Tag Archives: Raw Story

Raw Story’s top 10 villains of 2013

The Raw Story

Ted Cruz speaks to CBN

There are literally too many villains in the news. Here at The Raw Story, we reported so many awful things our elected officials and opinion shapers said or did this year — whether they’re imprudent, malicious or just ridiculous — that there were too many villains to fit into a Top 10 list (sorry Sarah Palin, Rep. Louie Gohmert, Erik Rush, Rick Santorum, Gordon Klingenschmitt and Ken Blackwell; you all missed the cut). But we managed to combine a couple of entries to cram all the bad guys into one conventional list of 2013′s biggest villains.

Jim Wheeler via Wheeler4Nevada

Dishonorable mention: Jim Wheeler, Nevada Republican state assemblyman: He told a gathering of Storey County Republicans that, if his constituents demanded, he would vote to reinstate slavery. The comments were reported in October, although he’d made them more than a year earlier, in August 2012. While the timing may technically disqualify him from our list, Wheeler’s comments merit a dishonorable mention.

Redeeming qualities: Listens to his constituents. Would only vote to bring back slavery at gunpoint, and while holding his nose. Is that not better than doing so enthusiastically? Oh. Right. Yeah, slavery is an issue that’s definitely worth laying down your life to fight against.

 

Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) says creditors 'would thanks us' if U.S. went into default [CNN]

10. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL): It’s been a busy year for the first-term Tea Party lawmaker. He backed legislation to investigate the circumstances of President Barack Obama’s birth – including chasing down conspiracy theories about his actual birth mother being a wanted terrorist – in hopes of invalidating all the laws he’s signed. Yoho called the health care reform law “racist” because it imposed a tax on tanning bed use and said federal workers who were furloughed during the government shutdown shouldn’t be paid – even though he voted to reinstate their back pay. Yoho also invited families in his district to attend a course on buying a gun and using it safely on the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. It’s true that YOLO, and let’s hope Yoho only serves once.

Redeeming qualities: As a former veterinarian, presumably likes animals. Voted to reinstate back pay for furloughed federal workers, even if he insulted them. His name invites use of the #yoho tag, which is fun.

Rand Paul speaks to ABC News

9. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY): “Aqua Buddha” has a problem with sourcing. He got caughtplagiarizing his speeches and books from Wikipedia and other sources, and his butt-hurt threats to just “footnote everything” and duel Rachel Maddow were arguably worse than the original sin. And Paul’s board certification for his eyeball chiropractic opthalmology practice turned out to be just as legit as the “slumbering wombat” hairstyle he wears (i.e., it’s fake, and self-applied). But even more problematic for the 2016 presidential hopeful, his foreign policy isincomprehensible and has been caught palling around with racists, just like his dad.

Redeeming qualities: Grandstanding March filibuster drew attention to a real issue – the proposed domestic use of drone strikes – even if he was eventually joined on the Senate floor by the “wacko bird” caucus, proving that even a cuckoo clock is right twice a day.

Racial discrimination charges against Paula Deen dismissed [ABC News]

8. Paula Deen: It’s not surprising that a 66-year-old white woman who grew up in the pre-segregation South would hold some racist views or make racist comments. It’s not right, of course, but it’s not surprising and can even be forgivable. But her explanation that she was only joking, and that her jokes are usually targeted at group stereotypes, was pretty bad. Fantasizing about aslave-themed wedding for her brother, complete with identically dressed black servants to evoke “the Shirley Temple days” is even worse. Especially in 2007, as she admitted in a deposition for a sexual and racial harassment lawsuit filed by former employees against Deen and her brother. The suit was later settled, and Deen was dropped by the Food Network and many companies she endorsed due to the uproar over her admitted remarks and botched apology.

Redeeming qualities: Her cookware is actually pretty decent, even if her recipes are grotesque caricatures of down-home southern cooking.

Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Republican Representative Darrell Issa (AFP)

7. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA): Look, no one is supposed to like the House Oversight Committee Chairman. As the congressional watchdog with subpoena power, you’re supposed to be the bad guy – but that doesn’t mean you should also be bad at your job. In his dogged pursuit of a scandal that can be used to impeach Obama, the California Republican has wasted scads of taxpayer money and revealed sensitive information not meant for release. Government transparency is good and proper, but this is just sloppy and vindictive work. “Derp Throat’s” indiscretions have been sofrequent and egregious that his fellow committee members have complained they aren’t trusted with the sensitive materials they need to do their jobs. Issa claimed his office forgot about a court order when releasing sealed documents on the “Fast and Furious” gun sales investigation, and he shared security information on the government health care exchange website the White House said could serve as a blueprint for hackers. Issa also recommended that a health official“watch more Fox News” to learn about the Affordable Care Act, which is laugh-out-loud stupid.

Redeeming qualities: Accused car thief and suspected arsonist with a shadowy business past. Those aren’t good things?

Ethan Couch

6. (tie) Judges G. Todd Baugh (Montana) and Jean Boyd (Texas): Baugh drew broad and richly condemnation for his decision to sentence former teacher Stacey Rambold to just one month in prison for raping a 14-year-old student. But his justification was arguably worse, claiming the teenage girl – who later took her own life — was “older than her chronological age” and “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher. Boyd also made international news for herdecision to sentence 16-year-old Ethan Couch to 10 years on probation, but no jail time for killing four pedestrians and badly injuring two friends in a drunken driving crash. The teen’s attorney argued that the teen suffered from “affluenza” due to his wealthy, indulgent parents, and his wealth and privilege prevented him from knowing the difference between right and wrong.

Redeeming qualities: Baugh apologized and later tried to annul the sentence, but the state’s Supreme Court ruled he didn’t have the authority to do so. The judge concedes he should be censured, if not removed from the bench for his remarks about the teenage rape victim. Boyd’s sentence, which may allow the teen to stay in an upscale alcohol treatment facility at his father’s expense, will keep Couch under court supervision for 10 years, while a jail term may have allowed him to be released after just two years.

Steubenville protest 010512 by roniweb via Flickr CC

5. Steubenville, Ohio: The sexual assault and subsequent cover-up last year of an unconscious 16-year-old girl laid bare a rape culture so deeply rooted in the football-mad small town that the prosecutions still haven’t stopped, even with the convictions of two teens on rape charges. Photos of the drugged girl being carried from party to party, sexually assaulted, mocked and abused were circulated on social media by other teens who witnessed the attacks, but police said they were unable to find any witnesses until the hacktivist group Anonymous shared the incriminating posts. Residents accused the girl of making up the attack, despite photographic evidence to the contrary, to bring down the town’s highly successful football program and rebuked the media for publicizing the case. After football players Ma’lik Richmond and Trenton Mays were found guilty in March and sentenced to at least a year in juvenile prison, two teenage girls were charged with threatening the victim. A grand jury just last month indicted the school superintendent, a volunteer assistant football coach and two school employees accused of helping to cover up the crime. Even the judge who presided over the rapists’ trial excused the teens actions, noting that the verdict served as a lesson of the dangers of social media, and not a cautionary tale against committing or condoning sexual violence.

Redeeming qualities: Of course, even in a town as small as Steubenville, there are good people and bad people. But unfortunately, the attitudes and actions that have landed the town on our list are not limited to Steubenville. For example, CNN’s Candy Crowley grieved after the convictionthat “those two boys’ lives are ruined.” Elsewhere, a woman who accused a Florida State football star of raping her said police cautioned her against pursuing charges “because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable” in the football-obsessed college town. (Prosecutors later decided not to charge the player, Jameis Winston, who won the Heisman Trophy the following week.) And in a remarkably similar case from Missouri, a special prosecutordecided to re-open a rape investigation after a teenage girl went public to discuss her alleged sexual assault by two football players and subsequent harassment, which also attracted involvement by Anonymous. Rape culture is real, and it’s everywhere.

