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June 21, 2012

North Carolina sets aside millions in compensation for victims of forced sterilization, then decides not to give it to them

The "you can't rewrite history so there is no reason to recompense people" is an interesting defense that pretty much flies in the face of our entire justice system. Paying someone to make them whole--figuratively--as a concept goes back thousands of years. Unless of course the victim is black. North Carolina Sterilization Compensation Plan Blocked | TPMMuckraker
A plan to compensate victims of forced sterilization in North Carolina stalled in the state Senate on Wednesday. The North Carolina House had set aside $10 million in the state budget, so as to give victims of its eugenics program $50,000 each, but Senate Republicans rejected the proposal, The Raleigh News & Observer reports. “You just can’t rewrite history. It was a sorry time in this country,” state Sen. Don East (R) told the Associated Press. “I’m so sorry it happened, but throwing money don’t change it, don’t make it go away. It still happened.” An estimated 7,600 North Carolinians, both men and women, were sterilized under the authorization of the North Carolina Eugenics Board between 1929 and 1974, according to the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation. Many of those people were minorities, poor, undereducated, institutionalized, sick or disabled. Between 1,500 and 2,000 victims of state sterilization are estimated to still be alive today. The News & Observer reports that 146 living victims have been verified so far. “If you could lay the issue to rest, it might be one thing. But I’m not so sure it would lay the issue at rest because if you start compensating people who have been ‘victimized’ by past history, I don’t know where that would end,” Sen. Austin Allran (R) told the AP.

June 07, 2012

Dickhead teachers trick students into eating moose poop

Teachers trick eighth graders into eating moose poop on a school trip | Death and Taxes
Something is bound to go wrong on a middle school canoe trip, be it poison ivy, that kid who forgot his EpiPen or, say, a group of teachers who think it’s funny to trick kids into eating moose poop. That last of these happened recently when a chaperone on a school trip in Manitoba, Canada offered an eighth grade boy a sandwich baggy filled with little brown pellets, promising they were chocolate-covered almonds. According to CBC, as soon as the boy put the pellet in his mouth, someone yelled “You just ate moose poop!” and everyone started laughing, including the school principal, a resource officer and the kid’s teacher. Moose poop can be funny, but that’s pretty messed up. And there’s more: after the boy ran off to rinse his mouth and probably vomit up his lunch and all his self-esteem, they pulled the same trick on a 13 year-old girl who got the moose poop caught in her braces. A little girl trying to get the moose poop out of her braces while her teacher and principal looked on belly-laughing has to be one of the saddest middle school moments that took place anywhere in the last decade. Developmentally speaking, middle school is the shit-eating phase of our lives. Bringing literal shit and laughing adults into the equation sounds like torture.

June 06, 2012

Shady church pushes bleach enemas as treatment for autism

This is just horrible. The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism: Dangerous Interventions: MMS and Autism
First, a brief history: A man named Jim Humble seems to have realized that if you cynically and wantonly make the right false promises, you can sell anything to almost anyone, especially when a hot-button disorder or disease is involved. So, he decided that he would sell a bleach solution to people to “treat” a host of unrelated conditions, from malaria to flu, and now, autism. He’s reasonably effective as a salesman, but he didn’t stop there. Humble actually has a church (“non-religious” !), all centered around shilling bleach solution as a cure-all the world over. His sweep is international, and his acolytes who go forth and share the Word of Humble appear to number in the hundreds. The church--dubbed Genesis 2--focuses on proselytizing use of Humble’s bleach solution, initially called Miracle Mineral Solution but now dubbed MMS. The Genesis 2 church “ordains” people at different levels of the church hierarchy, including as “ministers of health.” And it seems that in the last year or so, Humble has joined forces with two other people in this “church” to target the autism community, hawking this bleach solution as a cure for autism. Joining Archbishop Humble (I’m not making that up) in his goal to bleach the insides and outsides of autistic children everywhere are Bishop Kerri Rivera (a DAN! adherent, as well) and sidekick the Reverend Doctor Janet Henshaw-Hedlund, featured here in a video with Humble. The three have held a workshop in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where the threesome provide direction to “treat” autistic children by having them ingest bleach to the point of vomiting and diarrhea, if not worse. You can read about the claims they make about their solution at Science-Based Medicine, where Orac has taken apart a presentation that Bishop Rivera herself made at AutismOne 2012. Introduced by a woman wearing an “MMS Rocks!” t-shirt, Rivera gave her misleading, anti-scientific, bleach-shilling talk (video here; viewer beware) to what appeared to be a room that contained not a single dissenter, not one person who stood up to ask, “Really? You’re recommending that we use a bleach solution as an enema in autistic children? As a bath? As an oral ‘treatment’?” You read that correctly. Bleach enemas to cure autism. . . .