Nightmare


This section of Graphic Humor in political-economic, national or international issues, are very ingenious in describing what happened, is happening or will happen. It also extends to various other local issues or passing around the world. There are also other non-political humor that ranges from reflective or just to get us a smile when we see them. Anyone with basic education and to stay informed of important news happening in our local and global world may understand and enjoy them. Farewell!. (CTsT) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Politically speaking, Sarah Palin is crazy — but in an entertaining way. Speaker of the House John Boehner may look reasonable by comparison, but his supposed rationality is pretty dubious.

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Before I proceed to pick on these GOP icons, I want to acknowledge that I spend a lot of time blasting Republicans in my columns and cartoons. Many readers assume it’s because I’m a commie-pinko, America-hating liberal Democrat. Actually, my constant critique of today’s GOP has more to do with the fact that I grew up in a time and place where Republicans were often the smart, sane ones and quite a few Democrats were part of a regressive, corrupt old guard.

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Sarah Palin defines craziness for the Republican Party
Coming from a long-time-Republican family, I leaned toward the GOP in my sympathies and my votes well into my 20s. But those were the days when the word “Republican” was not synonymous with conservative and conservative was not synonymous with reactionary, anti-intellectual, gun-worshiping, gay-bashing, immigrant-fearing populism.

So, as a lapsed Republican, I am disappointed with the narrowness, rigidity and willful ignorance of those contemporary Republicans who claim the right to brand any Republican who disagrees with them a “Rino” (Republican in name only).

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Judged by the long history of the party, if anyone is an actual Rino, it’s Sarah Palin. She has recently confessed as much, revealing an inclination to leave the GOP behind because the party lacks zeal for her list of kooky causes. One cause, in particular, has failed to ignite the passions of party leaders: the impeachment of President Obama.

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Last week in a column on Breitbart.com, Palin declared, “Enough is enough of the years of abuse from this president. His unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, ‘no mas.’ “

She wrote that “the many impeachable offenses of Barack Obama can no longer be ignored,” but failed to clarify what those crimes may be. One of the president’s worst sins, as Palin sees it, is that he has made many Americans “feel like strangers in their own country.” Setting aside the reality that sweeping demographic, cultural and economic changes are far more likely the cause of traditionalist alienation than anything the president has done, it should be noted that making some folks feel excluded is not an impeachable offense. Imagine how marginalized anti-war liberals felt when George W. Bush was president.

Boehner apparently knows that trying to lead an impeachment effort is a fool’s errand. He dismissed Palin’s impeachment manifesto with two words: “I disagree.”

Instead, he and the House GOP leadership are taking the president to federal court, saying he has overstepped the limits of his constitutional role. This might seem a saner course of action if not for the political loopiness of the premise on which they are basing their lawsuit. After fighting against Obama’s Affordable Care Act for most of the president’s time in office, after taking countless votes to repeal the act and after running in 2010 and 2012 on a platform demanding repeal of the law, the Republicans now want to force the administration to put the law into full effect.

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Obama has delayed implementation of the employer mandate provision of the ACA twice since 2013. Now, penalties that will punish employers for not providing healthcare coverage to their employees will not kick in until 2016. Boehner contends Obama has usurped the powers of Congress by fiddling with the deadlines.

It is an interesting legal question that a court will decide somewhere down the line, but no one is naïve enough to believe that constitutional clarity is truly Boehner’s goal. Republicans hate the mandate as much as they hate the whole healthcare law. The lawsuit is merely a milder version of the impeachment campaign; another gambit in the ceaseless effort to block the Democratic president at every possible turn.

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This juvenile partisan towel fight has consumed most of the efforts of Republicans for way too long. Immediate action is needed to keep the Highway Trust Fund from running out of money by the end of August. By the end of September, a long list of other bills must be passed to avert another government shutdown. Plus, there’s the debate about renewal of the Export-Import Bank and the bill to address the latest border crisis. But all that necessary work may not get done because the House majority is too fixated on undoing the last two presidential elections.

For her part, Palin mocks Boehner’s little ploy. “You don’t bring a lawsuit to a gunfight and there’s no room for lawyers on our front lines,” she said, boldly mixing her metaphors on Fox News.

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These aren’t real Republicans. This is a clown troop.

 

* Text by David Horsey, Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2014 

Michelle Knight, the longest-held captive in the Ohio hell house, was removed from the FBI’s missing persons’ database just 15 months after her disappearance, according to a new report.

Cleveland spokeswoman Maureen Harper claimed the cops did the right thing by taking Knight’s name off the list in November 2003, The Cleveland Plain-Dealerreported.

Harper said cops were unable to contact Michelle’s mother Barbara to verify her daughter was still missing.

However, the paper reports that decision conflicts with the department’s written policy, where an officer must confirm a missing person has been found and then contact the FBI within two hours before the name is removed.

