Author Archives: Xena

Her Majesty “THE QUEEN OF SOUL” died at 76

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Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer and songwriter. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister.

In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but achieving only modest success.

 

After signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as “Respect“, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman“, “Spanish Harlem” and “Think“.

 

By the end of the 1960s she was being called “the Queen of Soul“.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




 

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Michael Drejka Charged With Manslaughter For Killing Markeis McGlockton – Stand Your Ground Law

Markeis McGlockton

I saw the video for this case when it first happened, and also read that the Sheriff refused to arrest Michael Drejka because of Florida’s stand your ground law.  When I saw the video, it was my impression that the shooter was an elderly man.  Maybe it was his posture or the fact that he fell to the ground so easily.  It turns out that Drejka was 47-years old on July 19, 2018 when he shot and killed 28-year old Markeis McGlockton.

Here is the video.

 

 

Comments were quickly posted on Twitter protesting that Drejka was not arrested.  Thinking that an elderly man might be afraid of a younger man pushing him to the ground, I sighed at the thought that he could avoid arrest using stand your ground in his defense.  Then, I watched the video again and saw where Markeis’ girlfriend Britany Jacobs, was getting out of the car and Drejka was standing at the car’s door invading her space.  I wondered what he said to Britany that provoked Markeis to push him.   I sighed again, because Markeis is not alive to tell anyone what he heard and believed that provoked him to push Drejka out of Britany’s face.

Other thoughts came to mind, such as Drejka thinking he was entitled to approach and engage Britany for parking in a handicapped parking space.  How is it possible to provoke a  confrontation, verbal or physical, then claim self-defense when someone takes action to stop the confrontation?

On August 13, 2018, Michael Drejka was charged with manslaughter.  He is currently in jail on a $100k bond and is going to be appointed a public defender. Read the rest of this entry

Anniversary Achievement

Has it been 6 years already?

Thanks to followers and those who have been my inspiration and encouragement.

 

 

Taking a Break

Hello everyone.   There are no words sufficient to express my appreciation for followers, old and new.   Will you accept flowers instead?

 

As most if not all of us know, things are hectic in the United States.  Everyday, Trump has said or done something that stresses the masses.   Remember to vote.  Read the rest of this entry

“Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” Premieres July 30.

On the evening of February 26, 2012, 17-year old Trayvon Martin was shot in the heart and killed by George Zimmerman. On April 11,2012, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with 2nd degree murder. A jury of 6 women, none of whom are Black, acquitted Zimmerman on July 13, 2013.

“Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story” is a 6-part documentary series that premieres on Monday, July 30, 2018 on Paramount and BET.

Co-directors Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby Nason interviewed more than 100 people for the series, with twenty-some sources in Sanford alone.  They employed an investigative team that included a former New York Times journalist and interviewed friends of Zimmerman, experts on the origins of Black Lives Matter; and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which helped identify how the case was discussed in white supremacist chat rooms and message boards. Read the rest of this entry

Russian Infiltration Of Word Press Blogs

In spite of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell warning Russia to “quit messing around in our elections,” Russians have not stopped.  They continue their influence and propaganda.  With social media such as Facebook and Twitter taking note and making changes, Russian propagandists have turned to Word Press blogs.

Earlier this year, I received notifications from Word Press for email followers.  I didn’t pay much attention to the first one because there are people who follow this blog via email who do not have Word Press accounts to comment.   When I received two more notifications on the same day, and they too had Outlook email addresses, I knew that was not usual.  I checked a Word Press forum and found that others were experiencing the same and were concerned about it.

A thread in one Word Press forum began in January 2018.   Also in January, a blogger named Ray wrote what he was experiencing with these strange email followers.

Another thread began in March, and still another was started in April.   A staff person posted in April;

“My guess is it’s an attempt to overload our (WordPress.com’s) mail servers by making us send out more subscription emails than our system can handle. The other option is that they’re hoping bloggers will email them at that address to thank them for following, which will give them access to active email addresses which they can then attempt to spam or hack directly.”

“The follows in themselves are not an actual threat, though – our system can handle many times more emails than these additional subscriptions are making us send, and there’s no way receiving these follows can compromise your site or account, so really all they’re achieving is to annoy people.”

