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Saturday, 9 May 2015

Arkansas pastor's wife turns him in after finding 'tens of thousands' of child porn files on his computer

This week on Sott Radio Network: The Truth Perspective: This week's guest on the Truth Perspective is Michael Snyder. Michael is very well known for his blogs and the sheer number of other sites that republish his articles from End of the American Dream and The Economic Collapse

Michael is the author of the book Get Prepared Now: Why a great crisis is coming and how you can survive it, which he wrote with Barbara Fix, and the novel The Beginning of the End, a mystery thriller set in the near future, both of which are available on Amazon. He also has a new DVD called Economic Collapse, World War III & The Death of America, which is available on ProphecyClubResources.com.

Though Michael may best be known for his articles about the faltering economy, he also delves deeply into such subjects as the police state, terrorism, geopolitics, corporatism, healthcare, and earth changes, among others.

Join us as we discuss many of the biggest topics of the day as well as the approaches and attitudes that would aid us in facing the turmoil we see coming in the near future.

The Truth Perspective is brought to you by the SOTT Radio Network and SOTT.net, your one-stop source for independent, unbiased, alternative news and commentary on world events. Live every Saturday from 2-4pm EST / 11am-1pm PST / 8-10pm CET.

It's gonna be a good one, folks! - Listen on Blog Talk Radio

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Hundreds flee Philippines's rumbling Bulusan volcano, approaching typhoon


© Bicolstandard.com

Hundreds of people fled their homes on the slopes of a rumbling Philippine volcano on Friday as authorities warned of rain-driven mudflows from an approaching typhoon that could bury them alive. Around 500 residents of farming villages around Bulusan volcano in Sorsogon province, many of them children and elderly women, boarded army trucks clutching sleeping mats and bags of clothes as Typhoon Noul (local name: Dodong) bore down on the area. Trucks sent by the local government of Irosin town in Sorsogon and by the army and police on Friday started fetching residents living within the 4-km danger zone of Mount Bulusan. "I have no choice but to evacuate. I may not be strong enough to outrun the mud flows," 66-year-old housewife Dolores Guela told Agence France-Presse. Officials said she and her meningitis-stricken nine-year-old granddaughter would be among about 1,000 people taken to temporary shelters to wait out the wrath of Noul, which was forecast to bring heavy rains in the Bicol region from late Friday.

The typhoon was gusting at up to 185 kph (115 mph) and experts warned debris from two recent ash explosions could rumble down the slopes of the 1,559-meter (5,115-foot) volcano. The state weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration has placed Sorsogon as well as 10 other areas under Storm Signal No. 1. State vulcanologists subsequently raised Alert level 1 — the lowest in a five-step warning system — on Bulusan. Minor ash explosions alone would not normally prompt an evacuation, but authorities ordered one nonetheless because of the threat of mud flows, or lahar, from the approaching storm. Despite the preventive evacuation, some residents chose to stay because they said they still had to take care of their livestock and secure their belongings and harvested crops before they could eventually evacuate.

Bulusan, on the southeastern tip of the main island of Luzon, is about 400 kilometers (249 miles) south of the capital, Manila. It is among the country's 23 active volcanoes. Noul would be the fourth major storm or typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. The disaster-prone nation is lashed by an average of 20 each year, routinely killing hundreds of people.

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Volcano overdue for large eruption: The province of Sorsogon is preparing for a major Bulusan Volcano eruption, a probability bolstered by the volcano's eruption pattern in recent years, said its disaster risk management chief. Raden Dimaano, head of Sorsogon's Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office said Bulusan is "due for an eruption." "If you look at the frequency of its previous phreatic explosions, they do not reach 3 years [without an eruption]. Now, it's overdue so we are really preparing ourselves."

He explained that the last major eruption happened in 2011. Before that, there was one in 2009 and, previously, in 2007. "That span of time seems to be when it gets clogged and then it suddenly blows up," he said in a mix of English and Filipino.This was verified by Louie Velasco, Science Research Analyst for the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) based in Sorsogon City. "For the past few years, that's what has been happening in Bulusan. There are small ash explosions or phreatic eruptions followed by a big one. That's a possibility. In 2011, that happened," he told Rappler. Phivolcs has described Bulusan as characterized by "sporadic phreatic eruptions" during its restive periods. Alert Level 1 was raised over it following two eruptions in one week. The two eruptions lasted only 3.5 minutes and 5 minutes. Bigger eruptions, like the one that occurred in 2007, lasted for 20 minutes, thus spewing more ash and affecting more towns.

Phreatic eruptions are steam-driven explosions that occur when water makes contact with hot rock inside the volcano, producing steam that escapes violently through the crater. This type of eruption comes without warning and is not easily detected. Thus, phreatic eruptions can occur even when no alert level is hoisted over the volcano. Sorsogon waits for the worst-case scenario as Typhoon Dodong approached, prompting weather officials to raise Public Storm Warning Signal No. 1 over the province. Expected rainfall from the storm prompted Sorsogon officials to preemptively evacuate residents of Cogon in Irosin town, threatened by lahar that can be driven down Bulusan's slopes by the rain.


The German question


© Reuters/Rainer Jensen

Seventy years after the end of World War II, and twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany is once again under the grip of 'sturm und drang', but this time barely registered in either East or West.

Without a serious attempt at myth busting, it's impossible to discern what could be interpreted as a new, discreet German attempt at hegemony.

Contrary to a myth currently propagated by US 'Think Tankland', political Berlin under Chancellor Merkel is not a mediator between a still hegemonic US and an "aggressive" Russia.

The reality is Berlin, at least for the moment, would rather give the impression of singing Washington's tune - with minor variations - while chastising Russia. That's the case even when we consider the solid energy/trade/business ties with Moscow, as in Germany importing a third of its natural gas, and German industry/companies/corporations hugely invested in Russia.

Contrary to a second myth, political Berlin does not seek "stability" in Europe's eastern borderlands, but rather outright vassalage. The relentless Eastern European integration to the EU, led by Berlin, was as much a strategy to open new markets for German exports as to erect a buffer between Germany and Russia. As for the Baltic States, they are already vassals; Germany is the largest trading partner for all three.

Yet another myth is that Berlin cannot lift - counterproductive - sanctions against Moscow as long as "security" of Central and Eastern Europe is not assured. The reality is that Germany would rather exert total political/economic control over the periphery of the former USSR.

As for the EU itself, now mired in a post-democratic, un-egalitarian, austerity-ravaged toxic environment, with no discernible way out, Germany already rules, politically and economically.

Deutschland under control?

Amidst the current EU intellectual quagmire where, to quote Yeats, - think puny neoliberal ideologues scurrying under their sinecures in that Kafkaesque temple of mediocrity, Brussels - a modern Diogenes would be hard pressed to find an informed observer capable of seizing up Germany's game.

Thus the glaring exception of historian and anthropologist Emmanuel Todd, author of the seminal 2002 essay After the Empire which showed no mercy in its cartography of American decline. In a long 2014 www.les-crises.fr interview, centered on Germany, Todd hits the geopolitical ball out of the park.

