Monday Open Thread | Remembering #MichaelBrown

remembering mike brown 2FERGUSON, Missouri  Hundreds of people gathered Sunday morning at the memorial of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen who was shot dead in the middle of the street by a white police officer exactly one year ago.

Teddy bears and candles now mark the memorial on Canfield Drive where the community’s outrage to Brown’s death planted the seeds of protests that would grow into a national movement decrying police violence.

Flanked by other families who have lost loved ones at the hands of police, Michael Brown Sr. led the crowd to pause in silence at 11:55 central – the exact time the unarmed teen was shot and killed. He stood in silence for four and a half minutes, representing each hour his son’s body was left in the street.

“Just wanted to give all my love to my family, friends, my people, my new friends, my my world,” he said.

Elenore Humphrey, a student in St. Louis, described the gathering as a powerful and solemn moment, the air still thick with raw emotion.

“It’s loss. It’s remorse. But it’s also anger. All of the emotions you don’t want to have,” she said. “All of the emotions that a lot of people have the privilege to ignore.”

From the memorial site, Brown’s family locked arms as they marched in the relentless summer heat, pausing for another four and a half minutes before pressing forward toward Greater Saint Marks Church, a place that became a central safe haven for protest groups in the aftermath of last summer’s unrest. Hundreds of people followed behind them, a diverse crowd that ranged the spectrum.

“This is so much more integrated. It used to be very localized. This is regional. This is national,” said Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who represents Ferguson. “There are more people engaged in St. Louis. Hopefully they can turn into activists.”

To his friends and family he was known as “Big Mike,” a gentle giant who loved rap and turn beats. He had just finished summer school at Normandy High and was looking forward to his first day of college at a trade school nearby.

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.
This entry was posted in Civil Rights, Corruption, Criminal Justice, Current Events, Department of Justice, discrimination, Gun Violence, Human Rights, Institutional Racism, Jim Crow laws, Justice for Michael Brown, Open Thread, Police bruality, Protests, Racial Bias, Racial Profiling, Racism, White Supremacy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

116 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Remembering #MichaelBrown

  1. eliihass says:

    “Most Americans think about what needs to change in other countries but they need to solve their own problems,” Shiferaw Tilahun, 31, tells me in a coffee shop in Addis Ababa.

    “They are interested in other people’s problems but they don’t care about black people in their own country,” Shiferaw says. “Most of our black brothers and sisters are suffering in the US,”
    It was clear in both countries that the issue of race, more than any other, had damaged people’s perceptions of the US.

    “Police brutality, all these killings, everything being swept under the rug, investigations don’t happen. They definitely have to do something about that and stop the violence,”

    In both Kenya and Ethiopia, it was a recurring theme when we asked what “tough love” might need to go in the US’ direction, with people saying they felt personally “offended,” “hurt” and “insulted” by the treatment of African Americans that they had seen reported.

  2. sunshine616 says:

    If u are running for president and have nothing to say about what you are going to do with the mafia in blue, I don’t wanna have shit to do with you.

  3. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    ShordeeDooWhop ‏@Nettaaaaaaaa
    “Sitting in that cell with the other women and the white women telling us they didn’t get searched, zip ties weren’t tight..”

  4. Lisa Bloom on How the Legal System Failed in Ferguson.

  5. rikyrah says:

    Eric Schultz ‏@Schultz44 2h2 hours ago
    Senator @amyklobuchar announces her support for #IranDeal via @StarTribune… …

  6. rikyrah says:

    uh huh

    uh huh

    hat tip: BJ

    A Washington Post reporter who was arrested at a restaurant last year while reporting on protests in Ferguson, Mo., has been charged in St. Louis County with trespassing and interfering with a police officer and ordered to appear in court.

    Wesley Lowery, a reporter on The Post’s national desk, was detained in a McDonald’s while he was in Missouri covering demonstrations sparked by a white police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black 18-year-old.

    A court summons dated Aug. 6 — just under a year after Lowery’s arrest — was sent to Lowery, 25, ordering him to appear in a St. Louis County municipal court on Aug. 24. The summons notes that he could be arrested if he does not appear.

