ONTD Political

An African-American family in Long Island was left disgusted after receiving an anonymous letter in the mail asking them to leave town.

Suffolk County Police's hate crimes unit is investigating the letter, which was sent to the home of Darcell Copes, who lives with her three grown children and five young grandchildren.

'Attn: African-American family. This is coming from Lindenhurst community. Lindenhurst is 84% white population. You don't belong here!!!,' read the letter, which the family received on Tuesday. It continued: 'Please leave Lindenhurst as soon as you can. It will be better for all of us. Find the town where there are more people like you. Sorry if this is rude, but it's the truth.'

'I went from being fearful, protecting my family, to being totally confused, and wanted to know who and why,' she told NBC 4 on Friday. 'Today, it becomes even deeper: is it someone in the school district, is it the guy at the corner store, is it my neighbor down the street? Where?'

Her daughter, Ronica Copes, posted the letter on Facebook and dozens of commenters have expressed their outrage by the letter.

'Sooooo, I'm checking my mail and when I come across this I can't help but laugh... wait, it's not funny though,' Ronica Copes wrote on her Facebook page. 'Where they do that at? Oh yeah Lindenhurst. Unbelievable but then it's not ... our daily reality, I've just never seen it in this form.'

The Copes family has lived in their hope for two years and this is the first time they have experienced overt racism.

Babylon Town and Lindenhurst Village said in a joint statement on Friday that the letter contained 'racist hateful views'.

'The best way to fight bias is with solidarity and we stand with all of our residents in declaring that there is no place for this type of intolerance and hatred in the Village of Lindenhurst, the Town of Babylon, or anywhere in our community,' the statement said, according to the Patch.

It continued: 'We are, and always will be, a strong diverse community that does not cede ground to hostility, ignorance, or hatred, wherever it may appear.'

The Copes family said that they are not shocked by the letter, because it proves that racism is still very much alive.

Darcell Copes called the letter writer a 'coward', but says her family is not intimidated and will not be leaving Lindenhurst. She added that she would be praying for the person who sent the letter.


The image above represents all of the content ever posted on
Walmart.horse. Think about the money wasted on legal fees to
have this site taken down the next time the price of bread goes up.

You’ll have to excuse us if we’re not in the greatest spirits today, as we’re in mourning for the loss of Walmart.horse, the nonsense website that Walmart spent actual time and money to shut down and acquire.

We told you about Walmart.horse back in March after its creator, Jeph Jacques, a source of Questionable Content [Jacques has posted about the revocation], was hit with a cease-and-desist order from Walmart’s “Brand Protection” team.

Even though the site was literally nothing other than a photo of a horse crudely overlaid on a picture of a Walmart store and there is no possible way a reasonable human being would think this was something created by the retailer, the letter says the use of the Walmart name “suggests Walmart’s sponsorship or endorsement of your website and correspondingly, your activities,” and that this infringes on retailer’s trademark “because it weakens the ability of the Walmart mark and domain name to identify a single source, namely Walmart.”

Jacques — who described the site as a “piece of postmodern Dadaism — nonsense-art using found objects” and contended that it was “an obvious parody” which falls under the umbrella of fair use — did not heed the company’s takedown demand and the site remained live and unchanged.

But the Guardian reports that the site so rankled Walmart that it wasted additional time and money by taking its complaint to the World Intellectual Property Organisation and sought to take over Walmart.horse under the WIPO’s Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.

“The UDRP is a domain name dispute resolution process that was designed to address cybersquatting issues,” trademark lawyer Roberto Ledesma explains to the Guardian. “This is reflected in the elements needed to prevail in a UDRP, which requires that the domain name has been registered in ‘bad faith’ and without rights or legitimate interests in the domain.”

But the matter never actually went before a UDRP panel, as Jacques decided it wasn’t worth fighting Walmart anymore.

And though Walmart.horse does not redirect to Walmart.com, or even a section of Walmart.com related to horses, the Guardian reports that the company is indeed the proud owner of the URL.