Todd deeply worries about the West's dysfunction - manifested at its prime in Europe being "virtually at war with Russia". He sees the anxious, sick West's "fixation" on Russia as the search for a scapegoat, or better, "the creation of an enemy, necessary to maintain a minimal coherence of the West. The European Union was created against the USSR; it cannot do without Russia as an adversary."

And yet, behind the EU, there's the real deal; the German project, which Todd identifies as a project of power, driven "to compress demand in Germany, to enslave the debt-ridden countries of the South, to put to work the Eastern Europeans, to throw some peanuts to the French banking system." And that project of power could not but open the ominous door to Germany's "immense potential for political irrationality" - a theme very much prominent now with all those rehashes of the fall of the Reich.

Todd identifies what Lacan would dub the great European non-dit ("not enunciated"); "The key to the control of Europe by the United States, which is the inheritance of the victory of 1945, is the control of Germany."


© CP
An angry Greek protester holds a poster with a picture of Angela Merkel in a Nazi uniform during demonstrations against Germany's recovery plan.

Yet now the control is dissolving, albeit chaotically, and that means "the beginning of the dissolution of the American imperium." And imperial decline - visible in myriad declinations - leads Todd to a bombshell; the real threat to the US, much more dangerous than Russia - "which is external to the empire" - is Germany.

And what about the threat to Russia from Germany? Todd strongly implies the populations of Russian language, culture and identity are being attacked in Eastern Ukraine with "the approval and support" of the European Union - which is a fact. At the same time, he interprets the Russian "silence" about it not "," but as good diplomacy; "They need time. Their self-control, their professionalism, compels admiration." Try finding this kind of analysis in CIA-infested European corporate media.

"Europe" out, Germany in

So what Todd is essentially gaming here is " And yes, he's got a compelling case.

Using a political science concept coined by Belgian anthropologist Pierre van den Berghe, Todd qualifies the German system as "un-egalitarian domination"; whatever equality is left concerns only the dominant, as in German citizens. Welcome, then, to Herrenvolk democracy - the "democracy of the master people."

Todd bolsters his case by pointing to the dynamism of the German economy as based in the former USSR satellites;

So "annexing" the populations of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, etc, meant Germany reorganizing its industrial base using low-cost labor. But then there's a major "if"; Todd believes Germany might also "annex" an active population of 45 million in Ukraine,

Not only that's extremely unlikely; Moscow has been explicit this is a red line. Moreover, "Ukraine" is a failed state in terminal disintegration, now a lowly, de facto, IMF colony, whose only interest for the "West" is rich agricultural land to be plundered by Monsanto and cohorts.

"He hasn't seen Germany coming"

The fun really starts when Todd examines the mess are in. He had to be talking mostly about notorious Dr. Zbig "Grand Chessboard" Brzezinski;

Todd correctly notes how Dr. Zbig "has not seen that the American military might, by extending NATO all the way to the Baltic States, to Poland... was in fact cutting out an empire for Germany, at first economic, but at present already political." And in parallel to what I have been examining for years now, he hints that "the extension of NATO to the East could in the end bring about a version B of Brzezinski's nightmare: a reunification of Eurasia independently of the United States."

The clincher is to be savored like the best Armagnac; "Faithful to his Polish origins, he feared a Eurasia under Russian control. He is now running the risk to go down in History as another one of these absurd Poles who, out of hatred of Russia, have insured the greatness of Germany."

For the moment, political Germany - but not its industrialists - has chosen to continue to be subjugated to the US/NATO as Chancellor Merkel appears to be enforcing the encircling of Russia.


© Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch
A general view show the Reichstag building, the seat of the German lower house of parliament Bundestag

As Todd nailed it, Germany painstakingly organized its EU hegemony on the basis this disparate basket of nations would provide Berlin with the economy of scale to win against its main industrial competitor, the US. Yet Germany lacks energy - oil and gas. Supply from Africa and the Middle East is inherently unstable.

So this is how we come to another scenario circulating among what Bauman called not think tanks or Western intel agencies.

According to this scenario, instead of a EU trying to work with Russia, we have Berlin trying to undermine Moscow to ultimately seize financial control of Russia's immense resources; back to those good old disaster capitalism Yeltsin days, when everything was collapsing other than Russia's natural resource production.

After all the 'New Great Game' is mostly about control of the natural gas, oil and resources of Russia and Central Asia. Will they be controlled by oligarch fronts supervised by their masters in London and New York, or by the Russian state? And once Russia had been subdued, then the Central Asian "stans", especially gas republic Turkmenistan, would also be free to do German's bidding.

But for the moment, it's all shadow play. Merkel utters platitudes about the Minsk ceasefire - when every serious player knows Kiev breaks it on an everyday basis. Berlin works backstage to keep the proverbial "reluctant players" - Italy, Greece, Hungary - on board with sanctions on Russia while spinning it's doing its best to contain hysterical Poland and Lithuania.

Merkel is very much aware the US prosecutes much of its drone war out of Germany while the BND - German intel - spies for the NSA on the French, the European Commission (EC) and even German industry.

So she will never directly antagonize Washington - as she in fact mostly fears German Atlanticists, while posing about Putin and the Kremlin living "in a different world." Berlin and Moscow continue to talk diplomatically, but the mood tends to the tone deaf.

The new exceptionalism

Todd is one of the few who at least are setting alarm bells ringing. As in this formulation:

Once again, we're in the realm of exceptionalism, but now with the added, historically troubling German penchant for political irrationality. The new, remixed lebensraum may revolve around an ever-expanding export powerhouse - adding on global trade by using educated, low-cost labor. While the Reich disintegrated in a larger than life folly seventy years ago, the new deal accomplished a dream; as Todd characterizes it, there are two great today, America and

He sees Russia as a and he has not examined China's long game; thus he's not focused - as in my own case - on myriad moves toward Eurasia integration. But what he's concentrating on is no less than a thriller for the ages, a Germany rising - and the US and Germany inevitably clashing, all over again. History may yet repeat itself as (lethal) farce after all.

Hawaii rattled by two earthquakes; volcanic lake hits record level

A pair of temblors rocked the Big Island early Saturday morning (May 9). At 2:17 a.m. a 3.1 magnitude quake struck the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park area while a second quake of 4.5 magnitude shook a minute later at 2:18 a.m. west of Pahala. The quakes were felt across the island.

No changes were detected in Kilauea Volcano's ongoing eruptions or any of the other active volcanoes on the Big Island after a 4.5 magnitude earthquake was reported north of Naalehu Saturday morning, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said. The quake was reported at 2:18 a.m. and centered about five miles north of Naalehu in the Kau District and six miles deep, according to Wes Thelen, the observatory's Seismic Network Manager. Three aftershocks, magnitudes 1.6, 1.5, 1.4, were recorded at 3:30 a.m.

The depth, location, and recorded seismic waves of the earthquake suggest a source on the large fault plane between the old ocean floor and overlying volcanic crust, a common source for earthquakes in this area, scientists said.


Lava lake rises to record levels:

The lava lake at a popular Hawaii tourist destination is rising to record heights. The latest eruption occurred at the Kilauea summit lava lake across from a visitors center. But never fear, said Janet Babb with the U.S. Geological Survey. The overlook at the Jaggar Museum at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is more than a mile away from the crater and officials don't believe visitors are in danger.

