Wednesday Reads: When #Netanyahu #WeaselPecker are trending on Twitter… One question remains, “Am I Normal?”Posted: March 4, 2015
…we need to stop and enjoy the #Spocking while we can…
I am on my way to the emergency room, my son Jake may have broken his arm at last nights soccer game.
So, for today’s post, a few Twitter links:
To another topic:
Did y’all see Jon Stewart’s take on the speech yesterday: Bibi’s Congress Reception Was ‘Longest Blowjob a Jewish Man Has Ever Received’ | Mediaite
Now, keep that in mind as you look at the picture John Boehner Tweeted and then this response….oh, it made me laugh:
Be sure to read this over at Daily Banter: We Finally Know the Not-So-Harrowing Regulation Hillary Clinton Allegedly Violated – The Daily Banter
About that “Am I normal?” reference:
And finally, #WeaselPecker?
You should check out some of the funny memes on Twitter….
Anyway, I am off to the land of ER waiting rooms.
This is an open thread.
Tracy Turnblad: POLICE BRUTALITYYY! POLICE BRUTALITYYYYYY!
Penny Pingleton: POLICE BRUTALITY! POLICE BRUTALITY!
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
Let’s just say I wanted to start the post out with a lighter look at a very dark subject because today’s theme is anything but funny…and if you are in a good mood, you may even think about skipping the first section of this thread…it is just a suggestion.
Starting with this article from Huff Post I’ve saved from over a week ago:
Incidents of police brutality and the use of excessive force continue to grab the headline news across the nation. This is totally shocking considering all of the outrage from the Michael Brown and Eric Garner incidents.
Do some police officers really care about the lives of people of color across the United States? The issue of police brutality is real and the people have scars that tell their stories. Recently, two Philadelphia cops allegedly beat a young man and filled out a report that did not represent what actually occurred. Police officers in Pasco, Washington shot and killed an unarmed man.
Will police brutality ever end in America? When incidents of police brutality or excessive force take place, some police officials brace themselves for protest and then suddenly the protests go away.
What will it take to end police brutality or at least reduce incidents of police brutality by fifty percent across the United States? Specific laws should exist in order to help deter acts of blatant police misconduct. This particular post is not about bashing all police. The majority of police officers are law abiding citizens that really care about people no matter the race, creed, or color. However, when you read stories of how the police in Miami were using photos of African American males for target practice then one would wonder why so many police appear to have no discretion in regards to taking the life of an African American male. There are so many problems and threats going on all across the world. Hopefully the fight to end police brutality will not get lost in transition because more attention is being placed on achieving world peace.
You can read the rest at the link…Tio pleads for group discussion, as a start to finding a solution:
There are so many mothers crying and people dying by the hands of police and gang violence. We must take a stand to be part of the solution and not the problem. By organizing group sessions with police officials and young people across the United States, this could serve as a starting point to help establish better relationship with police and community. We could save lives on both fronts. If police officials were to admit that problems exist with the current policing strategies in communities of color, then this would be the best dialogue in the world. Every positive movement for change starts with the admission of a problem. The entire world is watching how the United States will work on solving this age old problem. Let’s come together to the roundtable of peace and set the stage for ending all forms of violence.
Roundtable of peace?
Sure, how do you think that will work out?
Before you answer, here are some examples of police brutality that have made some news headlines of late:
Remember Jessica Hernandez?
The Medical Examiner’s office in Denver, Colorado, is ruling the death of a 17-year-old female teenager who was shot and killed by police as a homicide.
The report, released on Friday, states that Jessica Hernandez had four gunshot wounds at the time of her death on January 26th. Police say Hernandez was driving a stolen car toward a Denver police officer when that officer and another opened fire on the vehicle. Hernandez was struck twice through the left side of her chest, once in her pelvis, and once on her right thigh, according to the Medical Examiner’s report.
One of the two bullets passing through Hernandez’s chest struck her in both lungs and her heart. In the document, Denver’s Chief Medical Examiner/Coroner, Dr. James L. Caruso, concludes “With the information available to me at this time, the manner of death, in my opinion, is homicide.”
Denver’s coroner declared Jessica Hernandez’s death a homicide in an autopsy report that contradicts statements made by police in the days after she was shot and killed by two police officers.
The 17-year-old girl had been smoking pot and drinking small amounts of alcohol before Denver police officers confronted Hernandez and her stolen car full of teenagers, her autopsy revealed.
The autopsy measured her blood-alcohol content at slightly more than half the legal limit for an adult, the autopsy performed the week after her death revealed.
Four gunshots fired by Officers Daniel Greene and Gabriel Jordan the morning of Jan. 22 reached the 17-year-old girl from outside the driver’s window as her car lurched forward, striking Hernandez’s heart and lung.
Another bullet hit the girl’s hip and thigh.
Each of the bullets was fired from her left side, despite early comments by Denver Police Chief Robert White that one of his officers shot at her as she drove the stolen car toward him in a Denver alleyway.
“The vehicle started driving toward him, which pretty much had him between a car and a brick wall and a fence,” White told the Denver Post last month.
Her death sparked nights of protests against police brutality after her friends shared a conflicting recollection of what happened.
South Carolina deputy is out of a job after using a Taser on a wheelchair-bound 65-year-old man while attempting to arrest his son, reports Fox Carolina.
Pickens County Deputy Steven Ticknor was fired by Sheriff Rick Clark who said the deputy needlessly used his Taser on Parker Mansell Jr. in his home while serving an arrest warrant.
Police and sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Mansell home, looking to take 25-year-old Travis Mansell into custody on multiple bench warrants.
Deputies entered the home and attempted to arrest the younger Mansell who reportedly said he wouldn’t return to jail, telling them they would “have to kill him.” During the 15 to 20 minutes the officers spent speaking with Mansell, his father positioned himself in his wheelchair between the deputies and his son.
“I can’t figure out yet why they Tased me, you know,” Parker Mansell said. “They could have killed me, they could have killed me.”
Following an investigation, Clark said it was determined using the stun gun on Travis Mansell was appropriate considering the circumstances, but using it on his father was contrary to Pickens County use of force policy.
Ya think? But hey, this isn’t the only cop using police brutality on a wheelchair bound person.
A video captured at the Broward County Central Bus Terminal in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, shows a police officer approaching an elderly man, who was apparently trying to locate a public restroom.
Ramirez then walks up from behind and grabs the man, who has since been identified as 58-year-old Bruce Laclair, taking hold of his upper arm.
As you can see from the video, Ramirez gives absolutely no warning and does not identify himself as a police officer, prior to walking up behind this guy and grabbing him by the arm.
When LaClair automatically responds by pulling his arm away, the cop shoves him to the ground. The video shows Laclair’s head striking the brick walkway.
LaClair responds after being shoved to the ground:
Pointing a finger at the elderly man, the cop says:
“Relax. I’m telling you right now what’s gonna happen. I’m telling you right now what’s gonna happen. I’m escorting you out right now,”
LeClair, still sitting on the ground tells the officer:
“I want to go pee,”
“You’re not going to go pee,”
Going on to say:
“You’re not supposed to pee here.”
Ramirez then tells LaClair to get up, and again grabs him by the arm.
LaClair, still seated on the ground, puts both hands up.
Seconds later, Ramirez forcefully slaps him across the face so hard it sends him reeling sideways.
Video at link.
I guess LaClair should have told him about uromysitisis poisoning ?
Meanwhile in Chicago:
The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.
The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.
- Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
- Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
- Shackling for prolonged periods.
- Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
- Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.
Brian Jacob Church, a protester known as one of the “Nato Three”, was held and questioned at Homan Square in 2012 following a police raid. Officers restrained Church for the better part of a day, denying him access to an attorney, before sending him to a nearby police station to be booked and charged.
“Homan Square is definitely an unusual place,” Church told the Guardian on Friday. “It brings to mind the interrogation facilities they use in the Middle East. The CIA calls them black sites. It’s a domestic black site. When you go in, no one knows what’s happened to you.”
About 200 protesters gathered outside a police facility in Chicago on Saturday, demanding an investigation into a media report denied by police that the site functions as an off-the-books interrogation compound.
British newspaper The Guardian said in a report earlier this week the Chicago Police Department holds suspects and witnesses for long periods of time at a former warehouse called Homan Square, without giving them access to attorneys or phone calls to family and without recording their detention.
