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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Amherst. MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 12,746

Journal Archives

Pope Francis: We will not forget ‘victims’ of ISIS or ‘intolerable brutality’ of their treatment


01 MAR 2015 AT 13:07 ET

Pope Francis on Sunday denounced the “intolerable brutality” being inflicted on Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria by Islamic State group militants.

“Unfortunately the tragic news just keeps coming from Iraq and Syria,” the pontiff said after his weekly prayer in St Peter’s Square, without specifically naming IS.

“We want to assure all those who find themselves in these situations that we have not forgotten them,” he said. “Rather we are with them and we are praying intently for the rapid end of the intolerable brutality of which they are victims.”

Last week, IS kidnapped 220 Assyrians in the Tal Tamr area of Syria where the extremist Islamist group has seized control of 10 Christian villages, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.


Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/pope-francis-we-will-not-forget-victims-of-isis-or-the-intolerable-brutality-with-which-they-were-treated/

Ben Carson: Religion is needed to interpret science because ‘maybe it’s just propaganda’

Source: RawStory

01 MAR 2015 AT 13:56 ET

Possible Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson suggested over the weekend that religion was necessary for testing scientific theories because the science could be “propaganda.”

On Sunday, NBC’s Chuck Todd asked Carson, a former neurosurgeon, how science could coexist with his conservative Christian principles.

“A person’s religious beliefs are the things that make them who they are, gives them a direction in their life,” Carson opined. “But I do not believe that religious beliefs should dictate one’s public policies and stances.”

“I find, a very good measure of correlation between my religious beliefs and my scientific beliefs — people say, how can you be a scientist, how can you be a surgeon if you don’t believe in certain things?” he continued. “Maybe those things aren’t scientific. Maybe it’s just propaganda.”


Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/ben-carson-religion-is-needed-to-interpret-science-because-maybe-its-just-propaganda/

City Of Cleveland Claims Tamir Rice’s Own Actions Caused His Death

Source: BuzzFeed

The city says the 12-year-old shot dead by a police officer while holding a toy gun did not “exercise due care to avoid injury” in the incident.

posted on March 1, 2015, at 11:05 a.m.

Stephanie McNeal
BuzzFeed News Reporter

The city of Cleveland is claiming that Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy shot dead by a police officer in November while holding a toy gun, died because of the actions and choices of him and his family.

The city made the argument on Friday in a response to a lawsuit on behalf of the boy’s parents and sister, Tajai. The lawsuit lists Timothy Loehmann, the officer who shot Tamir; his partner Frank Garmback; and the city of Cleveland as defendants.

It lists 27 counts including negligence, civil rights violations, and battery against Tamir and Tajai. The Rice family is asking for damages and a jury trial.

Cleveland officials stated they could not fully respond to most of the counts because of an ongoing investigation into the incident by the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office.


Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/city-of-cleveland-12-year-old-tamir-rice-caused-his-own-death-by-failing-to-avoid-injury/

‘Only move’ for Boston bombing suspect Tsarnaev is to avoid death penalty

01 MAR 2015 AT 09:13 ET

From the moment U.S. prosecutors stand up on Wednesday and begin their case against accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, their minds and those of their defense counterparts will be focused on just one thing: The death penalty.

Tsarnaev, 21, is accused of killing three people and injuring 264 with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs left at the race’s crowded finish line on April 15, 2013, in the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

The ethnic Chechen, who moved to the United States from Russia with his family a decade before the attack, could be sentenced to death if he is convicted of charges that also include the fatal shooting of a police officer three days later as he tried to flee the city.

“The bottom line is you’re not going to get a not guilty in this case,” said Jules Epstein, a Widener University School of Law professor who has represented defendants in federal and Pennsylvania death penalty cases. “I don’t think the defense is arguing that. So every move is with an eye on the end game and that is avoiding death.”


Fox Host Quizzes Walker On Answer About Union Protesters And ISIL

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Sunday insisted that he did not mean to compare union protesters to the Islamic State this week.


"Isn’t there a big difference between protesters and terrorists?" Wallace asked. "There is," Walker answered. "I’m not comparing those two entities. What I meant was about leadership." The Wisconsin governor said that he provided leadership "under extremely difficult circumstances" during the protests in Wisconsin.

"If I were to run and if I were to win and be commander in chief, that kind of leadership is what’s necessary to take on radical Islamic terrorists," he said.

Wallace then asked Walker how he would handle the threat of the Islamic State if he were president. "Would you commit U.S. ground forces to combat ISIS in any way, shape, or form?" Wallace asked. "I believe we should not take any option off the table. I don't want to run into war," Walker responded.

"That doesn't quite answer my question," Wallace retorted. "You're president today — you talk about leadership — would you commit U.S. ground forces, whether it's a full scale invasion, whether it's special forces, would you commit U.S. ground forces to a combat role?"


Walker Wows Conservatives Despite Stumbles

Walker Wows Conservatives Despite Stumbles

“Scott Walker’s early surge in the jockeying for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination reflects the belief by conservatives that he is truly one of their own and has a track record to show for it,” Reuters reports.

