Sprinkle yourself in fairy dust and say the magic words “I sincerely believe,” and that’s really all you need for the right-minded judge to sympathize with your oh-so-burdensome burden of having to obey the law and then wave his magic gavel and say, “Okay, you are exempt from the laws you don’t like.” David Sam, senior judge of the United States District Court in Utah, is one such judge.
In Perez v. Paragon, he waved his magic gavel for Vergel [or as the judge calls him in the opinion, “Vernon”] Steed, a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If that name sounds vaguely familiar, perhaps polygamist “Prophet” Warren Jeffs rings a bell? He’s the leader of the FLDS cult who thinks god wants him to bang kids. Or at least he was, before he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life — plus 20 years! — in prison for sexually assaulting his 12- and 15-year-old “spiritual wives.”
As ThinkProgress reports, in addition to screwing children literally, the cult is under investigation for violating child labor laws. For Jeebus. Allegedly, but who are we kidding? If these scumbags were okey-dokey with raping children, they probably were even more okey-dokey with using children to pick their pecan trees, and no, that’s not a euphemism. Now the feds are looking into that too, and they’ve issued a subpoena to get some answers, but ol’ Vergel/Vernon, well, he just doesn’t want to cooperate because — surprise! — religious beliefs:
So Polygon showcases the AEI’s anti-femminist response to #gamergate talking about how games are for dudes and dudes need that space to continue being dudes and bitches should get back in that kitchen where they belong.
Link is to Polygon - No links for AEI.
It’s called the FBI’s Next Generation Identification system, and the agency said it became fully operational Monday. The government expects the system’s database to house 51 million photographs by next year — and keep growing.
Adding a whole new meaning to Big Brother is watching you.
Raiderettes Lawsuit: The Team Will Pay $1.25 Million and Increase Cheerleaders’ Salaries to Minimum Wage. Yay?
he two Raiderette cheerleaders who revolted against the team this year—suing the Oakland Raiders for paying them less than minimum wage, withholding paychecks until the end of the season, and never reimbursing them for business expenses—have declared victory. Lacy T. and Sarah G., who filed a class-action suit on behalf of their fellow Raiderettes this spring, have reached a settlement with the NFL franchise. The team will pay out a total of $1.25 million to 90 women who cheered between 2010 and 2013. That translates to an average $6,000 payout per cheerleader per season for the first three seasons covered by the suit, and an average of $2,500 each for the final season. (Right before Lacy’s lawsuit hit, the Raiders unexpectedly padded the 2013 cheerleaders’ checks with additional cash). According to Sharon Vinick, lawyer for the Raiderettes, future Raider cheerleaders will be paid minimum wage for all hours worked, receive checks every two weeks, and be reimbursed for business expenses they incur in the course of the job.
“We are excited that the Raiders have decided to pay their current cheerleaders in accordance with the law,” Sarah G. said in a statement through her attorney. “This was our goal and I am pleased to say I was a part of an organization whose management decided to make these changes. Now we can just go back to dancing, being respected and taking down the Niners when they try to step onto our field!”
An Afghan court has upheld death sentences for five men convicted of gang raping four women, in a case which has sparked national outrage.
But the court commuted to life terms the death sentences of two other men found guilty of armed robbery.
All seven men were convicted of armed robbery but only five were found guilty of rape.
Activists say violence against women is prevalent in Afghanistan, but rarely attract this much attention.
The four women were attacked in Paghman town when they were returning to Kabul after a wedding in August.
LAUSD has some explaining to do. What is the scenario for using the MRAP? Where is it in emergency plans? How much does it cost to maintain, and will it get to any emergency faster than LAPD or LAUSD special units? Sixty one rifles. For how many officers?!
Los Angeles Unified school police officials said Tuesday that the department will relinquish some of the military weaponry it acquired through a federal program that furnishes local law enforcement with surplus equipment. The move comes as education and civil rights groups have called on the U.S. Department of Defense to halt the practice for schools.
The Los Angeles School Police Department, which serves the nation’s second-largest school system, will return three grenade launchers but intends to keep 61 rifles and a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle it received through the program.
Here’s one that should stump opponents of municipal networks: A Missouri city is turning over operation of its fiber network to a local data center and plans to give away gigabit services to local residents after a one-time fee.
On September 2, the City Council of North Kansas City approved a 10-year agreement with DataShack for the operation and maintenance of the city’s fiber optic network, known as liNKCity. DataShack will operate and maintain the fiber network, but the city will continue to own the network.
Under the agreement, DataShack will collect revenue for broadband services sold to businesses. But as of January 1, 2015, it will provide existing and new residential broadband customers with gigabit service for an installation fee of $300 (or $100 for 100Mbit/s service, or $50 for 50Mbit/s service). Residents in the city of about 4,000 people won’t pay any more for service for the duration of the 10-year deal, according to Mellissa Hopkins, marketing and sales manager for liNKCity.
Following up on my post on Friday about the long illustrious history of conservative vote suppression it’s interesting that one of the nation’s foremost activists in the field should be in the spotlight going into the November election. Indeed, he’s right in the middle of one of the most interesting races in the country.
I’m referring to Kris Kobach, the Republican Kansas secretary of state who was sued last week by the former Democratic candidate for the Senate who dropped out of the race in favor of an independent. If you haven’t heard about this wild turn of events, in a nutshell, the Kansas GOP is imploding under the disastrous leadership of the ultra-conservative Gov. Sam Brownback. It’s so bad that GOP leaders in the state are defecting from the party and it looks as though a former Democrat-turned-independent may just unseat long-term Republican incumbent Pat Roberts. Seeing the opening for an upset, the Democrats in the state persuaded their candidate to drop out and he agreed to do it. He followed all the rules for withdrawal, but Kobach’s office says no dice: You’re staying on the ballot whether you want to run or not.
According to Chad Taylor, the former Democratic nominee, he spoke with Brad Bryant, the secretary of state’s deputy, and he was told that his letter indicating his intent to withdraw contained all the information the law required. Bryant said in an an affidavit that this was a misunderstanding:
This editorial is spot-on calling to attention the basket case that hard-right Republican Brownback has made his State of Kansas. With the help of Laffer, the hard-right ideologue who feels compelled at every turn to violate, distort, or ignore half of his very own economic theory, Kansas now has a huge budget problem directly caused by large tax cuts for the rich.
The irony is that Laffer himself seems to not know his own theory. The simple explanation of this theory is that somewhere along a mathematical curve, maximization of tax revenue can be realized by raising or lowering taxes. Laffer himself always sides with the side of the curve that lowers taxes, despite any and all evidence that actually the correct placement along the x-axis is completely different from his own personal agenda.
Laffer is the perfect example of someone who has diminished his career label from Wonk down to the status of Complete Hack who ignores Reality in favor of a Utopian ideology- another example of modern Libertarians and Republicans.
A 30-year-old Yemen-born man was indicted Tuesday on charges of attempting to provide support to the terrorist group Islamic State, along with the attempted murder of current and former members of the U.S. military.
Mufid A. Elfgeeh, who had been living in Rochester, was named in the seven-count federal indictment, which also included four firearms charges.
As part of an alleged plot to target soldiers returning from Iraq, the suspect earlier this year “purchased two handguns equipped with…silencers and ammunition” for $1,050 from a government source, court documents stated.