Wednesday, July 27, 2016
The methods used on at-risk children in youth detention in the Northern Territory, Australia. The Northern Territory corrections system has reportedly been plagued by accusations of mistreatment of offenders and a run of escapes from custody
A teenager who has become the face of a juvenile detention scandal has thanked Australians for their support. Images of Dylan Voller cuffed to a mechanical restraint chair drew widespread condemnation after they were aired on television.Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday convened a royal commission to examine treatment of juvenile inmates in the Northern Territory.
In a public letter, Voller said he wanted to make up for his past actions.
"I would just like to thank the whole Australian community for the support you have showed for us boys as well as our families," Voller wrote.
Dylan Voller is hooded and strapped into a mechanical restraint chair in March 2015 for almost two hours.
Earlier, the video — recorded by guards on duty — showed Voller had chewed on his mattress and threatened to break his own hand after he was put in the restraint chair.
The use of mechanical restraints was legalized in the Northern Territory in 2016. ( barbaric)
April 7, 2011:
Fourteen-year-old Dylan Voller is being held in isolation after threatening self harm.
Fourteen-year-old Dylan Voller is being held in isolation after threatening self harm.
Three officers enter the room, grab him by the neck, strip him naked and leave him on the floor. The removal of his clothing is part of the centre's "at risk" procedure.
December 9, 2010:
Thirteen-year-old Voller is on the phone. When he refuses to hand it over, a guard rips the phone off him, knees him and knocks him to the ground.
The officer involved was found not guilty in court.
His casual contract was not renewed but a 2015 report found he was later re-employed at the Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre despite objections from the Professional Standards Command.
October 20, 2010 :
Thirteen-year-old Voller is being held in isolation again after threatening to self harm.
Thirteen-year-old Voller is being held in isolation again after threatening to self harm.
He is seen playing with a pack of cards before he is grabbed by the neck, thrown onto a mattress and forcefully stripped naked.
The officer involved was twice found not guilty of aggravated assault.
August 21, 2014:
Thirteen-year-old Voller is held up by his neck and thrown into a cell in the behavioural management unit at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.
The officer involved was charged but found not guilty of assault. The casual officer's contract was not renewed.
Voller was also one of six children are tear gassed in the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre. They were held in isolation in the Behaviour Management Unit for between six and 17 days before the incident.
Royal commissions don't do much and they take forever to do it. These conditions will continue to exist. I am shocked and amazed time and again at the barbarism and cruelty of the human race to it's own kind.
Trump takes a few nasty pokes at the Clintons, calls on Russia to hack Hillary's emails and does some back paddling on previous statements
MIAMI — Donald Trump made an extraordinary plea for Russia to help find Hillary Clinton's missing emails. Trump urged Russia to hack Mrs Clinton's email, triggering a wave of criticism — but he hardly stopped there in a scattershot news conference Wednesday that doubled as counter-programming to the ongoing Democratic National Convention.
Among the other items Trump touched upon on the nearly hour-long press conference held at one of his Florida resorts:
BILL CLINTON'S SPEECH:
Former President Bill Clinton delivered an impassioned speech at the Democratic National Convention praising his wife, Hillary Clinton.
But Trump said that he was disappointed that Bill Clinton's lengthy telling of their life story had left out a portion — presumably his sex scandals.
"He left out the most interesting chapter," said Trump. "I won't get into that -- a chapter that I really waited for -- because it was pretty boring. The chapter that I waited for, I never heard."
HILLARY CLINTON'S SECURITY BRIEFINGS:
Trump said that he has "a real problem" with Hillary Clinton receiving nation security briefings because of the way she mishandled sensitive information during her tenure as secretary of state.
"I don't think it's safe to have Hillary Clinton be briefed on national security because the word will get out," he said, pointing to her use of a private email address and server.
Trump also singled out top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, suggesting that she would share classified information with her husband, former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned in a sexting scandal. Trump called Weiner "a sleaze ball and a pervert."
He also called for Clinton, who was nominated at her party's convention Tuesday night, to have her first press conference in months.
Trump said that he'd like to see the federal minimum wage increased to "at least" $10.
"The minimum wage has to go up," he told reporters. "But I think that states should really call the shots."
Trump pointed to the fact that different states have dramatically different living costs, noting that in his home state of New York, "You can't buy a hot dog for the money you're talking about."
The move represents a break from his party — and from Trump's past statements. He also says that he'll spur job creation so the minimum wage is "peanuts" compared to what people can make.
Trump is saying his campaign will soon publish a list of countries from which immigrants will need to undergo "extreme vetting" before entering the United States.
"We have people coming in this country with very evil intentions," Trump said. "We cannot let those people come in."
Trump has been hard to pin down on his immigration plan, which he initially framed as a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the United States.
He has now said that people from any country that has been compromised by terrorism would be subject to tougher screening measures. He has not identified the countries but has said it could include traditional U.S. allies like France.
TIM KAINE'S HOME STATE:
Trump twice misidentified the home state of Hillary Clinton's new running mate, Tim Kaine.