I only access Word Press through computer, and I use the old way of assessing the Admin side of the blog.  What I learned earlier this year is that if I go to the Word Press ribbon that appears at the top of the blog when I’m signed in and click “My Sites,” that I can scroll down to where it says “People”.  Clicking that takes me to a screen with three tabs, one of which is labeled “Email Followers”.  By clicking there, I can not only see who is following my blog via email, but I can also remove them.  Read the rest of this entry

House moves to impeach Rosenstein, Mueller investigating Trump for obstruction of justice

The Secular Jurist

By Robert A. Vella

Two important but very strange developments occurred today regarding President Trump.

Two members of the House of Representatives’ far-right Freedom Caucus (a.k.a. Tea Party members) and nine other members introduced articles of impeachment against U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (who oversees the Mueller investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election), but did so immediately before the House adjourned for its summer recess.  Apparently, either the vote threshold to impeach Mr. Rosenstein do not yet exist or this is simply a political move to appease Trump supporters ahead of the midterm elections.  See:  Sessions defends deputy Rosenstein after impeachment move

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is now examining President Trump’s statements made on social media (i.e. Twitter) in order to determine if it constitutes a general obstruction of justice pattern intended to intimidate DOJ officials and potential witnesses (i.e. witness tampering) related to…

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White House delays Putin visit to 2019 after Republican backlash — Daily Republic

The logic here is that after 9/11, George W. Bush should have invited Osama Bin Laden to the White House for tea to discuss peace.

United States intelligence agencies have said that Russia interfered in America’s presidential election.  Trump now wants to wait until next year before deciding to re-invite a thief into our house.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has postponed his invitation for Russian President Vladimir Putin to come to Washington until next year, after Republican congressional leaders registered their opposition about a visit initially planned for this fall, around the time of the midterm elections.

Putin never responded to the administration’s announcement last week that, at Trump’s direction, “plans were underway” for a fall welcome; a Russian official pointed to the controversy in the United States to explain the hesitance. On Wednesday, the president’s national security adviser, John Bolton, issued a statement about the change of plans, citing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s ongoing Russia probe — not political concerns — as the reason.

The statement came just hours after Trump had met with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, both of whom had told reporters Tuesday at the Capitol that Putin would not be welcome in Congress because Russia is not an ally.

 

Officer Who Choked Eric Garner Has Been Administratively Charged

(CNN)The New York police officer who choked Eric Garner in 2014 has been formally served with departmental charges, an NYPD spokesman said Saturday.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who wrapped his arm around Garner’s neck before the man complained he couldn’t breathe, was served with the charges Friday night, according to city officials.

Pantaleo is seen in video from the scene tackling Garner from behind using a department-banned chokehold. He now faces two separate charges — for use of a chokehold and for restricting the man’s breathing, said an NYPD official with knowledge of the investigation.

Pantaleo, who has remained on the NYPD payroll, faces punishment ranging from loss of vacation days to termination, officials said.

Pantaleo’s case will be prosecuted by the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the city agency tasked with oversight of the police department, officials said. The CCRB substantiated allegations of misconduct against Pantaleo, police officials said.
Read More at;

Jury Hangs In Trial For Man Who Killed John Hernandez With Choke Hold

John Hernandez

On July 24, 2017, I blogged about the strangling death of John Hernandez.  Two persons were charged; Terry Thompson and his wife, Harris County Deputy Sheriff Chauna Thompson.

To recap;

John Hernandez was at a Denny’s restaurant on May 28, 2017 in a town not far from Houston. Wait staff said he was celebrating his soccer team winning and was drunk, but he was not behaving belligerently.   Terry Thompson engaged John outside of the restaurant, who Thompson accused of urinating in public.  Thompson’s daughter called her mom, Chauna Thompson, who was off-duty.

Terry beat John who landed on the ground and then Terry proceeded to place John in a choke hold and got on John’s back.  Chauna arrived and pinned down one of John’s arms.  His other armed was underneath him. On her knees, Chauna yelled at Hernandez to “stay the f— down.” Her husband said to Hernandez: “Do you want me to hit you again?”

