There’s a new way to look at a drought. Instead of blaming the ever changing climate on man’s addiction to fossil fuels, the white supremacists who comprise the group, VDare blame those lousy undocumented Mexicans. VDare is short for Virginia Dare.
In the right wing’s never-ending quest to deny the effects of man-made climate change, these proud white Americans know better. It’s the illegals, stupid. Their views are crystal clear in this brown-phobic rant, California Water Shortage Now “Critical”–What Could Be The Reason? The group, as is de rigueur, blames Mexicans and non-whites for most of society’s woes. The article uses a paltry excuse for evidence to make the point that it’s the fault of those who have the nerve to be non-white and not an original Colonialist
This business owner, Jan Morgan, has made her business a “Muslim free zone.” Her reasonings are listed on her website and it’s the most sickly Islamophobic bullshit I’ve read. But what’s even worse is the comments from so many people supporting her and spewing equally horrible comments.
And this is just a small portion from the comments sections. Practically every single comment I saw was saying the same thing. Please tell me again how America is so tolerant? It’s honestly scary how people are saying this discrimination “needs to be done,” or that “desperate times call for desperate measures.” That type of talk rings back into some dark times in history and it’s fucking terrifying.
A Boston police officer has been identified as the man behind an offensive Facebook page that attacked LGBT people, Jews, women and people of different races.
A WCVB investigation determined that Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Police Officer Jason Barriteau had created the offensive Facebook page using “Al Sharpton” as an alias.
The station said that most of the scores of images posted by Barriteau were too offensive to be shown on the air, but several of the examples showed him mocking people with Down Syndrome, homosexuals, transgendered people, and he also posted an image of a man titled “The Rape Train Stops for No One.”
There were also examples of comments attacking obese people, Hispanics, and Asians. In one case, Barriteau is pictured wearing a T-shirt with the Pillsbury Doughboy sporting an Adolf Hitler mustache, and the words “White Flour.”
But when WCVB’s Kathy Curran caught up with Barriteau as he was getting in his car, he didn’t have much to say.
“I know who you are, I’m not going to say nothing to you, so I’m all set,” he quipped before speeding off.
Anti-Defamation League regional director Robert Trestan told WCVB that the Pillsbury Doughboy T-shirt was very troubling.
“It brings up all the memories of the millions of people who were killed during World War II,” Trestan said. “Some of the photos project racism and some of the photos project anti-Semitism and it’s concerning.”
MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott told Curran that she was “shocked” when she learned about Barriteau’s Facebook page.
“That’s the best way I could describe it,” she recalled. “As I flipped from one picture to the other it was so offensive on every front. This is what you call just plain old deliberate, you knew what you were doing, it’s just totally unacceptable. You know, it was blatant.”
The MBTA social media policy prohibits officers from posting racist, sexist, or other objectionable material.
Court documents showed that Barriteau was given immunity in 2003 after he was on the scene while another officer beat a homeless man.
WCVB reported that Barriteau was currently on paid administrative leave.
Watch the video below from WCVB, broadcast Sept. 29, 2014.
A day before early voting was to begin in Ohio, a 5-4 split court stops lower court rulings from going into effect that allowed for more extensive early voting in the Buckeye state.
WASHINGTON — A day before early voting was due to begin in Ohio, the Supreme Court, on a 5-4 vote, stopped it before it began.
Although early voting will still happen in Ohio, the state’s NAACP had sued to stop a new state law and an associated order from Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted that restrict early voting in the state from going into effect.
The group won at the trial court and the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, but, on Monday afternoon, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay of this past week’s order from the 6th Circuit — putting the new rules back into effect.
The court’s more liberal members — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan — would have denied the state’s request for a stay.
CLAYTON, MO (AP) - The suburban St. Louis County police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old has enlisted a police union attorney who has spent decades representing members of law enforc…
The suburban St. Louis County police officer who fatally shot an unarmed 18-year-old has enlisted a police union attorney who has spent decades representing members of law enforcement in court.
James P. Towey Jr. told The Associated Press Monday that he represents Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Wilson is under a grand jury investigation over whether he used excessive force in the early August shooting death of Michael Brown.
Towey is general counsel for the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police and a former general counsel for the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
The attorney did not provide details about the whereabouts of Wilson, who has gone into hiding since Brown’s death. But Towey said that Wilson may be willing to publicly discuss the case in the future.
Melissa Klein, one of the owners of a Christian bakery who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and have since been fighting the state of Oregon over the matter, broke into tears when describing her business during a panel at the Values Voter Summit on Friday.
"For me personally when I would sit down with them I just would want to know everything about her wedding. I’d want to know about the flowers, her dress, the centerpieces, her colors, the way her hair is going to be. I would even want to talk about ‘where are you going on your honeymoon?’" Melissa Klein (pictured) said before tearing up.
In January, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries said that there was serious evidence that the couple broke the law by refusing to bake a cake for the lesbian couple.
"I would just feel so honored to be part of such an amazing, special day," Klein said, fighting back tears, of how she felt baking the cakes.
Moderator Peter Sprigg then asked the couple about legal action taken against them.
"I mean quite frankly, they didn’t just harass us, they harassed the other wedding vendors that we did business with. It cut off our referral system," Aaron Klein, Melissa’s husband, said. “We had to shut the shop down. Melissa does very limited cakes out of our house. I mean we’re facing in excess of $150,000 of damages for this, just for simply standing by my first amendment rights.”
Klein said it’s a “violation of my conscience, I mean it’s a violation of my religious freedom.”
"I mean it’s horrible to see your own government doing this to you," Aaron Klein said.
Sprigg later asked the couple if the whole dispute was really about sexual orientation.
