Deray McKesson smacks down Wolf Blitzer: ‘You are suggesting broken windows are worse than broken spines’ | Raw Story

CNN host Wolf Blitzer seemed determined to make the focus of his Tuesday interview with Deray McKesson about the amount of trouble protesters had caused in Baltimore, but the community organizer managed to turn the tables on the veteran journalist.

“You want peaceful protests, right?” Blitzer began his interview by asking McKesson.

“Yes,” McKesson replied, after being momentarily taken aback by the obvious nature of the question. “Remember, the people that have been violent since August have been the police. When you think about the 300 people that have been killed this year alone. Like that is violence.”

McKesson agreed that the property damage in Baltimore on Monday night was unfortunate, but he urged Blitzer to remember that there had been “many days of peaceful protests here in Baltimore City and places all around the country.”

“But at least 15 police officers have been hurt, 200 arrests, 144 vehicle fires — these are statistics,” Blitzer countered, robotically reading a police press release. “There’s no excuse for that kind of violence, right?”

“Yeah, and there’s no excuse for the seven people that the Baltimore City Police Department has killed in the last year either, right?” McKesson shot back.

“We’re not making comparisons,” Blitzer stuttered. “Obviously, we don’t want anybody hurt. But I just want to hear you say that there should be peaceful protests, not violent protests in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King.”

“Yeah, there’s should be peaceful protests,” the community organizer replied. “And I don’t have to condone it to understand it, right? The pain that people feel is real.”

“And you are making a comparison,” McKesson added. “You are suggesting this idea that broken windows are worse than broken spines, right?”

“And what we know to be true is the police are killing people everywhere. They’re killing people here. Six police officers were involved in the killing of Freddie Gray, and we’re looking for justice there. And that’s real. The violence the police have been inflicting on communities of color has been sustained and deep.”

Watch the interview here

Kentucky Republican Thinks He's 'Privileged From Arrest' From DUI Charges Because Of 1891 Law (VIDEO)

Kentucky Republican Thinks He’s ‘Privileged From Arrest’ From DUI Charges Because Of 1891 Law (VIDEO)

Kentucky State Sen. Brandon Smith was arrested on January 6, for a DUI. Unfortunately, there’s nothing unusual in that scenario, but instead of feigning innocence, as most might, Smith is asserting that laws don’t apply to him because he makes laws.

On that night in January, Smith was pulled over for doing 65 in a 45 zone. That alone would get most of us a ding on our driver’s license and…

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Living abroad

Where to go in Canada? Whistler, BC

I was born and raised in Ontario but after living in Asia and Europe I decided to move out to the west coast of Canada and resided there for 2 years and all I can say is that British Columbia is full of natural beauty and wonder!

My home country is absolutely amazing and anyone who decides to go to Canada should visit both the East and the West, for they are completely different.

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As recent protests suggest, 2014 could have been the year that tensions between law enforcement officers and the people who they are charged with protecting peaked.

Looking back over some of the disturbing Raw Story reports from the last year shows why the public has become more and more skeptical of the men and women behind the badge.


“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to re-establish the ban on oral and anal sex in his state.

“In March, Cuccinelli had appealed to the Supreme Court after a three-judge panel of the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had declared Virginia’s anti-sodomy law to be unconstitutional. But on Monday, the Supreme Court said that it would refuse to hear the case.

“Cuccinelli had argued that the Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, which banned anti-sodomy laws, had not applied to cases involving minors. But if Cuccinelli had succeeded, experts said that he would have also effectively banned oral and anal sex for adults.”

In Virginia we’ve got a lot of actual issues: transportation problems, infrastructure that needs improvement, etc. What’s AG and gubernatorial candidate Cuccinelli spending his time on? Trying to enforce plainly unconstitutional laws about where people are putting their naughty bits.

I hate to sound like a broken record here, but Old Dominion voters: the election is in a month. You have about another week to get registered if you’re not already. Get out there and vote for the sane ticket.

House Republicans Vote To Allow Employers To Fire Women For Using Birth Control

House Republicans Vote To Allow Employers To Fire Women For Using Birth Control

House Republicans quietly voted to overturn a local D.C. law last night that bars discrimination against women who exercise their reproductive rights.

The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act became law in 2014 but anti-women Republicans introduced H.J. Resolution 43 to destroy it. Raw Story contributor Joan Schipp described the debate and her own effort to report on it:


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The Baltimore police department has used secretive cellphone tracking technology thousands of times in recent years while following orders from the FBI to withhold information about the practice from prosecutors and judges, a detective testified in court on Wednesday.

The testimony of the detective revealed the widespread use of cell site simulators, known as Stingrays, which mimic the signal of cellphone towers to force phones to transmit their data to them. Police can then analyze the data to track the location of the phones.

Detective Emmanuel Cabreja said in his testimony that the Baltimore police department had used the device, called the Hailstorm – an upgraded version of Stingrays – and other similar technology about 4,300 times since 2007, the Baltimore Sun reported. This is believed to be much higher than other known cases where similar equipment has been used by state and local police.

The testimony marks one of the rare instances where details about the device have been divulged, as federal officials have tried to downplay its use. The government has intervened in relatively minor public records cases and criminal trials to advise local police forces to withhold details about the technology, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press (AP). The documents require the police department to obtain FBI authorization before sharing information about the Stingray technology with other law enforcement authorities.

