Monday Reads: All the News from the District Of Derpistan

weird-Vintage-photos-kid-smoking-chickenGood Morning!

Ever read something on the news or see it on TV and just wonder wtf were they thinking when they asked that?  Fox New’s Chris Wallace asked “confirmed bachelor” Lindsey Graham why he hasn’t gotten married.  Is that the dumbest question you’ve ever heard or is Fox really trying to convince its audience that Lady Lindsey is really just so overwhelmed with family love he’s never needed sex of any kind?

F0x News host Chris Wallace told Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday that he wished that he could put him on the “psychiatrist couch” to find out why the 59-year-old bachelor had never been married.

Last week, a Washington Post profile of the South Carolina Republican noted that Graham had helped raise his sister after his parents died while he was in college.

“Some of your friends suggested that might be the reason you never got married,” Wallace observed during an interview on Fox News Sunday. “We can’t put you on the psychiatrist couch. But those traumatic events, how did they shape your life?”

“It made me realize that the promise of tomorrow is just a promise,” Graham explained. “It taught me how much I was loved by the rest of my family. My aunt and uncle helped me raise my sister. Social Security survivor benefits coming into my family made a world of difference.”

“I understand we’re all one car wreck away from needing help, but what it told Lindsey Graham above all else is that family, friends and faith really do matter,” he continued. “And I’m a lucky man to have all the support I’ve had all these years.”

Graham, who said that there was a “91 percent” chance that he was running for president, insisted that he was trying his “best to pay back a country who has been so good to me.”

machorka345I guess he’s part of an “ambiguously gay duo”.
In his attempt to insult every one in the country, Rand Paul went full metal jacket isolationist.  That ought to really thrill Republicans and their defense industry donors.  He did manage to hit Hillary Clinton first.

Rand Paul ripped into his hawkish rivals for the Republican nomination Saturday, suggesting that problems in the Middle East would actually be worse under them than President Barack Obama.

“There’s a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now — maybe more,” the Kentucky senator told hundreds of activists at a GOP cattle call that has drawn every major presidential aspirant. “This is something, if you watch closely, that will separate me from many other Republicans. The other Republicans will criticize Hillary Clinton and the president for their foreign policy, but they would have done the same thing – just 10 times over!”

The Kentucky senator went on the offensive against the militarists in his own party – using his strongest language on the subject since formally kicking off his candidacy two weeks ago.

Speaking of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Paul asked: “Why the hell did we ever go into Libya in the first place?”

“Everyone who will criticize me wanted troops on the ground, our troops on the ground, in Libya,” he said. “It was a mistake to be in Libya. We are less safe. Jihadists swim in our swimming pool now. It’s a disaster.”

While you’re checking for jihadists in your swimming pool, please don’t forget the communists under your bed!  This has to be a vanity campaign like his father always ran.  No one can hold this many unpopular skeleton loveropinions and be a viable candidate for national office.

So, I’m only going to briefly mention this one because I’m still dumbfounded about MoDo and her seeming hatred of all things with a vagina but most of all Hillary Clinton. Why on earth does the NYT let her go one like this? The NYT Op Ed page is like a parade of the worst of the written word these days.

THE most famous woman on the planet has a confounding problem. She can’t figure out how to campaign as a woman.

If you can stomach it, you’ll read a barrage of how Clinton’s first campaign was shaped by men who Svengalied her into the Iron Lady.  Then, you’ll find the unicorns at the bottom.  Taylor Marsh calls modo a “sexist spinster” railing at “granny” going straight for the title of the op-ed of Granny Get Your Gun.  Marsh then has this to say.

Yo, bitch, Hillary isn’t campaigning “as a woman,” she is a woman campaigning. For commander in chief, I would add, but that’s too confusing for Maureen Dowd. If she was a modern woman in any respect she’d understand how ludicrous worrying about resurrecting “bitch is the new black” is, because watching Hillary Rodham Clinton make Republicans squeal like little girls is the essence of this chant.

dr-strangelove-merkwurdichliebe

I really want to end this here because MoDo really needs to find a nice nunnery to get thee to quickly.  Why is the NYT paying for this kind of drivel?

So no post on derp would be complete without something about Piyush Bobby Jindal (PBJ).  He and the frothy one are saddling up their hatefest and going to the holy land to do some rolling with Tony Perkins.  I’d say it’s about time we just throw up our hands and recognize that our Lt. Governor has been governing the last few years.  Jindal’s just a gadfly on the religious right’s ass.

For the second time this year, an anti-LGBT hate group is hosting a trip to Israel that will feature prominent figures from the Republican Party. The event will also feature Fox radio host Todd Starnes.

On October 27, the Family Research Council (FRC) will host its first ever eleven-day “Holy Land Tour” — a “unique, one-of-a kind tour” where guests will “explore the land of the Bible and the roots of our Christian faith” and meet with “some of Israel’s political and religious leaders.”

According to the tour’s brochure, the $5,000 trip features “insightful Bible teaching” and meetings with Israeli leaders aimed at providing guests with “a better understanding of Israel’s important role in current geopolitical affairs and biblical prophecy.”

The tour will feature a number of “special guests” including former Senator Rick Santorum, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), and Fox News commentator Todd Starnes, who has a history of acting as FRC’s mouthpiece and peddling and-LGBT rhetoric on Fox.

Bend over and take it in the Red Sea governor.  Take it for Jayzus and your hopeless quest for the White House.

And with that, I leave this open thread to you.  What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Sunday Reads: Everything Looks Better in Autochrome

19e09874dfe2caad2cf6e85dd11f34cbGood Afternoon

Still moving sick and slow,  and so this morning’s post is barely going to seem coherent.

While you read the links enjoy the images, which are actual color photographs from the beginning of the medium.

Particularly photos by Gustave Gain. I’ve got a bit of information on him below…

vintage everyday: 23 Rare and Stunning Color Portraits of French Women from the 1920s

French photographer Gustave Gain (1876-1945) was born in Cherbourg, France on June 27, 1876. As a chemist he keens on photography and related technical achievements. After the invention of the Autochrome by the Lumière brothers, Gustave is actively engaged in color photograph.

Gustave Gain loves beach. In the summer, he spent much time with his family on the coast of the English Channel in Brittany and Normandy, where he took a lot of stunning shots of his wife, Adeline and other women.

80f3fe5a288ebe215f777d4459375a81More links on Gain:

Gustave Gain (1876-1945) – Author – Resources from the BnF

Fonds Gustave Gain (FR-FRAD050 – FRAD050_00225)

And here is a Pinterest section on Autochromes – People on Pinterest | 558 Pins

So, on with the links for the post:

Now this is one image that I am sure you will agree, should look a lot better in autochrome, because the present day image is just too much. Beware, once you see it you can’t unsee it.  18th century sex toy found in ‘toilet of sword fighting school’ in Poland – Europe – World – The Independent

An old leather sex toy dating back to the 18th century was found by surprised archaeologists during a dig in Poland.

