Sunday, October 23, 2016

Another Journalist Arrested, Jailed For Covering Anti-Pipeline Protests In North Dakota.

Filmmaker Deia Schlosberg was arrested in North Dakota
for filming anti-pipeline demonstrators and could face
up to 45 years in prison. Add caption 
Last week, I thought sanity finally prevailed when a North Dakota judge dropped charges against Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman.

She'd documented an anti-oil pipeline demonstration by Native Americans that turned rather violent. (Guards for the company building the pipeline pepper sprayed protestors and threatened them with attack dogs.)

Goodman was charged with "rioting," mostly because her film of the incident turned viral, but a judge last week said the charge was unwarranted.

Yay! right?

Um, no.

Another journalist/film maker, Deia Schlosberg, was arrested in North Dakota more than a week ago and faces up to 45 years in jail, charged with conspiracy, along with activists Samuel Jessup and Michael Foster.

Reuters says the criminal complaint accuses Schlosberg of agreeing with Jessup and Foster two weeks in advance to "engage in conduct that would constitute theft of property" and of traveling to the pipeline site in the same vehicle as Jessup and Foster.

According to Reuters and other sources, Schlosberg was taken into custody early this month. For 48 hours, she was reported denied access to a lawyer.

The reports don't make clear what Schlosberg was supposedly going to steal, and of course a documentarian with a point of view would travel with people she's interviewing, and probably agreeing with.

Reuters said the Pembina County Sheriff's Office has repeatedly declined to comment. As if shutting up will make this mess go away.

Especially with the publicity this latest round of North Dakota anti-First Amendment censorship is getting.

A number of random celebrities are rallying around Schlosberg, including Neil Young, Mark Ruffalo,
and Daryl Hannah.

Whether the celebrities have any influence or not, North Dakota prosecutors really need to brush up on their Constitution.

I'm sure Schlosberg's work has a specific point of view, a slant, a bias, if you will, that North Dakota prosecutors don't like.  I'm guessing for sure she's on the side of the anti-pipeline demonstrators.

Of course those prosecutors are under no requirement to like her work. They, too have the First Amendment right to say she's biased, her journalism is unfair, her work is shoddy, if that's what they believe. They can yell these opinions from the rooftops and we'll all just have to suck it up and let them.

That's the deal in America.

What the state's attorneys and prosecutors in North Dakota can't do is shut journalists and documentarians up via criminal charges because they don't like what they're saying, or the way they're saying it.

State sponsored censorship, anyone?

State's Attorneys in North Dakota are elected positions, and it would be interesting to find out to what extent the oil pipeline companies contribute to their campaigns. I wonder how much those likely contributions are influencing decisions to press charges.

Meanwhile, the protests against the pipelines continue in North Dakota, with or without people filming it. About 80 people were arrested in demonstrations Saturday, says Reuters. 

Dramatic Video Shows Cop Saving Three Year Old Boy's Life

From a dash cam video. Granbury, Texas Police Officer
Chase Miller takes a boy who is not breathing from
his distraught parents and begins CPR. It worked. 
A viral video is going around showing the actions of a Granbury, Texas police officer saving the life of a three year old boy.

If you haven't seen it, it's scary, but a must-see. It's at the bottom of this post.  

Brayden Geis came down with a fever, had a seizure and suddenly stopped breathing one day earlier this month. His frantic parents called 9111.

Granbury, Texas Police Officer Chase Miller wasn't directly called to respond to the crisis, but he was in his cruiser nearby so he raced to the scene and got there before the ambulance showed up.

You could tell Miller is a pro. His dash cam shows Miller calmly taking the boy from his frantic mother and immediately start CPR. The mom, Bethany Hoover, obviously distraught, turns away, unable to look.

At one point, Miller needs to go get a CPR mask from his cruiser and calmly instructs Brayden's father, John Geis, how to continue CPR on his son, which he does until Miller comes back with the CPR mask.

After a few excruciating moments, you see everybody step back a bit in extreme relief. The boy is breathing again.

Thankfully, he's fine now. The doctors got his fever under control, and he's back to being a normal three year old.

As the NBC affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth reported, the boy and his parents returned later to the police station to thank Miller.

Miller, it turns out is so modest that he didn't tell his own wife when he got home that he saved the kid's life.

It's a dramatic video, but it's nice to see a good ending. Watch:

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Cher Updates "I Got You Babe" With James Corden, And It's Weird

James Corden and Cher have an, um, interesting take
on the classic "I Got You Babe."  
It's been a half decade since Sonny and Cher recorded the classic hit "I Got You Babe."

So, it's time for an update.

This week Cher and Late, Late Show host James Corden paired up to do an updated version of the song to keep up to date with our online culture.

Corden, dressed as Cher, and Cher, dressed, as, um, Cher, did an updated version called "I Got You Bae."

For the uninitiated, "Bae" means "before anyone else" and is Internet shorthand for "babe."

The Corden/Cher video is a little NSFW, but it is hilarious.

And given that Cher, now 70, is a big hit on social media, especially with her very active Twitter account, means that this version of the song works perfectly.

It does get a little weird. Sample (updated) lyric:

"When I text you an eggplant/You'll send me a nude on Snapchat."

Yeah, we haven't advanced much, have we?

Anyway, here's the bizarre and fun video:

Friday, October 21, 2016

Gold Star Father Khizr Khan Has New Devastating, Emotional Ad For Hillary, Against Trump.

Khizr Kahn is back with a devastating Hillary Clinton
ad, once again taking Donald Trump to task for the
kind of "America" Trump envisions.
Remember Khizr Kahn?

He was the American Muslim Gold Star dad who stood up at the Democratic National Convention last summer in support of Hillary Clinton, who questioned whether Donald Trump had ever even read the Constitution.  

