Category: Signs Of The Times

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The Desert Sun

They stumbled upon a child porn ring, then did nothing

‘The most secretive system’

John David Yoder, a Desert Hot Springs child porn suspect,

John David Yoder, a Desert Hot Springs child porn suspect, looks at the camera during a court appearance on Feb. 19. Six weeks before Yoder was arrested, social workers found pictures of boys posing in their underwear while inspecting Yoder’s home.
(Photo: Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun)


The tip came in six days before Christmas. Someone called a child abuse hotline, reporting that a parent in Desert Hot Springs was molesting two boys. The caller said the man also kept pictures of boys posing in their underwear on his computer.

And so, as it often does, Riverside County sent social workers to investigate the man, a licensed foster parent. He lived in a two-bedroom house with two adopted sons, a preteen boy for whom he was seeking guardianship, and a neighborhood teenager who had moved in after an argument with his parents.

When questioned, the children denied the abuse. But the tipster, it seemed, had been at least half right. Searching the man’s computer, social workers found two photos of children, unrelated to the parent, posing in their underwear. The pictures had been taken by one of the foster parent’s friends, one of the boys said. Sometimes they spent time with that friend, the boy said.

To these social workers, these underwear pictures were concerning, but they were not concerning enough. Social workers classified the investigation as “inconclusive,” then closed their inquiry, according to Riverside County court documents.

The boys were left in the man’s home. His foster license was left intact.

Today, that same parent, John David Yoder, sits behind bars, a suspect in what officials have called one of the worst child pornography rings in Southern California in recent years. Yoder and three other suspects have been accused of victimizing as many as 15 children in Desert Hot Springs, including some of the boys that lived with him. Yoder was arrested in February as result of a separate investigation by law enforcement in Nevada. The charges he now faces are nearly identical to the allegations that were reported to the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services shortly before Christmas.


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The Desert Sun

John David Yoder: ‘I have been falsely accused’

Brett Kelman 3:42 p.m. PDT May 27, 2015

John David Yoder, a suspect in a high-profile Desert Hot Springs child pornography ring, says county prosecutors are targeting him without evidence because he is gay.

Yoder made this claim in a jailhouse letter sent to The Desert Sun this month. The letter, which spans five handwritten pages, is the first time that Yoder has spoken publicly since his arrest in February.

“It is my belief that I am being unjustly scrutinized beyond the scope of reason because I am a homosexual,” Yoder wrote to the newspaper.

“I have been falsely accused,” Yoder added.

Yoder also wrote that he could not have committed the crimes he is accused of because his home was “buzzing” with therapists, social workers and lawyers due to his status as a foster parent. Finally, Yoder chastises the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office for prosecuting him by convening a grand jury, a court proceeding that does not allow him to defend himself.

The DA’s office declined to comment on Yoder’s letter on Tuesday.


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© Zoran Milich
Responding to a New York Post report stating that more than 300 New York City municipal employees didn’t earn enough to be able to afford a place to live, the mayor has offered to find them permanent housing.

During a press conference on Monday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted there were people working for the city that were homeless, though he disputed the number initially reported.

What we’re facing now, this is becoming more and more of an economic problem. Meaning people have been displaced from their homes by the high cost of housing, even if they’re working,” de Blasio said at City Hall.

We’re going to make sure in every case, particularly with working folks, that we look for every opportunity to get them to permanent housing.

The mayor questioned whether the number of homeless city employees was over 300, with his spokeswoman Ishanee Parikh saying records showed that only 83 shelter residents have identified themselves as city employees.

View image on Twitter

De Blasio vows to put a roof over homeless city workers’ heads 

Municipal union leaders told the Post, however, that the actual number is over 300, but many don’t report their employment status to shelters out of shame.

“There’s a social taboo that they believe comes with being homeless,” Joseph Puleo, president of Local 983 of District Council 37, the city’s largest blue-collar municipal-workers union, told the Post.


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 Published time: 25 Sep, 2015 12:20
© Seven LE DUC
The French animal rights group, Cause Animal Nord, has come under fire after a video emerged of the activists taking away a puppy from a crying homeless man in central Paris.

