June 6th, 2013

paranoia agent

Texas man acquitted in Craigslist escort murder

The jury found that Ezekiel Gilbert was attempting to "retrieve stolen property" when he shot Lenora Frago

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A Texas jury has acquitted Ezekiel “Zeke” Gilbert in the 2009 murder of Lenora Frago, an escort he met on Craigslist. The defense argued that Gilbert’s actions were “justified” because he was attempting to “retrieve stolen property” when he shot Frago in the neck and back after she refused his request for sex and fled his home with $150 he paid her. The jury, apparently, agreed.

Frago died of her injuries seven months after Gilbert shot her.

Texas law allows the use of deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft, but prosecutor Matt Lovell argued that a theft never occurred, as the San Antonio Express-News reported in May:



“This case is about a man who got upset about the services he felt he deserved,” [Lovell] said. “He felt he deserved sex.”

In reality, said witness Christopher “Topher” Perkins, who posted ads for Frago and took a cut of her earnings, the $150 Gilbert paid for a half-hour with her did not include a guarantee of sex.

“Lenora normally would do lap dances and hanging out. That was her thing,” he said. “Her regular customers were all quiet, reserved guys and she would hang out.”


“I sincerely regret the loss of the life of Ms. Frago,” Gilbert said on Wednesday. “I’ve been in a mental prison the past four years of my life. I have nightmares. If I see guns on TV where people are getting killed, I change the channel.”

While Gilbert may be trapped in a “mental prison” after killing Frago, Perkins’ testimony seems to better capture the central facts of the tragic case: “For $150, Mr. Zeke opened fire on my car and shot my friend. He took a mother from her daughter,” Perkins said. “The responsibility lies with him. He was the one holding the gun.”


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I'll leave you to speculate what of this constitutes "stolen property".  The money - which he paid her?  Or that he felt cheated of his chance at sex?  Oh, and the poor Mr. Gilbert trapped in his "mental prison".  Yeah, he's in a "mental prison" (of fear that's he'd be convicted) while she's in a GRAVE.

*sigh*  We is it always Texas?
volcano lightning

Pastor evicts Boy Scout troop over gay ban lift, receives standing ovation

Troop 204 had been meeting in the Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., for 68 years


Georgia pastor Ernest Easley reacted to the Boy Scouts’ decision to lift the ban on openly gay scouts by evicting the troop that had been meeting at his Marietta, Ga., church for 68 years.

“We’re not going to openly embrace that which stands opposed to God’s word,” Easley told WSB-TV.

Easley said the Roswell Street Baptist Church congregation gave him a standing ovation after he announced his decision to kick out a group of preteen boys, which was of course a very charitable and churchlike thing for them to do.

When Rev. Richard Burdick of the Unity North Atlanta Church heard the news, he offered his church as a new meeting spot for the displaced troop, explaining that churches have a responsibility to welcome everyone, and “not turning our backs on people but opening our hearts and our churches to them.”

Source

At least this story has a happy ending.  As on of the commentors to this story said: "There are Christians, and there are Christians who act the way Christians are supposed to act.".  SUmes it up.

Another comment was this: "It's so nice to see a pastor and his congregation so blatantly ignore God's word on loving they neighbor, having compassion and understanding, and probably ignoring the needs of people who are sick, poor, and homeless, while embracing an obscure passage from a book of the Bible filled with other passages that we decided to ignore long ago."

Seriously wtf

Romney Wishes Hurricane Sandy Hadn't Happened Because It Hurt His Chances

Mitt Romney has had seven months to think about why he lost the 2012 election, and now that he's coming out of his post-campaign dark period, you'd think he'd know exactly how to answer reporters' questions about what happened. But in a new interview with CNN's Gloria Borger, Romney showed he's still not a natural in dealing with the press. When asked if he had hard feelings about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie praising President Obama after Hurricane Sandy, Romney said no. Instead? "I wish the hurricane hadn't happened when it did because it gave the president a chance to look presidential."

Romney, who is hosting a retreat with his wife on Thursday and Friday in Utah, appears to have convinced himself that he almost had it. "The election was close enough in the outcome with what 4 percent difference between the two campaigns that a number of things could have changed the outcome," he said. Romney implied the IRS scandal might have made a difference. He demanded to know where Obama was during the Benghazi attack. But by modern standards, the election wasn't that close. That 4 percent is 5 million votes, and Romney needed to flip four swing states.

Among the things Romney thinks might have actually changed the election appears to be his own comments. He repeatedly referenced his own "mistakes" in the CNN interview. He said he "regrets" his comment about 47 percent of Americans refusing to take responsibility for their lives. He said of Clint Eastwood's empty-chair moment, "Clint didn't hurt my campaign, I hurt my campaign a couple times." He said dealing with the press is hard. "Jokes, for instance, will get you in trouble," Romney said. "Any time you're trying to be funny."

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So, thousands of people loose their homes, businesses destroyed and the northeastern coast is a disaster area and you regret that the hurricane happened because it hurt your presidential chances?!?  Seriously?  That's what you come away with?  I guess since you're rich enough that it wouldn't effect your property or livelihood, that's all that matters.  Because it's all about you.  And you think, gee, it let Obama look "presidential?  Here's a clue doofus:   He is the president and he was when the hurricane hit.