18th century sex toy found in  toilet of sword fighting school  in Poland   Europe   World   The Independent

The eight-inch dildo filled with rough bristles was discovered during an excavation that could have been the site of an old school of swordsmanship in the northern coastal city of Gdansk.

c1be0b3f3b02b9937a8a7137bfe47606A spokesman for the Regional Office for the Protection of Monuments in Gdansk, which found the penis-shaped object in the Podwalu district, said: “It was found in the latrine and dates back to the second half of the 18th century.”

“Whether that was by accident or on purpose is anyone’s guess though,” they added.

Wooden swords found on the site by the archaeologists led them to conclude that the place was once a school of swordsmanship.

Wow, that leaves me almost speechless…

 

Lili Von Shtupp: Would you like another schnitzengruben?

Bart: No, thank you. Fifteen is my limit on schnitzengruben.

 

Dr. Frankenstein: For the experiment to be a success, all of the body parts must be enlarged.

Inga: His veins, his feet, his hands, his organs vould all have to be increased in size.

Dr. Frankenstein: Precisely.

Inga: [her eyes get wide] He vould have an enormous schwanzschtücker.

Dr. Frankenstein: [ponders this a moment] That goes without saying.

Inga: Voof.

Igor: He’s going to be very popular.

 

That’ll do nicely.

Since you have seen something as horrid as that…how about this:

IMG_1123

 

A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook, oof, talk about polar opposites.

51aca41dd9fa7b92ab2f0737adb4ba69I guess I have given you some images to disgust your eyes for the day, how about some links to give your brain a going over:

Rand Paul smacks around Hilary Clinton at New Hampshire summit | Daily Mail Online

‘When Hillary Clinton travels there’s going to need to be two planes, one for her and her entourage, one for her baggage,’ Rand Paul smacks around Democratic rival at New Hampshire summit

59a4c48be796c8e7880afe5174e548f9At Republican Gathering, All Talk Is of Hillary Clinton (None of It Is Good) – NYTimes.com

GOP Presidential Contenders Go After Hillary Clinton In New Hampshire

Those Hillary links are especially vile.

Next up, immigrants. Only this time in the Mediterranean.

Up to 700 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes in Mediterranean – The Globe and Mail

The extreme danger faced by migrants crossing the Mediterranean in small, rickety vessels was highlighted earlier today when a boat carry as many as 700 capsized, resulting in possibly the largest mass drowning since the migrant crisis began several years ago.9ab4264e47cee5abd9501847e9617e3a

Initial reports said that only 28 of the 700 migrants had been rescued, though one report put the figure at 50. The disaster happened about 60 kilometres off the Libyan coast and about 200 kilometres south of the Italian island of Lampedusa, which lies roughly half way between Sicily and northwest Libya.

The emergency was declared at about midnight, local time, with more than a dozen Italian and Maltese ships taking part in the rescue, plus three helicopters. At midday Sunday, the UNHCR, 80c0ebdba658e1cfbc87ccfce438093cthe United Nations’ refugee agency, said the rescue was ongoing. The vessel is believed to have capsized when the migrants shifted to one side of the vessel when a merchant ship approached. “At the moment, we fear that this is a tragedy of really vast proportions, UNHCR spokeswoman Carlotta Sami told SkyTG24 television.

In connection with this latest sinking:

59e5890dbc856d55a32b961856ec629aPope Francis asks world to help Italy with migrants – Al Jazeera English

Pope Francis has called on the European Union and the international community to do more to help Italy cope with unprecedented numbers of migrants rescued in the Mediterranean during journeys on smugglers’ boats to flee war, persecution or poverty.

With his popularity and deep concern for social issues, the pope gave Italy a boost in its lobbying for Brussels and northern EU countries to provide more assistance.

fa90e3caac3debc99d3779593a44e5eb“I express my gratitude for the commitment that Italy is making to welcome the many migrants who, risking their life, ask to be taken in,” said Francis, flanked by Sergio Mattarella, the Italian president. “It’s evident that the proportions of the phenomenon require much broader involvement.”

44a777124ac84e08710fc542c5cf6051“We must never tire of appealing for a more extensive commitment on the European and international level,” the pope said.

On Saturday, towns in the southern island of Sicily were running out of places to shelter the migrants, including 11,000 arrivals in the past eight days. At least another 400 people are known to have drowned.

From to Pope to crazy ass Plubs, and their attacks on…everything.

This, read it in full: Why Gay Rights Trumps Women’s Rights – In These Times

Yet it’s not simply the fringe that’s the problem. I have a sneaking suspicion that while as a society we may use women’s sexuality to sell everything from cars to buffalo wings and beer, we really don’t like women actually engaging in sex on their own terms and having the ability to make certain to solely determine the results of those encounters.

ce1c947d5aa05c43e130b6ed281da4abFor me, having spent 40 or more years fighting along my brothers and sisters for full equality for the LGBT community, I’m ready for a bit more two-way solidarity.

I’m ready to have the NCAA, with their supposed commitment to Title IX, refuse to play in Indiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Dakota and Arizona because these states are openly hostile to women and our constitutional rights.

c464f21863bf030f695c472480417f8bI’m ready to have gay rights organizations, the media and corporations, such as Walmart, Google, NASCAR and Angie’s List, be as moved to action by Purvi Patel’s 20-year incarceration as they—and I—are about the refusal of a baker to make a wedding cake for same-sex celebrations.

And most of all I’m waiting for the kind of Act Up outrage that the abuse of women surely deserves.

And yes, I do feel the writer has a HUGE point. Read the entire thing. That of course does not mean the fight for LGBT is over, not by  a long shot:

ff9831de626ede0ce935a364d5c697a4Addicting Info – Pennsylvania High School Students Organize ‘Anti-Gay Day,’ Complete With ‘Lynch List’ (VIDEO)

That is so unacceptable, it is beyond comprehension, at least to me.

Jeffco board member apologizes for sharing link to “hate group” on Facebook | Chalkbeat

fbb78843378e73fbd97fe958e36b8c4dJefferson County school board member Julie Williams said late Friday that she was “sincerely sorry” and that she would remove a link on her personal Facebook page that she shared that encouraged families to keep their students home Friday and “away from perverse indoctrination” of the“homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda.”

“To be honest with you, I didn’t read the article,” Williams said.  “I just saw it and thought I was sharing information with parents.

12c3334cbd496f8d1247cd3ca05e8c87More Women in the news:

Indiana taxpayers ripped off in horrifying scheme that targeted poor pregnant women

Courts should strike down bans on abortion method in Kansas, Oklahoma – LA Times

Meanwhile in Europe:

8320026490bbc378a6f888e589d33ef3Anti-Semitism in the Soccer Stands – NYTimes.com

An ugly vein of soccer fan excess — the chanting of anti-Semitic slurs — recently disgraced a Dutch soccer game, prompting officials of the home team, Utrecht, to apologize for shocking outcries from the stands like “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” and “Jews burn the best!”