Gas building up inside the crater's lava bed caused the dramatic eruption, which hurled molten lava and rock fragments 285 feet to the top of the rim, she said. "When a rock falls into that lake, it causes a reaction," Babb said, "much like if you were to uncork a bottle of champagne by hitting the top off with a hammer."

Hundreds evacuated as Karangetang volcano erupts in N. Sulawesi, Indonesia

At least 465 people were evacuated from their houses in Siau Tagulandang Biaro district in North Sulawesi province on Friday following eruption of Karangetang volcano, a senior official at Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said here.

Impact of the active volcano's eruption has flattened several houses in Kora village in the region, BNPB Spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said, adding that in the afternoon the volcano was still erupting lava, rocks and hot materials as far as several kilometers from the crater of the volcano.

"No death toll was recorded from the eruption. 465 people were sheltered in three sites located around 5 kilometers from the crater," Sutopo told Xinhua by phone.

Sutopo said that hot clouds were seen engulfing the eastern and southern side of the volcano slopes.

He added that the displaced people did not bring any of their belongings as they have been getting used to Karangetang's volcanic activities in the last few years.

"Today's eruption was different from the previous ones as the hot cloud emitted from the eruption was the largest one by far, which made people have to evacuate," Sutopo added.

Sutopo said that the regional disaster mitigation agency has provided necessities for the refugees in the camps comprising of respirators, food supplies, cloths, blankets, baby foods and sleeping mats.

He said that the latest eruption did not change the volcano's eruption which initially stated at level III, or stage of alert.

We don't need no education: Seven sins of compulsory schooling

© unknown

In my last post I took a step that, I must admit, made me feel uncomfortable. I said, several times: "School is prison." I felt uncomfortable saying that because school is so much a part of my life and the lives of almost everyone I know. I, like most people I know, went through the full 12 years of public schooling. My mother taught in a public school for several years. My beloved half-sister is a public schoolteacher. I have many dear friends and cousins who are public schoolteachers. How can I say that these good people - who love children and have poured themselves passionately into the task of trying to help children - are involved in a system of imprisoning children? The comments on my last post showed that my references to school as prison made some other people feel uncomfortable also.

Sometimes I find, no matter how uncomfortable it makes me and others feel, I have to speak the truth. We can use all the euphemisms we want, but the literal truth is that schools, as they generally exist in the United States and other modern countries, are prisons. Human beings within a certain age range (most commonly 6 to 16) are required by law to spend a good portion of their time there, and while there they are told what they must do, and the orders are generally enforced. They have no or very little voice in forming the rules they must follow. A prison - according to the common, general definition - is any place of involuntary confinement and restriction of liberty.

Now you might argue that schools as we know them are good, or necessary; but you can't argue that they are not prisons. To argue the latter would be to argue that we do not, in fact, have a system of compulsory education. Either that, or it would be a semantic argument in which you would claim that prison actually means something different from its common, general definition. I think it is important, in any serious discussion, to use words honestly.

Sometimes people use the word prison in a metaphorical sense to refer to any situation in which they must follow rules or do things that are unpleasant. In that spirit, some adults might refer to their workplace as a prison, or even to their marriage as a prison. But that is not a literal use of the term, because those examples involve voluntary, not involuntary restraint. It is against the law in this and other democratic countries to force someone to work at a job where the person doesn't want to work, or to marry someone that he or she doesn't want to marry. It is not against the law, however, to force a child to go to school; in fact, it is against the law to not force a child to go to school if you are the parent and the child doesn't want to go. (Yes, I know, some parents have the wherewithal to find alternative schooling or provide home schooling that is acceptable to both the child and the state, but that is not the norm in today's society; and the laws in many states and countries work strongly against such alternatives.) So, while jobs and marriages might in some sad cases feel like prisons, schools generally are prisons.

Now here's another term that I think deserves to be said out loud: Forced education. Like the term prison, this term sounds harsh. But, again, if we have compulsory education, then we have forced education. The term compulsory, if it has any meaning at all, means that the person has no choice about it.

The question worth debating is this: Is forced education - and the consequential imprisonment of children - a good thing or a bad thing? Most people seem to believe that it is, all in all, a good thing; but I think that it is, all in all, a bad thing. I outline here some of the reasons why I think this, in a list of what I refer to as "seven sins" of our system of forced education:

1. Denial of liberty on the basis of age.

In my system of values, and in that long endorsed by democratic thinkers, it is wrong to deny anyone liberty without just cause. To incarcerate an adult we must prove, in a court of law, that the person has committed a crime or is a serious threat to herself or others. Yet we incarcerate children and teenagers in school just because of their age. This is the most blatant of the sins of forced education.

2. Fostering of shame, on the one hand, and hubris, on the other.

It is not easy to force people to do what they do not want to do. We no longer use the cane, as schoolmasters once did, but instead rely on a system of incessant testing, grading, and ranking of children compared with their peers. We thereby tap into and distort the human emotional systems of shame and pride to motivate children to do the work. Children are made to feel ashamed if they perform worse than their peers and pride if they perform better. Shame leads some to drop out, psychologically, from the educational endeavor and to become class clowns (not too bad), or bullies (bad), or drug abusers and dealers (very bad). Those made to feel excessive pride from the shallow accomplishments that earn them A's and honors may become arrogant, disdainful of the common lot who don't do so well on tests; disdainful, therefore, of democratic values and processes (and this may be the worst effect of all).

3. Interference with the development of cooperation and nurturance.

We are an intensely social species, designed for cooperation. Children naturally want to help their friends, and even in school they find ways to do so. But our competition-based system of ranking and grading students works against the cooperative drive. Too much help given by one student to another is cheating. Helping others may even hurt the helper, by raising the grading curve and lowering the helper's position on it. Some of those students who most strongly buy into school understand this well; they become ruthless achievers. Moreover, as I have argued in previous posts (see especially Sept. 24, 2008), the forced age segregation that occurs in school itself promotes competition and bullying and inhibits the development of nurturance. Throughout human history, children and adolescents have learned to be caring and helpful through their interactions with younger children. The age-graded school system deprives them of such opportunities.

4. Interference with the development of personal responsibility and self-direction.

A theme of the entire series of essays in this blog is that children are biologically predisposed to take responsibility for their own education (for an introduction, see July 16, 2008, post). They play and explore in ways that allow them to learn about the social and physical world around them. They think about their own future and take steps to prepare themselves for it. By confining children to school and to other adult-directed settings, and by filling their time with assignments, we deprive them of the opportunities and time they need to assume such responsibility. Moreover, the implicit and sometimes explicit message of our forced schooling system is: "If you do what you are told to do in school, everything will work out well for you." Children who buy into that may stop taking responsibility for their own education. They may assume falsely that someone else has figured out what they need to know to become successful adults, so they don't have to think about it. If their life doesn't work out so well, they take the attitude of a victim: "My school (or parents or society) failed me, and that's why my life is all screwed up."