Lupin - Extreme Close up

Bill O'Reilly - Commencement has become a decidedly liberal affair

Once again, graduation time is upon us, and a new study by the Los Angeles Times says plenty about the state of higher education in America. The paper looked at the invited commencement speakers for 150 colleges and universities.

There are just four conservative speakers, as opposed to at least 69 liberal ones.


Cory Book, the mayor of Newark, N.J., and a very liberal guy, has as many campus addresses as all elected Republicans combined.

There is no shortage of intellect or accomplishment on the right. The reason few conservative speakers are invited is that college administrators are frightened by radical left students and faculty. Last month, Karl Rove's speech at the University of Massachusetts was disrupted and so was one by Senator Rand Paul at Howard University.

Nobody wants a graduation ceremony turned into an ideological circus — and that's what often happens when perceived conservatives are invited to speak on many campuses.

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Pride & Prejudice

[tw: homophobic violence] French gay rights activist left braindead after attack by skinheads

A French leftwing activist has been left braindead after he was attacked by a group of skinheads, in an attack that has raised fears of increased far-right violence.

The interior minister, Manuel Valls, said a fight broke out on Wednesday evening between two groups of young people in a street just steps away from the famous Printemps department store in Paris.

Clement Meric, a 19-year-old student at Sciences Po, one of France's most prestigious universities, was beaten by several skinheads, according to Valls.

No suspects have been arrested, and Valls told reporters at the scene of the attack – a crowded, pedestrianised area with cafes and chain stores – that finding them is the top priority.

It was unclear how the fight developed and how many people were involved.

Political tensions are high in France after months of protests against legalising gay marriage, that sometimes ended with troublemakers from the extreme right clashing with police.

Gay rights organisations have also warned that gay people were being targeted before the Socialist government's "marriage for all" bill was passed.

Politicians from left and right lashed out at the violence, as did Valls, who focused his anger at the skinheads.

"There is no place for small neo-Nazi groups whose enemy is the nation. A group of the extreme right is at the heart of this assassination. There is a discourse of hate and a climate that favours this discourse. We need to pay attention to this because they threaten our values."

The Party of the Left said Meric, one of its activists, was declared braindead. The party, one of several small political movements on France's vocal and active far-left, called for demonstrations in Paris against violence by groups on the extreme right.

Source
TatContrast

NSA taps in to internet giants' systems to mine user data, secret files reveal

NSA taps in to internet giants' systems to mine user data, secret files reveal

• Top secret PRISM program claims direct access to servers of firms including Google, Facebook and Apple
• Companies deny any knowledge of program in operation since 2007

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims "collection directly from the servers" of major US service providers.

Although the presentation claims the program is run with the assistance of the companies, all those who responded to a Guardian request for comment on Thursday denied knowledge of any such program.


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OP: Oh. Good. It's not just phone metadata.</p>

Two high level TS documents have been leaked to the Guardian in the past seventy two hours. That's going to cause some major repercussions. That it's happening during the high profile trial of PFC Manning is interesting as well. It'll be interesting to see how both the US and the UK governments will handle this.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data

hedgehog, prickle pig, reginald

Military benefits for same-sex couples to begin Sept. 1

The Pentagon plans to begin issuing identification cards to the same-sex partners of service members beginning Sept. 1, according to an internal personnel Web posting on Thursday.

The dependents’ ID cards will entitle partners to scores of benefits, as outlined by then-Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta in a February policy decision.

The ID card Web notice refers to same-sex domestic partners as “SSDPs.”

The benefits include education, survivor, commissary, travel, counseling and transportation, but not what some consider the armed forces’ premium perks — health care and housing allowances.

Mr. Panetta said the federal Defense of Marriage Act restricts those benefits to heterosexual couples, though the Pentagon has not ruled out offering them to homosexual couples at some point.

Still, the new benefits and special ID cards represent a victory for the gay rights movement in the wake of President Obama’s lifting the long-time ban on open homosexuals in the ranks.

“These benefits shall be extended to the same-sex domestic partners and, where applicable, children of same-sex domestic partners, once the service member and their same-sex domestic partner have signed a declaration attesting to the existence of their committed relationship,” Mr. Panetta said.

The Defense of Marriage Act, now under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, defines marriage, for the purposes of federal policy, as the union of one man and one woman.

Some benefits can be designated by military members; others require a couple to sign a “declaration of domestic partnership” that attests: “We are each other’s sole domestic partner, in a committed relationship, and intend to remain so indefinitely.”

The armed forces do not offer benefits to heterosexual couples who are not married.

“We do not recognize, because of law, a marriage of a same-sex partner,” a defense official said in February. “So today you have a class of members who get nothing. And so they are not being treated fairly, where a heterosexual couple can get married and they can get all these benefits.”

Pentagon officials told reporters they estimate that 5,600 same-sex couples include an active duty member; 3,400 include a reservist and 8,000 include a retiree.

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OP: So, I figured I've posted enough fucked up government stuff recently. This is MUCH BETTER. DOMA isn't dead yet, but if the DoD is willing to do an endrun around it, I have a feeling that regardless of the SCOTUS decision, its time is numbered.

Also, fuck the Family Research Council.

Source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/7/military-benefits-same-sex-couples-begin-sept-1/