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Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 55,363

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I'm still living... Twitter: @glitchy_ashburn

Journal Archives

White ‘survivalist’ gunman shoots black police chief 4 times and walks free

A Sentinel, Oklahoma man who shot the town’s police chief four times on Thursday morning was allowed to walk free after questioning.

According to NewsOK.com, Police Chief Louis Ross was shot in the chest three times and once in the arm while responding to a bomb threat at a private residence. He survived with only minor injuries thanks to a borrowed bulletproof vest that he had put on only moments before.

The incident began with a 911 call around 4 a.m. on Thursday, said Sentinel Mayor Sam Dlugonski. A caller reported that a bomb had been planted in Sentinel Community Action Center, home of the local Head Start program.

The city contacted the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s bomb squad, which responded to the scene and found no evidence of explosives.

Chief Ross and deputies from the Washita County sheriff’s office traced the call to Horton’s residence on State Route 4. Officers entered the residence by breaking down the door.

Encountering no one in the first room they searched, Ross proceeded into a second bedroom, where Horton shot him four times.

Officers took Horton into custody, but said that they had “insufficient evidence” for an arrest.

Jessica Brown, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation told NewsOK.com that she was uncertain whether Horton would be arrested in connection with the bomb threat, but that the investigation is ongoing.


Pentagon's top spy chief will be first Marine, African American to hold position

The new director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon's top spy chief, will be the first Marine and African American to hold the position.

Maj. Gen. Vincent Stewart

Maj. Gen. Vincent Stewart will leave his current post as head of the Marine Forces Cyber Command and will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. The Senate confirmed him as DIA chief in December. Stewart will start his new job on Jan. 23 and will take over for interim director David Shedd, a former CIA official.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a former DIA director under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, congratulated Stewart on his new position.

"This is a position I know well, and Vincent is exceptionally qualified to serve in this important Intelligence Community and Department of Defense post," Clapper said in a statement. "Vincent's temperament, professional background, leadership skills and integrity make him eminently suited to be the next DIA director."

Stewart, a three-star general, replaces Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who left DIA in August. Flynn announced he would retire last April, amid conflict with the agency. Lt. Gen. Mary Legere, deputy chief of staff for intelligence for the Army, was once expected to take over for Flynn, but her potential nomination ran into opposition from Congress.

DIA provides military intelligence to combat units, defense planners and policy makers.



Vice President Biden to visit Norfolk State University


Vice President Joe Biden will be at Norfolk State University on Thursday to announce new funding to train Americans to join the cybersecurity workforce, according to a news release from the White House.

No additional details about the visit have been released.

In advance of the upcoming State of the Union, President Barack Obama is spending most of this week previewing proposals he will outline in the speech, according to The Associated Press. One focus is on cybersecurity, which comes on the heels of the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.


Millionaire Renounces US Citizenship To Dodge Taxes, Whines When He Can’t Come Back

Roger Ver is your typical free-loading libertarian millionaire: Loved all the perks he got from living in the United States, didn’t think he should pay for them. In fact, he was so incensed at the idea of having to pay taxes on his millions – that he totally earned in a complete vacuum having nothing to do with the infrastructure created by the tyrannical government – that in 2014, he renounced his citizenship and ran off to live in St. Kitts, a tropical island with almost no taxes.

Except now he’s upset because the US won’t let him back in:

Ver complains that the decision has forced him to miss speaking appointments at conferences and that the US embassy in Barbados refused to even consider the evidence for his application.

The official reasoning behind Ver’s rejection is that he doesn’t have sufficient “ties” to his country of residency in the Caribbean and has not demonstrated he has “the ties that will compel [him] to return to your home country after your travel to the United States,” according to a picture he tweeted of a letter that appears to be from the embassy.

In short, US officials are worried that Ver might choose to stay in his native country illegally.

