Thursday Open Thread | Holiday Spirit

Holiday candle 3All I Want for Christmas Is You  is a song by American singer-songwriter Mariah Carey from her fourth studio album, Merry Christmas. It was released as the lead single from the album on November 1, 1994 by Columbia Records. The song was written by Carey and Walter Afanasieff, the latter co-arranging and producing the song as well. As an up-tempo love song, it also incorporates pop music and traditional beats. The song’s lyrics describe an event in which the protagonist declares that she does not care about Christmas presents or lights; all she wants for Christmas is to be with her lover.

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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103 Responses to Thursday Open Thread | Holiday Spirit

  1. rikyrah says:

    Luvvie with the hat tip

    this art is amazing

  2. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    justified agitator @Awkward_Duck · 2h 2 hours ago
    Me and #EricGarners grand daughter be carefree black girls before heading out

  3. Liza says:

    Hillary speaks. But WTF is this about our criminal justice system getting out of balance? When was it ever in balance? Is she delusional?

    Hillary Clinton Backs Probes Of Chokehold, Ferguson Deaths
    Posted: 12/04/2014 3:14 pm EST

    The former secretary of state said the families and communities deserved a “full and fair accounting” and the deaths had forced the nation to “grapple with some hard truths about race and justice in America.” She noted that black men are more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes and sentenced to longer prison terms.

    “We have allowed our criminal justice system to get out of balance,” Clinton said. “And I personally hope that these tragedies give us the opportunity to come together as a nation to find our balance again.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    jay smooth @jsmooth995
    The man is unarmed. The chokehold is banned. The coroner ruled it a homicide. It is on video. None of this matters. I can’t breathe.
    1:50 PM – 3 Dec 2014

    • rikyrah says:

      Lisa Bloom @LisaBloom
      Today should be the last day local prosecutors “prosecute” police buddies for killing civilians. Need a new class of unbiased lawyers for it
      2:34 PM – 3 Dec 2014

      • rikyrah says:

        Lisa Bloom @LisaBloom
        Eric Garner said “I can’t breathe” & police choked him anyway ON VIDEO. Every decent person should be sickened by no indictment today.
        2:01 PM – 3 Dec 2014

  5. rikyrah says:

    ‘Racists Shoot Us, They Walk Away Free’

    By Nerdy Wonka

    How does one look at today and not conclude that America hates Black people?

    Racists shoot us, they walk away free.

    Racists are video taped killing us, and still they walk away free.

    We talk right, we walk right, we dress right, we earn an education, we hold down jobs, we contribute in numerous ways to this country, but still they kill us and we can’t even get a facsimile of justice.

    Every single day this country is killing us. This country is killing our fathers, our mothers, our sisters, our brothers, our nieces, our children, our nephews, our cousins, our grandparents all because of the color of our skin.

    America is essentially saying that if you have white skin you are entitled to justice. If you have white skin you are entitled to do anything negative you want in this country and get away with it. If you have white skin you are entitled to life and damn everyone else.

    There is a sickness in this country. There is a horror in this country and Black people are being killed because of it.

    I still continue to hope for better days but right now, I look at African-Americans around me with tears in my eyes.

    I look at Black children around me with tears in my eyes because I’m not sure they may live to see tomorrow.

    May God help us all.

  6. rikyrah says:

    America The Beautiful

    By Liberal Librarian

    America, you’re sick.

    There is much about you which is beautiful. But a part of you is diseased.

    It’s the part which speaks about being “pro-life”, but then casts aside those who are already here.

    It’s the part which sees someone different than you as a cancer to be cut out.

    It’s the part which revels in violence, both at home and abroad.

    We’ve had Trayvon Martin. We’ve had Mike Brown. We’ve had Eric Garner. And each time justice was denied.

    But that’s okay, isn’t it? It was “them” who got it. “They” deserved it. “They” always deserve it. They’re lazy. They’re thugs. They don’t respect themselves. They’re animals.

    But “they” is a funny idea. You can go along your whole life, confident in the notion that you’re “one of us”, that you’re of the elect, that the world is made to cater to you. And then, suddenly, one day, without expecting it, you’re no longer “us”. You’ve become “them”. You’re no longer needed. You’re expendable.

