A convicted felon and alleged neo-Nazi sympathizer, who was arrested for illegally stockpiling an arsenal of assault weapons, was tracking Jewish and African American community leaders in the Detroit area, FBI agents warned.
Richard Schmidt, 47, was legally forbidden from owning firearms, ammunition or body armor after his spending 13 years in prison for manslaughter. But that is exactly what an FBI Joint terrorism Task Force found when it searched his home in Toledo, Ohio and his sporting goods store in nearby Bowling Green.
“These weapons were found in a shopping mall,” Steven M. Dettelbach, the U.S. Attorney in Cleveland, told the Daily News. “You have 40,000 rounds of ammunition, 18 firearms, body armor - obviously that is troubling because it begs the question ‘what does he want to do with it?’”
FBI agents also found Waffen-SS (Nazi military force) paraphernalia, a video of a National Socialist Movement meeting from 2005, a list of national Jewish-owned businesses and a notebook filled with names and addresses of community leaders in the Detroit area, reported Michael Isikoff of NBC News.
The parents of a 15-year-old California girl who took her own life after she was sexually abused and an explicit photo of the assault circulated among her classmates want the three boys who have been arrested in the case prosecuted as adults, a lawyer for the family says.
Authorities arrested the three 16-year-olds on suspicion of sexual battery against Audrie Pott, a Saratoga High School sophomore who hanged herself in September. The arrests this week shocked many in this prosperous Silicon Valley suburb of 30,000 as new details of the case emerged.
“We’re talking about, other than murdering someone, the highest degree of a crime you could possibly do, which is to violate them in the worst of ways…and then to effectively rub her face in it afterwards,” Robert Allard, the attorney representing the teenager’s mother, father and step-mother, said Friday.
The 20-year-old student accused in a stabbing rampage at a Texas college campus told investigators he had fantasies of killing people and had planned the attack, sheriff’s officials said late Tuesday.
Dylan Quick, 20, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after the stabbings, said Donna Hawkins, an official with the Harris County Prosecutor’s Office.
“According to the statement the suspect voluntarily gave investigators, he has had fantasies of stabbing people to death since he was in elementary school,” a statement from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said. “He also indicated that he has been planning this incident for some time.”
Quick used “a razor-type knife” to stab victims at the Lone Star College’s CyFair campus Tuesday, the sheriff office’s statement said.
The power of hate crimes to terrorize is relatively simple: They are criminal acts that send a message far beyond the initial victim.
And yet it is that aspect of the laws that people often question. A running dialogue has long asked the need for such statutes, with some arguing that an assault is an assault, a murder is a murder and the normal penalties should suffice upon conviction.
But that misses the rationale behind hate crimes — when a person’s race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation is a motivator for an attack. The crime can be like a warning to an entire category of people.
“It doesn’t just affect the victim,” said Heith Janke, supervisory special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “It affects an entire community. Everyone lives in fear not knowing if they might be the next one attacked.”
Working out of an nondescript brick rowhouse in suburban Virginia, a little-known organization named Donors Trust, staffed by five employees, has steered hundreds of millions of dollars to the most influential think tanks, foundations, and advocacy groups in the conservative movement. Over the past decade, it has funded the right’s assault on labor unions, climate scientists, public schools, economic regulations, and the very premise of activist government. Yet unlike its nearest counterpart on the progressive side, the Tides Foundation, a bogeyman of Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly, Donors Trust has mostly avoided any real scrutiny. It is the dark-money ATM of the right.
Founded in 1999, Donors Trust (and an affiliated group, Donors Capital Fund) has raised north of $500 million and doled out $400 million to more than 1,000 conservative and libertarian groups, according to Whitney Ball, the group’s CEO. Donors Trust allows wealthy contributors who want to donate millions to the most important causes on the right to do so anonymously, essentially scrubbing the identity of those underwriting conservative and libertarian organizations. Wisconsin’s 2011 assault on collective bargaining rights? Donors Trust helped fund that. ALEC, the conservative bill mill? Donors Trust supports it. The climate deniers at the Heartland Institute? They get Donors Trust money, too.
n yet another attempt to appease irrational critics, the White House released a photo of the president shooting a gun to prove he is not an enemy of the Second Amendment and that he has in fact shot a gun before (as if that’s required to not want criminals or the mentally ill to have access to semi-automatic weapons.)
And surprise, surprise skeptics are not satisfied, saying the picture is fake and his affinity for shooting phony, even though there’s evidence of President Obama talking about practicing shooting a rifle with members of the Secret Service way back in 2010.
