Category Archives: Liberals/Democrats/Left

“Don’t kill anybody”: Murder-free weekend urged in Baltimore

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh

It’s come to this: Wearing t-shirts begging folks not to kill. Mayor Catherine Pugh and former mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake must be so proud.

From MSN: A 44-year-old mother might seem an unusual visitor on the drug corners of Baltimore, but Erricka Bridgeford has stopped by them for weeks to make her pitch for peace.

Forget your grudges for one weekend, she urges the young men she finds. Help bring a 72-hour truce to a city besieged by gun violence. “It’s a city-wide call,” she tells them, “but I’m talking to you.”

Bridgeford and other neighborhood leaders are drumming up support for the three-day ceasefire to quell Baltimore’s violence on the first weekend of August. She admits, however, that such peace is a tall order for a city that’s seen 188 killings this year.

Organizers aim to stop the shooting from Friday, Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 6 with a unified and blunt message: “Nobody kill anybody.”

Their message has been printed on T-shirts and fliers. They designed a website and held community meetings. More than 1,600 people visited their Facebook page. The grassroots campaign has swelled since it began in May.

“I’ve seen the momentum build over the past several weeks,” said T.J. Smith, spokesman for Baltimore police. “We are all in this together and we’re 1,000 percent supportive of the efforts.”

The campaign urges people to put aside their guns and join weekend events for healing, from a peace rally Friday evening to a vigil Sunday where participants will read the names of every person killed in 2017.

“The Baltimore Ceasefire was not declared by any one organization,” organizers wrote on their website. “This ceasefire is the product of Baltimore residents not only being exhausted by homicides, but believing that Baltimore can have a murder-free weekend if everyone takes responsibility.”

More than 600 people have pledged to keep the peace, they wrote. Among them are some of the young men Bridgeford has met on the corners. “You just talk to them like they’re your little brother,” she said.

A professional mediator, neighborhood volunteer and part-time Uber driver — “Everyone who gets in my car leaves with a flyer and a speech” — Bridgeford’s own younger brother was gunned down a decade ago in Southwest Baltimore. His killer was never caught.

Next month’s ceasefire would prove successful if it deters a single shooting, she said. And she figured the movement has already saved a life somewhere. “Somebody was plotting on this weekend,” she said. “Now they’re not going to do it because of a rumbling in their soul.”

The organizers are raising money through their website for more fliers. Some of the money will be donated to the families of anyone killed over the ceasefire weekend. Bridgeford is urging everyone she meets to echo the call for peace. “Jumping out in open-air drug markets might not be for everyone,” she said. “But we’re asking everyone to do their part.”

Community ceasefires, however, have failed to stem the violence in the past. The group Mothers of Murdered Sons called for a ceasefire over Mother’s Day weekend, but at least four people were shot, including a 59-year-old man and 17-year-old woman; both were killed.

Other communities have called for ceasefires after spates of violence in Birmingham, Ala. and Berkeley, Calif., and such efforts are as much about empowering residents as reducing homicide statistics, said Cassandra Crifasi, deputy director of the Johns Hopkins-Baltimore Collaborative for Violence Reduction.

Persistent violence often leaves neighbors feeling powerless, she said. “Communities feel like they can’t do things for themselves. They don’t have a voice. They don’t feel heard,” she said. “This effort seems to me like the people most affected by violence are standing up and saying, ‘We’re not going to take this anymore.'”

A similar awareness campaign began in Chicago in 2013 and has spread across the country with people wearing orange in June to draw attention to the scourge of gun violence. Across the country more than 90 people are shot and killed every day, according to the Wear Orange campaign.

Baltimore, meanwhile, remains gripped by its own violent spike, with 2017 on pace to be the city’s deadliest year ever. The number of homicides shot up to 344 in 2015; another 318 people were killed last year. Baltimore had not exceeded 300 annual homicides for decades before 2015.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Crifasi said of the ceasefire. “It indicates to me there are lots of people in Baltimore still invested in the safety and security of their communities.”

People like Bridgeford who has carried the message to Baltimore’s drug corners. She found an unexpected audience, even encouragement in the streets. “I’ve absolutely heard skepticism,” she said. “But even the skeptics are like, ‘Stay out here.'”

DCG

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Big government butting in: British man ordered to remove butt-baring gnome ornaments

gnome ornament

Mr. Perry with the offensive gnome butt/Telegraph photo

From NY Post: A British gardener is butting heads with his local council over its crackdown against his bottom-baring gnomes, according to a report.

Lauren Perry, 77, was ordered to remove two cheeky ornaments from outside his Wistaston home because they were deemed a possible distraction to motorists, the Telegraph reported.

