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Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 5,866

About Me

Navy brat-->University fac brat. All over-->Wisconsin-->TN-->VA. RN (ret), married, grandmother of 11. Progressive since birth. My mouth may be foul but my heart is wide open.

Journal Archives

Opinion: What Steve Kerr and Beto O'Rourke are exposing for all the world to see

Opinion by Peniel Joseph

Millions of Americans have responded to the horrific mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde with wrenching and public displays of anger, sadness and rage against the nation’s broken political system. This latest tragedy comes a little more than one week after 10 people were killed in a racist hate crime that purposefully targeted Buffalo’s Black community. The massacre in Uvalde coincided, almost to the day, with the second anniversary of George Floyd’s murder.

Two years later it is worth questioning: how much has really changed?

That’s a question without a satisfying answer. But as so many in America grieve and grapple with their anger, it’s striking that a chorus of White men are among the loudest and most visible voices exposing the fundamental crisis of American democracy, for all the world to see. There is something particularly significant about the fact that three high-profile White men, all leaders in different fields, are speaking out about the underlying crisis that allowed the horrors in Uvalde and elsewhere to continue unabated. So much of contemporary American politics seems to pit people of color on one side and a declining White majority on the other. And yet Steve Kerr, Matthew McConaughey and Beto O’Rourke all serve as courageous models for a progressive White male identity that challenges systems of oppression, speaks truth to power and confronts the divisions of our current moment by publicly highlighting the gap between the nation’s professed values and a more bitter reality that allows nineteen children to be killed in such grotesque fashion.

Steve Kerr, the three-time NBA championship-winning head coach of the Golden State Warriors, conducted a news conference Tuesday that turned into a bold political sermon. “When are we going to do something?” demanded Kerr, who challenged all Americans to let their voices be heard and to demand justice in the memory of those lost in Uvalde and Buffalo. Kerr, a longtime advocate for gun reform whose own family has been touched by violence, has a history of making powerful political statements.

There was also actor Matthew McConaughey, who was born in Uvalde. He released a statement after the shooting that openly questioned the nation’s moral and political values. “We cannot exhale, make excuses, and once again accept these realities as the status quo,” observed McConaughey.

A similarly enraged Beto O’Rourke, a former presidential contender now running for Texas governor, interrupted a Wednesday news conference with Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, to publicly accuse Abbott of “doing nothing” to halt gun violence, besides perfunctory statements and news conferences that avoid the heart of the issue. Abbott is currently scheduled to speak at the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention Friday in Houston.


Russian Defense Insider Finally Admits Ukraine F*ck Up

Russian State Duma Deputy Defense Committee Chairman Vladimir Shamanov has admitted in an interview that the most glaring mistake of the Russian war in Ukraine was that the Kremlin expected Ukrainians to greet the Russian military with open arms.

Going in to Ukraine in February, expecting to “be greeted with flowers,” was a big mistake, Shamanov said in an interview with journalist Oksana Kravtsova.

“Those who expected that we [in Ukraine] would be met with flowers, this is one of the main mistakes that we felt very keenly in the first five days,” he said, according to RBC.

The Kremlin and Russian officials have framed the invasion into Ukraine as a “special military operation” designed as a peacekeeping mission to save Ukrainians from alleged Nazis and genocide, people who the Kremlin insisted desperately wanted the Russian government’s help—claims that are not based in reality.

“The purpose of this operation is to protect people who, for eight years now, have been facing humiliation and genocide perpetrated by the Kyiv regime,” Putin said on the eve of the invasion on Feb. 24. “To this end, we will seek to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine.”

For years, Putin has repeated baseless claims that Ukrainians have been persecuting Russians and Russian-speaking citizens. The United States has repeatedly said that Russia was likely using claims of genocide to justify an invasion into Ukraine.


Maker of Uvalde shooter's rifle is deep-pocketed GOP donor

The owners of Daniel Defense, the manufacturer of the rifle apparently used in the massacre of 21 people at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., are deep-pocketed Republican donors, giving to candidates and committees at the federal and state level aligned against limits on access to assault rifles and other semiautomatic weapons.

The owners of the Georgia-based company have donated more than $70,000 directly to GOP candidates for federal office this election cycle, according to a review of filings with the Federal Election Commission. Daniel Defense itself gave $100,000 last year to a PAC backing incumbent Republican senators.

The spending by Marvin C. Daniel and his wife, Cindy D. Daniel, illustrates the financial clout of the gun industry, even as political spending by the flagship National Rifle Association has declined in recent years. And it shows how surging gun sales during the coronavirus pandemic have empowered manufacturers to expand their marketing and political advocacy, experts said.

Daniel Defense manufactured about 52,000 firearms in 2020, compared to about 32,000 in 2019, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“The ability of the industry to use money to advance its policy agenda has increased given the dramatic rise in firearm sales that we’ve seen over the last two or three years,” said Timothy D. Lytton, a law professor at Georgia State University. “The industry is much better equipped to further its lobbying interests, independent of the NRA.”