George Zimmerman laughs in court (Fox News / screen grab)

4. George Zimmerman: History will recall George Zimmerman, if he leaves any discernible mark at all, as an angry, underemployed vigilante who shot an unarmed black kid to death after provoking a confrontation, losing the subsequent fight and then claiming self-defense to initially avoid charges. A jury found there wasn’t enough evidence this summer to convict him of second-degree murder or manslaughter, and that should have been the last we heard from Sean Hannity’s id. But Zimmerman periodically turns up in the news for driving too fast, usually carrying a gun, and beating up or threatening his estranged wife or girlfriend. Zimmerman beat the rap on both domestic violence cases for the pretty much the same reasons abusers always so. But before recanting her accusations, his girlfriend painted a disturbing picture of a desperate, suicidal man unable to handle the pressure of living under media scrutiny but who is so desperate to stay in the spotlight that he’ll commit crimes to keep his name in the news. He recently sold a painting on eBay for more than $100,000 and started a sanctimonious, self-aggrandizing Twitter account. This story won’t end well.

Redeeming qualities: Ha. Ha ha ha. Ha.

Rafael Cruz speaks at town hall event in Delaware (C-SPAN)

3. (tie) Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and oil baron Rafael Cruz: Many conservatives don’t trust Obama because they fear he’s a foreign-born Manchurian candidate primed for political success by a nefarious outsider father who wishes to reshape the United States in his own image. So it’s weird that they seem to like Ted Cruz so much, because he was born in Canada and pushed into right-wing politics as a child by his Cuban-born, supervillain-voiced father, Rafael Cruz, who tells anyone who’ll listen that his son was anointed by God as a “political savior.” (And conservatives made fun of Barbara Walters for her Obama-as-messiah metaphor!) The younger Cruz still retains the “boy pastor” style of speaking he honed as a teenager in the Amway-backed Free Enterprise Education Center, even when he seems to be reading from a random conservative’s Facebook wall (“Duck Dynasty,” Ashton Kutcher, “Star Wars,” Dr. Seuss) during his pointless faux-libuster that helped kick off the even more pointless government shutdown he helped force.

Redeeming qualities: The way his eyebrows sweep plaintively upward when he’s feigning sincerity, as if to say, “Aw, look: He thinks he’s people.”

Koch brothers

2. The Koch brothers: It’s a conspiracy, man. The banal white faces of dark money are basically the root of pretty much all corporatist evil in this country. Billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch are behind efforts to keep minimum wages lowrestrict reproductive rights and pressure lawmakers into shutting down the federal government in a failed effort to defund Obamacare. Then, to deprive the health care reform law of the young, healthy recipients needed to offset older, riskier investments, they sponsored a campus tourto convince college students it’s cool to go without health insurance. Speaking of colleges, the pair has made large donations to colleges in hopes of buying influence over professor hiring, and they’ve been able to buy economic studies that turn out the results they want.

Redeeming qualities: The Koch brothers have donated a nearly incomprehensible amount of money to medical research, the arts and various museums. So that’s nice.

Wayne LaPierre speaks to Fox News

1. Wayne LaPierre: This ghoulish stain exploited the gruesome massacre of 20 first-graders and their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary while lobbing back the same accusation at anyone who dared wonder whether restricting access to guns may have prevented the slaughter. LaPierre waited in hiding for a week for the initial shock from the tragedy to wear off before calling for more guns in schools, and he continued pushing for more guns everywhere with each new, painfully routine mass shooting occurred throughout the year. He claims to represent gun owners, but instead stokes their darkest fears to benefit the gun manufacturers he actually represents. “The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters,” LaPierre said one week after the Newtown, Connecticut, killings. And he should know, assuming he’s not too ashamed to walk past a mirror.

Redeeming qualities: Hasn’t shot anyone, to my knowledge. It’s long past due that we restricted access to ruthlessly efficient killing tools, but nothing will really change until we stop associating guns and violence with manhood. Teach your kids that guns are for cowards.

