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Breaking: Suspect Arrested in Houston Islamic Center Arson

Darryl Ferguson named as suspect
US News • Views: 22,406

Just coming across the news sites now — a suspect has been arrested in Houston in connection with the arson attack against an Islamic center.

Houston arson investigators have made an arrest in the early morning fire Friday at an Islamic center on the city’s southeast side, fire department officials said late Monday.

Darryl Ferguson, 55, of Houston, has been charged with felony first degree arson for the fire, according to HFD investigators.

The arrest was announced at a 6 p.m. news conference at HFD’s arson headquarters.

Investigators say the suspect “rolled up on his bicycle” to speak to them about the fire during an on-scene investigation Monday.

UPDATE at 2/16/15 4:53:07 pm by Charles Johnson
UPDATE at 2/16/15 5:01:28 pm by Charles Johnson

More details at ABC13: HFD: Arrest Made in Islamic Center Fire in SE Houston.

The Houston Fire Department says the suspect, 55-year-old Darryl Ferguson, was charged with first-degree felony arson in connection to the Friday morning fire at the Quba Islamic Institute.

Officials say Ferguson approached detectives on his bike as they were canvasing the area around the center following the fire; Ferguson asked if they’d like to talk to him, so authorities invited him back to their office for voluntary questioning. Officials say it was then he admitted to starting the fire.

Officials say Ferguson, who lives near the center, has a previous criminal history.

Investigators confirmed last week an accelerant was used to spark the blaze, but still haven’t said the motive behind the fire.

Three Muslims Shot Dead Near University of North Carolina - Update: Caused by Parking Dispute?

US News • Views: 20,903

This is horrible - the victims seem like they were all just really good people. The suspected shooter’s facebook page has a lot of anti-religion postings, and he describes himself as an anti-theist. See the update tweet below, it appears that this could boil down to a parking dispute, or perhaps that plus bias, something we will likely never get to the bottom of.

A suspected gunman has been charged with the triple murder of three Muslim family members near a university campus in North Carolina, officials said early Wednesday.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, shot dead a second-year dentistry student, his wife, and her sister in an apartment complex near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, local police said.

Police did not release any information about the possible motive for the alleged crime.

Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad, 19, were found dead at the scene by officers who responded to reports of gunfire just after 5:00 p.m. Tuesday in the town 20 miles northwest of Raleigh. The Charlotte Observer reported that all three victims were Muslim.

More: Three Muslims Shot Dead Near University of North Carolina: Report - NBC News.com

UPDATE at 2/11/15 7:02:40 am by Thanos

After all is said and done it could just be road rage:

…and if you view the replies at that tweet and at twitter in general you can see that social media is full of people trying to use this horrific event to bolster their limited and somewhat pathetic worldviews and conspiracy mindsets.

Meanwhile the family of the victims does think there is more to it, and it sure wouldn’t hurt to investigate if there are hate motives involved.

Also See

Republican Net Neutrality Bill Would Gut FCC’s Authority Over Broadband

By Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica
US News • Views: 23,862

Net neutrality legislation unveiled by Republicans today would gut the ability of the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the broadband industry.

As expected, the bill forbids the FCC from reclassifying broadband as a common carrier service, preventing the commission from using authority it has under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. This is the statute the FCC uses to regulate landline telephone providers.

The bill—full text here—also targets a portion of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Section 706 of the Act instructs the FCC to accelerate deployment of broadband to all Americans “by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market.” The FCC is considering using this authority to preempt state laws that limit the rights of cities and towns to build broadband networks.

That will be off the table if Republicans get their way. The bill text amends communications law “to prohibit the Commission or a State commission from relying on section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as a grant of authority.” It also defines broadband as an “information service,” preventing the FCC from treating broadband providers as common carriers.

More: Republican Net Neutrality Bill Would Gut FCC’s Authority Over Broadband

Darren Wilson Grand Juror Sues Prosecutor McCulloch for “Mischaracterizing” the Case

The fix was in
US News • Views: 26,536

Here’s a fascinating bit of news from Ferguson, Missouri, where one of the grand jurors in the Darren Wilson case is suing prosecutor Bob McCulloch, saying he presented a distorted picture of the case to the jurors and the public.

The grand juror, referred to only as “Grand Juror Doe” in the lawsuit, takes issue with how McCulloch characterized the case. McCulloch released evidence presented to the grand jury and publicly discussed the case after the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, then a Ferguson police officer, in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American.

“In [the grand juror]’s view, the current information available about the grand jurors’ views is not entirely accurate — especially the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges,” the lawsuit says. “Moreover, the public characterization of the grand jurors’ view of witnesses and evidence does not accord with [Doe]’s own.”

“From [the grand juror]’s perspective, the investigation of Wilson had a stronger focus on the victim than in other cases presented to the grand jury,” the lawsuit states. Doe also believes the legal standards were conveyed in a “muddled” and “untimely” manner to the grand jury.

What Did Mayor De Blasio Say to Get the NYPD So Angry?

They can’t handle the truth
US News • Views: 35,738

With the remarkable disrespect shown to New York’s Mayor de Blasio by the NYPD recently, it’s instructive to go back and reread what de Blasio said that sent New York’s finest into such paroxysms of rage. Via Michael Tomasky:

This is profoundly personal for me. I was at the White House the other day, and the president of the United States turned to me, and he met Dante a few months ago, and he said that Dante reminded him of what he looked like as a teenager. And he said, I know you see this crisis through a very personal lens. I said to him I did. Because Chirlane and I have had to talk to Dante for years, about the dangers he may face. A good young man, a law-abiding young man, who would never think to do anything wrong, and yet, because of a history that still hangs over us, the dangers he may face—we’ve had to literally train him, as families have all over this city for decades, in how to take special care in any encounter he has with the police officers who are there to protect him.