After paramedics arrived, John Hernandez was rushed to the hospital.  Some witnesses say that it took paramedics 40 minutes to arrive.  John was brain dead, went into a coma and died three days later.

A by-stander filmed the incident.  Read the rest of this entry

If This World Were Mine

Here’s some stress relief for the weekend.

If This World Were Mine is a song written by the late Marvin Gaye, who originally released it in 1967 as a duet with Tammi Terrell.   In 1982, Luther Vandross and Cheryl Lynn recorded the song.   Some songs never get old, and this is one of them.

 

Bogus 911 Call About Black Teens Leads To Minneapolis Park Police Pointing Guns In Their Face — Chicago Sun-Times

MINNEAPOLIS — Three black teenagers say they feared for their lives when a Minneapolis Park Police officer pulled a gun on them while responding to a bogus 911 report that they were armed.

The July 10 incident at Minnehaha Park drew widespread attention after a bystander recorded part of it and posted a video to Facebook that’s been viewed over 2.8 million times.

The officers were responding to a female 911 caller who falsely reported that four teens were following her boyfriend and wielding knives and sticks. Park police released the four after finding they were unarmed and hearing witness accounts that contradicted the caller’s story. The department has since said the call was “misleading” and apologized to the boys.

At a news conference Monday called by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, 14-year-old Aden Aden said he and his friends were just trying to have fun when a white kid confronted them. Witnesses have corroborated that account.

“When I was at the park, I was just trying to have a good day with my friends,” Aden said. “And this white kid came up to us saying racial slurs towards us, and when the cops came, they just pulled guns to our faces. And I felt like I was discriminated (against) and I felt like it was not supposed to happen, and I hope it never happens to anyone again.”

Fourteen-year-old Suhaib Ahmed said the officers frightened them. “I was scared he was going to shoot me.”

Police said in a news release last week that one of the officers “unholstered his firearm and pointed it in the general direction of the four suspects.”

via Black teens terrified by Minneapolis Park Police with guns — Chicago Sun-Times

 

 

DOJ Has Until Aug 31, 2018 To Announce If Criminal Charges Will Be Filed In The Death Of Eric Garner

July 17th is the four year anniversary of the death of Eric Garner.   Eric Garner was 43-years old and in Staten Island selling untaxed cigarettes when he was approached by officers Justin Damico and Daniel Pantaleo.  Pantaleo placed Eric in a choke hold and in spite of Eric saying “I can’t breathe, Pantaleo continued applying pressure until Eric was unconscious.

Erica Garner, left. Eric Garner, right.

A bystander recorded the confrontation on cell phone, giving viewers an unobstructed view of the choke hold which, along with the compression of his chest by officers, was found to be a cause of Eric’s death.

In December 2014, a grand jury refused to indict Pantaleo.  Like Darren Wilson who killed Mike Brown, Pantaleo was allowed to testify before the grand jury on his own behalf.

Then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department will conduct its own investigation into Eric’s death.   Then United States Attorney Loretta Lynch took over the investigation until she became the United States Attorney General, replacing Eric Holder. Local FBI investigators and federal prosecutors determined that charges should not be brought in the case, and Attorney Lynch then removed the local FBI agents and federal prosecutors from the case, and assigned the investigation to agents outside of New York. Read the rest of this entry

Shock as Trump backs Putin on election meddling at summit

Mueller’s Timeline: How the Russian Hacks Unfolded

From Politico;

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment Friday of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the Democratic National Committee and other liberal targets establishes a vivid timeline of how Moscow used a range of digital intrusion techniques to interfere in the 2016 election.

The indictment spells out not only who the hackers were, but what techniques they used to breach and maintain a foothold in the computer systems of the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It also details precisely how Russia used cryptocurrencies to fund its operations — underscoring how deeply the U.S. intelligence community has managed to delve after the fact into the 2016 meddling operation.

The charges also lay out the hackers’ interactions with an array of Americans, including journalists, an unnamed congressional candidate and “a person who was in regular contact with senior members” of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Read the full article: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/13/mueller-russia-hacks-timeline-686521

Jeopardy – The Correct Question Is, Who Is Michael Flynn?

