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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,300

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Family Of Victim In Michigan School Shooting Sues Gun Shop

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (AP) — The parents of a teenager wounded during a mass shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan are suing the shop that sold the handgun used to kill four students and injure six other people.

The complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Detroit on behalf of Matthew and Mary Mueller accuses Acme Shooting Goods LLC of negligently or unlawfully supplying the gun through a straw sale.

Authorities have said James Crumbley bought the 9 mm semiautomatic handgun used in the Nov. 30 shooting as an early Christmas gift for his son, Ethan, who was 15 at the time.

The lawsuit says Ethan accompanied his father to Acme Shooting Goods several days before the shooting and “engaged in behavior or made one or more statements while in the store which further indicated that the Acme gun was intended for” Ethan. ..........(more)


Lone Star hate: Right-wing activists in Texas drive a new wave of anti-LGBTQ bigotry

Lone Star hate: Right-wing activists in Texas drive a new wave of anti-LGBTQ bigotry
Sure, Texas is a red state. But the merger of MAGA and anti-LGBTQ activism has revealed a whole new level of ugly


(Salon) Last weekend in Houston, Texas Republicans got a taste of just how far right their party has become. At the state's biennial GOP convention, delegates officially declared Joe Biden an illegitimate president, proposed repealing the 1965 Voting Rights Act and voted for a platform calling on schools to teach that life begins at conception and to avoid all discussion of gender identity or sexuality. Additional planks attacked trans rights, cast gender-affirming medical care as actionable malpractice and declared homosexuality "an abnormal lifestyle choice." When one delegate pushed back on that last point — saying, "We are the Republican Party of Texas, not the Westboro Baptist Church" — he was greeted with boos, laughter and another delegate's tirade about "dildos and fisting."

But perhaps the most explosive takeaway from the convention was a series of heated confrontations (inevitably turned into viral videos) in which a group of far-right activists and social media personalities, led by self-described comedian Alex Stein, followed Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, through the hallways of the convention hotel, chanting "eyepatch McCain." This ended in a violent scuffle between Stein and two Crenshaw staffers. Stein also targeted Sen. Ted Cruz in similar fashion, while a different protester shouted that Crenshaw should be hanged. After the hecklers were ejected from the convention, some were photographed standing amid a group of men wearing the black-and-gold shirts of the "Western Chauvinist" Proud Boys.

Although Stein and his cadre's complaints on Saturday were mainly focused on gun laws and Ukraine aid rather than queer rights, his presence at the convention followed the national notoriety he'd gained just two weeks before, when he filmed himself trying to force his way into a Dallas gay bar that was hosting a family-friendly drag show.

As Salon reported at the time, the protest, organized by a right-wing nonprofit called Protect Texas Children, attracted a broader coalition of far-right activists, including members of the white nationalist America First/groyper movement, which hosted a conference last February praising Vladimir Putin, Hitler and the hanging of political enemies. Also involved were a Catholic youth organization that openly endorses theocratic fascism and a network of anti-LGBTQ activists who have gained substantial social media followings through stunt provocations in the broader Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area, often with the Proud Boys in tow.


On Tuesday, June 7, for the first time in its history, the city council of Frisco, Texas, a suburban community of some 220,000 people due north of Dallas, issued a proclamation recognizing June as Pride Month. After an opening invocation by a local minister, praying for open hearts and minds, around two dozen members of the local LGBTQ community came on stage, one sparking tearful cheers by declaring, "Progress is here." Across the majority of the auditorium, there was sustained applause, a standing ovation and the waving of rainbow flags. But from one corner, there were boos.

After the proclamation was read, most of the audience left, walking to a nearby burger joint for a planned reception hosted by the recently-formed group Pride Frisco. And so, when the meeting was opened for public comment, those who rose to respond to the proclamation came almost exclusively from the right, as one person after another got up to condemn the recognition of Pride Month and the LGBTQ community more broadly. ...........(more)


Our summer of misogynist rage: Toxic men unleash a wave of violent threats aimed at outspoken women

Our summer of misogynist rage: Toxic men unleash a wave of violent threats aimed at outspoken women
"Backlash" isn't enough to describe the abuse faced by Cassidy Hutchinson, Amber Heard, and pro-choice protesters


(Salon) Shortly after Cassidy Hutchinson finished her searing testimony that correctly painted Donald Trump as a violent but cowardly bully, desperate right-wingers tried to make "Amber Heard 2.0" a thing on Twitter. The choice was a telling one, though not in the way the MAGA heads think. The abuse aimed at the former aide for Mark Meadows, Trump's chief of staff, who spoke before the January 6 committee on Tuesday, does resemble the harassment of movie star Johnny Depp's ex-wife. In both cases, misogynists launched an intimidation campaign to silence a woman. Not, importantly, because she's lying, but because her haters fear she's telling the truth.