    You weren’t a communist. You weren’t a Jew. You weren’t black.

    But if you think that those who stoke racism to remain in power actually care about you, you haven’t studied history. (Of course you haven’t studied history. That’s also part of the plan.)

    You can pretend you’re part of the Elect. You can pretend that nothing will change for you. You can pretend all this, as you work for Walmart, as your schools fall into a chasm, as your children have fewer opportunities than you. You can pretend all this as your water is poisoned, your air is fouled, and your health is disregarded. You can think that you’ll be taken care of, when all that’s happening is that you’re being taken for a ride.

    Those of you who think “they” got what they deserved should realize that eventually you’ll be one of “them”. You’re useful now. You vote in those who plot your demise, gladly, with songs in your heart, because “they” will get what’s coming to them.

    But when “they” are gone, when “they” are beaten down, do you think you’ll escape unharmed?

  7. rikyrah says:

    McConnell sees Supreme Court as possible GOP partner
    12/04/14 12:08 PM
    By Steve Benen
    Republican leaders in Congress have already said they intend to invest energy next year in trying to tear down the Affordable Care Act, it’s many, many successes notwithstanding. Those efforts, however, will inevitably fail.

    For one thing, there’s obviously no way President Obama would cooperate with the destruction of his own historic accomplishment that’s helping so many millions of families. For another, plenty of GOP lawmakers have made clear they no longer see much of a point to the repeal crusade, and they’ve grown weary of repeated votes to take away Americans’ health care benefits.

    Sure, Republicans will go through the motions and bring up repeal measures – these guys seem to love doomed legislation designed to make the GOP feel better – but there’s a broad realization that Congress’ repeal push had run its course.

    And for incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), that’s no great loss, because he thinks his allies on the Supreme Court may deliver the fatal blow that congressional Republicans cannot.

    Asked this week about the future of the ACA, the Republican leader conceded to the Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib that legislative efforts will fall short. He added, however:
    “Who may ultimately take it down is the Supreme Court of the United States. I mean there’s a very significant case that will be decided before June on the question of whether the language of the law means what the language of the law says, which is that subsidies are only available for states that set up state exchanges. Many states have not. If that were to be the case, I would assume that you could have a mulligan here, a major do-over of the whole thing – that opportunity presented to us by the Supreme Court, as opposed to actually getting the president to sign a full repeal, which is not likely to happen.”
    That’s no small acknowledgement. University of Michigan Law Professor Nicholas Bagley told Greg Sargent this week, “McConnell confirms here that the litigation is politics by other means. It sounds like McConnell is treating the Supreme Court as another political institution.”

    I can appreciate why this may sound like a dog-bites-man observation. Of course McConnell is looking for partners in crime. Of course he wants far-right justices to put politics over the law, operating in bad faith. Of course he sees the Supreme Court as a political institution engaged in a larger partisan war.

    But congressional leaders are generally not in the habit of making acknowledgements like these out loud.

  8. Breaking News: AG Holder: Findings of excessive force by Cleveland police.

  9. rikyrah says:

    RiPPa @RippDemUp

    Still battling to save my eyesight surgery #2 has been scheduled. Please RT & share on yo…

  10. rikyrah says:

    Kriss Fett @insanityreport

    Dear White People: black folks are really upset right now. Before you speak i want you to think really hard about your words…then STFU

  11. rikyrah says:

    TäMmÿNîçøLê♥ @ladyhavic

    My mom was told by a cop her section 8 would be taken away if she didnt shut up… she’s owned our home for 11yrs #alivewhileblack

  12. Liza says:

    This picture of Eric Garner’s stepfather is worth ten million words. He looks as though 400 years of black history in this country is written on his face.

  13. rikyrah says:

    from TOD:

    December 4, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Such a beautiful couple…grateful for them.

    I wrote something yesterday and my computer just manages to make it go away….I have no idea how that happens, but it was rather lengthy and I lost it all. I was already pissed/sad/raging so I just went to bed. I think it was 7:30pm.

