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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 07:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,746

About Me

Navy brat-->University fac brat. All over-->Wisconsin-->TN-->VA. RN (ret), married, grandmother of 11. Progressive since birth. My mouth may be foul but my heart is wide open.

Journal Archives

It's time to talk about criminal charges for Uvalde police leaders

By Frank Figliuzzi

Two months after the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, new details of the already clouded and confounding law enforcement response are more disturbing than ever. On Tuesday, The Austin American-Statesman released security camera footage from inside Robb Elementary School on the day of the shooting. Mercifully, that newspaper’s editors decided to mute the screams of wounded children dying in their classrooms, and replace it with captioning noting when screams are heard. For 77 minutes of footage, dozens of heavily armed police officers traipsed in, out and around the school, seemingly leaderless and befuddled.

I watched the entire video. I heard the crack of over 100 rounds fired by the shooter. I watched through the perspective of a 25-year law enforcement veteran and as the former head of internal shooting inquiries for the FBI. I watched as a parent and grandparent. What I saw didn’t answer all of my questions, but it did prompt a new one: Was the Uvalde shooter the only criminal in the school that day?

Because what I saw in that school video, in my professional opinion, may be a crime — by the police. I don’t say that lightly. I’m a career law enforcement guy. I instinctively give the benefit of the doubt to cops because I know they have one of the toughest jobs in our society. When I discuss police use of deadly force as a television analyst, I usually remind viewers that we weren’t there, initial appearances are often incomplete, and we need to wait for more facts. One of the exceptions to my usual practice were my comments on the murder of George Floyd by Officer Derek Chauvin. Now, Uvalde may be another exception.

That’s why it’s time to talk about criminal charges against police leaders at Uvalde. Unlike the Chauvin case, it wouldn’t be for what officers did, but for what they didn’t do. They didn’t take action. We wouldn’t even be having this discussion without the release of the video and the revelations contained in it.

The Texas DPS director said that the school police chief, Pete Arredondo, was the on-scene commander that day. That makes sense since it happened in a school he was supposed to protect. But Arredondo says no one told him he was in charge. That’s a ludicrous abdication of leadership and that’s why I believe it’s Arredondo who should become the focus of a criminal grand jury.


Makes sense to me

Oklahoma town's first openly gay mayor resigns, citing harassment

The first openly gay mayor of a small town in Oklahoma resigned on Monday, saying in a letter that he’s increasingly become the target of threats recently.

Adam Graham, who was elected mayor in May and described himself as the youngest city official in The Village, Oklahoma, wrote to the city manager that over the past month, he has been “followed home from meetings” and threatened while walking his dog. He also said that his tires had been slashed and that he was harassed at a coffee shop.

“Unfortunately, these malicious bad-faith attacks are escalating and I no longer feel safe to serve in my capacity as mayor,” he wrote. “It’s with a heavy-heart that I tender my resignation effective immediately.”

Bruce Stone, the city manager, confirmed Graham’s resignation in an email to NBC News. Stone said if the City Council does not appoint a mayor before the new term begins next May, it could be short a member for a year.

Graham has lived in The Village, a town of about 9,200 near Oklahoma City, for eight years. A Democrat, he previously served as vice mayor for two years, and before that, as a city councilmember. After being elected mayor, he said he hoped to ban conversion therapy within city limits, among other priorities, such as establishing a new park and bringing public transportation to the community.

Graham’s resignation comes two months after he had a tense exchange with two police officers from the neighboring town of Nichols Hills. Bodycam footage of the May 28 incident provided to NBC News by the Nichols Hills Police Department shows the officers pulling over a vehicle — which had allegedly been speeding in Nichols Hills — within the city limits of The Village. The footage then shows Graham pulling alongside the police cruiser and telling the officers to “get out,” saying they can’t pull over cars in his town. Cox, however, told NBC News that his officers were within their rights to pull over the vehicle, because Nichols Hills has mutual aid agreements with the fire and police departments in The Village and Oklahoma City.


