Sunday, November 23, 2014

Florida Woman convicted of murdering estranged husband in the same city Trayvon Martin was slain

Woman claimed that victim overstayed his welcome

SANFORD, Fla. — The same city that was thrust into the national spotlight after Trayvon Martin's murder at the hands of George Zimmerman is back in the spotlight again.

This time, convicting a woman of executing her husband for ‘overstaying his welcome’.

A jury found Anita Smithey guilty of murdering her estranged husband 54 months ago after she invited him over to have sex and, according to prosecutors, to simulate a sexual assault.

The majority female jury found that Ms. Smithey shot and killed the victim when he refused to leave her residence on Tuesday, May 4, 2010.

"You're not allowed to kill a houseguest who's overstayed their visit," said Kelly Jo Hines, an Assistant State Attorney.

Ms. Smithey said the victim stabbed her in the side then said she stabbed herself to phony up evidence and make herself look like a victim.

She said the gun went off by accident after the victim leaned against it but later said she pulled the trigger.  She told police the gun went off once, but the medical examiner found two such wounds on the victim.

Photos of Ms. Smithey taken the day of the shooting show her with two knife marks across her throat, a chipped tooth, three cuts to her face, bruises on her forehead and a shallow stab wound to her side.

In her closing argument, Assistant State Attorney Stacey Salmons told jurors there was no rape.

The cuts, Ms. Salmons said, "She did them to herself."

Ms. Smithey will remain in jail until Groundhog Day 2015.  The judge that day will decide how long she gets in prison.

Huffington Post Crime

Have at it fans! It is legal to post Nintendo characters without a license on non-commercial projects

KYOTO, Japan — Looking to post photos of Skyla and her Archeops?  How about Kate Alen and her #12 Super Piranha?  Maybe you love Yoshi?

Regardless of which character is your favorite, if they are licensed by Nintendo, they are legal as long as you don't make a red penny off the characters.

In the past, Nintendo sent take down notices or disabled audio on YouTube videos that used their characters in the most innocuous of ways.

On November 16, they had a change of heart.

The news comes via Nintendo president Saturo Iwata in an announcement that the company is taking part in a video mash-up event in Japan and that anyone is free to use any Nintendo character for it or, indeed, anything else non-commercial.

This is a large step for Nintendo, as its popular characters from the Mario, Donkey Kong, and F-Zero franchises – and from Goldeneye 007 – are one of the major factors keeping it afloat (Jovan Note: Nintendo still retains its rights for Goldeneye 007, although those rights are now shared with Microsoft and Electronic Arts).  The fans love them, especially in the mobile gaming world.  While we don’t expect to see Donkey Kong or Natalya Simonova making their way to the Xbox One or the Playstation 4, there might be some non-Nindendo gaming of some sort in the near future, mainly on Android devices or Google OS computers.  Whether or not this indicates some sort of other intellectual property changes from the House of Mario, though, is now unknown, but it certainly is a fan-friendly move that should make many gamers happy.


[image of the Mighty Gazelle via me, Fantendo and other fans of the F-Zero character!]

West Virginia indefinitely suspends ALL Greek life after male pledge is raped, hospitalized and ultimately dies

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — An 18-year-old male pledge was raped by sorority sisters on November 6, and then hospitalized in grave condition a week later after being hazed by fraternity brothers before dying on November 15.

Aiken Area Progressive is not naming the victim, who was from Buffalo, N.Y., due to the fact that his death is still being investigated.

The victim had no pulse when cops arrived for the final time at a fraternity house that had over 30 students from various fraternities and sororities.  All of the men – 19 in all – were drinking.

The Kappa Sigma national chapter, which was suspended for an incident unrelated to the sexual assault and ultimate death of the victim, has said that they will investigate this and assist the WVU police in any way possible.

As a result of the sexual assault and subsequently. death, all fraternities and sororities have been indefinitely suspended by the University.

"The action to halt fraternity and sorority activities while these matters are being reviewed is being done with the well-being and safety of our students in mind," said Corey Farris, West Virginia University's dean of students.  "That is — and must always be — our foremost priority."

And this is not even the latest incidents of rape and hazing by Greek lifers.  Coming up later: the rape and hazing of a co-ed that led to Virginia's fraternities being suspended.