    I was thinking along the lines of what LL so eloquently put into words, This is no accident. At first I think the powers that be thought nervously about the election of the first black president…then it played right into their hands. Birthers and witch doctors and deport him and being the other just fed the ignorant, hateful masses. Notice now that it’s Obama’s fault for all the racism in America….even though most of us know that it has been here for hundreds of years and never left. It was conveniently tucked away, just under the surface, to bring out again…..timely, don’t you see…because things are really turning around for the better on the economic front since this black President took over….unemployment down, gas prices down, housing up, exports up,stocks soaring,consumer confidence high….SOMETHING has to break this momentum! AH..fear and the race card! America IS sufficiently dumbed down…they made sure of that. Connect the dots and follow the money….the white owners/kleptocrats are still enslaving America. The difference is, that black people ALWAYS knew this, it’s the white folks that belong to the dumbed down masses that need to figure this out. “They” are never and will never be part of “them”. Useful idiots is right.

    America, WAKE THE FUCK UP! Take the reins, open your eyes, and see the truth. Income inequality, police brutality, privatization, haves and have nots…is KILLING THIS COUNTRY. Yes…I mean all of us need to take our country back, and not the way the hilljacks thought…this country belongs to ALL of us and we have to learn how to make it work FOR ALL OF US. As long as their is injustice against some of us, there is injustice against ALL of us. This. Must. End. Now. Time to put an end to these inequities. Once and for all. We can never live our lives to our fullest potential if some of our American family is hurting and being treated without respect and importance and relevance. We should ALL be outraged! It can be you next. Count on it. Get to work. We don’t have the luxury of saying “maybe later”. The time is now. The right time for liberty and justice for all, is right now.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Brit Bennett @britrbennett

    Tamir Rice was buried today. His sixth grade teacher eulogized him and choked up before saying that he never missed a day of class.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Watch: Gabrielle Union is “Beautifully Flawed” in New Extended Promo for ‘Being Mary Jane.’
    By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act
    December 1, 2014 at 11:18AM

  16. rikyrah says:

    America’s Worst Couple Mocks Eric Garner’s Chokehold Killing on Live TV

    Aleksander Chan
    Today 10:09am

    As thousands marched on Midtown Manhattan last night in protest of a Staten Island grand jury’s decision to not indict the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner, two compassionate Americans walked into WPIX’s live broadcast, noticed the camera, and mimed Daniel Pantaleo’s chokehold that killed Garner.

    Ironically, WPIX’s Allison Kaden was reporting on how last night’s protests were disrupting the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center. If you see this couple anywhere, tell them to go to hell.

  17. rikyrah says:

    Christopher Hayes ✔ @chrislhayes
    Last night on my show, a key McCulloch ally admitted that McC never wanted an indictment and that GJ was just for political cover.
    10:19 AM – 4 Dec 2014

  18. Cop stops my kid a few nights ago as he was backing into parking space at his apartment.

    Cop:Where are you going?
    Josh: Home
    Cop: Where do you work?
    Josh: Such & such
    Cop: Ever been in trouble w/ the law?
    Josh: No
    Cop: Is this your car?
    Josh: Yes
    Cop: Where’d you go to school
    Josh: Such Texas
    Cop: What are you doing here
    Josh: I moved here b/c I like it
    Cop: Nice car! Kinda dirty tho.

  19. rikyrah says:

    he’s the one bringing the hard times


    President Putin urges Russian resilience for hard times

    President Vladimir Putin has warned Russians of hard times ahead and urged self-reliance, in his annual state-of-the nation address to parliament.

    Russia has been hit hard by falling oil prices and by Western sanctions imposed in response to its interventions in the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine.

    The rouble, once a symbol of stability under Mr Putin, suffered its biggest one-day decline since 1998 on Monday.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Jon Stewart goes off on serious Garner case rant: ‘We’re definitely not living in a post-racial society’

    Arturo Garcia
    04 Dec 2014 at 00:00 ET

    Even Daily Show host Jon Stewart found it hard to come up with anything funny to say on Wednesday in the wake of a Staten Island grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in connection with the death of Eric Garner.

    “I don’t know,” Stewart confessed. “I honestly don’t know what to say. If comedy is tragedy plus time, I need more f*cking time. But I would really settle for less f*cking tragedy, to be honest with you.”

