Tuesday Evening Open Thread

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Good evening:

Welcome to the second day of the second week of our experiment with an evening open thread with four suggested topics in the news. This is your place to comment, a place where off topic is on topic.

Please let us know if you like the idea. We’ll incorporate it as a regular feature, if you do.

Or suggest something else.

Here are the four suggested topics:

(1) In the tragedy department, we have Michael Jace, 51, who was arrested after midnight last night for shooting and killing his wife, April Jace, 40, during an argument at their Hyde Park home in Los Angeles. Jace is an actor best known for his portrayal of a conflicted Officer Julien Lowe in The Shield, an acclaimed television series. The character he played was a Christian police officer in denial that he was gay.

They had been married for 9 years and had two boys. According to neighbors, she arrived home with the boys about 8:30 pm, after taking them to baseball practice. Neighbors heard an argument followed in quick succession by gunshots. Police found her body on the floor in the hall. She had been shot multiple times in the upper chest.

Police have not disclosed whether the boys witnessed the shooting. They were taken to their grandparents.

Jace is in jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

CBS News is reporting that he admitted during a 911 call that he shot her.

Maria Elena Fernandez of NBC News reports,

Since “The Shield” ended in 2008, Jace has worked steadily, guest-starring in other popular shows like “Burn Notice,” “The Mentalist,” and a four-episode-arc on “Southland” as the married lover of Regina King’s character. He’s also had a handful of small film roles, including playing an officer on “State of Play.”

Jace studied acting at the Classic Conservatory in New York and worked in regional theater until he moved to Los Angeles and landed the role of the leader of the Black Panthers in “Forrest Gump.” That led to roles in “Boogie Nights” in 1997 and “Planet of the Apes” in 2001.

Before he was hired for “The Shield,” which launched in 2002, he had small roles in other popular cop dramas, “L.A. Law” and “NYPD Blue.”

Are you all interested in following this case?

(2) There is something terribly wrong with the Republican controlled North Carolina legislature. Seems they have gone completely insane. Here’s Charles P.Pierce in Esquire describing some of what they are up to:

Down in the newly insane state of North Carolina, the Republican party (Art Pope, proprietor) may have decided that it can do all the damage it can do for a while, and the only job left is to prevent the people who live in that state from doing very much of anything about it.

First, in reaction to the powerful Moral Monday campaign that arose in response to their previous idiocies, the members of the Republican majority in the North Carolina legislature (Art Pope, proprietor) have decided to take a good whack at the Constitution’s guarantees of free speech, assembly, and the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. That’s pretty much a bases-clearing triple on First Amendment rights.

The new rules do not allow groups to “disturb, or create an imminent disturbance,” at the General Assembly. They state that visitors may be asked to leave the Legislative Building if they are found to be disturbing “the General Assembly, one of its houses, or its committees, members, or staff in the performance of their duties.” Behaviors that could violate the rules “may include singing, clapping, shouting, playing instruments or using sound amplification equipment.” The new rules further prohibit signs on handsticks and say that signs that disturb members will be confiscated. The rules also place limits on gathering at the General Assembly, especially in front of the main South entrance on Jones Street. Groups that expect to draw between 25 and 200 people can ask to reserve space at the South entrance. But, the rules now state, “This location may not be reserved for coordinated activities the person or group reasonably expects will involve 200 or more participants.”

This is the same group of morans I mentioned in yesterday’s open thread who introduced a bill in the North Carolina legislature that would make it a felony to reveal any of the chemicals used in fracking.

(3) In the yet another right-wing-wacko-Republican-moran-with-unconstitutional-anti-democratic-ideas, we have Representative Todd Yoho (R-FL) who wants to limit voting to property owners because everyone else is too stupid to vote. David Edwards of Raw Story has the story.

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) has warned that uninformed voting is as dangerous as a “loaded gun,” and that one solution could be allowing only “property owners” to vote.

