From President Obama’s January 27 State of the Union speech
Hat tip to Media Matters
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Tag Archives: shows
In State of the Union, President Obama Criticizes “TV pundits” for “reducing serious debates to silly arguments”
From President Obama’s January 27 State of the Union speech
This is a must watch. Environmental Graffiti has a post up on the decades of experiments western armies undertook in an attempt to develop chemical warfare to render their enemies incapacitated: In short, armies gave their own soldiers LSD, and other psychedelic drugs, and studied the effects. The Nazis did it first, then Britain, and the U.S. and other countries followed suit.
The video below is from 1963 and shows British soldiers under the influence of LSD.
Posted by Libby Shaw
In a letter sent Feb. 14, three days before Willingham was scheduled to die, Perry had been asked to postpone the execution. The condemned man’s attorney argued that the newly obtained expert evidence showed Willingham had not set the house fire that killed his daughters, 2-year-old Amber and 1-year-old twins Karmon and Kameron, two days before Christmas in 1991.
On Feb. 17, the day of the execution, Perry’s office got the five-page faxed report at 4:52 p.m., according to documents the Houston Chronicle obtained in response to a public records request.
But it’s unclear from the records whether he read it that day. Perry’s office has declined to release any of his or his staff’s comments or analysis of the reprieve request.
A statement from Perry spokesman Chris Cutrone, sent to the Chronicle late Friday, said that “given the brevity of (the) report and the general counsel’s familiarity with all the other facts in the case, there was ample time for the general counsel to read and analyze the report and to brief the governor on its content.”
A few minutes after 5 p.m., defense lawyer Walter M. Reaves Jr. said he received word that the governor would not intervene. At 6:20 p.m. Willingham was executed after declaring: “I am an innocent man, convicted of a crime I did not commit.”
In the past, as recently as during George W. Bush’s term, gubernatorial reviews were made public. Rick Perry, however, does not believe any of his or his staff reviews should be.
A Forensic Science Commission was about to disclose a report that seriously questions the arson evidence in the Willingham case. But Perry had immediately fired three of the Commission’s members, including the Chairman. The meeting at which the report would have been revealed was canceled.
His 2004 execution gained renewed prominence this year after the newly formed Texas Forensic Science Commission, created by the Legislature to explore and fix forensic flaws, released a report that criticized the arson evidence. Two days before the panel was to review that report, Perry abruptly replaced three members, including the chairman, and the meeting was canceled. The governor also attacked the report, according to other media reports.
The report reveals that the investigators in Willingham’s case made serious errors and had relied on junk science.
The five-page opinion faxed to Perry’s office on Willingham’s execution day in 2004 was the first. It said investigators made “major errors” and relied on discredited techniques akin to an “old wives tale.”
It was authored by Dr. Gerald Hurst, an Austin-based arson expert who holds a doctorate in chemistry from Cambridge University.
By 2004, Hurst already had received national media coverage for helping to obtain a string of high-profile exonerations by debunking arson evidence in other criminal cases. Hurst said in an interview that his previous analysis of flaws in another Texas arson-murder case had helped prompt the Board of Pardons and Paroles in 1998 to free a woman convicted of setting a fire that killed her infant son. She had served six years of a 99-year sentence.
By his actions one can only assume that Governor Rick Perry is attempting to cover up his negligence. Otherwise, he would admit if he did nor or did not read the report. For a man with 20 executions on his watch, one would think Governor Perry should, at the very least, want to know if the state has executed an innocent man. A person’s life is far, far more important than an election outcome.
Please call Rick Perry’s office and demand that he release all reports at 512 463 1782. Please also check Scott Cobb’s post over at the The Burnt Orange Report and Daily Kos. He provides links to a petition and the site to send an email to Perry.
Texas must immediately declare a moratorium on all executions until a complete and thorough review of all procedures on all levels is done by an outside, non-partisan board of experts. One innocent death is one too many.
Posted by Buellboy
October 7th Announcement of undercover investigation of illegal sales at gun shows
Gun Show Undercover—The City of New York launched an undercover investigation to expose how a dangerous loophole allows guns to get into the hands of criminals.
The vast majority of people who either visit or sell guns at gun shows are law-abiding citizens and dealers.
However, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms , and Explosives (ATF) reports that 30 percent of guns involved in federal illegal gun trafficking investigations are connected to gun shows.
This multi-state undercover investigation exposed how easy it is for criminals to buy guns at gun shows.
The City of New York investigated 7 gun shows in 3 states involving buys from 47 gun sellers using hidden cameras.
The investigation videos showed that 35 out of 47 sellers approached by undercover investigators at these gun shows sold guns illegally.
The term “gun show loophole” is often used to describe the fact that federal law allows private sellers to sell firearms without background checks or record keeping.
While private sellers are exempted from running background checks no matter where they make the sale, this loophole is associated with gun shows because they are the largest and most central marketplace where these private sellers can easily connect with purchasers who wish to avoid detection.
Review by Audiegrl and TheLCster
ABC’s new true crime drama “The Forgotten” is executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and stars Christian Slater, with a strong ensemble cast. The show centers on the Forgotten Network, which is a group of people, who explore unsolved crimes and missing person cases.