    What separated this case from the one involving Ferguson, Missouri officer Darren Wilson, Stewart said, was that grand jury in that case had to contend with conflicting accounts of his shooting and killing Michael Brown this past August. Yet the results were the same as in the Garner decision.

    • Liza says:

      You know this weighs heavy on AG Eric Holder. In addition to being a black man, he knows that the DOJ is the only way to bring killer cops to justice, and also the only government agency that can lead to change this culture of violence against POC.

    • Liza says:

      We can only imagine the gap between what PBO can say publicly and what he feels.

      How many Democrats are supporting him? I know it’s not zero, but from what I have seen it’s a low number.

      • rikyrah says:

        you mean politicians, right, Liza?

        a lot of rank and file Dem grunts out here support him plenty

      • Liza says:

        Yes, I am mostly referring to politicians, Rikyrah. Those who get some kind of national attention when they take a stand. It’s good to know that rank and file Dems are supporting him where you are. It’s pretty quiet here in AZ.

  21. rikyrah says:

    How not to explain the Eric Garner tragedy
    12/04/14 08:00 AM—UPDATED 12/04/14 08:11 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Yesterday’s news that there would be no indictment in the Eric Garner case touched off a series of protests – in New York City and communities nationwide – but the story is not over. As Rachel reported last night, Attorney General Eric Holder announced late yesterday that a federal investigation will examine the incident, as well.

    And while that legal process unfolds, the public conversation will also continue, with much of the country asking important questions about race, criminal justice, and the degree to which some Americans are treated unfairly by law enforcement.

    Some of these questions, however, will have more merit than others. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), for example, appeared on msnbc’s “Hardball” last night and talked with Chris Matthews about the Garner incident. The senator said:
    “Well, you know, I think it’s hard not to watch that video of him saying, ‘I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,’ and not be horrified by it. But I think there’s something bigger than just the individual circumstances.

    “Obviously, the individual circumstances are important. But I think it’s also important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes. So they’ve driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive. But them some politician also had to direct the police to say, ‘Hey, we want you arresting people for selling a loose cigarette.’

    “And for someone to die over breaking that law, there really is no excuse for it. But I do blame the politicians. We put our police in a difficult situation with bad laws.”
    So, the senator’s takeaway from the Garner tragedy is that cigarette taxes led to this young man’s death.

  22. rikyrah says:

    Had not seen anything about this in the news


    Wednesday, December 3, 2014
    Last Call For A Picture Perfect Heist
    Posted by Zandar

    Doing some digging, I’ve found that it’s looking more and more like that Sony Pictures hack I referenced in today’s StupidiNews wasn’t a North Korean attack after all and is actually far worse than anyone thought, to the point where this may be an inside job that could put Sony Pictures down for the count.

    On November 24 the world found out that Sony Pictures Entertainment was hacked and had disabled its entire corporate network, including locations that spanned Culver City, New York, and overseas.

    This breach has very few analogues in history, outside of the Snowden documents, to any other type of breach on record. The combined corporate intellectual property,financial and legal information, contact databases and health records, passwords and encryption keys for Sony Pictures Entertainment can’t be compared to a breach of a retailer’s email or credit card database.

    Home Depot said that 53 million email addresses were swiped in its recent data breach, where 56 million credit card accounts were also compromised.

    But in the case of Sony’s compromise, individual files can be spreadsheets with multiple records each. Some of the 38 million (known) files exfiltrated in this carefully planned attack are entire databases.

    This is comparative to source code being leaked. Unpublished scripts for movies, contract negotiations, NDA’s (thousands are listed), secret terms for payment schemes, the very information Sony uses to keep its entire company relevant, are in the stolen files.

    The benefits to Sony Pictures Entertainment competitors — Universal, Warner, Disney — in terms of competitive intel, is priceless.

  23. rikyrah says:

    So, where are these Black people who support Rand Paul now?


    Not Even In The Same Galactic Sector As The Point
    Posted by Zandar at 8:36 pm Dec 032014

    Via Tommy Christopher at the Daily Banter, my senator/human dumpster fire Rand Paul knows why Eric Garner died…

    …cigarette taxes.

