Shock Study: 12% of Children Sexually Abused in Government Custody

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Some 12 percent of minors held in government custody are sexually abused, and in some facilities the rate reaches a stunning one in three children, says a report released Thursday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The first-ever National Survey of Youth in Custody found that no less than 10 percent of the 26,550 juveniles being held in detention facilities in the US are abused by staff at the facility, while another 2.6 percent report abuse at the hands of other inmates.

Among the facilities studied were six identified to have rates of sexual abuse as high as three in 10. According to the Associated Press, those six facilities are Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility in Indiana; Corsicana Residential Treatment Center in Texas; Backbone Mountain Youth Center in Swanton, Maryland; Samarkand Youth Development Center in Eagle Springs, North Carolina.; Cresson Secure Treatment Unit in Pennsylvania; and the Culpeper Juvenile Correctional Center, Long Term, in Mitchells, Virginia.

“The widespread sexual abuse of children in juvenile facilities shows that public officials either aren’t paying attention or can’t be bothered to do the right thing,” said Jamie Fellner, senior counsel for Human Rights Watch. “The high rates of victimization are powerful testimony to the failure of governments to safeguard the boys and girls in their care.”

The study was mandated by a 2003 law, the National Prison Rape Elimination Act, which also created the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission. Human Rights Watch notes that six months ago the commission set out “comprehensive, effective standards for the prevention, detection, and punishment of prison rape,” but the Justice Department has yet to act on those recommendations.

“Every day Attorney General Eric Holder fails to promulgate national prison rape elimination standards is another day in which kids and adults are being abused behind bars,” Fellner said. “The attorney general already has on his desk proposed standards that reflect the best thinking and effective practices to end this widespread scourge. There is no need to reinvent the wheel or to delay moving forward.”

The survey found that gay youth were at higher risk than heterosexual youth, with one in five reporting abuse at the hands of a staffer or fellow inmate. Males were more likely to report being abused than females (10.8 percent to 4.7 percent). And 95 percent of those abused by staff reported that the abuser was female. But that number may be influenced by the fact that 91 percent of youth in custody are male.

The AP reports:

Although advocates said the level of abuse wasn’t surprising, the prevalence of sexual abuse by staff, particularly female workers, was shocking, said Linda McFarlane, deputy executive director of Just Detention International, which fights to end sexual abuse of those who are detained.

“Many of these are already the most vulnerable and traumatized youth from all of our communities and they’re placed for custody because they’re considered to be a danger,” she said. “If sexually abused in those very institutions that are supposed to help them prepare for life in the community, then it’s just an incredible travesty.”

Read moreShock Study: 12% of Children Sexually Abused in Government Custody

Egypt deports British MP George Galloway from country

Egypt bars George Galloway from country (Reuters):

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egyptian security escorted MP George Galloway to take a flight out of the country on Friday and he was barred from returning after violent protests over an aid convoy he led into Gaza, MENA news agency said.

The Foreign Ministry declared the left-wing politician an “unwelcome individual,” the agency said.

Three Palestinians killed in Israeli air strike on Gaza (BBC News):

Three people, including a 14-year-old-boy, have been killed in Israeli air strikes overnight in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian medics say.

The Israeli military said it was responding to mortar and rocket attacks on Thursday on Israel from Gaza.


george-galloway Mr Galloway had been in Gaza with an aid convoy

British MP George Galloway has been deported from Egypt, say activists working with him to take an aid convoy into Gaza.

The Bow and Bethnal Green MP had been with international activists trying to take 200 aid trucks into the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Egypt had refused some of the vehicles access and there have been protests and clashes on the Egypt-Gaza border.

The state news agency says Mr Galloway has left Egypt and returned home.

There have also been reports the Respect MP has been declared “persona non grata” and will not be allowed to enter Egypt again, following his criticism of Cairo over delays to the aid convoy.

Convoy tension

The BBC’s Cairo correspondent Yolande Knell said Mr Galloway had returned from Gaza, where the convoy arrived two days ago, and had been planning to head back to London.

But when he and his assistant returned to Egypt they learnt that seven other members of the convoy still in Gaza were due to be arrested on their return to Egypt.

Mr Galloway wanted to go back to accompany them out but it is understood the Egyptians would not allow him to return, bundled both men into a van and escorted them to the airport.

There has been much tension around the aid convoy after Egypt made it take a big detour, delaying its arrival. There were clashes with Egyptian police at a port close to the Rafah crossing, our correspondent said.

