WelcomeTo My World

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

My Encounter with a Homeless Marine, His Wife and 4 Year Old

by danmaddox
Just experienced something that shook me to the core and I can't explain why but it did as I'm known to the people that know me for being a semi life hardened kind of guy . I've seen homeless people before many times in my life, but never a couple with a child. Most of the time in San Francisco it's easy to walk by as you can tell they're drug addicts or just plain scammers with signs at intersections. This time was different. Much different. Life Changing Different.
On my way to the San Bruno Post Office Just outside of San Francisco to mail off some eBay boxes I saw this couple just sitting in the corner of the lot, not begging or panhandling but just looking over their belongings as a 3-4 year old boy came running around the corner right into me falling on the floor.
The mother came over and apologized and I noticed how dirty she was and could tell she had been on the streets for at least a couple of weeks. She looked to be mid twenties. In a typical mother fashion she pulled him along telling him to watch out and be careful.
The whole time I was in line at the Post Office I really wasn't there mentally as I was trying to find any other logical explanation other than a 4 year old being a homeless kid. I just couldn't comprehend it.
On the way out I made a beeline straight to my car in a hurry looking down at the parking lot the whole way out. As I backed out I couldn't help it, I threw it back into park and walked over to them.
Found out the guy was a 27 year old former combat Marine that had served four tours and had been out 2 years. He had lost his job a few months ago working at a warehouse. He jokingly said, but was absolutely factual when he stated that "Unemployment insurance makes you a well funded homeless person in Cali". Neither one had any family that could or would help.
He's right, $700 a month really won't do a whole lot for you in California. He said he tried to re-enlist but the Marines aren't exactly hiring right now and are actually pushing people out. He wasn't a poser as any of you Vets know it's easy to spot. You can just tell.
When I tried to give them the last $10.00 in my pocket he wouldn't take it but said if I wanted to help him out I could walk with him inside the Safeway so he could get his kid some juice. Every time he goes in there the managers run him out as his family had camped out behind the store a few times. He said he guessed a homeless family was bad for business as he said he never once did anything wrong in there except use the restroom too many times he guessed.
I took them down to Safeway and went inside with him. He paid for the juice and few groceries with a Wells Fargo debit card so I know he wasn't lying about the source of a small income. Apparently he was indeed known to the crew at Safeway as the cashier told him he better hurry before he was spotted in there. I told her I was with him and she just smiled.
Getting back to the car the little boy was asleep. He woke them up and got their stroller out of the car with their back packs. He extended his hand and said thanks Sir, I appreciate the kindness and if you know of anyone looking for a hard worker let me know.
I told him I lived not far away and my wife and I wouldn't mind if they cleaned up and took a hot shower. He declined and explained if your clean on the streets you're a target as other homeless can sense when you have two cents more than them. Apparently you're target also if you appear homeless at Safeway too.
Feeling totally helpless to help them I said "What are you going to do son"
I'm not ashamed to admit my eyes teared up when he said "Improvise, Overcome and Adapt Sir, Semper Fi"
I just stood there frozen in disbelief, anger and sadness as I watched them cross the street and fade into San Bruno National Cemetery. I'll never forget this as long as I live. This definitely isn't the same United States of America I grew up in. What in the hell has happened to this country?

Psychopaths aren't just mentally different - their brains are physically deformed to prevent them feeling fear or guilt


  • Brains of psychopaths have 'broken links' between parts responsible for empathy and guilt

  • MRI scan can determine if someone is a psychopath

  • One per cent of people are psychopaths - but four per cent of business leaders

  • Research offers hope of a 'cure'