The piece was the subject of intense debate in recent days in Chicago, with some criminal justice experts saying it was exaggerated and others giving it credence.
The protest represented an effort by organizers to pressure city leaders to look into the matter.
Allegations that the Chicago Police Department abuses the rights of people that police detain for questioning have been a central element of the notorious police misconduct issues in this city for decades.
From the torture carried out by former Cmdr. Jon Burge in the 1970s and 1980s to the baseless detention of people subsequently robbed by rogue officers of the Special Operations Section less than a decade ago, mistreatment of detainees has been much litigated and extensively covered by Chicago news media outlets in recent years.
So when a British newspaper published a series of articles alleging that the Police Department uses a building on the city’s West Side as a “CIA-style interrogation black site” where detainees disappear for hours on end, many experienced criminal defense and civil rights attorneys were puzzled.
The problems at Homan Square described in the stories published by The Guardian include denying detainees access to their lawyers as well as denying lawyers and family members any information about the whereabouts of their clients and loved ones for hours. But lawyers said such problems have been a widespread issue with the Police Department for decades, not one particular to Homan Square.
Richard Dvorak, a veteran criminal defense attorney, said the problem was widespread, but he was unaware of any issue unique to Homan Square.
“Everything that was described (in the Guardian story) was something that happens every day,” he said. “I think it’s pretty systemic throughout CPD.”
But then the Guardian is up on its investigative journalism…when it comes to the US:
Protesters gathered in Bridgeton, New Jersey on Saturday, to rally against what some see as a biased investigation into the police shooting death of a 36-year-old man in December.
On 30 December, a dashboard camera captured Bridgeton officers Braheme Days and Roger Worley firing a several shots into a black Jaguar less than two minutes into a traffic stop. Jerame Reid, a New Jersey man, was killed.
On Thursday, Days was accused in a federal lawsuit of raping a 22-year-old woman, Bridgeton resident Shakera Brown, for months while threatening to send her to jail, and continuing to so after the alleged abuse had been reported to his superiors. The suit said Brown complained in summer 2014.
After Reid’s death in December, Days and Worley were put on administrative leave, with pay. Three weeks later Jennifer Webb-McRae, head of the Cumberland County prosecutor’s office, which is investigating the shooting, recused herself from the case. Webb-McRae cited personal connections to Days, whom she said she knew “from the community”.
The new allegations against Days are the latest blow for the Cumberland County prosecutor’s office, which recently failed in its attempts to meet voluntary standards set by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police.
Groups rallying around Reid’s shooting are calling for the New Jersey attorney general to investigate the case. Attorney general John Jay Hoffman, however, has given no indication the state intends to investigate.
More at that link.
Big crowd gathers to protest fatal police shooting in Bridgeton, N.J. | 6abc.com That is the local coverage of the same news story…you see which one is more thorough.
And I will say, New Jersey is not the only one seeing questions raised against police authorities, and prosecutors offices. Take New York…Westchester County.
Former Putnam County sheriff’s investigator Pat Castaldo was indicted Friday morning on three criminal charges Friday related to a July incident in which a shackled prisoner alleged he was beaten.
The indictment charges Castaldo, who retired last year as senior investigator, with filing a false instrument, an E felony; and official misconduct; and attempted assault, both misdemeanors.
Castaldo’ attorney, Andrew Quinn entered a plea of not guilty. He also asked the court to disqualify Putnam County Adam Levy from prosecuting the case.
Quinn argued that Levy had a conflict because Castaldo is a potential witness in Levy’s defamation lawsuit against Putnam Sheriff Donald Smith.
State Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary ordered Castaldo to turn in two firearms. He was then released without bail.
Putnam County paid the suspect, Kenneth DeFreitas, $35,000 last year after he filed a notice of claim alleging police brutality.
DeFreitas was charged for robberies at a supermarket and a bank…and,
According to DeFreitas’ notice of claim, he was lying face down, his hands and feet shackled, when Castaldo began kicking and hitting him. He claimed Castaldo at one point lifted him to his feet and punched him in the kidney.
Schramek, the third-highest ranking officer in the Sheriff’s Office, was also under investigation in the case but was not indicted. He resigned two weeks ago.
The Sheriff’s Office placed the two on “restricted duty” during an internal investigation and referred DeFreitas’ allegations to the FBI, which declined to pursue charges against the two investigators.
The DA’s investigation and grand jury presentation has played out against a backdrop of continued animosity between Levy and Sheriff Don Smith, who each have $5 million defamation lawsuits pending against the other. The Sheriff’s Office has argued that the ongoing feud makes it a conflict of interest for Levy to investigate any sheriff’s employee.
Which is interesting considering….from the same newspaper, News | The Journal News | lohud.com:
Rye police Lt. Robert Falk claims he never read a 2004 report criticizing the aggressiveness of police Officer Anthony Rosace, that the report sat in a sealed envelope in his office for a decade.
But he’s not sure how, if the envelope from Sgt. Alvin Ortiz was never opened, he knew to put it in a manila file folder marked “Caspi,” the last name of a city teenager who claimed Rosace and another officer beat him up during an arrest that year.
Falk’s discovery of the report in December in an old file box delayed the trial of Andrew Caspi’s federal lawsuit. And now U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff has restored the city of Rye, former police Commissioner William Connors and Detective Lt. Joseph Verille to the lawsuit, paving the way for Caspi’s lawyers to renew their arguments that city officials were aware of Rosace’s propensity for overagressiveness and did nothing to stop it.
Oh…this is one that will really piss you off.
Early on Dec. 12, 2004, Caspi, then a 17-year-old Rye resident, was walking on Boston Post Road to meet his father in the middle school parking lot. He was confronted by Rosace, who had responded to a report of a teenager waving a branch at passing traffic. Officers Franco Compagnone and Michael Anfuso soon arrived as well.
Police contend Caspi had been drinking and became belligerent, pushing Compagnone and running off. When Compagnone and Rosace caught up with him, they took him to the ground and handcuffed him. Ortiz was the supervisor that morning and showed up as the officers were taking Caspi to the ground.
Caspi claims they kicked and beat him before he briefly passed out. He suffered a broken bone under his eye, an injured collarbone and loosened teeth.
The criminal charges against Caspi — assault, resisting arrest and obstruction of justice — were eventually dismissed. He filed his $10 million police brutality lawsuit in 2007. The civil trial is now scheduled to begin April 6.
Rosace, Compagnone and Anfuso are named in the lawsuit. But Ortiz, who retired in 2007 and lives in Florida, emphasized in his written reports and a deposition last month that Anfuso played no role in the physical confrontation with Caspi.
Four days after the arrest, Ortiz wrote a report to Falk saying he wished he had gotten to the scene sooner to stop Caspi from getting hurt and that it was the latest incident of Rosace sending a teenager to the emergency room. He said Rosace had anger-management issues and that nobody in the department seemed to want to address that.
The following day Ortiz wrote a more traditional incident report, detailing what he saw at the tail end of the confrontation and leaving out his thoughts about Rosace.
Go to the link to read more about this case, but when you have a cop whose nicknames reference brutal characters in movies…
Ortiz backtracked somewhat from his report. He said he knew specifically of only one other incident in which a teenager was injured by Rosace. He suggested Rosace’s nicknames of “Terminator” and “RoboCop” among Rye teenagers were based more on the officer’s monotone and rigid style. But he did say Rosace had acted like a bully and that he questioned the officer’s credibility and work ethic.
Georgia has it’s own case making headlines: No Charges for Georgia Officer Who Shot Handcuffed Man – ABC News
St. Louis should know better: Video: St. Louis Police Officer Turns Off Dashcam During Traffic Stop | Crooks and Liars
On the other hand, in Seattle: Seattle Police Post Body Cam Videos on YouTube Channel – NBC News.com
There are a couple of generalized articles for you to look at:
Who Faced Police Brutality In February | ThinkProgress This link will give you some other victims of police brutality over the last month…
According to Killed By Police, an online database of fatal encounters between cops and civilians, more than 75 people died at the hands of police in February. Many of the incidents involved violent actions on the part of the deceased, yet fatalities come at a time when tensions between officers and civilians is at a fever pitch. Without question, officers who put their lives on the line to ensure public safety are thrust into high-intensity scenarios, and often have to make split-second decisions. But research shows that mentally ill people and minorities are disproportionately killed — and that fact lies at the heart of national outrage.