5. Linking of learning with fear, loathing, and drudgery.

For many students, school generates intense anxiety associated with learning. Students who are just learning to read and are a little slower than the rest feel anxious about reading in front of others. Tests generate anxiety in almost everyone who takes them seriously. Threats of failure and the shame associated with failure generate enormous anxiety in some. I have found in my college teaching of statistics that a high percentage of students, even at my rather elite university, suffer from math anxiety, apparently because of the humiliation they have experienced pertaining to math in school. A fundamental psychological principle is that anxiety inhibits learning. Learning occurs best in a playful state, and anxiety inhibits playfulness. The forced nature of schooling turns learning into work. Teachers even call it work: "You must do your work before you can play." So learning, which children biologically crave, becomes toil - something to be avoided whenever possible.

6. Inhibition of critical thinking.

Presumably, one of the great general goals of education is the promotion of critical thinking. But despite all the lip service that educators devote to that goal, most students - including most "honors students" - learn to avoid thinking critically about their schoolwork. They learn that their job in school is to get high marks on tests and that critical thinking only wastes time and interferes. To get a good grade, you need to figure out what the teacher wants you to say and then say it. I've heard that sentiment expressed countless times by college students as well as by high-school students, in discussions held outside the classroom. I've devoted a lot of effort toward promoting critical thinking at the college level; I've developed a system of teaching designed to promote it, written articles about it, and given many talks about it at conferences on teaching. I'll devote a future post or two in this blog to the topic. But, truth be told, the grading system, which is the chief motivator in our system of education, is a powerful force against honest debate and critical thinking in the classroom. In a system in which we teachers do the grading, few students are going to criticize or even question the ideas we offer; and if we try to induce criticism by grading for it, we generate false criticism.

7. Reduction in diversity of skills, knowledge, and ways of thinking.

By forcing all schoolchildren through the same standard curriculum, we reduce their opportunities to follow alternative pathways. The school curriculum represents a tiny subset of the skills and knowledge that are important to our society. In this day and age, nobody can learn more than a sliver of all there is to know. Why force everyone to learn the same sliver? When children are free - as I have observed at the Sudbury Valley School and others have observed with unschoolers - they take new, diverse, and unpredicted paths. They develop passionate interests, work diligently to become experts in the realms that fascinate them, and then find ways of making a living by pursuing their interests. Students forced through the standard curriculum have much less time to pursue their own interests, and many learn well the lesson that their own interests don't really count; what counts is what's measured on the schools' tests. Some get over that, but too many do not.


This list of "sins" is not novel. Many teachers I have spoken with are quite aware of all of these detrimental effects of forced education, and many work hard to try to counteract them. Some try to instill as much of a sense of freedom and play as the system permits; many do what they can to mute the shame of failure and reduce anxiety; most try to allow and promote cooperation and compassion among the students, despite the barriers against it; many do what they can to allow and promote critical thinking. But the system works against them. It may even be fair to say that teachers in our school system are no more free to teach as they wish than are students free to learn as they wish. (But teachers, unlike students, are free to quit; so they are not in prison.)

I must also add that human beings, especially young human beings, are remarkably adaptive and resourceful. Many students find ways to overcome the negative feelings that forced schooling engenders and to focus on the positive. They fight the sins. They find ways to cooperate, to play, to help one another overcome feelings of shame, to put undue pride in its place, to combat bullies, to think critically, and to spend some time on their true interests despite the forces working against them in school. But to do all this while also satisfying the demands of the forced education takes great effort, and many do not succeed. At minimum, the time students must spend on wasteful busywork and just following orders in school detracts greatly from the time they can use to educate themselves.

I have listed here "seven sins" of forced education, but I have resisted the temptation to call them the seven sins. There may be more than seven. I invite you to add more, in the comments section below.

Finally, I add that I do not believe that we should just do away with schools and replace them with nothing. Children educate themselves, but we adults have a responsibility to provide settings that allow them to do that in an optimal manner. That is the topic of my next post.

Peter Gray, Ph.D., research professor at Boston College, is author of Free to Learn (Basic Books, 2013) and Psychology (Worth Publishers, a college textbook now in its 7th edition). He has conducted and published research in comparative, evolutionary, developmental, and educational psychology. He did his undergraduate study at Columbia University and earned a Ph.D. in biological sciences at Rockefeller University. His current research and writing focus primarily on children's natural ways of learning and the life-long value of play. His own play includes not only his research and writing, but also long distance bicycling, kayaking, back-woods skiing, and vegetable gardening.

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Spain discovers Ivorian boy smuggled in suitcase


The silhouette of an Ivorian boy, shown by an X-ray scanner, being smuggled in a suitcase and discovered at Ceuta land border crossing office, May 8, 2015.

An eight-year-old boy has been crammed into a suitcase and smuggled across the border from North Africa, Spanish police say.

The Ivory Coast boy named Abou was discovered on Thursday, when police at Ceuta, a Spanish enclave next to Morocco, put the roller luggage bag through an X-ray scanner and found the silhouette of a young boy curled up inside the suitcase.

"When they put the suitcase through the scanner, the operator noticed something strange, which seemed to be a person inside the case," a Spanish Civil Guard police spokesperson told . "When it was opened they found a minor, in a terrible state."


A picture provided by the Spanish Civil Guard on May 8, 2015 shows an 8-year-old sub-Saharan boy hidden in a suitcase.

The carrier of the suitcase, a 19-year old Moroccan woman, had aroused police suspicion at the land office of El Tarajal by her nervous state that prompted the security forces to scan her suitcase. She was arrested and a few hours later, the boy's father, an Ivorian, was also busted at the same border crossing.

According to Spanish newspaper , the Moroccan courier woman was paid by the boy's father to carry the suitcase.

"She seemed to hesitate, and it looked as though she didn't want to come through the border," said a police spokesperson.

The boy's father, also named Abou, reportedly lives in Canary Islands and had hoped his son would join him.



If the boy had not been spotted, "it could have led to a tragic end," read a statement from the Civil Guard to EFE, a Spanish international news agency.

Each year, thousands of migrants and asylum seekers, who are escaping prosecution and war in their homelands, try to cross from the African country of Morocco into the Spanish territory illegally through the 15-kilometer Strait of Gibraltar.

The migrants embark on the perilous journey using makeshift boats and inflatable dinghies.


© AP
Every year, thousands of African people cross fences into Ceuta and Melilla near the Spanish border with Morocco.

Also, thousands of illegal migrants try to reach Spain through the cities of Ceuta and Melilla near the country's border with Morocco. The Spanish government has installed a seven-meter-high triple-layer fence to prevent immigrants from crossing into Spanish territory.

Others smuggle themselves over the border hidden in vehicles and cargoes or try to swim or sail from shores on the Moroccan side and try to cross the Spanish border.

The 90,000 Square Foot, 100 Million Dollar Home That Is A Metaphor For America

Just like “America’s time-share king”, America just keeps on making the same mistakes over and over again.  Prior to the financial collapse of 2008, time-share mogul David Siegel and his wife Jackie began construction on their “dream home” near Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  This dream home would be approximately 90,000 square feet in size, would be worth $100 million when completed, and would be named “Versailles” after the French palace that inspired it.  In fact, you may remember David and Jackie from an excellent 2012 documentary entitled “The Queen of Versailles”.  That film documented how the Siegels almost lost everything after the financial collapse of 2008 devastated the U.S. economy because they were overleveraged and drowning in debt.


