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While cable channels like Fox have been paying attention 24/7 to the largely meaningless Casey Anthony murder case, we've instead been following the trials in the case of Shawna Forde and her killer Minutemen, which has considerably more social significance -- and thus has, of course, been largely ignored in the media. Indeed, the clip above was the only video I could find of the final verdict, which came down Friday:
An Arivaca man was convicted today of being behind a May 2009 home invasion that resulted in the death of a former friend and the friend's 9-year-old daughter.
It took a Pima County jury five hours to convict Albert Gaxiola, 44, of first-degree murder in the deaths of Raul Junior Flores, 29, and Brisenia Flores. He was also convicted this afternoon of attempting to murder Flores' wife, Gina Gonzalez, and one count each of burglary, armed robbery and aggravated robbery; and two counts of aggravated assault.
Jurors must now decide if the circumstances of the case warrant consideration of the death penalty. If they say "Yes," defense attorneys will present mitigation evidence over the next several days.
Dave Ricker has much more at his blog:
Now that the jury has found Gaxiola guilty of the two counts of first-degree murder the trial will move to the aggravation phase starting on Wednesday, July 6. If the jury finds one of the alleged aggravators, multiple murders and a victim under the age of 15, to have been proven then the trial will move to the penalty phase where the burden lies with the defense to persuade the jury to grant the defendant leniency.
During closing arguments in the trial, Thursday, the jury was reminded of a text message sent on May 30, 2009, by the defendant just hours after the a deadly home invasion in Arivaca.
That message sent by Gaxiola read ?Sweet dreams.? Deputy County Attorney Rick Unklesbay paused for a moment. ?They had just killed a 9-year-old. They had just killed her father. They had just wounded Gina,? he said. ?And, Albert Gaxiola?s text message back to Shawna Forde was ?Sweet dreams.? Shawna Forde?s reply was: ?You?re one of my minutemen.??
Unklesbay found himself searching for words. ?I?m not sure what words can adequately characterize the actions of these people,? he said. ?This is beyond outrageous. This is just downright scary.?
During those same closing arguments defense counsel Jack L. Lansdale suggested to the jury that his client was incapable of harming Brisenia or her sister. He asked the jury to recall testimony by the medical examiner complete with detailed pictures of the injuries suffered by Brisenia and her father. ?Did anyone of you hearing the testimony during the presentation of the photographs of Brisenia Flores happen to notice Albert and his reaction?? he asked, rhetorically. ?For him to participate in any action to hurt those children is incomprehensible.?
We'll keep you posted on the final sentence for Gaxiola -- which will wrap up this case, barring appeals, for good.
Here is my headline: “Study: Hottest Decade on Record Would Have Been Even Hotter But for Chinese Coal Plant Sulfur Pollution.”
Here is the Reuters headline: “Asia pollution blamed for halt in warming: study.”
Here is the Fox News headline (for the same Reuters story): “Reuters Bombshell: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduce Global Warming.”
Seriously. Or, rather, unseriously. Sulfur pollution is not a greenhouse gas. Quite the reverse, as the Reuters article Fox News links to makes clear. Indeed, its ability to cool the globe has been known for many, many decades.
I suppose it is too generous to claim that Fox Nation “a conservative news website operated by the Fox News Channel” is merely confusing sulfur pollution with greenhouse gases. By now, they must know their headline is dead wrong. They just don’t care (see Warning: ?Greater exposure? to Fox News will lead to ?increased misinformation? on policy issues, especially climate science).
As Media Matters reports, the study’s lead author, Robert Kaufmann, denounced the headline as “patently false” via email:
Now come the worst part of publishing an article on a topic of general interest … the distortions. Sulfur emissions ARE NOT GREENHOUSE GASES and the article carefully separates the two. Sulfur emissions are known as radiatively active gases because they reflect incoming solar radiation back to space. But they are not greenhouse gases, which affect Earth’s energy balance by absorbing out-going long wave radiation. So the headline is PATENTLY FALSE….
Sulfur emissions are bad air pollutants–with severe health (e.g. respiratory disease that contribute to tens of thousands of deaths) and environmental effects (acid deposition, which makes entire lakes lifeless). I am no an expert in this area, but these effects are the reasons that all industrial nations have strict limits on sulfur emissions and now developing nations are scrubbing their emissions too.