If Roe falls, more women will be prosecuted for miscarriages

By Radley Balko

About 10 years ago, a longtime state medical examiner in Texas and Mississippi told me something that has stuck with me ever since. He said there’s a type of prosecutor who believes that innocent babies just don’t die on their own. “They don’t believe in accidents,” he said, “especially when the parents are poor. Someone must be at fault. So someone has to pay.”

It isn’t hard to find cases to back up his theory. I’ve previously written about Hattie Douglas, a Mississippi woman who was arrested and jailed for a year for killing her infant son with alcohol poisoning until a lab concluded a medical examiner had botched the test results. There’s Sabrina Butler, who spent two years on death row for murdering her infant son, until doctors later concluded the baby likely died of kidney disease. Jeffrey Havard is still serving a life sentence for killing his girlfriend’s 6-month-old, despite multiple affidavits from medical professionals concluding the forensic evidence against him was junk science. In 2012, a Georgia woman was convicted of vehicular homicide after her 4-year-old son was killed by a hit-and-run driver, because she and her son were jaywalking at the time.

Other medical examiners and defense attorneys have since echoed the sentiment, pointing to cases in which prosecutors utilized scientifically dubious expert testimony to secure convictions after a baby has died. Many point to shaken baby syndrome, a diagnosis that swept through the criminal legal system in the 1990s. The diagnosis has since come under fire in the scientific community, but it’s still given weight in much of the country, including Mississippi, where just last year the state’s Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to uphold a conviction based on the theory.

It’s against this history that criminal defense and civil rights groups have expressed alarm over Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.’s leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. If some prosecutors already believe babies don’t die without criminal culpability, it stands to reason that as state legislatures push fetal personhood back to fertilization, the same logic will be applied to miscarriages. Women who miscarry could be investigated for using alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs, or engaging in other behavior prosecutors deem risky.

In fact, this is already happening. In 2007, a Lowndes County, Miss. grand jury indicted Rennie Gibbs with murder after a stillbirth when traces of a cocaine byproduct were found in her blood. In 2020, an Oklahoma woman was charged after methamphetamine was found in her system (despite a medical examiner’s conclusion that it played no role in the miscarriage). In 2019, an Alabama woman was charged with manslaughter for starting an argument with another woman, who then shot her, killing her fetus.

And we won't even talk about the doctors that will be prosecuted for cleaning up after a miscarriage....

Grieving husband of teacher killed in Texas school shooting has died, family says

Source: NBC News

The husband of one of the teachers killed in a Texas school shooting this week collapsed and died on Thursday while preparing for his wife's funeral, the family said.

Joe Garcia had been married to high school sweetheart, Irma Garcia, for 24 years before she was gunned down Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

“I don’t even know how to feel. I don’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it” that Joe Garcia has passed away, Irma Garcia's nephew, John Martinez, told NBC News.

Irma Garcia and co-teacher Eva Mireles were both killed along with 19 children at the school that's about 85 miles west of San Antonio.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/grieving-husband-teacher-killed-texas-school-shooting-died-family-says-rcna30717

The horror just goes on.....

After 40 years in law enforcement, this is my message to the GOP about gun rights

By Cedric Alexander, MSNBC law enforcement analyst

The first time I chose to swear an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution was in 1977, when I became a deputy sheriff in Leon County (Tallahassee), Florida. Each time I assumed a new responsibility in my 40-year career in law enforcement, I chose to swear that same oath.

I consider the Constitution and my allegiance to it sacred. But I will not use that great document as an altar on which to sacrifice innocent people, like grandparents shopping for food at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, people gathered in a church in Laguna Woods, California, or second, third and fourth graders attending a public elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Such sacrifices have seemingly become a uniquely American blood ritual. And in the lockstep of that ritual, many Republican lawmakers anoint themselves in the Second Amendment and invariably choose to block even the most modest of commonsense gun safety legislation.

It is past time for the GOP to stop acting as though the Second Amendment does not allow for limits on guns. Amid serial mass killings in America, the enactment of gun laws fails year after year. In law enforcement, I have seen the importance of balancing the rights of people with the law. The same is true when it comes to the Constitution.

Like virtually every right and prohibition in the Constitution, the Second Amendment is subject to legislation that defines and regulates its application.

In 1939’s U.S. v. Miller, the Supreme Court decided that the “obvious purpose” of the Second Amendment was to “assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of” state militias and “must be interpreted and applied” narrowly in that context. This was effectively nullified by a 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which held that the Second Amendment confers on an individual the right to possess firearms unrelated to service in a state militia. Even so, a subsequent ruling in 2010, McDonald v. Chicago, kept the door open to commonsense gun laws, including state and federal laws prohibiting felons and the mentally ill from possessing firearms and regulations prohibiting firearms inside public schools.