Oklahoma, you are not OK

Some workers at Amy's Kitchen allege a pattern of mistreatment as new plant unexpectedly closes

Amy’s Kitchen, the country’s top maker of vegetarian frozen and canned food, in recent months has grappled with angry comments from consumers and calls for boycotts that are at odds with its family-run, ethical reputation, with workers alleging unsafe conditions, injuries and attempts to stop unionization.

On Monday, workers at its newest plant in San Jose, California, said they were abruptly told that the plant was closing because it was losing money due to inflation.

Six workers at the San Jose factory, which had only been open since 2021, told NBC News they have experienced demeaning behavior by supervisors and unsafe conditions. In interviews in the weeks leading up to the plant’s sudden closure, and in additional interviews on Monday, four of those workers said there was an unofficial policy that they could not use the bathroom outside lunch and other designated break times.

Employees at the company’s manufacturing headquarters not far away in Santa Rosa, California, have said they were subject to unsafe production quotas and repetitive motion injuries, according to previous reporting by NBC News. In January, one worker filed a formal complaint on behalf of all workers at the Santa Rosa factory with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which said its investigation is ongoing.

Amy’s Kitchen, responding to the previous negative publicity from both the Santa Rosa and San Jose factories, wrote in a post on its website earlier this year that allegations of unsafe worker conditions, denial of bathroom breaks, union-busting and lack of access to drinking water were completely false. Reached by email one week ago, CEO and co-founder Andy Berliner referred NBC News to company spokesman Paul Schiefer, who declined to comment on the allegations workers shared with NBC News. When asked about the reason for the plant closure, he attached a statement given to reporters citing inflation and supply chain issues but did not elaborate.

Raul Vargas said he showed up to work at the San Jose plant at 3 a.m. on Monday for his usual 12 hour shift doing kitchen prep work. It seemed like a normal day, he said. But a little before 7 a.m., he and others in the morning shift said they were ushered into a hallway by the breakroom for a meeting.

There, the factory’s plant manager and several representatives from Human Resources, along with Spanish and Vietnamese language translators, said the plant was closing. Workers were instructed to grab their personal belongings and leave, and that a taxi or Uber would be called for them if they did not have a ride back, according to Vargas and other workers laid off on Monday morning.


I'm about done with Amy's, how about you?

Reproductive care continues in Montgomery, Ala., despite women's clinic closing

The only clinic that performed abortions in Montgomery, Ala., closed last month, but a volunteer organization next door has been working to offer women at least some reproductive health care the clinic provided.

Some women have been coming from hundreds of miles away.

Alabama's law now limits abortion to cases where the mother's health is in danger, with no exceptions for rape or incest. The restriction went into effect after the Supreme Court's decision June 24 overturning Roe v. Wade.

Next door to Montgomery's shuttered clinic is an organization called the POWER House, which stands for People Organizing for Women's Empowerment & Rights and has been in operation since 2015.

The POWER House is located in a vintage Southern home with a big front porch. It seems idyllic, until you see the camouflage netting strung between the pillars to hide anyone sitting on the porch in big wicker chairs.

Mia Raven, the executive director, jokingly says most people have known her for years as "the abortion lady" because of her advocacy for reproductive rights in Alabama. Raven has a tattoo on her wrist that reads "Know Your Rights," and she has neon pink hair.

She says some protestors in front of the clinic had another nickname for her: "The Pink-haired Devil Lady."


We SHALL overcome....

Russia: Ukraine Has Mutant Troops Created in Secret Biolabs

Nearly five months into its senseless war against Ukraine, Russia has concocted a wild new explanation for why the Kremlin’s plans for a quick takeover fell apart so spectacularly—because Ukrainian troops were turned into superhuman killing machines during “secret experiments” in American-run biolabs, of course.

