May 24, 2018

Woman spared 12 years in prison by hospital video showing Aurora, Colorado police assaulting her instead of her assaulting them, but she was jailed for 8 days and lost her job. “If there had not been a video, Williams would have been forced to go to trial on a criminal charge where it would have been her story versus that of three police officers…”

Medical examiner rules death of black Center for Disease Control epidemiologist was ‘suicide by drowning’. “Timothy Cunningham, 35, was last seen on February 12. His body was discovered in the Chattahoochee River in the northwestern part of the city on April 3.”   You’ve got to be kidding. How does that work, he chained himself to a heavy object and threw it in the river? This sounds like a historic coverup FAIL.

Milwaukee police release video of tasering and arrest of black NBA player Sterling Brown, after he parked across the lines in a Walgreens parking lot in the middle of the night, which apparently involved five police cars. “What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tased and then unlawfully booked.”

FBI admits it massively inflated the number of encrypted cell phones tied to criminal acts. “The FBI’s assertion that 7,775 phones could not be opened by their investigators last year has always struck a discordant note with critics and privacy advocates, who noted that just a year earlier, the FBI had claimed the figure was 880.”

Ukrainian government accused of paying Trump lawyer $400,000 for White House meeting. “After the fee was paid to Cohen, he had a substantial meeting with Trump, followed by a photo op. One week later, Poroshenko’s government canceled a Ukrainian investigation into Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who is accused of receiving millions of dollars in illicit payments from pro-Russian interests in Ukraine.”

NFL announces new policy requiring players on the field to stand for the national anthem. “The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not show respect for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons to protest racial inequality and police brutality.”   Former NFL quarterback Sage Rosenfels questions new national anthem policy. “Forced patriotism is the opposite of freedom.”   That’s right, North Korean have to cheer for the Great Leader and salute the flag – or else!

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina drug cops accused of routinely conducting ‘no knock’ raids after man gunned down by police files lawsuit. “Based on this testimony, which supports an inference of numerous alleged violations of the knock and announce requirement, the (Drug Enforcement Unit) had a widespread and persistent policy of executing search warrants without knocking and announcing and waiting a reasonable time before entering a private residence.”

Man sues Springfield, Massachusetts police alleging roadside flashlight beating after he refused to exit his car. “The suit names Officers Christopher Collins and David Suchcicki, who are accused of striking Bernal, and 20 unidentified officers accused of either participating in the alleged beating or standing by without intervening.”

Police thought Las Vegas was under a ‘Mumbai-style’ attack due to reports of multiple perpetrators, according to newly released documents. “The officer said it wasn’t known at that time if the ‘attack was expanding or not due to multiple reports coming in of explosive devices and secondary shooters’.”

Children detained by U.S. immigration authorities reported beatings and abuse. “Based on 30,000 pages of documents obtained through a records request, the report includes gruesome, detailed accusations of physical and mental abuse at the hands of officers.”

Eleven protesters killed in India by police during two days of demonstrations against copper smelting plant. “Police said efforts to disperse the crowd of several thousand with a baton charge and teargas volleys failed before authorities used live ammunition.”

Hong Kong’s government decides not to force employers to pay low wage employees for overtime. “Hong Kong has ended two decades of efforts to find a consensus on standardising working hours by deciding not to force bosses to pay overtime wages to low-income workers, settling for guidelines instead.”   It sounds like many low-income Hong Kong residents are salaried workers who receive the same monthly salary no matter how many hours they are required to work.

Hillary Clinton’s endorsement of Andrew Cuomo for governor of New York may backfire. “Of course, it’s possible Clinton’s name has become so toxic her opposition will actually help (Cynthia) Nixon, in which case, progressives should thank her.”

Jury awards woman raped by security guard $1 billion. “Verdicts in the tens of millions of dollars, or even hundreds of millions, are not uncommon, Jeff Dion, director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association said in an email. But he had never heard of a $1bn verdict in a case with a single victim.”

Customs and Border Patrol seized money for health clinic in Africa, wants nurse to waive her legal rights to get it back. “Anthonia’s case really demonstrates how abusive civil forfeiture is,” said one of her lawyers, Anya Bidwell, “because she’s an outstanding individual, she’s a US citizen, she wants to do good in the world and if she’s not safe from civil forfeiture then nobody is safe from civil forfeiture.”

