Wednesday Reads: This Bird’s For You…

 9122a81dc2b064d2318dec1e14eec38dGood Afternoon

 

The post is full of the finger today, so you all take note.

When you look at the news and see headlines like this:

Rape added to murder and cannibalism charges against Indiana man – Yahoo News

A southern Indiana man who is facing a possible death penalty on charges that he killed his ex-girlfriend and ate part of her body has now been charged with raping her, an attorney representing the defendant said on Tuesday.

100049e414559189d6b1e541f15ed618The added charge against Joseph Oberhansley is intended to bolster the prosecution’s case for the death penalty, attorney Mike McDaniel said.

Oberhansley, 34, was charged last September in Clark County, Indiana, with breaking into the Jeffersonville home of his ex-girlfriend, Tammy Jo Blanton, murdering her and abusing her corpse by eating parts of it. He has pleaded not guilty.

Jeffersonville is across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky.

McDaniel said Judge Vicki Carmichael approved the charge on Monday at the request of Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull. It was added, McDaniel said, because the other charges were not strong enough to warrant the death penalty.

A trial is scheduled for August 2016, time needed to adequately prepare for a capital case, McDaniel said. His client is currently in solitary confinement and he is concerned about him staying in solitary that long, he said.

(Never mind the “optics” of that last paragraph, considering the many black men who spend decades in solitary for crimes they did not commit.) I am pointing to the horrible death this woman experienced at the hands of her ex.

Next please….

Woman Alerts Police of Hostage Situation Through Pizza Hut App – ABC News

PHOTO: The Highlands County Sheriffs office says that a Florida woman communicated to employees of a Pizza Hut that she needed help from police through their ordering system.

A Florida mother held hostage by her boyfriend used the Pizza Hut app to notify police she needed help, authorities said.

Cheryl Treadway, 25, was allegedly being held at knife point in her home by Ethan Nickerson, 26, in Avon Park on Monday, the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office told ABC News today.

Grace Jones“She was held hostage by him all day,” Public Information Officer Nell Hays said.

Treadway and Nickerson’s three, young children were also present during the incident, authorities said, noting that the incident was sparked by an argument the couple had.

Nickerson took away Treadway’s phone, police said, but she was eventually able to persuade him to let her order a pizza using her Pizza Hut app.

“She told him, ‘The kids are hungry. Let’s order a pizza. Let’s get them some food,'” Hays said, noting that’s when Treadway was able to sneak in a written message through the delivery.

Along with her order of a small, classic pepperoni pizza, she wrote: “Please help. Get 911 to me,” according to police. She also wrote: “911hostage help!”

Thankfully the people who work at the Pizza Hut took the message immediately to the police. Imagine if they just thought it was a joke or hoax.

Take a look at the comments in that one…the sexism is rampant. And it is disgusting. Which brings me to this latest shit from the ad geniuses and executives at Budweiser, the King of Assholes…I mean Beers.

Ah, the days when the Budweiser ads were sexist in the most usual boring way….

From 1979, btw Lou Rawls is the voice over:

 

Starts at the 10-11 second mark.

Yeah, that is a woman walking by a bunch of construction workers while they harass her, your typical same old…same old.

Well…the shit has gotten real. Like “rapey” real.

People Seem To Think Bud Light Slogan Is Rapey, Just Because It’s Really Rapey | Wonkette

 

 

Oh, we get it, it's about date rape-type stuff!

Earth’s most generic light beer, Bud Light, has been doing an ad campaign that they think is oh so hip, lately, to try to get beer-pong playing, dildo-brained college kids to upgrade from Natty Light and drink 557121bc742c05a5fb4084df6f8d70f3THEIR piss beer instead. It’s called #UpForWhatever, and there was a big PacMan super bowl commercial, because Bud Light is the beer that, according to advertising execs, makes you “up for whatever.” The labels have said things like “the perfect beer for going without a ticket and still getting into the show,” and “the perfect beer for tuning up the old air guitar,” because these guys are fucking HIP, dude. Oh, and there’s this new label, that’s totally about drinking so much that bitches won’t say no when you try to fuck them, and people don’t like it, huh.

Reddit user GhosX9 posted a picture of the label, which reads “the perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night,” on Monday, and it’s now going viral, because, FOR SOME REASON, people seem to think it’s rapey! And we tend to agree! The Consumerist suggests that, hey, you know, maybe it is NOT a good idea for a beer company to go ahead and acknowledge that their product is a really good way to get the old date rape train out of the station.

2ea74f693f12b1baeea0d6a075739cd0John Oliver mocks Bud Light’s ‘rapey’ ad campaign: ‘If a nickel could urinate, it would taste like a Bud Light’

In a short segment on HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver ripped into a recently pulled ad campaign by the makers of Bud Light that used a tag line, “Remove no from your vocabulary” that one commentator said had a “certain rapey feel to it.”

Calling Bud Light, “the feudal peasant covered in donkey sh*t of beers,” the host criticized the management at Anheuser-Busch for not seeing how the slogan could be offensive when sexual assault is so often related to drinking.