Read moreEgypt deports British MP George Galloway from country

The Full Body Scanner Invasion; New Scanners Break Child Porn Laws

Here comes the body scanner invasion:

Invasion of the Body Scanners (BusinessWeek):

Digital security scans are coming to more airports. They’ll increase aggravation, but won’t help security much

“If we use full body scans, [terrorists] are going to do something else. This is a stupid game, and it’s time we stop playing it.”

Italy to install body scanners in Rome, Milan (Toronto Sun)

France to Introduce Body Scanners At Airports (New York Times)

Controversial body scanners to be installed in Canada’s airports (The Canadian Press)

Britain to start full-body scans at Heathrow Airport (Los Angeles Times)

Who benefits?

Former homeland security chief Michael Chertoff puts his mouth where his money is and argues for whole-body imaging (Washington Post):

What he has made little mention of is that the Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency, includes a client that manufactures the machines. The relationship drew attention after Chertoff disclosed it on a CNN program Wednesday, in response to a question.

An airport passengers’ rights group on Thursday criticized Chertoff, who left office less than a year ago, for using his former government credentials to advocate for a product that benefits his clients.

“Mr. Chertoff should not be allowed to abuse the trust the public has placed in him as a former public servant to privately gain from the sale of full-body scanners under the pretense that the scanners would have detected this particular type of explosive,” said Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights.org, which opposes the use of the scanners.

Full Body Scanner Lobby: Michael Chertoff & Rapiscan (Now Public)

Full body scanners are another attack on your health, freedom and of course your money, because you will pay for them destroying your health and take away your freedom:

Full-Body Scanners Emitting ‘High-Energy’ Radiation Increase Cancer Risk (NoWorldSystem):

There is just no “safe” dose of radiation, 50% of America’s cancers are radiation-induced.

How Terahertz Waves Tear Apart DNA (Technology Review – MIT):

Alexandrov and co have created a model to investigate how THz fields interact with double-stranded DNA and what they’ve found is remarkable. They say that although the forces generated are tiny, resonant effects allow THz waves to unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication. That’s a jaw dropping conclusion.

Continuing Its Path of Health Destruction: Canada Approves Harmful Airport Scanners (Prevent Disease):

“Anything that interferes with DNA replication can cause cell death,” said geneticist Andrew Lau. “Cell mutations and chromosomal aberrations would likely be more common once such scanners are implemented.” Lau stated that the cumulative radiation would likely affect passengers in the long-term.

The Germans still ‘pretend’ to use their brains before they will ‘eventually’ give in and install the scanners:

Europe Debates Use of Full-Body Scanners at Airports (New York Times):

Germany’s position, he said, is that the scanners cannot be deployed until it has been shown that they will improve security, that they are not a health hazard and that they will not be so invasive that they harm individuals’ rights.

So we will see body scanners everywhere because of another inside job:

US government lies about Flight 253 ‘crotch bomber’ patsy: Summary of the evidence; Yemen attack implication (Examiner)

Evidence Mounts for US Complicity in Terrorism (Veterans Today)

———–

“The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaeda. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US.”
– Robin Cook, Former British Foreign Secretary

“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.”
– Adolf Hitler

“The easiest way to gain control of the population is to carry out acts of terror. The public will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened.
– Joseph Stalin


New scanners break child porn laws

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A 12-month trial at Manchester airport of full body scanners only went ahead last month after under-18s were exempted. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

The rapid introduction of full body scanners at British airports threatens to breach child protection laws which ban the creation of indecent images of children, the Guardian has learned.

Privacy campaigners claim the images created by the machines are so graphic they amount to “virtual strip-searching” and have called for safeguards to protect the privacy of passengers involved.

Ministers now face having to exempt under 18s from the scans or face the delays of introducing new legislation to ensure airport security staff do not commit offences under child pornography laws.

They also face demands from civil liberties groups for safeguards to ensure that images from the £80,000 scanners, including those of celebrities, do not end up on the internet. The Department for Transport confirmed that the “child porn” problem was among the “legal and operational issues” now under discussion in Whitehall after Gordon Brown’s announcement on Sunday that he wanted to see their “gradual” introduction at British airports.

A 12-month trial at Manchester airport of scanners which reveal naked images of passengers including their genitalia and breast enlargements, only went ahead last month after under-18s were exempted.

Read moreThe Full Body Scanner Invasion; New Scanners Break Child Porn Laws

Two American Girls aged 12 and 14 rob a bank in Ohio

Two American girls, believed to be aged 12 and 14, are being hunted by police over a bank robbery.

