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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 7,630

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

Wingnut blogosphere trying to call Waco biker gathering a "political meeting".

Despite the characterization by police that the afternoon gathering at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas that led to Sunday’s bloody shooting incident was a gathering of criminal biker gangs with violent intent, the meeting appears to have been a legitimate, organized gathering of motorcycle riders meeting to discuss political issues.

The group that met was the Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents (CoC&I) and a look at that group’s website and history gives a very different impression of the group’s purpose and goals than what has been said repeatedly by Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton.

Swanton has been a central media figure, conducting several press conferences since shootings that left nine dead and dozens injured happened on Sunday. Swanton’s statements have been echoed by the media, creating an image of a get together of thugs converging on Twin Peaks in an event obviously fraught with danger that authorities tried desperately to stop until they were foiled by the uncooperative restaurant owner.

The “gathering of criminal bikers” story was even used to justify the $1 million bail that the 170 arrested bikers were each handed.


Duggar sibling sexually assaulted sisters, another female, according to police report

A 2006 police report obtained by In Touch Weekly magazine revealed that one of the Duggar siblings, of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting," allegedly sexually assaulted four female siblings in the large family, plus an additional female victim.

According to the gossip site, the sibling who assaulted the sisters is Josh Duggar. The incidents date back to 2002 when Josh Duggar would have been 14 years old. In the 33-page police report that FOX411 viewed, the name of the Duggar family members in question are redacted throughout.

According to the gossip site, the sibling who assaulted the sisters is Josh Duggar. The incidents date back to 2002 when Josh Duggar would have been 14 years old. In the 33-page police report that FOX411 viewed, the name of the Duggar family members in question are redacted throughout.

The report states that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar then learned that multiple incidents like this had occurred. Jim Bob told police, when he was interviewed in 2006, that the Duggars sent their son to a Christian program at the advice of their church elders. However, later in the report Michelle Duggar states where their son was sent was "not really a training center," rather he was sent to stay with an acquaintance and do manual labor.


Arkansas Police Fatally Shoot Man Cuffed In Patrol Car

CABOT, Ark. (AP) — A handcuffed parolee who had been frisked opened fire on law enforcement officers from the back of a patrol car, according to an Arkansas Corrections official, provoking a return of gunfire that left the man dead.

It was not clear if he was carrying a gun when he was cuffed, and the corrections official said officers had not found a gun on him. The Arkansas State Police is investigating the shooting.

Corrections and Lonoke County sheriff's officers had been looking for an unrelated suspect Tuesday night in Cabot, which is about 25 miles northeast of Little Rock, when they searched Jonathan McIntosh at a home and discovered he was in possession of a white powder, said Dina Tyler, deputy director of the Arkansas Department of Community Correction. ADCC officers were assisting because the original suspect had outstanding warrants.

Authorities didn't find a gun on McIntosh, who was on parole for a firearm possession conviction, Tyler said.


Boss Models Firm After Wolf Of Wall Street, Quickly Gets Sued By Female Employee

The wife of an NFL player says she worked in a real-life “Wolf of Wall Street’’ office where co-workers sexually harassed her and openly mocked her marriage to a black man.

“How many cheerleaders has your boyfriend f–ked today?” Philippa Okoye, 27, who is white, said her boss sneered at her at their deVere Group office in Manhattan, according to a new federal lawsuit.

Referring to Okoye’s now-husband, British Olympic athlete and San Francisco 49er defensive tackle Lawrence Okoye, the boss allegedly added, “He’s probably f–ked the whole cheerleading squad by now.’’

Higher-up Benjamin Alderson “made it known that he wanted to model office on the ‘Boiler Room’ and ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ films,’’ Philippa’s suit says.

“In those films, employees of male-dominated investment firms used highly offensive language and engaged in extremely inappropriate conduct, including sexual harassment and drug and alcohol use in the workplace.”


The Resegregation of San Francisco’s Public Schools

Tables representing each of San Francisco’s public schools stretched throughout John O’Connell High School in the Mission one morning last fall. Thousands of parents quizzed principals and teachers to determine where their children should go to school.

This was the school district’s annual Public School Enrollment Fair. Despite the heaving crowds, Mark Sanchez was downright lonely.

Every year, the tables for the city’s 106 public schools are arranged alphabetically. And every year Sanchez, principal of the mostly Latino Cleveland Elementary, sits for hours with hardly anybody approaching him. To his left, white and Asian parents swarm the table for the coveted Clarendon Elementary, a school that is harder to get into than Harvard.

“Every year, it’s the same thing. Every year,” Sanchez said. “Our teachers are just as good as Clarendon’s. … I call it the un-fair.”


Texas Senator Who Blamed Baltimore Riot On ‘Absent Fathers,’ Has Nothing To Say About Waco Massacre

In the aftermath of protests surrounding the deaths of unarmed black men and women, outspoken members of the GOP, including Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz (R-TX), were quick to contextualize the tragedies and criticize black people for violent behavior. But in the wake of a deadly gunfight between two biker gangs — which left nine people dead, 18 wounded in Waco, and 170 charged for criminal activity — two of Texas’ most prominent leaders have yet to respond to the violent shootout.

Days into the Baltimore protests sparked by Freddie Gray’s death, Cornyn (R) spoke on the Senate floor about how to understand and address deeply-ingrained tension in Baltimore and Ferguson. “The whole idea of a young man dying in police custody, the confrontations with police, the looting and burning of innocent minority-owned businesses…these are all scenes we would expect perhaps in other countries…but that’s what we saw,” he said of events that transpired in both cities. “We’re doing a great disservice to ourselves and everyone else so clearly frustrated by the status quo, if we isolate Baltimore or Ferguson as just individual instances of civic unrest, and if we don’t step back and see how they fit into the broader issue of our entire criminal justice system.” He also called on families, civic organizations, faith groups, and Congress to “correct injustice” and “remedy basic instability” in similar communities nationwide...