NBC News
Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail

Saturday, November 22, 2014

You Got to be Kidding: Men explain why they harass women in public

Disturbing video unearths minds of men who harass women

Why Do Men Harass Women On The Street? by Gothamist

NEW YORK CITY — It is already bad enough for people in the street without being harassed by others.

And this chilling video explains how bad it is for a good chunk of our population when they venture out into the small world.

The men, all of whom are residents of New York, were interviewed by the some of the same people who did the racially-biased catcalling video that led to Tiffanie Drayton's attack on the video at the Frisky and Emily May's apology for it.

Reasons men harass a woman include: to appear macho within a group of friends, to exercise one's right to free speech expression, and to express attraction.

A number of men also cited women's clothing as a reason to harass them.  Some even cited a woman being naked in public as a reason to single her out.

"If a girl comes out in tight leggings, and you can see something back there... I'm saying something," said one young man who is being groomed to be a rape enabler.

As for the women interviewed in the video: they explained how uncomfortable being catcalled makes them feel, and they could only speculate as to why men do it.  As for avoiding it, none of the female participants had an answer.  Unfortunately, for them, a man weighed in with advice for women who don't want to be harassed: "Try not to wear tight clothes."

As for this man…one answer I have as to the ways women can avoid harassment: tell us men to stop approaching y'all, and if you women feel like you must interact with a man, YOU WOMEN MUST BE THE ONES TO MAKE THE FIRST MOVE – NO EXCUSES.  It's the same thing I've been saying for years.  I'm not gonna say anything different than what I've been saying.

Huffington Post Women

Unpatriotic conservative scum spew hate at Springsteen for ‘Fortunate Son’ cover

One of my favorite songs to play while the weather is nice (as in sunshine) was the target of unpatriotic conservatives throwing a hissy fit last week.

On November 11, Bruce Springsteen decided to be the latest musician to cover a 1969 hit that the Fogerty Bros. and Creedence Clearwater Revival originally wrote at the Concert for Valor.  Video of the song linked below (user disabled playback on here).

Anyone who actually comprehends what Fortunate Son is about knows that the song is about a politician(s) who vote to murder our kids to profit Haliburton and the other moneyed interests – all the while disrespecting the brave souls who survived and fought in the politicians' wars of aggression to line the pockets of the big special interest cronies that continuously get disgustingly fed at the trough in DC, while the politicians' sons (at the time of the song's release, women were not allowed to enter combat, and women are still banned from registering for the Selective Service System to this day) get preferential treatment, deferments and spoiled to be chickenhawks by their parents.

In other words, the unpatriotic chickenhawks at Fox News – and their zombies that parrot all of their talking points on this, voter ID or anything else – do not think and thus, they do not know what Fortunate Son is about.  As much as some don't like it, these people do have the right to vote per the Voting Rights Act and they did that in huge numbers in what was actually the lowest turnout for an election – gubernatorial or presidential – since my grandmother was an infant – in 1942.

"This reaction seems like… not really an accurate read of this song!  Not really at all.  Real patriotism entails exactly this: publicly challenging the status quo in a country you believe to be capable of better things," wrote Jessica Goldstein at ThinkProgress, noting that John Fogerty, the surviving brother, performed the song just the week before on the White House lawn.

Minnesota Public Radio's Bob Collins argued that the Weekly Standard was "making an old mistake."

"Confusing the war with the people who were drafted to fight it. It’s the mistake that led to the Vietnam veterans not being 'welcomed home' and while that’s been rectified over the last decade or so, putting the two back together again because Bruce Springsteen played the song is convenient, but illogical," wrote Mr. Collins.

Conservatives may wanna read about the songs before opening their fucking mouths!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Jeff Taylor suspended 24 games for domestic violence incident

Hornet SF/SG already served half of suspension, union blasts Silver for ‘CBA-violating’ transaction

NEW YORK CITY — The Association suspended Charlotte Hornet small forward/shooting guard Jeff Taylor for 24 games with no pay after he pleaded guilty to domestic violence.

Adam Silver made the decision after the conclusion of Mr. Taylor's trial, making sure that there would be no more doubt to the player's guilt for abusing his girlfriend two months ago.