The video shows the man fighting for his dog, but eventually losing out as three members of the group, including the organization’s president, seized the puppy and ran away. The homeless man was left in tears.

The cruel act has been condemned by the media and internet users. A number took to social networks to express their disgust, while others left highly critical messages on the organization’s Facebook page.

View image on Twitter

3 French animal rights activists steal puppy from homeless man, and put it up for adoption under the name “Vegan”:h…

LieDetector-AndersonBy John Vibes

69-year-old Douglas G. Williams of Norman, Oklahoma was sentenced to two years in prison this week for running a website that pointed out the flaws in lie detector tests. Williams is a former detective for the Oklahoma City Police Department and throughout the course of his career he administered thousands of polygraph tests for his own police department, as well as other agencies like the FBI and the Secret Service. Through his experience, Williams learned that a polygraph is not a valid way of truly figuring out whether or not someone is lying. In 1979, he invented “the sting technique,” which polygraph experts now refer to as “countermeasures.”

He wrote the first manual teaching people how to pass a polygraph test, which was initially published in 1979 and, according to him, was one of the very first e-books available on the Internet.

 The U.S. Department Of Justice issued a press release this week stating that they planted federal agents to pose as customers and entrap Williams in schemes to help the agents cheat on polygraph tests.

According to the press release:

According to admissions made in connection with his plea, Williams owned and operated, an Internet-based business through which he trained people how to conceal misconduct and other disqualifying information when submitting to polygraph examinations in connection with federal employment suitability assessments, background investigations, internal agency investigations and other proceedings.  In particular, Williams admitted that he trained an individual posing as a federal law enforcement officer to lie and conceal involvement in criminal activity from an internal agency investigation.  Williams also admitted to training a second individual, posing as an applicant seeking federal employment, to lie and conceal crimes in a pre-employment polygraph examination.  Williams also admitted to instructing the individuals to deny receiving his polygraph training.


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Macomb County man David Stojcevski died of drug withdrawal and neglect as officials ignored his plight.

Macomb County

Local 4 / clickondetroit

It was a death sentence.

David Stojcevski, a 32-year-old resident of Roseville, Michigan, was arrested for failing to pay a $772 fine stemming from careless driving. A court ordered him to spend a month in the Macomb County jail.

Over the next 17 days of his incarceration in a brightly lit cell—where he was denied clothing—he lost 50 pounds, suffered convulsions, and eventually began to hallucinate. He died in agony, from a combination of obvious, untreated drug withdrawal and galling neglect.

Making matters worse (if anything could be worse than that), the entirety of his demise was captured on jail surveillance footage. Indeed, Stojcevski was under self-harm watch—stemming for a profound misdiagnosis of his condition, which was drug addiction, not mental instability—and jail officials were supposed to be watching him constantly. Either their vigilance was inadequate, or they watched and simply didn’t care.

WDIV’s report on the story is a must-see, though it’s highly disturbing: the video shows clips from the jail footage while a medical expert offers commentary on the inhumanity of Stojcevski’s treatment.


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RT America

Analysts claim CENTCOM altered reports to make war against ISIS look better than in reality © Stringer
One of the defense analysts claiming CENTCOM had prettied up reports on the campaign against Islamic State has been named, along with the two officials he fingered as culprits. House and Senate committees have taken an interest in the investigation.

Gregory Hooker, the same analyst who a decade ago criticized plans for the 2003 Iraq invasion as being “amateurish and unrealistic,” was named by the New York Times as one of the originators of the July complaint against the US Central Command (CENTCOM). Filed by Hooker and another analyst, the complaint was endorsed by 50 of their colleagues, the Daily Beast revealed earlier this month.

READ MORE: Revolt of the spies: DoD analysts claim CENTCOM doctored reports about war on ISIS

CENTCOM employs some 1,500 intelligence analysts composed of civilian employees, members of the military, and contractors at the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. The complaint accuses two senior intelligence officials at CENTCOM, Major General Steven Grove and his civilian deputy, Gregory Ryckman, of altering draft intelligence assessments on the offensive against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, according to the Times.

