Wonderful! I almost fell off my chair when I saw the photo from Twilight: Breaking Dawn 1.
Today, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. Kamala D. Harris was sworn in as Vice President of the United States. There are many things to be proud of with this administration. When watching the swearing-in, I first sighed. It was a sigh of relief. No longer will Americans hear outright lies from the President of the United States, such as Covid-19 being no worst than a bad cold or the flu.
After I sighed, I cried, overwhelmed with a sense of relief, of honor, and a renewal in hope for our nation.
Congratulations Mr. President and Madame Vice President.
This video has become a tradition for the Holiday Season at We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident . Hope you enjoy! Be safe. Wear a mask.
In August, 2008, they started pouring-in. The “they” were “birther” cases arguing that Barack Obama was disqualified from being President of the United States on the allegation that he is not a “natural born” United States Citizen. As late as November 2010, the SCOTUS was still dismissing such cases. If anyone is interested in the majority of cases, there is a good list on Wikipedia.
The other day, Twitter was buzzing about the Attorney General for the State of Texas petitioning the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn election results in four states. In response to one such tweet, I tweeted the following;
Trump culture has made things unpredictable. After the death of Justice RBG, Trump’s brazenness to quickly appoint a Justice to the Supreme Court on the basis that he needed nine Justices to decide election controversies, made many voters nervous. I hoped that judges and Justices would adhere to the basic requirements before they hear a case.
Regardless of their arguments, Plaintiffs have to meet a requirement in order for any court to hear their claims. That requirement is “standing”. Read the rest of this entry
We the People of the United States of America have chosen sanity over chaos, compassion over hate, intellect over buffoonery, and respect over mockery and false bravado. We the People have chosen Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States. We have chosen well. To say that I am relieved would be […]YES!!!!!!!!!!! — Filosofa’s Word
Shout out to @Barkiologist for the information.
Orange County Register reports that Jordan Tygh, a regional field director for the California Republican Party, posted a photo on social media of “convenient locations” to drop their own ballots.
They are not official drop boxes. The fake boxes are located in Orange, Los Angeles, and Fresno Counties.
The California Secretary of State says that the fake boxes are located at local political party offices, candidate headquarters and churches.
I’ve never been one to vote based on issues that are not relevant to my life or the betterment of this country, such as climate change. For at least two decades, I’ve personally heard Republicans say they were voting for a politician because they are anti-abortion and/or anti-gay rights. I always asked if they planned to have an abortion and if they are gay? To that, they wanted to quote from the Bible, in which I had to remind them that the United States does not have a theocratic government.
Frankly, I’m tired of hearing Republicans say that they don’t understand how Christians can be Democrat when Democrats made abortion legal in the United States. That is simply not true. At the time of Roe v. Wade, six (6) of the Justices on the Supreme Court were appointed by Republican presidents.
Voting because of wanting laws that control the lives of others is a bit like wanting to be a control freak. Many of these same folks do not comply with the Executive Orders of Governors to wear a mask when out in public to prevent the spread of a virus that can be deadly. They want to exercise their freedom of choice. Hypocrites!
I remember when abortion became legal in New York State. It was in 1970. I remember Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade was a case filed in 1971 and was decided in 1973. Roe was a woman who resided in the state of Texas. At that time, Texas only allowed legal abortion if the life of the mother was at risk. Among Roe’s arguments was that she could not afford to go out of Texas to obtain a safe, legalized abortion.
At the time that Roe v. Wade made itself through the judicial system, Richard Nixon (R) was president of the United States.
The nine Justices on the Court and the president who appointed them were; Read the rest of this entry
Thanks to followers, visitors, and participants, past and present.
Last month I received notification from WordPress that it was my 8 year anniversary. My, time does fly. These past 2 years makes it seem much longer. The breast cancer treatment journey caused months to fly and at the same time, time slowed down. I suppose one has to have been or is on that journey to understand, because words are insufficient to describe how time can move slow but at the same time, move fast.
