Mainstream Media is failing to expose Republican Party’s detachment from reality and extreme views of its candidates,

October 30, 2015

The dismal performance of the Republican candidates for president during the third debate on Wednesday evening demonstrates that they continue to ignore the issues that matter to most voters, which are the stalled economy, poverty, homelessness, untreated mental illness, the broken criminal justice system, unregulated predatory capitalism, bloated military and intelligence budgets, an overwhelming need to repeal Citizens United, gun control, lack of jobs that pay a living wage, overwhelming student debt, out-of-control police, prison overcrowding, human caused climate change, and crumbling infrastructure. In other words they are so out of touch and weird that it’s a waste of time to listen to them.

The punditocracy’s discussion about the debate also seemed to be detached from reality. I could not decide if they were pretending that the candidates said important things or they actually believed that they did. Their tendency to present both sides of every issue as if they are equally valid when anyone with a functioning brain cell knows otherwise is frustrating. Their decision that Marco Rubio won the debate seemed beside the point since no one said anything important or memorable and nothing was resolved.

Many media pundits agree that Marco Rubio would be a centrist voice of reason who would match up well against Hillary Clinton in the election next fall. However, they did not say that Rubio is a climate change denier and his solution to the energy crisis is to drill, baby, drill. Because of these extreme views, he is not qualified to serve as president. Every credible climate scientist agrees that human caused climate change is underway and accelerating. We humans are running out of time and options. Therefore, all nations of the world need to be developing short term and long term strategies to avoid the catastrophic consequences of global warning. Anything less is grossly irresponsible. Unfortunately, all Republican candidates except Senator Lindsey Graham and former Governor George Pataki are climate change deniers.

Similarly, most media pundits are fawning over Representative Paul Ryan, who has been elected as the new Speaker of the House. They call him a centrist policy wonk who is extremely well qualified to determine what we need to do to jump-start our economy. Nothing could be further from the truth. He believes in tax cuts for the rich, elimination of all welfare and entitlement programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He is a devotee of Ayn Rand, free markets and elimination of regulations and regulatory oversight. These policies are hallmarks of supply side economics, AKA: Reaganomics. Despite 35 years of tax cuts for the rich and a reduction of regulatory oversight, the rich are the only whose incomes have increased. Kansas Governor Brownback implemented similar policies in his state that created a $400 M shortfall for the state’s economy during his first term. Instead of changing the disastrous policy, he doubled down and two years later, the state is on the verge of bankruptcy. Paul Ryan’s ideas can only damage our economy. Instead of gushing over the selection of Paul Ryan as Speaker, the mainstream media should be reporting that his ideas not only don’t work, they may cause irreparable harm.

Lat night, I read an article by award winning journalist and scholar  Dr. Nafeez Ahmed in which “he exposed startling information about U.S. complicity in the creation and rise of ISIS, as contained in a recently declassified Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report. Possibly more terrifying than the report itself may be the fact that this information has been virtually blacked out across global mainstream media.” In other words, the mainstream media refused to report this declassified information because it decided that it was potentially inflammatory and might damage the credibility and reputation of the United States.

The mainstream media has a duty to cut through the BS whenever it can and report the truth. By failing to report the Republican Party’s detachment from reality and the extreme views of its candidates, the MM is causing voter confusion.


Cop body slams girl to classroom floor and throws her to the head of the class

October 27, 2015

There are ways to get to the head of the class, but being thrown there by a muscular bully wearing a badge is so far out of bounds as to defy description. Fortunately, she was not seriously injured and we have a video of the incident filmed by one of her classmates. Without the video, who would believe that such a violent assault could have occurred in a classroom?

Her alleged crime: she caused a classroom disturbance by refusing her teacher’s order to put away her phone. He summoned Richland County Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Fields, a classroom resource officer assigned to the school. When she refused the deputy’s order to stand up, he went into action. Following her unscheduled flight to the head of the class, she ended up in jail along with a friend who dared to verbally object to what he was doing. Both were released to their parents.

I suppose we can all be grateful that he didn’t shoot her and later claim that he mistook her cell phone for a gun.

Welcome to Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Atlantic is reporting,

The resource officer, Senior Deputy Ben Fields, has been placed on administrative duties pending the results of an investigation, Lieutenant Curtis Wilson, a spokesman for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, said. The Richland 2 school district, in a statement, said Fields won’t return to any school in the district pending the investigation.

