October 25th, 2009

franklin sherman

Troop use After Ala. Shootings Illegal

October 20, 2009
Associated Press

SAMSON, Ala. -- An Army investigation found that Soldiers should not have been sent to man traffic stops in a small Alabama town after 11 people were killed in March during a shooting spree.

An Army report released to The Associated Press on Monday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request said the decision to dispatch military police to Samson from nearby Fort Rucker broke the law. But an Army spokesman said no charges have been filed following the Aug. 10 report.

"As a result of the findings of the report, the Army took administrative action against at least one person," Lt. Col. Christopher Garver said.

The action was less than a transfer or discharge but Garver would not elaborate.

The report from the Department of Army Inspector General found the use of military personnel in Samson violated the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits federal troops from performing law enforcement actions. The names of those involved were redacted from the report.

The officer who made the decision to send the Soldiers thought he had the authority based on his experience with responses to Hurricanes Katrina and Andrew, the report said.

According to the report, the officer's "intent was to be a good Army neighbor and help local civilian authorities facing a difficult, unique tragedy affecting the local community. There were no apparent adverse collateral effects to the support provided."

The Army has said 22 military police and an officer were sent after Michael McLendon, 28, shot nine people to death in Samson and killed a 10th in neighboring Coffee County. The March 10 spree ended when McLendon killed himself.

The Soldiers arrived in the hours after the shootings, which stretched the town's tiny police force and county officers to the limit with several different crime scenes.

The report said troops were dispatched after the Geneva County Sheriff's Office and Samson Police requested assistance from Fort Rucker to relieve law enforcement at traffic check points around the crime scene area.

The mission in Samson lasted about five hours. The military also guarded bodies at a makeshift morgue.

edit: source

Michael Moore Asks the Question: What Would Jesus Do...About Capitalism?

 By: Paul Raushenbush

Roman Catholic Priests are the surprising voices of clarity and conviction in Michael Moore's new film Capitalism: A Love Story.   The Priests in this documentary, one of whom married Mr. Moore and his wife, aren't ambivalent - they characterize capitalism as evil.   This must be jarring for most moviegoers who have not had the pleasure of interacting with radical priests who, unfortunately, seem to be something of a dying breed these days.   Most of us are used to the recent steady stream of religious voices praising our free market system as part of God's plan for prosperity.  In Moore's opinion we have been hypnotized to believe that capitalism and Christianity must go hand in hand.


In one of the funnier segments of the film, Moore adapts one of the early Jesus movies by dubbing over foundational teachings of Jesus such as "You cannot worship God and wealth" (Luke 16:13); "Blessed are the poor and woe to the rich"(Luke 6); Let the oppressed go free (Luke 4), and changing them to pithy endorsements of such stock capitalist principles such as the profit motive.  One immediate classic is the scene of Jesus refusing to heal the sick man because of what this new improved capitalist Jesus describes as his "pre-existing condition."

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When Bonnie Greer met Nick Griffin (Bonnie Greer is awesome)

When Bonnie Greer met Nick Griffin
David Cohen, 23.10.09

Last night, as Bonnie Greer prepared to enter the electric atmosphere of the BBC Question Time studio, she came face to face with Nick Griffin for the first time.

"It was the strangest thing because as I came out of my dressing room prepared for combat, it was as if he'd been waiting for me in the corridor," she says.

"I was the last to emerge and when he saw me, he turned and smiled his greasy smile and clumsily half extended a hand. I ignored it and thought to myself: what are you about? Are you forgetting I'm black? Are you forgetting you called me a black history fabricator? Are you trying to show me you aren't racist?"

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Links are as they are in the Source.

I found this article really interesting. I really liked Bonnie Greer on QT and was glad she was sitting next to him, though I couldn't understand why she didn't slap him at all. I was glad to see on reading this that she was as tempted to do so as I felt at home :)

Bwhaha, BNP possibly about to tear itself apart over Question Time.

Nick Griffin attacked by his own BNP supporters over Question Time

Party's legal officer accuses leader of failing to press home his attack on 'the sanctimonious, hypocritical middle classes'

Jamie Doward, home affairs correspondent
The Observer, Sunday 25 October 2009

The leader of the BNP, Nick Griffin, found himself the victim of an extraordinary attack from his own supporters last night following his controversial appearance on the BBC's Question Time.

As a public postmortem into one of the most divisive broadcasts in the corporation's history attempted to gauge its impact on the party's fortunes, Lee Barnes, the BNP's legal officer, accused Griffin of "failing to press the attack" during the televised debate, which was watched by a record 8 million people. Others sympathetic to the BNP's views expressed dismay at Griffin's flustered attempts to appeal to the mainstream.

The BNP's critics were quick to use the comments as proof of deep divisions within the party's membership over how it should position itself with the electorate. Griffin has claimed that he has dragged the party into the political mainstream. But the resulting backlash from those on his own side suggests many are uncomfortable with the BNP's attempts to cloak itself in more moderate terms.

