CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

CHILDHOOD Under Siege: Joel Bakan

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.

childhood under siege front

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.

childhood under siege back


“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


“Another Startling Verdict for Forensic Science” ProPublica

“Another Startling Verdict for Forensic Science” ProPublica

Originally posted on

Another Startling Verdict for Forensic Science

A recent study on the reliability of hair analysis is only latest to shake public confidence.

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THE FORGOTTEN CHILD – FREE DAVONTAE SANFORD: PETITION -How Many More Days Justice 4 Davontae Sanford 2015 Time For Change “BRING ME HOME!”

THE FORGOTTEN CHILD – FREE DAVONTAE SANFORD: PETITION -How Many More Days Justice 4 Davontae Sanford 2015 Time For Change “BRING ME HOME!”


MI: The forgotten child -Free Davontae Sanford

Wed Apr 22, 2015 13:57
Ionia Correctional Facility (ICF)

1576 W. Bluewater Highway
Ionia, MI 48846

Please sign and share Davontae’s petition (245 signatures to date)
How Many More Days Justice 4 Davontae Sanford 2015 Time For Change Bring Me Home Enough Is Enough !
Team pushes new trial for Detroiter convicted as teen

Detroit — The lengthy battle to free a man who was convicted of a quadruple homicide at age 14 continued Wednesday with a team of attorneys filing a motion in Wayne Circuit Court seeking a new trial.
Detroit hit man takes responsibility for killings in new push to free young man in 4 murders
Vincent Smothers confesses to murders; Davontae Sanford imprisoned for crimes

Lawyers, family say Sanford innocent

Thanks to Susan Chandler, Florida, for her unwavering struggle for justice

The forgotten child -Free Davontae Sanford

Von: Heinz Leitner []
Gesendet: Montag, 30. März 2015 01:19
Betreff: WG: Update: The forgotten child -Free Davontae Sanford – @onetoughnerd pardoned connected drunk driver instead of innocent kid

Please read Wobbly Warrior’s Blog, USA. Thanks to Susan Chandler. – Davontae needs more than 240 signatures! Give your voice to a voiceless disabled African-American teen. Free Davontae!
@onetoughnerd pardoned connected drunk driver instead of innocent kid
Snyder uses pardon for connected lawyer
Justice for Innocent Teen

Von: Heinz Leitner []
Gesendet: Mittwoch, 18. März 2015 01:33
Betreff: Update: The forgotten child -Free Davontae Sanford – What good are Conviction Integrity Units? Ask a hit man. No, really. – Why @SchuetteOnDuty isn’t “distressed” about Davontae Sanford

Update via Crip solidarity Austria. Give your voice to a voiceless disabled innocent teen!

Thanks to Susan Chandler for her posting Why @SchuetteOnDuty isn’t “distressed” about Davontae Sanford
Davontae Sanford – Free Davontae Sanford – Time For Change – Bring Me Home – Enough Is Enough !
Justice for Innocent Teen

A Detroit hit man in prison for eight murders said he’s willing to publicly take responsibility for four more to help clear a young man who claims he’s innocent of the slayings and confessed at age 14 only to satisfy police. Vincent Smothers’ testimony would be the most crucial evidence yet to try to persuade a judge to throw out Davontae Sanford’s guilty plea and free him from a nearly 40-year prison sentence. In an interview with The Associated Press, Smothers declared: “He’s not guilty. He didn’t do it.” Smothers said he never used a 14-year-old accomplice — blind in one eye and learning disabled — to carry out his paid hits, mostly victims tied to Detroit’s drug trade. Ironically, there’s no dispute that Smothers confessed to the so-called Runyon Street slayings when he was captured in 2008, but prosecutors have never charged him and never explained why. “I understand what prison life is like; it’s miserable. To be here and be innocent — I don’t know what it’s like,” Smothers said of Sanford, who is now 19. “He’s a kid, and I hate for him to do the kind of time they’re giving him.” Given this ground breaking news we seek the immediate release of Davontae Sanford. Help us to end this gross miscarriage of justice, sign, share and be counted…No Justice No Peace!
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION by Michigan Department of Corrections

