Tuesday ReadsPosted: February 5, 2013
It’s amazing what people will do to children and it’s amazing what kind of people think assaulting children with belts is just okey dokey. This is one of those stories that’s actually hard to believe.
A Dollar General employee arrested in Wrightsville last week for hitting a child with a belt has now been charged with aggravated assault and cruelty to children. The charges were upgraded from simple battery because store video showed the woman hitting the 8 year old at least 25 times.
After initially saying they were looking into the details of the case before acting, Dollar General told 11Alive News Monday afternoon the employee, Emilia Graciela Bell, had been fired. “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the reported incident at our store in Wrightsville, Georgia,” read the statement, ”And have expressed our sincere apologies to the child’s family.”
Investigators have not yet released the video, but the boy’s family told WMAZ Macon over the weekend it was more severe than a spanking.
“It was more or less a beating than a spanking the way she was hitting him,” said Logan Ivey’s father Jody. “I don’t know how to explain it, and I don’t want to think about it.”
Eight-year-old Logan said it was very painful.
“I felt like I had five needles sticking in me; it really hurt, I was screaming ‘Momma,’” he said. “And I was crying real bad because she had actually hurt me…when she stopped whipping me my pants were actually a little bit warm.”
Wrightsville Police Chief Paul Sterling said Logan Ivey was running around in the store and got into a confrontation with 39-year-old store clerk. Bell told investigators the boy threw a cookie at her and that’s when she removed her belt, chased the boy down and spanked him behind the counter.
What’s even more interesting is that Eric Erickson seems to think it’s perfectly appropriate. Any one with children or small animals should keep them far away from the Red State Zombie Sadist.
Fox News contributor Erick Erickson wrote that a Dollar General employee deserves “a medal” for reportedly responding to an eight-year-old child who threw a cookie at her by hitting the child with her belt dozens of times.
A 16 page memo has been obtained by NBC and outlines the Justice Department case for drone attacks.
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.
The secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue in this week’s hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a key architect of the drone campaign, to be CIA director. Brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge drone strikes in a speech last year, calling them “consistent with the inherent right of self-defense.” In a separate talk at the Northwestern University Law School in March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.”
But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than described by Brennan or Holder in their public speeches. It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.
You can watch Micheal Isikoff speak with Rachel Maddow on the white paper at the link above.
I’ve written a lot about some of the Nordic Countries–like Finland and Norway–that show strong economies while still maintaining strong social nets and a commitment to income equality. The Economist this week has a special on the countries and shows how they’ve carved a middle path between markets and government.
Denmark has one of the most liberal labour markets in Europe. It also allows parents to send children to private schools at public expense and make up the difference in cost with their own money. Finland is harnessing the skills of venture capitalists and angel investors to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Oil-rich Norway is a partial exception to this pattern, but even there the government is preparing for its post-oil future. This is not to say that the Nordics are shredding their old model. They continue to pride themselves on the generosity of their welfare states. About 30% of their labour force works in the public sector, twice the average in the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation, a rich-country think-tank. They continue to believe in combining open economies with public investment in human capital.
You can read more about these countries and their initiatives throughout the magazines pages.
Hillary Clinton may not be our SOS but she is still thinking about how to better the lives of people in the US and around the world. Here’s one of her initiatives that partners Silicon Valley with the developing world.
One of those new initiatives, the Alliance for an Affordable Internet, barely got a mention in Clinton’s speech. But it merits attention. If successful, the project—a public-private partnership among the State Department, the World Wide Web Foundation, and tech companies such as Cisco Systems (CSCO), Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo (YHOO) and Intel (INTC)—could end up helping many people in poor countries get onto the Web. It could also cement long-term ties between the State Department and the companies—while opening new markets and reaching new customers for Silicon Valley. “We’re going to help the next billion people come online,” said Clinton, quickly announcing the project before going on to talk about clean cook stoves for women in the developing world.
Only a quarter of people in developing countries are online, compared to three-quarters of those in developed nations. If the U.S. is to play a role in changing that equation, credit will go in part to a State Department employee named Ann Mei Chang.
Chang, a 25-year veteran of Silicon Valley—most recently she was a senior engineering director at Google—joined the State Department in November 2011 to be an adviser on technology and women’s issues. Now she lives in Nairobi, Kenya, a city recently billed by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt as Africa’s soon-to-be Silicon Valley. Chang has been spending her time studying Kenya’s technological success and teaming up diplomats with U.S. tech companies to figure out how other countries can follow its example.
Chang says that in most developing countries, an entry-level Internet connection costs the equivalent of the average person’s monthly income. One reason is high taxes. In many places, computers, mobile phones, modems, and other software are taxed as luxury goods. “It’s one of the few things they can tax,” says Chang. The effect is that fewer people can afford to log on. “That’s short-sighted,” she says.
Here’s some interesting political speculation on Janet Napolitano. Would she run if Hillary chooses to stay retired?
So, what happens if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run in 2016?
It is hard to imagine the presidential field without a woman contender, and here’s one to keep your eye on: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Napolitano is quietly making it known that she is considering the race, and there is reason to take her seriously.
Before coming to Washington, Napolitano was a highly regarded and very popular governor in Arizona, a state not known as a hospitable one for Democrats. In 2005, Time Magazine named her one of the nation’s five best governors, noting: “Positioning herself as a no-nonsense, pro-business centrist, she has worked outside party lines since coming to office in January 2003 to re-energize a state that, under her predecessors, was marked by recession and scandal.”
While in Arizona, she was criticized for not being aggressive enough in dealing with the influx of illegal immigrants. But her more recent job gives her an opportunity to change that image. This week, for instance, finds her on a high-profile tour of the southwest border, where she will highlight the stepped-up resources that the Obama administration has been devoting to reducing the flow of illegal entrants to this country.
Still, running for the White House from the cabinet is not an easy thing to do. Not since then-Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover did it in 1928 has anyone successfully made the leap from the president’s cabinet to the Oval Office.
So, there’s a few things to get us started off today. What’s on your reading and blogging list today?