The economy’s vital signs are stronger than they have been in years. Companies are posting jobs faster than they can find workers to fill them. Incomes are rising. The stock market sets records seemingly every month.
The latest evidence of the revival came Friday, when the Labor Department reported that American employers added 228,000 jobs in November. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent, the lowest since 2000. Job growth has slowed since its peak in 2014 but remains remarkably steady: For the first time on record, employers have added jobs every month for more than sevcen years – 86 months to be precise.
That strength could also pose challenges, particularly in light of the $1.5 trillion tax cut that Congress could pass as early as this month. Economists expect the tax bill to provide at least a modest lift to the economy — but they are not sure that’s a good idea.
With unemployment so low and the economy fundamentally healthy, a tax cut could lead the economy to grow too quickly, pushing up inflation and forcing the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than planned.
For now, however, the figures present a political opportunity for President Trump, who ran for office on a promise to revive the American economy.
At 3:30 a.m. Monday, May 28, 2012, Miami-Dade County Police Officer Luis Perez drove his squad car through the Hammocks area of West Kendall on a hot and humid morning. He passed a teenager, later identified as 16-year-old Sebastian Gregory, wearing a baggy black sweater, black pants, beanie cap, black shoes, and what Perez later claimed was a gun sticking out of the teen’s pants. Perez claimed Gregory reached for the supposed gun while he was lying on the ground, so the officer fired six rounds into the teenager’s back.
The gun turned out to be a metal baseball bat.
Gregory miraculously survived and sued MDPD in April 2013 for using excessive force and violating his civil rights. But before he could see the case to its end, he killed himself in January 2016 after struggling for years with medical problems stemming from his wounds, including a paralyzed leg.
Gregory’s father, Andres, continued to fight in court. Though Officer Perez initially succeeded in having the case killed, on November 17, Gregory’s family won a judgment against the cop and the police department in a federal appellate court and succeeded in reopening the case, which will now proceed with a full trial.
The judge in the case suggested police will have tough questions to answer about why Perez shot an unarmed teen so many times as he lay on the ground.
“This case involves not just any battery — such as punching, kicking, or beating — but an egregious, aggravated battery of shooting Gregory with a firearm in the back,” federal circuit Judge Frank Hull wrote. “Under Gregory’s pled facts, there is not even a pretense of a lawful right to shoot Gregory in the performance of Officer Perez’s duties.”
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Source Article from http://filmingcops.com/case-reopened-miami-teen-killed-cops-shot-six-times-back/
The New York Times eventually came around to publishing a review of a book it published in June grandly titled Obama: The Call of History, a photo book with text by Times reporter Peter Baker. Their Sunday reviewer was Rutgers professor James Goodman, who gushed like a good liberal Democrat about how much his late mother would have loved this coffee-table valentine:
I cannot look at Peter Baker’s extra-large and lavishly illustrated history of the Obama years without thinking of my mother. She supported Hillary Clinton in 2008, but after the convention she put two Barack Obama stickers on the bumper of her red Prius and they were still there the day she died, in December 2012, six weeks after she voted for him again. She was passionate about politics, and intensely partisan, and if cancer had not killed her, Trump’s candidacy might well have — long before election night.
But if she were here, she would buy a dozen copies of Obama: The Call of History, lay them out on her coffee table and all over her house, and then not have the heart to crack the cover.
This is why it’s funny when anyone still pretends the Times isn’t a daily diary for Democrats. Even they know their fans have Obama stickers on their Prius bumpers, and they make books for those people. Goodman, who calls himself “a non-observant Jewish pantheist as appalled as anyone on earth by right-wing politics masquerading as religion,” still offers a bit of worship on Obama’s integrity:
It isn’t easy. A mere 11 months since Inauguration Day, these photographs evoke not just the previous administration but, seemingly, another age. It does not matter what Obama is doing. He might be editing a speech on health care, sitting stone-faced in the Situation Room as Navy Seals approached Osama bin Laden’s compound, working out with a disabled veteran, consoling the mother of a child killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting after Congress blocked gun control legislation, bending over in the Oval Office so that a curious 5-year-old could touch his hair or hugging a victim of Hurricane Sandy. Integrity like his cannot be photoshopped or feigned. In Obama’s company on the Jersey Shore, even Chris Christie looks like a mensch.
