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Hometown: VA
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Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 45,619

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Journal Archives

Libertarian Flip-Flops on Burka Ban

For 24 hours, the leading Libertarian Party presidential candidate seemed like he was to the right of Donald Trump when it comes to Muslims.

In a Wednesday interview with Reason, the former governor of New Mexico said that sharia law is one of his greatest concerns, and that he would ban the Muslim head garb.

“Under sharia law, women are not afforded the same rights as men,” Johnson argued, adding that a burka hides whether a woman has been beaten. “Honor killings are allowed for under sharia law and so is deceiving non-Muslims,” he added.

On Thursday afternoon, Johnson recanted.

Admitting that his decidedly un-libertarian proposal rankled the feathers of many libertarians (and non-libertarians), Johnson told The Daily Beast: “I would not sign that legislation because I think that it would end up being government intrusion on you or I.”


I love it when Libertarians paint themselves into ideological corners...

The British Left’s Hypocritical Embrace of Islamism

The desire to impose religion over society is otherwise known as theocracy. Being veterans of the struggle to push back against fundamentalist Christians, American liberals are well acquainted with the pitfalls of the neoconservative flirtation with the religious-right. How ironic, then, that in Europe it is those on the left—led by the Guardian—who flirt with religious theocrats. For in the UK, our theocrats are brown, from minority communities, and are overwhelmingly Muslim.

Islam is a religion like any other. Islamism is an ideology that seeks to impose any version of Islam over society. When expressed through violence, I call it jihadism. It is obvious to an American liberal that Christian fundamentalism must be made to respect personal choice. Likewise, it is as plain as the light of day to me—a Pakistani-British liberal Muslim—that any desire to impose any version of Islam over anyone anywhere, ever, is a fundamental violation of our basic civil liberties. But Islamism has been rising in the UK for decades. Over the years, in survey after survey, attitudes have reflected a worrying trend. A quarter of British Muslims sympathised with the Charlie Hebdo shootings. 0% have expressed tolerance for homosexuality. A third have claimed that killing for religion can be justified, while 36% have thought apostates should be killed. 40% have wanted the introduction of sharia as law in the UK and 33% have expressed a desire to see the return of a worldwide theocratic Caliphate. Is it any wonder then, that from this milieu up to 1,000 British Muslims have joined ISIS, which is more than joined the Army reserves. In a case that has come to symbolize the extent of the problem, an entire family of 12 recently migrated to the Islamic State. By any reasonable assessment, something has gone badly wrong in Britain.

But for those who I have come to call Europe’s regressive-left how could Islamist tyranny—such as burying women neck deep in the ground and stoning them to death—possibly be anything other than an authentic expression of Muslim rage at Western colonial hegemony? For don’t you know Muslims are angry? So angry, in fact, that they wish to enslave indigenous Yazidi women for sex, throw Syrian gays off tall buildings and burn people alive? All because… Israel. For Europe’s regressive-left—which is fast penetrating U.S. circles too—Muslims are not expected to be civilized. And Muslim upstarts who dare to challenge this theocratic fascism are nothing but an inconvenience to an uncannily Weimar-like populism that screams simplistically: It is all the West’s fault.

It is my fellow Muslims who suffer most from this patronizing, self-pity inspiring mollycoddling. And just as American Muslims, with some reason, fear becoming targeted by right-wing anti-Muslim prejudice, British Muslims are being spoon-fed regressive-left sedatives, encouraging a perpetual state of victimhood in order to score their petty ideological points against “the West.” In the name of cultural diversity, aspiration is being stifled, expectations have been tempered and because Muslims have their own culture don't you know, self-segregation and ghettoization have thrived.


Lawyers for U-Va. dean: Jackie lied to Rolling Stone about gang rape, ‘invented’ story

Lawyers representing a University of Virginia associate dean in a defamation suit against Rolling Stone magazine say a sensational account of a fraternity gang rape at the school was based on a series of lies told by the story’s main subject, according to new court documents.

The Alexandria-based law firm representing U-Va. administrator Nicole Eramo has filed motions seeking communications between Rolling Stone and “Jackie,” a U-Va. student whose haunting tale as the alleged victim of a vicious gang-rape at a fraternity house stunned the nation and invigorated a widespread discussion on college sexual assault. But in new filings submitted in federal court, Eramo’s lawyers claim that Jackie is “a serial liar who invented” her account of being raped by seven fraternity brothers participating in a hazing ritual that had left her bloodied and emotionally scarred.

“Jackie was the primary source for Rolling Stone’s false and defamatory article that included her story about being the victim of a violent sexual assault,” said Libby Locke, one of Eramo’s attorneys. “But there is no evidence whatsoever that the story that Jackie told her friends, or the very different story she told Rolling Stone, actually transpired. Instead, it appears that Jackie fabricated her perpetrator and the details of the alleged assault.”

Rebecca Anzidei, a Washington lawyer who represents Jackie, declined to comment when reached by telephone Thursday. Two other lawyers who have worked on Jackie’s behalf did not respond to requests for comment. Jackie, who has previously spoken to The Washington Post and stood by her account, did not respond to a request for comment Thursday. The court documents redact Jackie’s last name, and The Post generally does not identify people who are purported victims of sex crimes.