It is scary.

Brunch dine and bash at Bocca: witnesses – NY Daily News

An angry diner viciously grabbed an Upper East Side restaurant manager by the neck and hurled him into an elderly woman after waiting an hour and a half for his omelette during a case of brunch rage Saturday afternoon.

5df910fa21b8ab993c81c21cfd738775Dammit, what the hell is wrong with people?

Can you believe it has been 20 years since the Bombing of Oaklahoma?

US Remembers Oklahoma City Bombing 20 Years Later

About 1,000 gathered at the former site of the Oklahoma City federal building to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist bombing there that killed 168 people and injured many others.

Former President Bill Clinton and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin were among those who spoke at Sunday’s service at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building once stood.

783238f1b3d490ebc3fcc50f5bdc032bThe service started with a 168-second moment of silence and concluded with survivors and tearful relatives of the dead reading the names of those killed in the April 19, 1995, attack, which remains the worst U.S. act of domestic terrorism.

A surprise admission out of Washington.Dc: FBI overstated forensic hair matches in nearly all trials before 2000 – The Washington Post

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000.

7d58d3d17683cb7646f6607516eea021Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’slargest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence.

8975cabf6403f912418fdf2a22de6406The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.

 

And in Africa: ‘Mysterious’ disease kills 18 in Nigeria | World news | The Guardian

A “mysterious” disease that kills patients within 24 hours has claimed at least 18 lives in a south-eastern Nigerian town, the government said.

“Twenty-three people were affected and 18 deaths were recorded,” the Ondo state health commissioner, Dayo Adeyanju, said on Saturday.

11d21bfbdbe6dd2fba94358a63012eb2The government spokesman for the state, Kayode Akinmade, earlier gave a toll of 17 dead.

“Seventeen people have died of the mysterious disease since it broke out early this week in Ode-Irele town,” Akinmade told AFP by telephone.

The disease, whose symptoms include headache, weight loss, blurred vision and loss of consciousness, killed the victims within a day of falling ill, he said.

Laboratory tests have so far ruled out Ebola or any other virus, Akinmade said.

The World Health Organisation meanwhile said it had information on 14 cases with at least 12 dead.

ea64bf91e64cdfea6f698c0ad2057a1a“Common symptoms were sudden blurred vision, headache, loss of consciousness followed by death, occurring within 24 hours,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told AFP by email, adding that an investigation was ongoing.

How horrible.

I will end this with a tweet from Stephen King that I think sums just about the entire 2016 GOP primary list so far:

 

Oh yeah, that man just said a fucking mouthful!!!!!!!!!

6088d09416fb487a43afd1e70aa74442

66736de94181363695cbff6d034caba4

 

 

This is an open thread, I am falling asleep while trying to write it. lol


Saturday Afternoon Reads: Boston Bombing Second Anniversary and the Death Penalty Question

Copley Square News Stand, Boston

Copley Square News Stand, Boston

Good Afternoon!!

On Wednesday, April 15, Boston marked the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, now called “One Boston Day,” with a moment of silence at 2:49PM. That was the time that two bombs exploded about 12 seconds apart among crowds of people near the marathon finish line, leaving three people dead and 264 people injured–many of whom lost limbs.

Reuters reports: Boston marks somber second anniversary of deadly marathon bombing.

(Reuters) – Boston marked the second anniversary of the deadly attack on its annual marathon on Wednesday with a quiet ceremony at the site where three died, unveiling a pair of banners marked with a heart.

Mayor Marty Walsh joined a group of survivors of the April 15, 2013, blasts, including Jane and Henry Richard, whose 8-year-old brother Martin was the youngest killed, as well as Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs. Some 264 people, including spectators, volunteers at runners at the Boston Marathon were injured.

At 2:49 p.m. ET (1849 GMT) New England’s largest city will observe a moment of silence to mark the time the first bomb went off.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, who seek to make sense of that awful day,” said Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. “Those most affected by the events of two years ago have shown us all the way back with their courage, grace and determination.

At Fenway Park, there was a pause during the Red Sox-Nationals game to observe the city-wide moment of silence at 2:49PM.

On Patriots’ Day this coming Monday April 20th, runners will gather in Hopkinton, Massachusetts for the 119th running of the 26 mile race to the finish line in Copley Square.

Security for this year’s race will be higher than ever, and that is causing some controversy.

NPR’s Morning Edition: Boston Marathon Surveillance Raises Privacy Concerns Long After Bombing.

Nearly a million people will line the streets to watch the Boston Marathon on Monday, and someone else will be watching them. Bill Ridge with the Boston Police says video surveillance is a big part of the security plan.

“We’ve got a lot of cameras out there,” he says. “We’re going to be watching the portions in Boston — particularly the routes along Boylston Street, the finish line.” …. Video footage helped identify the terrorists, and the number and quality of video cameras has gone up since then.

The extent of the surveillance of Boston described in the article is troubling. NPR talked to Mark Savage of Lan-Tel Communications, which is in charge of surveillance for the marathon.

“I’m zooming in on the infield of Fenway Park,” he says while maneuvering a camera. He uses a laptop to swivel and zoom the HD video camera on a building hundreds of yards away from the ballpark. The zoom is so powerful, Johnson says it could probably tell whether a Red Sox pitcher has thrown a strike or a ball.

In the same way that televisions have gotten higher resolutions through the years, so have video cameras — and Johnson says cheaper bandwidth and data storage make it easy to record more, better-quality video.

Flowers placed at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last week (from NPR).

Flowers placed at the finish line of the Boston Marathon last week (from NPR).

Apparently the Boston Police have already installed a lot of surveillance equipment around the city.

Kade Crockford of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts says she understands the need for surveillance at a big public event like the Boston Marathon — but objects to expanding its use. While standing outside the Old State House, she points out four different surveillance cameras catching her every move.

“[A big event] doesn’t trigger privacy concerns,” she says. “What does trigger privacy concerns is the City of Boston installing a network of cameras — some in residential neighborhoods — that enable law enforcement to track individual people from the moment that we leave our homes in the morning until the moment we return at night, seeing basically everywhere we went and everything that we did.”

Boston Police won’t say how many cameras are already in the city’s network, or how many new ones are going up for the marathon. But some of them will stay online afterward.

The anniversary and the storied Boston foot race comes during a pause in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was found guilty on all counts on Wednesday April 8. The jury still must decide whether Tsarnaev will get live in prison without parole or the death penalty. Technically, the break before the penalty phase is to allow the defense more time to prepare their witnesses, but it would have been difficult for jurors to deal with life and death questions during the bombing anniversary and the running of this year’s race.