Tony Robinson Jr., a student who recorded the confrontation, told WLTX: “I’ve never seen anything so nasty looking, so sick to the point that you know, other students are turning away, don’t know what to do, and are just scared for their lives. That’s supposed to be somebody that’s going to protect us. Not somebody that we need to be scared of, or afraid.”

Sheriff Leon Lott said, “It’s very disturbing what happened today. It’s something I have to deal with and that’s what we’re going to be doing.” He asked the United States Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate the matter.

Deputy Fields has been in trouble before, according to The Atlantic,

Fields, who has been with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office Department since 2004, joined the School Resource Officer Program in 2008. CNN reports that Fields was unsuccessfully sued in 2007 over the use of excessive force and the violation of free-speech rights. He is one of 10 defendants in another case, which is scheduled to go to trial in January, brought by a student who claims he was unlawfully expelled. But CNN also points out that Fields was was given a Culture of Excellence Award by a Richland County elementary school where he also worked last year as a school-resource officer.

The CNN link is here.

BREAKING NEWS: According to MSNBC, the DOJ has announced that it is opening a field office in Columbia to determine whether a  civil rights violation occurred.


Was suspect in Oklahoma State homecoming crash unconscious due to diabetic coma UPDATED BELOW

October 26, 2015

At approximately 10:30 am on Saturday morning in Stillwater, OK, 25-year-old Adacia Chambers drove her vehicle through several barricades, knocked over a parked police motorcycle and plowed into an Oklahoma State University homecoming parade killing four and injuring 47 people. Prosecutors have charged her with driving under the influence of drugs and 4 counts of second degree murder. She will have an Initial Appearance this afternoon in Payne County District Court.

According to KOCO News 5,

Police identified the victims as Nakita Prabhaker, 23, of Edmond, Bonnie Stone, 65, of Stillwater, Marvin Stone, 65, of Stillwater and 2-year-old Nash Lucas, from Stillwater. Nash Lucas’ mother was injured in the crash.

The child died at OU Medical Center.

Prabhaker was an international student at the University of Central Oklahoma. She is from Mumbai, India.

/snip/

Police said five people are in critical condition. Twelve others, including six children, are also hospitalized at six hospitals in Oklahoma City, Tulsa or Stillwater.

Thirty people were treated and released from the hospital including five children.

The Oklahoman is reporting,

“I don’t believe right now that she was intoxicated,” said Chambers’ attorney, Tony Coleman.

“I have deep concerns about her competency at this point. I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but I can tell you she’s suffering from mental illness,” Coleman said.

An expert in alcohol intoxication, Coleman believes that his client suffered a blackout caused by underlying physical or mental problems.

Her boyfriend, Jesse Gaylord, told him that she suffers from diabetes, but is not being treated or medicated for the condition, Coleman said. She also reportedly suffers from insomnia and had not slept for three days before the crash.

Gaylord also reportedly interrupted two attempts by Chambers to slash her wrists, Coleman said, but doesn’t think the incident was intentional or a suicide attempt.

Chambers’ mother also reportedly suffers from bipolar disorder and has been hospitalized in the past due to her illness, Coleman said.

Coleman said he’s met with people who saw Chambers the night before, the morning of and just before the incident. No one saw her drink alcohol or take drugs, he said.

Gaylord told CBS News that Chambers left work at Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburger about a half-mile from the scene early, but he isn’t sure why.

“She’s a really nice girl. Hasn’t shown anything, I mean… I got her up this morning and gave her a hug and kiss and she made it to work,” Gaylord said.

Chambers reportedly left the restaurant a short time after arriving for work. A witness said she appeared to be crying, but was not unsteady on her feet as she walked down a street away from the restaurant, according to the Stillwater NewsPress.

What happened over the course of the next hour leading up to the crash is unknown even to Chambers, Coleman said.

“There’s an area there when she doesn’t remember much of anything,” he said.

She did not remember the events leading up to the crash or the wreck itself, but recalls people pulling her out of the vehicle’s wreckage, Coleman said.

When he met with his client Saturday night, Coleman said Chambers gave “inappropriate” answers to some questions and lacked emotion at moments it would be expected.

“People who know her talk of a different Adacia than the one I met,” Coleman said.

Assuming the information reported is true, Ms. Chambers may have lost consciousness due to diabetic coma. If so, she may not have committed a crime. A person has to know what they are doing in order to be guilty of committing a crime. I am aware of at least one case where a person lost control of his vehicle after blacking out due to the sudden onset of a diabetic coma. I witnessed the accident. The vehicle jumped the curb and struck an unoccupied picnic table about 20 yards away. The driver was hospitalized with injuries from which he eventually recovered. No charges were filed.

