Happy Holidays 2017

Season Greetings

Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukah

Happy Kwanzaa

Happy Holidays

Peace on Earth; Good Will to all Mankind.

Along with wishing everyone joy and peace,  I also want to take this time to thank blog followers and participants.    thank-you I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I’ll probably be off and on but have no plans of writing blog posts until after the first of the year.  I still plan to be on Twitter posting links of headlines.  If you’re not following me, my handle is @XenaBb7. Read the rest of this entry

No More Roy Moore: Democrat Doug Jones Wins in Alabama

Padre Steve's World...Musings of a Progressive Realist in Wonderland

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

In an incredibly close special election for United States Senator from Alabama former Judge Roy Moore lost to former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones.

Moore who lost the election had been credibly accused by multiple women of sexual assault when they were minors had previously been removed twice from his office as the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for violations of the U.S. Constitution and rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet Moore, capitalizing on the votes of white Evangelical Christians defeated the very conservative Luther Strange in the Republican primary charged into the special election primed to win the seat of now Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Alabama has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since Hal Heflin was re-elected and retired in 1996. Sessions then won the election to replace Heflin.

Despite everything the mitigated against Moore it seemed that the closing…

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Former Atlanta Police Sargent Trevor King Convicted On Federal Charges of Using Excessive Force

Tyrone Carnegay (Photo credit: WSBTV

On October 13, 2014, a Walmart customer in Atlanta, Georgia was attacked by a security guard, accused of shoplifting.  The security officer was 48-year old, off-duty Atlanta police Sargent Trevor King.

King used his department issued expandable baton hitting the customer multiple times, breaking the customer’s leg in two places.  King alleged to seeing the customer, 53-year old Tyrone Carnegay, weigh a tomato then try to exit the store without paying.  However, Tyrone had a receipt for the tomato in the bag.

In April 2016, Tyrone filed a lawsuit. His attorney, Craig Jones, told the NY Daily News:

“He got whacked seven or eight times across the shin and actually broke both bones, both the fibula and the tibula,” Carnegay’s lawyer, Craig Jones, told the Daily News. “This tomato not only cost him the dollar they overcharged him. It also cost him over $75,000 in medical bills, which I intend to get them to pay many times over.”

The lawsuit names Walmart, King and another employee as defendants.

Tyrone was chained to his hospital bed.  The broken leg wasn’t his only injury.  He also suffered a ruptured artery that later oozed blood out of his cast.

Because of the cost of the tomato, Tyrone believed that he was overcharged, and after paying for it, returned to the produce section and checked the price on a scale.  He went back in line to challenge the cost, but then decided not to and left the line.  A security employee alerted King who assumed that Tyrone was leaving the store without paying for the tomato.  Tyrone had actually bought $20 worth of items in the store.

After the lawsuit was filed, the Atlanta Police Department opened an investigation. Read the rest of this entry

Arizona Officer Acquitted For The Killing of Daniel Shaver

Daniel Shaver and family

I generally report on cases and jury verdicts without opinion.  This time however, I feel the need to editorialize.

I reported on the killing of Daniel Shaver in April 2016.   That post includes a video of Daniel’s widow talking about the conversations she had with authorities that centered on the body cam videos and a plea deal. It left me with the feeling that she believed that if the videos were publicly released and Philip Brailsford brought to trial, that the jury would convict him.

Some of us know better.  The families of Sam Dubose, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Delrawn Small, Alton Sterling, Patrick Harmon, Dillon Taylor and a host of others, know better.

For years, I’ve mentioned that justifiable homicide burden of proof in cases involving police shootings is wrong.   It’s wrong because the deceased are blamed for the officer using deadly force. The dead cannot face their accuser.  The justification is one-sided, and it always includes what the officer thought.  Defense attorneys argue an abuse of discretion burden of proof without the jury knowing the requirements to meet that proof.   An abuse of discretion is if the accused has failed to exercise sound, reasonable, and legal decision-making skills.