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Two young girls rob bank…Police are hunting two young girls – one believed to be just 12 year-old – who robbed a bank in the middle of the afternoon. The two girls, who were wearing matching blue sweatshirts, calmly walked into the First National Bank i Photo: SPLASH

The young girls walked into a branch of 1st National Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio and handed a note to the cashier demanding money.

According to police the note implied the girls would harm employees if the money was not given to them. They did not appear to have any weapons.

Staff complied and the girls walked out with a bag full of money. They then evaded an extensive police search which included a helicopter and sniffer dogs.

Read moreTwo American Girls aged 12 and 14 rob a bank in Ohio

UK: Pensioners are burning books to keep warm

Hard-up pensioners have resorted to buying books from charity shops and burning them to keep warm.

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Volunteers have reported that ‘a large number’ of elderly customers are snapping up hardbacks as cheap fuel for their fires and stoves.

Temperatures this week are forecast to plummet as low as -13ºC in the Scottish Highlands, with the mercury falling to -6ºC in London, -5ºC in Birmingham and -7ºC in Manchester as one of the coldest winters in years continues to bite.

Workers at one charity shop in Swansea, in south Wales, described how the most vulnerable shoppers were seeking out thick books such as encyclopaedias for a few pence because they were cheaper than coal.

One assistant said: ‘Book burning seems terribly wrong but we have to get rid of unsold stock for pennies and some of the pensioners say the books make ideal slow-burning fuel for fires and stoves.

A lot of them buy up large hardback volumes so they can stick them in the fire to last all night.’

A 500g book can sell for as little as 5p, while a 20kg bag of coal costs £5.

Since January 2008, gas bills have risen 40 per cent and electricity prices 20 per cent, although people over 60 are entitled to a winter fuel allowance of between £125 and £400.

Read moreUK: Pensioners are burning books to keep warm

As an American, I refuse to buy mandatory health insurance … that supports Big Pharma

Breaking Americans down, one family at a time

“… if tens of millions of Americans can’t afford health insurance now, how are they supposed to afford to pay the fine for not buying any?”

“… the whole point of the health care reform bill is to destroy American families.”

Why would the IRS now be invoked to enforce this medical racket? The answer can only be that somewhere at the top of government, someone is diligently working to destroy America.

The collapse of an empire isn’t pretty.


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(NaturalNews) Even if Obama’s health care reform bill becomes law, mandating that all Americans buy health insurance policies for a failed system of “sick care”, I will refuse to comply. I’ve read the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights, and nowhere in that document do I find that the federal government has the power to force consumers to purchase for-profit insurance products from private companies.

The very basis of the health care reform bill is, at its core, unconstitutional. If this mandate is allowed to stand, it sets a dangerous precedent for the U.S. government to require us to purchase other products and services from whatever industries it chooses to support. What’s next? Will the government pass a law forcing us to buy pharmaceuticals at thousands of dollars a year? Will it force us to purchase U.S.-made automobiles in order to boost the automobile industry? Is our economic free choice now centrally planned by our own government operating like Communist China?

This is a serious question that Constitutional scholars will no doubt be debating in the months ahead. But who am I kidding anyway? The U.S. government has long since abandoned the U.S. Constitution and no has any intention of abiding by it. Want proof? Read just one amendment: the 10th amendment.

Check out the website www.TenthAmendmentCenter.com which carries a highly relevant article on this matter: Health Care Nullification and Interposition (http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com…). It paraphrases James Madison, saying, “…state governments not only have the right to resist unconstitutional federal acts, but that, in order to protect liberty, they are ‘duty bound to interpose’ or stand between the federal government and the people of the state.”

Read moreAs an American, I refuse to buy mandatory health insurance … that supports Big Pharma

Japan: When Home Is a Tiny Plastic Bunk Barely Bigger Than A Coffin

Atsushi Nakanishi has condensed his possessions to two suitcases, which he stores in lockers at the capsule hotel where he lives.

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Atsushi Nakanishi is among the jobless living in a capsule hotel, renting a bunk with no door.

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The capsules have no doors, only screens that pull down. Every bump of the shoulder on the plastic walls, every muffled cough, echoes loudly through the rows.

OKYO — For Atsushi Nakanishi, jobless since Christmas, home is a cubicle barely bigger than a coffin — one of dozens of berths stacked two units high in one of central Tokyo’s decrepit “capsule” hotels.

“It’s just a place to crawl into and sleep,” he said, rolling his neck and stroking his black suit — one of just two he owns after discarding the rest of his wardrobe for lack of space. “You get used to it.”

