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Not An Onion Article of the Day: The LA School District Has Grenade Launchers

thepoliticalfreakshow:

In all the hullabaloo over the past few days about the San Diego School District’s new MRAP, we missed the most wonderful news of all. Not only is the Los Angeles Unified School District getting an MRAP, too, they also casually disclosed that they’ve had three grenade launchers since 2001.

Oh, not to mention their 61 M-16 assault rifles, according to the LA Times:

[LA School District Police Chief Steve] Zipperman said that although the Pentagon identifies the three launchers as grenade launchers, civilian police call them less-deadly ammunition launchers. He assured me that the school police never had any intention of lobbing grenades at anyone, ever, and that they would not be used against students to launch anything.

Well then I guess that’s settled, right? The school police doesn’t intend to launch grenades at anyone, least not the very students they’re supposed to protect, and of course there’s that old saying about history and intentions. What’s that saying again? “The road to high test scores, student well-being, a constructive learning environment, and educational heaven is paved with good intentions.”

Yes, I’m sure that’s it.

Alright, so the presence of three old grenade launchers probably doesn’t have a direct impact on the test scores of students, but I can’t imagine knowing that your local K-12 campus police have access to explosive arms is very comforting for them. Plus the LA school district is massive, and does educate kids in some tough neighborhoods. That’s really not an excuse for assault rifles and grenade launchers, however, among almost any police force, let alone one belonging to a school district. Even if it is the largest school-specific police force in the country.

And Zimmerman plays it off like it’s no big deal, anyways, they’re really just holding all these grenade launchers and assault rifles for a friend:

But as a police department, he said, LAUSD’s finest engage in mutual-aid pacts with other police agencies, and the ability to move those launchers out of storage might come in handy then. 

See? They’re just keeping it safe. That excuse always works with the cops.

But all of this heavily-armed bullcrap among local school districts are just the tip of the iceberg, and it’s even worse than what we saw in Ferguson, Missouri. At least 117 colleges across the country received military equipment from the same Department of Defense 1033 program that the LA School District received its MRAP, grenade launchers, and assault rifles from, according to the Chronicle for Higher Education.

And the 1033 program is huge, and is definitely not limited to school districts. It extends to all local law enforcement agencies, and a report from NPR found that between 2006 and 2014 it disbursed not only 205 grenade launchers, 422 helicopters, and nearly 80,000 assault rifles, but also 11,959 bayonets.

Yes, almost 12,000 bayonets.

As if the ghost of Theodore Roosevelt himself was about to go lead the local yokels and the Keystone Cops up San Juan Hill once more.

And why?

Because The Children Of America Are Our Future (™).

Photo credit: US Army

Source: Michael Ballaban for Foxtrot Alpha on Gawker

Also Not An Onion Article of the Day: Now Even The Satanists Are Infighting: ‘Tea Party Satanist’ says new Detroit temple is too liberal and full of atheists

thepoliticalfreakshow:

chigan Satanist has denounced the newly-formed Detroit Satanist Temple because of its progressive views, high number of atheists and disavowal of animal sacrifice.

According the Detroit Free Press, Oxford, Michigan’s Rev. Tom Erik Raspotnik, 49, claims that his Satanist group is more valid because Detroit’s Satanists are espousing liberal and atheist views.

“I would be like a Tea Party Satanist,” Raspotnik told theFree Press. His group, he said, worships the deity Satan, is pro-life and believes in animal sacrifice as an act of worship.

Raspotnik said that he has participated in many Tea Party protests and other political events, but doubts that those people realize that he worships the Lord of Darkness.

His group, he said, has around 200 members around the country and is known as the Temples of Satan, not the Satanic Temple.

The Satanic Temple of Detroit was founded earlier this month and is an offshoot of the Satanic Temple of New York, founded by activist Lucien Greaves. The Detroit chapter has about 20 members. The group is led by 32-year-old Jex Blackmore, a University of Michigan graduate who says that the group does not ascribe to “supernaturalism.”

The Satanic Temple of Detroit, Blackmore told the Free Press, uses “logic and rationality to understand our world.”

Temples of Satan and other more traditional adherents to Satanism find Blackmore and Greaves’ version of Satanism highly objectionable for its atheistic leanings.

Cindy Fleming — Raspotnik’s fiancée — runs the Temple of the Ancient Dragon, a shop in the Gibraltar Trade Center mall that sells occult-themed jewelry and knick knacks. She said that the Satanic Temple Satanists aren’t real Satanists at all.

“An atheist is what?” Fleming said. “They don’t believe in anything, any religion — so why are they using a religion to do it? That is hypocritical, it’s an oxymoron and it’s not even credible.”

The largest Satanic group nationwide is the Church of Satan, which has thousands of members nationwide. When the Free Press contacted its top cleric, High Priest Magus Peter Gilmore, he said via email, “We see nothing of value in the actions of this handful of individuals.”