Over the past few decades, there’s been a widely-criticized dearth of national data on the number of people killed by officers, and in light of protests and and calls for police reform, the website has become one of the most comprehensive lists to date. However, Killed By Police does not include violent but non-fatal interactions with officers who used excessive force.
Each month, ThinkProgress will roundup some of the egregious cases that drew national attention.
1. Sureshbhai Patel; Madison, AL: A grandfather visiting from India was taking a stroll around his family’s neighborhood, before he was tackled to the ground by Officer Eric Parker. Videos from two dashcams show Parker and Officer Andrew Slaughter (a trainee) ask Patel where he lives several times, even though it is evident that Patel is unable to speak English. Patel points and tries to walk in the direction of his family’s home, before he is handcuffed. After restraining Patel, Parker slams him to the ground. The 57-year-old was partially paralyzed and unable to walk after the incident.
The two officers were allegedly following up on a call they received about an unfamiliar-looking “skinny black guy.” Police Chief Larry Muncey later declared that Parker’s actions were not justified, and Governor Robert Bentley issued a formal apology to the Indian government days later. A civil rights lawsuit against Parker and the City of Madison is pending.
I know it is a downer of a post this morning, but it is almost over.
Is white racism a kind of toxic cloud that drifts over our country, invisible to many or most white-skinned citizens but terrifyingly visible to the black and brown-skinned? We may believe — with good reason — that we are not racists; but does our passivity or indifference to the racism of others make us their enablers? It is stunning to learn that hundreds of millions of dollars are paid out annually in court settlements to victims of police brutality or misconduct — and these millions are paid by taxpayers. In effect, unwittingly, yet not altogether innocently, we are all supporting police brutality and misconduct.
In the late 1990s, while I was being driven back home to Princeton from a literary event in New York City, a New Jersey state police vehicle stopped the car. It was not evident why; the driver had not been speeding or driving erratically, and there was nothing wrong with the Lincoln Town Car.
Two state troopers demanded that the (black) driver show them his driver’s license and the auto registration. They then ordered him to get out of the car. What I could hear of their interrogation was repeated questions: Where are you going? Where do you live? Whose car is this?
No doubt accustomed to being harassed by white law enforcement, the driver answered the questions in a quiet and courteous voice. Yet the officers kept repeating the questions, as if they had some reason to suspect that the driver was lying. Seeing me in the back seat, they walked the driver away from the car, along the shoulder of the highway, and proceeded to interrogate him for what seemed like a very long time — 40 minutes? By this time I had called my husband on my cell phone and told him about the situation — “I don’t know when I will get home,” I remember telling him.
I do remember opening the door of the limousine, thinking that I would stand outside, but one of the troopers yelled angrily at me: “Get back inside that car, lady!”
Whatever they were saying to the black driver, however they might have been threatening him, they did not want a witness. Especially, they did not want a white woman witness.
That is an interesting piece, well written for one thing…whether you agree with the point she is making or not.
At least an update with a favorable ending: 911 operator who told girl to ‘stop whining’ as father died no longer working | theGrio
The sudden and unexplained transfer of longtime state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance shows “a disrespect for state police commanders,” according to a statement Saturday from the union representing state police captains and lieutenants.
“We maintain that Lt. Vance has done his job well,” a union spokesman said, “and we can’t help but believe that [Commissioner Dora Schriro’s] actions in this matter are reflective of her limited understanding of leadership in the public safety field in general and law enforcement specifically.”
State police commander Col. Brian F. Meraviglia has offered no detailed reason behind Vance’s transfer to the department’s traffic unit.
“He is in good health and has not requested this change in assignment at this time and this is not the result of a disciplinary issue,” the union, part of the Connecticut State Employees Association, said. “Additionally, he has been told that he has done an outstanding job in his position, which causes us to wonder why someone would be moved for doing a good job.”
Meraviglia said he ordered the move after consulting with Schriro, commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which includes the state police.
Y’all may remember my disgust with Vance during the Newtown Shooting.
We have seen Vance Sr. in action during the past few weeks giving information, or should I say…not giving information, during press conferences about the Newtown shooting.
I’ve stated repeatedly that I have a gut feeling about the peculiar attitude of Lt. Vance Sr. at these press conferences. There is something strange about the lack of information coming forward too. As Dak mentioned in a comment a few weeks ago:
….people are trying to understand what caused this to happen or at least what factors contributed to it. The only thing that I’ve noticed about this particular shooting is that the police haven’t been very forthcoming with anything. In some of the other shootings, we had all kinds of people coming forward and the police offered up a lot of different bits and pieces of information. The Head of the State troopers hasn’t been saying anything which leads to all kinds of rumors and speculation as people try to understand how something this horrible could happen. I think it’s just people looking for answers when no information has been forthcoming from the traditional sources. Think of how we knew immediately from the Aurora Mall shooter’s school and the Tuscon Mall shooter’s school and parents about their issues. They both had to even go through the criminal justice system so it’s rather odd that the Connecticut State Police seem so tight about whatever it is they have. Again, I think it’s just rampant speculation because no has come forward with anything concrete. Probably doing the community a lot of injustice and likely the shooter and his mom who both are the sources of all kinds of media rumors.
I got the impression Lt. Vance was very defensive about giving information on the investigation. You can click this link below to review the press conference I am talking about:
Lt. Vance has a defensive attitude about his position as the singular voice of authority for all the various agencies investigating the shootings.
Maybe that has something to with Lt. Vance’s immediate family connection to the man who must approve any lawsuits the shooting victim’s families bring against the state.
Sounds like a conflict of interest to me…
And there is a difference in the tone and substance of the information they are releasing. Take the Columbine shooting, and how that was handled in the press:
In setting himself up as the sole source of reliable information, the state police spokesman was following a well-worn script for getting control of a big, growing story, says Steve Davis, who experienced similar challenges as the official liaison to the media covering the 1999 mass shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado.
‘Brutally Honest’ When Needed
On the day of the Columbine shootings, Davis was on the phone and first realized something was wrong when officers rushed out of the office. Within minutes, he was in a car on his way to the high school, trying to make sense of dozens of early and contradictory reports.
“I know it’s hard to imagine now that it could have been any worse, but there were reports that day that we had as many as eight gunmen in the school. Some were [reportedly] hiding in ductwork,” remembers Davis, who is now the spokesman for the police department in the Denver suburb of Lakewood.
Davis said he told reporters at Columbine, “Look, let’s try to understand that there’s going to be a lot of misinformation here. I will try to confirm it and reconfirm it before I give it to you.”
But Davis said he also was “brutally honest” when needed. “Sometimes I had to tell them, ‘You know what? I do know the answer to your question, but … I can’t release it quite yet.’ “
He set up on-the-hour news conferences to keep reporters informed and control the flow of information.
“A big part of each news conference was just rumor control,” Davis says. But he took all questions and did his best to get timely answers for reporters, he says.
Davis seems to have been genuinely concerned with relaying information to the public, more forthcoming with information and less arrogant with his attitude.
Vance Sr. is an asshole of great proportions.
“The union sees no reason nor are we aware of anything that would have been a just cause transfer of Lt. Vance,” the union stated. “Lt. Vance has garnered the trust of the citizens of Connecticut and has been a voice of calm when significant public safety issues arise. The relationship that he has with our states citizens, elected officials, judicial system and more importantly, the media has been one of trust, accommodation and professionalism. His concern for the victims of crimes is evident in the press releases and statements that he submits, always keeping public safety at the forefront.”
The union touted Vance’s professionalism and service, also noting that “he has obtained international acclaim” after the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School two years ago in providing “accurate information to the nation as well as the Newtown community during such a sad time.” The union said that Vance “helped keep a calm over the community and provided an air of trust and answers for so many that were seeking it on that fateful day.”
For fucks sake, Vance was a total jerk, and he is a megalomaniac to boot!
All I can think say about this little turn of events:
I don’t know but it looks like the Conn. Police Union is having some serious issues: Aftershocks from racist letter rattle Bridgeport – Connecticut Post
The racist letter typed on city letterhead and distributed through the Police Department is another knock for a department rocked by the recent conviction of two of its veteran officers for an incident of police brutality known locally as the Beardsley Park Stomp.