Generic top-level domains (like .horse and .bike) are expected to be somewhat of a legal battlefield in the coming years. This is especially true of domains like the new .sucks, which is currently in the process of being doled out to interested buyers. However, anyone looking to register a URL like Walmart.sucks is going to have to pay top dollar.

The Consumerist
Kate Williams was 21 weeks pregnant in 2011 when she had an ultrasound anatomy scan to check on the progress of her baby. The news was not good: Her unborn son had Potter syndrome, a fatal condition in which the kidneys fail to develop in the womb.

The doctor told Williams, then 31, that her baby had no kidneys and no bladder and would not develop lungs, and there was very little amniotic fluid left to support his life. She was told she could either choose to induce labor right then and go through a full delivery, only to have the baby die in the process, or she could undergo anesthesia and have an abortion procedure.

"I was absolutely devastated to get that news," Williams told The Huffington Post in an interview. "I called my regular OB-GYN to discuss with her if there was any chance this might not be true. But she looked at the ultrasounds and told me, 'No, this is the situation.'"

Williams, a retail store manager with a 9-month-old son at the time, decided to have the abortion procedure to avoid having to go through the labor and delivery. Because she lives in Philadelphia, where there are abortion providers who are trained to perform the second-trimester procedure, and because the abortion was covered by her insurance, she could afford to make that choice. "If I wasn't in Philadelphia, who knows where I would have had to go," she said.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that bans the procedure Williams chose to have. The so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act aims to prohibit doctors from performing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger. There is no exception for severe fetal anomalies, and the bill requires a neonatal doctor to try to save the fetus if there is any chance it could survive outside the womb.

Republicans claim the 20-week limit is based on the disputed theory that fetuses can feel pain at that point in their development.

Anti-abortion activists hope the 20-week abortion ban will be their opening to challenge and ultimately overturn Roe v. WadeCollapse )

By Laura Bassett. Posted: 05/13/2015 1:36 pm EDT.

Oklahoma Man Denied Pro-LGBT License Plate Files Court Petition Against State's Tax Commission

An Oklahoma man has filed a court petition after he was reportedly denied a vanity license plate intended to express his support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

John P. Keefe of Edmond, who identifies as straight and is married, is appealing the Oklahoma Tax Commission's decision to reject his request for a license plate that reads "LGBTALY," which is intended as an abbreviation of LGBT ally, The Oklahoman reports.

In their rejection, the Oklahoma Tax Commission said the plate carries a sexual connotation, which is against the agency's rules, KFOR reports. But Keefe, a certified minister who performs wedding ceremonies for both heterosexual and same-sex couples, shrugged off that claim, telling the news station, "It’s not sexual. It’s about who people are as human beings."Read more...Collapse )


Dear Oklahoma, your homophobia is showing, and so are your ignorance and stupidity. Please educate your state employees as to what the term "sexual connotation" means and (especially) what it doesn't mean. Thank you. No love, Me
SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 11 (Reuters) - Eight California lawmakers on Monday denounced a proposed ballot initiative that advocates the murder of gays and lesbians and has stirred outrage in the state.

The proposal, which is unconstitutional and highly unlikely to make the ballot or pass, has upset people across the political spectrum in a state that prides itself on civil rights protections for all citizens.Read more...Collapse )


As unlikely (as in "when hell freezes solid and never thaws out again") this is to pass, I think it's a travesty that there's even a possibility that it has even a smidgen of a chance of appearing on the ballot. I really don't understand the laws in CA that govern how these things work.
We are now four full months into the 2016 election cycle, and the battle for the Senate is starting to take shape.

Retirements in California, Florida, Indiana, Maryland and Nevada have set up open-seat contests -- though only two of them are considered top-tier races. And with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) gearing up for reelection and saving Republicans major headaches in the process, we have a pretty good idea of where the battleground races will be.Read more...Collapse )


My state, Illinois, is in the number one spot, and I don't mind admitting I'm pumped. This district can be counted on to elect one Republican douche after another to the House and the state legislature, so I usually own get excited about the Senate and Presidential races. It's nice to think I have a good shot at being able to help elect a Democrat to the Senate this time around. Also, I've been a big fan of Tammy Duckworth for years, and ever since she got elected to Congress, I've been sitting here in my extremely red district, which is right next door to her rather purple one, feeling very envious of her constituents. If she wins the Senate seat, I WILL be one of her constituents. :-p
Fox's Keith Ablow thinks getting an abortion should be a two-person decision.