The man at the center of a revolt at CENTCOM over cooked ISIS intelligence, and the group of analysts he leads 

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End Of The American Dream

The American Dream Is Becoming A Nightmare And Life As We Know It Is About To Change

Puzzle Last Piece - Public Domain


One of the biggest steps toward a one world government that we have ever seen is happening this week, and yet barely anyone is even talking about it.  In fact, it is even being called a “new universal Agenda” for humanity.  Those are not my words – those are the words that the United Nations is using.  If you don’t believe this, just go look at the official document for this new UN agenda.  You won’t have to read very far.  The phrase “new universal Agenda” is right near the end of the preamble.  Officially, the name of this ambitious new program is “the 2030 Agenda“, and it is being hyped as a way to get the whole world to work together to make life better for all of us.  And a lot of the goals of this new agenda are very admirable.  For example, who wouldn’t want to end global poverty?  But as you look deeper into what the UN is trying to do, you find some very disturbing things.

If you didn’t like Agenda 21, then you really are not going to like the 2030 Agenda, because the 2030 Agenda takes things to an entirely new level.  Agenda 21 was primarily focused on climate change and the environment, but the 2030 Agenda goes far beyond that.  As I have noted previously, the 2030 Agenda addresses economics, agriculture, education, gender equality, healthcare and a whole host of other issues.  It has been argued that there are very few forms of human activity that do not fall under the goals of the 2030 Agenda in one way or another.

The UN says that this new Agenda is “voluntary”, and yet virtually every single nation on the entire planet is willingly signing up for it.  In the official document that all of these nations are agreeing to, there are 17 sustainable development goals and 169 very specific sustainable development targets.  You can read them for yourself right here.


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Time to Trade in Your Jag, Benz, BMW for a Dented Econobox: Days of Rage Are Coming

The resistance will take the form of subverting the signifiers of wealth that exemplify the few who have benefited so greatly while everyone else lost ground.
It’s time to trade in your Jag, Mercedes, BMW (and maybe your Prius, Volvo, Lexus, etc.) before the Days of Rage start. As I’ve explained before ( As the “Prosperity” Tide Recedes, the Ugly Reality of Wealth Inequality Is Exposed), the rage of the masses who have been losing ground while the Financier Oligarchs, the New Nobility and the technocrat class reap immense gains for decades has been suppressed by the dream that they too could join the Upper Caste.
But once the realistic odds of that happening (low) sink in, the Days of Rage will begin. For those still who don’t know the facts of rising inequality, here’s what you need to know.
The top 1% skim 23% of all income:
While the top 5% has enjoyed substantial income gains over the past 45 years, adjusted for inflation, the bottom 90% have lost ground:
The last time there was mass unrest in America was the civil rights/Vietnam War era. The power of the civil rights movement arose from the core injustice of segregation (separate and unequal) and institutionalized racism/bias. This institutionalized injustice drew people from all classes and ethnicities into the streets, where they were promptly beaten by police.

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United Nations Farce: Saudi Arabia to Head UN Human Rights Council

The United Nations Security Council: An Organization for Injustice

All victims of human rights abuses should be able to look to the Human Rights Council as a forum and a springboard for action. (Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, 12 March 2007, Opening of the 4th Human Rights Council Session.)

Article 55 of United Nations Charter includes: “Universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.”

In diametrical opposition to these fine founding aspirations, the UN has appointed Saudi Arabia’s envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council to head (or should that be “behead”) an influential human rights panel. The appointment was seemingly made in June, but only came to light on 17th September, due to documents obtained by UN Watch (1.)

… Mr Faisal Bin Hassan Trad, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador at the UN in Geneva, was elected as Chair of a panel of independent experts on the UN Human Rights Council.

As head of a five-strong group of diplomats, the influential role would give Mr Trad the power to select applicants from around the world for scores of expert roles in countries where the UN has a mandate on human rights.

Such experts are often described as the “crown jewels” of the HRC, according to UN Watch.

The “crown jewels” have been handed to a country with one of the worst human rights records in the world. Saudi Arabia will head a Consultative Group of five Ambassadors empowered to select applicants globally for more than seventy seven positions to deal with human rights violations and mandates.