Please consider dropping a line to Davontae. Please sign and share the petition:
Petition: Justice for Innocent Teen


Ionia Correctional Facility (ICF)

1576 W. Bluewater Highway
Ionia, MI 48846


“Davontae is now being denied use of JPay” (Susan Chandler)

Why @SchuetteOnDuty isn’t “distressed” about Davontae Sanford

… Schuette is defrauding and endangering the public simultaneously, and he isn’t “distressed” over it at all, because he knows he only has Davontae’s family, friends and activists to ignore, not journalists to contend with.
[Update 3/16/15: There has been a response – of sorts – to my pestering Bill Schuette [@SchuetteOnDuty] about Davontae … Davontae is now being denied use of JPay and is in other ways being harassed, per his mother’s Facebook post two hours ago. Taminko called for a prayer chain for Davontae. I’m calling for this post to be shared, especially on Twitter.]

see more on Davontae at
Attorney General Schuette apologizes for subpoenas
Atttorney General Bill Schuette
Lawmakers Introduce Resolution To Bring Death Penalty Back In Michigan

Lawmakers in Lansing have introduced a plan to bring the death penalty back in Michigan.

On March 1, 1847, Michigan became the first English-speaking territory in the world to abolish the death penalty. In 1963, the death penalty was constitutionally banned in Michigan.

But last month, state Attorney General Bill Schuette noted that a majority of citizens across the country support the death penalty, especially when it comes to certain offenders. Now, members of the Michigan legislature are considering taking up a death penalty bill. …

The resolution drew a sharp rebuke from the Michigan Catholic Conference.

“The death penalty is an antiquated and inhumane method of punishment representing nothing more than retaliation and more violence,” Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO Paul Long said in a statement. “The prohibition against capital punishment in the 1963 Michigan Constitution is clear: the state has no right to decide who lives and who dies.”

Long said his organization will devote its full weight “to oppose and defeat any effort to allow for state-sanctioned murder.”

“For a government with the power to kill is a government with too much power,” he said.
Michigan’s Right-Wing Crusader

Von: Heinz Leitner []
Gesendet: Dienstag, 3. März 2015 01:54
Betreff: The forgotten child -Free Davontae Sanford – What good are Conviction Integrity Units? Ask a hit man. No, really.
Via Crip solidarity Austria: Please sign and share Davontae’s petition
Davontae Sanford – Free Davontae Sanford – Time For Change – Bring Me Home Enough Is Enough !

Thanks to Susan Chandler, Wobbly Warrior’s Blog, Florida, for her arduous efforts!
We ask for your support to free Davontae, there has been an unprecedented media black out in this case, given it’s high profile status the Media has consistently ignored this young child’s fight, we ask why?
Do the right thing, change this young man’s fate, Sign the petition and send the message it is time to free Davontae now!!

The forgotten child – Free Davontae Sanford

Davontae Sanford is now 19. He has spent the last five years of his short life in adult prisons, convicted of murdering four people on Runyon Street on Detroit’s east side on Sept. 15, 2007, when he was 14. He is 5’6,’’ slightly-built, blind in one eye, and “developmentally disabled.”

Vincent Smothers

Shortly after Davontae was sentenced to 37 to 90 years in prison in 2008, Vincent Smothers, now 28, of Shelby Township, confessed to the Detroit police on videotape that he and a different man committed the murders as part of a series of drug-related hits. Highly placed members of the police department have testified they believe Davontae is innocent, including a former chief of homicide who says Davontae was with him at the time of the murders.

Help us to end this gross miscarriage of justice, sign, share and be counted…No Justice No Peace!
Petition: Justice for Innocent Teen


Wobbly Warrior’s Blog
What good are Conviction Integrity Units? Ask a hit man. No, really.

Security Camera Shows Inmate Brawl at Rikers Island Jail

Security Camera Shows Inmate Brawl at Rikers Island Jail

Originally posted on TIME:

Rare security camera footage from inside New York City’s Rikers Island jail shows a guard throwing an inmate to the floor and a gang-related brawl at a juvenile facility involving close to a dozen prisoners.

