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Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston, MA
Member since: Wed May 12, 2004, 05:41 PM
Number of posts: 58,856

Journal Archives

Viewpoint: What series on Central Park Five teaches us today

Source: BBC

Viewpoint: What series on Central Park Five teaches us today

By Barrett Holmes Pitner

13 June 2019

A true-crime Netflix series which focuses on a failure of the US justice system during the late 1980s has reminded a new audience that the horrors of the past still have meaning today.

Director Ava DuVernay's miniseries When They See Us tells the story of five young African-American and Latino boys who were falsely accused and wrongly convicted of attacking and raping a white woman in New York City's Central Park in 1989.

The scope of the injustices inflicted upon these teenagers, ages 14 to 16, has left audiences terrified and outraged.

"I didn't know that this kind of thing still happened past the 50s and 60s," says Jessica Randolph, who lives in Maryland.

Ms Randolph, 26, African-American, was born after the trial and had previously heard about the Central Park Five case, but she did not know the explicit details. For her, watching When They See Us felt like re-living a real-life horror story that tragically has always been a part of every-day black existence in America.


Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-48503826

Dana Milbank: How Trump will remake the Fourth of July to his benefit

Source: Washington Post

How Trump will remake the Fourth of July to his benefit

By Dana Milbank
June 7 at 6:23 PM



Lincoln Memorial

July 4, 2019

My fellow Americans, welcome to the First Annual Trump International Independence Day and Casino on the Mall, brought to you by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and by the official hotel of Independence Day, the Trump International, preferred destination of discerning sheikhs.

Today, Americans celebrate what makes our country great, and that thing is your favorite President, me. We come together as one nation, even the haters and losers, the fake news, Low IQ Joe, Nervous Nancy, Cryin’ Chuck — what a creep! — socialists, murderers, rapists and MS-13 animals. This is the largest crowd ever. I have all the records. I hold all the cards.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke from this very spot, but I am hearing that my speech is already better than his — maybe the greatest ever. Abe Lincoln is also honored by my presence here. Abe was a good president, but he was never as popular as me. Ninety-four percent approval rating in the Republican Party! All-time record! Love records. Also, the White House physician says I am now 6-foot-5, which makes me taller than Abe and means my BMI is not in the obese category.

Thank you to those seated up front who contributed to my campaign at the Emolument Level. Before me tonight, I see the beautiful melting pot of America: people from Sweden, Norway and Denmark. It is almost as great as seeing my royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-trump-will-remake-the-fourth-of-july-to-his-benefit/2019/06/07/584e49da-8934-11e9-a491-25df61c78dc4_story.html

Trump to Ireland: Post-Brexit border 'wall' will work out well

Credit to Rachel Maddow for the heads up.

I used to consider a Trump-like border wall in Ireland was a good idea for satire. Even Trump could not be this crazy, could he?


Source: Politico

Trump to Ireland: Post-Brexit border ‘wall’ will work out well

The US president said Brexit ‘should be good’ for Ireland.

By JAMES RANDERSON 6/5/19, 7:41 PM CET Updated 6/5/19, 7:44 PM CET

Donald Trump wished Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar well with his country's border "wall" after Brexit, ahead of a one-to-one meeting between the two leaders.

The U.S. president flew to Ireland from a D-Day commemoration ceremony in Portsmouth on the south coast of England Wednesday — the culmination of his state visit to the U.K.

During a brief exchange before his meeting with Varadkar at Shannon Airport, near Ireland's west coast, Trump said to Varadkar: "Probably you'll ask me about Brexit because I just left some very good people who are very involved with Brexit."

"I think it will all work out very well, and also for you with your wall, your border," Trump added before drawing parallels with the U.S. southern border with Mexico. "We have a border situation in the United States, and you have one over here. But I hear it's going to work out very well here."

Varadkar replied, "I think one thing we want to avoid, of course, is a wall or border between us."


Read more: https://www.politico.eu/article/donald-trump-to-ireland-leo-varadkar-post-brexit-border-wall-will-work-out-well/


EU legal expert says online defamation enforceable worldwide

Source: Associated Press

EU legal expert says online defamation enforceable worldwide

June 4, 2019

BRUSSELS (AP) — A top European Union legal adviser said Tuesday that social media networks like Facebook could be ordered to take down anywhere in the world any text, photo or other media ruled to be defamatory by a court.

