CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan


CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

THE BOOK
CORPORATIONS HAVE A NEW RESOURCE TO MINE FOR PROFIT: OUR CHILDREN
In Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children (Free Press/August 9, 2011/$26.00 hardcover), Joel Bakan reveals the astonishingly callous and widespread exploitation of children by profit-seeking corporations-and also society’s shameful failure to protect them. The creator of the award-winning film and internationally best-selling book The Corporation, Bakan shows how corporations pump billions of dollars into rendering parents and governments powerless to shield children from a relentless commercial assault designed solely to exploit their unique needs and vulnerabilities.

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Focusing on the United States in particular, Bakan demonstrates how:

  • Marketers target children with increasingly devious methods to manipulate their vulnerable emotions, cultivate compulsive behavior, and addle their psyches with violence, sex, and obsessive consumerism.

  • More and more children take dangerous psychotropic drugs as pharmaceutical companies commandeer medical science and deploy dubious and often illegal marketing tactics to boost sales.

  • Children’s chronic health problems are rising dramatically as corporations dump thousands of new chemicals, in increasing amounts, into the environment, usually with the blessings of industry-influenced governments.

  • Children as young as six are working illegally on farms, getting injured, becoming ill, and dying on the job, while the legal age for farm work remains a shockingly low 12 years old in the U.S.

  • America’s schools are becoming private-sector markets for profit-seeking companies, harnessing education to the needs of industry and promoting increasingly regimented and standardized learning.

  • And more

“As governments retreat from their previous roles of protecting children from harm at the hands of corporations,” Bakan writes, “we, as a society, increasingly neglect children’s needs, expose them to exploitation, and thus betray what we, as individuals, cherish most in our lives.” Childhood Under Siege is a call to action to reverse these trends, and provides the necessary insights, information, and concrete proposals to do so.

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PRAISE

“Joel Bakan’s powerful, well-documented polemic is just what we need to hear right now, if we are to even begin to reverse the toxic consumerist legacy we are bequeathing to future generations.”
Literary Review of Canada

“The information in Bakan’s book is…stunning….The book sounds alarms about issues that go under most parents’ radar.”
USA Today

“Childhood Under Siege” is an essential read for anyone who works for or cares about children because we simply can’t advocate for and teach them effectively if we don’t know what we are up against. As a mother and a teacher, it was sometimes overwhelming to read this book, but for my own work and parenting I forced myself to keep going. At times it was deeply frightening–and I do media literacy training as part of my work. It’s very simple: If you want to be relevant in a child’s life, you need to read this book.”
Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees

“Childhood Under Siege” outlines the powerful strategies at play in the corporate war against children.
This engaging, carefully researched and important book is a call to action to those who believe we have a responsibility to protect all our children with our laws and public policies as well as our hearts.”

Mary Pipher, author of The Shelter of Each Other and Seeking Peace

“The assault on childhood in our corporate-dominated and profit-driven society, painfully dissected in this penetrating study, is a tragedy not only for the immediate victims but for hopes for a better future. It can be resisted, as Joel Bakan discusses. And it is urgent not to delay.”
Noam Chomsky

“Our new century of unlimited private profits has put an end to the era of publicly protected childhood. Separated by corporate design from their parents, kids have become capitalism’s newest, most lucrative, consumers. Joel Bakan offers an angry but careful analysis of how the market flourishes today by selling our children everything from dangerous drugs, toxic plastics and unhealthy snack foods to violent and addictive video games and for-profit standardized tests. If they read Bakan carefully, once they get over their rage, both parents and policy makers may be ready to lift the corporate siege that is threatening not just our children but childhood itself.”
Benjamin R. Barber, author of Consumed: How Markets Infantilize Adults, Corrupt Children and Swallow Citizens Whole

“Childhood Under Siege” is a compelling call to arms in the covert war for our children’s minds, health, and future. Joel Bakan empowers us all to stop lamenting the destruction of childhood and do something to rescue it.”
Jane M. Healy, Ph.D., Educational Psychologist and author of Different Learners: Identifying, Preventing, and Treating Your Child’s Learning Problems

To be a child today, even in affluent countries like ours, is no longer a time of innocence, idyll and discovery, as Bakan reveals in “Childhood Under Siege”. Most children today grow up on a planet in which billions of tons of toxic chemicals have been poured into the air, water and soil; in a big city where the opportunity to encounter nature has been replaced by concrete, fast cars, video games and shopping malls; in a world in which childhood represents a marketing challenge and opportunity. Read this important book and then start working for change.”
David Suzuki, Co-Founder, The David Suzuki Foundation

In “Childhood Under Siege”, Joel Bakan documents and depicts a modern disaster-in-the-making as ominous as our society’s assault on the natural environment: the social and economic destruction of the conditions for healthy childhood. An eloquent and prophetic work we need most urgently to heed.
Gabor Maté M.D., author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

Bakan offers passionate argument and copious research in this compelling call for parents to stand up for their children.
Vanessa Bush, Booklist, starred Review

http://inquiringminds.cc/childhood-under-siege-joel-bakan

 

Law Boosts Oversight of Use of Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island


Originally posted on HumansinShadow.wordpress.com:

w Boosts Oversight of Use of Solitary Confinement at Rikers Island

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City Council members and other supporters of the New York City Jail Action Coalition at a rally on Aug. 18 in front of City Hall. Demonstrators called for overhauling policies concerning the treatment of inmates at Rikers Island.Credit Vanessa A. Alverez/Associated Press

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In the wake of growing criticism over conditions at Rikers Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio enacted legislation on Thursday to boost oversight of the use of solitary confinement at the jail.