Goodman pays tribute to Peter Baker’s “determination to be fair” (and balanced), but Baker also insisted Obama was loaded with personal integrity. An August 20 book review in The Washington Post by leftist Michael Eric Dyson elaborated:
Baker, the chief White House correspondent for the New York Times, spends the bulk of his book writing about Obama’s accomplishments — getting the economy on good footing after the greatest financial collapse since the Depression, bailing out the automobile industry, passing a health-care overhaul, killing Osama bin Laden — and his virtues, above all “a self-discipline that, for all the controversies, allowed him to emerge from eight years in office without a hint of personal scandal.”
So lying for days about the Benghazi terrorist attack being caused by a YouTube video isn’t worth mentioning. Claiming “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” with Obamacare was awarded “Lie of the Year” by the PolitiFact liberals in 2013, but that’s not a “hint” of an integrity problem for Mr. Call of History.
Goodman concluded by looping back around to die-hard Dems like his mother (and the liberal media myth-makers):
The first thing that happened to Obama’s political legacy was the election of Donald J. Trump, who promised to undo his signature achievements. Time will tell. Obama’s reputation is another matter. Trump has already been good for that. Obama’s favorability rating has risen steadily since January. And very likely not since tributes to the assassinated John F. Kennedy will a book of photographs of a president so recently departed make millions of Americans want to cry.
Miami, FL — A Miami teenager who was shot six times by police, committed suicide in 2016 after suffering from years of pain. The judge in Sebastian Gregory’s civil case just ruled in favor of the teen, posthumously, and the case into the intentional shooting by a Miami police officer will now be reopened.
Gregory was just 16 years old when Miami-Dade County Police Officer Luis Perez made contact with him in the early morning hours of May 28, 2012. Perez ordered the teenager to get onto the ground, face down—an order with which Gregory did comply.
Perez claimed he believed the teenager had a gun and was reaching for it, so he decided to kill Gregory by shooting him in the back six times. The ‘gun’ turned out to be a baseball bat.
However, Gregory did not die, and Perez was not charged with attempted murder. However, his actions that night would eventually lead to the death of Gregory. Instead of dying instantly in the hail of gunfire, Gregory died a slow death of pain and depression. One of his legs was paralyzed, and he felt constant pain as a result of the shooting.
The Miami New Times described Gregory’s pain and suffering:
…although doctors feared Gregory would never walk again, he did eventually regain the use of one leg and was able to move around using a walker. But one leg remained paralyzed. He also told the TV station he became sexually impotent and said he also missed walking his dogs to the park and playing sports with his friends. His mother, Amalia, told NBC that her son was depressed and had trouble getting out of bed. After fighting multiple rounds of court appeals, Gregory killed himself January 16, 2016.
Judge Frank Hull announced a judgment in the case, awarding Gregory’s family with an undisclosed amount of money. Potentially of more interest to the family were Hull’s comments about the shooting.
This case involves not just any battery — such as punching, kicking, or beating — but an egregious, aggravated battery of shooting Gregory with a firearm in the back.
Hull also claimed that Officer Perez had no legal basis for shooting the child in the back. “Under Gregory’s pled facts, there is not even a pretense of a lawful right to shoot Gregory in the performance of Officer Perez’s duties,” Hull wrote.
He stated that by shooting Gregory in the back, Perez violated the young boy’s constitutionally protected Fourth Amendment rights.
…shooting a non-resisting suspect who has done nothing threatening and thus posed no immediate danger violates the Fourth Amendment right to be free from the use of excessive force…InsteaD, Gregory Wobbled.
The teenager testified earlier that the baseball bat was causing him discomfort, and he moved to readjust the bat. It should also be noted that Officer Perez had a previous interaction with the teenager, having arrested him on another occasion for being in possession of the same baseball bat, as well as a knife. On the near-deadly encounter, however, he claimed he believed the teen to be in possession of a firearm.