Trump said that Kaine, a senator from Virginia, was from New Jersey.
"Her running mate, Tim Kaine, who by the way, did a terrible job in New Jersey," Trump said at a news conference in Miami. "He was not very popular in New Jersey, and he still isn't."
He was then corrected by an audience member. Why can't people see this guy is a loose cannon who changes his story with the wind direction or according to whatever slander his spin doctors can invent??
Sunday, July 24, 2016
ATLANTA — Hillary Clinton should be in jail. Donald Trump threatens America's very existence....Whaaaat ?
These are not fringe opinions. They are widespread views across the nation's bitter political divide. That means that on Nov. 9, the morning after Election Day, tens of millions of Americans will awaken to the realization that someone they loathe will be the 45th president of the United States.
The dynamics of the race, more ominous than the usual rough-and-tumble of politics, leave many Republicans and Democrats worried that many voters will be unwilling to accept the outcome. That could weaken the new president from the very first day in office. Intense, sustained opposition diminishes a president's political capital and emboldens opposition lawmakers who have to answer to their own supporters.
"Politics has never been genteel ... but generally both parties and their leaders have recognized the legitimacy of the process, and that seems to be fraying," said Republican Steve Schmidt, top strategist for Arizona Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.
The GOP mood was on display at their national convention, where delegates in Cleveland erupted daily into chants of "Lock her up! Lock her up!" — a reference to Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state. Clinton was investigated, but not charged.
Clinton's campaign answered with fundraising pitches, telling would-be donors: "We have to stop him." There promises to be plenty of Trump bashing when Democrats convene their convention Monday in Philadelphia.
It's not that the United States hasn't had divisive elections before.
The 2000 race between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore resulted in a prolonged recount of Florida's votes and ended with a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that put Bush in the White House.
Chris Lehane, who managed Gore's bid, said as bitter as that was, "it's even more partisan now."
Lehane recalled being on Capitol Hill, preparing for a news conference, when the court issued its ruling that ended Gore's presidential hopes. "I remember I had one of the first Blackberries, and the first message I got (after the decision) was from Gore: 'Do not trash the Supreme Court,'" Lehane said. "He knew how he reacted mattered" for Bush.
Trump has shown a willingness to question election results. He warred with national GOP leaders during his own primary season, and he asserted anew Thursday that Clinton's Democratic victory came only as the result of a "rigged system." As a private citizen, he questioned the legitimacy of Barack Obama's presidency, falsely charging that Obama was not a natural-born citizen and thus ineligible to serve.
Each candidate has declared the other unqualified for the presidency. Trump talks of "crooked Hillary" and says she's a "puppet" of special interests. Clinton calls Trump "temperamentally unfit" for the Oval Office.
Schmidt, the former McCain strategist, noted "half the country is going to be unhappy" after any presidential election. This year, he said, all signs suggest "a very unhealthy number of the half that's unhappy will not regard the legitimately elected president of the United State as legitimate." A cause for demonstrations and riots and just down-right angry citizens.
Neither campaign responded to an Associated Press inquiry asking whether the candidates would commit now to an unequivocal concession upon defeat. And there's no guarantee voters would follow their chosen candidate's lead.
"I could never accept Hillary Clinton as president," said Terry Hardaman, a 38-year-old Republican in Roswell, Georgia. Hardaman got emotional as he noted Clinton's email controversy. "I'm a Marine. Two tours in Iraq. I lost friends there. If any of us had done what she did," he said, his voice trailing off. "And now she wants to be commander in chief?"
Yet in Atlanta, 91-year-old Democrat Howard King compared the national mood and Trump's candidacy, which he described as racially divisive, to the twilight of the Roman Empire. "You read that history, Rome wasn't conquered from the outside," King said. "It fell from within." Asked to contemplate a Trump administration, King laughed. "Donald Trump is a fool," he said. "I can't see him as 'our president.'"
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Gender is set to be a defining issue in this year's US presidential race. Donald Trump recently claimed, "the only thing" Hillary Clinton has got going is the women's card, and the beautiful thing is, women don't like her". Is that true?
Polls suggest the opposite - Hillary Clinton enjoys a lead among female voters of all backgrounds, while she struggles with the blue-collar male vote. It is interesting to examine who women want to win this year's presidential race - Mr Trump or Mrs Clinton, and why their decision will be so crucial to the final result.
“Gender is the single biggest issue in this race,” said Siobhan Bennett, who spent five years as president of the Women’s Campaign Fund, which supports female candidates. “It’s more important than policy. It’s more important than anything. But it’s more subtle, it’s less overt.”
Clinton is now the first female presidential nominee of a major American party. As fortune or misfortune would have it, she is running against the first male nominee who has publicly derided women as pigs and dogs, gleefully rated women on a one-to-ten attractiveness scale and allegedly made women cry while running beauty pageants.
The race will serve as America’s highest-stakes natural experiment in the impact of gender and gender bias in executive politics. Old gender standards may no longer as accepted or as stereotypical as they once were.