With that in mind, Last Week Tonight created a parody “up for whatever” Bud Light commercial, where average bargoers are invited to have a Bud Light which then leads to wild partying afterwards.

To see the segment, take a look here:

The response from Bud Light?

16343352bd7a481f35f11388eea90b20Bud Light apologises for ‘pro-rape’ advertising campaign – Americas – World – The Independent

Bud Light has apologised for an advertising campaign accused of encouraging rape with the slogan: ‘The perfect beer for removing “No” from your vocabulary for the night’.

The labels, which were spotted on bottles promoting the company’s controversial ‘Up for Whatever’ branding, swiftly sparked protests on social media.

[…]

Jimmy Hoffa gives the finger to Attorney General Bobby Kennedy at a hearing

Jimmy Hoffa gives the finger to Attorney General Bobby Kennedy at a hearing

A spokesperson for Budweiser said that the slogan was one of more than 140 used in the campaign, which started two years ago – and would not go on any more beers.

Alexander Lambrecht, vice president for the Bud Light brand at Anheuser-Busch, said it was “clear that this message missed the mark, and we regret it”.

He added: “We would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior.”

Then you have the reaction from the assholes on the right: Rush Limbaugh furious that Bud Light dropped offensive slogan — claims “rape culture” is a “concoction of the Left” – Salon.com

0b0289b4e092618aed9d8bb8c2d3a41dRush Limbaugh insisted yesterday that the response to Bud Light’s infelicitous new slogan — “the perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night” — was overblown because “there’s no such thing as ‘rape culture’ in America.”

Even though Bud Light already apologized for the ambiguity built into its new slogan, Limbaugh claimed that the only people who would understand it as a tacit endorsement of sexual assault are people who politically motivated to. “What must be your baseline of knowledge to read that tagline and assume that the company was promoting rape?” he asked.

“There is no such thing as ‘rape culture’ in America!” Limbaugh shouted. “It’s a myth! Like so much of liberalism!” He acknowledged that “we have people that rape — we have bad actors in virtually every aspect of life — but to call it a ‘rape culture’ is a concoction of the left, done so as to demand more liberalism in society and more limits on freedom.”

a1f6034c4ebb01ccbb75b6e603ae3058Limbaugh lit into liberals who are concerned with “raising awareness,” claiming that because there are only rapists, but no “rape culture,” all this talk of “raising awareness” is merely “the vehicle for moving the agenda of the Democrat [sic] Party.”

He was none too pleased when Bud Light admitted to a “tone-deafness to the role alcohol plays in ‘rape culture,’” because that admission validates the existence of “rape culture,” which he says no more exists than “global warming or man-made climate change.” Limbaugh claimed that the only evidence of there being a “rape culture” is “a phony story” — since retracted — in Rolling Stone about the University of Virginia.

I hate that man….

a913aab891bcab427d24bf4b292f4cb2Next up, another look at a late night commentary…this time from Jon Stewart: Jon Stewart: ‘It Is Not Okay to Shoot Other People Because You Are Offended’ | Mediaite

Jon Stewart spent most of the first segment of tonight’s Daily Show explaining that there is absolutely zero justification for shooting anyone for offensive speech. Stewart, of course, was reacting to the shooting in Texas last night outside a “Draw Mohammed” cartoon contest.

75c6b99934859baacb69868d66e0ee80The show’s correspondents popped up to ask increasingly ridiculous questions about shooting people (i.e. “what if I really don’t like them?”, ” what if someone is creating a climate of hate and intolerance by appealing to people’s basest fears?”). Stewart kept rebutting them and said “the violence just perpetuates the fear.”

He patiently explained, “It is not okay to shoot other people because you are offended by what they draw. Even if they drew it to offend you, no shooting of them. Never okay!”

The video is at the link, it is good, give it a look.

Young Muslim-Americans Draw Their Own Muhammad | Informed Comment

“Muslims condemned the attack at a Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas. But some of them started drawing cartoons of their own.”

AJ+: “Muslim Americans Draw Their Own Muhammad”

Video also at that link.

Sticking with the Mideast…here is some racism for ya:

0d6d19f2224be5200cfe468e2a092723Jewish Ethiopian racism protest in Israel turns violent – NY Daily News

Several thousand people from Israel’s Jewish Ethiopian minority protested in Tel Aviv against racism and police brutality on Sunday, shutting down a major highway and clashing with police on horseback long into the night.

The protest was mostly peaceful during the day, but by nightfall became violent with at least 20 officers hurt and “multiple protesters” arrested, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Ethiopian Jews: Not Jewish enough – Al Jazeera English

“My blood is good enough for army service, but not good enough after,” shouted a woman at a line of riot police last Thursday in Jerusalem.

93c55c5d55b85eb52449f3e9156dba51“My brother is in Golani [an army unit] and so was I, but I can’t get a job; I face racism when I want to move into an apartment,” said another man in Tel Aviv on Sunday night.

