Tuesday, October 06, 2015

12 year old black boy suspended for staring at white girl, which is apparently still something that happens in America in 2015.

Courtesy of Fox 19: 

A 12-year-old boy is suspended from school for 'staring' at another student. It happened in September of 2014 at St. Gabriel Consolidated School in Glendale. The parents filed suit in Hamilton County Common Pleas court to try and get the suspension erased claiming the school didn’t give their son due process. 

A Judge denied the claim, which means as of now the suspension of the 12-year-old stands. “The perception is he intimidated her,” said Candice Tolbert, his mother. 

“My son stared at a girl who was engaged in a staring game,” she said. “She giggled the entire time,” she said from her Liberty Township home. 

Court paper shows the female student "felt fearful.” The incident happened on a Monday. The school was notified by the girl’s parents on Tuesday. They allegedly notified the Tolbert’s son on Tuesday, but did not tell the Tolbert’s until Wednesday. By that time, their son had already written an apology letter, which the parents said they were unaware of until notified by the school. 

In the letter, the 12-year-old wrote, “I never knew she was scared because she was laughing.” It also read, “I understand I done the wrong thing that will never happen again. I will start to think before I do so I am not in this situation.”

When asked if she considered the actions of the school and the judge to be racist, the boy's family said they are not ready to "pull out the race card,"

Well here let me do it on their behalf.

There is NO fucking way that a white 12 year old boy in Ohio would be suspended for staring at a classmate during a staring contest. So of course this is racist!

In fact the white kid could have been standing on a desk staring down at the girl with one finger pointed at her as if to curse her for all eternity and he still would not have missed a single day of class.

And reading that letter from the boy saying that he knows he "done wrong" and it "will never happen again" is heartbreaking.

So even if this young man goes back to school, will he even feel able to look at his white classmates, or girls ever again?

I think this family has quite a case for a discrimination lawsuit on their hands, and I hope they sue not only the school district but this judge for everything they have.

A year ago Michael Moore expressed his exasperation at the gun culture in America, and made a terrible prediction. One that came true, with a vengeance.

From Moore's Facebook page in 2014: 

With due respect to those who are asking me to comment on last night's tragic mass shooting at UCSB in Isla Vista, CA -- I no longer have anything to say about what is now part of normal American life. Everything I have to say about this, I said it 12 years ago: We are a people easily manipulated by fear which causes us to arm ourselves with a quarter BILLION guns in our homes that are often easily accessible to young people, burglars, the mentally ill and anyone who momentarily snaps. We are a nation founded in violence, grew our borders through violence, and allow men in power to use violence around the world to further our so-called American (corporate) "interests." The gun, not the eagle, is our true national symbol. While other countries have more violent pasts (Germany, Japan), more guns per capita in their homes (Canada [mostly hunting guns]), and the kids in most other countries watch the same violent movies and play the same violent video games that our kids play, no one even comes close to killing as many of its own citizens on a daily basis as we do -- and yet we don't seem to want to ask ourselves this simple question: "Why us? What is it about US?" Nearly all of our mass shootings are by angry or disturbed white males. None of them are committed by the majority gender, women. Hmmm, why is that? Even when 90% of the American public calls for stronger gun laws, Congress refuses -- and then we the people refuse to remove them from office. So the onus is on us, all of us. We won't pass the necessary laws, but more importantly we won't consider why this happens here all the time. When the NRA says, "Guns don't kill people -- people kill people," they've got it half-right. Except I would amend it to this: "Guns don't kill people -- Americans kill people." Enjoy the rest of your day, and rest assured this will all happen again very soon.

"Rest assured it will happen again." Well there was an understatement.

So far in this year alone we have seen 247 mass shootings, and the year is not yet over.

Michael Moore, and others, to their credit tried to warn us back when this was happening with less frequency, but nothing changed.

And the terrifying part is that even in the face of what seems like a silent civil war on our streets, in our classrooms, and in public gathering places, there still does not seem to be a will to do anything about it. 

(H/T to Democratic Underground.)

Monday, October 05, 2015

Leave it to John Oliver to drop the truth bomb concerning mental illness and mass shootings.