The U.S. social network said the opinion risks letting countries undermine freedom of expression beyond their borders.

The case concerns a Facebook user who shared an online article on their personal page about Austrian Greens politician Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek.


In his legal opinion , EU Court of Justice Advocate General Maciej Szpunar said companies like Facebook can be ordered by a court “to seek and identify” duplicate copies of information that a court has deemed illegal posted by any users of a platform.

Szpunar added that because European law on electronic commerce “does not regulate the territorial scope of an obligation to remove information disseminated via a social network platform,” platforms can be ordered to remove the information posted by users worldwide.


Read more: https://apnews.com/5ff1e6534c3944babb2a2c57a95a95b5

Navy acknowledges request was made to hide USS John S. McCain during Trump visit

Source: NBC News

Navy acknowledges request was made to hide USS John S. McCain during Trump visit

"A request was made to the U.S. Navy to minimize the visibility of USS John S. McCain" during President Donald Trump's recent state visit to Japan, the Navy said in a statement.

June 1, 2019, 6:22 AM EDT
By Max Burman and Courtney Kube
The U.S. Navy has acknowledged that a request was made to hide the USS John S. McCain during President Donald Trump's recent state visit to Japan.

"A request was made to the U.S. Navy to minimize the visibility of USS John S. McCain, however, all ships remained in their normal configuration during the President's visit," Rear Admiral Charlie Brown, chief of information, said in a statement to NBC News.

"There were also no intentional efforts to explicitly exclude Sailors assigned to USS John S. McCain," the statement said.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Friday he’d asked his chief of staff to “look into” the reported request from the White House to move the ship "out of sight" during Trump's visit.

“Our business is to run military operations and not become politicized,” Shanahan told reporters during a news conference in Singapore. “I would not have moved the ship," he added.


Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/navy-acknowledges-request-was-made-hide-uss-john-s-mccain-n1012731

The USS John S. McCain, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, operates off the Korean Peninsula during exercises on March 2013.Declan Barnes / U.S. Navy via AFP - Getty Images file

Judges: Feds must act if asked to take a fresh look at pot

Source: Associated Press

Judges: Feds must act if asked to take a fresh look at pot

May 31, 2019

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration must “act promptly” if formally asked to take another look at laws that consider marijuana as dangerous as heroin or LSD.

The ruling came Thursday in a 2-to-1 vote by judges from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who agreed that the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the DEA and other parts of the federal government needed to ask the agency to change its designations for marijuana before bringing the issue to the courts.

The plaintiffs — which include the Cannabis Cultural Association and an Iraq war veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder — now have an opening to persuade federal authorities to change how they classify marijuana. Many states have legalized recreational pot use, but marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

“It is possible that the current law, though rational once, is now heading towards irrationality; it may even conceivably be that it has gotten there already,” wrote Judge Guido Calabresi.

“A sensible response to our evolving understanding about the effects of marijuana might require creating new policies just as much as changing old ones,” Calabresi added in a majority opinion that included the conclusions of Judge Jed S. Rakoff, a district judge sitting on the Manhattan appeals court temporarily.


Read more: https://apnews.com/e1900a439b4a4de4acb5594f27546132

Judge says Missouri clinic can keep providing abortions

LBN thread: Clinic can continue to provide abortions in Missouri, judge rules


Source: Associated Press

Judge says Missouri clinic can keep providing abortions

May 31, 2019

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge issued an order Friday to keep Missouri’s only abortion clinic operating over the objections of state health officials, delivering abortion-rights advocates a courtroom victory after a string of setbacks in legislatures around the U.S.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer said Planned Parenthood’s St. Louis clinic can continue providing abortions despite the Missouri health department’s refusal to renew its license over a variety of patient safety concerns. He said the temporary restraining order was necessary to “prevent irreparable injury” to Planned Parenthood.

With the abortion license set to expire at midnight Friday, Planned Parenthood pre-emptively sued this week and argued that the state was “weaponizing” the licensing process. Planned Parenthood said that absent court intervention, Missouri would become the first state without an abortion clinic since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized the procedure nationwide.

