Good Morning (Just Barely)!!
The NFL domestic violence news is even worse this morning than it seemed yesterday. It turns out the child that Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson beat up is only four years old. And TMZ has published photos of some of the wounds.
The report had been that the child was hit with a “switch,” but according to TMZ, it was a belt. A four year old child! Peterson should never be allowed to see his children again without a very large social worker present. TMZ live updates:
4:12 PM PT — According to the police report, Peterson allegedly sent text messages to the child’s mother saying he “felt bad” because he struck the kid in the testicles.
“Got him in the nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I’m all tearing that butt up when needed!” the text said.
Peterson allegedly sent a follow up text saying, “Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has he biggest heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.”
4:10 PM PT — According to the police report, the child told authorities he had also been hit by a belt and there were “a lot of belts in daddy’s closet.”
The child also said AP had put leaves in his mouth when he was being struck and that his pants were down.
3:50 PM PT — The Vikings have deactivated Peterson for Sunday’s game….
3:00 PM PT — The police report on the case includes photos of cuts on the boy’s thigh and hands. He also had bruises on his lower back and buttocks, and according to the report … Peterson admitted punishing him.
The child may have been confused about the weapon he was attacked with, because police report that it was a tree branch (AKA a “switch.”) The child’s mother told police that several of the wounds were still bleeding when the child arrived at home in Minnesota.
Peterson will not be playing against the New England Patriots today, but why hasn’t he been suspended by the team and the league? He was arrested and charged back in May!
Gary Myers writes in The New York Daily News, Roger Goodell should throw Adrian Peterson out of the NFL for the Vikings RB’s alleged acts of child abuse.
This might be the worst week in the history of the NFL, with another despicable act by a privileged player taking Roger Goodell’s league to an unfathomable low.
Could it get any worse than the elevator video that surfaced Monday of Ray Rice knocking out Janay Palmer with a vicious punch to the face? Apparently it can with the indictment Friday of Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson, one of the faces of the NFL, for injuring his 4-year-old son by spanking him with a tree branch in May after removing the leaves. A warrant has been issued for Peterson’s arrest.
Goodell can begin to make up for his mishandling of the Rice case by immediately suspending Peterson for the season and then throwing him out of the league. Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, issued a
statement saying Peterson used the same type of discipline on his son that he experienced as a child growing up in East Texas, as if that condones pulling the boy’s pants down and inflicting cuts and bruises doctors found all over the little boy’s body.
It certainly is. Texas authorities should throw the book at Peterson. Get this, according to Myers, the punishment was for the four-year-old pushing another one of Peterson’s children away from a video game. For that, this small child was beaten with a tree branch. And Peterson doesn’t believe what he did was wrong! In my opinion, no one should ever hit a child. Period. Hitting a child isn’t effective in changing behavior in the first place, and in the second place, violence against children only perpetuates the generational cycle of violence. If we are ever to be a truly civilized society, we must work together to change the idea that it is okay to hit children.
According to Myers, Roger Goodell doesn’t have to wait for a conviction to discipline Peterson.
One of the circumstances that allows Goodell to punish Peterson is “conduct that imposes inherent danger to the safety and well-being of another person.”
The Vikings at least deserve credit for doing the right thing and deactivating Peterson for Sunday’s home opener against the Patriots, which pretty much eliminates any chance they had to win the game. They value common decency over winning. If Goodell doesn’t suspend Peterson, the Vikings should deactivate him every week.
Regardless of what he decides to do now that the photos and police report have been made public, it’s time for Goodell to step down.
Rant over for now.
I need to take a few deep, cleansing breaths . . . .
CNN has released new video of two witnesses reacting right after the Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
(CNN) — Two men, shocked at what they saw, describe an unarmed teenager with his hands up in the air as he’s gunned down by a police officer.
They were contractors doing construction work in Ferguson, Missouri, on the day Michael Brown was killed.
And the men, who asked not to be identified after CNN contacted them, said they were about 50 feet away from Officer Darren Wilson when he opened fire.
An exclusive video captures their reactions during the moments just after the shooting.
“He had his f**n hands up,” one of the men says in the video….
The men didn’t see the beginning of the altercation, but:
“The cop didn’t say get on the ground. He just kept shooting,” the man said.
That same witness described the gruesome scene, saying he saw Brown’s “brains come out of his head,” again stating, “his hands were up.”
The video shows the man raising his arms in the air — just as, he says, Brown was doing when he was shot.
The other contractor told CNN he saw Brown running away from a police car.
Brown “put his hands up,” the construction worker said, and “the officer was chasing him.”
The contractor says he saw Wilson fire a shot at Brown while his back was turned.
I wonder if the grand jury is hearing from any of the witness that the media has located?
The Houston Chronicle reports that there is a New focus on minority voting after Brown’s death.
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — A few miles from the street where Michael Brown died is the grave of Dred Scott, a slave who went to the Supreme Court and tried, unsuccessfully, to be recognized as a free American citizen.
