Saturday, 20 July 2019

New Hampshire lawmaker says it's a 'false narrative' to call American slavery racist

A New Hampshire state legislator committed the extremely unforced error of defending slavery as not being racist in a Facebook post, then doubled down when he was called out by media.

It all started with an allegedly sarcastic reply to a Facebook post. A former Republican state representative, Dan Hynes, shared an article from Yahoo, which cited a historian who said President Donald Trump was tied for "most racist president in American history."

Hynes added the comment "LOL. This is why no one believes the media (huffpo). If Trump is the most racist president in American history, what does that say about all of the other presidents who owned slaves?"

That's all fine. Horn took things in the wrong direction, however, with his comment: "Wait, owning slaves doesn't make you racist...". In a follow-up comment, Horn wrote that "owning slaves wasn't a decision predicated on race but on economics. It's a business decision."

Horn, when contacted by HuffPost to elaborate on his position, chose to continue digging the hole he was already in.

"It's never OK to own another person," Horn said. "But to label the institution as racist is a false narrative." Horn went on to say that slave owners were not purchasing slaves based on race, but based on who was available.
"I don't see how you can say they're being racist because they bought black slaves," Horn also said.

"It wasn't 'I want to own a black person today.' It was, 'I need to feed my family. I need five guys who can work stupidly long hours in the sun without killing themselves,'" Horn argued.

These comments are shocking not only because most people who hold such views would not publicize them to national media, but also because of how ignorant they are in their sugarcoating of the nature of slavery.

It should go without saying that African slaves were "available" for purchase because they were targeted, kidnapped, and shipped across the ocean for brutal, often fatal slave labor, and the justification of that slave labor as slave owners simply needing some people to "work stupidly long hours" sells things a bit short considering slavery resulted in the deaths of millions.

A city in New York currently has two mayors, and the confusion led to the new police commissioner spending 9 hours in jail

The city of Mount Vernon, New York, currently has two mayors who each claim to be in charge of the town. The confusion led to the new police commissioner, appointed by one of the mayors, being arrested by his own officers when he showed up for work.

Just last month, Mount Vernon only had one mayor: Richard Thomas. On July 8, Thomas pleaded guilty to third-degree attempted grand larceny after he used campaign funds for personal expenses. He also pleaded guilty to second-degree offering a false statement for filing. As part of the plea deal, he agreed to step down as mayor on Sept. 30.

But just two days later, the City Council swore in Andre Wallace as acting Mayor. The council argued that once Thomas pleaded guilty, it had the right to remove him from office and replace him.

Thomas has refused to step down before September, and right now both mayors claim to be legally the one who should be in office. City officials have reportedly been siding with both mayors, adding more confusion in the city government.

"The bottom line is, I am the mayor of Mount Vernon," Thomas said defiantly on Friday, according to WABC-TV. "And the distractions and the continued antics by the City Council is just that, irresponsible antics and distractions."

Shawn Harris, who had been police commissioner before but was removed from that post by Thomas, was re-appointed as commissioner by Wallace. But not everyone in the city recognizes Wallace's authority. When Harris tried to go into his office on Tuesday, he was arrested for trespassing and spent nine hours in jail.

He told WNBC-TV that the incident was the "worst day of my life." The DA has said it will not file charges and pushed for Harris's release.
"It's been an embarrassment for me, and my family and the great city of Mount Vernon," Harris added.

The City Council is trying to clean up the political mess, voting Tuesday night to hire a law firm to navigate the mayoral mayhem. Media was denied access to the meeting.

Murderer is released after he is deemed too old to murder, but then he quickly murders again

A murderer deemed too old to commit murder is released from prison — only to murder immediately afterward.

What are the details?

On Wednesday, a Maine jury found 77-year-old Albert Flick guilty of murdering 44-year-old Kimberly Dobbie in a July 2018 incident.

Dobbie's 11-year-old twin sons were close by when Flick stabbed their mother to death outside of a Lewiston, Maine, laundromat, according to NBC News.