But neither Cruz nor Cornyn has responded to the deadly shootout between the Bandidos and Cossacks — two rival biker gangs that exchanged gunfire outside of a Hooters-like restaurant last weekend. Although the two condemned violent means of expressing anger in Ferguson and Baltimore, in reference to rioting and the looting of local businesses, they have yet to acknowledge the bikers who turned their weapons on law enforcement. Both have stayed quiet about the Bandidos and Cossacks’ long-standing involvement in organized crime, and neither senator has addressed the gangs members’ white supremacist leanings, despite bringing up race in the context of Baltimore and Ferguson.

However, this not the first time conservatives, including Cruz, have been slow to denounce outlaws who’ve resorted to violence against police. When the Bureau of Land Management tried to take cattle away from Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who owed $1 million in grazing fees, Bundy and a host of right-wing supporters engaged in an armed standoff with federal rangers for several days. Without touching on Bundy’s use of force, Cruz blamed Obama for the armed standoff, arguing it was “the unfortunate and tragic culmination of the path that President Obama has set the federal government on.” Former Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) also said, “I have a problem with the federal government putting citizens in the position of having to feel like they have to use force to deal with their own government. That’s the bigger issue.”


In case anyone thinks the Bandidos are a social club.

But the past three decades have been shot through with sporadic bike gang battles, often overseas. By the 1980s, both the Bandidos and the Hells Angels had become international organizations. In 1984, a shootout between Bandidos and another gang called the Comancheros killed seven and wounded 28 in Milperra, Australia, near Sydney. The incident became known as the “Milperra Massacre.”

In the mid-1990s, a “Great Nordic Biker War” between the Bandidos and the Hells Angels shook Scandinavia. At least 12 people died and nearly 100 were injured in the three-year skirmish, which featured unprecedented firepower for a gangland rivalry. “These hostilities have involved military as well as automatic weapons,” Quinn writes. “At one point the Angels launched a grenade at a jail holding an enemy leader.”

The two bike gangs faced off again in Canada during the late 1990s and 2000s. This time, the conflict — dubbed “The Quebec Biker war” — reportedly cost 150 lives. The conflict largely ended in April 2006, when authorities found eight Bandidos members dead in a farmer’s field near Toronto. In 2009, an ex-cop on trial for the assassinations accused Bandidos world president Jeff Pike of ordering the killings. The ex-cop and five others were convicted of the crime. Pike denied the accusation and was never charged.


Florida College Students Forced to Undergo Transvaginal Ultrasounds While Being Called "Sexy"

Let a fellow student conduct an "invasive" transvaginal ultrasound on you while your teacher calls you "sexy" and suggests you should be an "escort girl," or be "blacklisted" from working at local hospitals. That is the choice sonography students at Valencia College, a community college in central Florida, allegedly faced, according to a lawsuit filed last week by two former students.

While asking students to participate voluntarily in certain procedures is not uncommon in education programs, medical professionals told TPM, forcing them to do so goes against established standards of the medical education field.

The lawsuit alleges Valencia College officials unconstitutionally forced students in its medical sonography program to submit to the “extremely invasive and often painful" transvaginal ultrasound procedure. The plaintiffs were threatened with academic and professional punishment when they brought up their concerns, including the presence of a male student who would be performing the procedure on them, the suit says.

The plaintiffs allege that one of the defendants, the program’s chair Barbara Ball, told the students to “find another school” if they didn’t want to participate in the exams. Another one of the defendants, Maureen Bugnacki, a laboratory technician at the college, allegedly threatened to “blacklist” the students at local hospitals if they did not undergo the procedures, the lawsuit says.


Fox Host: Boy Scouts Ban On Water Guns Is ‘Emasculating’ Future CIA Agents

A Fox News co-host said on Wednesday that a Boy Scouts ban on water guns and limitation on the size of water balloons was proof that boys were being emasculated.

“Outnumbered” co-host Rachel Campos-Duffy, who is married to former MTV "Real World" star and current Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), said the ban would have an effect on future generations of America's spies and soldiers.

“If we keep emasculating our boys and not letting boys be boys,” Campos-Duffy said, “how are we gonna raise the next generation of hardcore CIA operatives, Navy SEALS?”

“That was a very nice, unloaded question,” former CIA officer and "One Lucky Guy," Mike Baker said.

Baker ultimately agreed with Campos-Duffy.


UBS to Pay Over $500 Million in Fines for Manipulating Currencies and Libor

LONDON — The Swiss bank UBS said on Wednesday that it would pay more than $500 million in fines to the authorities in the United States for its role in the manipulation of currency markets and benchmark interest rates.

UBS said it would not face a criminal charge over currency misconduct but would be required to separately plead guilty to a criminal charge for its prior conduct over the manipulation of the interest rates, including the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, after the Justice Department tore up a 2012 nonprosecution agreement.

The agreement with UBS resolves a series of investigations by the Justice Department and other authorities in the United States, including banking regulators in Connecticut, into manipulation of currencies.

The Justice Department is expected to soon announce additional agreements with Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and the Royal Bank of Scotland, in which those banks will collectively pay several billion dollars in penalties and plead guilty to criminal antitrust violations for rigging the price of currencies.

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