    “Charging a reporter with trespassing and interfering with a police officer when he was just doing his job is outrageous,” Martin Baron, executive editor of The Post, said in a statement Monday. “You’d have thought law enforcement authorities would have come to their senses about this incident. Wes Lowery should never have been arrested in the first place. That was an abuse of police authority.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Bipartisan Report
    JUST IN:
    #Ferguson protestor blocking highway 70 body slammed by police.

  8. Got to get this dirt off me, Got to get this dirt off me…
    The trolls are coming at me. They’re hating on me hard.

  9. Ferguson and stlcountypd haven’t quenched their thirst for blood. They’re terrorizing & killing black people with impunity.

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      Three hours ago Deray tweeted this:

      deray mckesson ‏@deray 3h3 hours ago
      Permission granted to use all videos and tweets.

      • sunshine616 says:

        What in the ever living fuck????? Where is our potus???? He is needed immediately. The police are destroying the constitution with their arrogance and violence. As a country, we look like fucking hypocritical fools.

    • Liza says:

      They’re looking for trouble, trying to incite folks so they can shoot someone and say it was justified. What percentage of cops currently employed in Ferguson and STL were there a year ago? I suspect it is mostly the damn bunch and they have nothing to worry about. Those DOJ reports don’t hurt them.

    • sunshine616 says:

      I have nothing to say but, what the fuck?

  10. rikyrah says:

    Is Trump Done? No.

    ByJosh Marshall
    Published August 9, 2015, 11:51 AM EDT

    Over the weekend, we’ve seen a growing consensus that Donald Trump has finally done it: gone too far and killed his rising campaign for the Republican nomination. Ezra Klein and Nate Silver argue that Trump has finally picked a fight he cannot win for a very simple reason: So far Trump has built himself up by attacking “elites” and institutions base Republicans don’t trust and feel grievances against. But now he’s picked Fox News, which polls show and as Ezra and Nate note, Republicans trust in very high numbers. He can’t win a battle over fairness with an institution base Republicans trust more than anyone else.

    I don’t agree. This is all too literal.

    I should preface everything I say here: I could totally be wrong. I think there’s a decent chance I am wrong. And with his day two “blood” escalation, I do wonder whether he’s finally induced a critical mass of disgust and vulgarity sufficient to sink him. But again, I don’t think so.

    Conservatives trust Fox News over and against other media organizations. It’s still an elite institution run by people in and of New York City. I don’t think it wins points against attacking a man, who is presenting himself as a conservative, for making demeaning remarks against women. He called Rosie O’Donnell fat and ugly and the crowd at the GOP debate loved it.

    In response to Chuck Todd’s question “Do you want to apologize?” this morning, Trump said, “What I said was totally appropriate. There was nothing wrong. Only a deviant, and I literally mean that, only a deviant would think anything other than that.”

  11. And here we go…The Klan can protest & get an escort frm law enforcement. Black ppl protest, A State of Emergency.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Another picture that terrifies me.

    Hailstones batter Delta plane’s nose cone and windshield

    No passengers injured as plane from Boston to Salt Lake City forced to land in Denver, but nose cone and windshield severely damaged

  13. rikyrah says:

    Why Tom Cruise’s ‘Mission: Impossible’ Scored But Other Starry Summer Movies Flopped
    MOVIES | By Todd Cunningham on August 9, 2015 @ 6:02 pm

    “Rogue Nation” posts second straight weekend win, bucking a trend of box office misfires led by former A-listers like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Adam Sandler and Mark Wahlberg
    Who says A-list movie stars don’t matter at the box office anymore?
    This weekend, Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” withstood a challenge from “Fantastic Four” and ruled the worldwide box office for the second straight week, taking in $29 million domestically and adding another $65.5 million overseas. That lifts its total grosses to $109 million domestic, $157 million overseas.
    “Rogue Nation”s’ performance bucks a trend that has emerged in recent years as superhero sagas and high-concept franchises dominate the list of top-grossing films, while movies with well-known stars have struggled.
    Cruise’s last three action vehicles — “Jack Reacher,” “Oblivion” and “Edge of Tomorrow” — all yielded disappointing box office returns. (His last bona fide hit was the last “Mission: Impossible” entry, 2011’s “Ghost Protocol.”)