They were two voices out of thousands who turned out for two massive, unprecedented, and at times violent, protests against racism and police brutality in Israel.

There are pictures at those links that look like something from Baltimore or Ferguson. Please, go and read about this situation in Israel. It is looking like this Spring/Summer season is going to be an explosive one. People are fed up and saying Fuck You, in the one way that usually gets the attention of the media…the last resort when things build up to the breaking point.

Okay, back to the sexism for a moment.

c13001655b64a1e682b6f1e249150e4fThis op/ed from the Vancover Sun: Opinion: Sexism already surrounds Princess Charlotte By Naomi Lakritz, Calgary Herald

I’m not much for keeping pace with news of the royals. But the breathless reporting on the birth of the new princess was not only gagworthy, it was rather depressing as well.

Gagworthy, because as one gushing reporter said, the birth of Princess Charlotte makes this the perfect fairy tale cast for William and Kate.

A perfect fairy tale, eh? Wow, they’ve achieved what all the rest of us can’t: marriage and family life without disagreements, stress, problems, exhaustion, worries, kids acting up, kids acting out, or a newborn’s all-night colic. Great!

Wonder what their secret is and if they could bottle it and sell it. Maybe it’s the fact the newest addition to the family will be worth $300 million a year to the British economy before she even turns 10.

That’s what is so depressing. She was barely 24 hours old before her economic worth and her entire future were laid out, in hues of the most sexist and garish pink.

It is fucking good, go and read it.

aba95816da2547c7c0e7f86a5f1eea01Royal-watchers sucbh as Penny Junor, who has written biographies of princes William and Henry, are already predicting Charlotte’s teen years will be difficult.

“She is going to bring so much glamour,” Junor said. “Princesses wear beautiful clothes. They endear themselves in a way boys don’t.”

She sounds as if she’s talking about a Barbie doll, and not a flesh-and-blood little girl who is entitled to her identity. What if Charlotte doesn’t care about glamour or beautiful clothes?

“The thing that worries me is she will be pulled apart. Constantly, people will ask what her hair is like, has she put on weight. It will be hard being a teen princess,” Junor said, pretty much initiating the pulling apart already with her comments.

Other comments in various media outlets ranged from the super-sexist (the little princess can look forward to a life of sparkly shoes) to the inane (certainty that the baby will inherit her mother, Kate’s, love of photography and art) to the sublimely silly (she probably won’t have a military career like her father, but she just might).

Whew.

e8a4ace39109c8c90a970bf5e63a81ddI wish I could quote the whole thing here…but there is lots more said at the link.

The rest of the day’s stories will be in dump format since it is so late and I want to get this posted.

In keeping with the theme:

“They’re full of sh*t”: Sex workers claim A&E exploited them for reality series “8 Minutes” – Salon.com

The production allegedly promised to help dissatisfied sex workers out of the industry and never followed through

 

adb670e72efb1f62dbc4d3c968faf374The Manosphere by the Numbers – Pacific Standard

Membership in online forums and subreddits dedicated to men’s rights, pick-up artistry, and involuntary celibacy (with usernames like Captainpayback):

  • r/seduction, subreddit with tips on manipulating women
         200,145 subscribers
  • pick-up-artist-forum.com, website with tips on manipulating women
         148,511 members
  • r/TheRedPill, subreddit about men’s rights
         98,796 subscribers
  • r/ForeverAlone, subreddit about involuntary celibacy
         37,583 subscribers
  • Love-shy.com, website forum about involuntary celibacy
         4,034 members

169970dcf2a0150ef444990e388bcd53

Fucking give me a fucking break. Sorry….

 

High school in Texas with no sex education policy is dealing with chlamydia outbreak – Love & Sex – Life and Style – The Independent -We have the same problem here in North Georgia. Massive chlamydia outbreak.

Beneath the Debate of the Washington ‘Redskins’ Name is an Underlying Truth: The Vast Majority of Americans Have a Limited — and Often Mistaken — Understanding of Native American History | National Museum of the American Indian

6c0e45a2d88082471aa0f0259b99281aHave y’all seen this? Eighteen black mothers wonder if hospital stole their babies | theGrio

Eighteen black women who were told decades ago that their babies had died soon after birth at a St. Louis hospital now wonder if the infants were taken away by hospital officials to be raised by other families.

It is heartbreaking.

City Council approves $5.5 million in reparations for Burge torture victims | Chicago

07143120c3d7389c63ccd37582b07952Germanwings Co-Pilot Lubitz Rehearsed Crash on Previous Flight: BEA Report – NBC News.com

And it has happened again: EXCLUSIVE: NYPD cop killed with gun stolen from Georgia shop – NY Daily News

Chalk up another killing for the Iron Pipeline.

When Officer Brian Moore was gunned down in Queens Village, it marked the last stop for an illegal weapon stolen 31/2 years earlier from a funky pawnshop in a small town nearly 1,000 miles away.