“I think men should be able to veto women’s abortions if they’re willing to care for the child after it’s born,” the psychiatrist said
on Tuesday’s episode of "Outnumbered."

None of the show’s four female panelists challenged the statement, though they did swiftly bring the conversation back to the topic at hand: actress Sofia Vergara’s ongoing legal battle with ex Nick Loeb over frozen embryos the couple had created while still together. Vergara has said she wants the embryos to remain frozen, but Loeb wants the right to bring them to term without her consent should he choose to.

Ablow’s musings on abortion veto rights weren’t really relevant to this conversation, since Vergara and Loeb’s embryos are frozen rather than inside the body of a pregnant woman.

However, Ablow had plenty of thoughts on Vergara and Loeb, too.

“If he wants to bring these embryos to term, good for him," he said. "If he wants to parent, if he wants to have them adopted, good for him."

In a 2011 opinion piece, Ablow said that if a man gets a woman pregnant, he should be able to stop her from getting an abortion. Additionally, he wrote that the pregnant woman should be legally penalized for “psychological suffering and wrongful death” if she has one anyway.

“If a man has participated in creating a new life and is fully willing to parent his child (independently, if necessary), why should he not have any control over whether that life is ended?” he asks in the piece, as if unaware in which person’s body a fetus resides inside for nine months.

By Hilary Hanson. Posted: 05/05/2015 5:35pm EDT. Updated: 05/05/2015 5:59pm EDT.

Source has video.
BALTIMORE — Baltimore’s chief prosecutor charged six police officers on Friday with crimes including murder and manslaughter in the arrest and fatal injury of Freddie Gray, a striking and surprisingly swift turn in a case that has drawn national attention to police conduct.

The state’s attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn J. Mosby, filed the charges almost as soon as she received a medical examiner’s report Friday that ruled Mr. Gray’s death a homicide, and a day after the police concluded their initial investigation and handed her their findings. Officials had cautioned that it could take considerable time for her office to complete its own investigation and decide whether to prosecute.Read more...Collapse )


See also:
-- The Timeline of Freddie Gray’s Arrest and the Charges Filed
-- Marilyn Mosby, Prosecutor in Freddie Gray Case, Seen as Tough on Police Misconduct

Time will tell what, if anything, comes of these charges. But this is the first step toward justice being done, and as such, it's a very significant (and, I think, encouraging) development.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed Republican legislation Thursday that would drop thousands of low-income families from Missouri's welfare rolls by paring back benefits to what he said would be one of the shortest time periods in the nation.

But Nixon's veto may be only a last-grasp attempt to stop the tougher restrictions. Republicans, who hold overwhelming legislative majorities, said they expect to get the two-thirds vote needed in each chamber to override his veto.

Missouri's legislation would reduce the lifetime limit for receiving benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program from five years — which is the national norm — to three years and nine months, starting Jan. 1. Nixon said just eight states have shorter lifetime limits.

"When it comes to adults, we can all agree on the need for personal responsibility," Nixon said in a prepared statement accompanying the veto. But, he added, "I don't sign bills that hurt kids — period."

Read more...Collapse )


FARGO — A North Dakota lawmaker who sent an explicit photo of himself to another man says the exchange being made public is retaliation for a recent vote against expanding gay rights.

Rep. Randy Boehning, a 52-year-old Republican legislator from Fargo, says a Capitol employee told him a fellow lawmaker vowed to out him as gay if he continued to vote against bills granting gays legal protections against discrimination.

Boehning refused to identify at this point who he believes is behind the purported political payback for his vote against Senate Bill 2279, the third such bill defeated in the past six years by North Dakota legislators.