  14. Liza says:

    Bernie Sanders’ New Racial Justice Platform Wins Praise From Black Lives Matter Activists
    by Alice Ollstein Aug 10, 2015 11:12am

    After activists from the Black Lives Matter movement repeatedly disrupted speeches by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) over the past few weeks, the popular and populist presidential candidate released a comprehensive racial justice platform and hired a young racial justice activist as his national press secretary.

    The platform, which has won praise from several prominent voices in the Black Lives Matter movement, focuses on different forms of violence against people of color in the United States: physical violence from law enforcement and extremist vigilantes, the political violence of voter suppression, the legal violence of the War on Drugs and mass incarceration, and the economic violence of crushing poverty. Sanders lays out several proposals to address each form of violence, from passing “ban the box” laws to prevent hiring discrimination against people with criminal records, to outlawing for-profit prisons, to restoring the gutted protections in the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

    Though Sanders has been involved in civil rights work since his college days, he has come under pressure from black activists since launching his bid for president. Having represented the overwhelmingly white state of Vermont for most of his life, Sanders has often struggled to specifically address racial justice issues with the urgency the movement is demanding — an urgency fueled by the fact that an unarmed black person has been killed by police, on average, every nine days this year.

    The activists who interrupted Sanders’ speech in Seattle over the weekend said his “blatantly silencing response” at the Netroots Nations conference in July — when he reacted to an interruption from Black Lives Matter by threatening to leave instead of listening to their message — as their motivation. The Seattle leaders blasted both Sanders and his supporters for failing to show concern about the forces harming people of color in their own community, from the school-to-prison pipeline to police violence to gentrification.

    Yet Sanders has not been the sole target of protesters. Activists also shouted down former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) at the Netroots Nation conference in July, demanding he and the audience acknowledge the recent death of Sandra Bland in police custody. Instead, he replied: “Black lives matter, white lives matter, all lives matter.” He also presented a history of his record as mayor of Baltimore that conveniently left out the zero tolerance policing that disproportionately targeted residents of color.

    O’Malley then apologized for saying “all lives matter” and a few weeks later, he released his own detailed criminal justice reform plan, saying: “For too long, our justice system has reinforced our country’s cruel history of racism.”

    Though Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has brought up police violence and racism in several speeches, she has yet to release a detailed platform, a fact that black activist leaders have noticed and called out.

    On the other side of the political spectrum, GOP candidates in the 2016 race have been largely dismissive of the movement.

    • Liza says:

      This is the first part of the statement on Bernie’s Sander’s campaign website. The whole statement is at the link.

      Bernie Sanders on Racial Justice

      We must pursue policies that transform this country into a nation that affirms the value of its people of color. That starts with addressing the four central types of violence waged against black and brown Americans: physical, political, legal and economic.

      Physical Violence
      Perpetrated by the State
      Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Samuel DuBose. We know their names. Each of them died unarmed at the hands of police officers or in police custody. The chants are growing louder. People are angry and they have a right to be angry. We should not fool ourselves into thinking that this violence only affects those whose names have appeared on TV or in the newspaper. African Americans are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.

      Perpetrated by Extremists
      We are far from eradicating racism in this country. In June, nine of our fellow Americans were murdered while praying in a historic church because of the color of their skin. This violence fills us with outrage, disgust, and a deep, deep sadness. Today in America, if you are black, you can be killed for getting a pack of Skittles during a basketball game. These hateful acts of violence amount to acts of terror. They are perpetrated by extremists who want to intimidate and terrorize black and brown people in this country.

      Addressing Physical Violence
      It is an outrage that in these early years of the 21st century we are seeing intolerable acts of violence being perpetuated by police, and racist terrorism by white supremacists.

      A growing number of communities do not trust the police and law enforcement officers have become disconnected from the communities they are sworn to protect. Violence and brutality of any kind, particularly at the hands of the police sworn to protect and serve our communities, is unacceptable and must not be tolerated. We need a societal transformation to make it clear that black lives matter, and racism cannot be accepted in a civilized country.

      We must demilitarize our police forces so they don’t look and act like invading armies.

