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Are_grits_groceries's Journal
Are_grits_groceries's Journal
October 25, 2014

Bobby Harrell, the SC House Speaker, has resigned, pled guilty, and become a government informant.

COLUMBIA, SC — Bobby Harrell, the ex-speaker of the S.C. House who pleaded guilty Thursday to state charges of misusing campaign money and agreed to resign his office, is now locked into an ironclad plea deal that requires him to tell federal and state authorities about illegal activities of others, including lawmakers.

The five-page plea deal allows Harrell, one of South Carolina’s most powerful politicians, to avoid prison, but it puts him on probation and levies $130,000 in fines and penalties.

But Harrell has promised to help the State Law Enforcement Division and the FBI and must take lie detector tests to ensure he’s telling the truth – under the risk of going behind bars.

Such cooperation agreements are rarely used in state courts, but are more common in federal court, where law enforcement authorities often use a negotiated guilty plea to see if they can get information about other peoples’ criminal activities.

“I’ve only done a handful of these in state court,” said 1st Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe, a 20-year prosecutor assigned to the Harrell case.
Much more: http://www.thestate.com/2014/10/23/3763350/from-powerful-official-to-government.html

He may clear out the statehouse and more. There are a lot of nervous people right now. Once more people start rolling to avoid jail time, down she goes.

October 24, 2014

‘You are so loved’ — Ottawa lawyer describes trying to save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo (Gutting...)

‘You are so loved’ — Ottawa lawyer describes trying to save Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

OTTAWA — Lawyer Barbara Winters was headed to a meeting Wednesday near her office at the Canada Revenue Agency when she passed the National War Memorial, stopping to snap a few pictures of the two honour guards standing soberly at attention.

Moments later, after passing by a Canada Post office at the corner of Elgin and Sparks streets, she heard four shots. For Winters, a former member of the Canadian Forces Naval Reserve, the sounds were unmistakable.

Turning, she saw people on Elgin Street ducking. She began to run — not towards safety, but towards the shots, and the wounded soldier lying at the foot of the memorial.

As Winters ran, she looked for — but couldn’t see — the two soldiers. Her mind went to the hit-and-run death in Quebec of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent two days earlier, and she instinctively knew the honour guards had been targeted.

As she reached the memorial, Winters saw four people bending over a fallen soldier. She dropped her purse and briefcase on the steps and began to help.
Much more:

Heroes all!
RIP Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

October 24, 2014

At the gate to the slain Canadian soldier's house, his dogs wait:

Cirillo's dogs. Such a sad sight.


October 22, 2014

Another leak about Michael Brown. This time from his toxicology report:

@GottaLaff: OFFS! RT @BuzzFeedAndrew: C’mon now 😑😐 h/t @JonathanDBrown

From WaPo

Hallucinations? Seriously?
Was he mainlining THC?

October 22, 2014

Video of gunfire exchange in the Canadian Parliament Building in Ottawa. Live shooter.

A soldier was shot outside the building.

@cbcsaltzman: #BREAKING :
confirmation one of the shooters shot dead in centre block
October 22, 2014

Coburn released his "Wastebook" of frivolous government spending. There's more to it.

I will not argue with anybody that there is not wasteful spending. A lot of it comes from Congresspeople and Senators themselves who want money for whatever back in their states.

The part that bothers me are his attacks on research. On the face of it, some studies do sound frivolous. However, before I label them as wasteful spending, I want to know exactly where the results of this research will lead. Many times it is one of the first building blocks of basic research that have to be done to lead to bigger breakthroughs.

People do not understand this or anything related to science and research. They seem to believe that many products and processes are spun out of whole cloth and appear after a short stint in labs by scientists, magicians or whoever. In fact, many of them are the results of years of work some of which would probably end up in his 'Wastebook.'

Please remember this when you hear about these studies. They may be waste, but they could very well be important to us or for those who come later.

October 19, 2014

Susan Smith: 20 years later, case still a shocker (She drove her kids into a lake)

Susan Smith: 20 years later, case still a shocker

Investigators were so determined 20 years ago to get a confession from South Carolina’s Susan Smith that they were willing to use anything, including deception, to get her to admit to drowning her two small children in an Upstate lake.

Then-SLED chief Robert Stewart said this month that investigators created a copy of a false newspaper article they were prepared to show Smith about a woman who had killed a family member. The fictional woman served her time in prison, got out, married a rich businessman and went on to lead a happy life. The plan: let Smith read the article and then speak with the woman. If the shame of killing her children didn’t persuade Smith to confess, agents reasoned, perhaps hope would – hope that her life could go on beyond prison.

Not only was the article false, the woman was an undercover State Law Enforcement Division agent. Fortunately, Stewart said, Smith did confess, and investigators never had to use the scheme.

Stewart described the plan, which he has never discussed publicly, as the 20th anniversary of the case approaches. Others looking back on the Oct. 25 anniversary recall the media convergence on the small city of Union. They remember the stresses – and scrutiny – of the sudden national attention and the decisions they had to make to get through it all.

Stewart knew that if the case hinged on using deception, it would be just another tool that law enforcement had in its arsenal of coaxing confessions from alleged murderers. SLED and the Union County Sheriff’s Office already were receiving help from seasoned behavioral scientists and a veteran interviewer and polygraph analyst from the FBI.
Much more: http://www.thestate.com/2014/10/18/3753690/susan-smith-20-years-later-case.html

An article from the former SC Director of Prisons about Smith:

I lived about an hour away from Union when this happened. Most of us never believed her story about the carjacking. I wasn't sure exactly what happened, but I told someone they needed to look for the car in one of the quarries fairly near there.
I had read a book about Diane Downs who shot her kids. I didn't put it past Smith having done something because I had read that.
It was and is one of the most horrible crimes ever.

October 18, 2014

If you seriously care about gaming, you better pay attention to #Gamergate and its damage.

Once it descended into threats and people having to leave their homes, it STOPPED being about ethics among gamers and journalists. Now it's about people in fear for their lives because somebody has a problem with their ethics?

Gamers can claim that the threats are from a minority. That may be, but now the whole lot of them are tarred with the poison from those groups.

Some posts are a great example. Not ONCE do they address the threats and very real problems created by this so-called ethical cleanup. People have had to leave their homes, but some are going to ignore that and insist it's about ethics and journalism. It has gone waaaay beyond that now and it's a question of the moral compass of gamers.

No matter how this started out, it's a brush fire of hate that every gamer better try to stop. I know of nothing in years that has damaged the gamer community this much in the public mind. Good luck convincing anybody that it's a harmless activity now.

Gamers better get off their asses and push back hard against the brutal mysogny and hate or you will never be taken seriously again.

I can't hear the gamers' complaints about ethics and journalism over the death threats and neither can a lot of other people.

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