Law enforcement officers are given discretion in performing their jobs.  They are even given discretion on whether or not to stop and frisk; whether or not to arrest; and whether or not to use deadly force.

Discretion is what gives police authority to see a woman crying for help on one side of the street, and a suspicious person standing on the other side of the street, and stop and frisk the suspicious person rather than help the woman crying for help, (while the man who snatched the woman’s purse and knocked her down breaking her leg, casually took off in a Ford pickup truck with a Confederate Battle Flag in the rear window). Read the rest of this entry

Former Cop Michael Slager Sentenced To 20 Years For Violating Walter Scott’s Civil Rights

Walter Scott

The family of Walter Scott has expressed forgiveness, but said that they are glad to see Michael Slager held accountable.  Walter was killed in April 2015.

The State charged North Charleston police officer Michael Slager with murder or voluntary manslaughter in the killing of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man.  Walter Scott was shot in the back 5 times.

Trial began on November 3, 2016, with closing arguments on November 30, 2016.  We followed the trial on this blog with part 1; part 2; and part 3.

Slager said in his report that Walter took his taser from him, giving him justification to use deadly force.   However, a by-stander’s video was released shortly after the deadly encounter that shows Slager unholstered his weapon and fire as Walter ran away.  The video also shows that Slager walked back and retrieved his taser, which was dropped to the ground before Walter ran.  Slager placed his taser next to Walter’s dead body.   After the release of the video, Slager’s attorney then withdrew his representation and Slager was terminated from his job and charged with murder. Read the rest of this entry

Wordless Wednesday – December 6, 2017

 

What I Want For Christmas

This was posted last year, and I couldn’t wait to repost it again.

Yep.  This is what I want for Christmas — every single last one of them.  🙂

 

Trump tweets about Russia probe spark warnings from lawmakers

The Crusader Journal

President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, before his departure back to Washington, U.S., December 2, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

By Roberta Rampton and Karen Freifeld

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A series of tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump about the investigation into contacts between his 2016 campaign and Russia prompted concerns on Sunday among both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham saying Trump could be wading into “peril” by commenting on the probe.

“I would just say this with the president: There’s an ongoing criminal investigation,” Graham said on the CBS program “Face the Nation.”

“You tweet and comment regarding ongoing criminal investigations at your own peril,” he added.

On Sunday morning, Trump wrote on Twitter that he never asked former FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating Michael Flynn, the president’s former national…

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Ex-Trump adviser Flynn charged with lying to FBI in Russia probe

The Crusader Journal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. national security adviser Michael Flynn was charged with lying to the FBI, according to court documents released on Friday, in an escalation of an investigation into alleged ties to Russia that has cast a cloud over President Donald Trump’s administration.

The Office of the Special Counsel said Flynn was charged with making false statements about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

The office, which is investigating accusations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential collusion by Trump’s campaign, said a plea hearing for Flynn had been set for 10:30 a.m. EST (1530 GMT) on Friday.

Flynn was expected to plead guilty. He had turned himself in to the FBI, two federal law enforcement officials told Reuters.

2017-12-01T154023Z_1_LYNXMPEDB03IE_RTROPTP_4_USA-TRUMP-RUSSIA.JPG

Flynn, a retired Army general who was fired from his White House post in February for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about…

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It’s December 1st. Start to get into the Holiday Cheer

Friends, participants, visitors,

Many of us have stressed out over what is happening in politics.  From healthcare to taxes to a number of other issues, we have reason to be concerned.  Everyday, there seems to be something new.  This doesn’t include hearing and/or reading the rude, cruel tweets of our President.

From now until after the first of the year,  I will no doubt reblog from time to time and see if we can share a bit of joy to relieve the stress.   Starting off, here’s a Christmas song by Stevie Wonder and Andra Day.