“Once again, a police officer has been killed with an illegal gun from Georgia — a state that last year did the NRA’s bidding and weakened its already lax gun laws,” carped the group Everytown for Gun Safety.

314b9248ed132704b4aa7f960f0c889aIn other news: Woman slashed face of boyfriend’s dead ex: cops | New York Post

Authorities say a Tulsa woman reached into the casket of her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend at a funeral home and slashed the dead woman’s face.

Shaynna Sims, 26, was arrested after the alleged incident last Thursday on a preliminary complaint of illegally dissecting a human body, which is a misdemeanor.

9e411361b538775f55e0416affbde551The police arrested her at the dead woman’s apartment…weird.

If that story did not freak you out this one will: Compiling a ‘dentist’s handbook’ for penis worms

Look at this description:

A new study of teeth belonging to a particularly phallic-looking creature has led to the compilation of a prehistoric ‘dentist’s handbook’ which may aid in the identification of previously unrecognized specimens from the Cambrian period, 500 million years ago.

b3b0e9230f9b48718f9be87c0afe85b3It sounds like something out of a horror movie: a penis-shaped worm which was able to turn its mouth inside out and drag itself around by its tooth-lined throat, which resembled a cheese grater. But a new study of the rather unfortunately-named penis worm has found that their bizarre dental structure may help in the identification of previously unrecognised fossil specimens from the time on Earth when animals were first coming into their own.

Eeeesh…..

And finally: Team reveals the first ‘images’ of thunder

For the first time, scientists have imaged thunder, visually capturing the sound waves created by artificially triggered lightning. Researchers from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) are presenting the first images at a joint meeting of American and Canadian geophysical societies in Montreal, Canada, May 3-7.

SwRI reveals the first 'images' of thunder

“Lightning strikes the Earth more than 4 million times a day, yet the physics behind this violent process remain poorly understood,” said Dr. Maher A. Dayeh, a research scientist in the SwRI Space Science and Engineering Division. “While we understand the general mechanics of thunder generation, it’s not particularly clear which physical processes of the contribute to the thunder we hear. A listener perceives thunder largely based upon the distance from lightning. From nearby, thunder has a sharp, cracking sound. From farther away, it has a longer-lasting, rumbling nature.”

Although people see it as a flashing bolt, lightning begins as a complex process of electrostatic charges churning around in storm clouds. These charges initiate step leaders, branching veins of electricity propagating down, which subsequently lead to a main discharge channel. That channel opens a path to nearly instantaneous return strokes, which form the lightning flash as we see it. By studying the acoustic power radiated from different portions of the lightning channel, researchers can learn more about the origins of thunder as well as the energetic processes associated with lightning.

Cool innit?

Let’s treat this as an open thread…


Sunday Reads: When R-Rated Movies Meets Golden Books…

Cooly's Lil4Good Afternoon

I’ve been stalling, writing this post today. I don’t really know why, but there it is…

The images for the thread are by Pixel artist Josh Cooley. I found them via Pinterest:

Les films cultes revus par un artiste de Pixar ! on Pinterest

More on MOVIES ‘R’ FUN: The Pre-(Film)School Book That’s Not for Preschoolers | Nerdist

Having a baby can be the most incredible, amazing, life changing experience. But if you’re a new parent that is a true aficionado of the cinema, there’s one cold, harsh reality that sets in almost immediately following the blessed event. This tiny child, this little human in your arms that is beginning their journey on the road of life… will not be able to watch some of 8.5x1113the best moments of the silver screen until he or she is at least SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD.

Well, unless they are my kids…then they get to see American Werewolf in London, Fargo and Goodfellas at an early age…

This is exactly what happened to Josh Cooley – a story supervisor at Pixar Animation Studios. When he realized he wouldn’t be able to share his favorite films with his newborn daughter for many years to come, instead he immediately set to work. The result is the hilarious parody “Movies R Fun,” a tongue-in-cheek easy-reader style book made up of classic scenes from films like Alien, Rosemary’s Baby, A Clockwork Orange, and Silence of The Lambs.

3026556-slide-s-12-movies-r-fun-pixarKids’ Book Versions Of R-Rated Movies

‘Fargo,’ ‘Pulp Fiction,’ and Other Classic R-Rated Movies as Children’s Books – Flavorwire

Anyway, let’s get on with the show…and it is a dump show at that.

School serves meat from 2009, used gravy to mask smell | www.ajc.com

Parents in Hawkins County, Tennessee near Knoxville are outraged after learning children were fed 6-year-old pork roast for lunch.

County Commissioner Michael Herrell was alerted to the problem after a cafeteria worker at Joseph Rogers Primary School sent him a photo of the meat they had for school meals.

The pork roast was dated back to 2009. Workers there didn’t serve the meat, but other schools did.

“The woman that was raising the stink about it, she said it smelled so bad they made gravy to put over the meat, to give it a small to give it a better taste,” Herrell tells WBIR.

Director of Schools Steve Starnes said he learned about the issue April 23. The meat passed their tests.