Sheboygan County sheriff defends hiring of convicted killer

The Sheboygan County sheriff is standing by his decision to hire a convicted killer as a radio technician, despite questions in the community about whether it is appropriate for someone with that type of record to be working for law enforcement.

"I'm not going to throw him under the bus. I take responsibility for bringing him on," Sheriff Todd Priebe said of the technician, Rafael George Macias. "If I had known the gruesome details, I may not have taken him on, but what he brings to our agency is nothing but positive."

Macias was 20 and an airman at Carswell Air Force Base in Texas when he pleaded guilty to killing and dismembering his live-in girlfriend, Julia Adams, also 20, in 1977, according to news reports from the time. Police linked Macias to the crime after he reported her missing, the reports say.

Macias later told police he strangled Adams out of jealousy and put her body into a bathtub, cut it in half with a hacksaw and stuffed it into an Air Force packing crate. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison but was released after 13 after being given credit for good behavior.

Reached Wednesday, Macias, now 59, told the Journal Sentinel he argued with the woman and killed her in a "fit of rage."

"There isn't a day I don't regret it. There's no excuse," he said. "You just learn with experience, learn with age that life is short and life is precious."



I'm all for second chances and by most accounts Macias has been a decent person since the murder, but god damn! -- Can't quite call that an accident or a moment of anger, can we? At least say you took some bad drugs from questionable origin and they made you freak out...

Ex-officer in Md. sentenced to 5 years for pointing gun at man’s head

A former Prince George’s County police officer convicted of assault and misconduct in office for putting a gun to a Maryland man’s head was sentenced Friday to five years in prison.

Jenchesky Santiago received the sentence for the May 2014 incident in which the officer was trying to impress friends, according to prosecutors.

Department officials condemned Santiago’s actions, which were captured on a cellphone video, and fired him Dec. 18.

Santiago, 26, had two friends from New Jersey riding in his police cruiser when he pulled over in front of the home of William Cunningham in Bowie. Cunningham was in a car with his cousin when Santiago repeatedly asked the men what they were doing and insisted that they were illegally parked, which prosecutors said was not true.

Santiago pressed the two men even after they explained that Cunningham lived in the home and said they planned to get out of the car and go inside. The incident escalated as Cunningham headed to the front door of his home.


Guys Named ‘D-Money’ and ‘Shifty’ Are Bringing Heroin Into Maine and Impregnating White Girls?

Maine Gov. Paul LePage used what many believe was racially charged language during a town hall meeting Wednesday, when he claimed that people with names like "D-Money," "Smoothie" and "Shifty" were coming to the state to sell their heroin and impregnate a "young white girl before they leave."

According to CNN, the comments came after LePage was asked what the administration was doing to stop drugs in the area.

"These aren't the people who take drugs," LePage said, in comments first reported by the Portland Press Herald.

"These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty. These type of guys. They come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home. Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we've got to deal with down the road," the governor said.

Peter Steele, a spokesman for LePage, told CNN that the governor wasn't singling out any race but was addressing the issues of drug trafficking and kids who are born as a result.

"The governor is not making comments about race. Race is irrelevant. What is relevant is the cost to state taxpayers for welfare and the emotional costs for these kids who are born as a result of involvement with drug traffickers. His heart goes out to these kids because he had a difficult childhood too. We need to stop the drug traffickers from coming into our state," Steele said.

According to CNN, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign was one of the first to call LePage's comments "racist rants."

"Gov. LePage's comments tonight are not only offensive and hurtful, but they try to cover up the very real epidemic of drug abuse facing people in his state and across the country," Marlon Marshall, director of states and political engagement and a top African-American staffer for the Clinton campaign, said in a statement.

"LePage's racist rants sadly distract from efforts to address one of our nation's most pressing problems," he added.



I love how these comments supposedly weren't about race, but the Governor needed to mention those poor, pristine, victimized white girls...

She Botched the Zimmerman Trial, but Will Angela Corey Get Re-Elected in Fla.?

If you live in one of the 10 or so swing states for the 2016 presidential election, about 12 hours ago, you started getting bombarded with zillions of ads.

Whether they’re ads suggesting that Marco Rubio is an absentee senator or ads in which Donald Trump is promising to build a wall against Mexicans or Martin O’Malley is reminding you that he’s still actually running, their goal is to make you think the presidential election is the only important one in the country. But it isn’t.

Throughout 2016, The Root will be running a series called Race Watch 2016, in which we will highlight local races, policies, elections and issues that may not be getting national press but still deserve attention. We encourage you to write, donate and get involved in each of these elections. It may be your district, or maybe not, but whatever happens in these races has an impact on us all.

What’s the Election?