But it also comes at a time when the city is actively trying to recruit minorities to the Police Department.
Veteran police officers were walking around the department shaking their heads Thursday, one day after a press conference by the Bridgeport Guardians, an organization of minority city police officers and representatives of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, demanded action be taken against whoever sent the letter.
And along with that, a request for a state police investigation of the incident by Police Chief Joseph Gaudett Jr.
“I’m sick over this,” said one longtime officer. “It’s tough to be a Bridgeport cop today.”
Charles Paris, police union president, said morale in the department is at the lowest level he has ever seen.
“This is a very difficult time to be a police officer and we need all our officers to support each other,” Paris said. “Obviously the union doesn’t condone any mistreatment of any group. We are cooperating with the investigation and once the findings of that investigation comes out, we will react accordingly. But I don’t see there is any racial divide within the department.”
“The chief (Gaudett) asked us to look into it and we assigned our major crime investigators to do so,” said State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance. “But at this point it is just a couple of days old and there is nothing new.”
Higgins is currently working a light duty assignment in the Police Department’s property room.
“Disciplinary charges remain pending against Officer Higgins for violations of department rules and regulations stemming from several cases. Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr. has referred the cases to the city Police Commission for a disciplinary hearing,” said Bridgeport police spokesman William Kaempffer.
For many veterans of the department the letter incident bears a striking similarity to an incident in November 2007, also made public at a press conference.
In that case then-police Sgt. Joe Anne Simmons, the wife of Guardians founder Ted Meekins found a noose under her patrol car when she came to work at the Police Department’s Community Services Division on Sylvan Avenue.
Although a $5,000 reward was offered for information leading to an arrest in the incident, the case remains unsolved.
“This incident is a whole other matter and is related to the incident in Beardsley Park, which has now taken on a life of its own,” said Ted Meekins.
What exactly is the Beardsley Park incident?
Video at the link…and while I was looking at those articles, here is one story about reverse police brutality?
The Newtown Police Department‘s handling of an 85-year-old Brookfield man they considered a threat to himself and others has raised constitutional-rights questions about whether the officers should have frisked him before he pulled a gun from his hospital gown and shot a nurse in 2010.
No one realized Lupienski was armed until he opened fire in the hallway of Danbury Hospital the following afternoon.
However, after two years of litigation, proceedings have stalled while a judge decides whether Lupienski was “in custody” under the Newtown Police Department’s arrest policy before he was taken to Danbury Hospital, where he shot Hull three times.
Hull, a Bethel resident and former U.S. Marine, and his wife are seeking $15,000 in damages. Doctors said a bullet that is still lodged in Hull’s sternum was too dangerous to remove, according to court documents. He also has gunshot wounds in his neck and left hand.
Lupienski was charged with first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment, illegal discharge of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit.
However, Lupienski died in October 2010 after suffering a major stroke. He was diagnosed with advanced dementia and died just two weeks after being found incompetent to stand trial for shooting Hull.
Hull was shot when Lupienski, who had been admitted to Danbury Hospital the previous day, pulled out a gun while sitting in the eighth-floor cardiac unit. Hull stepped in front of Lupienski to prevent him from shooting others.
Prominent civil rights attorney John Williams criticized the police department’s stance on the issue.
“I think that it’s so cynical,” Williams said. “Police frisk people on far less justification. In a routine street encounter, you get to pat them down. The police are the first to argue it is their right.”
Williams said he would advise Newtown to reach a settlement.
“I am sure there isn’t a 24-hour period that the police department doesn’t do a routine stop-and-frisk,” Williams said.
Yeah, I mean…we got folks up there that have been shot dead for just walking while Hindu…or black….
“The statute states that an officer `may’ take a person into custody,” Blazi said, according to court documents. “It does not state that he `shall’ take a person into custody. In this case, the evidence is that Mr. Lupienski went to the hospital voluntarily after requesting to do so.”
Blazi argued that police officers would have unlawfully searched Lupienski, and frisking him would be “throwing the Constitution right out the window.”
However, Williams disagreed.
“There is no question this constitutes as an arrest under their own guidelines and following the standard due care to pat this guy down,” Williams said.
Under Newtown’s policy, an arrest is the same as placing a person into custody, Hull’s attorney, David Rosen, said in court documents.
Officer Borges, who dealt with Lupienski at the police station, completed a “police examination request” form where the officer signed beneath a statement that said, “it is my belief that the above named person is mentally ill and dangerous to himself, herself or others or gravely disabled and in need of immediate care and treatment.”
Rosen said Lupienski should have been searched if police considered him to be dangerous to himself and to others.
I think Newtown should settle and be done with it.
Whether a particular type of search is deemed reasonable in the eyes of the law is determined by considering the person’s Fourth Amendment rights and legitimate government interests, such as public safety.
“If they keep him there more than roughly five minutes, the Fourth Amendment kicks in,” Williams said. “People who suffer from paranoid schizophrenia are by definition a risk to others.”
I wonder…if Lupienski was black…would they have searched him? What do you think?
I will end this post with a look at “The Notorious R.B.G.” : The Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg Brings Harsh SCOTUS Zingers to SNL | Mediaite
“The Notorious R.B.G.” (a.k.a Ruth Bader Ginsburg) made her way to SNL during the “Weekend Update,” with Kate McKinnon doing a hilariously crass impersonation of the eldest Supreme Court justice.
RBG zinged everyone and everything from the state of Alabama, Madonna, and her fellow justices, birthing a new SNL catchphrase in the process: “Ya Gins-burned!”
Video at the link.
Let’s call this a Sunday open thread…I will see if I can find some fun, good time sort of links to put up in the comment section. Have a great day and let us know what you are thinking about today.
So sad to hear of the passing of Leonard Nimoy, he was 83. It is unfortunate that most of the cartoon tributes are at Cagle so you will need to click each link to see the image.
Other Cagle cartoons:
Alright, enough of that.
I love this last one…
This is an open thread.
This is just going to be a link dump, I am not feeling quite up to the task of writing a post today, maybe it is the frustrating tiresome week…I don’t know. It gets exhausting spending so many hours snowbound with a man who is your total polar political opposite.
Anyway, for now I hope you find the following links interesting.
There has been quite a lot of “talk” about Patty Arquette’s backstage comments regarding various groups and their need to support Woman’s Rights.
See these two articles, or op/eds from Reality Check:
(I had to look it up…good thing Grimes put up a link.)
And secondly: The Road to Structural Erasure Is Paved With Well-Intentioned White Ladies #ABLC by Imani Gandy
Then this later response by Gandy: The Funny Thing About Privilege #ABLC
I am glad Hillary backed up Arquette…
Hillary Clinton lamented the number of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math at a Silicon Valley women’s conference on Tuesday, and called for more action to close the wage gap.
“Sixty percent of college graduates are now women, yet they earn only 18 percent of computer science degrees. That’s actually less than half of what it was in the 1980s, when women earned 38 percent of those degrees. We’re going backwards in a field that’s supposed to be all about going forward,” Clinton said in a keynote address at Lead On Conference for Women in Santa Clara, California, for which she was reportedly paid a whopping $300,000.
The former secretary of state addressed an overwhelmingly friendly crowd made up of many employees from Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies, including Intel, Oracle and Cisco. Introduced as a “modern day suffragette,” Clinton empathized with the audience by noting the difficulties women still face in male-dominated Silicon Valley.
“You bump your heads on the glass ceilings that persist in the tech industry today,” she told the attendees.
Clinton framed the need to empower women as beneficial to America’s economy as a whole, and in so doing paid deference to one of Apple, Inc.’s biggest slogans.
“There are lasting consequences for them, their families, and our economy,” she said of women left out of the STEM fields. “We cannot afford to leave all that talent sitting on that sidelines. To borrow a familiar phrase, it’s time to think different.”
In advocating for closing the pay gap, Clinton also endorsed the impassioned plea for wage equality made by Patricia Arquette in her Oscars acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress.
This is what she said:
“Up and down the ladder many women are paid less for the same work, which is why we all cheered at Patricia Arquette’s speech at the Oscars — because she’s right, it’s time to have wage equality once and for all,” Clinton said.