But since that time, David’s time-share company has bounced back, and the Siegels now plan to finally finish construction on their dream home and make it bigger and better than ever before.

But before you pass judgment on the Siegels, it is important to keep in mind that we are behaving exactly the same way as a nation.  Instead of addressing our fundamental problems after the last financial crisis, we have just continued to make the exact same mistakes that we made before.  And ultimately, things are going to end very, very badly for us.

As Americans, we like to think that we are somehow entitled to the biggest and best of everything.  We have been trained to believe that we are the wealthiest and most prosperous nation on the entire planet and that it will always be that way.  This generation was handed the keys to the greatest economic machine in world history, but instead of treating it with great care, we have wrecked it.  Our economic infrastructure is being systematically dismantled, Wall Street has been transformed into the biggest casino in the history of the planet, we have piled up a mountain of debt unlike anything the world has ever seen, and the reckless Federal Reserve is turning our currency into Monopoly money.  All of our decisions have been designed to make things better for ourselves in the short-term without any consideration about what we were doing to the future of this country.

That is why “Versailles” is such a perfect metaphor for America.  The Siegels always had to have the biggest and the best of everything, and they almost lost it all when the financial markets crashed

David Siegel (“They call me the time-share king”) and his wife, Jackie Siegel — titular star of the 2012 documentary “The Queen of Versailles” — began building their dream home near Disney World about a decade ago. Soon it became evident that the sheer size of the mansion was almost unprecedented in America; it’s thought that only Biltmore House and Oheka Castle are bigger and still standing, and both of those are now run as tourist attractions, not true single-family homes.


But when the bottom fell out of the financial markets in 2008, their fortunes were upended too. By the time the documentary ended, their dream home had gone into default and they’d put it on the market. The listing asked for $100 million finished — “based on the royal palace of Louix XIV of the 17th century or to the buyer’s specifications — or $75 million “as is with all exterior finishings in crates in the 20-car garage on site.”

But just like the U.S. economy, the Siegels have seemingly recovered, at least for the moment.

Thanks to a rebound in the time-share business, the Siegels plan to finally complete their dream home and make it bigger and better than ever

The unfinished home sits on 10 acres of lakefront property and when completed will feature 11 kitchens, 30 bathrooms, 20-car garage, two-lane bowling alley, indoor rollerskating rink, three indoor pools, two outdoor pools, video arcade, ballroom, two-story movie theater modeled off the Paris Opera House, fitness center with 10,000-square-foot spa, yoga studios, 20,000-bottle wine cellar and an exotic fish aquarium.


Two tennis courts, a baseball diamond and formal garden will be included on the grounds.


The couple admitted that some of their plans for the house – such as children’s playrooms – will have to be modified now that their kids are older.

However, they are determined to see the project through.


‘I’m not at the ending to my story yet, but so far, it’s a happy ending, and I’m really looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life and moving into my palace, finishing it and throwing lots of parties – anxious for the world to see it,’ Mrs Siegel said.

It is easy to point fingers at the Siegels, but the truth is that they are just behaving like we have been behaving as an entire nation.

When our financial bubbles burst the last time, our leaders did not really do anything to address our fundamental economic problems.  Instead, they were bound and determined to reinflate those bubbles and make them even larger than before.

Now we stand at the precipice of the greatest financial crisis in our history, and we only have ourselves to blame.

Just consider what has happened to our national debt.  Just prior to the last recession, it was sitting at about 9 trillion dollars.  Today, it has just crossed the 18 trillion dollar mark…

Total Public Debt

You may not think that you are to blame for this, but most of the people that will read this article voted for politicians that fully supported all of this borrowing and spending.  And yes, that includes most Democrats and most Republicans.

We have stolen trillions of dollars from future generations of Americans in a desperate attempt to prop up our failing standard of living in the present.  What we have done is a horrific crime, and if we lived in a just society a whole lot of people would be going to prison over this.

A similar pattern emerges when we look at the spending habits of ordinary Americans.  This next chart shows one measure of consumer credit in America.  During the last recession, we actually had a brief period of deleveraging (which was good), but now we are back on the exact same trajectory as before…

Consumer Credit 2015

Even though we had a higher standard of living than all previous generations of Americans, that was never good enough for us.  We always had to have more, and we have borrowed and spent ourselves into oblivion.

We have also shown absolutely no respect for our currency.  Having the primary reserve currency of the world has been an incredible advantage for the U.S. economy, but we are squandering that privilege.  Like I said at the top of the article, the Federal Reserve has been treating the U.S. dollar like Monopoly money in recent years in an attempt to prop up the financial system.  Just look at what “quantitative easing” has done to the Fed balance sheet since the last recession…

Fed Balance Sheet

Most of the new money that the Fed has created has been funneled into the financial markets.  This has created some financial bubbles which are absolutely insane.  For example, just look at how the NASDAQ has performed since the last financial crisis…


These Fed-created bubbles are inevitably going to implode, because they have no relation to economic reality whatsoever.  And when they implode, millions of Americans are going to be financially wiped out.

Just like David and Jackie Siegel, we simply can’t help ourselves.  We just keep on making the same old mistakes.

And in the end, we will all pay a great, great price for our utter foolishness.

Police Handcuff and Shackle ‘Disruptive’ 5-Year-Old Special Needs Student


A family and community is outraged after police arrived at a school to “de-escalate” a situation, but instead ended up handcuffing and shackling a 5-year-old student with special needs.

An official with the Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services explains that the faculty had tried to de-escalate the situation for two hours before calling the police. They hoped the officers would have special training at conflict resolution and de-escalation that would calm things down. 

Trooper Keller was on the scene. He said that the “disruptive” child was “screaming, kicking, punching and biting.”

The student’s teacher, Sarah M. Viscomi, used restrained the child until the officer arrived.

“An officer told me they had to handcuff his wrists and ankles for their safety,” she explained. “I told him that was ridiculous. How could someone fear for their safety when it comes to a small, 5-year-old child?”

Now the parents of the young boy say they are going to sue.

Chelsea Ruiz, the mother of the boy, tells us that officials at the hospital determined there was nothing extraordinary about how her son was acting. They determined that he did not need to be evaluated by a psychiatrist, as police has said. 

She explains that hospital officials agree that the boy, Conner, was simply throwing a tantrum.

Officers, however, claim that he was “jumping from cabinets and desks, was attempting to jump out of a window… he was stabbing himself with pencils and eating paper.”

The officers claim that he “bit off foam” and “tried to cause himself to choke.”

But it sounds a lot like he just bit foam. It seems an unreasonable conclusion – not supported by the hospital workers who assessed the situation – that he was actually trying “to cause himself to choke” – essentially a police claim that he was attempting suicide.

Now, the Ruizes, explain that their son has been emotionally traumatized. They say he is afraid of the school and does not want to return due to the traumatic experience.

Ruiz says that the school is “going to pay for the emotional distress they just caused my son. I told her I was going straight to the media, getting an attorney, and that I had already called the state Office of Special Education.”

(Article by Jackson Marciana)

Netanyahu appoints Ayelet Shaked as Justice Minister who called for genocide of Palestinians


© Haaretz/Tomer Appelbaum
Ayelet Shaked with HaBayit HaYehudi leader Naftali Bennett.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to appoint Ayelet Shaked as justice minister in his fourth government. Shaked is a Member of Knesset (MK) representing the far-right HaBayit HaYehudi ("Jewish Home") party. She is known for her extreme, ultranationalist views.

