Wikipedia Co-Founder Calls for Social
Media Strike July 4 – 5
A co-founder of Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is urging people to stop using social media for up to 48 hours on July 4 -5 in order to convince social media companies to let users have the final say on how their personal data is used.
The BBC reports Dr. Larry Sanger, an American internet project developer, wrote in his blog that such a two-day strike (#SocialMediaStrike) by users would show the “massive demand” for change and that users have a “serious grievance” against the networks.
“We’re going to make a lot of noise,” Sanger wrote in a blog telling of his reasons for calling the two-day boycott.
“We’re going to flex our collective muscles and demand that giant, manipulative corporations give us back control over our data, privacy, and user experience,” he wrote.
“We will not use social media on those days, except to post notices that we are on strike,” Sanger explained.
Sanger hopes the boycott would prompt social networks to change their policies and grant users more control over their data.
He also envisions social networks becoming more open in the future and more interoperatable, allowing a post made on one network to show up on others.
“This is how social media should have been developed from the beginning, rather than walled off in separate, competing networks,” Sanger said.
All users who join the boycott are being asked to sign Sanger’s Declaration of Digital Independence. Drafted by Sanger, the declaration calls for social networks to be decentralized and structured so they will respect users rights, including free speech, privacy and security.
Sanger’s call for a boycott of social media has been widely circulated on several networks, including Reddit, Twitter and others, according to the BBC.
Despite the online interest, some have questioned what impact such a boycot would have.
One user on the Hacker News list, a website that shares tech headlines, wrote: “I feel that even if everybody who cared went on strike, the difference in daily visitors would probably be in the error margin.”
“I think most people who really care have already left the centralised social media or scaled it down to the point that a non-strike day is an exception,” the user noted.
AG Paxton Urges HHS to Repeal Rule that
Violates the Religious Liberty of Texas’
Faith-Based Foster Care and Adoption
AUSTIN, TX – In a letter today to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Attorney General Ken Paxton urged prompt repeal of an Obama-era rule that violates the religious liberty of Texas’ faith-based foster care and adoption service providers by requiring them to abandon their core religious beliefs as a condition of receiving federal funding under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.
“People of faith should not be required to forfeit their sincerely held religious beliefs as a condition of helping Texas’ most vulnerable children,” Attorney General Paxton said. “We’re asking HHS to repeal its unlawful rule on child welfare funding or, alternatively, grant the state of Texas an exemption from the rule.”
Attorney General Paxton, in his letter to Lynn Johnson, the assistant secretary at HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, pointed out that the rule on Title IV-E funding exceeds statutory authority, violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and conflicts with Texas law.
Last session, the Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 3859, which protects the religious liberty of child welfare organizations and prohibits the state from granting or refusing to grant funding to such organizations because of their religious beliefs, including the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Texas’ share of Title IV-E funding is administered by the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) through its Child Protective Services, which works with secular and faith-based communities to find loving homes for children removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect.
Some faith-based providers who receive Title IV-E funding through DFPS require potential foster care or adoptive parents to share a particular religious faith, be a member of a congregation, or agree to the provider’s statement of faith. But the federal rule requires those organizations to abandon their deeply held religious beliefs as a condition of receiving funding.
McKinney daycare worker suspected in at
least three Child Abuse cases
MCKINNEY, TX – New police documents show a former McKinney day care worker arrested for child abuse is suspected of hurting three infants.
Records show while police were investigating the first complaint against Jessica Wiese and looking at daycare surveillance video, they discovered two more possible cases that the babies’ parents didn’t even know about.
Six-month-old Henry is one of the babies former Joyous Montessori McKinney worker Jessica Wiese is accused of injuring. His mother agreed to talk to FOX 4 as long as her face was not shown.
“I don’t know what to do, you know? I don’t know what the next steps are. This is all new to him. This is what he thinks life is,” she said. “And I can’t bear to think that anyone could hurt a precious baby.”
Henry’s mother said he has been in Wiese’s care since he was 8 weeks old. Since then, she’s noticed him with a scratch.
“They said they would look into the video,” she said. “I come back from work to pick him up. ‘Oh, that’s not on the video. There’s no video.’”
The first-time mom said on other occasions Henry came home with bruises and a bit of a black eye.
“At the time in my thinking, yeah he could’ve just grabbed the toy and hit himself,” she thought.
After another mother complained about bruises on her child, police investigated and arrested Wiese Monday for injury to a child. The next day, Henry’s mother was contacted by Montessori management, Child Protective Services and police. She said she was asked to watch video footage from the daycare to identify her son.
“It was her slapping the back of his head. But that’s all I wanted to watch,” Henry’s mother said. “I can’t watch any more than that. It was pretty, pretty rough.”