The family of Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard  joins Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (R) at a ceremony at the site of the second bomb blast on the second anniversary of the bombings in Boston, Massachusetts April 15, 2015.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The family of Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard joins Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (R) at a ceremony at the site of the second bomb blast on the second anniversary of the bombings in Boston, Massachusetts April 15, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Kevin Cullen at The Boston Globe suggests other questions about the bombing that need to be answered.

Break in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial allows for reflection.

A Boston cop I know, who was at the finish line when the bombs exploded and who saved lives that day, has a question.

“Who were the FBI agents who interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev after the Russians raised questions about him two years before the bombings, and why didn’t they recognize Tamerlan from the photos the FBI released?” he asked.

It’s a good question, one that the prosecution won’t want to ask, one that the defense needs to ask, if it isn’t deemed irrelevant by O’Toole.

The defense has argued all along that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was steered into the bombing plot by his older, domineering, more-radicalized brother. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, dead almost two years, will be mentioned as often as his little brother in this phase of the trial.

Cullen says the FBI did good work after the bombs went off, but . . . .

But that nagging question — why wasn’t Tamerlan Tsarnaev identified earlier — won’t go away. And it feeds the nagging sense that the FBI knows far more about Tamerlan Tsarnaev than it’s sharing.

Nor will questions about Tamerlan’s wife, Katherine, go away. The government broadly hinted but never came right out and said they believe the bombs or at least components for the bombs were assembled at the Cambridge apartment Katherine and Tamerlan shared with their daughter, a toddler.

The defense didn’t try to debunk the suggestion nearly as strongly as you might think because it allowed them to point out that the fingerprints on all the tools that might have been used to make the bombs were Tamerlan’s, not Dzhokhar’s.

Why wasn’t Katherine charged? Did she cooperate with investigators?

One of the other nagging questions is whether the Tsarnaev brothers had any accomplices in gathering all the gunpowder from fireworks they used in their bombs. Listening to testimony about how much powder was needed to make the bombs, it seemed like the Tsarnaev brothers would have to be doing nothing else but dismantling fireworks for months.

Boston strong

All good questions and there are more good ones at the link. Cullen notes that we particularly need answers about why the FBI shot and killed Ibragim Todashev, who was potentially their best source of information about Tamerlan and his motives.

The Feds are getting plenty of pushback here in the Boston area on their goal of putting Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death. After all, Massachusetts does not have the death penalty. Victims families and survivors as well as citizens have expressed their wishes that Tsarnaev be allowed spend the rest of his life in prison.

WBUR Boston (NPR): Death Penalty For Tsarnaev Increasingly Unpopular, WBUR Poll Finds.

The survey (topline, crosstabs) of 509 registered voters in Greater Boston found 58 percent support life in prison for Tsarnaev. That number rises to 61 percent among voters in the city of Boston.

“Over the last month, we’ve seen support for life in prison grow by about 10 points [in the Boston area],” said Steve Koczela, president of the MassINC Polling Group, which conducts surveys for WBUR.

According to the poll, only 31 percent of Boston area residents said they support the death penalty for Tsarnaev. That support drops to 26 percent in the city of Boston.

The earlier WBUR survey was conducted last month, while the first phase of the Tsarnaev trial was ongoing. The latest poll was conducted just days after his conviction.

People’s feelings about executing the convicted bomber are on par with how they view the death penalty in general.

Fifty-seven percent in the Boston area and 63 percent in the city of Boston oppose the use of the death penalty broadly.

shoes

The parents of Martin Lawrence have begged the prosecution to drop the death penalty request.

The Boston Globe: Parents of 8-Year-Old Boy Killed in Marathon Bombings Don’t Want Tsarnaev to Get Death Penalty.

The parents of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings two years ago, have writtten a plea to end the attention convicted killer Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has received and spare him from the death penalty.

In an essay written for The Boston Globe, Bill and Denise Richard ask that the case come to a close, writing, “We know that the government has its reasons for seeking the death penalty, but the continued pursuit of that punishment could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives.”

The sister of murdered MIT police office Sean Collier also opposes giving Tsarnaev the death penalty. From the Globe:

In a posting on Facebook and on her Twitter account, Jennifer L. Lemmerman wrote that she continues to mourn the loss of her younger brother, who was widely lauded after his murder.

Lemmerman, a graduate of Boston College School of Social Work and an alderwoman in Melrose, wrote that she will never forgive Tsarnaev for ending her brother’s life.

But, she also wrote, she does not believe in the death penalty even after what has happened to her and her family.

“Whenever someone speaks out against the death penalty, they are challenged to imagine how they would feel if someone they love were killed. I’ve been given that horrible perspective and I can say that my position has only strengthened,’’ she wrote on her Facebook account.

Obviously, I think killing Tsarnaev would be wrong and counterproductive. The death penalty would only turn him into a martyr anyway, and it would mean years, perhaps decades of court battles in which he would get unnecessary and undeserved public attention; and the victims families would be forced to relive their pain and loss again and again.

As always, this is an open thread. Please feel free to comment and post links on any topic. 

 

 


Friday Nite Lite: 370H55V That Spells @sshole!

Wow, Linda doesn't have much in the way of standards, does she? What would Santorum think of her?
Wow, Linda doesn’t have much in the way of standards, does she? What would Santorum think of her?

Good Evening Y’all

Again we are light on the cartoons for tonight. What the hell is it? Are the cartoonists taking a break or is it something more?

So tonight the cartoons are few, and they are not that good, at least until we get to the Luckovich ones at the end.

<————-Couldn’t help myself with that one.

Anyway, before we get to the funnies: Texas DMV Revokes License Plate over Upside-Down Dirty Word | Mediaite

 

For years, Safer Hassan has been driving around a car with this personalized license plate:

Seems harmless, right? Well, flip it over and it actually spells something out:

Bwaahahahhahaaa

The Texas DMV is so damn smart they just realized the trick and told Hassan he had to get a new plate or else.

Now on with the cartoons.

USA Relationship with Cuba – Truthdig

Guns in Classroom – Truthdig

Previous Button – Truthdig

Mentally Ill Prisoners – Truthdig

California and Martian Water – Truthdig

 

Doctor Oz by Political Cartoonist Jimmy Margulies

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Bird flu by Political Cartoonist Dave Granlund

2016 campaign marathon by Political Cartoonist Dave Granlund

Google dominance by Political Cartoonist Arend van Dam

Corker Iran Bill by Political Cartoonist Jeff Darcy

on your marks by Political Cartoonist Joep Bertrams

Police by Political Cartoonist Milt Priggee

arduous task by Political Cartoonist Luojie

Oh yeah, those were from Cagle.

Finally, Luckovich….

4/15 Luckovich: Apologies Needed | Mike Luckovich

lk041515_color

4/16 Luckovich cartoon: Call this a living? | Mike Luckovich

041615-toon-luckovich-ed

4/18 Luckovich cartoon: Special delivery | Mike Luckovich

041915-toon-luckovich-ed

4/17 Luckovich cartoon: Lines of force | Mike Luckovich

041715-toon-luckovich-ed

This is an open thread.