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Knight was found more alive more than 10 years after her Aug. 23, 2002 disappearance, along with Amanda Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23, after allegedly being kept as sex slaves by Ariel Castro in Cleveland. Knight, now 32, was reportedly pregnant several times but Castro allegedly beat her until she miscarried The Post previously reported.

Having Knight’s name in the National Crime Information Center, called by the FBI as the “lifeline of law enforcement,” would have been the only way law enforcement agencies and victims’ groups could have helped in the search, the newspaper reports.

Harper said cops continued to work Knight’s case, confirming with Barbara that her daughter was still missing through May 2003.

After that, cops were unable to reach the estranged mother by phone, with a detective noting Michelle’s case “will remain invalid until new leads develop.”

Missing adult advocate Kym Pasqualini said if Michelle’s mom had called them for help “we would have had to say no” without an NCIC number to go with Knight’s name.

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Knight is still in the hospital recovering from her ordeal.

Yesterday Knight’s twin brother recalled his shock at seeing her alive for the first time in more than a decade.

“When I saw her, she was white as a ghost,” Freddie Knight, 32, told The Post. “But she told me, ‘Come over here and give me a hug. It’s been ages!’ ”

“She was happy to see me. It was emotional. She even recognized me — even though it had been 11 years.”

Freddie, who is estranged from their mom, Barbara, was the first family member to see Michelle after her escape.

Michelle was raped as a teen, became pregnant and lost the baby to social services just before she vanished in 2002. She was impregnated in the attack and had a child, which she then lost to state custody.

“We didn’t talk about that bad stuff. She’s been through a lot, so she’s not ready to talk about that,” Freddie added.

“I’m glad he’s in jail,” he said of Castro.

“I wish he was dead. He should have a death sentence; all those miscarriages. It’s crazy.”

Additional reporting by Lorena Mongelli  (May 10, 2013)

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‘Daddy’ is a ‘monster’: Ariel Castro’s daughter blasts fiend after women freed from Ohio hell house

Even with her demonic father in all likelihood gone forever, Gregg lives with a living reminder of the troubles that have plagued her family — she takes care of sister Emily Castro’s 5-year-old daughter.

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The little girl was taken away from Emily after she slashed her then 11-month-old daughter’s throat in April of 2008.

Things were not always as dark as they are now for the Castro family, although sources told The Post Ariel Castro spent years delivering severe beatings to his late-wife Grimilda Figueroa.

Gregg recalling nothing out of the ordinary going on in her childhood home where Ariel Castro kidnapped and held captive three women for about a decade.

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However, the shocking revelations about her father have now put his peculiar habits in a whole new light for Gregg.

“All these weird thing I noticed over the years like how he kept his house locked down so tight in certain areas, how if we’d be out at my grandma’s having dinner he would disappear for an hour or so and then come back and there would be no explanation where he went, everything is making sense now, it’s all adding up,” Gregg said.

At the time, however, Gregg did not think her father’s behavior was anything beyond strange.

For example, one time when she went to visit her father she asked if she could go upstairs to see her childhood bedroom but Castro talked her out of it saying, “Oh, honey, there’s so much junk up there. You don’t want to go up there,” she said.

Gregg thought nothing of the incident when it happened, saying that she just thought of Castro as “being a pack rat.”

While the upstairs was off limits later in life, the basement was a complete no-go zone of the house, even when Gregg was a child, seeing as it was always locked with a “cheap Masterlock.”

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One time Gregg did pick the locks, however, and made her way downstairs, “I remember there being a fish tank down there which was odd because there was nobody down there to look at the fish.”

There were no signs that women were being held captive or that there might have been a small girl living in the house, according to Gregg.

That doesn’t mean that Gregg didn’t know the girl existed. About two months ago Castro showed Gregg a picture of a little girl on his phone but he insisted it was his girlfriend’s child by another man.

“I figured at the most he had an illegitimate child out there, you know, and I would find out eventually,” Gregg said.

Gregg now knows the origins of her 6-year-old sister and hopes that she and the other women held captive by her father can get the treatment that they need.

She also hopes that they will come to understand that her father’s actions are not a reflection of her and her family.

“We don’t have monster in our blood,” she said.

One neighbor says a naked woman was seen crawling on her hands and knees in the backyard of the house a few years ago. Another heard pounding on the home’s doors and noticed plastic bags over the windows.

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Both times, police showed up but never went inside, neighbors say. Police also paid a visit to the house in 2004, but no one answered the door.

Now, after three women who vanished a decade ago were found captive Monday at the peeling, rundown house, Cleveland police are facing questions for the second time in four years about their handling of missing-person cases and are conducting an internal review to see if they overlooked anything.

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City Safety Director Martin Flask said Tuesday that investigators had no record of anyone calling about criminal activity at the house but were still checking police, fire and emergency databases.

The three women were rescued after one of them kicked out the bottom portion of a locked screen door and used a neighbor’s telephone to call 911.