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Filed under U.S. Politics, Year-End Lists

eBay removes anti-Zimmerman artwork the same day Zimmerman’s painting sells for $100k

hoodies

Hoodies…

Is this yet another commentary on our divided nation

The Raw Story

Over the weekend, online auction-house ebay removed an anti-racist painting critical of George Zimmerman on the same day it allowed Zimmerman to sell one of his own paintings for over $100,000.

On Saturday, an 18-by-24-inch oil painting by “therealgeorgez” — better known as George Zimmerman — was purchased on eBay for $100,099.99. In the question and answer section beneath the auction, Zimmerman even said that “whoever wins within the Continental United States, will receive this painting deliver by me personally.”

Zimmerman’s medium is “regular household latex paint,” which he used because “I needed to put these visions onto the blank canvas as soon as possible.” George Zimmerman currently owes his legal team over $2.5 million. 

On the same day Zimmerman’s auction closed, ebay removed the anti-racist painting that artist Michael D’Antuono had created in the days after the death of Trayvon Martin. Fifty percent of the proceeds from D’Antuono’s auction were to have gone to the Trayvon Martin Foundation, and with five days left to bid, the price for the painting had already exceeded $25,000.

Then eBay “pull[ed] the plug.” On his blog, D’Antuono wonders why “Zimmerman was allowed to capitalize on his ill-gotten notoriety, [whereas] I was denied the opportunity to raise funds to help the very foundation named in honor of Zimmerman’s victim.”

In an email from eBay that D’Antuono shared with Raw Story, eBay claims that the painting violates its strictures that “[i]tems promoting or glorifying hatred, violence, or racial or religious intolerance aren’t allowed. Items that promote organizations with these views are also prohibited.”

According to the email, “[t]he painting you listed appears to contain images or icons associated with the KKK which are not allowed to be listed on our site as they represent an organization that glorifies hate and violence.”

D’Antuono told Raw Story that he was “outraged” that eBay would mistake a criticism of a hate-group for a statement that “promot[es] or glorif[ies]” one.

D’Antuono will attempt to auction the piece off privately, and remains committed to donating half of the proceeds to the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

Also posted on THE ZIMMERMAN TRIAL AND AFTERMATH page.

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Obama rodeo clown at Missouri state fair draws protest – UPDATE: Video Added

Obama rodeo clown at Missouri state fair, photo by Perry Beam.

Obama rodeo clown at Missouri state fair, photo by Perry Beam.

The Raw Story

“I felt like I was at a Klan rally,” Missouri State Fair goer Perry Beam told Raw Story, his outrage stoked by watching a rodeo crowd whoop and holler at a clown wearing an Obama mask while an announcer asked “Who wants to see Obama get trampled?” this weekend.

The fair – which is established by the Missouri Legislature – is formally a nonpartisan event. “This isn’t a Republican state fair,” Beam said. “I want to write the governor and the fair board, because I want my money back. This was shameful.”

A call to a spokesman for the fair has yet to be returned. The rodeo at the fair is produced by the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association, which also has not yet returned a call seeking comment.

Beam said they brought out the clown like a statue, “and the announcer said, ‘Look at our Obama dummy.’” As the announcer called for the “dummy” to get gored, the crowd began to cheer. Eventually, a bull approached the supposed statue, which jumped up and ran away to cheers, Beam said.

The problem with the performance comes from the partisan assumptions made about the audience, and the racial subtext about calling for violence against the president, Beam said.

“Is this what we want people to see of us?” asked Beam. “I’m a native of Missouri, I play country music for a living. Knuckleheads. They should know better.”

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry: Americans have no right to freedom from religion

Governor Rick Perry screenshot

I actually did a double take when I first saw the above headline on a political blog.

The Raw Story

During an announcement of the signing of the so-called “Merry Christmas Bill,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry and state Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) said Thursday that freedom from religion was not included in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“I’m proud we are standing up for religious freedom in our state,” Perry said. “Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.”

The new law states that students and school officials have the right to use religious greetings like “Merry Christmas” and display various religious holiday symbols on school grounds.