Friday Reads: All the news that the Media Routinely Ignores

Good Morning!

I found some interesting, overlooked stories that I thought I’d share with you because some of them are 70f5620f7507945bf3b60230baac1b71radically important.  BB’s post yesterday inspired me!  Why is it that some stories never really see the light of day or stay on the front page for very long?

This story of an oil leak from a toppled platform in the Gulf is a stunner.  It comes from the local statewide paper, The Advocate, and details a spill that’s been going on for 10 years.

A blanket of fog lifts, exposing a band of rainbow sheen that stretches for miles off the coast of Louisiana. From the vantage point of an airplane, it’s easy to see gas bubbles in the slick that mark the spot where an oil platform toppled during a 2004 hurricane, triggering what might be the longest-running commercial oil spill ever to pollute the Gulf of Mexico.

Yet more than a decade after crude started leaking at the site formerly operated by Taylor Energy Company, few people even know of its existence. The company has downplayed the leak’s extent and environmental impact, likening it to scores of minor spills and natural seeps the Gulf routinely absorbs.

An Associated Press investigation has revealed evidence that the spill is far worse than what Taylor — or the government — have publicly reported during their secretive, and costly, effort to halt the leak. Presented with AP’s findings, that the sheen recently averaged about 91 gallons of oil per day across eight square miles, the Coast Guard provided a new leak estimate that is about 20 times greater than one recently touted by the company.

Outside experts say the spill could be even worse — possibly one of the largest ever in the Gulf.

Taylor, a company renowned in Louisiana for the philanthropy of its deceased founder, Patrick Taylor, has kept documents secret that would shed light on what it has done to stop the leak and eliminate the persistent sheen.

The Coast Guard said in 2008 the leak posed a “significant threat” to the environment, though there is no evidence oil from the site has reached shore. Ian MacDonald, a Florida State University biological oceanography professor and expert witness in a lawsuit against Taylor, said the sheen “presents a substantial threat to the environment” and is capable of harming birds, fish and other marine life.

Using satellite images and pollution reports, the watchdog group SkyTruth estimates between 300,000 and 1.4 million gallons of oil has spilled from the site since 2004, with an annual average daily leak rate between 37 and 900 gallons.

If SkyTruth’s high-end estimate of 1.4 million gallons is accurate, Taylor’s spill would be about 1 percent the size of BP’s, which a judge ruled amounted to 134 million gallons. That would still make the Taylor spill the 8th largest in the Gulf since 1970, according to a list compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The Taylor leak is just a great example of what I call a dirty little secret in plain sight,” said SkyTruth President John Amos.

Taylor has spent tens of millions of dollars to contain and stop its leak, but it says nothing can be done to completely halt the chronic slicks.

9513f3dfdf8ba7af768d1b0f0a77529cHere’s an amazing story that I got from Project Censored.  We talked a lot about sexual assault last year.  We were astounded at the cavalier attitude towards rape shown in a lot of reporting.  Well, this shouldn’t be surprising then: “Corporate News Media Understate Rape, Sexual Violence.”

Media analysts observe how journalists refrain from using the word “rape” to describe incidents of sexual assault. Instead, news outlets downplay the humiliation and cruelty entailed in these acts by referring to them as “sex crimes,” “inappropriate sexual activity,” or “forced sex,” even though such acts are legally recognized as “rape.”

“‘Rape,’ along with the images it conjures, is an ugly, nasty word,” artist and writer Wasi Daniju observed. “Uglier and nastier still, though, is the experience of each and every person that experiences it. Their experience warrants, at the very least, the respect and truth of being accurately labeled and recognized.”

A report released by Legal Momentum, a New York City–based feminist advocacy law group, titled Raped or “Seduced”? How Language Helps Shape Our Response to Sexual Violence, addressed what it terms the “linguistic avoidance” of such concerns. For example, when the media uses the language of consensual sex—terms like “recruited” rather than “kidnapped” or “took by force,” and phrases like “performed oral sex” or “engaged in sexual activity” instead of writing that “he forcefully penetrated her vagina with his penis”they do more than use euphemisms to distort reality; they essentially mislead, misdirect, and diminish the violation. Such accounts also suggest that both parties were willing participants.

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) pointed to the Los Angeles Times to illustrate one example of this phenomenon. In January 2013, the Times published an important story addressing how two Los Angeles police officers were accused of using the threat of imprisonment to force several women they previously arrested to have sex with them. This is recognized under law as “rape.” “But the Times avoided using that term,” FAIR noted, “inexplicably employing every other word and phrase imaginable—including ‘sex crimes,’ ‘sexual favors’ and ‘forced sex’—to describe what the officers were accused of.”

Read a lot more of the news that basically goes ignored or unreported at Project Censor.  Did you know that images (3)around a 170,000 people try to escape a variety of African nations by boat and head for places like Italy?  Here’s a BBC report on what happened on one such voyage.  Muslims started tossing Christians overboard.  It seems that the religious violence shows up just about everywhere.

Italian police say they have arrested 15 Muslim migrants after they allegedly threw 12 Christians overboard following a row on a boat heading to Italy.

The Christian migrants, said to be from Ghana and Nigeria, are all feared dead.

In a separate incident, more than 40 people drowned after another migrant boat sank between Libya and Italy.

Almost 10,000 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean have been rescued in recent days. Italy has called for more help from the EU to handle the crisis.

More than 500 people from Africa and the Middle East have died making the perilous crossing since the start of the year. Earlier this week, 400 people were believed to have drowned when their boat capsized.

The 15 Muslim migrants involved in the row with Christians were arrested in the Sicilian city of Palermo and charged with “multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate”.

The suspects, who are from the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali and Guinea, were among 105 migrants travelling in an inflatable boat that left Libya on Tuesday.

Eyewitnesses told police how the altercation resulted in Christians being thrown overboard, and that some of the survivors had formed human chains to avoid a similar fate.

Of course, all we ever hear about is the number of people that show up at our border trying to escape the violence from South America.  We aren’t the only country besieged with refugees.

The news media frequently overlooks many things have to do with Africa including the role of many African lewis-hine-dont-smoke-visits-saloons-1910nations in fighting the recent Ebola Outbreak.

Africa’s efforts to tackle the Ebola crisis have been largely overlooked even though Africans have taken the lead in providing frontline staff and shown themselves “better placed to fight infectious diseases in their continent than outsiders”, according to the African Union (AU).

Dr Olawale Maiyegun, director of social affairs at the AU commission, said that despite the fact that Africans had proved both willing and able to deal with Ebola, the focus had been on the work of international agencies and those with the greatest media clout.