Damn right. I made some comments on the first post written by Imani Gandy, after that I just got tired of the whole thing. So tired of fighting for every little bit of something that is right and is deserved. Fuck it.
The rest of the links, coming at ya:
Another look at Clinton’s speech: SANTA CLARA, Calif.: Clinton to women: It can still feel like 1955 out there | Elections | McClatchy DC
Italy and Turkey are the sexist…US is in the orange range…
I wonder if he will ever face justice.
Brace yourselves for some stunning, shocking, jaw-dropping, too-amazing-to-believe-yet-totally-believable news! According to a new poll from PPP, the Republican Party is overflowing with morons. It’s true. In fact, it’s SCIENCE! Or MATH! Or some kind of liberal hoax thing!
Let’s nerdsplore how goddamned dumb Republicans are, shall we?
Didn’t Republicans used to more or less accept that basic science was real, scientifically speaking? Yes, but that’s before the entire party adopted the official “I’m not a scientist” platform, thanks to Fox News teaching the “controversy.”
Hey, but you know…they do love them some fetuses! At least until they are born: Republican lawmaker: It’s OK for children to die in the name of God – Salon.com
In a deeply religious section of Idaho, a Republican state representative says that the state has no right to protect children from their parents who refuse them needed medical treatment in favor of faith healing.
“Children do die,” says Rep. Christy Perry. And it’s fine with her if Idaho children die in the name of God. Perry’s district includes many followers of a religious cult, Followers of Christ, that eschews medicine. She says that the sect’s members are more comfortable confronting death when it happens to their children.
“I’m not trying to sound callous, but [people calling for reform] want to act as if death is an anomaly. But it’s not. It’s a way of life,” she says.
An Italian cemetery may provide clues on cholera’s evolution-Medievalist.net
The site contains victims of the cholera epidemic that swept the world in the 1850s, said Clark Spencer Larsen, professor of anthropology at Ohio State University and one of the leaders of the excavation team.
Archaeologists and their students have spent the past four summers painstakingly excavating remains in a special section of the cemetery used for cholera victims. About 20 to 30 skeletons have been excavated during each of the past four field seasons.
Finding traces of the pathogen that caused cholera among the human remains could reveal details about how people lived – and died – in this region of Europe. “To our knowledge, these are the best preserved remains of cholera victims of this time period ever found,” Larsen said. “We’re very excited about what we may be able to learn.”
Urbanisation is rapidly picking up pace. We hit the tipping point in 2009, when there were more people living in urban areas than in rural ones.
The United Nations believes an additional 2.5bn people will live in urban areas by 2050, which is only 35 years away.
Many of the rural poor come to the cities and end up living in sub-standard housing. It is estimated that 863 million people now live in slums. And China alone, according to the UN, will need to spend $6.8tn over the next two decades just to integrate rural workers.
Counting the Cost examines the challenges of economic migration.
Al Jazeera’s Adrian Brown reports from China; and Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, the executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, joins us from New York to discuss migration and the issues behind it.
and this last link:
Let’s treat this as an open thread…what are you reading about today?
In a world….
…where glow-in-the-dark mutant jellyfish fetuses have a 3 in 2 chance of being aborted and flushed down a pink commie Planned Parenthood commode…
….there is only one man brave enough to fight against all reason, science, and comedic ridicule to save them…
…that man, is Georgia Republican Tom Kirby.
But when Colonel Kirby, Defender of the Sea Jelly Veldt….comes up against a few no-good science loving bums…who question his reasons against mixing human DNA and jellyfish DNA…
…his plans to pass his “Save the unborn Jellyfish People Bill” run amok.
And yet…at the same time….save Gawd’s little sacred unborn glowing gift of life?
Coming to theaters this summer….
JELLYMEN: The Miss Adventures of Tom Kirby
Oh he ain’t all that innocent.
Yup, the force is strong with this one…and if you think it is a fucking joke. IT ISN’T!
From Huffington Post:
A Georgia state representative is standing up for the rights of embryos: He wants to make sure they aren’t forced to glow in the dark.
Republican Rep. Tom Kirby, who has served since 2012, has posted a list of his top issues on his website. Among them he names the “ethical treatment of embryos,” which he notes includes a call to ban the mixing of human and jellyfish DNA.
The website states:
We in Georgia are taking the lead on this issue. Human life at all stages is precious including as an embryo. We need to get out in front of the science and technology, before it becomes something no one wants. The mixing of Human Embryos with Jellyfish cells to create a glow in the dark human, we say not in Georgia. This bill is about protecting Human life while maintaining good, valid research that does not destroy life.
Kirby also introduced legislation last week that would make it unlawful for “any person or entity to intentionally or knowingly create or attempt to create an in vitro human embryo by any means other than fertilization of a human egg by a human sperm.”
A reporter from a Georgia news station caught up with Kirby to ask for an explanation of his bill and why someone might want to mix human and jellyfish DNA.
“To make them glow in the dark is the only thing I know of,” he told Channel 2.
He also said he has not seen evidence that anyone in Georgia is trying to create human-jellyfish hybrids. “I’ve had people tell me it is, but I have not verified that for sure,” Kirby said. “It’s time we either get in front of it or we’re going to be chasing our tails.”
This is apparently not a new concern for Kirby. In a 2013 video posted on YouTube, he talked about banning human-animal hybrids.
“We’re going to stand up and say that Frankenstein-type science is not going to happen in Georgia anymore,” Kirby said. “That’s something that we really need to get rid of here.”
Sorry, but I had to quote that article in full…I could not help it. You have to forgive me. This is just fucked up beyond belief.
I mean, who needs “Frankenstein-type science” going on here in Georgia when we’ve got a proven Deliverance style of inbreeding program working in full force?
Never say that Georgia Republican Tom Kirby isn’t fighting for What Matters. Many politicians enter public service because there is something in their hearts that compels them to do it, for the good of their people, and Georgia state Rep. Tom Kirby is no exception. He will protect Georgians from the scourge of human jellyfish fetuses, because that his is calling in life! You didn’t know this was a problem affecting Georgia? That is because you are clearly stupid, let Tom’s website (the URL of which inexplicably ends with “pretty photo”) tell you:
We in Georgia are taking the lead on this issue.
Human life at all stages is precious including as an embryo. We need to get out in front of the science and technology, before it becomes something no one wants. The mixing of Human Embryos with Jellyfish cells to create a glow in the dark human, we say not in Georgia.
Leave that to South Carolina or Alabama, let Lindsey Graham and Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore glow like gay nightlights, NOT IN GEORGIA. We are relieved that Tom will help us GET IN FRONT OF SCIENCE, because we all know what happens when science is in front of you, you learn things and make breakthroughs and suddenly everybody starts evolutioning each other, right in front of the children, NOT IN GEORGIA!
Tom just wants to make sure that when we do science, we are not destroying embryos, because Abortion, but we did not know that “light it up” was a third option between “let it become a beautiful baby” and “kill it!”
A beautiful greenish glow in the dark jellyfish freak baby who will probably end up on food stamps and addicted to crack….fucking jelly welfare queens.
He has not seen evidence, you guys, of anyone in Georgia doing the people-jellyfish, but it’s something that we “really need to get rid of” and that “is not going to happen in Georgia anymore.” You know that thing when you are having a hard time making a joke because the joke is already written? That is happening to your Wonkette right now, it is tough. Also, you don’t want to be chasing your tails on this issue, because you know who ELSE has a tail? Jellyfish. (No they don’t.)
Kirby also says in this here video that he is concerned about getting jellyfish embryos to do sex to cow embryos, effectively making glow-in-the-dark cows, and that is A Outrage, because that is cheating at the rules of Cow Tipping, it’s not fair if one team’s cows glow and the other ones don’t.
Anyway, nobody send Tom this article about how humans actually ALREADY glow in the dark, it will give him wingnut nightmares and he will wake up crying, because he is such a dipshit.
Not only is he a dipshit…he is a symbol of what this Country’s elected office has become. A whole domed building of legislator dipshits, (well, except for the ones who bring ovaries to the Hill: Study: Women in the Senate Get Shit Done.) These dipshits…bought and paid for by two rich ass dipshit brothers…set on destroying the world as we know it. Now when are we going to see a summer blockbuster movie about that?