    “I think it is hard not to watch that video of him saying I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, and not be horrified by it. But I think there’s something bigger than just the individual circumstances. Obviously the individual circumstances are important. I think it is important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes so they’ve driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive. But then some politician had to say we want you arresting people for selling a loose cigarette. For someone to die over breaking that law, there is really no excuse for it. But I do blame the politician. We put our police in a difficult situation with bad laws.”

    I do not have enough heavy objects to throw in complete sun-crushing rage right now. Of all the possible and myriad plethora of reasons to object to the death of Eric Garner and the rampant injustice of the failure of the grand jury system here, the fact that cigarette taxes are high in NYC is such a peripheral piece of cowflop that even I, as much as I despise Rand Paul, am utterly shocked at his near cataclysmic lack of basic human decency.

    Eric Garner was murdered on video for the world to see, and this asshole is worried about cig taxes.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Panchito @ItsPunch

    Tonight everybody remember to rewind your clock 300 years back.

  25. rikyrah says:

    PragmaticObotsUnite @PragObots

    Azealia Banks tried to tell y’all about Iggy Azalea when she tried to pull that “I’m a slave master” bs, but she was called “bitter”.

    • rikyrah says:

      Mylissa @MISS_LAW16

      @nothazel_ @PragObots @IGGYAZALEA They want our culture, but not the sin that we get from our skin

      • rikyrah says:

        |Hazal| @nothazel_

        .@IGGYAZALEA bitched about not being given a place in hip hop because she’s white but stays silent on black issues that don’t relate to her

  26. rikyrah says:

    Joy Reid ✔ @JoyAnnReid

    Officer who choked, killed Eric Garner told grand jury he was doing a “wrestling move,” not a choke hold. @NYTimes

  27. rikyrah says:

    Jordan @JMYChi

    T.I. won’t stop Iggy Azalea because those gun charges will mysteriously come up again. #StayWoke

  28. rikyrah says:

    ExtremeLiberal (Jim) @ExtremeLiberal

    What the hell, #cnn is speculation if Eric Garner would have just died soon anyway because of his health. Unbelievable. @cnn

    • Liza says:

      Interesting. Now we have a new argument to justify the murder of black people in addition to “he was a thug who had it coming.” Now we have, “he was unhealthy and ready to die.” Dear Lord, throw me a line so I can make it through this day.

  29. rikyrah says:

    TriniPrincess @TriniPrincess

    Esaw Garner’s refusal to play the grieving widow who rises above her own pain to absolve a killer’s conscience warmed the depths of my soul.

    • Liza says:

      Me too. Also, when Jesus Christ spoke of forgiveness in the New Testament, he never said that the guilty should not be held accountable.

    • Ametia says:

      I was away from my computer and any new source a great deal yesterday. I didn’t see Esaw Garner’s rage about the killer cop until this morning.

      Nope, she will not placate white killer cop’s conscience, while her husband is DEAD. WTF

  30. rikyrah says:

    Morgan Freeman @Morrgan_Freeman

    I guess a video of a cop choking a man to death isn’t enough evidence to prove a cop choked a man to death.

  31. rikyrah says:

    NBC Legal Analyst Goes off on Scarborough: ‘Show Some Respect’
    by Evan McMurry | 10:17 am, December 3rd, 20141284

    NBC legal analyst Lisa Bloom saw Joe Scarborough’s Ferguson #hottake from Monday and was not amused. Late Tuesday night she unleashed on Twitter numerous rebuttals to his framing of the shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests over the lack of indictment, in which Scarborough claimed Brown was being falsely martyred. (The morning host, for his part, has taken a couple shots at his fellow MSNBC hosts over the network’s Ferguson coverage.)

  32. rikyrah says:

    This Kneegrow, Here


    Ben Carson Agrees with Barkley, Hits Obama for ‘Taking Sides’ on Ferguson
    by Matt Wilstein | 1:35 pm, December 3rd, 2014

    When Dr. Ben Carson sat down with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer for a wide-ranging interview Wednesday, the first thing the anchor wanted to know was whether the potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate agreed with recent comments made by former NBA star Charles Barkley on the situation in Ferguson, Missouri.