  • Psychopaths such as Hannibal Lecter - Anthony Hopkins' character in Silence of the Lambs - have detectable, physical differences in their brains. The news could help 'screen' for psychopaths - and even help treat the formerly untreatable disorder
    Psychopaths such as Hannibal Lecter - Anthony Hopkins' character in Silence of the Lambs - have detectable, physical differences in their brains. The news could help 'screen' for psychopaths - and even help treat the formerly untreatable disorder
    Psychopaths such as Hannibal Lecter - Anthony Hopkins' character in the film The Silence of the Lambs - are callous, anti-social and sometimes violent. They are incapable of feeling empathy or guilt.
    Many lead 'normal' - even successful - lives. In fact, a recent study suggested that up to one in 25 business leaders may be psychopaths.
    One per cent of the population at large is generally reckoned to be psychopathic - but up to 20 per cent of the prison population is reckoned to be psychopathic.
    The disorder prevents people feeling 'empathy' towards other people, or guilt for offences. 
    Psychopaths don't suffer from delusions, though, so serve their jail terms in ordinary prisons, rather than mental facilities - and many are highly adept at 'pretending' to think in the same way as normal people.
    New research has uncovered that manipulative, callous and sometimes violent behaviour could actually be hard-wired into psychopaths from birth.
    The disorder is untreatable - and this discovery could unlock new ways to understand, and perhaps even treat the disorder. 
    Ameriocan researchers took a magnetic-resonance imaging scanner to a medium security prison in Wisconsin, and scanned the brains of 40 prisoners in a doing time for similar offences, half of whom had been diagnosed with psychopathy. 

    'I hope our research will shed light on the source of psychopathy - and strategies for treating it' 

    Results of the study revealed both structural and functional abnormalities in the brains of the psychopaths, with scientists finding there was less communication between two key areas of their brains than the other prisoners. 
    The first of these structures, known as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, is responsible for emotions including empathy and guilt. 
    The second, called the amygdala, controls levels of fear and anxiety. 
    It is thought the lack of communication between these two areas makes it difficult for psychopaths to regulate their social and emotional behaviour. 
    Study author Professor Michael Koenigs, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison said the two structures 'seemed not to be communicating as they should.'
    There was evidence not only of physical diffferences in white matter, but of electrical activity in the areas connecting the two.
    Professor Koenigs, whose findings were published in the Journal of Neuroscience added: 'This is the first study to show both structural and functional differences in the brains of people diagnosed with psychopathy.'
    'The decision-making study showed indirectly what this study shows directly - that there is a specific brain abnormality associated with criminal psychopathy.'
    Magnetic resonance scan MRI of the head computer enhanced and colorized: Scans of psychopaths show that 'links' present in normal people are lacking in the psychopathic brain
    Magnetic resonance scan MRI of the head computer enhanced and colorized: Scans of psychopaths show that 'links' present in normal people are lacking in the psychopathic brain
    Co-author Professor Joseph Newman added: 'The combination of structural and functional abnormalities provides compelling evidence that the dysfunction observed in this crucial social-emotional circuitry is a stable characteristic of our psychopathic offenders.' 
    The research builds on earlier work by Newman and Koenigs that showed that psychopaths' decision-making mirrors that of patients with known damage to their ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC).

    'I am optimistic that our ongoing collaborative work will shed more light on the source of this dysfunction and strategies for treating the problem,' says Newman.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2065161/Psychopaths-arent-just-mentally-different--brains-physically-deformed-prevent-feeling-fear-guilt.html#ixzz1fCycpP5r

