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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 37,849

Journal Archives

I Was Shot And Raped By An FSU Player. I Still Cheer For The Seminoles.

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was in the process of driving the Seminoles 80 yards in 1:06 to win a national championship, and Ashley Witherspoon, class of '91, was getting loud.

"I was excited and proud my team was playing for a national championship," Witherspoon says. "I was on the edge of my seat, wearing garnet and gold, cheering as they marched down the field."

This put Witherspoon in the company of just about every other 'Noles backer on the planet. What separated her is that she had every reason not to root for a Florida State football team, particularly one quarterbacked by a man who had been accused of raping a fellow student.

Nineteen years ago, Witherspoon was shot, raped, and left for dead by Michael Gibson, a former Florida State running back. The state attorney handling the case was Willie Meggs, the man who two decades later decided there was insufficient evidence to file charges against Winston. Witherspoon's assailant was convicted and sentenced to six life sentences, five of which were upheld despite then-FSU coach Bobby Bowden's writing a letter of reference on Gibson's behalf.

Today, Witherspoon is a lawyer. She's married and lives in South Carolina. I spoke with her in January, and what follows are her reflections on the incident, culled from our interview.


Book: Lawyer who defended Calif. gay marriage ban plans daughter’s gay wedding

The conservative lawyer who defended California’s ban on gay marriage at the Supreme Court is at work on another project: planning his daughter’s upcoming same-sex wedding ceremony.

Charles J. Cooper, a former top official in the Reagan Justice Department and onetime “Republican lawyer of the year,” learned of his daughter’s sexual orientation during the legal battle over California’s Proposition 8, according to journalist Jo Becker’s soon-to-be-released book chronicling the movement to legalize same-sex marriage.

Ashley Lininger became engaged to a woman identified in the book only as Casey just after the Supreme Court accepted the Proposition 8 case in December 2012. Cooper, a noted Supreme Court practitioner, argued the case in March 2013.

The court ruled against Cooper’s clients, saying they did not have legal standing to challenge a federal district judge’s ruling that the ban was unconstitutional. Same-sex marriages then resumed in the nation’s most populous state.

In its limited ruling, the court sidestepped Cooper’s argument that there is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage and that decisions about whether to allow such unions should be left to the states and voters.


A quick glance at the DU archives show this Cooper character is has about as evil and nutty political background as anyone...Either way, it's good to see him get dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era...

Exclusive: Frazier Glenn Miller’s 2013 Phone Calls to the SPLC

Last fall, the head of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, Heidi Beirich, spoke on multiple occasions with Frazier Glenn Miller (aka Frazier Glenn Cross), the suspect in Sunday’s deadly shootings at two Jewish community centers in Kansas. Miller, who once plotted to assassinate SPLC founder Morris Dees, wanted to invite Beirich on to a right-wing talk radio show and arrange a debate with her on the racist Vanguard News Network forum. During one of the calls, Miller reacted incredulously when she accused him of wanting to kill Jews.

Beirich and Miller discussed his ideology, history in the white supremacist movement and violent past. Miller said he joined the cause after reading the racist, anti-Semitic “Thunderbolt” newsletter – “I’ve been obsessed ever since 1974 when I became Jew-wise,” he said. “When I read that thing, my hair stood up, my neck turned red, and I knew I had found a home.” He went on to praise National Alliance founder William Pierce as “probably the best” and called David Duke “super-persuasive.”

Miller was convinced that whites are facing extinction at the hands of Jews and blacks and accused Beirich of supporting “anti-white genocide.” She told him that SPLC is trying to “stop people like you who want to kill Jews and exterminate Jews.” “Who the hell is killing Jews, who’s exterminating Jews?” Miller asked incredulously. Beirich responded that Alex Linder, who runs the Vanguard News Network forum, where Miller was a moderator, says that Jews should be exterminated. Miller said that was just a “god damn opinion.”

Miller went on to explain how, in his view, Jews are increasing and whites are dying off. “Everything that’s killing us was brought about by Jews,” he said, citing abortion, which he says has killed “40 million white babies.”