"It’s about marriage and the event," Aaron Klein said.
Last week, after being fired from his job at a food processing plant in Oklahoma, a man named Alton Nolen attacked and beheaded a former coworker. Seizing on reports that Nolen was a convert to Islam who went by the name Jah’Keem Yisrael, Bryan Fischer has now flown into a frenzy that this crime is proof that ISIS is now in the United States.
But it turns out that, according to Fischer, Islam is not solely to blame for this crime as efforts to legalize or decriminalize drugs are also responsible.
You see, Nolen was sentenced to six years in prison on drug charges back in 2011, but was released after less than two. Then, over a year later, he killed a coworker which is why Fischer declared today that he doesn’t want to hear any more “nonsense” about legalizing drugs!
"Everybody wants to legalize drugs, we’ve got to reduce the penalty for drugs, we’re over-criminalizing drugs"Fischer said dismissively. "If he had done his full six years … then Colleen Hufford would still be alive today. So I don’t want to hear any more nonsense about legalizing [or] decriminalizing drugs":
You will not be surprised to learn that, contrary to Fischer’s position, Nolen’s release from prison had nothing to do with efforts to legalize or decriminalize drugs:
He began his six-year sentence for cocaine possession April 26, 2011, records show. Because of plea agreements with prosecutors, he was allowed to serve the three prison sentences at the same time.
He was released on March 22, 2013, records show. Because of credits, he was able to complete all three prison sentences in just two years.
Prison records show Nolen was given credit for time spent in jail before prison, good conduct, a transition program and other reasons. One month, he got 151 days total off his time to do, the records show.
Ex-Senator and religious film producer Rick Santorum blasted practitioners of Islam at the Values Voter Summit this past week, contending that the current conflict in the Middle East is a product of an age-old fight between the West and those who see the world in a “fundamentally different” way — namely, Muslims.
During his speech to the assembly on Friday and a subsequent interview with The Daily Beast, Santorum drew a firm line between the Muslim world and the “Western world,” arguing that America’s current conflict with the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) represents “a very big clash [of civilizations].” He then went on to insist on a distinction between Islam and Christianity, implying that Christians have moved beyond the kind of violence exhibited by groups like ISIS.
“Christendom [once] expanded by the sword, that doesn’t happen anymore … you don’t have any Baptist ministers going on jihad,” Santorum, who is Catholic, said. “The Western world has come to terms with religious liberty, freedom of conscience, and that persuasion is the way to spread the faith.”
“[There is] a fundamental foundational problem in Islam of embracing issues of freedom of conscience and religious persecution,” he later added.
Santorum’s comments elicited applause from those at the summit, but appear to ignore recent examples of people who cite Christianity as justification for violence and hate. The Lord’s Resistance Army in Western Africa, which claims to pursue the teachings of Jesus Christ, regularly terrorizes villages and enlists child soldiers to do its bidding. Fighters who claim to be both Christian and Muslim continue to clash in the Central African Republic, where atrocities have been enacted by fighters on both sides. And while there likely aren’t Baptist ministers going on jihad — primarily because jihad is a Muslim concept, albeit one that doesn’t necessarily require to violence — the Westboro Baptist Church has certainly engaged in its own war of words with those who don’t share their views, and currently maintains a website entitled “God Hates Islam.”
Also, while Santorum casts the West as a region that has moved beyond religious persecution, many in the United States still struggle to freely exercise their faith. Religious minorities such as Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, and many other believers throughout the Untied States regularly endure physical beatings and attacks on their houses of worship at the hands of those who disagree with them.
On the September 23 edition of her radio program, ABC News contributor Laura Ingraham mocked José Díaz-Balart for conducting a bilingual interview with María Cruz Ramírez on his MSNBC show. Ingraham said, "I can’t even follow what he’s saying because it’s so herky-jerky. Are we sure he’s a native Spanish speaker?"
Díaz-Balart responded on the September 26 edition of the Telemundo show Un Nuevo Día, saying, “It happens to many people everywhere, all the time. But you know what? We are here to contribute. To take our families forward. To contribute to this country.”
Keep one eye on the Supreme Court today and tomorrow, as it holds its “Long Conference” about all the petitions it got over the summer. In the mix are five cases asking the same question: Are bans on same-sex marriage constitutional? Join me below as I split into multiple personalities to explain it.
Keep one eye on the Supreme Court today and tomorrow, as it holds its “Long Conference” about all the petitions it got over the summer. In the mix are five cases asking the same question: Are bans on same-sex marriage constitutional? Join me below as I split into multiple personalities to explain it.
Wait, they’re having a hearing today?
It’s not a hearing. It’s an administrative meeting where the judges sit down and decide what cases they’ll hear next. The proceedings are secret. The Supreme Court Historical Society describes ritual handshakes and particular seats at the table. I’m sure it’s all very nerdy. They discuss the cases and vote on whether to take them. It takes only four votes to “grant certiorari.”
What are the cases under consideration?
There are seven of them, emanating from three different federal courts of appeal, striking down bans in five states: Michigan, Indiana, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Utah. If that math seems confusing, blame the fact that the definition of marriage is governed by state law, and salt that with the pride of lawyers. As Adam Liptak detailed in the Times last week, there is a lot of jockeying among them to be the counsel that argues the historic case whenever the Court chooses to hear it.
Is the Court definitely going to decide to take one of these cases today?
Almost no one thinks the Court will turn down all the gay marriage cases today. But it’s not clear that they will grant certiorari in any of them just at this moment either. Last week, Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave a talk at the University of Minnesota’s law school where she hinted that the Court is waiting for a federal appeals court to deviate from the trend and uphold a gay marriage ban. That would create a “circuit split” and lead the Court to step in.