    Tuesday, 29 November 2011

    Take Our Children, Please! A Modest Proposal for Occupy Wall Street

    In 1729, when Ireland had fallen into a state of utter destitution at the hands of its British landlords, Jonathan Swift published a famous essay, “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being A Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public.”
    His idea was simple: the starving Irish should sell their own children to the rich as food.
    His inspiration, as it happened, came from across the Atlantic. As he explained, “I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young, healthy child well nourished is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragoust.”
    Inspired in turn by Swift, I want to suggest that we put in motion a similar undertaking: on January 16th, Martin Luther King Day, citizens from around the country should gather at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street. Let’s call this macabre gathering -- with luck and even worse times, it should be mammoth -- “We Surrender” or “Restore Debtor’s Prisons” or “De-Fault Is Ours” or “Collateralize Us.” And plan on a mirthful day of mourning.
    The basic idea is that we offer ourselves up, 99% of us anyway, on the altar of high finance as a sacrifice to the bond markets. It was Karl Marx who first observed that high finance is “the Vatican of capitalism.” How right he turned out to be -- right with a vengeance!
    The Death of Democracy
    Whole governments, democratically elected, are collapsing, or abdicating on orders from our secular version of the papacy. Who will weep for the passing of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi? Not many, surely. Still, it’s appalling that, in Italy as in Greece, governing authority has been usurped by technocrats, elected by no one, answerable only to the European institutions of high finance that installed them in power.
    At last count, eight governments of the European Union have come and gone, suffering the wrath of our new god. Other European governments barely hang on and scurry to curry favor with the bond market, proposing in effect to eat their own children and the futures of 99% of their people, if that’s what it takes to make high finance happy. More will follow. By the time this piece was published, who would be surprised if yet another government had bitten the dust.
    What about here in the U.S.A.? That capitalism and democracy go together (like love and marriage in that old song) has been the imperial boast conveyed to the rest of the world by American banks and diplomats and presidents and Marines for a century -- and more recently, by crony capitalist outfits like KBR and predator drones. Today, at home and abroad that particular gospel seems a sorry piece of hypocrisy. Capitalism has become a synonym for -- to use an old word on its way back just in time -- plutocracy, not democracy. The Obama administration like the Bush administration before it, and the one before that, and the one before that, has bent its knee to “the Vatican of capitalism.”
    Take Our Children, Please!
    Anticipating Swift, we are already eating our own children or, at least, the futures available to them. My suggestion is to make the most of that reality.
    When we assemble on January 16th, we should arrive as supplicants, bringing the deeds to our homes, if we still have them. We could come dressed as credit-default swaps or collateralized debt obligations. (Use your imagination!)
    You’ll want to turn in your subprime mortgage documents. And do you really need that mobile home or tent? And certainly, you’ll want to offer up your children to Wall Street if they’re young enough to make a “delicious” and nourishing meal. If a bit older, haul along that creaky swing-set from your backyard, or dilapidated blackboards and outmoded computer consoles from your child’s underfunded, disintegrating school. Bring with you the paints, recorders, and stage props once used by art, music, and theater teachers, but made superfluous when their programs were cut by schools too poor to afford them.
    If your children are older still, and waterlogged from the college loans that put them “underwater” before they even had their first jobs, why not donate those debts as securitized gifts to the Street? Better yet: give back their college diplomas.
    If you can, cart along vats of heating oil or coal bins to symbolize the winter fuel that you can no longer afford. (Thank god for global warming!) Declare yourself undocumented or at the very least “undeserving” (a prematurely retired and wonderfully apt word used by the 1% back in the late nineteenth century to describe those who apparently preferred starving to working). Turn in your food stamps and unemployment insurance checks.
    If you happen to have a job, return it or tithe a portion of your wages or pension for the cause.
    Give back your votes; they do you no good, but might placate The Street. If you’re not too shy, donate your medical records, x-rays, CAT scans and IV drips; you won’t need them anymore since the odds are you won’t be able to afford health care, and Wall Street can use them. After all, who is more endlessly ingenious when it comes to turning misery into money?
    Here’s a really big January 16th gesture if you’re up for it: securitize your body parts. What, for example, is a leg- or ear- or brainpan-derivative really worth on the open market? You don’t know, but Wall Street will. And you can think of it as your contribution to solving the deficit dilemma, which keeps the 1% awake at night.
    My poor imagination is hardly up to the task of imagining all the ways in which we might express our fealty to Wall Street’s financiers. But we, the partisans of OWS, are if nothing else a remarkably creative bunch. I’m confident that, when we get together on the 16th of January, the world will marvel at our inventiveness.
    An Archipelago of Isolation Chambers
    However “Swiftian” our mood, signage, and costumes, however much we retain the vital capacity to laugh at our own predicament and make fun of our tormentors, what I’m proposing is, in the end, serious business. A massive “Collateralize Us” day is doable -- and through its wit could embolden us and shame those in charge of the care and feeding of the 1%. More important, it could put in the most graphic terms, where everyone could see it, a core indictment of a system in ruins and perhaps even hint at what might replace it.
    Why pick a single day and a single place to symbolically immolate our own children (and their children to come)? Why not continue to occupy as many places as we can on all days? We should!
    However, the simple epiphany that OWS allowed millions to experience was its blunt discovery that Wall Street, the world of financial mis-engineers and predatory speculators, was the taproot of our multiple dilemmas. For people around the globe, that street remains, at least symbolically, the site where our misbegotten Age of Austerity was born. So it makes continuing sense to persevere in pressing that singular insight, in pursuing a determination to confront a dysfunctional system where it originates.
    So, too, local governments around the country have consistently used their police forces to cage, disperse, or otherwise fragment local occupations and may even have coordinated their police “occupations” with one another. “Our streets” are ever less “ours” in any meaningful sense. The geography of democracy is being transformed into an archipelago of isolation chambers.
    But that won’t be the case if untold numbers assemble in New York on the 16th. If every movement and organization that has had anything to do with OWS over these last months were to collaborate in mobilizing, even on the bitterest of January days, the streets will again be “ours.”
    Martin Luther King and Jubilee Day
    Then, of course, there is the resonant significance of the day itself. Martin Luther King was a lawbreaker for justice. So, too, were all those who defied “legitimate authority” alongside him. I’m not suggesting we break the law. I do suggest we exercise rights that are growing weak, and will grow weaker, if allowed to atrophy further. And I do suggest as well that we, like King, become the midwives of new law.
    If credit-default swaps and structured investment vehicles are legal, as they are, and if marching in the streets is becoming ever less so, as it is, then on January 16th we should begin to turn that kind of preposterous world upside down. What was lawful shall become criminal and what was denied to the people shall be taken by them and made good law.
    When we gather on the 16th of January at the corner of Broad and Wall streets -- don’t worry, you’ll find it! -- in an act of unprecedented symbolic self-sacrifice, we might also make one modest request. With Martin Luther King in mind, let us propose that January 16th also become Jubilee Day.
    Such days were a more or less regular part of the calendar in biblical times and long after. It was the moment when common people were relieved of their crushing debts and the world was allowed to start over again. Our own version of such a “day of forgiveness” would focus on all the debts with which the 1% have burdened so many working people.
    On that day, we might resume a conversation about how to start the world anew. It would undoubtedly be a conversation about all the vital resources that everyone depends on to enjoy life, be healthy, and have a future worthy of bequeathing to our children. It would certainly be about how these must never again be allowed to congeal in the hands of an infinitesimal elite organized in a tiny number of private institutions indifferent to the commonweal and immune from censure.
    See you on the 16th. Bring your children.