As the show begins, we see a shot of a unidentified young woman who has been murdered, laying in a deserted area in Chicago. This Jane Doe, a la The Lovely Bones begins to narrate and watches the team as they pursue the extremely difficult task of figuring out who she once was.
The time-elapsed shots show the Chicago Police Department trying to identify Jane Doe, but they are ultimately unsuccessful. The CPD then turns to Christian Slater’s group of amateur sleuths, who only have 5 days to identify Jane Doe, before she is buried in an unmarked grave in Potter’s Field. Slater’s character has a lot of baggage, he is a former cop and is deeply scared by the fact that his 11-year-old daughter was kidnapped three years prior. I suspect in each episode we will discover that many of the team members have stories that will tell us why they are doing this.
For those interested in the Forensic aspect of solving murders, you won’t be disappointed. This episode a la Cold Case, will include facial reconstruction, and other Forensic techniques.
We won’t provide any spoilers to the show, but will provide a graphic link at the bottom, for those you want to watch the clips from the first episode.
One thing we really enjoyed and respected about the show, was the strong theme of victims advocacy. Rather than spending a majority of the time focusing on the killer, as many true crime shows do, they focused on this girls life and identifying her so she could be buried with dignity. At the end of the show, the mother of Jane Doe, thanks Christian and his group for bringing her daughter back home.
That sentiment alone is worth us recommending this show to everyone…
Posted by Audiegrl
I remember in 1992 when MTV’s “Real Word” series got started. It was fun to watch a group of young people try to get along with each other. Most of the shows contained at least two people that you just knew were going to clash. Great TV right? Well, nowadays you can pretty much count on in-house fighting, spitting, lots of cursing bleeps, contestants with criminal records, and lots and lots of hook-ups. The reality stars of the nineties, should be astounded at the so-called ‘Reality Stars’ that are being made in 2009. Many people who participate in one reality show, are often given the chance to participate in other reality shows on that network, or given their own shows ($$cha-ching$$). The new brand of reality star has their own agents, publicists, and fan clubs. They can be found on Facebook, YouTube, and if they do something really outrageous, they will be featured in a ‘Greatest Reality Star Moments’ type special. That was as far as they could go with their ’15 minutes of fame’. That is, until Ryan Jenkin’s came along.
Jenkins didn’t win is spot as reality TV’s most outrageous star by fighting or cussing, or spitting. He won that spot by killing his wife. (Or for legal reasons, I should say, allegedly killing his wife.) Ryan’s alleged actions have turned the world of reality TV on its ear. Ryan was involved in both VH1’s ‘Megan Wants a Millionaire” and “I Love Money 3“.
Police believe that Ms. Fiori was strangled in the early hours of August 14th. Security camera’s show Jenkins leaving the hotel later that morning by himself with a large suitcase. This is the same suitcase police would find in a dumpster containing the mutilated body of Ms. Fiore. Thinking that the removal of her fingers and teeth would deter investigators trying to identify the body, her killer forgot one important thing. Fiore was quickly identified by the serial numbers on her breast implants. At that point Jenkins became a person of interest and a suspect. Jenkins was a native of Canada, and many believed that he would flee there, because Canadian courts will not extradite people accused of capital crimes. After a week long international chase, Jenkins body was found hanging from a coat rack at a Canadian motel an apparent suicide.
It has been rumored that Jenkins used his marriage Fiore to gain US citizenship. But Jenkins was also going to be facing a judge for allegedly striking Fiore on the arm. It was discovered that Jenkins was convicted and did 16 months in Canada for beating another girlfriend. So he already had a record of domestic abuse when he was vetted for the two shows. That must have been some serious vetting, right? Not so much.
Right now VH1 and 51 Mind Entertainment, are trying their best to distance themselves from Jenkins and from each other. They immediately shelved the remaining ten episodes of ‘Megan Wants A Millionaire‘, word had it that Jenkins was one of the final two millionaire contestants. Which means that Jenkins would have been in every episode right to the end. When I said ‘shelved’ that is not giving them enough credit. They totally obliterated MWM from all commercials, their website, Itunes, ect. A week later they announced that they would also be shelving ‘I Love Money 3. Jenkins was featured in this series as well, and it was rumored that he actually WON. So once again, he would have been in every episode, right up to the end. So in this case, by shelving both shows, they get credit for doing the right thing.
What I really want ask is this? How can 51 Minds Entertainment (who produces the show for VH1), expect a different outcome when they don’t properly eliminate potential candidates who have a criminal record? In this country, most jobs are closed to you if you have a felony on your record. Why do they keep rewarding contestant’s bad behavior? Case in point, Megan Hauserman and Sharon Osborn got into a physical alteration on the reunion show of ‘Charm School 2“. Megan threatened to sue. So amazingly now she has her own ‘Megan Wants a Millionaire” show. Is that how you reward fighting on national TV? Giving the person their own show?
Yes, I know, in our culture outlandish behavior is always rewarded by 15 minutes of fame. And yes, I am guilty of watching them too. But America’s unhealthy addiction to watching damaged people make fools of themselves also has a price…