It was a year in March that I had surgery and was declared NED/NEC (no evidence of disease/ no evidence of cancer). Then there were post-surgical treatments with immunology drugs for 3 months, followed by tests, followed by physical therapy. July marked my one year anniversary since ending post-surgical treatment. I’m still receiving treatment for some of the side-effects that chemo left behind.
In 8 years, three of my best friends have died. We also lost at least one blogger to death, and several disappeared without a word. I miss them all. There are bloggers I met in 2012 who no longer blog, but are on Twitter. Read the rest of this entry
I originally blogged about these cases on Dec. 7, 2013. Since then, there has been additional information, including the filing of and decision in a civil lawsuit.
Both cases are in the State of Illinois but different counties about 27 miles apart. When committing the crimes, all defendants in both cases were residents of the City of Rockford. All defendants were charged with murder under the same state law.
Let me be clear that this post is not about the innocence or guilt of the defendants. It’s about racism yielding privilege for some and inequalities for others. It’s the type of prejudice that prosecutors might not realize motivates them to make decisions. It’s the type of politics that call Black defendants “violent offenders” but offers White defendants, charged with the same crime, pleas for lesser offenses and shorter sentences.
In the Black Lives Matter Movement, there is talk about how Blacks and Whites are charged for the same crimes, but Blacks are given longer sentences. Mostly, people who bring up that issue speak in terms of marijuana possession or misdemeanor crimes.
The cases I present here would not have been misdemeanor crimes even if no party had been killed.
Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/9-1 states in pertinent part:
“A person who kills an individual without lawful justification commits first degree murder if, in performing the acts which cause the death, he is attempting or committing a forcible felony other than second degree murder.”
This law is generally referred to as felony murder. Simply put, if a person is committing a felony and another person is killed during the commission of that crime, the person or persons committing the crime are charged with murder. The sentence for felony murder carries a mandatory minimum of 20 years. Read the rest of this entry
By Robert A. Vella The breaking news that hit late yesterday shouldn’t be surprising. We already knew that Donald Trump is pathologically narcissistic and sociopathic. We already knew that he isn’t mentally competent enough to serve as President of the United States. We already knew that he is ethically and intellectually unfit to fulfill the […]The un-American, traitorous U.S. President exposed — The Secular Jurist
Just after I posted Trump’s Suspension of Travel From Europe Sealed America’s Fate For Major Covid 10 Spread, news came out that Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, developed a national testing strategy. Donald however, was looking for a re-election advantage. As reported in Vanity Fair,
Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.
That logic may have swayed Kushner. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out,” the expert said.
I took another look at the Department of Homeland Security’s list of airports allowing the landing of planes from Europe carrying American citizens. There are 13 airports on the list. Other than Texas, Georgia and Florida, the planes were not allowed to land in other southern states.
Donald Trump exploited Covid-19 , intentionally allowing the virus to infect Blue States, not provide testing through the federal government, and blame Democratic Governors for the spread and lack of testing.
Now, the Lincoln Project has come out with a video about it.
Donald John Trump, the impeached president of the United States who Senate Republicans refused to remove from office, uses “law and order” to intimidate three groups. The first group are protesters. If enough of them are blinded by rubber bullets, maybe they will stop protesting. The second group are people afraid of protesters believing that all protests and marches are riots. (Trump has so far identified that group “suburban housewives”.) The third group are Republicans who have strange, generalized beliefs that all Democrats are evil.
In an unbalanced, prejudicial, generalized manner, Trump represents all protests as riots. He postures all as taking place in cities with Democratic mayors or states with Democratic Governors. There are too many cities and states to list, but not all looting and vandalism occurred in Democratic led cities or states. Additionally, there were attacks by people upon protesters that Trump does not mention. There was also great physical harm caused by police on protesters and journalists.
Maybe Trump is threatening to send mercenaries to American cities after he realized that there are police who understand, agree with, and will not harm peaceful protesters.
While it is true that some protests included damage to property and looting, Trump is not addressing the root “law and order” issue.
On May 25, 2020, where was law and order for George Floyd?