    Def Poetry - Amiri Baraka - Why is We Americans


    As angered and upset as we are by Smileys death and the IPCC's recent response we must remain resilient and keep fighting.. On days like these 'justice for all' seems so far away, likened to a distant blur on the horizon but.. We must have faith and remember that it's our obligation as long as we have life to fight for what is right! For in that noble struggle for justice and equality, there is no greater idealism worth living or dying for. M.E

    support & fight for justice for SmileyCulture

    The fight back has already begun join us support & fight for justice for SmileyCulture and many many more families across the uk its time to turn up the heat for 2012. Enough sitting down and watching the world go by or raving your life away wake up! wake up! our people are being murdered!

    Independent Lens | Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock | Clip 1 | PBS

    Premiering February 2, 2012. Check local listings:

    Daisy Bates was a complex, unconventional, and largely forgotten heroine of the civil rights movement who led the charge to desegregate the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957.

    As a black woman who was a feminist before the term was invented, Daisy Bates refused to accept her assigned place in society. Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock tells the story of her life and public support of nine black students who registered to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, which culminated in a constitutional crisis, pitting a president against a governor and a community against itself. Unconventional, revolutionary, and egotistical, Daisy Bates reaped the rewards of instant fame, but paid dearly for it.

    Learn more about "Independent Lens":

    Watch "Independent Lens" films online:

    8-year-old sexually assaulted at Pa. School

    A group of 4th grade students in West Philadelphia have been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a classmate. Felipe Maya reports.

    Racist woman on tram | Offensive Comments on foreign people [...