The clinic’s license will remain in effect until a ruling is issued on Planned Parenthood’s request for a permanent injunction, Stelzer’s ruling says. A hearing is set for Tuesday morning.

“Today is a victory for women across Missouri, but this fight is far from over,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America CEO Dr. Leana Wen said in a statement. “We have seen just how vulnerable access to abortion care is here — and in the rest of the country.”


Read more: https://apnews.com/a1e311b477c641b681f0bf14464765f2

Judge appears exasperated at Roger Stone arguments against Mueller

Source: CNN

Washington (CNN) — The longtime political stuntman Roger Stone faced an exasperated judge on Thursday, as his lawyers failed to gain traction with bold legal arguments criticizing special counsel Robert Mueller before Stone's November criminal trial.

At the two-and-a-half-hour court hearing, Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the DC District Court didn't rule on requests Stone has made to puncture the case against him but got his legal team to admit flaws in almost all of their arguments.

Stone's team, however, still appears to have hope that they may get access to redacted parts of the Mueller report that describe Stone's case.

Jackson floated the possibility that Stone could potentially see some some parts of the Mueller report that would be "harmless" and repeat details his team is already learning through evidence they've received in the case. Prosecutors have fought against this, saying giving unredacted parts of the sought-after document to the defense team would reveal how they plan to try his case.


By Katelyn Polantz, CNN
Updated 1947 GMT (0347 HKT) May 30, 2019

Read more: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/30/politics/roger-stone-hearing/index.html

Baseball team loses sponsor over Ocasio-Cortez 'enemies of freedom' video

Source: Washington Post

Baseball team loses sponsor over Ocasio-Cortez ‘enemies of freedom’ video

By Kayla Epstein, Marisa Iati and Reis Thebault May 30 at 11:33 AM

A major sponsor with deep local roots has ended its partnership with the Fresno Grizzlies after the minor league baseball team aired a Memorial Day video that included Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) among America’s “enemies of freedom” — alongside North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and the late Cuban president Fidel Castro.

The raisin company Sun-Maid confirmed through a spokeswoman that it is terminating its sponsorship of the Grizzlies after the team showed the video at Chukchansi Park on Monday.

“This decision is not meant to provide any political perspective whatsoever,” Sun-Maid said in a statement to The Washington Post. “It doesn’t matter which end of the political spectrum you’re on; we have taken this action as we simply believe this is the right thing to do.”

“We have discussed our position with Grizzlies management and wish them well as they manage through this matter,” Sun-Maid said.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2019/05/30/baseball-team-loses-sponsor-over-video-showing-ocasio-cortez-among-americas-enemies-freedom/

GoFundMe Border Wall Ordered to Stop Building Because They Didn't Have the Right Paperwork

Building permits, what a concept.

LBN thread: A private group says it's started building its own border wall using millions donated in GoFundMe

Related articles:

New Mexico Mayor Orders Group Building Border Wall On Private Land To Stop Construction. (Newsweek)
New Mexico mayor files cease-and-desist to group starting to build border wall (The Hill)


Source: The Daily Beast

GoFundMe Border Wall Ordered to Stop Building Because They Didn’t Have the Right Paperwork

The $20 million crowdfunded project to do what Trump hasn’t done hit, well, a wall.

Jordyn Rozensky,
Will Sommer
05.28.19 7:46 PM ET

SUNLAND PARK, New Mexico—We Build the Wall, a privately funded effort to build a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, was told to stop building on Tuesday.

The cease-and-desist order represents a new obstacle for the group and its founder, triple-amputee veteran Brian Kolfage. Kolfage’s crowdfunding effort became a cause célèbre on the right last December, when he rapidly raised $20 million on GoFundMe for the wall. So far they have built less than a half-mile of fence on the border.

Sunland Park Mayor Javier Perea said at a press conference the city issued a cease-and-desist order, saying it is in violation of city ordinances. George Cudahy, whose company owns the land where the wall is being built, submitted an application for a building permit last week. Sunland Park officials declared the application incomplete, Perea said, because it lacked a site plan development and included contradictory information around the construction.


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