The Jeopardy game show is my favorite trivia game program.   There are some categories that I’m good at.   Sports is not one of them.  Others include painters and chemistry. However, I’ve watched Jeopardy for so long that I’m getting pretty familiar with Shakespeare plays.

If you watch Jeopardy, then you know that the host, Alex Trebek, gives answers and three contestants compete to see who rings in first with the correct question.

There are contestants who know about Italian painters from the 1700’s; authors from Poland; what land locked country sits beside another land locked country.   There are contestants who can practically recite all the lines in Shakespeare plays; know all classical composers; the names of rivers throughout the world and all of the kings and queens of England.

My son occasionally watches, and when Jeopardy has Black History or Bible categories, we take bets on whether those will be the last categories selected.  Well, we used to bet.  I got tired of losing. My son always bets that those categories will be chosen last, while I gave contestants the benefit of the doubt.  (Should I add here that Jeopardy seldom has any Black or Latinx contestants?)

Last week, the three contestants worried me.   The answer was not about Black History or the Bible, but about Russia.  Read the rest of this entry

Come Together

“He say, I know you. You know me. One thing I can tell you is you got to be free.”

There are times I feel out of touch; out of touch with new music artists, actors and movies.   There were once neighborhood movie theaters where you could take a walk and see what movies were playing and coming soon.  Now, they are located behind big parking lots.   Some previews are shown during commercial breaks on television, but they cannot be compared to the movie posters of old.

Why am I reminiscing?  Saturday evening, family got together to watch a movie.  It is not the movie that caused me to reminisce but the one song on the soundtrack.

I’m a Marvel Comic movie fan and not much into DC Comic movies.  Superman was once my favorite superhero and remains on the list.  I think I watched the 1978 movie ten times or more; twice at the theater.   I never cared much for Batman.  The movies are dark and dank and without his special gadgets, Bruce Wayne is no superhero.  Read the rest of this entry

Anti-violence protesters block major freeway in Chicago

The Crusader Journal

By Miesha Miller

(Reuters) – Hundreds of protesters calling for an end to gun violence in Chicago partially shut down a major freeway in the city on Saturday, restricting traffic as they demanded lawmakers and members of the community do more to stop the bloodshed.

Initially, hundreds of demonstrators marched along two of the freeway’s four northbound lanes watched by lines of police. Some carried crosses and others banged drums as they marched, chanting slogans including “Black Lives Matter!” Later, the protesters blocked traffic on all four lanes.

Illinois State Police said agreement was reached with organizers of the protest to allow the demonstrators restricted access to Interstate 94, known as the Dan Ryan Expressway, “to march peacefully for their cause.”

By mid-afternoon there were no arrests, police said.

Chicago leaders have long struggled to bring down its high murder rate. Even though homicides fell 16 percent last year, the…

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North Korea slams ‘gangster-like’ U.S. demands after satisfied Pompeo leaves

Donald Trump Betrays A Promise Made By President G.W. Bush To Give Expedited Citizenship To Legal Immigrants Joining The U.S. Army

A special recruitment program by the U.S. Army promising legal immigrants a path to citizenship turns out to be a pipe dream.

The program offers naturalization with an honorable service designation that can be given after a few days of boot camp.  Enlistment contracts were signed, and the Army oath taken.  Now, Army reservist are being discharged or not sent to boot camp. Those legally in the United States might be deported when their VISA expires.

In 2002, President George W. Bush expedited the naturalization process for immigrant soldiers.  In 2007, the program known as MAVNI (Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest) became an official recruiting program.  President Barack Obama added DACA recipients to the eligibility list.  That is when an official introduced extensive background checks, creating a severe backlog.

Paul Chelimo, a Kenyan-born American athlete who won Silver in the 5,000 meters at the 2016 Rio Olympics, secured US citizenship in 2014 after entering the US Army through the MAVNI progam.

In June 2017, an internal memo sent to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis cited that 1,000 recruits were awaiting active-duty training and were at risk for deportation.   Although the special program was by Executive Order of President G.W. Bush, the Trump Administration suspended MAVNI in September 2017 saying it was not properly authorized by Congress.

This is not exactly factual.  While Trump believes his cancellation of MAVNI is right because Congress passed no Bill approving it, an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act was proposed to continue MAVNI. Read the rest of this entry

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