It wasn't his first murder, though: Flick was convicted of killing his wife nearly 40 years ago in an eerily similar attack. Flick stabbed his wife Sandra to death after she filed for divorce. She sustained multiple stab wounds to the neck and chest, and was also stabbed once through her heart.

Flick was deemed unlikely to harm anyone else after serving 25 years in prison in connection with his wife's murder, but he apparently was not too old to commit murder.

After his 2004 release, he was convicted of punching and stabbing a woman — said to be a girlfriend — in 2007. He was later convicted for assaulting and threatening another woman with whom he reportedly had a relationship in 2010.

According to The New York Times, a prosecutor urged a judge to sentence Flick to eight years in prison, insisting that Flick was a danger to women. The judge, however, cut the sentence in half and only sentenced Flick — who was in his late 60s at the time — to just four years imprisonment.

Judge Robert E. Crowley said, "At some point, Mr. Flick is going to age out of his capacity to engage in this conduct, and incarceration beyond the time he ages out doesn't seem to me to make good sense from a criminological or fiscal perspective."
Crowley is now retired, but Dobbie's children no longer have a mother.

'He never should have been on the streets.'

Elsie Kimball Clement, Sandra Flick's daughter, said that "there is no age that is 'too old' to commit murder."

"He never should have been on the streets," she insisted.
With an apparent predisposition to violence toward women, Flick's attack on Dobbie was frighteningly familiar.

Prosecutors said that Flick was obsessed with Dobbie, who was homeless and living in a shelter with her twin sons. Flick met her at a local library, and began pursuing her.

Katharyn Cormier, who lived at the same shelter as Dobbie, said that Flick followed her around and would even take his meals at the shelter in order to be near the mom. Dobbie, who was "plain out of money," according to Cormier, took Flick's help whenever he offered to help feed her 11-year-old sons.

"[A]ny mother's going to accept that," Cormier told the Times.

Flick's friendliness apparently became too overbearing, and Dobbie eventually ended up asking him to leave her alone. She ended up securing her own home, but a day before she and her sons were to move in, Flick made it clear that he would refuse to comply with her wishes. He ended up fatally stabbing Dobbie outside the laundromat the very day before she was to move into her own home.

According to NBC News, Dobbie was "stabbed 14 times and the wounds penetrated her heart and a lung, a state medical examiner testified."

What's next?

Bud Ellis, an assistant attorney general, told jurors during Wednesday's trial that Flick thought to himself, "If I can't have her, I will kill her."

Flick faces 25 years to life in prison. His sentencing hearing is set for Aug. 9.
Prosecutors reportedly plan to request that Flick stay behind bars for the duration of his life.

Study: Adolescent males become 'abortion beneficiaries,' get better educations after sex partners terminate pregnancies

A new study by University of Utah researchers claims adolescent males become "abortion beneficiaries" — in that they get better educations — after their sex partners terminate their pregnancies.

What are the details?

The study — published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and led by Bethany G. Everett, an assistant professor in the school's sociology department — looks at "the social contracts at play and how abortions benefit individuals beyond the patient," the school noted in a news release.

"It is important that we recognize the stigma women who have abortions and abortion providers face, yet there are people — namely, their male partners — who reap the benefits of this emotional labor and about whom we never talk," Everett said. "What we found is that women's use of abortion during adolescence increases the likelihood that their male partners will graduate from college."

The term "abortion beneficiaries" was used by Katie Watson in "Scarlet A: The Ethics, Law and Politics of Ordinary Abortion," the release noted.

"One in four women will have an abortion by the time she is 45 years old, and in almost all cases there is a male partner," Everett said. "Restricting access to abortion will not only negatively impact women, but has far reaching damaging effects for partners and families."

More from the release:
In the U study, the researchers analyzed data on men who reported a pregnancy before the age of 20 that ended in either a live birth or an abortion from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, collected in 1994. They then looked at follow-up data on college completion and income reported between 2007 and 2008 by the same group of men.