“Help me. I’m Amanda Berry,” she breathlessly told a dispatcher in a call that exhilarated and astonished much of the city. “I’ve been kidnapped and I’ve been missing for 10 years and I’m, I’m here, I’m free now.”

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Berry, 27, Michelle Knight, 32, and Gina DeJesus, about 23, had apparently been held captive in the house since their teens or early 20s, said Police Chief Michael McGrath.

Three brothers, ages 50 to 54, were arrested. One of them, former school bus driver Ariel Castro, owned the home, situated in a poor neighborhood dotted with boarded-up houses just south of downtown Cleveland. No immediate charges were filed.

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A 6-year-old girl believed to be Berry’s daughter was also found in the home, said Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba. He would not say who the father was.

The women were reported by police to be in good health and were reunited with joyous family members but remained in seclusion.

“Prayers have finally been answered. The nightmare is over,” said Stephen Anthony, head of the FBI in Cleveland. “These three young ladies have provided us with the ultimate definition of survival and perseverance. The healing can now begin.”

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He added: “Words can’t describe the emotions being felt by all. Yes, law enforcement professionals do cry.”

Police would not say how the women were taken captive or how they were hidden in the same neighborhood where they vanished. Investigators also would not say whether they were kept in restraints inside the house or sexually assaulted.

Four years ago, in another poverty-stricken part of town, Cleveland’s police force was heavily criticized following the discovery of 11 women’s bodies in the home and backyard of Anthony Sowell, who was later convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

The families of Sowell’s victims accused police of failing to properly investigate the disappearances because most of the women were addicted to drugs and poor. For months, the stench of death hung over the house, but it was blamed on a sausage factory next door.

In the wake of public outrage over the killings, a panel formed by the mayor recommended an overhaul of the city’s handling of missing-person and sex crime investigations.

This time, two neighbors said they called police to the Castro house on separate occasions.

Elsie Cintron, who lives three houses away, said her daughter once saw a naked woman crawling in the backyard several years ago and called police. “But they didn’t take it seriously,” she said.

Another neighbor, Israel Lugo, said he heard pounding on some of the doors of the house in November 2011. Lugo said officers knocked on the front door, but no one answered. “They walked to side of the house and then left,” he said.

“Everyone in the neighborhood did what they had to do,” said Lupe Collins, who is close to relatives of the women. “The police didn’t do their job.”

Police did go to the house twice in the past 15 years, but not in connection with the women’s disappearance, officials said.

In 2000, before the women vanished, Castro reported a fight in the street, but no arrests were made, Flask said.

In 2004, officers went to the home after child welfare officials alerted them that Castro had apparently left a child unattended on a bus, Flask said. No one answered the door, according to Flask. Ultimately, police determined there was no criminal intent on his part, he said.

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Castro, 52, was well known in the mainly Puerto Rican neighborhood. He played bass guitar in salsa and merengue bands. He gave children rides on his motorcycle and joined others at a candlelight vigil to remember two of the missing girls, neighbors said. They also said they would sometimes see him walking a little girl to a neighborhood playground.

Tito DeJesus, an uncle of Gina DeJesus, played in bands with Castro over the last 20 years. He recalled visiting Castro’s house but never noticed anything out of the ordinary, saying it had very little furniture and was filled with musical instruments.

“I had no clue, no clue whatsoever that this happened,” he said.

Also arrested were Castro’s brothers Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50.

On Tuesday, a sign hung on a fence decorated with dozens of balloons outside the home of DeJesus’ parents read “Welcome Home Gina.” Her aunt Sandra Ruiz said her niece had an emotional reunion with family members.

“Those girls, those women are so strong,” Ruiz said. “What we’ve done in 10 years is nothing compared to what those women have done in 10 years to survive.”

Many of the women’s loved ones and friends had held out hope of seeing them again,

For years, Berry’s mother kept her room exactly as it was, said Tina Miller, a cousin. When magazines addressed to Berry arrived, they were piled in the room alongside presents for birthdays and Christmases she missed. Berry’s mother died in 2006.

Just over a month ago, Miller attended a vigil marking the 10th anniversary of Berry’s disappearance.

Over the past decade or so, investigators twice dug up backyards looking for Berry and continued to receive tips about her and DeJesus every few months, even in recent years. The disappearance of the two girls was profiled on TV’s “America’s Most Wanted” in 2005. Few leads ever came in about Knight.

Knight vanished at age 20 in 2002. Berry disappeared at 16 in 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King. About a year later, DeJesus vanished at 14 on her way home from school.

Jessica Aponce, 24, said she walked home with DeJesus the day the teenager disappeared.

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“She called her mom and told her mom she was on her way home and that’s the last time I seen her,” Aponce said. “I just can’t wait to see her. I’m just so happy she’s alive. It’s been so many years that everybody thinking she was dead.”

Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard, who were held captive by abductors at a young age, said they were elated by the women’s rescue.

“We need to have constant vigilance, constantly keep our eyes open and ears open because miracles do happen,” Smart said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

* AP,  May 7, 2013

David Ranta spent 22 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit — and now the Brooklyn dad is struggling to adapt to the fast-paced world of 2013.

“I feel like I’ve been dropped onto another planet — everything has changed, and everything that I’ve known is gone,’’ said Ranta, 58, who will file a notice of claim today of his $150 million lawsuit against the city.

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BIG ERROR: David Ranta is led away in handcuffs after his false arrest for a rabbi’s murder in 1990.

“The first time I ate at a restaurant and used their restroom, I couldn’t figure out how to use the sink; it was one of those automatic motion-sensor faucets,’’ Ranta told The Post. “I had to get someone to show me what to do, and I felt embarrassed.”

Ranta, who was convicted of killing a prominent rabbi when cops convinced witnesses to make a false identification, said he has had trouble adjusting to life on the outside.

“To tell you the truth, mentally I still fell like I’m in prison,’’ he said. “You can’t just flip a switch and say, ‘Hey, you’re free; go enjoy the time you have left.’ ”

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NIGHTMARE: David Ranta (right, yesterday), who was falsely convicted of killing Brooklyn Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger (left), is now struggling to adjust to life outside prison.

Ranta was arrested for allegedly gunning down Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger on Aug. 8, 1990. He was convicted in 1991 and sentenced to 37 years.

Werzberger was shot in the head during a botched robbery of a jewelry courier in Williamsburg, and several witnesses, including the courier, initially fingered Ranta as the shooter.

Ranta, an out-of-work painter, fit the description — a tall, blond man. But there was no physical evidence linking him to the crime.

After his conviction, Ranta tried several times to appeal, to no avail.

His attempts to clear his name included a 1996 hearing during which a woman said her late, coke-addled husband, a known stick-up artist, had killed Werzberger.

But lead detective Louis Scarcella — who knew the husband, Joseph Astin, and even admitted that he had been a prime suspect — never showed Astin’s photo to witnesses. Still, the judge sided with prosecutors during the hearing and dismissed Ranta’s claim.

The break for Ranta came in 2011, when Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes put Ranta’s case before a special review panel. Too many witnesses were recanting on their own.

The courier said cops told him to pick Ranta out of a lineup. Other witnesses admitted that they were either coached or told to lie by NYPD cops.

Other damning details of the shoddy investigation surfaced, too, including that Scarcella never took notes during what he said was a confession by Ranta.

“I would ask [Scarcella] one thing: ‘Why?’ ” Ranta said.

A judge finally freed Ranta on March 21. But the former inmate’s joy was short-lived.

The day after his release, he suffered a heart attack.

“The doctors have said that the stress of being innocent and imprisoned for decades, combined with not being able to eat a fresh fruit or vegetable for 22 years, can do that to a heart,’’ Ranta said.

The gray-haired, bespectacled man said he’s doing “much better’’ now.

Ranta has hired civil-rights lawyer Pierre Sussman to represent him in the case, claiming malicious prosecution and wrongful imprisonment.

Amazingly, Ranta doesn’t blame the legal system for his woes — just a few bad apples.

“Most people in the justice system are trying to do the right thing. But when you have some police officers and detective[s] who are given too much power and higher-ups looking to solve a high-profile case, bad things can happen,” he said.

Ranta admitted that he barely managed to survive prison.

“You do what the guards tell you to do 24 hours a day, seven days a week; no decision is your own,” he said. “I spent a lot of time reading. You can only count the 13 bars and 862 holes in the ceiling of your cell so many times.

“It eats you up from the inside,’’ he said of knowing he was wrongly imprisoned.

“The most stressful part is wanting to be with your family and knowing that you can’t, especially [realizing] all those years I lost with my daughter, who was 2 at the time and is now about to have a baby of her own.

“The only things that I had were hope and faith: hope that one day the truth will come out and faith that I would be set free.”

Ranta said he is relying on that faith to now help him with his new challenges.

“It’s going to take a long time for me to feel normal again, if I even remember what normal is,’’ he said.

“Once I was released, the government washed their hands of me. It’s like, ‘You didn’t exist for 22 years and then you’re free, good luck, you’re on your own,’ ” he said. “I had no ID, no health insurance, nothing.

But “I have to let go,’’ he said. “The anger won’t get me those 22 years I missed with my family back.” Now “I appreciate every moment I have with them,” Ranta said.

“Once I’m fully on my feet, I’d like to work with other falsely convicted individuals to help them transition into society,” he said. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of people like me out there.”

 

By JAMIE SCHRAM Police Bureau Chief, May1, 2013

When Mort Zuckerman, the New York City real-estate and media mogul, lavished $200 million on Columbia University in December to endow the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, he did so with fanfare suitable to the occasion: the press conference was attended by two Nobel laureates, the president of the university, the mayor, and journalists from some of New York’s major media outlets.

