I believe everyone reading this will agree that violence is out-of control in Our Country. Arguing is not a good factor for happy relationships and marriage, and I did not say “disagreements”. Two people can disagree, and have meaningful communication. Children learn communication skills in families that love and respect each other enough to practice meaningful communication. With this in mind, I want to share another good parenting article by Ms Wald.
WASHINGTON — Many taxpayers can rest easier knowing that Congress extended a series of tax breaks for individuals and businesses before adjourning in December.
But the effects will be short-lived. The extension only lasted until the end of 2014. The new Congress that took office Jan. 6 will have to decide once again whether to renew them. Going forward, the tax breaks may not be around. “Don’t rely on them,” said Mark Luscombe, principal tax analyst for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting US.
Credits and Deductions
For the 2014 tax year, Kathy Pickering, executive director of the Tax Institute at H&R Block (HRB), estimates that one in six taxpayers will be affected by the extenders. They include college students and their parents; homeowners; residents of states without income tax, and more. Those who qualify could see larger refunds, or a smaller tax bill. Credits directly reduce the amount of taxes owed. Deductions reduce the income on which taxes are computed.
For individuals, the tax extenders are linked to expenses you’re likely to have, tax break or not, said Bob Meighan, vice president for consumer advocacy at TurboTax (INTU).
Live in a state that doesn’t have an income tax? If you itemize, the congressional extension means you can take a deduction for sales tax.
Are you and your child struggling with the high cost of college? The tax extenders bill passed by Congress includes the $4,000 above-the line deduction for tuition and fees. Above-the-line deductions reduce adjusted gross income, which is used to calculate eligibility for many tax breaks, including the tuition and fees deduction. This is only one of many tax breaks for higher education. Among the others: the lifetime learning credit or the American Opportunity Credit.
“Though income levels differ for each of these three benefits and people should see which one works best, the trend in recent years has heavily been toward the credits,” said Internal Revenue Service spokesman Eric Smith. The extenders also include an above-the-line deduction for schoolteachers in kindergarten through high school who spend their own money on books and supplies for the classroom. They can deduct up to $250 for this expense.
Help for Homeowners
There’s help, too, for homeowners — and those who fell behind on mortgages. Was your house underwater and some of your mortgage debt was forgiven? As a result of the congressional action, that forgiven debt will often not be counted as taxable income. Were you required by your lender to purchase mortgage insurance? One extender will allow you to deduct the cost of those premiums. The credit of up to $500 for making environmentally friendly improvements to your home also was renewed for 2014. Among the things covered: energy-efficient heating or air conditioning, new windows and insulation.
If you’re 70½ or older and required to take a minimum distribution from your retirement accounts, the extenders allowed you to do this tax-free, by rolling it over directly to a charity. But you would have had to do that before Dec. 31 to avoid having the distribution counted as income and taxed as such.
In some previous years, when the tax breaks were extended late in the year, Congress included a special provision that allowed distributions made in January to qualify, the IRS said. There was no such rule this year.
Increasingly, these extenders have only been enacted for a single year. Luscombe says that’s because some in Congress believe they should be discussed as part of “fundamental tax reform.” And that could mean a push for lower individual rates in exchange for giving up some credits and deductions. Politically, that might be difficult for people who are fond of their tax breaks,” he said.
‘We are declaring war against you, the terrorists.’
Hacking group Anonymous to target paedophiles using the ‘dark web’ to carry out child abuse.
In the wake of the Westminster child abuse scandal and allegations of establishment cover-ups, hackers Anonymous have decided to expose international paedophile networks.
The hacking group says it is planning on collecting evidence against international paedophile rings and their abuse of children to find the links between different operations and ultimately bring the perpetrators to justice.
Named ‘Operation Death Eaters‘ after Voldemort’s band of evil followers in the Harry Potter series, the group is calling for a global effort in exposing the paedophile rings through the power of social media.
This newest Anonymous campaign comes just weeks after the group declared war on jihadists in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.
Now, they are building a grassroots database of paedophile cases from across the world in order to ultimately expose an ‘international cult’ of child sex abuse.
A Tumblr set up to promote the campaign states: ‘The objective of opdeatheaters is an independent, international, victim-led tribunal/ inquiry into trafficking and paedosadist industry. ‘What is our first step? We need meticulously researched and clearly documented examples of high level complicity in the industry, obstruction of justice and coverups to show the need for independent inquiries.’
Hacktivist group Anonymous plans to expose paedophiles
The UK version of the site states: ‘The CSA inquiry in the UK is an attempt to depict a powerful cult as a string of isolated incidents of “sex abuse”. ‘The complicit UK media is running a huge propaganda campaign to conflate torture and murder with “paedophilia” and call for understanding of “paedophilia”. ‘This is not a group of sad paedophiles who need help and understanding. This is a torture and death cult with a powerful global human trafficking network. ‘WE DEMAND THAT TORTURE AND MURDER BE CALLED TORTURE AND MURDER, NOT SEX. This is an international cult and needs to be investigated as one, not simply as an endless series of isolated incidents confined to the UK. ‘We call upon our comrades globally to help us investigate and demand an end to the trafficking networks with arrests at the top not just the bottom. ‘WE DEMAND AN END TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND ABUSE COMPLICITY WORLDWIDE.’