Spanish rapper sentenced to 3 years in prison for lyrics that mention political violence (which the government calls ‘glorifying terrorism’), but he may have fled the country. “I’m not going to make it easy for them, it’s legitimate and an obligation to disobey this fascist state.”

Bahrain allegedly cracked down on its opposition after Trump administration signaled its disinterest in the country’s internal affairs. “Less than 48 hours (after Trump’s meeting with Bahrain’s king), on May 23, 2017, Bahraini security forces raided the village of Diraz and opened fire at a sit-in…. Five people were killed, including a respected environmental activist, more than 100 were wounded, and 286 were arrested.”

CIA torture program may have been aimed at providing justification for the invasion of Iraq, not about collecting real intelligence. “After a portion of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture was released in 2014 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) — against fierce opposition from the CI A — it became known that Ibn Shaykh al-Libi, captured in Afghanistan in 2001, testified (under torture) to just such a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda…. CIA agents questioned the validity of his statements from the start, however.”

Taylor, Michigan cops apparently beat man they mistook for a fugitive, but then claimed he was pulled over for stopping abruptly at a stop sign and turning into his driveway without signaling. “(Cody Meredith) said he never resisted officers and didn’t deserve to end up in the hospital.”

Veteran pleads guilty to Ft. Lauderdale airport shooting, is sentenced to five consecutive life sentences plus 120 years, tells judge he doesn’t know why he did it. “I wasn’t thinking about it at the time. There were a lot of things going on in my mind, messages.”   Insane or programmed to kill?

Man claims Laurel, Mississippi police officers beat him after he tried to evade (an unconstitutional) police checkpoint. “Police told Barnett to get down on the ground and when he did, they began kicking him…. The police then transported him to the South Central Regional Medical Center, where he was beaten more, (James) Barnett claimed.”

CIA reportedly infiltrated Barry Goldwater campaign, some say at Lyndon Johnson’s request. “(E. Howard) Hunt’s assets included a secretary on Goldwater’s campaign staff who provided advance copies of speeches and press releases.”

Judge in trial of Trump inauguration protesters rules that prosecutors withheld video evidence of protest planning meeting. “At pretrial hearing Wednesday afternoon, (Judge) Morin agreed that the prosecution had violated the ‘Brady rule’, which governs the state’s pretrial obligations to disclose exculpatory evidence, but declined to rule on the defense’s motions to dismiss the indictment or suppress the evidence. Morin will rule on those sanctions next week.”

Tony Blair claims he was unaware of rendition and imprisonment of tortured Libyan opposition activist and his wife. “I didn’t know myself about this case until after I left office, so I’m content to go along with (the May government’s) apology.”

Rudy Giuliani reportedly represented pharmaceutical company that produces OxyContin. “Giuliani helped Purdue win a deal that limited future prosecution of the company, avoided prison time for its executives and permitted Purdue to continue doing business with the federal government, allowing Purdue to continue raking in billion-dollar profits.”

May 24, 2018

May 23, 2018

Federal Reserve says 40% of Americans have less than $400 in cash. “That’s an improvement from half of adults being unable to cover (an emergency) expense in 2013.”

Congress eases Dodd-Frank restrictions on ‘small’ banks. “Under the original Dodd-Frank regulatory rules, banks with as little as $50 billion in assets had to follow these tougher financial rules.”   As little as $50 billion? “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon we’re talking about real money.”

U.S. banking industry had a record $56 billion in income in first three months of 2018. “…even without the tax (cuts), net income would have been $49 billion, which also would have been a record.”

ACLU and other privacy rights groups call out Amazon for selling facial recognition systems to law enforcement agencies. “People should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government.”

Federal appeals court rules that Florida can ban publications in prisons. “…the Florida Department of Corrections has spent the past 15 years impounding issues of Prison Legal News to keep inmates from being tempted to act on ads for prohibited services they might see in the publication.”

McDonald’s employees from nine cities file sexual harassment complaints. “Employees of at least 10 McDonald’s locations have filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the last several days, alleging sexual advances, lewd comments by supervisors and instances of inappropriate on-the-job behavior, the activist group Fight for $15 said in a statement Tuesday.”

Baltimore County, Maryland police reportedly locked down an entire 7 square mile neighborhood for 12 hours after burglary suspects ran over a police officer, killing her. “She got one shot off.”   When did the police get the power to declare martial law?