If that is indeed what the Court does, theoretically a circuit split could happen soon. The Sixth Circuit has yet to deliver its decision in an appeal heard in July on cases in Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee, and observers at the time seemed to think there was a chance it could uphold a gay-marriage ban. The Fifth Circuit is also gearing up to hear appeals of gay-marriage ban decisions from Louisiana and Texas, and as noted by Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog, its roster of judges is so conservative there’s a good chance of a split consensus there too.
The truth is, the Court can just keep putting off the gay marriage cases until it feels like taking one.
That would be anticlimactic.
Yes, it would. The arc of history bends towards justice or whatever, but sometimes it’s a really slow ride on the alleged rollercoaster.
But why does the media keep saying things happened fast, gay-marriage-wise?
They both did and didn’t. It’s been just over a year since the Court held 5-4, in United States v. Windsor, that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. The Court actually refrained there from pronouncing directly on the constitutionality of gay marriage; it was ruling on federalism, and also in a connected case from California, a procedural issue.
That led, yes, in part to the sudden avalanche of decisions and appeals in federal courts on this issue.
That said, there are a hell of a lot of gay families out there who believe this can’t happen fast enough.
Is there some way in which I can mock Justice Scalia in connection with this?
The nation’s greatest hater of rock-and-roll can at least be credited with seeing the writing on the wall here. He churlishly bitched about it in Windsor, which he basically said was a Trojan horse for gay marriage:
By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition. Henceforth those challengers will lead with this Court’s declaration that there is “no legitimate purpose” served by such a law, and will claim that the traditional definition has “the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure” the “personhood and dignity” of same-sex couples, see ante, at 25, 26. The majority’s limiting assurance will be meaningless in the face of language like that, as the majority well knows. That is why the language is there. The result will be a judicial distortion of our society’s debate over marriage—a debate that can seem in need of our clumsy “help” only to a member of this institution.
(Scalia also pats himself on the back in passing for seeing this coming as early as Lawrence v. Texas, the anti-sodomy case.)
Many of the decisions striking down gay marriage bans cite that passage of Scalia’s dissent. You could read that gleefully, thinking Scalia didn’t predict the consequences; I don’t know that I buy that. I think he probably knew full well. “That is why the language is there.” It gives Scalia a pretext to complain, again, that he predicted all of this. And thus compliment even as he behaves like the absolute sorest of losers in judgement. That is the Scalia way.
Many of the police officers present during protests that followed the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri did not wear nametags and refused to identify themselves to members of the public when asked, a practice that is prohbited by law in some places and by department policy in many…
Many of the police officers present during protests that followed the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri did not wear nametags and refused to identify themselves to members of the public when asked, a practice that is prohbited by law in some places and by department policy in many others. Per a Department of Justice letter sent to Ferguson police on September 23, Ferguson officers are in fact required to wear identification by the department’s own regulations. The DoJ instructed officers to begin following this requirement immediately. From Reuters:
…the Justice Department said its investigators had observed Ferguson police officers not wearing, or obscuring, their name tags on their uniforms, a violation of the police department’s rules.
"The failure to wear name plates conveys a message to community members that, through anonymity, officers may seek to act with impunity," the letter said.
The Justice Department then reiterated the identification requirement in a second letter to Ferguson police (whose main purpose was demanding that officers stop wearing “I Am Darren Wilson” solidarity bracelets).
It further was reported to us that some officers affirmatively displaying these bracelets had black tape over their name plates. The practice of not wearing, or obscuring, name plates violates your own department’s policies, which we advised you earlier this week when we requested that you end the practice imrnediately.
The second letter is dated September 26, which was last Friday. Here’s an excerpt from a New York Times account of events in Ferguson on Sunday.
A gaggle of journalists standing near the protest spotted a police officer who was not wearing a name tag. When a cameraman asked his name, the officer refused to give it and left the area
Maybe the third time will be the charm when it comes to the Justice Department reminding Ferguson to follow their own rules.
On September 29, the Supreme Court will assemble for a private conference where they will take their first look at potentially hearing one or more of the pending cases. All of the marriage cases decided by the federal courts of appeal since the DOMA ruling are scheduled for this conference. Seven petitions to hear the four decisions affecting five states— three from Virginia, and one each from Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin — will be submitted to the Justices at this session. Lambda Legal supported the petitions on behalf of our clients in both the Bostic case (with the ACLU) in Virginia and the Baskin case in Indiana.
In this conference on September 29th, the Justices can vote to grant review in any one or any combination of the marriage cases before them, or none of them. We won’t hear what the Court has done on the 29th, of course. Usually, the cases granted review will be issued as part of an orders list, which is generally released on the Monday morning after the Justices’ private conference. However, the Court has been known to issue an orders list earlier than that in order to expedite briefing and related activities, so we could possibly hear as early as Tuesday, September 30th, whether the Court will hear a marriage case and, if so, which one or more it has selected for review.
Because the LGBT movement was just in this same watchful position last year, we remember that there can be delays in issuing orders. The Court’s decisions about which case or cases to hear involves a good deal of complexity and may not be made right away. If the Court does grant review of any marriage cases any time up to the middle of January, arguments will be scheduled some time in the spring, and a final decision would be expected by next summer.
Jesse Lee Peterson responds in WorldNetDaily today to an Oklahoma man’s beheading of a coworker — there are reports that the man had converted to Islam but no evidence at this point that the crime was connected to terrorism — by asking, “Why are blacks so susceptible to being radicalized?”
Peterson’s answer, of course, is single parenthood, “Marxist-influenced” teachers who “encourage their anger toward America by promoting the lie that their country is ‘racist,’” rap music, the Obama administration, and…black pastors who have “co-opted” the Black Church to “promote racism and are helping to keep blacks angry.”