In a 2012 video of Yoho campaigning at Berean Baptist Church in Ocala, Florida published by Right Wing Watch on Tuesday, a supporter complains that Floridians who cast absentee ballots were “destroying elections.”

The supporter argues that earlier voting is also an “avenue for illegal voting.”

“It really is,” Yoho agrees. “I can’t remember which founding father said it, but he said, the ability to vote, but vote uninformed is as tragic or as dangerous as having a loaded gun and not know how to use it.”

(4) In the yet-another-horrific-hung-jury injustice, a jury hung by a vote of 10-2 to convict former police officer Enoch “Jeremy” Clark of assaulting Monique Hernandez when she passively resisted his efforts to arrest her for DUI and handcuff her with her hands behind her back. What did he do, you ask?

Travis Gettys of Raw Story has the story,

Clark fired a JPX gunpowder-propelled gun, which discharges chemical irritant at 400 mph, just 10 inches away from the woman’s face while arresting her for misdemeanor driving under the influence, authorities said.

A dashboard camera recording, which has not been made available to the public, shows Hernandez with her hands behind her back, moving around as Clark tries to place her in handcuffs.

The officer repeatedly tells her to stop resisting, but Hernandez insists she’s not resisting and demands to know why she’s being taken into custody.

Clark repeatedly threatens to “JPX” her if she does not stop struggling, and the video shows the officer remove the pepper spray gun from his belt and fire a blast into her face.

The blast of pepper spray gel sliced the woman’s right eyeball in half, fractured her right orbital bone, and severed the optic nerve in her left eye.

“Every single day, she goes to bed at night, dreaming of a time when she used to be able to see,” said Deputy District Attorney Michael Carney. “When Monique Hernandez wakes up, the world is still dark because her sight was violently taken from here. Her eyeballs were literally blown into pieces, and the person who did this was a police officer.”

No announcement yet on whether the prosecution will retry him.

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10 Responses to Tuesday Evening Open Thread

  1. masonblue says:

    Crane-Station here with comic relief:

  2. April Jace would be alive today, Michael Jace would not be in jail, and their two boys would not have lost their parents, if he had not owned a gun.

    • Two sides to a story says:

      Heartbreaking to see him on the evening news, handcuffed and crying outside his home. Anger is the most dangerous of afflictive emotions. : / Most of us have room to work on this.

  3. In the right-wing-republican-wacko category, we have another serious contender for a Darwin Award.

    Behold Republican Rep. Charles Van Zant, The Seattle PI has this story:

    American Institutes for Research is administering new statewide tests for students in Floirda. The testing aligns with the nationwide Common Core standards that some states have accepted while others have rejected.

    Republican Rep. Charles Van Zant, of Keystone Heights, has said the testing company has a pro-homosexual agenda because it has done research on lesbian and gay issues. Speaking at an education conference recently in Orlando, Van Zant said the testing program would “attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can.”

  4. The Eighth Circuit has issued a stay of execution for Russell Bucklew, who was scheduled to be executed in Missouri tonight at 12:01 am.

    The Guardian has the story,

    On Tuesday, Bucklew’s lawyers lodged their petition with the eighth circuit court of appeals calling for a stay of execution. They argued that the inmate’s rare congenital condition, known as cavernous hemangioma, had caused malformations of the veins in his face, head and throat that could easily rupture during the execution.

    The petition said that his medical problem, combined with the one-size-fits-all procedure enshrined in Missouri’s death penalty protocol, could cause him to “cough and choke on his own blood. His vascular abnormalities could also impair the circulation of the lethal drug – leading to a prolonged and excruciating execution.”

    The appeals court agreed. “Bucklew’s unrebutted medical evidence demonstrates the requisite sufficient likelihood of unnecessary pain and suffering beyond the constitutionally permissible amount inherent in all executions,”

  5. Two sides to a story says:

    Yesterday was an unusally intense feeling day. I’m super glad I didn’t have any guns around the house, might be tempted to use one.

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