Now, I really have some disturbing links for you today, so what I am going to do is put them up first and then hit ya with a lot of fun stuff. Okay?
Last week saw the launch of the Femicide Census, a list of murdered women that digs down into the internet like a terrible well. It was reported at length in this paper, in a piece that detailed what has changed since Karen Ingala Smith first started counting dead women in 2012, and contained tributes to some of the victims, pictured smiling and beautiful, looking off to the side of the photos, shy.
Since that piece was published though, it’s likely that in the UK alone, four more women have been murdered by their partners. This thing is going to take some time. The numbers continue to rise. These deaths are being defined not just as murders, but as “femicide”, because these are very particular deaths. These 150 women, the word acknowledges, were killed for being women. They were killed for being women because killing women is the endgame of inequality. So the word is important, because it defines their deaths as sexist acts, as tragedies that we are all witness to. The aim of the census is to connect the cases in order to analyse this violence properly, and then to end it.
Patterns are already clear. There were more than 64,000 sexual offences recorded by police last year, Ingala Smith tells me, and 1.4 million domestic violence assaults against women. “When men kill women,” she wants to stress, “they are doing so in the context of a society in which men’s violence against women is entrenched and systemic. When misogyny, sexism and the objectification of women are so pervasive that they are all but inescapable, can a man killing a women ever not be a sexist act?”
An aside: since the launch, reports of the census have inevitably been pissed on with the question: “What about the men?” Like the commenter’s cliché “Not all men”, it’s a question noisily applied to derail feminist arguments, and sometimes it is worth answering and sometimes, well, no. This time, the what-about-the-menners are claiming that in concentrating solely on female victims the census is itself sexist. But when men kill their partners they have usually been abusing them for years. When women kill, they themselves have usually been abused. In the decade up to 2012, 93.9% of adults who were convicted of murder were men. So.
Read more at the link, but to illustrate a point that this census makes…
A 26-year-old single mother from Houston was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend just hours after she reported him to authorities, KHOU-TV reported.
Investigators said the suspect went to Takita Mathieu’s workplace on Thursday afternoon and shot her before turning the gun on himself in an apparent murder-suicide attempt. However, he survived and was listed as being on life support as of Friday at a local hospital.
The Houston Chronicle reported that, according to witnesses, the suspect argued with Mathieu before the shooting. A semi-automatic pistol, believed to be the weapon, was found at the scene.
Mathieu had reportedly filed multiple complaints with the police about the suspect’s “erratic” behavior and harassment leading up to the shooting. Authorities said the man called her 140 times since she ended the relationship four months ago.
The victim’s cousin, Morris Williams, told KHOU that she was afraid to return to Houston after visiting family in Louisiana for Mardi Gras festivities.
“To see her daughter just to grow up without her mother is very sad,” Williams said.
What can you say to this woman’s daughter, who saw her mother trying to do the right thing by turning to the authorities and courts…ugh.
At the time I wrote for Salon in late August, (Michael) Peroutka had only recently convened a press conference, under severe pressure, in which he insisted that he wasn’t a racist—those who attacked him were—and that he had no intention of leaving the League of the South. However, in mid-October, just two weeks before the election, the Baltimore Sun reported that he had left the League, around the time my story had run, but for inexplicable reasons:
Peroutka, a Millersville Republican, said he left the group prior to Labor Day because he discovered statements members made on the subject of being opposed to interracial marriage were “contrary to my beliefs.” He would not elaborate.
Though his League of the South membership drew criticism during the campaign — “Everybody wants to talk about League of the South all the time,” he said — the decision to quit the group was not politically motivated, Peroutka said.
“I didn’t do it to bring up any political points,” Peroutka said. “I dont have any problem with the organization.”
Peroutka said he still stands by the group’s stances on self-government and conserving southern heritage.
The lack of any serious differences were further underscored, when Peroutka won the election, and was congratulated by League President Michael Hill. His resignation was kabuki theater, nothing more
Even in its own terms, the account was nonsensical, since he remains quite friendly with Hill, who is himself opposed to racial intermarriage. But that’s relatively common among Southern conservatives: about 20 percent of them held such views from 2000 to 2012, according to the General Social Survey. Given that the League of the South appeals overwhelmingly to this demographic, it would have been truly shocking if there weren’t members who felt this way. What did Peroutka expect to find there? Who’s he trying to kid?
At the same time, the League’s official policy since its founding had been opposed to racial integration in the private sector—artfully phrased by saying, “we believe in a Southern society that…. Values and sustains true freedom of association.” As Rand Paul will tell you, “true freedom of association” means discrimination. And Peroutka never had a problem with that.
In short, his resignation was just political theater: Peroutka needed an opportunity to perform the pretense of anti-racism, without actually doing or saying anything to alienate his like-minded base. That finely-tuned balance was precisely the point, and it worked perfectly with those who wanted to believe his performance, who were just enough to help him get elected in the GOP wave, with a little extra help from a Nixon-style, last-minute dirty-trick anti-gay robocall, which Peroutka also unconvincingly denied any knowledge of.
This is how Peroutka operates, a master of contradictory mixed message delivery, highly skilled at crafting beautiful lies in the best Southern tradition. He’s closely aligned with the Southern secessionist white supremacist base, but he’s particularly focused on trying to make it seem mainstream, spinning out an alternative-history view of the world. As happened here, this sometimes requires him to play distancing games, but he effortlessly paired that distancing with blatantly open assurances of continued allegiance.
Peroutka and Moore both make a similar basic argument. Its full-blown form runs as follows: Gay marriage is against “God’s law,” and the Constitution is based on “God’s law” (the Bible), ergo gay marriage is unconstitutional, and judges who say otherwise are violating their oaths, and need not be obeyed—in fact, they should be impeached, and if not, their continued officeholding may be grounds for (a) nullification and/or (b) secession, because it is a form of tyranny. Peroutka has openly touched all the bases on this argument, while Moore has at least gone as far as calling for impeachment, as Sara Posner reports, but no one should be surprised if he’s willing to go all the way. The ease with which he ignored a Supreme Court ruling—declining to stay the same-sex marriage order—certainly would suggest that he might be just as comfortable with nullification and secession as his good friend Michael Peroutka is.
That is just part of the middle of the article…read the whole thing at the link.
A Louisiana elected official accused of sexually assaulting his former wife watched pornography on his government computer and left a threatening note to his alleged victim, prosecutors said.
St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta was indicted in April on sexual battery charges in connection with an October 2013 attack on his then-wife, who is accused of handcuffing, tying to the ceiling, beating, and sexually assaulting.
The state Attorney General filed documents Thursday that described the incident and offers a possible motive and intent, reported the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Investigators said Peralta, a Republican from Meraux, frequently viewed explicit videos depicting bondage and forced sex on his personal and work computers, and they also found a handwritten note that appears to threaten his then-wife with assault.
“Your going to be a rape victim,” the note reads. “Put on heels, skirt & a blouse you don’t care if it gets ruined. Text me when you are ready and come downstairs.”
The note is not signed or dated, but prosecutors said it was written by Peralta and discovered during a July search of his home.
The 107-page court filing accused Peralta of using his position to intimidate his former wife, who worked as a paralegal for the parish government.
Prosecutors said Peralta retaliated against his former wife after she tried to expose his alleged gambling addiction.
He also threatened to expose sexually explicit photos of her to force the woman to drop her accusations against him during their divorce proceedings, investigators said.
Peralta was also charged with felony stalking in another parish after he was accused of sending threatening emails to his ex-wife.
A grand jury is considering a possible malfeasance in office charge against him, as well.
This next one is unbelievably cruel: Cops: Baby Died After Couple Used Breast Milk for Porn Instead of Food
The picture of the mug shots are enough to get you even more pissed. The dude is smirking…
A pair of parents in Glendale, Oregon, were charged with murder by abuse this week in the starvation death of their seven-week-old son. According to local news outlet KPIC, police believe Amanda Hancock used breast milk for lactation porn “instead of feeding the child.” Stephen Williams, the father, also allegedly worked in online porn.
Deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about an infant in distress on January 22. Data Hancock, the baby boy, died on the scene, and Williams and Amanda Hancock were arrested following a monthlong investigation, during which medical examiners determined that starvation was the time of death.