During Israel's summer 2014 attack on Gaza, MK Shaked essentially called for the genocide of Palestinians. In a Facebook post on July 1 - a day before Israeli extremists kidnapped Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khdeir and burned him alive - the lawmaker asserted that "the entire Palestinian people is the enemy" and called for its destruction, "including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure."

Her post consisted of an excerpt from an article by Uri Elitzur, the late right-wing journalist and leader of the Israeli settler movement, which seeks to colonize Palestinian land in contravention of international law. Elitzur also served as a speechwriter and advisor to Netanyahu.

Shaked later deleted the status, which garnered 1,000s of likes and shares, yet not before it was archived. The following is a translation of her post (courtesy of Dena Shunra):

"The Palestinian people has declared war on us, and we must respond with war. Not an operation, not a slow-moving one, not low-intensity, not controlled escalation, no destruction of terror infrastructure, no targeted killings. Enough with the oblique references. This is a war. Words have meanings. This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started.

I don't know why it's so hard for us to define reality with the simple words that language puts at our disposal. Why do we have to make up a new name for the war every other week, just to avoid calling it by its name. What's so horrifying about understanding that the entire Palestinian people is the enemy? Every war is between two peoples, and in every war the people who started the war, that whole people, is the enemy. A declaration of war is not a war crime. Responding with war certainly is not. Nor is the use of the word "war", nor a clear definition who the enemy is. Au contraire: the morality of war (yes, there is such a thing) is founded on the assumption that there are wars in this world, and that war is not the normal state of things, and that in wars the enemy is usually an entire people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.

And the morality of war knows that it is not possible to refrain from hurting enemy civilians. It does not condemn the British air force, which bombed and totally destroyed the German city of Dresden, or the US planes that destroyed the cities of Poland and wrecked half of Budapest, places whose wretched residents had never done a thing to America, but which had to be destroyed in order to win the war against evil. The morals of war do not require that Russia be brought to trial, though it bombs and destroys towns and neighborhoods in Chechnya. It does not denounce the UN Peacekeeping Forces for killing hundreds of civilians in Angola, nor the NATO forces who bombed Milosevic's Belgrade, a city with a million civilians, elderly, babies, women, and children. The morals of war accept as correct in principle, not only politically, what America has done in Afghanistan, including the massive bombing of populated places, including the creation of a refugee stream of hundreds of thousands of people who escaped the horrors of war, for thousands of whom there is no home to return to.

And in our war this is sevenfold more correct, because the enemy soldiers hide out among the population, and it is only through its support that they can fight. Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. Actors in the war are those who incite in mosques, who write the murderous curricula for schools, who give shelter, who provide vehicles, and all those who honor and give them their moral support. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there."

A week before, Shaked wrote another status insisting:

"This is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. The reality is that this is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people."

These remarks led Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to compare MK Shaked to Hitler. "If these words had been said by a Palestinian, the whole world would have denounced it," he remarked.

Journalist Mira Bar-Hillel called the statements "the reason why I am on the brink of burning my Israeli passport."

Shaked has also adamantly opposed signing any peace deals with Palestinians based on the pre-1967 borders, claiming that such a deal would constitute "national suicide." Netanyahu was re-elected on the promise that there would never be a Palestinian state.

The lawmaker has furthermore called for annexing parts of the West Bank, which have been under illegal Israeli military occupation since 1967.

Naftali Bennett, the leader of the HaBayit HaYehudi party of which Shaked is a prominent member, has himself drawn criticism for his similarly extreme, far-right views. In 2013, Bennett, as Minister of the Economy, declared "I have killed lots of Arabs in my life - and there is no problem with that."

Bennett has also defended his role as company commander in the April 1996 Qana massacre, in which the Israeli military killed 106 Lebanese civilians and injured 116 Lebanese civilians and four UN workers.

The Most Right-Wing Government in Israeli History

Bennett plays an important role in Netanyahu's coalition government. He pressured the prime minister to appoint Shaked as justice minister. Netanyahu needed a majority of seats in the 120-member Knesset in order to form a government. Bennett refused to have HaBayit HaYehudi - which had the extra eight seats needed, beyond the 53 Bibi had already established, for a majority - join unless Shaked was given the justice ministry position. Netanyahu conceded, on the conditions that she does not appoint rabbinical judges and does not head the committee overseeing the nomination of new judges.

Extreme-right leader Avigdor Lieberman, the former Israeli foreign minister who called for the beheading of disloyal Palestinians, unexpectedly announced that his Yisrael Beiteinu party, which has six MKs, would refuse to join the new government. Lieberman argued the coalition is not right-wing enough, as he believed it will not pass the so-called "nationality law," officially defining citizenship based on Jewish ethno-religious heritage - thus turning non-Jewish Israelis into official, de jure second-class citizens - or that it will not go all out to destroy the elected Hamas government of Gaza. Netanyahu thus gave into Bennett's demands in order to ensure the majority.

With HaBayit HaYehudi, Netanyahu's coalition has 61 seats, a slight majority. His ruling right-wing Likud party has 30; the right-wing Kulanu party has 10 seats; HaBayit HaYehudi has eight; the ultra-orthodox religious party Shas has seven; and the other ultra-orthodox religious party United Torah Judaism has six seats.

Netanyahu's fourth government is even further to the right of his previous ones. Many Israelis are concerned, and have characterized the new government as "Bibi's all-time worst coalition."

In response to Netanyahu's appointment of Shaked, head of the Peace Now organization Yariv Oppenheimer commented, "Shaked as Justice Minister is like placing an idol in the Temple. No less." MK Nachman Shai, of the Zionist Union, remarked "the demand to give Ayelet Shaked the Justice portfolio is like giving the Fire and Rescue Services to a pyromaniac."

Arutz Sheva, an Israeli news outlet associated with the settler movement, notes "Shaked is expected to tackle leftists inside the judicial system head on." The publication also characterizes her appointment as an "historic" and "major political coup," writing

Shaked's appointment is considered a major political coup and could potentially pave the way for an historic change in Israeli politics. The judicial system in Israel is considered to be the strongest governmental bastion of the leftist founding elites, and its "activism" has hampered attempts by the Right to effectively rule Israel for decades.

The extreme views of Shaked and Bennett are not limited to their party. Other powerful figures in Netanyahu's government harbor similar ideas. During Israel's summer 2014 attack, codenamed "Operation Protective Edge," deputy speaker of the Knesset Moshe Feiglin, a senior figure in Bibi's Likud party, called for Israel to "concentrate" and "exterminate" Palestinians in Gaza.

An independent investigation into Operation Protective Edge found Israel deliberately targeted civilians and medical workers and used unconventional weapons. After eight months of interviewing over 60 Israeli soldiers and officers who participated in the assault, Israeli veterans organization Breaking the Silence also discovered that "soldiers were briefed by their commanders to fire at every person they identified in a combat zone." Soldiers say they were ordered to "shoot to kill" "any person you see," including civilians.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and many of his political peers have continuously referred to the Israel Defense Forces as "the most moral army in the world." Israeli soldiers recall shooting Palestinian civilians in Gaza because they were "bored."