    This video allowing a racist woman to be heard was recorded on Sunday, 27th Novemeber, 2011. The woman is now arrested by the police. Check out the BBC website for more details.
    Racist woman on tram | 27th Nov | Offensive Comments on foreign people

    My tram experience Police and Military are Racists


    Monday, 28 November 2011

    Michael Richardon's (Father of Mitrice Richardson) KJLH Interview

    Radio Free 102.3 KJLH
    by Cherise Batteredbypd Rogers

    December 1, 2011 @ 5:00 a.m.
    Listen in as Michael Richardson, father of Mitrice L. Richardson shares with all of you his gratitude for your support in addition to answering the following questions:
    1- Did you settle the case if so, Why?
    2- What's happening now?
    3- Are you done?
    4- How do you feel about Baca and the Release Policy?
    Get the answers to these questions and more from Michael Richardson by tuning into the Front Page with Dominic DiPrima On December 1, 2011 @ 5:00 a.m. either by radio 102.3 KJLH or live online at http://www.kjlhradio.com/


    Save Linda Carty - British grandmother facing execution in Texas

    Petition Save Linda Carty - British grandmother facing execution in Texas | One child at a time | Scoop.it
    This is petition for Save Linda Carty - British grandmother facing execution in Texas. Join the movement! Sign now!
    British grandmother Linda Carty is the victim of one of the worst miscarriages of justice suffered by a British citizen in recent times. campaign to save her.
    Follow Linda's case at Reprieve: www.reprieve.org.uk/savelindacarty

    Sunday, 27 November 2011

    In Loving Memory Of Christian Milton Choate 12/27/95-4/5/09 Christian's ...

    Christian was abused and tortured to death after his father was awarded custody of him, he was kept in a metal dog cage until his death. His father and step-mother were arrested and charged 2 years later when Christian was discovered missing and buried in a shallow grave covered in cement

    please help blade now

    One of the best things that has happened to me in my work for kids is collaborating with Stephen Sydebotham, a juvenile justice advocate who is smart, relentless, and dedicated in his defense of young people.
    Two of the causes I write about here—James Prindle and Blade Reed—while not parricides (and the center of my target), were cases Steven had taken on before we began working together. I have been helping Stephen with James and Blade because I believe so strongly in Stephen and his judgment—and from the outpouring of your support for these two kids, apparently you agree.
    Stephen has just returned home from Indiana with news of developments in Blade Reed’s case which must command our urgent attention, and I have asked him to provide today’s guest post. I hope you will please open your heart to his appeal for assistance for Blade. Thank you.            ~ Dan