Josh-Cooley-Movies-R-Fun-12“There were some meats with dates of 2009, 10, 11 in the freezer. Our child nutrition supervisor had the cafeteria managers look at the meat, do the tests, and see if it was OK. The decision was made to serve it,” said Starnes.

Cafeteria workers have been asked to go through inventory and make sure that no expired stock is left on the shelves.  So far, there have been no reports of illness.

I think the key quote on this article is by County Commissioner Herrell:

“We have a lot of kids that go to school, and that might be the only meal they get all day long. And it upsets me that these kids are going to school to get that meal.”

Links on Baltimore:

Larry Wilmore: Baltimore gang members sound ‘like Noam Chomsky’ compared to the cops

Thursday’s Nightly Show episode contains video footage of a meeting in Baltimore between Larry Wilmore and gang leaders in the city. Gang members told Wilmore that — not only do they not condone looting or violence against the police — they actively work to prevent it. But that hasn’t stopped them from getting concussion grenades thrown at them without warning.

3026556-slide-s-15-movies-r-fun-pixarCiting the damage wrought by decades of oppressive policies, including poverty and police brutality, Crips, Bloods, and Black Guerrilla members in Baltimore have banded together to find collaborative solutions to the problems facing their city.

“Whoa. You know the cops are running wild when gang leaders start sounding like Noam Chomsky by comparison,” Larry Wilmore quipped on Thursday’s airing of the Nightly Show.

On Wednesday, Wilmore had taken a train to Baltimore, where he met with local gang leaders at a diner.

Wilson began his discussion by asking the group how it came to diplomatic consensus. Was there a “truce or a treaty?” Did it have to be “ratified by Congress?”

If so, that could be a problem, Wilmore warns. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is “kind of an asshole.”

“We didn’t have a truce or a treaty,” a gang member told Wilmore. “We just had men respecting each other as men. Just like that.”

3026556-slide-s-14-movies-r-fun-pixarBaltimore gang affiliates clarify that they can’t speak for the entire country, but that the Bloods and Crips in Baltimore are no longer at odds with each other.

“This is what we’re doing. We start with us,” a gang leader at the table said.

Where does anger in Baltimore communities come from, Wilmore wonders aloud.

A gang member explains that there’s “only so far back into this corner that you can push me before I have to push back. That’s what happened.”

Wilmore notes that a lot of people just don’t appreciate the reality of on-the-ground life for low-income people in Baltimore.

Which makes sense to at least one gang member at Wilmore’s table. “If you’re living in a million dollar house,” he inquires, “how can you relate to living in the hood getting pushed? You good. So you can’t understand what we going through. Same as, when you be like, I got to pay my property taxes. I can’t relate to that. I’ve never paid property taxes before.”

Yes….just look at the video…

3026556-slide-s-1-movies-r-fun-pixarBaltimore erupts in joy after cops charged in Freddie Gray death

Did this Fox host seriously just ask black people why they don’t riot when police officers get shot?

Addicting Info – Louie Gohmert: It Would Be A ‘Real Shame’ To Stop Mass Incarceration (VIDEO)

Prince Recorded a Song About Baltimore Unrest | Mediaite

In reaction to all the unrest this week over the death of Freddie Gray, Prince recorded a song dedicated to the people of Baltimore.

A spokesperson for the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince said that the song “addresses the unrest in Baltimore and the socio/political issues around the country in the wake of a slew of killings of young black men.”

They also released this image as the art for the single:

Baltimore’s new plantations: Race, police and how little things have changed since Frederick Douglass – Salon.com

WATCH: Protester in ‘F*ck the Police’ Shirt Pepper Sprayed by Baltimore Cops | Mediaite

This next video clip is just to remind you that sometimes…the life does mimic film.

Texas Councilman Takes Bathroom Break, Forgets to Turn Off Microphone | Mediaite

During a recent city council meeting in Georgetown, Texas, Mayor Pro Tem Rachael Jonrowe struggled to keep it together when an unnamed councilman left the room to use the bathroom, accidentally leaving his microphone on the entire time…

Video at the link.

A couple of deaths this past week…

Jayne Meadows dies at 95; actress, wife of Steve Allen – LA Times

Jayne Meadows

Russian ballet dancer Maya Plisetskaya dies at 89 | Stage | The Guardian

Maya Plisetskaya performs at the National Ballet Theatre in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1996.

And BB King…is at home:

BB King ‘receiving hospice care’ – BBC News

BB King

But in Great Britain, a new life is celebrated.

Snapshot: First pictures of Prince William-Kate Middleton’s daughter are out

Take a look at her first photos.

Snapshot: First pictures of Prince William-Kate Middleton's daughter are out

Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was clicked while holding her baby daughter outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital.

Okay she is cute…and if you are inclined: ROYAL BABY: Possible names for the new Princess | Western Morning News

In other news….