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Many of the 12 other individual charitable gifts that topped $100 million in the U.S. last year were showered with similar attention: $150 million from Carl Icahn to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, $125 million from Phil Knight to the Oregon Health & Science University, and $300 million from Paul Allen to the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, among them. If you scanned the press releases, or drove past the many university buildings, symphony halls, institutes, and stadiums named for their benefactors, or for that matter read the histories of grand giving by the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Stanfords, and Dukes, you would be forgiven for thinking that the story of charity in this country is a story of epic generosity on the part of the American rich.

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It is not. One of the most surprising, and perhaps confounding, facts of charity in America is that the people who can least afford to give are the ones who donate the greatest percentage of their income. In 2011, the wealthiest Americans—those with earnings in the top 20 percent—contributed on average 1.3 percent of their income to charity. By comparison, Americans at the base of the income pyramid—those in the bottom 20 percent—donated 3.2 percent of their income. The relative generosity of lower-income Americans is accentuated by the fact that, unlike middle-class and wealthy donors, most of them cannot take advantage of the charitable tax deduction, because they do not itemize deductions on their income-tax returns.

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But why? Lower-income Americans are presumably no more intrinsically generous (or “prosocial,” as the sociologists say) than anyone else. However, some experts have speculated that the wealthy may be less generous—that the personal drive to accumulate wealth may be inconsistent with the idea of communal support. Last year, Paul Piff, a psychologist at UC Berkeley, published research that correlated wealth with an increase in unethical behavior: “While having money doesn’t necessarily make anybody anything,” Piff later told New York magazine, “the rich are way more likely to prioritize their own self-interests above the interests of other people.” They are, he continued, “more likely to exhibit characteristics that we would stereotypically associate with, say, assholes.” Colorful statements aside, Piff’s research on the giving habits of different social classes—while not directly refuting the asshole theory—suggests that other, more complex factors are at work. In a series of controlled experiments, lower-income people and people who identified themselves as being on a relatively low social rung were consistently more generous with limited goods than upper-class participants were. Notably, though, when both groups were exposed to a sympathy-eliciting video on child poverty, the compassion of the wealthier group began to rise, and the groups’ willingness to help others became almost identical.

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Last year, not one of the top 50 individual charitable gifts went to a social-service organization or to a charity that principally serves the poor and the dispossessed.

If Piff’s research suggests that exposure to need drives generous behavior, could it be that the isolation of wealthy Americans from those in need is a cause of their relative stinginess? Patrick Rooney, the associate dean at the Indiana University School of Philanthropy, told me that greater exposure to and identification with the challenges of meeting basic needs may create “higher empathy” among lower-income donors. His view is supported by a recent study by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, in which researchers analyzed giving habits across all American ZIP codes. Consistent with previous studies, they found that less affluent ZIP codes gave relatively more. Around Washington, D.C., for instance, middle- and lower-income neighborhoods, such as Suitland and Capitol Heights in Prince George’s County, Maryland, gave proportionally more than the tony neighborhoods of Bethesda, Maryland, and McLean, Virginia. But the researchers also found something else: differences in behavior among wealthy households, depending on the type of neighborhood they lived in. Wealthy people who lived in homogeneously affluent areas—areas where more than 40 percent of households earned at least $200,000 a year—were less generous than comparably wealthy people who lived in more socioeconomically diverse surroundings. It seems that insulation from people in need may dampen the charitable impulse.

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Wealth affects not only how much money is given but to whom it is given. The poor tend to give to religious organizations and social-service charities, while the wealthy prefer to support colleges and universities, arts organizations, and museums. Of the 50 largest individual gifts to public charities in 2012, 34 went to educational institutions, the vast majority of them colleges and universities, like Harvard, Columbia, and Berkeley, that cater to the nation’s and the world’s elite. Museums and arts organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art received nine of these major gifts, with the remaining donations spread among medical facilities and fashionable charities like the Central Park Conservancy. Not a single one of them went to a social-service organization or to a charity that principally serves the poor and the dispossessed. More gifts in this group went to elite prep schools (one, to the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York) than to any of our nation’s largest social-service organizations, including United Way, the Salvation Army, and Feeding America (which got, among them, zero).

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Underlying our charity system—and our tax code—is the premise that individuals will make better decisions regarding social investments than will our representative government. Other developed countries have a very different arrangement, with significantly higher individual tax rates and stronger social safety nets, and significantly lower charitable-contribution rates. We have always made a virtue of individual philanthropy, and Americans tend to see our large, independent charitable sector as crucial to our country’s public spirit. There is much to admire in our approach to charity, such as the social capital that is built by individual participation and volunteerism. But our charity system is also fundamentally regressive, and works in favor of the institutions of the elite. The pity is, most people still likely believe that, as Michael Bloomberg once said, “there’s a connection between being generous and being successful.” There is a connection, but probably not the one we have supposed.

