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marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
May 1, 2022

19-year-old accused of killing mom who told him no smoking inside

A 19-year-old Florida man was arrested and charged with allegedly shooting and killing his mother in their Polk County home this week.

Seth Settle reportedly shot and killed his mother Thursday after she ordered him to stop smoking cigars in his bedroom, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, according to Fox 13 Tampa Bay.

The incident occurred shortly after Settle’s father left work on what seemed like a normal weekday.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m., though, he had received a call that his wife had been taken to a hospital. ............(more)


May 1, 2022

Man admits to making nude video calls to random people

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. (CBS12) — A man in central Florida admitted to making nude video calls to unsuspecting strangers.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested Adam Smith, 35, on three counts of indecent exposure.

The investigation began in February when detectives received at least three reports from victims who received the video calls from an unknown man.

The victims told detectives the man made lewd gestures on camera while in the nude. .....................(more)


May 1, 2022

Murmurations: How to Be Accountable With Your Words

Murmurations: How to Be Accountable With Your Words

APR 27, 2022

(YES! Magazine) I have been longing for a real world, a true world, an honest world. I suspect our survival as a species depends upon us being able to remember what is real. And so we must also find language that sheds light on the truth, on the conditions that are unfolding, and on what is.

We are in a period of history where it is difficult to speak and sense the truth. In our 24-hour news cycle, the truth is spun and remixed and dramatized and tweeted. It can be confusing to determine what stories are real, what stories actually impact our lives, what is worth our attention, and what, once heard, we are accountable for acting upon. Many of us now find our attention directed by the trends and algorithms of social media. As I write this piece, there is an incredible direct action unfolding, as scientists around the world lock themselves to the doors of their institutions, begging us to attend to the acute climate catastrophe unfolding. But I am watching that storyline be swallowed by celebrity news and other dramas.

Distraction and redirection have become a field of specialization. There are professionals in every field and political distinction constantly calculating new ways to manipulate us into making decisions that serve their clients, their values, their politics, or their pockets. This focus-grouped messaging doesn’t come with a label, even though it’s the GMO of communications.

There is also so much complexity of perspective in how human life unfolds—the reality is that there is no single truth. Context is everything. Power dynamics, cultural experiences, class norms, and age can all have a radical impact on what we understand to be the truth.


Speak when we are afraid.

I used to think that if I could not speak without my feelings showing—for instance, speak without a tremor in my voice when I was afraid, or without tears when I felt sad—that I should be quiet, and wait until the emotion passed. But I have been learning that my most powerful words are often accompanied by the release of tears, or the quaking of my gut as fear moves words out of my mouth. When I take the risk of speaking not through or over my emotions, but rather in alignment with, or even from, my emotions, I am speaking my truth.

Speak truth that allows other truths. Hold strong boundaries against mistruths, lies, assumptions.

Not every perspective is equal, nor does every viewpoint deserve to be equally held or considered. None of us holds a definitive truth, and we need to speak with each other in ways that make room for a multitude of experiences. But we must set a standard of not indulging lies and willful mistruths. For instance, any indulgence of denial of the current climate catastrophe is dangerous for us as a species. We need to be clear and consistent in our standards for truth, and stop uplifting perspectives which cannot survive a fact-check. ......................(more)


May 1, 2022

Depleted Russian units that failed to take Kyiv are merging, says MoD

(Guardian UK) Russian troops have been forced to merge and redeploy units from their “failed advances” in Ukraine’s north-east, the UK Ministry of Defence has said, as both Kyiv and Moscow deal with serious losses on the frontline in the Donbas region.

“Russia hopes to rectify issues that have previously constrained its invasion by geographically concentrating combat power, shortening supply lines and simplifying command and control,” a British military intelligence report released early on Saturday said.

“It has been forced to merge and redeploy depleted and disparate units from the failed advances in north-east Ukraine. Many of these units are likely suffering from weakened morale.”

After Moscow’s withdrawal from the areas north of Kyiv early in April, which revealed the brutality of mass graves, with hundreds of civilian corpses buried in residential districts, about two weeks ago the long-anticipated large-scale military operation in the Donbas and second phase of the war began, with Russian forces carrying out one of the biggest barrages of missile strikes since the beginning of the invasion. ............(more)


April 30, 2022

The cult of Elon Musk: Why do some of us worship billionaires?

The cult of Elon Musk: Why do some of us worship billionaires?
Billionaires like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk are no different than other billionaires... except they have cults


(Salon) Less than 24 hours after agreeing to purchase Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk may have already broken the deal which allowed him to perform a hostile takeover of the social media company. Although one of the terms is that he may only tweet about the acquisition "so long as such tweets do not disparage the Company or any of its Representatives," he posted two tweets on Tuesday which parroted right-wing talking points that attacked specific employees.

