Author Topic: LIFE, LIBERTY...GETTIN AWAY WITH S_____!  (Read 9804 times)

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2019, 05:42:16 am »
Thursday, 5th September 2019
DOJ declines charges against FBI agent who shot kidnapping victim from Conroe in botched 2018 rescue
by St. John Barned-Smith

The FBI agent who shot and killed a kidnapping victim he was trying to rescue last year from a Houston house will not face federal charges, Department of Justice officials said this week.

The news follows the Aug. 19 sentencing to life in prison of Nicholas Chase Cunningham, 44, one of the four people charged in the Jan. 24, 2018 kidnapping of Ulises Valladares, who died the following day after being shot by an FBI agent trying to rescue him.

“After a careful and thorough review of all of the available evidence in the matter involving the shooting of Ulises Valladares, on January 25, 2018, in Houston, TX, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas declined to proceed with federal criminal charges against FBI personnel,” wrote Daryl Fields, spokesman for the agency in an email.

“We conducted an approximate 11-month-long, detailed and careful investigation.”

It’s not clear whether the FBI took any internal actions against the agent, but the bureau almost never disciplines its agents after they shoot people.

A 2013 New York Times investigation found that between 1993 to early 2011, every one of the 150 shootings was deemed justified.

Valladares was shot the day after two armed kidnappers burst into his Conroe home, bound his 12-year-old son with duct tape, abducted Ulises, and demanded money they said his brother owed them.

The attackers falsely claimed they were linked to a Mexican drug cartel and demanded a ransom from Valladares’ brother, authorities said at the time.

Investigators later explained they believed that was a scare tactic designed to intimidate Valladares’ brother.

As FBI agents tried to rescue Valladares the next morning from the Trinity Gardens home where he was being held, one of the would-be rescuers shot him.

Authorities later explained that the agent was using his M-4 submachine gun to break a window at the back of the home, and that Valladares — who was bound and gagged inside — grabbed the gun.

Thinking a kidnapper was attempting to wrest the gun from him, the agent fired two shots, killing Valladares, authorities said.

Civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen — who is representing Valladares’ relatives in a lawsuit against the agent who shot him — said Wednesday the slain man’s autopsy contradicts authorities’ initial description of what happened in the rescue.

“The medical examiner found no gunpowder on the wound area, which means it was not a close range shot,” said Kallinen.

“That refutes the concept Valladares had his hands on the weapon, as was earlier reported.”

Kallinen declined a request from the Chronicle to provide a copy of the autopsy.

He criticized the FBI’s secrecy surrounding the case.

“Valladares has not received justice,” he said.

“The agent’s name has never even been revealed, some 590 days after the shooting.”

Both the FBI and the Houston Police Department investigated the shooting.

In the aftermath of Valladares’ death, authorities arrested three people.

Cunningham and Jimmy Tony Sanchez, 40, were charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery.

Sophia Perez Heath, 36, was charged with aggravated kidnapping.

In July, authorities also charged Cunningham’s wife, Delia Gualdina Velasquez, 48, with one count of aggravated kidnapping.

Cunningham was sentenced in August to life in prison on aggravated robbery charges.

The case drew national attention after Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said in October that his investigators believed the agent’s claims after the shooting were “not supported” by their findings.

On Wednesday, Acevedo said he stood by his investigators’ findings.

“Our special investigations unit did its job — which was to complete a thorough investigation — and submitted that investigation to prosecutors,” he said.

“Now it’s up to the DA to decide how to proceeed.”

The shooting was the first in Harris County by an FBI agent in 13 years, following a joint FBI and Houston police “MS-13” initiative in 2005 in which agents shot four suspects during an anti-gang raid in northeast Houston, killing two suspects and wounding two others.

Acevedo’s actions in October weren’t the first time local law enforcement clashed with their federal counterparts over the investigation into Valladares’ death.

In April of 2018, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg publicly queried U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick over whether his staff would review the shooting, after confusion and delays over whether his office would exercise its jurisdiction in reviewing the death case.

Patrick’s office subsequently recused itself, and the case was sent to the the neighboring Western District of Texas and the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General.

With the Western District’s decision not to pursue criminal charges, the case now returns to Harris County prosecutors — nearly two years after the shooting — for review and possible state charges.

In an emailed statement, Ogg said that her prosecutors initially deferred to the DOJ on the shooting because he is an FBI agent.