 

By Ken Stern’s book, With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give, was published in February 2013

It has often been said throughout time that a picture is worth a thousand words. Any picture may be worth a thousand words, but only a few rare photos tell more than a thousand words. They tell a powerful story, a story poignant enough to change the world and galvanize each of us. Over and over again…

Warning: Be prepared for images of violence and death (in one  case, the photograph of a dead child) if you scroll down.

10. Kosovo Refugees (Carol Guzy)

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Carol Guzy, the first woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography, received her most recent Pulitzer in 2000 for her touching photographs of Kosovo refugees.

The above picture portrays Agim Shala, a two-year-old boy, who is passed through a fence made with barbed wire to his family. Thousands of Kosovo refugees were reunited and camped in Kukes, Albania.

9. War Underfoot (Carolyn Cole)

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Los Angeles Times photographer Carolyn Cole took this terrifying photo during her assignment in Liberia. It shows the devastating effects of the Liberian Civil War.

Bullet casings cover entirely a street in Monrovia. The Liberian capital was the worst affected region, because it was the scene of heavy fighting between government soldiers and rebel forces.

8. Thailand Massacre (Neil Ulevich)

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Neal Ulevich won the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for a “series of photographs of disorder and brutality in the streets of Bangkok, Thailand”  (Pulitzer.com).

The Thammasat University Massacre took place on October 6, 1976. It was a very violent attack on students who were demonstrating against Field Marshall Thanom Kittikachorn.

F. M. T. Kittikachorn was a dictator who was planning to come back to Thailand. The return of the military dictator from exile provoked very violent protests. Protestors and students were beaten, mutilated, shot, hung and burnt to death.

7. After the Storm (Patrick Farrell)

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Miami Herald photographer Patrick Farrell captured the harrowing images of the victims of Haiti in 2008. Farrell documented the Haitian tragedy with impressive black-and-white stills. The subject of “After the Storm” is a boy who is trying to save a stroller after the tropical storm Hanna struck Haiti.

More photos of Patrick Farrell: A People in Despair: Haiti’s year without mercy

6. The Power of One (Oded Balilty)

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In 2006, Israeli authorities ordered the evacuation of illegal outposts, such as Amona. Oded Balilty, an Israeli photographer for the Associated Press, was present when the evacuation degenerated into violent and unprecedented clashes between settlers and police officers. The picture shows a brave woman rebelling against authorities.

Like many pictures on this list, “The Power of One” has been another subject of major controversy. Ynet Nili is the 16-year-old Jewish settler from the above picture. According to Ynet, “a picture like this one is a mark of disgrace for the state of Israel and is nothing to be proud of. The picture looks like it represents a work of art, but that isn’t what went on there. What happened in Amona was totally different.” Nili claims the police beat her up very harshly. “You see me in the photograph, one against many, but that is only an illusion – behind the many stands one man – (Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert, but behind me stand the Lord and the people of Israel.”

5. World Trade Center 9/11 (Steve Ludlum)

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The power of Steve Ludlum’s photos are astounding, and the written description only tends to dilute the impact. The consequences of the second aircraft crashing into New York’s WTC were devastating: fireballs erupted and smoke billowed from the skyscrapers anticipating the towers’ collapse and monstrous dust clouds.

4. After the Tsunami (Arko Datta)


One of the most representative and striking photos of the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami was taken by Reuters photographer Arko Datta  in Tamil Nadu. He won the World Press Photo competition of 2004. Kathy Ryan, jury member and picture editor of  The New York Times Magazine, characterized Datta’s image as a “graphic, historical and starkly emotional picture.”

“After the Tsunami” illustrates an Indian woman lying on the sand with her arms outstretched, mourning a dead family member. Her relative was killed by one of the deadliest natural disasters that we have ever seen: the Indian Ocean tsunami.

3. Bhopal Gas Tragedy 1984 (Pablo Bartholomew)

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Pablo Bartholomew is an acclaimed Indian photojournalist who captured the Bhopal Gas Tragedy into his lens. Twenty-six years have passed since India’s worst industrial catastrophe injured 558,125 people and killed as many as 15,000. Because safety standards and maintenance procedures had been ignored at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, a leak of methyl isocyanate  gas and other chemicals triggered a  massive environmental and human disaster. Photographer Pablo Bartholomew rushed to document the catastrophe. He came across a man who was burying a child. This scene was photographed by both Pablo Bartholomew and Raghu Rai, another renowned Indian photojournalist. “This expression was so moving and so powerful to tell the whole story of the tragedy”, said Raghu Rai.

2. Operation Lion Heart (Deanne Fitzmaurice)

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Pulitzer Prize award winning photojournalist Deanne Fitzmaurice won the highly respected award in 2005 for the photographic essay “Operation Lion Heart.”