“Unfortunately, Africans do not have the international voice of CNN, BBC and France 24, therefore much of our work is overlooked in the western media,” he said. “Most of the assistance provided by the international community is in the areas of finance and infrastructure. In the most critical human resources for health, Africans – including the affected countries – have had to take the lead.”

His comments come six months after Nelson Mandela’s widow, Graça Machel,accused African leaders of failing to do enough to address the health crisis. “Ebola has exposed the extreme weaknesses of our institutions as governments; countries which are affected were found totally unprepared,” she told African business leaders in November last year. “It’s time Africa began to give real value to human life, in other words African human lives.”

Others have criticised the AU for waiting 10 months before holding an emergency summit on the outbreak.

However, Maiyegun argued that the AU and the Economic Community of West African States had reacted well to the crisis, with the AU deploying more than 835 African health workers to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea at the peak of the epidemic. “The success of African health workers – including the heroic health workers of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – shows one thing: African health workers are better placed to fight infectious diseases in their continent than outsiders,” he said.

Maiyegun said the AU’s response had been guided by the philosophy that it should not dictate how the the affected countries should run their fight against Ebola. “We put volunteers at the disposal of the governments of the affected countries,” he said. “They told us what to do and we have performed creditably.”

He added: “The people of the affected countries must be given credit for doing a good job. With so many actors in the field, it’s important that it’s not just those with the loudest voices who are credited in the press for bringing Ebola under control.”

Very few media outlets are writing about the problem with our criminal justices system from ourCF058520 current police state to the privatization of prisons.  Here’s another excellent series of articles I found at Project Censored on our battered and broken legal/criminal justice system. This is from the blog of  professor Nolan Higden writing at Thought Catalogue.

The demand for “justice” by the American people has created a profit making opportunity in the capitalist United States. An irrational fear over crime (discussed in Part 1) has allowed for an expansion of the US prison system. In fact the US now has more prisons than colleges. Big 2 profits for the few in the prison industry have resulted in little justice and increased costs and suffering for US citizens. The prison industry increased their revenue by investing in neo-liberal politicians, lobbying for stricter sentencing laws, and hoodwinking tax payers with iron-clad prison contracts. The result is that the US has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25% of its prisoners. One percent of the US population is currently incarcerated, a larger percent than any 3 other western industrialized nation. Incarceration is on the rise in 36 states. If one adds in the 4 5 citizens on probation or parole; about 2.9% of the adult population are under some form of correctional supervision. Another 70,792 children are in juvenile detention. In 2012, the 6 7 Supreme Court ruled that the US needed to stop sending minors to jail for life.

This mass incarceration is made worse by the high recidivism rate in the US. Recidivism is the rate at which those incarcerated are re-incarcerated for crimes committed upon release. In the US, two-thirds of inmates are incarcerated after being released. Thus, the prisons system does not provide rehabilitation, it provides a stop for offenders in between crimes. In fact, in 9 Wisconsin, over half of the inmates are incarcerated for parole violations.

One sign of hope for some justice came on Monday as the NYT’s editorial board called for the end of the death penalty because of the significant number of people on death row that were found to be innocent.  We rarely hear the stories of individuals killed and freed by DNA testing.  The headline says it all “152 Innocents, Marked for Death.”  Indeed if there was a death penalty for wrongly killing people, Rick Perry should be on Death Row. That’s 152 marked for death wrongly since 1973.  These are only the folks that lived to tell the tale too.

… far too often, people end up on death row after being convicted of horrific crimes they did not commit. The lucky ones are exonerated while they are still alive — a macabre club that has grown to include 152 members since 1973.

The rest remain locked up for life in closet-size cells. Some die there of natural causes; in at least twodocumented cases, inmates who were almost certainly innocent were put to death.

How many more innocent people have met the same fate, or are awaiting it? That may never be known. But over the past 42 years, someone on death row has been exonerated, on average, every three months. According to one study, at least 4 percent of all death-row inmates in the United States have been wrongfully convicted. That is far more than often enough to conclude that the death penalty — besides being cruel, immoral, and ineffective at reducing crime — is so riddled with error that no civilized nation should tolerate its use.

Innocent people get convicted for many reasons, including bad lawyering, mistaken identifications and false confessions made under duress. But as advances in DNA analysis have accelerated the pace of exonerations, it has also become clear that prosecutorial misconduct is at the heart of an alarming number of these cases.

In the past year alone, nine people who had been sentenced to death were released — and in all but one case, prosecutors’ wrongdoing played a key role.

Here’s a breakdown of some of Project Innocence’s findings on their clients.

Of 329 exonerations aided by the Innocence Project, roughly 70% are people of color; 62% of the total number of people  are African American. The disproportionate rate of wrongfully convicted African Americans correlates strongly with the overall incarceration rate of about 2,207 per 100,000 people in that group. The End Racial Profiling Act broadly calls for greater accountability to people who have suffered due to racism in law enforcement and the justice system and while it’s a proactive bill that calls for measures to reduce racial profiling, if passed, it could also be a hopeful resource for mending some of the wrongs already done, particularly for innocent people of color.

Minors are especially vulnerable to falsely confessing to crimes that they didn’t commit. The JJDPA, which has had its funding cut significantly over the last decade, is integral to providing resources for the prevention of juvenile incarceration and providing fair treatment and support to incarcerated minors. Minors are one of the most susceptible groups to negligence and rights violations—the recent exposure of the use of solitary confinement for minors at Rikers Island is a prominent example.

As I read these stories and wonder how many more that I have missed, I can’t help but be struck by the concentration of news media outlets into the hands of a few and how those few are profit-seeking above all other things.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?  This is an open thread.


Thursday Reads: What Happened to Lennon Lacy?

lennon-lacy crime scene

Good Morning

As I was browsing the news this morning, I came across an article in the Daily Beast about an incident I have often wondered about–the death of teenager Lennon Lacy on August 28th of last year in the small town of Bladenville, North Carolina. On the morning of August 29, Lacy was found hanging from a swing set by a woman who called 911 to report “a suicide,” and asked if she should try to cut the person down. The dispatcher told her to go ahead. That was the beginning of either an unforgivably botched investigation or a police cover-up. (The photo above is of the swing set from which Lacy’s body was found hanging.)

The story broke in the midst of the Ferguson protests over the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson, just one the suspicious deaths of young black men reported in the wake of the publicity about Brown’s death and the protests that followed. I’m ashamed to admit that I never searched for more information on the story until today.

Here’s the story that got me started; frankly the headline is a gross understatement. I’m just going to excerpt some of the problems with the “investigation” and then give you some more background on the case.

Cops Didn’t Collect Evidence on Hanging of Black Teen Lennon Lacy, by Justin Glawe

Coroner Hubert Kinlaw told Dr. Christena Roberts, a pathologist hired by the North Carolina NAACP to conduct her own investigation, that he was prevented from taking photos of the crime scene by police—and that cops even threatened to take away his camera.