“Now that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has declined to file federal charges, the District Attorney’s Office has an independent obligation to present this matter to a local grand jury to determine if state criminal charges are warranted,” she said.

“Our Civil Rights Division is reviewing the case.”

Would You Like To Know More?|2

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2019, 03:47:15 am »
Wednesday, 11th September 2019
Student Jailed On Sex Assault Charge Freed After Judge Deems Him ‘High Achieving’
by Alanna Vagianos

A University of Florida senior jailed on a charge of sexually assaulting a fellow student was released last week after a judge deemed him a “high-achieving student.”

Ian Milaski, a 21-year-old resident hall assistant, was arrested on Aug. 29, after a female student called university police and accused Milaski of forcibly kissing her, pinning her onto his bed and attempting to put his fingers inside her days earlier.

Milaski was jailed on charges of battery and false imprisonment, with bond set at $125,000.

A judge later ordered him released on his own recognizance, agreeing with an emergency defense motion that described Milaski as a “high-achieving student,” according to local outlet WCJB.

The bail-reduction motion said Milaski is “slated to graduated in May 2020″ with a double major, and “personally performed more than 210 hours of community service in the last two years.”

Milaski’s motion also argued that he needed to help his parents prepare for Hurricane Dorian and tend to his double major as a senior about to graduate, according to The Alligator, the UF student newspaper.

The woman, identified only as a UF sophomore, told officers that Milaski called her drunkenly and said he needed water on the night of Aug. 25, according to a police report.

She said she walked Milaski back to his room, but he kept trying to make out with her despite her protests.

After she continued to refuse his advances, he reportedly grabbed her by the wrists and said, “I want to sleep with you.”

When the woman tried to leave Milaski’s room, he grabbed her, picked her off the floor and pinned her on his bed, where he attempted to “finger her” through her underwear, according to the police report, obtained by NBC-2.

The young woman told police she eventually escaped and returned to her dorm room. Later that night, she awoke in her bed and found Milaski trying to lie next to her.

A friend of the woman who had been sleeping in the dorm room woke up from the commotion and yelled at Milaski to leave, according to the report.

Milaski’s bail motion explained the incident as a “misunderstanding among platonic friends fueled by alcohol,” the Alligator reported.

The judge, whose name isn’t mentioned in local news reports about the case, ordered Milaski to have no contact with the victim and banned him from returning to Sarasota and Alachua counties, where the university is located, except for court appointments or events related to school, including classes.

Milaski also was ordered to wear a GPS monitor.

No date has been set for his next court appearance.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2019, 07:49:04 am »
Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Judge in Brock Turner Case Hired as High School Tennis Coach
by Gonzalo Rojas, Michael Bott & Kristofer Noceda

The controversial judge in the Brock Turner case is now a high school tennis coach in San Jose, California.

Lynbrook High School officials on Tuesday confirmed Aaron Persky was hired as a tennis coach at the campus for this school year.

Persky was recalled by Santa Clara County voters in 2018 for his handling of the Turner case.

Many people were enraged when Turner, an ex-Stanford University swimmer, was sentenced to six months in jail in 2016 after his conviction for felony sexual assault.

Persky, who imposed the sentence, was recalled by voters in 2018, the first judge to be recalled in California since 1932.

Meanwhile, the woman sexually assaulted by Turner revealed her identity last week by announcing an upcoming memoir,

"Know My Name."

Chanel Miller, known for years only as "Emily Doe," is sharing her story in the memoir set to be released on Sept. 24, 2019

"Late last week, it was brought to our attention that the coach of Lynbrook High School’s Junior Varsity Girls Tennis team, Mr. Michael Persky, was previously in the news in connection with this prior job as a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge.

Mr. Persky is in his first year as an athletic coach in our District.

He applied for the open coaching position over the summer and successfully completed all of the District’s hiring requirements before starting as a coach, including a fingerprint background check.

He was a highly qualified applicant, having attended several tennis coaching clinics for youth and holds a high rating from the United States Tennis Association.

In response to concerns from some members of our community, we held a meeting with the parents of both the JV and Varsity Girls Tennis teams on September 9 to provide parents with background on the situation.

Our focus remains on ensuring that our students have the best possible educational experience - both academically and athletically.

As this is an ongoing personnel matter, we are unable to comment further at this time."