Ver is known as “Bitcoin Jesus” because he fetishsizes the cryptocurrency that he’s hoping will overthrow the evil tyrannical government. Of course, like all libertarians, Ver doesn’t really care what happens to all the people not already rolling in bitcoins because he got his, so to the hell with them. The most annoying part of his hypocrisy? Ver worships a virtual currency that literally only exists because the United States government he loathes so much spent millions of taxpayer dollars to develop the internet that Bitcoin cannot exist without. What a complete and utter tosser.
It might seem petty for the US to deny Ver entry but let’s be honest, if you renounce your citizenship for the explicit reason that you already made your millions and don’t want to pay back into the system that allowed you to become wealthy, you’ve broken the social contract and the United States owes you absolutely nothing. He can go scratch where the sun don’t shine.



EDIT: MrScorpio beat me to it, so mods can probably close: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026079913

Am I reading this right? The Intercept has their own source inside AQAP?

A source they gave anonymity to after re-printing AQAP statements in full, no less?

Or is Scahill conflating "source" (who divulges information on a 1-1 basis) with "spokesman" (who would be the same person or group of people responsible for disseminating AQAP communiques to the public) because there is a HUGE difference...


Yep...There's always at least one...

Turkish deputy claims Charlie Hebdo attack was ‘staged’



Michael Brown Sr. and the Agony of the Black Father in America

It is Thanksgiving at Mike Brown’s house, three days after a grand jury declined to bring charges against the policeman who killed his son and his city exploded in riots. His wife, Calvina, and her mother and various daughters and sisters and cousins bustle around the kitchen preparing the feast. The men gather downstairs in the man cave, watching the Eagles school the Cowboys. Because they’re Americans and this is the day Americans consecrate to gratitude, the Brown family tries to stick to easy topics—food, sports, music, children, absent relatives—everything but the nightmare that has changed their lives forever. Soon they will take their places around the table. Soon they will bow their heads and pray. Soon they will declare the things that still make them, despite everything, thankful.

Brown’s house is an ordinary ranch in a pleasant, safe neighborhood a few miles from where his son was killed, completely average except for one thing—down in the man cave the walls are decorated with photos of Brown’s dead son, a tapestry of his dead son, a photo of a mural dedicated to his dead son. Hanging on the corner of the TV is a black necktie with his dead son’s face peeking out at the very bottom, like a bit of sun under a long black cloud. Brown leans against a pillow bearing his dead son’s face. Mike-Mike, they called him, as if saying his name once weren’t enough to express their love.

Brown is a tall, powerfully built man with a shaved head and a handsome face that seems perpetually solemn. In the months since his son died, he’s stopped cutting his beard, which makes him look like a figure from the Old Testament. As always, he’s wearing a T-shirt bearing his dead son’s face. He just got back from an overnight trip to New York, where he did five TV interviews in one day, and he looks exhausted but also relieved. The tension is over, the faint hope of a conviction extinguished, and now the real struggle begins. He leans back into the sofa and tries to relax, tapping ashes from a Newport into a red plastic cup.


Downstairs, the men make a real effort to focus on the game, but in the absence of women and children the conversation turns to the big subject: the protests all across the country, the gratifyingly widespread criticism of the prosecutor and his tactics, the news coming out about how the Ferguson authorities bungled the crime-scene investigation by failing to measure the distance between shooter and victim, failing to record the first interview with the officer, failing to take his gun away at the scene, failing to prevent him from washing his hands, the medical examiner who couldn’t be bothered to replace a dead camera battery—a series of errors so relentless it’s hard to believe they weren’t screwing up things on purpose.

And the thing his son’s killer said about feeling like a five-year-old fighting Hulk Hogan? “He was six four,” Brown says. “So now they’re saying Mike-Mike was six six. He was six four. Just had a little more weight on him, and most of it was flab.”