Of the men who reported a live birth, about a third completed any form of post-high school education and approximately 6% graduated from college.

Among men who reported a pregnancy that ended in an abortion, 59% completed post-high school education and 22% completed college.

Interesting discovery

However, researchers said the financial status of adolescent males who reported a live birth and lived with their children and males who reported an abortion were comparable — and better than males who reported live births but weren't living with their children, the release said.

"This could be driven by the fact that the men who have stable incomes are more likely to maintain a relationship with a partner and live with their children and have an extra push to be wage earners," Everett said.

The men who live with their children also may experience a "fatherhood bump" from employers who see them as more reliable and employable because of their parenthood, the release added.

"Given what we know about the links between education and future income, it is likely that the wage gap will widen as these men age, allowing men whose partners reported abortions to continue to reap financial benefits from access to abortion," Everett also said.

School district to parents: Pay your lunch debt, or your kids could end up in foster care

A school district in Pennsylvania has warned parents of the consequences for not paying their student lunch accounts: Their kids could be taken away.

What are the details?

WNEP-TV reported Wyoming Valley West School District recently sent out letters to some 1,000 parents owing balances for their children's lunch accounts, in an effort to collect on the delinquencies. A district representative told the Citizens' Voice the average amount owed is $22.

But roughly 40 parents received a letter threatening that the district would report them to child services over their alleged neglect. The district's director of federal programs, Joseph Muth, wrote:

"Your child has been sent to school every day without money and without a breakfast and/or lunch. This is a failure to provide your child with proper nutrition and you can be sent to Dependency Court for neglecting your child's right to food. The result may be your child being taken from your home and placed in foster care."

One administrator explained to WNEP that the letter's purpose was to "put parents on notice that the district intends to collect the lunch money it is owed."

District Solicitor Charles Coslett also defended the foster-care threat to The Voice, saying he was prepared to take legal action against the parents and even cross examine them over whether they spend money on unnecessary things.
But school board vice president David Usavage was appalled by the foster-care threat, saying, "When I first read the letter, the top of my head almost came off."

According to NBC News, Luzerne County Manager David Pedri issued a statement condemning Muth's warning, saying, "Foster care is to be utilized only when absolutely needed — when a child has been abused, is in need or has suffered a tragedy. Our foster care system is NOT to be utilized to scare parents into paying school lunch bills."

Anything else?

Wyoming Valley West School District is scrambling to collect $20,000 in total outstanding school lunch balances before this fall, when all of the district's students begin receiving "free" lunch for the next five years under a federal program, the Dayton Daily News reported.

Following outrage over the foster care threats, the district has backed off and promised to issue apologies to the parents who received threatening letters.

'America: Love It or Leave It': Pastor says he'll keep church sign up amid President Trump's 'go back' remarks to leftist congresswomen

Pastor E. W. Lucas of Friendship Baptist Church in Appomattox, Virginia, has been changing out the church's roadside sign — typically to reflect his upcoming sermons — since 1979, WSET-TV reported.

And this time he told the station he had it mind to "make some remarks regarding the situation in Washington."

Then he said the phrase "just came to me. I just said, 'America? I love it. If you don't love it, leave it," WSET said.

Now the church sign reads, "America: Love it or Leave It" — and just like that it's getting attention well beyond Appomattox, as even the Associated Press has taken note of the sign.

The situation in the nation's capital is presumably related to accusations of racism against President Donald Trump after he challenged progressive Democratic congresswomen who criticize America to "go back" to the countries "from which they came."

Trump's comments were apparently directed at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, as well as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), who were born in America.

What's been the reaction to the church sign?

WSET said hundreds of people have expressed their support and opposition to the sign, but Lucas is accentuating the positive.
"Since we've had favorable comments on it, I thought I'd just leave it a while," he told the station.