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2019, 08:49:25 pm »
Tuesday, 26th November 2019
U.S. judge partially overturns conviction of opioid maker Insys' founder

by Reuters

(BOSTON, Massachusetts) - A federal judge on Tuesday partially overturned the conviction of Insys Therapeutics Inc's founder and three former executives accused of bribing doctors to prescribe an addictive opioid, but declined to disturb the remainder of the jury's verdict.

U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs in Boston ruled the evidence prosecutors presented at trial did not support finding that John Kapoor and the others intended for doctors to prescribe the drug, Subsys, to patients who did not need it.

She said intent was needed to find that they conspired to violate the Controlled Substances Act and committed honest services fraud, some of the so-called predicate acts that formed the basis of their racketeering conspiracy convictions.

The judge denied Kapoor's request for a new trial on the remaining convictions for mail fraud and wire fraud, saying the "evidence strongly supported his agreement to be a member of the conspiracy."

Burroughs said she only "very reluctantly" was overturning part of the jury's May guilty verdict in the case, and said her ruling should not be taken as condoning the "reprehensible" behavior of Kapoor and his co-defendants.

"Defendants knew the power of Subsys and that addiction was a risk, but nonetheless tried to maximize the number of prescriptions written and the dosage prescribed," she wrote.

A lawyer for Kapoor and a spokeswoman for the prosecution did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2019, 10:38:45 pm »
Sunday, 15th December 2019
Lawmakers want former Kentucky Governor Bevin’s pardons investigated

(FRANKFORT, Kentucky) — Outrage over a spree of pardons by former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin spread to the state capitol Friday as lawmakers called on federal and state prosecutors to investigate the orders, including one for a convicted killer whose family raised campaign money for the governor.

Bevin, who lost to Democrat Andy Beshear last month in a close race, has issued more than 400 pardons since the November 5th election, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office.

The fallout from Bevin’s pardon-granting binge widened as the Republican Senate President called for a federal investigation and Democratic lawmakers called on Attorney General-elect Daniel Cameron to appoint a special prosecutor or a bipartisan team to investigate some of the ex-governor’s pardons.

Cameron takes office next week.

Senate President Robert Stivers condemned Bevin’s actions as “a travesty and perversion of justice” and called on the U.S. attorney in Kentucky to investigate.

“Gov. Bevin’s pardons show what is a shocking lack of judgment and potentially an abuse of our system of justice,” Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey told reporters.

Bevin’s pardons also drew a rebuke Friday from the state’s most powerful Republican, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“Honestly, I don’t approve,” McConnell told reporters Friday at the Kentucky Capitol.

“It seems to me it was completely inappropriate.”

Bevin responded to the uproar in a series of tweets Friday evening, saying he reviewed hundreds of pages of court transcripts and thousands of letters.

“The myriad statements and suggestions that financial or political considerations played a part in the decision making process are both highly offensive and entirely false,” he wrote on Twitter.

He said “armchair critics” are not aware of “facts, evidence, lack of evidence, supporting documents, reasons and unique details” of the cases.

Cameron, the incoming Republican state attorney general, did not address the pardons or a potential investigation in a written statement Friday but said he believes

“the pardon power should be used sparingly and only after great deliberation with due regard to public safety.”

McGarvey said special attention should be given to the pardon issued to Patrick Brian Baker, who was sentenced to 19 years on convictions of reckless homicide and other crimes in a fatal 2014 home break-in in Knox County.

Prosecutors say Baker and another man posed as police to gain entry to Donald Mills’ home and Mills was shot in front of his wife.

She tried to drive him to the hospital but he died on arrival.

Mills’ sister, Melinda Mills, said in an interview Friday that she was “highly pissed off” when she learned of Baker’s pardon.

“We all highly suspect that there was money involvement to get his pardon,” she said.

“He (Bevin) got campaign money. He didn’t come for free of charge.”

Baker’s family raised $21,500 at a political fundraiser last year for Bevin and Baker’s brother and sister-in-law also gave $4,000 to Bevin’s campaign on the day of the fundraiser, the Courier Journal reported.

Bevin wrote in the pardoning document that Baker’s “drug addictions” led him to fall in with the wrong people and the evidence against Baker was “sketchy at best.”

But the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld Baker’s conviction a year ago, writing in a unanimous ruling that

“there can be no doubt, on review of the proof as a whole, evidence of Baker’s guilt was overwhelming.”