A blood sample obtained from Adacia Chambers after she drove through the barriers and into the crowd will be subjected to a toxicological examination to determine whether she had any drugs or alcohol on board.  I do not know if the analysis has been completed. If it comes back, “Hypoglycemic, no drugs, no alcohol,” the prosecution may not have a case. If that is the case, I hope she was given insulin to restore her to a proper blood-sugar content.

At the Initial Appearance* this afternoon, the judge will tell her what crimes she is charged with and advise her of her legal rights. Unless the toxicology results are known and favorable to the defense, her lawyer probably will probably stipulate (agree) to probable cause and reserve argument for release on bond to another time, probably at the next scheduled hearing, which would be a preliminary hearing. If they are favorable, he will move to dismiss for lack of probable cause.

He also has expressed doubt about her mental state and competency. Do not be surprised if the judge orders her to undergo a competency evaluation. A legal proceeding cannot take place unless the defendant is competent. That means she has to be oriented as to time and place, know what the charges are, track what is going on, and be able to communicate with and assist her lawyer to represent her.

This is a tragic, but very interesting case, because of the legal and mental issues that it presents.

UPDATE:

Payne County Special District Judge Katherine Thomas set bond at $1 million and ordered a psychological evaluation for Adacia Chambers. The next hearing will be November 13th.

___________________________________________________________

*An initial appearance is not an arraignment. She will not be entering a plea. Issues are limited to advising defendant of charges, her rights, reviewing police affidavit for probable cause and deciding whether to set conditions of release or deny bail.


Don’t Talk to Police

October 24, 2015

posted by Crane-Station

This week I read a disturbing ABA Journal article titled, Cops seek DNA information from Ancestry.com and 23andMe. Police are now engaging in DNA fishing expeditions that reach beyond the law enforcement DNA database, and utilize the likes of DNA information in layperson ancestry databases – to develop various hunches about potential suspects – by searching through the DNA of the suspects’ kinfolks.

According to the article, this is how a man named Micheal Usry became a suspect in a cold-case murder that he did not commit. Apparently, Mr. Usry’s father had placed his DNA into a Mormon ancestry database for personal research. The father was excluded as a match to the DNA preserved from the murder but one thing led to another, and police, connecting dots in a manner consistent with their own version of DNA math, decided that Mr. Usry’s DNA must be kinda similar to his father’s DNA, which must therefore be kinda enough similar to the DNA found at the murder scene in the cold case, for an arrest.

The cops then used a ruse to get the (factually innocent) murder suspect to 1) talk to them at length and 2) provide a DNA sample. They told Mr. Usry that they were investigating a recent hit-and-run in the area, and could he please just help them out a bit by answering some questions? Mr. Usry, having nothing to hide, agreed. In the car ride on the way to the police station, things got weird, and Mr. Usry found himself involved in a conversation about his whereabouts years prior, on the night of the murder.

Eventually, Mr. Usry was cleared of any wrongdoing. Since his consent was obtained under false pretenses, he may have enough of a basis for a lawsuit for all of his trouble, which may have involved ruining his reputation as well as his job security.

This brings me to a point that never gets old and cannot be overstated: Don’t talk to the police. Ever. If you have nothing to hide (or even if you do), don’t talk to the police. The best talk I have ever seen on this subject is by Professor James Duane in the video that follows. If you have not seen it, I recommend that you make time, and share it with others. It is packed with information about how police coerce people into talking, and how potentially devastating this can be, even for folks who have done nothing wrong and “just want to help.”

On a lighter note, “So you got a DUI…”


Republicans disappear down rabbit hole searching for Ernst Stavro Blofeld

October 23, 2015

Republican members of a house congressional committee supposedly investigating Benghazi disappeared yesterday down a rabbit hole searching for the incredibly evil Ernst Stavro Blofeld, who disguised as a nondescript former journalist and friend of the Clintons named Sidney Blumenthal, was particularly fond of sending unsolicited advice and gossip to Hillary Clinton about Libya while she was Secretary of State.

Assuming without any evidence the existence of an evil plot between the villainous Blofeld and Clinton to sacrifice the lives of Ambassador Chris Summers and three others for her greater glory by abandoning them without security to a bloodthirsty mob in Benghazi, the Republicans hurled false accusations, insults, and stupid questions at her for 11 hours that she backhanded with ease possibly because the premise is so absurd. After emerging from the vewee scawee wabbit caves, the committee chair Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, summarized what the committee had accomplished:

In terms of her testimony, I don’t know that she testified that much differently than she has the previous times that she’s testified,” he told CBS News’ Cordes. “I would have to go back and look at the transcript.