Hancock and Williams told police that they fed Data milk several times a day, KPIC reports, but admitted that they did not properly care for him in general. Williams said that he noticed that the baby was losing weight, but did not call a doctor because he believed that to be Hancock’s responsibility.
An advisory panel of the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors has recommended closing three academic centers, including a poverty center and one dedicated to social change, inciting outrage among liberals who believe that conservatives in control of state government are targeting ideological opponents in academia.
Conservatives are cheering the move, seeing it as a corrective to a higher education system they believe has lent its imprimatur to groups that engage in partisan activism.
A Catholic church there, the Star of the Sea, decided to stop allowing girls to be altar servers. Existing girls who are serving can continue but new ones will not be accepted.
Imagine how you would feel if you were one of those “mistake, oops” girls! To allow them to continue doesn’t patch up the rejection.
But it’s all perfectly fine, because there are parents in the congregation who like the idea of boys-only (in a church of male-priests-only) and because the priest behind this “innovation,” one Joseph Illo, argues that the change is great for male bonding and makes sense as being an altar server could be the first step to becoming a priest and — duh — girls cannot become priests ever. The logic is beautiful and very clear and in my divine opinion backwards.
The same Joseph Illo raised a few feathers more recently:
The Rev. Joseph Illo recently banned the use of altar girls at school and parish Masses at Star of the Sea, a decision opposed by some parents and staff.
Illo also upset families when he decided that non-Catholic students could no longer receive blessings during Communion, a decision he reversed after complaints from the school community.
And this week, parents revealed that Star of the Sea students as young as those in second grade received a pamphlet about confession late last year that referred to sexual topics such as sodomy, masturbation and abortion.
That was a mistake, Illo said Wednesday.
“Among the 70 items for reflection, some were not age appropriate for schoolchildren,” Illo said in a statement. “We apologize for this oversight and removed the pamphlet as soon as this was brought to our attention by the school faculty in December.”
You want to know what those pamphlets contained?
They asked questions such as, “Did I perform impure acts by myself (masturbation) or with another (adultery, fornication and sodomy)?” and, “Did I practice artificial birth control or was I or my spouse prematurely sterilized (tubal ligation or vasectomy)?” as well as, “Have I had or advised anyone to have an abortion?”
Riley Brooks, an 11-year-old student at the school, explained how he and his sixth-grade classmates responded to the material: they were “really grossed out.” “There was something about masturbation,” Brooks told the Chronicle. “Pretty sure abortion was on there, but I can’t remember. And sodomy. I don’t know what that means.”
Put all that together and Illo, a presumably celibate man in power inside a church which assigns most power to celibate men, comes across as someone who just may have a slight problem with women and women’s sexuality. The irony in that is more than I can quite absorb.
I can’t absorb it either.
As I read this piece in the Washington Post yesterday I felt sicker and sicker. It’s about the deep psychological toll that many feminist writers endure when they publish online.
The underlying problem is well documented. Thanks to the Internet and social media, a message can reach more people, via fewer gatekeepers, than ever before. But that freedom of movement for information has also allowed groups of highly organized trolls to pummel and pummel in highly targeted and efficient ways they couldn’t before. Often the targets of those trolls are women.
Women who receive this kind of daily onslaught are often faced with two possible outcomes: The first is that they stand their ground, knowing that the attacks will keep coming, and that they’ll likely spend the rest of their lives battling the damage to their psyche. Or, they agree to be silenced and spend the rest of their lives in a mixture of guilt and sadness that they “allowed” the bullies to win.
As I said, those were some heavy duty links. Be sure to take a look at the rest of the articles if you have a chance…I think you will find these interesting:
Tonight is Oscar night!
So in celebration of that, here are some movie linkish goodness~
I know that The Grand Budapest Hotel has a slim chance of winning for best picture. But if you have not seen it, please…go and check it out…it is wonderful!
Wes Anderson’s Oscar-nominated film does something few art forms have managed: It offers a funny, but respectful, reflection on the horrors of the Holocaust.
Like so many others, I spent last month’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in remembrance of the Holocaust. I quietly contemplated the past, thought about family members who had survived, and those who had perished, attended a commemorative ceremony, said Kaddish, and shed some tears. And then I watched a comedy—Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is nominated for nine Academy Awards at this Sunday’s ceremony.
How can comedy ever be appropriate when it comes to remembering such solemn events? I first asked that question about the film three years ago, before it was even made. At the time I was the U.S. Ambassador in Prague, and the filmmakers reached out to say that they were researching a movie set in the fictional land of Zubrowka (a stand in for the Czech lands) during the 1930s, concluding in 1938 and told in flashback from 1968 (two very bleak years in Czech history, marking the Nazi and the Soviet invasions). Would I help?
I hope that Anderson wins for best screenplay. Read the rest at that link, it is a good review.
Next up, an actual article written by Hattie McDaniel’s Defies Critics in 1947 THR Essay: “I Have Never Apologized” – Hollywood Reporter
THR has reprinted this essay by McDaniel…
Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American actor to win an Academy Award for 1939’s Gone With the Wind, wrote this touching piece in a 1947 issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
An utterance of a first century Jewish scholar, “I am became all things to all men,” can very aptly be applied to Hollywood — film city of the world. To the blue-nosed moralist, it is a city of gin and sin. To a producer, it is an exacting place of business. To the actor or actress, it is a powerful potentate, holding in its hands honor or oblivion. To the tourist from Salt Lake, or Peoria, or Milwaukee, Hollywood is a man-made fairyland.
Sixteen years ago, I was a tourist from Milwaukee.
Two separate polarizing debates attached themselves to the 87th Academy Awards long before the red carpets were unfurled. Are the dearth of African-American nominees and the low count of Selma noms indicative of a colorblind selection process, or of entrenched racism? Is American Sniper a chilling view of the personal costs of war, or unadulterated propaganda?
There’s a chance these pressure points will pop up during Sunday night’s broadcast from the Dolby Theatre. But will any potential eruptions dislodge one of these 10 historical moments of political theater as played out live on the Oscar stage?
1940: Hattie McDaniel’s Long Walk to Gold
Way back at the 12th Academy Awards, Hattie McDaniel won an Academy Award for best supporting actress, which on the surface is an ordinary big deal. An actress wins the best supporting award every year, and the film McDaniel was nominated for, Gone With the Wind, raked in eight Oscars. Hattie McDaniel’s big deal is that she was the first African-American ever to be nominated for an Academy Award, and she won it, too. When her name was announced in the Cocoanut Grove nightclub at L.A.’s Ambassador Hotel, McDaniel stood up, way back in the room, and started the long walk down toward the stage from the segregated dining table.
More at the link.
Hullabaloo- Saturday Night at the Movies Pre-Oscar marathon: Top 10 Movies about the movies By Dennis Hartley
And for the last link of the post:
Back in January we told you about Rowan Hansen, an 11-year-old comic lover who hand-wrote a letter to DC sharing her frustration over gendered toys and lack of representation for female fans.
Nearly a month later, Rowan and her message that “girls read comics, too” are still gaining traction, with the fifth-grader appearing on an NBC Today segment this morning to talk about her favorite heroes, the impracticality of most female battle armor, and accept a token of DC’s “commitment to fulfill their promise” to create more “superhero fun for girls.”
I say that this Super Rowan needs to star in her own Summer Blockbuster soon! I can’t wait to see SR kicking some anti-Jellyfish People, Science denying, PLUB women hating, GOP Mens Club members.
This is an open thread…yeah, I said open thread. You wanna start somethin’?
Hey…you lookin’ at me?
Oh boy do I have lots of cartoons for you tonight!
(This has been a cold ass week, but it is okay because this is the best 31 days on TCM and the movies are terrific.)
Anyway, enjoy them…cause there are some real good ones in here.
First batch comes from Cagle:
And let’s end this thing with Luckovich…
I can’t help it…Luckovich is my favorite cartoonist…and damn, I am glad he is here in Georgia doing his thing.
This is an open thread.