“Operation Lion Heart” is the story of a 9-year-old Iraqi boy who was severely injured by an explosion during one of the most violent conflicts of modern history – the Iraq War. The boy was brought to a hospital in Oakland, CA where he had to undergo dozens of life-and-death surgeries. His courage and unwillingness to die gave him the nickname: Saleh Khalaf, “Lion Heart”.

Deanne Fitzmaurice’s shocking photographs ran in the San Francisco Chronicle in a five-part series written by Meredith May.

1. Tragedy of Omayra Sanchez (Frank Fourier)


Frank Fournier captured the tragic image of Omayra Sanchez trapped in mud and collapsed buildings. The eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia 1985 triggered a massive mudslide. It devastated towns and killed 25,000 people.

After 3 days of struggling, Omayra died due to hypothermia and gangrene. Her tragic death accentuated the failure of officials to respond quickly and save the victims of Colombia’s worst ever natural disaster. Frank Fournier took this photo shortly before Omayra died. Her agonizing death was followed live on TV by hundreds of millions of people around the world and started a major controversy. May her soul rest in peace…

 

* Source:  http://www.toptenz.net/

Her car is racing at a terrifying speed through the streets of a large city, and something gruesome, something with giant eyeballs, is chasing her, closing in fast. It was a dream, of course, and after Emily Gurule, a 50-year-old high school teacher, related it to Dr. Barry Krakow, he did not ask her to unpack its symbolism. He simply told her to think of a new one.

“In your mind, with thinking and picturing, take a few minutes, close your eyes, and I want you to change the dream any way you wish,” said Dr. Krakow, founder of the P.T.S.D. Sleep Clinic at the Maimonides Sleep Arts and Sciences center here and a leading researcher of nightmares.
And so the black car became a white Cadillac, traveling at a gentle speed with nothing chasing it. The eyeballs became bubbles, floating serenely above the city.
“We call that a new dream,” Dr. Krakow told Ms. Gurule. “The bad dream is over there” — he pointed across the room — “and we’re not dealing with that. We’re dealing with the new dream.”

The technique, used while patients are awake, is called scripting or dream mastery and is part of imagery rehearsal therapy, which Dr. Krakow helped develop. The therapy is being used to treat a growing number of nightmare sufferers. In recent years, nightmares have increasingly been viewed as a distinct disorder, and researchers have produced a growing body of empirical evidence that this kind of cognitive therapy can help reduce their frequency and intensity, or even eliminate them.
The treatments are controversial. Some therapists, particularly Jungian analysts, take issue with changing nightmares’ content, arguing that dreams send crucial messages to the waking mind.

Nightmares are important because they “bring up issues in bold print,” said Jane White-Lewis, a psychologist in Guilford, Conn., who has taught about dreams at the Carl Jung Institute in New York.
While Dr. White-Lewis acknowledged that she does not treat patients suffering from severe trauma, she said that if a nightmare is eliminated, “you lose an opportunity to really get some meaning out of it.” Changing eyeballs into bubbles, she added, might have robbed Ms. Gurule of the chance to find out what the eyeballs were trying to tell her.

Nightmares have fascinated and perplexed people for centuries, their meaning debated by therapists and analysts of all schools of thought, their effects so powerful that one terrifying nightmare can affect a person for a lifetime.

A nightmare is “a disturbing dream experience which rubs, bites and sickens our soul, and has an undercurrent of horsepower, lewd demons, aggressive orality and death,” Dr. White-Lewis wrote in “In Defense of Nightmares,” her contribution to a 1993 book of essays about dreams.
From 4 to 8 percent of adults report experiencing nightmares, perhaps as often as once per week or more, according to sleep researchers. But the rate is as high as 90 percent among groups like combat veterans and rape victims, Dr. Krakow said. He said treatment for post-traumatic stress needed to deal much more actively with nightmares.

He and other clinicians are increasingly using imagery rehearsal therapy, or I.R.T., to treat veterans and active-duty troops in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Last month, Dr. Krakow conducted a workshop on imagery rehearsal and other sleep treatments for 65 therapists, sleep doctors and psychiatrists, including many working with the military. And the technique has drawn more attention from other researchers in the last several years. Anne Germain, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, is comparing two treatments — behavioral therapy, including imagery rehearsal, and the blood-pressure drug prazosin, which has been found to reduce nightmares.

Preliminary results from a study of 50 veterans showed that both treatments were effective in reducing nightmares and symptoms of P.T.S.D., she said, though they differed from patient to patient. She is continuing to study what factors may lead to those differences.
Deirdre Barrett, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School who is an expert on dream incubation, inducing dreams to resolve conflicts , and on the connection between trauma and dreams — said she was struck by the growing interest in nightmares as a result of war trauma and torture.
“Within the community of psychologists who have put an emphasis on dreams it used to be about interpretation,” she said. “And now therapists are getting the message that you can influence dreams, ask dreams about particular issues and change nightmares.”