Never mind the myriad reports of Russian troops refusing to fight by the thousands, sabotaging their own shoddy equipment and even deliberately wounding themselves to abandon the war, Russian lawmakers claim the real setback for Moscow was “drugged up” Ukrainian soldiers.

That claim was made Monday by two Russian lawmakers heading up a commission to investigate “biolaboratories” in Ukraine, Kommersant reported.

Konstantin Kosachev, the deputy speaker of Russia’s Federation Council, and Irina Yarovaya, deputy chair of the State Duma, touted what they described as bombshell findings from the “investigation.”

Testing of Ukrainian POWs’ blood, they claimed, uncovered “a range of diseases” that suggest they were secretly experimented on “for military purposes.”

“And we see: the cruelty and barbarity with which the military personnel of Ukraine behave, the crimes that they commit against the civilian population, those monstrous crimes that they commit against prisoners of war, confirm that this system for the control and creation of a cruel murder machine was implemented under the management of the United States,” Yarovaya was quoted telling reporters.


More outlandish than yesterday's excuses....

Meet Garrett Ziegler: Today's top J6 witness was a key participant in Trump's election fraud scheme

Garrett Ziegler, a former aide to Trade Advisor Peter Navarro who acted as a key conduit between the Trump White House and the sprawling network of lawyers and conspiracy mongers promoting dubious election fraud theories in the final months of 2020, is expected to speak to the January 6th Committee on Tuesday morning.

Ziegler announced his interview in a message to his followers on Telegram at the stroke of midnight on Monday, writing, “Yours truly going before the scam committee on Tuesday morning. Such a joke, but don’t worry — I’ll do nothing but tell the truth: Trump did nothing wrong & the election was stolen!”

Fanatically loyal to Trump, Ziegler played a crucial role in facilitating an infamous late-night meeting in the Oval Office on Dec. 18, 2020 by using his access pass to usher lawyer Sidney Powell, retired Lt. General Michael Flynn and former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne into the White House, where they proposed a plan to have the president invoke the Insurrection Act while ordering the National Guard to seize voting machines and re-run the election in states narrowly lost to Joe Biden.

The meeting, which ran for four and a half hours, devolved into a screaming match between the Powell camp and White House lawyers led by Chief Counsel Pat Cipollone, with the two sides nearly coming to blows. At the end, Trump reportedly appointed Powell to the ill-defined position of special counsel, although nothing seems to have come of the action. Byrne, who reportedly spoke to the January 6th Committee on July 15, recently told the far-right outlet Epoch Times that Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, told him he persuaded the president to reverse course by telling him that if they went forward with the plan “we’d all be in prison.”

Less than two hours after the raucous meeting broke up, Trump tweeted a call for his supporters to descend on Washington, DC on Jan. 6. Trump’s tweet included a link to the Navarro Report, which was prepared with Ziegler’s assistance. The president wrote, “Peter Navarro releases 36-page report alleging election fraud ‘more than sufficient’ to swing victory to Trump. A great report by Peter. Statistically impossible to have lost the 2020 Election. Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”


Exercise in futility, methinks

Indiana mall shooter brought multiple weapons, good Samaritan who shot him credited with saving coun

Indiana mall shooter brought multiple weapons, good Samaritan who shot him credited with saving countless lives

The suspected gunman in the Indiana mall mass shooting carried two rifles, a pistol and more than 100 rounds of ammo, authorities said Monday, and the good Samaritan who fatally shot him is credited with saving “countless lives.”

Three people were killed at the Greenwood Park Mall outside of Indianapolis on Sunday. Two others were injured and the gunman is also dead.

The suspected shooter was identified by officials as Jonathan Douglas Sapirman, 20, of Greenwood. Sapirman entered the Greenwood Park Mall and went into a restroom near the food court about 4:54 p.m. on Sunday, Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison said Monday.

Sapirman stayed in the bathroom for 62 minutes, then exited and began firing near and into the mall's food court with a 6 Saur rifle, killing three people.