      We must invest in community policing. Only when we get officers into the communities, working within neighborhoods before trouble arises, do we develop the relationships necessary to make our communities safer together. Among other things, that means increasing civilian oversight of police departments.

      We need police forces that reflect the diversity of our communities.

      At the federal level we need to establish a new model police training program that reorients the way we do law enforcement in this country. With input from a broad segment of the community including activists and leaders from organizations like Black Lives Matter we will reinvent how we police America.

      We need to federally fund and require body cameras for law enforcement officers to make it easier to hold them accountable.

      Our Justice Department must aggressively investigate and prosecute police officers who break the law and hold them accountable for their actions.

      We need to require police departments and states to provide public reports on all police shootings and deaths that take place while in police custody.

      We need new rules on the allowable use of force. Police officers need to be trained to de-escalate confrontations and to humanely interact with people who have mental illnesses.

      States and localities that make progress in this area should get more federal justice grant money. Those that do not should get their funding slashed.

      We need to make sure the federal resources are there to crack down on the illegal activities of hate groups.

      Read more

  15. rikyrah says:

    the tickle me


    Poll: Obama wouldn’t win a third term

  16. rikyrah says:

    How Rand Paul defines ‘income inequality’
    08/10/15 10:40 AM—UPDATED 08/10/15 12:12 PM
    By Steve Benen
    Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) tax plan is impossible to take seriously. The Republican presidential candidate intends to eliminate the deficit, approve trillions of dollars in new tax breaks, and impose a regressive flat-tax system, all at the same time. It’d be funny if it weren’t so sad.

    But the proposal isn’t just arithmetically challenged. On “Fox News Sunday” yesterday, host Chris Wallace asked Paul about “fairness.”
    WALLACE: [T]alking about the Tax Foundation and what they say. Under your plan, a family making from $50,000 to $75,000 a year would get a 3 percent rise in income. Sounds pretty good. But a family making more than $1 million a year would get a 13 percent rise in income. Question, doesn’t your plan massively increase income inequality?

    PAUL: Well, the thing is income inequality is due to some people working harder and selling more things. If people voluntarily buy more of your stuff, you’ll have more money. And it’s a fallacious notion to say, ‘Oh, rich people get more money back in a tax cut.’ If you cut taxes 10 percent, 10 percent of $1 million is more than 10 percent of $1,000. So, obviously, people who paid more in taxes will get more back.
    The Democratic National Committee liked the exchange so much, the party quickly posted a video of it online.

    And it’s not hard to understand why. Let’s unwrap this a bit.

  17. rikyrah says:

    August 10, 2015 10:30 AM

    Is the Economy Improving Enough to Take That Bullseye Off Democrats?
    By Ed Kilgore

    Whether you are a poli sci-influenced fundamentalist or a game-changey Politico-reading phenomenologist when it comes to what you think determines presidential elections, you’ll probably agree the direction of the economy matters an awful lot. To put it simply, brightening economic prospects (or more accurately, perceptions of economic prospects) lifts what might have been a millstone from the Democratic Party after eight years of controlling the White House. So what Paul Krugman noted from last Thursday’s debate could actually be the most important takeaway:

    There was remarkably little economic discussion at the debate, although Jeb Bush is still boasting about his record in Florida — that is, his experience in presiding over a gigantic housing bubble, and providentially leaving office before the bubble burst. Why didn’t the other candidates say more? Probably because at this point the Obama economy doesn’t look too bad. Put it this way: if you compare unemployment rates over the course of the Obama administration with unemployment rates under Reagan, Mr. Obama ends up looking better – unemployment was higher when he took office, and it’s now lower than it was at this point under Reagan.

    O.K., there are many reasons to qualify that assessment, notably the fact that measured unemployment is low in part because of a decline in the percentage of Americans in the labor force. Still, the Obama economy has utterly failed to deliver the disasters — hyperinflation! a plunging dollar! fiscal crisis! — that just about everyone on the right predicted. And this has evidently left the Republican presidential field with nothing much to say.