Kahn's American military hero son died in Iraq in 2004, but his actions in the moment he died saved several other soldiers.

Donald Trump had a totally unnecessary feud with Kahn in the days and weeks after his convention appearance, which helped to erode Trump's popularity. (To be fair, Trump has done a LOT of things to erode his popularity.)

Khizr Kahn is back in the closing days of this sordid presidential campaign in a new, devastating ad for Hillary Clinton.

The highly emotional ad (If you watch it, below, there's a definite Kleexex alert with it.)

Kahn tells us the inspiring, tragic story of his son, then says, "I want to ask Mr. Trump: Would my son have a place in your America?"

Good question, Mr. Kahn. Most normal people would say absolutely. Kahn's son represents the best of American values and sacrifice.

Trump? I'm not so sure.

Watch the new Khizr Kahn/Hillary Clinton ad and judge for yourself:

Uber Driver Goes To The Dogs In Best Possible Way

Uber driver Jonathan Guarnano. (left) helps passengers
greet rescue dogs during his drives.  
Uber driver Jonathan Guarano wanted his passengers to know that rescuing dogs from shelters is a good thing.

OK, good, but he went one step further. He put rescue dogs in his car for his passengers to greet when they got in for rides to wherever they're going.

According to The Dodo, Guarano checked with animal welfare people first to make sure his car is safe for the pups.

Here's the resulting, charming video:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Weird Couple Tells Waitress She Should Be Home Taking Care Of Her Nonexistent Husband

A South Carolina Cracker Barrel waitress recently
received a "tip" to stay home and be a housewife
because Jesus. 
It seems there's a certain segment of the population that gets off on telling wait staff in restaurants what to do with their personal lives.

Don't be gay, don't be fat, whatever.

A waitress at a South Carolina Crackle Barrel was recently told that she shouldn't be working, that her job is to stay home and take care of her husband and kids

Never mind said waitress has neither a husband, nor kids, notes television station WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Instead of leaving a monetary tip, the couple left a "tip" in the form a handwritten message on a napkin.

I'll leave the grammatical mistakes intact in the note, as that's not exactly the biggest problem. Here's what the note said:

"The womans place is in the home You're place is in the home. It even says so in the Bible. You may think that your  contributing to your household by coming into work, but yournot.

While your in here 'working' this is the reason your husband must see another women on his way home from a long day at his work. Because you shoudl be home taking care of the household duties. You may think what you are doing 'working' is right, it is really essentially a disgrace to his manhood and to the American family.

So instead of coming to your 'job' and ooking for hand out's to feed your family hows about going home and cleaning your house and cooking a hot meal for your husband and children, the way you're husband and God intended, and help make America great again. Praying for families and our nation.

The Watley's."

As you can imagine, I don't know where to begin with the Watleys'  note. How many households can even affort to have someone stay home to be a housewife?

I'm being Captain Obvious here, but if a guy's wife is working and is so distraught by that he has to go find another woman to screw around with, isn't that the guy's fault and problem, and not the wife's?

Do the Watleys believe men have absolutely no self control?

If we took all the women out of the workforce so they can play wifey homemaker at home, wouldn't that screw things up. And the Watleys must be completely freaking out that a woman is poised to become the U.S. President instead of staying home and feather dusting the furniture at home to make Bill happy.

For the record, WBTV says the waitress who got the note does have a boyfriend who she says it's quite supportive of her going to work. Especially since she's using some of the income to further her education. To you know, find a more rewarding job where she doesn't have to put up the the Watleys' nonsense.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sadly, Arizona Republic Learns That Any Opinion Warrants Death Threats

In the current sad state of affairs, the staff at the Arizona
Republic newspaper has been getting numerous death
threats for endorsing Hillary Clinton. The paper's
editorial on it reaction to the threats is a must-read
An editorial in the Arizona Republic newspaper is going viral for a very sad reason.

Another editorial several days earlier in the traditionally conservative newspaper in the conservative state of Arizona endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.  

Until now, the paper has always endorsed the Republican candidate, but the Arizona Republic's editorial board couldn't stomach Donald Trump.

Sure, some conservative readers of the Arizona Republic got mad at the Clinton endorsement, complained loudly about it, even canceled subscriptions.

All that is fair.

But a number of people -not just a few - lobbed very gross death threats against the people who work at the Arizona Republic, thereby continuing a strange, awful new tradition in America:  Threaten to kill anyone who doesn't share your worldview.

In this past Sunday's editorial, Editor Mi-Ai Parrish listed the threats the Arizona Republic received for the "high crime" of endorsing a Democratic presidential nominee for the first time in 125 years.

Among them:

"You're dead. Watch your back."

"We will burn you down."

"You should be put in front of a firing squad as a traitor."

I know, it's just a bunch of yahoos who make these kind of threats. Still, it's a sensitive subject, especially at the Arizona Republic.

Back in 1976, a car bomb killed Arizona Republic investigative reporter Don Bolles  because somebody was pissed off that he was looking into a crooked land deal.

You have to take death threats seriously.  
A 1976 car bombing killed an Arizona Republic
investigative reporter who was looking into a shady land deal.

Still, you absolutely have to read the Arizona Republic editorial on the death threats, if you haven't already.

The editorial has gone viral as a master class for all of us on First Amendment rights, civics, civility, and the need for a free press. And it's a tribute to all the good employees at the Arizona Republic.

The Arizona Republic is still a conservative paper. I'm an East Coast liberal. I bet I could find a ton of Arizona Republic editorials that annoy me, that I disagree with, that I think are dumb.

That's fine. But how does one make the leap from being annoyed at something you read to want to kill the person who wrote it, and all the people who work in the building with that author?

Something is wrong in this country, and it's not the editorial page at the Arizona Republic.