The Daily Show – Start Wars*
The Daily Show – Start Wars*
A New Illinois Law Threatens to Take away Home Alone Children*
By S. Wooten
Erica May Carey being arrested while her children are taken away
Erica May Carey being arrested while her children are taken away
A new Illinois law is threatening parents who leave their children home alone if they are 13-years-old or younger. The new Illinois law states that parents who leave 13-year-olds home are guilty of neglect, and subject to arrest, as well as their children being taken away by police.
The new law states that “any minor under the age of 14 years whose parent or other person responsible for the minor’s welfare leaves the minor without supervision for an unreasonable period of time without regard for the mental or physical health, safety, or welfare of that minor” is now considered “neglected.”
This is the strictest law related to child neglect in the entire nation. Most states do not have a minimum age for leaving children home alone.
In three states, 12 is set as the minimum age. Once you are a teenager, even they say you are old enough to be left home alone.
Three other states set the bar at 8-years-old. Kansas says 6 is the minimum age. But more than 30 states say it is all very relative and the State should not define neglect based upon a sweeping generalization of age.
The Illinois law says that any child left home “without supervision” for “an unreasonable period of time” is being left “without regard for his or her mental or physical, health, safety or welfare.”
The law, seemingly intentionally, neglects to define “unreasonable period of time” or “regard for the mental or physical health, safety or welfare.” This way, police get to discriminate and determine who they think is being “unreasonable.” Do you think they will make this call in affluent areas or poor ones?
We all know the answer to this question.
The law was written to discriminate against those communities which are already disempowered.
Furthermore, the law says that taken children away can be done by police without a warrant.
Even if a court later decides that the parents were in the right, the damage to the children and family has already been done. As well, it puts the onus on innocent parents to prove their innocence, based on police subjectively deciding that they think a 13-year-old left at home is being “neglected.”
Nearly all 13-year olds are capable of being left at home while their parents are at work or run out to the store. This law disproportionally targets single-parent households, where one parent is unable to stay at home with a child in this case. As well, lower-income households in general seem to be the target of the legislation.
As this is in Illinois, it is worth noting that Chicago Public Schools have the shortest school days in the nation. This would mean that the working poor would have to fork over money for daycare for their 13-year-olds, or face arrest and having their children taken away. Put simply, this is absurd.
In Brazil Monsanto’s Roundup is Causing Cancer after Approving 3 GM Crops*
By Christina Sarich*
Brazilian authorities recently approved new types of GM corn and soy meant to be used with 2,4-D chemicals, as well as a genetically modified eucalyptus trees. But it seems the country is divided. Brazil’s National Cancer Institute just echoed the World Health Organization’s concern that glyphosate, one of the most often used biotech chemicals in the world, is cancerous. What’s more, it condemns GM crops for placing the country in the top ranking globally for pesticide consumption.
So which is it – support biotech or kick them out of your country, Brazil?
If you ask Brazil’s National Cancer Institute (NCI), glyphosate use and GM crops are putting the country in the top ten for pesticide consumption – and this doesn’t bode well for keeping cancer at bay. As one of the largest agrochemical users in the world, Brazil’s cancer institute seems to be at odds with its regulatory agencies which have allowed three new GM crops into the country just last week – new strains of GM corn and soy meant to be used with 2,4-D and GM eucalyptus trees which consume more water than non-GM trees.
In a (translated) report administered by the NCI, a part of the country’s ministry of health, GM crops are painted as devilish:
“Importantly, the release of transgenic seeds in Brazil was one of the factors responsible for putting the country in first place in the ranking of agrochemical consumption – since the cultivation of these modified seeds requires the use of large quantities of these products.
The cropping pattern with the intensive use of pesticides generates major harms, including environmental pollution and poisoning of workers and the population in general. Acute pesticide poisoning is the best known effect and affects especially those exposed in the workplace (occupational exposure). This is characterized by effects such as irritation of the skin and eyes, itching, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, spasms, breathing difficulties, seizures and death.”
As a writer from the US, I’m not one to talk; my own country’s policies toward GM crops are abominable, but the division in Brazil’s Ministry of Health and the biotech-supporting Agricultural Ministry of Brazil are at least indicative of some truth telling. Both our Departments of Agriculture and Centers for Disease Control, along with other Federal agencies, are complicit in ignoring the true damage that GM farming causes.
The NCI’s report also explains:
“The most recent results of the Analytical Program on Pesticide Residues of Brazil’s health agency ANVISA revealed samples with pesticide residues above the maximum permissible limit.”