Florida, like many states, allows voters to elect local state attorneys. State attorneys are incredibly powerful and influential when it comes to issues of justice, jurisprudence and basic maintenance of rights, especially for African Americans. For every Marilyn Mosby who makes the nation exhale that perhaps justice will be done, there are literally hundreds of other state attorneys who don’t take their jobs seriously, who don’t perform their duties with integrity and whom voters should really consider in terms of whether or not they serve their communities.

Who’s Running?

Angela B. Corey, to represent Florida’s 4th Judicial Circuit, covering Duval, Clay and Nassau counties.

Corey’s name has faded into history over the last several years as high-profile cases with horrific videos have dominated the news, but her office is at ground zero for some of the most egregiously incompetent trial failures in recent history. Corey’s office prosecuted the horribly mismanaged trial of George Zimmerman, in which both her strategy and the effort of her office to secure a conviction came into question.

Since she was functioning as an objective officer of the court, no one expected her to pull a Chris Darden when Zimmerman got off, but you would have thought she was going to the Zimmerman team’s after-party, given her smirking, glib press conference after the trial. Corey also initially failed to get a murder conviction against Michael Dunn, who shot into a car full of black teenagers at a gas station, killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis, because he thought their music was too loud. (Dunn was later convicted in a retrial.)

Despite Corey’s ambivalence or incompetence in pursuing justice for the killing of unarmed black teenagers at the hands of white, cisgender male vigilantes, she seemed to have no problem seeking first a 20-year, then a 60-year sentence against Marissa Alexander, a black woman who fired warning shots to stave off her abusive husband. Corey has one of the lowest legal ratings of any state attorney in Florida, and when Law & Order: Special Victims Unit makes an episode about your shoddy legal work and has to add in a Paula Deen character to hammer home the point, perhaps it’s time for local voters to consider other options.


"...Raise your kids not to play with fake guns stupid bitch..."

Cleveland school police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave after a local news station started asking about a Facebook post calling the mother of Tamir Rice a “stupid b*tch.”

Rice, a 12-year-old Cleveland boy, was shot and killed last year while playing with a toy gun by police officer Timothy Loehmann. Prosecutors last week declined to file charges against him. Two days after the decision was announced,Cleveland Metropolitan School District officer Matt Cicero posted the comments to his Facebook page, according to NewsNet5.

Cicero patrolled the school district Rice attended.

The page has since been deleted, but NewsNet took screen shots of the comments, errors included:

Tamir rices momma just want money. Lets make the proper changes……raise your kids not to play with fake guns stupid bitch. All this media because the are notgetting what they want…… Again pleeeeze anyone who does not like what I post…..unfriendly me or block me your not worth my time

Cicero responded to a Facebook friend who said the child didn’t deserve to die for simply playing with a toy by saying, “You pull out a gun you get shot. I don’t have time to ask questions and coddle kids that wave guns around.”

When asked about the post this week by NewsNet, Cicero wouldn’t comment.

Cleveland City Councilman Jeff Johnson said Cicero should be fired.

“It’s disrespectful to women, it’s disrespectful to African-Americans,” he said. “The fact that he’s so insensitive and he’s placing the blame of Tamir’s death on Tamir, for me that’s enough for him to be not working with children in the Cleveland school system.”

Cleveland Metropolitan School District spokeswoman Roseann Canfora called Cicero’s statements insensitive.

“While we respect every employee’s right to freedom of speech, with those rights comes a responsibility to do so in ways that are appropriate and sensitive to others, particularly to the people we serve,” she wrote in a statement to NewsNet.



Man with Greatest Name EVER Born on this day:



Florida Man Who Sexually Exploited Middle Schoolers Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison

SAN DIEGO – Tony McLeod of Tampa, Florida, was sentenced in federal court today to 324 months in custody and a lifetime of supervised release for multiple sexual crimes against two Escondido children.

Following an eight-day trial and less than two hours of deliberation, McLeod was convicted by a federal jury in June of 2015 of seven counts of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a child, one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity as to a 14-year-old victim, and one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a child as to a 15-year-old victim. McLeod has been in custody since his arrest in Tampa, Florida in June 2013.

According to evidence presented to the jury, in spring 2013, McLeod struck up a friendship with the minor victims through on-line gaming. These friendships spilled over into phone calls, texts, and video chats between McLeod and the minors in which they discussed their personal lives and McLeod learned they were in middle school. Around May of 2013, McLeod’s relationships with these minors turned sexual in nature, which involved the exchange of sexually explicit photographs and videos. After one of the minor’s family members discovered the illicit relationship, McLeod traveled from his home in Tampa, Florida to Los Angeles, California, picked up that minor from his middle school in Escondido, and then transported that minor (under an alias) on a flight from California to Florida. On arrival of the flight, McLeod was arrested and taken into custody.

During the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino, the victims and their parents testified about the impact of McLeod’s actions. One of the minors, who was 14 years old when he travelled on the plane with McLeod, told Judge Sammartino, “I lost my childhood and lost my innocence.” The other victim, who had just turned 15 years old at the time of the offense, told the judge that McLeod’s actions and the aftermath “almost completely destroyed my family.” The mother of the 14-year-old victim testified that “we as a family have lost our sense of security.”


Fucking sick....
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