Why are blacks so susceptible to being radicalized?
The poisonous atmosphere starts in the home. The father is the spiritual head and protector of the family. But with more than 70 percent (in some cities 85 percent) of black children born out of wedlock, that spiritual protection is missing in most black homes.
This opens the door for evil to get a foothold. Children grow up angry at their impatient mothers, who resent the missing father and tend to focus their frustration on the male child. These boys go out seeking love and acceptance from the world.
Once the boy enters the public schools, Marxist-influenced teachers encourage their anger toward America by promoting the lie that their country is “racist.” Couple that with profanity-laced rap music that promotes violence and disrespect for authority – it’s a recipe for radicalization.
The church has been a refuge for blacks throughout their history in America. But today black churches have been co-opted by racist preachers.
For example, at the funeral of Michael Brown, the thug who was shot by a Ferguson police officer, Bishop T.D. Jakes and other ministers eulogized Brown as a saint. This lie only encourages the hatred of whites and police among black youth.
Remember Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., Obama’s minister? Wright’s “God D–n America” and radical “social justice” message is actually a widely held point of view among black ministers. I have interviewed more than 500 black minsters on my radio show. Most of them promote racism and are helping to keep blacks angry.
Blacks are also encouraged to remain angry by so-called “leaders” in this administration.
When Attorney General Eric Holder announced he was resigning, my response was “Good riddance to bad rubbish.” Holder, along with Al Sharpton (the White House’s point man on race relations), has inflamed tensions in Ferguson and across America.
Last week during his address to the U.N., Holder’s boss, Obama, apologized to the world for America’s “own racial and ethnic tensions” and evoked the Michael Brown shooting and Ferguson.
On Saturday, a group of Religious Right activists at the Values Voter Summit were pitched on the possibility and necessity of a stronger union between social conservatives and libertarians, a discussion that was heavily tinged with the rhetoric of anti-Christian persecution that dominated the weekened.
In a panel titled “Moral Decline Causes Big Government,” the American Principles Project’s Maggie Gallagher (formerly of the National Organization for Marriage), the director of Rand Paul’s PAC, Doug Stafford, and conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway made their best case for libertarians to adopt social conservative causes — or, given the makeup of the crowd, for social conservatives to be open to an alliance with libertarian conservatives.
Gallagher brought up the Religious Right’s fears about the persecution of conservative Christians by the LGBT rights movement, warning that with the current Supreme Court she was “not optimistic” about preventing marriage equality from becoming law in all 50 states, and that if that happens, there will be “more cases where people are being oppressed…for their views on marriage.”
Libertarians, Gallagher said, should share the concern of social conservatives about gay rights advocates “using the government to impose this new, strange sexual orthodoxy” and their fears of “the horrible things the left is going to do.” She warned that the window for a stronger alliance was narrow, because if LGBT rights advocates succeed, “there’s not a way to build a winning conservative coalition.”
She also made an ideological case for libertarians to join social conservatives, arguing that “the decline of marriage” caused the growth of “pretty much every part of government, besides the defense budget, in America.”
“When the family falls apart, the government grows to step in,” she said.
Conway told the crowd that “values voters and libertarians have a great deal in common” from opposition to “big government” and abortion rights to being “sick of lawyers in black robes making stuff up” to a refusal to “redefine” family to be “whatever feels cool.” She also saw an opening to win over libertarians with the Religious Right’s increasing reliance on persecution rhetoric, or what she called the “assault on religious liberty in so many parts of our culture.”
Stafford echoed Conway, explaining that many libertarians oppose abortion rights and putting in a plug for the two groups to work together and with liberals to end the drug war.
Whatever the few libertarians in the room might have thought of the panel’s appeals, however, the bulk of the social conservative crowd seemed deeply skeptical of any attempt to woo libertarians. The biggest round of applause at the event came when a man came to the microphone, introduced himself as a pastor and proceeded to deliver a soliloquy against such “sins” as homosexuality. In an apparent jab at Sen. Paul’s position that marriage equality legislation should be left to the states, the pastor said, “Don’t let the states decide on marriage. God has already decided!”
As the panel ended, after little discussion of the morality of same-sex marriage, the woman next to me turned to me and shook her head. The panelists, she said, “didn’t listen to a thing that pastor said.”
Beauty Town has an elaborate video surveillance system that displays 16 angles of the store, but the cameras are better at capturing crime than at preventing it.
The beauty shop has been looted multiple times since a white Ferguson police officer shot an unarmed black man Aug. 9. Last week, during another round of unrest on West Florissant Avenue, a group of young men broke the front windows and raided the shelves and cash register.
Owner Shawn Kim thinks 99% of the people who live around his shop are good people.
For the rest, he’s bought a gun. Just in case.
If the grand jury fails to indict the officer who killed Michael Brown, almost everyone here thinks things will get worse.
“They’re not going to be looting next time,” said Kevin Seltzer, 30, who lives at an apartment complex near where Brown, 18, was shot. “They’re going to burn the city down.”
Far from finding peace after a round of summer protests and riots, Ferguson remains a city on the brink, its nearly every step troubled. The last week has been especially fraught.
In separate incidents, one Brown memorial went up in flames and part of another was run over.
When Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson tried to speak to demonstrators one night, clashes broke out with officers.
Then there was the city’s newly hired spokesman, brought in to help Ferguson repair its image. He was fired after it was revealed that he had been convicted of shooting and killing a man in 2004.
Tensions rose further Saturday night, when officials said a Ferguson police officer on routine patrol was shot in the arm during a foot chase behind the community center. The unidentified officer was treated and released; the shooter escaped.