Kids run in and out, and the men change the subject. Cal’s mom comes down to smoke a cigarette, taking off a shoe to rub her foot over her tiny toy poodle. Brown goes upstairs and comes back with his baby daughter on his arm, dressed in a holiday dress and pretty shoes. He props her on the cushion and she stares ahead with a sleepy, solemn face. Then Rev. DeVes Toon of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network arrives with an uncle of Oscar Grant’s—the man whose death at the hands of a California police officer was memorialized in the movie Fruitvale Station—and he describes his latest idea for a publicity campaign: pictures of families at their Thanksgiving tables with one seat empty, propping up a picture of their lost child. “You gotta keep the heat on them,” he says. Through peaceful means, he adds, although he believes the officer who killed his nephew never would have been convicted if not for the riots that followed his death. “In the back of their minds, they gotta smell the smoke. You know what I’m saying?”

Brown listens but doesn’t respond. Soon the conversation shifts to yesterday’s interviews. Of course they all wanted to know how it feels. The lawyers have been telling him to open up, so that’s what he tried to do. But some of it’s just weird, like pretending to walk down the hall so they can get some B-roll footage.

“Like acting?”

He laughs. “That’s what I’ve been doing for the last three months—acting, acting, acting.”


Stuart Scott Spoke the Language of My Generation

We didn’t have to know you to know that you knew us, got us and embodied us. That you spoke like us and got the duality of being both a professional and a poet.

That a home run ball leaving the park wasn't “hi-yoooo!” it was “boo-yahhhh!” And you got the difference for us, the kids from broken homes with cousins named Pookie, who wrote out rap lyrics in our notebooks and signed our names in bubble letters.

You didn’t patronize us free-lunch kids, you asked that we be included in the conversation. You slid our language right next to theirs and let it be. You included the music of your people and the experiences of your life to add to your depth. And your vast knowledge of hip-hop did not embarrass you. You were proud of it. You took the bullet for the rest of us; spoke our speech on-air so that even a throwaway phrase like “Yo” became commonplace.

“You had white guys, in their 30s, all with catchphrases,” ESPN host Dan Patrick said of Stuart Scott. “Stuart certainly wasn’t that.”

Nope. He was ours first—with the baggy-pants suits and tight fades that he wore early in his career—and in turn he became everyone else’s. This is the cornerstone of the legacy of Stuart Scott, a man who battled cancer three times with an authentic gangster mentality that most rappers only spit on wax.

According to his doctors, he refused to know what stage his cancer was in because he didn’t want to be defined by his illness. He chose to live on his terms, and that included rigorous chemotherapy treatments and ended with grueling mixed martial arts training.

Weeks before he would accept the ESPYs’ Jimmy V Perseverance Award, Scott spent days in the hospital undergoing multiple surgeries, but he was there, on the ESPY stage in Los Angeles, because he wasn’t going to let cancer hold him back. He was thin and war-torn, but not down.

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer,” he told the crowd. “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live.”

This is the true spirit of hip-hop and one that Scott embodied all the way to the end—for us. That although the odds are against you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t live to the fullest, out loud.

Or, as Notorious B.I.G. spit, “Remember Rappin Duke? Duh-ha, duh-ha. You never thought that hip-hop would take it this far.”



Where Safeway Fears to Tread

West Baltimore’s unlikely source of fruit.

A large black mare is tethered to a chain-link fence in West Baltimore. She pulls at it, causing the loose metal to rattle, and paws at the hot asphalt beneath her, scratching chalky cave drawings into the blacktop. Her name is Beauty.

“Hey, hey, cut that out, girl,” says Yusuf Abdullah, aka BJ, approaching with an old spray bottle filled with water. BJ’s hair is braided into cornrows, and he wears an oversized shirt, holed jeans, and a pair of purple and green high-top sneakers. In an hour, he and Beauty, pulling a wagon loaded up with fruit, will be heading out into the most dangerous streets of Baltimore to hawk peaches, cantaloupe, and other fresh fruit. Selling fruit in this way is called arabbing here (pronounced AY-rabbing), and fruit sellers like BJ are known as arabbers.