Satanism expert Jesper Aagaard Petersen, an associate professor of religious education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology told the Free Press that the new, Satanic Temple branch of Satanism is something of an outlier with regards to people who have traditionally called themselves Satanists in that they are de-emphasizing the actual worship of Satan and demonic forces.

“You have to understand, though,” Petersen said, “that the Satanic Temple is really underplaying the Satan angle and focusing on the atheist and free speech/religion issues in general, which has garnered a lot of support.”

Traditionalists like Raspotnik and Fleming believe, however, that this misses the point entirely. They believe in elaborate rituals, spell-casting, blood exchanges during wedding vows and animal sacrifice, usually in the form of goats.

Raspotnik has taken part in rituals, he said, where the goat is killed and eaten.

“I’ve also just killed a goat and buried it,” he said to theFree Press. “I just don’t think it’s that phenomenal to eat.”

Watch video about this story, embedded below:

Source: David Ferguson for The Raw Story

Police killed a black man dressed up like an anime character

thepoliticalfreakshow:

For the second time in two months, a black man has been shot and killed by police officers while holding a toy weapon.

The Utah police fatally shot 22-year-old Darrien Hunt on Wednesday. He was holding a fake samurai sword, which led some to believe he was cosplaying, or costume playing, as Mugen from the popular anime Samurai Champloo

Hunt was killed outside the Panda Express in Sarasota Springs, Utah, after police responded to a complaint of a “suspicious individual” with a sword. 

The initial police statement claimed that Hunt had “brandished the sword and lunged toward the officers with the sword” before they shot him.

Hunt’s family, however, is claiming that a private autopsy shows Hunt was shot in the back numerous times, and that multiple witnesses saw him running away from the police.

Hunt’s case is eerily similar to another recent police shooting that took place in the toy department of Walmart. On Aug. 5, John Crawford III from Dayton, Oh., was also shot and killed by police who mistook his toy weapon for a real one. 

In both cases, police responded to a call of suspicious behavior. In Crawford’s case, witnesses stated that he was talking on his cellphone and leaning on a toy rifle that he had picked up while shopping in the store. Witnesses speculated that Crawford did not hear police directions for him to turn around, since he was shot while still holding his phone.

Both Utah and Ohio have open-carry laws, but the “weapon” in both of these cases was a toy—in Crawford’s case an unpackaged BB gun, in Hunt’s case a blunt-edged fake replica of a katana, or Japanese sword. Even if Hunt’s sword had been real, it is legal to publicly carry a sword under Utah’s open-carry law.

The original police statement claimed that “there is currently no indication that race played any part in the confrontation” that left Hunt dead. However, given that Saratoga Springs is a Ferguson-sized small town that is 93 percent white, many are skeptical that its 65-member police force has been completely forthcoming about the incident.

On Sunday, the Saratoga Springs police department issued a now-deleted Facebook post that called for patience with the investigation into the incident, claiming that news reports about the incident had been exaggerated:

Everyone should remember that the news outlets have ratings they need to gain. They don’t report facts. They use innuendo, opinion and rumor and then report it as fact. The same thing happens here on FB and other social media. The real facts are being determined by an independent investigation, and not in a rushed or haphazard manner. When those facts are gathered and analyzed, they will be reviewed by independent legal authorities. There is no cover up and there is no corruption. While this process is played out, we ask all persons to have patience with the process and allow the process that has been legally established to go forth. No one has been charged with any crime. The law has established that there must be probable cause for charges to be filed. Then even when and if charges were filed, in this country, all persons are innocent until proven guilty. This protection is extended to all persons, including cops.

Hunt’s mother, Susan Hunt, told the Deseret Newsthat a picture she received from a witness taken just before the shooting shows her son standing peacefully, the sword nowhere to be seen. In the picture, he is reportedly flanked on both sides by policemen. Moments later, he would be dead.

"No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he’s running away," she said.

Witnesses who saw Hunt before the shooting were divided on what his behavior was before the incident, with one witness saying he appeared calm and others claiming he seemed distressed. Hunt’s outfit at the time he was killed indicated that he may have been cosplaying as Mugen from Samurai Champloo, a character who is known for his erratic behavior and large sword.

Ironically, although Mugen is a samurai, near the end of the series he ultimately walks away from violence.

Tragically for Hunt, the chance to walk away never came.

Update: A new photo of Hunt taken before the altercation has been published by the Guardian and ABC. Judging from his appearance, it’s unlikely he was cosplaying as Mugen and that any similarities were coincidental. We have updated this story and our headline for clarity. 

Source: Aja Romano for The Daily Dot

upworthy:

What If Norman Rockwell Went To Ferguson?