A few hours later, not far outside Ferguson’s city limits, an off-duty St. Louis police officer was ambushed on the freeway by one or more gunmen, who shot his car multiple times and escaped, officials said. The officer was injured by broken glass. He was not in uniform and was in his own vehicle; it was unclear whether he was targeted or the victim of a random assault.
Ferguson fears the worst is yet to come, especially if the grand jury does not indict Officer Darren Wilson. A decision is expected in November.
With that deadline looming, residents and business owners debated the role police should play during protests.
On Sunday night, several hundred demonstrators massed outside the Ferguson Police Department on Florissant Avenue. “Our streets!” they chanted as they marched. “Last warning!” Police, some in riot gear, lined up opposite them. At least seven protesters were detained, according to an observer for the National Lawyers Guild.
Earlier in the day, at Prime Time Barber Shop, barber Tommy Bradley worried that further protests would erupt after the grand jury issued its findings. Sunday’s demonstration was “pure anger,” he said.
He hoped police would stand down. “They should just hang back,” said Bradley, 25. “Seems like every time something happens, it’s because of the police presence.”
Yet Emya McCrady, 23, a stay-at-home mom who lives in the Canfield Green apartment complex with her 4-year-old son, said she wouldn’t feel secure without a massive police presence when the grand jury decided.
“It’s going to have to be police all over here,” she said Sunday as her son played in the parking lot.
That debate has split four generations of the Loftis family, who sat on their front patio near the community center and debated what should happen.
They love Ferguson, and they have a sign saying so on the front lawn, as do half a dozen neighbors.
Jim Loftis, 96, sided with police, which upset granddaughter Jana Loftis, 37.
“There’s no accountability for police officers who abuse their power,” Jana Loftis said.
“Well, that ought to be corrected,” he responded, “If you don’t like the laws, then change them.”
She scoffed. “That’s just it — did he break the law?” she said, referring to the officer who shot Brown.
Jim Loftis, a conservative Republican who retired from Shell Oil, conceded there were some bad officers, “but that doesn’t make them all bad,” nor did it justify looting.
“You don’t riot and change anything. How would you like it if they came and tore up your house?” he asked her.
“How would you like it if your son was out in the street for four hours?” Jana Loftis shot back, referring to the amount of time police left Brown’s body where he fell.
Saturday night’s shootings triggered worry about how bad things could get.
Samantha Warren, 19, rushed home fearing the worst when she heard there had been a shooting: Her 17-year-old brother was home alone. She found the street blocked by police, helicopters circling, and had to walk around to find her brother. He was safe inside.
A shaken elderly neighbor soon joined them. She said she had been on her sun porch when she heard several gunshots and saw police racing over.
Warren, a college student home for the weekend, said she was sad about what happened in the neighborhood, where just a few weeks ago residents held a barbecue. She said police had been doing a better job of community policing lately.
“They’re just trying to keep the peace,” said Warren, a sophomore studying graphic design at the University of Missouri in Columbia. But that’s not enough to calm tensions, she said.
“I would like to see Darren Wilson come to some sort of justice — he needs to be punished,” Warren said outside the community center Sunday morning. “I don’t think it will stop until they come to some decision on Darren Wilson.”
Shirley Turner, 53, said she had faith in the system, but feared what those already upset with the police might do if Wilson wasn’t indicted.
“We just have to live day by day, trust in God and pray they don’t tear up the city,” she said. “It’s coming to the last days.”
WASHINGTON — Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) has made a name for himself throwingextraordinarytantrums during legislative sessions. But he doesn’t appear to have contained his notorious temper to the statehouse, according to a review of court and police records obtained by The Huffington Post.
Bost, who is running for Congress this fall under the slogan “Passionate Leadership for Southern Illinois,” has a lengthy history with local authorities, including some incidents that suggest “passionate” is a bit of an understatement.
The earliest episode dates back to 1986, when a neighborhood beagle named Rusty bit Bost’s 4-year-old daughter. The report filed by animal control officials indicates that the girl provoked the attack by chasing the dog. She ultimately had to get 19 stitches on her face.
According to court records, Bost was displeased that authorities would not be able to deal with the 10-year-old dog immediately. So he got his handgun, drove to Rusty’s owner’s home, and shot the dog to death while it was penned in an enclosure.
Neighbors were “very alarmed and disturbed,” according to the police report, but a jury eventually found Bost not guilty of breaking any laws. The local paper reported the case under the headline “Area man acquitted in dog killing trial.”
The documents also detail another alarming, more mysterious incident. Bost, a gun-rights defender who in 2008 voted against a bill to require the prompt reporting of stolen guns, did not report a gun that was stolen from his own home.
In 2006, Bost’s nickel-plated special edition .357 Rossi revolver was stolen from his gun safe. According to police records, Bost did not know about the theft until police showed up at his door to inform him that the gun had been used to threaten another man’s life. Bost led investigators to the safe, and the firearm was indeed missing.
It is unclear who stole the weapon and how it was removed from the safe, but Bost and family members suspected that the thief may have been connected to a 17-year-old girl who had stayed briefly in Bost’s house. Bost told police that he usually did not lock the side door to the room that contained the safe.
Other incidents found in the files are less distressing, but similarly portray Bost as an aggressive man whose actions often put him in conflict with others.
While Bost once felt justified in shooting a dog to death, in later years, he wasn’t too worried about his own dog roaming the neighborhood. Local police records show that neighbors were so concerned about Bost’s pet scampering around their homes and the local school that they called police at least four separate times.
