Jordan Davis’ Murderer Sentenced to Life Without Parole

At last!

 

Michael Dunn sentenced to life without parole for killing of Florida teenager

The man convicted of shooting dead a Florida teenager in a dispute over loud rap music has been given the maximum possible sentence of life in prison without parole plus 90 years.

Michael Dunn’s sentence was handed down after Lucia McBath, mother of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, broke down in the courtroom on Friday, telling her son’s killer through tears that she forgave him.

Dunn, who was convicted of murder earlier this month, sat impassively as McBath spoke of the devastation she felt at losing her only child in the November 2012 shooting at a Jacksonville gas station.

“For years to come I will be forced to celebrate my son’s birthday without his presence. As I quietly watch my friends’ boys grow into young men, I will forever be reminded of what might’ve been for my Jordan,” she said.

“I choose to forgive you Mr Dunn for taking my son’s life. I choose to release the seeds of bitterness and anger and honour my son’s love. I choose to walk in the freedom of knowing God’s justice has been served. I pray that God has mercy on your soul.”

Judge Russell Healey sentenced software engineer Dunn, 47, to maximum prison terms on all counts: life without parole for the first-degree murder of Davis, three consecutive 30-year sentences for the attempted second-degree murder of the teenager’s friends, who were in the car with him, and an additional 15 years for shooting into a moving vehicle.

“Mr Dunn, your life is effectively over,” Healey said. “This tragedy should and could have been prevented.”

Ebola And Media Hysteria

About once every year or two, somebody on Faux News says something intelligent. Shep Smith seems to be one of the more frequent commentators over there who actually speaks to reality, instead of fear mongering to the right. The most accurate, intelligent thing said on Faux News about the Ebola scare so far…

Dead Confederates and Street Names

In the city of Richmond, Va is a street named Monument Avenue. On it, every few blocks are statues of the various personages of the Confederacy from Virginia who participated in the Civil War. The street was later modified to contain statues of famous people from Richmond, Va to include tennis great Arthur Ashe and famous oceanographer Matthew Fontaine Maury.  8 US Presidents hailed from Virginia, yet in our State capital there is a major street dedicated to dead confederate generals. Welcome to the South.

Now to say that Civil Rights upset some folks in Virginia is an understatement. One County, Prince Edward, shut their entire Public School System down for 5 years to prevent desegregation. So racism is no stranger to the state.

The City of Alexandria, Virginia was also the home and residence of confederate General Robert E. Lee. The Lee-Custis Plantation sat on the very grounds of what became the Arlington Cemetery. Several of Lee’s descendants still live in the City. The reason Arlington Cemetery sits where it is is that through the front door of his mansion, Arlington House,  Lee would have to confront some of the hundreds of thousands of those he was responsible for killing as part of the war…Each and every day. In case you are wondering where the Custis name came from, Lee’s wife, Mary Anna Custis Lee, was indeed the great granddaughter of Martha Custis, George Washington’s wife.

Arlington House, Formerly confederate General robert E. Lee’s home

Law requiring Confederate street names questioned

Alexandria, a Northern Virginia city steeped in Civil War history, is considering repeal of an old law requiring certain new streets to be named for Confederate generals.

City Councilman Justin Wilson introduced legislation for Tuesday night’s council meeting to do away with a 1963 law requiring that any new “streets running in a generally north-south direction shall, insofar as possible, bear the names of confederate military leaders.”

Wilson’s bill also would eliminate a requirement that new east-west streets be named for persons or places prominent in American history.

Wilson said he wants to remove a series of anachronistic laws, and his proposal also would repeal a ban on “lewd cohabitation” and laws regulating a bygone fad of “rebound tumbling,” a form of trampolining.

As a practical matter, there is little likelihood that the city will be naming new streets any time soon. The city, inside Washington’s Capital Beltway and separated from the nation’s capital by the Potomac River, is essentially built out. In fact, the street grid of the city’s Old Town section dates to Colonial times.

Wilson said that symbolically, he believes it’s a good thing to strip from the code a provision that in some ways glorifies the Confederacy. But he made clear he is not proposing that the city change existing street names, some of which honor Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney, whose Dred Scott decision denied citizenship and constitutional protections to blacks before the Civil War.

“I think we struggle in the city with our history,” Wilson said.

Alexandria was occupied by Union troops for most of the Civil War and, like the rest of Virginia, has a history of slavery and segregation. It is now a liberal bastion in Virginia – Barack Obama won 71 percent of the vote in 2012.

On historic Duke Street in Old Town, the building that was once home to the nation’s largest domestic slave trading company is now home to the Northern Virginia Urban League, which operates the Freedom House Museum there to tell the story of the slave trade.

