Marcus Faella, one of more than a dozen people arrested last year on charges they were conducting paramilitary training with a group called the American Front, was convicted last week.
Faella, 41, was originally charged with conspiring to shoot into a building, two counts of conducting paramilitary training and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the Orlando Sentinel reported. But after two days of testimony, two of the charges against Faella were dismissed. He was convicted of two counts of teaching and conducting paramilitary training and faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced in November.
Throughout the trial, prosecutor Sarah Hatch described the American Front leader as a racist who trained his followers for an impending race war.
“This is not just some carnival game,” Hatch told jurors. “If you’re discussing specifically how to use that weapon in combat with actual people … it’s difficult to make the argument that throwing a knife in the back of someone running away from you is a self-defense tactic.”
Democratic state Sen. Rod Wright, sentenced to jail Friday for being convicted of perjury and voting fraud, resigned from the California Senate on Monday but plans to stay on the payroll for one more week.
Wright sent Senate officials a resignation letter Monday stating that he’s stepping down effective Sept. 22.
“My Senate career is over. My legislative career is over,” Wright said in a phone call with The Sacramento Bee. “I don’t believe now that I did anything wrong. Certainly nothing criminal. But a jury saw differently, and we did not defend ourselves well enough to win that case. So I have to live with that.”
Wright said he plans to return to Sacramento to clean out his office before he begins his 90-day jail sentence on Oct. 31.
Todd Akin gets his way in Missouri because some of the GOP have no spines. They are verified legislative jellyfish by their own admissions.
In the hours before Missouri Republicans overrode Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto and passed one of the harshest abortion bills in the country, a handful of Republican women—party activists, a local officeholder, and operatives who support abortion rights—drove to Jefferson City and begged lawmakers to reconsider. When cornered, some GOP lawmakers made a confession. “They said, ‘I don’t actually want to vote for this bill,’” recalls Linda Rallo, an alderwoman who led the team that buttonholed Republicans. “‘But if it comes to the floor, I’m going to vote for it.’”
Republican state Rep. Chris Molendorp, who opposed the bill, heard similar admissions from his GOP colleagues. In a closed-door meeting of the Republican caucus before the vote, Molendorp argued that the bill most of his colleagues were about to vote for was unreasonably cruel. The bill creates a three-day abortion waiting period, the longest in the country, with no exception for rape or incest victims.
“My fear that I expressed is that we have gone beyond concern for the life of the unborn and we’ve become punitive against the expectant mother,” he says. Molendorp, who has an 85 percent approval rating from Missouri Right to Life, says that several women legislators who represent Missouri’s suburbs approached him privately to say they agreed with him—but they felt they had no choice but to vote for the bill.
As recently as two weeks ago, it appeared that a breakout lava flow from the Pu’u O’o crater of Kilauea might, at worst, destroy a few homes in a sparsely settled subdivision on the edge of a forest preserve. But it has changed direction and now could reach the center of Pahoa town, the principal town on this part of Hawaii Island and a major tourist draw, in as little as three weeks. If it does, it will probably continue all the way to the coast, cutting Highway 130, the main road connecting South Puna with the Hilo area in the process.
Highway 130 is jammed morning and evening with commuters. If it’s put out of action the traffic situation will be horrendous. The state is hurriedly building alternate routes by renovating and reconstructing Railroad Ave. and the coast road that roughly parallel the highway - but that means they could also be cut by the lava flow. They’re also rebuilding a portion of the southern coast road that was destroyed by the 1986 lava flow that ate Kalapana town and the Royal Gardens subdivision. That road is not currently threatened by this flow, but it will only connect to Chain-of-Craters road, a narrow switchback that climbs the mountain in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Following it would add over an hour of commute time from Pahoa to the Hilo area - without traffic.
If necessary, U.S. pilots conducting airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria would defend themselves if fired upon by Syrian government forces, senior administration officials suggested Monday.