The victims were identified as husband and wife Pedro Pineda, 56, and Rosa Mirian Rivera de Pineda, 37, both of Indianapolis; and Victor Gomez, 30, of Indianapolis.


'nother disaffected incel white boy, it would appear.

Republican Rep. Jody Hice subpoenaed in Georgia Trump election probe

Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., is fighting a subpoena to testify before the Georgia special grand jury hearing evidence in an investigation into possible 2020 election interference by former President Donald Trump and others, court papers show.

Hice, a Trump ally who voted to reject the state-certified election results in Georgia and Pennsylvania on Jan. 6, was scheduled to appear before the grand jury on Tuesday, according to documents filed by Hice's lawyer in Georgia federal court. The filing challenges the subpoena from the grand jury assisting the Fulton Co. district attorney's investigation.

“Since Congressman Hice is a member of the United States House of Representatives and is being asked to testify pursuant to a state-issued subpoena, the federal officer removal statute should apply, and this action should therefore be removed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia,” Hice’s attorney Loree Anne Paradise wrote in the filing.

The court filing does not specify what topics the grand jury wants to discuss with Hice.


Tee hee!

Republicans embraced a solution to school violence. Now some are denouncing it as 'woke.'

In October, after a student opened fire at Timberview High School in North Texas, wounding two classmates and a teacher, parents in the Mansfield Independent School District initially rallied together, praying publicly for the victims and praising officials for reacting quickly to prevent a worse tragedy.

But six months later, a different narrative began to spread through this suburban Dallas school district, one that put the blame for the shooting on a new district approach to disciplining students. It started with political mailers sent to thousands of homes.

“MISD put ‘woke’ politics over the safety of our children,” the flyers read in all caps, above a news clipping about the Timberview shooting, which reportedly resulted from a fight between two Black students. The flyers, paid for by a conservative political action committee, warned that the Mansfield school district had “stopped disciplining students” based on “Critical Race Theory principles.” As a result, it said, “kids were nearly killed.”

But the Mansfield mailer omitted a key detail: Some of the local school policies that it was attacking were initially implemented three years ago, not as part of a liberal takeover of the suburban school system, but at the urging of Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Trump administration.

The mailers reflected a growing belief among some conservative parents, both in Mansfield and nationally, that school programs meant to address students’ emotional well-being have become vehicles for indoctrinating children with progressive ideas about race, gender and sexuality. The flyers, sent in mid-April ahead of a school board election, also previewed how some prominent Republicans would respond one month later after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas — making a visceral connection between anti-racism initiatives in schools and parental fears about the physical safety of their children.


Yup. Kick your own shit.

Secret Service's January 6 text messages story has shifted several times, panel told

The Secret Service’s account about how text messages from the day before and the day of the Capitol attack were erased has shifted several times, the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security told the House January 6 select committee at a briefing on Friday.

At one point, the explanation from the Secret Service for the lost texts was because of software upgrades, the inspector general told the panel, while at another point, the explanation was because of device replacements.

The inspector general also said that though the secret service opted to have his office do a review of the agency’s response to the Capitol attack in lieu of conducting after-action reports, it then stonewalled the review by slow-walking production of materials.

After the inspector general raised his complaints, he then discussed the feasibility of reconstructing the texts. But the issues so alarmed the select committee that the panel moved hours later to subpoena the Secret Service, according to participants at the briefing.

The string of fast-paced developments on Capitol Hill reflected how the erasure of the Secret Service texts – first disclosed in a letter to Congress by the inspector general, Joseph Cuffari – has become a top priority for the congressional inquiry into January 6.

The circumstances surrounding the erasure of the Secret Service texts from the day before and the day of the Capitol attack have become central for the select committee as it investigates how it planned to move Donald Trump and Mike Pence as the violence unfolded.

The texts are potentially significant for investigators as the Secret Service played a crucial role in preventing Donald Trump from going to the Capitol that day and wanted to remove then-vice-president Mike Pence from the complex, according to the panel.


Get yer story straight, bozos!
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