Saturday Steyn


Andy Griffith Goes Full Robocop

” I write often about the paramilitarization of American law enforcement, while always vaguely assuming it will never get too near my own corner of rural New Hampshire. But who knows? Reid Smith writes today about his particular hometown in Pennsylvania:

  Haverford straddles the border between Delaware and Montgomery Counties, some ten miles west of Philadelphia. According to Wikipedia, it’s most notable for being home to the renowned Haverford College and the Merion Cricket Club. The former is best known for its intellectual rigor and Quaker antecedents; the latter for its beautiful grass tennis courts.

  The local geography gets a little tricky, but a portion of the unincorporated town of Haverford is part of greater Haverford Township in Delaware County (affectionately known as “Delco”).

  Today a friend sent me an article from a local webzine. This is the sort of…

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Boy found locked in Ontario bedroom for 2 years

A malnourished 10-year-old boy was found living in squalor in a locked bedroom at an Ontario home, where authorities allege he’d been held for up to two years by his aunt and uncle, police said Friday.

The boy was fed twice a day with fast food, was left alone for long stretches each day, did not attend school and spoke limited English, authorities said.

Police were alerted to the boy by the Children Aid’s Society, which received a tip from the public, London Police Detective Kevin Heslop said. When police arrived to the home where the boy was staying alone at the time, they found him locked in a bedroom with food waste and feces strewn about.

“The bed was soaked in urine as was child’s pyjamas and there was food remains throughout the house,” said Heslop. “The child was confused and upset but the child is doing quite well now.”

The boy was taken to hospital Thursday and was diagnosed as being underweight and suffering from malnutrition. He has since been released from hospital and is in the care of the Children’s Aid Society.

Officials said the child had access to a toilet and shower because the home’s master bedroom had an en suite bathroom, but said the entire house was in squalid condition.

“It’s a horrific case and everyone sees it like that,” said Heslop. “Of course this is upsetting, it’s upsetting to everyone.”

His guardians, an uncle and aunt, were arrested Thursday. The couple was charged with forcible confinement and failing to provide basic necessities.

One guardian living in the house also had a 9-year-old biological child who was living with the couple. That child, whose age and gender have not been released, is also now in the care of the Children’s Aid Society. Police said there is no evidence that the couple’s biological child was confined inside the house and that child attended school.

Police are not releasing the name of the couple charged to protect the identity of the children.

Police said it had no prior dealings with the couple.

Heslop said the boy’s biological parents are not in Canada, and that he had lived with his aunt and uncle since he came to the country in 2010. Police have not yet been in contact with the parents and would not reveal where the parents are living or where the boy was born.

Jane Fitzgerald, executive director of London Children Aid’s Society, said she is grateful that a vulnerable child has been rescued.

“We’re just getting to know this boy but what I can tell you is that among the first things he wanted was regular food and he wants to go to school,” said Fitzgerald.

Raising happy kids

Parents who have been doing it for years will tell you that there’s no book, no set of rules to follow when it comes to raising happy kids, but certain key principles must be followed to get it right.

These principles include having a rock solid relationship they can emulate, not aiming for perfection, having a plan that works for discipline, and allowing the kids to shine in their own right.

Below, some parents share the secrets that work.

Melanie, 32, mother of three:


Don’t get too involved. Don’t hover. Don’t be a helicopter parent. You don’t need to oversee or be involved in everything your child does. Let them make mistakes and let them learn from the mistakes. Raising happy kids means allowing each child to be an individual, accepting each for who they are, and maintaining your role as parent and disciplinarian, and never as a friend on the same level as them.

Joshua, 44, dad of two:


It means lightening up sometimes — not everything is so serious, whether it is good grades, being the best at sports or whatever. Not every child will be a super student or super athlete, don’t get too serious about that stuff.

Nadine, 48, mom of six:


Teach them virtue, how to value themselves, teach them empathy. Send them to Sunday School and to regular school all the time. Teach them time management and teach them to respect authority. And teach them to have fun.