Michael Jordan indefinitely suspended the 25-year-old while the legal process ran its course in East Lansing, Mich.  The team owner did not say if he would allow Mr. Taylor to play once the league suspension ends.

Mr. Taylor has already served half of the league-imposed suspension.  The second half of his suspension will begin tonight as the Hornet host the Orlando Magic.

"This suspension is necessary to protect the interests of the NBA and the public's confidence in it.  Mr. Taylor's conduct violates applicable law and, in my opinion, does not conform to standards of morality and is prejudicial and detrimental to the NBA," said Commissioner Adam Silver.

The NBA Players' Union condemned the transaction.

“The CBA contemplates a minimum 10-game suspension in any case involving a conviction for a violent felony, including domestic violence,” wrote union head Michele Roberts, claiming that the transaction was “excessive, without precedent and a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement”.  “In contrast, Jeff Taylor was charged with a misdemeanor that likely is going to be dismissed at the end of a probationary period.”

Ms. Roberts said that while the union appreciates the societal overtones of domestic violence, “the Commissioner is not entitled to rewrite the rules” established under the CBA.

Roberts wrote the union stands “ready to file an immediate appeal on (Taylor’s) behalf”.

WSOC-HD 9 Eyewitness News

Two male country music singers come out as gay

NASHVILLE — On the same day that marriage equality became the law in South Carolina, two singers that most Palmetto State residents know came out of the closet.

Just minutes after the Supremes welded shut Alan Wilson's options of preserving S.C.'s discriminatory marriage ban, Ty Herndon came out of the closet as gay.

"During an Anthony Robbins seminar, I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone's son or daughter or grandchild's life not be as difficult as mine has been," Mr. Herndon, 52, told PEOPLE.  "Maybe they wouldn't have to go through as much pain and suffering.  It's time to tell my truth."

"My mother probably knew I was gay before I did.  I remember sitting down with her and having the conversation," recalled Mr. Herndon, noting his career path in country worried her.  But, ultimately, "she was more concerned about me having a happy life.  You have to be able to do that in your own skin, and [my family] has seen me struggle with being gay my whole career."

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. They've been my mistakes, and I own them," added Mr. Herndon, who was married to women twice before coming to terms with his sexuality.  (He says both ex-wives knew he was gay.)  "I've done a lot of work around forgiveness with people that I've hurt and people I've not been honest with because of my sexuality."

Before sundown, another country music star came out of the closet.

In a six minute video posted on YouTube, Billy Gilman, who is half Mr. Herndon's age, said to his legion of followers, "It was in that moment that I knew that I'd rather it be from me than you reading it somewhere else and probably filled with 'not truth.'"

He said that Mr. Herndon made it a bit easier on him to come out.

"If people don't like your music, that's one thing, but after having sold over five million records, having a wonderful life in the music industry, I knew something was wrong when no major label wanted to sit down and have a meeting and listen to the new stuff," he said.

"It's difficult for me to make this video, not because I'm ashamed of being a gay male artist, or a gay artist, or a gay person.  But it's pretty silly to know that I'm ashamed of doing this...because I'm in a genre, in an industry that is ashamed of me for being me," he continued.

Later, he shared a clip of his latest music video with fans, and then thanked them for their support over the years.  "Know that I will always strive to be the best artist I can be," he said.  "And now that I have finally found my place as a person, that only makes the music that much better."

Mr. Gilman is correct about the country music industry and is outdated conservative views – views that have harmed the industry as a whole with the young adult demographic (ages 18-30).

Mr. Gilman and Mr. Herndon are the third and fourth country music stars to come out of the closet, and the first two male stars to do so, proving once again how much harder it is for men to be themselves in the United States.

In the summer of 2010, Chely Wright was the first musician in the genre to come out of the closet, with the timing of her announcement coinciding with a release of a compilation album.  In early 2012, k.d. lang came out of the closet as a lesbian as well.

Daily Dot

Microsoft: all Windows Phone 8 devices will be able to upgrade to Windows 10

REDMOND, Wash. — Got a Windows Phone 8 device from Sprint?  How about a Microsoft Lumia 520 from the now-defunct Aio Wireless?  Still got that Microsoft Lumia 810 from T-Mobile?