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SOTT Exclusive: The attack on the police station in Zvornik, Bosnia and the latest fear-mongering in the Balkans


© Amel Emric, AP
Zvornik, area around police station

On 27th of April 2015, a suicidal lone gunmen shouting "Allahu Akbar" (where have we seen this before?) carried out an attack on a police station in Zvornik, Republika Srpska which is one of two entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina bordering Serbia. The attacker was identified as a 24-year-old Nerdin Ibrić, while some media outlets actually (still) report that he's a 60-year-old, and according to social media, there were actually 3 attackers. Whatever the case, the media finally reached consensus. The attacker stormed the station with an automatic rifle, killed one of the officers, wounded two others before he himself was gunned down. Reports state that he also allegedly knew the timing of the shift change, which is when there's a high number of police present.

Weeks before the attack, Bosnia's intelligence service apparently received information pertaining to a potential terrorist threat. From whom or how they've received this report is not disclosed. Milorad Dodik the president of Republika Srpska blamed the state intelligence agencies for the attack and said that Republika Srpska may withdraw from Bosnian state security structures and establish parallel agencies, which some claimed could "mark a concrete step towards the effective dissolution of Bosnia." Republika Srpska Interior Minister Dragan Lukac said that the attack "could be the start of much worse happenings in Bosnia-Herzegovina," basically adding fuel to the fire.

According to reports Nerdin Ibrić had a cousin who joined a Wahhabi group, he started growing a beard a few years ago and had recently started to 'act stragely.' His neighbours and family say that he rarely left the house, was reclusive, unemployed, lived with his mother and that he "fell under the influence of religious radicals who had fought with Islamic militants in the war in Syria." He was also recently given permission for the acquisition of firearms, no explanation is given as to why.

Not long after, there was a bomb threat in Zvornik, prompting an evacuation of a courthouse, no bomb was actually found. Bosnian intelligence also received reports about new possible terror attacks in the country from certain partnership officials in the region. In light of all this, EU warnings of a partial presence of a 'Balkan Caliphate' in the region is surely doing nothing to help the situation, and they were once again quick to call for closer EU-Balkan ties that "should include the enhancement of intelligence cooperation and information exchange among member states," while they are set to allocate 10 million Euros "to help the Western Balkan countries to cope with the Islamic radicalization and influx of terrorists."

On the 6th of May 2015, and following the attack in Zvornik, Republika Srpska started their Operation Ruben:

Operation Ruben is an ongoing police operation against radical Islamists launched on 6 May 2015 within the Republika Srpska, an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina following the 27 April 2015 shooting in a Zvornik police station. Several people were arrested, a week after the terrorist attack in the police station that left one police officer dead.

According to reports, the operation is being used to harass Muslims under the pretext of rooting out Islamic extremists. This certainly wouldn't be the first time that the Muslim community bears the brunt because of the actions of the so-called 'Islamic' terrorists.

Camil Durakovic, a Bosnian Muslim, said Thursday that Serb police from outside town stormed the homes of Muslims who returned after Bosnia's 1990s ethnic war, and carried out arrests without explanation. He called it a "form of repression."

"Terrorism is a serious global problem and we must all fight against it, but you cannot use it as an excuse to send masked, armed men to search houses of Bosnian Muslims and arrest people without any evidence," Durakovic said.

Looking at the the attack on Zvornik and the subsequent 'anti-terror operations,' ethnic and political tensions and closer EU-Balkan integration under the auspice of 'anti-terrorism,' it seems that it's all actually playing into the hands of the US-NATO axis and their so-called 'strategy of tension', playing different sides against each other, which is responsible for the partitioning of Yugoslavia and promoting ethnic tensions and economic devastation in the first place and will now only serve to further destabilize the functioning and unity of the institutions inside Bosnia, which can have lasting consequences for the region.

Concerning ethnic and political tension following the incident, it should be remembered that blaming the actions of individuals and their handlers, whoever they might be, on entire nations, ethnicities and religions is absurd, to say the least.

The latest terror mongering should also not take away attention from the upcoming IMF 'loan' to Bosnia. The further economic ruin that IMF austerity measures will impose on Bosnia will be nothing compared to what happened in the tragic incident in Zvornik.

While the officials are quick to use the situation caused by the attack to further their political interests and take away attention from the real issues, it's is paramount that we do not succumb to the paranoia switch and calls for something to be done or to blame this or that group. Maybe we should precisely be doing nothing, that is, not so much a passive resistance as much as a kind of quiet active resistance.


Ante Sarlija (Profile)

Born and raised in Croatia, Ante joined the SOTT editorial team in 2014 and currently helps run the Croatian SOTT. He is also a part of the Croatian SOTT translation team.

Police abduct 10 children from Kentucky family because of their 'off the grid' lifestyle

If the government does not like the way that you are raising your kids, they will come in and grab them at any time without giving any warning whatsoever. Of course this is completely and totally unlawful, but it has been happening all over America.

The most recent example of this that has made national headlines is particularly egregious. Joe and Nicole Naugler of Breckinridge County, Kentucky just had their 10 children brutally ripped away from them just because the government does not approve of how they are living their lives and how they are educating their young ones. Let's be very clear about this - Joe and Nicole had done nothing to violate the law whatsoever. All of their kids were happy, healthy and very intelligent. But because the control freaks running things in Kentucky got wind of their "off the grid lifestyle", they have now had all of their children unlawfully abducted from them.

A lot of my readers also lead "off the grid" lifestyles similar to what the Nauglers had been enjoying. The Nauglers own 26 acres in a remote area of Breckinridge County, and their family has been described as "extremely happy". But despite never giving them a single warning or a single indication that anything was ever wrong, Kentucky police raided their home on May 6th. The following is how the raid was described on a website dedicated to this case...

On May 6th, 2015, Breckinridge Co. Sheriff's officers came to their home, acting on an anonymous tip, and entered their property and home without a warrant and without probable cause. Nicole was at home with the two oldest children, while Joe was away with the others. When the officers left the home, they attempted to block the access road to the family property. Nicole and the two boys got in their car to leave the family property. The got only a short way down the road before the officers pulled Nicole over.

During this stop, sheriffs deputies took their two oldest boys from Nicole's custody, providing her no justification or documentation to support their action. Nicole was able to contact Joe briefly by telephone, but only for a short period of time, because she needed to use her phone to record the events.

At that point, Nicole had been taken into custody for disorderly conduct (for not passively allowing the Sheriff to take her boys) and resisting arrest. Even though she is 5 months pregnant, she was slammed belly first into the cop car and bruised and scraped on both arms.

And people wonder why there is such an uproar about police brutality in this country...

How in the world can a police officer ever justify treating a pregnant woman like that? The police officer that treated Nicole like that should immediately resign. Talk about an utter disgrace. You do not ever treat a pregnant woman like that.

But this is America, where we are turning a little bit more into Nazi Germany every single day.

You can listen to audio of Nicole's shocking arrest right here.

When Joe arrived on the scene, the police continued to act like Gestapo thugs...