Baker’s two accomplices remain in prison.

“I don’t see how, based on what we have in front of us, there is any other assumption to draw than two people are sitting in jail because they didn’t have personal favors with the governor,” McGarvey said.

“There is one person who is out who did.”

At Baker’s trial in 2017, the judge declared a mistrial on four counts of wanton endangerment, meaning Baker could potentially be retried on those charges, which are felonies that range from one to five years in prison.

“I will say that we are very aware of that right now,” Melinda Mills said.

The original prosecutor in the case, Commonwealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Several of Bevin’s pardons were granted to people from wealthy families, State Rep. Chris Harris said.

“That’s something that specifically needs to be looked into,” he said.

“We want to make sure that there’s not this pay-for-play going on with governor pardons.”

Another lawmaker, Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel, said he will introduce a measure next year that seeks to amend the state’s Constitution to strip a governor of pardon powers for the month leading up to an election and for the time between an election and the swearing in of a new governor.

The proposal would have to be ratified by the state’s voters.

“If a governor wants to use the power to commute and pardon, he should be willing to stand in front of the voters and be held accountable for those actions,” McDaniel said in a statement.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2020, 06:24:41 am »
Monday, 6th July 2o2o
Ghislaine Maxwell: No Mugshot And Her Name Is Not On The Inmate Search Website...

Lots of people have been questioning the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, who is of course Jeffrey Epstein’s fixer.

As of this time, no mugshot has been released, fueling speculation regarding the arrest.

In this call, the jail’s automated 24/7 inmate information line appears to confirm Maxwell is in Merrimack County Jail in Boscawen, New Hampshire, despite Maxwell not appearing on the inmate search website:

New Hampshire Department of Corrections (DOC) Inmate Locator

‘She knows too much’: Epstein’s victims’ lawyer says Ghislaine Maxwell may kill herself or ‘be silenced’ to stop her spilling secrets on her high profile friends – as she spends her first nights in New Hampshire county jail.

Would you Like To Know More?
« Last Edit: July 06, 2020, 09:56:10 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2020, 09:13:06 am »
Saturday, 26th September 2o2o
Amish brothers avoid jail time for sex with 12-year-old-sister
by Lee Brown

Two Amish brothers in Missouri admitted having sex with their 12-year-old sister and getting her pregnant — but managed to avoid jail time because a prosecutor feared they’d “be eaten alive” in prison, according to a report.

The abuse came to light after a doctor alerted authorities that the girl was pregnant just after she turned 13 — and she said that four of her brothers, two of them also minors, had been having sex with her, according to the Webster County Citizen.

The eldest two — Aaron Schwartz, 22, and 18-year-old brother Petie — admitted to police that they had sex with her at least half a dozen times each at home in Seymour, starting when she was only 12, officials told the paper.

The sister ended up giving birth just two weeks ago — and “one of the brothers is the father of this child,” Webster County Prosecutor Ben Berkstresser told the paper.

The brothers were initially both charged with six counts of statutory rape and one count of incest.

But those charges were reduced to third-degree child molestation, a Class C felony, the paper said.

They then reached a plea deal last week for 15 years in prison — but suspended to keep them out of jail, the paper said.

The prosecutor insisted it was a “different relationship” than if a “parent in a position of authority sexually abused or exploited their child,” and said the convicts were “very immature.”

“These two young men would’ve been eaten alive in the state prison system,” Berkstresser told the paper in defending his decision.

He also told the paper that the Amish community “had punished all four of the boys” and “made it clear that this punishment was very severe.”

“All of them had sexual relations with their sister,” the prosecutor said of the four brothers.

“There is no question this occurred,” he said.

It was not immediately clear if any action was taken against the two brothers who are minors, and it was not clear how old they are.

The convicted brothers must complete the Missouri Sex Offender Treatment Program as well as 100 hours of community service — and write a letter as part of their punishment, the report said.

“Both young men must write a letter to me, explaining how they are going to protect their children from this happening to them,” Berkstresser said.

“They have 30 days to get this letter to me.”

The prosecutor accepted that his decision would likely receive harsh backlash.

“Previously, I’ve been very harsh on the Amish when they’ve been charged with crimes of this nature,” he insisted to the paper.

He said the brothers “will go to prison” if they do not complete a sex offender treatment program within a year.

“This won’t be easy for either of them to do, but I’ll assure you they will face the consequences if the program isn’t completed,” the prosecutor said.

