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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 48
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 14,735

Journal Archives

Republican Senate Candidate Alleges "Domestic Terrorism" and Extortion Threats From Michael Flynn

Everett Stern is certainly not a household name, but he may about to be. He is a Republican candidate for Senate in 2022 in Pennsylvania. A long time whistleblower he is responsible for blowing the lid in the 2010 HSBC money laundering scandal for Middle East terrorists, resulting in a nearly $2 billion fine against HSBC. He subsequently established Tactical Rabbit, a company dedicated to exposing wrongdoing by financial companies and corporations that has had several notable successes. He is now running for the United States Senate in Pennsylvania.

This weekend Stern held an amazing news conference making blockbuster allegations against Michael Flynn and Houston billionaire Al Hartman. In a nutshell, he claims an organization run by Flynn, and funded by Hartman, is attempting to gather information on members of Congress, and judges, to “extort” (his word) them into supporting “audits” aimed at overturning the 2020 Presidential election. He also claims this group explicitly endorses “domestic terrorism” (again his words) to achieve these goals. You can view Stern’s full press conference here.

Stern describes an organization called “Patriot Caucus” run by Flynn and funded by Hartman. The foundation for this organization is that Biden now runs an America that is a “terrorist state” and that Biden is not the legitimate President. The objective of the organization is to reverse the election results by state audits arranged to achieve that result.

Stern claims that on April 26th he was approached by representatives of Patriot Caucus after he gave a speech at a Republican event. The representatives wanted to hire Tactical Rabbit to gather intelligence to extort members of Congress, and judges, to support audits aimed at overturning the election. The representatives told Stern they were recruiting domestic and foreign intelligence officers to acquire this intelligence.


One dead, dozens detained after group of migrants tries to swim around U.S.-Mexico border fence

Source: Washington Post

A woman died, and 36 people were detained after they tried to swim around a metal border fence that stretches into the Pacific Ocean and separates Mexico and the United States, authorities said Saturday.

The woman was part of a group of about 70 migrants attempting to enter the United States late Friday night by swimming from Tijuana, Mexico, around the border barrier and into San Diego, Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.

The steel fence, topped in some places by concertina wire, plunges about 300 feet into the ocean and is heavily monitored, making it one of the most difficult places for people to cross along the 1,900-mile border dividing the two nations.

Border Patrol agents have reported a recent increase in the number of migrants trying to reach California’s coast, often aboard overcrowded, small fishing boats known as pangas led by migrant smugglers, which has prompted CBP to expand patrolling operations across 114 coastal border miles.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/10/31/migrant-dead-after-swimming-across-border/

Southwest Airlines to investigate pilot's purported anti-Biden chant

Source: Washington Post

Southwest Airlines is conducting an internal investigation after one of its pilots reportedly said a phrase used in right-wing circles as a stand-in for swearing at President Biden over the plane’s public address system — apologizing to customers and insisting it does not condone employees sharing personal political opinions while on the job.

The airline faced turbulence on social media over the weekend after an Associated Press journalist was on a flight from Houston to Albuquerque on Friday when she heard the pilot use the phrase “let’s go Brandon,” writing that it brought on “audible gasps from some passengers.” Audio of the pilot’s greeting, which The Washington Post could not independently verify, was separately circulating widely on social media.

“Southwest does not condone Employees sharing their personal political opinions while on the job serving our Customers, especially when comments are divisive and offensive,” the Texas-based airline said in a statement to The Washington Post on Sunday.

“Southwest is conducting an internal investigation into the recently reported incident and will address the matter directly with any Employee involved,” the statement continued. “The airline apologizes for this event — an action that was not reflective of the Southwest Hospitality for which we are known.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/10/31/southwest-airlines-pilot-anti-biden-chant/

Hope they drop the hammer on this dipshit pilot. He probably thought he was being "funny".

The Demand for Money Behind Many Police Traffic Stops

Busted taillights, missing plates, tinted windows: Across the U.S., ticket revenue funds towns — and the police responsible for finding violations.

Harold Brown’s contribution to the local treasury began as so many others have in Valley Brook, Okla.: A police officer saw that the light above his license plate was out.

“You pulled me over for that? Come on, man,” said Mr. Brown, a security guard headed home from work at 1:30 a.m. Expressing his annoyance was all it took. The officer yelled at Mr. Brown, ordered him out of the car and threw him to the pavement.