Damn! This is why Oliver is my go to guy on just about everything involving current events and politics these days.

I like Trevor Noah and he was great last week, and Stephen Colbert has some moments of real brilliance on his new show, but for my money the REAL successor to John Stewart's legacy is my man John Oliver.

And this bit right here sounds like everything that has been bouncing around inside my head for the last several years about mental health and guns. You know, only much funnier.

And that ability to use humor to tell difficult truths to the public at large, is  why THIS is our new reality in this country.

Southern Poverty Law Center labels group representing Kim Davis a hate group. Yeah I get that.

Courtesy of Salon:  

The Liberty Counsel — the group that’s representing Rowan County, Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis — has been declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Associated Press’ Claire Galofaro reports. 

According to the SPLC, the group and its leader, Mat Staver, have virulently opposed all LGBTQ rights legislation under the aegis of “religious freedom” — it’s even defended Scott Lively, who “played an instrumental part in the Ugandan parliament’s adoption of a draconian anti-LGBT bill that originally included the death penalty in some instances.” 

According to Staver, hate crimes legislation is the equivalent of “‘thought crimes’ laws that violate the right to freedom of speech and of conscience” and “have a chilling effect on people who have moral or religious objections to homosexual behavior.” 

The Liberty Counsel has come under fire for its management of Davis, first after Staver claimed that an image of 100,000 people in Peru were gathered to pray for Davis — they were not, a fact for which Staver blamed a “miscommunication” with Peruvian officials — and later for misrepresenting Davis’ meeting with Pope Francis.

There are some who will accuse the SPLC of going on an ideological witch hunt, and in fact the Liberty Council spokesman is already doing just that.

However in my opinion calling them a hate group is a reasonable assertion, even without the rather long laundry list of reasons given by SPLC.

After all, who BUT a hate group could possibly represent Kim Davis?

The Jeb! campaign considering bringing in George W. to give it a boost with conservatives. Oh, yes that is EXACTLY what this campaign needs, more George W. Bush.

Courtesy of the New York Times:  

With Jeb Bush struggling to connect with some Republican activists, his campaign has begun exploring whether to bring in the person it thinks may be best equipped to give him a boost with skeptical conservatives: his brother George W. Bush. 

The 43rd president is a very popular figure among Republican voters and could deliver a needed jolt to his brother’s sluggish campaign. 

Advisers to Jeb Bush in this crucial early primary state have asked national campaign officials in recent weeks to send in George Bush, 69, who so far has appeared only at private fund-raisers, to vouch for his younger brother on the campaign trail. 

The request for reinforcement underlines the growing urgency that backers of Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, feel as other candidates vault ahead of him by stirring the passions of the party’s base.

Yes, yes, yes, what a splendid idea! 

And the great thing about it is that it will stir the passions in the base of BOTH parties!

You know if I were a consultant for the Jeb! campaign I would suggest just as many photo-ops with his brother as possible. I'm talking tons!

Hey maybe they could do a joint appearance on an aircraft carrier wearing matching flight suits?

Oh god, PLEASE make this happen!

(Sorry I got a little over excited there. I think I may have to change my pants now.)

Wait, wait how about this?

Bush/Bush 2016

(Yep I am definitely going to have to change my pants.)

Hillary Clinton goes all in on gun control.

Today Hillary is going to introduce her plan for limiting the availability and distribution of firearms in this country.

Here are her plans as reported by HuffPo: 

At the top of the list is a pledge to take administrative action if Congress fails to tighten the so-called gun show and Internet sales loopholes. Under current law, licensed dealers are required to conduct background checks and certify that potential buyers are not prohibited from owning guns. But unlicensed vendors, including some individual sellers at gun shows, don’t have to go through these steps. 

Clinton plans to call for lawmakers to address the issue. But if they don't, she will require that anyone “attempting to sell a significant number of guns be deemed ‘in the business of selling firearms,’” which would “ensure that high-volume gun sellers are covered by the same common sense rules that apply to gun stores -- including requiring background checks on gun sales.” 

Clinton's second proposal would close a gap in the current background check process that “allows a gun sale to proceed without a completed background check if that check is not complete within three days.”