The Media Matters story notes:
The Associated Press also reported that “sulfur’s cooling effect is only temporary, while the carbon dioxide from coal burning stays in Earth’s atmosphere a long time.” The new study suggests that as China and other developing nations begin to control their sulfur emissions, it will be more difficult for the long-term global warming trend to hide.
Kaufmann himself has also pointed out the study is the furthest thing from evidence that we should keep listening to the deniers of Fox News and keep delaying action to reduce GHG emissions:
“If anything the paper suggests that reductions in carbon emissions will be more important as China installs scrubbers [on its coal-fired power stations], which reduce sulphur emissions. This, and solar insolation increasing as part of the normal solar cycle, [will mean] temperature is likely to increase faster.”
Carhenge. (Photo by Marshall Mayer)The Obama administration has already established a standard 35.5 mile-per-gallon fuel-efficiency average for cars, light trucks and SUVs manufactured in 2016 and beyond. The discussion now is over how much the standard should be increased to by 2025. The administration has slated an announcement on its decision about this for September.
Eco-advocates are seeking a 62-mpg standard. The big car companies, including GM, the one that taxpayers still own one-fourth of, are aghast. It's the usual whine, which comes down to the usual claim: no-can-do, too-expensive, unsafe.
Rank-and-file Americans should be deluging the White House to make that 62-mpg standard a reality. Not only would it save them gobs of money, but a soon-to-be-released study by Ceres Coalition concludes that it also would generate 700,000 jobs in 2030:
Boston-based Ceres said the employment boom would come if the Obama administration adopted this fall a 6 percent increase per year in Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, which would roughly equal 62 miles per gallon by 2025.
"Less money spent at the pump means more money for the U.S. economy and more jobs," said Ceres spokesman Peyton Fleming. "The weaker the standard the fewer the jobs that will be created."
The analysis on improved fuel-efficiency standards was conducted by Management Information Services, Inc. Findings:
Job Creation: A net gain of nearly 700,000 full-time jobs nationwide in 2030. 60,000 of these would be in the automobile industry.
Savings and redirected money: $152 billion in fuel savings at the pump in 2030 over business as usual. Of that total, $59 billion would accrue to the automobile industry as part of the purchase price of cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles.
In addition, a 62-mpg standard would consume roughly 2.0-2.5 billion fewer gallons of gasoline in 2030, in the range of 35-40 percent less than what is now consumed annually.
Fleming told Daily Kos that the findings are based on an estimated $3200 increase in the 2030 cost of making vehicles burn fuel more cleanly and efficiently. Assumptions are that about 18 million new light-duty vehicles will be sold that year. For purposes of the analysis, gasoline prices were assumed to be an inflation-adjusted $3.54 a gallon in 2030. That seems low, perhaps, but if it is, then the savings and shifted spending would be even greater. The analysts based their gasoline prices on the U.S. Energy Information Administration?s 2011 Annual Energy Outlook projections.
The incremental costs, Fleming said, are based on findings in the Technical Assessment Report produced by the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board in September 2010 for their path ?B? 6 percent per year case.
The full report will be released in late July along with state-by-state job impact estimates.
Of course, in an even better scenario, most newly manufactured cars and light trucks will no longer fuel themselves with gasoline at all in 20 years. But reaching that goal will require considerably more political will to confront the car companies (including the one the taxpayers bailed out and still own a hunk of) than seems to exist in Washington at the moment.
How did corporations ever come to be deified in America?
Because the Republican Party, the White House (to a great degree) and the corporate mass media hold out global businesses to be the "savior" of the US.
Forget that Michele Bachmann is claiming that she is running for president because God encouraged her to do so, BuzzFlash wants to know what Wal-Mart and GE told her.
Ironically, the corporations that span the planet are like the golden calf that Moses found his people worshipping when he came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments. It was a false, physical manifestation of God, according to the Old Testament.
Corporations today are akin to the golden calf, in that "conventional wisdom" ascribes God-like powers to them to revitalize the American economy, when an increasing percentage of America's financial assets has tipped into the hands of relatively few global businesses and financiers. The goal of this "1 percent" is not prosperity for Americans; it is to increase corporate profits and personal gain on a global level and, right now, the American worker has become an increasingly small component of that objective.
Despite "prosperity theology," the stock market and financial masters of the universe are without any religious context. It's quite simple, shareholders and investors expect corporations and banks "too big to fail" to pursue one simple goal: to maximize profits. If you have read of any wealthy person investing money to increase jobs in America, please email BuzzFlash. Rich Americans don't invest in US employment; they invest in increasing their assets.