Cabreja said he did not comply with a subpoena to bring one of the devices to court because of a nondisclosure agreement the Baltimore police signed with the FBI. The agreement, which was presented in court on Wednesday, instructs prosecutors to drop cases if they find themselves pressed on the technology, and tells them to contact FBI agents if they are questioned by lawmakers or judges.

Rapist collapses in terror when police report that his victim was HIV-positive

“It is his own fault, if he had not committed this offense he would not have placed himself in this position.” - Attorney, Virginia Hayton


Deray McKesson, Bowdoin ‘07 and Black Lives Matter activist, demolishes Wolf Blitzer on CNN by refusing to provide the cut-and-dry, non-nuanced quote Blitzer attempted to obtain.  Way to turn the tables, Deray.

Politico’s Roger Simon says that Republican presidential Rick Perry’s recent embrace of birtherism amounts to a racist “dog whistle.” “It’s not a ‘fun’ issue to poke somebody on,” Simon told CNN’s Howard Kurtz Sunday. “It is more than a little bit racist. Not everyone who believes it is a racist. It grew out of the belief that a black man could not be legitimately elected to the president of the United States.” He continued: “Now, why would Perry use that in the primaries instead of saving it for the general when he’s running against President Obama? Well, it’s because being extreme, perhaps, and a little bit racist, perhaps, gives you good bona fides in a Republican primary. It shows them that you are on the same side as they are.” “So, it’s a bit of a dog whistle?” Kurtz asked. “Absolutely,” Simon replied.

Not everyone who believes it is a racist. It grew out of the belief that a black man could not be legitimately elected to the president of the United States.

HUH?!?! The “belief” is, in and of itself, racist!

Wiccans say Indiana religious freedom law opens the door to polygamy, nude rituals at the Capitol

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence last week has found support from a most unusual source — practicing Wiccans.

The Daily Beast‘s David Freedlander spoke to Dusty Dionne, a High Priest and High Summoner of the Aquarian Tabernacle Church, who confessed that while he believes “these bills are horrible,” they do provide a unique opportunity for practitioners of his faith.

“If they are going to up this can of worms,” he said, “we are going to shove it right in their face.” For example, he explained, many Wiccans believe “that love is the law,” so while polygamous marriages are not a tenet of Wiccan theology, “whatever we want to do with marriage we can do. Carte blanche. If I want to marry a horse, I can marry a horse.”

Wiccans would also legally be able to refuse drug tests in states with religious freedom laws, because “natural” substances like marijuana and hallucinogens are “herbs” used to enhance experience at officially sanctioned religious ceremonies. Moreover, Dionne explained, giving the blood or urine samples required for such tests would run contrary to their belief that the “body is a temple,” and “if you come for a piece of my temple, I can say no.”

They would also be free to dance naked on state Capitol steps so long as the moon was full, as a Wiccan holy text — “The Charge of the Goddess” — sanctions the practice.

But Heather Greene, an editor at Wild Hunt — a website that offers news and political analysis from “A Modern Pagan Perspective” — told Freedlander that while she supports legislation that allows those in marginal religions to practice freely, she shares with the mainstream doubts about the efficacy of the Indiana bill.

“The concern,” she said, “is that recent RFRA language is so broad that it will ultimately lead to both religious and LGBTQ discrimination.”

Dionne, however, remains undeterred. “We are the fifth-largest religion in America,” he said, “and we are the fastest growing. If they pass these laws, we are going to beat a fucking drum.”

Raw Story: Medical marijuana patient denied liver transplant

A man who was refused a liver transplant by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles because he used medical marijuana to cope with his symptoms is hoping his story will change the transplant policies of hospitals around the country.

“Now I just accept it, I deal with it, and I take it one day at a time,” Norman B. Smith told Reason TV. “I realize that the chance of Cedars changing their mind is a long shot. But if I can effect a change, so be it. It is probably too late for me, but I hope it makes it easier for the next guy.”

Smith was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer in 2009. His oncologist at Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Steven Miles, approved of his medical marijuana use as a means to deal with the effects of chemotherapy and pain from an unrelated back surgery.

In September 2010, Smith became eligible for a liver transplant, but after testing positive for marijuana in February he was removed from the transplant list due to non-compliance with the hospital’s substance abuse contract. Smith was within two months of receiving a transplant before he was de-listed.

“Marijuana is considered substance abuse,” Peggy Stewart, a clinical social worker with UCLA’s transplant program, explained. “The legality of it is really not an issue.”

The hospital said that using marijuana put transplant patients at risk of infection from aspergillus, a mold found in marijuana. But the dispensary Smith gets his marijuana from tests its product for aspergillus and other contaminants in compliance with FDA guidelines.

“It’s safer than the spinach and lettuce that you eat,” Smith said.

Stephanie Sherer of Americans for Safe Access told Reason TV the issue was not an isolated incident. In 2008, a medical marijuana patient from Seattle died after being denied a liver transplant by the University of Washington Medical Center. Less than a year later, another medical marijuana patient from Big Island died at Hilo Hospital after being denied a liver transplant.


This is so fucking perverse.


“During correspondent Mike Tobin’s report about the guilty verdicts in the Steubenville rape case on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, the girl’s first name was broadcast without being censored….

At that point, the report cut to footage of one of the rapists, 17-year-old Trent Mays, apologizing to the victim in court on Sunday.

‘I would truly like to apologize to [redacted], her family, my family and the community,” Mays said. “No picture [of the rape] should have been sent around, let alone even taken.’”

-David Edwards (The Raw Story)