After a trip to jail that night in 2018, hands cuffed and blood running down his face onto his uniform, Mr. Brown eventually arrived at the crux of the matter: Valley Brook wanted $800 in fines and fees. It was a fraction of the roughly $1 million that the town of about 870 people collects each year from traffic cases.

A hidden scaffolding of financial incentives underpins the policing of motorists in the United States, encouraging some communities to essentially repurpose armed officers as revenue agents searching for infractions largely unrelated to public safety. As a result, driving is one of the most common daily routines during which people have been shot, Tased, beaten or arrested after minor offenses.


Tucson, Arizona isn't on the map, but it should be. They have more cops per mile on I-10 than anywhere else I've seen, so drivers beware.

Marie Antoinette's Adultery Unmasked by Modern Science

In a recent study employing a technique called X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, scientists discovered formerly redacted phrases on eight letters between Marie Antoinette and the Swedish count Axel Fersen, who was rumored to have been her lover. Further analysis revealed that the correspondence had been censored by Count Fersen himself. The altered words, which included “beloved,” “adore,” and “madly,” have now sparked something of a controversy: Are these recovered phrases additional evidence of an affair, or are they not?

The answer to this is a resounding yes. Just to set the record straight, no queen, Marie Antoinette included, used a word like “beloved” lightly to a man other than her husband. She could be punished for adultery, and even possibly executed, for doing so. That’s a pretty big risk to take if you don’t mean it, and it is why Fersen, who kept copies of these letters and feared they might fall into the wrong hands, edited those particular words.

It has long been suspected that Marie Antoinette was in love with the Swedish count. In 1779, her attraction to Fersen was so obvious that the Swedish ambassador noted that the queen could not disguise her feelings in public. The diplomat was thrilled when his countryman left to fight in the American Revolution and a scandal was avoided. But after Fersen returned in 1783, there is substantive evidence of intimacy. The documentation includes the exchange of secret letters, as well as Fersen’s diary, which is filled with entries detailing how much he loved someone named “Elle” (his code name for the queen), but how he couldn’t wed her because she was already married. But the most significant disclosures came from the head of the royal guard at Versailles, the Comte de Saint-Priest, who reported that, when Fersen was in town, he stayed over, often for days at a time, at Marie Antoinette’s private sanctuary, the Petit Trianon, and that the king was aware of the affair but the queen had somehow gotten around him.

Then there are Marie Antoinette’s pregnancies. Before the arrival of Fersen, it took her seven years to conceive her first child, a daughter. Nearly three years elapsed between the birth of this first girl and her next child, a son. This latter period corresponds to the years that Fersen was away fighting in America.


Let's Give DeSantis the Bolsonaro Treatment

Sovereign immunity can’t be a get-out-of-jail-free card for officials whose negligence, dereliction of duty and actions cost lives.

Now that a Brazilian Congressional panel has voted to recommend that President Jair Bolsonaro—whom Donald Trump has endorsed for re-election—should be charged with incitement to crime, violation of social rights, and crimes against humanity for his abysmal and lethal pandemic response, it is perhaps time that we considered similar charges against U.S. political leaders for their nonfeasance and negligent policies during the pandemic.

Too many elected officials here, most of them following the lead of former President Trump, have been playing fast and loose with the lives and well-being of their constituents. America is the only country with a higher death toll than Brazil—we’ve already exceeded 730,000 deaths, and are on track to lose another 30,000 lives by the end of November.

And many of these deaths were avoidable. A study by my center at Columbia University last year found that of the 217,000 deaths from COVID-19 at that point, fully 200,000 could have been avoided if we had simply emulated policies that countries like South Korea, Australia and Japan had been implementing. If only Trump had been honest with Americans regarding the dangers we faced. If only he wasn’t a deliberate purveyor of misinformation and anti-science nonsense. And if only he hadn’t promoted unproven or dangerous treatments with hydroxychloroquine or bleach injections for those who had become infected by the lethal SARS-CoV-2 virus…

Although Trump was voted out of office in 2020, state and local officials across the nation have picked up where he left off, embracing his legacy of misguided and negligent policies. What reading of political tea leaves allows a person to pursue or sustain higher office by shamelessly rejecting science-based strategies that could have—and still could—help control the pandemic and save lives?


Still no charges in prison beating death of Whitey Bulger 3 years later

Shortly after the killing, sources identified two Massachusetts organized crime figures as suspects: Fotios “Freddy” Geas and Paul J. DeCologero.

BOSTON — He was one of the most infamous criminals to ever be killed behind bars. And investigators narrowed in on suspects immediately after his shocking slaying in a West Virginia prison.