Cynthia Dinkins, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League, said she personally supports any legislation that keeps the city from unduly honoring the Confederacy. Still, while she is wary of glorifying the Confederacy, she said care must be taken remember unpleasant parts of American history.

“Some of my challenge in dealing with Freedom House is that people don’t want to remember” that part of our history, she said.

Wilson said he has not heard of any opposition to his bill so far.

Officers with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which has occasionally protested when it sees efforts to scrub recognition of Confederate leaders from the public square, did not return emails and phone calls seeking comment Tuesday.

A public hearing on Wilson’s legislation is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Charter Failure and Corruption

Another conservative failure – privatization of schools.

The Charter “Movement” never was about better education for kids – it is all about lining folks pockets and destroying politically influential teacher’s unions.

So…when is someone going to step in and stop this criminal farce?

The truth about charter schools: Padded cells, corruption, lousy instruction and worse results

Imagine your 5-year-old boy went to a school where he was occasionally thrown in a padded cell and detained alone for stretches as long as 20 minutes.

Or you sent your kid to an elementary school where the children are made to sit on a bare floorin the classroom for days before they can “earn” their desks.

Or your kid went to a school where she spent hours parked in a cubicle in front of a computerwith a poorly trained teacher who has to monitor more than 100 other students.

Maybe you don’t have children or send them to private school? So how do you feel when you find out the local school that you pay for with your taxes is operating a scam that diverted millions of dollars through fake Medicaid billing?

Or the school used your tax dollars as “grants” to start up other profit-making enterprises … orpay lavish salaries – $300,000, $400,000 or more – to its administrators … or support a movement linked to a reclusive Turkish cleric being investigated for bribery and corruption.

Welcome to the world of charter schools.

Are there wonderful charter schools doing great things for kids? Probably. Are all these cumulative anecdotes an unfair representation of the value that charter schools can bring to some communities? Maybe.

But neither of those questions matters because of what the charter school movement has come to represent in the landscape of American education.

 

Charter schools have been relentlessly marketed to the American populace as a silver bullet for “failed” public schools, especially in poor urban communities of African-American and Latino/a students.

Politicians in both parties speak glowingly of these schools – which, by the way, their children seem never to attend.

Opening charter schools has become the latest fad for celebrities including athletes and rap stars.

Huge nationwide chains – called education management organizations (EMOs) – now run many of these charters. A recent study by the National Education Policy Center found, “Students across 35 states and the District of Columbia now attend schools managed by these non-government entities.” These for-profit and nonprofit EMOs – such as K12 Inc., National Heritage Academies, Charter Schools USA and KIPP – now account for nearly half of the students educated by charter schools.

Substantial, well-funded nationwide organizations have rapidly developed to lobby for these schools. One such organization, the Alliance for School Choice, recently received a $6 million gift from the Walton Foundation, of Wal-Mart fame.

Slick marketing campaigns have been rolled out in communities across the country to tout the coming of new charters.

The actual academic results of these schools seems to hardly anyone, despite report after reportshowing that these schools tend to do poorly on state and national tests and fail at providing equitable education to underserved students.

Yet lobbying for more of these schools continues unabated with more money funneled into the campaigns of politicians who support charters and more efforts to press state lawmakers to lift any provisions currently in place to regulate how these schools operate and are held accountable to the public. Continue reading

More of That Meghan Kelly “White Santa” Racism

This is how racism makes you stupid. A High School in New Mexico allowed the kids to come dressed one day as “Santa, elves, or a Reindeer”. A black kid shows up in a Santa outfit, and is criticised for dressing as Santa…

Because “Santa is white”.

Now never mind the fact that none of the Kids dressed as elves…Are the fictitious creatures…

Or the fact that any of the kids with their little antlers on are remotely related to genus Rangifer…

There is no “black Santa”.

This guy must have got his teaching certificate from on of those conservative Voucher schools.

Teacher Disciplined For ‘Santa Is White’ Remark

A New Mexico high school teacher has been disciplined after a parent says the man told his black son that Santa Claus is white.

Officials at the school in Rio Rancho, about 15 miles north of Albuquerque, announced Friday that the teacher recently was disciplined for his comments to the student, but they declined to say how, KOB-TV reported (http://goo.gl/GYqcJr).

The move came after students at Cleveland High School were told they could come to class dressed as Santa, an elf or a reindeer.

Michael Rougier said his ninth-grade son, Christopher, arrived wearing a Santa hat and beard, and the teacher asked the boy: “Don’t you know Santa Clause is white? Why are you wearing that?”

The teacher’s name was not released, and attempts by The Associated Press to reach school officials Saturday were unsuccessful.

Michael Rougier said the teacher’s comments enraged him.