The law, which was passed by the City Council last week, will require the Department of Correction to publish quarterly reports detailing the number of inmates in solitary confinement…

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A Precious Essay: Nisteling: The Art of Deep Listening By Robert J. Burrowes


1690 drawing by Govard Bidloo (1649-1713) Public domain sourcePHOTOCREDIT:bidloo_ontleding_brain_1690_05-sm.jpg

Nisteling: The art of deep listening By Robert J. Burrowes
August 28, 2014 “ICH” – The word ‘listening’ has many meanings, and the context, in which it is done, will often determine the level of concentration that is required for one to be considered to be listening.

Many people work while listening to music playing in the background. People often talk in small groups, where there is little real listening by anyone as people compete for the opportunity to talk. A compulsive talker will ‘listen’ only as long as it takes for their fear to trigger the urge to talk themselves, ostensibly in response to what has just been said. And an audience might listen to a lecture, play, concert or film with considerable attention, partly because they know there is no opportunity for them to talk and because, to a greater or lesser extent, they are being entertained.

These are all forms of listening but I want to talk about listening as an art – what I call ‘nisteling’ – and why and when this should be used.

When someone speaks, apart from uttering words, they also convey feelings (which might be very subtle and even hidden in their body language). Therefore, any communication consists of intellectual and emotional content and both of these elements need to be heard if you wish to fully understand what a speaker is trying to convey. Given that human beings are taught to focus on the intellectual content of any communication and, consequently, learn to fear its emotional content, it is not surprising that few people are naturally good listeners and that few people have benefited from the effort made in recent decades to teach people more about how to listen through, for example, workshops that teach ‘reflective listening’.

In fact, most of us learn to unconsciously screen out the emotional content of the communications of other people. Why? Because listening to the feelings of another person is likely to ‘trigger’ feelings in the listener, and that can be frightening. For example, if someone is angry with you, do you find it easy to calmly listen to their anger and then reflect, for example, ‘You sound very angry that I did not listen to you’ and, if necessary, to then listen more while they tell you just how angry they are with you? Most people ‘listening’ in this and many other circumstances are immediately frightened into a defensive reaction which exacerbates the speaker’s sense of being unheard and their anger in response to this. And the ‘listener’ is now scared and needs listening about their own fear as well. So the competition to ‘get the listening’, usually manifesting in what is popularly called an ‘argument’, quickly spirals down into ‘no-one is listening’.

So what is ‘nisteling’? Nisteling requires me, as the listener, to pay deliberate, focused attention to the person who is speaking so that I can hear what is spoken and also identity and interpret what is ‘underneath’ the spoken words. This will often be a feeling that I can detect accompanying the words but it might also be some body language, such as an eye movement or subtle gesture, that I notice. If I am paying attention that is careful enough, I will be able to comprehend the emotional meaning of the hidden message: it might be sadness, fear, anger, pain, happiness or any number of other feelings and it is this or these feelings, more than the words, that the person actually needs to be heard, even if they do not know this themselves.

To reiterate: If you cannot nistel to someone’s feelings – explicitly expressed or as a subtle underlay to their words – then you cannot understand all of what they are trying to communicate. And, in order to nistel well, it is necessary to be unafraid of any of your own feelings that might be raised by their communication.

If you are nisteling, you will also have no trouble using the context to identify the appropriate response. If a child (or adult) is crying, the powerful response is to let them cry (while feeling your own feelings, if any, triggered by their crying) and to reflect ‘You sound sad’ which, hopefully, will get them crying more deeply. Ignoring, comforting, reassuring, distracting, laughing at, ridiculing, screaming at, hitting, restraining or punishing a crying child is a fearful response that interrupts evolution’s healing mechanism – emotional expression – which, in this case, is designed to allow full recovery from some trauma (small or large).

Similarly, nisteling means letting someone be scared or happy or angry or anxious or frustrated or however they feel. Importantly, nisteling also requires us to let them act in accordance with these feelings (which doesn’t mean that you cannot defend yourself if their behaviour adversely impacts on you although, it is worth emphasising, nisteling is your most powerful first option in self-defense). Evolution intended our feelings to be centrally involved in determining our behaviour and it is violent to prevent someone acting in accordance with their own Self-will. Moreover, chronically interfering with a child’s Self-willed behaviour will guarantee that the child becomes increasingly dysfunctional: Evolution did not intend a human being to be obedient (although adults who have been terrorised into surrendering their own Self-will often seek unconscious ‘compensatory’ control of others).