Yet three years later, no one has been charged in the beating death of murderous Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger. Questions such as why the well-known FBI informant was put in the troubled lockup’s general population alongside other New England gangsters — instead of more protective housing — remain unanswered.

Federal officials will say only that his death remains under investigation. Meanwhile, the lack of answers has only fueled rumors and spurred claims by Bulger’s family that the frail 89-year-old was “deliberately sent to his death” at the penitentiary nicknamed “Misery Mountain.”

“This was really a dereliction of duty,” said Joe Rojas, a union representative for the correctional staff at the Florida prison where Bulger was held before being transferred to USP Hazelton in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. “There’s no way he should have been put in that institution."


DeSantis announces 5-day special session to deal with COVID mandates

Legislators will be asked to return Nov. 15-19 and consider a long list of proposals, including punishing businesses, schools and governments that require employees to show proof of vaccination in the workplace.

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday made official his call for a special session next month, announcing that he will bring legislators to Tallahassee for five days to address a series of reforms to state law imposing new penalties on employers and governments that attempt to use vaccines and masks to protect people from the spread of the coronavirus.

Legislators will be asked to return Nov. 15-19, the same week they are already scheduled to be in the state Capitol for committee meetings.

In his lengthy proclamation, the governor did not specifically call for a ban on vaccine mandates but instead asked legislators to “protect workers against COVID-19 vaccine mandates and address employer policies that force COVID-19 vaccination.” He has said that could include punishing businesses, schools and governments that require employees to show proof of vaccination in the workplace by making businesses liable for any medical harm that results from a mandatory vaccination, and repealing liability protections from COVID-19-related claims if businesses impose vaccine mandates on their employees.

The governor also has said he wants legislators to allow parents to collect attorney’s fees if they win a lawsuit against a school district for enacting illegal coronavirus restrictions, legislation clarifying the existing law that makes it illegal for governments and schools in Florida to mandate the vaccine and testing options for government employees, and expanded reemployment options for individuals who lose their jobs because they refuse to be vaccinated.

In addition, the governor is asking lawmakers to create a new public records exemption relating to COVID-related complaints and investigations.


Trump's Truth App Gets Formal Demand To Stop Violating Software License

It's a step that could end in the license being revoked.

Former President Donald Trump’s new TRUTH social network is in violation of the software license it’s built on and must get in compliance, the holder of the license demanded this week.

The company that holds the software license for the open source code sent TRUTH Social, the Trump-founded venture, a letter demanding compliance with its software license, Mastodon CEO Eugen Rochko said in a statement.

Rochko told TPM last week that he believed an early version of Trump’s network was using open-source software that he developed, called Mastodon, without abiding by the terms of the license that make it available to use.

“Truth Social is required to make its complete source code available,” the letter reads. “We request that Truth Social comply with this important condition of the license.”


Boise mall shooter was a far-right gun rights extremist who stalked local antifascists at rally

The man who opened fire at a mall in Boise, Idaho, on Monday, killing two people and injuring five others before being fatally wounded by police, was a far-right gun extremist who had expressed an animus towards Latinos and other minorities—and who not only carried a gun into the Idaho governor’s office, but also turned up armed at an April antifascist protest in Boise and menaced demonstrators, Daily Kos has learned.

Jacob Bergquist, 27, was a convicted felon who had moved to Idaho a few years ago and had apparently developed an obsession with establishing his right to carry a firearm under Idaho law, a review of his social media posts indicates. He died Monday at a Boise hospital after being shot during the culmination of a shooting rampage inside Boise Towne Square, the state’s largest shopping mall.

Bergquist shot and killed a security guard, Jo Acker, 26, of Caldwell, and a Latino man, Roberto Padilla Arguelles, 49, who lived in Rupert. (Acker was transgender; the family of Arguelles, an immigrant from Mexico, is holding a fundraiser so that his remains can be returned home.) Bergquist also wounded two women inside a store in the mall, then proceeded outside where he exchanged gunfire with police; a woman inside a nearby car was wounded, as was one of the police officers.

Police have not yet determined a motive for the shooting rampage but this had not been their first encounter with Bergquist.

On April 2, Bergquist entered the office of Idaho Gov. Brad Little in the Statehouse in Boise and asked for an interview, saying he wanted to query the governor about his thoughts on convicted felons like himself being able to carry guns. A state trooper who observed the interaction and then sought guidance from the Ada County prosecutor’s office was advised that Bergquist was within his rights to do so under Idaho law.

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