Three journalists blocked from attending EPA summit on water contamination. “EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told the barred organizations they were not invited and there was no space for them, but gave no indication of why they specifically were barred.”

Lawsuits accuse University of Southern California gynecologist of inappropriately touching women during medical examinations. “USC nurses, chaperones and other staff members were regularly present in the examination rooms, observed the inappropriate sexual molestation, and took no steps to stop it as it occurred.”

Trump administration proposes rolling back hunting restrictions in Alaska. “The plan would allow wildlife managers in Alaska to decide on permitting hunting methods such as baiting bears with sweets, trapping wolves and their pups inside their dens as well as using motor boats to shoot swimming caribou.”   What about shooting animals from helicopters, as Sarah Palin advocated?

Judge evicts son from family’s home. “A New York judge today ordered a 30-year-old man to vacate his parents’ home after they took him to court when he refused to leave.”

New Jersey school bus knocked off its chassis when hit in traffic accident. “Gallery: School bus ripped apart in horrific collision with truck on Route 80.”   Are motor vehicles supposed to do this after a collision? I think not, but most news reports are focusing on the bus driver.

Huntsville, Alabama police officers will not face disciplinary action, despite bystander video showing them punching a subdued suspect. “The offender continued to actively resist, and as the social media video shows, an officer did strike the offender in large muscle areas, as trained, in an attempt to get the offender to release the officer’s hand.”   Police video of the incident has not been released.

Tax cut timeline: Harley Davidson gets huge tax cut thanks to Republican tax reform law. Company then announces 2019 closure of Kansas City factory. A few days later it announces dividend increase for its stockholders and a $696 million stock buyback. “Meanwhile, Harley-Davidson is opening up a plant in Thailand, where it plans to start production later this year.”

96% of the earth’s mammals are either humans or their livestock. “When I do a puzzle with my daughters, there is usually an elephant next to a giraffe next to a rhino. But if I was trying to give them a more realistic sense of the world, it would be a cow next to a cow next to a cow and then a chicken.”

Author argues that American society is better described as a powerful elite of 0.1%, a meritocracy-turned-aristocracy of 9.9% and the bottom 90%. “(The 9.9%) are the staff that runs the machine that funnels resources from the 90 percent to the 0.1 percent. We’ve been happy to take our cut of the spoils.”

Trump administration allegedly planning to cut $7 billion from health insurance program for uninsured children. “The GOP tax cuts for the rich aren’t going to pay themselves. That cash has to come from somewhere.”

Milwaukee to release video of black Bucks player being tased by police during parking dispute. “(Sterling) Brown, then 22 and now 23, was arrested on 26 January after police used a taser while Brown was being questioned by officers over a parking violation in a Walgreens pharmacy parking lot.”   So how often to white motorists get tased over parking violations?

Addiction to money is destroying the planet. “(Cash) addicts will hijack human spirituality, exploit hatred, brainwash the masses, derail democratic politics and tinker with fascism in their desire to have more.”

Red Cross says health care workers and hospitals are still being targeted in conflicts. “Over 1,200 violent incidents against hospitals and medical personnel have taken place in 16 countries in the two years since the U.N. adopted a resolution demanding that combatants protect staff and facilities treating the wounded and sick, the Red Cross said Tuesday.”

Another 1,000 bodies reportedly found beneath the rubble of Mosul. “The bodies were said to be of Islamic State (IS) militants, their family members or the civilians prevented by IS militants from leaving homes during the fierce battles and heavy bombardment of the city….”

Emergency Committee for Rojava seeks to mobilize support for leftist Kurds in northern Syria after Turkish invasion. “Please join us as signatories and supporters in our call for the US and its allies to end their tacit acquiescence in Turkey’s military adventure and restore peace and safety to the people of Rojava.”


May 23, 2018

May 22, 2018

Thai authorities file charges against opposition party after it holds news conference. “The party was charged with violating a ban on political activity, sedition and breaking Thailand’s computer crimes act by publicizing the event online, said Burin Thongpraphai, chief of the junta’s legal team.”

Supreme Court rules 5-4 that companies can bar workers from uniting in class action lawsuits, liberal justices dissent. “When workers charge their employers with unlawful conduct — in this case, violations of laws governing wages earned and hours worked — there is strength in numbers.”

Las Vegas casino workers to vote on strike as contract expiration approaches. “A majority of ‘yes’ votes Tuesday would not immediately affect the casinos but would give the union’s negotiators a huge bargaining chip by allowing them to call for a strike at any time starting June 1.”