3026556-slide-s-6-movies-r-fun-pixarContrast this: Addicting Info – Rich Guy Kills Girl While Driving Drunk, His Family Pays $72k For ‘Luxury’ Jail Cell (VIDEO)

It has been revealed that wealthy families are now allowed to buy their jailed relatives a privileged prison experience, with “pay-to-stay” upgraded cells.

In Southern California, cities including Anaheim, Arcadia, Burbank, Glendale, Huntington Beach, Pasadena, Santa Ana and Torrance allow wealthy inmates to avoid the overcrowded and dangerous jail system by renting upgraded cells for a daily fee.

  • In Pasadena, that fee is $143 per day, plus a one-time administrative fee of $64.
  • In Fullerton, inmates can spend $127 a night to get their own TV, their own phone, and even their own full-size fridge.
  • In Anaheim, wealthy pay-to-stay inmates can check out their own DVD players and work out in a luxury gym.

This means that despite the promise of ‘equal justice for all’, privilege continues even behind bars. This doesn’t only do a dis-service to less privileged inmates, but the victims of wealthy criminals.

828_zz4c8e0a50-550x439To this:

Mother found dead along with son died of natural causes | Miami Herald Miami Herald

Authorities say a woman found dead along with her infant son in a western Pennsylvania apartment died of pneumonia rather than a drug overdose.

The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said an autopsy concluded that 22-year-old Sara Kessler succumbed to bronchial pneumonia caused by a bacterial infection of the heart in her Millvale apartment in March. Her death was ruled due to natural causes.

Officials said her 9-month-old son, Carey, with no one to care for him, died of dehydration. His death was ruled accidental.

Police said originally that they suspected an overdose, but the medical examiner’s office said drugs played no role in her death.

Her brother Matthew Knaus tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the loss has been eased by learning that his sister wasn’t responsible for their deaths.

Uh, excuse me? No…Poverty is cause of death!

Sorry but I will end it on that note….More links in the comments below.

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Goodfellas, The F*cking Best Movie Ever Made. Open Thread.

Goodfellas celebrates 25th anniversary.

Good Evening

It’s been 25 years since “Goodfellas” was released in 1990 and yet the film still remains a favorite. Well, it is my favorite anyway….

You can see what the cast looks like now after 25 years at that link.

The film was celebrated at the Tribeca film festival today.  So enjoy these next few links that discuss the one and only Goodfellas.

‘Goodfellas’ actors spill secrets for 25th anniversary – NY Daily News

Just like the character he played in “Goodfellas,” Ray Liotta sang like a canary Saturday at the 25th anniversary reunion for the mob classic.

Capping the 12-day Tribeca Film Festival, actors Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino and screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi more than amused a Beacon Theatre audience with behind-the-scenes tales from the beloved flick, which opened in 1990.

But it was Liotta, who played mob informant Henry Hill, who truly spilled the beans, telling a rapt crowd that Joe Pesci’s famous “Do I Amuse You” sequence was almost entirely improvised.

“Joe was just telling a story in rehearsal about something that happened to him in Queens,” Liotta recalled. “Some guy, who happened to be a connected guy, said, ‘You think that’s funny?’”

Actually, that is not anything new as far as news…we all have heard about that tale from Joe Pesci before.

But more here:

Tribeca 2015: ‘Goodfellas’ Reunion, Martin Scorsese Said He “Denigrated a Certain Ethnic Group” – Hollywood Reporter

Of the many delicious scenes in Goodfellas, the one that lingers longest is that of Paulie Cicero slicing garlic with a razor blade.

“The character in real life actually did that! And people have asked me if those were stunt hands — no, they’re mine,” Paul Sorvino recalled to The Hollywood Reporter of the move, which he recently re-created on Rachael Ray. “But do not mix garlic and onions together — if I hear you did, I’m going to hunt you down.”

Ray Liotta also joked of the scene, “I like it a little thicker — not as thin as they do!” and Debi Mazar, who actually hadn’t ever seen the movie on the big screen before, warned fans, “Don’t slice your garlic with a razor blade — there’s no reason to do that!”

The three shared hugs at New York City’s Beacon Theatre on Saturday night, along with Robert De Niro and Lorraine Bracco, for the 25th anniversary of the Martin Scorsese gangster classic — a reunion that closed the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and included about a dozen members of the 1990 film’s other cast and crew in the audience.

Joe Pesci couldn’t be here, but he sent this email: ‘F—, f—, f—, f—ity f—, f—'” read De Niro, introducing the film with fest co-founder Jane Rosenthal. “I’ll translate: ‘Dear Bob, sorry I can’t be there. Love to all. Best, Joe.'”

Scorsese and producer Irwin Winkler sent video messages to the audience, as they’re currently filming Silence in Taiwan. “I remember the previews were one of the worst experiences of my life — we had three of them and they were all in California. … It seemed that the audience had to be prepared for what it was, but there was a lot of controversy,” Scorsese said of debuting the crime drama, in which his parents also appear. He then addressed screenwriter Nicholas Pileggi: “Remember that nice Italian restaurant in Tribeca that we used to go to? And then when the film came out, the owner of the restaurant said we’re not allowed in anymore because we apparently denigrated a certain ethnic group for the picture?”