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I really hope it's true and the BNP/far right tear themselves apart over the appearance. It'd be awesome. I'm also left wondering if whoever wrote this article had to clean their computer out with bleach (and possibly their brain) after visiting all of those sites/chatrooms.

Feingold: "No Public Option? Triggers?? No Cookies for You!"

Feingold: No Public Option A "Strong Reason" Not To Support Reform

The major point of contention between the White House and congressional Democrats is now whether a public option for insurance coverage has the 60 votes needed for passage in the Senate. In reporting our piece on the state of play in the health care reform debate, Ryan Grim and I heard the same refrain from a number of sources: Majority Leader Harry Reid's office thinks it can get the support needed to pass a public option with an opt-out provision for states. The White House thinks that Reid's whip count is too optimistic.

Part of the administration's reasoning is that if you don't have Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) on board, you end up losing the votes of a handful of conservative Democrats. So White House officials are pushing an alternative proposal that would have the public plan "triggered" in by economic conditions.

But the equation is more complicated than that. Increasingly, there are senators on the liberal side of the spectrum who say they won't pass a plan that includes the trigger provision.

"To me that would be a very serious gap and it would be a very strong reason not to support it," Sen. Russ Feingold told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "We need a public option. We need something that would cause some control over the abuses that have occurred in the insurance industry."

Triggers, Feingold added, are "just an invitation for the insurance industry to manipulate the situation for a couple of years just so they can avoid the trigger and so they can convince members of Congress to delay it again. We need to do something now."

Feingold did not say (nor was he asked) if he would participate in a filibuster of a bill that included triggers instead of an opt-out public plan. And that seems likely to be the major question mark going forward. While conservative Democrats may be comfortable allowing the broader effort to pass health care reform fail over their objections to the public plan, it's not clear if their progressive counterparts will make that leap.
"Now you can't have any of my pot pie."
  • doop

Rush Was Punked: “Obama Thesis” Hoax

It must have seemed so perfect. An obscure blogger unearths some pages of President Obama's college thesis. The report supposedly comes from big-time journalist Joe Klein of Time magazine. And the thesis has some real gems: like Obama's disdain for the Constitution.

The whole thing was nothing more than a satirical post on a humor blog. But Rush Limbaugh, who quoted from the supposed thesis on his radio show, sure wasn't laughing. Here's how it went down.

An unknown blogger picked up on a made-up post meant as a joke, which claimed that Joe Klein had gotten his hands on 10 pages of student Obama's college thesis. Rush Limbaugh jumped on it, which immediately sparked Web searches on "obama thesis."

Supposedly titled "Aristocracy Revisited," the excerpt revealed the president had "doubts" about the "so-called founders." Juicy. Except not true. Limbaugh discovered halfway through his show that he'd been had, but defended himself by saying basically the thesis felt true. Listen in to Rush's mea sorta culpa.

Joe Klein finally jumped in, and called the report "nonsense" on his Swampland blog, and the blogger who thought the hoax was real also apologized.

Let's hope someone kept their sense of humor in all this. Still, for a humble post to go from humor blog to major media outlet sure seems impressive. Someone ought to write their thesis on it. For real.

Hangar Outfit

(no subject)

Student Verbally Attacked By Homophobic Teacher

A year 11 student putting up posters for a gay rights protest at his school has been called a faggot by a teacher and has had his posters ripped down.

The student, Jimmy Y from Glen Waverly Secondary College had been putting up posters all week for the upcoming Equal Love Rally , a gay protest for equal rights in Victoria on November 28. According to Jimmy the posters kept getting ripped down. The culprit was finally caught in the school library, and found to be a teacher. When confronted about posters, the teacher (whose real name is ironically Mr Right) turned around and shouted at the student, “Faggot Kid! You don’t know what real marriage is!”

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Long, informative, albeit depressing article about the sexism in both film executives and audiences

Women & film
With female characters, why does Hollywood fear that the stronger they are, the harder they fail?

To earn her two Oscars, Hilary Swank went mano a mano with Clint Eastwood in a boxing ring and sucked face with Chloë Sevigny. But her toughest test yet might be this weekend, when box office numbers for "Amelia" come in. The historical drama, about the pioneering aviatrix Amelia Earhart, represents a major risk in Hollywood, where studio executives have been increasingly chary of making movies about strong women. If "Amelia" earns respectable receipts, chances are it will be dismissed as a lucky break. If it fails, it will be cited as yet more proof that strong female protagonists are box office poison.

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Tucker Carlson: "Help! We are Being Oppressed!!!"

Why the White House Bullies Fox
The Obama team isn’t at war with Fox because it’s conservative. They’re angry because Fox has embarrassed them. Tucker Carlson on the press corps’ shameful silence.

It’s not surprising that the White House doesn’t like Fox. Most politicians hate the press, and few hide it well. What’s new and remarkable about the Obama administration’s approach is the demand that everyone else hate Fox, too.

“They’re not really a news station,” David Axelrod explained to George Stephanopoulos last Sunday. “It’s not just their commentators, but a lot of their news programming if you watch, it’s really not news… The bigger thing is that other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way.”