Several people who encountered the lawmaker seem to have responded especially poorly to him, though the records do not indicate why. According to one report, in 1999 someone kicked in Bost’s front door looking for him, but left when they encountered only his wife. Bost reported the incident to police. He also called the cops in 2009 after someone left a note on his car that was described as suspicious, along with a copy of the “Narcotics Anonymous” pamphlet.
Along with a fairly typical assortment of traffic tickets and moving violations, Bost was also involved in at least two car accidents. In a 1996 crash involving his red Beetle, Bost was found at fault for failing to yield to another motorist.
Bost’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment, including questions about the stolen gun and what the string of incidents might say about the candidate.
Bost’s outbursts are a regular hit on YouTube. Perhaps most notoriously, while railing in 2012 against what he saw as unfair floor procedures, he punched at a stack of papers that he had flung into the air. At the end of that rant, he compared Illinois Republicans and his constituents to biblical Jews in Egypt, hollering, “I feel like somebody trying to be released from Egypt! Let my people go!” And last spring, during debate on concealed carry rules, Bost smashed his microphone, prompting a Democrat to quip, “We don’t want someone like that carrying a concealed weapon.”
Democrats have sought to portray Bost, who is challenging Rep. Bill Enyart (D-Ill.), as a fundamentally unsound person whose volatile temper would only make Washington worse. So far, they’ve used his infamous outbursts in at least two ads, in which they dub Bost “Meltdown Mike.”
He is the wrong choice to be IL-12’s next Congressman!
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — At least a dozen of the many companies owned by the investment firm of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner have gone bankrupt, according to a published report.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reported (http://bit.ly/1rvTRKN ) Thursday that a review of court records and news accounts found a dozen of hundreds of companies owned by the GTCR firm went bankrupt during or soon after Rauner’s 20-year tenure at the company. A federal bankruptcy trial regarding one of the firms, Trans Healthcare Inc., is unfolding this week in Tampa, Florida.
Rauner served as a board member on seven of the dozen companies, the review found.
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, Rauner’s opponent in the November election, has tried to make the Winnetka venture capitalist’s business management record an issue in the campaign, just as Rauner has criticized Quinn’s management of state government.
The Quinn campaign claims that the Trans Healthcare case is evidence that Rauner does not take responsibility for problems with his businesses. But Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf argues that Rauner has seen far more successes than failures as an investor.
"What’s beyond doubt is that GTCR is one of the most respected and admired venture capital and investment firms in the country and helps drive the economy forward. Bruce is proud of his role in building the business," Schrimpf said.
Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson charged Thursday that Rauner “has never taken responsibility for any of his business failures — yet he always takes the profits and takes off.”
GTCR, from which Rauner officially retired in 2012, works by creating new companies or acquiring existing ones and later selling them or taking them public. It also manages money from Illinois state employees’ retirement funds.
The campaign says GTCR created and oversaw “hundreds” of companies. Rauner put the figure at around 400 in an appearance earlier this month.
The companies that went bankrupt include Sorenson Communications, a company purchased by GTCR in 2005 that provides telephone services for the hearing-impaired. Lee Enterprises reported that in 2013, after Rauner left GTCR, the company agreed to pay $15.75 million to settle a Federal Communications Commission investigation into whether the company billed for questionable calls. Sorenson filed for bankruptcy in March.
In the case of Trans Healthcare, a nursing home chain, the families of several residents filed suit in two state courts, claiming that GTCR took part in a fraudulent scheme to avoid liability for deaths, allegations GTCR denies. The families are now seeking to collect on multimillion-dollar judgments in federal bankruptcy court.
Rauner is not named as a defendant in the suit, but GTCR is. Trans Healthcare went into receivership in 2009.
"The courts will sort out all the facts," Rauner told reporters this week. "I’m confident that no one at GTCR engaged in any inappropriate behavior."
Dr. Ben Carson, a popular Tea Party activist and Fox News contributor who says he will likely seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016, said on Sunday that he is seriously concerned that there will not be 2016 elections in the United States because the country could be in anarchy by that point. His reasons: the growing national debt, ISIS, and the U.S. Senate’s refusal to consider legislation passed by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.
Host Chris Wallace noted that in light of his potential presidential campaign, Carson’s previous comments were now under a greater spotlight. He noted Carson’s August comment that if the Republicans don’t win a majority in the Senate this year, the 2016 elections might not even be held and asked the retired neurosurgeon if he stood by it:
WALLACE: You said recently that there might not even be elections in 2016 because of widespread anarchy. Do you really believe that?
CARSON: I hope that that’s not going to be the case. But certainly there’s the potential because you have to recognize that we have a rapidly increasing national debt, a very unstable financial foundation, and you have all these things going on like the ISIS crisis that could very rapidly change things that are going on in our nation. And unless we begin to deal with these things in a comprehensive way and in a logical way there is no telling what could happen in just a couple of years.
Carson then noted that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has “over three hundred bills sitting on his desk” that he won’t bring to the floor for a vote, “thereby thwarting the will of the people.” He made no mention of the Republican House’s refusal to consider popular Senate-passed bipartisan measures like comprehensive immigration reform and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Carson finished a close second Saturday in a straw poll at the 2014 Values Voters Summit for 2016 presidential preferences.
Despite Carson’s fears, the United States has held presidential elections every four years since 1788, despite a civil war, two world wars, and a great depression. Carson has been no stranger to controversial comments since he became active in politics. In March of 2013, he compared same-sex marriage to bestiality and NAMBLA. That October, he decried the Affordable Care Act as “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” adding that the law “is slavery, in a way.” And earlier this month, Carson defended former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice, saying people should stop “demonizing” him and suggesting that his wife also shared some of the blame for being attacked, opining that “they both need some help.”
Police and pro-democracy demonstrators clashed in Hong Kong this weekend, following a week of student-led boycotts and protests against China’s political control in Hong Kong.