I am well aware that what I am suggesting here runs counter to most of what you have ever experienced and that it raises any number of complications. There are, obviously, many mundane reasons for not nisteling to a child. How many parents are able to nistel to a child say that it doesn’t want to go to school? Nisteling to this might be quite inconvenient for the parent. And frightening if it becomes the norm. For most parents, it is easier to ignore the child and to fall back on violence: force the child to attend school.

So why am I suggesting that we nistel, which includes letting children act in accord with their own Self-will? Because I believe that this is the essential foundation step in any strategy to end human violence (in all of its manifestations). For a thorough explanation and elaboration of this point, see ‘Why Violence?’ http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’ http://anitamckone.wordpress.com/articles-2/fearless-and-fearful-psychology/

As you have probably realised by now, nisteling requires a powerful individual: someone capable of taking responsibility for feeling their own feelings and trusting others (including children) to feel and act on theirs as well. I know that we cannot all do it yet. But each person who makes the commitment to work in this direction functionally undermines the violence in our world by helping to create powerfully Self-aware individuals who are able to act in accord with their own Self-will and let others do the same. And this is the only basis for creating a truly nonviolent society because powerful individuals have no trouble negotiating ways to cooperate.

If you are interested in helping to create this society, you are also welcome to consider signing online ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com

The most important form of attention that any human individual requires is nisteling. And nisteling is the most important gift we can give another individual to assist their personal journey to Self-awareness. If we nistel to a child, they will learn to nistel to themself.

Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is at http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com

See also -

The Origins of War in Child Abuse: Video – Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio interviews Lloyd deMause, the author of ‘The Origins of War in Child Abuse.’

Young Souls in Prison


Juvenile In Justice

The [Justice] Short List 8-22-14

FINALcell
[Highlights from the week's juvenile justice and justice related articles, videos and more that are worth your time.]

ROOM FOR DEBATE: Young Souls, Dark Deeds

The New York Times has a new topic in their excellent Room for Debate section: whether or not it is justifiable to try preteens as adults. We hear from voices we may be more familiar with—big players from the Sentencing Project and the Campaign for Youth Justice—as well as others our advocacy may limit us from hearing as clearly, specifically leaders of the National Organization of Victims of Juvenile Murderers.

READ MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/08/18/young-souls-dark-deeds

The Horrific Risk Of Gun Violence For Black Kids In America, In 4 Charts

You need to read this article: “Black children and teens are twice as likely to be killed by guns as by cars, while white children and teens are nearly three times more likely to die in car accidents than because of gun violence.”

READ MORE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/19/black-children-gun-deaths_n_5692423.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

OP-ED: The Myth of Juvenile Crime in the Summer

All too often we directly associate idle teens with criminal behavior, and no time of the year does this become more apparent than during the long-awaited summer vacation. Many jurisdictions impose earlier curfews in attempts to quell violent crime, as we’ve seen most recently in Baltimore and Detroit. But is this really treating the problem? Recent reports shows that crimes do not increase, but there is actually a “seasonal shift” in the kind of crimes committed.

READ MORE: http://jjie.org/op-ed-the-myth-of-juvenile-crime-in-the-summer/107465/

G4S Employees Repeatedly Investigated at Center

After an employee at Riverside Academy, a youth detention center in Florida, was accused of exchanging sex with a teenager for use of her cell phone, an investigation discovered that at least 75 incidents at the facility have been investigated by the DJJ. If we are to believe G4S in saying that Riverside Academy “led the state in quality improvement for male residential programs,” we should fear what is happening to our children at every single facility they are contracted to operate.

READ MORE: http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/local-news/i-team-investigates/g4s-employees-repeatedly-investigated-at-center

JURIST – DOJ: New York jail routinely violates rights of adolescent inmates


Originally posted on lennyesq:

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] released a report [press release] Monday finding that the New York City Department of Correction [official website] has routinely violated the constitutional rights of male teenagers at the Rikers Island jail complex. The report was released after a multi-year investigation pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA) [text] was completed, which found that correctional officers relied on physical forms of punishment. No legal action has commenced [Reuters report]…   +read more

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Sometimes letters from humans in prison, entering prisons as children, are Poems…


Originally posted on My Blog PoemsinPrisons:

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Sometimes letters from humans in prison, entering prisons as children, are Poems…

How I wished to teach those hidden talents to write – not only sometimes but always.

Please, don´t shrink back watching & reading These lines, written by a Young Person who murdered as a youth.

Give him a Chance, please:

“Here, my life behind bars offers understanding for those of you who venture into ‘the life’ with no understanding of its consequences:

the adversity, the obstacles and the journey one must travel alone when the gavel is slammed, your cell is locked and the lights go out.

A Hole Within a Hole In a hole, within a hole, inside a prison is where I dwell- the Special Management Unit at USP Lewisburg.

Days to nights, nights to dawn.

I roll out my rack to the sight of nothing.

“How did I get here?”, I ask myself.

Is there…

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