Furthermore, Kinlaw told Roberts as part of her investigation that police at the scene “didn’t want an autopsy performed,” and that Kinlaw took it upon himself to order one with the local district attorney. (Kinlaw has turned down repeated requests for comment.)

However, an officer from the State Bureau of Investigation said in a report that no photographs were taken at the scene because the sole crime scene technician was at “another homicide.” (No other homicides could be found in news reports for that 24-hour period.) So the authorities don’t even agree why photographs weren’t taken.

The teenager’s hands weren’t bagged when his body reached the medical examiner, which is  commonly done to preserve DNA evidence for retrieval by investigators.

The shoes that Lacy’s family members says weren’t his never made it to the autopsy table….

Radisch notes in her report the two belts delivered with Lacy’s body must have had been cut, because they didn’t seem long enough for Lacy to hang himself.

Radisch would only be left to speculate because the authorities didn’t measure the swing set where Lacy was found.

Well, someone could probably have gone to the crime scene and done that after the fact, but I guess no one bothered. Please read the rest of the article at the link. Glawe explains in detail why it would have been nearly impossible for Lacy to hang himself from the place where his body was found.

Lennon Lacy

Lennon Lacy

Fortunately, the FBI is investigating Lacy’s death, but the fact that police just called it a suicide and didn’t collect any evidence will severely hamper their efforts.

On December 19, 2014, The Washington Post reported on why the FBI had been been called in.

— Teresa Edwards was driving to Bo’s Food Store when she spotted the teenager walking along the dirt road. It was getting dark. He was alone. She recognized him as Lennon Lacy, one of her son’s best friends. She stopped to ask him if he needed a ride.

“No, ma’am,” she recalls him saying, “I’m just thinking.”

Lacy had plenty on his mind that night in August, and many would soon puzzle over what those thoughts might have been. The next morning, Lacy, who was black, was found hanging by two belts from a wooden swing set in a predominantly white trailer park. State authorities called it a suicide. His family, and many others here, wondered whether Lacy’s death was something else: a lynching.

It looked to them as if his body was on display. He didn’t leave a note. And Lacy had been dating an older white woman for months. He was found wearing unlaced white sneakers that his family said were not his, one of several unsettled issues. Last week, in a scene echoing the civil rights era in the South, the FBI was called in and the NAACP held a protest march over Lacy’s death….

People who knew Lacy don’t think he committed suicide. Others are unsure what to believe. But many here say the possibility that Lacy, a popular high school senior who moved easily between black and white social circles, was the victim of a racially motivated killing demands more investigation.

“We know suicide is possible,” said the Rev. Gregory Taylor, a black preacher in a town where there are two churches named First Baptist, their memberships split along racial lines. “It’s just hard to accept that a black youth would hang himself given the history of ‘strange fruit.’ The facts don’t add up.”

It was Thursday, Aug. 28, when Edwards, who is white, saw Lacy on the dirt road. She also doesn’t believe the teen killed himself.

Lennon Lacy's grave after it was desecrated.

Lennon Lacy’s grave after it was desecrated.

Bladenboro has a long history of racism, and the Ku Klux Klan only stopped “parad[ing] through” the town in 1997. Moreover, Lacy’s body was found in an area that black children had long been warned to stay away from. Here’s a summary of some of that history from the Global Grind:

Here’s the truth — the statistic listed above marking the number of black bodies strung from trees in Bladenboro [“86 black people were lynched [in North Carolina] between 1882 and 1968″] is an image that is hard to let go.

And so is the racially charged climate of the rural town. In fact, Lacy’s neighbors, a white couple living in a trailer home right behind the Lacy family home, were instructed by police to remove a Confederate flag and a sign that read “Niggers keep out” from their front yard.

The Guardian asked the couple why they had put up the signs. Sykes said that it was his idea. “There were some kids who ganged up on our kid and I put some signs up.” Asked whether he now regretted doing so, he replied: “Yeah, I regret it now.”

Carla Hudson said she had begged her husband to take the signs down. “I told him he had to stop that. It wasn’t how I saw things – there’s not a racist bone in my body.”

In recent years, that tension hasn’t always been visible. According to The Guardian, Lacy “joined a multiracial youth group across town at the Galeed Baptist church where he went for weekly services and basketball ministry, and his friends were black and white, in almost equal measure.”

Though invisible in some facets of Lacy’s life, that tension is hard to ignore, especially considering how the teenager died.

Michelle Brimhall, Lennon Lacy's girlfriend

Michelle Brimhall, Lennon Lacy’s girlfriend

Back to the WaPo article:

Although the police claimed Lacy was “depressed” about the death of a great uncle, his family said he was exited about playing in the first football game of the season. He had already laid out his uniform in anticipation. The family also said that at least one of the belts used to hang Lacy wasn’t his. Most mysterious of all, his brand new Air Jordans were missing and when Lacy was found his feet were jammed into white sneakers that had no laces and were way too small for his feet.

Claudia Lacy identified her son. A state bureau of investigation agent interviewed her at the scene. She said that her son had just buried his great-uncle but that he didn’t seem depressed. The medical examiner performed an autopsy, failing to find any signs of a struggle or fight. Lacy’s death was ruled a suicide. No mention was made of the white sneakers — they didn’t arrive with Lacy’s body for the autopsy. It’s unclear what happened to the shoes, although the state bureau of investigation collected them, Kinlaw said.

To Claudia Lacy, the investigation felt rushed.

“Why were they so quick to call it that?” she asked now. “Was it because of my race? Was it because of my social status?”

The is much more information at the link.

Lacy’s white girlfriend, who was 31, left town shortly after his death. According the The Daily Mail, she believed he was killed because of their relationship and she didn’t feel safe staying in “Crackertown.”

Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com she said: ‘I believe Lennon was murdered. The police ruled his death as suicide but Lennon would never harm himself. He’s got too much love for life.’ …. speaking in the town where she has moved to get away from Bladenboro, Brimhall spoke of how they had planned a future together, despite the age gap, and how he had a life in front of him which showed he would not commit suicide.

Read much more at the Daily Mail link. Other media outlets have been unable to get in touch with the woman. Was she forced to leave town?

Lennon Lacy

Lennon Lacy

More quotes from Lacy’s family at MadameNoire:

[T]he family says suicide can’t be possible. Lacy didn’t have any issues that they know of when it comes to depression or mental illness over the years. And despite losing a great uncle he was close to right before his own death, Lacy’s mother says he grieved in the same way the rest of his family had, but carried on with his preparation for the football season.

“I know my son. The second I saw him I knew he couldn’t have done that to himself – it would have taken at least two men to do that to him.”

His brother, Pierre, agrees: “If my brother wanted to take his own life, I can’t understand why he would do it in such an exposed place. This feels more like he was put here as a public display – a taunting almost.”

Here’s the oft-quoted Guardian story. It’s excellent. Teenager’s mysterious death evokes painful imagery in North Carolina: ‘It’s in the DNA of America.’