I haven't seen an episode of this "Game of Thrones"

Although I thought this vid was the pinnacle of western civilization...


Should I start watching this GoT, or just stick to watching vids like these??

Google, once disdainful of lobbying, now a master of Washington influence

In May 2012, the law school at George Mason University hosted a forum billed as a “vibrant discussion” about Internet search competition. Many of the major players in the field were there — regulators from the Federal Trade Commission, federal and state prosecutors, top congressional staffers.

What the guests had not been told was that the day-long academic conference was in large part the work of Google, which maneuvered behind the scenes with GMU’s Law & Economics Center to put on the event. At the time, the company was under FTC investigation over concerns about the dominance of its famed search engine, a case that threatened Google’s core business.

In the weeks leading up to the GMU event, Google executives suggested potential speakers and guests, sending the center’s staff a detailed spreadsheet listing members of Congress, FTC commissioners, and senior officials with the Justice Department and state attorney general’s offices.

“If you haven’t sent out the invites yet, please use the attached spreadsheet, which contains updated info,” Google legal assistant Yang Zhang wrote to Henry Butler, executive director of the law center, according to internal e-mails obtained by The Washington Post through a public records request. “If you’ve sent out the invites, would it be possible to add a few more?”

Butler replied, “We’re on it!”

On the day of the conference, leading technology and legal experts forcefully rejected the need for the government to take action against Google, making their arguments before some of the very regulators who would help determine its fate.


Excellent breakdown of how many pies Google is sticking their fingers in, their unholy alliances, unsavory bedfellows, how they get useful idiots to unwittingly campaign for their bills, etc...They're like a slightly less misanthropic Koch brothers...

Anyone who has read my posts on the NSA threads knows that one of my many issues with the way the story is reported is how corporations like Google who do massive data collections to their own ends have been able to skate while the NSA has gotten all the global scorn...Actually, Google did more than skate -- While everyone was focusing their attention on the NSA, Google did a quick disguise change and made themselves into an *innocent victim* instead of waiting to be outed as a willing partner; and everyone fell for the ruse (quick note to the NSA PAO: THAT is how you skilfully conduct damage control in a public relations crisis -- Google is even scrubbing all online links they have to certain DoD projects as well)...And now Google is lobbying for MORE data collection powers? With nary a bit of public anger or even attention even after the Google+ expose?

I realize that probably a quarter of DU regulars have me on ignore by now (I don't blame them; I've put them on ignore as well)...But I'm very, very interested in hearing peoples' thoughts about this...For the record, Greenwald and Snowden have repeatedly said in interviews and public comments that corporate data collection is a non-issue...If they are being willfully duplicitous on this issue, god help them...

FDNY v. NYPD: Bench-Clearing Brawl Breaks Out During Charity Hockey Game

There’s been much debate about abolishing the fistfight from hockey. If fighting becomes a thing of the past, will charity games follow suit?

The annual charity hockey game between the FDNY and NYPD saw some ugliness surface when New York’s Bravest and New York’s Finest engaged in a bench-clearing brawl for the ages. The NYPD won the game 8-5, but all anyone will remember from the 41st edition of the game will be this massive donnybrook that saw cops and firefighters beating the hell out of each other.

Read more at http://hypervocal.com/news/2014/fdny-v-nypd-fight-hockey/#6EoD2lWoWK3yFHAc.99

Too Black to Fail

The first African-American and female president of the Harvard Lampoon talks comedy, race, and hugging it out with Henry Louis Gates. —Alexis Wilkinson

Is it possible to smile and wince at the same time? It must be, because that’s what my face is doing against Henry Louis Gates’s blazer. He’s on a stage, and I’m standing on the floor below, but it’s not much of a stretch—short stage, short man, tall me—and my face is smushed into his jacket. “I’m so proud of you,” he tells me, squeezing. “Another Negro first!”

On the one hand, it feels great to be recognized by one of the nation’s preeminent African-American scholars. On the other hand, let’s be real: All I’ve done is become president of a college humor magazine.