The officials said the U.S. knows where Bashar Assad’s government has positioned forces and air defense installations, and those could be at risk if they attack U.S. planes.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing military strategy.
The United States will ramp up its response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa with plans to build 17 treatment centers, train thousands of healthcare workers, and establish a military control center for coordination, U.S. officials said.
The plan will be unveiled by President Barack Obama on Tuesday, senior administration officials told reporters.
Obama, who has called the epidemic a national security crisis, has faced criticism for not doing more to stem the outbreak, which the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week had killed more than 2,400 people out of 4,784 cases in West Africa.
Google Inc said it was facing increasing pressure from governments around the world to reveal user information in criminal investigations amid ongoing revelations about national surveillance programs.
The number of requests increased 15 percent sequentially in the first half of this year and 150 percent in the last five years, the company said in its semi-annual transparency report on Monday. (bit.ly)
In the United States, demand for information jumped 19 percent in the first six months of 2014 and more than tripled since 2009, when it started publishing the report.
I understand and agree with Facebook’s general rule of using real names - but for every general rule set there are circumstances where nested exceptions need to be made. Drag queens are clearly in need of exceptions, and I urge Facebook to create a policy and a process to create verified alternate persona pages.
“I’ve had this name for 20 years now,” she says. “I walk down the street and people say ‘Hi Heklina.’ People know me by my drag name.” She says asking her to revert to her birth name is akin to not acknowledging her as a person.
When asked just how many drag queens this may have affected, Heklina says every single drag queen she knows has been asked to revert to a name Facebook believes is more suitable. Well-known drag queens such as Sister Roma from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Peaches Christ and Pollo Del Mar are only able to be found on their fan pages at the moment.
“As part of our overall standards, we ask that people who use Facebook provide their real name on their profile,” stated an email from a Facebook spokesperson. The real-names policy has been in place for a while, but it’s not entirely clear why drag queens have been suddenly targeted en masse. Heklina was told by Facebook reps that it was just an algorithm that discovered the drag queens and started asking them to change their names.
September 15, 2014
Alaska Dispatch News
Sing along, boys and girls, to the tune of the “Beverly Hillbillies” theme song:
Come and listen to a story
‘bout a woman named Palin.
At private-sector jobs
she was always a-failin’,
Then one day
she got into the politics game,
And up through the web
came a bubblin’ fame.
Celebrity that is, money for nothin’, Tea Party!
Well, the first thing you know
ol’ Palin’s a millionaire,
Alaska voters said, “Palin move away from there,”
Said, “The screen’s where you oughtta be.”
So they gassed up the snowmachine and moved onto TV.
Reality that is: Bristol’s Bayou, pay-per-view, cage match …
Yes, for those of you who were out hunting and missed it, the 49th state’s favorite, half-term, ex-governor and her clan are home for a spell and back at it again. This time it’s a made-for-the-internet brawl in Oceanview, an upper middle-class Anchorage neighborhood.
Paged per GGT and wlewisiii’s request:
But Serrano’s article doesn’t challenge conventional wisdom. Instead it backs the old guard’s deeply entrenched position that women—like blacks and gays before them—have no place in the infantry.
You might be considering Serrano’s stance against women in the infantry “bold and daring,” since she’s a woman officer herself. But that’s not new. Female Capt. Katie Petronio made essentially the same argument back in 2013.
The idea that women don’t belong in the infantry is just the latest variation of an old notion. By the same thinking, women don’t belong in the voting booth, in public office, in the military, in aircraft, on spacecraft, on ships, in submarines.
Having run out of places to attempt to exclude women—because they seem to thrive wherever they get a chance—Serrano ignores the legacy of fearsome female fighters, from Joan of Arc to Lyudmila Pavlichenko.
She also ignores that many other NATO countries have already largely eliminated this form of discrimination in their ranks.
I think Edward Carpenter makes his point very well here. Comments welcome.