Hull’s comments now call into question Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s decision to clear the officer of any wrongdoing in 2014. In fact, she has cleared every officer of wrongdoing, who has been involved in an officer-involved shooting, since 1993 when she took office as the State’s Attorney. The appellate judge’s comments now serve as a reminder that the State’s Attorney is also supposed to arrest and try police officers when their actions are found to be criminal.
The judgment and reopening of the case against their son’s killer will do nothing to get Gregory back. Andres Gregory, the boy’s father, is extremely upset that Perez has kept his job as a police officer. He said:
He shot a kid…My son was 16 years old, and [Perez is] in the street like nothing happened. I’m afraid for the other kids on the street and what could happen to them.
The boy’s stick figure drawing and written description tell the horrifying tale of his life after encountering one of Miami’s finest. “This was me when I was 16,” Gregory wrote. “All I see is pain. All I feel is loneliness.”
Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/boy-kills-stop-hurting-cop-shot-back/
The New York Times quickly came under fire from its own liberal audience Sunday for an article profiling a neo-Nazi in New Carlisle, Ohio, near Dayton. It wasn’t a puff piece – the headline was “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” on page A-16 – but Times reporter Richard Fausset did call the subject, Tony Hovater, “the Nazi sympathizer next door, polite and low-key.” One photo showed Hovater shopping in a Safeway.
By lunchtime, the “Reader Center” of the Times had posted a reaction piece headlined “Readers Accuse Us of Normalizing a Nazi Sympathizer; We Respond.” Marc Lacey offered a big “We Hear You” response:
“How to normalize Nazis 101!” one reader wrote on Twitter. “I’m both shocked and disgusted by this article,” wrote another. “Attempting to ‘normalize’ white supremacist groups – should Never have been printed!”
Our reporter and his editors agonized over the tone and content of the article. The point of the story was not to normalize anything but to describe the degree to which hate and extremism have become far more normal in American life than many of us want to think.
We described Mr. Hovater as a bigot, a Nazi sympathizer who posted images on Facebook of a Nazi-like America full of happy white people and swastikas everywhere.
We understand that some readers wanted more pushback, and we hear that loud and clear.
Here’s a snippet of the Fausset article, to give you a flavor:
There are times when it can feel toxic to openly identify as a far-right extremist in the Ohio of 2017. But not always. He said the election of President Trump helped open a space for people like him, demonstrating that it is not the end of the world to be attacked as the bigot he surely is: “You can just say, ‘Yeah, so?’ And move on.”
… He is the Nazi sympathizer next door, polite and low-key at a time the old boundaries of accepted political activity can seem alarmingly in flux. Most Americans would be disgusted and baffled by his casually approving remarks about Hitler, disdain for democracy and belief that the races are better off separate. But his tattoos are innocuous pop-culture references: a slice of cherry pie adorns one arm, a homage to the TV show Twin Peaks. He says he prefers to spread the gospel of white nationalism with satire. He is a big Seinfeld fan.
Conservatives would argue that liberal newspapers love to over-indulge in fear of some metasizing “far right” organizing in the hinterlands. Hovater founded a fascist party, and the Times turned to Marilyn Mayo at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, to estimate his Traditionalist Worker Party had a few hundred members at most. Is that really newsworthy? The Times could have avoided all this trouble if it wasn’t trying so hard to highlight a tiny minority.
Conservatives might find it amusing (if not surprising) that the debate over the worth of this article was all based on the reactions from the left, so the Times knows who its “base” audience is:
Some readers did see value in the piece. Shane Bauer, a senior reporter at Mother Jones and a winner of the National Magazine Award, tweeted: “People mad about this article want to believe that Nazis are monsters we cannot relate to. White supremacists are normal ass white people and it’s been that way in America since 1776. We will continue to be in trouble till we understand that.”
But far more were outraged by the article. “You know who had nice manners?” Bess Kalb, a writer for [ABC’s] Jimmy Kimmel Live, said on Twitter. “The Nazi who shaved my uncle Willie’s head before escorting him into a cement chamber where he locked eyes with children as their lungs filled with poison and they suffocated to death in agony. Too much? Exactly. That’s how you write about Nazis.”