But people keep telling me that this is a big deal—because the magazine in question is the Harvard Lampoon, the 138-year-old institution that has launched luminaries like Conan O’Brien, Andy Borowitz, and B. J. Novak. And I am its first president to be both female and black.

My election may have seemed like an even bigger deal because it happened just as the blogosphere was going nuts about comedy, gender, and race. Back in January, Saturday Night Live hired its first black female cast member in more than six years. Meanwhile, Jerry Seinfeld told a reporter he didn’t think diversity in comedy was important. Oh, and then Black History Month happened. It was a black-girl-comedy perfect storm, and I was in peak position to be swept up in it.

In all the dialogue, it seems there are three distinct roles people expect me to play as the first woman of color to lead this historically very white, very male organization. Some folks envision me as a glorious radical, Afro two miles wide, burning down every relic of white male patriarchal comedy. Other people are afraid I’ll come in as the PC police, turning the Lampoon into a humorless, Soviet-style-gulag. On the flip side, I could be a race traitor: Auntie Tom, a cog in the comedy machine, shucking and jiving my way to the top with no intention of shaking up massah’s status quo. The idea of taking up any of these roles is utterly unappealing.


Reception Honoring the 100th anniversary of Booker T Washington’s Riverside Visit

RIVERSIDE, CALIF. – The 100th anniversary of educator Dr. Booker T. Washington’s memorable visit to Riverside was Sunday March 23rd. During that visit he gave three unforgettable presentations: one at the newly built 1st Congregational Church, another at the Second Baptist Church, and the final one in the Cloister Music Room of the Mission Inn. Washington also found time to accompany Mission Inn owner Frank Miller to Mt. Rubidoux where the two men were photographed together. This iconic image is a lasting reminder of the impact Washington’s visit had on our community. When Washington passed away a year later, Miller arranged for a memorial service at the hotel. Washington’s 1914 visit remains an important part of Riverside’s history with the most visible reminder being a bust of Washington commissioned by the Black Voice Foundation and placed near the entrance of the Mission Inn.

The community was invited to a program Saturday, April 5 at the Mission Inn Museum located at 3696 Main Street in downtown Riverside, Calif.

The short program includes remarks by Kenneth Morris, Jr. Ken is the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington, the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass, and Founder & President of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives with a mission to end human trafficking and all forms of servitude, and advance freedom through knowledge and strategic action.

The exhibit features items on loan to the museum by Dr. Norman Towels from his collection of African-American books and historic artifacts. For more information email paulette@bpcmediaworks.com.


Oprah Winfrey Network Making Mini-Series on Tulsa Race Riot

The 1921 Tulsa Race Riot is the subject of a new mini-series on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

The network announced the mini-series on Thursday as a part of its upcoming line up.

The working title of the series is “Tulsa” and will star Octavia Spencer, known for her role in “The Help.”

“The mini-series centers on Mattie Clay (Spencer), a journalist from Tulsa, who moved to Chicago with the hopes of getting off the society pages and away from racism. Mattie's journey eventually brings her back home to Tulsa where she must face the demons of her past and decide where her future lies,” according to the network’s website.


Alonzo Mourning, Nolan Richardson, Gary Williams headline HOF class

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame unites the legends from the sport at all levels, making it one of the prestigious honors in sports. On Monday, the inductees for the 2014 class were announced.

Alonzo Mourning and Mitch Richmond headline the group of players selected in this year's class, each following their successful college careers with multiple NBA All-Star selections and a world title for Zo in 2006.

Former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson and former Maryland coach Gary Williams give the college game two well-respected names into the hall, along with the 1972-74 Immaculata University women's teams; winners of the first three Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national championships.

Bob "Slick" Leonard (American Basketball Association), Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton (Early African Pioneers), Sanunas Marciulionis (International), Guy Rodgers (Veterans) and former NBA commissioner David Stern (Contributor) were the direct election inductees from each committee.

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