Indeed, an officer of the law casually tortured Floyd for over 8 minutes until he died. The video of Floyd’s death went viral, waking-up many people to just how “law and order” is abuse of power and cover-up with dishonest police reports. Read the rest of this entry
Donald Trump represents that mail-in voting is different than absentee voting. His position is that absentee voting requires requesting a ballot while mail-in voting does not. Trump also represents a factual error about mail-in voting. He postures it as ALL states mailing ballots to registered voters whether or not they want to vote by mail.
THAT IS NOT TRUE FOR THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
I reside in the State of Illinois where I am a registered voter. In the mail, I received an “Application For Vote By Mail”. It is not a ballot. I would need to fill-out the application and wait to receive the ballot by mail.
Trump’s generalizations include an assumption that only Democrats want mail-in voting for the general election. There is a pandemic in America. Covid-19 acts differently in people, but it can be deadly. People not only have to think about themselves, but also those around them; family, friends, co-workers. No sane person wants to gamble with their life.
Maybe it’s because a disproportionate of minorities die from Covid-19 that it’s assumed the number of Democratic voters are being reduced. As of today in the United States, there are almost 170,000 deaths from Covid-19. States such as Texas and Florida have seen almost 10,000 deaths from Covid-19. Georgia and Arizona have almost 5,000 deaths from Covid-19. (Stats from CDC on 8/16/2020) Read the rest of this entry
That suspension meant that Americans in Europe needed to return home, and Trump gave them 48 hours to do so, packing them into airports like sardines for hours.
Trump has praised himself for his decision in January to restrict travel from China in order to contain the coronavirus, claiming that his decision saved millions of lives. His response to travel from Europe however, opened the back door for Covid-19 to enter the U.S. Many Americans did not want to be stuck in Europe and returned to the U.S. on the same weekend, bringing the virus with them. Exposed travelers into the U.S. from Europe sealed the nation’s fate for a major spread.
On March 12, 2020, Trump suspended all travel to the United States from Europe for 30 days. Americans had 48 hour notice to make travel arrangements back to the U.S.
We should never forget that it was Trump’s decision that caused a major spread of Covid-19 across the United States.
On March 13, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security published its outline for Americans returning from Europe.
““Effective for flights taking off at 11:59 PM EDT on Friday, March 13th, Americans returning from all restricted countries will now be required to travel through the following 13 airports:”
Those airports were;
- Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
- Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
- Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
- Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia
On March 14, 2020, 40,000 passengers returning from Europe crowded into the 13 airports.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), on March 13, 2020, the United States had 1,896 confirmed Covid-19 virus cases. Two weeks later, on March 27, 2020, the number of confirmed cases had risen to 103,321. Read the rest of this entry
Joliet, IL Police Sargent Punished For Blowing Whistle About The Suffocation of Eric Lurry by Police.
Hat Tip To Roderick2012 for the news story.
In May 2020, Scottie published a post titled “Rather Good Question.” “Why do cops come out in full force to protect their worst?”
The answer to that question is layered, and based on what has happened to Joliet, IL police Sgt. Javier Esqueda, we can see that one reason cops don’t blow the whistle on cops is because of retribution.
Chicago CBSlocal reports:
“Joliet police Sgt. Javier Esqueda blew the whistle on the death of Eric Lurry in police custody, and now he has been stripped of his police powers and placed on administrative leave.”
Eric Lurry died in January 2020 while in the back of a police car at the police station. After 5 months, Sgt. Esqueda blew the whistle about the video and after 27 years of service, has now been stripped of his badge, gun, and police car.
There’s much to this story, including allegations of tampering with the video. The audio cuts out just after the handcuffed Eric Lurry is slapped. Sgt. Doug May grabs Eric around his throat and holds his nostrils close for 1 minute, 38 seconds.
“Esqueda says Lurry appears to be passing out with a piece of a torn plastic baggie lodged in the back of his mouth. Instead of calling for an ambulance immediately, Sgt. Doug May, hold [sic] his nose.”
When I was a little girl, I only saw the confederate flag on television programs or in movies. It caused me to think that maybe the North and the South sat down at a negotiating table and decided on conditions to end the Civil War. Why else would there be a flag flown in addition to the stars and stripes, right? Why else would a nation have statutes of generals that fought for the South, right?