“And that consequence will be prison.”

Would You Like To Know More?,prison%2C%20according%20to%20a%20report.

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2020, 08:59:25 am »
Tuesday, 13th October 2o2o
Supreme Court declines to hear Democrats' emoluments case against Individual-1
by John Kruzel and Harper Neidig

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to take up a case by 29 Senate Democrats who alleged that Individual-1 violated the Constitution's Emoluments Clause, which prohibits self-dealing by federal officeholders.

The lawmakers had asked the court to review a February ruling by a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals that the senators lacked the legal right to sue Individual-1.

In their brief, the lawmakers had argued that Individual-1's continued ownership of companies engaged in business with foreign governments amounted to accepting "unauthorized financial benefits from foreign states" in violation of the constitutional restriction.

The court's denial means that Democrats' petition failed to garner support from at least four justices.

It also leaves in place the lower court ruling.

In their February decision, the D.C. Circuit Court panel ruled that the courts were not the proper venue for the dispute.

"The Members can, and likely will, continue to use their weighty voices to make their case to the American people, their colleagues in the Congress and Individual-1 himself, all of whom are free to engage that argument as they see fit," the judges wrote.

"But we will not - indeed we cannot - participate in this debate."

Individual-1 is asking the Supreme Court to take up two other emoluments lawsuits against Individual-1 after a pair of lower courts ruled that suits brought by the liberal nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the attorneys general for Washington, D.C., and Maryland could move forward.

The lawmakers' lawsuit that was rejected by the high court on Tuesday hit a roadblock in the lower courts largely because when they filed it in June 2017, Democrats did not represent the majority of either congressional chamber.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2020, 06:40:24 pm »
Tuesday, 13th October 2o2o

Video shows shirtless New York judge shove cop

Police body camera video shows a shirtless state Supreme Court justice shove a Buffalo police officer who was putting handcuffs on his wife during an argument with neighbors.

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2021, 07:41:46 am »
Friday 23rd July  Twenty One
You Can't Tell the Story of 1776 Without Talking About Race and Slavery

Slavery and arguments about race were not only at the heart of the American founding; it was what united the states in the first place.

We have been reluctant to admit just how thoroughly the Founding Fathers thought about, talked about, and wrote about race at the moment of American independence.

Part of the reason why we haven’t fully realized this is because of John Adams.

More than forty years after 1776, an 83-year-old John Adams wanted Americans to know just how astounding it was that America declared independence.

Getting all thirteen colonies to reach this same, momentous decision, Adams remembered, was “certainly a very difficult enterprise” and “perhaps a singular example in the history of mankind.”

Colonists really didn’t know or particularly like one another.

They fought with each other all the time.

But something phenomenal happened in 1776.

“Thirteen clocks were made to strike together—a perfection of mechanism which no artist had ever before effected.”

Adams was, of course, bragging, subtly suggesting that the work he, Jefferson, Franklin, and the Continental Congress did was pretty much a miracle.

This magical way of thinking is compelling.

It created an attractive, exceptional origin story for the United States.

But it covered up the work that Adams and his colleagues undertook at the time.

That work was about publicizing stories to make Americans afraid of British-sponsored slave “insurrections” and Native “massacres.”

He was hiding just how important race was to the founding.

Recently, a controversy over “critical race theory” has ignited public debate about the centrality of race to American history.

As a part of that debate, which has been ongoing since the publication of the 1619 Project, the nation’s founding has come under the most scrutiny.

How much did 1776 have to do with race and slavery?

The answer is: you can’t tell the story without it.

We have given the founding fathers passes when it comes to race.

Although we have sometimes condemned an individual founder like Jefferson as a hypocrite, we have explained it away, either by citing the language in the opening paragraphs of the Declaration, or the emancipation efforts of some northern states, or by saying, well, it was the eighteenth century, what can you expect?

Yet you only have to look at the very moment of Revolution to see how deeply race was embedded in the patriot cause.

Once the shooting started, patriot leaders started talking about race in very different ways than they had before.

As soon as the news of Lexington and Concord spread throughout North America, colonists began to think, talk, and worry a lot about what role enslaved people might play in this new world of war with Great Britain.

For the next fifteen months, between April 1775 and July 1776, they would read about British agents trying to incite slave rebellions all over the South.

