filed an appeal to the permit, saying he operated a bar and restaurant with occasional music played by his band, The Mike Martin Band, and others.
And in the challenge before an administrative law judge, Martin believed the state was not enforcing the law uniformly, only requiring permits for live music instead of electronic or even Karaoke that is also played at the Moon. More
Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash
The numbers tell the story — in votes and dollars. On Wednesday, the House voted 217 to 205 not to rein in the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet. It turns out that those 217 “no” voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 “yes” voters.
That’s the upshot of a new analysis by MapLight, a Berkeley-based non-profit that performed the inquiry at WIRED’s request. The investigation shows that defense cash was a better predictor of a member’s vote on the Amash amendment than party affiliation. House members who voted to continue the massive phone-call-metadata spy program, on average, raked in 122 percent more money from defense contractors than those who voted to dismantle it. More
Obama Administration Requires Magician To Submit A 32 Page “Disaster Plan” For His Rabbit
Central planning in this country is getting completely and totally out of control. These days, you can hardly do anything without running into a suffocating web of red tape.
For example, a small-time magician from Missouri that does magic shows for kids was absolutely horrified when he learned that the Obama administration is requiring him to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the rabbit that he uses in his shows.
Yes, this is actually true.
His name is Marty Hahne, and he thought that it was bad enough when the U.S. Department of Agriculture busted him for not having a “license” for his rabbit. He went out and acquired the proper “license” for his rabbit, but he never dreamed that eventually he would also have to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the same rabbit. More
The Inexplicable War on Lemonade Stands
I’m beginning to think that there’s a nation-wide government conspiracy against either lemonade or children, because these lemonade stand shutdowns seem to be getting more and more common. If you set up a stand for your kids, just be prepared for a visit from the cops.
In Coralville, Iowa police shut down 4-year-old Abigail Krstinger’s lemonade stand after it had been up for half an hour. Dustin Krustinger told reporters that his daughter was selling lemonade at 25 cents a cup during the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Race Across Iowa (or RAGBRAI), and couldn’t have made more than five dollars, adding “If the line is drawn to the point where a four-year-old eight blocks away can’t sell a couple glasses of lemonade for 25 cents, than I think the line has been drawn at the wrong spot.”
Nearby, mother Bobbie Nelson had her kids’ lemonade stand shutdown as well. Police informed her that a permit would cost $400. More
Teachers 'denied schoolboy, 10, water on the hottest day of the year to avoid upsetting Muslim pupils during Ramadan'
An angry mother has accused a primary school of denying her child water on one of the hottest days of the year for fear of upsetting pupils observing Ramadan.
Kora Blagden, 32, claimed a teacher at her son Luke’s school refused to let the 10-year old drink from his water bottle because it was unfair to fasting classmates.
Many pupils at Charles Dickens Primary School, Portsmouth, Hampshire, are fasting during Ramadan, which means they refrain from taking food or water between sunrise and sunset for around 30 days, depending on the moon.
Mother-of-four Kora said: 'Just before bedtime me and my sons Luke, ten, and Alfie, eight, were talking about Ramadan as we had seen it on the news.
'Luke said to me he was told he wasn’t allowed to drink in class by his teacher. 'The reason being, a child who is fasting had a headache and the teacher said it would be unfair if the other children drank in front of the pupil. More