Vernon, 30, dad of one:


Be their stability. Be good to your partner and let them see that relationships are solid and lasting. Treat your partner with respect.

Nordia, 22, mom of one:


Be happy yourself. You need good mental health to parent. If you’re depressed get help, as your stress will make your kids stressed.

David, 38, dad of three:


Fathers, be good to your daughters, mothers, be good to your sons.

Paula, 38, mom of four:


Know that there are no set rules for anything. Raise each child as the individual he or she is.

THINGS NEVER to say to your kids

PARENTING is no easy job and at times as parents you may become frustrated, feel the urge to give up and out of anger say mean things to your children, which, most times you don’t mean.

But regardless of the challenges that come with being a parent, certain things should never be uttered to your child or children. Below, a few seasoned parents weigh in.

Janice G:

Never say “shut up” and never say tomorrow you’ll give them something and not do it. My girls always remember promises so I try not to make them to put them off. I’ve also learned not to tell them to shut up or shout while I’m correcting them because they end up doing the exact opposite of what I want them to do.

Okeno J:

I’ve learned never to tell them I have no money. It is a disappointment but instead I tell them I’ll see what I can do and try to strike a compromise somewhere.

Julian R:

Don’t tell them what they can’t do, rather say something like “you may want to try something else, however there are always exceptions to the rule”. You have to be careful when dealing with young people, one bad talk could crush them forever.

Julia H:

Never tell a child that they are worthless and will turn out to be no good, because it will break their spirit and may just happen. If you are upset, calm down first then talk to the child and explain to them what they did wrong and how they can do better the next time.

Nicole A:

As a single mom I learned never to curse the other parent in the presence of your child or compare qualities. It does the child no good.

Yvette L:

Don’t tell them that they are wasting your resources or money. Not every child is book smart.

Hyacinth B:

As a mother of three children, I’ve learned not to comment on body image. Though it is in your best interest that the child maintains a healthy lifestyle, be careful how you approach issues that have to do with their body image or looks.

Gary C:

One of my sons was not performing well at school and I got upset and asked him if he wanted to end up loading buses. That’s probably the worst thing I did as a parent and my wife was really upset. So I’ve learned not to tell children they are academically challenged or curse them about poor academic performances, rather, find ways to get them to improve.

EU willing to fund study on cost of not having CARICOM — Envoy

The European Union (EU) has said it is willing to fund a study that would explore the opportunity costs of not having a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in place.

Ewout Sandker, head of Cooperation, Delegation of the EU to Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago and the Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories, made the announcement on Monday, May 26 during the High Level Advocacy Forum on Statistics in Grenada, a release from CARICOM said Friday.

As he underlined the importance of a solid data foundation for development in general, and regional integration in particular, Sandker posed some questions to the Forum and made reference to the path the European Union took to integration.

He told the gathering of senior government officials, statisticians, and representatives of international organisations, that in the 1980s, the EU conducted a study that calculated the opportunity cost of not having a fully integrated market in Europe. The results, he related, were “quite amazing”. They were an “enormous push” to regional integration and provided a good opportunity for mobilising the private sector in Europe which saw the benefits they were not getting by not having a fully integrated market, he said.

“Something like that could be done in the Caribbean as well, and we would be happy to provide funding for such a study (of) the cost of not having CARICOM,” Sandker said.

Over the past decade, the European Union has been providing support to the Community to strengthen regional statistics and to improve its use in policymaking. About €4M of the €57M Ninth European Development Fund (EDF) cycle to the Community was allotted to produce and disseminate economic statistics, to harmonise statistical structures across the region and to train staff to use the economic statistics to monitor the regional integration process.

The EU and the Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) deepened support to the field of statistics under the 10th EDF to build on earlier achievements, the CARICOM release said, and to fill the gaps that remained. From the €18M allocated to the CSME under the 10th EDF, about €2M was allocated to strengthen the intra-regional systems to produce and disseminate timely, high quality, harmonised statistics to monitor the CSME. The funding, Sandker said, was used to monitor regional integration, further develop merchandise trade statistics and to boost social and environmental statistics, among other areas.