    “I think it’s true that the police are our friends,” Carson began, in reference to Barkley’s assertion that it’s “ridiculous” to say white police officers are killing African-Americans in this country. He imagined 24-hours with no police — a scenario no one has suggested — as creating “total chaos” and urged more communication between cops and citizens. “I think he has some very valid points, absolutely,” Carson said of Barkley. “I probably wouldn’t have expressed them quite so vehemently.”

    Asked whether “justice was served” in the Michael Brown shooting case, Carson said “we never like to see death” but added, “we also have to understand that people have to take responsibility for some of their own actions” (meaning Brown, not Officer Darren Wilson).

    Finally, Carson weighed in on President Barack Obama’s reaction to Ferguson and other racially-charged incidents over the last few years. “I probably, had I been him, would not have gotten involved in the first place,” Carson said. “We have to allow our system to work without biasing things, and we really should never take sides in these issues while the legal process is in the process of playing out.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    CNN Panel Devolves into Shoutfest over Garner Chokehold Non-Indictment
    by Andrew Kirell | 3:59 pm, December 3rd, 2014

    Just what America needed: A cable news shoutfest over the grand jury decision not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

    CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin and TheBlaze’s Real News co-host Tara Setmayer squared off Wednesday in the aftermath of the Staten Island jury decision, and boy did it get tense and unnecessarily loud. Lots of hand-waving, cross-talking, and talking-past-each-other goodness that we’ve come to love from cable news.

    To summarize: Hostin thinks there’s no good reason Officer Pantaleo shouldn’t at least see a trial for Garner’s death; Setmayer said we need to respect the jury process, and that since none of us were physically there (despite the lengthy, excruciating video), we can’t truly judge the situation without police evidence. Oh, and CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos later joined via satellite to suggest that despite the chokehold being forbidden by NYPD guidelines, it is not “criminal,” strictly speaking.

    Host Brooke Baldwin tried, on a few occasions, to calm the situation, but it was not easy.

  34. rikyrah says:

    NYC Mayor on Garner Decision: ‘Centuries of Racism’ Brought Us to Today
    by Josh Feldman | 6:20 pm, December 3rd, 2014

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke today on the Eric Garner grand jury decision, bringing up the “black lives matter” refrain and saying people repeat it because, frankly, it just needs to be said more. De Blasio expressed his heartfelt sorrow for Garner’s family and how no family should have to go through what they did.

    The mayor even made the case a little personal, talking about his own son Dante and how he worries about his safety every day. “This is now a national moment of grief,” he said. “A national moment of pain.” He even went so far as to say, “We are dealing with centuries of racism that have brought us to this day.”

    De Blasio pledged police reform and crackdowns on officers “who don’t live up to the values of the uniform” and again called for peaceful, non-violent protest.

    The mayor also relayed that the investigation by U.S. Attorney (and possible next Attorney General)Loretta Lynch will move forward.

  35. rikyrah says:

    Taegan Goddard @politicalwire
    Former RNC chief Michael Steele on jury decisions: “Well clearly a black man’s life is not worth a ham sandwich”
    6:54 PM – 3 Dec 2014

  36. rikyrah says:

    Michael Tracey @mtracey 8m8 minutes ago
    Gov. Andrew Cuomo could have appointed a special prosecutor to handle the Eric Garner case, but chose not to do so… …

  37. rikyrah says:

    How Police Unions and Arbitrators Keep Abusive Cops on the Street

    Officers fired for misconduct often appeal the decision and get reinstated by obscure judges in secretive proceedings.

    …These are just a small selection of cases drawn from recent headlines. Yet they alone illustrate why reform is so important. Would you want your town policed by these men?

    Society entrusts police officers with awesome power. The stakes could not be higher when they abuse it: Innocents are killed, wrongly imprisoned, beaten, harassed—and as knowledge of such abuses spreads, respect for the rule of law wanes. If police officers were at-will employees (as I’ve been at every job I’ve ever held), none of the cops mentioned above would now be walking the streets with badges and loaded guns. Perhaps one or two of them deserved to be exonerated, despite how bad their cases look. Does the benefit of being scrupulously fair to those individuals justify the cost of having more abusive cops on the street?