The committee kept Hutchinson's plans to testify publicly under wraps until the very morning she was sworn in, and only announced the hearing the day before it happened. There are likely multiple reasons for this, but reports suggest that a major concern was Hutchinson's safety. The implications of that are chilling, of course. Until yesterday, it wasn't widely known in public how much Hutchinson had witnessed and was prepared to speak about. The people who did know what she witnessed would be those close to Trump and who know how he behaves when cameras aren't on him.

Now the whole country has been told about the petulant, violent, and fascistic behavior that Trump's inner circle goes to great pains to conceal. And Trump is reacting with the same strategy he used to sic the mob on the Capitol: Winking at his violent followers, providing them a target for their rage, and trusting that they know what he wants from them. Not that Trump needs to be a rocket scientist to know his biggest fans happen to be the same people who fly into an incandescent rage when a woman speaks out against injustice. The heightened concerns about her safety, compared to the older white men who have largely been witnesses to Trump's behavior, is also a reminder that the Trump base has a particular hatred of a disobedient woman who happens to be young and pretty — another reason they went straight for the Amber Heard comparison.

The entirely predictable campaign of threats and lies aimed at Hutchinson is part of a larger pattern of vicious misogyny that is coming to define the summer of 2022. It's being described as a "backlash" against feminism, but that word feels inadequate to capture the savage fury that is erupting across the country. We're seeing a boiling over of the anger so many men (and even some women) have against women who speak out — or even women who are just trying to live their lives in peace. .............(more)


NTSB official addresses train crossing safety measures after deadly Missouri Amtrak crash

In the wake of a fatal Amtrak train crash in rural Missouri that left four people dead and dozens injured, National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy said Tuesday that the federal agency has recommended lights and bells at crossings since the 1990s.

Homendy noted that the “passive crossing” where the crash occurred did not have active lights or bells to warn drivers of oncoming trains, saying the NTSB has recommended those measures since 1998. About half of the country’s crossings remain passive crossings.

“We still don’t see action on that. It’s been 24 years and that recommendation is still as important today as it was in 1998. Lives could be saved,” Homendy said.

A state report issued in February showed the crossing where the deadly crash occurred was due for those upgrades — a project analysis ballparked the cost at around $400,000 — and neighbors told The Star on Monday that concerns have been raised there for years. ..............(more)


Officials who disputed Cassidy Hutchinson bombshell testimony were Trump's "yes men": report

(Salon) Multiple officials that disputed parts of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson's testimony to the Jan. 6 committee were seen by some in the Trump administration as the president's "yes men," according to Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig, who wrote a book about the agency last year.

Hutchinson, a former top aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, testified to the House committee on Tuesday that former President Donald Trump knew his supporters had weapons and tried to get officials to remove metal detectors to allow them to pass. She also testified that Trump tried to drive to the Capitol with his supporters even though White House counsel Pat Cipollone warned that if he did, "we're going to get charged with every crime imaginable." After the attack, Meadows, former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and numerous House Republicans sought pardons, according to her account.

At one point in her testimony, Hutchinson recalled a conversation with Tony Ornato, then the White House chief of operations, who told her that Trump had a "very strong, very angry response" when Secret Service refused to take him to the Capitol.

Hutchinson said Ornato told her that Trump declared, "I'm the fucking president, take me up to the Capitol now," before trying to grab the steering wheel and lunging at Secret Service agent Robert Engel.


Leonnig, who last year released the book "Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service" covering the Trump years, provided some background information on Engel and Ornato, a longtime Secret Service agent who now serves as the agency's assistant director of training, in an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

Leonnig said the two men were "very, very close to President Trump." ...........(more)


Proof that Faux News viewers don't actually want news, but an echo chamber....