Prominent British Labour Party member resigns over allegations of anti-Semitism. “Speaking in April 2016, Mr Livingstone, who was defending MP Naz Shah over claims she had made anti-Semitic social media posts, said: ‘When Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.'”   Livingston argues that his historically accurate comments were not anti-Semitic, but that he is resigning to avoid further controversy. Jeremy Corbyn reportedly called Livingston’s resignation ‘sad’, and was immediately accused of anti-Semitism.

Syrian government regains control of Damascus and its suburbs seven years after popular uprising. “Syrian state TV broadcast footage of tanks rolling through a shattered neighborhood once held by rebels, as government troops waved the national flag.”

Baltimore police locked down city schools after an officer was killed by a vehicle. “At around 9:45 p.m., all students had been released.”

Google reportedly drops ‘Don’t be evil’ as its guiding principle. “Google removed “don’t be evil” from its Code of Conduct just in time to work on military grade image recognition ML software for a Pentagon tactical drone program.”   Because we all know that Google is on the ropes and has to chuck its principles in order to survive.

Poll finds that voters want Democrats to run on a progressive platform. “A CBS News/YouGov poll (pdf) asked Democrats, Independents, and those who lean toward voting for Democrats to choose between two options for what Democratic candidates’ “first priority” should be. A full 72 percent said they want to see party candidates prioritize a progressive political agenda. The remaining 28 percent opted for merely opposing President Donald Trump’s agenda.”

Iraq reportedly sentencing foreign Islamic State wives to death after 10 minute trials. “Foreigners in particular, often carrying babies, are processed with an uncompromising efficiency rarely seen in other parts of Iraq’s judicial system.”

Tibetan language activist sentence to five years in prison for ‘inciting separatism’. “(Tashi Wangchuk) travelled from a Tibetan area of Qinghai province to Beijing where he attempted to file a lawsuit against local officials for contravening China’s constitution, which maintains that all ethnicities in China ‘have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages’.”

UK class action lawsuit accuses Google of bypassing Apple’s Safari browser’s privacy settings to collected data on iPhone users for targeted ads. “At the opening of an expected two-day hearing in London on Monday, lawyers for Lloyd’s campaign group Google You Owe Us told the court information collected by Google included race, physical and mental heath, political leanings, sexuality, social class, financial, shopping habits and location data.”

More Saudi feminists arrested ahead of repeal of driving ban. “The arrests, with more feared by human rights campaigners, come amid a high-profile campaign in Saudi media outlets and on social media denouncing the women as ‘traitors’.”

Foreign policy and national security positions of Republican Party and Democratic Party leader Chuck Schumer are not very different. “There are probably very few people in this room or in America who would say that torture should never, ever be used.”

Little progress being made in Afghan war, despite approximately $700 billion in U.S. spending. “The Trump administration’s revamped Afghanistan strategy has made little progress against the Taliban insurgency, leaving the country a ‘dangerous and volatile’ place nearly 17 years after the U.S. invaded, a government watchdog report said Monday.”

Israeli social media consultant reportedly pitched multi-million dollar ‘social media manipulation’ proposal to Trump campaign. “The New York Times reports the Israeli specialist, Joel Zamel, had already written a multi-million-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation campaign aimed at helping Trump win, ahead of the August 3 meeting, which was organized by Erik Prince, the head of the now defunct mercenary firm Blackwater.”


May 22, 2018

May 21, 2018

Trump not paranoid after all. “In early 2017, President Trump was widely ridiculed for alleging that the Obama administration placed his campaign under surveillance…. We now know there was, indeed, surveillance ordered repeatedly on Trump campaign figures before and after the election.”

22 injured by explosion at Houston area chemical company, 2 seriously. “A total of 20 were transported via ground to local hospitals, and two with more severe burns were flown via helicopter…”

Women detained by ICE for speaking Spanish. “Two U.S. citizens said they were detained last week by a Border Patrol agent in Montana after he overheard them speaking Spanish to each other in a convenience store.”

Pope Francis reportedly tells gay man, ‘God made you that way and loves you as you are’, despite Catholic Church’s official opposition to homosexuality. “The Los Angeles Times reported that the Vatican did not confirm the pope’s comments given that it was a private conversation.”