“I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said the price of liberty is eternal vigilance,” Nichols remarked. “One of those freedoms is the freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and as the governor was saying the Constitution refers to the freedom of religion, not the freedom from religion.”

“So, challenges to these freedoms that we enjoy can come in a lot of different ways,” the state senator continued. “They can come in very large ways like the war on terror or our freedoms can be taken away in small ways like the removal of a Christmas tree from a classroom.”

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below:

 

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Chambliss blames military rapes on ‘the hormone level created by nature’

Saxby Chambliss speaks at a Senate hearing

Saxby Chambliss speaks at a Senate hearing

This guy is my Senator but I always knew he was a TEApublican based on his voting record

The Raw Story

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) on Tuesday suggested that the “hormone level created by nature” was to blame for rapes in the military and that all pregnant servicewomen should be investigated to make sure their condition was the result of consensual sex.

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on sexual assaults within the military, Chambliss opined that the Pentagon’s decision to allow women in combat roles was only going to make the problem worse.

The Georgia Republican recalled that “several years ago when we had the first females go out on an aircraft carrier, when they returned to port, a significant percentage of those females were pregnant.”

“Was any investigation made by the Navy following that incident to determine whether or not all of those pregnancies occurred as a result of consensual acts?” he asked Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert.

The admiral replied that he did not have details of the incident immediately available, but he pledged to follow up.

Chambliss noted that Democratic proposals to modify the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and take sexual assault reporting outside of the victim’s chain of command might not work because young servicemen were being driven by their “nature.”

“The young folks coming in to each of your services are anywhere from 17 to 22 or 23,” he pointed out. “Gee-whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur. So, we’ve got to be very careful on our side.”

Watch the video from NBC News, broadcast June 4, 2013.

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James Yeager, CEO Who Threatened To ‘Start Killing People,’ Has Gun Permit Suspended

James Yeager

That was quick…

The Huffington Post

James Yeager, the CEO who recently threatened to “start killing people” if President Barack Obama pursued an expansion on gun control, has had his gun permit suspended.

Authorities with the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security told Newschannel 5 the suspension was based on “material likelihood of risk of harm to the public.”

In a statement to the station, Commissioner Bill Gibbons said:

The number one priority for our department is to ensure the public’s safety. Mr. Yeager’s comments were irresponsible, dangerous, and deserved our immediate attention. Due to our concern, as well as that of law enforcement, his handgun permit was suspended immediately. We have notified Mr. Yeager about the suspension today via e-mail. He will receive an official notification of his suspension through the mail.

Yeager raised some eyebrows after posting a video to YouTube Wednesday. In the clip he said increased gun control measures would “spark a civil war” and he would “be glad to fire the first shot.”

The video originally ended with Yeager stating, “If it goes one inch further, I’m going to start killing people.” He has since deleted that portion of the video, but an original version, captured by Raw Story, is still viewable below.

Yeager is the CEO of Tactical Response, a Tennessee company that teaches people weapons handling and other tactical skills.

In a video statement released on YouTube Thursday, Yeager acknowledges, “I was mad when I said it and probably allowed my mouth to overrun my logic, but I don’t retract any of my statements.”

Watch Raw Story Video

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Tactical Response CEO Threatens To ‘Start Killing People’ Over Possible Obama Gun Measure (VIDEO)

James Yeager

Multiply this guy by millions who think just like him..scary scenario, indeed…

The Huffington Post

One CEO says he’s willing to go to outrageous lengths to protect his right to use a gun.

James Yeager, CEO of Tactical Response, a Tennessee company that trains people in weapon and tactical skills, claimed in a video posted on YouTube and Facebook thathe would “start killing people” if President Barack Obama decides to take executive action to pass further gun control policies, Raw Story reports.

In a frenetic address to the camera, Yeager puts a call out to other gun rights advocates to “load your damn mags” and “get ready to fight” in what he claims will turn into a “civil war” if gun control measures in the country get any stricter.