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel is airing the Jan. 6 committee hearings when they occur in daytime hours and a striking number of the network’s viewers have made clear they’d rather be doing something else.

During two daytime hearings last week, Fox averaged 727,000 viewers, the Nielsen company said. That compares to the 3.09 million who watched the hearings on MSNBC and the 2.21 million tuned in to CNN.

It completely flips the typical viewing pattern for the news networks. During weekdays when the hearings are not taking place, Fox News Channel routinely has more viewers than the other two networks combined, Nielsen said.

Last Thursday, Fox had 1.33 million viewers for the 2 p.m. Eastern hour before the hearing started — slightly below its second quarter average but on par for early summer, when fewer people are watching TV. ............(more)


Gov. Whitmer to Detroit pastors: Misogyny, racism and threats to democracy rising in Michigan

(Detroit Free Press) Speaking Tuesday to Baptist pastors inside a Detroit church, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said sexism and bigotry are on the rise in the state and country, lamenting what she described as threats to democracy, educational equality and abortion rights.

"There is no question that misogyny and racism and anti-Semitism ... is on the rise in our country and in our state," Whitmer said at a meeting of the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity, one of the largest faith groups in Michigan. "There is still very high stakes and a lot we could lose in addition to the things we've lost already just within the last week."

The group was gathered at Liberty Temple Baptist Church on Greenfield Road in Detroit to discuss boosting voter participation during what Whitmer called "a tenuous moment for our state."

"They've got election deniers now on boards of canvassers who said they would not have certified the last election for which there was not a scintilla of evidence of fraud," the governor said. "... This is, I think, a really sobering moment when it comes to our democracy." .............(more)


Angry, violent, reckless: testimony paints shocking portrait of Trump

(Guardian UK) He lunged at a Secret Service agent’s throat. He threw dishes during temper tantrums. And he wanted metal detectors taken away so his fans could march with guns and knives.

An astonishing portrait of Donald Trump as an unhinged and personally violent president emerged at Tuesday’s hearing of the congressional committee investigating last year’s attack on the US Capitol.

Even for a country – and a political press corps – long used to the norm-shattering of the Trump years, the picture painted of Trump at the surprise hearing was a shock to the system. The January 6 panel had promised new revelations and it did not disappoint.

“Never before in American history have we ever seen credible testimony this shocking against a president of the United States before Congress,” Michael Beschloss, a presidential historian, told the MSNBC network. “This is a day that is going to loom very large in American history.”

The star witness at the hastily arranged hearing was Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to the then White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows. She described how Trump wanted to go to the US Capitol with his supporters on January 6 after giving a fiery speech that urged them to fight for him. .............(more)


There was another pro-choice march down Woodward Avenue in Detroit this evening.....

..... and one of the chants was, "F*** the church, f*** the state, you can't make us procreate!"

Love that!


Did violence follow Roe decision? Yes -- almost all of it against pro-choice protesters

(Salon) Before the Supreme Court even announced its decision overturning Roe v. Wade last Friday, right-wing politicians and media had begun warning of a wave of violent demonstrations or riots by pro-choice protesters. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., called on "all patriots" to defend local churches and crisis pregnancy centers, while Fox News hyped warnings about a "night" or "summer of rage" and various far-right activists — from the America First/groyper movement to the Proud Boys to a staffer for Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake — issued threats against leftists they claimed were about to become violent.

But it appears that most of the violence that occurred in response to the Roe decision this past weekend was directed at pro-choice demonstrators, not caused by them.

On Friday night, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a man drove his pickup truck into a group of women protesters, hitting several and driving over the ankle of one woman. Iowa journalist Lyz Lenz, who was covering the protest, noted on Twitter that the attack came at the end of a peaceful event, as demonstrators were crossing the road at a crosswalk while the man had a red light. "The truck drove around other cars in order to hit protesters," Lenz wrote, adding that the driver "was screaming" while a woman in the truck with him begged him to stop.


As Andy Campbell and Alanna Vagianos reported at HuffPost, a number of other protesters ran after the truck, trying to stop it, but the driver continued on, knocking over several people. The woman whose ankle was run over was sent to the hospital. As of Saturday, the man had not been charged with any crime. ...........(more)


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