“One picture does not erase a lifetime of supporting every gun ban and every gun-control scheme imaginable,” said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association.
Well Arulanadam should tell Michael Bloomberg about all of Obama’s gun-control support because it seems each time there’s been a mass shooting the outspoken mayor of New York tears into the president.
“The president has spent the last three years trying to avoid the issue, or if he’s facing it, I don’t know of anybody who has seen him face it,” Bloomberg said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” days after the Aurora shooting.
Bloomberg was right of course.
As a candidate in 2008, Obama talked about reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons, but he hadn’t aggressively addressed guns from a policy perspective until December’s Newtown tragedy. In fact, in a blatant display of hypocrisy, while the NRA demonized Obama for something he didn’t do, they endorsed Mitt Romney, who actually did sign a law banning assault weapons while governor of Massachusetts.
But those are all just facts.
And when you’re dealing with crazy people, it doesn’t really matter how many facts you present, because — well — they’re crazy and they’re just going to believe what they’re going to believe.
Because kids with assault rifles makes such good sense…
Kids make the perfect target audience for the NRA
Responding to Americans’ declining interest in shooting sports, gun manufacturers are developing programs to market their products to younger children. The National Shooting Sports Foundation trade association and the industry-funded National Rifle Association spend millions of dollars annually to recruit kids as gun enthusiasts. And those efforts increasingly focus on pushing semi-automatic assault weapons, including the very model used by the shooter in the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.
The New York Times reports:
The pages of Junior Shooters, an industry-supported magazine that seeks to get children involved in the recreational use of firearms, once featured a smiling 15-year-old girl clutching a semiautomatic rifle. At the end of an accompanying article that extolled target shooting with a Bushmaster AR-15 — an advertisement elsewhere in the magazine directed readers to a coupon for buying one — the author encouraged youngsters to share the article with a parent.
“Who knows?” it said. “Maybe you’ll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!”
President Obama appointed Vice President Biden on Wednesday to lead an effort to develop new policies to combat gun violence.
“We have a deep obligation — all of us — to try” and end gun violence, Obama said at the White House. “This time, the words need to lead to action.”
He added: “It won’t be easy, but that can’t be an excuse not to try.”
This is not “your typical Washington commission,” the president said. He said Biden will complete his work in a month, and that the horror of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting should remain vivid in so short a time.
Obama picked Biden, he said, because of his experience in the Senate, including a major role in the 1994 crime bill that included an assault weapons ban that lapsed in 2004.
With a name, face and salacious details now affixed to allegations of Herman Cain’s sexual misbehavior, Republicans who have otherwise been sympathetic to the former National Restaurant Association CEO are urging him to address the accusations clearly and forthrightly.
In a sign that he’s begun taking those calls more seriously in the wake of Sharon Bialek’s graphic charges earlier in the day, Cain moved late Monday to schedule a press conference for Tuesday afternoon — and prefaced the event with a defiant statement.
“After attacking Herman Cain through anonymous accusers for a week, his opponents have now convinced a woman with a long history of severe financial difficulties, including personal bankruptcy, to falsely accuse the Republican frontrunner of events occurring over a decade ago for which there is no record, nor even a complaint filed,” said Cain spokesman J.D. Gordon.
It’s ok to terrorize and assault people in their sleep if they stop believing what you do according to this zealot.
“We’re not a cult. We’re just trying to live a peaceful life,” said Mullet, who spoke with occasional bursts of passion for about an hour as children played nearby, a horse tethered to a buggy rested and men and women did chores. “I was hoping I could move here, try to start a group of church people, do things in school and church the way we wanted.”
Mullet said he should be allowed to punish people who break the laws of the church, just as police are allowed to punish people who break the laws of the state.
“You have your laws on the road and the town - if somebody doesn’t obey them, you punish them. But I’m not allowed to punish the church people?” Mullet said. “I just let them run over me? If every family would just do as they pleased, what kind of church would we have?”
Amish men typically grow beards as adults and stop trimming them when they marry, and the beards are held in high esteem.
On Saturday, Jefferson County authorities arrested two of Mullet’s sons, 38-year-old Johnny Mullet and 26-year-old Lester Mullet, and another man from the community, 53-year-old Levi Miller, on burglary and kidnapping warrants out of Holmes County. The three men were being held in Jefferson County jail on $250,000 bond each pending extradition to Holmes County and couldn’t be reached for comment.