The exchange came to light when Dustin Smith, a 21-year-old Bismarck man with no known connections to the Capitol, contacted The Forum earlier this month, saying he recognized Boehning from a gay dating smartphone app called Grindr. Chatting under the user name Top Man! , Boehning sent Smith sexually suggestive messages and, in the early morning hours of March 12, an unsolicited photo of his penis, according to exchanges reviewed by The Forum.

"How can you discriminate against the person youʼre trying to pick up?" Smith said in a recent interview.

When first questioned about the messages two weeks ago, Boehning declined to comment on whether he sent the explicit photo and messages.

But on Saturday he confirmed he was Top Man! and said he doesnʼt think sending a graphic photo of himself to a stranger is a lapse in judgment, as Grindr is an adult site where users often exchange such images.

"Thatʼs what gay guys do on gay sites, donʼt they? " Boehning said. "Thatʼs how things happen on Grindr. Itʼs a gay chat site. Itʼs not the first thing you do on that site. Thatʼs what we do, exchange pics on the site."

Boehning, who is not married, said there are people who know he is gay, but many of his family members and friends do not. He said Saturday he is also attracted to women and was relieved to come out because he no longer has to worry about being outed.

"The 1,000-pound gorilla has been lifted," he said. "I have to confront it at some point."

Payback for vote?

Boehning said before he voted against the anti-discrimination bill on April 2 a Capitol employee told him a fellow House lawmaker who supported the bill said Boehning would be targeted for retaliation if he didnʼt vote for it. The 12-year veteran of the House still voted against 2279. He also voted against a similar bill in 2009 and would have in 2013, had the proposal not died in the Senate before a House vote.

He would not say who told him he would be targeted or name the lawmaker who is said to have mentioned it. Also, he couldnʼt recall the day he was informed of the alleged retaliation threat.

As of Monday, Boehning said he hadnʼt talked to legislative leaders about the alleged threat and wouldnʼt identify who he thinks is involved without doing that first. Though there is no binding ethics code for North Dakota legislators, he said there could be ramifications and "this isnʼt something I take lightly."

Smith said he stepped forward on his own after discovering Boehningʼs identity when he saw the legislatorʼs photo, which was published on the front page of The Forum the day after the vote. No one with connections to the Legislature encouraged him to take that step, he said.

Rep. Josh Boschee, a Fargo Democrat and the only openly gay member of the Legislature, said he did not speak with Boehning about his vote.

But Boschee said lawmakers from both parties have told him a gay Republican staffer at the Capitol who had been in contact with Boehning on Grindr since his last run for office had warned Boehning "there could be consequences for the hypocrisy of [his] vote," Boschee said.

Boschee would not identify the staffer, saying the man was concerned about the political fallout from his own party.

Asked on Monday via email if it was a Republican staffer who warned him to change his vote, Boehning didnʼt address it specifically.

"Well it would be interesting who it was then stay tuned I guess," he wrote.

ʼStrange bedfellowsʼ

Outing closeted gay politicians who cast votes seen as anti-gay is divisive in the gay community and has many critics. But while Smith and Boschee said they regret that Boehning was forced to come out of the closet, they believe it points out an important discrepancy between Boehningʼs vote and his personal life.

For his part, Boehning said coming out under these circumstances was both a personal relief and a political struggle.

"This has been a challenge for me," Boehning said. "You donʼt tell everyone youʼre going to vote one way and then switch your vote another way—you donʼt have any credibility that way."

Boehning, a self-employed general contractor, said he has voted against multiple attempts to extend protected-class status to include sexual orientation because he doesnʼt believe his south Fargo constituents support it. Also, he has problems with the billʼs language, which would protect people who are "perceived" to be gay.

If "perceived" was removed from the bill, he might vote in favor of it, he said.

Asked whether he would be personally concerned about being discriminated against in the areas of housing, workplace or public accommodation, Boehning, who lives in a rented Fargo apartment, said landlords have the right to do as they see fit.

He said many members of the Legislature find themselves allying and clashing on a variety of issues, regardless of party.

"Politics makes strange bedfellows," he said.

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