Abbott said the shooter had a 'mental health' issue. A month ago, he slashed funding to help.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that the Uvalde school shooter had a "mental health challenge" and the state needed to "do a better job with mental health" — yet in April he slashed $211 million from the department that oversees mental health programs.

In addition, Texas ranked last out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia for overall access to mental health care, according to the 2021 State of Mental Health in America report.

"We as a state, we as a society, need to do a better job with mental health," Abbott said during a news conference at Robb Elementary School, where a gunman shot and killed 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday.

His remarks came just a day after an outraged Connecticut senator called out lawmakers opposed to gun control who seek to blame mental illness for the most recent school shooting and others before it.

In rejecting suggestions that stronger gun control laws could have prevented the tragedy, Abbott conceded the slain 18-year-old suspect had no known mental health issues or criminal history but said, "Anybody who shoots somebody else has a mental health challenge.”

His assertions drew rebukes from public health experts and scholars who study mass murderers, as well as from his Democratic gubernatorial rival Beto O’Rourke, who was ejected from the news conference after storming the stage and accusing the pro-gun Republican of “doing nothing” to stop gun violence.

Methinks Hot Wheels is the one with the mental health issue!

How to Murder Your Husband writer found guilty of murdering husband

A jury in the US city of Portland, Oregon, has convicted a self-published romance novelist who wrote an essay titled How to Murder Your Husband of fatally shooting her husband.

The 12-person jury found Nancy Crampton Brophy, 71, guilty of second-degree murder on Wednesday after deliberating for two days over Daniel Brophy’s death, according to reports.

Brophy, a 63-year-old chef, was killed on 2 June 2018 as he prepared for work at the Oregon Culinary Institute in south-west Portland.

Crampton Brophy showed no visible reaction to the verdict in the crowded Multnomah county courtroom. Lisa Maxfield, one of her lawyers, said the defence team would appeal against the decision.

The defendant’s 2011 how-to treatise detailed various options for committing an untraceable killing, written in the form of a brainstorming exercise for writers.

Its opening reads: “As a romantic suspense writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about murder and, consequently, about police procedure. After all, if the murder is supposed to set me free, I certainly don’t want to spend any time in jail. And let me say clearly for the record, I don’t like jumpsuits and orange isn’t my color.”

The blogpost went on to detail motives – financial, “lying, cheating bastard”, abuser – and a discussion of possible methods. Knives were “personal and close up. Blood everywhere”, while poison, “considered a woman’s weapon”, was too easy to trace, Crampton Brophy wrote. Guns were “loud, messy, require some skill”.

I almost put this under "Weird News" but decided not to

A lawsuit says a 13-year-old Black boy had his hands up when Chicago police shot him

A 13-year-old boy shot in the back by a Chicago police officer was unarmed and had his arms raised to surrender when he was hit by the bullet, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday, saying the incident illustrates deeply flawed implementation of department policy on the pursuit of suspects.

The bullet severely damaged part of the Black teenager's spine, possibly rendering him permanently paralyzed by the May 18 shooting, the filing in Chicago's U.S. District Court says. Police have said previously the boy was in a car suspected of involvement in a carjacking in a nearby suburb the day before and that he jumped out and started running. He hasn't been charged.

The excessive force lawsuit says the seventh grader, who had been a passenger, was complying with orders from several officers screaming at him to put his hands up.

The boy, referred to in the lawsuit only by his initials, "was unarmed and did as he was instructed. But the officer still shot him — recklessly, callously, and wantonly — right through his back," the filing alleges.

IN THE BACK. Unarmed 13 year old kid, doing as told. Big brave officer, looking for another notch in his belt.

Illinois Will Investigate Possible Civil Rights Violations in Student Ticketing

The Illinois attorney general’s office is investigating whether one of the state’s largest school districts, located in Chicago’s northwest suburbs, violated civil rights laws when police issued tickets to students accused of minor misbehavior.

Attorney General Kwame Raoul told the Township High School District 211 superintendent last week to provide records on students cited for municipal ordinance violations related to school-based conduct or truancy, according to a letter obtained by ProPublica and the Chicago Tribune. The office also requested data and records related to suspensions, expulsions, student transfers to alternative schools and calls to police regarding students since the start of the 2018-19 school year.

The attorney general’s office decided to investigate District 211 after reading about racial disparities in ticketing across the state, which was documented by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica for the investigation “The Price Kids Pay.” As part of the investigation, reporters created and published a first-of-its-kind database of tickets issued at Illinois public schools over the last three school years, the reasons police ticketed students and, when available, the racial breakdown of students who received tickets.

Amy Meek, chief of the Civil Rights Bureau in the Illinois attorney general’s office, said District 211 stood out in both the number of tickets issued and racial disparities in the ticketing. She said it is possible the office will examine other districts as well.

Seems like the schools are abdicating their disciplinary responsibilities here.
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