  18. rikyrah says:

    Does ‘Tyrant’s’ Bassam have a messiah complex?
    by Monique Jones, Community Contributor @moniqueblognet
    Aug 6, 2015 | 6:30PM

    If you’re no stranger to my Tyrant recaps, then you’re probably aware that I have some issues with Bassam. Bassam is an interesting character, in that he’s as much a villain as he is a hero. I suppose most heroes, like Batman and Superman, can be viewed like this, because like Bassam, many comic-book heroes have messiah complexes. Bassam exhibits his on a routine basis, and it’s his messiah complex that will be examined in this post.

    The show’s original setup is that Bassam, like The Godfather‘s Michael Corleone, wanted out of “the family business,” but when faced with his father’s death, fell back into the family business in an attempt to make it honest. However, once you enter the business, you quickly learn that staying aboveboard doesn’t cut it, and you shift back into a life of crime.

    This presents the audience with the question of whether a person’s life is affected by free will or by their ties to their family. Does what runs in your blood determine your fate, or do your actions? I’m on board with the premise. As a character, Bassam is following the Michael Corleone path: He wants to turn his family to the straight and narrow (or so he says).

    But there is a place where the two characters diverge. Both characters want to reclaim honor and power, but while Michael is still working from the perspective of keeping the Corleone family the most powerful crime family in America, Bassam wants to completely annihilate his family (proverbially speaking) and put himself in place as the most powerful person in the Middle East, if not the world.

  19. White Supremacy loves to call blk ppl lazy. But went all the way to Africa and kidnapped people to labor for free? Tell me again who’s lazy?

  20. rikyrah says:

    Budget deficit to reach seven-year low
    08/10/15 10:00 AM—UPDATED 08/10/15 10:01 AM
    By Steve Benen

    Almost exactly two years ago, then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) insisted that members of Congress should be “focused on trying to deal with the ultimate problem, which is this growing deficit.”

    Even at the time, Cantor’s rhetoric didn’t make any sense – the deficit was shrinking quickly, not growing. Two years later, however, it’s almost amusing to realize how little we’ve heard about the deficit lately. The Hill reported the other day on the latest CBO projections:
    The budget deficit for 2015 is expected to drop to roughly $425 billion, according to a report released Friday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

    That’s down from the $486 billion the CBO projected in March. If it drops to $425 billion by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, it would be a seven-year low for the government’s annual budget shortfalls.
    I looked for press releases from the “Obama is turning us into Greece!” crowd, eager to see them celebrate President Obama’s striking record on deficit reduction, but so far, nothing has turned up. Maybe they’re busy.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Rubio Sharpens Position on Reproductive Rights
    By Steve Benen
    In last week’s debate for Republican presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) answer to a question on abortion left some ambiguity as to what possible exemptions the far-right senator supports. His position has since come into much sharper focus.

    The day after the debate, Rubio told CNN, in response to a question about impregnated by rapists, “I personally and honestly and deeply believe that all human life is worthy of protection irrespective of the circumstances, in which, that human life was created.”

    The Florida Republican elaborated further on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday:
    “I personally and deeply believe that all human life is worthy of the protection of our laws, I do. And I believe that irrespective of the conditions by which that life was conceived or anything else, and for me to be consistent on that belief, that’s why I feel so strongly about it.”
    In other words, Rubio’s position is simple: no abortions, no exceptions.

    Pressed further by host Chuck Todd, Rubio argued that the number of abortions resulting from rape are “very small.” He added that while such instances are “horrifying and they’re tragic… I also recognize that because of the existence of over-the- counter morning after, not to mention medical treatment that’s now available immediately after the assault that should be widely available to victims, we can bring that number down to zero.”

    Rubio appeared to be referring to access to emergency contraception. For context, let’s not overlook the fact that Rubio has also supported restrictions on women’s access to contraception.

    Taking a step further, on the issue of possible life-of-the-mother exemptions, Rubio questioned whether medicine has advanced so far that there are “any instances in which only an abortion could save a mother’s life.”

  22. rikyrah says:

    A Children’s Illustrator Is Losing Fans Because Of Her Anti-Racist Art

    “There are no words to express how little I care if I lose every bigoted, racist, homophobic and/or sexist follower I have.”
    Aug. 8, 2015, at 3:17 p.m.

    Illustrator Mary Engelbreit has made many fans for her work in stationery, home goods, and children’s books for over 30 years.