 

Texas victim’s family files first claim against U.S. Air Force over church massacre

The Crusader Journal

A memorial is seen at the site of the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs A memorial is seen at the site of the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, U.S., November 7, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

By Tina Bellon

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Parents of one of the victims killed in the Nov. 5 shooting rampage at a Texas church filed a claim on Tuesday against the U.S. Air Force in what appeared to be the first legal action in connection to the incident.

The administrative claim, which was filed directly with the Air Force in Washington, said the military acted negligently when it failed to report the criminal record of gunman Devin Kelly to a federal database that would have prevented him from legally purchasing a firearm.

Kelly killed 26 people and wounded more than 20 at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The Air Force said in a statement it did not comment on specific claims. “Every…

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Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ Racial Slur Stuns Families of Navajo War Vets

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Families of Navajo war veterans who were honored at the White House say they were dumbfounded that President Donald Trump used the event to take a political jab at a Massachusetts senator, demeaning their work with an unbreakable code that helped the U.S. win World War II. Trump turned to a nickname…

via Trump’s ‘Pocahontas’ jab stuns families of Navajo war vets — Chicago Sun-Times

Watch “Trump is Finished | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ” on YouTube

I hadn’t watched Olbermann since 2008. It’s good to see him break down reasons for why the U.S. President cannot remain in office.

sdbast

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Ramarley Graham’s Family Still Seeks Personnel Records For Cops Involved In His 2012 Death

Ramarley Graham, 18-years old when killed by NYPD officer Richard Haste

Ramarley Graham was 18-years old when he was killed on February 2, 2012.  He lived in the Bronx.  The Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit of the New York Police Department spotted Ramarley and alleged that he was tugging on a gun in his waistband.  Officer Richard Haste followed Ramarley, who went into his apartment and locked the door.  The incident ended with Haste shooting Ramarley in the bathroom of his apartment.  No gun was found.

The official report stated that Ramarley ran when officers identified themselves.  Video evidence however, showed that Ramarley was walking into his home casually.

 

Officer Richard Haste was stripped of his service weapon and placed on modified duty.  In 2013, Haste was indicted by a grand jury and charged with manslaughter.  A judge dismissed the indictment however, citing an error in jury instructions.  A second grand jury convened and Haste testified before that grand jury.  That grand jury failed to indict Haste. Read the rest of this entry

Happy Turkey Day

Thanksgiving Day is actually not a national holiday celebrating Pilgrims being taught about natural food in the new land by Native Americans.   Most Americans have come to realize that it’s just one day in history that no longer applies to peaceful gatherings of people from different cultures sharing a meal.

Truly, I don’t know of anyone who goes to Native American reservations to share a meal with them on the fourth Thursday of November every year and give thanks to God for having wonderful, caring people feed them with food grown on their own land.

History books do not tell us when or how Pilgrims were overtaken by capitalists, changing how Native Americans were appreciated and treated with respect and the love of Christ by Pilgrims.  I suppose that we are to forget the slaughter of Native Americans, the intentional implanting of disease, the slaughter of native animals to starve Native Americans, and the wars to take over their lands.

Americans make their own holiday traditions and they seldom line-up with the real reason for the holiday.  That means, for me, that Thanksgiving is a family holiday because family members who work have the day off.

With that being said, I want to wish everyone a safe holiday.

 

 

Chicago Police Officer Marco Proano Sentenced To 5 Years for Violating Civil Rights

In August, Chicago police officer Marco Proano was found guilty on two felony federal charges of violating victim’s civil rights.  I reported the trial at this link.

Proano’s sentencing took place on November 20, 2017.  He was looking at 10 years.  Prosecutors asked the judge for 8 years.  On Monday, federal district court Judge Feinerman sentenced the 42-year old Proano to 5 years in prison for his use of unreasonable force in an on-duty shooting that wounded two teenagers four years ago.