Patriot leaders broadcast news of royal officials throughout America plotting with slaves to put down the rebellion.

In November 1775, Virginia Governor Lord Dunmore famously issued an emancipation proclamation, but he was not the only royal governor accused of embracing such tactics.

Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, and their colleagues worked diligently in those fifteen months to alert as many colonists as they could about such British “treachery.”

One of those British officials who had been chased from Charleston, South Carolina wrote that “massacres and instigated insurrections were Words in the mouth of every child.”

The patriots’ efforts to get stories about “instigated insurrections” into the mouths of American children culminated in the Declaration of Independence.

In fact, it comes at the climax of the document.

The Continental Congress accused King George of twenty-seven crimes.

These were the “facts to be submitted to a candid world” that led the colonies to the necessity of declaring independence.

The very last one was about enslaved and Native peoples potentially joining the King to destroy American liberty.

Jefferson had written a moving passage that referred to the African slave trade as an “assemblage of horrors” and a “cruel war against human nature itself.”

Tragically, Congress cut nearly the whole thing—but not all of it.

They kept the bit that was in the mouth of every American child, referring to slaves with the albeit veiled with common 18th century way of referring to slaves as “domestics.”

The final grievance against King George, the ultimate deal-breaker, reads:

“He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

After leveling that charge, the Declaration pivoted to say what American independence would look like.

Because patriots had rejected these efforts to recruit enslaved and Native fighters, Americans were now to act as free and independent states and “do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do.”

This talk that was intended to generate racial fear was a key factor in the march toward independence.

That the Continental Congress felt like Jefferson’s antislavery sentiments were too controversial, but the accusation of “instigated insurrections” was not, suggests just how successful their campaign had been.

Patriot leaders found one thing that white colonists shared: racism.

The founders embraced and mobilized colonial prejudices about potentially dangerous African Americans and used those fears to unite the colonists in one “common cause.”

For too long we have taken an elderly John Adams at his word about what brought the thirteen colonies together.

He had forgotten—purposefully—how four decades earlier he had mobilized American prejudices about Black people (what today we would call racism) to get the colonies to come together as one union.

That effort made America independent, but it also buried race deep in the cornerstone of the American republic that was born on July 4, 1776.

« Last Edit: July 23, 2021, 08:03:12 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2021, 10:17:44 pm »
Friday, 30th July  Two Thousand and Twenty One

On this day Sunday, July 30th 1815:

"Who shall write the history of the American Revolution? Who can write it? Who will be able to write it?"

~ John Adams to Thomas McKean

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2021, 09:32:11 am »
Friday, 26th  November  Twenty One
Supply Chain Issues, Indeed...!

Don’t tell this ravine about supply chain issues.

Hundreds of FedEx packages were found in a ravine in Alabama last Wednesday.

“It appears 300-400 boxes of assorted sizes have been thrown off a ravine,” the Blount County Sheriff.

FedEx called in several trucks “from all over the south” to help solve the problem in the north-central Alabama county, but cops and FedEx employees didn’t finish digging out packages until Thanksgiving afternoon.

“Making a dent this morning,” the sheriff said in a Thursday follow up post.

Cops estimated the packages had only been there for a day or two before they were discovered.

Everyday citizens were not invited to help, as police said the ditch was private property.

Police speculated that the packages were thrown into the valley, but hadn’t figured out why as of Thursday night.

The ravine didn’t even have an address.

Supply chain issues, indeed.

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2021, 01:20:55 am »
Monday, 29th November Two Thousand & Twenty One
George Clooney on Hollywood's changing culture:"You can't get away with being a d!ck anymore"
by Megan Johnson

George Clooney says things have changed in Hollywood in recent years.

“Just because you’re a boss, it doesn’t mean you get to sh!t on people. I’ve been the boss and the guy being sh!t on," Clooney said in a new interview in the Times.

"You can’t get away with being a d!ck any more — you’d get ratted out."

Some of that change has come in the wake of the #MeToo movement, said Clooney.

He cited the downfall of disgraced former producer Harvey Weinstein, who was sentenced to 23 years in a New York prison in March of 2020, as well as producer Scott Rudin, who was the subject of allegations detailing decades of abusive and violent behavior.

“It’s changed in this way,” said Clooney.

“On top of the terrible things Weinstein did, being a jerk at work is now not OK... I can’t imagine some producer having a casting session alone in his hotel room with a young girl anymore. It’s moving in the right direction.”