The Independent refers to an Anonymous statement which claims:‘The Westminster paedophile ring is one of many cases where Operation DeathEaters has actively pursued and sought truth, in order to end the hideous crimes concealed behind the British elite. ‘In fear of these investigations being bungled over time, the operation’s objectives are clear and simple: source public information before it disappears, push for independent enquiry, and offer support to witnesses and the victims where needed.’
Anonymous also cites a number of high profile cases and investigations in the UK including Jimmy Savile, MP Cyril Smith,the claims regarding Elm Guest House and the now-defunct Paedophile International Exchange
Tens of millions of images of child abuse are believed to be circulating online on the ‘dark web’, many showing such graphic abuse that the media is turning a blind eye to the problem, experts warned this week.
Figures from the European Commission’s Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online suggest 50,000 new child abuse images are uploaded each year – of which more than 70 per cent are images of children under the age of 10.
Heather Marsh, author of Binding Chaos and who works with Anonymous, said: ‘Our central objective is to establish independent, internationally linked, victim-led inquiries into high level complicity, obstruction of justice and cover-ups in the paedosadism and child trafficking industries. ‘The premise behind OpDeathEaters is to expose high level complicity, obstruction of justice and cover up in the paedosadist industry in order to show the need for independent inquiries.’
On January 10 Anonymous activists released a video condemning the gun attack at French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which left 12 people dead.
The hacking group says it wants to collect evidence against international paedophile rings and look into their abuse of children to find the links between different operations and bring the perpetrators to justice
In the clip, which was uploaded to the group’s Belgian YouTube account, a figure wearing the group’s Guy Fawkes mask and a hood says in French in an electronically-distorted voice: ‘We are declaring war against you, the terrorists.’
Sitting at a desk and reading from a piece of paper, the figure says the group will track down and close all accounts on social networks related to terrorists to avenge those killed.
Anonymous has previously carried out cyber attacks on websites belonging to the Government, as well as those of corporate and religious organisations.
In 2012 Anonymous crippled the Home Office’s website by flooding it with huge amounts of internet traffic.
ANONYMOUS – THE DIGITAL ROBIN HOOD OR JUST CYBER TERRORISTS?
Hacker group Anonymous has been linked to online attacks around the world aimed at punishing governments for policies of which the hackers disapprove.
Members are known as ‘Anons‘ and are distinguished by their Guy Fawkes masks.
The group are seen as anything from digital Robin Hoods to cyber terrorists for their hacking campaigns against government agencies, child pornography sites and the Klu Klux Klan.
In 2008 the online community staged a series of protests, pranks, and hacks Church of Scientology as part if its ‘Project Chanology.’
Later targets of Anonymous ‘hacktivism’ included government agencies of the US, Israel, Tunisia, Uganda, and others, copyright protection agencies; the Westboro Baptist Church; and corporations such as PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, and Sony.
In 2013 they declared war on secretive ‘chat sites’ used by paedophiles to trade images.
Last November they hacked into the Twitter account of the Ku Klux Klan after the white supremacist group distributed flyers threatening ‘lethal force’ protesters in Ferguson.
Dozens of people have been arrested for involvement in Anonymous cyberattacks, in countries including the US, UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, and Turkey.
GRANDVIEW, Mo. – Shaquille Stevens, 22, of Grandview, Mo., was arrested Friday and faces two counts of child abuse.
On Jan. 20, officers responded to the 12000 block of Lemon Tree Lane on a report of child abuse. When they arrived, two women told authorities the 2-year-old victim was not acting normal and was lethargic.
According to court documents, they said the victim appeared to have been beaten with a leather belt across the torso, hit in the head and had some scrapes that were scabbed over.
The victim’s mother told authorities she left the child with her boyfriend, Stevens, while she was at work. She received a text from Stevens that said he had spanked the victim, and she didn’t think anything of it.
According to court documents, the victim’s mother said Stevens told her he spanked the victim with a belt. When she arrived home, she saw the victim lying in bed with a bruised face. Stevens told her the victim also fell down the stairs. The victim’s mother said when she pulled the sheet down she saw welts and cuts all over the victim’s body.
When she told Stevens they needed to take the victim to the E.R., Stevens did not want to get in trouble for causing the injuries.
According to court documents, Stevens told officers the victim sustained their injuries after they fell down the front stairs and possibly from playing with a dog.
Stevens has a criminal history. He was found guilty of second degree robbery in Cass County in 2010, of child abuse in Belton, Mo., (on the municipal level) in 2010, and possession of a controlled substance in Jackson County in 2014.
Stevens is being held on a $100,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015.