    But today, some of those fans are not so happy with anti-racist artwork she’s posted on her Facebook as a tribute to Michael Brown, who was killed nearly a year ago.

  23. rikyrah says:

    but but but…he’s the ‘smart one’.


    Jeb Bush Says Notorious Sexist Erick Erickson Is ‘On The Side Of Women’
    BY JUDD LEGUM AUG 8, 2015 2:50PM

    Friday night, blogger Erick Erickson rescinded Donald Trump’s invitation to appear at the “RedState Gathering,” a conservative conference in Atlanta. Erickson made the move after Trump said in an interview that he was asked tough questions by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly because she was menstruating.

    Erickson, however, has a long history of extremely sexist comments. He has repeatedly stated his belief that women, in general, should not work. He said men should play “the dominant role” and women earning the primary paycheck is “bad for kids and bad for marriage.” He specifically cheered Trump’s sexist and mean-spirited attacks on Rosie O’Donnell. He supported the exclusion of women from Augusta National Golf Club, saying “I don’t want to be hanging out at some women’s event!” The list goes on and on.

    Jeb Bush appeared at the RedState Gathering on Saturday and pronounced that Erickson was “on the side of women.”

  24. When black people have to think of ways to come out of their house in order to avoid police so they can go to work, school etc. That’s terrorism! Shut down the Ferguson police department. Too much damaged has been done. Trust is gone forever.

  25. rikyrah says:

    Jeb Bush flubs another test on women’s issues
    08/10/15 08:40 AM
    By Steve Benen
    Donald Trump, caught up in an ugly mess of his own making, tried to divert attention away from his own controversy on women’s issues with a related argument: Jeb Bush is the one who really has a problem with women.

    It was, of course, a self-serving argument – but that doesn’t mean it was wrong.

    On Friday night, Trump touched off a firestorm of controversy, saying in reference to Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” It prompted RedState’s Erick Erickson to disinvite Trump from an event for Republican presidential candidates in Atlanta on Saturday.

    But Jeb Bush attended that gathering, stood alongside Erickson, and made a curious proclamation. ThinkProgress reported over the weekend:
    Jeb Bush appeared at the RedState Gathering on Saturday and pronounced that Erickson was “on the side of women.”

    Erickson tried to distinguish his own comments from Trump’s by claiming he has apologized. But he only apologized for one sexist remark – referring to the first day of the Democratic National Convention, which featured female speakers, as the “Vagina Monologues.”
    So, let me get this straight. Looking back over the last few days, Jeb Bush said, “I’m not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.” The former governor then made accusations against Planned Parenthood that were demonstrably untrue. He then stood alongside a right-wing media personality with a lengthy record of misogyny and said, “You’re on the side of women.”

    It’s almost as if the Florida Republican is trying to alienate voters.

  26. rikyrah says:

    Documents Reveal the Fearmongering Local Cops Use to Score Military Gear From the Pentagon

    Confronting school shooters and terrorists? More like patrolling Packers games, pot-heads, and the local beach.
    Sun Aug. 9, 2015 8:00 AM EDT

    One year ago this week, hundreds of camouflaged officers in Ferguson, Missouri bore down on residents protesting the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager named Michael Brown.

    Riot cops, their faces sometimes concealed by gas masks, fired off tear gas canisters, and as they stood on top of hulking, mine-resistant vehicles, they appeared to train their assault rifles on the crowds. On some nights, they greeted demonstrators with a storm of rubber bullets.

    Images of this chaos provoked a furious debate over the billions of federal dollars that have helped local police forces amass combat style weapons, trucks, and armor. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), echoing concerns from across the political spectrum, fumed that “lawful, peaceful protesters did not deserve to be treated like enemy combatants.”

    Law enforcement agencies responded by stoking old fears. No community, they argued, not even the smallest one, is safe from worst-case scenarios like mass shootings, hostage situations, or terrorist attacks. The use of this military equipment has resulted in “substantial positive impact on public safety and officer safety,” Jim Bueermann, the president of the Police Foundation, a research group, said in a 2014 Senate hearing on police militarization. He cited hostage situations, rescue missions, and heavy-duty shootouts where the vehicles had come in useful.

    But in private, police justify these same programs in radically different ways.