I’ll end with a piece by Michael W. Waters at HuffingtonPost, The Life and Death of Lennon Lacy: Strange, Still.

The animus for Time Magazine’s “song of the 20th century” was a photograph of a Southern lynching. A Southern lynching would often draw an entire region of spectators together for a day of socializing. Small children were even present in the crowd, lifted high upon shoulder for an uninterrupted view of the day’s fatal proceedings. It was a strange, albeit frequent Southern spectacle, one that claimed many Black lives.

Given the frequency of this horrid practice, and the abundance of lynching photographs in circulation, many that doubled as postcards, it is unclear why one particular photograph troubled, then inspired Abel Meeropol, a New York English teacher and poet. Yet, it did. Unable to free his mind of this troubling image over several days, Meeropol sought consolation through his pen. As ink dried upon its canvas, its residuum formed words that have haunted generations, words etched into our collective memory as lyric by the incomparable Billie Holiday:

“Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.”

Now seventy-six years removed its initial recording, there is still cause to sing this sorrowful song.

On August 29, 2014, another Black body was added to the crowded annals of those swung by Southern breeze. In a cruel twist of irony, the body of seventeen year-old Lennon Lacy was not found swinging upon a Southern tree, but upon a Southern swing set – a fact only beginning the strangeness surrounding his death. Authorities in Bladenboro, North Carolina, abruptly ruled Lennon’s death a suicide, declaring that he was depressed, and closed the case in five days.

Still, many questions remain.

Yes, there are many questions that must be answered.

I recall that it took months before the murder of Trayvon Martin became high profile. It’s time the same thing happened with the Lennon Lacy story. This smells like a police cover up to me. The police in Bladenboro are known for stopping black teenagers who are walking at night. Could it be that an officer or officers stopped Lacy and accidentally killed him in a struggle–like what happened to Eric Garner–and then tried to make his death look like suicide?

What do you think?

As always, this is an open thread. Feel free to post links and discuss topics of your choice. But I hope you take a moment to think about and discuss what happened to Lennon Lacy.


Wednesday Reads: Coyotes of the Bronx and Wolves of Wall Street

56b250899d052635aa135b7416468a91Good Morning

Well, if it continues like this for much longer…I’ll be doing the cartoon post from inside the famous Banjoville General Hospital. Until then, the post is a bronchitis filled link dump, a mishmash of stuff as well…some of these may even be old news. I don’t know.

On with the post.

A few “no shit Sherlock” links to start you off:

Lincoln Died 150 Years Ago Today and If He Were Still Alive He Wouldn’t Have Been a Republican | Mother Jones I was sure Lincoln would be a Tea Partier all the way./snark

2b18d2e209f1d7961f6923c0e95df580Rick Perry’s ties to Texas’ Chinese Methanol Plant | Al Jazeera America– Oh, yeah…get this, you will see why it deserves to go under this section of the thread.

Al Jazeera investigates US and Chinese interests behind bid for $4.5B methanol plant in an underserved black community

This is the first in a three-part investigative series on China’s inroads in Texas’ energy industry. It follows an investigative series on another push by Chinese politician-investors and U.S. officials for a methanol plant in a predominantly black neighborhood of St. James Parish, Louisiana.

c262f9d8cf6e8586f78389d039378ca3Robot sent to Fukushima reactor core records fatal radiation levels (VIDEO) — RT News No surprises here.

Now the shit for shit’s sake.

A Woman Had Sex with 25 People at a Party and BroBible is Not Laughing

Not sure if I am reading this right, but it seems like Obama is “compromising” again. Y’all know what that means. WASHINGTON: Obama drops veto threat as Senate moves to assert a voice on Iran deal | Congress | McClatchy DC

3c86f304fd4aebc75300b5d30b0cf8f1Of course it has been a year, and no one gives a shit…well at least in the main stream media:

ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES: The Chibok Schoolgirls. One Year Later.

It’s a year since Boko Haram, an extremist Wahhabist terrorist group, captured a group of schoolgirls in northern Nigeria.  More than two hundred girls still remain disappeared.  Nobody knows their fate.  Nigeria’s president-elect Mr. Buhari:

“Currently their whereabouts remain unknown,” he said. “We do not know the state of their health or welfare, or whether they are even still together or alive.”

c5253d2c7c62ef52e4ee0f8679cda7a1In connection to that link, Nigeria: Abducted women and girls forced to join Boko Haram attacks | Amnesty International

This next article will start the next section of our links, the what the fuck were you thinking asshole section:

Michael Jai White’s apology letter to his exes gets no props from me | theGrio Just go and read the entire thing. You won’t be disappointed.

Russian man volunteers to undergo controversial 36-hour head transplant procedure I won’t even comment on this one.

Abraham Lincoln, the One President All of Them Want to Be More Like – NYTimes.com Uh, I think I will take the head transplant any day over this one. (I mean reading the article, but I thought you would or may enjoy it.)

35284f13221dacab2968e56bf6f9c531Now moving on to the “just put it on the list of links and get it over with” grouping:

Medicare ‘doc fix’ clears US Congress | US news | The Guardian

Senate overhauls doctors’ Medicare payments in groundbreaking vote – LA Times

Senate Approves a Bill on Changes to Medicare – NYTimes.com

Other news links of interest (meaning I am to damn tired to continue this post):

Washington state school district removes nearly 150 unvaccinated students amid measles outbreak

‘The sickest thing that has ever happened to Atlanta’ – Al Jazeera English– That is the teacher cheating scandal by the way…

fe89f89875c990805ec52895038d0fcfThe Art of Dealing With Cuba – NationalJournal.com

Obama tells Congress he plans to remove Cuba from terrorism list | Reuters

This Commerce Department report from 1948 shows how disastrously, off-the-charts wrong forecasters can be – Business Insider

Tennessee attorney general says Bible bill unconstitutional | Reuters

UN chief gives 007 a special mission — to eliminate mines – Telegraph

Reenactments Mark 150th Anniversary of US Civil War’s End

18003ef01d195af2e05f33f1018411f4Addicting Info – Sorry, GOP, You Won’t Find Hypocrisy Here – Hillary Walks The Walk When It Comes To Equal Pay

Experimental drug may repair nerve damage in multiple sclerosis — ScienceDaily

Whosoever Diggeth a Pit Shall Fall in It — Crooked Timber About the music of Bob Marley.

Percy Sledge dies at 74; sang ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ – LA Times

We Had Faces Then — saisonciel: Nancy Carroll, 1930′s

saisonciel:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Nancy Carroll, 1930′s

 

Coyote population growing in Bronx, could spread – NY Daily News Geez that is all Manhattan needs….Coyotes coming down from the Bronx, and Wolves coming up from the Battery.

5bd6808d8cdb698f94f2a0dc76d21b62

This is an open thread.