Officer Marco Proano fired 16 shots in nine seconds at a stolen Toyota Avalon full of teenagers in Chicago on  December 2013. The shooting was caught on camera, and jurors took less than four hours to find him guilty in August of two civil rights violations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Georgia Alexakis argued that Proano “could have killed each and every one of those passengers.” Read the rest of this entry

Hundreds of Las Vegas shooting victims file lawsuits in California court

The Crusader Journal

A hat rests on flowers in a makeshift memorial during a vigil marking the one-week anniversary of the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas A hat rests on flowers in a makeshift memorial during a vigil marking the one-week anniversary of the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada U.S. October 8, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus

By Tina Bellon

(Reuters) – Hundreds of victims of the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas filed five lawsuits on Monday in a California court against the operators of the hotel from which the gunman fired, the organizers of the country music festival he targeted and the killer’s estate.

The largest of the lawsuits was filed on behalf of 450 people who were either injured in or witnessed the shooting, while the other four were brought by families of people who were killed or severely injured.

All five cases were filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Muhammad Aziz, a Houston-based lawyer heading the lawsuits, said they were filed in California because nearly all the plaintiffs…

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Star of Screen, Television, and Recording Artist Della Reese Dead At 86

Della Reese

She was born Delloreese Patricia Early on July 6, 1931, in Detroit, Michigan. She began singing in church when she was 6-years old.  By her teens, she was working as a singer in gospel luminary Mahalia Jackson’s unit.

After graduating from Detroit’s Cass Technical High School, she briefly attended Wayne State University, but soon moved into music professionally, taking Della Reese as her professional name.

Della Reese was the first Black woman to host her own talk show, which was launched in 1969 and called “Della”.

Della Reese got her first acting break from casting director Reuben Cannon, who offered her a guest shot on the cop show “The Mod Squad” in 1968.  She also appeared in roles on “Police Woman,” “The Rookies,” “McCloud” Chico and the Man,” Welcome Back Kotter,” and “The A-Team.”  Read the rest of this entry

In Time – A Must See Movie For Those Interested In Social Issues

Time is money.

Time is power.

Time is life.

I’m not a professional movie reviewer.  I just love movies and because of a class in college, I like getting into the heads of directors.  Is this a movie just for entertainment purposes, or are they showing us something deeper?  Is the focus on the characters or the message?  What about the script?  Does it tell, or does the director expect for the audience to understand deeper messages by showing rather than telling?

The movie In Time is one I just saw and want to watch again.  Released in 2011, I somehow missed it.  It is now being shown on FXM.

The message is deeper than the characters, although we need to watch the characters to understand the impact of the message.

In Time has taken everything about society and turned it into life expectancy that is issued out by unknown powers.  The movie doesn’t tell us how it started, but at the end it gives us a glimpse of how it loses control and the people take control.

The movie takes place in a dystopian future when humans are bioengineered.  They stop physically aging at 25 years.  When they reach age 25, their clocks come on.  They are given 12 months of time.   Those 12 months however, are reduced or increased because time has replaced money.  In other words, it’s not a matter of living for the next 12 months preparing to die because time is also used to pay for basic living expenses; rent, food, utilities.  Because the clock is always ticking down, getting back 12 months of time is impossible for the working class because whatever they earn, they spend on living expenses.  Then too, they have to sleep.  While sleeping, their clocks tick down. Read the rest of this entry

Cop Sentenced to Prison, Forced to Pay Victim for Savagely Beating Teen on Video

Tales from the Conspiratum

It’s about time that juries start understanding that coppers are mere civil servants, not the powerful Gods they think they are. If the courts start jailing the bad coppers perhaps this police brutality trend will reverse.
thefreethoughtproject.com

Showing exactly how abusive cops should be treated, a bully cop has been sentenced 27 months in prison for savagely beating an innocent teen on video.

bully

Pittsburgh, PA — A belligerent and violent cop was recently convicted of violating the civil rights of a teenager by savagely beating him at a high school football game. The entire incident, which looks like a giant bullying a small child, was captured on video and led to the initial firing of officer Stephen Matakovich, 48, and the subsequent charges.

Matakovich “was an annoyed bully who beat the crap out of a drunk kid,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Gilson told…

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