SEE FULL VIDEO BELOW — WARNING ADULT LANGUAGE

Yeager’s diatribe was a response to a recent statement from Vice President Joe Biden indicating that Obama was exploring using executive orders to address gun policy. Yeager accused Obama of being a “dictator” for considering taking action without Congress.

After the massacre in Newtown, Conn. last month, Obama instituted a task force lead by Biden to come up with policy proposals to deal with gun violence no later than this month.

The Washington Post reported that the White House is considering more expansive measures to tackle gun violence than simply reinstating a ban on assault weapons and large magazines. Biden’s working group will consider initiatives such as a national database to track sale and movement of weapons and universal background checks for gun buyers.

Yeager isn’t the first gun advocate to loudly voice his opinion about potential action on Capitol Hill. On Monday, Radio Host Alex Jones went on a scathing pro-gun tirade on “Piers Morgan Tonight” claiming that, “1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms! Doesn’t matter how many lemmings you get out there on the street, begging for ‘em to have their guns taken. We will not relinquish them. Do you understand?!”

Yeager recently edited the video he put up on YouTube to not include his threat to “start killing people.” The original video was preserved by Raw Story and can be seen below.

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Activists promise to challenge Houston’s ban on feeding homeless

A line of homeless children being fed by a charitable group. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

“God comes to the hungry in the form of food…” ~ Ghandi

Where is the soul of the GOP?  What’s happened to “the party of Lincoln”?

The Raw Story

The Houston City Council voted this week to require prior permission before any citizen may distribute food to five or more people on public property, but local activists are preparing to fight back — and hard.

While the ordinance passed Wednesday night by an 11-6 vote was drastically stripped down from the version supported by Houston Mayor Annise Parker, activists say they’re going to challenge it in court and attempt to gather 20,000 signatures over the next month, which should be enough to trigger a city-wide vote on the ordinance in November.

It turns public property into private property,” Chris Carmona, a civil rights attorney in Houston and volunteer with the charitable group Noah’s Kitchen, told Raw Story on Friday. “We already have trespassing laws on the books. We have loitering laws. We have littering laws. But to take public property and turn it private… That’s our local government’s recent mood. That’s our biggest concern.”

The ordinance that passed Wednesday night requires groups to obtain permission from the city before handing out any food, and imposes a fine of $500 for anyone who defies the rule. It also allows the city to designate certain organizations as “recognized” charitable food providers, which would have to adhere to certain rules mostly pertaining to cleanliness.

The disjointed groups opposing the city on public food distribution are being led by the local chapter of Food Not Bombs, which boasts that they have been serving Houston’s homeless community four nights a week over the last 18 years. They helped lead the charge against the original proposal, which would have required food handlers’ licenses and special permits from the city to serve food in a public place.

“This will make it a crime to pull over to the side of the road and hand out food to five or more people,” Nick Cooper, spokesman for Houston Food Not Bombs, told Houston newspaperThe Memorial Examiner.

Carmona added that his group, Noah’s Kitchen, would be restricted to operating at only very specific locations, and likely far away from the less-seen populations they try to serve. He pointed to the city’s wealthier land and business owners as having been influential in the city’s thinking on the ordinance, which he claimed essentially says that the city owns all public property.

And Randall Kallinen, a civil rights attorney who has worked with Occupy Houston, absolutely agrees with Carmona. “A few of the downtown moneyed interests have been able to exert their influence to prevent people from giving and sharing food,” he told the local Fox affiliate.

Kallinen and Carmona, along with other associated groups, have released petition forms online for distribution across social media, hoping to generate the 20,000 signatures required to force the issue onto a city-wide ballot this November. Other groups are reportedly pursuing a restraining order against the ordinance, which would otherwise take effect on July 1 — but Carmona told Raw Story that may not even be necessary.

“Under city charter, if we get our signatures in a timely manner, once you submit them to the city secretary, that should stop any action on the ordinance until it can be voted on by the citizens of Houston,” he said.