    This past Tuesday, November 22, I was able to spend the day with Blade Reed at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. Each visit we have is special, but to spend it with him at the beginning of the holiday season, it’s that much more meaningful. Blade is in every sense a wounded bird. Each and every day there at Wabash is a struggle for him, and it is sucking the life out of him. He suffers from very low self-esteem, and is a constant target for other older juveniles to bully. He also is ground zero for predatory inmates and some power hungry correctional officers to attack on occasion, both verbally and physically. For me to give Blade a break from that, for even just a few hours, has a positive effect on him. Plus, to see Blade’s eyes light up when he sees me, and those monster hugs he lays on me, I am truly a blessed soul to have him in my life.
    The only thing that Blade had to break much of the monotony and that enabled him to sort of “get away” from everything there is gone. I’m talking about Blade’s TV. His ex-roommate broke it when he was packing, preparing for his move to the adult housing unit. This kid accidentally hit Blade’s TV with some of his property, knocking it off its perch. The TV does turn on, but only gets a blue screen, so it’s basically shot. After the incident, Blade and the other individual got into a heated argument. All Blade wanted was for this other kid to make it right, but the other kid is indigent and there is no recourse except to buy Blade a new TV through the prison commissary. Without that one enjoyment, I worry about Blade all the more. That TV had a constructive effect on him and kept Blade calm during many tense days and nights. Without it, everything surrounding him will become heightened and bad situations will become even worse for him.
    I had been led to believe at this time of Thanksgiving, that we would see the beginning of the healing process, with Mrs. Voland, the widow of the man Blade’s brother killed, saying publicly that she forgives what happened during the early morning hours of November 15, 2008. That didn’t happen. After all this time, Mrs. Voland and the rest of her family still feel that Bennie and Blade received proper sentences. The Voland family and much of the Brown County community have chosen to close their minds to the facts about Blade. Blade never would have been involved in this if he hadn’t been forced into it by his older brother’s death threats. Blade is developmentally disabled, and at the time of the crime Blade had the mental capacity of an eight-year-old. He now still only functions at the level of a twelve-year-old. Knowing this, how can the Volands and most of the community feel good about placing a damaged child in adult court, then giving him a 30-year adult prison sentence? Blade has been told that he is beyond rehabilitation and that the key has been thrown away for decades. What has happened to Blade is appalling, and should be rectified.  To tell a child who was severely abused by his biological parents, one who had never been in any trouble before, that he can’t be rehabilitated is dead wrong. They have sold short Blade and the rehabilitative powers of the Juvenile Justice system by sentencing him as an adult. Blade could achieve so much if he were given the opportunity. What chance will he have if made to spend the rest of his time in an adult prison, where he will continue to learn only from hardened criminals in an environment where he will continue to be subject to more attempted assaults, rapes, bullying, and physical warfare by predatory inmates and guards?   
    The worst part of my trip was to find out that our pro bono attorneys, who have helped Blade so much since their involvement, have opted to drop Blade’s case due to my efforts to publicize his case and bring it to the public’s attention. To have disagreements with me over public awareness issues is one thing, but to just quit and leave Blade vulnerable and without representation is another. They had been essential to leveling the playing field with rights issues at Wabash, and had been instrumental in initiating the writ of habeas corpus. After Blade had recently been in an altercation, he called his attorneys and they refused the call. They then wrote to Blade and told him they weren’t going to help any longer under any circumstances, and listed their reasons for dropping the case. This showed an insensitivity to Blade’s developmental capacity, as well as a lack of integrity, conscience, commitment, and heart to help Blade in his hour of need and see matters through to their conclusion.
    I was at first very upset about this abandonment and said some things that I shouldn’t have said, but after cooling down and thinking about it rationally, I came to the conclusion that, as civil rights attorneys, they weren’t the defense attorneys we need at this time. We need a legal representative who has trial and appellate experience. There is one who has expressed interest in becoming involved, but she is an out-of-state attorney and must first be approved pro hac vice (a legal term usually referring to a lawyer who has not been admitted to practice in a certain jurisdiction but is allowed to participate in a particular case. The right to appear pro hac vice is not guaranteed. Rather, the attorney wanting to practice in a jurisdiction within which he or she is not licensed must specifically request permission from the court to be able to appear as an attorney of record. This is accomplished with a motion to appear pro hac vice, in which it is requested that the non‐licensed attorney be admitted to practice in a particular case).
    If she is approved, she will represent Blade at a reduced fee, and we will have what Blade’s case has always cried out for: a defense attorney with extensive experience in the field of law we need to properly argue the habeas writ and give Blade the best chance at winning in court. 
    I will never stop this struggle and am I determined to see it through to the end.
    This is not only a fight for someone about whom I deeply care, it’s about giving a youngster a second chance in life that he deserves. Blade is a child in every way, a juvenile. The court should realize what a depraved, immoral, catastrophic mistake it made by trying and sentencing Blade as an adult, and giving him a long term sentence in adult prison.
    Blade has nothing but us. He hangs on, hoping for a brighter future.
    Your financial support is urgently needed to help defray Blade’s legal expenses.  These will probably total about $10,000-$12,000.
    US residents wishing to make tax-deductible donations to Blade Reed’s appeal please use this link:http://www.juvenilelawsociety.org/Support-for-JLS.html, and enter “Redemption-Blade Reed” in the memo line.
    International contributions may be made through PayPal to sowelo2000@yahoo.com; again, please enter “Redemption-Blade Reed” in the memo line.
    You can reach us and learn more at http://believing-in-blade.org, or via snail mail at: Blade Reed-UGMA / PO Box 742 / Spring Green, WI 53588
    The greatest journey is the one that leads you home. Please help us lead Blade home. Thank you.
    ~ Steven Sydebotham
    Groove of the Day 

    “At first do what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
    ~ St. Francis of Assisi