Mayor of New York City will reportedly tell city’s cops to stop arresting people for smoking marijuana. “(Mayor) De Blasio will direct the New York Police Department to hand out summonses — and not arrest — people caught smoking pot by officers in public areas across the city, aides told the New York Daily News Sunday.”

Europeans get new protections for their personal data. “The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect across the European Union on May 25, introducing much tougher rules on data privacy.”   Sorry Americans, you’re still f&%$ed.

Starbucks coffee shops will now let anyone hang out and use the restrooms, company-wide, even if they don’t make a purchase. “Previously, Starbucks lacked a clear policy and largely left it up to individual locations to decide whether people who didn’t buy anything should be allowed to stay.”

Department of Housing and Urban Development accused of making it harder for communities to document racial segregation. “HUD announced on Friday evening that it would pull an online assessment tool that communities can use to find data and maps of segregated neighborhoods.”

Students in favor of stricter gun control laws arrested after ‘die-in’ in front of Paul Ryan’s Washington D.C. office. “The U.S. Capitol Police confirmed that four of the students were detained and face charges for ‘crowding, obstructing, or incommoding’.”

Senate Democrat who voted against Gina Haspel’s appointment as CIA director says she can’t reveal why she voted ‘no’. “I cross-examined her on the classified material,” (Claire) McCaskill said, “and I was very uncomfortable with her answers.”

Police in Texas providing few details of timeline of Santa Fe High School shooting, attack may have lasted 30 minutes. “The length of the attack appeared to go on longer than most mass shootings that last around eight minutes, said Ben Tisa, a former FBI agent.”

Records reportedly missing from investigation of 2009 fatal police shooting of unarmed suspect in Baltimore. “The I-Team requested the detectives’ statements in a Public Information Act request, but Baltimore Police Department lawyers said the statements couldn’t be found…. Documents show (the car’s passenger) gave a taped statement to investigators, but the Police Department’s lawyers told the I-Team that they can’t locate that record either.”

Utah DA clears state trooper in fatal shooting of unarmed driver. “Police say McCray was ‘endangering people’ by driving the wrong way on Legacy Parkway and was ‘using the car as a weapon’ to avoid police, the release says.”

Federal judge dismisses lawsuit against Akron police officer who shot unarmed suspect on a bicycle. “(U.S. District Judge Sara) Lioi wrote that Armstead opened fire because he believed Lemmon took an aggressive step toward him and meant to cause harm to him and other officers on scene.”

Aurora, Missouri police accidentally shoot woman who reported parole violator. “Another woman in the car reportedly told troopers that (the suspect Mason) Farris came forward from the backseat and pushed down on Hill’s leg, causing her foot to hit the accelerator. Then gunfire rang out.”

Dutch garbage men get police protection after ‘recycling rage’ incidents. “Yellow cards are issued to warn people if they have wrongly separated their waste. Red cards are given to repeat offenders, and their rubbish is left to rot on the side of the road, leading to angry confrontations.”

Belgian police shoot 2 year-old in the face after van smuggling migrants refuses to stop, then attempt cover-up. “”The little girl did not die as a result of police gunfire,” (the local prosecutor’s spokesperson) said, suggesting several possible causes including illness, an accident inside the van caused by the driver’s behaviour, or a blow to the head.”   Wow, an even lamer story than the ones made up by U.S. cops!

NAACP asks Supreme Court to hear case involving death of unarmed suspect who was repeatedly tasered. “After 19 tasings, (Khari) Illidge died from cardiac arrest.”

McAllen, Texas sued by man who claims he was kicked in the face after being handcuffed. “(Aaron) Soto, who was taken to UT Medical Center in San Antonio for treatment for a face fracture following the incident, is asking for $750,000 in damages to cover his hospitalization and continued medical and psychological treatment…”

New Jersey man run over by undercover cop sues, claims Jersey City police department tolerates use of excessive force. “(Shiron) Cooper says he bounced off the SUV and then hid behind a tree. When Cooper emerged from behind the tree, he says, (Officer) Ransom accelerated toward him and hit him again and ran over him.”

Shoplifter beaten by police with flashlights sues city of Beaumont, Texas and police officers. “(Demarcus) Brown suffered a fractured eye socket and required stitches to his head.”

Man accused of informing on Trump campaign alleged to have also informed on President Carter for 1980 Reagan campaign. “When the scandal first broke in 1983, the UPI suggested that (Stefan) Halper’s handler for this operation was Reagan’s Vice Presidential candidate, George H.W. Bush, who had been the CIA Director and worked there with Halper’s father-in-law, former CIA Deputy Director Ray Cline, who worked on Bush’s 1980 presidential campaign before Bush ultimately became Reagan’s Vice President.”