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Texas cop filmed threatening to arrest men for being afraid of Taser

An as-yet-unnamed police officer confronts several men outside of a Walmart in Houston, Texas. Screenshot via YouTube.

I watched the video below a couple of times.  My conclusion is that the police officer in question needs some serious time off along with some diversity classes and anger management classes…

The Raw Story

A video published to YouTube on Friday appears to show a police officer at a Walmart store in Houston, Texas threatening several black males with a Taser, then claiming he would arrest them, apparently because they cowered away from his weapon.

Reached by Raw Story, a Houston police spokesman said it was not one of their officers involved in the confrontation, and the man’s identity remains unknown.

“He’s an officer from a neighboring jurisdiction, but that’s not for us to say,” the spokesman insisted.

“The officer seen in this video is not a Houston Police Officer and does not work for the Houston Police Department,” another Houston information officer wrote in the video’s comments. “Officers from jurisdictions throughout the area often work extra jobs at businesses throughout the area and that is the case in this incident/video.”

In the video, the unnamed officer approaches several men who are filming outside of a Walmart, then draws his Taser after the men say that they do not have to show him their identifications. When one man reaches toward the officer, he reacts angerly and accuses him of resisting, then claims later in the video he’d already been “hurt,” although it’s not clear by whom.

The man who appeared to gesture toward the officer apparently did so out of fear that his friend might be tazed, and did quite make contact when the officer flung his arms up and knocked his hand aside.

“Don’t taze me, sir,” one man says. “Don’t taze me, sir.”

The men appear to remain calm during the confrontation, even after the officer appears to slap the camera down. “I’m sorry I scared you, but we’re not hostile people,” one of them explains. “We know our rights. We know the Constitution, sir. We know the Constitution. Do I sound illiterate?”

“You know what, I’m calling for a unit right now,” the officer replies. “We’ll see how well you know the Constitution.”

“What’s the– What’s the unit gonna do, take me to jail for knowing the Constitution?” the man answers. “For standing for my freedom?”

At the end of the video, another one of the men informs the officer that he’s a dialysis patient. “You were about to taze somebody– you don’t even know what I go through,” he says. “You might-a, coulda killed me. I’m a dialysis patient, sir! You could have tazed me and made my blood pressure go up.”

It’s not clear what happened after that, as the footage cuts off. It’s also not clear what time and date the incident occurred, but the video was published on Friday, March 30. Houston Police told Raw Story that it happened at the Walmart Super Center at 9460 West Sam Houston Parkway, but could not provide any further details.

The video’s description notes that none of the men were arrested.

This video was published to YouTube on Friday, March 30, 2012. It contains some adult language.

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Alec Baldwin calls Breitbart a ‘festering boil on the anus of public discourse’

I have never been a real big fan of Alec Baldwin.  However, that has all changed since reading this headline on the Raw Story. I have tweeted Andrew Breitbart a few times telling him what I thought of him, but never could I have composed such a “poetic” description of creepy Breitbart.

The Raw Story

Apparently Keith Olbermann isn’t the only person who thinks Andrew Breitbart’s recent attempt to smear the “Occupy” movement as serial rapists is a bit beyond the pale.Mediaite is reporting that actor Alec Baldwin took to Twitter today to excoriate the Big Government blogger and media provocateur, calling him a “festering boil on the anus of public discourse.”

The dust-up began when a Twitter user asked Baldwin’s opinion as to whether Breitbart was using the so-called “rape rant” as a smoke screen to distract public attention away from the Shirley Sherrod scandal. (Sherrod was a USDA employee whose career and reputation were impugned in a heavily doctored video that was first aired on Breitbart’s website.)

Baldwin replied to the query with the very descriptive phrase mentioned above, which prompted a great deal of back and forth between the 30 Rock star and Breitbart, as well as many of Breitbart’s and Baldwin’s fans. The actor threw in the towel around 2:00 pm, Tweeting, “OK, enough festering boils for this weekend.”

Interested readers can view screen grabs of the Twitter feeds and a detailed timeline at Mediaite.

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