The New Yorker has obtained video surveillance from inside New York City’s main jail that shows Kalief Browder, who was arrested in 2010 at the age of 16 for allegedly stealing a backpack, being pushed to the ground by a jail official as he was being taken to the shower. The incident occurred Sept. 23, 2012, and the Department of Correction says it is looking into the video.

In an earlier incident captured on the jail’s surveillance cameras in October 2010, Browder is beaten by numerous inmates. That episode occurred in a housing unit at Rikers’ adolescent jail, which the New Yorker reports was run by a gang.

Rikers Island has been plagued by…

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GBI Probing Teen’s Death in Georgia Detention Facility

GBI Probing Teen’s Death in Georgia Detention Facility

Largo Project from the Investigative News Network >

Juvenile Justice Information Exchange > News >

GBI Probing Teen’s Death in Georgia Detention Facility

GBI Probing Teen’s Death in Georgia Detention Facility


Metro Regional Youth Detention Center

ATLANTA — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the apparent Easter Sunday suicide of a 14-year-old boy at an Atlanta-area youth detention facility, reportedly after a guard did not respond to calls for help.

Two juvenile witnesses said they called to a correctional officer beforehand to warn that the youth was threatening to kill himself, but the guard did not respond, according to documents released this afternoon by the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

One juvenile witness said the unidentified youth “was calling me & telling me to tell the officer he was going to kill his self. But the officer wouldn’t go see what he wanted. At 11:45 they put us up & seen the body hanging.”

In a written statement, the witness said he cried and panicked during the incident.

A third juvenile, asked what the staff could have done differently, wrote in his statement: “Listen when a youth says something.”

The unidentified youth was found hanging from the sprinkler system in his cell with his jumpsuit tied around his neck, according to an incident report released by DJJ.

A written statement by a guard assigned to the unit hinted that understaffing might have lengthened his response time. He wrote that he was “the only officer” on the C1 residential unit at the time of the incident, and that he and another officer were occupied escorting youths who had refused to return to their rooms from the dayroom.

Turnover has been a recurring problem among DJJ’s detention officers, with a 2014 study showing 57 percent of entry-level guards had resigned the year before. The guard assigned to the unit was not on the department’s payroll last June, according to information on the state auditor’s website.

Before the incident, the guard wrote, the victim “was making verbals about suicide … I called C-control room for assistance. Then mental health called to talk me through … getting [the youth] to cooperate.”

Once the youth was seen hanging, the guard wrote, “I rushed to secure the youth I was escorting to his room and then to [the youth’s] room fast as I could.” He and a supervisor freed the youth from the makeshift noose, laid him on the floor and tried to resuscitate him.

While the death has tentatively been labeled a suicide, GBI public affairs director Sherry Lang said agents are conducting a full-blown investigation of the circumstances of the youth’s death.

“When we go in and work a death investigation, we work it like a criminal investigation,” Lang said. The GBI’s jurisdiction includes crimes committed in state detention and penal institutions and on other state properties.

It was not immediately clear whether the DJJ had identified the boy as a suicide risk, which would have triggered policies aimed at preventing youths in detention from harming themselves.

The boy was being held at the Metro Regional Youth Detention Center, a 200-bed campus of the state DJJ located in south DeKalb County.

State Prison Populations Show Upswings, Declines

State Prison Populations Show Upswings, Declines

Originally posted on


State Prison Populations Show Upswings, Declines

Corcoran State Prison
A cell row is seen at the Secure Housing Unit during a media tour at the Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, California, on October 1, 2013.Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Since 1999, 34 states have seen “at least a modest decline” in their prison populations, but 16 have recorded upswings, according to new data released by the Sentencing Project that demonstrate incarceration rates vary dramatically between states.

New Jersey had the biggest drop in inmates since 1999, at 29 percent, while New York experienced a 27 percent decline and California’s since 2006 was 22 percent. Overall, nine states posted double-digit drops.

Meanwhile, five states showed double-digit growth, with Arkansas topping the list at 17 percent, the Sentencing Project’s report states. ….

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