At least 26 people were reportedly injured on Sunday, after protests in Hong Kong intensified and police and demonstrators clashed.
A protester throws an umbrella at riot police as fellow demonstrators blocked the main street to the financial Central district outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong. Tyrone Siu / Reuters
A protester covers his face as riot police fire teargas after thousands of demonstrators blocked the main street to the financial Central. Tyrone Siu / Reuters
The protests came after a week of student-led boycotts and demonstrations against China’s political reign over Hong Kong, and specifically to China’s rule that only Beijing-vetted candidates will be able to run for Hong Kong’s chief executive, the city’s top position.
Organizers asked protesters to go home late on Sunday, fearing police would use rubber bullets, but still the groups did not disperse.
At least 26 people were injured and taken to the hospital, CNN reported. There are not yet details on the severity of the injuries. Six of those hurt were police officers, but it’s not clear if they were included in the 26.
To protect themselves from tear gas, demonstrators donned goggles, masks and raincoats, and some brought umbrellas.
A protester reacts in front of riot police during as fellow demonstrators blocked the main street to the financial Central district. Tyrone Siu / Reuters
Video footage and pictures uploaded to Twitter showed police using pepper spray and tear gas against groups of pro-democracy demonstrators.
Demonstrators told CNN that they believe undercover police officers had joined in with the protest groups, and others said they saw police “preparing water cannons.”
The main pro-democracy advocacy group organizing the protests — Occupy Central — is not affiliated with the broader Occupy movement and is hoping to fight against China’s decision to mandate what candidates can make a bid for Hong Kong’s top civil position.
“Occupy Central has formally begun,” said a statement by the group. They added:
The two nights of occupation of Civic Square in Admiralty have completely embodied the awakening of Hong Kong people’s desire to decide their own lives. The courage of the students and members of the public in their spontaneous decision to stay has touched many Hong Kong people. Yet, the government has remained unmoved. As the wheel of time has reached this point, we have decided to arise and act
Tyrone Siu / Reuters
Protesters pushed traffic barriers into the streets by the financial center of the city to block access.
Tyrone Siu / Reuters
There are reports on Twitter that Instagram has been blocked in China, perhaps to shield users from seeing pictures of the Hong Kong riots.
It was tough to top the sanctimonious speech delivered by Religious Right activist twins David and Jason Benham at the Values Voter Summit last night, but RedState editor Erick Erickson tried his best. Erickson, who also serves as a Fox News pundit, dedicated his remarks to explaining how people like himself and the VVS audience are headed to Heaven and, because of that, everyone else is jealous of them.
After mocking evolution as dumb and incompatible with the religious faith, even cracking a joke about the Fox series “Cosmos,” Erickson said “I see a world that is opposed to us in this room because we’re headed home to eternity, we’re just passing through.”
“There is a last day, pick a side and the right side wins,” he said, adding: “You have got to love someone enough that you don’t want them to go to Hell.”
Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden are the parents of Michael Brown. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)
The parents of slain 18-year-old Michael Brown said Saturday that, almost two months after his shooting, they remain deeply skeptical that they will receive justice for their son through the local prosecutor, and they have more faith in the federal probe into the circumstances surrounding his death.
Members of Brown’s family said they have still had almost no interaction with the Ferguson Police Department or St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch.
“I haven’t seen the apology,” said Michael Brown Sr., during a broad and at-times emotional interview with several members of the family and their attorneys at The Washington Post on Saturday.
“For me, I’ve seen … another interview that he’s done,” said Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s mother, when asked about Jackson’s apology. “And it just comes off very incompetent.”
In the two months since Brown was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., his parents have been vocal in their demands for more information about the shooting – during which their son, who was unarmed, was shot multiple times by the white officer – as well as for McCulloch, who is distrusted by many in Ferguson’s black community, to step aside.
McCulloch has repeatedly insisted that he will not step aside, and has proceeded with grand jury proceedings – undertaking an unorthodox method in which his office’s prosecutors are not recommending any specific charges and rather are presenting all facts to the grand jury members and allowing them to independently determine what if any charges to pursue against Wilson.
“They’re not trying to prosecute, they don’t want to indict him.” said Benjamin Crump, the family’s lead attorney. “They are doing everything they can not to indict him.”
But while they said they are still deeply skeptical of the likelihood that Wilson will be indicted by the grand jury, the Brown family and their attorneys remain encouraged by the Justice Department conducting multiple probes related to the case – one into the shooting and a second into the Ferguson Police Department more broadly.
“The family has been fighting for justice, they weren’t fighting for an apology,” Crump said. But he and partner Daryl Parks said that the family may receive justice for their son through the federal probe currently being conducted into the shooting. He later added, “The attorney general meeting with the parents … was encouraging.”
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. traveled to Ferguson and met with Brown’s mother and assured the family that the Justice Department would conduct a fair and extensive probe. Since that August meeting, Holder has referenced the shooting and the ongoing clashes between police officers and protesters in Ferguson during multiple speeches and public appearances.
On Thursday, Holder announced that he is resigning as attorney general, which worried some supporters of the Brown family that the Justice probe might lose focus or get sidetrack as the department undergoes a shift from Holder to whomever its next leader is. But the Browns said Holder vowed to bring them a fair federal investigation, and that they trust him to be true to his word even as he transitions out of office.
“It was a parent talking to another parent in consoling our feelings,” McSpadden said of her initial meeting with Holder. “He did reassure me that it would be fair and transparent. … I do feel a way about him resigning, but I don’t feel like he’s going to exit and not do what he set out to do.”