However, he did mention that in the wake of the movement there's "an overcorrection, where everyone points fingers."

But, he predicted, "that will settle — it always does."

In regards to what still needs to happen in order to make the industry safer for everyone, Clooney said,

“We’ll know when we see how wrong something else goes. I’m sure there’s more and someone will tell us, then we’ll have to pay attention to it.”

Calling turning 60 a "bummer" — "but it’s that or dead" — Clooney said he's grateful he didn't achieve this level of fame at a younger age, when he wasn't prepared for its effects.

He feels "lucky I got famous when I was 33, not 23," because

"I’d have been shooting crack into my forehead if I had been 23 and given money and success.”

Extreme fame is "a bug light,” he added, comparing being under the microscope of celebrity to "those lights where mosquitoes fly into the zapper."

"When you’re a young actor you run to success, which also includes fame. And the minute you get there you can get burnt good. Everything gets elevated in terms of what you can do or say — you have to learn how to be responsible."

Clooney also believes that it's failure, not success, that provides you with the greatest education.

“You’re not prepared for it,” he explained.

“You need to have failed a sh!tload. If you have you never trust success. Every day I think, ‘If all hell broke loose, I have a couple of houses I paid cash for, I could sell one.’ My mentality is still that. Failures teach you everything — you learn nothing from success.”

Early on his career, Clooney "just took any job."

He later gained more autonomy over the projects he could take, but that also heightened the risk of failure.

"Batman & Robin was a monumental disaster and I was bad in it, but that was a lesson. From then on I said it has to be all about scripts," he said, mentioning his work with director Steven Soderbergh and the Coen brothers that ultimately earned him critical praise.

These days, he's primarily focused on family.

Along with wife Amal Clooney, he's the father of 4-year-old twins, Alexander and Ella. 

“I said to Amal, knock on wood, I’m healthy,” he shared.

“We have young kids. I want to be able to live all of this.”

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 11167
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2021, 03:55:11 pm »
Thursday, 30th December  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Trucker Rogel Aguilera-Mederos' sentence reduced from 110 to 10 years
by Zoe Christen Jones

Colorado Governor Jared Polis has commuted the sentence of truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos to 10 years with eligibility for parole in five.

The 26-year-old was originally given a 110 year sentence for a 2019 crash that killed four people, but had his sentence reduced after public outcry over Colorado's mandatory sentencing laws.

Polis announced the news Thursday along with two other commutations, fifteen individual pardons, and an executive order granting 1,351 pardons for those convicted of possessing two ounces or less of marijuana.

In Aguilera-Menderos' commutation letter, Polis said he granted the commutation because the sentencing was disproportionate for a "tragic but unintentional act."

"The length of your 110-year sentence is simply not commensurate with your actions, nor with penalties handed down to others for similar crimes," Polis said in the letter.

"There is an urgency to remedy this unjust sentence and restore confidence in the uniformity and fairness of our criminal justice system, and consequently I have chosen to commute your sentence now."

Aguilera-Mederos said the crash occurred after his brakes malfunctioned while he was driving on Colorado's Interstate 70.

But prosecutors argued that the trucker missed a runaway truck ramp that could have prevented the crash.

Dozens were injured, and four — Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 24; Doyle Harrison, 61; Stanley Politano, 69;  and William Bailey, 67 — were killed leading to Aguilera-Mederos' 27 charges.

Local police said no alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash, according to CBS Denver.

During sentencing, Aguilera-Mederos said that he regretted the crash and that he wished he had died instead of the other victims.

"My life is not a happy life," Aguilera-Mederos told CBS Denver.

"It is a very sad life because four people died."

Because of minimum sentencing laws in Colorado, Aguilera-Mederos was sentenced to 110 years in prison for the charges, which included vehicular homicide.

But his sentencing received national attention, with over three million people signing a petition asking for him to receive clemency.

Polis added Thursday that he hoped Aguilera-Mederos' case would bring more attention to mandatory minimum and sentencing laws and encouraged the man to seek "restorative justice opportunities" for those families and the community he impacted.

"You have wondered why your life was spared when other lives were taken," Polis wrote to Aguilera-Mederos on Thursday.

"You will struggle with this burden of this event for the rest of your life, but never forget that because of this event, countless others will struggle with the loss of their loved ones or injuries as well. And you will serve your just sentence."