“It has been brought to our attention that several displays and items have been placed on the highway verge in Wistaston,” read a letter from the village’s senior highways officer.

“I am sure that your intentions are meant to be humorous and light hearted. Unfortunately, not everyone shares the same sentiment,” wrote Andrea Bickerton, who gave Perry a week to take down the characters. “If you fail to remove them, the Council will remove them and recover from you the expense of doing so,” she warned.

But Perry took the letter as a real kick in the pants. “I feel very disappointed. My daughter bought them for Father’s Day as a bit of fun as she knows I like a laugh. These things are in discount stores in their hundreds on shelves,” he said.

“How can they be classed as offensive? I put them up two weeks ago — no one ever approached me to complain or ask for them to be removed. The next thing I know, this heavy-handed letter arrives,” he added.

Perry told the Telegraph that he had worked hard to turn a rough patch of trash-filled land into a more attractive area.

“It’s all been self-funded as we were turned down for funding by the parish council,” he said. “We even bought the sign that says ‘Wonderful Wistaston.’ Now I feel like replacing it with one that says ‘Miserable Wistaston.’”

Realizing there will be no fairy-tale ending, Perry said he would move one of the gnomes onto a wall and replace the other elf with one with its pants on

Hopefully, no one will find that offensive. You’d think Cheshire East highways had more important things to worry about — like clearing out all the gulleys full of weeds,” he railed.

A council spokesman said village leaders “do not wish to spoil people’s fun,” but that “there is a safety issue here as such objects could easily cause a distraction to motorists and other road users, leading to an accident.”

DCG

Karma comes in three: John McCain, F. Lee Bailey & Bill Cosby

Or look at it another way: It’s God giving these three men one last chance to repent, before they must answer for their sins.

(1) Sen. John McCain (RINO-Az)

Nominally a Republican, McCain is a never-Trumper who gave the FBI the wholly fake “Russian prostitute golden shower” dossier on Trump, and actually said US leadership was stronger under Obama, when surveys found the military during the Obama administration to be plagued with low morale.

A warmonger (“neo-Con”) who has never met a war he doesn’t promote, McCain met with Syrian jihadists while going postal on Syrian Christians. He is loathed by military veterans for making political capital as a “war hero” when he “sang like a canary” to the VietCong and made a ‘Tokyo Rose’ propaganda recording. More unforgivable still are his tireless efforts to suppress information on America’s still-missing POWs.

On Wednesday, July 19, 2017, the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix said in a statement that McCain has the most common but aggressive type of brain cancer called glioblastoma. Without treatment, survival is typically 3 months; with maximum treatment, the cancer usually recurs, with fewer than 3% to 5% of patients surviving longer than five years.

Despite that, not only has McCain refused to resign, he also trashed President Trump’s decision to end the Obama administration’s irrational and counter-productive policy of the CIA arming and training Syrian jihadists.

(2) F. Lee Bailey

F. Lee Bailey was one of O.J. Simpson’s four defense lawyers in Simpson’s trial for the 1994 murder of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. (On Thursday, July 20, 2017, O.J. was given parole for his 2007 robbery of sports memorabilia and will be released from a Nevada prison this October.)

A famous criminal defense attorney, the 83-year-old Bailey is now flat broke, reduced to living with a hairstylist.

Last year, Bailey filed for bankruptcy after a string of scandals inside and outside the courtroom left him disbarred and shamed, including an accusation that he misappropriated funds from his defense of an alleged drug dealer.

Unable to practice law, Bailey runs a consulting business above his girl friend’s hair salon.

Bailey’s lawyer pal, Alan Dershowitz — a friend of convicted millionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein who frequently flew in the latter’s private plane to Epstein’s pedo-island, as well as provided legal assistance to the pedophile — blames “the vindictive way” Bailey’s been treated on his defense of Simpson.

Bailey continues to insist that a Los Angeles jury had reached the correct verdict in acquitting Simpson of the murders. (SFGate)

(3) Bill Cosby

The 80-year-old actor/comedian, accused by many women of rape and sexual assault, recently got off the hook when his trial for the 2004 sexual assault of Andrea Constand ended in a mistrial on June 17.

Not only has the prosecutor vowed to re-try Cosby, the National Enquirer reports that according to a source “close to Cosby,” the actor has senile dementia. The source says:

“Bill is showing signs of dementia. Some of his reasoning skills seem impaired. He’s been terribly forgetful and his normal behavior has changed. He’s doing strange things, like cutting a sandwich and eating it with a fork — and it’s not because of his vision. The problem is getting him to remember his lines, his own words. At some point, if his wife doesn’t step in — and right now that doesn’t seem like a real possibility — he’s going to need a caretaker, someone who is adept at handling a patient with dementia.”