One hundred and fifty-seven years later, a white police officer’s fatal shooting of Brown — unarmed, black and 18 years old — raises fresh questions about the extent to which blacks in suburban towns are regarded as full partners by the officials and law enforcers elected largely by and responsive to small segments of the population.
Political participation is increasing on the national level for blacks and Hispanics. On the local level, voting continues to be struggle, as it is in this St. Louis suburb.
In the most recent city election in April, only 1,484 of Ferguson’s 12,096 registered voters cast ballots, easily re-electing the mayor. Next year voters can weigh in again on their municipal government through city council elections.
Nationally, only 1 in 4 four voters turns out for mayoral elections in the largest cities, according to a 2013 study of 340 mayoral elections in 144 cities from 1996 to 2012 by Thomas M. Holbrook and Aaron C. Weinschenk of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin Green Bay.
Missouri does not ask about race or ethnicity on its voter registration forms. But roughly two-thirds of Ferguson’s residents are black. The police force is predominantly white. Five of Ferguson’s six city council members are white, as is the mayor. The grand jury investigating the Brown case has six white men, three white women, two black women and one black man.
I don’t know if anyone else is following “Gamergate,” the controversy of on-line attacks on women who design and write about video games. Recently feminist video game critic Anita Sarkeesian was forced to leave her home after receiving death threats from male gamers who were enraged her video blogs. Yesterday The Guardian published an article about another female game creator, Zoe Quinn.
Since late August Zoe Quinn, the developer of indie gaming’s critical hit Depression Quest, has been the target of a campaign that saw her Tumblr hacked, address posted online and terrifyingly plausible plans to cripple her laid out with cold-blooded straightforwardness….
In public the rationale for this was the allegation that Quinn lay at the centre of a network of corruption in videogaming that saw personal favours traded to elevate a network of her friends with controversial ideas about gaming above “true” gamers.
In private the rationale was simpler. Quinn was an example of a “social justice warrior”: a critic of games culture interested in opening the medium to audiences including women, queer people and people of colour. Her persecutors discussed how best to fulfil the aim of driving “SJWs” from gaming while maintaining the pretence that the campaign was about corruption.
One of the problems with using an anonymous platform to orchestrate your hate campaign is that you can never quite be sure who is listening. On 6 September, the inhabitants of a chatroom called #Burgersandfries learned this themselves.
The site was where a small collection of gamers linked to /v/, the videogame subforum of notorious image board 4chan, met to organise their “raids” on Quinn.
What they didn’t know was that Quinn was watching.
You probably need to read the whole story to understand the dynamics of this issue, so head over to The Guardian if you’re interested.
Oscar Pistorius Verdict
I hate to keep posting so much about violence against women, but that is what is in the news this week. After the Oscar Pistorius verdict, ABC News spoke to Pistorius’ former girlfriend, Samantha Taylor: Oscar Pistorius’ Ex-Girlfriend: ‘It Could’ve Been Me’.
Taylor said she dated Pistorius before he began dating Steenkamp. At his murder trial, Taylor served as a valuable witness for the prosecution. She said parts of Pistorius’ story about what happened the night Steenkamp died did not ring true.
“There were things that didn’t match up to my experience staying at his house,” she said.
For example, while Pistorius claimed during his testimony the bedroom was pitch black so he didn’t see Steenkamp go to the bathroom, Taylor said Pistorius did not typically keep his room that dark.
“He usually slept with the curtains fairly open. He always had some light coming in,” said Taylor.
And although Pistorius did startle easily, Taylor said he would always ask her about any sudden noises and found it odd that he said he didn’t make physical contact with Steenkamp the night she was killed.
Taylor said she was just 17 years old when she first met the then 24-year-old Pistorius at a rugby match in 2010.
“When I met him, I actually didn’t know who he was,” Taylor said. “He was very charming. He is a really good guy, you know. He was very respectful, very kind.”
But over time, Taylor said Pistorius would get angry at her for little things, such as not taking her plate to the kitchen, and that he could be jealous and possessive.
“He used to often look through my phone, ask me who my friends were. I think he had that control over who’s in my life and who’s not,” she said. “I was his.”
According to Taylor, Pistorious always carried a gun, and once when she was in a car with him, he shot a gun out of the sunroof.
A few more headlines, links only
The Boston Globe, The Northern Lights Shined on New England in Incredible Color Last Night.
The Guardian via Climate Central, Climate Change Threatens Half of North America’s Birds.
Will Scotland vote for independence from Great Britain? The Wall Street Journal, Severing Scotland From U.K. Is No Easy Task.
The Washington Post, U.S.-led coalition seeks to exclude Iran from fight against Islamic State.
Raw Story, Jerry Seinfeld questions Bill Maher: ‘What do you care’ if Hillary Clinton’s running or not? (Maher says he’ll vote for Rand Paul over Hillary Clinton.)
What else is happening? Let us know in the comment thread, and have a great weekend!