One can understand the Kimmel writer’s point: Manners are overrated, and Kimmel doesn’t specialize in them. The Times was polite in only running her @BessBell tweets that weren’t stuffed with F-bombs. Like this one: “I don’t mean to sound intolerant or coarse, but fuck this Nazi and fuck the gentle, inquisitive tone of this Nazi normalizing barf journalism, and fuck the photographer for not just throwing the camera at this Nazi’s head and laughing.”
And: “Fuck the Nazi’s house and fuck the Nazi’s name and fuck the Nazi’s faux intellectual books and fuck this editor for not replacing this awful headline with ‘White Male Inferiority Complex Incarnate Who Advocates for Murderous Racial Cleansing Buys Groceries, Too!'”
Back to Lacey, letting a Washington Post editor slam its competitor:
Others urged us to focus our journalism less on those pushing hate and more on those on the receiving end of that hate. “Instead of long, glowing profiles of Nazis/White nationalists, why don’t we profile the victims of their ideologies?” asked Karen Attiah, an editor at The Washington Post. “Why not a piece about the mother of Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed in Charlottesville? Follow-ups on those who were injured? Or how PoC [people of color] are coping?”
Maybe Lacey was too slammed for time to rebut this with: did you honestly think the Times didn’t report on Heather Heyer’s mother? Lacey concluded: “We regret the degree to which the piece offended so many readers. We recognize that people can disagree on how best to tell a disagreeable story. What we think is indisputable, though, is the need to shed more light, not less, on the most extreme corners of American life and the people who inhabit them. That’s what the story, however imperfectly, tried to do.”
Twitter should begin to think of itself, and its users, as a community, and it should look to the community for determining the rights of people on the platform…The better you used the service — where ‘better’ is determined, as much as possible, based on how others react to your account — the more status you’d earn, and the more you’d be allowed to do.
It ought to consider a radical, top-to-bottom change like this: Instead of awarding blue checks to people who achieve some arbitrary level of real-world renown, the company should issue badges of status or of shame based on signals about how people actually use, or abuse, Twitter. In other words, Twitter should begin to think of itself, and its users, as a community, and it should look to the community for determining the rights of people on the platform.
Is someone making a positive contribution to the service, for example by posting well-liked content and engaging in meaningful conversations? Is an account repeatedly spreading misinformation? Is it promoting or participating in online mobs, especially mobs directed at people with fewer followers? Did it just sign up two days ago? Is it acting more like a bot than a human? Are most of its tweets anti-Semitic memes? Can the account be validated with other markers of online reputation — a Facebook account or a LinkedIn profile, for instance? And on and on.
As many as 10 members of the gang MS-13 stabbed a man more than 100 times in a Maryland park, ripped out his heart and buried him, officials say.
Court documents released Wednesday reveal gruesome details about the killing of a man officials in Montgomery County still have not been able to identify.
Miguel Angel Lopez-Abrego, 19, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
A ranking gang member told police Lopez-Abrego was the first person to stab the victim, court documents say.
The informant said that he, Lopez-Abrego and eight other MS-13 gang members lured the victim to Wheaton Regional Park this spring. For about two weeks, they planned how to get the man to go from the Annapolis area to Wheaton because they planned to kill him and dispose of his body, the informant told police.
Lopez-Abrego helped dig a grave for the victim and used a walkie-talkie to tell the other gang members when the victim had arrived, the informant told police.
Then, the gang members choked him, stabbed him more than 100 times, decapitated him and dismembered him, the informant said. They ripped his heart from his chest and threw it into the grave they dug for him.
On Sept. 5, the informant led detectives to the body. The man’s remains were where the informant said they would be, and he had injuries consistent with the torture the informant described.
Lopez-Abrego was found in North Carolina on Nov. 11 and arrested on a first-degree murder warrant. He has been extradited to Montgomery County.
Police are still working to identify the victim. In September, investigators released several photos of clothing and a rosary that were found with him.
The items included a rosary, a sweatshirt with a Methodist church logo and a pair of blue shorts. You can see the photos on the Montgomery County Police website.