If you have any of those devices I called out, pay attention to this post.

Microsoft confirmed on Veterans Day that every Windows Phone 8 device, including those no longer supported by carriers themselves, will be capable of upgrading to Windows 10 when it comes out sometime between April 27 and June 30, 2015.

The Lumia account even went further, saying that they will release brand new Windows 10 devices.

However, if you are among those that have the Lumia 810, there's some bad news.  Even if you upgrade to Windows 10, you still will not have the one thing that most other T-Mobile Lumias have: Wi-Fi Calling.

Windows Central

[image of Samsung Ativ S Neo via Sprint]

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Aiken, Edgefield and Orangeburg counties accept, marry first LGBT couples

Barnwell County hasn't received licenses, info on other counties unavailable

ORANGEBURG — Less than two hours after the US Supreme Court told Alan Wilson to stuff his bigotry against LGBT people where the sun doesn't shine, the sun was shining over a South Carolina that now gives LGBT people the same exact civil rights in relationships that straight people enjoyed since 1965.

LGBT couples in Aiken, Edgefield and Orangeburg counties flocked to courthouses in the respective counties to get marriage licenses at noon today.  Yashica Jamison and Marteesha Williams was the first couple to file for a marriage license in Orangeburg County.

“I'm so excited.  So happy…for this day to come.  Just overexcited,” said Mrs. Williams.

 The Times and Democrat's reporter, Gene Zaleski, notified them that they were the first couple from the county.  Mrs. Williams said that she and Mrs. Jamison were the first ones to show up.

“I'm surprised.  I thought it was gonna be a line, I thought it was gonna be a line…surprised,” added Mrs. Williams, who unsuccessfully tried to file for a marriage license on Wednesday in Charleston due to overcrowded lines.

When Mr. Zaleski asked the couple why there wasn't a line, Mrs. Williams joked, “Because everybody who said they gay ain't gay.”

“We're folks who have the same normal lives,” chimed Mrs. Jamison, who was not allowed to sign a birth certificate in 2012 for her partner's child due to the then-ban on LGBT marriages.

LGBT couples in Aiken and Edgefield counties also accepted marriage licenses.  Barnwell and Saluda counties have said they have not received any such licenses, despite the latter's confirmation to begin accepting licenses today.  Information for Allendale, Bamberg, Hampton and McCormick counties are not available at this time.

In Aiken, Chrissy de l'Aigle and Hayley Latham were among the first to arrive.  They said waiting another day for a marriage license is nothing compared to the years they've already waited.

"I think for a long time the United States and it's citizens have always looked at us as second class citizens, and for the first time, it seems like today, we're going to be given back some inalienable rights that have been given to so many other people," said Mrs. de l'Aigle to WJBF-DT News Channel 6.

Joel Snyder and Guy Fletcher, were the first male couple in Aiken County to turn in their application.  They both said, they never thought this day would come.

"You think maybe it's an opportunity easy to come by, but it's not, it took a long time. There's been a lot of women in the front lines taking the heat," explained Mr. Fletcher.

WJBF-DT News Channel 6

Bottom Line: Reagan and George H.W. Bush issued unilateral executive orders allowing amnesty (conservatives' term) to undocumented immigrants

Here is the thing: the most disrespected president of our time is about to do the same exact thing that two conservative heroes did over two decades ago previously.

Tonight, during an important immigration conference that will not be seen unless you have cable or a dish (Michael Wilbon's term for satellite), President Obama will announce that he will go forward on his plan to reform the broken immigration process that for four years, the do-nothing GOP House of Representatives that gerrymandered themselves into permanent power, had a chance to do reform and didn't.

Now, the right wing is whining and crying about citizen journalists doing their job and exposing the facade of the conservatives' respect for America.

What President Obama plans to do isn't much different than what Reagan and George H.W. Bush did in a five year span from 1986 to 1990.  In 1986, Reagan issued an executive order unilaterally allowing amnesty to undocumented immigrants that came here on December 31, 1981 or earlier.  There were not any protests against this executive order – or the three that came shortly thereafter in 1987 – because he was a white conservative president, not because there was a bipartisan consensus.

When H.W. Bush was the president, the Senate passed a plan to codify the 1986 executive order by an 81-17 count.  The GOP-controlled House failed to act, and H.W. Bush was left to try to solve the problem himself.