Lucas also seemed to echo Trump's sentiments.

"People that feel hard about our president ... and want to down the president and down the country and everything, they ought to go over there and live in some of these other countries for a little while," he added to the station.

And don't hold your breath waiting for him to get concerned about offending somebody.

"Preachers by and large today are afraid they're gonna hurt somebody's feelings, and when I get in the pulpit, I'm afraid I won't hurt somebody's feelings," Lucas told WSET.

Friday, 19 July 2019

Days After Attack on ICE Facility, Dems Demand More Security for Themselves

On the heels of an Antifa attack on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in Tacoma, Washington, Democrats called for increased protection for members of Congress instead of focusing on the increasingly violent acts stemming from some of their own supporters.
Lawmakers on Thursday called for enhanced security for each other after expressing concern about a chant that broke out during President Donald Trump’s Wednesday night rally in Greenville, North Carolina, according to The Hill.
“Send her back, send her back!” the crowd roared after Trump hammered Rep. Ilhan Omar in his rally speech.
Texas Rep. Al Green used the House floor to announce his intent to introduce legislation that would provide tighter security for rank-and-file Democrats, which would include members of “the squad.”
“This is an important time in this country. These are dangerous times. Every member of this House needs additional security,” Green said. “Leadership has adequate security. Members do not have adequate security. I want to thwart the efforts of those who might want to harm a member of this House.” 
His call for legislation comes a day after a vast majority of lawmakers shot down his attempt to impeach Trump for what he perceived as racially-motivated attacks on Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues.
The Hill said that reporters asked Omar if she felt threatened after the Trump rally.
“This is not about me. This is about fighting for what this country should be and what it deserves to be,” Omar replied.
Ocasio-Cortez had a different take when she said on Thursday that she was, in fact, concerned for her security. She played the same old, tired race card and blamed Trump for targeting her and “the squad.”
“Of course. I think part of the point is to target us,” she said. “The president is evolving, as predicted, deeper into. … the rhetoric of racism which evolves into violence.”
Though she didn’t provide specific details, Ocasio-Cortez said the caucus is “having conversations” about what they perceive as increased security concerns.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson even sent a letter to Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger on the topic of security after Trump’s controversial tweets over the weekend that encouraged the lawmakers to “go back” to their countries of origin if they hate America so much.
I have sent a letter to the US Capitol Police, urging for member security procedures to be re-evaluated immediately.
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“Being proactive in this instance is vital to the safety of not only these targeted members, but all members of Congress,” Thompson wrote.
The Hill reported that Thompson hadn’t received a response, but that he was ready to double down on the request after Trump’s Wednesday night rally, in which he planned to “just to highlight the ongoing threat, that what the president is saying is not helping the safety of members.”
But amazingly, none of those Democratic politicians mentioned anything about actual acts of violence that members of the far-left Antifa have committed on a somewhat regular basis.
The latest incident, of course, was the firebomb attack on the ICE facility in Tacoma. Before that, there was the brutally violent attack on conservative journalist Andy Ngo by a group of masked, Antifa thugs.
The firebomb attack came after lawmakers like Ocasio-Cortez dramatically exaggerated conditions in which migrants are being held in within ICE holding facilities.
Customs and Border Protection acting Commissioner Mark Morgan recently said, during an interview on Fox News, that he firmly believes that attack and future attacks are a direct result of the rhetoric coming from lawmakers like Ocasio-Cortez.
“Why is this happening? We know why it’s happening. The rhetoric that’s out there from our own elected leaders,” Morgan said.
“They are attacking the men and women of ICE. They are attacking the men and women of CBP. It’s unjust, it’s unfair, it’s misinformed — and outright, sometimes they are just lying to the American people, and it’s undoubtedly fueling this.”
But Democrats would rather use a chant from a Trump rally to drum up fear about their own safety. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

It would be nice if they would stop trying to score cheap and lazy political points with their base and focus on the real catalyst of political violence right now: Their own words.