Normally there would not be many individuals applauding a wealthy CEO who purchased a company and then immediately attacked vulnerable employees, almost certainly knowing that doing so would instigate mass harassment against said employees (which is exactly what happened). In normal contexts, such a person would be classified as nothing more than a bully. Then again, when you are a billionaire with a cult of personality, there will always be people who applaud your actions.

How does a billionaire like Musk come to attract a horde of ardent fans? Psychologists say that many of us fantasize about being billionaires, meaning that when they root for Musk, they're really rooting for what they perceive as a version of themselves — namely, as masters of the universe, "winners" in every sense that mainstream society deems worthy. In the process, they also reveal their own deep feelings of inadequacy.

"Most people aspire to a lifestyle that they're not willing to work for or that they can't afford," explained Dr. Tara Bieber, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her interview with Salon, she emphasized that she was speaking from a strictly scientific perspective; this was not a question of any individual's political beliefs. It was, instead, a manifestation of the same trends that has caused past billionaires to amass cults of personality alongside their dollars: automotive entrepreneur Henry Ford, business magnate Howard Hughes, and more recently Apple founder Steve Jobs. Each of them possessed an undeniable charisma that drew people to them, and each carefully cultivated a public image consistent with the aspirational values of their time. ..............(more)


April 29, 2022

Michigan man accused of threatening BLM supporters at Starbucks, leaving nooses for protesters

(Detroit Metro Times) A retired optometrist from Saginaw was charged with hate crimes for allegedly intimidating Black Lives Matter protesters and threatening to lynch a Black person, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Kenneth D. Pilon, 61, is accused of calling nine Starbucks stores in Michigan in 2020 and telling employees to tell their co-workers wearing Black Lives Matter shirts that “the only good (N-word) is a dead (N-word).” He also told an employee that he’s “gonna go out and lynch me a (N-word),” according to prosecutors.

Pilon is also accused of leaving four nooses in parking lots and a fifth in a 7-Eleven store in the summer of 2020. Each noose was attached to a note that read, “An accessory to be worn with your ‘BLM’ T-shirt. Happy protesting!” ..............(more)


April 29, 2022

From the Pilgrims to QAnon: Christian nationalism is the "asteroid coming for democracy"

From the Pilgrims to QAnon: Christian nationalism is the "asteroid coming for democracy"
Scholar Samuel Perry says the myth of a "Christian nation" has distorted American history from 1690 to Trump


(Salon) If the New York Times' "1619 Project" and Donald Trump's 1776 Commission mark two defining moments in American history, as well as opposite sides of an ideological chasm, a new book by sociologists Philip Gorski and Samuel Perry identifies a third defining moment. It's not a new proposed founding, but rather an "inflection point," the moment when the nation's history could have gone in another direction.

In "The Flag and the Cross: White Christian Nationalism and the Threat to American Democracy," Gorski and Perry argue that in the years around 1690 — when Puritan colonists began envisioning their battles against Native Americans as an apocalyptic holy war to secure a new Promised Land, when Southern Christians began to formulate a theological justification for chattel slavery — a new national mythology was born. That mythology is the "deep story" of white Christian nationalism: the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation, blessed by God and imbued with divine purpose, but also under continual threat from un-American and ungodly forces, often in the form of immigrants or racial minorities.

The result was an ethnic nationalism sanctified by religion as it established a new "holy trinity" of "freedom, order and violence," meted out variously to in-groups and out.


You describe white Christian nationalism as the "San Andreas Fault" of American politics.

We see America torn apart by an authoritarian populism that was characteristic of Trump's movement, which distrusts any opinion not tied to the nationalist leader. There's a lot of distrust for experts, even medical experts when it came to COVID, in favor of somebody like Trump or organizations that put a conservative slant on all news related to politics, COVID, immigration, Muslims, all those things. So when we say white Christian nationalism is the San Andreas Fault, we mean it is a thread running through all of our current conflicts.


You describe a "holy trinity" within white Christian nationalism of freedom, order and violence.

White Christian nationalism seems to be characterized by a libertarian mindset that's only applied to the inside group. The ideology powerfully predicted a belief that we need to protect the economy rather than the vulnerable during COVID and that socialism is anathema — actually, that socialists are the worst. White Christian nationalism predicts antipathy towards atheists and Muslims, but socialists are the real demonized group, because socialism represents everything that is leftist or "anti-American." It is not only an economic threat, but a cultural, ethnic and religious threat.

