AUSTIN - Teachers would be able to use deadly force against students, and would be safe from prosecution, under legislation filed last week in the state House.
The Teacher’s Protection Act by Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, would allow educators to use force or deadly force if they feel they need to protect themselves against a student or anyone else on school grounds. It also allows teachers to use deadly force to protect school property, and to avoid prosecution “for injury or death that results from the educator’s use of deadly force.”
The bill was filed just days before a video of a New Jersey physics teacher being body slammed by his 9th grade student went viral. In the video, it’s clear the teacher is avoiding fighting back or touching the student.
And you thought the anti-vaxxers were idiots.
The Oscar winner and lifestyle maven has been touting the benefits of vaginal steam treatments on her GOOP website, your go-to destination for $40 underpants and tastefully mystical bromides. In singing the praises of holistic spa Tikkun, Paltrow enjoins her readers to get the Mugwort V-Steam.
“You sit on what is essentially a mini-throne,” she writes, “and a combination of infrared and mugwort steam cleanses your uterus, et al. It is an energetic release—not just a steam douche—that balances female hormone levels. If you’re in LA, you have to do it.”
Ladies of Los Angeles, you most certainly do not have to do this. Those of you who live elsewhere need not grieve your deprivation.
Let’s start with the idea that one’s uterus needs cleansing. (I’m a bit distracted by that “et al” there. Does Paltrow think her fallopian tubes are getting tidied up in the process, too?) It does not. The female reproductive tract does not need to be cleaned at all. In fact, methods of feminine cleansing like douching can do more harm than good. Women should no more steam their vaginas than flush them with Lysol.
The Town of Longview Texas is mourning the death of a 17-year-old woman, Kristiana Coignard, after police officers shot multiple times and killed Coignard inside the lobby of the police station.
The events were captured on video inside the station, but there’s a whole lot more to the story (I’m using the tweets, rather than the direct link to the video for those who’d rather not watch the footage).
the footage is particularly disturbing as police officers had the situation in hand, then proceeded to shoot this woman
This is the third such officer-involved shooting death in Longview this year alone. That should raise alarm bells, but so too should how this shooting incident developed. It doesn’t appear that anyone ever handcuffed Coignard. The initial responding officer managed to control Coignard at least twice - on the floor and on a chair, so he clearly could manage to handle her without using deadly force, but when two other officers showed up, suddenly it was necessary to use deadly force.
The Department is claiming that she brandished a butcher knife, but I didn’t make anything out given the angle from which the video was taken. It is possible that she did have a weapon, but if that’s the case, then why did the officer not handcuff and carry out a proper search of Coignard when the initial responding officer managed to get her seated?
This officer managed to have physical control of her, and the situation, and yet despite additional cops arriving in the lobby to assist, this same officer then shot and killed Coignard.
A Longview police spokesperson, Kristie Brian, told the Guardian there are currently no plans to make footage available to the public [the footage has since become available as seen by the YouTube video above]. She declined to confirm the type of weapon Coignard allegedly brandished but said the department expects to release more details about the shooting later this week. The Texas Ranger Division is investigating the incident.
Brian said Longview officers “are trained in all kinds of different situations”, including dealing with people with mental health problems, and that the county has a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), which sees specially trained officers dispatched to urgent psychiatric situations. She said she did not know whether the three officers currently on leave had been CIT-trained.
Coignard is the third person - and the third young person - shot dead by Longview police in less than a year. No charges were filed by a grand jury against three officers who killed a 15-year-old robbery suspect during a shootout last March. A 23-year-old cook with a history of making threats died in August after a routine traffic stop went awry.
Three-and-a-half hours south, in Houston, the 2012 death of Brian Claunch had exemplified the potential for tragedy when police with limited training encounter a troubled individual in a pressurised situation. Though Houston has a widely praised CIT programme, two officers without that experience were called to a care home one night when Claunch, a schizophrenic, wheelchair-bound double amputee, started behaving erratically.