That’s it, folks; the cause of all this anger and disrespect.

NYPD Throws Public Tantrum at Funeral

Grotesque
US News • Views: 23,291

Do any of the cops who participated in this ugly public tantrum understand how crass and unsympathetic it makes them look? Police Outside Cop Funeral Turn Backs on NYC Mayor.

NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of officers outside the church where a funeral was held for a policeman killed along with his partner in an ambush shooting turned their backs on the mayor as he spoke during Saturday’s service.

NYPD Labor Union Declares “We Have Become a Wartime Police Department”

Bad craziness
US News • Views: 28,151

YouTube

A sociopathic career criminal goes on a rampage in Brooklyn, shoots his girlfriend and two police officers, then kills himself. Then the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, Patrick Lynch, goes on television and blames Mayor de Blasio and the “Black Lives Matter” protesters for it.

One killer on a rampage is now equal to every protester against police brutality. It’s beyond outrageous.

And even worse — now the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association is actually ranting about being a “wartime police department:” Updates on Fatal Shooting of Two N.Y.P.D. Officers.

A statement purporting to be from the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the biggest police union, blamed Mr. de Blasio for the shootings.

“The mayor’s hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words, actions and policies,” read the statement, “and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a ‘wartime’ police department. We will act accordingly.”

They’re declaring war on the protesters? Because of one crazed individual who is already dead?

The usually buried systemic racism is right on the surface now. It’s getting really ugly out there.

UPDATE at 12/21/14 1:19:49 pm by Charles Johnson

The PBA is now denying they issued the “wartime” memo. But even if they didn’t, as you can see from the video above, their public rhetoric is every bit as inflammatory as the now-disputed memo.

Here’s the full text of the memo in question:

At least two units are to respond to EVERY call, no matter the condition or severity, no matter what type of job is pending, or what the option of the patrol supervisor happens to be. IN ADDITION: Absolutely NO enforcement action in the form of arrests and or summonses is to be taken unless absolutely necessary and an individual MUST be placed under arrest. These are precautions that were taken in the 1970’s when Police Officers were ambushed and executed on a regular basis. The mayors hands are literally dripping with our blood because of his words actions and policies and we have, for the first time in a number of years, become a ‘wartime’ police department. We will act accordingly.

Torture: Not Only Was It Evil and Immoral, It Didn’t Work

Senate’s torture report concludes these debased practices achieved nothing
US News • Views: 32,227
Image via Shutterstock

Dick Cheney and many other Bush administration officials were lying about torture, and now we have proof.

After reviewing thousands of the CIA’s own documents, the committee has concluded that torture was ineffective as an intelligence-gathering technique. Torture produced little information of value, and what little it did produce could’ve been gained through humane, legal methods that uphold American ideals.

I had long since come to that conclusion myself. As special agent in charge of the criminal investigation task force with investigators and intelligence personnel at Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, and Iraq, I was privy to the information provided by Khalid Sheik Mohammed. I was aware of no valuable information that came from waterboarding. And the Senate Intelligence Committee—which had access to all CIA documents related to the “enhanced interrogation” program—has concluded that abusive techniques didn’t help the hunt for Bin Laden. Cheney’s claim that the frequent waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed “produced phenomenal results for us” is simply false.

The self-defeating stupidity of torture might come as news to Americans who’ve heard again and again from Cheney and other political leaders that torture “worked.” Professional interrogators, however, couldn’t be less surprised. We know that legal, rapport-building interrogation techniques are the best way to obtain intelligence, and that torture tends to solicit unreliable information that sets back investigations.

Yes, torture makes people talk—but what they say is often untrue. Seeking to stop the pain, people subjected to torture tend to say what they believe their interrogators want to hear.

The report is essential because it makes clear the legal, moral, and strategic costs of torture. President Obama and congressional leaders should use this opportunity to push for legislation that solidifies the ban on torture and cruel treatment. While current law prohibits these acts, US officials employed strained legal arguments to authorize abuse.

Ferguson Protesters Met With Hecklers, Confederate Flag in Rural Missouri

The heart of Missouri
US News • Views: 33,180

Youtube Video

Demonstrators marching from Ferguson to Missouri’s capital to protest the police shooting death of Michael Brown were met with opposition as they passed through a rural town.

Television station KRCG reports that some people in Rosebud shouted obscenities and held signs telling them to “go home” and someone put an empty bottle of beer, a melon and some fried chicken in the path of the protestors.

The Columbia Missourian reports that at least one person displayed a Confederate flag, and the back window of a bus traveling with the marchers was broken by a bullet.

More: Ferguson Protesters Met With Hecklers, Confederate Flag in Rural Missouri

Also See

Watch: Eric Holder Announces DOJ Will Pursue Civil Rights Investigation in Garner Death

US News • Views: 34,567

MSNBC

Here’s Eric Holder’s announcement that the justice department will launch a civil rights investigation into the chokehold death of Eric Garner.

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 Frank says:

People make a lot of fuss about my kids having such supposedly 'strange names', but the fact is that no matter what first names I might have given them, it is the last name that is going to get them in trouble. -- From the Real Frank Zappa Book - Mr. Dad chapter