Police say the victim was a Hispanic man who was about 5 feet 2 inches tall and 126 pounds. He had short, dark brown hair. He was missing a bottom tooth, and police believe he was living in the Annapolis area.
Anyone with information is asked to call 240-773-5070.
Sixteen years after Bush Snr launched his so-called ‘war on terror’ an untold number of civilians have been killed by disease, illness and by the US and UK-led military campaign
In February 2003, Elliott Abrams, a US official convicted of lying to Congress over the Iran-Contra affair but cleared by President George HW Bush, spoke to the media about the impending invasion of Iraq, ordered by Bush’s son.
Abrams claimed in his remarks about “humanitarian reconstruction” – six priorities had driven the planning. “The first is to try to minimise the displacement and the damage to the infrastructure and the disruption of services,” he said. “And the military campaign planning has had – has been tailored to try to do that, to try to minimise the impact on civilian populations.”
It didn’t turn out that way. Sixteen years after Bush launched his so-called “war on terror”, millions of people’s lives have been turned upside down, Isis has been allowed to fester and spread, and Iraq is a nation at risk of fracturing apart. Moreover, an untold number of innocent civilians have been killed – by disease, illness, in gruesome tortures performed by local and foreign insurgents, and by the US and UK-led military campaign that Abrams and others vowed would be surgical.
In recent days, the US has been again forced to address the painful issue of civilian casualties following the publication of a investigation by the New York Times, which found that, contrary to the claims of the Pentagon, as many as one-in-five coalition air strikes on Isis targets in Iraq in 2014, resulted in civilians deaths. That figure was 31 times higher than what the US has acknowledged.
The Pentagon has hit back at the report; it insists it takes great care in preparing for and carrying out military strikes, and investigates all claims of civilian casualties. It says it believes 786 civilians have been unintentionally killed by coalition strikes since the operations against Isis started in June 2014.
“The unfortunate death of civilians is a fact of war that weighs heavy on our hearts,” said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon.
Asked about the total of civilians killed since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Pahon told The Independent he doubted he could provide such a figure. He referred inquiries to the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, the name of the operation against Isis. There was no immediate response.
The truth is that nobody knows how many civilians have been killed in Iraq since George W Bush and Tony Blair launched an invasion that was sold to the world, not as a means to simply topple Saddam Hussein, but to seize the weapons of mass destruction they claimed he had. That is one of its many enduring tragedies.
Comment: Weapons which they claimed he had, but he didn’t, and they knew it. All those people died because of a lie.
The militaries of both the US and Britain kept painstaking records of its soldiers killed in both Afghanistan and Iraq – 2,280 and 4,491 for the US, and 455 and 179 for Britain. Yet, they have never tried to make an overall tally of Iraqi civilian deaths or those killed in other theatres.
Over the years, there have been various attempts to come up with a figure. One of the first was the Iraq Body Count (IBC), a British project that maintained a tally of casualties based on media reports. Yet as the IBC has admitted, its figures are based on reports in the media, which were themselves limited in scope and detail.
Two reports conducted by the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, used extrapolation based on epidemiology, and were published in The Lancet. The first, published in 2004, estimated that at least 100,000 Iraqis had been killed as a result of the war.
The second, published in 2006, suggested the figure had risen to near 650,000. The British and US governments criticised the findings but those involved defended the methodology. In 2015, a report by Physicians for Social Responsibility suggested the total may have passed one million.
The truth of the matter is that nobody knows. The figure could be one million, it could be two million.
And when you add the civilian casualties in Afghanistan and other places where the “war on terror” has played out – Yemen, Pakistan, Mali, Niger, Somalia and the Philippines – it becomes even more of a guessing game. In many of these places, there are not even the rudimentary efforts, such as that attempted by the IBC.
One thing that is so striking about what was said in 2003 and what is being said now, is the language employed by US officials. Pahon, the Pentagon spokesman, stressed how everything was done to “limit harm to non-combatants and civilian infrastructure”.
Back in 2003, Abrams had vowed: “We hope to discourage population displacement through – partly through an information campaign, and partly by efforts to provide aid rapidly and restore public services rapidly.”
War has always been a dirty, dangerous business. People should not pretend otherwise.