An arrest warrant affidavit states that Wiese was caught on camera slapping Henry, “causing him to cry out in pain,” and then “slamming his head into the changing table” and finally covering his face “pressing down, crushing [his] face downward.”
Another affidavit states that Wiese was captured on camera that same day injuring another child by “body [slamming]” that baby onto the changing table.
Records reveal Wiese used to work as a labor and delivery nurse in North Texas but she had her license revoked for stealing and using drugs.
Henry and his mother spent part of Thursday at the hospital, getting a full body scan that will tell them whether he has any fractures as a result of her care.
“Just to think that someone has the nerve to hurt an innocent newborn baby,” she said. “I can’t even put into words what should happen to her.”
The daycare said Wiese is no longer an employee.
McKinney police are still wanting to talk to the parents of any children who have been at Joyous Montessori since May 2016.
An Esteemed Doctor, Child Sexual Abuse
Claims and a Hospital That Knew for Years
For almost 30 years, parents sought out Dr. Reginald Archibald when their children would not grow. They came to his clinic at The Rockefeller University Hospital, a prominent New York research institution, where he treated and studied children who were small for their age.
He also may have sexually abused many of them.
The hospital sent a letter last month to former patients of Dr. Archibald asking about their contact with him. Ten days later, on Oct. 5, it posted a statement online saying it had evidence of the doctor’s “inappropriate” behavior with some patients and that it first had learned of credible allegations against him in 2004. The letter went out to as many as 1,000 people, said a former patient who spoke with a hospital administrator.
Dr. Archibald, an endocrinologist who spent most of his career at Rockefeller, died in 2007. His son, Larry, declined to comment. “This doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said.
The New York Times spoke with 17 people, most of them men, who said they were abused by Dr. Archibald when they were young boys or adolescents. Most of them learned of the possibility of other victims for the first time when they received the letter. A few, however, said they had filed complaints with the hospital or authorities in the past, but their allegations were not investigated.
“To know that they knew about this in 2004 and didn’t reach out to people, it’s absolutely outrageous,” said Matt Harris, now 58, a former patient of Dr. Archibald.
The men all described similar experiences with Dr. Archibald, who would tell them to disrobe when they were alone in his examination room. He would masturbate them or ask them to masturbate, sometimes to ejaculation.
The doctor took pictures of them, while they were naked, with a Polaroid camera, and measured their penises both flaccid and erect, the men said.
Some of the former patients said they saw Dr. Archibald only once and some went back annually for many years as subjects in his studies.
Their stories paint a picture of an esteemed doctor who wielded great authority with parents desperate to help their children and patients too young to know the difference between legitimate medical practice and molestation. The alleged abuse would have occurred in an era in which few safeguards existed for those patients.
“You are robbed of knowing what’s real and what’s not real. That’s the real cost of this thing,” said Mr. Harris, who, like many of the patients who spoke with The Times, has talked to a lawyer.
In response to questions from The Times, the hospital said in a statement Thursday that after the letters were sent, it heard from many former patients alleging abuse. The hospital said it has set up a fund to provide counseling for the victims.
“We are appalled to hear those accounts of Dr. Archibald’s reprehensible behavior. We deeply regret pain and suffering caused to any of Dr. Archibald’s former patients,” the statement read.
A hospital spokesman declined to answer questions about when the hospital first learned of the allegations and why it did not try to contact a wider array of former patients earlier.
In its earlier statement, the hospital said that in 2004, it received an allegation of “impropriety” during Dr. Archibald’s physical examinations, which it did not specify.
The hospital said it informed the Manhattan district attorney’s office, the state office that oversees medical conduct and a federal research agency. It also hired Debevoise & Plimpton, a law firm, to investigate. The inquiry turned up two additional reports dating to the 1990s.
The hospital did not say where the allegations from the 1990s were filed and what the response to them had been. A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., could not immediately confirm whether the office had received the allegation from the hospital in 2004.
Earlier this year, separate allegations against Dr. Archibald were reported to the hospital, which again hired Debevoise & Plimpton.
Based on its investigation, the law firm concluded that some of Dr. Archibald’s behaviors involving these patients were inappropriate,” the statement said.
The hospital said it has scrubbed Dr. Archibald’s name from its web pages and rescinded his emeritus status.
The possibility of a large number of victims could pose a serious financial threat to the research institution. Under current New York law, the statute of limitations for victims to sue the hospital has long passed.
But a proposed change to the law, supported by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, would lengthen the statute of limitations for filing criminal charges and civil suits in child sexual abuse cases, and crucially, create a one-year window in which all victims could sue, regardless of when the abuse happened. The legislation has been held up in the State Senate and is vigorously opposed by institutions, including the Roman Catholic Church, which has argued that the one-year window could lead to catastrophic financial damage.