3 more Gazans die in the hospital, raising protest death toll to 114. “The rallies, which started on March 30 in the Gaza Strip, are demanding the world’s recognition of Palestinians’ right of return and the lifting of a 11-year blockade on the Gaza Strip by Israel.”


May 21, 2018

May 19, 2018

Doctor says prisoner held at CIA ‘black site’ in Thailand run by Gina Haspel was ‘irreversibly damaged by torture’. “In my over 20 years of experience treating torture victims from around the world, including Syria, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. al-Nashiri presents as one of the most severely traumatized individuals I have ever seen.”

Pope Francis calls for tighter regulation of world’s financial system. “What is morally unacceptable is not simply to profit, but rather to avail oneself of an inequality for one’s own advantage, in order to create enormous profits that are damaging to others; or to exploit one’s dominant position in order to profit by unjustly disadvantaging others, or to make oneself rich through harming and disrupting the collective common good.”

U.N. panel votes to send war crimes investigators to Israel after mass shootings of protesters. “Only the U.S. and Australia voted against the probe, and 14 nations—including Germany, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland—abstained.”

United Way study finds that 43% of American households are unable to afford basic necessities such as housing, food and medical care. “California, New Mexico, and Hawaii have the largest share of struggling families, at 49 percent each.”

Facebook to work with Atlantic Council to fight ‘disinformation’. “While Facebook’s statement fawned over the Atlantic Council’s ‘stellar reputation’, critics argued that the organization’s reliance on donations from foreign oil monarchies and American plutocrats puts the lie to the project’s stated mission of shielding the democratic process from manipulation and abuse.”

U.S. soldiers who occupied Iraq unhappy with Al-Sadr’s election victory. “This is a guy that we’ve been fighting against for so many years. And he’s responsible for the death of quite a few of my friends and their friends and, you know, a lot of destruction.”   Too bad NPR wasn’t around to interview British soldiers bitter about George Washington becoming president, instead of someone respectable, like Benedict Arnold.

Saudi government rounds up women who demanded the right to drive ahead of implementation of reforms which will allow women to drive. “They detained them because they do not want them to publicly claim success.”

Springfield, Massachusetts police officer reportedly charged with multiple counts of child rape. “Cintron is charged with eight counts of rape of a child with force, five counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, and five counts of witness intimidation.”

Stephen Paddock reportedly discussed Ruby Ridge standoff and Waco massacre before Las Vegas shooting, believed government was planning to take people’s guns. “A jailed man who gave a statement in November to police and the FBI recalled a man he believed to be Paddock telling him that FEMA ‘camps’ set up after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 were ‘a dry run for law enforcement and military to start kickin’ down doors and … confiscating guns’.”   It’s a bit odd, if Paddock felt this way, that he would do something that would advance what he felt was the government’s agenda – restricting the public’s right to own firearms. And why would he target a country music concert? Sorry, it still doesn’t add up. Ah, wait a minute, what about the ‘Paddock was an undercover informant who got burned by his terrorist clients’ theory, which explains why Paddock had so many guns in his hotel room (how many can you shoot at the same time?), why random Americans were targeted and why his laptop hard drive was missing. It also explains his source of income more believably than the ‘professional gambler’ story. What if he was just pretending to be a right-wing extremist or an arms dealer? It also looks like he tried to entrap a man (who later landed in jail) by offering him money to do something that was clearly illegal, according to the same article: “The man said Paddock became upset and launched into a tirade about gun control when the man rejected an offer of $500 apiece to modify semi-automatic guns to fire automatically.” If someone refused to sell you heroin, would you rant against the War on Drugs or ask him if he knows anyone else who can help him out?

McLennan County, Texas prosecutors having trouble convicting anyone in Twin Peaks motorcycle club shootings, some of the fatalities likely caused by police gunfire. “Texas prosecutors who have failed to convict a single person in the three years since a Waco shooting left nine bikers dead are trying a new tack of targeting fewer cases, but attorneys for the bikers say the evidence is so shaky and the lead prosecutor’s credibility so damaged that it will be difficult to make the remaining charges stick.”