Through grammar, high school and college, nothing was taught regarding why the United States honors people and a flag that lost America’s Civil War.
In the following video, ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jeffrey Robinson addresses the history of the monuments that the current U.S. President does not want removed. It’s informative and a real eye-opener.
Although this blog was launched in August 2012, it was not until 2014 when I first blogged about a case involving an unarmed person killed by police. It was Jonathan Ferrell. Previously, I blogged about unarmed people killed by private citizens. Trayvon Martin was the first followed by Jordan Davis.
As I understand it, if you access this blog via cellphone, you have to click another button to see the top menu. The top menu includes “Cases/Victims”. A pull-down menu appears when hovering over it. Recently as I started to include three other names on that menu, I was struck with sadness. There are already 127 names.
Most were killed by members of law enforcement. At least one was a member of law enforcement. Some survived the beating or shooting. Most are Black, who are disproportionately killed by law enforcement. Believing in equality and justice for all, the list on the pull-down menu includes Whites, Latinx, Asians, men and women. The cases involve Black and White officers. What is interesting in documenting cases involving Black officers is the number of times they are charged and found guilty, compared to their White counterparts.
Offhand, I only remember one case where a Black officer was acquitted. The victim in that case was 95-year old John Wrana, a WWII veteran. Park Forest, IL officer Craig Taylor shot John in the abdomen with 5 beanbags in rapid succession. John Wrana was in his room in a retirement home when he was killed. He died from internal bleeding. Officer Taylor had a bench trial and was found not guilty.
In September 2018, after I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, I lacked the energy and time to write blog posts that required research. That doesn’t mean that there weren’t victims, or trials, or recent news about investigations. Then 2019 arrived and I heard about Javier Ambler II in Texas. I thought that I felt complacent, thinking, “nothing will be done.” It’s now been 15 months and the investigation is still opened. The two deputies involved in Ambler’s death have not provided written statements. LivePD that filmed the incident destroyed the video tape.
After seeing the video of the killing of George Floyd, I was reminded of Javier Ambler II. An officer placed his knee on Ambler who said several times that he could not breathe.
Ethan Saylor also came to mind. Like Floyd, Saylor was not killed by gunshot, but by chocking. His esophagus was broken. Also like George Floyd, Ethan called out for his mother. Ethan Saylor was not Black, but he was different. Ethan was Down Syndrome. None of the 3 deputy sheriffs involved in killing Ethan were charged.
Originally when I began writing this post, my intention was to name the cases where the officers involved were not charged. They are names that others may have forgotten or not known about. Along with Ethan Saylor is Darrien Hunt; Saif Nasser Mubarak Alameri; John Crawford III; Mark Anthony Barmore. I wanted to not only inform, but to also honor the victims; to let their families know they are not forgotten. But, that all changed because there — are — just — too — many. (sigh)
Derek Chauvin was the Minneapolis police officer who was fired after video was shown of him placing his knee on the neck of Gregory Floyd for over 8 minutes, killing Floyd. It happened on May 25, 2020. Things moved fast thereafter and Chauvin was charged with 3rd degree murder.
On the day that Chauvin was charged, personnel representing the federal government held a non-press conference. I refer to it that way because there was no news given at that conference. I remember watching it when U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald stated, “I thought we would have another development to talk to you about, but we don’t.”
ABC is one of many news sources reporting that before Chauvin was charged, he was negotiating with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and the federal prosecutor to plea guilty to state murder and federal civil rights violation. Negotiations held-up the press conference for about 2 hours. Negotiations failed.
Charges filed again Chauvin now include 2nd degree murder. Click here to see a copy of the criminal complaint.
Judge Jeannice M Reding set Chauvin’s bail of $1.25m with no preconditions, or $1m with conditions that include not contacting Mr Floyd’s family, surrendering his firearms and not working in law enforcement or security as he awaits trial.
The 3 officers (also fired) who were with Chauvin, are all charged with aiding and abetting murder.