Police said that he grew violent and cornered an officer while waving a shiny object in their direction. Matthew Marin shot the 45-year-old in the head. The object proved to be a ballpoint pen. In June 2013, a grand jury declined to bring charges against the officer.
That year a police officer in Dallas was dismissed from his job, and indicted by a grand jury in 2014, after he shot a mentally ill man who was holding a knife but standing still several yards away. The encounter lasted less than 30 seconds from the officers’ arrival to the gunfire.
A 2013 joint report by the Treatment Advocacy Center and the National Sheriffs’ Association found that while no national data is officially collected on fatal police shootings of the mentally ill, “multiple informal studies and accounts support the conclusion that ‘at least half of the people shot and killed by police each year in this country have mental health problems’.”
And instead of doing all we can to make sure that they get proper treatment, those that are encountered by cops have a disturbing tendency to end up dead. Coignard had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had twice attempted suicide previously, but had never been violent towards anyone but herself.
The police and mayor are already attempting to justify the shooting as a legitimate use of force. They’re claiming that she entered the station wielding a knife, which is how Longview Mayor Jay Dean put it.
The three officers have been placed on paid leave. According to the latest news, Officer Glenn Derr was first to respond, and when he approached her, she held up her hand that said “I have a gun” written on it. From there, Derr manages to subdue her on the ground, yet lets her back up. At this point, Derr claims that he saw her reaching for a butcher knife in her waistband. Officer Gene Duffie then arrives, followed by Officer Grace Bagley, and shortly thereafter Derr and other officers open fire when they see Coignard charging at Derr, killing Coignard.
The police chief, Don Dingler, claims that this is a justified shooting.
The Texas Rangers (Texas Department of Public Safety) is handling the investigation. But I wouldn’t put too much faith in seeing any indictments handed down. It will just be treated as another tragic shooting. Which is wrong, because there was no reason that deadly force should have been used here.
“As Coignard charged Officer Derr with the knife in a threatening manner, Officer Duffie deployed his taser at Coignard with no effect,” police said in a statement. “Officer Derr then discharged his weapon three times. Officer Bagley fired her weapon twice.”
About 10 minutes after she came to the police department for help, the disturbed teen was dead on the lobby floor.
Even if you’re going to assume that she had a knife and was lunging, why was she not searched after being initially subdued by Derr. That was a critical mistake in procedure. And it directly led to her death.
Now it is also possible that this incident may have been a tragic suicide by cop, but the fact is that the officers had the opportunity to stop the situation from turning deadly, and they didn’t take it. But it isn’t clear that the Daily News report based on the police claims match up with the video.
At the 2:50 mark on the video, Derr got her on the ground and in a submissive position; at this point he could have handcuffed her and carried out a search. Instead, he gets up and stands there for a few moments until additional officers show up, and she gets back up. Moreover, it’s not clear whether any taser was actually used in the incident. All we see are firearms.
I’ve worked in Barrow Alaska, and they are not even exaggerating when they talk about these high prices - while it’s true that there are added costs to flying or barging in food, many of these prices are still hyperinflated above those additions because of the monopoly position of the distributors.
The idea of holding an Arctic-wide boycott of North West-owned stores was initiated by Inuk activist Leesie Papatsie from Iqaluit, Nunavut. Leesie started a Facebook group called Feeding My Family that has served to educate thousands of Canadians about staggering food costs in the Arctic, and how these costs are due in part to the monopoly power of North West in many communities.
The practice of price gouging at North West stores has contributed to too many families not having enough food to eat.
In the majority Inuit territory of Nunavut, for example, 70 percent of preschool-age Inuit children live in homes where there isn’t enough food. Led by Papatsie, Inuit gathered outside of Northern stores across Nunavut in 2012 to protest high food prices.
Recently, the Huffington Post ran a story about a family of nine in Nunavut sharing a two-bedroom apartment with not enough food to eat. This is a familiar situation in rural Alaska as well, with the major difference being that we lack the research and accompanying media attention about this problem.