“Do me a favor and roll by my mama’s house,” says a man buying peaches on West Hamburg Street. “She got diabetes, and she needs this stuff. Tell her her son sent you.”
On this day, three men, including Donald “Manboy” Savoy, an 82-year-old widower who has spent the last half-century working as an arabber, help BJ load up his wagon with fruit while BJ heaps a large, black leather saddle over Beauty’s sagging back. All arabber horses are fitted with elaborate tack and regalia—black Pennsylvania Dutch saddles rimmed in gold, caps with red and yellow plumage, and a long belt of bells and white bone rings that hangs from either side of the harness. It’s a style known as Baltimore fancy.

I’ve arrived at the Fremont Stables on the good word of friend Holden Warren, who is the vice president of the Arabber Preservation Society. This is not a full-time job; Warren tells me the preservation society operates on a budget of $5,000 to $10,000 annually. Still, the commitment to upholding tradition runs strong, and Warren has even tried his hand at occasional arabbing himself. (Since he is the only white arabber on Baltimore’s streets, this turns some heads.)

Arabbers are a group of itinerant merchants in Baltimore who have sold fruits and vegetables out of horse-drawn carts since pre-Civil War days. (The practice became almost exclusively African American after World War II.) The etymology of arabber is believed by some to date back to a 19th-century London reference to the homeless, but no one really knows. Today only a dozen arabbers carry on the tradition. Most of them travel more than 15 miles per day, bringing in from $100 to $300, depending on the season. Considering the costs of the fruit and the use of the horse and cart, arabbers leave each day with about $50 in pocket.

BJ, who is 26, has been arabbing for several years, and his father was once an arabber, too. Like many young men from West Baltimore, he has been in and out of prison. “I used to bang in the streets,” he says. “I used to like that fast money. But after a few stints at the D.O.C., I figured out slow money is good money. I can come out here and do honest work that helps people, and I don’t have to look over my shoulder.”

These blocks of West Baltimore are mostly abandoned, with large boards barricading the row homes. White marble stoops crumble into nothing and black plastic bodega bags float through the streets. When we are quiet, the only sounds are the disyllable clop of a shoed horse and the crunch of the wheels. “Suh-weeeeet peeeAAYCH- es!” calls out BJ periodically. “Can’lope! Can’lope hurrr.”


I'm not excited to post this, but it *IS* a notable first...

Utah’s Rep. Mia Love takes spot in history

Washington • Utah’s Mia Love raised her right hand in the House chamber Tuesday to take the oath of office and enter the history books as the first black female Republican member of Congress.

"I’m in awe," she said earlier as she greeted waves of well-wishers in her new office, now sporting the official Representative Mia B. Love sign. "I’m just taking it all in and enjoying it. I’ve decided I’m not stressing today."

Love, who is also the first Haitian-American in Congress, got the star treatment on her first day as Utah’s newest representative: Rep. Paul Ryan, the former GOP vice presidential candidate, escorted her to the House chamber, Speaker John Boehner kissed her on the cheek and Majority Whip Steve Scalise brought her a gift.

"For everybody who did so much to work on this campaign, thank you so much for bringing this budding star to Congress," Ryan told a crowd of supporters huddled in Love’s office. "We’re so proud of her; we’re so thrilled for her; and we can’t wait to see what she’s going to do."

Love, 39, won her second bid for the 4th Congressional District in November after Utah’s only Democrat, Rep. Jim Matheson, opted against running for re-election. With Love, Utah now has an entirely Republican delegation.

Reps. Rob Bishop, Jason Chaffetz and Chris Stewart were sworn in again Tuesday.

Love, though, stole the spotlight. A line of folks stretched out of her office, each hoping for a photo with the new congresswoman. Love’s family, including her parents, who flew in from Connecticut, held court in the packed space.

Her father, who immigrated to America from Haiti, didn’t stop smiling.

"This is a country of hope and opportunity," Maxime Bordeau said. "This is America."

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