Even Cosby’s attorney, Brian McMonagle is taken aback by his client’s impaired functioning.

See also:

H/t FOTM‘s MCA

~Eowyn

GMA spins a story on an illegal alien: “Ohio father of 4 bids farewell before deportation to Mexico”

illegalThe father is more than welcome to take his family with him to his native home.

The father had notice six years ago that because he is an illegal alien, he’d be getting the boot.

The father had been in the US for 16 years – plenty of time to acquire US citizenship.

Yet the media does their best everyday to prove why most see them as an arm of the demorats.

From Yahoo (originally on Good Morning America): An Ohio father of four had an emotional farewell with his family this morning before returning to Mexico.

Jesus Lara Lopez, who worked at a packaging facility in Willard, Ohio, was seen off by family and about a dozen supporters at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport this morning, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Photographs taken at the airport before his flight show him embracing his children in a series of tearful goodbyes.

When Lopez checked in with immigration officials in March, he was told he was being deported under “an illegal immigration crackdown,” his lawyer David Leopold told the press this morning.

Lopez has been in the country for 16 years, and his children were born in the U.S., the Plain Dealer reported.

A federal immigration judge first ordered Lopez removed in 2011, Khaalid Walls, the Northeast communications director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told ABC News. In 2014 the agency granted Lopez a stay of removal, Walls said, adding that “in a further exercise of discretion, the agency has allowed him to remain free from custody to finalize his departure plans.”

“The agency will continue to closely monitor his case to ensure compliance,” Walls said.

He said that ICE could not confirm for ABC News whether Lopez complied with its request until after he is “successfully repatriated,” for operational and security reasons, but would try to provide an update on his status later today.

ABC affiliate WEWS-TV in Cleveland reported that Lopez had never been charged with a crime during his 16 years in the U.S., has paid taxes and did not receive food stamps. Walls noted in response that the lack of a criminal record does not necessarily exempt an unauthorized immigrant illegal alien from deportation.

“As Secretary [John] Kelly and Acting Director [Thomas D.] Homan have stated repeatedly, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of national security and public safety threats; however, no class or category of alien in the United States is exempt from arrest or removal,” Walls told ABC News.

Leopold told WEWS-TV that his client had a valid work permit. The New York Times reported in June that Lopez worked “the graveyard shift packing Milano cookies and Goldfish crackers” at Pepperidge Farm.

ABC News reached out to Pepperidge Farm for a comment about Lopez’s work permit, and the company said he was hired by a third-party company, Spherion, which manages packaging workers at the facility. Spherion confirmed for ABC News that Lopez had a valid work permit and it hired him in October 2016.

“These are the darkest times I’ve ever seen as an attorney. When the best and the brightest that we have to offer are taken from their homes and sent away,” Leopold told reporters. “The law is so broken.”

America’s Voice, an immigration rights advocacy group, posted a statement on its website criticizing the deportation of Lopez from John Sandweg, a former acting director of ICE and a former acting general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security.

“Cases like this are an incredible waste of ICE resources that only make it harder for the agency to identify and remove dangerous criminals,” he wrote. He added that he believes enforcement resources should be focused on finding criminals and public safety threats instead.

Sandweg has been a vocal critic of President Trump‘s broad promise of reducing illegal immigration to the U.S. a central part of his 2016 campaign.

The U.S. was already focused on enforcing immigration rules during the presidency of Barack Obama, who oversaw the removal of more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders, earning him the nickname deporter in chief.

“The [Trump] administration’s focus on the low-hanging fruit of the enforcement system only allows the bad guys to remain at large, weakening our public safety,” Sandweg added.

DCG

Friday Nite Funnies

A couple of political truths:


And, my favorite!

H/t FOTM‘s josephbc69 and maziel

~Eowyn

NYC to link funding for arts and museums to diversity, de Blasio says

Martin-Luther-King-01

From Fox News: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday the city will begin linking funding for arts groups and museums to how quickly they increase diversity at their organizations, posing a challenge for the city’s major institutions.

New York City is renowned for its diversity – 67 percent of residents identify as people of color – but only 38 percent of employees at cultural organizations are employees of color, according to a recent study from the city’s Cultural Affairs Department.

However, the 175-page report comes amid the mayor’s re-election campaign, as de Blasio works to strengthen his standing as someone who fights inequality.

The plan to tie funding to diversity was unveiled as part of CreateNYC, the city’s first comprehensive cultural plan that received feedback from 200,000 New Yorkers and took 10 months to complete.