That I have to say no…I can’t agree with that. Because what I saw, is what I grew up with. Sorry.

The scene with the Mother and Tommy and eating spaghetti and talking about settling down…no, that is as real as it gets.

As far as the mobsters and the violence, ugh….no comment. (Cough…cough.)

11 Things We Learned About Goodfellas — Vulture

Author and co-screenwriter Pileggi didn’t believe it was Scorsese calling him.

After Wiseguy, Pileggi’s book about the life of Henry Hill, came out, Martin Scorsese called the writer numerous times to talk about adapting it. Pileggi, a writer for New York (hey!) at the time, said he would get “these pink slips saying, ‘Call Marty Scorsese.’” But he refused to believe it was Scorsese calling; he thought they were messages from David Denby, then the magazine’s film critic. Scorsese, unable to figure out why Pileggi wasn’t calling him back, got someone in his office to call Pileggi’s wife, the late Nora Ephron, and told her to tell the writer to call him back. Pileggi came home that night to an irate Ephron: “Are you crazy? Marty Scorsese’s been trying to reach you! Call him back!”

That is the first of the eleven, go and see the other ten…

Jon Stewart geeks out over “Goodfellas” at Tribeca: “One of my most favorite movies of all time” – Salon.com

Jon Stewart geeks out over "Goodfellas" at Tribeca: "One of my most favorite movies of all time"

In addition to celebrating the power of film, this year’s Tribeca Film Festival also provided an opportunity for all our esteemed fake news hosts to geek out over their favorite films. Colbert talked to his hero George Lucas about “Star Wars,” John Oliver moderated a lively Monty Python reunion, and last night, diehard “Goodfellas” fanboy Jon Stewart closed out the festival with a celebration of the 25th anniversary of Martin Scorsese’s iconic gangster film.

Following a screening of a remastered print of the film at New York’s Beacon Theater, Stewart moderated a Q&A with stars Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta, Paul Sorvino, Lorraine Bracco and screenwriter and “Wiseguy” author Nicholas Pileggi.

“What a thrill for me tonight, this is one of my most favorite movies of all time,” said Stewart upon introducing the panel, adding that the film was “one that, when I saw back in 1990, nearly ruined my life, because at that point, I could only talk in ‘Goodfellas.’ I was a comedian, so you can only imagine our conversations ended with ‘funny, how?’”

Scorsese, who couldn’t be there because he was shooting in Taipei, sent a taped video message, in which he chatted candidly about the film and gave a shoutout to the panel’s moderator, saying: “Jon, if you were around at the time, we would’ve put you in the picture. I’m not exactly sure where, but…”

[…]

Super-fan Stewart, meanwhile, appeared to still be holding out hope for a sequel. “When you do a classic like this and then you think about ‘Godfather 1,’ ‘Godfather 2,’ ‘Godfather 3,’ do you think ‘Goodfellas,’ ‘Greatfellas?’” he quipped to the group. “You could have ruined this very easily.”

And now a bit of the real thing:

The Real Goodfellas: The Mysterious Fate of Tommy DeSimone

Goodfellas buried Tommy DeVito in a closed coffin. The real Tommy D came to a more crushing end.

SPOILER ALERT:This article is all about endings, but it is still has no finish.

In Martin Scorsese’s classic gangster film Goodfellas, Tommy DeVito, played by Joe Pesci, gets whacked by John Gotti’s family in retribution for killing made man Billy Batts, played by Frank Vincent. Robert De Niro’s character “Jimmy the Gent” Conway gets the news in a phone booth which he pummels in a fit of rage. Scorsese got his dope from Henry Hill, who ratted out his friends to the feds and told all in a best-selling book called Wise Guy. In the movie, Tommy has to be buried in a closed coffin because he was shot in the face.

Tommy DeVito is based on Tommy DeSimone, aka “Two-Gun Tommy” or “Tommy D.” Most news reports, including one of mine, are based on Wise Guy and the press reports surrounding the $6 million dollar Lufthansa heist at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The problem is, the Gotti crew had nothing to do with the death of DeSimone. Tommy wasn’t buried in a closed coffin. He was never buried at all. His body was never found.

Pretty much everyone is familiar with Joe Pesci, either from his role in popular Christmas-themed children’s film Home Alone or his role in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning gangster classic Goodfellas. He largely retired from acting in 1999, but starting today, you can see him on the big screen in Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys. Just one hitch: you’ll be seeing an actor (Joseph Russo) playing the character “Joe Pesci” rather than the actor Joe Pesci playing a character in the film.