" I think we all have questions — probably as many questions as we have hypotheses and answers,” said Kelly Dittmar, a professor at Rutgers University-Camden and scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics.
This is not the America of the early 1980s, when young Hillary Rodham decided to adopt her husband’s last name to appease the traditionalists she worried would doom his run for governor of Arkansas.
Americans claim, these days, that they are ready for a woman in charge: 92 per cent tell Gallup pollsters they would vote for a female president, up from 78 per cent in 1984 and 53 per cent when Clinton was a young feminist graduating from a women’s college in 1969.
Yet they still view candidates through gendered lenses: men are generally assumed to be stronger on security and the economy, women on health care and child care. But there is a vigorous debate among experts about whether or not gender actually affects how people vote in the end.
There is little evidence, for example, that female voters prefer to vote for female candidates. Clinton, attempting to turn the election into a referendum on Trump, may make her case less because women were drawn to her, but more because they were repelled by the male alternative, Trump.
“I don’t think the Democratic candidate being a woman is going to be the thing that explodes the gender gap. I actually think it’s the insanity of the Republican nominee that could explode the gender gap,” said Kathleen Dolan, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who researches the impact of gender.
Clinton, long the recipient of feminist admiration and antifeminist loathing, was nearly silent about her gender during her failed 2008 campaign. This year, she has made it central to her pitch. Trump has made it central to his criticism, targeting Clinton’s womanhood in ways both explicit (“the only card she has is the women’s card”) and slightly more veiled (“she doesn’t even look presidential”).
Raising Clinton’s looks may be simultaneously demeaning and tactical. In a 2013 study by prominent Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, the mere mention of a hypothetical female candidate’s appearance, whether positive or negative or neutral, was enough to make voters rate her less highly on every other attribute from her effectiveness to her likability.
But the study also found something Bennett called “antithetical to every shred of commonly accepted political wisdom”: if a female candidate responds to the discussion of her looks, her poll numbers generally recover. Bennett said Clinton has been wise to address sexism in high-profile venues like the Jimmy Kimmel show.
“The old advice is to ignore personal attacks for fear of making them larger and higher profiled. ‘When an attack comes your way, the last thing to do is respond.’
Well, when it comes to women, it turns out it’s the first thing you should do,” said Bennett. “And, of course, you do it skillfully and in an informed way, but you do respond.”
Other conventional wisdom may be just as wrong. Dolan has concluded that, believe it or not, there is no proof stereotypes about women actually harm female candidates at the ballot box.
It’s not that voters don’t harbor stereotypes, Dolan said — it’s that “those stereotypes don’t matter when they’re making vote decisions.” Other factors — particularly party loyalty — are far more important in determining their votes.
The U.S. is more polarized by party than at any time in the last 70-plus years. Democratic men and women, Dolan said, will vote for Clinton, Republican men and women for Trump. Anyone who complains that Clinton’s voice is “shrill,” she said, is “pretty unlikely to be voting for her in the first place.”
“Popular culture, reportage, conventional wisdom have just for so long assumed that a candidate’s sex matters. There was always this idea that the presence of a woman just disrupted all of the natural forces that we knew governed elections. And what my data suggests is that it doesn’t.”
Professor Dittmar, who has surveyed dozens of campaign consultants, said the female candidates generally have to work harder to convince voters of their qualifications. Clinton, a former senator, secretary of state and first lady, has no such problem after 25 years in the national spotlight. Recent polls suggest two-thirds of voters think she has the experience needed to be president, while just one third say the same about Trump.
“She’s very individualized in the minds of voters,” Dittmar said. “When we talk generally about gender stereotypes, we’re often talking about cues that voters use when they don’t know a candidate very well.” Clinton is very well known to the American public, young and old.
Trump has won his nomination, his ticket to the White House, and now the final race between the female candidate and the male begins in earnest.
Donald Trump might have officially clinched his party’s nomination - but winning the country over could hinge on one key factor - demographics. With America’s population changing, critics say he needs to do much more to broaden his appeal. So can he? Rajini Vaidyanathan has been finding out.
Monday, July 18, 2016
The earth is an Eden of color and light; red and gold sunsets inspire awe and delight.
The sky is an ageless blue, so bright, you could weep with the beauty it lends to the night.
And still you can thrill to the subtlest hue and wake to each day with wonder anew.
The glow of a flame, a leaf you discover, the glint of jewels, deep in the eyes of your lover,
The blush of an apple, the glimmer of stars in the vast unknown are all priceless gifts,
Every shadow and tone, every layer of pearl, every grain in a stone.
Be my eyes for a moment; I want you to see the dazzling landscape that is speaking to me.
And to capture it all can be such a yearning; a privileged few are blessed with that burning.
To paint what is true takes a lifetime of learning. I have far, still to go; there's so much I don't know.
To channel the colors that whirl in my brain to flow through my fingers is rapture and pain,
And giving life to a vision is a joy to attain.
The rich mélange of life is my muse, but the shadows grow closer and I have much to lose.
How bitter to be so enchanted with light, to marvel at every vivid new sight,
And watch the light slowly fade to eternal night.