A few hours later on CNN, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel repeated the talking point. It is vital, he said, “to not have the CNNs and the others in the world basically be led in following Fox.”

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if you ask me, the media is just spineless. during the eight yeas of the Bush Administration they just gave them a pass no question asked. They failed us to keep these hawkish crazy idiots at bay for fear of being labeled traitors or terrorist sympathizers. Now that he is gone suddenly they are not afraid of the Big Bad Cheney shooting them in their faces...
iamamiwhoami idle talk
  • danibel

Why You Should ALWAYS Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

"Mr. James Duane, a professor at Regent Law School and a former defense attorney, tells you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police" - even if you're completely innocent. (He begins his list around 8 minutes if you want to skip ahead, though I recommend watching the whole thing.)

"An experienced police officer tells you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police."

These lectures are a bit lengthy (and a year old), but they are insightful and humorous and definitely worth watching, especially if you're interested in understanding the extent of your fifth amendment rights.

Bankers To The Poor: "Eat Cake"

ABA Protests: National Bankers Convention Draws Protesters From Across The Country

UPDATED 10/25 7:39:

According to the SEIU's Twitter feed, the protesters are headed to the ABA's "Roaring '20s"-themed cocktail party. (Perhaps the ABA is not aware of the irony of having such an event.)

Here's a picture from the scene.

Sen. Dick Durbin spoke in front of the protesters earlier today. Here's a clip from the video, in which Durbin tells the story of homeowner who was struggling to stay in her home -- and was apparently talked into agreeing to a seemingly atrocious mortgage. The woman's mortgage was riddled with hidden fees and by, "the types of things even a Wall Street lawyer couldn't explain to anyone," Durbin said.
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Mafia Makes Lucrative Nuclear Waste Deals

A shipwreck apparently containing toxic waste is being investigated by authorities in Italy amid claims that it was deliberately sunk by the mafia.
An informant from the Calabrian mafia said the ship was one of a number he blew up as part of an illegal operation to bypass laws on toxic waste disposal.
The sunken vessel has been found 30km (18 miles) off the south-west of Italy.
The informant said it contained "nuclear" material. Officials said it would be tested for radioactivity.

Murky pictures taken by a robot camera show the vessel intact and alongside it are a number of yellow barrels. Labels on them say the contents are toxic.
The informant said the mafia had muscled in on the lucrative business of radioactive waste disposal. But he said that instead of getting rid of the material safely, he blew up the vessel out at sea, off the Calabrian coast.
He also says he was responsible for sinking two other ships containing toxic waste.

Experts are now examining samples taken from the wreck.

An official said that if the samples proved to be radioactive then a search for up to 30 other sunken vessels believed scuttled by the mafia would begin immediately.
For years there have been rumours that the mafia was sinking ships with nuclear and other waste on board, as part of a money-making racket.
The environmental campaign group Greenpeace and others have compiled lists over the past few decades of ships that have disappeared off the coast of Italy and Greece.
Processing waste is highly specialised and is supposed to be an industry where security is the top priority.

If tests show that there is nuclear material on the seabed it will prove that the mafia has moved into its dirtiest business yet.

Glowing Sauce with video

Warrrrgh. This shouldn't be surprising actually, seeing as it's the Mafia and all... but goddamn. I also just saw a related report about people having investigated this for decades (on arte info for you guys in Germany or France). Apparently the Ndrangheta has been doing this nuclear/toxic waste disposal ~business~ for years now, and not only via ships, but also simple barrels buried in the countryside. This is some scary shit, I hope this will trigger some proper extended investigation (despite the obvious control of the situation by shady figures).
So the Mediterranean is full of sunken radioactive ships?... yaaay DDDDD8|
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Cops? Using excessive violence? Whaaa?

Cell phone video shows police beating of student

SAN JOSE, Calif. – A cell phone video that shows police officers repeatedly hitting an unarmed university student with batons and a Taser gun has prompted a criminal investigation into the officers' conduct, a San Jose police spokesman said.

The video, posted by the San Jose Mercury News on its Web site late Saturday, shows one officer hitting 20-year-old Vietnamese student Phuong Ho with a metal baton more than 10 times, including once on the head. Another officer is seen using his Taser gun on the San Jose State math major.

The final baton strike in last month's incident appears to take place after handcuffs have been attached to Ho's wrists.

"It takes me back to the day I saw the Rodney King video on TV," said Roger Clark, a police expert and a retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.

The last baton strike ought to bring a felony charge, Clark said.

Officers arrested Ho on suspicion of assaulting one of his roommates. He was not armed when police arrived and he told the newspaper he didn't resist arrest.

The confrontation began Sept. 3 when Ho's roommate, Jeremy Suftin, put soap on Ho's steak. The two scuffled, and Ho picked up a steak knife, saying that in his home country he would have killed Suftin for doing what he did.

Police were called, and four officers responded.

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If you want to watch it, a link to the video is at the source.