Jersey Boys the film is based on Jersey Boys the play, which tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons from the group’s inception all the way through to (spoiler alert) the group’s reunion at the 1990 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Turns out, Joe Pesci actually played a not-inconsequential role in the formation of the popular doo-wop band. Growing up near Newark, N.J., young Pesci was friendly with Tommy Devito and the rest of the band and, according to the canon that the film presents, Pesci connected DeVito (the band’s behind-the-scenes leader at the time) with “Short-Shorts” writer Bob Gaudio, who would later write nearly all of the Four Seasons’ most popular songs. Now, according to the movie, DeVito works for Pesci. Yeah, that Joe Pesci. Small world, right?

The connection doesn’t end there, though. Later, Pesci—the actor, not the Jersey Boys character, who was a real person but not played by Joe Pesci because real-life Pesci was already in his 60s by the time Jersey Boys the play arrived on Broadway in 2005—starred in Scorsese’s Goodfellas. His name in the film? Tommy DeVito. And in case that weren’t enough of an in-joke, at one point during Goodfellas, Karen (Lorraine Bracco) confronts Henry (Ray Liotta), and says to him, “”Who the hell do you think you are, Frankie Valli or some kinda big shot?” Valli, in addition to being the lead singer in the Four Seasons, also allegedly had ties to the Italian mob (as did DeVito), so there’s more than enough self-referentiality going on here.

Anyhow, here’s the point: without Joe Pesci, we likely wouldn’t have The Four Seasons, Jersey Boys (the play or the film), Goodfellas or My Cousin Vinny. There are likely plenty more links to be made, but probably best to stop here before the universe collapses on itself.

So….what do you know…ain’t that funny….funny how?

But quick:

Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 atomic bombs – Asia – World – The Independent

Clinton Foundation on Donor Disclosure: ‘We Made Mistakes’ | Mediaite

Stephanopoulos Challenges Clinton Cash Author: ‘Is There a Smoking Gun?’ | Mediaite

Smoke But No Gun Yet | The Mahablog

John Boehner Accuses Hillary Clinton of Breaking the Law

And this next story is crazy…

‘F*ck this court — I AM Justice': Woman uncorks berserk legal rant after civil rights suit tossed

Full court filing can be found here: Very Angry Lady Successfully Files “Fuck This Court” Legal Brief

and if you read down at that Gawker link for the Pepperment comment you will find the full story behind the story:

http://gawker.com/this-is-amazing-by-the-way-the-background-is-that-our-1699883511

This is an open thread.


Friday Late Nite: Is this coming to an end?

Hello, and good late night.

The cartoon posts are getting more and more difficult to do lately, the websites I usually find these lovelies are making it harder for me to post the cartoon images. So I am left to give you the links and let you go and look at the images yourself.

From Cagle:

Earth Day 2015 by Political Cartoonist Rick McKee

Oil trains by Political Cartoonist Milt Priggee

Billionaire Frat Boys by Political Cartoonist Pat Bagley

Migrants by Political Cartoonist Joe Heller

Botched drone strike by Political Cartoonist Jimmy Margulies

Income Inequality by Political Cartoonist R.J. Matson

Armenian atrocity 100th by Political Cartoonist Dave Granlund

Koch Bulimia by Political Cartoonist Randall Enos

Drone accuracy Repost by Political Cartoonist Taylor Jones

Genocides by Political Cartoonist Steve Greenberg

Women’s freedoms by Political Cartoonist Osama Hajjaj

Greece and Russia by Political Cartoonist Gatis Sluka

Now for the few cartoons that I can share the images with you, for now….

4/26 Luckovich cartoon: Speak of the devil | Mike Luckovich

042615-toon-luckovich-ed

4/24 Luckovich cartoon: So you think you can dance? | Mike Luckovich

042415-toon-luckovich-ed

Migrant Boat – Truthdig

Dr Oz – Truthdig

Scott Walker and the Kochs – Truthdig

This is an open thread.


Monday Reads: All the News from the District Of Derpistan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

dr-strangelove-merkwurdichliebe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday Reads: What Happened to Lennon Lacy?

lennon-lacy crime scene

Good Morning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lennon Lacy

Lennon Lacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lennon Lacy's grave after it was desecrated.

Lennon Lacy’s grave after it was desecrated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michelle Brimhall, Lennon Lacy's girlfriend

Michelle Brimhall, Lennon Lacy’s girlfriend

Back to the WaPo article:

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

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

To Claudia Lacy, the investigation felt rushed.

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

The is much more information at the link.

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

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

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

Lennon Lacy

Lennon Lacy

More quotes from Lacy’s family at MadameNoire:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still, many questions remain.

Yes, there are many questions that must be answered.

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

What do you think?

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


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

56b250899d052635aa135b7416468a91Good Morning

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

On with the post.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now the shit for shit’s sake.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

fe89f89875c990805ec52895038d0fcfThe Art of Dealing With Cuba – NationalJournal.com

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

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

Tennessee attorney general says Bible bill unconstitutional | Reuters

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

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

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

Experimental drug may repair nerve damage in multiple sclerosis — ScienceDaily

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

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

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

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

 

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

5bd6808d8cdb698f94f2a0dc76d21b62

This is an open thread.