Pictures of Northern food prices on the Feeding My Family Facebook page will look familiar to anyone who has ever shopped at AC. At the AC store in Kotzebue you will find $11 gallons of milk, $12 cartons of orange juice, $7 loaves of bread, eggs for $6.50 a dozen, 5-pound bags of carrots going for $12, small containers of blueberries for $9, and $3.60 cans of fruit.
As it turns out, the loathsome Bryan Fischer won’t be heading to the unemployment line anytime soon. He was merely stripped of his title of “Director of Issues Analysis,” and he will continue to host his vile radio show, where he will continue to spew twisted hateful nonsense such as:
Fischer: Muslims Are Stupid and Violent Because of Inbreeding.
Fischer: Gay Sex Is “Domestic Terrorism. I Don’t Know What Else You’d Call It.”
Fischer: If DADT is Repealed, America Will Be Defended By Sexual Perverts and Deviants.
Fischer: Every Mosque Is An IED and Every Muslim Is Guilty of Treason.
Fischer: “Homosexuals Are Defined By One Characteristic Only: They Want to Use the Anal Cavity for Sex.”
Fischer: Native Americans Are Mired In Poverty and Alcoholism Because They Refuse to Accept Christianity.
Fischer: Native Americans Need to Leave The Reservation, Convert To Christianity, and Become Full-Fledged American Citizens.
Fischer: Welfare Just Gives Money To “People Who Rut Like Rabbits.”
Fischer: All Immigrants Must “Convert To Christianity.”
Fischer: Muslims Represent A “Toxic Cancer” To American Society.
Fischer: Gays Are Nazis.
Fischer: “Liberals Hate God.”
Fischer: Make Homosexuality “A Criminal Offense.”
Fischer: First Amendment Does Not Apply To Mormons.
Fischer: ‘Every Homosexual Represents a Heightened Security Risk.’
Fischer: God Will Cure AIDS If Gays Stop Having Sex.
Fischer: ‘It’s Perfectly Appropriate to Discriminate Against’ Homosexuality.
Fischer: Government Should Mandate that Everyone Attend Church and Tax Those Who Don’t.
Fischer: Removal of Prayer & Ten Commandments from Schools Responsible for CO Shooting.
Fischer: Gays are Driven by a ‘Dark, Venomous, Demonic Hatred’.’
Fischer: ‘Muslims are Worshiping a Demon.’
Fischer: ‘Political Leadership Ought to be Reserved for the Hands of Males.’
Fischer: The 9/11 Terrorists Were ‘Agents of God’s Wrath.’
Fischer: God Didn’t Stop CT School Shooting Because He’s a ‘Gentleman’ Who Doesn’t Go Where He Is Not Wanted.
Fischer: Sodomy Is ‘An Ugly Word Because It Describes Ugly Behavior.’
Fischer: People Who Believe In Evolution Are ‘Disqualified From Holding Political Office In The United States Of America.’
Fischer: God Will Use ISIS To Punish America For Gay Rights.
Bryan Fischer Suggests The Charlie Hebdo Attack Was God’s Punishment For Magazine’s Blasphemy.
Fischer: ‘Being An Active Homosexual Should Disqualify You From Public Office’.
Fischer: You’ll Never ‘Find A More Directly Demonic Energy Than When You Deal With The Homosexual Agenda.’
(There are links to audio for all of the above in the article I’m linking to).
This cosmetic change isn’t the first love tap the AFA (designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) has given Fischer:
Finally, in 2010, the AFA made a half-hearted attempt to wash its hands of Fischer’s unrelenting torrent of bigotry … not by firing him, mind you, but simply by adding a disclaimer at the end of Fischer’s blog posts and radio program insisting that the things Fischer was saying on the AFA’s website and radio network should not be taken to reflect the views of the organization:
Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.
So expect more hate to spew forth from the AFA’s highest profile caveman, one Mr. Bryan Fischer.