In a spectacular new low for even a UN whose former Secretary General, Kofi Annan, took eighteen months to admit publicly that the 2003 invasion of, bombardment and near destruction of Iraq was illegal, UN Watch points out that the UN has chosen: “a country that has beheaded more people this year than ISIS to be head of a key Human Rights panel …” (2)

In May, just prior to the appointment, the Saudi government advertised for eight extra executioners to: “ … carry out an increasing number of death sentences, which are usually beheadings, carried out in public” (3.)

Seemingly: “no special qualifications are needed.” The main function would be executing, but job description: “also involves performing amputations …”

The advert was posted on the website of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of the Civil Service.

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Published on
Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Warning: TTIP Aims To Defang Local Rules Against Hazardous Chemicals

New report finds that the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership poses a threat to state regulations against hazardous pesticides, products, and fracking chemicals

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Fracking wells in McKenzie County, North Dakota. (Photo: Tim Evanson/flickr/cc)

Fracking wells in McKenzie County, North Dakota. (Photo: Tim Evanson/flickr/cc)

The mammoth Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) under secret negotiation between the United States and European Union is poised to slash the power of local governments to regulate toxins—from pesticides to fracking chemicals—the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) warned in a report released Tuesday.

Preempting the Public Interest: How TTIP Will Limit US States’ Public Health and Environmental Protections (pdf) is based on an analysis of the European Commission’s proposed chapter on regulatory cooperation from the April 20 round of negotiations. The report follows other analyses of the text which conclude that the TTIP poses a threat to human rights, environmental protections, and democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Beyond the regulatory cooperation chapter, little else is known about the content of the closed-door negotiations over what is set to be the largest bilateral “trade” deal in history.

The chapter’s contents, warns CIEL, highlight the direct threat the TTIP poses to public health and environmental protections on the U.S. state level. This is especially troublesome, the report argues, because federal regulations under the Toxic Substance Control Act have proven “egregiously ineffective”—and could be even further eroded, thanks to the influence of the chemical industry in Congress.

“The bottom line is if you’re trying to make the U.S. compatible with an international standard, and you have minimal federal regulations on the U.S. side, and you have states that go beyond that, the provisions will be used to attack state chemical and pesticide regulations.”
—Sharon Treat, report co-author

In contrast, some state governments have taken the lead in responding to the dangers posed by fracking chemicals, pesticides, and hazardous products by adopting “more than 250 laws and regulations protecting humans and the environment from exposure to toxic chemicals,” the report says.

However, so-called “harmonization provisions” in the EU’s proposal could force states to conform to the lowest common denominator—in this case weaker federal guidelines. As Sharon Treat, attorney, co-author of the report and former Maine state legislator, explained to Common Dreams, “The bottom line is if you’re trying to make the U.S. compatible with an international standard, and you have minimal federal regulations on the U.S. side, and you have states that go beyond that, the provisions will be used to attack state chemical and pesticide regulations.”

What’s more, the report asserts, the proposed chapter calls for an imposition of “multiple procedural mandates—from an early warning system to regulatory exchanges to the trade and cost-benefit impact assessments—that will lead to a regulatory chill caused by delay, increased costs for government, fear of legal challenges, and heightened industry influence and conflicts of interest.”

Beyond their demobilizing effect, such requirements could also expand the power of private interests in corporate tribunals, known as the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) systems.

“If you are requiring state and federal governments to do more studies to review whether a regulation could be done in a way that is less of an imposition on trade or big business, then you could bolster the case of the ISDS systems to block regulations,” explained Treat. “That would be tipping the scales even further in favor of international corporations running roughshod over regulations and procedures to protect public health and the environment.

Given the continued secrecy of the talks, it is not known how the U.S. responded to the proposed chapter, but the researchers at CIEL say the EU’s language alone is cause for alarm. CIEL warns that the “largest chemical and manufacturing corporations on both sides of the Atlantic” are playing a role in pressing the TTIP’s regulatory agenda—and that the U.S. is likely pressing for a similar race to the bottom for EU member states.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is negotiating the TTIP alongside two other secret trade deals: the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trade in Services Agreement. All three have come under stiff opposition from social movements and civil societies across the globe concerned that they will bolster corporate power at the expense of people and the planet. Some observers argue that these deals could collapse, in part due to their unpopularity and internal contradictions.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License


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