    “This is a great example of how police as an institution talk to each other privately, versus how they talk to the public and journalists who might raise questions about what they’re doing with this equipment.”

    Mother Jones obtained more than 450 local requests, filed over two years, for what may be the most iconic piece of equipment in the debate over militarizing local police: the mine resistant ambush protected vehicle, or MRAP.* And an analysis of these documents reveals that in justifying their requests, very few sheriffs and police chiefs cite active shooters, hostage situations, or terrorism, as police advocates do in public.

    Instead, the single most common reason agencies requested a mine-resistant vehicle was to combat drugs. Fully a quarter of the 465 requests projected using the vehicles for drug enforcement.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Right uncomfortable with its Iran deal bedfellows
    08/07/15 01:05 PM
    By Steve Benen
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) conceded yesterday that he’s not altogether comfortable with the rhetorical volume surrounding the debate over the Iran deal. Is McConnell troubled by Ted Cruz’s insistence that the White House is a state-sponsor of terrorism? Maybe the Majority Leader balked at Mike Huckabee’s repulsive Holocaust rhetoric?

    Actually, McConnell told reporters, “What is not helpful is rhetoric like the president has been using.”

    That’s right, in Republican circles, it’s President Obama whose language has gone too far. At issue were these presidential remarks at American University this week:
    “I recognize that resorting to force may be tempting in the face of the rhetoric and behavior that emanates from parts of Iran. It is offensive. It is incendiary. We do take it seriously. But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts, or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. Just because Iranian hardliners chant ‘Death to America’ does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe.

    “In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting ‘Death to America’ who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.”
    Listening carefully to the president’s tone, my guess is that the final phrase was ad-libbed, but whether it was in the prepared text or not, it quickly struck a nerve with Republicans. McConnell obviously didn’t appreciate the comment, and it came up in last night’s debate, too.

    So, will the White House backtrack after hurting GOP officials’ feelings? So far, not even a little.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Opinion: Valerie Jarrett story is not a case of ‘so what?’

    Written By Andy Shaw Posted: 08/09/2015, 04:00pm

    Valerie Jarrett is a powerhouse with a killer resume: Trained lawyer, prominent Chicago business and civic leader, valued mayoral appointee, corporate and volunteer board member, frequent mentor, Obama family friend, and senior presidential advisor since 2009

    It also invited the scrutiny of watchdogs like the Better Government Association, whose mission is to shine a light on government leaders and hold them accountable.

    Recently, our award-winning Washington, D.C. reporters, Chuck Neubauer and Sandy Bergo, did just that — breaking a story about Jarrett that appeared in the Sun-Times — and here’s an excerpt:

    “Valerie Jarrett… personally benefited from an income tax ‘loophole’ that she has worked to close because Obama says it unfairly helps the ‘wealthy and well-connected.’

    “The precise amount of the break Jarrett received under the controversial ‘carried interest tax loophole’ is not known, but the Better Government Association estimated it could have saved her $200,000 or more.

    “The loophole was applied to Jarrett’s earnings from a 2013 Chicago real estate deal involving a $160 million luxury apartment high-rise – earnings that topped $1 million and came while she was working for the White House as a senior advisor to the president.”

  29. rikyrah says:

    Claypool targets own CPS staff with $1M in salary cuts

    Written By Fran Spielman Posted: 08/09/2015, 11:00pm

    Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool is taking a 20 percent whack at his executive budget — and laying off nine senior aides drawing $1 million in salaries — to dramatize the sacrifice needed to put more money into the classroom.

    Claypool ordered the largely symbolic cuts as he prepares to unveil a 2016 budget that assumes CPS will receive $500 million in pension help from Springfield. Help that may never come.

    Without it, Claypool has said he would have no choice but to order another round of “unsustainable” borrowing and mid-year budget cuts that would dramatically hurt students.

  30. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  31. Die JimCrow! Die!

  32. RAW: The actual moment of Ferguson shooting

    • eliihass says:

      Next thing you know, that short cop with hate in his eyes and a Napoleon complex to boot, will be shooting that kid dead for being taller than him…

  33. Good morning, Chicas!

    Here we go again. On the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death, another shooting in Ferguson.

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