Well, what do ya know? Obama administration puts immigration protections on hold after order – LA Times
President Obama’s plans to protect millions of immigrants from deportation were frozen on Tuesday while his administration scrambled to appeal an order by a federal judge in Texas temporarily halting the program.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that the Obama administration has put off for now the first step in implementing the program, expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative that has granted a temporary reprieve from deportation for nearly 600,000 young people. The administration had been scheduled to begin accepting applications for the expansion Wednesday.
Johnson said the administration was also putting on hold plans for a much larger program, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, which could apply to around 4 million adult immigrants.
“The Department of Justice will appeal that temporary injunction,” Johnson said in a statement, referring to the judge’s order. “In the meantime, we recognize we must comply with it. We fully expect to ultimately prevail in the courts, and we will be prepared to implement DAPA and expanded DACA once we do.”
I don’t know…I thought that the Federal Court could not overrule an Executive Order. I mean, seriously…isn’t it a Presidential Order?…Above Congress and stuff? (But you know, I am talking out my ass here. It just felt good to say what I first thought about when I’d heard about this “temporary injunction”….to be honest with y’all. )
Really, my mind is not working very well the past few days. It sounds crazy, but the only thought I can seem to work on is trying to write out a metaphor for the Koch Brothers, and the lingering effect they will have on our country, as to their crappy Angel Soft toilet paper…and the fibery dingleberries the stuff leaves behind.
Oh sure, they make it out like the product (shit paper) their selling you is the best quality and hell…they say it is so fucking cheap to boot. But the truth of the matter is, you are being fucked in more ways than you realize. Because they are charging you the same prices for way less than what you used to get, they’ve got a monopoly on the shit paper isle as it is anyway so what choices do you really have…and, as if they do it purposely, those bits of linty irritant only continue to remind you just what an annoying pain in the ass the Koch Brothers really are. (Oh, and they are going to bring down the whole of civilization as we know it…you’ll see.) But that somehow connects to a reference to a backed up septic tank… due to the said nappy ass toilet paper in the first place, but then you see I am back where I started.
This week in things we wish were just a Colbert Report sketch, an Oklahoma legislative committee overwhelmingly approved a bill that would cut funding for the teaching of Advanced Placement U.S. History. The 11 Republicans who approved the measure over the objections of four Democrats weren’t trying to win over Oklahoma’s lazy high school juniors. Tulsa Worldreports that Representative Dan Fisher, who introduced the bill, lamented during Monday’s hearing that the new AP U.S. History framework emphasizes “what is bad about America,” and doesn’t teach “American exceptionalism.” It’s a complaint that’s been spreading among mostly conservative state legislatures in recent months, and has some calling for a ban on all AP courses.
Earlier this month, the Georgia state Senate introduced a resolution that rejects a new version of the AP U.S. History course for presenting a “radically revisionist view of American history” and minimizing “discussion of America’s Founding Fathers, the principles of the Declaration of Independence, [and] the religious influences on our nation’s history.” It says that if the College Board does not revise the test, Georgia will cut funding for the course. The exam has also sparked controversy in Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Colorado, where students in Jefferson County protested last fall when a school board member said the course should be modified to promote “patriotism,” and discourage “civil disorder, social strife, or disregard of the law.”
I can’t bear to link to any more stories like that. Let’s all look at some cool pictures.
A great portrait is more than just a frozen reflection of the subject’s appearance. It’s a chance moment, blanketed in natural light, in which the subject’s authentic self is visible in her expression, her stance, her aura. A great portrait blurs the line between a subject and her surroundings, all contributing equally to the overall impression of a singular human being.
Photographer Barbara Yoshida captured not one great portrait, but 100. And to make it all the more glorious, her subjects are all female artists, groundbreaking in their own right.
The story of Vivian Maier is probably one of the art world’s most compelling mysteries. A nanny by profession, she was an alarmingly talented and vastly prolific photographer whose keen eye for the mundane produced some of the 20th century’s most intriguing works of street photography. At times she was a Mary Poppins, trekking across a city like Chicago with a gaggle of children passing like ducklings behind her. At other times, she was Weegee, tuned into the pulse of urban centers, her lens drawn to crowds of celebrity, crime and everything squished in between.
The juxtaposition of being a lifelong caretaker in one moment, chasing kids and bickering with parents, and a relentless documentarian on the other, churning out rolls of film a day, is enigmatic in itself. But the real kick is that Vivian Maier is a name no one truly knew until about 2007. It was then that a former real estate agent named John Maloof unknowingly purchased a box of her photographic negatives for $400. Fast forward through a heavy dose of research and detective work, and you have “Finding Vivian Maier,” the Oscar-nominated film that recounts the life of a woman the art world reveres, but no one actually seems to know.
In 2012, Brooklyn-based artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh embarked upon a project titled “Stop Telling Women to Smile.” The series, comprised of portraits pasted on the sides of buildings, aimed to combat street harassment targeted at women by commanding offenders in public spaces to think before they speak.
“Street harassment is a serious issue that affects women worldwide,” the artist proclaims on her site. “This project takes women’s voices, and faces, and puts them in the street — creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they are so often made to feel uncomfortable and unsafe.”
In his landmark book, Orientalism, the late scholar Edward Said wrote of “exteriority,” a disconnect between the traveler’s fantasies and reality. Reading the travelogues of French writers, Said once explained that he found “representations of the Orient had very little to do with what I knew about my own background in life.”
That is the least strange of the bunch.
As you’re probably well aware, hospitals tend not to be the most visually enticing of spaces, especially for kids. Between the fluorescent lights, the sterile aesthetic and the deluge of achromatic hues somewhere between oatmeal and taupe, the spaces where so many humans experience their most physically and emotionally trying moments really aren’t helping much as far as ambiance goes.
That’s where the power of art comes in.
American Ballet Theater icon Misty Copeland has over 402,000 followers on Instagram. To compare, athletes like Venus and Serena Williams have 89,500 and 992,000 followers, respectively. Michael Phelps has 462,000. Danica Patrick has 26,900.
Of course, ballet is easily the most photogenic of the sports. An art form that toes the line between performance and feats of athleticism, it’s filled with pirouettes and arabesques that when frozen in a frame appear like paintings or perfectly sculpted statues. Misty’s Instagram account is filled with shots both on and off a stage, flexing her muscles and practicing her craft. And she’s hardly the only ballerina — or ballerino — to grace the platform. One glimpse at the popular Ballerina Project account, followed by an impressive 641,000, and it’s easy to see why dance fans are quick to double click on the endless stream of posed portraits.
Each student at the Forensic Sculpture Workshop at the New York Academy of Art (NYAA) begins with a skull. More specifically, each begins with a plaster replica of a real human skull made by a medical examiner, a facsimile of an unidentified crime victim in New York City.
From this foundation, the students sculpt a face, using a block of clay and whatever information they can glean from the ongoing investigations — such as age, height, gender and race. They also included grimmer details, such as the locations of bullet holes or crushed bones.
The resulting sculptures, lifelike in their realistic portrayals, capture the likenesses of unknown citizens who faced cruel and untimely deaths from a variety of gruesome circumstances, in the hopes that someone walking by the university windows will see a face and recognize it.
In his series “Cesar,” the French artist captures babies in their first moments of life — specifically, between three and 18 seconds of existing outside the womb. As you may have ascertained from the project’s title, all of Berthelot’s subjects underwent (and survived) a Caesarean section — a procedure in which the baby is removed via an incision in the mother’s abdomen. Berthelot’s first child was born after a C-section, serving as the inspiration for this powerful project.
The circus has always been a space rife with visual splendor. Long before a certain FX anthology series brought “freak shows” into the pop culture conversation, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey made clowns and acrobats essential elements of entertainment when they merged in 1919. In fact, together, they amounted to “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Ken Light’s photos from 1969 to 1974 document the social landscape of America as it frayed at the seams, rife with turmoil. As a young photographer, Light captured the country at this pivotal moment, and his frontline protest photos in Ohio and political images from the 1972 Republican Convention in Miami show the opposite ends of the spectrum.
But the photos that make his new book, American Stories in the Age of Protest, so great are less-familiar ones: the everyday person out waving flags in support of Nixon, the garage band taking to a makeshift stage in support of McGovern, the kids hanging out in West Oakland. It’s photos like these, so common at the time, that gain importance with age. They give contour and meaning to historical projects such as this.
Think of this as an open thread, there is just one more thing…try and stay warm cause it is fucking cold out there.