“There’s no room for that in the classroom,” he said. “Whether this teacher felt Christopher may have been wearing this out of context, there’s no room for it. There’s just no room for it.”

The incident happened the same week that Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly said on the air that both Santa Claus and Jesus were white. Her comments drew national attention and prompted a slew of heated comments on blogs and social media sites.

A spokesman for Rio Rancho Public Schools said the Cleveland High School teacher knows he made a “dumb” mistake and has since apologized to the Rougier family.

Michael Rougier said he still has concerns. “If he has that attitude, how is it affecting students, studies, grading habits, trending toward Caucasian kids?” Rougier said of the teacher.

The teacher still works at Cleveland, but Christopher has been removed from his class, KOB-TV reported.

MSNBC Wusses Out…Again. Martin Bashir Resignation.

MSNBC commentator Martin Bashir has tendered his resignation to MSNBC. More than likely he was asked to leave by cowardly MSNBC Management. This leaves a huge hole in MSNBC’s lineup, taking away what was by far, their best interviewer. I mean I love you Rachael, but although she is smarter than the entire collection of Faux News bimbos combined, cutting through the bullshit in an interview isn’t her strong point. Bashir is a victim of responding to the Sno’ Ho’s ignorant and racist comments in kind – saying what a lot of us would if we had the microphone.

To be honest, if MSNBC is too chickenshit to call Palin on her pernicious and offensive racist statements…

Then they are too chickenshit for this viewer.

Putting this one under the heading of Domestic Terrorism.

 

Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC Following Sarah Palin Comments

Martin Bashir has resigned from MSNBC following weeks of controversy over his incendiary comments about Sarah Palin, he announced in an email posted byMediaite on Wednesday.

“Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the president of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation,” the email read in part. “It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments.”

In a statement, MSNBC president Phil Griffin paid tribute to Bashir:

“Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with MSNBC. Martin is a good man and respected colleague – we wish him only the best.”

Bashir had been a host on the network since 2011, and had frequently raised eyebrows with his hyperbolic commentary. But his comments in November in response to remarks about slavery by Palin touched off a firestorm. Among other things, Bashir said that someone should defecate and urinate in Palin’s mouth, a punishment delivered to some slaves. He apologized, but the comments continued tohaunt him.

Bashir’s resignation came shortly after Alec Baldwin parted ways with MSNBC over anti-gay comments he made towards a photographer. At the time, many wondered why Baldwin, who was suspended for two weeks for statements he made off the air, was seemingly being punished more than Bashir, who was not given any immediate suspension.

Bashir’s departure leaves a hole in MSNBC’s afternoon lineup. Leading candidates for the slot include MSNBC contributor and guest host Joy Reid, along with the recently hired Ronan Farrow. For the time being, Reid will fill in as a guest host.

TeaParty “Knockout Game” Version

Playing a bit of the Devil’s Advocate here…

Seems like there have been at east 20 Republicans busted for forcible or underage sexual assaults in the last few years. I mean, even their Presidential candidate Herman Cain got caught trying to force women to have sex with him through corporate intimidation, and downright physical force.

One has to wonder whether this is an epidemic! Spreading across the  country from lilly white precinct to precinct!

It certainly is far more frequent than reported incidences of the “Knockout Game” attributed o black inner city youth.

Ex-GOP Chairman Drugged, Raped Employee: D

Former Montgomery County Republican Committee Chairman Robert J. Kerns has been arrested for rape of an unconscious person and related charges after an alleged sexual assault that occurred in late October, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

Kerns, 66, who led the GOP from 2008 through Nov. 15 when he resigned after the sexual assault investigation was reported, was charged with 19 criminal counts, including rape of an unconscious victim, rape of a substantially impaired person sexually assault, aggravated indecent assault without consent, possession of an instrument of crime with intent, and possession of a controlled substance.

According to Ferman, Kerns and the victim, and employee at his Upper Gwynedd law firm, were at a work celebration at Radice restaurant in Whitpain township on Oct. 25. Around 6 p.m., Kerns offered the victim a ride to her home in King of Prussia and allegedly encouraged her to drink from a bottle of wine that he had secretly drugged with Ambien.

Ferman says that the victim lost consciousness, and Kerns raped and sexually abused her while in his car; the assault was allegedly so violent that it cause severe genital injuries and other injuries to multiple parts of her body.

Ferman alleges that the victim began to regain consciousness as the defendant drove closer to her neighborhood, and remembers the last few turns to her house. Once at her house, the victim said Kerns took her upstairs and sexually abused her once more before leaving her home.

Kerns was also charged with unsworn falsification to authorities, tampering with physical evidence, and more.

The incident occurred just one day after Kerns announced a truce among warring factions in the Republican Party, which had impacted the party for decades.

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