Joe was able to arrange transportation to meet his wife where the stop had taken place. Joe attempted to get out of the car to speak with the officers and his wife, and to recover the vehicle Nicole had been driving. The Sheriff, with his hand on his sidearm, ordered Joe back into the car. Joe complied with that request. The sheriff informed Joe that he had every intention of making this as difficult as possible for them and that their car would be impounded, despite the fact that Joe was there on­site to recover it.

A friend, who had driven Joe to the location, got out of the car to speak with the Sheriff. She was able to convince the Sheriff to let Joe recover the vehicle. Joe also recovered Nicole's cell phone, which had been recording audio the entire time.

The Sheriff ordered Joe to turn the remaining eight children over to Breckinridge County Sheriff's deputies by 10:00 a.m., and threatened him with felony charges if he does not comply.

Joe did comply with the Sheriff's order, and now their kids have been scattered by CPS among families in four separate counties...

As of now, officials have placed the children with four families in four different counties, and as of Friday morning, the parents had not spoken with them. The four families are families that CPS chose - families the Nauglers don't know.

Shame on you Kentucky. You are supposed to be better than this.

One of the most disturbing elements of this entire incident is that Child Protective Services never visited the Nauglers a single time and never gave them any indication that anything was wrong. The following comes from Off The Grid News...

Child Protective Services never visited the home, said Ellsworth, who believes the arrests took place because of the parents' choice of "unschooling" for their children, and because of their simple way of life that some would call backwards. The family's Facebook page calls it a "back to basics life." They have a garden and raise animals. Deputies apparently were concerned about whether the children's needs were being met, but friends say they personally have no concerns — and that the children are blessed to have Joe and Nicole as their parents.

How would you like it if government thugs raided your home and took your children away because they considered your lifestyle to be "backwards"?

What in the world is happening to this country?

Like I said earlier, what happened to the Nauglers is not an isolated incident. These kinds of things are happening all over the nation. For example, just consider the abuse that one homeschooling family received in New Jersey...

Meanwhile, in New Jersey, a WND report highlights how parents were interrogated by a CPS caseworker who questioned Christopher Zimmer and his wife Nicole, "on everything from their son's homeschool education to questions about vaccines and guns in the house."

Michelle Marchese aggressively demanded to enter the property after asserting Christopher Zimmer Jr. was not getting a "proper education." Police subsequently arrived and allowed Marchese to enter the home before conducting a warrantless search.

The Zimmers are now suing the CPS for $60 million in a case before the U.S. District Court in Trenton.

I very much hope that the Zimmers win that case and collect a huge monetary award.

All over the nation, CPS officials are running around acting like little dictators and trampling the law. They need the courts to send them a clear message that this is a nation where the rule of law still applies.

If we do not stand with families like the Nauglers, control freak bureaucrats will continue to harass families that have chosen to live a "basic" lifestyle all over the nation. So let's stand with them and make this case viral all over the Internet.

And Kentucky, get your act together and send those kids back home. You are supposed to be so much better than this.

Researchers discover inflammation is the culprit in post-concussion like syndromes

What a concussion looks like inside the brain

A team of researchers based at McMaster University has developed a new understanding of post-concussion syndrome, answering questions that have been plaguing researchers in the field.

Their study, published in the medical journal , provides an explanation for why many people with even very trivial head injuries, or even injuries to other parts of their bodies, experience incapacitating post-concussion like syndromes.

These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, cognitive impairment and other neuropsychiatric symptoms such as irritability, anxiety and insomnia.

"It's inflammation that they have in common," said Michel Rathbone, a professor of medicine for McMaster's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine and a lead author of the paper. "Rather than a concussion, we'd like to propose a unifying umbrella term of post-inflammatory brain syndromes or PIBS."

He added that the research will encourage scientists to open up new lines of research into understanding the cause of post-concussion symptoms in the absence of obviously visible brain injury on conventional imaging and into the treatment of these symptoms by targeting inflammatory mediators. For example, people who have a very subtle genetic change in a certain inflammatory protein have poorer recovery after brain injury.

It also explains why many social factors appear to play a role in development of symptoms: "We know that the immune system can be modulated, or sensitized by the current and even the previous environment an individual was in. These social factors, such as preexisting stressors, depression or anxiety, may actually be, in a way, biological factors."

Rathbone added that this will provide hope for individuals with cognitive dysfunction after major infections, surgeries and traumas, as it suggests that current and future treatments for concussion may hold a benefit for these individuals.

"This research opens many doors for so many different patients. We are excited to be starting a totally new approach to the field, and we look forward to making a difference for the patients of the future."

Dubai to put 'robocops' on the streets in two years

© comingsoon.net
In-movie screenshot of the 2014 reboot of

Science fiction and Hollywood fantasy films seem to be turning into reality at a dazzling speed. As we enter the "robotic era" of drones and self-driving cars, our well being could soon be protected by armies of police androids.

These days, life looks more and more like some futuristic TV series. Now that's been taken another step closer by the announcement of authorities in the United Arab Emirates, that they will soon introduce "robocops" onto their streets.

The android police force will be deployed in the next two years, and the initial batch will be made up of interactive robots, which will cruise shopping malls and other public places.

People will be able to speak to the robots through microphones and interactive screens, which will be constantly connected to police call centers.

But don't fear, these androids wont be automated killing-machines with arms that act as rotating machine guns. They are designed to protect people and help the police catch criminals or alert them to problems of public safety through interaction with the public.

RT quotes Colonel Khalid Nasser Alrazooqi, who leads the police's "smart" unit, who said,

"The robots will interact directly with people and tourists.... People will be able to ask questions and make complaints, but they will also have fun interacting with the robots" - no doubt, as they look a lot like one of Dr Who's daleks.

© Knightscope
Knightscope's "robocop".

Basically, the first batch will be motorized police information terminals and emergency services. Nevertheless, in four to five years, the Dubai authorities are aiming to replace them with "fully intelligent robocops that will interact with people with no human intervention at all," according to the website of Security Sales and Integration.

Alrazooqi said that "this is still under research and development, but we are planning on it."

RT says that several companies are working on such projects.

The California company, Knightscope K5 Autonomous Data Machines - which is reported to be in contact with security services in Dubai - says it has already deployed "intelligent bots" inside the properties of several private companies in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas.

Its robots can detect unusual behavior and sense surrounding conditions through odor and heat detectors. Moreover, the robocop is able to monitor traffic and remember up to 300 number plates a minute.

© Knightscope
Knightscope's 5ft robocop.

The robocop can listen for suspicious sounds, such as breaking glass and, if it senses an intruder, it will circle and video the person. If the robot is attacked it sets off a piercing noise worse than a car alarm.

These android security guards are not so far part of the US police force, but are only used in surveillance of private properties.

Authorities in the UAE have already equipped their police force with Google Glass, which is a spectacle-like, wearable technology with an optical head-mounted display that can be controlled by a side touch bar command, and also allows wearers to communicate with the internet using voice commands.

Super-rich Dubai isn't shy about investing in its law enforcement. reported two years ago that, in order to catch speeding drivers, it bought the police department a $260,000 McLaren MP4-12C, as an addition to the police's existing fleet of Lamborghinis, Aston Martins, and Ferraris.

© Dubai Police
Dubai police Lamborghini.