When Capsule Hotel Shinjuku 510 opened nearly two decades ago, Japan was just beginning to pull back from its bubble economy, and the hotel’s tiny plastic cubicles offered a night’s refuge to salarymen who had missed the last train home.

Now, Hotel Shinjuku 510’s capsules, no larger than 6 1/2 feet long by 5 feet wide, and not tall enough to stand up in, have become an affordable option for some people with nowhere else to go as Japan endures its worst recession since World War II.

Once-booming exporters laid off workers en masse in 2009 as the global economic crisis pushed down demand. Many of the newly unemployed, forced from their company-sponsored housing or unable to make rent, have become homeless.

The country’s woes have led the government to open emergency shelters over the New Year holiday in a nationwide drive to help the homeless. The Democratic Party, which swept to power in September, wants to avoid the fate of the previous pro-business government, which was caught off-guard when unemployed workers pitched tents near public offices last year to call attention to their plight.

“In this bitter-cold New Year’s season, the government intends to do all it can to help those who face hardship,” Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said in a video posted Dec. 26 on YouTube. “You are not alone.”

On Friday, he visited a Tokyo shelter housing 700 homeless people, telling reporters that “help can’t wait.”

Read moreJapan: When Home Is a Tiny Plastic Bunk Barely Bigger Than A Coffin

Auschwitz Sign Theft Linked to Neo-Nazi Bomb Plot to Attack The Swedish Parliament

Thieves contracted by a neo-Nazi group that planned to sell sign to fund attacks in Sweden, newspaper claims

Arbeit Macht Frei sign at Auschwitz
The Auschwitz sign before it was stolen Photograph: Irek Dorozanski/Reuters

It sounds like the plot of a Steig Larsson thriller: a band of eastern European criminals is contracted to steal an iconic piece of Nazi memorabilia, which is then sold to a mysterious collector to finance a neofascist bomb attack on the Swedish parliament.

But today it emerged that Swedish investigators are helping Polish detectives investigate the theft of the sign from Auschwitz, amid reports that the robbery was linked to a rightwing terror plot.

The wrought iron plaque reading Arbeit Macht Frei (work sets you free) which spanned the entrance at the former Nazi death camp was wrenched from the gate on 18 December, and recovered three days later, cut into three pieces, in a forest in northern Poland.

The robbery prompted Poland to declare a state of emergency, and provoked impassioned calls for the sign’s return from concentration camp survivors and the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.

The five men being held in police custody in Krakow in connection with the theft have been described by Polish prosecutors as common criminals who had apparently acted for financial gain.

Read moreAuschwitz Sign Theft Linked to Neo-Nazi Bomb Plot to Attack The Swedish Parliament

Obamacare to expand IRS role: Checking if Americans have health insurance


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(USA TODAY) Internal Revenue Service agents already try to catch tax cheats and moonshiners. Under the proposed health care legislation, they would get another assignment: checking to see whether Americans have health insurance.

The legislation would require most Americans to have health insurance and to prove it on their federal tax returns. Those who don’t would pay a penalty to the IRS.

That’s one of several key duties the IRS would assume under the bills that have been approved by the House of Representatives and Senate and will be merged by negotiators from both chambers.

The agency also would distribute as much as $140 billion a year in new government subsidies to help small employers and as many as 19 million lower-income people buy coverage.

In addition, the IRS would collect hundreds of billions of dollars in new fees on employers, drug companies and device makers, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Some critics of the health bill question whether the IRS, which has struggled in recent years with budget problems, staffing shortages and outdated computer systems, will be up to the job of enforcing the mandate and efficiently handling the subsidies.

“It’s hard to see how the IRS could take on the huge responsibility it would be given under pending health care legislation without some real glitches, or worse,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. He voted against the bill, as did every other Republican senator.

The CBO estimated the IRS would need $5 billion to $10 billion in the first decade to cover the costs of its expanded role. The IRS’ annual budget is currently $11.5 billion.

Read moreObamacare to expand IRS role: Checking if Americans have health insurance

The Degrading Effects of Terrorism Fears in America

“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.”
– Adolf Hitler

Problem, Reaction, Solution:

Former homeland security chief Michael Chertoff puts his mouth where his money is and argues for whole-body imaging (Washington Post):

What he has made little mention of is that the Chertoff Group, his security consulting agency, includes a client that manufactures the machines. The relationship drew attention after Chertoff disclosed it on a CNN program Wednesday, in response to a question.

An airport passengers’ rights group on Thursday criticized Chertoff, who left office less than a year ago, for using his former government credentials to advocate for a product that benefits his clients.