    I’d rather see 10 wrongful terminations than one person wrongfully shot and killed. Because good police officers and bad police officers pay the same union dues and are equally entitled to labor representation, police unions have pushed for arbitration procedures that skew in the opposite direction. Why have we let them? If at-will employment, the standard that would best protect the public, is not currently possible, arbitration proceedings should at a minimum be transparent and fully reviewable so that miscarriages of justice are known when they happen. With full facts, the public would favor at-will employment eventually.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Cleveland officer who killed boy, 12, was previously deemed unfit for duty

    The rookie Cleveland police officer who fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice last month had been deemed unfit for duty at a previous police department and was in the process of being fired when he resigned from his post, according to records released Wednesday.

    Cleveland police have said Officer Timothy Loehmann, 26, shot Tamir as the boy held a toy gun at a recreation center on Nov. 22. Video released last week of the incident shows Loehmann and his partner, Frank Garmback, driving up within feet of Rice, then Loehmann shooting him at close-range seconds later.

    Both officers were placed on paid administrative leave, and an investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

    Last week, police identified Loehmann as having fired the fatal shot. According to The Associated Press, Loehmann has been a Cleveland police officer since March. Before that, he spent five months in 2012 with the police department in the Ohio suburb of Independence, about 13 miles south of Cleveland. Four of those five months were spent in the police academy, the AP reported.

    According to Loehmann’s personnel records, released by the city of Independence, police officials were in the process of firing him when he resigned in December 2012. Supervisors described an emotionally unstable recruit with a “lack of maturity” and “inability to perform basic functions as instructed” during a weapons-training exercise.

  39. rikyrah says:

    its funny to see people Like Igloo Australia silent when these things happen… Black Culture is cool, but black issues sure aren’t huh?
    6:18 PM – 3 Dec 2014

  40. rikyrah says:

    NYT Editorial:

    New Inquiry Needed on Eric Garner’s Death

    …The imbalance between Mr. Garner’s fate, on a Staten Island sidewalk in July, and his supposed infraction, selling loose cigarettes, is grotesque and outrageous. Though Mr. Garner’s death was officially ruled a homicide, it is not possible to pierce the secrecy of the grand jury, and thus to know why the jurors did not believe that criminal charges were appropriate.

    What is clear is this was vicious policing and an innocent man is dead. Another conclusion is also obvious. Officer Pantaleo was stripped of his gun and badge; he needs to be stripped of his job. He used forbidden tactics to brutalize a citizen who was not acting belligerently, posed no risk of flight, brandished no weapon and was heavily outnumbered.

    Any police department that tolerates such conduct, and whose officers are unable or unwilling to defuse such confrontations without killing people, needs to be reformed. And though the chance of a local criminal case is now foreclosed, the Justice Department is right to swiftly investigate what certainly seem like violations of Mr. Garner’s civil rights….

  41. rikyrah says:

    Gasoline Price War Lights Up in Oklahoma City as $2 Floor Drops


    Margaret Newkirk and Lynn Doan 5 hrs ago

    It took $1.99 and about four hours for the gas war to break out in Oklahoma City.

    A month-old station in the Oklahoma capital yesterday became the first in the U.S. to sell regular gasoline for less than $2 a gallon since the recent crude oil nosedive began, according to data collected by GasBuddy Organization Inc. Cars lined up three-deep at the OnCue on Shields Boulevard — and by 4 p.m., the 44 Food Mart down the street had countered with $1.98. Other nearby competitors started chiseling pennies away too. After sunset, seven miles away in the suburb of Moore, the Broadway Food Mart had them all beat at $1.95.

    Jim Griffith, chief executive officer of OnCue Marketing LLC, said he hadn’t been reacting to oil’s tumble when he sliced 12 cents off the $2.11 that a gallon had commanded at the store before noon.

    “We just wanted to give something back to our customers,” he said. “We thought what better way than to put more money in their pockets for Christmas.”

    At a 7-Eleven across the road from OnCue, a woman who answered the phone said the store wouldn’t be lowering its price from $2.09. An hour later, it was $2.03.

  42. rikyrah says:

    Thank you, SG2. One of my all-time favorite songs!

  43. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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