White Christian nationalism advocates for maximum freedom for our group. But there is also this connection between authoritarian violence and social order. Christian nationalism wants order in the form of hierarchies. Men on top. Whites on top. Christians on top. Heterosexuals on top. And any threats to that order are met with justified, righteous, good-guy violence. That is what we saw on Jan. 6: the justification of righteous violence in taking back our country from, in the words of the QAnon Shaman, "the tyrants, the communists and the globalists," and showing them "this is our nation, not theirs." So there is this kind of holy trinity: Freedom for us, order for everybody else. And when that order is violated, they get the violence. .................(more)


April 29, 2022

Lake Mead plummets to unprecedented low, exposing original 1971 water intake valve

(CNN) The West is in the grips of a climate change-fueled megadrought, and Lake Mead – the largest manmade reservoir in the country and a source of water for millions of people – has fallen to an unprecedented low.

The lake’s plummeting water level has exposed one of the reservoir’s original water intake valves for the first time, officials say.

The valve had been in service since 1971 but can no longer draw water, according to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which is responsible for managing water resources for 2.2 million people in Southern Nevada, including Las Vegas.

Across the West, extreme drought is already taking a toll this year and summertime heat hasn’t even arrived yet. Drought conditions worsened in the Southwest over the past week, the US Drought Monitor reported Thursday. Extreme and exceptional drought, the two worst designations, expanded across New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado – all states that are part of the Colorado River basin. ..............(more)


April 27, 2022

74 yr old man shoots man in ankle, beats him with golf club for walking dog on golf course

(Golf Digest) When it comes to the great state of Florida, nothing surprises us anymore. Gators could fly, the Everglades could freeze, and Disney could be cut off from the political teet (OK, that last one actually happened), and we would hardly bat an eye. So great is its capacity for chaos. So long has it reveled in it. And yet we can’t help be shocked by this story out of Delray Beach, where 74-year-old Robert Levine is under arrest for attempted first-degree murder for shooting 64-year-old Herbert Merritt in the ankle after he found Merritt walking his dog along the 15th hole of Kings Point Golf Club just before 7 p.m. on Sunday.

Here’s how it went down according to Merritt (as reported by WPBF News):

“Merritt told deputies he was walking his dog on the grass next to the golf course when Levine rode up in his golf cart and … began causing a verbal altercation with him due to having his dog on the golf course … He then began shooting at him while Merritt was running away.

Levine chased Merritt around a tree while continuing to shoot—Merritt said he shot about five rounds at him, according to the report and witnesses … he felt that Levine was trying to kill him.” ...............(more)


April 27, 2022

Keep the leaks coming: The case against Donald Trump is being built up by Republicans' big mouths

Keep the leaks coming: The case against Donald Trump is being built up by Republicans' big mouths
There can be no more doubt in anyone's mind who is paying attention that a coup was plotted and nearly successful


(Salon) Ive lost count of how many books have been published at this point about Donald Trump's final days, but I'm glad that the staggered release of them has helped to keep the event fresh in people's minds as each one offers up something that we didn't know before. With the January 6th Committee selectively leaking information and the prospect of public hearings at some point in the near future, it's still possible that the whole thing won't be completely swept under the rug before the election in the fall.

A few days ago, Politico's Kyle Cheney posted a useful overview of just some of what we have learned so far. We know that Trump went to great lengths in the days and weeks after the election to bully, coerce, strong arm and intimidate local and state officials in all the battleground states to illegally overturn the election results. He pushed the Department of Justice to declare the election results were tainted and only moved on when it became clear that they would all resign in protest if he installed a willing toady who would carry it out. And his legal team of fringe weirdos led by Rudy Giuliani descended upon courthouses in the targeted states with wild accusations of voter fraud that were all denied, many of them by judges Trump himself appointed.

Throughout this period, various conspiracy nuts, hucksters, crackpots and grifters were running in and out of the White House with ludicrous schemes, pushing conspiracy theories. On Tuesday, CNN published texts from one of them, an obscure congressman from Pennsylvania named Scott Perry, a former Army General like fellow weirdo Michael Flynn who was heavily involved in all aspects of the attempted coup. Among Perry's texts were messages to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows accusing CIA director Gina Haspel of being in cahoots with "the Brits" to manipulate the voting machines and telling him the "DNI needs to be tasked to audit their overseas accounts at CIA - and their National Endowment for Democracy. " (How many of these kooky Generals are there?)

When none of Giuliani's legal claims came to fruition, Trump enlisted the help of a legal quack named John Eastman who devised a plan to have Republican-run states send alternate slates of electors and then have Vice President Mike Pence throw out the electoral votes from those states to dishonestly invoke the "contingent election process" which would result in Trump being elected because there are currently more GOP state delegations than Democratic ones.

And that's just for starters. ...............(more)


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