Spanish speakers, most of whom are not in the country illegally or on welfare, throw a fiesta outside home of man who threatened to have them deported. “A mariachi band, organised through a GoFundMe page that has raised over $1,000, will also be playing.”

Victims and community groups reportedly not invited to EPA pollution summit. “While the people suffering from (PFOA, PFOS and PFAS) contamination will not be at the meeting, the manufacturers of the chemicals used in the production of Teflon and other nonstick, water-resistant, and stain-resistant products will be well represented.”

NRA spokesperson blames media coverage for mass shootings. “The media has got to stop creating more of these monsters by over-saturation.”

Revenue reportedly up sharply at Trump golf courses in Ireland and Scotland. “Writing on Twitter, Fahrenthold uses some recent financial disclosures from the Trump Organization to show that revenue at a Trump golf course in Ireland rose by 51 percent year-over-year from 2017 to 2018, while revenue at a Scottish Trump golf course surged by 87 percent year-over-year from 2017 to 2018.”   How would you funnel foreign money to a U.S. politician without being accused of making illegal donations?

Historian claims U.S. has likely become an oligarchy (a society run by the wealthy) instead of a democracy. “You retain the appearance of democracy without having it. I think that’s where this country is right now.”

White people who report innocent black people to the police allowed to remain anonymous by news media. “…almost across the board, while the accused’s names and personal details have been made public, the accusers remain unnamed. Though equally newsworthy, they were allowed to retain their anonymity.”

Washington Post headline calls progressive Democrats ‘far left’. “The Washington Post (5/16/18) characterized (a) Nebraska congressional candidate as ‘far left’ because she supports universal background checks, raising taxes on the wealthy and decriminalizing marijuana.”

Canadian doctor shot twice on Gaza border. “As Palestinians vow to continue protesting against the Israeli occupation of Gaza, we speak to a Canadian doctor who was shot by Israeli forces in both legs Monday while he was helping injured Palestinians.”


May 19, 2018

May 18, 2018

Gina Haspel confirmed by Senate as CIA director. “Almost all details about Ms. Haspel’s record at the agency were classified, and officials there defied calls from some lawmakers to make them available to the public ahead of the vote.”

U.S. birthrate in 2017 was the lowest since 1987. “In 2017, women had nearly 500,000 fewer babies than in 2007, despite the fact that there were an estimated 7 percent more women in their prime childbearing years of 20 to 39.”

Trial of second group of Trump inauguration protesters begins, some face 60 year prison sentences if found guilty. “…(the prosecutors) are trying to transform a publicly advertised, First Amendment-protected march into a criminal conspiracy and argue that anyone present is collectively liable for any unlawful acts that may have occurred.”

Woman dead after being mauled by pack of dachshunds. “Six of the seven dogs involved are believed to be standard dachshund and terrier mixes.”   Donald Trump is president, Gina Haspel is the director of the CIA and the hounds of hell are on the loose, it must be the apocalypse!

Republicans battle intelligence community and FBI over identity of confidential source close to Trump campaign. “The Post first reported earlier this month that an FBI informant and top-secret, longtime intelligence source had provided information early in the FBI investigation of connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.”

Nerve agent victim Sergei Skripal released from hospital after apparently botched assassination attempt. “It is fantastic news that Sergei Skripal is well enough to leave Salisbury District Hospital.”   Someone apparently tried to kill Skripal and his daughter, but I don’t think the KGB, or any other government’s spooks, would use a nerve agent that was too weak to actually kill them. owners get their own mugshots published after being arrested on extortion charges. “Jesse T., who was arrested in 2013 but released without charges  (being) filed, applied for over 100 jobs with no response after his mugshot surfaced on the website. wanted $399 from him to remove it…”


May 18, 2018

May 17, 2018

Cambridge Analytica alleged to have engaged in voter suppression campaign. “After the hearing, Wylie told CNN that although he did not take part in vote suppression activities, he alleged that African-Americans were particular targets of Cambridge Analytica’s ‘voter disengagement tactics’, which he said were used to ‘discourage or demobilize certain types of people from voting’, and that campaigns and political action committees requested voter suppression from Cambridge Analytica.”

Kansas voters say ‘no’ to sales tax to fund mass incarceration, county officials say they are going ahead with jail expansion anyway. “Commissioners maintained Tuesday evening, however, that the jail project would go on despite Proposition 1’s failure, although they’ve also said any expansion would have to be done in phases.”   This is not what democracy looks like!