Many of the pesticides present in Brazil’s food had never been registered in Brazil nor allowed by government agencies.
Considering that new GM corn and soy strains will be used with heavy doses of 2,4-D, it looks like Brazil, like the US, has a long way to go to rid the country of biotech influence. The NCI’s report is at least a start.
Woman Cites Religious Freedom Law to Defend Her Right to Feed the Homeless*
By Bryce Covert
Joan Cheever being ticketed by San Antonio police
Joan Cheever of San Antonio has been serving meals to the city’s homeless for 10 years. But last week, police officers handed her a ticket with a potential fine of $2,000. Despite having a food permit for the food truck she cooks out of, which she calls the Chow Train, she was cited for transporting and serving it from a different vehicle.
But that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to hand out three-course meals to the homeless. On Friday, she went back to Maverick Park with 50 supporters to hand out food, and this time she wasn’t ticketed. Cheever has argued that she has a right to feed the homeless under Texas’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act because she considers it exercising her religious beliefs.
Her situation has caught the attention of the city council. Councilman Ron Nirenberg called for a hearing on how city police deal with its homeless population, which numbers nearly 3,000, saying,
“We need to do what we can to identify smart policy that helps us encourage compassion, rather than discourage it.”
Their tactics have come under scrutiny before after an investigation found that in under two years, they had handed out more than 12,000 citations to the homeless themselves for violating ordinances aimed at criminalizing homelessness. Offenses range from “aggressive panhandling” to sitting or lying down in a public right of way.
But plenty of other cities have used similar tactics against the homeless and those who seek to help them. Arnold Abbott, a 90-year-old veteran, has been arrested and cited for feeding the homeless in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida after the city passed an ordinance to crack down on people who hand food to the homeless. In Daytona Beach, Florida, a couple was given a more than $600 fine. A pastor in Birmingham, Alabama was blocked from feeding the homeless because he didn’t have a $500 permit needed to comply with a new regulation for food trucks.
Meanwhile, ordinances aimed at criminalizing homelessness such as bans on panhandling, lying down, having possessions in public, and sharing food have been on the rise at the city and state level.
Other places take a different approach. Some are considering enacting a Homeless Bill of Rights that would enshrine their right to move about freely, rest in public, and accept and eat food. Three states already have such laws. Others have housed entire portions of their homeless populations by taking a housing first approach that puts the homeless into housing and then addresses any other issues they may have. That ends up being much more cost effective than leaving them outside where they are at risk of police encounters and emergency room visits.
The Truth about Dalai Lama
From Alexandra Bruce
The current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, likes to advertise his country as aspiring to be a pacifist utopia. But looking to history we can learn that Buddhist priests utilized Mongolian army to seize control of the country from Tibetan kings. Throughout the 1960s, in defiance of communist China, the Central Intelligence Agency funded Gyatso to the tune of millions of dollars.
Dalai Lama is a title given to the leader and high priest of the Yellow Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism, who is considered to be the incarnation of the bodhisattva – a human being who has achieved an “enlightened” state – of compassion.
Tenzin Gyatso, the main subject of this presentation, is the 14th Dalai Lama and is thought of as a reincarnation of his predecessor – the 13th.
Buddhism originated from the Buddha, a prince in north-eastern India, who abandoned the ruling class in search of a way to end the cycle of reincarnation – which was a core principle in Indian Hinduism – and thus overcome human suffering.
What is the truth about Dalai Lama?
Delaying Today does not Earn Interest*
Escaping the NSA Twitter Moves non-U.S. Accounts to Ireland*
The move allows Twitter to cover the accounts of users not based in the U.S. from the scrutiny of the National Security Agency. In the U.S., Twitter must comply with NSA-led court requests for data.
The new policy may also allow Twitter to engage in advertising practices using user information in ways which may not be allowed under U.S. law.
Ireland is recognized as having some of the most lenient privacy laws in Europe.
All U.S.-based accounts will still be handled by Twitter Inc from San Francisco.
In a privacy update post, Twitter delivered the following statement.
“If you live outside the United States, our services are now provided to you by Twitter International Company, our company based in Dublin, Ireland. Twitter International Company will be responsible for handling your account information under Irish privacy and data protection law, which is based on the European Union’s Data Protection Directive.”
The privacy update goes into affect on May 18, 2015.
The change, however, is not new for a social networking company as Facebook has adopted a similar practice.