Seven months later, in February 1990, H.W. Bush unilaterally issued an executive order of his own allowing extended amnesty to those who were supposedly covered under Reagan's four executive orders.  Again, no protests against this executive order because like his predecessor, he was a white conservative president, not because there was a bipartisan consensus.  However, some conservatives did defect to vote for his eventual successor, President Bill Clinton, in the 1992 general election over the executive order.

Seventeen months ago, the US Senate, still in Democratic control until January 2015, passed an immigration bill, although bipartisan, that was ripped by many Americans and civil rights activists for the strict requirements contained in them.  The GOP-controlled House viewed the bill is too lenient and refused to act, leading President Obama to make the decision that he will make tonight.

So, excuse me if I don't have selective amnesia like the conservatives do.  I have a long memory.

If what President Obama plans to do is treason, than what Reagan and H.W. Bush did was treasonous as well.

You can't have it both ways, conservatives.  Either all of them behaved lawfully or none of them did.

Your excuses for what Reagan and Bush 41 did won't work.  Because we see your racist, unpatriotic behavior behind those justifications.

Bottom Line: you can try to rewrite history just like you rewrote textbooks in Texas, but the gods in the sky, regardless of religion, know the whole truth.  And trust me when I say this, it is the truth that will hurt your feelings.

Update at 17:33: The Sludge Report further proves our point.  I'm posting the photo, but will not dignify it with any further response on here.  Want my reactions?  Go to Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.

Marriages to continue after High Court shoots down jurisdictionally-challenged Alan Wilson

WASHINGTON, DC — The full US Supreme Court today told South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson in no uncertain terms: the Palmetto State is nowhere near the Sixth Circuit, and that the state must follow Fourth Circuit court rulings, no matter how much it pains him or the other bigots who have fought against LGBT marriages tooth and nail.

The decision was 7-2 to deny Wilson's motion to issue a stay on all such marriages, a day after they began in two of the state's three largest counties.

Only Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia would have granted Wilson's motion.

Aiken, Orangeburg and Saluda counties will begin issuing marriage licenses at noon today.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Marriage equality begins in S.C.

A Columbia lesbian couple ties the knot. Credit: WLTX

FOLLY BEACH — Of course, the oldest county in South Carolina wanted to add another first to their notches of firsts.

Charleston County began issuing licenses today to LGBT couples, making them the first of the state's 46 counties to officially do so.

Colleen Condon and Nichols Bleckley---a couple whose lawsuit helped get the licenses legalized in the state--were among the first to pick up their certificate.  Another couple, Kristin Anderson and Kayla Bennett, got married moments afterward on the Courthouse steps of the Coastal county.

The geographic center of the state, Richland County, was the second county to grant marriage licenses.  Less than an hour after the Charleston County nuptials, Shelia Morris and Teresa Williams, a Columbia lesbian couple, completed their paperwork to get their license.  They said they expected to pick up the document later in the day. They said the day is the first public affirmation of their love and commitment.

On Tuesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to stay a US District Court ruling that declared South Carolina's ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional.  That case involved the new Mrs. Condon and Mrs. Bleckley, who sued after State Attorney General Alan Wilson blocked their attempt to get a marriage license last month.

The judge in that case ruled that the state's current law violated the equal protection and due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Around the same time the Fourth Circuit's decision became public, a long-awaited ruling from U.S. District Court Michelle Childs was released.  In that decision, Judge Childs ruled that the state must recognize a West Columbia lesbian couple's marriage that happened in Washington, DC.  The couple had sued the state after they ran into a problem when one of them tried to add her wife and kids to her employee health plan.

While the wedding bells have begun ringing, the legal fight is not over.  Alan Wilson, who is wasting precious tax dollars on a war he will lose, has filed a motion with the US Supreme Court asking for an emergency stay to stop the marriages from happening.  Lancaster and York counties plan to issue marriage licenses on Thursday.  Locally, Aiken, Orangeburg and Saluda counties will wait to issue marriage licenses until noon Thursday.  The other six local counties have not made their announcements yet.

WJBF-DT News Channel 6
WLTX News 19
WLTX News 19 (2)
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