Wow! Impressive accomplishment.

The Week said it best:

The point is that, from within the Republican bubble, Blumenthal’s connection to Benghazi, even if it consisted only of sending Hillary Clinton emails about Libya in general, proves that something fishy was going on. So naturally they’ll waste an hour or two of her testimony talking about the fact that he sent her lots of emails, which proves that…he sent her lots of emails.

This is what happens when you start an investigation that you’re sure will uncover evidence of nefarious goings-on. When you can’t find any malfeasance, you convince yourself that even mundane things are nefarious, like the fact that Hillary Clinton has a friend you don’t like.

The downside is this waste of time and money cost taxpayers at least $5 million. The upside is voters now have 5 million reasons to reject the Republican Party.


Corey Jones should be alive today

October 21, 2015

Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja shot and killed Corey Jones, 31, on an interstate exit ramp to Palm Beach Gardens on Sunday morning at approximately 3:30 am. The shooting never should have happened.

Jones was a professional musician who played in a church band that had been touring the country recently. His car had broken down as he was driving home after playing a gig. He stopped along an exit ramp off I-95 to Palm Beach Gardens and he was waiting for a tow truck when Officer Raja arrived. Raja was on-duty dressed in plain clothes and driving an unmarked vehicle.

CBS News, Channel 12 reported,

A spokeswoman for the Palm Beach Gardens Police, Ellen Lovejoy, said Raja claimed he came upon what he believed to be an abandoned vehicle on the southbound exit ramp of Interstate 95 at PGA Boulevard.  Lovejoy said Raja claimed he was confronted by an armed subject.

Police say, as a result of the confrontation, Raja fired his weapon, killing Corey Jones at the scene.

Difficult to imagine why Jones would have ‘confronted’ Raja, since he was patiently waiting for a tow truck to arrive.

Indeed, Jones’s friend and fellow band member, Boris Simoneov told CBS News, Channel 12,

Everything seemed normal. Corey was completely himself.  We shook hands gave each other a high-five and he left and I finished putting away some of the gear and equipment.

I don’t understand how anyone could ever perceive Corey is a threat he’s the most level-headed, calm kind-hearted person.

Simoneov also told Channel 12 that another band member met up with Jones, just before the police arrived, to help him after his car broke down. He declined the offer since the tow truck was on the way, so the friend left.

Channel 12 CBS News, interviewed Corey’s uncle, Kenneth Banks,

Banks spoke publicly at the church Corey played drums for and was a well known community figure for volunteering and helping with children, he said.

Jones was known for working hard and being the church drummer.

He called his nephew ‘a servant for the community.’

Channel 12 CBS News recently reported that police said,

Raja has been with Palm Beach Gardens Police since April 2015.  He was working as part of a burglary detail at the time of the shooting.

Palm Beach Gardens Police Chief Stephen Stepp said deputies with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office found a gun on the ground outside Jones’ car after the shooting.  Stepp also said officers found the box it came in, and said the serial number on the box matched the number on the gun.

Stepp said authorities confirmed Jones bought the gun three days prior to the police shooting, according to paperwork obtained by detectives with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Like I said, Corey Jones should be alive today.

Benjamin Crump is representing his family.

 

 


Nothing good can happen when people fear the other

October 19, 2015

We cannot come together, if we fear each other. Our democracy is doomed unless we overcome fear. Here’s an interview of Marilynne Robinson conducted by our president, Barack Obama. From billmoyers.com,

When Barack Obama sits down for an interview, he’s usually the one answering the questions. But he’s had a hankering to turn the tables lately, and so, last month, the president spoke with his first interview subject: Marilynne Robinson, author of Housekeeping, Gilead, Home, and the 2014 National Book Award finalist Lila. At the start of the interview, which was published in print and as a podcast by the NY Review of Books, Obama tells Robinson that he chose her to talk with because he’s been a fan of her work since reading Gilead, a book set in Iowa, while campaigning in the state prior to the 2008 election. He first met Robinson when he presented her with the National Medal of the Humanities in 2012, and they have remained in touch ever since.

Here’s a link to the print version of the interview that he conducted in Des Moines, Iowa last month.

Here’s a link to the podcast, which is by subscription.


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