When the nightly news shows white cops policing the hell out of a black community, complete with tear gas and armored vehicles, it’s hard to see the idyllic vision Rockwell had for us.

In his painting “The Runaway,” Rockwell envisioned a young boy confiding in a friendly police officer at a diner. Anthony Freda reimagined what it would look like today. Tough to trust someone in riot gear.

Fox And Friend Falsely Criticize Obama's ISIL Strategy

crooksandliars:

Fox And Friend Falsely Criticize Obama's ISIL Strategy

Steve Doocy begins today’s Obama-bashing segment by griping that President Obama is now revealing our anti-ISIL strategy, merely two weeks after all the Fox cohorts and “experts” were complaining he had no strategy. So if he reveals something to satisfy the Right Wing Chickenhawks, he is wrong simply because he is a Democratic President who happens to be the most radical president we’ve ever had. Not only the folks at Fox, but the very same Congressman, Texas Republican Michael McCaul was on Fox and Friends roughly two weeks ago saying President Obama does not have a strategy. [embed eid=”9957” /]
His biggest complaint is that we are at war with ISIS and THIS president should take the fight to ISIS. Now the president is doing precisely that. So what’s the complaint this week? The idea that we’re not going to have other Arab nations to fight this battle in Syria is “irresponsible.” The only problem with that assertion is that it is absolutely false and Secretary of State Kerry confirmed that local Arab states were definitely an integral part of our coalition. In fact,

ministers representing Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered their support.

read more

assholeofday:

Rush Limbaugh, Asshole of the Day for September 16, 2014

by TeaPartyCat ()

Colleges are finally starting to tighten rules on sexual assault and rape, though certainly not as much or as fast as they should. And while many people consider less rape to be a good thing, there are those who come to its defense, especially on college campuses. For example, back in June George Will derided studies about the prevalence of rape on college campuses by calling rape victims liars.

But George Will is not alone in decrying attempts to stop rape on college campuses. Yesterday Rush Limbaugh explained how new rules at Ohio State violate his own beliefs about what is and isn’t rape:

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh mocked The Ohio State University’s new policy telling students to get clear, verbal consent before having sex. Limbaugh went on to ask guys “how many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that no means yes if you know how to spot it?”

"Let me tell you something in this modern world — that is simply, that’s not tolerated," Limbaugh continued. "People aren’t going to try to understand that one. I mean it used to be a cliche. It used to be part of the advice young boys were given. See that’s got to change. We have got to change the way we raise men."

Why do you think permission every step of the way — aren’t these just lawsuits just waiting to happen if one of these steps are not taken,” Limbaugh said.

"Why do you think permission every step of the way?" To ask this question is to just not care about consent. To not care whether the other person wants to have sex with you. So they kissed you, so you think you can ignore them now saying no and go all the way? That’s what Rush is crying over.

As I mentioned when CeeLo was named Asshole of the Day for saying it’s not rape if they’re asleep, focusing on whether there is a no is the wrong discussion. Rather than “did she say no?”, we should teach people that they should only have sex with people who want to have sex with them, just like we do with everything else. Amanda Marcotte pointed out that someone has to have permission to come into your house, with her basic argument being that it’s not OK unless the homeowner says no in a certain clear way. You’re just not allowed to barge in, so you shouldn’t be allowed to force yourself on someone sexually unless they tell you no— they have to invite you. And an invitation to sex, just like an invitation into their house, is revokable. They can change their mind and ask you to leave. If they invite you into the living room, you aren’t allowed to barge into their bedroom unless they lead you there or tell you that you can. Why is it so hard for people to understand that the same rules should apply to sex?

Probably because they don’t want to. They don’t think it’s wrong to have sex with people who don’t want to have sex with them. They don’t think it’s wrong to take more from someone than that person is willing to give.

Look, the rules around rape won’t trip up anyone who is focused on only having sex with people who want to have sex with them. But Rush Limbaugh doesn’t care— he feels entitled to sex with women, and wants to keep them from expressing that they don’t want to have sex with him, because then he thinks it’s OK. And he thinks all men should be so entitled. And for that, he is the Asshole of the Day.

It is Rush Limbaugh's seventh time as Asshole of the Day. Previous wins were for

Full story: Talking Points Memo.

Irresponsible Texas NRA Leader Advises Parents Not To Take Child Safety Seriously

addictinginfo:

Irresponsible Texas NRA Leader Advises Parents Not To Take Child Safety Seriously

Alice Tripp, Legislative Director for Texas State Rifle Association. Image Credit: Liberaland

Alice Tripp, Legislative Director for Texas State Rifle Association. Image Credit: Liberaland

In a recent interview Alice Tripp, the Legislative Director for the Texas State Rifle Association, an arm of the National Rifle Association (NRA), joked about an issue that most parents take very seriously. During an interview with the Austin American Statesman, Tripp revealed a disturbing worldview,…

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