Dr. Archibald worked as a doctor, researcher and professor at The Rockefeller University Hospital from 1941 to 1946 and again from 1948 to 1980. He kept his affiliation with the institution, as an emeritus, until 1987.
His former patients remembered him as avuncular and authoritative, with white hair as he grew older. They also remembered his strange methods. Their allegations suggest a pattern of sexual abuse from the 1950s through the 1970s among patients as young as 6 and as old as 17.
Michael Manfre, now 57, recalled Dr. Archibald asking him to masturbate when he was about 12 years old and then doing it himself. “Keep trying,” Mr. Manfre, of Massapequa, N.Y., remembered Dr. Archibald saying, encouraging him to ejaculate.
Mr. Harris, who now lives in Port Washington, N.Y., said that during a visit in the 1970s, the doctor massaged the area between his testes and anus, asking if it felt good.
Many of Dr. Archibald’s patients were short for their age, and their parents worried about the teasing and shame they might experience in school if they hit puberty years behind their peers.
Dr. Archibald was known as a growth specialist who administered hormones, such as testosterone, which he hypothesized could help spur puberty and increase the height children would reach. To better understand children’s growth and create a control group, he often had siblings come to the clinic, former patients said.
Taking measurements of boys’ genitals when doctors were concerned about delayed puberty was considered normal until the 1980s or 1990s, said Dr. Howard Markel, a professor of medical history at the University of Michigan. But doing so when they were erect, asking them to masturbate, particularly while the doctor was present, was not considered acceptable, even at that time, he said.
Nearly every victim remembered having to strip naked, stand against a wall and hold their palms out facing forward while Dr. Archibald took photographs. One patient provided a copy of a release signed by that person’s mother giving Rockefeller permission to photograph her child “for the advancement of medical science.”
At least two articles published by Dr. Archibald contain pictures of naked boys in the stance described by these victims. One of those articles also contains close-ups of the boys’ genitals.
While almost every alleged victim said the abuse occurred in the doctor’s examination room, one described a dark encounter far away from the hospital. A 58-year-old Brooklyn man said he believed Dr. Archibald raped him on a trip to the doctor’s Canadian summer home.
The former patient, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John, because of the nature of the alleged assault, said Dr. Archibald watched him masturbate during examinations at the hospital. But one summer, when he was about 13, the doctor convinced his parents to let John accompany him to the house.
One of Dr. Archibald’s former neighbors in Pelham, N.Y., who visited the lake, recalled that every year Dr. Archibald would take a young boy to help prepare the wooden cabins for his family’s visit.
John said Dr. Archibald tried to shower with him at a motel on the two-day trip to the house but he ran out of the bathroom. Once they arrived, John said, he believed Dr. Archibald drugged and raped him. He angrily insisted on being taken home, he said.
Dr. Archibald spent only two years of his career away from Rockefeller when, in 1946, he took a job at Johns Hopkins University.
It is unknown how many children participated in Dr. Archibald’s studies.
He maintained records of an estimated 9,000 patients who visited him and other doctors at Rockefeller, according to one victim who said she met with a hospital official and three attorneys representing the hospital in September.
That victim said those attorneys and Dr. Barry Coller, the hospital’s physician in chief, told her that the hospital sent letters to more than 1,000 former patients they were able to identify and locate.
The hospital would not comment on how many former patients received a letter.
by NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN®
Millions of kids ride a bike, take the bus or walk to school every day. Help get them to and from school more safely by following this checklist.
Review the four rules of personal safety with your children. Remind them to:
Check first with you or the adult in charge before going anywhere, helping anyone, accepting anything or getting into a car.
Take a friend when going places or playing outside.
Tell people “NO” if they try to touch you or hurt you. It’s OK for you to stand up for yourself.
Tell a trusted adult if anything makes you feel sad, scared or confused.
Walk the route to and from school with them pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they need help. Tell them not to take shortcuts and to stay in well-lit areas.
If your younger children take the bus, wait with them or make sure they’re supervised by someone you trust at the bus stop.
Teach your children to recognize the tricks someone may use to abduct them such as asking for help or offering them a ride. Tell them to never approach a car without getting your permission first.
Encourage your children to kick, scream and make a scene if anyone tries to take them.
Instruct your children to get away as quickly as possible if someone is following them. If they are being followed by someone in a car, teach them to walk in the opposite direction from the one in which the car is driving.
Be sure your children’s school has up-to-date emergency contact information. Learn about their pick-up procedures so only those you’ve authorized can pick up your children.
Make sure your children know how to contact you in case of an emergency.