More details on progressive wins in Democratic Party primaries. “In the Philadelphia suburbs, centrist Rachel Reddick — a 33-year-old Navy veteran endorsed by Emily’s List — lost the Democratic primary to take on Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R) after “proud progressive” Scott Wallace ran ads attacking her for being a registered Republican until 2016.”

Trump calls illegal migrants ‘animals’. “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.”

Malaysian authorities raid home of former prime minister Najib Razak. “The (multi-billion dollar) 1MDB scandal spawned global probes as investigators tracked a money trail stretching from Switzerland to Singapore and the U.S.”

Las Vegas shooting witness said she thought gunfire was coming from helicopters. “As she crouched down, a massive spraying of bullets rained down and the unidentified woman thought the gunfire was coming from helicopters above.”   There were helicopters?

Donald Trump received large painting from Russian oligarch after Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer. “Emin and Aras (Agalarov) have a fairly sizable birthday gift for Mr. Trump and I would like to know exactly how and where we should deliver it on Tuesday.”   Assessed value? Did Trump report it?

Agriculture instructor accused of drowning raccoons during high school class. “The student, who wished to remain anonymous, said the raccoons were put in cages that were then submerged in the water.”   Looks like an IS video.

Man threatens to report restaurant workers to ICE for speaking Spanish. “Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English. It’s America.”

Man killed by exploding vaping pen according to autopsy. “An exploding vape pen launched a projectile into the head of a 38-year-old man earlier this month, fatally wounding him, according to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner.”

School police officer who stood outside during Florida mass shooting retires with $8,702 monthly pension. “The 55-year-old Peterson, a Broward deputy for 32 years, was paid $101,879.03 last year — $75,673.72 in base salary plus overtime and other compensation, according to sheriff’s office records.”

Another prisoner complains of burning sensation during 23 minute execution in Texas. “After three canceled death dates in one year, lovers’ lane killer Juan Castillo was executed Wednesday night after years of protesting his innocence.”

Senate votes to restore ‘net neutrality’. “Today we show the American people who sides with them, and who sides with the powerful special interests and corporate donors who are thriving under this administration.”

Michigan State University agrees to pay $500 million (that 1/2 a billion dollars) to settle with hundreds of athletes who claim they were sexually abused by Dr. Larry Nassar. “Attorneys representing 332 claimants reached an agreement with representatives from Michigan State during a mediation meeting Tuesday afternoon.”

Rights groups beg Senate not to appoint Gina Haspel as CIA director. “Due to the overwhelming public evidence suggesting Haspel’s participation and compliance with crimes including torture, enforced disappearance, and obstruction of justice, Haspel’s nomination is an affront to human rights.”

Walmart shoplifter facing 12 years in prison after Tennessee DA charges him with ‘business burglary’. “Lawson’s attorneys argued that charging their client with felony burglary was not appropriate because the store, rather than being a private residence or a warehouse, was open to the public.”

FBI reportedly investigating 1,000 suspected ‘lone wolf’ terrorists and 1,000 more ‘domestic’ terrorists. “The second law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said rightwing extremists, violent animal rights and anti-abortion extremists, and African-American or left-wing militants fell into this second category.”    Wow, I must have missed the news stories about the mink ranch massacre, anti-police brutality hijacking and the anti-fascist bombings!

British woman found guilty of acid attack on former boyfriend that left him disfigured and in extreme pain. “He spent more than a year in hospital in Bristol before his family and friends hired a private ambulance to move him to Belgium, where he applied for euthanasia.”   She reportedly bought the acid for less than $15 – on Amazon.

EPA’s policy director reportedly had 90:1 ratio of meetings with industry representatives to health and environment groups. “… while the emails show Dravis having scheduled face-to-face meetings with a parade of lobbyists and business people and getting together on several occasions with far-right policy groups — as well as with at least one consumer group, an organization representing public utilities, and a contingent of labor leaders — they contain only one record of a meeting with a representative of an environmental, health, or community organization during the 10-month period.”

Security guard checks out ‘suspicious’ black man pushing a stroller. “She told me that she received a complaint from someone who said there was a ‘suspicious man’ walking on the bike path with a baby.”

North Korea unhappy with proposed ‘Libya’ disarmament model suggested by Trump administration. “Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed after Libyans joined the 2011 Arab Spring protests, aided by NATO allies who had encouraged him to give up his banned weapons.”


May 17, 2018