Statistical monitoring of the integration movement, he said, was particularly close to his heart.

“I’ve been working on it the first time I was in Guyana with the CARICOM Secretariat and I believe that monitoring of both compliance of regional integration commitments at the national level, and secondly, the impact of regional integration activities and processes are absolutely key to the success of the regional integration enterprise.

“If you can’t measure it; if you don’t know the compliance at national levels with different areas of integration, how can you allocate resources in a sensible way? If you don’t know, you cannot prioritise. If you don’t know what is the impact of the regional integration process, how can you argue that it is a good thing? How can you argue that you should go further and deeper?” he queried.

SAD PERSONS scale to indentify suicide risks

A person at risk of committing suicide is sometimes seen as one who acted unpredictably in the heat of the moment, or was simply crying for help for a while but no one noticed. Notwithstanding, there are known risk factors which a keen eye can detect.

According to consultant psychiatrist Dr E. Anthony Allen, through the use of the SAD PERSONS scale, a clinical assessment tool used to determine suicide risk, we can help identify such persons, thereby better arming ourselves to lend assistance to those reluctant to give life a second shot.

“There are two types of acronyms that we use. One has to do with the nature of the person and the other has to with the immediate risk of killing oneself. So for example, we know that SAD PERSONS, the acronym, If you look at sex for example, you know that males are at higher risks than females,” he said.

“And there are many reasons for this. Males tend not to open up to share their feelings with the macho approach; we tend to hold things in and we feel that it’s not manly to open up and share, and to go and get help.” Dr Allen explained. “Now you have age. Age; the elderly are susceptible. The thing about being elderly as you recognise, there’s retirement. They’re retired; they lose the roles of parenting the roles of work. Loneliness and greater chance of chronic diseases. And so these are some of the factors that make them more vulnerable,” he added

Dr Allen explained the remaining letters in the acronym, citing a lack of social support, an organised plan (suicide attempt), the absence of a spouse and sickness are also critical warning signs.

14-y-o girl’s nude pics posted for revenge – ‘She made her dad rape me,’ culprit claims

The creator of a malicious Facebook page, who uploaded nude pictures of an underage girl, has threatened to commit suicide after being bashed by viewers for the heinous act.

The page, which bore the name of the 13-year-old victim, was created on Sunday and had received close to 12,000 likes within seven hours of being made, and featured nude images of the girl along with other pornographic images.

About eight hours after its inception, Facebook removed the page.

underage girl

The creator of the illicit page, under the guise of the teenager, stated in the ‘about’ section, “my name is … am 13 years old, and a bi-sexual and I love girls and love to do oral, I think it’s fun,”. The creator had also posted the teen’s Skype address, which caused many viewers to at first think it was the victim who was posting the images of herself.

Disturbingly, the page had mainly adult male followers, many of whom were requesting the underage girl to privately send them nude pictures as well as to make contact with them to engage in sexual activities.


However, shortly after being deleted by Facebook, another Facebook page was created duplicating the original, however, on this page the maligner revealed herself, claiming to be the cousin of the teenage girl and threatened to take her own life.

“I must admit, I’m … cousin. I set her up because she watch her dad rape me! She trick me and led me to him, so I did this back to her, I was only 10, nobody believe me until this very day! Now I am going to kill myself!

And write a note and explain everything!! Goodbye I’m 14,” the page’s creator posted after uploading an image, which she claims, is of herself.

However, viewers bashed the maligner, with some going to the extreme of encouraging her to take her own life as punishment for her wrongdoing, and others encouraged her to continue posting the nude pictures, while some implored her to shut down the account.

The second page was deleted from Facebook the following day. That page had received more than 1,000 likes before it was deleted.

THE WEEKEND STAR contacted Veronica Gilzean, head of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, who said she was unaware of the illicit page. She, however, said she will be contacting the Organised Crime Investigation Division to conduct an investigation into the matter.