The Browns were in Washington for meetings with lawmakers during the Congressional Black Caucus’s annual conference, lobbying for legislation that would require police officers to wear body cameras while on duty. That push comes as civil rights groups, including the NAACP, have seized on the Brown case and several other prominent police shootings this summer to renew their decades-long push for legislation to address racial profiling in law enforcement.
How fitting that a conference ostensibly about guarding religious liberty included several speakers who used their time to level attacks against Muslim-Americans, including Brigitte Gabriel of the anti-Muslim group Act! for America.
Gabriel, whose organization focuses on fighting Muslim campus affinity groups and passing dubiously-constitutional laws barring sharia law, claimed in her speech this morning that around 180-300 million Muslims are “radical Islamists who are willing to strap bombs on their bodies and walk into this room and blow us all up to smithereens.”
In their speech to the summit, the Benham twins argued that just as ISIS beheads their victim with a sword, progressive groups like Right Wing Watch “silence” conservatives by quoting them verbatim.
Jason Benham kicked it off by likening himself and his brother to Jesus Christ — a theme throughout their speech — and later David said that Christians in America are facing persecution just like Christians in the Mideast who are coming under attack from violent groups such as ISIS.
“There is a radical agenda that has come in our nation,” David explained, “the weapon of choice for the agenda in the Middle East is a sword, but the weapon of choice for the agenda in America is silence. They demand silence.”
“We’re talking about undergoing that change and trying to help other people see that because now you realize we’ve got generations of people in our nation that really don’t understand godliness at any level, they don’t know,” he said.
Later in his remarks, Robertson prayed that the heathens outside of the Values Voter Summit will one day become just as wise and godly as the Robertson clan: “I pray for even our American brothers and sisters who aren’t there yet, I pray for them, because I want our nation to rise up and be great again.”
While addressing the Values Voter Summit this morning, Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver trotted out his favorite claim that the contraception mandate means that America is literally worse than countries like Nazi Germany or Rwanda because those nations never forced their citizens to directly participate in carrying out genocide.
"Now, in America of all places, you and I are being forced to participate in human genocide by the HHS mandate," Staver said.
"We’ve never been forced in any time in world history to participate in the killing of innocent people and yet today we are,"he continued. "No generation has faced what we currently face now … and we cannot be silent in the face of this tragedy [of] human genocide being forced upon Americans":
Conservative pundit Mark Levin took the stage at the Values Voter Summit this morning for a conversation with Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, in which he told the audience at the far-right conference that they are not the political fringe because there are right-wing political movements that are even more extreme than them, such as neo-Confederates secessionists.
Levin told the audience that they had to fight the effort by liberals to “silence us” with “this PC stuff” and to label them as a “fringe” movement.
“They treat us like we’re this fringe,” he said. “You know, I view the political spectrum quite differently. We’re in the middle! You’ve got the radical leftists who’ve taken over the Democratic Party. And then you’ve got this neo-Confederate group out there that really doesn’t believe in the Constitution and keeps talking about secession and so forth. We are traditional conservatives who embrace the Constitution and embrace our heritage and we need to stand up!”
On Friday, the DOJ sent a letter to Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson that characterized the bracelets as problematic. The letter was a response to a picture that surfaced earlier this week, which apparently showed an officer wearing a bracelet displaying the words “I am Darren Wilson.”
According to the letter, the bracelets “reinforce the very ‘us versus them’ mentality that many residents of Ferguson believe exists.” They also are “exacerbating an already tense atmosphere between law enforcement and residents in Ferguson,” the letter added.
The letter — which was signed by Deputy Chief Christy Lopez — asks for confirmation that Jackson will prohibit his officers, as well as officers from other departments who come to his city, from wearing the bracelets.
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown on Aug. 9. Almost immediately, protesters began displaying “I am Michael Brown” signs. Supporters of Wilson — who is on leave while a grand jury reviews his actions — responded with “I am Darren Wilson” paraphernalia.
In a news conference Wednesday, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson characterized the “I am Darren Wilson” bracelets as an “individual statement” by police officers, rather than a “statement of law enforcement.”
Friday’s DOJ letter states that despite the need for freedom of expression, police departments should “closely regulate” officers’ appearance.
Police officers in Ferguson also need to wear legible name tags, the DOJ said in the letter.
In addition the the bracelets, the letter touches allegations that police in Ferguson have covered their name tags with black tape. Protesters in Ferguson have complained since August that police haven’t been wearing name tags, and the letter states that “not wearing, or obscuring, name plates violates” Ferguson’s own police policies.
The letter requests that the department “end the practice immediately.”
The United Nations Human Rights Commission passed a resolution seeking to protect LGBT people from violence, but not everybody supported it.
On Friday afternoon, the United Nations Human Rights Commission approved a resolution opposing violence and discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity by a vote of 25-14 with 7 abstentions.
Among the 21 who countries who rejected or abstained from the measure were several commonwealth countries that still have laws criminalizing homosexuality, including Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Maldives, and Sierra Leone. Other countries who rejected it were Muslim nations like Kuwait, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, all of which punish same-sex behavior — particularly between men — in some fashion.
Two years ago, Russia successfully stripped LGBT protections from a similar measure. They unsurprisingly rejected this year’s inclusive resolution.
China and India both abstained from the vote, as did Kazakhstan and Congo.
The text of the resolution simply condemns violence and discrimination against LGBT people:
Expressing grave concern at acts of violence and discrimination, in all regions of the world, committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity,
Welcoming positive developments at the international, regional and national levels in the fight against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity…
Among the countries that supported the measure were the U.S., the U.K., South Africa, Vietnam, Cuba, Korea, Argentina, Japan, Czech Republic, and Peru. (Note: Not all members of the U.N. sit on the Human rights Commission.)