“But the Wisconsin governor’s rapid rise to the top of national polls of Republicans is coming at a cost. His recent verbal stumbles have made him look ill-prepared for the national spotlight and exposed his inexperience on the campaign trail.”

Nate Cohn: “On paper, he is nearly perfect, a conservative hero who fought organized labor and won, who triumphed over a labor-led recall effort and wound up winning a blue state three times in four years… But to win the nomination, Mr. Walker will need to prove as capable on the campaign trail as he is on paper.”



High court case threatens independent electoral map drawers


Mar. 1, 2015 8:08 AM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a reversal of the usual worries about political influence on electoral map-making, the Supreme Court is being asked to let raw politics play an even bigger role in the drawing of congressional district boundaries.

The court hears argument Monday in an appeal by Republican lawmakers in Arizona against the state's voter-approved independent redistricting commission for creating the districts of U.S. House members. A decision striking down the commission probably would doom a similar system in neighboring California, and could affect districting commissions in 11 other states.

The court previously has closed the door to lawsuits challenging excessive partisanship in redistricting, or gerrymandering. A gerrymandered district is intentionally drawn, and sometimes oddly shaped, to favor one political party.

Independent commissions such as Arizona's "may be the only meaningful check" left to states that want to foster more competitive elections, reduce political polarization and bring fresh faces into the political process, the Obama administration said.


Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/b5cae2175e91459eb359b054480807d3/high-court-case-threatens-independent-electoral-map-drawers#overlay-context=article/258ea19375a04dfe8b8bd1f9ba30d171/widow-murdered-spy-blames-russian-govt-new-killing

Republican fears grow over court challenge to ObamaCare

By Sarah Ferris - 03/01/15 06:00 AM EST

Republican fears are mounting over a Supreme Court case that the party has long hailed as its best chance to undo ObamaCare.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday on a GOP-backed case that threatens to erase healthcare subsidies for 8 million people. The vast stakes are raising alarm among Republicans, particularly in the Senate, who increasingly fear a backlash at the polls if their party can’t find a fix.

A plaintiff victory would bring Republicans the closest to repealing ObamaCare. But the party has begun to fret about the fallout from King v. Burwell, fearing the sudden loss of subsidies could put pressure on lawmakers and governors to restore them.

The loss of subsidies for millions of people would also put the Obama administration on the offense for the first time to protect its signature healthcare law.

A White House crusade against the GOP would mean a firestorm of accusations that the party is taking away care and endangering lives – building up for the 2016 election.


It’s worse than Scott Walker and Ted Cruz: Secrets of conservatives’ decades-long war on truth

The right knows that facts and reason have a liberal bent. That's why their decades-long strategy is to lie


Deep on page 546 of his 1,839-page budget, Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker tucked in a crucial idea. He proposed to strip a principle from the mission statement of the University of Wisconsin, a school that attracts students from all over the nation and from 131 foreign countries. From the core philosophy that has driven the university since the turn of the last century Walker wanted to hack out the words: “Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.” Rather than serving the people of the state by developing intellectual, cultural and humane sensitivities, expertise, and “a sense of purpose,” Walker prefers that the state university simply “meet the state’s workforce needs.” In the face of scathing criticism, the governor backtracked and, despite a trail of emails that led to his office, tried to claim the new language was a “drafting error.”

But Walker’s attempt to replace the search for truth with workforce training was no error. Since the earliest days of Movement Conservatism in the 1950s, its leaders have understood that the movement’s success depends on destroying Americans’ faith in the academic search for truth. For two generations, Movement Conservatives have subverted American politics, with increasing success, by explicitly rejecting the principle of open debate based in reasoned argument. They have refused to engage with facts and instead simply demonized anyone who disagrees with their ideology. This is an astonishing position. It is an attack on the Enlightenment principles that gave rise to Western civilization.

Make no mistake: the attack is deliberate.

The Enlightenment blossomed in the wake of the religiously-inspired Thirty Years War of the seventeenth century, when thinkers horrified by the war’s carnage set out to break the fetters of superstition and tradition that had prompted the strife. Descartes, Hobbes, Hume, Jefferson and other thinkers advanced the idea that if people could listen to reasoned arguments, weigh them against evidence and choose the soundest ones, progress would follow. The Enlightenment revolutionized science, culture and politics, and gave rise to the modern world.


Obama Threatens To Veto Bill That Lets Congress Review Iran Deal

Source: TPM/The Hill

President Obama on Saturday threatened to veto an Iran bill proposed by a bipartisan group of senators on Friday.

The bill would require the White House to submit the nuclear agreement with Iran within five days of reaching the deal. It would also keep Obama from lifting sanctions on Iran for 60 days after the deal is reached.

"The President has been clear that now is not the time for Congress to pass additional legislation on Iran," National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said on Saturday in a statement to The Hill. "If this bill is sent to the President, he will veto it. We are in the final weeks of an international negotiation. We should give our negotiators the best chance of success, rather than complicating their efforts."

The United States, Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and Iran must reach a deal on Iran's nuclear program by March 24.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/obama-veto-congress-iran-bill
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