In a press conference, de Blasio said the city would collect data on the diversity of staffs and boards at places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall and dozens of other organizations, according to the New York Times. “This will be a factor in the city’s funding decisions going forward,” Mr. de Blasio said at the announcement in Queens, reports the Times. “We do this because we believe in fairness.”

“The least-white jobs are maintenance and security,” Tom Finkelpearl, the commissioner of cultural affairs, told the Times. “And the whitest are curators. That points to some problems.”

Although it remains to be seen how much cultural organizations will now feel pressured to change their hiring tactics — and whether or not this move boosts the mayor’s campaign in any way — de Blasio’s announcement drew praise from some city officials.

Our city draws strength from its diversity. No matter who you are, what language you speak, or how much money you have, you have a right to take part in the city’s rich cultural resources,” said New York City Council Member Stephen Levin.

DCG

When it comes to political correctness, Millennials have the solution…

safe spaces

Like I’m going to take advice from those who love socialism yet can’t define it. Riiiiight.

From Yahoo (via Business Insider): The heated debate about political correctness is often misunderstood.

While many individuals across generations dislike the pejorative use of political correctness to represent censorship, a closer investigation reveals generational differences in the desire to use inclusive language.

Millennials know that using appropriate language invites rather than restricts productive conversation. Creating a supportive environment makes space for all individuals to feel welcome in sharing their opinions, rather than fearing that people will demonize their personhood and attack their character based on their identities. Thanks to the internet, Millennials are citizens of the globe and ambassadors of social justice. Unfortunately, not all generations understand how using certain words or phrases prohibits dialogue and hurts other people.

To discover five things that all millennials want older generations to know about political correctness that they don’t understand, read the list below.

  1. There is a major difference between ‘being honest’ and spewing prejudice.

You have the right to share your opinion, but you don’t have the right to make people feel threatened. Using emotionally charged words that make others feel frightened for their mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing — even if it does not impact you in the same way — is morally wrong.

Prejudice means possessing strong unfavorable opinions about a person based on their demographics and cultural affiliations. While we all have varying degrees of prejudice, using yours to purposefully harm others, or refusing to stop saying words that others find hurtful, is bullying. Just as you want a teacher to intervene and protect your child from a bully, it’s okay for others to give you the opportunity to correct your behavior when your words are offensive.

  1. Political correctness is not about censorship, it’s about showing respect.

Censorship is a coercive attempt to hide something from people. Asking people to use more inclusive language is not silencing their voice, it’s inviting them to use language in a way that promotes productive conversation.

The purpose of political correctness is to treat all people with the love and respect they deserve. This means calling people by the pronouns they use, and avoiding words and phrases that stereotype and demonize entire groups of people. You can still possess whatever ideology you follow and you can still share your opinion, you’re just being asked to do so in a way that is not hurtful to others.

  1. Millennials feel more connected to global citizenship and human rights than nationalism.

Not only do Millennials have conversations with people around the world, they are also seeing inhumane acts of violence against marginalized people live streamed on social media. This increased visibility and exposure leads to a desire to ensure equality for all individuals, regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, or religion.

Nationalism, or the belief that your country and its laws, culture, and government is superior and beyond critique, is not appealing to Millennials. Seeing firsthand pictures and videos on their smartphones of discrimination and unequal rights for people of color, Muslims, immigrants, women, and LGBTQ individuals has increased Millennials desire for social justice.

  1. Inclusive language creates space for meaningful conversations to take place, offensive language makes people feel unsafe.

If you were trying to have a difficult conversation with someone and they opened the discussion using words that were aimed at hurting your feelings, making you feel unsafe, or undermining your personhood, would you want to keep talking?

No, and that’s why everyone should use more inclusive language. When you create space for other people instead of shutting them out, it creates opportunities for honest dialogue to emerge. You’re not being ask [sic] to silence yourself, you’re being asked to use different words and phrases to express your thoughts. That subtle difference is not a big deal — you do it all the time. You don’t speak the same way to your partner as you do your grandmother or your newborn infant. Adjusting your dialogue isn’t a momentous task, and doing so might allow you to have more meaningful conversations with people from all walks of life.

  1. Millennials are not being sensitive, they’re being morally minded and ethically informed global citizens.

Many individuals in older generations think that Millennials are overly sensitive, but it may be the other way around. If Millennials are simply asking older generations to be respectful of others by using more inclusive language, and older generations respond with hostility — a common response to feeling threatened — perhaps older generations are dealing with an underlying fear of being unable to adapt to a changing world.

Making mistakes is part of learning. Most people occasionally say things that hurt other people’s feelings. But the mature individuals are the ones that apologize and then adjust. Continuing to use hurtful language only prevents meaningful and necessary conversations.

DCG