ANDREWS, TX – More allegations of alleged abuse at the hands of a special needs teacher against the same children whose families we met two years ago in a similar situation. Christopher Wolfe and Haiyden Gregory were both classmates in the Devonian Elementary Special Needs class this school year.
Back in November, Lauren Gregory, Haiyden’s mom, was informed by a former aid, Lacie Stringfield, that incidents of alleged abuse were taking place, especially against Christopher Wolfe.
Something Lauren did not immediately believe. Lacie also informed Gregory that she had been fired after making complaints to the Devonian principal on three separate occasions.
“So, after that, I decided I would send another audio recording to make sure it was the truth, so I sent it the next day,” said Lauren Gregory.
And what Lauren says she heard on those recordings confirmed the aids allegations for her.
“They trashed Lacie the entire day in front of the children,” Gregory said. “During the audio, Mrs. Harmon is making fun of Christopher to Haiyden, but the biggest thing that upset me was Haiyden. He did have his diaper changed and he was fed, but the entire time, they did not talk to him. It’ll just hurt me because I trusted them.”
Both Haiyden and Christopher suffer from disabilities that do not allow them to verbalize as well as other children. Haiyden has Cerebral Palsy and Christopher has Downs Syndrome. Something these parents say once again made their kids easy targets.
Christopher’s grandmother, Joann Wolfe, was first notified of the allegations when Child Protective Services showed up at her home.
“I was told that they were investigating allegations of some physical abuse,” said Joann Wolfe. “And had I noticed anything? And thinking back initially I was shocked. And I didn’t even know the person that had made the initial complaint, but I’m very grateful that they did.”
Joann was later contacted by Lauren and told of the concerns the aid had in regards to Christopher’s well being in the class.“She said, Joann it happened and I was devastated,” Wolfe said. “I was very, because I believed her. Like I said, she was the one, there was another tape. There were witnesses to things that were happening. And I had not talked to her. I had not talked to her prior to that.”
The families were informed the teacher was placed on administrative leave, but Lauren said she had enough and pulled both Haiyden and her other child out of the school district. “I cannot trust AISD with my kids because this is the second time,” Gregory said.
Joann pulling Christopher out of school till changes were made. “We are finding resolution in the problem. The school system, AISD, Dr. Azam has been very helpful in addressing things,” Wolfe said. “Texas disability rights is involved because it was found in their internal investigation that his individual education plan had not been followed.”
We spoke to the Andrews ISD Superintendent, Bobby Azam, about the allegations. However, he was unable to confirm or deny if such incidents were being investigated at Devonian Elementary. But, new developments have come into play Friday in this saga. Just Friday afternoon, a petition was filed against Andrews ISD on behalf of the former aid, Lacey Stringfield.
NewsWest 9 obtained a copy of the request for the temporary injunction that lays out the allegations against the special needs teacher, Mrs. Kelly Harmon.
In it, Stringfield claims she was told by Mrs. Harmon at the start of the school year, that what happens in her classroom stays in the classroom and that “we do our own thing here.”
Stringfield also claims that during the second week of the school year, Mrs. Harmon informed her that the best way to motivate one of their students with Downs Syndrome was to use plastic spiders to scare him.
“CPS did acknowledge that as a tool to get him to do something that plastic spiders were put on him,” Wolfe said. “And he is deathly afraid of spiders. Another student was told to put a spider down his shirt and CPS acknowledged that yeah, that happened, but that’s not so bad, but I think it is.”
Other allegations include Mrs. Harmon informing the aid that the bus driver allegedly spanked a student because “that’s what he needs.”
After that incident, Stringfield alleges that she made her first outcry to the Principal of Devonian who informed her that she was aware of some of the practices. Then, in the Fall, Springfield claims she saw Mrs. Harmon drag a student across the floor causing rug burn only later to tell the child’s parents the burns were a result of the child running and falling.
Then, on November 20th of 2014, Mrs. Stringfield claims she was let go from Devonian and told she was not the right fit. This, after three days prior she had made her last outcry to the Principal. We contacted Lacie Stringfield’s lawyer about the lawsuit and allegations.
“I think there is more than enough evidence to conclude that she was terminated in retaliation for making those complains,” said Dan Ross of the Ross Law Group. “And I would like to say that Mrs. Stringfield is a very brave and courageous woman to come forward with this and that she is seeking to have this kind of activity cease and it’s not something that is an easy thing to do for anyone.”
Some of the requests of the temporary injunction are to make the classrooms more visible with cameras and half doors. Stringfield is also hoping to be reinstated into her position at Devonian Elementary.
Joann Wolfe tells us that CPS has not contacted her whether or not the investigation into alleged abuse against her grandson, Christopher has been completed. She is waiting to hear the outcome of their investigation.
We reached out to the teacher, Mrs. Harmon and did not receive a response. We also tried to speak to the Superintendent, Bobby Azam about the petition, but have yet to receive a response. We did reach out to the President of the AISD School Board before the petition was filed in regards to the situation. Dr. Pam Fisher said she could not comment, but that the Andrews School District puts their children first and cares very much about their safety and learning experience which is always a first priority.