Clinton will also call for legislation that prohibits domestic abusers from buying and possessing firearms. Such a bill has already been introduced in the Senate, where it has had a hearing before the Judiciary Committee. Similar legislation has been pushed in state legislatures as well, where the National Rifle Association has notably backed down from the fight. According to a report from the Center for American Progress, nearly 12,000 convicted stalkers can legally purchase firearms in the U.S. 

Finally, Clinton will call for a repeal of the legal immunity that gun manufacturers and dealers currently enjoy under a 2005 law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. This could be the most politically provocative of the four proposals. Not only is the immunity a prized possession of the NRA, but it is something that Sanders voted for while a member of the House of Representatives. Clinton, who was a senator representing New York at the time, voted against it.

You know people may call this politically opportunistic, but we have to admit that it takes guts to come out so aggressively for more gun control knowing that the pro-gun lobbies and conservatives will now come after Hillary even more aggressively than they have in the past.

I think Hillary taking point on this issue might change the race going forward and may even help to determine which GOP candidate is chosen to go up against her in 2016.

Damn, if only Rick Perry had known. 

According to one of the Duggars favorite pastors "sex belongs to Christians."

So this guy, John Piper, wrote this bit of brilliance on something called Charisma News: 

We might be tempted to think that, since sex is so sinfully misused and is so universally undermining to the all-satisfying beauty of Christ's holiness, maybe we Christians should have nothing to do with it. 

Paul says the opposite. It is the world that has stolen what belongs to believers. Sex belongs to Christians. Because sex belongs to God. "God created it to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth." If it is used by those who do not believe and know the truth, it is prostituted. They have exchanged the glory of God for images. They have torn sex from its God-appointed place in the orbit of marriage. But they do not know what they are doing. And the price they will pay in this life and the next is incalculable. 

The pleasures of sex are meant for believers. They are designed for their greatest expression by the children of God.

So this might come as some surprise to all of the Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Pagans, Heathens, Atheists, animals, fish, birds, etc. in the world who apparently have been having unsanctioned by God sex for thousands of years now.

You know it's bad enough that the Christians are trying to take over politics, education, and the definition of morality in this country, but when they start trying to claim dibs on sex, then we are going to have a serious problem.

And if you think that first part was weird get a load of Pastor Piper's definition of sex:

And the pleasures of sex are themselves an overflow of God's own goodness. This pleasure is less than what we will know fully in Him at His right hand. And in it, we taste something of His very exquisiteness.

Yeah you know I have had me a whole lot of sex in my life, much of it probably illegal in some states, but at no time did I ever consider tasting God's "exquisiteness."

And I feel dirty just typing that. Plus I'm not really sure what that is.

Pastor Picked a Peck of Pickled Pipers just so you know is also one of the Duggars favorite Christian bullshit artists. In fact future reality star Jessa Duggar Seewald recently quoted him on her Facebook page.

So I would assume that Piper also provided hot piping preaching to Josh Duggar at one time or another. Which leaves me wondering if incest, child molestation, and paying porn stars for rough sex is also just for Christians.

Because if so, I'm kind of alright with that.

Bernie Sanders attracts crowd of 20,000 to Boston rally.

 Courtesy of HuffPo:

Massachusetts is feeling the Bern. 

More than 20,000 of its residents turned out for a Bernie Sanders rally at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on Saturday, no small feat even in a Democratic-leaning state. 

The Vermont independent senator who is campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination appears to have broken a record for a primary candidate's audience in the state -- shooting past then-Sen. Barack Obama's rally of 10,000 people eight years ago, according to the Boston Globe. 

You know sometimes you just have to sit back and say "Holy Shit!"

I mean the guy is now attracting larger crowds than Obama in 2008.

I didn't even think that was possible. 

Here are a couple of charts to start your day.

All of the above come from CNN.

This is courtesy of Mother Jones.

And this is of Mediaite.

People tell me I'm wasting my time because the people who really need to see and understand this information do not care about facts.

Well it's my time to waste, and if this changes even one mind about the importance of comprehensive gun control laws then it is certainly NOT a waste of time.

After all I don't blog for my health. I blog for the health of everyone.