“Mr. Chertoff should not be allowed to abuse the trust the public has placed in him as a former public servant to privately gain from the sale of full-body scanners under the pretense that the scanners would have detected this particular type of explosive,” said Kate Hanni, founder of FlyersRights.org, which opposes the use of the scanners.


I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but David Brooks actually had an excellent column in yesterday’s New York Times that makes several insightful and important points.  Brooks documents how “childish, contemptuous and hysterical” the national reaction has been to this latest terrorist episode, egged on — as usual — by the always-hysterical American media.  The citizenry has been trained to expect that our Powerful Daddies and Mommies in government will — in that most cringe-inducing, child-like formulation — Keep Us Safe.  Whenever the Government fails to do so, the reaction — just as we saw this week — is an ugly combination of petulant, adolescent rage and increasingly unhinged cries that More Be Done to ensure that nothing bad in the world ever happens.  Demands that genuinely inept government officials be held accountable are necessary and wise, but demands that political leaders ensure that we can live in womb-like Absolute Safety are delusional and destructive.  Yet this is what the citizenry screams out every time something threatening happens:  please, take more of our privacy away; monitor more of our communications; ban more of us from flying; engage in rituals to create the illusion of Strength; imprison more people without charges; take more and more control and power so you can Keep Us Safe.

This is what inevitably happens to a citizenry that is fed a steady diet of fear and terror for years.  It regresses into pure childhood.  The 5-year-old laying awake in bed, frightened by monsters in the closet, who then crawls into his parents’ bed to feel Protected and Safe, is the same as a citizenry planted in front of the television, petrified by endless imagery of scary Muslim monsters, who then collectively crawl to Government and demand that they take more power and control in order to keep them Protected and Safe.  A citizenry drowning in fear and fixated on Safety to the exclusion of other competing values can only be degraded and depraved.  John Adams, in his 1776 Thoughts on Government, put it this way:

Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.

As Adams noted, political leaders possess an inherent interest in maximizing fear levels, as that is what maximizes their power.  For a variety of reasons, nobody aids this process more than our establishment media, motivated by their own interests in ratcheting up fear and Terrorism melodrama as high as possible.  The result is a citizenry far more terrorized by our own institutions than foreign Terrorists could ever dream of achieving on their own.  For that reason, a risk that is completely dwarfed by numerous others — the risk of death from Islamic Terrorism — dominates our discourse, paralyzes us with fear, leads us to destroy our economic security and eradicate countless lives in more and more foreign wars, and causes us to beg and plead and demand that our political leaders invade more of our privacy, seize more of our freedom, and radically alter the system of government we were supposed to have.  The one thing we don’t do is ask whether we ourselves are doing anything to fuel this problem and whether we should stop doing it.  As Adams said:  fear “renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable.”

What makes all of this most ironic is that the American Founding was predicated on exactly the opposite mindset.  The Constitution is grounded in the premise that there are other values and priorities more important than mere Safety.  Even though they knew that doing so would help murderers and other dangerous and vile criminals evade capture, the Framers banned the Government from searching homes without probable cause, prohibited compelled self-incrimination, double jeopardy and convictions based on hearsay, and outlawed cruel and unusual punishment.  That’s because certain values — privacy, due process, limiting the potential for abuse of government power — were more important than mere survival and safety.  A central calculation of the Constitution was that we insist upon privacy, liberty and restraints on government power even when doing so means we live with less safety and a heightened risk of danger and death.  And, of course, the Revolutionary War against the then-greatest empire on earth was waged by people who risked their lives and their fortunes in pursuit of liberty, precisely because there are other values that outweigh mere survival and safety.

These are the calculations that are now virtually impossible to find in our political discourse.  It is fear, and only fear, that predominates.  No other competing values are recognized.  We have Chris Matthews running around shrieking that he’s scared of kung-fu-wielding Terrorists.  Michael Chertoff is demanding that we stop listening to “privacy ideologues” — i.e., that there should be no limits on Government’s power to invade and monitor and scrutinize.  Republican leaders have spent the decade preaching that only Government-provided Safety, not the Constitution, matters.  All in response to this week’s single failed terrorist attack, there are — as always — hysterical calls that we start more wars, initiate racial profiling, imprison innocent people indefinitely, and torture even more indiscriminately.  These are the by-products of the weakness and panic and paralyzing fear that Americans have been fed in the name of Terrorism, continuously for a full decade now.

Read moreThe Degrading Effects of Terrorism Fears in America