And now Sam Smith is sharing royalties with Tom, who is being very gracious about it all because Tom’s one of the true good guys in the music business.
“About the Sam Smith thing. Let me say I have never had any hard feelings toward Sam. All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen. Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by. Sam’s people were very understanding of our predicament and we easily came to an agreement. The word lawsuit was never even said and was never my intention.
Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” and Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”
Just to clarify:
The Tom Petty song is here slightly rearranged to go along the Sam Smith song.
There are actually pieces missing from the Petty song.
They do not exactly line up like this!
However aside from the tempo and pitch, no alterations have been made to what you hear.
… and then I have to post the real version because I love this song, and how it’s held me up when I’ve started to fall in the past. Also take note of Tom rocking the SW steampunk hat well before that became popular.
Police are now arrested attorneys for defending their clients.
A San Francisco deputy public defender was handcuffed and arrested at the Hall of Justice after she objected to city police officers questioning her client outside a courtroom, an incident that her office called outrageous and police officials defended as appropriate.
The Tuesday afternoon arrest of attorney Jami Tillotson as she denied police officers’ attempts to take photos of her client without explanation raised questions about police intimidation and harassment, Public Defender Jeff Adachi said at a Wednesday news conference.
But police said the five officers, led by a plainclothes sergeant, were investigating a burglary case in which Tillotson’s client and his co-defendant were considered persons of interest. Tillotson was cited for misdemeanor resisting or delaying arrest because she obstructed a police investigation, officials said.
Watch the video here:
First, nobody in this country is under any obligation to talk to the police. Ever. Even if under arrest, if you want to remain silent that is your absolute right. This attorney was simply defending her client from having to talk to and have his picture taken by the cops.
Second, since the police made it clear that the client was not under arrest, then how exactly was the attorney resisting or delaying the arrest?
Of course none of these cops, nor the PD itself, will face any consequences.
America’s resurgence is real. With a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production, we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth.
Now we have to choose what we want that future to look like. Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and rising chances for everyone who makes the effort?
In my State of the Union Address last week, I focused on making sure middle-class economics helps more Americans get ahead in the new economy. As a country, we need to do more to make working families’ paychecks go farther, give Americans of every age the chance to upgrade their skills so they earn higher wages, and build the world’s most competitive economy for our businesses.
On Monday, I will present Congress with my budget, a plan for bringing middle-class economics into the 21st Century. First, I’m proposing we make the kinds of investments we need to continue to grow our economy and enhance our national security. We would establish new advanced manufacturing hubs, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and lead a new age of precision medicine that uses cutting-edge science to find new treatments for diseases like diabetes and cancer. We would give working parents a chance to get ahead with guaranteed paid sick leave, and we’d give Americans of all ages a chance to earn new skills by making community college free for responsible students. And we should invest in a 21st century military to confront global challenges with strong and sustained American leadership. These proposals are pragmatic; they’re the types of things both parties should be able to support.
After replacing a harsh 20-week abortion restriction with an all-encompassing ban on federal funding for abortion, House Republicans introduced yet another anti-abortion bill on Thursday, because the legislating of women’s bodies won’t stop, can’t stop. Republican Congress members now want to mandate ultrasounds before abortions, despite the fact that some federal courts have ruled forced ultrasounds unconstitutional.
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) sneakily proposed the mandatory ultrasound bill, HR 492, on the 42 anniversary of Roe v. Wade while thousands of anti-abortion protesters marched nearby. The bill would not only make forced ultrasounds federal law, but also mandate that women have “the opportunity to review the ultrasound before giving informed consent to receive an abortion.”
HR 492 is co-sponsored by 10 Republican male representatives. No female representative has yet to endorse the mandate. After this week’s schism of the sexes in the Republican Party, with female Republican Congress members jumping ship from the 20-week abortion ban because they believed the rape clause was “too extreme,” it will be interesting to see how many women throw their support behind this new women-centric yet male-dominated bill.