And Hollywood has just produced its own spin on the idea of controlling dreams, with the release earlier this month of “Inception” a thriller whose plot swirls through the darkest layers of the dream world. Underlying the story is the concept of lucid dreaming, another technique used by clinicians to help patients afraid of their dreams understand that they are dreaming while a dream is in progress. Dr. Barrett supports the use of Dr. Krakow’s technique, although she said that ideally the nightmare work should be integrated with psychiatry and behavioral therapies to treat the underlying condition.

Still, Dr. Barrett said, “Barry has made a huge contribution by getting the numbers, getting the statistics and getting the proof that it can work.”
Dr. Krakow’s nightmare therapy typically includes four sessions of group treatment and between one and ten individual sessions, though Dr. Krakow said between three and five sessions are usually effective. (The clinic visits are covered by insurance.)

Patients participate in sleep studies as needed, and do considerable work on their own, using a manual he published to guide them, “Turning Nightmares Into Dreams.”
At the clinic here, some patients, like Ms. Gurule, come in for severe snoring and daytime sleepiness and discover they are suffering from trauma-induced nightmares. Others come with a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress or simply report recurring nightmares and discover they also have other sleep disorders.
Dr. Krakow’s latest research, which was presented last month at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, found a striking connection between P.T.S.D. and a variety of sleep disorders. In an analysis of the sleep studies conducted on more than a thousand patients with varying degrees of post-traumatic stress, he found that 5 to 10 other sleep problems may be involved. High rates of sleep apnea, for example, were found even in patients with moderate symptoms of post-traumatic stress. “In the world of P.T.S.D. and sleep, no one is making these connections,” Dr. Krakow said.

He refers to his small clinic, in an office park here, as a “bed-and-breakfast without the breakfast.” It has four small bedrooms, with pastel-colored bedspreads and cheerful, serene paintings of fish and beaches. Before bed, the technicians place sensors on the patients to track sleep, breathing and movement.
Dr. Krakow, 61, started out as an internist and then practiced emergency medicine before studying nightmares and possible treatments with colleagues at the University of New Mexico in the late 1980s. With financing from the National Institute of Mental Health, he conducted his first major research between 1995 and 1999, looking at the effect of imagery rehearsal on 168 sexual assault survivors who suffered from nightmares.
The results of a randomized controlled trial were published in a 2001 paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Of the subjects, 95 percent had moderate to severe P.T.S.D., 97 percent had experienced rape or other sexual assault, 77 percent reported life-threatening sexual assault and 58 percent reported repeated exposure to sexual abuse in childhood.

The treatment group, 88 women, participated in three sessions of imagery rehearsal therapy, while the control group, 80 women, was on a waiting list and continued with whatever treatment they had been undergoing. Of the 114 that completed follow-up at three or at three and six months, those in the treatment group had “significantly” reduced the nights per week with nightmares and the number of nightmares per week, the paper said. The control group showed small, “nonsignificant” improvement on the same measures. And symptoms of post-traumatic stress decreased in 65 percent of the treatment group, while they either remained unchanged or worsened in the control group, according to the findings.

Along with other researchers, Dr. Krakow has continued to publish further studies on imagery rehearsal, finding that of hundreds of patients treated, about 70 percent have reported significant improvements in nightmare frequency after regularly using the treatment for two to four weeks.
Roberta Barker, 55, was one of Dr. Krakow’s first patients and a participant in the research published in JAMA. Ms. Barker says she was kidnapped in Japan, where she had gone to teach English, and was raped and tortured for three days before escaping. (She suffered extensive physical injuries and now survives on a government disability pension.)

Her nightmares, replaying the horror over and over, were so frightening she could barely sleep. Medications did not seem to work. She was on the verge of suicide.
“I drank enough coffee to float a battleship,” she said in a recent visit to Dr. Krakow’s clinic. “A few times a week I was reliving the entire set of days in one night.”
When Dr. Krakow told her that nightmares can be a learned behavior and that she had the power to stop what had essentially become a habit, she was highly skeptical.
He explained that she could come up with another dream and practice it and that it was possible for her to no longer have the nightmares of the kidnapping and rape.
“No, it’s too easy,” she recalled telling him. “It can’t work.”

Some patients work to change the plot of their dreams; a rape victim who was receiving treatment with Ms. Barker decided to script a dream about confronting her rapist with a baseball bat. But Ms. Barker said she felt she had to come up with an entirely new dream. So she chose birds.
“I’ve always loved birds, wild birds, doves and pigeons and starlings, mountain blue jays,” she said. “I had fed birds, the images were solid, I could hear them flying and talking. Now, instead of waking up screaming, I wake up knowing I’ve dreamed of birds.”


By SARAH KERSHAW (July 2010)