Corporations, not actually being Gods to the citizens of the United States, could not care less about the well-being of their "flock" in the 50 states. When Moses, after his descent from Mount Sinai, saw that the people were worshipping the golden calf, he threw down the Ten Commandments in outrage and disgust.
How ironic for those running for office who believe that corporations are part of the divine order - and that if one just has faith in them, this nation will again burst forth with jobs.
They are bowing before a pagan image.
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A response from the N.B.A. to an earlier 538 post citing Forbes figures that show the league is not in financial distress.
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Forget being drowned in a bathtub; America's going to get stabbed to death in an alley.[...]
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Another Republican is itching to jump into the 2012 presidential race.
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke is launching a 25 state tour to drum up support for a presidential run, according to the The Daily Beast.
While the presidential hopeful claims his views have evolved, he recently described himself as a "white civil rights advocate" to The Daily Beast's Eve Conant.
Duke last held office in 1992, when he served as a state representative in Louisana. Until 2000, he was Republican executive-committee chairman in his district.
"David Duke is launching a Duke for President exploratory committee, and will soon start a year long tour across America from his home base in Mandeville, LA," Duke's website claimed last year. "He plans to speak in every state and gauge the political response to his possible entry into the race for the Republican nomination."
"Over the past few weeks, since the release of his, 'David Duke Speaks to the Tea Party' video, thousands of Tea Party activists have urged him to run for President."
I wish I lived in a lovely flat in the Mayfair section of London with a dog. Why?Because I know where I would take him every day to relieve himself.
Anyway, if any of you in the area have a spare room I could use for a couple of nights I would greatly appreciate it. Mrs. Field is a little pissed at the kid right about now. This happens every time she believes that the system of justice we have here in A-merry-ca fails someone. "Field, how could you do what you do?" This is where I do everything in my power to avoid the conversation. It doesn't work. "How do those men who defended that woman sleep at night?" I make a failed attempt at defending our legal system. "Well dear, a jury of her peers found her innocent, I didn't really follow the trial but the prosecution must not have made their case to the people who mattered." Bad move. "Field, anyone can see that the woman killed her child. Who waits days to say that their child is missing? You know what field, don't even start with me; you are no different than the rest of them."
I am hoping that this is the last we will hear of that dysfunctional family down in "Gator" country. But knowing A-merry-ca like I do, I doubt that it will be. There will be a book, countless television interviews, a TV miniseries, and on and on. Casey Anthony will be paid.
People are making comparisons to the OJ verdict, and I suppose that given the weight of evidence against mommy, you could. You Negroes were happy when OJ was found not guilty of killing those two white people, even though, in your hearts, you know he did it. No one is happy that a two year old lost her life, (Nancy Grace is losing her mind) and that the person who the state charged with the crime is walking. Some of you (especially the mothers out there) would pull the switch to fry Casey your damn selves. I know Mrs. Field would.
Finally, I swear that you just can't make this stuff up:
"The Fox News Politics Twitter account was hacked early this morning, and a number of Tweets claiming that President Obama had been assassinated were sent out. Fox has acknowledged the hack, but apparently still can't access the account?as of this post, the Tweets still haven't been taken down.
If you get your news exclusively from the Fox News Politics Twitter account, you will be relieved to hear that the president is not dead, to the best of our knowledge. Rather, the account seems to have been hacked at around midnight on Sunday by a group, vaguely aligned with Anonymous, calling itself "TheScriptKiddies." ("Script kiddies" is a pejorative term for wannabe hackers. I guess they're trying to reclaim it?)
At first, according to The Huffington Post, the hackers claimed responsibility, changing the account icon, linking to their own Twitter account, and reaching out to the @AnonymousIRC account, offering to "assist" the hacktivist band." [Article]
Sorry FOX. But I guess a news organization can always dream, right?
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Well, probably not our first. But still, it's bizarre that the Christian right is rallying around the one guy in the GOP field, Texas Governor Rick Perry, who's been dogging rumors for years that he's gay. Then again, they never were the smartest bunch (they totally believed former GOP party chair Ken Mehlman when he told them years ago to ignore the rumors that he was gay - he is gay, and recently came out). And while I'm sure Team Perry will try to spin this as just another "birther"-type conspiracy, as I said years ago during all the speculation about Mehlman, when there's this much chatter about a guy being gay, it often ends up being true.